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Summer of Documentaries


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Summer of Documentaries

 

 

 

This has been and will continue to be a summer of documentaries. Supersize Me from Morgan Spurlock, The Corporation by A Bunch of Canadian Hippies, and Farhenheit 9/11 by Big Mike Moore will be followed by such rebuttals as Michael Moore Hates America (http://www.michaelmoorehatesamerica.com) and a documentary about losing weight by eating nothing but McDonalds.

 

Documentaries have become a new hip thing. They usually play in crappy movie theaters that play foreign films. It is rather sad that the best movie in Argentine history is worse than Gigli, but one thing these theaters can carry that is good is an overwhelmingly leftist and controversial documentary.

 

I have seen Farhenheit 9/11. The Corporation, and Supersize Me and between the lies, deception, and flat out bad politics, I will attempt to sort it all out for you.

 

Farhenheit 9/11

 

 

 

Moore again fails to make a truthful documentary and again has attempts at rewriting history, but sadly his attempt to do it this time is made less obvious, which kills the entertainment value of the film. In Bowling For Columbine, Moore was totally ruthless. I mean, he blatantly made up things on the fly, spliced together a totally fake campaign advertisment and a fake NRA speech, and to top it all off he pretends he's all friendly to an old man who just happens to be the head of the NRA and takes advantage of the fact he has Alzeimers and in turn makes him look like an old moron. Wow, big Mike, you're so tough. Too bad Reagan died before you can splice together a really good interview "proving" that the US capitalistic ruling class has a plot to enslave us to a foreign Alien race.

 

In Farhenheit 9/11, Mike was very careful to quote OTHER people and IMPLY things, and just mess around with context to lie, instead of flat out making up statistics and misreading what was written on a statue (as in Bowling). For example, Moore says, "Gore really won the election" and then shows all of the "evil" stuff the Republican political machine did. The sad part is that none of this was illegal, so if Moore wants to fight voting fraud, he can go after a crap load of Democratic Political Machines.

 

Nonetheless, he continues to quote a newscaster and have her say that Gore essentially won the recount...there's one little problem...HE DIDN'T! (http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-usfilm273869328jun27,0,5702938.story?coll=ny-nationalnews-headlines) Bush won the election, stop b***hing already. How does Moore continue to say, "Everything in this documentary is true" and "There are no lies..." Simple, he did not lie the newscaster did. Sure, you THE VIEWER take what the newscaster said as fact, even though it is a lie, Moore is TECHNICALLY not lying.

 

Moore did this again later in the movie when he had a secret service man say that the Saudis get special protection. Again, if my memory serves me right, every embassy gets 6 secret service men...but what does Moore care? He did nto lie to you, he was only going by what a low level secret service guy told him. Mike did not mean to mislead you...bull.

 

It gets a lot worse. Moore then goes on to "prove" that the whole Afghan war was unjustified and was just a plot to lay down a pipeline...then later in the movie, he implores us to "fight the good fight" in Afghanistan and homeland security and then blasts the Bush administration for its stance on Iraq...not only does he contradict HIS OWN OPINION (by the way, Moore is quoted several times speaking against American actions in Afghanistan), he totally INVENTED a connection between Unocal and the Bush administration. A previous article of mine (http://www.marlinbaseball.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=14505&b=1&st=&p=entry) shows that Unocal gave NO MONEY to ANY political party since 1998, when their pipeline deal with the Taliban was becoming too much of a public relations disaster. After the War on Afghanistan, a pipeline is in the works and it is no surprise that the original front runners (Unocal) are again front runners, but they are yet to take a true active involvement. Again, Moore just totally lies to you and tries to make it appear that Bush all along has been catering to the Taliban for Unocal and then bombs them for Unocal...all lies.

 

The last point I will touch on is Moore's inability to ever come to a coherent point. In Bowling for Columbine he built a pretty good argument, albeit with the use of lies, but he seemed to put no effort into this in Farhenheit 9/11.

 

Moore starts the movie with straight out Bush bashing. First he says his presidency is illigitimate and then he just focuses on making Bush looking stupid, which anyone with half a brain can do. Bush burries himself. Nonetheless, Moore then starts to speak of 9/11. He has the sounds of horror and gets our emotions heightened to the point where we will accept anything we are told. Moore then goes off to show Bush sitting around doing nothing as the attacks occur.

 

Sure, Bush is inept, he has no idea what to do. But Moore then just pops out with, "See that stupid look on his face? That's the look of a man wondering why his Saudi friends screwed him and how bad it would be if his Saudi connections were known to the public."

 

Of course the above is not a real quote. Nonetheless, Moore continues to barrage you with loose assertions and untrue conenctions (concerning Saudi money) and pops out that Bush has been given 1.4 billion dollars by the Saudis, which is another completely false number (read more http://www.spinsanity.org/columns/20040702.html.) Moore's aimless ranting then randomly goes into national security and by interviewing about two cops and 5 village idiots from middle America, he has come to the conclusion that ALL of America is in an paranoid frenzy. Then he speaks of a Saudi diplomat meeting with Bush and says, "What would Bush be talking about? He must have been talking about his plan..."

 

With no evidence whatsoever, Moore just flat out tells you that the meeting was about Bush planning an attack on Iraq with his Saudi buddy, even though Saudi Arabia did not HELP US with our fight against Iraq or Afghanistan. In fact, the Saudis have been dragging their heels all along. Moore takes an innocent diplomatic meeting between two countries (because, since when do diplomats conduct diplomacy, right?) and then aimlessly starts ranting about an ultimate plan to attack Iraq.

 

Moore's documentary then hops around in no particular direction, focuses on a third world country (the Flint-Detroit area), and then ends the movie by saying that the HE KNEW what the war was all about. It is about a bunch of rich white guys wanting to keep a bunch of non rich whtie guys poor forever, to perpetuate an American hierarchy forever. He pops out with this so fast and out of nowhere, you cannot help but think Moore has no respect for our intelligence. At least in Bowling for Columbine, you were actually shaken afterwards...after Farhenheit 9/11, you are thinking, "Man, Moore is full of crap."

