Sunday, April 30, 2006
His answer: competing and irrational fundamentalist strains of Christianity and Islam and Judaism. You just don't ever see this kind of thing in the United States. Check out the teapot analogy at the end of Part 3. Part Two of the show. Part Three of the show.
"People go to churches to hide from the truth," explained Beyond Belief Media president Brian Flemming, a former Christian fundamentalist. "At no time is this more apparent than Easter, when Christians get together to convince each other that a man died, stayed dead three days, rose from the dead and then flew into the air above the clouds.
"Our nonviolent campaign sends the message that nowhere in the country is safe from the truth. Wherever Christian leaders are indoctrinating children with 2000-year-old fairy tales, the truth may just find its way there.
"Our 'War on Easter' is of course completely without violence of any kind. Christians believe that beating a man to a pulp and nailing him to a cross somehow solves all the world's problems. Beyond Belief Media does not."
Happy holidays and a challenge by Trevor Blake and related American Samizdat news. Yeah, there was a virgin birth, he rose from the dead and there's this guy from Nigeria who wants to send me a lot of money...! It all sounds just a bit too good to be true but....On the other hand, there's something hard wired into most people when it comes to belief systems. I don't know if this is the best way to change someone's mind. On the other other hand, I'm growing tired on this war on reproductive rights (waged mostly by men against women), which seems to be fought by the most unchristian leadership that I've seen in my two score. Perhaps the time for being nice to the devotees of the Invisible Sky Monster needs to end...(By the way, in case you're wondering about the differences between the Internets and the corporate press..If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: The Internet is the new Alternative Press. Related: Here's what's happening to the old alternative press here and here..)
Well, let's all say a collective thank you to Celeste Taylor for filing this lawsuit. This is serious stuff. The fact that it has to be filed against Democratic Party officials should tell you everything you need to know about what's wrong with today's Democratic Party. You can read the full file briefing here and the story here. More later about this when I have time,
Here's my fave bits:
The complaint asserts that the state certified Electronic Voting Machines made by Elections Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S) are not accessible by voters with disabilities -- contrary to the requirements of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Nonetheless, Allegheny County has selected their machines for use in upcoming elections. That, after previously hoping to go with Diebold, and then with Sequoia Voting Systems, until finally settling on ES&S after the first two choices fell apart either due to the politics of the companies involved and/or due to the discovery their Electronic Voting Systems were found to be hackable.As mentioned, the choice to not use Diebold in Allegheny occurred, in no small part, because of the company's known hard-right partisan leanings. The lawsuit, however, points out the irony of finally choosing to go with ES&S…considering their own dubious partisan background…
The risk from tampering or hacking the voting machines’ computer controls is heightened in this case. ES&S [Elections Systems and Software] itself presents a security threat to U.S. elections, including those in Allegheny County, because of the company’s and its senior executives’ strong partisan ties. Like Allegheny County’s first choice – Diebold – ES&S poses unacceptable risks of partiality and bias which will, at a minimum, undermine public trust in the fairness of elections.ES&S is an Omaha, Nebraska-based company which declines to fully reveal its ownership. According to published reports, about half of ES&S is owned by the Omaha World-Herald Company, the publisher of Omaha’s daily newspaper, and another quarter of the company is owned by the McCarthy Group, an Omaha investment fund.
The other owners, if any, are unknown, as is the full ownership of the McCarthy Group.Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel was the head of ES&S’s predecessor, American Information Systems (AIS) until 1995, when he resigned to run for Senate. Senator Hagel continues to own a multi-million dollar interest in the McCarthy Group, Inc., of which ES&S is a subsidiary. In the past, Senator Hagel – widely considered a likely Republican presidential contender in 2008 -- has failed to fully disclose his financial ties to ES&S. Michael McCarthy, CEO of the McCarthy Group, Inc. acted as Senator Hagel’s campaign manager in both the 1996 and 2002 elections. In 2006, McCarthy contributed money to the Sandhills PAC, which contributed money to Rick Santorum, the Senate Republican incumbent for Pennsylvania, who will be on the May 16 primary ballot in Allegheny County. According to published reports, in the past three election cycles, Michael McCarthy and his wife contributed substantial sums of money to Republican candidates and nothing to Democrats, while in the last five and half years, executives and employees of the McCarthy Group, Inc. contributed almost six times as much money to the GOP as to Democratic candidates.Strong partisan ties, combined with a lack of transparency regarding the ownership of this company, will lead to public questions about the integrity of the voting process, which in turn will diminish voters’ confidence in that process. Such voter concerns are well founded.
