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Smith writes: "'OK, so mayor Emanuel and I got off on the wrong foot, right away. What I didn't like was him trying to paint me as this villain. I'm not the bad guy, but that's how he was trying to portray it. Do I have the guns? Am I the one pulling the trigger? To be honest, he's a bully.'"

Spike Lee. (photo: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Chicago Tribune)
Spike Lee. (photo: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Chicago Tribune)

Spike Lee: Rahm Emanuel Tried to Bully Me Into Not Making 'Chi-Raq'

By Bryan Smith, Chicago Magazine

24 October 15


In his first in-depth interview for his upcoming film, the outspoken director discusses Chicago and how the mayor tried—and failed—to “bully” him.

n encounter with Spike Lee can be a fraught proposition—he can be aggressively in-your-face or monosyllabically dismissive. So when the director, wearing blazing-orange Air Jordans and a black beret with “Chi-Raq” stitched across it, shows up in the lobby of the W Chicago in Streeterville giving half a handshake and pointing toward the hotel’s restaurant with barely a word, it doesn’t bode well for our conversation. But from the moment he sits down, Lee, 58, seems fired up to talk about his new movie, which is slated for release by Amazon this December and, as most people surely know by now, tackles the violence plaguing Chicago. “Chi-Raq!” he says, rubbing his hands together. “Let’s go. I’m ready. Let’s get into it. Ask away.”

You’d barely announced the film when Mayor Emanuel went ballistic over the title and summoned you to City Hall in April. How did that go?

[Chuckles and shakes his head.] OK, so that’s where your mayor and I got off on the wrong foot, right away. What I didn’t like was him trying to paint me as this villain. I’m not the bad guy, but that’s how he was trying to portray it. Do I have the guns? Am I the one pulling the trigger? To be honest, he’s a bully.

So how did you handle it?

You know I’m from Brooklyn, so …

You don’t get bullied?

He’s not gonna bully me. My tactic with the mayor—any bully—is to come out swinging. I said, “Mayor, Your Honor, you’re gonna be on the wrong side of history.”

What was the mayor’s gripe?

That it’s gonna give Chicago a bad image. We started shooting Chi-Raq June 1. We finished July 9. During that time, 331 people got wounded, 65 murdered. New York City has three times the population of Chicago; Chicago has more homicides than New York City. Last week, The Daily Beast had a front-page story saying that Chicago is the No. 1 city in America for mass murders [actually, for mass shootings, defined as three or more people shot in a single incident]. Chicago is the poster boy [for violence]. I’m not making this stuff up. So what’s there to argue then?

His whole thing was, the title is going to hurt tourism, the title is going to hurt economic development. But what tourism is he talking about? While we were shooting the film, you had the NFL draft here. Quarter million people in Grant Park. Can’t get a hotel room, can’t get a reservation. I mean, it’s packed. Then the Grateful Dead. Then Lollapalooza. So this part of the city is booming. But there are no bulletproof double-decker buses going through the Wild Hundreds [the gang-infested area from 100th to 130th Streets] or through Terror Town [a two-by-four-block patch of South Shore]. What economic development is going on in the South Side?

The mayor is a well-educated man. He and my wife both went to Sarah Lawrence. So I know he read Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities. It is a fact that Chicago is the most segregated big city in America. That’s not Spike Lee saying that. That’s a fact.

Were you surprised by the reaction to the title?

We knew it was a hot button. I didn’t make up [the term] “Chi-Raq.” It came from local Chicago rappers. But the mayor doesn’t want it to go worldwide because it’s on his watch. It reminds me of the reaction to [Lee’s 1989 movie] Do the Right Thing. That film was a litmus test, because when I read reviews and the critics lamented the loss of Sal’s Famous Pizzeria and never talked about the loss of life of Radio Raheem, that showed me they valued white-owned property over human life. I’ve seen the same thing here.

