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Category Archives: Politically Incorrect

Alain Bizos : Politically Incorrect – The Eye of Photography

Posted: January 18, 2020 at 11:31 am

For its first collaboration with the French artist reporter photographer Alain Bizos, the Polka gallery presents an irreverent pop up exhibition entitled Politically incorrect.

Alain Bizos shared his career between Liberation and the VU agency, the group of graphic designers Bazooka and the monthly Actuel, Nouveau et intressant and thus positioned his work on a thread drawn between the fields of art and information. Since the 1970s, he has claimed himself a committed art activist using humour and derision as his tools.

In 1969, just graduated from the Beaux Arts, he found himself at the heart of the New York avant-garde when he became Armans assistant. He participated in the renewal of conceptual photography by using photography as a support for his proposals, mainly through sequences such as his Robberies: the visitor follows the shoplifting committed by the artist. The stolen object (cricket set, electric spotlight, suitcase) was then exposed and accompanied by a certificate attesting that any person who owns this work is considered to be a fence in the eyes of the law. Bizos asks: is a work of art a commodity like any other?

The artist also entails his gallery owners, his collectors as direct receivers and more generally the spectator, a tacit accomplice to the crime.

It is no coincidence that the artist-activist crossed paths in 1979 with public enemy n 1 Jacques Mesrine, with whom he produced a photo sequences that passed to posterity, and published at the time by Paris Match.

Bizos also portrays himself in wanted notices stolen from New York post offices through the Wanted series.

Politically incorrect will also give pride of place to more recent pieces of Bizos work such as the sequence Bye-Bye Mao, exhibited in 2018 at the Rencontres dArles in the exhibition 100 portraits of the collection of Antoine de Galbert, or the monumental piece Marianne-colre.

The works of Bizos paint a portrait of a personal work with a strong political content, heterogeneous and original but also fiercely funny.

Alain Bizos, born in Paris, student at the National School of Fine Arts, Painting Section and at the Louvre School in Art History. It was in 1969 following his meeting with the visual artist Arman, of whom he became assistant, that he moved to New York. He then produced conceptual photographic sequences, such as Espaces interdits or Robberies which he showed, at the Green Street Gallery in New York in 1970, and at the Ferrero gallery in Nice in 1972, his first personal exhibitions. Making frequent trips back and forth between New York and France, he participated in 1973 in the creation of the daily Liberation, linked with the group of young graphic designers Bazooka and in 1977 he was director of publication of the monthly Un regard moderne. In 1979, it was at the request of Jean-Franois Bizot, that he returned to France to participate as artist-reporter-photographer in the launch of Actual, the monthly New and interesting. His quirky portraits and reports in the form of photo stories mark the visual identity of the monthly through its original treatment of color and framing. In 1986, Christian Caujolle, then head of Liberations photo department, asked him to join him when the Agence Vu was created. In 2015, Alain Bizos left the Agence Vu and continued his work as a freelancephotographer.

His images are part of important collections: from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Hartford-Connecticut (USA) to the Sylvio Perlstein collection, via the collection of the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art, the National Fund for Contemporary Art , the Maison Rouge in Paris, and many private collections.

Alain Bizos : Politiquement Incorrect

January 15 to 25, 2020

Polka Galerie

Cour de Venise

12, rue Saint-Gilles, 75003 Paris

http://www.polkagalerie.com

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How Newsom will assist in ‘suicide’ of northern SJ Valley using a straw – The Turlock Journal

Posted: at 11:31 am

If you happen to run into Gavin Newsom persuade him to gowith you to your friendly neighborhood 7-Eleven and buy him a politicallyincorrect Super Big Gulp.

Fill it with Coca-Cola. Its a poison as defined byMichael Bloomberg who wants you to vote for him as Nanny in Chief on March 3 inthe California primary that more people chose than lets say Sprite andOrange Crush. With a little luck the Coca-Cola will run out of syrup just as hefinishes filling the cup.

Make sure that you grab a politically incorrect plasticstraw as well, although a paper straw will do.

Now look toward the Delta. Ask the governor to put the strawinto his Super Bug Gulp and take a swig or two. Once hes got the soda downabout an inch or two ask Newsom to top it off. Since the Coca-Cola is maxedout, hell have to select another source to fill the cup back up.

As any self-respecting pre-teen of days gone-by would know,Newsom is taking the first step toward making a soda concoction thats called asuicide.

You have just given the governor a perfect analogy for hismyopic Delta tunnel plan as well as coined a rallying cry for the nextgeneration of victims of the incredible thirst of the Los Angeles Basin as wellas large corporate farmers that are a large source of the late Assembly SpeakerBig Daddy Jesse Unruhs mothers milk of politics political campaigncontributions.

If you siphon Sacramento River water from the Delta it willcreate a void that has to be filled from somewhere else unless you want severesaltwater intrusion that would turn the Delta into a toxic wasteland for birds,native fish, flora, and even inconsequential things. Those inconsequentialthings are farmers and people that depend on Delta water or water pumped fromaquifers in and around the Delta that would be impacted as salt water replacesfresh water.

