Chronicles the recurring patterns of disenfranchisement witnessed from 2000 to 2004 while following the story of Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who not only took an active role in investigating these election debacles but also found herself in the middle of one after publicly questioning the Bush Administration about the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
Although the idea isn’t new — it’s essentially another “Blair Witch Project” knockoff — “American Blackout” seems especially well timed, and perfectly tailored to the semi-hysterical nature of the media zeitgeist.
Perhaps that’s because so many Americans seem panicky these days, which, as a historian notes in the “American Experience”-shingled Welles docu, tends to happen during periods of heightened anxiety — in the case of “War of the Worlds,” the Depression and tumult in Europe; and more recently, the Cold War and Sept.
Ultimately, though, the movie, written by Emily Ballou and Ewan Morrison, and directed by Jonathan Rudd, is a minor triumph of editing, sound and cinematography, deftly weaving the actual footage together with the fictional material in a way that seems mostly plausible, and extremely visceral. That said, one has to suspend a certain amount of disbelief, like the fact people conveniently continue to run their phones and cameras even when faced with perilous situations, where having two free hands might be the more logical reaction. The irony is that while “American Blackout” proves compelling by hewing closely to reality, “War of the Worlds” veers off course by indulging in excessive dramatization — having actors, shot in a facsimile of grainy black-and-white, relate sentiments expressed via letters to Welles and CBS after the famed broadcast. It’s a terrible choice in an otherwise highly enjoyable hour that captures Welles’ astonishing genius at such an early age, and how an already spooked populace was ripe to be sent into a tizzy — in much the way, frankly, segments of our polarized society, obsessing in their own private little chat rooms, are today. TV movies have a long history of creatively tapping into deep-seated fears, from “Special Bulletin” to “The Day After.” “American Blackout” obviously doesn’t approach that level of ambition, or the legendary qualities of Welles’ radio play.
In that respect, amid a deluge of Halloween-themed fare, it’s one genuinely worth watching with the lights off — or at least, turned way down low. I ran a Google query to find out what Fox News Channel is saying about Operation American Spring. I will admit that sometimes Fox News makes editorial decisions based on its Republican bias, but in the case of Operation American Spring, I think that the lack of coverage at Fox (and CNN and MSNBC and the hometown Washington Post) is not a matter of editorial bias, but that it’s just not a real story. It’s always useful to keep in mind the difference between real law enforcement, real lawyers, real forensic document examiners and real journalists—compared to citizen bloggers like me.1 I expect that real journalists have made some calls to people in the know to find out whether there is anything to “Operation American Spring” beyond some web sites and social media. I understand that there is somebody in front of the White House protesting something every day, so that in and of itself protest is not news. Of course, the Operation American Spring folks aren’t building anything, but rather are trying to tear something down, something that for all it’s failings, is much beloved by my country folk: the Constitution, the ballot and the rule of law.
1It’s also worth noting the difference between real community organizers and keyboard astroturfers. There are 32 different federal law enforcement agencies that have jurisdiction over some part of Washington, DC. They say that the 10,000,000 people coming will not be in groups that large—sounds to me like a lame excuse for a lack of organization. I think it’s hilarious whenever FOX studiously ignores the looniest of the way out right’s lunacy. Well if we assume that packed in evenly and given barely enough room just to breathe, but not enough to actually move or function in any way, a human requires 5 sq ft to stand and not die. Estimating crowd size at DC events became so controversial after the original Million Man March in 1995 that the Park Police and the Metro Police no longer offer estimates. I really don’t think there is any mystery in why Fox is ignoring OAS any more than any of the rest of the news crowd, there just plain isn’t anything there.


