Archive for the ‘Har Har’ Category

57% Would Like to Replace Entire Congress

August 31, 2009

“Its time for the tar & feathers people.”

-F.F.

bums

Sunday, August 30, 2009

If they could vote to keep or replace the entire Congress, just 25% of voters nationwide would keep the current batch of legislators.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% would vote to replace the entire Congress and start all over again. Eighteen percent (18%) are not sure how they would vote.

Overall, these numbers are little changed since last October. When Congress was passing the unpopular $700-billion bailout plan in the heat of a presidential campaign and a seeming financial industry meltdown, 59% wanted to throw them all out. At that time, just 17% wanted to keep them.

There has been a bit of a partisan shift since last fall. With Democrats controlling both chambers of Congress, it’s not surprising to find that the number of Democrats who would vote to keep the entire Congress has grown from 25% last fall to 43% today. In fact, a modest plurality of Democrats would now vote to keep the legislators. Last fall, a plurality of Democrats were ready to throw them all out.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

While Democrats have become more supportive of the legislators, voters not affiliated with either major party have moved in the opposite direction. Today, 70% of those not affiliated with either major party would vote to replace all of the elected politicians in the House and Senate. That’s up from 62% last year.

Republicans, not surprisingly, overwhelmingly support replacing everyone in the Congress. Their views have not changed. But Republican voters are disenchanted with their team as much as the Congress itself: 69% of GOP Voters say Republicans in Congress are out of touch with the party base.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) now believe that members of Congress are overpaid. That’s up 10 percentage points from last October. Just five percent (5%) think their Congress member is paid too little. Thirty percent (30%) think the pay is about right.

One reason for this attitude may be that most voters say they understand the health care legislation better than Congress. Just 22% think the legislature has a good understanding of the issue. Three-out-of-four (74%) trust their own economic judgment more than Congress’.

Just 14% give Congress good or excellent review for their overall performance, while only 16% believe it’s Very Likely that Congress will address the most important problems facing our nation. Seventy-five percent (75%) say members of Congress are more interested in their own careers than they are in helping people. On the brighter side, just 37% say most in Congress have extramarital affairs.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Americans believe that when members of Congress meet with regulators and other government officials, they do so to help their friends and hurt their political opponents. Most believe that’s why politicians are able to solicit contributions from business leaders. Most, however, say it’s generally a good investment because political donors get more than their money’s worth. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of American adults say political donors get more than their money back in terms of favors from members of Congress.

Despite these reviews, more than 90% of Congress routinely gets reelected every two years. It’s a shock when any incumbent loses. One explanation for this phenomenon frequently heard in Washington, D.C. is that “people hate Congress but love their own congressman.”

Voters have a different perspective, and 50% say ‘rigged’ election rules explain high reelection rate for Congress.

When the Constitution was written, the nation’s founders expected that there would be a 50% turnover in the House of Representatives every election cycle. That was the experience they witnessed in state legislatures at the time (and most of the state legislatures offered just one-year terms). For well over 100 years after the Constitution was adopted, the turnover averaged in the 50% range as expected.

In the 20th century, turnover began to decline. As power and prestige flowed to Washington during the New Deal era, fewer and fewer members of Congress wanted to leave. In 1968, congressional turnover fell to single digits for the first time ever, and it has remained very low ever since.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/august_2009/57_would_like_to_replace_entire_congress

Gifts Of Forgiveness

August 29, 2009

Area Man To Hang Out At McDonald’s For 20 Minutes Until Lunch Menu Goes Up

August 24, 2009

Area-Man-R_0_0

August 22, 2009 | Issue 45•34

ERIE, PA—Upon being informed by a McDonald’s cashier that the lunch menu would not be available until 11 a.m., restaurant patron Don Turnbee elected to wait 20 minutes inside the fast food establishment Saturday until the items he ordered would be served.

“There aren’t any other stores or anything that I like around here, so I figured I would just wait,” said Turnbee, who typically frequents the McDonald’s in the Buffalo Road shopping plaza, but chose to stop at the Pleasant Valley location because of its proximity to his wife’s hair salon. “The girl at the counter said I could still get breakfast if I wanted, but 10:40’s too late for breakfast.”

Added Turnbee, “I want lunch.”

The 41-year-old explained that he had already eaten breakfast earlier that morning, when he and his wife, Shelly, went to a nearby Bob Evans. Turnbee said he was not aware of the lunch-serving policy at this particular McDonald’s.

“They said they start [serving lunch] at 11 on weekends and 10:30 on weekdays,” Turnbee told reporters. “The one on Buffalo Road does it earlier, so I guess it’s different at different McDonald’s. It should probably be the same, but it’s different.”

According to restaurant employees, when Turnbee entered the establishment, he proceeded to order a No. 3 value meal with no pickles and a large Sprite. After they told him that lunch was not available until 11 a.m., Turnbee reportedly stood in silence for a few seconds, backed away from the cash register, and made his way to the seating area.

“Before I ordered, I saw that the breakfast menu was up,” Turnbee noted. “But sometimes they forget to switch the menu if you get there right when breakfast ends. Also, if it’s close, they’ll usually serve you lunch anyways. I guess they don’t do that here.”

After dispensing several napkins and filling two ketchup containers, Turnbee selected a booth with a view of the menu board. He then sat for approximately one minute before glancing at his wristwatch and returning to the condiment counter to fill another ketchup container.

By 10:48 a.m., Turnbee had begun slowly walking around the restaurant’s perimeter, perusing the various decorative paintings hanging on the walls. He also examined a plaque featuring a brief description of the restaurant and its founder, even though he had previously read the same inscription on an identical plaque at the Pleasant Valley McDonald’s.

At one point, Turnbee entered the men’s room. He later acknowledged that this trip was mainly to fill time.

“It’s getting pretty close to 11,” Turnbee said.

