Dispatches From the Culture Wars - Entrepreneur Edition
October 2, 2012

Published by Portside

A Mockumentary Pulls In Real Players

by John Anderson

September 30, 2012 
The New York Times


During the Jan. 3 broadcast of ABC's "World News Tonight"
Diane Sawyer introduced a heartbreaking segment from the Iowa
caucus, featuring a distraught voter being consoled by Mitt
Romney. "Save the small families of America," she begged
through tears, as Mr. Romney hugged her and promised he
would. As audiences at the Toronto International Film
Festival recently discovered, that was no conservative
Christian in Mr. Romney's arms. It was the actress Jane Edith
Wilson, star of "Janeane From Des Moines," which features a
rather prestigious lineup of supporting players, including
Mr. Romney, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and
Rick Santorum, who were running in this year's Republican
primaries as "Janeane" went shopping for a candidate to
support.  In reality, Ms. Wilson is 48, lives in Los Angeles,
and has appeared on "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "ER," "The Bernie
Mac Show" and "Seinfeld," among other acting credits.

# # #

Group buys shuttered clinic of slain Kan. abortion provider,
will reopen and offer abortions 

Associated Press

September 26, 2012 
Washington Post


The shuttered Wichita abortion clinic formerly operated by
the late Dr. George Tiller has been bought by an abortion-
rights group that intends to reopen it as a family and
women's health center that will offer abortions as part of a
wide range of obstetrical and family care services.   The
Wichita-based non- profit group Trust Women Foundation Inc.
purchased Tiller's former clinic in late August.  All of
Kansas except for the Kansas City area - has been without an
abortion clinic since an anti-abortion zealot murdered Tiller
at the doctor's church in May 2009.

#  #  #

Dearborn: Where Americans Come to Hate Muslims

By Daniel Denvir

September 2012 
The Atlantic Cities


Dearborn, a city of 97,000 surrounded on three sides by
Detroit, is a must-visit location on 21st-century America's
newly established anti-Muslim protest circuit. The entire
city, right-wing critics erroneously claim, is subject to
Sharia law, and they warn that the rest of America might soon
be, too. Here in metro Detroit, it is immigrants from the
Middle East and Mexico who have revitalized portions of an
otherwise severely distressed and deindustrialized
metropolis. Still, the idea that Muslims are imposing Sharia
law here has become a staple in today's conservative movement
and in the Republican Party as a whole, with Dearborn moving
reluctantly into the center of the national debate.

#  #  #

Intel Clarifies That No Donations Will Be Made To Any Boy
Scouts Troop That Discriminates

By Zack Ford

September 21, 2012 
Think Progress.org


When the American Independent reported that Intel was one of
the Boy Scouts of America's largest corporate donors in 2010,
giving over $700,000 to local troops and councils, Scouts for
Equality founder Zach Wahls launched a Change.org petition
calling on the computer chip maker to cease financial

Today, Intel clarified that it has already adjusted its
policies to prevent such donations in the future. This year,
for the first time, prospective recipients of Intel matching
grants will have to sign a statement confirming that they do
not discriminate based on creed or sexual orientation, and
any groups that cannot do so will be ineligible for funding.

#  # #

Ink-stained assassins 

By  Helen Lewis

August 23, 2012 
New Statesman


Since 1986, Ingram Pinn has illustrated the lead piece on the
Financial Times  opinion pages on weekdays, and gives his own
opinion in cartoon form on Saturdays. As the 62-year-old
acknowledges, he might be the last to do so. The problem is
not that young people aren't interested in illustration, it's
that so few want to apply that talent to the specialised art
form of the British newspaper cartoon.

This situation at the FT isn't an isolated one. Drawing
newspaper cartoons is the preserve of a group of men in
middle to late age; there are very few women. Notoriously,
they don't retire if they can help it, yet this is the
paradox of cartooning: a few dozen people make a very good
living from it, but when eventually they hang up their nibs,
will they be replaced? And, if this is the last generation of
news paper cartoonists, what will we lose when they are gone?

