Mixed Media Blog Feed | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2015/02 http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en The Staples Singers Will Revive You With These Gospel and Soul Classics http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/11/staples-singers-faith-grace-gospel-soul-hits <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YxgZuE14he8" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>The Staple Singers<br><em>Faith &amp; Grace: A Family Journey 1953-1976</em><br> Stax/Concord</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Not for gospel buffs only, the Staple Singers could make even a confirmed heathen feel blessed by the Holy Spirit. Featuring Roebuck "Pops" Staples and his children Mavis, Cleotha, and alternatively Pervis or Yvonne, the quartet evolved from local Chicago favorites to worldwide soul superstars over the course of a two-decade-plus run. Their sound drew its breathtaking beauty from the shimmering tremolo- and reverb-drenched guitar of Pops&mdash;a style his peers dubbed "nervous"&mdash;and the exuberant high harmonies of the four, with Mavis' powerhouse voice adding a thrilling jolt to the mix.</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Staple_Singers_Box_Set_Cover.jpg" style="height: 300px; width: 300px;"></div> <p>The earliest recordings on this fabulous four-disc set capture the Staples Singers at their most visceral. The live 16-minute medley "Too Close/I'm on My Way Home/I'm Coming Home/He's Alright" is downright hair-raising in its primal intensity. Curiously, the group's interaction with the like-minded folk movement of the early '60s resulted in some of their milder efforts in the form of a handful of Bob Dylan covers, although the lull was only temporary. Joining Stax Records in the late-'60s, they scored a series of secular-but-uplifting hits with foot-stomping songs like "Respect Yourself," "I&rsquo;ll Take You There," and "If You're Ready (Come Go with Me)."</p> <p>Pops passed away in 2000, but Mavis is still going strong today. In any case, <em>Faith &amp; Grace</em> testifies to their illustrious achievements.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Tue, 24 Nov 2015 23:57:50 +0000 Jon Young 290116 at http://www.motherjones.com John Oliver Slams Republicans Using Fearmongering Tactics to Refuse Syrian Refugees http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/11/john-oliver-refugees <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GQnjEK4bV5Q" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>On Sunday, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/LastWeekTonight" target="_blank">John Oliver</a> weighed in on the mounting refusal by many Republican governors to take in Syrian refugees in the wake of the deadly Paris attacks earlier this month.</p> <p>"It is absolutely fair to be concerned about safety in the wake of these attacks, and it's fair to wonder who we're letting in or what kind of screening process in place," Oliver said. "Unfortunately, many of the people talking about it this week don't seem to have the first idea of what we're doing."</p> <p>After displaying a montage of GOP politicians using baseless scare tactics to question the rigor of the current vetting process, the <em>Last Week Tonight</em> host deftly walked viewers through the intensive system all Syrian refugees must go through in order to be accepted into the United States.</p> <p>"This is the most rigorous vetting anyone has to face before entering this country," he said. "No terrorist in their right mind would choose this path when the visa process requires far less effort. But nevertheless, the House still voted on Thursday to add a few more steps."</p> <p>Oliver then singled out former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee for the fearmongering approach he's used to justify blocking refugees resettlement.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Immigration International Media Mon, 23 Nov 2015 13:58:43 +0000 Inae Oh 290356 at http://www.motherjones.com This Is the Greatest Correction I've Ever Read http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/11/how-to-promote-your-work-follow-it-up-and-link-back <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><blockquote> <blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Everyone makes mistakes, everyone has those days. <a href="https://t.co/iG84xcK6XC">https://t.co/iG84xcK6XC</a> <a href="https://t.co/s4yAp2VLWs">pic.twitter.com/s4yAp2VLWs</a></p> &mdash; Talya Minsberg (@tminsberg) <a href="https://twitter.com/tminsberg/status/667476519586029573">November 19, 2015</a></blockquote> </blockquote> </blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Adele's new album is subliiiiiiiiiiime. <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2015/11/adele-new-album-25-review" target="_blank">Read our review</a>.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Thu, 19 Nov 2015 23:10:13 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 290176 at http://www.motherjones.com Even Fox News Is Slamming Political Extremists for Refusing to Take in Refugees http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/11/fox-news-shepard-smith-refugees-isis <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Amid a growing chorus of <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/state-department-reminds-republican-governors-stop-refugees" target="_blank">Republican governors</a> refusing to accept the settlement of Syrian refugees in their respective states&mdash;despite you know, the Constitution&mdash;F<em>ox News</em>' Shepard Smith made a rather surprising call for political extremists to reverse their stances and show some compassion to those escaping violence.&nbsp;</p> <p>"It seems to me we the people have the responsibility now to protect what we hold dear," Smith told viewers on Monday.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dY7SNx1DnrU" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>"We profess to stand as an example for all the world. Our unique experiment in freedom, tolerance, and equality is our gift to societies and peoples everywhere. Come join us. Enjoy a chance at the American dream. Today we mourn, but we cannot allow ourselves to become like those who want to destroy us."</p> <p>Smith's heartfelt and measured exhortation was a welcome respite from much of the fear-mongering tactics some Republican politicians have been using in the wake of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday. On Tuesday, <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/trump-obama-syria-refugees-215975" target="_blank">Donald Trum</a>p went as far as to accuse President Obama of intentionally sending refugees only to Republican states, joining his fellow presidential candidate Mike Huckabee in suggesting "limousine liberals" of a NIMBY approach to taking in refugees.&nbsp;</p></body></html> Mixed Media Foreign Policy International Tue, 17 Nov 2015 22:05:00 +0000 Inae Oh 289736 at http://www.motherjones.com Adele's New Song Is Every Bit As Good As You Want It to Be http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/11/adeles-new-song-every-bit-good-you-want-it-be <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/DDWKuo3gXMQ" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>We were teased yesterday on Twitter and Facebook by an ad for an <a href="http://&lt;blockquote%20class=%22twitter-tweet%22%20lang=%22en%22&gt;&lt;p%20lang=%22en%22%20dir=%22ltr%22&gt;WATCH%20an%20exclusive%20sneak%20peek%20of%20&lt;a%20href=%22https://twitter.com/Adele%22&gt;@Adele&lt;/a&gt;&amp;#39;s%20latest%20song!