Nov. 22

Doodle War! Obama vs. Robert Crumb

One of the cool things that I can relate to about Barack Obama is that he's a comics fan. A collector, even.

 (More here from Tony Norman and this story about our first presidential nerd. Even more cool: he's a Spock fan. Spock, of course, was also coolly detached in the face of irrational human hatred and bigotry. You be the judge...)

The above is one of his doodles that sold at auction. But does it compare to the king of doodling Robert Crumb? You be the judge....

Three vids about Obama:

First, from the Obama channel. I guess I should subscribe to that. Let's hope this works.

But what does Mumia think of Obama? Really.

And is Obama a House Negro? Probably. But this is the White House. You could do a lot of good for black folks and the entire country as a whole from this particular house. Related: This is more good news: It looks like Obama has taken the Van Jones script word for word.

 

Nov. 18

 Re: Lieberman Or Why We Need A "Viable" 3rd Party

This is something I've cross posted to various blogs. It's a longer response that explains if you're really mad at the Lieberman wrist slap, if that, then you need to think about funding and supporting viable third party runs.

Here's the poll:

Poll

We should put pressure on Dem Leaders by:

8% 3 votes
5% 2 votes
75% 27 votes
11% 4 votes

| 36 votes

 

I read with some interest the mean things that Markos said about Ralph Nader, arguably the greatest journalist who has ever lived. I voted for Barack Obama but with eyes wide open. I think he'll be better and more sensible than the Republicans in power. But we really need to take a deeper look at our loyalty to the democratic party and the democratic party only if we're really serious about things like the rule of law applying to everyone or even getting out of wars that would be more honestly defined as crimes. In short: if you really want to put the fear of god into Democrats, then you need to start supporting third party candidates. This crazy idea that we just keep giving them more money no matter how horribly they treat us simply isn't beginning to fly anymore.

First, we need to take an honest look at the questions of electing democrats versus progressive policy. It's clear that if you look at the last several years we've been successful at electing democrats. It's also very clear that we've failed miserably to enact progressive laws, get our people into offices that matter and in some cases we've even failed to ensure some fairly common sense conservative rules that we believe in like: the rule of law applies to everyone or shouldn't democrats support the party's nominee? Crazy ideas like that. So we might have a situation where Howard Dean has no role in the current administration but Joe Lieberman does! This is why we work hard for Democrats? I would hope not.

Two, why does the DNC establishment continuously fuck us over? Glenn Greenwald outlines the reality of our situation.

It is worth remembering that the Democrats who are going to exert dominant political control are the same ones who have provoked so much scorn -- rightfully so -- over the last several years, and particularly since 2006. This is the same Democratic Party leadership which funded the Iraq War without conditions (and voted to authorize it in the first place); massively expanded the President's warrantless eavesdropping powers; immunized lawbreaking telecoms; enacted the Patriot Act and then renewed it with virtually no changes; didn't even bother to mount a filibuster to stop the Military Commissions Act; refrained from pursuing any meaningful investigations of Bush lawbreaking; confirmed every last extremist Bush nominee, from Michael McConnell to Michael Mukasey; acquiesced to even the worst and most lawless Bush policies when they were briefed on them; and on and on and on. None of that has changed. That is still who they are. Joe Lieberman didn't merely campaign against Barack Obama and several other Democrats. That's the least of his sins. He was not only among the most vocal supporters of the Iraq War, but at least as bad, has endorsed and supported every last radical Bush policy to expand executive power and surveillance activities while destroying core constitutional liberties and checks and balances. He used his Chairmanship for only one purpose: to block oversight into Bush scandals and corruption. He has spouted the most defamatory attacks, not only against Barack Obama, but against war opponents generally. More significantly still, Democrats in his own state -- his own constituents -- booted him out of the party, no longer wanting to be represented by him.

Remember the arrogance of that Obama turnaround on FISA? Well, the answer is, under the current Daily Kos construction, we have no where else to turn. What else can we do? "Where else can you dirty fucking internet beatnik hippies go? Just give me some more money and shut the fuck up," Obama might as well have said. He'll probably say something like that a lot during the next four years. Obama will probably do things that any sensible person would never equate with real "change".

 Here are the Markos rules as far as I can figure them out: We support the democrats no matter what they do. We don't support Republicans, which I think is smart because they're an evil party (there shouldn't be a party that represents private interests against the greater good at every fucking turn) but we also don't support third party candidates who would better represent us. Further, we won't expend any energy into building viable third party candidates and/or well funded well organized third party runs. Now, to me, those last two facts, the reality that we don't support third party candidates or will work to build a viable third party infrastructure, doom us to irrelevance. This is why we lose. I might stress that this is also why we will continue to lose. They simply don't fear us. Finally, this Markos construction is a boon to the Republicans. I can very easily see a scenario where the republicans stop all meaningful reform/stimulus over the next two years, declare all dem efforts "fails" and make big gains in 2010.

 Three: What is a viable third party run?You don't need a 50 state plan, at least initially, to prove our point to the democrats. You really need to focus on what I've been calling my 5/25 plan. You need to fund 25 house races and 5 senate races. You need at least 1 million dollars to compete for a house seat and at least 2 million to compete, realistically and viably for a senate seat. Now, this is where the expertise of the Kos community could come in handy. What 25 house seats would you pick to make your point? I frankly think they should run "Lieberman" style. Run them in the primary first and even if they lose run them in the general. We already have two senate opportunities in Delaware and Illinois for 2010. Tom Morello has openly talked about dipping his toe into the political waters in Illinois. I actually wouldn't mind Ralph Nader as a Delaware senator because I think he would use the filibuster. The truth of the matter is that five senators that use the old fashioned Jimmy Stewart filibuster could change congress. Just once, I'd like to see a senator as supportive of child healthcare as they are for wall street bailouts. I'd love to see a senator talk about that over a several day fillibuster as well. (You would need a stubborn asshole to do that...Nader looks right to me...)

 Finally, if you like being disappointed by the dems, then don't keep your third party options open. Just keep giving them money and clap harder. I might note that both David Sirota and Glenn Greenwald have organizations in place that could start searching for and funding viable third party runs and candidates. It's clear that's what they're thinking. Feel free to steal my 5/25 plan and start real change. That would make the dems take notice. Primary challenges aren't going to do it. Most of these guys look at "public service" as an audition for "K Street" anyway...Time to try some new ideas.

 

Nov. 16

A Relaxed I'm Not Worried About Being Sent To A Camp for Opposing the Iranian War Weekend Around the Internets

Yet another strip that will never ever get syndication. (And in some countries the cartoonist gets hanged or imprisoned or both...) But its funny. It's called Jesus and Mo.

Khari Mosely tipped me off to this guy some weeks weeks ago: His name is Van Jones. He's got  a great plan to create millions of green jobs and his environmental plans would create millions of jobs in the inner city. I suppose I'm hoping that this is the kind of talented African American that an African American President might notice. You never know. His Green For All blog is here and I've added it separately and also to the host of many good eco blogs out there.

Thank God  Racism is Over Now That Barack Obama Has Been Elected President! I think this will be my most popular feature yet. This is my Tina Fey Sarah Palin impression. This is my "Wayne's World".

From the Associated Press:

"Someone once said racism is like cancer," Ferris said. "It's never totally wiped out, it's in remission."
If so, America's remission lasted until the morning of Nov. 5.
The day after the vote hailed as a sign of a nation changed, black high school student Barbara Tyler of Marietta, Ga., said she heard hateful Obama comments from white students, and that teachers cut off discussion about Obama's victory.
Tyler spoke at a press conference by the Georgia chapter of the NAACP calling for a town hall meeting to address complaints from across the state about hostility and resentment. Another student, from a Covington middle school, said he was suspended for wearing an Obama shirt to school Nov. 5 after the principal told students not to wear political paraphernalia.
The student's mother, Eshe Riviears, said the principal told her: "Whether you like it or not, we're in the South, and there are a lot of people who are not happy with this decision."
Other incidents include:
_Four North Carolina State University students admitted writing anti-Obama comments in a tunnel designated for free speech expression, including one that said: "Let's shoot that (N-word) in the head." Obama has received more threats than any other president-elect, authorities say.
_At Standish, Maine, a sign inside the Oak Hill General Store read: "Osama Obama Shotgun Pool." Customers could sign up to bet $1 on a date when Obama would be killed. "Stabbing, shooting, roadside bombs, they all count," the sign said. At the bottom of the marker board was written "Let's hope someone wins."
_Racist graffiti was found in places including New York's Long Island, where two dozen cars were spray-painted; Kilgore, Texas, where the local high school and skate park were defaced; and the Los Angeles area, where swastikas, racial slurs and "Go Back To Africa" were spray painted on sidewalks, houses and cars.
_Second- and third-grade students on a school bus in Rexburg, Idaho, chanted "assassinate Obama," a district official said.
_University of Alabama professor Marsha L. Houston said a poster of the Obama family was ripped off her office door. A replacement poster was defaced with a death threat and a racial slur. "It seems the election brought the racist rats out of the woodwork," Houston said.
_Black figures were hanged by nooses from trees on Mount Desert Island, Maine, the Bangor Daily News reported. The president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas said a rope found hanging from a campus tree was apparently an abandoned swing and not a noose.
_Crosses were burned in yards of Obama supporters in Hardwick, N.J., and Apolacan Township, Pa.
_A black teenager in New York City said he was attacked with a bat on election night by four white men who shouted 'Obama.'
_In the Pittsburgh suburb of Forest Hills, a black man said he found a note with a racial slur on his car windshield, saying "now that you voted for Obama, just watch out for your house."
Emotions are often raw after a hard-fought political campaign, but now those on the losing side have an easy target for their anger.
"The principle is very simple," said BJ Gallagher, a sociologist and co-author of the diversity book "A Peacock in the Land of Penguins." "If I can't hurt the person I'm angry at, then I'll vent my anger on a substitute, i.e., someone of the same race."
"We saw the same thing happen after the 9-11 attacks, as a wave of anti-Muslim violence swept the country. We saw it happen after the Rodney King verdict, when Los Angeles blacks erupted in rage at the injustice perpetrated by 'the white man.'"
"It's as stupid and ineffectual as kicking your dog when you've had a bad day at the office," Gallagher said. "But it happens a lot."

Nov. 13

This is sort of what I look like if you were to highly embellish my portrait with cheap Photoshop effects. It's a definite improvement over real life. Its a self portrait.

Nov 12

A Very Late And Lazy Around the Internets Because I Can't Believe We Elected An African American President

Dream fake New York Times. People actually handed these papers out...What's a maximum wage law?

Call Your Senators NOW

In case you didn't know what's wrong with the Democrats: We actually have to fight to get Joe Lieberman off Homeland Security.  Incredible.

I'm one of those American losers that has no health insurance.  Somewhat related: I also happen to hate auto insurance because I have to buy it. There's nobody making sure that auto insurance is affordable in the United States. Your state insurance commission  is supposed to regulate them but...well, they really don't. They're about as accountable as the Public Utility Commission. You would know how worthless these organizations are if your sad ass excuse for a mainstream media ever did any reporting on them. Or: those GEICO ads buy more than just branding. So, would I like my health insurance to be just like my auto insurance? No. I'm learning all this here and here. Health care will be the first battle of the new administration. (Quick Nightmarish future illustration: You'll be lucky to take home 1000 a month with your mcservice job. 300 or more of it will have to go toward paying your health insurance. It's your fault don't you know.) Editorial confession: I no longer own a car. Thank Gawd for Car Sharing. Three bucks an hour and I don't pay any insurance or for gas.

Why Richard Dawkins is a Mean Old Atheist. She probably had it coming. Jesus sez so. No wait, sorry. Allah. Related: Mormons, Mormons, and Mormons. They hate the gay love. Jesus sez so. He's also Kewl with the multiple wives.  Mostest Related: Hitchens on the unsavory history of the Mormon Church here and here. Quick version: Running a church makes you rich and gets you laid, preferably with lots of hot young wives. Jesus sez so. Or L. Ron Hubbard.

New Feature: Thank God Racism is Over Now that Barack Obama is the President! No. Really. Its all gone now. "Movin' On Up" as the national anthem? Oh that's funny...And I have no more excuses. None! Zippo.

Nov. 6

New art from annoyingly gifted cousin's wife (congrats on the new kid.) Below: My sincerest hopes for what an Obama administration would look like.

Nov. 5

Whew.

Nov. 4

Go vote. And Obama art here.

Realistic assessment of Obama, who I voted for just so we're clear, by Danny Glover below. I actually met him once. Have to tell that story later. He's definitely a cool guy.

A Paranoid's Look At A Possible Stolen Election

By any objective measurement, it should be a blowout for Obama today.  By any realistic measurement, and in light of what some of us think are the Republican presidential steals of 2000 and 2004, we could be looking at yet another stolen presidential election. The good news: it should be really really hard to steal this election. It would be so obvious that even the Mainstream Media and the Daily Kos would notice. Frankly, I'm hoping that the election thieves were ordered to stand down after their masters looked closely at their shrinking stock portfolios. The Bad News: Ker Razy Christian Fundamentalists have been pinpointed as the master hackers. They're not in the reality based worlds. The only way  they could win is to turnaround elections in DNC strongholds but it could still work. Obama didn't even ask for a recount in New Hampshire where he could have possibly proven fraud. If he doesn't question dicey results today, we're screwed. Everything would depend on a Green Party, Ralph Nader recount. I know they would have the balls to do that. But we would have to fund them.

First, here's the Markos prediction. In a fair world where the machines work or where the deficit is simply too big to steal believably, this is what should happen given Obama's superior ground game and early voting advantage.

Now, given the reality of what's happened over the last decade years, this is a map (below) of what kinds of voting machines are in which states. If I was an election stealer, then I would put all my resources into stealing states that are either orange or red. These states have no paper record of your vote. Some of them have internal audits but they'll simply reflect the stolen vote totals so they're worthless.

Again, if I was a thief, I'd take a good look at Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Just for fun, I used one of the free construct your own electoral vote counters from the Internets. This is what I concluded would happen if they steal states that they could easily steal. You might note that even if they were to steal Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where no records or no audits exists, as far as I know, Obama could still win. One note: Florida switched to paper ballots so they're all green now. I hope.

My prediction below:

Now, here's where the Big Fat Steal could occur: all along the Eastern seaboard. I would  go after Delaware and Maryland. Untraceable. A perfect crime. You would have to go to court and ask for new paper ballot elections. You would be under the 2000 timetable gun. You would have to win in Republican courts. The public would have to buy that Obama lost in four states where he was up by 10 points or more but more than likely the MSM would be fine with it. ("Joe the Plumber struck a chord" or some bullshit like that...) Again, astonishing I agree. But possible. How crazy are Right Wing Christian Fundamentalist Pro Life hackers? That's not an answer I'm comfortable with. Here' the thing: Even if Obama wins this is a terrible system. You can leave your money out on the street overnight. It might be there in morning. But that doesn't mean that this is a good banking system. Ditto for our voting machine architectures. The whole country should be green with paper ballots and random mandatory audits. One more depressing note: you can steal elections in the green and blue areas too, but its much harder and it should be discovered by way of recounts

 

Oct. 31

Scary New Yorker Cover above.  Boo, indeed. And the friendly faces of America below:

You know, I had never really thought about this one aspect of Obama's run. I always knew that by running for president Obama was putting his own life and his family's life in danger. That's his choice and perhaps the risk is worth it, especially if I get reparations. I want my 40 acres and a mule. On Mars, preferably.  But after this story broke it has just occurred to me that Obama's run will put every black person in the United States in danger. Apparently, Obama has had pretty good protection so far. However, I suppose frustrated white racists will just pick other African American targets,  who probably won't have secret service protection. Oh well. There probably will be casualties. I hope the sacrifice is worth it. Personally speaking: I will certainly try to kill anyone who tries to kill me. I feel that's the least that I can do. And as for Ashley Todd you say she has a history of mental problems and is a McCain/Palin supporter, perhaps even organizer? And I should be surprised...? In what way precisely?

Oct. 30

Where can you put half hour ads cheaply? On the Internets. I voted early and I voted for that one.

 

What Should Have Been Posted Oct. 27

Volunteer to Be A Citizen Exit Poller

If you want to get involved in this, you need to vote early so you can be available on election day. That's what I intend to do. It would be nice if the Daily Kos did an exit poll as well. It's almost like they don't want to know. Probably because they don't. I'll say it again: The Daily Kos silence on the election fraud issue (By way of bannings. How progressive..), which caused the DNC losses in both 2000 and 2004, is deafening and makes me think Markos took that CIA offer back in college.
 

Nov4 EVEP

by Steven Freeman 10/26/2008 8:12:00 AM

Election Integrity Call to Action
 

Help Needed for November 4 Election Verification Exit Poll
 

The vulnerability of US voting systems to mass scale fraud has been well documented, but little has been done to establish meaningful checks. Bad as the last few elections have been, coming elections - including this one - could be worse. Purported "improvements" such as early and mail-voting and purging of voting rolls continue to undermine election integrity and a wide variety of vote suppression augurs poorly for what we may see on November 4.

One of the few ways to detect mass scale fraud under such conditions is an Election Verification Exit Poll. Such polls have been used around the world to ensure election integrity and have been used to overturn fraudulent national elections. On November 4, Election Integrity is engaged in a two-part exit polling effort:
 
(1) Our 3rd professional poll to determine and document the degree to which official numbers reflect how people say they have cast their ballots, to investigate any discrepancies and to establish exit polling as a meaningful verification technique (see our May primary pilot project).
(2) a Citizens Exit Poll with the Election Defense Alliance to:
· extend our ability to ascertain the veracity of official reported voting results;
· detect specific indications of election fraud, which can be further investigated;
· develop citizen polling as a means to detect and deter fraud; and
· give citizens the tools to take control of their elections and their government.
 

volunteer buttonThe Election Verification Exit Poll projectdonate button

To properly prosecute these efforts, we need your help. In the end, simply pushing a button for one name or another every few years will inevitably be an empty charade. Self-government or, for that matter, good-government, can only result from active involvement and oversight. So please, volunteer or donate. Democracy depends on it.

 

Labels:

This is  from Bradblog. Here's the shocker: The NAACP is suing the Democratic Governor and the Democratic Sec. of State (I think he's a dem.) over supplying emergency paper ballots at Pennsylvania polling stations. They have to do this after Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004? Oh wait, it gets better. The Republican Party filed a brief with Rendell and against  the NAACP! Remember: if you want to elect Barack Obama you want to discourage long lines and help inner city voters, especially if the machines break down. Why is Ed Rendell on the other side? Of course, after Florida 2000, why would Rendell and the Pennsylvania Sec. of State give us nothing but DRE's without a paper ballot in site? You might as well hand the election to fundamentalist Christian hackers.

Or China. Or Israel. Or whoever has good hackers.

Here's part of  the Bradblog piece:

Brad Friedman's Response to AlterNet's
"Democrats Describe Efforts to Limit Voting Machines Problems"
While the work my colleague Steve Rosenfeld did in putting some of the DNC folks on record here is to be commended, a closer examination of the comments and documents reported from Justin Levitt, the DNC's National Voter Protection Counsel, offer a lot of distracting smoke, and little, if any, actual substance to back up the claims made that, as Levitt is quoted, "Our election protection effort, including our e-voting team, are prepared to respond rapidly and effectively to issues as they arise, including any issues involving technology."

While there is evidence to back up the claims of some of the limited efforts made to stop some of the GOP voter suppression efforts in MI and MT, for example, there is absolutely no evidence offered to substantiate the claim Levitt makes that the DNC or the Obama campaign is "responding in real-time" to the many issues of voting machine failures now being reported in a number of states, including WV, TN, TX, MO, NV and elsewhere.

He claims, in the report, that Obama/DNC attorneys are "often behind the scenes, but always active." That assertion mirrors similar ones I've received from other higher-ups in the DNC election protection hierarchy. But with each such claim, I continue to ask for evidence to back up that "behind the scenes" work and have, to date, been given none. To the contrary, all evidence that I have been able to gather demonstrates that precisely nothing is being done, at least when it comes to the concerns about the wholly unverifiable electronic voting machines being used to count approximately one third of the votes that will be cast this year.

The NAACP has even been forced to go to court to sue the Democratic Secretary of the Commonwealth in PA, after he decreed that paper ballots only need be given out if every machine in a precinct breaks down. The Obama/DNC team did nothing for more than a month, until the NAACP finally had to sue last week, and the Republicans joined the Democratic state officials in fighting the suit to require paper ballots if just a majority of machines break down (as so many did during PA's primary, disenfranchising countless thousands).

I'm pleased to see that the DNC has created a database of jurisdictions, equipment used, security procedures and laws in each of the thousands of counties, cities and townships in the country, as I had recommended when addressing their lead attorneys on these very issues at the DNC's 2006 summer meeting in Chicago.

I have little doubt that their efforts, and their "thousands of attorneys", are an improvement over similarly lacking efforts by John Kerry and the DNC in 2004. Nonetheless, until actual evidence is offered --- any evidence --- to back up the claims of the super-secret, behind-the-scenes effort in what should be a 100% transparent democracy, you'll pardon me if I remain not just exceedingly skeptical, but downright furious at the party's brazen willingness to allow millions of votes to go either uncounted, incorrectly recorded, or recorded in such a way that is 100% unverifiable by any human being.

Rosenfeld quotes from a DNC memo which asserts, among other things, that "We've been monitoring voting machines to ensure that they record the vote accurately."

Well, that's swell, but I'd love to know how they are able to monitor that even a single vote, ever cast on any Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting machine is being "accurately" recorded. I would love a single piece of evidence to prove that any vote, ever cast on such a device --- with or without a so-called "paper trail" sometimes attached to it --- has ever been recorded accurately during any election, for any candidate or initiative on the ballot. As I'm sure Levitt knows, no such evidence exists. To suggest otherwise is an insult to their voters, and to all voters.

To make matters worse, those same 100% unverifiable voting machines are now losing votes entirely and flipping untold others from Democratic candidates to Republican candidates and others in state after state. (Just a few examples can be found here, here, here, here, and here. I have many more that I've not yet been able to report due to time constraints.)

Those failed machines have not been removed from use, are still dangerously imperiling the accurate votes of millions, and ultimately, even if they worked as they are supposed to work, could never be verified as having accurately recorded even a single voters' intent as they desired.

The voters of this country --- Democratic, Republican, independent and everything else --- deserve far better from both major parties. But to suggest that we, the people, would be impressed, if only we were allowed to know the secret efforts being taken on our behalf by the Democratic Party, is an insult not only to Democrats, but to every American voter.

Got evidence of the work being done to ensure electronic vote counts are accurate, and that every voter matters this year? Please share it with us. Believe me, I'd be delighted to report that evidence at The BRAD BLOG, as I take no joy in being as critical as I have been forced to be about the Obama/DNC's lacking efforts on election protection, particularly given the out-and-out brazen efforts at all-out voter suppression by the GOP.

But until any such evidence is actually forthcoming, and while I've been receiving reports from some of those "thousands of attorneys" in the Obama/DNC attorney corps telling me what little efforts are being done, and until the claims that "we are on it" stop being countered by actual reported evidence on the ground, such claims are no more impressive or believable than George W. Bush's assertions over the last 6 years that "the War in Iraq is a great success," or that Brownie was doing "a heckuva job" down in New Orleans.

The DNC owes me nothing. If they don't wish to share the evidence with me, they don't have to. But they do owe their voters and supporters something more than smoke and mirrors. And, so far, the evidence for the claims made in the article above remain nowhere to be found --- just like the DNC attorneys and action on behalf of voters in counties where votes continue to flip or are being lost entirely.

===

Brad Friedman is a nationally recognized journalistic expert on issues of election integrity, and the creator and editor of The BRAD BLOG (www.BradBlog.com). He also writes on these issues at the UK's Guardian, ComputerWorld, AlterNet and elsewhere, and has been invited to testify to the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) and to other election officials and body around the country. More bio info here.

 

Weekend Around the Internets

The Atheist movement uses Adbusters-style counterpropaganda. Could that work? That would be funny here in Pittsburgh. I can see the ads being defaced. Related: Agent Ska, my fake virtual 13 year old girlfriend who seems, well, horny here and here, came out as a Bright some weeks ago. And I suppose if one were horny getting out of the Catholic Church would be the way to go.

 Exact quote:

So up come the sunday mornings when someone who still goes will look around and say, "Does anyone else want to go with me [to church]?" I look down and wish I had cereal to stare down at. I don't want to go. I don't consider myself religious or Catholic. So I stare and wait for this moment to end

On the other hand, as someone who wrote things in college that professors didn't like, not sure I would mention that if I went to a Catholic University. Everyone has to clap harder for Tinkerbell or else! Gutsy post. Watch your back. Watch your friendly "teachers".

Funny Tom the Dancing Bug toon that the City Paper can no longer afford. That last quote from the "Paid for by the Committee for Desperate Attempts to Use Joe-Based Archetypes to Put a Common Folksy Face on Policies that Greatly Favor Only the Extremely Wealthy" is so on the mark.

Oct. 21

Tom the Dancing Bug on those "Lucky Duckys". Related: More from Digby.

I'll have more to say about this fake ACORN scandal later tonight. But here's the truth from Keith Olbermann. Related: From Greg Palast "The Theft of 2008".

Oct. 17 PST

I recently bought a refurbished computer with a quad core chip with 3 gig of ram. It's supposed to be faster and it is. This is a test post.

Oct. 14

Obama Vs. The GOP Vote Fixers and How To Steal Back Your Vote
(Permalink
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I haven't written in about a week but I have been thinking. Obama is way ahead in the polls. This would be a great thing had the Republicans not used every method in the book to steal the last two presidential elections. For example, several states that Obama is leading are all run by Republican Secretaries of State, most notably Michigan and Colorado, which brings us back to the Ken Blackwell/Katherine Harris scenarios. Obama is leading in Florida but as far as I can tell there's nothing that's been passed at the federal level that would prevent thousands of Democratic Party votes from being stolen, again. There is a bright spot in Ohio because they elected a progressive Secretary of State in Ohio. The Republicans are attempting to strip about 200000 voters from the Ohio registration list. I'm going to guess that they come from mostly DNC strongholds. However, as I've been watching and learning from various voter's rights group our very own Pennsylvania is very likely to be stolen because in most precincts there simply  won't be a paper record. In fact, in arguably the most important precincts in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia--where Obama needs to roll up big majorities in order to beat the bible belt T that makes up the rest of the state--the machines leave no paper trail. Its not unlike going to the robber and asking him to be honest about robbing you. You won't be able to verify it. If we lose Pennsylvania, then let's make sure we thank Dan Onorato, Ed Rendell and the Philly machine.

I think that's why McCain thinks Pennsylvania is more promising than Michigan. Pennsylvania is one of the easiest states in the nation to steal. Obama almost has to win by a landslide nationally in order to win at all. Of course, what do you say about a DNC that doesn't pass a single bill in the last two years in order to change the equation? They could have mandated paper trails and audits but they did nothing. I think you call them collaborators. Or people who like proxy wars on behalf of Israel. Or DLC members. Or clueless. Or all of the above.

