Bright Spots: Chauncy's Chance


So I just happened to see Memphis, Tennessee briefly trending earlier today on Facebook (it appears to have already dropped half an hour after I first saw it), and so I obviously had to see what was going on. I was thrilled to see it was for another positive Read more

As a White Man, I now understand why the O.J. Simpson Jury did what it did


It was a hot Friday night in the summer of 1994. My parents and I had just walked into our house from a lengthy little league game of mine. Despite hours in the heat, I was wound up from the excitement of a win and eager to dive into Read more

Bright Spots: Memphis Teen Pays For College Like A Boss


Every now and then the media chooses to spend a little time on positive stories to share with the general public. I think it's important that we, as consumers, show up with website hits and/or media views to reinforce this positive publicity in a society dominated by negative news Read more

In Defense of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice


Imagine the following: a popular movie genre is categorized by smart but formulaic films, enjoyable and entertaining while also going out of their way to explain everything explicitly to the viewer and not engage any level of mystery or metaphysical questions. Another film comes along in this genre and while Read more

The Bachelor 2016: Finale Recap!


  (Written by @JeremyWilson412. For more coverage of this season's The Bachelor, go here) Another season has come and gone, and one thing was clear from start to finish: America loves Ben. Admit it, you love Ben. It doesn’t matter if you are a single girl, a married woman, or a Read more

Ranking the Batman Cinematic Legacy: The 9 Films featuring the Dark Knight


We’re three weeks from the latest cinematic incarnation of Batman, brought to us this time by action film director Zack Snyder. I would be lying if I didn’t express a certain amount of apprehension for “Batman V Superman: The Dawn of Justice.” Snyder is known for his bombastic sense Read more

Politics

As a White Man, I now understand why the O.J. Simpson Jury did what it did

Posted on by Alex Beene in Entertainment, Featured, Football, Movies, Politics | Leave a comment

OJ-Made-in-America-30-for-30

It was a hot Friday night in the summer of 1994. My parents and I had just walked into our house from a lengthy little league game of mine. Despite hours in the heat, I was wound up from the excitement of a win and eager to dive into the sack of treats from a newly opened McDonald’s we stopped by on the way home. Before I bit into my first salty, golden fry, I heard my mother yell from the living room. “Come in here now!” she said, as my father and I darted out of the kitchen. “They’re pursuing O.J. in California!” Read more

Political Passport: The State of the Union, Nikki Haley, & Our Next President

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Featured, Politics | Leave a comment

FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2013, file photo, South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley announces her candidacy for a second term in Greenville, S.C. The Democratic Party claims to be the natural home for women, but the faces of the nation’s governors tell another story. Democrats have just one female governor in their ranks. And the GOP, often accused of waging a “war on women,” boasts four, an advantage that gives Republicans a powerful tool in the broader political fight to attract women voters. (AP Photo/ Richard Shiro, File)

Well, it’s 2016 already. And most people on the internet are already tired of the 2016 Presidential election coverage. But most voters across America are just starting to pay attention, as we’re less than three weeks out from the Iowa caucuses and less than a month out from the New Hampshire primaries.

Until the votes are actually cast and delegates are actually being divvied up, I’m not going to comment or analyze the Presidential election. Too many pundits have said too many things that have already proven to be wrong to join that chorus of chaotic commentary. Polls have never been relied on more while polling has never proven to be more unreliable. See, e.g., the last parliamentary elections in the United Kingdom and the last gubernatorial election in Kentucky.

So while we wait for things to settle down and begin sorting out, it’s worth noting that President Obama gave his final State of the Union last night. I also don’t plan to comment on that speech, other than to say President Obama is doubling down on lamenting the divisions in America while condescendingly preaching at his political opponents in a way that will only increase that division. As a good friend wrote to me last night, President Obama has gotten worse with time, sounding so sarcastic, petty, and mocking. My friend kept waiting for the cadence to change, and it never did.