%20%7C%20Full%20interview%20with%20&lt;a%20href=%22https://twitter.com/hashtag/Adele?src=hash%22&gt;#Adele&lt;/a&gt;%20-%208.10%20SUNDAY%20on%20&lt;a%20href=%22https://twitter.com/hashtag/60Mins?src=hash%22&gt;#60Mins&lt;/a&gt;&amp;#10;&lt;a%20href=%22https://t.co/9S5ULnXUQ5%22&gt;https://t.co/9S5ULnXUQ5&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&amp;mdash;%2060%20Minutes%20Australia%20(@60Mins)%20&lt;a%20href=%22https://twitter.com/60Mins/status/666375853756952576%22&gt;November%2016,%202015&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;%20&lt;script%20async%20src=%22//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js%22%20charset=%22utf-8%22&gt;&lt;/script&gt;" target="_blank">exclusive performance on <em>60 Minutes Australia</em></a>. Now you can watch the full performance of Adele's new new song, "When We Were Young," the follow up to her first single in three years, "Hello", and the second song from the forthcoming album "25." The film clip is directed by Paul Dugdale, and shot at The Church Studios, the legendary north London recording spot.</p> <p>For fans of Adele, the main feeling is relief&mdash;that it's a real comeback. Here's the conversation I had with <em>Mother Jones </em>creative director&nbsp;Ivylise Simones&nbsp;when she&nbsp;texted me urgently this morning with the link:</p> <p><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/slack_for_ios_upload.png.jpeg"></p> <p>Here's that teaser for the 60 Minutes interview:</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">A WORLD EXCLUSIVE | Music superstar <a href="https://twitter.com/Adele">@Adele</a>&acirc;&#128;&#139; opens her heart and her studio - 8.10 SUNDAY on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/60Mins?src=hash">#60Mins</a> <a href="https://t.co/VCri6PZQh8">https://t.co/VCri6PZQh8</a></p> &mdash; 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) <a href="https://twitter.com/60Mins/status/666184522480795648">November 16, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>And just for the die-hard fans, here's a GIF of that diva moment, sized for Twitter's 2MB limit, to be used at your leisure:</p> <center> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/adele-sized.gif"></div> </center></body></html> Mixed Media Video Music Tue, 17 Nov 2015 17:34:31 +0000 James West 289691 at http://www.motherjones.com Charlie Sheen Reveals He Is HIV Positive http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/11/charlie-sheen-hiv-positive <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Actor Charlie Sheen confirmed on Tuesday morning that he is HIV positive and has known about his diagnosis for about four years.</p> <p>"I am here to admit that I am in fact HIV positive," he told Matt Lauer on the <a href="http://www.today.com/health/charlie-sheen-reveals-hes-hiv-positive-today-show-exclusive-t56391" target="_blank"><em>Today</em></a> show.</p> <p>"It's a hard three letters to absorb," he said. "It's a turning point in one's life."</p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">The troubled television actor also revealed he has been the victim of several extortion plots and has paid people millions to keep them from going public with his diagnosis. Sheen told Lauer that the sexual partners he had unprotected sex with after he was diagnosed were being cared for by his doctor.</span></p> <p>Sheen's revelation comes one day after a <em>National Enquirer</em> cover story speculated on his diagnosis. Rumors about the 50-year-old actor's health started swirling after several <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/kateaurthur/charlie-sheen-i-am-in-fact-hiv-positive?s=mobile_app#.yvpj125q4" target="_blank">blind item reports</a> were published, including a <em>RadarOnline</em> story that appeared two weeks prior. Many of the stories were believed to be pointing to Sheen.</p> <p>"I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks and of sub-truths and very harmful and mercurial stories that are about me, that threaten the health of so many others that couldn't be further from the truth," he said on Tuesday, alluding to the mounting tabloid reports.</p> <div style="position:relative; padding-bottom:63%; padding-bottom:-webkit-calc(56.25% + 50px); padding-bottom:calc(56.25% + 50px); height: 0;"><iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" src="http://www.today.com/offsite/charlie-sheen-im-hiv-positive-paid-many-who-threatened-to-expose-me-568362563518" style="position:absolute; width: 100%; height: 100%;"></iframe></div></body></html> Mixed Media Film and TV Tue, 17 Nov 2015 13:59:19 +0000 Inae Oh 289671 at http://www.motherjones.com This Video of a Guy Getting This Close to Obama and Putin Might Be the Best Video of the Year http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/11/video-putin-obama-syria-amazing <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>For <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/15/us-g20-turkey-putin-obama-idUSKCN0T40T220151115" target="_blank">more than 30 minutes</a> on Sunday, President Barack Obama <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/16/g20-barack-obama-and-vladimir-putin-agree-to-syrian-led-transition" target="_blank">could be seen huddling on the sidelines</a> of the G20 summit meeting in Antalya, Turkey, in conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin and two aides, apparently hashing out a plan to deal with the chaos in Syria. "President Obama and President Putin agreed on the need for a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political transition," the White House <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/paris-terror-attacks/obama-putin-go-head-head-g20-sidelines-n463821" target="_blank">said</a>.</p> <p>Now, state-backed broadcaster Russia Today has released a video of the incident&mdash;in which a man seems to be trying to listen in on the high-stakes conversation between the leaders.</p> <p>Look, I'm no fan of Russia Today, and its <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/07/russia-today-reporter-quits-ukraine-plane-propaganda.html" target="_blank">propaganda-choked airwaves</a>. And it's true we don't know exactly what this guy is doing or what he's thinking. Homeboy might just be chilling out with that funny smirk and a truckload of self-consciousness, and his funny use of his cell phone, and the odd way he keeps glancing at the camera. We'll never know. But just look at that face. It's very funny:</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/putin1-630.jpg"></div> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/putin2-630.jpg"></div> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/putin3-630.jpg"></div> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/putin4-630.jpg"></div> <p>Watch the full video, posted Monday:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/d6qJpCutWug" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><em>h/t My friend Steph Harmon, out-going editor of Junkee. <a href="http://mumbrella.com.au/junkees-steph-harmon-and-former-hoopla-editor-lucy-clark-to-join-the-guardian-330896" target="_blank">Congrats on the new gig</a>.</em></p></body></html> Mixed Media Video International Media Tue, 17 Nov 2015 01:43:24 +0000 James West 289651 at http://www.motherjones.com John Oliver Unleashes Profanity-Laced Rant on Paris Attackers: "Fuck These Assholes" http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/11/john-oliver-paris-attacks <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/glxh9ZgP7kc" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Following the coordinated <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/11/multiple-shooting-attacks-and-bombings-reported-paris" target="_blank">terrorist attacks in Paris</a> on Friday, John Oliver began his show on Sunday by unleashing an impassioned, profanity-laced condemnation on the attackers responsible for the deadly siege.