Thursday, July 14, 2005

Mild Thursday Edition of Around the Internets

Mild Thursday Edition of Around the Internets

Internal sabotage offers a tempting explanation for the fact that so much has gone wrong for the United States since 2001. After 9/11 Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan--which had financed the Taliban and trained the hijackers at its camps--but Bush shocked analysts by attacking Afghanistan and Iraq instead. Was Bush's refusal to search for bin Laden in his nation of residence the result of spectacular incompetence--or a continuing alliance with the same Islamists his father's presidency had armed and funded? Are we losing the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq because of Rumsfeld's stubborn insistence on understaffing the military? Or are our leaders intentionally dragging out combat to accomplish their masters' aims: increasing the popularity of radical Islam and the recruitment of terrorists? Even Bush's domestic policies, from tax cuts paid to the rich people least likely to stimulate the economy to his attack on Social Security, seem designed to undermine U.S. stability and prosperity. Was Bush crossing his fingers when he swore to preserve and defend the constitution?

--From Recent Ted Rall editorial

Item: As I marvel at all of the violently evil things that the Bush administration does, I too have thought that they're not really big fans of the United States. I've always thought that a clever Democratic Party and/or opposition party ad to the GOP would simply show Bin Laden or the latest villain de jure poisoning the water, wrecking the social security system, weakening the military and whatnot and then saying "Oh, wait. That's what the Republicans are doing..." Our bad.

Item: I had never read anything by Chris Bunch but I had heard he had written the best novel about Vietnam ever. He died recently. Here's his obit and a remembrance from Norman Spinrad. This makes me want to check out his work, especially that massive science fiction series that was a bestseller in the Soviet Union.

Item: Robert Cringely is doing a series called NERDTv. He's going to release the series online and you'll be able to download. Related: Frontline and the British documentary "Power of Nightmares" online for free.

Item: Two impressive webcomics efforts over at 2 Political Junkies here and here.

Item: Interesting Fake Sites That Promote New Cloning (looks like cloning for spare parts) movie The Island here and here. I guess Ales Rarus lost. Thank God. Actually, if we let stem cell research go forward (in S. Korea and Russia at least), you could get your spare parts without growing full bodied versions of Evan or Scarlet. Hey, it's just a movie.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Massive Can't Be Stopped Around the Internets

Massive Can't Be Stopped Around the Internets

Item: Wired is simply a must read this month. First check out technoexploitation's Annalee Newitz on the rush by Big Pharma to create pills to enhance the female orgasm. Then there's a great piece on Idealab's Bill Gross working to create a portable solar dish for the home. Whenever they tell you that alternative fuels can't work, what they really mean is that we can't get it to work in a way that benefits the current Big Utility providers. The real solution is probably portability. One reason why there was a computer revolution is that we get to own a fully functioning computer. We don't dial up to the mainframe that General Electric owns and hope for a few minutes a day, probably at 20 dollars a minute. (Related: profile on three up and coming nanosolar companies and this RU Sirius interview with the Worldchanging editor who talks about how micro turbines are big in Britain.)


In 1953, in a toast before the New York Press Club, John Swinton, former Chief of Staff of the New York Times and the "Dean of his Profession" stated: (part extracted)

"If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of journalists is to destroy the truth; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell this country and this race for their daily bread. We are the tools and vessels for rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."

Old Fletcher Prouty Interview ("The question is why...who benefits?")(And Prouty debunking...still think JFK is a good film.)
Live Esthero concert and Res (both produced by Doc and I can hear it.) vid downloads.
If you're not planning to draft anybody, why prepare for one?
Walmart vs. Costco (Why isn't Democratic Allegheny County full of Costcos? They pay decent wages and they support Democratic Party candidates...)
Unbossed Story About Corporations Leaving the Country Because of Expensive Health Care
Earlier I linked to a publisher who was sentenced to one year in jail for carrying a small amount of marijuana. Here's the link to the online journal that he publishes.
Bush Stem Cell Policy Is Killing Specter, literally. (Who did Arlen vote for in 2004? Would have liked to have been in that booth...)
Abortion Might Not Revert To States. Could Become a Fed matter. In that case your pro life senator might make a difference..

