December 1st, 2010

movies | The Sound of Music

ONTD_Political's PotD: November 30, 2010.

A small war took place last week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, between Brazilian forces and hundreds of drug traffickers holed up in the shantytown complex dubbed Complexo do Alemão. After recent efforts by officials to pacify Rio's drug and gang-related violence ahead of the upcoming the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics Games, drug gangs struck out last week - attacking police stations and staging mass robberies. After days of preparation, Brazilian security forces launched a raid in the Complexo do Alemão, where between 500 and 600 drug traffickers were holed up. At least 42 people were killed in the violence last week, with security forces taking control of many neighborhoods. A relatively low number of arrests were made, and authorities warn of further conflict as continue to flush out more suspects in Rio's maze of favelas.
A photographer takes a position behind an empty water tank during an operation at Alemão slum in Rio de Janeiro on November 27, 2010. (REUTERS/Sergio Moraes)A boy with the word "Peace" written in his forehead looks on during a protest at the Complexo do Alemão slum in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)Collapse )

Other Galleries:
MISC - moustache

Grandpa Simpson praises Russ Feingold in a stunning return to form

I always wondered if John McCain would comment on the Wisconsin Senate race, given his long-standing friendship with Feingold. Today he delivered a speech that went much further than the typical collegial comments expected at the end of an election:

Mr. President, I want to say a few words about a friend and colleague, whom I will miss very much when he leaves the Senate after we adjourn. Without intending it as a commentary on his successor, I have to confess I think the Senate will be a much poorer place without Russ Feingold in it. I know that in my next term I will experience fewer occasions of inspiration because of the departure of Russ Feingold, a man whose courage and dedication to the principles that guided his Senate service often inspired me.

...“We are of different parties, and our political views are often opposed. We’ve had many debates on many issues. But where we agreed – on wasteful spending, ethics reform, campaign finance reform and other issues – it was a privilege to fight alongside and not against Russ Feingold.

...In his time in the Senate, Russ Feingold, every day and in every way, had the courage of his convictions. And though I am quite a few years older than Russ, and have served in this body longer than he has, I confess I have always felt he was my superior in that cardinal virtue.

...“I can’t do justice in these remarks to all of Russ’ many qualities or express completely how much I think this institution benefited from his service here and how much I benefited from knowing him. I lack the eloquence. I don’t think he is replaceable. We would all do well to keep his example in our minds as we serve our constituents and country and convictions.


You should definitely watch the whole video.

'Is he gay?': Johnny Depp reveals Disney's loathing for Jack Sparrow

Johnny Depp's flamboyant portrayal of Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean was good enough for an Oscar nomination, but the actor says Disney was less than thrilled.

Depp talked about the role in an interview with legendary rocker Patti Smith for the January edition of Vanity Fair magazine.

He said Disney "couldn't stand" Jack Sparrow and one person there even asked if the character was gay.

''They couldn’t stand him. They just couldn’t stand him, Depp was quoted as saying.

''I think it was Michael Eisner, the head of Disney at the time, who was quoted as saying, "He’s [Sparrow] ruining the movie.

"[There were] upper-echelon Disney-ites going 'What’s wrong with him? Is he, you know, like some kind of weird simpleton? Is he drunk? By the way, is he gay?"

''And so I actually told this woman who was the Disney-ite… 'But didn’t you know that all my characters are gay?" Which really made her nervous.'

The 46-year-old actor is currently promoting his upcoming movie The Tourist with Angelina Jolie.

Depp said he felt sorry for the way the paparazzi hunted Jolie, and had to be careful that photographers didn't catch them too close together so rumours wouldn't start.

"We had to hide, sometimes we couldn't even talk to each other in public because someone will take a photograph and it will be misconstrued and turned into some other s**t," Depp said.

"Meeting her and getting to know her was a real pleasant surprise. You don't know what she might be like - if she has any sense of humour at all. I was so pleased to find that she is incredibly normal, and has a wonderfully kind of dark, perverse sense of humour."