It’s like Father Pfleger [the outspoken priest at St. Sabina Catholic Church in Auburn Gresham] said: “God’s on our side.” This film is righteous. The No. 1 goal of anybody involved in this film—in front of the camera, behind the camera—was to save lives. Everybody involved knew that going in, and knew it even further while we were making the film. Save lives. This film is about more than Chicago. This film is about the America we are living in today.

Do you believe the mayor was behind other efforts to get the film shut down?

A lot of stuff he might not have done directly, but I see his fingerprints. Like the [17th Ward] alderman, David Moore, who tried to stop us from having a block party for the neighborhood before we started to shoot. [In June, Moore denied a request for a city permit for an annual party held outside St. Sabina; he later relented.] Like [4th Ward alderman] Will Burns, who tried to pass a resolution that we would not be eligible for state tax refunds because of the title.

Here’s the thing: There’s this perception that all of Chicago didn’t want me here. “Spike, get the fuck out of here, go back to New York.” But everywhere I went—North Side, West Side, South Side, black people, white people—I got nothing but love our entire time here. Love.

Except from the mayor.

And a couple of his aldermen. Bootlickers. Yeah, I said it. But as I’d be walking the streets, going to games, the airports, everybody would say, “Keep Chi-Raq. Don’t change the title. Fuck him.” I swear on my mother’s grave. They are coming up to me. I’m not soliciting it.

There were other grumblings—namely, how can Spike Lee, famously of Brooklyn, presume to tell the story of one of the most complicated aspects of Chicago?

There was this perception like: He doesn’t live here. How is he gonna come in and make this film? I’m like: People, have you seen my body of work? I’ve been making films since ’86. Being from New York did not stop me from making two definitive pieces on Katrina that won a Peabody Award and Emmys. I’ve been traveling since I was in college. I’m a global citizen. And the key is, I don’t come into another place saying I’m a fucking expert. I’m gonna get with the people who know what the fuck’s going on. That’s why me and Father Pfleger are so tight. I ask a lot of questions, and I listen.

How did you and Father Pfleger connect?

Three years ago, he invited me to speak here, during [St. Sabina’s] speaker series. I’d never heard of him. I looked and said, “Wait a minute, a white Roman Catholic priest has this church for 40 years in the hood? And his congregation is all black? I gotta check this guy out.”

And what did you find?

He’s one of the most amazing Americans I’ve ever met. Father Pfleger is about the truth. His stance on violence, the battles he’s had with the NRA, with the gun stores—there are very few people who are doing what he’s doing. I’m not just talking about Chicago. I’m talking nationwide. People in Chicago should be proud of him. He’s a hero, in my eyes. John Cusack’s character in the film is loosely based on him.

How did Father Pfleger help?

He was able to point me to two guys—Brandon Jackson and Curtis Toler. Former gang members. I mean, really, really gang members. They changed their lives. They work for Father Pfleger now, running his PeaceMakers. The first day I got here, while in preproduction, Brandon’s younger brother got murdered. So one of the first things I had to do here was go to a funeral.

And then Father Pfleger introduced me to this organization called Purpose Over Pain. These are the mothers here who have lost their children to gun violence. They’re in the movie. And when you see these mothers—I’m not saying it’s not equally painful for fathers, but mothers, there’s just a hole in their soul that’ll never be replaced.

What did you get from the moms?

It’s not good. Many of them attempted to take their lives. I had a similar feeling when I was doing 4 Little Girls, the documentary about the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. My daughter was about those girls’ age. And I would have nightmares about her being killed. It is—it should be—the natural way of life that your child outlives you. No one wants to bury their child. Especially behind some bullshit. And so this film deals with the loss of human life.

There has been a lot of speculation about what form this movie would take—that it employs spoken-word poetry, that it’s a musical, that it’s based on the ancient Greek comedy Lysistrata. What’s the truth?

[Grins.] OK, so here’s the thing: People who were talking about the film don’t know what they’re talking about. We had a gag order. Like Emily right there [points to the restaurant hostess]—she’s in the film. I told her, “You speak about this film and I’m gonna stab you with a knife.” [Laughs loud enough to make heads turn.] So no one’s talked. I wasn’t even talking.

Well, can you lift your own gag order just a little? Is it a musical?