Read the whole thing as they say.
Links N At
Calpundit leans nuclear, the deadly gift that keeps on killing, nearly forever. Here's a better solution. Remember: The tech will get better. Perhaps not computer processor better but an improvement.. Combine that with decentralized power sources and conservation and we'll be just fine. Now, if we just weren't run by fuel execs who kinda like the current dependencies...
Yet another AIPAC paper. I don't buy the Chomsky criticism on how he's too nice to AIPAC. Just watch this debate with Dershowitz...
Tunes to Catch at Youtube. Yes, there's probably some violation here of copyright law. On the other hand, the music channels don't seem very interested in playing music, especially jazz. So I hope these artists understand that this is exposure that they wouldn't otherwise be getting. Ever.:
Larry Coryell (snippet from Bahia concert)
Sinead O Connor "Black Boys on Mopeds" (or nine year old black boys running away in Pittsburgh...)
And two songs you've heard on commercials because music channels don't play good music anymore: here (Portishead) and here (Hooverphonic).
Kevin Shields "City Girl"
And two from CNET (?) which now downloads vids apparently. Beautiful tune by Dave's True Story and the Electric Miles at the Isle of Wight Festival in 69. Features Keith Jarrett (looks to be high and/or distracted) and Chick Corea on electric keyboards, Airto on percussion, Dejohnette on drums, great sax player but don't know his name. Guessing the bassist is Dave Holland. Shortlist for white bassists playing in Miles band at that time is very small...Scary Bitches Brew type tune that goes on for 18 minutes. Kind of feels like Free Jazz. Not my fave tune but it catches Miles before he lost his lip. Intense.
Pretty Joe Pass Tune
I sort of thought Chuck won the debate although he did talk like a professor at times which never wins you any points politically. (See career of Adlai Stevenson). He also had the most vocal supporters. Passion, apparently, is something that the machine can't buy..
I did think Sandals had the best moment of the debate when he looked Casey in the eye and made it clear that criminalizing women (and onward toward the elimination of contraception including condoms and summary execution of people who put nekkid girls on websites (reminds me: new updates at the Red Light District)) is kinda of a big deal. The Christian Right never stops. How can you be wrong when you talk to God? After South Dakota, this issue is more important than ever.
I also think Sandals is right that an anti-choice candidate won't win in November. What kind of party picks a candidate that appeals to the Republican base, in a state where pro choicers like Rendell and Specter win? Just unfathomable. Of course, Alan, it would be nice if there wasn't another choice candidate to split the vote. Great timing. Did Schumer give you a call?
For the next debate, I really think Chuck has to contrast himself with Bob Casey every chance he gets. Ignore Alan. It would be nice if the next debate allowed follow up questions by the candidates...
Everything you always wanted to know about that recent AIPAC paper, pros and cons.
New Dean Baker blog. He gives you the rundown on what those French protesters were fighting for. One more thing: those French kids won. And that's what they did over a procedural matter. Imagine what they would do if someone stole their elections. That's why Europeans get better lives than we do. And as Baker points out, the French are more productive as well. They're probably well rested after their mandatory six week vacations.
Your song picks at YouTube: Try two from Jamiroquai here and here.
Republicans kill net neutrality (Good news: other wealthy hitters have taken the other side. Its not like we can depend on the public good winning out or anything.) Related issue talked over at Worldchanging.
Older disturbing story about Indicted poll workers in Cleveland. Apparently, the fix was in. Credits bloggers with keeping the story afloat. Thanks fellas. If you're keeping score at home, then that's two fixed national elections. Open letter to organizers of French protests: Please visit the United States...Of course, here your protests would probably be met with lethal force and martial law. We're a Christian nation don't you know...
Don't forget: Chuck Pennacchio debate at 7 and 10:30 on PCN. Hope Chuck's crew is on the ball and gives us short highlights we can distribute on the Internets.
In End of the World news: Hersh sez attack on Iran a go and will include nuclear weapons. You know, if we're the Nazis with nuclear weapons, doesn't that make us worse than the Nazis? Hitler never had working nukes...And if Iran does have nukes, wouldn't they be more likely to use them against Israel? And if Israel retaliates wouldn't we strike Israel in order to protect the oil reserves, because we're, you know, totally evil at this point?