Lets return to the 7-Eleven for a second. Most offer othersoda flavors such as Mt. Dew, Sprite or Dr. Pepper. There are usually twoCoca-Cola options due to the larger volume that also requires more tanks ofsyrup as opposed to the other flavors that have less demand and therefore lesssyrup.

The Sacramento River is Coca-Cola. The Stanislaus, Tuolumne,and Merced rivers are the other three soda flavors. Once the Pepsi is siphonedout of the cup that is used to flush the Delta, some soda has to replace it.Thats when the state will create a suicide mix increasing the water flowsfrom the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced watersheds to flush the Delta.

Of course, anyone living in the next Owens Valley betterknown as the Northern San Joaquin Valley would be committing suicide to favorsuch a move.

This is why big water interests in Los Angeles as well ascorporate farmers have managed to convince yet another governor that theNorthern San Joaquin Valley needs assistance to commit suicide which is wherethe myopic tunnel comes into play.

The Department of Water Resources this week officiallyrepackaged the double barrel shotgun aimed at the Delta ecological system aswell as Northern San Joaquin Valley cities and farms as a single barrel byissuing a notice of preparation for the project. Thats the prelude to thelengthy eye-popping environmental review process that is much like theimpeachment of Donald Trump as you already know how it is going to end. In thecase of the myopic tunnel we will be told it will be the best thing forCalifornia since gold was discovered. Thats an appropriate analogy given 172years later we are still dealing with environmental disasters perpetuated inthe name of growing the economy including filling in a third of the SanFrancisco Bay and reshaping and poisoning waterways.

As for two tunnels versus one tunnel, its just like a gun.It only takes one bullet or shot to kill a person. The same is true forsiphoning water and what it will do to the Delta.

One of the more interesting things about the PeripheralCanal 3.0 reboot rolled out this week is the reason why the state must sinkupwards of $20 billion in an investment that doesnt increase the amount ofwater delivered to Los Angeles or big corporate farms by one drop.

Originally we were told the twin tunnels were needed due tothe imminent collapse of levees in the next big quake that would reduce waterflow to the intake to the California Aqueduct pumping stations northwest ofTracy for six months or more forcing Beverly Hills mansion owners to converttheir expansive green estates into hues of yellow and brown.

Given the science was underwhelming, the lack of nearbymajor fault lines, and the historic impact of major Bay Area quakes such as the1906 and 1989 tremblors didnt give the theory much traction with the public,the had to hang the reboot on something else. And they did.

We are now being told its all to stop the horrors of climatechange as the current way fresh water is conveyed through the Delta from theSacramento watershed to hoses of people washing down sidewalks in Los Angelesis just 3 feet above sea level.

That means rising sea levels due to warmer temperatures willswamp the Delta with salt water making water that passes through it no longersuitable for drinking or applying to crops unless it first flowed through adesalination plant just before the water flows into the pipelines of Big L.A.

But if the real issue is now climate change which somemodels say will mean less snowpack with each passing year due to snow in theSierra being replaced extensively by rain, is the myopic tunnel the bestinvestment the state can make? A major reduction in natures reservoir theSierra snowpack that provides most of the above ground source of water inCalifornia will substantially reduce available water.

Toss in the fact a saltier Delta would be a disaster for theecological system that is home to nearly 750 species of plant and wildlifewouldnt a barrier system a modified dike to regulate flows to and from thebay address the most concerns?

The real reason for the myopic tunnel is to assure theimpacts of out-of-basin water users the west side of the southern San JoaquinValley and Los Angeles Basin have minimal loss of water supplies duringdroughts and/or meeting state-mandated or court-ordered fish flows.

In short, Los Angeles will actually get an even bigger gulpof water while the state replaces what they siphon off via a $20 billion strawthat takes water from cities and farms dependent upon the Stanislaus, Mercedand Tuolumne rivers.

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Faulconer Boosts Housing Efforts, Convention Center in Last SOTC – Voice of San Diego

Posted: at 11:30 am

This post originally appeared in the Jan. 16 Morning Report. Get the Morning Report delivered to your inbox.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer promised to continue to focus on addressing the citys homelessness and housing crises in his final State of the City address on Wednesday night.

And he said he was done being politically correct about homelessness.

What Im talking about tonight is obvious to almost anyone walking our streets but considered politically incorrect by many insiders. These are ideas that most people in power actually believe in, but are afraid to say, let alone do, Faulconer said. Drug laws that hurt people, tragic mental illness, public health scares, a historic housing shortage They all must be addressed to solve the homeless crisis.

Faulconer committed Wednesday to championing reforms to state policies he said have hampered cities ability to aid homeless Californians struggling with addiction. He did not elaborate on the specifics of those efforts Wednesday night but cited Proposition 47, which reduced many drug crimes to misdemeanors, and Proposition 57, which led to an overhaul of the states prison parole system.

The mayor said he also plans to work with county officials to open a county-run shelter, move people with substance abuse issues into residential care and deploy mental health teams at existing city shelters. County spokespeople did not immediately respond to requests from VOSD about those initiatives on Wednesday night.

