ME: A day after watching the weird powerful ugly transcendent, poppy “tedious” gorgeous classical absurd, profoundly absurd, I’m so sure was absolutely spot on when he said with deepest modesty, “I am the best film director in the world.”

IndieWire –

Lars von Trier’s ‘The House That Jack Built’ Breaks MPAA Rule, IFC Now Faces Sanctions

The unrated director’s cut of “The House That Jack Built” played in theaters November 28, but the MPAA says distributor IFC violated a rule to screen the film.

https://www.indiewire.com/2018/11/lars-von-trier-house-that-jack-built-breaks-mpaa-rule-ifc-sanctions-1202023923/

 

With Hold the Dark, Netflix’s Original Movies Are Finally Getting Interesting
SEPTEMBER 28, 2018 8:22 AM
by TAYLOR ANTRIM, VOGUE

“Hold the Dark, which starts streaming today, is the first of this new class of films, and it’s a fascinating hybrid of thriller, horror, and slow-burn psychological drama. It’s the third feature from 42-year-old filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier, whose last movie, Green Room, was riveting: a bloody story of a hard-core punk band menaced by a gang of white supremacists. That movie (and his first, the disquieting revenge thriller Blue Ruin) were tightly wound genre exercises. Hold the Dark is something weirder, looser, and more ambitious, a sprawling story set in Alaska about wildness, violence, and the ties that bind.

Based on a 2014 novel by William Giraldi and starring Jeffrey Wright and Alexander Skarsgård, the film is set in a snowy landscape where wolves prowl and the Alaskan frontier citizenry is armed to the teeth. A young mother, Medora, played by a haunted-looking Riley Keough, contacts a nature writer and wolf expert named Russell Core (a brooding, heavily bearded Wright) in anguish, saying her son has been carried off by a wolf pack. The boy’s father (Skarsgård) is away soldiering, and she’s on her own, and peculiar for sure—if the wooden wolf masks hanging on her living room walls are any indication…”

Trump wants to see the death penalty come “into vogue” again. He’s wanted that for years.The president has a longstanding fascination with capital punishment.
By Jennifer Hijazi Oct 28, 2018, VOX

” … The president’s support — bordering on fascination — for capital punishment goes back decades. In the 1980s, when Trump was a fixture of New York City’s real estate community and social scene, he took out an $85,000 full-page ad in the New York Times calling for the death penalty for five teenage boys who were suspects in the brutal rape of a female jogger in Central Park. The boys came to be known as the Central Park Five.

The ad, which was released before the boys even faced trial, read:

I want to hate these muggers and murderers. They should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes. They must serve as examples so that others will think long and hard before committing a crime or an act of violence.

After its release, the boys underwent intense interrogation without food, water, or sleep, and were coerced into a confession. They spent 13 years in prison, only to later be absolved of the crime after a confession and DNA evidence surfaced in 2002.”

MLB

The Dodgers Might Be Outsmarting Themselves

10.25.2018 Barry Petchesky

On Tuesday, the Dodgers became the first team in baseball history to open a World Series with their four leading home-run hitters on the bench. On Wednesday, they did it again. L.A. is now down 0-2, and is hitting just .175 in this World Series, and has just one measly extra-base hit. It’s possible the Red Sox merely needed to start a pair of lefties, any lefties, for the Dodgers to go ahead and beat themselves...”

– the first pirate website in the world to provide mass and public access to tens of millions of research papers

A research paper is a special publication written by scientists to be read by other researchers. Papers are primary sources neccessary for research – for example, they contain detailed description of new results and experiments.

Public distribution of research papers is artificially restrained by copyright laws. To confront this, the Sci-Hub service, starting from 5 September 2011, opens any paper for free reading, effectively bypassing any restrictions or paywalls.

By this time Sci-Hub has collected more than 70 million research papers on our library, and it’s growing. Articles are free to read for any visitor.

Our mission is to remove any barrier which is impeding the widest possible distribution of knowledge in human society!

By Kevin Cooper.

“There is no place in a civilized society for capital punishment. That’s why actual civilized societies around the world do not have, use or endorse capital punishment. Twenty U.S. states ban capital punishment, the latest being Washington, whose Supreme Court ruled Oct. 11 that the ultimate penalty was “invalid because it is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner.” A University of Washington study found that black defendants are about four times more likely to get the death penalty in Washington than white offenders. Racial disparity in sentencing is common throughout the criminal justice system nationwide.

People in the federal government and some U.S. states that endorse capital punishment, along with death penalty advocates, actually believe that they are civilized, even though they use an uncivilized method of murder. They have been historically fooled into believing that civilized people do not do uncivilized things to other people. However, no one should doubt that capital punishment and all of the mental, emotional, psychological and physical torture that is done to human beings using this form of killing is uncivilized.

