Sunday, April 30, 2006
"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
Posted by Philip Shropshire at 4:12 AM