Saturday, May 13, 2006

Yet Another Save the Internet Video

Speaks for itself....

Update: The other side is fighting back with Orwellian newspeak worthy of the Bush administration. There's a post at's blog about what they're up to. Post a comment and let them know you're not falling for AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and BellSouth propaganda.

-Stand up and fight the powers.

After checking out, some of my friends will understand the true value of my friendship. I wish I had thought of it first. If I went by images in the media, I would think my economic opportunities were limited to welfare, looting, prison, the NBA (far to late and too nerdy for that one), becoming a rapper (see previous item), and being or marrying Oprah (too many reasons to list why that can't happen). It just goes to show what you can accomplish with a little bit of imagination and entrepreneurial spirit. I may contact the person running this site and see if we can start an agency. We could diversify, rent a gay or lesbian (not me, not that there's anything wrong with it). Rent an undocumented worker...I think they already have that one and if you ask me they sell themselves out too cheap. The possibilities are endless.

-Stand up and fight the powers.

Verizon - It's the First Amendment

I just got a voicemail message this morning that was sent Monday. I guess my provider Verizon was too busy this week providing my records to the NSA to worry about good service. Now when I look at those commercials with all those people standing behind the Verizon customer representing, "the network," I wonder just how many of them are NSA agents spying on the customer for the government?

And if that wasn't enough to make them too busy to give me good service, then it must have been the time they spent lobbying congress to get rid of Net Neutrality and limit my ability to surf wherever I want on the net. For me there's a more important reason to choose a wireless company, it's the first amendment. Where can I find the number to Qwest?

-Stand up and fight the powers.

Revolutionary QOTD: May 13, 2006

"Small is the new big."
~Glenn Reynolds, An Army of Davids

This quote and the book by Glenn Reynolds is especially apropos in view of the fight for Net Neutrality and the Save the Internet campaign. The attempt by companies like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and BellSouth to squelch freedom to surf wherever we want on the web is among the first strikes by those Goliaths back at this Army of Davids. It is an attempt to stifle the power that Glenn Reynolds speaks of in his book. I'm ashamed to admit that I am just getting around to reading it. As Arianna Huffington says in this review a couple months ago, it is a must read.

If you haven't been to, written or called your congressman and any of the number of other things they recommend, you should as soon as possible. This is an important fight. I notice as I read other blogs, though many have blogged about it, I'm not seeing as many Save the Internet banners as I thought I would. No matter where you are in the political spectrum, red, blue or purple, if you blog, if you just read blogs, or if you use the internet in any way, this affects you. Let's see those banners on every blog and every web site.

-Stand up and fight the powers.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Still Talking About Colbert

When I first posted on Stephen Colbert's performance at the WHCD I said it was a classic and it would be remembered for a very long time. But I never thought that almost two weeks later it would still be as hot a topic as it is. To be honest when I saw it was the topic of Arianna Huffington's post yesterday I wasn't anxious to get to it right away because I didn't think there was much more anyone could say. And I seriously doubted the title of her post, which was, Is Stephen Colbert the Last One to Know How Amazing He Was? But I was wrong and I should have read it immediately. Arianna was at Time's 100 Most Influential People Awards where Colbert was honored along with her. I believe he was the keynote speaker at that event as well. Arianna spoke with him and this is what she had to say:
...shockingly, one of the few people still unaware of just how big an impact the twin evisceration of the president and the puppy dog press has had is Stephen Colbert himself.

When I ran into him the other night at the Time 100 celebration, he told me that he had strenuously avoided reading anything about his appearance -- the good, the bad, or the ugly -- preferring to focus on the present and putting together his nightly TV show.
It surprises me, but it shouldn't. It's the same thing you hear star athletes and other performers say about their performances. It's almost a cliche, but it is so true, that you can't focus on the hype around it. You have to focus on the thing itself, whatever it is that you do. At first I was amazed that he would be the last to know his impact. But when you think about it, performing at his level, it makes sense.

When you look at the comments at this post and elsewhere around the blogs, it's a shame he doesn't know yet. It is touching what people have to say about him. He was truly courageous and it touched his audience. Arianna compares him to Swift, Twain and Bruce. It is an apt comparison. Finally she puts together some quotes from around the blogosphere that he should see when he's ready. Oddly, I didn't find mine among them. And this. She must have missed them. I understand. She's human. She can't catch everything.

In case you missed Colbert's performance, or in case you want to see it again, I have watched it several times, it's here and the whole WHCD including the performance is here. Enjoy.

-Stand up and fight the powers.

Ask A Ninja on Net Neutrality

Ask A Ninja weighs in on Net Neutrality, and I don't think I'd want to be on the other side of an issue against a Ninja. But that's just me.

