Posts Tagged ‘drug war’
Tags: corruption, dea, documentary, drug war, drugs, incarceration, legalization, militarization, narcotics, policy, prison industrial complex, prisons, trailer
Tags: alcohol, corruption, drug war, drugs, federal, freedom, gangs, lawless, Nick Cave, people, policy, prohibition, resistance, state
Damn if this wasn’t an unexpectedly good gangster film. Unbeknownst to me, Lawless told the true story of the “wettest county in the world” under Prohibition. Three legendary brothers stand up to the corruption trying to bring them to heel. Dirty cops, dirty feds, the original drug war is even more fascinating than current films tend to be. Yet so many of those same issues keep rearing their heads. Narcs on the payroll, an intractable problem, a public that votes with their wallets, not much changes.
Tom Hardy, whom I hadn’t expected much from, delivers a twisted, believably delusional hillbilly performance that works perfectly. His character survived so many near misses that he started believing his own legend about how invincible he was. With this bit of irrational bravado he decides to draw the line against a corrupt city lawman and his enforcer, a chillingly creepy Guy Pearce.
A couple of intertwined love stories keep the testosterone from overwhelming the thing. Violence is realistic and harsh. Definitely one to check out at the Redbox.
Surprise two, the screenwriter was Nick Cave, who I thought was some kind of rock star. Lots of Aussies playing Appalachians, and pulling it off amusingly.
Shot on the Arri Alexa, which still kicks Red’s ass despite the latter having more than 4 times the resolution, the cinematography is beautiful and the locations authentic.
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Jubilee Street
Tags: 1980's, aiding and abetting, cartels, Central America, Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, cocaine, conspiracy, Contras, crack, Dark Alliance, drug dealers, drug war, drugs, epidemic, GHW Bush, Iran Contra, Jeremy Renner, Kill the Messenger, kingpins, narcotics, Oliver North, trafficking, treason
Gary Webb may finally be vindicated this year with a biopic that tells the story of “Dark Alliance,” Webb’s reporting on the CIA/Contra drug running. This obviously goes straight to the top of my must-see list.
H. “Corky” Johnson reports:
There’s now practically a cargo plane full of records replete with connections between the CIA and drug trafficking. Was the CIA complicit in the Contra drug trade? Check. Did the CIA and the U.S. pay the same Contra contractors who were also shipping drugs to the U.S.? Check. Did CIA Director William Casey obtain a special dispensation from the Attorney General to allow his Contra-support team to “look the other way” regarding the drug dealing? Check. Did the CIA deliberately deny to other agencies knowledge of Contra-connected dealers? Check.”
Jeremy Renner will play Webb in the film adaptation of Kill the Messenger, by Nick Schou.
“By operating in the subterranean world of arms and drug smuggling, the CIA took us down the rabbit hole where narco-mad hatters weren’t about to give us any straight dope, where the spooks had no clue and didn’t care where this unfettered trafficking would lead and where they were powerless to predict how many lives would be ruined in the country they were sworn to protect.”
Gary Webb took his own life after being hounded out of the journalism profession and his character assassinated by corporate media for daring to go after the Central Intelligence Agency.
“There’s no question in my mind that people affiliated with or on the payroll of the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while in support of the Contras.” -Sen. (now Sec. of State) John Kerry, PBS
I highly suggest you read the above linked article first. EW has a little more on the production:
“Michael Cuesta (Homeland) will direct, and Peter Landesman (Trade) is writing a script that draws from two books, Kill The Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb by Nick Schou and Webb’s own book, Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion.”
Get the books:
Tags: 2nd amendment, Civil Rights, Cold Dead Hand, congress, corruption, drug war, firearms, fox news, guns, Jim Carrey, militarism, plutocracy, right to bear arms, rights, Solutions
You guys want to go there? I’m sure Kieran will weigh in positively on Jim Carrey’s satire. The rest of you?
Is there anybody out there? Talk to me.
I’ve seen Cold Dead Hand a couple of times, and I also watched the hysterical responses over at Fox News (sic). The skit is a well done satire, but suffers from two problems: it’s simplistic, and Carrey himself is guilty of hypocrisy. The reductionism of the anti-gun lobby is crass and relies on appeals to emotionalism. Whenever you toss the ball to the other side, and they can respond with reason and logical argument, you’ve essentially shot yourself in the foot.
So, like Stephen King before him, Carrey is outed as hypocritical: he travels with armed bodyguards, something you and I don’t have the luxury of sharing. One might easily say that armed bodyguards are better than having your own gun. Now I’m sure Carrey needs this protection in a world of lunatics and star obsessed freaks. But, aren’t you entitled to some level of protection too? What makes the fart jokester’s life so fucking important compared to you and your family?