Anyway, that's the sad state of affairs as far as I can tell. Can Obama get enough votes to beat the fix?

Sounds depressing. But Greg Palast and great alt cartoonists Ted Rall and Lloyd Dangle have written a 24 page comic telling you how to fight back. You can download the comic as a pdf file  for a donation as small as a dollar. That's what I did.  Palast, arguably one of the best journalists in the United States (Who, of course, you can only find online for the most part and who doesn't work for an American newspaper. Sigh.) needs the funding so that he can continue to do cutting edge reporting. You can find his seven instructions both above and below this post. Related: You can find a nice update on these issues from this episode of Democracy Now.

Oct. 13

A while back, as I was buying comics at the Oakland Phantom of the Attic, I found myself in an argument--totally out of the blue--with novelist Wayne Wise about computers and the future of comics. He seemed to think that the Internet was some kind of threat to brick and mortar comics stores. I didn't think much of his argument at the time but then I started to notice the mystery of the disappearing music store. Does anybody remember the National Record Mart? Just a handful of music stores left now in Pittsburgh. Replaced by Amazon and let's face it: torrent sites. I didn't think that could happen to comics but I'm beginning to think differently.

I say that because I really kind of enjoy the Watchmen Motion Comics.  These are comics with some rudimentary flash enabled animation plus all the dialogue voiced out. I really enjoyed the first one. The second one came out which is a complete read through of Issue 2, arguably one of the best written comics ever made. You can't buy these motion comics at Phantom of the Attic. You can only download them at Itunes. And the price is right: $1.99. That's actually cheaper than most comics and you get movement and vocal work. If they did the same for the other completely superior Alan Moore books, say Promethea, Top Ten, Tom Strong and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, then I would buy them as well. And, yes, I suppose, if you offered comics this way what would we need with a brick and mortar comic book store, my 20 bucks a month notwithstanding. Perhaps Wayne was right about being annoyed.

One complaint about the voiceover work in the first two issues is that they have this one guy doing all the voiceover work. He's okay with male characters. His women don't sound convincing at all. One person seemed to think his female characters sounds like Dr. Girlfriend of the Venture Brothers. There was a long delay between the first and second issues and we were hoping that poor Warner Brothers could hire a girl. Or even more than just that one guy who does the voiceover work. But apparently Warner Brothers can't afford it. I guess this is why we no longer have music on your so called music channels. (See related Harlan Ellison rant.) Related: Robert Kirkman's Invincible is also going down the motion path via MTV. Their animation isn't as good but it looks like they hired a girl to voice the girl parts. How innovative. Invincible is a very very disturbing comic book by the way. Without giving the plot away: You remember how there are people who think Superman is some kind of alien threat, well...

 

 

What Should Have Been Posted October 5

And now for a scary pre Halloween treat:

First up, Naomi Wolf says Fascism is coming. You can find some disturbing history where she describes the warning signs of fascism. The video below is where she tells you its here. She references three disturbing things that have happened in the past week or so. One) The placement of an American military brigade on American soil (here and here) which will be used to do the same kinds of civic things they're doing in Iraq, or death squad/torturer activity. Enjoy. Here's the thing about The Shock Doctrine: we're shocked because we don't see it coming. Not so much the people who create the shock...what will it be this time he wonders aloud...How about a bank crash? "We can't have elections now can we...?" Two) The Bailout Bill, which, and I don't care how reassuring Barry's calls to push that bailout, shouldn't have been signed because nobody read that. Never sign contracts that you haven't read. It's a rule I go by and has served me well. Never sign a contract that you've read but don't fully understand. Yet another rule to live by. Congress broke both of those rules. Three) And, this is under reported, martial law was threatened if people that wanted to read and fully understand the bill voted no. Now, it could have been martial law that would have been caused by a run on the banks or it could have been something else. Hey, there's an army brigade on American soil! That can't possibly go wrong...

Anyway. Naomi says she's scared. And, hey, after watching this, I'm scared too. I'm getting a passport. Not sure where we'd run if the Nazis control the most powerful military in the world but have to think positive...

 

 

Sept. 30

I get the occasional news announcement. I may attend over the phone and maybe write about this tomorrow. You never know.

NEW REPORT REVEALS MCCAIN HEALTH PLAN WILL RAISE TAXES, TAKE AWAY PENNSYLVANIANS’ HEALTH CARE

Coalition to Release State Numbers, Take Action to Raise Awareness

Independent Analysis Shows Wide-Spread Loss of Benefits, Increase in Taxes for Millions

 CONTACT:           

Michael Morrill, Keystone Progress, (610) 568-0937 

HARRISBURG, PA – With ordinary Americans increasingly struggling under the combined impact of the banking and health care crises, the Center for American Progress Action Fund is preparing to release a report detailing how the McCain health care plan would increase the burden on middle-class families in Pennsylvania. The report, which will be released Wednesday at a joint press conference held by Change to Win, Keystone Progress, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), will detail the number of Pennsylvanians expected to lose employer-sponsored health insurance under John McCain’s health care plan. It also details the tax hike middle class families would experience over four years under John McCain’s health care plan. Center for American Progress Action Fund Senior Health Policy Analyst Ellen-Marie Whelan will discuss what the McCain health plan means for Pennsylvania. 

 Who:     Ellen-Marie Whelan, Senior Health Policy Analyst, Center for American Progress

  With participation from Change to Win, Keystone Progress, and SEIU Pennsylvania 

What:    Press Conference to Release Report on Effects on McCain Health Plan on Pennsylvania  

When:   Wednesday, October 1, 2008 at 12:30 PM             

Where:  Via conference call. RSVP to info@keystoneprogress.org for call-in number and access code. Full white paper will be provided on Wednesday morning, embargoed until 12:30 PM.

      Live in the Capitol Rotunda at 2:00 PM

What Should Have Been Posted Sept 26

Here's the newest version of the Acid Jazz Channel that features the newest adds. The band in the graphic is called Little Dragon. Over several thousand videos. Also seen here but bigger.

Sarah Palin in a Swimsuit

 

Link: Sarah Palin in a Swimsuit

You know, McCain could have chosen Christine Todd Whitman. She's a fine looking woman who is qualified to be president and isn't a fucking nutcase who speaks in tongues. Just sayin'....Go Obama! And what's with that dreary inarticulate sax solo. That guy's playing makes me feel like I'm in Hell...

Phil's Deep Thought, Not At All Related to Atrios' Deep Thought, which is Not At All Related to Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts

Vote for Obama: He's less likely to send private Blackwater death squads to kill you in your sleep. And two: doesn't seem to have a vice presidential candidate who speaks in tongues and would find thermonuclear war a pretty good option because this whole life thing is just a minor stage before heaven and most likely for you heathens a burning eternal fiery Hell. Go Obama!

Labels: Go Obama, Less Likely To Use Blackwater Thugs To Kill Me in My Sleep

posted by Philip Shropshire 

 

Sept. 30

I get the occasional news announcement. I may attend over the phone and maybe write about this tomorrow. You never know.

NEW REPORT REVEALS MCCAIN HEALTH PLAN WILL RAISE TAXES, TAKE AWAY PENNSYLVANIANS’ HEALTH CARE

Coalition to Release State Numbers, Take Action to Raise Awareness

Independent Analysis Shows Wide-Spread Loss of Benefits, Increase in Taxes for Millions

 CONTACT:           

Michael Morrill, Keystone Progress, (610) 568-0937 

HARRISBURG, PA – With ordinary Americans increasingly struggling under the combined impact of the banking and health care crises, the Center for American Progress Action Fund is preparing to release a report detailing how the McCain health care plan would increase the burden on middle-class families in Pennsylvania. The report, which will be released Wednesday at a joint press conference held by Change to Win, Keystone Progress, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), will detail the number of Pennsylvanians expected to lose employer-sponsored health insurance under John McCain’s health care plan. It also details the tax hike middle class families would experience over four years under John McCain’s health care plan. Center for American Progress Action Fund Senior Health Policy Analyst Ellen-Marie Whelan will discuss what the McCain health plan means for Pennsylvania. 

 Who:     Ellen-Marie Whelan, Senior Health Policy Analyst, Center for American Progress

  With participation from Change to Win, Keystone Progress, and SEIU Pennsylvania 

What:    Press Conference to Release Report on Effects on McCain Health Plan on Pennsylvania  

When:   Wednesday, October 1, 2008 at 12:30 PM             

Where:  Via conference call. RSVP to info@keystoneprogress.org for call-in number and access code. Full white paper will be provided on Wednesday morning, embargoed until 12:30 PM.

      Live in the Capitol Rotunda at 2:00 PM

What Should Have Been Posted Sept 26

Here's the newest version of the Acid Jazz Channel that features the newest adds. The band in the graphic is called Little Dragon. Over several thousand videos. Also seen here but bigger.

Sarah Palin in a Swimsuit

 

 

Link: Sarah Palin in a Swimsuit

You know, McCain could have chosen Christine Todd Whitman. She's a fine looking woman who is qualified to be president and isn't a fucking nutcase who speaks in tongues. Just sayin'....Go Obama! And what's with that dreary inarticulate sax solo. That guy's playing makes me feel like I'm in Hell...

Phil's Deep Thought, Not At All Related to Atrios' Deep Thought, which is Not At All Related to Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts

Vote for Obama: He's less likely to send private Blackwater death squads to kill you in your sleep. And two: doesn't seem to have a vice presidential candidate who speaks in tongues and would find thermonuclear war a pretty good option because this whole life thing is just a minor stage before heaven and most likely for you heathens a burning eternal fiery Hell. Go Obama!

Labels: Go Obama, Less Likely To Use Blackwater Thugs To Kill Me in My Sleep

posted by Philip Shropshire 

 

Sept. 23

Top 25 Censored Stories of the Year (They're all scary.)

Top 25 Censored Stories for 2009

Things you need to know about the proposed bailout. Otherwise known as this. Hat tip to Atrios.

First, crazy socialist Bernie Sanders tells us what we should do.

Second, Christopher Dodd, playing a crazy leftist, tells us the best that what we'll get. Related: some murmurings of discontent.

Three, given that the dems cave on everything, Digby articulates the nightmare scenario of the Dems and Obama okaying the bailout with little public good or oversight and being portrayed, somewhat legitimately if they pass anything near the Paulson plan, as the party of privileged wall street elites.

Four, in a case of really good online reporting, Chris Bowers gives us two anonymous emails from an unnamed congressperson who uses the word "fuck" and tells us how Dem House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will  get steam rollered. Thanks to those Blue Dogs.

Five, but not least, Greenwald has a great perspective on this here and here. Related: More from Greider, Krugman and I wish Max Sawicky was still writing something...how about Dean Baker?

Better than most of what you will get in newspapers as to what exactly the "truth" of this matter. Way way better than anything that passes for news on your network television.

I agree with Chris Bowers. If the Dems were even basic tacticians, then what's the rush? Do something cosmetic and let the next president handle it.

Sept. 22

Art for the times.

Sept. 18

What does fighting crime mean, exactly? Does it mean upholding the law when a woman shoplifts to feed her children, or does it mean struggling to uncover the ones who, quite legally, have brought about her poverty?

--from Ozymandias, Watchmen Issue 11

I do believe I have seen the first online vigilante act that might actually do something. I suppose, when you think about it, a group of determined super hackers could do just as much damage as the Justice League.

Anonymous, known for their clever psy ops war against Scientology, seems to have stepped it up a notch and hacked into Sarah Palin's Yahoo email account. You can read more at the Huffington Post, Gawker and especially check out the commentary at Boing Boing. Wikileaks has the whole thing but I can't get the  link to work....Some open source spy network if you can't get it to work during crucial periods...they should use the Pirate Bay's new blogger system....

Unfortunately, now that you've hacked into the files of one of the Republican fraternity someone will be working to figure out who Anonymous actually is. They're going to want to see your face. What's that last line in the most recent Batman? Why is the Batman running? Because we're chasing him that's why. I hope they're as good as the Little Brother hackers. They'll have to be in order to stay out of jail. Now they've got Scientology hackers and the US government after them...good luck. Sometimes justice must be hooded. But not in a Klansman mexican border patrol kind of way...you know what I mean.

Sept. 17th

 

Where would you put a two minute campaign ad? Why, you would put it on the Internet. That and porn.

Sept. 14th PST

Two religious toons for Sunday. And here's a daily strip that will never EVER receive daily syndication. Its called Cectic. Throw a donation his way or my way (upper left corner. I could use a new laptop...)

Sept 13

Toon that City Paper cancelled. Here's an observation: Palin's husband looks to be a lumberjack and he's okay.  Haven't seen Ted Rall in two weeks at the City Paper. The cartoonist who replaced Rall isn't as funny. Bastards.

What I Posted on AmSat on 9/11 But Forgot to Post Here

A Few Words About 9/11...
 

I just think that 9/11 took us down a very dangerous path that we may not survive. I'm neutral on the Inside Job stuff because I haven't read the evidence that the 9/11 Truth movement has come up with. But I'm not neutral on whether the Bush administration was evil enough either to plan it or to let it happen even if discovered because it just dovetails into their overall plans too much. They're that evil. And we find out today that Sarah Palin finds all these wars, all this meaningless horrible killing to be somehow in God's plan. She thinks a war with Russia might be inevitable. She's going where even people like Nixon and Kissinger never went. Nuclear exchanges mean billions of people possibly die. These are very dangerous Republicans. There is no indication that we dirty fuckin' hippies would beat them in some sort of just civil war. None at all.


 
We have to find a way to divert ourselves from this dangerous path where fighting for oil multinationals is somehow the same as fighting for "de Lawd"...Dangerous times we live in. Dangerous times.
 

Labels: 

 

Sept. 10

You can read this Glenn Greenwald essay or you can watch this Prolefeed vid. They tell you the same things. Related: David Gregory, seen below, is the guy who will replace Olbermann. Did he ride the tire swing? That's what the corporate media does these days...

Sept. 6

Gloria Steinem, on the left, on Sarah Palin, or as she's sometime referred to around here "Mullah in a Skirt" (I might trademark that....) or as one Salon reader put it: Auntie Tom.

But here is even better news: It won't work. This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie.

Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters. Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton's candidacy stood for -- and that Barack Obama's still does. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, "Somebody stole my shoes, so I'll amputate my legs."

This is not to beat up on Palin. I defend her right to be wrong, even on issues that matter most to me. I regret that people say she can't do the job because she has children in need of care, especially if they wouldn't say the same about a father. I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden's 37 years' experience.

....Palin's value to those patriarchs is clear: She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women's wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves "abstinence-only" programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers' millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn't spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation; she runs with a candidate who opposes the Fair Pay Act but supports $500 million in subsidies for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska; she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain has opted for the lesser evil of offshore drilling. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.

More from the muckrakers and bottom dwellers who simply can't accept boundaries and limits from...mainstream Vanity Fair?

There's a poll at the end of this by the way and most people think that Trig is Bristol's kid and that the current pregnancy might be faked to cover it up. Again, this is real news. Really. No matter what Markos says. Interesting comment on the photos timeline:

Good start - but you did leave off some of the most puzzling info! 1. For example, this early February 2008 picture from the Alaska Daily news (http://www.adn.com/politics/story/339576.html) when she was in theory five-six months pregnant. 2. The extended podcast of her walking crisply from her house to her office at six-seven months pregnant. (http://alaskapodshow.com/index.php/2008/08/30/sarah-palin-pregnancy-scandal/) She doesn't look or act pregnant, and the filming crew didn't see that she was pregnant. 3. The videotape of her at a Newsweek conference in March 2008 (seven months pregnant), where she similarly does not look like (or stand up like) she's remotely pregnant (http://www.newsweek.com/id/156190 go to #8, especially last 30 seconds) 4. The photo of her at the National Governors Association conference in late February 2008 (don't have the link to the photo at the moment, but she looks very trim). 5. The uniformly disbelieving reactions of Alaskans (including her own staff) to her pregnancy announcement in early March 2008, as reported at the time bby the Alaska Daily News (http://www.adn.com/front/story/336402.html). 6. This March 14, 2008 photo of her published in the Alaska Daily News (seven months), again, showing her as very trim. (http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/345168.html) 7. And, the very warm family pictures posted by Sadie (boyfriend Levi's sister) on Sadie's myspace page, where Sadie is cradling baby Trig, and speaking of Trig and Bristol as members of Sadie's own family. (see http://flickr.com/photos/30128128@N04/sets/72157607061462256/ for a saved set of these photos). If your going to do a great, definitive timeline like this (thank you!), these items really need to be accounted for as well!

Related: Partially Salvaged Daily Kos post that started it all. Read all about it.

Have to admit this a pretty good Al Franken Ad. Don't know why dems don't use more of that Hollywood mojo...you could easily use it for McCain/Mullah with a Skirt. Just show two people running...

Sept. 5

Kowardly Kos Strikes Again

I just happened to have a page of this spiked diary hanging around that Markos spiked. I placed it here. Its missing around 500 comments but you can see the essence of the argument for yourself and determine if censorship should have been used. This poster placed two diaries on this topic. The first one has gone down the memory hole and I've restored three fourths of the second post. This was all public record of course.

I wrote this introduction:

This page was spiked by so-called new "journalist" Markos Moulitsas. Completely cowardly. Here's a thought: politicians shouldn't turn their back on promising to filibuster FISA and then not do it. Markos shouldn't pretend to be a "journalist"  and then censor stories. The worst that can happen here is that this story is proven false. Then we can move on to the many many other interesting Sarah Palin scandals whether its trooper gate or book banning gate or sleeping with your husband's business partner gate, whatever. The best that can happen is that we prove that she faked her last pregnancy to hide the shame of an illegitimate child or she was purposely trying to miscarriage by taking that incredibly long and dangerous plane trip. That's how my grandmother lost one of her kids. Perhaps that was the point. This goes to the heart of their lying hypocritical family values bullshit. Look, we bring knives to the knife party. We bring guns to the gun party. Nothing is off limits. The future of the planet is at stake. All tools must be used to defeat this Mullah in a Skirt. And if you want to discuss things without being censored or disemvoweled, go here. (Unless you spam...)

By the way, if you're still interested in this discussion, try "Scienceblogs" (which, unlike Markos, has figured out that all of these things are worthy of discussion.) Ed Brayton gets this correctly.

Many commenters seem to think that this has something to do with getting people to vote against McCain. Sorry, not true. This has no effect at all on my vote no matter what the truth turns out to be, nor do I think it should have any effect on anyone else's vote. As many have pointed out, there are far more important and relevant issues if we're talking about who to vote for. None of that has anything to do with why I posted on this subject. I just find the notion that someone would try to pull this off really fascinating and I want to know if, in fact, they did. I think there's some compelling evidence that has been offered. There have also been some false claims made about it on both sides (misdated pictures, for example). I'm quite curious to know what the truth is and that's why I'm writing about it and inviting new evidence that might debunk the allegations. I don't have any political stake in what the truth turns out to be at all, nor do I think anyone else should. I just think it's a really fascinating story.

Posted by: Ed Brayton | September 1, 2008 2:05 PM

Ed understands what online journalism is supposed to be about. But I do disagree with his determination that this wouldn't be a good reason to vote against somebody. It obviously would be a good reason to vote against someone, especially if your base is made up of puritanical, fundamentalist holy rollers.

Sept 2

You can see a visibly pissed off Amy Goodman today at Democracy Now here. For people who don't know this, like, say, my mother: Amy Goodman is one of the best journalists working in the country today. She isn't the richest. She's not as entertaining as say a Jon Stewart or Keith Olbermann. But she's completely independent. And unlike those aforementioned guys you can't turn her off. Unless you murder her or beat her senseless while refusing to read the big rectangular press credential tags around her neck. One of the things that troubles me about her arrest is that she isn't in the best of health. Its been speculated that the paralysis on one side of her face is stroke related. This brings us to another uncomfortable question: what happens to Democracy Now if Amy Goodman can't continue the job?  

One thing that I wish Amy would do is take at least six weeks off per year not to fool around but to lower her stress and to work out. Have people like Naomi Klein (who would be a perfect replacement for Amy if something bad were to happen), Mike Moore, Greg Palast, Jane Hamsher or Glenn Greenwald take over for one or two week runs while she gets better or just, frankly, preserves her health. They should also be allowed to produce for the week. I'd be curious as to their takes on the news.

One more thing: Sue! Sue em for a hundred million dollars. Fund Democracy Now forever.

I totally missed this. You and I can learn more about it here. I have no idea if the stories are any good or at the Alan Moore/Warren Ellis level but I would love to read them.

Jenn Jannon, who should be named formerly in a suit I'm preparing within the next several months, can be found on the Internet talking, hilariously enough, about Working America's "Bad Boss" contest. You would think that someone should enter Ms. Jannon being that she'll probably be sued for both age and race discrimination. I tried to make this point at something called the "Gay City News" but they haven't seen fit to publish my letter. Luckily, we live here in the future, so I can publish my own damn letters thank you very much. Here's what I wrote. Try censoring me. (And yes, I placed both phone calls and emails to two of the editors, Paul Schindler and Troy Masters, and they didn't return my email or my phone calls.) I should point out, again, that the positive aspect of this story is that you should fire people who are being sued for race and age discrimination. If you were at all "smart" that is...

Well, the worst thing about Jenn Jannon is that I'm suing her over race and age discrimination. There's also some evidence that Jenn Jannon could be a great nominee in her organization's own bad boss contest.

For more information on my lawsuit go here:

http://mirroruniverse.blogspot.com/2008/03/have-i-mentioned-that-im-suing-jenn.html

For what other people have said about Jenn Jannon go here. Look, when your nickname is "Hitler" maybe you're not a good manager...:

http://pittsburgh.indymedia.org/news/2008/04/29384_comment.php#29556

Philip Shropshire
www.threeriversonline.com

PS: Now, on her old myspace page, which I've managed to save, she does refer to herself as a
"bisexual" if that makes it all better...Frankly, I think Ms. Jannon is a terrible person to
promote this particular contest and if the labor movement was smart they would fire her...I offer that in a positive constructive spirit that aims to help the labor movement...

Changiness We Can Believe In

Joe Biden. Meh. Yes, there are a lot of prudent reasons to go with Joe Biden but we seem to be hearing this a lot whenever the O man moves right, which is all the time. He is noticing that his poll numbers are plummeting right? He's still raising lots of money but so what if you lose. Republicans lose all the time when they have money because people see through them. He does know that he has to attract white liberals and white liberals tend to read stuff. In fact, they tend to get their news online. Where else would they go, Fox News? Thomas Friedman at the Times?

There's also encouraging the crazy people to put a bullet in you because if you shoot the black guy we get white regular guy Joe Biden. Thanks for energizing the Krazy Klan with a gun segment of the population. No thanks. Really. Ignore the history of this country putting bullets into black leaders. Remember: You're special and nothing bad will happen to you.

Related: Here's your Joe Biden roundup. Sam at Undernews gives us the good and bad about Joe Biden. I think I can state that Glenn Greenwald is not impressed. You should also watch this special two hour Democracy Now clip for more information on why we really don't have an opposition party in the United States.

 

August 31

A Special Republican Family Values Edition of Around the Internets

You know, when I look at that picture, I don't immediately think of a bible thumping, anti choice, anti abortion even in the case of rape or incest, anti birth control kinda of a gal. I think more along the lines of "One hundred dollars?...Are you crazy? I can go sixty at best...Hey, no need for your big Mafia Aleut goon pimp to get rough with me I can leave on my own..." (Alleged nude photo at the Red Light District.)

First there's this sum up from "Hotties in the News"

She is currently under Federal Investigation for corruption....She may not believe in Global Warming...She's not interested in saving the Polar Bears.... She doesn't care much for evolution in education.... She doesn't know much about being Vice President.... She's heard about Iraq on the news.... She doesn't seem to know anything on the economy, or global politics....Many Alaskans are scratching their collective heads in bewilderment...Yet John McCain's Republican Vice Presidential running mate is SMOKING HOT (& that's all that appears to matter TO American voters!) And without knowing jack shit about her politics, 58% of American males just love Alaska's Sarah Palin... and here's why, in pictures.

Second, there's this potentially huge scandal on whether or not Sarah Palin is a grandmother and not a mother. The federal scandal has been kicked around at the Daily Kos for months now but if this scandal is true, well, her name would have to be withdrawn like Harriet Myers. Now, this could be a left version of the Obama birth certificate controversy (Of which there is none. In fact, the only person with a controversy is John McCain who isn't native born but he's such a horrible candidate who would want to eliminate him...) but in the world of not teaching your children about sexuality or birth control it makes perfect sense. And of course you would have to be ashamed about it. Anyway, here are the juicy parts of the Daily Kos story. It also has photos and videotape. This is the kind of journalism that papers used to do and this is also why papers are dying, deservedly so I might add.

Well, Sarah, I'm calling you a liar. And not even a good one. Trig Paxson Van Palin is not your son. He is your grandson. The sooner you come forward with this revelation to the public, the better...

People like to think the vetting process is secure, and completed months ahead of time, but ABC News has reported otherwise, painting a picture of a quick vetting process for Sarah by a small, but secretive group of McCain's legal staff. A proper vetting process under those circumstances would only go so far, and the true media vetting process has just begun.It doesn't come as a surprise that this story was never properly researched. Palin was never on the National scene for more than a few minutes at a time, and local reporting only goes so far on a governor with an 80% approval rating. However, the motivation to cover daughter's pregnancy aligns with her political standings. She valiantly did not perform an abortion, but fell into the fundamentalist way of thinking, and covered up for the illicit (but natural) action's of her daughter. There could be calls below to delete this information. Calls that this type of information is muckraking and 'below us'. The truth is not below any progressive, nor any citizen of the world that is one heartbeat away from having Palin as leader of the free world. We simply ask that she be forthright, honest, and not waste our time with such juvenile games that anyone with eyes can see as fabrication.

Bristol Palin rightfully should be able to embrace her child in public as her own, with no shame, and no quarter. And a mother should be just as accepting.

I guess we could ask for DNA tests just to clear things up. Here's a question: who's the real father?

Update: Daily Kos diary spills water on the rumor. Could you get the doctor to lie as well? Perhaps this isn't true. Only a woman could look at those photos and determine if she was five or six months pregnant.

August 28

Jack Kirby would have turned 91 today. Best tribute, by far, at the Comic Book Reporter.

Not a bad speech from Obama.

August 25

I totally missed this. You and I can learn more about it here. I have no idea if the stories are any good or at the Alan Moore/Warren Ellis level but I would love to read them.

Jenn Jannon, who should be named formerly in a suit I'm preparing within the next several months, can be found on the Internet talking, hilariously enough, about Working America's "Bad Boss" contest. You would think that someone should enter Ms. Jannon being that she'll probably be sued for both age and race discrimination. I tried to make this point at something called the "Gay City News" but they haven't seen fit to publish my letter. Luckily, we live here in the future, so I can publish my own damn letters thank you very much. Here's what I wrote. Try censoring me. (And yes, I placed both phone calls and emails to two of the editors, Paul Schindler and Troy Masters, and they didn't return my email or my phone calls.) I should point out, again, that the positive aspect of this story is that you should fire people who are being sued for race and age discrimination. If you were at all "smart" that is...