As he waited, Turnbee expressed his commitment to ordering lunch, stating that he would not, under any circumstance, order breakfast.

“Their Egg McMuffins are pretty good, and the pancakes are all right, but I’m in the mood for a burger,” said Turnbee, who when spotted moments later eating a hash brown explained that he needed something to tide him over, and that “hash browns are basically French fries.”

With five minutes to go before lunch, Turnbee began standing in line, allowing customers to proceed ahead of him if they confirmed they were ordering breakfast. He repeatedly peered out at patrons in the drive-thru, apparently to make certain they were not being served lunch.

“There shouldn’t be any difference between the drive-thru and when you go inside,” he said.

According to Turnbee, he has been in this position many times before, though mostly at Wendy’s—a fast food establishment he said isn’t very good at making clear when they serve breakfast.

“I just hope that when the lunch menu goes up they’re ready to serve everything,” Turnbee said. “They should have the fries and the nuggets already cooked because people are definitely going to order them when they order lunch. You can usually order pop with breakfast, so that shouldn’t be an issue.”

Continued Turnbee, “I wonder if the girl will remember my order or if I’ll have to order again.”

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/area_man_to_hang_out_at_mcdonalds?utm_source=a-section

“Common Sense 2009” by Larry Flynt

August 24, 2009

rockefeller4

Here’s what Rockefeller said in 1994 at a U.N. dinner: “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis, and the nations will accept the New World Order.”

They’re gaming us. Our country has been stolen from us.

Larry Flynt

Publisher of Hustler magazine and free speech advocate

Posted: August 20, 2009 08:15 PM

The American government — which we once called our government — has been taken over by Wall Street, the mega-corporations and the super-rich. They are the ones who decide our fate. It is this group of powerful elites, the people President Franklin D. Roosevelt called “economic royalists,” who choose our elected officials — indeed, our very form of government. Both Democrats and Republicans dance to the tune of their corporate masters. In America, corporations do not control the government. In America, corporations are the government.

This was never more obvious than with the Wall Street bailout, whereby the very corporations that caused the collapse of our economy were rewarded with taxpayer dollars. So arrogant, so smug were they that, without a moment’s hesitation, they took our money — yours and mine — to pay their executives multimillion-dollar bonuses, something they continue doing to this very day. They have no shame. They don’t care what you and I think about them. Henry Kissinger refers to us as “useless eaters.”

But, you say, we have elected a candidate of change. To which I respond: Do these words of President Obama sound like change?

“A culture of irresponsibility took root, from Wall Street to Washington to Main Street.”
There it is. Right there. We are Main Street. We must, according to our president, share the blame. He went on to say: “And a regulatory regime basically crafted in the wake of a 20th-century economic crisis — the Great Depression — was overwhelmed by the speed, scope and sophistication of a 21st-century global economy.”

This is nonsense.

The reason Wall Street was able to game the system the way it did — knowing that they would become rich at the expense of the American people (oh, yes, they most certainly knew that) — was because the financial elite had bribed our legislators to roll back the protections enacted after the Stock Market Crash of 1929.

Congress gutted the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial lending banks from investment banks, and passed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which allowed for self-regulation with no oversight. The Securities and Exchange Commission subsequently revised its rules to allow for even less oversight — and we’ve all seen how well that worked out. To date, no serious legislation has been offered by the Obama administration to correct these problems.

Instead, Obama wants to increase the oversight power of the Federal Reserve. Never mind that it already had significant oversight power before our most recent economic meltdown, yet failed to take action. Never mind that the Fed is not a government agency but a cartel of private bankers that cannot be held accountable by Washington. Whatever the Fed does with these supposed new oversight powers will be behind closed doors.

Obama’s failure to act sends one message loud and clear: He cannot stand up to the powerful Wall Street interests that supplied the bulk of his campaign money for the 2008 election. Nor, for that matter, can Congress, for much the same reason.

Consider what multibillionaire banker David Rockefeller wrote in his 2002 memoirs:

“Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”

Read Rockefeller’s words again. He actually admits to working against the “best interests of the United States.”
Need more? Here’s what Rockefeller said in 1994 at a U.N. dinner: “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis, and the nations will accept the New World Order.” They’re gaming us. Our country has been stolen from us.

Journalist Matt Taibbi, writing in Rolling Stone, notes that esteemed economist John Kenneth Galbraith laid the 1929 crash at the feet of banking giant Goldman Sachs. Taibbi goes on to say that Goldman Sachs has been behind every other economic downturn as well, including the most recent one. As if that wasn’t enough, Goldman Sachs even had a hand in pushing gas prices up to $4 a gallon.

The problem with bankers is longstanding. Here’s what one of our Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, had to say about them:

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation, and then by deflation, the banks and the corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their father’s conquered.”

We all know that the first American Revolution officially began in 1776, with the Declaration of Independence. Less well known is that the single strongest motivating factor for revolution was the colonists’ attempt to free themselves from the Bank of England. But how many of you know about the second revolution, referred to by historians as Shays’ Rebellion? It took place in 1786-87, and once again the banks were the cause. This time they were putting the screws to America’s farmers.Daniel Shays was a farmer in western Massachusetts. Like many other farmers of the day, he was being driven into bankruptcy by the banks’ predatory lending practices. (Sound familiar?) Rallying other farmers to his side, Shays led his rebels in an attack on the courts and the local armory. The rebellion itself failed, but a message had been sent: The bankers (and the politicians who supported them) ultimately backed off. As Thomas Jefferson famously quipped in regard to the insurrection: “A little rebellion now and then is a good thing. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

Perhaps it’s time to consider that option once again.

I’m calling for a national strike, one designed to close the country down for a day. The intent? Real campaign-finance reform and strong restrictions on lobbying. Because nothing will change until we take corporate money out of politics. Nothing will improve until our politicians are once again answerable to their constituents, not the rich and powerful.

