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Trump for President
04.25.2011
09:00 pm

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This buffoon deserves whatever we can throw at him. What an asshole. I never imagined that he could actually become more unlikeable than he already was.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Does Sarah Palin have the worst publicist of all time?

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They say that there is no such thing as bad press, but when your publicist is getting called out for how inept they are, it’s hardy something that can be reclassified as a media triumph is it? A shitty publicist only has one function and that is to make the individual or company that hired them look poorly. It’s what you might call “counter intuitive” to have a bungler handle your PR. The public questions your judgment for hiring them.

I mean, hey, if making you look like a fucking idiot is what you’re paying them for, then you win, I suppose… but get a load of the preposterously self-defeating taunts tweets that Sarah Palin’s “cyber messenger” prodigy, Rebecca Mansour, came up with. This is the best media strategy money can buy? [Note to Mrs. Palin, I’ll take over your Twitter feed and Facebook FOR FREE! Email me, let’s talk!]

You’ll get more with sugar, than you will with shit, as my mother used to say, but if all Mansour has on offer for the media is the same two-day old bread, what should be expected of them? People are getting really bored with Sarah Palin. I know I am. I can barely be bothered to read about her anymore, let alone write something snarky. She burned out way faster than I thought she would. Her shtick has just gotten too damned repetitive (and predictable) lately to be able to squeeze any humor out of it. Everything there is to be said about her has already been said a hundred million times.

Via Wonkette/Slate

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Guest editorial: On the use of the word ‘tranny’
04.25.2011
12:47 pm

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Belief
Media
Movies
Politics
Queer
Television

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Candy Darling, still looking beautiful on her deathbed.
 
A few weeks ago I posted an article on DM that used the word “tranny,” and which sparked some debate in the comments section. The use of the word is a hot topic in the LGBT community at the moment, after the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) made a statement criticizing Glee over their use of “tranny” in their Rocky Horror Picture Show episode. Susan Sarandon, star of Rocky Horror lest we forget, in turn made a statement criticizing GLAAD, saying they were getting out of control

Even though my article used the term “queen” wrongly, I asked Elizabeth Veldon (the commentator who called me out) to write a guest editorial for us on the how the word should be used. Here it is:

Recently Dangerous Minds ran an article on a film called Ticked Of Trannies With Knives and it led to a debate on the page over the use of language. No, let’s rephrase that: it led to an all out cyber-brawl with much swearing and pissyness.

First things first: In my opinion, calling a Gender Variant Person (possibly the only non-offensive term I can think off) a “tranny” is no better than calling a Jewish person a “kike” or a black person by the “N word.” Indeed a Jewish Gender Variant friend of mine often suffered combined “kike” and “tranny” abuse and I myself have been “accused” of being Jewish when wearing a black suit on a Saturday. Are transgendered citizens all part of some Zionist conspiracy? Sometimes I wonder…

“Tranny” has its roots in drag performances, which is a fine and upstanding tradition, but not one Gender Variant People, on the whole, wish to aspire to. In fact Gender Variant People are not drag queens, drag kings, cross dressers (god bless ‘em), “poofs” who have gone too far or dykes who couldn’t cope with it and became men. Neither are we defenders of patriarchy, oppressors of women or a drag on the queer scene.

Gender Variant People should be of interest to radicals and liberals everywhere damned as we are to suffer violence, constant discrimination and to have our very bodies commandeered by systems of power beyond our control. But we have been left behind, labeled “trannies” (or worse), and left to the tender mercies of a medical establishments that insist we label ourselves as mentally ill before we are “allowed” to carry out body modification surgery (should we wish to). We are most certainly not mentally unstable crazies muttering over knives in our unheated bed sits.

Genderphobes take ownership of our deaths, medics of our bodies, “queer theorists” of our Identities and anything we have left is destroyed by the catch all term of abuse “tranny.”

