Posts Tagged ‘absolute power’

Senate Judiciary committee practically offers oral sex to Obama’s new FBI pick James Comey, a GW Bush era torture lackey and revolving-door familiar face.

Obama Nominee to Head FBI Defends NSA Spying in Senate Testimony

“I do know as a general matter that the collection of metadata and analysis of metadata is a valuable tool in counterterrorism…”

“People hear ‘secret court,’ they hear ‘rubber stamp.’ It is anything but a rubber stamp…  I don’t know of a case where a wiretap application has been rejected by a federal judge.”

In their gush to defend the indefensible, the committee’s Senators show that they are all behind ignoring the Bill of Rights, and that they will not hold federal officials accountable for Constitutional violations.

“You don’t know where that important connecting dot is going to come from, whether from the collection of millions of this kind of information or not. And if that’s the answer, and you start thinking about what the parameters may be, it seems as if there wouldn’t be any parameters, because how could you define when that particular dot—that critical dot of information—when that would arise?”-Mazie Hirono

“I would be surprised if this wasn’t the third time you were unanimously approved by the Senate, I hope that is the case.”-Orin Hatch

If you want to truly understand what’s motivating these senators to completely forget that a Constitution exists and that they are bound to “defend” it by their own oaths of office, you’ll need to listen to NSA whistleblower Russll Tice.  They are simply ALL under surveillance, every single one of them.  The first objective of power is to insulate itself.  The NSA is no different.  They spy on their own overseers, and if those people want to remain in the Senate, they will give the NSA whatever it wants.  That is the nature of Kakistocracy, rule by the worst.  Those in power protect the abuses and criminality of those who control them.  Thus, criminality, abuse and lawlessness are normalized.  Welcome to the end game.  According to Tice, the NSA has been spying on key Congress members now for over a decade.  This explains much.

“In fact, Comey repeatedly approved Bush-era surveillance and torture operations, including waterboarding.The surveillance program he refused to sign off on was continued in a slightly different form under Bush and expanded under Obama.”

 

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Not for prudish Americans.  This film is rated X for extreme situations, sexuality and brutality.  I’ve heard that some of the sex is actually real, and controversy has surrounded the film ever since Penthouse agreed to co-produce it.  With a script written by Gore Vidal, this is pure mind blowing depravity from start to finish.  Never again would such a film come together, one that reveals the decadence and the psychosis of a society so clearly, while pulling no punches, alleviating no concerns.

Caligula completely ignores the mores and taboos of its audience.  It exists in another realm, another time and place without regard for the conventions of the multiplex set.  Except for its English language tongue, the milieu is eerily authentic in its sadomasochism, torture, mass insanity and raw exercise of power.

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Malcolm McDowell’s finest role in my opinion, and perhaps Peter O’Toole’s as well.  This is top notch over the edge of the precipice stuff, and I really do shiver when thinking of this film.  In an age of banal comic book boy scouts and robot battles written by the mentally retarded, a film like Caligula might as well have been produced on an alien home-world.

The British miniseries I, Claudius tells part of the Caligula story, in a less grotesque fashion, and each telling has its value and place.  But to really tremble in awe of the empire, its power to dehumanize and to disembowel its opponents, Caligula is the cautionary tale for the ages.

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The recent post on Phillip Zimbardo’s psychology of evil is relevant here.  For that is where Vidal plumbed the depths.  Beyond character flaws, beyond triteness and childhood pop-psychology, the ultimate power of the Roman Emperor and the society constructed around him, is what warps and degrades everyone involved.  This lust for power and the terror of being on the wrong end of it form the situation that destroys the humanity of all concerned.  It is Millgram’s experiment and Zimbardo’s prison writ large, a mega-experiment that ruled the earth for centuries.  Versions of this absolute tyrant power linger on today, and to lesser degrees in so many other milieus.

I would place Caligula near the top of the list of the most important films of the 20th century.  It’ll turn your guts inside out, but you won’t forget the experience, not for a long time, if ever.

5/5

Also ranks on the Top Political Movies List.

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