Milton Friedman: The Four-Part Series

There is one man who embodies the spirit of capitalism, but most have never heard of him. That needs to change. It's time for Americans to remember and get to know Milton Friedman, the father of modern economics.

Milton Friedman was a brilliant champion of the free market, capitalism and the American way of life. He was not a politician, just a man who looked at things in a radically different way --- and articulated them simply and persuasively.

The four-part series is compiled below for your convenience.

Part I: Economics 101

Bloomberg Money recently printed an article extolling the “helicopter money” theory from a man many consider to be the greatest economist in the 20th century — Milton Friedman. Friedman was a brilliant defender of the free market — or capitalism.

Milton Friedman was the son of poor, immigrant parents. His father died when he was 15, forcing him to creatively supplement a scholarship to Rutgers University. Capitalizing on the tradition that all freshmen must wear green ties, he and a friend went door to door, selling them in the dormitory. There he learned early the benefits of a free market — offering products at a lower, competitive price while making a profit.

After graduating from Rutgers, Friedman earned his Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago and later his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He married his college sweetheart and went on to teach at Columbia, Cambridge, the University of Chicago and the Hoover Institution.

Before Friedman rose to prominence, the preeminent economist of the 20th century was Englishman John Maynard Keynes, who advocated for more government intervention in the economy. Friedman however, was a rare breed and didn’t think inside the box. He was thrilled in 1947 to receive an invitation from the Nobel Prize winner Friedrich von Hayek to meet in Sweden with some of the brightest minds in the world. Decades later, in 1976, Friedman himself was awarded the Nobel Prize in economic sciences.

Friedman was unafraid and unashamed in the goodness and rightness of capitalism. He often engaged detractors on college campuses, stating that “a society that aims for equality before liberty will end up with neither equality nor liberty.” In 1979, he sat down for an epic interview with Phil Donahue, addressing the talk show host’s concerns about capitalism.

Today, Friedman would no doubt be labeled an uncaring, hateful racist for his straightforward thinking. For example, when asked at a college forum what role the government plays in helping the poor, he spoke decisively on the matter:

“First of all, the government doesn’t have any responsibility. People have responsibility. This building doesn’t have responsibility. You and I have responsibility. People have responsibility,” Friedman said. “How can we as people exercise our responsibility to our fellow man most effectively? That’s the problem. So far as poverty is concerned, there has never in history been a more effective machine for eliminating poverty than the free enterprise system and the free market.”

Friedman’s ideas would eventually become hugely influential in the thinking of Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan, President Ronald Reagan, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and later, Ron and Rand Paul.

Milton Friedman died in 2006, at the age of 94, silencing a voice that strongly defended the virtues of capitalism and a free market system that has richly blessed as the United States.

Part II: Evils of Collectivism

Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman was a staunch and brilliant defender of capitalism. He understood that without America and the free market system, the world would still be languishing in the Dark Ages. He very often took on socialists and their distortions of history and reality. In a forum at the University of Chicago, Friedman took on Michael Harrington of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee.

MICHAEL: I think people over 65 years of age in the United States today are freer now because of Medicare. I do not think that the freedom to die from the lack of medicine was a very good thing. Secondly, related to industrialists, I think that one of the startling things about American history is that when Franklin Roosevelt was saving the system from itself, the main beneficiaries were screaming bloody murder at him for being a traitor to his class, when he was, in fact, the salvation of that class. And I think if you — therefore, if you look at our history, I do think you find a tremendous myopia on the part of industrialists, and you find that the positive increments to our freedom, interestingly enough have not come from the college graduates, but often from people — not from the best people. It’s come from working people. It’s come from poor people. It’s come from blacks and Hispanics and the like.

