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Tag: Documentary

“Why We Did It” – Oh Boy… Whether You Find It To Be Accurate Or Not It Will Probably Upset You…

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You can click on this picture to watch their interview if you would like

Recently Rachel Maddow went on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and now that I have your attention here is some more information…

I considering myself a moderate, which more than anything means that new information can affect what I think. A while back Rachel Maddow produced a TV Documentary called “Hubris” which addressed the ‘so called” false pretenses that allowed our nation to go to war with Iraq – meaning that what was said about why we were going in was not in fact true. That documentary was posted on iTunes via the Rachel Maddow Show’s Podcast, and since she always asks people to post her show, and videos of it online I decided to post that entire documentary on my YouTube channel. It has since gotten about 100,000 views, and has filled my email with some incredibly angry YouTube comments from all kinds of people… I mean, angry stuff…

*By the way, I don’t just watch liberal stuff… I really can’t help but watch anything and everything I can get my hands/eyes on. I watch/listen to: The O’Reilly Factor, Meet the Press, Fox News Sunday, Real Time with Bill Maher, and others when I can. I like things other than politics, this is just part of my rhetorical diet to know what’s out there.

Anyway: I want to note that I am not a “Truther” (I don’t think that the United State Government was behind 9-11, so let’s just get that out of the way…), I do however think that this war was a war of choice, and that it was mismanaged, which I think is rather well voiced by documentaries like “No End In Sight” (posted at the bottom of this).

Hubris” addresses the issue of WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction), and this new documentary goes into some of the reasons why the makers of the film believe our government wanted to go. I don’t can’t speak to it’s legitimacy, and I don’t think that Mrs. Maddow is unbiased. I do however really appreciate that she presents sources, and gives room for actual debate, rather than just pure ad hominem. If you’d like to give some feedback that would be great – but the reason why I decided to post this second video (Why We Did It) was to keep the videos tied together, and because it might help us hold a conversation about reasons why we might not want to be so quick to go to war again anytime soon without more checks and balances (i.e.: Iran, Syria, Ukraine). And if you’d like to check in on the conflict going on in Ukraine feel free to click anywhere on this sentence.

Part 2
“Why We Did It”

Part 1
“Hubris”

“No End In Sight”

“In the Shadow of the Moon” – the most ‘out of this world’ video you’ll see anytime soon

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Last week I was at home and I stumbled across the Military Channel, which I’ve discovered is the most underrated channel, and just so happened to turn it on in time to find a show with interviews and live footage of astronauts on the moon. I found this show to be absolutely magical, and I couldn’t stop thinking about being in space all week. 4 days after watching this show I decided to go with some friends to see the new movie “Gravity” in IMAX 3D, and it just further inspired my mind to constantly be considering what it means that we are hurling through space all of the time! I recommend going to see “Gravity”, and I recommend watching that marvelous show that I happened to stumble upon, so I decided to find it and post it. It’s called “In the Shadow of the Moon”, and I encourage you to watch the whole thing by yourself in a dark room, and then encourage others to do the same.

Kony, M23, and The Real Rebels of Congo: What Happened to Kony 2012, and What’s Next? – VICE

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If you are reading this you are most likely on the internet, and thus have more likely than not heard of Joseph Kony, who is the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The LRA is famous for recruiting young children, brainwashing them to kill without hesitation, and then putting weapons in their hands. A group called Invisible Children has pushed to put an end to this senselessness. In the last couple of year one of their main founders, Jason Russell, launched a campaign to make a real push to get the word out about Kony while people were paying a bit more attention in the Presidential election year. Well, the campaign became much bigger than he’d ever expected, and it ended with Mr. Russell having somewhat of a personal meltdown, which sadly enough was ridiculed heavily, and somehow made light of the tragedies that have taken place over the last several years, and the work that Jason had been putting into stopping them.

Well, the “Kony 2012” campaign seems to have died out quite a bit, but there are still plenty who are interested in the situation. However, VICE, my favorite investigative reporting organization, has some questions about Kony, and any other rebel groups in the region, in particular the constantly war torn Democratic People’s Republic of Congo.

Warning This is Graphic – Honest Man: The Life of R. Budd Dwyer

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WARNING: this is one of the more got wrenching and heartbreaking documentaries I’ve ever watched, and it is graphic. This is a personal piece about a personable man, who had some personal problems, that were compounded by cruel treatment. In our increasingly technological world things are easily marginalized and magnified to exceptional degrees.

This documentary is about a man named Budd Dwyer, who served in state politics for the state of Pennsylvania. I actually lived in Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, off and on for about two months. The tragic event that took place at the Capitol happened about three or four blocks from where I lived. Budd Dwyer seemed to be a people pleaser, and when the people and the rhetoric turned against him it was too much… This happened in the late 1980s, which in reality was not that long ago, but in terms of communication and technology it is a world apart.

