Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Not Much To Say About the Hurricane

Item: I really don't have a lot to say about the hurricane. I guess my official story on weather and underclass crime stories can be found here. I just don't write about the weather because I don't think you can do anything about it. But I do think that in cases of stunning weather that takes thousands of lives--such as the tsunami even though I joked about it--that is newsworthy. It's also newsworthy if our government leaders could have done something to prevent the loss of life in New Orleans, as Chris Mooney argues here and "Prescience Sucks". Froth also supplies a full list of hurricane updates here.

No Taserin' Saturday but Breakin' News

Item: No taserin' at last Saturday's demonstration against military recruiting. But I see that there were donuts, the nemesis of overzealous police officers everywhere. Get news and photos here.

(pic of Hiroshima protest at CMU)

But there was some breaking news, I define "breaking" as the kinds of stories that corporate media either doesn't cover or cover enough to make a difference, about CMU's lucrative role in the War Machine. I found it over there at that fount of self-published useful information that is Indy Media.

There's a main story criticizing Caterpillar's role in investing in driverless drones. And there's also about 19 related stories that have been published in the last year or so. It looks like the "writers" include the people at No to War and our good friends the Pittsburgh Organizing Group, seen here shutting down a recruiting table at CMU. Good for them. I'm sure no one considers them a "terrist" organization.

Chuck Penn on the False Progressive Record of Casey Jr.

(New Andy Warhol series of Chuck's posters)

They're having a poll of Chuck Penn vs. Bob Casey over at the Daily Kos, which right now Chuck is winning, which is impossible since he lost the vote at MoveOn, which hasn't released its tallies, which has probably got Chuck interested in ballot integrity.

Update: Good catch from Comments From Left Field. It's a funny Daily Kos entry from Chuck Penn.

In contrast, other Casey supporters take him at his word when he publicly opposes a woman's right to choose. The 2004 Democratic Senate candidate, Joe Hoeffel, acknowledges Casey's core pro-life/anti-choice position. For months, in fact, Mr. Hoeffel has repeated this same statement about Bob Casey, Jr: "On all issues other than a woman's right to choose, Bob Casey is a progressive Democrat."

And for months I have kept my powder dry while our campaign documented Mr. Casey's truly conservative profile on critical issues such as stem cell research, the death penalty, the U.S. policy in Iraq, the assault weapons ban, separation of church and state, living wage legislation, universal health care, GLBT rights, preserving an independent judiciary (Terry Schiavo case), and drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. So, for Mr. Hoeffel to argue Mr. Casey is "progressive" on "all issues" other than choice is an extraordinary stretch. Such a stretch, in fact, that Mr. Hoeffel has mostly backed away from making such claims. In addition, Mr. Hoeffel should be credited for his honesty on Mr. Casey's opposition to a woman's right to choose and his determination to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Returning to Harrisburg and Lt. Gov. Knoll's "reverse spin" -- where she didn't challenge my claims to being the only progressive on all issues other than a woman's right to choose -- but literally heckled me ("No, that's not true, that's not true!") when I correctly said that I was the only candidate committed to upholding a woman's right to choose.

Read the whole thing as they say.

POG's Demands to the Police

Item: Here are more links about the protest. Here's the audio snippets from the press conference. Here's a transcript of an audio report that appeared on Free Speech TV. Here are POG's demands.

1. Drop all charges from A20 protest
2. City investigate police violence and misconduct
3. Suspend or fire Officer Samuel Muoio who used taser at protest
4. Moratorium on taser use in Pittsburgh

Well, if it means that they'll go back to lethal force and fatal choke holds I'll take my taserin' very much thank you sir. Just a thought. Froth, who to my comics obsessed mind resembles the cartoon character Tintin,

...offers a defense of police tactics. I must confess I didn't find it convincing. I think we have a police oversight review board for good reason. He also asked me if he could get his hands on unedited footage. It looks like POG will give you that if you ask them. Their numbers are here. But I agree with Pittsblog that there probably won't be anything incriminating in the unedited footage. Of course Froth, the city's lone liberal cop, would be hard pressed to criticize the armed people who he works with. I assume he's seen the ending of Serpico...

Chavez Wants to Help Poor Americans with Gas Prices? Sign me up...

Item: Evildoer Chavez offers poor Americans cheap fuel and Evildoer Castro offers poor Americans free health care and medical training...which is...awful? Could be.

