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Everybody hates Newt

I LOL’d at this comically forlorn shot of loathsome sack of shit former Speaker of the House and Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s meeting in Washington, D.C. today.

Doesn’t ANYONE give a shit about Newt? Apparently not even conservatives do, which is something for the cable news channels to take note of.

CNN, CNBC and MSNBC—we know Fox News isn’t going to have him back—need to let this slimy amphibian crawl under a rock and delete his number from their auto-dial. No one will miss not seeing Newt Gingrich on their teevee set. No one cares what he thinks.

Now that it’s patently obvious she’s never going to be First Lady—and he’s flat broke—I wonder how long pretty “Stepford Wife” Callista will stick around? Can you imagine what it would be like to watch that old goat age? Sitting around in his underpants farting and pontificating about stuff every day of your fucking life?

She clearly got the wrong end of a poorly negotiated Faustian bargain!

Via BuzzFeed

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Occupy London vs the Gays: or just another media spin party?

The headlines are in and the buzz is beginning to build. Occupy London (formerly known as Occupy London Stock Exchange, or Occupy LSX) have set up a new protest camp in London’s Hampstead Heath, one of the city’s busiest public parks.

Hampstead Heath is popular with families, tourists, sun seekers and dog-walkers, but the park also happens to be a renowned cruising spot popular with the local gay community, a fact which has not gone unnoticed by the new Occupy camp.

It appears that tensions between the two communities are on the rise - or are they?

A recent news item posted by the gay-interest site Pink News suggests that they may be, quoting from a protester at the Hampsted Heath camp:

Timothy Sullivan, a 46-year-old protester, responded to potential objections to the group’s presence by saying they would improve safety by deterring gay cruising on the Heath.

He told the paper: “We could vaporise that problem just being here and let people enjoy their open space again.”

As would be imagined, these comments have not gone down well with many in the gay community. Or with other communities, for that matter, as a lot of commentators see this story as proof of the Occupy movement’s ill-founded logic, and the stereotype of protesters as “unwashed” (seeing as they will be camping out in a public park for months on end.)

But is there more to this than the initial reports suggest?

As with anything this neatly packaged, the motives of the site doing the reporting should be examined. While gay people should be very vigilant against perceived homophobia, the cynic in me wonders if this is yet another non-story that has been blown out of all proportion and designed to inspire “victim-rage” in a minority, thus drawing more advertising hits?

Because it seems awfully silly of a movement who claim to represent 99% of the world’s population to make comments that single out, and make targets of, a specific minority (a minority who, lest we forget, are already facing their own tribulations.) The Occupy movement itself has been somewhat of a whipping boy in certain corners of the internet and the oldstream media, who seem intent on discrediting the movement, something that has been made much easier by Occupy’s nebulous nature.

However, Ronan McNern, a gay member of the Occupy London press team, has said today:

“{These comments] are not representative of Occupy London, and against our own Safer Spaces Policy, which is very clear:

“Racism, as well as ageism, homophobia, sexism, transphobia, ableism or prejudice based on ethnicity, nationality, class, gender, gender presentation, language ability, asylum status or religious affiliation is unacceptable and will be challenged.” [

Occupy is made up of individuals and these are the comments of an individual - comments that run contrary to positions decided by Occupy in its very earliest days and remain at the core of how we relate to and show respect for one another. I will be speaking with him personally (have left a voicemail with him), as I know will others. Having met and chatted with him briefly I thought he was a good guy and I was very surprised to hear these comments. There is the potential that the words reported weren’t exactly what he meant to say, but whatever the case he will be spoken with so that he gains a clearer understanding of the history of Hampstead Heath, the fight for gay/queer rights and the stigma that has had to be overcome, and that still continues.

I’ve heard that other members of the Occupy Nomad camp have already expressed serious concerns regarding these comments. As a movement, it is essential that we challenge the language and assumptions that appear to have been made in the comments that appeared in the article - while Occupy is open to all, it is not open to all behaviours."

