Nothing can break me out of my slumber like a potential debate on a wild subject. So I’ve been tweeting and gabbing a bit here and there, but not really finding it in me to make another full-blown blog post. Until now. Hope they don’t disappoint me.
So this all started, sort of, with that shooting at Thousand Oaks. So the same sort of arguments came up that usually come up around this point in time before anyone has any time to grieve (because let’s face it, many people who weren’t in the area give less of a shit about the victims and more of a shit about using them as a means to an end to make a political point about gun control, or lack thereof). “We need more gun control!” “It happened because it was in a gun-free zone!” “Conservatives suck dick!” “Liberals suck dick!” You know, all that stuff.
But I was taken off-guard when the topic came up that far-right extremists are statistically proven to be more responsible for these “massacres” than left-wing extremists, let alone muslim-extremists (I wonder of the last two should be grouped together, considering how much left-wingers go down on Allah worshipers).
Let me start at the Twitter tweet (because let’s face it, it’s only on Twitter where I can find people with differing opinions to debate with, Gab is currently just an echo chamber; it’s going to take another couple years before that changes, if it lasts that long) where someone who goes by the name Historian@NeolithichHist got involved in the discussion to finally make it interesting (ie offer me a real challenge). Someone else did something like that in an earlier Twitter debate I had which got too convoluted, and I’ll include her in the discussion should she choose to get involved in this current one (I can handle double teaming should it come to that).
The problem is armed white conservatives. Every single time it’s a white conservative who legally purchased a gun.
The difference between identity politics and people identifying with politics is this: The Left uses the concept of identity politics to spread division and strife amongst people. So they bring this group into a room, and they tell them something different in this group, and there’s something different in this group, and they pit them against each other. […] On our side, and on the side that I think better represents what we believe, is that we use people… all we use things to identify with politics. So we say… Ok, this group of people learn differently, they have a different culture. We understand that. But we’re telling everybody the same thing. […] And that message is unity, freedom, and American values. Big difference, huge difference, and we have to understand that difference. And therefore we can reach outside of the box.
Finding studies that group people by their race, on the other hand…
According to a 2015 Brookings Institution study, 77 percent of white gun deaths are from suicide. Only 19 percent are homicides. Even when you combine homicides and suicides, the white-male death rate from guns is approximately 16 per 100,000. For white women, the rate is less than five per 100,000.
A staggering 82 percent of African-American gun deaths are homicides. Only 14 percent are suicides. The overall gun-death rate for black males is roughly double what it is for white males, and for black males between the ages of 20 and 29, the rate is approximately 89 per 100,000.
Gun deaths are lowest in the population that owns the most guns. Fully 41 percent of white households report owning a gun, compared with only 19 percent of black households. Among white Americans, there are more guns, but there’s less crime. Among black Americans, there are fewer guns, but there’s more crime.
After all, there is ample evidence that federal officials can be extraordinarily lax when it comes to gun crimes, especially in cities where the death toll is highest. As recently as 2012, the districts encompassing Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York ranked last in federal gun-crime enforcement per capita.
Cries for gun control will lose their potency when crime loses its potency.
The findings of the “Los Angeles Police Department Homicide Report” for 2017 are unsurprising for racial realists. According to this analysis, both the victims and perpetrators of violent crime in Los Angels are young, non-white, and poor. Of the 282 homicides which occurred in Los Angeles in 2017, 177—62.8 percent—were gang related.
Of all homicides committed in 2017 in Los Angeles, 72 percent involved handguns. Shotguns and rifles accounted for only one percent each. “Assault weapons”—the weapons targeted by current gun control push—accounted only for one percent. Firearms were used in 93 percent of homicides committed by gang members.
Suspect descriptions were provided for 146 of the homicides, yielding 171 suspects (some incidents involved more than one suspect). Of these suspects, 52 percent were Hispanic, six percent were white, and less than two percent were Asian. An astonishing 40 percent were black, despite blacks comprising less than ten percent of the city’s population.
And that’s where we left off, plus my mentioning that I’d carry this over to another website. So, regarding that article he linked to…
The only Islamist terror attack in Pennsylvania over the past 15 years was committed by Edward Archer, a mentally ill man who shot and injured a police officer in early 2016, later telling investigators that he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Far-right episodes of violent extremism were far more common.
A new database compiled by The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute examines that claim by looking back over a nine-year period, from 2008 through 2016. The findings are dramatic: Far-right plots and attacks outnumber Islamist incidents by almost 2 to 1.
There are 201 incidents in the database, sorted broadly as Islamist, right wing (including white supremacists, militias and members of the so-called Patriot and sovereign citizens movements), and left wing (including animal right militants, environmentalists, anarchists and Black Lives Matter sympathizers). Most of the Islamist incidents are thwarted plots, indicating a significant investment of law enforcement resources. Most of the others are successful acts in which attackers damaged property or inflicted human casualties.
Right-wing extremist terrorism was more often deadly: Nearly a third of incidents involved fatalities, for a total of 79 deaths, while 13 percent of Islamist cases caused fatalities. (The total deaths associated with Islamist incidents were higher, however, reaching 90, largely due to the 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood in Texas.)
Incidents related to left-wing ideologies, including ecoterrorism and animal rights, were comparatively rare, with 19 incidents causing seven fatalities – making the shooting attack on Republican members of Congress earlier this month somewhat of an anomaly.
Have to admit, it’s a very extensive article. The quotes above aside, it also points out how federal resources are used to target Islamists far more than right-wing-extremists. Which is disproportionate to the number of crimes right-wing-extremists commit compared to Islamic extremists, or even left-wing-extremists, which even when combined is still lower than the crimes committed by right-wing-extremists. The point the article is making is that right-wing-extremists (implying extreme conservative whites) are more responsible for acts of domestic terrorism, and causing fatalities by those terrorist acts, than any other political/religious group in the United States. As far as I can currently tell, there’s no disputing this (though I am open to opinions, with data to back them, that oppose this conclusion).
However, don’t be fooled by this. This found a way to take the broad discussion of dangers posed by groups based on their political/religious leanings, and narrowed it down in a way to make it appear that we should all be more critical and wary of right-wingers than left-wingers (there’s the muslims too, but for the purpose of this discussion we’ll leave them out of this for now; they were worth mentioning just because of the context the above article is to be taken). It only focuses on acts of terrorism, as the article defines it. It doesn’t take into account gang-violence, non-terror related incidents of fatalities. You know, where the big numbers are.
Let’s take into account the population of the United States and, statistically, how ethnically diverse it is (though that can be a bit tricky with the Latino population, given the illegal immigration issue). According to StatisticalAtlas.com, out of a population of over 200 million people in the United States, 62% are White, 17% are Hispanic, and a little under 13% are Black. Now with those numbers in mind, you would think crime stats would be similar to fit with those percentages. Since whites compose the majority of the population, you would expect the majority of the violent crimes to be committed by whites, mostly against other whites, sometimes against other races (the higher the number of other races, the greater the chance they will be a victim of the majority race). And you would expect Hispanics to make up the second highest amount of violent crimes, with Blacks taking third place. In a perfect and fair world, where everyone is the same and equal, and treated as such, that should be the case. And by the logic of that RevealNews.org article, that seems consistent with it at least in terms of race (at the moment, I can’t locate an article mentioning the ethnic percentages of what makes up those who identify as right-leaning, left-leaning, or just down the middle, so I wouldn’t know how to begin taking apart an argument stating that right-wingers are more dangerous because they’re composed more heavily of whites than left-wingers, anymore than I could make an argument supporting that view).
That being said, it’s not a fair and perfect world because we, as humans, are not a far and perfect species. We have political differences, we have cultural differences, and we have different hobbies. Because of those factors and more, anomalies are to be expected. The issue is what to make of those anomalies and how to address them without making things worse.
So with that in mind, back to the statistics. The RevealNews.org site states that right-wing-extremists are responsible for the deaths of 79 people from 2008-2016. An 8-year time-span. Not that I think nothing should be done about combating terrorist acts or anything, regardless of what race and political-party-supporters are doing them; but this is small potatoes. 79 deaths over the course of 8 years. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo. Non-white people, non-domestic-terrorist people, can beat that number in 1 year, in 1 city (not State, not County, City). Most of those committed by people who don’t legally own firearms. A good portion of those committed by non-white (and thus one could assume, by some strange logic, non-right-wing) individuals.