MILTON: Unaccustomed as I am to agreeing with Michael Harrington, I will agree in part with what he’s just said. I do not believe it’s proper to put the situation, in terms of industrialists versus government. On the contrary, one of the reasons why I am in favor of less government is because when you have more government, industrialists take it over, and the two together form a coalition against the ordinary worker and the ordinary consumer. I think business is a wonderful institution, provided it has to face competition in the marketplace and it can’t get away with something, except by producing a better product at a lower cost. And that’s why I don’t want government to step in and help the business community. Now, I want to go to your question about Medicare. There are many people who benefited from Medicare, but you’re not looking at the cost side. What has happened to the people who are paying for it? It isn’t — we don’t have a free good. It isn’t coming from nowhere. And are they benefiting from it, in a cost-effective way? Those are the questions. It’s demagoguery, if you’ll pardon me, Michael Harrington, to say the people who have Medicare are freer. Of course, in one dimension. But they themselves had been paying all their life, and have they gotten a good bargain? At the moment, they have. The young man, the young working people who are going into Social Security now, they’re going to get a very raw deal indeed.

Milton Friedman boldly argued against government-controlled fairness and “social justice.”

MILTON: Social injustices are clearly greatest where you have central control. The degree of social injustice and torture in a place like — and incarceration, in a place like Russia, is of a different order of magnitude than it is in those Western countries where most of us have grown up and in which we have been accustomed to regarding freedom as our natural heritage. Where do you have the greatest degree of inequality? In the socialist states of the world.

Don’t look at what the proponents of one system or another say are their intentions, but look at what the actual results are. Socialism, which means government ownership and operation of means of production, has appealed to high-minded, fine people. To people of idealistic views because of the supposed objectives of socialism, especially because of the supposed objectives of equality and social justice. Now, those are fine objectives. And it’s a tribute to the people of good will that those objectives should appeal to them, but you have to ask the question: Does a system, no matter what its proponents say, produce those results? And once you look at the results, it’s crystal clear that they do not.

According to Milton Friedman, the motives of those involved in oppressive nations may even be good, but it doesn’t matter. He argued to look beyond the motives and assess the results.

MILTON: The most harm of all is done when power is in the hands of people who are absolutely persuaded of the purity of their instincts and the purity of their intentions. Thoreau said that philanthropy is a much overrated virtue. Sincerity is also a much overrated virtue. Heaven preserve us from the sincere reformer who knows what’s good for you and, by heaven, is going to make you do it whether you like it or not. That’s when you get the greatest harm done. I have no reason to doubt that Lenin was a man whose intentions were good, maybe they weren’t, but he was completely persuaded that he was right and he was willing to use any methods at all for the ultimate good.

Friedman tried to reason with the collectivists who believed in socialism and wanted more of it, including more health care.

MILTON: I say to people who say we have to have government medicine in there. I say, would you mind first telling me which of the other great reforms of government have achieved their objectives? I take it you mean the federal housing program has solved the problem of housing for the low-income groups. I take it you mean that the federal welfare program has solved the problems of welfare of indigents and dependents, that federal urban renewal and housing — and reconstruction programs have solved the problem of urban life.

Despite the pressures from socialists and communists, Friedman never lost hope — and neither should we.

Part III: Friedman vs. Liberal Detractors

Milton Friedman was a powerful, passionate, cheerful and reasoned defender of what America and capitalism has done for the country and the world. Friedman’s handling of radicals and leftist was done with calm logic grounded in facts and common sense. Many today might be thinking, “Mister, we could use a man like Milton Friedman again.”

When Friedman encountered radical extremist Frances Fox Piven, who co-authored the Cloward-Piven plan to overload the welfare system in this country and bring down our economy, he challenged her irrational logic with facts and direct questions.

FRANCES: That so-called free enterprise system has always used government. The entrepreneurs of that free enterprise system have always used government. And the question that you raise is whether other people can use government to achieve their ends.

The free enterprise system, as it is spread around the world, as it is spread to Asia and Africa and Latin America, has spread through the force of alms, among other things. And those alms were wielded by governments. That was government intervention under the name of the free enterprise system, but a government intervention which destroyed the freedoms of many people.

MILTON: You always are talking about mixed systems, and I challenge you to find a single example in history at any time of any society where people have been relatively free, and I don’t mean merely — what you call merely — economic freedom. I mean freedom in the full sense. I mean freedom of individuals to pursue their own objectives, their own values, to live their lives. I want you to name me any society in which you’ve had any large measure of that freedom, where capitalism and free enterprise has not been the predominant mechanism for controlling economic activity. Not the sole mechanism, but the dominant one. I want you to name me one exception.

