Posts Tagged ‘drones’

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Capt. America v. the New World Order: The good, the bad and the ugly sides of Captain America, The Winter Soldier.

It’s big. It’s dumb. Its explosions are one louder. It feels a bit like The Avengers, which is not such a bad thing. The thing about Cap is that he’s an overgrown, science-enhanced Boy Scout. He always wants to do the right thing, no matter the cost. He’s got an innocence that’s sort of dischordant considering all the violence.

The Good

The Winter Soldier film is an allegory about the shadow government, the US deep state, the bowels of intelligence where Nazis were imported after WW2 to go to work supposedly in the service of America and its values. What’s good about this is that it’s true. It happened. Operation Paperclip gets a mention, although not much detail makes it into the final cut of these things.

In the Marvel World we have S.H.I.E.L.D. rather than the intelligence establishment, those alphabet soup agencies. It’s all a bit more super than that.

But the traitors are in our midst. They’re entrenched in power, inside the deep state. They are ruthless Nazis wearing our uniforms, flying our drones, inciting wars in our name. This is the main metaphor that provides Captain America with a foundation to its story. Our real values are not the values of those people, including those real people who appear on our very real televisions. The metaphor works, even if the film heads off the rails into silliness.

Spoilers

The Winter Soldier character himself, the assassin, is an interesting twist. He’s shooting Russian-made weapons, but he’s no Russian. He’s one of our own, actually Captain America’s boyhood pal, remade, reforged into the evil version of American power projection. He’s the covert assassin beyond the law, unstoppable and responsible for a slew of international crimes. This ties into the theme of the deep state, the Nazi state within the intelligence community that many people would recognize as a reality.

The Bad

Well, physics is of no concern here. Fall off a skyscraper. Whatever. At that point, it doesn’t matter what happens anymore. Nothing is going to alter the trajectory the screenwriters and producers have preordained, because physics is out the window. It sucks the tension and suspense right out of the thing.

The ending, reconciling with Winter Soldier, also fell flat. Cap just gives up, and it’s a blah anti-climax that felt cheap.

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He had a chance to go further with Black Widow as well, but nothing materialized. We had a kiss, a tactical kiss, and nothing more. It was broken wide open to explore Black Widow and Cap more, but the need to blow some more shit up pressured the thing.

The Ugly

Cap, the boy scout, and yet he’s a party to torturing a suspect. He lets Black Widow do it — gutting my view of her. And yet, it’s played for a laugh. Torture is a laughing matter in a movie about a spandex clad guy in red white and blue. Does anyone on the project have any sense? He’s supposed to be the good guy, but more than the good guy, the ultimate expression of lost American values. The torture question is no joke. It’s a felony war crime. Are these people taking their cues from principle, law and American history or from whatever sludge is selling on the other networks?

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The actual plot was a bit of an ugly pretzel, too. Not sure everything added up.

In the end, it’s worth about 3.5 stars for the positive messages concerning deep state covert abominations. We don’t tolerate Nazis and policies of murder. I just wish it would have been a bit more grown up about it.

3.5/5

 

 

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Indeed one of the most unnecessary remakes of all time, this one has five times the ammunition with much less of the cinematic punch.

I could grind my teeth over getting there early and being subject to advertiser cliches and Hollywhore bimbos hawking TV shows, Coca Cola, cell phones and the rest of the corporate mindless culture we all know and despise. But I’m pretty clear where I stand on that, and it may have given me the dose of blinding anger I needed to get on board an anti-corporate crime film.

If only they’d played Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 classic instead, where black comedy is understood, where shots are framed and held for more than two seconds.

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I thought of hating the new Robo, all the choices made that were lesser than the original, particularly his transformation. But, this was a distinctly different take on the world, a man/drone for a more fascistic America, a post-9/11 lobotomized America.

The first problem that tipped me off about the tone deafness was in the opening sequence. We’re supposedly in Tehran, Iran, as part of a right wing propagandist’s TV show. The idea was to push the robot warriors so that America would demand robot police across the land here. Only, when we get to the occupied Iranians, who are they?