So they want to argue that because there are more right-wing-extremists in a white-majority country committing the most domestic terror acts on a white-majority population, we should do… what exactly? Have more gun control or eliminate guns when it’s statistically proven that More Guns = Less Crime? Have white guilt? Have right-wing guilt? I say we’re taking the wrong approach with that mindset, given some inconvenient facts that go against such conclusions. Consider the overall scale of crime. The overall crime rate, according to DisasterCenter.com, has been decreasing since 1991, without a single year of uptick. That being said, according to the same source, the murder rate has sort of always been in flux; but recent years have shown that it has been on the rise since 2014, and hasn’t gone down since. More than 17,000 U.S. citizens per year are murdered; it’s been that way since 2016. That’s too many just to simplify the argument down to, “But right-wing-extremists killed nearly 80 people in 8 years, roughly 10 people a year on average!” The problem is broader in scope than what domestic terror acts can account for. Certainly broader in scope than what right-wing-extremists can account for. Don’t let mainstream media which lives for sensationalism fool you into thinking otherwise.
On a side note, this does seem to fit an interesting pattern. A similar spike in overall murder rates occurred in 1999, with the number continuing to rise until 2003. So if the pattern is to repeat, that number should start to fall by, oh say, by either this year or next year. They seem to go by roughly 4 year patterns of rising and falling; making it seem like they coincide with presidential elections. Not sure if that’s a coincidence or if the political climate across the history of the U.S. is a contributing factor. On the other hand, I’m not so sure these are normal times we’re living in. Hindsight is 20-20, so time will tell.
So revisiting this trilogy after a few years, I have to admit, it’s a bit better than I remember. Probably because I was too young to give a shit about the political elements. And make no mistake, this trilogy is heavy handed with the political messaging. Yet it succeeds in this regard, unlike The Last Cocksucking Jedi which made the serious mistake if injecting radical politics into the film without making them an integral part of not just the film’s plot, but of the entire trilogy’s plot.
Now, that being said, the prequel trilogy isn’t without its faults, and a few of them are serious, especially when compared to what was setup in the original trilogy. The faults range from insulting to laughable to meh.
Rated: 3.5 / 5
So the opening text crawl states that the Jedi are guardians of peace and justice. Guess it won’t be long before they fuck that up.
But anyway, the text crawl also starts more complicated than the originals. There are mentions of politics, trade embargoes, taxes, etc. It’s an early indication that this Star Wars trilogy will be more focused on such governmental aspects compared to the original trilogy. While the original trilogy had indications of governmental/political struggles, that was more of a background element, while the foreground kept things focused on the journey of a young ambitious man who would fulfill his destiny of becoming a Jedi, and also redeem someone considered nonredeemable. The prequel trilogy would bring the politics more to the forefront. And to be honest, it seems appropriate to do so, considering that it’s also about the rise of the Galactic Empire, how the Clone Wars came to be, and the fall of the Republic (showing the time before the dark times, and how the dark times came to be).
“There is no civility, only politics.”
That being said, it’s not exactly the best opening text crawl out there to get audiences eager to see what would happen next. “Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Republic due to a trade dispute.” Oh God, the horror! The humanity! Not a trade dispute! Holy shit, they better get their shit together before higher tariffs are implemented causing everyone in the Republic to have a hard time making ships and annoying dumbass robots! It will be the end of us!
At least some nice words of wisdom have returned to the franchise.
“Master Yoda said I should be mindful of the future.”
“But not at the expense of the moment.”
Good stuff. Is there more? You bet there is.
Anyway, while this film does get a bad rap nowadays, particularly because of Jar Jar Binks (who I can tolerate better than the average movie-goer apparently, though there are two brief scenes that were completely unnecessary and added nothing to the film other than having immature slapstick humor), it still has plenty of awesome stuff in it that, in my opinion, allows it to surpass anything that the more recent (albeit incomplete) Star Wars trilogy has to offer (though just between you and me, I’m not considering this new trilogy to be canon, considering it’s being made by idiotic unoriginal politically-driven buffoons).
For starters, we get to see what the Republic was like, how things generally functioned “before the dark times,” and what the Jedi were capable of. Great lightsaber play (even if it is too acrobatic for its own good, going more for the circus performance style than the grounded samurai style; though in all fairness anime pull this shit all the time, so…), good use of force powers that only builds on what we’ve already scene, not adding anything too new or too out there (which is a good thing).
And then there’s the pod race scene. I love this entire sequence. The lack of music for at least half of the race allows for great tension, letting the sound effects do the work much as they did for lightsaber battles in the OT (original trilogy), and as they did for the bike chase in Return of the Jedi. One of the more intense and gripping bits in this whole film. Plus it’s clear this sequence is paying homage to Ben Hur (the Charleton Heston one from the 50s, not the cocksucking 2016 remake).
And if nothing else, Lucas sure does know how to put on a finale. The Duel of the Fates has gone down as one of the greatest fight sequences of all time, with the choreography between Kenobi and Maul and Rob Roy matched (if not surpassed) by the accompanying music by John Williams. It’s nothing short of a masterpiece, and worth the price of admission alone. And Darth Maul became one of the most famous villains in the franchise, just by his look and presence (along with that famously introduced dual-lightsaber), with very little dialogue spoken in the entire film. Not to mention the other battles going on during this time.
Now, with that being said, when they encounter Darth Maul during the finale… it’s pretty stupid when you think about it. What they do when he shows up is split up, having all non-Jedi take the “long way” to the throne room, while Kenobi and Qui-Gon fight Maul and have one of the most awesomely epic lightsaber duels in Star Wars history. Now that sounds awesome and all, but why wouldn’t everybody just start unloading on this guy? They’re all standing right in front of him. Shoot him! You have 2 Jedi to assist you!
Now for the problems I did have with this film. The first thing that came up I had a problem with wasn’t Jar Jar, but R2-D2. Not that he was on the ship they used to fly through the blockade (though that is a big coincidence he would just so happen to be there), but the commendation they gave this robot after saving the ship. It’s bullshit, and R2’s presence only exists just to pander to fans of the OT. And not only that, but from that point on R2 follows the protagonists practically wherever they go. Even for a prequel trilogy, this is pushing it. The only thing worse than that is seeing that Anakin Skywalker is the one responsible for building C3-PO. Bloody hell mahn! It’s ridiculous! How did C3-PO become capable of speaking/understanding all those tens of thousands of alien languages? Because Anakin taught him? Bullshit, and loads of it! The presence of those 2 robots insults me. There is no good reason at all to include them. Zip, nada. They could’ve used any other random robots to fill in these roles. Hell, C3-PO didn’t even need to be in this trilogy, considering he doesn’t do jack shit (at least he had a use in the OT).
As for the other problem, and you knew this was coming, the midi-chlorians.
“Midi-chlorians are a microscopic life-form that resides within all living cells. […] And we are symbionts with them. […] Life-forms living together for mutual advantage. Without the midi-chlorians, life could not exist, and we would have no knowledge of the Force. They continually speak to us, telling us the will of the Force. When you learn to quiet your mind, you’ll hear them speaking to you.”
Now, to be honest, I don’t think this is as bad of a concept as some people make it out to be. When you analyze it, this isn’t saying the midi-chlorians are the Force, they are something else. I guess you could say they are some concept of the soul, or at least something that allows any living organism to be tuned to the force, making them more likely to be force-sensitive, and thus able to utilize it. With that said, this doesn’t belong in a Star Wars film. If I wanted scientific explanations for how magic works (as opposed to a philosophical explanation), I’d watch fucking Star Trek. Plus the main reason this was brought into the franchise (and no one really takes it seriously, nor should they) was for this whole Christ-birth metaphor for Anakin. It’s fucking bullshit, and when all is said and done, the trilogy could have been done without bringing this up in the first place. It’s as pointless as the, “There was no father,” line (ala the Christ metaphor). Fuck you, you’re just saying that because you don’t want to admit the father is Jabba the Hutt or something.
“Mom, you say the biggest problem in this universe is that no one helps each other.”
Personally, I’d rather go with the definition of midi-chlorians given in this video. It’s shorter, simpler, and makes more sense:
And that’s all, those are the only 2 major problems I had with this movie. The only other issues I had were more minor annoyances than anything else. Plus the great moments (the pod race, Duel of the Fates) more than make up for the bad moments.
“Greed can be a powerful ally.”
“Whenever you gamble my friend, eventually you’ll lose.”
And now for the last bit before moving on to the next film, the politics. As I said earlier, politics has a greater presence in this trilogy compared to the OT, and it’s worth discussing, considering how relevant its message is. So Palpatine (who is really Darth Sidious, the Sith Master; spoilers by the way) is behind the whole trade embargo, and utilized it as a way to gain power. Because he is one of the ambassadors for Naboo, and instigated the conflict as a way to gain power in the Senate. Whether Tatooine is left in turmoil, or if Padme lives or dies, is of no consequence. He instigates fear and chaos, and exploits the weaknesses of the Senate to gain power. And this is done when Padme realizes that the leaders of the Senate are unable to get things done efficiently in an adequate amount of time due to the corruption that is there. Palpatine shows to her, truthfully, where the corruption lies. That the Trade Federation has bought off some politicians, and thus has gained unfair political influence amidst the individuals running the Senate. Because humans are imperfect and are corruptible. Thus Padme makes her displeasure known publicly within the Senate, and calls for a new replacement to get things done, which the Senate overall agrees to, thus placing Palpatine in a higher position of power, though unknown to everyone he is more corrupted than anyone there.
