Pay Up to Run the Neighborhood

I live in a neighborhood just east of Hollywood full of houses built in the early 1920s. just blocks away are shops, restaurants and nightclubs, plus movie theaters, a live theater and bookshops, plus the nation’s largest urban park, and numerous landmarks, along with coyotes, raccoons and our very noticeable skunks. It’s pretty awesome. Many of my neighbors are senior citizens who have lived here for decades, some in the very huge homes a couple blocks west.

We also have a fairly newly formed neighborhood association which has been busy trying to get potholes filled and arrange permit parking (though neither applies to my block of bungalows for some reason). Permit parking would be a hassle, and we consider the potholes to be Nature’s speed bumps. Besides, the city already told us that can’t afford the massive tear up and repaving this year.

Today I got email from the Xville Square Association suggesting membership fees.

q Leadership: $100/year.
Free columns, bylines, advertorials, and classified ads in online and printed communications, plus sustaining member benefits.

q Sustaining: $50/year.
Eligibility for board positions, coordination for representation at advocacy opportunities, plus association member benefits.

q Associate: $20/year. Voting membership, newsletters, brochures and information about local policies, more! Join us.

q Neighbor: Free
Neighborhood news and information updates, meetings, conviviality, encouragement, support.

I can see having a fee to join, but only allowing those who can afford higher dues the right right to hold positions smacks of oligarchy. So I wrote a nice note about that and am waiting to hear back.

Conflict at Fox over Birtherism

Glenn Beck comments on the new passport form, which may go into effect for people who don’t have birth certificates:

Why don’t you just put nipple clamps on Americans over this?

Actually, the proposed “biographical form” is intended for those people who are unable to provide the usual proof of citizenship required for a US passport – namely, a birth certificate, consular report of birth abroad or naturalization certificate.

Glenn, do you see anything about “certificate of live birth” on there? Nooooo.

Glenn, can’t you see this is an effort on your side’s part to corral Obama? To catch him and prove he is not a US citizen?

And as your compatriot Monica Crowley points out, the birther movement has traction because, well, Obama does “un-American” things that give the impression he is not “one of us.”

Iggy Pop, “Nightclubbing” Not Clubbing Baby Seals

Here’s a rarity that proves Iggy loves nightclubbing more than seal clubbing–Iggy with Chrissie Hynde, Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp.

Iggy Pop, the godfather of punk, the coolest, rawest power in rock, takes Canada to task over their “club scene”: The slaughter of baby seals, in a new video out from PETA. Iggy says:

[T]he screams of horror from the animals that watch the first other ones be bludgeoned—they don’t even try to run. They don’t know what’s gonna hit ‘em. I don’t think anyone who’d seen that would want to wear fur.

The PETA piece isn’t the only new Iggy release. Today comes Iggy & the Stooges “Raw Power Live: In the Hands of the Fans” the seminal album recorded live–with a different song order–by the Iggy and the reformed Stooges–Scott Asheton, James Williamson, Steve Mackay, and (occasional FDL Movie Night guest) Mike Watt–at the 2010 All Tomorrow’s Parties in New York.

Unhappy Meal: Hideous Hate Crime Beating at McDonald’s

Employees at a McDonald’s in the Baltimore  area cheered, laughed and filmed the assault of 22-year old woman, then told the perpetrators–two females, one 14, the other an 18-year old with a previous assault charges which were dropped by prosecutors last July–to run before the cops came.

The video of the beating, which was posted on line and went viral, shows the unnamed juvenile and Teonna Monae Brown attacking Chrissy Lee Polis. Polis was punched, kicked and dragged across the floor in the three minute attack, before having a seizure. Customers tried to intervene, but Brown and the juvenile kept running back to beat Polis.

The McDonald’s franchise owner has fired the on-duty employee who took the cell phone video and is considering discipline for the others. McDonald’s, as a corporate entity, issued the following statement:

Our Concern Regarding the Baltimore Incident: We are shocked by the video from a Baltimore franchised restaurant showing an assault. This incident is unacceptable disturbing and troubling. McDonald’s strives to be a safe welcoming environment for everyone who visits. Nothing is more important to us than the safety of customers and employees in our restaurants

Scott Shellenberger, the state’s attorney for Baltimore County, has said his office plans to gather additional evidence to determine whether the April 18 attack on Polis can be prosecuted as a hate crime, since Polis is transgendered. On camera one person can be heard saying

That’s a man

and Polis told the Baltimore Sun that her attackers called her


and spit in her face.

McDonald’s, according to,

lacks standard policies for protecting transgender individuals, despite a decent record of workplace discrimination protections for gays and lesbians.

