Archive Front

Feb. 27

Why People Vote Third Party or Why Ralph Nader May Run Again: Its the bought off dems, stupid.

From David Sirota, DNC insider. Read the whole depressing thing:

AP - Dems Back Off Opposing Iraq War

The Associated Press today tells the story of how Democrats in Washington clearly do not want to end the Iraq War. This story includes all of the tell-tale signs of both a party that disdains the will of voters and a media unwilling to report even the most basic facts: Nancy Pelosi reading Fox News talking points that claim conditioning funding on American troops’ training is supposedly not supporting our troops; Harry Reid nonchalantly saying in the face of mounting casualties that there’s no real urgency to do anything on the war because "Iraq is going to be there"; and the AP writer refusing to acknowledge consistent public opinion polls by CNN and the Washington Post that show the public strongly supports Congress cutting off funding for Bush’s military escalation and conditioning funding on adequate troop training, respectively.

Make no mistake about it: The renewed refusal by Democrats to use their majority in even the most basic way to stop the war is a declaration that the new majority is not close to using even the most basic powers afforded to it to stop or slow down the war. In other words, in backing off, the Democrats have just weeks after the 2006 anti-war election mandate effectively declared themselves as supportive of the Bush administration’s stay-the-course policy - a truly sickening act of cowardice.

This is all the more reason for folks to head over to the Progressive States Network’s Anti-Iraq Escalation Campaign and use our website to demand your state legislature tell Congress that its behavior on Iraq is absolutely unacceptable. Clearly, the folks in Washington are so drunk off power they have decided to ignore the majority of Americans who want an end to the madness in Iraq. They need to hear from our states - and they need to hear from our states right now.

Short view of the 21st century. I'm sure Skynet will do the right thing when it becomes conscious.

Why Richard Dawkins is a mean ol' atheist.

And get well Steve Gilliard. Look, I'm no doctor but when the  phrase "open heart surgery" pops up...this would be a tremendous loss.

Feb. 26

I spent all day working on this. This happens to be the future. I just programmed my own one hour music and politics show. I think its pretty good. No fluff. No reality programming. Just good music and selected ideology. Quake in your boots Reginald Hudlin and BET on J...in about another six months. This is just the first of these kinds of services. They'll get better. Bugs: Doesn't work with explorer. In fact, it sabotages my entire jazropo page. Only works with Firefox. I can't figure that out. His code is buggy.

 

Feb 25

World Record  Average Around the Internets or Stories I Need to Read More Carefully

I liked the interview that 2 Political Junkies snagged with Mike Doyle. I didn't agree with one point he made as to why he wouldn't impeach the president. He said he didn't want to make Cheney the President. I suggested, in the comments, that you could impeach both the President and the Vice President at the same time. You could even go after Cheney first. And right on time, here's Raw Story offering up six articles of impeachment for our favorite vp hunter. That would mean President Pelosi, which I could live with. Just to review: impeachment would be popular, would show the dems have spine, work politically (monicagate cost the dems the 2000 presidency among other things) and put the republicans on the defensive. Finally,  and not least, it might be the only way to save up to a million Iranian lives.

Yet another place to download youtube videos.

Here's a place to create your own playlists that looks good. My first effort is here. I think the way to sell politics is the same way you sell other products. Repetition, repetition, repetition. Just like the Geico ads.

While I think its a good thing that Walmart will take the long deserted East Hills area and turn it into one of their superstores, it should be noted that Walmart pays its workers just about nothing and for its factories abroad those workers are living in Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle". You know, and maybe I should go over to Bill Peduto's site and say something about this, there is a store called Costco. They pay their workers a living wage, provide great benefits and their leadership gives most of its money to the Democratic Party. I wish someone would give Costco a call, either downtown or elsewhere.

Car sharing program comes to Pittsburgh and costs 9 dollars an hour. I'd be better off  renting a uhaul van for a day.

A long time ago I was the only guy on the Better Humans staff who thought that people who were worried about GM foods had a point. I was of the opinion that while those foods shouldn't be banned you should at least know what you're eating and it should be labeled. I believe all of those initiatives were defeated so your every meal is a surprise. Turns out that one company knew that their GM potatoes caused cancer six years ago, but they didn't tell anybody. I think Chris Mooney owes us all an apology. And for this.

Feb. 21st

Stolen from My Left Wing Because its Cool

 

 

 

 

"The media's the most powerful entity on earth.
They have the power to make the innocent guilty
and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power.
Because they control the minds of the masses."

 

-- Malcolm X
Assassinated February 21, 1965

 

(approximation of the Evil One or the Instapundit.)

I see that the Instapundit is getting a much deserved beatdown. How can I put this? Glenn Reynolds is a crazy person. A right wing extremist. He's that blonde guy in that first Matt Damon Bourne movie who clenches his teeth and jumps out a window as opposed to being interrogated. Keep in mind whenever you hear how Al Gore couldn't win Tennessee that  radical extremist Glenn Reynolds was "helping" him in that state. And why is hot Boing Boing girl Xeni Jardin linking to a guy who likes death squads? He supports them in Iran, certainly Iraq (a half million Iraqi civilians gone and he knows no shame)  and he probably supported them in Latin America. Its who he is. He's an evil little man. If he were a Marvel villain he'd be too over the top...

(approximation of Senator Joe Leiberman)

Apparently, another evil man, the independent senator from Conn. Joe Leiberman, is holding the entire Democratic Party hostage, according to the Booman Tribune. Here's the whole thing:

Lieberman's Blackmail on Iraq

by BooMan
Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 at 06:11:06 PM EST

Joe Lieberman is holding the entire Democratic Party hostage to his position on the war in Iraq. We cut funding for the war and he bolts and hands all the Senate committee chairs to the Republicans.

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut told the Politico on Thursday that he has no immediate plans to switch parties but suggested that Democratic opposition to funding the war in Iraq might change his mind...

"I have no desire to change parties," Lieberman said in a telephone interview. "If that ever happens, it is because I feel the majority of Democrats have gone in a direction that I don't feel comfortable with."

Asked whether that hasn't already happened with Iraq, Lieberman said: "We will see how that plays out in the coming months," specifically how the party approaches the issue of continued funding for the war.

He suggested, however, that the forthcoming showdown over new funding could be a deciding factor that would lure him to the Republican Party.

"I hope we don't get to that point," Lieberman said. "That's about all I will say on it today. That would hurt."

Leiberman, by the way, is Exhibit One as to why some of us think that the Jewish delegation in congress supports the Iraq War--and will probably be the first to support an Iranian war. He certainly is the most obvious exhibit. Its certainly a question that a real press should be asking: are you more loyal to Israel--not unlike fighting for the white South Africans--than you are to the United States? Are you willing to invest  American troops and treasure in a war that you think will protect Israel (Mistakenly, as even a number of Jewish and Israeli thinkers have pointed out.)? I think in Leiberman's case the answer is clearly yes. And you can't write about it and politicians can't talk about it. Jewish American money, which is a different thing than the majority of Jewish American voters who voted with the wave and realize that the Iraq War makes the world a much more dangerous place for Jews everywhere, seems to support the war and punishes people who criticize it.

And when I talk about the influence of "Jewish Money" (please read the link) I mean things like this (from Undernews):

CARTER APPEARANCE COSTING BRANDEIS MILLIONS IN DONATIONS

JEWISH WEEK - The Brandeis campus is reeling in the wake of former President Jimmy Carter's visit. Major donors to Brandeis University have informed the school they will no longer give it money in retaliation for its decision last month to host former President Jimmy Carter, a strong critic of Israel. The donors have notified the school in writing of their decisions — and specified Carter as the reason, said Stuart Eizenstat, a former aide to Carter during his presidency and a current trustee of Brandeis, one of the nation's premier Jewish institutions of higher learning. . . Brandeis history professor Jonathan Sarna, who maintains close ties with the administration, told The Jewish Week, "These were not people who send $5 to the university. These were major donors, and major potential donors. "I hope they'll calm down and change their views," Sarna said. . .

This kind of thing affects parties, blogs and newspapers, in case you're wondering why you're not getting a full debate on this issue on your "news" outlets. You can read about such things on the Internets, which is why some people love the Internets. Of course, I imagine, there might be lots of people who hate the Internets for the very same reasons.

Short 30 word reviews of cable movies that I have watched:

I believe I also saw this Woody Allen movie ("Match Point") when it was called "Crimes and Misdemeanors", one of the strongest of his post Annie Hall period. It wasn't bad it just felt like I had seen it before except without British accents. I should look more into the history of the film. Allen might acknowledge that. One major problem and a spoiler: He never would have gotten away with it because of all those cameras they have in Britain. He wouldn't have been "lucky" so to speak. Meanwhile, "The Squid and the Whale" is the kind of striking and shocking movie that Woody Allen used to make. If you're married, I highly recommend that you watch this film and Allen's "Husbands and Wives" and then just get about the business of slitting your wrists. Very painful yet funny. Great performances from both Linney and Daniels. I swear I could read every evil thought from Daniels just by his expression. Disturbing insights into writers and failure. Anna Paquin was hot too...

Unspace, or Mullah Rob, wrote a review of "Black Snake Moan" which I hadn't even heard of. It apparently features a black man (Samuel Jackson) who finds a beaten up Christina Ricci on the road. She wakes up and then finds that she's chained to his house in her underwear. The Sam Jackson character won't release her until he's cured her of her "wickedness"...so far, this sounds like a completely logical movie. I would do the same. I would have to use rope because I can't afford chains and I would be fine with her "wickedness" but I understand the motivation.  I guess I'm hoping it has no redeeming religious values attached to it but then why is Mullah Rob reviewing it as he scratches his Spock goatee ever so suspiciously? Trailer here:

Feb. 19

In this month's The Humanist:

It's not a war over democracy and freedom. If you didn't know that already...You can also care about human life even if you're not being threatened with eternal Hellfire to do so. Related: This post over at Max Sawicky's site about how we're stealing their oil.

Mark Crispin Miller gives us the rundown on the Voter Reform movement after the election. He criticizes these nonbinding resolutions so he won't be invited on the Daily Kos Blogroll anymore, not that he ever made that blogroll.

I'm going to repeat the whole thing here:

The Senate unanimously punks out

If the Senate Democrats weren't suffering from a severe collective case of battered spouse syndrome, they would be all fired up about the sorry state of our election system, and doing everything they could to make it better. By "better," I mean, basically, "more honest," which, in this case, could work only to the Democrats' advantage. After all, the party's top dogs tend to care far more about (a) their own careers and (b) the party's welfare than they do about the state of the Republic.

Such short-sightedness is all too human, and so there's little point in our decrying it. In any case, such self-interest would at least help save us from the looming fascist order--if (again) the Democrats would only act out of self-interest, rather than continuing to acquiesce so masochistically in BushCo's grand subversion of American democracy, or what's now left of it. They cannot, will not, face the truth about the nature of BushCo's regime. Thus they keep rubber-stamping Bush's steps toward absolute control of the election system, as they just did last night, approving the appointment of an outright Bushevik to Bush's EAC.

This cave-in--and the current rush to pass Rush Holt's bill’ which will finally do more harm than good--make clear that the Democrats feel much assured by their big "victory" in November. They tell themselves that they gave Bush the "thumpin'" that he so quaintly mentioned in his first press conference after E-Day. They tell themselves that their big win of 29 House seats was a sort of proof that things can't really be so bad, or they would not have been permitted to perform so well.

What they cannot, will not, face is the unpleasant truth about that last election: that there was vast election fraud from coast to coast again; that the volume of complaints from the grass roots (remember them?) was evidently greater than it was two years before; that the Dems arguably won not a mere 29 states but at least 50 (and probably did better in the Senate than they think). In short, they will not, cannot, face the fact that Bush did not just get a "thumpin'," but was routed--and that it was not Rahm Emanuel/Chuck Schumer who deserve our praises for the (actual) devastation of the Bush Republicans, but the people, who turned out in record numbers, and with a new doggedness, to vote against the Bush regime and all its works. The Democratic party will not give them any credit for that action, or help those who were disenfranchised once again.

There are currently four Democrats, all of them in Florida, challenging the outcome of the 2006 election, and collecting evidence of election fraud in every case; and they're doing it with no help from the party, which also pressed a number of other "losing" Democratic candidates to do the "gracious" thing and shut their mouths--as if it were "ungracious" to assert, and to defend, the right to vote.

Before Election Day, Republicans refused to talk about election fraud because it would hurt their interests, they having lately "won." Now it's the Democrats who play the issue down, or keep ignoring it, for the very same reason. Thus both parties seem inclined to sell the voters out.

This is not about affixing printers to the DRE machines, or any other trivial (and useless) technical adjustment. It's about confronting those who can't and won't confront the enemies of what was once was the world's most promising democracy. We must confront them now, and force them to confront and overwhelm those enemies, or we can kiss the Constitution, and the Planet Earth, goodbye.

Let me add a few thoughts to this: One of the advantages of controlling the ballot isn't just controlling when you win, but controlling when you lose. In a chess game sometimes its to your advantage to sacrifice a queen or a rook or even a mid term election (What better way to quiet the critics? See Steve Gilliard.) in order to better position yourself for a long term win. Right now it looks as if the dems retook the congress in order to continue the war. Long range that sucks for the dems. It was great knocking on doors against the republicans last fall. It won't be so great in 2008 when you're the party that did nothing to stop the war, an evil unjustified war of imperialist greed at that. True, there's hope on the Murtha front but he won't even get help from the more powerful blogs and he'll get killed by the Corporate Press. Murtha will need all the help he can get.

One more thing: there is vast disagreement about the merits of the Holt bill as its currently authored. People for the American Way supports it. Here's the best critique I've read so far from Josh Mittledorf.

I think the argument that this is "achievable" doesn't carry much weight, when it is likely we will get only one bite at the apple this legislative session.  The threshold for support has to be higher than simply "doesn't hurt" or even "better than what we've got".

Consequently, I hold any election legislation accountable for making a significant improvement in the situation.  I don't think the Holt bill rises to this standard because
 

  1. Effective legislation must be explicit about consequences and remedies when, inevitably, their mandates are violated.  There are already ample rules, especially at the state level - some might say more than ample rules - that are not being enforced.  For example, tens of thousands of precincts have suffered violations and corrupted vote counts, while the only prosecutions of which I am aware are the two Democratic officials recently convicted in Ohio.  Another example:  Pennsylvania, like many other states, provides that computer code for electronic voting machines must be certified by the state; but in practice, the code is routinely altered by manufacturers up to the day of the election, with no possibility of state supervision.  Whom do we sue?  What are the appropriate remedies?

  2. There is a huge loophole in Sec 327, providing that when states recount an election because it is close, they don't have to use the very paper trail that the bill works so hard to provide!  So when exactly are the paper trails counted?
     

  3. The bill is likely to entrench both DREs and the EAC as albatrosses on our voting system for years to come.

Meanwhile, from the Post Gazette, here's a profile on our local voter reform activist hero, Marybeth Kuznik. There doesn't seem to be any mention of the Holt bill or the split in the voter reform community about that bill's worth. If you want that, you have to read the Internets...

Feb. 18

So, Reginald Hudlin is kinda of a dick. I got banned (I seem to have a talent for that, at least when I make an effort...) from that web forum of his. Luckily I saved the page and you can read it here. Its fair use and all and its news when a Ted Turner type doesn't answer questions on his own web forum.  He doesn't address any of my arguments. What this means: BET on J will turn into yet another Viacom  music channel  that has nothing to do with good music. Its almost like Viacom hates music. It just feels that way. One more note to Reggie: Why is your forum moderator 10 years old? Is that the audience you're aiming for? Wait. Don't answer that.

Then again, we're very close to being able to create our own channels and saying fuck viacom and probably cable tv. All you need are playlists and somebody that won't yank your vids after two minutes. French Daily Motion would be perfect if they did real playlists. But they don't offer playlists, yet. Now, there is Mania TV, which allows you to create channels. The embeds are shaky plus they're windows media only. That doesn't bode well. I can't get it to work with mozilla. It sure would be nice if the Pirate Bay people offered a video service...Oh, here's a channel: it only has three vids so far because the service seems to be buggy and slow (Yep. Definitely a Microsoft product...) but there might be more later from the Steely Dan Channel. Guaranteed to be better than BET on J. It also has a zoom function.

Feb. 17

A tale of two flowcharts. Here's science:

And here's the one for faith.

Feb. 14

ET TU Booman?

As people may or may not know, I have been banned from both the Daily Kos, for writing this and having the nerve to defend myself and also the Booman Tribune, even though I think Booman is actually a real progressive. I thought in both cases that the bannings were unwarranted and not the actions of people that you call "progressive" or even "liberal".

So imagine my quiet satisfaction when it turns out that Saint Markos kicked Booman--and a lot of other prog blogs (hint: they're independent and more likely to criticize the dems if they do nothing except offer symbolic opposition to the war, although I think Booman got banned because he touched the fifth rail and wrote about Israel and their role in this awful war..(hint two: The Iraq war is a proxy war for oil and israeli security interests...talk amongst yourselves....)--off of his blogroll. I believe Booman has renounced his past evil and offered rules on bannings, as opposed to the many arbitrary down the memory hole bannings that Chairman Markos engages in. I reenlisted at the Booman Tribune using my real name and will test out these new rules.

I did write this:

I think those are all fairly good rules. Hey, at least you have them. I kind of wonder what brought them on. I'm sure there was a lengthy and fair process going on when Markos dropped you from his blogroll. Well, if it takes experience to make you better...

Philip Shropshire
www.threeriversonline.com

PS: I think you were dropped because you wrote about AIPAC and whether members of the jewish delegation of a certain house committee were objective when it came to Israel...perfectly appropriate questions by the way that a vigorous online press should be asking. And I'm sure, in an alt universe, where there were 10 Iraqi sunnis sitting on a US house committee you would be asking the same questions.

More on the purges from the Daily Kos blogroll here and here.

Related: Max Sawicky, unlike me and my lazy ass, has gotten the Scoop software and bills one of his first antiwar projects as the UnKos.

Note to Fester: Remember how inevitable the Bill Bradley campaign turned out not to be. More realistic Pro Hillary scenario: Obama and Edwards split the progressive vote/bloc and Hillary gets everything else and wins.

If  you're a normal person or a couple on Valentine's Day then I recommend "Michelle" by the Beatles. If you're a serial killer in training, then I highly recommend Vincent Gallo's "Honey Bunny", also featured over at the Red Light District. I don't think I've ever seen Paris Hilton so...appealing.

Yet another edition of "I Love You Steve Gilliard/Gawd I Hate You Steve Gilliard". Agree with Steve that appealing to racist white evangelicals is not the way to go. Agree with Steve that we really don't know a lot about Obama and that black voters are all distrustful that he's a trojan horse for NAFTA Two or eliminating Headstart. Or a black republican who represents the whims of the powerful and not the interests of the black community. Agree with Steve that if you keep calling him uppity Salon you'll push me into his camp out of rage. But Gawd I Hate Steve for not recognizing that the blogroll stuff matters. I suppose I would feel better about his position as the lone black on the blogroll who doesn't care about being on the Daily Kos blogroll if he wasn't at the very tippy top of the Daily Kos blogroll, which, according to people who have been purged can cut your traffic by up to a third. Of course, like Chairman Markos, Steve does hate those dirty fucking hippies like Max Sawicky...

Feb. 13

New Stickers from the EFF. (from Boing Boing)

Feb. 12

Other posters like this here.

I haven't chosen a presidential nominee yet. For me its between Obama and Edwards. I was leaning toward Edwards until his statements on Iran (probably won't immediately withdraw if Bush starts yet another ill conceived war...)and this blogger controversy. I definitely am hostile toward religion--for good reasons--and probably wouldn't make for a blogger that should be hired by the Edwards campaign, although I'll probably end up knocking on doors for whoever the presidential nominee is for the dems unless its an uninspiring choice. I can understand the politics of respecting religion, but I can't understand letting your enemies determine who your friends are let alone your employees and that apology thing...I would have tendered my resignation. So Obama is going up and Edwards down but I still can't make a call....

 

 

Feb. 9

I see someone else has used the newspaper generator for hilarious effect. Note to self: Tell the Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents that I'm black no matter what whitey sez.

Aaron McGruder is coming to Pittsburgh. I probably won't be able to afford to see him but I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Feb. 6

Read all about it. You can create  your own snark headlines/stories here if you're interested. Meanwhile, all's quiet on the Mullah Rob front. Since he didn't answer my challenge of what is the evil atheist agenda I will answer it for him, karate chop and muay thai knee included. There is no evil atheist agenda. We're just the people at Jonestown who say "Let's not drink the koolaid." We're the ones at the Branch Davidian ranch saying "You know, I never thought Koresh was the messiah." We're the ones who don't commit suicide in order to catch the interstellar ride on the comet. And we're the ones who don't believe in fairy tales no matter how nice they make us feel. Its an honorable way to see the world and to live.

(Great toon by Stephanie McMillan, who I will never eat with. "Yes that's right I don't think I can vote Green Stephanie... and this is delicious! What do you call it? Garlic Oleander stew? That's got a kick...and, hey, I don't feel so good...")

I see Ralph Nader is considering another run. I have never voted for Ralph Nader because we live under a terrible gawdawful winner take all system. Terrible for democracy. And, now, of course there are hit teams aimed against Third Party candidates. Ask Carl Romanelli. When we run off to Mars I say let's all use proportional representation and auditable ballots. The democracy would be refreshing.

But I do know why Nader is running. The Republicans gave us a gift today in that they voted down even a worthless bill condeming the war, but the dems really have to go further. They have the power to cut off the funds, but simply won't use it. They're just not that much of an opposition party are they? Just look at how they handled the filibuster issue. Let me get this straight: the dems can't use the filibuster when they're in the minority but the republicans can. How nice. They really are the Washington Generals Party. The Republicans can play hardball and do everything within their power to destroy the dems. The Dems want to "work" with the Republicans, the most evil party on the face of the planet. The party  that could teach Emperor Palpitine a thing or two. A party, that by all rights, shouldn't exist. There shouldn't be a party that just represents the oil and insurance industries and works against the long term public interest at every turn. Right? But that's what we got. The Ruthless Dark Side Bidness Party and the less ruthless Joe Biden/Leiberman business party that enables them, and, oh look, Unity 08 is right between them giving me a "choice".

The odd thing is that I really think that a well funded Third Party effort could work well in 2008. I still think if you had 30 million to blow the Greens should shoot for five Senate seats and 10 to 15 house seats. That way they would hold, in theory, swing vote say on  just about every issue. That's why I wasn't happy that a progressive guy like Craig Newmark won't improve his net worth by taking google ads. The American Left needs money to create infrastructure and to work year round. Hey we're not all rich white kids doncha know. (See "My Brilliant Career at ACORN.")

There's also a real opportunity for a well funded progressive Third Party  presidential candidate but he has to play to win. Well funded means 25 to 30 million in at least 17 states..Perhaps Ralph will win the lottery or that famed Hollywood Left will do something besides give money to Dems...

Related thought I couldn't fit in above: Our democracy sucks. Four and six year time spans to choose between the candidates of two mostly worthless parties. Direct Democracy is the way to go. We should get a vote on every bill. That would solve a lot of the graft or at least more of us would get a cut.  I also like the premise behind the Free Nation Foundation:

"We believe our current societies are fundamentally flawed and based on wealth accumulation, and wish to create a model nation based on what we believe are the most important ideals."

I'm going to join the message boards and recommend seven large cruising ships and space space and....space. I say Mars and/or orbital habitat or bust. I'm also rejoining the Space.com message boards...

Feb. 4

I think this is my favorite blasphemy vid. If someone ever gives the Richard Dawkins foundation 10 million and we could run public service ads... Of course then the question would be: who would run them? Out here on the Internets, though,  there are men and women of free will that can post this:

And did you know that they now have trailers for comic books? Welp, they really do.

I guess I'm rooting for the Colts. I think they deserve it, not just for this season but for last.

 

 

Dec. 31st

End of the Year Sunday Atheist Sermon Around the Internets

I guess this is what the South Park kids would call being a "dick about it". But it does lay out the premise quite well. And if that wasn't enough:: the ever so powerful words of Saint Richard who really lays into the God of the Old Testament. Tell us what you really think Richard...

Dec. 25th

And it's a happy Dawkins Christmas...! Richard will tell you that you are delusional to your face. On the other hand, I think I'm getting a new sweater...!

Dec. 24

I got a letter from Rob at Unspace! I think he's responding to this hoped for diabetes cure. Like the Grinch he dampens my slim hopes for applicable quick treatments and cures. Here's what he wrote:

If that "cure" (it actually looks like a fairly long-term treatment) works in humans and if there isn't a deadline beyond which it doesn't work, it still only works for Type Is.

I'm type II. Crapola. Still, there's stuff coming down the pike. Hang in there...

And by the way, if you are type II, go to a periodontist. There's some research showing a startling link between Type II and periodontal disease. If periodontal disease is present, cleaning it out and clearing it up will do wonders for blood glucose levels. Even if you're Type I, infections make your BGs worse.

Happy holidays, btw.

Well, if I understand this and its a little technical, the breakthrough isn't just the process but the point of view. They attacked diabetes as if it was a disease of the nervous system. I guess, logically, then, if you could improve your nervous system you could eliminate your diabetes, type one or type two. Well, I couldn't do it but a former paramedic might. By the way, there is a man who's managed to cure his own diabetes and his name is Ray Kurzweil. His father died of the disease and Ray used a radical approach to the disease. It seems complicated. He's eliminated sugar from his diet and takes about 250 pills a day. Sounds hard. He says he's stopped his cellular aging though, despite his silver hair...

Festivus Christmas Eve Kwanza Imaginary Diety Holiday Around the Internets.

 

A Car That Runs on Coal? Not sure if that's a good idea or as the lead says...

Powering cars with coal might seem like a recipe for ecological disaster. But if fuel experts are right, a liquefied form of the notoriously dirty mineral will be providing much of the world with its transport fuel within the next two decades.

And here's footage from the man who looks like a Jet Man. Or as I call him: Jet Maaaaan!

A while back Steve Gilliard claimed that people who claimed that election theft was possible were wrong and bad and awful and such. Steve needs proof, not deductive logical proof but a Republican dumb enough to say "We cheat and here's how we did it."  By that same standard the Iraq war is glowing success because Bush says it is. He would do well to take a good look at what's happening in Florida's 13th district. Some Highlights from Bradblog:

Christine Jennings and her lawyer, Kendall Coffey, appeared Wednesday on Lou Dobbs Tonight with guest host Kitty Pilgrim to discuss the latest news concerning Florida's 13th Congressional District. As BRAD BLOG has reported often (most recently here, here and here), Vern Buchanan was declared the winner in Florida's 13th after the disappearance of 18,000 votes left the Republican with a paltry 369 vote lead over his opponent Jennings. Subsequently, a handful of experts including one provided by e-voting manufacturer ES&S, concluded that the inclusion of the missing votes would have propelled Jennings to an easy victory based on an analysis of the Sarasota votes which did not spontaneously combust.

Unfortunately, the will of the people is a foreign concept among those controlling the Florida election apparatus which declared Buchanan the winner after recounting nothing a couple of times. With no paper trail (much less a paper BALLOT, and there is a big difference!), a "recount" merely refers to state election staffers testing whether a few selected machines are working properly and is entirely unrelated to the vote count. By certifying Buchanan the winner, the state forced Jennings to seek relief in the Florida courts.

This did not sit well with Sean Hannity who, with Buchanan on as a guest a few weeks ago, found the entire affair "unbelievable" and further evidence that Democrats are sore losers. Juxtaposing the Hannity clip as well as Tom Feeney's reaction to the election controversy, recounted by Brad here, to Jennings appearance on CNN (clip above right), makes for quite an interesting experiment. While hardly evidence that could be used in a court of law like the damning statistical evidence, the contrast is, nevertheless, telling.

Here's a complete rundown at the Daily Kos.

Dec. 20

So the black guy won the slots deal? And he wants to invest 350 million into the lower Hill District? Sounds good to me.

Dec. 17

The Lost Room is probably the best show I've ever seen that's centered in Pittsburgh even though it only looks like exterior shots and soundstage and/or Canadian proxy shooting.  Its one of the best fantasy shows ever made, better than Heroes. They're repeating the whole six hour series tonight from 5 to 11 on the sci fi channel. There's probably a torrent somewhere. Try not to look into Kevin Pollack's glass eye. I haven't seen anything this good that was made for television since the 70s version of "The Lathe of Heaven". Really good. I hope they make this a series. It was also written on the CMU campus.

Dec. 16

World Record Weekend Around the Internets

Peanuts Meets Marvel. Or the two things that most taught me to read...

 

"There is no sin in making a living changing the world. There is no sin in being able to eat, and pay your rent, and go to sleep at night without worrying if the power is going to be shut off tomorrow. Activists who eat, who get sleep, who have a place to live, and know that they can put gas in their car (for however long we have it) tend to do much better work than activists who are starving, hungry and poor. It's the Rockefellers who have sold activists on the notion that you have to be poor, and that's for the precise purpose of making you ineffective."

                                                                                  -Mike Ruppert

But trust is a privilege, and PIRG/Fund has forfeited it; GCI has forfeited it. They have failed in their responsibilities to their employees and their citizen base, and until they take responsibility for those failures, the failures will continue and compound.

           Greg Bloom

This is the kind of advice that the ACORNS, the PIRGs, and the Grassroots Campaign would be well advised to actually take. If you're looking for more info on this, then here's Greg Bloom's complete series of articles about the failed attempt to organize both canvassers and callers in Los Angeles. Note to DAM phone callers: The Fund simply shut down the offices in LA. The DAM phone center used to be local but it's now owned by a national calling chain that could probably use the nuclear option as well. I really think the solution is to rebuild both the field and phone canvasses from scratch, with worker protections and standards already in place. More info on the Internets about this: Here's Greg Bloom's complete series of articles about the Fund's unionbusting activities in LA. (Pittsburgh's Working America, run  by the AFL-CIO, and which used to canvass, also has a union  but I'm not sure what its status is. That would be a legitimate story by the way: Union shop engages in union busting tactics. I'm not sure what the answer is there.) Here's the official website for that group that organized the union efforts in LA. Earlier I mentioned that there was a recent book published that talked about the history of the canvass but I couldn't recall its name, until now. That book is called "Activism, Inc.: How the Outsourcing of Grassroots Campaigns Is Strangling Progressive Politics in America." Here's a short excerpt that the America Prospect published.

Here's a thought that I just concluded: The Jews are right that Jesus Christ, if he ever existed, wasn't the son of God and probably that virgin birth thing too. However, the message of Christ is superior to the one in the Old Testament. Still, I have to agree with Bertrand Russell that if you're going with fantasy gods Buddha seems to be the best of the lot. I also prefer the afterlife in "What Dreams May Come". And a flying Pony. Or a flying dinosaur raptor I could ride. Or a working Moller aircar. It's all good in fantasy land...

I find this reworking of the Star Trek franchise frightening, although it is more Battlestar Gallacticaish. Vulcan no longer a member of the Federation? Heresy I sez.

Philias writes "A new web-based Star Trek Animated Series may be in the works. CBS is considering a pitch by veteran Trek producer Dave Rossi for a 'Clone Wars' style animated series for StarTrek.com. Like Clone Wars the episodes would be just a few minutes long. Unlike the old animated Trek show from the 70s, this one would be with a whole new crew set in a new time period. The setting is to be a war-torn post-9/11-like Trek universe 150 years after the time of Picard." From the post: "The Zero Room team felt that the time was right for a new approach to Trek. The setting is the year 2528 and the Federation is a different place after suffering through a devastating war with the Romulans 60 years earlier. The war was sparked off after a surprise attack of dozens of 'Omega particle' detonations throughout the Federation creating vast areas which become impassible to warp travel and essentially cut off almost half the Federation from the rest. During the war the Klingon homeworld was occupied by the Romulans, all of Andoria was destroyed and the Vulcans, who were negotiating reunification with the Romulans, pulled out of the Federation. The setting may seem bleak and not very Trek-like, but that is where the show's hero Captain Alexander Chase comes in."

Long complicated article about nanobiotech that I need to read.

Trade union blog/website that I ran across.

The Global Guerilla guy on Mexico.

Innovative new wind turbine design.

Possible cure fo diabetes? This disease killed both my father and my uncle and is due to kill me within about 15 years. So this would be nice if it was true....

Dec 12

A Pedestrian by the book Tuesday Morning Around the Internets

 

I missed Laura Staniland and the Wool Gathering blogger at Scott McCloud's thing last Thursday afternoon. That was a great slide show presentation. If you love comics, then those images just have a lot of meaning for you. He even had his daughter give a brief presentation. I guess he's trying to turn his kids into show people. Might as well have named 'em Dweezil and Moon Unit. They're blogging about their book tour here and the Pittsburgh gig specificially. (One reason I missed the Wool Gatherer is that I don't know what she looks like and I don't link to her. (Not political enough.(She must have a career she wants to keep..)). I did check out her site though. She writes children books and does the audio work for them. I honestly thought she gave great voice. She sounds like a professional actress...NPR Quality.)

Dec 11

End of Monday Night Around the Internets

The IWW strikes another Starbucks. I learned that from this professionally written Indy Media report. It features my old pal Lisa Stolarski who has just a fantastic athletic body and whom I lust after despite her bouts of Ker- Razy...Please don't sue me. I've always admired for her progressive politics. Lisa is also a very good writer and I wonder if she wrote this press account, which, has the Mark of a Professional. Even features poetry. Take it away Lisa:

"IWW member Lisa Stolarski stated that workers will keep its focus on why the Union is protesting Starbucks—to stop anti-union behavior and reinstate the six pro-union Starbucks workers fired for exercising their legal right to organize. "The corporate world is watching Starbucks right now,” said Stolarski. “If Starbucks gets away with illegally firing workers for organizing activity, then this behavior sets a precedent for chain corporations worldwide. It is essential that every worker and every unionist stand up for the Starbucks Six, because in defending the baristas' right to organize we defend the foundation of unionism."

Coincidentally enough I met Lisa at DAM (where we both used to make calls on behalf of the Sierra Club, NARAL, the DNC etc.) a call center hothouse that has since moved to the South Side. I understand the workers there are thinking about unionizing. They could probably use a hand from the IWW...does the IWW pay its organizers anything? Just curious...

Dec. 6

Late Wednesday night early Thursday morning Around the Internets.

 

Scott McCloud is speaking at 4:30 pm at CMU which means I don't have to choose between his presentation and the Stillers. Praise Science.

I'll be getting one of these perfectly safe portable helicopters.

Interesting Slashdot thread on health insurance for the self-employed.

Speaking of comics, there is a graphic novel about how they stole Ohio in 2004. Its called "Cheated".The above is Bob Fitrakis or Conan.
Blog I should be linking to.
IInteresting point of view of the Republicans during the days before the election. Sort of the Nazi view of WWII.
Star Trek Map. In case you wanted to know where Deep Space Nine and the badlands are.
Prettiest Boing Boing contributor Zeni Jardin is in Guatemala and she's blogging about it.

Dec. 3

The people behind the great yet very depressing documentary "The Corporation" have released a shareware version of their film with tipjar in hand. If you're one of the readers out there with a few cents to share this holiday season (based on delusion of course) then consider giving. This is part one.

Nov. 30

"Lament and Anger"--That's the title of tonight's Around the Internets. Not to be confused with "Love and Anger" or "Love and Money."

Scott McCloud will be speaking here in Pittsburgh December 7th at CMU. He's probably the best guy on Earth when it comes to the theory of comics. His books are also wonderful and elegant reads. I reviewed one of his books here. Check out some of his online essays here. Definitely will try to make that.

Interview with Ed Burns, the creator of The Wire, one of the best shows ever. Ed Burns not only used to work homicide but taught as a public school teacher.
More tube news: preview of the Monday night's Heroes.
Two disturbing vids from Kurt Nimmo about the history of our wars against the Third World (short version: generally we just murder poor brown and yellow people.) and a trailer for a movie about the many mercs in Iraq who, quite frankly, are completely unaccountable. Kurt writes a longer piece where he argues that these private forces are death squads. That does have a Latin American kind of familiarity to it..
Atheism student has been expelled for talking about atheism, or, in this case, expressing his out of control idea that he doesn't think leprechauns are real.
There's a great series at the Daily Kos/MYDD about how people were trying to organize a PIRG office in Los Angeles and the predictable Wal Mart like response to the effort from the Nader spawned PIRGS. Its part of a bigger story--I think someone wrote a book about it--about how most jobs on the left--ACORN, the PIRGS, the Grassroots campaign--kinda suck. Its not just the low pay. It's the fact that there's no job security and you're kind of treated like just another disposable retail worker. I can publicly testify that ACORN is the zaniest. For God's sake stay away from them. Related: Here's kind of a defense, sorta. It matters because people's first experience with the American Left is likely to be a very negative one. ACORN and PIRG people are almost cult like. Not good for the movement.
Even more related: The IWW is in town and they're attempting to unionize canvasses. Or at least that's what I read at the bottom of My ACORN piece:

Canvassers Need a Union
by Pittsburgh IWW Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2006 at 3:28 PM
pittsburghiww@yahoo.com

Don’t agonize, organize!

No one doubts that the canvass industry is notorious for underpaying and undervaluing its workers. The high turnover rate and low morale are clear indications that canvass workers struggle each and everyday. As frontline workers in the most high profile, successful and lucrative political, environmental and social justice movements of our day, we deserve better. We recruit and build membership and fill the coffers of some of the biggest and most respected non-profits in the world. Without professional canvassers, these organizations would collapse.


