Archive for September, 2012

You need to see this.

Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal

 

http://www.mumia-themovie.com/

Hollywood Hiring Bias

Posted: September 29, 2012 in -
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Full Report from Director’s Guild of America

“And for those who are reacting, because some of those have chosen to react in a violent way it confirms the prejudices of a segment of western society, of the hegemonic part, and the prejudices about Islam being violent for instance, that Muslims resort to violence. The moment you react in a certain way and Muslim groups have been doing it ever so often, you merely strengthen that stereotype about Muslims. So you’re, in a sense, contributing to hegemonic politics in both ways. One by helping the hegemon and number two by sort of denigrating the hegemonized through the hegemonized community’s own stupidity in a sense, by sort of resorting to violence when there’s really no reason to resort to violence.

You can always respond to provocations of this sort in other ways. If it is a film that has been made, perhaps you can make another film that corrects some of those misconceptions and stereotypes. If a book is written you respond with a book. And if let us say certain false ideas are in the public realm, you debate, you discuss. This is what one should do.

But as I said a while ago I think this is something that’s alien to at least that segment of the Muslim world, partly because of the influence of the religious elites.
-Dr. Chandra Muzaffar (14:35)

The Cult of Extreme Success
by Kim Niccolini

If you’ve read anything about Paul Thomas Anderson’s newest film The Master, you’ve probably read a lot about how the movie is a thinly veiled biography of L. Ron Hubbard and the history the Church of Scientology and Dianetics. Then there are those who have expanded the interpretation of the film to include a vast range of weird religious cults that have infected America throughout history – everything from The First And Second Great Awakenings, to Transcendentalism, to snake handling Pentecostal Christians, to “est” and to believers in the Milton Bradley Company’s Ouji board which can be purchased at a store near you.  Interestingly, missing from these interpretations of the film are references to religious cults gone bad and which ended in violence (e.g. People’s Temple, Waco Texas, Heaven’s Gate, etc.).

In retrospect, it makes sense that the more violent cults have not been referenced in relation to this film because in many ways The Master operates on multiple levels that move beyond the mere surface level of its subject. It is a film about American opportunism, sexual repression, and religious fervor, but it is also a movie about how Hollywood itself, of which Anderson is part, is its own kind of cult, selling its own brand of transcendental relief through the silver screen. Maybe movies don’t offer a way to reach heaven or the mystical realm of our past and future lives, but they do give us a place to lose ourselves for the duration of a film. If a director is as adept at manipulating the audience as Anderson is, then the films can even lure us into their doctrine against our will, not unlike the cult leaders he depicts in his films. Even if we read the film as an idiosyncratic vision of the history of whacky American religious cults and namely Scientology as depicted through Paul Thomas Anderson’s eyes, we have to remember that Scientology itself is woven into the Hollywood landscape in figures like Tom Cruise (who plays a cult leader in Anderson’s Magnolia and John Travolta). The news headlines constantly remind us of the connection between Hollywood and Scientology.

Cult leaders are no strange territory for Paul Thomas Anderson. In his first feature film Hard Eight (1996) Philip Baker Hall plays Sydney – a Patriarch Gambler and Cult Leader of Casinos who takes in the young, naïve and fucked up and teaches them “his way” to beat the system and line his pockets with cash. In Magnolia (1999), Anderson gives us the insanely obsessive and hilarious Tom Cruise (a literal Scientologist) who plays the leader of his own Cult of the Cock, a cult that teaches men to be men by “worshipping the cock and taming the cunt.” Already in this film, Anderson has merged whacky American religious obsession with sexual repression. He brings Hollywood into the picture with the figure of Jason Robarbs who plays Tom Cruise’s father and a major Hollywood producer and executive. In Boogie Nights (1997), Burt Reynolds plays a guru of porn, a cult leader in the film industry who brings young people into his fold and exploits them to support his “vision” and his bank account. Finally, in There Will Be Blood (2007), Daniel Day Lewis – a foreboding  vision of megalomania—pares down American obsessive behavior and greed by connecting it to Western expansion, economic opportunism, and the oil industry.  In this film, which precedes The Master, Anderson shows America’s tendency toward relentless pursuit of success devoid of human emotion and connection. Success itself is an artifice and god to which one dedicates his life.