Transgender individuals, especially transwomen, are increasingly at risk of violence. As notes:

Nationwide, more than half of all transgender people experience verbal or physical abuse when trying to access public accommodations like restrooms. Brutal acts of violence are all too common — and authorities often fail to prosecute these crimes to the fullest extent of the law.

In San Juan Puerto Rico today, reports EDGE, police arrested one of a group of men who were robbing and assaulting transgendered individuals.

Emailomancy: Predictions 2.0

We used to throw knuckle bones and watch which way the birds flew to learn the possible outcomes of future events. Random words found in books, lines from songs on the radio, coincidence assigned meaning. Now thanks to a search optimizing engine, I have been given other worldly commentary on most visible of the presidential pre-candidates. Like all good sybils, I leave this open to your own interpretation:

FL Candidate Believes Jews Own Everything, Demons Hide in Candy

Jacksonville, Florida has a candy-phobic, demon busting candidate for city council who is thankful for slavery. And thinks despite the Holocaust, Jews own everything. Oh and she’s a Democrat. WTF? (Her past as a crack addict and prostitute isn’t that big a deal, IMO. People change. But her hatred for the LGBT community is vomitous)  Is Kimberly Daniels’ candidacy some weird plan by insane fundamentalists to take over by creating one party? Like I say,

The way to change the NRA is to join the NRA

but this is going a bit far!

Where is the Democratic party in Florida and what are they doing about Kimberly Daniels, this crazy, bigoted, homophobic, demon-spotting minster with her own radio show who is in a run-off against Republican David Taylor slated for May 17? How did she get this far?  And I wonder if under this sort of logic I could end up on the Republican ticket someplace?

Bruce Wilson at–who helped bring Sarah Palin’s crazed version of Christianity to light–gives us these quotes from Daniels:

I thank God for slavery. Mmm. I thank God for the crack house. If it wasn’t for the crack house, come on somebody, God wouldn’t a never been able to use me how he can use me know. And if it wasn’t for slavery I might be somewhere in Africa worshiping a tree! [...]

You can talk about the Holocaust, but the Jews own everything.


Along with asking God to

bind the ministry of psychics, the teaching of black liberation theology, and every New Age and secular humanist doctrine away from the White House…

Daniels prays for Obama that God the prayers of her faithful will

break every soul tie and vow that has been established between him and Harvard, secret societies and the illuminati…


expose the work of every witch, sorcerer, spiritualist or person from the dark side operating through his cabinet members or through anyone else closely associated with him

Daniels want to remind us of the dangers of Halloween candy and the holiday itself:

most of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches.

I do not buy candy during the Halloween season. Curses are sent through the tricks and treats of the innocent whether they get it by going door to door or by purchasing it from the local grocery store. The demons cannot tell the difference…
The danger of Halloween is not in the scary things we see but in the secret, wicked, cruel activities that go on behind the scenes. These activities include:

* Sex with demons
* Orgies between animals and humans
* Animal and human sacrifices
* Sacrificing babies to shed innocent blood
* Rape and molestation of adults, children and babies
* Revel nights
* Conjuring of demons and casting of spells
* Release of “time-released” curses against the innocent and the ignorant.”

Seriously. Who let this nutbag into the party? Also she has a radio show preaching this sort of whackery, so does that kind of get in the way of Equal Time?

Thank Gods–yes, Kimberly Daniels, I am calling on my GODS, multiple, plural, old and ancient, and on Jesus, too, while I’m at it since theologically, oh why bother with theology with you Kimberley because you are incapable of the critical thinking required for theology–Thank GODS, the reasonable realistic Christian ministers from People For the American Way’s African American Ministers in Action (AAMIA) issued a statement:

At African American Ministers in Action, our hope is that Americans will always have the opportunity to elect public officials who stand for respect and liberty, fairness and equality, and treat all people with the dignity that they deserve. We are disheartened by the advancement of a candidate who has instead chosen to be a voice of fear and intolerance. The people of Jacksonville deserve better.

Yes they do. The people of America deserve better. And certainly the Democratic Party deserves better.

[HT: Truth Wins Out]

“Restrepo” Director Tim Hetherington Killed in Libya

It is with great sadness I report: Oscar-nominated Restrepo co-director Tim Hetherington was killed in a mortar attack Wednesday in Misrata, Libya while filming a clash between Libyan rebels and Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.

Hetherington was scheduled to discuss Restrepo which he co-directed with Sebastian Junger, on FDL Movie Night May 16, and we were honored that he was willing to take the time to join the FDL family and share with us his experiences in Afghanistan and around the world. That he died doing what he loved is no consolation. Tim was a brave, bold, courageous man whose work gave heft and scope and immediacy to the human tragedies he covered.