Sure, there may be many reasons to disagree with the methods of the Occupy movement (if not the motives, per se) and the confusion surrounding the reporting of this issue ties in strongly with that, but with summer rolling back 'round and people getting ready to get protesting again, it will serve us well to keep our media-cynicism levels at an all-time high. Because I think we are going to see a lot more of this kind of thing.

Occupy London have an official statement addressing the comments made by Timothy Sullivan on their website..

With thanks to Paul Shetler.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
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Who said it: Mitt Romney or Mr. Burns?

Ridicule is a good weapon to wield in a political campaign and one that an undignified buffoon like Thurston Howell III Mitt Romney is particularly vulnerable to.

So far the Obama campaign has been a pathetic, embarrassing shambles, of course, but whoever is producing his web ads is a comedic genius and should be given a raise and a promotion within the campaign organization, pronto!

(Or is it Thurston Howell III Mitt Romney who is the comedy genius?)

Via Think Progress

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Sickening display: The Senate Banking Committee, a bunch of sniveling idiots

Apparently losing (only) a few billion makes you a hero in Washington, DC these days…

Jamie Dimon, the powerful chairman, president, and CEO of JPMorgan Chase went before a bunch of ass-licking buffoons the Senate Banking Committee today to discuss tightening up banking rules. Supposedly Dimon was to be grilled by the Senators to explain JPMorgan Chase’s loss of between $3 billion and $8 billion, give or take(!), in a bad trade on credit derivatives, bu that didn’t really happen so much…

Instead they treated Dimon like he’s Justin fucking Bieber and they’re all hot-to-trot 14-year-old girls with moist panties. Like he’s royalty or a genius or maybe just… preposterously wealthy.

Watch the clip below and try to imagine how Dimon himself didn’t just burst out laughing at these idiotic GROWN MEN bending over backwards to publicly fellate him in the most obsequious ways.

These fucking dolts are the ones we’ve entrusted this country’s destiny to! As to who is actually in charge here, it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?

We’re doomed!

Via Talking Points Memo

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Rupert Murdoch’s ‘spooky’ college roadtrip…
07:32 am

Current Events

Rupert Murdoch

It’s nearly impossible to find a photo of Murdoch when he was young. He was born looking middle-aged, apparently

During a week in which no less than two former British Prime Ministers directly contradicted Rupert Murdoch’s recent sworn testimony to the Leveson Inquiry, an apparently much more inconspicuous Murdoch-related story also bobbed up in The Guardian

In his recent memoir Special Relations, the well-regarded academic and historian Asa Briggs relates how, in 1952, when Briggs was a 31-year-old Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford, he embarked upon what The Guardian calls a “somewhat unconventional camping holiday around the Middle East” alongside 21-year-old “Philosophy, Politics and Economics” Worcester undergraduate Rupert Murdoch and two others.

“We met Rupert and George [Masterman –  one of the other two] in what had been Constantinople, now Istanbul. Rupert had traveled there with his father in the Zephyr, which he had promised his father he would send back to Australia by sea from Port Said. They had had trouble… in crossing [communist] Yugoslavia. Curiously, Rupert was to have trouble too in Jordan.”

Curious indeed. At that time Jordan was a strange place to be making a beeline for.

“King Abdullah had recently been assassinated [by a Palestinian gunman], upsetting the whole balance of power in the Arab world, and there were many signs of tension in all the places on our journey beyond Turkey, through Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. There were Arabs who thought the name Murdoch was associated with the name Mordecai.”

In Lebanon, the entire party found themselves short on funds:

“We made contact with the father on an Oxford postgraduate student who generously offered to lend us what we needed. We arranged to meet him in the market the following day. Our benefactor did not turn up; he had died in the night. He had arranged for us to have the money, however.”

