Germany Defends Killing Of Afghan Civilians (or, Sometimes Humorous Comments Just Write Themselves)


BERLIN — The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, pushed back Tuesday against international criticism over an airstrike ordered by German troops that claimed the lives of scores of people in northern Afghanistan, even as NATO announced that it appeared civilians had been among those killed in the bombing.

Well hey, we have a war to fight, and unfortunately civilians will sometimes be victims. So this is totally justifiable, right?

I mean, it’s not like the chancellor of Germany has no problem killing innocent people, right?


The Whole World Woke Up… Or Did They?

In the simply thrilling Bright Eyes number, ” At the Bottom of Everything,” singer/songwriter, Conor Oberst merrilly declares that the “the whole world’s waking up.” I’d love to agree with ya Conor, man, but the cynical side of me must toss you off the cloud your floating on bud. Don’t get me wrong, musically/artistically, this piece and the entire album will go down in the annals of exceptional entertainment. On an entirely different level, I completely disagree with the aformentioned assumption. Clearly, Oberst is referring to Americans waking up to the sad state of their country under George W. Bush and his hawkish policies. I agree, that within the past few years, we’ve seen an extremely rare political play. Finally, people were pointing fingers at the “bad guy,” as they rightfully should have. There was an entire mood of Anti-Bush! Even my grandparents, fairly moderate-conservative people viewed their comander in chief as a bumbling fool. With this new repudiation of Bush it became extremely palpable for a young, charming, eloquent, black man to rise to the top of an old, now foolish, white man’s empire. But, that’s an entirely different story. As much as I hated everything Bush represnted, I know he’s merely a puppet in a grand scheme of century after century of carnage. If you look closely, the wave of Anti-Bush actually painted the man as a sympathetic character. They say the War in Iraq was a mistake… no my friends it was and is a blatant CRIME against humanity: Ma$$ Murder, as any serious political commentator would inform you. Imagine, if the history books noted Ted Bundy’s and John Wayne Gacy’s crimes as mistakes. That would be an obscenity and neither Bush nor any other public figure should be treated any diffrently. The average American, who may have detested Bush, I seriously doubt will mention these basic flaws in their criticisms. Sure, now citizens and politicians alike are “against” the War in Iraq, but are they truly opposed to all American foreign policy, sadly most aren’t. So, did the world really wake up? Nahh, their (american) dreams turned into nightmares and they hopped out of bed to do some sleep walking. It is the job of the radical (the minority) to snap the conformed (the majority) into reality… by any means necessary.


My ABSOLUTE Film Favorites!

I say ABSOLUTE because I’m only listing the top 101, which does not encompass all my favorites, but these are the ones I really, really love! Note: no documentaries or films that claim to be.