I pointed out previously how Stephen King’s rant exposed him for clinging onto 3 guns himself. His argument then tried to shift onto large ammunition magazines, without a shred of introspection. With 3 firearms, could not Stephen King commit a rampage worthy of the evening news? Even with his limited magazine capacity? That argument is hollow, particularly when he’s writing to deliberately offend other law abiding gun owners.
Now Jim Carrey has a right to his opinion, and at least he’s making a definitive statement about non-violence. His band in the clip includes Gandhi, John Lennon and Abraham Lincoln – all murdered by firearms, and thus appropriate to elevate his message and make the point felt. But narrowing his target to Charlton Heston and the NRA is a simplistic exercise in demonization. Heston and NRA may be prominent faces, easily understood, but they are representative of many, many millions of Americans who share a similar perspective on self-defense and the right to bear arms (much like Carrey’s bodyguards).
Trying to paint self-defense and the causes of violence in black and white terms is doomed to failure. That is what I’ve argued previously. Even Barack H. Obama released a photograph of himself shooting a shotgun, which seems more reasonable than many of the other knee jerk responses floating around the national consciousness lately.
It’s also debatable whether Hollywood sells more guns than the NRA ever could. Can anyone even recall a gun-free Hollywood film? Guns are the national aphrodisiac, worshiped on television, in films, in video games, and children are encouraged from a young age to act out violent scenarios, pretending to use guns. This is the culture we actually live in, a militaristic culture, but it’s so much worse. The real America is a violent, brutal place of cold blooded competition at every level, where the poor are disposable and left to fight amongst themselves for the scraps of a glutinous, oblivious hyper-power. The drug war policies have made drug trafficking one of the few real economic opportunities for millions and millions of the underclass. Education has been gutted, and the manufacturing sector has been off-shored. America swiftly descends into a third world plutocracy / dictatorship, where violence is the normal everyday reality. These problems are quite a bit larger than Charlton Heston’s nearly forgotten legacy.
Of course, I haven’t proposed specific policy changes here, but then neither has Jim Carrey. No one is happy with the status quo, but people keep electing completely corrupt individuals who would be more deserving of prison cells than the esteemed halls of power. That’s a problem magnitudes greater than anything else we can discuss, because it affects all the other issues. Nothing legitimate or moral can come from the United States congress when bribed, corrupt charlatans are the majority there. The White House is more concerned with world domination and monkey-wrenching the Constitution in opposition to the rights of the people, and no one should trust them to do anything positive either.
How many are aware of the new 1.6 billion rounds of 40 caliber hollow point ammunition purchased by “Homeland Security” (sic)? The 7.000 fully automatic machine guns and the nearly 3,000 Iraq tested, IED resistant armored personnel carriers, laughably painted with the word “Rescue?” Or even the indefinite detention, drone assassination program, FBI provocateurs creating false terrorism plots all over the nation, the “Disposition Matrix” and total illegal government surveillance of their lives? I’m of the opinion that we have much bigger problems than the occasional maniac, but we can still attempt to address the maniacs.
So what is to be done?
- We can limit the size of magazines. Perhaps 6 is safer than 10. Then again the “West was won” with six shooters, that means the west was also lost by those on the receiving end. Keep in mind that passing a law does not mean that criminal elements can’t acquire large magazines. Even 3-D plastic printers have created gun magazines, a new technology that is impossible to contain. But, let’s say this magazine limiting law passes; it could affect some small number of real world spree shooters.
- We can require psychological background screening. This would entail a brand new national database of all psychological treatments. At present, I don’t believe this exists, at least not in daylight. A way of tracking prescription medications may exist, but of course these are supposed to be subject to confidentiality between doctors and patients. What would the net effect be of enacting new tracking and surveillance of psychiatric care? Would this not discourage people from seeking help in the first place? How will the nuts and bolts of this surveillance work, and how can it be abused and used against the people? I really do want to know.
- We could ban guns, and have the “Homeland Security” Gestapo attempt to confiscate the nation’s 300,000,000+ private firearms. If you thought the violence epidemic was bad now … whew. That could signal instant Civil War, and will not unfold in such a manner. They prefer the boiling frog strategy.
- We could require locks on all firearms stored at home, with serious penalties for unsecured weapons. This could reduce some incidents, however keys do end up in the wrong hands. In the case of a disturbed young man who kills his own mother and uses her weapons to go on a killing spree, this locking up may arguably have done nothing to prevent the rampage.
- We could also form an emergency task force to examine the effects of anti-depressant drugs and their known links to violent rampages. The FDA’s own warnings scream about violent episodes, suicidal thoughts and irrational behavior. If we are serious about addressing the issue, the little matter of why people snap and go on murder episodes deserves more than a passing comment.