Sirota on DLC: They're On the Other Side

Item: David Sirota on why the DLC needs to be driven from the Democratic Party. Short version: The DLC is on the other side.

Science vs. Norse Mythology

Item: Science vs. Norse Mythology

Monday, August 22, 2005

More on Election Fraud 2004

"Welcome to a world where statistical probability and normal arithmetic no longer apply!(36) The Democrats, rather than vigorously pursuing these patently obvious signs of election fraud in 2004, have nearly all decided that being gracious losers is better than being winners,(37) probably because – and this may be the most important reason for the Democrat’s relative silence - a full-scale uncovering of the fraud runs the risk of mobilizing and unleashing popular forces that the Democrats find just as threatening as the GOP does.

The delicious irony for the GOP is that the Help America Vote Act, precipitated by their theft of the Florida 2000 presidential vote, made GOP theft of elections as in the preceding examples easy and unverifiable except through recourse to indirect analysis such as pre-election polls and exit polls.(38) This is the political equivalent of having your cake and eating it too. Or, more precisely: stealing elections, running the country, and aggressively, arrogantly and falsely claiming that “the people” support it.

Flavor Flav of the rap group Public Enemy used to wear a big clock around his neck in order to remind us all that we’d better understand what time it is. Or, as Bob Dylan once said: “Let us not speak falsely now, the hour’s getting late.” To all of those who said before the 2004 elections that this was the most important election in our lifetimes; to all of those who plunged into that election hoping and believing that we could throw the villains out via the electoral booth; to all of those who held their noses and voted for Democrats thinking that at least they were slightly better than the theocratic fascists running this country now, this must be said: VOTING REALLY DOESN’T MATTER. If we weren’t convinced of that before these last elections, then now is the time to wake up to that fact. Even beyond the fraudulent elections of 2000 and 2004, public policies are not now, nor have they ever been, settled through elections. "

--From No Paper Trail Left Behind: The Theft of the 2004 Presidential Election,By Dennis Loo, Ph.D. Cal Poly Pomona

Item: A long time back I predicted this year's vote fraud story would make it to this year's list of Project Censored stories. And I was right. Check out this article. And here are the top ten things you need to believe in order to think that the 2004 election wasn't fraudulent. It's written by another one of those PH D wackos.

In order to believe that George Bush won the November 2, 2004 presidential election, you must also believe all of the following extremely improbable or outright impossible things.(1)

1) A big turnout and a highly energized and motivated electorate favored the GOP instead of the Democrats for the first time in history.(2)

2) Even though first-time voters, lapsed voters (those who didn’t vote in 2000), and undecideds went for John Kerry by big margins, and Bush lost people who voted for him in the cliffhanger 2000 election, Bush still received a 3.5 million vote surplus nationally.(3)

3) The fact that Bush far exceeded the 85% of registered Florida Republicans’ votes that he got in 2000, receiving in 2004 more than 100% of the registered Republican votes in 47 out of 67 Florida counties, 200% of registered Republicans in 15 counties, and over 300% of registered Republicans in 4 counties, merely shows Floridians’ enthusiasm for Bush. He managed to do this despite the fact that his share of the crossover votes by registered Democrats in Florida did not increase over 2000 and he lost ground among registered Independents, dropping 15 points.(4)

4) Florida’s reporting of more presidential votes (7.59 million) than actual number of people who voted (7.35 million), a surplus of 237,522 votes, does not indicate fraud.

5) The fact that Bush got more votes than registered voters, and the fact that by stark contrast participation rates in many Democratic strongholds in Ohio and Florida fell to as low as 8%, do not indicate a rigged election.(5)

6) Bush won re-election despite approval ratings below 50% - the first time in history this has happened. Truman has been cited as having also done this, but Truman’s polling numbers were trailing so much behind his challenger, Thomas Dewey, pollsters stopped surveying two months before the 1948 elections, thus missing the late surge of support for Truman. Unlike Truman, Bush’s support was clearly eroding on the eve of the election.(6)

7) Harris' last-minute polling indicating a Kerry victory was wrong (even though Harris was exactly on the mark in their 2000 election final poll).(7)

8) The “challenger rule” - an incumbent’s final results won’t be better than his final polling - was wrong;(8)

9) On election day the early-day voters picked up by early exit polls (showing Kerry with a wide lead) were heavily Democratic instead of the traditional pattern of early voters being mainly Republican.

