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Tammy Bruce: Trump assigning law and order together with movement to safeguard temples from mob

This column originally appeared at the Washington Times.

President Trump was elected in large part on the dilemma of order and law. It’s been a problem for generations in this country, as Americans have observed the decline of social cohesion ever since the left appreciated sympathetic coverage by the bulk media during the Vietnam War.

What we are seeing today with riots, vandalism and the wanton destruction of public property and artwork is a cancerous and natural outgrowth of the encouragement and coddling of both leftists and their violent but farcical anarchy.

The great news is, we are visiting Mr. Trump emerge, once again, as the ideal man at the ideal moment. After weeks of visiting chaos and anarchy unfold on the roads with no apparent response from law enforcement at any degree, the White House and Department of Justice have begun to make it crystal clear that there will be serious repercussions for those participating in gang violence.

TRUMP IN VIDEO MESSAGE VOWS TO STOP LAWLESSNESS

This ought to be a no-brainer, but the Republican Party has a historic problem known as”No Spine Syndrome.” The GOP has been scrambling because of its binky and hoping no one could knock on their door. Not needing the support of sucklings, Mr. Trump resigned.

He tweeted on June 26,”I only had the chance of signing a very powerful Executive Order protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues — and combatting recent Criminal Violence. Long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Nation!”

That order”enforces laws prohibiting the desecration of public lands, the Hazards of government property, and recent acts of violence, withholds federal assistance connected to public spaces from local and state authorities which have failed to protect public monuments, and withdraws federal grants for authorities and law enforcement agencies which fail to prevent their desecration. It also gives assistance for protecting the federal statues,” Fox News reported.

This aggressive national stance sends a message, in fact it provides consent, to reluctant and even frightened regional leaders, that capturing and punishing the mob is a priority.

Cases in point: On June 27, The Oklahoman reported,”Protesters blamed for the violence which broke out in Oklahoma City the last weekend in May were charged Friday with terrorism, rioting and assault. … Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater created the decisions himself on the fees in a get-tough approach meant to deter others from going too far during protests at the future. ‘This is not Seattle,’ Prater stated. ‘We’re not putting up with this lawlessness here. ”’

In Colorado, the juvenile is”warning protestors which’destruction and vandalism are not the answer’ after three suspects were detained in relation to a fire set to a base of a toppled Civil War monument beyond the State Capitol building,” Fox News reported.

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On Friday, June 26, I had the opportunity of guest hosting for Laura Ingraham on Fox News and talked with acting Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli. I told him it was to see wanton anarchy in various towns with arrests or repercussions for the mob. Here’s a part of the exchange:

KEN CUCCINELLI:”We can go around the country and I will rattle off places where national forces are employed to deal with local violence, not calm protesting, neighborhood violence. And that’s still going on — the president has us leaning ahead doing that.”

TAMMY BRUCE:”Have there been arrests? Just how many arrests have there been? We all know that these are televised events, felonies are occurring, property being destroyed.”

CUCCINELLI:”There have been arrests.”

BRUCE: “How many?”

CUCCINELLI:”Yeah, there were arrests. It’s a huge number, although I do know the entire number. And I’ll tell you there are a high number of federal investigations happening right now following up on the violence you have seen, the devastation you have seen.”

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The following Monday, the White House press secretary reported at the onset of her briefing there had been more than 100 arrests, together with 200 investigations ongoing. Additionally, the FBI’s Violent Crime Task Force arrested four men because of vandalism of the Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Park.

Indicative of this president’s devotion to acting quickly against the mob, on Tuesday he responded to the vandalism of those iconic statues of George Washington in New York City’s Washington Square Park.

He tweeted,”We’re tracking down the two Anarchists who threw paint onto the glorious George Washington Statue at Manhattan. We’ve got them. They’ll be prosecuted and face 10 years in Prison dependent on the Monuments and Statues Act. Turn yourselves in now!”

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This episode will probably ruin the lives of those 2 people caught on surveillance video, and ought to send a substantial message to every menace who believes they can act with impunity.

The president is illustrating that order and law is of paramount importance and is in the foundation of anything. We understand he knows the policy issues on which he had been chosen, but it is more important than ever to demonstrate the public that he’s acting to secure this nation, as the legacy media is working overtime to convince us that chaos reigns. Why? Since, like abusers and batterers everywhere, they inform you if you just surrender, they will stop hurting you. That is a lie, and it’s going to be rejected in November.

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Bruce Lee's

Bruce Lee’s Legacy Is Inescapable. That Makes Him Harder to Find.

