There already was an Alan Turing biopic.

warwick :: if....
Earlier this week a friend and I watched The Imitation Game with Beandip Cumonmysnatch, which, though I thought it was alright, nevertheless felt verrrry "slightly above average" as far as movies go. Even as someone who loves a slow-paced, character-driven British biopic, the movie seriously dragged throughout the second half, and there were lots of "dead" or "???" scenes I felt should have been cut or replaced with something more relevant/historically accurate.

Umm, I should back up a bit. The movie is about the life of Alan Turing, the gay Cambridge mathematician whose work for the UK government helped break the German Enigma codes and end WWII: it's estimated his work saved millions of lives, both directly by deciphering messages regarding pending attacks and also because the war would've likely gone on much longer without his work. On top of that thanks to his mathematical work he's considered "the father of modern computers/computing" (though Ada Lovelace predated him by a century).

Turing's code-breaking work was heavily classified, and in the 1950s, after the war, he was prosecuted by the very government he had once worked for (and even received an OBE from) after admitting to having a homosexual affair during questioning when he reported a home burglary (the suspected burglar was a friend of the "bit of rough" he'd been sleeping with). For doing nothing more than admitting to sexual relations with another man when cops pressed him on his suspicions about his burglary, he was forced by the government to receive estrogen injections as a "chemical castration" and he committed suicide soon after, still only in his early forties. The UK government only apologized for what it did to Turing a few years ago, and he was only formally pardoned for his "crime" last year. Obviously one wonders with a mind like his what more he could have achieved had he lived longer, and whether or not he'd've lived long enough to have the pleasure of seeing the world's first personal computers.

Probably my biggest issue with The Imitation Game was the almost complete lack of actual gayness being portrayed in relation to Turing's life (flashbacking to innocent boyhood crushes don't count). When I was much younger I'd seen Breaking the Code, a BBC film about Turing's life where Derek Jacobi played Turing, when it aired here on public TV in the 1990s, and that movie addressed his sexuality head on. Arguably compared to The Imitation Game it was "too much" about Turing's sexuality and didn't portray him enough as a thinker/mathematician/cryptanalyst/etc., but after finding it on Youtube and watching it again last night I still definitely prefer the BBC's film on Turing by a long mile. Considering that it was Turing's teenage crush on another boy that influenced some of his studies and later work, and that it was his sexuality that led him to being prosecuted (and ultimately, killed) by the very government he served admirably in wartime, the fact that The Imitation Game doesn't show him once having feelings for a man (apart from flashbacks to that teenage crush, which the movie aged down significantly and portrayed in an idealized way, whereas Breaking the Code shows the kids at a more accurate age and with more of a realist quality) while at the same time playing up his relationship to the female lead (Keira Knightley) was kind of a slap in the face.

Of course, the movie doesn't pretend Turing is Not Gay, and indeed his gayness is addressed openly on occasion between certain characters, but it's not actually portrayed on screen in any real, concrete way in the form of a functional sex life or any adulthood romantic interest in his own gender. On top of that the female lead is portrayed as the most important/prominent person in Turing's life, and his gayness is treated as just another aspect of his "otherness" along with his genius and with Asperger's. And that was another issue: Turing was never confirmed as having Asperger's (much less prosecuted by his government for having it), and my friend and I were annoyed by the movie using the pop culture definition of Asperger's as an almost comic device, this idea of a kind of emotionally unaware asexual math nerd aspie!Turing played up to a hammy extent, whereas in Breaking the Code Turing's "eccentricities" and mannerisms and lack of social graces are seen and portrayed by Derek Jacobi but are just present as ways to fully flesh out Turing as a person, not treated as things to be amused by or taken as a sign of how ~bad at emotionz~ or "desexualized" Turing is as a person.