Righteo. Whether Briggs’ entire memoir consists of thinly veiled spying anecdotes or not I don’t know, suffice to say that I enjoyed this particular snapshot. The Guardian, of course, relays it all with an entirely straight face, espying nothing suspicious in the timing, destination or identity of the travelers – one thing it neglects to mention, however, is that Briggs was not only an accomplished historian in the early fifties, but an even more accomplished British intelligence asset, as even his Wikipedea entry nowadays knows:

“From 1942 to 1945 during WWII, Briggs served in the intelligence corps and worked at the British wartime codebreaking station Bletchley Park. He was a member of “the watch” in Hut 6, the section deciphering Enigma Machine messages from the German Army and Air Force.”

The aroma of skulduggery rises liberally from these recollections, which I felt especially timely considering that, decades later, Murdoch’s long-rumoured affiliation with the CIA (the accusation has clung to him since the mid-seventies, thanks in part to his business links with known spooks like Michael Hand) is one of the more pressing yet predictably wholly unsung aspects of the ongoing hacking scandal.

No one at the Leveson Inquiry, for example, seems at all interested why this Australian-born businessman is such a vehement opponent of the European Union, or why his newspapers – when not indefatigably cheering on Anglo-American military adventures – appear to have been conducting large-scale surveillance operations (because that’s what they are) on civilians, police and politicians: propaganda and espionage, of course, being the long term specialities of “The Agency.”

As conspiracy theorist Alex Constantine puts it:

“Perhaps the hideous Rupert Murdoch is not merely an independent “conservative” propagandist whose view of the world is parallel to General Pinochet’s, but one deliberately installed to program public opinion.”

Perhaps so.

Posted by Thomas McGrath | Discussion
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Nation building dos and don’ts
Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Don’t ever change, Republicans: Mitt Romney bumper sticker as seen at CPAC
04:03 pm

Class War

Mitt Romney

As if the other guy is? Child, pu-leeeze!

More tepid endorsements of Mitt Romney at Yahoo News

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Moment of Clarity: The rantings and ravings of comedian Lee Camp
02:51 pm


Lee Camp

Stand-up comedian, social satirist and political activist Lee Camp—the “Che Guevara of comedy” as Paul Provenza calls him—is best known for his popular “Moment of Clarity” web series and Camp has performed live for protesters at various Occupy sites around the country.

Now he’s an author, with a new collection of his work in print form, Moment Of Clarity: The Ravings of a Stark Raving Sane Man. I caught up with Lee Camp via email to ask him to clairify a few things for Dangerous Minds readers:

Lee, so it’s been a week… have you had a moment of clarity yet about what happened in Wisconsin?

Lee Camp: I’ll be writing that one tomorrow. It might just be a string of profanities. Wisconsin is just the first explosion in the corporate-backed Citizens-United-fueled demolition of our democracy.  If I can get over my moment of dispair-ity, then I’ll work on the Moment of Clarity. [See below!]

Do the WI election results auger as poorly for the future of labor and the Democrats as it seems? I was shocked at the delusion I saw on MSNBC on election night. It was ridiculous, I thought, especially what Lawrence O’Donnell said about Obama being the “biggest winner.” Absurd. 

Lee Camp: Yes, they are a horrible sign for the left, for labor, and for this country. I think that as this shit-storm continues people will have no choice but to wake up. At least, that’s my hope. And yeah, you see a lot of delusion from the talking heads because they know that if they’re too depressing, we’ll jump off a bridge. And if we jump off a bridge, they lose viewers. MSNBC is fighting for ratings, so they don’t want anybody dropping their “Lawrence O’Donnell” flag and stuffing handfuls of pills in their mouths.

Scott Walker, the next Nixon?

Lee Camp: Ha. Nixon would seem like a squishy lefty compared to Walker.

As a longtime observer of subcultures, one thing that is surprising to me—-and I should say upfront that I consider this a positive development—is how folks on the Left are starting to tentatively voice an opinion long heard on the Right, of favor of secession.  Would it be better to agree to disagree and let Red States do whatever they want—fuck over the unions, poison their water supply with fracking, teaching “Noah’s Ark was real” nonsense in schools, outlawing abortion, curtailing LGBT rights, making church attendance mandatory, whatever—while more, how shall I put this, better-educated regions of the country split off to do what we want? “We” keep “them” from living as they wish to live and vice versa, why not give up and face the facts? 

