Henry Rollins: War on Christmas? How About a War on Everything? (LA Weekly)
As this year will soon conclude and I spend each night with thousands of fellow Americans, I am impressed and grateful for the level of civility that meets me in each venue. It is almost unbelievable that a nation of people who are approximately 50-50 in great disagreement can get through the day with such a low body count.
Paul Krugman: When The Ridiculous Is Ominous (NY Times Blog)
I'm still mulling over the Carrier deal, which I suspect will be a template for the Trump years in general - again and again, we'll see actions that are ridiculous in themselves, but add up to a very scary picture.
Peter Robinson: "Streams ahead: the artists who made it huge without radio support" (The Guardian)
Thanks to Spotify, Apple Music and co, musicians such as Glass Animals and Anne-Marie can go global without radio support. But can they convert streaming stats into fans?
Michael Bhaskar: In the age of the algorithm, the human gatekeeper is back (The Guardian)
The rise of algorithms has been relentless, but we need human input in our world of technological innovations.
Bryan Appleyard: "Diane Arbus: a life of incest, orgies and pursuing the extremes" (Spectator)
Though the great photographer's work is scarcely ever shown, Arthur Lubow emphasises her genius for making even the most ordinary seem deeply disturbing.
Aaron Kheifets: What Free Speech Doesn't Give You The Right To Say (Cracked)
Freedom of speech is one of the cornerstones of our society, and it is absolutely a principle worth defending to one's dying breath. Unfortunately, complete assholes are also a cornerstone of our society, and will definitely be here until our dying breaths.
Anthea Butler: "I'm on the 'professor watchlist.' It's a ploy to undermine free speech" (The Guardian)
The rightwing roundup isn't protecting conservatism - it's making an Orwellian environment at universities where all ideas should be welcome.
Brook Bolen: Many of us in rural, poor America supported Trump. But he will hurt us (The Guardian)
Donald Trump's daily assaults on working people are exhausting. His choice for Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, is just the latest example.
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Michelle in AZ
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
'OBAMA CARE' OR 'REPUG DEATH'.
THE REPUBLICAN HATERS!
WE CAN DO THIS THE EASY WAY OR THE HARD WAY!
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CAT BROTHERLY LOVE.
THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING.
LIFE ON MARS?
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Still sunny and brisk (for these parts).
Antarctic Ice Shelf
The breakup of the massive Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica is getting closer and will eventually produce an iceberg the size of Delaware prowling the Southern Ocean, according to new NASA data.
On Friday, NASA released an astonishing new image taken by researchers flying above the ice shelf on Nov. 10 showing the crack is getting longer, deeper and wider. Scientists think it will eventually cause a large section of the shelf to break off.
The scientists associated with a NASA field campaign known as Operation IceBridge measured the Larsen C fracture to be about 70 miles long, more than 300 feet wide and about a third of a mile deep.
"The crack completely cuts through the Ice Shelf but it does not go all the way across it - once it does, it will produce an iceberg roughly the size of the state of Delaware," NASA said in a press release.
When this iceberg calving event happens, likely within the next decade, it will be the largest calving event in Antarctica since 2000, the third biggest such event ever recorded and the largest from this particular ice shelf, scientists say.
Antarctic Ice Shelf
Starts Anew In LA
French choreographer Benjamin Millepied, who spectacularly left the Paris Opera Ballet earlier this year, will mark his return to Los Angeles this week with a new show.
The dance star -- husband of Hollywood actress Natalie Portman -- also revealed he is working on a feature film as he held rehearsals this week with his dance troupe from the L.A. Dance Project at a studio in downtown Los Angeles.
The performances December 9 and 10 will consist of four dances, including the world premiere of "Homecoming," choreographed by the ex-star dancer of the New York City Ballet.
The show symbolizes his comeback in Los Angeles, where he settled in 2012 with Portman before his brief stint at the Paris Opera Ballet. It also marks the first time he will be taking to the stage in a year.
The show in Los Angeles will also include a live performance by the singer Rufus Wainwright, who composed "Homecoming," artwork by LA artist Mark Bradford and music by Philip Glass.
Revelation Sparks Outrage
'Last Tango in Paris'
"Last Tango in Paris" is making headlines again 44 years after the controversial film came out. A recently unearthed video interview with Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci from 2013 has renewed interest, and outrage, over what happened to actress Maria Schneider on set during the infamous butter rape scene.
Bertolucci said that neither he nor Marlon Brando told Schneider of their plans to use the stick of butter during the simulated rape scene - a concept they came up with the morning of the shoot - because he wanted her to react "as a girl not as an actress." He wanted her, he said, to feel "the rage and the humiliation."
