Michael Moore: I?m Coming for ?Big Wuss? Donald Trump
Michael Moore: I’m Coming for ‘Big Wuss’ Donald Trump.
NEW YORK – Michael Moore – a prominent American left-wing political activist and documentary filmmaker – has sent Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump a letter chastising him on his recent anti-Muslim statements and his call to ban Muslims from coming to the US.The Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker discusses his new film ‘Where to Invade Next,’ gun violence in America, the Sandy Hook anniversary, and his anti-Trump campaign.
The first, “Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success”, by journalist Michael D’Antonio, is balanced, well-sourced and perfectly timed. This raises an obvious question for Republican candidates in the United States presidential race: How do Americans ensure no Muslim salmon are swimming among the pink refugees?
He also published a picture of himself standing in front of Trump Tower – the 68-storey skyscraper owned by Donald Trump in New York city – with the caption “We are all Muslim.” He stood near the landmark building until the police came and asked him to leave. The Midtown Manhattan monstrosity, whose gold entryway sign bearing his name screams off-Strip Vegas casino, used concrete from a firm owned by the Genovese and Gambino crime families.
During his campaign, Trump called for a ‘total and complete block on all Muslims’ entering the US and an end to Muslim immigration to the country. And if that weren’t enough, Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, who massacred thousands of his people, used to be the proud owner of apartment 54-K, while Prince Mutaib bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, a senior member of the Saudi royal family, owns an entire floor in the building. Coming midway between Trump’s presidential launch in June and the real test of his support in the Republican primaries early next year, these books hit that mark. The Republican hopeful said in a statement: “Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.” UKIP leader Nigel Farage has criticised Mr Trump’s remarks as a “massively over the top reaction to a serious situation”, but also suggested the subsequent public outcry has been equally excessive. In the letter, Moore reminded Trump that the US today was no longer a country of ‘angry white guys,’ that the future US president would be chosen by more diverse voters and that fortunately the US no longer looks like Trump or his supporters. “Here’s a statistic that is going to make your hair spin: 81 percent of the electorate who will pick the president next year are either female, people of colour, or young people between the ages of 18 and 35.
Older people are also more sympathetic to Mr Trump’s proposal being realised in the UK – just 38% of those aged 55 or over would oppose such a ban, with 35% in favour. Similarly, 32% of Britons agree that given the terrorist threat the UK faces, Mr Trump’s proposals should be “seriously considered” by British politicians, with 52% disagreeing. A day before, I sat down with Moore at a downtown office to discuss his Trump sneak attack, as well as his new documentary Where to Invade Next—a travelogue of sorts that follows Moore as he visits foreign countries like Italy, Finland, and Norway to observe their quality of life compared to ours.
Earlier, Mr Trump was engaged in a war of words with Scottish National Party foreign spokesman Alex Salmond, who deemed the Republican frontrunner “three times a loser” after the Trump Organisation lost its court battle over the wind turbines being built near his golf course. Mr Salmond had previously branded the Republican frontrunner’s remarks as “hate preaching” and “bigotry”, and revealed he has signed a petition to ban him from entering the UK on grounds of hate speech.
Born in the vanguard of the baby-boomer generation in 1946, he grew up in style and privilege to Scottish-German parents in the New York borough of Queens. The day before Trump announced his Muslim ban, Marco Rubio, the Florida senator also seeking the Republican nomination, claimed that Islamophobia is fictitious. “Where is the widespread evidence that we have a problem in America with discrimination against Muslims?” Rubio asked, seemingly oblivious to the spike in assaults on Muslims in the US. Three in ten (31%) support banning him, while 37% agree with the Prime Minister that he should not be banned. “A person who uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, is guilty of an offence if: Sky Data interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,021 Sky customers online 11-16 December 2015.
In fact, two weeks earlier, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair) had issued a report about violence aimed at Muslim Americans after the Paris attacks. The things we think we should have—free universal healthcare, free university, a different attitude towards drugs—how’s it working in those places where they’re trying something different? To get ahead you needed to game City Hall for the tax breaks and write-offs that made your ventures profitable, deal with the Gambino and Genovese-linked mob groups that controlled and set the price of cement, and contract with their unions. Cair stated that it had “received more reports about acts of Islamophobic discrimination, intimidation, threats and violence targeting American Muslims (or those perceived to be Muslim) and Islamic institutions in the past week-and-a-half, than during any other limited period of time since the 9/11 terror attacks.” It’s got significantly worse in recent days.
Steve King, a prominent Republican congressman, said he would allow entry to the US only to those who are “the most likely to be able to contribute to our society and our economy and assimilate into the American civilisation”, and concluded that “Muslims do not do that in significant numbers”. Donald first came to public attention in 1973, when the civil rights division of the US Justice Department launched a case against the Trumps for allegedly discriminating between black and white tenants in the public housing that he ran. I said it to the MPAA last week when I was appealing the R rating on this film, I said, “I came in here 13 years ago and you gave Bowling for Columbine an R rating because you didn’t want teenagers to look at a school shooting.” And back then it was once or twice a year, and now it’s once or twice a month. A recent study (conducted before this current wave of anti-Muslim hysteria) stated that nearly half of the responding Muslim-American physicians had felt greater scrutiny compared to others due to their faith and a quarter reported experiencing religious discrimination frequently over their career. I don’t understand why people are allowed to purchase assault rifles like the AR-15 that was used in the San Bernardino, Oregon, and Aurora shootings, or the Bushmaster that was used in Sandy Hook.