[Grins coyly.] Music is an integral part of every film I make. I would not classify it as a musical, though.

Spoken word?

Yeah, a lot of it.

And Lysistrata?

Are you familiar with the play?

Yes. It seems kind of a quirky conceit for such a serious subject.

Well, this play was written by the Greek playwright Aristophanes, 411 B.C. The lead character was tired of the war between the Trojans [actually, the Athenians] and the Spartans. So she came up with this amazing idea: We could make our men put down their spears, their knives, whatever, if we get all the women together and withhold sex, have a sex strike.

Kevin Willmott—he’s the cowriter—he wrote that version of the script six years ago. We tried to get it done, couldn’t. So we put it down. And then when there was this upsurge of Trayvon [Martin], Mike Brown, Eric Garner—you could go on forever—I said, “Kevin, you still have that script? We should rewrite it together. We’ll keep the premise, Lysistrata, but move it to Chicago, today, South Side.”

So how do you answer those who question the use of an ancient sex farce to tell such a deeply painful, deeply serious story as gun violence?

That’s why we couldn’t get it done at first. People didn’t get it. When we went to Sundance, everybody said no but Amazon. And we had to have two readings for Amazon. They had to hear the words, not read it, and that’s when we got the green light.

But what about the tone?

It is possible to address a very serious subject matter and still have humor. I’ve done it before. Do the Right Thing was serious as hell. It was so serious you can still show that film today—it’s still contemporary. But Do the Right Thing was also funny as a motherfucker. Another example—one of my favorite films, one of my favorite filmmakers: Stanley Kubrick, Dr. Strangelove. What’s more serious than the planet’s destruction? But that movie was hilarious. There are many examples—music, plays, novels, movies—where humor has been injected into very serious subject matter.

So people need to relax. They need to stop thinking I’m gonna make light of the loss of life. Please. Calm down. Father Pfleger would have kicked me. He would have damned me to hell a long time ago. C’mon, that’s not who I am. Why would I do that?

Have your views on Chicago changed since getting to know the city more intimately?

First of all, you have to come with an open mind. You have to. You can’t come in thinking, I know more shit than you, and you motherfuckers are stupid. Father Pfleger arranged for me to meet over 100 gang members. Ten blocks away they might shoot each other. They wouldn’t let me film them, but they let me record them. That was a 15-hour day. That was the first day I started doing research. I didn’t know it was this bad. I did not know that a lot of these murders are spurred on by social media. That’s something that hit me.

Gangs posting on Twitter?

Yeah. “I’m in front of your house, come and get me.” That’s just crazy. And then here’s the thing: I have yet to fully comprehend the gang culture here. See, there were gangs growing up in New York, in Brooklyn. But the gang culture here? [Whistles.] It’s on another level here. Another level.

How so?

Back in the day, if you killed a kid, you either turned yourself in or you would be killed. Even though gangsters were criminals, they had a code. If you wanted to kill somebody, you’d wait till he was alone and walk up and shoot him. Today, squeeze the trigger of these automatic weapons and you’ve got all this collateral damage. It’s like, “Oh, I’m sorry, all you other people who got shot. It’s just your bad luck you happened to be standing next to the guy I wanted to get.” They don’t care if 50 people gotta get shot to get the one. They’re all right with that. These guys have nothing to live for, so their street cred is how many bodies they got. You change families, lives, for generations. And over some dumb shit.

Given the movie’s theme, what’s your take on recent incidents of unarmed black men being killed by police and the movements that have sprung from that?

I’ve never tried to present myself as a motherfucking spokesperson for 45 million black folks. This is my opinion: We as a people can’t talk only about Black Lives Matter, I Can’t Breathe, Don’t Shoot, and then not talk about this self-inflicted genocide we’re doing to ourselves. For me, it goes hand in hand. Only by talking about both and addressing both can we bring change. Cops ain’t just killing us. We’re killing ourselves, too.

Do you see any solution?

