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‘The Tillman Story’: Required viewing for anyone who gives a shit about the truth
04.22.2011
03:06 am
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Pat Tillman was killed, perhaps murdered, by “friendly fire” in Afghanistan seven years ago today.

“I’m Pat Tillman! I’m Pat fucking Tillman! Why are you shooting at me?”

With those livid last words, pro-football star and Army Ranger Patrick Daniel Tillman Jr.—who gave up a multimillion-dollar contract with the Arizona Cardinals to serve his country and become the most famous enlisted man in Afghanistan—died in a fusillade of friendly fire on a rocky hillside near the Pakistani border. The bullets, coming at him from 40 yards away at a rate of 950 rounds per minute, were from a machine gun wielded by a member of his own platoon.

Update May 3: Was Pat Tillman killed in order to keep him quiet? General Wesley Clark thinks it’s a possibility. In a July 2007 interview with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, Clark had this to say about Tillman’s death:

If there’s even a hint that there was something like a homicide or a murder in this case, it should’ve been fully investigated and proved or disproved, and we don’t really know how far up- Was it the Secretary of Defense’s office? Was it the White House? Where did the idea that you shouldn’t give any indication of what happened to Tillman. ‘Just go ahead and go through with the burial ceremony. Give him the Silver Star.’ Where did that- where was that idea blessed? You can be sure that that idea did not originate or stop at the Two- or Three-Star level. That was- someone approved that all the way to the top, because Pat Tillman was a political symbol used by the administration when it suited their purposes.”

Tillman was an intelligent man who, when he realized that the war in Iraq was based on propaganda, deceit and lies, was prepared to return to the States as an outspoken critic of the war. Tillman had contacted Noam Chomsky to plan a joint anti-war statement and support John Kerry’s presidential election campaign. Radical for a soldier, to say the least, and an indication of just how fed up he had become with the path his country was taking in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In March of 2003, Tillman told his buddy Spc. Russell Baer, “You know, this war is so fucking illegal.” He urged his platoon to vote against Bush in the 2004 election. He had gone from being a political asset to the Bush administration to their worst nightmare. Certainly, it would be in the best interest of the war machine to have Tillman eliminated. 

In Amir Bar-Lev’s illuminating and heartbreaking The Tillman Story, we are confronted with the horrible truth of how our government manipulates its citizens and sacrifices its young in an effort to wage wars that are not only immoral but criminal.

Pat Tillman died for our sins—the sins of ignorance and blind allegiance to leaders who are nothing less than the embodiment of pure fucking evil. Will we be led into another pointless, endless war in Libya where once again the lines between the good guys and bad guys are so blurred that we don’t even know who to hate anymore? Maybe it’s time to hate ourselves for being weak-willed, spineless sheep. Maybe we deserve to be addressed in the same way that Pat Tillman’s father, Pat Sr., addressed the “investigators” involved in the cover-up of his son’s murder: “fuck you and yours.”

Watch the movie and then take your love for Tillman and your anger and do something with it. You can start by visiting the Pat Tillman Foundation’s website.
 

 
Parts two through seven after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Marc Campbell
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04.22.2011
03:06 am
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Take This Hammer: James Baldwin tours black San Francisco in 1963
04.19.2011
02:34 am
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In the spring of 1963, San Francisco poet, documentarian, and media activist Richard Moore accompanied and filmed author James Baldwin and Youth For Service Executive Director Orville Luster on a tour through the black-majority Bayview/Hunter’s Point and Fillmore districts of San Francisco. They sought to portray the real experience of African-Americans in what was considered America’s most liberal city.

That outing would result in Take This Hammer, and the footage of it was shot at a crucial time in Baldwin’s life. After 15 years in exile in Paris, the Harlem-born writer was back in the States at the peak of his renown and with political fire in his eyes. His turbulent novels from the ‘50s—especially Go Tell It on the Mountain and Another Country—had stunned the literary world with their exposure of racism and deeply developed queer characters.

