Posts Tagged ‘right wing’

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Report: The Kochs, A Nazi Past, Oil & The Foundation of The Right

 

Ilse Koch is the most famous of all Germans accused of having committed atrocities during the war.   She was the wife of the commandant of the Buchenwald camp.   She was twice convicted in post-war trials,  once by an international court and once by her own country.   The chief charges against her were cruelty to inmates,  including murder,  but what she is best-known for is the making of human-skin ornaments,   including the lampshades of which we’ve all heard.

 

The John Birch Society

The foundation is financed via the oil and gas fortunes of Fred G. Koch,  a founding member of the John Birch Society.  Koch  “wrote admiringly of Benito Mussolini’s suppression of Communists in Italy, and disparagingly of the American civil-rights movement.

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I can be critical of Jon Stewart, but this is the funniest take down of religious pundit idiots I’ve seen in quite a while.

“Noah” Is “Not a Documentary”

 

 

APTOPIX Venezuela Election

 

The truth about Venezuela: a revolt of the well-off

Major media outlets have already reported that Venezuela’s poor have not joined the right-wing opposition protests, but that is an understatement: it’s not just the poor who are abstaining – in Caracas, it’s almost everyone outside of a few rich areas like Altamira, where small groups of protesters engage in nightly battles with security forces, throwing rocks and firebombs and running from tear gas.

Walking from the working-class neighborhood of Sabana Grande to the city center, there was no sign that Venezuela is in the grip of a “crisis” that requires intervention from the Organization of American States (OAS), no matter what John Kerry tells you. The metro also ran very well, although I couldn’t get off at Alta Mira station, where the rebels had set up their base of operations until their eviction this week.

 

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Kieran Kelly recommended this Salon article — which is actually a revisionary look at the films of Harold Ramis.*

Baby boomer humor’s big lie: “Ghostbusters” and “Caddyshack” really liberated Reagan and Wall Street
Harold Ramis was a master of subversive comedy. But the politics of “Caddyshack” and rude gestures have backfired

* I am not in complete agreement with anyone concerned.  While the films could be criticized for their targets and execution, I don’t think the writer makes his case.  The terminology used displays some dissonance, and he rejects a nuanced, complex reading of the films.

“And that makes for a pretty liberal film, right? I mean, who else makes fun of country club grandees except for us lefty authority-questioners?

Well, free-market conservatives do.”

Here the writer steeps his clumsy criticism in the pop left/right knee jerkism we’ve come to expect out there in the mainstream.  Presenting his false argument about “authority-questioners”, it’s almost condescending.  Authority isn’t a virtue.

The reason these movies stand out and endure is because they have complexity.  They aren’t meant to tell you want to think, but to give you the opportunity to do so.  Without that complexity and challenge, there’s no classic.

Perhaps the article’s best dig is:

“The kind of liberation the rude gesture brings has turned out to be not that liberating after all, but along the way it has crowded out previous ideas of what liberation meant—ideas that had to with equality, with work, with ownership.”

Here, the author, Thomas Frank, almost makes his point.  But the dissonance, in light of what he argued previously, sinks his argument.  How he can lay all of this on Ramis and Company, in the context of a farcical comedy, is unclear.   But work and ownership, Frank says, are intrinsic to his idea of liberation.

Like the Ghostbusters?

Frank just decried the idea of the small business startup, but now he’s in favor of work and ownership.  Well make your mind up, Frank.

“Here the martinet is none other than a troublemaking EPA bureaucrat; the righteous, rule-breaking slobs are small businessmen—ghost-hunting businessmen, that is, who have launched themselves deliriously into the world of entrepreneurship.”

Yes, work and ownership.  In fact bureaucracy and the EPA itself can have problems, misdirected activities, harm.  That’s the nature of power and authority, and in this case unaccountable power: the EPA man is not the one facing jail.  Reading too much into this EPA angle may be biasing any fair interpretation of the film.

The EPA bureaucrat made a unilateral decision that was disastrous while choosing ignorance over the consequences of said decision.  It is that kind of reasoning that is the true target, not the Environmental Protection Agency or the concept of reasonable regulations.  That’s the distinct difference that received no mention.

In some ways I agree with Frank that these films chose some easy targets and largely symbolic middle fingers.  That would make them less effective, in the political context, not more.  Trying to pin the Reagan era on Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and friends is too much of a stretch to be taken seriously.  The photo (above) that Salon chose to go with seems a tad dishonest in its complete dissing of Ramis and his widely beloved works.

