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It Wasn’t America’s Enemies That Massacred 132 Pakistani Children, It Was Us…

(Veterans Today) – Most Americans are decent people. Naturally they are horrified by the massacre of over 100 children at a school in Peshawar. They would be even more horrified if they knew their tax dollars had paid for it.




That’s right – it wasn’t America’s enemies that killed those children. It was US.

The so-called “Pakistani Taliban” is NOT the Afghan Taliban. The “Pakistani Taliban” is a false-flag group created and run by the American Deep State and its allies India and Israel.

Jim Fetzer and I briefly covered this story on False Flag Weekly News.

But there is a lot more to say.

SEE ALSO: This Week- World Order News: The Truth Behind The Headlines

The US empire – sorry, I should call it the Bankster Empire – created the Pakistani Taliban to destabilize Pakistan. The ultimate aim is to take down Pakistan’s nuclear capability. Secondary goal: demonize Islam in general and the Empire’s Afghan enemies in particular.

Israel and India eagerly joined the project. Both have their own reasons for wanting to destabilize, dismember and destroy nuclear-armed Pakistan.

Today it is the Indian intelligence service, RAW – unleashed by the genocidal Islamophobe Narendra Modi – that has the most hands-on control of the so-called Pakistani Taliban. But the US Deep State, with its deep pockets from narcotics trafficking, is still in the picture.

The founding fathers of the Pakistani Taliban are people like CIA operative Raymond Davis, who got caught red-handed setting up terrorist attacks inside Pakistan.

Syed Zaid Hamid, the brilliant Pakistani defense analyst, has exposed the CIA-RAW-Mossad “Pakistani Taliban.”

Zaid Hamid explains:

Just as CIA has created Free Syrian Army and Now Daish/ISIS, they had created TTP (“Pakistani Taliban”) in 2004, after recruiting Abdullah Mehsud in Guantanamo. Primarily, TTP was a CIA Black Ops. But due to its heavily religious content, Darul Uloom Deoband India /RAW joined in as ideological patrons. Slowly, CIA withdrew to Drone warfare only, using TTP assets as spies against Afghan Taliban/Haqqani BUT RAW took over anti-Pak ops of TTP.

Right now, TTP are based & protected in Afgh. CIA/JSOC uses them as spies. RAW uses them as ruthless war machine against Pakistan. So to fully eliminate TTP, we will have to eject CIA/JSOC from Afghanistan & also eliminate all Indian assets to isolate/destroy TTP fully.

Got that, Mr. and Mrs. America? YOU killed those kids in Peshawar.

The real war on terrorism is the war on false flag terrorism. The real terrorists are the Empire’s hired and brainwashed professional killers.

Green PolkaDot Box

And their funders.

That would be you.

Read more via Veterans Today


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Sony Pictures surrender will strengthen hackers, report

By Tanya Blake

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Sony’s shock decision to scrap the Dec. 25 release of its controversial movie “The Interview” will strengthen hackers, experts warn, fueling debilitating cyber attacks on other high-profile firms.

Image credit: AP Photo/Nick Ut

Still reeling from a crippling Nov. 24 hack, Sony Pictures Entertainment announced Wednesday that it had canceled “The Interview’s” Christmas Day release after a number of movie chains said that they would not show the film. “The Interview,” which pokes fun at North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, is believed to have prompted last month’s devastating attack on the studio and subsequent threats to movie theaters.

RELATED: Movie chains won’t premiere Sony Pictures “The Interview” after hacking and threats

The FBI has connected Pyongyang to the cyber attack, a federal law enforcement source told Fox News Wednesday.

Experts warn that Sony’s decision could spur politically motivated hackers to launch even more ambitious assaults against corporations and governments.

“Capitulation to cyber extortion will incentivize other actors to achieve political gains via cyber intrusions and threats,” Sean Doherty, president of security firm TSC Advantage, told FoxNews.com, in an email. “This situation is not dissimilar to what we’ve seen with kidnapping situations, where paying ransoms to terrorists and criminal actors has increased the threat to potential victims.”

Nir Polak, CEO of big data security company Exabeam, agrees. “Sony’s capitulation to these government-sponsored attackers means, in this case, they’ve allowed another government to censor freedom of expression,” he explained, in an email to FoxNews.com. “This sets a bad precedent.”

“It looks like the North Koreans have been able to intimidate [Sony] into buckling under, and that’s a big thing,” added Roger Kay, president of research firm Endpoint Technologies. “It’s a big loss of face for Sony, quite frankly.”

Even after scrapping the movie’s release date, Sony’s cyber woes could continue, according to Polak.

“Appeasing the Sony attackers [reportedly government sponsored] isn’t a good idea,” he said in an email. “There is no guarantee that more of the same damaging material, such as employee private data or more internal communication emails, won’t be disclosed even with the film having been pulled from release.”

The hacking group calling itself Guardians of Peace released yet another round of data leaks earlier this week, the latest in a flurry of cyber blows aimed at the studio, which have included leaks of confidential data and unreleased movies, as well as threats against Sony employees.

Although specific details of the hack have not been released, its effects have been compared to the powerful Stuxnet virus that crippled Iranian nuclear systems in 2010.

Fox News is told that the Sony malware has two destructive threads: it overwrites data and it interrupts execution processes, such as a computer’s start-up functions.  The FBI warns that the malware can be so destructive that the data is not recoverable or it is too costly a process to retrieve.

It is not clear how long the malware needs to be in the system before it brings on an almost complete paralysis. In the case of Sony, support functions — including emails — were knocked off-line, seen as a distraction while the more destructive attack was launching.

The digital attack on Sony’s servers bears all the hallmarks of North Korea’s infamous “Bureau 121,” an elite group of highly trained cyber spies, experts said.

Andrei Lankov, a Russian expert on North Korea who studied at Pyongyang’s Kim Il-sung University in the 1980s, told Fox News the paralyzing attack on Sony is similar to other hacks carried out by the communist dictatorship.

“It is in their style,” the Seoul-based scholar said.

Lankov cited a recent hacking attack on banks and media organizations in South Korea, prompted by criticism of North Korea. They were hacked reportedly with a similar “code” as that used in the Sony cyberattack, and accompanying threats warned of “obliteration” of the South Korea firms. South Korean investigators confirmed it was Pyongyang.

Despite North Korea’s well-chronicled poverty and isolation from the rest of the world, the reclusive regime has poured millions of dollars into a cell called Bureau 121, which is part of a military-run spy agency and includes 1,800 cyber soldiers, according to the cyber security site Tech Worm.

A defector who worked with Bureau 121, Jang Se-yul, told Reuters the elite squad of cyber warriors were the most talented and rewarded personnel within the North Korean military.

Experts said that even though it seems clear North Korea was behind the hack, in which private and damning emails between executives were released and health and financial records were disclosed, it is highly doubtful that the accompanying threat of “September 11”-style attacks on cinemas that showed the Seth Rogen-James Franco flick were a real possibility.

And Sony’s decision to pull the movie sends the worst possible message, according to Lankov.

“Sony was stupid to make a movie about killing Kim Jung-un, but it was even more stupid to cave in to pressure,” he said.

Capitulation by the major studio gives North Korea every reason to believe America — or at least its corporations — are vulnerable to blackmail, Lankov said. That all but guarantees more attacks in the future, he said.

