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‘Artificial Indifference’: John Butler gives a seminar on Drone Warfare today in Glasgow
10.19.2012
07:25 am

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John Butler of The Butler Brothers will be presenting Artificial Indifference: A Seminar on the Ethics and Economics of Drone Warfare, at the University of Glasgow, today, Friday October 19th, at 15:30 in the East Quadrangle Lecture Theater.

John will be speaking alongside Dr. Ian Shaw and Keith Hammond, and the seminar ties in with a one-day exhibition of Butler Brothers’ work also being held at the University.

This is highly recommended for any fans of Butler’s brilliant work, and for his critical analysis of drone warfare.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

The Ethical Governor


 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Who won the ‘First Lady Debate’: Michelle Obama or Ann Romney?
10.18.2012
01:47 pm

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Their spouses congratulate Ann Romney and Michelle Obama, post debate.

Who won? The answer may surprise you!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Glenn Beck is selling his own line of very nationalistic blue jeans

Glenn Beck's jeans
These are the jeans. The Glenn Beck Jeans.
 
Glenn Beck has launched his own brand of jeans, 1791 Denim. They only went on the market 2 days ago, but they’ve already sold out despite the $130 price tag. I’d go into more detail about the ideology of Glenn Beck’s blue jeans, but the commercial really speaks for itself.

If you’re perceptive to the subtlest of thematic symbolism, you’ll notice it has it all: nationalist imagery, nostalgia for some mythic time period when people and things were apparently better because of work ethic or some bullshit, a noble, industrious white dude, and the romanticization of really arduous labor! The spot even demonstrates the classic hypocritical boner for “American-made” products, while Beck himself still promotes a free market that favors outsourcing on his radio show. 

The final line asserts that in America, you may not get the chance to succeed, but by gum, you have the chance to try, dammit! And in the end, the guy builds a giant phallic symbol that beats the Russians to the moon! USA! USA! USA!
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘Please proceed, Governor’: Jon Stewart on the Presidential debate’s most dramatic moment
10.18.2012
01:09 pm

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Although Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” comment was obviously the comedic highlight of the debate, Stewart draws out the laughs nicely here on the Libya question like the satiric maestro he is. Brilliant!

Why The Romney Campaign Stopped Talking About Libya
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Mysterious ‘October Surprise’ countdown website launched
10.18.2012
11:04 am

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So far, it still seems pretty inscrutable—red herrings abound—as to who might be behind this (my guess would be it’s a Karl Rove or Daily Caller/Breitbart-related thing, maybe not) but with just a little over four days until the big reveal is promised, we won’t have to wait too long to find out.

I’m still wondering why no one has leaked Mitt Romney’s tax returns. Someone who doesn’t like him has copies, of this I have no doubt, but so far, crickets.  There’s already a leaked image of something associated with this that looks kinda “taxy” on BuzzFeed. Make of that what you will. It just as well might be a college student loan application listing Obama’s birthplace as Kenya,  or Romney’s Vietnam-era draft deferments, what do I know? (The same as the commenters at BuzzFeed, that’s what, no more and no less!)

The person behind this has been tweeting up a storm at the Twitter feed set up for this stunt all morning. Well cryptic countdown person, you’ve got my attention. Let’s see what you’ve got.
 

 
Update: There’s a fascinating piece about this mystery at the New York Observer. Still nothing conclusive, though. Everything the guy is saying could be totally true, all false or a mix of both. BuzzFeed apparently has deleted the account that posted the blurry documents.

Update two: They took the website down and closed the Twitter account!

According to Matt Drudge and Radar Online, Los Angeles-based lawyer Gloria Allred, who sank eBay CEO Meg Whitman’s bid for California governor, might be involved in a similar document dump. Allred, an Obama delegate at the DNC convention, isn’t saying.

Via Joe.My.God

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
80-year-old woman arrested for tearing down posters of Obama with Hitler mustache
10.18.2012
10:21 am

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Hot on the heels of the Obama and Biden scarecrows that were set on fire in Colchester, CT Tuesday night comes this tale from the city of Hebron, as reported by the local NBC affiliate and NBC San Diego:

An 80-year-old woman who remembers when the United States helped defeat the Nazis faces charges for tearing down posters of President Barack Obama with a Hitler mustache.

Nancy Lack said she was livid when she saw the posters, put up by supporters of perennial fringe presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche, outside of her post office in Hebron, Conn., NBC Connecticut reported.

“My generation went through the Second World War, and Nazism is about the worst there can be,” Lack told NBC Connecticut. “I just got very angry that they would do that to Obama’s image.”

She took down the posters, knowing she would get in trouble for it, and put them in her car while a worker with LaRouchePAC followed her.

Afterward, she was arrested and now faces sixth-degree larceny and breach of peace charges.

“I guess I deserved it. I stole the posters,” she said, adding that she stood by her actions.”

If convicted, Nancy Lack faces three months of jail time and a fine.
 


 
Via reddit/r/politics

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Jon Stewart rips Paul Ryan’s phony soup kitchen ‘clean-up’ photo-op: ‘At least give a shit’


 
Jon Stewart skewered Paul Ryan’s obviously staged photo op Monday at an Ohio homeless shelter, where the Republican VP candidate washed dishes, already CLEAN dishes:

Someone really needed to say this (and say it just like this):

“Do you know how hard it is to make volunteering at a homeless shelter look like a negative thing?” Stewart said. “And how dead inside does a national presidential campaign make you that you could be handed clean dishes and instead of saying, ‘Uh, you know these are clean right?’ You go, ‘Where’s my scrubby sponge?’”

