Monday, April 30, 2007
What would Peter, Paul and Mary say?
When the King of Talk Show Hate, Rush Limbaugh, recently played this racist inspired video on his show, I really didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. So I laughed. I am still laughing, not WITH all the Limbaughs and Bimbaughs who shamelessly consumed the political parody as yet another Klan inspired, Right Wing free lunch, but AT Flush and Friends’ thinking (no wait—they don’t think, they just “do”) that last month’s LA Times article by David Ehrenstein was a call for all racists to trot out the hate speech AND put it to the tune of one the sixties most definitive anti war bands.
Laugh about the political parody of this video, as the concept of the “Magic Negro” is an academic one to ponder as it relates to the dynamics of Barack’s campaign and Sharpton’s persistent criticism of it. But finding anything funny or tolerable about the inspiration and its intent by the authors is to part ways with the fight for civility and progress as PP&M would have insisted upon.
Those who live close to the freeways leading out of the ports suffer the most. Researchers at the University of Southern California have found that children living within a few hundred meters of such roads are not only more likely to suffer from asthma. So why the enthusiastic welcome for Southern California’s ports' from the Teamsters' union? Read more
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Many translators of the Qur’an have translated the word hoor as ‘beautiful maidens’ especially in the Urdu translations. If hoor means ‘beautiful maidens’ or girls, then they are meant only for the men.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Rich Little came and went. But Stephen Colbert’s 2006 Bush Roast Toast was the Gettysburg Address of Comedy.
Colbert’s speech was spot on and so perfect in speaking truth to power that Bush and his posse didn’t know what him ‘em. One hundred years from now, historians will be studying Colbert’s roast of the President of the US. While all the media were peeing in their pants just to be there in sycophant mode, on national television, to his face --- Colbert told Bush that he was a fucking asshole, something millions of us would love to do had we the chance.
For 8 years, nobody has challenged Bush at all and Colbert did more for rationality and progressive action than nineteen senators lined up in a row. All this and more, from the funniest guy on television, the media, and 'the nation' combined.
Sheryl Crow and the Unwiped Masses: Michele Malkin Swipes While Crow Wipes
Sheryl Crow’s least favorite mistake? The ‘tear only one square’ joke Sheryl Crow made this week has backed up from here to Burma as the press appears to be hell-bent on forgetting to flush over the singer’s remark she made while cruising the East Coast on her Climate Change Tour with Laurie David.
I can’t really say that I have ever been one of Sheryl’s best fans. (She is no Rickie Lee Jones or Lucinda Williams or Bonnie Raitt or Gladys Knight) Her music is OK, although I wouldn’t go out of my way to scrounge tickets for a Crow concert --- I liked her much better during her Eric Clapton days, (who I am a big fan of) even though he did his best work when he was on smack. Anyway, this Sheryl Crow song is my favorite.
Malkin is talking about the elitist divide between rich and poor, and who can blame her for asking why the ‘unwiped asses’ of the unwashed masses should give up that extra roll of toilet paper when before long they won’t be able to afford one at all DESPITE the fact that Sheryl can afford to TP the whole country for the next five thousand years?
While Sheryl Crow is hauling in truckloads of $$$$ while the middle class gets sent to hell courtesy corrupt politicians and greedy corporate executives, Sheryl seems to be rubbing elbows and asses with the best of them. That is the gist of Malkin’s article. Read what Joel S. Hirschhorn has to say about the final flush of our democracy
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Special thanks to funnyordie.com and Defamer
OPEN LETTER TO ALEC BALDWIN
I just want to say first of all that just because it is the Year of the Pig, I think you went a little overboard when you called your daughter one on the phone last week and I am writing to help you create a Silk Purse out of this Sow's Ear of a phone message
First of all Alec, I, Quincy, am a Pig. A REAL one.
That’s right. If you’ll take one look at my pppicture above, you will see me and have no doubt whatsoever that I am just that: an actual Pig, just like Wilbur, or Max Clooney (R.I.P). But when I read in the news that you called Ireland a Pig, well, I knew that there wasn't any other explanation but that you were very confused. But WHY, Alec, why didn’t you know that your daughter wasn’t a Pig when you called her one on the phone last week?
I’ll tell you why. You called Ireland a "little" Pig and when you did, you were right that: she IS little. She’s not tall or anything, plus she is only eleven years old, so that makes her little. Period. So you were right to call her little but THEN when you said she was a Pig --- well, you were just SO ANGRY that you couldn’t even THINK straight enough to even remember that she is a girl and NOT a Pig and people CAN’T even give birth to pigs, not even if they tried!!! Not possible. Not ever.
