Tag Archives: Blackwater

Stupid white male traitors on parade

FILE - This Oct. 2, 2009 file photo provided ...

Associated Press photo

President Barack Obama talks with Gen. Stanley McChrystal aboard Air Force One in October. Obama has recalled McChrystal to Washington, D.C., to discuss remarks that McChrystal made to Rolling Stone magazine about the military efforts in Afghanistan that McChrystal has been leading.

Is it something in the water?

A bit too much crude oil, perhaps?

The federal district judge who blocked President Barack Obama’s obviously reasonable six-month moratorium on offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has had investments in offshore drilling? Even having owned stock in Transocean, the corporation that had leased the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig to British Petroleum before the rig blew up in the Gulf of Mexico two months ago?

Unsurpisingly, the judge, one Martin Feldman, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan, appears to be another overprivileged old stupid white man who puts his own selfish financial interests above not only justice but also above the common good.

Fuck the rest of us! He wants to be rich!

The Repugnicans piss and moan about “activist judges,” but I’m sure that they’re just perfectly fucking fine with judges who rule according to their own financial portfolios.

Because he did not recuse himself, Feldman should be removed from his post of power. He obviously cannot wield power responsibly and thus does not deserve to continue to wield it.

Similarly, corporations that violate the public trust (such as British Petroleum, Halliburton, Blackwater, etc., etc.) should be dissolved — not allowed to simply reorganize under another name (such as Blackwater, which is now “Xe.”)

The composition of the judiciary sorely needs to be evaluated. It’s supposed to be about justice for all — it shouldn’t be the fucking rich white boys’ club that it is. The Associated Press reported earlier this month:

More than half of the federal judges in districts where the bulk of Gulf oil spill-related lawsuits are pending have financial connections to the oil and gas industry, complicating the task of finding judges without conflicts to hear the cases, an Associated Press analysis of judicial financial disclosure reports shows.

Thirty-seven of the 64 active or senior judges in key Gulf Coast districts in Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida have links to oil, gas and related energy industries, including some who own stocks or bonds in BP PLC, Halliburton or Transocean — and others who regularly list receiving royalties from oil and gas production wells, according to the reports judges must file each year. The AP reviewed 2008 disclosure forms, the most recent available.

Those three companies are named as defendants in virtually all of the 150-plus lawsuits seeking damages, mainly for economic losses in the fishing, seafood, tourism and related industries, that have been filed over the growing oil spill since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded April 20, killing 11 workers….

Then there is Gen. Stanley McChrystal, in charge of the debacle in Afghanistan, thinking that it’s a good idea to slam his commander in chief in Rolling Stone.

Don’t get me wrong. We shouldn’t be in Afghanistan. Even if things at home weren’t crumbling, even if the American empire weren’t rotting from within, I’d be against our being in Afghanistan, but given that we can’t keep it together here at home — that ruptured oil well that has continued to spew millions of gallons of crude oil for more than two months now, for example — I’m especially against our military overextension.

And I’m usually all for freedom of speech and in general I abhor hierarchies and people at the top of hierarchies gagging those below them, but, it seems to me, it truly is a matter of national security when a general, any general, publicly slams the commander in chief while that general is in charge of an ongoing combat operation.

Further, as many problems as I have with President Barack Obama, I can’t recall any general or other such high-ranking military official having publicly slammed George W. Bush during his or her command in the Vietraq War, even though the unelected, treasonous Bush regime thoroughly botched its illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust invasion and occupation of Iraq and left plenty to be criticized.

I can’t help but think that the facts that Obama is black and that he widely is viewed as an “elitist” because he isn’t an abject dumbfuck as is G.W. Bush — we can’t trust eggheads to be good commanders in chief, the conventional “wisdom” (a.k.a. “common sense”) goes, although to be a good commander in chief you have to be intelligent — contributed to McChrystal’s incredibly poor judgment in slamming Obama to Rolling Stone.

McChrystal should have resigned if he felt that he couldn’t follow Obama.

Now, he should resign because instead of telling Obama that he couldn’t follow Obama, he told Rolling Stone that he couldn’t follow Obama.

This behavior — a federal judge flagrantly acting in very apparent conflict of interest and a general in charge of a war slamming the commander in chief — seems to be white male (over)privilege rearing its ugly head.

It needs to stop — because it’s treasonous* — and the stupid white men who are acting in their own best interests instead of in the best interests of those they are supposed to be serving need to be treated like the traitors that they are.

The crumbling American empire cannot endure even more treason than it already has endured beginning at least since the treasonous BushCheneyCorp blatantly, treasonously stole the White House in late 2000.

*My broad definition of treason is an action or a refusal to act that benefits oneself or one’s own relatively small group at the expense of the nation as a whole. This, I believe, is the spirit of the crime of treason, although it is not the technical, legal definition of the term.

Thus, under my definition, things like stealing presidential elections and starting bogus wars for the war profiteers (such as Dick Cheney’s Halliburton), and selfishly siding with corporations instead of with the people (such as the aforementioned federal judge and U.S. Rep. Joe “Shakedown” Barton of Texas), constitute treason.

If this definition of treason were widely adopted, the traitors would stop being traitors, would stop harming the nation for their own selfish interests.