Schneider, who died in 2011 at age 58 after a lengthy illness, spoke a number of times about the scene between her, then aged 19, and Marlon Brando, then 48, even saying in a 2007 Daily Mail interview that she "felt a little raped" by her co-star and director.
"They only told me about it before we had to film the scene, and I was so angry," Schneider said. "I should have called my agent or had my lawyer come to the set because you can't force someone to do something that isn't in the script. But at the time, I didn't know that."
But despite Schneider's past comments, the video interview with Bertolucci struck a chord this weekend as it circulated on social media that the director was admitting that the scene was non-consensual.
'Last Tango in Paris'
Art Looted By Nazis
In the epic, 16-year battle over a priceless painting looted by the Nazis, there is one point on which all sides agree: When Lilly Cassirer and her husband fled Germany ahead of the Holocaust, they surrendered their Camille Pissarro masterpiece in exchange for their lives.
The Jewish couple traded the work for the exit visas that allowed them to flee to the safety of England in 1939. When they did so, they set Pissarro's stunning 1897 oil-on-canvas Paris street scene on an incredible journey of its own.
It was an odyssey that would take "Rue St.-Honore, Apres-Midi, Effet de Pluie" from Germany to the United States, through the hands of several wealthy collectors and prominent art dealers and, finally, to Spain's Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, where it has resided since 1993.
Since 2000, Lilly Cassirer's heirs have been trying to get it back.
They may get one of their last best chances Monday when their lawyer, David Boies, argues before a federal appeals court that under state law and international treaties, the painting appraised at more than $30 million belongs to Cassirer's great-grandchildren.
Petraeus Disclosed 'Far More Highly Classified' Secrets
In an exclusive interview with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric, Edward Snowden says that former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus - who is under consideration to become President-elect Donald Trump's secretary of state - disclosed "information that was far more highly classified than I ever did" and yet never "spent a single day in jail."
The fugitive former National Security Agency contractor told Couric that Petraeus's case is evidence that "We have a two-tiered system of justice in the United States, where people who are either well-connected to government or they have access to an incredible amount of resources get very light punishments."
"When the government came after him, they charged him with a misdemeanor," Snowden continued. "He never spent a single day in jail, despite the type of classified information he exposed."
Snowden's remarks about Petraeus are likely to infuriate the retired four-star general's supporters in Congress and elsewhere. Petraeus did plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge in April 2015 for mishandling classified information, receiving two years' probation and a $100,000 fine. Court documents in the case show that he turned over a black book of highly classified "code word" documents - including the identity of covert officers and notes of National Security Council meetings - to Paula Broadwell, a biographer with whom he was having an affair.
But the "factual basis" for his plea also states that he retrieved the information from Broadwell three days later. Government officials have said that Broadwell, who was never charged, didn't use the information in her book about Petraeus and that none of the information he disclosed to her was ever made public. (Petraeus made that same point in an interview Sunday on ABC's "This Week." While acknowledging that he "made a false statement" to the FBI about his disclosure to Broadwell, he added that "the FBI in the agreement acknowledged that nothing that was in my journals that I shared - certainly improperly - ended up in the biography or made it out to the public. I think that's a fairly significant point.")
Right-Wing Medical Association
If you're an American who misses the days when you could pick a doctor out of the phone book, write a check to pay for the visit and be done with it, you may be pleased to hear that the next president's nominee to run the nation's health system belongs to an organization that agrees with you.
The nominee is Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., Donald Trump's pick as secretary of health and human services, and the organization is the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, an Arizona-based group that promotes libertarian principles in health care - and an array of far-right conspiracy theories about many other topics. Price, an orthopedic surgeon for 20 years before entering Congress, is a member of the group, according to the health news website STAT. Another well-known doctor-politician, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has been a member; an article in the organization's journal last year touted Dr. Ben Carson as a potential president.
AAPS confirmed Price's membership to STAT, and its website has repeatedly touted the congressman's association with the group. Price and the Trump transition did not respond to requests for comment from Yahoo News. To be sure, Price's membership in the group does not imply he agrees with everything it stands for or has published in its journal. But with the previously obscure organization now poised to influence the thinking at the top levels of U.S. health care policymaking, it's worth looking into some of the positions it has advanced over the years.
The modern conservative movement, to a considerable degree, was born in opposition to Medicare. Republicans who love to quote Ronald Reagan's famous 1961 lament for lost American freedoms - "We are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children, what it once was like in America when men were free" - may not even realize that the speech was a diatribe against "socialized medicine," also known as Medicare. As late as 2010, Sue Lowden, a prominent Nevada Republican who was seeking her party's nomination for the U.S. Senate, urged a return to an era "before we all started having health care … [In] the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor. They would say I'll paint your house."