Not that I think Turing would like to be remembered as "some dude who died after he was made a convicted criminal for being gay" and granted, without Knightley's role being so prominent the movie would have been one big sausage fest, but in The Imitation Game he's almost this unsexual alien figure (...not an intentional Cumberbatch reference/insult, I swear XD), disturbingly fixated on a childhood crush and spending most of his emotional life with Knightley's character while characters around him have actual romances, crushes, flirts, desires, etc. Despite the positive message of the film overall—i.e. "this was an amazing man, and isn't it a shame he was prosecuted for his sexuality"—it doesn't actually bother to portray his life as a regular person in a way that I find illuminating.

Whereas in Breaking the Code, one of the first scenes is Turing getting followed, having a conversation with, and eventually getting picked up by a younger working-class guy on the streets of Manchester: the very bit of rough who eventually gets him into trouble. (Turing and this guy actually have lengthy scenes together and lots of dialogue, whereas in The Imitation Game the guy Turing's sleeping with is shown for all of two seconds looking lost and bereft in an interrogation room.) Breaking the Code also makes repeated reference to Turing's atheism (but also his belief in the life of souls after death), and Turing has a couple of long, detailed monologues about his life's work. It also finds time to raise the doubts people had over whether or not Turing actually committed suicide, AND it addresses how the old association of homosexuality with communism (because of the overlap in intellectual circles of gay men and Marxists/leftists/pacifists [fuck yeah], and because communism and homosexuality were both seen as the foreign "other" and therefore obvious ~evil bedfellows) complicated things for Turing after his confession as someone who had high security clearance and was working on highly classified shit.

None of these issues are things that The Imitation Game bothers to address or include. Instead, they choose to have Turing portrayed by Cumberbatch as "holding court" and dressed impeccably and being all ~badass and speechifying about his past work when the wide-eyed, starstruck detective is interrogating him about the burglary and his sexual nature, whereas in Breaking the Code he's a fumbling mess, stammering, shabby in appearance, terrible at lying, and pleading with the unawed officer to forget what he just said in a moment of pure, characteristic honesty. In The Imitation Game, Turing's boyhood crush gives him an inspirational quote, which he later repeats to Knightley's character in a corny scene, only to have her repeat it back to him years later during the film's emotional climax. Breaking the Code doesn't pull any of that schlocky, obvious, tearjerky shit, and because it doesn't, it's still highly emotional.

That's my problem in a nutshell: In The Imitation Game Turing is beatified, lionized, and two-dimensional as hell. The film spends a lot of time on his war work but it doesn't do nearly a good enough job portraying Turing as a multifaceted human being, with sexual desires and an actual life outside his work, which might be forgiven if the point of the movie wasn't to be a biopic but to say "this is a straight up historical film, and what's important is what we know and can document about Turing's efforts in WWII and his work as a mathematician, not a character study or a look at details of his private life/personal views that we can only speculate on" ...except the movie doesn't do a serious job of sticking to historical fact, so it doesn't deliver on that front either. In essence the movie feels way too shallow and pat for a man who deserves a whole lot more.

Again, the movie wasn't terrible, and despite my ranting I did like watching it, but I have a feeling it will be getting a lot of praise it does not at all deserve, and all because it has the right message and delivers a "tribute" to a wrongly criminalized gay man, even though when examined as an actual portrayal of Turing's life and inner life I think it's really, terribly lacking. For me the highlight of The Imitation Game was the acting—Cumberbatch was pretty great and so was Knightley—but after finding and rewatching Breaking the Code last night, there's really no comparison. You can't improve on Derek Fucking Jacobi, particularly not when the original play of Breaking the Code was written specifically for him.

