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[Of course, there are spoilers below!]

OK, so let me start by saying that I had heard of this movie awhile back, watched the trailer, and was not in the least interested in watching it. I don’t remember exactly why, but I have a vague memory of thinking it was probably stupidly dark and mediocre. It’s nothing of the kind.

The writing and the directing/acting are excellent. So are the visuals (camera, lighting). The editing is also very well done, although I would have cut about 15 minutes, shortening several scenes, since the movie began to drag. Since I was watching via streaming, I performed this “cutting” myself by slightly jumping with a click of a mouse several times.

I followed my preferred way of watching movies which is, I watch, then I read the reviews. I want to watch with a “clean” mind, no outer influences or predispositions. This can often mean that I will miss some important, even very important information, even misunderstanding fundamental aspects, but so be it. Prior, I watched a trailer and read some short plot/topic descriptions, then sat down to watch the movie. I was missing some important information, but it actually made the watching more enjoyable.

First, although I had been told the story of Job (from the Bible) before, I completely forgot about it, and no longer had any idea what it referred to. So, although I had read some references that said the movie was a retelling of the Job story, I was oblivious to what that would be. Second, I also just read a very brief description about Hobbes’ Leviathan saying that it discussed the power of the state over an individual, but no more, so I couldn’t really appreciate any deeper inquiry in that regard. Vulture has a very nice short take: Leviathan’s title evokes Thomas Hobbes’s classically grim work of political philosophy — that’s the one where he argues for the value of monarchy and that life is “nasty, brutish, and short”.

The point of the Job tale in the Bible is exactly to instill in Christians total passivity to anything and everything that happens to them or anyone else. They are told that everything is God’s will, so if something bad happens, that also must be God’s will. Consequently, if it’s God will, and God can’t be wrong, and God is utmost good, it only follows that there must a good reason for all the evil that happens. What exactly that good reason is is never explained or discussed, because the point is just to instill passivity and subservience to evil – along with complete submission to religious authority (especially of the corrupt kind) and to stop complaining and just shuffle along. Which explains why every Christian society has been to date profoundly corrupt, evil, and violent – it’s the passivity and collaboration with evil. (The same applies to any similar religion or ideology which preaches this same passivity, by the way). This does not mean in any way that everything that Christianity preaches is bad, it’s a mixture of great extremes in terms of good and evil.

So, in Leviathan, we have Kolya (Alexey Serebriakov), a simple mechanic who lives in some dismal town in the Russian North in his little property. The place is actually quite beautiful in its own way, as all seaside places are, but it’s magnificently made dismal and despairing in the way it is filmed.

Then a corrupt local politician, Vadim (Roman Madyanov), the mayor, sets his sights on Kolya’s beach-front property, and decides to appropriate it via a compulsory purchase order and by paying him peanuts for it. Kolya, naturally very hot-headed, is outraged. First, he doesn’t want to sell his property, and certainly not for peanuts, and he doesn’t want to move, and he wants to fight the mayor. So he asks for the help of an old army buddy, Dima (the handsome Vladimir Vdovichenkov), who is now a self-assured, fearless Moscow lawyer. From what I understood of the character, Dima must have been used to fighting cases in court, not in the real word of raw power. So he naively thinks that he can bluff his way in this case, by threatening to expose Vadim via some dirt obtained from some Moscow colleague, after normal legal actions are stalled due to the corrupt locals. It was never clear to me how close Dima was to this Moscow guy or how he got the dirt. After reading some reviews, it appears such plot aspect is just that, unclear. In any case, the entire small town is a corrupt structure, and it’s not the law, but raw power that rules. The head of the rot is the mayor, but he obviously doesn’t work alone, he has full support of several other civil servants, a militia of thugs, etc. And, very importantly, that includes the local Orthodox bishop. Dima, thinking himself very smart, threatens the mayor with the dirt obtained. And this is where he gets in way over his head.

Meanwhile, in terms of family, Kolya’s adolescent son is lost and rebelling, especially against Kolya’s live-in and second wife, Lilya, correctly described by the Guardian as the ‘seductive, mysterious Elena Lyadova’. So Kolya’s life is a particular mess, but Elena seemed to love Kolya and vice-versa. Their bond being the only thing that seemed to be standing firm in the entire story. What happens next, for reasons that I couldn’t fathom, is that, after Dima enters their lives, Elena goes off to have sex with Dima.

Then, in what is supposed to be a subsequent festive birthday party, Dima gets violent with Elena. Did she threaten to tell Kolya about them? I was at a complete loss. The audience is not shown the altercation. Regardless, Kolya finds out about his wife’s betrayal with his best friend.