On Faulconers watch, the city hasramped up police enforcementaffecting homeless San Diegans, an approach that advocates and the citys newhomelessness action plan have scrutinized. Hes also vastlyexpanded homeless servicesin the city and pursued a slew of reforms to try to address lagging housing production, particularly for middle-class and low-income San Diegans.

Faulconer pledged to stay committed to those efforts in his final year in office.

He said he plans to push forward this spring a series of reforms hes dubbed hisComplete Communities initiativethat are meant to encourage more homebuilding citywide, particularly near transit stops.

The mayor also encouraged city voters to backMeasure C, a March hotel-tax measure that would fund a Convention Center expansion, homeless initiatives and road repairs. He noted that the measure would provide the citys first dedicated funding for homelessness and road repairs and pay for a Convention Center expansion supporters have said would bolster the local economy.

If you cant believe this is the 10th State of the City when a mayor talks about theConvention Center expansion, you can make it the last time by voting yes on Measure C, Faulconer joked.

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Left and right should learn to take a joke, not censor them – The Guardian

Posted: at 11:30 am

In retaliation, Ayatollah Khomeini should tweet a list of 52 sites of beloved American cultural heritage that he would bomb.

So wrote Asheen Phansey, an adjunct professor at Babson College in Massachusetts. He added that cultural sites to target might include the Mall of America and the Kardashian residence. Not the funniest of jokes (and not helped by the fact that Khomeini died more than 30 years ago) but definitely a joke and a response to Trumps tweet that America would target 52 Iranian sites, including those of cultural significance, if Tehran did retaliate for the assassination of General Qassem Suleimani.

It led to an inevitable outpouring of outrage on Twitter from conservative snowflakes. By the end of the day, Phansey was no longer teaching at Babson. The post did not represent the values and culture of the College, read a statement. The college condemned any type of threatening words and/or actions condoning violence and/or hate. Its just as well that John Betjeman was never a professor at Babson.

Much is made today of liberals demanding action against those using offensive language or making politically incorrect jokes. The Babson case shows conservatives are equally easily offended.

Across the Atlantic came another illustration of rightwing outrage. The release of Tolo Tolo, an Italian film satirising anti-migrant hysteria, caused anger among conservatives who had thought that it would be hostile to immigrants. It is too politically correct, claimed a senator from Silvio Berlusconis Forza Italia party. Which only goes to show that its politically correct has come to mean little more than I dont like it.

The Babson case also shows the dangers of the left demanding censorship of offensive speech. Its not just speech the left thinks is politically incorrect that will get censored.

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Phil Collins Recalls Offering to Quit Genesis to Join the Who – Ultimate Classic Rock

Posted: at 11:30 am

Phil Collins recalled telling Pete Townshendhed quit Genesis in order to replace the late Keith Moon in the Who.

By the time he made the offer, Kenney Jones had already been hired as the Whos new drummer despite his initial reservations meaning Collins missed out. In the same interview with Classic Rockmagazine from 2017, Collins also recalled how he missed out on appearing on asong with George Harrison, which later resulted in the ex-Beatle playing a complex practical joke on him.

I played Uncle Ernie in Tommy[in a 1989 concert with the Who], which I loved doing, though it was very politically incorrect playing a pedophile, Collins said. But it was greatbecause I was with the Who. I was working with Townshend just after Moon died [in 1978], and I said to him, Have you got anybody to play the drums?Because Id love to do it. Ill leave Genesis. And Pete said, Fuck, weve just asked Kenney Jones.Because Kenney Jones, unbeknown to most people, played on stuff when Keith was too out of it. He was far too polite for the Who. But I would have done the job. I would have joined them.

Collins also remembered being asked to play bongos on Harrisons 1970 song All Things Must Pass. He found the experience so stressful that he resorted to cadging cigarettes off Ringo [Starr], even though he didnt smoke. By the timeCollins was asked to record his part, hed been playing the unfamiliar instrument for two hours.

"Everybody laughed, but my hands were shot," he recalled. "And just after that, they all disappeared someone said they were watching TV or something and I was told I could go. A few months later I buy the album from my local record shop, look at the sleeve notes and Im not there. And Im thinking, There must be some mistake! But its a different version of the song, and Im not on it.

Years later,Collins was told by race-car driver Jackie Stewart that his friend Harrison was remixing All Things Must Pass. "He said, You were on it, werent you?" Collins explained. "And I said, Well, I was there. Two days later, a tapes delivered from George Harrison with a note saying, Could this be you?

I rush off and listen to it, and straightaway I recognize it. Suddenly, the congas come in too loud and just awful. And at the end of the tape, you hear George Harrison saying, Hey, Phil, can we try another without the conga player? So, now I know they didnt go off to watch TV. They went somewhere and said, Get rid of him,because I was playing so badly.

Collinssaid Stewart called andtold him, "Ive got someone here to speak to you, and puts George on, and he says, Did you get the tape? And I said, I now realize I was fired by a Beatle. And he says, Dont worry, it was a piss-take. I got Ray Cooper to play really badly and we dubbed it on. Thought youd like it! I said, You fucking bastard!