#  #  #

Gangnam Style, Dissected: The Subversive Message Within South
Korea's Music Video Sensation

By Max Fisher

August 23, 2012 
The Atlantic


Park Jaesang, who performs as Psy (short for psycho), has
earned more than 49 million hits on YouTube since his video
"Gangnam Style" was released in mid-July.  Of course, no one
here in the U.S. has any idea what Psy is rapping about.
Gangnam is a tony Seoul neighborhood, and Park's "Gangnam
Style" video lampoons its self-importance and ostentatious
wealth, with Psy playing a clownish caricature of a Gangnam

But it turns out that the video is rich with subtle
references that, along with the song itself, suggest a
subtext with a surprisingly subversive message about class
and wealth in contemporary South Korean society. That message
would be awfully mild by American standards but South Korea
is a very different place, and it's a big deal that even this
gentle social satire is breaking records on Korean pop

#  #  #

Sign language that African Americans use is different from
that of whites

By Frances Stead Sellers

September 17, 2012 
Washington Post


In 1968, she was 15 years old, Carolyn McCaskill had just
enrolled in an integrated school for the deaf in Talledega,
Ala. But when the teachers got up to address the class, they
made hand movements for everyday words that looked foreign to
her and her fellow black students.

With this experience, McCaskill studied the degree to which
distinct signing systems - one for whites and another for
blacks - evolved and coexist, and have now released "The
Hidden Treasure of Black ASL" revealing a rich signing system
that reflects both a history of segregation and the ongoing
influence of spoken black English.  The book and its
accompanying DVD emphasize that Black ASL is not just a slang
form of signing, but rather the two signing systems are
comparable to American and British English: similar but with
differences that follow regular patterns and a lot of
variation in individual usage.

#  #  #

Bar Gets Pregnancy Test Vending Machine for Female Customers

By John Farrier

September 16, 2012 


Healthy Brains for Children, a non-profit organization in the
Minneapolis area, wants to reduce the incidence of fetal
alcohol syndrome. So it plans to put 100 vending machines in
bars to sell pregnancy tests. The idea is that women who
suspect that they may be pregnant can check before taking a
drink and potentially harming a child's development.

There's already one at a bar in Mankato, with all proceeds
going directly to the organization. A sign posted above the
pregnancy test dispenser warns about the dangers of drinking
while pregnant. "A pregnant mother should not be drinking,
and there are many cases where  she may not even know that
she is pregnant," it reads.

#  #  #

Soon you'll be able to go to CVS and print a book

By Laura Hazard Owen

September 13, 2012 


On Demand Books, the company behind the Espresso Book
Machine, and Kodak are partnering to add print-on-demand
technology to Kodak Picture Kiosks. That means consumers will
be able to print paperback photo books, self-published books
and the seven million backlist and public domain titles in On
Demand's catalog from retail chains such as CVS.  On Demand
also announced a partnership with ReaderLink, which
distributes books to grocery stores, drugstores, mass market
and club stores, to make more titles available through the
105,000 Kodak Picture Kiosks around the world.  The company
already has a partnership with Xerox that has placed Espresso
Book Machines in about 70 bookstores and libraries globally,
but the Kodak partnership will expand its footprint

#  #  #

Cato Shrugged

By David Weigel

September. 10, 2012 


What's the difference between a Cato Institute libertarian
and an Ayn Rand objectivist? Cato's libertarianism is a
theory of government. Objectivism is a theory of life. The
way this separates objectivists from other libertarians is in
foreign policy. Since the war on terror broke out, Cato's
been a bunker for non-interventionists and its foreign-policy
shop is staffed with critics of the Iraq war.

But not for much longer. In July, at the annual Objectivist
Conference,  John Allison, newly-installed as Cato President
after a prolonged conflict between Cato's management and the
increasingly active mega-donors Charles and David Koch,
revealed how he'd remold Cato in the Ayn Rand image.   "Old
school" libertarians were "enemies of Objectivism and would
be purged"  so that Cato will become a more Objectivist

#  #  #

Neocons Gather To Fete Iraq War Godfather Bernard Lewis

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

September 20, 2012 
The Forward


Letter From The Pierre Hotel

At Bernard Lewis's neocon gala, the talk was of war, peace,
democracy and Muslims.  The September 12 party was a
celebration of the long and storied career of Lewis, the
erudite 96-year-old Arab studies scholar and Princeton
University professor now widely known for his close ties to
the Bush White House.  The British-born Jewish academic is
thought by some to have provided key intellectual ammunition
in the Bush administration's push toward the 2003 invasion of
Iraq by the United States. Lewis now says that he opposed the
invasion at the time.  The old guard hawks were more
interested in talking about the fallout of the Arab Spring,
and in hypothesizing on the unfeasibility of rapid
transitions to democracy in the Arab world.

#  #  #


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