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Party Hats for Big Brother on George Orwell’s 110th birthday


 
Festively decorated surveillance camera in Utrecht, Netherlands on Tuesday in honor of George Orwell’s birthday

Yesterday the Dutch city of Utrecht celebrated George Orwell’s 110th birthday by placing colorful party hats on surveillance cameras in the city center. Orwell’s novel 1984, published in 1949, describes a futuristic world in which the all-powerful government, Big Brother, keeps its citizens under close surveillance in public and in their homes.

Via Front 404

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Discussion
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None Dare Call it FASCISM: How the NSA has (already) privatized tyranny


 
Though most people seem to be dimly aware of the fact that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was not technically an employee of NSA or the US Federal Government, I don’t see anyone raising the kind of stink that this pertinent little fact truly merits. And combine that with the “anything goes” environment that was clearly in operation while Snowden was peering into pretty much whatever he wanted, and the implications are pretty fucking serious indeed.

Let’s start with one of Snowden’s comments to Glenn Greenwald and the UK’s Guardian newspaper:

But I sitting at my desk certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a Federal judge to even the President if I had a personal e-mail.”

Say what? So I’m not allowed to even know this program exists, but a high school dropout working in a lowly cubical in Booz Allen Hamilton can listen in to everything I say on the telephone or write in an email or post on the Internet? What the fuck? Doesn’t anyone see how screwy that is?

Maybe we’ve just stopped giving a shit and are hoping to ride out the last years of Empire in blissful ignorance, chatting about cute cats on Facebook and watching our favorite shows on TV (The Mad Men season finale was just superb, wasn’t it?) OK, I get that. But let’s at least think about what it is we’re tuning out because, who knows? It could cause the US death-spiral to come around far sooner than anticipated, and that would be a serious buzz kill.

So let’s break it down, shall we? What’s the biggest secret exposed by Snowden so far? That the NSA engages in ubiquitous surveillance on pretty much all forms of communication in the US, of both domestic as well as internationally-bound traffic? Well, we kinda knew that already. Back in 2005 AT&T Telecom engineer Mark Klein blew the whistle on the NSA’s “secret room” in the Folsom Street CO (Central Office). Any kind of analysis of that setup (and Klein even included the connection diagrams) would give you a decent idea of what was going on. So no, ubiquitous surveillance wasn’t much of a surprise, not if you were paying careful attention.

What IS a surprise was just how fucked up and sloppy the whole NSA operation is. In fact, during his live chat via The Guardian’s website on June 17th, Snowden said this:

Additionally, audits are cursory, incomplete, and easily fooled by fake justifications.

In other words, the National Security Agency just let a bunch of freelance contractors more or less run wild with unlimited access to the most sensitive conceivable data of any and every US citizen along with a goodly portion of communications of non-US residents as well.

Monitoring? Controls? Audits? Are you shittin’ me? But how can we be absolutely sure, you might ask, that Snowden was telling the truth? Precisely because even a low-level contractor was able to access and download highly classified PowerPoint presentations and a whole smorgasbord of super secret spy stuff and then leak it to the world! (In modern computer networks this is trivial to control.)

At first blush it would appear that the main thing NSA has been doing with their impenetrable cloak of secrecy is to completely goof off and unaccountably run wild with their very special powers with the only “control” in place being the fear that any leakers would experience the Bradley Manning treatment. If it weren’t for the NSA cone of silence, this would be heralded universally as laughably and unbelievably incompetent. On the other hand, perhaps this isn’t simply complete negligence. Perhaps it’s the symptom of something far darker…

Consider what YOU would do with that level of access. After you got into work, grabbed coffee, and read TMZ, you might spend half an hour or so checking out red-tagged conversations of, say, members of Mosques in Brooklyn, or say, groups of Muslim girls gathering to watch Jon Stewart (yeah, that’s a real thing), or maybe even listen in on the methed-out ravings of some hillbilly militia scaring each other into buying yet more guns in preparation of the UN’s inevitable communist takeover of bumfuck Idaho. But all of that “real work” would get boring fast. So maybe you daydream a bit and then, all of a sudden, it hits you: What if you could, say, listen in on the CEOs, CFOs and whatever other Os there are of some mega-corporation. Hell, you could probably use a special software “agent” to automatically scan huge wads of traffic and send you anything with the phrases, “Bankruptcy announcement to the press tomorrow”, or “Earnings shortfall” or “Hostile takeover.” Knowing as you do that no one’s monitoring what you access on those super-secret NSA pipes, you realize it would be both trivially easy and unbelievably lucrative to act on an early tip before it was announced to Wall Street. In fact, you could possibly make millions.

But then another thought hits you. Maybe, just maybe, you aren’t the first person to think of this. In fact, Booz Allen Hamilton has been growing their government consulting business to National Security agencies by leaps and bounds, and their financial consulting arm has been doing pretty good too:

Booz Allen provides support to all federal finance and treasury organizations charged with the collection, management, and protection of the nation’s financial system. Such agencies include the US Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Reserve Board and Banks, Securities Exchange Commission, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

So doesn’t this strike you as somewhat “funny”? Isn’t this some major league conflict of interest? On the one hand, BAH has been clearly given carte blanche to listen in on anything and everything, and they also happen to be in the financial “consulting” business. Would BAH ever take a significant financial position based on, oh let’s say, very privileged information? Though they may or may not do this under their own name, they clearly have the financial chops to create a vast maze of shell companies. Or maybe BAH as an organization doesn’t do this, but bigshots within it do.