During the same spring in which Take This Hammer was shot, Baldwin published the rather incredible essay Down at the Cross, and ended up on the cover of Time. That summer, he’d end his tour of the American South at the March on Washington with a quarter-million of his fellow Americans, with many other celebrities.

Baldwin’s observations certainly set The City’s white lib establishment into fits: “There is no moral distance ... between the facts of life in San Francisco and the facts of life in Birmingham. Someone’s got to tell it like it is. And that’s where it’s at.” Unfortunately, as seen in documents like Kevin Epps’s 2001 doc Straight Outta Hunter’s Point, not much has changed in SF over the generations…
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Baldwin, Brando, Belafonte, Poitier, Mankiewicz and Heston talk Civil Rights, 1963

Posted by Ron Nachmann
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04.19.2011
02:34 am
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Setting the Facts Straight on the Facebook Fiasco
04.18.2011
02:07 pm
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UPDATE: 4/19/2001 Read Richard Metzger: How I, a married, middle-aged man, became an accidental spokesperson for gay rights overnight on Boing Boing

It’s time to clarify a few details about the controversial “Hey Facebook what’s SO wrong with a pic of two men kissing?” story, as it now beginning to be reported in the mainstream media, and not always correctly.

First of all, with regards to the picture:

The photo which was used to illustrate my first post about the John Snow Kiss-In is a promotional still from the British soap opera “Eastenders.” It features one of the main characters from the show (Christian Clarke, played by the actor John Partridge- left) and someone else who I don’t know. I am not a regular viewer so I can’t say if the man on the right is an extra or an actual character. 

This picture has itself caused scandal in the UK, as it was a gay kiss that was broadcast before the watershed, and as such led to a number of complaints to the BBC. However, since this episode aired (October 2008) Christian now has a boyfriend and a few more gay kisses have taken place.

In relation to the John Snow Kiss-In event, I used this particular photo because I considered it to be quite mild (no groping, no tongues). The photos I had considered using before I chose that one are much more racy. Oh the irony!

Secondly, the removal of the Facebook John Snow Kiss-In event:

It turns out that the Facebook event for the John Snow Kiss-In was not blocked by Facebook, but made private by the creator of the event itself. Paul Shetler, the organizer, left this comment on the previous thread:

“Hey I just saw this. Before it goes too far, I just want people to know that FB have NOT removed the kiss-in event page; it’s still there, but _I made the event private after the event_ was over and only visible to those who had been invited as there were starting to be trolls posting abusive nonsense on it.”

Thanks for clearing that up, Paul. Now if Facebook will only reply to Richard’s query about why they removed my original post and photo when he put it up on his wall…

It has been erroneously reported in the media that our own Richard Metzger (who lives in Los Angeles) organized the London “Kiss-In” event, which is untrue, and also unfair to Paul Shetler and the actual organizers. Also, Richard did not state in his post that Facebook HAD taken the event page down, he just questioned IF this was the case and IF there was a connection with MY post about the event being removed from his own wall. This seems to have confused some people.

Here is a report on the John Snow Kiss-In from the Guardian, featuring an interview with Mr Shetler:
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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04.18.2011
02:07 pm
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If Fox News existed throughout history

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*Shudders*

(via Banned in Hollywood)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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04.14.2011
06:11 pm
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Kate Middleton jelly bean could be worth £500
04.14.2011
07:37 am
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From The Telegraph:

Wesley Hosie, 25, found the yellow and red sweet by chance as he and his girlfriend tucked into a 700g jar from The Jelly Bean Factory.

Mr Hosie and girlfriend Jessica White, 24, from Taunton, Somerset, kept the mango-flavoured bean and now plan to sell it on eBay for £500.

Mr Hosie said: “As Jessica opened the jar, I saw her immediately. She was literally lying there staring back at me.”

Tasty!