Let’s set a date. No one goes to work. No one buys anything. And if that isn’t effective — if the politicians ignore us — we do it again. And again. And again.

The real war is not between the left and the right. It is between the average American and the ruling class. If we come together on this single issue, everything else will resolve itself. It’s time we took back our government from those who would make us their slaves.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/larry-flynt/common-sense-2009_b_264706.html

VIDEO* TEXAS US Rep. Lloyd Doggett protest

August 3, 2009

John Yoo, Author of Torture Memos Pranked in Classroom

July 24, 2009

“This is pretty good.”

-F.F.

 

 

  • By Kim Zetter Email Author 
  • July 22, 2009
    Wired.com

A former Justice Department official who wrote controversial memos authorizing the Bush administration to conduct torture was the object of a prank by an Australian comedian during one of his recent law class lectures.

John Yoo, a former deputy assistant attorney general who has faced intense criticism for authoring constitutionally-questionable memos justifying torture and the government’s warrantless wiretapping program, was confronted last week during a lecture he was giving on international law at Chapman University School of Law, a private school in Southern California.

After Yoo mentions the Constitution during his lecture, and asks the students if they have any questions, an Australian comedian from the show Chaser’s War on Everything is seen wearing a black-hooded robe and standing on top of his desk with his arms outstretched, recalling one of the most iconic images of U.S. torture captured in the now-infamous Abu Ghraib photos.

The comedian says, “Actually, professor, I’ve got one question. Uhm, how long can I be required to stand here ’til it counts as torture?”

Yoo cuts his lecture short and replies, “Unfortunately, I’m going to have to end class,” as he packs up his lecture notes.

As Yoo apologizes to the class for the interruption, the comedian replies, “If this is awkward for you, it’s very uncomfortable for me, I can tell you…. I’d love to move but every time I do my balls get buzzed.”

The students are heard complaining angrily to the interloper, and applauding their professor.

Yoo tells the comedian that he’ll give him “a certain amount of time” before he reports him to security, after which a stern woman is shown entering the class and ordering any non-students to leave, saying, “This is a private classroom.”

The comedian, still wearing the black hood, says, “OK. I’ll just go to the human rights class down the road, professor. I think you probably won’t be teaching there.”

The Chaser’s War on Everything is an ABC Australia show starring Chris Taylor, Julian Morrow, Craig Reucassel, Andrew Hansen, and Chas Licciardello.

In 2006, the team pulled a prank on Virgin Blue airlines staff at the Sydney Airport when they purchased online tickets for a flight from Sydney to Melbourne under the names Al Kyder and Terry Wrist. When the passengers failed to show up for the flight, Virgin Blue staff made a final boarding call over the airport PA system calling for the missing passengers, whose names sounded like Mr. Al Qaeda and Mr. Terrorist.

An airline spokeswoman said about the comedians and their stunt, “They obviously have Bart Simpson as a consultant and while we are happy to take the $282 taxpayer dollars they spent on the bookings, we don’t think in the current climate, their childish humor is appreciated by anyone.”

In 2007 in Sydney, they breached security during the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit by driving a fake motorcade up to the restricted zone where nearly two dozen world leaders were meeting. The convoy, consisting of three black cars, was waved through two security check points and drove within yards of former President Bush’s hotel before being stopped, at which point Licciardello, dressed as Osama bin Laden, stepped out of one of the cars and asked why he’d not been invited to take a seat at the APEC table. Authorities arrested 11 people from the team, who were wearing “insecurity” passes. The prank exposed vulnerabilities in the summit’s $250 million security operation.

 

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/07/yooprank/

Barack Obama ratings fall as polls show honeymoon may be over

July 24, 2009

“No less douche -ier than Bush was. Together they make a full well-rounded, healthy, douche bag. If you support douche bags than I don’t know what that makes you?”

-Fred Face 7/23/09

PD*29819911

By Alex Spillius in Washington 

 

USA Today/Gallup survey suggested that six months into his presidency, his popularity was lower than George W Bush’s at the same stage of his tenure.

Amid rising unemployment and falling confidence in his economic plans, Mr Obama’s job approval rating has dropped by nine points since January to 55 per cent, a point below his predecessor in mid-2001.

Other polls by ABC News and the Washington Postalso showed Mr Obama’s job approval falling below 60 per cent for the first time since he was sworn in as the nation’s first black president, with a marked drop in the last month.

The president is facing criticism about how he is going to pay for $1 trillion plans to reform the US health care system. Half of respondents in one poll disapproved of his health care policy compared with just 44 per cent who approved.

Mr Obama admitted there was work to do and said he would not sign any of the bills currently being considered in Congress.

“Right now, they’re not where they need to be,” he told NBC. He has already admitted that his August deadline for draft legislation could “spill over” into the autumn.

Mr Obama is due to hold a prime time televised press conference on Wednsday designed to restate his case to an increasingly sceptical nation.

Whit Ayres, a pollster, said: “His ratings have certainly come back down to Earth in a very short time period.”

Mr Obama is said to be losing the most support among independent voters and moderate Democrats, whose votes were crucial in winning him swing states in November’s election. In those states, where congressmen face re-election next year, Democrats are already concerned.

Steve Glorioso, a Democratic strategist in Missouri, said devout Democrats were as enthusiastic as ever for Mr Obama but that the less committed were feeling disappointed.

“People are scared,” he said. “This is the worst economic time anyone under the age of 80 has ever experienced, and you can’t discount people being afraid.

“Now that we are in July, the fear is turning to disappointment that the president hasn’t fixed everything yet. I don’t know why they thought he could change everything by now, but some did.”

Although Mr Obama inherited immense economic troubles from Mr Bush, the economy is now seen as almost solely his responsibility.