</p> <p>"It's hardly been 48 hours and much is unknown, but there are a few things we can say for certain," Oliver started off. "And this is when it actually helps to be on HBO, where those things can be said without restraint, because after the many necessary and appropriate moments of silence, I'd like to offer you a moment of premium-cable profanity."</p> <p>"First as of now, we know this attack was carried out by gigantic fucking assholes, unconscionable flaming assholes, possibly working with other fucking assholes, definitely working in service of an ideology of pure assholery," he said. "Second, and this goes almost without saying: Fuck these assholes.</p> <p>"And third: It is important to remember, nothing about what these assholes are trying to do is going to work. France is going to endure."</p> <p>The <a href="http://&lt;iframe%20width=%22630%22%20height=%22354%22%20src=%22https://www.youtube.com/embed/glxh9ZgP7kc%22%20frameborder=%220%22%20allowfullscreen&gt;&lt;/iframe&gt;" target="_blank"><em>Last Week Tonight</em></a> host continued to offer a message of hope for France, vowing terrorism will never succeed in the face of freedom.</p></body></html> Mixed Media International Media Mon, 16 Nov 2015 13:37:39 +0000 Inae Oh 289551 at http://www.motherjones.com These Just-Released Bob Dylan Recordings Go Behind the Scenes of His Iconic Albums http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/11/these-just-released-bob-dylan-recordings-go-behind-scenes-his-most-iconic-songs <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><strong>Bob Dylan<br><em>The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12</em><br> Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/CUTTING%20EDGE%20DLX%20MASTER.JPEG" style="height: 304px; width: 300px;"></div> <p>The archival Bootleg Series plumbing Bob Dylan's illustrious (and sometimes not so illustrious) history has produced such gems as the complete <em>Basement Tapes</em> and a compilation of his early Witmark publishing demos, but <em>The Cutting Edge</em> is far and away the most exciting entry yet. This dazzling six-disc set covers the period when Dylan plunged wholeheartedly into rock'n'roll and created one masterpiece after another, turning out <em>Bringing It All Back Home</em>,<em> Highway 61 Revisited</em>, and the two-record <em>Blonde on Blonde </em>in a frenetic 18-month burst of genius.</p> <p>Consisting largely of previously unreleased material (actual bootlegs aside), <em>The Cutting Edge</em> collects early versions, rehearsals, alternates, and other fascinating leftovers from the sessions for those albums. What's immediately most striking is how hard Dylan and company worked in the pursuit of perfection, and how much songs evolved during recording. Want to hear "Like a Rolling Stone" as a waltz? "Visions of Johanna" as a spiky uptempo rocker? They're here, along with other classics-in-progress, and tantalizing orphans such as "Lunatic Princess," "You Don't Have to Do That," and "Sitting on a Barbed-Wire Fence." For those who want even more, there's a hefty (and pricey) 18-CD version available via <a href="http://www.bobdylan.com/us" target="_blank">Dylan's website</a>.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Mon, 16 Nov 2015 11:00:12 +0000 Jon Young 289086 at http://www.motherjones.com Anonymous Pianist Plays John Lennon's "Imagine" Outside Paris' Bataclan Concert Hall http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/11/anonymous-pianist-plays-john-lennons-imagine-outside-paris-bataclan-concert-hall <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>This <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/watch-pianist-perform-john-lennons-imagine-outside-paris-bataclan-20151114" target="_blank">is really moving</a>.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ynsq5ms9lvI" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Sat, 14 Nov 2015 20:37:28 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 289501 at http://www.motherjones.com Twilight of The Velvet Underground http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/11/new-velvet-underground-collections-showcase-bands-later-years <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Uc26EFI1_nw" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>The Velvet Underground</strong><br><em><strong>Loaded: Re-Loaded 45th Anniversary Edition</strong></em><br><strong>Rhino</strong></p> <p><em><strong>The</strong></em><em><strong> Complete Matrix Tapes</strong></em><br><strong>Polydor/UMe</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/71m0amrc0jL._SL1000_.jpg" style="height: 300px; width: 300px;"></div> <p><em>Loaded</em> was the most conventional of The Velvet Underground's four studio outings. With gifted multi-instrumentalist John Cale long gone and drummer Maureen Tucker largely absent from the studio, Lou Reed steered the band away from the notorious sonic and emotional extremes of its early work, trying out a more mainstream pop approach, albeit with more wit and a darker undertone than your basic Top 40 song. The album features a few clunkers but also two of his most-lovable compositions in the form of "Sweet Jane" and "Rock &amp; Roll." After the confrontational brilliance of early songs like "Heroin" and "Sister Ray," these engaging anthems seem positively carefree.</p> <p>This six-disc package includes a mono version, a surround-sound mix, a previously released live set from Max's Kansas City, and a very lo-fi, previously unreleased live performance from Philadelphia. The high point is the disc containing demos and early versions, which offers hints of what Reed would have sounded like as a folk singer in an alternate universe, and shows him getting warmed up for his impending solo career. "Satellite of Love" would be one of the standouts of <em>Transformer</em>, his second post-Velvets effort and biggest commercial success, while "Sad Song" resurfaced on his third long-player, the harrowing masterpiece Berlin.</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/The-Velvet-Underground.-The-Mix-tapes-e1445630668139.jpg"></div> <p>Prior to the sessions that produced <em>Loaded</em>, the Velvets played a series of shows at the San Francisco club the Matrix in November and December 1969. Four of those sets appear on <em>The Complete Matrix Tapes</em> and portray the quartet as a cohesive and efficient rock'n'roll band, not simply a vehicle for Reed's solo aspirations. With Doug Yule taking over on bass and psychedelic keyboards, the group ranges from early gems like "I'm Waiting for the Man," presented in a bluesy 13-minute version, and "Sister Ray," which unfolds over 37 mesmerizing minutes, to the not-yet-recorded "Sweet Jane" and "Rock &amp; Roll," heard here in looser, funkier incarnations. Much of the material on this fine four-disc collection has previously been released piecemeal on other archival packages, but <em>The Complete Matrix Tapes</em> is the best way to get a feel for the later Velvet Underground onstage, no longer revolutionary but still compelling.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Sat, 14 Nov 2015 11:00:12 +0000 Jon Young 289101 at http://www.motherjones.com Jennifer Lawrence Slams Her Republican Roots, Predicts "End of World" Scenario for Trump Presidency http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/11/jennifer-lawrence-republican-donald-trump <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In the <a href="http://www.vogue.com/13368193/jennifer-lawrence-december-2015-cover-hunger-games/" target="_blank">newest issue for <em>Vogue</em></a>&mdash;and umpteenth edition of Jennifer Lawrence being so "real" and so "hilarious"&mdash;the <em>Hunger Games </em>actress reveals why she's disavowing her Republican roots, particularly in light of a potential Donald Trump White House.