Copped freely from Doc Menlo:
Atheist Pinups.. Frederick Douglas, a badass in any time, (where's the
biopic with Morgan Freeman doing the stirring voiceover: "And one day
I got tired of them beatings and I raised my strong black hand against the
white slavemaster and I beat him down like the dawg he was. Hit him again
and again. My fist turned into a bloody, scabby goo. And it was good.
Kicked his cracker ass 500 yards. Why, that's the length of five football
fields.."...Spike, what have you been doing lately...) was also an outspoken
Atheist. Here's some
I prayed for twenty years but
received no answer until I prayed with my legs.
-- Frederick Douglass (He Was An Escaped
"I assert most unhesitatingly, that
the religion of the South is a mere covering for the most horrid crimes-- a
justifier of the most appalling barbarity, a sanctifier of the most hateful
frauds, and a dark
shelter under which the darkest, foulest, grossest, and
most infernal deeds of slaveholders find the strongest protection. Where I
to be again reduced to the chains of slavery, next to that enslavement, I
should regard being the slave of a religious master the greatest calamity
that could befall me...I...hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping,
cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land."
[Frederick Douglass, "After the Escape"]
"Once, in a heated controversy over
the wisdom of giving the
Bible to slaves, he asserted that it would be 'infinitely
better to send them a pocket compass and a pistol.'"
[Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass]
This just in! Breakin' news on your stolen election front! Covered here
first! Because the corporate media doesn't think this stolen presidential
thing is all that important, and they seem content in stuffing everything in
the basement in dire need of
basement restoration, despite unrebuted books
life in your fucked up excuse for a Democracy. So, here's the scoop from
Kathy Dopp, originally
covered here and only here, in the Free Press. She's pretty
certain that she can prove, with this thing that they call "Math", that the
votes were altered in Ohio.
In June 2005 The Election Science Institute (ESI) and pollster Mitofsky
issued a paper “Ohio 2004 Exit Polls: Explaining the Discrepancy” which
asserts that an exit poll error explanation “is much more likely than the
fraud accusation theory to account for most, if not all, of the observed
discrepancy between the exit polls and the actual results.” Precinct-level
exit poll data released with ESI’s report shows that the overall average
discrepancy between Ohio’s exit poll and certified vote count margins
between Kerry and Bush was 11.7 percentage points. However, In October,
2005, the National Election Archive released a paper which gives
counterexamples to show that the Election Science Institute’s analysis is
based on an invalid premise. On January 17, 2006 the National Election
Archive released its own scientific Ohio exit poll discrepancy analysis,
“The Gun Is Smoking: 2004 Ohio Precinct-level Exit Poll Data Show Virtually
Irrefutable Evidence of Vote Miscount” . This analysis concludes that Ohio’s
exit poll discrepancy pattern is consistent with outcome-altering errors in
Two things are certain in this controversy about U.S. exit poll accuracy:
1. The Election Science Institute and the National Election Archive cannot
both be correct, and
2. Any university mathematics department in America could evaluate the two
conflicting studies and decide which analysis is mathematically correct.
The National Election Archive challenges every journalist interested in
discovering if outcome-altering vote miscounts or exit poll error is the
more probable cause of Ohio’s exit poll discrepancy; to help resolve this
critical question. The answer may make the difference as to whether
Americans take steps to ensure vote count accuracy in future elections or
not. The National Election Archive urges the National Election Pool media
consortium to accept this “math challenge” by sharing these two conflicting
election studies with mathematics faculty at any university to determine
which analysis is mathematically correct.
The survival of democracy and the future of our civilization may depend on
taking steps to ensure the accuracy of elections. As the Election Science
Institute said, “The public has a right to know exactly how elections work
and to verify for themselves that the voting and the counting is done
this is true, then this would mean that we didn't have to kill 30000 to
100000 Iraqis for their oil, or plunge that country
into a possible civil war (which, if the United States was Kissinger
evil, we would like because that weakens the Iraqi resistance overall.
Leaves us free and clear to steal their oil. Which is great. If
you're evil that is...Know
who you are.) which will kill thousands
excerpt from this big solar story:
scientific breakthrough that has stunned the world, a team of South African
scientists has developed a revolutionary new, highly efficient solar power
technology that will enable homes to obtain all their electricity from the
This means high electricity bills and frequent power failures could soon be
a thing of the past.
The unique South African-developed solar panels will make it possible for
houses to become completely self-sufficient for energy supplies.
The panels are able to generate enough energy to run stoves, geysers,
lights, TVs, fridges, computers - in short all the mod-cons of the modern
comes close to the effectiveness of the SA invention
technology should be available in South Africa within a year and through a
special converter, energy can be fed directly into the wiring of existing
houses. New powerful storage units will allow energy storage to meet demands
even in winter. The panels are so efficient they can operate through a Cape
Town winter. while direct sunlight is ideal for high-energy generation,
other daytime light also generates energy via the panels.
One of the things that always
annoyed me about the USS Clueless crowd who insisted that you could never
replace delicious tasty oil is they refused to think scientists could come
up with something better. We live in an age when half the world is science
fictional. Of course, you could do better if you wanted to. And, now, as the
rest of the world watches as the US tries to put a noose around the energy
supply they're not just going to watch. They're going to do something better
and smarter. Then
there's the problem with
the noose...Gee, I sure hope these devices are legal in the United
States. Where's my copy of the Water Engine...?
By the way,
this by Randall Parker (see comment 22 or thereabouts) of the pro nuke
not sure about global warming crowd but knowledgeable, and he wasn't able to
punch holes in this story. So I'm feeling hopeful...
Item: Two Good Cheney Pics, from 2 Political Junkies and
Steve Gilliard respectively:
The second pic alludes to what may be the more serious
scandal: Scooter Libby is squealing like those really really guilty and
oddly self-incrimination prone perps in every episode I've ever seen on Law
and Order: Criminal Intent. Actually, I kind of have an off opinion about
the stop snitchin' trend in the black community. If its clear that the
main plan they
have for black citizens is imprisonment for nonviolent offenses (it
certainly isn't massive investment in the public schools), then I don't have
a problem with it. Its silly to keep playing by the rules when the game is
stacked against you. I mean, if you're a black person who shoots another
person then I'll guess I'll snitch. But if its drugs like grass or dvds, I
see nothin'. I'm just like a Republican looking at all those Gitmo pics:
nothing to see here move along. If there was a real black press that spoke
with one voice, then Jury Nullification would be a more popular concept. And
no Oprah doesn't count as the black press, or at least a conscious one.
Item: Speaking of Oprah, I see that the Boondocks
characters tried to kidnap her last week. The Boondocks, while uneven, is
one of the most interesting shows on television. So, of course, Al Sharpton
wants to kill the show, written and conceived by one of the most interesting
black writers in the country. Meanwhile, he's still silent about Soul Plane,
worst movie ever...Fuckin' idiot. Personally, I don't think he's mad about
the depiction of MLK (best episode so far..he even threw in an alt timeline
riff.) but the line about "hustlin preachers" He should know...If you ever
wanted to know what was wrong with black leadership...And watch the
artist I discovered on the Internets...
I wrote this about five years ago. It answers a
question I've long had: why doesn't the Democratic Party fight for its
Months after the coup,
I’m still debating the merits of the Ralph Nader presidential run. On the
Ralph screwed us big time side is Katha Pollitt at the Nation and
Todd Gitlin and Sean Wilentz at
Dissent. On the other side supporting Saint Ralph is
Ellen Willis over at Dissent.
(Dissent, allegedly a “left” outfit, makes it very difficult for me to link
directly to the very fine Gitlin/Wilentz vs. Willis debate over there. So
you have to go to the main page and search it out for yourselves.)
Personally, I took a pragmatic view and voted for Gore, although I’m a huge
Nader fan and in fact probably owe him my life in that I have survived a
number of car crashes and breathe much better without second hand smoke.
After reading through all the briefs I have come to the conclusion that
perhaps there was merit to the Nader run. Willis points out that as a
leftist I’m playing a losing game that I have to watch being played in front
of my horrified eyes. She makes the point that when the Republicans win,
they fight relentlessly and ruthlessly for their loathsome, swinelike base.
That, by the way, makes tactical sense. You want to give your base a reason
to go to the polls. Where, during the long eight year reign of the DLC
Clintonistas the left got nothing or we got stuff that we really didn’t
want. He didn’t even do little things like fully funding public television.
We got welfare reform, aspiring trillionaires and NAFTA, which might as well
be called a corporation rights bill. I might add that all of these things
undermine the Democratic Party base. Clinton didn’t even fight for the
courts. We’ve seen where that led us. Tactically, this makes no sense. Why
would you pursue policies that undermines your base? But there’s a point in
the Willis argument that sheds some light on this where she states:
“Conservative Republicans hang together,
stand up for their beliefs, and police the “moderates” in their ranks, while
the Democrats’ every impulse is toward compromise and appeasement. If
anything, their behavior suggests that they are threatened by the potential
power of such mass constituencies as labor, blacks, and women, and would
rather lose than risk unleashing it.”
This brings up a point that no one has thought about or at least brought up
in public, but that someone should bring up: If you
were a white man and you represented a party whose constituency represented
parties that for better or worse believed in a future that lessens the power
of the white man, would you enthusiastically support that party? Especially
if it turns out that your opposition party foes are for the white man’s
privilege, the whole white man’s privilege and nothing but the white man’s
privilege. You might say that you’re open minded about sharing power
consciously, but what about unconsciously? Maybe, secretly, you really want
the other side to win.
Right now, the last remnants
of the Great Society are in the hands of the 50 or so Dem senators, many of
whom like Breaux and Miller seem to be Republicans in drag, in the US
Senate. So far, they haven’t used the filibuster once. If the situation was
reversed, the Republicans would be using their filibuster powers every, oh,
four seconds or so. I can only conclude, being that they’ve totally “bought”
into the Tony Coelho We Can Be Republicans To Big Money mantra, that they
want the other side to win. Let’s give Bush a big tax cut. Let’s rollover on
those judges. I think Willis uses the word “supine”. How appropriate.
(Actually, the Dems haven’t rolled over just yet. I sure hope they get some
Yet another salient point that Willis brings up is that we’re kind of in a
no-win situation. We lose slowly with Gore and quicker with Bush. And even
though I agree with many of the practical points put forth by Gitlin/Wilentz
everything revolves around globalization, which Gore supports. He would have
been better than Bush on many issues, but economically those trade
agreements undermine the union base, arguably the most powerful arm of the
Dems, and everything else we stand for. Again, why do that unless you want
the other side to win.
Just to add to that, I might point out that it’s the structure of the winner
take all system that makes any kind of progressive change almost impossible.
The lack of a progressive, left-wing media makes this difficult as well.
Part of the problem revolves around the conundrum presented by the old
Orwell quote: “They can’t be conscious until they’re free and they can’t be
free until they’re conscious.” Likewise, we can’t have freedom until we have
modern working democratic institutions, but you can’t have working
democratic institutions until you have freedom. I don’t see how we win the
Frankly, I don’t think the left will win in the United States. In fact, we
might not even win on Earth. That’s why I think I’m the only leftist on
Earth who is not only pro technology, but pro space exploration. Instead of
playing this game on Earth, where the Casino has decided for us to lose, we
should think about playing some new games here, in either artificially
created nations like Sealand or offworld. My personal preference is Mars.
More on this when I finally complete A Left Argument for Technology.
Revenge of Around the Internets
Bill Boichel, a
man who should be forced by some merciless Kafkaesque regime (or the United
States) to blog, sent me this cool toon:
that features the late Seth Fisher's work in Will World. Here's
Seth's personal web page
by the way..
Telcos Want To End Internets As We Know Them. Or turn Internets into
that high quality commodity known as "Cable". This would screw Google, but
Google can fight back, and it should, by becoming a telco themselves, or so
I prays to the all powerful flying spaghetti monster (the one true God or
else) in my mind...
Item: Comparison between
South Africa and Israel...
Related: The difference between
anti-semitism and anti-zionism.
Item: I will be permalinking the
Item: I can't stop thinking about Million Dollar
Baby....probably because HBO keeps rerunning it every hour or so. Here's
one guy's depressing assessment of the gal's fight game. I actually
disagree with him. I've seen some very skilled female fighters. They used to
show female fighters every week on some off off cable channel I used to get.
No more. Actually, I think women should skip boxing and go right toward
mixed martial arts...which, in theory, would allow them to compete with
(Also was very impressed with the film Kinsey, a
man who didn't just run the company but was a client.... More on that later
when I have time....)
Item: I wrote a review for Locus Online where I gave Seth some
outrageous praise. I stand by what I wrote.
Green Lantern: Will World
Writer: J.M. DeMatteis
Artist: Seth Fisher
Publisher: DC Comics, ISBN Number: 1-56389-782-2
you’re looking for a comic that’s worth 25 dollars, then I highly recommend
picking up the Green Lantern graphic novel Will World.
The story involves a spectacularly surreal rite of passage that Green
Lanterns (Hal Jordan here) have to go through in order to more effectively
wield the power of the ring. He also recites the Alfred Bester penned Green
Lantern oath at least once or twice. But the star of this show isn’t the
story but the incredible
Fisher. The only thing I might
compare it to is that New York gallery level
Strange annual that
P. Craig Russell
drew those many
There are out and out homages/thefts of
Dali that burst from
the page, not to mention the continuous suggestive ooze of
animated mutations. It features a
squealing zoo of bizarre images,
such as: Giant Floating Heads, tiny people, people with six arms, flying
carpets, flying saucers, architecture gone mad (Indian palaces mixed in with
future organic skyscrapers mixed with Chinese houses standing beside a
rundown tenement building, etc.) pipe smoking gorillas, zeppelins and of
course Alien Grays. It has just a small touch of Moebius dappled with the
sensibility of the Beatles Yellow Submarine Cartoon.
It’s the kind of thing that would make
McKay fume with jealous anger. And that’s
just the first splash spread on pages 8 and 9 of this 96 page epic.
Stunning stuff. Not unlike walking through a living,
acid tinged dream. I mean, I don’t do drugs, but there are times when you’re
reading or listening to something where you get the faint sense that you’re
missing out by not being under the influence of, well, something. Every
panel screams jarring and disorienting: a floating pixie here, giant
levitating heads, a Joker card that features the Joker, towering 20 story
clowns with lamprey-like arms, not to mention Green Lantern’s head
occasionally exploding into figures of people or a great twisted swirling
cacophony of alien faces and organic vinelike strands…
Highly recommended. In fact,
when computer pundit Robert Cringley's predicted cheap foldable plastic
displays are a reality, this is the kind of art that I’d like to upload on
(On hold) This week (or weeks) we celebrate the work
V for Vendetta.
Here's an explanation of the very
Item: I guess I should be shocked that
Bob Jr. backs Alito, even though as Atrios points out he
really didn't have to. And I see that Fast Eddie has given me a reason
to not vote for him as well. Actually, Atrios makes kind of a funny point:
he would have preferred that Bob Jr. lie to him and then sell him out later
in the Senate. I mean, you didn't see this coming? Of course, if the leaders
of Pennsylvania's labor movement are pro life then these are good positions
all around for the Powers That Be. Then there's my Crazy Conspiracy Theory
that Jewish American Democrats have sold out the party for Israel. If you
were Jewish, as Schumer and Rendell are, and you wanted to reward the
Republicans for murdering for Israel, then rolling over on judges and
supporting either a weak nominee against Santorum (or someone with very
little differences with him) might be something that you would do. Of
course, I'm hoping that's just a crazy conspiracy theory. My eyes and head
are telling me something else.
I might also note that if the courts are ruined then I
have very little reason to vote Democrat. If you guys are just going to roll
over on Bork II then there's very little reason to keep working for or with
you guys. I'm kind of glad ACT is out of business right now. I can't imagine
registering voters for Bob Casey Jr., Christ. I might also note that half
the population (or gals) will be extremely angry about being transported to
12th century Iran. And it won't just be abortion, it will be contraception
as well. Those crazy fuckin' theocrats...we need science heroes and we need
Item: If you're looking at the future of American
Civil Liberties under Alito, then please check out this
comic by Joe Sacco.
Item: Yet another note for Atrios: if you really
wanted to rebel against Bob Casey Jr., then you would tell your zillions
of readers to give money to Chuck Penn's candidacy. He just doesn't need a
lot of money to be competitive against Casey Jr., but he needs some. Atrios
Item: I’m adding
Steve Gilliard to the links and plan a full link overhaul when I get
Still not a lot of time to write, so check out 2
Political Junkies, Robot Wisdom and Undernews (all on the left hand side)
for all the scary news you need to know.
This week we celebrate the work of
Brendan McCarthy. Who I
think may have taken a drug or two.
I've been sick from a lingering cold since the New Year began so I haven't
been up for much writing as should be obvious. Random mutterings and posts
should begin Tuesday. And Go Steelers. That one touchdown play looked more
like an equation...just gorgeous. It looks like they're peaking at just the
Reason beats Flying Spaghetti Monster. Hooray. More mainstream coverage
here. More from the Evolution Blog,
where they are absolutely giddy with joy. Cocky even. Remember: The
judge is a Republican who was nominated by President Bush, which makes it
even sweeter. I'm waiting for Chris Mooney to gloat but he's on his way to
New Orleans to see the ruins of his mother's flood ravaged home. But Chris
got some good news: Morgan Spurlock (of Supersize Me fame) wants to turn
"The Republican War Against Science"
into a documentary.
More Around the Nets:
Two Interesting Porn Blogs
Sexoteric. And from Sexoteric:
This is hilarious. It reads like a funny SNL Skit. For the record, I
agree with the girl. They probably were just peaceful farmers.
More gals I agree with. Once people find out Casey Jr. is pro life his
numbers go down. Are pro war Jewish Dems selling out the party for Israel?
You would do that by either backing a loser against the Republican guy who
will fight the proxy war for Israel or by making sure you nominate a
Democrat who will fight the proxy war for Israel...Please tell me I'm wrong
List of online
Canadian Patricia Barber, out lesbian Jazz torch singer
who's probably more interesting than her compatriot Diana Krall, has a new
jazz video out which
sounds very very cool.
And I wrote a column for The Front but its not online
yet. Actually, its an older column but very few people saw it and its still
a good idea...
First up, election round up:
The very minor story of how your election
machines have been compromised has reached
corporate media. It’s mostly in Florida but it’s a start. Just to recap:
if you’re a democrat or if you’re just interested in a functioning democracy
this is the most important issue, ever. All policy debates about Iraq or the
Patriot Act and or the latest criminal activity by our president and how to
play these issues politically means nothing if the Republicans can add
100000 of their votes and take away 100000 of your votes at will. So, we
have to fix the machines and to do that you have to start talking
about fixing the machines.
Up by Techdirt , which I think has the best analysis of tech issues that
I’ve seen on the Internet. Here’s the money shot:
Of course, if you have even the
slightest respect for the integrity of our voting system, the results of the
test and Diebold's response should scare you silly. It raises serious
questions about why we would ever trust any Diebold machine without also
hand counting a paper trail. The fact that their touchscreen machines don't
include a secondary paper trail means those machines should never be used at
Also, within the comments section there’s
this comment by
Partridge to Howard Dean which sums up things pretty well.
Every week I get dozens of
solicitations from the Democratic National Committee, from the Democratic
Senate and Congressional Campaign Committees, or from various Democratic
candidates and office-holders, each of them asking for contributions. "You
can help us achieve victory next November," I am told.
If by "victory" is meant a
majority vote cast at the polls, then the Democrats achieved "victory" in
2000, 2002 and 2004. And yet, the Republicans remain in control of the
Congress and the White House.
Small wonder! Republicans build
the voting machines, Republicans write the secret software, Republicans
count and compile the totals. The Republican machines allow no auditing of
the vote totals they report. So Republicans have the ability to "win"
elections, regardless of the will of the voters. There is compelling
evidence that they have done just that.
And so, if nothing is done to end
the privatization of our elections and to introduce reliable verification,
the Republicans will "win" again in November 2006 and then in 2008. Today,
eleven months before the mid-term election, the outcome is fore-ordained –
as certain as Soviet elections under Stalin, and Iraqi elections under
Saddam. For, as Stalin said, "Those who cast the votes decide nothing, those
who count the votes decide everything."
In the United States today, the
GOP counts most of the votes, and there are no means to verify up to 80% of
In view of this dreadful
situation, when the Democrats ask me for a contribution I must reply:
"What's the point? It's already been settled! What remains is an empty
charade." Admittedly, with total GOP control of the executive and
congressional branches in Washington, federal investigation and legislation
are, for the moment, out of the question. But elections are administered on
the state and municipal levels where, in many cases, the Democrats are in
control. So I ask again:
Where are the criminal
Where are the civil lawsuits,
e.g., by Max Cleland in Georgia, Walter Mondale in Minnesota, Al Gore in
Florida, John Kerry in Ohio?
Why is appropriate state-level
legislation not proposed and enacted by Democratic majorities?
Why is the national Democratic
Party not publicizing the GAO report?
I am told that some Democratic
politicians are concerned that if the Party raises a ruckus about voting
fraud, the Democratic base will be discouraged and will stay at home on
Well, so what? If the fix is in on
election day, what does it matter if the voters go to the polls? Why try to
close the gate if the horse has been stolen?
MORE INCONSEQUENTIAL NEWS ABOUT YOUR STOLEN ELECTION PROCESS
now this is what we Roswell-like stolen election conspiracy theorists
have been looking for. This is the equal to filmed footage of an Alien
Gray sitting down with the President and having a smoke. Did you know that
there was a county in Florida that allowed Black Box Voting to test hack the
Did you know that Finnish Hacker Harri Hursti and BBV were able to change
the results? Did you know that no current canvassing method would have
detected these changes? Did you know that those machines were thrown out? Do
you understand that Diebold is run by partisan Republicans and builds most
of the machines that the nation uses? By the way, this doesn’t mean just
shocking presidential or referendum results, this might mean the odd
inability to gain house and senate seats when an opposing party holds the
presidency, or, worse yet, making sure that the worst candidates get the
nomination so that the Dems would be more likely to lose…We’re
officially in an Oliver Stone film now. Donald Sutherland is asking you who
had the most to gain from a stolen election? He’s rattling off a number of
bullet points about how those Ohio referendums couldn’t have been reversed
that dramatically, about how the exit polling in Ohio couldn’t have been
that far off, about how clear it is that the executive branch and the oil
lobby are one and the same…You ask yourself, as you run down winding
infinite black and white Hitchcock era streets, would the most corrupt
administration ever steal an American election—after clearly fixing the
results in Iraq, Afghanistan and encouraging a coup in Venezuela—and you
know the question answers itself.
a snippet of the Black Box story and here’s a quiz: isn’t it time for the
DNC to make this a national issue?
FLORIDA TEST FINDS DIEBOLD VOTE MACHINE EASY TO HACK
BLACK BOX VOTING - Due to contractual non-performance and security design
issues, Leon County (Florida) supervisor of elections Ion Sancho told Black
Box Voting that he will never again use Diebold in an election. He has
requested funds to replace the Diebold system from the county. He will issue
a formal announcement to this effect shortly.
A test election was run in Leon County today with a total of eight ballots -
six ballots voted "no" on a ballot question as to whether Diebold voting
machines can be hacked or not. Two ballots, cast by Dr. Herbert Thompson and
by Harri Hursti voted "yes" indicating a belief that the Diebold machines
could be hacked.
At the beginning of the test election the memory card programmed by Harri
Hursti was inserted into an Optical Scan Diebold voting machine. A "zero
report" was run indicating zero votes on the memory card. In fact, however,
Hursti had pre-loaded the memory card with plus and minus votes.