46 Claims Filed
It took 30 years for a former student to be ready to report he'd been sexually abused by a respected Roman Catholic priest on high school trips. But it didn't take long to realize the priest wouldn't be held accountable in court.
Though the church said investigators found the allegations credible, the accuser couldn't sue or press criminal charges, mainly because of the passage of time.
Instead, he's looking to a new compensation process set up by the Archdiocese of New York, potentially the most extensive effort of its kind to date. Some 46 people have filed claims in under two months, and the total could at least triple.
The program lets people take claims, often too old for court, to a noted outside mediator while keeping painful details private.
Yet victims' advocates are wary, noting that the archdiocese hasn't given any estimate of the payouts or the total it will spend. Some activists see the program as a church tactic to shield information about the handling of problem priests and counter pressure to let decades-old child sexual abuse cases go to court.
Stolen Gate Probe Could Be Complicated
The investigation into how an iron gate stolen from the Nazis' Dachau concentration camp in southern Germany ended up in western Norway may be complicated because "no useable evidence" has been found, police said Saturday.
Police spokeswoman Kari Bjoerkhaug Trones says the gate with the cynical slogan "Arbeit macht frei" - "Work sets you free" - was found Nov. 28 under a tarpaulin at a parking lot in Ytre Arna, a settlement north of Bergen, Norway's second-largest city.
"It has been there for quite some time with some junk under a tarpaulin. Our forensic teams have found no useable evidence like DNA," Bjoerkhaug Trones told The Associated Press. The gate was now in police care, she said, adding they have no suspects.
The camp was turned into a memorial site, and the gate's theft in November 2014 was viewed as a desecration. The Dachau memorial's director described the gate as "the central symbol for the prisoners' ordeal." Israel's Yad Vashem memorial labeled the theft as "an offensive attack on the memory of the Holocaust."
A replica was installed in the missing gate's place last year as part of events marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camp by U.S. forces in April 1945.
Weekend Box Office
Audiences came back for a second helping of "Moana" and "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" this weekend. Both family-friendly films topped the post-Thanksgiving box office charts, with "Moana" bringing in $28.4 million and "Fantastic Beasts" earning $18.5 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Disney's animated "Moana," in only its second weekend in theaters and second weekend at No. 1, has grossed $119.9 million, while Warner Bros.' Harry Potter spinoff "Fantastic Beasts" has earned $183.5 million in three weeks.
Paramount's sci-fi mindbender "Arrival" took third with $7.3 million, while the company's World War II spy thriller "Allied" placed fourth with $7.1 million. Disney and Marvel's "Doctor Strange" rounded out the top five with $6.5 million, bringing its domestic total to $215.3 million.
The weekend's only new opener, the micro-budget horror film "Incarnate," fell short of modest expectations and took in only $2.6 million. The film, which stars Carice van Houten and Aaron Eckhart, was expected to earn in the $4 million range.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1."Moana," $28.4 million ($32 million international).
2."Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," $18.5 million ($60.4 million international).
3."Arrival," $7.3 million ($4.8 million international0
4."Allied," $7.1 million ($12.1 million international).
5."Doctor Strange," $6.5 million ($3.7 million international).
6."Trolls," $4.6 million ($7.1 million international).
7."Hacksaw Ridge," $3.4 million ($1.8 million international).
8."Bad Santa 2," $3.3 million ($1 million international).
9."Incarnate," $2.6 million ($370,000 international).
10."Almost Christmas," $2.5 million.
Alice Drummond, a veteran stage actress who appeared in films including "Awakenings" and the original 1984 "Ghostbusters," has died. She was 88.
She died on Wednesday at her home in the Bronx due to complications following a fall that she survived two months ago, according to the New York Times.
A native of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Drummond graduated from Pembroke College in 1950, which has since merged with Brown University. Her first break into Hollywood came in 1967 when she landed a role on the ABC soap opera "Dark Shadows." Later Drummond would appear on other soaps including CBS' "Where the Heart Is" and a short stint on "As the World Turns." She would go on to enjoy a healthy film and television career spanning more than four decades.
On stage, Drummond had her turn in about a dozen Broadway shows including "The Chinese and Dr. Fish," which earned her a Tony nomination for featured actress in a play in 1970. In 1976 she was nominated for a drama desk award for her performance in "A Memory of Two Mondays / 27 Wagons Full of Cotton."
