Movie Review: The Mauritanian

Some movies are intended for consumption; others are intended to consume. The Mauritanian is of the latter sort. It will consume your thoughts long after the movie ends. The issue is torture, and more specifically the use of enhanced interrogation at Guantanamo Bay in the years following 9/11.

I’ve written before about torture, and why it is an issue that requires a more nuanced ethical approach than simple absolutism offers. The Mauritanian takes up the issue of the real life story of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a man picked up in North Africa in the months following 9/11 for his alleged association with Osama Bin Ladin. He was taken to Jordan and then to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he was held by the U.S. Government for 14 years (through both the Bush and Obama administrations) without charges ever being brought against him.

When I began watching this movie, I fully expected a strong helping of the typical Hollywood hubris combined with twisted facts to support a hard-left premise. What I got was something more honest and penetrating. The Bush and Obama administrations must have both thought Slahi guilty, but if they did, why not indict him and put him to trial? The suggestion offered by the movie is probably accurate: the evidence was merely circumstantial or inadmissible. And without spoiling the movie, I can say that the best evidence against Slahi was certainly and rightly inadmissible.

Continue reading “Movie Review: The Mauritanian”

On Illegitimate Businesses

While I was on our Reformation Tour, I received a text from my office that a topless bar wanted to hire our firm to represent it in a wage and hour dispute.

We have represented individuals in lawsuits against topless bars in the past, and have succeeded in helping put a few of them out of business.

In the last few years, though, our firm has started representing more businesses in employment law litigation.

Nevertheless, it didn’t take me long to respond to whether we should represent the topless bar: “Pass”, I texted. Continue reading “On Illegitimate Businesses”

A Thought On Trendy Morality

TrendsA week ago Friday, I wrenched my neck rolling over in bed.

I know, its pathetic, but I’m told these things happen as one gets older.

So, Saturday morning I wake up at 4:00 a.m. with the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. My shoulder and neck are going into spasm one after the other, and I’m thinking I’m going to die.

After I sat up for a while and took some medication, I was able to avoid the spasms but only if I sat straight up on the couch with a pillow around my neck. I couldn’t even t lay down to sleep.

As a result, I sat on the couch doing nothing but watching television for two days straight. I couldn’t even look down to read because of the pain. Continue reading “A Thought On Trendy Morality”

Something to Remember on Memorial Day

Memorial-DayIt’s Memorial Day in the United States of America.

Memorial Day was originally instituted to commemorate the sacrifices of those who lost their lives in the American Civil War.

Since then it has become a day to remember and celebrate the sacrifices of American military service members in all military conflicts.

At its best, Memorial Day is a day to venerate sacrifice and courage for a higher righteous cause; at its worst it can become a day to celebrate American military strength, or to state it more bluntly: a day to celebrate militarism.

Paul Kennedy, in his book, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, argued that there was a cycle to the rise and fall of great powers. Initially they became great because of their economic strength which enabled them to amass great military strength. They then began to depend heavily on their military strength, which became economically unsustainable and they began to decline. Continue reading “Something to Remember on Memorial Day”

On The Cleveland Sex-Slave Case

ObjectifiedLike most of America, I was shocked to see the news about the three girls who had been kept as sex slaves for ten years in a perv’s basement in Cleveland.

I was not, however, surprised.

What happened in Cleveland was a logical progression from the standard narrative our culture feeds us about women: that they are sex objects to be lusted after, used to sell products, or possessed.

Should we be surprised then when we hear that a man has locked up three women in his basement for ten years to do with what he pleased?

The objectification of women is not a new phenomenon; it has been around since the Fall of Man. But the advent of television, movies, marketing, and a willing media has ramped up the intensity of the brainwashing that women are merely objects, products and not persons.  Continue reading “On The Cleveland Sex-Slave Case”