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‘The Interview’ for Christmas: Where is the Inquisition When We Need It?

By: Thursday December 25, 2014 2:00 pm

I never had any intention of seeing The Interview after seeing the commercials for it. It seemed like Dumb and Dumber go assassinate the Most Ridiculously Insane Dear Leader Ever. I couldn’t even sit through Dumb and Dumber, so I just dismissed it from my mind as a moviegoing choice this holiday season and left The Battle of the Five Armies and Into the Woods at the top of my own list.

Apparently, I’m not alone. The few reviews so far on Rotten Tomatoes mostly agree, and the few good reviews result from praise of actor Randall Park’s portrayal of Kim Jung Il.

Then along comes the Sony hack, threats of violence allegedly from North Korea, Sony’s decision to pull the movie after most theater chains said they wouldn’t risk showing it, the American ruling class’ outrage over this horrible intellectual terrorist attack on free speech(including one talking head on ABC’s This Week calling for all Americans to watch it as an act of defiant patriotism), followed by the joyous announcement that about 300 select theaters across the country will show this bad movie at midnight on Christmas Day.

What a crock. My apologies for being unable to find the links to the NPR and PBS stories, but a cyber-protection firm came out with the best theory I’ve seen on who done it. It seems there is this former Sony IT type going by the name of Lena who had initially demanded through this Guardians of Peace group that Sony pay them money or else. When Sony ignored her, she used her knowledge of all of the passwords and back doors that Sony had foolishly, and initially profitably, failed to change, infiltrated their whole computer system, and wiped out everything. Now Sony has to pay to fix it all. Look for video game price increases in the near future, gamers.

Then, to cover her tracks, and knowing she had used a standard Korean hacking program as one of her tools, this Lena and her group pretended to be the North Korean government and issued threats of violence. I won’t go over all of the wailing and gnashing of teeth this engendered from President Obama on down, except to say: Well-played, Lena and company, if it’s true.

But now this movie, which in my opinion doesn’t approach the level of intellectual comedy that would qualify it as anything remotely resembling a true satire, will be released in “selected” theaters on Christmas Day. Rejoice, America! We’ve stood up to the evil terrorist regime! (Damn, but Obama can be just so plain stupid sometimes!)

The Roundup

By: Thursday December 25, 2014 11:00 am

Merry Christmas!

International Politics

Overall

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif believes it is possible an agreement between Iran and the P5+1 can be reached soon

- The Islamic State allegedly shot down a fighter of the Jordan government. I say allegedly because the U.S. denied it happened.

Middle East

Part one of five with Norman Finkelstein on the propaganda Israel pushes to make them appear innocent

- A demonstration calling for a “Christmas without occupation” was dispersed by Israeli forces despite people giving gifts to children and being friendly with one another

- It’s official: Authorities in Israel gave the final approval for 380 settlements to be constructed in east Jerusalem.

Asia and Oceania

- Pakistan announced it would create military courts for cases dealing with terrorism due to the school massacre by the Taliban.

Europe 

- Economist Costas Lapavitsas explains to The Real News how SYRIZA can achieve victory in the next election in Greece and why it is important for them to deliver

- Russia blamed NATO for Ukraine’s recent decision to not call itself “non-aligned

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

- Cuba said it would not return Assata Shakur to the U.S. as she earned political asylum in the country

- If you want an example of black lives being disregarded internationally, look no further than the U.S. invasion of Panama in late 1989

Surveillance Planet

- The Seattle Police Department is looking for hackers to edit videos obtained through body cameras to release to the public.

- Just one year ago the FBI was aware of potential malware attacks that could hit companies. Too bad it never told Sony about that.

- Trevor Timm: “Is Sony’s crackdown a bigger threat to western free speech than North Korea?


Christmas in the White House Basement

By: Thursday December 25, 2014 9:00 am

Hold the fat bastard down! Answer me punk! Is it true that you give toys to every child in the world? Even the ones whose moms and dads are terrorists? Hah, that’s material support. Hit him with the electric shock. Do you refuse to hand over the naughty or nice list for us to use [...]

Still Having a Merry Christmas (Plus, Some Tunes)

By: Thursday December 25, 2014 7:00 am

This Christmas would be unlike any other Christmas before. However, I made certain that we still had many moments of happiness and joy. As I informed many of you who regularly read my work when I posted a tribute, my fifty-six year-old father died suddenly on November 14. He was one of my biggest fans. [...]

Over Easy

By: Thursday December 25, 2014 5:00 am

The community that began with Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner continues. Today we collect news from outside the usual, and renew the discussion.

Late Night FDL: Those Old Christmas Songs

By: Wednesday December 24, 2014 8:00 pm

Those Old Christmas Songs – The Singer and The Songwriter

Mele Kalikimaka to all the FDL pups…!

Illumination

By: Wednesday December 24, 2014 3:00 pm

I chose long ago to represent the poor, the marginalized and the mentally ill. To give voice to those who had no voice. To save the lives of those whom the government would kill. And I found that every person, no matter what horrors they had visited upon others, possessed a core of decency and grace.

In Aftermath of Executions of NYPD Officers, Police Crack Down on Extreme Anti-Cop Speech on Social Media

By: Wednesday December 24, 2014 12:00 pm

Police departments throughout the United States have escalated the vigilance in which they monitor speech on social media. Multiple people have been arrested and accused of threatening officers, as part of a law enforcement response to the execution of two New York Police Department officers. Ismaiiyl Brinsley shot NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu [...]

Your Most Gigantic Waste of Taxpayer Money Today List, Afghan Edition

By: Wednesday December 24, 2014 9:00 am

Our good friends at the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) released a high-risk list for the Afghanistan reconstruction effort that calls attention to areas that are especially vulnerable to significant waste, fraud, and abuse. Quick recap for those who haven’t binge-read the SIGAR reports for the past 13 or so years: the U.S. [...]

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