Perhaps this sounds paranoid or like completely baseless speculation, but after the LIBOR and REIT scandals, it’s obvious that there are no government checks in place to detect such activities. Moreover, even if this hasn’t actually happened yet, given the sloppiness of the controls and unlimited access to surveillance data, it’s absolutely obvious that this is going to happen sooner or later. Indeed, perhaps that sloppiness in protecting confidential data is precisely because someone’s dipping into this data goldmine and is making out like a bandit.

From here it’s easy to imagine all sorts of ugly scenarios: A giant, über-secret private company that is ultimately answerable to no one but that has access to anything you might say or post on the Internet (ie, including what you might do to try to stop it), while also being able to capitalize on their access to literally priceless financial secrets via their consulting and access to the markets. Once such a monstrosity sunk its claws in deep enough it would be very difficult to pull that thing off…ever. Then again, isn’t this what the Koch Brothers and their stooges the Tea Party wanted all along? They want to kill the state and Federal agencies so that a small keiretsu of giant companies can step in and take over. This “state corporatism” had a name which was called, hold on a minute while I remember…oh yeah, that’s right, Fascism.

Am I saying there’s some gigantic fascist conspiracy out there ready to take over the world? Nah. Well, probably not. But the point is that there doesn’t need to be an actual conspiracy in order for our true liberties to be under attack by the large corporations: Remember, Nestlé‘s CEO wants to privatize your water supply and sell your water back to you; Bush, Cheney and the cartoonishly malevolent Dr Strangelove Donald Rumsfeld privatized war and Mike McConnell of Booz Allen Hamilton has long been a (successful) advocate of privatizing US national security (and he was previously director of National Security under Bush).

Where’s all this headed? I don’t know, but I DO know it ain’t headed for more security, more freedom and better access to water in the world! These fuckers have a vested interest in keeping things nice and turbulent while making you think that there are legions of Muslims, communists and homosexuals out there just waiting to steal your freedoms, give away all your hard-earned stuff and sodomize your children. Meanwhile, of course, they and the Congress they have bought and paid for keep defunding essential Federal programs to the point where they can no longer function properly, so the public concludes, “Well, these government agencies can’t do anything so we might as well just get rid of them. And let’s privatize prisons and schools while we’re at it.”

Who knows? Will we soon enter the time where private contractors raised on “Call of Duty” operate domestic drones and have kill quotas that earn them cash incentives? Fuck, I read the kill list wrong, one might say, Can you ask your buddy to change the name on my list to whoever it was I just nailed? Thanks, pal. Beers are on me tonight.

What’s the solution? I don’t know, but let’s apply a nice, hot blowtorch to Booz Allen Hamilton’s filthy snout and push them the hell out of that giant government feeding trough filled to the brim with our tax dollars: They’re clearly incompetent, negligent, and have allowed documents of National Security to be accessed, downloaded and then leaked. (And don’t misunderstand: Snowden is a hero for exposing all of what’s been going on, but that still doesn’t mean BAH wasn’t negligent.) We also need to take baseball bat to the giant, heavy-lidded porcine head of the NSA as it gobbles down the information you and I own.

Let’s just not miss what is arguably an even greater danger, the privatization and outsourcing of tyranny itself to the big mega-corporates.
 

 

Posted by Em | Discussion
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Pimpin’ ain’t easy: Creepiest pornstar interview of ALL TIME?

image
 
I think you’ll agree, dear discerning Dangerous Minds readers, that this would be difficult to top… either in the near term, or decades from now.

Wow, where to start with this one? Or should I even try? Just hit play, but be SURE to watch it all the way to the end, because it just keeps ramping up and up in the insanity department until the genius ending. It’s laugh out loud funny, but when it’s over your jaw will be on the ground, and trust me, it will stay there.

This is every flavor of wrong and then some.

It will probably not come as a surprise that this well-adjusted young lady also happens to be employed at Dennis Hof’s World Famous Bunny Ranch in Nevada. I wonder if he still gets a cut of that as her “manager”?
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Time of the Assassins: ‘The conversation’ about privatizing water needs to end NOW

“The purpose of my writing is to expose and arrest Nova Criminals.”
― William S. Burroughs, Nova Express

In the mid-1970s, William Burroughs wrote a monthly column for the rock magazine Crawdaddy called “Time of the Assassins” (which he got from a line of Rimbaud’s “Voici le temps des Assassins”).

Evocative, isn’t it? The “Time of the Assassins.” It has such a nice ring to it.

That we may soon be (or already are) living in an age that would require assassins struck me last week as I was watching the controversial statements made by former Nestlé CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe (today he is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nestlé S.A.) who said that water should be valued like any other commodity. Brabek’s comments were made in a 2005 documentary, We Feed the World, and are today, eight years later, being scrutinized in horror and exchanged feverishly by lefties on social media. As a result, Brabek’s been on the receiving end of quite a lot of stick on Facebook and Twitter, and not without some justification, if you ask me.
 

