Friday, October 31, 2008

Daughter of slave votes for Obama


Larry Kolvoord

At her father's urging, Amanda Jones said she has voted for decades despite discriminatory poll practices. The Democrat, 109, recently mailed in a vote for Sen. Barack Obama.

Amanda Jones, 109, the daughter of a man born into slavery, has lived a life long enough to touch three centuries. And after voting consistently as a Democrat for 70 years, she has voted early for the country's first black presidential nominee.

The middle child of 13, Jones, who is African American, is part of a family that has lived in Bastrop County for five generations. The family has remained a fixture in Cedar Creek and other parts of the county, even when its members had to eat at segregated barbecue dives and walk through the back door while white customers walked through the front, said Amanda Jones' 68-year-old daughter, Joyce Jones.

For at least a decade, Amanda Jones worked as a maid for $20 a month, Joyce Jones said. She was a housewife for 72 years and helped her now-deceased husband, C.L. Jones, manage a store.

Amanda Jones, a delicate, thin woman wearing golden-rimmed glasses, giggled as the family discussed this year's presidential election. She is too weak to go the polls, so two of her 10 children — Eloise Baker, 75, and Joyce Jones — helped her fill out a mail-in ballot for Barack Obama, Baker said. "I feel good about voting for him," Amanda Jones said.

Jones' father herded sheep as a slave until he was 12, according to the family, and once he was freed, he was a farmer who raised cows, hogs and turkeys on land he owned. Her mother was born right after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, Joyce Jones said. The family owned more than 100 acres of land in Cedar Creek at one point, she said.

Amanda Jones' father urged her to exercise her right to vote, despite discriminatory practices at the polls and poll taxes meant to keep black and poor people from voting. Those practices were outlawed for federal elections with the 24th Amendment in 1964, but not for state and local races in Texas until 1966.

Amanda Jones says she cast her first presidential vote for Franklin Roosevelt, but she doesn't recall which of his four terms that was. When she did vote, she paid a poll tax, her daughters said. That she is able, for the first time, to vote for a black presidential nominee for free fills her with joy, Jones said.

One of Amanda Jones' 33 grandchildren, Brenda Baker, 44, said the family is moved by the election's significance to the matriarch.

"It's awesome to me that we have such a pillar of our family still with us," Baker said. "It's awesome to see what she's done, and all her hard work, and to see that she may be able to see the results of all that hard work" if Obama is elected, she said.

Jones lives in a small gray house with white trim just off Texas 21. These days, a curious white kitten and a sleepy old black dog guard the house. Inside are photographs and relics of a long, full life, including a letter from then-Gov. George Bush in 1998 commemorating her 100th birthday. A black-and-white picture of her in a long flapper-style dress was taken between 1912 and 1918 — no one can remember the exact year, Baker said with a chuckle.

Jones is part of a small percentage of active voters above the age of 100 in the state — and the country.

Sister Cecilia Gaudette, a 106-year-old nun born in New Hampshire but living in Rome, made recent national headlines as the nation's oldest voter. But if Texas records are any indication, that's hard to validate.

Secretary of State spokeswoman Ashley Burton said Texas can't confirm whether Jones is the state's oldest active voter because there is too much voter information to sort through. At the county level, there are other challenges. An election official in Hays County said its records are not searchable by age, and Bastrop County elections administrator Nora Cano said that some counties automatically list voters who were born before the turn of the 20th century with birth dates of January 1900.

The oldest active voter in Travis County is 105, officials said, and in Williamson County the oldest is 106 — making Jones the oldest-known active voter in Central Texas.

Making it to see the election results on Nov. 5 is important, but Jones is resting up for another milestone: her 110th birthday in December. "God has been good to me," she said.;445-3630

Original here

Michael Myers Is A Softy: 7 Truly Horrifying, Real-Life Halloween Villains

By Kevin Smith

As Halloween approaches, we're constantly reminded of ghouls, witches and zombies. But the worst creatures our imaginations can conjure aren't fictional. After all, evil is an inherent part of human nature. Think about that strange old man who lives down the hall from you. You keep telling yourself he's just a kooky lost soul in need of a friend, when in reality he probably just ate a cat last night… and you’re next. Nor are maniacal, murderous impulses reserved purely for the Hitlers and bin Ladens of the world.

True evil seems to emerge when human desire is mixed with power, insanity and wanton disregard of social mores. To be sure though, it has nothing to do with the dead walking the earth to suck our blood or haunt our houses. Vampires hate mirrors, Frankenstein’s monster just wants love and Wolfman’s got nards. The living are way, way scarier then anything that bumps in the night. And here are seven truly terrifying, often overlooked figures from history that make Michael Myers look like he's merely in need of some behavioral therapy. But if you try use any of these nutjobs as inspiration for a costume idea, don't say we didn't warn you about the offended stares and vitriolic epithets.