Meanwhile, the mayor who was not to be taken down, and certainly not without a fight, has figured out his counter attack and acts, quickly and decisively. He has the lawyer beaten, threatens to kill him, and tells him to run back to Moscow. Dima, understanding that things work differently when corruption dictates the rules, is on the first train to Moscow. Then Elena, after a rather forceful intercourse with Kolya, goes off to gaze at the sea and apparently commits suicide because she is next found dead. The police blame Kolya for her death, saying she was murdered by a blunt hit on the head. He is taken in custody, charged, convicted and his son is about to be sent to an orphanage, but is saved from this horrible fate by a couple that were Kolya’s friends. Therefore Kolya loses his loved wife, his son, his old friend, he gets blamed with his wife’s murder, and is sent to a maximum security prison for 15 years (or so). His life is completely ruined. All returns to the “norm” in the little seaside city. In the final major scene, the mayor attends church with his elegant wife and small son, and all the rest of his people, and the priest pontificates about how God is truth, and how It is bringing truth back to Russia, etc.

The Atlantic has a very good description of several plot aspects and the main issue of the story about how can an individual fight a structure of corrupt power, in this case, the state. But whether the structure is the state or not, it’s irrelevant.

How to fight a corrupt and powerful enemy is the central question of the movie. When a person suffers great injustice and wants to fight back, that is the question to be asked: can they fight back or will this means “committing suicide” – that is, suffering violent retaliation from the powerful people who committed the injustice in the first place?

In the middle of the story, Dima, being Kolya’s friend, presses Kolya to just forget the house, the maddening injustice, leave the property to the mayor, and take his family to Moscow and start anew there. Certainly he would be able to scrap off a living and move on from there, his friend tells him. But Kolya is burning with the injustice that he is the target of, and he is dying to fight back. What he doesn’t realize, and neither does his naive lawyer buddy, is that to fight you need arms (of whatever kind), but you need enough of them. And to expect the mayor to buckle with the mere threat of exposure was not enough arms. The powerful always will use whatever they have to maintain their power and impunity for their injustices. Dima underestimated the mayor. So did Kolya.

Kolya ends up paying a horribly heavy price for their mistake. Had he let himself be completely robbed by the mayor, and moved on to Moscow, he would have started anew in good health, with his wife by his side (question mark, though, given her previous senseless adultery), and his son. A move that I imagined would have then presented as the greatest danger the son starting to hang out with bad people in Moscow. And maybe him losing Elena to Dima or whoever. But overall, much better than the horrors he would face by losing his wife and spending 15 years in a maximum security Russian prison.

Which is what I call the ‘Polish woman question’ (just for the sake of a short label). I think I blogged about this Polish woman case, but I just did a short search and could not find it. Some years ago, I came across an article which mentioned the story of a Polish Jewish woman who was sent at the end of WWII to a concentration or extermination camp. I don’t remember which. Because she spent about a year there, not more, before being liberated, and obviously because of other details that I no longer remember, she survived her ordeal. She then returned to her native village in Poland to reclaim her house that the local Polish villagers had robbed her of when they sent her to what they probably thought would be her death. The reaction of the Polish villagers to her trying to get her house back was to kill her.

That’s the story in Leviathan. “What then shall we do?” In trying to fight for justice against horrible perpetrators who have power, one must always consider how vicious the perpetrators are and how they will retaliate. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about this. And sometimes the only thing you can do, unless you want to get yourself immediately killed, is to walk away, leave everything to the criminals and see if you can start anew elsewhere. At least you have your head connected to your neck, and are not being tortured.

At the same time, not everyone that fights for justice, even when running extreme risks, loses or ends up dead. The price you may be required to pay for justice must always be weighed and considered.

Lastly, basically all Western critics of this film jumped at the chance to scream about the “corruption in Russia” problem depicted by the movie, by which they mean “Putin’s Russia”, which could be further specified as “corruption in the only country where there is corruption, which is Putin’s Russia, because, you know, everything bad in the world has to do with Russia and it’s Putin’s fault”.

The director himself said that living in Russia is like living in a minefield. The Guardian:

Oscar contender Leviathan is a frank portrayal of a corrupt Russia. In a rare interview, its director talks about his country’s ‘eternal curse’ and why voting there would be a ‘completely pointless step’

Svyagintsev: “It’s like being in a minefield, this is the feeling you live with here. It’s very hard to build any kind of prospects – in life, in your profession, in your career – if you are not plugged in to the values of the system. It’s a stupid construction of society, and unfortunately the eternal curse of our territory. The ideas of the rule of law, of equal rights are hardly discussed here. There is discussion in society, but it’s pointless. I have a feeling of the absolute futility of pretending to the right to have a say in any situation. I’ve turned 50 and I’ve never voted in my life. Because I’m absolutely certain that in our system it’s a completely pointless step.”

At the same time, Svyagintsev pointed out that this movie is based on a real event that happened in the… United States.

What is so annoying about the West is that it’s always pointing fingers at other countries to draw attention away from how corrupt it is, often at the same or worse levels.

In what country in the West don’t powerful people completely wipe out defenseless individuals time and time again? Not only within their borders, but when Western countries go commit mass murder and torture abroad, or supply the arms and technology for others to do so?

“The ideas of the rule of law, of equal rights are hardly discussed here. ”

And in the West, people blabber about rights all day while violating them in plain view all the same. How nice if we didn’t have to live in such an insane finger-pointing farce.

p.s. I couldn’t find answers to some questions I had about the plot, namely, what happened during the birthday party brawl and who killed Elena, and given that I was skipping short segments of the film, I went back to watch parts of the movie again to see if I had missed any information and then updated my initial reflections above.