If Ryan intends to manipulate the public’s emotions with staged photo opportunities, at least do it with a little “oomph,” Stewart added. “Even if you don’t really give a shit about the homeless, at least give a shit about making us think you give a shit. Don’t phone in your cynicism.”

One of the soup kitchen’s volunteers, Juanita Sherba, told Youngstown’s Viddy.com:

“It was the phoniest piece of baloney I’ve ever been associated with. In hindsight, I would have never let him in the door. They couldn’t have cared less.”

Sherba also said that Congressman Ryan seemed to no interest in talking to the homeless who depend on the shelter. Reporters were prevented from covering the exchange that Ryan had with a handful of homeless men outside of the facility.

What a nauseating little dingle-berry Paul Ryan truly is. Can you imagine if Ryan had shown up just a little earlier and he was obliged to sit down with the poors and EAT THEIR FOOD?

That would have been fuckin’ COMEDY GOLD.
 

 
Via TPM

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Mitt’s ‘Binders Full of Women’ story is made-up bullshit!
10.17.2012
09:55 am

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The following was posted last night on Talking Politics by Boston Phoenix journalist David Bernstein:

Not a true story.

What actually happened was that in 2002—prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration—a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.

They did the research and put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was elected.

I have written about this before, in various contexts; tonight I’ve checked with several people directly involved in the MassGAP effort who confirm that this history as I’ve just presented it is correct—and that Romney’s claim tonight, that he asked for such a study, is false.

I will write more about this later, but for tonight let me just make a few quick additional points. First of all, according to MassGAP and MWPC, Romney did appoint 14 women out of his first 33 senior-level appointments, which is a reasonably impressive 42 percent. However, as I have reported before, those were almost all to head departments and agencies that he didn’t care about—and in some cases, that he quite specifically wanted to not really do anything. None of the senior positions Romney cared about—budget, business development, etc.—went to women.

Secondly, a UMass-Boston study found that the percentage of senior-level appointed positions held by women actually declined throughout the Romney administration, from 30.0% prior to his taking office, to 29.7% in July 2004, to 27.6% near the end of his term in November 2006. (It then began rapidly rising when Deval Patrick took office.)

Third, note that in Romney’s story as he tells it, this man who had led and consulted for businesses for 25 years didn’t know any qualified women, or know where to find any qualified women. So what does that say?

Post-debate, James Urbaniak. the voice of TV’s “Dr. Venture,” quipped on Twitter:

 
Perhaps that’s a good thing. The Internet might have sagged and broken under its own weight with one more instantaneous meme fest like the “Binders full of Women” craze that roared out of the gate last night before the debate even ended.
 

Via reddit/r/politics

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Romney’s not the only one with binders full of women
10.17.2012
01:27 am

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Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Starbucks: ‘Paid no UK income tax since 2009’
10.16.2012
08:08 pm

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Starbucks has paid no UK income tax since 2009. If I hadn’t paid my taxes since 2009, I’d have been up before the beak, fined, bankrupted, and probably sent straight to jail.

So, how the hell do Starbucks get away with it? Well, by shifting their profits outside of the UK, Starbucks has been able to claim they have made a loss in the UK “despite £3bn in coffee sales and opening 735 outlets,” as Channel4 News reports:

‘[Starbucks] paid just £8.6m in corporation tax - perfectly legal under UK law. In the past three years alone, Starbucks paid no tax on sales of £1.2bn because it reported losses.
Its nearest UK rival, Costa, recorded £377m sales last year, compared to Starbucks’s £398m in 2011, and its tax bill came to £15m, or 31 per cent of profits.

Starbucks was able to legally pay such a low rate of tax by posting a loss in the UK in the last three years, meaning it was therefore not liable for corporation tax. But according to a four-month investigation by the news agency Reuters, the UK unit was effectively paying money to other parts of the business, such as royalty payments for use of the brand.

Reuters compared the losses filed by the company’s UK unit over the years, with transcripts of conference calls made by the company’s executives telling investors about how profitable the company was.

In the 2007 financial year to end-September, accounts filed by Starbucks’s UK unit showed its tenth consecutive annual loss. But that November, Chief Operating Officer Martin Coles told analysts on the fourth-quarter earnings call that the UK unit’s profits were funding Starbucks’s expansion in other overseas markets.

The Seattle coffee chain has joined other US companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon that have also avoided paying tax.

Richard Murphy, of Tax Research UK, told the Guardian:

“The [UK] government says that it has created a competitive tax system. The problem is that UK companies are paying the tax and the result is that it is an uneven playing field. UK businesses are disadvantaged against foreign businesses in the same market place. They are letting foreign companies do business here and not pay any tax.”

While these companies have not have done anything illegal, their actions are a major “fuck you” to the UK citizens and businesses, who pay their taxes. Think of the hospitals, health care, schools, pensions, and alike, this lost revenue could have paid for.

All of which make it more than apparent the current posh boys in government are more than happy to allow tax avoidance on a massive scale, while crippling the ordinary citizens with harsh, austerity measures and taxes.

UK Uncut are taking part in the ‘No cuts, no tax-dodging’ bloc, at the Trade Union Congress (TUC) march, on Saturday, October 20th, in London. Details here.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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