 
Brabeck’s flawed “free market” remarks betray such a peculiarly evil “logic” that only an extremely wealthy man, far, far removed from the rest of humanity, could have conceived of it:

My name is Peter Brabeck. I’m from Villach in Carinthia. And for the past 7-years I’ve been head of the Nestlé Group, the largest foodstuff corporation in the world, with a turnover of around 90 billion Swiss francs or around $65 billion, and with around 275,000 employees working directly for us. So, it’s quite a large ship. We’re the twenty-seventh largest company in the world.

Today, people believe that everything that comes from Nature is good. That represents a huge change because until recently, we always learnt that Nature could be pitiless. Man is now in the position of being able to provide some balance to Nature, but in spite of this, we have something approaching a shibboleth that everything that comes from Nature is good. A very good example is the organic movement. Organic is now best. But organic is not best.

After 15-years of eating GM food products in the USA, not one single case of illness has occurred from eating them to date. And in spite of this, we’re all so uneasy about it in Europe that something might happen to us. It’s hypocrisy more than anything else.

Ah yes, if you overlook what that benevolent gangsta Monsanto is doing to the soil and the water in much of the country and the fact that our vegetables have mere fractions of the nutrients they used to (like apples and spinach), then, yeah, I see his point. LOL.

There’s that lovely old Austrian folk song: “The dear cattle need water, hollera, holleri,” if you remember. Water is of course the most important raw material we have today in the world. It’s a question of whether we should privatize the normal water supply for the population. And there are two different opinions on the matter.

The one opinion which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGOs, who bang on about declaring water a public right. That means that as a human being you should have a right to water. That’s an extreme solution.

It’s an extreme position to expect… water? Wait, wait, come on, let’s let the man who is the Chairman of the world’s largest multinational manufacturer of bottled water define his terms, before we lay into him, shall we:

And the other view says that water is a foodstuff like any other and like any other foodstuff it should have a market value. Personally, I believe it’s better to give foodstuff a value, so that we’re all aware that it has a price, and then that one should take specific measures for the part of the population that has no access to this water and there are many different possibilities there.

Okay, folks, I’ve heard enough, go ahead get your knives out for this bastard.

And if that wasn’t bad enough already, then he really goes off into the stratosphere:

I’m still of the opinion that the biggest social responsibility of any CEO is to maintain and ensure the successful and profitable future of his enterprise. For only if we can ensure our continued long term existence will we be in the position to actively participate in the solution of the problems that exist in the world.

What.The.Fuck.Is.This.Guy.Talking.About? The obesity or diabetes epidemics he’s done his part for, perchance? Brabeck-Letmathe helmed goddamned Nestlé for seven years! It’s the largest foodstuff corporation in the entire world and just look at what their over-packaged, corn syrup-heavy product lines consist of! Nestlé, the corporation that ran a massive advertising campaign in Africa discouraging breast feeding and then sold African mothers powdered milk, which they diluted with dirty water resulting in the deaths of literally millions of infants? (The UN had to get involved!) Nestlé the corporation that turns a blind eye to child labor practices… That Nestlé?
 

 
I’d trust Peter Brabeck—who started working for the corporation in 1968 and was the 2007 recipient of a “Black Planet” award given for destroying the environment, monopolizing water resources and tolerating child labor—and Nestlé‘s shareholders with the water supply of a Third World nation like I’d trust a fuckin’ coyote to keep an eye on my Chihuahua. A Russian hacker with all my online banking passwords. A famished shark with my good luck ham.... (Sorry, I think I got carried away there).

First it will be some country we’ve never heard of and will never visit in our lives. Next thing you know, a Republican governor will be proposing to privatize the water supply in a southern state… because, you know, the freemarket is more efficient than the private sector or perhaps just because a Swiss multinational food company donated a shit-ton of money to his campaign ....

We’re in the position of being able to create jobs: 275,000 here, 1.2 million who are directly dependent on us in principle. That makes around 4.5 million people in total—because behind each of our employees are another 3 people, so we have at least 4.5 million people who are directly dependent on us.

Because the world needs moar Kit-Kats! The idea that the notoriously predatory Nestlé is somehow “a part” of the solution to poverty at this advanced stage of capitalism’s life cycle is surrealism at its best. Brabek’s like a caricature of a crazed Bilderberger. I half-expect him to goosestep around wearing a paper Burger King crown and tissue boxes on his feet in his private moments. He is Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi, incarnate. Ah Pook is here!

The part of the video clip that has nothing to do with privatizing water is actually the best bit, in terms of the off-the-scale absurdity of this privileged man’s blinkered 1% vantage point.. on the “little people”:

If you want to create work, you have to work yourself, not as it was in the past, where existing work was distributed. If you remember the main argument for the 35-hour-week was that there would be a certain amount of work and it would be better if we worked less and distributed the work amongst more people. That has proved quite clearly to be wrong. If you want to create more work you have to work more yourself. And with that we’ve got to create a positive image of the world for people, and I see absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t be positive about the future. We’ve never had it so good, we’ve never had so much money, we’ve never been so healthy, we’ve never lived as long as we do today. We have everything we want, and still we go around as if we were in mourning for something.

The Japanese. You can see how modern those factories are; highly robotized, almost no people.