10) The fact that Bush “won” Ohio by 51-48%, but this was not matched by the court-supervised hand count of the 147,400 absentee and provisional ballots in which Kerry received 54.46% of the vote doesn’t cast any suspicion upon the official tally.(9)

Protest Coverage and the Pittsburgh Corporate Media

A propaganda model focuses on this inequality of wealth and power and its multilevel effects on mass-media interests and choices. It traces the routes by which money and power are able to filter out the news fit to print, marginalize dissent, and allow the government and dominant private interests to get their messages across to the public. The essential ingredients of our propaganda model, or set of news "filters," fall under the following headings: (I) the size, concentrated ownership, owner wealth, and profit orientation of the dominant mass-media firms; (2) advertising as the primary income source of the mass media; (3) the reliance of the media on information provided by government, business, and "experts" funded and approved by these primary sources and agents of power; (4) "flak" as a means of disciplining the media; and (5) "anticommunism" as a national religion and control mechanism. These elements interact with and reinforce one another. The raw material of news must pass through successive filters, leaving only the cleansed residue fit to print. They fix the premises of discourse and interpretation, and the definition of what is newsworthy in the first place, and they explain the basis and operations of what amount to propaganda campaigns.

--from Chomsky's and Herman's Manufacturing Consent. (For five I would switch out "anticommunism" and replace it with "terrorism".)

Item: I have to admit I thought this was the most important story of the weekend. I don't think it made the front pages of any of the dailies. I guess this is what we mean when we complain about the corporate press. Quick propaganda model quiz: advertisers prefer a.) weather stories/underclass crime/nothing stories or b.) stories about courageous radicals who face down vicious barking dogs or taser fire. Hint: Check Sunday and Monday front pages of our two dailies to get an answer.

The Post-Gazette, our mealy-mouthed DLC-like "liberal" paper, had a short piece. Funky is right about one problem with the PG: where are the links? You could, for example, link to the Pittsburgh Organizing Group's original statement about the events, or even link to these two compelling videos of a young girl screaming as she's shot with a taser and this incredibly placid protester who sits while a barking dog is only a few feet away. I mean, they're even edited. That's professional.

As you might predict, the coverage at our daily right wing Scaife rag was worse as Bill Zlatos inserted the cop position right into his lead. It seems to be a matter of dispute that the protesters "disrupted traffic", Bill. More fair and balanced reporting I see. Let me guess Bill: You couldn't link to arguments made by POG (Because you couldn't find them?), or their video evidence, or mention their claim that the cops knocked over a guy in a wheelchair...? Second propaganda model quiz: Bill's story represents how many of the five aforestated Propaganda Model Factors? Hint: 1, 3 and 5 are the strongest contenders.

More as this develops. Looks like I'll be "breaking" all kinds of news because I can independently link and think. Beware my power...Green Lantern's light and so forth..

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Letters: Rob Asks Why Do You Torture Poor Funky Upon the Cross?

Item: Rob, from Unspace, asks why I persecute poor Eric so in the comments section. Well, I think I've made the arguments clear from what I've written. I generally find his piety and his blind faith to be at odds with posts which I don't think are a true reflection of Christian principles. For example, while Rob makes an elegant case for sweeping the panhandlers off the streets in order to protect them, that's not what Funky wrote. Eric wrote this dismissive yuppie putdown of the meek amongst us. Now, I would expect that from the many yuppies who write blogs in this town, but Funky sets himself up as somebody who's pious, with the original 12 century (14th century?) 1st edition version of the Bible laying about his house. I guess I think that's hypocritical. And, frankly, I think he should be called on it. I mean, I suppose we're civil in a Magneto/Prof X kind of a way. He just sent me some cool Aeon Flux links for example...

But if you put your blog out in public then you should be a grownup and accept criticism. I can. That's why the comments are there....

By the way, it's not necessarily a hatred of fundamentalism that drives my hostility--even though I do believe that religion causes more harm than good--you might notice that I don't say mean things about Unspace because what you post actually seems to be consistent within a Christian worldview! I mean, I suppose I could say mean things about you if you would like but I agree with most of the things I read at Unspace and they seem, well, sensible.

So that's my position...that and my Master Satan whispers orders to me.

Google Might Rescue Broadband

Item: Last weekend I openly dreamed that Google would buy up a lot fiber, become a telco and create a free Broadband Wonderland of sorts. And, lo, it may come to pass...They have a year before the FCC's rules come into effect.