“The Interview” had been set to debut on thousands of screens.

News Source: Fox News


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President Obama moves to normalize relations with Cuba

By Tanya Blake

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The sudden and shocking change in policy was announced simultaneously by Obama in Washington and Cuban President Raul Castro in Havana at midday after a phone call between the two leaders and the release of an American contractor imprisoned in Cuba for five years.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced a shift in policy toward Cuba. - Image credit: POOL/REUTERS

The U.S. will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba, ending a half-century of Cold War estrangement with the Communist nation just 90 miles off the Florida coast, President Obama said Wednesday.

The thaw was the result of 18 months of hush-hush talks between the two nations, including secret meetings in Canada and the personal involvement of Pope Francis.

The sudden and shocking change in policy was announced simultaneously by Obama in Washington and Cuban President Raul Castro in Havana at midday after a phone call between the two leaders and the release of an American contractor imprisoned in Cuba for five years.

SEE ALSO: Historic Speech in Damascus sends Shock-waves around the World

As part of the policy shift, Obama is easing restrictions on travel to Cuba, including for family visits, official government business and educational activities, and he is seeking to expand economic ties.

The longstanding ban on Cuba’s famous cigars is also gone; American travelers will be able to return home with up to $100 of tobacco or alcohol products from the island for personal consumption.

But normal tourist travel remains banned.

It all represents an extraordinary undertaking by Obama without Congress’ authorization as he begins the final years of his presidency.

“It is clear that decades of U.S. isolation of Cuba have failed to accomplish our enduring objective of promoting the emergence of a democratic, prosperous and stable Cuba,” said Obama. “We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. It does not serve America’s interests, or the Cuban people, to try to push Cuba toward collapse.”

The U.S., he said, will establish an embassy in Havana, where the old one was shuttered in January 1961 after the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power on Jan. 1, 1959.

Raul Castro, Fidel’s brother, said, “This decision of President Obama deserves the respect and acknowledgment of our people.” He added, “We have to learn the art of living together with our differences in a different way.”

The old way, during the 1960s, included the failed Bay of Pigs invasion to topple the Castro regime; failed CIA murder plots against Fidel Castro, and the nuclear gamesmanship between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Relations between the two nations remained in a deep freeze even as the Berlin Wall fell, the Soviet Union collapsed, and Communist nations of Eastern Europe embraced democracy and turned toward the West.

The seeds of change were planted after Obama’s 2012 reelection, when he huddled with advisers and asked them to “think big” about a second-term agenda, including the possibilities of new starts with longstanding U.S. foes such as Iran and Cuba, The Associated Press reported.

On Wednesday, church bells pealed across Cuba, and teachers paused for a moment to mark the new relationship between the two longtime enemies.

But the bold stroke was greeted with skepticism and disdain by those opposing liberalized contact with Cuba.

“Relations with the Castro regime should not be revisited, much less normalized, until the Cuban people enjoy freedom — and not one second earlier,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also denounced the rapprochement. “Today’s policy announcement is misguided and fails to understand the nature of the regime in Cuba that has exerted its authoritarian power over the Cuban people for 55 years,” said Menendez, the son of Cuban immigrants.

But Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro characterized Obama’s move as “a gesture that was courageous and historically necessary.”

The deal was facilitated by a swap of long-imprisoned spies, Cuba’s promise to release 53 Cubans identified as political prisoners by the United States government, and Havana’s release of Alan Gross, 65, of Maryland, who was arrested in 2009 while working in Cuba.

During five years of detention, Gross lost 100 pounds, several teeth and sight in one eye, and he contemplated suicide.

On Wednesday morning, he was picked up by a U.S. government jet in Havana and flown to Washington. The father of two traveled back to America with three U.S. lawmakers and his wife, Judy, who unceasingly led the call for his release. A corned beef on rye and bowls of popcorn were onboard for his trip home.

He was busted while working on a program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development to set up Internet access for Cuban Jews. Cuban authorities accused him of spying and sentenced him to 15 years in prison for crimes against the state.

He said he was innocent and described himself as a “trusting fool” for going to Cuba, but family members say he never got angry at the Cuban people — instead watching local baseball and jamming with his jailers.

“It’s good to be home,” an emotional Gross said in his lawyer’s office, with a pair of U.S. flags as the backdrop.

He quickly offered his support for the President’s move to alter America’s relationship with Cuba.

“Two wrongs never make a right,” said Gross. “I truly hope that we can now get beyond these mutually belligerent policies. … This is game-changing.”

While much will change, the long American embargo on Cuba — which forbids regular travel with the island nation and normal business dealings — will remain.

Only Congress can end the embargo, and that seems unlikely anytime soon, given how negatively Republicans reacted to the deal and the fact that the GOP will take full control of Capitol Hill in January.

The potential opening of the Cuban market could offer lucrative opportunities to American travel companies, farmers, energy producers and rum importers.

Obama and Raul Castro finalized details of the deal during an hourlong Tuesday phone chat. Obama said both men agreed the time was right for action. “We are choosing to cut loose the anchor of the past, because it is entirely necessary to reach a better future,” said Obama.

Their unlikely union was arranged in part by the Pope, who wrote letters to both men urging a change in the nations’ relationship, officials said. Cuban and American officials began secret meetings in June 2013, and at one point Francis hosted talks at the Vatican. “The holy father wishes to express his warm congratulations for the historic decision,” said a statement from the Vatican.

As part of the thaw, the U.S. will review its designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, the White House said, and is expected to lift the designation quickly.

Menendez noted that Cuba still harbors accused killer Joanne Chesimard, who remains on the FBI Most Wanted List for the 1973 murder of New Jersey state Trooper Werner Foerster.

Cuban-Americans in New York and New Jersey called Obama’s speech historic — but not all agreed it was a step in the right direction. Older Cuban-Americans, especially those who fled the Castro regime, appeared more opposed than their children and grandchildren.

Manuel Dominguez, 48, came to the Artesano restaurant in Union City, N.J., to ponder the news. “This is going to open a lot of doors for everyone. It will help people here connect with Cubans,” Dominguez said. “I left Cuba when I was 10 years old. My brother still lives there. I hope this new direction helps us connect with our loved ones.”

His son Brandon Dominguez, 21, hopes this will help him to visit his father’s homeland one day. “I grew up here. I’ve never been to Cuba. I’d like to see it one day,” he said. “I hope this opens opportunities for both countries. There aren’t many opportunities for people there now.”

Cuban immigrant Chris Aleman, whose parents and brother still live there, had tears in his eyes when he heard the President’s speech. “I did watch the speech,” Aleman said in the West Village. “It made me very emotional. Finally we’ll have a relationship with Cuba, our families there. It’s not just about my family. This is good for everyone in Cuba.

On Wednesday morning, long-imprisoned Alan Gross was picked up by a U.S. government jet in Havana and flown to Washington. The father of two traveled back to America with three U.S. lawmakers and his wife, Judy, who unceasingly led the call for his release. A corned beef on rye and bowls of popcorn were onboard for his trip home. - Image credit: Lawrence Jackson/The White House

In Miami’s Little Havana, there were tears of joy in a restaurant, applause in a local barbershop and several dozen protesters on the street.

“We shouldn’t do business with dictators,” said John Hernandez. “They’re assassins. They have killed Americans before. I feel disgraced.”