The eight ballots were run through the optical scan machine. The standard
Diebold-supplied "ender card" was run through as is normal procedure ending
the election. A results tape was run from the voting machine.
Correct results should have been: Yes:2 No:6
However, just as Hursti had planned, the results tape read:
The results were then uploaded from the optical scan voting machine into the
GEMS central tabulator. The central tabulator is the "mother ship" that
pulls in all votes from voting machines. The results in the central
This exploit, accomplished without being given any password and with the
same level of access given thousands of poll workers across the USA, showed
that the votes themselves were changed in a one-step process. This hack
would not be detected in any normal canvassing procedure, and it required
only a single a credit-card sized memory card.
One final note: it looks like California, and that
state's GOP Sec. of State, is working to avoid this same test.
Black Box Voting might be able to force this issue and I hope that they do.
Brief Monday Evenin' Around the Internets
Chuck Penn will be in Pittsburgh
tonight and tomorrow. There's also this profile over at the
Booman Tribune. Now, if we could just get Atrios to take a stand..
Froth knew that trooper that got gunned down and
More later after I pay some bills...
These are the big stories. From the
Ohio Citizen Continues Hunger Strike, Prayer Vigil in
Buckeye State to Oppose Anti-Democratic Law Set to Pass Statehouse
'Christian Faith Requires Personal Sacrifice' Says Divinity Student
Protesting Law Said to Ensure Republican Control of Scandal-Ridden Ohio
To protest what Free Press investigative reporters describe as a "holiday
burial for American Democracy" in the Buckeye State, Ohio divinity student
and Columbus resident, Jonathan Meier is continuing his prayer vigil and
hunger strike at the Ohio Statehouse despite heavy snow and brutally cold
House Bill 3 has already passed the House and is about to be approved by the
Republican-dominated Senate in the ground-zero snakepit of GOP political
corruption otherwise known as Ohio.
Activist Meier, in a just-issued press release says "that his Christian
faith calls him to 'constantly pursue social justice and illuminate social
ills, and, often, this call requires personal sacrifice."
Free Press' Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman recently described the latest
onslaught to democracy in Ohio, which Meier is protesting, this way:
HB3's most publicized provision will require
positive identification before casting a vote. But it also opens voter
registration activists to partisan prosecution, exempts electronic voting
machines from public scrutiny, quintuples the cost of citizen-requested
statewide recounts and makes it illegal to challenge a presidential vote
count or, indeed, any federal election result in Ohio. When added to the
recently passed HB1, which allows campaign financing to be dominated by the
wealthy and by corporations, and along with a Rovian wish list of GOP
attacks on the ballot box, democracy in Ohio could be all but over.
Says Meier, "Most people don’t realize that this legislation, if passed
by the senate next week, would make it virtually impossible for homeless
folks to vote, would make it virtually impossible for groups to register
large numbers of voters, would eliminate oversight of voting machines, and
would cancel our right to challenge election results."
He added, "Instead of addressing the long lines at the polls, instead of
making it easier for people to register and to vote, Republican lawmakers
put forward 424 pages of legislation that will set up roadblocks to our
democracy. I, for one, do not trust a vote reform bill that is purely a
Fitrakis and Wasserman put the Ohio legislation in context for the rest of
the country, where similar bills are being explored by various
In traditional terms, the scandal-ridden Ohio GOP would appear to be more
vulnerable than ever. Governor Robert Taft has become the only Ohio governor
to be convicted of a crime while in office. With an astonishing 7% approval
rating, he has been compared to Homer Simpson by the state's leading
Republican newspaper. Republican US Senator Mike DeWine appears highly
vulnerable. The GOP has never won the White House without winning the
But HB3 will solidify the GOP's iron grip on the electronic voting process
and all that surrounds it. Unless they break that grip, Democrats who
believe they can carry any part of Ohio in 2006 or 2008 are kidding
When it comes to 2008, can you say "Jeb Bush"?
His hunger strike was probably spurred by
earlier Free Press Story. Actually, that's a certainty since there has
been no significant mainstream coverage of this issue. If I've said it once,
I've said it a thousand times: the Internet is the New Alternative Press.
I got this email today about a 5 pm press conference.
Wednesday 12/7/05 at 5pm in front of the Pittsburgh State Office Building,
300 Liberty Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh!
The State Senate of Pennsylvania is preparing to vote on House Bill 1318
HOUSE BILL 1318 THREATENS TO DISENFRANCHISE THOUSANDS OF PENNSYLVANIA VOTERS
WHO CURRENTLY HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE BY DENYING THOSE ON PAROLE AND
PROBATION THE RIGHT TO VOTE!
It will also force Pennsylvanian's to bring a photo ID to the polls!
This bill will disproportionately hurt:
There will be a press conference in front of the Pittsburgh State Office
Building Wednesday 12/7/05 at 5pm in front of the Pittsburgh State Office
Building, 300 Liberty Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh!
Laura Staniland: Freshman Student, Duquesne University
Taili Thompson: Community Coordinator, One Vision One Life
George Moses: Sothwestern PA Alliance of HUD Tenants/Housing Alliance of PA
Khari Mosley: Pittsburgh League of Young Voters
Tim Stevens: President, Black Political Empowerment Project
For more information contact the Pittsburgh League of Young Voters at
(Note: Ann Coulter is a gun nut and her doppelganger here says things like
"Bring em on! Great stuff.)
How fitting that the most pungent artistic response to a regime famed
for its crass fear-mongering would be a cheap horror movie. Jaw-dropping in
its sheer directness, Homecoming is a righteous blast of liberal-left fury
(it was greeted with a five-minute ovation in Turin, the most vocal
appreciation seeming to come from the American filmmakers and writers in
Showtime is apparently
the new HBO. First, they blew me away with Weeds—which struck me as being
much more interesting than Rome. And this Showtime episode of “Homecoming”
is one of the most all encompassing attacks on the right that I’ve ever
seen. I’m glad that Chuck Penn’s staff (Chuck’s doing great at fundraising
by the way. Perhaps people have seen Bob Casey Jr. speak and it occurs to
them that someone with the principles of Gray Davis yet none of the charisma
wouldn’t pose the best challenge to lil Ricky but I digress…) agrees
about the quality. The Ann Coulter clone sounded a lot like Ann Coulter.
Those horrible things that Cleaver says are on a par with the horrible
things Coulter says all of the time. I think Sam Hamm,
interviewed here, compares it to “Atrios greatest hits”, but I would
disagree with one thing. As far as I know, Atrios has never brought up the
possible theft of the 2004 election or even more recently the incredible
turnaround on the Ohio referendum issues. The last minutes where our hack
right wing host notes the wonderful turnaround in Ohio and Florida despite
exit polling and when our Karen Hughes clone notes that we “count the votes”
is actually closer to the
Brad Blog or
Press…but it’s the thought that counts. Of course, the horrible thing is
that this isn’t fiction. And there are no patriotic zombies coming to our
aid. That's our real horror show.
MORE UNIMPORTANT NEWS
ON THE YOUR STOLEN ELECTIONS IN PERPETUITY FRONT
Well, there were three
things that have happened over the last week on the voting rights front. Two
of them were quite disturbing and one of them offered just a tiny shard of
hope and light—probably to be snuffed out by the appeals process. That’s
because the Big Thinkers in the Democratic Party thought it was a good
tactic not to fight over court appointments in the 90s. So, every time we
want to fight without resorting to blood we’ll lose.
when it looked like we were winning in California, it looks like the
Republican secretary of state (will the DNC ever detect a pattern?) has
decided to put a Diebold purchase back into play.
He’s proposing what looks like a mock approval process—which I suppose
would be fitting for what looks like our increasing mockery of an election
Two, I thought we had
definitely won in North Carolina, kind of a Republican state last time I
looked. But the North Carolina folks simply ignored their own law—it’s a law
that states that you have to open up your source code to make sure that its
valid—and approved the Diebold machines anyway.
called the “immaculate certification”. Well, let’s see, there’s the 2000
election, the 2004 election, and now we have Republicans in a hurry to
certify these machines—that always result in fantastic victories for
Republicans and Republicans only I might add. Is there an American
opposition party? I mean, really now. Of course, someone decent who
understands the law should appeal the decision. And that will be decided by
the Republican courts—remember the Clintons never thought that was worth
fighting for—and we’ll lose yet again. Thanks DLC.
it looks like we might have won one in Ohio. That’s where there are a
number of groups suing the state over the 2004 election. The judge ruled
that the suit can go on. However, that decision will probably be appealed
and we’ll lose again because the DNC/DLC thought it was just a great idea to
give up the courts. Thanks fellas, again. It’s a great feeling to know that
I can’t do anything within the law to change the United States.
NOTABLE QUOTES FROM AROUND THE INTERNETS
Patricia Goldsmith from Dissident Voice:
When it comes to e-voting, the corporate media have
put out a couple of narrative frames that have been successful in throwing
even voting reform advocates off the track. The most obvious is the
conspiracy frame. Stephen Pizzo, who ultimately advocates the abolition of
e-voting in order to restore voter confidence, nevertheless believes “[t]he
party caught fixing a major race would be out of power for a generation.
Also, if I learned anything from a quarter century of unraveling real and
alleged conspiracies it’s that getting caught is always in the cards.” In
this, he finds himself in substantial agreement with conservative columnist
and former Reagan administration official James Pinkerton.
It seems to me their argument would be a lot stronger if the GOP hadn’t
already been “caught” attempting to fix every single election since 2000.
Hell, they do it out in the open, proudly. People like Katherine Harris,
Glenda Hood, and Ken Blackwell have made whole careers out of purge lists,
voter intimidation, and aggressive partisanship in the administration of
That’s because what we are seeing in operation is not a conspiracy, but
unchecked monopolies and corporate combinations, and there is nothing
fanciful or farfetched about it. The concentration of wealth and power is
the ultimate point toward which all capitalist systems tend. The last 70
years of (relatively) regulated corporations are the exception, not the
Privatized voting is a perfect example of how the undermining of government
regulatory mechanisms leads to one-party rule and further deregulation, in a
self-perpetuating cycle. We see the same thing with the highly-consolidated
corporate media. Neither is a “conspiracy” required in order for the various
corporate entities to act in concert. Combination is in their best
interests, and successful corporations are all about finding and pursuing
their own best interests, as single-mindedly as sharks. Which explains why
the corporate media have virtually ignored a recent GAO report detailing
serious e-voting failures in 2004.
Read the whole thing
Leonce (who now has permalinks for some of his links):
Open Letter to Colin Powell
Like you, my father was a career Army officer. Like you, he felt honored to
serve in the US military. Like you, he entered the military when racism was
overt. Like you, he rose to officer status (he retired a Colonel) despite
the obstacles placed in his path.
You receive the benefit of the doubt, General Powell. You receive it because
black people admire the heights you attained in your career, and because you
have never become a sock puppet for the right. You never acquiesced to the
Faustian bargain that men like Clarence Thomas or Armstrong Williams seem to
accept. You never agreed to forget you were black--in exchange for white
handlers rewarding you as if you were white. You never felt you had to do as
Thomas Sowell does and deny the existence of racism today or yesterday. You
aligned yourself with causes you felt right, despite their lack of
popularity in the Republican party to which you belonged.
You have deserved the benefit of the doubt. However, to date, over 2000
Americans are dead, over ten thousand wounded; hundreds of thousands of
innocent Iraqis are dead. The US standing in the world continues to plummet.
Terrorist activity is on the rise. The Iraq war has caused these things, and
you presented the evidence to the world that made that war happen.
We now know that the evidence you presented was based on lies. You insist
that you did not know that, and I, and most others, believe you. However,
apologies are no longer enough. As this administration continues to damage
US security, attempts to strip citizens of hard-won rights through packing
the Supreme Court with extremists--as this occurs, you no longer have the
luxury of remaining silent. Loyalty is valuable, but "just following orders"
is a coward's excuse. When, General Powell, does the former morph into the
latter? I think that time is now. It's when the blood runs so thick, that
only the blind or the morally corrupt cannot see it, and only the
ideologically crippled refuse to acknowledge it. That time is now.
(Scroll down and
read the rest...)
Happy Holidays or Bah
Humbug. I’m a latter kinda guy these days.
The cavalier way in which Blumenthal seems
to marginalize those of us "obsessing over the Dispatch poll," as he
describes it, would seem to indicate that Blumenthal simply doesn't
understand the problem here to even the smallest extent. Either that, or he
just doesn't give much of a damn about the validity -- and/or the importance
of confidence by the electorate -- in the most basic element of our American
democracy: The right to vote and to have that voted counted accurately.
--from Brad Blog
Item: There’s an interesting debate between the Mystery Pollster (Champion
finger wagger against us or “your elections are continuously stolen crowd”)
and the Brad Blog. Read the whole thing and especially
the long post by Brad. Short version: It’s not that we’re not capable of
losing elections, it’s that we can’t check the results in time in order to
make changes in the results. And, quite frankly, the word of the
Republicans—especially at Corruption Central at either Ohio or Washington DC
headquarters—telling me that everything is legit and there are wmds doesn’t
carry a lot of water with me. Actually, the scary thing is that the
Republicans really aren’t making that claim. They don’t give a fuck about
Democracy, at least in this country.
Item: I just discovered a really interesting music site
called Pandora, where you type in a
particular artist and you get back similar results. Overall, it’s pretty
decent. I typed in some real ringers of course. I got a pretty good response
with Alan Holdsworth. I was introduced to a bass playing Hendrix called
Brian Bromberg (he uses a piccolo bass to sound like an electric
guitarist…oddly enough I was watching BET On Jazz’s Studio Jams today and
Living Colour’s Doug Wimbush can do the same thing…it’s all in the pedals
man, all in the pedals…)and this guy called Nels Cline. Both very
interesting. I soon will try Kaki King. I’ll probably get a lot of Mike
Hedges or Stanley Jordan back...However, my Portishead search got me back
Bette Midler.Go figure.
Item: There is also a new and beautiful video featuring
Cat Power and its crazy yet
attractive lead singer Chan Marshall.) There is also
a second Broadcast video, even though there are many songs that are
better on the album—almost all of them in fact, such as America’s Boy,
Corporeal and Black Cat.
(for an update
at Red Light) and I ran into the
STILL MORE NEWS ABOUT THE MINOR THEFT OF US ELECTIONs
There were several big
stories that "broke" over the last several days on the very minor story
about how your vote is being stolen.
One, the folks at the Free
Press are claiming that the initiatives to reform ohio now (whose website
has seemingly gone into a catatonic shock and not commented on the bad
were shot down because of manipulation. By the way, these arguments have
left the realm of science fiction because of the recent GAO report which
pointed out that these new electronic machines were and are easily
compromised. Or as Bob phrases it:
But none of
the on-the-ground glitches can begin to explain the impossible numbers
surrounding the alleged defeat of Issues Two through Five. The Dispatch
polling has long been a source of public pride for the powerful,
conservative newspaper, which endorsed Bush in 2004.
The Dispatch was somehow dead
accurate on Issue One, and then staggeringly wrong on Issues Two through
Five. Sadly, this impossible inconsistency between Ohio's most prestigious
polling operation and these final official referendum vote counts have drawn
virtually no public scrutiny.
Though there were glitches, this
year's voting lacked the massive irregularities and open manipulations that
poisoned Ohio 2004. The only major difference would appear to be the new
installation of touchscreen machines in those additional 41 counties.
And thus the possible explanations
for the staggering defeats of Issues Two through Five boil down to two:
either the Dispatch polling---dead accurate for Issue One---was wildly wrong
beyond all possible statistical margin of error for Issues 2-5, or the
electronic machines on which Ohio and much of the nation conduct their
elections were hacked by someone wanting to change the vote count.
If the latter is true, it can and
will be done again, and we can forget forever about the state that has been
essential to the election of every Republican presidential candidate since
And we can also, for all intents and
purposes, forget about the future of American democracy.
Now, there is a chance that the initiatives
were badly written and that the Reform Now organizers blew it by flying
toxic Arnold in to endorse the measure days before the vote, but, I mean, if
you could hack the machines, these are the measures you would kill.
By the way, in case you're wondering what this all means,
it means the Democrats will lose all the really important elections until
these machines are fixed. Don't be too hopeful that you can win either the
senate or the house back until we get the machines fixed. You'll lose by
improbably large margins or frustratingly small ones but you'll still lose.
Or until our side gets better hackers--I thought our side
(libertarian/anarchist) had the best hackers in the world. I'm very
disappointed by you 2600 people...
The second big story had to do with one of the lawsuits
making its way through the courts. There's one in Ohio and there's another
one in New Mexico. Now, if you were a real opposition party, what would
you do if
you had heard this:
Yesterday, VoterAction.org sent out an email about some
roadblocks that the plaintiffs are suddenly facing in the discovery phase of
the trial. They were supposed to have been allowed to have experts inspect
-- for the first time -- the Electronic Voting Machines that were used in
the '04 Election, along with the actual results that they gave.
All of a sudden, Voter Action says, the county clerks have flat-out refused
to permit the inspections by the plaintiffs' experts. That, after some
interesting evidence has already been found by the experts during discovery,
like tests where they were able to see votes for one candidate being
registered for their opponent (as has been so widely reported as happening
in so many elections of late!) and ballots being confirmed with NO choice
for President at all, which wasn't supposed to have been possible on at
least one of the machine types being looked at.
Well, if this happened to the Republicans they would force
the Democrats to defend themselves and would probably take a decidedly
correct obstructionist stance until (no judges for example. They wouldn't
let judges be affirmed for life by a fraudulent government...) We can't even
get the Democrats to admit that there's a problem.
Story three, by the way, is
John Kerry, refusing to admit there was a problem. Even though he had
the money to investigate and solve this problem. Incredible. He's like the
guy who probably beat Hitler but he doesn't want to raise a "ruckus". Un
10-30 thru 11-4
Down and Out in Wilkinsburg
I finally completed my move and once I
unpack things and get my bookcases in order I should be back to a normal
postings schedule. Meanwhile, I've found these points to be of interest or:
Weekend Edition of Around the
Item: Nice update
Reform Ohio movement. Please donate money if you can. Good
ad here. Of course, I'm still holding out hope that Democrats use
the V for Vendetta
trailer as a campaign commercial.
(By the way, for those of you keeping score at home on
the voting fraud issue, keep in mind that the Ohio reforms are fairly
innocuous. It allows voting by mail, cuts down on big money giving, creates
a bi partisan commission on redistricting and robs Ken Blackwell of his
power to influence an election. Note that the Republicans, with the help of
their Christian fundie lackeys (proud and shameless promoters of
backwardness and ignorance...of course, it takes a kind of conscious
stupidity for the deliberate bliss station fulfillment of religion to
actually work (Santa will love me in Heaven...Bah.)...not to mention that
they're itching for direct government funding. Corporate theocracy. Has a
nice ring to it.) oppose these measures vigorously. You know what
makes me know the fix is in? Its the Republican response to these issues. If
someone says "Phil stole the election and furthermore he weighs less than
150 pounds and is less than four feet tall..." I would respond, if I was in
the right, by saying "Bring on the verified voter audits, the mail ballots,
the satellite GPS measuring data, the certified scales and whatnot...And
then when you lose again this will show the American people that we do have
a real mandate." That hasn't been the Republican response. In fact, the
Republicans are acting like thieves caught in the night and seem intent on
declaring that exits polls and tools of measurement be declared
unconstitutional. And, of course, why can't the Democrats figure this out?
They're either inept interpreters of human nature or they're on the take.
Paid well to remain in minority status and they're good at it...Thus endeth
Item: Video game
that stresses nonviolent solutions to problems that I'm guessing kids
will hate. Actually, if you've ever done any kind of organizing these
questions sound familiar:
"You have to worry about your
organization," he continued. "Do you set up a hierarchal organization, or a
cell-based one? Who is the best figurehead for the media? What kind of
training do people need? And if you march on the capital without proper
controls, things may turn violent, which will harm your cause. These are the
things people can learn."
Item: A fund that
money to progressive causes. I just wish they would bring back
Item: Older Salon
why US Broadband
sucks. Older Free Press (the "other" Free Press run by noted press
critic Robert McChesney.)
broadband. It's actually the same old story. We don't get decent
healthcare because insurance lobbyists have bought off congress. We don't
get decent environmental protections because polluters have bought off
congress. We don't get decent jobs because outsourcers like Walmart have
bought off congress. And we don't get decent broadband because telcos
have bought off congress. And so it goes. Other countries can provide their
citizens with protections and benefits because they don't allow
multinationals to game the system. Here, we have a system of congress that
allows predatory capitalists to periodically rape us. It's not a good
full length tunes from rediscovered Monk/Coltrane collaboration of the late
my old friend, is such a distinctive composer....
10-23 thru 10-29
Please go check out
out the work of Paul Gulacy, who
attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He
owes a lot to
Jim Steranko as you might have noticed.
Item: I finally finished reading the Marty
piece in the City Paper. It was a thorough piece and I learned about this local guy who's very involved with
the voter verification movement. I guess I came away with a number of concerns. One, he quotes Mike Shamos as kind of a
distinguished opposition quote, when in fact Mr. Shamos has publicly stated that he's quite all right with electronic voting
machines giving back faulty unverifiable results,
according to Kathy Dopp.
It's not unlike quoting the Klan about the death of Rosa Parks. I also thought Shamos comparing voter fraud to alien abduction
as being slightly out of bounds. I say that because everyone pretty much concedes that the 2000 election was stolen--many many
years after the fact when you could actually do something about those kinds of results, of course. So, this issue isn't quite
on the par with the implications of the Majic12 documents. We know election fraud can happen.
There have also been indictments in Ohio and this
massive unrebutted book. Not as much action on the Roswell front.
On the other hand, it looks like the Weekly Alt Press is picking up on this
story. There are City Paper stories (across the country)
here, according to
Item: The best election stuff I've read
is this update from the Free Press' Fitrakis
and it sort of serves as a more lucid articulation of the theme's just hinted at in the Pittsburgh City Paper.
He brings up several excellent points (among many) and also uses this
opportunity to rebut critiques from liberal sources like Mother Jones.
Point one: If you don't solve this problem now, then prepared to be forever
robbed. Prepare to lose every close election. They just have to steal one state at a time. Or as he phrases it:
And until the left faces the rot that defines the Democratic Party, there is no hope for a fair election in
this country. In other words: those who think the White House can be retaken in 2008, but refuse to face the theft of the vote
in 2004, should prepare to be ruled by the likes of Jeb Bush, now and forever.
Point two: What is it about the Bush administration that makes you think they're
above stealing an election? If there was a democratic house these guys would have been impeached , oh, 80 times about now. Or
as Bob puts it:
Before we go into the sordid details, we have to ask: exactly what is it about Team Bush that makes people
think they could not or would not steal an American election? Do they lack funds? Do they lack expertise? Is there something
in the Machiavellian/mobster moral code of Karl Rove and the Bush Family that would prevent them from doing here what they've
been doing throughout the Third World for so long?
CIA meister Poppy Bush long ago perfected the art and science of stealing elections. US manipulators have
interfered with and tipped elections for decades. Why should Ohio be any different? Especially when all the world knew control
of the most powerful office on earth would be decided right here.
Lets do the bookends: before the voting, Ohio's infamous Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell
clearly and vehemently denied poll access to teams of international observers from the United Nations and other international
And there's a point three and its stunning to think that this is true. Or as Bob
Since the election, he has effectively stonewalled and sabotaged all recount attempts, to the point that no
credible accounting of the Ohio election has ever been done. To this day, at least 100,000 votes remain uncounted, electronic
voting machines remain unaudited, key hardware and data files have been trashed, paper ballots have sat unguarded for anyone
to pilfer and tallies in dozens of key counties remain filled with statistical impossibilities.
