Raphael Honigstein on Bayern’s beginnings as a “Jewish” club.
Raphael Honigstein on Bayern’s beginnings as a “Jewish” club.
Chukotka is the most remote and least explored region of Russia. Living here, you feel like a speck in the silent wilderness. Visitors to the region are exposed to the winds of two oceans, the unique Arctic flora and fauna and the mysterious monuments of Chukotka’s ancient inhabitants. Visit this fascinating location with our photo-gallery
Source: Andrey Stepanov/stan-d-art.ru
Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.
“We have a word for the conscious slaughter of a racial or ethnic group: genocide. And one for the conscious destruction of aspects of the environment: ecocide. But we don’t have a word for the conscious act of destroying the planet we live on, the world as humanity had known it until, historically speaking, late last night. A possibility might be “terracide” from the Latin word for earth. It has the right ring, given its similarity to the commonplace danger word of our era: terrorist.
“The truth is, whatever we call them, it’s time to talk bluntly about the terrarists of our world. Yes, I know, 9/11 was horrific. Almost 3,000 dead, massive towers down, apocalyptic scenes. And yes, when it comes to terror attacks, the Boston Marathon bombings weren’t pretty either. But in both cases, those who committed the acts paid for or will pay for their crimes.
“In the case of the terrarists — and here I’m referring in particular to the men who run what may be the most profitable corporations on the planet, giant energy companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, and Shell — you’re the one who’s going to pay, especially your children and grandchildren. You can take one thing for granted: not a single terrarist will ever go to jail, and yet they certainly knew what they were doing.”
— “Terracide and the Terrarists, Destroying the Planet for Record Profits,” Tom Engelhardt
The Top 10 Films that Explain Why the Occupy Movement (and other social movements fighting against the current socio-economic status quo) Exists
July 18, 2012 - for your summer viewing, play them in the background while you’re blogging.
When in doubt, go to the primary source. Released just a week ago, Scott Noble, who also produced Lifting the Veil, pulls together a combination of internet and original footage to create the first feature-length documentary on Occupy Wall St, telling the story and motivation behind the movement in its own words. It is a treatise to the beautiful awakening of human heart and hope that has arisen in the American people, capturing the imagination and dreams of a new generation’s struggle to create a better world.
”Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number -
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many - they are few.’
- Percy Bysshe Shelley
2. Lifting the Veil: Obama and the Failure of Capitalist Democracy (2011)
“This film explores the historical role of the Democratic Party as the “graveyard of social movements”, the massive influence of corporate finance in elections, the absurd disparities of wealth in the United States, the continuity and escalation of neocon policies under Obama, the insufficiency of mere voting as a path to reform, and differing conceptions of democracy itself.”
Lifting the Veil is a significant achievement - offering a definitive critique of the Obama administration from a reality-based perspective (Ie, a critique not based on propaganda and spin). It thoroughly deconstructs the hypocrisy of U.S. politics, democracy, capitalism and other aspects of the American brand. This film promotes no illusions, examining our present state of affairs under Obama with eyes wide open. At once disillusioning, the film inspires and offers a great message of hope in it’s evocative finale and excellent choice of music. It also points to the most immediate alternative for building a new, directly democratic and liberated world within the shell of the old (workplace democracy). For OWS, the film exemplifies the movement’s bi-partisan critique of the status quo, its deep rejection of surface-level reforms or solutions, and the deep insight that comes from waking up to the way the world really is.
3. Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)
”Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story comes home to the issue he’s been examining throughout his career: the disastrous impact of corporate dominance on the everyday lives of Americans (and by default, the rest of the world). But this time the culprit is much bigger than General Motors, and the crime scene far wider than Flint, Michigan. From Middle America, to the halls of power in Washington, to the global financial epicenter in Manhattan, Michael Moore will once again take film goers into uncharted territory. With both humor and outrage, Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story explores a taboo question: What is the price that America pays for its love of capitalism?”
