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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 08:39 AM
Number of posts: 45,783

Journal Archives

Tom Tomorrow: The Return of Droney

Tom Tomorrow: "Last week a report on the impact of drone warfare on civilians was released by the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic of Stanford Law School and the Global Justice Clinic at the New York University School of Law. You can download it here. I also recommend Charles Pierce's thoughts on the matter, here."

DAILY KOS LINK: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/01/1137164/-The-return-of-Droney?detail=hide

Salon.com: The Right's Pop-Culture Problem - A Recent History of Embarrassing Moments


SUNDAY, SEP 30, 2012 08:00 AM EDT

The right’s pop-culture problem
From Clint to "Won't Back Down" to "October Baby": A recent history of embarrassing right-wing culture moments


As the anti-union inspirational drama “Won’t Back Down,” Dinesh D’Souza’s deeply crazy Obama conspiracy-theory documentary “2016” and the Clint Eastwood fiasco at the Republican National Convention suggest, conservatives have a problem with pop culture. They don’t much like it or trust it, and the feeling is mutual; every time the two try to dance, the results are embarrassing to all. This becomes painfully clear every time a Republican candidate holds a fundraiser in Hollywood, which has of course been a bottomless source of money for Barack Obama and every other significant Democrat on the national stage, going back at least as far as Adlai Stevenson.

Last weekend Mitt Romney’s campaign held just such an event in Beverly Hills, and most of the names on the guest list were downright depressing: A few aging producers like action-movie impresario Jerry Bruckheimer and 1970s game-show pioneer Burt Sugarman; a few showbiz relics like Pat Boone and Connie Stevens. Almost the only contemporary and recognizable figures were Patricia Heaton (you know! Debra from “Everybody Loves Raymond”!) and “CSI: NY” star Gary Sinise, quite likely the only Republican who has ever directed a Sam Shepard play. Indeed, Sinise is so beloved by the lonely cadre of culturally savvy right-wingers – they do exist! – that former George W. Bush and John McCain aide Nicolle Wallace floated a rumor in 2009 that he might run for president. (Given the way things look for Romney right now, I bet a lot of Republicans would love to go back in time and work a little harder on that.)

You can slice this particular cultural phenomenon any number of ways: Depending on your perspective, Hollywood is either a bastion of progressive, independent thinkers or a hotbed of America-haters, socialists and sexual deviants. Viewed more neutrally, it’s probably fair to say that the creative classes in every modern society have skewed leftward, and that the reasons for that are deeply encoded in history. When power belonged to the king, the church and the generals, and was devoted to enforcing obedience, conformity and bourgeois family life, you could hardly expect the poets and actors – what with their absinthe and their opium and their complicated sexual affairs – to play along.

- snip -

It’s as if the producers and directors of these movies never got the memo about how culture in the digital age is supposed to look and feel – and they probably didn’t. (I’m not necessarily endorsing the sleek, knowing manner of nearly all entertainment aimed at an educated adult audience, but we’re all pretty used to it.) Whether this is a deliberate strategy I couldn’t say, but in the case of “Won’t Back Down,” which positions itself as a “Stand and Deliver”-type inspirational tale about inner-city education before dropping some deep wisdom on the evils of teachers’ unions, the answer is probably no. But if you think I’m exaggerating or manufacturing this tendency, I double-dare you – no, triple-dare you! – to watch “An American Carol,” the anti-Michael Moore spoof from 2008 and the most notorious of all conservative efforts to engage in waggery, ribaldry and high jinks.


Documenting Rush Limbaugh's Slow, Inexorable Downward Spiral (Daily Kos)


SUN SEP 30, 2012 AT 12:41 PM EDT

Documenting Rush Limbaugh's slow, inexorable downward spiral

by Richard Myers

On March 7 of 2012, Rush Limbaugh claimed 18,000 advertisers on the approximately 600 radio stations that carry his talk show. I think that his estimate may be reasonable.

At the time, the media was reporting that 28 (national brand name) sponsors had dropped the Rush Limbaugh Show. Limbaugh infamously characterized the hit as "losing a couple of french fries in the container when it's delivered to you at the drive-thru." After more than two decades preaching hate virtually unopposed on the public air waves, Rush could not have known that his brutal attacks on Sandra Fluke had crossed an invisible social line, and that this was just the beginning.

Two radio stations dropped Limbaugh in early March. No one expects additional radio stations to drop his program before 2013. The election insures that many stations won't want to make any dramatic changes prior to the depletion of all that Citizens United election money. Also, a number of contracts between Limbaugh and Cumulus radio stations will expire in 2013. (Cumulus is not revealing the exact date.)


Here is a thread I posted back in March publicizing Rep. Jackie Speier's reaction to Limbaugh's Fluke comments, containing a simple, one-sentence observation from myself...

