TAMPA, Fla. — A bizarre image was spray-painted on a downtown building in Tampa, just days before the Republican National Convention.
The image resembles a picture from the movie “V for Vendetta.”
However, Tampa police said the graffiti is synonymous with anarchy and the protest group “Anonymous.”
Hat Tip: Fark
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By now it’s an established fact that the punk revolution of the late 1970s led to a genuine artistic achievement, as the movement and its Do It Yourself (DIY) ethic gave bands like U2, Green Day, and Radiohead the ability to create their own sounds in unique and imaginative ways. Incredibly, punk is still producing exciting art; one of the best bands I’ve heard recently is Neon P*ss. I know, I know–the vulgar names do get tiresome, but a lot of the music is still very cool. It remains one of the joys of life to come across a talented young band and watch them flourish.
Although it puts on an angry and nihilistic face, punk, or the best punk, is about trying to live a virtuous life in a world that often seems compromised by commercialism, war, and a basic lack of integrity. This is the 30th anniversary year of the punk magazine Maximum Rocknroll, and leafing through the anniversary issue it’s clear that punks today value what punks back in the 1970s and 80s valued: honesty, community, art for art’s sake, and real friendship.
That said, MRR has certainly fallen short in its lack of support for the band P**** Riot, a Russian all-female punk rock collective. Three members of the group were sentenced to two-year prison terms today by a Moscow court for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”. This for performing a song at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior which asked Mary, the Mother of God–or “Theotokos”–to “drive Putin away.”
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The National Scrabble Association does not condone cheating. Also, the National Scrabble Association exists. One of the United States’ top young Scrabble talents was caught hiding blank tiles, and subsequently ejected, at the game’s national championship tournament in Florida. This was, apparently, “a big deal.” The executive director of the National Scrabble Association, John D. Williams, Jr., has said that this is the first recorded incidence of cheating at a national tournament. What a shame.
The cheating was caught by a neighboring player. The cheater, a male minor, tried to hide the blank tiles when resetting the board after his previous game. In what is surely one of the poorest attempts at cheating known, the ejected player simply dropped them on the floor. Blank tiles — which only count for 2% of the total tiles — function as wild cards and could therefore provide the proverbial word glue required to win the game.
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Two people, including a security guard, were reportedly shot this morning at the headquarters of the pro-life group Family Research Council.
According to information provided to LifeNews from a Washington pro-life source, a man posing as an intern shot the guard at the FRC office located at 801 G Street, NW. FRC staffer Anna maria Hoffman added more information on Twitter, “Our security guard Leo got shot in the arm. Please keep him in your prayers.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins confirmed the security officer was shot and said in a statement, “The police are investigating this incident. Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today. Our concern is for him and his family.”
The conservative Family Research Council came under attack at its Washington DC headquarters today. Two people including a security guard were shot. There is no word on their condition. Washington police and the FBI have reportedly responded to the shooting.
In a statement released after the shooting, FRC President Tony Perkins said “The police are investigating this incident. Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today. Our concern is for him and his family.”
On any given day, the Family Research Council comes under vitriolic attack from groups on the left for its defense of traditional values and traditional marriage. The George Soros funded Center for American Progress devotes considerable resources to “monitoring” and criticizing the group. The FRC came under sustained leftist criticism during the Chick-Fil-A free speech battle that culminated on August 1.
Update: Fox reports that the shooting is being treated as domestic terrorism.
Sources said [the suspect] is in his twenties and may have been posing as an intern.
The suspect “made statements regarding their policies, and then opened fire with a gun striking a security guard,” a source told Fox News.
Authorities were treating the attack as a case of domestic terrorism.
Howard Bloom‘s forthcoming book The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos Creates, is arguably his best book so far, a page-turner with deep thoughts and entertaining bits on every page.
Is The God Problem a book on the history of science? No, more like a philosophical novel. Wait, perhaps an autobiography? Pop culture?
All of the above, and none. The God Problem defies categorization; it’s a cascade of books within books within books, like the novels of Joyce and Pynchon. The difference is that Bloom writes about the thoughts of the deepest thinkers of all times, from the Babylonians to our days, then proposes new ideas of his own.
I call it “scientific poetry.” The science is rigorous, and the philosophy is sound, but Bloom is first and foremost a great writer who makes cerebral stuff emotionally moving and entertaining.
This book has no equations, it is not written for scientists, but it’s an excellent science book that will help readers not only understand science better, but also love it more.
