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Mega-rally: Large protests expected in Michigan tomorrow

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Tomorrow a large rally to protest the policies of unpopular Michigan Governor Rick Synder will take place in Lansing. There was a protest held there earlier today attended by more than 1,000 pissed-off senior citizens whose pensions Gov. Snyder wants to tax. That was just the orchestra tuning up. Snyder’s outlandish budget proposal would give even a goon like Scott Walker pause. Synder’s plan would raise taxes on the working class by 31% while cutting taxes for corporations by 86%. WTF is right! Get on the bus!

Below, Michael Moore’s open letter to his fellow Michiganders:

Friends and neighbors,

The call has gone out and I’m asking everyone who can to take Wednesday off and head to the State Capitol in Lansing to protest the cruel and downright frightening legislation currently being jammed down our throats.

What is most shocking to many is that the new governor, who ran against the Tea Party and defeated the right wing of his party in the primaries—and then ran in the general election as “just a nerd from Ann Arbor” who was a moderate, not an ideologue—has pulled off one of the biggest Jekyll and Hyde ruses I’ve ever seen in electoral politics.

Governor Snyder, once elected, yanked off his nice-guy mask to reveal that he is in fact a multi-millionaire hell-bent on destroying our state and turning it over to his buddies from Wall Street.

In just 8 short weeks he has:

* Gotten the House and Senate to pass bills giving him “Emergency Management” powers such as the ability to appoint a corporation or a CEO who could literally dissolve town governments or school boards, fire the elected officials, nullify any local law and run your local governmental entity. That company then would have the power to immediately declare all collective bargaining contracts null and void.

* Proposed giving business a whopping 86% tax cut while raising everyone’s personal taxes by 31%! And much of that tax hike he believes should be shouldered by—I kid you not—senior citizens and the poor! He says these two groups have not been “sharing the sacrifice” the rest of us have been burdened with. So his budget proposes a $1.8 billion tax CUT for business and a $1.75 billion tax INCREASE for the rest of us, much of it from the poor, seniors and working people—even though the top 1% in Michigan ALREADY pay a lower state tax rate than everyone else does!

* Together with the legislature, introduced over 40 anti-labor bills in just the first two months of this session! They have wasted no time and have caught most people off guard. Much of this is being rushed through right now before you have a chance to raise your voice in objection.

These actions are breathtaking when you realize they will drive our already battered state straight into the ground. What we needed right now was an inspiring leader to help us reinvent Michigan and to find creative ways to create new jobs and lift us out of our economic depression. The rest of the country may call what they’re experiencing the “Great Recession,” but few argue that Michigan is suffering a “one-state Depression.”

I know many of you are filled with a great sense of despair and a justifiable loss of hope these days in Michigan. But you must not let things get even worse. You must stand up against these Draconian measures and this outrageous attempt to rip our democratic rights from us by turning our state over to well-paid hacks from Wall Street and corporate America. They see our state as one big fire sale—and they are licking their chops to get their hands on what is still a state rich in natural resources and industrial infrastructure.

Please show up at noon on Wednesday for our first mega-rally against this insanity. Hundreds of groups are already organizing car pools and buses. You can right now just declare yourself an organizer and get your friends and neighbors committed to being in Lansing. If ever there were a day to call in sick, Wednesday is it (because this IS sick). Students, if ever there were a day to cut class and become a participant in your democracy, Wednesday is it. This event needs to be HUGE—and I believe it will be if you will simply be there and take a stand.

Much attention has been paid to Wisconsin in recent weeks. Well, they got nothing on what’s going on here in Michigan. Rick Snyder is Scott Walker on steroids. There’s never been what even the AARP calls “an all-out attack” like this on us. Trust me, you will rue the day you sat home and did nothing while thieves posing as politicians stole your Great Lakes State from you.

Don’t let it happen. Be at the capitol by noon on Wednesday for the largest demonstration the state has ever seen.

Go Spartans! Go Wolverines! Go Everyone Else In Between!

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Is Lady Gaga a member of the Illuminati?’
03.14.2011
09:31 pm

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Heroes
Pop Culture
Queer

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Of the most searched-for topics on Google that lead random people to Dangerous Minds, perhaps the single most popular is “Is Lady Gaga a member of the Illuminati?”