(Shakes head) You get the picture. I present to you, solely on the basis that he spoke these words (which he ostensibly seems to believe), that the man is a criminally insane psychopathic wanker. He has the worldview of a sociopath top executive of a large multinational, which of course, he is. If Peter Brabek were willing to share his nine million euros a year salary with some of Nestlé‘s rank and file workers in Bangladesh, I’ll bet they’d be JUST FINE with with cutting back their work week and spending more quality time with their kids instead of slaving in sub-human working conditions to make Hot Pockets that’ll be bought on a credit card at Wal-Mart by a morbidly obese couch potato living in Georgia… Just sayin’...
 

Image via The Yes Men

Naturally, seeing the consternation his words have unleashed, Brabeck tried to back-peddle furiously, limiting the damage that his 2005 remarks have caused in an essay that he (or more than likely a PR flunky at Nestlé) wrote for Huffington Post (Whose side are they on, anyway? Brabeck or humanity’s?)

At its heart, though, is still the kernel of the idea that it’s a good idea to put a price tag on water:

I do need to correct a misconception that has fueled a lot of the criticism on Facebook and elsewhere.

I do not deny that clean and safe water to drink or for basic hygiene is a human right. Of course it is.

However, I do not think it is right that some people in the world do not have access to a clean, safe supply when others can use excess amounts for non-essential purposes without bearing a fairer cost for the infrastructure needed to supply it.

When we give water a value, we use it more carefully, and this does not mean privatization.

Sounds almost high-minded, don’t it? I love this part, too:

Why does a company like Nestlé care about this?

Our consumers need access to clean, safe water and decent sanitation, wherever they are in the world, as do our hundreds of thousands of employees, their families and friends. As a good global citizen, we have a responsibility to be part of the solution.

And to skim a little off the top and then eventually skim a lot off the top... Hey, that’s capitalism, baby! The first sip is free!

Which brings us full circle back to William Burroughs: In The Naked Lunch, the author laid out a nightmarish vision of an out-of-control, planet-destroying consumer culture addicted to that which will most certainly kill it, with the metaphor of a junkie hooked on, and controlled by his metabolic need for heroin.

As Burroughs wrote to Jack Kerouac:

“The title means exactly what the words say: naked lunch, a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork.”

“The little people” are what will be on the end of Nestlé‘s fork if elitist viewpoints like Peter Brabek’s hold sway over public debate. It’s an idea that should be stomped out with extreme mob violence, if you ask me. Eliminated from the conversation.

I think it’s fair to say that 100% of the human race is “addicted” to water and this is why, when I listened to what Herr Brabeck had to say, I thought of William Burroughs and wondered, if he were alive, what he would make of all this.

What chance does the human race have with enemies of Earth like this, when vast monied interests and multinationals start to have designs on our drinking water?

Time for the assassins?
 

 
Thank you Paul Gallagher!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Gateway drug: Reichwing group sez Planned Parenthood wants to hook kids on masturbation


I fantasized about punching this guy in the face as I watched this.

“If a dirty old man in a park showed ten-year-old children the graphic images Planned Parenthood pedals as education, he would be arrested. Planned Parenthood shows this smut to children and is awarded with more taxpayer money and the ability to determine the efficacy of its sex indoctrination, so it can get even more taxpayer money. It is time to stop this madness!”

It must be really difficult for a certain type of conservative Republican to watch Arthur Miller’s classic play The Crucible without wistfully wondering if they were born in the wrong century. The timeless drama, still widely read in US high schools, is, of course, is a scathing commentary on McCarthyism and a peculiar strand of American political extremism, but this would be totally lost on today’s Tea party dum-dums who would simply be envious of all that witch burning people used to get up to in Salem, Massachusetts! Their modern day bluenose counterparts may have to miss out on all that fun “mob rule” stuff they got up to in the 17th century, but the mentality lives on.

Take for instance the new “report,” produced by the “American Life League” (ALL), a feverish, mentally-challenged clip that aims to expose “Sex Incorporated” –aka Planned Parenthood—the bad, very bad, very horribly terrible, terrible people who EDUMICATE our children ALL WRONG and turn them into PREGNANT SEX FIENDS, GAY HOMOSEXUALS or WORSE. Why wouldn’t the heathen, Marxist smart people working at The New York Times and The Washington Post take their good, clean Christian American money to run their ridiculous ad?

Of course the “American Life League” knew well in advance that the Times and Post were never going to publish the video on their website, but that wasn’t the point. The point was instead to be turned down so they could send out a press release saying boo-hoo, “we were censored” by “the Left” and spread the word that way (See how that works? Calvin Klein ads in the past have used the same modus operandi, it’s a time honored public relations tactic). Stir it up and give the reichwing blogs something to get worked into a tizzy over, then follow that up with a statement, decrying censorship from the mainstream media (being seen as a martyr is good business for conservative causes) and well, you just have to read it:

While most Americans associate Planned Parenthood with abortion, this organization is also in the business of promoting a deviate and dangerous sexual agenda that in the long run will benefit the abortion giant’s bottom line, while creating a destructive and broken society for the rest of us.

Planned Parenthood has proven that it is a sex business that self-perpetuates itself by first developing obscene sex education materials that promote indiscriminate and risky sexual behavior to our youth through America’s public schools, families and community organizations.