7. James Warren "Jim" Jones

A renaissance man when it came to perversion, power, charisma and insanity, Jim Jones was a cult leader in the '60s and '70s who was able to convince 909 of his "Rainbow Family" to drink poisoned Kool-Aid as if it were in their best interests. Jones was an unbelievably creepy bastard during a remarkably scary time. Disco was king and flower power had wilted, so mass suicide seemed like a valid option. But instead of taking this truly frightening ability for mind-control on a worldwide tour, Jones put a bullet in his brain. Too bad he'd already passed out his cyanide concoction to nearly a thousand victims.

6. Josef Fritzl

From the beautiful land of the Alps and the Danube, birthplace of icons like Mozart, Freud and Schwarzenegger, comes the newest Austrian to take hold of the public’s imagination. Josef Fritzl, the world’s worst dad. How does one obtain such a lofty title? A good way to start would be imprisoning your teenage daughter for almost 25 years and then fathering seven incestuous children… with your own child. This Vincent Price-on-PCP looking motherfucker is certainly more frightful than Count Dracula. At least the Count lets you out of his cellar at night.

5. Fred Phelps

This man hates you. He does not know you, but if he could, he would stop by your house and tell you that God hates you as well. The pastor of a small Baptist church in Kansas for the last 50 years, Rev. Phelps has been spreading the word of God, or at least if God was a disgusted, hate-filled deity. And who has angered the almighty one? Everyone! Gay people? Check. Immigrants? Si. Soldiers? Roger. Swedes? Loathes them and their silly reindeers. This man is clearly insane, but his words reach an audience. He once received 30 percent of the votes for U.S. Senator of Kansas. For fun, his followers like to picket funerals and carry along signs stating that “God hates fags” and “Thank God for dead soldiers." But thankfully, Phelps is old, and presumably near the end of his lynching rope. I’m sure his funeral is going to be a blast.

4. Josef Mengele

You can't have a list of evil bastards and leave out the Nazis entirely. Dr. Mengele, also known by the heart-warming moniker the angel of death, was an SS physician who was responsible for countless barbaric experiments he carried out on prisoners at Auschwitz for little to no scientific reasons. Why? Most likely because he was a vicious egomaniacal sociopath who wasn’t hugged enough as a child. Thankfully, in the end, Mengele was captured and tried for war crimes… except he wasn’t. Doctor Dickhead actually was able to flee Europe with help from some fellow SS cretins and set up shop in South America. Mengele lived the remainders of his days in sunny Argentina and didn't die until 1979. The fact that he was alive when Star Wars came out just adds another layer of evil to his story.

3. Oliver Cromwell
"Malacht Cromail ort," or "the curse of Cromwell upon you," is a taunt that will empty out any pub from Dublin to Derry. It is the curse of the most hated son of a bitch in Ireland. Oliver Cromwell started as a simple soldier in the British army and ended up becoming the Lord Protectorate of all of England until his death in 1658. He has remained one of the most polarizing figures in history, revered by some and detested by many. He's entered popular culture in songs (Elvis Costello’s "Oliver’s Army") and verse (James Joyce’s "Ulysses"), one of which portrays him as a murderous bastard and the other as just a bastard. During his Irish Campaign of 1649-1650, Cromwell had the brilliant idea of taking away all holding from the native Irish, killing any that resisted and finally establishing the model of British dominance over the Irish for another 300 years. The silver lining is that after his death, he was dug up, hung and then had his head placed on a spike. The lesson of the day: Don’t piss off the Irish.

2. Idi Amin

As the fascist ruler of Uganda from 1971 to 1979, Amin killed between 100,000 to 500,000 of his own people during his reign, while the rest of the world snickered at him for his buffoonery and extravagant lifestyle (as documented in 2006's Last King Of Scotland). From a humble beginning in the British colonial army and rising to supreme commander, Amin set a new standard for thuggish dominance that is still being played out in various parts of Africa today. (Are we seeing a pattern with British officers or is it just me?) Rumors ran rampant of cannibalization, sex orgies, ethnic cleansing and scandalous opulence while his fellow Ugandans starved around him. Why couldn’t one of these horrible despots have read Spider-Man as a kid and realized that with great power comes great responsibility, not an immoral fuck?