I kid you not, there is usually at least one person, at all times of the day or night, who is visiting us to research whether or not the world’s biggest pop star is, in fact, a member of that most secretive of secret societies.  Another way way it gets phrased is “Lady Gaga” and either “Satanic conspiracy,” or “Revelations” but that’s obviously a dead giveaway of a Christian conspiracy theorist. Apparently, some people truly seem to believe that Lady Gaga figures into Bible prophecies (and it’s not just Gaga, it’s Jay-Z as well). This post is dedicated to them. It will be one of our most popular posts ever, in the long run, trust me.

Not saying that she is in the Illuminati, but if she is, Lady Gaga is certainly milking her membership for all it for all it’s worth to forward teh gayz agenda. From Joe.My.God:

The fastest-selling single in iTunes history, “Born This Way” has already sold millions of copies worldwide and has gone to #1 in more than 30 countries. Whether you’re a Gaga fan or not, you cannot deny the unprecedented impact of hundreds of millions of people singing out loud, that yes, we were born this way. Lady Gaga is pushing the movement forward in ways few could have possibly fathomed.

He’s absolutely right. That song is a wonderfully subversive, absolutely unstoppable meme. It’s a magical incantation of social engineering—it’s a spell—and Lady Gaga knows this. The nursery rhyme simplicity of the lyrics gnaw their way into your brain and don’t let go. The idea of a homophobe having that song stuck in their head all day is a pleasant notion, and you know fully well that’s happened a lot.

I think you really have to hand it to Lady Gaga. When she turned down the Target deal after they wouldn’t guarantee to her that they would shun donating to all anti-gay politicians, she was truly proving to her fan-base that she is who she says she is. It took a lot of integrity to turn down that much money. There could have been a way to “spin” it and still collect their cash. She could have played it off, if she wanted to, and yet she didn’t. The Illuminati could use more like her!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Live from the class war in Madison, Wisconsin!
03.12.2011
03:26 pm

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Live video feeds from the pro-labor protests in Madison, Wisconsin. Want to see history being made? Tune in, this is the most important development in American life in many decades. If you don’t understand why, you need to educate yourself and pay more attention. You can support the effort to fire Gov. Scott Walker and his Republican cronies by contributing to the official PCCC Wisconsin Recall campaign via ActBlue. Even if you can only give $3, every little bit helps.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Raw video: Robbery foiled by puppet
03.11.2011
03:13 am

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Puppet sketch by Logan Stephens.
 
Spanish TV aired this amazing footage of what appears to be an orange sock puppet foiling a robbery. The puppet’s identity is a mystery. After assaulting the would be thief with assorted grocery items and engaging the startled thug in hand to hand combat, the puppet left the scene of the crime. His/her job was done. Police are seeking the puppets identity. The store owner has offered a reward. This kind of heroism and humility you don’t see every day.

The illustration above is not a rendering of the actual puppet. As you can see in the video, the puppet crimestopper has arms and knows how to use them.
 

 
Via The High Definite

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Stephen King takes a stand against the class war in America
03.10.2011
04:27 pm

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Millionaire author Stephen King (who came from humble beginnings) on the Tea party, union-busting Republican weenies and why rich people like him should pay at least half of their income in taxes. Taped on March 8th at the “Awake the State” rally in Sarasota, Florida.

“And remember, when these people talk to you about it, if you like your weekend, thank a union guy. If you like a 40-hour week, thank a union guy. If you like a day’s honest pay for a day’s honest work, thank a union guy!”

Good on Stephen King. He’s a stand-up guy and a good American.
 

 
Via Cynical-C

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Michael Moore to Rachel Maddow on Wisconsin: ‘This Is War’

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On her Wednesday show, Rachel Maddow and filmmaker Michael Moore both agreed that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and the state’s Republicans will lose what Moore called a “class war” being waged against the working class.

The two were reacting to Wednesday’s sudden passage of a measure in the Wisconsin Senate to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights—something only accomplished through an unheard-of parliamentary maneuver.

Before bringing Moore on, Maddow said that the Wisconsin Republicans had awoken a “dragon.” And she sent a message to the Democrats as well. “When people who have to work for a living are directly attacked…they fight back,” she said. “And they are expecting the Democratic Party to stand with them.”

Moore then came on the show. He told people to go to Madison right away. “This is war,” he said. “This is a class war.”