In our HOW THE GOP STOLE AMERICA'S 2004 ELECTION & IS RIGGING 2008, we list more than 180 bullet points on
how this theft was perpetrated. It was a brilliant, cynical and masterfully executed campaign of death by a thousand cuts.
This is the most disturbing story in my lifetime. Period. Honestly: what's more
important than this story?
10-16 thru 10-22
Sorry for the lack of posts. Been a very busy week where I've tried to find a new place to live. I hope
I've found one.
Anyway. Back to your scheduled links.
Item: From my occasional stomping grounds over at American Samizdat:
The World Can't Wait. Drive Out The Bush Regime.
I hope this doesn't involve silly marches. I would prefer my 5/25 plan or even a national
worker's strike. I guess I'll read the FAQs but I'm very likely to sign.
Anywayz, I agree with their assessment of things:
government, on the basis of outrageous lies, is waging a murderous and
utterly illegitimate war in Iraq, with other countries in their sights. Your government is openly torturing people, and
justifying it. Your government puts people in jail on the merest suspicion, refusing them lawyers, and either holding them
indefinitely or deporting them in the dead of night.
government is moving each day closer to a theocracy, where a narrow
and hateful brand of Christian fundamentalism will rule.
government suppresses the science that doesn't fit its religious,
political and economic agenda, forcing present and future generations to pay a terrible price.
government is moving to deny women here, and all over the world, the
right to birth control and abortion.
government enforces a culture of greed, bigotry, intolerance and
at all this and think of Hitler — and they are right to do so. The Bush regime is setting out to radically remake society very
quickly, in a fascist way, and for generations to come. We must act now; the future is in the balance.
millions are deeply disturbed and outraged by this. They recognize the need for a vehicle to express this outrage, yet they
cannot find it; politics as usual cannot meet the enormity of the challenge, and people sense this.
There is not
going to be some magical "pendulum swing." People who steal elections and believe they're on a "mission from God" will not go
without a fight.
There is not
going to be some savior from the Democratic Party. This whole idea of putting our hopes and energies into "leaders" who tell
us to seek common ground with fascists and religious fanatics is proving every day to be a disaster, and actually serves to
silence and paralysis are NOT acceptable. That which you will not
resist and mobilize to stop, you will learn — or be forced — to accept. There is no escaping it: the whole disastrous course
of this Bush regime must be STOPPED. And we must take the responsibility to do it.
Television Wrap Up:
Weeds is the best show I've seen
this season. It does a number of subversive things very well. This week's season ender featured a nice takedown of the war for
example. It also struck me that weed dealers really weren't criminals, at least not on the Sopranos level. One question: Was
the last scene, which I think had the Godfather's theme in the background, where she looks like she's
becoming the Godmother...was that ripped off from the Godfather or the Sopranos? 2nd question: can you really get out of army
service by pretending to study to be a rabbi or a priest...? Just curious...I also watched the last episode of Battlestar
Galactica and it featured a ghastly civil war, which, seemed to me to be quite logical from both sides. It's still not as good
a show as Enterprise, especially the last season. It just strikes me that Enterprise--a show where we talk to the aliens first
as opposed to blow them up and that valued diversity--just was not in sync with our vicious holy crusader times. I really
enjoy Deep Space Nine (reruns on Spike at noon) for example. I used to think the United States was the Federation. Now, in
reality, I realize that the United States has become some kind of evil Cardasian/Ferengi hybrid. Perhaps Al Gore was right. We
have entered some evil
Mirror Universe. Well, at least I've got a
for my sash in
Item: You might be aware of
Reform Now movement, but did you know that there's a
law in the
Pennsylvania House that looks pretty good? Of course, I don't know what its chances of passage or watering down are. I
really wish there was a Pa. bill that allowed for citizen referendums, which is a healthy form of direct democracy.
Item: Did you know there was a
National Summit to Save Our Elections held in Portland Oregon some weeks back? Probably not, but we're breaking news here
folks. Four hours of the session
were recorded here. Right now I'm listening to
hours one and two. One of those hours features Green Presidential candidate David Cobb, who I spoke to and at several weeks
Definitely check out hour 2. Cobb
is a bit more forthcoming with Brad than with me. He also offers a nice analysis not only of the implications of the suit
(dire) but the failure of the corporate media to cover this.
Related: The Brad Blog is probably the national clearinghouse for this very minor story about how American election
fraud works, or, to phrase it in a way you'll get: elections can easily be stolen in the US because there's no auditing method
for election results...Here's a scarier summary behind the
Diebold Deep Throat and here's an
important update on the whole issue.
Item: I'm reading this week's City Paper story about
the ballot machines now.
Friends of Al Jazeera.
An excerpt from the About section:
"The empire writes back"
AlJazeera is an anomaly. It's the first media company from the "third world" to break into the
mainstream. It's an independent voice representing the other. Nearly every other major media outlet is speaking on behalf of
the West. AlJazeera is a case of "the empire writing back". AlJazeera is the first significant challenge to Western hegemony
and its monopoly on the truth. AlJazeera has given a voice to the voiceless.
Just as amazing is the fact that AlJazeera is independent. It's funded by a government but run as an
private company. Even though it is run as a private company, it is not subjected to the same financial realities that other
private companies are subjected to (such as making a profit or pleasing shareholders). This is one of those crazy realities
that you are only likely to find in the Middle-East (like the AlJazeera head office being down the road from the US Military's
Middle East command centre).
Update at the Red Light District featuring: a
painted Nubian princess, two hot blondes, one cartoon and one Estabon Marato painting featuring full frontal nudity..
Item: In alt media news:
the Hip New South Parked Bugs Bunny, and
a song about assholes, which features Lil' Ricky and
Preznit of all people...
Group blog for Ed Murrow biopic..the
whole point of Halberstam's "The Powers That Be" is that the modern press doesn't want Murrows, or even Walter Cronkites
anymore. No independent voices against the state, that are highly visible, can be seen or heard. That's why the Internet is
the new alternative media.
The break off factions (mainly the SEIU) of the labor movement are
offering a contest for Good Ideas.
The winner gets 100000 thousand and I believe the runner ups get 50 grand
apiece. I offered this
Right now, almost half of the
country is either uninsured or underinsured.
The groups that left the AFL-CIO should use their resources to form a not
for profit insurance industry and offer nationalized health care. There have
been examples of public ownership in the past and they worked. I believe
Robert Hunter directed one of them. This idea was described in a book called
the "Invisible Bankers" . There would be several benefits to this: you could
solve the healthcare crisis, you could show an immediate positive benefit to
union involvement, and you could create a several billion dollar reservoir
(60 million spend 50 dollars a month for full healthcare services) that you
could use to fund principled investment and to build real political
power--for example, replicating America Coming Together, building your own
press, etc. Did I mention that you would starve the HMOs? All positives.
One warning: write bylaws that prevent you from actually becoming an evil
Item: Check this out.
10-2 thru 10-8
Item: Haven't had a lot of time to post lately. As far
as the Supreme Court pick,
Calpundit thinks she's Souter Jr. and Meteor Blades, notable Kos
the party if she isn't fillibustered. That's all I have time for. Visit
Robot Wisdom and Undernews while I pay some bills.
9-25 thru 10-01
FINAL PLEA FOR CONTRIBUTION TO DR. CHUCK PENNACCHIO'S
As I wander around the city—quite aimlessly at
times no doubt—and talk to people about Chuck Penn’s candidacy it occurs to me that I don’t know every policy position that
Dr. Pennacchio has staked out. Of course, the nice thing about supporting Chuck Penn’s candidacy is that if he’s elected I’m
fairly certain that he’ll actually vote in the public interest most of the time—as opposed to Ricky Santorum, who, like most
Republicans, will vote against and sell out the public interest most of the time. In other words, I know that I can trust
There’s also a big difference between Chuck
Pennacchio and Bob Casey Jr., or as I call him Senatorial nominee Zell Miller from Pennsylvania.
For example, let’s take a look at the Roberts
nomination. Democrats should have voted no just on principle. That principle being that President Bush generally makes
terrible decisions—especially long term and which we got a chance to see in action with NOLA--and that if someone wants a seat
on the highest court on the land they should at least give forthcoming answers and not smokescreens. And, sure enough, Dr.
Penn would have voted no against Roberts, just as our Republican-lite Democrat Party nominee Bob Casey Jr. would have voted
yes. Keep in mind that labor backs Casey Jr. even though he’s guaranteed to confirm anti-labor, corporatist judges. I’m still
trying to think of what pro labor bills would make it to the floor that Bob Casey Jr. could vote yes on. The only thing that
comes to mind are pork barrel projects and no votes for higher emission standards for coal plants—thus “leading” in the same
way that the auto unions have “led” against higher fuel standards for cars and trucks, especially helpful when we hit 5
dollars a gallon no doubt.
It has been pointed out that people who support
Chuck Pennacchio are one issue people, with that one issue being choice. But keep in mind that Bob Casey Jr. isn’t just bad on
the choice issue, he’s shown incredibly bad judgment on arctic drilling, the inanely intrusive Terri Schiavo case, moratorium
against the death penalty, stem cell research, and the living wage. So, Bob Casey isn’t just anti choice and robs us of
intelligent women who want to control their own bodies as opposed to fundie theocrats, his whole platform is an attack against
the coalition that makes up the Democratic Party coalition, which was a winning coalition for both Kerry and Rendell. It was a
loser for Ron Klink, another pro life Democrat. Of course, what if the Labor
Leadership of Pennsylvania is Pro life? Perhaps they
might even want to lose...which, I guess, would explain a Bob Casey Jr. run for the US Senate.
So, it’s not just the one issue folks. And no I
don’t buy the Kos argument that it’s the coalition. We’ve already lost the filibuster because we don’t have democrats in the
US Senate who would be willing to use it. Shameful. We need democrats who stand for something and will make a solid 40.
I mean, there’s so much gnashing of teeth at Kos
and Mydd and Atrios about turncoat democrats who vote with the Republicans…doesn’t it make sense not to make Zell Miller the
next Democratic Senator from Pennsylvania…? I think we can do better. Chuck Pennacchio is clearly better and I think he could
actually win if we provide a contrast.
So, if you would like to nominate someone the
GOP will not use to undermine the Democratic Party message and/or base then please consider giving Chuck Pennacchio a
contribution today as the quarter ends. He’s looking for small contributions, 5, 10, 25 dollars, as well as big. So give what
you can to help this truly progressive voice. You never know. It might even be the beginning of an opposition party. God knows
we could use one.
Even though Cousin Leonce is an Ivy League man (Havin'
his buttered scones and flyin' his Aero Plane no doubt.), he doesn't quite comprehend what permalinks are.
So, as a public service, I've placed his posts as permalinks at Mirror Universe.
Dr. Chuck Pennacchio is on Air America right now. It started at 8.
Its the Laura Flanders show and there should be a saved version
of that show later tonight.
9-18 thru 9-24
Fairly Wise Advice
About Building Weblog Numbers
Ohmigod its true.
Google is becoming a telco. What does this mean? Your broadband choice might be cable, dsl or free Wi-Fi Broadband from
google in about a year...which one would you choose? What if it was 10 dollars a month? Still a good deal. This would also,
despite the best efforts of the Republicans, spur the economy, raise the intellectual opportunity for the nation and create
real broadband competition.
One of the best jazz concerts,
ever. As its directed by Wynton it's a little old fashioned but still stellar performances. Thought Terence Blanchard,
borrowing from the Pat Metheny compositional style, provided the highlight.
Item: Did you know that
Green Presidential Candidate David Cobb was sitting in a
Squirrel Hill house—without shoes because that’s the house rules—Tuesday night in an effort to promote Green Mayoral candidate
Titus North? I only found out through libertarian
Mark Rauterkus’ site. I decided
to go pay a visit. Here’s what I came away with:
Subitem: If you’re not aware of this, David Cobb of the Green Party, and not John
Kerry unfortunately, is still trying to find out what happened in Ohio. Short version: Kerry probably won but the Republican
machine sabotaged the recount efforts and in effect ran out the clock. Cobb confirmed
the information in the Free Press article and noted
that their next goal was to take a look at the machines through the use of subpoena power. He also darkly hinted that the case
could be thrown out because of there being no remedy. I would think the remedy would be sanctions, fines and jail times, not
to mention that the Democracy has been thwarted—a minor thing of course.
Subitem: I also wanted to air out my 5/25 plan in front of the dozen or so Green Party
members in attendance. I think the goal of a legitimate progressive third party certainly shouldn’t be to help the
Republicans. But they don’t have to win every seat to help, they just have to take away Republican majorities. That means 5
senate seats (And yes, if Chuck Penn isn’t nominated then Pennsylvania should be a state that’s targeted—but only if the
candidate has a decent budget of 2 million or more.) and 25 house seats. By the way, this would be a serious effort that would
require the funding of the Hollywood left and big time contributors like Peter Lewis and George Soros. You would need 2
million to contest US Senate seats and 1 million to contest 25 house seats. That’s a total of 35 million, which is doable.
That’s about how much Act was funded. And here’s the rub: you would run against both parties, run on class issues and use
Hollywood talent not only to run for some of these seats but to create emotionally powerful ads that are memorable and
trenchant—unlike the current dreck usually produced by the DNC campaign elites, who need to be fired and replaced. This
requires the Democrats to be smart enough not to run or complain because they know that 30 or more Bernie Sanders types helps
countered that the DNC really really really doesn’t like the Green party and noted that they spent 2 million in 2000 just to
thwart the Greens from reaching that 5 percent threshold in
California. I countered his counter by noting that the DNC
had legitimate reason to hate the Greens then because their only real result was throwing the presidential election to the
Republicans, the most evil party on the face of the planet. Now is different. I’m of the opinion that a fearless well funded
outsider campaign would work because, frankly, the democrats have never shown us what that looks like. It would be fun to see.
You could run as an independent or as a Green. Again, I’d say the plan got mixed reviews from the crowd but I think that would
do more to turn the Greens into a viable national party with control of house and senate committee seats than, say, winning
the Pittsburgh’s mayor race. They would get a lot of support from grassroots dems as well.
Subitem: Speaking of the Pittsburgh mayor’s race,
North seemed like a decent enough fellow. I liked his platform. The only thing that I would add is that somebody needs to
become the party of small business or small c capitalism as I call it. It’s a way to encourage moderate capitalism and
provides a nice contrast to the Walmart nation that we’re becoming. He doesn’t think he’s going to win and I’m inclined to
agree, unless the democratic nominee is struck by lightening or something and even then…I wish the Greens would go after the
black vote. Black voters could use another choice and it can’t be the Nazi Republicans who seem to smile and act ever so
slowly when it comes to saving drowning black people—at all levels actually. You can check out
North’s site here.
Item: As you may know,
my fave not covered enough story has to do with the
fact that the last presidential election was kind of, you know, fraudulent. That means that quite possibly, all those people
who died in New Orleans might not have died had they been under even moderately competent leadership. Not to mention the Gulf
War. Or competent handling of various probable hells to come such as Avian flu or mad cow disease...so sleep tight. So, here's
your stolen election update and yes I'm the only publisher in Pittsburgh who talks about it, unless the City Paper does their
annual 25 most censored stories edition...
case against the Ohio fraudsters continues apace. You know, it would be nice if the Greens and the Libertarians weren't
the only parties contesting this. Isn't the Democratic Party the official "opposition" party...No?
I believe the Multi Medium guy made this
"Election reform has the added virtue of being a political
no-brainer: There is no way to oppose it without tacitly admitting that you're anti-democracy and have something to hide. If
the Republicans insist that there's no need for electoral reform because the 2004 elections were completely legit, the
Democrats point out that they should have no objection to reform, and why wouldn't they want to be able to prove how legit the
You're absolutely right, Why wouldn't they? Well, there could be several reasons and none of them are good. One, they're too
ashamed to admit that they've been robbed and refuse to acknowledge the possibility. Two, and here's the horror show part,
they're a part of the fix. They really are the Washington Generals and they don't mind being a minority party. They're paid to
lose and they're good at it. Or at least the DLC contingent doesn't want to win and that's enough in the senate to mean that
the filibuster is never used. What do the Democrats have to lose by pushing for voter verification? Nothing, and yet they
don't...how well are the Washington Generals paid?
Subitem: Ohio is fighting back and
a reform effort on the ballot. This is big news. It means it will
be harder for them to pull off what they did in 2004, which is allow GOP partisans to sabotage the recount...
Proof that one disgruntled Diebold worker can hack the
machines. Sleep tight...
Subitem: Speaking of hacking the Diebold
machines, the best show
I've heard on this issue was
the August 28th edition of Politically Direct. Bev Harris is interviewed and she revealed that it takes a team of hackers
about 5 minutes to hack into Diebold machines and alter results. Cost: about a couple of hundred dollars. Also: I was
introduced to the idea of parallel voting. Best summary I've heard of these issues.
Art of Simon Bisley.
Item: Here are the top 25 most censored stories. Top ten here. I listed
them all over at
Pittsburgh Progressive. (freely stolen links from American Samizdat.) When I
have time I'll comment on number 3.
#1 Bush Administration Moves to Eliminate Open
Media Coverage Fails on Iraq: Fallujah and the Civilian Deathtoll
Another Year of Distorted Election Coverage
#4 Surveillance Society Quietly Moves In
U.S. Uses Tsunami to Military Advantage in Southeast Asia
The Real Oil for Food Scam
Journalists Face Unprecedented Dangers to Life and Livelihood
Iraqi Farmers Threatened By Bremer’s Mandates
Iran’s New Oil Trade System Challenges U.S. Currency
Mountaintop Removal Threatens Ecosystem and Economy
decided to update my porn section for I am a sad lonely man who hasn't had a legitimate date since...well, I literally can't
remember. Or, to steal the Patton Oswalt joke "You know the difference between girls and porn? I can get porn..."
And thank gawd for yoga girl. So that's what people see in yoga. I always thought it was dandified
stretchin' but I was wrong. Between shots of yoga girl's contorted thighs are profane illustrations of cartoon characters doin'
it. It features the scooby gang ("Zoinks" indeed and that look of quizzical befuddlement on Scooby's face...priceless),
Jessica and Roger Rabbit, and, no, not you Tinkerbell...!? Not you...Have I mentioned lately that those toons are clearly
parodies that have artistic merit and that I simply point these things out as a part of my "news gathering"...? Thought I
should mention that..
Item: The above novel was written
by my cousin Leonce Gaiter. I didn't even know he had written it and published it. I discovered it when someone else linked to
it--I think it was Steve Gilliard. Looks like its in a Walter Mosley vein. I wish he would send me a copy.
has a blog where he writes about New Orleans and his
family's past, which also happens to be my past. Leonce also happens to be gay,
not that there's anything wrong
Here's an excerpt:
King of spades: My parents got out of New
Orleans decades before Katrina, but for the same reasons that begat the tragedy. I lived there only briefly, but even as a
child I knew that the attitude among the city’s poor, black population was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. My parents
were 60s bourgeois strivers, and they insisted on three things: excellence to thwart the race hatred that threatened them,
controlled rage to keep its memories fresh because more often than not, cultures die before they change, and finally arrogance
in the knowledge that while the majority with all its power did its best to belittle us—they had failed. (More
over at Pgh Words, Sounds and Pictures. And I'm adding Cousin Leonce to the blog links.)
Item: And somebody break up the Steelers. Of course, that might
be the worst defense they'll look at all year. I had no idea Willie Parker = College era Tony Dorsett. Man o man. Feelin' good
about the Stillers. But its only one game.
And now: 100 words about the US Open. I'm glad that Kim
won her first slam, but I think Mary Pierce got a raw deal. Her timeout in the seminfinals was within the rules. Federer
really is that good. He's the first man to consistently track down and return 120 mph serves. He's also highly intelligent.
Still, I wonder if that racquet of his is juiced...? With a carbon nanotube mesh and adjustable tensions...what if it really
is the shoes? Federer could win a Grand Slam. The Sampras slam record is in jeopardy. I hope the men's tour can catch
him...Need Marat back and a more versatile Andy Roddick to give him a game. The Europeans will give him a run on clay...
Cindy Sheehan coming to Pittsburgh this weekend.
From the Thomas Merton Center's
UPDATE: CINDY SHEEHAN WILL MAKE A
PITTSBURGH APPEARANCE ON SUNDAY
"On Wednesday, August 30, 2005, the last day of the anti-war encampment
started by Cindy Sheehan in Crawford, Texas, the
Bring Them Home Now Tour
launched three buses of military and Gold Star families, veterans of the
Iraq War, and veterans of previous wars. These buses will travel different
routes across the country,
including a stop in Pittsburgh on September
before converging in Washington, DC for the United for Peace and Justice
March on September 24th.
Pittsburgh events include
Camp Neil : A Picnic/Speak-Out
followed by a Candlelight March on Sunday, Sept. 11, a Press Conference and
a Public Gathering to discuss conscientious objection and
counter-recruitment. Others tba.
older Daily Kos item but I'd thought that I would repeat it.
"There's been some
inspiring reporting coming out of the shattered towns of Louisiana and
Mississippi -- reporters showing their humanity on their sleeves, reporters
not afraid to ask the impertinent but possibly live-saving questions,
reporters more than willing to call out politicians on live camera when they
spin away from or flatly lie on known facts. It's been shocking to see, and
a credit to them and their industry.
But why is that the exception? Why does it take day after day of reporting
on struggles for food, struggles for water, searches for loved ones,
searches that ended badly, and a lake full of bodies to wear a reporter down
to the point where their voice shakes, their hands tremble, and they call
out the officials who are lying to them right there, on the air, and make
sure the whole world knows the actual truth?
Shouldn't that be the default position of any journalist actually doing
their job? Shouldn't the search for the truth, and the outrage at the lie,
be the very basis of actual reporting? Why should it take that momentary
loss of control, that sudden spark of anger caused by unimaginable disaster,
to get to that point of brilliance and duty?
How have we come to this point, where neutrality of journalism meant
neutrality to the truth itself, meant reporting fact and lie alongside each
other, in equivalence, without emotion, without remorse? Where reporting
that an official has flatly lied is not even considered, by the top
reporters of the top news outlets in this country, unless you are one of
those few reporters knee-deep in a swirling eddy that contains the
disintegrated remnants of a hundred thousand families, and of ten thousand
I'm not exactly certain, but I'm pretty sure this is Funky Dung's
fave comic. Pretty sure. Speaking of Ales Rarus watch (because someone
needs to watch the crazed theocrats who talk to God), let's give him credit
for, at least once, denouncing
crazed Christian person. Then again, let's not give him credit for not
denouncing how the Pope wants immunity
for his alleged actions of protecting priests who commit child rape. And
let me guess, if this ever so Un Christian president were to grant those
pardons the Catholic Church would remain impartial in terms of its political
choices. Of course, in the vein of that immortal Star Trek 5 line of why does
God need a spaceship, why does a pope need to ask for criminal immunity?
Doesn't he have a higher power that he communes with? Or is he just another
corrupt right wing political hack? I'd say the latter...Afterall, you give me poor
kids then I'll give you Christians, or radical Islamic fundamentalists, or
Mormons, whatever. Same buncha crazy. I, myself, am praying that o mighty
Odin will strike Eric down.
to the permalinks. He has some good links
about Roberts (Dems thrown in the towel, again. What opposition party?)
we destroyed socialism in Iraq. I guess Iraqis will get the same kind of
free market that New Orleans residents have gotten.
World Class blogger Robot Wisdom, one
of the best headline writers in the world by the way (here's a sample:"
August 28 thru Sept.3
Please check out the work of the Frazetta-schooled
Short Saturday Afternoon Around the Internets
I've moved away from hurricane pron
to my old
fashioned porn. Features artistic nudes from Jeff Jones and a funny
Frazetta illustration. Here's an aside: "Who knew Lenin had such a nice
Item: Here's a mockup of
Three Rivers Online magazine. It's sort of what you would expect.
praise Kanye West for saying the truth we were all thinking.
and I'm adding
Crooks and Liars
to the blogroll.