1. Alexander The Great

Great? Not so much, but Alexander The Human Debaser must have not had quite the same ring. Alexander III Of Macedon is famous for his conquering the known world before his death at 32. At the age most of us are trying to figure out how to pay rent, this guy was slaughtering armies. Starting in the year 336 BC and continuing to his death in 323 BC, Alex had nothing better to do then wage constant war on all his neighbors that didn't bow to him and his Macedonian/Greek Minions. Twelve years of raping, pillaging, massacring and the occasional booze-filled celebration would take a toll on anyone, and The Great one ultimately died of either Malaria or alcohol-related poisoning. If you take into account his continuous brutality and latent homosexuality, Alexander may have been the prototype of the modern frat boy. His horrible crimes against nature did not stop at his death either, as anyone who has seen Oliver Stone’s recent biopic regarding him can attest. Make sure to check in Friday for a special Halloween-and-beyond-themed version of Films From The Cable Afterlife.


Pictured: The giant 8ft Lego man who washed up on the beach

By Daily Mail Reporter

At 8ft tall and wearing a garish green jersey he's not the sort of chap to get lost down the sofa.

In fact, you'd think he was unlikely to get lost at all. But someone (possibly someone big), somewhere is missing a key bit of their Lego set.

The colourful character mysteriously washed up on Brighton beach yesterday spawning dozens of tales - soon to become local legend - about where he may have come from.

Giant Lego man that washed up on Brighton beach

Stand-up comedy: Bemused children heave the brightly coloured figure upright

While some believe he floated from Denmark-where there is a Legoland park), others suggest he toppled off a ship. Of course, there's always the cynical possibility he's part of a publicity stunt.

Resident Gerry Turner, 34, said: 'It's very odd. God knows how it got here but people are saying it's from Holland because it's got some Dutch writing on it.

'It must have fallen off a boat of something. The kids love it.'

Children who helped stand the Lego man up on the beach were desperately curious about where it came from.

One said: 'It's great, but we don't know why it's here.'

Giant Lego man that washed up on Brighton beach

Castaway: The giant Lego man lies where he washed up on Brighton beach

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said town hall officials had no idea of the origin of the Lego man, but added that they saw no difficulty in letting it stay on the beach where it washed up.

He said: 'There's no problem at all. It will be interesting to see how long the Lego man stays there for. We'll keep an eye on it.'

But Lego was insistent: 'We're bemused. He has nothing to do with us.'

The Lego giant's arrival on the East Sussex shingle yesterday morning comes two years after an armada of plastic ducks landed on British shores.

Borne on the ocean currents, the ducks had made a 17,000-mile odyssey from the Pacific where they had been washed from a container ship in a 1992 storm.

Original here

The 8 Most Ridiculous Viral Videos of the 08 Election

article image

The internet seems destined to change democracy forever. Anyone can stand up in support of their candidate, and have their voice heard by millions... no matter how fucking insane they are.

So, every election season the web is filled with cringe-worthy videos in "support" of a candidate who, we're guessing, regret the day their supporters figured out how to work a camera. We're talking about videos like...

Diddy's Obama Blog

In this thoughtful piece, motherfuckin' Diddy shares his motherfuckin' thoughts on Sarah fuckin' Palin.

A rapper as a campaign supporter is a dicey proposition, but on the short list of rappers who would seem to make for a decent endorsement, Diddy is right near the top.

He's got a ton of cash, he's fairly well respected as a businessman, and he tends to let other rappers do his shooting for him. Unfortunately, he also has a video blog.

The premise of the video is simple: "John McCain is fuckin' up!" That's not a summary, that's a direct quote. It seems Diddy is unimpressed with McCain's decision to select Sarah Palin as his running mate. In presenting his argument against Sarah Palin, he makes the obvious "lack of experience" point that everyone else does. But then, he brings some new arguments into the fray. Among his politically savvy speaking points:

"Alaska motherfucker?"

"I don't know if there's any black people in Alaska."

"You would let her keep your kids?"

"There's not even no crackheads in Alaska!"

Diddy has a point, Article Two of the United States Constitution clearly states that to be president you must be a natural born citizen, at least 35 years old and have been a permanent resident in a crack infested area of the United States for at least fourteen years. Until this is amended to include meth, Sarah Palin just doesn't qualify. It's also important to note that Diddy makes all of these arguments while inexplicably spinning around in circles the whole time. There may not be crackheads in Alaska, but if this video is any indication, there may be one on the loose in the Hamptons.

Raisin' McCain

McCain supporters are often unfairly stereotyped as being rednecks. It's because of this guy.

Another fine endorsement from the world of music, this time courtesy of John Rich, one half of the duo responsible for "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy." For those of you at work, or with too much good sense to actually watch the video: Imagine those Monday Night Football videos that Hank Williams Jr. does every week. Got it? Cool. Now imagine Hank is singing exclusively about the team most likely to lose the game. That's "Raising McCain."