101) Lik Wong aka The Story of Riki-Oh (Ngai Kai Lam) 1991
100) Show Your Love (Edward J. Bruno)- 1983
99) A Christmas Story (Bob Clark)- 1983
98) Animal House (John Landis)- 1978
97) Vacation (Harold Ramis)- 1983
96) Ocean’s 11 (Steven Soderburgh)- 2001
95) Happiness (Todd Solantz)- 1998
94) Sixteen Candles (John Hughes)-1984
93) South Park Bigger, Longer, and Uncut (Trey Parker)- 1999
92) Slacker (Richard Linklater)- 1991
91) Pink Flamingos (John Waters)- 1972)
90) Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas (Terry Gilliam)- 1998
89) Batman (Tim Burton)- 1989
88) Office Space (Mike Judge)- 1999
87) Dogma (Kevin Smith)- 1999
86) Mallrats (Kevin Smith)- 1995)
85) American Graffiti (George Lucas)- 1973)
84) One Hour Photo (Mark Romanek)- 2002
83) Butterfly Effect (Eric Bress and J. Mackye Grubber)- 2004
82) Fast Times At Ridgemont High (Amy Heckerling)- 1982
81) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (John Hughes)- 1986
80) The Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont)- 1994
79) Star Wars Episode XI: Return of the Jedi (Richard Marquand)- 1983
78) The Exorcist (William Friedkin)- 1973
77) Halloween (John Carpenter)- 1978
76) Carrie (Brian De Palma)- 1976
75) Rocky (John G. Avildsen)- 1976
74) Big Fish (Tim Burton)- 2003
73) Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (Tim Burton)- 1985
72) Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg)- 1981
71) Memento (Christopher Nolan)- 2000
70) The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky)- 2008
69) Milk (Gus Van Sant)- 2008
68) Rock and Roll High School (Allan Arkush)- 1979
67) The Sixth Sense (M. Night Shamylan)- 1999
66) Toy Story (John Lasseter)- 1995
65) High Fidelity (Stephen Frears)- 2000
64) The Breakfast Club (John Hughes)- 1985
63) JFK (Oliver Stone)- 1991
62) Malcolm X (Spike Lee)- 1992
61) Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn)- 1967
60) 12 Angry Men (Sidney Lumet)- 1957
59) Thank You For Smoking (Jason Reitman)- 2005
58) Sin City (Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez)- 2005
57) Blue Velvet (David Lynch)- 1986
56) Se7en (David Fincher)- 1995
55) Born On the Fourth of July (Oliver Stone)- 1989
54) Mystic River (Clint Eastwood)- 2003
53) The Shining (Stanley Kubrick)-1980
52) The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson)- 2001
51) The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola)- 1974
50) Kids (Larry Clark)- 1995
49) Walk the Line (James Mangold)- 2005
48) American Psycho (Mary Harron)- 2000
47) The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan)- 2008
46) Jaws (Steven Spielberg)- 1975
45) Edward Scissorhands (Tim Burton)- 1990
44) The Doors (Oliver Stone)- 1991
43) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry)- 2004
42) The Terminator (James Cameron)- 1984
41) Terminator 2: Judgment Day (James Cameron)- 1991
40) Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)- 2009
39) Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (Quentin Tarantino)- 2003 and 2004
38) Requiem For a Dream (Darren Aronofsky)- 2000
37) Detroit Rock City (Adam Rifkin)- 1999
36) The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme)- 1991
35) Chasing Amy (Kevin Smith)- 1997
34) Clerks II (Kevin Smith)- 2006
33) Natural Born Killers (Oliver Stone)- 1994
32) The Graduate (Mike Nichols)- 1967
31) American Beauty (Sam Mendes)- 1999
30) The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming)- 1939
29) Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Mel Stuart)- 1971
28) Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (Irvin Kirshner)- 1980
27) Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock)- 1960
26) Forrest Gump (Robert Zemeckis)- 1994
25) Stand By Me (Rob Reiner)- 1986
24) A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick)- 1971
23) It’s A Wonderful Life (Frank Capra)- 1946
22) Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee)- 1989
21) Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly)- 2001
20) Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe)- 2000
19) Juno (Jason Reitman)- 2007
18) Good Will Hunting (Gus Van Sant)- 1997
17) (500) Days of Summer (Marc Webb)- 2009
16) Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson)- 1997
15) Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis)- 1985
14) E.T. (Steven Spielberg)- 1982
13) Star Wars (George Lucas)- 1977
12) Trainspotting (Danny Boyle)-1996
11) Goodfellas (Martin Scorcesse)- 1990
10) Taxi Driver (Martin Scorcesse)- 1876
9) One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Milos Forman)- 1975
8) Garden State (Zach Braff)- 2004
7) American History X (Tony Kaye)- 1998
6) Fight Club (David Fincher)- 1999
5) The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola)- 1972
4) Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino)- 1992
3) Clerks (Kevin Smith)- 1993
2) Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater)- 1993
1) Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino)- 1994!!!!


Film Review: Inglourious Basterds!!!

: Inglourious Basterds
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger, Daniel Bruhl, Til Schweiger, and Mike Myers
Length: 153 Minutes
Rating: R
Year: 2009
IMDb Rating: 8.7/10 (#35 in the Top 250, very impressive)
My Rating: A

Here’s why
: Continue reading “Film Review: Inglourious Basterds!!!”

Amnesty International on Peltier Denial

Amnesty International today regretted the US Parole Commission’s decision not to grant Leonard Peltier parole despite concerns about the fairness of his 1977 conviction for murder. The organization called for the immediate release on parole of the activist, who is serving two consecutive life sentences and has spent more than 32 years in prison.