“It is clear to me that the Republic no longer functions. I pray you will bring sanity and compassion back to the Senate.”
But the political intrigue doesn’t end there. The whole reason this move happens is because of fear of what would happen to her people, causing her to make a rash decision. Plus, seeing all the other races and world ambassadors within the Senate, it becomes clear that the plight of Naboo is just on small piece in the whole galaxy. Thousands of worlds, each with their own political structure, their own problems, their own issues. One can perceive from this that the universe doesn’t revolve around what the protagonists are doing. There are other events going on, providing rich material for spin-offs and fan-made novels/games/films. More on that later.
“Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to the dark side.”
This element of fear leading others to do rash things is extended to the Jedi Council, who sense fear in Anakin, which can cause him to do rash things as well (which will be seen in the sequel). In addition, the Council itself has fears of the Sith and what they mean. They are keepers of the peace, they do not wish to get involved in conflict unless absolutely necessary (thus they largely abstain from Naboo’s plight, because there is more going on outside of Naboo). The Council does not wish to have Anakin trained, because he’s too old (pish posh), yet Qui-Gon decides to do it himself, going against the will of the council, similar to how Padme makes the move of promoting Palpatine, which goes against normal procedure. And it also shows signs of imperfection within the Jedi council. Even in Obi-Wan, with how he reacts to Qui-Gon bringing Anakin with him off of Tatooine, shows imperfections within his character.
“Why do I have the feeling we’ve picked up some other pathetic life form?”
There are similarities and connections to a few plot threads in this film, elements that are enhanced upon a rewatch, especially after seeing the entire trilogy. George Lucas had his game plan thought out from the get-go, before Episode I started filming, and it shows. Plenty of foreshadowing that has natural progressions and payoffs in the later films. Stuff like this makes me recognize the brilliance within the prequel trilogy, in spite of its faults. This saying pretty much sums up the political aspect of not just this movie, but of the entire prequel trilogy (PT): “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” While there is a celebration of peace and prosperity at the end of the film, knowing what lies ahead, it’s a bittersweet victory. Enjoy the peace while you can.
“He [Anakin] gives without any thought of reward.”
“He knows nothing of greed.”
Rated: 2.5 / 5
This used to be what I considered to be the worst Star Wars film ever (not including spin-offs, or anything outside of the episodes that have Roman numerals in them). That was until The Last Jedi came about. And to this day, I have to admit, this movie is pretty bad. I struggle at times on giving it a lower rating, but the last act prevents me from doing so.
First, the good stuff. The imperfections of the Republic have carried over into the opening text crawl of this film. Due to disagreements and civil division, many worlds have broken off from the Republic to join the Separatists. This sounds a bit eerily close to reality doesn’t it? If it doesn’t seem freakishly similar to events of today yet, wait until you get to the next episode.
But anyway, many are becoming worried about the state of affairs. How the Separatists are being formed, and the threat they pose to the Republic. But there is justification on the Separatists’ part. As we’ve seen in the last episode, the Republic and the Senate isn’t efficient at dealing with issues, making many frustrated and fed up with the slow pace, with the stalling, etc. Thus, despite reservations and warnings as to how this could backfire, the Jedi Council and other factions back the appointment of Palpatine as the leader of the Senate, who will act with semi-dictatorial rule to make more decisive decisions. It allows for greater efficiency in addressing problems and sidesteps the usual issues that would bog down the amount of time it would normally take. This is done out of fear of what the Separatists and their droid army will do. And the whole conflict (and the formation of the Separatists) was planned by the very guy they appointed as leader of the Senate, and thus of the Republic. And he used fear and exploited the weaknesses of mankind (and alienkind too, don’t want to alienate anyone) and government institutions to gain power and control. Even the Jedi Council admit that they are taking a very dangerous path here, electing Palpatine to such a position, even if it’s for good intentions (the road to Hell).
Good stuff. Too bad it’s marred by one of the worst fucking executions of a romance story I’ve ever seen in my life. Fuck me, the acting by Hayden Christensen is fucking horrendous, to the point of hilarity at times. It’s not helped by the dialogue, spoken by Padme and Anakin. This isn’t an issue one can ignore considering how much time is spent with them. But I have to admit, just this aspect alone makes this film perfect for Rifftrax. And after re-watching this, I consider it a sin to watch the film without the Rifftrax treatment.
Oh, but the pain and misery don’t end there. Aside from R2-D2 and C3-PO being more involved (gag me with a spoon), there’s also the action scenes during the first 3 quarters of the film. Most of them go for far too long (like when they’re chasing the assassin), and they get dull by the time they’re halfway over. I don’t care if there’s symbolism and foreshadowing in those scenes (Anakin getting his hand temporarily trapped on the conveyor belt foreshadowing his robotic arm), they needed serious trimming.
Then there’s Jengo Fette, who has a son named Boba Fette. Why the fuck do we need a Boba Fette connection in the PT? Stop making these forced and unnecessary connections to the OT! They don’t enhance either trilogy in any way and just make things more stupider (so stupider I’m saying the word that way instead of it’s appropriate spelling/usage).
And lastly, there’s Anakin. First, it seems as if too much of everything revolves around him. First there’s this prophecy bullshit (which, again, is something this trilogy could’ve done without). Then there’s the moment when he kills all these Sand People in a rage after his mother dies, and this rage and pain is felt by Yoda (oh please). And then there’s the meeting with those people who would go on to raise Luke Skywalker.
What the fuck!?!!!!!?
It serves no purpose! There’s no rhyme or reason for it! It’s bullshit! And on top of that, Obi-Wan doesn’t know about it, so it doesn’t make anymore sense for Obi-Wan to somehow conveniently albeit unwisely hand Luke over to them at the end of Episode III. It’s more bullshit “memba dis?” moments as a callback to the OT that shouldn’t exist in the first place. Illogical, fucks with the OT a bit, questions the rationality on everyone’s part, and at the very least seems like a dumb fucking hiding place. In fact, why the fuck even hide the babies in the first place if Anakin isn’t going to know what they look like? I mean, shit, one of them is hiding in– whoah, hang on, I’m getting ahead of myself here. Need to hold back and save this rant for Episode III when the event actually happens. I’ll get back to you later you dumb fucking thing you.
Now, I don’t want to end the review of this film on a sour note, because at least the film had the decency of ending on a high note (at least in terms of entertainment value). The film kicks up a notch when our protagonists are in the arena fighting for their lives. Finally, an investing action sequence. And then the Jedi army shows up, and they start fighting against an army of robots. And despite how powerful the Jedi are, they’re not invincible, and they take heavy losses and are on the verge of getting wiped out. But then the clone army shows up to save the day, and then we get to see a massive battle between the droid army and the clone army. And it concludes with a fight between Anakin and Kenobi vs. Dooku, until Yoda steps in and showcases one of the most hilarious and awesome (at the same time) moment in Star Wars history. All of a sudden, it felt like it was worth getting through all that bullshit condensed into the first 2/3rds of the movie just to get to that last 3rd.
Oh, right, about the clone army. It’s a great concept, though it’s marred by the whole Fette connection thing (would’ve been a lot better if this asshole had any other name, and didn’t have a kid named Boba; the only fucking bobas I want as far as the PT is concerned are the bobas that go into smoothies).
Anyway, I found it a bit intriguing as to how it got started. Qui-Gon Jin (under the alias Sypho Dias) went to this planet to order their creation nearly a decade ago, under the orders of someone. I presume it was under either Palpatine’s orders, or by someone who was connected to Palpatine. I imagine there’s some extended universe (EU) book that goes more in-depth with this and offers more of an explanation. Either way, I found it intriguing. But it also shows how intelligent Palpatine is and how far-ahead he planned the whole conflict.
In addition, it showcases the strengths and weaknesses of the military in general when it comes to warfare. In this and episode I, we see that the droids, while effective to an extent, don’t have great reasoning powers, and are easily defeated if the station containing the computers that control them is destroyed. The clone army, on the other hand, they are more adaptable in combat, less robotic, and don’t all fall apart if one command center is destroyed. However, they are not independent, and always follow orders from the person in charge no matter what they are. A fault that will be showcased in the next film. In any case, I can’t help but think this is a statement about the military and warfare in general. How this trilogy acts as a warning against the future of warfare, and what the consequences will be if clones and/or machines are used in place of the regular human (or alien) fighter. What is lost when humanity is taken out of the conflict, a conflict where the casualties are not just the soldiers?