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Jackson-endorsed ‘District 9’ watchable but often nonsensical and lacking detail

The alien's stalled mother ship in a scene from "District ...

This movie still released by Sony Pictures shows, left to right, ...

Reuters and Associated Press images

Arthropodic extraterrestrials’ ship is stalled above Johannesburg, South Africa, in stills from the Peter Jackson-endorsed “District 9,” which came in at No. 1 at the box office this weekend.

I love a good science fiction movie, especially one with political overtones, and since according to Yahoo!’s roundup, the film critics gave “District 9” an average grade of “A-“ — and since “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson gave “District 9” his stamp of approval (he is one of the film’s producers, and the ads for “District 9” tell us this) — I dragged the boyfriend to it yesterday.

I give it a “B.”

“District 9” has some interesting concepts, such as the apparent parallels between the “prawns” (the crustacean-like extraterrestrials put in a concentration camp called District 9 in South Africa after they found themselves stranded on Earth) and the Palestinians in occupied Palestine, and private military corporation “MNU” (“Multi-National United”) and private military corporation Blackwater, but “District 9” has too many elements that just don’t make sense for me to be able to give it anything higher than a “B.”

Where to begin?

There is the mysterious black liquid extract — we’re never told what it consists of — made in an ET’s shack like an impoverished, desperate person might make methamphetamine in his shack, and this mysterious black liquid, which took the ET two decades to make, not only powers the stranded ETs’ ship, which still hovers (somehow — that’s not explained either) over Johannesburg, but also somehow slowly turns the human protagonist into one of the ETs after he accidentally splashes himself with it. (The mysterious black liquid probably is a great stain remover, too…)

Then there is the alternating view of the ETs’ capabilities. At first they’re portrayed as rather savage and stupid, caring only about feasting upon livestock carcasses (especially the heads, for some reason) and canned cat food (yes, canned cat food), and then at least one of them, the protagonist ET, is portrayed as having quite sophisticated technological ability, far surpassing that of humans.

The human protagonist is portrayed as being about as sympathetic to the ETs as any of his human counterparts are ever going to be — he doesn’t like it when the ETs are exterminated wantonly by MNU’s hair-triggered, testosterone-overdosed mercenaries — yet in one scene he demonstrates that he has no problems with the destruction of the ETs’ young, noting that when set aflame, the ET-ling pods make an interesting popping sound. (Apparently the ETs are to get human approval before reproducing, and these young thus were “illegal.”)

If District 9 is a closed-off area meant to contain the ETs, then why do the ETs have such frequent, such apparently casual contact with the South African gang members?

Speaking of which, how, exactly, do humans and the ETs have sexual relations? (Apparently female human prostitutes cater to the male ETs, and the protagonist human apparently is accused of having had sex with a female ET.)

What exactly were the medical experiments that MNU was conducting on the hapless ETs?

Was the protagonist ET especially intelligent for his kind? Was he a special kind of his kind? Were the other ETs like worker bees, not meant to be very intelligent?

While I love to empathize with an extraterrestrial, especially a benign one persecuted by ignorant humans, would a crustaceous extraterrestrial really regard its offspring the way that a human male would regard his son? Would the crusty ET’s offspring really be kind of like a little boy? And wouldn’t such an ET have many offspring, and not just one? And where was the mommy ET?

“District 9” is watchable enough, but I’m the kind of person who needs a movie to make sense.

I’m sure that it’s not easy to create such an alternate reality as director and screenwriter Neill Blomkamp did in “District 9” — there are so many angles that you have to look from in such creation, and so many details that you have to create in order to satisfy those angles — and I don’t have to have every little thing explained to me, but what is (more or less…) explained to me at least should have its own internal logic.

When it doesn’t, that interferes with my ability to enjoy the film, and that’s why I can give “District 9” only a “B.” It’s a good-enough idea, but its execution is lacking. Attention to its own internal logic seems to have been sacrificed for special effects, such as the climactic battle scene of the protagonist human in the automated body armor that is too reminiscent of what we’ve already seen in “Iron Man” and even in “Aliens” (ditto for the fried alien eggs; we saw those in “Aliens,” also).

My grade: B

P.S. I’m not familiar with South Africa’s history, but film critic Roger Ebert explains in his review of “District 9”:

The film’s South African setting brings up inescapable parallels with its now-defunct apartheid system of racial segregation. Many of them are obvious, such as the action to move a race out of the city and to a remote location. Others will be more pointed in South Africa. The title “District 9” evokes Cape Town’s historic District 6, where Cape Coloureds (as they were called then) owned homes and businesses for many years before being bulldozed out and relocated.

The hero’s name, van der Merwe, is not only a common name for Afrikaners, the white South Africans of Dutch descent, but also the name of the protagonist of van der Merwe jokes, of which the point is that the hero is stupid. Nor would it escape a South African ear that the alien language incorporates clicking sounds, just as Bantu, the language of a large group of African apartheid targets.

Being unfamiliar with South Africa, the parallels between the real South Africa and the South Africa portrayed in “District 9” were quite escapable to me… I still see a parallel between the “prawns” and the Palestinians, however, and with the plight of the Palestinians being portrayed in the media to this day, it seems to me that I’m probably not alone.

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