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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: New England, The South, Midwest
Home country: USA
Current location: Chicago
Member since: Sat Mar 5, 2011, 12:32 PM
Number of posts: 22,684

About Me

Human. Being.

Journal Archives

Ava DuVernay’s 'The 13th' Opened Yesterday at The New York Film Festival

NYFF director Kent Jones says, “While I was watching ‘The 13th,’ the distinction between documentary and fiction gave way and I felt like I was experiencing something so rare: direct contact between the artist and right now, this very moment. In fact, Ava is actually trying to redefine the terms on which we discuss where we’re at, how we got here, and where we’re going. ‘The 13th’ is a great film. It’s also an act of true patriotism.”

“The 13th” will debut on Netflix and open in a limited theatrical run on October 7.

From IMDB:

Ava Marie DuVernay is founder of AFFRM, the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement.

In 2012, she became the first African American woman to win the Best Director Prize at Sundance Film Festival. She won the award for her second feature, Middle of Nowhere (2012).

In June 2013, she was invited to join both the director's and writer's branches of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She is only the second black woman, following Kasi Lemmons, to be invited to the director's branch.

Ava DuVernay is a film maker to watch.

U.S. History Must Be Revised To Stop Glorifying Indian Killers

I know this argument won't be accepted around here, but give this some thought. Please.

This includes our public spaces and the US military, particularly the Army.

Most people here remember our majority consensus on the removal of Confederate military statues in the South. Well, that has raised a related issue for my friends there.

And that issue of public concern is, just as importantly, that we US civilians have to stop thinking war statues in public spaces are a good thing. An occasional statue, you say? But have you traveled, seen how they are everywhere? How Mount Rushmore sits on Indian tribal land against the repeated protests of Indigenous America?

When we glorify the memories of men known for their Indian killing on behalf of the US's white settler government, we are no better than Confederate battle flag wavers and statue defenders of slavers.

Yes, Southern and Northern generals look powerful, even protective. They meant well for their own people. And so, while we support the removal of much Confederate statuary, we still allow statues that romanticize leaders in this country's monstrous, land stealing project. Our forebears were so into the vision of "Manifest Destiny" and other doctrines, that they didn't know any better about the larger scope of the grand project that others designed.

We do now.

This is the commemorative statue of Andrew Jackson in Jackson Square, New Orleans. There are many more around the country, including across the street from the White House in Lafayette Park in Washington, DC.

Jackson killed off thousands, drove off several Indian nations in his day, aided and abetted by US presidents as the tools of business, stealing their land to farm and establish plantation ownership for cotton agriculture.

New Orleans is also the site of one of the two legal slave shipping ports of the United States.

My friend, Chuck Perkins -- marine veteran, business owner, radio talk show host, father of college educated, activist women -- and other residents of NOLA have decided that, along with Confederate monuments, this monument to Jackson must, too, be taken down.

Apparently the local rulers think such protests are, at best, "too soon," and so recently he was hauled off to jail.

In defense of Chuck and all those who want to restructure our history to better match our increased knowledge of US history:

Memorializing Indian killers because "it was their job" is like memorializing Nazis because killing Jews was their "just following orders" job.

Indian killing, scalping them, enslaving their women and sending their children off to be brainwashed as 'wrong' was wrong. Stealing their land was the wrong way to settle land.

White Euro settler forebears here did what the Israelis are doing right now -- settler imperialism -- counterinsurgency stalking, raiding, setting fire to housing, food supply and water of old land occupants -- aided and abetted by counterinsurgency white horse riding militiamen called "rangers," bankers, and their tools in government, commanders-in-"chief."

Statues ain't okay cuz it's in the past. Because that past, memorialized, validates a continued hateful, racist present -- toward black people, Indians, women. With our military abandoning the continental landbase and moving its war control centers onto the oceans on naval carriers, with our country being officially, legally designated a "battleground," we have even more evidence that the military agenda and the military industrial complex's agenda was never to really serve US citizens, anyway. We have to re-see public space so that it no longer supports a racist, wrong present culture.