Anyway, here is Breaking the Code for those who are curious to watch and don't mind a low-budget BBC flick. Derek Jacobi originated the role in the 1980s stage play and by the time the film version was made in the 1990s he was getting a little too old to play the 1950s Turing (and definitely too old for the WWII-era scenes), but his acting and that of the supporting cast is crazy good. And none of the hamminess or Hollywood schlock either. The main flaws to the film are that it's pretty obviously low-budget and the ending is abrupt and strange (Turing dies and then after a couple more scenes there's a bit of random voiceover from nowhere about Turing's suicide O_o), but apart from that I loved it and was reminded last night of why the movie has stuck in my memory all these years, well over a decade after I watched it on TV. I can only imagine what the BBC could have accomplished with this as a movie about Turing had they had anything close to the budget and the star power of The Imitation Game, and had gay rights/LGBT issues had been as widely accepted twenty years ago as they are now. The fact that this movie was nearly two decades before The Imitation Game and yet has far more scenes of Turing actually with guys in a romantic and/or sexual context is pretty telling and is a pretty damning testament to the The Imitation Game's lack of balls in the year 2014:

Oh and by the way, the worst part of seeing The Imitation Game in a theater? All the insufferable Wholock/Cummerbund fans who kept giggling and cooing/sighing with amusement at anything Cumber-Turing did, even when IT WASN'T IN ANY WAY FUNNY. Thank god the theater wasn't even a third full or my friend and I would have started yelling at people to stfu. XDDDD

Talk to Me of Mendocino

warwick :: if....
Most people my age or younger have likely heard of singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright some time in the last fifteen years, perhaps even heard his music. Fewer probably know he is the child of critically acclaimed singer-songwriters Loudon Wainwright III and the late Kate McGarrigle (of the sisters Kate and Anna McGarrigle, who among other things wrote "Heart Like a Wheel" which Linda Ronstadt made a mainstream hit).

Out of that group, likely fewer still have actually heard his parents' work. I personally tend to stay away from Loudon's music, mainly because I don't connect with his subject matter in any substantial way, and to a small (but significant) extent) because by all accounts he was shitty as hell to Kate (they were divorced long before Kate died) and Rufus (in large part due to Rufus being gay) and to Rufus's sister Martha, all of which makes it hard to really care when Loudon sings about his personal manpain. I mean of course there are times when one can separate an artist's work from their personal life, but probably noooot when that artist's personal life IS the content of their art. Even now that Loudon is old as fuck and Kate dead for a few years, it's clear he's not fully comfortable with his gay son, which is disappointing as hell.

Kate and Anna on the other hand produced deeply emotional, beautiful music, and when Kate died relatively young a few years ago, it was a huge loss to Anna, Rufus, and Martha.

"Talk to Me of Mendocino" was a song written by Kate about yearning for a place, a home, an escape. The specific place here happens to be the gorgeous vistas of the Northern California coast, which appeals to me greatly for many personal reasons, but "Mendocino" could be about any place, or any person you are longing for.

The two videos below complement each other: The first is a performance of "Mendocino" from the 1980s (could be 1990s, I can't tell tbh), with Kate on the piano and Anna providing harmony with Karen Matheson. The second video, recorded about a year or two after Kate's death, features Anna on the piano. She doesn't sing one note: Rufus and Martha provide the vocals.

I've watched these videos separately before, but today I watched them back to back and just sobbed for pretty much the entire duration of the second video. Everything is gut-wrenching, from how much more fragile Anna looks at the piano, her slower/mournful piano playing, the shocking white of her hair; the obvious sadness in Rufus and Martha's voices, the way they rock their heads between phrases similar to how their aunt Anna does when she sings, the way they both look so much like both their parents when they were young (I used to think Martha looked more like Loudon, but now I'm not so sure); and the way even their voices have the signatures of their parents, both the slightly nasal, slightly grainy warmth of Kate's voice and Loudon's piercing, sharp tones.

The first video gives the song a more hopeful feel, with the sunnier, sparkling tones provided by the guitar and bass and Kate's faster piano playing; the slower speed and starker/cleaner tones of the second gives you more space for introspection and catharsis. Both are lovely.