Well, the worst thing about Jenn Jannon is that I'm suing her over race and age discrimination. There's also some evidence that Jenn Jannon could be a great nominee in her organization's own bad boss contest.

For more information on my lawsuit go here:

http://mirroruniverse.blogspot.com/2008/03/have-i-mentioned-that-im-suing-jenn.html

For what other people have said about Jenn Jannon go here. Look, when your nickname is "Hitler" maybe you're not a good manager...:

http://pittsburgh.indymedia.org/news/2008/04/29384_comment.php#29556

Philip Shropshire
www.threeriversonline.com

PS: Now, on her old myspace page, which I've managed to save, she does refer to herself as a
"bisexual" if that makes it all better...Frankly, I think Ms. Jannon is a terrible person to
promote this particular contest and if the labor movement was smart they would fire her...I offer that in a positive constructive spirit that aims to help the labor movement...

Changiness We Can Believe In

Joe Biden. Meh. Yes, there are a lot of prudent reasons to go with Joe Biden but we seem to be hearing this a lot whenever the O man moves right, which is all the time. He is noticing that his poll numbers are plummeting right? He's still raising lots of money but so what if you lose. Republicans lose all the time when they have money because people see through them. He does know that he has to attract white liberals and white liberals tend to read stuff. In fact, they tend to get their news online. Where else would they go, Fox News? Thomas Friedman at the Times?

There's also encouraging the crazy people to put a bullet in you because if you shoot the black guy we get white regular guy Joe Biden. Thanks for energizing the Krazy Klan with a gun segment of the population. No thanks. Really. Ignore the history of this country putting bullets into black leaders. Remember: You're special and nothing bad will happen to you.

Related: Here's your Joe Biden roundup. Sam at Undernews gives us the good and bad about Joe Biden. I think I can state that Glenn Greenwald is not impressed. You should also watch this special two hour Democracy Now clip for more information on why we really don't have an opposition party in the United States.

August 21

Ouch. And "heh". And...Obama Strikes!

August 20

Because we need a nicer family friendly Sin City. Related: Warner Brothers released an animated version of the first issue of Watchmen online for free. I really liked it although they should have hired a woman to voice Sally Jupiter. And of course the writing is brilliant. Alan Moore is one of the greatest writers alive, period. Maybe ever. Please do this with Promethea, Top Ten, Tom Strong and the League. Watch here.

Well, I heard a rumor that Caroline Kennedy would get the vice presidential nod from Obama. I think she would be a great choice. The only problem is that the rumor came from The Evil One, officially a member of The League of Evil Bloggers and who should join the Evil League of Evil because, let's face it, the Instapundit is qualified. I'm just saying that if Glenn is spreading the rumor then that means incriminating photos are on hand about Caroline.

But a Kennedy would be an inspired choice. She's actually more liberal than either Obama or Hillary. You know, the problem with Obama isn't with the black base, its with white liberals who are pissed off about FISA and the immediate backtracking on offshore drilling. You add a conservative vice presidential pick and that's a third strike recipe for trouble. Just for the record, I'm pissed off about those things too. Its about his word. What good is it if the face of oppression is black?

 Evan Bayh (early supporter of the Iraq War), Joe Biden (hustler for the credit card industry) and Sam Nunn (Look, why not go with Tom Ridge...he's more liberal.) would all be depressing.  I can't even say a Hillary nod out loud.  Why not just appoint a knife at your back? Would be simpler. A Kennedy, or someone to his left, would be really nice and, I think, make him a lot safer. Richardson would be a good choice as well. If you look at the history of recent presidential assassinations (and these wonderfully timed plane crashes that only kill Democratic Party Senators and one liberal republican senator from Pennsylvania..) then you don't want a Lyndon Johnson or Sam Nunn as your backup. You want Dan Quayle. Everybody knew the first George Bush was safe because we were all scared of Dan. You know what's interesting about that? The older and better George Bush used to run the CIA and he might have known what happened in the Kennedy assassination. He didn't pick Lyndon Johnson or anybody competent  that would inspire a "replacement" scenario. You don't want anyone to say "You know, if something Bad were to happen to Obama I bet Nunn or Hillary would get that draft started that we want so much..." Downgrades the predictable racists with guns scenario if a woman or a latino are next in line...takes away all the fun. Of course, someone who's a black man and thinks he can win the presidency of this country is probably an optimist at heart. He would have to be. "Oh, they won't shoot me and I won't have problems with my plane. I'm special."

Al Gore would be good too. This means that we're probably getting Evan or Sam. Ack.

Another thing wrong with the Obama campaign is that his ads have no kick. Let me guess: the candidate that will be backed by the Hollywood Left won't use any of their expertise during the election. Just great. I do like his middle class first theme.

Here are two ads that get to the point:

And:

 

Link: sevenload.com

 

 

 

August 19

This is also what Mike Doyle has signed on to. I don't think Mike is bloodthirsty but it does show the power of AIPAC, yet again.  It's probably what Jason Altmire supports too although I haven't looked yet. Do I have to? This would be an act of war. The Iranians might be able to defend themselves. You wouldn't like living in Richard Matheson's "I Am Legend" world you really wouldn't.

August 14

Okay. We got letters from Titus North. Here's his first one:

Hi Philip,
I had a look at your website today and I liked what I saw. Regarding my choice of races to run, I did run for mayor in 2005. In 2007 I almost persuaded a prominent Pittsburgher who would have stood a good chance of winning to throw his or her hat into the ring, but in the end the problem was that in non-federal races candidates can raise unlimited funds from corporate sources without even cute accounting. We in the Allegheny County Green Party tried hard to get substantive candidates to run against Jason Altmire and Tim Murphy, but running is very hard work and involves a great deal of sacrifice. (Perhaps someone with as much on his mind as you might want to consider it?) As for Mike Doyle, part of the reason for running against him is that he is not hopeless like Altmire, but rather can be pressured to modify his stands when the voters send him a message. For instance, you brought up his vote against funding the war in Iraq, but before I ran against him he consistently voted for funding and supported the occupation. I am not saying I made him change all by himself, but its hard to believe he failed to take notice when almost 18,000 people in his district voted for an unfunded third-party adjunct professor. All I am trying to do is make sure he has to work for people's votes. If I get elected, fine, but otherwise I think I am succeeding in making Doyle better. Keep up the good work.
 
Titus North

I then responded and said that he had some valid points. I also noted that we had met before when I wrote about  2004 Green Presidential David Cobb visiting the Pittsburgh area. I was the only one who covered him because the corporate media would never do anything to give free promotion to a third party, especially a progressive third party. I also wrote this (I'm not including everything I said because I wrote some things that could help the Green Party or any aspiring third party...why make that public?):

Someone in the green party should take a look at what Sean Tevis is doing as well.

http://seantevis.com/kansas/3000/running-for-office-xkcd-style/

By the way, we have met. I was the black guy who came over to your house and asked David Cobb some
tough questions. African Americans would love a choice other than republicans. Why you're not
running black candidates in the cities bewilders me. I think I asked somebody to get back to me on
that nobody did. I'm still interested. I hope someone gets back to me this time.

Philip Shropshire
www.threeriversonline.com

PS: Did you guys make the presidential ballot this year? How about Nader?

So Titus responded with this:

I remember you well, Philip, but I did not connect your name with your face. As you probably know, we nominated Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente for Pres and VP. I hope that having an all-black ticket will attract more black voters, leaders, and candidates to our party, because a party made of up only of granola-crunching, tree-hugging old hippies like me isn't going anywhere. As for the ballot, we did not make the ballot in Pennsylvania, although I will be on the ballot in the 14th district and we have two candidates in Pittsburgh for state legislature. Our ticket will be on the ballot in most states, however, and Nader made the ballot in PA, barring some thoroughly corrupt challenge. While we have virtually no money, when you feel justice is on your side sometimes you just have to struggle against the odds. Feel free to post my earlier letter on your blog if you wish. Thanks for the prompt response.
 
Titus

Now, I have to admit after reading this I was all set for a rigorous rebuttal until he sent this in on August 7:

Hi Philip,

I am just sending you this for your information. This is part of the reason that Doyle needs constant pressure.

Titus


Friends:

I know some of you are not in Doyle�s district but it wouldn�t hurt to call him anyway. I am trying to get a meeting at his Pittsburgh office with one of his aides, and if I do I will need people to join me in expressing our concern over his supporting this legislation.
Meanwhile please contact his office 412 261 5091.

Scilla Wahrhaftig

AFSC Pennsylvania Program Director

7514 Kensington Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15221

(412) 371 3607

www.afsc.org/pittsburgh


URGE DOYLE TO WITHDRAW SUPPORT FOR IRAN BLOCKADE!

Rep. Doyle has (surprisingly) cosponsored a dangerous piece of legislation calling on the president to implement a blockade and diplomatic quarantine on Iran . More than half of Congress has cosponsored this bill, although we�ve heard reports from staffers and members that they did not understand the gravity of the bill they were signing onto. They thought that it was simply another nonbinding bill advocating sanctions against Iran�they didn�t know that the bill could easily be construed as a request from Congress to implement a land, air, and sea blockade and a ban on the international travel of all Iranian officials, including diplomats (until Iran suspends uranium enrichment). They didn�t understand that the bill asks the president to do something which, to be effective, would require the use of force, make diplomacy impossible, and be construed by Iran and the international community at large as an act of war.
So we�re hoping you will tell him! TAKE ACTION and tell Rep. Doyle you oppose the bill by sending a quick email now.
4 members have withdrawn their cosponsorship [Representatives Tim Cohen (TN), Tom Allen (ME) and Wm. Lacy Clay (MO) and Danny Davis (IL)]. We hope that others can be persuaded to withdraw over the August recess because this is the surest way to stop this dangerous resolution in its tracks when Congress returns in September.
Attached are FCNL�s talking points, FCNL�s letter against the bill, and most importantly, a sample dialogue between a concerned constituent on the bill and their member/staffer. (It may also be important to mention that there is significant Jewish-American opposition to H.Con.Res. 362. See the Americans for Peace Now website and the J Street Lobby website.)
The reason to ask members to withdraw is simple. The resolution can easily be read as calling for a blockade of Iran , which would be an act of war, as well as a humiliating diplomatic quarantine of Iran that would make negotiations practically impossible. The administration will read support for H.Con.Res. 362 as congressional support for a belligerent approach to Iran . Some within the administration continue to argue for military action before President Bush leaves office. Support for H.Con.Res. 362 will encourage them, perhaps fatally.
If he cannot be persuaded to withdraw there are other, less helpful but still positive, actions that you could encourage her to take. For example, Barney Frank (MA) has publically expressed regret that he agreed to cosponsor the resolution without first reading it carefully and has said he will work to remove the blockade language. And Robert Wexler (FL) has pledged to work to remove the blockade language and add a call for the U.S. to talk directly to Iran . If he cannot be persuaded to withdraw, s/he could be asked to issue a public statement clarifying her views and to work to change the resolution or prevent it from coming up for a vote.
Thanks for anything you can do on this. Stopping H.Con.Res. 362 could help avert another catastrophic war in the Middle East and achieve a negotiated solution to the dispute over Iran �s nuclear program and other issues of concern.

Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns�and let me know how your visit went!

All the best, Kate

PS This is the most inflammatory language of the bill, clause 3: (3) demands that the President initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by, inter alia, prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran's nuclear program..

 

So, I have to run out and run errands. With Friday's edition I will attempt to answer these arguments. Needless to say the blockade of Iran would be an act of war. And, afterall, you want a war with Iran because the Iraq war has gone so well.  We've only murdered up to a 1.4 million Iraqis in that war so what's the harm. Just brown skinned sand niggers afterall. Their lives mean nothing compared to the profits of the oil oligarchs. Long live the Klingon Sith American Empire (cue ominous Stars Wars music....)...Rebuttal tonight. But, let's face it, bad move by Mike Doyle. Horrific actually.

August 13

You can catch a free showing of Dr. Horrible. It was obviously posted by a man who aspires to join the Evil League of Evil. Related: Current  (possibly) members of the Evil League of Evil. Not to be confused with the League of Evil Bloggers on this site's bottom left column.

 

Link: sevenload.com

 

And new animated Get Your War On.

August 10

I'm enjoying my weekend doing nothing. Still working on Titus and review pieces for Monday when people actually read this thing. You can always watch my channel if I don't write anything. That's why its there.

If you're interested in watching yet another movie about the election integrity movement, then please go here:

http://www.freeforall.tv

I will leave you with this scary thing  from Undernews about how the Iranians might fight back effectively. I know its irritating when those brown skinned people you're trying to murder so you can steal their stuff fight back but this is the predictable problem of the bully. We've seen this movie before and the United States has officially become "Biff".


The two-ton elephant in the living room of the neo-con strategy is the advanced biowar that Iran, and to a lessor extent Syria, has. This places the motherlands of the major neo-con nations (America, France, the United Kingdom), as well as Israel, in grave danger. When the Soviet Union fell the Iranians hired as many out-of-work former Soviet advanced biowar experts as possible. In the last 15 or so years they have helped to develop a truly world class ABW program utilizing recombination DNA genetic engineering technology to create a large number of man made killer viruses. This form of weapon system does not require high tech military delivery systems. The viruses are sub-microscopic and once seeded in a population use the population itself as vectors. Seeding can be done without notice in shopping malls, churches, and other public places. The only real defense to an advanced global strategic biowar attack is to lock down the population as rapidly as possible and let those infected die off.

Unless the public gets it act together and forces the neo-cons to stop the march to yet another war in the Middle East we are apt to see a truly horrific nightmare unfold in our countries.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

 

 

 

 

August 5

 

Above: I hear Zack filmed three hours worth of the Watchmen. My only concern is the no name actors involved. I think that was the thing that really hurt the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, that and the fact that they mangled the plot into something unrecognizable and silly, giving away one of the final scenes in Watchmen to boot. Ditto for Wanted, which wasn't bad but it would have been better if they had just done it like the Wanted comic books. I hear hero movies are making money these days. Is Sin City the only franchise that will ever understand this? Below: The animated Get Your War On. Editorial note: Green Party candidate Titus North has responded to my remarks below. I'll get up his responses as quickly as possible. I think he makes some good points, as well as some very very bad points such as "Look, we nominated two black people that have no chance of winning. Woohoo!"

 

August 2

Impressive journalism (real) from Glenn Greenwald about the anthrax case. He's asking the right sort of questions. Brief contextual update on this issue: when the anthrax first hit it was sold as yet another attack by that swarthy Iraqi Saddam, who only hated democratic senators apparently. Now, in retrospect, it looks like an inside job that encouraged us to murder lots and lots of innocent brown people and steal their oil. I left this message and some interview prospects for his new radio show:

  • Feels Like A False Flag Operation

    I don't know. He seems more like a fall guy than anything else. I'm going to put on my JFK Mr. X fedora and state that this feels like a false flag operation designed to drive the war into Iraq and targeted, coincidently enough, at people in congress and the press who might have been able to stop the war earlier.

    Now what? I guess we'll never get to the bottom of this. How sad. Well played shadowy dark forces who seem to be running things. Of course, we should hope that Obama isn't "partisan" and doesn't demand anything "strident" like making sure a war criminal like George Bush faces impeachment charges and a one way ticket to the Hague.

    Philip Shropshire

    http://www.threeriversonline.com

    PS: By the way, in case you missed my comments yesterday (letter 372 I think), please consider grilling and interviewing election fraud experts Bob Fitrakis, Greg Palast and Mark Crispin Miller for your new podcast. This is yet another glaring blind spot from both atriots and kossacks in that even after witnessing two national presidential elections stolen they don't want to do anything or demand anything to prevent it from happening again.

    PPS: Agree with you about the Blue dogs but go one step further. Consider third party and independent candidates in house and senate races where the choice is between the DLC and the GOP. But be realistic. You need 1 million to fund a viable house campaign and 2 million to fund a viable senate campaign. Take a hard look at Cindy Sheehan's campaign against Pelosi and try to put at least 50 grand into that race by hook or by crook. I might know a way if anyone's curious...

July 30 PST

I get press releases from Environmental Organizations:

Sierra Club to Air TV Ad, Hold Local Event Contrasting McCain & Obama Plans to Deal with Gas Prices

as Oil Industry Rakes in Record Profits 

Pittsburgh, PA – Pittsburgh residents will gather on Thursday to highlight Big Oil’s newly announced billions in record quarterly profits. The largest oil companies together are expected to post more than $35 billion in profits for the second quarter alone—putting them on pace to exceed last year’s record profits of more than $123 billion. The event will also contrast the major differences between who would benefit under each of the candidates’ plans to deal with our energy crisis.       

The Sierra Club will unveil a new television ad on Thursday that contrasts McCain’s plan for a $3.8 billion tax cut for Big Oil (in addition to billions in existing government giveaways) with Barack Obama’s plan for an immediate $1,000 tax cut to provide American consumers with real relief, while putting us on the path to energy independence through a $150 billion investment in clean, renewable energy.   

In addition to the local event, national Sierra Club leaders and other progressive groups will discuss new television ads and other activities on a national press teleconference to take place Thursday.   

Gas Station Event 

WHAT: Pittsburgh residents at an area Exxon station to highlight Big Oil’s new quarterly profit totals. Ordinary citizens filling up their tanks will be informed of the energy plans of both Senator McCain and Senator Obama 

WHO: Sierra Club, Sierra Club members, League of Young Voters, American Progress 

WHERE: Exxon Station – 3500 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213 

WHEN: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm – Thursday, July 31st  

VISUALS: Assorted Global Warming Props and Signs

July 28 PST

Left this over at Ralph Nader's new website. I don't support his presidential bid but I offered up my 5/25 plan yet again. Short review: Third parties shouldn't contest every damn seat but focus on 25 house seats and five senate seats and fully fund them at 1 million per house seat and 2 million per senate seat.  That's not a minor amount but given what we've seen Ron Paul and Barack Obama do I really think that's possible. If the Netroots really wants to put the fear of god into the Democrats stop giving them money even when they screw you. Even though Regina Thomas lost, run somebody in the general as a death sentence. Pick five pro Fisa, pro Iraq dems and tell them to "Suck on This" as it were. Recruit Hollywood hard. Real hard. Run canvass based, internet based campaigns as cheaply as possible. Stir and then bake.

Here's what I wrote over there:

I'm with Joe on this one. Run for Joe Biden's senate seat. Actually, as a senator, you can do something pretty powerful. You can use the filibuster. In fact, I have something called the 5/25 plan which I wish independent parties would use. You don't need to contest all the seats. You just need 25 house seats and five senate seats and use those numbers as voting blocs. Here's the important thing abut those 5 senate seats, you would need those senators to use the old fashioned filibuster as a group. You would'nt necessarily have to win but with five senators working together you could change things. You could at least use it to counter the GOP filibuster. Who knows. Perhaps they would get rid of the filibuster which would be fine in that its used to defeat mostly progressive measures all the time. I really wish Ralph would go after Joe Biden's seat or, all those seats where you have DLC dems running against the GOP (nothing changes)...You do need to raise at least 1 million to contest a house seat and 2 million dollars to contest a senate seat using a paid field canvass (which I could run if anyone is asking) and internet media until the last few weeks of the election.

I think Ralph could win a decently funded campaign running against the two party system. I really think he could beat Joe Biden. I don't think he has a realistic chance at the presidency.

Philip Shropshire
www.threeriversonline.com

PS: I did some paid sig work for Ralph in Pennsylvania. Wasn't easy. I'm also a lifelong fan of Ralph and think he's the greatest journalist who ever lived.

Speaking of bad third party runs, looks like strictly symbolic Green Party candidate Titus North is about to make a go of it again.

Of course, there are some local races that just scream out for a third party run. How about a race against our GOP-lite icon of machine corruption/incompetence and  future DLCer Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl?

 Nope. Gonna pass huh.

Well, how about Pro Fisa, Pro Iraq war insurance lobbyist jock Jason Altmire, who is one of the few Northern candidates to be targeted by Open Left as a Bush Dog Democrat?

Nyet again you say.

Certainly, it couldn't be US Congressman Mike Doyle, the guy who voted to slash Iraq War funding and just brought the entire FCC to town to fight for Net Neutrality, not him right?

 Wrong.

Titus North is running against Mike Doyle. I guess, for a green, when you vote badly on coal issues it doesn't matter if you voted the right way in order to stop killing Iraqis. Thanks Titus. I'm glad that people who think that environmentalists don't have their priorities straight can't gloat too much about your decision to run. See clip below. I am impressed with his Japanese though.

July 25

Still working on reviews of the Batman movie and the last issue of Black Summer, where, as I suspected, Tom Noir faked his own death. Of course, that means the ending will leave us a bit tantalized. I also disagree with Tom's indictment of John but more on that later. There is ample evidence that the law wouldn't have done the right thing and impeached President George Bush, or that fictional guy that got killed in the Black Summer books.

I get letters. Or I get comments. Earlier I wrote something about the White Rose Society, or the peace group that opposed the Nazis and that ended up with a lot of them being executed because that's what the Nazis do. They're Nazis. Someone from the White Rose Society responded to this:

The American Peace Movement failed. It failed to stop the war and the subsequent deaths of a million innocent Iraqis. It probably won't stop a war with Iran where the death tolls--after speculated attacks on nuclear power plant facilities--would probably start at one million. The White Rose Society, full of decent courageous people, didn't beat the Nazis, either

Then a representative from the White Rose Society wrote this:

You mentioned White Rose resistance in Hitler's Germany as though what they did was all for nothing. That's actually not the case.

After the war, Fritz Hartnagel (Sophie Scholl's sometimes boyfriend) became a judge because of her courage and death. He dedicated his life to protecting the rights of conscientious objectors in postwar Germany, and in protesting nuclear proliferation on German soil.
Traute Lafrenz, one of the White Rose dissidents who survived, came to the United States. She was director of a school near Chicago for mentally handicapped children - poetic justice, since those same children would have been euthanized in her homeland betweeb 1933 and 1945.
Eugen Grimminger, who financed White Rose activities, became an outspoken economist and occasional politician in southern Germany, trying to ensure that those who had been Nazis were prevented from returning to power.
Alex Schmorell's brother Erich established a peace and reconciliation foundation for German-Russian relations.
Christoph Probst's widow and children have fought for justice and peace on many levels in Germany and around the world.
None of this postwar effort would have occurred had not the 30 - 50 "members" of the White Rose been willing to sacrifice everything. Friends, family, and survivors were motivated by the memories of those who were beheaded.

Sometimes we don't get to see the results of our our good works. Doesn't mean we shouldn't do them anyway.

For more on the REAL story of the White Rose:

http://www.deheap.com/White%20Rose%20Studies.htm

Best regards,

Ruth Hanna Sachs
Center for White Rose Studies

So, then I added this:

First, thank you for responding. For some reason my email notification doesn't work that well. So I just noticed this.

Two, I think I was making the argument that they weren't effective in stopping the nazis, well intentioned and noble that they were. I would have to state that the russian and american armies were more effective than the white rose society in stopping the nazis. I also think that the american peace movement has failed. Draw your own conclusions as to what our next moves should be. I guess we're all hoping that Obama will become president and he'll do the decent thing and withdraw troops and imperial hostilities but the war has become quite profitable and with his FISA turnaround everything he says

July 22

I'm not sure, but I think by federal law and or decree and or executive order I have to go see the new Batman movie tomorrow. Well, all right. As I have often stated, I have the same respect for the law as the current president of the United States therefore...

A Before I Enjoy Heath Ledger's Psychotic Onslaught Around the Internets

Lots of interesting news on the election fraud front. This is my Pittsburgh beat because nobody at the respectable corporate media outlets thinks you being robbed of the franchise merits even a graph or two. Some highlights: Bradblog reports on the reopening of the 2004 Ohio Election Fraud case. It mentions Karl Rove by name and a hacker who explains the truth of our election systems:

Spoonamore on vote counting: "What happens at the end of the day, all those votes are thrown into a magic box with one troll inside, the troll jumps out and says 'Here are your results! Ta-Da!!' That's it. There's no validation of the code, there's no authentication.

"With the Connelly Anomaly, if that was in a banking environment, instantaneously --- instantaneously! --- the entire system inside that box would be frozen. Any programmer who reviewed any of that code would be alerted, all the executives assisting in that process would be alerted, the hard drives would be frozen in place, extracted and immediately placed in forensic analysis. 'Cause somebody did something major."

Spoonamore again: "None of us [the American people] really want to confront the fact that there appears to be an extremely coordinated effort by a very small group of people to rig elections and take control of the executive branch."

"You can spend all day every day looking at this stuff and saying, 'Well that would certainly launch a fraud investigation in a bank, but it doesn't when it comes to our vote.' Why?"

When asked by a reporter to respond to the fact that both Democratic and Republican Secretaries of State and elected officials will say that our elections are run on a bi-partisan system, Spoonamore responded, "No it's not. It's not a bi-partisan system. This entire system is being programmed in secret by programmers who have no oversight by anybody. In my opinion, both sides [Democrats and Republicans] have no friggin' clue what they're talking about."

"The person who programs the code inside the machine will decide the results."

Spoonamore was asked, "Are you a Republican?" And his priceless response was "Yes, I've been a life-long member of the Republican party. Sadly." That prompted a burst of laughter from all assembled.

Related: Allegation of Arizona election fraud. More Related: Go watch the Mark Crispen talk with the real journalists behind "Loser Take All". Try here, here and here.

In an effort to help Atrios, who desperately needs my help apparently, here's how McCain defines "winning in Iraq": We kill all the sand niggers we want and we steal their oil by putting a gun to Maliki's head and making him sign that Iraqi oil agreement which gives away their oil to our multinationals, which often aren't nationalistic if you've noticed your gas bill lately suckers.

Now, look, and I don't want to sound un-American, but if that's his definition, and I'm actually pretty sure that it is, then I prefer that we lose in Iraq. Big time. Go ahead. Claim I'm an enemy combatant and lock me up without trial indefinitely. Ha ha ha. Never in America right...

July 17

The Watchmen trailer is here. Looks pretty cool

 

Link: sevenload.com

July 14th

Speaking of fascism, Chris Floyd puts together the dots globally (with a focus on the neofascists in Italy) and tells us that there are no center left parties in most of the industrialized nations of the world. They've all been co-opted. When things like that happen across the globe perhaps its inappropriate to call them "accidents".

II.
But Milne makes a further point. The rise of neo-fascism in Italy, and elsewhere, is tied to the collapse -- or rather the surrender -- of center-left parties to the pernicious doctrines of the Right. Everywhere, these parties --- Democrats in America, Labour in the UK, various Social Democrats throughout Europe – have turned themselves into pale copies of conservative parties, adopting policies that have degraded society, destroyed communities, entrenched injustice, rewarded greed, poisoned the earth, embraced militarism and aggression, inflicted vast suffering on developing nations (through the straightjacket of "market reforms," i.e., corporate-crony welfare), subverted democracy, diminished liberty and gutted the very notion of the common good.

