As a further financial twist, the state still owes the general his regular pension, which he never received (as a fugitive). Handsome lump-sums have paid by and to the other citizens of the state — mainly, blood money for his victims.
And what about the dead? Do they have a price? Gone without a name, many of them still without graves since their bodies, dismembered and scattered all over the territory are still being sought. The silence of the ghosts is loud as ever in this moment of joy and victory.
There is no possible compromise on health care and the myth of Obama as a “post-partisan” president is exactly that – a myth. The health care industry generates billions of dollars in profits and many people are seething that these profits might be curtailed. This issue can never be negotiated in Washington back rooms as there are huge interests vested in the status quo – such as the big insurance companies, health maintenance organizations and pharmaceutical giants. Like many social changes, for this one there will be winners and losers and an historic battle will determine the outcome.
As Obama noted in his message to supporters, “In politics, there’s a rule that says when you ask people to get involved, always tell them it’ll be easy. Well, let’s be honest here: Passing comprehensive health insurance reform will not be easy. Every President since Harry Truman has talked about it, and the most powerful and experienced lobbyists in Washington stand in the way.” But this time Obama has what those presidents lacked: the Internet and a powerful social movement that potentially can shift the relationship of forces in America away from the traditional entrenched interests towards the needs of the population.
When “The Hurt Locker” screened at SXSW, I thought it was one of the better films I’d seen in years, and Jeremy Renner established himself as a world-class – not just actior but presence. While Katherine Bigelow has always been a sklled action director, she’s never quite had story and actors equal to her ability. In “The Hurt Locker” she shows the other side of post-traumatic stress. Renner plays a detonation pro who embraces, is almost addicted to, the stresses of modern war experienced through his job, one of the most dangerous in today’s field of battle, defusing bombs planted in and around the streets of the city. Even inside the citizens, as we see in one literally gut-wrenching scene. Put this film at the top of your list – one of the year’s best.
Here’s one of the vids: