Yearbook lists Hitler, Bin Laden, Manson, George Bush & Cheney as ‘5 worst people’


 
This is a genius prank (or a principled stand, take your pick—there is no third choice). The kids who are responsible for this magnificent move should all be given full scholarships by the Daily Kos college fund:

Open up the Russellville Middle School yearbook. You’ll see the students’ pictures, the administration, and a pretty controversial list that’s supposed to be covered with a piece of black tape.

“My problem is the tape can be removed easily,” said School Board Member Chris Cloud. Cloud has two kids in the Russellville School District and one brought home the yearbook.

“I’m furious as a parent and as a board member and as a tax payer and as a resident of Russellville,” he said. “It’s wrong.”

If this is wrong, as the song goes, then I don’t wanna be right:

The list is titled “Top 5 worst people of all time.” The top three, in order, are Adolph Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, and Charles Manson. Numbers four and five are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Standing ovation!

And here I thought public schools in Arkansas were supposed to be the nation’s worst??? This gives me hope for the next generation!

Superintendent Randall Williams calls the list “an oversight.” Parents caught it after the yearbooks were printed. The district’s solution was to cover the list with tape. It didn’t work.

Superintendent Williams says the yearbook editing process is under review. I’ll bet it is!

Let freedom reign!
 

 
Via Fox News 16

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Raver Kid reacts to Bin Laden’s death


 
Hmm, I think the subtitles on this clip are not an accurate representation of the conversation taking place. But still, it made me laugh, and it combines two currently popular memes - Bin Laden dying and a look back at rave culture.  

Edit - turns out this guy’s name is Dimitri - thanks Tara and Woody!

In all seriousness though, the reaction of the rave generation to the clamping down on personal freedoms since 9/11 is to me one of the greatest cultural disappointments of the last decade. Especially as the rave “scene” in the UK was born out of opposition to police and government harassment. I touch on this topic in my article “2001: All Eyes on New York”, part of a retrospective series on Noughties music for for the Weaponizer site. Contrast the reality of what has happened these last years to how the ravers themselves imagine they have changed society in the 2000 documentary “The Chemical Generation”, posted by Paul on this site only a few months ago. It’s grim.

But anyway! Enough of that, let’s have a laugh:
 

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Adam Curtis on the death of Bin Laden

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Regular DM readers will know by now that we are big fans of the documentary maker Adam Curtis. He deals with current events and how they fit into a broader scheme of social and political history. Just the other day Richard posted the trailer for his upcoming documentary “All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace” which is to air on the BBC soon.

Curtis yesterday published an article through the Guardian about the death of Osama bin Laden, and what that means for the global political spin-machine. In it Curtis addresses the bogey-man status of Bin Laden and how his death will impact on the ongoing Western cultural narrative of “Goodies” vs “Baddies”:

Journalists, many of whom also yearned for the simplicity of the old days, grabbed at [the Bin Laden story]: from the outset, the reporting of the Islamist terror threat was distorted to reflect this dominant simplified narrative. And Bin Laden grabbed at it too. As the journalists who actually met him report, he was brilliant at publicity. All three – the neoconservatives, the “terror journalists”, and Bin Laden himself – effectively worked together to create a dramatically simple story of looming apocalypse. It wasn’t in any way a conspiracy. Each of them had stumbled in their different ways on a simplified fantasy that fitted with their own needs.

The power of this simple story propelled history forward. It allowed the neocons – and their liberal interventionist allies – to set out to try to remake the world and spread democracy. It allowed revolutionary Islamism, which throughout the 1990s had been failing dramatically to get the Arab people to rise up and follow its vision, to regain its authority. And it helped to sell a lot of newspapers.

But because we, and our leaders, retreated into a Manichean fantasy, we understood the new complexities of the real world even less. Which meant that we completely ignored what was really going on in the Arab world.