 

Sorry Moore, but you proved not much of anything. You did not prove Bush is illigitimate, that our fight in Afghanistan was unjustified, and that the Iraqi war was part of a grand scheme to hold down the proliteriat. Sorry, none of that is there and if anyone took any of his crap seriously, I feel very sorry for them. As a huge Michael Moore fan (I even own the entire second season of The Awful Truth), I think this was his worse work yet. It was slow, aimless, did not prove anything, and was so shallow and badly put together it did not even invoke that much deep thought. I call that a failure of an overhyped film.

 

 

 

The Corporation

 

 

The Corporation is a very good documentary that brings up many good points about the abuse of corporate power. Corporations harming us by melting our minds via advertising to the privitization of water making it illegal to collect rain water in some countries, this documentary presented a well developed argument and it was backed up by good evidence. The fact that organisms are able to be owned by corporations (including human genese) and the fact that agricultural corporations create suicidal seeds and cow steroids in a flooded milk market is extremely concerning. However, it faced one major problem besides the fact that it got much of it's historical information from kooks like Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, and Howard Zinn: its politics were inherently flawed.

 

It spoke of how corporate power was ridding us of our rights, was poisoning the Earth, and ect...however, it had only one solution presented: Communism. WHAT?!?!? In a time where we see our rights being rid by the FCC, the Patriot Act (well, not really but you get the point), and huge ineffective bureaucracies and wars, I would think that INCREASING the role of government would be the last thing you want to do.

 

In the documentary they shown a town debate where one person said, "If you get rid of corporations, you will have only one left, and it is the government and if that is so we will not be allowed to have little meetings like these."

 

I have seen the original cut of the movie that is not in the theaters (because of my mother's work with these people), and the original documentary had a woman respond, "You see, the corporations are that government you fear."

 

Both versions then continued with someone saying, "If you do not like that corporation, you can stop buying its product."

 

Someone then responded by saying, "However, if you have more money than me, you essentially would have more 'votes' than me and that's not right."

 

Now just think about the previous for a moment. At the documentary, the makers were doing a Q&A session, and they advised for everyone to pay more money for shirts and such in order to give third world laborers a good wage. They wanted people to embrace a communist system where everything is collectively owned. They warned that to Corporations, "No amount is ever enough" and they are greedy and inherently want more and more.

 

Then just after the Q&A, this skeevy old guy was making his own documentary approached one of the documentary makers and wanted some help...the response? The brotherly embrace of helping your fellow man? Hell no, she just talked him off and got away from him. This film is grossing millions and its makers are keeping their millions for themselves instead of helping the laboring class in other countries or their fellow documentary makers...I guess they are a BUSINESS and no amount is ever enough.

 

It is not the corporation that is the problem, it is human nature. Put together a Communist system and you get the very same greed that ruins a capitalist system. Therefore, increasing the size of government will by no means help us retain our rights.

 

So what power do we really have? Boycott. What it comes down to is if fifty percent of America refused to buy a product twenty cents cheaper if it was made in a third world country with low wages, Corporations would then offer a product that does not fit these guidelines. Look at what Martin Luther King Junior accomplished with his boycott and the change he achieved. He took initiative, he made A CHOICE to boycott. These documentary makers with their leftist agenda do NOT like choice or freedom. They want a government to make YOUR choices. It is rather simple, if you do not like Walmarts, NEVER SHOP AT A WALMART. If you do not like pollution, do not joy ride all the time. Stop looking for other people to solve your problems, your problems are yours alone. Businesses simply cater to your wishes, so stop having wishes that are harmful for the environment and terribly material driven.

 

Will boycott always work? No, but when things get bad enough you will be amazed at what can be achieved. However, the RIGHT, the FREEDOM to make a choice is important. The more we have increased the size of government, the more corrupt government and the corporations have become. When it comes down to it, it is ALL human nature. It is in our nature to be greedy, the Corporations and our government are only an extension of our human greed at work. You have a problem with human nature? Then start preaching morality if you want to make a difference...that or just b***h about stuff, that always works.

 

 

 

Super Size Me

 

 

This was another extremely enjoyable documentary and it's problem was not that it was full of lies...its premise was just totally stupid.

 

Think about it, if you do anything stupid for a month, of course you are going to get damaged by it. Morgan Spurlock, the maker of this documentary, wanted to prove two things: McDonalds is extremely unhealthy for you and the McDonalds Corporation should be held liable for your dangerous eating habits.

 

Yes, McDonalds is bad for you. After a month of it, it was pickling his liver. Nonetheless, I can do a lot of things for a month that can hurt me. I can hit my head with a hammer really hard once a day for a full month and then compare before and after IQ tests. I can drink motor oil...hell, I can eat nothing but KFC. If I do any of these things, OF COURSE I'm going to get hurt by them. Smart people CHOOSE not to eat McDonalds every day just like smart people CHOOSE not to smoke crack every day and smart people CHOOSE not to swim in a half frozen lake.

 

It is a matter of choice, and much like the makers of the Corporation and Michael Moore, he is a liberal who does not beleive in CHOICE. He believes that the government should rectify everyone's problems (instead of everyone dealing with their own) and that someone is always to blame for YOUR problem instead of yourself. If you are a stupid idiot who eats McDonalds twice a day every day, you deserve to die because we do not need stupid self destructive people as a part of our society. If you put yourself in harm's way, that is your problem, no one else's. There are some healthy choices at McDonald's, like orange juice, Salad without the Mayo-dressing and chicken, but if you choose get the double quarter pounder, too bad. Be prepared for the consequences.

 

I believe we should have the right to damage our own bodies. You want to smoke pot? Smoke some pot. You want to eat a bucket of fried chicken? Go for it. However, we deserve the FREEDOM to CHOOSE how we live our lives. Otherwise, what is the point of living?

 

 

 

It is sad that these documentary makers want to justify the growth of government intervention in our lives and they warn us of our rights being ripped away from us while simutaneously advocating that we have no right to make a CHOICE. Go see a documentary and enjoy yourself, but be prepared to have these people attempt to brainwash you into their political philosophy with faulty logic and evidence.