Experts say that White House reassurances about “the green shoots” of economic recovery are sounding hollow as unemployment has now risen to more than ten per cent in 15 states,

Chris Redfern, the Ohio Democratic Party chairman, said: “When it’s the president’s economy, it’s the president’s trouble. Americans are eager for the change that they voted into office. They support him, they just want to see results sooner rather than later.”

Even Democrats have privately criticised the president for not taking firm control of health care reform. Congress is now working on three different bills but has been stuck on who to tax to pay for expanded coverage.

Eager to avoid the mistake made by the Clintons in 1993, who handed a vast health care bill to congress with little consultation, Mr Obama has been accused of straying too far in the other direction.

This week he has delivered a tough message on health care on a daily basis, reminding Congress that 47 million uninsured Americans cannot wait for reform.

John McHenry, a Republican strategist, said: “At some point he needs to decide if he is taking ownership of this or contracting it all to the Democratic congress.

“This autumn will tell if his honeymoon is well and truly over. He has been more popular personally than many of his proposals were, but there is only so long you can continue that.”

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/5880717/Barack-Obama-ratings-fall-as-polls-show-honeymoon-may-be-over.html

 

 

VIDEO: Congressman Stearns: Mr Paulson How Do You Have Any Credibility?

July 21, 2009

“Obama dances to Goldman Sach’s Tune”

July 19, 2009

http://www.breitbart.tv/goldman-sachs-are-scum-analyst-says-firm-should-face-financial-terrorism-charges/

obama-mafia

Disillusioned FBI Launches Nationwide Hunt For Some Kind Of Truth

July 17, 2009

Disillusioned-FBI-R

 

JULY 13, 2009 | ISSUE 45•29

 

WASHINGTON—FBI director Robert S. Mueller III announced Monday that the entire manpower of his increasingly disillusioned agency has been diverted into a massive nationwide search for some semblance of genuine, concrete truth.

“After years of investigating all the things people do to one another, from murder to mail fraud, every agent at the bureau’s disposal has been reassigned to track down something—anything—that could still be considered pure and true,” the world-weary Mueller said. “We are currently working around the clock to pinpoint the exact location of any shred of goodness left in humanity, and will not rest until this ineffable notion is finally in our custody.”

Added Mueller, “If some inkling of truth is out there, the FBI will find it.”

The existential hunt, underway across all 50 states, is the largest initiative launched by the FBI to date. So far, nearly 8,000 federal agents have been mobilized to search for the intangible concept, with several units being deployed to watch the setting sun, walk barefoot through fields of grass, and “listen—truly listen” to the laughter of children in hopes of tracking it down.

Disillusioned-FBI-Jump-R_0

In addition, the FBI has reportedly started selling off all its belongings, including even its highly prized forensic spectral analysis equipment, in the event that divesting itself of worldly possessions will bring it closer to locating the elusive truth.

According to an interoffice memorandum, all FBI employees have also been instructed to throw their cell phones into the Potomac River.

“We are following several leads,” said Mueller, who was seen Monday leaving the agency’s entire $6.4 billion budget next to a homeless man sleeping on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial. “Reliable witnesses have said that truth may be hiding in a good, honest day’s work, or is potentially being harbored in something as simple as a butterfly alighting on a chrysanthemum.”

“At this time, we are also attempting to verify CIA intelligence which seems to indicate that the only real truth is living one’s life not by any philosophy, but simply by being kind and decent and good,” Mueller continued.

Several agents contacted for interviews told reporters they have been dispatched on investigative cross-country road trips in beat-up Volkswagen vans, while others have been ordered to take peyote and wander through Joshua Tree National Park in an effort to obtain clues from animal spirit guides.

Disillusioned-FBI-Jump-Evidence-R

Mueller also said there would be an international component to the search. Dozens of officials have been assigned to vaccinate orphans in African villages, and 80 additional agents have been told to lose and then find themselves again while backpacking across India. The FBI is reportedly counting on these missions to provide some insight into the whereabouts of anything resembling an unadulterated ethical certitude.

“Our internal affairs division has been authorized to use every self-interrogation method at its disposal,” Mueller said. “After all, if the clues we’ve gathered from the Bhagavad Gita concerning the Paramatman aspect of the Brahman are in fact accurate, divine purity and truth may very well be traced right back to each of our hearts.”

At press time, the FBI said that it had detained a number of Tibetan monks, philosophy professors, and Sufi scholars as “persons of interest.”

Though many government agencies have been supportive of the FBI’s dogged pursuit of a potential universal morality, others said that the bureau is prone to these types of large-scale philosophical dragnets and will soon return to normal.

“You’ll see. They’ll get tired of this whole silly thing soon enough,” said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. “This is just like when they botched that big heroin ring bust a couple years ago and everyone over there became a Buddhist for two months.”

 

 

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/disillusioned_fbi_launches

 

July 13, 2009

Military Institutes New ‘Don’t Tell, Let Me Guess’ Policy

July 10, 2009

JULY 8, 2009 | ISSUE 45•28

 

WASHINGTON—Pentagon officials announced Tuesday a new policy toward homosexuals in the armed services, the so-called “Don’t Tell, Let Me Guess” system, which gives Pentagon brass the opportunity to state their opinion on a soldier’s sexual orientation, provided it’s followed by the phrase “Am I right?” “These new guidelines allow homosexuals to serve in the armed forces, as long as they don’t show any outward traits that would tip us off and ruin all the fun of guessing,” said Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who purports to have “excellent” gaydar. “When you make a game out of it, you’re much more invested in the survival of your fellow serviceman—at least until you guess whether or not he or she enjoys sex with members of the same gender.” Pentagon officials said soldiers who are correctly guessed to be homosexual will face immediate dishonorable discharge, unless they can prove they have killed at least 10 enemy combatants in a particularly brutal fashion.