Anyway, once again the film ends on a scene representing peace and prosperity, albeit on a smaller scale. The union between Anakin and Padme. And again, it’s bittersweet, more-so than in the last film. Partly because Padme deep down knows that this relationship will end up destroying them. Partly because of the conflict everyone knows lies ahead (and there’s another near-end shot with Palpatine overlooking the Republic’s progress towards a state he desires). But mostly because this romance doesn’t live up to its potential because their acting and dialogue absolutely sucked!
Rated: 4 / 5
So Episode I had some flaws but was overall very entertaining. Episode II was full of bullshit but at least ended on a good last act. Episode III turned out to be the best of the PT, by a mile.
The opening text crawl begins almost declaratively, “War! It’s everywhere!” It also states that “There are heroes on both sides.” Already with that opening statement it brings even more potential for spin-offs and fan-made-content to build on that. Heroes on both sides? Does that include Jedi? Who are these heroes on the enemy side? What was their motivation for joining? From what I understand, much of this potential was utilized in the Clone Wars animated series (which I haven’t seen, though I’ve heard good things about it). It’s subtle things like that which helped elevate this entertaining yet flawed trilogy into a cultural revolution when it came to Star Wars products which were absolutely devoured by fans about as much as those young little 80s cunt kids devoured those Ewok toys.
Let me get the negatives out of the way right here right now, because there are a lot of positives to be had with this entry into the saga. First, fucking R2-D2 and C3-PO are still around jacking off (or if you’re female, fingering) the fans (and Lucas) who ate the Memba Berries. Second, why the fuck is Chewbacca in this? Third, the scene with Anakin and Kenobi on the ship after getting captured by Grevious’ forces (a grievous error; I can’t help it; if Lucas is going to create character with puns for names, I’m going to be making fucking puns; at least it wasn’t something stupid like Rose [Titanic was stupid too]), the way they got out of that predicament was stupid. I mean, seriously, Grevious is experienced with taking out Jedi, and he didn’t anticipate this bullshit?
Fourth, when Anakin turns to the dark side, I find it to be a stretch, to the breaking point, to believe that Anakin is capable of slaughtering younglings. It would’ve made more sense if he saw the clones doing the slaughtering, which would’ve provided better motivation near the end regarding the line, “Join me Padme, I can overthrow the Emperor, we can rule together!” Granted that’s a callback to the same line he said as Vader to Luke in Empire Strikes Back, but it could’ve been handled better. Because he is clearly someone who joined forces with the Emperor for reasons he personally considered out of necessity than out of want. On top of that, it makes him out to be more of an irredeemable dick.
Fifth, Padme dies because she, and I quote, “Lost the will to live.” Go fuck yourself, and your logic. You’re telling me this broad didn’t want to try raising her own children? That having love for her kids wasn’t reason enough to keep her going? Kinda makes her a selfish cunt if you ask me. Plus, with the way I interpreted the backstory in the OT, I thought that Luke and Leia’s mother would’ve still been alive for a respectable amount of time after she gave birth to the kids, but wanted to keep them away from Vader because she feared him, and he ended up killing her in a rage after finding out she had her kids hidden from him. Hell, this movie even provides another reason on top of that; because she had different beliefs and viewpoints regarding politics and the Republic and the Emperor compared to what Anakin believed.
[EDIT 6-30-2018: Ok, so maybe the film is more intelligent about the whole Padme death thing than I thought. There is an article which makes the argument that there is more going on in this sequence than what we see at face value. The fact that robots are disconnected from the force (because they’re not living things), and are unable to detect the force, and are thus unable to detect that an element of the force is draining the life away from Padme. Because Anakin still has a connection to her, a connection that Sidious is aware of. And the connection is used to sustain Anakin’s life until his transformation into Vader is complete. Plus, when paying very close attention to the sequence, not just the transitions between Anakin and Padme in pain, but also the sounds. Anakin’s heartbeat, how it continues, then goes silent for a few moments as the Vader mask is put onto him, then you hear Vader breathe, but no heartbeat. Anakin is dead, Vader is born, providing another element of truth to when Kenobi told Luke Vader murdered Anakin. I have to admit, when taking that into account, it makes me have further appreciation for this film. So issue #5 isn’t that big of an issue. By the way, I highly recommend checking the article out for more details on this sequence. It’s got some fascinating thought-provoking stuff in it.]
Sixth, you dumb fucking thing you! Why the fuck would they hide Luke on Tatooine? The very planet that Anakin grew up on!?!?!?
Seventh, and last. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Bhahahahahah! That moment ruined the whole grim and depressing nature of the last act in a moment of “so-bad-it’s-good.” Look, I’m all for so-bad-it’s-good moments, but not in a film that was on the verge of being a (non-comedy) masterpiece. Though I do have to admit this moment entertained the hell out of me, for the wrong reason. And for better or worse, it’s one of the most iconic moments of the movie. Oh, and one other thing. Anyone want to explain to me how it is Vader’s suit got ready so fast? Or did more time pass than the film is letting on?
“I think this war is destroying the principles of the Republic.”
Well anyway, onto the positives. This film contains some of the best action sequences in the entire Star Wars franchise. The scenes when the clones and droids are fighting, the lightsaber duels, the space fight, the fight on the ship in the beginning. If nothing else, it’s an action-junkie’s wet dream. Plus Hayden’s acting abilities have improved since the last film. And that’s just the surface level entertainment.
“What if the democracy we thought we were serving no longer exists, and the Republic has become the very evil we’ve been fighting to destroy?”
Back to the politics. So Palpatine is in power, and he claims he’ll relinquish it and put the Senate back the way it was prior to the Clone Wars. However, the Jedi Council fear that he intends to keep this power once the war is over. Yet they also know that if they make a move against Palpatine and put themselves in the position of power to try and restore the Senate to where it was, this would be a very dark path for them to take. A path that goes against the teachings and philosophies of the Jedi. Not to mention the Jedi are heavily involved in the war, not exactly acting as keepers of the peace. But it’s a moral grey area. On the one hand, if they don’t get involved, then the Separatists and the droid army would win, and that would spell doom for the Republic and put the galaxy in a state of total chaos. Plus they are right about Palpatine. If they don’t act, he will likely find a way to remain in power and change the Republic from a Democracy to a Dictatorship. A complicated issue the Jedi Council aren’t entirely sure how to deal with, creating a sense of fear and dread, and thus act against the Jedi way. Similar to how the Senate decides to act against the way of Democracy and out of a sense of fear support the rise of a dictator who claims will protect them. The Jedi Council begins to break down just like the Senate. Even one of their own, Count Dooku, leaves the Jedi Order (Episode II) to join the Separatists, and becomes seduced by Sidious for reasons we don’t know. And it’s better left up in the air, because each Jedi has their own personal beliefs, their own personal motivations, their own selfish interests that the dark side can exploit to seduce them to their side and their cause. The main one we see seduced in Anakin, for reasons that involve fear of losing a loved one, and being blinded by love.
The whole film (and to a greater extent, the trilogy) acts as a deconstruction of politics and religion, showcasing the dangers to how each can fall. And they both fall for similar reasons, because religion and politics, despite how much some countries promote the policy of separation between church and state, are bound to be interlinked. After all, if a government is for the people, and politicians are people, and if there are people who follow a religion, then the relationship is inescapable. Both fall to a dark religion that promotes rule by strength, control over all others, a lust for power and greed, and ultimately sows the seeds of division. Because if there can only be one ruler, only one god, then there cannot be a Democracy where the way of life is to work together, to talk things out, and vote for the best interest of as many as possible. Thus Democracies and peaceful religions must fall, seeds of fear and distrust must be sowed so that such division can be reaped later on. It is how evil can rise.
“All who gain power are afraid to lose it. Even the Jedi.”
“The Jedi use their power for good.”
“Good is a point of view, Anakin.”
But what is good and what is evil? As Palpatine points out, good is a point of view. This is later expressed with Anakin saying to Kenobi, “From my point of view the Jedi are evil.” Even in Return of the Jedi, Kenobi expresses this same message, that many of the truths we cling to depend on our point of view. In Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker asks Yoda how he can tell the good from the bad, to which Yoda replies, “You will know… when you are calm, at peace, passive.” The problem is that virtually no one in this film is calm, at peace, or passive. Virtually everyone is acting the opposite. Including the Jedi Council, who failed to foresee many of the tragedies that would occur. Yoda admits that they have become blind in Episode II, something that causes them to worry, hence not being at peace. They abandon passivity for war. And Anakin abandons calmness for passion. In fact, we see more of this hypocritical nature of the Jedi with Kanobi’s line, “Only a Sith deals in absolutes,” making an absolute statement, which isn’t something I would consider passive.