 

http://www.xanga.com/craigramblings

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Michael Moore to Make New Documentary: Corporate America Makes Me So God Damn Fat

 

by Admin Jones

 

 

This summer has been truly the summer of the documentary, with the average American becoming more "liberal" and "sophisticated", movies like "Supersize Me" are outgrossing good movies like "Troy". After Micahel Moore saw "Supersize Me" me, he got inspired to create a new documentary based on his lifelong accomplishment, no not changing the world, but becoming increasingly fatter.

 

"I want to get back to my roots" says Moore, "In Farenheit 9/11, most of the documentary was irrelevant interviews and vague assertions and implications. I want to make a documentary more like my old works, with not only irrelevant interivews and baseless/decieving assertions, but with all of the bits, white bashing, and baseless/decieving statistics which made me famous."

 

 

 

Michael Moore

 

Of course, when asked about why he would want to create a documentary that has a similar purpose to one that has just been released, Moore replied, "That guy ate McDonald's for thirty straight days and justified that to claim that big corporations are destroying America, while I ate McDonald's for thrity straight years, I feel I have... thirty times the justification to make a movie with a totally irrelevant point than the title. Some of this movie will show my daily struggles due to the consumption of fast food, the fun part is when the doctors give me aorund five and a half years, that's quite funny." Moore continued, "What people do not get, still, is that fast food made me fat. I really did not have a choice, I went into a McDonald's and put my faith into the corporation that a 32 oz Soda and three pounds of fries would not put my health in serious risk, but guess what, it did."

 

Moore plans to bring back many old characters from his old television shows and movies to continue which has been a legacy. One of Moore's correspondents Karen Duffy has been brought back to do many wacky and zany bits for Moore. Of course Duffy had to quit a kozy FBI job in which she was trying to investigate on how a ten year old kid acquired a blank check and became a millionaire. Also, such Michael Moore "greats" as Crackers the Crime Fighting Chicken, Ficus, Pistol Pete, and "Flint Native" Jay Martel have also been brought back for the antics.

 

"There will be plenty of antics alright", clues in Moore, "in fact, Crackers the Crime Fighting Chicken will be deepfried in front of a local Manhattan KFC. While the Chicken is being incinerated by five hundred degree farenheit oils and being gawked at by sterotypical skinny white youth, I'll make up some claim that KFC is a plot to make nigg-errr African Americans fat and useless, so they cannot advance through the evil American Capitilistic society because of their predisposition to eat fried chicken. Also, for good measure, I'll dump 25,000 drumsticks in front of a NYPD and egg and batter a fire-truck, why? Because that's what I do."

 

When asked about anything relevant with fast food, Moore would reply, "Well, I can not make my entire movi-uh documentary about fast food, I'll do what I do in all of my usual TV-shows/movies. 15% of it will be what the movie is about, another 5% will be about why black guys are born inferior and can never catch up, 5% will be a discussion on why ethnic stereotypes are wrong, another 20% of the movie will include me kissing Canada's ass on how they are perfect and have so much freedoms when it comes to speech and ethnic minorities, also 15% of the movie will involve why single mothers in Flint can not support their extensive families on welfare and how arms manufacturers are to blame for this, another 10% of the movie will be about why white guys shouldn't have guns, 5% of the movie will include Repbulican stereotypes, another 10% of the movie will show horrifying pictures of 9/11, and the last 10% will be on the DVD. It's going to be a great documentary." When asked where the other 5% went, Moore said, "Substance, I may be a blithering fat idiot but even I bring up valid points".

 

Moore also brings up a new point on how corporations are re-distributing wealth, but instead of rich to poor, poor to rich. "See, someone goes into a McDonald's and gets a double-big Mac with a Large Fries and large Diet Coke. That meal will wind up costing around $4.76, I would know. But, as this person keeps spending $4.76 on this extra value meal, he will become fatter, and the fatter he becomes, the more extra value meals he has to buy to be full. You see, you are paying a fastfood company to give you more and more food as the years go on. Don't you see what's wrong with that? They are making more money off the SAME PRODUCT to make you FATTER to buy more FOOD to make them RICHER. They are being paid to kill you with your own money, that's evil and no one gets it, people do not have healthy choices." Of course, when asked about the McFish and grilled chicken salad, Moore said, "Not even liberals are p***y enough to eat that."

 

Moore also supports the growing wave a vegetarianism. "One thing big corporations support is eating animals and their meat., and eating meat is WRONG." Moore continues to talk with his mouth full ground beef, "All republicans think animals do not feel pain, but they are wrong, after seeing the movie "The Corporation" I can indeed confirm that animals feeling pain is a distinct possiblity. In fact, no one should be allowed to eat meat, all the meat should be redistributed back to the animals, they should have THEIR meat back." When asked about the hamburger he was eating, he remarked, "Hey, but not me of course, I earned this piece of meat, no one should be allowed to take it away from me."

 

Ficus has been disintegrating in a dumpster after her tragic loss in the 2000 congressional race for New Jersey and is unavailable for comment.

 

In other news:

 

- 59% of the nation thinks Bush is an idiot, 54% of the nation would elect Bush for president, though only 22% of that will actually show up at the voting booths.

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http://www.spinsanity.org/columns/20040702.html

 

best title EVER:

 

Fahrenheit 9/11:

The temperature at which Michael Moore's pants burn

By Brendan Nyhan

July 2, 2004

 

Michael Moore's career as a rabble-rousing populist has been marked by a frequent pattern of dissembling and factual inaccuracy. He distorted the chronology of his first movie, "Roger & Me"; repeatedly peddled the myth that the Bush administration gave $43 million to the Taliban; published two books, Stupid White Men and Dude, Where's My Country?, that were riddled with factual errors and distortions; and won an Academy Award for "Bowling for Columbine," a documentary based on a confused and often contradictory argument that features altered footage of a Bush-Quayle campaign ad, a misleading presentation of a speech by National Rifle Association president Charlton Heston, and other factual distortions.

 

With his new documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11," which won the prestigious Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and was #1 at the US box office last week, Moore has surged to new prominence -- and come under increasing scrutiny. His staff has made much of elaborate fact-checking that was reportedly conducted on the film. And fortunately, it appears to be free of the silly and obvious errors that have plagued Moore's past work, such as the claim in Stupid White Men that the Pentagon planned to spend $250 billion on the Joint Strike Fighter in 2001, a sum that represented over 80 percent of the total defense budget request for the year.