- We could end the drug war immediately and learn from places like Portugal and The Netherlands. The RAND Corporation told us nearly 20 years ago that drug treatment is “23 times” more cost-effective than interdiction. Drugs are primarily a health issue, not a criminal issue. Their prohibition has failed with alcohol and it has failed with other drugs. The prohibition fuels the violence and underground economy that tears apart the fabric of society. Other strategies are called for, immediately. If the money wasted on the anti-drug police state and prison system was put toward educating the next generation to rise above their poverty and hellish urban slums the problem would mostly disappear.
- We could end the plutocracy, and enact a system where the 1% super rich who defrauded America go unhappily off to jail, while their pillage is redistributed to rebuild our society, its infrastructure, its education system, its health system. America could start giving a damn again about its majority, rather than the decrepit ghoul billionaires who corrupt everything they touch, beginning with the cesspool called Washington DC.
- We could end the empire, the system of dominating, threatening, invading, occupying, coercing and covertly overthrowing everyone the elites of America don’t like. We could disempower the plutocrats and their militarism, downsize the war machine and put the military to work developing clean, renewable energy and efficient transportation.
As for the half-truths of the raging gun debates, spewing from both sides routinely (clichés really), I’m not impressed. Say something plainly, real solutions, real impacts, taking into account the state of the world today. Battling propaganda snips like Cold Dead Hand are more bluster than solution. Both sides resort to poor argument and weak scattershot salvos. Just try counting the number of times the Bill of Rights 2nd Amendment is butchered. The pro-gun lobby says only the part after the comma; the anti-gun lobby says only the part before the comma, then stops. Every single time.
Tags: Django Unchained, drug war, prison industrial complex, prisons, private prisons, Quentin Tarantino, racism
Prison industrial complex compared to slavery…
Tags: cash, corruption, documentary, drug war, drugs, financial, incarceration, incentives, law enforcement, narcotics, police, prison, prison industrial complex, prison population, prohibition, sentencing, Sundance, taxes, treatment, waste
Tags: ballot initiatiives, documentary, drug policy, drug war, federal law, federal tyranny, freedom, human rights, medical marijuana, medicine, Montana, New York Times, ninth amendment, Obama, outrageous, rights, short film, state law, states
Hosted on the New York Times website.
‘The Fight Over Medical Marijuana’
Tags: documentary, drug war, drugs, Law Enforcement Against Prohibiition, LEAP, legalize, marijuana, policy, proposition 19
Tags: cartels, drug war, Mexico, Natural Born Killers, Oliver Stone, Saul Landau, Savages, wall street
When Business Becomes Crime
Drug War Savages
by SAUL LANDAU
Savage: not domesticated or cultivated; wild.
In June and July the war on drugs proceeded apace as DEA agents and Honduran military goons knocked off some Miskitu people in Honduras – suspects supposedly running drugs in small boats. Police around the United States made thousands of drug-related arrests and doctors prescribed drugs for hundreds of thousands of sad and unmotivated adults and children. But in Mexico the story of dead people, cops or civilians, abounds in the never-ending drug war. Daily, we read of atrocities committed by rival Mexican narco gangs in collusion with the army or police. The drug war makes little sense in a nation where a sad person who sees a doctor gets drugged (legally) and a sad person who smokes a joint runs the risk of arrest.
Oliver Stone’s “Savages” shows how a trivial love-business story leads to border narco violence as he launches his non-tendentious cinematic attack on the drug war. Set in southern California beach country, with mansions growing out of the cliffs, sun-drenched Frisbee tossing surfers and bikini-clad beach gals as the extras, “Savages” examines the marijuana business and the ruthlessness of the criminal corporations (Mexican cartels) to extend their markets into the turf of small indie dealers like Chon (Taylor Kitsch) and Ben (Aaron Johnson), best friends who share everything. Chon, an Iraq Navy Seal vet whose mind remains at war and the green-oriented, philanthropic Ben with a botany degree from UC Berkeley are partners in a marijuana production and distribution business.
Ben grows super weed, treats his workers and customers fairly and Chon handles any physical disagreements that emerge. They also love the same poor little rich girl, Ophelia (Blake Lively) whose parents have neglected her emotional needs, but bought her everything. O, in deep need of parental love, adores the two father-figure-lovers. With her Iraq-vet lover she has “orgasms while he has “wargasms.” He is metal. With Ben, who is wood, she makes love. Interesting how a young beauty with absent parents chooses two hippy business studs and they cement their friendship by sharing her. Their perfect combination –for her — and the ideal Hollywood ménage a trois in liturgical Laguna Beach gets interrupted, however, by a Mexican drug cartel message –a beheading video — that wants to buy into their fabulous smoke business. Enter violence and mayhem into the plot because, their paid DEA agent informs them, one doesn’t say no to criminal cartels. Some absence of realism appears in this part of the plot taken from the Don Winslow novel “Savages”.