On the other hand, is there not a time where someone must no longer be passive? Is there not a time where doing nothing is the wrong thing? These philosophies are best served as generalities, there are exceptions. They state the Sith rely on their passions, are selfish, and only look inwards towards themselves, caring naught for others other than using them as a means to an end. But the Jedi rely not on passions, are selfless, and act to help others, caring for others (at least in theory and according to teachings). Being calm and at peace with oneself makes it easier to know when to act and when not to. Passions should be utilized, but not relied upon, since your feelings can betray you. One should be passive until a time comes to act. Knowing when and how to act comes with knowledge and wisdom, which I’m sure is also something the Jedi teach, as Yoda and Kenobi taught Luke in the OT. And as they said, following the path of the light is difficult, while following the path of the dark is easy. So of course there would be complications if trying to live life following the light side.
But because the dark side is so seductive, so tempting, many do fall to it. Many do give in to selfish acts. And politics and religion are a heavy factor for it. The war broke out because of a breakdown in politics and religion. Separatists were made causing worlds who were once allied with one another to fight against one another, turning friend against friend, loved one against loved one. Because they are convinced their way is right, their way is just, not considering the other perspective. Becoming unwilling to talk things out. Because it is much easier to do otherwise.
“So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause.”
Thus it is easy for governments and religious groups to slowly erode until they fall. The temptations, the easy way, the passions and selfish acts. Too tempting for many to resist. And over the course of this trilogy, we see how they all erode away in one form or another. Eventually, sense of goodness and fairness and selflessness is eroded to the point where many applaud the act of doing away with the very thing they once held dear, sometimes for the illusion of “a safe and secure society.” While the PQ is about the fall of the Republic and the Jedi due to this corruption, the OT is about overthrowing the corrupted and bringing hope for a new era, a time for a new government and a new religion (or a resurrected one). How even when the light seems extinguished, there is always a way to re-ignite it and bring back order. It doesn’t happen easily, it takes time, it takes effort, it takes sacrifice, but it can be done. How unfortunate it is then that the more recent trilogy doesn’t continue this cycle by showing the other aspect, which one wouldn’t be wrong in assuming should be the rise of a new Republic, a new democracy, and how to maintain it and prevent it from slipping down the same path as the Republic and Jedi Council did in the PT. And finding a way to balance telling such a story on a personal level (a protagonist caught in the middle of a conflict brought on by political forces) and on an impersonal level (while the politicians and religious leaders make their own moves and developments that affect the protagonists, and even antagonists). From what I understand, Lucas had a similar vision for episodes VII-IX if he ever got around to making them. But he didn’t, because he felt it was time to move on, to let others tell their own story, to bring what they could for this franchise, this saga.
And what did they bring? What did they expand? Something I’ll address in a later review when I revisit those films.
Until then, my conclusions on this film and the PT. It’s a flawed trilogy, but not without its moments of greatness. Potential lost and unfulfilled, matched by potential achieved. Imperfect yet wildly entertaining. Ambitious with the new material unleashed, yet flounders when providing fan-service by forcing in the familiar. I enjoy the trilogy in spite of its flaws (and make due with the severe flaws of Episode II by giving it the Rifftrax treatment), and revel in the glamorous moments that succeed. The battles of the last act between Yoda and Sidious, between Anakin and Kenobi, the music that accompanies these sequences. Even if most of the content is disregarded as garbage, this moments stand the test of time as masterpiece sequences. Plus one can’t ignore the emotional impact some of these scenes have, particularly the fall of the Jedi when order 66 is executed.
If nothing else, one can’t ignore the soundtrack provided by John Williams, who some say single-handedly saved this trilogy from being a total disaster. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it would’ve been a disaster without his music, but I will say that it rivals that of the OT, which is an incredible accomplishment in of itself. Too much greatness to label the films as complete garbage, too many flaws to label them as masterpieces. A flawed gem is what I would call them.
So I would say this is a trilogy worth revisiting. If it’s been many years since you’ve seen it, you may find some things in it that make it better than you remember. In some ways it’s more intelligent than it seems, yet remains as dumb as you’ve heard/remembered in others. Either way, there’s some fun to be had, and some thought-provoking moments.
PS: Well that seemed to end on a bit of a serious note. Let’s close this by lightening things up a bit.
Note made after writing everything below the Introduction:
Fuck me sideways to Atlantis, this is overwhelmingly ridiculous. I started out typing this post just wanting my own personal page to continually update with information regarding Trump/Russia/Spygate/etc. Mainly the names of people and organizations, so I can keep track of who to definitely not trust, who to remember when elections happen and when stories break, etc. I expected to have a finished copy after a couple days, and then update it off and on when a relevant story breaks.
And I can’t do it. At least not like that. There are so many goddamn news articles with so many goddamn names and goddamn organizations, it would take a group of people to try and organize everything in the amount of time I’m trying to do it. And for someone like me who has a bit of attention deficit disorder, that’s asking for too much. So I’m going to change tactics. I’m just going to post what I’ve written as is, which is basically a jumbled mess of stuff. And I’ll just update it off and on when new stories come out from here on. I’m sick of digging into older posts from various websites of the past, and I’d rather be doing something else, like continuing to play Knights of the Old Republic 1 (yep, got sidetracked from Witcher 3 again, and from Mass Effect 2; I’m not very good at sticking to just one thing for very long), continuing to analyze the censorship done with a certain Vietnam War documentary (not the Ken Burns one per-se), and continue to binge-watch the original Star Trek series while I have access to Netflix for the brief time I’m able to do so (don’t see many other opportunities to finally check that off my bucket list). Plus I hate having to wait so long before making a blog post, and I’d hate to see the effort I put into this go to waste.
So here it is, unfinished, unpolished, plenty of information left out, not that well organized, and will be initially be posted this way because I’m sick of working on it. I’ll update it every now and then, hopefully; but don’t hold your breath. I’m doing this one more for me than for anything else.
So there is a lot of controversy surrounding Donald J. Trump, whether it’s the man himself, the people he associates with, the people associated with him, or his enemies, the DNC (Democratic National Committee), the RNC (Republic National Committee), the CIA, FBI, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, the Russians, the British, George Soros, the MSN (mainstream media), just to name a few. You could take your pick as to which controversial topic to latch on to whether you’re for or against him. Personally, I’m for him (let my bias be known now), but I’m also aware of several of his faults, including his stance against Net Neutrality, and how he may wind up supporting corporations to a fault (but I’ve learned many can be against corporations to a fault as well, so it’s a bit of a balancing act, when it shouldn’t be). But when many seem to be setting him up for something bad that as far as I can tell he didn’t do, that irritates me, frustrates me, and at times scares me. I’d rather bash a man in power for legit grievances than for made up stories. More importantly, I don’t think he should be on the priority list for people to go after who are ruining the country, much less threatening my way of life (a way I would like to see improved I might add).
So I’m going to be making this post about all the news articles I can find regarding Trump, his potential collusion with the Russians, and those who are framing that story and who the actual perpetrators are more likely to be, plus updates on the story of one or more spies within the Trump campaign which were planted prior to him being sworn into office as president. This will be continually updated, assuming I can maintain the willpower to do so. In essence, this will be my first full-on post that is 100% political. It was bound to happen.
Timeline of Events
* April 2014: Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn is relieved of duty as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
* June 16, 2015: Trump announces his run for president, seeking the Republican nomination.
** December 2015: Strzok-Page Texts (which would become declassified and made public in June 2018) are made indicating that the FBI were using sources (ie “lures”) to lure unnamed U.S. citizens (likely those in the Trump administration) to the UK, indicating that the FBI wanted to run a baited Sting Op using foreign agents against Trump. (Source)
* February 28 2016: Jeff Sessions formally joined the Trump campaign. (Source)
* March 3, 2016: Trump names Sessions as chairman of his campaign’s national security advisory committee. (Source)
* April 13, 2016: “President Barack Obama appointed Steven Chabinsky, the general counsel and chief risk officer for CrowdStrike, to the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.” — Source
** May 5, 2016: The FBI had Crowdstrike monitor the DNC servers (Source), in response to news that the DNC servers had been hacked prior to the 2016 presidential election; they were reportedly payed $168,000 by the DNC (Source).
** June 15, 2016: CrowdStrike claims that the Russians were behind the hacking of the DNC servers (claimed to be done by Guccifer 2.0), and John Podesta’s e-mails. (Source)
* July 2016: Jeff Sessions spoke with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. (Source)
* July 19, 2016: Trump is formally nominated for Republican party’s choice as president of the United States. “Trump earned the 1,237 bound delegates necessary to secure the party’s nomination in early June. The chairs of each state delegation expressed their vote totals and support for Trump in a roll call vote during the second day of the Republican National Convention. Despite having won the primary outright, many of the party’s leading figures have refused to endorse Trump. All four of the GOP’s most recent presidents and presidential nominees are absent from the convention, as are scores of the party’s senators(Source).”
