The fun begins at around the 4 minute mark. Mexico seems to be a hot zone of UFO activity these days.
Something strange is going on in our skies people!
The fun begins at around the 4 minute mark. Mexico seems to be a hot zone of UFO activity these days.
Something strange is going on in our skies people!
Filmmakers sympathetic to the plight of Mexican and Central American migrants are using their films to counter the fug of misinformation.
Reader in Film Studies, University of Portsmouth
Feb 3, 2017
Anti-migrant rhetoric is not new in the United States; it has long been a staple of the Republican right and more recently the alt-right. It was a controversial focal point in the Donald Trump campaign of 2016, with Trump calling Mexicans drug dealers, criminals and rapists, and encouraging supporters to cheer his promise to build a wall – something that he has now signed an executive order on.
This migrant-baiting is increasing despite the fact that there has been a decline in migration from Mexico due to improvements in the Mexican economy, family reunifications, and the dangers of the migration journey.
What anti-migrant rhetoric also ignores is the fact that many who are still making the perilous journey from Central America and Mexico to the United States are driven by desperation at extremely high levels of violence and poverty, and have been categorised as refugees by organisations such as Amnesty International and the United Nations’ refugee agency (UNHCR).
Filmmakers from the region and those sympathetic to the plight of Mexican and Central American migrants are using their films to counter the misinformation, scapegoating and xenophobia that migrants have been subject to. The surge in anti-migrant rhetoric in recent years has been accompanied by a surge in films on the subject, to the extent that we can talk of a new sub-genre of migration films from the region.
These films can serve a useful role in countering negative representations of migrant-refugees. Film has a particular ability to assign worth. This is an even more urgent endeavour when we consider that the experiences of actual migrant-refugees are so often absent in political and media discourses.
A number of these films have had impressive exhibition and distribution reach, helped by their topical subject matter. A number have had commercial success.
A melodramatic mode of storytelling resulted in the popular appeal of La Misma Luna (2007) (Under the Same Moon) by the Mexican director Patricia Riggen. The story tells of a young Mexican boy undertaking the migrant journey in search of his mother, working as a maid in the US, and features Mexican stars Eugenio Derbez and Kate del Castillo (drug kingpin El Chapo’s favourite actress).
Similarly, it was the gang chic of the Californian filmmaker Cari Joji Fukunaga’s Sin Nombre (2009) that helped make it the first Spanish language film to be marketed and distributed by Focus Features. Sin Nombre tells of the migrant journeys of Willy (Edgar Flores), who attempts to escape from his violent gang lifestyle, and Sayra (Paulina Gaitan) a Honduran migrant who is crossing to the US with her returning recently deported father. The film borrows generic tropes from Western films and features insights into gang culture as well as the migrant experience.
Diego Quemada Díez’s more serious social realist film La Jaula de Oro (The Golden Dream) (2013) recounts the fraught and traumatic journey of adolescents from Guatemala and a Tzotzil-speaking Mexican from Chiapas as they travel through Mexico to the US. The film has won multiple national and international awards, turning an international spotlight on the issue from the point of view of the young migrant-refugees.
The profile of films about migration has also been boosted by the fact that celebrated Mexican directors, cinematographers and actors who are integrated into the US film industry have lent their star power to the issue. The next film by Alejandro González Iñárritu and his collaborator, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, both multiple Academy awardees, is reported to be an experimental virtual reality film that will “explore the intense and excruciating experience of a group of immigrants and refugees crossing the border between Mexico and the United States”.
Diego Luna, actor, director, producer and activist, has also helped to draw attention to the issue by directing an advert for the Mexican soft drink Jarritos, which connects the stories of Central American and Mexican migrants to an entire history of US migration. Three days before Trump’s inauguration he also pointedly retweeted a list of documentary films with a focus on immigrants from the region.
Luna’s long-term friend and collaborator Gael García Bernal also has a track record of migrant-refugee advocacy. In addition to a partnership with Marc Silver for the documentary Who is Dayani Cristal?, he stars in the powerful film Desierto, directed by Jonás Cuarón, son of Alfonso.