Reflecting on the amount of effort Harrison out into the practical joke, Collins concluded, It was lovely, wasnt it?

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Hank Azaria says he won’t voice Apu on The Simpsons anymore after controversy – The Week Magazine

Posted: at 11:30 am

Some major changes are apparently coming to Springfield.

Hank Azaria has revealed he'll longer voice Apu on The Simpsons, telling /Film, "All we know there is I won't be doing the voice anymore, unless there's someway to transition it or something."

The Simpsons faced renewed criticism over Apu since the release of the 2017 documentary The Problem with Apu, in which comedian Hari Kondabolu and others discuss the character who Kondabolu has described as "a white guy doing an impression of a white guy making fun of my father."

The documentary sparked a conversation about whether The Simpsons should write out the character some view as an offensive Indian stereotype, though others suggested keeping Apu but recasting Azaria with an Indian voice actor. Azaria, who also voices other characters on the show like Moe and Chief Wiggum, appeared to allude to that option Friday by referencing a possible "transition." But while Azaria said it's "up to them and they haven't sorted it out yet," he made clear that "I won't do the voice anymore," also saying, "We all made the decision together."

The Simpsons previously addressed the criticism over Apu in a meta 2018 episode, in which Lisa, looking directly at the camera, says, "Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect." She then looks at a picture of Apu and asks, "What can you do?" Marge and Lisa, again addressing the audience, promise this will be "dealt with at a later date," "if at all." That later date is evidently coming up.

Azaria previously expressed his willingness to step down from the role of Apu, saying on The Late Show, "the idea that anybody who is young or old, past or present, was bullied or teased based on the character of Apu, it just really makes me sad." No official announcement about the future of the character has been made. Brendan Morrow

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Morning Report: Gompers Teachers Union Effort Hits a Snag – Voice of San Diego

Posted: at 11:30 am

An ongoing unionization effort at Gompers Preparatory Academy has led to infighting between the schools divided teacher corps and its administration.

Gompers is a charter school serving more than a thousand middle and high schoolers. It has been lauded for its push to help under-served student groups get into college, but tarnished by reports of grade inflation.

A majority of Gompers teachers voted to unionize last year, but now some 30 percent of the schools teachers are trying to get the new union decertified, reports Ashly McGlone. Any decision about whether the union can be removed may be a long time away, however.

Thats because of other grievances surrounding the union. The Gompers union has filed an unfair practice charge against the schools administration. The union alleges that the schools administration bargained in bad faith, retaliated against a teacher and tried to dissuade employees from becoming union members.

That formal complaint could essentially delay any decertification vote from taking place.

The union is seeking, among other things, higher pay. Average pay for San Diego Unified School District teachers hovers around $80,800, but pay at Gompers was around $56,400.

A lawyer for one of the teachers who wants the union decertified accused the union of legal trickery to trap teachers in a union they oppose by blocking their right to hold a decertification election.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer promised to continue to focus on addressing the citys homelessness and housing crises in his final State of the City address on Wednesday night.

And he said he was done being politically correct about homelessness.

What Im talking about tonight is obvious to almost anyone walking our streets but considered politically incorrect by many insiders. These are ideas that most people in power actually believe in, but are afraid to say, let alone do, Faulconer said. Drug laws that hurt people, tragic mental illness, public health scares, a historic housing shortage They all must be addressed to solve the homeless crisis.

Faulconer committed Wednesday to championing reforms to state policies he said have hampered cities ability to aid homeless Californians struggling with addiction. He did not elaborate on the specifics of those efforts Wednesday night but cited Proposition 47, which reduced many drug crimes to misdemeanors, and Proposition 57, which led to an overhaul of the states prison parole system.

The mayor said he also plans to work with county officials to open a county-run shelter, move people with substance abuse issues into residential care and deploy mental health teams at existing city shelters. County spokespeople did not immediately respond to requests from VOSD about those initiatives on Wednesday night.

On Faulconers watch, the city has ramped up police enforcement affecting homeless San Diegans, an approach that advocates and the citys new homelessness action plan have scrutinized. Hes also vastly expanded homeless services in the city and pursued a slew of reforms to try to address lagging housing production, particularly for middle-class and low-income San Diegans.

Faulconer pledged to stay committed to those efforts in his final year in office.

He said he plans to push forward this spring a series of reforms hes dubbed his Complete Communities initiative that are meant to encourage more homebuilding citywide, particularly near transit stops.

The mayor also encouraged city voters to back Measure C, a March hotel-tax measure that would fund a Convention Center expansion, homeless initiatives and road repairs. He noted that the measure would provide the citys first dedicated funding for homelessness and road repairs and pay for a Convention Center expansion supporters have said would bolster the local economy.

If you cant believe this is the 10th State of the City when a mayor talks about the Convention Center expansion, you can make it the last time by voting yes on Measure C, Faulconer joked.

Californias homeless crisis has provoked many tense, uncomfortable discussions but rarely are the fears laid out as openly as they were during an Encinitas forum last week about a city decision to open a safe parking lot for homeless people with cars.

