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Anti-mosque poster boy: Every picture tells a story, don’t it?

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This country is fucked up beyond repair. There’s an IQ stratification that’s as obvious at this juncture as oil and water not mixing. On one hand you have a bunch of know-nothing, pitifully stupid Republican morons who revere Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Fox News, meanness, mindless racism and IGNORANCE. On the other hand you have smart people, Democrats and nearly 100% of all non-whites. Am I missing ANYTHING?

I used to think that the jingoistic Tea bagger-types would eventually just burn themselves out and overstay their welcome, before dispersing again. I’ve revised that opinion, they aren’t going anywhere. How can a 21st century democracy function when the dumbest 20% of the nation’s electorate is cohering into such an easily manipulated voting bloc? Be afraid, very, very afraid. No good can come of this, none.

Look deep into this man’s eyes. What do you see there?

Via Charles Johnson at Little Greenfootballs. Photo by Paul Gentile

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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“All y’all dumb motherfuckers don’t even know my opinion on shit.”

 
Watch in horror and amazement as this mob of lily-white imbeciles at a ground zero protest today latch onto an unfortunate brown skinned fellow with the wrong kind of hat. Dark days, people.
 
via Glenn Greenwald’s twitter feed
 
Black, Muslim, Same Difference (Balloon Juice)

 

Posted by Brad Laner | Discussion
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“Hi Mom! Still alive!”: Black Flag and the punk violence hysteria of 1980-81

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As if you needed it: PUNK NOSTALGIA ALERT.

In the early ‘80s, Black Flag were at the center of the controversy about punk rock violence that hung over the hardcore scenes in L.A. and nationwide.

Two elements seemed at work here. First were the media reports about punk violence fueled parental hysteria, and likely prompted parents of rebellious teens to call the cops on shows that would probably have turned out fine. Second was the actual risk of potential injury at L.A. punk shows. This typically led ad hoc scene spokespeople to defensively compare violence levels at punk shows with those at metal concerts or football games. It also caused plenty of serious internal hand-wringing (mostly in punk ‘zines) about “scene unity”—which now of course just seems like naïve tribalism. 

This Reagan-era concern over local teen and twenty-something violence seemed completely bemusing at a time of mutal assured nuclear destruction and adventurous foreign policy.

Obviously, Black Flag shows weren’t sedate affairs. Of my two encounters with the band in the early Rollins era, one featured a quick half-stampede away from the stage and towards the door, while the other comprised watching a riot unfold outside a sold-out Flag show with the Ramones. Black Flag would eventually settle into the proto-grunge route to self-destruction in 1986.

Looking at it from an era in which more severe and socially tangible violence happens routinely at hip-hop shows, and punk is now fodder for a Broadway musical, Black Flag’s problems seems like they occurred less at another time than on another planet.

Here’s a 1981 segment from the local L.A. news show 2 on the Town.
 

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Discussion
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Ted Nugent is a dickhead

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Shithead rocker and borderline (?) psychopath Ted Nugent is in the news again for making racist statements onstage in Dubuque, IA. No surprises here. None whatsoever:

Musician Ted Nugent made racially tinged remarks throughout his show Thursday night at the Mississippi Moon Bar in the Diamond Jo.

Within a few minutes of starting, Nugent commented on the race of his audience and the city of Dubuque.

“There’s a lot of white people in this crowd—I like that! (Dubuque) is a white town.”

Nugent also pointed out at least one audience member and questioned his race.

It’s a shameful statement about the low, low intellectual level of political discourse in this country that Fox News has this egomaniacal cracker on as a guest to spout his “opinions.” I wonder if Sarah Palin will tweet about the Nuge’s First Amendment rights being trampled?

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Bigotry gets no sanction from the Founding Fathers: What George Washington said on this day in 1790

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Like many of you, I am sick to death of watching ill-educated and misinformed Tea party-types attempting to hijack the notion of “what our Founding Fathers would have wanted” in favor of what they and their ignorant brethren actually want. Whenever someone pulls out the “Founding Fathers” card these days, I recoil immediately because I know I am dealing with an intellectually dishonest scoundrel from the get-go, as this is usually an admission that what they have to say is totally bogus and very often has next to nothing to do with actual history. Referring to what the Founding Fathers would have wanted has become a fall-back straw-man argument of the historically-challenged Glen Beck set and it’s being rendered meaningless the more and more often it gets repeated by ignorant people wanting to shoot their mouths off on TV and at Tea party rallies regarding issues they know nothing about.

While we can’t know exactly what the Founding Fathers would say about the racists on the radical right who are protesting the plans for the Cordoba House in downtown Manhattan, we can read what George Washington himself said about religious freedom on this very in history, August 18th, 1790, in his letter to the Jewish congregation of Newport, Rhode Island:

The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet, from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security. If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good Government, to become a great and a happy people.