Last Weekend's Around the Internets

August 12

Massive Weekend Can't Be Beat Edition of Around the Internets

Item: Stunning Around the Internets Collection from Daily Wireless

Item: New Online Broadband Network Called Our Media. Bad News: Only downloads with Explorer. Yipe.

Item: Speaking of Broadband, the FCC is turning its back on must carry rules. Read here for why. Short version: must carry created the Internets, which is probably the reason the Bush administration hates it so. Just as that awful energy bill was a blatant giveaway to oil interests, this is a giveaway to the telecoms. There might be some competition in the future if the internet works over powerlines (being tried in Monroeville as we speak) or my fave: google buys up a lot of fiber and does wi max and does the smart thing and works for universal coverage because that's where the money is. It would create a boom, again, for the rest of us and not just a couple of telecom companies. I just feel like the Bush administration is allowing predatory industry to serial rape me--for a price. Right now it's the oil industry I'm being molested by. I guess my gas prices will go down to a manageable 2 bucks a gallon when the next election comes by...And, as someone who feels like the 11 year old Thai girl smuggled abroad, Bush will be giving the key to known convicted telecom rapists over the next year or so who will visit frequently...I hate this President. I've never known a presidency where everything the guy did went against the public's interest. Everything.

Item: Nice Listing of Artists and Their Works

Item: Long live David Sirota. I'm adding him to the permalinks on the left. His arguments against the DLC make per- fect sense. What have we won with the DLC? Zippo. He was also in Pittsburgh last week where he gave a speech to the US Steelworkers, which was based on this essay.

Item: Broadcast has a new album out and they'll be touring. Philly is the closest they'll get to Pittsburgh. Or you can check out their live cuts here, under videos.

More Hero Worship of David Sirota

Item: I made this argument over at 2 Political Junkies and I forgot to make it at my own site. So here's why I'm a big fan of David Sirota.

And that's when we get to the real problem with the DLC -- its policies are BOTH morally bankrupt, and politically disastrous. The rise of the DLC within the Democratic Party has coincided almost perfectly with the decline of the Democratic Party's power in American politics -- a decline that took Democrats from seemingly permanent majority status to permanent minority status. In this last election, just think of Democrats' troubles in Ohio as a perfect example of this. Here was a state ravaged by massive job loss due to corporate-written "free" trade deals -- yet Democrats were unable to capitalize on that issue and thus couldn't win the state because the DLC had long ago made sure the party helped pass the very trade policies (NAFTA, China PNTR) that sold out those jobs.

To counter, the DLC holds up Bill Clinton's 1992 win as proof that its policies win elections, but that is so dishonest it's laughable. First and foremost, almost everyone would agree Clinton ran a very un-DLC-like populist campaign for President in 1992, and won far more on the strength of his charisma/personality than any policy platform from a bunch of pencil-pushing geeks at the DLC in Washington, D.C. Secondly, since that 1992 victory -- with the exception of Clinton's 1996 victory over one of the weakest GOP challengers in modern history -- Democrats have been roundly destroyed in national election after national election.

Thus, we are brought back to the bottom line: with the DLC, Democrats get all of the bad policies, and none of the good electoral outcomes -- it is the worst of both worlds.

--David Sirota, in this essay

Sirota also has a new PLAN in the works. I've already contacted him about trying to help me start a 527. (Just an idea in my head...)

Online Methane Release Story vs. PG's Designer License Plates

Item: You know the world really might be ending soon. How would you like a world like Venus? I'm just asking. It all has to do with the Siberian methane thaw. I'm not sure what the numbers mean but I don't think they're good. Here's how the Worldchanging guy explains it:

For the moment, then, let's assume that the article is generally correct: the permafrost melt is getting faster, and the boggy ground beneath is releasing its pent-up methane. There are two important things to know about this situation: the amount of methane that would be released is projected to be in the multi-gigaton range -- one source says 70 billion tons, another says "several hundred" billion tons; and methane is 21 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. In essence, the release of (say) 100 billion tons of methane would be the functional heat-trapping equivalent of 2.1 trillion tons of CO2. To put that number into perspective, the total annual output of greenhouse gases from the US is about 7 billion tons of CO2 equivalent.

This is a big deal.