* July 22, 2016: On the Friday before the Democratic National Convention begins, WikiLeaks releases emails that are thought to have been stolen from the Democratic National Committee by Russian state actors. (Source)
** Aug. 21, 2015: Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) makes an unexpected appearance at a Donald Trump campaign rally in Mobile, Ala. While he doesn’t endorse Trump, he dons a “Make America Great Again” cap to loud applause. Sessions is one of the first elected officials to tacitly embrace Trump’s upstart candidacy. (Source)
* September 8, 2016: Jeff Sessions met with Sergey Kislyak, in Session’s office. Sessions stated the meeting was in his capacity as a member of the armed services panel rather than in his capacity as a Trump campaign surrogate. He stated the meeting was regarding, “a trip he made to Russia in 1991, terrorism and Ukraine — a major policy issue, given Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the imposition of U.S. and European Union sanctions on Russia for its actions.” (Source) Also worth noting:
Sessions last year had more than 25 conversations with foreign ambassadors as a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, including the British, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Indian, Chinese, Canadian, Australian and German ambassadors, in addition to Kislyak.
* October 7, 2016: WikiLeaks begins publishing emails that the U.S. government thinks were stolen by Russia from the account of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. (Source)
* November 8, 2016: Trump is elected president.
* Nov. 17, 2016: President-elect Trump names Flynn his intended national security adviser. The position does not require Senate approval. (Source)
* November 18, 2016: Trump nominates Jeff Sessions as attorney general.
* January 5-6, 2017: [CNN released this story on January 10, 2017] Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN. The allegations were presented in a two-page synopsis that was appended to a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The allegations came, in part, from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible. The FBI is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations, which are based primarily on information from Russian sources, but has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Mr. Trump. The classified briefings last week were presented by four of the senior-most US intelligence chiefs — Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers. Source[James Clapper supposedly discussed the story with CNN prior to its airing (Source)]
** January 6, 2017: “Background to “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution” is made publicly available. Source
** January 10, 2017: Buzzfeed.com publicly published a dossier alleging that Russia has compromising information on Trump (Source). This is now known as either the Russian Dossier, or the Steele Dossier (the individual who compiled the dossier was at the time known to be a former British intelligence official, and his actual name would be revealed later on as Christopher Steele), a Dossier which is said to show that the Russians have “dirt” on Trump doing sexual misdeeds, and are thus able to blackmail him into doing stuff for them.
* January 10 2017: Jeff Sessions confirmation hearing, where he is questioned regarding any potential contacts he had in the past with the Russians. (Source)
* January 20, 2017: Trump is inaugurated as president.
** January 25, 2017: Investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign begins.
** February 8, 2017: Sessions is confirmed as attorney general in a 52-47 vote. Franken and Leahy — and every other Democrat save Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) — vote no. (Source)
** February 13, 2017: General Flynn was fired (forced out) as NatSec Advisor. (Source)
* March 2, 2017: Jeff Sessions publicly stated that he will recuse himself from investigations related to the 2016 presidential election campaign, which includes the supposed Russian interference. (Source)
** May 17, 1017: Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein of the Justice Department appointed Robert S. Mueller III, a former F.B.I. director, as special counsel to oversee the investigation into ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russian officials (Source).
** April 25, 2018: The Daily Caller News Foundation and Judicial Watch are teaming up to sue the Department of State for documents related to Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the unverified anti-Trump dossier. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, seeks the fulfillment of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed by both TheDCNF and Judicial Watch. Source
** April 26, 2017: “an unsealed FISA Court Ruling unveiled a number of criminal activities that Barack Obama’s FBI, NSA and DOJ participated in during his time in office. […] the FISA Court Ruling shows widespread abuse of the FISA mandate. According to the report, Obama’s FBI, NSA and DOJ performed searches on Americans that were against their 4th Amendment rights. This went on for years. One paragraph in the report states that 85% of the Section 704 and 705(b) FISA searches made during the time of the audit (a few months in 2015) were non-compliant with applicable laws and therefore criminal. In addition, Obama’s DOJ and FBI were illegally searching Americans against their rights. Unbeknownst to most Americans, Obama’s FBI was providing this information to outside contractors who had no business or legal cause or claim the information. A further review of the report by Jeff Carlson shows on page 19 that the Court stated that James Clapper’s NSA had an institutional “lack of candor”.” — Source
** October 24, 2017: Adam Entous, Devlin Barrett and Rosalind S. Helderman of The Washington Post broke the story that the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid for research (led by Fusion GPS, who hired Cristopher Steele to write the dossier) that led to the Steele Dossier (Source). Likely the impetus that led the Obama administration to get the FISA warrant to spy on the Trump administration.
** April 26, 2018: Chuck Ross of TheDailyCaller reports: Former FBI Director James Comey repeated one of the more pervasive false claims about the infamous Steele dossier on Thursday, telling Fox News’ Bret Baier Republicans first financed the salacious document. Instead, the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee funded the dossier project. “I knew it was first funded by Republicans,” Comey told Baier during an exchange about his knowledge of the dossier, which former British spy Christopher Steele wrote. “That’s not true, that the dossier that Christopher Steele worked on was funded by Republicans?” Baier replied. “My understanding is his work started funded as oppo research funded by Republicans,” Comey insisted.Baier corrected Comey, saying The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website, claimed they hired Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm commissioned the dossier, on a retainer, “but they did not fund the Christopher Steele memo or the dossier.” “That was initiated by Democrats,” Baier said. “My understanding was the activity was begun, that Steele was hired to look into was first funded by Republicans then picked up — important thing was picked up by Democrats opposed to Donald Trump,” Baier added. Comey’s false claim is not without precedent, though it is surprising given the FBI relied on the dossier as part of its investigation into possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian government. Fusion GPS hired Steele to investigate Trump in June 2016. The opposition research firm was working at that time for Perkins Coie, the law firm that represented the Clinton campaign and DNC. The Washington Free Beacon, which billionaire Republican donor Paul Singer funds, hired Fusion GPS in September 2015 to conduct standard opposition research on Trump. But the website ended its Trump work in May 2016, after Trump appeared poised to win the GOP nomination. The Free Beacon employed Fusion through January 2017 but cut ties after BuzzFeed News published the Steele report. Comey signed off on three surveillance warrants obtained against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, which relied heavily on the dossier.Source
** April 27, 2018: “The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Friday released a heavily-redacted 253-page report laying out the findings of its 14-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. The report, which was authored by committee Republicans and approved for release on a party-line vote, asserts that the investigation “found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated, or conspired with the Russian government.”” Source
** May 31, 2018: Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, in an interview with Vox relating to his memoir Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence, states that he believes the Russians did interfere with the election, but expresses doubts as to whether Trump colluded with them or not, or whether their interference affected the outcome of the election. (Source)
** June 3, 2018: Republican California Representative Devin Nunes reports that Aussie Ambassador Alexander Downer lied about the launch of the Spygate scandal, lied about giving George Papadopoulos information to the Australian Ambassador in the US to launch the spying on the Trump campaign. Source
** Alexander Downer: former Australian ambassador, high commissioner in London.
* Alphabet: “an American multinational conglomerate headquartered in Mountain View, California. It was created through a corporate restructuring of Google on October 2, 2015 and became the parent company of Google and several former Google subsidiaries. The two founders of Google assumed executive roles in the new company, with Larry Page serving as CEO and Sergey Brin as President. Alphabet’s portfolio encompasses several industries, including technology, life sciences, investment capital, and research. Some of its subsidiaries include Google, Calico, Chronicle, GV, CapitalG, Verily, Waymo, X, and Google Fiber.” Source
* Andrew McCabe: FBI Deputy Director; worked on the Clinton e-mail investigation. “His wife, Jill, lost an election for Virginia state senator after receiving $500,000 from long-time Clinton friend Terry McAuliffe and another $200,000 from the state Democratic Party – incredible donations for a state senate race. [Source]“
* Atlantic Council: “an American think tank in the field of international affairs. Founded in 1961, it provides a forum for international political, business, and intellectual leaders. It manages ten regional centers and functional programs related to international security and global economic prosperity. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C.” — Source. The Atlantic Council is known to be very “hawkish” on Russia (Source). It’s also funded in-part by NATO, United Arab Emirates, and Open Society Initiative for Europe (the latter of which is a program of the Open Society Foundation, (Source).
* Barack Obama:
** Chuck Schumer: Democrat Senate Minority Leader New York.
* Christopher Steele: former British intelligence official. Authored the infamous Russian/Steele Dossier used as evidence showing that Russia has “dirt” on Trump and is thus able to influence him.
* Crowdstrike: Cybersecurity company, who’s co-founder and CTO is Dmitri Alperovitch (also nonresident senior fellow on the Atlantic Council). that received $100 million from Google Capital (aka CapitalG) in 2015 (Source). The company is owned by Alphabet (who’s chairman, Eric Schmidt, supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election). Steven Chabinsky is the general counsel and chief risk officer for Crowdstrike.
