This is a 2004 film compilation by Gábor Zsigmond Papp that presents a ‘best of’ series of clips from thirty years of Hungarian secret police training films geared toward protecting the socialist regime. Subjects covered include: how to place a bug, how to film people from handbag cameras, how to follow someone, how to secretly search a home, how to recruit agents, and how to effectively network for information gathering. These are all marvelous skills for finding a job in today’s high-tech world of modern American surveillance. But I view the film from an artistic perspective and find it fascinating in its easy ability to create mood and tension with the bare minimum of cinematic effort.
Today Candlelight Stories joins with other sites to protest two proposed laws in the United States, called SOPA and the PROTECT IP Act. On January 24th, the U.S. Senate will vote on the PROTECT IP Act to censor the Internet, despite opposition from the vast majority of Americans. These laws give corporations the ability to sue any web site they feel threatens their copyrights in some way. They could essentially shut down any site simply by pointing a finger. So corporations would use this power to harm smaller competitors. The U.S. government could shut down any site or blog it had the slightest problem with. Censorship as practiced in places like China would suddenly become the norm here in the United States. China is a nightmare. We don’t want to do things like they do.
A free, open, uncensored Internet is a basic and fundamental right that must be preserved here in the United States if it is to have any chance at all on a worldwide basis.
Join us to protect our rights to free speech, privacy, and prosperity.
Here’s a massive list at the Center For Democracy & Technology of organizations, companies, web sites, blogs and individuals who are opposed to the censorship bills.
At the links below you can send your protest to Congress and learn much more about these bills and how they seek to end the open Internet.
Yes, deregulation of the banking industry has led to absolute chaos and total criminality. It is abundantly obvious. The presidents serving since 1980 have been completely owned by corporate lobbyists, as have all senators, representatives and Supreme Court justices. I have arguments with some of the tactics of Occupy Wall Street, but I think they are very minor compared to the overall message. The separation of government from corporations has become an urgent necessity and does in fact require a mass movement of people across the placid lawns of government. Politicians should be examined for any corporate connections whatsoever and immediately dismissed if they fail the test. Corporations should be checked for any attempts at electoral influence. A Constitutional amendment that declares corporations to be nothing more than legal abstractions and forbids them from influencing the federal government is essential. After all, corporations seek to produce products at the lowest possible cost and currently do so by using concentration camps in China. They would gladly build those concentration camps in the U.S. if it was cost-effective. Such entities cannot be allowed the slightest influence on American politics. We may be forced to totally ban all political contributions that do not come directly from an individual person.
This film shows how the protesters of the Occupy Wall Street movement organize themselves in lower Manhattan. They seem to be forming something like a little community with food services, minor first aid, a library, battery charging and even video editing services for all the people covering the action. These people are working hard and have an uncommon seriousness about them. This is something new. These are mainly young people. They are waking up from iPod oblivion and showing the world that they can make a difference in a democracy decayed by a corporate stranglehold over the government. These are people who can see that corporate management structures have totally occupied and taken over the United States government all the way up to and including its Supreme Court. In fact, there is no other way to dismantle this criminal structure. It can only be broken up by massive groups of angry protesters who simply never stop coming.
Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer “bailout” of 2008, now have as much loot, stock and property as the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can’t bring yourself to call that a financial coup d’état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.
Those are the words of Michael Moore and they are very true. If you want to become a bad national joke, you do what Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has done and push through a bill that destroys the right of working Americans to organize and form labor unions.
The revolt against this criminal stupidity in Wisconsin is incredible to watch. It has national importance for the future of labor and the rights of working people everywhere.
They control the message. By owning most of the media they have expertly convinced many Americans of few means to buy their version of the American Dream and to vote for their politicians. Their version of the Dream says that you, too, might be rich some day — this is America, where anything can happen if you just apply yourself! They have conveniently provided you with believable examples to show you how a poor boy can become a rich man, how the child of a single mother in Hawaii can become president, how a guy with a high school education can become a successful filmmaker. They will play these stories for you over and over again all day long so that the last thing you will want to do is upset the apple cart — because you — yes, you, too! — might be rich/president/an Oscar-winner some day! The message is clear: keep you head down, your nose to the grindstone, don’t rock the boat and be sure to vote for the party that protects the rich man that you might be some day.
The United States government is attempting to physically destroy the Wikileaks organization. The ‘Cablegate’ release of diplomatic communications has begun to reveal that Western democracies maintain shadow governments that are outside the reach of their electorates. They appear to have a system in place that is not subject to the outcomes of elections. For me, that is the main thing suggested by the leaks.
The Obama administration is fully engaged in a very serious information war that threatens to turn the public eye toward the inner workings of a government sliding very quickly toward a new form of corporate/government fascism. The obvious connection between government, corporations, and the military is now under public scrutiny as we watch officials tell companies like Amazon and Paypal to cut off the Wikileaks operations. A democratic superpower is influencing, through threats or friendly suggestion, the behavior of companies that are enormously powerful on the Internet. It has become clear that we absolutely cannot expect any form of free expression to exist where Amazon or Paypal are concerned. The fact that Amazon controls most of the book trade in the U.S. is an emergency and should ultimately result in a move toward a more open source form of book selling. I would not want to be in the position of trying to sell a book on Amazon that contained thorough investigative reporting on U.S. government secrets or corruption. One call from Joseph Lieberman could shut everything down for my book.
The important thing about the Wikileaks is that they change journalism. They open a deep wound in the side of government that bleeds secrets, incompetence and corruption. The wound will continue to bleed because there will always be someone willing to leak the information. It’s simple human nature. There will always be a place to send that information and there will always be journalists to sift through it and print it for us to read. If this Wikileaks is killed, another will pop up.
Wikileaks is nothing more than a reporter sitting at a desk answering the phone and taking notes from a confidential source. Wikileaks is a reporter. President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have openly declared themselves to be extremely dangerous enemies of a free press. They have already begun threatening university students who try to download or link to the Wikileaks data (the data is here, by the way). They will stop at nothing to end Wikileaks. We should be prepared for this. They will stop at absolutely nothing. Just wait for the leak. Then you’ll know.