Posts Tagged ‘people’

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Whores of the Empire (TM) – here they are, the reason nobody trusts corporate media…

Email Leak Reveals Clinton Campaign’s Cozy Press Relationship

 

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Should the Victims of the War on Drugs Receive Reparations?

One area in which the Green Party platform differs radically from that of the Democrats is the war on drugs. So Substance.com spoke with both candidates to get their take on issues like mass incarceration, the racial disparities of drug-law enforcement, the legalization of heroin and other drugs—and what could happen after that.

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by Joe Giambrone
(published at Activist Post  & Foreign Policy Journal)

The neo-fascist coup d’etat that overthrew the democratically elected government of Ukraine has the President of the United States firmly on board.  Obama’s support for this illegitimate, unlawful transfer of power in Ukraine has reached schizophrenic heights as an Executive Order has proclaimed a “national emergency” in defense of the Molotov tossing, spiked bat-swinging Neo-Nazis of Kiev.  As Secretary of State John Kerry threatens to escalate the East/West conflict in cryptic allusions, the world now awaits the possibility of World War.  US warships, planes and troops continue to scurry toward the region.

What Obama has done is absurd.  There is no more diplomatic way of stating it.  His hypocrisy and support for clearly illegitimate and unelected Ukrainian leaders now threatens the freedom, and lives, of Americans who call out this insanity, such as yours truly in this very article.  Obama’s official embrace of the ridiculous rivals his predecessors, Bush and Cheney.  This is no coincidence.  The architect of the Ukraine regime change plan was none other than Dick Cheney’s former adviser and Obama’s current Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland.  The Project for a New American Century lurches forward like Frankenstein’s monster.

“I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, find that the actions and policies of persons — including persons who have asserted governmental authority in the Crimean region without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine — that undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets, constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.”

The “Government of Ukraine” (nice use of CAPS) has just been installed via chaotic street battles and a mysterious sniper, apparently brought in by the neo-nazi Maidan leaders.  The elected President of Ukraine has fled to Russia, leaving a power vacuum where Obama’s so-called “Government of Ukraine” enjoys no actual democratic legitimacy.  This government was simply not elected by anyone.  Period.  Full stop.

However, Victoria Nuland has copped to spending $5 Billion of U.S. taxpayer money to achieve this goal and to install this regime.  The US State Department has been instrumental in deciding who would and who would not become Obama’s current “Government of Ukraine.”  This flagrantly gratuitous fraud is backed up by Executive threats of property seizure and even escalation toward war.

nuland-mccain-Tyahnybok-small[Oleh Tyahnybok, Victoria Nuland, John McCain]

Crimea, which has yet been unaffected by the brutal street violence of Kiev, has arranged a popular referendum — an actual vote of the people — to decide whether they want to remain a part of Victoria Nuland and Barack Obama’s little neo-fascist experiment.  The people of Crimea may choose independence or protection by Russia, but this is not to be permitted by Washington.

“There will be a [U.S.] response of some kind to the [Crimean] referendum itself… If there is no sign [from Russia] of any capacity to respond to this issue … there will be a very serious series of steps on Monday.”
-John Kerry, 3.13.2014

So, buckle down, America.  There’s currently a “national emergency” that people in a tiny region half a world away may vote the wrong way, the way that Washington officially dislikes.  Update: Apparently they have, with 95% of Crimea in favor of secession from Ukraine in preliminary polling.

Crimea has always been a part of the Russian sphere of influence, as it has majority Russian ancestry.  The Russians, predictably, want to keep their port on the Black Sea.  NATO/Washington wants to take away this naval port.  If you can imagine a game of Risk in play, this is simply a matter of moving a few military resources around on a map to embolden one and to strategically weaken the other.

Add to that Chevron’s holdings in Ukraine (and other US multinationals) with a nice profitable lease to frack the hell out of the country and extract natural gas for the next 50 years, and then we have a very obvious, tired old story of resource wars and strategic one-upsmanship.  That and the IMF plan to indebt the people of Ukraine for many more billions in loans and impose “austerity” on their vital services.  This is the “Economic Hitman” formula employed countless times around the world and already written about extensively.  These are the forces in play, fun and games and billions to be extracted.

Plan Ukraine has absolutely nothing to do with democracy, with freedom, with vision, with any of the lofty rhetorical snake shit that readily squirts out of American television sets.

Will Ukraine look a lot like Syria in six months? 