As Anderson’s images of cult leaders and American obsession have progressed over time, his movies themselves have become more and more hyper-stylized and emotionally removed. In films like Hard Eight and his epic masterpiece of ensemble cinema Magnolia, we could find place for human identification, where we could ground ourselves in sincerity and emotional identification. Both movies provided moments of enormous emotional catharsis.  But the more Anderson made films, the more the emotion became subverted by his own private style. The internal components of his films have become so private and so locked inside his own vision, that they resist emotional access from the audience. Yet, people like me continue to watch his work with the fervor and dedication of devoted followers. It could be that is Anderson’s point. He strips us of emotional identification, so we have no choice but to succumb to his vision just like we would to a cult leader, except that we’re watching movies and get to leave the theater when the film stops rolling.

This brings me to The Master in which Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Lancaster Dodd (The Master and Founder of The Cause) and Joaquin Phoenix plays Freddie Quell (a fucked up veteran who becomes one of Dodd’s acolytes). The two actors play against each other with tremendous tension and energy. Both actors completely embody their characters – one showing his absolute obsession with power and control and the other physically embodying the inner torment of a war veteran and the emotional collateral he carries.

Much has been written about the acting performances (which are indeed superb) and the thread of Dianetics within the film, but very few critics have attempted to penetrate below the surface of the movie or analyze it at any depth other than commenting on its style, acting and historical references. One of the reasons so few people have attempted to dig below the surface of the acting and the overt subject matter is because the film intentionally resists analysis. Either what it has to say is written on the surface in its over-the-top performances and blatant reference to cult religions, or its subtext is deeply subverted by the intensely private vision of Paul Thomas Anderson. Like a cult leader, he resists penetration and doesn’t allow access to him or the interior of his film because that would make his “product” vulnerable.

From the onset, The Master is one of the tensest movies ever made. It immediately throws the audience into an uncomfortable state and then toys with the audience for the full 137 minutes of the film. It opens with Freddie Quell guzzling paint thinner or some other toxic concoction on the beach with a bunch of hyped-up and sexed-out soldiers wrestling on the shore in what is an overtly homoerotic war scene. If Jean Genet were to make a movie, it would have this scene in it. Freddie, however, does not engage in the Homo-Wrestling. Instead, he builds a naked woman out of sand, shoves his hand in her genitals, and then masturbates into the ocean, demonstrating his heterosexuality in the extreme. Freddie eventually passes out next to the giant naked sand woman with his head resting against her breast. If that is not a tense way to start a movie and make the audience immediately uncomfortable, then I don’t know what is. Certainly this opening scene does not allow any room for identification whatsoever. Joaquin Phoenix’s distorted and contorted body playing against the homoerotic wrestling scene on the beach, the glaring sun showing every drop of sweat and smudge of dirt on his twisted face, the close-focus askew camerawork – all of it is disorienting, unsettling, alienating and tense.

We then follow Freddie through various mumbled jumbled scenes in which he is fucked-up emotionally, wasted on his toxic drinks, and obsessed with sex. Freddie’s dialogue further alienates us. We can’t understand half of what Freddie is saying because he is so wasted emotionally,

physically and chemically. When he does open his mouth, it’s usually about pussy or cock. Freddie’s messed-up head and wartime trauma have led him to an addiction of drinking poison of his own concoction – cleaning fluids, kerosene, paint thinner, and who knows what else. In between he just wants pussy. While working the fields picking cabbages, he nearly kills a migrant worker with his poison booze. While the audience laughed at many of the opening sequences, it was uncomfortable laughter, the kind of laughter that says, “I have to laugh at this or run away.” There were those in the audience who chose the second option and walked out of the movie because this is a film that forces the audience to feel uncomfortable. Like a cult religion, it forces us to buy into its insanity or leave.