The Gang
  • acmeeoy

1700% Project: Mistaken for Muslim

This film is the 2010 recipient of the Grand Prize award for LinkTV's One Chicago, One Nation film competition. Using the music video format as a subversive tool of engagement and collaboration, artist Anida Yoeu Ali and filmmaker Masahiro Sugano, worked with over 100 diverse volunteers, participants and community members in the Chicagoland area. In their film, narratives collide with music, poetry and politics to create a complex and layered experience. A poet, dancer, angel, prisoner converge with community to speak, deflect, and intervene against racial profiling and hate crimes. Featured portraits represent real American Muslims in Chicago, people who refuse to end in violence. Central to the video is an unapologetic poem, a response to injustices directed against the Muslim community that reflect both the absurdity and dangers of racially-motivated fears. "1700%" refers to the rate of increase in hate crimes committed against people perceived as Muslim or Arab after 9/11. The video is one facet of a larger ongoing project titled "1700% Project" utilizing art as a form of strategic intervention to present works that challenge monolithic stereotypes of Muslims. For more information visit:


Illinois House just passed civil unions legislation

The Illinois House of Representatives, by a vote of 61 - 52, just passed an amendment to SB 1716, titled the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act. The bill will legalize same-sex civil unions in the state.

After the legislation passes in the Senate (and it should), the newly reelected Governor, Pat Quinn, will sign the bill (Opposition to civil unions is one reason the Republican, Bill Brady, lost in November.) Governor Quinn actually showed up at the debate and was recognized.

Background via

SB 1716, the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act needs 60 votes to pas in the House. Supporters believe they have the necessary votes to pass the bill out of the House and on to the Senate, where quick passage is expected.

Tuesday afternoon, an Illinois Senate committee advanced its version of the civil unions bill by a 6-2 margin. The upper chamber on the Senate would have to approve the legislation if it clears the House.

The Senate should pass the legislation, possibly as soon as tomorrow.

Congrats, Illinois. You're creating rights for people.


Why do people treat us with the same contempt we show homosexuals, ask Christians

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey is to launch a campaign that will encourage Christians to “wear their faith with pride” after many Christians expressed concerns that they are being treated with the same sort of contempt they normally reserve for homosexuals.

Lord Carey will launch a leaflet in which he says, “I am proud of our tradition of tolerance towards straight people and our historic commitment to welcoming perfectly heterosexual strangers.”

“Obviously it goes without saying that any strangers would have to complete a questionnaire to ascertain their sexual preference before we start rolling out the red carpet.”

“You should also read nothing into the fact that I’m launching this campaign on World Gay Plague Day – sorry, World AIDS Day.”

The campaign, called “Not Ashamed Day” is being organised by Christian Concern, who are worried that they are unable to do and say whatever they want, whenever they want, without question.

The group have highlighted the case of Gary McFarlane, who was sacked as a Relate Counsellor for refusing to give sex therapy to gay couples.

“The thought of men joined in a sordid daisy chain of sodomy, their muscular frames glistening with sweat as they explore each other’s bodies. Probing, caressing, licking…ahem, these aren’t things that Christians want to have to think about let alone deal with.” Revealed a Christian Concern spokesman before holding his Bible in front of his groin.

Christian Pride Day

Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society has criticised the campaign amid further claims by Lord Carey that Christmas is “something of which some are ashamed.”

“Everyone loves Christmas!” He insisted. “We get a few extra days of work and on Christmas day you can get a bit drunk by mid-morning without feeling like you’ve got an alcohol problem. What’s not to like?”

“The only thing wrong with Christmas is the bit about Christ, and the mass thing.”

“But the timing makes perfect sense when you think about it. I mean, Jesus is basically Santa Claus for grown-ups.”

Source: Definitely not a fake news site, nosiree
Less fun source

Something for World AIDS Day

I shit myself the other day. Actually, I shit myself quite often. I also feel massively sick a lot of the time. I’m in constant pain, too. You know, when you’ve got a bad cold and everything aches. I sweat so much every item of clothing I own is vaguely whiffy, too.