If you are accused of something, label your accuser with something far worse. (It is a tactic he is putting to good use on the 2016 campaign trail.) Cohn hit the government with a $100-million (Dh367 million) damages lawsuit claiming that federal officials were like “storm troopers” who had used “Gestapo-like tactics” to defame their client. However, while it’s important to call out Republicans, it’s also necessary to remember that the Obama administration’s policies have also unfairly targeted Muslim-Americans.
Under Obama, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have routinely denied thousands of law-abiding people — mostly Muslims — citizenship, permanent residency and visas through the little-known Controlled Application Review and Resolution Programme (CARRP). The programme mandates that immigration services field officers deny or delay, often indefinitely, any application with a potential “national security concern”, which is defined incredibly broadly by USCIS.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a lawsuit last year against the government over this scheme, more than 19,000 people from 21 Muslim-majority countries or regions were subjected to the programme between 2008 and 2012. At the time I said I wouldn’t want this to happen to the parents, but if they ever showed the crime scene photos of Sandy Hook, that would be the end of the NRA that night—to see the heads of 20 first-graders blown off. The programme relies on flawed assumptions about who becomes a terrorist and why, stigmatises the entire Muslim community and tarnishes the community’s relationship with law enforcement. Trump was reared on the kind of self-help and get-rich-quick books that he now so frequently churns out himself (starting with “The Art of the Deal”, which came out in 1987, Trump has written more than a dozen). Likewise, the FBI under the Obama administration has routinely set up vulnerable losers in terrorism sting plots that in all likelihood would never have happened without the FBI’s dirty work and offers of handsome payouts.
During the sentencing phase in one of these cases, the judge herself said it was “beyond question that the government created the crime here”, criticising the FBI for sending informants “trolling among the citizens of a troubled community, offering very poor people money if they will play some role — any role — in criminal activity”. His biggest influence was Norman Vincent Peale, a Presbyterian pastor whose book “The Power of Positive Thinking” (1952) sold 2 million copies in its first two years. Isn’t it time to face the fact that blanket anti-Muslim policies feed an ugly prejudice and degrade our professed values of equal treatment under the law? In the wake of a mass shooting, the left tends to focus on guns while the right tends to try and steer the conversation away from guns by talking about mental health, even though in the wake of the Charleston shooting, the GOP shot down the Dems’ proposed amendment for the CDC to study the underlying causes of gun violence. If he had simply invested it in the stock market, it would now be worth around $3 billion — or roughly the same as Bloomberg’s estimate of his net worth today.
If you’re worried about an invader in your home in the middle of the night, to wake up out of a dead sleep, in the dark, grab a gun and think you’re going to hit something? In “Crippled America”, Trump is described in a biographical note as “the very definition of the American success story” and “a deal maker without peer”.
This type of rhetoric is not helping our cause, but instead pulling us ever closer to a global conflict between the West and the Muslim World, which is exactly what ISIS wants. I’m also going to go down to one of his buildings, stand there with a sign outside—I can’t tell you what’s on it, but it will be good—and have myself photographed with it. But Trump struggles to explain how his skill at branding high-end condominiums would somehow better qualify him than others to deal with China, Iran and others. All I know about him is his name is on a lot of things.” I said, “Do you want me to go talk to him just to calm him down a little bit?” She said, “Yeah, I’d really appreciate that.” So I go up to him and say, “Hey, I’m Michael Moore. You don’t have anything to worry about, we’re just going out to have some fun with Roseanne.” He goes, “Oh, well I just don’t want…” blah blah.
In the case of Daesh (the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), he would bomb their oilfields. “We would hit them so hard and so fast in so many different ways they wouldn’t know what happened,” he says. Under a Trump administration, the US would soon be eating China’s lunch rather than the other way round. “My name has become one of the greatest brands in the world,” he writes. “I know how to win.” That is pretty much all there is to it. Among his more memorable interviews was with Ivana Trump, Trump’s first wife, who tussled famously with “The Donald” over a prenuptial agreement.
When you think of my films, it’s hard to think “R.” The first thing I said to them was, we know from our own research that the studio will make more money if this is an R rated film, so I’m arguing against our own financial interests here by asking you to rate it PG-13. Her appearance spoke volumes. “She moves slowly,” writes D’Antonio, “and her face seems almost frozen by cosmetic intervention.” D’Antonio’s most revealing quote is Trump’s admission that he had not matured since he was six. “When I look at myself in the first grade and I look at myself now, I’m basically the same,” says Trump. “The temperament is not that different.” I’m held to a different standard because they’re smart enough to know that within the film—it’s not visible, but it’s there for the whole two hours—there’s a fuse, and the audience is getting angrier and angrier watching how people get to live in these other countries, and they know what I’m up to.
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