So what should you say when you meet a “tranny”? What name should you use? The first problem is that you shouldn’t need a name, or a catch all term for other people. The desire to name, as Adam named the animals, and the name he gave them became their name, is to the desire to determine the nature of a thing. Why not ask? Some people are “transpeople,” some transexuals, some “gender trash,” some “gender queer,” some queer, some gay, lesbian, butch, femme. Just ask.

Finally in response to Isrial Luma [director of TOTWK] I offer a new vision of revenge – not ticked off trannies with knives but Diamanda Galas’s “Wild Women With Steak Knives” (with an apology to the guys I know):
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Hazel Dickens, legendary bluegrass singer and social activist, has died
04.23.2011
02:39 am

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Environment
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Painting by Kirsten McCrea
 
Bluegrass singer and social activist Hazel Dickens has died at the age of 75.

Hazel Dickens made a difference. Born into a family of miners in Mercer County, West Virginia, Dickens was a fierce defender and advocate of the rights of women, miners, the poor and the oppressed. The songs she sang came up out of her own experience living in coal mining communities and later, when she moved to Baltimore and Washington,D.C., struggling to survive in urban environments that were strange and forbidding to a young woman raised in the mountain hollows of Appalachia.

Ms. Dickens grew up in dire poverty in West Virginia’s coal country and developed a raw, keening style of singing that was filled with the pain of her hardscrabble youth. She supported herself in day jobs for many years before she was heard on the soundtrack of the 1976 Oscar-winning documentary about coal mining, ”Harlan County, U.S.A.”

Her uncompromising songs about coal mining, such as “Black Lung” and “They Can’t Keep Us Down,” became anthems, and she was among the first to sing of the plight of women trying to get by in the working-class world. She was a key influence on such later singing stars as Emmylou Harris, Allison Krauss and the Judds.”

Dickens was the first woman to receive the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Merit Award.

This is an excerpt from the documentary Hazel Dickens: It’s Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song directed by Mimi Pickering. The songs in the clip are the powerful and moving “Mannington Mines” and “They’ll Never Keep Us Down.”
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Richard Tillman on his brother Pat’s death:  ‘He’s not with God. He’s fucking dead’
04.22.2011
03:40 pm

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Richard Tillman appeared on Real Time With Bill Maher on September 24, 2010. During the interview he discusses the military cover-up and murder conspiracy theories revolving around his brother Pat’s death. He also had some choice words about religion.

Richard’s take on religion is particularly passionate. In a video clip aired on the show, his response to comments made at his brother’s funeral by Maria Shriver and John McCain, in which they envision Pat having gone to a heaven overseen by a loving god, is particularly powerful.

Pat’s a fucking champion and he always will be. Just make no mistake, he’d want me to say this. He’s not with God. He’s fucking dead. He’s not religious so, thanks for your thoughts, but he’s fucking dead.”

In his interview with Maher, Richard elaborated:

I don’t go into your church and say this is bullshit, so don’t come to my brother’s service and tell me that he’s with god.”

The Tillman gene needs to be cloned.
 

 
Thanks Lauren Morrell.
 
Previously on DM: ‘The Tillman Story.’

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
‘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…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The Ten Types of Republicans

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Think of it as a Schoolhouse Rock episode about the varieties of right-wing assholes…

The Dipshit Doodlebug Institute takes an in-depth look at the Republican Party and breaks them down into 10 distinct types.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
An electoral map showing how Donald Trump could become President
04.21.2011
04:41 pm

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(via BuzzFeed)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Scenes From a Teabagger Rally Set to Pasty Cline’s ‘Crazy’

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I love when the interviewer asks one older gentleman, “Where do you get most of your news?” The man responds, “You can’t get it in the meeja because they’re part of the problem.” The interviewer then follows-up with, “So where do you get it?” The man says, “From my neighbor. He gets it off the computer.”

What you are about to see is footage of real interviews with SC Republican voters at a rally in Columbia, hosted by SC Republican Governor Nikki Haley and Republican Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann on April 18, 2011.