The Pittsburgh Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) want you to know that canvass workers have a right to demand better working conditions, pay, and hours—but we can only stand up for ourselves and our families if we organize across the industry. By the remarkable similarity of unacceptable working experiences for most canvassers, it is clear that the bosses have conspired to prey upon us as expendable, transient, and voiceless workers.


But let us remember the famous words of IWW founder, Mother Jones: “My friends, it is solidarity of labor we want. We do not want to find fault with each other, but to solidify our forces and say to each other: ‘We must be together; our masters are joined together and we must do the same thing.’”

DON’T AGONIZE, ORGANIZE--with the Pittsburgh IWW Canvassers Union. For more information, contact: PghIWWCanvassersUnion@yahoo.com

 

I think the only one left though is Clean Water's. They also organized a march against Starbucks a couple of days ago.

Nov. 27

Richard Dawkins had some really interesting things to say about South Park, Ted Haggard  and the Steven Colbert show here:


Finally, I have repeatedly been asked what I think of South Park and of Ted Haggard’s downfall. I won’t say much about either. Schadenfreude is not an appealing emotion so, on Haggard, I’ll say only that if it wasn’t for people of his religious persuasion, people of his sexual persuasion would be free to do what they like without shame and without fear of exposure. I share neither his religious nor his sexual persuasion (that’s an understatement), and I’m buggered if I like being portrayed as a cartoon character buggering a bald transvestite. I wouldn’t have minded so much if only it had been in the service of some serious point, but if there was a serious point in there I couldn’t discern it. And then there’s the matter of the accent they gave me. Now, if only I could be offered a cameo role in The Simpsons, I could show that actor how to do a real British accent.

and here:

I had a good time in New York. The Colbert show was fun, notwithstanding my misgivings before (which I have removed, because they now seem misplaced). While I was waiting, he came in to see me as himself, introduced himself and made sure that I understood his act: “You know I play a complete idiot?” I must say, when he is in character, he does it extremely well. The real Colbert is obviously highly intelligent and a very nice man. Aficionados seem divided about 50/50 over whether the real Colbert is religious. He is obviously too intelligent to be religious in any simple conventional sense. I suspect either that it amuses him to blur the distinction between his ‘character’ and the real Colbert. Or perhaps he is religious in the Einsteinian sense that all of us are, and goes to church because, like Martin Rees, he ‘believes in belief’ (Dan Dennett’s happy phrase).

Related: There's 15 hours online of the Beyond Belief conference. I was blown away by session 9. Features atheists going at each other at a much higher level than, say, Ted Haggard vs. Dawkins. (Personally I think its just professional jealousy on how successful both Harris' and Dawkins' books have been...)

Nov. 26

Looks like Laura Staniland and Mark Rauterkaus have come out against gambling in the Hill District. I understand that the black clergy is against because they're against "gambling"--it appears that they must have missed those Pennsylvania lottery ads.

I'm going to disagree. The question for me has to do with civil liberties and also costs versus benefits. From what I've read, Capri, the bidder with the most amount of money on table is promising millions of dollars in public redevelopment and a 30 percent hiring rate for minorities (And in Pittsburgh that just isn't a small thing. In fact, considering the forces that are pushing deindustrialization it could be years before it won't be such a small thing.) Second, gambling seems to be the only kind of taxation that people actually like. Its not as if you stop gambling in the hill then people stop gambling. They just go to the tracks in West Virginia or Vegas or Atlantic City. Ditto for prostitution by the way. Legalize and decriminalize I sez. Might as well keep the money local. From what it looks like the benefits outweigh the costs. I also find this somewhat spontaneous opposition to be suspicious. Tonya Payne has never heard of the opposition. I suppose if I was jaded I might think that they were funded by opposition gambling bidders and not a spontaneous opposition but I like to bask in the ocean of my naiveté.  But I would like to know their point of view. Over the next couple of days I'll be listening to this and this.

I had totally forgotten about this but who did the Pittsburgh Courier finally endorse? Well, they didn't endorse Lynn Swann, but they did endorse Rick Santorum. Yeah, right. If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times: There is no legitimate black press in the US. There is no African American Al Jazeera that represents the interests of Black Americans who vote for the Democratic Party, as opposed to traitorous black republicans and generally dim people. It's a fucking crime. If you want to find legitimate non sellout black opinion you must journey to the Internets, period.

Speaking of the legitimate black press, the people behind the Black Commentator, the closest thing we have to the late and missed Emerge Magazine, are doing a new project. They do nice safe corporate media stories like "The Niggerization of Palestine." (hat tip to Uncle Scam at Amsam for that story.)

I I have to admit that I wasn't that impressed with the new Bond film. Should have blown my last six dollars on The Fountain. Perhaps next week. I thought the performances were interesting. I like the athleticism of the new Bond. I suppose at the core of Bond movies is always a troubling politics. In the real world, half of the things that Bond would be doing I would kind of hate, probably destabilizing Chavez or working overtime to fix the Nicaraguan elections. Here, we know he's trying to stop a funding network for "terrorists" (Good luck.). We don't know if they're people whose eyes bleed blood or if they're just nationalists who want the US out of Iraq. Just once, at 24 or one of the Bond films, I would like one of those bad terrorists to tell us why they hate the US. I bet they could give us a legitimate reason or two. But all they do is snarl and torture people, which is something that only really really bad Bond villains would authorize, in movies anyway. For me, while it was a nice gritty recentering of the series, the world needs a stylized reshoot like in Sin City. Of course, there's always my fave unwritten science fiction masterpiece: James Bond in outer space. That way you could do more with locales. That's what I enjoyed most about the Star Wars movies: those snazzy alien worlds. You could even do interesting things with alien virtual worlds. Even came up for a name for the journalist hero, kind of Greg Palast with weapons: His name would be Skychom. Izzy Skychom. If I ever write it...don't bet on it.

Nov. 21

Assorted Around the Internets

Steven Barnes likes the new Bond movie. I've heard nothing but good things about this film.

Best and funniest arguments in favor of impeachment.

Highlights:

The reasons given for this congressional Stockholm syndrome don’t stand up to scrutiny. “It would tear the country apart,” many say, as if that hasn’t already happened. It was the Clinton impeachment which accomplished that, and perhaps the nation would benefit psychically from a well justified tit for that brazenly opportunistic tat. But even if it doesn’t, Bush needs to be impeached.

Bush needs to be impeached because Bush worshippers just plain deserve it. It was they that were giddy with self-righteous rage, so desperate to take Clinton down that they didn’t care how pathetic their excuse was. They need to be paid back, and to know they asked for it. They need to be demoralized and dismissed before they take the government back and damage it further. They need, after all, to know their reign was a colossal failure, a blight on the record. They need to know that now and forever, George W. Bush will be to presidents what OJ Simpson is to all-star running backs. These people understand things in terms of winning and losing, and they need to know that, in the end, they lost.

Bush needs to be impeached because the only language these people understand is power. Their hearts will not be touched by forgiveness. Any mercy is a sign of weakness to them. If you want to earn a thug’s respect, you’ve got to kick his ass up and down the block. No negotiation. No compromise. Slash and burn. Teach these assholes a lesson. Leave them broken and gasping in a puddle of their own urine. Don’t ever let them forget the humiliation and the shame of it.

But beyond revenge and humiliation—the reasons that Republicans will actually understand—Bush needs to be impeached because he is a criminal of the highest order, and because tolerating criminals at the seat of power is itself a crime against the nation. The core problem in Washington today is not the president’s lack of respect for the law; it’s that congress has done nothing about it. The first step toward restoring a reasonable government is correcting that.

Bush needs to be impeached for the same reason any conservative will tell you that drug offenders need to go to jail forever. In other words, if a president abuses his power, misleads the nation, flouts the constitution, breaks longstanding international laws and ignores congress—and then, when the opposition takes power, nothing happens—what kind of message does that send to the next power-mad president? Bush—and Cheney—need to be impeached because that’s how this thing works.

Bush needs to be impeached, but it’s not going to happen. Not a chance. Because as wrong as the Republicans are, they’re right about one thing: the Democrats just don’t have the courage to do what’s right.

Related: Debate over at the John Conyers blog over impeachment.  Look, this frak-up of an idiot president stole the presidency twice by making sure that African Americans couldn't vote. I want my vengeance. By the way, impeachments work great for the party pursing the impeachments. Politically, its great for the dems. Even if they had relentless and ruthless hearings day after day without impeachment it would be great. So the corporate media and Washington's wise old men won't report it and don't want it--probably because they want the republicans to win.. Fuck 'em. We don't need or even want them anymore.

Praise of new Al Jazeera Channel.

Nov. 19

Election News Roundup

Introduction: Pre-Election Concern, Election Day Relief, Alarming Reality

There was an unprecedented level of concern approaching the 2006 Election (“E2006”) about the vulnerability of the vote counting process to manipulation. With e-voting having proliferated nationwide, and with incidents occurring with regularity through 2005 and 2006, the alarm spread from computer experts to the media and the public at large. It would be fair to say that America approached E2006 with held breath.

For many observers, the results on Election Day permitted a great sigh of relief—not because control of Congress shifted from Republicans to Democrats, but because it appeared that the public will had been translated more or less accurately into electoral results, not thwarted as some had feared. There was a relieved rush to conclude that the vote counting process had been fair and that the concerns of election integrity proponents had been overblown.

Unfortunately the evidence forces us to a very different and disturbing conclusion: there was gross vote count manipulation and it had a great impact on the results of E2006, significantly decreasing the magnitude of what would have been, accurately tabulated, a landslide of epic proportions. Because virtually all of this manipulation appears to have been computer-based, and therefore invisible to the legions of at-the-poll observers, the public was informed of “isolated incidents and glitches” but remains unaware of the far greater story: The electoral machinery and vote counting systems of the United States did not honestly and accurately translate the public will and certainly can not be counted on to do so in the future.

--Election Defense Alliance

And:

Only 7,000 votes separates the Democratic Senatorial candidate Jim Webb from incumbent Republican George Allen. Leading up to the election, the State of Virginia rejected more than 91,000 names submitted from voter drives, blocking their registrations. The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School says that Virginia’s +methods of rejecting voters had a notably racial bias. Golly. Put the two numbers together — the 91,000 citizens questionably barred from voting and the teeny-weeny Senate vote margin, and Virginia begins to look a lot like Florida on the Potomac.The blockade of voters at the Virginia polling station doors followed on last year’s promise of Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman to mount a, “challenge to voter eligibility” in Virginia. Mehlman vowed, through an attack on the voter rolls, to “do whatever we can” to keep control of Virginia. And he did. Voters blocked (and other purged from voter rolls) received “provisional ballots.” The state only counts about 15% of these.

You do the math and tell me who really won Virginia and the Senate.

And let’s not talk about the Montana vote - and we won’t now that Rumsfeld’s useless carcass has been thrown in front of the TV cameras.

--From Greg Palast

And from the Free Press:

The percentage of uncounted votes in the allegedly "fraud free" 2006 Ohio election is actually higher than the fraud-ridden 2004 election, when the presidency was stolen here. A flawed voting process that allowed voters to be illegally turned away throughout the morning on Election Day may have cost the Dems at least two Congressional seats and a state auditor's seat.

The evidence comes directly from the official website of GOP Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell Blackwell website. But researchers wishing to verify the number of uncounted ballots from that web site should do so immediately, as Blackwell is known for quickly deleting emb+a+rrassing evidence. In 2004, Blackwell deleted the evidence of excessive uncounted votes after the final results were tallied.

Despite Democratic victories in five of six statewide partisan offices, an analysis by the Free Press shows a statistically implausible shift of votes away from the Democratic Party statewide candidates on Election Day, contrasted with the results of the Columbus Dispatch's final poll. The Dispatch poll predicted Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland winning with 67% of the vote. His actual percentage was 60%. The odds of this occurring are one in 604 million.

--from Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman

So let's define the election the right way: It was great that the Democrats won majorities in both the House and the US Senate, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a need for serious reform of our election machinery. But first, one more quote from Steve Gilliard, who, here, speaks his master's voice, Markos (thoughts on him here and here). Turns out, after about six years of work, seven or eight books by great writers and world class thinkers, Kos wants to help the voter integrity movement. I mean its a good turn and all and we'll take the hope but Greg Palast, Mark Crispin Miller and Bob Fitrakis were way out front on this. Okay here's his quote from Steve:

After all the bullshit about how Rove was going to steal our elections, after all the times I explained how this was not possible, here's the case. Diebold machines simply suck. Hacking is less of a problem than that they just don't work. But it's easier to whine and bitch than do.

Well, first, it wasn't bullshit. In fact, had the "white redneck" vote turned out as usual it would have worked. "It", as has been stated many a time by various voter rights advocates, would have been a combination of both voter suppression (and the notorious non counting of provisional ballots in Ohio and elsewhere.) and machine hacks. Of course, as has been pointed out here and other places we're not allowed to even look at the election machines to even figure out if there has been a hack. There was a massive legal fight to preserve the 2004 ballots that was won without the help of Markos.

So, to sum up, its great that dems won but that doesn't mean that the machines worked because your side won. In fact, it means nothing if you believe in democracy. Our goal now is to push Conyers and/or Waxman to look into this. Ask him to invite people like Greg Palast, Mark Crispin Miller, and Bob Fitrakis to capital hill. This is still the most important issue. The overall goal, of course, is to restore and protect the black and latino vote. If that happens, then the current majorities in congress can be held and expanded upon.

You never know. The Republicans might figure out not to charge the rednecks 3 dollars a gallon or more--and not to lower the prices right around election time that tells everybody "we think you're stupid"-- by 2008 and all our gains will vanish. (I really hope Conyers reads and helps enact this.)

Nov. 16

Well, what do you know. Someone, with little respect for the law, posted my review of Thomas Friedman's book "The World is Flat"  at Daily Motion where I can watch Veronica Mars and Superman reruns all day. Damn those French. Just awful. But it is cool to hear my words read by a cool Bill Curtis like pro actor type.

And I'm having a very civil discussion with Steve Gilliard about the merits of Greg Palast. Very polite with a Masterpiece Theater tone.

Nov. 12

It's Sunday Dawkins Mania!

Okay, if you're into Richard Dawkins atheist mania (and who isn't?) then you need to check out this Time magazine article, which I could judge to be no more than a draw and I'm biased, this speech by Dawkins at a college at Lynchburg where the Falwell followers tried to heckle him and this short bit on Youtube.

I have also now seen both Richard Dawkins episodes of South Park and read the aforementioned Time.com debate. I wanted to comment on one aspect that appeared in both venues, and also even in the Wired article which I have yet to comment on. And that's this idea that telling people that their god given delusions are, well, delusions, isn't very nice. Or as it was so eloquently put in South Park, and I'm going to paraphrase from memory: "being a dick about it".

Well, it should be said that sensible Brights like myself were quite okay to live and let live...until it became clear that religious forces won't allow us to do this. It started for me with this overall realization that when fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Moslems get their hands on nukes then we're probably all dead. It started showing up specifically when these backward delusions started getting in the way of science policy--everything from the teaching of evolution to stem cell research. I'm okay with you believing that Santa Claus has a wonderful place for you after death full of virgins and hellish eternal torment for your enemies/people that don't agree with you (how Christian) but not if it interferes with the greater good in the here and the now. I think that the major religions are life hating and as Bertrand Russell has stated they are unworthy of strong independent men and women, as opposed to childlike sheep. And, frankly, while I'm uncomfortable with puncturing the delusions of believers, if rudeness is necessary to save the world then a dick shall I be...as Funky Dung can certainly attest to.

Nov. 10

From wild comics stylist Warren Ellis of all people. I guess because of shows like Comedy Central and the Colbert Report Brits know our bad apples as well as anybody. By the way, when Howard Dean told Jon Stewart "thank you" for the wave he was right. Success has many fathers as they say. (Gawd, look at that scary Home-Schooled glaze of theocratic hatred from the son..."Begone satanic forces...I shall avenge thee..!")

And personal hero Angela Davis will be speaking tonight. From the Thomas Merton Center:

On Friday, November 10, the Thomas Merton Center will honor Professor Angela Davis, educator, civil rights activist and anti-prison industrial complex advocate, at the annual Merton Award Dinner. The event will be held at the Sheridan at Station Square on the Southside of Pittsburgh. The social hour will start at 6pm and dinner will begin promptly at 7pm. Entertainment will be provided by local spoken word poet, Nathan James and special musical guests. Raffle prizes include a one-week getaway at a cabin in the scenic Allegheny Mountains, a package of tickets to local entertainment and cultural events and a refurbished bike from Free Ride, Pittsburgh's only recycled bike program. The raffle winners will be drawn and announced at the event so make sure to purchase your tickets ahead of time! Raffle tickets are $5.00 a piece.

 

The Dinner is now sold out. There are no more seats available. Thank you to everyone who reserved their seat!

Nov. 8

Obviously I'm thrilled with the election results. But I just wanted to win the house. It looks like we're going to win the US Senate. Of course, now, the filibuster will be completely legal and used every other minute to thwart meaningful legislation. The problem this creates is that the dems still won't have real power and the republicans can run against the Democratic Congress in 2008. I don't know how many problems dems can solve within two years. Still, its a nice problem to have. And good riddance to Rumsfield. Can't wait for the Dingell, Rangel, Waxman and Conyers chairmanships to begin.

I have also replaced this icon in the lefthand corner:

with this:

Until I'm dragged off to one of those detention centers for reeducation of course....

Note to Funky Dung: I think its obvious that Jesus hates you. Or to put it in a way that you will understand: Perfect ex-Nazi People in funny exaggerated pontiff's hats: Zero. Strong smart independent women who are determined to control their own bodies: One. Ditto for some of the stem cell initiatives.

Nov. 7

Well I'm still tired from knocking on doors Saturday. Over the last three weeks I've knocked on doors for Ed Rendell, Bob Casey, Jason Altmire and even Shawn Flaherty. The democrats should win but we should have won in 2000 and 2004 as well. I really really hope this piece by Greg Palast is wrong. Even if they're cheating its much harder to rig house races throughout the country. The dems are competitive in 40 house races and they just need to win 15. Anyway, I'm leaving to go vote. Again, hope Greg is wrong.

 

Nov. 3

America, founded in secularism as a beacon of eighteenth century enlightenment, is becoming the victim of religious politics, a circumstance that would have horrified the Founding Fathers. The political ascendancy today values embryonic cells over adult people. It obsesses about gay marriage, ahead of genuinely important issues that actually make a difference to the world. It gains crucial electoral support from a religious constituency whose grip on reality is so tenuous that they expect to be 'raptured' up to heaven, leaving their clothes as empty as their minds. More extreme specimens actually long for a world war, which they identify as the 'Armageddon' that is to presage the Second Coming.

--Richard Dawkins quote I think...

Well, if the idea that any publicity is good publicity, then Richard Dawkins appearing on South Park Wednesday was pretty cool. (You can see the episode here at Daily Motion which never pulls down anything. I 'm still waiting for one thing to be withdrawn. Those damn French.) But it didn't show Mr. Dawkins in a very flattering light. According to the message board at Dawkins net one of the South Park boys hates Atheism as much as he hates Scientology, Mormonism and Catholicism. That just isn't intellectually consistent. And did they have to show Saint Richard having sex with that, you know, unattractive creationist...I mean, Jesus Christ. Or "Oh Science!" By the way, when we succeed in our evil plan to turn everyone into an atheist I don't think that will mean the end of human conflict. I just think that we will find better things to kill each other over. Dying over Christianity or Islam is not unlike dying for the Easter Bunny or the Great Pumpkin. What could be sillier than dying for myths and pretend after worlds.

Speaking of why some of us are put off by the hypocrisy of the Christian Church, then let us look no further than Mr. Haggard. If you watched Mr. Dawkins first special "The Root of all Evil" then you've already met this fundamentalist preacher and alleged partner of male prostitutes and meth addict. This is why I admire Richard Dawkins and have very little respect for these modern day Elmer Gantrys. Check out Dawkins vs. Ted Haggard.

Ten types of Republicans. Seems accurate. (From Throw Away Your TV)

Nov. 2

One more thing: "Hacking Democracy" will be on tonight on HBO. News about that here and Diebold's attempts to quash it.

I'm adding Laura Staniland's new blog "The Ideas Bucket" to the local Pittsburgh blogroll. She's an activist with the League of Pissed off Voters and she's pretty. Please don't hold either against her. More blogging tonight when I have time. Yes, there will be some comment on the Richard Dawkins South Park. Quick review: Disrespectful and contemptuous of all sides, but funny. Per usual.

Oct. 31

Trick? You're living in a country where the will of the people can be subverted by computer hacking and the Democratic Party seems to be in on it....Boo! Scary stuff huh? You can fight it by way of parallel elections. Or even by photographing your vote by cell phone. Got this from Richard "Our Bob Fitrakis" King:

Dear friends, 

The Theft of American Elections is a Media Issue 

The loss of our right to vote (or have it counted) is a media issue which is why you are all getting this email.  I've talked a lot about the effects of media ownership consolidation on the destruction of democracy by permitting a few corporations to fail to report the essential information we need to be a self-governing people.  Not only does the main stream media refuse to investigate and report on the impossible discrepancies between the 'official' count and the exit polls, but they are actively complicit in this fraud.   ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox and the AP own the exit polls and have defied John Conyers' request for the raw data, keeping that data secreted from even qualified independent researchers.   

We are all trying to take optimism from the lead democrats have in the polls going into the election.  Keep in mind that they had these leads in 2002, when the Republicans got themselves total control, and they had even greater promise going into the 2004 elections.  If you are still not convinced of the massive fraud that is going on, you can look at my 'cliff notes' version about the theft, which I wrote thinking people might read a few pages as opposed to an entire book http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/16/2006/1865 . 

Exit polls have historically been seen as the gold standard of reliability and are still considered as such everywhere in the world, except here.  How is it that exit polls were relied on for a half century in this country and then suddenly they were wrong in 2000, and again in 2002 and again in 2004?  Steven Freeman, author of Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen? Exit Polls, Election Fraud, and the Official Count, http://www.electionintegrity.org/book  had analyzed the exit polls of the swing states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida in 2004 and concluded that the odds of the exit polls being as far off as they were are 250 million to one!  And still the media utterly failed to question the evidence before its eyes. 

It is precisely because the exit polls are so reliable in proving the actual vote that for the first time in a half century, there will be no exit polls this year. The media consortium which owns the exit polls is actively suppressing the evidence we need to maintain our democracy: in this case information about how we've lost the ability to elect or evict our government.  Without exit polls, it will be exceedingly difficult to have the evidence establishing the theft. Just like electronic voting, not a trace of evidence should be left to expose the greatest theft of this country's history.  

How to fight back? 

Firstly, we need the most massive turnout -- some people think if it's high enough we can overcome the level of the theft.  Others think it will at least make it more difficult for the Republicans to explain how they somehow won again, even though Americans have never returned, and never would return, such an unpopular, incompetent and corrupt crew to office. 

Secondly, we need independent exit polling.  Independent exit polls have been used successfully to prevent fraud.  See for inspiration, Thom Hartmann's How to Take Back a Stolen Election,  http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1129-26.htm, in which he describes how the elections in post Soviet countries -- where, like here, there was evidence the regime in power was planning to steal the elections and where, like here, the main stream media was either controlled by, beholden to, or owned by supporters of the regime in power -- were saved from the intended theft by the use of independent exit polls.  If the Ukrainians can do it, why not us? 

Now we have independent exit polls. Steve Freeman has teamed up with Ken Warren of The Warren Poll and created exit polls you can do this year, instructions for doing your own exit poll (also annexed here as an attachment along with the Sample Questionnaire you'll need).   

It would be great if as many of you who can, try to do your own exit polls this year or if you're already committed this year, then next year and/or 2008.  Sign on now at www.electionintegrity.org and be sure to click on "amateur pollsters" in the signup form.  Don't wait till later to sign up- we have to build our forces for 2007 and 2008 now and this way we can stay in touch and keep you informed. 

The Vote Count Projection Project http://electionintegrity.org/vcpp.shtml will be developing a nationally coordinated exit polling project for 2008.  If you do exit polling this year pursuant to the instructions provided here, your input from this year's experience will be greatly appreciated. 

Developing independent exit polls on a national basis is a huge undertaking, but what choice do any of us have.  It is nothing less than our ability to exist as a free democracy that is at stake.  It is after all, our duty:

"The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men." - Samuel Adams
 
Thanks
 
andi novick
 
Northeast Citizens for Responsible Media
www.re-media.org

Sept.  Oct 29

Sunday Around the Internets

Letter from Richard "Our Bob Fitrakis" King about how easy it is to do parallel elections. Apparently, you just put a video recorder in the polling booth and that serves as a permanent record for some volunteers, kind of like heightened exit polling. That would, conceivably, make elections harder to steal. That's brilliant. Nothing from Markos about this. Here's Richard's letter, published in the Post Gazette:

Two simple steps could help safeguard these elections.


Safeguarding the integrity of elections is fundamentally an American value and should be a nonpartisan effort. Paper ballots with routine audits are among the best safeguards available for electronic elections. Voter verification of paper records for audits and recounts strengthens confidence in our elections.


Last month in Washington, D.C., a majority of congressional representatives vouched support for HR 550, the voter-verified paper record bill. While awaiting passage of this legislation, Pennsylvania officials should take two steps to help safeguard our elections for November.

Parallel testing of voting machines on Election Day is a way to audit the accuracy of the software on Election Day. It is inexpensive and doable for November's election. In parallel testing a video camera documents the test votes cast by volunteers and at the end of the day a comparison is made of the votes cast with the votes tallied. The process is intended to catch vote fraud.

Additionally, our county should verify that the software on our voting machines is that certified by the state. Counties across our nation receive their voting machines from overseas manufacturers without verifying the software. Software verification should occur before and after each election.

These steps toward safeguarded elections would be unnecessary if we had voter-verified paper ballots with routine audits. But until we do have transparency in elections with meaningful audits and recounts, our county should make every effort to enhance the confidence of the voters.

RICHARD KING
VotePa.us
Squirrel Hill

Boing Boing has this FBI goes after boarding pass guy thing covered. And, uh, is Cory Doctorow a citizen? Can he say things critical of the United States?

You might have heard that a New York Indy Media reporter was killed in Oaxaca Mexico, which apparently is having a somewhat successful working class revolt against the state. Sort of if Ohio fought to secede I guess. Not something covered intensely and/or favorably by the either your somewhat sane center right corporate Free Press (post gazette) or your crazed and deranged farthest right corporate Free Press (tribune review). Who knew.

You might not have heard that Pittsburgh Indy Media has two guys from the radical POG group (no doubt the first to be invited to those new fangled detention centers) down there who were just footsteps away from the shooting. Jack Reed lives. He just doesn't work for corporate media outlets.

Here's a snippet:

As of this writing, the Priistas have set up their own barricades within the neighborhood, APPO has activated the mobile brigades, 4 or 5 people have died, dozens injured, and barricade 3 remains up, reinforced, and alert. Among the attackers were local municipal police (such as Abel Santiago Zarate and Juan Carlos Soriano Velasco) and politicians/PRI thugs (such Manuel Aguilar and Pedro Carmona, the man identified as Brad Will's killer), all from the neighborhood. Though the two of us had slightly differing expectations of how the day would pan out, neither of us expected an attack of this kind or magnitude in broad daylight. The diversity of people who fought the Priista attackers was astounding. We saw young kinds helping to gather cohetes and Molotovs. We saw old women armed with rocks making their way to the front. We saw people wearing circle As, hammer and sickles, and people who didn't wear their political identity on their sleeves. In the end, it didn't matter who you were, only what side you stood on.

Yep. The PG's Samantha Bennett gives me that same kind of vibe. Yeah, "almost like a blog", right. Look, it is not the format it's the content.

I'm adding the Steven Barnes--prolific and commercial black writer-- blog "Dar Kush" to the permalinks. Should have added George Dvorsky long ago.

Speaking of your sell out Truman Show press, I see the Pittsburgh Courier has given us a bizarre editorial telling black people not to vote. There is no independent national black press in this country by the way. Rod Doss is a radical republican pro lifer (supports clinic bombing for example) who's supported Republican candidates and agendas ever since the mid 80s whenever I last worked for him. (And I refused to write pro life propaganda articles for him.)The paper has been pretty good over the last several months in that at least they work hard Tribune Review kind of way. Probably so the paper can tell black people not to vote (that might trend Republican by the way, just a bit...) and to endorse Lynn Swann in all probability...Sigh.

Oh, by the way, if you do the crazy thing and vote, in numbers too large to steal even though no such number exists as long as the dems are mysteriously Washington Generals silent on the vote theft issue, you would create the most powerful black delegation ever in the US House. Seems to be missing from my probably Scaife funded "black" paper the New Pittsburgh Courier.

Speaking of but they work hard for the radical right agenda, I did learn something from the Courier about Rendell's plan to undercut these Payday Loan Sharks with a more reasonable loan system. I'm voting for Ed Rendell by the way. He's Jewish. In fact, I'm doing GOTV for the Dems where I proudly state that I'm voting for Ed Rendell, often to African Americans. Yet I've been banned from both the Daily Kos and the Booman Tribune for talking about AIPAC and whether its prudent to have two Jewish Americans like Schumer and Rahm run the party's take back congress efforts if they support the Iraq War, which happens to be a proxy war for Israel. One, you would pick conservative replacements like Bob Casey who support the war and two: You wouldn't really mind if the Republicans won and you wouldn't mind too much about a vote theft issue that allowed them to.

Oct. 27

This is almost an hour long but its a nice summary of just about every argument made on the voter fraud front. First, this guy's credentials: He's an MIT PHD. So he's probably not completely dim. Disturbing things I learned from his presentation: 1. The exit polls probably weren't wrong and in fact the larger they are the more accurate they become. 2. Chuck Hagel not only ran a vote count company but he resides in a state that doesn't allow recounts. 3. If this is right, then Democrats are probably in on the fraud--the horrifying question is by how much? Everyone? Just a few at the top? 4. The exit polling that will be done for this election won't be real. The data won't be open to the public even for examination. Freeman was working with People for the American Way to do an independent exit poll but was stopped mysteriously. Just for the record, there was no legitimate reason to do that. Of course, why don't the Dems do it. Its within their budget. See point three. You can find more vids here. Related: Richard King, our local Bob Fitrakis, discovers that PC Anywhere is installed on our Allegheny County voting machines. I feel better already...

Also related: Over at Ars Technica here are some directions on how to hack an election..I might note that the dems are far behind on the hacking wars. Hackers of the world unite...and steal an election for dems for once. If you really want to stop stolen elections, then steal on behalf of progressive candidates...

By the way, if you're interested, these are the house seats that dems should pick up, as of today.

AZ-08 FL-13 FL-16 IA-02 IN-02 IN-08 IN-09 KY-03 NC-08 NC-11 NH-02 NM-01 NY-19 NY-24 NY-25 NY-29 OH-15 OH-18 PA-06 PA-07 PA-10 TX-22 WI-08

However, we need to look at states that we know are pretty much compromised. So, we need 15. Let's throw out those two seats in Florida. Let's throw out that one seat in AZ that now has a voter id law. Let's throw out those two seats in OH and for good measure Texas. That takes a 23 seat gain and turns it into 17. And quite frankly, we can't promise accuracy in the machines anywhere else. We do know that if the republicans steal it, again, the brilliant strategery of the dems, Markos and Steve Gilliard is that we don't talk about it, ever. I also love this part of the plan that does nothing to expose it, such as not supporting and funding large scale volunteer exit polling and parallel voting plans. Good plan, fellas. Related: People smarter than the dem establishment, Markos and Steve Gilliard are working to create citizen run and funded independent exit polls and some parallel voting. You can join them over at the Election Defense Alliance. (I have volunteered to help but apparently there's nothing happening in the Pittsburgh area. So it looks like I'll be involved in Get Out the Vote efforts.)

Really good issue of Biz 2.0. I was actually impressed with the last issue as well. Those disruptive companies, seem, well, very very disruptive. First, there's this car company--backed by Kleiner Perkins--the gold standard of investment firms--that looks like it could create an electric car that really really works. More about this company from Treehugger and here as well. Also adding the Energy Blog and Clean Break to the permalinks.

"EEStor's device is not technically a battery because no chemicals are involved. In fact, it contains no hazardous materials whatsoever. Yet it acts like a battery in that it stores electricity. If it works as it's supposed to, it will charge up in five minutes and provide enough energy to drive 500 miles on about $9 worth of electricity. At today's gas prices, covering that distance can cost $60 or more; the EEStor device would power a car for the equivalent of about 45 cents a gallon.

And we mean power a car. "A four-passenger sedan will drive like a Ferrari," Clifford predicts. In contrast, his first electric car, the Zenn, which debuted in August and is powered by a more conventional battery, can't go much faster than a moped and takes hours to charge.

The cost of the engine itself depends on how much energy it can store; an EEStor-powered engine with a range roughly equivalent to that of a gasoline-powered car would cost about $5,200. That's a slight premium over the cost of the gas engine and the other parts the device would replace -- the gas tank, exhaust system, and drivetrain. But getting rid of the need to buy gas should more than make up for the extra cost of an EEStor-powered car."

Sounds like a disruptive winner. Combine that with the Google foundation attempt to create a great hybrid car...are the Software Kings taking on the Oil Barons? I back the Software Kings. They're competent and they don't necessarily have to kill people to make a buck.

And I really really hope this disruptive and probably cheaper broadband play--based on Wi-Max--isn't so much make believe vaporware. ..Read the whole thing as they say.

Here's a pic of my great great great grandfather. He was actually a pretty wealthy guy according to my Aunt Sonya. You can look into his eyes and see the carefree glee of his life.

Sept 25

 

I'm really enjoying the Neil Gaiman Eternals.  Related: Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette interviews the time distorting actor in Heroes Masi Oka. Apparently, and stereotypically  (Would love to have this "good at math" stereotype by the way), this guy is good at math and is a real computer geek who works for Lucas' ILM. He moved from Japan when he was six to the US which explains why future Hiro with the sword speaks better English than I do...

Two from Brazilian Girls and gifted no name guitarist. (Antoine Dufour) Called "Dracula and Friends".

Oct. 24

I'm just reading this. Main story here...and check out the comments...

Oct 23

The most terrifying thing about the Stolen election story is its permanence. In other words, if you aren't allowed to vote them out, then in all likelihood, you won't be able to. Ever. Greg Palast does have some good news on people who have managed to fight back and pass a very strong paper ballot law in New Mexico. And no the democratic party establishment wasn't helpful in passing it. The Washington Generals Party strikes again...

Governor Richardson, who ducked the issue for three years, and his Secretary of State, once openly hostile to reform, had to relent in the face of the public uprising. In February of 2006, Richardson signed a model law requiring that all voting in the state take place on new paper ballot machines, with verifiable tabulating systems. Richardson now claims the mantle of leader of the voting reform campaign.

Voter Action, successful in New Mexico, is now pursuing lawsuits in seven states to stop the Secretaries of State from purchasing electronic voting systems which have records of inaccuracy, security risks, and have been proven unreliable.

In New Mexico we learned, once again, that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. To protect your right to vote, you must know what is happening in your state – before, during, and after Election Day – and be willing to hold your leaders accountable.

Rob Kall has the update on whether or not there have been purges in Ohio. Got this from Mark Crispin Miller. And yes, I'm the only Pittsburgh media outlet that thinks this is "news". Gawd the corporate media sucks.

Highlight:

Fitrakis reports that, though some basic elements were required by the state, different counties created different letters. That means there could have been as many as 88 different letters sent out. He determined that in Ohio's Miami county, the letters did not require a response which, failing, would cause a purge. The vendor managing the registered voter roll was instructed not to purge voters. But Fitrakis added that all registered voter databases created at the county level are sent up to the Ken Blackwell's central state voter databank, and that it is possible they were purged there, in spite of the local county official's instructions to the vendor managing the records at the local level.

To ascertain just what has been going on with letters to voters, Fitrakis says, "This weekend, we are requesting the letters of all 88 counties."

Fitrakis says, as he reported to OpEdNews earlier, "If we find after our due diligence investigation there was any inappropriate purging-- if mistreatment for minorities or young people, we will move for an injunction.

"What we're trying to do now is to examine the letters and also, compare the data bases, electronically, from all 88 counties, with the secretary of state's office (database.) But there is the possibility that exists that the private companies that have been contracted to run the voter registration may have taken action, unless otherwise authorized (instructed) not to by the board of elections. And the possibility remains that the secretary of state's office could have taken action (purged voter names from rolls) and this is still under investigation. It's not a settled issue."

OpEdNews asked, "With the history you already know of, do you have serious concerns that this happened?"

Fitrakis replies,

 

"This is the exact same pattern of purges that occurred in three key democratic areas in 2004-- Toledo, Cleveland and Cincinatti."

"We believe that past abuses have occurred and these initial reports would be directly in line with the past abuses. The potential that these abuses occurred still exists.

"We are pursuing it. We are gathering information and if that information suggests any of these purges targetted young people or minorities, we are in fact, going into federal court.

"We are not satisfied at this moment that this did not occur. In fact, the evidence suggests the clear possibility that the system would allow such a purge."

 

OpEdNews replied, "Thanks, because there was a posting on Dailykos, which was titled, No truth to Ohio "purge" letters

Fitrakis replied, "We're going to get to the bottom of this.

"We don't know yet. We really don't want to be lulled into-- I mean, we should be checking these rolls every week and right before the election, every day."

