The Callous Mitt Romney: The Full Secret Video of Romney’s Private Fundraiser

The Callous Mitt Romney: The Full Secret Video of Romney’s Private Fundraiser

On Monday afternoon, Mother Jones Magazine posted a short leaked video online that captured Mitt Romney at an exclusive fundraising event that offered a rare glimpse of his personal views. Speaking at a private fundraising reception earlier this year with millionaire donors in Boca Raton, Florida, Romney described almost half of Americans as “people who pay no income tax” and are “dependent upon government.”

Those voters, he said, would probably support President Obama because they believe they are “victims” who are “entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.” With its unvarnished language, the short video clip seems to undermine what Romney’s aides have tried to argue is an enduring attribute that would appeal to independent voters: a sense that Mr. Romney is, at base, an empathetic and caring man.

Now, Mother Jones has posted the full 49-minute secret video of Romney speaking at that May 17th fundraiser, captured raw and uncut. In addition to his denigrating comments about poor people, Romney’s remarks about a critical area of foreign policy set off another media firestorm, generating headlines around the world. Responding to a question about the “Palestinian problem,” Romney said peace in the Middle East is not possible and a Palestinian state is not feasible, telling his wealthy donors that Palestinians have “no interest whatsoever in establishing peace and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.”

Romney’s remarks, degrading nearly half of the electorate, sent the Romney campaign, which was already rocked by infighting, into panic mode. The new video confirms the impression of a callous Mitt Romney, who has little idea of how Americans actually live. Further, the additional comments in this full-length secret video solidify previous impressions that Romney can be quite a bully to those who are not a part of his small exclusive group.

The Full Mitt Romney Fundraiser Video-Part One (36:39)

The Full Mitt Romney Fundraiser Video-Part Two (31:04)

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Fjögur Píanó: Mind-Controlled Slavery, Addiction, Drugs and Violent Sex

Fjögur Píanó: Mind-Controlled Slavery, Addiction, Drugs and Violent Sex

Fjögur Píanó is a thoughtful, haunting short film/music video created by Israeli director Alma Har’el, set to music by the acclaimed Icelandic band Sigur Rós. The band recently asked a dozen filmmakers to each choose a song from its new album, Valtari; given complete creative freedom, filmmaker Alma Har’el produced a seven-minute video that at first appears to be more of a dream sequence than a narrative. Fjögur Píanó is a wordless song comprised of four piano pieces that features actor Shia LaBeouf and actress Denna Thomsen in a stormy relationship, caught up in a destructive spiral, possibly revolving around mind-controlled drug addiction, lovesick co-dependence and sordid sexuality mixed with dominance and violence.

It is evident throughout the film that the couple is very confused, not in control of their destiny and hopelessly trapped in a state of virtual imprisonment. Much of the film’s symbolism hints at the concept of Monarch Mind Control. Monarch Mind Control is named after the Monarch butterfly, a genetically programmed insect that begins its life as a worm (representing undeveloped potential) and, after a period of cocooning (biological programming), is reborn as a beautiful butterfly (the Monarch slave).

From this perspective, Fjögur Píanó can be viewed as a dark commentary on a world of increasingly abusive totalitarian domination. Every aspect of Shia and Denna’s lives is manipulated by outside forces. Their living environment is controlled and modified by their handlers: they are drugged, blindfolded and forcibly taken on weird, dissociative trips. Attempts to break free from the cruel domination are useless. The couple is utterly powerless when confronted by the world around them, and in the end the only thing Shia can do is cut another bloody tally mark into Denna’s back.

Fjögur Píanó: Mind-Controlled Slavery, Addiction, Drugs and Violent Sex

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Still Life Photography: Courting Surprise and Allegorical Meanings

Ori Gersht (Israeli, 1967 – ), Blow Up: Untitled 15, 2007

Marian Drew (Australian, born 1960), Lorikeet with Green Cloth, 2006

Edward Weston (American, 1886 – 1958), Bananas and Orange, April 1927

André Kertész (American, born Hungary, 1894 – 1985), Bowl with Sugar Cubes, 1928

Sharon Core (American), Early American: Still Life with Steak, 2008

Still Life Photography: Courting Surprise and Allegorical Meanings

In Focus: Still Life is a selection of photographs from an installation of wonderful still life photographs presently on view at The J. Paul Getty Museum Center for Photographs. The collection presents a survey of some of the innovative ways photographers have explored and refreshed this traditional genre. During the 19th century, still life photographs tended to resemble still life paintings, with similar subjects and arrangements. Beginning in the 20th century, still life photographs have mirrored the subjects and styles that have more broadly concerned photographers in their time.

In addition to early experiments of pioneers of the photographic medium, some of the works that have been newly acquired by the Getty Center are presented here: Still Life with Triangle and Red Eraser (1985) by American Irving Penn, Lorikeet with Green Cloth (2006) by Australian Marian Drew, and Blow Up: Untitled 15 (2007) by Israeli Ori Gersht.  Gersht loosely based his Blow Up series on traditional floral still life paintings. His arrangements of flowers are frozen and then detonated; the explosion is captured using synchronized digital cameras, with the fragmentary detritus caught in remarkable detail.  This contemporary approach to still photography belies the notion of still life as something motionless, as it explores the relationships among painting and photography, art and science, and creation and destruction.