Enjoy. :)


moar liek Amy GODDAMN amirite

goodman :: trickle up
I originally posted this a few years ago. It's salient again, what with Obama's new war plans in Iraq and Syria. (yup that'll end well)

- - - - - -

Sept. 11: A Day Without War

(by ~~~Amy Goodman~~~ -- 7 September 2010)

The ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States should serve as a moment to reflect on tolerance. It should be a day of peace. Yet the rising anti-Muslim fervor here, together with the continuing U.S. military occupation of Iraq and the escalating war in Afghanistan (and Pakistan), all fuel the belief that the U.S. really is at war with Islam.

Sept. 11, 2001, united the world against terrorism. Everyone, it seemed, was with the United States, standing in solidarity with the victims, with the families who lost loved ones. The day will be remembered for generations to come, for the notorious act of coordinated mass murder. But that was not the first Sept. 11 to be associated with terror:

Sept. 11, 1973, Chile: Democratically elected President Salvadore Allende died in a CIA-backed military coup that ushered in a reign of terror under dictator Augusto Pinochet, in which thousands of Chileans were killed.

Sept. 11, 1977, South Africa: Anti-apartheid leader Stephen Biko was being beaten in a police van. He died the next day.

Sept. 11, 1990, Guatemala: Guatemalan anthropologist Myrna Mack was murdered by the U.S.-backed military.

Sept. 9-13, 1971, New York: The Attica prison uprising occurred, during which New York state troopers killed 39 prisoners and guards and wounded hundreds of others.

Sept. 11, 1988, Haiti: During a mass led by Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide at the St. Jean Bosco Church in Port-au-Prince, right-wing militiamen attacked, killing at least 13 worshippers and injuring at least 77. Aristide would later be twice elected president, only to be ousted in U.S.-supported coup d’etats.

If anything, Sept. 11 is a day to remember the victims of terror, all victims of terror, and to work for peace, like the group September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. Formed by those who lost loved ones on 9/11/2001, their mission could serve as a national call to action: “[T]o turn our grief into action for peace. By developing and advocating nonviolent options and actions in the pursuit of justice, we hope to break the cycles of violence engendered by war and terrorism. Acknowledging our common experience with all people affected by violence throughout the world, we work to create a safer and more peaceful world for everyone.

Our “Democracy Now!” news studio was blocks from the twin towers in New York City. We were broadcasting live as they fell. In the days that followed, thousands of fliers went up everywhere, picturing the missing, with phone numbers of family members to call if you recognized someone. These reminded me of the placards carried by the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina. Those are the women, wearing white headscarves, who courageously marched, week after week, carrying pictures of their missing children who disappeared during the military dictatorship there.

I am reminded, as well, by the steady stream of pictures of young people in the military killed in Iraq and in Afghanistan, and now, with increasing frequency (although pictured less in the news), who kill themselves after multiple combat deployments.

For each of the U.S. or NATO casualties, there are literally hundreds of victims in Iraq and Afghanistan whose pictures will never be shown, whose names we will never know.

While angry mobs continue attempts to thwart the building of an Islamic community center in lower Manhattan (in a vacant, long-ignored, damaged building more than two blocks away), an evangelical “minister” in Florida is organizing a Sept. 11 “International Burn the Koran Day.” Gen. David Petraeus has stated that the burning, which has sparked protests around the globe, “could endanger troops.” He is right. But so does blowing up innocent civilians and their homes.

As in Vietnam in the 1960s, Afghanistan has a dedicated, indigenous, armed resistance, and a deeply corrupt group in Kabul masquerading as a central government. The war is bleeding over into a neighboring country, Pakistan, just as the Vietnam War spread into Cambodia and Laos.

Right after Sept. 11, 2001, as thousands gathered in parks around New York City, holding impromptu candlelit vigils, a sticker appeared on signs, placards and benches. It read, “Our grief is not a cry for war.”

This Sept. 11, that message is still—painfully, regrettably—timely.

Let’s make Sept. 11 a day without war.