And did I mention I’ve had a couple of mild strokes, which have affected my sight? They’ve affected my concentration as well, which makes doing this job an absolute blast. And let’s not forget the fact I’m so fatigued I spend most of my life in some sort of weird half-sleep. Oh and I shake like a diehard alkie, which prompts a few odd looks when you rock up to the bar for a Chardonnay.

This is my experience of living with HIV. Excuse me if you think I’m over-sharing, but as this column coincides with World AIDS Day it seems only right and proper to be genuinely honest about what it really means to be HIV’d, genital warts and all. Actually, it’s only the partial picture because if I told the full, unexpurgated story I’d run out of space and you’d run out of interest. Some of you have run out of interest already. Quite often I get emails from readers who wish I wouldn’t “go on about the HIV thing”, to which I always think: “If you want fluffy and cutesy, then try Grazia, not GaydarNation.”

The reason I write so much about “the HIV thing” is because it has become far too fluffy and cutesy for my liking. What I mean by that is the way the health agenda, HIV/AIDS charities, the media, even the queer community has sanitised one of the worst viruses the human race has ever faced to the point where it’s become no more troublesome than a common cold. When did we all start to believe that HIV was such a sweet-ponging walk in the park?

Collapse )

Source: Jason Jones @ GaydarNation
Yzma & Kronk: High Five
  • calybe

Glenn Greenwald: WikiLeaks reveals more than just government secrets

The WikiLeaks disclosure has revealed not only numerous government secrets, but also the driving mentality of major factions in our political and media class.  Simply put, there are few countries in the world with citizenries and especially media outlets more devoted to serving, protecting and venerating government authorities than the U.S.  Indeed, I don't quite recall any entity producing as much bipartisan contempt across the American political spectrum as WikiLeaks has:  as usual, for authoritarian minds, those who expose secrets are far more hated than those in power who commit heinous acts using secrecy as their principal weapon.

First we have the group demanding that Julian Assange be murdered without any charges, trial or due process.  There was Sarah Palin on on Twitter illiterately accusing WikiLeaks -- a stateless group run by an Australian citizen -- of "treason"; she thereafter took to her Facebook page to object that Julian Assange was "not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders" (she also lied by stating that he has "blood on his hands":  a claim which even the Pentagon admits is untrue).  Townhall's John Hawkins has a column this morning entitled "5 Reasons The CIA Should Have Already Killed Julian Assange."  That Assange should be treated as a "traitor" and murdered with no due process has been strongly suggested if not outright urged by the likes of Marc Thiessen, Seth Lipsky (with Jeffrey Goldberg posting Lipsky's column and also illiterately accusing Assange of "treason"), Jonah Goldberg, Rep. Pete King, and, today, The Wall Street Journal.

The way in which so many political commentators so routinely and casually call for the eradication of human beings without a shred of due process is nothing short of demented.  Recall Palin/McCain adviser Michael Goldfarb's recent complaint that the CIA failed to kill Ahmed Ghailani when he was in custody, or Glenn Reynolds' morning demand -- in between sips of coffee -- that North Korea be destroyed with nuclear weapons ("I say nuke ‘em. And not with just a few bombs").  Without exception, all of these people cheered on the attack on Iraq, which resulted in the deaths of more than 100,000 innocent human beings, yet their thirst for slaughter is literally insatiable.  After a decade's worth of American invasions, bombings, occupations, checkpoint shootings, drone attacks, assassinations and civilian slaughter, the notion that the U.S. Government can and should murder whomever it wants is more frequent and unrestrained than ever.  

Those who demand that the U.S. Government take people's lives with no oversight or due process as though they're advocating changes in tax policy or mid-level personnel moves -- eradicate him!, they bellow from their seats in the Colosseum -- are just morally deranged barbarians.  There's just no other accurate way to put it.  These are usually the same people, of course, who brand themselves "pro-life" and Crusaders for the Sanctity of Human Life and/or who deride Islamic extremists for their disregard for human life.  And the fact that this mindset is so widespread and mainstream is quite a reflection of how degraded America's political culture is.  When WikiLeaks critics devote a fraction of their rage to this form of mainstream American thinking -- which, unlike anything WikiLeaks has done, has actually resulted in piles upon piles of corpses -- then their anti-WikiLeaks protestations should be taken more seriously, but not until then.