Kayla Jimenez was there and reports that it got tense. Speakers complained that the city, among other things, was misusing taxpayer funds and putting child safety at risk. One resident even called for the removal of the four Council members whod approved the lot.

County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar did not organize the event, but she emerged as its leader. She called the lot well-intentioned but misguided. Proponents of the lot say the program will focus on getting residents into permanent housing, but Gaspar disagreed.

I fundamentally believe that housing will not end homelessness, she said. It is a community that will.

Michael McConnell, a homeless advocate in San Diego who attended the meeting, called the event a whole new low.

Chula Vistas city attorney is backing away from a proposal to use new tax dollars to hire more people in his office who can aid with criminal charges against illegal pot shops. When Chula Vista residents approved Measure A in 2018, they did so on the promise that the money would be primarily spent on police officers and firefighters.

The U-T reports that City Attorney Glen Googins informed elected officials this week he was surprised by the intensity of the pushback. In a hand-written letter, District Attorney Summer Stephan urged the Chula Vista City Council not to go forward with the hires, in part, because her office is already responsible for prosecuting crime in the South Bay.

Because the sales tax money goes into the general fund, it can be used on any lawful municipal purpose. Last month, Googins told a financial oversight committee that his proposal to hire a paralegal and investigator remained within the spirit of Measure A.

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, Lisa Halverstadt and Will Huntsberry, and edited by Sara Libby.

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Henry Golding loved cursing in Guy Ritchie’s ‘The Gentlemen’ – Toronto Sun

Posted: at 11:30 am

NEW YORK Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding breaks into a laugh as he tries to explain his meteoric career trajectory that has seen him go from being a travel host to rom-com leading man to foul-mouthed villain in Guy Ritchies gangster romp, The Gentlemen out this Friday.

Its crazy isnt it? Golding muses as a wedge of sunlight pushes its way into a suite of a midtown Manhattan hotel.

The 32-year-old British-Malaysian actor, who just a few years ago was working in New Zealand for the BBC and Discovery Channel Asia, was plucked out of obscurity to play Nick Young in 2018s crowd-pleaser Crazy Rich Asians. He then played Blake Livelys husband in the thriller A Simple Favor. Just a few months ago, Golding starred opposite Emilia Clarke in the frothy holiday rom-com Last Christmas.

This week, hes back onscreen as the Chinese gangster, Dry Eye, opposite an ensemble cast that includes Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Hugh Grant, Colin Farrell and Michelle Dockery.

McConaughey plays Mickey Pearson, an American heavily invested in the London drug trade who is looking for a way out. Goldings Dry Eye is one of several villains angling to take over his business.

Ive played fairly similar characters to who I am as a person, Golding says. Nick Young (Crazy Rich Asians) and Tom Webster (Last Christmas) are very happy-go-lucky guys who wont let much put them down. But then this character in The Gentlemen, he has a big chip on his shoulder He thinks he can muscle in on something. So playing Dry Eye was a licence to let go.

After his success behind the camera for Disneys live-action Aladdin last year, The Gentlemen marks Ritchies return to the fast-paced crime comedies he became famous for at the beginning of his career, including Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.

He dipped his toe back in with (2008s) RocknRolla, but I dont think that film hit the same patina Lock, Stock and Snatch had. The Gentlemen is definitely in the vein of those two earlier pictures This throws it back to those classic Guy movies.

After a whirlwind weekend in New York, Golding is heading back to Japan where hes in the midst of filming the lead role in Paramounts G.I. Joe spinoff Snake Eyes.

Golding says the variety of projects and the diverse directors hes worked with has made him want to be more than just a rom-com star, but so far being in front of the camera has been a dream come true.

Its crazy, because I used to stay up with my friends, after a house party and wed stick in Snatch and wed all just watch and crack up all the way through. I dont know how many times Ive watched that film, but its countless now Im working with Guy Ritchie, he says, grinning.

On an unseasonably warm January morning, Golding traced his arc from hairdresser to box office star, mused on the politically incorrect barbs he and his castmates hurl in The Gentlemen and told us why critics were wrong about Last Christmas.

Youve been having a great couple of months. First Last Christmas, which my wife and I had a fun time watching, and now The Gentlemen.

Last Christmas was definitely a crowd-pleaser. Not much of a critic-pleaser (laughs). But Ive had much more of a response off of the backend of Last Christmas than Crazy Rich Asians. It really meant so much to people It was lovely. Moviegoers understood what it was. Its just that bubbly sort of Christmas movie thats like eating a pile of chocolate. You just cant help but love it.

So you were nice guy Tom Webster in Last Christmas and now youre the baddie Dry Eye in The Gentlemen. What was that transition like?

I was filming both of them in London during the same time. One day I was Tom Webster and I woke up the next day and I had to play Dry Eye. But it was less challenging than people would think. It was a lot of fun to play someone so far from my own reality.

Henry Golding as the villainous Dry Eye in Guy Ritchies The Gentlemen. (VVS Films)

What was the best part of playing the villain?