Amy Goodman is the host of ~~~Democracy Now!~~~, a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 800 stations in North America. She is the author of Breaking the Sound Barrier, recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.


- - - - -

This piece is a longer, more up-to-date version of a go-to piece that Goodman often delivers in speeches and talks, pointing out how 9/11 is a date that should connect and unite us with victims of terror around the world and throughout history, instead of being used as a call for more killing.


sascha :: nom
Obama 'urgently' considering air assault on targets in Syria and Iraq

At this point irony isn't just dead—irony's rotting corpse has been been exhumed from its grave and blasted by a drone strike.


OMG Gavvie

sascha :: nom


Loving this Obama tea.

goodman :: trickle up
This is perhaps the most brilliant takedown of Obama (from a leftist perspective of course, because fuck what the Tea Party thinks) and foundation-funded politics I've ever read.

The kicker? It was written in 1996. Yep, nineteen fucking ninety-six:

"In Chicago, for instance, we've gotten a foretaste of the new breed of foundation-hatched black communitarian voices; one of them, a smooth Harvard lawyer with impeccable do-good credentials and vacuous-to repressive neoliberal politics, has won a state senate seat on a base mainly in the liberal foundation and development worlds.

His fundamentally bootstrap line was softened by a patina of the rhetoric of authentic community, talk about meeting in kitchens, small-scale solutions to social problems, and the predictable elevation of process over program—the point where identity politics converges with old fashioned middle-class reform in favoring form over substance. I suspect that his ilk is the wave of the future in U.S. black politics here as in Haiti and wherever the International Monetary Fund has sway. So far the black activist response hasn't been up to the challenge. We have to do better."

(Written by Adolph Reed, Jr., professor of political science, and published in the Village Voice, 16 January 1996.)


lee :: daydream
Stewart Lee's Carpet Remnant World (2013) is one of my most favorite stand-up performances of the last decade. CRW is about a comedian who has tried to write and perform a high-brow comedy show about idealized notions of society but gets sidetracked and embittered by worries about aging and his obligations to his family as a working dad.

Some folks have uploaded a few clips of CRW on Youtube and they are below behind the cuts. Watch them as soon as you can because Stew is pretty diligent about having them taken down (honestly, I don't blame him as his DVDs aren't huge sellers):

Stew warms the room up:Collapse )

Talking about Americans" reactions to bin Laden"s death:Collapse )

Appeasing right-wingers by doing some anti-Islamic standup for ~balance~:Collapse )

Scooby Doo and Thatcher, LMFAO:Collapse )

Stew reading internet comments about himself:Collapse )

Go buy Carpet Remnant World if you enjoy the clips. Trust me it's worth it! I fucking love this leftist PC DILFy comedy BAMF. <3


Wow kidney stones are the fucking worst.

federer :: fiberer
Dealing with my first one right now. I spent two hours earlier today literally writhing on the floor and yelling in pain (if my landlord had been home I likely would have freaked him out), then half the day in the hospital, and now I'm back home hoping to piss out the 3mm jagged little pill piece of shit as soon as I can.

I went from taking zero meds in my life to being shot up with three different pain meds via my IV at the hospital (one of them being dilaudid), Flomax to help my Series of Tubes™ dilate some moar so that this thing can GTFO of my ureter and into the bladder, and I just took some hydrocodone/acetaminophen because the pain has started to come back.

Interestingly, I'm almost the same age as my dad when he first got his. Oh, and this is a fine time not to have health insurance, lmao.


Oh my god FUCK Jon Stewart.

scahill :: scruffy

19 April 2007: The Daily Show's Jon Stewart interviews Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill on his new book Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. Stewart clearly pegs Scahill for a dirty hippie and rips into him and questions his work for five minutes. (The book Blackwater would go on to win the George Polk Award in Journalism, one of only a couple of journalism prizes that actually means anything.)

3 October 2007: Jon Stewart fauxpologizes for his shitty behavior by referring "the author of a book on about a certain private security firm" with whom he admits to doing terrible interview because he lacked knowledge on the issue.

4 October 2007: Amy Goodman calls out Jon Stewart on Democracy Now!, essentially thanking him for admitting he messed up but pointing out that maybe Stewart should apologize properly and/or invite Scahill back.

Oct. 2007 to 2012: Scahill appears on multiple shows promoting the Blackwater book but also commentating on US foreign policy and spreading word about the atrocities of the Obama administration abroad, including reporting on atrocities against civilians/journalists in Yemen, drone strikes in the Middle East, etc. The Daily Show never once invites him back.

2013: Scahill, whose profile has been growing slowly since the Blackwater book, hits the political mainstream with his groundbreaking book Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield. Despite the film of the book being featured at the Sundance Film Festival and Scahill being asked on every conceivable show to talk about the book/film/his reportage, the Daily Show never once invites him back.

17 December 2013: Fucking ERIK PRINCE, THE CEO OF BLACKWATER, is given a seven-minute interview of mostly softball questions from Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. The interview is a promotion vehicle for Prince's new book, which is his revisionist retelling of the Blackwater story and clear attempt to try and mitigate the scrutiny brought to his company since Scahill's work was published. The Daily Show even posted an "extended interview" on their website with four more additional minutes, in which Stewart says HE FEELS BAD FOR PRINCE. Stewart ends the conversation by calling the book a "fascinating counterpoint" to established Blackwater narrative and says:

"You should read this. We all have very preconceived notions about what this force is and what it means to the United States, and it is important to get the view of an individual that has experienced it and dealt with it."

As of now there are no plans for Scahill to be on the show.

Seriously, if one more liberal starts sucking Jon Stewart's cock in front of me or tells me something to the effect of "I dunno about you plebes but that's how ~~~I get my news *nose in air*" I am going to punch them in the face.

EDIT: Found one critique of Stewart's bullshit.

Enough with the Sochi Boycott Crap

haas :: tongue
(I posted this recently elsewhere and I'm bringing it here.)

It really frustrates me that liberals outside Russia are still debating the merits of an Olympics boycott when LGBT activists/people in Russia have said that THEY DON’T WANT A BOYCOTT (or, if they do, what they want is want a POLITICAL boycott of Putin by world leaders at the Games but not necessarily an economic/investment boycott of the Olympics itself).

If we truly care about the Russian LGBT community maybe we should fucking listen to them instead of being pressed that our respective nations/athletes/whatever are participating?

Like, when Tibetan activists were calling for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics and Uighur leaders like Rebiya Kadeer (who is a total BAMF, btw) were calling for the same due to the mass arrests of thousands of peacefully protesting Uighurs and what they called “cultural genocide,” did the world community give a shit and boycott Beijing? No.

So, actual activists and leaders in the Tibetan and Uighur communities called for a boycott in ‘08, and nothing happened. Now, actual Russian LGBT activists for the most part are arguing AGAINST a boycott, and NOW we’re supposed to boycott Sochi? Why?

I’m afraid that the answer probably lies in the fact that it’s easier and more palatable for Western liberals in 2013 to support LGBT people than it was for them in 2008 to show support and empathy for victims of repression, cultural erasure, or religious and ethnic discrimination in Chinese-occupied territories.



haas :: tongue


That is all.



haas :: tongue
Thomas Drouet is so fucking gorgeous.


scahill :: 晴る
God people on ONTD_P are so fucking stupid.

People seriously think Glenn Greenwald is a Ron Paul-worshipping lolbertarian? Sure, a guy who calls for more gubmint regulation on Wall Street, higher taxes on the rich, more penalties for corporations, etc. is totally a lolbertarian just because he actually dares to criticize Obama's policy on Gitmo, wars, drones, assassinations, wiretapping, civil liberties abuses, constitutional law violations, etc.