Collapse )



Boy, barred from pre-K for long hair, donates locks to cancer

A little boy who was not allowed to attend preschool because his hair was too long now has a new Justin Bieber-esque look, a new school and a pile of hair that will be made into a wig for another little boy or girl who lost their locks to cancer treatments.

Jack Szablewski, 4, sat on a pile of magazines Monday while a hairstylist at a trendy Hoboken, N.J., salon cut off the 12 inches of mane that had never seen more than just a trim.

“It was an amazing day,” said Jack’s mom, Renee Szablewski of Brick, N.J. “Jack handled it quite well.”

For Jack, the donation of his hair for a good cause came with a price. The principal at the Catholic school where Jack attended pre-kindergarten classes sent him home Nov. 1 because his parents missed a deadline for bringing his hair in line with school policy.


Collapse )
number one crush forever, bamf

Smithsonian Under Fire For Gay Portraiture Exhibit

The Smithsonian Institution is under fire for an exhibition called Hide/Seek that is being touted as the "first major exhibition to focus on sexual difference in the making of modern American portraiture."

There are some very famous artists represented in the show: Andy Warhol, Walt Whitman and Jasper Johns, among many others. But the work that so far has been the most controversial is a provocative video from 1987 by the late artist David Wojnarowicz called A Fire In My Belly.

Martin Sullivan, director of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, says the artist created the piece as a response to the "agony and suffering" of his partner who at the time was dying of AIDS. Using "vivid colors, and some fairly grotesque scenes, it's more a meditation on the fragility of the human flesh," Sullivan says.

But included in that meditation is a crucifix — a cross bearing the body of Christ  — crawling with ants. The image, according to Catholic League President Bill Donohue, is offensive. He calls the video "hate speech" and says that "the Smithsonian would never have their little ants crawling all over an image of Muhammad."

Donohue says he complained to members of Congress and the Smithsonian's Board of Regents. "My principle is very simple," he says, "If it's wrong for the government to take the taxpayers' money to promote religion, why is it OK to take taxpayers' money to assault religion?"
Collapse )

First time posting. This just made me really upset- on World Aids Day, too! Censorship is always horrible, but I have a feeling we can expect a lot more of this for the next two years.

Edited to add John Boehner  and catholic league tags.


Book Ban Stans Hate Pop Culture, Women, Minorities, Sex, Magic, LGBT's, Literary Classics


Good news, educators: the book-banners are more organized than ever! Instead of lone nuts calling for books to be banned, now it's national groups of nuts, like the Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. And what makes a book "bad?"

Here's PABBIS' explanation of its philosophical beliefs: "Bad is not for us to determine. Bad is what you determine is bad. Bad is what you think is bad for your child. What each parent considers bad varies and depends on their unique situation, family and values. The main purpose of this webpage is to identify some books that might be considered bad and why someone might consider them bad."

Relativists, eh? By applying these stringent standards, PABBIS has determined that books by Judy Blume, Chinua Achebe, James Michener, Pat Conroy, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, J.D. Salinger, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Truman Capote, Leon Uris, Richard Wright, Cormac McCarthy, and many, many other are Bad.

Collapse )

PABBIS website, in case you're really ~curious~
ONTD's version of this post

It saddens me how many books I loved in middle/high school are on this list. In my opinion, Twilight and all of its pathethic ripoffs should be banned, not these great books. Also, I wish these Haters would actually read some of the books they want to ban so much.
Cute cat

Bathroom equality comes to the House

Washington (CNN) - Pelosi may have "shattered the marble ceiling" as the first female House Speaker, but incoming Republican House Speaker John Boehner has decided to create equal bathroom access for female members of Congress.

According to an announcement from the GOP transition team, the woman's restroom will be adjacent to the House floor to accommodate the 71 female members in the next Congress, something current female members live without.