There. I feel so much better knowing that Citizen Quincy helped straighten out you’re
a** on how the forces of the Year of the Pig can help you create a Silk Purse out of this Sow's Ear of a phone message.
If you haven’t heard Alec Baldwin’s no doubt regrettable private, angry phone message to his daughter yet, here it is:
This was some bad shit. Hell-to-pay-city kind of stuff.
I believe that Alec is not alone in his feelings of helplessness as millions of divorced men around the country are hauled into court for similar asinine bouts of uncontrollable behavior that leave the rest of us men and women wondering: what prompts some men to behave this way and what can we as a society do to discourage it and promote civility and understanding in these difficult situations? A little background and consciousness raising awareness first is in order, as I propose the Alec Baldwin School of Anger Management.
Talented and versatile actor Alec Baldwin is currently enjoying the success of his starring role on the hit TV Show “Thirty Rock”, and is one of only a handful of leading men who can powerfully and successfully cross the divide between drama and comedy. Known for convincingly playing explosive characters, in particular mobsters and hucksters – the New Yorker never fails to disappoint when it comes to channeling a character’s inner core of truth --- which any actor will tell you is the Holy Grail of good acting. No one can accuse Baldwin of not delivering on getting to the core of truth in his characters, and Alec Baldwin’s got the goods here.
To this day, this is my favorite performance from Alec Baldwin in his 1992 Tony nominated role as Stanley Kowalski in Streetcar Named Desire. Bar none.
For anyone who didn’t have the chance to see Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange star in the Broadway 1992 stage production of Streetcar Named Desire at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, you missed one hell of a live performance by Alec Baldwin playing Stanley Kowalski, who internalized the character so unbelievably well in an almost “funny, post-adolescent bowling buddy way.” Bellowing at Blanch Dubois (Jessica Lange) after she has taunted him one too many times for being a “Polack," Baldwin metamorphosed into Kowalski’s sweaty, blue collared “baffled beast”, where he later “deposits himself in a sobbing heap at the bottom of a tenement's towering stairs.”
Not unlike the now infamous cell phone message to his daughter, Alec Baldwin has found an unwelcome parallel with the fictional Kowalski’s anger management issues with his public apology for his inexcusable cell phone message. And yet, what all good dramas share in common is the pursuit of love: the catalyst of seeking love and affiliation at any and all costs, often without rhyme or reason.
But what kind of personal pressure prompts a man like Baldwin to uncontrollably rant like this? During the heat of what has been described as a “War of the Roses on steroids” style of a years long post divorce custody battle between Basinger and Baldwin, this private cell phone message leaked to TMZ reveals just how unbelievably frustrated, humiliated and truly helpless he had to feel (however inexcusable the wording and the tone) to have left such a disturbing message for his daughter.
Double standard? Do we as a society hold men to a tough guy, football hero, and grid-iron standard of never allowing them to melt down under pressure, like women so often do? One certainty is that for the millions of average, non celebrity divorced fathers across the country facing similar painful struggles with their former spouses who are trying to incorporate their kids into their lives while they are expected to be the “big breadwinners”, rants like Baldwin’s are not uncommon. Are men actually allowed to experience helpless and angry feelings and yet never, ever breakdown under personal pressures? I’m not talking about hitting someone over the head with a baseball bat here, but of pure and regrettable, childish out of control verbal ranting?
If the release of this phone message demonstrates anything positive, let it shine a light on the extent to which our society’s expectations of men’s expression of helplessness is taboo and that they too, like women, can say “it’s ok” to talk about it and to learn from mistaken outbursts. And like all divorced families across the country, any events leading up to such rants like these are private, nuanced affairs for these families to constructively work out with the help of professionals who can teach productive, non-hurtful communication skills.
This is why I implore Alec Baldwin to learn and grow from this lesson by partnering with Naomi Campbell to open up a chain of the ALEC BLADWIN SCHOOL OF ANGER MANAGEMENT franchises across the country, and let the healing begin.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
There's satire and there's irony and then there are non-comedic shock jocks of the airwaves like Don Imus who capitalize on 'playfully' making hateful remarks "dressed as social satire" directed NOT at public figures but at talented and athletic young college women who did nothing to provoke the racist remarks of McGuirk and Don Imus. THAT'S what's most offensive about the Imus 'nappy headed hos' comment taken in context with McGuirk's racist lead in -- there was nothing funny nor graceful or intelligent or thought provoking about it.