 

However, "Fahrenheit 9/11" is filled with a series of deceptive half-truths and carefully phrased insinuations that Moore does not adequately back up. As Washington Monthly blogger Kevin Drum and others have noted, the irony is that these are the same tactics frequently used by the target of the film, George W. Bush. Moore and his chief antagonist have more in common than viewers might think.

 

The 2000 Florida recount

 

Reviewing the 2000 election during the opening of the film, Moore uses a quote from CNN legal commentator Jeffrey Toobin to make a deeply misleading suggestion about the results of the media recounts conducted in Florida:

 

Moore: And even if numerous independent investigations prove that Gore got the most votes --

Toobin: If there was a statewide recount, under every scenario, Gore won the election.

Moore: -- it won't matter just as long as all your daddy's friends on the Supreme Court vote the right way.

But the recount conducted by a consortium of media organizations found something quite different, as Newsday recently pointed out. If the statewide recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court had gone ahead, the consortium found that Bush would have won the election under two different scenarios: counting only "undervotes," or taking into account the reported intentions of some county electoral officials to include "overvotes" as well. During the CNN appearance from which Moore draws the clip, reporter Candy Crowley explained that Toobin's analysis assumed the statewide consideration of "overvotes," which was not a sure thing, though there are indications that Leon County Circuit Court judge Terry Lewis, who was supervising the recount, might have directed counties to consider them.

 

The Saudi flights

 

In another scene, Moore suggests that members of Osama Bin Laden's family and other Saudis were able to fly out of the country while air traffic was grounded after September 11. After an initial report in Newsweek inaccurately characterized the scene, saying it had made a direct claim to that effect, Moore's staff replied with a legalistic parsing. The film does accurately date the Saudi flights out of the country to "after September 13" as they claim (flights leaving the country resumed on the 14th), but Moore does not take the important step of explaining the meaning of this date in the film:

 

Moore: In the days following September 11, all commercial and private airline traffic was grounded... [video clips] Not even Ricky Martin could fly. But really, who wanted to fly? No one, except the Bin Ladens.

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND): We had some airplanes authorized at the highest levels of our government to fly to pick up Osama Bin Laden's family members and others from Saudi Arabia and transport them out of this country.

Moore: It turns out that the White House approved planes to pick up the Bin Ladens and numerous other Saudis. At least six private jets and nearly two dozen commercial planes carried the Saudis and the Bin Ladens out of the US after September 13th. In all, 142 Saudis, including 24 members of the bin Laden family, were allowed to leave the country.

Given that Moore states that "In the days following September 11, all commercial and private airline traffic was grounded," how are viewers to know that this description did not include the Saudi flights out of the country? The "after September 13th" clause may show that Moore's claim was technically accurate, but it leaves viewers with the distinct impression that the Bin Ladens left the country before others were allowed to.

 

Saudi investments and business relationships

 

Moore also uses the power of insinuation to play on the relationship between the Bush family and the Bin Ladens. The facts are thin, but that doesn't stop him from making ominous suggestions about the connections between the two.

 

After discussing the September 11 attacks, Moore presents clips from an interview between Saudi Arabia's Prince Bandar and CNN's Admin King in which Bandar describes Osama Bin Laden as a "simple and very quiet guy." Moore then intones the following over video of Bush in a Florida classroom after being told of the second plane hitting the World Trade Center:

 

Hmm. A simple and quiet guy whose family who just happened to have a business relationship with the family of George W. Bush. Is that what he was thinking about? Because if the public knew this, it wouldn't look very good.

"Just happened" to have a business relationship? What does Moore mean? He doesn't say precisely, of course, but he draws a series of tenuous and often circumstantial links between Bin Laden family investments and Bush's actions as President.

 

For instance, Moore shows that the White House blacked out the name of another Texas Air National Guard pilot who was suspended along with Bush - James R. Bath - in service records released earlier this year. He suggests that the White House was not concerned about privacy and instead wanted to hide Bath's links to Bush:

 

Why didn't Bush want the press and the public to see Bath's name on his military records? Perhaps he was worried that the American people would find out that at one time James R. Bath was the Texas money manager for the Bin Ladens.

Moore notes that Bath was retained by Salem Bin Laden, and describes Bush's founding of the Arbusto oil company. James Moore, an author, appears next, saying in an interview that "there's no indication" Bush Sr. funded Arbusto and that the source of the firm's investments is unknown. Michael Moore then piles on the innuendo in his narration:

 

So where did George W. Bush get his money?... [archival clip of Bush saying "I'm George Bush"] One person who did invest in him was James R. Bath. Bush's good friend James Bath was hired by the Bin Laden family to manage its money in Texas and invest in businesses. And James Bath himself in turn invested in George W. Bush.

This phrasing suggests that Bath invested Bin Laden family money in Arbusto. But as Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball note in an online Newsweek column and Matt Labash points out in a Weekly Standard article on the film, Bath has stated this investment was his money, not the Bin Ladens'. Moore presents no evidence to the contrary.

 

The film also notes investments in United Defense, a military contractor, by the Carlyle Group, a firm that Bush and his father have been involved with which counts members of the Bin Laden family among its investors. He states:

 

September 11 guaranteed that United Defense was going to have a very good year. Just six weeks after 9/11, Carlyle filed to take United Defense public and in December, made a one-day profit of $237 million. But sadly, with so much attention focused on the Bin Laden family being important Carlyle investors, the Bin Ladens eventually had to withdraw.

Moore's phrasing suggests that the Bin Ladens profited from the post-Sept. 11 buildup with the United Defense IPO but were forced to withdraw after the stock sale. However, Labash notes that the Bin Ladens withdrew before the initial filing, not afterward, missing the big payday Moore insinuates that they received.

