Hollywood Weinstein abuse scandal, tip of the iceberg?


This video from the USA says about itself:

Louise Godbold: “My Encounter with Harvey Weinstein and What It Tells Us About Trauma”

12 October 2017

We continue our look at two shocking investigations by The New Yorker and The New York Times, which revealed a slew of rape and sexual assault allegations against disgraced and now-fired movie producer Harvey Weinstein, who had been one of the most powerful men in Hollywood for decades. We speak with Louise Godbold, who recently wrote a blog post titled “My Encounter with Harvey Weinstein and What It Tells Us About Trauma.” Now executive director of Echo Parenting & Education, Godbold calls on others to believe and support survivors of sexual assault and harassment, saying, “We need to educate everyone about trauma.”

For decades, Harvey Weinstein has been a main source of money for the Clintonite right-wing pro-big business tendency in the United States Democratic Party.

Hillary Clinton and Harvey Weinstein

LENA DUNHAM, TINA BROWN SAY THEY WARNED CLINTON CAMPAIGN ABOUT HARVEY WEINSTEIN In 2008 and 2016. And Gwyneth Paltrow says Weinstein fabricated a story about sleeping with her and “used the lie as an assault weapon.” [HuffPost]

Harvey Weinstein had secret hitlist of names to quash sex scandal. Producer hired team to investigate 91 film industry figures in attempt to stop harassment claims going public: here.

As Breitbart Attacks Democrats for Weinstein Connections, Bannon‘s Own Ties Revealed. The connection between Bannon and Weinstein began more than a decade ago when Bannon, who had been a Goldman Sachs banker, was dabbling in Hollywood investments: here.

THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY BOARD SAYS THEY DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE SETTLEMENTS Experts say they’re not so sure that’s possible. NYPD has confirmed they’re looking into allegations of a 2004 Harvey Weinstein assault case. Kate Beckinsale said the movie mogul harassed her at 17. And Emma Thompson said she thinks there are many more “Harvey Weinsteins” in Hollywood. [HuffPost]

Ms Thompson may very well be correct. And I don’t think it’s just Hollywood.

Rich, powerful men in many places abuse women sexually or violate human rights otherwise, and get caught only after decades, after their deaths or not at all.

Twentieth century right-wing ideologist Ayn Rand preached ‘The virtue of selfishness‘ (the title of one of her books). She also claimed in her novel The Fountainhead that rape by a powerful man was not really bad. And today millionaires and billionaires practice that ‘virtuous’ selfishness, sometimes up to rape or death for not so rich people.

Jane Fonda: ‘I found out about Harvey about a year ago. I’m ashamed that I didn’t say anything right then. I guess it hadn’t happened to me, and so I didn’t feel that it was my place. Let’s not think this is some unique, horrific [incident]. This goes on all the time. It’s this male entitlement – in Hollywood, and everywhere. In offices and businesses all over the world, in bars, and restaurants and stores, women are assaulted, abused, harassed and seen for just being sexual objects, there for a man’s desire, instead of as whole human beings’: here.

Tory [British Conservative] MP David Amess issues apology over ‘unauthorised’ statement defending Harvey Weinstein. Clarification issued after first statement sparked furious backlash: here.

THE WEINSTEIN SCANDAL CONTINUES TO WORSEN According to a new Washington Post investigation, Harvey Weinstein’s misconduct dates back to the 1980s. Video has surfaced of Courtney Love warning about Weinstein in 2005. Actress Melissa Sagemiller has come forward with her account of Weinstein’s harassment. Woody Allen chimed in on the scandal, saying it’s “very sad for everyone involved.” And Weinstein was kicked out of the Motion Picture Academy. [HuffPost]

NEWSWEEK JOURNALISTS ARE WEIGHING A SEX DISCRIMINATION SUIT AGAINST THE MAGAZINE Following the tenure of recently departed global editor-in-chief Matt McAllester. Employees detailed a pattern of “male cronyism.” [HuffPost]

‘THE MOST POWERFUL JOURNALIST IN HOLLYWOOD PROTECTED HARVEY WEINSTEIN FOR YEARS’ “In the 1990s, Peter Bart turned Variety into one of the most powerful institutions in Hollywood. In doing so, he helped turn Harvey Weinstein into another.” [HuffPost]

BOB WEINSTEIN HAS ALSO BEEN ACCUSED OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT According to executive producer Amanda Segel. Meanwhile, the Weinstein scandal has resulted in several Hollywood A-listers speaking out about their own sexual assaults. Reese Witherspoon says she was assaulted at 16, America Ferrera when she was 9. Jennifer Lawrence told how she had been forced to stand in a “degrading” lineup of nude women early in her career. “Game of Thrones” star Lena Heady said Harvey Weinstein had made sexual advances on her over the years. And designer Donna Karen apologized for victim-blaming while defending Weinstein. [HuffPost]