I confirmed something very interesting about the way this story is written. Some things are purposefully not shown nor explained. This is very interesting. We don’t see what Dima did to Elena at the birthday party, nor the reaction of Kolya and the men. Nor do we see Elena killing herself, although in the latter case, it’s pretty obvious that’s what happened.

Overall, very, very good movie. I hope good movie making doesn’t die in Russia now that the Soviet Union is gone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If you haven’t watched “Inside Job”, you must do it now 🙂 Not a second to waste. In fact, this documentary should be shown to every high schooler so that they learn just how corrupt the American govt and financial system is.

Inside Job is a 2010 American documentary film, directed by Charles Ferguson, about the late-2000s financial crisis. Ferguson, who began researching in 2008,[3] says the film is about “the systemic corruption of the United States by the financial services industry and the consequences of that systemic corruption”.[4] In five parts, the film explores how changes in the policy environment and banking practices helped create the financial crisis.

Inside Job was acclaimed by film critics, who praised its pacing, research and exposition of complex material. It screened at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival in May and won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

http://www.sonyclassics.com/insidejob/

Excellent article on an excellent achievement:  a male escort, Francesco Mangiacapra, has gone public about Italian priests involved with illegal drugs, soliciting (male) prostitutes,  blackmail, embezzlement and other crimes.

Says the Churchmilitant: as many as 60 priests involved.

Well done, Francesco Mangiacapra! If only there were more people willing to expose the rot that LGBTs are in the world.

The preliminary hearing is set to take place on March 8, where the judge will examine the evidence for accusations of fraud, drug distribution, embezzlement, extortion and self-laundering.
The case began when male escort, Francesco Mangiacapra, decided to go public about services he had been rendering to Fr. Morini, who falsely presented himself as a judge.
But the diocese only acted once it found out that national broadcast show Le Iene was after the priest, so the bishop suspended him from his activities “due to sickness” and then transferred him to a €200,000.00 house, bought especially for him (monthly utility bills and maid included). These were allegedly obtained from the bishop of Massa Carrara-Pontremoli, Giovanni Santucci, through blackmail, as Morini had “threatened to expose to the public eye unpleasant facts about many diocesan priests.” Bishop Santucci also gave Don Euro €4,500,00 from his own personal bank account, as well as €1,000.00 from diocesan funds. The bishop is also currently under investigation.

What garbage of people.

What I find striking is the many ways that Americans are conditioned like Nazi Germans. On the one hand, in their discourse, they insist on following the law (and by “law”, they mean American laws!). So much so that when there is a law that would prevent American secret agencies from breaking laws regarding American citizens, that is, the national sphere of laws, these agencies must find a way to break the law secretely or to bypass the law through justifications, or to take advantage of legal loopholes, for example, all these secret courts and decisions for mass surveillance. In other words, they allege to the populace that they are “following the law” while behaving in a criminal way. But they must pretend to follow the “rule of law”.

On the other hand, Americans clearly state that they will break all laws in every other country if they want, for purposes of “national security”, “spying”, etc. In other words, the attitude is that they can disregard the rule of law completely once the sphere moves from internal to external. Yes, they justify acting in a criminal way internationally by pretending it’s to “catch bad guys”, but still they believe they are entitled to be criminals as they please. Internally they must pretend to be “following the law”, externally, no pretense is necessary.

It’s very Nazi.

See this article from National Review for a clear example:

 