The martial-arts legend looms so large in pop culture that the mundane details of his life feel like a rare treat.

Danny Chau

Getty / The Atlantic

In the fall of 1963, Bruce Lee had ambitions of opening kung fu schools across America. The starting point was the Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute, Lee’s home base in Seattle, a 3,000-square-foot space close to the University of Washington campus, where he was a lackadaisical student. At the institute, the itinerant thoughts of a failing philosophy major found structure. His dreamlike musings became gym mantras: Using no way as way; having no limitation as limitation. The space was his holistic workshop as well as his residence. He slept in a windowless room in the back; there was no light switch near the door, which meant a lot of stumbling around in the dark to find your way. Even then—before the Hong Kong films that made him a global icon—there was barely a wall between Lee and the myth he was creating.

Lee is the most influential martial artist in modern history, just one facet of the legend he became after his untimely death in 1973 at age 32. Nearly five decades later, the world is still reckoning with the momentum he generated in his brief life, and with the ways culture has reinvented him. In a sense, Lee’s widespread impact—in realms as disparate as political protest and video games—is simply a reflection of his life’s vision. To the world, he preached formlessness, a concept popularized via his famous “Be Water” response in an interview with Canadian journalist Pierre Berton. He’d come to that epiphany young; punching the sea once in frustration, he was inspired by how it coolly neutralized his assertion. “I wanted to be like the nature of water,” Lee once wrote. But that philosophy also presents a particular irony in how people understand him: When they reach for him, do they grasp the man or the symbol he became?  

Bruce Lee Family Archive

Over the past year, Lee has been refashioned in a number of ways: In Cinemax’s Warrior, as the protagonist of his own television concept, realized at last; in Ip Man 4: The Finale, as a youthful embodiment of how kung fu’s traditional barriers of entry were broken; infamously, in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as a jive-talking prop; and, in the recent ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Be Water, as the product of enduring discrimination across two worlds.

Each depiction capitalizes, in some way, on Lee’s indestructible legacy, but it’s not always clear when it’s the man or the myth being examined—and whether that line may have been lost at some point. Bao Nguyen’s Be Water is the most reverential of the lot, and the only one that explores Lee from an explicitly Asian American perspective. The documentary traces the contours of Lee’s body of work through a lens of injustice, going back to contextualize the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and using traumatic scenes from wars waged against Japan and Vietnam, respectively, to the civil-rights movement of the 1960s, as key historical moments in Lee’s chronology. Racial bias and othering are ever-present, educational backdrops that show how meaningful it was for Lee to transcend the perceived constraints of his cultural identity—too Asian in American society, too American in Hong Kong. But Be Water also traps Lee in allegory, occasionally diluting his personal narrative in favor of symbolic weight. “The fact that Bruce chose to marry a Caucasian person was an expression of how he felt about America,” Linda Lee Cadwell, Bruce’s widow, says in the documentary with scholarly detachment, as if she weren’t talking about herself.

The documentary briefly outlines the political landscape of Lee’s youth in Hong Kong, which toggled between British and Japanese occupation, but it only vaguely examines how he processed his anger as a child. “Kids there have nothing to look forward to,” Lee once said. “The white kids have all the best jobs and the rest of us had to work for them. That’s why most of the kids become punks.” Lee became a street fighter. “We used chains and pens with knives hidden inside,” he told Black Belt magazine in 1967. “Then, one day, I wondered what would happen if I didn’t have my gang behind me if I got into a fight. I only took up kung fu when I began to feel insecure.” Before finding the way of no way, he was wayward.

Be Water left me wondering about other, more granular details of Lee’s story. The documentary touches on his talents as a dancer (his former girlfriend Amy Sanbo calls him “a kinetic genius” in it), and Lee’s mastery of cha-cha is well cited, but one would have to dig through comprehensive biographies, such as Matthew Polly’s 2018 book, Bruce Lee: A Life, to learn that he was taught by a Filipina woman who ran a dance studio in the Hong Kong nightlife district of Kowloon. Or that he won a cha-cha championship at 18 by dancing with his 10-year-old brother, Robert, as a way to sidestep any retribution from picking only one of his romantic interests as a partner. Without cha-cha, his form of martial arts may not have resonated as much as it did in the States (where his parents forced him to move, in response to his repeated delinquency). According to Polly, Lee wanted to take up northern-style kung fu, known for its airborne theatrics, in an attempt to appeal to a broader Western audience. Lee sought guidance from Master Shiu Hon Sang, who accepted the request—on the condition that Lee would teach him how to dance.