Here’s the thing: One of the biggest criticisms of Do the Right Thing was that Spike didn’t have the answer for racism or prejudice at the end. So I hope you don’t think that Spike has answers for all this stuff. We do have some, but it’s not like A, B, C, D, you do this and everything will be all right. It’s not that simple. But I do hope, and I’m confident, that this will raise the awareness of the situation we have in this country.

It all goes back to guns. We have to have some strong legislation to do something about the gun problem in this country. And it has to be on a city, state, and federal level. What Father Pfleger says—and I agree with him—is we need to title guns like we do cars. There’s no reason in the world for anybody to be able to drive over to Indiana—and this is in the movie, too, guns coming from Indiana—use a fake ID, go to gun shows or to gun shops, and come out with an automatic weapon.

As my man President Obama said after the Oregon shootings, we’re becoming so numb, but we gotta do something. People around the world must be looking at America like, “You running around here saying you’re the moral force of the world, but your actions are doing something different ’cause you people are insane.” your social media marketing partner


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+56 # Anonymot 2015-10-24 17:23
Rahm could read the weather report and make it sound like he's bullying somebody. He's a nasty piece of work like most of the people Obama surrounded himself with: very aggressive bullies who are incompetent! I never understood it, Rahm & Hillary above all.
+37 # dquandle 2015-10-24 19:09
Cuz thats Obama, a bully behind a veneer of words, education, and sophistication. You can see his bullying more directly in how he and his regime handles the whistle blowers who are showing Americans the appalling crimes the the Clinton/Bush/Ob ama regime has engaged in. Kiriakou, Binney, Manning, Snowden, Assange, Drake, Sterling etc... and his heinous executive murder drone attacks throughout the mid-east, his launching and inflating of wars throughout the world, and his regime's continuing horrendous attempts at intimidation and movement-killin g through rampant surveillance
+54 # beeyl 2015-10-24 20:25
I always thought of Rahm as the poster boy for political sociopaths – and I was shocked when Obama named him as his chief of staff. Larry Summers and Tim Geithner proved choosing Rahm wasn't a fluke. From hours after winning the election in 2008, Obama's message was clear: "Yes we can, but no I won't."
+23 # davehaze 2015-10-24 22:38

Obama played every one who voted for him with high hopes the fool. Bryan Williams ! asked Obama who he thought was a bad pundit. I thought Obama would give an obvious easy answer like Rush Limbaugh. No way. Obama replied -- without a thought in his head -- Keith Olbermann!

You dick, I thought, you don't like a genuine progressive guy who stood up for you? It figures.

You know it's easy to hate Rebublicans but it is fucking impossible to stand Democrats.
+6 # RLF 2015-10-26 07:02
If you were played it is your fault...he was Joe leiberman's proteje in the senate...a DINO if there ever was one. It was time for an Obama...the right thing to do...but now it is time for something else...not a fucking Hillary!
+1 # Douglas Jack 2015-10-26 11:39
RLF, RE: "If you were played, it is your fault . . . he was Joe Leiberman's protege in the senate . . . a DINO"
1st thanks for the 'hard-knocks' education.
I've just turned 63 years old & just now, through you, have figured out Obama's disingenuity. 'A protege of Leiberman' says it all. Obama is an actor for greater Israel's Oded-Yinon-Plan & its Project-for-a-n ew-American-Cen tury PNAC & New-World-Order NWO children. Obama is owned, trained, controlled by AIPAC, Hasbara & Mossad for ownership of western countries as tools in the destabilization of Islamic countries & the Middle-east. But in sympathy with DaveHaze, this 'act' is so well executed with millions dead & tens of millions injured in its wake. We are all so easily manipulated to complicity by these creeps, not to be able to see their misdeeds until after the fact.
+6 # davehaze 2015-10-26 11:46
I never voted for Obama. I might have voted for Obama in the primary but being in California the nomination process was all over before it got here.