The second step kicks in once the organization has created an environment of sexual risk-taking behavior among youth. It then markets and promotes contraceptive products and programs that have proven to be ineffective in preventing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

Once the ineffective contraceptives fail, Planned Parenthood completes the cycle selling abortions to the teens it has sucked into its deadly cyclone. Tax-paying Americans who work diligently to contribute to strengthening our country are unwittingly funding the absolutely pornographic and child sexual abuse agenda that Planned Parenthood pushes on our society.

Planned Parenthood is like a drug pusher, don’t cha see, don’t cha see getting America’s kids into SEX—masturbation is the gateway drug—just so these PERVERTS can distribute condoms with holes in them and birth control pills that are really only SweetTarts and collect all of those PHAT ABORTION FEES! Planned Parenthood wants to turn kids into sex addicts. That’s the REAL plan of Planned Parenthood! It’s so diabolical that Satan hisself must be personally running the organization…

ANYWAY… so now cue all of the concern trolls who will write in asking me “So then why do you keep writing about these assholes? Just ignore them (and Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck, Louie Gohmert, etc, etc) and they’ll go way.”

You really think so, do you?

Stuff like this should be out in the open and it should be covered by the mainstream and not so mainstream outlets like this one. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant” as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said.

Personally, I think this LOL stupid video, and the group of twits behind it, deserves to have mockery heaped upon them. Seriously, watch this (NSFW) and tell me if this made you think their message was perfectly reasonable or BARKING FUCKING MAD…

This insane video does not help their cause even one tiny little bit. It would convince no one of anything except that the folks behind it are a bunch of fucking idiots. That’s all that’s being achieved by ALL with this comedy, they’re hurting their own cause in the process of spreading the word about it.

I’m quite happy to oblige them in pursuit of these goals. Enjoy!
 

 
Via Wonkette and WorldNut Daily

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Dr. Ben Carson: A ‘threat’ to ‘racist liberals’ or just another Republican jackass?


Can you find all four idiots in the above image?

Was it entirely predictable that Dr. Ben Carson, the head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University and rightwing media darling would implode this publicly and this fast?

You’d think—or at least I did—that a man intelligent enough to run a department at a prestigious medical university would be… you know… well… smarter than the average conservative. Less prone, perhaps, to making idiotic comments when there’s a live microphone around?

You’d think that, but you’d be wrong. Dr. Ben Carson is a fucking idiot, as he proved on Fox News’ Hannity program last week when he compared marriage equality with bestiality and sex with children, and as he continued to demonstrate Monday on conservative talk radio troll Mark Levin’s show. Via TPM:

Carson, who is the head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, said he represents an existential threat to liberals. “They need to shut me up, they need to get rid of me,” Carson said. “They can’t find anything else to delegitimize me, so they take my words, misrepresent them and try to make it seem that I’m a bigot.”

“And you’re attacked also, in many respects, because of your race,” Levin said. “Because you’re not supposed to think like this and talk like this. A lot of white liberals just don’t like it, do they?”

“Well, you know, they’re the most racist people there are,” Carson said. “Because, you know, they put you in a little category, a little box, you have to think this way. How could you dare come off the plantation?”

Um… sorry Dr. Carson, you might see yourself that way, but it seems rather obvious, based solely on, hey, your own words, that clear-thinking people, be they white, liberal or whatever else they may be, think you’re a plank. You and ANYONE else, of any race, who would say such nasty, ignorant and petty things. In public.

Dr. Carson, this is not a black thing or a white thing, this is a stupidity thing. YOUR stupidity. To imply otherwise is preposterous!

No one needs to look any further than your own words to conclude that YOU are the bigot in this equation. It’s got everything to do with the actual words that came out of your mouth, on national television!

You say that your words were twisted? HOW? Where is the nuance in comparing civil rights for America’s LGBT population to sex with animals and children?

Quite a leap to compare the reaction to what you said to, well, you know… actual bigotry!

If you were white, Dr. Carson, not a whole lot would change—you might even still be invited to come on Fox News, for instance, if you weren’t black—but people would still still be perfectly justified to call you an idiot. Because you are one.

The students at Johns Hopkins who want you out as their commencement speaker aren’t racists, but you sir, are most certainly an asshole.

HOW DARE these liberal bigots speak the truth to you…

UPDATE: I just read the following on Huffington Post in a piece by Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert on Carson’s travails and found it quite amusing:

“You know, intelligent people tend to talk about the facts,” Carson recently said, condemning those who reduce political disagreements to the kind you find on a “third grade playground.” He urged partisans to “find some accommodation” and to “tone down the rhetoric a little bit.”

He said these things while appearing on Fox News, the cable bastion of name-calling and blind partisanship. (Emphasis added)

Superb!

Here’s a link to yesterday’s Hannity, where one of the whitest men in America discusses supposed “racism” directed at black conservatives and gets his dumb ass handed to him on a platter by LA-based civil rights attorney (and talk radio host), Leo Terrell.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Who’s (still) Afraid of the Big, Bad Republicans?


 
My wife recently asked me: “So why aren’t you writing any more of your political screeds for the blog lately?”

Some readers have written in and asked the same thing: When did I stop hating on Republicans, anyways?

