Sunday, January 30, 2011

Superb Film: "William Kunstler - Disturbing the Universe"

Watched an amazing and heart warming film William Kunstler Disturbing the Universe, at the Fort Lauderdale film festival in the lovely Cinema Paradiso in downtown Fort Lauderdale here is the synopsis from a PBS showing:


William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe examines the life of this radical attorney from a surprising angle. Kunstler’s two daughters from his second marriage grew up lionizing a man already famous for his historic civil rights and anti-war cases. Then, in their teens, they began to be disillusioned by a stubborn man who continued representing some of the most reviled defendants in America — this time accused rapists and terrorists. In this intimate biography, Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler seek to recover the real story of what made their late father one of the most beloved, and hated, lawyers in America. Winner of the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth Vision Award, 2009 Sundance Film Festival. A co-production of ITVS.

The film takes the viewer down into the famed freedom fighters life from the perspective of two of his daughters Emily and Sarah. You see his pre-fame life as a soldier as a family man in upstate New York and as an early civil rights attorney until the events that changed his life working to support the freedom riders who support those brave souls who liberated lunch counters and eventually the hearts of many across the south. And while racism, wasn't limited to Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida it was simply at it's open and ugliest display there.

While it might seem trivial to some unimaginative historically illiterate souls that water fountains, hotel rooms, restrooms, and voting booths wee off limits to peoples of color just fifty short years ago. Those of us who lived those years, and saw that slow evolution these were epochal struggles. Watching human rights established as the bloody fingers of oppression were pried off the throats of so many could not but affect many Americans.

Watching Dr. King and so many other brave nameless individuals stand against batons, police dogs, fire hoses and lawful murderous legally sanctioned racism to reclaim their humanity from a power structure  unwilling to grant humanity, much-less civic rights. Watching those scenes replay made all of us in the theatre remember those awful days, and the bravery demanded of so many, in an era that transformed our country from a land that sanctioned open apartheit, to a country that was prepared to work toward a new civic justice. A journey that remains an unfulfilled promise.

The film took us back to a watch a young lawyer transformed from a simple small town lawyer, into a firebrand who stood high atop the barricades to defend civil rights activists, anti-war activists, First American activists. We relived the travails of political show trials like the Chicago Eight, and the tragedy that was the Attica massacre. The story of the his spiritual kinship and awakening attained through the   struggles defending the First Americans at Wounded Knee.  We met his second family and saw, Mr. Kunstler, not just as a freedom fighter who time and again stood with defendants against the voice of the mob, after the press and public had already reached their verdict, but also as a family man with two precocious daughters. 

And we joined the mourners, who gathered at the final ceremony for the freedom fighter who defended the unpopular, the revolutionary, and the politically engaged in a life that mattered. And all of that , through the eyes and the voices of two daughters that honored, challenged and loved him greatly.

"William Kunstler  disturbing the Universe" a film every activist should see.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Filthy Claw of Corporate Control Clutches Olbermann


I am appalled at the abrupt termination of the Olbermann news and commentary program. Programs are terminated for one of two reasons, either a failure to find an audience or problems with management. Which case we have hear is obvious.

With the change of corporate control, we see just how swift the corporate "leadership" corruption has reached it's filthy claw down into editorial content. [No Content Impact - I can hear the denials even now...]

I must say, even despite the toothless tigers that now sitting in the chairs of the FCC and the corporate lapdogs and freebooter sycophants filling the robes at the Supreme Court this power grab will not go un-noticed among the viewer-ship that  gave Mr. Olbermann the powerful reach he has. He shall retain that viewership - elsewhere!

The Corporate Chieftains may Chuckle today but you will repent at your leisure as the viewership plummets to below CNN's lowest mid-morning numbers. You may think now, that with your vast profits you can casually throw away the most popular show you broadcast. WATCH US as we turn you off.  

RW Spisak Jr.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mad Murders in Arizona, America and the Media

They sang all day long again today of a few futile murders in Arizona.

No talk of Afghanistan, no news of Iraq, nothing about the rain of robot bombs in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. Nothing of veterans care, nothing about the soaring costs of gasoline, driving to stratospheric heights by the soulless speculators. Nothing of the homeless, no news about the silent unobserved foreclosures. Foreclosures crushing families like during the Great  Depression. No mention of the homeless families and the growing dependence on handouts. [We cut welfare - we couldn't afford to feed the poor and unemployed.]

Mental healthcare, a pariah in the land of macho...missing in action... along with access to healthcare for the working and non-working poor. Blame the immigrants you waiting wanting Americans. "What are they expected to do?", asked a visiting Canadian, who asked about the poor - "Die quickly and unobtrusively." I explained.

Blame the immigrants, you Americans struggling at the edge of economic  uncertainty. No surer of any step; than the tightrope walker poised between the Skyscrapers of Banking and Insurance. Your children in crumbling and unfunded schools, who visit the disappearing libraries in smaller and smaller numbers. But now thanks to the GUN LOBBY in Congress WE CAN bring our GUNS to the underfunded National Parks.

