Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

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point a gun at me and hope it will go away

May 13, 2011

Some Final Thoughts on the Death of Osama bin Laden | MichaelMoore.com.

(…) Before leaving to go to the former World Trade Center site, I turned on the TV, and what I saw down at Ground Zero was not quiet relief and gratification that the culprit had been caught. Rather, I witnessed a frat boy-style party going on, complete with the shaking and spraying of champagne bottles over the crowd. I can completely understand people wanting to celebrate – like I said, I, too, was happy – but something didn’t feel right. It’s one thing to be happy that a criminal has been captured and dealt with. It’s another thing to throw a kegger celebrating his death at the site where the remains of his victims are still occasionally found. Is that who we are? Is that what Jesus would do? Is that what Jefferson would do? I was reminded of the tale told to me as a kid, of God’s angels singing with glee as the Red Sea came crashing back down on the Egyptians chasing the Israelites, drowning all of them. God rebuked them, saying, “The work of My hands is drowning in that sea – and you want to friggin’ sing?” (or something like that).

The official story from the Pentagon changed four times in the first four days! It went from OBL firing on the troops with one hand and using his wife as a human shield with the other, to, by the fourth day, not single person in the main house, including bin Laden, being armed when killed. Instantly, this created a lot of suspicion about what really happened, which itself was a distraction.

We did exactly what bin Laden said he wanted us to do: Give up our freedoms (like the freedom to be assumed innocent until proven guilty), engage our military in Muslim countries so that we will be hated by Muslims, and wipe ourselves out financially in doing so. Done, done and done, Osama. You had our number. You somehow knew we would eagerly give up our constitutional rights and become more like the authoritarian state you dreamed of. You knew we would exhaust our military and willingly go into more debt in eight years than we had accumulated in the previous 200 years combined.

I know it will be hard to turn the clock back to before 9/11 when all we had to worry about were candidates stealing elections. A multi-billion dollar industry has grown up around “homeland security” and the terror wars. These war profiteers will not want to give up their booty so easily. They will want to keep us in fear so they can keep raking it in. We will have to stop them. But first we must stop believing them.

Read Michael Moore’s full post here.

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the crowd that wants to see me dead

February 2, 2007

Death of a Presidentzero and i watched Death of a President the other night, a documentary-style film set in late 2007, detailing the assassination of one George W. Bush.  surprisingly well-handled, the film manages not to take sides on the issue of whether Bush and his policies are right or wrong, but instead focusses on the politics of the aftermath.  the build-up to the assassination itself is somewhat tedious (especially having to listen to Bush’s “staff” wax on about what an intelligent and moral man he is/was) but would be a logical place to start has this been an actual documentary about his death.  however, the filmmakers have kept in mind that this is supposed to fiction – and therefore, entertainment – and spend much of the first part of the film building suspense by teasing us with the idea that Bush could be assassinated any second now…  however, it is not ’til after the shooting that the film really starts to pick up, as we see how the US government tries to deal with the assassination.  priority number one: catch a suspect.  priority number two:  connect him to al Qaeda.  evidence?  make it fit the suspect.  a confession?  sweep it under the rug.

it is a clever film, and the message it sends is not that the President must die, but tries to imagine what would happen if he was assassinated – and it’s a bleak prediction.  the world is not necessarily a better place with Bush dead – Cheney has stepped up as President, the Patriot Act is expanded and people lose more of the freedom they are fighting so hard to protect, and at one stage, it seems another war is imminent.

the film was made by Film Four Productions in the UK, and was screened there on local tv after premiering at the Toronto Film Festival in 2006 where it won the International Critics Prize.  due to the controversial nature of the film, it suffered distribution problems in some areas (especially the United States), but is now available on dvd.  if you can’t find a copy anywhere, below is a link to a BitTorrent file.  if you’ve never downloaded a torrent file before, click here for some basic instructions.

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never to be trusted

October 11, 2006

(c) Daryl Cagle - www.slate.comCrooks and Liars has posted a clip from a recent press conference where reporter Stephanie Melveaux foolishly asks Bush a perfectly legitimate question.  watch as he smiles condescendingly while spouting off the usual drivel about how the US has done everything right.