I promise you I haven’t, but generally speaking, I get pretty burnt out on politics after an election year. This time, though, I think it goes deeper than that. The main reason I think I care less about politics today than I did only five months ago is that for years I’ve long expected to see a steep decline in the size of the GOP’s voter base and the party’s influence and I think that’s now pretty much a fait accompli. We’ve seen it happen. 2012 was the very last year that the Republicans still had a decent shot at getting in on a national level and cementing the rules of, ahem, “democracy” to favor themselves—but as we all know, that didn’t happen.

I certainly think there were very valid reasons for fearing the rise of the far right—the brief Tea party moment was admittedly not something that I saw coming—but I’m not feeling that so much anymore.

The Tea party foolishness, Glenn Beck, the birthers and the rapid rise and fall of Sarah Palin can already be seen in the rear-view mirror as the frenzied flailing of a dying elephant. By 2016, a pretty good chunk of the Grand Old Party’s aging baby boomer base will have at least one foot in the grave and by 2020 and 2024, well, forget about it.
 

 
In the very near future, America will be truly unrecognizable to itself, and this will be especially hard on the folks who don’t even live in the present to begin with. Progress cannot be stopped. Entropy is simply not possible in a country this big and with such a radically changing demographic makeup, no matter how certain personality types—low IQ authoritarians, xenophobes, racists, religious busybodies, I’m talking about the GOP base, here, of course—try to force it on everyone else.

I’m just so over it. Aren’t you?

The dam has burst on a lot of issues: immigration reform, LGBT civil rights, cannabis laws, healthcare, and the water is rushing past the reichwingers and they just got drenched.

This is not to say that I’m not still amused by soaking wet Republicans, it’s just that the 2012 election showed, I think definitively, the hard and fast limits to their influence and that the national brand is truly a spent force, one perhaps best left behind as a relic of another era (like plaid golf pants, Brylcreem, Lawrence Welk… or Jim Crow laws).

To my mind, it all looks pretty downhill from here on out for the Republican Party. Any argument that posits a resurgent national GOP moving forward is an argument made by someone who apparently still thinks that the most recent US Census was just a big ole fat gubmint LIE and who probably voted for Michele Bachmann in the Iowa Caucus.
 

 
There simply aren’t enough of them anymore. That’s a demographic fact, Jack. Don’t believe me? Go argue with reality, I don’t care what you think. Get real: The so-called “two party system” is not some immutable law of American political physics that needs to carry on without end, especially not when one of the parties has opted to radically remake itself, taking on the classic features of an extremist fringe group.

Some Republicans kinda got the “voter revulsion” message, but not really. When Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus presented the 97-page report of the RNC’s “Growth and Opportunity Project,” a post-mortem on the GOP’s 2012 losses at the National Press Club on Monday, he said:

“When Republicans lost in November, it was a wake-up call. And in response I initiated the most public and most comprehensive post-election review in the history of any national party. As it makes clear, there’s no one reason we lost. Our message was weak; our ground game was insufficient; we weren’t inclusive; we were behind in both data and digital; our primary and debate process needed improvement.”

In short, a sizable majority of the American electorate thinks the Republicans suck eggs and their own internal polling backs that up to the extent that they don’t even try to spin it anymore! (Something remarkable in and of itself).

The report is actually pretty brutal, acknowledging that women, gays, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, college-educated Caucasians and the mainstream media basically hate Republicans. These, er, “special interest groups” are, for all intents and purposes, immune to the GOP’s charms. They’re not going to just suddenly jump on the Republican train for any reason, this much seems assured.

Not to mention:

“Young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes at what the Party represents…”

Yeah, the young people. They simply aren’t that into inheriting a country with insane wealth inequality, the 1% elite owning half of everything and keeping the productive capital within their own families, tainted meat, bad air and undrinkable water. Try rounding up an electoral majority when women, gays, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, college-educated Caucasians and young people of all races think you’re shit!.

‘Nuff said, eh GOP?
 

 

“We sound increasingly out of touch.”

That’s putting it mildly. The GOP talk about minority outreach, and then they introduce voter ID bills in their statehouses! It’s even a matter of Republicans appearing not to be able to differentiate fiction from reality anymore, let alone shit from shinola.

I mean, they’re exactly what Bobby Jindal said they—and by extension he, himself—are: “the stupid party.” Many Americans simply perceive the GOP as being closely synonymous with idiocy and they have no trouble articulating this to the GOP’s own pollsters. And like, this somehow appears to be NEWS to them! The stench of stupid is so thick on the modern Republican party brand that it’s going to be a really difficult odor to wash off.

Hands up, who wants to be a member of the stupid party? How about you?
 

 

“At our core, Republicans have comfortably remained the Party of Reagan without figuring out what comes next. Ronald Reagan is a Republican hero and role model who was first elected 33 years ago—meaning no one under the age of 51 today was old enough to vote for Reagan when he first ran for President.”

OUCH, OUCH AND DOUBLE OUCH! A knife thrust deep into the Republican heart! Why it’s conservative treason… even if it’s true!

They’ve had no new ideas since the Reagan era, either. Since before most people owned a personal computer. Since there were just three TV networks and PBS for most of America! Why would the smartest, most capable young conservatives of the up and coming generation want to make a career investment in the GOP instead of someplace… you know, not so dumb? How will the party attract talent?
 