To delve into the motivation and the mindset of these supremist remarks is to speculate about what prompted the comment in the first place to describe the black young women on the team:
Are these girls tough? Yes, the observation about their tatoos surely clarified that. (But can they play one hell of a basketball game?)
Are these girls black? Well.....I guess the 'nappy headed ho' part unmistakably confirmed this beyond any doubt for Imus listeners. (But why does it matter if some of the players are black? There were two white girls also on the team...I don't suppose Imus was referring to them, too, when he made the solicitous-unrelaxed-haired woman slur?)
So then, what was even the POINT of the discussion between McGuirk and Imus that warranted the 'nappy headed ho' discussion in the first place? Clearly, McGuirk and Imus seem to enjoy basketball, a game that until recently has been dominated by men. Now that women have broken basketball's glass ceiling, sexist AND racist remarks were made to bring the Rutgers team a notch down from their newly, hard won position. And for what? What did these young black women ever do to Imus for him to have chosen to describe them this way? Couldn't he have responded to McGuirk instead by saying something like "They look TOUGH out there, and have you seen that Tennessee team? HOT STUFF!" But what Imus listeners heard instead was the male dominated, women hating/women mocking belittlement directed at the black women players on the Rutgers team and this is unforgivable in its creepiness and mean spirit. Funny? Maybe if you're a Klansman.
This was a creepy, SEXIST comment directed at these black women to humiliate and belittle them (unconscious? possibly, and if so, even more troubling). The pompous, "ROWG" Imus insider has made a fortune with calculating, condescending and ignorant, shock jock deliveries on the airwaves. I am glad he got fired. Imus should join the growing ranks of millions of truly talented and educated, underemployed and unemployed Americans with advanced degrees and be humbled into learning how to be a real, decent human being.
That would be the most just outcome of his 'outting' as a sexist and racist inner circle 'ho' to the establishment.
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Charles Simonyi’s Space Flight Covered by Quincy
THIS JUST IN: 2Truthy Relays Special Report from Quincy
BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan — Although Martha Stewart’s quail “tastes more like beef jerky” and that “the service leaves something to be desired,” Quincy’s report from Outer Space LESS THAN TWO HOURS AGO so far suggests that the trip has gotten off to a great start.
Selected over more than three hundred well known journalists from all around the world -- even Borat --- Quincy landed the exclusive position as special guest flight reporter to cover the monumental, historic mission to Space.
In particular, Quincy stated just minutes ago in a special transmission that he is pleased with landing the job. He clarified that so far, he doesn’t see Arianna Huffington or Esther Dyson around anywhere onboard the capsule but speculates that “if Charles and I and the crew make it back without any peculiar symptoms, they may be next in line for launch providing they can negotiate a slightly better rate."
Meanwhile, Quincy describes the flight thus far:
“This is the most fun I have had since riding on the teacups at Disneyland last month, only better since my pod is directly next to Charles and we are really bonding. Not only is he teaching me Hungarian, but you should hear all the things that NOBODY else knows so far about Martha Stewart’s time in the slammer and how she snuck Charles into her cell and…hold on, my diaper is loose…Oops, I am going to have to hang up now…Happy Easter, Everybody!!!!!!!!!!”
Friday, April 6, 2007
Not everyone likes art or appreciates it. But I do. And I like the Chocolate Jesus.
Not because it is made of chocolate per se and not because it is not wearing any boxer shorts. When I first saw the photo, I marveled over the animation, how the artist sculpted it -- attracted to the incredible life-like body texture and human image while hanging in suspension, arms outstretched as Jesus was described to have welcomed everyone, only to later be crucified for it.
May the message of the Chocolate Jesus enlighten the great many fundamentalist, sick puppies all around the world in this warring time of persecution under the banner of religion. As Donahue went on a rampage to shut down the exhibit, Matt Semler, the gallery’s director, even resigned in protest. Now, many are rallying ‘round Cosimo, displaying signs of the life affirming, redeeming qualities that religion is supposed to be all about.
The artist Cosimo Cavallaro is taking heat this week from the head of the Catholic League over the Chocolate Jesus. In an ironic twist, the sanctimonious Bill Donahue, leading the assault, showed no signs of any redeeming qualities as he bullied the artist and fired off insults and assaults to fellow Christian Cosimo during the Lenten Holy Week leading up to Easter. Crooks and Liars head honcho John Amato provides commentary and the Anderson Cooper video:
The transcript of the Anderson Cooper interview with Cavallaro and Donahue is also available on C&L. The fact that Donahue is no artist is one thing, but it is yet another to call the artist a “loser” and to proclaim that his art be exhibited in a “New Jersey dump.”
