Archive | September 12, 2013

David Petraeus Chased By Protesters On His Way to Teach Class at CUNY

Via Storyleak

You’re a war criminal!” several students shouted as Petraeus walked down the street.

Patraeus, who recently quit his position at the CIA, took a job at CUNY in what some believe was an attempt to fix his poor public image. Patraeus immediately faced scrutiny after it was revealed that he would be earning an annual salary of $200,000. In an attempt to quell his critics, Patraeus later agreed to work for only $1 per year.

“Every class, David!” other students yelled, alluding to more protests.

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Paranormal, Psychedelic Head Trip: Richard Stanley’s ‘L’Autre Monde’

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Disinfonaut Benny alerted us to a movie that may be of interest to some of our readers: L’Autre Monde, directed by Richard Stanley, a horror filmmaker and Fortean Times contributor.

Via The Hollywood Reporter:

Richard Stanley explores a region of France more full of mystery than the Bermuda Triangle.

MONTREAL — A singular introduction to “a place where magic still has currency,” Richard Stanley’s L’Autre Monde is part documentary about a storied region in southwestern France, part first-hand testimony of the paranormal, and part psychedelic head trip. It’s all entrancing, though, and even viewers who walk out unsure what they’ve seen (they’ll have plenty of company) may well want to share the experience with friends. It has “Cult Movie” written all over it, and for once that flavor isn’t affectation but the result of perfect sync between filmmaker and subject.

Keep reading.

Thanks, Benny!

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Your Religion Might As Well Be Football

The 12th Man Never DiesAhhh Football season. The crisp feel of fall winds and the sound of drunkenness in the afternoon. There is absolutely nothing more distinctly and disturbingly American than football culture. So, you get a bunch of dudes who may or may not drink very often incredibly drunk in the middle of the afternoon. If their team wins, they get increasingly wasted and elated. If they lose they get dangerously sauced and pissed off. Yeah, that’s gonna end well for the kids.

Don’t fool yourself. Football (or any sport for that matter) wouldn’t exist in its insanely bloated capacity if weed and hallucinogens weren’t outlawed back in the day. People would probably be more into fucking and playing the electro delay sitar. Maybe there’d be porno sitar players. I don’t know. What I do know is that alcohol is legal and because of that, football culture is fucking PERFECT. You work a dumbshit job all day but hell, it’s all worth it because on the weekend you get to throw back drink after drink and yell at people who could kick the living crap out of you.… Read the rest

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Via The Onion: Majority of Americans Approve of Sending Congress to Syria

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Picture: The Onion (C)

Sometimes The Onion just nails it. I think that this is one of those times.

Via The Onion:

WASHINGTON—As President Obama continues to push for a plan of limited military intervention in Syria, a new poll of Americans has found that though the nation remains wary over the prospect of becoming involved in another Middle Eastern war, the vast majority of U.S. citizens strongly approve of sending Congress to Syria.

The New York Times/CBS News poll showed that though just 1 in 4 Americans believe that the United States has a responsibility to intervene in the Syrian conflict, more than 90 percent of the public is convinced that putting all 535 representatives of the United States Congress on the ground in Syria—including Senate pro tempore Patrick Leahy, House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and, in fact, all current members of the House and Senate—is the best course of action at this time.

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Does Your Local Government Have a “Black Budget” Too?

surveillance_bigOf course they do!  Matthew Cagle writes at the ACLU’s Free Future blog:

As we learn more about the US intelligence community’s top secret, multi-billion dollar “Black budget” and how the NSA pays technology companies to comply with the Prism spying program, another mostly unnoticed pipeline moves billions of federal surveillance dollars from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to local governments for dragnet surveillance systems that include video camera networks, automated license plate readers, facial recognition, and even drones and tanks. As the scope of federal surveillance becomes clearer, all of us should take a hard look at federal surveillance grants to local communities, consider how they distort local democracy, and demand more civil liberties safeguards, oversight, and accountability.

Federal grants to local and state governments for the purchase of new surveillance technology have risen dramatically over the last decade, all with little to no local oversight. Federal dollars—as much as $300 million from DHS just last year—find their way to local governments via opaque grant programs.

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100 Wal-Mart Workers Arrested In Nationwide Protests Last Week

walmartIncluding three attempting to deliver a petition to a Wal-Mart executive’s Manhattan office. Imagine how awkward that would have been! Buzzfeed reports:

100 Walmart workers protesting low wages and illegal retaliation against strikers were arrested in 11 cities on Thursday. In response to Walmart’s inaction, workers announced widespread, massive strikes and protests will take place on Black Friday in 2013.

The New York Police Department arrested three Walmart strikers who wanted to meet with an executive. The protesters planned to deliver a petition directly to company board member Christopher Williams’ Fifth Avenue office. The petition demands Walmart provide employees with a livable, annual wage of $25,000, and stop punishing workers who stand up for their rights. Walmart fired or disciplined at least 60 strikers who protested in June.

Walmart spokesperson Kory Lundberg said that these demonstrations are “just a show.”

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DisinfoCast: 73: Matt Nelson vs. Fat

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Picture: Matt Nelson (C)

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Matt Nelson once weighed over 400 pounds. Then he got mad, got educated, and did something about it. Tune in for a gimmick and guilt-free discussion about industrial agriculture, poisonous fast food, ignorance and what it took for one man to reclaim his own body.

Video of this interview is available:

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Secret Agenda in Syria?

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Is there a secret agenda afoot in America’s rush to war in Syria?
In an August 2013 article titled “ Larry Summers and the Secret ‘End-game’ Memo,” Greg Palast posted evidence of a secret late-1990s plan devised by Wall Street and U.S. Treasury officials to open banking to the lucrative derivatives business. To pull this off required the relaxation of banking regulations not just in the US but globally. The vehicle to be used was the Financial Services Agreement of the World Trade Organization.
The “end-game” would require not just coercing support among WTO members but taking down those countries refusing to join. Some key countries remained holdouts from the WTO, including Iraq, Libya, Iran and Syria. In these Islamic countries, banks are largely state-owned; and “usury” – charging rent for the “use” of money – is viewed as a sin, if not a crime. That puts them at odds with the Western model of rent extraction by private middlemen.
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The Burning of Zozobra and Other Scapegoat Rituals

Burning of ZozobraThe 89th annual Burning of Zozobra, a 50 foot effigy of “Old Man Gloom,” was staged last Thursday in Santa Fe, NM.  The ceremony is a part of the Fiestas de Santa Fe, a festival celebrating the 1692 reconquest of the city by Spanish colonists in 1692.  My wife and I were planning on going this year, since we only live about an hour away, but a combination of heat, laziness, and the newest episode of Breaking Bad kept us at home in the air-conditioning.  Over 30,000 people showed up to the burning this year.  We weren’t missed.

Zozobra (named after the Spanish word meaning “anxiety”) was created by local artist Will Schuster in 1924.  The original was a 6 foot tall marionette, constructed of cloth and wood, which represented the worries and difficulties of the residents of Santa Fe.  Schuster received his inspiration from a ritual practiced by the Yaqui people of Mexico, known as the Burning of Judas.  This ritual was performed during the week of Easter as a part of the Passion Play, in which the effigies of Judas and other villains was hanged on Good Friday and burned on Easter Sunday.… Read the rest

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