Couple of highlights: Calpundit nails
"Actions have consequences. No
one could predict that a hurricane the size of Katrina would hit this year,
but the slow federal response when it did happen was no accident. It was the
result of four years of deliberate Republican policy and budget choices that
favor ideology and partisan loyalty at the expense of operational
competence. It's the Bush administration in a nutshell."
And before that quote
he gives you a timeline of how competent people were turned out and no
nothing cronies were put in. A nutshell. Indeed. Both Atrios and
Calpundit have been must reading concerning the crisis.
Guest commentator Amy Sullivan
also has an
LEFT BEHIND....Don't miss
Joan Walsh on Salon today, putting into words the frustration so
many of us have struggled to articulate.
These are desperately poor people who've been deliberately left
behind, in so many senses of the word — left behind by society, shut up in
housing projects and hideous poverty, and now truly left behind by local
and federal officials who failed to come up with an evacuation plan for
people too poor and isolated to leave on their own....
....Why didn't we send a caravan of buses into the city's poorest
neighborhoods on Saturday or Sunday, when the dimensions of the disaster
were already predictable?....Sure, Houston's got electricity and running
water, but tens of thousands of scared, angry people packed into an
abandoned sports stadium — we couldn't come up with a better symbol of how
little we care about the poor, how little we've thought about what to do
with them, for them, if we tried.
We've heard the warning "this isn't about politics" over and over in
the last few days. The hell it isn't. And I don't mean kicking Bush while
he's down, just for the fun of it, although there are surely liberals eager
to do that. For the rest of us, however, we're seeing the awful real world
consequences of conservatism play out on our television screens. This is why
we're liberals. We don't yell about poverty and racial disparities for
kicks. An evacuation plan that consists of telling people to get out on
their own is not an evacuation plan.
after I've digested all of this...
"I hope people don't play
politics at this time of a natural disaster the likes of which this
country has never seen."
Oh, I'm touched. Utterly touched. After 9/11, the
entire Republican Party went en masse to get Twin Towers ass tattoos. The
Republican convention was a wholesale tribute to crass exploitation, the
sets themselves designed to evoke the aftermath of the attack. Every
domestic and international policy this administration -- no, this entire
Republican government -- has produced has been heaved up before the
public while waving the spectre of 9/11 as the catch-all vindication of
every administration whim. Every tax cut, every civil rights issue, every
budget cut, every budget expansion, no matter how tortured the logic must
be, has some Republican senator standing on the Senate floor and proudly
raping the corpses of that day as justification for their particular agenda
Recently our good friend Mr.
Reynolds--proud founding member of the League of Evil Bloggers and a man who
won't proudly claim his GOP heritage yet repeats the party's talking point
mantras over and over and over again--has
told us to not to politicize this hurricane thing. Right. This from a
man who can't help commenting on our Dear Leader's Glorious War of
Liberation, or links approvingly to a guy who wants to turn dissent into
treason, or smears every pop star who points out the incompetency, idiocy
and outright evil of the Bush administration. He's so above the fray and
With this history in mind,
let me state:
Fuck you Glenn
Reynolds. Fuck you. And your treasonous ilk. And visit the new same
Here are a list of links that
point to the Bush administration's incompetence. And, unfortunately, bad
policy kills. We need to remember that Glenn and Michele and Pejman and the
Powerline folks supported this evil incompetency. We must never forget.
Bush bungles it again: Federal government wasn't ready for Katrina, disaster
Category 4 Hurricane Determined
to Strike U.S. -- Cont
"[No One] Anticipated the Breach of the Levees"
Even the corporate media gets it
Molly Ivins: 'Why New Orleans is in deep water'
Sidney Blumenthal: 'No one can say they didn't see it
The Difference Between Democrats and Republicans
Atrios on that unbelievable shoot the looters WH Press
New Orleans as a casualty of the war in Iraq
One more thing: the kind of
talk that we saw before the hurricane hit is the kind of talk we get about
global warming, about mad cow disease, about the possibility that terrorist
groups would have nothing to lose by unleashing wmds, about the futility of
the Iraq war and etcetera onward to infinity. Worst president, ever.
Item: I really don't have a lot to say about
the hurricane. I guess my official story on weather and underclass crime
be found here. I just don't write about the weather because I don't
think you can do anything about it. But I do think that in cases of stunning
weather that takes thousands of lives--such as the tsunami even though I
joked about it--that is newsworthy. It's also newsworthy if our government
leaders could have done something to prevent the loss of life in New
Mooney argues here and "Prescience
Sucks". Froth also supplies a
full list of
hurricane updates here.
Item: No taserin' at last Saturday's
demonstration against military recruiting. But I see that there
were donuts, the nemesis of overzealous
police officers everywhere.
and photos here.
Hiroshima protest at CMU)
But there was some breaking news, I define
"breaking" as the kinds of stories that corporate media either doesn't cover
or cover enough to make a difference, about CMU's lucrative role in the War
Machine. I found it over there at that fount of self-published useful
information that is Indy Media.
There's a main story
Caterpillar's role in investing in driverless drones. And there's also
about 19 related stories that have been published in the last year or so. It
looks like the "writers" include the people at
No to War and our good friends the Pittsburgh Organizing Group, seen
shutting down a recruiting table at CMU. Good for them. I'm sure no one
considers them a "terrist"
August 21 thru August 27
from Indy Media)
(New Andy Warhol series of Chuck's posters)
poll of Chuck Penn vs. Bob Casey over at the Daily Kos, which right now
Chuck is winning, which is impossible since he lost the vote at MoveOn,
which hasn't released its tallies, which has probably got Chuck interested
in ballot integrity.
Update: Good catch from Comments From Left
Field. It's a funny
Daily Kos entry from Chuck Penn.
In contrast, other Casey supporters take him at his
word when he publicly opposes a woman's right to choose. The 2004 Democratic
Senate candidate, Joe Hoeffel, acknowledges Casey's core
pro-life/anti-choice position. For months, in fact, Mr. Hoeffel has
repeated this same statement about Bob Casey, Jr: "On all issues other than
a woman's right to choose, Bob Casey is a progressive Democrat."
And for months I have kept my powder dry while our
campaign documented Mr. Casey's truly conservative profile on critical
issues such as stem cell research, the death penalty, the U.S. policy in
Iraq, the assault weapons ban, separation of church and state, living wage
legislation, universal health care, GLBT rights, preserving an independent
judiciary (Terry Schiavo case), and drilling for oil in the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge. So, for Mr. Hoeffel to argue Mr. Casey is "progressive" on
"all issues" other than choice is an extraordinary stretch. Such a stretch,
in fact, that Mr. Hoeffel has mostly backed away from making such claims.
In addition, Mr. Hoeffel should be credited for his honesty on Mr. Casey's
opposition to a woman's right to choose and his determination to overturn
Roe v. Wade.
Returning to Harrisburg and Lt. Gov. Knoll's "reverse
spin" -- where she didn't challenge my claims to being the only progressive
on all issues other than a woman's right to choose -- but literally heckled
me ("No, that's not true, that's not true!") when I correctly said that I
was the only candidate committed to upholding a woman's right to choose.
Read the whole thing as they say.
Here are more links about the protest.
audio snippets from the press conference. Here's
transcript of an audio report that appeared on Free Speech TV.
1. Drop all charges from A20
2. City investigate police violence and misconduct
3. Suspend or fire Officer Samuel Muoio who used taser at protest
4. Moratorium on taser use in Pittsburgh
Well, if it means that they'll go back to
lethal force and fatal choke holds I'll take my taserin' very much thank you
sir. Just a thought. Froth, who to my comics obsessed mind resembles the
cartoon character Tintin,
defense of police tactics. I must confess I didn't find it convincing. I
think we have a police oversight review board for good reason. He also asked
me if he could get his hands on unedited footage. It looks like POG will
give you that if you ask them. Their numbers are
But I agree with
that there probably won't be anything incriminating in the unedited footage.
Of course Froth, the city's lone liberal cop, would be hard pressed to
criticize the armed people who he works with. I assume he's seen the ending
Item: Evildoer Chavez offers poor Americans
cheap fuel and Evildoer Castro offers poor Americans free health care and
is...awful? Could be.
Item: David Sirota on
why the DLC needs to be driven from the Democratic Party. Short version:
The DLC is on the other side.
Science vs. Norse
from Indy Media)
A propaganda model focuses on this inequality of wealth
and power and its multilevel effects on mass-media interests and choices. It
traces the routes by which money and power are able to filter out the news
fit to print, marginalize dissent,
and allow the government and dominant private interests to get their
messages across to the public. The essential ingredients of our propaganda
model, or set of news "filters," fall under the following headings: (I) the
size, concentrated ownership, owner wealth, and profit orientation of the
dominant mass-media firms; (2) advertising as the primary income source of
the mass media; (3) the reliance of the media on information provided by
government, business, and "experts" funded and approved by these primary
sources and agents of power; (4) "flak" as a means of disciplining the
media; and (5) "anticommunism" as a national religion and control mechanism.
These elements interact with and reinforce one another. The raw material of
news must pass through successive filters, leaving only the cleansed residue
fit to print. They fix the premises of discourse and interpretation, and the
definition of what is newsworthy in the first place, and they explain the
basis and operations of what amount to propaganda campaigns.
Chomsky's and Herman's Manufacturing Consent. (For five I would switch
out "anticommunism" and replace it with "terrorism".)
have to admit I thought this was the
important story of the weekend. I don't think it made the front pages of
any of the dailies. I guess this is what we mean when we complain about the
corporate press. Quick propaganda model quiz: advertisers prefer a.) weather
stories/underclass crime/nothing stories or b.) stories about courageous
radicals who face down vicious barking dogs or taser fire. Hint: Check
Sunday and Monday front pages of our two dailies to get an answer.
The Post-Gazette, our mealy-mouthed DLC-like
had a short piece. Funky is right about one problem with the PG:
are the links? You could, for example, link to the
Pittsburgh Organizing Group's
statement about the events, or even link to these
compelling videos of a young girl screaming as she's shot with a taser
and this incredibly placid protester who sits while a barking dog is only a
few feet away. I mean, they're even edited. That's professional.
As you might predict, the coverage at
right wing Scaife rag was worse as Bill Zlatos inserted the cop position
right into his lead. It seems to be a matter of dispute that the protesters
"disrupted traffic", Bill. More fair and balanced reporting I see. Let me
guess Bill: You couldn't link to arguments made by POG (Because you
find them?), or their video evidence, or mention their claim that the
cops knocked over a guy in a wheelchair...? Second propaganda model quiz:
Bill's story represents how many of the five aforestated Propaganda Model
Factors? Hint: 1, 3 and 5 are the strongest contenders.
More as this develops. Looks like I'll
be "breaking" all kinds of news because I can independently link and think.
Beware my power...Green
Lantern's light and so forth...
August 14th thru August 20th
Art of Simon Bisley.
"Welcome to a world where
statistical probability and normal arithmetic no longer apply!(36)
The Democrats, rather than vigorously pursuing these patently obvious signs
of election fraud in 2004, have nearly all decided that being gracious
losers is better than being winners,(37)
probably because – and this may be the most important reason for the
Democrat’s relative silence - a full-scale uncovering of the fraud runs the
risk of mobilizing and unleashing popular forces that the Democrats find
just as threatening as the GOP does.
The delicious irony for the GOP
is that the Help America Vote Act, precipitated by their theft of the
Florida 2000 presidential vote, made GOP theft of elections as in the
preceding examples easy and unverifiable except through recourse to indirect
analysis such as pre-election polls and exit polls.(38)
This is the political equivalent of having your cake and eating it too. Or,
more precisely: stealing elections, running the country, and aggressively,
arrogantly and falsely claiming that “the people” support it.
Flavor Flav of the rap group
Public Enemy used to wear a big clock around his neck in order to remind us
all that we’d better understand what time it is. Or, as Bob Dylan once said:
“Let us not speak falsely now, the hour’s getting late.” To all of those who
said before the 2004 elections that this was the most important election in
our lifetimes; to all of those who plunged into that election hoping and
believing that we could throw the villains out via the electoral booth; to
all of those who held their noses and voted for Democrats thinking that at
least they were slightly better than the theocratic fascists running this
country now, this must be said: VOTING REALLY DOESN’T MATTER. If we weren’t
convinced of that before these last elections, then now is the time to wake
up to that fact. Even beyond the fraudulent elections of 2000 and 2004,
public policies are not now, nor have they ever been, settled through
No Paper Trail Left Behind: The
Theft of the 2004 Presidential Election,By Dennis Loo, Ph.D. Cal Poly
Item: A long time back I predicted this year's
vote fraud story would make it to this year's list of Project Censored
stories. And I was right.
out this article. And here are the top ten things you need to believe in
order to think that the 2004 election wasn't fraudulent. It's written by
another one of those PH D wackos.
In order to believe that
George Bush won the November 2, 2004 presidential election, you must also
believe all of the following extremely improbable or outright impossible
1) A big turnout and a highly energized
and motivated electorate favored the GOP instead of the Democrats for the
first time in history.(2)
2) Even though first-time voters, lapsed
voters (those who didn’t vote in 2000), and undecideds went for John Kerry
by big margins, and Bush lost people who voted for him in the cliffhanger
2000 election, Bush still received a 3.5 million vote surplus nationally.(3)
3) The fact that Bush far exceeded the
85% of registered Florida Republicans’ votes that he got in 2000, receiving
in 2004 more than 100% of the registered Republican votes in 47 out of 67
Florida counties, 200% of registered Republicans in 15 counties, and over
300% of registered Republicans in 4 counties, merely shows Floridians’
enthusiasm for Bush. He managed to do this despite the fact that his share
of the crossover votes by registered Democrats in Florida did not increase
over 2000 and he lost ground among registered Independents, dropping 15
4) Florida’s reporting of more
presidential votes (7.59 million) than actual number of people who voted
(7.35 million), a surplus of 237,522 votes, does not indicate fraud.
5) The fact that Bush got more votes than
registered voters, and the fact that by stark contrast participation rates
in many Democratic strongholds in Ohio and Florida fell to as low as 8%, do
not indicate a rigged election.(5)
6) Bush won re-election despite approval
ratings below 50% - the first time in history this has happened. Truman has
been cited as having also done this, but Truman’s polling numbers were
trailing so much behind his challenger, Thomas Dewey, pollsters stopped
surveying two months before the 1948 elections, thus missing the late surge
of support for Truman. Unlike Truman, Bush’s support was clearly eroding on
the eve of the election.(6)
7) Harris' last-minute polling indicating
a Kerry victory was wrong (even though Harris was exactly on the mark in
their 2000 election final poll).(7)
8) The “challenger rule” - an incumbent’s
final results won’t be better than his final polling - was wrong;(8)
9) On election day the early-day voters
picked up by early exit polls (showing Kerry with a wide lead) were heavily
Democratic instead of the traditional pattern of early voters being mainly
10) The fact that Bush “won” Ohio by
51-48%, but this was not matched by the court-supervised hand count of the
147,400 absentee and provisional ballots in which Kerry received 54.46% of
the vote doesn’t cast any suspicion upon the official tally.(9)
Rob, from Unspace,
asks why I persecute poor Eric so in
the comments section. Well, I think I've made the arguments clear from
what I've written. I generally find his piety and his blind faith to be at
odds with posts which I don't think are a true reflection of Christian
principles. For example, while Rob makes an elegant case for sweeping the
panhandlers off the streets in order to protect them, that's not what Funky
wrote. Eric wrote this dismissive yuppie putdown of the meek amongst us.
Now, I would expect that from the many yuppies who write blogs in this town,
but Funky sets himself up as somebody who's pious, with the original 12
century (14th century?) 1st edition version of the Bible laying about his
house. I guess I think that's hypocritical. And, frankly, I think he should
be called on it. I mean, I suppose we're civil in a Magneto/Prof X kind of a
way. He just sent me some cool Aeon Flux links for example...
But if you put your blog out in public then you should be a grownup and
accept criticism. I can. That's why the comments are there....
By the way, it's not necessarily a hatred of fundamentalism that drives my
hostility--even though I do believe that religion causes more harm than
good--you might notice that I don't say mean things about Unspace because
what you post actually seems to be consistent within a Christian worldview!
I mean, I suppose I could say mean things about you if you would like but I
agree with most of the things I read at
Unspace and they seem, well,
So that's my position...that and my Master Satan whispers orders to me.
Last weekend I openly dreamed that Google would buy up a lot fiber, become a
telco and create a free Broadband Wonderland of sorts. And, lo,
it may come to pass...They have a year before the FCC's rules come into
I made this argument
over at 2 Political Junkies and I forgot to make it at my own site. So
I'm a big fan of David
And that's when we get to the real problem with the DLC --
its policies are BOTH morally bankrupt, and politically disastrous. The rise
of the DLC within the Democratic Party has coincided almost perfectly with
the decline of the Democratic Party's power in American politics -- a
decline that took Democrats from seemingly permanent majority status to
permanent minority status. In this last election, just think of Democrats'
troubles in Ohio as a perfect example of this. Here was a state ravaged by
massive job loss due to corporate-written "free" trade deals -- yet
Democrats were unable to capitalize on that issue and thus couldn't win the
state because the DLC had long ago made sure the party helped pass the very
trade policies (NAFTA, China PNTR) that sold out those jobs.
To counter, the DLC holds up Bill Clinton's 1992 win as
proof that its policies win elections, but that is so dishonest it's
laughable. First and foremost, almost everyone would agree Clinton ran a
very un-DLC-like populist campaign for President in 1992, and won far more
on the strength of his charisma/personality than any policy platform from a
bunch of pencil-pushing geeks at the DLC in Washington, D.C. Secondly, since
that 1992 victory -- with the exception of Clinton's 1996 victory over one
of the weakest GOP challengers in modern history -- Democrats have been
roundly destroyed in national election after national election.
Thus, we are brought back to the bottom line: with the DLC,
Democrats get all of the bad policies, and none of the good electoral
outcomes -- it is the worst of both worlds.
--David Sirota, in
new PLAN in the works. I've already contacted him about trying to help
me start a 527. (Just an idea in my head...)
You know the world
really might be ending soon. How would you like a world like Venus? I'm just
asking. It all has to do with the Siberian methane thaw. I'm not sure what
the numbers mean but I don't think they're good. Here's
Worldchanging guy explains it:
For the moment, then, let's
assume that the article is generally correct: the permafrost melt is getting
faster, and the boggy ground beneath is releasing its pent-up methane. There
are two important things to know about this situation: the amount of methane
that would be released is projected to be in the multi-gigaton range -- one
source says 70 billion tons, another says "several hundred" billion tons;
and methane is
21 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon
dioxide. In essence, the release of (say) 100 billion tons of
methane would be the functional heat-trapping equivalent of 2.1 trillion
tons of CO2. To put that number into perspective, the total annual output of
greenhouse gases from the US is about 7 billion tons of CO2 equivalent.
This is a big deal.
Yeah, that is a big deal. Thank
God the PG was informing me about
state license plates were made last Sunday. I guess that's what's
important. (I'm permalinking Chomsky's "The
Propaganda Model". Advertising tends to weaken content, which is
why you get Fox News and their complete capitulation to the agenda of right
wing multinationals (it's more profitable) or "nothing" journalism about
eternally missing white women or...license plates. This is why Indy Media
doesn't accept ad money and probably why the alt press isn't as progressive
as it used to be...You know, Mark, there's this big story
about the 2004
election being stolen and
rigged voting machines if you're actually competing with your
sister pub the Toledo Blade
when it comes to
Oh I can't resist: here's what I think Eric is saying:
"Heh indeedy. So,
anyways, I was
spitting on this homeless panhandler guy in Oakland just like
Jesus would do..."
"Guffaw. So, anywho, after publishing a defense of
Walmart, I'll be publishing another provocative debate piece praising Henry
Ford's support and sympathy with the Nazis from my pal who's a MBA--that
makes him smart, see--in order to stir debate in a way consistent with my
Christian beliefs and whatnot..."
"Hoo Ha Hoo Ha. And I believe this is the exact
expression I'll have when Roe is overturned and the first whores either die
from botched abortions or from the new federally mandated Christian stonings..."
Before I go into a
jealous rant about all the
Ales Rarus is getting (Damn you Ales Rarus and I mean that), let me
repeat my dual cinematic mantra as to why people are drawn to the Internet.
I will use Annie Hall and Goodfellas as my movie references. First, people
are drawn to the Internet because we needed the eggs, and two, and I'm
paraphrasing Paul Sorvino here, because they get things from the Internet
that they can't get from anywhere else, such as, oh, Real Information that
has nothing to do with missing white women and license plate design.
If you want to know
why the Internet is superior to the older model of newspapers, just compare
the PG's story about the blogfest
by Tim McNulty
to the online insights
not to mention my own comments about the story about to come. Who knows more
about what happened at Blogfest: the person who read the paper or the person
who read the Internet accounts from several people with a number of point of
views? I think it's the latter, as messy and unedited and Catholic Jihadish
that view may be.
And, of course, it's
not just depth that makes the Internet better, it's often the content. You
want to see the
most insightful and honest account of Chuck Pennacchio's last visit to town
take a look at Fester's Place (which I didn't agree with entirely--Chuck
Penn doesn't have to have a detailed Iraq pull out plan just yet,
really--but don't have time to write about it) or here's a quiz: who has
done more public good lately, the somewhat Eurotrash
male model behind
Comments from Left Field or yer average corporate press
reporter/columnist? Really now, be honest...
I believe Mr. McNulty
referred to Ales Rarus as "interesting" and: "while never seeming to have a
preordained position". Really? Is that what you call it? Does he mean
interesting in the way that a Catholic version of a Mullah would be
interesting? He consistently repeats what the Catholic Hierarchy says about
everything. Oddly enough, the Ales Rarus position on contraception, stem
cell research and the abortion issue would jibe pretty well with your basic
radical Taliban cleric. Here's a theory I have: you know why Ales Rarus
hasn't come to a conclusion about intelligent design? Because
Catholic Hierarchy hasn't told him what to think yet. So, far from
Eric's opinions not being preordained, they are, in fact, preordained from
High Above. Consistently. Where he's inconsistent is when he acts in a way
that seems to contradict the Passion of The Christ, such as the snobby
who hates panhandlers (just like Jeebus) or publishes a defense of
Walmart, arguably one of the most Evil corporations on Earth. He wouldn't be
my first choice for a standard bearer for Pittsburgh bloggers, because he's,
well, a crazy fundamentalist, sorta. Tim didn't know this? Can Tim read?
Now, the thing about
it, I just happened to know the details about the Pittsburgh blog scene
because I am involved in it despite being anti-social, but what about this
guy's judgement on issues I'm not personally involved in? I just think he
would get it wrong. Thus endeth my jealous rant.
August 7th thru August 13th
Massive Weekend Can't Be Beat
Edition of Around the Internets
Around the Internets Collection from Daily Wireless
Broadband Network Called
Our Media. Bad News: Only downloads with Explorer. Yipe.
Speaking of Broadband, the FCC is turning its back on must carry rules.
Read here for why. Short version: must carry created the Internets,
which is probably the reason the Bush administration hates it so. Just as
that awful energy bill was a blatant giveaway to oil interests, this is a
giveaway to the telecoms. There might be some competition in the future if
the internet works over powerlines (being tried in Monroeville as we speak)
or my fave: google buys up a lot of fiber and does wi max and does the smart
thing and works for universal coverage because that's where the money is. It
would create a boom, again, for the rest of us and not just a couple of
telecom companies. I just feel like the Bush administration is allowing
predatory industry to serial rape me--for a price. Right now it's the oil
industry I'm being molested by. I guess my gas prices will go down to a
manageable 2 bucks a gallon when the next election comes by...And, as
someone who feels like the 11 year old Thai girl smuggled abroad, Bush will
be giving the key to known convicted telecom rapists over the next year or
so who will visit frequently...I hate this President. I've never known a
presidency where everything the guy did went against the public's interest.