Speaking of raisins, this woman is old! Pow!

Lest you ever think McCain supporters don't know how to party, this video has everything you need to have a rocking good time. Including...

...menacing facial hair...

...a legendary air fiddle/real fiddle combo solo...

...and of course, party loving midgets!

We bet that elitist Obama doesn't have midgets at his party (bad DNC/Dennis Kucinich jokes notwithstanding).

As much fun as everyone appears to be having, we have to question the thinking behind this particular video. Is "we're all just raising McCain" really the catch phrase you want to use in support of a candidate so quickly approaching his nursing home years? Raising McCain might work as a sitcom about baby-boomers caring for their incontinent father. But we'd be more comfortable with a chorus along the lines of, "we're all just sitting around chillin' while our able bodied president handles shit." A real songwriter could craft a decent tune out of that.

TI$A - Imma Vote Obama Way

Obama supporters are often unfairly stereotyped as being flamboyant homosexuals. It's because of this guy.

Barack Obama already has a pretty decent number of A-Listers on his side. If this video is any indication, he's got the B-List vote on lockdown also. We weren't even sure who the dude rapping was, so we asked our friend Google. He doesn't know either. We do know he used to be signed to Kanye West's record label and he apparently used that to trick at least one real celebrity into appearing in the video.

Above: Kanye West, presumably moments before his security staff intervenes.

According to the lyrics of the song (all two of them), the gentleman rocking the mic is also "hood," which is clearly displayed in the picture below.

TI$A: pushing the Crips "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy to its absolute limit.

To his credit, TI$A understands that a no name rapper spouting the same two lyrics over a run-into-the-ground Isley Brothers sample isn't going to be enough to put his guy in the White House. So he's enlisted the help of some famous friends, including one of the unimportant dudes from The Black Eyed Peas and, um, some other people.

Can you name the celebs in this picture? (Hint: there are none.)

He also manages to catch former Yo! MTV Raps host Fab Five Freddy driving through the wrong part of Los Angeles at the wrong time. That should help.

Fab Five Freddy: the Reginald Denny of shitty Obama videos.

It's Time to Drill

If it means no more songs like this, by all means, drill wherever the hell you please.

In most cases, you can take any given demographic and, with a fair amount of accuracy, predict who they are going to vote for. Not so with the god-awful-amateur-musician voting bloc. In the last entry, we met some dude who kind of raps and supports Obama. In this video from some cat that supports McCain, we get a painful slice of shitty nu-metal that makes Limp Bizkit sound like The Beatles.

Despite what the title may suggest, "It's Time To Drill" isn't a song about boning. Instead, the devil horns are being raised in favor of offshore drilling. Yeah, you read that right, now are you ready to rock?!?!? No? Well, this is awkward.

But it's not all just terrible tunes going on in this clip. Sure, this guy is a serious musician; he wouldn't be pointing his drumstick in front of those fancy green screen effects if he wasn't.

But he's also a comedian. Don't believe us? Well check this out...

Yep, he's farting in a gas tank. CLASSIC! Seriously, the whole video is exactly...that...funny.

Ludacris - "Obama Is Here"

Luda got somethin' to say!

Let's set the scene. You're a world famous rapper and you've just found out that a presidential candidate has a lot of your songs in his iPod. How do you react? Do you:

A. Send him a thank you note and pledge your support in the upcoming election?

B. Go on record as being appreciative of the support while maintaining that you are still weighing the issues before you decide who you'll be voting for?

C. Record a profanity laced rap song that immediately results in said candidate condemning you and your words?

Obviously, the only correct answer is C. You're a rapper, that's just how you get down. Awesomely, this very scenario played itself out recently when, after hearing that Barack Obama was a fan, Ludacris recorded "Obama Is Here," the song featured in this video. You would think it would be difficult to top the poor choice of words used in that Diddy video listed a few entries back. You would be wrong. In fact, things get so out of hand that Obama had to release a statement sticking up for Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Jesse Jackson and George Bush all in one fell swoop. So what did Luda say that was so bad? Well...

"Hillary hated on you so that bitch is irrelevant."

"Jesse's talking slick and apologizing for what? If you said it then you meant it, how you want it head or gut?"

"McCain don't belong in any chair unless he's paralyzed."

"Bush is mentally handicapped."