[Yet we are being too kind in calling this process a "surrender." As Arthur Silber has pointed out many times, the Democrats – and New Labour and other craven centre-left parties – have embraced the Right's agenda of elitist domination, militarism and scorn for the common good because they agree with it. Any figures with genuinely "progressive" views have been winnowed out or marginalized by the big money machines that run the parties. Such people are always a minority amongst the self-interested factions who vie for domination over a nation's affairs, of course. But there used to be a more substantial minority of such folks in U.S. politics, with enough leverage to sometimes affect national policy and even score some successes. But this strain has been almost completely bred out, as we have seen in the latest Democratic Congress – the most reviled and unpopular Congress in American history.]

And there's this:

In the current U.S. presidential campaign, we can see this dynamic of center-left collaboration with the Right – which has been going on for almost a quarter-century in America – playing itself out once again. Barack Obama's "surge" to the Right – as exemplified by his vote for the tyrannical FISA measure – is just another iteration of this process. Likewise, his embrace of the Terror War; true, he wants to do it more "efficiently," and perhaps add a few more targets – in Pakistan, say – but he still wants to do it. He makes no bones about continuing this militarist project which has already killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, bankrupted the national treasury, and is now – through the Terror War oil price spike – strangling the entire national economy. All of this – especially the Terror War's continuing brutalization and coarsening of the national ethos – is meet food for neo-fascism to feed upon.

And it's already gorging itself in its ancestral homeland. Rounding up Gypsy children, fingerprinting them, driving them from their homes, applauding pogroms -- as Faulkner said, the past is never dead; it's not even past.

 

July 11 (major reverse pych fail!)

Above: How I feel about the blue dogs. (Eww. Can they make his teeth any yellower?)Also: Don't give to Barry. Give to the ACLUDon't reward Barry for doing evil and bowing down. Below: How I feel about the war and the mentality of the people who started it. Note to moving to the center City Paper: Derf and Red Meat aren't as funny as Tom the Dancing Bug. When Ruben is on he's The Funny.

July 6 (*My reverse psychology worked! I probably won't post anything until Friday night....)

Best July 4th Reads
 




First, from Undernews (And above Sam's vid about his failed generation. Priceless yet sad.):

from an ad in the NY Times
 

INDEPENDENCE DAY
July 4, 1776 - 2008

When in the course of human events the government becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established, it is the Right of the People to alter it and demand restoration of those Constitutional Principles that have so long assured their Liberty, Safety, and Happiness. Therefore, on the anniversary of our Independence, we offer this new declaration for our times.

The history of this president is one of arbitrary usurpations of power, the effect of which is to establish tyranny through false promises of gerater security.

He has created a multitude of secret programs and sent swarms of petty officers to spy on Americans in a misguided effort to combat foreign terrorism. He has invested these agents with sweeping new powers to monitor our conversations and ransack our personal papers and effects without judicial supervision or any reason to believe -- as the Constitution requires -- that a crime has been committed.

He has further claimed the power to disregard legislation that Congress has passed.

He has suspended the laws and treaties against torture, authorized the kidnapping of mere suspects, and transported hundreds of prisoners beyond seas so that no independent judiciary could question the legality of their mistreatment.

He and his supporters in Congress have granted amnesty to the officials who unleashed torture and humiliation upon helpless prisoners, to the disgrace of our nation.

He has denied these prisoners access to attorneys, family, and friends and has claimed the right to try them before military tribunals specifically designed to disregard the most basic principles of law.

He has imprisoned thousands of lawful immigrants for months without charges, under brutal conditions, until his agents, rather than independent courts, decide that they posed no threat.

He has wrapped his usurpations of power and his deprivations of liberty in thick cloaks of secrecy, thereby showing contempt for the rule of law and the proper functions of Congress, the courts, and the press.

At every stage of these oppressions we have sought redress, but our petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.

We, therefore, resolve to resist these usurpations by all lawful means at our disposal. We insist that the powers of our national government be shared by all branches of that government and not concentrated in one alone. And we call upon Congress, the courts, and the press to reassert their constitutional functions and restore the promise that is America.

To these ends, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor

And Steve D over at the Booman Tribune:

What Makes You Proud of America?

by Steven D
Fri Jul 4th, 2008 at 09:39:38 AM EST

There are many things I would list as things which make me proud of my country. I'm proud, for example that the first non-white candidate for the Presidency will be nominated to head the ticket of one of our two major parties. I'm proud that we have the freedom of speech to say what we want, including expressing our opinions on our blogs. However, one of the things of which our Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice claims she is most proud, would not be on my list.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she's "proud'' of the U.S. decision to wage the Iraq war and insisted that the world is not more dangerous than it was when George W. Bush took office.

"We're now beginning to see that perhaps it's not so popular to be a suicide bomber. We're beginning to see that perhaps people are questioning whether Osama Bin Laden ought to really be the face of Islam,'' Rice, 53, said in an interview to be broadcast this weekend on Bloomberg Television's "Conversations with Judy Woodruff."

"And I am proud of the decision of this administration to overthrow Saddam Hussein," said Rice, who was Bush's national security adviser at the time of the March 2003 invasion. As of yesterday, 4,107 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq and more than 30,000 were wounded. She said the Iraq war has been "tougher than any of us really dreamed."

Well, I guess some people have no shame. They don't mind being proud that they lied us into an unnecessary war of aggression in violation of the UN Charter against a foe who was no threat to our security. An illegal war which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people, and made millions more refugees. A war in which we have tortured and abused prisoners, burned to death innocent women and children with napalm and white phosphorus weapons, poisoned others with depleted uranium, destroyed the infrastructure of an entire country leaving lakes of sewage visible from space, and committed war crimes on a regular basis. Not what I'd be proud about. But then I'm not a lying sycophant who licks George Bush's boots, and considers him my surrogate husband, either.

One day, if there is any justice in the world Madam Secretary, you will be tried for your crimes against humanity. If not, I can only hope that, if there is a God, he, she or it will provide you with a suitable and eternal punishment for your many terrible sins.

Oh, and Happy Independence Day to you, too

 

 

Holiday Weekend Around The Internets (Nothing Until Sunday Night or Later)

Tom the Dancing Bug, now seen mostly here since the City Paper has betrayed all that is good and funny in this evil evil world, can be seen above. Appropriate for the holiday. Below: New band I like called "She Wants Revenge". I think the lead singer is black or of mixed race. The band sounds a lot like Interpol. I thought it was Interpol. You just don't see or hear that everyday.

 

 

Link: sevenload.com

 

 

 

What Greenwald Said Over At Salon

His work on FISA has been outstanding as well. Here he takes on the thing that can't be named in most corporate media outlets.

Anti-semitism" accusations have been cynically exploited for so long by right-wing advocates as a bludgeon to silence debates over Middle East policy and for cheap political gain that the accusation has become trivialized to the point of irrelevance. Most ironically of all, the ADL -- whose ostensible central mission is to battle the trivialization of anti-Semitism and Nazism -- has played a leading role in this degradation, constantly exploiting its once-credible imprimatur in highly politicized ways which have nothing to do with real anti-semitism (such as Klein's perfectly legitimate commentary) and everything to do with promoting a hard-line policy in the Middle East and against Iran which is now one of the ADL's top priorities.

Smearing people as anti-Semites for cheap political gain is repellent in its own right and merits a response. But this tactic is particularly dangerous now, as the pressure is obviously being ratcheted up in numerous circles to pursue a far more bellicose policy towards Iran. Responding to the types of disgusting smears that are in Rubin's column and many other places, Obama not only appeared before AIPAC last month and vowed that "the danger from Iran is grave, it is real, and my goal will be to eliminate this threat"; that Iran's "Quds force has rightly been labeled a terrorist organization"; and "I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon," but also, when asked last week by a Fox News host to play a "word association game" whereby he should say the first word that comes into his mind, Obama -- when the word was "Iran" -- responded as follows: "threat."

Whether Iran is really a threat to the U.S. (as opposed to Israel) is an absolutely critical matter to examine. It's just not tolerable to allow polemicists from Commentary and Weekly Standard to run around using the "dual loyalty" argument and "anti-semitism" smear to try to manipulate American Jews into voting for McCain and supporting hard-line policies toward Iran, while simultaneously screaming "anti-Semite" at those who argue that an attack on Iran would serve (and is motivated by) Israeli interests, not America's interests. That is a perfectly legitimate issue -- a central issue -- to be freely discussed.

What I Said Over at Booman's

I still agree with this. I will vote tactically until a viable third party comes along, if ever. But I won't be a stenographer for the king. I will criticize bad policy no matter who supports it.

Re: Obama Responds on FISA (4.00 / 2)

One more thing: all that consultation with Jeff and Chris doesn't mean smack without the filibuster. The republicans, evil as they are, will fight tooth and nail for business interests. They use the filibuster so much I've lost count. And they do it because they represent evil and they believe in evil. The least good for the least in number is their mantra. Meanwhile, the dems reflect the old Richard Hofstadter argument in that the GOP appears more authentic because they really openly represent evil, where dems cave and mess around and flippity flop and in true Clintonian style usually end up supporting evil too. The Dems have become a business party that only pretends to give a fuck about the "common" people. It's also why the public sees them as vacillating and weak. Deservedly so I might add.

Here's a great opportunity for the dems to show their spine on one issue. Hard to see other issues they're showing spine on. And you think when we have 61 or 95 dems (in the senate) that would change with the current leadership? 39 Republicans and handful of dems will continue to do the devils work. It will be the mich sens and Mary when real alt fuel and cafe standards are proposed. Insurance companies will put the lock on Chris when the overall Obama plan fails and the plan b Medicaid for everyone option is floated. They'll get our guy bob casey and those awful southern dem senators on the social issues stuff...

One final thing: a very wise man, Nathan Newman, said that the dems should have used the fillibuster when they were in the minority and gladly let the republican majority strip it from them. Now that looks pretty good. But what happened is that DLC/AIPAC duopoly essentially preserved the right of the fillibuster for the republicans to use in case some wacko decided to try and pass a bill that would help the public...I'm not mad at anybody and I intend to vote for Barry but this is the reality. No substantive change in our lives will come from this government. There's other things that can be done though...one or two of them anyway. Hope space exploration makes a singularity like leap and I'm off to Mars. I hear the soil is good for asparagus..

Actually, after reading that, I am mad at somebody.

by pshropshire on Thu Jul 3rd, 2008 at 05:54:49 PM EST

Listen to this article. Powered by Odiogo.com

Testing my new sound capabilities.

June 28

Did you know that the war with Iran has been war gamed? Have you wondered what the future  results would be? Well, they're not pretty. In fact, the results read like a bad science fiction scenario that you wouldn't like to live in. Except you would be living in it. This is from a site called Global Research. I put the super scary parts in highlighted yellow. Enjoy:

  1. One thing the Pentagon routinely does (and does very well) is conduct war games. Top brass there are constantly developing strategies for conducting any number of theoretical missions based on real or perceived threats to our national security or vital interests. This was also done prior to the invasion of Iraq, but the Bush administration chose not to listen to the dire warnings about that mission given to him by Pentagon leaders, or for that matter, by his own senior intelligence officials. Nevertheless, war gaming is in full swing again right now with the bullseye just to the right of our current mess – Iran.

  2. It’s no secret that the U.S. is currently putting the finishing touches on several contingency plans for attacking Iranian nuclear and military facilities. With our ground forces stretched to the breaking point in Iraq and Afghanistan, none of the most likely scenarios involve a ground invasion. Not that this administration wouldn’t prefer to march into the seat of Shiite Islam behind a solid, moving line of M1 Abrams tanks and proclaim the country for democracy. The fact is that even the President knows we can’t pull that off any more so he and the neo-cons will have to settle for Shock and Awe Lite.

  3. If we invade Iran this year it will be done using hundreds of sorties by carrier based aircraft already stationed in the Persian Gulf and from land based aircraft located in Iraq and Qatar. They will strike the known nuclear facilities located in and around Tehran and the rest of the country as well as bases containing major units of the Iranian military, anti-aircraft installations and units of the Revolutionary Guard (a separate and potent Iranian para-military organization).

  4. Will this military action stop Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons? Probably not. It will probably not even destroy all of their nuclear research facilities, the most sensitive of which are known to be underground, protected by tons of earth and reinforced concrete and steel designed to survive almost all attacks using conventional munitions. The Iranian military and Revolutionary Guard will most likely survive as well, although they will suffer significant casualties and major bases and command centers will undoubtedly be destroyed. However, since Iran has both a functioning Air Force, Navy (including submarines) and modern anti-aircraft capabilities, U.S. fighter-bombers will suffer casualties as well. This will not be a "Cake Walk" as with the U.S. led invasion of Iraq in 2003 when the Iraqi Army simply melted away and the Iraqi Air Force never even launched a single aircraft.

  5. Not even close.

  6. If the United States attacks Iran either this summer or this fall, the American people had better be prepared for a shock that may perhaps be even greater to the national psyche (and economy) than 9/11. First of all, there will be significant U.S. casualties in the initial invasion. American jets will be shot down and the American pilots who are not killed will be taken prisoner - including female pilots. Iranian Yakhonts 26, Sunburn 22 and Exocet missiles will seek out and strike U.S. naval battle groups bottled up in the narrow waters of the Persian Gulf with very deadly results. American sailors will be killed and U.S. ships will be badly damaged and perhaps sunk. We may even witness the first attack on an American Aircraft carrier since World War II.

    That’s just the opening act.

  7. Israel (who had thus far stayed out of the fray by letting the U.S. military do the heavy lifting) is attacked by Hezbollah in a coordinated and large scale effort. Widespread and grisly casualties effectively paralyze the nation, a notion once thought impossible. Iran’s newest ally in the region, Syria, then unleashes a barrage of over 200 Scud B, C and D missiles at Israel, each armed with VX gas. Since all of Israel is within range of these Russian built weapons, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and virtually all major civilian centers and several military bases are struck, often with a result of massive casualties.

  8. The Israeli Air Force orders all three squadrons of their F-16I Sufa fighter/bombers into the air with orders to bomb Tehran and as many military and nuclear bases as they can before they are either shot down or run out of fuel. It is a one way trip for some of these pilots. Their ancient homeland lies in ruins. Many have family that is already dead or dying. They do not wait for permission from Washington, DC or U.S. regional military commanders. The Israeli aircraft are carrying the majority of their country’s nuclear arsenal under their wings.

  9. Just after the first waves of U.S. bombers cross into Iranian airspace, the Iranian Navy, using shore based missiles and small, fast attack craft sinks several oil tankers in the Straits of Hormuz, sealing off the Persian Gulf and all its oil from the rest of the world. They then mine the area, making it difficult and even deadly for American minesweepers to clear the straits. Whatever is left of the Iranian Navy and Air Force harasses our Navy as it attempts minesweeping operations. More U.S casualties.

  10. The day after the invasion Wall Street (and to a lesser extent, Tokyo, London and Frankfurt) acts as it always does in an international crisis – irrational speculative and spot buying reaches fever pitch and sends the cost of oil skyrocketing. In the immediate aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iran, the price of oil goes to $200.00 - $300.00 dollars a barrel on the open market. If the war is not resolved in a few weeks, that price could rise even higher.  This will send the price of gasoline at the pump in this country to $8.00-$10.00 per gallon immediately and subsequently to even higher unthinkable levels.

  11. If that happens, this country shuts down. Most Americans are not be able to afford gas to go to work. Truckers pull their big rigs to the side of the road and simply walk away. Food, medicine and other critical products are not be brought to stores. Gas and electricity (what is left of the short supply) are too expensive for most people to afford. Children, the sick and elderly die from lack of air-conditioned homes and hospitals in the summer. Children, the sick and elderly die in the winter for lack of heat. There are food riots across the country. A barter system takes the place of currency and credit as the economy dissolves and banks close or limit withdrawals. Civil unrest builds.

  12. The police are unable to contain the violence and are themselves victims of the same crisis as the rest of the population. Civilian rule dissolves and Martial Law is declared under provisions approved under the Patriot Act. Regular U.S. Army and Marine troops patrol the streets. The federal government apparatus is moved to an unknown but secure location. The United States descends into chaos and becomes a third world country. Its time as the lone superpower is over.

  13. It doesn’t get any worse than this.

    Then the first Israeli bomber drops its nuclear payload on Tehran.

Here are some questions that aren't asked or answered in this scenario. I'll ask them just for fun. I am an aspiring science fiction writer afterall.  What if Iran and Syria already have a dozen or so tactical nukes acquired through the black market or the Soviets or Khan. What would be the incentive not to use them? Better to die on your feet as they say. Israel wouldn't use nuclear weapons first and would wait for Syria to devastate them (graph 7)? That's because they've shown so much caution and humanity in the past? Right. Would the United States Oil Barons (disguised as the office of the Presidency) even allow Israel to retaliate and possibly irradiate the oil fields? I suppose it would be karmic payback for the United States to attack Israel after all the fine work that AIPAC has done. What is the scope of the Iranian UAV program? How many do they have and what are their payloads? What's worse, as I can imagine one hitting the block where I live, they would be in the right. They would be defending themselves against horrible imperialistic American monsters. I couldn't even legitimately hate them. They have a right to defend themselves as we all do.  Finally, this looks like the manufactured shock doctrine that Naomi Klein warned us about in graph 12.  It's a perfect prologue for a fascist dictatorship. You would just need leaders evil enough to initiate the story.

Phil's Deep Thought, Not At All Related to Atrios' Deep Thought, which is Not At All Related to Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts

I'm kind of glad that the Supreme Court ruled against handgun bans. Criminals would have access to guns because they're criminals. I really think those bans are aimed at otherwise law abiding citizens. One problem with the fascist scenario is that we're armed to the teeth. Not that your handgun would do well against, say, a military helicopter, but against Ravenwood Blackwater types..... Well...better to die on your feet. Related: Still think the solution to gun violence is the mass proliferation of bullet resistant shields and body armor.

Agree With Fake Anonymous Vid About Nader Run
 



I can also testify that getting sigs for Nader's campaign in Pennsylvania is like pulling teeth. I would be shocked if he made the ballot. I really wish he would redirect his efforts toward a relatively winnable senate or even house seat. Could you run for governor first? On the other hand, does Obama have to turn this far right? Or, as the Field Negro points out--don't bother going to Oliver Willis for balanced commentary jeebus (he has to be on the Obama payroll):
 

"O" man WTF? File this post under might piss Obamaholics off. But you addicts need to know that your boy is seriously starting to piss me off as well. I mean honest to god, why do I feel like I am being subjected to the Chinese water torture technique every time I listen to the "O" man lately? His FISA vote. Drip. His theocratic tilt. Drip. His going Sista Souljah on Father's Day. Drip. His [non]-universal health care plan.Drip. Paying off the Ice Queen's debt. Drip. And now this latest little gem. "O" man tell me you are not agreeing with Thomas, Scalia, and the other supremes in the minority on this death penalty decision? Look folks, I know that the "O" man has his own mind, and we aren't going to agree on everything. Lord knows I don't necessarily want him to go along with the liberal orthodoxy. But lately it just seems like he is messing with the shit that I really care about. Things like civil liberties, and keeping the church and our state separated.
 

labels: , ,

Here's how I feel about the bipartisan FISA compromise. Its just that I'm beginning to think that if you have dual loyalties (you want to thank the republicans for this great proxy war against Iraq right?) or you're a corporate dem like Jason Altmire that you like being a bottom just a bit too much. From Paul Conrad:

June 26

Well, I think the thing that worries people, is that he did offer to be kind of a change agent and, well, that’s not change. A filibuster would be nice. I don’t know. I guess the question is if he can’t fight this why would he do the things that would actually improve the economy (massive infrastructure rebuilding would be a great start) or actually do things that would stop the war. Can he say he doesn’t want 58 bases in Iraq or some horrible iraqi contract that the Iraqis sign under duress?

I mean, the people that like the war are the evil AIPAC/DLC duopoly that runs the dems, or enough dems so that we can’t change anything significant, or the rahms, schumers, Leibermans, hoyers and fords of this world. Here’s a nice chance to show what a real deal change agent looks like and that they won’t be running his white house explaining how we have to fund the evil war that everybody hates…Don’t get me wrong. He’s still better than Hillary and McCain…I guess the question is by how much and is it significant…

Quote taken from a comment I made at Oliver Willis' website

June 22

Rest in peace George Carlin.

June 19

I have been a critic of Mr. Markos but when he's right he's right. Fight back against the FISA bill. It would also be nice if Obama, our presumptive nominee, would stand tall on this one. I do think that this statement by Markos would be scarier if he had added at the end: "We do not forgive. We do not forget."

A warning to pro-capitulation House Dems

Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 12:52:12 PM PDT

When we started this "netroots" thing, we worked to get "more and better Democrats" elected. At first, we focused on the "more" part. This year, we're focusing a bit more on the "better" part. And in 2010, we'll have enough Democrats in the House to exclusively focus on the "better" part.

That means primary challenges. And as we decide who to take on, let it be known that this FISA vote will loom large.

Voting to give telecommunication companies retroactive immunity may not guarantee a primary challenge, but it will loom quite large.

We kicked Joe Lieberman out of the caucus. We got rid of Al Wynn this year. Those were test runs, so to speak. We've got a lot more of that ready to unleash in 2010.

And from McJoan.

FISA Fight: Capitulation Reached

Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:55:06 AM PDT

Hoyer has a done deal, according to CQ.com (sub. req.):

A final deal has been reached on a rewrite of electronic surveillance rules and will be announced Thursday, two congressional aides said.

The aides said the House is likely to take up the legislation Friday....

As of Wednesday, sources said the new bill would allow a federal district court to decide whether to provide retroactive legal immunity to telecommunications companies being sued for their role in the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program....One source said the federal district court deciding on retroactive immunity would review whether there was "substantial evidence" the companies had received assurances from the government that the administration’s program was legal.

That means, of course, de facto amnesty for the telcos. The federal district court would not be deciding on the legality of the program, they would be limited to determining if the White House showed the telcos a piece of paper saying that the warrantless program was legal enough--which we already know. They're going to try to justify it with that "substantial evidence" business, as if defining that piece of paper as "substantial" somehow makes the fact that they are directing the court to make its decision, regardless of the law, not a travesty.

Call Barack Obama and urge him to make a public statement reiterating his opposition to telco amnesty. His opposition could kill this deal: Phone  (202) 224-2854, Fax (202) 228-4260

Call Steny Hoyer and tell him this is a bad deal: Phone (202) 225-4131, Fax (202) 225-4300

Call Nancy Pelosi and urge her to pull the bill from the House schedule:  Phone (202) 225-4965, Fax (202) 225-8259

Call your representative and tell them to vote no on the FISA rewrite tomorrow.

Update: More contact numbers below the fold.

Update II: Glenn has a copy of the bill:

The provision granting telecom amnesty, Title VIII, has the exact Orwellian title it should have: "Protection of Persons Assisting the Government." Section 802(a) provides:

[A] civil action may not lie or be maintained in a Federal or State court against any person for providing assistance to an element of the intelligence community, and shall be properly dismissed, if the Attorney General certifies to the district court of the United States in which such action is pending that . . . (4) the assistance alleged to have been provided . . . was --

(A) in connection with intelligence activity involving communications that was (i) authorized by the President during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, and ending on January 17, 2007 and (ii) designed to prevent or detect a terrorist attack, or activities in preparation of a terrorist attack, against the United States" and

(B) the subject of a written request or directive . . . indicating that the activity was (i) authorized by the President; and (ii) determined to be lawful.

So all the Attorney General has to do is recite those magic words -- the President requested this eavesdropping and did it in order to save us from the Terrorists -- and the minute he utters those words, the courts are required to dismiss the lawsuits against the telecoms, no matter how illegal their behavior was.

That's the "compromise" Steny Hoyer negotiated and which he is now -- according to very credible reports -- pressuring every member of the Democratic caucus to support. It's full-scale, unconditional amnesty with no inquiry into whether anyone broke the law.

June 17

Sometimes when you're looking for porn you run into a really talented artist or two. This is one of those talented artists.

As people may or may not know, I've filed a claim against Working America and their Pittsburgh canvass director Jenn Jannon at the appropriate state and federal agencies. That will probably turn into a lawsuit where I sue them for, oh, let's say around $3 million dollars. I simply report this as a statement of fact, offered as a constructive assessment. I've also been using the Power of Greyskull the Internets to do some preliminary discovery because I need some basic questions answered. So I asked this question, which I think was kind of a balanced and neutral inquiry, over at Indy Media.

Thoughts on Working America and Jenn Jannon?
by Philip Shropshire Sunday, Apr. 27, 2008 at 10:56 AM
pshropshire@yahoo.com (email address validated)

I'm curious about this community's experiences with Working America.

I'm currently involved in some litigation with Working America. Since this is the hub of progressive Pittsburgh I was wondering what experiences people here have had with Working America and their manager Jennifer Jannon. Or any of its field managers such as Chris West or David Ninehouser. All experiences, quotas, job expectations and overall impressions of the organization good bad or indifferent would be appreciated.

Sincerely,

Philip Shropshire
http://www.threeriversonline.com

PS: I'm also curious about the other year round canvass as well: The Clean Water Action Project.

The reason I say it was balanced is that people could have said wonderful things about the leadership of Jenn Jannon and her stewardship of Working America. But I must objectively report that this has not been the case. In fact, if the statements of these two anonymous posters are true--and I must stress that I do not know for a fact that they are true but it would certainly seem to be fair material for discovery purposes (and I have since learned their names)--then Jenn Jannon is nothing short of a psychopath. I offer that last statement as a critique and under the assumption that those anonymous statements might be true. I look forward to deposing Jenn so she can set me straight on this issue

You can read the entirety of their statements here and here over at Mirror Universe. Let me offer a few excerpts in case you were wondering why the labor movement is losing ground.

Here's the first anonymous worker who offers his critical assessment that I'm simply reporting on.

I Worked at WA
by Anonymous Tuesday, Apr. 29, 2008 at 12:06 PM

I started working there in Summer 2006.

I thought that Working America, like most anything else, had both positive and negative aspects. What was positive was that they were establishing badly-needed community connections for the labor movement. The pay was good and the work was interesting. I made many friends through the
experience.

But I also think there were big problems with the way Working America operated. At best, some of the things
that were done made little sense in either business or
political terms; at worst, rights of both the
canvassed and the canvassers were seriously violated.

The most obvious problem is that rules were arbitrarily applied. We were supposed to keep things "positive and progressive"; but Jannon would swear in front of large crowds, sexual harassment was alleged against one of the Field Managers, and anti-gay slurs were used around me (by an FM who thought I would be "cool" with it).

This arbitrariness was particularly troubling when it came to things like, say, checking up on addresses of
members. Jannon would claim that there were "red flags" concerning the veracity of some canvassers' information based merely on whether or not she liked them. This is evidenced by the fact that the very canvassers who *really did* blatantly make shit up somehow managed to never raise any suspicions.

You are expected to lie to people. We were instructed to tell them that it was "just for verification purposes", which is not even remotely true. This is just one example of FMs violating rules and encouraging others to do the same; this also extended to, say, do-not-knocks, which would consistently be ignored.

There was also this troubling remark. You know, and I offer this as a cautious "critique", when people within the office refer to you as "Hitler", then maybe you're not a very good manager. You never know.

