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Friday, September 5, 2014

Today On The Gathering Storm

)Two posts today. Please scroll down)

Listen to The Gathering Storm Radio Show, hosted by WC and your truly.

The show broadcasts live for 30 minutes every Friday beginning at noon, Pacific Time.

The call-in number is 646-915-9870. Callers welcome!

Our scheduled guest this week is Mr. Ducky. We plan to discuss John Ford's films.

Listen to the September 5, 2014 edition of The Gathering Storm Radio Show, live or later, by CLICKING HERE.

September 12: IQ al Rassooli
September 19: Midnight Rider
September 26: no guest


  1. I should think the time would be better spent discussing the peculiar genius of HENRY Ford and the profound influence -- the transformative effect -- he had on American Life.

    Love him or loathe him Henry Ford was a Seminal Figure in the development of that thoroughly mixed blessing we call Modern America.

    A lively debate on the pros and cons of Henry Ford's thinking and the value of his practical achievements might be valuable -- as long as it didn't turn into yet-another battle over his vaunted anti-Semitism, or another series of tiresome canned rhetoric advocating either Marxism or Capitalism.

    1. FT,
      Guests choose their own topic(s).

      Let me know if you want to be on the show on September 26.

      I'm serious about this offer.

    2. Well, FT, just as you lament the state of contemporary music while believing in the power of music as an artistic force, I feel the same way about film.

      I know that AOW's cohost enjoys Ford's westerns so I thought it might be an interesting jumping off point for a discussion of the genre.

      Ford is distinctive for bringing serious history to the western and transforming it from a simple "boy's own adventure" B genre (not that the B's deserve scorn).

      It beats tearing our hair out over current events which are just too depressing at the moment.

    3. I hope your schedule let's you pick up that open date, FT. Could be fun.


    Americans have historically seen their role in the world in altruistic terms. "We just try to be good," they say, "to help others, to bring peace and prosperity, and look what we get in return." In fact, movies such as John Ford's The Searchers and Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver or books like Graham Greene's The Quiet American, which provide fundamental insight into the naive benevolence of Americans, have never been more relevant than with today's global U.S. ideological offensive. As Greene said about his American protagonist, who sincerely wants to bring democracy and Western freedom to the Vietnamese, only to see his intentions totally misfire: "I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused."

    The supposition underlying these good intentions is that underneath our skins, we are all Americans. If that is humanity's true desire, then all that Americans need to do is to give people a chance, liberate them from their imposed constraints, and they will embrace America's ideological dream. No wonder the United States has moved from "containing" the enemy to promoting a "capitalist revolution," as Stephen Schwartz of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies put it in February 2003. The United States is now, as the defunct Soviet Union was decades ago, the subversive agent of a world revolution.

    But when Bush said in his January 2003 State of the Union message, "The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift to humanity," this apparent burst of humility, in fact, concealed its totalitarian opposite. Every totalitarian leader claims that, in himself, he is nothing at all: His strength is only the strength of the people who stand behind him, whose deepest strivings only he expresses. The catch is, those who oppose the leader by definition not only oppose him, but they also oppose the deepest and noblest strivings of the people. And does the same not hold for Bush's claim? It would have been easier if freedom effectively were to be just the United States' gift to other nations; that way, those who oppose U.S. policies would merely be against the policies of a single nation-state. But if freedom is God's gift to humanity, and the U.S. government sees itself as the chosen instrument for showering this gift on all the nations of the world, then those who oppose U.S. policies are rejecting the noblest gift of God to humanity.


    1. - Slavoj Zizek, "Iraq's False Promises"

  3. Back to Nolan. The trilogy of Batman films follows an internal logic. In Batman Begins, the hero remains within the constraints of a liberal order: the system can be defended with morally acceptable methods. The Dark Knight is, in effect, a new version of two John Ford western classics, Fort Apache and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, which show how, to civilise the Wild West, one has to “print the legend” and ignore the truth. They show, in short, how our civilisation has to be grounded in a lie – one has to break the rules in order to defend the system.

    In Batman Begins, the hero is simply the classic urban vigilante who punishes the criminals when the police can’t. The problem is that the police, the official law-enforcement agency, respond ambivalently to Batman’s help. They see him as a threat to their monopoly on power and therefore as evidence of their inefficiency. However, his transgression here is purely formal: it lies in acting on behalf of the law without being legitimised to do so. In his acts, he never violates the law. The Dark Knight changes these co-ordinates. Batman’s true rival is not his ostensible opponent, the Joker, but Harvey Dent, the “white knight”, the aggressive new district attorney, a kind of official vigilante whose fanatical battle against crime leads to the killing of innocent people and ultimately destroys him. It is as if Dent were the legal order’s reply to the threat posed by Batman: against Batman’s vigilantism, the system generates its own illegal excess in a vigilante much more violent than Batman.

    Slavoj Zizek, "The Politics of Batman"

    Yupitsi Darnit reports:

    U.S. military charter plane forced to land in Iran
    A U.S. military charter aircraft flying from Afghanistan has been forced down in Iran by Iranian fighter jets, according to officials familiar with the incident. The plane, which departed Bagram air base on Friday, was chartered by the Pentagon from Fly Dubai, and was carrying approximately 100 Americans and possibly a pair of Canadians. (Washington Post)

  5. (Reuters) - A charter aircraft flying from the U.S. airbase at Bagram in Afghanistan to Dubai was re-routed to Bandar Abbas, Iran, on Friday due to "a bureaucratic issue," a U.S. State Department official said.

    "A Fly Dubai charter plane flying from Bagram Air Field to Dubai was re-routed to Bandar Abbas, Iran because of a bureaucratic issue today," the official said.

    "Contrary to press reports, this plane was not forced down by the Iranian military," the official added. "The issue appears to have been resolved and hopefully the plane will be able to take off soon."

    1. Stop being such a Nervous Nellie, Farmer.

      No act of war, sorry.

    2. Hey, I was the "second" and "correcting" post, on this subject, not the 1st!

    3. Good show, btw. I caught the tail end "live" and will catch the front-end now!

  6. Duck,
    Good interview!

    It is a relief to talk about something other than current events.


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