Fred Fleitz March 7, 2017 3:06 PM @fredfleitz
According to press reports, WikiLeaks today released thousands of highly classified CIA documents on methods the CIA allegedly is using to conduct cyber warfare. If these documents are legitimate, this illegal release will ruin cyber programs worth billions of dollars that the CIA was using to do battle with America’s enemies, especially terrorist groups.
The CIA officer who took the law into his or her hands to release this material justified this release by claiming this data “urgently need to be debated in public, including whether the CIA’s hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers and the problem of public oversight of the agency.” The source also said he or she “wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.”
What nonsense. If the traitor truly believed this program violated U.S. law or endangered the privacy rights of America, there are numerous legal avenues he or she could have used, including the CIA inspector general and the House and Senate intelligence committees. CIA officers take an oath to protect classified national-security information. Such a massive illegal disclosure in violation of the CIA secrecy oath is not an act of courage or whistleblowing, it was “a Snowden” — an act of cowardice by a disgruntled individual who never should have been hired by the CIA.
This disturbing development raises three urgent questions about mismanagement of the CIA during the Obama administration. Why did CIA have a cyber-warfare office at all? I noted in a December 2016 NRO article that there are cyber-warfare offices in four separate intelligence agencies. I suspect this is because different intelligence agencies all wanted to cash in on funding opportunities on a high-profile topic. Such overlap is getting worse and make U.S. intelligence more bureaucratic and less efficient. The new leaker may very well have been hired as a result of CIA Director Brennan’s decision to lower standards for CIA hiring because he wanted to create a more diverse CIA workforce and Brennan rushed to staff his new cyber office. I wrote about this in Investor’s Business Daily in 2015. It also reportedly has been difficult for the U.S. government to find personnel to staff cyber offices who can meet the agency’s usual security requirements. This probably is why Edward Snowden was hired despite his lack of a college degree and how he was able to increase his access to classified material and move between intelligence agencies despite his poor performance. …
A couple of points to note:
If these documents are legitimate, this illegal release will ruin cyber programs…
See the emphasis on the release being illegal, and not the fact that all these activities that the dump discloses are illegal around the world.
Then:
If the traitor truly believed this program violated U.S. law or endangered the privacy rights of America, there are numerous legal avenues he or she could have used, including the CIA inspector general and the House and Senate intelligence committees.
The pretense that corrupt secret agencies and politicians who deliberately state they can commit any crime they want in any country is the person to go-to in case there is a legal problem is downright funny. But still, there is the insistence on the lie that the US functions based on legitimate government officials.
programs worth billions of dollars that the CIA was using to do battle with America’s enemies, especially terrorist groups.
In other words, people that the CIA/Deep State wants to persecute without any regard to the rule of law anywhere, and who, by the history of the US, are usually the people fighting for basic human rights, health care and education, and democracy, in countries ruled by US-sponsored dictators.
I noted in a December 2016 NRO article that there are cyber-warfare offices in four separate intelligence agencies. I suspect this is because different intelligence agencies all wanted to cash in on funding opportunities on a high-profile topic. Such overlap is getting worse and make U.S. intelligence more bureaucratic and less efficient.
But this is what happens when you have a country of greedy and corrupt individuals in a monstrous capitalist system. Everyone wants to take part of the graft. Corruption grows because it meets no resistance, only like-minded individuals.
And why four different cyber-warfare offices? Well, unlike the author, the first and foremost one, I would say, is the greed – imagine just how much public money you can be given on a silver platter, without ever having to behave ethically or show results of any kind?  And then there is the mafia aspect. These people have all understood they are above the law since the American public is content to look the other way. The public is happy with a sham of an oversight. So multiple offices means they each work for a “mafia” head, having to answer to that political/elite faction only. It’s like ancient Rome.
Finally:
Heads should roll over this leak.
But, notice, not over the entire criminal activity of the CIA and other military and secret agencies.
American capitalism – corrupt to the core.

 

 

And, good news:

Anonymous hackers take out darkweb child porn sites – and leak 381,000 email addresses

That is a lot of addresses! Just horrible.

“Troy Hunt of HaveIBeenPwned says that 21% of the addresses used match information from previous leaks – suggesting they are people’s ‘real’ email addresses, rather than ‘burner’ addresses used to conceal people’s identity.”

And which leads us the very same question this commenter asked:

Rich Rochy Rochester

Shame the FBI/CIA don’t bother doing the same. Good on them.

Indeed, why is it that an anonymous hacker had to do this? Where was the police? Although I know there are some police units that do this kind of work, nothing on this magnitude, insofar as what I have seen reported. And why don’t the military take out child porn sites? And as another commenter, Rico Bobby, replied:

Because it would implicate their bosses.. and themselves

And not only that, their main job is committing mass murder of innocent poor people of color abroad.

In any case, great job by these hackers and thank you, from me.

 

At least in terms of scale. Of course, in terms of widespread lack of character, it’s like all of the worse offenders in history, current and past.

Reuters: The United States Army’s finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced.

The Defense Department’s Inspector General, in a June report, said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. Yet the Army lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up.

As a result, the Army’s financial statements for 2015 were “materially misstated,” the report concluded. The “forced” adjustments rendered the statements useless because “DoD and Army managers could not rely on the data in their accounting systems when making management and resource decisions.”

================

And did you notice how this information was worded?

The United States Army’s finances are so jumbled

Jumbled? The proper word is corrupt. To the core. And what would “materially misstated” really mean in ‘As a result, the Army’s financial statements for 2015 were “materially misstated,” the report concluded’? Perjury?

The abject failure that is this co-called democracy and its capitalist system.

 

 

 

 

I came across a report from a couple that traveled to Cuba that offered their experience. I have a similar expectation that this is what one could very well see in Cuba – particularly as a tourist.

Castro and his supporters achieved tremendous progress for Cuba, and he outsmarted the US’s evil desire to destroy this progress, and bring it under its heel of corruption and exploitation as it has done to dozens of other countries in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

Caitlin Causey:

When my husband and I started telling others that we had begun making plans to travel to Cuba this summer, their reactions ranged from curiosity to something like thinly veiled horror: Cuba, of all places? Fidel Castro, communists, the missile crisis in the ‘60s — why Cuba?

For us, the answer was simple: Cuba today is at a pivotal moment in its history, and has not been this accessible to regular Americans in more than 50 years. It is also one of the most interesting, culturally rich, and astoundingly gorgeous natural areas on Earth. When Christopher Columbus landed on Cuba’s northeastern shore in October 1492, he wrote that he “never beheld such a beautiful place.”

This we had to see.