Friedman was continually attacked by leftists who believed socialism or communism were superior to capitalism and the free market. And he continually rebutted their claims with a clear truth based in facts.

Friedman also educated college students who believed the free market to be inferior. When challenged by one student that in a free market system the poor remained poor and the rich remained rich, Friedman had plenty to say.

MILTON: This is not built into the system at all. It’s never been true. It’s simply a false. If you look at the evidence, there is an enormous amount of mobility from one class to the other. In fact, there used to be a saying, three generations from church leads to church slaves, which reflected the exactly opposite affect. So it’s simply not built into the system. On the contrary, there’s a great deal of mobility within generations and between generations, and we shouldn’t argue on the basis of false factual premises. In my opinion, a society that aims for equality before liberty will end up with neither equality nor liberty.

Contrary to what most economists of his day — and of this day — believe, Friedman also felt government was the problem, not the solution for education and unemployment.

MILTON: Why do we have a black teenage unemployment rate from 30 to 40 percent? Because of two failures of government. One, a failure to provide decent schooling, which is a governmental responsibility. Has been. Whether it should be or not, it has been. And second, because of a minimum wage rate, which prevents those kids who haven’t had decent schooling from getting jobs at low pay at which they can earn the skills on the jobs that would enable them to ride to higher pay. If you look at the sources of poverty, you will find a very — most of them are derived from what I regard as wrong-headed government policy.

Rather than just citing problems, Friedman also offered solutions to things like education.

MILTON: In my opinion, there is not a single thing you could do in this world that would do more to improve the condition of the black people who are in the lowest income classes, of the black people who have been most affected by discrimination, there is not anything you could do that would be more affected than the voucher scheme. Why? Because as I said to you before, and I challenge anybody to deny it, that there’s no respect in which the black and the slum is more deprived than in the quality of schooling he can get. He’s much worse off in that respect than he is even in the quality of the housing he can get and in the quality of the automobile he can buy and the quality of the job he can get with given education.

The only effective device that there is for improving his schooling that anybody has suggested is to give the parents more control, to introduce the competition and the drive of private — of private market, to improve the quality of the schooling that is available to them.

During a Free to Choose discussion, Friedman was confronted regarding the morality of capitalism.

VOICE: Dr. Friedman, is there an economic system now or historically that has allowed free enterprise alone to determine which direction the economy goes? Secondly, in economics, you have resources. And how to best use these resources is a value judgment. But it seems to me you can either have free enterprise decide or a government decide or some combination. And don’t you think combination would be the best alternative? And thirdly — if I can remember it — isn’t there some benefit to having the government steal our money, which is what they do effectively. They hold a gun to our head and say, “Pay us 40 percent of your income and go to jail.” They take this money, and they give it mostly to government employees. Well, the government employees spend it. The marginal propensity to consume is pretty high. So the people who were robbed have to do something creative to get the money back. And isn’t this creative activity the real wealth —

MILTON: I take it that they would have to be still more creative if 98 percent were being spent by the government.

No, the third part of your thing is just pure fallacy from beginning to end. Because if those people who are now government employees, who are employed in creative activity and productive activity, they would also be spending their money. And we would have a greater total around. All you’re doing — let’s suppose for a moment — take the extreme case that that 40 percent is being used just to have people sit around. The fact that they spend their money doesn’t alter the situation. The only product there is, is what the 60 percent produce. And that 60 percent is divided among 100 percent. If those 40 percent are also producing goods, then there are more goods to go around among everybody.

You are just involved in a fallacy of looking at dollars, which is important sometimes. Instead of looking at the real product, the goods and services that people produce and people consume.

Spending isn’t good. What’s good is producing. What we want to have is more goods and services. And as I say, the obvious indication that that’s clear is that if your logic were right, it would apply at — for 50 percent. 60 percent. 70. 90. 98. 100 percent. And, obviously, you would see that that would be a bunch of nonsense at that stage.

It is desirable to have some money spent by government for those things, those services that we believe we can get more usefully and more effectively through government. If people are getting their money’s worth, fine. That’s why it’s very desirable to have governmental expenditures take place at as local a level as possible. Because you, as a citizen of a small community, can judge whether you’re getting your money’s worth. You can decide that you want to spend it. But when it comes to the federal government, you tend to think that you’re spending somebody else’s money. And you are in a way. But he’s spending yours.