 

Finally, Moore drops a big number - $1.4 billion - claiming "That's how much the Saudi royals and their associates have given the Bush family, their friends and their related businesses in the past three decades," adding that "$1.4 billion doesn't just buy a lot of flights out of the country. It buys a lot of love." But Isikoff and Hosenball show that nearly 90% of that total comes from contracts awarded by the Saudi government to BDM, a defense contractor owned by Carlyle. But when the contracts were awarded and BDM received the Saudi funds, Bush Sr. had no official involvement with the firm, though he made one paid speech and took an overseas trip on its behalf. He didn't actually join Carlyle's Asian advisory board until after the firm had sold BDM. And though George W. Bush had previously served on the board of another Carlyle company, he left it before BDM received the first Saudi contract. As usual, the connections are loose and circumstantial at best.

 

Afghanistan/Iraq/homeland security motives

 

Moore also offers a number of suggestions that the Bush administration's military actions abroad and efforts to increase homeland security were motivated by nefarious hidden agendas.

 

For instance, here is his description of the US campaign against the Taliban government of Afghanistan:

 

The United States began bombing Afghanistan just four weeks after 9/11. Mr. Bush said he was doing so because the Taliban government of Afghanistan had been harboring Bin Laden... [montage of clips of Bush saying the US would "smoke out" Bin Laden] For all his tough talk, Bush really didn't do much.

Moore then shows former counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke criticizing the war, saying it took two months for US special forces to be deployed in the area of Afghanistan where Bin Laden was hiding. This fact is portrayed as an indication of a hidden motive:

 

Two months? A mass murderer who attacked the United States was given a two-month head start? Who in their right mind would do that?... [clip of Bush] Or was the war in Afghanistan really about something else? Perhaps the answer was in Houston, Texas.

Moore proceeds with the heavy-handed narrative, suggesting he is unraveling the alleged hidden story of the US war in Afghanistan through a series of loose juxtapositions:

 

In 1997, while George W. Bush was governor of Texas, a delegation of Taliban leaders from Afghanistan flew to Houston to meet with Unocal executives to discuss the building of a pipeline through Afghanistan bringing natural gas from the Caspian Sea. And who got a Caspian Sea drilling contract the same day Unocal signed the pipeline deal? A company headed by a man named Dick Cheney: Halliburton.

[clips of Bush and Cheney talking about Halliburton from 2000]

And who else stood to benefit from the pipeline? Bush's #1 campaign contributor: Kenneth Lay and the good people of Enron. Only the British press covered this trip.

Contrary's to Moore's implication, the fact that Bush was governor of Texas at the time of the Taliban/Unocal meeting does nothing to prove that he was somehow involved in the meeting. Governors are obviously not responsible for every business dealing that takes place in their state. Nonetheless, Moore slips his name in to link him to the deal.

 

The filmmaker continues his narration by directly linking the 1997 deal with a 2001 visit to the US by a Taliban envoy:

 

Then, in 2001, just five and a half months before 9/11, the Bush administration welcomed a special Taliban envoy to tour the United States and help improve the image of the Taliban government.

[clip of envoy press conference]

Here is the Taliban official visiting our State Department to meet with US officials. Why on earth would the Bush administration allow a Taliban leader to visit the United States knowing that the Taliban were harboring the man who bombed the USS Cole and our African embassies? Well, I guess 9/11 put a stop to that.

This rhetorical question is entirely disingenuous. Moore suggests that the US was indifferent to the Taliban's harboring of Bin Laden, but Isikoff and Hosenball point out that the administration met with the envoy in part to discuss the fate of Bin Laden, who they were pressing the Taliban to turn over.

 

Moore then implies that the war was really a front for Unocal to create a pipeline:

 

When the invasion of Afghanistan was complete, we installed its new president, Hamid Karzai. Who was Hamid Karzai? He was a former advisor to Unocal. Bush also appointed as our envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, who was also a former Unocal advisor. I guess you can probably see where this is leading. Faster than you can say black gold Texas tea, Afghanistan signed an agreement with her neighboring countries to build a pipeline through Afghanistan carrying natural gas from the Caspian Sea.

But as Ken Silverstein wrote in The American Prospect back in 2002 and Isikoff and Hosenball show in their article about "Fahrenheit," Unocal dropped support for the pipeline in 1998 (the company has issued a press release making this point). In 2002, Afghanistan did sign the agreement Moore described, but Unocal is not involved in the project, which is still in its planning stages and may never come to fruition.

 

Later, Moore presents a series of anecdotal examples of what he sees as misguided efforts to improve homeland security: FBI questioning of a man who made derogatory statements about President Bush at a gym, infiltration of a peace group in Fresno by a sheriff's detective on an anti-terrorism task force, a mother who was forced to drink her breast milk during an airport security screening to prove that it was not a toxic substance, and the decision to allow airline passengers to carry lighters and matches onto planes while banning other items. Again, based on this flimsy collection of evidence, Moore suggests a hidden motive:

 

Ok, let me see if I got this straight. Old guys in the gym - bad. Peace groups in Fresno - bad. Breast milk - really bad. But matches and lighters on a plane - hey, no problem. Was this really about our safety? Or was something else going on?

He then shows a series of clips arguing that Oregon state troopers are underfunded and have little manpower. Without making any argument about how this relates to the rest of the country or the federal government's actions, Moore jumps right into more implications of conspiracy and nefarious motives, keying off a trooper's wish for a manual on how to catch terrorists:

 

Of course, the Bush administration didn't hand out a manual on how to deal with the terrorist threat because the terrorist threat wasn't what this was all about. They just wanted us to be fearful enough so that we'd get behind what their real plan was.

Again, Moore's meaning when he says "what this was all about" is unclear, but it appears to be a reference to the emphasis on homeland security after September 11. "Their real plan" is, as the movie later makes clear, a reference to the war in Iraq. But regardless of any previous plans to invade Iraq, the argument makes no sense. The breast milk example, for instance, indicates an overzealous devotion to homeland security, not indifference to it. And Oregon's state budgetary woes are hardly proof that the federal government's homeland security effort was insincere.

 

Ashcroft and the FBI

 

In his discussion of homeland security, Moore takes a cheap shot at John Ashcroft, stating, "In 2000, he was running for re-election as Senator from Missouri against a man who died the month before the election. The voters preferred the dead guy." Of course, the governor of Missouri who succeeded Mel Carnahan, the so-called "dead guy," had promised to appoint Jean Carnahan, the governor's widow, to the Senate if her late husband won the election, a fact voters clearly understood.