Toolkits of the mind
Ziggurat model. What simple things right under our noses do we fail to see? asks Howard Bloom (Credit: Sadegh Malek Shahmirzadi, Wikimedia Commons)
The God Problem starts with the story of how mathematics was invented in fourth-millennium BC Mesopotamia to count, split, inventory, and (especially) tax property. He puts you in the head of a Mesopotamian. You suddenly see how radically different and strangely alien an ancient viewpoint was.
The Babylonians had no circles in their mental toolkit. None. To them, everything was a line or a flat surface, like the surface of an iPhone-sized clay writing tablet. Every reference book in sight asserts that the Babylonian’s invented the 360 degrees of angles.
But The God Problem says they did not. And without the concept of the angle and the circle, the Babylonian sky was as flat as a ceiling and Babylonian astronomers never bothered to look up at the sky. Instead, they focused on a line — they noted where dots of light poked into the flat ceiling of the heavens from the line they called the “cattle pen” of the horizon.
See an Exclusive excerpt from The God Problem at PJ Lifestyle:
It is like “that moment when MTV decided to stop playing music videos,” described one TV producer when giving the New York Post some inside knowledge on CNN’s plans to use late-night talk shows and reality programming as a way to jump-start the cable news network’s low ratings.
Citing internal documents, the Post wrote Monday that CNN executives have made the rounds with Hollywood talent agencies and reality producers, putting together ideas for a late-night talk show in the style of The View, some weekend reality TV programs to complement celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain‘s new CNN show, and seeking out new hosts from outside the cable news world (with Bourdain as the prototype).
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In late 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder authorized raids against marijuana dispensaries in California, where medicinal marijuana is legal, in an effort to create a distraction from the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, a new book set for release Tuesday claims.
“Eric Holder, Obama’s embattled Attorney General, was under mounting pressure from Congress to explain the botched Fast and Furious sting operation, whereby two thousand assault rifles and other firearms were sold to suspected traffickers for the Mexican drug cartels,” Martin A. Lee writes in “Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational and Scientific.”
“It was intended as an intelligence-gathering ploy, but U.S. agents lost track of most of these weapons.”
In an excerpt obtained and published by the left-wing news and opinion website TruthOut.org, Lee describes the Fast and Furious scandal — including how it led to the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry — and how Holder “stonewalled” Congress for months, “disavowing any knowledge of the caper despite documentation showing that high-level Justice Department officials aided the surveillance mission.”
“The fact that Fast and Furious had its roots in a similar Bush-era ATF operation mattered little to GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, the grandstanding chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who went so far as to accuse the Obama administration of purposely allowing the guns to escape as part of a liberal plot to impose new gun control laws,” Lee writes. “Issa was not credible; nor was Holder.”
Lee goes on to explain that when calls for special investigations into Fast and Furious and for Holder’s resignation intensified in October 2011, Holder played what Lee calls the “ace up his sleeve.”
“Ever since California voters approved Proposition 215, which legalized marijuana for medical use in 1996, law enforcement lobbyists had been urging the federal government to enforce prohibition and choke off the burgeoning industry,” Lee writes.
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From May: How to Smoke Weed With Barack Obama
Jon Lovitz spent much of George W. Bush’s presidency doing what nearly all of his peers did – making fun of the Commander in Chief.And no one said a peep.When the “Saturday Night Live” alum chided President Barack Obama for saying the rich dont pay their fair share earlier this year, he ended up letting a security escort walk him to his car.
Lovitz tells Big Hollywood that his now infamous podcast rant against Obama’s class warfare rhetoric led to death threats left on the voice mail of his Universal City-based comedy club.“I know where you eat,” one message warned.
The comedian, who owns the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club and Podcast Theatre, says he isn’t concerned about his safety. He is riled up, however, about the media, his fellow Democrats and why questioning the president’s policies means complete strangers now accuse him of being a racist.The wide-ranging discussion with Big Hollywood also touched on his evolving views on business and the publics reaction to his Obama critiques.The real story, as Lovitz sees it, is how the press is going after comedians. He praised two conservative media outlets for their coverage of his Obama comments.
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Sunny: Who is Jon Lovitz?
I spent this last week vacationing with my wife in Paris. Between visits to historic sites like the Louvre and Versailles, my wife and I noticed something very odd: nobody seemed to be working. The sidewalk cafes were chock full of people sitting around in the middle of the day, watching the world pass them by. It seemed wonderfully relaxing.