But first, we needed to figure out how to get there. U.S. travel restrictions had been locked in place for decades, embedded in our country’s 1961 trade embargo and loosened only in late 2014. With additional lightening of limitations in March of this year, travelers like us could plan our trip without needing to apply for a visa with the federal government so long as our trip’s purpose fit into one of 12 pre-approved categories. These include humanitarian work, academic research, sport competitions and journalistic activities (hint, hint: this article’s for you, feds!). Purely touristic travel, however, is still technically prohibited under U.S. law.

Once the legal details were ironed out, we booked two flights: one to Mexico, and one from Mexico to Havana. The good news is that this type of roundabout entry into the country will soon be unnecessary, with direct flights from the States to several Cuban cities scheduled to resume this fall. Denver’s own Frontier Airlines has even been awarded a number of daily trips by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Soon, we were stuffing last-minute snacks and sunblock into our backpacks and locking the door to our Glenwood home behind us. As we exited customs in the Havana airport about 24 hours later, a blast of infernal tropical heat pummeled us — and I knew we had arrived.

For the next three weeks we drove across the island from east to west in a small Chinese rental car, beginning in the eastern metropolis of Santiago de Cuba and eventually making our way back to Havana. Santiago was a fascinating introduction to the country, a vivacious city pulsing with music, dance and youthful energy. Here we stayed in the first of several Airbnb’s throughout the trip, booked online before we ever left home. Airbnb has taken off since beginning operations in Cuba last year partly because private homestays, or casas particulares, are one of a few limited forms of private enterprise allowed by the government.

After Santiago we drove northeast through Guantanamo province, stopping near the top of its eponymous bay to see if we could squint hard enough to spot our infamous U.S. base at the other end. The road then took us to lush, secluded Baracoa — arguably the most lovely town we visited in all of Cuba. Accessible only by sea for centuries before a single road was constructed in the 1960s to connect it with the rest of the country, Baracoa maintains its own unique atmosphere, culture and food traditions today. The heaping plate of spiced tetí we ate there — tiny fish the size of rice grains, native to the region — was the most unusual culinary experience of our trip.

From Baracoa we went west along Cuba’s northern shore, with stops in the sleepy colonial towns of Banes and Gibara. Further inland we visited stunning Camagüey and roamed its labyrinthine streets, which were reportedly designed to confuse pillaging bands of pirates a few centuries ago. Afterward we continued to Trinidad, a cobblestoned village surrounded by ghostly old sugarcane plantations, and then skirted the south coast until hitting the Bay of Pigs.

Would anyone believe that the Bay of Pigs, once the gruesome site of the U.S. government’s doomed 1961 attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro, is now a bona fide adventure destination attracting snorkelers and scuba divers from all over the world? Well, it is — and for good reason. Along the bay’s eastern edge is a wild and uncorrupted 22-mile stretch of coral reef and gentle crystalline waters. What an odd place for us to spend the Fourth of July this year.

For our final few days in Cuba, we saved the biggest sight for last: Havana. At once grand and decrepit, Havana was everything we had seen in pictures and more. Vintage cars the color of bubble gum and banana cream, crumbling colonial architecture, horse drawn carts full of papayas, children playing handball in the street, daiquiris, dancing, music pouring from open doors, sunsets over the sea wall: as our Lonely Planet guidebook put it, “No one could have invented Havana. It’s too audacious, too contradictory, and — despite 50 years of withering neglect — too damned beautiful.”

The same, I think, could be said of the entire country. The fascinating thing about Cuba in 2016 is that all of its glorious contradictions are coming to a head. It is obvious that change is happening — but what exactly that change might bring is anyone’s guess.

Cuba surprised me in ways that I did not expect. At every turn, something or someone was waiting to dismantle the old Castro-Communist-Missile Crisis narrative of Cuba that I (and most other Americans) had grown up with. Where I anticipated animosity, I was granted kindness; where I assumed danger, I felt safety; and where I expected ugliness, I found beauty. Cuba is not what it was in the 1960s, or the 1990s, or even what it was five years ago — and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

It’s always the innocent who are killed in these “terrorist” attacks that pay the price for the horrible wars and killings the French are doing abroad.

The French, stupid and corrupt as they are, are not focusing on killing less innocent people abroad, nor destroying less other countries, nor bringing to justice their grotesque military and politicians who enable these wars and horrors. No – they want to stop the “terrorist attacks” – which are a reaction to all the killing the French are doing to other innocent people abroad, notably in Africa and the Middle East.

Every time I hear one of these people who were there on the Promenade saying, “Oh my god, it  was like a war zone, with bodies all over it, so horrible,” I feel like telling them, “See? That’s what the French, the Americans, and the British are doing to poor people in Africa and the ME every single week.”

You have to agree that a lone wolf attack like this – with something that is not a standard weapon – is a brilliant attack from a tactical perspective, because it is very easy to carry out (relatively speaking), it requires basically only one person, it’s incredibly cheap, it raises no suspicions if carried out in a minimally smart way (and this guy was really smart about how he went about it), and it causes a huge impact. The damage and the media attention is just berserk. I mean, he alone killed about as many people as the November attacks which were much, much more complicated.  Lastly, this kind of attack, as some authorities already underscored, is basically impossible to prevent.