Bruce Lee Family Archive

But even the smaller details of Lee’s life can be woven into his myth. It’s impossible not to see in his inclusive style as an educator a response to the discrimination he’d faced when first seeking to learn kung fu from the master Yip Man, which the school’s other students protested because of his mother’s Eurasian ancestry; or to the breadth of mentors he had across martial arts and dance. His very first kung fu student in the U.S. was Jesse Glover, a black judo practitioner whose personal experience with police brutality had catalyzed his devotion to martial arts. Glover used to stalk Lee outside of Ruby Chow’s, a restaurant where Lee briefly served as a waiter, and start kicking telephone poles to try to impress his future instructor. Their teacher-student relationship was symbiotic, as was the case for many of the students Lee taught. The dynamic was similar to the one he had with Master Shiu Hon Sang, only this time, Lee was the master teaching kung fu, in exchange for learning what it meant to be American.

A big part of Lee’s legacy is the philosophy he developed called Jeet Kune Do, the way of the intercepting fist. But even that—a treatise on the limitations of stylistic purity, often argued to be the foundation of modern mixed martial arts—found a life of its own. Lee’s attempt at a unified theory of self-expression was quickly branded a style too, becoming a template for learning how to fight “like Bruce Lee,” capitalizing on a rush of momentum Lee had generated through his Hong Kong movies. An entire cottage industry was created after his death to essentially clone him through impersonation—Bruce Le and Bruce Li were the two most prominent imitators in film. Finding oneself is hard, it turns out. Retracing Bruce Lee’s steps is easier.

The path has diverged, many times over. Lee’s ubiquity unsurprisingly lends itself to fan fiction; Quentin Tarantino has been publishing his own for nearly two decades. Kill Bill: Volume 1 is a patchwork of references, drawing from Lee’s final years both on- and offscreen: Uma Thurman’s character, the Bride, dons a near replica of the yellow jumpsuit Lee wears in Game of Death, which was still in production when he died; the titular villain, Bill, is played by David Carradine, who starred in Kung Fu, a series that Lee’s family has claimed was stolen by Warner Bros. from a concept that Lee had developed himself. But where Kill Bill borrows Lee’s iconography as a validation of the style that he made popular, Tarantino’s more recent evocation of him is purely transactional.

The controversial five-minute Bruce Lee scene from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood borrows Lee’s identity as a time stamp for the mid-1960s. During a break on the set of The Green Hornet (the short-lived 1966 TV action series that the real-life Lee starred in), a haughty Lee, played by Mike Moh, riffs on Muhammad Ali’s style and notes similarities to his own. A crew member asks a hypothetical: “If you fought him, who would win?” Lee dodges the question, but he’s pressed. “What would happen?” “I’d make him a cripple,” he responds. (The real Lee pored over Ali’s philosophies and analyzed his matches down to every punch. Be Water includes a frame-by-frame stylistic comparison to show how much Lee learned from Ali, as if it were a direct response to Tarantino at the behest of Lee’s estate.) Cliff, the Green Beret turned stunt actor played by Brad Pitt, cracks up at the notion of Lee defeating Ali in a fight. The two spar; Lee knocks Cliff off his feet first, then Cliff tosses Lee into a prop automobile, leaving a dent. The two seem equally matched, but they are not. Cliff is a main character in the story; Lee is a device set up to calibrate Cliff’s strength.

In response to backlash regarding the scene, Tarantino said: “If you ask me the question ‘Who would win in a fight: Bruce Lee or Dracula?,’ it’s the same question. It’s a fictional character. If I say Cliff can beat Bruce Lee up, he’s a fictional character so he could beat Bruce Lee up.” However, by transposing Lee’s actual arc and likeness to his story, Tarantino directly summons the Lee mythology the way he would a work of public domain. Within the scope of the movie, Lee is almost as fictional as Cliff is.

Bruce Lee Family Archive

But not all of Lee’s recent reincarnations over-index on his mythology. A month before Once Upon a Time was released in 2019, a sign was spotted at a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong: Be Water! We are formless. We are shapeless. We can flow. We can crash. We are like water. We are Hongkongers! Lee’s most famous words have become an organizing principle for those of his homeland, a way of circumventing the police through waves of high-concentration rallies that can quickly and spontaneously disperse and regroup all across the city. As protests began all across the U.S. in honor of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many other black lives that have been lost as a result of police brutality, Hong Kong protesters, now yearlong veterans, offered advice on how to stay one step ahead of police: “Be Water” was a common, essential refrain. It’s taken five decades and countless mediums, but it’s hard to imagine a sounder tribute to Lee’s idea of formlessness, which has once again made a voyage from Hong Kong to the U.S.