Desierto demonstrates how a social issue film combined with a genre approach and star power (García Bernal and Jeffrey Dean Morgan) can reach wide audiences and raise awareness of the precarious situation of migrants. Although the film was shot before Trump’s infamous anti-Mexican campaign speeches, the filmmakers capitalised on them and turned them against him in an alternative trailer that features Trump’s notorious anti-Mexican comments.
The film highlights the dangers of the rise of the deeply racist alt-right through the character of Sam (Morgan), a sniper who hunts migrants with impunity and relish. In Sam, the film holds a distorted mirror up to the hero cowboy of classical Hollywood, revealing his black heart. Desierto’s lone antagonist may be dressed as a Clint Eastwood lookalike, but he is revealed to be a psychopath, presented as a coward when deprived of his gun and his hunting dog.
It is Bernal’s character, Moises, the Mexican migrant seeking to re-enter the United States after deportation, who is the hero. He, not the US self-styled cowboy, embodies values associated with fictional heroes: courage, solidarity, triumph over adversity, love for family, strength and resilience. Desierto’s achievements are impressive: the film succeeds in being a socially important mainstream action thriller without sensationalising or providing pleasure in violence.
Mexican filmmakers who have integrated into the US have found a way to fight back against rising levels of anti-migrant xenophobia. Films that highlight key social issues have a unique power to reach new audiences and raise awareness of the human rights abuses committed against migrants. Watch them. Recommend them.
Bonus: Immigrant Song by Trent Reznor (Zeppelin):
President Donald Trump wrecked relations with yet another foreign leader on Wednesday, leaving Australia scrambling to save its refugee resettlement agreement with the U.S. after he lashed out at Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in a phone call.
Trump tweeted that the resettlement program, which would send 1,250 asylum seekers from detention sites in Australia to the U.S., was a “dumb deal” and told Turnbull in their private conversation that it was “the worst deal ever.”
He also told Turnbull that their conversation—one of several Trump had with foreign leaders—was his worst of the day, before abruptly ending the 25-minute call.
On Thursday Trump dismissed outraged reactions to the conversation, telling the audience at the National Prayer Breakfast not to “worry” about his antagonistic conversations with foreign leaders.
“The world is in trouble, but we’re gonna straighten it out, OK? That’s what I do, I fix things,” Trump said. “We’re gonna straighten it out. Believe me. When you hear about the tough phone calls I’m having, don’t worry about it. Just don’t worry about it.”
In his tweet Wednesday, Trump also said he would “study” the deal, and referred to the asylum seekers as “illegal immigrants.”
Turnbull objected publicly, telling the Melbourne radio show 3AW that the president had given him a “clear commitment” that the program would continue.
But an Australian official close to the deal said, “It’s over. It can’t survive…It was never going to survive Trump’s immigration ban,” referring to the president’s executive order signed last week that blocks entry to the U.S. for immigrants and refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries.
Details of the call with Turnbull emerged just after the Associated Press published an excerpt of a conversation between Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in which Trump spoke of sending troops across the border to take care of “bad hombres.”
“You have a bunch of bad hombres down there,” Trump told Peña Nieto, according to the transcript of the hour-long call that took place last Friday. “You aren’t doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn’t, so I just might send them down to take care of it.”
The context did not make clear whom Trump considers “bad hombres,” the AP reported. That phone call came after Peña Nieto canceled a visit to meet with Trump, apparently in response to his hostile comments about making Mexico pay for a proposed border wall.
The White House on Thursday claimed that the comments were meant to be “lighthearted,” while the Mexican Foreign Relations Department told the AP that they “did not occur during said telephone call.”
