Saturday, September 20, 2003
A Thousand Apologies...
To Hugh and anyone waiting to read my next post in the debate below: I'm sorry. I was unavoidably detained by personal responsibility yesterday. And today doesn't look like it'll be any better.
I have an Open Source Politics peice that I need to work on today too (and which I haven't even started, yeesh.) Argh! There's just not enough time in the day, damnit.
I should be back in full swing tomorrow though. Hopefully.
Thursday, September 18, 2003
Comment Discussion Brought To The Top.
I kinda like having comments.
In response to my post on Syria being the next target, Hugh of Studied Authenticity writes:
I'd be interested to know what you think has happened in Iraq and why it's a bad thing.
And my reply:
UPDATE! - Hugh has a response posted here. I'll try to get a response to this posted later today.
Public Service Announcement.
I haven't plugged No Sweat Apparel in a while. I've been dissappointed with myself for not being able to get more bloggers to join the crusade. (A big thanks to Emma at Notes on the Atrocities and Max of MaxSpeak fame for taking up the call, most people didn't even bother to respond to my letter -- which, I might add, was not mass spammed, I composed each letter seperately.)
I originally thought it would be easy, for two big reasons: One, it's a good cause.... Sweatshops are evil and thanks to "free trade" they are becoming even more abundent. (And don't think a "Made in the USA" sticker guarantees your clothes are untainted. It doesn't.) Unions are the only proven successful way to fight sweatshops and supporting the unions as consumers is an important part of that fight. It's why we shouldn't cross a picket line to give our patronage to the business being picketed.
Now, who wouldn't want to be a part of that?
And then, on top of being a part of something this important, you can even make a little extra money through the Affiliate Program (something that -- in my experience -- any blogger can use.... Except maybe Andrew Sullivan, the fucking whore.)
It's been about six months since my initial letter writing campaign. Maybe I should try again. I have a lot more contacts now -- people who at least know who I am. (Maybe I should try to enlist the OSP gang.) I still feel that Bloggers could play an important part in e-activism like this. Our efforts in the FCC fiasco and the Vote To Impeach movement are a testiment to the power we could have if we just try to tap into it.
I'm starting to see blogging turn into pure commentary, when it could -- and should -- be so much more. Blogs, in their truest form, are about participation and community and activism. And I think as they are becoming more mainstream we're losing those things.
I'd hate to see the blogosphere turned into Corporate Media Lite (like the "alternative press.")
A Bad Equation.
What happens when you put trigger-happy, nervous kids -- mind-fucked by Nintendo and Au-nuld movies* -- into a foreign country with customs far removed from any they have ever experienced? Mucho bad shit:
Guerrillas ambushed two U.S. military convoys with remote-controlled bombs in separate attacks Thursday, wounding two Americans and sparking a heavy gunbattle in which a 20-year-old man was shot in the chest and two trucks were destroyed.
I don't blame the troops, in their situation I'd probably be just as nervous and trigger-happy. I blame the evil, murdering scumbags who put them there for their own greedy, imperialistic aims.
*And I should know, I'm still one of those kids.
Via Thousand Yard Glare, the Top 25 Censored Stories of 2002-2003:
#1: The Neoconservative Plan for Global Dominance
So, how many did you know about?
Any more doubts that Bush is a Nazi? Hahaha.
Democrats Are Assholes.
Natasha at Pacific Views:
So again the media follows the political storyline they're most comfortable with. Democrats get to be out of touch college professors, vapid actors, hippies, poor single mothers, atheists, and hypocritical rich people. Republicans can always be assumed to be honest, salt-of-the-earth types, because even the screaming rich ones never believably promise to do a blasted thing to help the working class.Hahaha. So true.
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Slavery Is Alive And Well.
Steve Lathe writes in Open Source Politics:
Free the Slaves estimates that there are at least 27 million slaves today. There are some substantial differences between the slave market of today and 200 years ago: today slaves are cheap (average cost $90 versus $40,000 in adjusted 1850 dollars), in plentiful supply, disposable (remember that low cost) and very profitable.