Others, like 27-year-old Daniel Lafuente, praised the olive branch extended by the White House.

“Now there’s going to be a greater enthusiasm for trying out new means of interacting economically, socially, culturally,” said the son of Cuban exiles. “It’s a really big step. Cuba is back on the map.”

Good afternoon. Today, the United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba.

In the most significant changes in our policy in more than fifty years, we will end an outdated approach that, for decades, has failed to advance our interests, and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries. Through these changes, we intend to create more opportunities for the American and Cuban people, and begin a new chapter among the nations of the Americas.

There’s a complicated history between the United States and Cuba. I was born in 1961 –- just over two years after Fidel Castro took power in Cuba, and just a few months after the Bay of Pigs invasion, which tried to overthrow his regime. Over the next several decades, the relationship between our countries played out against the backdrop of the Cold War, and America’s steadfast opposition to communism. We are separated by just over 90 miles. But year after year, an ideological and economic barrier hardened between our two countries.

Meanwhile, the Cuban exile community in the United States made enormous contributions to our country –- in politics and business, culture and sports. Like immigrants before, Cubans helped remake America, even as they felt a painful yearning for the land and families they left behind. All of this bound America and Cuba in a unique relationship, at once family and foe.

Proudly, the United States has supported democracy and human rights in Cuba through these five decades. We have done so primarily through policies that aimed to isolate the island, preventing the most basic travel and commerce that Americans can enjoy anyplace else. And though this policy has been rooted in the best of intentions, no other nation joins us in imposing these sanctions, and it has had little effect beyond providing the Cuban government with a rationale for restrictions on its people. Today, Cuba is still governed by the Castros and the Communist Party that came to power half a century ago.

Neither the American, nor Cuban people are well served by a rigid policy that is rooted in events that took place before most of us were born. Consider that for more than 35 years, we’ve had relations with China –- a far larger country also governed by a Communist Party. Nearly two decades ago, we reestablished relations with Vietnam, where we fought a war that claimed more Americans than any Cold War confrontation.

That’s why -– when I came into office -– I promised to re-examine our Cuba policy. As a start, we lifted restrictions for Cuban Americans to travel and send remittances to their families in Cuba. These changes, once controversial, now seem obvious. Cuban Americans have been reunited with their families, and are the best possible ambassadors for our values. And through these exchanges, a younger generation of Cuban Americans has increasingly questioned an approach that does more to keep Cuba closed off from an interconnected world.

While I have been prepared to take additional steps for some time, a major obstacle stood in our way –- the wrongful imprisonment, in Cuba, of a U.S. citizen and USAID sub-contractor Alan Gross for five years. Over many months, my administration has held discussions with the Cuban government about Alan’s case, and other aspects of our relationship. His Holiness Pope Francis issued a personal appeal to me, and to Cuba’s President Raul Castro, urging us to resolve Alan’s case, and to address Cuba’s interest in the release of three Cuban agents who have been jailed in the United States for over 15 years.

Today, Alan returned home –- reunited with his family at long last. Alan was released by the Cuban government on humanitarian grounds. Separately, in exchange for the three Cuban agents, Cuba today released one of the most important intelligence agents that the United States has ever had in Cuba, and who has been imprisoned for nearly two decades. This man, whose sacrifice has been known to only a few, provided America with the information that allowed us to arrest the network of Cuban agents that included the men transferred to Cuba today, as well as other spies in the United States. This man is now safely on our shores.

Having recovered these two men who sacrificed for our country, I’m now taking steps to place the interests of the people of both countries at the heart of our policy.

First, I’ve instructed Secretary Kerry to immediately begin discussions with Cuba to reestablish diplomatic relations that have been severed since January of 1961. Going forward, the United States will reestablish an embassy in Havana, and high-ranking officials will visit Cuba.

Where we can advance shared interests, we will -– on issues like health, migration, counter-terrorism, drug trafficking and disaster response. Indeed, we’ve seen the benefits of cooperation between our countries before. It was a Cuban, Carlos Finlay, who discovered that mosquitoes carry yellow fever; his work helped Walter Reed fight it. Cuba has sent hundreds of health care workers to Africa to fight Ebola, and I believe American and Cuban health care workers should work side by side to stop the spread of this deadly disease.

Now, where we disagree, we will raise those differences directly -– as we will continue to do on issues related to democracy and human rights in Cuba. But I believe that we can do more to support the Cuban people and promote our values through engagement. After all, these 50 years have shown that isolation has not worked. It’s time for a new approach.

Second, I’ve instructed Secretary Kerry to review Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. This review will be guided by the facts and the law. Terrorism has changed in the last several decades. At a time when we are focused on threats from al Qaeda to ISIL, a nation that meets our conditions and renounces the use of terrorism should not face this sanction.

Third, we are taking steps to increase travel, commerce, and the flow of information to and from Cuba. This is fundamentally about freedom and openness, and also expresses my belief in the power of people-to-people engagement. With the changes I’m announcing today, it will be easier for Americans to travel to Cuba, and Americans will be able to use American credit and debit cards on the island. Nobody represents America’s values better than the American people, and I believe this contact will ultimately do more to empower the Cuban people.

I also believe that more resources should be able to reach the Cuban people. So we’re significantly increasing the amount of money that can be sent to Cuba, and removing limits on remittances that support humanitarian projects, the Cuban people, and the emerging Cuban private sector.

I believe that American businesses should not be put at a disadvantage, and that increased commerce is good for Americans and for Cubans. So we will facilitate authorized transactions between the United States and Cuba. U.S. financial institutions will be allowed to open accounts at Cuban financial institutions. And it will be easier for U.S. exporters to sell goods in Cuba.

I believe in the free flow of information. Unfortunately, our sanctions on Cuba have denied Cubans access to technology that has empowered individuals around the globe. So I’ve authorized increased telecommunications connections between the United States and Cuba. Businesses will be able to sell goods that enable Cubans to communicate with the United States and other countries.

These are the steps that I can take as President to change this policy. The embargo that’s been imposed for decades is now codified in legislation. As these changes unfold, I look forward to engaging Congress in an honest and serious debate about lifting the embargo.

Yesterday, I spoke with Raul Castro to finalize Alan Gross’s release and the exchange of prisoners, and to describe how we will move forward. I made clear my strong belief that Cuban society is constrained by restrictions on its citizens. In addition to the return of Alan Gross and the release of our intelligence agent, we welcome Cuba’s decision to release a substantial number of prisoners whose cases were directly raised with the Cuban government by my team. We welcome Cuba’s decision to provide more access to the Internet for its citizens, and to continue increasing engagement with international institutions like the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross that promote universal values.

But I’m under no illusion about the continued barriers to freedom that remain for ordinary Cubans. The United States believes that no Cubans should face harassment or arrest or beatings simply because they’re exercising a universal right to have their voices heard, and we will continue to support civil society there. While Cuba has made reforms to gradually open up its economy, we continue to believe that Cuban workers should be free to form unions, just as their citizens should be free to participate in the political process.

Moreover, given Cuba’s history, I expect it will continue to pursue foreign policies that will at times be sharply at odds with American interests. I do not expect the changes I am announcing today to bring about a transformation of Cuban society overnight. But I am convinced that through a policy of engagement, we can more effectively stand up for our values and help the Cuban people help themselves as they move into the 21st century.