Listing of Artists and Their Works
David Sirota. I'm adding him
to the permalinks on the left. His arguments against the DLC make per- fect
sense. What have we won with the DLC? Zippo. He was also in Pittsburgh last
week where he gave a speech to the US Steelworkers,
based on this essay.
has a new
album out and they'll be touring. Philly is the closest they'll get to
Pittsburgh. Or you can check out their
live cuts here, under
finally recovered my lagging aging sex drive and updated the
Red Light District, with brand new
page. Also: Milo Manara and stunning photog pics. And related:
porn posters of the 70s. And: A Simon Bisley nude.
Item: Here's a
photo reenactment of Ales Rarus on Arlen Specter's
attempt to live longer by embracing stem cell research. In fact, even
though there aren't any captions, we're pretty sure that Ales Rarus,
pictured below, is not only telling Arlen that he can't have the juicy stem
cell research because Jesus talks to him this we know, but can't end his
suffering or even mitigate it with the slightest hint of a marijuana spliff
self-righteous bastard that our PH D candidate is:
And of course, below, we have Arlen Specter
here, who would benefit from
the Talosians virtual reality menageries that would make him whole in an
imaginary sense stem cell research:
And one note to Ales Rarus: I've met Arlen
Specter several times and he would debate you into the Next World--full of
talking action figures of Jesus and infinite ice cream and cosmic bellhops
galore. Specter's a Philadelphia trial lawyer and it shows...of course,
Arlen probably wasn't expecting the Spanish Inquisition but there you go...
of Evil Bloggers, I've finally completed my list of the
League of Evil
Bloggers (bottom left, near Hell). Ales
Rarus leads off. He's earned it. And in not so evil blogger news, I've added
two additions to notable Pittsburgh Bloggers:Exit Stage Left (sorry it took
so long) and
whose author I met at last week's Chuck P event. Check out MM's beautiful
pics, which I must
I see that my governor
got booed at a sports event. I actually think that legislators should get
pay raises occasionally. I have mixed feelings about Ed Rendell. I thank him
for saving Pittsburgh public transit for another several years, but I'm not
too thrilled with this insane push for Bob Casey Jr., who, as it now stands,
isn't even as progressive as GOP Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist when it
comes to stem cell research. Incredible.
the pay raise, I think a smarter way to have gone about it would have been
to tie their salaries to the state's minimum wage and then have automatic
cost of living adjustments every year. And just to have fun with it, require
a two thirds majority to overturn it. This is certainly something the
Democrats should support and then they can watch the Republicans squirm, as
penalizing those democrats who had the good sense to vote against the pay
raise. I look at that and, frankly, I'm no longer curious as to why the
Democrats are a minority party.
Item: Funny toon.
Heh indeedy as they say.
Ezra Klein vs. David Sirota. I'm in the "Give Them Contrasts" Sirota
camp by the way...
July 31 thru August 6
Art of Simon Bisley.
(Think the pretty prose is by
July 31 thru August 6
The League of Pissed
off Voters is meeting this week at the University of Pittsburgh from
August 4th to August 7th. You can check out the agenda here.
Chuck PENNacchio will also be at Drinking Liberally this Thursday at 7
Item: And here's
the short version of what happened in Ohio. I wish we had an opposition
party that would challenge and question all of the shenanigans.
Item: Over at the Mirror Universe
comments section our corporate theocratic pal and
defender of Wal (We
Love Chinese Slave Labor) Mart
Ales Rarus doesn't like being named as a proud member of the
League of Evil Bloggers (forthcoming). I suppose you can synopsize his
statements as "waaahhh"...., "waaaa" and, of course, "wah". Tho lately with
Walmart posts (Written by a corporate shill apparently and not somebody
who actually works those crappy, deadend jobs on the floor. I kinda wonder
if he wasn't paid for that. That's the
kind of propaganda Walmart's been pushing lately.) and his insistence
that the Catholic Church get more involved in telling adult couples how
can't use artificial contraception, advice which sensible adults should
ignore...well, sounds kind of evil to me. I have a different point of view
about Walmart as you can imagine. I think they hire people
who don't have the courage or the
intellectual chops to unionize. I do have to admit though, there is a
friendly paternalism at Walmart, sort of what occasionally well-treated
slaves must have gone through. I might also note that someone who doesn't
question the Catholic Hierarchy and their many idiotic policies would
probably not question the friendly people who own Walmart. (Ales Rarus is a
former Walmart employee.) It's just like Machiavelli said: Religion keeps
the lower classes in line.I agree. What's the difference between a good
catholic and a good Wal Mart employee? Probably not much. It will be so much
better in the Next Life...on
(A film I recommend by the way...)
How are Walmart's slave
labor practices consistent with Christian principles? He must have missed
that liberation theology class...
And he wonders why I don't
like debating him...I mean, what's the point? I'm sorry, but if you must
believe in Santa Claus afterlives where you can have all the Ice Cream you
want--to quote Chris Walken in "The Prophecy"--there's something not
rigorous about your thinking process.
I did suggest that he read
up on more enlightened dogmas, such as the good 'ol
manifesto and a really cool religion:
Universal Unitarians. I like what they're about and I might need a
wedding and/or funeral (more likely) some day. They take atheists...now
that's a cool church.
STATE OF THE PAPER
The paper has grown fairly
well over the last seven months. When I started it we got around 10 hits a
day and now--during weekdays--we get about 100 to 150 hits a day, The goal
is a thousand hits a day by the New Year.(Gotta have goals.)
I've also added law to
the technology site because I think liberal progressive
attorneys--especially trial attorneys who go after big companies who are
quickly becoming an endangered species--would support a press that supports
what they do. I have not forgotten the Red Light District but I think that
if you do sex you should do it right so that's what I'm going to attempt.
There's an interesting continuing story about the
of Sex. (Should be an update soon...there would be updates every other
hour if I was still in my 20s...of course, I wouldn't have known what I was
doing...and yes there's a sad joke in there somewhere.) I'm also going to
work on developing the sections again. I really haven't done that for awhile
unless it's for storage or pieces that are too long for the front page. One
of the things I also need to do is more multiple postings, which I don't
like doing but that's why people come back multiple times to your page. I'm
hoping I can add more content than Atrios like open threads--I don't have
the readers anyway--at least everyday posting.
I'm honestly not sure if I
should keep on trying to do local stories--I've done a few--or just become
an editing service like Grassroots (which is very thorough...hey, I need to
know the dirt about the Democratic Party even though I'm a member of the
party). I guess it depends on the time I have available.
I also haven't been able to
put full time into the paper because I've had to make a living, such as it
is. It looks like my schedule is open for the next several weeks so I'm
going to put a lot of time into the paper. Each section, in theory, requires
a 40 to 50 hour week. I'm just one guy but at least I can try online. I
don't have several million to start my own alt weekly but if I work here I
might be able to build something. Who knows.
July 24 thru July 30
Yet another Alan Moore
to take a look at the V for Vendetta trailer. It features this future
Orwellian society where Fear seems to rule the day and where governments
kill 100000 people and well...it just seems to remind me of a country that I
know. I mean, I don't know what movies terrorists watch (Love Story? The
Kate Hudson cannon? Indian musicals?) but I would think they would like "V
for Vendetta". Odd things about this movie: Hot highly intelligent Natalie
Portman kinda pro-zionist(She is an Israeli citizen who has defended Israeli
policies who now stars in a film that might define the terrorist mindset)
and the movie was shot in Britain.
Karl Rove a philanderer? O god I do not believe in let it be true....And
O Zeus let Mark Cuban buy the Pirates...Make it so Mighty Odin...
Item: I attended Sunday's house party with
Chuck Penn and came away very
impressed. His stump speech has improved immeasurably since we last saw him
in April. (One word of caution: the pauses when you mention your children
are very theatric and right out of the professional politician's handbook
but I couldn't quite tell if they were authentic...just an observation.)
There were also two reporters there, from the suspect dailies I suppose, but
I don't remember seeing a story or anything. I can't imagine that their
corporate press masters would promote Chuck Penn. They're probably thrilled
at the prospect of having two corporatist candidates like Santorum and Bob
Casey Jr. vying for the US Senate.
I don't think Chuck Penn
(I think that would look better on his campaign lit and suggests a kind of
iconic state patriotism...just a suggestion. I have a troublesome last name
myself.) is out of it yet but he has to either improve his fundraising or
find a very cheap way to make voter contacts that don't require advertising.
I'm going to throw a few suggestions his way later tonight...gotta step
July 17 thru July 23
Alan Moore, one of the world's great writers, is late with
this continuation of Top Ten (which I
here), the 49ers. This will be the last book he writes and then he hands
off to the very capable
Paul Di Filippo.
Filippo, whose only novel
has been compared to
Gravity's Rainbow, is in the Moore league and doesn't aspire to be a
crazy ass snake god, or one with such...whatever. It's set in 1949.
Pro-Enlightenment Around the Internets
".....All religions are prone to
it, given the right circumstances. How could those who preach the absolute
revealed truth of every word of a primitive book not be prone to insanity?
There have been sects of killer Christians and indeed the whole of
Christendom has been at times bent on wiping out heathens. Jewish zealots in
their settlements crazily claim legal rights to land from the Old Testament.
Some African Pentecostal churches harbour sects of torturing exorcism and
child abuse. Muslims have a very long tradition of jihadist slaughter. Sikhs
rose up to stop a play that exposed deformities of abuse within their
temples. Buddhism too has its sinister wing. See how far-right evangelicals
have kidnapped US politics and warped its secular, liberal founding
traditions. Intense belief, incantations, secrecy and all-male rituals breed
perversions and danger, abusing women and children and infecting young men
with frenzy, no matter what the name of the faith.
Enlightenment values are in peril not because these mad beliefs are really
growing but because too many rational people seek to appease and understand
unreason. Extreme superstition breeds extreme action. Those who believe they
alone know the only way, truth and life will always feel justified in doing
anything in its name. You would, wouldn't you, if you alone had the magic
answer to everything? If religions teach that life after death is better
then it is hardly surprising that some crazed followers will actually
--some of Polly Toynbee's Essay "In
the Name of God"
Item: That's a great essay by Toynbee. There is a war
reason and mindless,
superstitious faith. I'm going
with reason. However, I've
read that not all the suicide bombers are all that religious. Out of
curiosity, if you were witness to an imperial power slaughtering over 100000
of Your Kind and trying to steal their most valuable asset wouldn't you be
angry? And how would you fight back if you didn't have a war machine at your
beck and call? I'm not necessarily endorsing their actions because I take
the bus a lot, but I understand them. There's also the disturbing notion
that the terrorists are using the disenfranchised and underemployed to build
their ranks. If that's so, they'll find the US a virtual Mecca of
opportunity. (This just in on the why they legitimately hate us department:
The Children of Abu Ghirab and angry comment from
Item: I think the
panopticon in Britain works. It doesn't prevent terrorist acts of
course. Nothing could do that without addressing root causes. And those
cameras won't be of much use if a suitcase nuke goes off but for everything
up to that cameras are pretty helpful. I wouldn't mind those cameras in the
United States as long as everyone had access to them. That's kind of what's
fiction writer David Brin has been thinking about this for awhile now.
Item: One day I will own my own air force. My quest
Item: I've been watching Guy Negre's air compression
car for about five years now. It looks like
is about to begin. Fifty
cents for a fill up?
Item: Free Inquiry on the new Pope or
Everything You Wanted to Know About the Pope But Was Afraid to Ask.
"....In any case, why the corporate media in the United
States and worldwide should present without dissent the Vatican's
propagandistic views-particularly its claim to be the primary legal and
moral representative of Jesus on Earth-is, I submit, unfair and untruthful.
There are surely positive aspects of the ministry of John Paul II. He sought
to reach out to other faiths in dialogue-for example, to Jews and Muslims.
He also apologized for the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the trial of
Galileo, which is all to the good! But he was an adamant opponent of women's
rights, at least within the church, refusing their ordination; and he
opposed divorce, reproductive freedom, contraception, abortion, and
artificial insemination. He was an implacable foe of the
"death-with-dignity" movement and its advocacy for euthanasia and
assisted-suicide, which struggled to offer the incurably ill merciful
release from their suffering and pain. He insisted upon a celibate
priesthood, though the church did not practice celibacy during its first
thousand years. He was also a strong foe of stem-cell research, on the
arcane theological premise that the "soul" is implanted at the moment of
conception or of the first division of cells in a petri dish-in spite of the
consequent positive benefits that may accrue to humankind from stem-cell
On his many trips to Asia and Africa, he insisted that condoms not be used;
and he argued for abstinence. These polices no doubt caused millions of
deaths from AIDS and contributed to population growth in the Third World.
Although a critic of poverty-in his favor-and the excesses of capitalism, he
also opposed liberation theology in Latin America, which meant that the
Roman Catholic Church continued to support the power structure of these
countries. Last but not least, he opposed dialogues between Roman Catholics
and humanists after 1988, in spite of the fact that three earlier dialogues
had been highly successful in finding common ground.
Unfortunately, this was in the wake of his overturning of Vatican II, which
had attempted to bring the Roman Catholic church into the modern world.
During his reign, superstitious miraculous sightings of Mary and Jesus were
encouraged; even exorcisms returned to a church that for many decades had
been skeptical about claims of demonic possession."
I wrote my first reaction to Roberts over at the Daily Kos.
Is A Pro Life Senator from PA Good Enough Now...?
Tue Jul 19th, 2005 at 18:59:35 PDT
One thing we know about the wingers: they never ever
stop. They don't want to turn every state into a battleground. In fact,
they will do their best to make this a federal issue.
Here's the article that describes the coming federal
I argued in another diary why Bob Casey Jr.--anti-science,
pro life, wishy washy on arctic drilling--that he was the wrong man for a
minority party. When you're in the minority you don't need a moderate. You
need firebrands. You need Paul Wellstones. You need Chuck Pennacchio.
Keep in mind that Roberts--an awful pick and guess what a
big fat fuck you to the Dems--is the kind of guy that Bob Casey wouldn't
filibuster, because we have to save the imaginary lil babies. And when they
push to make the ban national and to jail women he'll probably vote for that
as well. Remember, he's for pharmacists who vote their consciences. He's the
wrong guy at the wrong time Now more than ever.
If you care about the women in your lives and truly love
them as opposed to desire some theocratic rule over their very orifices,
then you need to take a second look at Chuck Pennacchio. He needs money and
help and he's a real opposition candidates. You don't send squishy pro life
moderates to fight federalist society fascists.
PS: What good would Casey's pro labor credentials be
against a judge like this?
Coming Soon: The League of Evil Bloggers.
Ales Rarus is a member. His
evil powers include AI and his impenetrable
heat ray (especially in regards to the many failings of the Catholic Church
contrasted with the infallibility of the Catholic Church.) Also: It is
rumored that he resembles this fellow:
really expects the Spanish Inquisition.
July 10 to July 16
Mild Thursday Edition of Around the Internets
offers a tempting explanation for the fact that so much has gone wrong for
the United States since 2001. After 9/11 Osama bin Laden was in
Pakistan--which had financed the Taliban and trained the hijackers at its
camps--but Bush shocked analysts by attacking Afghanistan and Iraq instead.
Was Bush's refusal to search for bin Laden in his nation of residence the
result of spectacular incompetence--or a continuing alliance with the same
Islamists his father's presidency had armed and funded? Are we losing the
wars against Afghanistan and Iraq because of Rumsfeld's stubborn insistence
on understaffing the military? Or are our leaders intentionally dragging out
combat to accomplish their masters' aims: increasing the popularity of
radical Islam and the recruitment of terrorists? Even Bush's domestic
policies, from tax cuts paid to the rich people least likely to stimulate
the economy to his attack on Social Security, seem designed to undermine
U.S. stability and prosperity. Was Bush crossing his fingers when he swore
to preserve and defend the constitution?
Recent Ted Rall editorial
Item: As I marvel at all of the
violently evil things that the Bush administration does, I too have thought
that they're not really big fans of the United States. I've always thought
that a clever Democratic Party and/or opposition party ad to the GOP would
simply show Bin Laden or the latest villain de jure poisoning the water,
wrecking the social security system, weakening the military and whatnot and
then saying "Oh, wait. That's what the Republicans are doing..." Our bad.
Item: I had never read
anything by Chris Bunch but I had heard he had written the best novel about
Vietnam ever. He died recently. Here's
his obit and a remembrance
Norman Spinrad. This makes me want to check out his work, especially
that massive science fiction series that was a bestseller in the Soviet
Item: Robert Cringely
doing a series called NERDTv. He's going to release the series online
and you'll be able to download. Related:
the British documentary "Power
of Nightmares" online for free.
impressive webcomics efforts over at 2 Political Junkies
Item: Interesting Fake
Sites That Promote New Cloning (looks like cloning for spare parts) movie
here. I guess Ales Rarus lost.
Thank God. Actually, if we let stem cell research go forward (in S. Korea
and Russia at least), you could get your spare parts without growing full
bodied versions of Ewan or Scarlet. Hey, it's just a movie.
Massive Can't Be Stopped Around the Internets
Wired is simply a must read this
month. First check out technoexploitation's Annalee Newitz on the rush
by Big Pharma to
pills to enhance the female orgasm. Then there's a great piece on
Idealab's Bill Gross working to create a
solar dish for the home. Whenever they tell you that alternative fuels
can't work, what they really mean is that we can't get it to work in a way
that benefits the current Big Utility providers. The real solution is
probably portability. One reason why there was a computer revolution is that
we get to own a fully functioning computer. We don't dial up to the
mainframe that General Electric owns and hope for a few minutes a day,
probably at 20 dollars a minute. (Related: profile on
three up and coming nanosolar companies and this RU Sirius interview
Worldchanging editor who talks about
how micro turbines are big in Britain.)
BUNCH O LINKS
In 1953, in a toast before the New York Press
Club, John Swinton, former Chief of Staff of the New York Times and the
"Dean of his Profession" stated: (part extracted)
"If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in
one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.
The business of journalists is to destroy the truth; to pervert; to vilify;
to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell this country and this race for
their daily bread. We are the tools and vessels for rich men behind the
scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our
talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men.
We are intellectual prostitutes."
Fletcher Prouty Interview ("The question is why...who benefits?")(And
Prouty debunking...still think JFK is a good film.)
Esthero concert and
Res (both produced by Doc and I can hear it.) vid downloads.
If you're not planning to draft anybody, why prepare for one?
Walmart vs. Costco
(Why isn't Democratic Allegheny County full of Costcos? They pay decent
wages and they support Democratic Party candidates...)
Unbossed Story About
Corporations Leaving the Country Because of Expensive Health Care
Earlier I linked to
a publisher who was sentenced to one year in jail for carrying a small
amount of marijuana. Here's the
link to the online journal that he publishes.
Bush Stem Cell Policy Is Killing Specter, literally. (Who did Arlen vote
for in 2004? Would have liked to have been in that booth...)
Abortion Might Not Revert To States. Could Become a Fed matter. In that case
your pro life senator might make a difference..
I'm the only Pittsburgh
blogger reporter (for my
journalmalism) who covers the apparently minor story of how the Ohio
election was stolen. Here
are some highlights from the direct testimony of Dr. Richard Hayes
Phillips. Keep in mind that
official "opposition" party is not one to complain much about this.
Look, if you're thinking about a change to the Greens, now is the time to do
it. As I have stated before in the comments section, the Greens should
target 5 senate seats and 25 house seats. They don't have to win everything.
They just have to take the majorities away from the Republicans. One of
those 5 seats should be Pennsylvania if Pennacchio or like-minded Democrat
isn't nominated for the US Senate seat. (In theory, you wouldn't go after
pick up opportunities for Dems but run a populist campaign in GOP
strongholds. Afterall, the DLC democrats have never tried this. Would cost
$30 million tops. More later on the 5/25 idea.)
Take it away Doc Phillips:
In the City
of Columbus, discriminatory allocation of voting machines led directly to
lower turnout in Democratic precincts. Urban Democratic precincts had too
few voting machines and long lines; suburban Republican precincts had enough
voting machines and short lines; 122 voting machines were not provided to
any polling station anywhere. As a result, voter turnout was 60% in Bush
precincts, and 50% in Kerry precincts. This wrongly reduced Kerry’s margin
of victory in Franklin County by about 17,000 votes.
In Lucas County, other means of voter suppression led directly to lower
voter turnout in Democratic precincts. The 88 precincts with the lowest
turnout were all in Toledo; all were won by John Kerry; and complaints were
filed in 31 of these precincts. Among the complaints were: long-time
residents removed from the voting rolls, broken voting machines, polling
stations running out of ballots and turning people away, voters sent back
and forth between polling places, and long lines not designated by precinct
so that voters waited in the wrong line. One-third of provisional ballots
were not counted, often because people voted at the wrong table in the right
Statewide, there were 35,000 provisional ballots and over 92,000 regular
ballots that were not counted as votes for president. These uncounted
ballots, most of them punch cards, are highly concentrated in precincts that
voted overwhelmingly for John Kerry, by margins of 12 to 1 in Cleveland, 7
to 1 in Dayton, 5 to 1 in Cincinnati, 4.5 to 1 in Akron, 3 to 1 in Lorain
County, 2.7 to 1 in Stark County, and 2.3 to 1 in Trumbull County. This
cries out for an examination of the uncounted ballots and the machines that
failed to count them.
County, after 100% of the precincts had reported, more than 18,000 votes
were added to the totals. The vote percentages for Bush and Kerry remained
the same, and the final margin for Bush was 16,000 votes exactly, almost as
if the tabulators were programmed to turn out that way. This resulted in
voter turnout as high as 98.55% in one precinct, where a door-to-door
canvass of voters identified more than enough non-voters to prove that the
certified results are fraudulent.
counties in southwestern Ohio – Butler, Clermont and Warren – provided Bush
with a combined plurality greater than his statewide margin of victory.
These results, when examined at the precinct level, are almost impossible to
explain. In Butler County, there were 12 precincts where, compared to 2000,
voter registration increased by 34% to 178%, and entire townships where
Kerry received fewer votes than Gore, despite large increases in voter
turnout. In Clermont County there were 24 such precincts where Kerry
received fewer votes than Gore. In Warren County there were six entire
townships where voter registration increased by 28% to 79%. In all three
counties, Kerry received fewer votes than Ellen Connally, a little-known,
underfunded African-American municipal judge from Cleveland, running for
Chief Justice. There must have been at least 13,500 voters who supported
both Connally and Bush, or else the certified results are fraudulent. In
these three counties, and in Delaware County as well, Bush received more
votes than Issue One, the constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage.
There must have been at least 10,500 supporters of gay marriage who voted
for Bush, or else the certified results are fraudulent. A comparison of
these counties with the voting patterns statewide indicates that as many as
50,000 votes may have been shifted from Kerry to Bush, thus affecting the
margin by 100,000 votes.
These accounts of voter suppression, ballots cast but not counted, and
alteration of the vote count, were sufficient to reverse the outcome of the
presidential election. It is my professional opinion, having exhaustively
examined the available evidence, that the 2004 presidential election was
Stunning stunning stuff.
July 3 thru July 9th
Respect MP George
Galloway says: "We argued, as did the security services in this country,
that the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq would increase the threat of
terrorist attack in Britain. Tragically Londoners have now paid the price of
the Government ignoring such warnings."