(By the way, "critique" is defined, for possible future legal purposes in a defense against a completely baseless claim of a release violation, this way:

1. A critical review or commentary, especially one dealing with works of art or literature.
2. A critical discussion of a specified topic.
3. The art of criticism.
tr.v. cri·tiqued, cri·tiqu·ing, cri·tiques Usage Problem
To review or discuss critically.)


It was rumored that Jenn Jannon had a reputation as a
slave driver with other managers, leading them to
nickname her "Hitler". She hurled such abuse at the
previous office manager (the one before Erin -- can't
remember her name) that she would get physically ill
from stress, and eventually quit.

Oh my. How disturbing, which I again offer as critical assessment. Now, this next person's statement, again I stress I don't have all the information and Jenn Jannon certainly has a right to tell her story while being deposed--hopefully under a series of three to five hot lights that give off a painful glare and blink intermittedly--but if this statement is true then this person would have a legitimate sexual discrimination claim against Jenn Jannon. This is, again, constructive assessment or "critique". (See earlier definition.) You might ask, if you're a woman, can you sue another woman for sexual discrimination, or disparate treatment technically, under state and federal civil rights laws. Why, as a matter of fact, you can! We learn something thrilling and new here every day at Three Rivers Online.

The truth
by anonymous Saturday, Jun. 07, 2008 at 1:35 PM
 

I was employed with Working America from October of 2005 until November of 2006.

During that time, one of the field managers had expressed a romantic interest in me. I liked him a lot but he had a girlfriend at the time so the situation was awkward and uncomfortable for me and I began avoiding him. I did not tell the Canvass Director, Jenn Jannon, how he was acting towards me or what he had said to me because I did like the guy and didn't want to get him in any kind of trouble.

One of the other canvassers, who had noticed that this man was obviously interested in me and confronted me about that, also noticed that there was tension between the two of us. She then proceeded to spread rumors and gossip.

Around that time, Jenn had offered me a position as a field manager. I told her I needed a few weeks to think about it and eventually I accepted the position.

Then Jenn heard the rumors. I was called into her office and she completely humiliated me. She told me I was no longer needed as a field manager because she had heard some gossip about me and one of the field managers. I asked her what she had heard and she said that she couldn't tell me because the person that had told her these rumors had told her in confidence.

Later, I was informed that I was no longer eligible for cross train opportunities because I may have to go on a cross train with this field manager and she didn't want us to be alone together. I was humiliated once again.

Although I hadn't done anything wrong, I was denied management and cross train opportunities based solely on gossip and innuendo.

At a later date, Jenn asked me straight out what occurred between myself and this field manager. I told her that he and I had a misunderstanding, that he made comments that were upsetting to me, that he had apologized and that I wouldn't discuss the situation further since it happened in a car, outside of work.

The office temporarily shut down after the election in 2006 and was to re-open in August of 2007. I decided not to go back since I presumed that Jenn would continue to unfairly deny me management opportunities.

In the spring of 2007, I interviewed for a position with the Steelworkers' Union. The man who interviewed me said that I was a good match for the job and that he was interested in me. He asked if he could speak with Jenn concerning me. I said yes because, since I hadn't done anything wrong and was a dedicated, hard working individual, she would haven't any reason to not give me a glowing reference. Also, it's illegal for an employee to make negative comments about a former employee when asked for a reference.

The man from the Steelworkers spoke to Jen and then emailed me saying he was no longer interested in hiring me. Clearly, Jenn had said something derogatory about me which, as I stated earlier is illegal.

I'm thinking about getting an attorney and going to the press with my story.

Jenn Jannon works for the AFL-CIO and is attempting to prevent a single mother from making a living!
 

Now, again, I don't know if these claims are true or not, but if they are true--and they should be carefully investigated by any organization that thinks itself responsible--let alone one that's supposed to be fighting for the "working man" or "working single mother" in this case--then Working America should fire Jenn Jannon, otherwise allegedly known as "Hitler". The reason why there isn't a viable left in the United States is that so many of our institutions are very very bad to work for. ACORN has massive problems. (They just won't or don't like paying their people on time.) The PIRGs are run by Nader psychopaths. Grassroots Inc. seems to be  mostly a money making venture that cares not a whit about the rights of working people. All of these critiques have been well outlined in a book called Activism Inc. Before you even attempt to work for any of those organizations you should probably read it. A single mother. If true, then that's truly horrible. I again offer the aforestated as "critique".

By the way, if Working America or Jenn Jannon wants a say here, I offer a place for commentary here and the comments are also enabled at Mirror Universe. I won't edit what you say but I will feel free to comment on any inaccuracies in the spirit of "critique", defined earlier.

Related: I am very seriously thinking about starting a field canvass here in Pittsburgh. I did that once before in Indiana but that was before the World Wide Web. Now, with a lot of effort and a lot of luck, we could become a Moveon like organization. The change has to start somewhere.

June 16

I received a press release about Schenley High School. I'm going to repost it here. This is from Tim Stevens and BPEP.

Monday, June 16, 2008, 6:30pm, Press Conference
Pittsburgh Board of Education 341 S. Bellefield Avenue - Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Save Schenley Advocates "Speak Truth to Power"
 
CONTACTS:  Tim Stevens: (412) 758-7898 and Kathy Fine(412) 361-7904
Visual for Press Conference: Large Poster with Report Card that show grades for the School District Administrators, School Board, Students, Parents and Community.
 
ADVOCATES DEMAND THAT SCHENLEY HIGH SCHOOL BE SAVED FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS AND THAT ALL SPENDING STOP UNTIL THERE IS A PLAN FOR COMPREHENSIVE HIGH SCHOOL REFORM.
 

(Read the rest of the press release over at Mirror Universe.)
 

Related: And Mark Rauterkus, my fellow Penn Hills High School graduate, has been writing a lot about this as well. You can find his comments here, here and here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 12

 

Amusing graduation speeches from your more interesting cartoon characters. Link stolen from the Comic Book Reporter.

I should have some more stuff up by later tonight, around midnight.

Amusing graduation speeches from your more interesting cartoon characters. Link stolen from the Comic Book Reporter.

I should have some more stuff up by later tonight, around midnight.

June 9

Other Vids Worth Checking Out That I Don't Feel Like Embedding Around the Internets

There are a ton of really useful videos that I've found during the last week that you might find very interesting.

Christopher Hitchens on Mormonism, part one and two. Remember: Hitchens is correct about atheism and completely wrong about Iraq. Vice versa where Chris Hedges is concerned.

New video about growing oil from algae. The only problem here is that these look like they're owned by the oil industry. But there are 16 of them so...we're looking for one independent that will allow us to grow our own.

New video about Guy Negre's air car. Ignore that asshole Glenn Beck. Also: aircar youtube site is here.

Rumors about Obama. Features nice Ray Charles vocal. Related: Anti McCain ad features scary exorcist music and Bond Villain foreboding.

From Democracy Now recently:

Owner of Free Press Speaks (McChesney), David "You Can't Handle The Truth" Iglesias on not prosecuting democratic party voter fraud, New David Sirota Book, New Book About Blackwater, Spies for Hire (new book), and Big Israel/Palistinian debate.These are just segments, for the most part, for longer interviews. Use your discretion.

From the Real News recently:

AIPAC and the American Right, Danny Glover's Very Cool Math Program for Minorities, Cluster Bombs segment (love this Real News commentator by the way), Arctic Powers Fight Over Resources (This can't be an accident. Did they want global warming to get at the resources?)

 

June 8

Oliver Willis who has been giving shameless and unhygienic fellatio very supportive of the Obama campaign has a nice roundup here.

 

Your Sunday service. I always thought Sam Harris was as good as a standup comic. Now he 'll get real competition. See video here.

June 6

New Get Your War Ons.

Related: From Hunter over at the Great Orange Satan's site.

It's The First Non-Race-Baiting Smear of The Campaign Season! Congratulations, GOP!

Fri Jun 06, 2008 at 06:45:54 AM PDT

Tom Delay, Indicted Republican: Unless he proves me wrong, [Obama] is a Marxist.

Hunter, Blogger: Unless he proves me wrong, Tom Delay lures children into his van with candy, gasses them to death with bug spray, and uses their powdered bones as an aphrodisiac when making love to all the animals at the San Antonio Sea World.

Prove me wrong, pal, prove me wrong.

On a more positive note, I want to congratulate Republicans on finally coming up with one (albeit inexplicable) smear against Obama that isn't just codespeak or awkward polite-company placeholder for "he's black. Scary!" Consider the recent dismal record:

Obama has a Kenyan father! (You know what color Kenyans are? Black!) Scary!
 

Obama might secretly be a Muslim! (You know what color Muslims are? Neither do I, but they might be black for all I know!) Scary!

Obama's middle name is ethnic sounding! Scary!
Obama attends a black church! With black people! Scary!

Obama needs to better prove his patriotism! (Waiver of proof granted if you are a white politician.) Scaaaary!
Obama needs to prove he understands the middle class, like [insert fabulously wealthy pasty white lawmaker here] undoubtably does. (Because black people might not understand the middle class like rich white people do!) Scary again!
Obama can't bowl! (You know who else can't bowl? Terrorists -- I mean, black people!) Super scary!
Obama's wife, this one time, possibly was in the same room as Louis Farrakhan's wife! For a women's luncheon! With black people! Scaaaaary! Booga booga booga! Look, I'm holding a flashlight under my face right now! And there, on the handle of the car door, was a hook! Aaaaaagh!

Translation of all of the above: Oh my goodness, this guy might be African American or something. But we can't say that out loud, because it's the freaking twenty first century and we'd look like giant, bigoted jackasses.

Related: I talk politics n stuff with Maria over at 2 Political Junkies.

First, I start off the conversation with a friendly ice breaker just like Clarence Williams Page on one of them fancy pants network Sunday chat shows. (Imagine me wearing a bowtie!)

Ahem:

At 10:29 PM, Anonymous Philip Shropshire said...
Has Maria conceded yet? Or is she now, after failing to get the hard working white folk vote to rise up and/or some lone assassin to do their duty, pushing for Hillary as the VP? Those are the latest crazy time talking points to come out of the campaign.

Philip Shropshire
www.threeriversonline.com

PS: For the record, I sez no to Hillary as VP. Had she run a gracious upbeat final campaign she would have been a good choice but her judgment has been, quite simply, unfathomable. Good of the party? If she had the good of the party in mind she would have dropped out in March.
..

Then Maria, who is either Cokie Roberts or the fortiesh Helen Thomas, offers me a friendly policy based rejoinder that might even ruffle George Will's feathers.  Oh my. You never know.

At 6:08 AM, Blogger Maria said...
Oh Philip, I'm sure you can wile away your time waiting for that damn bitch Clinton to concede by publishing more porn. How dare she make you wait! You should probably go back to your Red Light District. Those women there are so much more willing and compliant. They ask nothing of you and have the added benefit of not being able to talk back -- or talk at all. But if that ain't doing it for you, you can always join in the "why doesn't someone just kill that bitch Hillary" fantasy of the guys over at CNN and MSNBC, I mean if you really want to get into assasination talk and all.

Then, after carefully weighing the evidence and adding up all the calculations she added one other ever so salient point:

At 6:21 AM, Blogger Maria said...
Philip,

Oh, I forgot to add:

FUCK YOU

Then, as Samuel Jackson said in a Shakespearean play or something: "Well, allow me to retort.":

At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Philip Shropshire said...
Maria: Ok, so that's a no on the concession? And did you have to insult the compliant splayed and often helpless women I post over at the Red Light District? Have you, sniff (authentic Hillary Clinton tears mind you) no decency ma'am?

Two: Here's a side bet: they'll be more women in the Obama cabinet than black men. Those are the "fruits" of affirmative action.

And that concludes our little episode of Politics N Stuff with Maria at 2 Political Junkies. Not at all a bitter woman.

Late night June 4

A cashier that I hope works at one of the Tri State's Targets. And now...

A Very Special Obama Has Clinched  Ding Dong The Wicked Witch is Dead  and Mother of the Imaginary God Do Not Make Her the VP Around the Internets

The African American James Coburn? And unlike certain republican presidents I'm pretty sure he reads books and understands them...

 

May 29

Above: What I would be reading online if I didn't have a book review to complete by Monday. Below: my old political activist buddy and ACT (America Coming Together) boss/partner Bob Harris is making some waves in Atlanta, where I understand there are some opportunities for the talented colored man. Bob is helping Ms. "Able"  take on Civil Rights legend John Lewis but from what I've read she's no slouch and John has endorsed Hillary--even though he isn't a hard working and legitimate white person--so the "legend" might be in some trouble. Wish Bob all the luck. Bob is the skinny bespectacled guy on the left whispering  helpful things into Mable's ear Lieberman/Machiavelli like...

 From the Skeptical Brotha:

She becomes the second serious challenger to Lewis, the first being Markel Hutchins, a community activist and minister.  This marks the second time Thomas has challenged Lewis. Representative Thomas lost badly in 1992 and won less than 25% of the vote.  Able Mabel is a serious politician having served in both the Georgia House of Representatives and the Atlanta City Council.  She is also a progressive legislator having twice passed legislation to increase Georgia’s homestead exemption to protect low income and elderly people from losing their homes. She, like Hutchins, frames the contest in generational terms, I believe that, at the end of the day, that my opponent is not only beatable, but my opponent should — right now — just get out of the race and let a new generation come forth.”

May 27

 

Go read now. Special six or seven page Alan Moore/Daniel Torres version of the Spirit. It's the far future.

Go watch. Great Tom Morello interview. Here is someone who, like Cory Doctorow, I like more as a person than as an artist, even though he is a great great guitarist.  Funniest line: "As the other half Kenyan half Harvard educated person from Illinois who isn't running for president..." Run Tom Run. I hear there might be a senate seat opening up in Illinois...Related: Not that impressed with the acoustic Nightwatchmen vid at the end. He's not a bad singer and I like the lyrics but he sounds like a white guy from Illinois infected with just a touch of the Pogues. Hope that's not catching. Please keep attempting to create an American superband like U2...

Brother Mouzone from "The Wire".

People came to my door in Wilkinsburg on Memorial Day. I was hoping it was one of my sleazier girlfriends but no: it was 6 representatives from my friendly neighborhood Nation of Islam mosque, located just a couple of blocks from me. Now, usually, when I'm confronted with relatively unintimidating representatives of the Jehovah's Witnesses or the Mormons I just tell them flat out that I'm an Atheist. If its the Mormons, then I would probably point them to the Hitch history of The Church of Latter Day Saints here and here. If its the Jehovah's Witnesses, then I strongly suggest and/or hint that you're a moron if your religion doesn't allow you to vote especially if you're black and there's a good chance that you could elect a black man president you poor deluded and brainwashed fools. (On the other end of the galactic spectrum, my grandmother Willa who is at least 90 and should easily make a hundred and who might outlive me--have mixed feelings about that last point--actually used to and probably still does invite the Witnesses inside to talk because she ran a Bible school and she likes delivering the rhetorical beatdown. For her it would not be unlike the feeling a Grizzly bear gets when a nice juicy salmon jumps right into his lap...) But for some odd reason, perhaps it was because there were six of them and I seem to recall that they recruit from the prisons, practice and train in the martial arts and have gone into dangerous inner city Wire/Killadelphia project drug dens and beaten up criminals bare handed, that I was a bit less than my usual forthcoming self. Why, I even bought a paper. Who wouldn't want a brand new issue of The Final Call. Only a buck and good day to you too sirs! Much luck in all yer endeavors of ridding the black community of the yoke of servile Christianity and replacing it with an insane version of servile Islam that perhaps features better ties and better papers but still with the same self serving clergy and good things happen only after you die attitude. God knows you wouldn't want less of that in the community. Sigh. More on that paper if I have time later this week...

May 21

A Special Everyone Who Reads This Site is Part of the 8 Million Main Corp List Due to Be Rounded Up After the Current Administration's Manufactured "Crisis" Around the Internets

Some of the ads over at Atrios are kind of right wing, with the worst being the Pro McCain ads. Here's an ad  (that I borrowed) that's more on point although I don't think Atrios has ever written about the shocking writings of John Perkins. I don't know why he can't. Short version: before we murder the leaders of countries who don't play IMF ball we try to persuade them with bribes. John Perkins is the guy who offered the "Or Else" bribe. Read or watch all about it here and here. Related: Recent Ellsberg observation that we prefer dictators over democracies if that isn't patently obvious by now.

Okay, on the something big is up and they're planning to send everyone away who doesn't play ball front, we have two important stories. One, the US Government has a list of 8 million "troublemakers" who they would round up in case of what, I  strongly suspect, would be a manufactured shock. After all, the people who conjured the shock have probably imagineered the aftermath.

Here's a scary bit of that:

Under law, during a national emergency, FEMA and its parent organization, the Department of Homeland Security, would be empowered to seize private and public property, all forms of transport, and all food supplies. The agency could dispatch military commanders to run state and local governments, and it could order the arrest of citizens without a warrant, holding them without trial for as long as the acting government deems necessary. From the comfortable perspective of peaceful times, such behavior by the government may seem far-fetched. But it was not so very long ago that FDR ordered 120,000 Japanese Americans—everyone from infants to the elderly—be held in detention camps for the duration of World War II. This is widely regarded as a shameful moment in U.S. history, a lesson learned. But a long trail of federal documents indicates that the possibility of large-scale detention has never quite been abandoned by federal authorities. Around the time of the 1968 race riots, for instance, a paper drawn up at the U.S. Army War College detailed plans for rounding up millions of "militants" and "American negroes," who were to be held at "assembly centers or relocation camps." In the late 1980s, the Austin American-Statesman and other publications reported the existence of 10 detention camp sites on military facilities nationwide, where hundreds of thousands of people could be held in the event of domestic political upheaval. More such facilities were commissioned in 2006, when Kellogg Brown & Root—then a subsidiary of Halliburton—was handed a $385 million contract to establish "temporary detention and processing capabilities" for the Department of Homeland Security. The contract is short on details, stating only that the facilities would be used for "an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs." Just what those "new programs" might be is not specified.

Not scared yet? How about this.

These days, it's rare to hear a voice like that of Senator Frank Church, who in the 1970s led the explosive investigations into U.S. domestic intelligence crimes that prompted the very reforms now being eroded. "The technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny," Church pointed out in 1975. "And there would be no way to fight back, because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know."
UPDATE: Since this article went to press, several documents have emerged to suggest the story has longer legs than we thought. Most troubling among these is an October 2001 Justice Department memo that detailed the extra-constitutional powers the U.S. military might invoke during domestic operations following a terrorist attack. In the memo, John Yoo, then deputy assistant attorney general, "concluded that the Fourth Amendment had no application to domestic military operations." (Yoo, as most readers know, is author of the infamous Torture Memo that, in bizarro fashion, rejiggers the definition of "legal" torture to allow pretty much anything short of murder.) In the October 2001 memo, Yoo refers to a classified DOJ document titled "Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities Within the United States." According to the Associated Press, "Exactly what domestic military action was covered by the October memo is unclear. But federal documents indicate that the memo relates to the National Security Agency's Terrorist Surveillance Program." Attorney General John Mukasey last month refused to clarify before Congress whether the Yoo memo was still in force.

Meanwhile, congressional sources tell Radar that Congressman Peter DeFazio has apparently abandoned his effort to get to the bottom of the White House COG classified annexes. Penny Dodge, DeFazio's chief of staff, says otherwise. "We will be sending a letter requesting a classified briefing soon," she told Radar this week.

Okay, go read the whole scarier than Clive Barker thing. Then, or two, combine it with these two vids by Mark Crispin Miller. Scary scary stuff as Count Floyd used to say. (Did you catch the West Mifflin reference from Pittsburgher Joe Flaherty?) Short version: if the republicans can't get McCain within 10 points in order to steal an election then this administration would probably cancel that election with a manufactured shock. Why would they do this: because they're guilty of war crimes and possibly breaking every meaningful law that we have. They simply know no bounds when it comes to evil. Remember: the Bush/Cheney crew stole two presidential elections and murdered up to a million Iraqis and counting in order to steal their oil. These are bad bad people. Worst ever, possibly.

From Mark:

There's no doubt that the GOP is in big trouble, facing catastrophic losses in the House and Senate this November. But if you believe that Bush and Cheney will observe the law and honor the traditions of American democracy, and therefore let themselves be forced from power, you're living in a world of happy dreams.

The fact is that this criminal regime cannot afford to drop their guns and walk out here amongst the rest of us; and there's much evidence that they do not intend to let that happen--ever. So we had better face that evidence (i.e., unearth it, since the media has largely played it down, or tuned it out), and brace ourselves for a protracted fight; because those men are capable of anything that will maintain their death-grip on the US government.

In this new vlog, I talk about that evidence (or some of it), and what we may expect before Election Day
.

PART ONE


PART TWO

You know, on second thought, I would be a little disappointed if I wasn't on the main core list. I mean, come on. I'd like to think that I would "roam the earth like Caine" and fight the evil corporate theocratic regime which will have elections when things have quieted down or "never". I use a flexible definition of "fight" that also includes "running" and "hiding".  Or the Brave Sir Robin approach to insurrection. Need to bone up on my survivalism skills. Might have to do some running. Or I could just buy a lot of guns. I think everyone should go out the way the deaf girl did in Jericho. I also think that when Ravenwood Blackwater comes into your home uninvited then shooting them with a big shotgun is the appropriate answer. Related: There is the possibility that there will be a new Kung Fu movie that will hit theaters and torrent sites. It wasn't until I saw "Dragon: The Bruce Lee" story that I found out that Bruce Lee was up for the role. I certainly hope that the black directors cast an asian or asian american into the lead role but in retrospect David Carradine was probably a better actor than Bruce Lee. In fact, his performance as Caine was one of the best performances on television ever.

May 18

One of the arguments against Atheism is that some very smart people are religious. Furthermore, it is usually argued that a lot of those smart people happen to be scientists. Exhibit one in that argument is usually Einstein, who in his writings (So I've read.) talks about God somewhat. I have heard of the "God does not play dice" line. The Richard Dawkins argument, which he makes in this Youtube vid, is that Einstein didn't embrace religious thought in, say, the way of your average pope or street corner preacher. It turns out that Dawkins was right according to a recently disclosed letter written by Einstein. By the way, I think the reason a lot of scientists and doctors and lawyers and candlestick makers are religious is that they go through the same brain washing as the rest of us. In fact, since scientists are often awarded for their superior intellects why would they rebel against false ideologies? The system, and therefore God, usually works effectively for them. They usually do quite well. Go ask Ales Rarus.

Pharyngula on what Einstein said:

Hey, we've heard theists cite the authority of Einstein in service to their superstitions often enough: practically every colloquial mention of a god by Einstein seems to get reiterated to support a claim that he was a fellow believer. There's an obscure Einstein letter going up for auction that's got some juicy stuff to fire back, though.

Keep this one in mind next time someone tries to tell you that Einstein was on their side:

The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.

This comment will start a few flames:

For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them.

Note, please, that Einstein's views are not a final authority here, and you're nuts if you decide you should be godless because Einstein was — this is simply more useful information to oppose arguments from authority.

I have to be honest: after reading that what would Einstein think of Jews with power, or a Jewish state with nuclear weapons? He would probably sound a lot like Chomsky.

May 17

Will Elder, one of the legendary EC/MAD artists, has passed away. Best written obit for him is here (Bad link: try here and here.)at the Comic Reporter. Gene Colan is still with us.Update: And Marvel is paying for Gene's health care costs. Good move from the big evil corporate behemoth for a change...

I'm sorry but this fixed wing jet maaaaan story is cool. He's cool. This is cool.

Really good writing from around the Internets. Featuring Katha Pollitt:

Where were the tough questions about the church's absolute ban on contraception, condoms, divorce and abortion--even to save a woman's life? If it was up to Benedict, we might be more stylish than the plural wives of the FLDS, but we'd be trapped in marriage and have fifteen children just like them. In the United States the Catholic church has lost some of its moral authority--thank you, pedophile priests--but it has more temporal power than you might think. Around 12 percent of US hospitals are church-affiliated, which entitles them to refuse modern reproductive healthcare to women. The church is the major opponent of the drive to make health insurance plans cover birth control, forcing women to pay up to $600 out of pocket every year for contraceptives. Along with evangelical Protestants, it is the main force behind every attempt to restrict abortion, defeat prochoice politicians, make contraception and the morning-after pill harder to get, promote false and sexist abstinence-only education and discourage the use of condoms to prevent HIV by spreading unfounded doubts about their effectiveness.

Catholic charities do a lot of good, but the Vatican is a major obstacle to the advancement of women's human rights. In Nicaragua and El Salvador it recently won a total ban on abortion that has already led to dozens of deaths. In Chile it defeated President Michelle Bachelet's plan to give out emergency contraception gratis. In Italy, Poland and elsewhere in Europe it works night and day to make abortion illegal or hard to obtain. In AIDS-plagued Africa its opposition to condoms, contraception and abortion rights has cost millions of lives. None of this is as titillating as pastel-swathed "sister wives" and their vast log-cabin dormitories, but it affects almost everyone on the globe. FLDS men have many wives and the Pope has none, which goes to show there's more than one way to keep women pregnant and in their place.

May 15

The Great Gene Colan is suffering from ill health. I still hate that kid down the street who stole my classic Wolfman/Colan Draculas.

May 13

The great science fiction artist John Berkey died yesterday. He specialized in these massively detailed space ships. You've seen his work even if you don't know his name. More gallery stuff here.

Award for best piece of online writing of the day goes to: Terrance from the Booman Tribune.

Here's a snippet but read the whole thing.

And those are just a few of the kids who are dealing with the consequences of our war in Iraq. A war we didn't have to fight.

Hey Valerie, how about the kids you don't see? Would you object to snapshots of the kids who are suffering war-related trauma? How about the kids who are suffering fro cholera, and will for the next two years, because their cities and towns are swimming in raw sewage? How about the kids who are burned when the come across our left over WMDs? You might prefer pictures of schools being painted, but how about the children trying to learn in ruined schools; schools ruined as a consequence of our war, that is? How would you feel about pictures of the Iraqi children turned out into the sex trade, to relieve the grinding poverty our war plunged them and their families into? Would you be offended by pictures of the Iraqi children forced to sell their bodies as a means to support their families? If a picture of a dead two-year-old offends you, would you prefer a picture of a live 16-year-old boy, trapped in the Baghdad sex trade? Would you rather see a picture of the two dozen orphan boys found starving and neglected in an government run orphanage? (We can't blame Saddam for this one, either, since this happened just last summer.) Speaking of orphans, How about pictures of the children whose parents have abandoned them, out of desperation for their own survival in the U.S. occupation of Iraq? If their owners will allow it, maybe we could get a snapshot of the children who have been sold by their families, just to get them out of Iraq and give them a chance at a better life.

Here's the clip show that came with this story. Remember: the Iraqi war is a war of evil. We're the Germans this time. Think and act accordingly.

 

 

May 12

A Special Blog Until You Die Around the Internets

Found this over at Fred Lapides porn site, which is one of the better porn sites out there. Fred, though, oftentimes serves as an apologist for Israeli atrocities. You will see him cry over dead horses, but not murdered Palestinians. How American.

