Film Review: The Reflecting Pool

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Film Review: The Reflecting Pool

Joel S. Hirschhorn

Whether you see yourself as a truth seeker, patriotic American, independent thinker or voter, or just someone with bad memories of 9/11, you should make an effort to view The Reflecting Pool, a new independent movie. It is not about 9/11. It is about the credibility of the official government story about 9/11. Though a drama, it is based on meticulously researched facts about 9/11 as revealed in the bonus material on the DVD.

Strange Bedfellows: The GOP Helps Clinton, Fearing Obama Victory

Game on, folks: looks like the GOP has decided that McCain's only chance is against Hillary Clinton, and they are pulling out all the stops to garner more "support" -- in appearance only -- to help defeat any chance of a Barack Obama nomination.

This is classic tactic -- not only a GOP one, but also a Democratic one: remember gaming the system during their primaries to keep their players in the race longer? The Democratic interference was less likely to kill a viable candidate's chances -- the entire Republican field sucked; now it simply sucks with an army of one instead of many. But the Republican party has played this game to great effect before: remember the Lamont/Lieberman primary? ePluribus Media covered the GOP/Lieberman alliance at that time:

As long as we're aware of it, we can counter it and let our own voters decide. Let's not be faced with another Liebermanesque type of "victory" due to Republican manipulations.

Those Magnificent Militant Flying Machines

Ben Hirschler/Reuters:
Killer robots pose latest militant threat: expert

"With the current prices of robot construction falling dramatically and the availability of ready-made components for the amateur market, it wouldn't require a lot of skill to make autonomous robot weapons."

Even today as I write this - cowering in fear inside my fortified closet - nefarious neo-clone mental midgets disguised in burkas wend their way through the dark streets of Whatisstan to obtain the last needed bit of high tech to unloose the flying robot army upon the forces of good and righteousness.

So if you hear the sound of a teeny-tiny-itsy-bitsy turbine engine, or happen to see a paper airplane flying erratically, you are advised to seek immediate shelter inside a fortified bunker.
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[Note: this little ditty brought to you by standingup, who is marginally responsible for it's generation. - ed. | | Image @ Gort The Day The Earth Stood Still, ©Twentieth Century FOX, 1951]

The Myth

Remember this:

President Bush laid down the standard of success when he announced the surge more than a year ago: "If we increase our support at this crucial moment, and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home."

Than yesterday we get this:

How Fox Justifies News Distortion

Bumped. Originally posted Fri, 02/08/2008 - 22:49.

Just a reminder...

From Wikipedia:

Jane Akre and her husband Steve Wilson are former employees of Fox owned-and-operated station WTVT in Tampa, Florida. In 1997, they were fired from the station after refusing to include knowingly false information in their report concerning the Monsanto Corporation's production of RBGH, a drug designed to make cows produce more milk than what is natural. Side effects of the drug include a 25% greater chance of mastitis (infection of the udders). They successfully sued under Florida's whistle blower law and were awarded a US $425,000 settlement by jury decision. However, Fox appealed to an appellate court and won, after the court declared that the FCC policy against falsification that Fox violated was just a policy and not a "law, rule, or regulation", and so the whistle blower law did not apply.

In 2001, Jane Akre and her husband won the Goldman Environmental Prize as a recognition for their report on RBGH. [1]

After the verdict in the original case, according to Jane Akre,

By 10:31 p.m. when the station buried the story in the late news, the report was that WTVT was "completely vindicated." A FOX attorney from Los Angeles was seen telling viewers the jury's decision "does not have to do with distortion of the news."

From the actual findings, according to

After a five-week trial and six hours of deliberation which ended August 18, 2000, a Florida state court jury unanimously determined that Fox "acted intentionally and deliberately to falsify or distort the plaintiffs' news reporting on BGH." In that decision, the jury also found that Jane's threat to blow the whistle on Fox's misconduct to the FCC was the sole reason for the termination... and the jury awarded $425,000 in damages which makes her eligible to apply for reimbursement for all court costs, expenses and legal fees.

The appeal found that distorting the news was technically not a crime...

That "Liberal" Smear


...if by a liberal they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people - their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, their civil liberties..if that is what they mean by a "liberal" then I am proud to be a liberal.

          --   John F. Kennedy


In the conservative world, the word "liberal" is often used as a smear and an epithet in an attempt to denounce anyone who they dislike or who stands opposed to their ideas and idiot ideology. But now, after seven years of utter disaster at the hands of a conservative Administration -- one that inherited a conservative Republican majority in Congress, only to lose it six years later -- the nation and Conservatives have seen the disaster that their beliefs and policies lead to in terms of economic, political, military and social debacles, any one of which should give any sane citizen pause.

Conservatives, however, are not ones to reflect or reconsider failed positions or evidence that their flawed approach to government, to money, to military and political strategy and to social reform are simply bad policy.

Long Ago, Far Away

Randall Mikkelson/Reuters: U.S. used waterboarding but no more: ex-spy chief
It (waterboarding) wasn't used when I [Negroponte] was director of national intelligence, nor even a few years before that," he said. "I get concerned that we're too retrospective and tend to look in the rearview mirror too often at things that happened four or even six years ago."

Maybe ol' Uncle John is right, and that man and his child will look back on those peaceful, hooded days, inside a barbed wire enclosure with no way in or out as the war raged around them as "the time of their lives". Sure, sure. Five years is such a long time ago, and children are so bloody resilient.

Be American. Think nothing of it.