To those who oppose the steps I’m announcing today, let me say that I respect your passion and share your commitment to liberty and democracy. The question is how we uphold that commitment. I do not believe we can keep doing the same thing for over five decades and expect a different result. Moreover, it does not serve America’s interests, or the Cuban people, to try to push Cuba toward collapse. Even if that worked -– and it hasn’t for 50 years –- we know from hard-earned experience that countries are more likely to enjoy lasting transformation if their people are not subjected to chaos. We are calling on Cuba to unleash the potential of 11 million Cubans by ending unnecessary restrictions on their political, social, and economic activities. In that spirit, we should not allow U.S. sanctions to add to the burden of Cuban citizens that we seek to help.

To the Cuban people, America extends a hand of friendship. Some of you have looked to us as a source of hope, and we will continue to shine a light of freedom. Others have seen us as a former colonizer intent on controlling your future. José Martí once said, “Liberty is the right of every man to be honest.” Today, I am being honest with you. We can never erase the history between us, but we believe that you should be empowered to live with dignity and self-determination. Cubans have a saying about daily life: “No es facil” –- it’s not easy. Today, the United States wants to be a partner in making the lives of ordinary Cubans a little bit easier, more free, more prosperous.

To those who have supported these measures, I thank you for being partners in our efforts. In particular, I want to thank His Holiness Pope Francis, whose moral example shows us the importance of pursuing the world as it should be, rather than simply settling for the world as it is; the government of Canada, which hosted our discussions with the Cuban government; and a bipartisan group of congressmen who have worked tirelessly for Alan Gross’s release, and for a new approach to advancing our interests and values in Cuba.

Finally, our shift in policy towards Cuba comes at a moment of renewed leadership in the Americas. This April, we are prepared to have Cuba join the other nations of the hemisphere at the Summit of the Americas. But we will insist that civil society join us so that citizens, not just leaders, are shaping our future. And I call on all of my fellow leaders to give meaning to the commitment to democracy and human rights at the heart of the Inter-American Charter. Let us leave behind the legacy of both colonization and communism, the tyranny of drug cartels, dictators and sham elections. A future of greater peace, security and democratic development is possible if we work together — not to maintain power, not to secure vested interest, but instead to advance the dreams of our citizens.

My fellow Americans, the city of Miami is only 200 miles or so from Havana. Countless thousands of Cubans have come to Miami — on planes and makeshift rafts; some with little but the shirt on their back and hope in their hearts. Today, Miami is often referred to as the capital of Latin America. But it is also a profoundly American city -– a place that reminds us that ideals matter more than the color of our skin, or the circumstances of our birth; a demonstration of what the Cuban people can achieve, and the openness of the United States to our family to the South. Todos somos Americanos.

Change is hard –- in our own lives, and in the lives of nations. And change is even harder when we carry the heavy weight of history on our shoulders. But today we are making these changes because it is the right thing to do. Today, America chooses to cut loose the shackles of the past so as to reach for a better future –- for the Cuban people, for the American people, for our entire hemisphere, and for the world.

Thank you. God bless you and God bless the United States of America.

TRANSCRIPT: Excerpts of Cuban President Raul Castro’s remarks on Cuba policy changes

…We carry forward, given the difficulties, with the actualization of our economic model to build a prosperous and sustainable socialism. There resulted a high-level dialogue, including a telephone conversation I had yesterday with President Barack Obama. We have been able to advance the solutions of some themes of interest to both nations…

…This decision of President Obama deserves the respect and acknowledgement of our people. I want to recognize the support of the Vatican, especially Pope Francis, to the betterment of the relations between Cuba and the U.S. Equally, to the Canadian government for helping realize the high-level dialogue between the two countries…

…This does not mean the principal issue has been resolved: the blockade which causes much human and economic damage to our country should cease. Although the blockade has become law, the President of the U.S. can modify it through executive actions…

…We propose to the U.S. government to adopt mutual measures to improve the bilateral climate and advance the normalization of links between our countries, based on the principles of international rights and the United Nations. Cuba reiterates it disposition to participate in organizations like the U.N…

…Recognizing we have profound differences — fundamentally in the themes of national sovereignty, human rights and foreign policy — we reiterate our disposition to dialogue on all these themes. I exhort the United States government to remove the obstacles that impede or restrict the links between our peoples, the families and the citizens of both countries. In particular, relative to travel, direct postal service and telecommunications…

The progress attained in the interchange show it is possible to find solutions to many problems… As we have repeated we should learn the art of coexistence in a civil manner with our differences.

 

TRANSCRIPT: Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks on Cuba policy changes

I was a seventeen year old kid watching on a black and white television set when I first heard an American President talk of Cuba as an “imprisoned island.”

For five and a half decades since, our policy toward Cuba has remained virtually frozen, and done little to promote a prosperous, democratic and stable Cuba. Not only has this policy failed to advance America’s goals, it has actually isolated the United States instead of isolating Cuba.

Since 2009, President Obama has taken steps forward to change our relationship and improve the lives of the Cuban people by easing restrictions on remittances and family travel. With this new opening, the President has committed the United States to begin to chart an even more ambitious course forward.

Beginning more than twenty years ago, I have seen firsthand as three presidents — one Republican and two Democrats — have undertaken a similar effort to change the United States’ relationship with Vietnam. It wasn’t easy. It isn’t complete still today. But it had to start somewhere, and it has worked.

As we did with Vietnam, changing our relationship with Cuba will require an investment of time, energy and resources. Today’s step also reflects our firm belief that the risk and the cost of trying to turn the tide is far lower than the risk and cost of remaining stuck in an ideological cement of our own making.

This new course will not be without challenges, but it is based not on a leap of faith but on a conviction that it’s the best way to help bring freedom and opportunity to the Cuban people, and to promote America’s national security interests in the Americas, including greater regional stability and economic opportunities for American businesses.

In January, as part of the President’s directive to discuss moving toward re-establishment of diplomatic relations, my Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere Roberta Jacobson will travel to Cuba to lead the U.S. Delegation to the next round of U.S.-Cuba Migration Talks. I look forward to being the first Secretary of State in 60 years to visit Cuba. At President Obama’s request, I have also asked my team to initiate a review of Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.

Going forward, a critical focus of our increased engagement will continue to be on improving the Cuban Government’s respect for human rights and advocating for democratic reforms within Cuba. Promoting freedom of speech and entrepreneurship and an active civil society will only strengthen Cuban society and help to reintegrate Cuba into the international community.

News Source: AP


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Movie chains won’t premiere Sony Pictures “The Interview” after hacking and threats

By Maya Felts

Follow us: @EOTMOnline on Twitter EOTM.Media on Facebook

Most of the country’s largest theater chains have decided not to show Sony’s “The Interview,” according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

Image Credit: Sony Pictures



A spokesperson for the Malco Theater chain said they had no comment about whether the movie will be show in its theaters.

As of now on the Malco website, the movie is still listed to premier December 25.

The decision follows a strange warning on Tuesday from anonymous hackers, possibly from North Korea, that people should avoid going to theaters where “The Interview” is playing.

“The Interview” has become controversial because its plot involves the attempted assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

Sony does not plan to pull the film altogether, but the studio has indicated it won’t object if theaters decide not to show the film, a second source said.