And what about Bruce, the man? I found myself retracing his steps myself one night on YouTube, watching an old, low-res video of Glover, Lee’s former student, taking the viewer on a tour of the Seattle the pair once knew. We see the sidewalk where Glover first tried to grab Lee’s attention; post-workout Chinese-restaurant haunts where Lee placated his insatiable appetite for oyster-sauce beef; buildings where they used to train, now long demolished. The camera pans to a patch of grass, where Glover deadpans, “This is where Bruce used to come over and send me flying around my apartment.” The version of the city that Glover, who died in 2012, remembers in the clip had already been lost for decades. But the mundanity of the video was comforting, and, in a way, revelatory. Glover created a sense of order and routine in his recounting of his friend’s life; it’s frankly a bit boring—something Bruce Lee would never deign to be. His mythology, immortalized in film, writing, and martial arts, will always stand at the forefront of the popular imagination, but there, in the video of places and spaces that no longer exist, I finally caught a fleeting glimpse of the man in the back.  

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Bruce Lee's

Bruce Lee’s legacy takes on a vital new form in 30 For 30: Be Water

Illustration for article titled Bruce Lee’s legacy takes on a vital new form in i30 For 30: Be Water/i

Photo: Bruce Lee Family Archive (Courtesy of ESPN)

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Bao Nguyen’s Be Water is a less traditional entry in ESPN’s 30 For 30 series, centering as it does on Bruce Lee, an actor and martial artist whose grace and athleticism are known the world over, but whose fight record exists primarily in the movies. There’s no denying the impact that the preternaturally charismatic Lee had on martial arts, including giving the world the “style of no style” of Jeet Kune Do, but Be Water occasionally feels more like a biopic than a sports documentary. Nguyen, who explored the legacy of Saturday Night Live in Live From New York!, forms a clear narrative and also takes a more expansive approach to his subject, chronicling as much of Lee’s tragically short life in the 90-minute runtime as possible. As a result, some things, like the Enter The Dragon star’s philosophy and his tutelage under Yip Man, are glossed over, but Be Water still overflows with Lee’s effervescence and Nguyen’s insight.

The documentary begins near the end of the global icon’s life, when he traveled to Hong Kong to begin his collaboration with Golden Harvest and Raymond Chow. This was actually the second “prodigal” return for Lee: He was born in San Francisco in 1940, moved to Hong Kong with his family—led by his father, the actor and Cantonese opera singer Lee Hoi Chuen—as an infant, then was sent to live in Seattle at the age of 18 when he proved a little too keen on fighting. In 1971, Lee, who had been a successful child actor in Hong Kong, was looking to kickstart his career abroad after finding little success in Hollywood: Although he landed the role of Kato on ABC’s The Green Hornet, he had to lobby the writers for more lines, and the show was canceled after one season.

Even when Lee tried to make his own opportunities, such as pitching his own starring vehicle as a kung fu warrior (a premise that reportedly was reimagined as the 1972 series Kung Fu starring David Carradine), he was thwarted by racism both systemic and casual. But Lee’s tenacity and star power weren’t to be denied—he went on to win over international audiences in The Big Boss, Fist Of Fury, The Way Of The Dragon, the unfinished Game Of Death, and the posthumously released Enter The Dragon, the latter of which was a joint Chinese-American production.

These setbacks and milestones will no doubt be familiar to most fans, along with the story of how Lee met his wife, Linda Lee Cadwell, and the revelation about water’s powerful, malleable nature that inspired his own approach to martial arts, which was to reject an attachment to form and rules. Likewise, Nguyen eschews the usual talking head interviews, preferring to let Lee’s family, friends, and collaborators speak over archival footage and photographs, including pictures of Lee fawning over his children, the late Brandon Lee and daughter Shannon Lee (who’s also the president of the Bruce Lee Foundation and an executive producer of Warrior, the Cinemax series inspired by Lee’s writings). Nguyen has said he opted for voiceovers instead of on-camera interviews to keep viewers in the moment, but by the end of the documentary, we can put contemporary faces to the voices of Lee’s friends Leroy Garcia and Jesse Glover, co-stars like Angela Mao and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and his producing partners Andre Morgan and the late Fred Weintraub.

Nguyen also consults with culture critics and authors Sam Ho and Jeff Chang (whose book, We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes On Race And Resegregation, was turned into a series directed by Nguyen), who provide important context. Lee’s life has taken on mythical proportions, which can make it easy to forget what he was up against when he first began auditioning in Los Angeles. Along with Ho, Chang, and Mao, Lee’s brother Robert invokes the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Japanese internment camps—not just the pieces of legislation, but how they were fed by and promulgated anti-Asian racism. Chang describes Lee’s very presence on screen as act of protest, his martial arts prowess symbolizing a controlled fury over what had been done to Asians both in the U.S. and even Hong Kong.