There was a massive get together in Ohio several weeks ago that I wished I could have attended. But, thanks to the Internets, its all online. Here's one snippet I like:


Click To Play

I tend to think that if the Dems take over the House then that would be a great thing because a lot of progressives would run chairmanships. Others think nothing will change. Those others got a boost today when Nancy Pelosi announced that impeachment would be off the table if the dems take back the house.  If I was John Conyers then I would be fuming right now. I sincerely hope that the chairs ignore her and go after these criminally incompetent clowns. This isn't blow jobs. Its war crimes, not to mention the very minor theft of at least two national presidential elections.

Oct 20

There seems to be some dispute as to how many voters have been purged from the Ohio database. Bob Fitrakis thinks its more like a half million or so not 1.2 million. He also claims that there was no letter sent to Ohio voters. However, Fitrakis, apparently, is filing suit against the state of Ohio to block the purges.  From the Booman Tribune:

Bob Fitrakis was quoted yesterday in an article by OpEdNews executive editor and publisher, Rob Kall, claiming that thousands of Democrats have been recently purged from the Ohio voter rolls:

Dr. Fitrakis, told OpEdNews, "Essentially, by purging these rolls, the Republicans, by shrinking the electorate, have already won in Ohio. If they can't win, which is what the polls show among registered voters, the way to win is to use their nuclear option-- to target black voters, young voters and the working poor-- by purging them so they can't vote.

Reports indicate that starting as early as shortly after the 2004 presidential elections, but particularly recently, hundreds of thousands of voters-- mostly urban apartment dwellers (likely black) and students-- who are primarily Democratic-- were sent notifications that they would be purged from the eligible voter lists if they did not respond the letter. But, reportedly, the letter was designed to be easily overlooked, perhaps treated as junk mail. Failure to send in a response caused the voter to be removed from the voting roll.

Fitrakis observes, "They aren't challenging voter eligibility in Republican areas. This is coming from the republican party. They're not targeting their own base.

"If it follows the pattern from 2004, they will have purged heavily Democratic areas. They will challenge high performance democratic precincts."

He probably won't get any help from the Democratic Party for reasons that are incomprehensible or disturbing. I mean, they're either completely dense or they're complicit. Upper tier dems must want a fascist state too where you can kill people on a whim. I guess they think that's cool. Meanwhile, one of the main posters at the Booman Tribune makes the obvious conclusion: of course the dems should help Bob Fitrakis. If you succeed in culling away several hundred thousand voters from primarily dem districts (as has happened) then you've lost before the election is even held. Unless you don't really want to win. Then the actions of the dems make perfect sense.

By the way, if you read Mark Crispin's Miller's Washington Spectator pieces (he's done two so far) then you realize the dems have to know about voter fraud and have chosen to remain silent. Its almost as if they're quite comfortable with allowing the only party that represents minority voices, labor, the environment, etc., to lose and the party that represents white privilege to win. Almost. Miller thinks the picture is completely grim. I think there's some hope however. The dems need 15 seats. Right now, they're competitive in 45 to 60. Not every congressional district has those machines. Other districts have audits and other safeguards. Can dems find 15 dems who can win whose fate isn't tied to these easily compromised machines. Of course, even if the dems manage to squeak thru Miller claims that's when Republicans will bring out, just guess, the voter fraud issue. Stunning...

I know no one asked me my frackin' opinion but did Saul have to kill his wife? Now that he knew couldn't he have used her to feed the enemy false info? Of course, she might not be dead...Looks like next week its Kill the Collaborators. Meanwhile, at Heroes, what's with the cool Hiro of the future who speaks perfect American English? I too would like my future self to be as cool, with a sword on my back...

Oct. 19

Quick Afternoon Around the Internets

I understand that John Kerry wants to run for president again. I will work very hard to make sure that he isn't the nominee. By not challenging Blackwell's tactics in 2004, at least in the courts, he's now poised to use them again in 2006. Thanks for not fighting Kerry. Thanks for nothing. I'll fight for the first guy who I even think will fight for me and that probably won't be you...if I haven't been detained in some secret prison someplace. Here's a thought: they not only hack the machines to ensure republicans win, but to ensure that either ineffective or Fifth Column dems face them. Don't run Kerry.

Saw last night's South Park. Don't always agree with the politics, but they're funny. They're really funny. Must go and buy some bear mace.

Mark Crispin Miller gives you his precognitive election forecast here and here. Its kinda grim.

Oct. 18

More really depressing election news despite what should be a blowout. First, looks like Ken Blackwell has purged 1.2 million people from the rolls. Looks like Ken has a great shot now. As I told Steve Gilliard: never count out the guy who counts the vote.

And this from Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman. I'm printing the whole thing. Its that depressing. Scary parts in Green Bold.


A loaves & fishes/Holy Ghost victory for the GOP in November?
by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
October 17, 2006

The polls all point to a Democratic sweep in November. The news pours in about pedophile Republicans and Team Bush contempt for their fundamentalist bedmates. Iraq implodes. Deficits soar. Katrina lingers. Scandal is everywhere.

On the other hand, there are rumors of an "October Surprise." An attack on Iran. A new terror incident. Osama finally captured.

Gas prices are down, the stock market up.

None of it dampens the Democrats' euphoria. They think they are about to win. In conventional terms, they should.

But think again. Please.

It will take just two Biblical fixes for the GOP to keep the Congress, and thus solidify their power in this country, possibly forever: a loaves and fishes vote count, a Holy Ghost turnout.

We coined the phrase "loaves and fishes vote count" to describe the tally in Gahanna, Ohio, 2004. This infamous precinct in suburban Columbus registered 4258 votes for George W. Bush where just 638 people voted. The blessed event occurred at a fundamentalist church run by a close ally of the Reverend Jerry Falwell.

These numbers were later "corrected." But they reflect a much larger reality: the 2004 election was stolen with scores of dirty tricks for whose second coming the Democrats have yet to fully prepare.

In the two years since the fraudulent defeat of John Kerry, we've unearthed an unholy arsenal by which that election was stolen. They include: outright intimidation, wrongful elimination of registered voters, theft, selective deployment of (often faulty) voting machines, absentee ballots without Kerry's name on them, absentee ballots pre-punched for Bush, absentee ballots never mailed, touch screens that lit up for Bush when Kerry was chosen, lines for black voters five hours long while white voters a mile away voted in fifteen minutes, tens of thousands of provisional ballots pitched summarily in the trash, alleged ex-felons illegally told they could not vote, Hispanic precincts with no Spanish-speaking poll workers, deliberate misinformation on official web sites…and that's not even the tip of an iceberg whose bottom we may never see.

Thanks to a federal lawsuit, we have finally been able to look at some of the actual ballots from Ohio 2004. Just for starters, researchers Stuart Wright and Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips have found a precinct in Delaware County where 359 consecutive voters allegedly cast ballots for Bush. Dr. Ron Baiman found another precinct in Clermont County where a random inspection found 36 straight replacement ballots, a phenomenon that can be accomplished only by divine intervention or outright fraud.

These initial snippets have been unearthed with no cooperation or participation from the Democratic Party. The official Democratic spin is that they have "looked into the matter." But public records indicate that they have yet to visit the actual ballot storage facilities to examine the public records from the 2004 election.

In sum, we see no indication that the Democrats are prepared for the inevitable…that Karl Rove will steal again, and more, in 2006.

In Ohio alone, four election boards have already eliminated some 500,000 voters since the 2000 election---ten percent of the state's electorate---from the registration rolls in four Democratic counties. No similar purges have occurred in rural Republican counties. The Democrats have said or done very little about it.

To date there is no logical explanation from John Kerry as to why he conceded with 250,000 votes still uncounted while Bush's alleged margin was just half that. Nor have we heard about Democrat plans to monitor the ever-larger numbers of electronic voting machines deployed throughout the United States with no paper trail and no transparency for programming codes and memory cards that are privately owned, with no public inspection allowed.

Which is brings us to the Holy Ghost turnout. As Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., has reported in Rolling Stone Magazine, in Georgia 2002, U.S. Senate incumbent Max Cleland went into Election Day with a very substantial lead in the polls. He proceeded to allegedly lose by a substantial margin. Church-state operatives like Ralph Reed attributed this astonishing turn-around to an alleged last-minute mass turnout of evangelical voters.

Similar things were said about Florida and Ohio 2004.

But it never happened. There are no visual reports or other reliable indicators of extraordinary lines or massive late-in-the-day crowds at the polls. Throughout all those election days, it was every bit as quick and easy to vote in rural precincts that gave Bush his miraculous victory as it was impossible to do so in your average black neighborhood. But there was no extraordinary turnout of last-minute Bush voters.

What happened instead hearkens to the Holy Ghost, made manifest in electronic voting machines that cannot and will not be monitored. The miraculous pro-Bush margins give new meaning to the phrase "ghost in the machine." While the Democratic vote count was slashed and trashed in urban precincts, the rural voting stations, through the miracle of untrackable electronics, materialized just the right number of GOP votes to keep the Men of God in the White House (where it's recently reported they dare to mock those earthly evangelicals who allegedly gave them their margin of victory).

There's absolutely nothing to prevent this from happening again in 2006. Major studies from the Conyers Committee, the Government Accountability Office, Princeton University, the Brennan Center, the Carter-Baker Commission, and esteemed others, have all come to the same conclusion: it takes just one individual with inside access---or even just a wi-fi machine---to change the outcome of any election anywhere.

Electronic voting machines can be pre-programmed, re-programmed, re-calibrated, electronically adjusted, hacked, jimmied, jammed or otherwise blessed with a few well-placed electrons and---LO AND BEHOLD!---a Democratic landslide can be born again to a Republican deliverance.

We already see the signs. The corporate bloviators predict a last-minute surge for Bush. The Fox/Rove media machine has planted suggestive stories at the New York Times and elsewhere about the alleged hidden powers of the GOP juggernaut. They will, they say, once again turn out those invisible legions of evangelical voters when and where necessary.

Every two years, Rove leaks some story that is implausible and easily refuted: four million new evangelical voters are identified nationwide; or, a late surge of homophobic Old Order Amish rush to the polls in Ohio; or shy and reluctant right-wing Republican women flood the polls at closing and slip out unseen without speaking to exit pollsters (but, they are only shy in the early evening in Republican counties).

And the Democrats? They say they are also turning out voters. But what happens when their names are miraculously gone from the new electronic registration rolls? When there aren't enough machines in their precincts on which to vote? When they press a Democratic name on their touch-screen and an anointed Republican's lights up? Or when techno-gods from private partisan vendors barge in unchallenged to "adjust" the e-machines in the middle of the voting process.

So far, the Democrats have heaped abuse on those who dare to warn of all this.

But as it is written, so it shall be: unless there are armies of trained, dedicated citizens prepared to monitor this upcoming election, electronic and otherwise, the Holy Ghosts will vote, the loaves & fishes will multiply and be counted, and the GOP will once again emerge with total control of the checks and the balances---this time, perhaps, for all Eternity.
 


 

Nuclear rockets in Space! Probably not a good idea. Unless you build them in space. Here's a question: would a nuclear submarine work in space? And Related below: I think the Burt Rutan rocket has the best shot at making space travel realistic. Some of us would like to leave now, please. I'm sure they'll be a need for bloggers in space, as opposed to doctors and engineers and programmers. Gotta learn some new tricks...

Oct. 16

LATE MONDAY NIGHT AROUND THE INTERNETS

Two very depressing political stories despite what should be a Democratic Party onslaught. One: Counterpunch sez Rahm Emmanual picked a pro-war, pro-Israeli majority to take over Congress. There is a drawback to this theory: Rahm picked what he thought would be the safest dem pickup opportunities. He might not have taken a look at those long shots who might want to be an opposition party. Plus, a lot of progressive dems take over chairmanships, unless Rahm changes seniority rules. Two: Bradblog writes about why the Bush team looks so relaxed despite facing an electoral nightmare. Hint: never count out the person who counts the votes. Related: Sam Smith's (Undernews guy) on why progressive change is so hard. I agree with most of it especially how hard it is for the "masses" to find time to do anything because you're too stressed out and/or overworked to even attempt to change the world. But the rise of fascism hasn't coincided with the Internet but the use of those black box voting machines.

Wired piece about Ethanol. Debunks idea that this is not efficient.

Interesting review of new science fiction novel.

All the Cowboy Bebops online...which can't be legal. Nor can those complete Futuramas. Is French Daily Motion above the law? I've never seen anything pulled from that site.

Who Killed the Electric Car is online.

The 300 looks to be a very very good film. Has the Sin City look down. The writer is also taking a shot at reviving Watchmen. Please use that Sin City look, even amateurs have done the same with some success.

Oct. 13

I went down to Stephanie's site and told her she still has to vote. If polling puts Republicans down in over 40 house seats and they win anyway then even the professional voting establishment (cough kos cough) might begin to suspect a rat. But probably not, sigh. (Kos after the election: "Yep! We gotta go far far right! I'm  wearing a swastika and I'm deporting relatives now...! Only way to win. Only weirdos fight to fix the machines.") Anyway, from Richard King, who I wish would get a blog, gives us this from Mark Crispin Miller:

In response to a reader's question at markcrispinmiller. blogspot. com ("Briefly, what's being done to prevent voter-machine fraud for 2006 and 2008. What can dedicated individuals do?"), Miller writes:

As far as the next election is concerned, there's little we can do, as some 80% of the vote will be electronically cast or counted on Nov. 7. So it's necessary that we take these other steps:

A) Support the independent exit polls planned by the Election Defense Alliance, at http://www.election defensealliance. org/. [This is a vital project, as independent exit polling remains the last unvarnished source of accurate information in the age of electronic voting. These polls won't be retrofitted to jibe with the corporate media's anointed victors, but lots of money is needed quickly to make this project a success.]

B) Tell people that they must vote on Election Day, so that the national turnout is as high as possible. This will make another theft that much more difficult to spin.

C) Tell people that it's very likely that the GOP will "win" despite its vast unpopularity, so that they (the people) won't become demoralized by their apparent defeat.

D) Urge everyone to monitor the process in his/her own locale as carefully as possible. Get visuals, as w/ a video camera. Take careful note of any monkey business. [We would add that it's a good idea to create a publicly-available photo/video archive of any noteworthy events you happen to record.]

E) If you spot improprieties, or have a problem at the polls, be sure to call 1-866-OUR-VOTE, and contact the EDA (address above), and tell them everything. Keep a written record of your experience.

F) Get ready, psychologically, to stand with others in defiance of Bush/Cheney' s latest "victory." [In other words, expect the worst, but remember you don't have to accept the worst. At some point, the level of active resistance will have to grow significantly if real change is going to be made. A critical mass is building, as evidenced by the WCW actions in more than 230 cities nationwide last week. Start talking with your friends and neighbors about the logic of resistance, and make connections with those living near you!]

For more information of the stolen elections of 2000 and 2004, see www.markcrispinmill er.com

Richard King, Ph.D.

www.PA-VerifiedVoti ng.org

www.verifiedvoting. org

 

Oct. 11

Haven't been posting much lately because I occasionally have to get some work done. Did notice this interesting item over at Ales Rarus. Here's a more complete answer courtesy of Richard Dawkins net:

2. Comment #167 by D Benasic on September 23, 2006 at 2:53 am

Dawkins, you are a great writer ad I do respect your battle for reason, and I enjoyed the interview.
However, you missed great opportunity here:

"where is the evidence that the rational sciety is any more moral or better place to live than a religiously based culture?
-I don't know if there is any evidence..."

Great example of workable atheistic society is Sweden as Sam Harris observed:
http://www.truthdig.com/dig/page3/200512_an_atheist_manifesto/
"The level of atheism throughout the rest of the developed world refutes any argument that religion is somehow a moral necessity. Countries like Norway, Iceland, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom are among the least religious societies on Earth. According to the United Nations’ Human Development Report (2005) they are also the healthiest, as indicated by measures of life expectancy, adult literacy, per capita income, educational attainment, gender equality, homicide rate and infant mortality. Conversely, the 50 nations now ranked lowest in terms of human development are unwaveringly religious. Other analyses paint the same picture: The United States is unique among wealthy democracies in its level of religious literalism and opposition to evolutionary theory; it is also uniquely beleaguered by high rates of homicide, abortion, teen pregnancy, STD infection and infant mortality. The same comparison holds true within the United States itself: Southern and Midwestern states, characterized by the highest levels of religious superstition and hostility to evolutionary theory, are especially plagued by the above indicators of societal dysfunction, while the comparatively secular states of the Northeast conform to European norms. Of course, correlational data of this sort do not resolve questions of causality--belief in God may lead to societal dysfunction; societal dysfunction may foster a belief in God; each factor may enable the other; or both may spring from some deeper source of mischief. Leaving aside the issue of cause and effect, these facts prove that atheism is perfectly compatible with the basic aspirations of a civil society; they also prove, conclusively, that religious faith does nothing to ensure a society’s health."

 

Oct. 8

"And lo, Saint Richard stood upon the mountain top and spake..."

Time for your Sunday atheism service. First, there's this new NPR interview with Richard Dawkins, where he takes questions. (Monty Pythonesque highlight: He notes that there is now a schism between orthodox flying spaghetti monster believers and the reform movement of flying spaghetti monster believers. Who will win. That's the question of our times...) There's also a debate between Sam Harris and Gay Catholic Andrew Sullivan about theology here. And if you're looking for the classic Richard Dawkins' piece "Root of All Evil", then try here. I understand that there's fear from evangelicals that they're losing teens. Well, blame the Internets. This time it would be true. Back in the 70s when I was an impressionable teen I had to work my way through 100s of writers before I ran across Bertrand Russell's "Why I'm Not a Christian". Now, with the Internet, there are literally hundreds of sites and people you can link to who also don't believe in Santa Claus, or allegedly infallible people in pontiff's hats. You can get Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris on Youtube. And I tend to think that when the faults of religion are outlined you can make some choices. I tend to think this is yet another reason as to why there will be a crackdown on the Internet.

 

There are detention centers being built to be used in the event of a "national emergency." I wonder if the US attacking Iran (which it's been threatening to do, and the US can't win without using nukes) would qualify? Or another terrorist attack -- real or staged? Another Katrina? Economic hardships or collapse? Hello?

--from cartoonist Stephanie McMillan

 

(illo stolen from Truthdig article.) I think I've figured something out. Cartoonist and probable commie sympathizer Stephenie McMillan has parsed it out as well. The United States isn't building concentration camps because of what they're doing, but because of what they're planning to do. I'm currently not an enemy combatant. In fact, I hate fundamentalists of every stripe, including Al Q and the Taliban. But would I be content to just post on a blog if we wiped out 50 million people in Iran by way of nuclear strikes? Or more? I'll leave that an open question in the light of these new laws. Let it be said, in a public and prominent way,  that I shall  always be loyal to Emperor Palpitine , Cardassia, the Dominion, the Cylons, the United States. No matter how many innocent people we kill. I have always loved Big Brother.

Speaking of reflections on future tyranny, Battlestar Galactica makes it pretty clear why we're despised in Iraq and Afghanistan. We're evil imperialist savages. We don't even make the Cylon pretense of trying to find a new way. I mean, its not exactly the Iraq insurgency--full of their own silly ethnic and religious divisions--but if you wanted to know why the Iraqi police are marked men...It also has an element that my favorite science fiction has always had: its completely subversive. Insurgencies around the world could use tonight's two hour premier as a recruitment film. It even goes into why our puppet regimes are hated so much. Brilliant edgy stuff.

The Oct. 5 demonstrations were a bust. As far as I could tell there were only significant protests in San Francisco and New York--where it could be argued they've already driven out George Bush. I don't think they were well organized. I couldn't even find self promotion of the local demonstration at Pittsburgh Indy Media, where usually seven people with a sign can write up their world changing adventures. Saw nothing at the Post Gazette. Related: Cartoonist Stephanie McMillan participated. 100 people won't drive out the Bush regime. That's just 100 people that the Bush regime will put on a list to be summarily executed by the Cylons. (You must see the Battlestar Galactica premier or as I call it "Frackin' Life in Iraq"...)

Oct. 4

Will this work? I dunno. The only peaceful demonstrations that have worked recently were the protests against the immigration bill. Can we import French kids to demonstrate? Just a thought. Good luck folks.

2006-10-05 [edit]
11:00 am ET
The Fountain at Point State Park (downtown)
We will informally meet at the water Fountain (where 3 rivers meet) in Point State Park at 11am. Then we will head out on Blvd of the Allies for a peace walk in the Golden Triangle business district, splitting off into smaller groups to various points around the city. Please obey traffic lights and let pedestrians pass, so the authorities leave us alone! Bring your cameras, camcorders, cell phones. **Do NOT bring any signs into the park**, it's against the law! We're asking everyone to wear a RED SHIRT or RED JACKET so we look like a river of blood in the streets, for the TV news camaras; Representing the innocent civilian blood being spilled by the BUSH REGIME. We don't have a permit, so this is like a pickup game. Bring a Frisbee or softball to use the park with friends and we'll go from there. Downtown merchants who support the peace walk, please put a WORLD CAN'T WAIT poster in your shop window so peace walkers can patronize your shop, cafe, or bar! Let's all make this a great day of peaceful BUSH PROTEST in the city of champions!
worldcantwait@radiopower.org

V for Vendetta is out on DVD. You know what's sad? I used to live in a country where this kind of fiction was, you know, just fiction.

"This is Not America" by Pat Metheny and David Bowie (Yeah, we're starting to get that...)

Oct 3

Things that I'm learning from Marlo, the brutal gang leader at the Wire. Never talk back to Marlo. And when Marlo shakes your hand that means the conversation is done--no matter the great advantages of joining the criminal union known as "The Co-Op". Season update: The Wire was shut down as of episode three because it was turning out to be a liability for the mayor. But the Wire doesn't end for another 30 days and it could be restarted with a new mayor and if they could find those bodies that Marlo stashes away in abandoned tenement houses. Now, here's something I can't figure out: if you watch the Sopranos and Marlo probably does he must know the secret behind successful murders. Big Tony always gets rid of the bodies, but not in his own neighborhood! They go out to the woods or they chop them up...no body, no CSI forensics. I would tell that to Marlo but then he would probably just have Felicia shoot me. Related: also kind of liked Dexter, the serial killer who kills serial killers and I'm looking forward to the season premier of Veronica Mars. It really does have the exact feel of Buffy but its much more realistic. Everything could happen. Its also a very good tech guide where you figure out that a good detective can find out pretty much anything.

Oct. 2

 

Oct. 1

You know I was having a date (every year or so I have one) and this girl wanted to live in Chile. She just thought it was a nice country. I don't think she knew anything about Pinochet and the fact that he murdered lots and lots of people. While she assured me that the "troubles" were over I have to admit that mass slaughter of one's political opponents leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Of course, now, with my fate resting in the hands of the Republican courts (not sleeping easy) Chile, or even one of those Stan countries....Doesn't sound so bad. Anyway, with Bush taking advice from the official Dark Side spokesman and international war criminal Kissinger--who ordered Allende gone and put into power another international war criminal Pinochet-- you might want to know how things were in Chile. If this new law isn't ruled unconstitutional, then apparently there's nothing to prevent the government from whisking you away and dropping you from a great height (see North by Northwest) from a plane into the ocean, or a harder surface. "This is not america...sha na na na..." indeed. It has made me think of this.

This is from Undernews:

BUSH IMITATES PINOCHET. . .AND NOW THE REST OF THE STORY

MARK G. LEVEY, AFTER DOWNING STREET - On September 11, 1973, Gen. Augusto Pinochet headed a military coup that overthrew the democratically-elected government of President Salvador Allende. Chile at that time was one of the world's oldest constitutional democracies.

In the months that followed, in a round up of "terrorists", Chilean military and intelligence officers arrested 30,000 Chileans and some foreign nationals. Virtually all were tortured, and 3,000 "disappeared", many dumped alive from military aircraft into the Pacific Ocean. The Junta's secret police also sought out its critics abroad, a few weeks later blowing up the former Ambassador, Orlando Letelier, in his car as he drove through downtown Washington, DC.

In the years that followed, "President" Pinochet ruled through emergency "anti-terrorism" decrees, before he retired as a Senator for life. Before he left the presidential palace, however, the General assured himself that he would never be brought to trial for his crimes. While the country was still effectively controlled by the military Junta he headed, the runner-stamp legislature passed laws granting amnesty to those officials who had committed torture and murder during the "state of exception" to constitutional rule. The amnesty laws also granted lifetime "legislative immunity" to members of Parliament, including, of course, Senator Pincochet. . .

Even though Spain, France and several other countries had issued warrants for Pinochet's role in commanding the murder of their citizens in Chile following the coup, Pinochet travelled the world in luxury and, he thought, security from arrest. As former "head of state", most countries would not touch him. But, that changed in 1998, when during a visit to former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and other Right-wing friends in Britain, he was detained on an extradition request from Spain.

After a long court battle, a three-member Court of the House of Lords, the highest appellate tribunal in the UK, found that Pinochet's claims to immunity as former head of state and to legislative immunity were invalid in the face of charges of violation of international laws against genocide, torture and crimes against humanity. The Blair Government ended up sending him back to Chile, where the new democratic government and courts stripped his immunity, and placed Pinochet, now 87 years old, under indefinite house arrest.

Sept. 30

Scary quotes from the Prison Planet story (tip of the hat to Uncle Scam at Amsat)

After five hours of searching through the 80-plus page bill, Alex Jones, who won the 2004 Project Censored award for his analysis of Patriot Act 2, uncovered numerous other provisions and definitions that make the bill appear as almost a mirror image of Hitler's 1933 Enabling Act.

And then there's this.:

Further actions that result in the classification of an individual as a terrorist include the following.

- Destruction of any property, which is deemed punishable by any means of the military tribunal's choosing.

- Any violent activity whatsoever if it takes place near a designated protected building, such as a charity building.

- A change of the definition of "pillaging" which turns all illegal occupation of property and all theft into terrorism. This makes squatters and petty thieves enemy combatants.

In light of Greg Palast's recent hounding by Homeland Security, after they accused him of potentially giving terrorists key information about U.S. "critical infrastructure" when filming Exxon’s Baton Rouge refinery (clear photos of which were publicly available on Google Maps), sub-section 27 of section 950v. should send chills down the spine of all investigative journalists and even news-gatherers.

Well I guess that nixes my plan of roaming the US Caine style. By the way, have you ever downloaded or uploaded something illegally? Ever blogged something negative about that incompetent, mediocre, vote stealing, constitution-trashing idiot of a President King George...well, you, my friend might be a terrorist. They'll be no real determination of that being that there won't be any trial.

More from Justin:

First they came for José Padilla. Now they're coming for the rest of us…

The War Party cannot carry out its program of overseas conquest and "regime change" without cracking down on the home front – that is, by equating antiwar sentiment with treason, including in the legal sense. The "area of combat" is far wider than the mountainous passes of Afghanistan or the growing mountain of bloodstained rubble that is Iraq: the main battlefield, as this administration well knows, is on the home front. It is a war for the hearts and minds of Americans – the one theater of operations in which they cannot afford to lose.

War is indeed the health of the State, because all states are simply instruments of coercion. It is precisely in time of war that governments exercise their core function, which is the large-scale deployment of organized violence. The efficient delivery of this violence, in such places and instances as required, demands a highly centralized, authoritarian command structure, one ideally suited to the mindset and proclivities of our Bizarro Conservatives in that it brooks no dissent.

For once, I agree with Andrew Sullivan:

"Whatever else this is, it is not a constitutional democracy. It is a thinly-veiled military dictatorship, subject to only one control: the will of the Great Decider. And the war that justifies this astonishing attack on American liberty is permanent, without end. "

I might add, however, that Sullivan is only getting what he asked for. After all, he was one of the biggest and loudest supporters of the invasion of Iraq: he railed and ranted for months on end until he finally got what he wanted. It was Sullivan who declared, shortly after 9/11, that the late Susan Sontag and the intellectual elites on the East and West coasts amounted to an intellectual "fifth column" in the struggle against Osama bin Laden. Nor do I recall him protesting when this president declared that the hostilities would last for at least a generation. Now he's shocked – shocked! – that the War Party is moving to seize "emergency powers" in what amounts to a coup d'état against the Constitution.

Sullivan may protest that no, he never asked for this, but what did he imagine would happen in the atmosphere of war hysteria he and his erstwhile neocon allies promoted? In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, when the anthrax letters sent to the media and congressional offices opened up a whole new level of public panic, Sullivan was demanding that we use nuclear weapons on the Iraqis. We had to "act now," he screeched, certain in the knowledge that the Iraqis had sent the anthrax, and "draw a line." While this "need not mean nuclear weapons," on the other hand, it just might mean nuking the crap out of Baghdad.

Well I guess the big news is that King George can throw me into a cell pretty much with a whim. And: What good is the Democratic Party? If you can't filibuster a bill that allows the president to lock you up without trial--and this apparently includes senators--then what can you filibuster? I'm sure 90 percent of the people thrown into the gulags said: "Well, that will never happen to me..." 

It does sound somewhat unconstitutional but so is stealing two national presidential elections. I guess our fates are tied to the Republican courts. Sleep easy everyone.

 Justin Raimondo has it about right:


The ultimate expansion of the "unlawful combatant" definition to include any and all opposition to the War Party, whether military or political, is only a matter of time, and not much time at that. This administration and its allies have long maintained that their critics are "objectively" aiding the terrorist enemy. If Iraq is the main theater of our war on terrorism, then criticism of the war effort, such as organizing an antiwar demonstration, amounts to "material support" for "hostilities against the United States." . . .

"The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. Cool moments: When he talks about "faithheads" and mentions the Flying Spaghetti Monster by name. He expresses a kind of bafflement with scientists who are devout. Definitely understand that vibe. On the other hand, whenever I hear articulate British people talk on a chat show it reminds me of a Monty Python skit. Note the jazz intro.

Sept. 27

From Your Local League of Pissed off Voters:

Psss...Register to Vote by Text Message! 

HeLLo Pittsburgh Leaguers!   

We are having a press conference this Thursday, September 27th, at 9:30 AM in Market Square (Rain Location: The Union Project, 801 N. Negley Avenue) to announce our new text message voter registration technology, also known "Text the Vote." 

To register to vote by text message, send one of the following key words to 75444, "Pa, Pgh, LeaguePA, LeaguePgh," and you will get a text reply back telling you to enter your name and address.  Within days, a partially completed voter registration form will be mailed to your house, which you must then complete (sign and choose a party) and mail to the Allegheny County Elections Division.     

The address for the Allegheny County Elections Division is: 

Division of Elections
Allegheny County
542 Forbes Ave., Room 601
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2953

More election stuff:

From True Majority:

Paperless electronic voting machines will be used once again this fall, and already during the primaries they failed. In Maryland crowds of legal voters were turned away from the polls when the machines couldn't be started1.

There's a simple safeguard – have enough paper ballots on hand so the election can go forward even if the machines let us down again. Obvious, right? Senators Boxer (D-CA) and Dodd (D-CT) have introduced a last-minute bill which would provide money to any state that is willing to print up the paper ballots. It's cheap, it's easy, and there's no reason not to do it. But time is short.

 Tell your Senator to support the emergency paper ballot bill. (ha. Like that would do us any good in Pennsylvania. But if you live in other saner states...)

Trailer for "American Blackout". Makes the really disturbing yet true voter theft argument: Had the Republicans not intentionally deprived black voters of the ballot in 2000 and 2004 the national election for the presidency would have gone the other way. Both times.

But that's just one of two vote theft movies that are out. The other one is called "Steal This Vote". For some bizarre reason they haven't released a trailer for this movie online. But there is a Democracy Now transcript and interview with the director.

Adding the Secretary of State Project to the permalinks, right by Bradblog. (tip of the hat to Froth for this one.) The Secretary of State controls elections. Think Ken Blackwell and Katherine Harris.

RFK on Hardball talking about the November election. (RFK has some health problems by the way which is why he sounds like Katherine Hepburn, but he is a true patriot.)

Sept. 24

If this Slashdot story is true, then a Blade Runner Spinner is in your future. Or perhaps even personal jetpacks. Could even be retrofitted for a Moller Aircar, whenever that gets built in 2525. Related: My fave humble compressed aircar looks to be building nicely. Need investors to bring the car to the US....uh, Google philanthropy and Mark Cuban? Come on fellas.

Speaking of movies, I thought the Superman film was pretty well done (though not as good as the X Men 3 film--where I wasn't entirely certain that Magneto was the "Bad Guy"), except for this recasting of Lex Luther as just a mere "scoundrel" who cheats widows out of their inheritance. I mean, Halliburton does more evil than that every 20 minutes. Lexcorp is the real tool of evil. The TV show has it correct: if you want to be evil run a large multinational. If you bribe the right Republican official, then you can pretty much get away with mass murder. I always wondered why Al Q just never bought a food processing plant and went about "serving" the public. They'd get away with and they would have Republican courts defending them every step of the way...

I really plan on enjoying the Steelers this year. It would be nice if they won another Super Bowl but don't bet on it. In fact, don't be surprised if they don't make the playoffs or even break 500. I mean, they're good enough to repeat but I just think other teams are hungrier. I will root for them no matter what.

I'm also watching lots of teevee. I watch the Wire, a quietly subversive show. By the way, for Wire watchers, show writer Ed Burns made that leap from cop to teacher in real life. He knows whereof he speaks. Last season, he took on drug legalization (he's probably a member of this group I hope.) and this season he takes on inner city schools. If you're watching this season, then I truly expect one or all of those middle school kids to bite the dust. Am very frightened of the female enforcer "Felicia".  Also checking out the Brotherhood (Or as I describe it: Its a story about two brothers. One works as a politician in a corrupt system, where he tries to create sweetheart deals on the side,  has a ruthless Machiavellian streak and will do anything for power. The other brother  works for the mob. Not always easy figuring out who the evil one is.) and looking forward to Battlestar Galactica. Love those fundie cylons who know that "God Loves Me" and that the pope is infallible. They're a treat...in television and in real life. (Weeds looks to be excellent as well.)

Over at Phil's Seminal Jazz Rock and Politics Videoblog I've added: Patricia Barber's "Winter", "Push and Pull" by Prince and Nikka Costa, "Biscuit" by Portishead, "King of the World" by Steely Dan, "Oslo Skyline" by Jaga Jazzist, "No Peace" by Terranova, "City Girl" by Kevin Shields (dreampop shoegazer stuff), and "Reel Life" by the Cinematic Orchestra. I think these were all featured this week. Bonus: Over at Red Light District there's a sexy vid called "Hey Little Boy" by the touch myself Divinyls.

 

Sept. 22

Related: One woman's attempt to get the morning after birth control pill. Short version: We're definitely in Handmaid's territory here.

A DEFENSE OF THE BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION

Over at American Samizdat where I'm pretty much the John McCain Republican there was an attack on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Where Uncle Scam, who I mostly agree with despite his affection for the band The Afghan Whigs, said some things and quoted from some sources that I didn't agree with:

Gates Foundation: Helping the world, one murderous investment at a time.

Look at that list of corporations. Does any one of those represent your vision of what the world should look like in the future? It's almost a top ten list of the world's top environmental marauders.

Okay, let's offer some defenses here:

One.) There needs to some separation between what the evil company Microsoft does and what the Foundation does. Quite frankly, the foundation does wonderful stuff. They've saved, if this page is correct, about 1 million African lives with many more to come. Yes, there probably are attempts to build the Microsoft brand while they're saving poor people just like I'm stuck with Explorer and Explorer only in public libraries but who gives a fuck? If you're living in sub Saharan Africa and you're alive because of a Microsoft funded vaccine then I think you're okay with the branding.

Two.) I don't hate Bill Gates because he's autistic. A lot of smart people are. It's a combination of  genetics and environmental poisons. Its not his fault. Perhaps his foundation can do something about that.

Three:) I think Bill Gates generally wants to help people through the Foundation. Yes, there's a branding component to it, but I don't think its the main thing.

Four.) I don't hate all capitalists. Some of them are very talented and have earned their money by offering innovative and exciting products and ideas. Bill Gates, even though you could argue that he was groomed to be a part of the ruling classes, earned his money through his ideas and his drive. It's not like he's incompetent like our President. The kind of guy who will kill, well, pretty much an unlimited amount of people in order to further the interests of the oil industry. Microsoft, while no saint, hasn't murdered a hundred thousand Iraqis to further its ends. And the Foundation does much much good.

Five.) Okay, so you're unimpressed with Bill saving, perhaps, millions of lives or that really cool school experiment in Philly (Quick Leno like joke:"Heard Microsoft is funding a school in inner city Philly...but then the school crashed and the 700 students were lost...(rimshot)!), what about the fact that it probably inspired Richard Branson to spend $3 billion to fight global warming, inspired Google to set up its own billion dollar foundation and probably inspired Craig Newmark (okay he might have done it anyway) to set up the  Craigslist foundation. I might note that all of these men have exciting ideas about philanthropy. It's not United Way handout stuff. I've already applied for a grant from one of them and been turned down but I'll keep trying. Bottom line: Bill's foundation is encouraging Atlas not to shrug. And being that Atlas will drown with the rest of us if the worst case Mother of Storms global warming scenarios come true then that might be worthwhile.

Six.) How ethical is it to use profits from unethical companies to fund ethical causes. I don't know.  Sort of depends on what evil the corporation is doing versus what good the money is going for. But at least Bill is trying. What exactly are the good works of Exxon that they've done with their record ill-gotten, price gouging profits? I'll wait.

Seven.) Yes, I will be asking the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for a small personal grant...And perhaps a yacht.