[BBC Image: Story of the War]

Kristol-Clear: Podhoretz's Punditry Channels William Kristol

This is priceless: originally linked to here (no longer available) by Eric's Learning Curve blog, the post dated November 11, 2005 quotes an excerpt from Norman Podhoretz's piece Who Is Lying About Iraq? -- and guess what?

Among the many distortions, misrepresentations, and outright falsifications that have emerged from the debate over Iraq, one in particular stands out above all others. This is the charge that George W. Bush misled us into an immoral and/or unnecessary war in Iraq by telling a series of lies that have now been definitively exposed.

He was wrong -- surprising?, not really.

As for the lies that took us to war, those are now very well documented, thank-you-very-much.

So, does this mean Norman Podhoretz is as smart as William Kristol...?

From the Pentagon: The Surge didn't work.

From here:

"Don't let the quiet fool you," a senior defense official says. "There's still a huge chasm between how the White House views Iraq and how we [in the Pentagon] view Iraq. The White House would like to have you believe the 'surge' has worked, that we somehow defeated the insurgency. That's just ludicrous. There's increasing quiet in Iraq, but that's happened because of our shift in strategy - the 'surge' had nothing to do with it."

It must suck for the WH and their pundits to have the walls of false reality come crashing down around their heads.

As Recruiting Numbers Dwindle, Podhoretz Bangs His Drum

An article in the Washington Post tonight caught my eye, almost simultaneous with the eye-catching (and popping) article from Norman Podhoretz that I'll get to in a minute. Army Off Target on Recruits, by Josh White, starts off with an interesting blurb:

The percentage of new recruits entering the Army with a high school diploma dropped to a new low in 2007, according to a study released yesterday, and Army officials confirmed that they have lowered their standards to meet high recruiting goals in the middle of two ongoing wars.

So, this means that as the Army fails to get the numbers of fresh bodies it needs going into the Iraq meatgrinder, it lowers the standards in order to expand the net and capture more folks -- folks who would not have formerly qualified.

Hard Data: CPI Documents Lies by WH, Officials About Iraq With Their Own Words

Via PrgrsvArchitect on a comment over in a DailyKos Open Thread, here:

Just out from the Center for Public Integrity

President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.

On at least 532 separate occasions (in speeches, briefings, interviews, testimony, and the like), Bush and these three key officials, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, stated unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (or was trying to produce or obtain them), links to Al Qaeda, or both. This concerted effort was the underpinning of the Bush administration's case for war.

President Bush, for example, made 231 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and another 28 false statements about Iraq's links to Al Qaeda. Secretary of State Powell had the second-highest total in the two-year period, with 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq's links to Al Qaeda. Rumsfeld and Fleischer each made 109 false statements, followed by Wolfowitz (with 85), Rice (with 56), Cheney (with 48), and McClellan (with 14).

The massive database at the heart of this project juxtaposes what President Bush and these seven top officials were saying for public consumption against what was known, or should have been known, on a day-to-day basis. This fully searchable database includes the public statements, drawn from both primary sources (such as official transcripts) and secondary sources (chiefly major news organizations) over the two years beginning on September 11, 2001. It also interlaces relevant information from more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches, and interviews.

Heh. Right from the horses ass mouth primary oratory orifice.

Fin, fur and feather: Animals, Candidates and Actions

This evening I received an email forwarded by the animal behaviorist who helped us with Jack, our Alaskan Malamute, who had some initial behavioral issues.

She had received it apparently by mistake, but forwarded it on to her clients for dissemination and feedback.

I'm plopping it on DailyKos, ePluribus Media and Docudharma to open a discussion on other issues and where candidates stand on them.

I'd like folks who know of a candidate's actions with regard to animals to put the candidate's last name first in their subject, then " -- good" or " -- bad" next to the name, and have the content of the comment itself contain any good, bad, or additional information. I hope to tally this up later and present results. Please don't get into candidate wars; just post what you can verify and include a link to support your statement. Please note that this also includes Republican candidates; please follow the same procedure, if you've information to add.

Thank you.

A Hitchhiker's Guilde to the Persian Gulf

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If you are familiar with the trilogy "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", you know the Guide often packs great wisdom into a couple words.

We needn't read very far in the trilogy to find sage advice regarding last week's naval encounter in the Gulf. The words "Don't Panic" appear on its cover, after all, and in large friendly letters.

If you're in the mood for a hitchhiker's attempt to make sense of recent events in the Gulf, then slam down a Gargle-Blaster, pocket a scoop of peanuts, and grab your towel.

It is easy to see why people are worried over this incident. President Bush is far too eager to start wars on far too feeble pretexts. Worry here is a healthy state of mind. Panic is, not so much. Unfortunately, this event got off to a panicy start thanks to several "Tonkin Gulf II" blogs. These bloggers meant well, but their conclusions are based much more on emotion than reason. Now is a time to Not Panic.

G.I. Roundtable

"Toward whom must propaganda be directed,” he asked, “toward the scientific intelligentsia or toward the uneducated masses?” His answer was, “It must always and exclusively be directed toward the masses. The teachability of the great masses is very limited, their understanding small, and their memory short.” In a word, he believes that it pays to take advantage of ignorance and that it is therefore best to keep the people ignorant. [From the pamphlet: What is Propaganda?]

The above link provides the context, background, and name of the speaker. Drawn from Robert Townsend's G.I. Roundtable website:

The American Historical Association produced the G.I. Roundtable Series to help win World War II. Or so they were led to believe. In fact the U.S. Army sought the pamphlets as part of a larger effort to prepare for the transition to the postwar world, and represent a novel effort at social control.