ACTRESS ACCUSES WEINSTEIN BROTHERS OF SEX TRAFFICKING In a new lawsuit. And Jeremy Piven’s new CBS show has been canceled after 13 episodes in light of the sexual assault allegations against him. [HuffPost]

HARVEY WEINSTEIN REPORTEDLY HIRED PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS To tail journalists and his accusers and help bury potential accusations. [HuffPost]

WHY YOU’RE SEEING THE #METOO HASHTAG Actress Alyssa Milano asked women to post the phrase “me too” if they had been sexually harassed or assaulted. Thousands did. [HuffPost]

TRUMP ACCUSER WANTS THE RELEASE OF ALL DOCUMENTS REGARDING SEXUAL ASSAULT ALLEGATIONS “A woman who accused President Donald Trump of unwanted groping has subpoenaed all documents held by his presidential campaign about any harassment and assault allegations against him, BuzzFeed News reported Saturday.” [HuffPost]

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Piper, film on young sandpiper, trailer


This video says about itself:

Piper – First Look – Official Disney Pixar | HD

13 June 2016

In Pixar Animation Studios‘ new short, “Piper,” a hungry sandpiper hatchling discovers that finding food without mom’s help isn’t so easy.

Piper is directed by Alan Barillaro (supervising animator “WALL•E,” “Brave“) and the short will debut in front of Finding Dory in UK cinemas on July 29, 2016.

Finding Dory movie, fiction and science


This video from the USA says about itself:

8 July 2016

While Disney/Pixar has produced a wonderful story with “Finding Dory” they have made some rather large mistakes in marine biology and Jonathan is here to discuss his top 3.

1. Destiny is a whale shark, not a whale. How can a whale shark speak whale? Can a Tiger shark speak Tiger?

2. A Beluga‘s echolocation doesn’t work in air and certainly can’t see what is inside a truck on the other side of a mountain.

3. Marine fish (i.e. salt water fish) cannot live in fresh water!

Benghazi, Hollywood propaganda and Syrian war reality


This (audio) video says about itself:

Matthew Alford on Military Media Manipulation (1/6)

4 August 2011

Matthew Alford has taught at the Universities of Bath and Bristol and is now an independent scholar working on issues of American cinema, power and politics.

Author of “Reel Power: Hollywood Cinema and American Supremacy

And these five videos are the sequels.

By Ian Sinclair in Britain:

Benghazi: The real story

Monday 21st March 2016

HOLLYWOOD, as lecturer Matthew Alford explains in his 2010 book Reel Power, “routinely promotes the dubious notion that the United States is a benevolent force in world affairs.”

Thus Michael Bay’s $50 million recent film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi tells the story of the September 11 2012 attack on the US consulate in Libya, which killed the US ambassador and three of his colleagues.

As with movies such as Black Hawk Down (2001) and Lone Survivor (2013) the audience watches as a small band of brave US servicemen heroically fight back against hundreds of faceless Arabs, with no apparent motive other than a hatred of Westerners.

13 Hours is clear about the benevolent intent of the US in Libya, with the initial credits explaining the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had an annex close to the US consulate, where operatives gathered intelligence to try their best to get weapons taken off the black market.

In an extensive February 2016 investigation into the US intervention in Libya, the New York Times repeats this official narrative, explaining the US “struggled against weapons proliferation” after Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi had been overthrown and killed.

However, a number of reports show there is far more to the story than the US government, 13 Hours and the New York Times would have us believe.

In August 2013 CNN reported that dozens of CIA operatives had been on the ground in Benghazi and that “the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing remains a secret.”

According to one source quoted by CNN, the CIA has been involved in an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency’s Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out. All of which begs an obvious question: if the CIA were simply attempting to stop weapons proliferation in Libya, why would this need to be covered up?

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh’s reporting on US actions in Libya may provide the answer. According to an article he published in the London Review of Books in April 2014, the CIA, with the assistance of Britain’s MI6, set up a “rat line” to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya to Syria via southern Turkey. “The consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms,” says a former intelligence official quoted by Hersh.

Citing a classified annex to a US Senate intelligence committee report, Hersh notes the funding for the weapons transfers came from US allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

A formerly classified October 2012 US Defence Intelligence Agency report echoes Hersh’s discovery, noting that “during the immediate aftermath of … the downfall of the [Gadaffi] regime in October 2011 … weapons from the former Libyan military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya, were shipped” to Syria. Importantly, the report explains the shipments ended in early September 2012 — the date the US consulate was attacked and when Hersh also says the shipments ended.