Apparently, when you murder the hot blond cylon and the hot blond cylon remembers that you murdered her in a particularly cruel and ghastly way she's not entirely happy about that. Not happy about you killing them like an insect or mouthing off about how you would be happy to do it again. Didn't know that. That was the short version of last week's Battlestar Galactica (Faith) Related and hinted at: When you create the creepy multiple-haired clones of oneself there's a possibility that versions of you will be more than just friends. Edison Hate Future.

Agent Ska, my fake virtual girlfriend who even now is starring in my lurid fantasy "Texas Atheist Compound" ("Well, all the girls wear brown shoes and pink/blue dresses here...It's our way Laura. Now as your husband/father it's time for you  to come to bed, but not before I've tilled the field with the 1993 version of Bjork...." as read by the late Lorne Greene.) has a new blog. I'll probably read it occasionally. Nice piece of writing here. Now, has she really outgrown the ex-POG boyfriend or is she just working her way toward selling out?

Very scary article about Hillary Clinton's new best publisher friend Lex Luthor Richard Scaife. Related: I should probably proclaim, in a loud and public way, once again that I'm not a suicide. I may have many good reasons to commit suicide but I'm a hopeless optimist. More related: Very public statements that you won't commit suicide aren't always helpful.

First test for Obama: Say no to Hillary as the VP. I mean, come on. I don't care if there are powerful forces that want it. Related: Barack Obama would not commit suicide. He's full of hope, not to mention the hot wife and the beautiful kids.

 

 

May 7

By the way, barring involvement with  brothels with nazi paraphernalia and the usual bad things that happen to black leaders, Barack Obama is the Democratic Party nominee.

 Its the math. Obama might be able to win it with pledged delegates if he gets a big win in Oregon. I also agree that Bill Richardson, or "Judas" as he's known in Clinton quarters, makes sense as the VP. He's likeable, shores up Latino support  and he puts  New Mexico in the win column. That would be a real change ticket. I think Hillary has run a disgraceful campaign which should disqualify her for the VP spot. Not to mention that it would not be unlike having Lady Macbeth as your VP, always with helpful advice I'm sure.  But never say never in politics. My other VP pick is Sherrod Brown, the new senator from Ohio.

Let's face it: the wife of my blood cousin on my father's side might be some kind of frackin' artistic genius. Her latest paintings are also a tribute to the novels of Jules Verne. The one above is called "Captain Nemo". Might try a more contemporary science fiction writer though. Say, Greg Egan.  Related: She has also made the Youtubes. Very talented woman. Somewhat Related: Mother's Side cousin Leonce Gaiter, more masculine than Michael Jackson but probably not more masculine than Prince, has removed his vids from the Youtubes. I wish he hadn't done that. They were very thoughtful and sort of serve as a historical record. Ah well.

 

Link: sevenload.com

Can't stop looking at the video above. Can't stop listening to the video below.

May 6

(Review by Joan at Oped here.)

Nuns and students without valid photo ID turned away from the Indiana polls, according to Bradblog. Not an accident and thank you so much my neo Jim Crow Supreme Court. Atrios doesn't get the magnitude of this. It kind of is a grand magnificent conspiracy. Writer at Booman Tribune correctly sees nature of grand magnificent conspiracy in a piece titled: "The Republican War on Voting Rights". Here's a snippet:

The real basic take away here is that if you are going to tip elections, you aren’t going to be able to do it “one vote at a time” as these voter id, anti-voter laws purport to combat.

You do it by rigging the system from the inside - by massive voter roll purges that are designed to purge the very demographics that are most likely to hurt the other party, by challenging districting in order to “make it more fair for people’s votes to be reflective of the district”, by implementing laws that are meant to keep millions of people who are likely to vote for the other party from voting and by stacking the deck in the positions where the voting machines are selected and monitored, where the federal and state election laws are “interpreted”, where the decisions are made with respect to voter registration and how the elections are run and even having cousins in the very media outlets who are calling the races for their candidate-cousins.

Make no mistake - this is a more than just a major partisan initiative. This is an all out assault on the voting rights of millions of potential Democratic voters and therefore, votes. This is a premeditated, long term, wide ranging attack against millions of Americans’ voting rights. But it isn’t just an assault on Democratic voters. It is an assault on the most basic right that a democracy affords.

And it should be referred to accordingly.

May 4

One more issue of one of the best comic series I have ever read. Two quick short reviews: "You killed Dom! You bastards!"

And two: Most comics don't end with what looks like a nuclear explosion....I also agree with Wikipedia and the fan page at White Chapel: Tom Noir is still alive. He faked his death.

As you may or may not know, there's a split over at 2 Political Junkies. Dayvoe backs Obama and Maria backs the Clintons. It's getting a little testy. They might be down to one political junkie in the future. Anyway, I left this comment at one of Dayvoe's posts where I speculate what would happen to the always dependable black vote if Hillary were to steal the nomination:

At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Philip Shropshire said...

 

Thank you for setting the record straight as usual. I might note that Keith Olbermann is the most courageous newsman on the air today. That he still has a job shocks and surprises me. That isn't to say that he's beyond criticism but he's one of the few real friends in the MSM,  (but) if you're reduced to attacking him and not seeing that Scaife/Hillary lovefest ...not to mention that his paper is playing up the Wright thing (Obama knows a scary black man didn't you know how awful...)

Question for Maria: Okay, so Hillary pulls out all the stops, maligns Obama until he's left a bleeding corpse, buys off the remaining superdelegates (she has the money of course being that she made 100 million off the presidency...how Jimmy Carter honorable...) and wins the nomination. The black vote, of which I am one, will then dutifully vote for the rich old white lady, who thinks lobbyists is people too?


Well, I don't think that would happen. There would be a huge backlash among arguably the most loyal constituency that the dems have. It would split the party if she were to muscle the superdelegates into violating the popular will.

I might also note that every African American knows that if the positions were switched Obama would be out of the race. Period. On the other hand, I suppose I've always wondered if Obama has actually faced real bigotry, or a kind of irrational hatred that reverts to stereotype no matter Obama's personal resume of excellence. I guess he's learning about the kind of "america" most african americans live on. Or: when you have a shot at winning we'll change the rules.

Philip Shropshire
www.threeriversonline.com

PS: Appropriate youtube vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8lvc-azCXY

Why Richard Dawkins, for no good reason, continues to be a mean ol' atheist. I mean, where does the man's hostility come from. Who knows. Reality perhaps?

Interesting conversation about science featuring hot woman who looks like a hot woman I used to date (Or as I used to joke about Christine: We both thought she could do better.). If you really enjoyed the film Mindwalk, then this is for you...

From Treehugger, say it ten times fast: How much gas can Switch Grass switch, if we could switch gas with Switch Grass?

May 1

My favorite Move On Ad.

Quantity isn't the only reason people prefer the Internets over traditional media. A lot of the time the quality is better as well. For Exhibit One: the often incredible writings of Agent Ska's brother, who's been traveling all over the world and he's not visiting safe places, either. He's a Year of Living Dangerously kind of guy. I might note that what he does sounds like a cover for a spy (in the movies anyway) but I'm sure he's not. (See torture scene in latest Bond movie...) Contrast and compare this piece that he wrote with, say, Ruth Ann's latest:

As much as I like Sri Lanka, I’m not going to miss this stuff - it was a cheap, guilty thrill at first (look! guys with guns! posters of dead people! boy I ain’t in Kansas anymore!!) but it fades very very quickly into dull apathy, occasionally broken by revulsion and, to be honest, sometimes even real fear - standing alone on the side of a road as stressed, heavily-armed police prepare for an oncoming motorcade, you look around and idly ponder just how many ways you could die or lose a limb in the next minute. Bomb or claymore mine in that open drain or that pile of trash or tucked into the concrete lane divider; car coming from that lightly-guarded alley ramming the motorcade as it passes by you; bodyguards panicking and firing wildly as a sniper unloads from a rooftop.

Usually just a bloody-minded mental exercise, but sometimes it escalates beyond as the time trickles on and there’s nowhere you can go; the imagination accelerates its speculations, the brain imagines how upset friends and family will be, if you get yourself killed, that you stupidly put yourself in harm’s way instead of simply going by a different route, and the pit in the stomach starts to overcome the professional’s interest in the security preparation, convoy and escort packages, etc. Myopic, cowardly, selfish, paranoid, ridiculous, melodramatic, sure, but that’s life. Then the Hummers and troop trucks and motorcycle outriders and ambulances and armored SUVs and darkened-windows limos blaze by, horns honking and lights flashing and guns pointing, and disappear into the distance. And there you are again on the other side, a bit sweatier, a little later in the day, looking for a place to reload your cell phone account and pick up some cookies.

I also fast realized that much of the intellectual interest one can take in the place is completely dependent on the fact that you have a ticket out - for actual normal people with nowhere else to go (in the broadest possible sense), checkpoints and propaganda and assassination reminders are just hell. Hopefully as I come back here again and again over the years things will improve. For my (but mostly their) sake then I’d no longer viscerally feel “there but for the grace of God go I” as I walk, eyes averted, past the jumpy 19-year soldiers visibly bracing when an unidentified car pulls up to a sensitive checkpoint, the middle-aged men missing arms, the civilians being dragged off their bus and yelled at by nervous police in Tamil neighborhoods, and the galloping convoys trying to out-run the shadowy IEDs that haunt drivers’ dreams.

Side note: Looks like Ted Rall is back in this week's City Paper. I think my one man public outcry turned it all around. Or maybe they skipped him for a week.  But I'm watching you City Paper..."in brightest day, in darkest night" etc...

 

April 29

I got this from the Prolefeed guy. I'm pretty sure the guy with the gun is an auto insurance agent. Related and hilarious clip here. Is it just me or is the Prolefeed as good as anybody on teevee or in my newspapers? More political stencils here. We can only beat them with stencils you see.

When I asked Chris Potter what happened to Ted Rall I also noted--perhaps a bit too obtusely-- that the Pennsylvania primary results were essentially unverifiable. Perhaps it was really a 52 to 48 race like the exit polls. Perhaps Hillary won by 20 points. Who knows. And who can check. Trust politicians because they would never never ever lie to us, right Chris?  Now, as it turns out, they've been having this debate in New Jersey except its happening in a courtroom. Get the background here from Bradblog. Long story short:  Sequoia doesn't want you looking inside their machines, or the machines that were used all over Pennsylvania last week and Allegheny County in particular. (I could be wrong about that.) Sequoia had been fighting in court to make sure that their machines couldn't be examined. That this would be an issue in a real democracy is stunning. Then again, I suppose I don't live in a real democracy. Anyway, super hacker Ed Felton is getting a look.

Here's what he's found so far. Remember,  Fast "Eddy" Rendell and our Secretary of State said everything worked fine last Tuesday. Compare and contrast with these graphs from Slashdot:

"Princeton Professor, Ed Felton, has posted a series of blog entries in which he shows the printed tapes he obtained from the NJ voting machines don't report the ballots correctly. In response to the first one, Sequoia admitted that the machines had a known software design error that did not correctly record which kind of ballots were cast (republican or democratic primary ballots) but insisted the vote totals were correct. Then, further tapes showed this explanation to be insufficient. In response, State officials insisted that the (poorly printed) tapes were misread by Felton. Again further tapes showed this not to be a sufficient explanation. However all those did not foreclose the optimistic assessment that the errors were benign — that is, the possibility that vote totals might really be correct even though the ballot totals were wrong and the origin of the errors had not been explained. Now he has found (well-printed) tapes that show what appears to be hard proof that it's the vote totals that are wrong, since two different readout methods don't agree. Sequoia has made trade-secret legal threats against those wishing to mount an independent examination of the equipment. One small hat-tip to Sequoia: at least they are reporting enough raw data in different formats that these kinds of errors can come to light — that lesson should be kept in mind when writing future requirements for voting machines."

By the way, if you're playing the home game, this would be evidence of election fraud. But remember, only dirty fucking hippies on the internets think this story matters.

There's a terrible vid battle going on between the Brazilian Girls and The Bird and the Bee. Bloody and awful. Yet there can only be one.

I understand these online comics are up for an Eisner according to Paul D. I'm going to try and check them out.

Best Digital Comic
The Abominable Charles Christopher, by Karl Kerschl, www.abominable.transmission-x.com
Billy Dogma, Immortal, by Dean Haspiel, www.deanhaspiel.com/immortal.html
The Process, by Joe Infurnari, www.theprocesscomic.com
PX! By Manny Trembley and Eric A. Anderson, www.pandaxpress.com
Sugarshock!, by Joss Whedon and Fabio Moon, http://www.myspace.com/darkhorsepres...m=1&storynum=2

My cousin Leonce Gaiter has made the Youtubes. He is out and gay so I suppose as Eddie Murphy once described Michael Jackson: "Not necessarily the most masculine brother in the world..." But he's much more masculine than Mr. Jackson anyway. He also comes off as highly intelligent and thoughtful. I got sort of a Malcolm Gladwell vibe but without the funny hair. He seems to be doing these vids to promote a book proposal. That's not promising. Perhaps he doesn't have a better agent than me. Anyway. The vids are here and here. Part two features a critique of Christianity in the black community, I think. Judge for yourself.

I see our cutting edge "alt" weekly The City Paper seems to have canned Ted Rall. If you're keeping count they have gotten rid of their funniest and most political cartoonists, Rall and that Tom the Dancing Bug guy, and kept on their least political and least funny cartoons or Red Meat and that Derf fella. I will try to provide where they have failed. Update: I'm going to ask the city editor if that's the case or if it was just last week's issue. I know Tom hasn't appeared in weeks. I'm not absolutely sure about Rall.

From Boing Boing. Also from Boing Boing contributor Cory Doctorow: He will soon be releasing his well reviewed young adult novel "Little Brother". And check out this crazy premise: apparently, in the far off future, you'll be a kid and some evil government will try to make everything that you enjoy doing over the Internet completely illegal. Ker Razy. I can't wait to read it when Cory releases the Creative Commons version of this book in several days. It feels like 1984 with a viable resistance movement. Some of us would really like to know how such a resistance movement would work. We really would. Especially if it involves not blowing up stuff.

April 28

My cousin Leonce Gaiter is blogging again. This time for the Huffington Post. He apparently has a better agent than the person who is writing this or he's a better writer perish the thought. He's back and he's pissed off about Obama.

Just a sample:

"If the Pennsylvania debate proved one thing, it's the state of the political landscape in which Democrats will compete come November. Unfortunately, we're like the third act heroes on too many TV shows: The villain has tortured, raped and maimed the hero's wife, child and pet hamster. The hero has the villain dead-to-rights. The villain sweats profusely, trembling in fear. Just then, the hero's trusty sidekick steps in to whisper to the hero, "If you do it like this, you're no better than he is."

At that point, I'm screaming, "Smoke the Bastard!! Shoot! Shoooooot!!

I am deathly tired of the Democratic "we don't want to win like that" attitude. I'm sick of being part of a party of losers with clean consciences. I want my Democratic candidates to out-lie, out-cheat and out-steal their Republican opponents. I want them to practice dog-whistle politics, send me private signals telling me that they don't really mean a word they're saying, and giving me confidence that their campaign soundbites are just lures for the mob. I want them to assume the asininity of the bulk of the mainstream television press corps (have you seen a TV news broadcast lately?) and use it as opposed to being used by it.

I know. I know. We're trying to "take back the system." We want a better press corps. I want to be 3 inches taller. That's not going to happen either.

Also related: The Supreme Court upholds voter ID ban. I found the dissents particularly interesting. Just for the record: no evidence whatsoever that Democrats have used fake voters to win elections. Massive evidence that the GOP has used every trick in the book to steal the last two presidential elections and at least one house seat. This has to be said: A lot of Democrats weren't unhappy that their party was robbed of two presidential elections. If you were upset, then you might pass a bill that would change things. Related: Dems failed to pass newest version of Holt bill. The bill required the abnormal two thirds and apparently there is no plan to add it as an attachment. That would mean you really wanted to pass a bill like that of course. Steny Hoyer, the Dems number two, doesn't want to reform the machines because things are going so well now. Kind of like when Biff got the betting results book in Back to the Future II...I always wondered what happens to the people who live in those awful splintered realities. Now I know.

And now: Time for Phil's Quixotic Musing...

I don't suppose the dems could attach something to that $100 billion dollar Iraq spending proposal that would fix our machines and outlaw modern versions of Jim Crow? Yeah, I didn't think so either.

April 23

New Spirit trailer here. More stills here. Might be decent. What's with all the cats? No I never read the Spirit growing up. Also part of the Acid Jazz Channel. Related: The Full Screen function now works at the channel.

April 21

Given the polls, Hillary Clinton probably shouldn't get more than 57 percent of the vote. Booman actually thinks that Obama could win if the black vote turns out in Philly. Even if she wins by five points that won't be enough. She really has to get to 63  percent. Here are two separate stories on how easy it is to hack the Pennsylvania vote:

From Bradblog:

On Tuesday night, you will be told who the winner of the Pennsylvania Primary is. You will accept it. You will have no choice. No matter who the winner really is. Or isn't.

This Tuesday's crucial contest will be primarily run on 100% faith-based, Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen or push-button) e-voting machines across the state. There will be no way to determine after the election whether the computers have accurately recorded, or not, the intent of those voters who voted on them. As VerifiedVoting.org summarizes the crucial contest, it "will be essentially unrecountable, unverifiable, and unauditable."

Most of the votes, more than 85%, will be cast on such DRE systems which do not provide so-called "Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails" (VVPATs), as their use has been found unconstitutional in the state, since its been determined, accurately, that ballot secrecy cannot be guaranteed when using such paper trail systems. Not that it matters.

With or without a so-called "paper trail" printer, all touch-screen/push-button/DRE voting machines are equally unverifiable and antithetical to American democracy. Period.

So, as with South Carolina's primary, so so long ago, and other states since, whatever the officials tell you at the end of the election is what you, and we, will have to accept. Whether votes are counted accurately is completely out of anyone's hands at this point. It's strictly Democracy of the Gods...

From Scoop:

It's all a magic show, a series of illusions that can be manipulated by the entertainers, also known as politicians, or anyone well placed and determined enough to manipulate a system with few if any real safeguards.

The failure to discuss real issues is an insult to all citizens. It might explain why a majority fail to vote in primary elections and why 35% to 40% consistently fail to vote in the general elections for president. A common refrain among those who refuse to participate is "Why bother, they're all a bunch of crooks." Among those who do vote, there are huge doubts about the honesty of elections. A 2006 Zogby poll of 707 likely voters in Pennsylvania asked this question: "Do you think the 2004 election was stolen?" Forty percent said yes.

The public officials who control elections behave as though the people are stupid and ignorant of the questionable practices of secret vote counting and outsourced elections. Wrong! The citizens of Pennsylvania know what the story is. Just add the 40% of likely Pennsylvania voters who thought 2004 was stolen with the 35% to 40% who routinely stay home because they doubt the system. That produces a majority of citizens who have serious doubts about a system created to serve the elected and not the electors.

The news media act like the people are a bunch of sheep who buy whatever the media put out because some people actually watch the news. They fail to note that in polls on public respect for various professions, the television news media gets a 16% approval rating. The people who booed debate anchor Gibson are a perfect reflection that attitude.

The politicians showed their respect for citizens after the 2006 election, when the message was clear. Get out of Iraq. They have their excuses. But the reality of the charade was made crystal clear in at the Philadelphia presidential primary debate. While enduring an hour when no real issues were discussed, did you hear either candidate criticize the news people for their inane questions? Not a word.

I will attempt to pull the lever for Obama. We'll see. Let's watch very carefully what happens in Philly's black wards.

April 16

Phil's Deep Thought

If you're an African American, then you shouldn't take up arms against other poor people of color. Especially in Nigeria. Or so I would like to think. Related: Fascinating profile of African arms dealer by John Robb.

I suppose this is a comic I should read. It looks kind of critical of the movement. Just to reiterate, and this is taken from an argument I made over at American Samizdat,  I think this is what transhumanists actually want:

But here's the best definition of what Transhumanists want that I've seen. I don't find it all threatening. I just want to get better with science. If you don't want to evolve, then hey that's cool. Khan was just, you know, misunderstood.

Here's that transhumanist statement or prayer, written by Michael Anissimov:

I have seen a world where death and disease have been defeated by science…
where food, shelter, and clothing is manufactured quickly, and without waste…
where transparency makes violent crime impossible, and authorities accountable…
where people walk on other planets and in endless virtual worlds…
where intelligence and empathy are magnified far beyond present levels…
where the diversity of sentient beings has expanded to unimaginable proportions…
where the risk of human extinction has been reduced to near zero.

I will endeavor to take the fastest safe route to such a future, and direct my present-day energies towards its realization. I will be polite and understanding to skeptics and naysayers. I will thoroughly enjoy my daily life while simultaneously working for a better future. I will work towards that future for the good of all, not just myself, and try my best to maintain an altruistic point of view at all times.

Sounds good to me. What bothers you about that?

Prolefeed Has It Right: War is Peace. They don't even bother to hide their evil anymore do they...

April 15

A "I can quit the Internets anytime I want and I don't consider this an addiction but now I must search for a few more links and don't touch that keyboard you see because you're keeping me away from my precious precious links..." Around the Internets

What I learned at the screening of Uncounted, Part II.

One of the things that I learned at that screening is that there are proposed laws at both the federal and state levels that could solve some of our voting problems. Here's a rundown of the federal bill:

REP. RUSH HOLT INTRODUCES HR 5036
EMERGENCY BILL TO HELP
ENSURE ACCURACY, INTEGRITY OF 2008 ELECTION
Legislation Would Reimburse State and Local Jurisdictions
That Opt in for Paper Ballots and/or Audits

You can read more about it here.

You can sign an online petition here.

There were a number of political reps that were supposed to show up but only one did. That was Desiree Van Tassel from Chelsa Wagner's office. That was really cool because I knocked on doors for Chelsa during her last election. Definitely made me feel better about my work. The bill that would do some good here in Pennsylvania is called HB 53.

It's currently stuck in the State Government Committee. People in the know about state government told me that Rendell doesn't care much about the issue and that he likes the machines in Philly just fine. Of course, this brings up a much more troubling issue: if you support the candidate with the least support do you really mind if she wins through voting fraud? Here's another problem: suppose you don't trust Barack Obama on the issue of Israel and I think that's the major reason behind his endorsement of Hillary. She's the safe establishment bet. Nothing important really changes under Hillary.  Would Rendell care if the machines were hacked in order to give McCain the presidency? Would Rendell care if HB 53 ever makes it out of committee? I was also told by my source at the screening that I should take a careful look at the results that come out of Philly's black districts.

The one question I asked is what  state is the most likely to be the Ohio or Florida of 2008. The answer I got was Pennsylvania. I hope they're wrong about that. Then again, remember when the online registration system failed? A system that was probably registering new and excited Obama voters? Was that an accident? Troubling.

There was a somewhat jumpy yet engaging CMU computer scientist on the panel as well who terrified us all about the possibility that not only can you place your vote changing code into our black box voting machines but you can hide it in such a way that you probably wouldn't find it. Related: Computer scientists across the nation are stating to sound the warning about our hackable machines, according to Bradblog.

Most interesting rumor at the Uncounted screening: There are dueling party hackers. Well, after losing two presidential elections and at least one house seat the DNC needs new hackers. Related: Obama says the truth: Gore won the election in 2000. Four years from now we'll be able to say the truth about the 2004 election. More Related: Bitter Voters for Obama. I know I'm one.

Phil's Deep Thought, Not At All Related to Atrios' Deep Thought, which is Not At All Related to Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts

The reason why a lot of the artists you routinely see on The Acid Jazz Channel are hardly ever played by both commercial and non commercial outlets is that a lot of those artists, such as Frank Zappa and Nina Simone, even Stereolab to some extent, have political points of view that the establishment probably doesn't want you to hear or see. Zappa's atheism, Nina's strong support of the civil rights movements, Stereolab's strong anti war messages etc...I can definitely detect a pattern. Did you know that Sun Ra was a draft dodger? I, on the other hand, have just one agenda: play the best music and art I can find. Well, that, and left wing/atheist propaganda....

Two big stories on old style centralized solar power here and here. This would be much better than coal or nuclear but I still think decentralized power is the way to go. It's like somebody saying, oh in 1980, that mainframes would be the future when in fact personal computing was much better. I just think if everybody had a fuel cell or a wind turbine or cheap solar cells that would be better.

Big story on the very evil Monsanto by Bartlett and Steele, arguably two of the best investigative reporters in the United States. Related: Vendana Shiva on terminator seeds. Marginally related: Kudzu as a wonder plant.

April 13

And now: Time for an exciting new feature here at Three Rivers Online. Or:

Phil's Deep Thought, Not At All Related to Atrios' Deep Thought, which is Not At All Related to Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts

The American Peace Movement failed. It failed to stop the war and the subsequent deaths of a million innocent Iraqis. It probably won't stop a war with Iran where the death tolls--after speculated attacks on nuclear power plant facilities--would probably start at one million. The White Rose Society, full of decent courageous people, didn't beat the Nazis, either. The appropriate model now looks more like The French Resistance, if you don't mind killing people. If you do mind killing people, you might try adopting the tactics of radical environment groups and start killing property, but not just SUV sellers. You would target critical infrastructure nodes. John Robb lays it all out in his book above and his website Global Guerillas. There are examples here, here, here, HERE and here. You would have to attempt to stop the machine. I hope that Obama gets elected and that he'll change the path but the Iranian war might have started by then. There's a chance that voting simply won't be enough. If they even count your vote....

Please contrast what I've written with this latest hard hitting piece by Samantha Bennett. Then ask why people are turning away from the corporate media and turning to the Internet. Plus I have more tunes.

Doubleshot of why, for reasons that simply aren't clear to most people, Richard Dawkins is a mean ol' atheist. Here and here. Seriously, when atheists start running the compounds, I want in on the pre teen prospects  who aren't allowed to leave because the outside world, with their evil laws against multiple wives and child brides, is really really bad so saith the Lord.

 

What Should Have Been Published April 11

Brilliant and quite disturbing read. You know you're looking at ambition when the writer creates a new language for the world. (Zenda, his face black, his eyes red.) Here's an interview with Jamie:

The world of "Narcopolis" does bear some thematic resemblance to the dystopian futures described in Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" and George Orwell's "1984," but while Delano does count both novels among his influences, the comparison ends with the superficial. "The Joos so routinely imbibed by the citizens of Narcopolis is certainly a kind of Soma," Delano said. "The language employed in the story is less a direct reference to the Newspeak of '1984' than an attempt to have fun and add value by portraying the evolution of language in both a social and political context."

The protagonist in "Narcopolis" is an everyman named Gray Neighbor. "A production line worker in a Narcopolis munitions plant, Gray's personal doubt in the state is catalyzed by a vision experienced one day at work," Delano said. "His imagination follows one of his products - a missile - to its ultimate explosive destination on the other side of the planet. Neighbor's disturbed response sounds 'anomaly alarms' in the halls of the security service."
 

The task of investigating Neighbor's abnormal behavior falls to T.R.U.S.T. Agent Angel Love. Neighbor's actions lead T.R.U.S.T. to suspect that the factory worker is an agent of BadEvil and a carrier of FearPure. Love's investigation proves inconclusive, "but it does lead to a sexual attraction, rapidly requited, and Neighbor's eventual recruitment as a T.R.U.S.T cop.