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(via Cynical-C)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The Fundamental Injustice That Is Poisoning the Nation
04.20.2011
10:16 pm

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A guest editorial courtesy of our super smart friend, Charles Hugh Smith. This essay is cross-posted from his essential Of Two Minds blog. Buy his book, Survival+

The guilty are powerful and free, the innocent burdened and oppressed: that is injustice.

There is a fundamental injustice that is poisoning the soul of the nation, and if it is not openly addressed then the nation will face the explosive consequences of institutionalized injustice.

Simply put, it is this: those responsible for the nation’s financial crisis and its catastrophic after-effects are not paying for the consequences of their actions—it is the innocent, those who were not responsible, who are paying the price.

You can call it whatever you want: the Anarchy of the Super-Rich (as per Paul Farrell), the Financial Power Elite, the financial Oligarchy, Plutocracy or Corporatocracy, or the unprecedented concentration of financial wealth and political power in a financialized post-industrial economy. Whatever you call it, we all know this class of financiers and its minions got away with high financial crimes.

Do the crime, do the time—unless it’s “white-collar” financial crime on a vast scale. Then you might pay a wrist-slap fine (a few million dollars from your treasure of embezzled hundreds of millions) and then you’re free to go on your merry way.

The after-effects are not just the losses which can be totalled on a calculator: the really catastrophic losses are to the foundations of democracy and the economy. Democracy has been subverted—oh please, spare us the happy-story propaganda about “reform” and “the system worked”—and the economy has been incentivized to favor poisonously addictive financialization and the shadow institutions of corruption, fraud, embezzlement, favoritism, collusion and misrepresentation of risk. This might be summarized as the protection of vested interests, engineered and overseen by the partnership of the ever more intrusive Central State and the nation’s Financial Power Elite.

The Central State, designed to protect the citizenry from an oppressive monarchy or Elite, now protects this Elite from the citizenry. That is how thoroughly the injustice has been institutionalized.

There is a second part to this fundamental injustice: look who will pay for the bailouts, guarantees and the interest on the borrowed trillions. Not the banks and bankers, to be sure. Who will pay? Those who the Central State can easily tap: taxpayers who earn most of their income from wages, and those politically weak players dependent on government payments.

Now that the bills of the bailout are coming due, the State isn’t going after GE for more taxes. Heavens no—if you try that, the Panzer Division of GE’s tax avoidance army would overrun you. No, the politically easy thing to do is raise taxes on wage earners and trim entitlements, because all the government needs to do is send down the orders and it is done: the taxes are withheld and the bennies trimmed.

To go after the Power Elite is just too difficult. They have the tax attorneys, the lobbyists, the campaign fundraisers, and all the rest.

The U.S. is just a third world kleptocracy on an Imperial scale. I explored the parallels with the Roman Empire in Survival+: the Elites increasingly avoided military service and taxation, the bedrock of Roman power, while the taxes on the middle class rose to such heights that this productive class was basically driven into serfdom. The bottom layer of State dependents was placated and made complicit with bread and circuses—yes, Rome had a vast “welfare state” and much of Rome’s population received free bread to keep them quiet and pliant.

That is of course a road to ruin: let the Elite plunder at will, protected by the Imperial Central State, tax the productive class to fund the armed forces and free bread, and then buy off the lower class with bread and circuses.

The only successful model of reconciliation and justice we have is the “truth commissions” in other post-oppression autocratic kleptocracies. In countries that were deeply divided and poisoned by institutionalized injustice and exploitation, the healing process requires a public, transparent “truth commission” in which the guilty are brought forth to confess their sins against the innocent and face the consequences of their actions.

If a society cannot rouse itself to cleanse the fundamental injustice at the heart of its institutions, then it is effectively choosing self-destruction.

So far, the U.S. is pursuing the Roman Imperial model with an institutional zeal unmatched since Rome’s fall.

Embedded institutional injustice has a price, a price which rises with every passing day of propaganda and prevarication. Some day the bill will come due and a terrible price paid in full. For those in power, the only concern is that it not be today or tomorrow.

Below, Charles Hugh Smith discusses his book Survival +
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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