• It seems likely to me that Snowden has copies of material that the Russians and Chinese might not want to get out – probably on them also snooping quite intrusively on their own citizens. I’m not sure that’d be a deterrent (ostensibly the FSB might want to know what the NSA has that’s potentially embarrassing for the Russian government with its own people), but it’s a question I’d like put to someone with expertise like Robert Baer.

  • I should say, not just the branding, I’m quite certain Barbara believes that her family really shouldn’t have to put up with any more guff from the peasants who fail to understand quite how blessed they are to have the Bushes as their lords and masters. One journalist, maybe Taibbi, someone Taibbi like at any rate, reported an encounter on a plane where he made a modest gibe, as I recall, quite modest actually, and was surprised by the level of frost he got in response. I think, among others, Lee Hamilton was reportedly surprised by the degree to which he was treated as “the help” (not that one feels any particular sympathy for Lee, his supposed deathbed conversion aside).

  • Yes, well, as easy a statement as that seems to turn around, the branding is that the Bushes have sacrificed enough, but look for much more of it and unfortunately look for it be successful: Jeb stepping up to the responsiblity of leadership despite all the Bushes have given the country (it’s an outrageous glom onto part of the Kennedy myth – note the purposeful use of “myth”).

    That the reverse is true – the country has sacrificed enormously for the benefit of the Bushes, as amply demonstrated in Russ Baker’s “Family of Secrets,” and the MIC + Wall Street complex – will simply be lost amid the relentless repetition of the lie.

  • I’m not certain I believe that there’s really any discontinuity between Senator Obama and President Obama. As Dennis Kucinich observed to Chris Hedges, Obama’s voting record was atrocious. Adolph Reed, Paul Street, and the staff of Black Agenda Report have all argued pretty persuasively that Obama was a soulless sell-out for corporatocracy and the the MIC from the very beginning.

    That said, Obama seemed like a Bush employee here, just another of the PR flacks brought on recently to revitalize the Bush brand in preparation for Jeb’s candidacy.

  • Everythings Jake commented on the blog post The Dissenter’s Picks for the 2013 Oscars

    2013-02-25 14:19:43View | Delete

    Not really sure that I’m insisting on anything, but I have developed a point of view that you’re free to accept or reject. I hope to be persuasive because I tend to think the future of the species is dependent on unplugging, and well, if that makes me too serious, then I’m not sure how to fix that – feels to me like the stakes are too high.

    This guy, among others, woke me up: Advertising & the Perfect Storm – Sut Jhally

    And, I had said “some days I’d rather be ignorant,” similar to the way that guy in “The Matrix” wants to go back in and have steak taste like steak again. – by the way I quite loved that trilogy, and “V for Vendetta” and “Star Trek.” Anything by George Bernard Shaw. Probably still makes me a stick in the mud, but should it really subject to me a personal attack when I did not make one?

  • Everythings Jake commented on the blog post The Dissenter’s Picks for the 2013 Oscars

    2013-02-25 00:51:07View | Delete

    As usual, someone else is far better and more eloquent on the point than I: http://consortiumnews.com/2013/02/24/waking-up-to-irans-real-history-2/

  • Everythings Jake commented on the blog post The Dissenter’s Picks for the 2013 Oscars

    2013-02-24 18:23:33View | Delete

    Yeah, “Downtown Abbey” is another lovely exercise in propaganda – it’s been much better critiqued than I can do justice here. But paraphrasing, the idea that the poor will willingly disappear when, and carry the moral responsibility for, the injustices of the elite against them when those injustices become an inconvenience to that same elite seems to be a central preoccupation of the now unsurprisingly knighted Fellowes.

    And I agree with you in one respect, far better to be angered by and direct response to the real injustice than the fictional, but that fiction is fairly purposeful propagand a intended to distract. And it’s very successful in that respect so I’ve come to think it’s necessary to unplug from the bullshit stories the elite are selling you – on that, I’d recommend “Century of the Self” to you, or better yet Scott Noble’s “PsyWar” and “The Power Principle” (all of which are available on YouTube or Vimeo). Further to those, of course the real point of Downtown Abbey and at least the latest commercial incarnation of Sherlock Holmes, is to exploit your desires to sell you stuff you don’t need, now made for three cents an hour by children in the former colonies.