 
And furthermore, how will the party raise money when they’ve proven to be such a shitty investment for their deep-pockets donors. Even the Koch brothers seem to be turning their back on the GOP. Who could blame them, they’re ruthless businessmen? They know the score. The ROI the GOP offer blows. Expect them to act accordingly. If Rand Paul would bolt the party for the Libertarians (as his father once did) the Kochs would be right there behind him.

“If Hispanics think we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies.”

Hahahaha. No shit. Well, then someone had better essplain that to the loudmouthed lamebrain from Texas, Rep. Louie “anchor babies” Gohmert, who insists that the GOP must never give into immigration reform because “they” will never vote for Republicans if offered a pathway to citizenship. It’s a “trap” Democrats have laid for the GOP, in Gohmert’s eyes.

Look, Louie Gohmert’s a fucking idiot, that’s glaringly obvious to everyone but him and his fellow idiots, but if you think about it, he’s actually quite right in this instance. It’s a real damned if they do, damned if they don’t sort of situation these Republicans have put themselves in regarding immigration reform, isn’t it? But they’ve insisted upon it, the Democrats didn’t trap them with anything. This is a giving them an awful lot of credit for what amounts to a Catch 22 that’s been hatching under their noses and in their own districts, literally for DECADES, don’tcha think?
 

 
As New York’s Jonathan Chait wrote about the RNC’s seemingly intractable woes:

The report determinedly avoids confronting the party’s most fundamental problem: Its attachment to an economic agenda that most voters correctly identify as serving the needs of a wealthy minority. Rather than confront the problem, the report is a detailed and generally shrewd plan for working around.

Yup. Tuesday on MSNBC, RNC chair Reince Priebus told Luke Russert that the party’s platform on gay marriage has not changed despite efforts to make the party appear more inclusive:

“I know our party believes marriage is between one man and one woman.”

That’s some “effort,” Reince (if that is, in fact, your real name).
 

Paul Ryan, the GOP’s pathetic idea of an intellectual…

Obviously there’s a gigantic problem with this entire RNC re-branding enterprise: It’s dead on arrival and anyone with a brain capable of critical thought on the level of, say, a peanut, can see the fatal flaw that’s got a flashing neon sign and a bunch of old coots in Revolutionary War uniforms pointing their replica muskets right at it. Republican voters, especially the ones who never went to college, the cranky old farts who are to varying degrees racist, close-minded Christianists, anti-immigrant homophobes and just angry, disapproving people, en générale, will have none of this shit!

And these troglodytes make up about half the party’s registration rolls and everyone knows it. Good luck with the fucking rebranding, boys.
 

 
Writing about the RNC autopsy at the NY Times, Thomas B. Edsall had this to say:

The highly visible presence of the candidates these voters prefer – recall the party’s Senate nominees in Missouri and Indiana, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, and their bizarre views on rape and abortion — suggests that the Republican Party has a severe, if not toxic, problem: a septic electorate that, in the words of the Mayo Clinic, “can trigger a cascade of changes that can damage multiple organ systems, causing them to fail.”

But let’s leave these trifling inconveniences aside for now, shall we? Suffice to say, there’s a major split occurring in the GOP that’s going to seriously impact their ability to ever get back to a place of national influence. This was already obvious at the start of the primary season. As a national party, they’re no-hopers within a decade, splintering into factions (Tea party and social conservatives, RNC establishment and the wealthy elites, “Ron/Rand Paul Libertarians,” etc) and facing an increasingly insurmountable demographic irrelevancy that will grow by leaps and bounds every four years.
 

 
I don’t think the Republicans can do that much—or at least as much—damage to the country moving forward. It’s clear that there are (at least) two factions of the party who are locked in a civil war. The endgame of everyone taking their toys and going home seems like a forgone conclusion. They’re just not going to be able to work together anymore. You’ve got the wealthy elites who would like the game to stay rigged vs. the Rick Santorum “stupid” folks. They desperately need one another to add up to a nationally viable party. Divided they don’t really amount to much anymore.

They’ve been humbled, their electoral impotency was on full display for the entire country to see on election night.

Furthermore. there are boundaries now that they know they can’t cross. Those boundaries weren’t there before, but they are now. Public opinion can be employed much easier as a prophylactic against the worst Republican power grabs (like this talk of changing Electoral College rules, something that everyone is already wise to). Of course, I’m not suggesting completely ignoring what the GOP gets up to—I’m not usually someone to underestimate the power of stupid people in a group—but their best days are behind them, and I think that’s a pretty uncontroversial thing to say at this point, without any caveats coming readily to mind.
 

 
I’m noticing that this attitude is increasingly, and I think correctly, becoming the default position of the mainstream media, that the uh… I guess threat of low IQ authoritarian Republicanism has diminished considerably. Bill Maher touched on this topic on his Real Time program on HBO last week when he mocked Christian bluenose group One Million Moms (the churchladies who protest the Skittles and Geico commercials for promoting bestiality) who have not one million Twitter followers, but fewer than 3000.

When Bill Maher is brushing off silly reichwingers as a source of comedy, like a canary flying out of a coalmine, hey, he’s probably onto something: They’re a joke.

It’s a pretty steep fall from Andrew Breitbart to Ben Shapiro to put it a different way.

