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'Too Dumb To Fail': a review of Matt Lewis’s latest

Too Dumb to Fail: How the GOP Betrayed the Reagan Revolution to Win Elections (and How It Can Reclaim Its Conservative Roots)Billy Graham often remarked that he was not for the left wing or the right wing but the whole bird. The pastor to the presidents sought to stay above the fray and offer spiritual guidance to the leaders of the free world. While most welcomed his guidance, some used him for the optics. During the latter part of Graham's ministry, a burgeoning voting bloc known as evangelicals transitioned on the political spectrum. This born again group of people have always been a force to be reckoned with, but increasingly they were directing some of their collective power to the voting box—primarily towards conservative Republican candidates.

The point of this review is not to further associate or insinuate that all Christians are conservatives. Nor is it to lambast the current predicament of conservativism within the American context. Rather it is to offer a summarizing, thoughtful review of Matt Lewis's latest book.

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

 Kung Fu Panda 3 | Official Trailer #2  (DreamWorksTV via Youtube)Love is in the air and zombies are in the theaters . . . again. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a contemporary remake of the Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice, just in time for Valentine's Day. Because nothing says compromise like a classic love story coupled with zombies.

The classic begins with a line that both compels the reader forward and creates a hunger in the reader for more:  

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

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'Kung Fu Panda 3': a movie review

 Kung Fu Panda 3 | Official Trailer #2  (DreamWorksTV via Youtube)Kung Fu Panda 3 is the latest addition to the tale of Po (Jack Black), a large Panda that wants nothing more than to fit in with the world of kung fu but has a destiny that keeps calling him to something greater. The film opens in the Spirit Realm where Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim), the wise old tortoise that first recognized Po's potential to be the Dragon Warrior, is attacked by an ancient foe named Kai (J.K. Simmons). Kai has spent the last five hundred years stealing the chi from the various kung fu masters that inhabit the Spirit Realm, growing stronger with each chi he takes. Master Oogway's is the final piece he needs to be able to re-enter the mortal realm. It is a quest Oogway warns will end in failure, which only makes Kai more determined to see it through.

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‘Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars’ review

Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections): The Battles That Define America from Jefferson's Heresies to Gay Marriage by Stephen Prothero (Credit: HarperOne)Conservatives pick the fight and liberals win the fight, or so it seems. In Stephen Prothero's latest book Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections), he contends that the culture wars are not a recent phenomenon, but rather date back to our founding. Prothero, a professor of religion at Boston University, finds that culture wars serve as a type of catalyst in this great experiment known as United States. Each battle in this culture war molds and shapes our national character and traditions in such a way that creates more liberty.

In this war, "liberal convictions become national norms." Prothero concludes that "in almost every case since the founding of the republic conservatives have fired the first shots in our culture wars. Equally often, liberals have won . . . and a liberal win becomes part of the new status quo and eventually fades from our collective memory." This new status quo subsequently views "Causes once labeled 'liberal' become 'American values,' embraced by liberals and conservatives alike."

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'13 Hours': a movie review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi: John Krasinski (C), who plays Jack Silva, walks with gun in hand, with David Denman (R), as Boon, and Pablo Schreiber, as Kris 'Tanto' Paronto, walking alongside in a scene from the new movie from Paramount Pictures, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, directed by Michael Bay  (Credit: Paramount pictures via Youtube)13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is based on Mitchell Zuckoff's book of a similar name and was filmed with the on-set help of Kris "Tanto" Paronto, John "Tig" Tiegen, and Mark "Oz" Geist, three of the American soldiers present during the attack. They have since said that the movie is accurate in its depiction of the events.

While some might expect the film to be politically motivated given that it was released shortly before the New Hampshire primaries, Hillary Clinton is never mentioned and at times it seems like director Michael Bay went out of his way to make sure that politics from either side of the aisle and the assignment of blame, of which there was surely plenty to go around, did not get in the way of simply telling the story of what really happened. Ultimately, the film accomplishes that goal quite well despite what many critics, who often sound as though they had their reviews written before seeing the movie, might say.

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