Be Water explores how Lee navigated the different cultures he was born and raised in (his mother was of Chinese and Western European descent), suggesting he learned about Black liberation and the civil rights movement from friends like Glover and Abdul-Jabbar. Before his own legend began to grow, Lee had to contend with the model minority myth that’s only served to drive a wedge between minorities in the U.S. But Lee refused to be played that way; his rejection of rigidity, of strict division, we’re told, also applied to racism.

As the various streams of Nguyen’s storytelling converge, we see just how refreshing his view of Lee’s life is—although there’s plenty of discussion of the obstacles he faced, and of his work to build “bridges” between groups, Be Water never suggests that Lee transcended his race or background. All too often, when a Black person or person of color becomes an international superstar, their success is viewed as almost separate from their race or ethnicity. They succeeded in spite of it; they are embraced by those who insist they “don’t even see color.” But Be Water never forgets Lee’s heritage, or stops celebrating it. Even as Lee is described as “East meets West,” the documentary never stops pondering the ocean between.

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Scout Willis Reveals Why Bruce Willis Is Quarantining With Demi Moore

Scout Willis is revealing how her family, including her divorced parents Bruce Willis and Demi Moore ended up social distancing together in Idaho.

The family raised eyebrows when they began sharing photos of themselves hunkered down together in recent weeks. The reaction to the images wasn’t necessarily because Bruce and Demi are on bad terms, in fact, the exes are as cordial as a divorced pair can be. But some found it rather odd considering Bruce’s wife Emma Heming is social distancing in Los Angeles with their two daughters. 

However, Scout is now setting the record straight on the Dopey podcast. According to Us Weekly, the 28-year-old revealed that her stepmom and half-sisters were simply unable to make the journey from Los Angeles to Sun Valley, Idaho. “My stepmom was going to come up here too with my little sisters,” she explained. “[But] my younger sister… [who has] never gotten a talk about not f–cking with hypodermic needles… she found [needles at a park and] she actually tried to poke her shoe with it and poked her foot.”

Of course, this called for a trip to the doctor, where they took all the necessary tests. So Scout said that Emma chose to stay back while they were “waiting to get the results,” and Bruce traveled to their family home in Sun Valley, Idaho “early.”

Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Instagram

Instagram/Tallulah Willis

This is where their plans to social distance together hit a snag though. As the coronavirus continued to spread, Scout said, “Travel got crazy and my stepmom stayed in L.A. with my little sisters.”

Even though travel restrictions are keeping them apart physically, Emma is staying in touch with her hubby and extended family over social media. On Instagram she comments on Tallulah Willis and Demi’s posts, including a group shot in which all of the family is wearing matching green PJ’s. She affectionately wrote, “Not many can pull that color off. Lookin’ good squad!” 

For the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic and for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov.

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The Great John Prine Coronavirus Victim Dead at 72

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Music: John Prine Songs

Music: John Prine Songs

Bruce Springsteen has said he is “crushed by the loss” of US country-folk singer John Prine.

The Grammy-winning songwriter died on Tuesday, aged 73, due to Covid-19 complications, his publicist confirmed.

Prine had been in hospital in Nashville since last week with coronavirus symptoms, with his wife and manager, Fiona Whelan Prine, posting updates about his condition online.

Prine was revered by his peers including Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash.

“John and I were ‘New Dylans’ together in the early 70s and he was never anything but the lovliest guy in the world,” tweeted The Boss.

“A true national treasure and a songwriter for the ages.”

Prine signed with Atlantic Records and released his self-titled debut album in 1971, after fellow singer-songwriter, Kris Kristofferson, saw him perform in a Chicago club.

Music: John Prine Songs

The album included songs like Angel from Montgomery, Paradise, and Sam Stone, which gave bittersweet tragic-comic snapshots of American society and fed into the anti-war movement.

After serving in the US army in Germany during the Vietnam war, Prine returned home to Chicago where he worked as a postman.

While doing his mail rounds, he wrote songs that would see him emerge, from open mic nights, as a key player on the windy city’s folk revival scene in the 1970s and go on to become one of America’s most influential artists.

“I likened the mail route to being in a library without any books. You just had time to be quiet and think, and that’s where I would come up with a lot of songs,” Prine told the Chicago Tribune

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Music: John Prine Songs