First, I agree with George Galloway.
statement is even better.) And I do not think they have forgotten about
the United States. I think they have something special planned for us. And
who could blame them? We have murdered up to 100000 Iraqis for their
oil...what did we expect? Roses? Love songs?
Here are the most extensive updates
about the London bombings
Speaking of Frank Zappa:
Item: I found two
Frank Zappa links while I was exploring the Internets the other day. I
Sleep Dirt and
all of those fusiony
George Duke tunes here. I think this album is out of print so this is
your best shot.
Item: Here are two
very depressing stories from GNN. One is
a very skeptical take on the G8 and the other is from a guy who's been
sentenced to one year in prison--with a very small amount of both marijuana
and ecstasy (less than a quarter of an ounce and about 12 pills...what a
threat to society)--where
he will write what I suspect will be a dark tale. He's the editor and
publisher of Newtopia, which is billed as a journal of the new
counterculture. I can't believe that 1 year is a sentence for a first time
offender. I wonder if he has a record or if he purposely accepted the
sentence for what could be a great story.
Here's a depressing bit...:
people end up thinking, “Isn’t it wonderful of our government to try and
But within this simple world is another more complex world. It is a world
where everyone is addicted in one way or another and the profits from their
addictions fuel the economy. A world where lethal drugs like alcohol,
tobacco, Vioxx, and Oxycontin are legal and readily available, while
relatively harmless drugs like marijuana, psilocybin, and MDMA are
designated dangerous and highly addictive, without any tangible health
benefits, and marginalized into a dangerous illicit market. It is a world
where, in some neighborhoods, the police protect and serve while in others
they are the threat and the enemy. It is a world where the rich go
unpunished, and the poor go to prison.
And what may be even more shocking is that it has become progressively more
serious to have been caught with drugs than to kill someone. In his 1999
Progressive Populist essay, “The Prison-Industrial Complex,” UNLV Criminal
Justice professor Richard Shelden cites that between 1980 and 1992 the
average maximum sentence in federal courts declined for violent crimes (from
125 months to 88 months) and almost doubled for drug offenses (from 47
months to 82 months).
This is the hidden world that no one has to see or think about except those
on the inside.
Happy 4th and Resist!
Lyrics from Frank Zappa's "Hungry
Mr. America, walk on by your
schools that do not teach
Mr. America, walk on by the minds that won’t be reached
Mr. America try to hide the emptiness that’s you inside
But once you find that the way you lied
And all the corny tricks you tried
Will not forestall the rising tide of hungry freaks daddy!
here for the rest of the lyrics)
June 26 thru July 2
Gallery level ar-teest
Williams is also drawing the comics version of
Darren Aronofsky's "The Fountain". And what happened to that talented
over writer Don McGregor? He hasn't
updated his site in four
years. Does he have health problems? Has he passed away?
Finally saw the Batman movie. I give it a B-. I didn't
even think it was as good as the first Tim Burton film. You just can't beat
the Jack Nicholson Joker. Much better than the other Batman films no doubt.
It does take a serious approach to the hero myth. It takes much of its feel
from Batman: Year One. I also like the science behind the film. The science
behind superheroes, from the Incredible Hulk to the biotech savvy vampires
in Blade to the fusion experiments of Spiderman, has gotten way beyond the
cosmic rays and radiation of the Stan Lee 60s. There isn't much that Batman
does that isn't plausible. In fact, in the imaginary novel in my head, you
could do a lot of that with remote droids. I just wish that they had taken a
Sin City approach and brought the creators on board. Bring Alan Moore and
Frank Miller to the sets why don't you. And of course, we have never had
anything as good as, say, Kingdom Come or the Miller Dark Knights make it to
the screens. Ah well. Bring on the Fantastic Four, which looks slightly
weak...how could it be better than the Incredibles? I'm also looking forward
to the movie treatments of
Astro City and
Invincible--which has a shocking premise which involves a Krypton-like
world doing to us what we're doing to Iraq.
Speaking of Iraq
Just a reminder that we're responsible for all of this
terrible terrible blood. Go USA.
Still haven't seen Batman yet. Sigh.
AROUND THE INTERNETS
Philip Carter, apparently a reservist,
has been called
to active duty. This is one of the few pro-war vets that I respect
because he sincerely cares about the plight of the American soldier no
matter the many giddy and optimistic pronouncements declared by the Bush
Administration. Of course, I'm sure
that his criticism of the war has nothing to do with his being called
up and probably being sent to the
Russian Front front lines. Who would imply that the Bush
mean-spirited and vengeful? Nothing to do at all I'm sure.
Update: I added this low key comment to his site.
There's a bit of contrast with the boosters. I don't think it would be
banned. Afterall, we kinda know Philip Carter isn't a pussy.
First, watch your back.
Second, I do not congratulate you because I do not think you'll be
murdering Iraqis for a good cause. For the record, I wouldn't wish a
German soldier good luck in Poland or France, either.
Third, I have the greatest respect for your courage. Here's somebody who
walks the walk and talks the talk. You're smart enough to be a
conscientious objector, or even to make some other nuanced claim, but you
didn't. In a fair world, the Patrick Ruffinis and Instapundits and
Pejmanpundits would go in your place...
Four: I have to say this out loud: Do you think your critiques against the
war led to you being called up?
Here's more on the same
topic. I was always under the impression that if you knew more about
embryonic stem cells then you would better understand adult stem cells. It's
not either/or, it's complimentary.
Fight Aging has
You folks may
find this of interest: a
MSNBC interview with biologist James Thompson
on topics relating to stem cell research. Some of the more interesting
Q: How do
you respond to the claim that we have these other sources of stem cells —
adult stem cells or cord blood — and there's no need to turn to embryonic
A: We don't.
The most studied cell in the whole body, in terms of stem cells, is the
hematopoietic stem cell. It can't be grown. So what you do when you do a
bone marrow transplant is you take some bone marrow out of you - actually,
we do peripheral blood - and we put in another patient without expanding
it. There's a clinical need for that expansion step, but it can't be done
right now. And hundreds of labs for 30 years have studied that adult stem
cell, and that’s the one we know the most about.
getting back to the basic science thing: If we study the embryonic stem
cells, we learn the basic science. That knowledge is just as likely to be
applied to adult stem cells as to the embryonic stem cells. The knowledge
goes back and forth. And in the case of the blood, people have failed at
growing that cell for three decades. Well, studying that lineage with
embryonic stem cells, we might learn the clues to make it growable, and it
might be that we still want to use adult stem cells to do that because
there are a lot of advantages to that, but the knowledge might come from
embryonic stem cells.
research really all boils down to a matter of trying to fully
understanding and controlling our cells.
If researchers can learn to do that, then opportunities to
develop cures for aspects of degenerative aging
simply fall out of the process.
June 19 thru June 25
I haven't seen the new
Batman film yet. Looks like it borrows from
One. Give me a couple of days or so.
Mazzucchelli doesn't appear to have a website.
Amidst a bitterly contested vote
count that resulted in unprecedented action by the Congress of the United
States, here are some news accounts that followed this election, which was
among the most bitterly contested in all US history:
• Despite repeated pre-election calls from officials across the nation and
the world, Ohio's Republican Secretary of State, who also served as Ohio's
co-chair for the Bush-Cheney campaign, refused to allow non-partisan
international and United Nations observers the access they requested to
monitor the Ohio vote. While such access is routinely demanded by the U.S.
government in third world nations, it was banned in the American heartland.
• A post-election headline from the Akron Beacon Journal cites a critical
report by twelve prominent social scientists and statisticians, reporting:
"Analysis Points to Election ‘Corruption': Group Says Chance of Exit Polls
Being So Wrong in '04 Vote is One-in-959,000."
• Citing "Ohio's Odd Numbers," investigative reporter Christopher Hitchens,
a Bush supporter, says in Vanity Fair: "Given what happened in that key
state on Election Day 2004, both democracy and common sense cry out for a
court-ordered inspection of its new voting machines."
book's introduction. You can also catch Bob on last weekend's
Laura Flanders show on Air America. (last third of the show) His answer
to the book's question seems to be a cautious yes, although he's not pushing
for an armed resistance yet like
former pentagon employee. Not yet anyway...(Long
DKos interview with her that I missed.)
YOU ARE ON THE GLOBAL FREQUENCY
Warner Brothers never
released this pilot for the "Global Frequency", written by Warren Ellis, one
of the annoyingly gifted writers who makes up the Brit Invasion. Over the
last several days the pilot appeared on the Internets, as a bittorrent link.
says he has
nothing to do with it and hasn't even seen the pilot. Right, coming from
a guy who is Aleph. Of course, I'm not sure of the legality of downloading
the pilot, so I walked over to a drug dealer's house--where I believe he was
consorting with terrorists, spam kings, nigerian fraudsters and diebold
technicians--and I watched it there. What can I say: he has no regard for
the law. That would certainly explain why its on my computer, if it were (Jaco
gave me free cocaine and a cd)... It's way better than Alias, on par with La
Femme Nikita, feels a lot like X-Files but not near the best episodes,
although that could change if the series had time to grow. Or if Warner
Brothers would air it. Starts off with Radiohead's "There There" which I
like a lot. Steals moves and scenes from Bladerunner, the Matrix and the
aforementioned X-Files. Michele Forbes is great as Mirando Zero as she's a
complete badass here (as opposed to a bureaucrat with a gun in the comics)
and could hang out with Neo and the gang. She certainly dresses like them.
Her fight scenes were really good. It should have been picked up, although I
get the strong vibe that its topic matter (a rogue NSA agent who does stuff
and creates hidden detention centers) might have been what scared the Warner
Brothers suits. Remember when Max Headroom ran that political episode where
everything kind of got done on television and the machines were never
checked and then that show got cancelled...?
There is also a nice
Future Shock science fictional vibe about a show that centers around a
seemingly unstoppable global network who sticks it to the man while saving
lives being distributed by seemingly unstoppable global protocol that sticks
it to the man and tells me about a really good show. Karmic. If they can
figure out how not to spend 1 million an episode we could see the Global
Frequency online no matter what the suits say. Can you imagine an uncensored
Warren Ellis television script? Good lord. This could be the future of
televised distribution. You combine that with Open Media...They need some
televised version of google ads and it could probably fund itself.
We are all on the global
frequency and its very cool.
can read this for free. As someone
who has read his brilliant but demanding short stories, I strongly recommend
that you increase your IQ by 70 points, assuming the base and site average
of 130, before jumping into it. It not easy read. Or to quote a blurb on
Greg Egan's "Axiomatic": "Science fiction for people who like science
fiction." I once quoted techno mage
Stross in my Locus Online story about
Harlan Ellison's lawsuit (check footnote 16) and I also
kicked his Scot ass all over the place for claiming that Dean was a
stooge for the trusted computing movement. I'm sure he's forgiven me. After
all, I was right.
I really was
impressed with Morgan "Supersize Me" Spurlock's new "30
Days" show, where the first episode featured him and his wife attempting
to live on minimum wage for a whole month. Of course, people like Morgan and
woman from Australia get to go back to their upper middle class lives
after their stunt slumming. Couple of observations:
These conditions, which I have
lived under for more than 30 days I assure you, makes you much more
sympathetic to the criminal element. The United States makes you feel like
a sucker for playing by the rules. You just don’t get ahead. When I went
over to the website I checked out the message boards where we find our
right wing assholes, one of whom said that it made the United States
look like a Third World country…and of course, for a lot of people, it is
a third world country. We have
playstations and cable but apart from that a lot of us are a bad
accident or two away from the streets. I wish Morgan and his wife would do
the same thing in France. They would live better on unemployment than most
working Americans. American elites gnash their teeth at the working
classes getting a decent standard of living. It’s the real reason they
The emergency room scenes hit
home for me. I don’t have health insurance. I made two emergency room
visits over the last 13 years. I saw a doctor, both visits combined, for
about 30 minutes. I came away with bills totaling $900. On the show,
they’re treated for a sprained wrist and a urinary tract infection (had to
embarrassing for the wife) and it costs them two emergency room visits at
a price of $1200, which totally blew them out of their monthly budget.
It answers the question as to
why poor folks shop at Wal Mart. You can’t afford not to. I shop at union
shop Giant Eagle a lot, but I can spend $40 at Wal Mart and live off of
that for two weeks. Actually, I could do all of my shopping at Giant Eagle
if they offered two things: 5 pounds of chicken leg quarters for $4.00 and
$4.00 whole chickens. Must eat meat.
I'm looking forward to upcoming
episodes, especially the off the grid show.
June 12 thru June 18
Gray Morrow, who died in 2001.
This is a must
read for Chuck Pennacchio and serious Democrats who want to take back both
chambers of the Senate and the House.
I must also say
that I'm worried about Chuck Pennacchio's campaign. I think, and this is
just a gut feeling that I truly hope is wrong, he just hasn't raised enough
money to wage a credible campaign. Back when he came here to Pittsburgh in
April I asked him, persistently, how much money has latest money raising
effort had yielded and I believe he said $25000. Based on my same hunches--a
facility that fails me miserably with women by the way, almost all the time
actually--I don't think he had more than $25000 previously. So I don't
believe he's been able to raise more than $50000. To put this in
perspective, I believe Peduto was able to raise about several hundred
thousand dollars and that was just for a city race.
Now, it is
early and a lot of those indy Kos/Atrios givers (I may write a plea for the
Kossacks to get involved in this race) might not be focused yet. But
consider what Chuck P. is up against. He is opposed by the Rendell machine.
Labor backs Casey (wonder how Casey will vote when we need opposition to the
inevitable pro life anti-labor judges that Bush will nominate. I think I
already know...does labor?) Dean has already said nice things about a Casey
run and I believe has even raised money for him. Of course, now that Dean is
against you what hope do you have that his previously independent
fundraising arm (run now by Jim Dean) would throw money his way. Even
Teresa Heinz Kerry, our last best hope, is backing the Pro Lifer Casey
Jr., while she makes arguments against Santorum's refusal to recognize
I also don't
think his idea of
getting the corporate press to play along is a good one. That's why
they're the corporate press. They don't give poor candidates free pub. I
already told him the Courier is run by a Republican. I think he has to go
directly to voters. For Chuck P to win he has to roll up big majorities in
Pittsburgh, Philly and probably Erie. I've offered to knock on 10000 doors a
month and deliver flyers and volunteers. If it worked and his polling
improved, he should repeat the plan in Philly and Erie. My whopping price
range would be $1200 to $2000 a month. I was told by the campaign manager
(Tim Tagaris has left, and I'm guessing, probably because of money.) that
they didn't have the money for that. If they don't have the money for that
then they don't have the money to win. Its the cheapest way I can think of
to directly contact voters.
worked. They could work for Chuck P. It would take $10000 to find out.
By the way, as
an idea for Chuck P. on the money front, if he has a donor list of 10000
names, he should take the list to
Direct Advantage Marketing,
which has one of the best political phonebanks in the country. He might
also, and this is just a wild idea, consider going back to pro choice groups
angry about Casey Jr. and who can blame them?) and ask them for their
phone lists--if they're available. I'm thinking NOW and/or NARAL.
And if Chuck P.
can't pull it off we need to start looking for other candidates to step up.
I hope I'm wrong about Casey Jr. but he is the wrong candidate at the wrong
time. The stakes are too high to vote in some guy who will probably vote
the wrong way on anti-choice judges and a possible draft. Let's put it this
way: if the Democratic Party candidate nominates Casey Jr. I will take a
look at the Green Party's senatorial candidate. What would I have to lose?
is asking members to make a primary choice in the Pennsylvania primary.
I voted for Chuck P.
P's campaign responds. He gives us the scoop on why Tim left the campaign
and answers some other questions. I'm too poor to knock on 10000 doors on a
volunteer basis! But I did offer to hand out 1000 flyers if he sends me the
flyers. Here's Chuck's campaign spokesman John Morgan:
Thanks for the vote. The MoveOn PAC poll is getting us some great
coverage. Just a few things. Howard Dean didn't raise money for Casey, to
my knowledge. My recollection is that fundraiser was for the Party. Jim
Dean has been spoken with Chuck several times and DFA has not endorsed or
supported any candidate thus far. They are awaiting feedback from the
individual DFA groups in Pennsylvania. This is appropriate since DFA is a
Tim went to Ohio because of a fantastic offer. I told him he'd be
crazy not to accept it. His passion is organizing and this opportunity is
one he'll love. He continues to provide advice and assistance to our
campaign. We miss him but we have two new volunteer staffers doing IT and
media relations. No one on our staff is drawing a salary. We're all
working as volunteers so we can prioritize our funds on the most important
needs. Right now canvassing isn't one of them. We're putting together
voter reg databases first.
We appreciate your support and interest. We are busy attending
events, organizing, and getting more media coverage. Last Wednesday the
Harrisburg Patriot News did a feature on Chuck. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette
responded to the press challenge favorably and is now mentioning Chuck in
their articles. KDKA radio also contacted us. The Philadelphia Inquirer is
giving us regular coverage.
We'd like to make another trip to the Pittsburgh area soon. Chuck and
I were discussing dates for it this week. We'll let you know as soon as
things are finalized.
Real Life Radical
Socialist TV: It's here. And it features two shows that you won't be
seeing on the "telly" (they're decisively Brit, where they grow serious
radicals) unless you watch Democracy Now everyday. The above is from a 52
minute documentary called "Capitalism and Other Kids stuff". That's "Rex".
His job is to keep the toys away from the other kids. I thought it was
simple and powerful. Highlights for me had to be the rules of capitalism
(the less you make the harder you work), some of the clever backgrounds and
the fact that people usually aren't allowed to make these kinds of arguments
here in the states. Paddy, our narrator, is like some alt universe
Stossel. It even features cheezy Jackie Chan outtakes at the end. It's a
little light on solutions. There's a tactical problem with voting left in
winner take all systems. But its heart is in the right place.
The other "show"
Iraq that reminds you that we're slaughtering people in Iraq. It's
vicious, or, we're vicious. Targets pretty much go up in smoke. Not much of
a trial. I'm sure they were guilty of something. I suppose its the darkest
version of Monty Python's "not being seen" sketch that you'll likely ever to
AROUND THE INTERNETS
Kathy Dopp informed us that the voter verification bill (HR
550) that she supports is sponsored by US Rep. Rush Holt. There was a
two day lobbying session last weekend where a number of concerned citizens
lobbied congressional members on behalf of auditable elections.
Holt had this to
"These people came to Washington
on their own -- on their own time, at their own expense -- not to lobby for
a special interest but for democracy itself. This is a strong movement
across the country, representing a deeply felt commitment to America's
"Anything of value should be
auditable. We have been presented by the founders of this country with a
self-correcting governmental system. And it works as a self- correcting
system because citizens like these make the effort, make the commitment --
in some cases the sacrifice -- to see that it works, to see that we correct
the errors as we find them and improve on our record over the years.
"There are many things we can do
together as a country-there are opportunities to be extended, injustices to
be corrected, efficiencies to be gained...but none of those can be
accomplished well if Americans don't believe they are in the drivers seat by
being able to control their government by casting votes that count and are
counted. That's what this movement for auditable elections is all about."
You can learn
more about the lobbying effort,
here. I'm not sure what the Pennsylvania congressional delegation
thinks. I know that there's
going on at the state level in Pennsylvania.
Guide to Legal
New Naomi Klein or
How We Kill Democracy and Self Determination Abroad
kill one I create three." Could you try not killing any Iraqis...I know,
June 5 thru June 11
RG Taylor is
just a fantastic talent.
I still am amazed by his backgrounds from
ONLINE MUSIC EMPORIUM
Interspersed Theme: Girl with the Beautiful Tone
Esthero "That Girl" (only
vid I could find)
Mahavishnu Orchestra Covers
by Gregg Bendian's Mahavishnu Project
Try "You Know
You Know" and "Meeting
of the Spirits" (Real Actual Jazz Rock That's Downloadable!)
Massive Attack's "Protection",
featuring Everything But the Girl vocalist
Only Goldfrapp tune I like "Pilots"
Try All The Superior Koop Vids but "Summer
Sun" makes you want to live, even if
have stolen your vote.
Trail of Dead's "Caterwaul"
(rips off Led Zep's "Black Dog" but in a good way...)
the Blues Away"
Eighty Mile Beach's "Red
Helicopters" (need more clarinet in acid jazz)
Zero 7 "Destiny
More Cowbell! "Little
(I am amazed by this band.)
(Kathy Dopp of
Imagine, if you will,
a country that hadn't audited its elections in decades. Imagine that one
party (the Republicans) owned 80 percent of the voting machines. Imagine,
aside from outright theft in 2000 and
probable theft in 2004, that there have been suspicious down ticket
results since 1996 affecting a number of senate seats including Max
Cleland's improbable loss. Imagine that there were voting irregularities in
over a dozen states including Pennsylvania. Imagine an opposition party that
doesn't make this issue its number one priority. And, try, if you can, to
imagine how you can change a country--caught in a
transparently evil imperialist war, with
liars at the highest
levels, and where the courts offer no sanctuary for justice and fair
hearing--with a vote that you can no longer trust?
Imagine no more if you live in the United States. Welcome to your
nightmarish Kafkaesque reality. Scary scary stuff as SCTV's Count Floyd used
Or at least that's
the primary message I got from
Kathy Dopp's talk Monday night in Oakland at St. Andrews Lutheran
Church. Ms. Dopp runs the site
Votes. Her speech came mostly from
Powerpoint slide presentation that you can take a look at here.
Here were the
horrific scary scary highlights:
embezzlers" (her catchy phrase) have had free reign to count our votes
with proprietary software and no audits.
Her group claims
there has been evidence of vote tampering in up to 12 states, including
Dopp said Hillary
verification bill sucked (not her exact words) and that she instead
backs Rep. Rush Holt's bill, "Voter
Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2005"...Barbara Boxer
for President 2008.
Prof. Mike Shamos is a major player for the Dark Side as he argues
that it's okay if unaccountable paperless systems produce false results.
The fact that he works at an
tied to military contracts makes you feel even safer.
The Ukraine vote
was overturned with a difference of 2 percent in the exit polling while
ours was 5 percent, although as someone in the 20 plus crowd noted the
overturned results in the Ukraine wouldn't have happened without 500
thousand angry folks taking to the streets...of course, I don't think that
would have worked here knowing the players, but it would have been nice to
have found out...
Without the vote,
nothing else matters.
depressing stuff and keep in mind these folks aren't lightweights, either on
the board or the
ones doing their stats--unless folks that have PH Ds are
I found her solutions
to be the most interesting and the thing keeping me from throwing myself off
a bridge (not that I would ever do that for you Richard Scaife black ops
guys out there ha ha...just a figure of speech. Still not a partaker of the
drugs or the drink,
or suicidal in any way.).
Their plan is to
raise money and create their own
independent auditing database by 2006. I wish George Soros would give
them the $1 million they need to do the work and also follow the Daily Kos
suggestion to start selling auditable machines. (I need a grant too George
since wishes are fishes...)Once that's in place--and it would be vast, over
30000 precincts covered--you could take the data to the courts. Her only
request is that candidates (cough Kerry cough) not concede before the vote
has been challenged and verified.
Of course, and you
can probably see this, you would have to trust the courts to be fair and
impartial, which they're not. You have to give it to the Republicans: they
fought for the courts. Clinton and the Democrats didn't think it was a big
deal, or worth fighting for. Had to appease those same business interests
that vote Republican anyway. I still hope Dopp is successful and I hope my
idea (I raised my hand. Remember: I'm not an objective corporate media
journalist. It matters to me if my vote doesn't count. I can't move offworld
when the fundies come to "save" me.) about creating open sourced exit
polling also takes off. The guys who did the polling in 2004 won't make
their results public. She said that would need a million too.
She also waffled a
bit when I asked her why the Democrats don't make this their primary issue.