Saturday, July 09, 2005

More News About the Minor Theft of the Presidential Election

Item: I'm the only Pittsburgh blogger reporter (for my online magazine journalmalism) who covers the apparently minor story of how the Ohio election was stolen. Here are some highlights from the direct testimony of Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips. Keep in mind that your official "opposition" party is not one to complain much about this. Look, if you're thinking about a change to the Greens, now is the time to do it. As I have stated before in the comments section, the Greens should target 5 senate seats and 25 house seats. They don't have to win everything. They just have to take the majorities away from the Republicans. One of those 5 seats should be Pennsylvania if Pennacchio or like-minded Democrat isn't nominated for the US Senate seat. (In theory, you wouldn't go after pick up opportunities for Dems but run a populist campaign in GOP strongholds. Afterall, the DLC democrats have never tried this. Would cost $30 million tops. More later on the 5/25 idea.)

Take it away Doc Phillips:

In the City of Columbus, discriminatory allocation of voting machines led directly to lower turnout in Democratic precincts. Urban Democratic precincts had too few voting machines and long lines; suburban Republican precincts had enough voting machines and short lines; 122 voting machines were not provided to any polling station anywhere. As a result, voter turnout was 60% in Bush precincts, and 50% in Kerry precincts. This wrongly reduced Kerry’s margin of victory in Franklin County by about 17,000 votes.

In Lucas County, other means of voter suppression led directly to lower voter turnout in Democratic precincts. The 88 precincts with the lowest turnout were all in Toledo; all were won by John Kerry; and complaints were filed in 31 of these precincts. Among the complaints were: long-time residents removed from the voting rolls, broken voting machines, polling stations running out of ballots and turning people away, voters sent back and forth between polling places, and long lines not designated by precinct so that voters waited in the wrong line. One-third of provisional ballots were not counted, often because people voted at the wrong table in the right polling place.

Statewide, there were 35,000 provisional ballots and over 92,000 regular ballots that were not counted as votes for president. These uncounted ballots, most of them punch cards, are highly concentrated in precincts that voted overwhelmingly for John Kerry, by margins of 12 to 1 in Cleveland, 7 to 1 in Dayton, 5 to 1 in Cincinnati, 4.5 to 1 in Akron, 3 to 1 in Lorain County, 2.7 to 1 in Stark County, and 2.3 to 1 in Trumbull County. This cries out for an examination of the uncounted ballots and the machines that failed to count them.

...In Miami County, after 100% of the precincts had reported, more than 18,000 votes were added to the totals. The vote percentages for Bush and Kerry remained the same, and the final margin for Bush was 16,000 votes exactly, almost as if the tabulators were programmed to turn out that way. This resulted in voter turnout as high as 98.55% in one precinct, where a door-to-door canvass of voters identified more than enough non-voters to prove that the certified results are fraudulent.

Three counties in southwestern Ohio – Butler, Clermont and Warren – provided Bush with a combined plurality greater than his statewide margin of victory. These results, when examined at the precinct level, are almost impossible to explain. In Butler County, there were 12 precincts where, compared to 2000, voter registration increased by 34% to 178%, and entire townships where Kerry received fewer votes than Gore, despite large increases in voter turnout. In Clermont County there were 24 such precincts where Kerry received fewer votes than Gore. In Warren County there were six entire townships where voter registration increased by 28% to 79%. In all three counties, Kerry received fewer votes than Ellen Connally, a little-known, underfunded African-American municipal judge from Cleveland, running for Chief Justice. There must have been at least 13,500 voters who supported both Connally and Bush, or else the certified results are fraudulent. In these three counties, and in Delaware County as well, Bush received more votes than Issue One, the constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage. There must have been at least 10,500 supporters of gay marriage who voted for Bush, or else the certified results are fraudulent. A comparison of these counties with the voting patterns statewide indicates that as many as 50,000 votes may have been shifted from Kerry to Bush, thus affecting the margin by 100,000 votes.

