Six Stars & Beyond–A Mind-Altering Cinematographic Phenomenon, September 8, 2011
I bought this on the recommendation of a reader-reviewer at Amazon, shortly after I reviewed A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness. Normally I defer to other reviewers for something like this, and just do a short review for the record to join the other 100+ DVDs for smart people that I recommend at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, but in this instance, I am not satisfied with the top-rated review; they do not do the combination of acting, story, and cinematographic representation justice.
I watched this movie twice, the first time on background (a second screen), suffering through very low sound until I finally realized that it is imperative to use the DVD software controls to set it on stereo (at least for my configuration–if you get very low sound it is not a defective DVD, you just need to run through the audio settings); and then a second time.
Here are some of the things I would itemize about what makes this one of the most extraordinary movies I have watched in my 59 years.
And Carrie-Anne Moss (Amazon stinks at listing all authors and actors)
5.0 out of 5 stars
Astonishing–Riveting–Thought Provoking–Beyond Five Stars
May 28, 2010
EDIT of 27 August 2010: The Intelligence Science Board, the top advisory board to the Director of National Intelligence, has just come out with firm documented conclusions against coercive interviewing and absolutely demanding non-coercive interviewing. People like Col stuart Harrington and I have known this for decades, but it is nice to have the following (full links at Phi Beta Iota):
The ISB study notably dissected the “ticking time bomb” scenario that is often portrayed in television thrillers (and which has “captured the public imagination”). The authors patiently explained why that hypothetical scenario is not a sensible guide to interrogation policy or a justification for torture. Moral considerations aside, the ISB report said, coercive interrogation may produce unreliable results, foster increased resistance, and preclude the discovery of unsuspected intelligence information of value (pp. 40-42).
Bottom line: all of you that hate this review (shoot the messenger) have the best of intentions but you have absolutely no clue about real-life. Intelligence, not ideology, should be restoring America the Beautiful. That will not happen until We the People wake up and recognize that there is a two-party tryanny owned and operated by Wall Street, and we are being treated as expendable pigs.
Edit of 28 June 2010: the voting on this review appears to mirror the divide in America between left of center and right of center, with no dialog. I encourage a dialog in the comments section and will respond on a daily basis. The world is NOT “win-lose,” it is only “lose-lose” or “win-win” or what one author calls “Non-Zero.” We can either die as a species, or live as a species, there is no “eugenics” possible as much as Henry Kissinger (who can never return to France) might like the term. There is only one “we.” What we lack right now is educated leaders with open minds who have integrity. This topic–torture–and this review–against torture of Americans by Americans–and these votes–American against American–are a window into our soul and what I am seeing is no basis for happiness.
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I am 57 years old, been a spy, did Viet-Nam (63-67) as the son of an oil man going through ten coups d'etat, did El Salvador where I was personally threatened with assassination by the guys running the country who did not like me talking to leftists, and so on. I am also one of the handful of Americans who signed the letter to Senator John “POWS in VN? What POWs” McCain against torture. The thousand five hundred non-fiction reviews I have done all serve as a foundation for saying that this movie is a MUST SEE for every American.
For some time now I have felt that the US Government is out of touch with the American public, out of touch with reality, and out of touch with ethics. Ethics is a really important word that has been central to my life these past twenty years as I along with a number of others have realized that most of what the US Government does in the way of both secret intelligence and global military operations is unethical, unprofessional, unrealistic, predatory, and generally a waste of the taxpayers' money.
This movie is not like Sum of All Fears or Live Free or Die Hard (Unrated Edition) or any of the other good guys win in the end movies. This movie focuses on our soul as seen in torture, and it very ably calls into question the idiocy of US foreign policy these past fifty years.
Although the essays date back to 1994 this book (and the one above) are both published in 2008 and I will first testify that this is a fresh book, very ably strung together, and it does indeed address the fundamentals.
I totally share the author's conviction that the war on drugs is a fraud that is in fact both a war on blacks and a means of populating the prison-slavery complex. I appeared in the DVD American Drug War: The Last White Hope testifying against the CIA for precisely this reason–the author does not discuss, but I am aware of, the close relation between laundered drug money and Wall Street liquidity, and I absolutely one hundred percent support both the legalization of drugs beginning with marijuana, and the eradication of SWAT teams and other forms of excessive militarization across America.
Get Herman or Bozeman or Quiggin or Steele Instead,
December 29, 2006
I am a publisher, an author, and an intelligence professional.
This book undoubtedly has good content, but the publisher has been grotesquely irresponsible in pricing it out of reach of individual scholars and citizens and government officials seeking to continue their education.
As a publisher, I am happy to inform the prospective buyer that in lots of 2,500, hard copy books including color jackets and flaps, can be printed for a penny a page. Amazon pays publishers 40%. Hence, this book, sold at $35, would yield the publisher $15.70 or so, minus the printing cost of no more than $5, hence a $10 profit, entirely reasonable for a book.
What price knowledge? What price a lack of ethics among publishers?
See my lists and my many reviews for more honorable affordable knowledge.
All of my books are free online and prices to cover costs at Amazon.
This is the second best of several books on environmental policy I have reviewed, and it merits careful scrutiny in part because it brings together a number of expert authors and there is in essence “something for everyone” in this edited work. What is lacks, though, is a good summary chapter that lists how the “precautionary principle” should be applied across each of the top ten environmental areas of concern–something that could circulate more easily than the book, and perhaps have a beneficial policy impact at the local, state, and national levels–and I suggest this because the meat of the book is good, it needs an executive summary.
The chapter that was most meaningful to me, the one that I think needs to be migrated into business education, international affairs education, science & technology policy education, is by Gordon K. Durnil, Chapter 16, and it deal with “How Much Information Do We Need Before Exercising Precaution.” This is a brilliant piece of work that dissects our current environmental policy information collection, processing, and analysis system, and finds it very deceptive, disingenuous, and consequently seriously flawed.
For the best on the environment, read Pandora's Poison. For the best on public health, read Betrayal of Trust. For a very fine cross-over book that has good chapters from various good people, this is the book to buy and enjoy.