 

On a more serious note, after suggesting that Ashcroft was unconcerned about terrorism before September 11, Moore uses phrasing that exaggerates how widespread knowledge of the Al Qaeda plot was before the attacks inside the FBI and Justice Department:

 

[Ashcroft's] own FBI knew that summer that there were Al Qaeda members in the US and that Bin Laden was sending his agents to flight schools around the country. But Ashcroft's Justice Department turned a blind eye and a deaf ear.

This implies far more prior knowledge about flight school activity than actually existed. As the 9/11 Commission found in a staff statement (72K Adobe PDF), the so-called "Phoenix memo" from an FBI agent in Arizona suggesting a possible effort by Bin Laden to send agents to flight schools was not widely circulated within the FBI and did not reach Ashcroft's desk:

 

His memo was forwarded to one field office. Managers of the Osama Bin Laden unit and the Radical Fundamentalist unit at FBI headquarters were addressees, but did not even see the memo until after September 11. No managers at headquarters saw the memo before September 11. The New York field office took no action. It was not shared outside the FBI.

Before Sept. 11, the Minneapolis FBI also investigated Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker, who was enrolled in a flight school there, but no Al Qaeda connections were discovered until after the attacks. Again, saying the FBI "knew" of a plot to send agents to flight schools is overstated.

 

"You can't refute what's said in the film"

 

During a recent interview on "Late Show with David Letterman," the host identified the problems with the circumstantial argument of the film in a series of probing questions to Moore:

 

When you look at the film in total, are there things there - if I were smarter, could I refute some of these points? Shall I believe you that everything means exactly what it looks like? I mean, the presentation is overwhelming, but could a smarter man than me come in and say, "Yes, this happened, but it means nothing," "Yes, that happened but it means nothing"? But put together in a puzzle it creates one inarguable, compelling circumstance.

Moore's response to Letterman (after a joking aside) sums up the problem with his work. Despite proclamations that the film is satirical and represents his opinion, Moore still makes strong claims about its veracity:

 

You can't refute what's said in the film. It's all there, the facts are all there, the footage is all there.

Sadly, as with most of Moore's work, this is simply not true.

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Guest markotsay7

Summer of Documentaries

 

 

 

This has been and will continue to be a summer of documentaries. Supersize Me from Morgan Spurlock, The Corporation by A Bunch of Canadian Hippies, and Farhenheit 9/11 by Big Mike Moore will be followed by such rebuttals as Michael Moore Hates America (http://www.michaelmoorehatesamerica.com) and a documentary about losing weight by eating nothing but McDonalds.

 

Documentaries have become a new hip thing. They usually play in crappy movie theaters that play foreign films. It is rather sad that the best movie in Argentine history is worse than Gigli, but one thing these theaters can carry that is good is an overwhelmingly leftist and controversial documentary.

 

I have seen Farhenheit 9/11. The Corporation, and Supersize Me and between the lies, deception, and flat out bad politics, I will attempt to sort it all out for you.

 

Farhenheit 9/11

 

 

 

Moore again fails to make a truthful documentary and again has attempts at rewriting history, but sadly his attempt to do it this time is made less obvious, which kills the entertainment value of the film. In Bowling For Columbine, Moore was totally ruthless. I mean, he blatantly made up things on the fly, spliced together a totally fake campaign advertisment and a fake NRA speech, and to top it all off he pretends he's all friendly to an old man who just happens to be the head of the NRA and takes advantage of the fact he has Alzeimers and in turn makes him look like an old moron. Wow, big Mike, you're so tough. Too bad Reagan died before you can splice together a really good interview "proving" that the US capitalistic ruling class has a plot to enslave us to a foreign Alien race.

 

In Farhenheit 9/11, Mike was very careful to quote OTHER people and IMPLY things, and just mess around with context to lie, instead of flat out making up statistics and misreading what was written on a statue (as in Bowling). For example, Moore says, "Gore really won the election" and then shows all of the "evil" stuff the Republican political machine did. The sad part is that none of this was illegal, so if Moore wants to fight voting fraud, he can go after a crap load of Democratic Political Machines.

 

Nonetheless, he continues to quote a newscaster and have her say that Gore essentially won the recount...there's one little problem...HE DIDN'T! (http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-usfilm273869328jun27,0,5702938.story?coll=ny-nationalnews-headlines) Bush won the election, stop b***hing already. How does Moore continue to say, "Everything in this documentary is true" and "There are no lies..." Simple, he did not lie the newscaster did. Sure, you THE VIEWER take what the newscaster said as fact, even though it is a lie, Moore is TECHNICALLY not lying.

 

Moore did this again later in the movie when he had a secret service man say that the Saudis get special protection. Again, if my memory serves me right, every embassy gets 6 secret service men...but what does Moore care? He did nto lie to you, he was only going by what a low level secret service guy told him. Mike did not mean to mislead you...bull.

 

It gets a lot worse. Moore then goes on to "prove" that the whole Afghan war was unjustified and was just a plot to lay down a pipeline...then later in the movie, he implores us to "fight the good fight" in Afghanistan and homeland security and then blasts the Bush administration for its stance on Iraq...not only does he contradict HIS OWN OPINION (by the way, Moore is quoted several times speaking against American actions in Afghanistan), he totally INVENTED a connection between Unocal and the Bush administration. A previous article of mine (http://www.marlinbaseball.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=14505&b=1&st=&p=entry) shows that Unocal gave NO MONEY to ANY political party since 1998, when their pipeline deal with the Taliban was becoming too much of a public relations disaster. After the War on Afghanistan, a pipeline is in the works and it is no surprise that the original front runners (Unocal) are again front runners, but they are yet to take a true active involvement. Again, Moore just totally lies to you and tries to make it appear that Bush all along has been catering to the Taliban for Unocal and then bombs them for Unocal...all lies.

 

The last point I will touch on is Moore's inability to ever come to a coherent point. In Bowling for Columbine he built a pretty good argument, albeit with the use of lies, but he seemed to put no effort into this in Farhenheit 9/11.