Yeah, that is a big deal. Thank God the PG was informing me about how different state license plates were made last Sunday. I guess that's what's important. (I'm permalinking Chomsky's "The Propaganda Model". Advertising tends to weaken content, which is why you get Fox News and their complete capitulation to the agenda of right wing multinationals (it's more profitable) or "nothing" journalism about eternally missing white women or...license plates. This is why Indy Media doesn't accept ad money and probably why the alt press isn't as progressive as it used to be...You know, Mark, there's this big story about the 2004 election being stolen and rigged voting machines if you're actually competing with your sister pub the Toledo Blade when it comes to

Damn You Ales Rarus Damn You

Before I go into a jealous rant about all the attention that Ales Rarus is getting (Damn you Ales Rarus and I mean that), let me repeat my dual cinematic mantra as to why people are drawn to the Internet. I will use Annie Hall and Goodfellas as my movie references. First, people are drawn to the Internet because we needed the eggs, and two, and I'm paraphrasing Paul Sorvino here, because they get things from the Internet that they can't get from anywhere else, such as, oh, Real Information that has nothing to do with missing white women and license plate design.

If you want to know why the Internet is superior to the older model of newspapers, just contrast the PG's story about the blogfest by Tim McNulty to the online insights here, here, here, here and here, not to mention my own comments about the story about to come. Who knows more about what happened at Blogfest: the person who read the paper or the person who read the Internet accounts from several people with a number of point of views? I think it's the latter, as messy and unedited and Catholic Jihadish that view may be.

And, of course, it's not just depth that makes the Internet better, it's often the content. You want to see the most insightful and honest account of Chuck Pennacchio's last visit to town take a look at Fester's Place (which I didn't agree with entirely--Chuck Penn doesn't have to have a detailed Iraq pull out plan just yet, really--but don't have time to write about it) or here's a quiz: who has done more public good lately, the somewhat Eurotrash male model behind Comments from Left Field or yer average corporate press reporter/columnist? Really now, be honest...

I believe Mr. McNulty referred to Ales Rarus as "interesting" and: "while never seeming to have a preordained position". Really? Is that what you call it? Does he mean interesting in the way that a Catholic version of a Mullah would be interesting? He consistently repeats what the Catholic Hierarchy says about everything. Oddly enough, the Ales Rarus position on contraception, stem cell research and the abortion issue would jibe pretty well with your basic radical Taliban cleric. Here's a theory I have: you know why Ales Rarus hasn't come to a conclusion about intelligent design? Because the Catholic Hierarchy hasn't told him what to think yet. So, far from Eric's opinions not being preordained, they are, in fact, preordained from High Above. Consistently. Where he's inconsistent is when he acts in a way that seems to contradict the Passion of The Christ, such as the snobby yuppie who hates panhandlers (just like Jeebus) or publishes a defense of Walmart, arguably one of the most Evil corporations on Earth. He wouldn't be my first choice for a standard bearer for Pittsburgh bloggers, because he's, well, a crazy fundamentalist, sorta. Tim didn't know this? Can Tim read? Jeez.

Now, the thing about it, I just happened to know the details about the Pittsburgh blog scene because I am involved in it despite being anti-social, but what about this guy's judgement on issues I'm not personally involved in? I just think he would get it wrong. Thus endeth my jealous rant.

The Create Your Own Blurb for Eric "Funky Dung" of Ales Rarus

Oh I can't resist: here's what I think Eric is saying:

"Heh indeedy. So, anyways, I was spitting on this homeless panhandler guy in Oakland just like Jesus would do..."

"Guffaw. So, anywho, after publishing a defense of Walmart, I'll be publishing another provocative debate piece praising Henry Ford's support and sympathy with the Nazis from my pal who's a MBA--that makes him smart, see--in order to stir debate in a way consistent with my Christian beliefs and whatnot..."

"Hoo Ha Hoo Ha. And I believe this is the exact expression I'll have when Roe is overturned and the first whores either die from botched abortions or from the new federally mandated Christian stonings..."

But you can contribute your own ideas.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Pay Raise Should Have Been Linked to Minimum Wage

Item: I see that my governor got booed at a sports event. I actually think that legislators should get pay raises occasionally. I have mixed feelings about Ed Rendell. I thank him for saving Pittsburgh public transit for another several years, but I'm not too thrilled with this insane push for Bob Casey Jr., who, as it now stands, isn't even as progressive as GOP Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist when it comes to stem cell research. Incredible.

As for the pay raise, I think a smarter way to have gone about it would have been to tie their salaries to the state's minimum wage and then have automatic cost of living adjustments every year. And just to have fun with it, require a two thirds majority to overturn it. This is certainly something the Democrats should support and then they can watch the Republicans squirm, as opposed to penalizing those democrats who had the good sense to vote against the pay raise. I look at that and, frankly, I'm no longer curious as to why the Democrats are a minority party.