Curtis neatly sums up, in one statement, just why there is so much distrust for politics and the media in this day and age, be it from the right or the left, the fringe or the more mainstream:

One of the main functions of politicians – and journalists – is to simplify the world for us. But there comes a point when – however much they try – the bits of reality, the fragments of events, won’t fit into the old frame.

The article is highly recommended reading and you can view the whole thing here. I especially love Curtis’ work on the effect of the media in propagating certain cultural memes, particularly oldstream media, which tries to pretend it has no effect on politics and society even though it has a huge impact on how we think and function. If you’re not aware of Curtis’ work and his sharp insights (or even if you are) here’s a segment he produced for Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe on media and political paranoia:
 

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Eight mysteries about the killing of Osama Bin Laden
05.02.2011
10:24 am

Topics:
Current Events

Tags:
Osama Bin Laden

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Slate’s William Saletan with a useful guide to the next phase of the reporting we’ll be seeing on the killing of Osama Bin Laden. We’ve heard what senior U.S. officials have had to say thus far, but they’re all still playing their cards pretty close to their chests, raising further questions.

Matters of interest items #2-5 from the Slate article:

2. Air cover? Obama authorized the raid early Friday morning, but it didn’t take place till nearly 48 hours later. Why? One possible reason is the weather. Look at the past week’s weather report for Islamabad, the nearest major city. It was cloudy until Sunday, and the first clear break in nighttime cloud cover was Monday morning. Danger Room points out, “It’s unlikely the CIA and Joint Special Operations Command would risk sending in a lightly-protected team to face terrorists capable of shooting down helicopters. That means air cover—most likely armed drones or Air Force gunships.” We know from on-the-ground tweets, as well as from the U.S., that the raid took place around 1 a.m. But drone strikes frequently take place at that hour.

3. Capture or kill? The U.S. says it killed Bin Laden because he “resisted” the commandos. But did they try hard to capture him alive? I doubt it. A U.S. official says the government dumped his body at sea quickly because “we don’t want a bunch of people going to [a] shrine” for him. The same logic argued against putting him on trial, which would have made him even more of a martyr.

4. Intel bonus? The U.S. says its team “was on the compound for under 40 minutes.” That includes the entry, the firefight, blowing up its crippled helicopter, and extracting Bin Laden’s corpse. Was that enough time to find and grab anything useful that might further unravel Bin Laden’s network? Probably not, but we won’t know till later.

5. Gitmo vindicated? The U.S. says “detainees” provided the initial information about Bin Laden’s courier, which eventually led to the raid. In its briefing, the Obama White House didn’t specify where those detainees were located. But the Times says more: “Detainees at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, had given the courier’s pseudonym to American interrogators.” Without Gitmo, would we have found him?

Read more of What Really Happened in Abbottabad? Eight mysteries about the killing of Osama Bin Laden (Slate)

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Osama Bin Laden: News animation of terrorist’s final moments
05.02.2011
09:30 am

Topics:
Animation

Tags:
China
Current Events
Osama Bin Laden

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How Taiwan’s news reported Osama Bin Laden’s death.
 

 
Via Madam Miaow, with thanks to Charles Shaar Murray
 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Why that photo of dead Bin Laden on Indian TV is fake
05.02.2011
02:58 am

Topics:
Current Events

Tags:
Politics
Osama Bin Laden
911
Terrorism

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The photograph of a dead Osama Bin Laden currently being touted on Indian TV news (and elsewhere) is almost certainly fake. As suspected by DM’s Marc Campbell and confirmed by the Daily Telegraph the image is photo-shopped, as can be seen above.

Bin Laden’s body was reportedly buried at sea. No official photographs of a dead Bin Laden have as yet been released.
 
Via Daily Telegraph
 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Bizarre Indian newscast features Bin Laden’s corpse and mobs of Americans celebrating

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India’s Telugu One News’ report on Osama bin Laden’s death features a photograph of his corpse in a split-screen with American crowds celebrating his death. The juxtaposition is bizarre, to say the least, with an unsettling subtext that could compel a viewer to arrive at the idea that America is consumed with blood lust. I don’t speak Telagu so I have no idea what the reporter is saying. But given the fact that the Telagu people have a convivial relationship with the USA, I doubt that Telagu One News is consciously editorializing in this video, but its still disturbing as hell.