Friedman always went back to people and production being the answer — not government control or programs.

MILTON: The real problem is, in my opinion, that as we move from the local community to the state and from the state to the federal government, it becomes increasingly difficult for us to control the mechanism we have established. And that mechanism tends to control us. That was the great wisdom of the Founding Fathers of this country, of the people who wrote the Constitution. That Constitution was designed to limit government’s powers, in order to preserve the freedom of the individuals. And what has happened in the past 50 years is that the fundamental character of the Constitution has really been changed. We have broadened enormously the conception of what is a government mental power and what is not and have departed from that limited government until we have created a Frankenstein, an unlimited government that threatens to destroy us.

Part IV: Unapologetic and Unafraid

Through recordings left behind, we’re able to have a conversation, if you will, with the greatest defender of capitalism in the past century: Milton Friedman. He was unapologetic for the free market because he knew and understood its amazing benefits — the ability to lift billions of people out of poverty. That confidence enabled him to be unafraid when defending wealth.

VOICE: Why is it that we have so many millionaires and everything in the United States and we still have so many impoverished people who try to get up into the world? Why is it that we have this lack of money, where people who can’t support themselves decently and get a decent job, where all these big men are up on top making oodles and oodles of money — they don’t need it. They can only eat that much. Eat, you know, sleep in the bed . . .

MILTON: And what do you suppose they do? If they don’t eat it and don’t use it, what do you suppose they do with it?

VOICE: They hoard it. They hoard it and invest it. MILTON: What do you mean hoard it? You mean they put it under their pillows?

VOICE: No. They keep investing it.

MILTON: Investing it in what? What are they invested in?

VOICE: Well, they invest it in a lot of different things that the little people need.

MILTON: Well, do they invest it in factories?

VOICE: Yes. MILTON: Does some of that money end up in machines?

VOICE: Yes.

MILTON: Do those factories and machines provide ordinary working people with jobs or not? Where do you suppose the improvements and productivity come from except from the investment by people of their savings? But if you look at it over time, if you get a sense of proportion, the well-being of an ordinary people has been the main thing that has been improved by economic progress and economic growth and development. And residual, most residual hard cases of poverty today are the result, again, of a failure of government.

When Friedman appeared at a conference of bankers, he set them straight on the real cause of the Great Depression — and took on the Federal Reserve.

MILTON: There is hardly any view that is more widespread than the view that somehow or another the Great Depression was produced by a failure of private business. That view is held, not only by those who are in favor of greater role of government, it is held by almost everybody. I venture to suggest you that if you go to any bankers, the people who are here today at this banking conference, and if you talk to them, I’d venture to say, nine out of ten of them, if they didn’t, hadn’t heard what I’m going to say, that nine out of ten of them would say, “Well, of course, the Great Depression was a failure of private business. It was due to an overextension. Over speculation of the 1920s. Or it was due to an excessive concentration of wealth in the hands of the wealthy at the expense of the poor in the 1920s. Or it was due to speculative investment abroad or whatever. But it was a failure of private business. And government had to step in in order to rescue private business from its own failure.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. …The Great Depression was not produced by a failure of business. On the contrary, it was produced by a failure of government and a failure of government in an area in which responsibility had been assigned to governments since the founding of this country. The Constitution of the United States, it gives Congress the power to coin money and set the value thereof. And it was in the management of this fundamental function of government that governments failed and produced the Great Depression.

When confronted by a college student who strongly believed in the redistribution of wealth, Friedman torpedoed his points calmly and rationally.

MILTON: There’s no justice in the distribution of income and wealth. I never would argue there is. Those who are wealthy don’t deserve to be wealthy anymore than those who are poor deserve to be poor. It’s pure accident. And we — but if you start to look at things that way, you’re going to go down the wrong line. Because you’re going to get back into this kind of a situation of destroying the good things, destroying what is possible, in the search of an impossible ideal. The only way in which you can redistribute effectively the wealth is by destroying the incentives to have wealth. And the question is: What is the way, what is a system which will offer those people who are so unlucky as to be born without good positions, what is a system which will offer them the greatest opportunity?