Many people around the world and in this country are dumbfounded by the hypocrisy of this line of thinking, including me. In order to learn the true meaning of the word “civilized,” I had to go to my dictionary, because civilized people do not knowingly first torture and then murder their fellow man or woman; they just don’t. That’s uncivilized.

The death penalty by its very nature is meant to torture people, no matter what its form. This man-made evil, this torturous death, has everyone who is facing it, especially when they are strapped to a chair or a gurney, asking the same question that Jesus Christ asked when he was strapped and nailed to that cross: “My God, why have you forsaken me?”

How do I know? Because I asked God that same question when I was being mentally, emotionally and psychologically tortured in 2004 by the prison guard executioner at the prison where I have been detained, when the next step for me was the last step, the actual physical torture by lethal injection. When a human being is put through a sick state ritual of legal murder by the staff of a prison—that is truly uncivilized.”

( https://www.truthdig.com/articles/is-america-civilized-not-as-long-as-it-sanctions-the-death-penalty/ )

[ Full disclosure — I agree utterly with the ACLU — Capital Punishment “inherently violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment and the guarantees of due process of law and of equal protection under the law…” ]

“When the state Supreme Court threw out the death penalty the other day, the justices’ opinions naturally focused on weighty constitutional questions, about equal rights and the proportionality of punishment in our criminal-justice system. But most of the four-year-long case that led to the landmark ruling was consumed by a far less lofty question: Is Katherine Beckett legit? …” Who, you ask? That’s what she was wondering. “I had no idea that my work, or questions about my competence, would become so central to a constitutional death-penalty case,” Beckett told me Friday. “So to have it come out the way it did … it was exhausting and suspenseful, but in the end, extremely gratifying.”

 

 

Synopsis

Background: Defendant was convicted by a jury in the Superior Court, Pierce County, No. 98-1-04967-9, Rosanne Buckner, J., 2001 WL 36139241, of aggravated first-degree murder and sentenced to death. Defendant appealed, and the Supreme Court, Bridge, J., 158 Wash.2d 759, affirmed conviction but reversed sentence and remanded for resentencing to the Superior Court, which impaneled new jury and resentenced defendant to death. Defendant filed appeal, which the Supreme Court consolidated with its statutorily-required review of all death sentences.
Holdings: The Supreme Court, Fairhurst, C.J., held that:
1 defendant could establish that state’s death penalty violated both federal and state constitutions, and thus the Court would resolve defendant’s challenge to death penalty under state constitution;
2 state’s death penalty was imposed in arbitrary and racially biased manner, and was thus unconstitutional as applied under state constitution; abrogating State v. Cross, 156 Wash. 2d 580, 132 P.3d 80 (2006); State v. Yates, 161 Wash. 2d 714, 168 P.3d 359 (2007); State v. Davis, 175 Wash. 2d 287, 290 P.3d 43 (2012); In re Cross, 180 Wash. 2d 664, 327 P.3d 660 (2014);
3 state’s death penalty, as administered, failed to serve legitimate penological goals, and was thus unconstitutional as applied under state constitution; and
4 decisions regarding propriety of search warrant and orders to obtain physical evidence used in prosecution of defendant were law of the case, barring review by the Court.
Death sentences converted.

State v. Gregory, No. 88086-7, 2018 WL 4925588 (Wash. Oct. 11, 2018).

 

 

 

 

Auty, Katherine M., Aiden Cope, and Alison Liebling. “A systematic review and meta-analysis of yoga and mindfulness meditation in prison: Effects on psychological well-being and behavioural functioning.” International journal of offender therapy and comparative criminology 61.6 (2017): 689-710.

Abstract: “This article presents results from a systematic review and two meta-analyses that examine whether prison yoga and meditation programs are significantly related to increased psychological well-being and improvements in the behavioural functioning of prisoners. Comprehensive searches of the empirical literature were conducted up to December 2014. Participants who completed yoga or meditation program in prison experienced a small increase in their psychological well-being (Cohen’s d = 0.46, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [0.39, 0.54]) and a small improvement in their behavioural functioning (Cohen’s d = 0.30, 95% CI = [0.20, 0.40]). Moderator analyses suggested that there was a significant difference in effect sizes for programs of longer duration and less intensity, compared with those that were shorter and more intensive, for psychological well-being. Programs of longer duration had a slightly larger positive effect on behavioural functioning (d = 0.424), compared with more intensive programs (d = 0.418). Overall, the evidence suggests that yoga and meditation have favourable effects on prisoners.”

Keywords yogaprisonVipassanameditationpsychological well-beingbehavioural functioning

 

 

 

Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept (2.6.2018) – Citing U.S. Prison Conditions, British Appeals Court Refuses to Extradite Accused Hacker Lauri Love to the U.S.

