Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It’s not about the system crushing individual expression, but about the power of an individual in the face of forces greater than himself...

One thing is clear — Ai Weiwei’s story could not be possible without the Internet.

Ai Weiwei: Evolution of a Dissident: The filmmaker Alison Klayman presents an exclusive look at Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei and his struggle for the freedom of expression.


Published: January 22, 2012

 I have always believed that the story of the dissident artist Ai Weiwei is not about how censorship stifles creativity, but rather how one artist is able to work around such obstacles. It’s not about the system crushing individual expression, but about the power of an individual in the face of forces greater than himself. One thing is clear — Ai Weiwei’s story could not be possible without the Internet. We cannot imagine an Ai Weiwei without the megaphone of blogs and Twitter, without the ability to communicate instantaneously and connect to like-minded netizens around China and the globe.

Ai Weiwei told me recently that he thinks the government’s decision to detain him for 81 days last year and keep him under strict bail conditions ever since is completely related to his effective use of the Internet to communicate his views and exchange ideas with others.

He told me: “If not for my use of the Internet, I would just be an artist trying to put up a canvas in a gallery or a museum, which has almost no influence for the majority of society. It’s only because I acted on the Internet that the pressure comes. It made a lot of people feel scared, because they can never really stop my influence on the netizens.”

That’s why I made my first feature documentary, “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” — to record what happens when someone makes the choice to speak openly and provocatively and face down the consequences, as Ai Weiwei and so many other human rights lawyers, writers, activists and young netizens do every day in China. I hope to inspire new discussions about the role of art, social media, underground documentary and creative forms of resistance in our interconnected world.

Alison Klayman directed and produced the feature documentary, “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,” which premieres at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Ms. Klayman lived in China from 2006 to 2010, working as a freelance journalist. She speaks Mandarin and Hebrew and is a graduate of Brown University.

This video was produced by independent filmmakers supported in part by the nonprofit Sundance Institute.



Convulsions in Israel said...

Jerusalem has a new police chief who is not afraid to take on the Charedim. He got practice in dealing with the Religious Zionists who resisted the unfair Gaza Evacuation that earned Arik Sharon a "stroke from Heaven"!

No matter. The police chief is still around and he is not enamored with the Charedim. As long as they were quiet he was not going after them. But when they go nuts and react like wild mobs tantruming to get their way like 5 year olds, the new police chief has no mercy. He sends in his troops and so it's reported that at least 100 Charedim are now in Jerusalem's jails. This is one reason that the Charedim have taken to the streets and put on their now notorious fake "Nazi concentration camp" Purim outfits since they think that the world "thinks" like they do and will come to their help to stop the arrests and jailings of Charedim for various crimes and misdemeanors relating to public misconduct, resisting arrest, and hooliganism.

The Charedim have lost this PR war! They can't throw stones, spit at little girls, taunt and swear at young women who don't move to the back of the buses or who won't move to the other side of the free streets of Israel, and then expect that after a day of spitting, stoning, cursing and acting like wild baboons, that somehow or other they will then get the "sympathy" of the world when they dress up in fake made-in-China "concentration camp" cloth and wave PLO flags, call the Israeli government "Nazis" and think that this will somehow "promote" their cause.

So it only gets worse. The new police chief is rightly not impressed with Charedi antics. He has arrested top honchos in the vaunted holy sanctum of the Eidah HaChareidis and put them on notice that they are playing with fire.

The Charedim, not to be outdone, with the same level of Israeli chutzpa that they share with all Israelis (ha! Zionist or "non-Zionist" Israelis all have lots of chutzpa), and scream that they will now try to "fill the jails" as a new dumb tactic. So much for analogies to Nazism, because no one ever heard of any Jews who were so "fed up" with the real German Nazis, that they "protested" by asking to be sent to it's Gestapo-run jails and real SS-run concentration camps.

And so the heat is ratcheted up as the wild monkeys climb higher up the poles and think that they are "winning points" when they are just acting like vilde chayos and dumb animals!