C'mon Luda, you're not going to get away with calling Hillary Clinton a bitch without pissing off hoes in all sorts of area codes. Naturally, the Clinton camp immediately called for Obama to denounce the lyrics and "distance himself from Ludacris." Because, you know, up to that point it was hard to think about Obama without thinking about Ludacris also. Of course, Obama did denounce Ludacris and the song, saying, among other things, "while Ludacris is a talented individual he should be ashamed of these lyrics." Obama also absolutely did not go on to say, "'Move Bitch' is still my jam though."

David Stewart - "American Prayer"

Barack Obama's ability to inspire (god-awful music) is, um, inspiring.

Something about Barack Obama just makes people want to hit the studio. Without exception, the results are always pretty horrific. See Will.I.Am's Obama video, for example. But he got Scarlett Johanssen to appear in his video, so we'll watch that shit no matter how bad it is.

This clip, however, comes to us from Dave Stewart, one half of the 80's duo The Eurythmics. And it features a cameo from Whoopi Goldberg. And where Will.I.Am just based his song around an Obama speech, Dave actually wrote up some lyrics. This all adds up, unsurprisingly, to an infinitely less pleasurable listening and viewing experience.

Whoopi Goldberg: less fun to look at than Will.I.Am.

Being that Stewart is from England, it's tempting to write this song off as a long forgotten musician desperately trying to get his name back into the public consciousness. That is, until the video begins and you see that he is sitting on a stool while he sings. This, as everyone knows, means he's sincere. He doesn't even get up to dance with fellow Brit Joss Stone. We'd be damned if we passed on a chance like that. Dave Stewart clearly means business.

Dave Stewart and Joss Stone: totally in the same room together.

In addition to what is easily the most overbearing Obama tribute of all time, this video also features some of the most awkward lip syncing cameos ever caught on tape. Like this one featuring George Costanza.

Jason Alexander: this is his biggest job in years.

But by far, the most hilariously awkward cameo comes from Forest Whitaker. Typically, Academy Award nominations aren't handed out for performances in music videos. But nobody told him that. We haven't seen Forest Whitaker pour out this much emotion since he found out his girlfriend was a dude in The Crying Game.

He's singing about the sky, you see.

The McCain Girls - It's Raining McCain

This year, we're voting for Autotune.

If this election was being decided based on how many shitty songs have been written about each candidate, Obama would easily take the popular vote. He's had way more musical atrocities committed in his name than McCain. With that said, "Raining McCain" by the McCain Girls would be worth enough votes on its own to give McCain the electoral vote by a landslide.

Or something like that. What we're getting at is this...holy shit! This "It's Raining Men" parody sounds less like a pro-McCain anthem and more like audio evidence presented by the prosecution in the Michael Vick dog slaying trial. You could watch five straight seasons of American Idol auditions and not hear off-key yowling like this.

Unbelievably, as bad as the singing is, it's very possible that the special effects are even worse. For example, it shouldn't take a Hollywood director to tell you that, when appearing in front of a green screen, try to avoid wearing green. This information was not passed on to the Edith Bunker looking chick on the left.

McCain has the floating head vote locked down.

And of course, the song is called "Raining McCain," so the makers of this video would be remiss if they didn't make it rain McCain on them hoes.

With all this McCain around, nobody will notice if they eat just a few.

In a rarely seen on YouTube, the lead McCain girl posted another video to reprimand the many, many people making fun of this video. In her words, "it's a video, you watch it, you enjoy it, you move the hell on. You don't sit there and rant and rave about it." Yep, that's exactly how the internet works.

The One

After a list of unauthorized propaganda, we arrive at a video from the McCain campaign itself, in which they make fun of Obama for...being awesome?

Campaign attack ads are a pretty lawless game, but if any rules do apply, surely "don't make your opponent look like our country's only hope for the future" would have to be one of them. With "The One," the John McCain camp violates that made up rule of ours in a major way. The whole fiasco starts off with a promise that, in 2008, the world will be blessed.

Blessed? Man, screw that noise.

To drive the threat home, the video then cuts to Obama inspiring the shit out of throngs of adoring fans before hitting us with more blessings...

Seriously, not on our watch.

And what appears to be 75% of the Earth endorsing Obama...

Things finally wind down with THE question. "Barack Obama...he may be the one, but is he ready to lead?" After watching this "attack" ad concocted by the McCain campaign, we aren't sure if Obama is ready to lead, but we are pretty sure he can turn water into wine, and that's way fucking cooler.

When not busy organizing his 2012 Presidential campaign, Adam writes at

Find out why Cracked feels dirty about this article in Elexploitation: 9 Shameless Ways People Milked the Election. Or for unhelpful endorsements not put to music, check out 6 Celebrity Endorsements Obama Should Have Turned Down and The 5 Most Clearly Insane Public Figures Endorsing McCain.

Original here