2010 - %3, April

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Catch Mother Jones' Hollywood Debut

| Mon Apr. 5, 2010 10:34 AM PDT

Do you watch CBS’ The Good Wife, the series partly inspired by the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal? Me neither, but I will tomorrow night! Why? Because apparently there’s going to be a “Mother Jones” reporter on the case. Drama, excitement, Sex and the City's Chris Noth AND smart, fearless journalism - what a great combo. Are you curious how MoJo will hit Hollywood? If so, check your local listings or go to the CBS website and have a watch. 

Black Tea Party Rockstar Tells All

| Mon Apr. 5, 2010 4:00 AM PDT

Last month I took note of the curious new genre of Tea Party-themed protest music. No musician, save for perhaps Ted Nugent, has capitalized on the conservative movement's career-building potential as successfully as Lloyd Marcus—a self-identified "black unhyphenated-American" who has headlined dozens of Tea Party rallies across the country since last spring. His stage presence, like any successful artist's, is distinctive: He sports a braided rat tail and performs in a black vest and cowboy hat. Marcus is currently touring the country with a handful of other Tea Party troubadours and conservative speakers as part of the Tea Party Express tour sponsored by Americans for Prosperity. I caught up with the singer at the tour's first stop—in Harry Reid's hometown of Searchlight, Nevada.

TM: Who would say are your biggest influences?

LM: Sammy Davis Junior, Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Nat King Cole. [Laughs.] That's a bizarre combination. But, like a lot of people have called me a combination of all three. Oh! And I like Michael Jackson.

TM: Really? What's your favorite Michael Jackson song?

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Schools Sing Haters Away

| Thu Apr. 1, 2010 4:02 PM PDT

That well-documented religious extremist group from Kansas known as the Westboro Baptist Church recently announced it would picket Bay Area schools and Jewish institutions to show its disapproval of the locals' acceptance of gay people. Palo Alto's Gunn High School—which apparently is still reeling from its recent student suicides—was one of Westboro's stops on its ever-considerate hate-speech trail. Not a bastion of tact, the church attributed Gunn's suicides to a "lack of religious faith."

So in a deft act of Biblical aikido, students, parents, and neighbors countered the so-called Christian organization's "God Hates You" placards with "Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself" signs. Watch the inspirational video below to see the community's myriad slogans and to listen to the songs. You can't miss the songs. Apparently, Stanford University adopted Gunn's counter-protest tactics, using copious amounts of levity to ward off Westboro's Debbie Downer message. One sign read "Gay for Fred Phelps"...my personal favorite.


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Saudis to Behead TV "Sorcerer"

| Thu Apr. 1, 2010 11:28 AM PDT

In a spectacular display of theocratic zeal that makes The Crucible look like The Sound of Music, the government of Saudi Arabia—America's petro-partner in the war on terror—is preparing to get medieval on a Lebanese TV personality: The popular host is to be beheaded Friday for practicing "sorcery" on his Arabic-language TV show. And according to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the man's ordeal is but one strange front in a renewed Saudi offensive to root out un-Islamic thoughtcrimes. As one Amnesty worker puts it, "If JK Rowling lived in Saudi Arabia, she could be arrested for practising 'sorcery' with her Harry Potter books."