These accounts of voter suppression, ballots cast but not counted, and alteration of the vote count, were sufficient to reverse the outcome of the presidential election. It is my professional opinion, having exhaustively examined the available evidence, that the 2004 presidential election was stolen.

Stunning stunning stuff.

Intense V for Vendetta movie poster (shot in London ironically enough)

Respect MP George Galloway says: "We argued, as did the security services in this country, that the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq would increase the threat of terrorist attack in Britain. Tragically Londoners have now paid the price of the Government ignoring such warnings."

First, I agree with George Galloway. (His full statement is even better.) And I do not think they have forgotten about the United States. I think they have something special planned for us. And who could blame them? We have murdered up to 100000 Iraqis for their oil...what did we expect? Roses? Love songs?

Here are the most extensive updates about the London bombings here, here and here.

Some Kewl Frank Zappa Music Links

Speaking of Frank Zappa:

Item: I found two Frank Zappa links while I was exploring the Internets the other day. I highly recommend Sleep Dirt and all of those fusiony George Duke tunes here. I think this album is out of print so this is your best shot.

Journal of small time nonviolent offender's 1 year jail sentence

Item: Here are two very depressing stories from GNN. One is a very skeptical take on the G8 and the other is from a guy who's been sentenced to one year in prison--with a very small amount of both marijuana and ecstasy (less than a quarter of an ounce and about 12 pills...what a threat to society)--where he will write what I suspect will be a dark tale. He's the editor and publisher of Newtopia, which is billed as a journal of the new counterculture. I can't believe that 1 year is a sentence for a first time offender. I wonder if he has a record or if he purposely accepted the sentence for what could be a great story.

Here's a depressing bit...:

And most people end up thinking, “Isn’t it wonderful of our government to try and protect us.”

But within this simple world is another more complex world. It is a world where everyone is addicted in one way or another and the profits from their addictions fuel the economy. A world where lethal drugs like alcohol, tobacco, Vioxx, and Oxycontin are legal and readily available, while relatively harmless drugs like marijuana, psilocybin, and MDMA are designated dangerous and highly addictive, without any tangible health benefits, and marginalized into a dangerous illicit market. It is a world where, in some neighborhoods, the police protect and serve while in others they are the threat and the enemy. It is a world where the rich go unpunished, and the poor go to prison.

And what may be even more shocking is that it has become progressively more serious to have been caught with drugs than to kill someone. In his 1999 Progressive Populist essay, “The Prison-Industrial Complex,” UNLV Criminal Justice professor Richard Shelden cites that between 1980 and 1992 the average maximum sentence in federal courts declined for violent crimes (from 125 months to 88 months) and almost doubled for drug offenses (from 47 months to 82 months).

This is the hidden world that no one has to see or think about except those on the inside.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy 4th and Resist!

Lyrics from Frank Zappa's "Hungry Freaks"

Mr. America, walk on by your schools that do not teach
Mr. America, walk on by the minds that won’t be reached
Mr. America try to hide the emptiness that’s you inside
But once you find that the way you lied
And all the corny tricks you tried
Will not forestall the rising tide of hungry freaks daddy!

They won’t go on four no more
Great mid-western hardware store
Philosophy that turns away
From those who aren’t afraid to say what’s on their minds
The left behinds of the great society

Hungry freaks, daddy!

Mr. America, walk on by your supermarket dream
Mr. America, walk on by the liquor store supreme
Mr. America try to hide the product of your savage pride
The useful minds that it denied
The day you shrugged and stepped aside
You saw their clothes, and then you cried,
Those hungry freaks, daddy!

They won’t go on four no more
Great mid-western hardware store
Philosophy that turns away
From those who aren’t afraid to say what’s on their minds
The left behinds of the great society