Vice News reporter Shane Smith sits down with President Obama and asks him ridiculously soft questions. Redacted Tonight host Lee Camp adds the hard facts that should have been in there.
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In Part 2 of VICE News’ exclusive look at the emergence of the Islamic State, filmmaker Medyan Dairieh meets an Islamic State member from Belgium who works to indoctrinate some of the youngest members of the group. He also gains further insight into the minds of Islamic State fighters as they host celebrations and military parades featuring American tanks and APCs seized from the Iraqi army.
The Islamic State, a hardline Sunni jihadist group which formerly had ties to al Qaeda, is now in control of a large swath of territory in Iraq and Syria. The group, which adheres to the strictest form of Sharia law, is determined to establish a caliphate that stretches across the Middle East and into the rest of the Muslim world.
As the Islamic State continues its violent expansion in Syria and Iraq, it is also working to win the hearts and minds of new recruits and potential new members in areas it controls.… Read the rest
Filmmakers Spencer Chumbley and Erik Ljung have shot for organizations like VICE and Al Jazeera. I caught up with the guys just before they debuted their film, The Death of Cory Stingley a the Milwaukee Film Festival.
Humans make things, we always have. But, we don’t just make, we create beauty. We pay attention to symmetry, form and detail. Why is that? Darwinian theory says it’s simply a form of “peacocking.” More specifically, our creative predispositions are merely “fitness signals.” For example, if you write a novel, create a moving peace of art, or compose a great song, it’s just a uniquely human way of showing off your intellect in hopes of attracting a mate, like a peacock with it’s innately douchey bouquet of feathers.
I fucking hate this idea.
But, let’s be fair. It’s totally undeniable that ego and social elevation are often intertwined with creative accomplishments.… Read the rest
Well that’s one way to boost your country’s reported economic output. One wonders whether or not each European Union nation will break down the vice trade by component so that we can see growth trends in, say, prostitution. From Bloomberg News:
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Europe has a new source of economic growth. In the next few months all European Union countries that do not already include drugs, prostitution, and other illegal and gray-market businesses in their gross domestic product calculations will have to do so.
The 2010 version of the European System of Accounts becomes obligatory for GDP reporting by EU member states in September. It states unequivocally that “illegal economic actions shall be considered as transactions when all units involved enter the actions by mutual agreement. Thus, purchases, sales or barters of illegal drugs or stolen property are transactions, while theft is not.”
The ostensible goal is to make countries’ economic data comparable.
Alt. Journalism/counterculture mainstay Vice throws in their lot with Activision to promote the newest installment of the Call of Duty franchise, titled “Advanced Warfare”. Strange bedfellows, I guess, but it’s no stranger to see Kevin Spacey pop up in the trailer just after stating that he wouldn’t do any movies unless it was a significant role on a Martin Scorcese film. Money does things to people, not that I’m pointing any fingers. We all do stuff to pay the bills, and hell, I’m a fan of Vice, Call of Duty (Yeah, I know. My taste in video games is total “bro”.) and Kevin Spacey.
VICE’s Daniel Denvir interviews Nick Turse, author of Kill Everything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam.
If for some reason you have any lingering doubts about the way that war was conducted (or the way that we continue to conduct war today), here’s one excerpt from the interview that should put them to rest:
… Read the restThere was even a “Mere Gook Rule?”There was a shorthand in Vietnam: the MGR, or Mere Gook Rule. The idea is that the Vietnamese weren’t real people. They were subhumans. Mere gooks who could be abused or even killed at will. And this is something that was inculcated in troops from the earliest days of training. I talked to a lot of veterans who told me that as soon as they arrived at boot camp, they were told you never call them Vietnamese. You call them gooks, dinks, slants, slopes.
Greg Palast writes at Vice Magazine:
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About the time Barack Obama ordered the drone strike that killed Abdul-Rahman al-Awlaki, the 16-year-old American kid Facebooked his second-rate choice of hip-hop favorites. I say “second-rate,” because Abdul was my son’s age almost exactly, so I know the kind of crap they listen to.
Every Tuesday, President Obama personally checks off the names of people he wants killed. George Bush, a bit more squeamish than Obama, never did that; but Mr. Obama felt those decisions were the president’s responsibility: he want[s] to keep his own finger on the trigger,” according to one report. A tidy, scheduled man, the President only picks his victims once a week, now called “Terror Tuesday.”
On October 14, 2011, in Shabwah province, Yemen, Abdul, went out with his cousins and friends for a good old US-style barbecue, when Obama’s drone fired a rocket, blowing the teenager to pieces. Or I should say “piece.” All that was left of Abdul was a piece of skull with long curly hair that allowed his relatives to identify this hunk of his head by his US-type haircut.
Okay, now it should be stated that I love the website Vice. I do. The fact that a pop culture youth media site does better overseas journalism regarding things like the American war machine than actual media outlets these days is beyond mind blowing and creepy. Unfortunately, it is exactly because of their influence on the youth media market that their recent turn as PR men for aging, culturally irrelevant millionaire rock stars is so unbelievably disappointing. The gripe about so called hipster music coverage is that they only cover the bands that their writers or friends are fucking (usually pretty accurate), but you know, at least back in the day they were apparently fucking creative people with talent.
Not anymore, in the last month they’ve just started reporting on richie rich bands solely because of money. As mentioned, what’s even skeezier about this turn is that they’re doing it in an obviously calculated attempt to rebrand successful musicians perceived by the public as tragically uncool, and it makes perfect sense.… Read the rest