Feb 1, 2017
as President of the United States have now passed, and it’s certainly been a flurry of activity. Trump has hit the ground running, losing no time in issuing numerous EOs (Executive Orders) to implement his policies. Trump continues to be a mixed bag; some of his efforts are laudable and on the side of the average citizen (e.g. banning the TPP), while others are harebrained schemes bound to backfire, irritate nations outside the US and deliberately cause conflict (e.g. trying to make Mexico pay for a $15 billion wall). To his credit, Trump appears to be on the path of actively fulfilling his campaign promises, and where he has backed down, he has done so to moderate his outlandish and dangerous ideas. However, there is still something definitely unsettling about Trump, especially when he openly advocates torture (waterboarding), theft (the stealing of Iraqi oil) and more theft (the stealing of Jerusalem by Zionist Israel in order to relocate their capital city). Here are Trump’s first 10 days in review.
Trump promptly used EOs to stop the TPP, freeze further federal government hiring and ban US funding of any NGOs which perform abortions. While the latter issue surrounding abortion is a highly personal topic that tends to go strictly down party lines, on the first two, Trump appears to be acting in alignment with the concerns of the average person, worker and consumer (TPP) and in line with the principle of smaller government (freeze on hiring).
Those who have picked up on the narcissistic tendencies in Trump’s personality may be alarmed by the fact that Trump issued a presidential proclamation (#9570) for the day of January 20th, his inauguration. He made it a “national day of patriotic devotion”. The proclamation is littered with religious buzzwords and overtones, as well as the usual appeal to American exceptionalism. How do you feel about this in Trump’s first 10 days?
“There is no freedom where the people do not believe in it; no law where the people do not follow it; and no peace where the people do not pray for it. There are no greater people than the American citizenry, and as long as we believe in ourselves, and our country, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 20, 2017, as National Day of Patriotic Devotion …”
Trump is determined to undo what Obama did. Now, I take a dim view of the Obama Legacy, but is it really helpful to delete all information on gay rights from the WhiteHouse.gov website, and no longer make it available in Spanish? I understand the need to take a harder line on immigration, but there are already many Spanish-speaking people in the US as citizens or green card holders. Why make it more difficult for them?
On a similar note, the wall along the Mexican border was one of Trump’s more outlandish election promises. It was widely ridiculed not just due to the potential cost, but also due to the fact that humanity is trying to progress to a point in its evolution where we no longer need to build walls to keep each other out – as was symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. This does not mean a nation has to let just anyone in; it is fair for a country to decide who is admitted inside its borders. However there are other ways to do this, as former presidential candidate Ron Paul points out:
“First, the wall will not work. Texas already started building a border fence about ten years ago. It divided people from their own property across the border, it deprived people of their land through the use of eminent domain, and in the end the problem of drug and human smuggling was not solved.
Second, the wall will be expensive. The wall is estimated to cost between 12 and 15 billion dollars. You can bet it will be more than that. President Trump has claimed that if the Mexican government doesn’t pay for it, he will impose a 20 percent duty on products imported from Mexico. Who will pay this tax? Ultimately, the American consumer, as the additional costs will be passed on. This will of course hurt the poorest Americans the most.
Third, building a wall ignores the real causes of illegal border crossings into the United States. Though President Trump is right to prioritize the problem of border security, he misses the point on how it can be done effectively and at an actual financial benefit to the country rather than a huge economic drain.
The solution to really addressing the problem of illegal immigration, drug smuggling, and the threat of cross-border terrorism is clear: remove the welfare magnet that attracts so many to cross the border illegally, stop the 25 year US war in the Middle East, and end the drug war that incentivizes smugglers to cross the border.”
When Trump announced in his first 10 days that he would support safe zones inside of Syria, I immediately saw a red flag, because the “safe zone” / “no fly zone” / “humanitarian corridor” language has been used before by the US and NATO to trick people into accepting its invasions. Yet, Trump has consistently stated he is interested in destroying ISIS and befriending Russia, and he seems to mean it. The safe zone strategy could be used to encircle Russia, but in this case, it probably isn’t. Now Russia has announced it would support safe zones as long as the Syrian Government of Bashar Al-Assad is consulted and gives consent. Whether these safe zones lead to genuine peace or more war remains to be seen.