Once Obama got the nomination he no longer had to pretend that he was for progressive values and immediately put together a group of his Wall Street and national security state friends. It was then obvious that he was a fraud.
0 # beeyl 2015-11-30 21:19
His vote in July 2008 for the FISA bill that included retroactive immunity for the telecoms (which he'd many times promised to oppose and to filibuster) was incomprehensibl e to me at the time. After he won the election and appointed a group of sociopaths as advisors, I understood that completely unnecessary vote (it passed by ~ 15 extra votes, so it didn't need his support) was him proving to the big banks and corporations funding his campaign that he was their boy, and he proved it by falling on his sword with the FISA bill.
My guess is his corporate donors threatened to undermine him at the convention (Hillary still had millions of supporters moaning that she deserved the nomination) or to stop funding him if he didn't do this indefensible, inexplicable thing… so he did. My guess is he didn't even hesitate, given his obvious lack of principles.
+7 # lewagner 2015-10-25 19:49
Rahm made Obama in Illinois, and Obama owed him.
0 # Cassandra2012 2015-10-25 11:59
A bit over the top here... I gave you a up before I fully got your anti=Obama stance, so do not let it go to your head. Rahm is a bully, but the rest of the tirade does not compute.
+6 # RLF 2015-10-26 07:04
Can't get enough of people slapping you in the face, eh, Cassandra? Vote for Hillary and she will give it to you again...and you can keep up with the "i like it, whatever it is" crap.
+57 # turtleislander 2015-10-24 18:40
...around the world must be looking at America like, “You running around here saying you’re the moral force of the world, but your actions are doing something different ’cause you people are insane.”

thats pretty much it.
+58 # m s 57 2015-10-24 18:42
Today is the 297th day of 2015. The 294th mass shooting of the year took place yesterday in TN. (A mass shooting is defined as 4 or more people killed or wounded.)

It's the guns, stupid. It's the friggin' guns. Ban any further sale of weapons originally designed purely for military use -- the AR-15, the Uzi, the Kalashnikov, etc.!
-50 # skylinefirepest 2015-10-24 20:35
Same silly's NOT the guns. It's the evil people. The AR 15 is a medium power semi-auto is not military in anything but looks and it's the most popular rifle in America now. And it's use in crime is literally tiny...but then the use of all rifles in crime is small. And it still comes down to this...if you don't like guns then don't buy one but don't try to tell me what to do. Stop the criminals and you have nothing to worry about from the guns in the hands of the law abiding. Who do you think is doing all the shooting in Chi-Town? The thugs or the good guys?
-36 # MidwestTom 2015-10-24 21:59
No NRA members involved in any of the shootings.
+40 # lfeuille 2015-10-24 23:16
Quoting MidwestTom:
No NRA members involved in any of the shootings.

It's NRA lobbying that keeps us from having sensible gun laws.
-10 # skylinefirepest 2015-10-25 18:06
You guys keep talking about "sensible gun laws" as if you ignore the over twenty thousand different gun laws currently in effect. So just what new law do you want and will it, in any way affect anybody but the law abiding? And yes, Iffy, I would like an answer to that.
+26 # ericlipps 2015-10-25 07:59
Quoting MidwestTom:
No NRA members involved in any of the shootings.

But the NRA insists on making it easier for killers to get guns, even high-capacity rapid-firing weapons with no conceivable use except butchering human beings. Or do you think hunters need machine guns to bring down deer?
-10 # skylinefirepest 2015-10-25 18:09
Eri...just what "high-capacity rapid firing weapons with no conceivable use except butchering human beings" were you referring to? And we don't need "machine guns to bring down deer" as if the 2nd Amendment has one damn thing to do with hunting and I'll remind you also that machine guns are very highly regulated and I can't recall any crimes having ever been committed with one.
+4 # linkedout 2015-10-26 09:46
You want to Google "75 round drum" and "bump fire" to see what the rest of us are talking about.
-2 # skylinefirepest 2015-10-27 11:48
With an obumma administration it was ruled that the bump fire was legal...Republi cans didn't do that, your liberal demos did that! So don't complain to me about it. Having said that I don't believe that it has ever been used in a crime. And it is NOT a machine gun by any definition.
+19 # Texas Aggie 2015-10-25 09:17
So what! The reason they were able to get guns so easily is because of the NRA. Whether or not they were dues paying "gang" members is irrelevant. They are fellow travelers.