Adelson bets against the Mormons said...

National Journal:

"Newt's Billionaire Benefactor to Drop Another $5M

By Chris Frates
January 23, 2012

Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson plans to give the pro-Newt Gingrich super PAC Winning Our Future another $5 million, Jon Ralston reports. That money will help the super PAC compete against the pro-Mitt Romney Restore Our Future PAC, which has already spent $4.4 million hammering Gingrich in Florida. Winning Our Future has yet to spend a dime in Florida, according to ProPublica's tally.

Ralston reports in the Las Vegas Sun:

Gondolier Numero Uno Sheldon Adelson, through his wife, will give Newt Gingrich's SuperPAC another $5 million, a source close to Adelson confirmed today.

That makes $10 million from the man who built the Venetian (in Vegas and Macau!) to help his old friend, the former speaker.

My guess is so long as Gingrich stays competitive, Adelson, the eighth richest man in America, will be there to help through Winning Our Future. And in so doing, he will keep Gingrich, whom he has known for a decade and a half, competitive with Mitt Romney's money machine."

The road to war with Iran 30 said...


Danger Room: What's Next In National Security:

"Exclusive: New U.S. Commando Team Operating Near Iran

By Spencer Ackerman
January 19, 2012
Categories: Shadow Wars

[Photo: U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ashley Myers]

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran are at a high point, as the Islamic Republic threatens to close off a vital waterway and two U.S. aircraft carrier battle groups sit in the seas off the Iranian coast. But across the Persian Gulf, the U.S. has a previously unacknowledged weapon in reserve: a new special operations team.

Danger Room has confirmed with the U.S. Special Operations Command that a new elite commando team is operating in the region. The primary, day-to-day mission of the team, known as Joint Special Operations Task Force-Gulf Cooperation Council, is to mentor military units belonging to the U.S.’ oil-rich Arab allies, who collectively are known as the Gulf Cooperation Council. Those Arab states consider Iran to be their primary foreign threat.

The task force provides “highly trained personnel that excel in uncertain environments,” Maj. Rob Bockholt, a spokesman for special-operations forces in the Mideast, tells Danger Room, and “seeks to confront irregular threats.” The U.S. military has not previously acknowledged the existence of the team, known as JSOTF-GCC for short.

The unit began its existence in mid-2009 — around the time that the Iranian leadership rejected President Obama’s offer of a new diplomatic dialogue and underwent a serious internal challenge to its legitimacy from Green Movement protesters. But whatever the task force does about Iran — or might do in the future — is a sensitive subject with the military.

“It would be inappropriate to discuss operational plans regarding any particular nation,” Bockholt says about Iran.

...Col. Tim Nye, the chief spokesman for the U.S. Special OperationsCommand, says the task force is responsible “for coordinating all SOF [Special Operations Forces] engagements and training with Gulf Cooperation Council nations.”

The special operations forces of those nations have shown a notable improvement over the past year. Qatari commandos quietly traveled to Libya ahead of Moammar Gadhafi’s downfall to prepare Libyan rebels for the successful capture of Tripoli. The United Arab Emirates, another close U.S. ally, has also made its elite forces a priority, even hiring Blackwater’s founder to bolster their training.

Not many details are available about the task force. It’s built around Naval Special Warfare Unit Three, one of the elite Navy SEAL teams. But the “Joint” in the task force’s name signals that it draws from the special-operations forces in the Army, Air Force and Marines as well. Its commander is a Navy captain or equivalent in a different service.

...The Iranians are threatening to close off the Strait of Hormuz, the sea lane through which a fifth of the world’s oil travels, as two U.S. aircraft carrier battle groups float nearby. And when the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says the U.S. could reopen the waterway by force, there might be an elite commando team nearby to help do it."

Adelson Kicks Out Who He Doesn't Like said...

Adelson;s last project was to oust the criminal Olmert.