Among the top chains that have decided to not show the movie are Regal, Cinemark,  Carmike Cinemas, Arclight and Southern.

Another smaller chain, Bow Tie Cinemas, has also dropped its plans to show the film.

SEE ALSO: EOTM Movie Critics: “American Sniper” Gets It Right

“It is our mission to ensure the safety and comfort of our guests and employees,” the company said in a statement.

Bow Tie operates 55 theaters, mostly in the Northeast.

The film’s Los Angeles premiere went off without a hitch last week, but the New York premiere planned for Thursday was called off after the new threat on Tuesday.

Sony Pictures has been devastated by a cyber attack that appears motivated by anger over the film.

So now theater owners have to decide whether to reject the online threats and show the film, or succumb to the pressure.

The controversy raises profound questions about freedom of artistic expression — even though “The Interview” might just be a mediocre comedy.

“The possibility that people will avoid theaters altogether is the problem,” the person said. In other words, it’s not just “The Interview” that could be hurt, it’s other Christmas releases like Disney’s “Into The Woods” and Universal’s “Unbroken.”

The people insisted on anonymity because Sony has not commented publicly.

Furthermore, according to The Hollywood Reporter, “exhibitors are wary of becoming liable if they show the movie and any violence occurs.”

To many observers, however, that sounds like a far-fetched scenario.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said on CNN’s “New Day” that “this is essentially a heckler’s veto” of the film.

While Sony and U.S. government officials have not explicitly accused North Korea of being behind the hacking attacks, he said this seems to be “a foreign power engaging in a cyber-attack against a private actor, a private company, in order to squelch freedom of expression.”

The FBI is investigating the hack, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday that “there is no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters within the United States.”

All the attention is causing some people to pledge to see the film.

“I am not going to let a terrorist threat shut down freedom of speech. I am going to The Interview,” screenwriter and director Judd Apatow wrote on Twitter Tuesday night.

News Source: WREG

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Top Intel & Security Consultant tell how problem with ISIS is NOT terrorism but a Crime perpetuated by World Governments

By Preston James – VT

Historic Speech in Damascus sends Shockwaves around the World

From the Left: VT Financial Editor Mike Harris, VT Managing Editor Jim Dean, VT Senior Editor Gordon Duff and VT Director Colonel James Hanke.



(Veterans Today) - Last week Gordon Duff, Senior Editor of Veterans Today delivered an Historic Keynote Address at the International Conference on Combating Terrorism and Religious Extremism held in Damascus, Syria. This speech is sending shock-waves around the World.

Gordon Duff was part of a Veterans Today Senior Staff Delegation that traveled to Damascus and was in consultation with the Veterans Today Board and other like minded individuals within the American Military and Intelligence community and other such individuals from sixty-eight different nations around the World who were at the Conference.

This Delegation included Veterans Today Senior Editor *Gordon Duff, Veterans Today Managing Editor **Jim Dean, Veterans Today Director ***Colonel James Hanke, and Veterans Today Financial Editor ****Mike Harris.

Gordon Duff’s speech quickly changed the focus of the whole conference and is now sending shock-waves around the World in the various Diplomatic, Military and Intelligence corps around the World.

Why is his speech Historic? For a number of vitally important reasons. This speech is the first time in history an American Intelligence Team of “non-activists” gave a military briefing to an audience of this type, including key Military Leaders of diverse Tribal Forces throughout Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, along with a Russian delegation and many others from around the world. Before this historic speech by Duff, no one has ever dared to speak the simple truth about the true problem, that it is not Terrorism in the Mideast, but it is the effects of large scale international Organized Crime.

But even more important, Duff, a noted international Intel and Security Consultant, identified the root cause of United States of America’s dysfunctional involvement in Iraq and Syria and the true cause of ISIS/Daish.

Duff’s speech immediately changed the whole tone of the Conference and turned it to a very practical focus on the true causes of ISIS/Daish.

His speech immediately shifted the focus of the Conference from theoretical discussions of Terrorism and Extremism, to what is actually going on at the ground level at a practical level, who is responsible and why they are doing it, that is stealing factories and torturing and killing civilians, folks that are their people.

Gordon Duff laid out the true cause of ISIS/Daish in simple terms for the very first time anyone has ever done so publicly and this disclosure from such a highly credentialed and credible Intel Professional is now sending shock-waves around the World.

SEE ALSO: CIA Torture Report Reveals “Brutal” Interrogation Tactics That “Were NOT Effective”

Duff declared that there are far too many that have died to continue speaking in unclear terms and that it was time to share a key hypothesis based on signals intelligence. Then Duff proceeded to explain the True Causes of ISIS/Daish in simple understandable terms which provide the clarity needed to form a sustainable solution.

Duff explained that what is going on in Iraq and Syria with ISIS is not Terrorism, it is simply CRIME. That is, it is the works of an international Crime Cabal which has gotten control of the American Congress. Yes, this is a large Organized Crime problem that must be understood at its simple root cause.

Duff identified this Crime Cabal as Israeli and pointed out that this is Worldwide Crime on a scale never experienced before.

Duff explained how the illegal Supreme Court Decision of Citizens United made it possible for an Israeli-American Organized crime magnate now operating out of Macao, Sheldon Adelson to essentially buy control of both Houses of Congress in the last election and being able to bring Congress under control of this International Crime Syndicate which specializes in human trafficking and narcotics.

Duff also identified American Generals McInerney and Vallely as being involved in organizing Daisch along with Senator John McCain.

He also pointed out that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel [who has just resigned] was the one that prevented the American bombing of Syria in response to the False-Flag gas attack at Aleppo, Syria.

This keynote address delivered by Gordon Duff was historic because for the very first time ever a Top Intel and Security Consultant publicly explained how the problem with ISIS/Daish is not terrorism but is Crime. He clarified that ISIS/Daish is a result of Criminal Behavior of an Israeli based International Crime Syndicate which essentially bought control over the US Congress during the last election.

Here is Gordon Duff’s keynote speech which was historical and is now sending shock-waves around the World.

It should now be clear to everyone that the creation of ISIS/Daish occurred not because of Terrorism, but because of the undue influence exercised on the American Political system by this Israeli based Crime Syndicate in which a faction inside the American Congress, Military and Intel has been manipulated into supporting the creation of ISIS/Daish.

It is easy to imagine why Duff’s frank disclosure in his keynote address that the real problem on the ground in Iraq and Syria is Crime and the handy-work of an international Israeli Crime Cabal immediately changed the tone of the conference, and is now sending shock-waves around the World.

This is the first time ever that these issues have been clarified for the Syrian Security Services and Military as well as to Intel, Military and Diplomatic representatives from all over the World.

In days and weeks to follow it is expected that such an Historic disclosure based on hard Intel will change the scope and tone of the discussion about what is really going on in Iraq and Syria on the ground and how a worldwide criminal enterprise is behind it.

There were several sophisticated attempts to sidetrack and derail the VT Delegation and keep Gordon Duff from delivering his Historic Speech. Despite all these attempted interceptions, one of which was directly thwarted by VT Financial Editor Mike Harris, Gordon Duff was able to deliver his keynote address and make history by putting the actual facts behind ISIS/Daish on the public record for the very first time. Colonel Jim Hanke spoke at the Conference also and his talk was very well received.

Jim Dean took numerous films which should prove to be quite important when some are published on VT.

