Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that focuses on Middle East studies. I was a political columnist for SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, The Jewish Policy Center, J-The Jewish News Weekly of N. CA, Intellectual Conservative and many others. More info at CinnamonStillwell.com.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hillary Clinton: Manchurian Candidate Redux?

The Sundance Channel has been airing the 2004 remake of "The Manchurian Candidate" lately and revisiting parts of it, I was struck again by how much the character played by Meryl Streep---the power hungry, political mother-from-hell, Senator Eleanor Prentiss Shaw---resembles Hillary Clinton. At the time, Streep adamantly denied as muchbut whatever her intentions, that's certainly how the performance came across. Check out this clip, as well this deleted scene of now-Senator Al Franken interviewing the ambitious Eleanor.

No one will ever surpass Angela Lansbury, who, in the original 1962 classic, was one of the scariest women in film history, nor can the remake, which conveniently changed the bad guys from communists to corporate villains, touch the original. But now that Hillary is after the presidency, the comparison is one to think about. Americans already know what it's like to have what feels like a Manchurian Candidate for president. Let's not make it a habit.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

'Cops and Robbers': Thought-Provoking Theater

I was blown away by the thought-provoking one-man show "Cops and Robbers" when I saw it at the Marsh in Berkeley last month, and I'm glad to see that its run has been extended:
Cops and Robbers is a revolutionary look into the dysfunctional relationship between law enforcement, the media, and the Black community. Centered on an officer involved shooting, writer/performer Jinho "The Piper" Ferreira takes the viewer on an emotionally charged ride with unexpected twists and turns. The Piper seamlessly travels through 17 characters, each with their own convictions, logic, and prejudices. Cops and Robbers takes no prisoners as it challenges the viewer to question all preconceived notions of "right" and "wrong."
In the wake of events in Ferguson, the subject matter took on an added relevance, especially for those seeking something beyond simplistic rhetoric. The story line is not identical to the headlines and the performer, Jinho Ferreira---having inhabited all sides of this issue, from Oakland rapper to police officer---provides no easy answers. He's also an equal opportunity offender and no group escapes his cross-hairs, in addition to some truly shocking and uncomfortable moments that aren't for the squeamish.

Go and see it before the show closes on November 30.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"Longmire" Jumps the Shark

To say that last week's episode of "Longmire" (A&E) jumped the shark would be an understatement. Beyond over-the-top violence and a cooked-up office romance, "Population 25" featured a cult-like group of survivalists living in the woods who kidnap and torture our Sheriff Department heroes in the name of--wait for it--anti-government ideology. And in case viewers weren't sufficiently convinced that those who believe in limited government are psychos, the writers threw in a murdered census agent in the freezer. 

This reviewer obviously found all this appealing, noting gleefully that, in the final confrontation scene, "Longmire . . . tosses out a Thomas Jefferson quote that he knows will appeal to the nutcase." The Jefferson quote in question is the famous "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants," except that Longmire conveniently left out "tyrants." After all, only a "nutcase" would believe in fighting tyranny.   

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tech Entrepreneurs and Libertarians 'Strange Bedfellows'?

According to this article, Republican (libertarian) Senator Rand Paul was surprisingly well-received during a recent visit to Silicon Valley. But this doesn't surprise me for they're not really "strange bedfellows" (per the title) at all. There is a growing schism between young tech entrepreneurs and the liberal political establishment in cities like San Francisco and Manhattan, where the state is attempting to control burgeoning app businesses such as Uber and Lyft with regulation, taxation, and protectionism. I expect this trend to continue.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

A Must-Listen: 'Foreverly'

You can't surpass the original, the Everly Brothers' "Songs Our Daddy Taught Us," but Norah Jones and Billie Joe Armonstrong (lead singer of Green Day)'s remake, "Foreverly," is well worth catching. In fact, it's become one of my favorite new albums. Old country-style songs that benefit from the male/female harmonies of Jones and Armstrong, whose voices work surprisingly well together. The album (both the digital and CD versions) is rarely on sale, but I was able to catch a deal last month by keeping an eye on it in my Amazon wish list. And even at full price, it's worth the splurge.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

RIP David Yeagley

So sad to hear of the passing in March of David Yeagley, who was a political buddy of mine, although, unfortunately, we never met in person. The great-great grandson of Comanche leader Bad Eagle, David introduced me to his unique perspective as an American Indian (he eschewed the term Native-American) conservative and in particular, the proposition that the growing political-correctness over ostensibly "offensive" Indian names and terms (the Redskins fracas and such) would result in the erasure of Indians from American popular culture.
David was also a great friend to Israel and to the Jewish people, a teacher, a classical music musician and composer (some of which accompanied film; see Richard Poe's tribute for more details about his accomplishments), and a prolific writer on an impressive variety of subjects. In other words, a true renaissance man.
We didn't agree on everything, but we had a mutually supportive relationship--he once interviewed me for his blog and I would send him articles on Indian-related matters--and I'm just sorry we fell out of touch during his last months. Indeed, he had kept his illness under wraps and I only just found out about his passing. My condolences go out to his loved ones.
Rest in peace, my friend. You will be missed.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Law & Order SVU Whitewashes Honor Killings

[Spoiler Alert] Last week's episode of Law & Order Special Victims Unit, "Criminal Stories," dealt with a hate crime allegation from a Muslim woman against two anonymous "white men" who, she initially claimed, tore off her hijab, raped her, and used ethnic slurs, including calling her a "Muslim bitch." When the "hate crime" turned out to be a hoax--as so many of them, across all groups, in reality do--I was pleasantly surprised to see that fact acknowledged on network television. But the show's writers soon fell into the usual confusion and political-correctness related to issues involving Islam.

It turns out the woman was raped by two white men (in an extremely unlikely scenario) she was socializing with, but lied about it so as not to bring "shame" upon her family, not because, as would be the case in reality, she was afraid her family could murder her to purge themselves of that "shame." Despite repeated references to her threatened "honor" by an Al Sharpton-like activist/priest character (rather than an imam) speaking to the media, the threat of an honor killing at the hands of her own family never arose. And the fact that she lied about the hate crime, while brought up by the defendants' attorney, didn't much seem to bother the detectives investigating her case, despite the divisiveness and distrust that, in the real world, has resulted.

All that combined with Alec Baldwin playing a reporter for a New York Post-style publication prone to quasi-conservative obnoxious comments (calling the victim a "Tawanabee") who, nonetheless, eventually sees the light and does the right thing, combined to make for what I once dubbed "Mustn't See Liberal TV."