Archive for the ‘Ruth Hull’ Category

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Chris Dorner and the Star Trek Solution to Illegal Executions

by Ruth Hull

What would Captain Kirk do if ordered to fire burners into the cabin supposedly occupied by Chris Dorner?

MAJOR, MAJOR SPOILERS!!!

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Can Argo’s Best Picture Win Stop War with Iran?

by Ruth Hull

On February 24, 2013, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has thrown down the Gauntlet to Congress, the President, the corporate oil vultures and the Military Industrial Complex by presenting the Best Picture Award to Argo, a movie showing that peace is the way to save lives in response to an act of war.


 

On November 4, 1979, Iranian students stormed the American Embassy in Tehran and took Americans hostage. This was a violation of U.S. Sovereignty. America was attacked where it was supposed to be secure under international law. But Jimmy Carter refused to take up the sword. Instead, he took up the dove and got everyone home, alive and safe.

The takeover of the American Embassy was effectively an act of war – unlike any current actions of Iran involving the United States or its citizens. Iran has not taken over any of our embassies since 1979. It has committed no acts of war against the United States. Its peaceful nuclear energy plan (albeit an unhealthy and unsafe energy plan) is peaceful.  In fact, if asked their opinion, most Americans living near nuclear power plants would gladly encourage the U.S Government to dig up and ship all 104 of our operational nuclear reactors to Iran as a belated Christmas present. I live near San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) and Californians have been trying to get rid of that plant for decades as it is the most unsafe reactor in America.

In 2013, Congress has been besieged with lies about Iran by hawks, eager to attack the country with the fourth largest oil reserves in the world, after “Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Canada.”  Congressional warmongers are eager for war.

In the face of all this genocidal drive towards another future wasteland of dead babies and innocent civilians as a ritual sacrifice to the U.S. Military Industrial Complex, the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences has boldly stood up and reminded the blood-thirsty Congressional and Executive Branch hawks of the success of Jimmy Carter’s path towards peace.

As shown in Argo, while peace saved lives in 1979 and 1980, it did not save Jimmy Carter’s Presidency. Heroically, he put the lives of others before his own career. He could have taken credit for the rescue of six American from the Canadian Ambassador’s home instead of letting the Canadians have the credit. However, that would have risked Canadian lives in Iran. Carter was not about to risk lives to save his Presidency.

Also clear from the movie was the attempted undermining of Carter’s peace plan by a shadow government with ties to the Pentagon. Movie goers see that Tony Mendez, the CIA rescuer who conceived and carried out the plan for the Argo rescue, actually had to go against CIA superiors in order for the plan to succeed. If he had listened to his CIA bosses, the six Americans would have been captured and they and the Canadian diplomats could have been killed. This betrayal by the intelligence community is no surprise as a helicopter rescue plan was sabotaged by people in the Military Industrial Complex working against Carter and the hostages. The helicopter rescue idea was ridiculous, given the terrain and weather conditions in Iran. The military advisors had to know the helicopter plan would fail and embarrass the President even as they were working to sell the plan as a likely success scenario. Going against his bosses, Argo’s Mendez proved that he was one CIA officer who cared more about saving lives than about bringing down a President.

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Twilight’s Breaking Dawn-Part 2:
The Best Anti-War Movie of 2012

by Ruth Hull

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 2 should be required viewing for all government officials, particularly Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu.

It establishes that the only way to win a war is not to fight it in the first place. Even the winners lose when wars are fought.

This concluding chapter of the Twilight Saga may remind some of Mathew Broderick’s 1983 movie, Wargames. Who could forget the NORAD computer running through all possible scenarios of the game of “Global Thermalnuclear War” with the Soviet Union and then announcing that, ” the only winning move is NOT TO PLAY?” This movie teaches a similar lesson.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, millions have died. The soldiers massacred are far fewer than the numbers of innocent civilians (especially little children) slaughtered, but there was no need for our servicemen to die and even less reason for innocent civilians to die. What gives us the right to go into somebody else’s country and murder their children?

Yet, in addition to Iraq and Afghanistan, we have slaughtered innocents in Libya and Pakistan and now some Americans want to slaughter more in Iran.

The same could be said for Netanyahu and his slaughter of innocent children in Gaza. In preparation for an election, he slaughtered children and babies in Palestine. These innocents never did anything to him. Bibi’s behavior is reminiscent of that of the Twilight’s Vulturi family who have already killed too many innocent children and are willing to do lots of collateral damage, just to murder one more.