 

Moore starts the movie with straight out Bush bashing. First he says his presidency is illigitimate and then he just focuses on making Bush looking stupid, which anyone with half a brain can do. Bush burries himself. Nonetheless, Moore then starts to speak of 9/11. He has the sounds of horror and gets our emotions heightened to the point where we will accept anything we are told. Moore then goes off to show Bush sitting around doing nothing as the attacks occur.

 

Sure, Bush is inept, he has no idea what to do. But Moore then just pops out with, "See that stupid look on his face? That's the look of a man wondering why his Saudi friends screwed him and how bad it would be if his Saudi connections were known to the public."

 

Of course the above is not a real quote. Nonetheless, Moore continues to barrage you with loose assertions and untrue conenctions (concerning Saudi money) and pops out that Bush has been given 1.4 billion dollars by the Saudis, which is another completely false number (read more http://www.spinsanity.org/columns/20040702.html.) Moore's aimless ranting then randomly goes into national security and by interviewing about two cops and 5 village idiots from middle America, he has come to the conclusion that ALL of America is in an paranoid frenzy. Then he speaks of a Saudi diplomat meeting with Bush and says, "What would Bush be talking about? He must have been talking about his plan..."

 

With no evidence whatsoever, Moore just flat out tells you that the meeting was about Bush planning an attack on Iraq with his Saudi buddy, even though Saudi Arabia did not HELP US with our fight against Iraq or Afghanistan. In fact, the Saudis have been dragging their heels all along. Moore takes an innocent diplomatic meeting between two countries (because, since when do diplomats conduct diplomacy, right?) and then aimlessly starts ranting about an ultimate plan to attack Iraq.

 

Moore's documentary then hops around in no particular direction, focuses on a third world country (the Flint-Detroit area), and then ends the movie by saying that the HE KNEW what the war was all about. It is about a bunch of rich white guys wanting to keep a bunch of non rich whtie guys poor forever, to perpetuate an American hierarchy forever. He pops out with this so fast and out of nowhere, you cannot help but think Moore has no respect for our intelligence. At least in Bowling for Columbine, you were actually shaken afterwards...after Farhenheit 9/11, you are thinking, "Man, Moore is full of crap."

 

Sorry Moore, but you proved not much of anything. You did not prove Bush is illigitimate, that our fight in Afghanistan was unjustified, and that the Iraqi war was part of a grand scheme to hold down the proliteriat. Sorry, none of that is there and if anyone took any of his crap seriously, I feel very sorry for them. As a huge Michael Moore fan (I even own the entire second season of The Awful Truth), I think this was his worse work yet. It was slow, aimless, did not prove anything, and was so shallow and badly put together it did not even invoke that much deep thought. I call that a failure of an overhyped film.

 

 

 

The Corporation

 

 

The Corporation is a very good documentary that brings up many good points about the abuse of corporate power. Corporations harming us by melting our minds via advertising to the privitization of water making it illegal to collect rain water in some countries, this documentary presented a well developed argument and it was backed up by good evidence. The fact that organisms are able to be owned by corporations (including human genese) and the fact that agricultural corporations create suicidal seeds and cow steroids in a flooded milk market is extremely concerning. However, it faced one major problem besides the fact that it got much of it's historical information from kooks like Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, and Howard Zinn: its politics were inherently flawed.

 

It spoke of how corporate power was ridding us of our rights, was poisoning the Earth, and ect...however, it had only one solution presented: Communism. WHAT?!?!? In a time where we see our rights being rid by the FCC, the Patriot Act (well, not really but you get the point), and huge ineffective bureaucracies and wars, I would think that INCREASING the role of government would be the last thing you want to do.

 

In the documentary they shown a town debate where one person said, "If you get rid of corporations, you will have only one left, and it is the government and if that is so we will not be allowed to have little meetings like these."

 

I have seen the original cut of the movie that is not in the theaters (because of my mother's work with these people), and the original documentary had a woman respond, "You see, the corporations are that government you fear."

 

Both versions then continued with someone saying, "If you do not like that corporation, you can stop buying its product."

 

Someone then responded by saying, "However, if you have more money than me, you essentially would have more 'votes' than me and that's not right."

 

Now just think about the previous for a moment. At the documentary, the makers were doing a Q&A session, and they advised for everyone to pay more money for shirts and such in order to give third world laborers a good wage. They wanted people to embrace a communist system where everything is collectively owned. They warned that to Corporations, "No amount is ever enough" and they are greedy and inherently want more and more.

 

Then just after the Q&A, this skeevy old guy was making his own documentary approached one of the documentary makers and wanted some help...the response? The brotherly embrace of helping your fellow man? Hell no, she just talked him off and got away from him. This film is grossing millions and its makers are keeping their millions for themselves instead of helping the laboring class in other countries or their fellow documentary makers...I guess they are a BUSINESS and no amount is ever enough.

 

It is not the corporation that is the problem, it is human nature. Put together a Communist system and you get the very same greed that ruins a capitalist system. Therefore, increasing the size of government will by no means help us retain our rights.

 

So what power do we really have? Boycott. What it comes down to is if fifty percent of America refused to buy a product twenty cents cheaper if it was made in a third world country with low wages, Corporations would then offer a product that does not fit these guidelines. Look at what Martin Luther King Junior accomplished with his boycott and the change he achieved. He took initiative, he made A CHOICE to boycott. These documentary makers with their leftist agenda do NOT like choice or freedom. They want a government to make YOUR choices. It is rather simple, if you do not like Walmarts, NEVER SHOP AT A WALMART. If you do not like pollution, do not joy ride all the time. Stop looking for other people to solve your problems, your problems are yours alone. Businesses simply cater to your wishes, so stop having wishes that are harmful for the environment and terribly material driven.

 

Will boycott always work? No, but when things get bad enough you will be amazed at what can be achieved. However, the RIGHT, the FREEDOM to make a choice is important. The more we have increased the size of government, the more corrupt government and the corporations have become. When it comes down to it, it is ALL human nature. It is in our nature to be greedy, the Corporations and our government are only an extension of our human greed at work. You have a problem with human nature? Then start preaching morality if you want to make a difference...that or just b***h about stuff, that always works.