Then we entered the Metro – the Parisian subway system. And there we saw the downside of the lax life of the Parisian coffee set. Dozens of beggars roamed the subways, passing out notes asking for a few Euros. Many brought their young children to beg.
This didn’t wash. What happened to France? Just why was this country – a supposed socialist paradise praised by those on the left as the ultimate example of a redistributionist society gone right – so unequal? Why was poverty so evident? Hadn’t the wealth been spread around enough?
I found the answers to my questions in David Limbaugh’s devastating new tome, The Great Destroyer, which together with his last book, Crimes Against Liberty, forms an encyclopedia of Obamaism – the philosophy of anti-American redistributionism that characterizes this administration. Obama wants us to become France. It doesn’t matter that France is hardly paradise. It aspires to paradise. And it’s the thought that counts.
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Most of the victims have not yet been identified, but the stories of some of those caught in the horrific shooting spree have been revealed.
One of the priests who died in the massacre was identified by a temple-goer as priest Parkash Singh, a 30-something father of two.
Worshipper Manminder Sethi told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Mr Singh was ‘a good guy, a noble soul’.
He added that the priest’s wife, son and daughter had only recently moved from India to join him in Oak Creek, where Mr Singh had been living for several years.
The temple’s president, 65-year-old Satwant Kaleka, was shot dead by the attacker after trying to fight back.
His son Amardeep said that the community leader had attempted to ‘knife and tackle the shooter’, but was unsuccessful and died of his wounds while trying to hide in the temple.
Mr Kaleka’s nephew Gurmit Kaleka told the Journal Sentinel that the victim was a father of two who had presided over the religious community since 1996.
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Does Mitt Romney have sex appeal? Does he need it to win?
That this campaign has been dubbed the dullest campaign ever cuts like a knife into Romney’s most serious defect: he seems so totally boring and uncharismatic. This has led at least one person to ask if Mitt Romney can make boring sexy. If America is a sexy bitch, as Meghan McCain and Michael Ian Black call our country, then will she be willing to go all the way with Romney come November 4?
These were the questions running through my head upon reading the Newsweek cover story on Mitt Romney’s alleged wimpiness. What immediately struck me about the Newsweek “wimp” cover is that it was an attack on Mitt Romney’s sexuality above all–his manliness.
It isn’t fine that Romney has changed his view on every issue. It’s pathetic. It suggests that he lives in fear of America’s right wing. That’s the real wimp factor.
Calling a guy a wimp is like calling him a sissy. Asking, rhetorically, if Romney is too insecure to be president serves one aim: It’s meant to strike down the one quality that every man needs to have to be considered manly: confidence. In the last election cycle, Obama overflowed with confidence, so much so that he, at times, seemed petulant and cocky. Better that, though, than the alternative. No one wants to see a potential president get emasculated.
It’s important to think about a candidate’s sex appeal, because sex appeal matters, especially among women voters. Back in 2008, Obama’s sex appeal was inescapable and it’s what carried him into his historic victory.
After exactly half a century atop Sight and Sound magazine’s poll of the Top 50 Films of All Time, Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane” has been shoved aside by the 846 “critics, programmers and distributors” (not including me) around the world who participated. The new champ is Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo,” which won by a decisive 34 votes after coming in at No. 2 in the last poll ten years ago by a five-vote margin — and didn’t even turn up in the once-a-decade poll until 1982.
Here’s the new top 50 list here.
(CNN) — Gore Vidal, the eclectic author who faithfully chronicled the major shifts and upheavals in the United States in books, essays and plays, has died. He was 86.
Vidal died at his Los Angeles home Tuesday evening of complications from pneumonia, his nephew Burr Steers said. The author had also been suffering from heart ailments.
Widely hailed as one of America’s greatest man of letters, Vidal was a high-profile commentator on politics, including his bitter opposition to the war in Iraq.
Born into politics as the member of a rich and powerful family, he joined the Navy at 17 before shocking the world by writing one of the first novels to include an openly gay character: his 1948 work, “The City and the Pillar.”
In all, he wrote some 25 novels, two successful Broadway plays, numerous screenplays, more than 200 essays and the memoir “Palimpsest.” His collection of essays, “United States: Essays, 1952-1992″ won the National Book Award in 1993.