Trump’s first 10 days also featured him using executive orders to block new government regulations, a good move for those supporting limited government:
“President Donald Trump has signed a new executive order mandating that for each new government regulation being enacted, two need to be revoked … The White House sets aside a budget for regulations each year. Monday’s measure specifies the 2017 regulations budget as $0.”
He also issued an EO to ban different kinds of lobbying. All those working in the Trump administration must not lobby any agency they worked at for at least 5 years:
“Under an executive order that Trump signed in the presence of the news media, every political appointee joining the executive branch on or after Jan. 20 — the day Trump took office — must agree to the lobbying bans. That includes avoiding, for five years after leaving, lobbying the agency they worked for.
Another provision sets a two-year period during which appointees must avoid working on issues involving former employers or clients.”
Furthermore, Trump took up an important issue with Big Pharma (lowering drug costs). However, he also promised them to cut regulation making it easier and faster for them to bring new drugs to market, a process already corrupted by the fact that the FDA is bought and owned by Big Pharma. Rushing drugs to market even faster will mean more danger to those who pharmaceuticals – so on this issue Trump didn’t exactly achieve a real victory for the average person.
The so-called Muslim Ban has been all over the news and has become the most well known issue of Trump’s first 10 days. First of all, is it a Muslim ban? Legally and technically, no, but in spirit, yes. Why? The article Trump’s Executive Order on Refugees — Separating Fact from Hysteria does a good job of breaking down the details. The ban targets countries, not religions, and is based on protection from danger, not discrimination:
“First, the order temporarily halts refugee admissions for 120 days to improve the vetting process, then caps refugee admissions at 50,000 per year. Outrageous, right? Not so fast. Before 2016, when Obama dramatically ramped up refugee admissions, Trump’s 50,000 stands roughly in between a typical year of refugee admissions in George W. Bush’s two terms and a typical year in Obama’s two terms.
Second, the order imposes a temporary, 90-day ban on people entering the U.S. from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. These are countries either torn apart by jihadist violence or under the control of hostile, jihadist governments … The ban, however, contains an important exception: “Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.”
However, there are reports that the ban is being applied even to green-card holders. This is madness. The plain language of the order doesn’t apply to legal permanent residents of the U.S., and green-card holders have been through round after round of vetting and security checks. The administration should intervene, immediately, to stop misapplication. If, however, the Trump administration continues to apply the order to legal permanent residents, it should indeed be condemned.”
However, Rudy Giuliani, mayor during the 9/11 false flag op, spilt the beans when he admitted that Trump had come to him to ask him how to do a Muslim Ban so it could be legal:
““I’ll tell you the whole history of it,” Giuliani responded eagerly. “So when [Trump] first announced it, he said, ‘Muslim ban.’ He called me up. He said, ‘Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.’ “
Giuliani said he assembled a “whole group of other very expert lawyers on this,” including former U.S. attorney general Michael Mukasey, Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Tex.) and Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.).
“And what we did was, we focused on, instead of religion, danger — the areas of the world that create danger for us,” Giuliani told Pirro. “Which is a factual basis, not a religious basis. Perfectly legal, perfectly sensible. And that’s what the ban is based on. It’s not based on religion. It’s based on places where there are substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists into our country.””
Giuliani, of course, is complicit in the 9/11 coverup and another neocon that Trump has surrounded himself with, despite promising to drain the swamp (yeah right!).
Strangely (or not), Trump’s list of 7 countries (Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia) is similar to the 7 countries (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Iran) that General Welsey Clark admitted were scheduled to be invaded right after 9/11. Also, strangely (or not), Saudi Arabia is not on the list (despite having the majority of the 9/11 hijackers) and neither is Israel (despite its involvement in 9/11). Perhaps because best-friends-forever Saudi Arabia and Israel have a powerful sway over the US Government and Trump, who is not as independent as you think …
I will finish the summary of Trump’s first 10 days with this ridiculous exchange between Trump and David Muir of ABC News. Just when you think Trump has got it all together, he comes out with the ridiculous notion that the US, after illegally invading the sovereign nation of Iraq (who had nothing to do with 9/11), should have stolen their oil too – because then it wouldn’t have been there for ISIS to use and fuel themselves with. Trump actually states at the 21:35 mark that:
“Trump: “We should have taken the oil. You wouldn’t have ISIS if we took the oil.”