 

 

 

Super Size Me

 

 

This was another extremely enjoyable documentary and it's problem was not that it was full of lies...its premise was just totally stupid.

 

Think about it, if you do anything stupid for a month, of course you are going to get damaged by it. Morgan Spurlock, the maker of this documentary, wanted to prove two things: McDonalds is extremely unhealthy for you and the McDonalds Corporation should be held liable for your dangerous eating habits.

 

Yes, McDonalds is bad for you. After a month of it, it was pickling his liver. Nonetheless, I can do a lot of things for a month that can hurt me. I can hit my head with a hammer really hard once a day for a full month and then compare before and after IQ tests. I can drink motor oil...hell, I can eat nothing but KFC. If I do any of these things, OF COURSE I'm going to get hurt by them. Smart people CHOOSE not to eat McDonalds every day just like smart people CHOOSE not to smoke crack every day and smart people CHOOSE not to swim in a half frozen lake.

 

It is a matter of choice, and much like the makers of the Corporation and Michael Moore, he is a liberal who does not beleive in CHOICE. He believes that the government should rectify everyone's problems (instead of everyone dealing with their own) and that someone is always to blame for YOUR problem instead of yourself. If you are a stupid idiot who eats McDonalds twice a day every day, you deserve to die because we do not need stupid self destructive people as a part of our society. If you put yourself in harm's way, that is your problem, no one else's. There are some healthy choices at McDonald's, like orange juice, Salad without the Mayo-dressing and chicken, but if you choose get the double quarter pounder, too bad. Be prepared for the consequences.

 

I believe we should have the right to damage our own bodies. You want to smoke pot? Smoke some pot. You want to eat a bucket of fried chicken? Go for it. However, we deserve the FREEDOM to CHOOSE how we live our lives. Otherwise, what is the point of living?

 

 

 

It is sad that these documentary makers want to justify the growth of government intervention in our lives and they warn us of our rights being ripped away from us while simutaneously advocating that we have no right to make a CHOICE. Go see a documentary and enjoy yourself, but be prepared to have these people attempt to brainwash you into their political philosophy with faulty logic and evidence.

 

http://www.xanga.com/craigramblings

442124[/snapback]

 

 

I just jizzed my pants.

 

I worship your xanga site dude.

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it has been while since I wrote anything for my site and after a long day of painting, I figured "what the hell."

 

Personally, I couldn't stand lcyberlina's defense of a very blatantly misleading film.

443462[/snapback]

 

Yeah well uh, Moore MEANT WELL.

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i havent seen the movie. I'm a registered Republican...but mostly so I can vote in primaries. I consider myself conservative...not republican.

 

As for the movie, as I said, I haven't seen it. Doens't really interest me...i'll see it eventually. I respect Sorianofan's opinion b/c he is NOT a fan of Bush, and is NOT a republican.

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i havent seen the movie. I'm a registered Republican...but mostly so I can vote in primaries. I consider myself conservative...not republican.

 

As for the movie, as I said, I haven't seen it. Doens't really interest me...i'll see it eventually. I respect Sorianofan's opinion b/c he is NOT a fan of Bush, and is NOT a republican.

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This not supposed to be an attack or me trying to get into a debate but I am curious.

 

If a republican came in and praised the film, would you respect it?

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Sad but true DT

 

and there are an amount of facts made in that movie that are pretty much indisputable. But some people refuse to believe it because they've been twisted and bent over backwords with the lies they've been told by this administration.

447764[/snapback]

 

What did you find indisputable that would fall under the category of significant revelation?

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The fact that Bush and his administration knew that there was a HIGH chance of a terror attack, and was told repeatedly about this in many seperate White House briefings, yet he still did not take any extra measures of security or precautions around 9/11, which was the very LEAST he could do.

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i havent seen the movie.? I'm a registered Republican...but mostly so I can vote in primaries.? I consider myself conservative...not republican.

 

As for the movie, as I said, I haven't seen it.? Doens't really interest me...i'll see it eventually.? I respect Sorianofan's opinion b/c he is NOT a fan of Bush, and is NOT a republican.

447769[/snapback]

 

This not supposed to be an attack or me trying to get into a debate but I am curious.

 

If a republican came in and praised the film, would you respect it?

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It would pique my curiosity. Unfortunately, I've seen Moore's "Bowling for Columbine"....the lies in that movie have given me almost a subconscious cringe towards Moore's F9/11. I guess I'm biased against Moore on the fact that he had so many lies and deceiving tactics in Bowling.

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I haven't seen the movie, but I'm pretty sure most of what in it is bull like,

"I saw Bush flying with a remote control jetliner and he crashed it into the WTC."

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If you really think that, I suggest you see the movie

 

 

:thumbup

447786[/snapback]

 

I can't support a liberal's money making scheme.

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I haven't seen the movie, but I'm pretty sure most of what in it is bull like,

"I saw Bush flying with a remote control jetliner and he crashed it into the WTC."

447784[/snapback]

 

If you really think that, I suggest you see the movie

 

 

:thumbup

447786[/snapback]

 

I can't support a liberal's money making scheme.

447823[/snapback]

 

Better than voting for man with no brainpower...

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Sigh.....facts are not the entire picture. It's whether those facts WERE RELEVANT is the 90% that counts. Bush "knew" about 9/11 beforehand? Good luck proving that. The CIA may have dropped the ball, but to blame the President for not going full-steam on every intelligence report given every day (how many are even brought to his attention?) would require him to be omnipotent. And for those who think he's retarded, how close do you think he would get?

 

And yes, it's a fact that Bush said "watch this drive". Terrific. What does that prove, and tell me you won't find another President who will make a quick segue after discussing something serious. Hell, FDR did it all the time. He was a man of many worlds. Bill Clinton was like that too, 'cept people called it "charm". WTF???

 

You see? Moore gets some facts wrong, but he's much more guilty of developing a piss poor argument using separate and unrelated instances of George Bush's actions. You go through years of video, digging up any image that reflects badly on a person, mash it together with some sad music, and you too can become Michael Moore. If I had half a mind, I could make Fahrenheit 666 and state that Jesus was really in league with Satan.

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