Thursday, January 31, 2008

Can't get enough?

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2008 at 5:38 PM

If you didn’t see your favorite craptastic show in this week’s cover story, here’s a Web site that may sate your guilty, guilty desires for the wonders of cable TV.

Pretty on the Outside

Drawings of your favorite TV characters from shows like the whitewashed version of Flavor of Love, Rock of Love, the fake parts of The Real Housewives of Orange County and the too-good-to-be-made-fun-of Project Runway. Check out the contestants vying for Brett Micheals rock … er … love and the all-knowing sage of vocab and fashion Tim Gunn in all their inky, pixilated glory.

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Walk the line, elephant

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2008 at 2:36 PM

On opening night, PETA members protested the arrival of Ringling Bros.& Barnum Bailey Circus at Charlotte Bobcats Arena. Wearing elephant masks and convict stripes, they stood shackled together displaying their message to hundreds of ticket holders lined out the door.

“Ringling’s history of animal care is riddled with animal death and what we’re doing is bringing that issue to life,” Jason Bayless says, PETA spokesperson and lead circus monitor.

“What we do is follow Ringling around from city to city, and we videotape the elephants during the walk,” Bayless says. “Every time we do that we actually witness some form of abuse.” He explained the animals have to be guided to and from the stage for each four-minute performance while poked, prodded and chained. “Last year, one of the animals had a bloody wound behind its ear during the walk.”

“Elephants are really interesting creatures,” says Penny Nordman, activist. “They have really strong social ties that they never get to be a part of.” One of the PETAphants escaped, but according to PETA circus elephants will never be so lucky.

Here are a few photos. (Photos by Chey Scott)

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For more information, visit www.circuses.com.

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You blew it, America

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2008 at 2:26 PM

By John Edwards

You no longer have Johnny Edwards to kick around. I’m bowing out of the presidential race. Going to help the poor and build some Jimmy Carter houses.

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But this once-every-four-years experience has taught me so much about our country. Specifically, how stupid you all are for failing to realize my greatness. I dedicated a full-term of service to this country as a senator. And you all just pissed on my sacrifice. Do I feel foolish? Yes, yes I do. I think of those years of toiling away in Washington D.C., dining at Trial Attorneys Lobby Night the very same night as Indulgent Night, and I wonder what could have been. More to the point, I wonder how much money I lost.

Do you realize how little a senator gets paid? Instead of wasting those years as a senator, I could have made boatloads of money suing doctors. But no. I stuck with it because I thought it would help me get elected.

Now I have to wait another four long years — maybe eight if a Democrat wins the general election! Oh man, what if that Democrat serves eight successful years? Then his or her vice president will automatically get the nod to run as president. I could be waiting a long, long time. I need some Chivas Regal. Dangit! I sent my last case to Ted Kennedy.

At least now I can get my $400 haircuts without having everyone bust my stones.

I’m John Edwards, and I hate you all.

News Groper features more than 50 parody blogs by politicians, celebrities, business tycoons, and foreign despots.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Deadly conflict in Congo

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2008 at 3:03 PM

Sexual terrorism and corporate greed

It's the deadliest conflict since World War II. More than 5 million people have died in the past decade, yet it goes virtually unnoticed and unreported in the United States. The conflict is in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Central Africa. At its heart are the natural resources found in Congo and multinational corporations that extract them. The prospects for peace have slightly improved: A peace accord was just signed in Congo's Eastern Kivu provinces. But without a comprehensive truth and reconciliation process for the entire country and a renegotiation of all mining contracts, the suffering will undoubtedly continue.

Read the rest of this column

Amy Goodman reads this week's column - [mp3]

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Extra N Word: Post-traumatic slave disorder?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2008 at 1:16 PM

Woe is me. Over the last few weeks, I have recently learned that I suffer from post-traumatic slave disorder, am a "coon" and an "Uncle Tom," or I guess the female equivalent, because I am a Hillary Clinton supporter. I did not know that when a black person was running for office, that I automatically had to vote for him, with little information about him. I'll try to remember that in the future.

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I have been a Clinton supporter for many years and am quite familiar with her policies and practices. Some I agree with; some I do not. I learned of Barack Obama when most of the world did, although I had lived in Chicago for four years and worked on the campaigns of Democratic candidates, and had never heard of him. Forgive me for wanting to learn more about Obama and his policies before deciding to vote for him or not. God forbid that I would like to pay attention to the primary debates, examine his platform and hear him speak, before deciding to support him. Just because I am backing the candidate that I have always backed, does not mean that I am not in support of Obama. It does not mean that I will not eventually vote for the man. It merely means that I need more information about him and his policies before I vote. I still have not figured out how investigating my options is hurting black folks any more than not investigating them is helping us.