I mean the most praiseworthy thing Greenwald's said about Ron/Rand Paul have been the same thing that people like Jeremy Scahill and others on the LEFT have said, which is that what passes for the American Left is in a really sad state of affairs when liberals and Democrats are silent on these issues and it's being left to shitty right-wing reactionaries like the fucking PAULS to call out interventionism, civil liberties abuses, drones, etc. and get certain key docs entered into the public record.

But I guess all the smear attacks by partisan Dem- and Obama-apologist hacks tied to The Nation and MSNBC are working, like the ones by Lee Fang who says Greenwald is a CATO Institute lolbertarian simply because he doesn't oppose the Citizens United decision (newsflash, I don't either and I'm a screaming leftist), Katha Pollitt who says Greenwald is the type who would rather praise old racist white men than liberal women and POC, or Melissa Harris-Perry who argued that white progressive Obama critics like Greenwald and Scahill are all just sekrit racists because leftist criticisms of Obama soooo much stronger now than they ever were of Clinton...

...which is a laughably stupid argument to make as Clinton and his BS "Third Way" ethic was the whole reason for liberal disaffectation in the 1990s, and he was the sole reason Nader and the Green Party even had any traction in the late-1990s and early 2000s. Most Green votes in 2000 were from liberals who were DEEPLY critical of Clinton's handling of Iraq sanctions, Serbia, Glass-Steagall, Haiti, DoMA, etc. in the 1990s, and Jill Stein in 2012 got a very small fraction of the vote that Nader got in 2000. And not only that, but the national economy/jobs situation was way better under Clinton than it is now under Obama, so if you were forced to choose a better time to be softer on the president, it would have been more likely to be during the Clinton years than now, but even taking that into account it isn't the case at all.

But don't listen to me, listen to all the MSNBC and Nation pundits because they has the smartitude: yes that's right, Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, and all you other nasty ~purists~ on the left who dare to give a shit about brown people (a few of whom are US citizens) being killed in our name just clearly secret lolbertarians just trying to cloak your racist, anti-Obama diatribes in humanitarian language. I mean reaaaally, HDU you big apologist for white supremacy, Obama4Lyfe, etc.

Seriously, the racism charges against people producing actual honest reportage and critique like Greenwald, Scahill, etc. are really despicable considering that much of their advocacy and protests of Obama are done in defense of ACTUAL PEOPLE OF COLOR WHO ARE BEING KILLED by the largest purveyor of white imperialism in the world. The fact that some professional pundits who consider themselves "liberal" are willing to trot out these really disgusting charges and exploit and twist anti-oppression language to prop up a person in power responsible for purveying some of the worst violence at home and abroad against the poor and against POC is just really, really indicative of how low mainstream liberal/progressive thought has become in the US, and how dangerous the sports team mentality behind partisan politics really is.

On a lighter note, you know _P is a far shadow of what it once was when you can post an article about Joe Biden endorsing a "chocolate bullet policy" and there are no salacious and slashy Joebama/Obiden comments or macros posted in response. Because GÜRRRRRRRL.

P.S. Because I clearly need to post it again:

İ cried when they shot Medgar Evers
Tears ran down my spine
I cried when they shot Mr. Kennedy as though I'd lost a father of mine
But Malcolm X got what was coming
He got what he asked for this time
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I go to civil rights rallies and I put down the old DAR
I love Harry and Sidney and Sammy
I hope every colored boy becomes a star
But don't talk about revolution
That's going a little bit too far
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I cheered when Humphrey was chosen
My faith in the system restored
I'm glad that the commies were thrown out from the AFL-CIO board
I love Puerto Ricans and Negroes as long as they don't move next door
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Ah, the people of old Mississippi should all hang their heads in shame
I can't understand how their minds work
What's the matter, don't they watch Les Crane?
But if you ask me to bus my children I hope the cops take down your name
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Yes, I read New Republic and Nation
I've learned to take every view
You know, I've memorized Lerner and Golden
I feel like I'm almost a Jew
But when it comes to times like Korea there's no one more red, white, and blue
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I vote for the Democratic Party
They want the UN to be strong
I attend all the Pete Seeger concerts
He sure gets me singing those songs
I'll send all the money you ask for but don't ask me to come on along
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Sure, once I was young and impulsive
I wore every conceivable pin
Even went to socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns
Ah, but I've grown older and wiser and that's why I'm turning you in
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