So-Called "Christian" Blogger Mocks Dying Senator

Item: Here's a photo reenactment of Ales Rarus on Arlen Specter's silly attempt to live longer by embracing stem cell research. In fact, even though there aren't any captions, we're pretty sure that Ales Rarus, pictured below, is not only telling Arlen that he can't have the juicy stem cell research because Jesus talks to him this we know, but can't end his suffering or even mitigate it with the slightest hint of a marijuana spliff self-righteous bastard that our PH D candidate is:

And of course, below, we have Arlen Specter here. who would benefit from the Talosians virtual reality menageries that would make him whole in an imaginary sense stem cell research:

And one note to Ales Rarus: I've met Arlen Specter several times and he would debate you into the Next World--full of talking action figures of Jesus and infinite ice cream and cosmic bellhops galore. Specter's a Philadelphia trial lawyer and it shows.

New Nude Girlz Over at the Red Light District

August 10

Item: I've finally recovered my lagging aging sex drive and updated the Red Light District, with brand new federally mandated warning page. Also: Milo Manara and stunning photog pics. And related: Spanish porn posters of the 70s. And: A Simon Bisley nude.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Modest and Understated Around the Internets

August 2

Item: The League of Pissed off Voters is meeting this week at the University of Pittsburgh from August 4th to August 7th. You can check out the agenda here.

Item: Chuck PENNacchio will also be at Drinking Liberally this Thursday at 7 p.m.

Item: And here's sort of the short version of what happened in Ohio. I wish we had an opposition party that would challenge and question all of the shenanigans.

Item: Over at the Mirror Universe comments section our corporate theocratic pal and defender of Wal (We Love Chinese Slave Labor) Mart Ales Rarus doesn't like being named as a proud member of the League of Evil Bloggers (forthcoming). I suppose you can synopsize his statements as "waaahhh"...., "waaaa" and, of course, "wah". Tho lately with his pro Walmart posts (Written by a corporate shill apparently and not somebody who actually works those crappy, deadend jobs on the floor. I kinda wonder if he wasn't paid for that. That's the kind of propaganda Walmart's been pushing lately.) and his insistence that the Catholic Church get more involved in telling adult couples how they can't use artificial contraception, advice which sensible adults should ignore...well, sounds kind of evil to me. I have a different point of view about Walmart as you can imagine. I think they hire people who don't have the courage or the intellectual chops to unionize. I do have to admit though, there is a friendly paternalism at Walmart, sort of what occasionally well-treated slaves must have gone through. I might also note that someone who doesn't question the Catholic Hierarchy and their many idiotic policies would probably not question the friendly people who own Walmart. (Ales Rarus is a former Walmart employee.) It's just like Machiavelli said: He always liked religion because it kept the sheep in line. I agree. What's the difference between a good catholic and a good Wal Mart employee? Probably not much. It will be so much better in the Next Life...on The Island. (A film I recommend by the way...)

How are Walmart's slave labor practices consistent with Christian principles? He must have missed that liberation theology class...

And he wonders why I don't like debating him...I mean, what's the point? I'm sorry, but if you must believe in Santa Claus afterlives where you can have all the Ice Cream you want--to quote Chris Walken in "The Prophecy"--there's something not rigorous about your thinking process.

I did suggest that he read up on more enlightened dogmas, such as the good 'ol humanist manifesto and a really cool religion: The Universal Unitarians. I like what they're about and I might need a wedding and/or funeral (more likely) some day. They take that's a cool church.

State of the Paper


The paper has grown fairly well over the last seven months. When I started it we got around 10 hits a day and now--during weekdays--we get about 100 to 150 hits a day, The goal is a thousand hits a day by the New Year.(Gotta have goals.)

I've also added law to the technology site because I think liberal progressive attorneys--especially trial attorneys who go after big companies who are quickly becoming an endangered species--would support a press that supports what they do. I have not forgotten the Red Light District but I think that if you do sex you should do it right so that's what I'm going to attempt. There's an interesting continuing story about the Politics of Sex. (Should be an update soon...there would be updates every other hour if I was still in my 20s...of course, I wouldn't have known what I was doing...and yes there's a sad joke in there somewhere.) I'm also going to work on developing the sections again. I really haven't done that for awhile unless it's for storage or pieces that are too long for the front page. One of the things I also need to do is more multiple postings, which I don't like doing but that's why people come back multiple times to your page. I'm hoping I can add more content than Atrios like open threads--I don't have the readers anyway--at least everyday posting.