And America is not immune, with an estimated 100,000 slaves within our borders, mostly Latin American and mostly working on farms (looks like our slaves have just changed color after all these years.)
Link and Link.
And while I'm linking to a post at OSP, go read the whole issue, it's full of great content.
New Kid On The Blog.
Say hello to Citizen Lehew.
Courtesy of the Drug Policy Alliance, write your Senators and tell them not to co-sponsor the Orwellian named VICTORY Act.
The DPA is getting involved because, among other things, the VICTO (they couldn't actually get the "RY" in there) Act will turn non-violent drug offenders into terrorists.
I guess this is the only way they can justify those idiotic commercials accusing pot smokers of supporting terrorists -- by turning the dealers into terrorists.
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Chainsaw Massacre In Colombia.
While the media's attention is focused on the eight foreigners allegedly kidnapped by FARC soldiers, the bodies of three peasant farmers -- members of the agricultural union FENSUAGRO -- were found in a mass grave. The men were chopped up with chainsaws. They were kidnapped on Sept 2nd by paramilitaries (who have close ties to the Colombian government and the military.) Authorities have refused to investigate.
In a seperate incident the 15-year-old son of Limberto Carranza was kidnapped on the 10th. Carranza is an activist of the food and beverage union SINALTRAINAL, which is struggling against Coca-Cola. The Coke Corp. is accused of allowing the paramilitaries to intimidate and assasinate workers.
ANNCOL News (Link fixed.)
Big Money wins out again in Texas.
Texas voters, mind-fucked by the conservative propaganda machine, have approved a consitutional amendment limiting medical malpractice awards. Confined Space has the whole story (and all the links.)
A few points I'd like to highlight -- According to the director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America:
Premiums paid by doctors "do not correspond to increases or decreases in payouts," but "rise and fall in concert with the state of the economy.... Insurance companies raise rates when they are seeking ways to make up for declining interest rates and market-based investment losses."
Which makes sense. Insurance companies -- who don't give one goddamn shit if there are enough doctors to take care of everyone -- are raising rates to recoup losses brought on by the Bush economy. How about that, a corporation only cares about it's profits. Holy Shit!!! I didn't know capitalism worked like that!
Then there's the fact that the number of lawsuites and the payouts for such lawsuites have been declining. And when forced to tell the truth, insurance companies have admitted that "frivolous lawsuites" are not a problem.
Oh, and the Texas Amendment doesn't stop at medical malpractice, it:
extends the limits on malpractice awards across the board for lawsuits that could cover polluters, toxic dumpers, unsafe apartment buildings, hazardous workplaces or dangerous products.
Molly Ivins points out that:
Prop. 12 limits the right to sue makers of dangerous supplements like Fen-fen, makers of unsafe tires and exploding gas tanks, polluters, drunk drivers, manufacturers of unsafe medical devices like the Dalkon Shield and corporate crooks. People like Ken Lay and Jeff Skillings of Enron, who destroyed the life savings of thousands of people, get legal protection under Prop. 12. This is the Polluters and Predators Protection Act.
So, it ain't just the insurance companies getting their campaign donations back; it's every fucking corporate criminal in the state of Texas. The people of Texas are really taking a shot in both ends on this one.
A Good One To E-Mail To Your Friends.
George Bush's Presidential Confession.
Now we should throw him in jail and take away his puddin'. (And by "puddin'" I mean "anal virginity.")
If only we believed in Justice in this country.
Syria Has Weapons Of Mass Destruction!
I can't believe they're throwing down this bullshit again:
The Bush administration named Syria and Libya yesterday as "rogue states" whose weapons of mass destruction must not just be controlled but must be eliminated by whatever means necessary. [Link]
Don't these stupid bastards know the story about the boy who cried wolf?