In this case, the barrage of swear words (laughs). Just being able to reel off as many profanities as you can possibly think of in the most creative ways was immense fun. Thats what Guys films are about. Theyre about trying to insult the other person in funny ways. Its what we grew up with watching Snatch and Lock, Stock theyve got so many classic one-liners that we can quote to this day. So working in that environment, especially alongside Matthew and Michelle, was phenomenal. It was one of my favourite experiences Ive had.

Why do you think those early Guy Ritchie gangster movies still resonate?

Some of the scenes in Lock, Stock and Snatch had never been done in British cinema. So when it came to heist movies, he was definitely a trendsetter in that sense. The only other British director from that time that was creating groundbreaking movies in a similar vein was Danny Boyle with 28 Days Later.

Some of the early reviews for The Gentlemen have talked a lot about the films political incorrectness. But thats the world Guy Ritchie is playing in. It wouldnt have occurred to me that some people could take offense.

You know what these films are about. Back in the early days, no one would have complained about the political incorrectness. But now, people are a lot more sensitive, and while they are entitled to their opinion, this is a world which is exaggerated and its full of the bottom of the barrel characters, who arent going to be nice to you. If you met any of the people in this movie, theyd insult you in the most demeaning manner.

Sometimes thats casual racism or sexism or things like that. Youd be fooling people to pretend that doesnt happen. But you have to take it with a pinch of salt. Its entertainment. Its not meant to be seen as a racist film. Everyone in this movie is giving as good as they get. All these characters are, in my words, c- trying to kill each other. Of course theyre going to be nasty Look, we can talk about it til were blue in the face, but its not for everyone (laughs). Thats all I can say. But if youre not too sensitive, youre going to have the time of your life. Its a hoot. Its just a lot of fun.

Two years ago, people hadnt been introduced to you yet. Tell me about your crazy rise?

I dont know how to explain it. It feels earned, for sure. I can safely say that I have worked so hard at doing the best I can and adapting as quickly as possible to this. People often dont realize how much work goes into making a movie, not only the production part, but this part. Coming out, flying 12 hours, getting zero sleep, to promote a movie for three days, non-stop. They see the clips and the interviews, and maybe they think it looks easy.

You not only have to be able to do your job in front of the camera, you have to be able to function inside a marketing machine. But, in terms of the movies, Ive been able to work with some amazing filmmakers. Paul (Feig) twice, John (M. Chu), Guy (Ritchie), Hong Khaou, Robert Schwentke. After this, Im just excited to get myself involved in more eventful movies and Snake Eyes is going to be huge.

Speaking of Snake Eyes, what can fans expect of that movie?

This is an origin story. Its interesting because you have the long-time fans and they have a vision of Snake Eyes in their head, and thats a character that theyve loved for years and years. So, of course, we want to be able to do justice to them. But, at the same time, we want to bring something fresh to it as well. I think weve been able to create a balance within Robert Schwentkes script that pays homage, but at the same time creates our own identity.

You became famous at 30 years old after being a hairdresser and a TV presenter. What was the best part of finding fame as an older person?

I think it helped that I had been able to live a regular existence. You often hear of young stars who get a little taken away by it all. I know that if it all ends tomorrow, Id be pretty fing happy. It wouldnt be as fun, but Id still be going to the cinema to watch movies.

Of course Id be longing to be back in this industry, but Ive had many careers. I was a hairdresser, I was a journalist, and I was a television presenter. Now Im a movie star. Where it goes from here? I dont know. Im just along for the ride.

But I give 110% to it. Thats why I think I can be successful at it. The dedication is real. I think a lot of people, if you just throw yourself into whatever it is you want to do and do the best job and expend the most energy you possibly can, you can succeed at most things. Or at least thats what I hope.

The Gentlemen opens Friday.

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Henry Golding loved cursing in Guy Ritchie's 'The Gentlemen' - Toronto Sun

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Apple v. Attorney General Barr: Giving feds access to smartphones is a bad call | TheHill – The Hill

Posted: at 11:30 am

It is easy to be sympathetic to Attorney General Bill Barrs frustration with Apple just as it was easy to be sympathetic in 2016, when the Justice Department was equally frustrated with the tech giant after jihadists in San Bernardino murdered 14 innocent people.

This time, another jihadist, Saudi air force lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, murdered three members of the U.S. Navy and wounded several others after opening fire at a naval training base in Pensacola, Fla. The jihadist was in possession of two iPhones. He was sufficiently concerned about the contents of one that, during the firefight in which he was killed, he took the time to place it on the floor and fire a round into it, obviously hoping to destroy its contents. But the FBIs adept technicians have the phones working again.

Theres just one problem the same problem that plagued the San Bernardino investigation: The investigators cannot get access to the phones contents without the passwords.

The presumption, just like last time, is that Apple has the trade-secret algorithm that would unlock the phones without triggering any defensive privacy programs. Such a program might erase the contents after a few unsuccessful attempts to break the code, were the FBI to try.

