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An Interview with Tom Weiss

Tom Weiss is a retired Army officer with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. His writing has appeared in professional military journals, PJ Media, and Liberty Island. He splits time between Western Wisconsin and Eastern Australia and is convinced the Minnesota Vikings will never win the Super Bowl.

I had the opportunity to interview this noted writer and discuss a variety of technological trends.

A Podcast Review: Raven 23: Preparing for a Pardon

There has been an attempt, of sorts, in recent years to rehabilitate the reputation of four men: Evan Liberty, Dustin Heard, Nicolas Slatten, and Paul Slough. Even if you don’t know their names, you may recall the company they worked for – Blackwater Worldwide – and their connection to the 2007 deaths of fourteen Iraqis at Nisour Square in Baghdad. In 2014, after a drawn-out legal proceeding, the four were convicted and sentenced to prison.

Defenders of the foursome have, since their conviction, appeared in media outlets like Fox News or The Daily Mail, along with other, more conservative leaning media outlets like The Blaze Radio Network, The Cato Institute, and the website of former Representative Allen West. They’ve even received support from David French in the pages of National Review. This rehabilitation effort has branched out in recent months in the form of a podcast called Raven 23: A Presumption of Guilt.

Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Fantasies

I like Quentin Tarantino. His films, often laced with profanity and brutal violence, have witty dialogue, interesting characters, and can make mundane events such as dinner at a diner endlessly entertaining. It was for this reason that I decided to watch Inglourious Basterds, Tarantino’s gory revenge thriller about a fictional group of Jews that succeed in an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. 

An Interview with Author Chris Nuttall

I had the opportunity to interview science fiction and fantasy author Chris Nuttall. There are more than a dozen novels in his “Schooled in Magic” series and half a dozen in “The Zero Enigma” series. “The Empire Corps” series is pure military science fiction consisting of more than a dozen novels on its own, and then there are his “Angel in the Whirlwind” novels.

Book Review: Neil Gorsuch’s A Republic, If You Can Keep It

Wanted: Civics and Civility

If we are fortunate, the Civil War will be the last time we face destruction by a fire set with our own hands. The threat is now dry-rot, that spreads like a fungus from our lack of understanding of our nation’s fundamental principles, and the lack of communication skills needed to convey them to our fellow citizens. A Republic, If You Can Keep It by Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch is a plea on both counts.

An Interview with Author Richard Paolinelli

I had the opportunity to interview author Richard Paolinelli. He’s the creator of the Jack Del Rio series as well as a science fiction and mystery author.

Why I Choose Star Wars Over “Real” Life

Recently I had to choose which movie I was going to see. There was a variety of choices—war, a sex scandal, a generic action movie. Let me tell you what I seek from art: an experience of the ideal, a feeling of spiritual replenishment through the sight of human greatness. Now you know why I chose Star Wars. I will elaborate, quickly mentioning that, throughout this article, I’m drawing heavily on the aesthetic philosophy of Ayn Rand.

I do not seek out characters I can “relate to”, but I do seek out characters I understand, with the heroes’ greatness or the evil they vanquish on full, naked display. I do not seek out the everyday world, I see that every day. What I seek is Romanticism.

Do not tell me that the art of something like Star Wars is silly because “real life isn’t like that”. What Star Warsrepresents is real life, in essence. Star Wars represents the essential differences between good and evil, and does it with great consistency through each aspect of the film: in terms of the characters’ goals and actions, in terms of the characters’ looks, in terms of the characters’ dialogue, in terms of the music. Notice the colours of the villains: black suits and masks, fiery red lightsabers, the sterile uniformity of the stormtroopers or the lifeless grey of the Starkiller base. Notice the colours of the heroes: beautiful people wearing brighter and varicoloured clothing, blue lightsabers, their base amidst a lush forest. This is not a blind resort to a cliché; it is a subconscious pull towards one of the most important functions of art: to present the essentials of existence through a recreation of reality.