People love to criticize politicians and public servants – but when they get a sincere one it’s very likely that they might mistreat them. If people wonder why they question politicians and politics so much they should probably consider the nuances involved, and the maze that is created by hyper-partisan rhetoric. This story should be told as an example of how we should not treat others, and that includes our elected officials.

WARNING: this is graphic. And if you are already experiencing depression I don’t think you should watch this.

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This Is What Winning Looks Like (Full Length) – VICE

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This film was made by Ben Anderson and produced by VICE. It is described as “A destructing new documentary about the ineptitude, drug abuse, sexual misconduct, and corruption of the Afghan security.”

I found this to be very fascinating, but it would be very interested to know if there are counter perspectives.

“Hubris: Selling the Iraq War” (Special Report)

Hubris

So lately I’ve decided to post a few Rachel Maddow segments, and I’m sure that has a lot of my loved ones in Oklahoma very worried about me. I would first like to clarify a couple of things. I don’t always agree with her, but when I do I find it worthwhile to share because I would imagine that many around me would otherwise never hear anything that she says, and I hear her often mischaracterized as just the opposite of the guys of Fox News (I don’t think that’s true, I appreciate that her shows are designed with enough information that you can refute what she says, and that doesn’t mean that I always think she’s right). Also, there are very few shows that are free on itunes as a podcast, but her show is, and while I didn’t have cable for 2 years I was very grateful for that.

Next I’d like to clarify my purpose of posting this video. I am not trying to pick a fight, or tease anyone. As a matter of policy and governance I simply disagree with the way that the Iraq War was instigated and executed. I say this with a limited knowledge of the military, so feel free to educate me if you know something that I don’t know. You are allowed to disagree and I can deal with that, although I might have questions for you. I try very hard to be reasonable, and part of that for me means that it’s important to reflect on our successes and failures. I don’t consider our troops to have failed, I am incredibly humbled that people risk their lives for me and live in the conditions in which our soldiers do, but I do consider our leadership in regards to this war to have been a failure on multiple levels.

If you find this video to be interesting, or even if you don’t, I recommend watching the documentary “No End In Sight” (which as of this post you can find on Netflix). If you are someone who has served in the United States Military I want to be clear that I am posting this with an honest concern for American lives, as well as for lives around the world, and I mean no disrespect.

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I think that it’s a complete failure on part of our media that most people I’ve talked to about the War in Iraq have no clue as to the unbelievable devastation that Iraq has experienced… This short documentary is definitely being produced by people who are unapologetically liberal, and I wouldn’t dispute that. However, I think that being partisan doesn’t disqualify an argument, poor logic and a lack of information disqualifies arguments, but unsympathetic partisanship really can kill a great conversation. I supported the war as a 16 year old boy, but I no longer think it was wise. This video explains part of my change of heart/mind:

For anyone interested in watching “No End in Sight” I will post the trailer below. Again, I’m sorry if I’ve hurt anyone’s feelings, this is in no way meant to taunt anyone on my behalf. I know that this is challenging and per usual on challenging topics I expect a lot of views, but very little interaction, and that’s ok. However you feel about this post I hope that you can accept my sentiment when I say God Bless America, and God Bless all of our brothers and sisters of the world.

Pope Benedict XVI Resignation – Mea Maxima Culpa (HBO) – and Eckart Tolle on Children

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With the recent resignation of Pope Benedict XVI being announced, and hearing that it has been about 600 years since a Pope resigned (for political reasons), and 719 years since they did so willingly, this is obviously big news… Needless to say I thought it would be worthwhile to spend my night catching up on what seems to be happening. I have heard many people talk about this Pope being one of the more controversial Popes in some time due to his connections with the nondisclosure policy of the church about molesting of children around the world, but not being Catholic I haven’t really taken it upon myself to learn as much as I might otherwise. One of my dear friends informed me that he had just finished the new documentary on HBO about the Catholic Church, and that it was pretty heavy… I decided that I couldn’t hear that and not find out what he was talking about.

So a few minutes ago I just finished watching the documentary Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God (HBO Documentary), and it compelled me to look up an old quote from the book A New Earth, by Eckart Tolle. I have heard people say many times in my life that it’s funny to look at children and think about them just being little people, or little adults. I prefer however to do the opposite and consider the vastness of human incapabilities and consider all people to be on a spectrum of adolescence.

On a spiritual level I don’t see all things as Eckart Tolle does, but I do have profound respect for him as a thinker, and a person of transparency. As I was watching Mea Maxima Culpa I couldn’t help but think about how people seem to do very toxic things when they aren’t in environments that encourage or require transparency. And while transparency alone isn’t the cure to people doing bad things, we could still do terrible things, however the cleansing value of ridding one’s self of stagnation in the mind due to secrets and pain is much stronger than we might realize.