* Dmitri Alperovitch: Nonresident Senior Fellow, Cyber Statecraft Initiative of the Atlantic Council.
* Donald J. Trump: Nominated for president of the United States July 19, 2016. Won presidential election November 8, 2016. Sworn into office January 10, 2017.
* Eric Schmidt: Chairman of Alphabet, which owns CapitalG (aka Google Capital).
** Fusion GPS: a Washington firm.
** George Soros: “a Hungarian-American investor, business magnate, philanthropist, political activist and author. Soros is one of the world’s most successful investors. He is a well-known supporter of American progressive and American liberal political causes and dispenses his donations through his foundation, the Open Society Foundations. Between 1979 and 2011, Soros donated more than $11 billion to various philanthropic causes; by 2017, his donations “on civil initiatives to reduce poverty and increase transparency, and on scholarships and universities around the world” totaled $12 billion. He influenced the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and provided one of Europe’s largest higher education endowments to the Central European University in his Hungarian hometown.” — Source
* George Papadopoulos:
* Harry Reid: former Senate Democrat leader
* Hillary Clinton:
* James Clapper: served as the director of national intelligence from 2010 to January 20, 2017, and before that worked as a career intelligence officer under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
* James Comey: Director of the FBI from September 4, 2013, until May 9, 2017 when he was fired by Trump. Initially nominated to the position by Barack Obama on March 3, 2013, to replace outgoing FBI director Robert Mueller. Was against wiretapping utilized by the Bush administration in 2004 (Source).
* Jeff Sessions:
* John Brennan: CIA Director from
* John Podesta:
* Joeseph Mifsud:
* Kellyanne Conway: senior Trump advisor
** Lisa Page: FBI agent involved with the sending of 10,000 anti-Trump text messages between herself and Peter Stzrok (who she was involved with an extramarital affair).
** Loretta Lynch:
** Michael Cohen:
* Michael Flynn:
* Mike Pence:
** Michael S. Rogers: former US navy admiral, now director of the NSA.
** Nellie Ohr: formerly worked for the CIA (Source) and is the wife of senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr (who would be demoted for not reporting his meeting with Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS [Source]). Hired by Fusion GPS to find dirt on Trump (Source).
** Open Society Foundation: aka Open Society Institute. Founded by George Soros. “The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people. We seek to strengthen the rule of law; respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions; democratically elected governments; and a civil society that helps keep government power in check. We help to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights. We implement initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media. We build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information. Working in every part of the world, the Open Society Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.” — Source
** Open Society Initiative for Europe:
** Peter Stzrok: FBI agent, who was on the Mueller team until found to be involved with the sending of 10,000 anti-Trump text messages between himself and Lisa Page (who he was involved with an extramarital affair). He was also involved with the investigation into the Clinton e-mail scandal in 2016. “Stzrok not only allowed Hillary’s aides to be present during her questioning, but he also failed to put the former secretary of state under oath. Such sloppiness was irrational – unless Stzrok knew Hillary’s answers were immaterial because the investigation’s outcome was pre-determined. [Source]” (Source 2)
* Robert Swan Mueller III: nominated as director of the FBI by then-president George W. Bush on July 5, 2001, and officially took the position on September 4, 2001, and remained director of FBI until September 4, 2013 (replaced by James Comey). “He had been working at WilmerHale [prior to being appointed on the special council team investigating Trump], which represents former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner — people who might be witnesses, or more, in the course of Mueller’s high-profile investigation [Source].”
* Rod J. Rosenstein: Deputy Attorney General at the Justice Department. Appointed Mueller as special counselor into the Trump-Russia-Collusion investigation in May 2017.
* Roger Stone:
* Sergey Kislyak: Russian Ambassador.
** Seth Rich: murdered in Washington DC July 2016. Officially considered a mugging despite valuables left on him, some suggest he was murdered because he was the Wikileaks source for the DNC e-mail leaks (Source).
** Steven Chabinsky: the general counsel and chief risk officer for CrowdStrike; appointed to the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity by Obama in April 2016.
News Stuff that I don’t have organized yet
June 25, 2017: Justin Caruso of TheDailyWire reports:
The analysis that alleged that Russia was behind the DNC server breach was carried out not by the U.S. government, but by the private security group CrowdStrike.
May 19, 2017: Gregg Jarrett of Fox News reports: “[Mueller] and James Comey are good friends and former colleagues who worked hand-in-hand for years at the FBI. Agents will tell you they were joined at the hip. They stood together in solidarity, both threatening to resign over the warrantless wiretapping fiasco involving then-Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2004.” — Source
December 13, 2017: Tyler Durden of ZeroHedge reports: Over 10,000 text messages sent between two top FBI investigators – one of whom led both the Clinton email investigation and the early Trump-Russia probe, have been turned over to Congress Tuesday evening and promptly leaked to the press. The profanity-laced messages reveal a deep hatred for Trump between veteran agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page, who were having an extramarital affair while working together on the Clinton email investigation when the texts were exchanged. Strzok and Page were fired from Robert Mueller’s special counsel in mid-August over the messages, yet the reason was not revealed until last month. Strzok notably changed the wording of then-FBI Director James Comey’s statement on Clinton’s mishandling of classified information from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.” — Source
April 16, 2018: Chuck Ross of TheDailyWire reports: Comey told interviewer George Stephanopoulos that the FBI was unaware of the salacious and unverified dossier until after the bureau formally opened its counterintelligence investigation of President Donald Trump’s campaign. The investigation was opened on July 31, 2016. Comey is contradicted by extensive reporting that dossier author Christopher Steele provided the FBI with information from his dossier on July 5, 2016. There has also been reporting that the information was almost immediately passed to the FBI’s counterintelligence division, which would later oversee the Trump probe. Source
April 22, 2018: Joe Hoft of TheGatewayPundit reports: “It is looking more and more like Obama’s Former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan and Former NSA Director James Clapper may have lied when they put together a report released in January 2017 about Russian influence in the 2016 election. This report was used to push the entire Russianarrative. […] The DNC has not allowed investigators to review its IT systems and servers to determine how its emails landed in the hands of Wikileaks. To date the Mueller team has not reportedly even asked for this information. An inspection would provide evidence as to whether its servers were hacked by outsiders or if the emails were simply copied by an insider and provided to external parties. […] the Russia Report was based on judgements from the CIA led by John Brennan, the DNI led by James Clapper, and the FBI led by James Comey.” — Source
March 26, 2018: Chuck Ross of TheDailyCaller reports: Two months before the 2016 election, George Papadopoulos received a strange request for a meeting in London, one of several the young Trump adviser would be offered — and he would accept — during the presidential campaign. The meeting request, which has not been reported until now, came from Stefan Halper, a foreign policy expert and Cambridge professor with connections to the CIA and its British counterpart, MI6. Source
May 14, 2018: John Solomon of The Hill reports: In 2009, when Mueller ran the FBI, the bureau asked Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to spend millions of his own dollars funding an FBI-supervised operation to rescue a retired FBI agent, Robert Levinson, captured in Iran while working for the CIA in 2007. Yes, that’s the same Deripaska who has surfaced in Mueller’s current investigation and who was recently sanctioned by the Trump administration. — Source
May 31, 2018, Jim Hoft of TheGatewayPundit posted an article regarding Jeff Session’s incompetence, and indicating how it provides for logical reasoning to determine that Jeff Sessions is involved with the Deep State, and wants to bring Trump down (despite some beliefs by others that Jeff Sessions is on Trump’s side and just playing a waiting game for when to go after the real enemies; the counter-argument to that is that he’s taking too long to act). Source
May 31, 2018: Hannity on Fox news interviews John Solomon of The Hill, stating Documents Reveal Obama White House Attempted to Take Over Spygate Investigation (Source)
June 1, 2018, Cassandra Fairbanks of TheGatewayPundit posted an article stating she interviewed 3 former intelligence officers (who are anonymous as of the date of the posting), who she claims stated:
* The U.K.’s Joint Intelligence Committee was the venue used by the CIA and the DNI to share and receive “intelligence” allegedly linking Trump to Russia.
* The sources believe that John Brennan and James Clapper used highly classified intelligence channels to create a trail of fake evidence linking Trump to Russia.
* George Papadopoulos was targeted deliberately by U.K. intel operatives in a plot to trick him.
* It was Joseph Mifsud, not Papadopoulos, who raised the prospect of meeting with the Russians and introduced the claim that Russia had damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
* Joeseph Mifsud was a British operative, not a Russian asset.
* The only entity that could have coordinated the entire operation was the Obama White House.
The former intelligence officers agreed that the U.K.’s Joint Intelligence Committee was the venue used by the CIA and the DNI to share and receive “intelligence” allegedly linking Trump to Russia.
