Movies with Enlightened Politial Views
Zeitgteist: Moving Forward, This documentary examines the state of the global socioeconomic monetary paradigm, concluding that we need to move to a new resources based economy.
[My perspective (Bill Rowe) is that this is a good analysis of what is called the "global socioeconomuc paradigm", but the proposed centrally planned solutions are against human nature and the pursuit of individualism, are unnecessary, undesirable, and the ills of the current system can be addressed in more practical means directed at specific changes.In the final analysis will humanity collectively be stupid enough to destroy the planet and itself?]
Requiem for the American Dream, Iconic intellectual Noam Chomsky states his case for how the bulk of Amerixca's wealth and influence has brrn transferred to the hands of a few.
Untold History of the United States, by Oliver Stone."A look back at Major Events [ leading up to WW1 to present] that have shaped the world as it is today". "As Americans, do we really know and understand our shared and complicated history? How do we recall the small details and forgotten players that influenced some of the biggest events from America's past? Will our children actually get the whole story from reading history books? And how will it affect the future of our country?"...
""From the outset I've looked at this project as a legacy to my children and a way to understand the times I've lived through. I hope it can contribute to a more global, broader insight into our history."- Oliver Stone
If you are sometimes flabberghasted at the wrong directions our government takes, this historic movie will give you perspective----we've been there before ;in fact it is a "continuous play" with the "right" and "wrong" sides vascillating back and forth.So try not to get too frustrated, it's a long battle and will not be won during our lifetimes.Take fulfillment in the knowledge that you can win some battles. In the long march to improve humanity we probably haven't even gotten to the point of definining the "right" and "wrong" side attributes optimally yet. Being atheistic, nonetheless, I do agree with the Pope who has said unbridled capitalism is not the answer. Capitalism should not be a religion as it seems to be with many politicians (more Republicans than Democcrats). In any case, hone your historic perspective and definitely spend the time to watch this movie----probably multiple times....Bill Rowe
American Radical,The Trials of Norman Finkelstein, A film by David Riden and Nicolas Rossier, absolutely must see account of the lifelong Jewish anti-zionist radical and his attempts to educate the public about the Israeli apartheid, terrorist crimes against the Palestinians
You Can't be Neutral on a Moving Train, autobiographical account of Howard Zinn, anti-war activist
Bill Still, basically a 3.5 hour version of the "Secret of Oz" DVD below without the Wizard of Oz themes.
The Secret of Oz, Solutions for A Broken Economy, directed by Bill Still
My (Bill Rowe review): WorldView Changing:
This DVD does the seemingly impossible task, of making understandable the
arcane topic, of the role that monetary systems and policy have played in shaping
centuries of world history. In particular, it is an eye-opener to the strnglehold, that
the banking "industy" has had on US politics, and in determining our boom and
bust economy. Sometimes the documentary seems to get a little distracted from its very
serious message ,by devoting time to validate that the themes were purposely included in
the storyline of THe Wizard of Oz --- but maybe this ploy will entice by familiarity more
of the general public (like me) to take the plunge ,into what most consider dizzying
complexity. The effort will be worthwhile beyond one's wildest expectation for the little
time spent. Although generally entertaining, a little reflection will result in amazement
at the breadth covered.
If I can presume to summarize. Money is the accepted medium of exchange that "greases" the transactions (commerce) between producers and consumers of products and services. Theoretically, when a functionally "good" quantity of money is in circulation among a population of producers and consumers, the value (in terms of its exchange for goods and services)of a unit (eg dollar) of that money is determined by the market forces of supply and demand for the available total productive capacity of transacted goods and services. It is also desirable that money have a stable value over time to facilitate savings and economic activity over extended periods. Therefore the quantity of money in circulation should be modulated such that it facilitates the "natural" change (desired by society and usually growth) in productive capacity of the population, unencumbered by the availability of the exchange medium (ie money), and so as to maintain the time-value of that money. CRITICALLY (and this is one of the major points made), the quantity (ie availability) of the medium of exchange itself (ie money) should not be controlled so as to go against the "natural" productive capacity of goods and services.