    Some days I’d rather be ignorant.

  • Everythings Jake commented on the blog post The Dissenter’s Picks for the 2013 Oscars

    2013-02-24 16:37:40View | Delete

    I forgot to cite the execrable “Eat, Pray, Love” as example (both book and even worse film – a plea to any god that might have influence: for the good of culture, please take Ryan Murhpy).

    A horrifically ironic title, given our abhorrent interference with the Indian people’s ability to simply feed themselves.

  • Everythings Jake commented on the blog post The Dissenter’s Picks for the 2013 Oscars

    2013-02-24 16:22:37View | Delete

    I admit I don’t know how to see story as apolitical or disconnected from the context in which it emerges. What I observe is that while hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers commit suicide, or one might more rightly say are murdered by Monsanto and its GMO cronies (speaking of socializing lobbyist expenses in the form of the State Department), and tens of millions strike against the grinding poverty that is neoliberalism’s aim (the wealthy are rich as a direct consequence of making others poor), the West once again fetishizes the spirituality of its colonies. And, of course, the film quite literally fetishizes the young, handsome and conveniently bare-chested native. It’s nearly as sickening as the hackneyed noble British pensioners retire in the former colonies meme (with full cast of regular British character actors), and it obscures the far darker truth that Orwell, Conrad and Greene so eloquently laid bare.

    So that’s what I saw.

  • Everythings Jake commented on the blog post The Dissenter’s Picks for the 2013 Oscars

    2013-02-24 15:07:20View | Delete

    Though there are a few (for Hollywood, strikingly) candid acknowledgments of historical fact, Argo obscures far more than which country bears greater acclaim for the successful extraction of the embassy staffers. Yes, it makes a nod to historical fact concerning Mossadegh, and the discerning might wonder exactly what the staffers were so eager to burn/destroy – we can surmise from Wikileaks releases on the Clinton State Department, that at the very least, the documents addressed considerable influene/pressure brought on the Iranian government to accede to international business concerns at the expense of its citizens.

    But, it is, interestingly, a movie where Iranians barely exist, until our heroic gang successfully dupes the beauracratic airport security rubes. Otherwise, we are mostly given montages of the direct counterparts of the CIA, who were in all likeliehood, trained by the CIA, or perhaps tortured by SAVAK officers trained by the CIA, in which case even such single minded devotion warrants that explanation. And they are shown as inhuman caricatures, devoid of humor or life as they try to track down the missing staffers. This in direct contrast to the fairly warm view of Bryan Cranston’s character and the assemblage of supporting Langley players.

    “Life of Pi” is, at end, an upper class fantasy that whitewashes the West’s interference in the colonies. Go to the wealthy area of your town, throw a rock in any direction and you will inevitably hit a well-off woman who gushes about how good and meaningful it is and all other sorts of pablum. That alone should key you in immediately to the fact that there is something deeply wrong with it.

  • One point for James Kunstler who’s been hopping up and down on this point for a while. I hope the rest of his analysis is still far-fetched.

  • What is always startling to me is the way the professional left turns left and mows down those who even just raise questions about the Democratic party. This with what often seems to be far greater viciousness then they bring to bear on the right, greater even than the right brings to bear on third partiers. Witness Matt Stoller on Sam Seder’s Majority Report or on Huffington Post Live discussing his recent Salon article.

    The responsibility is somehow always on us not to betray, to get in line, and never on the center left to accomodate our concerns.

    I have long respected Peter Coyote, Ellsberg, Chomsky, et al. And I once understood the safe tactic as part of a longer term strategy. But I no longer believe there is time for a longer term strategy. Given the recent reports that the dire effects of climate change are appearing much more rapidly than even the worst predictions of last couple of years, the longer term strategy no longer makes any sense. It seems possible to me that we are only a generation or two away from global extinction.

    More militant (not violent) but militant tactics are required, a break from centrist Democrats and Republicans that forces them to take seriously the concerns of those who have broken away, akin to the Populist movements during the last gilded age.

  • Everythings Jake became a registered member

    2012-11-01 13:10:41View | Delete