Michael Moore criticized AMERICAN SNIPER for glamorizing snipers, because they are in essence cowards who shoot victims in the back. It hit home, no doubt because exploiting the unfair advantage of shooting people unseen doesn’t just apply to soldiers who carry sniper rifles. The act of targeting people who can’t fight back is carried out by many more specialists than snipers. It applies to helicopter gunners, soldiers who shoot civilians, soldiers who use night vision goggles, drone operators, bomber pilots, and of course the entire Chair-Force and Navy, whose every shot is taken from afar. America’s war machine is designed to target the lesser-abled. In the title AMERICAN SNIPER, I’m not sure the second word describes cowards more than the first.
The New Yorker Magazine’s MLK Day issue has everyone upset. It’s not that there are no women in the march, sorry. That’s another issue. Marching with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are now iconic men of color whose lynchings have sparked recent protests. There’s Eric, Trayvon, Michael, and …WTF, one of the NYC cops whose murder might be attributable to the unrest. Maybe. But it wasn’t due to his race. To the elite, these lives may be equivalent, and to hell with #BlackLivesMatter. One of these things doesn’t belong here, one of these things just isn’t the same. One of these things killed all the other, including Martin. WHICH OF THESE MARCHERS WASN’T KILLED BY A COP, WANNABE-COP, OR THE US GOVERNMENT?
NE Patriots are serial cheaters, so are their namesakes. The unfair advantage is an essential of Capitalism.
First the New England Patriots got caught spying on their adversaries, now they’ve been tweaking the air-pressure of their game balls to sneak a ballistic handling advantage. Rules be damned, Patriot quarterback Tom Brady prefers his ordnance two pounds psi shy, hollow-points –if you will– which are also against regulation. For how long have the Patriots been manipulating advantages? And how else? They weren’t satisfied with the home field advantage on Sunday. Maybe officials should bring protractors to investigate the Boston gridiron. A level playing field doesn’t likely suit the Patriots either.
SORRY FOLKS. If you think President Obama went “Off Script” at tonight’s State of the Union Address, ask yourself why he punctuated “I have no more campaigns to run” with a HANDS-CLASPED PAUSE. In the context of his prepared remarks, that sentence was a lead-in, not a paragraph unto itself. Watch it againt and you’ll see that Obama’s pause was a trap to goad opponents to applaud so that he could “ad-lib” his crowd-pleasing “I know because I won both of them.” Prescripted mishaps are common devices to garner sympathy for embattled performers. Given that White House speechwriters anticipated a hostile reception, you’d think they would otherwise avoid lines that fed the antipathy, especially a throw-away line of exposition. Both setup and punchline added no substance to Obama’s remarks, except to grandstand.
HEY! Where are the Parisian masses supposed to have been marching behind the World Leaders?! Media images were cropped to suggest the Euro cabal headed the populist march, but a long shot establishes the illusion to have been a lie. It turns out the forty figureheads held their own parade for Charlie Hebdo in a vast no man’s land of high security. Video footage shows the leaders surrounded by only media, beckened to move hither and forth to simulate an advance, marching in place more or less like a chorus line of marionettes.
The January 2015 Smithsonian Magazine asks “Did Civil War vets suffer from PTSD?” which seems a progressive conceit from an arbitor of the accepted version of events. I think it’s useful to ask “Does a bear shit in the woods?” by which I mean, is it conceivable to you that bears don’t shit in the woods? Because your incredulity is critical. Apparently these days, history is written not by historians but by pollsters. Today the commonplace perception of history and science prevails as the dominant verdict. Whether Climate Change is real, or whether torture is torture, depends on how the public polls. Presumably truth being what we want it to be would poll favorably too.
A million people mobilized in Paris, including 40 WORLD LEADERS!? How long have their limousines been queued? I usually brag that our corporate foes can’t manufacture consent in the streets, except when they do.
Even the nuanced critiques of the CHARLIE HEBDO COMEUPPANCE in Paris begin by disclaiming “of course the cartoonists didn’t deserve to die.” But I wonder, have none among us yet earned our adversaries’ judgment? We western imperialists are quick to decide which of our opponents deserve to die, even as mere collateral in our preemptive justice-dealing. How uncharitable of our exceptionalism to think that only we can direct extrajudicial assassinations. Paris is a front line like any other noncombatant zone marauded by US drones. Our intelligence agencies aren’t bothered to explain who they target and why. Contrast our existential rationalizations with the concrete evidence, much of it rubble, with which anti-imperial defenders can condemn us.