 

http://www.theonion.com/content/news_briefs/military_institutes_new

Al Gore Sued by Over 30,000 Scientists For Fraud

July 10, 2009

Gore Vidal On Barrack Obama

June 28, 2009

Ben Bernanke on Ron Paul’s Proposed Leglslation to Audit the Federal

June 27, 2009

“My concern about that legislation is that if the GAO is auditing not only the operational aspects of our programs and the details of the programs, but is making judgments about our policy decisions, that would effectively be a takeover of monetary policy by the Congress, a repudiation of the independence of the Federal Reserve, which would be highly destructive to the stability of the financial system, the Dollar and our national economic situation.”

June 27, 2009

Smoke>Something Watch<Something

June 26, 2009

Obama Superhero Cartoon!

June 20, 2009

http://fullbodytransplant.wordpress.com/2009/06/20/obama-superhero-cartoon/

BBC RETRACTION – What really happened

June 20, 2009

editors_iran226

 

Steve Herrmann | 16:58 PM, Friday, 19 June 2009

 

The crisis over the Iranian election has been our lead story for most of the week. As with all our coverage, we have been careful to report what both Ahmadinejad and Mousavi supporters are saying. Similarly, we have taken care to label the pictures we use, explaining what they are of.

However, on Wednesday 17 June we made a mistake in a picture caption published on BBC News online. In the story Obama refuses to ‘meddle’ in Iran, we mistakenly stated that a Getty agency picture of a pro-Ahmadinejad rally was a pro-Mousavi rally.

Some blogs, including WhatReallyhappened.com, are pointing out that the LA Times used a similar photograph which showed President Ahmadinejad waving to supporters. The Getty pictures we received did not show Mr Ahmadinejad.

When a reader contacted us about it, we checked our caption and corrected it. We’re sorry for the mistake and have added a note explaining the correction to the story.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2009/06/what_really_happened.html

 

The Original Story Link

Jello Biafra Writes An Open Letter To Barack Obama

June 18, 2009

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(Jello Biafra’s 1979 mayoral campaign against Diane Feinstein was the first I ever worked on, which probably says a lot. We’re proud to publish his open letter to Barack Obama — jh)

My Friends (couldn’t resist, I had to say it),

Here, by semi-popular demand, are the suggestions I sent to Obama’sChange.gov site for citizen input. It veers from writing to Obama himself to writing for the people who may actually read this. A lot of these ideas may be familiar from my albums and spoken word shows. For the most part I stayed away from the big no-brainers covered by others, and from ideas he would never agree to in a million years.

I did not vote for him because of his record in Congress voting for thePATRIOT Act, the anti-immigrant wall, numerous corporate breaks and subsidies, the FISA bill legalizing all the NSA’s illegal wiretapping, etc. Nevertheless I, too, felt moved by his speech in the park that night in Chicago, seeing Jesse Jackson cry and wondering how Martin Luther King, Jr would have felt. I can only imagine how much this would have meant to Wesley Willis.

And, yes, I am glad that the adult version of the Eraserhead baby and his pitbull pal were not handed the keys to the White House.

I guess that’s why it hurts so much more when the guy we all wish we could hang out with when we see him on TV turns around and backs the wrong position on something important. We expect this from the Clintons and Bidens of the world, but it hurts more with Obama because he knows better. He even said so on the FISA/NSA spying bill that he so eloquently opposed before he changed his vote. His economic and national security teams so far lack anyone from the “change” side of the Democratic Party. Not a good sign.

If you have ideas or comments, don’t just send them to me, send them to Change.gov! Even I have the audacity to hope that if one of these ideas penetrates up top, it is a chance worth taking. Tom Hayden is one of many who havepointed out that it is up to this movement to drive Obama, not the other way around.

Jello Biafra

OPEN LETTER TO BARACK OBAMA

PREAMBLE GAMBLE

Dear Mr. Obama,

Congratulations on your recent victory, and for helping build such a strong mandate for change. In that spirit, please do not forget the other aisle you need to reach across. All the relief and publicity for the middle class won’t do anything for the 40-100 million Americans who are starving, unemployed or just plain poor.

You have gone out of your way to build a bridge to those of us fed up with war, pollution, inequality, corporate lawlessness and business as usual. You have energized a whole new generation who is far ahead of their elders in knowing what urgently needs to be done. I have never seen such an outpouring of heartfelt emotion, hope and support for an American politician in my life, and I remember Kennedy well. You are the first president in my lifetime to have a bona fide grassroots movement behind you and ready to rock. I hope those crowds’ hope and urgency has penetrated deeply enough that you won’t let that bridge be washed away.

I remember another person who had the audacity to exploit and toss aside people’s hope, and his name is Bill Clinton. Democrats fail time and again when they shirk responsibility and settle for being dealmakers instead of leaders. As important as it is to find common ground and build consensus for change, our situation is so dire we cannot afford any more dealmakers. The people voted for a leader. Anything less risks breaking the hearts of an entire galvanized generation who may then decide it is not worth it to get involved and participate any more.

Strong medicine is needed. Here are some ideas:

IRAQ – TRY THIS!

The closest thing to a solution I have heard was offered clear back in April 2004 by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (www.oic-ico.org). The OIC is comprised of 57 Islamic countries ranging from West Africa clear over to Southeast Asia. At their annual meeting they found six member nations (Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Yemen and Morocco) willing to pony up enough of their own troops (approx. 150,000) that our troops could have gone home! Who slammed the door on that one? Colin Powell, on the grounds that having the Islamic soldiers under UN command instead of Americans was out of the question.

WHY??!? Wouldn’t a neutral force of Muslim peacekeepers make a lot more headway than the disaster we’ve made? Wouldn’t they at least command a lot more respect, resulting in a huge drop in violence? Surely the non-stop carnage and Iracketeering we have spawned is Exhibit A that we need to get over this colonialist illusion that other countries’ problems can only be solved by Americans. The OIC’s proposal for US withdrawal and peace in Iraq must be revisited immediately, and also considered for Afghanistan.

