FDL Movie Night: It’s Better to Jump

By: Monday October 20, 2014 4:59 pm

It’s Better to Jump tells the story of the Palestinian city of Akka (literally “acre”) which is part of historic Palestine, and  now sits on the coast of northern Israel.  In 1750 the Ottoman Empire ruler Daher el-Omar built a wall on the ocean side of the city, atop an 11th century Crusader wall, which has protected it from invasions over the centuries.  The wall stands from 33 to 43 feet high,  3 to 6 feet thick, and local Palestinian residents whose families have been there for 10 or 20 generations — or longer — consider it a rite of passage to jump off the wall and into the sea.

The filmmakers use this tradition as a metaphor for the spirit that’s allowed the dwindling Arab community that remains in Akka to resist attempts to displace them, in spite of the hardships that they must endure in order to stay there.   Many left during the 1948 “ethnic cleansing” of Palestine, and more recent attempts to “gentrify” the beautiful coastal city by bringing in Europeans and building it up as an arts community which further reduced the population.  In 1995 there were more than 8000 Arabs living in the old city; now that number is down to some 3000.

State Dept Says I Shouldn’t Write This!

By: Monday October 20, 2014 1:26 pm

It would be wrong then for a former employer, as codified into its agency regulations, to expect its retirees to “refrain from engaging in activities of any kind, including writing manuscripts or giving speeches, which would be prejudicial to the foreign policy interests of the United States.” But that is exactly what the U.S. Department of State does.

Saudi Arabia Ramps Up Beheadings As US Condemns ISIS For Beheadings

By: Monday October 20, 2014 12:21 pm

In the two months since the US and gulf state allies have begun attacking ISIS in Iraq and Syria the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has had a wave of executions. Like ISIS, the Saudis use the method of beheading for execution. The US has condemned ISIS’ use of the practice but remained silent on whether the Saudis use of beheading as a method is inappropriate or not.

US Government Moves to Dismiss Lawsuit Against ‘Suspicious Activity’ Program Which Keeps Files on Innocent People

By: Monday October 20, 2014 11:16 am

The United States government has moved to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of five US citizens who say they were victims of a domestic surveillance program, which involves the collection of “suspicious activity reports” on individuals.

President Of Israel Says Israel Is A ‘Sick Society’

By: Monday October 20, 2014 10:10 am

Israel President Reuven Rivlin says Israel has become a “sick society” that lacks human decency and is unable to engage in dialogue with Arabs due to racial animosity and prejudice – a rather stunning indictment by a head of state of his own country.

Not Even Thomas Duncan’s Fiancee Contracted Ebola

By: Monday October 20, 2014 9:05 am

The congressional hearings, the Ebola Czar, the campaign ads and the wall-to-wall cable news focused on the disease in the United States is way more than is justified. You should be worried about almost anything more than the possibility of catching Ebola.

Just How Quickly Could Recreational Marijuana be for Sale in D.C.?

By: Monday October 20, 2014 8:00 am

“About four months” is theoretically the absolute fastest that stores could begin selling recreational marijuana in the District after the D.C. Council adopts new legislation, according to Rabbi Jeff Kahn. As the operator of Takoma Wellness Center, one of D.C.’s three functioning medical marijuana dispensaries, he is uniquely positioned to provide insight into this question.

Hong Kong Protests Continue With Major Crackdown Looming

By: Monday October 20, 2014 6:56 am

The pro-democracy protests known as Occupy Central have continued on despite constant attacks from Hong Kong authorities in the form of police or undercover agitators. But after weeks of depressed economic activity in one of the richest and most productive areas in the world it appears the authorities are preparing for a major crackdown after their more traditional methods have failed to break the protests.

More Polling Finds Medical Marijuana Right on the Edge in Florida

By: Tuesday October 14, 2014 2:31 pm

Indications are that the fight for medical marijuana in Florida will be extremely tight. A new Gravis Marketing poll finds Amendment 2, the Use of Marijuana for Certain Medical Conditions, falls just short of what is needed for approval.

Pranking the CIA: The New Get-Rich-Quick Story

By: Tuesday October 14, 2014 1:26 pm

The Risen media blitz this week accompanies the publication of his new book, Pay Any Price. Risen clearly will not back down. This time he’s made his dumbest-thing-the-CIA-did-lately story the second chapter rather than the last, and even the New York Times has already mentioned it. We’re talking about a “torture works,” “Iraq has WMDs,” “let’s all stare at goats” level of dumbness here. We’re talking about the sort of thing that would lead the Obama administration to try to put somebody in prison. But it’s not clear there’s a secret source to blame this time, and the Department of So-Called Justice is already after Sterling and Risen.

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