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NEWS: 'The Guardian' Explains Our Poverty, Michael Moore Hates Barack Obama, Rick Santorum Has A Blank Wall In His Head, Jimmy Fallon Is The Lizard King

Road The Guardian crunches the numbers: It's really more like 99.99%.

Road John Waters talks Christmas:

“I liked Santa but I would get confused as a child whether I was supposed to pray to him or William Castle [the B-movie director], or Jesus,” he says, before skipping to another thought about “living crèches” – Christmas cribs re-created with real people. “They’re begging for Diane Arbus to come back from the grave to take a picture of them. What parent would give their child to be baby Jesus, with straw and candles and mules that kick … ? I’m telling you, I think living crèches are some of the most horrifying things.”

Road A gay marriage in Zucotti Park!

Road Margot Adler reports on the homeless queer youth of New York:

"The day after my 18th birthday this year, my adopted parent kicked me out," says [Jeremiah Beaverly, late of Illinois]. "At the time, I was really infatuated with this guy, and she was listening to my phone calls. She started telling my family, 'He is this, he is that, he is gay,' and talking about me as if I wasn't part of the family."

Road Christopher Walken opened up about Natalie Wood's death way back in '97, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

"She had gone to bed before us, and her room was at the back. A dinghy was bouncing against the side of the boat, and I think she went out to move it. There was a ski ramp that was partially in the water. It was slippery – I had walked on it myself. She had told me she couldn’t swim; in fact, they had to cut a swimming scene from [Brainstorm]. She was probably half asleep, and she was wearing a coat."

Road How do you know what you know?

Road Should a candidate's religion matter?

But suppose Santorum replies — as he has — that he would seek to ban gay marriage (in fact, he also supports anti-sodomy laws). The question then is why he thinks this is the right thing to do.  If his only reply is that his Catholic religion condemns homosexuality, then we’ve hit a blank wall. Debate is the life-blood of a democracy, and this means that leaders must offer discussable reasons for what they propose to do.  To say, “My religion says so” may explain why you believe something, but it has no function in a discussion with people who do not accept your religion.  Such an appeal to religion is, as Richard Rorty once put it, merely a "conversation stopper."

Road That's light! Scientists invent metal material that's 1/100th as heavy as styrofoam. 

Road Faith2Action believes it can disprove evolution in less than 300 words.

Road Michael Moore is as ridiculous when discussing President Obama as he is the rest of the time. Hunstmawkward

Road He's reasonable! He's sane! But dammit, Jon Hunstman just never looks relaxed.

Road A powerful letter demanding the resignation of UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi. (Whose walk of shame you may witness here.) Excerpt:

Police used batons to try to push the students apart. Those they could separate, they arrested, kneeling on their bodies and pushing their heads into the ground. Those they could not separate, they pepper-sprayed directly in the face, holding these students as they did so. When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood.

This is what happened. You are responsible for it.

You are responsible for it because this is what happens when UC Chancellors order police onto our campuses to disperse peaceful protesters through the use of force: students get hurt. Faculty get hurt. One of the most inspiring things (inspiring for those of us who care about students who assert their rights to free speech and peaceful assembly) about the demonstration in Berkeley on November 9 is that UC Berkeley faculty stood together with students, their arms linked together. Associate Professor of English Celeste Langan was grabbed by her hair, thrown on the ground, and arrested. Associate Professor Geoffrey O’Brien was injured by baton blows. Professor Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner, was also struck with a baton. These faculty stood together with students in solidarity, and they too were beaten and arrested by the police. In writing this letter, I stand together with those faculty and with the students they supported.

One week after this happened at UC Berkeley, you ordered police to clear tents from the quad at UC Davis. When students responded in the same way—linking arms and holding their ground—police also responded in the same way: with violent force. The fact is: the administration of UC campuses systematically uses police brutality to terrorize students and faculty, to crush political dissent on our campuses, and to suppress free speech and peaceful assembly. Many people know this. Many more people are learning it very quickly.

You are responsible for the police violence directed against students on the UC Davis quad on November 18, 2011. As I said, I am writing to hold you responsible and to demand your immediate resignation on these grounds.

Road The story of "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic."

Road "A jar of change on a dresser is sadly factoring into a number of financial decisions."

Road Jimmy Fallon as Jim Morrison, singing the Reading Rainbow theme. Incredibly bizarre, shockingly good. Watch it AFTER THE JUMP ... (HT: Shakesville)

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  1. Criticizing Moore's exaggerations by saying he HATES the president? Is the irony intentional? Let's all try to participate in more responsible public discourse.

    Posted by: MJCraw | Nov 20, 2011 5:43:40 PM

  2. michael Moore is not in the least ridiculous. That cross-counrry crackdowns on OWS have been coordinated is screamingly obvious.