Michael Morrell, the former deputy director of the CIA, confirmed the existence of the weapons shipments in testimony to the US House intelligence committee in November 2012. However, the part of the transcript showing Morrell’s response to a question asking whether the CIA was involved in co-ordinating the weapons transfers is redacted. “Long story short: the CIA was watching closely as our allies transferred weapons to Syrian rebels,” explained the independent journalist Marcy Wheeler, summarising Morrell’s testimony and the CIA report.

So, while many of the details are fuzzy, it seems clear the US was transferring weapons from Libya to Syria or, at the very least, was fully aware its allies were doing this and did nothing. Weapons, it should be noted, that a plethora of experts and observers — from former Nato secretary-generals to the United Nations — have warned will only escalate and deepen the war in Syria.

In addition to contradicting the Establishment-promoted image of US-British power as benevolent and positive, the real story of Benghazi fatally undermines the dominant narrative that, as BBC Today programme presenter Nick Robinson recently noted, the Obama administration has had a “deep unwillingness to get engaged in” the Syrian war. Or, as well-respected think-tanker Shadi Hamid argues, US policy in Syria has been one of “defensive minimalism.” Furthermore, the Libyan-Syrian “rat line” story also highlights another inconvenient truth: Hersh notes that “many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida.”

If, as the independent media icon Amy Goodman has said, “the role of journalism is to go where the silences are,” then the CIA and MI6 role in Benghazi should be the first port of call for anyone looking to shine a light on the nefarious machinations of the Western powers in the Middle East.

Ian Sinclair is the author of The March That Shook Blair: An Oral History of February 15 2003, published by Peace News Press. He tweets @IanJSinclair

In Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA.” (Nabih Bulos , W.J. Hennigan and Brian Bennett, Los Angeles Times)

Pro-peace actor Mark Rylance gets Oscar


This video from England says about itself:

Mark RylanceDon’t bomb Syria – Nov. 28th 2015

Protest outside Downing Street, London. Organised by Stop The War Coalition. Protesting against the UK governments newly proposed attacks against Syria.

By Bethany Rielly in Britain:

Oscar win for man of peace Rylance

Tuesday 1st March 2016

PEACE activist Mark Rylance won Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards on Sunday night — the most high-profile award to go to a Brit this year.

The Stop the War Coalition (StWC) ambassador was awarded an Oscar for his role in Steven Spielberg’s cold war thriller Bridge of Spies, beating favourite Sylvester Stallone.

Mr Rylance has supported StWC and the wider peace movement for 15 years, attending and speaking at many rallies including November’s Don’t Bomb Syria march.

“We don’t accept violence as a solution for problems in any other area of society,” said Mr Rylance outside Downing Street.

“Why are we still being told that this is the way our international problems must be resolved?”

StWC congratulated Mr Rylance on his win yesterday and thanked him for years of support and involvement in its campaigns.

“Mark is a obviously a very fine actor and I very much hope he enjoys every minute of the Oscar celebration, but he is also a man of conviction and principled opposition to war and a fine ambassador of Stop the War,” said national convener Lindsey German.

“He has contributed generously with both his time and his creative energy to our movement over the years and everyone in Stop the War sends their congratulations to him as one of our own anti-war heroes.”

Sunday was a political night all round, with many speakers commenting on the absence of black nominees. Even host Chris Rock described the event as “the white people’s choice awards.”

Oscar nominations in Hollywood, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

The Oscars‘ horrible lack of diversity, explained in 2 minutes

16 January 2015

The average Oscar voter is a 63-year-old white man, so it’s no surprise that there is a horrible lack of diversity in this year’s Academy Award nominations.

The Academy Proves That Oscars Are Only For White People, Again. Oh, you thought non-white actors would get Oscar noms? Here.

A Twitter message by Marlon James in the USA on 14 January 2016 says:

#OscarsSoWhite that the bear in [the film] Revenant would have snagged a nomination if she were polar.

By David Walsh in the USA:

The 88th Academy Awards nominations

15 January 2016

The 88th Academy Award nominations, announced Thursday morning, revealed the usual muddle-headedness, liberal good intentions and severe limitations of the social grouping that decides these things. The awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will take place on February 28 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. …

Two honest films about American life, The Big Short––on the 2008 financial crisis and Wall Street criminality––and Spotlight ––about sexual abuse by Catholic priests––collected a number of nominations. Both films were named in the best picture and best directing categories; both had a supporting actor nominated (Christian Bale in The Big Short and Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight, respectively); both screenplays (one adapted and one original) were nominated. The Big Short received a total of five nominations and Spotlight six.