Revolutionary QOTD: May 12, 2006

We are stardust, we are golden,
We are billion year old carbon,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.
~Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Woodstock

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Everybody's Getting Fat Except Mama Cass

When the revolution comes the tax rate on capital gains will be 100% and it will be payback time for the greedy bastards who are profiting while everyone else in this country is suffering. While the deficit is approaching 9 trillion dollars and we are engaged in an ill-conceived war that is costing us billions, and there is an oil crisis. There was a time in this country when things were this bad everyone would be asked to sacrifice. The only ones that are sacrificing are young men who are sent to fight a war that never should have been started. Some of whom come home to end up on the streets. And the poor and middle class are sacrificing because with the cost of fuel they can't help it. But the rich are getting their tax breaks extended by the Republican congress who fears they'll be out of power by mid-term elections and unable to give the store away to the haves.

Not only them, but oil companies are making record profits, while still receiving tax subsidies and incentives from the government. That fat arse from Exxon gets a 400 million dollar retirement package. Does he not remind you of Fat Bastard from Austin Powers? Halliburton and defense contractors are getting rich in Iraq. It seems like everybody's getting fat except Mama Cass. And the poor. And the middle-class. And the people who go and fight our wars. That only leaves the rich.

Mary Cheney - Reverse Princess Leia

Saw Mary Cheney on Larry King Live yesterday. The VP's daughter is promoting her new book, Now It's my Turn: A Daughter's Chronicle Of Political Life. She told Larry that part of her reason for doing the book is that so many people have a misperception of her daddy. If they could only see how daddy Dick is with the grandkiddies they'd see he's just a regular guy. I can see her point, and I'd like to see Mr. Cheney with the grandkids so I could forget about how he was an instrumental part of an administration that led us into an unnecessary and unjustified war. That he is an integral part of the neocon movement who set agenda for war long before 9/11. I could forget about his secret Energy Task Force meetings with oil industry executives long before this current oil crisis and I wouldn't suspect that they had anything to do with the record profits those companies are making now. Or with the billions in tax subsidies they are receiving at the same time. I could forget about how his former company Halliburton is making billions from no-bid contracts in Iraq.

I do empathize with Mary on one point she makes in the book. I also think that John Kerry and John Edwards' attempts to use the fact that she is a lesbian to make a political point during the debates was a sleazy. They should have let someone make swift boat type political ads to make that point for them. To do so in the debates was a transparently political use of a personal family issue and didn't do them much good. What they needed was plausible deniability of having a third party do it for them. Like Bush and Cheney did with the Swift Boat Veterans, who they never asked to retract their ads. By her reaction to it, apparently Mary has inherited her dad's filthy mouth. In the book she called Senator Kerry a son of a bitch and said that she mouthed the words, "Go f**k yourself," to Senator Edwards. As I said, I can understand why she was angry. Mary, Mary, I know why you're buggin'. I am honestly on her side on that one.

She is being criticized by gay activists for not speaking out against the administration, especially when Pressident Bush came out in support of an anti-gay marriage amendment. I have to admit, gay Republicans are a mystery to me. Just as are black Republicans and Hispanic Republicans and any minority Republicans. They strive to be accepted by the people that only a few decades ago were trying to keep them out of the country club. I don't get it. Maybe its not so hard to understand. Maybe they just want to belong. I think it is not worth it. Many years ago I had a brief flirtation with conservatism (it's true), and I can see how you can briefly be sucked in by it. But once you see what they are, why would you want to remain? Which may be why I see Mary Cheney as a kind of reverse Princess Leia. Instead of leading galactic rebel forces against her evil dad, Darth Cheney, she writes a book and goes on tour to support him. What a good Republican gay daughter.

Revolutionary QOTD: May 11, 2006

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."
~President Dwight D. Eisenhower
I've used this quote before, at the end of a long post, but not as a QOTD. It's worth repeating because it relates to almost every headline we see in the news today, and most of what we read in blogs. The Iraq war, congressional corruption, domestic spying, the resignation of Porter Goss as CIA director, no bid Halliburton contracts (the Vice-President's old company), and the list goes on. Remember that Eisenhower was a general during World War II. His were not the words of someone anti-military. And now we are living what Ike warned us about not quite 50 years ago.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

As much as I would like to see a woman president of this country in 2008, the only woman Democrat with a chance so far is becoming less and less appealing. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is probably doing all the right things from the perspective of pollsters and political advisors. People that any candidate seriously considering such a run would surround themselves with. I can't know for sure if that's what she's doing. But it certainly appears to be. And with something like a potential presidential campaign, appearances are just as damning as the truth.

She appears to be moving away from her liberal image and more toward the center. At the same time, on the Republican side Senator John McCain is moving away from his maverick image and more to the right. It seems like the right strategy for both if you were to ask and expert. But it also makes them both seem to be more interested in being president than in being who they are. It makes them both seem to be insincere chameleons who would change their colors to fit whatever environment they happen to find themselves in. I sincerely hope it will make them both blend into the background.