He also expressed optimism about the outcome of the Wisconsin fight. “Everything has turned in favor of the working people,” he said.

Maddow said that the “political brittleness” of what Walker and other Republicans were attempting was working against them.“All it takes is some political pushback against that and it collapses,” she said.

Moore then echoed the speech he gave in Madison last weekend, which drew widespread attention.

“Wisconsin’s not broke,” he said. “America isn’t broke. The money’s just not in the people’s hands. It’s in the hands of the rich, the people who committed these crimes and got away with it.” He held up a pair of handcuffs and looked at the camera.

“I’d like anybody who works on Wall Street, anybody who works for the banks, just take a look at this,” he said. “This is what’s coming. This is what’s coming for you. Because the people are going to demand justice, they’re going to demand that your ass is in jail.”

 

 
Via HuffPo

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Keep It Together! Mick Farren and The Deviants, LIVE, Hyde Park, 1969
03.07.2011
08:45 pm

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History
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Last week as I was reading Keep it together! Cosmic Boogie with The Deviants and The Pink Fairies Rich Deakin’s sprawling, exhaustively researched and extremely engaging biography of the ever shifting n’er do well personnel of the bands variously known as The Social Deviants, then just The Deviants, and eventually The Pink Fairies, I was annoyed to find that there was little video footage of the group—little? Try none! WTF?—on YouTube. What a difference a week makes because something amazing was posted there in the few days since I last looked.

I’ll let Mick Farren, one of the main characters in this rock and roll saga, take over. Quoting from Mick’s Doc 40 blog:

After waiting more than an unbelievable forty years to see the light of day or be seen by anyone, glorious grainy black and white footage of The Deviants in Hyde Park in September 1969 has finally been posted on YouTube by a crew called VideoHeads out of Amsterdam, led by the legendary Jack Henry Moore. It makes me very happy for a number of reasons, not least of which – after taking so much shit at the time as the allegedly “worst band in the world” – we actually kicked ass in front an estimated audience of 80 thousand in a manner that would have been wholly acceptable and even lauded some six or seven years later. Russell and Sandy are a rock solid foundation. Paul Rudolph’s guitar is mighty, and, as for me, when did you see jackknife shaman dancing the like which closes the show? Okay, so Rudolph and I engage, at one point, in some the atonal freeform bellowing that we called “mouth music”, but no one seems to have a problem with it. And we always attracted Hells Angels and crazy naked psychedelic women.

What you have up on YouTube right now is two sections of around nine minutes each, which – believe it or not – make two halves of one song – what the Pink Fairies would title “Uncle Harry’s Last Freakout”. I guess that was the real difference between the 1960s and 1970s. We could make a thrash last 17 minutes where the Clash or the Pistols would cut it off after three. And, by way of explanation for the opening harangue, the London Street Commune were staging a protest against homelessness by occupying the mansion at 144 Piccadilly at the other end of Park Lane. I’d been warned by the ranking cop at the park concert that my feet wouldn’t touch if I got into any kind of rant about the squatters who were about to be evicted in a massive police action. I just had to test the limits.

But don’t take my word for it. Here are some reminiscences from ukrockfestivals.com

“The most memorable bit for me was when The Deviants were playing and a semi-nude young lady got up on stage and began to dance. As she started to remove the rest of her clothes there was a huge cheer from the crowd. Then a Hells Angel also got on stage and took his leather jacket off to another great cheer but then he put the jacket over the young lady’s shoulders and guided her off the stage, this time to a chorus of boos from the disappointed audience. It was though, another wonderful afternoon in Hyde Park with great music and relaxed atmosphere.” – Steve Trusler

“I remember Al Stewart sitting down on a chair on stage and playing a mellow set of bedsitter folk songs. Quite a few people seemed to like him, but I found him rather wishy-washy (yawn). I remember that the Deviants were absolutely not wishy-washy ~ very aggressive and angry. I’ve heard them described as being the first real punk band. Works for me. But most of all I remember being entranced by the sublime musicality of the Soft Machine. A brilliant band. So totally outside. Imprinted on my memory is the sight of Robert Wyatt singing, and playing amazingly complex drum patterns, wearing just a pair of Y-fronts.” – Jeremy S.