As it stands, only male House members have access to restrooms near the House floor, a subject of ongoing vexation among female members, who have had to amble over to the Congressional Women’s Reading Room across the Capitol through Statuary Hall, to get to the nearest restroom.

"As we continue to evaluate ways to open up the people's House, it's encouraging to be able to make changes like this that are long overdue," Boehner said in the statement.

A similar facility was constructed adjacent to the Senate chamber in 1993. The restroom will replace the space used by the Office of the Parliamentarian.


Chomsky: Wikileaks reveal "profound hatred for democracy on the part of our political leadership"

AMY GOODMAN: We have lost David Leigh, investigations editor from The Guardian. He was speaking to us from the busy newsroom there. The Guardian is doing an ongoing series of pieces and exposes on these documents. They are being released slowly by the various news organizations, from The Guardian in London, to Der Spiegel in Germany, to El Pais in Spain, to the New York Times here in the United States.. For reaction to the WikiLeaks documents, we're joined by world renowned political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, author of over a hundred books including his latest Hopes and Prospects. Forty years ago, Noam and Howard Zinn helped government whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg edit and release the Pentagon Papers that top-secret internal U.S. history of the Vietnam War.
Noam Chomsky joins us from Boston. It is good to have you back again, Noam. Why don't we start there. Before we talk about WikiLeaks, what was your involvement in the Pentagon Papers? I don't think most people know about this.

NOAM CHOMSKY: Dan and I were friends. Tony Russo, who also who prepared them and helped leak them. I got advanced copies from Dan and Tony and there were several people who were releasing them to the press. I was one of them. Then I -- along with Howard Zinn as you mentioned -- edited a volume of essays and indexed the papers.

AMY GOODMAN: So explain how, though, how it worked. I always think this is important -- to tell this story -- especially for young people. Dan Ellsberg -- Pentagon official, top-secret clearance -- gets this U.S. involvement in Vietnam history out of his safe, he Xerox's it and then how did you get your hands on it? He just directly gave it to you?

NOAM CHOMSKY: From Dan Ellsberg and Tony Russo, who had done the Xeroxing and the preparation of the material.

AMY GOODMAN: How much did you edit?

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, we did not modify anything. The papers were not edited. They were in their original form. What Howard Zinn and I did was -- they came out in four volumes -- we prepared a fifth volume, which was critical essays by many scholars on the papers, what they mean, the significance and so on. And an index, which is almost indispensable for using them seriously. That's the fifth volume in the Beacon Press series.

AMY GOODMAN: So you were then one of the first people to see the Pentagon Papers?

NOAM CHOMSKY: Outside of Dan Ellsberg and Tony Russo, yes. I mean, there were some journalists who may have seen them, I am not sure.

AMY GOODMAN: What are your thoughts today? For example, we just played this clip of New York republican congress member Peter King who says WikiLeaks should be declared a foreign terrorist organization.

NOAM CHOMSKY: I think that is outlandish. We should understand -- and the Pentagon Papers is another case in point -- that one of the major reasons for government secrecy is to protect the government from its own population. In the Pentagon Papers, for example, there was one volume -- the negotiations volume -- which might have had a bearing on ongoing activities and Daniel Ellsberg withheld that. That came out a little bit later. If you look at the papers themselves, there are things Americans should have known that others did not want them to know. And as far as I can tell, from what I've seen here, pretty much the same is true. In fact, the current leaks are -- what I've seen, at least -- primarily interesting because of what they tell us about how the diplomatic service works.

Way more at his site. It's all worth reading.
mus | like a bird in a cage

Liberals to kill Tory human smuggling bill

The Harper government's controversial legislation to combat human smuggling appears doomed.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff announced Wednesday that his party won't support the bill at second reading, saying it would hurt legitimate refugees.

The NDP and Bloc Quebecois said they're of the same mind.

Without the support of any of the opposition parties, the minority Conservative government will not be able to get the bill over its first legislative hurdle — winning approval in principle.

Collapse )