But lets focus on a couple deaths in Arizona, not the many deaths in Pittsburgh or Detroit, in New York or Chicago or Dallas and Atlanta no news of the lost and hungry children there. No news about a child shot in an invisible inner city neighborhood nothing worth reporting there. Hardly worth mentioning when we can moan and tear our hair about an important and significant tragedy like the shooting of a photogenic Congresswoman.  

We can even take a moment to nod sagely and briefly mention non-existent Mental Health Services, and the peculiar American custom of holding the mentally ill, apart as if contagious and somehow morally responsible for their own illnesses.

And guns, [gun sales are up praise Jesus] despite the needless deaths of Kennedys and Kings. We must preserve the casual sales of high powered
repeating fire arms, because without the ability to commit bloody mass murder could we really be FREE? Without the free availability of weapons of mass destruction, we could hardly be the distracted indentured servants we are... I mean Americans.

We can hold secret prisoners in BLACK SITES, and call ourselves Americans, we can arm Israel as it drives tanks over children in occupied Palestine and call ourselves Americans. We can send Smart Bombs and foolish Congressmen to Afghanistan and Pakistan while spending palettes of bribes to tribesmen across the deserts of central, and bravely wave our flags.

No news this week from Afghanistan or Iraq, nothing about the secret prisons, no news about Bradley Manning or the nameless unmentionables living in silence in Guantanamo or Bhagram or any of a dozen other unknown BLACK SITES. Where they are being kept like apples, except the apples aren't kept in stress positions. Let's not mentioned the expensive returning wounded vet, the draped coffins, the missing limbs and lost innocence. THAT'S NOT NEWS... we have a wounded photogenic Congress person to discuss, oh, and TODAY's BIG GAME. 

But let's not care for our mentally disturbed, because we can't
afford it. And by all means lets insure that the mentally unstable freely wandering the indifferent streets can still buy, rapid firing weapons. That's what makes America... free?

Monday, January 10, 2011

FL Progressives may yet even hope...for a seat at the grownup's table

Attending a meeting of Florida* Progressives in Orlando Jan.8th at the huge Gaylord Palms Resort, I learned several important facts about the FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY. Hosted by the hard working progressive activist, Susan Smith.

First the long rumored anointing of former Sink running mate was consummated. Rod Smith is now party chairperson. Several activists who had attended the early Party Leadership meeting, commented that the party was trying something new... They actually had IDEAS and an AGENDA... but don't be scared FLORIDA... when someone asked is there now a PLATFORM COMMITTEE we got the word [a platform committee with you know, ideas... Is only under "consideration"] 

You might think when facing the CRIMINAL** party who has solidified control on the Governor's office, as well as the Legislature.  [Their website today announces that there will soon be a Criminal Party "debate" on FOX - the date? Dec 20th 2010 ] Keep on into the past there Criminal Party.

Other interesting news was that friends of progressives, inside the Florida Democratic Party assured us, they will work very hard, to get progressives a seat at the table. WHAT? Oh, yeah, there were some caveats... We have to play nice, send someone "presentable",  and most important of all... and this was said with deadly this group of progressive democrats clearly hoping, pleading, fawning, dreaming of working "INSIDE" the Florida Democratic Party [ok actually standing patiently on the front steps, near the door]  to where the GROWN-UPS meet. THERE MUST BE NO CRITICISM of the Florida Democratic Party. It would be rude! and might get someone elected.

Despite the GAG order, some did offer some very polite minor criticism was offered, like wouldn't it be nice if candidates, could SPEAK... if candidates addresses issues. if they addresses the real issues facing Floridians. Like Jobs, soaring gas prices, a foreclosure land-grab by "greedy bankers" [redundant I know, we need a better word - rapacious comes to mind.]

The good progressive activists, plan a conference on Legislation and the Legislature [it was duly noted that Legislator, disregard, not only the Florida Democratic Party - but those useless schmucks who sent them to Tallahassee - what are they called again, oh yeah CONSTITUENTS, ELECTORS, THE PEOPLE! ]

The goal of the LEGIS-CAMP is to better prepare Progressive Activists for working with the Legislature (currently in the strangle-hold of the Criminal Party) and where Florida-Dems are sprinkled they are by and large beholden to TALLAHASSEE for financial $UCCOR!

One thing I found very very unsettling when talk turned to "GOTV" [get out the vote] One of the bright lights offered this suggestion... We need some ballot initiatives to get out the youth vote - like legalize medical marijuana... there was a small polite gasp... but they completed their thought.. OF COURSE IT'S JUST FOR SHOW, IT COULD NEVER PASS... it's just to get the youths out there working on the TURNOUT - my, my, my... how cynical, SPOKEN LIKE A TRUE FLORIDA DEMOCRAT. 

If you want to participate in the LEGIS-CAMP to build a more progressive Florida - be there
Feb 13, location TBA  - remember though ... but criticize FLORIDA DEMOCRATS... at your peril.

Also for news on the recent Immigration Town Hall Meeting Florida Rep.Snyder held in Palm City. It was very very exciting - video clips to come.

FLORIDA*   - flori-DUH [home of a democratic party that seems unable to field a viable candidate](they might try a platform if it doesn't offend the FLA. Chamber of Commerce)

CRIMINAL PARTY**  - FAUX NEWs Legislative Crew,  aka Republicans, the political wing of the Violent Tea Party

solidarity & peace