    And Obama's silence speaks volumes.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Nov 20, 2011 6:03:05 PM

  3. @DavidEhrenstein: You are absolutely right. And it is terrifying how many people are blind to what is going on.

    Posted by: kit | Nov 20, 2011 6:08:39 PM

  4. Wow. Trashing Michael Moore for questioning the president. That took guts! Especially after seeing all the vids of crackdowns this week and hearing from that lovely mayor speaking about her conference call with the other mayors and the memo from the lobbyist firm offering to take down OWS because it is dangerous for politicians and banksters. Yeah, Moore is totally crazy to suggest Obama’s OHS has anything to do with this. They probably don’t know anything about it, oh wait. I forgot about the warrantless wiretapping and all that other stuff. Guess you did too?

    Posted by: Goober Peas | Nov 20, 2011 6:15:00 PM

  5. Goober, et al:

    I dont think Barack Obama is a tyrant, but even if I did, I wouldnt take Michael Moores word for it. In the broad sense, I think Moores right about almost everything -- health care, inequality, the importance of the American labor movement -- but hes often very dishonest in his presentation. Fahrenheit 9/11,with its contradictory insinuations about Saudi control of the White House and the Bush administrations real motives for going to war in Iraq, is the most obvious example. There are plenty of others.

    Thanks for reading,
    - BKT

    Posted by: Brandon K. Thorp | Nov 20, 2011 6:41:54 PM

  6. I'm so happy to see Richard Rorty mentioned on Towleroad, if obliquely. He was the smartest man I've ever met, a great professor, and nice guy.

    On Natalie Wood, why would a wealthy woman be sleeping in a coat? Even if the boat were cold, she presumably could have afforded blankets. Or a heating system.

    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 20, 2011 6:49:45 PM

  7. I also take issue with characterizing Moore as "ridiculous". Framing liberal ideas as somehow crazy or laughable is a technique employed by the right to shut down debate. If you disagree with Moore, say something substantive about it. Don't imply that he's laughable... because he's often the only one out there saying the truth (even if I don't agree with him on every point - the man deserves some respect).

    Posted by: mike128 | Nov 20, 2011 7:24:11 PM

  8. I agree with Brandon. Moore could be so much more useful if he used his obvious intellect more effectively. Instead he often comes off as a shrill, paranoid caricature. Undermining one's credibility and acting like a petulant child are not admirable traits.

    Great activists can come in all forms, but Moore too often just seems like a self-serving rabble rouser.

    That said, the coordinated attacks on the Occupy movement are disgraceful, and I'm sure that there's a lot more to them than we now know.

    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 20, 2011 7:25:15 PM

  9. I thought Jon Huntsman looked relaxed on SNL last night.

    And then some ...

    Posted by: Cinesnatch | Nov 20, 2011 7:26:00 PM

  10. Michael Moore is many things. Ridiculous is most definitely NOT one of them. Sheesh, Towleroad! Big disappointment.

    Posted by: djork | Nov 20, 2011 9:09:25 PM

  11. Basically all Michael Moore did was ask the question. The basic investigative method: ask an impertinent question and you're on your way to a pertinent answer! Michael Moore has done more for raising awareness in this country than anyone else. So knock off with the name calling.

    Posted by: Gandalf The Grey | Nov 20, 2011 9:34:26 PM

  12. Go ahead and challenge Moore, he probably did go too far here, but I have a lot of respect for the man and don't appreciate how he's being dismissed here. Be more responsible.

    Posted by: shauk | Nov 20, 2011 9:49:50 PM

  13. BKT-- you've got a lot of nerve trashing moore on a liberal, gay blog. i hope andy sees this and gives you a nice kick in the ass out of my weekends.

    Posted by: brian | Nov 20, 2011 9:53:11 PM

  14. Why has Towleroad suddenly turned into #OccupyTowleroad? 4 of the last 10 posts are either completely or tangentially about OWS. OWS has no LGBT influence or relevance - get it out of here.

    Posted by: Frustrated | Nov 20, 2011 10:13:56 PM

  15. I am also offended in the presentation of the initial blurb "Michael Moore is as ridiculous when discussing President Obama as he is the rest of the time." - which is then followed by the post calling John Huntsman "reasonable and sane." Really? Is it the position of this blog that the politics of John Huntsman (and not just the comparison of him to the other lunatics running in the Republican race) are reasonable and sane,and that Michael Moore is ridiculous? That is a position that seems to run counter to what is posted here most of the time. Perhaps the weekend writer should give a bit more thought to the content of what he is posting and how it will be perceived rather than just trying to be shocking or seem witty. Very sad moment here.

    Posted by: Todd | Nov 20, 2011 10:18:38 PM

  16. I didn't like the headline or the comment that Moore is ridiculous when discussing "everything," either. It seemed an overreach and I felt as a reader it was written as if I would probably agree.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Nov 20, 2011 10:30:59 PM

  17. Another reader puzzled by the Michael Moore put down and the link to a predominantly right-wing board. Moore isn't perfect, none of us are anywhere near to perfect. And where's your body of work to find imperfections in?