VOICE: Well, one possible way of redistributing the wealth without affecting the incentives to earn as much income as possible is simply to have a 100 percent inheritance tax. That won’t affect the incentives. It’s only after the person is dead.

MILTON: I beg your pardon. I’m afraid, I don’t know the family you come from. I don’t know. But as you grow up, you will discover that this is really a family society and not an individual society. We tend to talk about an individualist society. But it really isn’t. It’s a family society. And the greatest incentives of all, the incentives that have really driven people on have largely been the incentives of family creation, of family — of pursuing of — of establishing their families on a decent system. What is the effect of a 100 percent inheritance tax? The percent of a 100 percent inheritance tax is to encourage people to dissipate their wealth in high living.

VOICE: What’s the harm in that?

MILTON: The harm of that is, where do you get the factories? Where do you get the machines? Where do you get the capital investment? Where do you get the incentive to improve technology, if what you’re doing is to establish a society in which the incentive is for people if they have by accident accumulated some wealth, to waste it in frivolous entertainment? You know, the thing is that the thing that is amazing that people don’t really recognize is the extent to which the market system has, in fact, encouraged people and enabled people to work hard and sacrifice in what I must confess, I often regard as an irrational way, for the benefit of their children. One of the most curious things to me in observation is that almost all people value the utility which their children will get from consumption, higher than they value their own. Here are parents who have every reason to expect that their children have a higher income than they have. And they scrimp and save in order to be able to leave something for their children. I think you are sort of like a bull in a China shop, if you talk about the — the 100 percent inheritance tax having no incentive effect. It would destroy a continuing society. It would destroy a society in which there are links from one generation to the next.

Those who believe in income inequality and wealth redistribution have ample and vocal advocates today. Unfortunately, for capitalism and free market principles, it seems that since Friedman’s death in 2006, there hasn’t been anyone quite like him to defend its benefits and virtue.

Listen to the Full Series on Milton Friedman

Part I: Economics 101

Part II: Evils of Collectivism

Part III: Friedman vs. Liberal Detractors

Part IV: Unapologetic and Unafraid

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders joined Glenn Beck on this week's podcast to share her unique perspective as a trusted adviser and confidante to President Donald Trump for two and a half years, which she also details in her new book, "Speaking for Myself: Faith, Freedom, and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House."

Sarah described the unprecedented levels of corruption she saw firsthand during the Russia probe and shocking lengths to which Democratic leaders and the mainstream media would go to "take the president down."

Sarah said she often saw sides of Donald Trump that the media never covered. Recently, she went on the record denying the Atlantic's claims that the president mocked our military during a 2018 trip to France. She was on that trip, she told Glenn, and her account of what really happened paints a very different picture.

"The people who are making this outrageous charge are such cowards for doing so in an anonymous way. If you really believed this, and believed it was wrong, one, why did it take you so long? And, two, put your name on it the way the rest of us have," Sarah said.

"He didn't say those things. Not only was I there that day, Glenn, I spent two and a half years traveling all over the world with the president, watching him interact with men and women of our armed forces almost every single day during that two-and-a-half year period," she added.

"This is a person who loves America and loves the people who allow the rest of us to live in America, free, and have prosperity. And I got to see that a lot. I think it is shameful that people are trying to distort who he is and what he has done, particularly when it comes to the men and women in the military."

Watch a clip from the full interview with Sarah Huckabee Sanders below:

Find the full podcast below, on Glenn's YouTube channel or on Blaze Media's podcast network.


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The Daily Beast recently reported on a group of 50-plus leading progressive organizations that calls itself the Fight Back Table or FBT, who are planning for a "post-Election Day political apocalypse scenario."

The FBT held a meeting on Zoom to launch an initiative they dubbed the "Democracy Defense Nerve Center." Meeting participants prepared for expected threats to a fair election in November, such as "armed right-wing militia dudes show[ing] up in polling places," or poll locations that "mysteriously close" on Election Day. They also predicted that President Donald Trump would claim victory regardless of November's election results, which would lead to inevitable "mass public unrest."