Speaking of religious cults, Freddie eventually ends up on the run where he lands on the (borrowed) cruise ship of Lancaster Dodd. So begins the tense and dysfunctional relationship between Dodd, Freddie and Dodd’s wife Peggy (a truly bizarre performance by Amy Adams). Dodd falls for Freddie’s “poison” – his paint thinner home brew. Dodd can’t get enough of Freddie. He wants to convert him into his fold, and he wants to drink down Freddie’s poison.  But really what Dodd falls for is Freddie in general. Much has been made of the “homoerotic nature” of Dodd and Freddie’s relationship and of the opposing acting styles and demeanors of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix. I observed these two characters from a different standpoint.

Sure, Joaquin Phoenix’s performance of Freddie Quell portrays a man in enormous physical, emotional and psychic crisis. But that doesn’t mean Hoffman’s performance is one of austere purity like many reviewers have noted. When Anderson focuses on Lancaster Dodd’s face — with his day old stubble, his drunken and obsessive red face, his flaky skin and all the physical evidence of his toxic life – he is no pillar of cleanliness and stability. He looks as dirty and debauched as Freddie. In fact, he looks even more so. Dodd attempts to hide his debauchery behind his religious megalomania and The Cause. Freddie wears his dysfunctionality on the surface. As the movie plays on and Dodd seems to both want to heal and exploit Freddie, truly what is happening is that he is in love with Freddie.

In the meanwhile, Dodd’s wife Peggy stands by with her formidable presence and attempts to orchestrate The Cause from the sidelines. Amy Adams’ portrayal of Peggy is as disturbing as those of Hoffman and Phoenix. She is pregnant throughout the movie, an image of American domesticity and hetero stability, yet she does not exude wholesome feminine passivity; she is a portrait of menacing manipulation, spite, and control. Part of the way she orchestrates control takes place in a bathroom sink where Peggy gives Dodd a hand job while she stands there pregnant in her pajamas. When she finishes with “the job,” she wipes her hands on a towel and leaves the room. Surely, this scene is an uncomfortable moment for the audience. But, if you want to read below the surface, it’s Peggy’s way of handling (pun intended) Dodd’s homosexuality while also performing the role of the Public Wife so Dodd can sell his bizarre religious sham to the public. In American culture, you can’t be a religious cult leader and out of the closet!

The public, by the way, are a bunch of rich people who use Dodd and his bizarre melding of mysticism, eastern religion, and his own random thoughts for their entertainment. Dodd is just a fad. He is used by the rich people for entertainment much in the way that Dodd uses Freddie. Everyone is using someone in this movie, and in the eyes of the wealthy, Dodd is just a disposable fad who can be tossed away when he no longer suits their whims.

In the meanwhile, Freddie maintains his devotion to pussy to such a degree that when he attempts to go sober, he hallucinates that all the woman at one of Dodd’s revivals are naked. The camera cruises over every variety of pubic hair and boobs on women ages 17 – 70. At moments the camera holds still on close-ups of pubic hair or aging buttocks. In the meanwhile, the naked and pregnant Peggy looks out at us as a kind of dare. Yes, the uncomfortable moments are stacking up.

While much has been made about the homoerotic bonding between Dodd and Freddie, I beg to differ. This is a movie about opposing sides of sexuality in conflict and connection with each other. The issue at the core of the film is that Dodd is a repressed homosexual who is in love with Freddie, but Freddie is clearly entirely heterosexual to such a degree that his heterosexuality is seen as almost an aberration. Indeed Dodd calls Freddie “aberrated” when they first meet, but Dodd is the one with the aberration if we are to go by standard American social codes. The movie ends with Dodd professing his love for Freddie in song.  Freddie turns his back on Dodd and walks away. He lands in a bar and has sex with some bar girl. Freddie plays “The Master” game with the girl, and she just laughs it off. In the end, Dodd’s hyper controlling mystical vision is nothing but one man’s attempt to control his own desires more than others.

