Archive for October, 2009

The Yes Men Fix The Wrold

Coming Soon!

An Interview with Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men
Pranksters Fixing the World

Foreign Policy in Focus

Over the past ten years, the Yes Men have emerged as an infamously daring and creative duo of anti-corporate pranksters. In their new movie, The Yes Men Fix the World, Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno (known in their non-activist lives as Jacques Servin and Igor Vamos) explain their methodology: “What we do is pass ourselves off as representatives of big corporations we don’t like,” they say. “We make fake websites, then wait for people to accidentally invite us to conferences.”

Source: The Entertainment Industry Foundation

Apparently, the Obama administration has made a deal with all the major TV networks to push “service” conceptually onto Americans.

“Campaign Elements
– Unprecedented week long of television programming on all four leading broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and all affiliated broadcast and cable properties as well — and other networks, beginning October 19,

– To “organically” create and produce as many stories as possible about service and volunteerism and connect them in the plots of network dramas, comedies and reality shows”

Let’s be clear, there is an agenda at work here. Obama has come out in favor of what he calls “service” in the form of military service and other non-military federal programs (AmeriCorp) as a mandatory requirement for American children to graduate from high school.

Such “service,” the military variety in particular is very much on the minds of Washington war planners as they struggle to find more available troops for their never ending quagmire in Afghanistan/Pakistan.

Obama prefers the soft-sell. That is to use lofty, roundabout rhetoric and innocuous seeming propaganda (like sitcoms) to get ideas out there that the US government wants you to go to Asia and kill.

Obama’s strategy has always included increasing the bloated military, and his latest military budget is the largest in history, outspending the rest of the entire world combined on miltiary (which they call “defense,” but that is quite false when the funds go to “offense.”)

Let’s return to this “volunteerism” agenda in the midst of an economic meltdown, the likes we haven’t seen since the 1930s.

While the government and its fatcat base of donor/bribers continues to plunder the treasury to the tune of $13 Trillion plus, and yes, as Obama himself continues to cash his paycheck for his own personal government “service,” our nation is collapsing.

I suppose it takes a special kind of sucker to be distracted by the president’s call to go volunteer when you can’t find a paying job to feed your kids, keep your house, or afford medical treatment.

A lot of the motivation behind propaganda is distraction. They get you talking about the wrong issues, the wrong problems, the wrong solutions. The right issues, the right problems, and the right solutions are squeezed out of the discussion. That is the nature of the modern propaganda state. Remember eternal vigilance. Don’t be punked.

American Casino

DVD: American Casino

Andrew and Leslie Cockburn have produced an investigation into the housing / financial crisis, and in particular the mortgage company “product” called “subprime mortgages.”

“We meet the players. A banker explains that the complex securities he designed were “fourth dimensional” and sold to “idiots.” A senior Wall Street ratings agency executive describes being ordered to “guess” the worth of billion dollar securities. A mortgage loan salesman explains how borrowers’ incomes were inflated to justify a loan. A billionaire describes how he made a massive bet that people would lose their homes and has won $500 million, so far.”


Obama's War

Obama’s War (Free Online)

How can “we” best dominate Afghanistan?

That seems to be the question that most of the talking heads seek to answer in this PBS Frontline film.

Several of the speakers allude to pulling out and letting the Afghans fix their own country, but that idea is not seriously considered, not without a massive NATO/American domination campaign first.

Tortured Law

Call on A.G. Holder to Launch a Full-Scale Investigation of the “Torture Memos”

The Alliance For Justice has produced this call for accountability.

Full Petition Text:

Dear Attorney General Holder:

For more than five years, we have known that senior lawyers in the Bush Administration wrote the infamous “torture memos” to provide legal cover for human rights abuses taking place. Since 2004, the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) has been investigating the authors of the “torture memos”–Jay Bybee, Steven Bradbury, and John Yoo.

In a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in June, you said that this five-year investigation was close to an end and that OPR’s report would be ready in a “matter of weeks.” However, when you ordered a preliminary review into the interrogation of certain detainees in late August, you indicated that the OPR report would not be released imminently. And while you expanded Special Prosecutor John Durham?s mandate to investigate those interrogators who went outside the legal guidance provided by the Office Legal Counsel, you have failed to affirm that the investigation will follow the facts where the evidence leads, even if up the chain of command.

I urge you to authorize a full-scale investigation of those who ordered, designed, and justified torture. You can begin this public accountability process by immediately releasing the OPR report. Only by knowing all of the facts can our nation move forward and take the necessary actions to uphold the Constitution and the law.
Signed by:
[Your name]
[Your address]

See also:
Tortured Logic by the ACLU

Rip! A Remix Manifesto

On DVD: Rip! A Remix Manifesto

“My point is copyright is out of control. It’s been manipulated for profit at everyone’s expense.”
-Brett Gaylor

Free Online at Hulu (Temporarily)

Also here.

See: Open Source Cinema

RIP! is an important film. Technically, it’s an illegal film without copyright permissions for numerous song samples and video clips which would push the budget into the tens of millions of dollars if the publishing corporations had their ways (and they often do get their way). That is the point filmmaker Brett Gaylor makes with this investigation of copyright in the modern age of Interweb Tubes and sprawling corporatocracies.

Could this film be erased from history?

Emperor of Hemp

DVD: The Emperor of Hemp

Free Online at Hulu (temporarily)

Jack Herer is a driven man, driven by a vision to save the world in the following way.

Use a naturally growing substance to–

— manufacture paper from, instead of cutting down forests full of trees, and
— use the oil from the seeds for lubrication instead of petroleum with its high levels of pollution, and
— use the fibers for rope, cloth, canvas, clothing, and
— use the medicinal powers of the plant to alleviate suffering, and
— reduce the prison population and associated astronomical costs of incarceration and interdiction and
— roll back the police state measures of the “drug war” restoring civil liberties to the people of America…