While Inside Job takes a more impersonal and conservative overview of the financial collapse, Michael Moore brings it in close to examine many of the personal stories of the financial fallout - the human, emotional side of the story. While many people have a prejudice against Moore, and this might limit the film’s potential reach, this is undoubtedly his best film yet, and brilliant on its own terms, regardless. Surprise and disgust, sadness, anger and empathy are mixed in equally with humor, insight, and inspiring examples of potential solutions that are being implemented now. Watching this post-OWS is rather surreal - direct mentions of the 99% vs the 1%, activists occupying foreclosed homes and workers taking control of their factories until their demands for just remuneration are met - it couldn’t sum up the story that led to OWS more perfectly.
4. Inside Job (2010) (link fixed)
“2010 Oscar Winner for Best Documentary, ‘Inside Job’ provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key financial insiders, politicians, journalists, and academics, the film traces the rise of a rogue industry which has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia. It was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.”
Although it’s the narrowest in scope, Inside Job goes deep into the criminal corruption, policies, and culture that caused the financial crisis, which is most commonly understood to be the premise of OWS. Examining the period of Wall St. deregulation that started in 1980 and then closely looking at the housing bubble and crash of 2008, Inside Job builds up the facts and detailed analysis of this single event, which provides documentation and support for why so many Americans are rightly pissed off and now taking to the streets en masse. For this reason, Inside Job is likely the best introduction to the subject, and builds the foundation upon which more radical conclusions about our economic system can be drawn.
5. The Secret of Oz (2010)
“What’s going on with the world’s economy? Foreclosures are everywhere, unemployment is skyrocketing - and this may only be the beginning. Could it be that solutions to the world’s economic problems could have been embedded in the most beloved children’s story of all time, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”? The yellow brick road (the gold standard), the emerald city of Oz (greenback money), even Dorothy’s silver slippers (changed to ruby slippers for the movie version) were powerful symbols of author L. Frank Baum’s belief that the people - not the big banks — should control the quantity of a nation’s money.”
Second to Moving Forward, Secret of Oz goes the deepest into the systemic unsustainability of our fractional-reserve monetary system. Examining the historic fight against central banks over the centuries (it was the prime cause of the American Revolution) and how these banks actually destabilize markets and enslave whole nations in debt, we learn how the Federal Reserve and other private banks today represent the greatest affront to our national sovereignty. As long as we allow private banks to create money out of nothing (and loan money to our government at interest), the central banks will always have the power to undo whatever gains we make politically or economically. The film makers do not advocate a return to a gold-based standard. Their two-step solution is quite simple, and if enacted, gives us the greatest prospects for a sustainable future.
6. (Tie) Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Politics (2009) - I’m watching this one right now!
“The definitive documentary explaining the influence of money on politics by Jonathan Shockley. The film is based on Thomas Ferguson’s book Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems.
Golden Rule does an excellent job of exposing several myths behind the terms free market, capitalism, socialism, and democracy. For instance, since the “golden age of capitalism” in the 1950s, productivity has more than doubled, and yet wages have stayed the same and most people are working more hours, not less. At the same time, all of our productivity gains have gone to the owners of capital (the 1%). If capitalist markets benefited all people and not just the top 1% then most Americans today would be able to support a family on one income and work only half the year. Most people would agree that more leisure time and a middle-class standard of living would be progress, yet capitalist markets prevent this. Labor must keep working harder and harder to compete against other firms or else they’ll be out-competed, meanwhile the full value of their work is robbed to create “profit” for the owners. True free markets do not require coercion, and our capitalist system has always relied on the state’s use of force to maintain the wealth and power inequalities between labor and capital.
Another example 60 minutes in: both America and Stalin’s Russia has called his regime a socialist system, but for different reasons. America called Stalin’s dictatorship a socialist system because it wanted to defame and demonize socialism. Stalin called his government socialist because that was a popular and celebrated term in Europe, despite totalitarian control having nothing to do with true, democratic socialism. In truth, as Noam Chomsky points out, the people of Russia had no control over the means of production and were essentially slaves. It would be the same as if Stalin came to power in America, created a fascist police state, used coercive force to protect criminal banks, evict people unjustly from their homes, suppress protest and break up unions, then lavished massive subsidies on big companies, gave tax breaks to the rich and allowed many corporations like GE to pay nothing in taxes, and then proudly called this a free-market system. This is the hypocrisy of our own country, which is victimized by our own form of propaganda as profound as the propaganda of Stalin’s Russia or communist China.