    If you think Moore is "dishonest in his presentation" say so in the headline, not in a defensive comment. Major fail.

    Posted by: Dave in Boston | Nov 20, 2011 11:26:13 PM

  18. Michael Moore, one of the one percent and laughing all the way to a Swiss bank. More fool you for buying the crap he's been selling for years.

    Posted by: Chunks | Nov 21, 2011 1:42:18 AM

  19. Michael Moore is a mild mannered social democrat (read, a socialist who refuses to fight to destroy the 1%) who spends far too much time doting on labor bureaucrats and not enough time accusing Obama and his Republican, Democrat and Teabag friends of being criminal, which they most certainly are.

    Obama on the other hand, support the torture of Brad Manning, FISA, the Paytriot Act and refuses to arrest and indict and prosecution of Scot Lively and his (Obama's) boyfriends Rick Warren and Donnie McClurkin for interfering in the affairs of other nations by promoting the mass murder of GLBT folks across Africa.

    Obama is a bigot who holds us in contempt and his pigheaded opposition to marriage equality is all the proof we need.

    I suppose if I wanted to take the trouble I could compile a long list of Moore's sins and weaknesses but when the fight is between him and a despicable bigot like Obama I know whose side I'm on.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | Nov 21, 2011 4:30:46 AM

  20. "Michael Moore is as ridiculous when discussing President Obama as he is the rest of the time."

    "In the broad sense, I think Moore's right about almost everything..."

    Brandon, those two statements are diametrically opposed to each other. The second seems to be an attempt to backpedal after being called out here. At least defend the first one if that's how you really feel, or else simply say you misspoke.

    As for the ridiculous headline MICHAEL MOORE HATES BARACK OBAMA, if you actually read the article from what is, yes, usually a right-leaning blog, you'd see that Moore began one of his tweets "Dear @BarackObama We luv ya but..." Criticism does NOT equal "hate."

    I have to agree that Andy should consider another writer for the weekends after this, sorry.

    Posted by: Will G | Nov 21, 2011 4:43:33 AM

  21. Michael Moore has voiced numerous opinions on numerous subjects and each one is of course debatable, but to describe him as "ridiculous" in a headline that also implies that he is always and only ridiculous is simply silly and is a headline that would be at home on the most rabidly rightwing blog. If I want that kind of crap I'll go to a wingnut's blog. Totally jarring and disappointing to see it on Towleroad.

    Posted by: ron | Nov 21, 2011 5:27:55 AM

  22. Is Michael Moore really ridiculous all the time? I mean is it really ridiculous to aspire to have things like single-payer universal healthcare and money out politics? I really hate when people trash Michael Moore out of nowhere. It's a hatred given to us by propaganda, that liberal people with a voice are crazy. A lot of people think its so cool to always type bs about him because everyone loves to have someone to dislike. Also he doesn't hate the president, holds him to a really high standard but i think the only ridiculous exaggeration here is the reporting on him.

    Posted by: Redebbm | Nov 21, 2011 6:47:22 AM

  23. having not read most of the links in this thread, it's been one of those weekends curing a hangover, and reading all the replies (thanks y'all), I am surprised almost no one has yet commented that Huntsmann is by far the only candidate that is hot.... in some pictures he looks just so handsome... but then again, when he opens his mouth that might be a different story.... and btw, his family is at the top 1% or the 1%, his father's fortune is in the billions, one of the 400 ones the first link mentions....

    Posted by: V-8 | Nov 21, 2011 6:51:28 AM

  24. Great! Thanks a lot for this post.

    Posted by: essay | Nov 21, 2011 7:31:29 AM

  25. I am really shocked and disappointed by the lazy caricature of Michael Moore as someone who is always "ridiculous." As many others on here have said, this seems like something written on a rightwing blog, it doesn't even seem to make sense in the context of the rest of this site. Many liberals and progressives have criticized Moore for his sloppiness in presenting the facts in the past (myself included). But to merely dismiss him as some kind of ridiculous kook is something worthy of Fox News.

    Most mystifying to me is that it would be his questioning of the President that would bring on this statement. Jean Quan has already admitted the obvious, that the crackdowns on Occupy in cities across the nation was a coordinated effort. As many in the progressive media have pointed out, it seems highly likely that there was involvement by the federal government in this. Meanwhile, the President has remained silent, when he claims to want to have a conversation with the American people about our lack of jobs and our continuing economic problems. Of all the things Michael Moore has said, this seems like one of the last statements I would single out as "ridiculous."

    This post seems particularly bizarre given the coverage of Occupy on this site generally. And why would anyone who thinks Moore is broadly "right about everything" utterly dismiss him so thoroughly?

    Posted by: RuhRoh | Nov 21, 2011 7:33:47 AM

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