There's another potential candidate who doesn't happen to be a woman, but who is doing just the opposite. He is standing up for his convictions. Not on what appears to be the populist platform of the minute. He's someone who has already won a presidential election, but unfortunately lost the office to first term presidential appointee, George W. Bush. Al Gore is fighting the good fight against Global Warming and is the narrator of a new film being released May 24th. An Inconvenient Truth is the name of that film. There's a preview above. Ironically, an inconvenient truth seems to be the way Senators Clinton and McCain are treating what they believe as opposed to what they want the electorate to think they believe.

Image of Mother Earth above from NASA

President's Plans in Circular File

According to this story there are some holes in White House security for the president. It's no wonder national security is in the state it in. But it seems they are pretty clear on where to file the president's plans. This article from HuffPo describes what a sanitation worker found in the trash.
It appears to be a White House staff schedule for the President's trip to Florida Tuesday. And a sanitation worker was alarmed to find in the trash long hours before Mr. Bush left for his trip.

It's the kind of thing you would expect would be shredded or burned, not thrown in the garbage. Randy Hopkins could not believe what he was seeing.

There on the floor next to a big trash truck was a thick sheaf of papers with nearly every detail of the President's voyage.

Voodoo, Crooks & Liars

Found this (also below) at C&L. They have taken on a decided musical tone recently. In fact John says, "I've had so many requests to do a C&L music club that you've convinced me. If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comment section. (That includes everyone who just lurks and never comments.)" I like the idea. So far I have lurked, but I will comment. There's also a clip of Frank Zappa just jamming. This one is classic Jimi Hendrix doing Voodoo Child from 1970. It was officially the '70s, but it's got the '60s vibe still. I love the '60s. Definitely my favorite decade so far. There's other good stuff at C&L, Chris Matthews giving cred to liberal bloggers, Glenn Beck, who is new on CNN - The most trusted name in news, being an idiot. Check them out, but first enjoy Jimi.

Revolutionary QOTD: May 10, 2006

They sell us the president the same way
They sell us our clothes and our cars
They sell us every thing from youth to religion
The same time they sell us our wars
I want to know who the men in the shadows are
I want to hear somebody asking them why
They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
But they're never the ones to fight or to die
And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire
~Jackson Browne - Lives in the Balance, Acoustic Solo, Vol. I
From C&L. There's a link to the full lyrics there and to the music video of Jackson Browne's new anti-war song. Worth watching, especially if you're a Jackson Browne fan.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The People's Right to Google Shall Not Be Infringed

"In Cyberspace, the First Amendment is a local ordinance."
~John Perry Barlow (EFF)

How do you feel about your cable company? Do they give you the warm fuzzies? Do you like the way they set up your choices of what you can watch in packages so you can't choose exactly what you want, but what they want you to have? Do you like how much they charge you? Now, how would you feel if your Internet Service Provider (ISP) changed your service so that it was set up, in a sense, like cable TV? So that for instance, if your favorite search engine is Google, they only offered Yahoo and you were stuck with it. And if you used iTunes, they'd only give you the choice of Rhapsody or Napster? What if they could prevent you from using Myspace or Ebay? Would that kind of suck?

There is a bill in congress right now that would do precisely that. Many of you may already know about it from other blogs,, or, and have already been to Everyone should. This bill, should it become law, would give the major corporations who provide internet service the power to decide what you can access and what you can't. They would be able to slow down, meaning give less bandwidth, or block entirely, sites on the web they didn't want you to use. Conversely they could speed up, give greater bandwidth to sites they want you to use. If your provider is AT&T, one of the forces behind this bill, and they develop their own search engine, then they might have a vested interest in keeping you from using Google. Or they could force Google to pay them, beyond what they already pay for bandwidth, to provide fast access to their service. They could force you to use Yahoo if Yahoo paid them what essentially amounts to a kickback, or extortion depending upon which side you view it from.

This proposed law would completely destroy what has been called the first amendment of the Internet, a principle called Net Neutrality. Network neutrality means that providers have to allow equal access to every site on the web. Whether it's Microsoft's or a site with pictures of your cat. It assures that every site is equal on the internet. And that affects more than where you can surf on the web. It affects everyone with a presence on the web who doesn't have big bucks to pay to insure they get preferential treatment. Arianna Huffington has a interesting piece on net neutrality and the terminology used to publicize this fight, compared to the newspeak used by the Bush administration to sell their agenda with terminology like the Global War on Terror. She's got links to others who are speaking out as well.

If you're a small business, or a professional with a web site; if you have a Myspace account, or a blog, you should be concerned about this new law. It gives these corporations the power to literally silence anyone whose voice they don't like on the web. It would give them the power to censor the web. If your blog complains about AT&T, they could virtually shut you down. It will make the playing field uneven. The next set of innovators, like the founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, or like the founders of Ebay, would not have the same ability to compete and to innovate on the web that they have now. New ideas would be stifled before they start. Without the big bucks to pay for the same access as established sites, their ideas would be banished to the backwaters of the web where no one could find them.