</p> <p>"If Donald Trump is president of the United States, it will be the end of the world," Lawrence tells <em>Vogue's</em> Jonathan Van Meter.&nbsp;"And he's also the best thing to happen to the Democrats ever."</p> <p>Lawrence, who is the world's highest paid actress, also didn't mince words when it came to Kim Davis, the defiant Kentucky county clerk who made national news by refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses back in September.</p> <p>"I just can't imagine supporting a party that doesn't support women's basic rights," she said. "It's 2015 and gay people can get married and we think that we've come so far, so, yay! But have we? I don't want to stay quiet about that stuff."</p> <p>When Van Meter asked her about Davis, Lawrence called her "that lady who makes me embarrassed to be from Kentucky."</p> <p>"All those people holding their crucifixes, which may as well be pitchforks, thinking they&rsquo;re fighting the good fight," she goes on. "I grew up in Kentucky. I know how they are."</p> <p>As for Trump, Lawrence describes her opinion as "pretty cut and dried."</p> <p>Somewhere, Hillary Clinton is nodding in agreement.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Film and TV Religion Sex and Gender Fri, 13 Nov 2015 15:09:49 +0000 Inae Oh 289361 at http://www.motherjones.com The First Viral Video Ever Was Recorded 45 Years Ago Today http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/11/first-viral-video-ever-was-recorded-45-years-ago-today <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uD5sPgV61bw" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>On November 9, 1970, George Thornton, an engineer at the Oregon Department of Transportation, had a mission: remove a 45-foot sperm whale washed ashore the Oregon coast just south of the Siuslow River. But how?</p> <p>As <em>The </em><em>Oregonian</em>'s Stuart Tomlinson <a href="http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2013/10/george_thornton_the_odot_engin.html" target="_blank">puts it in Thornton's obituary in 2013</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>ODOT officials struggled with what to do with the whale. Rendering plants said no thanks. Burying was iffy because the waves would likely have just uncovered the carcass. It was too big to burn.</p> <p>So the plan was hatched: Let&rsquo;s blow it up, scatter it to the wind and let the crabs and seagulls clean up the mess. So Thornton and his crew packed 20 cases of dynamite around the leeward side of the whale, thinking most of it would blow into the water. At 3:45 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, the plunger was pushed.</p> <p>The whale blew up, all right, but the 1/4 mile safety zone wasn&rsquo;t quite large enough. Whale blubber and whale parts fell from the sky, smashing into cars and people. No one was hurt, but pretty much everyone was wearing whale bits and pieces.</p> </blockquote> <p>At that moment on November 12, 1970&mdash;45 years ago today&mdash;the decaying whale <a href="http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2015/11/12/happy-exploding-whale-day" target="_blank">erupted</a> into the public consciousness and eventually became a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ersrMZvJVI" target="_blank">viral sensation</a>. It was <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J---aiyznGQ" target="_blank">keyboard cat</a> before cats had keyboards. "<span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;">[It]&nbsp;went viral before the internet had the infrastructure to support viral videos,"&nbsp;Andrew David&nbsp;</span>Thaler<span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;">&nbsp;wrote in&nbsp;</span><a href="http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-history-of-exploding-whales-is-the-history-of-the-internet-itself" target="_blank"><em>Vice</em>'s definitive history</a><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;">, "when mailing a six minute clip via USPS was faster than downloading."</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> Mixed Media Video Film and TV Science Fri, 13 Nov 2015 01:06:27 +0000 Edwin Rios 289346 at http://www.motherjones.com Aziz Ansari Just Hilariously Burned Television's Diversity Problem to Stephen Colbert http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/11/aziz-ansari-stephen-colbert-diversity <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ao3_3yBv13M" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>There's just no stopping Aziz Ansari.</p> <p>The comedian reached another level of hero status on Tuesday, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ao3_3yBv13M" target="_blank">appearing on the <em>Late Show</em></a> to promote his brilliant new Netflix series <em>Master of None. </em>Just seconds after settling into his guest seat, Ansari wasted no time calling out Hollywood's problems with diversity.</p> <p>"Stephen's the first late night host from South Carolina and the bajillionth white guy," he said, responding to Colbert's comment that the two of them hailed from the same state. "Very interesting measure of progress."</p> <p>When Colbert jokingly asked if his spot on the show counted as a show of progress, Ansari replied, "It's really diverse right now. It's 50 percent diverse. It's like an all-time high for CBS." Colbert couldn't contain his admiration and shook Ansari's hand.</p> <p>The appearance comes on the heels of rave reviews for&nbsp;Ansari's new show, which explores everything from romance and the first-generation immigrant experience, to the insidious racism still<strong> </strong>preventing people of color from securing top-billed acting roles.</p> <p>On Tuesday, viewers also had a chance to hear from Ansari's real father, who also plays the father of Ansari's character on the show. After their appearance together, Ansari posted the following Instagram:<strong> </strong></p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="5" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50.0% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"><a href="https://instagram.com/p/986EKAyRA8/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_blank">My dad took off most of his vacation time for the year to act in Master of None. So I'm really relieved this all worked out. Tonight after we did Colbert together he said: "This is all fun and I liked acting in the show, but I really just did it so I could spend more time with you." I almost instantly collapsed into tears at the thought of how much this person cares about me and took care of me and gave me everything to give me the amazing life I have. I felt like a total piece of garbage for all the times I haven't visited my parents and told them I wanted to stay in New York cause I'd get bored in SC. I'm an incredibly lucky person and many of you are as well. Not to beat a dead horse here and sorry if this is cheesy or too sentimental but if your parents are good to you too, just go do something nice for them. I bet they care and love you more than you realize. I've been overwhelmed by the response to the Parents episode of our show. What's strange is doing that episode and working with my parents has increased the quality of my relationship to my parents IN MY REAL LIFE. In reality, I haven't always had the best, most open relationship with my parents because we are weirdly closed off emotionally sometimes. But we are getting better. And if you have something like that with your family - I urge you to work at it and get better because these are special people in your life and I get terrified when my dad tells me about friends of his, people close to his age, that are having serious health issues, etc. Enjoy and love these people while you can. Anyway, this show and my experiences with my parents while working on it have been very important in many ways and I thank for you the part you all have played in it.