Sept. 19

Quick Around the Internets

Broadcast Tune I Can't Stop Playing "Where Youth and Laughter Go"
Project Censored's Top 25 Stories of 2006
Bold Idea From Google To Create A Hybrid Car
When I Heard the Government Was Releasing Their Anti Drug Vids Online I had the Same Headline: "Let the Mashups Begin!"
Do It Yourself $350 Solar Heater (Combined with 500 dollar Wind Turbine...Hmmmmm.)
Undernews is Profiling Green Party Candidates
Robert McChesney on the FCC's Suppressed Report. Plus: His new project Stop Big Media. I still think the solution is creating your own Big Media.
Readable FAQ About the Princeton Diebold Hack
Pittsburgh Indy Media now has their own weekly Democracy Now like online teevee show. I still think you have to pay writers but this looks interesting.

Sept. 18

Took the weekend off. Links are forthcoming.

 

Sept. 15


More Election Stuff:

If you don't want to read 6 or 7 books or about 10 to 12 websites daily and you still want to know the Essence of the Hacked Vote argument, then listen to this four minutes by Mark Crispin Miller.

Brad Friedman, doing a piece for Salon, writes more about that Princeton hack of a Diebold machine--which can be seen here. What's stunning about this is that Brad's team essentially had to "find" a Diebold machine and then hand it over to the Princeton team for independent review--of course, in a slightly honest world these tests would have been done already. Shocking. Just shocking. And by the way, this is outstanding journalism. Out of curiosity, what are your daily newspapers reporting on that's this important? Anything? Ever? Is there a more important issue than the vote fraud issue? This is why people gravitate to the Internets. Its for the same reason that Paul Sorvino gave as to why people come to the mob in Goodfellas: because people need have problems information that they can't take to the police can't get from the corporate media. And/or an abundance of porn which lowers the rape rate.

From Mark Crispin Miller's site:

Thank God Salon has finally dumped Farhad Manjoo...

Hack the vote? No problem
Diebold, the e-voting-machine maker, has long sworn its systems are secure. Not so, says a new Princeton study. Converting votes from one candidate to another is simple.
By Brad Friedman

Sep. 13, 2006 Having reported extensively on the security concerns that surround the use of electronic voting machines, I anxiously awaited the results of a new study of a Diebold touch-screen voting system, conducted by Princeton University. The Princeton computer scientists obtained the Diebold system with cooperation from VelvetRevolution, an umbrella organization of more than 100 election integrity groups, which I co-founded a few months after the 2004 election. We acquired the Diebold system from an independent source and handed it over to university scientists so that, for the first time, they could analyze the hardware, software and firmware of the controversial voting system. Such an independent study had never been allowed by either Diebold or elections officials.

The results of that study, released this morning, are troubling, to say the least. They confirm many of the concerns often expressed by computer scientists and security experts, as well as election integrity activists, that electronic voting -- and indeed our elections -- may now be exceedingly vulnerable to the malicious whims of a single individual.

The study reveals that a computer virus can be implanted on an electronic voting machine that, in turn, could result in votes flipped for opposing candidates. According to the study, a vote for George Washington could be easily converted to a vote for Benedict Arnold, and neither the voter, nor the election officials administering the election, would ever know what happened. The virus could also be written to spread from one machine to the next and the malfeasance would likely never be discovered, the scientists said. The study was released along with a videotape demonstration.

Read more.

Interesting Read at Cyborg Democracy: "Aren't We Already Transhumanists?"

Sept. 14

Tip of the hat to Froth for this link: Mickey Mouse Presents the Reichstag Fire.
Hate to admit it: Atrios played a rock tune that I liked.
Very cool alt wind turbines, ranging from 600 to 800 dollars. If I didn't live in an apartment...this would pay for electric heaters in the winter and fans in the summer. Sounds like a bargain. Related: Pro Solar Energy video.

Special Your Election Has Been Hacked Around the Internets

First up, here's a disturbing YouTube video of how your elections have been hacked, or at least Diebold machines. This won't change until the hacks start affecting Republicans. Story here.

From Bradblog:

Daily Voting News' For September 13, 2006

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

Today the Brennan Center released another report. This report congratulates Congress for implementing the Help America Vote Act of 2002 and taking us forward. However, the executive director said, "the way it is being implemented by many states, combined with new underhanded efforts to crack down on voter registration and participation, could move the country backward. We see a real problem coming up in November in the elections." / Today, also, Princeton University scientists released a report on the vulnerabilities of the Diebold TS voting system. This is the first time that hardware, firmware, and software have been investigated at the same time and the vulnerabilities are staggering. / Unbelievably Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams said Tuesday that he hopes the statewide adoption of electronic ballots will boost voting among young Texans and make elections more secure. Why would anyone think elections are more secure after witnessing what happened in Maryland yesterday? / Lancaster Co. Pennsylvania commissioners just purchased 92 additional eSlate DREs. Meanwhile the county elections director is asking all voters to use the paper ballots and eScans. It seems that someone has a lack of confidence in DREs. …

— Click here for REST OF STORY!… —

Frightening first hand account from Avi Rubin, who has written another book about our easily hacked machines. That's about 6 or 7 by my count. Still no word from Kos when this will be an issue. Again, these really aren't problems until they affect House and Senate majorities in Congress.

Lucky Sept. 13

 

Very good list of olde timey labour cartoons. Times haven't changed much, apparently.

Here are some people--American people--who think we need old fashioned French rioting, or rioting and protest that actually works. Sounds good to me. From their FAQs:

Q:  Does protest make any difference?

A:  It does -- and it doesn't.  Let's start with how it doesn't. Protest doesn't make a damn bit of difference if it's "protest as usual".  Protest that trims its sails to the political terms set by electing Democrats, or that tries to be respectable, or that doesn't convey that THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE AND MUST BE BROUGHT TO A HALT. No, protest like that doesn't really amount to much.  Never has and never will.

We're talking about tens of thousands going into the streets with a clear standard -- BRING THIS TO A HALT -- and a spirited call to others to join this.  Our recent statement envisions "a great wave of people unleashed from the huge reservoir of people who are deeply distressed over the direction in which the Bush regime is dragging the country and the world, moving together on the same occasion, making, through their firm stand and their massive numbers, a powerful political statement that could not be ignored: refusing that day to work, or walking out from work, taking off from school or walking out of school -- joining together, rallying and marching, drawing forward many more with them, and in many and varied forms of creative and meaningful political protest throughout the day, letting it be known that they are determined to bring this whole disastrous course to a halt by driving out the Bush Regime through the mobilization of massive political opposition."

That kind of protest could and would make a difference.  It would begin to galvanize into an active political and moral force the millions who hate the way things are going but are now paralyzed. The possibility of turning things around and onto a much more favorable direction would take on a whole new dimension of reality. This would send a different message to the whole world.

Face it: no great change has ever been won without protest, without people acting "from the bottom up" to set a new agenda, without struggle, without upheaval.  No. The protests in 2002 and 2003 didn't succeed in preventing the Iraq war, but they let the whole world know that Bush was acting in the face of huge public opposition. They put him on the moral defensive. And they helped to set terms for the future - as the ugliness of the war got revealed and people increasingly have come to oppose it.  The problem is not that our actions have had no impact; it's that we have not acted up enough.  A new season of upsurge must start now, one that sets out to reverse the whole direction in which this society is now hurtling, and to dramatically change the course of history.

The stakes now are too high to keep going through the motions of protest as usual -- politics that say: the people in government exercise power and make the corresponding decisions and our only role is to protest certain things they do. Instead, we need to act on the truth that when people take massive and independent political action, they can change things very profoundly. People in the 60's did not ask the liberal Democrats then in office for permission to fight for civil rights and Black liberation or to protest the war. They just did it, mobilizing millions and effectively saying in the immortal words of Bob Dylan that "your sons and daughters are beyond your command." The whole ethos of a generation and a country changed. 

Read the whole thing as they say. If I participate, you shall see me wearing one of these, which will probably cause me to get shot 41 times. Related: These people are also pissed off at Democrats and Pennsylvania's Senate race is one of the reasons.

If you liked Cinematic Orchestra's "Evolution", you can find it here. Related: There's a terrible rumor going around that Rupert Murdoch is buying YouTube. Just awful. The good news: There are  a gazillion other video upload sites, which I'll probably start supporting more as the ink dries on that deal.

Sept. 11

Ted Rall toon that has it about right.

Sept 9

One of my fave and underrated Steely Dan tunes. Update: Got the album wrong though. It's from Countdown to Ecstasy.

What David Sirota said:

Change does not come easy - it never does. And change never comes from Washington, D.C. - it is always forced on that city. But I must confess - for some reason (call me a naive idiot) I thought change among Democratic lawmakers in Congress would occur after Democratic primary voters spoke. Apparently, I was wrong. In a spate of stories today (here and here for example), we see that Democratic Senators yesterday tripped over themselves to applaud Sen. Joe Lieberman as he returned to Washington. The message wafted through the Senate club like the aroma of chicken cordon bleu wafts through a country club: Democratic senators are afraid that voters - actual voters - may get to have a say over who represents us in Congress. Though the stinging “how dare you” attacks against their own Democratic nominee, Ned Lamont, were not present yesterday - the “how dare you” feeling was clearly transmitted. It is fear and loathing inside the Senate Democratic club - fear of change, and loathing of democracy.

There was Joe Biden telling the Hill Newspaper “I don’t think there’s any of us out there saying ‘Goddamn, I hope Joe doesn’t win.” There was Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) demanding a “big hug” from Lieberman. There was Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) fulminating to reporters about Lieberman being “very, very welcome in our caucus.” Undoubtedly, Lieberman chief-of-staff-turned-Enron-lobbyist Michael Lewan was sitting in his K Street office smiling - after all, he was the guy Lieberman deployed to help him maintain Senate support after voters sent him down to a crushing defeat in August.

If you can get past the big middle finger these Democratic senators are clearly giving to primary voters of their own party, consider for a moment just how pathetically weak their behavior makes them look. Here you have Lieberman abandoning his party, then running onto national television berating Democrats, likening Democratic voters to terrorist sympathizers, and regurgitating Dick Cheney’s talking points almost word-for-word. Here you have Lieberman endangering Democrats’ chances of winning critical House races in Connecticut - and refusing to endorse down-ballot Democrats. Here you have Lieberman riding a massive wave of White House-directed Republican cash, benefiting from neoconservative/lobbyist-directed 527 ads, and happily accepting the formal endorsement of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the applause of racists like Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS), who went on record begging Lieberman to formally join the Republican Party.

Wait, there's more:

And yet, forget all that, said Democratic senators as they gave Lieberman a hero’s welcome of ovations and hugs and essentially pretended that Lieberman’s crushing Democratic primary defeat never happened. They’re message as as clear as the light of day: They’re message as as clear as the light of day: They’re willing to embrace anyone - ANYONE - even if that person is working hard to slice the Democratic Party’s heart out, undermine the party’s efforts to win elections, embolden the far right, and relegate Democrats to permanent minority status. They apparently do not understand that when you embrace and sing “for he’s a jolly good fellow” to the people that are trying with all their might to destroy you, you scream to the public that you fear your own shadow, you have no self-confidence, and that you don’t really believe in what you say you believe in. Whether it’s Democrats embracing Lieberman, or embracing George W. Bush when he pushed the Iraq War - the same loud message comes through.

The question really is - what’s next? How about a Senate Democratic luncheon celebrating Ken Mehlman? Better yet, how about a Democratic National Convention speaking slot for Don Rumsfeld? Maybe a Senate Democratic resolution asking Dick Cheney to accept official congratulations for his repeated lies about Iraq? What about Democratic senators using their campaign PACs to contribute to Republican candidates for Senate? Or, screw it - why not just a full on, white-gloved, black-tie gala at Union Station sponsored by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee celebrating the careers of Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich - the two GOP political gurus who relegated Senate Democrats to minority status?

 

 

Sept 8

"First they came for the Independent Investigative Journalists...All Several of Them. Seymour and Bob Fitrakis watch your backs..."

From Greg's website:

Palast, Pascarella Face Homeland Security Charges

Published by Greg Palast September 7th, 2006 in Articles

by Zach Roberts

Yes, the rumor’s true. Greg Palast is facing a criminal complaint from the Department of Homeland Security stemming from his filming the Hurricane Katrina investigation for Link TV and Democracy Now. The film’s producer, Matt Pascarella, is also facing the legal wrath of Big Brother.

It appears the complaint is about filming a sensitive national security site owned by Exxon petroleum. It seems that photographing major Bush donors is now a federal offense.

Reached at an undisclosed location, Palast says, “Let’s not get over-excited. They haven’t measured us for our orange suits yet.”

During questioning by Homeland Security, Palast asked, “Hey, aren’t you supposed to be looking for Osama? Or for guys with exploding shoes? … We’re journalists.” At Palast’s request, Homeland Security confirmed that Louisiana is, indeed, still part of the USA but did not respond when asked if the First Amendment applies there.

Watch part one and part two of Palast/Pascarella’s film. (In association with BigNoise Films) BigNoise Videographer Jaqui Soohen has not been charged.

Sept. 7

From Tom Moody. Looks like a lo-tek version of Greg Egan's interactive art. Especially this one.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

If we had a serious and real independent black press in this country (And no Oprah and Ebony and the New Pittsburgh Courier don't count.) this would be frontpage news every single day.

Thursday Evening Around the Internets

When the Internets Attack. All the Big League bloggers are attacking this year's version of Amerika, of course they didn't have an Internets back then. Atrios has a dozen posts. So far: They've gotten Scholastic to back down. Wasn't possible 20 years ago. "Problem, what problem", the corporate media would have sighed. "Write a letter you leftwing troublemaker. Maybe we'll print it after it airs 500 times..." This is why they hate the Internets so. Update: "Ouch" and "heh".

Random links:

Court rules against voter supervised election. Horrific. Short version. You can't get recounts of bogus votes. You no longer live in a democracy. Yes, gas prices will probably decline until November and then spike right back up. Related: More on Mexico's stolen election from Democracy Now and Counterpunch. I really admire how the Mexican people fight back.
Cool light emitting shirts. Think of the propaganda uses.
More on AIPAC or what Markos can't write about. Have either Schumer or Rahm wholeheartedly endorsed Lamont yet? Update: Sirota, who's Jewish, has more.
Interesting Tech shows here and here. This is essentially the return of Tech TV except it won't be owned by idiots who hate technology, apparently. Now, we need an online jazz channel.
Over at American Samizdat, I've linked to Why They Hate Us, a William Burroughs cartoon, and the very scary Jesus Camp.
How to access your PC with a thumb drive, damn small linux and how to use unix in 10 minutes. Right.
New Thomas Pynchon novel. I bet it will be hard to read.
Looking at Lulu as a way to publish the best of my net writings. There are some. I'm also competing with Cousin Leonce, who judging from his first chapter at Amazon has created "Walter Mosley's 'Invisible Man' ". Take a look at this Kirkus review that I'm deeply embittered and resentful about.

Kirkus Reviews

A seen-it-all gambler called to a high-stakes poker game in 1958 New Orleans finds instead murder, betrayal, and a lost love in this murky, brooding debut. The staff at L'Hotel Moreau wastes no time putting Deke Watley in his place. The disfigured desk clerk stares boldly as he indicates how much he knows about him; the bellhop who carries his bags pulls a gun on him. Alex Moreau, who manages the hotel for his blind father, is playing for even higher stakes. He tells his dealer that Mr. Watley is to win, for now, and so it happens. But poker is nothing more than a front for Alex's real plans. He wants to kill the father who murdered his mother, the black islander who'd blinded August Moreau. And when the elder Moreau sends retired private eye Harry Tate to trail August's mistress Hannah, and Tate follows her to a meeting with Deke, the onetime lover who'd left her high and dry back in Texas, Alex sees his chance. He kills Tate and ropes Deke into the murder, telling him they'll have to move quickly against August before he strikes back. The ensuing cycle of Mardi Gras bloodshed is set forth in prose by turns as grandiloquent as Faulkner and clipped and stylized to a fare-three-well. The result is a gusty, somber mood piece the cast is powerless to stop from unfolding because "not enough people were dead yet." Author tour

 

 

 

Sept. 6

Related: Here's a history of how Hitler rose to power. See if you can find the secret courts and 9 11s in the mix. Looks kind of familiar. Scary scary stuff as Pittsburgh's Count Floyd used to say...

Here's a quick test on whether the new mayor is evil or not. If he follows the charter--and I get all my info from those soft porn merchants 2 Political Junkies--and accepts a term until the next election of 2007 then he's okay and is deserving a look at a full term. If he goes for the power grab and goes for the full length of the mayor's term then he's evil and not worthy to be mayor. Choose wisely Anakin or Luuuuke...

Drummer Billy Cobham might actually be the best composer to come out of the Mahavishnu Orchestra! I've heard a lot of people covering Red Baron. The baseline for Stratus was sampled by Massive Attack even. Check out his world class technique above.

Well, my good friend Kos, who banned me from his site, is coming to Pittsburgh! South Side 7 pm. Well I think I can make that....Meanwhile, when I was in a bit of a vindictive mood I wrote this about Mr. Kos over at Max Sawicky's site. Its sort of why I'm not a big fan of Mr. Kos but I am interested in what he has to say. Really I am. Not buying that book though...

Well, my problem with Kos is that even though I've been a democrat much longer than he's been is that I've banned from his site as have many other people. In fact, not only have I been a democrat longer, I've never been dumb enough or murderous enough to join the US Army where I would be killing people for vague or spurious reasons. Of course, he says he was a republican when he entered the army and I sometimes think with these widespread purgings that perhaps he truly never left the fold.

Some of us are also annoyed that he seems to fit quite comfortably within the DLC mold. I don't know if you've watched the primaries but even if the dems overcome the fixed machines--which I doubt--it will be a DLC dem majority. O happy day. It would have been nice if the leading left bloggy voice out there had supported more progressives. (Editor's note: Like Chuck Pennacchio. Yes he was a long shot but you wouldn't have cringed whenever you watched him debate on Russert....Atrios....who, like Kos, didn't support Chuck.)

And finally, some of us are annoyed that he's been hostile to the vote fraud story. Even if you don't agree with the story you need to debunk it, otherwise everything you're working for on the left means nothing. You're just going to continue losing close elections. I mean, you could draw a graph showing direct correlation between the use of these new machines and the rise of the Republican majority. True, Bradblog and Crispin Miller and Fitrakis have their own online forums but it would be nice if the Cadillac of the Scooped software folk could get behind the bandwagon. Of course, that silly book that Kos wrote and that I'm not buying doesn't mention the vote theft issue as The Issue. Perhaps its jealousy. And at this point, I wouldn't put it past him.

So those are my complaints about Kos from the Left. My two cents so to speak..

Philip Shropshire
www.threeriversonline.com
Philip Shropshire | Homepage | 06.22.06 - 12:54 am | #

Sept. 5

Here's the best recorded concert of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, separated into three sections. And here's the promo for the new book about the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

Sept 4

Labor Day thoughts from Greg Palast and Nathan Newman. And a good first person reason to be pro labor from Froth.

Speaking of people we corrupt Washington pols don't like, there's this story from Bradblog about  why what Obrador is doing in Mexico is very important.

The money shots are here:


Mexico matters because the people and leaders refused to give up when the system failed to give them a real recount. The independent election institute tried to pass off a Calderon victory without investigating the numerous and substantial allegations of election fraud. For example, the institute tried to announce a victory by President Vincente Fox’s hand-picked candidate, Calderon, until an audience member pointed out ballots that they failed to count — at least 2.5 million of them. That type of "error" is rarely an error; rather, it shows bias and intent to deceive. The electoral tribunal resisted but was ultimately pressured into a recount of 9% of the vote. The tribunal then refused to order a total recount of the paper ballots even though it found that 130,000 were either missing or invalid — in only 9% of the precincts! The projected total for 100% of the precincts would be over 1.3 million ballots. Yet the full recount failed to materialize.

And here:

What are the lessons for us? Be prepared to fight fraud. Prior to the election many activist groups armed themselves with documentation strategies to capture fraud as it occurred. When you know it's fixed, stand up and protest. The casual forgetting of 2.5 million votes, the statistical problems with the winning candidate's in-law-authored tabulation software, and the dirty tricks to knock Obrador out of the race before it started all served as warnings. The intended victims were not about to be victimized. They prepared and protested immediately. They were told to be mature about the process and expect cheating. When that happened, they upped the ante and began massive protests. Now they say loudly, in unison, "We do not consent" as they form parallel social and governmental structures. They've have had enough!

They've had enough. When will we reach that point? A study of their courage, strategy and tactics is well worth our time. As we do that, it is important to speak up, share information, and spread the word — the Mexican people and their leaders are the heroes of democracy.

The journalists to watch on election issues are Al Girodano on the 9% Recount – Massive Fraud and Chuck Collins & Jushua Holland. Also, see The Mexican People: Heroes of Democracy by this author (Spanish & English).

Sept. 2

I don't really have a lot to say about Mayor Bob O'Connor's death. I mean, he really didn't like me very much. After I gave him my card with this website on it and after writing this piece about one of the mayoral debates, I saw him several months later outside of a Northside political function. He was outside talking to some supporters I guess. As soon as he saw me, he scowled and walked back into the building where the event was being held. I actually think that's a great response--almost as good as the Rev. James Simms throwing me out of his office in the 80s--for a feisty blogger/writer to get. But I don't think it qualifies me to write misty eyed memorials to the guy. Still, sympathies to his family and loved ones.

Fester has the best roundup of stories about this.

This isn't the first Pittsburgh major that I've seen die in office. When I was a reporter for the Pittsburgh Courier (again way back in the 80s) I lived through the administration of Richard Caliguri, who also died from a rare disease. I actually liked that Mayor because he invited me into his office and gave me two front page stories. He also could have prevented the possibility of two black reps on City Council, but he didn't. Some years later the city solicitor swore that my stories in the Courier pushed him to accept the proposal that created district elections in Pittsburgh. Then again, what if the Mayor knew that he had that disease? He may have decided to leave on a note of grace. Just a thought...

I am slightly worried about the new mayor who, if I recall a 2 Political Junkies post correctly, isn't able to distinguish between our two black female city council people. Well, let's see what he does...Who knows. Perhaps I can get another mayor to scowl at me.

 

Sept. 1

Well, let me condemn the 2 Political Junkies people for using sex as a weapon. Think of the children. You won't be seeing any exploitive male nudity on this page that's fer sure. I guess I got's scruples.

Meanwhile, at the US Open and International Basketball:

Sharapova always has a shot to win it but there are still holes in her game. But there's just a lot of depth in the women's side this year. Mentally, I just think Justin beats everyone, although I'm rooting for Americans Davenport and Serena I just don't think they're match tough even though they both could take it all. Love Dementieva's powerful thighs (I'm thinking about starting a Church of Worship based on them) but she needs a better serve. Ask Hingis, who got tossed last night.

Love the Agassi run. His two matches have been some of the best men's tennis that I've seen in years. Still think America's best hope is Andy Roddick who seems to be widening his game (more net play, better volleys). Its not just "serve well, hit forehand hard", which won't defeat the Federer anyway. Perhaps its the Conners effect. Root for Blake as well but not sure if he's good enough, quite frankly. Not enough weapons, not enough consistency. Could win it if he gets hot... Though never doubt the Power of The Federer. Best rumor I've heard: a Pete Sampras return. His body isn't broken like Agassi's. He should only play three slams: Australia, Wimbledon and the US Open. Need to keep the Grand Slam record in American hands. I miss the Big Four days of Sampras, Agassi, Chang and Courier.

Quick note on FIBA basketball: The best US team of pros isn't going to beat cohesive international teams that have been playing for years. On the other hand, instead of Bosch, Miller and Elton Brand I would have preferred Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant. Might want to consider a premier point guard like Kidd or Iverson as well. And make your goddamn foul shots. ON the other other hand, team USA had no answer for that Greek (?) 315 pound African-Greek defensive lineman.  Might want to give Shaq a call and at least ask. Don't like our chances against Argentina but a win would be nice.

August 31st
From ZNET

"WE ARE WILLING TO FIGHT AND DIE FOR INDEPENDENCE!"

The potential for the situation to turn violent has clearly shocked people. The intensity of the moment is seen in the words PRD deputy Emilio Serrano offers to the gathered crowd, "We are willing to die for the cause for independence!' he yells, "For freedom and democracy in Mexico! In 1968 the students were willing to die and the Mexican army massacred them. We are also willing to die!" he says looking back at the police line, "we will die on the line, don't you think so comrades?" 'Yes!' yells back the crowd.

Later I asked Obrador if he is worried that his actions have isolated some of his supporters. He paused before answering, "Yes, but it's the price that I have to pay because these measures are well seen by a many people. It's the only way we have to make them listen."

The morning after the clashes, police water tanks are deployed in the streets surrounding the Congress building and hundreds of federal police patrol the streets.

I asked Obrador how this movement would be remembered in Mexico's history.  "Mexicans are no longer willing to accept the humiliation and fraud," he replies. "The country has to change because from this movement, transformations are beginning to be born. The guys in power are going to see themselves forced to change some things. They're no longer going to be able to keep on doing things the same way in this country," he tells me firmly.

Mexico City is on edge as everybody waits for the Electoral Tribunal to announce its decision. It remains to be seen where this new movement is going but it seems that whatever happens, Mexico will be very unstable and divided in the near future.

There's a long and detailed interview with Leftist PRD candidate Andrés Manual Lopez Obrador over at ZNET who is, well quite possibly, leading a civil revolt in Mexico and deservedly so. By the way if you haven't gotten this yet: elites in other countries have noticed the wonderful results from Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004 and have exported them to Mexico and other countries to be named later. Despite the nonviolence pushed by Obrador I truly think this will turn violent. And frankly, I think if you're going to fight and die for something, as opposed to oil company revenues, then democracy is certainly worth fighting and dying for.

As someone who watched Kerry not even take the election to the courts--where, as is evident now, its quite clear that he had an even better case than Gore--this is amazing. Imagine a candidate who fights for the public interest. Just astonishing. You can actually do this. Who knew.

I root for them and their struggle for justice. Why do I believe them? Because if you win legitimately you're okay with recounts. The Ruling Party refuses a full recount. Honestly now let's put two and two together. That's always the Chavez retort by the way: go count the ballots. (That's why we know Chavez won fair and square.)

I'll be excerpting this over the next several days but here are the best bits:

On the International Observer question:

PAN has claimed that the elections were clean because of the presence of international election observers. However, the 673 election observers only oversaw a fraction of the country's 130 thousand polling stations and one of the international observer groups, Global Exchange, has documented possible cases of vote-buying by the PAN and PRI political parties, illegal confiscations of voter ID cards and ballot shortages at certain polling stations.

So why is the majority of the press repeating that the presence of international observers ensured that the election was clean and fair? "It was the electoral tribunal itself that put out that press release about the observer's," Global Exchange President Ted Lewis told me.  "We were really annoyed with them when they did that. And about two thirds of the other observers were diplomats who are not allowed to make public comments."

Now, this looks familiar: scientists smell a rat:

There's also an interesting theory that has emerged concerning the timing of results as announced by the Federal Electoral Institute.  Victor Romero is a Doctor of physics who specialises in statistics and randomness at the National University of Mexico. He studied the electoral commission computer results closely and he believes there is strong evidence of interference.

Dr Romero explained to me a very unusual statistical pattern he noticed with the PRD vote as the tallies came into towards the end. "The PRD was winning and then suddenly at about 70% they start losing and never even gained .01 of a percentage," he explained.  It seems incredible that as the last 30% of results came in, the PRD share of votes never increased. "It could be like this and then like that," Dr Romero explains, moving his hands up and down, "More of one party and less than another. But not in order. The order here is completely unexplainable."

This physics specialist is talking about something a lot more sinister than stuffing ballots. "There is a possibility statistically speaking, very strong, that there was an interference with the computer system of the IFE that made the counting of the votes," Dr Romero concludes.  

Once again, public perception isn't helped by the fact that Calderon's brother in law has a contract for computer management systems at the electoral commission. Dr Romero's work and similar studies by others have gained quite a following on the Internet but remain largely ignored by the mainstream Mexican media.(Editor's note: kind of like here in the United States.)

Then there's some interesting commentary about the role of the Mainstream Mexican Media which sounds familiar:

The national Mexican Television networks, Televisa and TV Azteca seem to have an unusual penchant for in-depth reporting of weather conditions rather than disputed presidential elections. The left wing newspaper La Jornada is one of the only outlets that regularly publishes and investigates PRD's claims of fraud. (Editor's Note: Let me guess the Jon Benet story was big there too right?)

I asked Obrador why the Mexican Television was like this? He laughed out loud at my question. "It's because they are a part of the group that dominates the country. They don't want for a change to happen," he said, " The media is very powerful. Behind the media are the owners of the media. They're the richest men in Mexico."

Read the whole thing.

In case you live on a planet which will be destroyed by warring factions of invisible sky monster devotees, then you might want to look at a Planet B. I think Mars is that Planet B. Here's a trailer for the Mars Underground:

August 30

Mike Shamos, who Kathy Dopp has argued  represents the dark side of the voter integrity debate--according to her Mike's okay with the machines returning wrong unverifiable results--wrote a letter to the Post Gazette. This letter was in response to a pretty good editorial in favor of the suit filed by election activists--still not sure if I'm a named plaintiff but that's okay--against the machines that Democrats seem determined to put in place despite the elections of 2000 and 2004. Richard King, a prominent voting rights advocate, wrote a response to Shamos which I'm printing in its entirety. I don't know if it will appear in the Post Gazette.

Dear Editors of the Post Gazette

In the 1970s Nestle sold baby formula to impoverished breastfeeding mothers.  The mothers were persuaded that being "modern" was best for their babies who, in epidemic proportions starved to death... all for the sake of  "being modern", profit, and its victory over common sense.  In your editorial "Trust, but Verify" you imply that the "potential of the computer age" would be lost if we used, as most of our country does use, optical scan voting, which is also by the way, a computer system.

Precinct based optical scan systems are advocated by the top computer security experts in the country for good reasons: Paper ballots are observable permanent records for voters and officials.  They are by far easier to secure than software and vapor ballots.  They are also the most cost effective.  In contrast, its impossible to 100% guarantee that software is free of malicious code.

Security is a process, not a product.  Software security requires on going vigilance.  Our county officials apparently have learned software security from the vendors who designed security holes into their systems and whose work Dr. Avi Ruben says would have flunked out of his undergraduate computer security class at Johns Hopkins.  Last week we heard from Allegheny County officials that a voting software audit means asking the software what version it is.  Thats like asking a stranger if you can trust him with everyone's retirement account... at a distance, anonymously, and with no hope of ever knowing if the money was stolen or not.

Way to go Dan Onorato!  You've avoided recounts and audits, permanently. Voters never see a permanent record of their vote!  In an historical context steeped in election fraud, you've spun the purchase of our county's unsecurable elections as a victory... and you can be confident in your victory as the PG has yet to do any feature article on the security problems of eVoting... because doing that could damage voter confidence in the integrity of our elections.

I recall Nestle only changed their marketing of formula to African mothers when the publicity became a problem too... about decade later.
 

Sincerely,

Richard King, Ph.D.

PA-VerifiedVoting. org< Squirrel Hill

One of the best political ads ever.

Sunday widescreen featuring Pat Metheny's "As It Is"

 

August 29

You're on Notice People!

Tuesday Morning Around the Internets

I'm adding a big flat slob to the Pittsburgh permalinks. He's the only person who thinks the Greens, if you read the law the way its supposed to be read, should only have to reach 16000f voters. Just on a tactical note: I really don't see much of a difference between Santorum and Casey. It would be nice if Casey had applauded the recent Plan B Victory--which undermined about 20 years of work by the anti-choice right--but I don't think he has.. It makes these decisions personal and private. Just a horrible setback in the War Against Fucking. I'm glad there are no Greens in the governor's race. Could stand the competition in the senate race.

I'm also adding Raw Story and TPM Muckraker to the permalinks, right beside Greg Palast.

Hearst: The Face of Modern Capitalism, here in the United States, Mexico and beyond...

I was going to write a long thoughtful piece about Deadwood, but Booman beat me to it. I hear its not being renewed which is insane. Perhaps the powers that be didn't like Hearst as a Metaphor for Capitalism. Looks about right to me. If they had another year, then I was going to lobby for a Kung Fu episode starring David Carradine. He can still play the role. They could bring back the old music. Would have been cool. I might note that voting for Bob Casey Jr. is not unlike slitting the throat of a young girl. Just awful. I mean, I guess its for the greater good...

Speaking of ruthless ruling class pricks who beat up journalists and steal elections, looks like Mexico's Supreme Court has decided everything was fair in that election. You could have a recount but that would be, what, fair? You wouldn't want that now would you? The opposition promises a nonviolent resistance but the Hearst-like ruling Mexican elites won't allow that. They'll have to fight for democracy. I wish them well. Best story on the issue. Looks like the civil war will have two fronts....

August 27

"Oslo Skyline" by Jaga Jazzist
Uploaded by Steelydan

 

Cat Power "Lived in Bars"

August 25
Brokendrum by Beck
Uploaded by Steelydan

PORTISHEAD ALL MINE
Uploaded by RAQUELLE

April 23

Adding Lefty Blogs Pennsylvania to the permalinks. And Truthout.

Apparently, Mona Lisa, Robert Redford and Mickey Mouse are registered Democratic Party Voters...

The Green Party is right about this. I got this through the Internet emails. I have omitted the party's author. By the way, for the 1000th time, had the DNC not given me a pro war, anti choice Leiberman-like Christian Zionist Pro Israel at any price guy like Bob Casey  to vote for it wouldn't matter what the Green Party does or did....Bonus: Kos hates the lazy ass wait until Labor Day campaign of Bob Casey. Priceless. Of course, you could have decided to work on behalf of Underdog Chuck Pennacchio but noooooooo...

The leadership of the Democratic party has been attacking the Green Party and Carl Romanelli in particular over the last several weeks.  First they attack Carl Romanelli for taking donations from Santorum supporters and imply collusion between the Green Party and the Republican Party.  Granted, the republicans cynically donated to someone who does not share their views in an attempt to cut Bob Casey's lead.  Do the Democrats require a loyalty oath before taking donations?  If there is any collusion, it is between the two major parties who redistrict and concede not only races but entire states to each other denying the voters of a real choice.

In addition, T. J. Rooney and the Democratic leadership claim 69,000 of the 99,000 signatures the Green Party submitted to the Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation were fraudulent and included the names Mona Lisa, Robert Redford and Mickey Mouse among others.  The defense of the signatures is now taking place in Harrisburg and as it turns out, Mona Lisa, Robert Redford and Michael "Mickey"  Mouse are all registered voters in the state of Pennsylvania.  T. J. Rooney should have done some research before making such slanderous claims.

Shame on the leaders of the Democratic party!  We all know the Democrats take money from some of the same people who donate to the Republicans.  How dare they criticize the Green Party for taking some of this money in an attempt comply with the unfair ballot access laws that the Democrats and the Republicans created.  The Green Party needed 67,700 signatures of registered voters to get their statewide candidates on the ballot while the Democrats and the Republicans needed only 2,000.  Even this is now in contention since the 2005 Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice retention votes were a statewide election.  Based on the 2005 statewide results, the Green Party would only need 16,000 signatures.  

Green Party volunteers worked for months towards the staggering goal of 67,700 signatures.  When it appeared the goal was unattainable, Carl Romanelli decided to solicit donations to pay petitioners.  This effort provided the stimulus to reach and exceed the signature goal.  How dare the Democratic leadership belittle the work of these individuals by calling their efforts fraudulent.

The Green volunteers who worked on the signatures prior to submitting them to the state worked 44 hours without sleep weeding out obviously bad petitions and making sure everything was in order.   I am sure the democrats and republicans can collect 2000 signatures without losing any sleep or breaking a sweat.

The Green Party has nothing to be ashamed of.  It achieved a goal no one thought was possible.  It played by the rules that the two parties made.  Now the leaders of the Democratic party are crying foul.  The Democratic leadership said that the Green Party does not belong on the ballot.  How dare they!   Tens of thousands of registered voters in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania say that the Green Party does belong on the ballot.

As far as money goes, this is a prime example of the need to remove money from politics.  Carl Romanelli took money to get on the ballot and get his anti-war, clean energy, single payer health care message out.  The Democrats and Republicans take it to fund their campaigns and influence their votes.

If nothing else, this whole episode is a prime example of the need for fair, verifiable and publicly financed elections. 

 

Hearst: The Face of Modern Capitalism, here in the United States, Mexico and beyond...

I was going to write a long thoughtful piece about Deadwood, but Booman beat me to it. I hear its not being renewed which is insane. Perhaps the powers that be didn't like Hearst as a Metaphor for Capitalism. Looks about right to me. If they had another year, then I was going to lobby for a Kung Fu episode starring David Carradine. He can still play the role. They could bring back the old music. Would have been cool. I might note that voting for Bob Casey Jr. is not unlike slitting the throat of a young girl. Just awful. I mean, I guess its for the greater good...

 

Speaking of ruthless ruling class pricks who beat up journalists and steal elections, looks like Mexico's Supreme Court has decided everything was fair in that election. You could have a recount but that would be, what, fair? You wouldn't want that now would you? The opposition promises a nonviolent resistance but the Hearst-like ruling Mexican elites won't allow that. They'll have to fight for democracy. I wish them well. Best story on the issue. Looks like the civil war will have two fronts....

August 27

"Oslo Skyline" by Jaga Jazzist
Uploaded by Steelydan

 

Cat Power "Lived in Bars"

August 25
Brokendrum by Beck
Uploaded by Steelydan

PORTISHEAD ALL MINE
Uploaded by RAQUELLE

April 23

Adding Lefty Blogs Pennsylvania to the permalinks. And Truthout.

Apparently, Mona Lisa, Robert Redford and Mickey Mouse are registered Democratic Party Voters...

