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Dozens of douchebags wish Sarah Palin a happy 50th birthday


 
Dozens of Republican asshats wish reality tee-vee star Sarah Palin a happy 50th birthday in this video, including Newt Gingrich, the homophobic Duck Dynasty dude, Sen. Ted “I’m Canadian” Cruz, some cheerful NRA “mothers,” RNC chairman Reince Priebus (if that is, in fact, his real name), talk radio hate-spewer Michael Savage, SC governor Nikki Haley, thick-fingered vulgarian Donald Trump and of course, Sen. John McCain who we have to, er, “thank” that we even know this airhead’s name in the first place.

I wonder why they shut down comments on YouTube? Actually, I don’t wonder about that….
 

 
Via Christian Nightmares

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Incredibly fun Cold War propaganda cartoon ‘Destination Earth’
01.20.2014
05:44 am

Topics:
Animation
History
U.S.A.!!!

Tags:
Carl Urbano
Hanna-Barbera


 
An amazing piece of 1950s oil industry propaganda called Destination Earth tells the story of Colonel Cosmic, a spy from Mars sent to Earth. Martian society, y’see, was one of lockstep conformity and oppression under the hyper-statist rule of authoritarian great leader Ogg, and couldn’t be more obviously an analogue for the Soviet Union. Ogg has sent Colonel Cosmic to Earth to learn how we solved the problem of friction in moving parts, but instead, he learns all about the utopian joys of free markets and the miracle of GASOLINE, THE MOST EFFICIENT MOBILE POWER SOURCE ON EARTH! Naturally, revolution ensues. The squeamish needn’t worry, it’s bloodless.
 

 
The short was directed by Carl Urbano, and DM readers of a certain age have seen plenty of his work. As a director for Hanna-Barbera, he worked on shows like Super Friends and Laff-A-Lympics among dozens of others. A collection of his Cold War propaganda is available on DVD, as is—to my surprise—a collection of his petroleum industry work going back as far as the 1930s, and the collection includes Destination Earth. But you can enjoy that one in its entirety right here.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Holy Mothers of God?: Report reveals one in 200 American Moms ‘became pregnant without having sex’
12.18.2013
10:55 am

Topics:
Kooks
U.S.A.!!!

Tags:
Virgin Births

babjesvirmar.jpg
 
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, as all across America trees are decorated with tinsel and baubles, festive lights are lit, carols sung, children wait expectantly to hear Santa on his sleigh, and virgins miraculously announce they have given birth.

Wait, what?

Yes, apparently the USA is a hot bed (or should that be manger?) of virgin births. This according to a long-term study on reproductive health, published by the British Medical Journal, which states that one in 200 American women claim to have given birth without every having had sexual intercourse!

These miraculous findings come from a study of 7,870 women and girls, aged between 15 and 28, who were interviewed as part of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, between 1995 and 2009.

It seems that Jesus Christ may have quite a few half-brothers and half-sisters across the land, as 45 (0.5%) out of all the women who took part, said they had at least one virgin pregnancy, “unrelated to the use of assisted reproductive technology.”

At least one?

That is they conceived without “vaginal intercourse or in-vitro fertilization (IVF).”

Peter Cook and Dudley Moore once jested that conception occurred after a wife sat down in a chair recently vacated by a husband, but whether or not these 45 virgin births involved an easy chair, we are not told. However, the The Independent reports “researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill analyzed data from the thousands of teenage girls and young women” and discovered some interesting similarities:

They found that the girls who had become pregnant, despite claiming they had never had sex at the time of conception, shared some common characteristics.

Thirty-one percent of the girls had signed a so-called ‘chastity pledge’, whereby they vow—usually for religious reasons—not to have sex. Fifteen percent of non-virgins who became pregnant also said they had signed such pledges.

The 45 self-described virgins who reported having become pregnant and the 36 who gave birth were also more likely than non-virgins to say their parents never or rarely talked to them about sex and birth control.

About 28 percent of the “virgin” mothers’ parents (who were also interviewed) indicated they didn’t have enough knowledge to discuss sex and contraception with their daughters, compared to 5 percent of the parents of girls who became pregnant and said they had had intercourse.

The authors of the study—titled “Like a virgin (mother)”—say that such scientifically impossible claims show researchers must take care in interpreting self-reported behavior. Fallible memory, beliefs and wishes can cause people to err in what they tell scientists.

Perhaps we should wait and see if any of these virgin births grow-up and start their own religion. Meantime, virgins should not sit in any recently vacated chairs…
 

 
H/T The Independent

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Dangerous Idea: Every American needs to SEE David Simon’s ‘My country is a horror show’ speech!