“You’ve asked what we’ve done. We’ve created a framework that will be successful. I don’t — my judgment is, you can’t be successful if the United States is sitting at the table alone with North Korea. You run out of options very quickly if that’s the case. In order to be successful diplomatically, it’s best to have other partners at the table. You ask what we’ve done. We got the six-party talks started. And that’s a positive development. It’s a way to solve this problem diplomatically.”

gee, i hope this all goes as well as that whole Iraq thing.  and as Melveaux pointed out at the beginning of her question, North Korea refuses to attend the six-party talks, and wants to deal with the United States one-on-one.  Bush talks about running out of options – at least the one-on-one talks will provide an opportunity to actually discuss these options.  Bush can’t keep getting China and Russia to do his dirty work for him.  Sure, Kim Jong Il’s pretty crazy, but god, he’s not that scary.

and when all else fails, just blame Clinton.

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make them wish they weren’t born

September 28, 2006

i finally got around to watching Bill Clinton’s entire interview that was on FOX News Sunday this past weekend.  personally, i quite like the man.  sure, he was no JFK, but he was one of the least corrupt presidents that the United States has had.  and at least now he’s trying to atone for any misdeeds he may have committed.

(c) Mark Seligeri learned of the interview from a story on the local (New Zealand) prime-time news – i think it was a clip sourced from CNN, which (naturally) focused entirely on Bill’s little outburst.  i must admit, at the time i was thoroughly impressed with the way he dished it out.  i thought it was important to watch the whole interview to put it all into context, but was a little disappointed with what i saw.  don’t get me wrong – everything Clinton said was true, and i applaud him wholeheartedly for finally taking FOX to task.  but i think he could have handled himself a little better.  unfortunately, but also unsurprisingly, he was on the defensive from the get-go.  i don’t blame him – it was FOX News, after all, and interviewer Chris Wallace was patronizing from the very beginning.  but even though he didn’t take the bait, in the end, he still gave them what they wanted – a diversion from the actual information that he was trying to share.  the media outlets are now trying to turn him into a laughing stock (again).  i’m a little surprised FOX even bothered playing the interview in its entirety – they seem to love their little “Clinton goes crazy” montages.  but not everyone’s playing along.  MSNBC anchor/commentator Keith Olbermann had a few choice words to say about the media’s treatment of the issue – and then got stuck into the Bush administration himself.  but i think Jon Stewart sums it up best (god bless the Daily Show).

of course, after i had already found and watched the clips i wanted to link to on YouTube, i stumbled across a great blog called Crooks and Liars that has conveniently posted all the relevant videos in downloadable wmv and mov formats.  not only that, but they also have transcripts from various news stories.  an intelligent site with great content – now officially my New Favourite Blog, and earns a permanent spot on my links list.

one video they didn’t have was of British politician George Galloway ripping shreds off a Sky News anchorwoman; another fine example of how to handle a stupid question.  This time, the issue is the recent Israel-Lebanon conflict – again, it’s a shame the message might be ignored due to all the flying spittle, but it’s always nice when someone reminds a reporter how to do their job.

and i figured that while we were discussing verbal ass-whoopin’s during interviews, i’d post a link to this YouTube clip of FOX News anchor Julie Banderas taking a fanatical christian down a notch or two.  at least they give as good as they get.  (downloadable version below).

update:  Stephen Colbert forgot what the Word was on the Colbert Report the other night.  like everything else, it was all Bill Clinton’s fault.  this is another show that, for reasons unknown, we don’t get here on NZ television, so i have to rely on the internet for my Colbert fix.  thanks to Crooks and Liars for the video – they have tons more Colbert and Daily Show clips if that’s your thing.  and any clip from a FOX News broadcast is usually good for a chuckle.

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they don’t make lies like they used to

September 26, 2006

i hate to admit that i was watching FOX News earlier, but in my defence, there was nothing else on, and my BBC World reception was unwatchable.  but i learned that US Homeland Security will officially announce this morning that many of the bans on liquids and gels at US airports are being lifted.  no surprise, really, since Britain has already relaxed their restrictions, and let’s face it, the whole thing was pretty ludicrous.  but before it all gets swept under the carpet and they try to pretend it never happened, i thought i’d draw your attention to this article.

Lieutenant-Colonel (ret.) Nigel Wylde, a former senior British Army Intelligence Officer, has suggested that the police and government story about the “terror plot” revealed on 10th August was part of a “pattern of lies and deceit.”

“The idea that these people could sit in the plane toilet and simply mix together these normal household fluids to create a high explosive capable of blowing up the entire aircraft is untenable,” said Lt. Col. Wylde, who was trained as an ammunition technical officer responsible for terrorist bomb disposal at the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in Sandhurst.

okay, i’m sure lots of people have said or thought this recently.  it’s just nice when someone reputable with actual experience in the subject in question steps up and says something.  it’s a shame the mainstream media would never report on it, but it’s nice all the same.