And while we're on the subject of NRA members, you do know that the majority of members are in favor of tightening restrictions on who can buy a gun, on tightening restrictions on checking gun buyers?
-8 # skylinefirepest 2015-10-25 18:11
Where do you guys keep getting this bullhockey about NRA members wanting more gun control? I haven't seen any writings that would indicate that from serious sources.
+17 # ericlipps 2015-10-25 07:56
Quoting skylinefirepest:
Same silly's NOT the guns. It's the evil people.

No, it's the evil people (and the crazy ones) with guns. Firearms can turn a simple fight into a deadly incident, and automatic weapons can turn what might have been simply a shooting into a bloodbath. You can't mow down twenty people in a schoolyard with a knife or a club, but with an automatic weapon it's easy.
-10 # skylinefirepest 2015-10-25 18:13
I presume that with an automatic weapon you could mow down a group of people...fortun ately I can't recall any instance of an automatic weapon being used in a mass shooting or any crime, for that matter. It is very difficult for a citizen to get an automatic weapon...but your local police department has them as well as the military and other law enforcement groups.
+4 # linkedout 2015-10-26 09:47
Google "bump fire stock" to see what we're talking about.
+8 # RLF 2015-10-26 07:11
Nobody talks about why these young men Do this...except I saw Bill Mahrer do it. The social fabric has become so thin that no value is put on human life and until that changes, disappearing guns will be useless. A machete was used in the Philippines, in Rwanda, a knife in Palestine right now. People that feel worthless treat others like they are worthless. We are so busy teaching our kids math and science to keep the economy going that we have forgotten to teach them to be human first.
+4 # Douglas Jack 2015-10-26 08:30
RLF, RE: "why these young men Do this". "We are so busy teaching our kids math & science". Wonderful to the point. 'Education' from the Latin 'educare' specifically means 'to lead forth from within'. Our colonial culture gets this backwards & indoctrinates under the threat of failure of low or no educational status entirely without reference to experience (the laboratory of life). Traditionally 'indigenous' (L 'self-generatin g') cultures enable youth to find mentors & apprentice in experiential education, led by the Vision-Quest of each youth. Western 'educators' impose this dysfunction upon all the societies we are talking about, thus destroying human relations. This is another dimension of what Ron Paul calls 'blowback'.

Apprentice 'hands-on' education enables youth to test out hypotheses / theory through practice in real life applications with the guidance of masters with theoretical knowledge as well. Adults benefit from the fresh outlook, vigour, legs, physical-prowes s & often unexpected inspirations of youth, which greatly contribute to production. Discussion becomes a part of intelligent professionalism . Youth also group among themselves to address, reinforce & represent their own issues, thus taking the pressure off of everyone in a lifetime of universal progressive ownership.
+6 # RLF 2015-10-27 06:38
I'm a violin maker...I've had two apprentices. I too think it is sad that the young have no opportunity to interact in a work situation thus gaining knowledge of themselves (what they love to do) and advice of an adult who has some experience with work. We have decided as a culture that the arts are worthless in education forgetting the simple fact that the difference between an Apple computer and the others is to a great extent, design. The arts also are a window into our humanity. Kids think reading is stupid! Incredible!
+30 # Douglas Jack 2015-10-24 18:49
Thanks Spike, Great title Chiraq, reflects where we all are between Chicago & Bush's war-crime in Iraq. We all have a problem with human insecurity, coward-aggressi on cycles, isolation, one-side thinking & technology-enha nced aggression which in Sandy Hook elementary destroyed the lives of 26 in just 20 minutes before Adams suicide. The key is taking responsibility for every part of the whole cycle. Both left & right agree that; we need to go deeper than 'arms', we need to decide where our 'feet' are headed.
The 'Right-to-bare- arms' or each of us rolling up our sleeves to pitch-in for making the world a better place, each of us not bogged down in heavy body-armour & armaments. We need to liberate ourselves & our loved ones from the perpetual fear of scarcity through each in our own way contributing to an abundant world where people understand that mutual-aid is the greatest factor of human-society & evolution. Tell us about your own efforts.
+19 # Desiderata 2015-10-24 20:10
"People around the world must be looking at America like, “You running around here saying you’re the moral force of the world, but your actions are doing something different ’cause you people are insane.”