Here's why Barack Obama is beating Hillary Clinton. This man is a gifted politician. It's like watching Coltrane blow. Keep in mind that this takes place in a city so white that when I visited it I was officially designated as a minority of one. He still gets call and response. Whole picture here from the Daily Kos.

Got this from the email. There will be a tax protest April 15 in case you mind that your tax dollars were spent killing a million or so innocent Iraqis. Full news here from True Majority:

Tax Day is here again. As ordinary Americans play be the rules and pay their bills, our government is continuing to spend recklessly on endless war in Iraq: A war that has cost our country dearly and brought America to the brink of an economic recession. After five years, a trillion dollars, and over 4,000 American lives, we've had enough. This Tax Day it's time we change the policies of the past and invest in America's future.
 
Our affiliate organization, Penn Action is
organizing this action on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 to tell Congress to stop spending endlessly on the Iraq War and invest in America's future.

Please RSVP right now to let me know if you can make it:
http://act.truemajorityaction.org/p/7002/event?event_KEY=34

What: Where Do Tax Dollars Go? Action
When: April 15th, 2008: 5:00-6:00 PM
Where: Mt. Lebanon/Castle Shannon Post Office, 370 Castle Shannon Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15238

Together we can tell Congress to Invest in America's Future, not war in Iraq!

Thanks for everything you do,

-Matt

Matt Holland
TrueMajority.org Online Director

What Should Have Been Published April 8

If you're at all interested in the election fraud debate, then please watch this Bob Fitrakis vid above. It answers the question of why doesn't the mainstream/corporate press show more of an interest in the issue. Note the shocking bit about how republican senator Mike DeWine killed the story at the papers. Why would papers care? Because they would need Mike's help in order to expand their monopolies in terms of all kinds of legislation and FCC issues. That's why your daily Post Gazette gives you hard hitting pieces like this or this. Its to distract you  from the really important things that are happening, like how the American public has been robbed of its choice for president in two consecutive presidential elections. Features a nice retort to all the "election fraud" denialists like Markos and a great definition of the successful newspaper "editor". Related: This funny Smallville scene between Lex Luther and Chloe, one of Clark's Scooby friends (I'm thinking Velma.), seems fairly realistic. A force of ultimate evil has taken over most of our newsrooms, afterall. Unrealistic part of the scene: she would never get her story about "office espionage" published and if she had kids to feed she probably wouldn't have even complained.

April 4

A Short and to the Point Around the Internets

Attended last night's screening of Uncounted. I was the rude person in the back of the auditorium who insisted that it's not even stevens in terms of election fraud between republicans and democrats. As far as I can tell, the democrats have lost two presidential elections and at least one House seat due to election fraud. Furthermore, there seem to be a number of shaky results in the primaries on both sides. The last one was Hillary's must win victory in New Hampshire. On the other hand, the actions of the dems, who now control both houses, have been hard to watch. Here's a scenario: if you even thought, even had a hint, that you had lost two consecutive presidential elections due to fraud, wouldn't your first priority be cleaning up the election system? Would have to be, right? Wrong. Mark Crispin Miller has argued that he thinks the democrat party is in collusion with the republicans. I have come to the horrible conclusion that he's right. I think there are a lot of dems, especially Leiberman and his sellout ilk, who like the Iraq  war precisely because it is a proxy war for Israel. And if you liked the war would you dislike the election fraud that brought you that war? Probably not. In fact, you might be counting on it in order to continue our glorious efforts in Iran. Why stop now. More on this when I have time.

From Khari's blog, who actually seems to be doing more writing now: a very good plan to bring Green jobs to the African American community. I wish they would seriously discuss bringing  high paying aircar manufacturing to, say, a Philly or a Pittsburgh.

April 3

From Mark Rauterkaus:

PITTSBURGH FILMMAKERS - Melwood Screening Room
Thursday, April 3, 2008 - 6:30 pm
 
Includes Q&A with filmmaker David Earnhardt,
special guest Marybeth Kuznik, and others,
and a bite or two to eat, too.

Hosted by: VoteAllegheny and Pittsburgh Filmmakers, benefiting VotePA, a 501(c)(4) organization
 

UNCOUNTED is an explosive documentary that shows how the election fraud that changed the outcome of the 2004 election led to even greater fraud in 2006 - and now looms as an unbridled threat to the outcome of the 2008 election. This controversial film examines in factual, logical, and yet startling terms how easy it is to change election outcomes and undermine election integrity across the U.S.

UNCOUNTED is a wakeup call to all Americans. As we approach the decisive election of 2008, UNCOUNTED will change how you feel about the way votes are counted in America.

Please forward this invitation to others who may be interested in seeing UNCOUNTED.

For more information about the film, visit: www.UncountedTheMovie.com

Suggested donation $10, seniors/students $7.

www.VoteAllegheny.org/uncounted.htm

Related: Bob Fitrakis, quoted in the movie trailer above,  can be seen here in a 60 minute talk broken up into about 10 segments. It's pretty riveting and can be seen in bits at the Acid Jazz Channel above.

March 30th

A Very Special Internet Addiction is a myth and I can quit the Internets whenever I want to Around the Internets

A factually true billboard that was taken down fairly quickly. Related: This series of Sam Harris thought pieces for Big Think. Most can be seen on the Acid Jazz Channel above. Will probably never be seen on the corporate media.

More Related: Why Richard Dawkins, for no good reason other than rational observation of how religion actually works, is a mean ol atheist. And: same difference. Even more related: Margaret Atwood (author of handmaid's tale) on the dangers of theocracy.

On the mark Tom Tomorrow toon on the very specious reasons behind Hillary's Continued Run. Even features Hillary's "talk" with Lex Luthor, publisher of the Daily Planet, (This is actually the truth behind the corporate media. Reporters as scared children who have no real control over what they write.) Richard Mellon Scaife, arguably one of the most evil men in the United States. (Hometown pride (!) by the way...)

By the way, if you're looking for reasons to like Barack keep in mind that it looks like not only does the Israel lobby not like him (not for anything Obama has done because he's sucked up to AIPAC with the best of them--

--(Real politic confession: if I was advising Obama, even as a critic of AIPAC, I'd tell him to suck up to AIPAC. Of course, that's the dream behind Obama. Unlike most black men who have woken up each morning angered and frustrated by the world around them Obama could actually wake and change some things. I truly hope he gets that opportunity.)--

--but because his middle name is Hussein and he actually knows Moslems. He might be more sympathetic  to the Palestinians than the sellout Clintons who gave us NAFTA for christsakes...) but it looks like Jewish likudnik donors  are keeping Hillary in the race. I would like to think this wouldn't have to be pointed out: if Obama wins the most elected delegates, in a system that really isn't set up for blacks or progressives to win (Are there any whiter states than Iowa or New Hampshire? The Dakotas maybe, Utah?) he should get the nomination. If he doesn't, then it would probably split the party and give American blacks a great reason to ditch the dems. On the other hand, this would provide Obama a wonderful opportunity to quit the party and run as a third party. He has the money.

One more point about that cartoon: I'm not that worried about "meteors". I'm worried about bullets and Mossad. Oh, the press would cover it, right. Just like they "covered" the RFK assassination and election fraud stories of 2000 and 2004.... Are you kidding me.? Also very much worried about Obama's plane going down...that seems to happen to a lot of political people here and abroad.

Question for Maria at 2 Political Junkies and my fake virtual girlfriend Agent Ska: Why do you keep supporting Hillary when she has no chance of winning other than by superdelegate coup? Is it white girl privilege? What?

Phil's Deep Thought, Not At All Related to Atrios Deep Thoughts, which is Not At All Related to SNL's Deep Thoughts

(coming soon)

 

Okay. Last Wednesday's South Park was one of their better episodes. It made fun of the drug war, the recent Spitzer scandal and seemed to imply that if you get really really high (mmkay) you will be transported to the cinematic world of Heavy Metal, a magazine I particularly liked in the late 70s especially as I was hitting puberty although the art was fantastic as well. You can see a clip from that movie here in case you were wondering where they got the "rockin' tits" reference. You can also watch this week's episode online at the official South Park site. Funny stuff. (Moebius was one of the original fantastic artists behind Heavy Metal.) Related: Current Heavy Metal story that's online.

March 23

And kind of related: Richard Dawkins and PZ Meyers discuss the new pro creationist film "Expelled".

 

March 22

You know, instead of boycotting the Olympics, you could show your unhappiness about what's happening in Tibet in other ways. There is a precedent for that sort of thing. I'm making the presumption that China won't shoot you and send payment for the bullet to your family, at least not with the whole world watching. I'm of the opinion that these kinds of boycotts only punish the athletes and don't really change anything politically.

Had I been blogging more frequently during the last week I would have pointed out that Pitt had a marvelous opportunity to take it all this year. I guess I'm glad that I didn't blog that. The NCAA basketball tournament: that's a hard tournament to win.

So I got the three in one cable deal a year or two back and I ended up paying about 100 dollars a month initially. Then when the reductions and rebates wore off that ballooned to about $150. So I got rid of most of my cable channels (I pay nine bucks a month for local channels, plus BET and the Golf channel, pretty much two of the most useless channels ever.) I kept my Internet service and my phone. It was actually cheaper to keep some cable channels as opposed to getting rid of it completely, although it looks like I may have been given some incorrect info from my helpful Comcast service provider.( An aside: I was originally told that if I got rid of all my remaining cable channels I would be paying about 110 a month for my two remaining services where if I kept some channels it would be 55 dollars a month for all three services. So I chose option two naively enough. I later found out that my bill would be closer to 80 bucks a month. Like I said: helpful,  if you define "helpful" as a lack of accuracy or candor. Looking into Vonage as I type this...)

I have to admit I don't miss cable at all. I'm actually physically angry over what happened to BET on Jazz ( And Goddamn you Reginald Hudlin.) where they turned one of the most interesting music stations ever into the usual mediocre BET nonsense. I guess the white corporate owners just couldn't stand all those articulate black men who weren't in jail playing their instruments at a high level. We wouldn't want that, especially since for some reason they're not in jail as outlined in The Plan. Another reason, aside from bitterness, I don't miss cable at all is that I can pretty much watch all the television I want online. Here are some of the services I found and this is by no means a complete list.

Choose and Watch
(Not the usual cable fare but over several hundred channels. Plus free porn. You shouldn't watch it because it repeats too often.)

Online TV attempts VEOH and MIRO.
I haven't even attempted to check out their vast libraries yet.

Hulu
New attempt by Fox and NBC to put most of their  television content online. There are shows here that I haven't seen in years and are especially cool to watch at night. Watching the Night Gallery right now.

Surf the Channel
Doesn't seem entirely legal. Should I be able to watch Jumper or American Gangster online... I'm just not sure.

Smashing Telly
A place to find online documentaries.

Better Humans TV
A great place to find  bleeding edge science documentaries.

List of Online TV Stations from Zeropaid
Again, not totally legal I'm sure but it's hard to regulate those Asian Youtube stations.

The Acid Jazz Channel
The best music channel that I've ever made. I play mostly music at my music channel. Crazy huh?

And that's not even a complete list. I even found Farscape. This week, two of the shows that I would have missed, Smallville and South Park (which puts all their shows online anyway.) I found online. Notice I haven't even had to use Bittorrent yet. Besides, that would be wrong.
I guess this is the future.

What Should Have Appeared March 20

Sorry for the light posting.  I can only logically conclude that its cause was...Satan! Satan I sez. New Get Your War Ons.  Related to the cartoon above: New piece at the Black Agenda Report about the Black Prison Gulag and the Prison State. I might note that the Black Agenda Report and independent African American bloggers are what a real black press should look like. Or a black press that doesn't have to cater to conservative white advertisers or the local Republican Party. Yes I could be alluding to the New Pittsburgh Courier, run by pro life republican Rod Doss last time I checked. Not unlike a "Jewish" paper being run by Palestinians.

 

March 16

Two blasphemous toons for Sunday.

Find Tom the Dancing Bug here. Curse you City Paper.

March 14

My fave Dave Stevens cover:

 

 

The "Lobby" might be targeting Sen. Obama. From Muzzlewatch:

In (Some) Jews Against Obama, the Nation’s Eric Alterman has the most in-depth roundup I’ve seen yet of charges leveled against Obama by various American Likudnik Jewish leaders including Mort Klein of the the Zionist Organization of America, Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and a counsel at the American Jewish Committee.

During the past few months a small group of neoconservative Jews, many of whom hold key positions in the world of official Jewish institutions, have been working to undermine the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama with a series of carefully planted character assassinations and deliberately misleading innuendo.

Alterman quotes Matthew Yglesias:

“First Obama was an anti-Semite because Zbigniew Brzezinski is an anti-Semite. Then Obama was an anti-semite because Robert Malley is an anti-semite. And now according to [Commentary’s Noah] Pollack [sic] it’s Samantha Power who’s tainted by Jew-hatred.”

As usual, attempts at painting Obama as anti-Israel have had almost no traction with the majority of American Jews, whose liberal views comport with Obama’s with quite nicely.
What exactly are they so scared of? Alterman writes:

Perhaps it is honesty about the issue. Speaking to a largely Jewish audience in Cleveland, Obama explained, “There is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel, you’re anti-Israel and that can’t be the measure of our friendship with Israel.” Then came his kicker: “One of the things that struck me when I went to Israel was how much more open the debate was around these issues in Israel than they are sometimes here in the United States.” No wonder he scares them so…

Related: One hour Dutch documentary about the Israel lobby, features Mearsheimer and Walt and another black politician that was targeted by AIPAC. You know, if we had a legitimate black press that would be a big story. If we had such a thing...

What should have appeared March 12

Dave Stevens, the creator of the Rocketeer, passed away. More of his good girl art over at my classy porn page The Red Light District. (Classy!). From the Comics Journal message board and the Comics Journal Blog.

What should have appeared March 10

The Return of Return to Forever

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the greatest bands, ever, is reuniting this summer. They say the time is right. I think the time is right and they won't be able to play these songs for much longer. These aren't tunes for old men. Kneel before their greatness here and here and here. Kneel! And avert your eyes...This is, by the way, completely a Youtube phenomenon because Tony Mowad and WDVE don't play this kind of music. They just don't. But if you want to hear Harrison Bergeron players who aren't allowed to jump higher and dance better on commercial and even non commercial radio--also featured on the Acid Jazz Channel-- go to Youtube. Watch this and this Related: If you're looking for a kewl band name, then you can't go wrong with "Death Camp for Cats".

 

 

 

 

Get your Watchmen Pics right here. That's the Comedian by the way if you're an illiterate person who hasn't read the Great Books...

(Screen shot from Yahoo News) Our coverage is a just a tad biased in the Middle East. Over a 100 Palestinians have been killed over the last several weeks. Get the Real News Here and Here and Here.

Working on reviews of Jericho, The Wire and school board piece that takes a deeper look at Eleanor Chute's reporting. (One missing piece of a generally excellent "The Wire" season: where are the blogs? Baltimore bloggers would have caught the city hall lies, as Pittsburgh bloggers would have done,  and might have been able to piece together the homeless lie stuff, especially with tips...big hole there.)

March 5

Most shocking news story I've read in awhile. Get the transcript and the audio and/or visuals here.

 March 4


Link: sevenload.com

Above, simple yet beautifully elegant animation done to Koop tune. Below, Harlan Ellison has been drawn into the scientology debate and he's extremely uncomfortable with it. One reason I would think he's uncomfortable with it is that he's actually a big fan of Hubbard's pulp fiction. I think he's the only person I know who is. But, frankly, I respect Harlan's opinion when it comes to literary matters. Now, at the very end here he talks about how scientology got started and I must confess it makes the religion look bad. Dear Mr. Cruise: your religion was started on a financial whim.  It's an amazing bit of conversation by the way and, while it wouldn't surprise me if Harlan gets this pulled in the next several weeks, I really think it shows off Harlan at his most brilliant. Man, the history that guy knows and has lived...

 

 

 

May March 3

11 Notes I Would Attach to Bricks I've Thrown Through Bank Building Windows

I was reading this interesting Uncle Scam post and it got me thinking what note would I attach to bricks or pieces of concrete that I've thrown through bank building windows. Here's what Social Youth Chaos wrote:

“No entry was gained and nothing was taken, so it appears this was the delivery of some kind of message by the perpetrators,” Andy Oakley with Bremerton police said.

Police said the content of the notes were all the same and read as follows:

“Directions: Attach to brick and throw through window”

“Here is your brick back."

"Recognize it? You should.”

“It is part of the wall that you, as one of the elite upper class, have helped to build between the minority ruling class, and the majority working class throughout history. By flaunting your decadence, you have made yourself a target.”

“Get used to it!”

“Social youth chaos-f___ s___ up!”

I came up with 11 such notes. This certainly isn't an endorsement of perhaps justified vandalism against the state. As I've been saying quite a bit lately: I have the same respect for the rule of law as does the current president of the United States, perhaps even slightly more, which probably isn't saying much. (Note to ineffective local hooligans: Notice they attacked banks and not eco friendly food stores.)

  1. Look, I read the financial reports, its not as if you'll be standing here a long time anyway...

  2. I'll turn myself in as soon as the attorney general I appointed charges me.

  3. I would appreciate it if you would ignore this brick just like you ignore impeachment and a million dead iraqis.

  4. Hey, I tried voting...

  5. If life was fair, I'd get a parade and you would be locked up for usury you bankin' bitches...

  6. Hey, you said you wanted the house back because I couldn't pay the mortgage...

  7. Redline this!

  8. And I'm not too thrilled with the insurance industry, either.

  9. There might be some anonymous people out here who aren't just only upset about scientology. Just sayin'...

  10. This is in no way a modern day cointelpro psyop meant to trigger massive detention camp arrests, followed by subsequent rioting and thereby a legitimate "shock doctrine" excuse to cancel elections and permanently keep Bush in power. But if you need more explanation call me at NSA headquarters, across the street from the book deposity and remember the codename is "Operation Grand Slam".

  11. I'll have you know that despite this latest attack against the evil institutions of the state I still have more respect for the law than the current president of the United States. I mean, at least I haven't killed anybody, yet.

Labels: and so it begins, social youth chaos

Feb. 29

Looks like my prediction came through in terms of the school board vote. But I'm not sure because both dailies failed to provide a breakdown of the vote, which I suspect was on racial lines. Wouldn't that be news? Horrible lead by the Post Gazette's Eleanor Chute who suggested that everyone who wanted to keep Schenley open was in love with high school kids sniffing asbestos. I seem to recall that they had some counter arguments Eleanor...more on this later when I have time to write tonight.

Feb. 27

They call him Wayno! Yet another talented local artist.

And we get local Pittsburgh school board press releases. This one is from BPEP. I predict that the majority white members of the school board will outvote the minority black members of the school board but I could be wrong. I also used to think you couldn't elect a black guy president so what do I know. Here's Tim and Celeste:

Superintendent Mark Roosevelt and Board President, Bill Isler

Board Members: Heather Arnet, Mark Brentley, Theresa Colaizzi, Jean Fink,

Sherry Hazuda, Bill Isler, Floyd McCrea, Thomas Sumpter, Randall Taylor

Pittsburgh Public Schools Board of Education

341 South Bellefield Street

Pittsburgh , PA   15213

 

Dear Superintendent Roosevelt,  and Board President Isler,  Members: Heather Arnet, Mark Brentley, Theresa Colaizzi ,Jean Fink, Sherry Hazuda, Bill Isler, Floyd McCrea,  Thomas Sumpter, Randall Taylor

 

For many years, B-PEP, the Black Political Empowerment Project has been very concerned about and involved in the issues of reforming Pittsburgh Public Schools so that all of our children, in particular African American children receive a high quality education. Our involvement in school      reform became even more heightened as a result of the announcement on October 31, 2007 that called for the closing of Schenley due to students and staff being exposed to asbestos where conditions were continuing to deteriorate and the cost to remediate was prohibitive.  Well since that announcement we have learned that there are other options that can allow Schenley to stay open without ignoring safety and weighing the cost with other proposed building renovations.  On October 31st we also learned of other high school reforms that didn’t come with as much details or public process that should have existed for such dramatic proposals to be successful. 

 

Our position today has been influenced by attending many meetings, public hearings, information provided by the Superintendent, his staff and administration, Board members, PPS website, PA Department of Education, principals, teachers, students, parents, news media, concerned       community members, in addition to independent building engineers, legal and finance experts.  After weighing all of this, we respectfully request that board members Vote NO or table all the items regarding moving Schenley students separately and making expenditures to renovate other school buildings.  We ask that you Vote NO  or table all aspects of this proposed High School Reform plan and not move ahead with making any other expenditures until there is a comprehensive approach to programs that address the needs of all students associated with the 9 High Schools that failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress.  Can you please share with us where      you are with that?  Maybe those plans are somewhere in the ever growing and changing documents connected to high school reform and we just don’t know where to look for it or maybe it was in the information you received between February 20th and today?

           

We agree with you and understand the fierce urgency of now to ensure that ALL of our children receive a high quality education, especially the many that have been denied that opportunity for so long.  It is good to see the A+ Schools plans for community forums on high school reform beginning Thursday.  In addition to this we must focus some of our energy on figuring out a way to reach and teach our students where they are at NOW.  It will be a shame to use the excuse that we were not able to make any improvements for many of our students over the next couple of years because we spent so much time devoted to only discussing not so well laid out plans.

           

Respectfully submitted,

           

Tim Stevens, Chairman and Celeste Taylor, Vice-Chairperson


"Moving From Complaint To Possibility,
From Planning To Implementation"
The Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP)
Tim Stevens, Chairman
Celeste Taylor, Vice Chairperson
Phone: 412-758-7898
Email: b-pepinfo@b-pep.net
Web Site: www.b-pep.net
c/o Hill House Association, 1835 Centre Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Related: Everything you needed to know about "The Tyranny of the Majority". More about Lani Guinier here and she just published a new book and she's interviewed at Dollars and Sense about it.

Feb. 24

Late Sunday Night Weekend Around the Internets

I discovered this at the Comic Book Reporter. Its a list of prominent comics people in the City of Pittsburgh. That entire list includes every city. Pittsburgh is here:

PITTSBURGH
People
Jacob Ciocci
Chris Cornwell
Ron Frenz
Joe Jusko
Pat Lewis
Jasen Lex
Pat Oliffe
Erech Overaker
Ed Piskor
Jim Rugg
Frank Santoro
Tom Scioli
Don Simpson
Wayno!
Mark Zingarelli
Institutions
Copacetic Comics
 

Looks about right. The above was drawn by Ed Piskor, who made it on the list and most deservingly. That's from a profile of the Beats and those panels are about William Burroughs, who apparently was a gifted poet (came up with the phrases "Soft Machine" and "Steely Dan") but a definite wife murdering drug abuser who you wouldn't want to leave alone with your kid, especially if it was a young boy, who happened to live on the streets of Tangier...Go Beats! More of a Ferlingetti man myself, he didn't shoot anybody as far as I know...

I also highly recommend you pick up Ed's latest work "Phreak": It looks to be a kind of history of the early phone hackers, who were sort of the precursors of all the wonderful Nigerian spammers and DNS types we know and love today. The first edition looks to be a composite of the early life stories of the two Kevins, Mitnick and Poulsen. My fave part has the fictionalized composite Kevin (I think.) rob the more famous two Steves, Jobs and Wozniak, who apparently used to make machines that allowed you to hack phones. I suppose this prepared them to sell Apple computers.

Ed provides the first half online here.

Possible cancer cure that Big Pharma won't touch because you can't patent it. Sounds like a job for the Open Source biotech movement. Related: This recent Cyborg Democracy interview which features Joseph P. Jackson  who's working on extending open source biotech to the creation of new drugs.

Song I like. Fried Neckbones and Some Homefries. Those are the only lyrics we need in these complicated times.

If you missed Youtube for an hour or two Sunday afternoon, then blame the those dirty Cardies Paks, who while attempting to turn off Youtube in Pakistan turned it off IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. Youtube is back in the US, still struggling in the rest of the world. Remember, the mostly Islamic Pakistanis, run by a dictator and owner of many nuclear weapons, are our friends. Just keep saying that.

This Elf with Gun link actually works.

Feb. 21

 

You can catch the first issue of Warren's FreakAngels online. Looks interesting.

Feb. 19

"You live in a country where it is illegal to express certain mathematics in software, where state apparatchiks regulate all innovation, where inconvenient science is criminalized, where whole avenues of experimentation and research are shut down in the service of a half-baked superstition about the moral qualities of your three laws, and you call my home corrupt? Arturo, what happened to you? You weren't always this susceptible to the Big Lie."

--from Cory Doctorow's "I Robot"

You know, I've been mooching off of Cory Doctorow's free work for years. Never paid him a dime.  He's one of them information is free DRM resistance is futile kind of guys who,  and this is a credit to his fortitude, puts out most of his work without charge. Go look. It's true. I can't tell you how much fun it is to pan a novel when I wasn't given a complimentary copy. Still, I know of this slight pang called "guilt". So, when IDW publishing started a series called "Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales" I decided to say thank you by buying all five issues of the six issue series that have been published so far. It was thanks not just  for having the courage to test his theory that free copies don't hurt sales but also as thanks for his great copyleft reporting at Boing Boing. They're not quite in the Alan Moore league or as courageous as Black Summer but they're pretty good. The last issue, part of  a series of short stories that rework classic science fiction motifs (You might recall Isaac Asimov's robot stories and his three laws of robotics...Warren Ellis has his own version of the three laws which are funny and will probably be true.) is definitely the best, fully realized of the batch. It also recycles a common meme in Cory's work or the idea that you might be able to upload your consciousness into other bodies. Or: we would become the Cylons, or at least the ones who can pass for humans. Terrific read. I also was quite impressed with Nimby and the  Dimension Hoppers. The covers have been beautiful as well. Highly recommended. And: thanks Cory for showing us a new way. I'm not sure if he's one of the best science fiction writers but he's certainly one of the best people in science fiction.

Brilliant Prolefeed Video About Election Fraud

Bradblog is onto something when it comes to the irresponsibility of the Daily Kos about the election integrity debate. The record of Markos and his gang of election fraud denialists (phrase courtesy of Mark Crispin Miller.) is simply horrible. We've tried the DNC establishment/Markos technique of simply ignoring the problem and hoping that it will go away in 2000 and 2004. That simply didn't work. Democrats, or at least Democrats who don't secretly like the results of the 2000 and 2004 election that screws the working fella base of the party, should assume that the election is guilty until proven innocent by both verifiable ballot and open auditing that we can all see. In fact, you should be pissed off about it and you should even "hyperventilate" some.

Now, thanks to the Youtubes, which we can find on the Internets, someone explains the problem in a simple way that even Markos Moulitsas and his election fraud denialist attack hack Dana Houle can  easily understand. God Knows they won't read and probably can't comprehend the half dozen excellent largely unrebutted books written by Bob Fitrakis, Mark Crispin Miller, Greg Palast, a number of statisticians and even one Kennedy. Here it is in moving pictures.