Breaking Dawn-Part 2 should be shown on the floor of Congress before the next vote for even one more dollar of war funding or before sending one more weapon to Israel. It should also be viewed at the ICC as Netanyahu is being brought in handcuffs before that tribunal for his crimes against humanity.

Even the bad leaders in Twilight had higher morals than the leaders of the United States and Israel. In the movie, the leadership of both sides of the conflict was on the front lines of the battle and willing to lose their heads (literally) for their respective causes. Why are Obama and Bibi sending others to do their dirty work while they hide far away from the massacres? Are they cowards? Shouldn’t all of Congress be out on the plains of Afghanistan and other battlefields, engaging in hand to hand combat with whomever they want to kill. That would be the honorable thing. Maybe we should enact a Constitutional Amendment requiring our leaders to be the first ones to line up on the battlefields when they vote for war. That instantly gives us up to 535 willing and eager troops in addition to the President and his/her cabinet, who must also be eager and willing or they’d decide against war before it started.

Chris Hedges has stated, “Elites Will Make Gazans of Us All.” As the people of the world joined in spirit to oppose and boycott Israel over the last week, Twilight’s Vulturi family found that the best of their kind were gathered to oppose their terror and oppression. In Twilight, lifelong enemies from different families/cultures/breeds/species(?) choose to put aside their differences and unite to save a child and bring about peace. Imagine what would have happened if the leaders of the United States had gone to Israel and demanded an end to the slaughter before the first Palestinian child died in the recent conflict.

Twilight teaches some other important principles lacking in our society. The main characters are constantly willing to sacrifice and put their lives on the line for their family and friends. The series teaches that true love is about being willing to give up what you want most to protect those you love. American society has become very selfish. Divorces are at an all- time high and the once-strong family structure support system is broken. A return to the values demonstrated in Twilight could both save the economy and increase longevity in the United States.

 

In addition to being the best anti-war picture of 2012 and a movie that teaches about values, this final chapter is also full of action that will keep audiences eagerly entranced and watching the screen. In theaters, the audiences are so enthralled that you can listen to the vocal manifestations of the alignment of their hearts and minds with each new development in the plot.

There are also surprises and twists that actually improve the story for those who have read and loved the book series. It is loaded with action and suspense. The actors and actresses turn in award-quality performances in this segment. Lovers of the series will be glad they caught this movie and will find the final outcome to their liking. Most audience-goers are saying this is the best of the Twilight films. So if you haven’t caught the other four, at least watch this one.

Of all the films this holiday season, Breaking Dawn-Part 2 is the one you will be most glad you saw. It will leave you with a good sense of what life, love and peace are all about. If everyone got the messages in this film, we just might end these wars and save America’s economy.

Check out the preview and then go see the movie.

 Ruth Hull is the chairman of a liberal Democratic organization that is working to move the country towards its true base, the people. She has organized major human rights events and worked with some of the most liberal leaders in America. Her career has included work as a criminal defense attorney, a licensed private investigator, an educator and a writer.

 

Spielberg’s Lincoln and the Resilience of Historic Myths
By Ruth Hull

Think about the word “history” — his story. History is always told by the victors. Victors have the money and power to acquire spin doctors to come up with created history so these winners will sound so good that they are unrecognizable.

Some popular myths (as in not true):

  • Lady Godiva’s ride (sorry),
  • Columbus discovering America,
  • Washington’s cherry tree confession,
  • Betsy Ross sewing the first flag (though she was a successful businesswoman and flag maker),
  • Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address being written on the back of a paper bag,
  • Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation being written to free the slaves,
  • John Wilkes Booth as a crazed lone assassin,
  • Lee Harvey Oswald as a lone crazed assassin,
  • Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,
  • The killings of Osama Bin Laden by Bush and Obama (in different years), and
  • Obama as a Socialist Muslim (when in fact he is a Christian and an extreme capitalist).

Some even cooler myths that I had never heard can be found at: Debunked Myths about the U.S. Presidents.

With Thanksgiving approaching, some people want to re-create the early days of the early settlers.

Remember Plymouth, a place where the Pilgrims did not land on a rock. There is a commemorative rock there now. Jamestown was founded first.

In Jamestown, one of the more interesting dishes was human beings. Yes, check out Howard Zinn’s “People’s History of the United States.” Many of us were descended from cannibals. Now, while known cannibals like the Jamestown settlers were white, there are no documented instances of non-white cannibalistic societies. Such non-white societies are myths. So maybe a white Thanksgiving isn’t a good idea if you want to keep your body parts.