</a></p> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A photo posted by @azizansari on <time datetime="2015-11-11T16:43:52+00:00" style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;">Nov 11, 2015 at 8:43am PST</time></p> </div> </blockquote></body></html> Mixed Media Race and Ethnicity Wed, 11 Nov 2015 18:59:53 +0000 Inae Oh 289216 at http://www.motherjones.com John Oliver Slams the Criminal Justice System for Setting Former Prisoners Up to Fail http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/11/john-oliver-prison-re-entry <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gJtYRxH5G2k" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>On Sunday, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJtYRxH5G2k" target="_blank">John Oliver</a> dedicated his show to exposing yet another aspect of our broken criminal justice system, this time focusing on what happens to former offenders once they leave prison and attempt to re-enter society. As the <em>Last Week Tonight</em> host explained, it's an especially timely issue that comes on the heels of the government's recent release of <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/11/americas-prison-population-falling-not-fast-enough" target="_blank">6,000 federal inmates</a> once accused of committing low-level crimes.</p> <p>"The fact that around half of people who leave prison end up going back is horrifying, but when you look at the challenges they face, it gets a little less surprising," Oliver said. "In fact, let me walk you through what it's like when you get out of prison&mdash;and let's just start with minute one, because when inmates exit that gate to start a new life, they could find themselves in the middle of nowhere, with little to nothing in their pockets."</p> <p>Oliver then sat down with a former prisoner, Bilal Chatman, to help address the seemingly unending number of obstacles he and countless others faced upon leaving prison&mdash;starting with society's negative approach to ex-inmates.</p> <p>"People are judgmental&mdash;people that don't know," Chatman said. "I don't want anybody to look at me as the ex-con. I want them to look at the person I am now. I'm a supervisor. I'm a good employee, I'm an employer."</p></body></html> Mixed Media Media Prisons Mon, 09 Nov 2015 13:25:04 +0000 Inae Oh 288886 at http://www.motherjones.com Trump’s First Term According to SNL: Americans Can't Handle How Great Everything Is http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/11/trump-trump-trump-trump-trump-snl <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>While <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCUpPIa8Skc" target="_blank">demonstrators yelled outside</a> NBC's Manhattan television studios protesting his immigration policies, billionaire mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump became the first presidential front-runner to <a href="https://twitter.com/brianstelter/status/663207823904501760" target="_blank">ever host</a> <em>Saturday Night Live</em>. Starting with a self-aggrandizing and self-mocking monologue while flanked by two SNL Trump imitators, the presidential hopeful then starred in a sketch<strong> </strong>set in the oval office a year into his<strong> </strong>first term as president.</p> <p>"I bought you the check for the wall," says the visiting President of Mexico. "Consider it an apology for doubting you." Syria is fixed. There's a new national anthem, and Ivanka Trump is having the Washington Monument plated with gold. "Wow, that's going to look so elegant," says Trump. Watch below:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7jQT7wemI4w" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>And of course, there was Trump dancing to the internet thing of the moment, Drake's "Hot Line Bling":</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Because of course. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SNL?src=hash">#SNL</a> <a href="https://t.co/jBMU1W7MJm">https://t.co/jBMU1W7MJm</a></p> &mdash; Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) <a href="https://twitter.com/nbcsnl/status/663221919097995264">November 8, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> Mixed Media 2016 Elections Film and TV Media Donald Trump Sun, 08 Nov 2015 05:40:15 +0000 James West 288861 at http://www.motherjones.com At Least There's Now One Black Manager in Major League Baseball http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/11/least-theres-now-one-black-manager-major-league-baseball <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Nearly a month after the Seattle Mariners fired manager Lloyd McClendon, the Washington Nationals on Tuesday <a href="http://espn.go.com/blog/washington-nationals/post/_/id/393/nationals-botch-bud-black-deal-get-it-right-with-skipper-dusty-baker" target="_blank">ended</a> Major League Baseball's brief period without a full-time black manager, when it <a href="http://espn.go.com/blog/washington-nationals/post/_/id/393/nationals-botch-bud-black-deal-get-it-right-with-skipper-dusty-baker" target="_blank">hired</a> veteran Dusty Baker. But as <em>Mother Jones </em><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2015/10/baseball-color-line-black-latino-managers" target="_blank">reported last week</a>, the hiring of one black manager does little to solve the league's larger diversity problem in the coaching arena.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p>Baseball's diversity problems go beyond the manager's seat, of course. For the last three decades, the percentage of African Americans in the big leagues has declined (though that figure has remained relatively flat at 8.3 percent in the last five years, leaving a pinch of hope). And while the Selig Rule was intended to surface more minority candidates for front-office positions, a mere 13 percent of general managers are people of color.</p> <p>Major League Baseball will continue touting its international pipeline and its efforts to bring the sport back to kids in America's inner cities. But for now, managers of color may continue to feel, as McClendon told the New York Times in July, "like you're sitting on an island by yourself."</p> </blockquote> <p>And now, Baker joins Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonz&aacute;lez on that island. You can read more about baseball's coaching diversity problem <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2015/10/baseball-color-line-black-latino-managers" target="_blank">here</a>.