Reading Keep it together!, I was listening daily to the music that Mick Farren has made over the years, primarily Ptooff! and the best of selection, People Call You Crazy: The Story of Mick Farren. Some of it’s pretty amazing stuff, but sadly unheard by many of the music fans who would appreciate it the most. The Deviants’ sound was quite obviously influenced by early Mothers of Invention, The Fugs and The MC5. It could be menacing and leering (“I’m Coming Home”), proto-punk protest (“Garbage”) and sometimes they just wanted to rock out with a Bo Diddley beat. Although I do like the Pink Fairies and also some of Twink’s solo material, I’m really mostly interested in the era when Farren was providing the radical, intellectual lyrics and fronting the group. The Deviants were the first British band who were true anarchists. “Street Fighting Man” was just fashionable pose, these guys lived and snorted their politics. Agitprop bands like The Clash, Crass and the Manic Street Preachers would most definitely tread in their ideological footsteps, whether conscious of it or not.

I also returned to Mick Farren’s autobiography, Give The Anarchist A Cigarette and spent some time looking over the issues of The International Times that are online. When I was in my teens, maybe 15 or 16, I found a whole stack of old issues of IT magazines (which Farren wrote for) in a used bookstore where I’d normally buy old National Lampoons, comics, Rolling Stone and Creem. How they got there, I will never know, but Mick Farren’s political rants and commie/anarchist screeds really resonated with me. Finding these underground papers demonstrated for me the existence of a world outside my hometown—an underground—that I had to become a part of myself. It was an amazing score for a kid like me, as you might imagine and I would read then over and over again. I’m sure that stack of mags had a lot to do with me picking up and leaving home when I was 17 and moving to London, where I lived in a succession of squats for a couple of years. Reading Keep It Together, I became much more aware of what a big influence Mick Farren had on me politically during my formative years and that influence, I think was major. Extremely important to me, thinking back on it. (Whenever I see that one of my own political rants makes it to Mick’s Doc 40 blog, I always get a kick out of it).

About that same time, I was a subscriber to The Trouser Press magazine, which Mick wrote a lot of each issue. Via that publication—which I would wait by the mailbox for each month, willing it to show up—he was probably the rock writer second only to the great Lester Bangs in turning me on to good music.

If ever there was a figure of 20th century counterculture who should be lionized and treated as a respected and revered elder statesman whilst he is still with us, it is the one and only Mister Mick Farren. Farren left sunny Los Angles to return to the UK late last year. People of Great Britain, a legend drinks amongst you! Where the hell is Mick Farren’s Guardian column already? Come on let’s pick up the pace.

“This is British amphetamine psychosis music and if you don’t like it you can f*ck off and listen to your Iron Butterfly albums”—Mick Farren

As intense as the MC5 and The Stooges and as irreverent as The Fugs, here are The Deviants, LIVE:
 

 
More of the Deviants LIVE after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Gov. Walker job approval poll

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No comment.

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Captain Australia: Real-life superhero aims to inspire
03.07.2011
12:34 am

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By day he’s a father of two, by night he’s a super hero patrolling the seedier streets of Brisbane as “Captain Australia,” fighting crime armed only with a flashlight, cell phone and video camera:

``During one patrol, I stopped two sexual predators from taking advantage of a very drunk woman at a taxi rank,’’ he said.

``Unfortunately, I was unsure of my ability to conduct a citizen’s arrest and the two predators ran away before the police arrived. But I was able to prevent a near-certain sexual assault.’‘

Captain Australia won’t reveal his identity, but is adamant he is just a regular Queenslander fighting evil in his beloved Brisbane.

``Evil triumphs when good men do nothing,” he said. “I want to inspire a new generation to stop using apathy as a shield.

“People don’t know how to react to my costume it shocks and amuses them.’‘

It’s a little nutty, sure, but it’s also very sweet and I for one, salute his efforts. He’s making his world a better place, right?

Read the story of Captain Australia at The Courier Mail

Thank you, Mark Pesce!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Class War: Labor reporter Mike Elk talks Wisconsin
03.06.2011
10:17 pm

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What should we expect as events unfold this week in Wisconsin? Labor reporter and activist Mike Elk (In These Times, Michael Moore.com) discusses what he saw on the ground at the protests and the rebirth of the labor movement in America. What is happening in Wisconsin is the most import domestic issue of this generation. If you don’t understand why, you need to think a little harder! As labor goes, so goes the nation. Follow Mike Elk on Twitter

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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