Muir: “You heard the critics who say that would break all international law, taking the oil, but I want to get to the words you said that … “
Trump: “Can you believe that? Who are the critics who say that? Fools! I don’t call them critics, I call them fools!”
Wow. Trump just brazenly advocated grand theft and then resorted to ad hominem attacks (i.e. name calling) to defend his position. How are the alt right going to defend that one? Maybe, just maybe, Trump could educate himself on what caused ISIS by looking at how the US and Israel created it – especially since one of the men who came out to announce and prove the US connection was none other than former DIA director Michael Flynn, Trump’s National Security Advisor. Might be a good idea since defeating ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism is the cornerstone of his campaign …
Before we finish, it’s worth remembering the presidents are selected, not elected. Nothing changed in the 2016 election. It turns out that so-called outsider Trump is actually a distant cousin of the illustrious Hillary Clinton. As Brendon Smith writes:
“I have seen endless theories [in the liberty movement] over the past several months on all the ways in which the global elites would sabotage the Trump campaign. I believe the phrase “they will never allow him to win” was repeated in nearly every discussion on the election. The assumption in this instance was that Trump is “anti-establishment” and, therefore, a threat to the globalists … You’ll hear hundreds of theories and rationalizations on Trump’s miraculous victory, but a reason you will almost never hear is also the most likely one: Trump won the election because he serves the interests of the establishment. Trump won because he is a fake.”
Rather than telling you what to think, I encourage you to make up your own mind now that Trump’s first 10 days have passed. Personally, although I like the fact he has stopped the TPP, banned foreign lobbying, encouraged multinational corporations to move their operating centers back to the US and told the Big Pharma CEOs that prices have to come down, overall I can’t in good conscience get behind Trump. Many awake and aware people, and many journalists and readers of the Alternative Media, stand for principles – not a particular person. We want systems and societies of freedom, justice and peace, not a super hero to save us.
Despite some of the good things he has done, many regard Trump as a danger both to the American people and world peace. He is blinded by Zionism and Islamophobia to the point where he is happy to antagonize Iran (and China) and undo all the negotiations it took to find a win/win with the peaceful Iranian nuclear energy program. He surrounded himself by Goldman Sachs men despite criticizing Hillary for her relationship with Goldman Sachs and Big Banking in general. He seems happy to throw away liberty in the pursuit of security – even if he doesn’t exactly understand what the danger is (e.g. the Zionist roots of Islamic terrorism).
I feel like I am beating a dead horse in saying this, but this isn’t about left vs right. Both polarized “sides” need to grow up and move beyond their limited perspective and their “teams”. The left needs to stop complaining, get over being so shellshocked and take a good hard look at why they are happy to criticize Trump but remain silent when one of their own (Obama, Clinton) start pre-emptive wars and commit mass murder. Just because someone is a Democrat and “progressive” doesn’t mean they are not also a fraud and a killer (like Obama). Likewise, the right needs to get over their Trumpmania, stop worshipping Trump as some kind of messiah, stop overlooking Trumps’ faults and refusing to criticize them, and stop condemning all Muslims as evil. It’s time for all concerned to grow up and use Trump as a way of waking up.
Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative media / independent news site The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com, writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the worldwide conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance.
Bolivian President Evo Morales says he has called on Mexico to unite with the Latin American and Caribbean states.
“The neoliberal model has failed and capitalism has failed too,” Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Friday.
As Mexico-US ties sour over the new US administration’s controversial anti-immigration policies, Bolivia urges Mexico to turn to the South American countries rather than Washington, citing capitalism’s demise.
“The neoliberal model has failed and capitalism has failed too,” Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Friday.