And here's some songs:
First, the evildoers at BET on Jazz transformed themselves into BET on J, where the only time I'll be hearing jazz will be on commercials or the station promos. Yet I at least had Ovation, which would show one or two interesting concerts per week. Not much. But something if you're over 14 and like tunes. Today, they got rid of Ovation--its in my luxury tier and they didn't even bother to ask me if this was something I wanted--and replaced it with movie channels (Update: They just moved Ovation. Thanks evil cable company...). That gives me about 40 or so movie channels. Nothing for jazz. Thanks fellas.
On the other hand, I just discovered YouTube and its virtually a mecca for music fans.
Here's what I've been able to find so far.
Zero 7 (Take Me Home)Zero 7 (Somersault) Features corny dancing.Zero 7 "End Theme"Zero 7 "Destiny"Three Cat Power Vids: here, here and here (This is Rockets. It features war footage that you won't be seeing on MTV, ever.)Rare Esthero and finally "That Girl" and "Heaven Sent" Vids.Massive Attack "Protection" and "Be Thankful for What You've Got" (with full frontal nudity)Mahavishnu Orchestra "Celestial Terrestial Commuters" (where it looks like they almost lose that tricky time signature...)Koop Anime VidCowboy Bebop ThemeDevo "Uncontrollable Urge" (Check out the choreography at the end. Very cool.)Jamiriquai "Alright"And You Will Know Us By Our Trail of Dead "Mistakes and Regrets"Nice streamlined Bjork tune here and funny Bjork parody here and here.Nirvana "Pennyroyal Tea"http://youtube.com/watch?v=vwjMoO5gzdU&search=nirvanaBig Benefit Song Featuring Classic Soul Singers (not bad..)Classic Chaka Khan and Rufus (wow)ELP "From the Beginning" and Yes "Roundabout"King Crimson (old lineup) Court of the Crimson Ki ing ah aaa ahReturn to Forever "Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy"DJ Shadow "Six Days" and faster dance version here.Stunning Hancock, Clarke Shorter and Hakim. Stunning.Portishead "Only You" and "Glorybox Live"Weather Report "Teen Town"Frank Zappa "Alien Oriface" (a real jazz rock tune.) Tons more Zappa. Frank: I miss you...Big Audio Dynamite "E=MC2"XTC "Making Plans for Nigel"John McLaughlin and Jonas Hellborg "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat"John McLaughlin, Trilok Gurtu, LeBeque SistersAllan Holdsworth "Proto Cosmos"PJ Harvey "Who the Fuck" and "The Letter"John Scofield "Loud Jazz"John Scofield, with the late Don Pullen "Funk"Jimi Hendrix "Little Wing" (with NASA slideshow? (Rocket scientists have good taste in music...)Pat Martino and John Scofield "Sunny" with Joey D on keys...Astrud Gilberto "Girl from Ipanema"David Bowie "John I'm Only Dancing" and "Jump They Say"Beatles "Revolution"Beatles "Don't Let Me Down" and from the Beatles toon "Tomorrow Never Knows"Kaki King "Pretty Pink Noise"Bill Evans "If You Could See Me Now"
Item: By the way, see panel one for my short opinion on the Lynn Swann candidacy. I think blacks that run on the Republican ticket are sellouts. Try the Green Party for God's sake. Yes, there are some blacks running on the Republican slate. And yes, if elected, they will work tirelessly and thoughtlessly against the interests of black and poor people. Black people, by the way, have figured this out. Then again, Swann is running against our pal Ed Rendell, and there's a chance that he'll be running alongside Santorum-lite Bob Casey--
--For the record, I think Chuck Penn has done a great job and as well predicted--unlike the Daily Kos and Atrios which I guess makes us smarter...howcum I don't have a zillion hits a day...(?)--Casey's lead has dropped to the single digits. And just as the Zogby poll predicted the more they see of Casey's positions, the less they like him. Chuck needs a way to get more name recognition--
--and thereby fueling me and every other pro choice voter with rage. I might just stay home. A Swann gubernatorial win would be disastrous, however. Swann would, in the interests of his party, turn Pennsylvania into Ohio, as imagined by Bob Fitrakis of the Free Press. What Ohio in 2004 and Florida in 2000 (and probably 2004) mean is that the Democrats never get to win. That's a problem, if you haven't yet noticed.
Item: Unnamed lady: You can disagree with the evangelicals but they're great friends of the Jews. They believe Israel is the holy land.
Hesh: Just wait. (As seen on last Sunday night's Sopranos...)
What Hesh Said: I 'm also praying to the Flying Spaghetti Monster (the one true god and you must believe this as well or I'll have to kill you and liberate your oil or something) that Tony strangles that Christian fundamentalist with his bare hands. 6000 years. Jesus Christ.