But the WORST of it was Donahue’s bullying and nastiness, where he said he wanted to not only shut down the exhibit but to see that the artist is FINANCIALLY SHUT DOWN. This vengeful hatefulness is what Jesus inspired? No wonder Catholics want to leave the Church. Cosimo Cavallaro rose above the attacks and hopefully, I and many others will have the chance to see his exhibit one day.
Sadly, bullying and nastiness and marginalization of others are the key ingredients of the alpha dog, frat boy cheerleading mentality running our country. One need look no further to this current administration and our ‘corporate leaders’ and sycophants who are thrust in front of us –under the banner of religious, divine worship -- as shining examples of who’s on top and how ignorance and greed rule the majority of people who value freedom of expression and tolerance in our society.
Not everyone is an artist. But to those of us who are, Bill Donahue’s morally bankrupt and sickening performance proved that persecution by the sanctimonious and powerful is alive and well 2007 years after the crucifixion.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Faster than you can say “David Sirota picked a People’s Party Pick” the extraordinary writer, political strategist and author of the groundbreaking book Hostile Takeover has written a monumental column today entitled “Who is the People Party Candidate?”
In Sirota’s usual comprehensive reporting mode, he lays out a detailed description of what to expect from the Democratic candidates. If you click on the link to his blog, you will find this superb article along with many comments, one in particular which stated that his book Hostile Takeover was ‘boring.’ Excuse moi? ‘Boring’? Here is what I have to say to this commenter:
“Boring”? I and many other people I personally know read this book and it was ANYTHING but boring. I’ll tell you what boring is: Boring is when you’re vacationing in Japan and don’t have $450.00 to buy a serving of sushi in Tokyo and have to resort to the locals less exotic canned mystery meat because you’ve been laid off by Bill Gates for not being ‘skilled’ enough despite holding a Master’s degree and having twenty five years experience.
Describing in detail the dubious campaign themes of Hillary and Barack, here is what he had to say about John Edwards, the candidate that he concludes:
“If you are a voter looking for a candidate who is willing to confront the biggest issues facing America right now - Iraq, economic class, the middle class squeeze and skyrocketing inequality - then there really is no contest in the Democratic presidential primary right now: John Edwards is your candidate.”
“Some may say that because Edwards “only” raised a whopping $14 million in contrast with Clinton and Obama’s $25 million each, it means he may not be viable. I tend to look at it the other way: The fact that a guy who spent most of his life challenging economic power can raise $14 million without taking money from lobbyists or PACs is unfathomable - arguably more of a feat than the sheer amounts that Clinton and Obama hauled in.”
As a political writer and strategist, Sirota includes a disclaimer at the end where he clarifies that he is not working for any of the above mentioned candidates -- or any for that matter. I found his article to be a courageous and rare moment during this political climate of increasing polarity between the journalists camp of ‘haves and have-nots’ and applaud Sirota’s clear, yet unofficial endorsement of John Edwards (an official one would be “I am supporting John Edwards, a of a man of conviction, etc.”). After all, as a political careerist, in order to do that, he would either have to be on the Edwards payroll or a political suicider:)…
David Sirota is the definitive writer of the People Party and a trusted ‘brand’ in this take no prisoners journalistic world of one-upmanship. His column today is by far a stand out and highlighted what he does best: investigating and reporting truth with conviction and integrity to We the People about the candidates’ best and worst instincts and what we can expect. And I agree with Sirota: Edwards is the right guy (even if Gore would throw his hat in the ring.)
What’s Rahm Got to Do With It?
Although Rahm Emanuel has expressed skittishness about his staff (and himself) appearing on the Colbert Show, he has been doing some tough talking on behalf of the Democrats troop withdrawal plan.
Bush now has the difficult task of trying to convince Americans to stick with him in a four-year-old war that has claimed the lives of more than 3,200 US troops.
While 57% of Americans support the Democrats’ plan to begin withdrawing troops and with 36% rejecting it, you could say that the Dems have a quorum. The House bill contains a mandatory September 1, 2008, deadline for pulling out combat troops and the Senate mandates the withdrawal to begin sooner, but sets next March 31 as a goal for them to be out.
“We can’t continue to pursue an Iraq policy based on fairy tales and rose-coloured glasses. A majority of both the House and Senate have voted to change it. The president should join us,” said Illinois Democratic Rep. Rahm Emanuel.