7. The Corporation (2003)
“The Corporation is today’s dominant institution, creating great wealth but also great harm. This 26 award-winning documentary examines the nature, evolution, impacts and future of the modern business corporation and the increasing role it plays in society and our everyday lives.”Beyond Wall St and beyond the financial collapse is a problem much deeper than traditional left/right discussions about the proper amount of government regulation of markets. Deeper than that is the basic nature and laws that govern what a corporation is. Since 1886, corporations have been considered people under the law, conferring them the same rights as breathing, flesh and blood humans. These rights (as the film documents) give enormous power to corporations, making them far more powerful than many countries. Most people woke up to this problem with Citizens United, when the Supreme court decided money equals speech, and thus corporations have a 1st amendment right to spend unlimited amounts of cash on democratic elections.While corporations have dominated society for over 100 years, this last transparent power-grab was obviously too much for most people to handle. The silver lining of this move was that it has prompted a strong national push-back from groups like Move to Amend and others, which are calling for a constitutional amendment to revoke corporate personhood. This has been one of the most popular demands of OWS from early on, and yeah, I’m not surprised the media isn’t repeating this one.
8. Zeitgeist: Moving Forward (2011)
“Moving Forward presents the case for a needed transition out of the current socioeconomic monetary paradigm which governs the entire world society. The film aims to filter out issues of cultural relativism and traditional ideology so that we can examine the core, empirical life ground attributes of human and social survival, extrapolating those immutable natural laws to propose a new sustainable social paradigm called a Resource-Based Economy.”
Of special interest to OWS is the middle section of the film, which critiques the fundamental problems inherent in our monetary/market-based system, and which offers one of the deepest analyses of the big picture perspective on the global crisis yet seen. It also proposes a logical alternative to the monetary paradigm, if we were to rethink how our system works from the ground up. The film asks: what would a true civilization look like - a world without war, hierarchy, or poverty? Would competition really be the driving force of a civilized society, or would it be cooperation?“John Pilger travels to many third world countries to investigate the devastating results of loans from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). This film shows how many wars today are not carried out at the barrel of a gun, but by the monetary policies of global banking institutions. Instead of bombs, it has been discovered that debt is a far more powerful weapon to control and maintain the power of global economic interests. It turns out that the “structural-adjustment” policies of neo-liberal economics are even more deadly than nerve gas and many other weapons of war. This documentary backs up many of the claims made by John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.”
All of John Pilger’s films are excellent and worth watching. The oldest pick in this list explores some of the older history of our economic policies to reveal some truly paradigm-disturbing insights. The film highlights the fact that the problems addressed by OWS are not new by any measure, but are rooted deeply in a global system which has, as a matter of policy and design, consistently robbed the third world to enrich the first. This is a hard truth to accept, but Pilger backs up his claims with world-class journalism and professionalism.
10. The Yes Men Fix The World (2009) (link fixed)
“The Yes Men Fix the World is a screwball true story about two gonzo political activists who, posing as top executives of giant corporations, lie their way into big business conferences and pull off the world’s most outrageous pranks.”
This film provides the most comical look at the culture of greed that pervades the corporate world. It also critiques the conventional wisdom of trickle-down economics. Keeping the tone lighthearted and quite funny throughout, this is a great film to introduce the subject with.
In the first installment in a series telling the history of the Russian Revolution of 1917,looks at the backdrop to the revolt against war, poverty and tyranny.May 10, 2013
THE RUSSIAN Revolution of 1917 is a reminder that the struggles which change the world often take place where they are not expected—where the possibilities of success seem least favorable.