Here's the "good part". The DVD gives many historical examples of the jockeying between governments and "bankers" over control of the money supply. Contrary to popular beliefs, private banking (starting with the misnomer "Federal" Reserve) controls the money supply in the US, not the government, though there is a continuous transfer of top people back and forth, exchange of information and misinformation. While the general public and Congress is kept engaged with arguments about things like the gold backed currency, government budget deficits and the growing national debt, in reality, the government (through the Treasury and Federal Reserve requests) controls much less than 10% of the US money in circulation (here "money" is generalized to mean the entire transactional medium, generally all the loans (debt) of the country). Therefore the banking industry has the means to control the money supply ---chiefly through the quantity of loans they are willing to make available for productive or non-productive activity (eg wall street investment (gambling). Now it's time to get mad! How did the banks get the massive amount of "money" to lend? They made it up! Really! We the people through laws and government gave them the right! When the government wants to spend more than tax intake (which is normal) the Treasury "prints" up US "IOU's" (various types of T-notes) and presents them to a kind of market; they are "bought" by governments like China and other let's say "high-rollers";unbought amounts are "bought" by the US Federal Reserve. Meaning the Federal Reserve will have printed (by government printing presses at printing costs) say a billion dollars and transfer that billion dollars to the US government Treasury "account". The billion dollars gets added to the Federal "debt" (the government owes interest on the billion dollars---really!!) and the Federal reserve gets a billion dollars on their "books" that they can parlay in to say 100 billion dollars (or more) through fractional reserve banking (banks can lend many times over the amount of their "reserves" in loans---sound familiar)through subordinate banks in the banking "system".So the US government might argue over the merits of a billion dollar stimulus program in Congress and the media, while the receiving banking system has the "job" of deciding what to do with the resultant 100 billion (or maybe even trillion) dollars in lendable funds it will be allowed to create out of thin air....REALLY! GET MAD! If for no other reason than the massive coverup perpetrated by the genral lack of education of the public by all manner of government and media on these facts.
Now you know that the bankers control the money supply, not the government, so what? Bankers have the means to lend money say to GM, or Chrysler, or Lehman Brothers, or AIG or to make money available through local banks for genral productive activity and societal good, or to sit on it, or take the available funds from near zero Fedral Reserve "loans" and invest it back into Treasury bonds, or highly risky investment gambling inventions like infamous derivatives (ie just bets on market activities).Or to facilitate bad mortgage loans to millions of people,repackage them as investments, misrepresent them as low risk investments, to confuse their true nature with market jargon, and peddle the junk with such voraciousness to plunge the entire world into economic chaos when the bad loans fail. And from what I understand (and I am no economist) the outstanding dollar value of all world simply bets on market activity (the derivatives market) is tens of trillions of dollars (many times entire real world banking assets),is massively concentrated in less than ten major international banks, and so interconnected and contorted that nobody (banks or the government) knows what's up, except that likely all those banks are bankrupt (no net capital worth) if evaluated on a rigid conventional accounting basis. Yet high rolling bankers and traders in this system continue to award themselves truly incredible salaries into the millions and even tens of millions of dollars.It's a kind on world ponzi scheme that Bernie Madoff is just an amateur in. Is it a wonder that all the recent serious attempts in Congress to legislate open review, open markets, and legislative oversight and controls over this fiasco were all defeated?
So it can be argued whether the banking industry is incompetent, or whether the system just grew to be beyond anyone's ability to control, or whether there is a conspiratorial group of ultra-rich aspiring to shape the world in a manner they want (well intentioned gone awry or truly evil), but whatever, I conclude they have done a truly lousy job of controlling the US and world money supply from what's good for society perspective. Add to this the massively complex international money system structure (International Monetary Fund, World Bank etc) highly invested in promoting this system throughout the world (notoriously destroying third world and other--ie Greece--Iceland--- economies and governments everywhere), is it no wonder that a major player like China is reluctant to become fully subservient to this system.(The first step you always hear about is the US wanting China to make its currency fully floating against the dollar---which would open them up to international banking manipulation.)Could the goveernment (Congress) do any better. Would it be less incompetent, have purer motives, have fewer crooks at the helm? Bringing the Federal Reserve into the government (as most think it already is) with more congressional oversight and transparency would probably help,but would probably be the same system just under new management.
The real pitch of the DVD is that the country's money supply function should be a part of the government. How is that different? For one when the government wants to finance major society projects,it just prints the money to do them.No borrowing from Feseral Reserve, no loan debt, no interest to repay,no federal debt! Only the US bank would create new "money". THE Bank of the US would make loans (at interest or not dependent on national objectives) to what would largely be our existing banks---- except those banks would only be allowed to make loans against their on-hand reserves---ie no fractional reserve lending as we have today; because fractional reserve lending allows banks to create "money" through loans many times exceeding their true reserves. Many of the political big issues today like the national debt, taxes, and funding a national health system and social security would go away.Many variations exist like would taxes still be required or still be desirable? If it seems like a fairytale, just ask yourself since the productive capacity of the US (even the world) could currently provide all people with food,shelter,clothing,healthcare and old-age security, but obviously does not, what gives. We choose to put ourselves under an untenable system. Amazingly, government control of the money system has been used many times in history, even in the US, with great success, so its not such a far-fetched idea. Of course bad management can corrupt and bring down any system, but I put my trust in one that is open,transparent, amenable to understanding of the general population, and oversight and control of a democratic government. Call it any names you want---creepingly socialistic .... Thanks! Treat yourself---get this DVD.