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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04.14.2011
07:37 am
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Top 10 books Americans tried to ban last year
04.13.2011
09:22 am
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You’d think that people who actually go to the effort of visiting libraries, taking books from them, and then reading said books, would be a little more enlightened as to the harm posed to society by banning books. Alas no, as yesterday the American Library Association published its list of the ten books library patrons tried to have banned last year, known as the “Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2010”. I’m not familiar with a lot of work on this list, as I don’t tend to read “young adult”-type fiction, but there are some surprising choices on here: 

1. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: Homosexuality, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

3. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Reasons: Insensitivity, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit

4. Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Reasons: Drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

6. Lush by Natasha Friend
Reasons: Drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

7. What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
Reasons: Sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

8. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America by Barbara Ehrenreich
Reasons: Drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint

9. Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology edited by Amy Sonnie
Reasons: Homosexuality, sexually explicit

10. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Religious viewpoint, violence

Brave New World? Are they serious?! A dystopian critique set in a future world where books are banned, and they want to ban the book? Then again maybe the pro-ban lobby are actually really progressive, as surely I am not the only who has though that Huxley’s future of mood controlling drugs and casual sex is actually kind of appealing. But I can think of much heavier dystopian work that would seem more suitable for banning. I guess it’s just the sex that’s offensive.

Barbara Jones of the ALA has made a statement about the banning of books, included here in a section from the Guardian’s article on the list:

There were 348 reports of efforts to remove books from America’s shelves in 2010, down from 460 the previous year. But the ALA believes the majority of challenges go unreported, and called on Americans to “protect one of the most precious of our fundamental rights – the freedom to read”.

“While we firmly support the right of every reader to choose or reject a book for themselves or their families, those objecting to a particular book should not be given the power to restrict other readers’ right to access and read that book,” said Barbara Jones, director of the ALA’s office for intellectual freedom. “As members of a pluralistic and complex society, we must have free access to a diverse range of viewpoints on the human condition in order to foster critical thinking and understanding.”

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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04.13.2011
09:22 am
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Top 10 books Americans tried to ban last year
Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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04.13.2011
08:32 am
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Charles Laufer creator of Tiger Beat magazine R.I.P.
04.12.2011
09:17 pm
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Charles Laufer creator of Tiger Beat magazine has died.

For teenyboppers of the 1960s Tiger Beat magazine spoke to them loud and clearly about the things they loved the most: pop stars, cute boys, fashion and rock and roll. With its colorful covers and bold poster-like graphics, Tiger Beat was a gateway magazine to Creem and Rolling Stone.

Charles Laufer, who as a high school teacher in 1955 despaired that his students had nothing entertaining to read and responded with magazines aimed at teenage girls desperate to know much, much more about the lives of their favorite cute stars, died April 5 in Northridge, Calif. He was 87.

Mr. Laufer’s best-known magazine was Tiger Beat, published monthly. With its spinoff publications and its competitors, of which the most popular was 16 Magazine, Tiger Beat had it all covered — or at least what mattered most to girls from about 8 to 14. The Beach Boys’ loves! Jan and Dean’s comeback! The private lives of the Beatles!”

While The Beatles and Beach Boys sold magazines, it was The Monkees that put Tiger Beat on the map and turned it into a profitable enterprise.

Recognizing the Monkees’ potential, he put them on the cover of Tiger Beat. That put the still-struggling publication in the black, and he signed an exclusive deal for special Monkee magazines, Monkee picture books and Monkee love beads, which added to the bonanza.”

 
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Tiger Beat looked like pop music sounded, fun!
 
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Obituary at the New York Times.

Posted by Marc Campbell
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04.12.2011
09:17 pm
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Glenn Beck covers the Beatles: ‘You say you want a revolution?’
04.12.2011
12:48 pm
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Glenn Beck’s farewell cover of “Revolution” by the Beatles, from his new double CD set, the White (Man) Album.
 

 
Via Toon the News

Posted by Richard Metzger
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04.12.2011
12:48 pm
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Glenn Beck’s greatest shits

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Media Matters did the dirty deed. This must’ve been absolutely nauseating to compile!

Divided up into the categories: Violent Rhetoric, Breaches Of Common Decency, Paranoid Conspiracy Theories, Apocalyptic Predictions and Attacks On Obama And Other Progressives

I’m sure you’ll all recall this gem, where Beck described his fantasies of poisoning Nancy Pelosi:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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04.08.2011
05:43 pm
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