 
It’s a very big Internet, so you can be forgiven if you’ve missed David Simon’s absolutely incendiary op ed ‘There are now two Americas. My country is a horror show’ that was published on The Guardian’s website on December 7th. But if you’re reading this sentence, you no longer have an excuse and need to click over to said essay NOW and return here after you’ve read it.

You’ll thank me. Trust me, you’ll be smarter after you’ve read it. Go. Now. If there is anything worth your time, it’s THIS. Who wants to be ignorant? Not you, right? NOW.

In the days since it was published, Simon’s essay has turned into a shot heard ‘round the world. In my opinion it’s the most incredibly articulate, passionately argued, well-thought out meditation on America since, I dunno, something Mark Twain (or Kurt Vonnegut) wrote. I believe David Simon’s words to be of historical importance, that is to say future historians will read his essay in an effort to try to understand HOW the American people let it get THIS BAD and still allowed those responsible to continue to operate exactly as they had before. You’d think the economy crashing might have ushered in some change. And it has: Bad for the common man, but great for the capital-hoarding elites.

As Simon rhetorically asks—I’m paraphrasing here—“How much longer until the entire shithouse goes up in flames?”

David Simon’s words have incredible power. The kind of power that educates people, changes minds and makes them do something. It needs to be passed on and on and on until everyone has read it, even your idiot teabagger Fox News-watching Uncle Dumbshit. Especially him.

If you’ve already read Simon’s piece, what you may not be aware of (and the YouTube views thus far would seem to bear this out) is that the essay is actually an edited version of an extraordinary speech that The Wire creator gave in Australia at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas at the Sydney Opera House. Simon spoke for about 30 minutes and then there was an extended Q&A beyond.

Watch this and then pass it on. On and on and on. He’s not exactly offering much of a prescription here—that’s not his goal—but the diagnosis is spot on…
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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The most bored teenagers in America watch bogus Creationism vs. Evolution speech


 
Aside from this utterly hilarious 90s-era Creationism vs. Evolution school assembly speech (Come on, who came up with these graphs?), it’s the cutaway shots of the totally bored teens that are the true gems in this mess. One male teen in the audience is so bored that he actually starts to nibble on his hand to pass the time. Others bite their nails, yawn, give the side-eye to one another and so forth…

They definitely don’t want what he’s selling. You can’t blame them with lines like, “That stupid theory of evolution that’s included in the books as if it is a fact and it’s nothing but a Pagan religion.”
 

 
Via Christian Nightmares and Everything Is Terrible

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Racist TV commercial is really… racist!


 
Hard to believe shit like this is still being made. I mean, what the hell were they thinking?!

Meet “Mr. Wong Fong Shu” aka Jim DeBerry of Definitive Television. He’s shilling for Alabama-based law firm McCutcheon & Hamner. Presumably they approved this. And paid for it!


 
Nope, you’re just a straight-up asshole, buddy! The entire Internet thinks you’re a cretin. That’s marketing! Not good marketing, mind you, but marketing nonetheless.

HOW could this be any more racist??? (Please don’t answer that!).

Best of all have to be the YouTube comments. Of course this jackass couldn’t help himself and jumped into the fray. He seems to be as preposterously clueless as you might imagine. He also thinks all this attention will be good for his livelihood… in some alternate universe maybe, but not in this one, pal.

UPDATE: McCutcheon & Hamner released this statement to Above the Law

For the past two weeks, we have worked diligently to determine the source of this video. Within hours of first being notified of the commercials existence, we traced the producer to Definitive Television and its owner Jim DeBerry. We insisted that the video be removed and that he disclose the party that allowed my partner and I to be portrayed in such a negative and misleading light. After a personal review of our financial records which conclusively established that this video was not paid for or authorized by any party associated with our law firm, McCutcheon & Hamner, P.C. posted our response specifically disavowing the video as well as issuing a cease and desist letter to Mr. DeBerry and Definitive Television. Of course, Mr. DeBerry has refused and we are currently investigating our legal options. At this time, we have been instructed by our legal counsel to refrain from comment.

BUT WAIT: It gets even dumber! DeBerry thinks he can sue the Above The Law blog for calling his racist commercial racist! You know what they say about how a man who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer? Jim DeBerry deserves a SPECIAL (booby) PRIZE. Good luck suing the entire Internet, Jimbo!
 

 
Via Copyranter

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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‘Santa the Hutt’ mocks Christmas gluttony and excess


 
The BetaBrand store, located in San Francisco’s Mission district, has a vile, blobby yuletide greeting I can totally get on board with: Santa the Hutt! 