We're not denying our past with statuary removals. They can well go into great Military Museums. But we have to think about a public self, and public space that inspires The People's future children every bit as much as glorify past "heroes." We will need better statues.

There are so many other great accomplishments of this country to memorialize beyond war in a new Works Progress and Infrastructure Project. We must build our public imaginary away from war and mass murder. We said these things to our Southern neighbors. It's time to say it to the rest of us.

No, there is no "draw the line" argument. As history is researched, and new, relevant actions, events and racial politics come to light, so must our public spaces reflect our better, changed selves today.

That national self says: Wrong is wrong. We must admit it. It is never too soon to do what we know is right.

Bill Maher: "Welcome to Another Week Of 'Yes, This Is Really Happening' "

Maher's New Rules are usually the best part of his show, but tonight it was his opening monologue.

Favorite line: "Stamina? She was Bruce Springsteen just getting warmed up after 90 minutes!"

Second favorite line: "Republicans out there, thank you so much for this, thank you so much, you must be so fucking proud..."

Before Climate Change, All Politics Is Yokel For The Biggest Polluter In Human History

Leonardo DiCaprio turns the celebrity of Hollywood and Washington toward asking the US people to remove their political screens to see the larger picture of their children's children's future, to see the Earth's degenerating sickness for what it has become.

This airs on the National Geographic Channel on October 30.

Can we change our course in time? The whole world is watching.

If You Want To Help The Sioux: Military Check Points on North Dakota's Route 1806

Various videos show how National Guard persons randomly let some and not other supporters through to the First Nations protest.

This guy.

Then there's Unicorn Riot's video site, where the loading is slow but the explanations are important.


These show a bit of classic troop counterinsurgency model -- attacking civilians -- used in Indian war days: cut off supplies and help, intimidate "insurgents" with arrest and animal attack, wait them out through privation and upcoming bad weather, then go in and round them up. Maybe take them to Forts Yates or Rice, who knows. Keep surrounding populations in the dark about it all.

Our Indigenous are "insurgents" in this legally designated "battleground" (NDAA 2013) country where land base control of resources is stolen and sold.

FINALLY: An Indigenous Peoples' History Of The United States

This is not a rant. It's a reminder of how much we need to keep informing ourselves of our history. One example.

Sitting Bull on American money. Laughable if it didn't so sickeningly reveal the complete erasure of Indigenous history that descendants of any ethnicity have been unaware of. The erasure of Indigenous history for this country is the erasure of the true Anglo historical legacy of America.

Sitting Bull on American money. Think on that. Has anyone checked with the Sioux or Cheyenne Nations over this so-called question? I seriously doubt it. Some not-for-profit has simply put out an okey-doke on the social networks.

No Indians have wanted to be associated with money. Indians were set up by economic hit men: the basis of our Treasury wealth until after the OK land rush was Indian land, stolen, then sold, after Indians were stalked by white militia "rangers" made of Ulster-Irish poor who brought THE SCALPING PRACTICE from the English-Irish wars -- England. All this for 100 years before plantation owners settled down on stolen Indian land to torture and rape their African "property."

ALL U.S. military history and current military jargon come from our military's Indian wars -- "Rangers" is enshrined in the 2nd Amendment as "militias," "In Country" is the euphemism of "Indian Country," which all military use even today to call all hostile lands they're based in. This book exposes much of the military's malingering mindset of the U.S.'s Indian wars.

So no. No Indians on American money. This white lady believes that Techumseh, Little Turtle, Blue Jacket, Black Elk, Chief Joseph, Little Crow, Little Wolf, Old Lady Horse, Crazy Horse, Dragging Canoe, Goyathley (Geronimo), as courageous protectors of their land base, would never want to be associated with the Indian killers that America has already put on its money -- Jefferson, Washington, Jackson, Grant, T. Roosevelt, and yes, Abraham Lincoln. Other Indian killer presidents never made the cut, like Polk or A. Johnson.