But what should be celebrated about last night is South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s Republican Response. Even some of my favorite politicians and communicators of conservatism have given some of their worst public speeches during the Obama era as they gave the response to the State of the Union.

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Monday Morning Mailbag: Jurassic World, Cavs-Warriors, & More

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Baseball, Basketball, Entertainment, Featured, Golf, Movie Reviews, Politics, Sports, Television | Leave a comment

Jurassic-World-Chris-Pratt

Wise Guise Warriors… I’m back! A lot has been happening in the world since I last posted. I got lots of questions about all sorts of topics in addition to many things I’ve wanted to blog about but haven’t had time. So, without further ado, here’s a Monday Morning Mailbag to cover most of the topics you wanted to hear about, most of the topics I wanted to write about, and some.

Jeff from Jefferson City, MO: Have you seen Jurassic World yet? How do you rank it compared to other modern-day summer blockbusters in addition to the original three Jurassic Park films?

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Political Passport: Election 2014 Recap & Reflections

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Featured, Politics | Leave a comment

US Capitol70

The votes are cast, most of them have been tallied, and the American experiment lives to see another day. To paraphrase one of the only lines that was any good from Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom, “Every two years we drive to a fire station and overthrow the government and there isn’t a policeman in the street.” It’s a beautiful thing and so rare in all of human history. Our structure and our system cannot be lauded enough. For all its many imperfections, it may just be the closest to perfect we can get for self-rule.

Before what many expected to be a good night for Republicans turned into a great night for Republicans, Peggy Noonan shared insight into how both winners and losers could be gracious as we wrap up another election season.

For those who think Mr. Obama has faced unusual levels of rhetoric, consider this question from a reporter to Mr. Bush:

“Thank you, Mr. President. With all due respect, Nancy Pelosi has called you incompetent, a liar, the emperor with no clothes and, as recently as yesterday, dangerous. How will you work with someone who has such little respect for your leadership and who is third in line to the presidency?”

This is how Mr. Bush replied. “I’ve been around politics a long time. I understand when campaigns end and I know when governing begins. And I’m going to work with people of both parties. You know, look, people say unfortunate things at times. But if you hold grudges in this line of work, you’re never going to get anything done. And my intention is to get some things done, and soon—we’re start visiting with her Friday with the idea of coming together.”

That is the sound of political graciousness. It would be nice to hear it from Mr. Obama on Wednesday.

As for the Republicans, if they have as good a Tuesday night as they increasingly expect, it would be nice if they were gracious and big-minded, and a real relief if they didn’t look smug and get that curled smile that says “We got it back, baby, and Harry Reid will soon be out of that pretty office.” Wouldn’t it be nice if they were happy but modest, and made it clear they’re aware of the fix we’re in? “It is not about me and it’s not, my hardworking friends, about you. It’s about this thing we were given called America. It needs our help. So we are happy tonight, but it’s work in the morning, and the kind of work that is the most important, saving our country.”

Or, more pointedly: “I know what this is. It’s the base giving the party one last chance. They are telling us we better do something. That’s the meaning I take. and I mean to come through.”

That is what the GOP should be thinking this morning. Honestly, that is what every elected official of every party should be thinking this morning. That’s what the losing candidates should be thinking as they consider next steps. And, more importantly than all of them, it is what ordinary Americans, you and me, should be thinking. It’s not about our political parties, although that’s important. It’s not about who won and lost, although I believe that is also vitally important.

It’s not about us. It’s about this thing we were given called America. It’s about the responsibilities we have to each other and to the world, as we see historic levels of evil on the move, raping, beheading, and enslaving. It’s about truly caring for the most vulnerable members of our society, both those who are born and those who are unborn.

This means we will have to forego the easy answers that do more about making ourselves feel good and self-righteous than actually empowering those who feel hopeless. It will mean pragmatism and compromise, but not without standing up for principles and truth. It will mean knock down, drag out debates, but hopefully a focus on the ones that truly matter and insisting upon dignity for all, even those we feel argue for the least dignified positions.