Unthinking lefties are as unpalatable to me as unthinking right wingers, and perhaps were to Ramis too.  We must confront these challenges and the myriad opposing ideas, even in comedy, if we’re to stand the test of time.

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Starship Troopers: One of the Most Misunderstood Movies Ever

There’s a theme emerging here where films are reexamined and dissected for the better.  Sucker Punch got a similar 2nd chance at life with this video essay:

I had to stand up for the Burton/Depp Alice in Wonderland.  I know that Josh Olson stood against the tide with Speed Racer (which I haven’t seen, so he might be full of it!).

I always liked Starship Troopers for what it was, not considering it some kind of master work, but I did get the dark satirical view lording over it.  It seemed in direct conflict with the underlying source material, as if Verhoeven was mocking the book (could be, haven’t read it).

www.indiewire.com

 

Rush Limbaugh and right wing talk radio and their malevolent effects on Americans…

This is a Kickstarter Project (needs help).

 

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Jodie Foster’s Death Wish

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Everything wrong with this film is summed up in three words by producer Joel Silver: “genre based entertainment.”

I took this as a serious movie, because it features Jodie Foster and in a different kind of role, as a disturbed vigilante.  I too wrote a similar psychological story about a character dealing with violence, a novel that needs a rewrite called American Gun Disorder.  I bring it up for the similarities that stand out: both have main characters in New York City dealing with violence and the desire for personal protection, firearms if necessary, in an inherently dangerous world.  Both main characters devolve and go essentially crazy.

Unfortunately, The Brave One is more of an implausible Charles Bronson Death Wish type plot, for the entire middle of the movie.  In rapid succession, Jodie just happens to find herself in the middle of extreme over the top incidents, where she must blast scumbags left and right.  It’s like the producers called central casting.  They placed an order for scumbag gang, psycho jealous husband, generic gangbanger pair, creepy John and suited elite gangster threatening stepdaughter.  Bang, bang, bang, bang…

What’s more, they took this off the shelf revenge fantasy and threw a British artsy-indie director at it, in order to make it appear more substantive.  Besides insulting the audience, he failed in his stylistic choices.  Such a film where the main character devolves from sane to insane, in way too short screen time no less, really needs to be from her point of view.  It has to be experiential.  The camera must capture experience, real time moments, the personal perceptions of a character.

What we got instead were standard setups, voyeuristic treatment.  The shots are more concerned with making it look cool than the actual psychology of the story.  A style like Black Swan, religiously following the main character throughout, would have been appropriate.  Here, we have a nicely lit commercial TV version of New York City.  It feels absolutely nothing like the actual New York City.  As cinematographer Philippe Rousselot revealed it was primarily shot on long lenses, which of course keep the audience at a distance, and it wasn’t “a panaorama.”  Intimate shooting requires wide lenses, proximity, a feel for the environment.  Long lenses, on the other hand, render the background as less consequential, simply window dressing.

A real character in the actual New York is half your work at selling the fear, the desperate sensibility and feeling of helplessness.  Walking among 40 story towering behemoths makes one feel very insignificant and powerless.  Add to that the hardened, aggressive city denizens, the 24 hour working class struggle and the fringes of civilization and you’re 90% there toward selling a descent into dog eat dog paranoia.  Watch any five minutes of Taxi Driver before you start production.  The Brave One failed glaringly there.  It’s simply overlit and filmed Hollywood style.

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The last problem, judging from bonus feature commentary, was Foster herself.  A “public radio junkie,” she was perhaps the wrong person to be steering this story.  NPR liberal head-nodders don’t walk around the city blasting gangbangers to kingdom come.  It doesn’t compute.  It may have been a good opportunity to show off her vocal talents and trade a radio show for unnecessary voice overs (but came off about the same anyway).  Her character, however, didn’t click for this world, for this story.

Now the film had a shot, and some people liked it – that’s why I rented it.  The beginning was okay, and the end had a little bit of inventiveness, not much, but some; I’d rate it 2.5/5.  The stupid action movie one-liners, “who’s the bitch now?” didn’t help.  The film’s middle, however, had no chance to avoid eye rolling and disbelief.  It’s like the various personalities involved took hold of sections of the film ensuring their concerns were included at certain points: just too many chefs.  In the end The Brave One pandered to rightwing conservative notions of payback and the death penalty, the usual point of these “genre based entertainments.”  No surprises on that front, which was a bit off-putting.  It’s like being trapped by conventions, by the idea that doing it differently is somehow verboten.  I found it an unnecessary, poorly done mimicry of harder edged predecessors, just another vehicle that should have stayed on the lot.

published at OpedNews & DennisLoo.com

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Pennsylvania’s Finest:

“…Fuck you!