Lee Camp: Sounds kinda nice to me. The problem is that the blue states are on the two coasts. How we will stick together? Maybe a sky bridge over the country? The other problem is that even blue states will allow the corporate raping and pillaging of their land if enough money is poured into the political process. Wisconsin is not necessarily a red state, and it has a noble history of fighting for workers’ rights. However, this last election showed us that if people are handed a pile of shit and shown enough commercials saying it’s chocolate, they’ll eat it with a smile on their faces. 

Do you feel that given what we’ve seen shake out in the past decade, the unbridgeable philosophical chasm that exists between Left and Right, where no compromise, no civility and really not even a productive discussion can take place anymore, just yelling on cable news shows, can ever go back into the box?

Lee Camp: Hmmm, maybe. But the truly sad thing is that in many categories the politicians on the two “sides” are not offering different paths. They seem to agree on everything Wall Street and everything military industrial complex. So I think you will see continued energy breaking out of the two part system - like we’ve seen with Occupy.

Speaking of, do you think it’s time to retire the term “Occupy” and what are your observations about how it has seemed to fizzle out in 2012? All winter long, OWS seemed dormant, I was thinking, just because of how cold it was, but it didn’t really come back all that strong this year. What caused all of that amazing energy and commitment to disperse? Or has it? Is it just gestating?

Lee Camp: I think it’s still there, and I think it will come back strong. I don’t think you’ve seen the last of it by any means. Let’s remember what we’re watching here - a handful of protesters going up against riot cops with pepper spray and batons. Is it any surprise that there are going to be lulls? I don’t think this battle is over.

Do you think Romney can beat Obama?

Lee Camp:: Sure he can. The right wing is working furiously to purge all the black and Latino people off the voting roles. If that doesn’t work, we have some of the most hackable computer voting systems this world has ever seen. I’ve seen a monkey hack the voting machines. (Not kidding. Google it.) If a monkey can hack our machines, then a robotic tool like Romney can win an election. On top of that, Romney will have a money advantage. The only way for the left to win is to vote in such great numbers that it swamps the percentage points that will be stolen.

Below, Camp’s calm, cool and collected take on the Wisconsin recall election results and Citizen’s United:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Rainer Werner Fassbinder died 30 years ago today

When she found him in the early hours of the morning, it seemed as if he was sleeping. Lying on the bed, with an ink-marked script beside him, still dressed, his shoes carelessly kicked off, a television flickering in the corner. The room smelled of smoke and sweat, a table lamp, cigarettes, an overfilled ashtray. It seemed as if he’d fallen asleep as he worked on his latest screenplay Rosa L., a film about the revolutionary socialist Rosa Luxemburg. He looked pale. An unlit cigarette drooped from his lips, a small trickle of blood glistened from one nostril. For 4 years, Juliane Lorenz had been his partner, she had seen him tired out like this before, falling asleep while working late at night, geed-up by cocaine and alcohol, but this time there was something different. Juliane listened. He was too quiet. When he slept he snored. But now, all she heard - the ticking clock, the television, the hush of traffic outside - was his silence. Rainer Werner Fassbinder was dead.

It’s still hard to believe Fassbinder managed to do so much in his short thirty-seven years of life. That fact he was working on a script at the moment he died, says everything about his dedication to his art. In less than 15 years, Fassbinder made 40 feature films, 3 short films; 4 TV series, 24 stage plays and 4 radio plays. He also acted in 36 productions and worked scriptwriter, cameraman, composer, designer, editor, producer and theater manager.

Born into a middle class family, his father was a doctor who worked near Munich’s red light district. His mother helped with her husband, and neither had much time for their son. After their divorce, Fassbinder lived with his mother, who worked as a translator but was often absent, hospitalized with tuberculosis. Then, Fassbinder spent his time with neighbors, listening to their life stories or, going on his own to the cinema - he later claimed he saw a film a day during his childhood.