These neo-con warmongers, like John McCain and Victoria Nuland, had a lot of good chuckles empowering Al Qaeda in Syria in broad daylight, their junior partner Saudi Arabia doing most of the covert dirty work.  Civilians on the ground are at the most risk, but Crimea so far appears to be relatively secure.  That would be Russia’s doing.

Neo-con men like Barack, in addition to staggering hypocrisy, can be quite petulant and vindictive in their policymaking.  Here’s the meat of his latest threat against the people of the world, including the reader:

“…any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:

(i) to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, directly or indirectly, any of the following:

(A) actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine;”

That designation would include Nuland, McCain, Kerry and Obama himself if anyone was keeping track.  But Caesar’s diktats are subject to Caesar’s interpretation.  Caesar’s laws are to be applied in the manner Caesar prefers.  Law is reduced to whim now, and it doesn’t really have to make sense; does it?

Joe Giambrone is an American writer, novelist and the publisher of Political Film Blog.

P.S.

Here’s Paul Craig Roberts saying essentially the same thing (two days later!):

 

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Iceland holds referendum on repayment

 

Iceland told the Banksters to fuck off and die…

Let banks fail: Iceland’s plan looks to be working

“While the euro area grapples with record joblessness, led by more than 25% in Greece and Spain, only about 4% of Iceland’s labor force is without work.”

 

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Ralph Nader lays bare the debacle of Obama’s fascistic approach to medical insurance vs. the Canadian democratic-socialist system:

21 Ways the Canadian Health Care System is Better than Obamacare

Number 20:
In Canada, the health system is designed to put people, not profits, first.

In the United States, Obamacare will do little to curb insurance industry profits and will actually enhance insurance industry profits.

Number 19:
In Canada, coverage is not tied to a job or dependent on your income – rich and poor are in the same system, the best guaranty of quality.

In the United States, under Obamacare, much still depends on your job or income. Lose your job or lose your income, and you might lose your existing health insurance or have to settle for lesser coverage.

Number 18:
In Canada, health care coverage stays with you for your entire life.

In the United States, under Obamacare, for tens of millions of Americans, health care coverage stays with you for as long as you can afford your share…

For more information see Single Payer Action at www.singlepayeraction.org.

 

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Did Jerry Rubin sell out?  He seems more concerned with rejecting the past than in addressing the ongoing problems.

 

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.

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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.

Bonus NSFW–

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Jubilee Street
http://vimeo.com/59564557


Batman, The Dark Knight Rises…and Occupy Wall Street Falls

by Scott Baker

(Spoiler alert: Significant plot elements of the film are exposed in this review for the sake of analysis)

The latest Batman movie, and last, for Christian Bale anyway, has pulled in over $161 million in its opening weekend, though exact figures are not being released due to the Denver tragedy.

All kinds of reviews will be written about the quality of the film, its impact on the current incarnation of the 70-year old Batman franchise, and the box office records it will undoubtedly smash (with a little help from higher priced IMAX 3D sales).

But I’d like to focus a bit on a message that might have escaped most fans, Batman vs. Occupy.

To recap the relevant part of the story: The movie starts with Gotham City cleaned free of gangs by virtue of the late Attorney General Harvey Dent’s law — a law that brings the hammer down on organized crime, crushing it, perhaps at the cost of liberty, but certainly at the cost of truth — for Harvey Dent was the violently schizoid villain of the last Batman film, whom Batman killed but then allowed to be lionized in order that a cult of personality would allow Dent’s signature law to be carried out.

In the current film, Bane, played by strongman Tom Hardy, is the main villain against Batman, and is a product of a prison system that is basically governed by Anarchy — that is, the strongest survive, while weaker members either die or find a mentor (spoiler alert: Bane turns out to be a protector and mentor to another pivotal character in the film, but that need not concern us here). Since Bane was among the strongest, he takes this political system to heart, eventually bending Gotham City to his will, with the help of a newly freed gang of thugs, some impossible-to-trace explosives laced throughout the city, but mostly the threat to use an atomic bomb to blow up Gotham, should the army try to wrest control back.

Bane encourages the “People” to take back their wealth from the 1%, to govern themselves, basically everyman for himself, with a former Batman nemesis, Scarecrow, running a Kangaroo court that is so corrupt it doesn’t even bother with trials, just sentencing: Die or face Exile – which turns out to be basically the same thing as it entails walking out onto the East River’s (the set city is actually New York — Hollywood’s favorite city to blow up) thin ice. Only the Fat Cats, the resisting police, and other “enemies of the people” are set out on the ice.