Mike Harris gave numerous interviews to the Syrian Press and met with Syrian Security Officials and the Grand Mufti, the World’s top Islamic legal and theological scholar. These discussions were very productive and did a great deal to further an understanding of what is actually behind the ISIS/Daish crime problem in Iraq and Syria which is nothing more than sophisticated international Organized Crime and must be dealt with as such.

Conclusion:

Obviously Gordon Duff and his team displayed great courage in attending this Conference in Damascus and deserve the highest commendations possible for this fine work representing the true interests of peace for folks with no voice.

When the dust settles time will show this speech will be a major turning point in the Criminal Cabal’s blatant abuse of the American People from their buying and hijacking of the US Congress and some American Generals with deep Intel connections and their abuse of millions around the World in many different nations, especially the Mideast.

No criminal Cabal or conspiracy this large can exist without utmost secrecy, which no longer exists thanks to Duff’s keynote address and complete disclosure. Their crimes are now no longer secret and the “Jig is now up”.

Thanks to Duff the Jig is about up for this International Israeli linked Crime Cabal, some have identified as the International Zionist Crime Cabal (IZCS) which has formed an alliance with the Bush Crime Cabal (BCC) which is now being completely identified all over the Worldwide Internet. It is now realized by many that the BCC was formed when Bush1 ran the Assassination of JFK and rose to power, able to deeply embed his operatives in the CIA, the Military, Congress, the Department of Justice and the Judiciary.

Now if anyone doubts that ISIS/Daish was set up under the Money Power of the International Zionist Crime Cabal (IZCS) operating out of Israel which has now gained Control of the US Congress, consider this. All ISIS/Daish wounded are taken to Israel for medical treatment, all expenses paid and those that can be are returned to Iraq or Syria to attack, torture, murder and asset strip innocent civilians, pretending to be Islamic Terrorists. This is all done in order to create mass confusion and to empower those governments that exist off the spoils of pushing solutions to their synthetic terrorism which is really nothing more than a massive Organized crime operation to make money and accrue more power. How do we know that the Criminal cabal has truly gained control over the US Congress. We now have actual specific evidence which has uncovered the Crime Cabal’s control over Congress through the use of large bribes and threats of assassination.

It is now beyond obvious that the only way to deal with a such a large Criminal Cabal is to indict them, arrest them, fully prosecute them, and if convicted with clearly convincing evidence beyond any shadow of a doubt, then sentence them appropriately. If they have committed Treason, Sedition or other Capital offenses well, then upon conviction in a suitable court of law, US or International, they must be executed like the convicted Nazis from the Nuremberg War trials or the convicted Japanese from the International Military Tribunal for the Far East also known as the “Tokyo Trials” and in other courts in many different places in Asia and the Pacific. About 1,000 Japanese War criminals were executed after conviction and Twenty Nazi War criminals were executed after conviction.

However, it is known inside high level Intel circles and by those who worked closely with OSS agents and operatives, that numerous American Army secret assassination teams were deployed in Europe to bring many uncharged Nazis to instant justice. Some teams operating under Presidential Orders were also deployed to Hawaii and Asia to bring “instant, extra-judicial justice” to many Japanese war criminals that avoided exposure and arrest. This whole Nuremberg Trial and Tokyo Trial process needs to be repeated against the Criminal Cabal and all their kingpins, Top Policy-Makers, political and Judicial puppets as well as all their operative and mass-murderers deployed on the ground as mercenaries for fat paychecks. Those who attempt to flee prosecution can be hunted down to the ends of the Earth if necessary.

And the worst of all this is the ability of the Crime Cabal to use American Generals and a sitting US Senator to start up and run ISIS/ISIL/Daish. This is truly disgusting but there is actually even more to this story. Because the honest faction of the US Military is now targeting some ISIS positions, what we actually have now is a Secret American Civil War being fought in Iraq. And now China has offered military help to the Iraqi government. Unless John McCain is stopped in his rise to become Chairman of the Armed Service Committee, he may be able to exert serious pressure and be able to push America into another War in Iraq (maybe Syria, Iran and the Ukraine too) and his actions could trigger a nuclear WW3 with the Russian Federation and President Putin who has just about had enough.

Hat’s off and Highest Commendations to Gordon Duff and his team of American Heroes who have now set the record straight and had the great courage necessary to publicly disclose, for the very first time anywhere, the true causes of ISIS/ISIL/Daish and have shown it to be a crime problem created by a large international Organized Crime Cabal. Now most of the World Security and Intel Units know the truth that has been hidden from them for many years by excess compartmentalizing and billions of dollars spent by the Crime cabal to control and prevent their access to this information. These Units now know with incredible clarity for the first who deploys synthetic terror, torture, mass-murder and asset-stripping in the Mideast and why. They now know it is being done to further the Crime Cabal’s goals and power.

Gordon Duff is the Managing Director and Senior Editor of veterans Today, a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He is a disabled veteran and has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. He is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues. Gordon Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world and is a regular guest on TV and radio in numerous countries. Gordon Duff is a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. His business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology. He is the Managing Director of Adamus Defense Group of Switzerland.

 Jim Dean is the Chairman of Veterans Today and wears many hats, ranging from day to day operations to the development, writing and editing of numerous articles. He also has an active schedule of international TV and radio interviews. He has numerous contacts on the ground in the Mideast and provides detailed reports in his articles and on Veterans Today News Reports Radio. Jim Dean is also a member of the Military Order of World Wars, Association for Intelligence Officers, and the Senior Vice President, Adamus Defense Group, Switzerland.

Colonel James Hanke is a Veterans Today Director and US Army Special Forces (Ret.) Colonel Hanke is Former G2 Third Army, NATO Nuclear Weapons Commander, Attache to Israel, A-Team Leader Vietnam, and a Director of Operations, Adamus Defense Group, Switzerland.

Mike Harris is the Financial Editor of Veterans Today,  a radio host, a former GOP Campaign Finance Chairman, gubernatorial candidate for Arizona,  and a Senior Vice President of Adamus Defense Group, Switzerland. Mike is an expert in full-contact mixed martial arts. His long term expertise in such has gained him a lot of respect and the nickname “Iron Mike”.

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Here is transcript of this Historic Keynote Address by Gordon Duff at the International Conference on Combating Terrorism and Religious Extremist Conference held in Damascus, Syria first week of December, 2014. Gaps are where his speech was translated to listeners.

Gordon Duff: Too many people have died for people to continue speaking in terms that are unclear and just not speaking the truth.

It’s time we simply said what we know, whether it’s classified information or not.
All of you have seen the results of what we’re saying.

What we’re saying will fit what has happened here and what facts you’ve been able to bring out…

Our hypothesis is based on solid information, solid research on the ground, using human signals intelligence from our extensive capabilities.

We don’t guess.

We know what we’re talking about here.

Their motivation is largely economic.

They’re a criminal organization but they are part of a worldwide criminal organization.

And they’re here in your territory, taking your things – your factories, your lives, your people – for the enrichment of a specific group of people who need to be held to account.

It’s almost as though it’s a police problem.

This is crime.

This terrorism you’re suffering is worldwide crime on a scale we have never seen before.
There has never been anything like this.

Gordon Duff: I appreciate your statements and I recognize the truth and honesty of what you were saying but I do believe there are areas of misunderstanding how the United States works politically.

