Films allow us to eavesdrop on others-- past, present, and future. Films pull open the drapes so we can peek in. Films essentially allow us to be peeping Toms on lives imagined and real. They teach us, they inform us, they tug at us, they pull us in, they open our eyes to feelings and events that might have escaped us or that we've avoided.
Sometimes films make it unpleasant for us, and we squirm or cry or cringe or rage. Other times, of course, they sweep us into happy little fantasylands. We flock to the cinema, we are glued to our TVs and mobile devices.
In the Calendar section of my print edition of Sunday Los Angeles Times, there were a few letters responding to an article about a new film to be directed by Angelina Jolie that will debut on Christmas Day, called "Unbroken."
[I]n late 2012, [Jolie] stumbled on a talent agency's log line for "Unbroken," a feature adaptation of the Laura Hillenbrand blockbuster bestseller about the Olympic runner turned World War II bombardier Louis Zamperini, who survived 47 days in a life raft only to be tortured for more than two years as a Japanese prisoner of war.
Two of the three letters were positive, but the one that wasn't caught my eye. The Times doesn't post Calendar letters online, but here it is verbatim:
No more. It's time to stop making movies about Americans like Louis Zamperini who were tortured in Japanese prison camps. It's been almost 70 years since WWII ended. The people who did it are dead. Why make their descendants and an entire nation feel guilty again? The story's been told in print. Let it be. While we're at it, no more Nazi films either. We all know what happened.
Alrighty then. Where to begin?
It should be safe to assume that, per Mr. Bubnovich, period pieces are worthless, because, hey, those people are dead. Who needs to be reminded of days gone by anyway? Especially if they recount episodes from yesteryear that are unpleasant. Even if they're accurate representations. Especially if they're accurate representations.
So any movie recalling historical events? Pfft! Clearly, they should be history themselves. Why make, say, audiences that watched "Lincoln," "Twelve Years a Slave," The Butler," "Schindler's List," "Sophie's Choice, "Saving Private Ryan," or any other motion picture based on U.S. or world history "feel guilty again," right? "Let it be"!
The last thing we want is for moviegoers to learn anything, to feel anything about what took place before their time, to connect in any way, to feel any emotion whatsoever about major events that changed entire nations, to be reminded that those who came before us could be cruel, monstrous, or just plain stupid, because, guilt!
Ignorance is bliss.
Memo to Robert B: We don't "all know what happened." Just ask Holocaust deniers. And history revisionists. "The story's been told in print." But if you don't read, the story hasn't been told at all. Just ask Fox News [sic] devotees.
And those who do know often need a memory jolt so that they can apply life lessons and knowledge responsibly and avoid the costly mistakes others have made.
Ignoring our past will not make it go away or alleviate guilt, nor will it make our worst memories more palatable.
In short, this, Mr. Bubnovich, does way more harm than good:
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Here is the original post on Americans Against The Tea Party
Run by the Department of Homeland Security, Plum Island is a top secret facility. Situated on a tiny parcel of land lurking a mere ten miles off the coast of Connecticut, and two miles off the tip of New York's Long Island, this place is the epicenter of U.S. top-secret biowarfare research.
TRU TV reports this:
The U.S. government acknowledges that the island is home to a scientific facility. Its stated purpose is to study animal-borne diseases. But investigators are beginning to uncover startling new facts about this forbidding place. Insiders and ex-employees have come forward to tell their stories. From security breaches in germ labs, to escaped diseases and potential mass epidemics.
So just how safe are we from this facility? Here's an interesting thought. Do you remember the stories of the atrocities committed by the Nazi's during the war? Well what if they continued their abominable scientific experimentation after the war? And what if they took place on American soil and were not only condoned by the US Government but backed by them?
Welcome to Project Paperclip. If you thought Area 51 was some kind of freaky government secret facility...
This Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) recruited German scientists post-WWII. These (in many cases war criminals) and their families were relocated together on... wait for it, Plum Island.
From Project Paperclip's website:
TO: Members of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments
FROM: Advisory Committee Staff
DATE: April 5, 1995
RE: Post-World War II Recruitment of German Scientists - Project Paperclip
At least 1,600 scientists and their dependents were recruited and brought to the United States by Paperclip and its successor projects through the early 1970s.
In recent years, it has been alleged that many of these individuals were brought to the United States in violation of American government policy not to permit the entrance of "ardent Nazis" into the country, that many were security risks, and that at least some were implicated in Holocaust-related activities.
The reason we should be interested in this comes from the not-so-distant past outbreak of Lyme Disease. The disease is named after the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme, Connecticut, where a number of cases were identified in 1975. Those two cities are just a few miles from Plum Island.
From Rense Watch:
An important chapter in the story of how the inquiry into the possible link between Plum Island, Erich Traub's (resident of Plumb Island under Operation Paperclip) work on behalf of the US and the spread of Lyme Disease concerns the work of former Justice Department prosecutor John Loftus. In his book The Belarus Secret, Loftus referred to work done on Plum Island in the early 1950's in which Nazi scientists were experimenting on diseased ticks.
Well, if that's not cause to pause, consider this: the high potential for terrorist attack on this facility.
In 2002, Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood, well known for his contacts and sympathies for Taliban was captured in Afghanistan with a dossier in his possession on Plum Island.
His goal was to steal pathogens from Plum Island and turn them into a human biowarfare agent.
Ah, but the good Sultan wasn't alone in this germicide warfare. PJ MEDIA:
In 2008 Aafia Siddiqui was the FBI’s most wanted woman in the world. Now the U.S.-educated, Pakistani mother of three is being held in New York’s Metropolitan Detention Center facing attempted murder charges.Among the documents in her possession were handwritten notes referring to a “mass-casualty attack” listing locations commonly known to be targets: Wall Street, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, Plum Island and the Empire State Building.
Here's what our GAO (Government Accountability Office) reported on security at the Plum Island:
Security at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center has improved, but fundamental concerns leave the facility vulnerable to security breaches. First, Plum Island's physical security arrangements are incomplete and limited. Second, Plum Island officials have been assuming unnecessary risks by not adequately controlling access to areas where pathogens are located. Third, Plum Island's security response has limitations. For example, the guard force has been armed but has not had the authority from USDA to carry firearms or make arrests. Moreover, Plum Island's incident response plan does not consider the possibility of a terrorist attack.
One thing's for sure, this is one hell of a frightening and dangerous place. We can't keep sequester cuts and risk security at places like this. Maybe the conversations in Washington need to shift from budget cuts and government shutdowns to reinforcement and even whether or not there's a need for facilities like this one.
Grainy but fascinating. Via.
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