“Drawing Down: How to Roll Back Police Militarization in America”: Radley Balko

writes: ...Today in America, SWAT teams are deployed about 100 to 150 times per day, or about 50,000 times per year -- a dramatic increase from the 3,000 or so annual deployments in the early 1980s, or the few hundred in the 1970s. The vast majority of today's deployments are to serve search warrants for drug crimes. But the use of SWAT tactics to enforce regulatory law also appears to be rising. This month, for example, a SWAT team raided the Garden of Eden, a sustainable growth farm in … [Read more...]

“I’m OK, You’re Dead”: I review “The Act of Killing”

at AmCon: ...This surreal documentary, which feels more like Variety Hour in Hell, began when filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer found that it was impossible to get survivors of the brutal 1965-6 anti-Communist campaign in Indonesia to describe their experiences. He settled for what he considered the next best thing: interviews with the perpetrators. And for the reason Jean-Luc Godard gives here, that turned out to be the key to making one of the most eye-opening documentaries I’ve ever seen. more … [Read more...]

“No Place to Stand”: I review “The Reluctant Fundamentalist”

at AmCon: Both the title and the trailer of Mira Nair’s “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” (now playing in DC at the E Street Cinema and Bethesda Row Cinema) suggest that this will be the story of how a man becomes a fundamentalist: how a young-gun New York financier, humiliated and mistreated after 9/11, turns his back on America and returns to Pakistan to become an Islamic terrorist. This is not the actual story of the film. In a sense the movie has too much story for this summary, and the … [Read more...]

“The Obama Synthesis Under Siege”: Ross Douthat

blogs: The true ideological inclinations of the Obama White House can be endlessly debated, but slightly more than halfway through this presidency I think it’s fair to make the following generalization: Obama has governed as a business-friendly social democrat and an aggressive social liberal, as a hawkish interventionist when intervention seems cheap and easy (drones, missiles, etc.) and a cautious realist when it doesn’t, and as a surprisingly vigorous defender of presidential … [Read more...]

“Don Pino: The Most Important Beatification of the Early 21st Century”: John L. Allen, Jr

at the Nat'l Catholic Reporter: In two weeks, on May 25, the Catholic church will celebrate what is quite possibly the most important beatification of the early 21st century. Italian Fr. Giuseppe "Pino" Puglisi will be recognized as a martyr in a Mass celebrated in Palermo on the island of Sicily, where he was assassinated in 1993 for challenging the Mafia's hold. The event probably won't get a lot of media play outside Italy, especially since the pope isn't going to be on hand. Yet make no … [Read more...]

“The Advertising Comrade”: I review “No”

at AmCon. … [Read more...]

“Congress Goes Bipartisan–Against Civil Liberties”: W James Antle III

at AmCon: At the very time it appears Washington is so dysfunctional that the two parties cannot get anything done, Democrats and Republicans cooperate regularly—when it it comes to jailing, spying on, and meting out extrajudicial punishments in ways that on their face contradict the Bill of Rights. more … [Read more...]


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