You know, this is pretty funny but from what I've seen I'm pretty sure it isn't a joke.

Bottom Line: If you've lost two consecutive presidential elections because of voter suppression of the DNC base, then you might want to counteract those efforts in 2008. That means not calling election integrity movement leaders "nutters" and not banning people who bring these issues up at your "forum". You might even take a hand in pushing for a stronger Holt bill. Both Fitrakis and Kathy Dopp have outlined solutions. Unless you're on the other side of course. And, I have to admit, I sometimes wonder if Markos did take that CIA job. There were old school media persons who were Company Men in the past, why not New Media men, who were once republicans, on the payroll as well? Remember: all of the glitches seem to benefit republicans and/or the most conservative of democratic candidates. It would be nice if the Great Orange Satan could catch a clue.

Feb. 18

One of the most effective campaigns of subversion, ever. And scientology is kind of evil and well deserving of this.

Feb. 15

Let's be honest. Those anonymous vids are both scary and inspired. They also seem to spark real action. I guess it would be asking too much for the Green Party to pull something off like that. I also think they're comics fans. Aren't there two comics allusions...the "be wary" phrase comes from "V for Vendetta" and the cut down one  and ten will replace it seems to be taken from the mantra of Hydra: "Cut off one arm and two will replace it." Hydra was the main nemesis of Shield, at least when Steranko drew it. The Internets is the modern counterculture. Don't let anybody tell you different. (One question for anonymous, who is legion: why stop at scientology? Why not Mormonism or the pope or thoroughly evil republicans? Just a thought....)

Speaking of the Green Party, what the fuck is wrong with the Green Party? They're planning on running a candidate against Mike Doyle, arguably the most progressive congressman in the state (look at his record.). If they do really well they won't win but they could tip the race to the hideous republican, which is the reality of the winner take all system. Are they planning on ever contesting a mayor's race again? If they had attacked the last Pittsburgh's mayor's race with funding and, you know, a candidate, I just think they would have gotten a lot of support. I don't understand their strategy. Why can't  they raise money from small donors? What is their strategy? Annoying and quixotic presidential runs only?. Related: Did you know that there are other third parties out there? I didn't. Until yesterday. Let's all read about the Working Families Party and The United States Labor Party, not to be confused with wacko Lyndon Larouche's Labor Party, probably a psyop to discredit a decent labor party.

A song I like, in bitter bloody conflict with Rammstein's "Amerika" (oh the humanity...when end the video wars as wise Yoda would say..)  that is back on the Internets:


Link: sevenload.com

Feb. 14

Bah! Humbug. Well, at least I have my porn site...This Is Not A Love Song..

Midday Feb. 13

A Long Put Off Around the Internets

New Get Your War Ons

and:

Your Election Integrity Roundup

Washington state GOP starts stealing elections from other Republicans now. Bradblog describes one of the main guys involved as Essor the Suppressor, who apparently has ties to the McCain campaign. I've seen this movie before in Ohio 2004 and Florida 2000. Expect high profile election fraud denialists like Markos and Atrios to continue their winning strategy of keeping their head in their sands or other parts of their bodies.

Speaking of Markos and a wrapup of election fraud during the primary season, Bradblog has the lowdown:

Daily Kos' Markos Moulitsas Attacks Election Integrity, Irresponsibly, Yet Again
The World's Most-Read 'Progressive' Blogger Continues to Misinform His Readers, Seems to Have No Understanding of How Our Electoral System Works (or Doesn't)...

With "friends" like Markos Moulitsas at Daily Kos, Democrats may not need Republicans to help them lose this year. Once again, the namesake of the largest supposedly-Progressive blogsite in the world misleads his readers, confuses issues of Election Integrity with unmade allegations of "conspiracy theories," and otherwise makes all-new extraordinary claims which are wholly unsupported by any evidence, extraordinary or otherwise.

Read the Whole thing here. To repeat: it's pretty much impossible to verify your vote in the United States and its very difficult to get accurate recounts.

Support the Emergency Paper Ballot Bill. Not a perfect bill but its all we got.

Very Good Parenti blog.

The City Paper's Chris Potter blogs. Not as good as Atrios or Chad Hermann but give him time. Weeks ago I wondered aloud why every staffer at the City Paper isn't blogging and getting a split of ad revenue. I imagine they'll get to blog but without that annoying extra pay.

More Elf with a gun news.

 

 

 

Early morning Feb. 13

Issue one of Steve Gerber's Void Indigo. Related: Obit from the Comics Journal. More Related: Notes from Gerber on how this six issue series should have ended. Wish Steve and Val had completed this.

Just a song I like that I just keep hitting replay on.

Feb. 12

One of the most original American writers who ever lived died yesterday. His name was Steve Gerber and truth be told he was one of the few American comics  writers who was in the same extraordinary league as this new and annoyingly gifted Ellis/Moore Brit class of scribes that has taken over our shores--in quality anyway. If you can find them, and now a lot of his work is in collections, I highly recommend his Howard the Ducks (Highlighted, for me anyway, by Howard's presidential run in 1976 and Dr. Bong,  the first journalist as super villain, in comics anyway.) But they were all special. One of the issues was so good that Stan Lee even wrote him a fan letter. Steve's Defenders run--which featured a black man essentially enabling  the plotline of the Turner Diaries, My Mother the Badoon and a pipe smoking lesbian senatorial candidate, just stunning stuff--was also quite impressive. This is also when I noticed that it matters who writes these things. When Steve Gerber left those particular titles they simply weren't as good. I'm still insulted that Marvel thought that hack Bill Mantlo could replace Steve on Howard the Duck, a creation that only worked with is creator. Steve Gerber was also one of the first comics guys to fight for creator rights and probably helped usher in creator owned comics.

Steve also left behind some of the most frustrating dangling plotlines ever.

The only  two issues of Void Indigo are astonishing. But then the series was cancelled. Never got to read what half this stuff meant. Just look at that cover. And then there was this guy who showed up in Defenders (link fixed.)to randomly shoot people:

Never explained, probably because Steve Gerber sued Marvel. I know he knew what it meant and how it tied into the Defenders but that secret will go with him into the grave. I guess he didn't want Bill Mantlo to mess it up. Steve's fiction, to me, had it all. There was never anybody who could mix the fantastic with the real so effortlessly, and make it funny too. He will be missed.

 Related: On a macabre note that Steve would have appreciated and that we will see more of  Here in the Future you can kind of watch Steve blog his own death. I like to think I would be as matter of fact about it. More Related: Good interview with Steve about his work. More Related: Obit of Steve by the Comics Reporter and a collection of reflections from across the Internets.

Feb. 10

Forgot where I got this but yeah that's about right. And why Richard Dawkins is a mean ol' atheist is completely legitimate in regards to Sharia Law, don't forget that whenever mideastern countries elected more liberal candidates we usually had them killed and replaced with our compliant Saddam/Shah like henchman. Let's face it: Religious doctrine and authoritarianism go great together. Related: And let's not forget why Richard Dawkins is a mean ol' atheist. More Related: Angry Palestinian rap vid (tip of the hat to Uncle Scam at American Samizdat).

 

 

Feb. 7

The art of John Picacio, again. Here's his blog

Booman, the Anti-Kos, seems to think that Obama has it in the bag. I agree.

Anyone that reads this blog knows that I am pulling for Barack Obama and that I have low personal regard for Mrs. and Mr. Clinton. So, yeah, I am biased. But Obama won the night tonight by every available measure. Chuck Todd on MSNBC has done the national delegate estimate (using the most optimistic Clinton campaign projections for California) and got: Obama 841 Clinton 837. It will probably be a slightly larger lead for Obama, but not more than 15-20 additional delegates.

Obama didn't just win the delegate battle, he won the states battle. Obama won (14) Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Alabama, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Alaska. Clinton won (8) New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Arkansas, California, Arizona, and Oklahoma.

Then there is the expectations game. Obama had two big upsets in Connecticut and Missouri, while Clinton had none.

The next set of primaries favors Obama. Of course, it will never be an inevitable win for the first  viable African American candidate.  Even The Great Orange Satan has it right:

So how will this shake out? Beats me. But task one is for Obama to survive this Tuesday. If he does, task two is for Hillary to survive this month. If she does, then they both have to survive the mini-Super Tuesday on March 4th. If they do, this thing goes to Pennsylvania. Or to North Carolina.

Or to the convention.

You know, when I was growing up as a young black man, other older African Americans would say something to me at various times, usually at church or a social function. And what they often said was "We are not loved." Just out of the blue. I always wondered what that meant as a young person full of optimism, back then anyway.  Now, as a grumpy older black person, and winner of about $20000 grand from discrimination lawsuits against two allegedly "liberal" institutions,  I now realize that was a slightly more subtle way of saying "We are a deeply hated people".  Last hired, first fired. Watch as black men with college degrees get turned away from the job while the white man who uses yinz as a noun and no high school diploma not only gets the job but also gets the promotion. If  you're a lucky black person, you might even get to train him. I live in a country where black men are, really, if you look at it, groomed for the prison system and/or low grade wage slavery where you never ever get to get out.

That's why I didn't originally endorse Obama. We're not loved. Really.  I still think the safest bet was John Edwards. You run a risk nominating either a woman or an African American to the presidency. But if it's a choice between the Clintons and Obama, then Obama is clearly the better choice. Both have strongly hinted that they're corporate dems which means, probably, very little changes in the lives of ordinary Americans. On the other hand, I think that when the Democratic Party controls the White House then things can get a little better. Sane people on the courts would be nice too.There would be no Americorps if Bill Clinton hadn't become president. True, when I worked for Americorps I worked at a church which is as symbolic of the Clinton legacy as anything (I never told any of my students to pray though. I told them to think their way out of problems). Remember: The Clintons left the country in the hands of fascist republicans and a cave in mentality that has really turned both parties into the servants of the Republican ruling classes. I guess I've seen what the Clintons have done--and I also have this sneaky feeling that they didn't mind losing democratic party majorities in both houses because it strengthened the presidency and their own personal war against the party's base--and I think its time to give a family other than Bush or Clinton a chance to do good or even ill. Couldn't do any worse quite frankly.

One more thing on why the Edwards choice wasn't only the most progressive choice, but the safest. If you were appalled by the tactics of the Clintons (okay mostly Bill. He loves his hawt wife. Who knew.), then just wait for the GOP onslaught. Expect Obama's middle name to be used in all of those unauthorized yet effective 527 ads. Horrible stuff. I mean, I think the country is ready for a big change but it won't be easy. Not to mention that the country's real terrorist threat comes from the American right. They're the ones who kill with impunity. I like to think those Nazi Stormfront groups will just sit on their hands and blog about it,  terrified of secret service protection but I doubt it....

Mittens dropping out isn't good. Mike Huckabee is a nightmare candidate in that he's completely likeable, strikes me as authentic (non McCain trophy wife and all...) and the Republican wall streeters hate him. Now Mike gets a one on one race with McCain, or Bob Dole II, who I think is a very beatable candidate in a general election. I'd much rather face Bob Dole II in a general election than Mike Huckabee. Not that I would vote for MIke. See here and here.  More GOP awfulness...Related: Why Richard Dawkins is a mean ol' atheist.

Jan 31


Link: sevenload.com

Must read by Peter Bagge on The War Against Fornication. One weird aspect to this story: one of the evildoers pushing these Taliban laws here is a board member of Reason! How is that possible? What kind of libertarian is that? If you didn't know, Reason is the mouthpiece of the American Libertarian movement.

 

 

 

Jan 31


Link: sevenload.com

Must read by Peter Bagge on The War Against Fornication. One weird aspect to this story: one of the evildoers pushing these Taliban laws here is a board member of Reason! How is that possible? What kind of libertarian is that? If you didn't know, Reason is the mouthpiece of the American Libertarian movement.

Jan. 30

The art of John Picacio, again. Here's his blog. Everybody has a blog I reckon'. (I'm watchin' a western.).

Well that was a long break. Kind of depressed about Edwards dropping out. But, hopefully, barring an unexaggerated death, I will post with a bit more frequency than Khari Mosely, who last posted in December 2006, but who has recently appeared to say something nice about Barack Obama. Welcome back Khari. Try not to take two years between posts.

What I should have posted on Jan. 24

Just a tune I like.

 


icicles by luminous orange
Uploaded by Steelydan

 

Ernest Partridge makes an election prediction and it looks pretty accurate to me.

At long last, more and more ordinary Americans are getting the message that they have been lied to, that they can no longer trust the mainstream media, that their public treasury has been looted, that their children’s and grandchildren’s future has been mortgaged, and that they are living under the darkening shadow of despotism.

Still the establishment MICMC rolls on in its arguably pre-determined course, “populism” and the public be damned. Matt Taibbi on Bill Maher’s “Real Time” last Friday summed it up perfectly:

The [campaign] theme for awhile was that the voters were sick and tired of being told by the media who was going to be their nominee. But it seems to have come full circle now, and it looks like we may end up getting the same people we were going to get in the first place: [McCain and Clinton]....

Seventy percent of the country wants to withdraw from Iraq, and we get two pro-war candidates. If that doesn’t tell you how f****d-up the system is, I don’t know what does.

So we are now at a crossroads.  Here, for what it's worth, are two scenarios: To the right, we get McCain vs. Clinton and more of the same, whoever wins.  If these are the candidates, Hillary will get a media pounding that will make the Swift Boats seem like a luxury cruise.  The GOP will nominate McCain and a “smart Bush” –  maybe Giuliani or even (God forbid!) Cheney – for Veep. The GOP/MSM noise machine will bring the McCain poll numbers upward toward 45%, which is close enough for Diebold, et. al, to do the rest. McCain, age 72, will win and after a year or two, retire “for health reasons.” Bush’s “enabling acts” will still be in place, and ...  – the rest is too horrible to contemplate.

To the left, the public demand for change becomes irresistible. Edwards is nominated, or perhaps Obama with a populist enthusiasm not clearly evident today. A populist/Democratic tsunami overwhelms the black-box voting machines, a Democrat moves into the White House, and the Democrats take substantial control of Congress. By then, the Bush depression may be upon us, opening the door to substantial social, economic and political reform.

The latter scenario can not happen without a massive outpouring of public anger and demand for substantial change. If that anger is contained, we remain on a rightward course. If it breaks loose and the Bastille falls, all bets are off. It's in the hands of we the people.

Hold on tight: it’s going to be a rough ride ahead!

Jan. 21

I have no idea what this is about but it sure looks interesting. I got the tip from Jeff Vandemeer's Amazon Blog.

Eulogy for Prop Joe: I guess I was hoping that there would be more seasons of The Wire but what's the point if you keep killing off my favorite characters. I always thought Prop Joe was the decent gangster. This probably ends the Meet Up as Marlo just goes about killing anyone who stands in his way. So much for the genteel Baltimore black mob. On the other hand, it looks like Omar the Dark Avenger is back in town. I really think Marlo deserves Omar's vengeance more than what he'd get from the police. I also find the stories on the newsroom to be interesting. It certainly brings back memories and very few of them good. More on that when I have time...

Jan. 20

Must listen to Democracy Now interview with David Cay Johnston. In case you're wondering why poor people can't move back to New Orleans and why the Hill District gets nothing for development while the Pens get millions in tax breaks...

An excerpt:

MY GOODMAN: Explain the wealth transfer.
 

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: Well, I was struck, listening to the program from Kenya, where they talked about the president and his power to give money to people, give land, and that’s why many people identify with it. We have created in the United States, largely in the last thirty years, a whole series of programs—a few of them explicit, many of them deeply hidden—that take money from the pockets of the poor and the middle class and upper middle class and funnel it to the wealthiest people in America. And among the biggest recipients of these subsidies are the wealthiest family America, the Waltons; George Steinbrenner; Donald Trump; a whole host of healthcare billionaires. And these are policies that either have not been reported on or the news reporting on them generally has not informed people about what they really are.

And for those of us watching what's happening on the Hill:

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, I was struck—you have numerous chapters in the book on the various aspects of this transfer, but I was especially struck by your material on the New York Yankees and Steinbrenner and Joyce Hogi, who you mention in the book, who I know well, and this whole issue of sports teams across America and how the public is subsidizing them. Could you elaborate on that part of it?


DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: Sure. George Steinbrenner is getting over $600 million for the new Yankee Stadium in New York. The New York Mets are getting over $600 million. In fact, the City of New York gave them money to lobby against the taxpayers to get more money. Rudy Giuliani gave $50 million to the two teams for that purpose.

The new owners of the Washington Nationals baseball team in Washington, D.C., paid $450 million for the team. But, in fact, they got the team for free, because the subsidy they’re getting for the new stadium is worth $611 million. We actually paid these people to buy the team.

Now, in this country right now, we are spending $2 billion a year subsidizing the big four sports: baseball, basketball, football and hockey. It accounts for all of the profits of that industry and more. Now, there may be individual teams that make money, but the industry as a whole is not profitable. And that’s astonishing because the big four leagues are exempt from the laws of competition. By the way, irony is not dead, because here are people who are in the business of competition on the field who are exempted by law from the rules of economic competition.

If you go to England and you want to start a soccer team, they have to let you join the soccer league. There are thirteen commercial soccer teams in the London area. New York City, the biggest city in the country, there are two baseball teams, because there’s no free entry into the market. In Los Angeles, there’s no football team. And the owners use this power to prevent others from owning teams, to prevent municipal governments from owning teams, to prevent nonprofits from owning teams, to extract money from the taxpayers to build them new stadiums.

At the same time that we’re doing this, we are starving our public parks for money. And I show in Free Lunch how the rise of urban gangs and now suburban gangs is connected to this. We used to have all sorts of programs in this country after World War II for young men and young women on Saturdays and during the summer and school holidays, where even if you didn’t have any money—didn’t matter that your parents didn’t have any money, because—and I know this because I did it as a child—you could go to any one of a half-dozen different places, and there were organized activities to keep you out of trouble. After all, idle hands are the devil’s workshop is not exactly a radical new idea. Well, we’ve cut and cut and cut those programs to fund two different subsidies: one to sports teams’ owners, one that goes to Tyco, General Electric, Honeywell and some other big companies. And, lo and behold, we’ve had a big rise in urban violence because of the vacuum being filled by young people who no longer have these organized activities.

Jan. 18

Must see about the corporate media.

Jan. 15

Radical cartoonist Peter Kuper has been living in Mexico for the past year and that's one of the pages of his story. Again, if you can find the current issue of World War III, it's a fantastic read.

Behold: The Solar Streetlight.

Two stories I'm watching: The coverage of the Goddess on the Penguins deal (good back history here from Bram at the Burgh blog) and how they're going about screwing the black community--

(yet again, sigh. On the other hand, I would hope the Goddess would notice all those black politicians who are helping with the screwing. The Goddess has endorsed Obama. I haven't, at least not as my first choice. I've gotten to the point to where I kind of want to know what your policies are, Tonya.)

--and the vote recount begins in New Hampshire where, at least, you can do a recount. One of the horrifying things I learned from that New York Times magazine article is that Pennsylvania's machines don't have the ability to record your ballot for a recount or at least a separate paper ballot that you can use to verify your vote...In fact, I've kind of wondered what state could be the Ohio or Florida of 2008 and it could very easily be Pennsylvania. Horrifying.

Jan. 14

The really really big story is the possible hacking of the New Hampshire primary election and how to prove it. That's the hard part.

Jan 13

Shooting War, written by GNN founder Anthony Lappe, also has a trailer here:

Jan 10

More Frazetta:

There are a number of important election fraud stories that must be read. One is the recent story in the New York Times Magazine. By the way, I hope that the Post Gazette notices that this is now a respectable path of inquiry. So, you can now pull Bill Moushey and Dennis Roddy off of whatever they're doing which is less important (which, unless it involves confirmation of Roswell, would include just about everything in the known galaxy...) and take a look at the election fraud story and even take a whack at rebutting this or even this. That would be important too. Two:  A new piece by the Free Press team of Fitrakis and Wasserman which ties together the people who have pulled the greatest crime of our new century. Yes, there are CIA links and more info about incredible primary combacks. I've seen that movie before...wasn't it Tuesday?

I gave the Edwards campaign a long shot Hail Mary way to come back, possibly. It's crossposted at MYDD and Booman Tribune.

I think an excellent way for John Edwards to cut through to democratic voters is to take a truly fighting stance against "election fraud." There is some evidence that the kind of suspected primary election fraud that the election fraud "community" (Bob Fitrakis of Free Press, Black Box Voting, Mark Crispin Miller and others who are largely unrebutted by the GOP) has noticed may have occurred in New Hampshire.(One.)

To summarize, it looks like exit polling, which would be immune to unaccounted for pre polling surges and/or skulldoggery by republican independents (and is reliable within .1 percent in places like Germany), is wildly at odds with the final result. The election fraud community smells a rat as well they should. Now, there is a  counter view posted at Dkos. (Two.) I don't find it as compelling as the chart shown here:

http://ronrox.com/paulstats.php?party=DE MOCRATS

I think John Edwards should ask for a full recount, but go a bit further and demand a full inquiry into "chain of custody" issues. You might wonder what the overall benefit would be of a successful recount effort which would give the election to Obama. Well, the most important thing it would do is it would show, in a very realistic and powerful way, that Edwards is a different kind of democrat who fights for principle, namely one person one vote. Afterall, a lot of dems, myself included, think that both the 2000 and the 2004 election were stolen. If you want to show me a different kind of democrat you could start by fighting for our votes.

I'm also an African American. If you wanted to sell other African Americans on your campaign you might remind those African American voters (most targeted by vote suppression and these new ID laws) who fought for their vote and who will be more likely to fight for their vote when the Ohio/Florida of 2008 inevitably arises. The reason I support John Edwards is that I think he'll do more for the black community than some triangulating appeaser. Here's a chance for Edwards to prove me right.

You could also make your critiques of the voting system while supporting the New Holt Bill and wondering aloud why Sens. Obama and Clinton aren't more vocal or aren't offering amendments against voter ID Laws. I just think it creates a new dynamic for the race. A man who bills himself as a "fighting democrat" should, well, do some fighting...

Sincerely,

Philip Shropshire
www.threeriversonline.com

One: If you're interested in the details then look here:

http://politics.slashdot.org/politics/08 /01/10/1635225.shtml

And Here:

http://ronrox.com/paulstats.php?party=DE MOCRATS

And Here:

Two:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/1/10/ 02623/2264/85/434176

A song I like.

 


Bat For Lashes What's a girl to do
Uploaded by jeansanteuil

 

 

Jan. 8

Big and Beautiful Profile of Legendary Frank Frazetta here at Dial B for Blog.

Two Important Environmental Stories:

The Aircar is back! And it works. In India anyway. Check out this BBC Story.
Two: Inexpensive solar cells.
 

Jan 5

I don't think the Steelers will win tonight not because of talent level but way too many injuries (Parker, Aaron Smith and Starks) but they're a great team and can beat anybody for one game. Except probably the Pats this year. Anyway, Go Stillers. Update halftime: Arrrrrrrgh! Big Ben sucks, this game anyway or maybe we just don't match up well. We might come back although this is forcing me to watch the debate, ever so judiciously timed against an NFL playoff game. Obama is talking about the Iraqi Oil Law without mentioning that the Iraqi Oil Law that we drew up completely gives away Iraq's oil. As for Hillary, probably not my first or second choice for the presidency and I can't see myself doing much work for her other than voting but she is a very intelligent, very sexy woman who I would like to "do" even though she's in her sixties  who I personally find appealing. Final Update: ARRRRRH Again. Welp the Steelers lost. They played their hearts out though. Even if they had won I can't see them giving the Pats a problem without their full roster. We'll get them next year. I also think Jackonsonville will give the Pats a better game than a depleted Steelers.

Jan. 4

I suppose we must all now kneel in terror at the power of the Oprah...

Jan 3

Oh fuck. They just called Obama articulate on CNN. It was cranky old Jack. Well it least he wasn't impressed about how clean he was.

Looks like my second choice Barack Obama has won the Iowa caucuses. Just a note to my fellow Americans: Even if Obama wins the DNC nomination and wins the presidential election, the United States would still be a fucking racist nation. Just thought I should mention that here in a country that doesn't fund public education like it funds wars against brown folks abroad, seems to be tracking black males for the penal system and as of late throws entire black families into jail for their droopy pants.... So please don't think it's all better now. That is all as my favorite armored bear has said recently in the Golden Compass, which I finally saw and which I thought was pretty good. More on the Golden Compass here...

A very late Happy New Year to everyone. It's about 9 pm when I write this and they're calling it for Mike Huckabee. Oddly enough, I actually think he represents your average hayseed racist loves the lord  republican fairly accurately. Or as someone called it, and I'm paraphrasing, he's the Revenge of Gomer. Update: Watching CNN now and one of the talking heads says Mitt's Mormonism cost him because evangelicals came out against him. Sounds about right to me. Traditional Mormonism, started by a twice or thrice convicted con artist if I remember the Hitchens quote right, simply isn't compatible with Christianity.

It's completely up in the air on the dem side. Edwards could win it all or fall to third. It's very close. I did some volunteer calling for about 2 and a half hours Tuesday night for Edwards and felt pretty good about all the people who were choosing Edwards as a second choice. But I woke up this morning finding out that Richardson, with his 5 or 6 percent, was telling his voters to choose Obama and right now Obama is leading. Again, I could work for Obama even though I'm not enthralled with his GOP talking points campaign so far and I'm not sure if or how he would fight for the interests of the common man. Think he would be great for the courts though and the EEOC, where I currently have a case...

Booman, the Anti Kos, probably had the best summary of why most of the blogosphere backs Edwards. I really think Edwards has the best message and ironically he could even run against the DNC congress and get away with it. Update: CNN calls it for Obama around 9:30.

Here's Booman on Edwards:

Perhaps because his wife is such an avid reader of blogs, Edwards' campaign tapped right into our zeitgeist. He came out with our insight front and center. You want Edwards' message? Here it is: 'Fuck David Broder, fuck Joe Klein, fuck Chris Matthews, fuck FOX News, fuck Tim Russert, fuck Mitch McConnell, fuck Big Oil, Big Pharma, and Big Defense. We don't need them. They won't negotiate in good faith. They're stacking the deck against us. And we can beat them by telling the truth and getting organized.' That's Edwards' message, and that is the message we have internalized both through our successes and our failures.

What's funny is that Obama is saying many of the same things, in his own way. The policy differences between Edwards and Obama are minimal. But Obama's tone deaf to the blogosphere. And, as a result, the blogosphere didn't trust him. Take Armando:

...we do not criticize Obama's political style on aesthetic grounds; we criticize his style because we think it will not work to actually EFFECT CHANGE. We believe that despite his being touted as the change candidate, his political style is the one LEAST likely to achieve progressive policy change.

His 'style' will be ineffective. Why did so many of us conclude this? It's because we have watched Tom Daschle, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi try to negotiate with the Republicans (in the minority, the majority, no matter) and it does not work. We have watched the Dems talk tough and then back down time and time again. We're done with conciliation and we don't believe bipartisanship is possible without first crushing the Republican Party down to a stump.

 

There was a public warning about how you could hack the Iowa caucus process from black box voting. Read about it here.