The Russia of the Tsars was one of history’s most terrible dictatorships. The vast majority of Russians lived in impoverished conditions that were little changed from centuries before. All were subject to the iron authority of the Tsarist regime and the Russian nobility. Various half-hearted attempts to reform the system from above—or, by contrast, to force change through failed assassination plots—had little if any effect on the lives of most Russians.
Yet this Russia was the setting for a revolution that gave us the only lasting glimpse so far of what a future socialist society—in which the mass of workers collectively and democratically control society—will look like.
The Russian Revolution is the story of millions of people making history—“the forcible entrance of the masses into the realm of determining their own destiny,” in the words of the Russian revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky.
Russia’s experiment in workers’ power lasted only a few short years. The counterrevolutionary regime built on its ruins recreated all the oppressions of the old Tsarist system—and justified them with the rhetoric of socialism. Nevertheless, the accomplishments of the revolution—in toppling one of the world’s cruelest tyrants, in creating the first organs of mass workers’ democracy, in bringing alive the talents and hopes of a whole society—remain a source of inspiration today.
The Paris Commune of 1871 stands as one of the most important examples of workers seizing power in history. From that struggle emerged revolutionary leaders like, a school teacher who helped lead the volunteer National Guard’s defense of Paris against invading Prussian forces—and then to keep revolutionary Paris’ weapons away from the French government and take the battle to Versailles.
Here, we reprint Michel’s 1886 description of events during the Commune. This text is republished from the Marxists Internet Archive.
I AT first wrote this volume without telling anything about myself. When friends pointed this out I added a few personal episodes despite the ennui it caused me. As I did so the opposite effect was produced: as I advanced in the tale I came to love reliving this time of struggle for freedom, which was my true existence, and I love losing myself in the memory of this.
This is why I look upon my thoughts as a series of tableaux where pass thousands of existences that have disappeared forever.
There we are on the Champs de Mars: our arms are stacked and the night is beautiful. At about 3:00 a.m. we leave, thinking we are going to Versailles. I speak with old Louis Moreau, and he too is happy to be setting out. In place of my old rifle he gave me a Remington carbine. For the first time I have a good weapon though it’s said not to be too reliable, which isn’t true. I recount all the lies I told my mother so she wouldn’t worry. All my precautions are taken, I have letters full of reassuring news in my pockets that will be post-dated. I tell her they needed me in an ambulance; that I’ll be going to Montmartre on the first occasion.
Poor woman, how I loved her. How grateful I am to her for the freedom she allowed me to act as my conscience dictated, and how much I would have liked to spare her the bad days she so often had.
The comrades from Montmartre are there. We’re sure of each other and sure of those who command.
Now we go quiet; the fight has begun. There is a hill and I shout as I run forward: To Versailles! To Versailles! Razoua tosses me his sword to rally the men. We shake hands at the top; the sky is on fire, and no one has been wounded.
We deploy as tirailleurs in the fields full of little tree stumps. You would think we had done this before.
There we are in Moulineaux. The gendarmes aren’t holding out as was thought. We think we’re going to advance further but no, we’re going to spend the night, some of us in the fort, others in the Jesuit convent. Those of us who thought we were going to go further, those from Montmartre and myself, cry with rage. And yet we’re confident. Neither Eudes nor Ranvier nor the others would remain in place without serious reason. They tell us the reasons but we don’t listen. We regain hope: there are now cannons at the fort of Issy and it will be a good to remain there. We had left with strange munitions, the leftovers of the siege, the bullets not matching the guns’ caliber.
I see passing before me like shades those who were in the great hall below the convent: Eudes, the May brothers, the Caria brothers, three old men who were as brave as heroes: old man Moreau, old man Chevalet, old man Caria, Razoua, all federals from Montmartre; a negro black as ebony with pointy white teeth like those of a wild beast: he’s good, intelligent, and brave; and a former pontifical Zouave converted to the Commune.
The tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma on Tuesday left incredible devastation and loss in its wake. But…
Strikingly, it’s the free-market Republicans who object to this proposed privatization. Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican who has vehemently opposed government tax credits and subsidies for renewable energy, calls the proposal “one more bad idea in a budget full of bad ideas,” and fears that privatization would lead to higher energy costs for his constituents.