"It is very obvious that Trump is laying the groundwork for claiming victory no matter what ... we will fight to protect [our democracy] from what we truly see as a president who has gone off the rails and taking this country down an authoritarian fascist path," said MoveOn Executive Director Rahna Epting.

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn argued that the left is using large-scale mail-in voting — which unlike absentee ballots does not require voters to submit an application ahead of the election — to set the stage for chaos, revolution, and ultimately cause civil war to destroy our nation.

"No one will believe the [election] outcome because they're changing the way we're electing a president this time. And people don't understand the difference ... this is Democratic states just printing ballots and mass mailing them," Glenn said.

"They've been war-gaming this forever," he continued. "And the media is trying to make it look as if the right is the one that is violent. We're not planning anything to happen on Election Day, except to go and vote. The chaos that's coming, I think is remarkable. And if the DOJ doesn't get involved and find out who these groups are and what they have planned, you are going to have intimidation and chaos the week of the voting, and for weeks [afterward] until we go into civil war. This is not hyperbole. This is what the left is now saying."

Watch the video below to hear more from Glenn:

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Netflix film 'Cuties' is darker than you thought

'Cuties'/Netflix

Plague. Recession. Riots. Looting. Fires. Murder Hornets. And now, as we round the third base toward the home stretch, 2020 gives us Cuties, a delightful French coming-of-age film by Maïmouna Doucouré that's half Stand by Me and half Coyote Ugly – if you were to combine both films into an anthropomorphic entity and then forcefully dip its toe into the perilous waters of pedophilia.

Cuties begins by showing us an 11-year-old Senegalese girl named Amy, whose fundamentalist Muslim family has recently moved to France. We learn that Amy's father has gone back to Senegal to bring home the woman who is to become his second wife. The mother's struggle is very clear to Amy, who begins right then and there to develop a hatred for her father. She starts looking for ways to rebel, and soon lands in the company of a group of ne'er-do-well girls, who fancy themselves dancers and have adopted the group name "Cuties". Their primary goal in life at the moment – and the thing that drives the film's narrative – is to participate in and win the big dance competition coming up soon. The ring-leader – a dark-haired bespectacled girl who resembles Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to such an eerie extent that it can't have been on accident – lives in Amy's building, and the two form a kind of delicate friendship throughout the film.

Here is where the movie most resembles a female version of Stand by Me, and it's also where I began to understand that this is a remarkably beautiful film at times. It's well-shot, well-scored, and well-acted. In fact, Fathia Youssouf Abdillahi (the actress who portrays Amy) is quite possibly the most talented child actor I've ever seen.

I began to understand that this is a remarkably beautiful film at times.

The portrayal of this group of girls wending their way through the thick tangles of childhood and constantly grasping at what they perceive to be higher concepts of adulthood is somehow both charming and bothersome at the same time. Knowing virtually nothing of the real world of sexuality, they engage in a kind of whimsical speculation as to how sex works that almost comically mirrors the aforementioned Oscar-winning film (and a ton of other coming-of-age movies as well). Some of this is fine. There's a particularly funny-turns-emotional moment when one of the girls, upon finding a used condom lying around in the woods, blows it up like a balloon and begins playing around with it. The other girls – who at least know enough to know that one doesn't touch such things for fear of disease – immediately recoil from her, tell her that she's going to catch AIDS, and so embarrass and frighten her that she begins to cry. The scene is, again, beautifully shot, and I found myself sympathizing with the character as she feels an overwhelming moment of ostracization-through-misadventure. In the following scene, we are treated to a montage of the girls washing her mouth out with soap, and it breaks the tension.

All of that to say that not only does this movie have plenty of redeemable moments that are on the beat film-wise, but also that it will pull you in headlong whether you want it to or not – which is what a good film is supposed to do.

But, alas, there's more. And I'm not so much talking about the risqué dancing that's done throughout the film. Here's why: as if the plot structure of every coming-of-age story didn't lay it out clearly enough for us, kids strive to be adults. The results are often hilarious, sometimes disturbing, but it's their nature. Kids want to be more like adults. And in a world – such as the one depicted in this movie – where children either can't or won't seize on the example of adulthood provided by their own parents, a vacuum is created. And nothing fills the vacuum of responsible parenting better than social media.