“The cinema was the family life I never had at home.”

His favorite films were melodramas, his favorite director Douglas Sirk, of whom Fassbinder said:

“The important thing to learn from Douglas Sirk’s movies is that on the screen you are allowed to, or better still, supposed to, enlarge people’s ordinary feelings—as small as they may be—as much as possible.”

Fassbinder started writing plays, and read about the Spanish playwright Lope de Vega, who had over 1,800 plays attributed to him. This became the gold standard to which Fassbinder aimed his ambitions. At 18, he joined a theater group, and the first hint of his incredible talents and ambitions became apparent.

Within 2 months of joining the Action Theater group, he became its leader. This proved too much for other, older members, who led to the group’s disbandment. Fassbinder then created a new company and drew together a team, or family of actors - Peer Raben, Harry Baer, Kurt Raab, Hanna Schygulla and Irm Hermann - who were to work with him until his death.

His first movie was a “deconstruction of the gangster films”, called Love is Colder than Death, it caused considerable controversy at its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in 1969, where Fassbinder was jeered and denounced as a “dilletante” by members of the audience. Even so, it established his reputation as a talent to watch, and led on to his next film,  Katzelmacher, which was adapted from his stage play. It was the start of his movie career that saw such an unparalleled output. Everything in Fassbinder’s life went towards his film-making. He was often ruthless and allegedly pimped some of the theater group actresses to raise money for his films.

“I would like to build a house with my films. Some are the cellars, others the walls, still others the windows. But I hope in the end it will be a house.”

The turning point came in 1971 with the release of The Merchant of the Four Seasons, the tale of a merchant who is slowly destroyed by circumstances beyond his control. the story epitomized Fassbinder’s world view as tragedy. Life was battled out against insurmountable odds, at great cost to its players. Though his films were often described as “bleak”, I never found them less than engrossing, for the theme to all his films is love - the cost love has on us all.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Fassbinder made such unforgettable films as The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972) (adapted form his play); World on a Wire (1973); his first major international success Fear Eats the Soul (1974), the story of love between an older woman and Moroccan immigrant, played by Fassbinder’s then lover El Hadi ben Salem; Effi Briest (1974); Fox and His Friends (1975); Mother Küsters Goes to Heaven (1975); Despair, his first English film, with a script adapted by Tom Stoppard form the novel by Vladimir Nabokov; In a Year of Thirteen Moons (1978), Fassbinder’s bleakest and personal movie, made in response to the suicide of his lover, Armin Meier; The Marriage of Maria Braun (1978), which became a breakthrough movie in America; Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980), a 13-hour TV series adapted form Alfred Döblin’s novel; Lili Marleen (1981), another big budget English movie; Veronika Voss (1982) which was inspired by Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard; and his last major feature, which progressed cinematic narrative in a new and original way, Querelle (1982), adapted form the novel by Jean Genet. Fassbinder had just finished editing Querelle when he died.

The official cause of his death was “an overdose of cocaine and sleeping pills”. The cost of his lifestyle and his ambition took too great a toll. Before he died, his body had bloated from an excess of drink, food and drugs, and he once said, he became fat to make it harder to be loved. Fassbinder used his body, as he used chain-smoking, or his excessive drinking, as means to protect and distance himself from others. His sense of being unloved or, of being unworthy of love, stemmed from the parental indifference of his childhood. When he was older, he often treated his lovers and those closest to him badly, testing their loyalty and love for him. Emotionally, Fassbinder was childlike, as he always searched for that imagined lack, which would make him feel loved. It was this, Fassbinder’s own emotional biography that underscored his films.

Thirty years after his death, we can more fully appreciate the scale and quality of Fassbinder’s genius; and see the real beauty of the man who was Rainer Werner Fassbinder.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Bill Maher to Occupy: Stop camping out!

Last night on his HBO program, Real Time, Bill Maher compared OWS’s real world political gains to the Tea party’s decidedly more concrete electoral accomplishments and reveals a stark truth for the movement…

Minds have been changed, now what up, OWS?

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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