The following is a quote from the book “A New Earth” by Tolle, and I put this quote in my phone a long time ago for moving me to consider my respect for my brothers and sisters of all ages:

“In the human deminsion you are unquestionably superior to your child. You are bigger, stronger, know more, can do more. if the dimension is all you know, you will feel superior to your child, if only unconciously. And you will make your child feel inferior, if only unconsciously. There’s no equality between you and your child because there is only form in your relationship, and in form you are of course not equal. You may love your child, but your love will be human only, and that is to say; conditional, possessive, intermittent. Only beyond form, in being, are you equal. And only when you find the formless dimension in yourself can there be true love in that relationship. The presence that you are, the timeless I am, recognizes it’s self in another. And the other, the child in this case, feels loved, that is to say ‘recognized.’. To love is to recognize yourself in another.” – Eckart Tolle (41:50 into the audio book “A New Earth”)

I find this to be a very profound statement, and I recommend considering it’s meaning if you plan to watch the movie Mea Maxima Culpa. Anything in life that is worth fighting for is worth the pain that comes from those fights. If you are a devout Catholic, or Christian in general I think that watching this will maybe hurt your feelings some, but it will also re-instill the true tenants of what it means to be a part of a church. I recommend watching this no matter what you believe, but if it hurts your feelings I think you should examine what is causing you pain about this, and face it. The film is somewhat critical of then Cardinal Ratzinger (currently Pope Benedict XVI). Also, do remember that this is a trailer, and there is much more to the film.

I know that there are some websites where you can watch this film for free (possibly here), but just look online, it’s worth the search in my opinion. Also, if you watch the movie and want to watch something similar I know that Deliver Us from Evil (2006) tells a similar story, and I don’t encourage this begrudgingly, I simply think that we need to have open conversations about things this pervasive and heinous. If you are catholic and offended please let me know, I’d be very open to hearing more.

I did find this resignation and the release of this film coinciding so closely to be very odd, and the conspiracy theorist in my wants to know more, but I am adamant about not jumping to conclusions, as easy as it may be to do so. Please let me know if you have anything more to offer on all of this.

This Movie Trailer Made My Day!!

Nowhere Boy” The Movie of John Lennon and the Making of The Beatles

I love movies, but this one especially peaked my interest. I think that John Lennon was a fascinating guy, and to have a theatrical movie about his life, and the life of The Beatles sound like a great idea. It will be heard to make it as good as people will hope for, but I’m cheering for them.

If you have the time you should watch this documentary about John Lennon, it’s called “The U.S. vs John Lennon” I love it.

This is actually the entire documentary posted on google videos.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=777046699234389996#

This movie features a man who I seriously love to listen to named Noam Chomsky, I would love for you to hear some of the things that he has to say as well. Ok, that’s all for now.

Love,
Grady

The Myth of Charter Schools, and “Waiting for Superman” the story of our future.

I got this link from my mom the other day and I just wanted to share it. I am really excited to see this movie but I haven’t had the chance to see it yet. I think we all get tired of hearing people talk about about making schools better and rarely seeing changes, but I do think that there are things that can and should be done. This article talks about the new movie “Waiting for Superman” and is rather critical. I’m still excited for the movie, but I do think it’s about time we start hearing some actual facts about education, and some possible solutions so that we can at least try to figure out what our plan is. Here is the article and the movie trailer.

The article is called “The Myth of Charter Schools” by Diane Ravitch | The New York Review of Books.

The Myth of Charter Schools by Diane Ravitch | The New York Review of Books.

If you’ve seen the movie please let me know what you think and whether or not it is as informative as advertised.

Love,
Grady

Why Democracy Films – “Please Vote For Me” video (about China)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ok, so I realize that I’ve already posted about Chinese freedom of speech, and Chinese Democracy, but I had to do it again.

Link to my previous post:
Chinese Party Elders Support Freedom of Speech!

Alright, now this new post is about a documentary showing kids in China having elections at school, and I’m watching it right now, I’m not even finished, and I decided that I had to embed this video…

While I was teaching English in China we had elections in my 8 classes, and because it was a new concept every single one was different. Some were very patriotic, and some consisted of people claiming to be libertarians and saying that you should be able to do whatever you want (I was a little scared I was going to get in trouble for that one).

If you want to see what China is like this might help you a little bit. But before you watch it please realize that this is a different culture, and some things might catch you off guard, but try to keep an open mind that you’re seeing culture over their humanity. I think that this movie can give people perspective about cultural differences, as well as how human flaws (that we all have) can make or break any system. It is called “Vote For Me”. So far I love it, and I think that you will too.

Thank you Erin for recommending this movie to me.
If you’d like to go to the actual webpage you can click here:
“Vote For Me”

I love Vimeo, but that version won’t work on some devices, so here is the YouTube version as well.

Please feel free to give me any feedback you like, or ask me any questions that you might have.

Love,
Grady

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