The 2012 election was a real “man behind the curtain” moment for the Grand OLD Party and its increasingly tenuous relationship to modern America and the up and coming generation. The slow, agonizing death of the Republican Party seems all but certain, done in by hubris, idiocy, greed, hypocrisy, terrible ideas, loathsome shit-for-brains politicians, moronic uninformed voters, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, the list can go on and on and on. They suck, but fuck ‘em, they’re not really worth nearly as much energy being expended in their direction.

Maybe it’s simply time to push past them and leave these nitwits behind to play in their sandbox of stupidity. The zeitgeist is not with the Republican Party and I think the big story of American politics in 2013 is that most people are starting to realize this.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The nightmare (free market) scenario the GOP faces: THEY’RE A VERY BAD INVESTMENT

The Republicans are way, way, more screwed than they thought!

Republican explains to other Republicans why the GOP is so totally fucked

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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‘Union thug’ who punched out pathetic Fox News dickhead will not be charged with anything!


Who wouldn’t want to punch this stupid face?

Hahahahahaha. I guess getting punched in the face by a “union thug” wasn’t quite the career break that Fox News dickweed and self-styled “comedian” Steven Crowder thought it would be. A Michigan prosecutor has declined to pursue assault charges against the man who punched him. On video.

Via Raw Story:

The Lansing State Journal reported on Tuesday that Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III decided not to pursue a case after watching unedited video of Crowder’s appearance at a protest against right-to-work legislation, which culminated in Crowder getting punched in the face.

Crowder filed a police report and claimed he was assaulted, saying in interviews that he was “beat down” and that protesters “literally would have killed me where I stood if I defended myself.” He also published an edited version of the confrontation online.

But after watching both that video and a longer, unedited account of the incident as aired on Current TV, Dunnings said, “It’s pretty clear the person that they wanted to charge was acting in self-defense.” In the longer video, the man who punched Crowder was pushed by an unseen person before striking him, giving the encounter a different context.

“I’m not holding that against him, but why would they provide the edited video?” Dunnings said. “The longer video clearly shows the guy got pushed down and came up swinging.”

Why would Steven Crowder have provided an edited video, I wonder?

Anyone care to hazard a guess?

Another fun fact about Crowder: He’s an abstinence advocate…

Roger Ailes really knows how to pick credible people for Fox News, doesn’t he?

Previously on Dangerous Minds
Fox News dickhead punched at labor protests in Michigan

Fox News chucklehead under scrutiny for creative editing of ‘union thug’ video

Fox News bastard who got cold-clocked at labor protest tells his own idiotic side of the story

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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‘Obama is coming for the guns of anti-gay fundies’ claims anti-gay fundie


 

“What if the Attorney General, and listen the reason I say this might happen is because if you remember the first report put out by the Director of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, when the President became President of the United States, she put out a paper talking about the people who are the categories of people who might be homegrown terrorists.

In that list she put people who believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ, people who believe in pro-life issues, people who don’t believe in having illegal aliens here, they put a lot of good, decent categories of people in that paper.

Well here’s what number four says, the Attorney General can put who he wants to on the list of people who are too dangerous to get guns. What if he decides radio talk show hosts who don’t believe in gay marriage, they’re dangerous, so they shouldn’t get guns? What about pastors who preach against abortion and homosexuality? They’re too dangerous to get guns? That could happen.”

—“American Family Association” radio host Buster Wilson.

Wilson is the same fucking idiot who tried to get conservative Christians to boycott Google over their “Legalize Love Campaign” and who announced this boycott on Google-owned YouTube. The phrase “Dumber than a bag of wet hair” probably wasn’t coined to describe Buster Wilson, but it could have been.

Back in August, chucklehead Buster blamed Hurricane Issac on a New Orleans LGBT festival!

As one YouTube user commented on the clip below:

Tell me then, genius, why did the power of the most high manifest itself by destroying tiny Joplin in a state that’s 77% Christian? Why does he flood massive areas of Mississippi—the most Christian state—every year? Why is it that he makes NYC the centre of the global economy & LA the centre of global culture, yet does nothing to stop their decadence? A hurricane flattened Joplin, it didn’t even dent Manhattan. Sounds like your god is incompetent.

This guy is out of his mind. More at Right Wing Watch.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Rachel Maddow: Conservative movement is ‘a complete mess’


Count the clowns in this picture. Hint: They’re all wearing suits and ties.

During last night’s epic Rachel Maddow piece about the Republican party’s mind-boggling real-time implosion, she described the GOP as a dog being wagged by the tail of the conservative movement and pondered why some of the movement’s most powerful pols, like Jim Demint, are picking up their toys and leaving Congress:

“[A] huge internal fight including screaming matches in their own caucus… they’re just turning off the light and abandoning what they’re doing and nobody really knows why.”

Obama has all the leverage now. If he can’t manage to negotiate a modest tax increase for the wealthy without limiting future cost of living increases for poor and middle class Social Security recipients, he’ll have proven himself to be one of the worst—if not THE worst—presidential negotiators of all time. He’s already offered up more than he had to (WHY?) and also demonstrated that his promises made during the campaign were nothing but bullshit.

Frankly, I never thought Obama was offering lefties all that much to begin with—he just wasn’t named Mitt Romney—but these guys are pathetic, why bargain with them at all? Now’s the time to shove it up their asses, if for no other reason, just on principle.
 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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