Film: Casino Jack – Fellowship of Humanity    

Film: Casino Jack

Posted by Humanist Hall on December 30, 2010as , , , ,

Wednesday, January 19 at 7:30 pm

Casino Jack: The United States of Money

by Alex Gibney

This eye-opening documentary is a lesson in how the U.S. government works (or, rather, fails to work!).  The government process is based on who pays who to further some person’s agenda.  Elected representatives answer to lobbyists instead of to we the people.  Injustices such as murder and sweatshops are ignored if enough money is paid into campaigns of politicians who will look the other way.  Take politicians on enough exciting vacations with beautiful golf courses, and greed can easily corrupt their goals.

This film is a journey through Jack Abramoff’s outrageous life.  Raising money is one of the hardest things politicians have to do in order to campaign and it’s difficult to have time to do it.  So if a powerful lobbyist is offering contributions to a politician without any major extra effort, on the politician’s part, it’s easy to say “yes.”  Jack Abramoff romanced politicians with a better lifestyle filled with golf courses and luxury vacations.  He was himself  a zealot — who was led to corruption through his idealism.  His became a wild, larger-than-life character, romping wherever his beloved “free market” was reinforced.  He was at the heart of the total breakdown of the political system.  He was not an exception to the rule; he was an exaggeration of business as usual.  Because Abramoff was a multi-tentacled operator, and traveled around the world on behalf of his clients, there were numerous money trails that the film follows all around the world.  And nothing has fundamentally changed since the Abramoff scandal.  Alex Gibney tells us:  “The biggest problem we have is that money is able to exert a force of power [on Washington] that’s irresistible. We need  to try to find a way to take money out of politics; unless that happens we’re done.”

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