For the girls, it is the well from which they draw their inspiration, acceptance and love. "Likes" are the currency of the realm, and if you don't think this is true in your own kids' world today, you need to wake up and smell the Zuckerberg.

Thus, it is no surprise that these young dancing girls are modeling their very existence after what they see in online videos, and regurgitating the same back at the soulless machine. That they would be twerking and gyrating in a manner that falsely suggests they do know a thing or two about sex is normal when you consider that they're dining daily on visual and musical junk food – art perhaps not entirely without merit, but certainly without taste. And if there's one thing about the movie that phone-it-in parents might do well to see, it is perhaps the juxtaposition of budding childhood and the laissez faire morality adhered to by the demigods of popular culture. In short: these girls are just trying to be like the only set of role models afforded to them.

Here's what should (in my opinion, anyway) not be okay, though.

Aside from the moments of dancing, this film is filled with the cinematography of sexuality. When you watch any film in which there is a femme fatale character (or in some cases several of them), the way in which they are shot by the camera is extremely suggestive of overt sexuality. To quote one of my favorite online film critics: "You may not have noticed, but your brain did." Tracking shots over women's bodies, particularly up their backside or across a heaving bosom all decorated in cleavage, are a stock in trade for many filmmakers (and the only one for some of them). It's so common in the making of movies that it's often lampooned as a trope.

I'm reticent to accuse the woman who made this film of directly catering to the desires of pedophiles – but... I can't completely dismiss the idea, either.

We'll save the discussion about whether or not this is offensive when actresses in their twenties and thirties do it for another time. What I would hope we could all agree on is that you don't – in good conscience – use those same tracking shots over the bodies of a group of 11-year-old girls, even to make a point. And you certainly don't do it over and over and over throughout the course of a movie. The unstated purpose of such shots in a regular film is to give the viewer a taste of the voyeur. You wouldn't be allowed, in polite society, to walk up to a woman and stare at her from inches away, scanning down her body as if you were about to fax her someplace. But with the movie camera, you get a little taste of that. Dopamine rushes to your brain, and you're instantly glad you shelled out the twenty bucks to see the movie.

And while it's theoretically possible that the unstated purpose on behalf of the filmmaker changes when the subject is a little girl, it can't be denied or even overlooked that, for a certain subset of the viewing population, the effect does not. I'm reticent to accuse the woman who made this film of directly catering to the desires of pedophiles – but after having sat through an hour and a half of shot after shot of this very overt technique, I can't completely dismiss the idea, either.

As Amy progresses down the path that her (barely) world-wise friends have chosen, she becomes far more steeped in it, because she has no sense of the unseen boundaries which exist even in a hedonistic postmodern society such as present-day France. She spirals out of control very quickly, trying to outdo her friends in overt displays of sexuality and even violent aggressiveness. If there is a redeeming quality to the message of the movie, it is that we are fairly explicitly told through what we see her go through that this is not the best life for her. That escaping from the oppressive Muslim traditions of her family is a thing she should seek, but that this is not the way to go about it. All throughout her journey, we are subjected to close-up images of her body (and the bodies of the other girls). At one point, Amy's mother and aunt seem to be performing a kind of exorcism on her to drive out the evil rebellious spirits they believe have taken over, and Amy vibrates in the middle of the room on her knees in a paroxysm of movement which is half-dance, half-apparent-demonic possession, and all sex. I don't mean to be graphic here, but she may as well have been doing a full-on sex scene, for all the heavy breathing and gyration and rank passion that's going on. As an adult – and particularly as a parent – it made me literally feel ill to watch.

It's a beautiful final scene... but it fails to pull the film from the mire into which it's dipped.