 

The Green Party is right about this. I got this through the Internet emails. I have omitted the party's author. By the way, for the 1000th time, had the DNC not given me a pro war, anti choice Leiberman-like Christian Zionist Pro Israel at any price guy like Bob Casey  to vote for it wouldn't matter what the Green Party does or did....Bonus: Kos hates the lazy ass wait until Labor Day campaign of Bob Casey. Priceless. Of course, you could have decided to work on behalf of Underdog Chuck Pennacchio but noooooooo...

The leadership of the Democratic party has been attacking the Green Party and Carl Romanelli in particular over the last several weeks.  First they attack Carl Romanelli for taking donations from Santorum supporters and imply collusion between the Green Party and the Republican Party.  Granted, the republicans cynically donated to someone who does not share their views in an attempt to cut Bob Casey's lead.  Do the Democrats require a loyalty oath before taking donations?  If there is any collusion, it is between the two major parties who redistrict and concede not only races but entire states to each other denying the voters of a real choice.

In addition, T. J. Rooney and the Democratic leadership claim 69,000 of the 99,000 signatures the Green Party submitted to the Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation were fraudulent and included the names Mona Lisa, Robert Redford and Mickey Mouse among others.  The defense of the signatures is now taking place in Harrisburg and as it turns out, Mona Lisa, Robert Redford and Michael "Mickey"  Mouse are all registered voters in the state of Pennsylvania.  T. J. Rooney should have done some research before making such slanderous claims.

Shame on the leaders of the Democratic party!  We all know the Democrats take money from some of the same people who donate to the Republicans.  How dare they criticize the Green Party for taking some of this money in an attempt comply with the unfair ballot access laws that the Democrats and the Republicans created.  The Green Party needed 67,700 signatures of registered voters to get their statewide candidates on the ballot while the Democrats and the Republicans needed only 2,000.  Even this is now in contention since the 2005 Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice retention votes were a statewide election.  Based on the 2005 statewide results, the Green Party would only need 16,000 signatures.  

Green Party volunteers worked for months towards the staggering goal of 67,700 signatures.  When it appeared the goal was unattainable, Carl Romanelli decided to solicit donations to pay petitioners.  This effort provided the stimulus to reach and exceed the signature goal.  How dare the Democratic leadership belittle the work of these individuals by calling their efforts fraudulent.

The Green volunteers who worked on the signatures prior to submitting them to the state worked 44 hours without sleep weeding out obviously bad petitions and making sure everything was in order.   I am sure the democrats and republicans can collect 2000 signatures without losing any sleep or breaking a sweat.

The Green Party has nothing to be ashamed of.  It achieved a goal no one thought was possible.  It played by the rules that the two parties made.  Now the leaders of the Democratic party are crying foul.  The Democratic leadership said that the Green Party does not belong on the ballot.  How dare they!   Tens of thousands of registered voters in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania say that the Green Party does belong on the ballot.

As far as money goes, this is a prime example of the need to remove money from politics.  Carl Romanelli took money to get on the ballot and get his anti-war, clean energy, single payer health care message out.  The Democrats and Republicans take it to fund their campaigns and influence their votes.

If nothing else, this whole episode is a prime example of the need for fair, verifiable and publicly financed elections.   

Complete lyrics to Weird Al's "Don't Download This Song". You can download that song here.

Once in awhile, maybe you will feel the urge
To break international copyright laws
By downloading MP3s from file-sharing sites
Like Morpheus or Grockster or Limewire or Kazaa

But deep in your heart, you know the guilt would drive you mad
And the shame would leave a permanent scar
'Cause you start out stealin' songs, then you're robbin' liquor stores
And sellin' crack and running over schoolkids with your car

So don't download this song
The record store's where you belong
Go and buy the CD like you know that you should
Oh, don't download this song

Oh, you don't want to mess with the RI-double-A
They'll sue you if you burn that CD-R
It doesn't matter if you're a grandma or a seven-year-old girl
They'll treat you like the evil hard-bitten criminal scum you are

So, don't download this song
Don't go pirating music all day long
Go and buy the CD like you know that you should
Oh, don't download this song

Don't take away money from artists just like me
How else can I afford another solid-gold Humvee?
And diamond-studded swimming pools? These things don't grow on trees
So all I ask is everybody please

Don't download this song (don't do it, oh no)
Even Lars Ulrich knows it's wrong (you can just ask him)
Go and buy the CD like you know that you should (you really should)
Oh, don't download this song

Don't download this song (other people should do it for you)
Might wind up in jail like Tommy Chong (remember Tommy)
Go and buy the CD (right now) like you know you should (go out and buy it)
Oh, don't download this song

Don't download this song (na, na, na, na, na, na, oh)
Or you'll burn in hell before too long (and you deserve it)
Go and buy the CD (just buy it) like you know that you should (you cheap bastard)
Oh, don't download this song
 

Sunday widescreen featuring Pat Metheny's "As It Is"

 

 

April 22

You know it occurs to me, as I'm really busy doing freelance work right now, why not print the original review of The Pact which ended my career as a BET book reviewer. (This and the fact that they weren't interested in a review of Zadie Smith's work...)
 

Review of "The Pact" that BET refused to run...Still waiting for my $50 Kill Fee

 

Review by Philip Shropshire

(permalink here.)

April 20

Brainpolice
Uploaded by Steelydan

 

This had vanished from YouTube but appeared mysteriously over at Daily Motion. Beautiful version of Frank Zappa's "Who are the Brain Police?"

A long time ago, I used to write book reviews for BET. It kind of ended when I wrote this book review--it didn't have the ending my editor had in mind. ("Everybody should be a doctor!") (Will link to it later.) And for some reason, my other book reviews have gone down the memory hole. So I'm reprinting them here. I recommend both of these books by the way.

Charisma

By Steven Barnes

TOR Books

2002 

As a matter of record, let it be stated that this reviewer enjoyed the Harry Potter books and the Lord of the Rings movies very much. This is despite the belief that their writers live or have lived in what could only be called very White White White White White worlds. Tolkien could be forgiven. Afterall, those were the times. Not only that: any attempt by him to handle the race matter would turn out like Kipling’s patronizing romantic view of colonialism anyway. But J.K. Rowling? Hasn’t modern Britain turned into an island full of Indian and Jamaican immigrants? Don’t tell me Rowling never saw them, like Woody Allen’s missing black and Hispanic New Yorkers for all those years, with her modern eye. Her perceptions must have been dimmed by a devilish incantation. 

Surely, someone can write a good fantasy novel and have people of color play a significant role. Turns out that the ever prolific Steven Barnes has already written that good book and as you might imagine: It’s a bit darker than anything that Rowling has ever come up with, not just in tone, but casting. Or at least I don’t remember private assassins—partial to using hit and run techniques on bicycling kids—murderous drug dealing bikers and gay body builders with a mean streak ever taking a ride on Harry Potter’s magic train. Here’s a hint of Charisma’s NC-17 tone: an angry gang of male gay body builders aren’t just content to kick your butt silly. I’ll leave it at that.  

Charisma’s premise is actually pretty interesting. What would happen if you took the genetic structure of what we could call African American super people (Your Alis, Robert Johnsons, Oprahs and so forth) and genetically transferred their traits into young children from poor backgrounds. And what if it turns out that the book’s fictional black super achiever, Alexander Marcus, a black billionaire Rupert Murdoch with a military background, has a ruthless streak that the scientists didn’t know about? You would get some very ruthless and intelligent mutant kids (The X-Men are even mentioned.) who seem to live an ethic that Machiavelli or Sun Tzu would admire. You could argue that their murders are all self-defense, but it’s still grisly. The kids are such effective machines that at the book’s denouement—where the assassins, armed with their big guns and their Nam tactics, slowly unfold their plans to make the genetically altered kids summer Camp Charisma experience a fatal one—you might find yourself feeling a kind of precognitive pity for the assassins. Turned out to be right. It’s not unlike reading the “The Wrath of Khan: The Pre-Teen Years”, for those of you who get Star Trek references.

 The big thrill here is that you get your science fiction with a varied cast of color. Black folks are represented at almost every level of society doing interesting cool things. There’s the hack reporter looking for one last great headline, the struggling business owner mother of one, the ex-jock, the street kids, even the super achiever. Barnes even manages to touch upon class differences within the black community itself. These are insights missing from the movies these days, a lot of science fiction television, and even genre books for that matter. 

All in all, a very satisfying read. Don’t be surprised to find yourself racing through the final 100 pages even though you can see what’s coming. It would be nice to see this on screen, just as affirmation that black people can be included in Great Fantasy and it can still be a cool story as well.

 

Bad Boy Brawly Brown

 By Walter Mosley

 As someone who’s not entirely thrilled with Walter Mosley’s science fiction—and by that I mean that I really didn’t like “Blue Light”—I’m happy to report that the writer has taken us back to the world of his now legendary and iconic private eye Easy Rawlins in Bad Boy Brawly Brown. With his Rawlins titles always marked with the name of a color, Walter Mosley offers more than just readably exciting genre books: they reach the level of passionate social history and Great Art. Bad Boy is no exception. I couldn’t put it down.  

This new book takes us to the Los Angeles of 1964. It features, in no particular order: the rise of a group that sounds suspiciously like both the Nation of Islam and the Black Panthers, some surprising commentary on the value of a high school education in a white society, and some out and out premonitions about the fate of black leaders and the COINTELPRO (The CIA’s counterintelligence operations and do a google search if you’re curious.) operations. 

By the way, we know this is fiction written by a black man because Easy essentially closes down the LA headquarters of COINTELPRO after a vigorous letter writing campaign to the NAACP and local media. Good job Easy. If only you were real…

There is also the usual assortment of shady characters, police beatings, fistfights, gunshots, big scores, dead bodies and dark sexual secrets. There’s also the question of whether Easy’s equally legendary sidekick Mouse actually died in the last book “A Little Yellow Dog”. All of the aforementioned factors are tied into a complicated Raymond Chandler plot that I wasn’t even close to figuring out until the very end. But, to be honest, I enjoyed the journey so much the destination became moot.

 After all, Mosley’s Easy Rawlins books aren’t just detective novels. They are, in fact, social snapshots of a time, of a place and of a people. If you want to see a perspective of how working class black folk were living in 1964—and you’re too lazy to dig through the works of Manning Marable or John Hope Franklin—just read the Rawlins books and you’ll get a pretty good perspective of How It Was. The busy work of his genre motifs of fisticuffs, corrupt cops and black female molls is always seen through a historical prism. The Vietnam War and the civil rights movement serve as the backdrops this time. (Where will Easy be during the Watts riots and the day Bobby Kennedy got shot…?) Yet it’s Mosley’s commentary about these ideas and movements, as seen through Easy’s jaded 44-year-old eyes, that’s just so interesting. For example, one character talks about how the cops plan to kill or discredit all the important black leaders. Easy makes the call that his adopted son Jesus would be better off being home taught than facing hostile instructors at the public school. 

There are also the usual Easyisms. Easy has a nice habit of falling into off the books Big Scores and then there’s this food thing. We learn that the collard greens have the scent of vinegar and bits of salt pork. The lasagna has a thick red sauce. Mosley really gives you the feel of a place with his eye for tastes, smells and textures. There’s also some great intelligence in the storytelling throughout. I thought it was a stroke of genius when we find that the smoker Rawlins huffs and heaves after just running two blocks.  

Final verdict: Bad Boy Brawly Brown is great storytelling combined with a social conscience. It’s a great read and just more proof that Walter Mosley just might be the best black male fiction writer alive today. 

August 19

"You mean, when they steal an election you can fight back..?"

Looks like the Mexican elites have watched our elites in 2000 and 2004 and decided that elections really don't mean we count all the votes. Yeah, we got your "democracy right here" should be the Mexican/US elites' new slogan. Despite about a ton of evidence for vote fraud--and even if there wasn't you would want a vote count right just to erase doubts right? Right--the Mexican High Court essentially declared a winner without the actual proof of the count. Here's the call:

Mexico's highest electoral court has rejected complaints about last month's congressional election, giving conservative candidate Felipe Calderon's party the largest stake in the legislature.

Calderon's ruling National Action Party (PAN) will have 52 seats in the senate, more than other parties but still short of a majority, the electoral court said on Wednesday.

The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which ruled Mexico for most of the last century, will have 33 seats in the senate, and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) will have 28 seats.

The PAN will have 206 seats in the lower house, with 123 controlled by the PRD and 105 held by the PRI.

So that's it then. The Mexican opposition should just take their ball and go home. Or better yet, do a kind of nudge nudge wink wink democratic party response where oh its terrible that the real choice of AIPAC and my big funders gets the presidency, again. Just awful. Or not:

Open defiance

Supporters of Lopez Obrador said their once-peaceful protest movement would become openly defiant of Mexican law if a full recount is not ordered in the disputed presidential race.

The electoral judges must declare a president elect by September 6.

Lopez Obrador lost the presidential vote on July 2 by a hair and his PRD has challenged the result, alleging fraud.

His party had also contested some of the results of the congressional election.

For more than two weeks, Lopez Obrador's supporters have protested against the election result by camping out in Mexico City's giant Zocalo square, the symbolic centre of political power in Mexico, and along the city's central Reforma Avenue.

Lopez Obrador supporters, backed by the city government, have already seized main streets in the heart of the capital, setting up protest camps on the elegant Reforma Avenue and clashing with federal police outside congress.

Gerardo Fernandez, an aide to Lopez Obrador, refused to say what illegal acts supporters were planning. But he told reporters on Wednesday that the campaign of civil disobedience would begin after a mass meeting on September 16 and will "imply a position of rebellion against authorities".

"The right is trying to impose a president, and we are not going to let this happen," Fernandez said.

No violence pledge

He said the movement would not include an "armed insurgency".

But riot police and demonstrators clashed in Mexico City as protests against the results of the presidential elections turned violent on Monday.

PDR supporters threw rocks at police, who employed baton charges and tear gas. At least eight demonstrators were injured.

Calderon's campaign says the election was clean and has criticised protesters for "kidnapping" the capital.

With tensions rising in the capital, more than 1,000 federal police officers in body armour have encircled congress with steel barriers and armoured vehicles, prompting the Mexico City authorities to accuse the government of authoritarianism.

Again, wtf? You can do this? Really? And you have leaders that encourage you to do it? Of course, there could be a blood bath...but are you willing to fight for democracy?

 

August 18

"Narita" by Terence Blanchard Band featuring Michael Wolff. Love that nasty Bitches Brewy rhythm section...And the late  Michael Hedges does a version of "All Along the Watchtower".

August 17

Let's face it: The Multi Medium guy is a really talented photog. Could work for the dailies if they were smart. How does Parker get those angles?  Ditto for the Unspace guy and his alien insect series. Or they just have really good cameras. While Froth: not so gifted a photographer. Needs to blow 600 bucks on the Unspace camera. Would make those greasy wings look all arty and professional. (Mmmm...tasty.)

We still don't know what will happen in Mexico. Defenders of Empire here and abroad seem to be rooting for the conservative candidate, who looks like he stole about a million votes or so. That's about par. Meanwhile, Narco News, which I've finally added to the permalinks, has the scoop.

Finally, the hard numbers are starting to come in. In the “partial recount” of paper ballots from the July 2 presidential election in Mexico, ordered by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (known as the Trife), the recount has been completed in 10,679 precincts of the 11,839 ordered by the court (about 9 percent of Mexico’s 130,000 precincts). From these precincts, Narco News has obtained the following preliminary numbers that confirm the massive and systematic electoral fraud inflicted on the Mexican people:

Taqueo and Saqueo

These preliminary recounts demonstrate mainly two kinds of fraud: “taqueo,” or the stuffing of ballot boxes with false votes as if putting extra beans inside a taco, and “saqueo,” or “looting,” that is, the disappearance of legitimate ballots cast.

A significant problem, now, for Mexican democracy (for those who claim that the election was fair, and also for those who view this evidence as proof of electoral fraud) is that there is no way to tell, inside each ballot box, which of the ballots were legal and which were not; nor which ballots were stolen and which were not.

Read the whole thing here. Related: Venezuela has turned into some kind of Heaven on Earth under that guy the administration hates. Read how bad life is under Chavez:

From there we traveled southwest by subway and bus to Caricuao with baseball aficionado Cesar Rengel, an activist and organizer with the Bolivarian Revolutionary group Frente Francisco de Miranda. Rengel was our guide and translator to the Missions, the hugely popular anti-poverty and social welfare programs instituted throughout the country by the Chavez government. We proceeded first to a modern full-service medical clinic, Clinica Popular Caricuao. The lines were long and doctors were extremely busy when we arrived, so we spoke to a patient waiting for service. Zulay, a raven-haired, middle-aged woman, dressed in a tank top with track pants and baby blue sneakers attested to the improvements in medical care under the administration of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. She said that the clinic was staffed with 60-70 doctors and provided medical care without charge for Venezuelans. To alleviate the waiting times, a new clinic is being erected nearby which will be staffed by Venezuelan and Cuban physicians. The Cuban doctors, we were told, are a temporary measure until Venezuela has enough of their own to staff the clinics.

Sounds awful. You wouldn't want that hope for the masses getting around. We're doing so much better in Iraq. If you define health clinics as needlessly slaughtered innocent civilians....

Must read series from Wired about Sweden's Pirate Party, known for their torrent site the Pirate Bay which I've never used to download porn. That would be wrong. Note to self: Write these guys and ask them to do a version of Youtube. I'm tired of seeing old vids I like go down the Memory Hole. I mean, these aren't commercial artists. Tom Moody feels the same way.

August 16

What David Sirota said:

When I talk to audiences around the country about my book Hostile Takeover I discuss with them the faction of Democrats who undermine their party (Bob Geiger is keeping track of which Democrats are supporting Lieberman). These Democrats supporting Lieberman are exactly the kind of people I am talking about: lawmakers who view American democracy as their exclusive property to be manipulated and disregarded as they see fit. We as Democrats will never be able to fight the conservative movement effectively if in every fight a handful of our own leaders are selling out, undermining our efforts, and siding with the corrupt forces that are driving this country into the ground.

It is time for Democratic Senators to stop telling everyone how nice a guy they think Joe Lieberman is - he’s not a nice guy, he’s a craven, selfish, anti-democratic opportunist, and is as mortal a threat to the Democratic Party’s ability to take back Congress as George W. Bush is. It is time for Democratic Senators to stop listening to an Enron lobbyist who is demanding they ignore the will of voters. It is time, in short, for our own leaders to stop worrying about country club sensibilities, stop being so comfortable in the minority, and start getting serious about
taking back political power.

It might also explain why they're not up in arms over the voter integrity issue. Like Leiberman, they're rooting for the other side.

As far as I can tell, only the Philadelphia Inquirer covered the suit against the voting machines in our state. I saw nothing over at the Post Gazette. Your liberal media at work. Sigh. Related: Big Salon Story about how the Republicans are taking their vote suppression efforts national. Not just Ohio (where Blackwell is down by 20 points but don't count him out) and Florida, but four other states. Dems, as reporter earlier, have a response in place but don't know if its enough.

 

August 15

Pat Metheny's "As It Is". Just a really well written song. 

Gil Scott Heron's classic "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised", but I still think it will be streamed at places like here, here, and here. One of the greatest songs ever by the way. You will feel 89.65 percent cooler just by listening to it brotha'... At American Samizdat: Frank Zappa's "Who are the Brain Police?"

August 14

Welp, I obviously took the weekend off. I did check out the Shadyside Arts festival.  I'm going to replace the Pat Metheny and Gil Scott Heron vids above eventually but they're really really good. Check them out. One problem I have with the silly Multi Medium/Atrios vids is that there's a problem with really good music getting played. The crappy music stations no longer promote really good bands who play really good music. There might be a Bjork or a Nirvana out there, but you're more likely to find them on YouTube.

It just seems to me that you should use your Power of the Internets wisely and promote quality--especially if you've hooked up your computer to your Technics amp stereo system and you get just an incredible sound.

In future news, or what should be happening tomorrow at 11 am: There's going to be a formal suit filed against the voting machines here in Pennsylvania. I was supposed to be their token Western Penn rep but I've been busy doing freelance work so I wasn't named in the press release. I still have to read over the complaint. But I wish them luck. Let's exhaust all legal options of dissent before figuring out that we all need to join the Bajoran resistance.

Pennsylvania Voters Filing Suit To Block Unreliable Electronic Voting

Lawsuit to be filed Tuesday, Aug. 15; Lack of paper trail, vulnerability to hacking cited

WHAT: A news briefing and Q&A with plaintiffs and their lawyers. The plaintiffs, a diverse nonpartisan group of Pennsylvania voters, are filing suit against state officials to stop the use or purchase in 56 counties of paperless touch-screen electronic voting machines that do not keep a written record of votes. This is the most comprehensive lawsuit in Pennsylvania to challenge the use of electronic voting based upon therequirements of the Pennsylvania Constitution and state election laws.

Full Press Release Here.

August 11

From Robot Wisdom Lebanon Peace Pics.

Star Trek inspirational poster. And: really? Isn't it obvious that Pittsburgher Frank Gorshin represents the Israeli/Palestinian conflict....? No?

Lifted from Bradblog. Part four of what real opposition parties do. Will they win? I don't know. But they'll feel better that they tried to make democracy work..

Mexican Protesters Seize Toll Booths, Blockade Stock Market and Government Offices

No business as usual in Mexico City — until the votes are counted!

“For the good of all, the poor first”

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Mexican sit-ins demand vote recount

Throughout Mexico, the movement for social justice continues to take to the streets to press its demands.

Supporters of presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador took over tollbooths throughout Mexico City on Aug. 8, preventing federal officials from charging tolls on the highways into the city, and blockaded the agricultural ministry, preventing employees from entering. (Reuters)

The actions were in response to a court ruling that dismissed a full recount of ballots from the July 2 presidential election, in which what appears to be massive fraud led to the victory of the big-business candidate Felipe Calderón over López Obrador by a margin of less than one percentage point.

Protesters have occupied the Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City’s main thoroughfare, for nearly five miles since July 30. The 47 encampments have stalled traffic along a street containing government offices, the U.S. Embassy and luxury downtown hotels, with business in the area claiming losses of millions of dollars. They have also blocked the entrance to Mexico’s stock market.

Please read more.

Could something like this happen here?

Only if YOU want it badly enough!

BLOGGED BY Winter Patriot ON 8/10/2006 8:20PM PT  

 

What Alexander Cockburn said:

The sweetness of Lieberman's defeat
August 10, 2006

Any morning which carries the fragrance of a defeat for Democratic senator Joe Lieberman is one that should be savored. And his humiliation at the hands of Connecticut voters in Tuesday's Democratic primary is all the sweeter for the fact that it looks as though we may be able to enjoy another Lieberman defeat in November. No longer able to run as the junior Democratic senator from Connecticut, Lieberman insists that he will run as an independent in the fall election. If he does so, it may deny victory to the man who defeated him on Tuesday, Ned Lamont, but Lieberman himself will plummet once again. There are a lot of people in Connecticut who quite rightly can't stand the guy.

And:

But the question remains whether there is any home in the Democratic Party for a true progressive. Lamont's victory in the primary certainly doesn't answer that question. On most issues he's almost indistinguishable from Lieberman. On Tuesday you had only to travel down Interstate 95 to Georgia to see what happens to real progressives, where the Democratic Party conspired with Fox News and the rest of the press to try to destroy Cynthia McKinney's political career for the second time.

The Democratic Party won't tolerate any outspoken dissent. It is a cheerleader for Israel's destruction of Lebanon. Just listen to Jerry Nadler, a New York congressman identified as among the most progressive in the Democratic congressional caucus. In a pro-Israel rally on July 18, Nadler asked the crowd, "Since when should a response to aggression and murder be proportionate?" In other words, a green light for war crimes, such as Israel has been committing every day. Despite all the schedules for withdrawal suddenly offered by candidates such as Hillary Clinton, or Maria Cantwell, it's still a Party of War in the service of Empire. Who is the leading mainstream political voice calling for an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon? The Republican senator from Nebraska, Chuck Hagel. The Democrats rushed to attack him, with Joe Biden winning by a nose, from Charles Schumer and the rest of the pack.

What that guy from the Crisis Papers said:



The Democrats, believing they have an excellent chance to reclaim one or even both houses of Congress, are almost certainly heading for another huge disappointment in November.

Polls show a double-digit public preference for the Democrats over the GOP in the upcoming mid-term congressional election. But no matter. Should sixty percent of the voters - or seventy or eighty - vote for the Democrats, the GOP will maintain control. "What matters," Stalin is reported to have said, "is not who votes, what matters is who counts the votes."

In the United States of America today, the Republicans, through their subsidiary private corporations, count the votes, and there is overwhelming evidence that in the past three national elections the Republicans have counted the votes to their advantage in utter disregard of the actual will of the voters. This in addition to the indisputable suppression of Democratic votes through registration purges, maldistribution of voting machines, and invalidation of ballots. The mainstream media and the Democratic Party refuse to acknowledge, investigate, or report, this massive crime against our democracy. But the evidence is what it is, and "facts," as John Adams observed, "are stubborn things and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts "

Thus the state of US politics has been radically changed. The United States can no longer correctly be described as a "democracy" - not as long as the government continues to rule without the consent of the governed and is no longer subject to recall by the voters.

Yet the media and both parties carry on as if we might anticipate another ordinary election in November, at which the Democrats have a realistic chance of regaining control of at least one house of the Congress.

The march toward dictatorship.

Meanwhile, the Busheviks are systematically dismantling the Constitutional system of checks and balances. With his "signing statements," Bush has announced his self-enacted privilege to ignore acts of Congress at will and thus to reduce the Congress to an advisory body.

With that much accomplished, the Busheviks now apparently have the Supreme Court in their sights. In a bill soon to be submitted to Congress, Bush will attempt to nullify the Hamden Decision, in which the Supreme Court ruled that the Geneva Conventions, which have the full force of U.S. law, apply to so-called "enemy combatants" (a term with no meaning or standing in either federal or international law). Under the provisions of this bill, writes Anne Plummer Flaherty of the Associated Press:

Read the whole depressing thing here or here.

August 9

From Mark Crispin Miller. Part three of file under what real opposition parties do. Again: You're allowed to do this? You're allowed to complain and fight for your stolen vote? Sounds like Twilight Zone science fiction to me....

Election protesters rally in Mexico City (pics)

Thousands of supporters of leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador protested outside Mexico's top electoral court on Monday night, demanding a vote-by-vote recount of the July 2 presidential election.

Carrying banners with slogans, such as "Vote by vote, poll by poll!" about five thousand protesters blocked traffic on a boulevard outside the court.

"This is just the start of much stronger actions," said Jose Antonio Valles, a 52-year-old engineer at the protest.

Ales Rarus: Answer your Batphone. California firm to start embryonic stem cell treatments for spinal cord injuries next year. I hope the research goes well for that would end a lot of pain and suffering for people on this world, the one we know about. As opposed to imaginary fantasy afterlife worlds. Of course, if I was some crazed Catholic Jihadist I might oppose that. Everything will be settled in the imaginary Ice Cream Afterworld afterall. Good luck with that.One of the absurd notions about this "principled" and "moral' stand against stem cell research is that it didn't apply to private firms or other countries. They can do whatever they damn well please. Hey, you work with the Republicans then you get a knife in your back. Couldn't happen to a buncha nicer guys.

My thoughts on the Leiberman race. Short version: I think the primary Establishment goal was getting rid of the black caucus's most progressive anti war candidate Cynthia Mckinney, or at least that's what the Black Commentator is telling me...You could also make the establishment case that they're not sad that Leiberman is gone because he made it obvious that the mideast wars are Israeli security wars that have nothing to do with this country. Let us all bow and genuflect before the power of the Dark Siiiiide....

  Very rare Frank Zappa and Jean Luc Ponty from the early 70s, also features George Duke.  And:  Prince and Nikka Costa. Intense.

August 8

Leiberman should lose today, but the reason I keep harping on election hacks is that Joe is the kind of guy the GOP machine would like to keep around. And as Donzella has said:  election results are meaningless because they run on E-voting machines which have no verifiable paper trail or audit system.

The lawsuit is believed to set a national precedent.

“Good, I’m glad she’s challenging, she should!” Brad Friedman of the noted elections integrity website, BradBlog, said in a phone interview.

Related: California Greens Work Toward Elimination of Voting Machines.

Greg Palast on how the Mexican election is being stolen. This also brings up a troubling issue on the verifiable election front: the solutions aren't easy. For more, read the Palast story about how even paper ballots can be hacked and this piece that was linked to at Mark Crispin Miller's website about a federal bill--that all election reform advocates generally back--that's being sabotaged.

And for a slight change of pace: Documentary on the Mars Underground. Just in case you happen to be living on a planet which is about to be destroyed by warring factions of Invisible Sky Monster Devotees and you thought you might like to leave. Just in case...

 

August 7

 

I've just started Phil's Seminal Jazz Rock and Politics Videoblog. I figure it will be a safe place to dump videos. I started it off with "Winter Now" by Broadcast.

Late Monday Night Around the Internets

Apparently, someone running as a Democrat in Georgia has found some sense.

(APN) ATLANTA -- US Congressional Candidate Donzella James has filed a legal contest of the results of her Primary race against US Rep. David Scott (D-GA), Atlanta Progressive News has learned. The suit has been filed in State Court in Fulton County, Georgia.

The lawsuit asserts Georgia’s election “results” are meaningless because they run on E-voting machines which have no verifiable paper trail or audit system.

“People know there’s a problem with auditing these machines. But no opponent has ever challenged after the race,” Donzella James told Atlanta Progressive News.

The lawsuit also lists instances of machine breakdowns and malfunctions in Georgia’s 13th Congressional District during the Primary. These instances are similar to those documented by US Rep. Cynthia McKinney’s (D-GA) Campaign in the 4th District, and discussed exclusively by Atlanta Progressive News.

 

Branson works to create a Miracle Fuel? Related: He also does a cameo in Superman, or as I called it "Kal El: Messiah." Watch, in a hundred years descendants of Ales Rarus will worship him...Also related: Unlimited geothermal energy?

August 5

 George Duke and the super sexy sexy Gabrielle Anders. When Gabrielle sings I think she wants to have sex with me, which I define as "sexy".

August 4th

It looks like the DNC is starting to take the vote suppression/vote theft issue seriously. They're starting to put boots on the ground to at least monitor this issue. But I agree with Brad: if you're really serious, then the DNC should completely fund the Busby/Bilbray recount.

From Brad Blog:

DNC Announces Expanded National Voter Protection Effort

National 1-888-DEM-VOTE Voter Protection Hotline To Help Voters Across the Country Participate in our Democracy

Washington, DC - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean today announced the DNC's expanded national voter protection efforts. In addition to the establishment of a national voter protection hotline and the placement of election protection staff in 15 key states, the DNC is implementing a comprehensive series of efforts aimed at helping Americans register to vote, learn how and where to cast their ballot, and provide assistance in overcoming Republican-led efforts to suppress voter turnout for the November elections.

These voter protection initiatives are part of Governor Dean's unprecedented investment in Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts for the 2006 elections. Under his leadership, the DNC has committed $12 million to help elect Democrats at every level in 38 states across America–roughly 10 times the hard money the DNC spent four years ago for coordinated campaigns.

The DNC's new national hotline, 1-888-DEM-VOTE, builds on the tremendous success of the toll-free number established in March 2006 by the DNC Voting Rights Institute to provide information about how and where displaced New Orleans residents could vote and to help Indiana voters disenfranchised by the Republican voter ID law passed by Indiana Republicans. It will provide critical assistance to voters all across the country, including in key electoral targets and in states facing Republican challenges to the right to vote by providing poll location information, assistance in applying for absentee ballots, and help reporting voting problems before, during, and after Election Day.

Across America, voters have confronted a dizzying array of Republican-led challenges to the right to vote. These include discriminatory voter ID laws in states like Indiana, Georgia, Ohio and Missouri; irresponsible voter registration rules in Ohio and Florida; inappropriate purges of voter lists in states like Indiana and Florida; the use of faulty election machines and inadequate machine maintenance that fail to protect the integrity of the vote; a criminal phone jamming scheme in New Hampshire; and discrepancies in election day practices that disproportionately effect rural, elderly, poor, minority, and student voters.

"For Republicans, nothing is more important than their partisan interests, not even the American people's most cherished right to vote and have that vote counted," said DNC Chairman Howard Dean. "The list of tools that Republicans are using to enhance their electoral prospects at the expense of our right to vote reads like shameful litany from past eras: discriminatory voter ID laws; restricting access to voter registration; improper attempts to purge voter lists; the use of voting machines that leave no verifiable audit trails; criminal phone jamming schemes; and inconsistently administered elections.

"Democrats believe that the more people who vote, the better it is for our country. That is why we are working hard every single day to protect the right of the American people to participate in our democracy, and why we have committed unprecedented resources to the effort to get out the vote in this year's elections. Our national voter protection hotline, 1-888-DEM-VOTE, is the latest in our ongoing effort to ensure that every American can vote with confidence this November."

In addition to the national voter protection hotline, the DNC's voter protection strategy for 2006 includes:

  • COORDINATING NATIONAL ELECTION PROTECTION STRATEGY: At the DNC's Summer Meeting in Chicago, the DNC Voting Rights Institute and the National Lawyers Council will meet with the leadership of every state party to lay out their step by step plans for protecting voters at the polls at every level;

     

  • PROVIDING ELECTION PROTECTION STAFF: The DNC will place election protection staff in 15 key states and provide training and step-by-step Election Protection manuals to other states.

     

  • RECRUITING LEGAL ASSISTANCE ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY: The National Lawyers Council is recruiting 7,500 pro-bono lawyers and law students to support the DNC's election protection program. These lawyers will be placed in precincts to augment voter protection efforts at every level-including not just statewide office and Congressional races, but local and county races as well. These offices from state representatives to county sheriffs and judges will have a profound impact on the lives of real citizens throughout the year.

     

  • ADVANCING LEGISLATION FOR VERIFIED VOTING: The DNC will continue working with Congressional leaders, grassroots activists and state parties to build support for federal legislation to mandate a verified voting paper trail for voting machines that has been proven as the best method of securing votes.

     

  • FILING LITIGATION TO BLOCK LEGISLATION: The DNC will work with state parties to file litigation to prevent imposition of egregious photo ID and other Republican sponsored legislation that disenfranchise voters. This follows the successful partnership the DNC has undertaken with state parties pursuing legal challenges to, for example, Indiana's voter ID law and to the effort to investigate the criminal phone-jamming scheme in New Hampshire.

     

  • MONITORING STATE LEGISLATION: The National Lawyers Council and the Voting Rights Institute will continue to meet with top election law attorneys and monitor state legislative initiatives that have the potential to dilute the voting rights of key constituency voters. They are also updating manuals from the last election cycle to reflect new changes in election laws across the country.
  • August 3rd

    "Popcorn" by James Brown. Perhaps its an ethnic thing but I think James Brown is a better dancer than Fred Astaire. Two from Stereolab, one is Dancing on the Moon where Fred "dances" and the other is a cool artsy vid called "Ironman."

    August 1

    I see that the Kos Pod people are unhappy that the Green Party made the Pennsylvania ticket. Well, screw Kos and the censored site that he rode in on. The DNC made the crazy choice of pushing a pro war, anti choice candidate in a blue state. That was stupid. You know how likely the Green Party candidate would get my vote if the Democratic senatorial candidate was pro choice? About zip. Now,  I'm very open minded about Romanelli. Let's see what he has to offer. (Still waiting for those YouTube ad vids, however...)

     

     

    And vehicle I would like except with a powerful hybrid engine. I mean, its not like the Moller aircar is available.

     

    July 31

    Interview with Black Nationalist Greg Palast at the New York Inquirer.

    NYI: Do you feel that the U.S. has become a police state?

    Greg Palast: Well, if you’re in Guantanamo, it’s a police state for you. Whatever happened to the story about the people being held incommunicado in the United States? What was it, 1,100 the ACLU was trying to uncover? The story just disappeared. So whoever was rotting in jail is still rotting. Now as for the war on terror, hey I have no problem going after Saudi Arabian hijackers, but I don’t see any investigation going in that direction. And by the way, that whole checking the checking accounts thing — believe it or not, Bin Laden doesn’t use his ATM card now. He has a feeling that they’re watching the checking accounts. This is bullshit — that’s not how they move their money and they know it. This is not part of the war on terror, it’s part of the war on democracy.

    Like this whole stuff with them needing to tap phones without a warrant. There’s a special national security court panel that approves wiretaps and surveillance requests and our information is that the U.S. government has never once in the history of the panel been told, “No you can’t.” So you have a pushover panel that will go along with anything and yet there’s certain surveillance that they won’t even put before them.

    That means it’s not about terrorists. If there’s any hint of terrorism or connections to terrorism, they get the warrant. When George Bush says “I want to know about your phone calls with Al Qaeda,” he gets it. But it’s not about that. It’s about this phone call right now. That’s what they want. And I do feel sorry for the poor bastard who has to listen in on this. And by the way, in Houston . . . well I won’t tell you that story. Anyway, they waste a lot of time on me, let’s put it that way. Because I’m an open book.

    What real opposition parties do, Part Two:

    That's a rally of over 2 million people. Here's what else was said:

    "We will take drastic measures. We will blockade airports, we will take over embassies," threatened Sara Zepeda, 32.

    You can do that? I'm trying to think of a democratic presidential nominee that would fight for the vote like that. No one immediately comes to mind. I mean, this guy says he would've fought, but couldn't the vice president have made his own challenge? I am leaning towards John Edwards for 2008...

     

     

    How the world ends.