A prominent member of the American Indian Movement (AIM), Leonard Peltier was convicted of the murders of two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents, Jack Coler and Ronald Williams, during a confrontation involving AIM members on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota on 26 June 1975. While Leonard Peltier admits having been present during the incident, he has always denied shooting the agents at point blank range as alleged by the prosecution at his trial.

Amnesty International recognizes the seriousness of the crime for which Leonard Peltier was convicted. However, having studied the case extensively over many years, the organization remains concerned about the fairness of the process leading to his conviction, including questions about evidence linking him to the point-blank shootings and coercion of an alleged eye-witness.

One of Amnesty International’s concerns is that Leonard Peltier’s extradition from Canada in 1976 — where he had fled following the shootings — was secured on the basis of the coerced testimony of an alleged eye-witness which the FBI knew to be false. The witness, Myrtle Poor Bear, later retracted her testimony that she had seen Leonard Peltier shoot the agents but the trial judge did not allow her to be called as a defence witness at his trial. Other concerns include the withholding by the prosecution of evidence, including potentially key ballistics evidence that might have assisted Leonard Peltier’s defence.

“The interest of justice would be best served by granting Leonard Peltier parole,” said Angela Wright, US Researcher at Amnesty International. “Given the concerns around his conviction, the fact that appeals before the courts have long been exhausted and that he has spent more than 32 years in prison, we urge the Parole Commission to reconsider its decision.”

The parole hearing, which took place over four hours on 28 July, was the first full parole hearing to be held in the case since 1993. In addition to the concerns about the fairness of his conviction, parole was sought by Peltier and his lawyer based on his good conduct record in prison and arrangements made by the Turtle Mountain tribe to receive him into their community on his release.

Background Information
Leonard Peltier is an Anishinabe-Lakota Native American who was a member of the American Indian Movement (AIM), an activist group involved in promoting the rights of “traditionalist” Indians during a period of intense conflict in the 1970s. In the two years prior to the confrontation in which the agents were killed, more than 60 Indians on the Pine Ridge reservation had been killed, allegedly by paramilitary squads connected to the tribal government, without anyone being brought to justice for the crimes. AIM members who had come to the reservation to assist “traditionalists” opposing the tribal government were also allegedly threatened. Relations between AIM and the FBI were also tense, with accusations that the authorities had not done enough to protect those at risk on the reservation.

The confrontation in which the two FBI agents were killed took place after the agents entered the reservation with an arrest warrant for four people and started following a van. A fire-fight ensued. Evidence was presented at trial to show that the agents received multiple shots and were quickly disabled before being shot dead at point-blank range.
Two other AIM leaders, Darelle Butler and Robert Robideau, were initially charged with the agents’ murders and were tried separately: no evidence was presented to link them to the point-blank shootings.

The jury acquitted them after hearing evidence about the atmosphere of violence and intimidation on the reservation and concluded that, arguably, they might have been acting in self-defense when they were involved in the exchange of gunfire.

Following their acquittal, the FBI renewed its efforts to pursue Leonard Peltier, who had fled to Canada. At his trial, the prosecution alleged that the rifle which killed the agents belonged to Peltier. During post-trial investigations, the defence team discovered a teletex message suggesting that the rifle in question contained a different firing pin from the one used to kill the agents; this was raised on appeal and an evidentiary hearing held at which the significance of the teletex was contested by the government. On appeal, the government also argued that sufficient evidence had been presented to the jury at trial to show that Leonard Peltier had “aided and abetted” the killings even if he had not been the actual killer.

However, Amnesty International believes that the outcome may well have been different had Peltier been able to challenge the ballistics evidence linking him to the fatal shots more effectively.


Tarantino’s Top 20 Since ’92!

I love his enthusiasm. He could make a movie about the lives of McDonalds employees and I’d see it. I seriously doubt he would do that though haha. He seriously makes me appreciate Unbreakable more though. I’ve seen 9 out of the 20 and I’m familiar with most. I’ve had Audition on my never ending list of movies to see for so long! Dazed and Confused(2), Fight Club(6), and Boogie Nights (16)appear on my top 20 list as well. He hit the nail on the head on Dazed, but I can’t imagine going a few years without watching it! I used to watch it once a month!
P.S. It’s FRIDAY Quentin!