And, of course, there's that little episode concerning the UN Resolution proposed by Syria a few months ago. Remember that one? After that shit I don't think we have any right whatsoever to go after anyone for "weapons of mass destruction."
I wonder what public opinion is on this. Would anyone support this after what's happened in Iraq?
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Bush/Cheney 2004 Bumper Stickers.
Just my favorites:
Bush/Cheney '04: Compassionate Colonialism
Sounds like an idea to me. Guerrilla anti-Bush campaign.
Talk To Me!
Upon request I've added a comments feature.
UPDATE! - Already have a problem. Something with the database, so I don't think it's on my end. UPDATE 2 - Seems to be working now.
Gerogie Boy Is Probably Pissing His Pants Right Now.
Britain, US postpone WMD report for lack of evidence.
I've said it before, but I'll say it again: It is a sad state of affairs when between an American President and a brutal Dictatotor it was the Dictator that was telling the truth. How can anyone be proud of this shit? How can anyone still stand behind this fraud?
And where the fuck is the mainstream media on this?
Monday, September 15, 2003
Save Our Overtime!
The battle goes one:
In the most recent action, the House-passed version of the bill does not include a similar amendment to block the overtime rule changes. However, before the conference to meld the two versions into a final product begins, it is likely worker-friendly lawmakers will offer what is called a â€œmotion to instructâ€� that would require House members who are part of the conference delegation to accept the Senateâ€™s overtime provision. In July, the House narrowly defeated (213-210) an amendment to block the overtime changes.
As always, Take Action:
Sign the Petition.
Write Your Representative.
Sometimes I Love Teddy Kennedy.
Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy hopes to put his Republican colleagues in the Senate in an awkward spot. Any day now he intends to attach a raise in the national minimum wage to a must-pass appropriations bill.
The raise will be a buck fifty over two years (75 cents at a time,) if they can get the Repugs to go against their cheap-labor conservatism and support the raise.
Fight, Fight, Fight.
Sunday, September 14, 2003
O Say Can You Seeeee!
What the Fuck is wrong with those fucking assholes in washington:
[...] The subpoenas obtained by the RIAA are issued by a federal court automatically, without any lawsuit being filed or even review by a judge. This, thanks to an obscure provision included in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, which allows copyright owners to obtain federal subpoenas by merely making allegations of infringement. Several Internet service providers are in court challenging the constitutionality of this special subpoena power, and Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., has expressed interest in repealing it. But until the special subpoena power is overturned or repealed, it is the law of the land.
I didn't know about that (I should have though, I've probably read about it before -- damn marijuana's killing my memory.)
Our laws are really starting to look like they're taken from an illiberal Dictatorship. Seriously.
20 Square Miles.
So, we can maybe narrow Bin Laden's whereabouts down to a 20-square-mile area of Pakistan and still not be able to catch him! All I can think is that maybe if some people hadn't turned the post-911 situation into a complete clusterfuck, this wouldn't even be an issue.
I seem to remember back when the US Murder Machine was gearing up for the Afghan War some of us anti-revenge folks pointed out that, among other things, bombing Afghanistan probably wouldn't do much to bring that shitfuck to justice -- and, in fact, it would most likely make it even harder. And now, look where we are: 20 sq miles of Pakistan is beyond our reach.
Art, Art, Art.
I put up six new pieces on my Fotoblog. Check 'em out, tell me what you think. I do flyers and album art -- though, only if I have complete creative freedom -- if anyone's interested. (Hmmm, maybe I should put some of that stuff up.... Hum... Yeah, I'll do that sometime in the near future.)
9-11's Unknown Soldier.
During the Vietnam War, my friend and colleague Nick Ut took a photograph of a girl who'd been napalmed, running down the road in flames. The picture became an instant icon and won the Pulitzer Prize. But no one in the States worried about getting napalmed. The photo evoked sympathy, not empathy.
Link (via Cursor.)
Mark Fiore remembers September the 11th.