They’re generic Hollywood “suicide bombers” from whereveristan. With suicide vests, they launch an attack on the invading ED-209s, and are pretty much wiped out in the process. The reason America’s lethal invader robots are marching through Tehran in the first place is irrelevant. Who the occupied people are is irrelevant. Nothing here is black comedy, and nothing here is done well to rise to the level of actual drama.

Then we’re onto Murphy, the new tough undercover Murphy who’s out on a limb, a loose cannon, a hot headed son of a bitch with a badge dodging 8,000 assault rifle rounds with ease. Someone should have told them that each bullet fired diminishes the impact of the one before. Here the bullets are nothing more than light shows, flickering props.

But onto RoboMurphy. The difference here is with the doctor assigned to the Robocop development project. Now we have a doc who’s essentially the protagonist and Murphy his Frankenstein’s monster. An odd choice, but the relationship between Robo and his support team is perhaps more feasible than in the original. How long could a few slabs of meat remain alive without intensive care?

Also Murphy’s wife gets more lines. But is she going to become a generic damsel by film’s end? How could she not?

I had a serious problem with Robo torturing suspects as some kind of routine now. There’s a lot of fascist imagery, but not all of it intentional it seems. Now, I do recall a scene in Robocop 2 where Murphy beats up a dirty cop who sold out the police and set them up for assassination. That was an uncomfortable scene, and perhaps I’m in the minority pulling that one out for mention. Here we live in the cops as torturers world. Torture doesn’t merit a second thought. The idea of selling torture to young people, but hiding behind a PG-13 rating, like this is an acceptable version of violence, really irks me.

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We’re at a point where our society is slipping into medieval barbarism, more and more each year. In the original Robocop, Murphy was meticulous about responding to situations with only the appropriate level of force. Here, I don’t think this was as big a concern. It isn’t so much about the law, morality, what is justified or any of those concerns. It’s more about which action sequences look cool with half a million bullets flying for almost no reason – a video game. Video games have corrupted drama, and that’s how they did it. They replaced mindless shooting for meaning and character development.

We get a last opportunity to rewrite the Tehran / foreign policy question at the very end. I can’t see the redneck slobs in my theater actually getting it though. Maybe I’m underestimating someone. That’s possible. It’s a sticky situation, calling out US foreign policy and global bullying, to Americans.  It seems they wanted to try and please everyone, for marketing’s sake — for Mammon’s sake — and ended up pleasing no one.

3/5

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Your “Smart” phone is stupid as shit when it comes to security.

 

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In case the human soldiers ever wise up and reject Nazi like wars of aggression around the world, these machines have no such qualms about morality.  There’s an imperial arrogance with the people manufacturing these weapons.  As long as business is good, it doesn’t matter what we’re actually doing to the world.   They’re so excited that it’s just like a video game, with the same controller and everything.  How easy to invade and kill people when you have the better toys.

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From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores
of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool

 

Seizing the opportunity both to flex its domestic drone capability and finish what the Nazis failed to accomplish on Omaha Beach, the NSA has turned its airborne lethality on WWII vets currently attempting a beachhead at various DC monument sites commemorating past and fading glories.

Agreeing to meet us in an underground parking lot in Georgetown, one NSA official explained, “Our black ops budgets are immune to the fiscal train-wreck in Washington. Since the Afghan poppy season produced a bumper crop this year, we decided to strafe war-hardened, patriotic octogenarians as a test of our in-country capabilities.”

Could this be true? What would Ike say?

Reached at a Beltway coffee shop, one off-the-clock VA official reluctantly offered this assessment while attacking an elaborate German strudel:

“The VA observes a ‘one fascism per lifetime’ policy. Thus any WWII veteran injured in the current skirmish will not be eligible for medical coverage and could well imperil his benefits. We could go broke if we don’t exclude civil insurrections.”

“But we are broke.”

“All the more reason.”