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Race and Ethnicity Sports Tue, 03 Nov 2015 20:23:04 +0000 Edwin Rios 288436 at http://www.motherjones.com John Oliver Explains Why Tuesday's Elections—Not Trump or 2016—Demand Your Immediate Attention http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/11/john-oliver-medicaid-tuesday-elections <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="357" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5d3nASKtGas" width="634"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Update, November 4, 2015:</strong> Kentucky voters elected <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/kentucky-matt-bevin-health-insurance" target="_blank">Republican businessman Matt Bevin </a>to office on Tuesday, potentially jeopardizing Medicaid expansion for roughly half a million people in the state. As John Oliver explained just a few days earlier, this is why all elections&mdash;local, gubernatorial, and presidential&mdash;matter. More on that below:</p> <p>As he bluntly told Stephen Colbert a few weeks ago, John Oliver truly couldn't "<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/10/john-oliver-colbert-donald-trump-2016" target="_blank">give less of a shit</a>" about Donald Trump or the 2016 election.</p> <p>Yet, as the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5d3nASKtGas" target="_blank"><em>Last Week Tonight</em></a> host lamented on Sunday, the national conversation remains fixated on presidential candidates, largely ignoring several key races that could ultimately determine the expansion of Medicaid and Obamacare in their states. It's an issue, according to Oliver, all Americans should pay close attention to, even if you don't live in one of these three states.</p> <p>"There are American lives at stake here, because a number of these elections could determine whether hundreds of thousands of people remain in or even fall into what's known as the Medicaid gap," Oliver said.</p> <p>"I know that sounds like a terrible clothing chain where you can buy khaki hospital gowns sewn by children in India, but amazingly, it's even worse than that."</p></body></html> Mixed Media Health Care Media Mon, 02 Nov 2015 13:48:04 +0000 Inae Oh 288261 at http://www.motherjones.com Meet the Guy Behind Your Favorite Rock 'n' Roll Songs http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/10/sam-phillips <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KWReDqMopt8" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Various Artists<br><em>Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll</em><br> Yep Roc</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/samphillips.jpg" style="height: 300px; width: 300px;"></div> <p>"Invented" might be a slight exaggeration, but Memphis, Tennessee's Sam Phillips discovered and/or produced some of the greatest voices in blues and early rock 'n' roll, releasing many of them on his own Sun Records label. This wonderful 55-track compilation illustrates the staggering range of electrifying music he midwifed, from Elvis Presley ("Mystery Train") and Jerry Lee Lewis ("Whole Lot of Shakin' Goin' On"), to Howlin' Wolf ("How Many More Years?") and B.B. King ("She's Dynamite"), to Carl Perkins ("Blue Suede Shoes") and Johnny Cash ("Big River"). Not to mention Roy Orbison, Ike Turner, Junior Parker, Charlie Rich, and many other lesser-known but vital performers. For newcomers, this is the perfect introduction to an essential body of work; for everyone else, it's merely a thoroughly satisfying collection.</p> <p><em>Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll</em> was compiled by journalist Peter Guralnick as a companion piece to <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Sam-Phillips-Invented-Rock-Roll/dp/0316042749" target="_blank">his absorbing new book of the same name</a> (to be published November 10 by Little, Brown, and Company). The author of the best biography of Elvis Presley to date, as well as a host of other excellent studies of American roots music, Guralnick is a captivating enthusiast and exhaustive researcher, who never lets a mastery of the facts obscure the visceral thrill of the art he celebrates. At 600 pages, his thoughtful account of Phillips' complex life is not for the casual reader, but it's hard to put down once you get started.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Mon, 02 Nov 2015 10:00:08 +0000 Jon Young 287926 at http://www.motherjones.com Stephen Colbert Calls Out Donald Trump's "Small" $1 Million Loan With the Perfect Challenge http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/10/stephen-colbert-donald-trump-million-dollar-loan <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5oa_kGfExuA" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Donald Trump is not a self-made billionaire.</p> <p>But speaking before ordinary Americans on Monday, the real estate mogul attempted to recast his widely known cushy beginnings by telling the story of a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/10/donald-trump-says-dad-gave-him-small-loan-one-million-to-start-empire" target="_blank">meager $1 million loan</a> provided by his old man, Fred Trump.</p> <p>"It has not been easy for me," he insisted.</p> <p>On Wednesday, Stephen Colbert took Trump's humble roots to task by daring him to pay it forward to the kids at Harlem's Children Zone, a charity organization that helps disadvantaged youth in New York.</p> <p>"Who knows, the kids you help might one day be so rich that they can blow their cash on a presidential campaign," the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oa_kGfExuA" target="_blank"><em>Late Sho</em>w host said.</a></p></body></html> Mixed Media 2016 Elections Media Thu, 29 Oct 2015 19:41:59 +0000 Inae Oh 288126 at http://www.motherjones.com Man Hears Obama's Speech on Addiction, Turns in a Cooler Full of Drugs http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/10/obama-addiction-opiate-west-virginia <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Last week, President Barack Obama traveled to West Virginia, a state that leads the nation in the number of <a href="http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jun/17/report-west-virginia-has-top-rate-of-drug-overdose/?page=all" target="_blank">fatal drug overdoses</a>, to announce a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/10/heres-how-bad-heroin-epidemic-west-virginia" target="_blank">new federal program </a>aimed at tackling the country's growing opiate epidemic.</p> <p>That same day, a West Virginia man was so moved by the president's speech, WSAZ reports, that <a href="http://www.wsaz.com/news/headlines/Man-Calls-911-To-Voluntarily-Check-Into-Drug-Rehab-338082272.html" target="_blank">he called 911</a> to seek help and turn in a "cooler full of drugs." The cooler reportedly included marijuana, 19 grams of ecstasy, and more than 150 pain killers.</p> <p>He told authorities he had been watching Obama's announcement and hoped to become sober for his mother. No charges were filed.</p> <p>"We applaud this person&rsquo;s self-initiated efforts and wish him well in his recovery," a police statement read.</p> <p>The man, whose name&nbsp;has not been released, was taken to get medical treatment. He chose to enter a rehabilitation center.</p> <p>For more on the opiate crisis in West Virginia and the president's speech, head to our <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/10/heres-how-bad-heroin-epidemic-west-virginia" target="_blank">previous coverage here. </a></p></body></html> Mixed Media Crime and Justice Marijuana Obama Top Stories Thu, 29 Oct 2015 17:42:13 +0000 Inae Oh 288096 at http://www.motherjones.com Here's What a Store Employee Told 911 After a Milwaukee Bucks Player Tried to Buy a Rolex http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/10/john-henson-rolex-racially-profiled <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>"I am hiding in the office. I don't want them to see me out there."</p> <p>That's what a store employee at Schwanke-Kasten Jeweler told a 911 dispatcher last week, after becoming alarmed by the presence of four black men, one of whom was <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/10/27/9621368/john-henson-wisconsin-jewelry-store-discrimination" target="_blank">Milwaukee Bucks forward John Henson</a>, who were attempting to enter the <span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">Wisconsin&nbsp;</span>jewelry store to buy a Rolex.