    From Undernews:

    AMAZON RAINFOREST ON BRINK OF BECOMING DESERT; WOULD BE A GLOBAL DISASTER

    INDEPENDENT, UK - The vast Amazon rainforest is on the brink of being turned into desert, with catastrophic consequences for the world's climate, alarming research suggests. And the process, which would be irreversible, could begin as early as next year. Studies by the blue-chip Woods Hole Research Centre, carried out in Amazonia, have concluded that the forest cannot withstand more than two consecutive years of drought without breaking down.

    Scientists say that this would spread drought into the northern hemisphere, including Britain, and could massively accelerate global warming with incalculable consequences, spinning out of control, a process that might end in the world becoming uninhabitable.

    Over at American Samizdat: How Decent Jewish American Intellectuals Respond to Civilian Slaughter As Opposed to Fred Lapides Hint: They don't rationalize them away with Israeli press releases.

     

    Looks like they'll be Fighting to count the votes in the Busby/Billbray race.

    For Immediate Release: July 31, 2006, San Diego
    CONTACT: Ilene Proctor PR, (310) 271-5857

    ELECTION CONTEST FILED DEMANDING ACCOUNTABILITY, DECERTIFICATION AND PAPER BALLOT COUNT OF BUSBY/BILBRAY ELECTION IN CA-50

    Press Conference Set for 10:30am in San Diego

    Today, famed election attorney Paul Lehto filed an election contest lawsuit in San Diego County Superior Court demanding a count of all paper ballots in the Busby/Bilbray special election to replace convicted Republican Congressman Duke Cunningham. On the face of the pleading, Lehto, on behalf of voters of CA-50, asserts that they are entitled to a 100% ballot count at a reasonable cost because of massive security violations of federal and state law by election officials.

    California state law requires that all votes cast in an election be properly counted and tabulated. In the CA-50 election, however, it cannot be determined whether or not all votes were counted because legally mandated procedures were violated both in the run-up to the election and during the official voter request for a hand ballot count. County Registrar Mikel Haas sent the Diebold voting machines on "sleepovers" in the unsecured homes and cars of volunteer poll workers for weeks prior to the election in violation of federal and state law. When voter Barbara Gail Jacobsen filed for a recount, Haas set an exorbitant price of $150,000 but refused to provide the documents necessary for that count.

    "Given the fact that all the voting machines were circulating in the county for at least a week prior to the election, and manipulation of a single machine can rig an election, there is no basis for voters to have confidence in the election results," attorney Lehto said. Indeed, because the Diebold machines used in the election were conditionally certified by the Secretary of State under stringent security and chain of custody conditions to protect against manipulation, the lawsuit asserts that non-compliance with those conditions necessarily requires decertification of the election results.

    A press conference will take place today on the steps of the San Diego County Superior Court at 10:30 am. Lehto, voters and activists will be on hand to talk about the lawsuit and their plans for further action to ensure compliance with all California election laws.

    VelvetRevolution.us, a network of scores of election reform organizations demanding honest and accountable elections, is handling the fundraising for this CA-50 legal challenge and donations are being accepted on its website, www.velvetrevolution.us.

    And related: Alaskan GOP won't turn over election data. Probably because they cheated but you didn't hear that from me...

    July 30

    Speaking of songs that make me weep, this is one of my fave songs of all time. Hold your breath waiting for one of your idiotic and useless cable music stations to play it.

    June 28

    This online graphic novel looks kind of interesting. Here's the premise:

    The Story of Shooting War

    New York, NY — The year is 2011, and Jimmy Burns, a young anti-corporate blogger has just seen his Williamsburg apartment blown to bits by yet another terrorist attack on New York City. He’s recorded the gruesome scene on his videoblog camera—footage Burns beams live to a freaked-out world and that makes him an overnight media sensation. Exploited by his own network (Global News: “Your home for 24-hour terror coverage”), enraged by the terrorists, and determined to tell the American people the truth, Burns takes off for Iraq to get the real story of a war that’s been raging for more than eight years. SHOOTING WAR is written by Anthony Lappé, illustrated by Dan Goldman.

    Oh that's what I am. A not so young anti corporate blogger.

    So why an African American Scoop site? Well, for one thing, there needs to be a national discussion among all black civic groups about what to do when they steal your vote. And, quite frankly, I don't think the responses should be nice.  I think that Mexican opposition leader is showing us the way. There also needs to be a site that defends slightly crazed hair politicians like Cynthia McKinney who are black. I mean, its not like Ebony or Oprah is going to defend her. What I like about her is that she's anti war, clearly and without apology. While her AIPAC approved black opponent appears to have taken the insane Bob Casey slow withdrawal route.

    There  also needs to be a scoop site that allows freedom of speech, even when you don't like it and even when its not nice. I suppose American Samizdat (haven't been banned there yet) would be the perfect site for that already--although I'm not sure how thrilled Doc would be with learning what looks to be fairly complicated software. Not to thrilled with that myself, but I think I could learn it.

    There's also a big piece about how evil AIPAC--or what Jewish blogger Mathew Yglesias refers to as the Lobby That Shall Not Be Named--is steering the discussion about Iran. (And its not in a good way.) Its in Rolling Stone, again. Looks like someone is interested in doing some real reporting. You know, when I had that debate down there at the Booman Tribune about this I couldn't believe that there were people defending AIPAC. Related: Of course, that might be related to this.

    By the way, when Rahm and Schumer (the completely impartial Jewish people who seem to be picking Republican lite dems at every opportunity to "retake" the house and the US Senate) call to condemn the Iraq prime minister--which their evil handiwork created--it reminds me of a word. That word is "Chutzpah". 

    June 27

    A letter from Chomsky and others on the recent events in the Middle East (July 19, 2006):

    The latest chapter of the conflict between Israel and Palestine began when Israeli forces abducted two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from Gaza. An incident scarcely reported anywhere, except in the Turkish press. The following day the Palestinians took an Israeli soldier prisoner - and proposed a negotiated exchange against prisoners taken by the Israelis - there are approximately 10,000 in Israeli jails.

    That this "kidnapping" was considered an outrage, whereas the illegal military occupation of the West Bank and the systematic appropriation of its natural resources - most particularly that of water - by the Israeli Defence (!) Forces is considered a regrettable but realistic fact of life, is typical of the double standards repeatedly employed by the West in face of what has befallen the Palestinians, on the land alloted to them by international agreements, during the last seventy years.

    Today outrage follows outrage; makeshift missiles cross sophisticated ones. The latter usually find their target situated where the disinherited and crowded poor live, waiting for what was once called Justice. Both categories of missile rip bodies apart horribly - who but field commanders can forget this for a moment?

    Each provocation and counter-provocation is contested and preached over. But the subsequent arguments, accusations and vows, all serve as a distraction in order to divert world attention from a long-term military, economic and geographic practice whose political aim is nothing less than the liquidation of the Palestinian nation.

    This has to be said loud and clear for the practice, only half declared and often covert, is advancing fast these days, and, in our opinion, it must be unceasingly and eternally recognised for what it is and resisted.

    Tariq Ali
    John Berger
    Noam Chomsky
    Eduardo Galeano
    Naomi Klein
    Harold Pinter
    Arundhati Roy
    Jose Saramago
    Giuliana Sgrena
    Howard Zinn

    June 26

    Banned again. This time from the Booman Tribune....Sigh. Okay. That's it. I'm looking into buying the Scoop software. There needs to be a site that is muscular enough to stand for free speech, even when its uncomfortable, and even when you don't like it. (By the way, I got nigger baited down there about a half dozen times. I didn't once ask for those persons to be banned. I figure I can take it. I mean, if you can't handle coarse language on a message board what kind of real fuckin' change can you institute in the society...?)

    There also needs to be a site for African Americans. We need our own space.


    June 24

    You know, I can't get prominent black bloggers like Oliver Willis and Steve Gilliard to take the vote theft issue seriously. (I can't even get Steve to glance at the websites.) Thank Gawd there are smart people running the Harlem Book Fair, which had a whole panel on voter integrity issues and featured Greg Palast and Steve Freeman (high level stat guy with a new book out that Steve will be ignoring.) Check out the lineup here. Greg Palast totally rocked, where he bitch slaps Black Republican apologist John McWhorter. I think his line is: "Martin Luther King didn't reward the lynchers!" He even makes an argument about how black organizations need to pressure Dems to count the vote. (I  still think Greens are the way to go. That puts pressure on the Dems and we don't have to join the Confederacy Party.) Greg Palast: More of a legitimate black nationalist than Oliver Willis or Steve Gilliard. Shameful really.

    He also outlines the case for how the vote theft works and how the GOP is doing it again.

    June 23 

    Here's an Eclectic Playlist. What can I say? That Steelydan3 has good taste. Update: Playlist appears sometimes, goes away during others. Don't know why. Permalink here. And if it does appear again, like Mary weeping, and it asks you to go back to the site, just refresh and hit the next vid on the screen.

    Really good New Doors Performance with Travis Meeks. One of the most impressive vocal performances I have ever seen. Scary, brilliant and profane.

    Beautiful fan made Stereolab tune that I can't get out of my head.

    July 21

    Open Email sent to Green Candidates Bob Fitrakis and Carl Romanelli

    Dear Aspiring Green Candidates Bob Fitrakis and Carl Romanelli for the Ohio Governorship and available Pennsylvania Senate Seat

    Please start posting video ads on YouTube so I can fully express my anger at the Democratic Party about their anointed anti stem cell (anti progress) pro life Senate candidate. (I can vote for the pro choice Rendell in good conscience. (Ed. note: Not to mention that he's more qualified than Confederacy Candidate Lynn Swann...) It's cheap to do and gives you a weapon that you never had before: A kind of television. The Revolution Might Not Be Televised, but there's an excellent chance that it could be streamed. I'm supporting Rendell but if I can avoid a vote for Bob Casey without thinking it might be thrown away (you have to reach 60 percent name recognition among likely dem voters and 20 percent should be willing to vote for you by October) that would be nice. One more thing: Please make ads that are better than this. If you're looking for a director, then ask Kurt Nimmo, who does work like this. Or I could even take a shot at it. Just send audio and mpeg tapes to this address.

    July 20

    The YouTube Playlist is a very cool idea that essentially allows you to program your own television. Its probably the best music television station, ever. No duds. Or at least that's less likely when you program your own channel. Still needs work though in that it seemed to stop every two to four vids. Still, pretty good. It should only get better. Prepare for Phil's Music Television. And:

     Sincerely hope these lawsuits go nowhere. It seems like they're protected, but other video download channels--Google and Yahoo come to mind--manage to screen out possibly infringing vids and that's the main reason they suck. Music videos simply aren't being played anymore. Some of the beautiful vids I've seen on YouTube have nearly brought me to tears...(what can I say? I'm an emotional guy..)

    All the hep vids that were posted at Cyborg Democracy, with a switcheroo or two. (Sometimes the graphic doesn't appear in Mozilla or takes a year to download in Explorer. Here's the direct link.) Thanks Steelydan3! What a nice guy...

    July 19

    What Jesse Said. Short version: The GOP didn't win because they had better "values". They won because they cheated and the Dems offered no resistance. Its almost like they didn't mind. Almost.

    Imagine going to the dentist with an aching tooth, and going through the pain of having it diagnosed and pulled -- only to discover the dentist pulled the wrong tooth. Not only have you suffered for nothing, you've still got to operate on the real problem.

    Democrats seem about to put themselves through this agony. Pundits and politicians tell Democrats that they have a "values" problem -- that people of faith vote against them in large numbers because the Democratic party is seen as secular, or as anti-Christian, or as straying from mainstream values.

    Poppycock. Democrats didn't lose Florida in 2000 and the 2000 election because of the lack of a high faith profile. Al Gore won the popular vote nationally and the popular vote of the majority who cast ballots in Florida on Election Day. He lost Florida because the fix was in, because the Voting Rights Act was not enforced -- and because Republicans turned the recount into an alley fight while Gore played by rules. Then a transparently partisan majority in the Supreme Court violated its own principles and shamed itself by ordering an end to a fair count, worried Bush might lose. This wasn't about faith; it was about will.

    Similarly, Democrats didn't lose Ohio in 2004 and the 2004 election because of the lack of a high faith profile. They lost because the fix was in, and because once again, Republicans had a partisan zealot -- Ken Blackwell -- as secretary of state. Once again he abused the powers of his office in choosing voting machines and election schemes. Once again, a majority of people set out to vote for Bush's opponent.

    Having identified the wrong tooth, Democrats are now hearing the wrong prescription. They're urged to embrace the symbols of faith, to go to church, to speak from the Gospel, to advertise their faith.

    July 18

    Bradblog scores a big interview with Robert Kennedy Jr., who's fighting for the black voters that the DNC didn't think were worth fighting for in 2000 and 2004. Hey, no matter what Steve Gilliard thinks some African Americans are appreciative.

    Thank You Robert Kennedy Jr.

    BB: Are you then adding a layer of suspicion about the direct manipulation and fraudulent counting through computerized voting?

    KENNEDY: That also happened, that was another factor. Our democracy is broken. Our democracy is broken because of our campaign finance system, which is just a system of legalized bribery, which has allowed corporations and the very wealthy to control the electoral results. Let me go back and say our electoral system is broken for three reasons, in three large respects: The first is our campaign finance system, which is a system of legalized bribery, and which has allowed corporations and the very rich to control the results of our electoral process. Number two is the failure of the American press and that is also a function and result of corporate control, as I showed in my book. Number three is the election system itself, which is broken. We've privatized it and allowed four large corporations to count our votes on machines that don't work.

    But also the Republican party has inculcated a culture of corruption. The Republican party has adopted a strategy of denying votes to blacks and other minorities, and to other people more traditionally Democratic, suppressing Democratic vote and fraudulently expanding Republican vote. And this is happening all over the country. I would urge you to read Greg Palast's latest book, Armed Madhouse. He does for the national elections what I did for the Ohio election, which is to synthesize the information that's out there into a readable document, in which he shows exactly how this election was stolen-not just in Ohio but in many other states as well.

    BB: : Have any of your expert witnesses or anyone referred to some of the stringent requirements in the gaming industry which uses computerized slot machines, poker machines and so forth involving the levels of certification and disclosure of the security requirements of its vendors?

    KENNEDY: Well, you see this was just another corporate boondoggle that gave the most venal mendacious corporations charge of our most sacred public trust, which is the right to vote. These corporations were making hundreds of millions of dollars. The machines, as it turns out, were manufactured by wireless companies and were just a cheap piece of junk that cost less than $100 to manufacture, and they were selling them for $2400 apiece. And they were using Jack Abramoff and other corrupt lobbyists to persuade federal officials to pass the federal act to appropriate the money and then to persuade state and local officials to purchase the defective machines.

    Read the whole thing as they say.

    File Under: What Real Opposition Parties Do

    Nothing from the main bloc of writers from DKos and nothing from Atrios on the Robert Kennedy issue. It has to be the money. These guys have opinions about Cats and dopey YouTube vids, but nothing about the Biggest Story of Our Times. Here's the thing: if you think its a bad story wouldn't you take time to debunk it properly? It can't be ignored. That's not going to work. They've become compromised by the Propaganda Model.

    The Democratic Alliance, the financial rainmakers hoping to build the DNC, is run by Simon Rosenberg. Truthdig, run by Jewish American Robert Scheer,--a mensch by the way-- implies that there's a purity test behind the big money that funds the Alliance. Let me guess: you get money if you don't talk about AIPAC or vote fraud or how Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein supporting Joe Leiberman looks kind of tribal or how the  Democratic Party's Jewish delegation may have switched sides. Gawd knows we wouldn't want to weaken the 10 member plus Jewish American Senate delegation. It would be terrible. You might get a filibuster or something or even a party that could be united against a proxy war for Israel. How horrible.

    Reminds me: Here's a story about ACT that I never told anybody. I worked for ACT Pennsylvania for six months before and up to the election. Here's the weird thing: We never said a bad word about Arlen Specter or did a thing to help his Democratic challenger Joe Hoeffel.  We could have. But we were funded by George Soros, known Jewish Holocaust survivor (By the way, if you were a Holocaust survivor would that make you more tribal or less tribal...It would make me more tribal.) Perhaps that was the price for his money: You can work for Kerry but not against Specter. Its probably the same for getting money from the Democratic Alliance and the DNC and why so many big name blogs are silent about this issue.

    "Girl From Ipanema" (see if you can spot Gary Burton) above and "Long as You're Living" by Argentinean    Chilean singer  Claudia Acuna below. That's big Avishai Cohen on bass.

    July 17

    I really think the "No Confidence" argument is a great idea. It allows you to then say: "Since I have no confidence in how you were elected, I can't support any of your policy proposals or court nominations as a matter of principle." Or at least I wish that's what the Washington Generals Democrats could or would say.

    Resolution of no confidence in current U.S. elections
    by J30 Coalition
    July 16, 2006

    Whereas an election is the legal process by which We, the People, transfer power to our governmental representatives; and

    Whereas, current electronic voting technologies have been shown to be unreliable, insecure and unverifiable; and

    Whereas, electronic voting technologies which do not include a permanent paper ballot of record provide no means to verify results reported by elections officials, through recounts or other legal means; and

    Whereas, citizens are denied oversight of the software used in electronic voting and counting machines; and

    Whereas, the use of proprietary (secret) software in our elections amounts to a secret vote count; and

    Whereas, publicly-funded testing and certification of software and hardware of electronic voting systems is shrouded from public oversight; and

    Whereas, current election procedures violate "chain of custody" laws thru the use of removable and/or remotely accessible memory cards, which now constitute the official ballot box; and,

    Therefore, Be It Resolved that there is no basis for confidence in any election held under these conditions; and

    Therefore, Be It Further Resolved that J30 demands the media not report results it does not independently verify; and

    Therefore, Be It Further Resolved that J30 joins the California Election Protection Network in demanding a hand count of the June 6, 2006 San Diego County, California election.

    Resolved this 4th day of July, 2006 by J30 Coalition (a 65-member group of election integrity advocates based in Columbus, Ohio)

    The mission of J30 Election Coalition is to implement fair, honest and transparent elections by raising public and political awareness, by organizing and empowering activists, by pursuing and/or supporting legal actions as appropriate, and by cooperating with and supporting other voting rights activists with which we agree, as a unified body, and for which we can provide human and other resources.

    July 16

    This is Norah Jones with Wax Poetic. I thought she did better music with this band. Try "Technology" and "Purple Elephants". There's just more of a kick. Definitely not pop music for senior citizens.

    July 14

    What Palast Said

    WHY DEMOCRATS DON’T COUNT

    Published by Greg Palast July 14th, 2006 in Articles

    Lessons from the Un-Gore of Mexico
    [Watch “Florida con Salsa,” Palast’s 15-minute investigative report from Mexico City for Democracy Now!]


    The Exit polls said he won, but the “official” tally took his victory away. His supporters found they were scrubbed off voter rolls. Violence and intimidation kept even more of his voters away from the polls. Hundreds of thousands of ballots supposedly showed no choice for president — like ballots with hanging chads.

    And the officials in charge of this suspect election refused to re-count those votes in public. Everyone knew full well a fair count would certainly change the outcome.

    You’ve heard this story before: Gore 2000. Kerry 2004.

    But Lopez Obrador 2006 is made out of very different stuff than the scarecrow candidates who, oddly, call themselves “Democrats.”

    For six years now, I’ve had this crazy fantasy in my head. In it, an election is stolen and the guy who’s declared the loser stands up in front of the White House and says three magic words: “Count the votes.”

    This past Saturday, my dream came true. Unfortunately, it was in Spanish — but I’ll take what I can get. There was Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, presidential challenger, standing in the “Zocalo” — the square in front of Mexico’s White House, telling the ruling clique inside, “Count the votes!

    Most important, his simple demand was echoed by half a million pissed-off, activated voters chanting with him, “Vota por vota!” — vote by vote.

    And you know what? I think they are going to have to listen.

    Read the rest here.

    I strongly suspect they don't count because it involves black and latino voters. I guess this is the defense against the "emerging democratic majority". The white guys in both parties will overlook minority voters even when they make up a majority.

    Hezbollah has drones? That means Iran has drones. Uh, wonder what their range is...? Do they have a dozen or a thousand? Guess I'll have to learn to duck. I'm sure those drones won't care about my anti zionist, anti Iraq war stances...

    IIn a segment that I call "My Family Is More Talented Than Your Family",  here's a painting by Princess Simpson Rashid--

     --(My Uncle Rashid, who even though he's divorced from my Aunt Sonya (something about Islam being the house religion even though Aunt Sonya grew up in a fundamentalist Christian church) has always praised my writing and I'm grateful, converted to Islam in the 60s. He works as an engineer, has worked in Africa and his every move is probably being watched.)--

     Look at the swirl and energy of those lines...

    Here's her gallery (The Sword and Brush) where her paintings go for a grand. (Sweet Christmas!) And here's her blog where I'll be lobbying her to show my work. Don't like my chances...

    She also won a fencing title (scroll down. She's the one in the middle of the podium. With the Gold. Our family's very own Emma Peel.  That's her work too. Check out those LeRoy Neiman colors.

    July 12

    Related to the Steve Gilliard Wars: Yet another out of the mainstream Marxist Leninist blogofascist buys into the vote theft conspiracy:

    Her name is Hillary Clinton

    Clinton feeds theory of Ohio vote tampering

    Refers to Blackwell in telling crowd he shouldn't run election

    BY JON CRAIG AND ALLISON D'AURORA | ENQUIRER COLUMBUS BUREAU

    COLUMBUS - U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton took a shot at Secretary of State Ken Blackwell of Cincinnati, the Republican candidate for governor, Monday during her third visit to Ohio this year.

    Speaking to more than 3,000 people at a national conference of ACORN - the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now - Clinton prompted whoops and hollers by saying, "Let's make sure that we count every vote in our elections.''

    Clinton also called for an increase in the minimum wage. If it makes the Ohio ballot Nov. 7, voters will be asked to approve raising it from $5.15 an hour to $6.85.

    Referring to presidential races, Clinton said, "This country deserves to have an electoral system that has integrity. I know there's been a problem here in Ohio, and I hope everybody from Ohio is watching this election like a hawk. Don't let them pull anything over your eyes again.''

    Without naming Blackwell, Clinton said, "One of the people running for high office is actually running the election. That should not be permitted. It's a conflict of interest. ... We've got to take back our democracy.''

    "Gangsters and Thugs" by the Transplants.  (Song is here.) Over at American Samizdat I do something called the Mystery Link. This one is too easy.

    July  11

    Here are the rules: if the Mexican population fights--by massive marching in the streets or even French style rioting (hey it worked)--for a fair vote by not being as nice as John Kerry--ie, not caring that its not "nice", or being called "sore losers" (especially since it looks like they won) they'll get their candidate. If they act like American democratic voters and do nothing (of course it takes a leader as inept as Kerry to not only want to do nothing, but to not even fight it out in the courts to prevent theft like this from happening again) in 2000 and 2004 then they'll lose. Update at Palast and, for once, a well reported critical piece against Palast. We're fair and balanced around here...

    "I try to get out...but Steve Gilliard keeps pulling...me...back...in!

    So I threw some more bombs over at Steve Gilliard's site over at this post:

    Good analysis. Let me throw my usual bombs.

    First, MoveOn, Act and Grassroots ( on a par with ACORN and PIRG for being run both weird and badly) worked. What lost Ohio was the 300000 voters that Blackwell (is he an ironic Dickens character)purged and the 90000 provisional ballots that were never counted. I remember standing around the ACT office a day after the election and we were pissed off at ACT Ohio. It wasn't their fault and it wasn't the Grassroots campaign fault..The DNC should have fought for those votes and gotten those voters re registered if necessary.

    Two, during an election you should get rid of the fundraising and focus entirely on voter contact and turnout. But that's easy for me to say I was with ACT which was funded by George Soros.

    Three, when STeve says the GOP did a better job he's wrong. How do I know he's wrong? Because I know that he hasn't read the vote theft stuff, well sourced and written by highly intelligent folks and non new republican writers, and drawn the right conclusion: if you control the vote outcome nothing you do works...

    Philip Shropshire
    www.threeriversonline.com

    And then the DKOS approved blogger/Empire Strikes Back!

    Philip Shropshire,

    The fact is that you're conflating five different issues. So how did the GOP win New Mexico? No one said vote fraud there, did they?

    I'm tired of reading about diebold when no one who writes about it can tell me which ED's used which machines. It varies from county to county.

    Palast is closest to the truth when it comes to voter suppression. The rest, mostly theories by people who have never worked an election.

    The fact is that the GOP got their voters out, even in Ohio. You can pretend it's Diebold, but that only proves you believe people too lazy to do basic research.

    The simple point is this: if electronic voter fraud was needed, a comparison of past elections in an ED would show it. Voting trends don't change overnight without explaination from demographics and the economy.

    But grand conspiracies are more interesting than research.

    And then Return of the Jedi:

    Steve: I've actually done the research! You haven't and it shows. Coupla things: There are no audits of the voting systems right now that's why its very hard to get the kinds of data that you're talking about. Two: Its hard to even get legal recounts underway. For example, we're trying to get one in the busby/bilbray race but we've gotten a cost estimate of $150000 dollars. Perhaps you know a prominent Kos approved blogger who can help them raise the money (go to Bradblog.) Three: Are you talking about the political naive Bob Fitrakis who serves as a committeman and is now the Green Party candidate for governor? Come on. Four: Actually, both Fitrakis and Palast have claimed that New Mexico was stolen as well which you would know if you had done the research...so do the research already! These guys are good Steve. Just read the links I gave you...


    Gravatar Look, we have five published books now written by heavywweight writers...one or two of them are online. Can't you read them or at least the table of contents...

    I then went on to quote four sources where both Fitrakis and Palast talked about New Mexico. Why this blind spot amongst the Internet's Best and Brightest?

    July 10

    I've been giving Steve Gilliard a hard time about his not writing about the vote theft issue because, as I stated in the comments, Vote Theft trumps all issues and policy tactics. Vote Theft is the Ring that rules them all. And no matter what cruel things I say to him in his comments section I have a great deal of respect for him. (I agree with him about a buncha stuff: the fact that Oprah disses all black men, not just rappers, or the fact that the Nation should hire somebody like Steve Gilliard--

    (Sidenote: some of the MSM media's hostility toward Kos is because he's not an Ivy League Jewish guy. I think the New Republican editor said he would never hire someone like Kos. Well, that's because ivy league only hiring standards are fucked up. The problem is with you not with Kos, who despite his faults built up his site his own damn self.)--

     --and of course there's the fact that he clued me into cousin Leonce's new book, which I shamelessly promote.) Yet over on his blog..

    Steve said this:

    Philip Shropshire,

    UH, I haven't even reviewed Cobra II, yet and that comes before books I have no intention of reading.

    But you're free to review them at will and send me a link.

    And I offered this retort Sam Jackson Pulp Fiction stylee:

    So you're equating the theft of two national elections to what I think is the nonexistent Stallone sequel? Truly, evil Markos dark side force is strong. Actually, you don't even have to read the books you can check out their websites. Here's a clue: if you don't fix the machines or even strongly argue for fixing the machines, say, on a blog, you're not going to win in 2006, 2008, 2010, probably 2100 when the gop machinebots have taken over...

    Anyway, links:

    Try the Kennedy pieces first. Its a nice summary of those five books and he puts forth some arguments of his own. He's also suing, frankly, on behalf of disenfranchised black voters. If only a prominent black blogger could show thanks...

    http://www.rollingstone.com/ news...election_stolen

    Then there's Bradblog. Read the last 10 posts.
    http://www.bradblog.com/

    Here's Mark Crispin Miller. Written tons a stuff. A real reporter by the way, well sourced..
    http://markcrispinmiller.blogspot.com/

    Here's Bob Fitrakis. The Izzy Stone of our times
    http://www.freepress.org/departm...ents/display/ 19

    Pick three, but my fave is this one:

    http://www.freepress.org/departm...ay/19/2006/ 1832

    Look, I know they're showing "Stop or My Mom Will Shoot" but if you can take a few minutes and read through these and use that law degree of yours to figure out that if the vote is compromised everything you're doing is a fucking waste of time some of us would appreciate (sic) that...

    Philip Shropshire
    www.threeriversonline.com

    PS: You can also read updates at my site about this minor incidental story about how your vote's been hacked.

    PPS: One final point, Glenn Reynolds, GOP talking pointman, thinks there's nothing to this vote theft story. And that's its not responsible to even talk about it. I guess you agree with him. Draw your own conclusions.

    July 9

    This is an hour long concert by the Cinematic Orchestra.

    More evil in Mexico. Narco News has the scoop:

    A Full Recount Would Show that López Obrador Won Mexico’s Presidency by More than One Million Votes

    The Tip of the Iceberg of the Crimes Committed by Mexican Electoral Authorities Is the Fraudulent Vote Count of 2006

    By Al Giordano
    Part II of a Special Series for The Narco News Bulletin

    July 8, 2006

    Commercial Media organizations are reporting that Felipe Calderòn won Sunday’s presidential election by 0.58 percent of the vote and will govern Mexico for the next six years, beginning on December 1.

    It would not be the first time that the Commercial Media has been wrong.

    Many of those reports have claimed that Wednesday’s first official count of precinct results in Mexico – 130,000 pieces of paper that claim to represent the vote tallies – was a “recount.”

    It would not be the first time that lazy “pack journalism” got a major international story wrong.

    The truth: No recount occurred on Wednesday, or before, or since. What occurred – we repeat – was only the first official count of precinct tallies.

    A Narco News investigation has found that in the small sample of precincts – less than one percent – where a recount was allowed, the shift in numbers away from Calderón was so drastic that, if recounts of all the ballots followed the same trend, the official results would invert and Andrés Manuel López Obrador would become the clear winner of the presidency by more than one million votes:

    Hey, at least he fights for the vote. He doesn't think its impolite or unsportsmanslike to fight for his voters unlike some fake opposition parties I know.

    July 8

    Rock n roll Saturday. Doves "Catch the Sun".

    July 7

    How to Steal an Election

    Speaking of stolen elections, looks like Greg Palast called it right, again, in Mexico.
     

    By Greg Palast

    And the winner in Mexico’s presidential contest is… Senor Blank-o!

    The official count of the ruling party is: 36.38% for the ruling party and 35.34% for the challenger.

    Or, to put names and numbers to it: The Bush-o-philiac candidate, Felipe Calderon, collected 402,000 more votes than Bush-bashed Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. But the big winner was Mr. Blank — the 827,000 ballots without a mark for president.

    I smell something rotten… eau d’Ohio, vintage 2004. In that state, as in Mexico this week, the presidential “winner,” George Bush, had victory margin smaller than the combined “undercount” (blank ballots) and rejected and mangled ballots.

    Blank ballots are rarely random — in the USA, nearly 88% were cast in 2004, notably, in minority areas, the result of bad voting machines. That is, Democrats’ ballots “spoil” and “blank out” a heck of a lot more often than Republican ballots. What about in Mexico?

    I intend to find out. As soon as I saw the “official” vote count, I booked a plane to Mexico City. I’ll be there to tomorrow to join our investigators on the ground — and to fill in the blanks.

    And what about the “spoiled” vote — ballots rejected, lost, mangled? Well, some are sitting in dumpsters in Veracruz State which is controlled by the old ruling PRI. (There’s a darn good chance that the PRI, hoping to stave off its extinction, played a bigger role than Calderon’s PAN in shoplifting votes from challenger Lopez Obrador.)

     

    But I'm not sure he's doing the best reporting for once. Looks like that prize goes to Al Giordano of Narco News.

     

    One of the major problems for IFE and the Fox administration is that if they were to allow the bread-and-butter recount that the public demands, the ugly truth would come out that an unknown number of ballot boxes have “disappeared” in the past two days. The ballots from three precincts in the city of Nezahuacoyotl – a López Obrador stronghold – were discovered yesterday in the municipal garbage dump. The results from two of those precincts have been missing, since Sunday, from IFE’s vote tallies. An IFE official, ambushed by television reporters, exacerbated the crime yesterday when she blamed the Mexican military: the Armed Forces, not IFE, are supposedly guarding the ballots, she said, in defense of her bureaucracy. This, sources close to the military told Narco News, produced significant anger among the military generals and troops who – if the public does not believe or accept IFE’s final decision – will be called upon to quell the national rebellion that follows.


    Of course, we've seen this pattern before in 2004. If only the DNC or the Daily Kos could see it...

     
    posted by Philip Shropshire at 4:13 PM Comments

    Lady plays like a dude. A dude who looks like Allan Holdsworth with Scott Henderson phrasing. And she's not Jewish (apparently) and she's definitely not a lesbian (married to the bassist with the big bass...). Is that possible? My worldview and preconceptions are shattered. She seems to borrow from the Holdsworth IOU era. (Update: Her name is Susan Weinart. I'd like to see her live. Not so sure about the Mark Murphy vocalist...)

     

     

    July 6

    That's from Digby who hasn't banned me yet. Much appreciated. Note: This is brutal, even sarcastic.
    And here's how Glenn Reynolds fights the good fight. What sacrifices he's made to fight the Iraq War.

    This pic makes me want to revive this site.

    July 4th

    Full Version of Avengers Theme

    Tuck Andress' version of "Europa"
    Your Sunday Atheism service by George Carlin
     

    Welp, my holiday reading includes this and this. First, Frederick Douglas:

    What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

    Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.

    And then there's this from Bradblog. You know, its interesting what those wacky extremists who started the country get upset about:

    He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
    He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
    He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
    He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

    Geez is there anything sadder than the losing soccer fan? Give the English and German fans a gun why doncha and end the misery...

    Speaking of "He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected;"read the Greg Palast stuff about how we're stealing the Mexican election.

    July 3

    Robert Cringely proposes a Last Mile solution for the Internet. Related: I just went out and bought my 13 dollar FON wireless router! I'm probably going to charge 5 bucks a month or something.

    Speaking of stolen elections, it looks like Robert Kennedy is moving ahead and suing the bad people who make the "fixed" machines. Of course, one of the tactical decisions of ever so wise Billary was to not fight for the courts. I even wonder if there's a single appeals court in Democratic Party hands. As I said before: Pick your judges wisely.

    Even though Atrios is on my Colbert-like list (no publicity for the vote theft issue. I guess his evil master Markos won't let him write about it, unless its to debunk it of course...) I think he's absolutely right about this Tom Tomorrow cartoon. I just wish he would make the next logical leap: the press is just another arm of the Republican state. When the Republicans are out of power they drum up bs discontent (blowjobs = impeachment, while lying about a war which has killed 50000 Iraqis, 2500 Americans and made our country into the New Germany = we won't even aggressively defend ourselves against treason charges...maybe they'll come after those blogofascists and it will be so worthwhile...) and when they're in power they ignore the obvious and fill the waves or their print runs with happytalk or blame dem propaganda. All corporate media is Fox news. They're just more subtle about it. Yes they'll support dems but only corporatist dems.

    July 2

    Rock n roll for the weekend. Trail of Dead's Mistakes and Regrets.

    July 1

    For the imaginary God's sake don't check out this new porn version of Youtube. Its just wrong. Wrong I tells ya...

    David Appell, who for my money is just as good a debunker of global warming critics as Chris Mooney and has actually worked as a research scientist, is back at his blog Quark Soup, which now has a spot on the vast Blogger/Google servers. He was supposed to do a story on what I so humorously referred to as the "Turkey Guts" people (this was a guy who claimed he could turn any trash (sewage, glass, political enemies of the state) into oil. Dave never finished that story but Discover did three stories (here and here  and the final story here) and declared that the tech works, but the early models did smell bad and there were some other problems. .Oddly enough, the guy who runs that is called Brian Appel, no relation and no extra L apparently. (Not related to this I think. Tip o the hat to my evil theocratic archfoe The Bishop Ales Rarus for that find.)

    June 30

    Related: Billionaires for Bush Rap Video (While not overly enamored with the hippity hoppy, let us give credit to rap songs that note election theft and Halliburton..)

    More interesting stuff about Whole Foods that I didn't know. This shows a bit of a mixed portrait as a possible conscientious capitalist and this one  kind of claims he's just an evil capitalist. Whole Foods: The only supermarket I visit mostly to browse. I mean, the food looks really good. Just can't afford it. And in local down the street liberal Point Breeze supermarket news: they're organizing with the IWW, known for their critiques of ACORN's affinity for slave labor and late checks.

    Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage". Its a terrible video. IN fact, this guy has done 10 videos and its different music to this same film. But where can I hear one of the best songs of all time? Internets beat music television.

    June 28

    From that spunky online blog called the Washington Post. By the way, if this minor story about how your elections are hacked reaches the importance of, say, really critical things like car crashes and underclass crime in the corporate media then thank Bradblog, Greg Palast, Mark Crispin Miller, and Bob Fitrakis. They're the main drivers of the most important story of our lifetimes, unless you lived through the Crusades or something...

    A Single Person Could Swing an Election
    Electronic Systems' Weaknesses May Be Countered With Audits, Report Suggests

    By Zachary A. Goldfarb
    Special to The Washington Post
    Wednesday, June 28, 2006; Page A07

    To determine what it would take to hack a U.S. election, a team of cybersecurity experts turned to a fictional battleground state called Pennasota and a fictional gubernatorial race between Tom Jefferson and Johnny Adams. It's the year 2007, and the state uses electronic voting machines.

    Jefferson was forecast to win the race by about 80,000 votes, or 2.3 percent of the vote. Adams's conspirators thought, "How easily can we manipulate the election results?"


    The experts thought about all the ways to do it. And they concluded in a report issued yesterday that it would take only one person, with a sophisticated technical knowledge and timely access to the software that runs the voting machines, to change the outcome.