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Of course these all-too-human bureaucratic obfuscations are largely academic, especially as the drones now self-police their own shoot-to-kill provisions. Speaking in a metallic voice devoid of human emotion, a spokesman for the Pentagon’s Drone Emergency Auxiliary Division (DEAD) offered this: “The glint of aluminum wheelchairs on memorial grounds will be met with the full force of our deterrent capability.” Pressed to elaborate on the source-code of these marching orders, the spokesman beeped before offering, “The glint of aluminum wheelchairs on memorial grounds will be met with the full force of our deterrent capability.” Then, without warning the spokesman locked it steely gaze on my aluminum tape recorder, prompting this reporter to seek higher ground.

Drones, it should be noted, are designed to be short on words and long on lethality, mistaken identity and plausible deniability.

Recalling an era when men put their blood on the line, 89-year-old Lt. (ret.) Rusty ‘Big Red One’ Everett reminisced, “Had I known we’d be defeating German Panzer divisions to make the world safe for Yankee drones, I might have rethought the whole equation. You could see the Nazis on the cliffs above us. In hindsight, it was strangely comforting.”

No one in Congress could be reached for comment. As a general rule, few in Congress are ever reached for combat. Not far from Lt. Everett’s wheelchair, the clanging weight-plates of the still-opened House and Senate gym pounded away like the guns of Navarone.

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Robert Greenwald documents the war crimes of Obama et al.  The murderer in chief has racked up at least 178 dead children with his mechanized killing fleet.  Compare this child killing to his accusations against the Assad regime in Syria.

Videos and screening info here.

“The Nazis did not lose World War Two.  They just changed venues.”

-Michael Ruppert

 

 

deadsnow-1Still from Dead Snow

OpedNews:

Shocking “Extermination” Fantasies By the People Running America’s Empire on Full Display at Aspen Summit

…Ashcroft reminded the audience that the U.S. also likes to torture terror suspects, not just “exterminate” them.

“It’s not true that we have relied solely on the kinetic option,” Ashcroft insisted. “We wouldn’t have so many detainees if we’d relied on the ability to exterminate people…We’ve had a blended and nuanced approach and for the guy who’s on the other end of a Hellfire missile he doesn’t see that as a nuance.”

Hearty laughs erupted from the crowd and fellow panelists. With a broad smile on her face, moderator Catherine Herridge of Fox News joked to Ashcroft, “You have a way with words.”

But Ashcroft was not done. He proceeded to boast about the pain inflicted on detainees during long CIA torture sessions: “And maybe there are people who wish they were on the end of one of those missiles.”

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) DirectThis man should be “court martialed” according to General William Odom.

 

It’s the absolute end of legitimacy and Constitutional restraint of this fascist empire.  There is nothing but authoritarian abuse of power in America’s future.  No one in power  is accountable for glaring violations of the law.  They have destroyed the Bill of Rights, and continue to do so daily without opposition.

 

Ray McGovern: Gen. Hayden’s Snow Job on Snowden

“Odom blurted out, “Hayden should have been court martialed.” And President Bush “should be impeached,” added the general with equal fury.

Odom ruled out discussing, during the interview itself, the warrantless eavesdropping revealed by the New York Times three weeks earlier. In a memorandum about the conversation, Kenney opined that Odom appeared so angry that he realized that if he started discussing the still-classified issue, he would not be able to control himself.

Why was Gen. Odom so angry? Because he, like all uniformed officers (as well as many civilian officials), took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; because he took that oath seriously; and because he had done his damndest to ensure that all NSA employees strictly observed the prohibition against eavesdropping on Americans without a warrant.”

 

Washington’s Blog: Separation of Powers Which Define Our Democracy Have Been Destroyed

“The Department of Justice [sic] told a federal court this week that the NSA’s spying “cannot be challenged in a court of law”.(This is especially dramatic given that numerous federal judges and legal scholars – including a former FISA judge – say that the FISA spying “court” is nothing but a kangaroo court.)

Also this week, the Department of Justice [sic] told a federal court that the courts cannot review the legality of the government’s assassination by drone of Americans abroad.  

 

This was intentional, by design, a top down coup d’tat against the rights of common citizens.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

 

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Town of Deer Trail considering hunting licenses for unmanned aerial vehicles, bounties for drones

‘They fly in town, they get shot down,’ man says

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On the Vice website, no less.