</p> <p>The police recordings, which were released on Monday, first began on October 16 when Henson phoned the store to inquire about its closing hours. Convinced the voice on the other end of the line couldn't possibly belong to a "legitimate customer," the store employee alerted 911. Here's what the worker said, transcribed by <a href="http://www.tmj4.com/news/local-news/911-calls-released-from-schwanke-kasten-jewelers-alleged-profiling-incident-with-john-henson" target="_blank">NBC Milwaukee:</a></p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Store Employee:&nbsp;</strong><em>We just had a couple suspicious phone calls lately at this store, and we were just wondering if for the next hour, one of the Whitefish Bay cops could park in front of the store until we close.</em><br><strong>911 Operator:</strong>&nbsp;<em>What were the phone calls about?</em><br><strong>Store Employee:&nbsp;</strong><em>They were just asking about what time they're going to close. They just didn't sound like they were legitimate customers.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>When Henson and his friends arrived later that day, they were surprised to discover the store was already closed for the day. Unbeknownst to Henson, a police officer was also stationed nearby. The officer ran his vehicle plates and was unable to confirm the owner of the car.</p> <p>Henson tried again a few days later, much to the employee's panic.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Store Employee:</strong> <em>The officer told us if they came back, we're supposed to call again. They're at our front door now and we're not letting them in. I am hiding in the office. I don't want them to see me out there. We're pretending like we're closed. They're looking in the window. They're just kind of pacing back and forth. I don't feel comfortable letting them in. I just really don't at all.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Soon after police identified Henson, he publicized the incident with a message speaking out against racial profiling in a since-deleted Instagram. <span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;">Just add it to the seemingly unending </span><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/02/21-things-you-cant-do-while-black" style="line-height: 2em;" target="_blank">list of things</a><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;"> you can't do while black&mdash;whether you are a professional athlete or not.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;">You can listen to the 911 calls in their entirety below:</span></p> <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="354" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/229786552&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Race and Ethnicity Sports Tue, 27 Oct 2015 21:14:47 +0000 Inae Oh 287906 at http://www.motherjones.com Airbnb Issues Apology After Tone-Deaf New Ads Debut in San Francisco http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/10/airbnb-ads-san-francisco <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>After a series of ads posted throughout San Francisco this week sparked the ire of both city residents and the internet, Airbnb on Thursday issued a company-wide apology to its employees for what many have described as an over the top passive aggressive ad campaign.</p> <p><em>CNET</em> reports marketing chief Jonathan Mildenhall said in<span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">&nbsp;an&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.cnet.com/news/airbnb-to-employees-we-failed-you-with-controversial-ads/" style="line-height: 24px;" target="_blank">email</a>&nbsp;the ads were "fundamentally inconsistent" with the company's ethos and told employees it would be working with the public organizations it "wronged to make this right."</p> <p>"Yesterday I heard from so many of you about how embarrassed and deeply disappointed you were in us," CEO Brian Chesky also wrote. "You were right to feel this way."</p> <p>After aggressively engaging in a long legal battle to avoid paying the city's 14 percent hotel tax, Airbnb was finally forced to shell out over <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/M-R-Airbnb-pays-tens-of-millions-in-back-6087802.php" target="_blank">$12 million</a> in back taxes earlier this year. The ads, which debuted on Wednesday, featured messages directed towards various city agencies, including public libraries and the board of education, that offered suggestions for how each should use the money.</p> <p>The messages immediately backfired:</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Dear Airbnb: if it's worth $8m to you to beat Prop F, please contribute as much to help build SF affordable housing. <a href="https://t.co/hEoWDVQ0er">pic.twitter.com/hEoWDVQ0er</a></p> &mdash; Martha Bridegam (@MBridegam) <a href="https://twitter.com/MBridegam/status/656965238093279232">October 21, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Poor <a href="https://twitter.com/Airbnb">@Airbnb</a> libertarians forced to pay tax lash out at public libraries. <a href="https://t.co/86udjrpysP">https://t.co/86udjrpysP</a> Via <a href="https://twitter.com/substack">@substack</a> <a href="https://t.co/oQQyl1mtOI">pic.twitter.com/oQQyl1mtOI</a></p> &mdash; Aral Balkan (@aral) <a href="https://twitter.com/aral/status/657077825439166464">October 22, 2015</a></blockquote> </center> <p>The controversy comes two weeks before California voters will consider Proposition F, a ballot initiative that could significantly restrict the type of short-term rentals that Airbnb makes available in San Francisco.</p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">In a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10100700506082939&amp;set=a.626401026109.2203111.94803916&amp;type=3&amp;theater" target="_blank">Facebook post,</a> an assistant professor at San Francisco University criticized the company for spending millions to fight the ballot measure.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">"I'm happy to hear that you paid your taxes this year. I did too! Isn't it awesome?," the post began. "However, had you donated that $8 million you spent fighting Proposition F directly to the public libraries you love so much, that could have made a bigger difference. Oh well. Hindsight is 20/20!"</span></p> <p>The outrage also gave way to moments of levity, with internet users creating mock billboards to poke fun of Airbnb's now-infamous marketing debacle:</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="und"><a href="https://twitter.com/Airbnb">@Airbnb</a> <a href="https://t.co/5s2hLuaQIh">pic.twitter.com/5s2hLuaQIh</a></p> &mdash; Jesse James (@loudgayamerica) <a href="https://twitter.com/loudgayamerica/status/657073776224399360">October 22, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="und"><a href="https://twitter.com/Airbnb">@Airbnb</a> <a href="https://t.co/ys4J7jVTvx">pic.twitter.com/ys4J7jVTvx</a></p> &mdash; Jesse James (@loudgayamerica) <a href="https://twitter.com/loudgayamerica/status/657065671633731584">October 22, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center></body></html> Mixed Media Corporations Fri, 23 Oct 2015 14:39:24 +0000 Inae Oh 287591 at http://www.motherjones.com The New "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Trailer Was Just Released—and It's Pretty Great. http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/10/new-star-wars-force-awakens-trailer-was-just-released%E2%80%94and-its-pretty-great <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><iframe width="630" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sGbxmsDFVnE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></body></html> Mixed Media Tue, 20 Oct 2015 02:17:52 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 287216 at http://www.motherjones.com A DEA Agent Who Helped Take Down Silk Road Is Going to Prison for Unbelievable Corruption http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/10/silk-road-investigator-sentencing-corruption-force <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>A corrupt former drug enforcement agent who played a central role in taking down the popular online drug bazaar Silk Road will serve six and a half years in prison for corruption, a federal judge ruled Monday.