The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

Not very ambiguous is it? Even something like the above would probably still fail to faze the Facts? Who Cares About Facts? brigade of the Republican party. If you are going to invoke the matter of what the Founding Fathers would have wanted, you simply can’t pick and choose from history willy-nilly to suit your argument and be considered credible. But whether they are misinformed or simply lying, however you slice it, when these folks start to evoke what they Founding Fathers would have wanted, they are almost always just plain wrong.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Hallowed be thy ground: History Eraser Button takes a look around lower Manhattan

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Over at Daryl Lang’s History Eraser Button blog, he’s posted some shots taken the same distance from the World Trade Center as the site of the proposed Cordoba House cultural center, AKA the “Ground Zero Mosque”:

What’s my point? A month ago, I wrote about my support for a group of Muslim New Yorkers—whom I consider my neighbors—and their right to put a religious building on a piece of private property in Lower Manhattan. Since then, the debate over the Park51 community center, inaccurately nicknamed the “Ground Zero Mosque,” has jumped from talk radio to mainstream conversation, and turned nasty in the process. Sarah Palin wrote that, “it would be an intolerable and tragic mistake to allow such a project sponsored by such an individual to go forward on such hallowed ground.”

Look at the photos. This neighborhood is not hallowed. The people who live and work here are not obsessed with 9/11. The blocks around Ground Zero are like every other hard-working neighborhood in New York, where Muslims are just another thread of the city fabric.

At this point the only argument against this project is fear, specifically fear of Muslims, and that’s a bigoted, cowardly and completely indefensible position.

Bravo! Here’s a link to some of the responses he got to the photo essay.
 
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It’s painful to see how a hate-filled harpie like Pamela Geller (of the ridiculous Atlas Shrugs blog) and her rubbish wingnut bigotry and foaming at the mouth anti-Muslim racism has been allowed to hijack and steer the national debate for a few weeks. In recent weeks she’s been elevated to the new “hate lady” on cable news channels. I can’t stand seeing her fucking face. I have to change the channel I find her so revolting. Facts? Why let facts get in the way of irrational hatred? Pamela Geller represents a new intellectual low even for Fox News!
 

 
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Via Little Green Footballs

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Abbey Lincoln Lives!

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Abbey Lincoln died today at the age of 80. She mattered in the world because she was a female jazz singer who stood up and became active in the civil rights struggle in the ‘60s when she could have remained neutral and safe.

She made great art. Nat Chinen wrote an excellent obit for her in the New York Times.

Here she is with her then-new husband, the drummer Max Roach, performing “Driva’ Man” from their 1960 album We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite.

This was a dangerous mind.
 


Abbey Lincoln and Max Roach

 
Get: We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite [CD]

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Discussion
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Waiting for the Communist Call: Propaganda and reflection as the Berlin Wall turns 49

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The seemingly borderless nature of our digital age renders bizarre the idea of nationalized walls separating people. Current items like the Israeli West Bank “security” barrier and the demand for a wall on the entire Mexican border just seem absurd and brutal.

Those were walls that kept people out. Today marks the 49th anniversary of a wall that kept people in and fired the imaginations of artists like Pink Floyd, David Bowie and the Sex Pistols.

In an effort to stave off “fascist” influence from the West, German Democratic Republic General Secretary Walter Ulbricht closed the border between the Western and Soviet sectors with barbed wire and fences, on order from Nikita Khrushchev. It soon became the symbol of national alienation.

Below are two of the most fascinating pieces of media about the Berlin Wall that I’ve found. Walter de Hoog’s The Wall was produced by the United States Information Agency, the global propaganda arm started by the Eisenhower administration in 1953. Strangely, the USIA was prohibited to screen their films to the American public, so this stark, immediate and emotive piece wasn’t released here until 1990.
 

 
After the jump: Magnum photographer Thomas Hoepker’s remarkable narrated slide show of his 40 years covering the Wall…
 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Discussion
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Say hello to the face of dopey wannabe-fascism

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Yes, talk on the white Right about “camps” and “guns” should send a shiver up my spine as a Jew (whose father spent time in an immigration camp in post-WWII Palestine). But I hope I’m not the only one who thinks that this type of thing represents the fascinating last gasp of mainstream hegemonic white-identity politics. I have trust in the rest of this country’s people. Maybe I’m hopelessly naive.

As seen in the video below, here’s Marg Baker, Tea Party Republican candidate for Florida House of Representatives, District 48, on immigration:

We can follow what happened back in the ‘40s and 50s. I was just a little girl in Miami, and they filled camps with the people that snuck into the country because they were illegal. They put them in the camps and shipped them back. We can do that.

Of course, those camps held Cuban refugees who fled the repressive Machado and Batista regimes, which leased virtually all of the country’s resources, land, financial system, electric power production, and industry to US monopolies. But, history shmistory.

On the Second Amendment:

We’ve gotta have guns!

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Discussion
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Fox News has the _____est viewers

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Stupidest? Meanest? Grumpiest? Racist? Jingoistic? Xenophobic? Most ignorant of history? Most likely to be married to a cousin?

Close, but the answer won’t come as a huge surprise: Oldest. From The Hollywood Reporter:

In a survey released by analyst Steve Sternberg, Fox News has the oldest audience among fully distributed cable networks. The network’s average viewer last season was 65 years old, according to Nielsen. Heck, it’s viewers are even older than viewers of Hallmark Channel, Military Channel and Golf Channel.

Perhaps the reason viewers tend to leave Fox News on all day racking up hours of big Nielsen numbers is they can’t actually change the channel?

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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