And, if you believe the film's director, that's what you're supposed to feel. She claims that the whole intent of the movie is to get people to feel uncomfortable as they realize the hyper-sexualized nature of children in our modern world, and how it's driven by the nanny state that is social media in our modern era. Part of me wants to applaud the effort – it certainly worked on me. I walked away from my television with a feeling of nausea and a renewal of the commitment in my head toward doing anything and everything I can to make sure that my own children never watch this film. The fact that the movie ends with Amy making a choice to reclaim her childhood – that she walks away both from the more oppressive elements of her Muslim upbringing (insofar as she will be able – we are never told) and from trying to become an adult too soon (insofar as she will be able – we are also never told) and embraces just being an 11-year-old girl – that fact doesn't change what's transpired. It's a beautiful final scene – it really is – but it fails to pull the film from the mire into which it's dipped.

In summary, I can't really put any sort of seal of approval on this film, despite part of me wanting to. I generally subscribe to the idea that showing us a thing is far better than telling us a thing – but there are limits, and I think Cuties crosses them. As much as I want to believe that the director's motives are pure as the driven snow, it's not lost upon me that – as I mentioned before – one of the main characters (with whom we are meant to be sympathetic multiple times throughout the film) is very obviously meant to be the prototypical girl-who-wants-to-be-AOC. This film is at war with its own supposed message – it seeks to convey the horrors of oversexualized youth while laying out on for open display an entire smorgasbord of pedophilic fantasies. The game simply isn't worth the candle.

Osama bin Laden's niece, Noor bin Ladin (Noor's family has always spelled their name differently than her uncle) wrote an open letter to America, praising our country as "a beacon of democracy and hope for all subjugated peoples" across the world, and warning: "America, you are at the very edge of the precipice. Please wake up! Take hold! Fight for your country, and be proud of your roots! Uphold your values. Stand for your flag and your anthem. Defend your history. Don't relent in the face of those who seek to re-write it to serve their narrative and justify the destruction of your nation. You have much to cherish and protect for your sake, and ours."

Noor never stood with or supported her uncle. In fact, she grew up with an American flag proudly displayed in her childhood bedroom. Now a resident of Switzerland, she describes the chaos and destruction she's seen spread across America over the last several months.

"Watching the gratuitous violence, streets burn, buildings and statues being defaced in America over these past months, I am heartbroken to see how an entire generation was successfully brainwashed into hating the very nation that has yielded the most freedom, justice and equality anywhere in the world.

"I am also highly distressed by the blatant erosion at various levels of your most basic individual rights and freedoms as guaranteed by your Bill of Rights, from arbitrary censorship of speech to unlawful, politically motivated abuses of justice," she wrote.

Noor warned America that if we don't stand up, defend our history, and cherish the principles which make our country great, than those who have sought to undermine our country for decades will divide and destroy us from within.

"The truth is that the undoing of America has been decades in the making. The globalists, Deep State, swamp, whichever name you call them, have been hard at work to weaken America's sovereignty and standing as world leader. Intent on erecting a new system of world governance where they would be in total control, they are seeking to undermine the fundamental principle of your country, "a government for the people by the people", replacing it instead with a world order of international institutions ultimately puppeteered by a caste of technocrats, oligarchs and international bankers.

"Though your Constitution stands firmly in their way, it never deterred them. Like a trojan horse, they infiltrated governmental and intelligence agencies, and all realms of society - education, media, entertainment, culture. At their disposal, tools of mass population influence: propaganda, fake news and censorship. By pushing their marxist-socialist progressive agenda for years, they set out to destroy your fundamental values and divide you. They negated God, dissolved the family unit and dissevered us from moral objectivity, effectively leaving a vacuum of degeneracy, cognitive dissonance and absurdity in its wake," she added.

Read the full letter here.

On the radio program Friday, Glenn Beck shared several highlights from Noor's letter as well as her first-ever interview with the New York Post.

"A letter was written to America this week. I want you to listen to the words," said Glenn. "'America, you are at the very edge of the precipice. Please wake up! Take hold! Fight for your country, and be proud of your roots! Uphold your values. Stand for your flag and your anthem. Defend your history. Don't relent in the face of those who seek to re-write it to serve their narrative and justify the destruction of your nation. You have much to cherish and protect for your sake, and ours.' [...] The woman who wrote that, the woman who is an American at heart, who is warning us, is Osama bin Laden's [niece]."

Watch the video below to hear more from Glenn:

*Note: Glenn mistakenly referred to Noor Bin Ladin as Osama bin Laden's sister. She is his niece.


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