…If you didn’t get enough first time around, go fuck yourself and get some more.”

(shoots machine gun).

“You get that?  You get that one?  Huh?  You bunch of fucking cock suckers.”
Mark Kessler

Displaying the confidence and maturity that men reach around their 42nd month of life, Gilberton, PA police chief Mark Kessler makes numerous implied threats via Youtube.  Kessler is a provocateur, a ranting raver who does not back down and escalates his rhetoric in the hopes of getting a rise.

The posting that alerted a large hunk of the Web originates in a Tweet:

“Chief Mark Kessler

@chiefkessler

SHOOT A LIBTARD OUT OF A TREE :) http://youtu.be/DglbrMU6-YM?a

https://twitter.com/chiefkessler/status/356903459267690496

The video is Kessler firing off his M-16 again, without comment, and it is the separate Tweet that reveals his implied threat – which many aren’t finding so implied.  The smiley icon at the end would seem to negate the message.  But, one can’t simply ignore the active verb, arguably a command, “SHOOT.”  People in America have faced serious legal repercussions for similar threatening language.

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Witness the case of Facebook poster Justin Carter who faces 8 years in federal prison for sarcastic typing:

“‘Oh yeah, I’m real messed up in the head, I’m going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts.’”
According to the parent, the teenager from Texas followed up that remark with the phrases “LOL” and “JK”— Internet shorthand for “Laugh out Loud” and “Just Kidding.”

Here police chief Mark Kessler rants and raves about having actor Jamie Foxx hung upside down on a cross, claiming that Foxx called for riots if Zimmerman was found innocent.  He provided no source or quotation, of course.

“Fucking shit bag.  …Here’s a guy who’s making millions and millions of dollars off us, off the white people, because we’re stupid, and we go to watch this communist, racist piece of shit.  We go to watch his movies.  And then he comes out and starts carrying on.  He ‘hates white people.’  He hates white people?  There’s no ifs ands or buts about it.  Jamie Foxx is a communist that hates white people!  …He’s calling on people to riot if Zimmerman walks.”

Jamie Foxx said:

“And I said I don’t want anybody to forget about [the Treyvon Martin killing], because they can’t forget about the fact that they lost their son.  And the thing is, we’re not asking for anything out of the ordinary. We’re asking for justice.”

Extreme right wing propaganda “news” has no need for quotations, and they make them up as they go:

Jamie Fox, If Zimmerman Is Acquitted, Rioting, Looting, And Indiscriminate Violence Is Acceptable As Long As You Feel Within Your Heart Its For A Good Cause.”

This dangerous, virulent scare mongering goes around the web as so-called “fact” before anyone can respond.

At the BET awards show, Jamie Foxx wore a Trayvon Martin t-shirt, and:

“Despite the clear statement via his outfit, Foxx did not specifically address Martin’s death while accepting his award.” source

A fake reality, in this case a highly racist and acerbic delusion spreads without check.  There is no counterbalance and no opportunity for correction as the right extremists remain blinkered and content in their racial victimhood fantasies.  They have a new enemy to yell about, Jamie Foxx, a new scapegoat, and ranting, frothing, armed and dangerous blustering fools like Kessler are all the authority needed.

Kessler doesn’t present himself as evil or likely to initiate violence.  A lengthy disclaimer at the start of his radio show belabors how he is concerned with protecting life and only interested in defense.  He says he has no interest in initiating any violence.  His inflammatory rhetoric that follows, however, betrays a possible mental illness.  He’s not completely irrational, but the outrageousness of his shouting and venting leaves one wondering.

Like a lot of extreme right wingers, Kessler rants in defense of private property and against the evil government.  His use of the term communist is peppered throughout the show.  He apparently has no concept of neoliberalism or how things actually work in the halls of power.  Obama is a communist, and so is Jamie Foxx, and the rest are simply “libtards.”  This witty term, a preferred one of Kessler’s, obviously combines liberal with retard.  This short-circuit to thinking about issues places them in strict black white terms.

Ideology clearly confuses Kessler, as at one point he rails against Obama’s government allegedly trying to appropriate water rights from a private party in Missouri or thereabouts.  This private water is defended by Kessler’s framing, and Obama/government is demonized.  The idea of public water resources is beyond what Kessler could conceive and why one owner should control or own “10,000 acres” of life-sustaining water isn’t made clear.  Fine and well, he believes in private ownership above all, right?