Apple, yet again, is reluctant to help the bureau. And, just as I argued in the San Bernardino case, the company is making an important point. In fact, notwithstanding my admiration for the attorney general and my sympathy for his effort to protect the country, it is a point that has gotten stronger in the ensuing four years. That owes to the governments misconduct and its arrogant indifference to the rights of Americans and the authority of Congress to conduct oversight.

Lets first rehearse the liberty and privacy stakes. These are usually given short shrift, if they are mentioned at all, because these disputes between the states investigators and private tech firms invariably arise after some horrific incident, which we badly want law enforcement to solve.

Its a natural response, but it gives us tunnel vision.

It is not the presumption of our constitutional society that the state is entitled to every private actors assistance in solving crime, nor that the peoples privacy rights are limited by the states claimed need to breach them whenever it declares some emergency. On the contrary, in our republic, the people are sovereign. The government does not have an inherent power to press private actors into its service. (An exception is military service in wartime because, as the Supreme Court observed during World War I, the Constitution expressly empowers Congress to raise armies.)

When legitimate privacy interests exist, it is the governments burden to overcome them, not the publics to justify them. The government is the servant, not the master, and very often the master tells the government no, regardless of how dire the emergency appears to be. The state does not get to ride roughshod over, say, the privilege against self-incrimination, the attorney-client privilege, or the spousal privilege just because its investigators really, really need the information for the purported greater good of solving a case, or even protecting lives.

These are not easy questions, consideration of which is confined to public-safety cases. They have broad implications, calling for excruciating cost-benefit analyses. In modern society, terrorists and dangerous criminals make up a negligible percentage of information-technology consumers. Vastly more common are innocent interlocutors. So are corporations, health care providers and financial institutions, responsible for safeguarding business records, identification data, intellectual property, trade secrets, medical information, financial assets, credit transactions and power grids, to say nothing of protecting their own formulas for thwarting hackers, fraudsters, identity thieves and so on.

In any society with such a premium on information exchange, and therefore such vulnerability to the compromise of vital or personal information, privacy is not merely a desire. It is a valuable commodity. It would be commercial suicide for Apple to ignore that fact to fail to appreciate that, if a tech company shows insufficient zeal in safeguarding its customers privacy, the customers will shop elsewhere.

The government does not want to hear this, but it has made the situation immeasurably less attractive for companies inclined to cooperate. In an era of increasing regulation and criminalization, the unintended revelation of private information can lead to prosecution and civil liability. Crusading state attorneys general use the power to compel production of sensitive information as a painful financial weapon.

In the post-9/11 era, moreover, government has become cavalier about privacy rights, rationalizing that mass intrusions on law-abiding citizens are the necessary price for minimizing the chance of a terrorist attack, and for avoiding the politically-incorrect use of more discriminating surveillance that would spur complaints about profiling.

The public largely tolerated this approach as long as it believed that the threat was severe, and that the government was sincerely confining its efforts to counterterrorism. Over time, however, as 9/11 has faded from memory, the perception of threat is not profound. Indeed, many entering college today were not yet born when those attacks happened. Perhaps more significantly, the government has serially abused and politicized its investigative powers.

The most worrisome aspect of the Russia collusion caper is the erosion of trust in government investigators. National security is one aspect of governance in which our agencies must be able acquire and use intelligence covertly if the mission is to be accomplished. They have to be able to look the public in the eye and say, You can trust us to wield these awesome powers responsibly to use them only for their intended purpose of protecting the American people.

When these awesome powers are used, instead, for political purposes, or to interfere in our electoral process or when the government makes misrepresentations to courts and harvests the sensitive communications data of innocent people then the public becomes convinced that the government cannot be trusted to respect privacy.

And when no one is ever held accountable when officials close ranks to castigate and frustrate examination of their agencies performance the public is apt to say the government cant be trusted with new powers to intrude on privacy. Americans and their congressional representatives may even decide that the powers already conferred need to be reconsidered.

I worry about this a lot. I worked on terrorism cases. Attorney General Barr is right to suggest that we cannot protect the country without robust investigative authorities, and without the cooperation of public-spirited private actors.

It would be nice if Apple could help the Pensacola investigation without weighing all the competing concerns, and if the Justice Department could afford to make its demands for investigative assistance without self-awareness of its role these last years in fueling public skepticism. But that is not the world were living in.

The government does not have an absolute right to commandeer private assistance and intrude on privacy. And tech companies cannot create a backdoor for good-faith investigators to breach the confidentiality of jihadists without making everybodys confidentiality vulnerable to bad actors, who will figure out how to exploit that backdoor.

This is not a problem for Apple to solve. Nor is it a problem for the courts and the Justice Department to navigate based on case-by-case exigencies. It is a difficult challenge in which Congress needs to weigh all the competing concerns and enact a solution if there is one.

Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow atNational Review Institute, a contributing editor at National Review, and a Fox News contributor. His latest book is Ball of Collusion. Follow him on Twitter@AndrewCMcCarthy.

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Uyghur Real Estate Magnate Confirmed Jailed Along With Brothers, at Least 20 Employees – Radio Free Asia

Posted: at 11:30 am

The Uyghur head of a successful real estate firm in northwest Chinas Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and two of his brothers have been confirmed jailed on charges including extremism, along with at least 20 of his employees, according to official sources.