If you read all of this reflection as more empty rhetoric about hope and change, then you misread me. The time for talking and wishing away our country’s problems is over. There is real work to do. I hope the 2014 election results show our President that it’s time to get down to business. I pray that the President and the new GOP congressional leadership focus on getting real work down to create economic growth and opportunity for all Americans of every socioeconomic class, race, and community.

Christopher Nolan’s latest masterpiece, Interstellar, is ultimately about hope in the midst of hopelessness. I hope our new elected officials and every single American now realize that hope does not descend from D.C., but must be nourished in our families, neighborhoods, and communities.

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Political Passport: Jeb Bush & 2016

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Featured, Politics | Leave a comment

Jeb Bush fist pump

We’re less than a week before the 2014 midterm elections, in which the GOP is trying its best to increase its majority in the House of Representatives, gain a majority in the Senate, and continue its strong leadership in state governments in every region of our nation.

But the news cycle knows there are bigger stories on the horizon, because in the aftermath of next Tuesday, presidential candidates move from informal speculation to formal declarations and moves towards official candidacies to become the 45th President of the United States.

For the Democratic Party, everyone seems to officially be “Ready for Hillary”, the name of the independent SuperPAC forming grassroots networks for another Hillary run at The White House. As Bill and Hillary tour the nation stumping for congressional candidates, other Democrats prepare and scurry in the shadows, wondering if the Clinton Machine will be well-oiled to make history or whether the Clinton Machine will prove itself too clunky once again just like its collapse in 2008, opening a window for Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Martin O’Malley, or a Castro brother from Texas. Movement progressives seem to teeter between wanting Hillary to lock it up early and wanting Elizabeth Warren to compete with Hillary in case she stumbles or to at least pull Hillary to the left.

For the Republican Party, there is no frontrunner. As parties out of power traditionally do, factions jockey for the future of the party. As Rand Paul attempts to take libertarianism mainstream while also reaching out to establishment Republicans in addition to college students, African Americans, and other demographics drastically lacking in our party, other potential 2016 hopefuls like Scott Walker are merely trying to win tough reelection bids. Chris Christie is attempting to shake the shadow of BridgeGate and show why he was an early frontrunner for so long with his real talk and strong executive leadership.

Then there’s Bobby Jindal, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, and so many others in D.C., in the states, and outside politics altogether. But there is one name that could shake up the 2016 GOP primary more than any other. It’s a name that’s as familiar as it is controversial. That name is Jeb Bush. And after hearing Jeb Bush talk about the future of America for over an hour last night at Vanderbilt University, I’m more confident than ever before that he is the Republican Party, conservatism, and America’s best hope in 2016.

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Things Worth Dying For – Reflections on the 70th Anniversary of D-Day

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Faith, Featured, Misc. Posts, Politics | Leave a comment

1942_d-day_normandy_map

It’s tough to express feelings about D-Day as someone who was born over 40 years after June 6, 1944. Most historians refer to it as a turning point in western civilization. When I think of D-Day, I think of images. The opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. My visit to the eerily peaceful beach in spring 2010. But I also think of words – FDR’s D-Day prayer over the radio, General Eisenhower’s speech to his men, and more.

I’ve made it somewhat of a tradition here at The Wise Guise to commemorate D-Day with a reflective post. I’d urge you to read my best friend Jay Salato’s post from two years ago reflecting on the speech he had the opportunity to give at the commemorative ceremony at the U.S. Memorial Cemetery at Omaha Beach. Then, I’d urge you to re-visit my post from last year and listen to/read FDR’s prayer and Ike’s speech.

d-day

This year, I want to share two more pieces of history that I’ve recently found to continue the impossible task of commemorating the courage and sacrifice of those men who charged Normandy Beach.

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