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Michael Moore on the Class War: Wisconsin shows America how it’s done

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Michael Moore’s speech in Wisconsin is truly a MASTERPIECE of political oratory. You have to watch it, it’s absolutely riveting. One of the most vital statements of brutal political and economic fact that an American citizen has ever said with the eyes of the world upon them (and Moore’s never been shy in that department, has he?). To Michael Moore, I say “Bravo, sir.” And to the brave working (and retired!) people of Wisconsin and the Democrats on the lam fighting these over-reaching Republican goons on our behalf, you are the very, very best amongst us in a dark time in our nation’s history.

Heroes. Citizens.

Citizens. Heroes.

Talk about speaking truth to power, this is a knock-out. Moore’s words, the crowd, the moment. It’s stunning theater.

The fight in Wisconsin makes me prouder to be an American than I have ever been in my entire life. It makes me glad to be alive right now as the scales fall from the eyes of so many people at once all over the world.

The best part is that you know damned well that Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin and the rest of the gasbag rightwing punditocracy are going to pull this speech apart tomorrow. Translation: Every one of those fuckers will have to watch it. Brilliant!

I laughed, I cried and I felt REALLY REALLY HAPPY AND ENERGIZED. What a fantastic gesture for Michael Moore to make and it came at EXACTLY THE RIGHT TIME.

That speech was a profound shot of adrenaline. A part of history. A thing of great beauty.

Please watch forward his speech to everyone you know and have ever met or will meet in the future. Here’s how it starts out:

America is not broke.

Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you’ll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.

Today just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined.

Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer “bailout” of 2008, now have more loot, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can’t bring yourself to call that a financial coup d’état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.

And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we’d have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic—and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it.

 
A commenter on YouTube quipped “Imagine if Obama gave a speech like that!” Worth pondering. I hope that the President at least watches this speech, that would be a start in the right direction!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Al-Jazeera on the rise: Bloggingheads investigates
03.04.2011
08:38 pm

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Current Events
History
Media
Television

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Shiulie Ghosh and Sami Zeidan present the first program on Al-Jazeera English, which premiered in November 2006
 

The Arab revolts of the past couple of months have of course been incubating for many years and crystallizing for many recent months. It’s become a media meme that they’ve resulted from social networks like Twitter and Facebook. But these have been more organizing tools than anything else.

We still don’t know the depth of the role played by 15-year-old Qatr-based Arabic TV news network Al-Jazeera as the region’s only non-state-controlled media platform. It’s definitely turned out to be the most reliable on-the-ground reporting platform during the revolts. With rising American cable customer demand for the network’s English-language channel emboldening the company to make its case to Comcast and our Secretary of State praising it as “real news,” it seems that AJ’s time has truly come.

Last week, journalist and author Robert Wright invited British-Egyptian Mideast media scholar Adel Iskandar onto his highly recommended Bloggingheads.tv vlog platform to talk about where Al-Jazeera’s been, what its significance is, and where it seems to be going.

Extremely informative.
 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
A giant sucking sound: What caused such a rapid decline of Glenn Beck’s ratings ?
03.04.2011
08:09 pm

Topics:
Class War
Hysteria
Kooks
Media

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The ratings for Glenn Beck’s nightly Fox News conspiracy theory rants are still taking a Nielsen nosedive. I’m not going to go out on a limb again and say Beck’s “over” because he rallied the very next day after I did it the last time and I just had to take it all back. So I’ll simply point out what James Downie wrote in The New Republic:

Beck, says [biographer Alexander] Zaitchik, was caught “in a vicious circle”: To keep viewers coming back, he had to keep creating new, more intricate theories. Last November, in a two-part special that indirectly invoked anti-Semitism, he accused liberal Jewish financier George Soros of orchestrating the fall of foreign governments for financial gain. During the Egyptian Revolution, Beck sided with Hosni Mubarak, alleging that his fall was “controlled by the socialist communists and the Muslim Brotherhood.” Beck is now warning viewers not to use Google, accusing the search-engine giant of “being deep in bed with the government.” In recent months, it seems, Beck’s theories became so outlandish that even conservatives—both viewers and media personalities—were having a hard time stomaching them. Now, each new idea appears to be costing Beck both eyeballs and credibility. “At some point,” says Boehlert, “it doesn’t add up any more.”