The filmmaking style itself does not make the sexuality any more comfortable. Paul Thomas Anderson has become a bombastic, epic, filmmaker whose style is so extreme that even if the subject matter didn’t make the audience uncomfortable (for example in the scene when the pregnant Peggy talks about fucking with dildos) the filmmaking style itself pushes the audience to the brink of acceptable bounds between the filmmaker and the audience. It’s extremely artificial and staged while also closing in on uncomfortable aspects of human nature – the traits that we would rather ignore. So the filmmaking style with its austere, hyper-stylized, a-historical settings is as impenetrable as the characters.

Paul Thomas Anderson seems to have reached the point where he intentionally pushes all the buttons he can push and produces huge alienating idiosyncratic films just so he can test his audience’s commitment to his films. As a filmmaker who makes films that intentionally alienate the audience from emotion but then also seduce the audience into succumbing to their obsessive vision, Anderson is not unlike Lancaster Dodd or L. Ron Hubbard. Like these cult leaders, Anderson tests the followers of his totally unreasonable doctrine, and by testing them he lures them in and holds them captive to his vision. (At least for those who don’t walk out.)

I’m a pretty hardcore film geek and have a very high tolerance for oddness, excessiveness and insanity in films, but even I was overwhelmed by the tension of the The Master for the first hour or so. Finally, I realized that the only way I could “enjoy” this movie was to give myself into it entirely. I had to relinquish myself to its obsessive excessive vision just like I would give into a charismatic cult leader who is completely off his rocker yet somehow irresistible. I did give in, and I came out with lots of interesting thoughts about the movie. However, all my thoughts were really about how Paul Thomas Anderson manipulates the audience by making the audience feel tense, uncomfortable and then converted.

All that said, I remain dedicated to Anderson’s films. I think it’s interesting that when his films contained the most authentic human compassion and expanded their cinematic worlds and emotions to places outside of the insular vision of this 21st century auteur that he referred to himself simply as P.T. Anderson. But the more and more insular, idiosyncratic and alienating his films became, he expanded his name to the complete Paul Thomas Anderson a name as long, wide and expansive as the 70 mm film he uses to record his compulsive visions.  I guess that’s Anderson’s point in this movie more than anything. He is Lancaster Dodd, and he won me over again.

Kim Nicolini is an artist, poet and cultural critic living in Tucson, Arizona. Her writing has appeared in Bad Subjects, Punk Planet, Souciant, La Furia Umana, and The Berkeley Poetry Review. She recently published her first book, Mapping the Inside Out, in conjunction with a solo gallery show by the same name. She can be reached at knicolini@gmail.com.

Assange defends Wikileaks, Bradley Manning.  Calls out torture and war crimes, no matter who the perpetrator happens to be.

 

 

Julian Assange addressed permanent representatives to the UN General Assembly at a high-level talk on the legal and ethical legitimacy of diplomatic asylum – READ MORE http://on.rt.com/f3jgtl

The real Syria, today,not the manufactured propaganda of the western corporate press. Mercenary terrorists are rampaging across Syria attacking civilians as well as government targets. This is hard to watch, and hard to turn away from.

Report: Living Under Drones

It’s hard to find Americans who care anything at all about the violence they perpetrate against people in other lands. Including terrorism, widespread terrorizing of civilian populations. If any other country did to the U.S. what the U.S. routinely does in Northwest Pakistan, it would be an instant act of war and cause to unleash World War Three.

The hypocrisy is beyond description. The apathy and delusional nature of the general public is shameful and immoral. The people are allegedly responsible for the actions of their government in a so-called “democracy” where they vote for and elect these “leaders”.

 

Freedom From Religion

Joe Giambrone

“Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.”
-Thomas Paine

Would Paine be charged with “blasphemy” and hauled off to the Middle East for execution?

“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God.  It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”
-Thomas Jefferson

I’ve undergone a mild transformative awakening these past two weeks.  For many years I tried to stay out of the religious questions, the smears, the ambitions of competing religious orders, the propaganda of those who would denigrate their competitors – you probably know the usual culprits. Except for the blatantly silly cults like the Mormons, Scientologists and Jehovas; I mean I’m only a human and a satirist.