We must end not just our military occupation of Iraq, but our economic occupation NOW. Iraq is not ours to sell, and neither is its oil. Your promise not to leave any permanent US military bases in Iraq is a good start. But you have also backed leaving US troops in Iraq to “protect American assets like the Green Zone.” The Green Zone is not our “asset.” We stole it and we have to give it back. I hope you don’t seriously believe we can get away with that giant feudal fortress of an embassy we are building, ten times the size of any other in history. We cannot afford to waste any more money on this, or down the black hole of the Bush administration’s crony backroom deals with corrupt, incompetent private contractors like Blackwater, KBR and Halliburton. We need to fire them and they need to leave—NOW.

We do owe the Iraqi people help, and we have an obligation to clean up the mess we have made. That goes double for Afghanistan. But I can’t see this getting done unless someone other than the United States is in charge. Let us also not forget the 2 million-plus refugees stuck outside Iraq who are draining the economies of Iraq’s neighbors, especially Jordan and Syria.

 

http://firedoglake.com/2008/12/16/jello-biafra-writes-an-open-letter-to-barack-obama/#mce_temp_url#

“Air Guitar” -Dave Hickey

June 13, 2009

hickey(store)

 

“Jazz presumes that it would be nice if the four of us–simpatico dudes that we are–while playing this complicated song together, might somehow be free and autonomous as well. Tragically, this never quite works out. At best, we can only be free one or two at a time–while the other dudes hold onto the wire. Which is not to say that no one has tried to dispense with wires. Many have, and sometimes it works–but it doesn’t feel like jazz when it does. The music simply drifts away into the stratosphere of formal dialectic, beyond our social concerns. 

Rock-and-roll, on the other hand, presumes that the four of us–as damaged and anti-social as we are–might possibly get it to-fucking-gether, man, and play this simple song. And play it right, okay? Just this once, in tune and on the beat. But we can’t. The song’s too simple, and we’re too complicated and too excited. We try like hell, but the guitars distort, the intonation bends, and the beat just moves, imperceptibly, against our formal expectations, whetehr we want it to or not. Just because we’re breathing, man. Thus, in the process of trying to play this very simple song together, we create this hurricane of noise, this infinitely complicated, fractal filigree of delicate distinctions. 

And you can thank the wanking eighties, if you wish, and digital sequencers, too, for proving to everyone that technologically “perfect” rock–like “free” jazz–sucks rockets. Because order sucks. I mean, look at the Stones. Keith Richards is alwayson top of the beat, and Bill Wyman, until he quit, was always behind it, because Richards is leading the band and Charlie Watts is listening to him and Wyman is listening to Watts. So the beat is sliding on those tiny neural lapses, not so you can tell, of course, but so you can feel it in your stomach. And the intonation is wavering, too, with the pulse in the finger on the amplified string. This is the delicacy of rock-and-roll, the bodily rhetoric of tiny increments, necessary imperfections, and contingent community. And it has its virtues, because jazz only works if we’re trying to be free and are, in fact, together. Rock-and-roll works because we’re all a bunch of flakes. That’s something you can depend on, and a good thing too, because in the twentieth century, that’s all there is: jazz and rock-and-roll. The rest is term papers and advertising.” 
— Dave Hickey (Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy)

 

Buy Air Guitar

Terry Southern on Larry Flynt

June 11, 2009

larry-flynt

 

 

SOUTHERN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“If elected, my primary goal will be to eliminate sexual ignorance and venereal disease. Every ounce of strength I can muster, both physically and psychologically, will be used courageously and endlessly to remove the massive repressive hand of government,, the ruling class, from the crotch of the American people.” 
–Larry Flynt, presidential candidacy announcement, Oct. 16, 1983

 

At Home with Larry Flynt (excerpted)
from Interviews by Jean Stein
Grand Street ; Issue # 36

 

Terry Southern: 
Den Hopper called me from Larry Flynt’s: “I’ve sent you a first-class round-trip ticket and I want you to come out. I have a proposition for you. Take my word, it’s a good thing. I’ll meet the plane.” And so I went out without knowing anything except that Den had recommended it.

Den did meet me at the airport and he said, “Man, you’re going to dig this scene. This is fantastic!”

When we arrive, the iron gate swings open and they wave Den in. Here I am in this gigantic place, three blocks up from the Bel Air Hotel. I’m trying to think whose house it used to be–Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis, or Sonny and Cher, or somebody. Many generations of mismatched celebrities. There were tennis courts and pools on each side of the house with waterfalls and things like that. Well secured–it’s patrolled by guys carrying Uzi machine guns. Three uniformed guards outside the fence, and then on the inside three huge bodybuilder types, dressed in white short-sleeves to show off their gigantic biceps. The guards say, “Larry and Althea are resting,” which meant that they were just nodded out. So Den and I go up to these fantastic adjoining suites, like something out of the Bel Air Hotel.

Den had become friendly with Althea, who was Larry Flynt’s wife. A very curious girl from Georgia, extremely provincial, but with what you might call “keen native intelligence”–a sort of poor-white-trash Whoopi Goldberg. She was heavily into pleasure–obsessed with doing all kinds of things for pleasure, especially all kinds of dope. She had a voracious appetite, but she was an innocent–a babe in the woods without a conscience. In an effort to cool her out, Larry had asked her, “What would you like to do, baby? You name it. ” She said, “I want to make a movie about Jim Morrison.” “All right, you’ve got it.” She consults Den Hopper, and he says: “Well, the person you want to get to write the script is my friend Terry Southern.” She said, “Oh, right, good idea.” So Den tells me, “We’ll write the script together. I already asked them for twenty-five thousand dollars apiece up front.” And he hands me this envelope of hundred dollar bills that thick: “Here, here’s yours. I’ll show you mine, see, they’re the same.” “Where should we keep it?” I asked. “I don’t know, I’m keeping mine behind this book. The other day I got so stoned I couldn’t remember which book it was. I tore the place apart.”