And if reading is more your style, get the Ellen Brown book: The Web of Debt,The Shocking Truth About Our Money System,And How We Can Break Free".
It too parlays on The Wizard Of Oz storyline, and is an amazingly easy and authoritatively revealing read along the same theme.
The War On Democracy, A film by John Pilger,[ DVD available from Bullfrog films] "Essential look at the US government's continued decimation of LAtin America ... this is much more than just a history lesson, it is also a beautifully shot account of hope." London Daily Mirror
Buying The War, Bill Moyers Journal: The Bush administration marketed and sold the war in Iraq to the American people. How and why did the press buy it, and what does that say about the role of journalists in helping the public sort out fact from propaganda? In this program, veteran journalist Bill Moyers, award-winning producer Kathleen Hughes, and their investigative team piece together the reporting and political spin that shaped the public mind prior to, during, and following the 2003 invasion. Exposing the disappearance of a watchdog mentality in mainstream newspaper and TV journalism, the documentary also highlights the work of intrepid Knight Ridder reporters who dug beneath the surface of administration claimsonly to be drowned out by the drums of war. Further insight comes from journalists Dan Rather, former anchor of CBS Evening News; Tim Russert of NBCs Meet the Press; Bob Simon of 60 Minutes; and Walter Isaacson, former chairman of CNN. (87 minutes) See it on PBS or buy the DVD From PBS
War Made Easy:How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us To Death ,based on book of same title by Norman Solomon
Fahrenheit 9/11, Find a movie showing near you. Michael Moore's impassioned pseudo documentary intended to convince Americans to dump Bush
Control Room, Find a screening near you. A movie about the workings of the Arab newschannel AlJazeera and its coverage of the Iraq war. It should convine you there is a valid alternative viewpoint and that AlJazeera is not the rabid anti-America biased organization portrayed by western media.
Noam Chomsky -(DVD) Distorted Morality: America's War on Terror? (2002)
The hypocrisy of the U.S. government is powerfully scrutinized in Distorted Morality, a scathing thesis presented by renowned scholar Noam Chomsky. Speaking before an intimate audience at Harvard University on February 6, 2002, Chomsky sets fair and logical parameters to his thesis (namely, we are all hypocrites and, for the purposes of debate, the U.S. government should always be given benefit of the doubt) before outlining, with academic precision and citation of real history (as opposed to biased written history), the reasons why America's post-9/11 war on terror is a logical impossibility.
This, according to Chomsky's carefully supported analysis, is because the U.S. government has been, and continues to be, a major supporter of state-supported terrorism, favoring retaliatory or preemptive aggression over mediation in the world court, and avoiding accountability by excluding itself from the globally accepted definition of terrorism. (To underscore his point, Chomsky repeatedly volunteers his sources, inviting scrutiny at every turn.) With an additional hour-long Q&A session (in some ways more compelling, since it offers Chomsky's response to opposing viewpoints), Distorted Morality deserves the widest possible audience. In the short period between Chomsky's Harvard speech and the start of America's war against Iraq in March 2003, Chomsky's thesis has attained the chilling status of prophesy. Inevitably, Chomsky will be labeled anti-American, but at least his morality is crystal clear, immune to the obfuscation of politics and mainstream news. --Jeff Shannon
From the back cover
Noam Chomsky is a renowned scholar, the founder of the modern science of linguistics, a philosopher, a political and social analyst, a media critic, an author of more than 70 books, a winner of numerous prizes and awards, and ranks with Marx, Shakespeare, and the Bible as one of the 10 most quoted sources in the humanities. In this remarkable DVD, Noam Chomsky offers a riveting but devastating critique of America's current War on Terror--arguing, in fact, that it is a logistical impossibility...
Uncovered - The Whole Truth About the Iraq War (2003) DVD
~ Robert Baer
"It's one thing for a President to lie about his sex life. It's another to lie about why we are sending our young men and women into battle."
ERROL MORRIS - Filmmaker - The Fog of War
"On a daily basis we, the American public, are exposed to unending administration insanities: fear mongering, the reduction of foreign policy to a bad video game, an exhausting audio-visual parade of lies and self-deceptions. Robert Greenwald's film is a
The Corporation. A movie not about Bush or the Iraq war, but basically about the social irresponsibility of mega-corporations, and the case for implementing more responsibility (both corporate and managerial personal) for corporate actions.
The God That Wasn't There, An investigation into history before and after the supposed Jusus that concludes that it is very unlikely that such a real person and the biblical religious events ever occurred. Significant in that much of world conflict can be traced to dogmatic religious belief.
Root Of All Evil , by Richard Dawkins. Dawkins follows closely his book, The God Delusion, in presenting a case that all personal gods are delusional, and that the religions they sprout are at the root of much of the conflict/evil in the world today.