The big corporations who support this new law, companies like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and BellSouth say that they should be able to charge big bandwidth users a surtax for the extra demand they put on the system. They say they could use the money to build more capacity for the next generation internet for rich media and applications, such as video, movies, and games. But the big users of the system already pay for it when they pay per gigabyte for bandwidth. Why would these companies need to be able to restrict anyone's access to anywhere on the web to achieve that goal? If bandwidth charges aren't enough, charge more.

You Gotta Fight for Your Right To iTunes!
Since Al Gore invented it (actually he had more to do with it than you might think), the internet has become most democratic system not only in existence, but in history. This medium belongs to the people and their right to it should be protected, not given away by congress. It was originally funded by public money. Specifically the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). The internet was developed over many years without a governing body, by essentially volunteers who came together across many differing fields. From academia and technology and the world community at large to make it what it is. And it is precisely its nature as a decentralized, non-hierarchical system that makes it so powerful. Much of the software which makes the world wide web possible was collaborative and open source. The original Mosaic browser, Linux, the Apache web server, today's Mozilla browser and many other. The internet and the web are a kind of organized anarchy that works.

All this we call the internet and world wide web was created, essentially through cooperation by people around the world. Now corporate interests want to come in and take control of it. Everyone who uses the web, everyone who blogs, everyone who uses Myspace, literally everyone but those behind this power grab, has an interest in seeing this law voted down. We cannot let them turn the web into cable TV. Visit now and find out what you can do to stop this law from passing. Spread the word to everyone you know who uses the web.

Revolutionary QOTD: May 9, 2006

"As the most participatory form of mass speech yet developed, the Internet deserves the highest protection from government intrusion."
~Judge Dalzell, CDA panel

Monday, May 08, 2006

A Fish Story Says It All

This says it all. When asked what the highest point in his presidency was by a German newspaper, George W. Bush responded:
"I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound perch in my lake."
Doesn't that just explain everything

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

There's an interesting theory surrounding CIA Director Porter Goss' resignation. This one is from This Modern World, and links to a Daily Kos diarist who has an interesting take on the whole Randy "Duke" Cunningham, poker and hookers story. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Unless of course you're one of the people who runs for office on a platform that there is something wrong with that.

Moonbat Crazy

Any conspiracy theory that proposes the idea that the US military is capable of plotting terrorism against America as a pretext to war is just moonbat crazy. The linked story is from ABC News.

Why We Fight

Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski is a 20 year US Air Force veteran and worked in the Pentagon at a very high level. She was there on 9/11 when it was attacked. If you still have any doubt that prior to the Iraq war, that the Bush administration already had plans for war against Saddam Hussein, or that during the lead up to the war they ignored what the Intelligence community was telling them, you should hear what she has to say. After leaving the Pentagon she came out against the war in Iraq. The video below is from CSPAN's Q&A program where she was interviewed about her participation in the documentary film, "Why We Fight." There's a full transcript there. Karen also writes for and her blog appears at HuffPo.

Revolutionary QOTD: May 8, 2006

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
~John Kenneth Galbraith

Sunday, May 07, 2006

So What

I found this video this morning, posted last night on Crooks and Liars. Thanks to Crooks perfect Sunday morning groove. This vintage clip is of a classic live performance of So What by Miles Davis and John Coltrane. It is the epitome of cool. It is like a cool breeze blowing through all the stories of the war, high gas prices, congressional corruption.... I don't want to spoil it with that stuff. It will make you forget about them for a few minutes. For just a few minutes, it will make you say, so what....

Fat Lady Sings a Different Tune

I'm going to need a couple ice cold ones to wash down my own words that I have to eat after the Lakers blew a 3-1 lead in the first round playoff series to the Suns. Specifically,
I see the Lakers going to at least the Western Conference Final, and I see some disappointed Clippers fans in the future.
I saw the Flash intro the Suns have on their web site. Sorry to say it, but the fat lady is tuning up and it's pretty much over.
Well, the fat lady sang a different tune than the one I was expecting. But being a lifelong Cubs fan has prepared me well for these kinds of disappointment. This is a young Lakers team and it was an accomplishment to go as far as they did this year. They are steadily improving. So it is with a little more conviction than I had when I said it every year about the Cubs that I say, wait till next year....

Revolutionary QOTD: May 7, 2006

"First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they fight you. Then you win."
~Mohandas K. (Mahatma) Gandhi
Found this in the comments for this post on HuffPo. The first two sentences perfectly describe the MSM's reaction to Stephen Colbert's performance at the White House Correspondents' dinner. And it tells us what to expect next.