Posts Tagged ‘corporate crime’

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Trump junta hypocrisy too staggering to tolerate.

Justice Department’s Corporate Crime Watchdog Resigns, Saying Trump Makes It Impossible To Do Job

“Trying to hold companies to standards that our current administration is not living up to was creating a cognitive dissonance that I could not overcome,” Chen wrote. “To sit across the table from companies and question how committed they were to ethics and compliance felt not only hypocritical, but very much like shuffling the deck chair on the Titanic. Even as I engaged in those questioning and evaluations, on my mind were the numerous lawsuits pending against the President of the United States for everything from violations of the Constitution to conflict of interest, the ongoing investigations of potentially treasonous conducts, and the investigators and prosecutors fired for their pursuits of principles and facts. Those are conducts I would not tolerate seeing in a company, yet I worked under an administration that engaged in exactly those conduct. I wanted no more part in it.”

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  • [Jennifer Epps, who usually gets to the movies a lot quicker than me, also has a review.]

The East has come out on DVD this past week, and home is likely to be the place most people will see it.  The film is a mixed bag, some interesting ideas about corporate power and abuse, but ultimately it suffers from a plodding pace and predictability.

Brit Marling’s previous film, The Sound of My Voice, also rambled along at a snail’s pace, and it begs the question if she and her partners in crime are not putting enough plot in to fill up a full-length feature film.  It seems The East was better thought out than Voice, but I still felt constrained by budget and limited locations for the middle section of the movie.  They linger far too long at an abandoned, ruined house, and it tries your patience.

What’s more, and probably the true deal breaker, The East group never really sold me that it was genuine.  This anarchist cult seemed more like Hollywood’s version of a rebel movement, and a lot of obligatory moments and forced on the nose dialogue kept me at arm’s length.  Wearing your movement on your sleeve is a sign of bad writing, lacking subtext, and the film seemed to veer this way and that, but kept taking me out of the story with forced bits of dialogue.

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The major “jam,” targeting one of the member’s fathers, also felt so contrived and given short shrift that it sunk the film at the moment things should have escalated to the next level up.  That sequence failed, and it felt like not enough thought had been put into the entire film.  As Kirsten said, “It fizzled at the end.”

Not sure the end is where it fizzled, but yes there is an anti-climactic wrap-up that should have been staged better.  The larger ideas clicked at the ending, but the execution not so much.

The East could have been a much grittier, more raw tour de force, and it probably should have been.  Instead there is a cleanliness, a neat pat style that works against the film.  It far too easily mingles at luxury parties and corporate headquarters.  That was one of the film’s points, but it tainted the rest of the movie, which lacked realism and authenticity.  I never bought, for a second, that I was watching anything other than actors reading lines.

Take from that what you will.  The East, a victim of its own slick production and budget, perhaps amounting to anarcho-exploitation rather than any meaningful examination of corporate crimes against humanity.

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I shudder.  Looks like the story sets up Assange to be demonized by the end, as is official US policy and Big Lies.  Some possibilities though, as they want to take in the money of people on Wikileaks’ side.  The actor playing Assange, however, can’t pull off the accent, and it’s rather sad.

It seems that Assange is portrayed as a deluded one-note fanatic, incapable of seeing the wisdom of the corporate security state and the all-knowing power of the rich white guys who know better.  I get the impression that this actor Benedict Cumberbatch doesn’t get Assange in the slightest, and is just another meat puppet in this corporate/political kabuki theater.  Cumberbatch pissed me off once before in his British show Sherlock, by gleefully endorsing the death penalty time and again. This pro-death, essentially right wing propaganda passes as comedy in a nation that has outlawed executions for many decades.

The Fifth Estate trailer is full of lofty poetry, and the staging seems weak, the images non-cinematic when Assange and crew are involved, rather deliberately unflattering.

 

Assange responds to the Ffrth Estate Script (11:10)

“A Mass Propaganda Attack.”

 

[The Fifth Estate] is not just an attack against us.  It is an attack on Iran.  It fans the flames to start a war with Iran.”

Watch the video for the spoilers, and the “corrupt media, corrupt culture.”

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Let’s talk about the kind of “terrorism” that’s  a hell of a lot more likely to affect you and your family: corporate responsibility without accountability.  The “deregulation” offensive led by people like governor of Texas G.W. Bush and the right wing corporatists, including Obama, is responsible for killing large numbers of  workers, a disturbingly increasing number.  Miners, plant workers, the regulations to ensure worker safety are little more than a joke after decades of erosion and deal making in the slimy halls of power.

“We know that the EPA, back in 2006, cited West Fertilizer for not having an emergency risk management plan. That is, a dangerous and explosion-prone plant that was using a hazardous chemical in large quantities, and that was storing highly explosive material also in large quantities, had made little or no effort to assess the risks of what it was doing. Indeed, it has been reported that the company had assured the EPA, in response to the complaint, that there was “no risk” of an explosion at the plant! An AP article reports that the company, five years after being cited for lacking a risk plan, did file one with the EPA, but that the report claimed the company “…was not handling flammable materials and did not have sprinklers, water-deluge systems, blast walls, fire walls or other safety mechanisms in place at the plant.”

Two Acts of Terror, Only One Investigation
by DAVE LINDORFF

 

“After all, it was Obama’s Justice Department that in December 2011 settled the case of the April 2010 Massey Energy Upper Big Branch explosion, which killed 29 miners, with a “non prosecution agreement.”

Outrageously, the Justice Department said it would not criminally prosecute Massey even though the Labor Department concluded that Massey’s “unlawful policies and practices” were the “root cause of this tragedy.”

Corporate Terrorism in West Texas
by RUSSELL MOKHIBER

 

 

 

 

Starring Brit Marling, Ellen Page, Alexander Skarsgard and Patricia Clarkson – the question here concerns distributor Fox Searchlight acquiring a film that presents itself as anti-capitalist, when we all know Fox is the most right wing, biased organization in the mainstream media. So what gives?

Is the plot a bait and switch? Is the message in the end how anyone who challenges the crimes of corporations is essentially as bad — or worse — than the corporate criminals themselves? We shall see.

The initial review from Sundance is vague on the film’s politics. One glaring point however, it seems Brit Marling (bombshell) is a mercenary intelligence spook on the hunt for the group, and the infiltration and sting setup of its members is a central part of the plot.

 

Most importantly, it starts with committed people working to change the Congress.