Not even the decision to put Harriet Tubman's portrait on our money got adequate discussion. To indulge in any unconscious fetishizing on money of the genocidally murdered is to further erase and humiliate this country's Indians who presently suffer and resist corporate invasions of their lands, water and other resources.

Non-indigenous people of this country -- US -- finally -- FINALLY -- have the best researched, comprehensive history of our genocidal Doctrine of Discovery with its bloody "terranullism" that Indian killer presidents have participated in, passively, "legally" or no.

As Howard Zinn once said, civil disobedience is not our problem; it's civil obedience. I consider this history an inspiration to stay true to those who taught us how to survive and live on the land we call the United States.

To return land base control to our Indigenous people -- e.g., Standing Rock Sioux and their protest of DAPL -- is to help save our environment from corporate slash and burn mining and forestry destruction of ALL our water and food sources. As we sleep, fossil fuels are run through our non-Indian lands right under our noses.

As for what we stand for in DU, I cannot recommend this book enough.

'State of Surveillance' with Edward Snowden and Shane Smith (full episode)

This important video is about our presidency, not our presidents.

If our biggest intelligence organizations can't prevent terrorism on our land, a tough talking president, if s/he's honest, will acknowledge s/he is helpless to make Americans safe from terrorists attacks through mass surveillance.

Shown in May, this year, this HBO'S VICE episode shows that police departments continue a "culture of surveillance" worldwide using IMSI catchers, previously tested in the "war zone" of Yemen, now masquerading in the US and worldwide as cell phone towers to track anyone without warrants.

It claims that, to suppress government opposition anywhere, our third party government still can install spyware on any phone to turn on its microphone, camera, log all typing, record all calls, essentially commandeer complete surveillance through our phones. I know that Android and Samsung are chipped at points of import by the NSA.

All this "golden age of technology" is feloniously lied about by the CIA's Brennan and Clapper to our elected officials on more than one occasion, backed by our secret FISA court.

Beyond his tips about avoiding such surveillance, Edward Snowden's most important point is to flat out deny what Trump will still lie to America about -- that he will make us safe again.

Snowden says Trump cannot. But Trump can turn our technology against us.

The final scene:

Q: What happens [within an intelligence organization] when you have a terrorist attack like that [like the one in Paris]?
A: "...I was working at the NSA during the Boston Marathon bombings investigation. And as it was playing on the news, myself and my colleagues were sitting in the cafeteria, and we turned to each other and said, 'I'll bet you anything we already knew about these guys in the database.

And in Paris I'm certain that the same conversation happened. And this is really the legacy of mass surveillance, is the fact that when you're watching everyone, you know who these individuals are, they're in the banks, you had the information you needed to stop, to prevent even the worst atrocities. But the problem is when you cast the net too wide, when you're collecting everything, you understand nothing.

We know for a fact that it is not effective for stopping terrorist attacks and it never has been.

The White House appointed two independent commissions in the wake of my disclosures in 2013, to review mass surveillance programs and go, alright, do these have value, should they be changed, should they be reformed. They looked at the evidence -- classified evidence -- and they found, wow, despite the fact that this has been going on since 2001, it had never stopped a single terrorist attack in the United States. And that's after monitoring the phone calls of everyone in the country...

Both of these commissions found that these programs should be ended, with 42 points for reform to restrict the use of these power. ... the president only adopted three... because it would restrict executive powers...and when there is a future terrorist attack... of course their political opponents will blame them...even if you trust the government today, what happens when it changes...everyone is vulnerable to this new individual...who says, let's flip this switch to use the full tech capabilities....

"... will we recognize the danger of that and embrace the fact that people should have the space to make mistakes without judgment, to have, sort of, the unconsidered thought or conversation with your friend. But if that was recorded in a database, where, you know, now you say "I think Trump should be kicked off a cliff" -- and Donald Trump becomes president -- and everybody who said that ends up getting thrown off a cliff. That's a very dangerous world. And I think this really is the question our political structures are not yet comfortable even discussing.

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