A minute later, I’m not kidding, he and a caller decry the Chinese allegedly buying up US water and shipping it across the ocean to China.  This is the market in action, no?  This is buying and selling the water, the free market of right wing dreams.  By what rationale can buying the water and sending it across the ocean be a problem, if private parties can do whatever they want with it?  He complains that George Bush Sr. is allegedly buying up aquifers.  Kessler and the caller, “Steve,” bemoan corporations gobbling up vital water supplies.

How can they simultaneously hold diametrically opposite views about the water?  Like most right wing ideologues, Kessler doesn’t think through the implications of his cherished dogma and his first impressions, his emotional responses.  There’s enough cognitive dissonance floating around here, with anti-this, and anti-that, that consistency is unnecessary.  The only consistency seems to be “freedom,” and “guns.”  The rest of the details are malleable.

Similarly Kessler holds to a near fanatical love of the military and militarism.  He has an emotional component toward warriors and what his own father allegedly “fought for” in the United States armed forces.  Of course the military is one of the most socialistic organizations in the nation.  It’s socialism on display, a government program funded by taxes which owns everyone and everything involved, and it does the government’s bidding – around the world regardless of legalities.  Even Kessler should be able to notice that no wars have been “declared” since World War Two.

I don’t disagree with some of the things Kessler says concerning abuse of power, the corruption of government institutions, the rights of people, and common sense things like that.  But, Kessler uses these positions as jumping-off points time and again, to see how far he can venture out.  He truly is a provocateur, as several examples from his radio show illustrate.

Kessler’s own son was to be charged by Pennsylvania State Police for shooting another kid with a bb gun.  Not a serious crime, and one wonders if this was motivated by a desire to silence Kessler, who has admittedly made many, many enemies in the other police forces.  He then claims that the charges were dropped because “3,000 heavily armed” militia men came to his son’s defense and were ready to basically start an insurrection.  Kessler was extremely pleased that a new “American Revolution” may have been initiated right in his own town over the bb gun issue.  Dangerous?

Mark Kessler also singled out a “Million Muslim March” that is scheduled in Washington DC this September 11th.  Apparently this is true, and called for by a group called American Muslim Political Action Committee.  The headline there reads, “Join AMPAC on a Historic Moment on 9/11/13 for Establishing the Humanity and Justice through Civil Rights Movement.”

Kessler announced on his show that this “adds insult to injury,” and he wants to show up that day wearing a MOSSAD t-shirt, at which point he lavishes praise on the MOSSAD for their toughness and reputation regarding assassinations.  Hoping this might cause some kind of incident this upcoming 9/11, one wonders what else Mark Kessler has planned.

Joe Giambrone publishes Political Film Blog while designing plots for fictional characters to take over the world.

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Glenn Beck calls for celebrating Ramadan by shooting all Guantanamo prisoners in the head
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Well I knew that the movie looked like cheezy space opera from hell, and had no intention of watching it…but there’s more…

Ender’s Game: Gay Hating Sci-Fi Author Names Villains “Buggers,” Advocates Govt. Overthrow

“‘How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.’
-Ender’s Game author, Orson Scott Card

Card is on the Board of Directors of the National Organization for Marriage,”

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(in the early 1970s)

Domestic right wing extremists were armed and organized by FBI agents to attack Vietnam War protesters.

Must read:

“The report also stated that the SAO planned to kidnap and murder protestors of the 1972 Republican National Convention, which was to be held in San Diego before being relocated to Miami Beach. An assassination attempt of Dr. Peter Bohmer, professor at San Diego State University, and Paula Tharp, reporter for the San Diego Street Journal, brought about the arrests of several SAO members who later acknowledge an FBI connection. During the investigation, the gun used in the assassination attempt was found in the home of FBI agent Steven Christiansen, who was subsequently identified as a SAO contact. In 1973, Godfrey, testifying as an FBI informant, claimed he received up to $20,000 in weapons and a $250 per month income from the FBI to recruit new SAO members and provide information to agents. He also testified to the criminal acts of several SAO operatives, including fellow leader Jerry Lynn Davis. Official statements from the FBI claimed no involvement with the SAO, and no agents were prosecuted.”

…[admitted FBI informant Howard Barry] Godfrey had regularly supplied the SAO with money and weapons on behalf of the FBI.”

A newspaper office was attacked. A car firebombed. Informants infiltrated, while meetings were monitored. There were plans to poison the punch at antiwar meetings. A theater was bombed. Bulletins were published on “how to make booby traps, how to use ammonium nitrate in high explosives,””

DHS says FBI “possibly funded” Terrorist Group