But now, faced with a sustained, coordinated assault on freedom of expression, all of it emanating from one direction with one clearly-defined goal, I’m starting to dig in my heels and take Thomas Paine’s warning to heart. Article after article by angry Muslim writers seek to end the First Amendment in America, but only in regard to their religion of course.  We just won’t be allowed to talk about Islam freely, and the manner in which we discuss their religion will be dictated by … whom?

“Freedom of thought is the only guarantee against an infection of people by mass myths, which, in the hands of treacherous hypocrites and demagogues, can be transformed into bloody dictatorships.”
-Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov

I’ve read half a dozen Muslim writers, and a few others, this week arguing that we must clamp down on speech in the United States, but I’ve found not a single one that stood up to defend the concept of freedom of expression.  Nor did I find the term “theocracy” or acknowledgment thereof, which is the reality in a number of Muslim countries today.  We can’t discuss freedom of speech and religion without taking note of theocracy, entrenched, official religious institutions and their dogmas.  Do we really want to cast off the lessons of the Enlightenment and take a step several centuries backward?  Rash, poorly thought-out rants seek simply to exploit this current hysteria, in my opinion.

“Once you attempt legislation upon religious grounds, you open the way for every kind of intolerance and religious persecution.”
-William Butler Yeats

I’ve seen enough from the local religions, where my small western town is essentially drowning in churches and Walmart shoppers.  These show up at the front door on Saturday mornings, book in hand, ready to fish for new members and new revenue streams.  I’ve considered penning a lengthy pamphlet to hand back, one that offers the opposing arguments concerning their central mythology. But if new church v. state legal erosions come to pass, could such a pamphlet be the first step to death row?

Where I live, for a sizable fee of course, you can even attend ‘prophecy school.’  I shit you not.  They’re raking in the rubes by the planeload barely a mile from where I type this.   The would-be prophets must book early though because classes are limited to, “between 300-400 to keep it to a smaller more intimate setting.”  There they also speak of an, “ever increasing government of God.”  The “students” of this “prophecy” program are reminded that the, “word ‘tithe’ means ‘tenth’ and it is a way of honoring God with the first 10% of our income.”  Honoring whom?  They really pack ‘em in for the live event stuff, and so be advised, “…no refunds will be given 21 days prior the event.”

As Jesus said, “All sales are final.”

“No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!”
-Monty Python

I’m afraid many of us see the world differently, very, very differently.  I’m simply not impressed by your fairy tales, whomever you are, as they were concocted by primitive peoples who would run away from a vacuum cleaner.  I’m hoping that the rationality of progress will show these myths to be less than proven, and their iron traps on the minds of millions will rust and crumble away over time.

Thus we have the ultimate fear of the religious zealot (the professional Mumbo Jumbologist), that his fancy talk will one day lose all power over his minions.  In this competition, this lust for power, it’s not the spiritual kind of magical power that accumulates, but the very real political kind which results from influencing the flock, the group mind.  Uniformity of thought and monolithic conformity is to be desired.

Organizations with so many members are by nature dangerous. They soon insulate themselves from conflicting messages, and then they seek to eradicate the opposition, to tear down society’s barriers, which keep them in
check.  For why should they be restrained?  After all, they are correct in all matters.  God said so.

“Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprize, every expanded prospect.”
-James Madison

We in the U.S. have enough problems with the local religious zealots without a sustained assault by angry foreign fundamentalists who would seek to interfere in what we can or cannot say here.  I’ve laid out my basic case for defending free speech, but the crux of it is that we must tolerate ideas that we personally oppose or find “blasphemous,” or else we simply don’t support freedom of expression.  And if you don’t support freedom of expression, you’d best take more than a couple minutes’ rant figuring out what it is you do support.  People have a right to disagree.  People have a right to satirize. People have a right to “insult.”  People have a right to “blaspheme.”  People have a right to tell you that you’re wrong.

Like it or not, you can disagree all you want legally in America. What you cannot do is banish speech you find objectionable.  Once that becomes an established norm then any speech can be banned.

If we were to toss the First Amendment in the dumpster in response to the Muslim world’s current demand for sacredness, why could we not just ban Islam in America?

Why not ban all mention of that religion and eradicate it here?

If freedom of expression has no value, why then freedom of religion?