In this film, Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers” combine with “Wall Street” to offer a cinematic essay on what happens when business becomes crime thanks to the war on drugs. Our heroes, who deal hi grade blunt to needy Laguna Beach users, must concede or resist as the Cartel’s queen pin,(Elena) Salma Hayek drives them to decision by kidnapping O. “They can’t love her as much as they love each other,” she concludes of Chon’s and Ben’s relationship. Salma dines with her captive and sows motherly feelings. O also understands what it might have been like to have had a mother who cared about her. But all niceties vanish in the presence of banal villainy, Lado (Benicio Del Toro), who as the cartel’s enforcer, becomes a believably wicked and murderous sadist, who after getting his face full of O’s contemptuous spittle, swallows some lustfully and wipes the rest off his face with her hair.
Stone does not turn “Savages” into a pedantic anti-drug war message film. The viewer, however, will get the point, thanks to the role of Dennis (a chubby and balding John Travolta), a DEA agent taking his salaries from the US government, the independent pot dealers and the cartel. This Stone coketail of a film unleashes the unrestrained violence of the real drug war, as well as the lingering 60s sexuality that developed around lots of weed smoking and coke snorting. But “Savages” will not become the typical teen-friendly summer movie. The self-indulgent trio, who get stoned, have sex, surf and eat fine meals stop far short of becoming heroes of a masterpiece. But they are fun to watch and the film spanks the drug war promoters where they should feel a little pain despite their insensitivity to reality.
Reality. On July 11 The federal government filed papers to seize properties in Oakland and San Jose to shut down the nation’s largest and highest-profile medical marijuana dispensary operation. Copies of the federal Complaint for Forfeiture were taped to the front doors of the two marijuana dispensaries in Oakland and San Jose California, alleging they were “operating in violation of federal law.” In other words, the war on drugs ensures that criminal drug enterprises will continue to thrive in their business and its violence. (LA Times July 11)
Outside the movie theater, everyone can see how the Justice Department uses federal resources to arrest and prosecute individuals who comply with the medicinal cannabis laws of their state. In July, the House of Representatives voted 262 to 163 to defeat a federal budget amendment that sought to prevent the federal government from spending taxpayers’ dollars to target state compliant medical marijuana-related activities, despite the reality that most of their constituents opposed it.
Curious teens will try pot. The less curious will only drink. The curious can get punished by the cops, the less curious boozers, after reaching 18 or 21, become legal. In the movie, a 3 way romance, grown-up children seeking parents, druggie business ventures seeking to expand or limit risks, and lots of sex and violence, make a sure-fire combo for cinematic success. At the end – two endings, actually — you might ask: “So who are the real savages?” And “what makes them uncivilized?”
Saul Landau’s WILL THE REAL TERRORIST PLEASE STAND UP screens August 3 at he San Jose Peace and Justice Center, 48 South 7th St., San Jose CA., and on August 14 at Washington DC’s Avalon Theater, 5612 Connecticut Ave NW, 8 PM. More info at: http://saullandau.com/
Tags: congress, drug war, marijuana, medical marijuana, war on drugs
about drugs, and appears to be under the influence of something herself at this oversight committee hearing.
Tags: bolivia, cocaine, columbia, dea, drug war, Mexico, prisons
From the front line of the US war on drugs, Cocaine Unwrapped brings a timely and unique spotlight on the major players in the global trade.
COCAINE UNWRAPPED brings front line reportage from coca farmers in Bolivia, drugs mules in Ecuadorian prisons, cocaine factories in the Colombian jungle, dealers on the streets of Mexico and Baltimore – and consumers from the clubs and dinner tables of the West. It portrays a story of death, economic devastation and human suffering and provides unprecedented exclusive access to the political leaders of Latin America and interviews with drugs czars on both sides of the Atlantic.
Tags: bush, cartels, drug war, fast and furious, gun running, Mexico, Obama, sinaloa
Fast and Furious: The Hidden History of the Drug War – Bill Conroy on GRTV
Bill Conroy of NarcoNews explains the recent history of the events in Mexico and the gun running across the US/Mexican border. US arms (with the assistance of US government agencies like ATF) went to support the Sinaloa drug cartel which now controls most of the drug trade routes in Mexico.
There is also a large non-violent people’s movement in Mexico rising up to resist the tyranny of drug cartels and corrupt government.