I was extremely impressed by an account of an “action guy” who died tried to get on the truck to stop the driver. From the little information that was given, the guy was on a motorcycle, and he cuts in front of the truck (?), then tries to grab onto the door near the driver, but the driver shoots at him, and he falls and dies  overrun (?) by the truck. It was an eyewitness account and there wasn’t a lot of detail. But just with this little bit of information, I was just stunned at this guy’s capacity to just dive into action, like a scene from one of those action movies – except this was real life. Just incredible. Just amazing how someone could think about all this in a split second and just go into serious action, risking their life and all. I mean, just running out of the way of the truck is one thing, but this? Wow.

Updated on July 23: OK, so now the media has identified this guy (Franck) who told in more detail what happened. It’s still very amazing. His wife was with him on the motorcycle. His son was at the square the truck was heading to. He made a decision right then to try to save his son’s life even if he got killed in the process. He tells his wife to get off the motorcycle. He then nears the truck and ditches the motorcycle. He continues on foot,  manages to jump and cling to the truck’s door with one arm and starts punching the driver with his free arm. He says the “terrorist” didn’t even flinch! Terrorist grabs his gun and points at his face but gun doesn’t fire. Finally terrorist hits guy on his head with the gun and the guy falls off. Another guy who was also on a bike (Alexandre Migues) tried to do something similar. And he obviously wasn’t shot in the head so we have to ask: did the terrorist actually have bullets? Or just a malfunctioning gun? However, the description of what took place from grainy footage in the news report describes things a bit differently.

What was the response from the Nazi French regarding this attack? They’ve just announced they are going to bomb more  people in the Middle East. They are going to kill more innocent people – hence there will be more “terrorist” attacks.

We live in a world where there are big terrorist governments (e.g., the US, UK, and France) and small terrorist groups. The scale of horrors from the terrorist governments is much bigger than from the terrorist groups – although you’d never ever know this from Western media. And the so-called terrorist groups are often covertly funded by the terrorist governments in the West to fight their proxy wars. You have to say, it’s a horrible world.

I commented on the images in the media on my previous post about the attacks. I am just dumbfounded that we never see pictures of people dying and being blown up in the wars in African and the Middle East. They are being killed and killed and the Western media basically never show their bodies, their faces, their identities, they never interview the survivors, they never tell of their suffering…

You have to say, it’s very Nazi. It’s like the Jews just disappearing and disappearing and no one cared to know who they were.

Not a good time for the Olympics right now – not only because of the terrorism threat. This is not a new thought for me – I had already really felt disgusted at the Winter Olympics last time and at other games before that. This is how I saw the last Winter Olympics:  mostly just a huge expensive party for privileged kids from rich countries who promote a way of life that is totally disconnected from the horrible reality of many people around the world, including that brought about by poverty, oppression, and wars which their governments are profoundly enmeshed in producing. I was often disgusted while watching the Games because of this context.

Added July 20:

LOL!

“Nice est la ville la plus vidéosurveillée de France avec 1400 caméras visionnées par différents agents 24h/24 au CSU (Centre de supervision urbain). ”

So what do we find out now? Nice is the most camera-monitored city in France with 1,400 cameras! And yet the guy went ahead right under their noses. I saw an article describing the terrorist saying “he wasn’t very intelligent.” Maybe not, in the intellectual sense – but the guy outsmarted 60 million French idiots without much effort! The article above in francebleu also talks about the fact that France has two laws prohibiting these big trucks from circulating at certain times.  And yet nobody told the truck not to circulate. Why not? Because the city needs to give out exceptions to trucks making deliveries, etc., to all the restaurants and bars, for example. You know the French can’t be deprived of drinking their wine and having their cheese while their military is murdering masses of innocent people in Africa and the ME.

So I see that we are full steam ahead in the post-attack “find the people to be blamed!” stage.

The police, the city council, the prefecture, Hollande and Valls, everyone is now the target of blame, criticism, and seething anger coming from everyone else in a big huffing and puffing circus.

The police has defended itself saying that while they have this enormous quantity of cameras, they can’t assign an agent simply to watch one little screen 24/7 – this would mean 1,400 agents just sitting there for each 8 hour shift, or 4,200 agents just sitting on their stupid French behinds for a round-the-clock coverage – not counting weekends, because you know the French don’t work on weekends. LOL!  In other words, most of the their camera system is ineffective, not to say useless. Now what I’d be really curious about is just how many agents they currently employ to watch these 1,400.cameras. Like three? I would not be surprised.

The French president has also put a call out to French citizens to join their reservists. Oh, a militia! Here it is, folks. You’re watching it right before your eyes. The Milice française, or French Militia, is growing again.

What a disgusting world.

July 23, 2016:

Heh! New act in the Nice attack circus: the French government wants all video evidence of the attack destroyed. Unbelievable. Told ya – the French are corrupt to the core. I was surprised that the city of Nice stood firm and refused – but maybe they are afraid their heads will roll as scapegoats if the government has them destroy the footage – given all the compensation lawsuits that lie ahead.

