Film review: Z (1969)

I am not going to write a long review of this film by Costa-Gavras because Marcus Ranum has done an excellent job of both the film and the actual events on which the film was closely based. It was reading that review that reminded me that this highly praised film of political intrigue was one that I had missed during its cinematic release in 1969 and then forgotten even after the era of videotapes and DVDs and streaming enabled one to revisit the classics.
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How do you tell if leaked emails are genuine?

In this day and age, leaked emails have become one of the means by which information is released about the machinations of government. ProPublica was recently the recipient of emails that revealed unflattering information about Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz, The publication of these emails set in motion a sequence of events in which Kasowitz let loose a tirade against an ordinary citizen. Since then, Kasowitz has become one of the many people who has been cast out through the revolving door that characterizes the Trump administration.
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Republicans ignore whatever rules they don’t like

The US senate has arcane rules of operation that can mystify those who are not steeped in them. One of them involves the issue of how many votes are needed for procedural votes and to pass legislation. While most bills require a simple majority, some require more and certain votes that precede the final vote, such as whether to consider the bill at all, require 60 out of the 100 votes.
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Buddhist monks behaving badly

Some Buddhist monks in Thailand, where Buddhism is the majority religion, clearly seem to think that evangelical Christians in the US with their fancy mega-churches that provide them with luxury homes, cars, and private jets should not have all the fun. They too have decided to get on that gravy train and are living the high life from money they get from their followers.


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Why neoliberals hate being called neoliberals

I use the labels neoliberal and neoconservative quite frequently. In comments in response to a previous post, there was some discussion of what those labels really represent and whether there existed any meaningful distinctions between people categorized by those labels and those who are called simply liberals and conservatives respectively. Neoliberal seemed to be considered less helpful than neoconservative in identifying political inclinations.
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What the power handshake really suggests

Much attention has focused on Donald Trump’s use of the handshake as a means of assering dominance over the other person by putting people off balance and the way that foreign leaders have responded. Way back in 1998, in one of his stand up performances, Eddie Izzard explained what the person using that handshake wants to suggest and what it really signifies.
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More Saudi atrocities on the way

While we should be relieved that the model ‘Khulood’ was spared punishment by the ruthless and barbaric Saudi Arabian ‘justice’ system, that should not delude us into thinking that the system is getting better. That welcome result was likely due to the international outcry. We still face atrocities like the 14 young men who are to be beheaded, yes, beheaded, because they attended pro-democracy protests. The group includes one man Mujtaba’a al-Sweikat who was arrested in 2012 at the airport on his way to begin graduate studies in the US, and has been in prison ever since.
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The prospects for the ‘repeal and replace’ Obamacre plans

I wrote a month ago that I expected that after all the posturing ends and the dust settles, all 52 Republicans in the US Senate would do what they always do, and that is dutifully fall in line and vote as demanded by the party leadership and president Donald Trump to gut the health insurance of tens of millions of people while giving the wealthy a tax cut.
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Kind of self-defeating, no?

A Florida man was outraged by vehicles used by utility workers partially blocking his driveway. This of course happens all the time since those vehicles can be quite long and they have to be parked near the utility poles. Rather than politely asking the workers to move so that he could get out, something that has always worked for me whenever I encountered this since the workers are right there, this being Merika and the man being a real Merkin, he brought his gun and started shooting at the vehicles, including at the engine and the tires, deflating them and making the vehicles immobile.
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