Congressman John L. Duncan, Jr., another Tennessee Republican, says privatization is “something that has been proposed in the past and been determined to be a very bad idea.” Senator Richard Shelby, Republican of Alabama (a state also served by the TVA), says he will “carefully study any proposals to restructure TVA” in order to make sure that it won’t result in a price hike. And Tennessee’s other Republican Senator, Bob Corker, is clear: “I doubt this idea gains much traction.” […]
What definition of the term includes this horrific act of violence but excludes the acts of the US, the UK and its allies?
Two men yesterday engaged in a horrific act of violence on the streets of London by using what appeared to be a meat cleaver to hack to death a British soldier. In the wake of claims that the assailants shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the killing, and a video showing one of the assailants citing Islam as well as a desire to avenge and stop continuous UK violence against Muslims, media outlets (including the Guardian) and British politicians instantly characterized the attack as “terrorism”.
That this was a barbaric and horrendous act goes without saying, but given the legal, military, cultural and political significance of the term “terrorism”, it is vital to ask: is that term really applicable to this act of violence? To begin with, in order for an act of violence to be “terrorism”, many argue that it must deliberately target civilians. That’s the most common means used by those who try to distinguish the violence engaged in by western nations from that used by the “terrorists”: sure, we kill civilians sometimes, but we don’t deliberately target them the way the “terrorists” do.
But here, just as was true for Nidal Hasan’s attack on a Fort Hood military base, the victim of the violence was a soldier of a nation at war, not a civilian. He was stationed at an army barracks quite close to the attack. The killer made clear that he knew he had attacked a soldier when he said afterward: “this British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
The US, the UK and its allies have repeatedly killed Muslim civilians over the past decade (and before that), but defenders of those governments insist that this cannot be “terrorism” because it is combatants, not civilians, who are the targets. Can it really be the case that when western nations continuously kill Muslim civilians, that’s not “terrorism”, but when Muslims kill western soldiers, that is terrorism? Amazingly, the US has even imprisoned people at Guantanamo and elsewhere on accusations of “terrorism” who are accused of nothing more than engaging in violence against US soldiers who invaded their country.
It’s true that the soldier who was killed yesterday was out of uniform and not engaged in combat at the time he was attacked. But the same is true for the vast bulk of killings carried out by the US and its allies over the last decade, where people are killed in their homes, in their cars, at work, while asleep (in fact, the US has re-defined “militant” to mean “any military-aged male in a strike zone”). Indeed, at a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on drone killings, Gen. James Cartwright and Sen. Lindsey Graham both agreed that the US has the right to kill its enemies even while they are “asleep”, that you don’t “have to wake them up before you shoot them” and “make it a fair fight”. Once you declare that the “entire globe is a battlefield” (which includes London) and that any “combatant” (defined as broadly as possible) is fair game to be killed - as the US has done - then how can the killing of a solider of a nation engaged in that war, horrific though it is, possibly be “terrorism”?
Out of the tragedy of the massive garment factory collapse in Bangladesh, workers have now won two major reforms:
1) A panel to raise the minimum wage in the garment industry and
2) The right to form trade unions without prior permission from factory owners.
Still, more pressure—and responsibility—need to be placed upon America’s big-brand companies to win further protections.
Another little YouTube gem! The full opera. :)
Der Rosenkavalier, Richard Strauss - The Royal Opera Covent Garden, 1985 (conducten by Sir Georg Solti)
Marschallin - Kiri Te Kanawa
Octavian - Anne Howells
Baron Ochs - Aage Haugland
Sophie - Barbara Bonney
This is the point where I profess my unabashed and total love for you and your opera-finding genius.
I LOVE this production. ‘nuff said
Twenty years ago, after moving to LA to “be discovered,” a then-25-year-old Zach Galifianakis met and befriended an elderly laundromat volunteer named Elizabeth “Mimi” Haist.