Now, Bane has a secret plan to let the unstable bomb count down to zero and finally blow up Gotham — including himself and his gang — eventually, but the public is unaware, or disbelieving of this for months, while an injured and defeated Batman languishes in the near-literal hellhole in some forgotten part of the Middle East world where Bane was originally imprisoned before his escape. So, effectively, Hollywood is showing the nightmare version of a post-Occupy anarchy, initially brought about by a powerful warlord, who then goes on to leave the people pretty much to fend for themselves, only intervening when it seems like the police who remain loyal to Commissioner Gordon (Batman’s friend and supporter) in trying to restore order (the political faction has long since been disposed of at this point in the film).

The message is: Yes, there is injustice with the 1% undeservedly taking everything, but be careful what you wish for, because anarchy will be much worse.

The prisons are opened, supposedly, says Bane, to “free the oppressed.” All institutions start to break down, and Washington remains paralyzed, afraid to intervene because if they do, or if just one Gotham citizen crosses out of the city on the few remaining bridges, the rest will be annihilated.

Catwoman, played fetchingly by Anne Hathaway, is a child of the street turned con artist and master thief. She captures a world-weary and cynical Bruce Wayne’s heart, even while stealing his baubles. But the real question that hangs over her character is, How will she react now that her longed for revolution has finally arrived? She is released from prison, sure, along with Gotham’s most dangerous, but after that she sees the breakdown, and finds it less than the vision of paradise she had imagined it to be. She is now just one of the masses, no longer able to exploit her charms to disarm and disown the wealthy, because there are no wealthy anymore to rob. Her tools are obsolete in a world with no targets, and where she is now an equal target to everyone else trying to survive in a world turned upside down. Catwoman starts out as grasping (literally as well as figuratively), selfish, unreliable, and profoundly manipulative. Somehow, Bruce Wayne / Batman sees something more in her, but the “more” ironically, would require her to renounce her former anarchistic dreams, and instead support at least a return to some form of organized life and, gasp, even government and police.

This is the choice the Batman (respectful fans talk of the Batman, not just Batman as if it were just a single name, like Fabio) gives us. Corruption, constantly held in check by a few do-gooders like most of the police, some of the politicians, but mostly Batman, though based on a lie (Harvey Dent’s goodness). Batman, aptly subheaded: “The Dark Knight Rises” shows us that it’s fine to battle against evil, one villain at a time, but don’t try to change the basic system overall, or you will wind up with an uncontrollable mob, rule by violence, and a crumbling society that will eventually self-destruct — even if a bomb doesn’t destroy it first. Batman then, is the vigilante protecting the people from themselves. The Dark Knight who fights for our freedom because if we really had it, we take it away from ourselves. He can be trusted because he is so profoundly anguished from the death of his own parents at the hands of an (anarchistic) gunman. He knows firsthand what chaos brings, and so he will ironically preserve freedom by preserving the status quo, only cleaned piece by piece, of its corruption and evil, while leaving the corruption and evil breeding system relatively unscathed. This message is further driven home when Bruce Wayne, Batman’s civilian alter-ego, perhaps his civilian SUPER-ego, spends the 7 years between the adventures of the last film, and this one, building a pollution-free energy source for the world”only to suppress it in a cavern that he can flood at the touch of a button should anyone actually threaten to take it form Wayne Industries. In the movie, Wayne’s fears are proved prescient, because the core of the device does in fact, become the source of the atomic bomb Bane holds the city hostage with. See, the people cannot be trusted! They are not ready for free unlimited energy! Fortunately, Batman will save us, and Bruce Wayne will out-think us. No wonder he is a Dark Knight, not a White Knight. The paradox is that Batman must save us from killing ourselves — an elite fighting the mob, while bringing down selective members of the elite when they stray off-course too much (like the financiers who originally fund Bane, before he turns on them too, as all anarchists must turn on their employers, eventually).

Batman is great fun, and the special effects are spectacular, as movie-goers have come to expect by now. But there is a twisted theme in the aging Batman series now, as it tries, not always successfully, to adapt itself to our contradictory times. In the 1940s, things were much simpler.

Scott Baker is a Senior Editor and Writer at Op Ed News, and a blogger for Huffington Post. He is President of Common Ground-NYC (http://commongroundnyc.org/), a Geoist group focusing on achieving social justice and economic growth by untaxing production and taxing the abuse and use of the natural resources of the commons.