Then we met this one particular guard who, it turns out, is also the chief drug procurer. He says, “Larry’s trying to get Althea to clean up, so it’s very important not to give her any dope.” Then he tells Dennis, “Larry wants to see you in his study.” And Den says to me, “I’ll see you later. Why don’t you just wander around?”

So I’m wandering around the halls and I turn the corner and there’s this waif-like girl with wild eyes. She said, “Are you Terry?” I said yes. “Hi baby, I’m Althea,” and while we were still having a hug she said, “Are you holding any dope?” When I said no, she said, “I’m surprised there’s any friend of Dennis Hopper who isn’t holding dope.” I said, “Well, I’m not. I just got here and I haven’t had a chance. Besides, a guy with a gun has already told me you’re not to have any. ” She said, “Yes, they may tell you that, but they don’t know what they’re talking about. My doctor said I should have dope or I’m going to stress out.”

She said, “I’m so glad that you’re going to do the Jim Morrison thing. I’m in love with him. I think he’s still alive, don’t you?” “I don’t know about that,” I said, “but his spirit certainly lives on.” “Nah,” she said, “I mean, he’s been seen by a lot of people. He was seen in Venice not long ago”Venice, California, which is where he used to hang out. “Come downstairs, I want you to meet a friend of mine who’s just got here.” It was Tim Leary. He very surreptitiously passed her some dope. “Sunshine from the East,” he said. “A CARE package from the East.” I said, “What are you doing here?” He said, “I’m meeting Liddy. Liddy and I have been rehearsing here.” G. Gordon Liddy and Leary were doing this “debating tour,” and they rehearsed their debate at Flynt’s. “I don’t want to meet him,” I said, “he represents everything bad. ” And Leary just beamed. “Oh, you’ll like him,” he said.

The next guy to arrive was Marjoe–you know, that guy who used to be a child evangelist. And the other person who was a permanent guest for the moment was Madalyn Murray. Madalyn Murray has devoted her entire life to trying to get the Bible outlawed in school. She’s a professional atheist, very courageous. For some reason Larry Flynt was interested in her cause. I think he wanted to fuck her … mind-fuck her I mean.

About 4:00 P.M. Larry Flynt comes in and he says, “Sundowner time. Time for a sundowner.” He’s in a wheelchair. His wheelchair is motorized and gold-plated, and it has little American flags like on an ambassador’s car. He’s wearing this big diaper he had made up from an American flag. “They treat me like a baby,” he said, “so I’m going to behave like one. And if I poo-poo in my diaper, I’ll be poo-pooing on the American flag.” He’s trying to explain this to this huge Indian–what the hell is his name? He’s a great Indian guy who’s about seven feet tall … Means, Russell Means. He’s there, and meanwhile I hear this shouting, and it sounds like a big argument, but it’s just Liddy and Tim Leary rehearsing their act, I mean their “debate. ” About time for dinner, Frank Zappa arrives, you know him. Quite a grand zany. So there’s this very long table of odd people.

After dinner Larry said, “Come into my study, Terry, you’re going to need some money for the weekend.” We went into his office and he said, “There I s a briefcase right by the couch where you’re sitting. Put it in your lap and open it.” So I did. It was full of packs of hundred-dollar bills. Larry said, “It’s a million dollars. I have to have this on hand to give validity to the offer.” And he showed me this circular: A standing offer from Larry Flynt to the following women who are prepared to show gyno-pink. One million cash to: Barbara Bach, Cathy Bach, Barbi Benton, Cheryl Tiegs…. They were mostly kind of obscure, but there were one or two that were totally out of place, like Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda. He was offering a million dollars if they’d pose and do a gyno spread, what he called 4 ‘flashing pink.” And so he said, “Take whatever you think you’ll need for the weekend,” and he made a point of turning around to use the phone so I could take what I wanted. When he finished his call, he asked, “How much did you take?” 
“Two hundred dollars.” 
“You must be a fool–you could have taken more.” 
I said, “I don’t think I need any more than that.” 
“Well, I like an honest man,” he said. “Do you think Dennis Hopper’s honest?” 
“I know him well,” I said. “He’s very honest.” 
“Well, he claimed he lost the twenty-five thousand dollars,” Larry said. “Do you believe that?” 
“I think he found it again,” I said. “Didn’t he tell you?” 
“Oh, that’s right,” he said, “he told me.” 

It must have been that night, I got a call about 3:00 A.M. “Terry? Althea. What are you holding?” 
“I’m not holding anything.” 
“Dennis told me you were holding. I’ve got to have something, baby, I’m stressing out.” 
I said, “Well, let me speak with Dennis.” 
“I just spoke to him and he claims he doesn’t have anything, but I don’t believe him.” 
So I went to Dennis and I said, “Why did you pass her on to me?” 
“Well, I don’t know what to do about this,” he said. “Here, 
I’ve got one joint, give her this.” 
“Why don’t you give it to her?” I said. 
“I’m not dressed.” 
So I went out in the hall, and sure enough, there she was, in a weird white lady-of-the-lake nightgown, and she rushes up, and I’m just about to give her the joint when I see this huge security guard, Hans is his name. Monstro-Kraut. She said, “Drop it down the front of my gown and he won’t see it.” I did, but it fell right through. She was a bit on the frail-knocker side. “It fell on the floor,” I said. So she put her foot on it, she’s standing on it.

Meanwhile Hans says, “Is there any trouble?”

“Oh no, just having a little stroll here, and bumped into Althea here.” Meanwhile she’s trying to pick up the joint with her toes, you know. I mean absurd. He looks down and says, “Wait a minute, I’ll help you.”

“No, no,” Althea said, “I don’t need your help. When I need your help, I’ll ask for it.” 
“All right, all right. Have it your way. But I know, I know.” And so he turned and left.

