Fox News: Ministry of Information

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There are two ways of infringing liberty: by police power or economic power. The latter can be exercised either directly or indirectly, by orienting the way people think, by addling their brains, by using the press (media, a la Fox News) to bias them in favor of special interests (think Koch Brothers and Citizens United).

Bill-O’Reilly

Citizens United left this country open to the power of money. We now know the extent to which moneyed interests use the press to further their interests.

Koch Brothers

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American Sniper

AmericanSniper

I have seen the film and I think it is quite good, but my reaction is complicated by the fact that I have a visceral dislike for the whole concept of sniper fire. Shooting people from a distance who never knew what hit them seems a little unseemly to me. I don’t like it. Put that together with the fact that the real life Chris Kyle was a racist and a bigot and would basically shoot any Iraqi, man, woman, or child, gives me even more pause. I am reminded of Wounded Knee and the slaughter of innocents who were also referred to as savages. Kyle is also a proven liar. Jessie Ventura has just won a lawsuit against his estate for a story about him in his book that was completely fabricated. You have to wonder what else is Kyle lying about. Not to mention the fact that we should not have been in Iraq in the first place. It was not a just nor a good war. But this story transcends the life of the real Chris Kyle and brings to our attention the plight of the American soldier returning from multiple deployments and the psychological trauma inflicted upon these tortured souls. Attention must be paid!

Unbroken

The movie Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie, proves that Miss Jolie is not only a movie star of the first magnitude, but a first rate director as well. There have been a lot of snarky comments about Angelina lately in the press, but I don’t know why there should be so much hate out there for the beautiful and talented Miss Jolie. Jealousy is the only thing I can see. I think credit is due for this masterful piece of work.
The film was beautifully photographed by Roger Deakins, also known for his work on The Shawshank Redemption, No Country for Old Men and, Skyfall. Writing credits go to Joel and Ethan Coen. The film was based on the best-selling book of the same name written by Laura Hillenbrand.
I was somewhat taken aback by some of the critics who called the movie boring and the hero unheroic. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was mesmerized for the entire running time of 2 hours and 17 minutes.  This film was about the triumph of the human spirit. It was not about super human deeds on the battlefield.
The movie was a faithful rendition of the book on which it was based. It told in a straight forward way with flashbacks throughout to flesh out the back story and give the audience understanding of what gave Louie Zamperini the strength of character to remain unbroken throughout the many ordeals he faced during WWII. He first survived a plane crash in the ocean, then survived 45 days at sea on a rubber raft with very little food and water. When he was picked up by the Japanese he was incarcerated in a prison camp and braved harsh conditions, mistreatment, and torture at the hands of a sadistic camp commander known as, “The Bird.”
In my view this is an inspirational film of epic proportion that shows us that the human spirit can triumph over evil. We need more films like this one. I see Oscar buzz and a possible nomination for best picture. It has my vote. Bravo Angelina Jolie!