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
There are no laws against greed, hubris and arrogance. Nor are there any laws to protect educated Americans from unfair employment practices manufactured by the crony-baloney bipartisan tech lobby (TechNet) to replace millions of American technology jobs with cheap, dubiously skilled foreign labor. Of the shortage of scientists in the United States, University of California-Davis computer science Professor Norman Matloff called it "Baloney. We have plenty of engineers. All you have to do is look at starting salaries. They're not going up, and they would be if there was a shortage."
In short, the tech lobby, seeking to get Congress to approve legislation that would displace educated computer scientists, is signalling 30-40 million educated white collar professionals to GO FLY A KITE. No wait – make that “go fly an ‘infinite’ number of kites (Bill Gates, March 2007 Senate hearing to lift visa cap restrictions.) Swell, cool bunch, this TechNet and their supporters, eh?
By denying that millions of American computer scientists are ‘skilled’ enough and by hiring cheap foreign labor, upper middle class professionals and their families have had it with the old tech lobby formula to eradicate their peers, as it seeks to displace our scientists and executives. As David Sirota says recently in his article published last week in the San Francisco Chronicle
“A rule of thumb for understanding American politics: The federal government only reacts to popular will when the upper-middle professional class starts making noise. Everyone else’s voice falls on deaf ears. This is an unfortunate reality, but it is reality.”
April 1st was the official deadline for corporations to file for more H1b’s to replace American computer scientists in both large and small businesses across the country. Hiring managers at Microsoft, Oracle, Intel and other high-tech companies rushed applications to U.S. immigration officials seeking permission to hire H1B foreign visa employees. Pending legislation in Congress to lift the cap for an ‘infinite’ number of visas is a dream comes true for the new American Colonial Ruling Class Elite. But who are these self-appointed elite deciders and why don’t they want to hire and offer good compensation plans to educated American computer scientists?
Here is what one HR Professional from Atlanta, GA had to say: “As a Human Resources rep, I see how the H-1B visa and employment based green card programs actually work in tandem to displace U.S. white collar workers from their jobs and even their careers. H-1B is a dual intent visa, so employers may sponsor H-1Bers for an EB green card for legal permanent resident status. Companies routinely game the labor certification process for GC sponsorship to defraud qualified citizen job applicants. Citizens should demand that both the H-1B and EB green card programs be abolished.”
Meanwhile, Microsoft insists they pay well and welcome ‘skilled’ programmers to email their resumes in response to their H1B unfair employment displacement practices. Newly appointed board members may have influenced the Damage Control Unit at Microsoft, which has gone so far as to extend a slippery olive branch to ‘any computer scientist’ to email their resume to human resources…you know, to voluntarily place themselves on the permanent “Do Not Call list”…monitored exclusively from that dark place called HUMAN RESOURCES where intellectual capital and productivity hit the road.
Gene Nelson, who holds a doctorate in biophysics, is a Silicon Valley unemployed 55-year-old veteran of the information technology industry, said because of H-1B visas, "We're just not getting a crack at the jobs." His most recent stint of employment, which ended in December, was as a seasonal worker at a winery, where he earned $12 an hour. "The bottom line is these are good American jobs that aren't going to Americans," he said.
But all across America, millions of educated, unemployed or vastly underemployed professionals like Gene Nelson hope for this to change. With limited information and no access into the closed door senate hearings and backroom deals of the tech lobby, educated scientists share the hope that Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer and the majority of bipartisan friends of this invitation only, elite circle jerk will, over the next few months, read news of defeat for anti-American bills like STRIVE, the Skil Bill, and all pending legislation written to kick America’s upwardly mobile middle class to the curb.
I hope David Sirota is right when he says that the federal government only reacts when the upper middle class starts making noise, because for guys like Gene Nelson, that day could not come soon enough. And I hope that most Americans recognize the 'cool kid' and soulless undeclared and declared presidential candidates influencing these bills are in fact in support of them.
Monday, April 2, 2007
Songs of Sirens
why is war considered worse
when written in uneven verse;
a body here a bomb blast there
a government that just won't care.
but raise the gauntlet and the surge
the soldiers' lives are theirs to purge.
and in the twinkling of an eye
a mother's son has said 'goodbye.'
and no one hears the mournful sound
of children crying all around
the blasts from freedom fighters lie
of war where lost souls go to die.
in two more years when this hell freezes
we'll still believe in the Chocolate Jesus
that those thugs in that icy grey White House
are surged and purged of every louse.
one million stars could right the wrongs
of weasels and their numbered throngs;
a handshake and great hope ignited
words and deeds at last delighted...
yet for so many more to come
this once great nation now is dumb
and deaf to hearing its environs
beckoned by the songs of sirens.
Sunday, April 1, 2007
2Truthy To Mass Produce The Chocolate Jesus