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Roger Kimball: Gore Vidal, 1925-2012
Ron Radosh: Alexander Cockburn: The Last Stalinist
Robert Wargas: The Beaten Devil
We don’t have a whole lot to go on right now but it’s been confirmed that Jackson and New Line are going ahead with a third Hobbit movie.
When the rumors first started, Jackson didn’t exactly deny the possibility of a third movie but said, “We are also using extensive parts of the appendices which were published at the end of Return of the King. This is not just The Hobbit— it’s The Hobbit set in a much greater context of events taking place throughout Middle-earth during this period. The material is so rich. In fact only this last week or two, we’ve been talking to the studio about allowing us to shoot some additional material next year, to fully complete the story.” But an unnamed studio representative said the plan was always for two.
At Comic-Con, Jackson wasn’t sure what the new shoots would be for though he theorized it could be for extended editions of the two films. And the very last we heard was that he was talking to New Line about stretching into a third film which, no duh, the studio said yes to.
Here’s what Jackson had to say on his Facebook page:
It is only at the end of a shoot that you finally get the chance to sit down and have a look at the film you have made. Recently Fran, Phil and I did just this when we watched for the first time an early cut of the first movie – and a large chunk of the second. We were really pleased with the way the story was coming together, in particular, the strength of the characters and the cast who have brought them to life. All of which gave rise to a simple question: do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved ‘yes.’
A week after losing her 6-year-old daughter, Veronica, in the horrific Aurora movie massacre, Ashley Moser suffered a second tragedy.
Colorado suspect charged with multiple murder counts
The 25-year-old mom, who was critically wounded when a gunman opened fire at a Colorado Dark Knight Rises premiere, suffered a miscarriage as a result of her injuries this past weekend.
”Ashley Moser is recovering from an additional surgery she had this morning,” read a statement from the Aurora Medical Center, where she’s been receiving treatment. ”Tragically, the extreme trauma she sustained also caused a miscarriage.”
After being shot in the abdomen and neck, Moser was in critical condition. Her family waited to share the devastating news about her daughter Veronica, the youngest fatality in the shooting, until Moser’s condition improved last week. But by this weekend, it was confirmed Moser had also lost the fetus she’d been carrying for eight weeks as a result of her injuries.
At least 3 men accused of making threats during or after watching the new Batman movie have been arrested in separate incidents, underscoring moviegoers’ anxieties and heightened security in the wake of a deadly mass shooting at a Colorado theater showing the film.
A Maine man was arrested when he told authorities that he was on his way to shoot a former employer a day after watching “The Dark Knight Rises,” Maine state police said Monday.
Timothy Courtois of Biddeford, Maine, had been stopped for speeding, and a police search of his car found an AK-47 assault weapon, four handguns, ammunition and news clippings about the mass shooting that left 12 people dead early Friday, authorities said.
Former graduate student James Holmes, 24, is accused of opening fire in a theater in a Denver suburb. The shooting also injured 58 people.
Courtois said he had attended the Batman movie on Saturday, although police have not confirmed whether he actually saw the film.
“I guess we’re taking everything at face value,” State Police Lt. Kevin Donovan said. “It’s very scary.”
hat tip: drudge
In regards to a possible motice, Aurora police chief Daniel Oates had hinted that Holmes had recently gone through a break up and that authorities were investigating the claim.
‘I’ve heard one morsel of information about a relationship that may or may not be true,’ he told CBS’ Face the Nation.
‘That’s why we have all our investigators working on this. That’s why we brought in the FBI behavioral analysts. They’re going to figure all that stuff out.’
It is also believed that Holmes was due to be evicted from his flat. The 24-year-old, who is now in police custody, pulled out of the university weeks before the deadly attack.
Neighbours told TMZ anyone living in the block had to be enrolled at the university otherwise you had 30 days to evacuate.
It is not known exactly when Holmes stopped going to classes but it is thought he was nearing the end of the 30-day grace period.
A former classmate from the University of Colorado suggested another cause for the killings, saying Holmes had lost touch with reality after becoming ‘obsessed’ with video games.
The classmate told the Daily Mail: ‘James was obsessed with computer games and was always playing role-playing games.
‘I can’t remember which one but it was something like World of Warcraft, one of those where you compete against people on the internet.
‘He did not have much of a life apart from that and doing his work. James seemed like he wanted to be in the game and be one of the characters.
‘It seemed that being online was more important to him than real life. He must have lost his sense of reality, how else can you shoot dozens of people you don’t know?’