And this is a problem, a tremendous problem in the Middle East and one of the things that’s driven us here is it’s very difficult to understand what has happened as far as Israeli control of American politics and I will, as succinctly as possible, I will explain this to you.

Gordon Duff: In 2005, the Supreme Court of the United States had a decision on a case called Citizens United.
The decision of the Supreme Court legalized unlimited corporate bribery.

This turned control of the Congress of the United States over to human traffickers, narcotics traffickers and in particular, the most powerful individual in the United States today is a gambling boss named Sheldon Adelson, an Israeli citizen who fled the US living in Macau.

He spent over one billion dollars in the last election and bought control of both Houses of Congress.

Now Senator John McCain, the father of al Nusra, the father of ISIS, will be running US legislative and military foreign policy.

Gordon Duff: American generals like General McInerny and General Paul Vallely, specialists in psychological warfare, helped organize Daish.

They have traveled in and out of your country here, Syria, over and over, as had Senator John McCain.

Meeting with al Qaeda – an organization created by the American, Saudi and Israeli Defense Forces and Intelligence Services.

Gordon Duff: Only a week ago, the US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, resigned.

Chuck Hagel was the individual that stopped the United States from bombing Syria over the false flag gas attacks near Aleppo.

Gordon Duff: It was our organization here that supplied the intelligence that stopped those attacks.

Gordon Duff: It’s our goal here, while we are here, to try to establish a method of communication that will allow Syria and other nations within the area to understand Israel’s control of the US, the control of the US by organized crime and how the US government is subservient to a worldwide criminal organization.

—————————————————————————————————

Click here to be directed to the news source, Veterans Today.


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Bill Cosby Has A Couple Choice Words for “Black Media”

By Carla B.

Follow us: @EOTMOnline on Twitter EOTM.Media on Facebook

 Bill Cosby is not actually asking for neutrality. He’s asking for apathy and willful ignorance…

We knew it wouldn’t take long to get ole Bill Cosby to start talking, again. The comedian broke his silence Friday in a phone interview to Page Six and cautioned black media to “remain neutral.”

“Let me say this. I only expect the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism and when you do that you have to go in with a neutral mind,” Cosby added.

Wow, really Bill Cosby? What a bully!! I feel specifically asking Black media to stay neutral is a way of guilting Black people into having his back. It reinforces the popular conspiracy theory that these allegations are the product of “White” forces conspiring against him. And, not having his back in this circumstance is effectively selling out. Smdh… but I digress.

When asked how his wife, Dr. Camille Cosby of 50 years was dealing with the allegations against him Cosby said, “Love and the strength of womanhood. Let me say it again, love and the strength of womanhood. And you could reverse it, the strength of womanhood and love.”

He refused to specifically discuss the claims against him noting,  ”They don’t want me talking to the media.”

Cosby’s comments comes two months after comedian Hannibal Burress sparked the flame that would ultimately engulf the actor and jeopardize his already tarnished image and whats left of his legacy when he belted these three words on stage, “YOU RAPED WOMEN.”

SEE ALSO: Is Bill Cosby still an exemplar of the “Black” American family ideal in which we should all still aspire to?

In an interview with the Associated Press  shortly after Burress’s comments went mainstream, Cosby seemingly pressures an AP reporter to “scuttle” the video in which Cosby is asked about the sexual assault allegations and refuses to address the situation, calling into question the AP’s integrity.

What ensued was a bombardment of sexual assault claims from dozens of women, most recently super model, entrepreneur, Beverly Johnson.  Johnson penned an article forVanity Fair last week detailing an alleged assault by Cosby. You can read an excerpt here.

A couple of hours ago, it appears Camille has finally spoken. According to TMZ, Mr. Cosby’s wife defended her husband over various sexual assault allegations, saying, “He is a kind man, a generous man, a funny man, and a wonderful husband, father and friend. He is the man you thought you knew.”

Camille didn’t attack her husband’s accusers, but said the media has been way to quick to pass judgment, saying, “A different man has been portrayed in the media over the last two months. It is the portrait of a man I do not know.”

Camille warns, “We all followed the story of the article in the “Rolling Stone” concerning allegations of rape at the University of Virginia. The story was heart-breaking but ultimately appears to be proved to be untrue.” She adds, “Many in the media were quick to link that story to stories about my husband.”

In addition to numerous allegations, the star is being sued by a woman alleging he assaulted her at the Playboy Mansion in 1975 after bringing her there when she was 15.

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Baphomet shows its ugly face on X Factor UK

By Tanya Blake

Last night X Factor UK premiered its finale show and its viewership was at an all time low. I wonder if the face of Baphomet has anything to do with it.

Ben Haenow - Image credit: X Factor UK

Check out the video below courtesy of Underground World News

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Movie Review

Published by EOTM News Editor on December 13th, 2014 - in Breaking News, Film News, Movie Review, Movie Reviews, Movies

By Cain Cawthon

Follow us: @EOTMOnline on Twitter | EOTM.Media on Facebook

Image credit: Warner Bros

  The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies review – packs a huge chain-mail punch

Peter Jackson has pulled it off. He has successfully concluded his outrageously steroidal inflation of Tolkien’s Hobbit into a triple-decker Middle Earth saga equivalent to the Rings trilogy, and made it something terrifically exciting and spectacular, genial and rousing, with all the cheerful spirit of Saturday morning pictures. And if poor, bemused little Bilbo Baggins now looks a bit lost on this newly enlarged action-fantasy canvas – well, he raises his game as well, leavening the mix with some unexpectedly engaging and likable drama. The Battle of the Five Armies is at least as weighty as The Return of the King. It packs a huge chain-mailed punch and lands a resounding mythic stonk. But it’s less conceited, more accessible and it makes do with just the one ending.

‘Can I pawn this now?’ ... Martin Freeman in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Photograph: Allstar/NEW LINE CINEMA

We are pitched right back into the chaos in which we left the second episode, as the dragon Smaug (boomingly voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) unleashes his fiery fury on Lake Town, whose buildings are made entirely out of wood – not great if you’ve got a dragon nearby. Meanwhile, the dwarves have established de facto ownership of the dragon’s gold, which they consider their own birthright and the movie culminates in a gigantic battle of orcs, elves, dwarves, humans and eagles all contesting their right to this unimaginable wealth. One thing must incidentally be said about every one of these armies: they are marvellously disciplined, responding instantly, en masse, to shouted commands which the furthest soldiers must surely hear very faintly.

But there’s one battle that’s been lost before a single arrow has been nocked: the battle for HFR, or high frame rate. Peter Jackson unveiled the 48-frames-per-second shooting innovation with huge fuss for his first Hobbit movie. The awful truth, however, is that this innovation just made everything look like an outside broadcast on video for daytime TV. Early screenings of this film and the previous one were in conventional 24 FPS. The reactions were markedly warmer. And although the third movie is officially getting shown in both 24 and 48, it seems that 24 is far more widespread. Normal service has been quietly restored. The HFR armies are hoping no one notices them sheepishly sidling off the field of battle. It leaves us to ponder if or how the slower 24 rate itself creates something vitally cinematic, that lag from frame to frame, which constitutes the subliminal, imperceptible visual “hum” which endows reality with something extra. As for HFR, it may be a lost novelty, the Sensurround of the 21st century.