If you wish to eat like the Pilgrims, make sure you use your fingers. Howard Zinn calls Thanksgiving, “the celebration of the friendly dinner that came before the genocide.” So, in keeping with tradition, have dinner with your neighbors and then slaughter them.

The Lincoln movie by Spielberg also played into historical myths. Sometimes myths are fun. In the case of Lincoln, they were very entertaining. It’s easy to get lost in these myths and some believers are willing to fight against anyone trying to provide them with facts. Though Lincoln scared the South into seceding, he was at best a reluctant abolitionist, preferring an intact Union to freeing even one slave. Occasionally, he would say something to appease abolitionists and then go back to statements expressing his belief in inequality of the races. His letter to Horace Greeley is consistent with this as were his statements in the Lincoln-Douglas debates and the Emancipation Proclamation, which could have freed slaves in the Union territories but specifically did not free even one slave in the Union. The Proclamation was designed to demoralize the South, against which the Union was fighting while giving the appearance that it actually stood for something. Lincoln opposed interracial marriage. He spoke of deporting the Blacks to Africa and he supported fugitive slave laws. An African-American scholar named Leone Bennett, Jr., wrote a book in 2007 calling Lincoln a racist and documenting his claims directly from Lincoln’s speeches. Mr. Bennett ignored the myth-writers and therefore stirred up a lot of anger among whites who insisted their white President freed the slaves single-handedly. The book is called, “Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln’s White Dream.” Regardless of your feelings about Mr. Bennett, Lincoln’s own words in the Lincoln-Douglas debates and elsewhere show he did not consider himself an abolitionist. While we may wish Lincoln had been a stronger opponent of slavery, we are stuck with the facts as they were. It is hard to think our leaders were so ignorant that they didn’t get that even debating before ending slavery was itself an abomination.

In the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, this is one of the most repeated of Lincoln’s statements. Here in the sixth debate, he is quoting his anti-abolitionist position to prove his consistency on this point.

“After reading I added these words: ‘Now, gentlemen, I don’t want to read at any great length, but this is the true complexion of all I have ever said in regard to the institution of slavery or the black race, and this is the whole of it; any thing that argues me into his idea of perfect social and political equality with the negro, is but a specious and fantastical arrangement of words by which a man can prove a horse-chestnut to be a chestnut horse. I will say here, while upon this subject, that I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution in the States where it exists. I believe I have no right to do so. I have no inclination to do so. I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is a physical difference between the two, which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together on the footing of perfect equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position.’” (source)

The Lincoln movie does have a certain amount of charm. The favorite part for Israel’s Likud Party is undoubtedly towards the end. Why would an 1865 Abraham Lincoln be reminiscing about wanting to take off to Israel? The Israeli plug was silly at best. Robert Lincoln refuted the false historical claim that his father was Jewish. The timing of the movie’s opening to coincide with the attack on Gaza was likely something Spielberg didn’t expect, but those in the Israeli leadership, who met with Spielberg, before the filming started, did have choices and they chose to massacre children on the opening weekend.

The movie also diminished the contributions of African-Americans and women in getting the 13th Amendment adopted, making it look as if the Amendment was a gratuity granted to them. In Lincoln, the physical handing of the 13th Amendment document to the African-American love interest of Thaddeus Stevens symbolizes the idea that it was a gift handed down from the Whites as opposed to something the Blacks inherently deserved.

Embellishing to build up our leaders as role models is sometimes considered useful, but not when the admission of teens to college depends on their getting 5′s on their Advanced Placement U.S. History exams. Fortunately for this year’s AP students, there is half a year to dispel the myths of this movie and get top scores. The best prep for that particular AP exam is Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States.

Now, while the Spielberg movie mixed myths with history, it left out Lincoln’s opposition to corporate rule and also the special holiday he gave America: Thanksgiving.

Lincoln was theoretically (though this could be another myth) inspired by editorials and letters written by Sarah Josepha Hale, the New England editor of Godey’s Book, to create the occasion. In 1863, after the Battle of Gettysburg, he declared the National Thanksgiving Holiday.

So have a Happy Thanksgiving. If you want to see a movie over the holiday weekend, a good choice is the final chapter in the Twilight series. Breaking Dawn, Part 2, may well turn out to be the best anti-war movie of the year. See it and you will find out why.

Ruth Hull is the chairman of a liberal Democratic organization that is working to move the country towards its true base, the people. She has organized major human rights events and worked with some of the most liberal leaders in America. Her career has included work as a criminal defense attorney, a licensed private investigator, an educator and a writer.