    The report, which was unveiled at a Capitol Hill news conference by New York University's Brennan Center for Justice and billed as the most authoritative to date, tackles some of the most contentious questions about the security of electronic voting.

    The report concluded that the three major electronic voting systems in use have significant security and reliability vulnerabilities. But it added that most of these vulnerabilities can be overcome by auditing printed voting records to spot irregularities. And while 26 states require paper records of votes, fewer than half of those require regular audits.

    "With electronic voting systems, there are certain attacks that can reach enough voting machines . . . that you could affect the outcome of the statewide election," said Lawrence D. Norden, associate counsel of the Brennan Center.

    With billions of dollars of support from the federal government, states have replaced outdated voting machines in recent years with optical scan ballot and touch-screen machines. Activists, including prominent computer scientists, have complained for years that these machines are not secure against tampering. But electronic voting machines are also much easier to use for disabled people and those who do not speak English.

    Voting machine vendors have dismissed many of the concerns, saying they are theoretical and do not reflect the real-life experience of running elections, such as how machines are kept in a secure environment.

    "It just isn't the piece of equipment," said David Bear, a spokesman for Diebold Election Systems, one of the country's largest vendors. "It's all the elements of an election environment that make for a secure election.(Editor's note: They're lying!)

    Read the whole thing and be afraid. Very Afraid.

    Related: Original Brennan Center Summary

    Related:  I've started a new blog project called Open Letters to the Mostly Powerful. I addressed this one to the Earth Liberation Front. All in good fun of course.

    Open Letter to the Earth Liberation Front

    Phil's Cool New Meme (Even the Kewl Kids are Repeating It..)

    Open Letter to Earth Liberation Front:

    1. After five books and about 2000 pages of evidence, I have concluded that the GOP purposely stole the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004, not to mention numerous house and senate seats that haven't been looked at too closely.

    2. I don't think nonviolent resistance can work in a reality where the vote has been and will be thwarted on a continuous basis.

    3. I still can't sanction the taking of human life, but I'm quite comfortable with the destruction of things. In other words, instead of blowing up a car dealership or two, why not find the warehouses that are storing the machines and destroy the machines, preferably a day or two before the election so that the machines can't be replaced and you have to rely on a paper ballot--which is harder to hack. Just something to think about.

    Sincerely,

    Philip Shropshire
    www.threeriversonline.com
    http://openlettersmostlypowerful.blogspot.com/

    (emailed to: info@earthliberationfront.com )

    Think this Boards of Canada remixed Beck vid deserves to be seen a little bigger regular. Haunting and beautiful.

    June 27

    Bet On J has been 99.9 percent abysmal. Really Bad. But there's one artist that they have introduced who's really interesting. Not stereotypical.

    June 26

    New Gil Scott Heron vid called "Lady Day and John Coltrane". Features this thing called "dancing" that the RIAA fears so much. . Can't stop playing the Gil Scott Heron. Over at American Samizdat, I mentioned that Mr. Heron wouldn't mind cute dancing white girls. Then I recalled that I actually met him, think it was 1983, and even though I was a card carrying member of DSA back then he was considerably to my left. So he might mind. I thought he was going to beat me up. But, like Del Toro sez in "Sin City" I'm no racist...

    June 23

     

    March Against Haditha on Friday. More photos at Indy Media.

    I'm demoting that not ambiguously gay crimefighting duo Gayboy (whose page won't even upload) and Girlydyke, because they simply don't post enough. Too bad. They were both interesting bloggers.  Looking for replacements for Pittsburgh bloggers. Gender and/or mammal preferences not an issue.

    Black Muslims arrested as terror suspects. I'm trying to put a positive spin on this but I just can't. The Booman Tribune, which is now my Scoop site of choice because they seem to understand the importance of the vote theft/vote suppression issue, urges caution:

    Remember the arrest of the Army muslim chaplain:

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Muslim chaplain in the U.S. Army has been arrested and is being investigated on suspicion of espionage and possibly treason, officials familiar with the case told CNN.  Army Capt. James Yee was taken into custody by U.S. military authorities September 10 at the naval air station in Jacksonville, Florida, while in possession of classified documents "that a chaplain shouldn't have," an official told CNN, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

    Remember the false arrest of an Oregon lawyer, a muslim and former Army officer:                    

    ALOHA, Ore. — A lawyer and former Army officer who converted to Islam was arrested as a material witness in the deadly train bombings in Spain, federal authorities said.  Brandon Mayfield was taken into custody Thursday by FBI agents, who also searched his home in the Portland suburb of Aloha.     

    It was the first known arrest in the United States with connections to the March 11 terrorist attacks in Madrid that killed 191 people and injured 2,000 others.

    Remember Richard Jewell, falsely accused for the Atlanta Olympic Park bombing?

    Caution is the watch word.  The good news is that law enforcement had penetrated this group.  This calls into question the Administration's insistence that you can't fight terrorism as a law enforcement matter.  Really?  If that's true then why was this handled as a "law enforcement" matter?  This should be a reminder that law enforcement, particularly with the help of local law enforcement, is our first and best defense against domestic terrorism.

    From a first glance, they don't seem to be the smartest terrorists in the world. Note to self: When the African American FBI mole comes into my limited social orbit and asks "Hey, isn't Al Q great? Wouldn't you like to join and blow up stuff and could you please speak directly into the microphone...?" Just say no. I mean, if they were looking for good ideas...

    I guess its the timing that I'm trying to understand. Why now? If you've been following the vote theft story then, like me, it has dawned on you that if the Republicans hadn't actively suppressed the black vote in 2000 and 2004 they wouldn't have won the presidency--and probably numerous other house and senate seats that we haven't even looked at (Here's an interesting point: usually the party that doesn't hold the presidency makes gains in both the House and Senate, except for the last six years...where I strongly suspect the machines have been hacked.) and you should be really really angry. I Predict a Riot, and if there was an independent Guardian like national press in the US perhaps there would be. But there isn't. We can't even get prominent bloggers to write about the issue (unless its to denounce it), let alone the corporate press.

    Of course, if you were trying to demonize black people anyway, these arrests couldn't have come at a better time. Perhaps they're setting up a pretext to do something that they've always wanted to do anyway: Not renew the Voting Rights Act.

    I might also note that if you were an oppressed and despised minority group, whose legal franchise to vote has essentially been stripped away, you probably would have no choice but to look beyond nonviolent options. How do nonviolent options work if you don't have the vote? And, of course, the history of the United States is that every black leader of prominence, no matter what philosophy they represented, was slaughtered. How do you show your disapproval if you don't have the vote?

    Speaking of outright theft, Ken Blackwell is at it again. He wants every registration to go straight to his office. This is so that he can eliminate every application that is missing so much as a comma. That's probably unlawful and it certainly isn't very democratic. But of course, what's against the law and what Republicans can get away with are entirely different concepts.

    June 22

    Attack of the Gifted Jewish Lesbian Guitarists. First up is Mimi Fox, with a very butch cut but I held out hope that one day she would be mine. She's incredible in this clip by the way. I wish she would just cut a dvd with this band. Dumbass BET on J won't release her concert on DVD. And here's Kaki King. I think its her best live performance. She looks relaxed.
     

     

    Of course, if you're such a great lesbian Mimi then why are you sitting on Steve Vai's lap? Probably because he's just produced your two cd straight ahead jazz album, one in a group setting and one all solo pieces.  I think I understand. So, when my 40 million dollar lotto ticket comes in: "Yes, is this Kaki King? I understand that you need a producer for your possibly not commercial acoustic Hawaiian  marching music. I think I can help, but first: there's a lap I know that yearns and yearns for happiness, delivered with a big exuberant smile...." 

    June 21, 2006

    From Bradblog

    Quick round the Internets:

    Complete list of Proud to have been banned from Daily Kos gifs. In retrospect: I probably was eligible for seven of them...

    Bradblog talks about town meetings to get a recount in the Bilbray/Busby race.
    Might be voting machine shenanigans and/or tomfoolery here in Pittsburgh. From 2 Political Junkies.

    And Kennedy hints at legal action. I hope it will be in time for the 2008 elections. Please pick your judges carefully.
    Palast on how the GOP has stolen millions of black votes. Short version: There should be rioting in the streets. I mean, if you're going to riot then this is a good reason to do so.  If the GOP hadn't illegally stolen and suppressed the black vote in 2000 and 2004 then the Republicans probably would not be in power. This is what they call an "Act of War". Of course, there isn't an independent black press to report on this issue. They're all owned or run by the GOP. (I know Scaife has his claws in the Courier, just don't know how much. Not that he needed too many claws with pro life, pro clinic bombing editor Rod Doss at the helm.) And our friends in the corporate press, which won't touch the very minor "your elections have been hacked" story won't put it out there. Don't hold your breath for the corporate media to do its job. Even my fave PG columnist Gnarls Barkley hasn't written anything about it.
    Beautiful fractal vid done by an amateur. (The Joy of the Internets.) Features great acidy jazzie Boards of Canada tune Crossposted at Cyborg Democracy. I believe that this is the music of the Future.

     

    Your Sunday Atheism Service. Part Two of Richard Dawkins' "Root of All Evil". Apparently, religion is a malicious virus that some people don't outgrow, thereby short circuiting their capacity to think rationally. I did not know that.

     

     

     

    June 18
     

    That's a picture of my late father (John Shropshire) that I drew on a computer a long time ago. I miss him. Could use his wisdom right about now. I have always believed that you can solve problems nonviolently. But if the vote is compromised,  and I think that it clearly is (note for clueless dems who don't know this yet: people who have legitimately won the vote welcome recounts. It just reaffirms their victory. Judge for yourself what the Republican response has been and act accordingly.) you've lost 99 percent of what you can do nonviolently. More stuff about Pop: he was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, was a pro football prospect, and had great taste in books. I stole lots of books from him: all of his Frantz Fanon and the speeches of Malcolm X. He was a cool guy. Miss him.

    "Thumb" by Dinosaur Jr.  I really like the unison flute/guitar playing.

    June 17

    Meanwhile, while Atrios catblogs....

    Mark Crispin Miller: Why are the Democrats Ignoring the Stolen Election Story? He also debunks any strategery involved in not telling voters. I can understand Republicans stealing my vote. They're fuckin' evil. I will never understand why my party of the last 25 years won't fight for me or my vote. Here's Mark:

    SOME DARE CALL IT TREASON

    So much for the democratic spirit of the Democratic Party, which, in burying the most important civic issue of our time, has been just as complicit as the GOP, although they cloud the issue far less rudely. Take "Democracy at Risk," the DNC report on the election in Ohio, which came out in the summer of 2005. The document appears to be a very damning study of Republican malfeasance in Ohio. It offers many harrowing statistics, and some strong firsthand accounts, of Democratic disenfranchisement throughout the state -- only to deny that fraud had anything to do with it. The problem, rather, was "incompetence," which was somehow epidemic in Ohio on Election Day, and which, stranger still, invariably helped Bush/Cheney and hurt Kerry/Edwards. The report is not exactly readable, with long abstruse equations covering page after page -- a haze of math that does not quite conceal the bald self-contradictions that distort the document like heavy cracks across a windshield. For instance, the report confirms, in various ways, that there were far too few machines only in Democratic precincts, while the number of machines in GOP strongholds was more than adequate. Then, out of nowhere, toward the end, we're told that members of both parties were affected equally by the statewide shortage of machines, so that the glitch did not, of course, affect the outcome of the race.

    The whole report is twisted thus, the authors tortuously bending over backward to assure us that DeLay et al. were right: "No voter disenfranchisement occurred in this election of 2004." If we look deeper into the report (and also read the pertinent expos�s by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman at freepress.org), we find that it is less an earnest study of the fraud committed in Ohio than a political statement, meant primarily to distance the committee, and the party, from John Conyers and those other Democrats who had been so tactless as to harp on the abundant evidence of systematic fraud by the Republicans. This fact is highly relevant to Manjoo's attack on Robert Kennedy, as Manjoo's case is heavily dependent on the DNC report. Manjoo invokes it several times, accusing Kennedy of quoting only certain parts of it and pointedly ignoring all those later parts that clear the GOP of fraud. Your reporter calls this a "deliberate omission of key bits of data." And yet that charge is groundless, as the DNC report is only partly accurate, and Kennedy, quite rightly, quoted only its sound figures and ignored its weird exculpatory spin.

    The DNC report is typical of that cowed, calculating party, whose managers consistently deny the evidence of fraud, even though the consequence is their assured political castration. Why exactly would they take that suicidal course? The reasons generally given for their silence on the subject are preposterous on their face. Kerry won't discuss the issue frankly on the record, we've been told, because he's worried that the media will smack him for it. ("They're saying that, if I don't concede, they'll call us sore losers!" he reportedly said to a stunned John Edwards just before he called it quits the morning after.) That may be what Kerry, among others, actually believes, but it's absurd, as no amount of public scorn, however withering, could ever be as frightening to a democratic politician as the twilight of democracy itself.

    We also hear that Democrats have been reluctant to speak out about election fraud because they fear that doing so might cut down voter turnout on Election Day. By such logic, we should henceforth utter not a peep about election fraud, so that the Democratic turnout will break records. Then, when the Republicans win yet again, because they've rigged the system, how will all those Democratic voters feel? Maybe those who haven't killed themselves, or fled the country, will recover just enough to vote again. Would it then be prudent for the Democrats to talk about election fraud? Or would it still seem sensible to keep the subject under wraps?

    The argument is idiotic, yet the people who have seriously made it -- Bernie Sanders, Markos Moulitsas, Hillary Clinton's and Chuck Schumer's people, among others -- are extremely bright. The argument, as foolish as it is, does not bespeak a low I.Q., but, I would suggest, a subtler kind of incapacity: a refusal and/or inability to face a deeply terrifying truth. The Democrats refuse to talk about election fraud because they cannot, will not, wrap their minds around the implications of what happened in 2004, and what is happening right now, and what will keep on happening until we, as a people, face the issue. In short, whatever clever-sounding rationales they may invoke (no doubt in all sincerity), the Democrats won't talk about election fraud because they're in denial, which is itself based on a lethal combination of inertia, self-interest and, above all -- or below all -- fear.

    NO CONFIDENCE ON CUNNINGHAM RACE!

    Breakin' news! Here first! (Really. No one covers the unimportant trivial story of how the last two national elections were hacked. Silly blogger. Tricks are for kids.)

    That's just brilliant. I'm thinking about making t-shirts. Something along the lines of "NO CONFIDENCE in  election results for 2000, 2004 and elections to be named later." I suppose if you were a member of an opposition party you would use this to undermine the president with every speech and utterance, unless you're the Washington Generals political party of course..

    I've signed the petition. Have you?

    One House rep states she believes the election was stolen:

    From Mark Crispin Miller's News from the Underground:

    Courageous Schakowsky (D-IL): WAS 2004 ELECTION STOLEN? "ONLY ANSWER YES"

    Congresswoman 'Apologizes' for Not Taking Allegations of Stolen 2004 Election Seriously! Was it Stolen? 'Only Answer is Yes,' says Schakowsky who Claims DCCC to Announce Steps Soon to Avoid 'Repeat Performance'

    From the Congresswoman:

    For us, it (winning 2006 elections) must all be about execution.

    First, we must not allow the Republicans to steal the election-again.


    I apologize for not taking seriously enough the allegations that the 2004 election was stolen. After reading Bobby Kennedy's article in Rolling Stone, "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?", I am convinced that the only answer is yes. He documents how 357,000 Ohio voters, the vast majority Democrats, "were prevented from casting ballots or did not have their votes countedÅ more than enough to shift the results." Watch for the DCCC to take some very public steps in the near future to ward off a repeat performance. In the meantime, there needs to be a citizens' effort starting now to assess the machines, the ballots, the registration process within each and every election jurisdiction in each and every swing district and state, in the case of Senate races. Where the situation looks perilous, go to the media, raise a stink, demand changes. This is a great project for the many of you who have been diligently working to guarantee fair and accurate elections.

    Visit BradBlog for more breaking news.

     

     

    June 15

    From Doc Menlo:

    This is a response to assertions made by the Christian Right that America is a Christian Nation and if you aren't Christian then you're not welcome here. They are openly trying to steal this country and force their fiction based religion on Realists who believe that reality is what's really real.

    Our response - screw you!

    We realists are not going to let it happen. We aren't going to let you destroy civilization just to feed your religious fantasies. Our response is - Choose Reality. We're fed up and we're pissed off. We are not going to put up with it any more. When you cross the line from the benignly misguided to threatening then it's time to bite back. We've had enough and we aren't going to take it any more.

    We're going to talk about what's real, what's really real. The kind of reality that stands up to doubt and scrutiny. The kind of reality that relies on evidence, is supported by logic and reason, and stands up to scientific principles. We're talking about the kind of reality that doesn't go away when you stop believing in it. Choose Reality is a statement that we believe in what is real and that we are ready to talk about anything in the context of it's reality. It is a statement that we refuse to live the lie. We do not accept a life of fantasy.

    We challenge faith based religions on the basis of what is real. We stand for reality. Where do you stand on reality?

    Choose Reality is a direct challenge to faith based religions who are making false claims about reality. Religions that are trying to redefine science and move education and civilization back into the Dark Ages. We challenge the unquestionable claims that one is supposed to believe on blind faith. We challenge you to prove your position and we are ready to prove ours. We believe in accountability and if you think your deity exists and that you have found the true religion then trot it out here because if you are right, we'll all join you.

    June 11

    Modest Sunday Night Around the Internets

    I'm going to join FON. It might be the only way to create universal broadband. Wasn't surprised by the negative house vote (fully in the grasp of the Dark Side) although there is hope. Actually, the only hope is for Google and Microsoft and Ebay, hopefully not together because that would create another kind of duopoly, to create their own national broadband network. Let's hope Sergey gets angry. You wouldn't like Sergey when he's angry...probably because the Software Kings are really really talented. Google would clean the telcos clock and create much better television while they're at it. (Of course, in working democracies, governments like Japan and France and S. Korea can simply look out for the public good and the telcos would have to put their rapacious greed on hold...wish we had that here.)
    The Make Blog is very cool. I've put it right beside Boing Boing because it fits.
    Bow before the might, power and truthiness of Captain Copyright! (an industry shill who apparently raids Swedish servers and litigates against grandmothers and 12 year olds) Cory Doctorow has already linked to mashups and satires here.
    Brazilian gangs take on the police. Can reach out beyond the cell. Have mixed feelings about this. If its clear that you're being groomed for prison or exclusion, why care about the "law"?
    The Seduction of Joe Tynan Daily Kos. Or: Booman wonders why Kos is cozying up to DLCer Warner. Probably because that's where the money is at.

    June 9

    Tom Moody: You must face this woman from Japan and her weird, escher-like horny art in the Octagon. Only one may leave.

    Friday Massive Liger Blogging: I have sent  my mutant 10 foot Liger to eat all the cats and dogs that I have seen over at Multi Medium and the Froth blog. My girlfriend will be riding him like a Pony. All hail Magneto!

    They have been gearing up for this for some time. However, Rove had wanted to use this against African Americans, not Hispanics. He knows that alienating the Latino vote is the kiss of death for the party long term. But it's out of his hands now. Immigration has a life of its own and I suspect it will be quite easy to adjust the plan and the machinery to try to 1) get out the base, 2) suppress the Latino vote which is now heavily leaning democratic and 3) serve as a rallying cry and cause when they lose seats and possibly their majority. This will be immediately played for 08 with a whole bunch of "voter integrity" legislation. They will be screaming to high heaven. Lou Dobbs will have his aneurysm removed on live television.

    The Democrats could have innoculated against this when the Republicans stole the 2000 election, but they didn't. Had they been screaming bloody murder for six solid years about Republican vote fraud, it would be much more difficult for the GOP to suddenly glom onto this issue. Instead, it was a mere underground drumbeat that was heard, but only in the vaguest way. Now the CW about stolen elections is going to be turned on us --- and we will be on the defensive fighting both the charge of electoral fraud and being soft on criminal Mexicans because we need illegal aliens to stuff the ballot boxes for us.

    --From Digby, who I'm now permalinking. He's the only big league blogger who gets it.
     

    Daily Kos announces loss in Duke Cunningham race. Bradblog points out that GOP leaning voting machines make an accurate recount impossible and she might have won. Deafening silence from the Big Three (Kos, Atrios, and Calpundit) ensues. (I think its time that Brad bought the Scoop software. We need a new leading light here. Not going to Vegas and not buying that book.)

    Here's some Priceless Analysis From Kos on Why She Lost:

    1. Democrats are not motivated to turn out

    2.  2006 will be a base election -- the party that wins is the party that gets more of its partisans to the polls.

    Really? Is that why you supported Bob Casey in the primaries? Because I happen to be a democratic party partisan--excluded as I am from nearly all important policy decisions--and Bob Casey, a man who hasn't met an anti union, blatantly corporatist Bush appointee he doesn't like so far and is against censure and is thrilled that a pharmacist can deny  me a condom (not that I need one lately with my pathetic sex life but a man can dream!..), not to mention a devotee of the nation's flying invisible monster of choice...doesn't get me too excited about voting. Really.  I don't know why they're so thrilled with "Nedmentum".  You could make the same dumb argument for Leiberman..."yeah, we'll get a vote for majority leader, probably majority leader Leiberman...."

    And not motivated to turn out? Maybe because you never fight for their vote and endorse GOP-lite  DLC dems in the primaries.. (Keep in mind we have indictments in Ohio now.) Never. And anyone who mentions vote theft gets sent down the memory hole. Related: Mark Crispin Miller link on why the Republican FBI won't file charges in Ohio, which kind of answers itself.

    In light of RFK's piece on election fraud and his reference to my
    article on the Clermont stickers, I thought I would send this out
    again. To date, the FBI has yet to conduct a full investigation of
    the Clermont case despite having witness statements, video footage,
    and the public record of an official who slipped up and admitted to
    tampering with ballots, despite all that, the FBI has done nothing.
    The people who came forward - initially a far bigger number - did so
    despite being intimidated and harassed while the people they spoke
    out against are still in their jobs

    Shocking really. Related: Fitrakis and Wasserman bring out their stats guy to debunk Manjoo here and here. I'm not qualified to judge maybe Fester can take a shot. My feeling is: Do you believe that the Bush administration has acted honorably and honestly in all matters? Or any matter for that matter? Why wouldn't that extend to voting? Plus, there's Greg Palast who has documented all of their caging techniques... Its obvious that they steal. What isn't obvious is why the democratic party (by the way, even if they win somehow with their gutless win on the margins efforts, it will be a decidedly DLC friendly congress...don't expect much change) doesn't take up the issue, although I had a Washington Generals theory earlier...Time to take a look at our Pennsylvania Green Party slate. Of course, they need to get 69000 sigs in about two months, which probably means 80 or 90 thousand just to be safe. Good luck.

    What the Green Party needs is a self financed Ned Lamont or two...(Hollywood Left where are you...?)

    By the way, here are  free mottos for any resurgent Green Party effort: "Its time for a change. No, really." Or "Because the status quo isn't good enough anymore" or even "Because if the status quo means 5 dollar a gallon gas then I'm crazy enough to vote Green."

    June 8

     

    June 2

    By the way, one reason the voter fraud story hasn't gotten better traction is that the Big Three of Left Blogity Blog circles--Kos, Atrios and Calpundit--simply haven't acknowledged the story. In fact, Kos and Chris Bowers (MYDD) are hostile to the issue and both Atrios and Calpundit have ignored the story as they whistle through the graveyard. (At the time I write this they have. 3 pm eastern time.)

    They keep scratchin' their heads wonderin' why the techniques used to steal two presidential elections would get people so upset. (Read the comments section.) I responded at MYDD. I would have responded at Kos but I got banned there because of my "What Hesh Said" post.

    You're Way Off Here on this point.. (none / 0)

    Well, the reason this issue rockets to the top at DKOS is that if the vote is compromised then nothing else that we're working on makes much sense! Plus, the Republicans act like squirrely vote stealers! Of course its important. Actually, try to do something more complicated in Philly: audit the vote. Go ahead I dares you. I double dares you. You actually probably can't be sure that you won in any district that used a voting machine that doesn't leave a trail.

    By the way, it wasn't just some crazy statistician that smelled a rat with the exit polls (smaller discrepancies turned over the Ukraine vote by the way) it was a whole team of stat guys, plus Kathy Dopp, plus four books, plus America Votes, plus Greg Palast's new book...this stuff is well researched and generally unrebuted by the right...! Smell a rat why doncha...


    by pshropshire on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 06:04:27 AM EST


    Re: Demand Election Reform, But Only If You Mean I (none / 0)


    By the way, I don't think becoming a committeeman means too much if the GOP can "disappear" about 300000 thousand votes like they did in Ohio. And: please rebut that charge if you will. No name calling. No insults about us weak minded people who can't see through that hack Greg Pallast...probably one of the greatest investigative reporters of our time, who of course works for the BBC.

    I think the answer, quite frankly, lies outside of nice DLC political moves. We need to do what the masses did when they tried to depose Chavez, or what the Paris kids did when they tried to turn their employment status at will or what thousands of latin American immigrants did when they were threatened with being turned into felons...Massive demostratations. Worker's strikes. And they need to be big...of course, they can't be big if we insist that there's not a problem with mostly black people having their vote disenfranchised....


    The huge story of the day is that a national media publication finally breaks the voting fraud story. The publication is Rolling Stone and the writer is Robert Kennedy and its well documented.

    Like many Americans, I spent the evening of the 2004 election watching the returns on television and wondering how the exit polls, which predicted an overwhelming victory for John Kerry, had gotten it so wrong. By midnight, the official tallies showed a decisive lead for George Bush -- and the next day, lacking enough legal evidence to contest the results, Kerry conceded. Republicans derided anyone who expressed doubts about Bush's victory as nut cases in ''tinfoil hats,'' while the national media, with few exceptions, did little to question the validity of the election. The Washington Post immediately dismissed allegations of fraud as ''conspiracy theories,''(1) and The New York Times declared that ''there is no evidence of vote theft or errors on a large scale.''(2)

    But despite the media blackout, indications continued to emerge that something deeply troubling had taken place in 2004. Nearly half of the 6 million American voters living abroad(3) never received their ballots -- or received them too late to vote(4) -- after the Pentagon unaccountably shut down a state-of-the-art Web site used to file overseas registrations.(5) A consulting firm called Sproul & Associates, which was hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in six battleground states,(6) was discovered shredding Democratic registrations.(7) In New Mexico, which was decided by 5,988 votes,(8) malfunctioning machines mysteriously failed to properly register a presidential vote on more than 20,000 ballots.(9) Nationwide, according to the federal commission charged with implementing election reforms, as many as 1 million ballots were spoiled by faulty voting equipment -- roughly one for every 100 cast.(10)

    The reports were especially disturbing in Ohio, the critical battleground state that clinched Bush's victory in the electoral college. Officials there purged tens of thousands of eligible voters from the rolls, neglected to process registration cards generated by Democratic voter drives, shortchanged Democratic precincts when they allocated voting machines and illegally derailed a recount that could have given Kerry the presidency. A precinct in an evangelical church in Miami County recorded an impossibly high turnout of ninety-eight percent, while a polling place in inner-city Cleveland recorded an equally impossible turnout of only seven percent. In Warren County, GOP election officials even invented a nonexistent terrorist threat to bar the media from monitoring the official vote count.(11)

    Any election, of course, will have anomalies. America's voting system is a messy patchwork of polling rules run mostly by county and city officials. ''We didn't have one election for president in 2004,'' says Robert Pastor, who directs the Center for Democracy and Election Management at American University. ''We didn't have fifty elections. We actually had 13,000 elections run by 13,000 independent, quasi-sovereign counties and municipalities.''

    But what is most anomalous about the irregularities in 2004 was their decidedly partisan bent: Almost without exception they hurt John Kerry and benefited George Bush. After carefully examining the evidence, I've become convinced that the president's party mounted a massive, coordinated campaign to subvert the will of the people in 2004. Across the country, Republican election officials and party stalwarts employed a wide range of illegal and unethical tactics to fix the election. A review of the available data reveals that in Ohio alone, at least 357,000 voters, the overwhelming majority of them Democratic, were prevented from casting ballots or did not have their votes counted in 2004(12) -- more than enough to shift the results of an election decided by 118,601 votes.(13) (See Ohio's Missing Votes) In what may be the single most astounding fact from the election, one in every four Ohio citizens who registered to vote in 2004 showed up at the polls only to discover that they were not listed on the rolls, thanks to GOP efforts to stem the unprecedented flood of Democrats eager to cast ballots.(14) And that doesn't even take into account the troubling evidence of outright fraud, which indicates that upwards of 80,000 votes for Kerry were counted instead for Bush. That alone is a swing of more than 160,000 votes -- enough to have put John Kerry in the White House.(15)

    ''It was terrible,'' says Sen. Christopher Dodd, who helped craft reforms in 2002 that were supposed to prevent such electoral abuses. ''People waiting in line for twelve hours to cast their ballots, people not being allowed to vote because they were in the wrong precinct -- it was an outrage. In Ohio, you had a secretary of state who was determined to guarantee a Republican outcome. I'm terribly disheartened.''

    Indeed, the extent of the GOP's effort to rig the vote shocked even the most experienced observers of American elections. ''Ohio was as dirty an election as America has ever seen,'' Lou Harris, the father of modern political polling, told me. ''You look at the turnout and votes in individual precincts, compared to the historic patterns in those counties, and you can tell where the discrepancies are. They stand out like a sore thumb.''

    Read the whole thing as they say.

    May 30 

    I actually think Come On Let's Go is Broadcast's best tune. And someone went out and made a vid for Black Cat, off of their new album.  "Curiouser and curiouser.." ..not at all related to Kool Thing.

    May 29

     

     

    Legendary comics artist Alex Toth passed away. Complete info here.

    And in honor of Memorial Day: This Link. Related: Our drugged up troops. Here's an excerpt:

    Former biology undergraduate Rorla Monere began taking sleeping pills to dull the pain and fear after witnessing the kidnapping of a close friend who was thrown into a car and later raped; a suicide car bomb left another of Monere’s close friends in a wheelchair. Afraid to go out, Monere stays at home, terrified that someone will storm the house.

    “The pills don’t have any effect anymore,” she told NPR’s “Morning Edition,” “because I take so many of them. I just want my day to finish. I spend it alone. … My wish is to die, to be free and rest. Better than this slaughter.”

    Some U.S. soldiers know how she feels. In a May 2 letter to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) wrote, “Last year’s suicide rate was the highest since 1993. Eighty-three Army soldiers on active duty committed suicide, 25 while deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan—a 24 percent increase over the prior year. I find it simply astonishing that the sheer magnitude of the mental health crisis facing our Armed Forces does not compel you to action.”

    Go USA.

    May 25

    From Tom Moody's underrated weblog... Yes you will look into the spinning spinning animation and check out his site...

    More audio excerpts from Greg Palast's new and very depressing book. One has Ed Asner reading from the film Network and the other  is by Brad (from Bradblog).

    Another stunning tune called "Airborne" by Jaga Jazzist. Here's a documentary about them if you're interested. Just a great band that I've never seen on any of my music channels.

     

     

    May 22nd

    More Bitching about the Pennacchio campaign. One other glaring error from Chuck is that he refused to take PAC money of any kind. I think you can make that call quite self-righteously if you're independently wealthy. You can't make that call if you're a middle class university prof, at least if you want to win. I never could figure out why he couldn't take money from, say, labor, environmental groups and most importantly pro choice groups. I mean, if you have to, then simply state clearly why you're taking the money and what you won't do for the money.  Now, he may have thought that he wouldn't get any money from them anyway (labor, which is also probably pro life in this state, was in Casey's pocket all along) and thought that arguing principle would get him more votes. He was wrong about that. And that 30 or 40 grand he might have gotten if had taken that pac money might have funded my Virtual ACT plan. I can see the evil tradeoffs when you take money from the telcos or Halliburton, but not from Planned Parenthood.....

    On the other hand, I'm not even sure if my vote for Chuck Pennacchio even counted.  I'll definitely be using an absentee ballot in the future. Bob Fitrakis gives me the scoop over at Free Press. Here's a clip:

    Will the major media finally cover the electronic election fraud issue?
    by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
    May 15, 2006

    That the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004 were stolen has become an article of faith for millions of mainstream Americans. But there has been barely a whiff of coverage in the major media about any problems with the electronic voting machines that made those thefts possible---until now.

    May 21nd

    This week's Anti-Lawrence Welk/Anti BET on J (also known as the Anti Tony Mowad jazz show)

    Black Forest" by Vanessa Daou
    "Sunrain" LTJ Bukem
    "Bright Size Life" Pat Metheny and Richard Bona
    "Airborne" by Jaga Jazzist
    "Sanctuary" by Wayne Shorter (explorer only)
    "Summer Sun" Koop
    Remixed Jazzy Bjork Tune
    Amateur Esthero Tune
    "Scarlet Woman" by Weather report
    "A Song" from the Coryell, Assad, and Abercrombie live DVD, which a station which allegedly promotes jazz should play. (explorer only)

     

    May 19

    More bitching about the senate race. During the last days of the senate race, it was clear that the Pennacchio campaign was ramping (Perhaps it was dawning on them, wayyy too late, that my white paper was the only way to go) up their field canvass by way of "volunteerism". We can now say that doesn't work too well. For one thing, canvassing, done right, is physically brutal work--especially here in the endless stairs and hills of Pittsburgh.  And the kind of thing that people rich enough to volunteer probably can't do very well. You don't get Paris Hilton to volunteer to dig ditches--at least not if you want to dig the ditches well.  In fact, and this was a complaint about the Howard Dean staff, the only people that can do that, generally, are rich white folk. Not exactly a diverse campaign. Didn't work very well for Dean either.

    By the way, some of the fallout from the work at the Free Press and now Greg Palast (again), is that America Coming Together actually worked in about 16 of 17 states. What we didn't count on were the hackable machines and how liberal republicans were in purging opposition voters off of the rolls. For example, I know that we--and not just ACT but ACORN and Vote America--registered about 100000  new voters in Ohio. However, black theocrat in training Ken Blackwell, purged about 300000 voters from the rolls so we actually lost ground. Then there's the 90000 provisional ballots that they never counted and that Kerry never fought for.

    Speaking of stolen elections, Greg Palast has a new book out. Please check out his interview here on Democracy Now.

    AMY GOODMAN: You broke this on BBC.

    GREG PALAST: Yeah, I broke this on BBC, and to get in the United States, we got Michael Moore to put on a chicken suit and report it here as a joke. And then, thank you very much, Amy, for bringing it across the water and breaking through the electronic Berlin Wall. By the way, all of these stories are stories developed out of BBC and Guardian that basically are blacked out, except for here on Democracy Now! That's very important, because these are the stories that they don't want you to have for good reason. And they don't want you to have it, because -- I then followed up with 2004. Now, it’s accepted 2000 pretty much was fixed. Well, there’s a chapter, “Kerry won.” 2004 was fixed. And the way it was done is that 3.6 million votes were cast and never counted in the United States. That's very important to know. This isn’t Greg Palast conspiracy nut stuff.

    AMY GOODMAN: Say the number again.

    GREG PALAST: 3.6 million ballots cast, never counted. And that's because they call these spoiled votes or rejected provisional ballots, 1.9 million so-called provisional ballots, and then, most of those don't get counted. And so, whose votes don't get counted? If it was random, it wouldn’t matter. In other words, if these were votes where the machine doesn't record it properly, hanging chads, extra marks on a paper ballot, you had the wrong address on your absentee ballot, etc.

    Three million ballots. Whose ballots? If you're a black person, the chance your ballot will be technically invalidated is 900% higher than if you're a white voter. Hispanic voter, 500% higher than if you're a white voter. Native Americans, it’s like 2,000% higher than if you're a white voter. The overwhelming majority -- and I went to the state of New Mexico, which supposedly Bush won by 5,000 votes, 89% of the ballots were cast out of minority precincts that were thrown away. Kerry won New Mexico. You go into the dumpster, and it’s black votes, 155,000 black votes that were chucked away in Ohio. Kerry won those votes. He won Ohio.

    Read and listen to the whole thing as they say.

    May 17

    As I write this, I'm guessing that Chuck Penn didn't win. That's probably because 90 percent of the voting public doesn't know who he is. (By the way Atrios: Thanks for fuckin' nuthin. You and the Kos have disappointed me to no end in your support for Casey (more Kos) and refusal to do anything for Chuck Penn. You coulda ran a fuckin' ad. You've been working nonstop against the guy in Connecticut working to overthrow Leiberman but nothing for the progressives in your own state? What do we tell this small faction of women voters in Pennsylvania, who only make up half of the fuckin' electorate...! I can't work for Casey (I can't see voting for him either) and I seriously wish Kate Michelman would reconsider her third party run...In fact, I could work for just about any serious Third Party run and it would have to be serious because you need about 70000 signatures to get on the ballot....Look: Casey isn't a guy who's going to help dems. He's the guy who switches parties in order for the GOP to keep their majority, all for imaginary Jesus of course....)

    Now, Chuck did have a few flaws. He was just a terrible fundraiser. Of course, had the netroots chipped in, say Kos and Atrios, who knows how much he could have raised. He also didn't try my plan--simple version: replicate ACT in at least Philly and Pittsburgh-- which, on paper anyway, could have raised his name recognition and put him in a position to win. My plan only cost about 10 to 30 thousand dollars by the way. But he never tried it fully. Paying one guy (me) to canvass in the city isn't enough. And I think he abandoned it once I left the campaign. I can now state that his secondary plan wasn't very good, unless its for running again in the future, which I would hope that he would do. He was having trouble meeting my massive $200 a week salary. Not good at fundraising.

