Mel Gibson Planning…a Jewish Action Movie?

Five years after Mel Gibson launched into a drunken, anti-Semitic tirade, he has a new movie in the works: An action flick about the life of second-century Jewish warrior Judah Maccabee, whose triumph over a tyrannical ruler is celebrated at Hanukkah.

The Los Angeles Times reported Gibson‘s production company has inked a deal with Warner Brothers for a movie on Maccabee’s life. Gibson will decide whether to direct it once the script is finished, and “has not ruled out the possibility that he could act in the film.”

Gibson’s camp described the movie as having similar themes to “Braveheart” and “The Patriot.”

According to the Times, Maccabee “has fascinated” Gibson for years, and at one point he considered doing the film as a follow up to 2004′s “The Passion of the Christ.”

The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg recalled speaking with Gibson a few years ago about his interest in the Maccabee story:

“I just read it when I was teenager, and it’s amazing. It’s almost like” — here, he grabbed my digital recorder, held it to his mouth, and spoke in a portentous movie-announcer voice — “They profaned his Temple. They killed his father. They… all kinds of stuff. In the face of great odds for something he believed in” — here he switched out of movie-announcer voice — “Oh, my God, the odds they faced. The armies they faced had elephants! How cinematic is this! Even Judah’s dad — what’s his name? Mattathias? — you kind of get this guy who more or less is trying to avoid the whole thing, but he just gets to a place where had enough, and he just snapped!”

Read more here.

“Sacrified Survivors”

College Threatens to Cancel 9/11 Tribute Unless Flags From Other Countries Are Included

An Ohio college reportedly threatened to cancel a Sept. 11 American flag memorial unless student organizers included flags from other countries that suffered losses in the attacks as well.

Sarah Snow, president of the Marietta College Republicans, told Human Events her organization planned to observe the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by putting up 2,977 small flags on the school’s grounds, one to commemorate each person who died.

After receiving initial permission from the college to hold the memorial, Snow, a junior, said she received a second email saying the vigil would not be allowed unless it also included flags from the other countries too.

In a post on the Young America’s Foundation website, an organization for conservative students, Snow said her “jaw dropped” when she read the email.

“Why should we place the extra flags anyways? It was an attack on AMERICANS, AMERICAN ideals, AMERICAN capitalism, defense, and freedom,” she wrote. “The World Trade Center wasn’t hit because a Chinese accountant was working that morning; it was hit because American capitalists were there.”

Read more here.

Union violence of little interest to media

Over 500 people “storm” private property, break windows and vandalize other property, wield baseball bats and crowbars, make death threats, and allegedly hold six guards hostage. Fifty law enforcement officers respond. U.S. Marshalls are placed on standby to enforce a related injunction issued by a federal judge.

It happened yesterday at a grain terminal at Port of Longview in southwest Washington State. The perpetrators? Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). The local police chief was quoted as saying, “A lot of the protesters were telling us this is only the start.”

Not surprisingly, the incident didn’t garner much national attention. Imagine how the coverage by the so-called mainstream media would have differed had anything even remotely similar occurred at a gathering of people of a different political persuasion, say those Tea Party SOBs.

Union violence is not rare. The National Institute for Labor Relations (NILR) has collected over 9,000 reports of union violence since 1975 and the actual number is much higher–by as much as a factor of ten. Only a fraction of such offenses result in arrest and conviction.

On Monday, Teamsters Union president James Hoffa proudly declared, “The one thing about working people is we like a good fight.” (Fight, not good, being the operative word.). Echoing Hoffa, ILWU President Bob McEllrath said “It shouldn’t be a crime to fight for good jobs in America.”

The fight crowd has certain federal legal precedent on its side of the ring. According to NILR, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Enmons decision, among other factors, makes prosecution of union violence difficult. According to the Cato Institute, violence “deemed to be in furtherance of “legitimate” union objectives” is exempt from prosecution under federal anti-extortion laws. Offenders can be charged and prosecuted under state and other federal laws, but the scales of “justice” in such instances, just like our federal government’s overall pro-union rather than union-neutral stance, are tipped in favor of organized labor. Until that changes, we’ll get more of the rot such laws and regulations have wrought.

Many Afghans Shrug at ‘This Event Foreigners Call 9/11’

he Sept. 11 attacks that triggered the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan also uprooted 16-year-old Abdul Ghattar from his village in war-torn Helmand province, bringing him to a desolate refugee camp on the edge of Kabul.

Yet Mr. Ghattar stared blankly when asked whether he knew about al Qaeda’s strike on the U.S., launched a decade ago from Afghan soil.

“Never heard of it,” he shrugged as he lined up for water at the camp’s well, which serves thousands of fellow refugees. “I have no idea why the Americans are in my country.”

In a nearby tent that is the camp’s school, his teacher, 22-year-old Mullah Said Nabi Agha, didn’t fare much better. He said he has never seen the iconic image of the Twin Towers burning. He was vaguely aware that some kind of explosion had occurred in America.

“I was a child when it happened, and now I am an adult, and the Americans are still here,” Mr. Agha said. “I think the Americans did it themselves, so they could invade Afghanistan.”

The teacher’s view is by no means rare here. The events of Sept. 11, 2001, of course, are known to educated Afghans, and to many residents of big cities. But that isn’t always the case elsewhere in a predominantly rural country where 42% of the population is under the age of 14, and 72% of adults are illiterate. With few villages reached by television or electricity, news here is largely spread by word of mouth.‬

Such opinions highlight a contrast between American and Afghan perspectives on the longest foreign war in U.S. history, one that killed thousands of Afghans and, at the latest count, claimed the lives of 1,760 U.S. troops.

They also explain the Taliban’s ability to rally popular support—in part by seizing the narrative to portray the war not as one triggered by America’s need for self-defense, but as one of colonial aggression by infidels lusting for Afghanistan’s riches.

“The Islamic Emirate wages a lawful struggle for the defense of its religion, country and soil,” the Taliban’s leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, told Afghans last month on the occasion of the Islamic Eid al-Fitr holiday.

According to a survey of 15- to 30-year-old men in the two southern provinces where President Barack Obama sent the bulk of American surge troops, 92% of respondents said they didn’t know about “this event which the foreigners call 9/11” after being read a three-paragraph description of the attacks.

Read more here.

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