Other acquaintances, who had worked with Holmes at a children’s summer camp in 2008, noted he was an outsider who was ‘shy and reserved’.
More coverage today at PJ Media:
Andrew Klavan: Tragedy Strikes — And Leftists Shame Themselves
Victor Davis Hanson: The Demons of the Modern Rampage Killer
Richard Fernandez: Evil and Mass Murder, Dostoevsky vs. Marx
SAN DIEGO — Peter Jackson does not expect he’ll ever get into the superhero business.
The filmmaker behind “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and the upcoming prelude “The Hobbit” said superheroes may rule in Hollywood, but he has no interest in doing a comic-book adaptation himself.
“I’ve never actually read a comic in my life,” Jackson confided in an interview at last week’s Comic-Con, the fan convention where he previewed footage of his two-part take on “The Hobbit.” “That’s a lie. I did read `The Walking Dead’ in the last year or two, which I thoroughly enjoyed. But I’ve never read a superhero comic. I’ve literally never turned a single page of a single superhero comic.”
The Abraham Lincoln movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis as Honest Abe will get an exclusive release November 9, 2012, and expand wide November 16, Disney just announced. That puts it squarely in the midst of Oscar season. The Steven Spielberg-directed Lincoln is a DreamWorks production; Fox and Participant Media are partners in the film and Fox will handle international distribution.
Neil Gaiman has won armfuls of prizes for his books for adults and children. Now the bestselling author is set to publish his first picture book for the very young, Chu’s Day, the story of a little panda with a very big sneeze.
Gaiman has just signed a five-book deal with his American publisher HarperCollins, which will see him focusing on children’s books. The deal is for three children’s novels – including a sequel to Odd and the Frost Giants and a book titled Fortunately, the Milk, illustrated by Skottie Young – and two picture books. Chu’s Day will be illustrated by Adam Rex and published next January.
“Chu’s Day is the first book I’ve ever written for really little kids. Ones who cannot read. Ones who can only just walk. Those ones. I hope that they like it, or at least, that they love Adam Rex’s amazing illustrations,” said Gaiman on his blog. The picture book will follow the sneeze-prone Chu on a day of adventure that will “test his sneeze-resisting powers to the limit – there’s the library (dusty books!), the diner (pepper!), and then the circus (all those animals!). How big can a sneeze really be? Just wait and see …”
Breaking Bad returns this Sunday, July 15, bringing millions of devoted fans back to AMC—although not enough to keep the network on Dish, apparently—and spurring others to catch up with the show’s 46 episodes in a time span that may require copious amounts of Walter White’s purest Blue Sky.
To which I say: Slow down. Even if you aren’t taking crystal meth to fuel your rapid consumption of the best series of the last 10 years (yes, I have seen The Wire), you’re still ruining much of what makes the show—and all TV shows—great.
TV binge-watching is a pandemic that has afflicted many of the nation’s college students, with sites like SideReel, Netflix, and Megavideo—not to mention full-season DVD sets—readily at their disposal. They disappear into their dorm rooms for days at a time and emerge with encyclopedic knowledge of Vincent Chase’s movie career or the Pawnee Parks Department’s budget. As Mary McNamara noted a few months back in the Los Angeles Times, Netflix has even catered its original content toward this consumption model by releasing all episodes of its own new seasons at once, encouraging fans to plow through entire seasons in marathon sessions.
While it’s not surprising that America’s unprincipled youth have flocked to the latest trend, some of our most venerable critics have also hopped on the binge-watching bandwagon. Emily Nussbaum, formerly of New York and now of The New Yorker, went on a Breaking Bad bender last summer. “Binge-watching a show like Breaking Bad is probably the purest way to watch a great series,” she wrote. But if you ask me, she has ruined the entire batch.
My parents were Scientologists, but not in a zealous way. Then my mother decided to become more involved with the church, and we moved to Clearwater, Florida, where she joined a religious order called the Sea Organization. She signed a contract commiting herself to the group for a billion years—covering her future lives, as the church believes people are immortal. We settled into a compound with other families. The year was 1986. I remember it as the year I lost my freedom.
I imagine that Katie Holmes is trying to protect her daughter, Suri, from the rigid world of Scientology now, and I applaud Katie for that. I wish my mother had done the same.
Instead, my own mother became a stranger to me, when I needed her most—when I was a scared kid in a strange compound in Florida. But in the Sea Org, as it is known, parents aren’t supposed to pay much attention to their children; kids are a distraction from a higher mission.