The Gateway Pundit spoke to the two former intelligence officers on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. We additionally spoke to Bill Binney, a former high level National Security Agency official-turned-whistleblower, who confirmed that he agrees with their conclusions.
“What Ray McGovern and I were thinking is that the whole conspiracy about the Russian narrative was concocted by Brennan and then most likely approved by Obama. This is what I told Pompeo when I was in with him. It requires the NSA, CIA, FBI, DNI, DNC and the DOJ to be coordinating — especially for things like the Steele dossier. The only one place they all come together and can be ordered to coordinate and cooperate is the president — which was Obama. The DOJ doesn’t fall under the DNI or anybody else — only the president,” Binney told The Gateway Pundit.
June 1, 2018, John Solomon of The Hill reports, “new documents reveal the Obama deep state figures contacted Trump campaign officials in Great Britain prior to the launch of any FBI investigation. This spying on Trump campaign officials show the Comey FBI broke their own rules governing informants.” Source
June 1, 2018, Jim Hoft of TheGatewayPundit reports, “Former Senator and current Attorney General Jeff Sessions oversaw the small team of five foreign policy experts for the Trump campaign. Included in this small group were Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. According to the House Intel report, the future President was under pressure to put together a foreign policy team in March of 2016. A number of seasoned Republican foreign policy experts were unwilling to jump on the Trump train. Because of this pressure from the press to show he had experts on his team, candidate Trump named then Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as the chairman of his National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC). A few weeks later, candidate Trump released the names of five people on his team. The list included Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.” Source
June 3, 2018: Joe Hoft of TheGatewayPundit reports, “[…] former FBI Director James Comey stated that the investigation started in July of 2016, but evidence found in the public domain proves that the investigation started much earlier.” — Source
June 21, 2018: Cristina Laila of TheGatewayPundit reports: Fitton said Saturday evening Judicial Watch received the requested documents and even though they are heavily redacted, they confirm the FBI and DOJ misled the courts. Obama’s Deep State DOJ and FBI withheld information about Hillary Clinton and the DNC being behind the information used to obtain the FISA warrant.
Tom Fitton: .@JudicialWatch now has Carter Page FISA docs. They are heavily redacted but seem to confirm the FBI and DoJ misled the courts in withholding info about Clinton-DNC being behind the info used to get the FISA warrant.
I know what’s going to happen. Regardless of the shooter’s affiliation, whether he’s just some crazy old man who decided to go insane at this moment in his life, or if some organization convinced him to do this (be it religious or political), the same thing is going to happen that always happens in situations like this, regardless of how high or low the body count is (though from what I’ve gathered this is the highest body count yet from a shooting massacre). Most mainstream media outlets are going to call for gun control and a ban on guns. So that this won’t ever happen again. Late night talk shows are going to preach this message, most news organizations are going to preach this message, and trolls on any website that has a comments section will be blaring as loudly as they possibly can that guns should be removed from everyone. They never let a crisis go to waste. Hillary Clinton sure doesn’t.
Some sources say the shooter did all this because the crazy old man converted to Islam and joined ISIS a few months prior to this incident, but this could happen whether or not that is the case. For all we know, it could just be some old guy who despises country music and anyone who listens to it. Besides, information like this can’t be trusted or relied upon during the first 24-48 hours after an incident like this. Too much misinformation flies around.
My position on this matter is to disagree with those statements entirely. Banning weapons is not the answer, otherwise places like Chicago would be a better place to live. However, when a gunman is able to store a bunch of rifles in his hotel room including a machine gun in a state that has lax gun laws to the point that you don’t need a permit or license to purchase any (at least when it comes to non-private sales), that tends to raise a few eyebrows at the very least. While I don’t believe guns should be banned, I do believe that only responsible people should be able to purchase them, which is why I do believe that permits should be mandatory. It just saddens me that some people can be so violent and crazy and untrustworthy that it makes this necessary.
On the other hand, even those with permits could still pull something like this off. Even those with insane evil intentions can act proper, mature, and of sound mind when it comes to acquiring weapons before they decide to use them.
It all reminds me of a post I made (long before I established this website) regarding a shooting incident in December 2012, in regards to a school shooting:
God o’mighty, another big news story that will last for weeks, only to get gradually more and more politically and media biased in some form or another, until you get sick of hearing about it. Personally, I’m already sick of it on day 2. The media won’t handle this any differently than the death of a single celebrity, except that there’s more tragedy in it (a bunch of children killed).
Don’t get me wrong, this event is sad as hell, but I hate the discussions that spawn from stuff like this. There’s always some uptight radical asshole (religious or otherwise) who will say something on the event that will piss people off for the wrong reasons. There’s always some news channel that will spin it in a despicable way. There will always be a dipshit politician who will try to make his/her own political gain/agenda from the event. There will always be some guy/gal who will say the law should change in some way that involves removing someone’s right and/or giving more power to the higher-ups (or in some rare cases taking it away). And last of all, all of the above (and more) will have me pissed off enough to post a rant about it.
Let’s face it, stuff like this has been going on a lot longer than some of us would believe. 1902. Year 1902 A.D, October 10. That’s when the first school shooting ever took place, in Altona, Manitoba, in an event known as The Altona Schoolhouse Shooting. It happened then, it happened a few years ago, it happened recently, and I have no doubt it will happen again. If guns didn’t exist, people would be using knives instead, because there is always some person out there who becomes fucked up enough to do shit like that.
Basically what I’m saying is, it doesn’t matter what law is passed, what actions are taken, or what year it is, tragedies like this are inevitably going to take place at some point in time. Only thing we can do his get over it and move on. If an agreeable way can be found to make such an event have a less likely chance of happening in the foreseeable future, that would be a bonus. No point in trying to make other people’s lives miserable by moping over it for too long, or by imposing your own set of laws/standards that hurt more people than it helps. Just let everyone be. If another f’d up person shows up wanting to start a killing spree, hope that there is another person (or multiple people) on the scene with the freedom (that no one should take away) to stop that person ASAP. You don’t have to be a security guard to do so, you just need to realize you can do so yourself, and have the balls to do it (ladies, we all know you can also grow a pair too; don’t think your excluded).
My feelings haven’t changed much in that regard since. If someone really wanted to kill a lot of people, there are alternative means to guns. If guns were banned, assuming they couldn’t get a hold of guns on the black market, they would use explosives instead. Every bit as illegal once cobbled together, but more difficult to track.
And there’s another thing to consider. This is one major incident that doesn’t happen very often. If guns were banned in order to stop a major incident like this from happening, what would the consequences of that be? Thankfully there are examples to make my point. In 1996, Australia implemented a gun ban, with the intent to cause violence to plummet. Well, gun violence did plummet (although didn’t altogether disappear, still making up for 20% of all homicides even after the ban), but other types of violence rose, such as sexual assault, manslaughter, armed robbery, kidnapping, and unarmed robbery (Source). The same thing thing happened in the UK with the same results (Source). And other studies, including by John R. Lott, have shown consistently that crime rises when guns are banned or made difficult to get a hold of (Source).
The bottom line, even if guns are banned, even if we disregard the purpose of the second amendment and why every citizen of sound mind should be able to have access to a gun, even if that does prevent major incidents of massacres such as the one that happened recently in Las Vegas, this would inevitably lead to an overall increase in crime that would defeat the purpose of banning guns in the first place. Sure, that would most likely prevent a massacre that would kill 5-80 people within the course of an hour or less; but this would be offset by having just as many people killed, if not more-so, overall, only more spread out over a series of days/months/years.
And people ask for the government to help them out. Has the government ever been that efficient at helping out citizens? Can you honestly say that with a straight face without lying through your teeth? I say that there is a reason why they say freedom isn’t free. It’s because the free have to work everyday to maintain their freedom. That includes being capable of defending your freedoms and defending yourselves. Because we will always be susceptible to dangers like this. Live with it, because it could be worse than it is now.
Besides, a lot of them speak as if banning guns will enhance our security and our safety, as if its possible for someone to live life without any danger, with a full sense of security, without needing to worry about anything. Bullshit! Danger will always be in our lives, in one form or another; ok that’s a lie, it will be in multiple forms. The point is, you have to live with danger. Besides, saying there can be safety without danger is like saying there can be light without darkness, good without evil. Live with danger. Live being prepared for danger. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Be tough, not weak. Be independent and worthy of living free.
The only reason I’m including this little bit of information here is because it ties into the next movie post I’m making on this site. So apparently ESPN (and Fox Sports from what I understand) was planning on not airing the national anthem segment of football games so that the controversy can be ignored and that the protesting players won’t get their free air time. It pisses me off that it’s come to that, but that was their plan. But now, as a result of this shooting, ESPN has decided to reverse this decision for the Monday game, 10-2-2017. Let’s see if these assholes decide to kneel this time.