She kind of danced around that issue all night long, thanking the Greens,
noting that Edwards would have pursued the recount but...Anyway, I wish the
Dems would not only campaign on Delay corruption but the corruption of the
voting process. Its a winner as an issue. It forces the Republicans, who are
offering us a very dark and suspicious silence (If you had won legitimately
wouldn't you want to remove doubt?) on this issue, on the defensive. Gawd
knows if the issues were reversed that would be the continuous GOP meme and
rightfully so. I just can't shake that
Generals Party meme, the other less ruthless business party that also
caters to the Republican
+ theocrats base that never fights for principle (The dems lose two national
elections and they can't make ballot integrity an issue and I raised my hand
for that one too...) and seems designed to lose...Scary scary stuff.
osted by Philip Shropshire at
here as well.)
AROUND THE INTERNETS
Ales Rarus gives us the
dogmatic view of the stem cell issue. Chris Mooney, open minded and
subjected to bouts of rigorous reason, gives us his take
Mooney, even though when I was still arguing with Ales (I didn't realize
that he simply ignores evidence he doesn't like) I did make a suggestion
that chosen people like himself carry these potentials to term, if you
wanted another brain damaged kid who thought Pat Robertson was a swell guy
brought into Earth.. The Funky one passed on the offer.
On a related note,
join this campaign. And also
The US is losing ground. Thanks Funky. Where were you when the US was
creating the computer software and hardware industry? Nowhere to be found?
Thank God you weren't...Also related:
out in favor of stem cell research. Of course, according to
this Post Gazette
article, frontrunner Bob Casey Jr. shares Rick Santorum's position.
Let's put that in caps: BOB CASEY SHARES RICK SANTORUM'S POSITION. Why
should I vote Democratic again...okay, one two three arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh...!
Chaykin's latest. I haven't had a chance to read it yet. The hero kills
renegade droids, mostly (I think), by the way.....
A Proud American Scientification
Around the Internets
Ted Rall on Our Boil 'Em Alive
Update on Vote
Fraud in Ohio
Worldchanging Interview with Cyborg Democracy Spokespeople Garreau, Naam and
Humans gets a facelift. They're trying the Daily Kos Scoop model. I've
already registered as Steelydan.
Multiple Reasons Why We're Screwed (His
high brow academic terminology) in Iraq by Juan Cole (short version:
insurgency widespread with deep public support + too few American troops)
(My short counter to the short version: A Chaotic ethnic rivalry in Iraq
makes it easier for us to steal their oil. That's the overall evil plan. The
Dark Side is strong...)
Understands the Dark Side
I'm reading Cringely
again thanks to Robot Wisdom.
Epoch-like Events You Might Have Missed.
Bit Torrent Now Has A
Search Function...Search for "Best of Seka" comes up empty...
Space Confab (cue the Heinlein vibe)
One of the more enjoyable online
features has to be the Friday potpourri columns over at Teacher/Wordsmith.
here for examples. So in the tradition of "Great artists steal...)...
"I don't care if the fascists have to win..."
Stereolab's Jenny Ondioline.
I've added four online music sites on the right, in case your loathing of
MTV and its lack of music matches my own.
Sputnik 7 has kind of
messy interface but they do have all of those Koop vids, The One Network has
a much better interface and also has a treasure house of Stereolab vids.
Jenny Ondioline and
Ping Pong feature some fairly blunt anti-war sentiments, perhaps this is
why their videos are never played. There are even two live cuts that I
enjoyed, not to mention old faves from other bands like "Catch
the Sun" and "Don't
Stop the Dance".
a possible way out of the stem cell debate. We'll see. Meanwhile, there
are these two sites (here and
here) that watch the stem cell debate.
Fearless leader wants to veto the bill. See
unions lay out an agenda.
the compromise deal: The
likes it and
Sawicky hates it (Also from Max: Finland
invests in education--as opposed to demonizing science and undermining
teacher unions--and it works. Shocker). I'm leaning toward Max's
position here. The goal of the Republicans is to turn the Senate into the
House, which means a tyranny of the majority if ever there was one.
Democrats can't win by playing within the system. They need to ask the half
of the country that voted for the other guy to participate in civil
disobedience or national worker strikes. They should consider asking the
teamsters to shut down the capital for a week or two. But they probably
won't because the Washington Generals Party lacks both imagination and will.
Republicans, if you believe that the last
two elections were
rigged, apparently believe that the business of America is business, and
that in fact, business interests trump democracy. A truly resurgent
Democratic Party would stress that the business of America is democracy,
which, I truly think, would create a better environment for competitive
business as opposed to monopoly/duopoly rule.
Well, I sorta liked it. For me, its about
the gorgeous Mysty visuals even though I do care about the characters. Sad
to see the Jedi slaughtered like that. (Had to be more survivors than just
the two. Not convinced am I of Mace Windu's demise.) But man those worlds
are beautiful. Alien architecture and alien flowers rule. Loved that big
goofy lizard. I find that the actions of the Sith remind me of the Bush
administration, although the direct plotline seems more like the
episode "The Die is Cast". That's where the
Administration knew about 9-11 Dominion knew about the
secret attack but did nothing to stop it because it fit into their
imperialist world-owning plans. You be the judge and no
I am not this person. I wish George would do two or three more. He could
always shop the director's duties. What else is he going to do in his final
20 years? American Graffiti 3?
Meanwhile, back to our harsh and evil
reality, where the Dark Side is winning resoundingly...
corporate media cover this?
Good work POG. Is it wrong for me to think this cop is kinda hot?
Speaking of preemptive action against
violent acts, if you would like to support Venezuela against any no doubt
wholesome "liberation" efforts
then buy CITGO.
Wilkinsburg where I will buy some gas, if I have enough money to buy
May 15 thru May 21
There was a
stunning breakthrough in embryonic stem cell research yesterday
usually) for commentary). It was done by the South Koreans. I'd like to
think it could have been done by Americans. You should thank
superstitious minions as to why you'll have to travel abroad to be cured
of your diabetes or spinal cord injuries or to receive your organ transplant
surgery. That's if
they allow you to do that. Thanks to them you'll be dying on time.
So I quit my job at
PennEnvironment after four days. My freelance writing work had picked up so
I didn't need the job anymore, even though it was a great workout. More on
my brilliant career at PennEnvironment, later. The main issue they were
canvassing on had to do with mercury reduction in the state of Pennsylvania.
to sum up a long story, they were working so that the state could pick
up the slack after the feds decided that they would no longer pursue their
old goal of 90 percent reduction of mercury--backed by many Republicans by
the way. I never thought that was much of an issue to canvass on because all
Ed Rendell has to do is ask the person he appointed to head the state's
Department of Interior to follow a higher standard. Kind of a no brainer
during an election year. And sure enough,
that's just what Rendell did. There's some PennEnvironment/PennFuture
commentary in this
Philadelphia Inquirer article. They're not entirely happy. I'm not sure
why they aren't. More later.
Sorry for the lack of posts last week. I
took a new canvassing job with
where ACORN yearns to pay you that big 40 percent, PennEnvironment pays
you around 62.5 percent of your first 400 dollars raised. Quick test: who
would you work for? It's not a utopia, however. Canvassing is still hard,
grueling work and not especially friendly to 40 year old bodies.
PennEnvironment has also evolved from the PIRGS, which were begat by Ralph
also not known for how well he treats his employees. "Management"
gets to work seven day weeks. I'll give a full list of the pros and cons
later. Still, it's a better deal than ACORN's. More coming.
The art of
Kaluta. He's a living legend.
roundup of army recruiting scandals and why do right wing pundits hate
America by not serving in this war or encouraging others to do so? (Aside:
The reason the recruiters lie is that if they don't meet quotas they're sent
to the frontlines.) On a related note, a war veteran I really respected,
David Hackworth, died from
cancer. He was certain that he contracted it from Agent Orange.
Also, as Atrios
vacations, one of the substitutes states what should be stated: recent
actions by the Republicans show that they really don't fear
election results. And why would that be? Even sportscaster Jim Lampley
smells a rat.
Calls election fraud biggest story of our lives. Really? Bigger than the
Pittsburgh mayor's race? Get out.
learning about some of the cartoonists I added to the right side of the
page. The above is from
From New Media
Musings: Yahoo now has a
function for video. I was able to find Broadcast's "Papercuts" fairly
quickly. I also found another music video site called Sputnik 7, which has
three videos by acid jazz mixters Koop, which
Tony Mowad would
play if he was interested in playing modern music...Just gorgeous jazzy
soulful Zero-7esque vocals.
And in more alt
music news: I can't believe Allan Holdsworth is coming to town. (Update:
I still can't
believe. He's cancelled. Whose fault was that..?) He's the greatest
guitarist you've probably never heard of. But check
out his site if you
want a taste of his stellar soloing.
Took me awhile, but here
are cartoon links. Stolen from Tom Tomorrow and Ted Rall. See bottom, far
right. Hey, at least we carry Zippy.
We also carry "Get Your War On"
AROUND THE INTERNETS
Update on how
Hellish life still is in Iraq at Democracy Now. Dahr Jamail was not
embedded, and he says Iraq not as swell as corporate media says. I guess
water is wet, too.
"In the 1930s the Spanish
city of Guernica became a symbol of wanton murder and destruction. In the
1990s Grozny was cruelly flattened by the Russians; it still lies in ruins.
This decade"s unforgettable monument to brutality and overkill is Falluja, a
text-book case of how not to handle an insurgency, and a reminder that
unpopular occupations will always degenerate into desperation and atrocity."
Miss Juan Cole on
why blogs are better than corporate media. You can study the propaganda
model or Ben Bagdikian or Robert McChesney or just read this. Short version:
It's a feature and not a fault that nobody can fire me or Drudge or
Atrios. Maddy Ross can't fire me, but
somebody can fire her. Who is
the more powerful media person? I'm poor, yes. Won't be working for ACORN
anytime, yes. But censored...Fuck You. And frankly, I think that's what a
sick and corrupted American Democracy needs more of: Angry Truthtelling and
unbought producers of news. Here's a snippet:
If we were
mainstream media we
would be wholly owned subsidiaries of General Electric, the Disney
Corporation, Time Warner, Rupert Murdoch, Viacom and so on and so forth.
Ninety percent of cable channels are owned by the same companies that own
the big television networks.
It isn't a matter of journalism being a business. How
good journalism is when practiced in the service of a business depends on
the owner's philosophy and economic goals.
Ted Turner writes,
CNN reported to me, if we needed more money for Kosovo or Baghdad, we'd
find it. If we had to bust the budget, we busted the budget. We put
journalism first, and that's how we built CNN into something the world
wanted to watch. I had the power to make these budget decisions because
they were my companies. I was an independent entrepreneur who controlled
the majority of the votes and could run my company for the long term. Top
managers in these huge media conglomerates run their companies for the
short term. After we sold Turner Broadcasting to Time Warner, we came
under such earnings pressure that we had to cut our promotion budget every
year at CNN to make our numbers. Media mega-mergers inevitably lead to
an overemphasis on short-term earnings."
If we were the mainstream media, we would be
accountable to CEOs and editors and advertisers, all of whom have motives
for suppressing some pieces of news and highlighting others. You might think
to yourself that this is a diverse enough group that the story would still
get through. But with media consolidation, fewer and fewer persons make the
I wet myself.
Oh wait. There's more:
So, yes, Matt. There is a difference between these
little dog and pony shows we post from our homes, with no editor, no CEO, no
boss, and no resources beyond our personal experiences, talent and acumen.
Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo
was published by mainstream media, would he still be allowed to say
everything he now says? Would
Tom Engelhardt be
allowed to discuss the ways in which the Iraq quagmire suggests the limits
of superpowerdom if he were working for the Big Six?
If Bill Montgomery
worked for The Weather Channel, would he be allowed to criticize
Senator Rick Sanatarium
for trying to keep Federal forecasters from "competing" with private weather
forecasting companies? Would
Riverbend be allowed to be so incisive
if she worked for a big Iraqi computer firm? Remember the famous question,
"Can blogging get you fired?"
difference, my friends, accounts for why bloggers get vilified. Journalists
can be switched to another story, or fired, or their stories can be buried
on page 36. We can't be fired. So if Martin Peretz doesn't like what we have
to say, he will publish a hatchet job on us in The New Republic, seeking to
make us taboo. If you can't shut people up, and you really don't want their
voices heard, then all you can do is try to persuade others not to listen to
them or give them a platform. The easiest way to do this is to falsely
accuse them of racism or Communism some other character flaw unacceptable to
polite society. Because of the distributed character of blogging
"computing," however, such tactics are probably doomed to fail.
Journalism Prof considers changing teaching methods. More related:
Why kids don't read newspapers:
I hate almost everything about newspapers. I
don't like the size of the paper. I don't like the way it makes everything
black. I don't like that every page has to be jammed full of stuff. I
don't like that the pages are not full color. I don't like that once I
find something interesting, I can't do anything with it (like send it to a
friend, or blog about it with a link, etc).
Director Kevin Smith wets himself
after screening the next Star Wars film. I actually thought the last
Star Wars movie was a very good film. Since I have cable, I judge a movie by
whether I can watch 20 times and find something interesting about it. And
Attack of the Clones just had a number of gorgeous looks and sounds. It was
emotionally compelling on a visual level. It's also interesting seeing how
Evil develops. I just wish you could adapt those visuals for, say, Bester's
"The Stars My Destination" or my personal never to be finished project: A
James Bond flick set in the future, possibly in the Ken Macleod universe,
where different settlements have different ideologies.
scale room temperature fusion has been buzzing around the Internets. My
God what would happen if you could scale that up? Off the grid at
Unspace has some
thoughts and a beautiful headline: "A Burning Star on Your Tabletop".
Also at Wired,
commentary on new stem cell guidelines.
New Neofiles is out. Features
excellent interview with Ramez Naam. He also has an interview with
Grossman, who co-wrote Ray Kurzweils book on life extension. Related:
Doctorow interviews Ray Kurzweil.
I got this from boring stereotypical librul Doug Henwood: "Spread
Magazine". I think it's about the sex industry. I'm
the episode now. The main story features evil news about Walmart,
in the news recently for
harassing a CMU student where they use, of course, the draconian DMCA.
My Brilliant Career
Speaking as a former employee
of ACORN, I can tell you that there are many reasons ACORN doesnt work.
ACORN has set itself up as the savior of the inner-city. They claim that
they can organize the vote and get it out better than anyone else in
America. They have virtually declared themselves to be the ghetto messiah.
However, is this true?
Let us examine the facts.
ACORN is headed by white leftists and until only a few years ago there where
hardly any blacks at the helm, to take care of this PR problem ACORN put
Maude Herd in as president. However, the presence of a black face at the top
means very little. The driving agenda of ACORN comes from these white
liberals and the formulation of their solutions to the problems of American
cities comes from books and the classrooms, not personal experience.
Now, the white left certainly
has its place in these matters, however what we see with ACORN are people,
despite being with the organization for a long time, having very little
familiarity with the culture and happenings of the ghetto. Therefore, if you
don't know the community ( knowledge doesn't mean you have read a lot of
studies), how can you possibly claim to have the solutions.
Furthermore, ACORN pays its
workers a very low age. In some states it is right at the minimum wage,
despite ACORN being the big campaigners for Living Wage ordinances. With low
wages like these ACORN can only attract a select group of individuals. Those
who really don't need the money, because they come from affluent backgrounds
and those who don't have children. If ACORN truly wants to represent the
communities it works in then it must employ people from those communities.
ACORN has also, because of its
unfamiliarity with the ghetto, been continuously duped by slick ghetto
politicians who everyone, except ACORN , have known to be corrupt. ACORN has
made very little effort to reach out to many leaders in the black community,
namely the 2.5 million member Muslim community. A fundamental change if
ACORN is to succeed in the future.
...More at "Why
ACORN Doesn't Work"
So, for you young
people out there, you probably don't know the dos and don'ts of the good
and/or bad interview. I've had my share of both during my plus two score
Here's a hint when
the interview for the canvass director position turns bad: You end up
telling Pittsburgh ACORN head Maryellen Hayden to, and I quote: "Get the
fuck out of my face". I had worked several months before for ACORN back in
1997 and I was sort of disappointed by the experience--getting paid late and
not seeing actual benefits for working poor people kind of does that to you.
This is after
she told me, and this is from memory, that I was doing it just to get
a "job", as if Maryellen's skills of making fun of my pronunciation were in
high demand. That simply hasn't been the way that I've lived. I have spent a
total of five years of my life knocking on doors for political causes, and
I'm not counting the last six months that I worked for ACT. I worked my way
through college canvassing. I worked for
(pretty much like the army for progressives) (and note the racial diversity
of management from that picture) which had a brutal $120 a night quota, for
about a year in a half. And my field manager was intentionally trying to get
me fired. (I was good.) I then ran a field canvass for three years in
Evansville, Indiana, where we canvassed against NAFTA and high cable bills.
I don't think I ever did it for the "Big Money", although the 15,000 a year
I sniffed at is more than what the average, highly exploited ACORN worker
Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, if you didn't know,
kids, is kind of a
place to work. Oh, they have wonderful goals and aspirations,
just not for their workers.
Let's put it this way: they were paying my rent in Washington DC and I was
still starving from my $150 a week salary--which they would pay me late.
Thanks fellas. But that's just personal negative experience.
Overall, ACORN makes
a claim to be fighting the fight for poor people. But in the past, ACORN has
negotiate with unions,
hired scabs to
replace their striking workers,
opposed a minimum wage
hike for their own workers (used by
the time to
show the hypocrisy of the left...thanks fellas, again), will never give you
a full weekend--gawd I used to hate that, and has earned its own
Page of Contempt
over at the IWW Website.
Curiously enough, Ms.
Hayden inquired, in her particular parlance: "Whydja come down here if you
thought it was a bad place to work?" probably scratching her noggin cartoon
like and yearning to catch a fuckin' clue. Honestly, if I could run the
canvass my way and pay the workers a decent wage, then why not give it a
shot? Perhaps ACORN had gotten better. I was wrong.
(Aside: Funny story.
Maryellen was telling me the story of how the last canvass failed and she
asserted that the last canvass manager was kind of a heroin addict and
that's why it failed, as opposed to the 54 hour weeks, the shortened lunch
breaks and late paychecks. Yeah, heroin. Hokay. Of course, she still has her
job because when you manage like that you keep your job at ACORN. Laffs were
had by all. Still in the jesting mood hours later, I did ask what that guy's
name was. She wrote back:
I have no idea what you are talking about.
I guess you have some kind of problem.
Now, Maryellen, you
public figure you, I remember the details. Just happened a day ago.
Remember when you told me he was a great guy and then he didn't come in and
then he didn't answer his cell anymore...you don't remember that? Because if
you don't you're either a blatant liar or a deeply stupid woman. Alex, I'm
going to go with "What is both?")
Actually, her plan
sounds familiar. Sounds like the
same very bad ACORN plan
that I've seen before. Here's how one disgruntled former ACORN staffer
A main difference
between Marx's argument and the relations of ACORN is that bourgeois society
exploits workers in order to increase the capital profit of the ruling
class. But ACORN organizers are laboring to increase a profit which
supposedly does not come in the form of capital in the hands of the rich,
but social change in the hands of the poor. Does this mean that we are not
The fact is that we are exploited for a different reason. We are being
exploited in the name of the movement, and most likely for the accumulation
of capital. [Note:
I was paid up to $8 an hour which amounted to $32 per night to knock on
doors. I was expected to collect $120 per night. If I didn't I was
considered to be doing poorly at my job. Few workers seldom ever raised $120
per night yet that was ACORN's unrealistic expectation of us as their
contradiction occurs in the organization in that it is fighting the wage and
class gap by using the same motives and manipulations that corporations have
been using for well over a hundred years. ACORN is an organization trying to
change the plight of the poor in a capitalist society at the same time it
contributes to the problem. The organization is tripping over itself as it
perpetuates the injustices of the capitalist system.
By the way, Citizen
no angels them,
pays about 52 percent up to quota, which I think is up to $130 night.
Maryellen wanted to pay the workers a very not generous 40 percent. That's a
wage that's guaranteed to keep you poor and probably lower than what the
other two summer canvasses will pay (Sierra Club and Clean Water Action
Project). How would you compete with those canvasses? You wouldn't. In fact,
you would get the worst workers. In other words, if you don't know anything
about canvassing then you would probably canvass for ACORN and take one of
the worst deals ever...
Just for the record,
and I tried to explain this to Maryellen, slowly, despite her bouts of
traumatic memory loss regarding her former heroin addict employees, is that
the field canvass simply sets the plate for a much more lucrative phone
canvass. The Clean Water Action Project doesn't need the hassle of a field
canvass anymore because the phone canvass is much more lucrative. But you
have to pay the field canvassers a decent wage (at least 50 percent) and not
work them six days a week. You might even consider giving them a four day
So, in summation, if
you're a plucky young progressive who wants to change the world one knock at
a time, I would strongly recommend working for Clean Water, the Sierra Club
or even the DAM phone canvass before you worked for ACORN--unless you want
your disenchantment with the American Left to start early...and no I didn't
get the position. Darn the luck. Or give me an email and I'll tell how to
start your own canvass. It'll be tough, grueling work. But you'll give
yourself a better deal than ACORN.
It's New Media
Monday. On the right hand side, you will see these new online video
means, if you're sick of your high priced cable (and who isn't?) is that
you're reaching a tipping point where what's on the net and video clipped is
much more interesting than what's being offered on television. Democracy Now
and Air America are great news shows. It's like Cspan for lefties. Online
news is certainly much more informative. Here are some recent video and
audio examples. Compare it to what you're getting from Comcast or Adelphia.
I dares you:
fascinating debate about
the copyright featuring the Main Actors (RIAA attorneys vs. EFF
Press Editor is mad and I mean Howard Beale Network mad in this video clip.
Of course, what about music? The video channels are just awful. Even when
they play what you like (the Alternative on VH-1 Classic) their choices are
let me introduce you to
GrooveTV. There are about 20 concerts here (one hour each) and they're
all free to download. Bad news: they really are jam bands. On the other
hand, if you think Medeski Martin and Wood is a really really good band (and
never heard of the Jaco Pastorius era Weather Report) then this is your
Heaven. I've downloaded three concerts so far and they're all interesting
(although no better than B minus), in case you're getting tired of hearing
that Killers vid over and over again.
beautiful acid jazz album that you can listen to for free and possibly rip
if you have a ripper, even though that would be wrong. It's called Space
Jazz. I highly recommend tracks 6, 8 and 9 or you can listen to the whole
thing. The label even offers a number of stations.
I have no idea if
Al Gore's new station
will be any good. But I'm open minded. There was a
recent initial meet up about it in California,
and it was video blogged. Haven't had time to watch or listen because
I've been studying these obscure jam bands.
Also, my girlfriend Naomi Klein (her husband doesn't suspect) is featured in
radio interview. McChesney is probably the leading journalist in the
United States who mines the Media Monopoly/Propaganda Model theory about the
And in related highbrow
librul radio news--which you can determine by their opening themes as
McChesney goes for Thelonius Monk and Henwood goes for the Kronos Quarter
interspersed with trad classical--check out left economist's
Doug Henwood's radio show where he
interviews Tariq Ali.
April 17 thru April 23
still stuck on Steranko. Does Bucky, Captain America's late sidekick,
deserve this kind of talent rendering him? Just askin'...
cartoonist Micah Wright has some new stuff up.