SEE ALSO:  Guardians of the Galaxy – Movie Trailers

As the story reaches its operatic conclusion, a number of factors are in play: Gandalf the Grey, played with gusto by Ian McKellen, has been released from his enchantment and now journeys across country to warn Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and the others that battalions of fantastically ugly subtitled orcs are marching towards them. The elves have come to the rescue of Lake Town’s shivering refugees, horribly let down by their greedy and cowardly Master (Stephen Fry), but the elves’ diplomatic relations with the dwarves – they maintain a certain pointy-eared Vulcan dignity – threatens to break down over agreed access to the gold, and effectively split their anti-orc united front. A romantic drama plays out in tandem with this military scenario: the comely elf Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) is transgressively in love with the dwarf, Kili (Aidan Turner), making them the Romeo and Juliet of Middle Earth.

 

Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Photograph: Allstar/New Line Cinema

But it is Thorin (Richard Armitage) who is the star of this movie, because of his internal crisis. Simply wading waist-high in these piles of gold has turned his head, infected him with “dragon sickness” and sent him delirious with power and greed. He is basically turning into something like Fred C Dobbs, Humphrey Bogart’s paranoid prospector in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948): suspicious of everything and turning on all his friends. It is humble Bilbo who must break the toxic spell.

The Hunger Games
The three Hobbit films have worn down my Tolkien agnosticism. Although watching them now, in sequence, might disconcertingly mean that the Hobbit prelude seems of equal power and weight to the supposedly more important Rings saga. The modest subtitle to Tolkien’s original book was There and Back Again. The films have pumped this up to: “There. And there! ALSO THERE!” A multi-movie adaptation of The Silmarillion – with the last one naturally split into two parts – might test my newfound enthusiasm. For now, Bilbo Baggins’ adventures have a winning innocence and buoyancy.

SEE ALSO: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer #1

News Source: The Guardian


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Is Bill Cosby still an exemplar of the “Black” American family ideal in which we should all still aspire to?

By Carla B.

Follow us: @EOTMOnline on Twitter | EOTM.Media on Facebook

Since the reawakening of conversation about the rape allegations against Bill Cosby, I have been thinking about what it means to honestly hold men, specifically successful black men, accountable for the diverse forms of violence they inflict on women. As I scour the web reading vicious comments about the courageous women that have come forward, I am dismayed at the out-lash against them. Why does society continue to blame us for these types of assaults, especially when it is against the successful, the powerful?

Bill Cosby - Image credit: AP

The Huxtables were like royalty to many of us back in the 80′s. They were what we all aspired to be like when we grew up and had families of our own. We are not a society given to slaying our patriarchs, even when they have proved over and over again that they are unworthy of our devotion. I get it. But what does it mean… that while these men played progressive, loving family men on television, they allegedly raped and victimized women in their personal lives. Wolves, masquerading as proverbial sheep. How do we get passed this? How will the victims get through this, their families?  I can only pray, and wish them strength and steadfastness.


Sadly, one by one, women are stepping up to say that Cosby lured them in with the promise of advancing their careers and then took advantage of them. Supermodel Beverly Johnson is the latest to come forward, telling Vanity Fair that Cosby drugged her after luring her to his house under the pretense of “reading lines” for a part on The Cosby Show.

When these allegations first surfaced, who among us wanted to believe that Mr. Jello Pudding was anything other than the iconic father figure we grew up with? We walked the line between not dismissing a woman’s claim of rape and not wanting to tarnish our image of Mr. Cosby.

SEE ALSO: Hugh Hefner on Bill Cosby Rape Allegations: “I would never tolerate this. It’s truly saddening.”

Notably, since these claims against Cosby have surfaced, few have run to Cosby’s defense. After P.J. Masten, a former Playboy bunny, came forward and said she had been raped and drugged by Cosby, Hugh Hefner released a statement saying Cosby was a good friend and that the thought of these allegations is “truly saddening.”

His colleague Debbie Allen told the Today Show that the allegations were “hard to believe,” and that Cosby had given society a great gift with his show. “Cosby gave us one of the greatest shows in history and redefined the perception of black people all over the world.”

Raven-Symoné, who played Olivia on The Cosby Show, asserted through social media that Cosby never took advantage of her.

Lisa Bonet, who played Cosby’s daughter, hasn’t said a word about the allegations. Outside of a fake tweet in Bonet’s name that referenced “karma” and how “nothing stays in the dark forever,” Bonet has kept silent on the allegations. When her rep denied that the Twitter account belonged to Bonet, it seemed like a perfect opportunity for Bonet to express her opinion on the topic. No such expression has been forthcoming.

Perhaps most damning of all is the silence of Cosby’s on-screen wife, Phylicia Rashad. As someone who worked closely with Cosby for years, don’t you think she’d be one of the first people to jump to his defense?

As Roseanne Barr tweeted, “He knew the score and understood the game.” Maybe costars were aware on some level of what Cosby was doing behind the scenes and accepted it as part of the disgusting and notorious Hollywood couch scene.

Even Cosby’s wife of 50 years, Dr. Camille Cosby, has been closed-mouthed in the face of these allegations. So why are those closest to Cosby not saying anything? Don’t you think after his long-running career, he’d be able to make a few phone calls and ask a few high-profile friends to speak out on his behalf? Where is the outrage and shouts of denial by those closest to Cosby?

SEE ALSO: Barbara Bowman, Michelle Hurd, Beverly Johnson, Janice Dickinson…- Cosby’s Accusers To Date...

Wendy Williams recently discussed how Cosby attempted to get her fired for mentioning allegations of sexual misconduct on her radio program in the ’90s.

Interestingly, Jill Scott has come forward in defense of Cosby tweeting that the ‘media/society is attempting to destroy his magnificent legacy.’

Frankly, I think it is high time that these violent crimes begin to cost powerful men like Cosby something. And that might mean that it has to cost those of us who love them something as well.

I recognize Bill Cosby as a comedic genius, and black people — with good reason — don’t throw away our geniuses. Even when they beat and rape and kill women and abuse children. Far too often, racism becomes an excuse for us not to confront sexism. And internalized misogyny and victim-blaming keep Americans from ostracizing the Woody Allens and Charlie Sheens of the world.

Since 2004, in his infamous “Pound Cake” speech at Howard University, Bill Cosby has gone around the country lecturing to poor black people about our failure to uphold our end of “the bargain.” A Faustian bargain, if ever there was one, the idea that being respectable citizens, with “good” families, would pave the path to freedom has proved to be simply untrue.

Meanwhile, Cosby has lived a lie. He has asked us to invest not only in the lie of his own life, but in the larger lies of black respectability and patriarchy. His own crimes demonstrate in black-and-white the diseased, misogynistic, violent thinking at the heart of patriarchy. And as much as I might love “The Cosby Show,” we should perhaps consider it “fruit of the poisonous tree.”

These accusations has to matter. And it cannot matter simply in terms of criminal justice. This is a question about where our emotional and affective and representational investments lie. Bill Cosby broke a trust with America, and in particular, with black America, if he became just one more (black) man, who aspired to patriarchy on the broken, bruised bodies of women. Our knowledge of these alleged crimes demands we do something, and demands not simply a rhetorical denunciation of him while we continue to laugh absentmindedly at “Cosby Show” reruns.

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