    I'm very proud of the candidate and the fact that he stood for something. I just wish YouTube had peaked two months ago. That's what the FCC was worried about in retrospect. Thousands of websites running television ads that had the same reach as TV...all for cheap. That would mean you wouldn't need big donors to run campaigns, which would be quite a shame, which I'm sure is what the FCC was thinking....

    As for the krazy Jewish conspiracy idea I had in my had head...well, why else do you push a pro life guy in a blue state? (The machine guy they should have drafted was Mark Singel, betrayed by Bob Casey's father by the way...) Because the machine guy will back the war--which, and here's the conspiracy part, the Jewish Democratic congressional delegation secretly and not so secretly likes--and get the money from the Jewish donors, who, according to Alexander Cockburn, dominate Democratic Party fundraising. Of course, in my overall drug fueled Oliver Stone conspiracy theory,  American Jews are the Mentats and the Money Men behind the party. Both of the men responsible for taking back the majorities in the House and Senate are Jewish. Rahm is a former Israeli soldier for god's sake....

    I guess the question is: what if the Mentats have joined the other side? They probably wouldn't tell you that you're too wimpy to murder recklessly for Israel but you could watch what they do.  What if they want to reward the Republicans for fighting proxy wars on behalf of Israel? And as I've mentioned before, if your people had been through a holocaust would you be more likely to overreact or under react to possible threats? I think you would overreact. Of course, that's just my crazy opium fueled fantasy scenario...then again, Bob Casey is about the one Democrat that I think Rick Santorum could beat. I mean, Casey lacks Ron Klink's charisma or anyone else's charisma for that matter. Just a horrible candidate. In fact, if you had switched sides, you really wouldn't want the Democrats to take power, ever. You would sabotage their efforts in fact, work for their weakest candidates, never offer clear contrasts, etc.... I'm hoping I'm wrong...Bottom Line: I'm having a hard time even trying to conceptualize a vote for Casey.

    May 14

    The Fourth Installment of the Anti Lawrence Welk/Anti VH1 Soul Jazz Show. Real Music. Real musicians. Must now mock Bet on J.

    "The Magician" by Return to Forever
    (Features their best lineup: Clarke, Corea, Dimeola and White. Check out Lenny's standup at the end. Yeah we get it. Its called the "Romantic Warrior)
    St. Germain live (very intense from the first bar. If you really wanted to sell jazz to the young people, this is what you would play. Not fuzak, not 60s Miles Davis...)
    "Shadow of Ourselves " by the Thievery Corporation (Live track
    "Black Market" by the Zawinul Syndicate (Features narada walton on drums...!)
    Al Jarreau Medley With Miki Howard Sly Stone's "Everybody is a Star" and Beatles "Hey Jude"

    Massive Attack "Protection" Features Everything but the Girl Singer.
    Classic James Brown tune
    Mad Lib "All Caps" (jazzy hip hop tune. Imaginative video. Again, if you were making an effort to attract younger audiences
    Mad Lib (jazz instrumental which features jazz album covers)
    Pretzel Logic (Steely Dan classic.)

    Broadcast, bonus Broadcast (White Brits who were signed by a black hip hop label. They're the find of the Internet. Nobody played their video "Papercuts".
    Sun Ra (anime fan likes Sun Ra)
    The Jackson 5 Blame it on the Boogie (Mixed with imagery of mob scenes)
    Bensen "Breezin
    Malone "Mugshot
    Entirety of Cinematic Orchestra 1 hour

    May 7th Edition of the Anti Lawrence Welk/Anti VH1 Soul Jazz Show

    This is a special Jimi Hendrix Edition. Must now mock Bet on J. Here in Pittsburgh, this is also known as the Anti Tony Mowad jazz show.

    Cinematic Orchestra
    Charlie Hunter
    NERD
    Coltrane Alabama
    Lady Day "Fine and Mellow" "He's the lowest man..."
    Amel Larrieux Live
    Portishead double play
    Crazy Azz Buckethead Does Hendrix!
    Paladium by Weather Report (not a good vid but it's Weather Report! And its one of my favorite tunes...)
    Sergio Mendez 66 features two hot Brazilian chicks and no annoying rap over
    "Advice for the Young at Heart" Tears for Fears
    Hope Sandoval (very Norah Jonesy)
    Victor Wooten Amazing Grace
    Tunnels (Features Percy Jones, Brit bassist who's still alive who I always thought was as good as jaco...)
    Ego Wrappin' (Japanese ska jazz...again: don't know the words, but I think I get what she's sayin'"
    Little Wing Clapton and Crow
    Hey Joe Jimi Hendrix.....you still pay blues right?

     May 5

    I'm not writing a lot  this week, which is probably a huge mistake because thanks to Robot Wisdom I've seen a surge of hits here and mostly at the Red Light District. He's been linking to some of my obscure YouTube jazz rock selections. You never know who's a closet Mahavishnu Orchestra fan. We haven't always been this cordial, as this earlier email exchange might reveal. We were probably both right in retrospect, by the way....Anyway, past history aside, thanks Jorn.

    Past Visual (s) of the Day 

    Richard Dawkins BBC Documentary: The Root of All Evil

    His answer: competing and irrational fundamentalist strains of Christianity and Islam and Judaism. You just don't ever see this kind of thing in the United States. Check out the teapot analogy at the end of Part 3. Part Two of the show. Part Three of the show.

    And gorgeous Sun Ra video.

     April 30

    This show, about 2 and a half hours long if you listen to everything (hey, no commercials), features two very rare performances by Mahavishnu Orchestra. There's an excellent chance that you won't see any of these songs on VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul, MTV Hits, or BET on J. It's a nice mix of old and new. So enjoy. This is the second installment of the Anti Lawrence Welk/Anti VH1 Soul Jazz show. And, quite frankly, it features better performances, song writing and outright talent than you will ever see on those aforementioned stations.

    Nina Simone's "Feelin' Good"
    Nikka Costa "Suger in My Bowl"
    Cowboy Bebop Theme
    Cowboy Bebop Theme Live (Female Composer)
    Mahavishnu Orchestra "You Know You Know"

    Joni Mitchell and Jaco Pastorius "Pork Pie Hat"
    "Africa" by obscure tapping Genius Brazilian Guy
    "Pyramids" Sun Ra (video not great, but that gorgeous song. You will be transported to another world...)
    Telepopmusick (If you like Portishead...)

    Jaga Jazzist's "Oslo Skyline"  Well Directed video. So well directed and frenetic that you're not immediately made aware that its about sex...
    Mr Scruff's "Honeydew"
    French "Bonoboo" I don't understand French but I think I know what he's saying
    "Beautiful Lili" Tim Hagens
    "Swing Shift" Cinderella by Legendary Cartoonist Tex Avery
    Royal Crown Review

    Go Team "Lady flash"
    Classic Aretha
    Dave's True Story New Video (Okay, only video)
    Portishead "All Mine"
    "Naima" John Coltrane
    Stina (She rips off Horace Silver's "Song for my Father", just as Steely Dan did with "Rikki Don't Lose that Number")

    "Zoot Allures" Frank Zappa
    Remixed Bjork
    Louis Jordan "Honey Chile"
    D angelo "Chicken Grease"
    Pick Two from Carlos Santana. Either "Samba Pa Ti" or Europa with the Playboy Models
    Mahavishnu Orchestra "Lotus on Irish Streams". I think this is one of the most beautiful jazz performances that I have ever seen. It's a good ending for this weekend's show. Real music. Real musicians.

    April 26

    A Rushed Late Night Around the Internets

    Funny Dave Cross on Your Pals in Heaven (Frankly, both Riverworld and Where Dreams May Come offer a cooler afterlife than the Bible with its burning lakes and Mimi Rogers standing outside the golden castle forever and ever.. (in the very scary movie called the "The Rapture"--Actually, the Christian concept of the afterlife is both terrifying and cruel. It features a clearly defined Hell and and a nebulous never really clarified "Heaven" ("Do I get a vote, on anything, O King of Kings...? You're going to throw the entirety of Taoist China into the Lake of Fire and you're the Nice One....?")

    New Wired I have yet to read. Features Al Gore, who runs Current, which has no agenda in a world with Fox News. Sure, why not run again. Its not like its worth fighting for. We don't want to be like those bad French kids, who won and who can only be fired for cause and who get six week mandatory vacations. ...Wouldn't want to be like them gosh knows...

    More Info on Net Neutrality. Related: I could be doing jailtime for distributing some YouTube videos and/or owning a porn page. Thanks O Tolerant Christian America.

    Let's all be adults and not look at the Playboy Models struttin' around to Santana's classic Europa. Show some discipline people. Come on.

    By the way, The Big Telcos are deathly afraid of viral vids like this, this and this. It's just better than what you're getting from your news channels.

    April 23

    Public Service Message of the day:
     

    By the way, one reason why net neutrality is important is that the current Internets kind of allow you to control and create your own programming. As you may know, you being my one or two faithful readers, I'm really pissed off that Bet on Jazz has turned into Bet on J, which right now looks to be a weak impersonation of VH1 Soul, which isn't a great channel.

    With these new tools, I can bring you a better show than Bet On J.  So, here's my jazz show. It's wide ranging and it features traditional, triphop, and there's even a real jazz rock tune thrown in there. It's Phil Music Television or as I also call it the Anti Tony Mowad/Bet On J Jazz show. It's jazz that you can't see on VH1 Soul and that has ideas that extend beyond 1964. It's meant not to draw in the Lawrence Welk audience. Ever.

    "Bellisomo" by Ilya
    "Bahia" by Larry Coryell
    "Eleanor Rigby" by Stanley Jordan
    "My Baby Just Cares For Me" by Nina Simone
    "Something Wicked This Way Comes" by Herbaliser
    "Only You" by Portishead
    Joe Pass Tune
    "Pretty Pink Noise" by Mutant Girl Guitarist Kaki King
    "Break in" by Skalpel
    "Baby" by Koop
    "Chase the Blues Away" by Terranova
    "Animal Chin" by Jaga Jazzist
    Charles Mingus "Flowers for a Lady"
    "Six Days" by DJ Shadow
    Tribe Called Quest
    Chaka Khan Singing "Night in Tunisia"
    Chaka Khan As A Funky Jazz Drummer! (Needs work on the drum technique there...)
    "Footprints" with Miles Davis, Shorter, teen Tony Williams, Carter and Hancock
    "Bright Size Life" by Pat Metheny and Richard Bona
    Frank Zappa's "Alien Oriface"
    "Pixeleen" by Steely Dan (hated their last album but this sounds good with those pics...)

    April 21

     

     

    War Pigs by Flaming Lips and Cat Power

    And now: the completely Su-perior Art of Mr. Alex Ross. Feel free to gasp in anticipation.

    April 20th

    Try out this video.

    April 16th

    "People go to churches to hide from the truth," explained Beyond Belief Media president Brian Flemming, a former Christian fundamentalist. "At no time is this more apparent than Easter, when Christians get together to convince each other that a man died, stayed dead three days, rose from the dead and then flew into the air above the clouds.

    "Our nonviolent campaign sends the message that nowhere in the country is safe from the truth. Wherever Christian leaders are indoctrinating children with 2000-year-old fairy tales, the truth may just find its way there.

    "Our 'War on Easter' is of course completely without violence of any kind. Christians believe that beating a man to a pulp and nailing him to a cross somehow solves all the world's problems. Beyond Belief Media does not."

    Happy holidays and a challenge by Trevor Blake and related American Samizdat news. Yeah, there was a virgin birth, he rose from the dead and there's this guy  from Nigeria who wants to send me a lot of money...! It all sounds just a bit too good to be true but....On the other hand, there's something hard wired into most people when it comes to belief systems. I don't know if this is the best way to change someone's mind. On the other other hand, I'm growing tired on this war on reproductive rights (waged mostly by men against women), which seems to be fought by the most unchristian leadership that I've seen in my two score. Perhaps the time for being nice to the devotees of the Invisible Sky Monster needs to end...(By the way, in case you're wondering about the differences between the Internets and the corporate press..If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: The Internet is the new Alternative Press. Related: Here's what's happening to the old alternative press here and here..)

    Well, let's all say a collective thank you to Celeste Taylor for filing this lawsuit. This is serious stuff. The fact that it has to be filed against Democratic Party officials should tell you everything you need to know about what's wrong with today's Democratic Party. You can read the full file briefing here and the story here. More later about this when I have time,  Here's my fave bits:

    The complaint asserts that the state certified Electronic Voting Machines made by Elections Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S) are not accessible by voters with disabilities -- contrary to the requirements of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Nonetheless, Allegheny County has selected their machines for use in upcoming elections. That, after previously hoping to go with Diebold, and then with Sequoia Voting Systems, until finally settling on ES&S after the first two choices fell apart either due to the politics of the companies involved and/or due to the discovery their Electronic Voting Systems were found to be hackable.

    As mentioned, the choice to not use Diebold in Allegheny occurred, in no small part, because of the company's known hard-right partisan leanings. The lawsuit, however, points out the irony of finally choosing to go with ES&S…considering their own dubious partisan background…

     

    The risk from tampering or hacking the voting machines’ computer controls is heightened in this case. ES&S [Elections Systems and Software] itself presents a security threat to U.S. elections, including those in Allegheny County, because of the company’s and its senior executives’ strong partisan ties. Like Allegheny County’s first choice – Diebold – ES&S poses unacceptable risks of partiality and bias which will, at a minimum, undermine public trust in the fairness of elections.

    ES&S is an Omaha, Nebraska-based company which declines to fully reveal its ownership. According to published reports, about half of ES&S is owned by the Omaha World-Herald Company, the publisher of Omaha’s daily newspaper, and another quarter of the company is owned by the McCarthy Group, an Omaha investment fund. The other owners, if any, are unknown, as is the full ownership of the McCarthy Group.

    Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel was the head of ES&S’s predecessor, American Information Systems (AIS) until 1995, when he resigned to run for Senate. Senator Hagel continues to own a multi-million dollar interest in the McCarthy Group, Inc., of which ES&S is a subsidiary. In the past, Senator Hagel – widely considered a likely Republican presidential contender in 2008 -- has failed to fully disclose his financial ties to ES&S.

    Michael McCarthy, CEO of the McCarthy Group, Inc. acted as Senator Hagel’s campaign manager in both the 1996 and 2002 elections.

    In 2006, McCarthy contributed money to the Sandhills PAC, which contributed money to Rick Santorum, the Senate Republican incumbent for Pennsylvania, who will be on the May 16 primary ballot in Allegheny County. According to published reports, in the past three election cycles, Michael McCarthy and his wife contributed substantial sums of money to Republican candidates and nothing to Democrats, while in the last five and half years, executives and employees of the McCarthy Group, Inc. contributed almost six times as much money to the GOP as to Democratic candidates.

    Strong partisan ties, combined with a lack of transparency regarding the ownership of this company, will lead to public questions about the integrity of the voting process, which in turn will diminish voters’ confidence in that process. Such voter concerns are well founded.

    Read the whole thing as they say.

    Links N At

    Calpundit leans nuclear, the deadly gift that keeps on killing, nearly forever. Here's a better solution. Remember: The tech will get better. Perhaps not computer processor better but an improvement.. Combine that with decentralized power sources and conservation and we'll be just fine. Now, if we just weren't run by fuel execs who kinda like the current dependencies...

    Yet another AIPAC paper. I don't buy the Chomsky criticism on how he's too nice to AIPAC. Just watch this debate with Dershowitz...

    Tunes to Catch at Youtube. Yes, there's probably some violation here of copyright law. On the other hand, the music channels don't seem very interested in playing music, especially jazz. So I hope these artists understand that this is exposure that they wouldn't otherwise be getting. Ever.:

    Larry Coryell (snippet from Bahia concert)

    Sinead O Connor "Black Boys on Mopeds" (or nine year old black boys running away in Pittsburgh...)

    And two songs you've heard on commercials because music channels don't play good music anymore: here (Portishead) and here (Hooverphonic).

    Kevin Shields "City Girl"

    Classical Zappa.

    And two from CNET (?) which now downloads vids apparently. Beautiful tune by Dave's True Story and the Electric Miles at the Isle of Wight Festival in 69. Features Keith Jarrett (looks to be high and/or distracted)  and Chick Corea on electric keyboards, Airto on percussion, Dejohnette on drums, great sax player but don't know his name. Guessing the bassist is Dave Holland. Shortlist for white bassists playing in Miles band at that time is very small...Scary Bitches Brew type tune that goes on for 18 minutes. Kind of feels like Free Jazz. Not my fave tune but it catches Miles before he lost his lip. Intense.

    Pretty Joe Pass Tune

    April 11

    Thoughts about the debate: I thought that the senate debate was kind of a wash. Like the 2 Political Junkies people, I thought Casey was deadly deadly dull. Our losing Pittsburgh mayoral candidates had more gravitas.  I thought Sandals tended to talk funny and out of only one side of his mouth. And I don't mean that metaphorically, he physically talked out of one side of his mouth (Should've taken those image grooming classes like Casey in order to appear confident and relaxed when you're explaining positions that are completely out of sync with the Democratic base...).

    I sort of thought Chuck won the debate although he did talk like a professor at times which never wins you any points politically. (See career of Adlai Stevenson). He also had the most vocal supporters. Passion, apparently, is something that the machine can't buy..

    I did think Sandals had the best moment of the debate when he looked Casey in the eye and made it clear that criminalizing women (and onward toward the elimination of contraception including condoms and summary execution of people who put nekkid girls on websites (reminds me: new updates at the Red Light District)) is kinda of a big deal. The Christian Right never stops. How can you be wrong when you talk to God? After South Dakota, this issue is more important than ever.

    I also think Sandals is right that an anti-choice candidate won't win in November. What kind of party picks a candidate that appeals to the Republican base, in a state where pro choicers like Rendell and Specter win? Just unfathomable. Of course, Alan, it would be nice if there wasn't another choice candidate to split the vote. Great timing. Did Schumer give you a call?

    For the next debate, I really think Chuck has to contrast himself with Bob Casey every chance he gets. Ignore Alan. It would be nice if the next debate allowed follow up questions by the candidates...

    Everything you always wanted to know about that recent AIPAC paper, pros and cons.

    New Dean Baker blog. He gives you the rundown on what those French protesters were fighting for. One more thing: those French kids won. And that's what they did over a procedural matter. Imagine what they would do if someone stole their elections. That's why Europeans get better lives than we do. And as Baker points out, the French are more productive as well. They're probably well rested after their mandatory six week vacations.

    Your song picks at YouTube: Try two from Jamiroquai here and here.

    Republicans kill net neutrality (Good news: other wealthy hitters have taken the other side. Its  not like we can depend on the public good winning out or anything.) Related issue talked over at Worldchanging.

    Older disturbing story about Indicted poll workers in Cleveland. Apparently, the fix was in. Credits bloggers with keeping the story afloat. Thanks fellas. If you're keeping score at home, then that's two fixed national elections. Open letter to organizers of French protests: Please visit the United States...Of course, here your protests would probably be met with lethal force and martial law. We're a Christian nation don't you know...

    April 8

    The sensational art of R. Black.


    Don't forget: Chuck Pennacchio debate at 7 and 10:30 on PCN. Hope Chuck's crew is on the ball and gives us short highlights we can distribute on the Internets.

    In End of the World news: Hersh sez attack on Iran a go and will include nuclear weapons. You know, if we're the Nazis with nuclear weapons, doesn't that make us worse than the Nazis? Hitler never had working nukes...And if Iran does have nukes, wouldn't they be more likely to use them against Israel? And if Israel retaliates wouldn't we strike Israel in order to protect the oil reserves, because we're, you know, totally evil at this point?

    And here's some songs:

    First, the evildoers at BET on Jazz transformed themselves into BET on J, where the only time I'll be hearing jazz will be on commercials or the station promos. Yet I at least had Ovation, which would show one or two interesting concerts per week. Not much. But something if you're over 14 and like tunes. Today, they got rid of Ovation--its in my luxury tier and they didn't even bother to ask me if this was something I wanted--and replaced it with movie channels (Update: They just moved Ovation. Thanks evil cable company...). That gives me about 40 or so movie channels. Nothing for jazz. Thanks fellas.

    On the other hand, I just discovered YouTube and its virtually a mecca for music fans.

    Here's what I've been able to find so far.

    Zero 7 (Take Me Home)
    Zero 7 (Somersault) Features corny dancing.
    Zero 7 "End Theme"
    Zero 7 "Destiny"
    Three Cat Power Vids: here, here and here (This is Rockets. It features war footage that you won't be seeing on MTV, ever.)
    Rare Esthero and finally "That Girl" and "Heaven Sent" Vids.
    Massive Attack "Protection" and "Be Thankful for What You've Got" (with full frontal nudity)
    Mahavishnu Orchestra "Celestial Terrestial Commuters" (where it looks like they almost lose that tricky time signature...)
    Koop Anime Vid
    Cowboy Bebop Theme
    Devo "Uncontrollable Urge" (Check out the choreography at the end. Very cool.)
    Jamiriquai "Alright"
    And You Will Know Us By Our Trail of Dead "Mistakes and Regrets"
    Nice streamlined Bjork tune here and funny Bjork parody here and here.
    Nirvana "Pennyroyal Tea"
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=vwjMoO5gzdU&search=nirvana
    Big Benefit Song Featuring Classic Soul Singers (not bad..)
    Classic Chaka Khan and Rufus (wow)
    ELP "From the Beginning" and Yes "Roundabout"
    King Crimson (old lineup) Court of the Crimson Ki ing ah aaa ah
    Return to Forever "Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy"
    DJ Shadow "Six Days" and faster dance version here.
    Stunning Hancock, Clarke Shorter and Hakim. Stunning.
    Portishead "Only You" and "Glorybox Live"
    Weather Report "Teen Town"
    Frank Zappa "Alien Oriface" (a real jazz rock tune.) Tons more Zappa. Frank: I miss you...
    Big Audio Dynamite "E=MC2"
    XTC "Making Plans for Nigel"
    John McLaughlin and Jonas Hellborg "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat"
    John McLaughlin, Trilok Gurtu, LeBeque Sisters
    Allan Holdsworth "Proto Cosmos"
    PJ Harvey "Who the Fuck" and "The Letter"
    John Scofield "Loud Jazz"
    John Scofield, with the late Don Pullen "Funk"
    Jimi Hendrix "Little Wing" (with NASA slideshow? (Rocket scientists have good taste in music...)
    Pat Martino and John Scofield "Sunny" with Joey D on keys...
    Astrud Gilberto "Girl from Ipanema"
    David Bowie "John I'm Only Dancing" and "Jump They Say"
    Beatles "Revolution"
    Beatles "Don't Let Me Down" and from the Beatles toon "Tomorrow Never Knows"
    Kaki King "Pretty Pink Noise"
    Bill Evans "If You Could See Me Now"

     

     

    April 5

    By the way, see panel one for my short opinion on the Lynn Swann candidacy. I think blacks that run on the Republican ticket are sellouts. Try the Green Party for God's sake. Yes, there are some blacks running on the Republican slate. And yes, if elected, they will work tirelessly and thoughtlessly against the interests of black and poor people. Black people, by the way, have figured this out. Then again, Swann is running against our pal Ed Rendell, and there's a chance that he'll be running alongside Santorum-lite Bob Casey--

    --For the record, I think Chuck Penn has done a great job and as well predicted--unlike the Daily Kos and Atrios which I guess makes us smarter...howcum I don't have a zillion hits a day...(?)--Casey's lead has dropped to the single digits. And just as the Zogby poll predicted the more they see of Casey's positions, the less they like him. Chuck needs a way to get more name recognition--

    --and thereby fueling me and every other pro choice voter with rage. I might just stay home. A Swann gubernatorial win would be disastrous, however. Swann would, in the interests of his party, turn Pennsylvania into Ohio, as imagined by Bob Fitrakis of the Free Press. What Ohio in 2004 and Florida in 2000 (and probably 2004) mean is that the Democrats never get to win. That's a problem, if you haven't yet noticed.

    Unnamed lady: You can disagree with the evangelicals but they're great friends of the Jews. They believe Israel is the holy land.

    Hesh: Just wait. (As seen on last Sunday night's Sopranos...)

    What Hesh Said: I 'm also praying to the Flying Spaghetti Monster (the one true god and you must believe this as well or I'll have to kill you and liberate your oil or something) that Tony strangles that Christian fundamentalist with his bare hands. 6000 years. Jesus Christ.

    I'm still working on a bigger Jewish conspiracy piece (short version: Jewish dems have traded the party for what they think will protect Israel: War with Iraq (and possibly other countries to be named later.) Biden and Leiberman and Feinstein love the war. That's why the filibuster hasn't been used once, according to my crazy conspiracy theory.  You can't sustain it without Jewish senators. There are about 44 dems, one independent. There are 10 Jewish senators. You need 40 for the filibuster. Do the math. They think they have to kill to protect Israel. I don't entirely blame them. If you had been through a Holocaust wouldn't you be more prone to overreact? But it does mean, unfortunately, that I can't trust them. ). Right now, I don't fully trust Jewish Democrats, especially the ones who are "running" our efforts to take back both the House and the Senate. If my theory is true, then Rendell and Schumer (both Jewish and I used to not care) really don't want to unseat Rick Santorum, and if they do unseat Rick then they want a candidate who will stick out the war, and possibly favor other invasions in places like Iran and Syria. Casey sounds like their guy. They think that's good for Israel. I don't trust the Alan Sandals candidacy for the same reasons. I think he's running to split the pro choice vote, or better yet, get another senate vote for Israel. That means more war. Infinitely.

    I might add that when you strengthen the hand of the Christian right in this country--which you're doing when you pay Satan's price and roll over on court nominees and policy issues--then you're not working for the safety and inclusion of the Jewish people, anywhere.  Or as Hesh said:  "Just wait."

    There was an interesting discussion some months back as to whether or not you should use your real name when you write online.   If you're just writing for fun, then being anonymous is probably a good idea, especially if you want to write about something interesting. (See the above post.) However, I'm pretty serious about writing. I don't mind controversy, as long as I get it right, or at least am seen as trying to get it right. I'm under no pretense that what I have written will help me get a job. Quite the opposite I'm sure. (See above post, again.) When it comes to writing I'm kind of like the lead character in Gattaca: "I'm not saving anything for the trip back."

    March 31

    A Tired  Yet Satisfied Weekend Around the Internets

    One of the reasons I'm so worried about net neutrality is that the Internet is one of the few channels I like that hasn't been cancelled yet. For example, I used to really enjoy watching Bet on jazz. Yet, a few weeks ago they turned it into VH1 soul. Now, they're determined to play anything but jazz in prime time. So, jazz is now relegated to an early morning/late night ghetto in its  own station. I've been making my complaints felt on the message boards.

    Links n' at:

    I've added Digg and Progressive Pa Politics to the permalinks. I'm also going to revamp the Pittsburgh permalinks when I have time. Some of those guys just don't blog enough and I'm not exactly demanding on that score as you can see. Also, check out the revamped and refurbished Better Humans and Techdirt,  probably the best tech analysis site out there and they're also covering the voter machine fraud story...

    Breakin' News: PG Beats Me on an important voter fraud story. Am looking into this now...

    March 29

    Saw the V for Vendetta and enjoyed it immensely. I'd give it an 85 as Overall Art and a 90 as Interesting Propaganda. Still doesn't top all time Overall Art as Propaganda winner JFK, which had me so paranoid I thought there were "people" out in the lot who knew that I knew too much and would arrange one of those inopportune accidents that wipe out dem senators, grassy knoll witnesses and troublemakers of all sorts...more later when I have more time. Definitely go see it. The fun is imagining those that get sliced and diced as, say, Rumsfield, or one of your fave Fox News announcers...Ex tremely satisfying that way. Trust me on that. V for Vengeance, indeed.

    There's been an inexplicable purge of voters in California thanks to dicey computer screening, used to spectacular effect in both Ohio and Florida. Don't be shocked when Arnold gets reelected and California turns red. Dems haven't caught on yet. In related news, Washington Generals don't contest mid court hook shots for the 400th night in a row. I'm beginning to think those Generals are paid by the Globetrotters to lose! Shocking I know, but I'll need three or four more stolen presidential elections to sort through this...Related: Even a Republican candidate smells a rat.

    Two must reads and must listens about keeping the Internet as it is. First, check out great Cory Doctorow speech over at Changesurfer Radio. Then check out this very thorough explanation about net neutrality from the Wi Fi blog. Net neutrality allows everyone an equal opportunity to have their ideas heard. You can see where this current administration would just hate that....

    March 24

    She's funny. I hope many people called. And Check this out. Someone should rap it over a song (Saul Williams) over a beat:

    V for Vendetta is coming. Hey, at least the artist thinks its brilliant.

    March 20

    This was published in the Washington Post. Its part of a book--this would make four to my count--that shows that the 2004 elections results were probably hacked.  Just more evidence as to why the Dems should take up this issue. Its a winner, for a real opposition party anyway. Here's the quote by author Steve Freeman:

    It's easier to rig an electronic voting machine than a Las Vegas slot machine, says University of Pennsylvania visiting professor Steve Freeman. That's because Vegas slots are better monitored and regulated than America's voting machines, Freeman writes in a book out in July that argues, among other things, that President Bush may owe his 2004 win to an unfair vote count

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    March 17

    James Wolcott likes the V for Vendetta:

    V for Vendetta may be--why hedge? is--the most subversive cinematic deed of the Bush-Blair era, a dagger poised in midair. Unlike the other movies dubbed “controversial” (Fahrenheit 9-11, The Passion, Munich, Syriana), it doesn’t play to a particular constituency or polarized culture bloc, it’s working on a deeper, Edger Allen Poe-ish witch’s brew substrata of pop myth. Cultural conservatives will loathe it without seeing it (they love not having to leave their houses to lament the latest installment of civilization’s decline and fall) once they hear of and read about the movie’s disturbing political parallels (a fascistic TV host with a witty resemblance to Berlusconi, fertilizer explosives a la Timothy McVeigh; torture, renditions, and subway bombings; black hoods that will be forever associated with Abu Ghraib). Yet lots of cultural liberals with educated tastes will find it anxiety-producing and irresponsible too, not only because they’re more comfortable with humanistic stories and documentary techniques than with pop spectacle (as Kael discovered whenever she praised upstart movies like DePalma’s Carrie or The Warriors and received letters from profs and Ph.D couples complaining about her soiling the New Yorker’s space on trash), but because V for Vendetta doesn’t just depict a 1984’s dystopia--it advocates radical remedy, and illustrates what it advocates with rhapsodic, operatic, orgasmic flourish. It follows the course of its own logic to its Kubrickian conclusion, but this isn’t a clinical exercise, like Kubrick at his most voyeuristically detached.

    Writer Alan Moore, who might be the world's smartest writer but is clearly not the world's smartest man (he should be making J K Rowling money...), vents on why he didn't want to associate with the film. Here's the thing: In his defense, this is right after They screwed the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. But the guys who are making this movie have chops. While the Matrix trilogy might only be average, the Matrix might be one of the best movies ever made. he should have given this film and its producers more of a chance.

    March 13

    I've been too busy to post because I've been watching too much television.

    Here's a short synopsis of what I've seen:

    24: They killed Edgar (you bastards!) and Tony and that hobbit guy! And 40 percent of CTU....Noooooooooooooo! ("C-Chloie? Ack!")

    Sopranos: You shot fat Tony! You bastards!.... Noooooooooooooo! (They didn't show a preview of the next episode so I found spoilers on the Internets...)

    Battlestar Galactica: You stole an election (you bastards etc etc), but you admitted it and then let the rightful winner take his place at the helm! Nooo---hey. Wait a minute. Guess this is a case where I prefer fantasy to reality. Best line for us vote theft theory conspiracists: "I've taken part in a lot of elections, fair and fixed, and the fixed ones never make any sense." Really? You don't say?

    March 6

    LONG DELAYED SON OF REVENGE OF AROUND THE INTERNETS: THE QUICKENING

    Here's more minor news on your stolen election front. Turns out that there were more than 300000 voters purged from the rolls in Ohio in the 2004 presidential election...would you like to guess where? Go ahead I dare you. Yes, that's right. Democratic Party strongholds. I know. Shocking. Holding my breath here waiting for the Democrats to make an issue of this. That's what a real opposition party would do by the way. Just sayin'. Take it away Bob and Harvey:

    It turns out, we missed more than a few of the dirty tricks Karl Rove, Ken Blackwell and their GOP used to get themselves four more years. In an election won with death by a thousand cuts, some that are still hidden go very deep. Over the next few weeks we will list them as they are verified.

    One of them has just surfaced to the staggering tune of 175,000 purged voters in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), the traditional stronghold of the Ohio Democratic Party. An additional 10,000 that registered to vote there for the 2004 election were lost due to "clerical error."

    As we reported more than a year ago, some 133,000 voters were purged from the registration rolls in Hamilton County (Cincinnati) and Lucas County (Toledo) between 2000 and 2004. The 105,000 from Cincinnati and 28,000 from Toledo exceeded Bush's official alleged margin of victory---just under 119,000 votes out of some 5.6 million the Republican Secretary of State. J. Kenneth Blackwell, deemed worth counting.

    Exit polls flashed worldwide on CNN at 12:20 am Wednesday morning, November 3, showed John Kerry winning Ohio by 4.2% of the popular vote, probably about 250,000 votes. We believe this is an accurate reflection of what really happened here.

    Wait, there's more:

    Ohio election history would indicate that the elimination of 175,000 voters in heavily Democratic Cleveland must almost certainly spell doom for any state-wide Democratic campaign. These 175,000 pre-2004 election eliminations must now be added to the 105,000 from Cincinnati and the 28,000 from Toledo.

    Therefore, to put it simply: at least 308,000 voters, most of them likely Democrats, were eliminated from the registration rolls prior to an election allegedly won by less than 119,000 votes, where more than 106,000 votes still remain uncounted, and where the GOP Secretary of State continues to successfully fight off a meaningful recount.

    There are more than 80 other Ohio counties where additional pre-November, 2004 mass eliminations by GOP-controlled boards of elections may have occurred. Further "anomalies" in the Ohio 2004 vote count continue to surface.

    In addition, it seems evident that the Democratic Party will now enter Ohio's 2006 gubernatorial and US Senate races, and its 2008 presidential contest, with close to a half-million voters having been eliminated from the registration rolls, the vast majority of them from traditional Democratic strongholds, and with serious legislative barriers having been erected against new voter registration drives.

    Stay tuned.

    Stay tuned for what exactly? I wish this was a show I could turn off but I can't...Horrifying.

    And now for some links I can't comment more about because my undisclosed location is about to close:

    Steven Barnes, one of the world's most dangerous men and prolific science fiction writer, has a new blog out. (I highly recommend his novels Lion's Blood and  Charisma...)

    Philly kids build incredible soybean based car. Love this quote on why Big Auto can't do what they did:

    "We made this work," says Hauger. "We're not geniuses. So why aren't they doing it?"

    Kosi thinks he knows why. The answer, he says, is the big oil companies.

    "They're making billions upon billions of dollars," he says. "And when this car sells, that'll go down — to low billions upon billions."

    Interesting Article on Self Publishing
    Interesting Online Video Viewer
    Very Good Robot Blog That I'll be Permalinking Soon
    This is old, but this Dean Kamen idea sounds a lot better than the Segway. It looks like he's building a water purifier and a cheap energy device. Could use that here in the states by the way.
    The most beautiful computer generated girls in the world...And as computing power increases they're looking better. They seem to express levels of emotion.
    Nice roundup of battery advances by Worldchanging.

    Rob, now that he's retired I guess, is giving Wordsmith a run as most literate, wideranging Pittsburgh blogger. Look at how vast and deep his quick links are.

    March 5

    Sorry for the long delay in posts. My cable modem and cable, and subsequently my cable phone service went out about four days ago. I now post from an undisclosed location. If I was the paranoid type then I might assume it had something to do with this, but only if it happens a third or fourth time. I'm just like the Democratic Party: You'll have to steal three or four presidential elections to get my attention. And just for the record: Preznit Bush: still worse president, ever. Iraq War: still monumental folly and as ethically sound as invading Poland. And: if you can't change the direction of the US by way of the ballot and nonviolence, then you need to ask if methods of violence would achieve the ends you're looking for. I kind of like the sound of "systems disruption" myself. You would be killing "things" as opposed to people. Come and get me coppers...Update: Now my archive site, Mirror Universe, is showing an error message. Yet another coincidence no doubt...fiends.

    Feb. 27

    Science fiction writer Octavia Butler passed away several days ago. She was prominent because she was one of the few black women who wrote and published science fiction. I regret that I didn't read a lot of her work even though I enjoyed the one novella of hers that I had read. You can find more of a wrap up at Boing Boing. She was also featured a few months ago on Democracy Now, probably her last interview. Check out these quotes from her work. Sounds like someone we know who really is buying the rope to hang ourselves so to speak...Here's the late Ms. Butler:

    OCTAVIA BUTLER: I'm going to read a verse or two. And keep in mind these were written early in the 1990s. But I think they apply forever, actually. This first one, I have a character in the books who is, well, someone who is taking the country fascist and who manages to get elected President and, who oddly enough, comes from Texas. And here is one of the things that my character is inspired to write about, this sort of situation. She says:

    And there's one other that I thought I should read, because I see it happening so much. I got the idea for it when I heard someone answer a political question with a political slogan. And he didn't seem to realize that he was quoting somebody. He seemed to have thought that he had a creative thought there. And I wrote this verse:

    AMY GOODMAN: On that note we'll have to leave it there, but we'll continue it online at Democracy Now.org. Octavia Butler.

    Speaking of Democracy Now, if you want to depress yourself check out  today's and Friday's episodes. It really is as bad as you think.