Not only that, now my curiosity is extremely peaked at what that footage actually contains in this regard. I mean, it must be something quite damning about the police.

Added:

And I have found part of my answer: an interview with the policewoman (Sandra Bertin) that heads the police video surveillance center in Nice. She says that less than 24 hours after the attack, she was harassed by someone from the government to lie about the presence of  French national police at the attack site – contrary to what appeared in the screens/videos she was watching at the time. She has refused to lie and she has told the media about it! Hah! And that’s one answer as to  why the French government wanted to have them erase the security videos. They are going to be creamed with lawsuits – which are going to claim the government failed in its duty to provide the proper police security for such an event. The corrupt-to-the-core French are at it again! They lost this round however. Her full interview will be published tomorrow – it should make for an interesting reaction. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the best article so far on the Sanders’ sell-out to criminal, vile Clinton:

The worst disservice Sanders has done to his supporters, other than to lead them on a wild goose chase for real change, is to virtually ignore his rival’s vaunted “experience.” He need not have mentioned Hillary Clinton’s Senate record, since there was nothing there; her stint as law-maker was merely intended to position her for a run for the presidency, according to the family plan. But there was a lot in her record as Secretary of State.

As she recounts in her memoir, she wanted a heftier “surge” in Afghanistan than Obama was prepared to order. Anyone paying attention knows that the entire military mission in that broken country has been a dismal failure producing blow-back on a mind-boggling scale, even as the Taliban has become stronger, and controls more territory, than at any time since its toppling in 2001-2002.

Hillary wanted to impose regime change on Syria in 2011, by stepping up assistance to armed groups whom (again) anyone paying attention knows are in cahoots with al-Nusra (which is to say, al-Qaeda). In an email dated Nov. 30, 2015, she states her reason: “The best way to help Israel…is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad.”

In her memoir she criticizes Obama for not doing more to oust the secular Assad regime. She has repeatedly stated during her campaign that she favors a no-fly zone over Syria, like the one she advocated for Libya. That means conflict with Russia, which is bombing sites in Syria, with the permission of its internationally recognized government, under what Russia’s leaders (and many rational people) consider to be terrorists’ control.

Sanders–sorry, I cannot call him “Bernie” anymore, since he has become precisely as avuncular as Dick Cheney–could have effectively attacked Hillary the Skjaldmær (Old Norse for “Shield-maiden,” referring to an often berserk warrior-woman) for her role in the destruction of Libya. But no! Always referring to her deferentially as “Secretary Clinton”—as though her actions in that role merit respect—he rarely alluded to her greatest crime at all. That’s unforgivable.

(Yes, in one debate he mentioned Libya in passing—timidly, and with no follow-up. While he repeatedly mentioned how The Secretary had voted for the Iraq War and he hadn’t, he hardly exuded moral outrage about that or any other Clinton decision. His campaign was all about her Wall Street ties and well-paid, secret talks, the transcripts of which he once wanted to see but has now apparently lost interest. It was never about “foreign policy,” which is supposedly her forte. He may call himself a “socialist,” but he’s no anti-imperialist. He has voted in favor of every “defense spending” bill, supported the NATO assault on Serbia in 1999, supported Israel’s attack on Gaza in 2014, etc.)

He could have attacked Clinton savagely—with the savagery of mere matter-of-fact honesty—by citing those emails exchanged between Clinton and her vicious confidant and former adviser Anne-Marie Slaughter, in which the latter—under the subject line “bravo!”—congratulates her on engineering Obama’s agreement for the bombing of Libya. (On March 19, 2011, as the bombing of Libya began, Slaughter wrote: “I cannot imagine how exhausted you must be after this week, but I have NEVER been prouder of having worked for you. Turning [Obama] around on this is a major win for everything we have worked for.”

He could have quoted that email from Sidney Blumenthal, that Svengali figure who has long been Clinton’s unofficial mentor (along with Henry Kissinger and others): “No-fly! Brava! You did it!” (Brava, if you’re interested, is the feminine form of Bravo.)

He could have repeatedly used that damning clip that reveals Hillary’s joy at the grotesque murder of Moammar Gadhafy—-who had become a friend of Tony Blair, Silvio Berlusconi, and the CIA as of 2011—at the hands of Islamist thugs, who rammed a stick and knife up his anus on camera just to make it more humiliating. His ads could have started with some appropriately edited version of this. And ended with this. And left the people to draw their own conclusions.

He could have asked, “Why the hell did you appoint Dick Cheney aide Victoria Nuland as Under Secretary of State for Eurasia, and support and fund that coup in Ukraine in 2014 in your goddamn ambition to expand NATO?”

But no. He didn’t have it in him. And now he wants his youthful erstwhile followers to transfer their support to someone who is not only the embodiment of Wall Street, with all its blood-sucking and all its crookedness, but the personification of U.S. imperialism in an era when its depth of crisis has produced a state of perpetual war.

Savvy people in Syria and elsewhere surely understand what the Sanders endorsement means: Syria is the next Libya.