Morales further noted that he had taken to Twitter and called on Mexico to unite with the Latin American and Caribbean states.
“I asked our Mexican brothers to look further south and we can all go after our hopes together, with our Latin American and Caribbean identity, we are a great family,” he said.
The Bolivian president further referred to Trump’s recent cancellation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), of which Mexico is a member.
“Imagine those who were in the Pacific alliance who now feel abandoned by the new president of the United States,” he said.
On Monday, Trump scrapped the TPP, a flagship trade agreement among 11 countries in the Pacific rim.
Two days later, the US president signed executive orders directing the construction of a wall along the border with Mexico, boosting border patrol forces and immigration enforcement officers who carry out deportations.
He also confirmed his plans to build the US-Mexico border wall with federal funds and then seek reimbursement from Mexico City.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto condemned Trump’s decision to erect the wall, saying his country would not pay for the project.
Annual bilateral trade between the two neighbor countries is valued at almost $600 billion.
As the Trumpster pretends he is serious about building that wall, ya right, this would be a good time to re-play this from last year. Oliver spells it like it is.
Donald Drumpf wants to build a wall on the U.S-Mexico border. Is his plan feasible?
January 23, 2017
Washington, D.C. – The much maligned Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a darling of the neoliberal establishment on both the left and the right, is dead in the water after President Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the US from the controversial free-trade pact.
The TPP was the largest global trade agreement since NAFTA, and would have included the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Essentially the TPP was a policy move by the U.S. meant to create a trade bloc as a means of countering rising Chinese economic might — under the guise of an “Asian pivot” – but that was seen by many Americans as a give away to large multinational corporations.
Here is a short primer on the TPP and its partner legislation the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which reveal exactly how these deals were meant to operate:
Much of what the public knows about this secretive trade pact comes from leaks provided by the whistleblower organization WikiLeaks. If not for the information Wikileaks has provided, the public would be even more in the dark than they currently are, as to the details included within these trade deals.
Hillary Clinton was a supporter of the TPP, before later claiming to be against it, while her rival in the for the Democratic presidential nomination, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, railed against the trade pact on a regular basis as something that would hurt American workers.
Opposing the TPP was one of the central tenets of the Trump presidential campaign, as Trump attempted to tap into the angst of the blue collar working class that Senator Sanders had so effectively coalesced in his failed primary run. The new administration called the trade pact a “potential disaster” for the United States, and said they would instead prefer to engage in bilateral deals with the individual states involved in the trade deal.
Critics of the TPP argue that it gives unfair competitive advantages to large multinational corporations. They also say that it takes away sovereignty from countries and gives it to small decision-making bodies that are not beholden to the public – thus further helping the rich get richer on the backs of the poor.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation laid out a succinct case against the TPP that revealed the far-reaching scope and dangers inherent to the trade deal:
In a joint letter to Congress released today, more than 250 technology companies and user rights organizations say that the extreme level of secrecy surrounding trade negotiations have led to provisions in agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that threaten digital innovation, free speech, and access to knowledge online, and the letter calls on Congress to come out against the Fast Track, also known as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), bill for legitimizing this secretive process…
The letter specifically identifies the TPP’s threats based on leaked texts of the agreement—how it threatens fair use, could lead to more costly forms of online copyright enforcement, criminalize whistleblowing and investigative journalism, and create investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) courts that would further jeopardize user protections in domestic laws.
Negotiations for the European-focused parallel trade deal, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), also have come to a sudden end.
Additionally, it appears the Trump administration has it sights set on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which eliminated commercial barriers between the US, Canada and Mexico during the Clinton administration.
“We are going to start renegotiating on NAFTA, on immigration and on security at the border,” Trump said on Sunday, after the swearing-in ceremony for senior White House staff.
It appears that this decision is one that many Americans, who aren’t part of the establishment-elite, were rooting for since long before Trump came onto the scene. Activists across the world have fought tirelessly to expose and defeat what they see as a give-away to industry and business at the expense of the average person.