Might a satirist consider exercising SOME discretion in one’s pursuit of Freedom of Speech? AS IF that is Charlie Hebdo’s lofty ideal. Heralded as court jesters, I would submit they are weapons of cultural imperialism, the point men propagandists in a very real, genocidal war. Playing along with the corporate spin that the Paris gunmen simply had no sense of humor, I can hardly imagine that American Taliban, many of our armed soldiers among them, would stomach similar desecrations of their Lord Jesus. One has merely to Google “Charlie Hebdo” to see the paper’s unrelentingly racist attacks on Islam. I do not condone executing their cartoonists, but I’m not about to stand in solidarity with their foolishness and bigotry, or their condescending secular ridicule in promotion of Western fascism.
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO- Someone tried to firebomb the Springs office of the NAACP yesterday. A pipebomb failed to ignite a can of gasoline left leaning behind the building located in Hillside, the city’s traditionally African American community. The FBI claims to be interested in a white male with a beat up pickup truck. Across the state activists are alarmed at the subdued media response and lack of outrage. I’d like to explain why this bomb, a typical racist MO, has yet to resonate here.
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO- We’ve seen the mapping of areas most vulnerable to the toxic emissions of Drake, our downtown coal plant. In particular we’ve learned that freezing temperatures mean that emissions aren’t dispersed according to best laid plans but instead linger in the neighborhoods to the southwest. What does that look like? Recent cold temps have afforded a glimpse. That mist in the morning in Ivywild and the Broadmoor hills is setting a mood which affects your mental health more than you know.
Maybe St. Louis police were offended by the NFL Rams’ “HANDS UP, DON’T SHOOT” salute because police would never consider brutalizing wealthy black football players. I doubt it, but this could suggest that police abuse of power is about CLASS more than race. That St. Louis police feel it is their place to tell African American players how to act would confirm this is about RACE.
In other Ferguson news, African American church leaders tell Ferguson protesters to go to hell. While students and solidarity activists organize protests nationwide, spiritual “community leaders” have been gathering in churches in a coordinated effort to ease police-community relations. Some of these are even religious ceremonies which feature law enforcement commanders as honored guests. “Make Change Not Noise” read a local program. The fence-sitters are forgetting that President Obama already got the CHANGE thing covered.
DENVER, COLORADO- The Denver Art Museum assembled a panel of Native American artists to build collections of recollections of the Sand Creek Massacre on the occasion of its 150 year anniversary. Question: what do the artists think of resting the onus of remembrance of a crime on its survivors? How convenient for the perpetrators of genocide –by a hair we mightn’t have had to remember it at all, the aim of genocide after all. If Westward Expansion had succeeded in wiping out indigenous peoples entirely, a genocidal program which is ongoing, to repeat the obvious, that the great white tribe wouldn’t have to be bothered to remember Sand Creek at all. Wrestling the narrative from the hands of the white fathers isn’t solved by seeking indigenous voices only, many of those by now have assimilated the colonialist temperment, the burden of remembrance must be taken up by the white supremacist if we are ever expected to atone.
Who is it you warn not to “play with matches”? Not an adult.
Halloween back on for Poconos! With Eric Frein captured, police won’t snipe at unidentified costumed suspects
Pennsylvania State Police have reopened schools and canceled their prohibition on Halloween activities, originally enacted for the sake of public safety although the suspect police were seeking had only targeted law enforcement officers. Obviously the public were being protected from police bullets. Today suspect Eric Matthiew Frein was captured, we have only the lawmen’s word that his injuries were not caused by his captors.
APPARENTLY it is our own laggard CONSENT that drives the manufacturing process –haha. I’m sorry, no question, the chicken came before the rotten egg. Go ahead, blame the victim. Shame on the public for balking at what Hollywood feeds us. The public rejects a red carpet trendsetter and apparently we’re showing insufficient sensitivity to the vehicle, herself a trafficked victim of the process. Yeah, no. Yes, Renée Zellweger is a casualty of artificial esthetic standards set by our culture industry, but that’s not the fault of its primary targets.
PINKWASHING has sunk to new depths with mercenary NGO Susan G. Komen of “Race for the Cure” endorsing pink-painted drilling bits used for oil and gas hydraulic fracturing. AS IF they don’t know that toxins which abound in fracking fluids are among the causes of cancer. The pink drill bits are perhaps sloppiness on the part of the NGO, as it recently announced a last ditch blitz to find a cancer cure by 2020. Cancer is a disease like alcoholism is a disease. We know its cause. The cure is to cut it off at the source.
AT BEST “KILL THE MESSENGER” portrays suspiciously deceased journalist Gary Webb as a heroic sleuth who refused to compromise his principles. At best, the film re-reports the enormous crime which Webb exposed in his series DARK ALLIANCE, that the CIA’s support of the Nicaraguan CONTRAs in the 1980s involved facilitating the smuggling of drugs into the US, in such large quantities as to precipitate the crack cocaine epidemic, delivered to our major inner cities by the CIA. UNFORTUNATELY the film muddies the crack connection, as Webb’s detractors did back then. Two deliberate plot omissions suggest this is probably not a coincidence.