According to Chris from BetaBrand:

Our aim: To poke fun at holiday excess and explore anti-Santa sentiment. Our achievement: Over a thousand people have taken holiday photos at our Valencia Street store since rolling him out last week.

snip~

He now begrudgingly poses for holiday photos with Valencia Street shoppers if only because he’s too obese to move.

Santa the Hutt seems unlikely to be posing for Playgirl anytime soon…
 

 

 
Via Boing Boing

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Quality television programs equal income, argues horrible person


 
In what would surely be the most amazing troll posted to a serious web site in recent memory if it didn’t seem to be perfectly earnest, columnist, author, and apparently completely shameless toady to the ruling class Virginia Postrel has argued on Bloomberg View that ordinary people are better off economically today than we typically reckon - because the quality of TV has improved. I’m not even slightly kidding about the impossibly stupid thing I just told you.

On a flight across the country, you watch the playoff game on live television, listen to some favorite playlists as you catch up on work, then relax with some video poker. Arriving home, you delete the game from your DVR and consider your options. Too tired for an intense cable drama—which you prefer to experience in immersive weekend marathons of at least three episodes each—you stream a first-season episode of “Duck Dynasty” from Amazon.com, then run last week’s “Elementary” from your DVR queue. While watching, you check IMDB.com to see where you’ve seen that familiar-looking guest star before, then you jump to your Facebook and Twitter feeds. You finish the evening with “SportsCenter,” recorded just far enough ahead that you can skip most of the commercials.

Little of this customized entertainment would have been possible a decade ago—and almost none of it shows up in the income and productivity statistics that dominate our understanding of the economy. A form of progress that large numbers of people experience every day, the increase in entertainment variety and convenience represents a challenge to the increasingly conventional wisdom that American living standards have stagnated, at least for the middle class.

Hear that, middle class? Standard of living, schmandard of living, you people have TIVOS!

Now, I suspect that viewings of Duck Dynasty and SportsCenter don’t show up in income stats because TV shows aren’t income. But what do I know? I’m not the former editor of Reason. Or a shockingly tone-deaf, overprivileged asshole.

After all, it’s not as though no one has noticed the improvements. Critics often opine on whether the proliferation has produced a “new golden age of television,” while media companies and advertising agencies live in fear of what all that competition means for future profits. From the mobile-phone business to social media—not to mention movies, games, music and sports—an enormous amount of innovative talent goes into developing new entertainment goods and services.

Yet in the economic statistics that measure living standards, this real-life value goes largely ignored. For the very reason that entertainment is so cheap, the enjoyment people derive from having a better chance of finding exactly what they want, when and where they want it, doesn’t count for much. Giving consumers new features for little or no additional money increases well-being but doesn’t do much for productivity statistics.

I would venture a guess that the proliferation of the entertainment industry into every nook and cranny of American life doesn’t find its way into productivity statistics because sitting on your ass watching So You Think You Can Fart Your Life Away is the opposite of productivity. But of course, I’m just a humble pop culture scribe for Dangerous Minds, not a respected, Ivy League-educated columnist for The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The New York Times and Forbes. Or a self-satisfied, grotesquely over-rewarded libertarian tool.

But let’s skip to the money shot, huh? Does she or doesn’t she tell us to watch cake?

“Too many people presume that what the poor want from the Internet are the crucial necessities of life. In reality, the enchantment of the Internet is that it’s a lot of fun,” the Indian journalist Manu Joseph observed in a September New York Times essay. “And fun, even in poor countries, is a profound human need. Quality of life is as much an assortment of happy frivolities as it is the bare essentials of survival.”

Holy free market, she actually managed to outsource her “Let them eat cake” line to India. Got that, poor people? Quit hogging those public library Internet terminals for your stupid job searches and bill payments! There’s fun to be had - ENCHANTMENT, even!

So let’s recap - time wasted is income! We can fairly extrapolate from this that the unemployed are the wealthiest people in America - so long as they watch assloads of TV. Thinking of goosing your budget by canceling that cable subscription and using the savings for unproductive mundanities like heat and food? Not so fast! Grey’s Anatomy is health care! The Apprentice is a national jobs program! BY GOD, THE SYSTEM WORKS.
 
postrel
Virginia Postrel, totally down with the commoners—the kind of Libertarian you can have a beer with!

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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American democracy dies, murderers caught on video (or The Republicans pull a REALLY creepy move)


 
If you haven’t seen the video yet of Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) on the floor of the House asking for a clarification on the rules of the shutdown, believe me, it’s well worth watching.

There’s a compelling reason it’s been garnering hundreds of thousands of YouTube plays the past few days: Very simply it shows—beyond the shadow of any reasonable doubt—that the Republicans not only planned the government shutdown in advance, but that they made damned good and sure that when their neanderthal putsch started, there would be new rules in place to prevent it from being voted on.