I'm honestly not sure if I should keep on trying to do local stories--I've done a few--or just become an editing service like Grassroots (which is very thorough...hey, I need to know the dirt about the Democratic Party even though I'm a member of the party). I guess it depends on the time I have available.

I also haven't been able to put full time into the paper because I've had to make a living, such as it is. It looks like my schedule is open for the next several weeks so I'm going to put a lot of time into the paper. Each section, in theory, requires a 40 to 50 hour week. I'm just one guy but at least I can try online. I don't have several million to start my own alt weekly but if I work here I might be able to build something. Who knows.

V for Vendetta Trailer

Yet another Alan Moore property. You really have to take a look at the V for Vendetta trailer. It features this future Orwellian society where Fear seems to rule the day and where governments kill 100000 people and just seems to remind me of a country that I know. I mean, I don't know what movies terrorists watch (Love Story? The Kate Hudson cannon? Indian musicals?) but I would think they would like "V for Vendetta". Odd things about this movie: Hot highly intelligent Natalie Portman kinda pro-zionist(She is an Israeli citizen who has defended Israeli policies who now stars in a film that might define the terrorist mindset) and the movie was shot in Britain.

Hey Kidz! Its the Chuck Penn House Party!

July 26

Item: Is Karl Rove a philanderer? O god I do not believe in let it be true....And O Zeus let Mark Cuban buy the Pirates...Make it so Mighty Odin...

Item: I attended Sunday's house party with Chuck Penn and came away very impressed. His stump speech has improved immeasurably since we last saw him in April. (One word of caution: the pauses when you mention your children are very theatric and right out of the professional politician's handbook but I couldn't quite tell if they were authentic...just an observation.) There were also two reporters there, from the suspect dailies I suppose, but I don't remember seeing a story or anything. I can't imagine that their corporate press masters would promote Chuck Penn. They're probably thrilled at the prospect of having two corporatist candidates like Santorum and Bob Casey Jr. vying for the US Senate.

I don't think Chuck Penn (I think that would look better on his campaign lit and suggests a kind of iconic state patriotism...just a suggestion. I have a troublesome last name myself.) is out of it yet but he has to either improve his fundraising or find a very cheap way to make voter contacts that don't require advertising. I'm going to throw a few suggestions his way later tonight...gotta step out....

A Pro-Enlightenment Around the Internets

July 22

A Pro-Enlightenment Around the Internets

".....All religions are prone to it, given the right circumstances. How could those who preach the absolute revealed truth of every word of a primitive book not be prone to insanity? There have been sects of killer Christians and indeed the whole of Christendom has been at times bent on wiping out heathens. Jewish zealots in their settlements crazily claim legal rights to land from the Old Testament. Some African Pentecostal churches harbour sects of torturing exorcism and child abuse. Muslims have a very long tradition of jihadist slaughter. Sikhs rose up to stop a play that exposed deformities of abuse within their temples. Buddhism too has its sinister wing. See how far-right evangelicals have kidnapped US politics and warped its secular, liberal founding traditions. Intense belief, incantations, secrecy and all-male rituals breed perversions and danger, abusing women and children and infecting young men with frenzy, no matter what the name of the faith.

Enlightenment values are in peril not because these mad beliefs are really growing but because too many rational people seek to appease and understand unreason. Extreme superstition breeds extreme action. Those who believe they alone know the only way, truth and life will always feel justified in doing anything in its name. You would, wouldn't you, if you alone had the magic answer to everything? If religions teach that life after death is better then it is hardly surprising that some crazed followers will actually believe it."

--some of Polly Toynbee's Essay "In the Name of God"

Item: That's a great essay by Toynbee. There is a war now between reason and mindless, superstitious faith. I'm going with reason. However, I've read that not all the suicide bombers are all that religious. Out of curiosity, if you were witness to an imperial power slaughtering over 100000 of Your Kind and trying to steal their most valuable asset wouldn't you be angry? And how would you fight back if you didn't have a war machine at your beck and call? I'm not necessarily endorsing their actions because I take the bus a lot, but I understand them. There's also the disturbing notion that the terrorists are using the disenfranchised and underemployed to build their ranks. If that's so, they'll find the US a virtual Mecca of opportunity. (This just in on the why they legitimately hate us department: The Children of Abu Ghirab and angry comment from Hunter)

Item: I think the panopticon in Britain works. It doesn't prevent terrorist acts of course. Nothing could do that without addressing root causes. And those cameras won't be of much use if a suitcase nuke goes off but for everything up to that cameras are pretty helpful. I wouldn't mind those cameras in the United States as long as everyone had access to them. That's kind of what's been discussed at Worldchanging. Science fiction writer David Brin has been thinking about this for awhile now.