The whole world is watching America "talk the talk" trying to confuse us with the facts .Bernie,Warren & maybe Spike Lee as Secretary of State could be a dream team that just might save America from itself.
+30 # jbell94521 2015-10-24 20:12
Rahm is just as evil as Dick Cheney. He is just a bit more polished in terms of his image and his grip on PR. They both belong in the center of a hot volcano.

Please keep up the great work. I can't wait to see the film. And thanks for having the courage to stand up to a terrible bully. It is inspiration we all need.
+27 # sharag 2015-10-24 20:34
Spike Lee is a great film maker. This phenomenon of shooting innocent bystanders by gang members just to get the one they want, is a reflection of our foreign policy, the drone policy. What we do, allow at home, we do abroad and vice versa. It's who we are, and it scares the hell out of the rest of the world. It's beyond insane.
+17 # grandma lynn 2015-10-25 00:06
Spike Lee and Sharag's note give me chance again to say it: our national model for problem-solving is shooting. We shoot from drones and, as Sharag says too, hit innocent bystanders. I don't know how Obama can preach sadness over the guns-killing here and at the same time do more drone launches over there. Well, I do know how - because he can as president of the most arms-loving country in the world. But he should morally see the connection, that our country is modeling problem-solving with arms / by doing killing. Lately I THINK I'm admiring John Kerry's work towards diplomacy in the Middle East. Am I right? Is John Kerry doing well, or is it just that outwardly it looks that way and I'm being deceived?
+5 # Douglas Jack 2015-10-25 15:28
g-lynn, RE: "Is John Kerry doing well?" The standard which we need to be exemplifying ourselves & hold John Kerry to is getting all stakeholders/pa rties at the table without demonizing anyone. Kerry is still demonizing people under the lies of western media & indoctrinated population.

The Middle-east is a huge oligarch-owned media-created illusion-indoct rination of western minds. Carefully detailed plans for the greater Israel Oded-Yinon-Plan & its children: Project-for-a-n ew-American-Cen tury PNAC / New-World-Order NWO destabilization of every Islamic country have been realized with every destroyed country right on schedule. Western Finance-Media-E ducation-Mlitar y-Industrial-Le gislative-Compl ex oligarchs are arming despicable people for the sole purpose of destabilizing once prosperous, full employment, medicare, education & secular states. Kerry tends to fragments of our destruction.

We need open-public both-sided, equal-time, recorded & published debates/negotia tions involving all parties at every level of society 1st in our own western countries & then in all countries we trade with. Socrates envisioned universal 'Dialectic-Righ ts for every person in every institution, business, education, government with rights to formally call leaders & other members to debate. People at all levels of society need channels to declare & expose the content of their heart & mind.
+13 # davehaze 2015-10-24 22:21
I always liked Spike Lee and always thought that Raum Emanuel is a sociopath.

And when Obama chose who he liked it was no contest: he said Spike was his man! while holding hands with Raum under the table.
+7 # boredlion 2015-10-24 23:48
Carry on, Spike ! And pay no mind to the sorry likes of Rahm, a PR whore of the worst sort and a toady of many dubious special interests.

And a note to you, Firepest : DON'T TRUSS. IT !
+8 # tomtom 2015-10-25 13:38
Exactly, Ericlipps, the road rage person who shot the 4 year old girl, wouldn't have done it, if he wasn't armed with a gun! And MidwestTom; Adolph didn't, personally drop the cyanide tablets into the Auschwitz showers, but he was just as culpable.
+4 # Robbee 2015-10-25 16:53
what happened in chi used to stay in chi, thanks spike!
+5 # Dongi 2015-10-26 01:57
With guys like Spike, we build great civilizations. Wonderful job, Spike.

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