Yep, at this point even the very dumbest people watching Beck’s show have probably realized that Van Jones and obscure magazine articles written in 1965 don’t have shit to do with anything.

“It’s hard to gain a million viewers,” says Eric Boehlert, of Media Matters, in the article, “but it’s really hard to lose a million viewers.”

Worse still, for Beck’s, uh, fortunes, as Adam Weinsten points out on the Mother Jones blog today (quoting “The Wrap” an entertainment trade blog):

In January, [Beck’s] FNC show averaged 1.76 million total viewers during the 5 p.m. hour, according to Nielsen estimates—down 39 percent compared to January 2010.

And he scored just 397,000 viewers in the coveted 25-to-54-year-old demographic, a 48 percent slide.

February did not show much improvement. Through Feb. 27 his Fox show is down 26 percent in total viewers for the year (2.06 million compared to 2.89 million last year) and off 30 percent in the demo, averaging 501,000 25-to-54-year-olds vs. 760,000 last year.

But dig what this implies about the, er, vintage of his viewers:

Here’s the salient fact: Less than one-quarter of Beck’s viewers are ages 25 to 54. Assuming the number of youngs who watch him is negligible—a pretty safe assumption, I think—that means that dang near to 80 percent of his viewership is in or around senior-citizen territory. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the olds like Beck. But it gets me wondering: Who exactly makes up that 25 to 54 demographic?

Asexual trolls who still live with their mothers” would be my first guess. Hey, there are a lot of ‘em, we just never see them, except for when they’re commenting on blogs.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Union Workers Defend Their Rights As GOP Goose-Steps For Tea Party Billionaires
03.02.2011
03:08 pm

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Current Events
Economy
Heroes
Media
Politics

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The view on the ground in Wisconsin and Ohio from New Left Media. If Gov. Kasich doesn’t back down, he’s going to get “Walkered” too. Could two prominent Republicans be THAT stupid? Hopefully not, but I wouldn’t put anything past these guys. Even money says Kasich looks at the mess he knows is brewing on his doorstep and backs down. Crank-call victim Walker, however, just isn’t that smart, has shitty political instincts and he’s already dug himself in way too deep. Walker’s misguided “My-way-or-the-highway” approach was never going to work in a union state like Wisconsin. The man’s a buffoon, a Republican buffoon (Walker has the most idiotically Republican-looking face I think I have ever seen).

Look for Walker to push his anti-labor legislation through in the coming days with some parliamentary chicanery and then for all hell to break loose around him. Walker might not even make it all the way to the recall process, in my estimation, he might have to resign long before it can legally take place. He’s not going to be able to delude himself that he’s “Reagan Jr”. anymore when he gets forced out of office…

Over the last two weeks, tens of thousands of workers and their supporters have flooded the Wisconsin and Ohio state capitols, pushing back on their newly-elected Republican Governors’ attempts to revoke collective bargaining rights for public workers.

Other than the flashes of anger Ohio crowds showed when they were curiously shut out of their statehouse, the protests have been entirely peaceful, even jovial, with the Wisconsin capitol having an atmosphere similar to a pep rally.

WI Gov. Scott Walker and OH Gov. John Kasich have claimed budget crisis as the impetus for their efforts, but their accounting is spurious, and unions have already agreed to reductions in pay and benefits. Wisconsin public workers have yielded to all of Walker’s fiscal requests, making Gov. Walker’s insistence that he must cut collective bargaining rights to cut the deficit even more dubious.

Many of those we interviewed, including union leaders, did not believe that the revocation of their rights was necessary to balance budgets, but was rather part of a coordinated effort to dismantle unions and reduce their large financial and organizational contributions to progressive politics.

As Governors Walker and Kasich hold staunch, refusing even to negotiate, the protests in Wisconsin and Ohio continue, joined by thousands of others from states across the nation.

This NEW LEFT MEDIA film was produced and edited by Chase Whiteside (interviews) and Erick Stoll (camera). Additional camera by Matt Wisniewski.