We used pressure on advertisers to get Glenn Beck out of mainstream media, why can't we do it with Rush?

...although apparently many in the country were thinking and doing the same thing at the time. I'd like to think that if I helped in any minuscule way at all to have an effect on Limbaugh's power or income, it in some small way made me even just that little much more a better human being. [p]

Have You Ever Seen Another Moon in an Alien Sky? (Daily Kos)


SUN SEP 30, 2012 AT 05:45 AM EDT

Have you ever seen another moon in an alien sky?

by Troubadour

The Curiosity rover turned its cameras upward for a first-ever clear, daylight color photograph of Phobos over Mars.

Note: The black dot to the left of Phobos is just a bad pixel. The color of the overall image is characteristic of the Martian sky with a low dust load - under totally clear conditions, the sky is slate-gray at the zenith due to the thinness of the atmosphere and pales to a somewhat brighter shade closer to the horizon. Blown up:


U.S. Use of Truth Drug Revealed (New Evidence All Gitmo Detainees Given Involuntarily)

Source: Sun-Herald (Australia)

US use of truth drug revealed

Natalie O'Brien September 30, 2012

New evidence has emerged that all Guantanamo Bay detainees, including David Hicks, were drugged involuntarily with a substance that has a long history as a truth serum.

Recently declassified US documents revealing medical procedures have shown that scopolamine was administered to all detainees taken to the Cuban detention centre.

The documents, which were standard operating procedures for nursing staff, were obtained by the independent US news outlet Truthout, and reveal that the rationale for the drug's use on all detainees was to prevent motion sickness.

- snip -

The Sun-Herald revealed this month that Mr Hicks and other detainees were drugged against their will with unknown substances and that detainees' medical records were incomplete, with the names and dosages of drugs removed.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/us-use-of-truth-drug-revealed-20120929-26sja.html

'Blair Could Have Stopped Bush' - Kofi Annan

Source: AFP

'Blair could have stopped Bush'

Sat, 29 Sep 2012 8:12 AM

Former British prime minister Tony Blair was the only person capable of turning George Bush against the 2003 Iraq invasion, ex-United Nations chief Kofi Annan claimed in an interview published Saturday.

Annan argued in an interview published in the Times newspaper that Blair could have changed Bush's mind because of the special relationship between the two nations and the two leaders.

Annan said he often had contemplated what might have happened if "Blair had said 'George, this is where we part company. You're on your own'," following the failure to secure a second UN resolution. "I really think it could have stopped the war," added the Nobel peace laureate.

- snip -

But a second resolution proposed by the US, Britain, and Spain in 2003 that called for action to be taken against Saddam Hussain's regime was withdrawn when it became clear it would be vetoed.

Read more: http://news.iafrica.com/worldnews/818957.html

I showed this photo to my college students this morning as part of a discussion of iconic images...

And two hours later I started crying.

I don't cry often. I've shown it many times before. Just, some days...

New Orleans after Katrina.

U.S. Soldier Survives Taliban Machine Gun Fire During Firefight

Published on Sep 26, 2012 by FUNKER530

No rounds penetrated his body armor, and he made it home with no permanent injuries. This happened in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.
*READ* From the cameraman:

" I got a hit a total of 4 times. My helmet cam died and i made it down the mountain on my own. I was also hit in the side of my helmet and my eye pro was shot off of my face. We were doing overwatch on the village to recon and gather intel. I was point heading down the face of the hill with the LT. when we got hit. the rest of the squad was pinned down by machine gun fire. I didn't start the video until a few mins into the firefight for obvious reasons. I came out into the open to draw fire so my squad could get to safety."

"A round struck the tube by my hand of the 203 grenade launcher which knocked it out of my hands. When I picked the rifle back up it was still functional but the grenade launcher tube had a nice sized 7.62 cal bullet hole in it and was rendered useless. "

This footage is part of an ongoing documentation of the war in Afghanistan.

California Man Linked to Anti-Islam Film in Custody for Hearing

Source: Reuters

California man linked to anti-Islam film in custody: Court Spokesman

LOS ANGELES | Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:30pm EDT
(Reuters) - A California man linked to an anti-Islam film that stoked violent protests across the Muslim world was in custody on Thursday, a court spokesman said ahead of bail hearing in Los Angeles.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, has been under investigation by probation officials looking into whether he violated the terms of his 2011 release from prison on a bank fraud conviction while making the film.

As a condition of his release, he was barred from accessing the Internet or using aliases without the permission of a probation officer, court records show.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/27/us-usa-film-protests-idUSBRE88Q1VE20120927

TOON: Slowpoke Jen - 'Hate The Nanny State? You'll Love The Aristocratic Old Grandpa State'

Daily Kos Link: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/09/26/1136266/-The-aristocratic-old-grandpa-state
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