Happening upon a Middle Eastern restaurant advertising itself to be Israeli-owned, I wondered, as a BDS-adherant promoting boycott, divestment and sanctions to pressure the state of Israel to abandon apartheid and illegal occupation, if this business fell under the BDS dragnet. BDS targets Israel and not just products from the Occupied Territories as moderates might prefer. At times BDS also focuses on prominent Zionist enterprises whether they be Israeli or American. Very likely these proprietors evangelize for Israel, but I thought a broader principle suggested itself: LET’S DO SUPPORT ISRAELIS WHO DON’T LIVE IN ISRAEL! Wouldn’t that be precisely the goal?! But a word about other Israelis for whom BDS is asked to make an exception, the oft-celebrated Israeli Left. Are we supposed to be reassured that many Israelis do not support the ethnic cleansing perpetuated by their right wing government? What of the purported majority of Americans who oppose our continued wars and our drone extrajudicial executions? If populations cannot prevent the crimes perpetrated in their name, indeed the responsibility falls to who other but them, does their objection earn any points until they act?
The two holes left from Buildings 1 and 2 of the pre-911 World Trade Center, figuratively or is it ostensibly, constitute the public area of the September 11 Memorial. Both are square, sunken “reflecting pools” into which water falls. Inside each an inner square hole appears to sink forever, deep enough that the base cannot be seen by even the tallest of visitors standing on tiptoe. Ironically the only location that affords a view into the bottomless mystery is the adjacent One World Trade Center, situated where the former WTC Building 7 stood, which I guess didn’t merit a memorial, the better to erase its memory. It would not surprise me if the fresh Eichmanns who will soon again populate the OWTC will be treated to an inside joke fitting for whichever of them chooses to stare into the abyss. At the base of the bottomless pools, printed in bold letters, shielded from errant-eyes by the post-911 no-fly zone, entrusted only to the exclusive fraternity of the top floor who know it already, read the words “WE DI DI T!”
DENVER, COLO.- A jury reviewing the case of Marvin Booker v Denver County Sheriff’s deputies has awarded $4.6 Million to the Booker estate for the excessive force that caused his homocide. Is this justice? Not yet, but it is a huge victory against police brutality at a moment when cities across the nation are errupting in protest and police officers have yet to be charged with wrongdoing. The five deputies who killed Marvin Booker have now been found culpable. The next step would be criminal charges. BTW, after the verdict was read, the five were given an armed escort out the back door away from the courtroom audience. Next time let’s see that happen in shackles.
If Christopher Columbus were alive today, I’m positive the murderous opportunist would be the toast of parties hosted by Henry Kissinger, Dick Cheney, and the many other ignoble perpetrators of conquest, genocide, theft, torture, and crimes against humanity, who today parade their war crimes unchallenged and unpunished. That’s something of the point of protesting Columbus Day, in particular, the WHY NOW.
DENVER, COLO- Well, you’ve almost missed the most compelling courtroom drama this side of television. Although even on TV you don’t see a judge having to repeatedly admonish the audience to refrain from reacting with audible incredulity at the clueless ambivalence, awkward dissembling, and brazen lies being told on the stand by sheriff deputies and their witnesses concerning the death of Marvin Booker, 56, in their custody on July 9, 2010. National law enforcement experts have been flown in to defend the Denver Sheriff’s Department policies. It’s been quite a laugh and the jury seems wise to the scheme. Closing arguments begin Friday. If you’ve followed the Denver Post coverage you can skip the next paragraph, but those who’ve been packing the federal courtroom these past three weeks can assure you, you haven’t been treated to the half of it.
With crowds still in the streets of Ferguson protesting the murder-by-cop of African American teen Michael Brown, another white officer in neighboring St. Louis has pumped another two digit number of bullets into another black teen. The off-duty policeman was attempting a “pedestrian check” –a term authorities are yet reluctant to explain– when according to him the victim began firing. Insensed residents are again taking to the streets. No confirmation yet on whether video will emerge to prove witness accounts that the victim was holding a sandwich and not the 9mm which the police claim to have found. Community leaders urge calm but fortunately St. Louis locals are undeterred. In Denver, where commuynities of color are still reeling from a string of typical lynchings by police, religious keepers-of-peace are successful at diffusing the outrage. They admonish against misplaced anger, declare we’ve made ourselves heard, laud us for bringing attention to racism, and urge everyone to all go home. Here, have a sandwich.
RIP Thomas Eric Duncan. Thankfully there is now some sympathetic coverage of the Ebola victim who traveled to the US from Liberia. It turns out Duncan wasn’t by definition a selfish refugee who lied to immigration officers. He can hardly be tagged “patient zero” unless an outbreak can be traced to him. We have no idea whether Duncan is the only infected traveler to exit West Africa undetected.