These guys are fantastic. I really admire Chase Whiteside, he’s an outstanding young man. Please help New Left Media spread clip this around, won’t you?
 

 
Via Joe.My.God (and his title, too)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Dear Koch Brothers, Tea partiers & union bashers:  ‘Anonymous’ would like your attention please
02.28.2011
12:01 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Current Events
Hysteria
Media
Unorthodox

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“Hello, Anonymous calling for the enemies of democracy. Are the Koch Brothers in?”

 
This warms my Trotskyite heart: After posting the following “open letter” to Koch Industries, effectively putting them on notice and asking the American and European population to stop buying their products, the politically motivated hackers of “Anonymous” have already begun to make good on their threat, as last night and this morning the Koch-supported rightwing political organization, Americans for Prosperity’s website was knocked offline several times. If an elite hacker was able to get into the intranet of Koch Industries, they could probably really disrupt their business for a few days. Let’s hope they cause maximum chaos for these evil bloodsuckers. (I hope Fox News is next. THAT would be the best thing ever, wouldn’t it?)

Here is the text of the letter:

Dear Citizens of the United States of America,

It has come to our attention that the brothers, David and Charles Koch—the billionaire owners of Koch Industries—have long attempted to usurp American Democracy. Their actions to undermine the legitimate political process in Wisconsin are the final straw. Starting today we fight back.

Koch Industries, and oligarchs like them, have most recently started to manipulate the political agenda in Wisconsin. Governor Walker’s union-busting budget plan contains a clause that went nearly un-noticed. This clause would allow the sale of publicly owned utility plants in Wisconsin to private parties (specifically, Koch Industries) at any price, no matter how low, without a public bidding process. The Koch’s have helped to fuel the unrest in Wisconsin and the drive behind the bill to eliminate the collective bargaining power of unions in a bid to gain a monopoly over the state’s power supplies.

The Koch brothers have made a science of fabricating ‘grassroots’ organizations and advertising campaigns to support them in an attempt to sway voters based on their falsehoods. Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth and Citizens United are just a few of these organizations. In a world where corporate money has become the lifeblood of political influence, the labor unions are one of the few ways citizens have to fight against corporate greed. Anonymous cannot ignore the plight of the citizen-workers of Wisconsin, or the opportunity to fight for the people in America’s broken political system. For these reasons, we feel that the Koch brothers threaten the United States democratic system and, by extension, all freedom-loving individuals everywhere. As such, we have no choice but to spread the word of the Koch brothers’ political manipulation, their single-minded intent and the insidious truth of their actions in Wisconsin, for all to witness.

Anonymous hears the voice of the downtrodden American people, whose rights and liberties are being systematically removed one by one, even when their own government refuses to listen or worse - is complicit in these attacks. We are actively seeking vulnerabilities, but in the mean time we are calling for all supporters of true Democracy, and Freedom of The People, to boycott all Koch Industries’ paper products. We welcome unions across the globe to join us in this boycott to show that you will not allow big business to dictate your freedom.

U.S. Product Boycott List

Vanity Fair [not the magazine, the napkins and “classy” paper plates -RM]
Quilted Northern
Angel Soft     
Sparkle
Brawny
Mardi Gras   
Dixie            

European Product Boycott List

Demak’Up
Kitten Soft
Lotus / Lotus Soft
Tenderly
Nouvelle Soft
Okay Ktchen Towels
Colhogar
Delica
Inversoft
Tutto

To identify these brands, please look for the following logo anywhere on the packaging:
 

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Anonymous.

We are Legion I We do not forgive I We do not forget I Expect us

 
Happy to say that I don’t think I’ve ever bought any products manufactured by Koch Industries. I wouldn’t wipe my ass with them. Literally!
 
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Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
CNN gets ‘sign-bombed’ in Wisconsin!
02.24.2011
04:55 pm

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Amusing
Current Events
Heroes
Media

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Too, too good.

Via Joe.My.God

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Shep Smith & Juan Williams DELIBERATELY tell the truth about Wisconsin and Koch Bros on Fox News!
02.24.2011
12:44 pm

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Current Events
Media

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Fox News’ Shep Smith, who from time to time proves that he’s actually a sensitive, thinking human being with empathy for others (unlike the vast majority of the ideologues he works with), and Juan Williams, speak the unvarnished truth about what’s going on in Wisconsin. They actially stick up for the little guy! On Fox fucking News! For reals. You won’t believe it!