Conversely, why not make the President of the United States a holy figure?

The American President as God’s Holy Messenger on Earth could be considered a Prophet.  He could be considered God.  He could be considered whatever religious concept anyone can imagine, the moment you erase  the separation of church and state.  The Congress could be anointed Apostles of the Holy Government.  The United States could redefine itself as the Glorious Manifestation of God’s Rule Over Planet Earth.

Where does it end?

It ends at the freedom to say “no.”  No, he’s not a God; he’s not a Prophet.  There will be no “establishment” of religion in the U.S. There will be freedom of speech.  Actually it’s already been said.  Get over it.

“When it comes to bullshit, big-time major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe, in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims: religion.”
-George Carlin

The Emperor Opines

Barack Obama spoke Tuesday at the UN in one of the most cynical, historically revisionist pieces of propaganda I’ve ever read in my life.

But I do agree with his point defending freedom of speech:

“I know there are some who ask why don’t we just ban such a video.  The answer is enshrined in our laws. Our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech … I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day, and I will always defend their right to do so.”

If Obama had stopped there, this would be a triumph.

But, this explanation was but one tiny slice of the propaganda barrage that Barack Obama employed.  A modern magician, Obama’s soothing words seek to hypnotize and to create the illusion that the empire has disappeared.  Like an elephant behind rotating mirrors.

Says Obama:

“[True democracy] depends on the freedom of citizens to speak their minds and assemble without fear, and on the rule of law and due process that guarantees the rights of all people.”

I should do an expanded article on that one presidential whopper, so dripping with hypocrisy that the floor of the General Assembly needed mopping up.  Obama, whose Homeland Security engineered the crushing of the peacefully-assembled Occupy Wall Street movement across the nation, and is currently fighting tooth and nail in a federal appeals court to destroy due process and detain suspects without charge indefinitely, presents himself as the savior of the world.

“Those in power have to resist the temptation to crack down on dissidents.”

He means in other countries.

“The United States of America will always stand up for these aspirations for our own people and for people all across the world.”

Except, apparently, when they demand an end to corruption and Wall Street superfraud.

“Now let me be clear, just as we cannot solve every problem in the world, the United States has not, and will not, seek to dictate the outcome of democratic transitions abroad.”

I’m not sure if this was intended as a comedy routine.

It is the main endeavor of the United States foreign policy to dictate the outcomes of democratic transitions abroad.  It’s hard to entertain the notion that it does much of anything else.  The NED, IRI, Freedom House, State Department, CIA, and numerous foundations loosely connected to the federal government have their toxic tentacles sucking on every corner of the globe, every so-called “democratic” transition.  Even in Russia the government must pass new laws to register these meddlers as “foreign agents” whose purpose is plainly to “seek” to enforce Washington’s will in foreign elections.

When foreign democracies are aligned against the empire, it resorts to military coups, bribes, covert sponsorship of terrorist networks and every variety of fabricated propaganda imaginable.  Obama’s claim that the U.S. “has not, and will not” seek to push their choices onto foreign countries does not even pass the laugh test.  I can’t even imagine the reactions of educated and informed representatives in the UN General Assembly.

Obama also resorts to insinuation, trying to pretend that the Benghazi attack was an outgrowth of the “Innocence of Muslims” film protests, so as to avoid the actual motivations of those who assassinated the ambassador.  In Bush-esque pairing of “9/11″ and “Saddam” and “mushroom cloud,” Obama associates the embassy attack with the movie protests, over and over.

There is no evidence that this film was a factor in the coordinated military attack in Benghazi.  The evidence suggests a highly-planned, well-manned military assault worked out long before the movie trailer became an issue.  One eyewitness reported no protest at all, and at about 9:30pm “125″ well-armed members of a militia stormed the villa.

“And extremists understand this, because they have nothing to offer to improve the lives of people, violence is their only way to stay relevant.  They don’t build.  They only destroy.”

Says the man who has covertly supported the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (still on the State Dept. terrorist list!), and the Free Syrian Army terrorists, and has now taken the bold step of legitimizing the MEK terror cult, with its record of international terrorism against Iran and others.