A BRITISH APPEALS court on Monday rejected demands from the U.S. government for the extradition of an accused British hacker, Lauri Love, citing the inability of U.S. prisons to humanely and adequately treat his medical and mental health ailments. Extradition to the U.S., the court ruled, would be “oppressive by reason of his physical and mental condition.  Rejecting the prosecutor’s pleas that “the British courts should trust the United States to provide what it said it would provide” in order to secure Love’s health and safety, the court instead invoked extensive medical and psychological testimony that conditions inside American prisons are woefully inadequate to treat Love’s ailments. As a result, extradition and incarceration inside the U.S. prison system would exacerbate those health issues and produce a high risk of suicide…”

Wow ~ Perhaps the most beautiful podcast ever flows from behind San Quentin’s walls ~ Episode Nine: Gold Coats and OGS:

“Dealing with aging and death is never easy. But in prison, these issues are fraught with extra challenges, both emotional and physical. Meet two inmates serving extended sentences who grapple with the idea of dying in prison, and have also stepped up to take care of their fellow aging prisoners. Sound design for this episode is by Antwan Williams, with extra music tracks supplied by JB Burton. Thanks to Lonnie Morris, Richard Lathan and Andres Eric Watson, for sharing their stories. And special thanks to Anthony Marzett for being on the receiving end of of Andres’ shit talk. Here’s the transcript, and you can download the episode here. And thanks to Mail ChimpSquarespace and Texture for supporting Ear Hustle.”

https://www.earhustlesq.com/episodes/2017/10/11/gold-coats-and-ogs

The Scum Manifestoby Valerie Solanas

From the back cover of the Phoenix Press booklet: “Valerie Solanas’ SCUM Manifesto was written in 1967 and published in 1968, the year she shot and wounded Andy Warhol. The text used here is that of the 1983 edition of the Manifesto that was published by the Matriarchy Study Group.”

“Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex.”

Why the Phrase ‘Late Capitalism’ Is Suddenly Everywhere – An investigation into a term that seems to perfectly capture the indignities and absurdities of the modern economy, The Atlantic, by Annie Lowrey (May 1, 2017)

““Late capitalism,” in its current usage, is a catchall phrase for the indignities and absurdities of our contemporary economy, with its yawning inequality and super-powered corporations and shrinking middle class. But what is “late capitalism,” really? Where did the phrase come from, and why did so many people start using it all of a sudden?”

The Sister and the Lifers – Father Greg Boyle famously reaches out to gangbangers. Few know Sister Mary Sean Hodges, but her ministry is just as critical—helping men sentenced to life terms reenter the world, Los Angeles Magazine, by Miles Corwin (February 2, 2017)

“With its three-strikes law and draconian parole system—one of four states where the governor has final authority on parole decisions—California had long been a national leader in tough-on-crime policies. Shortly after Gray Davis took office, he announced that “if you take someone else’s life, forget it,” then blocked most of the recommendations for parole that crossed his desk. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s approach was less harsh, but he still reversed 70 percent of the parole requests approved by the state board. Jerry Brown, however, has let stand more than 80 percent of the parole board’s decisions, with more lifers released in Los Angeles County due to its size than in any other part of the state. Brown, a former seminarian, has emphasized that redemption is the core of his Catholic faith, and he believes people can change. But the laws have changed as well.

In 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that prisoners could not be denied parole based solely on the viciousness of their crimes. There must be evidence, the court said, that the prisoner continues to be a threat to public safety. Brown was also facing pressure from federal courts to reduce the state’s dangerously overcrowded prisons, and he signed a bill in 2012 that allows some prisoners to petition for resentencing if they had been incarcerated as youths and sentenced to life without parole. That same year voters passed Proposition 36, allowing reduced sentences for three-strikes prisoners serving life sentences for a nonviolent third strike.

Some victim’s rights advocates have decried the changes as a threat to public safety, but a Stanford study found that of 860 murderers paroled between 1990 and 2010 who were tracked by the university, only 5 committed new crimes and none were convicted of murder. Criminologists attribute this partly to the average age—the mid-fifties—of the lifers being released.

“We know that many prisoners age out of crime,” says Christine Scott-Hayward, assistant professor of criminology at Cal State Long Beach. “There’s an age-crime curve. It’s not that older people don’t commit crimes, but they commit far fewer. The peak age in the crime curve is the twenties and the early thirties. When you’ve served an extensive amount of time in prison and then get out, you’re no longer as great a risk to society. Parole officers have said some of the easiest people to supervise are ex-lifers who committed a murder. In some of the cases it was a one-off, and the circumstances that led to the murder have changed.”

Blakinger, Keri. “Houston: Ground zero for the death penalty; Study shows Harris County is; most active in capital punishment, driven by district attorney choices.” Houston Chronicle (TX), 27 Nov. 2017, Houston, A, p. A002.

[Photo Below By Pat Sullivan, STF. In this May 27, 2008 file photo, the gurney in Huntsville, Texas, where Texas’ condemned are strapped down to receive a lethal dose of drugs is shown. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, viewed historically as little more than a speedbump on condemned inmates’ road to the death chamber, in recent weeks has halted the lethal injection of four inmates with execution dates approaching. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)]