Watch this. No really, watch this. It’s not often that you’re going to hear something like this on Fox News, so savor it while you can.

“They were promised this. They worked all their lives for this.” [<--Can you imagine the hate mail Smith will get for that alone???]

“I’m not taking a side on this, I’m just telling you what’s going on…to pretend this is about a fiscal crisis in the state of Wisconsin is malarkey.” [<--Think he'll have an uncomfortable moment around the water cooler with Sean Hannity over letting that one slip out???]

Maybe my TV is broken or something?
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Gov. Scott Walker punk’d, shows his true colors

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There is still a bit of a question lingering in some minds as to whether or not this is real, but to my mind, it absolutely has the ring of truth. If that’s not Gov. Scott Walker, it’s an acting genius portraying him. Sadly, this seems too real. The implications of this are staggering if it’s true!

And if it is true, then where do you go after something like this? I can think of a couple of solutions. A statewide recall election, where Walker is crushed and left on the scrapheap of history, becoming in the process, the dictionary definition of “traitor to humanity” or “cunt” for a generation; or perhaps Scott Walker’s head on a fucking pole? (Would Fox News broadcast that or pretend it didn’t happen?) How can this man feel good about what he’s doing? Listen in, you’ll want to puke by the end of this.
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Jiz and the Mammograms vs Christianity
02.21.2011
10:28 am

Topics:
Animation
Media
Queer

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Jiz and The Mammograms is a re-dubbed parody of the classic 80s cartoon Jem and The Holograms. It’s performed by the drag artist Sienna D’Enema, who wishes to remain anonymous so that s/he doesn’t have to tell hir parents about it - which is completely understandable. If it was me I wouldn’t want to tell them either. The subject matter of Jiz! covers teen pregnancy, prostitution, people trafficking, crack addiction, abortion and oriental skat fetishes. Jem is no longer a world-famous rock star doing her best to help the local youth, she’s now a drug pushing pimp who gleefully encourages her teen fans to get pregnant so they can have abortions. Her mansion is now a giant brothel full of underage hookers (and a few kidnap victims), and Synergy, the super-computer that communicates to Jem, and styles her through her special earrings, has been rechristened “Electronic Drug Dealer”. Yes, it’s tasteless (REALLY tasteless), but it’s also very, very funny.

The latest episode of Jiz! has been released onto Youtube, and could possibly be the most controversial yet. It concerns a young girl (Laura, aka Shitty Panties) who is sent by an extremist Christian group to convert Jiz to the word of the Lord, but who has her own struggles to face along the way. Not least of which is her excessive flatulence. I never saw much Jem and the Holograms the first time round, but this has made me REALLY curious about the original episode.

If you have never seen Jiz! before, I recommend you start with the episodes after the jump, as “Laura” contains a few in-jokes (including The Golden Shower Girls). If you have seen Jiz! then you know what to expect. Brace yourselves:

Laura - Taking It Up The Chocolate Yahweh (obviously this is NSFW)
 

 
More Jiz! after the jump… (smirk)

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
BBC4’s Reggae Britannia documentary liberated
02.19.2011
02:10 pm

Topics:
Media
Music
Politics
Punk
Race
Television

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Somebody’s finally liberated Reggae Britannia, BBC4’s excellent—though by no means not exhaustive—documentary on the origins, growth and influence of British reggae from the ‘60s to the present. Reggae Britannia takes you from the scene’s ska beginnings in the hands of the children of the country’s first post-war wave of Carribean immigrants (known as the Windrush generation), through to the emergence of Bob Marley, the first Brixton riots, the UK sound system phenomenon, the Two-Tone era, reggae’s merging with punk and appropriation by pop, and more. Reggae Britannia is definitely worth a look.

Here’s the trailer…click on any of the title links or graphic above to check the full thing. And please, watch instead of embed so we can hold off our friends at the Beeb from bringing it down for at least a short while.
 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
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