I'm still working on a bigger Jewish conspiracy piece (short version: Jewish dems have traded the party for what they think will protect Israel: War with Iraq (and possibly other countries to be named later.) Biden and Leiberman and Feinstein love the war. That's why the filibuster hasn't been used once, according to my crazy conspiracy theory. You can't sustain it without Jewish senators. There are about 44 dems, one independent. There are 10 Jewish senators. You need 40 for the filibuster. Do the math. They think they have to kill to protect Israel. I don't entirely blame them. If you had been through a Holocaust wouldn't you be more prone to overreact? But it does mean, unfortunately, that I can't trust them. ). Right now, I don't fully trust Jewish Democrats, especially the ones who are "running" our efforts to take back both the House and the Senate. If my theory is true, then Rendell and Schumer (both Jewish and I used to not care) really don't want to unseat Rick Santorum, and if they do unseat Rick then they want a candidate who will stick out the war, and possibly favor other invasions in places like Iran and Syria. Casey sounds like their guy. They think that's good for Israel. I don't trust the Alan Sandals candidacy for the same reasons. I think he's running to split the pro choice vote, or better yet, get another senate vote for Israel. That means more war. Infinitely.
I might add that when you strengthen the hand of the Christian right in this country--which you're doing when you pay Satan's price and roll over on court nominees and policy issues--then you're not working for the safety and inclusion of the Jewish people, anywhere. Or as Hesh said: "Just wait."
Item: There was an interesting discussion some months back as to whether or not you should use your real name when you write online. If you're just writing for fun, then being anonymous is probably a good idea, especially if you want to write about something interesting. (See the above post.) However, I'm pretty serious about writing. I don't mind controversy, as long as I get it right, or at least am seen as trying to get it right. I'm under no pretense that what I have written will help me get a job. Quite the opposite I'm sure. (See above post, again.) When it comes to writing I'm kind of like the lead character in Gattaca: "I'm not saving anything for the trip back."
One of the reasons I'm so worried about net neutrality is that the Internet is one of the few channels I like that hasn't been cancelled yet. For example, I used to really enjoy watching Bet on jazz. Yet, a few weeks ago they turned it into VH1 soul. Now, they're determined to play anything but jazz in prime time. So, jazz is now relegated to an early morning/late night ghetto in its own station. I've been making my complaints felt on the message boards.
Links n' at:
I've added Digg and Progressive Pa Politics to the permalinks. I'm also going to revamp the Pittsburgh permalinks when I have time. Some of those guys just don't blog enough and I'm not exactly demanding on that score as you can see. Also, check out the revamped and refurbished Better Humans and Techdirt, probably the best tech analysis site out there and they're also covering the voter machine fraud story..
Breakin' News: PG Beats Me on an important voter fraud story. Am looking into this now...
There's been an inexplicable purge of voters in California thanks to dicey computer screening, used to spectacular effect in both Ohio and Florida. Don't be shocked when Arnold gets reelected and California turns red. Dems haven't caught on yet. In related news, Washington Generals don't contest mid court hook shots for the 400th night in a row. I'm beginning to think those Generals are paid by the Globetrotters to lose! Shocking I know, but I'll need three or four more stolen presidential elections to sort through this...Related: Even a Republican candidate smells a rat.
Two must reads and must listens about keeping the Internet as it is. First, check out great Cory Doctorow speech over at Changesurfer Radio. Then check out this very thorough explanation about net neutrality from the Wi Fi blog. Net neutrality allows everyone an equal opportunity to have their ideas heard. You can see where this current administration would just hate that....
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Sunday, April 23, 2006
By the way, one reason why net neutrality is important is that the current Internets kind of allow you to control and create your own programming. As you may know, you being my one or two faithful readers, I'm really pissed off that Bet on Jazz has turned into Bet on J, which right now looks to be a weak impersonation of VH1 Soul, which isn't a great channel.
With these new tools, I can bring you a better show than Bet On J. So, here's my jazz show. It's wide ranging and it features traditional, triphop, and there's even a real jazz rock tune thrown in there. It's Phil Music Television or as I also call it the Anti Tony Mowad/Bet On J Jazz show. It's jazz that you can't see on VH1 Soul and that has ideas that extend beyond 1964. It's meant not to draw in the Lawrence Welk audience. Ever.
Chaka Khan As A Funky Jazz Drummer! (Needs work on the drum technique there...)