This piece also presents the experimental video Still Life (2001) created by the English artist Sam Taylor-Wood, a three-minute short film that focuses on a classically composed bowl of fruit as it decays. Also, there’s a pen. Still Life has been said to be one of the most classical works in contemporary art, carving a permanent record for itself in art history with hardly any commentary. This is not just a Still Life; it is based upon a particular type of still life painting that developed during the 16th and 17th centuries in Flanders and the Netherlands, part of a classical genre that contains symbols of change or death as a reminder of their inevitability. Its focus was upon confronting the vanity of worldly things through often subtle signs of elapsing time and decay.

Sam Taylor-Wood’s film represents yet another step in that direction: the image, beautiful as ever in Taylor-Wood’s universe, decomposes itself. By the end of the short film, nothing is left but a grey amorphous mass. But upon closer inspection, one detail distinguishes this picture from its predecessors. The plastic ballpoint pen, a cheap contemporary object. One that doesn’t seem to decay and doesn’t seem to be a part of the universal process of self-disappearing life. Is this what is really left here to stay after we are gone, this nothingness, this ridiculous attribute of ourselves?

Sam Taylor-Wood: Still Life (2001)

Slide Show: Still Life Photography/Courting Surprise and Allegorical Meanings

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

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A Back to School Extravaganza: The Classroom (3D Camera Flythrough)

A Back to School Extravaganza: The Classroom (3D Camera Flythrough)

Classroom (3D Camera Flythrough) is a 3D computer generated flythrough animation by Israel’s Studio Aiko.  This spectacular 3D classroom rendering is not a video of an actual classroom.  Classroom by Studio Aiko is an example of attention to detail and long hours of getting it right.  You can watch the video over and over just to see where or if they messed up.  Maybe a graphic element will be reversed or an object won’t be quite in line with its physical properties, but you probably won’t find anything.  With our current ability to produce ultra-realistic CGI, at what point will we go so far that we can no longer distinguish our realities?

Although the video itself is impressive, what really steals the show is Studio Aiko’s portfolio of amazing work.  From architectural fly-throughs to animated music videos this group is the whole package.

A Back to School Extravaganza: The Classroom (3D Camera Flythrough)

The Super Hot Movies Surrealistic Promo

Hot Movies Promo is another amazing 3D-CGI animation from Israel’s Studio Aiko, directed by Omry Hanegby.  As with Classroom, Hot Movies Promo is a magnificent, dazzling surrealist vision of augmented reality.

The Super Hot Movies Surrealistic Promo

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Photo of the Day: Tranquility, Quiet Study and Meditation

Photo of the Day: Tranquility, Quiet Study and Meditation

Photography by:  Joseph O. Holmes, NYC

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Void: Beautifully Retro-Visual Melancholy Music

Void: Beautifully Retro-Visual Melancholy Music

Void is a new music video by the Israeli singer Matan Atias, which was directed and produced by the Israeli graphic artist Baruch Zevolun. Void is a beautifully melancholy, slow-paced video that draws from an inspiration with the 1970’s, combining ethereal music with both 3D animation and live footage.

Void: A Beautifully Retro-Visual Melancholy Music Video

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Obama Reviews His Foreign Trip at Jordan’s Temple of Hercules

Senator Obama spent a hot, dusty Tuesday in Jordan on the heel end of his fact-finding mission to Afghanistan and Iraq. He arrived in Amman this afternoon with two fellow senators, Jack Reed (D-RI) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE). The trio cleaned up a bit after their journey before heading to the ancient ruins of the Amman Citadel to hold a press conference on their observations before the world press. Senator Obama then went to the Palace of His Majesty, King Abdullah, to have a private one-on-one meeting before his Senate colleagues joined them for dinner.

From Jordan, Obama flew to Jerusalem. After landing at Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday night, Obama stated, “I will share some of my ideas. The most important idea for me to reaffirm is the historic and special relationship between the United States and Israel, one that cannot be broken.” He pledged staunch support for Israel and stated that if elected, he would work to reinvigorate the Middle East peace process. As part of his overseas tour, Obama met with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Later in the day, he saw President Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Obama in Jordan: First Press Conference of Foreign Tour

Senator Obama also visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. Wearing a white yarmulke, he rekindled a flame and paused for a few moments of quiet reflection as he laid a wreath on a tomb that contains ashes from the Nazi extermination camps. “At a time of great peril and promise, war and strife, we are blessed to have such a powerful reminder of man’s potential for great evil, but also our capacity to rise from tragedy and remake our world,” Mr. Obama said after visiting the memorial.

Let our children come here, and know this history, so they can add their voices to proclaim ‘never again. And may we remember those who perished, not only as victims but also as individuals who hoped and loved and dreamed like us, and who have become symbols of the human spirit.”

Obama’s Press Conference in Israel

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