Ending Enders? The sci-fi action movie Ender’s Game isn’t due out until Nov. 1, but it’s already the target of an organized boycott. The pro-homosexual group Geeks Out has launched an online protest and is asking people to “Skip Ender’s Game” because of pro-family comments made by the book’s author, Orson Scott Card. “Do not buy a ticket at the theater, do not purchase the DVD, do not watch it on-demand. Ignore all merchandise and toys,” the site implores. “By pledging to Skip Ender’s Game, we can send a clear and serious message to Card and those that do business with his brand of anti-gay activism—whatever he’s selling, we’re not buying.” Card, a devout Mormon, is a member of the board of the National Organization for Marriage, which successfully fought for passage of California’s Proposition 8. A North Carolina resident, he also supported an amendment to the state constitution to ban homosexual marriage. He has said gay marriage would “be the bludgeon [used] to make sure that it becomes illegal to teach traditional values in the schools.”
The stone ranger. Speaking of movies, Walt Disney’s The Lone Ranger is sinking like a rock at the box office. The movie, which cost $225 million to produce, took in just $45 million during the July 4 holiday weekend. The weekend’s big winner was Despicable Me 2, which made an estimated $142.1 million in the same period, against a production budget of “just” $76 million. The Lone Ranger disaster couldn’t be happening to a more deserving crowd. Disney has been insulting the values of the American people—particularly Christians—for decades. The Lone Ranger, as our Emily Whitten wrote in her review last week, is particularly hard on Christians and Western culture generally.
Walmart stalls in India. India announced last September it would allow foreign supermarket chains to enter the market. Walmart announced then it would open a store within two years. Now, though, it appears Walmart won’t apply for a license until 2015, with 2016 being the earliest possible date for a store opening. Why the delay? Politics, graft, and bureaucracy—all of which India is famous for. Walmart decided to jump into the huge Indian retail market after the country said foreign companies could become majority owners in local operations. But doing business in India, where under-the-table payments sometimes make things go faster, has proven harder for Walmart than the company anticipated. Officially, Walmart doesn’t make such payments, but an internal probe suggests that in fact some Walmart officials did. On June 26, Walmart announced that Raj Jain, who led its India push for the past six years, had left the company. Also, still-evolving rules governing foreign participation in India’s retail sector have proved challenging. Still, don’t expect Walmart to give up easily. With 1.2 billion people and 90 percent of its $500 billion in retail trade done at mom-and-pop shops, India represents a huge opportunity for the world’s largest retailer.
Henry Hazlitt in one lesson. Tomorrow, July 9, marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Henry Hazlitt, whose book Economics in One Lesson has become a classic, especially among conservatives. The book sold more than a million copies, has been translated into at least 10 languages, and is undoubtedly Hazlitt’s most influential book. It’s the one I recommend if you can read only one thing by him. Hazlitt was not an economist, but a journalist who wrote for The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, The American Mercury, Newsweek, and The New York Times. He also helped found The Freeman, an early conservative publication, and the Foundation for Economic Education. He had a long and productive career. He published his first book at age 21, in 1915. He wrote steadily for the next 70 plus years, almost up until his death in 1993 at the age of 98. His last major work was The Wisdom of the Stoics, which he co-wrote with his wife Francis, to whom he was married for 55 years, until her death.