It’s astonishing. It’s not like I expect that this clip will be discussed on Fox News anytime soon, but a Republican with even a modicum of intelligence, honesty and decency would be obliged to see exactly same thing that the rest of us see when we watch this clip.

If you’re unclear of exactly what’s happening, under normal circumstances any Congressperson can call for a vote on any bill at any time.

Not anymore! Prior to the shutdown, the Republicans very quietly passed H.R. 368, a measure that only House Majority Leader Eric Cantor can call for an end to the shutdown.

That’s right Eric Cantor and ONLY Eric Cantor—not even Speaker of the House John Boehner or any other ranking Republican—unless Cantor gives his express permission for a designee to do it. Via Talking Points Memo:

So unless House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) wanted the Senate spending bill to come to the floor, it wasn’t going to happen. And it didn’t.

“I’ve never seen this rule used. I’m not even sure they were certain we would have found it,” a House Democratic aide told TPM. “This was an overabundance of caution on their part. ‘We’ve got to find every single crack in the dam that water can get through and plug it.’”

Congressional historians agreed that it was highly unusual for the House to reserve such power solely for the leadership.

“I’ve never heard of anything like that before,” Norm Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, told TPM.

“It is absolutely true that House rules tend to not have any explicit parliamentary rights guaranteed and narrowed to explicit party leaders,” Sarah Binder, a congressional expert at the Brookings Institution, told TPM. “That’s not typically how the rules are written.”

The rule change was made to prevent a majority vote from becoming even a possibility without the expressed consent of ONE MAN! Fewer than 25% of Americans support the GOP’s shutdown and yet here we are

This is democracy? It’s thisclose to being fascism. The dummies are in charge. Minority moron rule. Joseph Stalin or Il Duce would laugh at what America has become. The whole thing is worth watching—and infuriating—but by around the 5:00 mark, the cat’s out of the bag thanks to Congressman Van Hollen.

Judging from the rapidly escalating number of YouTube views, I think it’s safe to say that it’s not going back in again. Please share with everyone, even, make that especially, your Uncle Ronnie the Teabagger. He’s never going to hear about this from Rush or see it on the Fox News, but Uncle Ronnie really needs to know about this…
 

And then there is this, an earlier, less dramatic, but in no way less revelatory confrontation that took place two weeks ago when Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) noticed something seemed fishy and asked some uncomfortable questions of the Rules Committee chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX), who flat out admits that she’s right!

“That’s what I’m saying. We took that away.”

Sessions tells her of GOP “resolve” in the debt ceiling battle. Here’s her response:

“Oh, Mercy. It just gets deeper and deeper. I want to tell you the resolve that I think you’ve got. And despite the fact that every one of you said, over and over ad nauseam, that you didn’t want to shut the government down, we spent some time down in my office watching so many of your members — right after they were elected in 2010 — saying how much they would like to shut down the House to great applause.”

“I think it is really shortsighted, I think it is an atrocity to the Rules of the House. And I think you’re putting the whole country through this angst and this aggravation that we did not need to go. This one we could have done without.”

“And I must tell you that I’m more and more angry now that I understand what you have done is take away our ability is to really make a motion for that Senate vote.”

Guess what? The Tea party-led government shutdown came THE VERY NEXT DAY!

Go right to 1:20 and start from there. If this isn’t an admission of guilt, I don’t know what would be…
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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‘Ignoramuses are holding America back’ says Richard Dawkins


 
I have to tread a bit lightly here since every blood relative of mine is a Creationist, so I’l just link to what Richard Dawkins has to say about American science being held back by religious myths and sidestep whatever familial shit I might personally step in.

On Monday, Dawkins and Steven Pinker appeared on Capitol Hill on behalf of the Secular Coalition for America.

Via Raw Story:

A reporter asked Dawkins about the fact that more than 40 percent of Americans believe the Christian creation myth, that God created the world in seven days.

“This country is, without a doubt, the leading scientific nation in the world, beyond the shadow of a doubt,” Dawkins replied. “I can’t help wondering how much more advanced this country would be if you were not held back by this astonishing burden of 40 percent of the people who literally think the world, the universe is less than 10,000 years old.”

“I mean,” he said, “that is a staggering piece of ignorance. It’s a scandal.”

Believing that the world is less than 10,000 years old, Dawkins said, “is not a small error. It’s a gigantic, ridiculous error.”

The problem, he said, is based in part on the fact that school boards are elected in local elections, and that “in particular districts, it may be that the electors are electing ignoramuses.”

I’m more partial to the way Charles P. Pierce writes the plural form“ignorami.” That has an even meaner sounding ring to it and I appreciate that.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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