Item: One day I will own my own air force. My quest starts here and here.

Item: I've been watching Guy Negre's air compression car for about five years now. It looks like American production is about to begin. Fifty cents for a fill up?

Item: Free Inquiry on the new Pope or Everything You Wanted to Know About the Pope But Was Afraid to Ask.

"....In any case, why the corporate media in the United States and worldwide should present without dissent the Vatican's propagandistic views-particularly its claim to be the primary legal and moral representative of Jesus on Earth-is, I submit, unfair and untruthful.

There are surely positive aspects of the ministry of John Paul II. He sought to reach out to other faiths in dialogue-for example, to Jews and Muslims. He also apologized for the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the trial of Galileo, which is all to the good! But he was an adamant opponent of women's rights, at least within the church, refusing their ordination; and he opposed divorce, reproductive freedom, contraception, abortion, and artificial insemination. He was an implacable foe of the "death-with-dignity" movement and its advocacy for euthanasia and assisted-suicide, which struggled to offer the incurably ill merciful release from their suffering and pain. He insisted upon a celibate priesthood, though the church did not practice celibacy during its first thousand years. He was also a strong foe of stem-cell research, on the arcane theological premise that the "soul" is implanted at the moment of conception or of the first division of cells in a petri dish-in spite of the consequent positive benefits that may accrue to humankind from stem-cell research.

On his many trips to Asia and Africa, he insisted that condoms not be used; and he argued for abstinence. These polices no doubt caused millions of deaths from AIDS and contributed to population growth in the Third World. Although a critic of poverty-in his favor-and the excesses of capitalism, he also opposed liberation theology in Latin America, which meant that the Roman Catholic Church continued to support the power structure of these countries. Last but not least, he opposed dialogues between Roman Catholics and humanists after 1988, in spite of the fact that three earlier dialogues had been highly successful in finding common ground.

Unfortunately, this was in the wake of his overturning of Vatican II, which had attempted to bring the Roman Catholic church into the modern world. During his reign, superstitious miraculous sightings of Mary and Jesus were encouraged; even exorcisms returned to a church that for many decades had been skeptical about claims of demonic possession.

Is A Pro Life Dem Sen. from PA Good Enough Now...?

Is A Pro Life Senator from PA Good Enough Now...?

Tue Jul 19th, 2005 at 18:59:35 PDT

One thing we know about the wingers: they never ever stop. They don't want to turn every state into a battleground. In fact, they will do their best to make this a federal issue.

Here's the article that describes the coming federal war:

I argued in another diary why Bob Casey Jr.--anti-science, pro life, wishy washy on arctic drilling--that he was the wrong man for a minority party. When you're in the minority you don't need a moderate. You need firebrands. You need Paul Wellstones. You need Chuck Pennacchio.

Keep in mind that Roberts--an awful pick and guess what a big fat fuck you to the Dems--is the kind of guy that Bob Casey wouldn't filibuster, because we have to save the imaginary lil babies. And when they push to make the ban national and to jail women he'll probably vote for that as well. Remember, he's for pharmacists who vote their consciences. He's the wrong guy at the wrong time Now more than ever.

If you care about the women in your lives and truly love them as opposed to desire some theocratic rule over their very orifices, then you need to take a second look at Chuck Pennacchio. He needs money and help and he's a real opposition candidates. You don't send squishy pro life moderates to fight federalist society fascists.

Philip Shropshire

PS: What good would Casey's pro labor credentials be against a judge like this?

Coming Soon: The League of Evil Bloggers

July 18

Coming Soon: The League of Evil Bloggers. Ales Rarus is a member. His evil powers include AI and his impenetrable Doublethink heat ray (especially in regards to the many failings of the Catholic Church contrasted with the infallibility of the Catholic Church.) Also: It is rumored that he resembles this fellow:

Even though no one really expects the Spanish Inquisition.