Ekber Imin, the 51-year-old head of the Guzel Makan (Beautiful Land) Real Estate firm, as well as several other companies, in the seat of the XUARs Hotan (in Chinese, Hetian) prefecture went missing in mid-2018, a Uyghur source living in exile in Turkey told RFAs Uyghur Service, speaking on condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisal.

The source said that Imin, who was also known as Ekber Dalu, first became wealthy working in the jade trade and had been targeted by authorities after he amassed more than 1 million yuan (U.S. $146,000).

While investigating the whereabouts of Imin, RFA learned from publicly available records that Guzel Makan, which also had dealings with foreign entities, was established in 2007 and had total combined assets of 13.3 million yuan (U.S. $1.9 million).

RFA recently called the Hotan City Public Security Bureau and spoke with a staff member who said they were not familiar with this situation, when asked about Imins disappearance.

An employee with the citys Tax Bureau told RFA that she was unable to answer questions like this when asked whether Guzel Makan was still operating, due to an order issued by the Public Security Bureau, and referred further inquiries to her superiors.

However, a third source, who used to work with a Hotan prefectural legal and political bureau, told RFA in an interview that Imin owned some 30 16-story apartment buildings in Hotan city which together are known as the Baht (Happiness) Apartment Complex, and cited a colleage as saying that he had been imprisoned for reasons that were not immediately clear.

It was about two years ago that they said hed been taken, said the source, who also declined to provide his name, adding that, Where he is, where hes gone, whats happened to himI know nothing.

We heard 25 years, the former legal worker said, referring to the length of Imins sentence.

When asked whether the nature of Imins business had led to his imprisonment, the former legal worker said he was unsure, but that he heard that the company had foreign ties.

Everyone, young and old, knows about [his sentence], he said.

RFA also spoke with a police officer in Hotan city who said he had heard from members of his social circle that Imin was detained, but was unsure when.

They detained him when he was going through a [border] checkpoint, he said, without specifying which one. The XUAR shares borders with Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and the region of Jammu and Kashmir, which is the subject of a territorial dispute between India, Pakistan, and China.

The police officer said he believed Imin had been sentenced for life, but admitted that he did not know for sure.

Brothers and staffers

However, a police officer at Hotans Ilchi Market told RFA that not only Imin, but his brothersMemetturdi Imin, 56, and Memetjan Imin, 48were jailed along with at least 20 of Imins employees.

The police officer said that one of the crimes Imin was convicted for was propagating extremist ideology by incorporating ethnic and religious elements into building designs.

I am aware that drivers and staffers of Ekber Imin and his brothers were sentenced, but I dont know the exact number, he said, adding that some of them are serving sentences in a prison run by the Bingtuana name used to refer to the quasi-military Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC).

Ekber and his brothers were sentenced for five different reasons. One was providing so-called cover for a criminal. Memetturdi Imin provided housing to a [camp] detainee who had been released. He was arrested for that reason.

Other sources also confirmed that Imins brothers and staffers had also been either sentenced or sent to camps.

There were two people from our township who had worked at Ekber Imins company and I attended their court hearing, a ruling Communist Party secretary from Hotan citys Ilchi township told RFA, without providing a date for the proceedings.

There were two sessions. One was related to Ekber Imins case. In that case, more than 30 were sentenced.

A businessman from Hotan city who is familiar with the Imins told RFA he knew that Imins two brothers had each been sentenced to 20 years in prison, but I dont know about the names and number of their partners who were jailed.

Another businessman from Hotan prefecture said that seven people, including Ekber Imin, his brothers, and business partners, were sentenced in the last months of 2018.

They are serving their sentences in a prison in Aksu (Akesu) prefecture, he added.

Recent sentences

Last month, sources told RFA that one of the wealthiest Uyghurs in Hotan prefecture had been confirmed jailed for life after his whereabouts were unknown for more than three years, and that dozens of his relatives and employees had also been sentenced to prison.

Eli Abdulla, the CEO of Xinjiang Yu Cheng (Jade City) Real Estate Development Ltd.a company based in the XUAR capital Urumqi that deals in real estate, development, and rentals, as well as the sale of construction materials, chemicals, electronics, and mechanical equipmentwent missing in mid-2016, and was believed to have been arrested by authorities and sentenced a year later.

His situation could not be confirmed amid an information clampdown in the XUAR, where authorities are believed to have detained some 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities accused of harboring strong religious views and politically incorrect ideas in a vast network of internment camps since April 2017. Camp incarcerations are largely extra-judicial decisions.

In September 2018, multiple reports from official media said that Chinas central government had ordered local authorities to investigate the finances of all owners of private companies throughout the XUAR, at the same time that internment camps were being built in the region.

According to the directive, the reports said, private business owners were required to fill out declaration forms at the time that provided detailed financial information about their assets and submit them to relevant government departments, where they were subjected to strict review.

Reported by Shohret Hoshur. Translated by Alim Seytoff, Mamatjan Juma, and Elise Anderson. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

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