Reports on OAS web sites say that they haven’t even applied for demonstration permits (required for groups of 20 or more).2 They say that the 10,000,000 people coming will not be in groups that large—sounds to me like a lame excuse for a lack of organization.
You also alluded to but didn’t actually mention that this method of calculation you used would require that Washingtonians take hundreds of people into their homes to make every one fit. It isn’t possible, but it sounds nice to birther ears, and really, that is all that matters. If they really claim there will be more than half a million demonstrations of less than 20 people each, they are either way off their rockers or think that without any organisation, they can pull off a way to automatically spread these small groups across all of D.C. Fox may have learned its lesson after foolishly hyping last fall’s trucker protest, only to find it fizzle. I think the truckers got some outsized media publicity because they hit one of the nerves of a metropolitan area: an even slightly credible threat of a traffic problem.
Operation American Spring aims to pressure those lawmakers who remain – or are replaced by officials of their own choosing – “to sponsor and pass very Constitutionally crafted State legislation to dissolve the size, powers, scope and spending of the U.S.
The activists say they expect 10 million to 30 million like-minded Americans to join them Friday in the nation’s capital for a rally patterned after Occupy Wall Street and “Arab Spring” protests. Or, as a blogger speculated at Before It’s News, the whole operation could be a false flag planted by the Obama administration to launch a civil war. Fiendish clever, this Obama; a double-reverse false-flag psy-ops boogie-woogie hyphen-abuser, he is. My theory is that there is a correlation between those who birf and those who are unable to comprehend extremely large numbers. Hurry Rally:”Well, Karl, we’re trying to keep it real, so we’ve revised our predicted turnout – to maintain our credibility. Hurry Rally: ”No, Mike Zoo Low spent the porta-pottie money on his investigative junket to Hawaii so, unfortunately, instead of the 50,000 port-potties, I picked up one fairly generous bowl of parsley, a single standard box of Kleen-X and we’re posting one or two origami paper-folding instruction sheets, with a special emphasis on sanitary containment fold-ups . Some call Cynthia McKinney a civil rights leader among the ranks of Shirley Chisholm and Malcolm X. It’s also clearly cost effective, since the news-culled footage spares the producers from replicating those scenes of chaos, allowing them to create a suspenseful product for something a fraction the price of, say, “Cloverfield,” even before the monster shows up. But it does make a pretty thought-provoking case about the fragile nature of civility, and how little it takes to collectively unsettle us. They aren’t saying anything–the only hits were from Fox Radio’s token liberal, Alan Colmes.
The fact that there’s no media coverage probably means that they have found that there’s no national mobilization and that there is going to be no event of note. In order to be news, something special is required, such as the presence of a celebrity, like actress Maria Conchita Alonzo. They make phone calls, they knock on doors, they raise big money, and they motivate people. Plus, there is the WMATA (transit) police and the Metro Police of the City of the District of Columbia.


On any given day, there are probably a fair number of nutcase groups demonstrating, read standing around, and none of them are really news unless they are really short of something else to do and need some filler of the weird people on the mall variety. I can’t imagine a bunch of overfed, overstuffed blowhards doing it for more than a day or so.
But then again, wingnut “patriots” seem to be too posh to even sleep in their car, as evidenced by the excuses fornot attending previous birther rallies. I can’t imagine a bunch of overfed, overstuffed blowhards doing it for more than a day or so.
On our Free Dumb Friday program today is the organizer of Operation Anti-American Sprain, an attempt to run a legally elected President of the United States out of office and out of town, and our prayers are with that organizer, a Mr. Well, I can write another whole book that day about rabbis effectively being converted to my religion. Actually, it opens the way for us to have enough space on the mall that day to hook up with Pastor Neigh! Others call her a conspiracy theorist and a 'looney.' American Blackout gains unprecedented access to one of the most controversial and dangerous politicians in America and examines the contemporary tactics used to control our democratic process and silence political dissent. Oddly, it also has an appropriate companion in PBS’ “War of the Worlds” documentary, tethered to the 75th anniversary of Orson Welles’ radio broadcast that panicked America.
If even 10,000 protesters were coming, not to mention the 10 million fantasy league fans, it would be big news. That way they will still have their 10,000 billion trillion patriots taking part, so SUCCESS!
At this point, that is all OAS is and for the most part, will remain, even with their handful, if that, of crazies showing up to overthrow the gov’t. So even if they placed one group in front of every house, they will have lots of leftovers.
Do yourself and your family a favor and store a little food and water for a day like this or even something natural.
The White House, the National Mall, the memorials, and Lafayette Park (and lots of other public spaces in DC) belong to the National Park Service. You don’t have to spend a ton of money if you put a little back at a time and trust me it will be worth staying away from the stores. Your post should be referencing the Park Police and its rules, not the US Capitol Police and its rules. I do suggest hooking up with a few friends or families so you can help watch out for each other. Of the other public space in DC (streets, parks, sidewalks), most of it belongs to the City of the District of Columbia, which has its own rules on permits and demonstrations.



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Rubric: Emergency Preparedness Survival



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