“It is time to leave the call of violence and the politics of division behind. “

While at the start of the speech, Barack Obama proudly said:

“We intervened in Libya alongside a broad coalition…”

A violent and extremist coalition.  More than 60,000 Libyans have been killed so far in this debacle.

“…and with the mandate of the United Nations Security Council.”

This is a bald lie.  There was no authorization to bomb ground targets in Libya.  This clear deception should be called out, as should the associated war crimes of that episode.

“And as we meet here, we again declare that the regime of Bashar al-Assad must come to an end…”

Again, a call for further violence.  Is the “Peace Laureate” hearing his own contradictory statements?

This request for war making authority coincides with well-documented covert U.S. support to militias, mercenaries and Al Qaeda connected terrorists committing massacres across Syria.  The presence of these foreign terrorists in Syria has been the primary reason for the bloodshed to date.  The Syrian government has been responding to armed gangs running amok and committing mass murders.

Iran

It doesn’t take too long for Obama to get to the next big call for war, the main attraction of his ‘war is peace’ illusioneering.

“In Iran, we see where the path of a violent and unaccountable ideology leads.”

Obama does not mean Operation Ajax and the 1953 killing of democracy in Iran by the CIA.  Funny how well phrases can fit so interchangeably.  Bush often said lines like this that could apply to U.S. policy in a different context.

“Iranian people have a remarkable and ancient history…”

Best to jump back to ancient, and then right up to the current situation with a notable gap in the middle of the time line.  Training the illegitimate Shah’s death squads and torturers gets an understandable omission.

“So let me be clear: America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe that there is still time and space to do so. But that time is not unlimited.”

So this is another clear threat of war, a belligerent statement in violation of the UN’s own Charter.  At the podium of the UN itself.

“We respect the right of nations to access peaceful nuclear power, but one of the purposes of the United
Nations is to see that we harness that power for peace.”

And Obama controls 5,000 nuclear bombs, most of which are now being “modernized.”  Netanyahu controls hundreds of nuclear bombs, and Israel has never signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty in the first place.  Iran controls exactly zero nuclear bombs, and yet they are the boogeyman, as Saddam Hussein previously controlled exactly zero nuclear bombs and was the boogeyman of his day.

“History shows that peace and progress come to those who make the right choices.”

As defined by Washington, New York and London.  Small countries, which elect leaders considered the “wrong choices” — history shows — are attacked by Washington, by its proxy armies and overthrown.  There is the list of current official enemies.  There was also the coup in Honduras, Aristide in Haiti, the Sandinistas of Nicaragua. They made a coup attempt on Hugo Chavez in Venezuela as well.  In Chile we know of Pinochet’s reign of terror after the people elected Allende, who was murdered.  Similar fates have befallen the wrong democratically-elected ruler in nation after nation. One thing that all these violent overthrows had in common was that the bloody hands of the United States and often of its CIA were involved.

“The war in Iraq is over. American troops have come home.”

And no one has been charged with that illegal act of belligerence, a war of aggression in violation of the UN Charter.  The accumulated evil of that assault could be considered a Crime Against Humanity.  Studies put the number of deaths over 1 million since 2003. Previous to that, 1.5 million died as a result of U.S. mandated sanctions, and there was also the first Gulf War and hundreds of thousands of casualties.  As many as 4 million Iraqis fled their homes and have since become refugees.

There is clearly one law for the superpower and a different law for everyone else.  There also seems to be one reality for the emperor and a different set of facts for the rest of us.  War is peace.  Freedom is slavery.  Amen.

“You’re tresspassing scum.”

Black tie activists crash HMRC boss’ retirement

I am quite leery of the online hackers calling themselves “Anonymous.” As they are wide open and secretive, it stands to reason they are infiltrated by intelligence and have engaged in questionable actions. This is not to say that all members are working on behalf of secret government interests, but some have.

This film explores Anonymous, but — as usual with them — the trailer seems more focused on style than substance. I’ll probably do a more in depth review and investigation once the film hits.

Romney’s Humanizing Moment

Posted: September 26, 2012 in -
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