</p> <p>Carl Mark Force IV <a href="http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-silk-road-task-force-agent-pleads-guilty-extortion-money-laundering-and-obstruction" target="_blank">pleaded guilty</a> to extortion, money laundering, and obstruction of justice this past summer, after working for two years as an undercover agent for<strong> </strong>an interagency team tasked with identifying the owner of Silk Road. Force, who spent 15 years with the Drug Enforcement Administration, used his position in the investigation to swindle his way to a payout of more $700,000 in Bitcoin and a Hollywood contract. (Another member of the investigative team, ex-Secret Service Agent <a href="https://www.fbi.gov/sanfrancisco/press-releases/2015/former-silk-road-task-force-agent-pleads-guilty-to-money-laundering-and-obstruction" target="_blank">Shaun Bridges</a>, also pleaded guilty over the summer to pocketing $820,000 from the accounts of Silk Road users.) Force has also been ordered to pay $340,000 in restitution.</p> <p>In case you haven't been following the Silk Road case, here's a primer:</p> <p><strong>What exactly was Silk Road, again?</strong> Silk Road was a <a href="http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2425184,00.asp" target="_blank">darknet marketplace</a> that connected buyers and sellers dealing in a vast array of narcotics, false documents, weapons, and other contraband. "The idea was to create a website where people could buy anything anonymously, with no trail whatsoever that could lead back to them," creator Ross Ulbricht wrote in his journal. Users paid in Bitcoin&mdash;around $1.2 billion worth&mdash;and could only access the site using an anonymous internet browser called Tor. Ulbricht ran Silk Road using the moniker "Dread Pirate Roberts" from January 2011 until 2013, when he was caught red-handed at his laptop by a law enforcement sting in a San Francisco coffee shop.</p> <p>Depending on whom you ask, the site was either a radical experiment in libertarian principles or "the most sophisticated and extensive criminal market on the Internet," as the <a href="http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/opa/press-releases/attachments/2015/03/30/criminal_complaint_force.pdf" target="_blank">criminal complaint</a> against Force put it.</p> <p>Ulbricht, who earned a commission on each transaction, was found guilty of drug trafficking, money laundering, and hacking, and he was sentenced to life in prison during the summer. At the sentencing hearing, the federal judge didn't hide her intention to <a href="http://motherboard.vice.com/read/unsealed-transcript-shows-how-a-judge-justified-ross-ulbrichts-life-sentence" target="_blank">make an example of Ulbricht</a>: "What you did was unprecedented, and in breaking that ground as the first person you sit here as the defendant now today having to pay the consequences for that." Ulbricht's family, defense counsel, and supporters have mounted a <a href="http://freeross.org" target="_blank">public campaign</a> to protest what they call a "draconian sentence."</p> <p><strong>Okay, but what does Carl Force have to do with all that?</strong> As the lead undercover cop for a Baltimore-based team of federal investigators, Force was in charge of communicating with Ulbricht. To that end, he created and used a fake persona, "Nob"&mdash;ostensibly a US drug smuggler&mdash;to make contact and gain Ulbricht's trust. In his communication with Nob, Ulbricht commissioned the murder of an employee, Curtis Green, whom he suspected of stealing Bitcoin from Silk Road accounts. (That money turned out to have been stolen by Bridges.) Force and the rest of the Baltimore team then <a href="http://www.ice.gov/doclib/news/releases/2013/131002baltimore.pdf" target="_blank">staged</a> the murder of Green. The incident was the first of <a href="http://mashable.com/2013/11/21/ross-ulbricht/#U.4Vdgayvaqp" target="_blank">six hits</a> that Ulbricht has been accused of arranging<strong>, </strong>though those charges were not pursued in the final prosecution.</p> <p><strong>At what point did Force start breaking the law?</strong> In addition to Nob, Force created unauthorized personas, including "French Maid" and "Death from Above," which he used to extort more than $200,000 from Ulbricht in exchange for fake identification and inside information on the federal investigation. Because many of the communications were encrypted, it's impossible to tell whether the intelligence Force sold to Ulbricht was entirely junk, or whether he truly was a mole. What we do know is that once Ulbricht paid, Force has admitted to transferring the funds to a personal account, not a government one.</p> <p>"Carl Force crossed the line from enforcing the law to breaking it," Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said in a statement after Force's guilty plea, adding that the agent was "seduced by the perceived anonymity of virtual currency and the dark web."</p> <p><strong>That sounds like something straight out of <em>The Shield</em>.</strong> There's more: Force, who has invested heavily in Bitcoin since learning of it through the case, became the acting chief compliance officer at the Bitcoin company CoinMKT in 2013. There, he illegally seized more than $300,000 in assets from a user that the company had flagged for suspicious activity and transferred the money to his personal account.</p> <p>And to top it all off, in March 2014, Force entered into a $240,000 contract with 20th Century Fox Film Studios for a film about the Silk Road investigation&mdash;without notifying his superiors.</p> <p><strong>Could this affect a potential appeal by Ulbricht?</strong> Yup. His defense attorney, Joshua Dratel, has <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIy46SFDq8c" target="_blank">indicated</a> that the appeal will challenge the decision to ban any reference to the corruption from the courtroom. "We knew that the case agent who made the first contact with Dread Pirate Roberts was, in fact, entirely corrupt," Ulbricht's lawyer said following the sentencing. "We were prevented from using any of that at trial. That is going to be an issue." Dratel had previously called for a retrial after the corruption charges came to light, but the request was <a href="http://www.wired.com/2015/04/silk-road-judge-says-no-new-trial-despite-agents-alleged-corruption/" target="_blank">denied</a>&mdash;in part because a second, concurrent investigative team based in New York was the one that ultimately busted Ulbricht, not the Baltimore team. The appeal, which has not yet been scheduled, will go before a panel of three judges in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Crime and Justice Regulatory Affairs Tech Mon, 19 Oct 2015 23:37:45 +0000 Madison Pauly 287156 at http://www.motherjones.com