Hetherington’s credits include The Devil Came on Horseback, documenting the genocide in Darfur, Liberia: An Uncivil War, and Diary, a short film about Hetherington’s work in combat zones, along with pieces from Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley for ABC News’ Nightline. Restrepo won the 2010 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize Documentary.

We at FDL offer our deep condolences to Tim’s family, friends and colleagues.

[HT: The Hollywood Reporter]

[ed. notes: There are now reports that Pulitzer Prize-nominated photographer Chris Hondros was critically injured in the same attack (some say he is in a coma, some say he has died). There is some debate about whether the deadly explosion was caused by a mortar round or a rocket propelled grenade. Our thoughts are with all of those injured in today's attack.]

Late Night: Is That a Ceiling Cat on Your Head, or Are You Running for President?

There is only one explanation for Donald Trump running for president: Trump is a counter-intelligence operative from LOLCATs, specifically the office of Basement Cat.

Mindless chaos makes sense. And maybe bread and circuses. But srsly, if Trump announces his campaign for presidency, it could disrupt NBC’s fall schedule — the announcement of which comes five days before the nuttimendalists are claiming Judgment Day will hit. Coincidence?

To paraphrase a line from the recent Trump roast, would America vote for a man whose autobiography has four Chapter 11s? Are we that celebrity struck, mindless and bloated? Yes, in the past Ronald Reagan, a not so great actor with scary hair and a weird tan, was elected President, but for Gods’ sakes he was an an actor. Trump is a salesman. And/or a better performance art piece than Sarah Palin designed to distract us from some real issues. And he’s endorsed by GaryOnly-Victoria-Jackson-is-CrazierBusey!

What would Trump do if elected President?

See here fellas…Kim, Jong, Il, whatever your first name is, you were not a team player and you spend your budget on mass games for which you could not sell advertising. And ratings stunk! Muammar, you spent your country’s budget on Bea Arthur’s wardrobe. It was a hard choice, but you’re both fired.

America is a What Nation?

Within decades after Christianity –then a sect of Judaism– began, new versions with various takes on Jesus’ teaching emerged. By the 300s, schisms began –the major one between Roman and Eastern Church was fueled in part by a debate over whether or not the communion wafer should be made from leavened or unleavened bread.

Martin Luther wrote his thesis, the Reformation began, and many more sects of Christianity developed (recall, if you will, Henry VIII of England), some of whom left for the New World to practice their version faiths in freedom. Their versions.

As R. Matthew Poteat points out

[I]n early America, as today, Christianity was not monolithic. There were numerous and myriad Christian denominations: Quakers, Anabaptists, Congregationalists, Methodists, Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, German and Dutch Reformed, Huguenots, Unitarians and others.. Unlike today, however, there was much less tolerance or ecumenicalism between these groups.

Indeed, until the mid-20th century, most Americans did not consider Catholics to be properly Christian or properly American.

New England Puritans only accepted their narrow definition of Christianity, banishing heretics and dissenters, and in extreme cases branding, torturing, and even executing them. The persecution and murder of Mormons during the 19th century was not only tolerated, but encouraged. Jews, like Catholics, were often suspiciously regarded as un-American outsiders.

Even today I still hear people say

Catholics and Christians

kind of overlooking that they are same thing.

Hoodoo, voodoo, and Santeria practitioners all call on aspects of the Christian faith in varying degrees, as do a variety of New Age beliefs. Jesus gets plenty of play. So what kind of Christian nation is America? Which sect of Christianity? Which translation of the Bible, which version of the Creed?

FDL Late Night: End of the World Sundae?

Let’s face it, things are weird. I am avoiding using any Dickensian references because I think they could be only half right and not the happy half, but there is a small of amount of hope: Fukishima may not be exactly as bad Chernobyl; Bradley Manning’s treatment got called on the State Dept carpet by AP reporters; the discovery of a 300-million-year-old shark jawbone found 700 feet below ground in a Kentucky coal mine may disrupt’s End Times calendar stating May 21 as the Rapture/Judgment Day and October 21 as the End of the World, which seems designed to one-up the Mayan 2012 countdown.*

Speaking of judgment and rapture, Fox News thinks Pap smears are available at Walgreens, which means either they have insider tips or are really stupid. And Denny’s has a maple bacon sundae on the menu. Either bacon is burned out or cured pork cures all.

*Plan a party for Sunday May 22! Menu ideas, anyone? And will you include bacon?

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