The next day Larry Flynt sent for me. “Althea is in no condition to talk about her projects because somebody’s been giving her drugs. Do you know anything about it?” “No,” I said, “I don’t know anything about it.” “Hans said that he saw you passing her dope in the hall, passing it from your foot to her foot. He says that you keep your dope in your shoe. He says your shoe is your stash.” I said, “Well, Dennis Hopper’s going to have to explain all of this.” Meanwhile, as a joke, I had written on a piece of paper right above Dennis’s bed: “Rise and shine, Hopper, we’ve got some tooting to do!”

Larry Flynt couldn’t function from the waist down. As long as he kept certain nerves alive, he had a theoretical chance of regaining the use of his limbs. Finally the pain got so bad that he was advised to have this operation whereby they severed these nerves. But during this period the pain was terrific, so he actually had a prescription for morphine and had developed quite a little oil-burner of a habit. Althea was constantly plotting to steal it from him. So Flynt decided to put a permanent guard on his stash of M. He had tried to hide it every night, like Dennis hid his twenty-five thou, but he would forget where he’d hid it. He had periods of great lucidity and then periods where he wouldn’t know what was going on.

Meanwhile, the Jim Morrison project was in a shambles. Nobody had bothered to look into anything like the rights. I told Althea, “Well, we’re having a little problem with the rights. You have a few lawyers, I understand. Could we put one of them on trying to sort out the rights to this story? We’re going to have to get an agreement from each of the Doors, or else we can’t use the name ‘Jim Morrison,’ we can’t use the music.” She looked so despondent that I felt obliged to come up with something. “Maybe we could do it in such a way that everyone would know it’s really about Morrison,” and she said, “Oh yeah, I can dig it, I can dig it. It might be interesting to do it that way.”

Althea was the producer and she wanted to meet some movie stars. She said, “Let’s have a party and get some PR going for the Jim Morrison project. Now I want you and Dennis to make up a list of all the movie stars you can think of and invite them to the party.” And Larry wanted to publicize his million-dollar offer for celeb-pink, so he wanted the attaché case full of cash there for the photographers and journalists to feel and photograph. At first Althea said, “I think that’s going to cheapen the Jim Morrison Story aspect of it,” but Larry said, “No, it won’t. A million dollars cash don’t cheapen nothin’, baby.”

“If elected, my primary goal will be to eliminate sexual ignorance and venereal disease. Every ounce of strength I can muster, both physically and psychologically, will be used courageously and endlessly to remove the massive repressive hand of government,, the ruling class, from the crotch of the American people.” 
–Larry Flynt, presidential candidacy announcement, Oct. 16, 1983

 

 

http://www.terrysouthern.com/texts/t_flynt.htm

FBI: Terrorist Attack On Golden Gate Bridge May Have Been Green-Screened

June 6, 2009

JUNE 2, 2009 | ISSUE 45•23

The Onion

 

fbi_article_large.article_large

 

WASHINGTON—Analysts now believe that last month’s horrific attack on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, which left thousands missing and assumed dead, may have actually been carried out with green-screen technology, FBI officials announced Monday.

Sources said federal authorities revisited video of the tragic events of May 16 after a field agent noticed a bright, greenish hue running along the outline of the bridge, and completely surrounding the low-flying missile that entered slowly from the right and struck the beloved national monument. Digital forensic analysts were also able to uncover a number of additional anomalies that may change the way history remembers that terrible day.

“While we must never forget the painful events of 5/16, new evidence has caused us to rethink the nature of the attack,” FBI director Robert S. Mueller III said during a press conference. “Specifically the repeated loop of 1950s-era automobiles traveling on the bridge when the first missile hit, the heavy pixilation around the edges of the seventh explosion, and the several inches of green material on both sides of the frame.”

“And this would certainly explain why that giant boom mic kept dropping into the shot,” Mueller added.

The director also said that the use of chroma-key technology to stage an attack would support widespread claims that rescue workers responding to the bombing were unable to reach the destroyed Golden Gate Bridge because of rush-hour traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Until the bureau can investigate further, the retaliatory bombings in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran have been halted. In addition, the Defense Department has called off its search for the three Arab men who were last seen fleeing the scene of the attack on surfboards.

FBI-Al-Qaeda-Jump-R

We are looking into the possibility that the noticeable hole in the top right-hand corner of the sky might not have been a naturally occurring phenomenon,” Mueller said. “But, until we are certain, I advise all Americans to stay alert. If digital imagery was not behind 5/16, there is still a 2,000-foot moth out there capable of creating a mushroom cloud that looks exactly like the one at Hiroshima.”

When asked if green-screen technology could have been behind December’s gazelle stampede in Detroit, the tidal wave that destroyed Boston in February, or Mount Rushmore ending up at the bottom of a fish tank, Mueller responded, “Absolutely not. Well, wait. Maybe.”

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano assured the public that reviewing the video footage has already provided military officials with valuable insight into the strategy of terrorists who wish to harm America.

“Our enemies are adapting to an increasingly technological world, and we must adapt with them,” Napolitano said. “That is why I’ve told our operatives to be on the lookout for any disparities in foreground and background lighting, as well as any suspicious persons with floating heads—two things we now know to be indicators of a possible green-screen strike.”

According to the White House, President Obama has been kept abreast of the FBI’s ongoing investigation into the 5/16 attacks. In a televised address from the base of the partially completed Golden Gate Bridge Memorial Wall, Obama reiterated the need for constant vigilance.

“For now, it appears as if the terrorists have yet to master this technology,” the president said. “But as they get better at handling larger composites and become more familiar with Final Cut Pro 6, these attacks will begin to look more realistic. We must work together to make sure that state-of-the-art editing bays and studio spaces do not fall into terrorist hands.”

“If that happens, they could theoretically destroy the world,” Obama added. “I hear you can do almost anything with that stuff these days.” 

 

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/fbi_terrorist_attack_on_golden