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war in your backyard November 24, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in media, politics.
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I am not a fan of Michael Moore. Never really have been. But there is one stunt, albeit far-fetched, unfair, and illogical, that stood out in one of his films: Michael Moore tracking down U.S. politicians, trying to get them to sign their kids up for war. Of course this is silly for a multitude of reasons a big one being the fact that a parent cannot sign their children up for service), yet the point was made: do those who are quick to support war, be it the politicians or the people who put them in power, realize the ramifications of such actions if brought closer to home? I could get into a whole discussion about the philosophical problems of war, but these are not how the decisions are made. Militaristic governments, in any part of the world, do not use logic and rationality to woe their supporters – they target the emotions with rhetorical devices and purposefully fallacious logic. You hear BushCo. talk of “Freedom”, but do you ever hear him define what “freedom” is? We fight for “democracy”, they say, but what is “democracy”? Likewise in far away lands to which we are sending our young, and often poor, men and women, the authorities are convincing their peoples of “justice” and other such notions. (more…)

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death of a… October 28, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in media, politics.
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Go see “Death of a President”. If you are a Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, radical, fascist. Go see this film. I prefer not to give film reviews because I think it they ruin films. I can only tell you to see it. I have never seen so many people been so foolish in their ignorant comments they have made on this film. The White House stated it the film does not even dignify a response. Hillary Clinton called the film “disgusting”. Some American theatres have banned the film while others are just refusing to screen it. The funny thing is, these people had not seen the film. The film is, fortunately, not anti-Bush. I heard some guy behind me scoffing everytime the President’s “special advisor” spoke, who was the stereotypical butt-kisser. Bush is cautiously presented in a way that would have A&E wishing for rights on this movie. The most chilling scene in the film is not the half-second shooting of the President, but the installation of Vice President Cheney as President. Mid-way through this film you need to remind yourself that President Bush had not really been assassinated and you are really living in the year 2006 rather than 2008. If you have access to a theatre that is playing the film, go see it.

would you vote for tom? October 14, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in media, politics.
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No, not Myspace Tom. I saw “Man of the Year” last night. In my humble opinion, Robin Williams pulled of a great balance between humour and politics, never dousing us with too much of either (although people who hate politics would probably argue otherwise). Sure, the film could have been better, could have been more controversial, could have been pushed farther, could have been released four years ago – although who knows, Robin would have had to go on hiatus with the Dixie Chicks. Now that its cool to be disallusioned with the American political system, everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon – not that I am complaining. And yes, I know that Williams and others have not exactly been big fans of the Bush Administration for a while, but most people in the United States were not exactly scratching their heads in the important days of late 2001 while the Republicans were cramming the PATRIOT ACT down the throats of Americans (and the rest of the world). (more…)

the numbers of the 9/11 legacy September 14, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in media, politics.
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As Khalidmir and I have briefly been discussing the issues surrounding polls, surveys, and statistics themselves, I figured I would end the 9/11 week with some of the odd, and not so odd, numbers of the legacy that is September 11, 2001.

0 – hours of intelligence training provided to FBI agents previous to 9/11

1 – number of those charged with a 9/11-related crime

2 – number of years since US had any credible intelligence on Bin Laden

7 – percent of people in UK who think the US-led “war on terror” is being won

11 – weeks the 9/11 commission’s report was top of the New York Times’ non-fiction best-seller list (more…)

remember the eleventh of september September 11, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in media, politics.
2 comments
Remember, remember the eleventh of September,
the bin Laden conspiracy and plot,
I see of no reason why planes of terror
should ever be forgot.

Before the age of film, music played a significant role in remembering events of our past. Transmission through song was a sort of coping device for us to overcome grief while also passing down history from the immediate down through the generations. The ripoff above may sound familiar if you have seen V for Vendetta. It is actually part of a popular song sang in Britain to commemorate the interception of Guy Fawke’s attempt to blow up Parliament in 1605. Similar to the American national anthem, it represents a time when song was used to commemorate important events in history. That is, not financially benefitting from the loss of life. (more…)

this week on audacity September 8, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in media, personal, philosophy, politics, religion.
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For the next week or so I will be dedicating this blog to the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the chaos that has ensued. Some of the articles are ones that I have written, and some I have not.

i just got a little more stupid September 7, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in media.
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By even putting the name “Paris Hilton” on my blog, I am surely lowering the quality of content of my blog, albeit certainly garnering more hits than usual. The tragedy of this character is nothing to do with herself, but with the idea of who she is and what she represents. The criticisms against her existence on this planet are numerous and at times, just plain mean. She is the poster child for the flawed American dream, and she enjoys it. (more…)

universities boycott, “macleans” gets defensive August 29, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in academia, media.
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August 14, 2006

Dear Mr. Keller:
We regret to advise you that our universities will not be participating in the 2006 Maclean’s questionnaire.
We share Maclean’s goal of providing good information for students and their families who are researching post-secondary education. We also compliment you on your editorial coverage of the post-secondary sector. Many of the articles in Maclean’s have contributed to the national discussion about post-secondary education, and have helped to frame students’ choices. Our concern relates specifically to Maclean’s attempts to generate a global ranking of Canadian universities. (more…)

out of hell August 27, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in media, politics.
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Yesterday I wrote about the lot of journalists and peacekeepers in the middle east right now focusing on the two Fox News journalists. Today the prisoners were released by the obscure group, Holy Jihad Brigades. However, it is interesting to note the amount of skepticism surrounding the news article in the above link (read the comments). Of course “The Globe and Mail” is Canadian but the astounding amount of contempt for anything coming from Fox News has to be a wake-up call. I increasingly question every piece of news that I read (I do not usually watch the news) for not only its journalistic integrity but even for its validity. It seems that more and more people are doing the same.

reporting from hell August 26, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in media, politics.
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Some people really have a passion for there job. To be reporting in the middle east right now takes a little more than passion. A little while back I wrote about Alexandra Avakian who was able to get into the Hezbollah itself as a reporter for National Geographic. Not all reporters in the area are so lucky. Recently in the news are the demands of the “Holy Jihad Brigades”. They were previously unheard of, but since their capture of two Fox News journalists on August 14th, the Holy Jihad Brigades have found their 15 minutes of infamy. These sort of attacks on journalists are that of sheer cowardice, even if it is Fox News. The group holding the two journalists, Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig, have demanded the release of all Muslim prisoners of the United States. These guys are either very stupid or, just very stupid. (more…)