Is the photo real? I’m reading conflicting reports. Some news sites are treating it as if it is genuine. On the other hand, I’ve read comments claiming the photo has been floating around the web for years. If so, what is it doing on the news? It looks fake to me. Is this some form of poetic license used to illustrate what the death scene may have looked like? Any insight from our Telagu friends out there? The photo has appeared on several Telagu news broadcasts.
 

 
Update: MSNBC is reporting that the picture is fake:

An image circulating on the Internet and displayed on some television news programs abroad purports to show Osama bin Laden’s bloody corpse. No U.S. or Pakistani officials have confirmed its authenticity, and two U.S. officials have warned NBC News that the image is a hoax.

Based on an initial look into the image file, we agree, and think it’s a fake. At first glance, the pixelation around the “wound” area and the odd lack of transition between different colored cloth and flesh indicate that the image has been manipulated.

Furthermore, the facial expression and beard are very reminiscent of a 1998 image of bin Laden, the first picture shown below. Next to it, we show the original resolution of the “corpse” image as we’ve seen it (197 by 263 pixels), “flopped” 180 degrees on the horizontal axis to conform to the original 1998 image’s beard orientation. The third image is a blended image of the two, with the “corpse” image at 100 percent opacity below the original image at 43 percent opacity. The way the images “lock” in place at the mouth, beard and nose indicate to us that the image circulating on the Web and some foreign television outlets is nothing but a clumsy fake:

 
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So if it’s a “clumsy fake” why the hell is it being broadcast on several news outlets? And is there any actual photographic evidence that bin Laden is really dead? If so, there’s an eager media chomping at the bit.

 

Written by Marc Campbell | Discussion
Osama Bin Laden is dead
05.01.2011
07:45 pm

Topics:
Current Events
Politics

Tags:
Osama Bin Laden

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According to Newsday, Osama bin Laden is dead and the U.S. has his body, a person familiar with developments has told the Associated Press.

Update: CNN is confirming that Osama bin Laden is dead. He was killed “in a mansion outside Islamabad along with other family members.”

The news comes eight years to the day that George W. Bush declared “Mission accomplished” in Iraq.

Update: “President Obama said that on Sunday, a small team of U.S. operatives launched a “targeted assault’’ on a multi-million dollar compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad where months of intelligence work had established that Mr. Bin Laden was living. Mr. Bin Laden was killed after a firefight, and the troops took custody of his body.”
 

Written by Marc Campbell | Discussion
George Bush & Osama Bin Laden ‘super funny children’s toy’

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This is interesting, isn’t it? A child’s play set with George Bush as a tank commander chasing Osama Bin Laden around the desert on a train track?

Made in China, but seen for sale in Morocco. It appears like it was meant to read “Path Car,” but they spelled it wrong.

Says on the package that it’s a “super funny children’s toy.” Appropriate for “ages 3 and up.”

Thank you Adam Peters of Los Angeles, CA!

 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
The Aging Of Osama Bin Laden
01.15.2010
01:33 pm

Topics:
Current Events

Tags:
Osama Bin Laden

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Have you seen this man?  The above, digitally enhanced photos of Osama bin-Laden were just published by the FBI and the US Department of Defense:

In a first “aged progressed” mugshot, he is portrayed in Western clothes with wavy grey and black hair and a trimmed beard; a second shows the terrorist leader in his traditional outfit, with a white turban and a flowing, but greyer, beard.  Forensic artists used digital enhancement to modify Bin Laden’s features in an attempt to show what he might now look like.

FBI Issues Digital Mug Shot Of An Aged Osama bin Laden

 

Written by Bradley Novicoff | Discussion