Hillary in the Oval Office, Binyamin Netanyahu at her side, will laugh as Assad gets her knife up his ass, chaos deepens, the draft is re-instated, and boys and girls—of all ethnicities, gay and straight together—march off to fight the Brava Wars drastically reducing youth unemployment and making legions more eligible for the GI Bill.

Even if Sanders doesn’t vote for the war (and why should there be a vote, after all, in this post-constitution era?), he will share responsibility.

Shame! And shame on any once “Bernie” supporter who follows him into his moral morass.

* * *

Feel the burn. The burn of the rigged system. Why be drawn into it—the object of Hillary’s praise, for switching so readily from him to her (for the sake of “unity”)?

What is there to unite with, but more corruption, exploitation, and wars based on lies?

The votes that matter are the votes on the street. Either Trump or Clinton will provoke mass upheaval. The key contribution of the Sanders campaign has been to lay bare for idealistic youth the magnitude of the rot in the system itself, while raising (however dishonestly) the prospect of “political revolution.”

It’s the hope Sanders has sold out. But yes, that’s what we need. Social, economic, and political revolution. Too bad he’s chosen the other side.

Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa JapanMale Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, (AK Press). He can be reached at: gleupp@tufts.edu

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Well done, Gary and Counterpunch! My impression had been, since I actually didn’t know much about Sanders before he started his presidential campaign, that he actually had integrity. That he actually was going to use his remarkable abilities as a politician and speaker to do good. To educate and guide the dumb and clueless American voters, especially the young ones, who have no alternative given to them as to understanding how the world works, especially in terms of power, and are conditioned to idolize the very structures that are ruining the world (like Wall Street and the military/arms industry).

I had thought, given that Sanders seemed to actually present a socialist idea for society, that he was not on the imperial bandwagon. I thought he wasn’t attacking Clinton on her vile imperialism because  that would mean directly antagonizing with her supporters, since they have been conditioned (and  many also deliberately choose) to support wars, mass murder, torture, etc. So I thought he was going for their disenfranchisement angle, to connect with them.

But as Leupp points out above, Sanders seems to be much, much  more rotten when it comes to military and imperialism issues. And maybe this is why he is congratulating himself – in the most ridiculous way possible – for having achieved something that he fancies to be momentous:  having her promise to raise the minimum wage to 15 dollars. It’s pathetic. This, after he caved in to Hillary, the most disgusting Republican in drag ever, the most mass murder loving Democrat ever.

A lesson why democracy doesn’t work in a vile world – or in a world full of dumb, selfish, and corrupt people such as the United States.

SteveM says (at The American Conservative):
July 8, 2016 at 9:18 am

Re: “If, knowing what we know of the congenital mendacity of Hillary Clinton, the nation chooses her as head of state and commander in chief, then that will tell us something about the America of 2016.”

Hillary is objectively a moral, ethical and performance based catastrophe. I.e., a corrupt, parasitic hack mediocrity.

That said, Hillary being where she is tells us two things about America in 2016.

The first is that the United States is run by a Deep State Crony Corruptocracy that allowed Hillary to be emplaced. And that pathological political-economic architecture cannot be unwound via the ballot box.

The second is that the American constitutional model (the 7 Articles delineating powers across the 3 branches of governance) is a fundamental failure. And because of its very nature, it cannot be repaired via constitutional means. I.e., the constitutional mechanisms for radically restructuring the 7 Articles are politically infeasible.

So there you have it.

P.S. Have I ever mentioned that you can stick a fork in America because it’s cooked?

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Indeed. The US has shown that its version of democracy is an abject failure. Financially, morally, and  regarding systematic human rights violations, like wars – it is grotesque.

And, as SteveM wisely points to above, voting in for one political clown or another will not solve the problem, because it will not change the system that is enormously crooked. And, since Americans refuse to vote for honest politicians who want a true system change, they will not revolutionize the system through voted-in changes. What remains of this is that the ballot box serves in the end for nothing much. So much so that so many people in the US see no purpose in voting.

Thus the US’s Deep State Crony Corruptocracy and Mass Murder Machine is increasingly on display for all to see – in everyone’s  face, as it couldn’t be otherwise – because it knows the American people are too corrupt, dizzy, mollified, or cowardly to take the powerful parasites on. The minority of honest and aware Americans who are aghast with the demise of ethics, decency, and rule of law in their usually beloved country can do little against a gigantic mass of idiotic and “march-along” citizens.

Which is one of the reasons I admire Fidel Castro so much. He saw how Americans plundered, how they destroyed people, how they treated everyone like dogs, unleashing horrible repression anytime anyone tried to have a minimally human society with human rights – always babbling along their idiocy about “freedom and democracy” while instituting the world’s most brutal dictatorships, along with their CIA torturers and their terrorizing – he saw  the way Americans love to exploit the poor around the world as cheap labor and simply plunder all natural resources through violent coups, wars, and threats. Obviously a lot of American imperialism has been outsourced around to the world through local corrupt and brutal elites – which the world has never shortage of. It couldn’t be otherwise. This way, the US can pretend to its ignorant populace to be fighting for democracy abroad while bringing about death and destruction through all kinds of secret operations.

And yet Castro took on the deadly American machine. And he won.

 

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