Although it is brief, perhaps her most famous role is in "Ghostbusters" playing the librarian who is terrified when books and pages begin to fly off the shelves. Later in the film she is comically interrogated by Bill Murray's character. Notably, she also played a patient in the 1990 Oliver Sacks biopic "Awakenings" and a nun in 2008's "Doubt."
Drummond is not survived by any immediate family members.
Grant Tinker, who brought new polish to the TV world and beloved shows including "Hill Street Blues" to the audience as both a producer and a network boss, has died. He was 90.
Though he had three tours of duty with NBC, the last as its chairman, Tinker was perhaps best-known as the nurturing hand at MTM Enterprises, the production company he founded in 1970 and ran for a decade.
In 2005, he won a prestigious Peabody Award honoring his overall career. In receiving his medallion, he called himself "a guy of no distinct or specific skills (who) always needed a lot of help." He also had received the Governors Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Born in 1926, the son of a lumber supplier, Tinker had grown up in Stamford, Connecticut, and graduated from Dartmouth College before his first short stint at NBC.
Then he moved into advertising. At a time when ad agencies were heavily responsible for crafting programs its clients would sponsor, Tinker was a vice president at the Benton & Bowles agency when he helped develop "The Dick Van Dyke Show" for Procter & Gamble. There he met, and fell for, the young actress the whole country was about to fall in love with: Mary Tyler Moore.
Soon after the new CBS sitcom had begun its five-season run in fall 1961, Tinker returned to NBC, this time as vice president of West Coast programming.
Meanwhile, he and Moore became TV's golden couple and, in 1962, they wed. (His first marriage had ended in divorce.)
Tinker stayed at NBC until 1967, after which he had brief stays at Universal and Twentieth Century Fox.
Then, with an itch to run his own shop, Tinker founded MTM and began developing its first series: a comedy to revive the flagging career of his wife.
The pilot for "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" rated poorly with test audiences. The heroine was dismissed for being over 30 and unmarried. Neighbor Phyllis (Cloris Leachman) was deemed too annoying, best friend Rhoda (Valerie Harper) "too New Yorky and brassy (read:Jewish)," as Tinker wrote in his 1994 memoir, "Tinker in Television."
But the show, which premiered on CBS in fall 1970, was a critical and popular smash for seven seasons and became the flagship series of a studio whose mewing kitten (parodying the MGM lion) came to signify some of TV's best.
By 1981, Tinker's stewardship of MTM had ended (as had his marriage to Moore) when he returned to NBC, where, he recalled in his book, "the company had lost its credibility with every important constituency - affiliates, advertisers, the press, the general public and its own employees."
Under Tinker's regime, NBC enjoyed a remarkable recovery. "The Cosby Show" was an overnight hit, but thanks to Tinker, slow starters such as "Hill Street Blues" (which was from MTM), "Family Ties" and "Cheers" were allowed to find their audience and became hits, too.
Tinker left NBC in 1986, shortly after the announcement of its purchase by G.E.
Later, in somewhat of a reluctant retirement, Tinker spoke out against much of what he was seeing on television, particularly "reality" fare.
"These guys used to be corporate good citizens," he told The AP in 2003, referring to TV programmers, "and I don't see how they can close their eyes and turn their backs on things that air on their networks."
Tinker is survived by his wife Brooke Knapp, sons Michael, Mark (an executive producer of NBC's "Chicago P.D.") and writer-producer John, and daughter Jodie DiLella.
Billy Chapin, a child actor known for his roles in "The Kid from Left Field" and "The Night of the Hunter" has died. He was 72.
Chapin's sister and fellow former child actor, Lauren, announced the news on Facebook Saturday. She wrote that Billy had died Friday night "after a long illness."
Billy, Lauren and their brother, Michael, were all successful child actors during the 1940s and '50s. Billy, born "William McClellan Chapin" is the middle of the three siblings who were all born in Los Angeles.
Apart from several stage appearances as a newborn, Billy got his start in 1951 in the Broadway production of "Three Wishes for Jamie." His first big on-screen role was as the "Diaper Manager" Christie Cooper in the 1953 baseball film "The Kid from Left Field." The family film also starred Dan Dailey, Anne Bancroft and Lloyd Bridges.
Billy's most recognizable role came in 1955 in the film noir film "Night of the Hunter" directed by Charles Laughton and starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters and Lillian Gish. Although it was considered a critical and commercial failure at the time, in 1992, the United States Library of Congress selected the picture for preservation in the National Film Registry, forever preserving its legacy.
After "Night of the Hunter," his film career declined, then his television roles wrapped as well and his career in Hollywood ended in 1959.