More Around the Internets:
Never Get Into a Debate with Naomi Klein and angry Free Press editor says it
again: Ohio was stolen
Note to self:
Add Naomi Klein to the list of people (like Juan Cole) I never want to get
into a debate with. First, she goes into detail about her recent piece in
about "Disaster Capitalism" in Iraq. A snippet:
"If the reconstruction industry
is stunningly inept at rebuilding, that may be because rebuilding is not its
primary purpose," writes Naomi Klein in the cover story of this week's
Nation. "If anything, the stories of corruption and incompetence serve to
mask this deeper scandal: the rise of a predatory form of disaster
capitalism that uses the desperation and fear created by catastrophe to
engage in radical social and economic engineering."
Then she takes
on some guy in a debate between leftist activists about the early American
pullout from Iraq.
She slices and dices him.
her do that
before. A snippet:
Those forces are already
controlling Iraq. The resistance largely controls Baghdad at this point, a
situation where there are between 50 and 60 attacks a day. The militias that
Eric is warning about already control large sectors of Iraq, because
providing security for the people of Iraq has never, from day one, been a
priority of this occupation. We saw the abandonment immediately by allowing
the looting to take place and only guarding the Ministry of Oil, and it’s
only gotten worse. You know, when I was in Iraq a year ago, this was the
most persistent complaint -- was spiraling crime. And that's actually how
the militias were created. They were created as a response to the fact that
US Occupation never, ever prioritized giving security to Iraqis. The other
issue is this idea that somehow US forces are helping to train Iraqi police,
and that it's just a problem of training. What's actually happening is that
there is -- is that the greatest liability for Iraqis to gain control over
their own country security-wise, is the fact that the security forces have
been embedded in the occupation itself and are seen as an extension of the
hated and loathed occupation. So they get attacked as collaborators and
slaughtered. They're not provided with any protection, and so on. So the
best way for them to build up their own force and their own credibility,
which is really what's needed, is a clear break with the occupation, which
means immediately announcing a withdrawal of troops and setting up a
transition plan. The first step has to be the announcement of troop
Amy is also
doing her share of writing where she critiques the media monopoly
Press Editor is mad and I mean Howard Beale Network mad in this video clip.
He still thinks Ohio was stolen and he might get his chance to prove it in a
court of law.
Pro Choice Opposition in
Senate Primary. What luck. That would split the pro choice vote and
allow Casey in a walk.
The Dark Side is strong...even though I'm voting for Rendell! (thank you
for saving public transit) Just don't like the tactics here. Would prefer
another anti-choice democrat that's all..
"Superstition is like a magnet. It pulls you in the
direction of your belief." - Master Po
Master Po to the Pennacchio campaign: The Weakness of both Santorum and
Casey is their implicit argument that faith is better than reason. It isn't.
The man who articulates the benefits of science (it's here now on this plane
and not some imaginary other world) vs. the irrationality of the church
(attack the clergy (James Dobson, please.), not the religion and if they
overlap make the argument any way...) wins the debate, among rational people
anyway. Casey is incredibly weak on stem cell research. Phrase the question
this way grasshopper during the debate: "I can't believe my opponent would
cede AMERICAN superiority in any technology. I suppose he also thinks that
the world would be a better place if China and Russia had all of the
Hydrogen bombs." For background information, study Chris Mooney and get an
advance copy of his book "The Republican War Against Science". This is a
stunning opportunity for the Democrats to become the Party of Progress, the
Party of Science. It would also give you something to say to what I suspect
are the mostly libertarian leaders of Pennsylvania's hi tech companies.
high class nudes over at Red Light District. This week's edition
includes athletic woman, frank miller heavy metal art, angry yet "she's a
brick house" black lady, spectacular nude gymast who, Seinfeld-like, makes
me wish I was the apparatus.....
MASSIVE AROUND THE INTERNETS
Pittsburgh, a group of local Pittsburghers who oppose the Iraqi war and
probably all meaningless wars for that matter, testified in front of the
Pittsburgh School Board Monday night. Their very honorable goal is to
request a presence in the public schools so they can tell kids that
enlisting in the army probably means a quick death. I couldn't find a story
about it at either of my local dailies. So, here's some breaking news.
Daily Kos: "I
wouldn't be half the person I am today without my military service. I used
to always say I'd want my children to follow in my footsteps. But that was
before we made a habit of unprovoked wars of aggression. The best way to
talk parents into letting their children join the service? Stop using them
as cannon fodder in unecessary wars waged for political expediancy. You see,
in wars like Bush's, the bodybags don't seem worth the sacrifice to your
But hey, if the Army and
Marines want a heck of a PR score to encourage parents to sacrifice their
children, here's how to do it. It's a guaranteed winner:
Have the Bushes -- all of them
with military-aged children and grandchildren -- ship their kids off to
Let's all hold our breath.)
according to the news from their website:
And related anti draft links:
American Friends Service Committee
Catholics and Conscientious Objection
Center on Conscience & War
Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors
Counter Recruiter net
Daily Draft Dispatch
Draft Freedom Org
Episcopal Church Peace Ministries
Getting Out of the Delayed Entry Program
GI Rights Hotline
High School Students Opt-Out from Military Recruiters
Parents Against the Draft
Reggie Finley's radio show
here. Not only is he becoming the most prominent atheist on the net, he
also happens to be African American. That makes for a total of two that I
know. He also
did a number of interviews over at Changesurfer Radio. Wednesday's show
will debunk the Intelligent Design movement (stealth creationism).
the superiority of reason over faith, two very exciting developments from
the Woody Allen perspective ("If the choice is between air conditioning and
the pope, then I'll take air conditioning."): Japanese scientists
find a way to cure type 1 diabetes and
big results using embryonic stem cells in animals.
April 10 thru April 16
Jim Steranko. Look: if you read this site you will learn who the
cool pop artists are.
Lindie in her Room, B366B, Site C
Lindie is putting herself through school by waiting tables in the city.
"I will run my own company one day. And I will definitely have a place of
my own. "
(From South Africa With
Chris Mooney has asked
suggestions for new additions to his blogroll.
Aside from shamelessly
plugging this site, I really think he has to add
Worldchanging. The above photo
is from a photo essay called "From South Africa with Love". South Africa
came up with a wonderful constitution, but our friends at the World
Bank--now headed by notorious
neo-con vampire Paul
Wolfowitz--are working overtime to keep the
its citizens poor, unable to
afford their soon
to be privatized water sources.
And that's just one link. The
other killer links include
an Indian made electric car (Downside: only gets 40 miles per gallon,
but in Tokyo or the emerging mega cities of China, it might not be too
citizen video undoes RNC protest prosecutions--love that term "the
participatory panopticon" .
This came out after
my previous post on Philly's waycool wifi cloud: the
public broadband. I guess the point here is that more broadband means
more democracy. The Democratic Party, which includes Ed Rendell, should
support it every opportunity they can. Can the Washington Generals party
even imagine winning a game?
By the way,
that Steranko page
has a lot of cool stuff. If you scroll down you'll
complete Steranko version of Outland, which is probably illegal but,
hey, its the lawless and brazen Internets.
I'm mentioned over at that Ker-Razy Catholic site Ales Rarus.
It should be pointed out that the reason I chose you to represent the
pro-catholic pope view is that it is always your rather predictable point
of view. There isn't really much original thinking outside the box, or
outside the interpretation of the bible laid down to you by the Catholic
hierarchy over at Ales Rarus. And as you point out (probably not
consciously but he does work in mysterious ways don't you know)
this post, it's quite clear that the radical Catholic view is a
minority viewpoint even within Christianity itself. "Reactionary garbage"
indeed. (O lord I do not believe in, let the new pope allow women to serve
and priests to marry thus turning Ales Rarus into a heretic...)
And after that post, I need to douse
myself with a good bit of reality, so I'm permalinking
Raving Atheist, who has
say about the Pope as well. And over at
links, which strengthens my faith in faithlessness.
WHAT'S A HUMANIST?
HUMANIST SOCIETY OF WESTERN NEW YORK - A joyous alternative to religions
that believe in a supernatural god and life in a hereafter. Humanists
believe that this is the only life of which we have certain knowledge and
that we owe it to ourselves and others to make it the best life possible
for ourselves and all with whom we share this fragile planet. A belief
that when people are free to think for themselves, using reason and
knowledge as their tools, they are best able to solve this world's
problems. An appreciation of the art, literature, music and crafts that
are our heritage from the past and of the creativity that, if nourished,
can continuously enrich our lives. Humanism is, in sum, a philosophy of
those in love with life. Humanists take responsibility for their own lives
and relish the adventure of being part of new discoveries, seeking new
knowledge, exploring new options. Instead of finding solace in
prefabricated answers to the great questions of life, humanists enjoy the
open-endedness of a quest and the freedom of discovery that this entails.
and another excerpt, to be compared and
contrasted with this Ales Rarus
[From the writings of James Madison]
Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for
every noble enterprise
During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of
Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all
places, pride and indolence in the clergy, ignorance and servility in the
laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution
What influence in fact have ecclesiastical establishments had on Civil
Society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual
tyranny on the ruins of the Civil authority; in many instances they have
been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny: in no instance have
they been seen as the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who
wished to subvert the public liberty, may have found an established Clergy
The establishment of the chaplainship to Congs. is a palpable violation of
equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principles. . . Religious
proclamations by the Executive [branch] recommending thanksgivings & fasts
are shoots from the same root. . . Altho' recommendations only, they imply
a religious agency, making no part of the trust delegated to political
Chuck P. News
I was at senatorial candidate
Chuck Pennacchio's Pittsburgh meeting a week or so ago. I haven't said a
lot because local bloggers kind of had it covered. You can get the
Comments from Left Field
viewpoint here, or the Froshy point of view
or the 2 Political junkies point of view
here, and the Urban Democracy point of view
here (a report from Erie) and
here. By the way, the woman behind Urban Democracy organized the get
together. Apparently, the candidate even stayed over night at her place.
I'm not sure I want to know a candidate that well unless it's the
Michigan. And like the Comments from Left Field guy (who,
unbeknownst to me, I had met when I was working for ACT last summer) the
quote of the night was:
you elect me to the U.S. Senate I will be on the losing end of more 99 to
1 votes than any Senator in history."
think that you need grounded progressives (who actually believe in what
they're saying) to take on the very dangerous Republican extremists in
both the House and the Senate. I suppose I have some more things to say
but I'll keep those thoughts private.
I do have to confess: If someone
had put people against the wall and challenged me to attach the people to
the blogs they run, I would have picked the guy who runs Froth Slosh
B'Gosh correctly out of the crowd, even though I am jealous of his
beautiful tri-colored business cards.
AROUND THE INTERNETS
One of the best debunkers of the
"Global Warming is a Myth" crowd is Chris Mooney. I highly recommend
if you want to understand not only the dangers of the Intelligent Design
but how the objective mainstream media approach doesn't help us very much
in understanding the problem. He also does his usual excellent work on
debunking the global warming debunkers
Local site that offers a "Carnegie
Military University" factsheet. It's from a site called
from a Marxist Perspective
I'm headed to
Hacker High School, where all the kewl kids go! I might get laid this
time...no? Same as before?
By the way
I got all my news about the apparently wondrous Philadelphia Wi-fi cloud
not from my local corporate media outlets, but from the excellent Daily
Wireless. I like taking the bus so Rendell gets my vote probably. But his
decision to cave in and only let Philly do this was a bad call. I might
note that his conservative detractors would only be too happy to point out
that he's a stooge for the cable companies, which was done over at
Grassroots (our local Drudge like site.) The reason I don't like it is
that if you help the corporate cable companies, you help Republicans.
Broadband for the masses means you, in theory, replace Fox News with Air
America and 2 Political Junkies. Why is a Democrat opposed to this? Did
you need the monopolist cable vote that badly? More
here from the Philly CIO. And where was the Pittsburgh delegation
demanding their piece? This is why the
Generals theory of the Democratic Party makes sense--the theory that
the Democratic Party is paid to roll over as the other less ruthless
business party. I mean, I didn't support the Nader run, but I understand
why he ran...(although not the second time...)
Speaking of Air America, look up last Thursday's Morning Sedition (April
7) and catch
Marc and Mark's interview with Jeremy Rifkin about his new book on the
Union. (last 15 minutes) Rifkin, while stressing that it's not a
utopia, makes Europe sound like some fantastical place, just minutes away
from The Shire and Earthsea, with their mandatory 6 week vacations and
state funded health and child care and a government that functions to
protect the public good as opposed to raping it. And in a related story:
not number one in many ways.
City review done as a comic book.
Methuselah Mouse Page (not religious)
Space Race News
April 3 thru April
forward to seeing Sin City.
, which has already become a daily read, they found someone who compared
shots with that of the film
AROUND THE PITTSBURGH INTERNETS: A CONTRAST OF VIEWS ON
THE POPE'S DEATH
for a respectful eulogy?
Then look no further than choir boy faced Ales Rarus (He'll ban your
contraception but, hey, he's a guy who talks to God so he knows best lil'
ladies...) Here's a
predictably glowing excerpt praising God's top personal assistant:
"The pontificate of John Paul II, formerly Karol Jozef Wojtyla, was
notable for its constant championing of the dignity of every human life.
In the youthful days of his reign, he fought tirelessly for the dignity of
the poor, the downtrodden, the oppressed, and the unborn. In those years,
he taught us that even those whom the world had rejected had dignity as
human beings. In his waning years, he taught us that there is dignity in
infirmity. Old age is not something to be ashamed of. Physical impairment
is not a curse. Life does not end when disability begins.
Too many societies, including our own, abandon our handicapped and elderly
in nursing homes. We're either too afraid to deal with their weaknesses or
too busy with our youthful lives to be bothered with caring for them. There
are many lessons to be learned from examining John Paul II's life, not the
least of which is how to grow old, face adversity, and die with grace and
dignity. As many called for his resignation, he bravely, yet humbly,
continued to do whatever he could muster his body to do in order to perform
his duties. He showed that human worth is not defined by utility.
a Christian writer who I have more respect for and who quite frankly doesn't
rush to defend James Dobson's attacks against spongy cartoon characters,
has this thoughtful response.
He's not catholic.
I know that
many Evangelical Protestants do not accept Catholics
as brothers and sisters in Christ. I’m not
one of them. Pope John Paul II was a brother in Christ.
This was a man who forgave his would-be assassin. That takes guts, guts that
far too many of us Christians lack. American politicians honored this Pope
only when it was convenient for their political agendas. His attacks on
Communism were hailed; his criticisms of Capitalism were blatantly ignored.
His stance on abortion was also welcomed by the current
political-industrial-religious Right; they mocked his stance on capital
punishment. The Left felt about him the same way the Right did for opposite
reasons, except they were a little more honest in their dislike of the man.
Like I said, I disagreed with him strongly on a lot of things, but he
managed to anger both sides. He must have been doing something right. I ask
forgiveness where I am wrong. I could do no less for anyone else.
goodbye, Pope John Paul II. I pray that you are now with God the Father, Son
Well spaked, or
spaken. Now, just like the corporate press we always strive to be fair and
balanced here at Three Rivers Online. So heeeeere's
dong John Paul is dead
If anyone expects the general GLBT community to mourn John Paul II's death,
they are very very mistaken. This is someone who writes that our
relationships are "insideous" and "attempts to pit human rights against the
family and against man." This is someone who devalues our lives and our
loves, and wants GLBT human beings to be treated as animals because of how
we love. Only celibate gays and lesbians could be tolerated, and the use of
condoms to protect ourselves from disease was discouraged as "against the
will of god." When priests, who take a vow of celibacy, molest children, he
took a blind eye and blamed gays instead.
And then he
says some things that I think show disrespect toward the Pope. Go figure.
Note to self: Does the
eternal Hellfire sting more in the summertime?
Might need to know that...
I went to last night's
mayor's candidate debate and it answered a few questions and it raised a
First, I came away with
the feeling that
Bill Peduto was the man who progressives in Pittsburgh should be
backing. Or: Ye shall know the true nature of a man by who he endorses.
And when Peduto ran off a list of endorsements vs. Mike Lamb's, well, it
was no contest. After all, Peduto backed Rendell and Mike Lamb backed pro
life Democrat Bob Casey. I guess I can imagine who Lamb would also back in
the upcoming US Senate race, where I have an objective mainstream media
non staked-out position on the matter. (April
Fools.) It also struck me that Peduto had the most interesting and
artistic vision for the city and he probably
wouldn't laugh out loud and have his yellow-shirted youth mafia
beat me silly if I suggested that we take one of those vacant buildings
downtown and have the Arts Festival year round...(with late hours to
Two, Bob O'Connor
definitely struck me as your archetypal Machine Guy. I felt he had the
worst moment of the night when he didn't give a straight answer as to
elected vs. appointed school board members. Mike Lamb assumed he said
elected (for the record I'm not sure what O'Connor said in his two minute
response to the question), and then accused him of a flip-flop. Lamb was
an attack dog all night by the way. However, O'Connor, aside from being
the kind of politico you'd cast in the Sopranos, wins my award for most
authentic Pittsburgher with his constant use of the word "dahntoun". Or to
use it in a sentence--let's imagine Bob's "dahntoun" meeting with Big Tony
and the other "labor leaders" on the shadowy side of the docks--"Here we
Yinz are, dahntoun. Let me assures yinz that the esplanade/trolley money
is going to come through...wit no money dahn!" (cue diabolical mob
intrigue laughter and...end scene.)
Three, why are the
black candidates running? I mean, I liked Louis "Hop" Kendrick, who I
think had the best line of the night when he noted that if
reindustrialization was easy Duquesne and the Mon Valley wouldn't be dead
zones. But was he running out of a need to display a different message or
is he running to draw the black vote away from Peduto? That would be the
good machine democrat thing to do. It's not unlike the reason Carol
Moseley Braun ran for president, to offer an establishment alternative to
the nightmarish Al Sharpton is winning the democratic party nomination
scenario. Braun's run was also a good machine democrat thing to do, which
I kinda didn't mind. I think I might mind now.
The other black
candidate, Greg Henderson, simply wasn't ready for prime time. Here's a
hint for future debate performances, when you're losing your train of
thought: Don't tell the moderator that you're losing your train of
Four, where was the
Green candidate for Mayor? I would love for the Greens to run locally.
It's not like you're going to get me involved in a war for oil--war with
Cleveland more likely--at the local level. Actually, if you were really
looking to make a statement for the black community, "Hop", why not run on
the Green ticket for mayor? You could even use it as a bargaining position
for endorsement later on. I really do think the black community needs a
second party, I just don't think it should be the Republican Party--the
most evil party in the known dimensions. The Green Party would make more
Five, I actually
thought the Republican Party candidate Joe Weinroth didn't come off so
bad. He made sense at times. I don't think I detected horns or the faint
hint of sulfur. Then I remembered that the Republican Party cheated the
popular will in not just one,
two national elections; that it's the Republican Party who shows the
world a face just as theocratic and murderous as Osama Bin Laden's; that
it's the Republican Party that will more than likely reinstate the draft
to fight its oil wars for profit; and that it's very likely that the
Republican Party will lead us into an exchange of wmds when they make the
classic bully's mistake and overreach. So, those are the little things
that will probably make me shy away from any endorsement of Joe Weinroth.
On second thought, I may have seen some horns. And I may have seen him
by this man, barely perceptible as he seemed to be phasing in and out
of our plane of existence. The Dark Side is powerful...this is officially
parody, of a public figure, by the way.
Speaking of evil Republicans, I like these new parodies
over at 2 Political
I think they're the most interesting political blog in
(Keep in mind the pope chose to not go to the hospital
and have tubes stuck in him. He must not believe in the sanctity of
I've given up
and gotten one of those
Commons licenses. I haven't gotten one because I don't know how the
case law works--as there is no case law as far as I know. In fact, info
anarchists I know these folks to be, I would be shocked if they ever filed
suit. But, yet, I know all the kewl kids will respect and love me now.
When they do
the most under reported or
censored stories of 2004, one of the top contenders would have to be
statistical anomalies in the 2004 presidential election. And today, a
number of PH D level statisticians have released a report showing that the
numbers don't add up. If you're not aware of this, exit polling is pretty
accurate. In Germany, where they use paper ballots, the exit polling gets
the final vote count right,
like, 99.9 percent of the time. Republican officials, who want to
eliminate exit polling here, used contrasting exit polls/actual vote count
numbers to help lobby for new
elections in the Ukraine--thus proving that they refuse to recognize
the principles behind both chutzpah and irony. Here's a snippet of the
the Free Press article:
consortium that conducted the presidential exit polls, Edison/Mitofsky,
issued a report in January suggesting that the discrepancy between
election results and exit polls occurred because Bush voters were more
reticent than Kerry voters in response to pollsters.
"The authors of this scientific study of the National Election Data
Archive Project, consider that scenario highly unlikely, based on
extensive analysis of the election data presented in their report “Final
Study of the 2004 Presidential Election Poll Discrepancies”. They
conclude, /“The required pattern of exit poll participation by Kerry and
Bush voters to satisfy the exit poll data defies empirical experience and
common sense under any assumed scenario.”/
An executive summary of the report by Josh Mitteldorf of Temple University
has been released today and is available at: http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/Exit_Polls_summary.pdf.
The full 25 page scientific report will be released tomorrow. This group's
preliminary study on the exit poll discrepancies was not refuted by any
PhD statistician in America, and we expect our final study to be similarly
received in the academic community. "
Amidst the data, many extremely unlikely anomalies exist, invariably in
President Bush’s favor. For one, a state-by-state analysis of the
discrepancy between exit polls and official election results shows highly
improbable skewing of the election results biased towards the president.
We have had election fraud in this country before. November's wildly
inaccurate presidential exit polls should warrant concern of the highest
order by every American citizen.
folks at black box voting, who I quoted a few weeks ago, don't have the
best reputation in town. But take a look at the folks who signed on to
this study. And of course, as has been stated before, if this is true,
everything else really doesn't matter. The Democrats can move to the
commie left or the abortion bombing clinic right...they will lose. I don't
know if you can yet call that fascism, but you certainly can't call it
democracy. Here are the wacky, out of the mainstream contributors:
*Contributors and Supporters of the Report
*Josh Mitteldorf*, PhD - Temple University Statistics Department
*Steven F. Freeman*, PhD - Center for Organizational Dynamics, University
*Brian Joiner*, PhD - Prof. of Statistics (ret) University of Wisconsin
*Frank Stenger*, PhD - Professor, School of Computing, University of Utah
*Richard G. Sheehan*, PhD -Professor, Department of Finance, University of
*Paul F. Velleman*, PhD - Associate Prof., Department of Statistical
Sciences, Cornell University
*Victoria Lovegren*, PhD - Department of Mathematics, Case Western Reserve
*Campbell** B. Read*, PhD - Prof. Emeritus, Department of Statistical
Science, Southern Methodist University
*Jonathan Simon*, J.D., National Ballot Integrity Project
*Ron Paul Baiman, *PhD* *– Institute of Government and Public Affairs,
University of Illinois at Chicago
PERSONAL CHUCK P. NEWSWIRE NEWS
happenings in Chuck Pennacchio news: One,
they just did a
big profile of him in the Philadelphia Inquirer (have to register so
no direct link). And two, if you go over to his site,
you will be
directed to Dean's old lobbying effort (different from his current DNC
where you can ask them to fund the Pennacchio campaign. I might note
that there was a recent poll showing the race between Santorum and Casey
tightening. That means that the base of each will have to come out strong.
I know the crazed fundie base that wants to protect you in the womb, lock
the feeding tube on you while you're in a state where you can barely
distinguish colors, and will probably uphold a draft where you will kill
other poor people in a valiant effort to keep oil industry profits high
are going full gear for Santorum. Fine. That's expected. As a small d
democrat, the party establishment is telling me I'm supposed to vote for a
guy who is already in the middle of these issues, working for an
accommodation of sorts with
ably represented by
I'll take Pennacchio. I know its crazy: but did you ever think of
rewarding your base as opposed to selling them out?