This willingness of people to blindly follow all nilly-willy and shit, is ridiculous. If you ask why they are supporting Obama, most cannot even state one item on his platform. They have not read it and know nothing about him. This is probably true of most voters, not just Obama supporters. These are the same people that called Bill Clinton the first "black" president and are now calling him a "racist from Arkansas." But I'm the "coon" and "Uncle Tomasina." Vote for Obama for whatever reason that you want, but do not tell me who I must vote for. Which, by the way, is colonial, imperial and paternalistic, sort of like, um, slavery.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Extra Boomer: You'd have thought anyone still took him seriously

Posted By on Tue, Jan 29, 2008 at 4:07 PM

• In George W. Bush's State of the Union speech Monday night, the president performed a decent impersonation of a man who commanded the respect of the people he was talking to. It was more than a little surreal.

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Here was the sanctimonious incompetent who lied our nation into a completely unnecessary war that is costing us thousands of American lives and trillions of dollars; who presided over the "privatization," i.e. looting, of essential services such as many of those once performed by FEMA; and who has seriously, even dangerously, weakened America's moral and economic standing in the world — here was that same guy, mustering the gall to tell Congress that its pet projects were undermining "the people's trust in their government." This isn't a case of the pot calling the kettle black; it's more like the entire stove getting into the act.

• Also, this just in from Satan. The Evil One announced today that a special place in hell is being reserved for one Kaye McGarry, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board member. Beelzebub noted that McGarry had earned her new honor when, at the recent school board retreat, she opposed a new CMS policy which aims to protect students from being bullied. The policy, said McGarry, could lead to an "aggressive, pro-homosexual agenda in classrooms."

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Oh, to be a derby girl

Posted By on Mon, Jan 28, 2008 at 3:36 PM

I want to be a Charlotte Roller Girl.

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While watching their inaugural bout against the Columbia Quad Squad last night at Cricket Arena, I could barely contain my excitement. I want to skate stealthily around a tight track like I know what I’m doing. I want a great sarcastic nickname. I want to be aggressive and push my opponents down, all in the name of roller derby.

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I want to don purple stockings with holes in them. I want to wear a super short skirt, exposing underwear that reads “It Ain’t Gonna Lick Itself” on my ass and be called sexy.

Wait. You want to hear about the bout, don’t you.

Continue reading »

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Driver wanted

Posted By on Mon, Jan 28, 2008 at 12:33 PM

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— Cartoon by Jim Hunt

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Bubble bubble, scheduling trouble

Posted By on Fri, Jan 25, 2008 at 3:41 PM

Mystery is a delicious ingredient, but at the 2008 Royal Shakespeare Company Symposium now in progress at Davidson College, there are layers within layers of mystery – enough to bewilder the Bard himself! The RSC will be presenting a “Work-in-Progress” at Duke Family Performance Hall, but the Symposium brochure doesn’t specify the title of the new theater work or all the performance times. Besides the time listed in the brochure, Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m., you can also catch performances of this ticketed event on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. You may have heard about the other ticketed biggie, playwright Edward Albee’s Keynote Address, “The State of Theatre and the Arts in America,” also at Duke Family. That free ticketed event is scheduled on Feb. 16, 10:30 a.m. to noon. For ticket info, visit www.davidson.edu/tickets . Symposium info is at www.davidson.edu/shakespeare.

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Extra Boomer: SHOCKING NEWS! Local bank screws its customers!

Posted By on Fri, Jan 25, 2008 at 2:46 PM

Everyone, I know, is shocked – shocked! – to learn that Wachovia is giving higher incentives to employees who sell customers a tricky type of mortgage that often turns into a neverending trap.

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The so-called Pick-A-Payment mortgages can easily lead to foreclosure or even bankruptcy for customers who wind up seeing their loan balance increase every month.

Since slimeball mortgage practices by banks are one of the main reasons the U.S. economy is tanking, you’d think someone at Wachovia might’ve figured out that dicey loans probably aren’t a good idea right now. After all, Wachovia’s mortgage practices are already in the toilet, with the company having to use up more and more money to cover bad loans in the current terrible housing market.

The Observer’s story about the bank’s practices, although certainly welcome, seemed meek in tone, reflecting that paper’s skittishness about criticizing any of the big banks. Consider this sentence: “Consumer advocates worry that higher incentives could encourage employees to sell loans that are not appropriate for borrowers.”

To which I can only reply: No shit – the country is suffering a national epidemic of banks screwing their customers, and the O frames the story as if there’s something surprising in the fact that our leading “corporate citizens” just maybe, perhaps, might not care quite as much about their customers’ welfare as they pretend to in their commercials.

The daily paper’s Rick Rothacker did a good job of digging up the dicey mortgage incentives information. Let’s hope the O keeps it up. There are plenty of people in Charlotte who’ve been the victims of the big banks’ layoffs and other corporate treacheries – and plenty of citizens who’ve seen their interest rates and payments rise during the current financial gang-rape of the American public. I don’t think readers, listeners and viewers are exactly going to scream bloody murder if the media gets more serious about reporting on the banks’ dangerous, and destructive, misconduct. In fact, we want more of it.

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