-- Phil Ochs

Getting real tired...

scahill :: 晴る
... of the folks whining and saying, "What did Manning even do for the LGBT community blah blah blah I am a concern troll no?"

Well, 'cause for one thing:

Manning held this sign up at a 2009 Pride parade march WHILE STILL ON ACTIVE DUTY and long before DADT was formally ended.

Which is oh about 3,098,498 times more than what 90% of the population have ~done for the LGBT community~.

Seriously, rme rn.


office :: jim hair
"What we see here is how even many of the most liberal precincts in America are now the leading spokespeople for and loyalists to state power as a result of their loyalty to President Obama. Thus do we have the President of the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade sounding exactly like the Chairman of the Joints Chief, or Sarah Palin, or gay war-loving neocons, in depicting any meaningful opposition to the National Security State as the supreme sin." - Glenn Greenwald, “Bradley Manning is off limits at SF Gay Pride parade, but corporate sleaze is embraced”

I can't even begin to express how viscerally angry, hurt, and upset I've been over this Manning issue.

To be clear: I've never felt at home at SF Pride. The first time I went years ago, I was shocked by all the corporate sponsorship, and how something that should have been a celebration of community and all our struggles for justice had been commodified with Clear Channel promo booths, Wells Fargo or GAP t-shirts, straights and tourists gawking, crap marketing gear like keychains with logos that immediately went into the trash (and then landfills), lackeys of the non-profit industrial complex taking advantage of drunk queers and guilty straights in order to solicit donations, and trash everywhere.

But THIS? What the SF Pride Board has done is fucking unconscionable. Read Board President Lisa Williams' statement here.

If Williams had just said, "Look, it was a mistake, Manning is not grand marshal," and left it at that, she might have gotten some (still well-deserved) backlash for capitulating to the right-wing (both within and outside of the mainstream LGB community). But stating BLATANT MISTRUTHS about Manning, claiming he put lives in harm's way when even our own military admits he did not, and condemning a member of our queer community who is innocent until proven guilty (and who should be protected as a whistleblower even if he is proven guilty) is irresponsible and a fucking betrayal of what our community should be.

Manning hurt no one. He's not a fucking Log Cabin Republican who says gay marriage is stupid. He's not Obama, whom everyone praises for "supporting gay marriage" while conveniently ignoring the fact that he said in the same interview that the issue is a states' rights matter (which means he supports the status quo, not a broad national push for equal rights).

Instead, Manning is a queer person who even detractors of his actions admit was responsible for some of the most awe-inspiring democratic uprisings across the globe.

Bradley Manning should be celebrated by the LGBTQIA movement, but he is too queer, too radical, and too truthful for the non-profit industrial complex that has come into being around our movement ("Gay, Inc."). Apparently we are acceptable to mainstream society so long as we settle down in monogamous relationships and show our willingness to fight the US's wars, but whistleblowing, dissent, and truth-telling is too "out there" for Gay, Inc. (Note how Dan Choi was a media darling when he was protesting "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and putting Harry Reid and others on the spot, but as soon as he started protesting for Manning and calling out Obama on Manning's treatment, he was dismissed as a loony. It's fucking shameful.)

The Free Bradley Manning contingent has had a strong presence at SF Pride for the past two years. What's gonna happen this year?

Anyway, for a great article on the shameful actions of SF Pride, check out Glenn Greenwald's fabulous article in the Guardian which is linked at the top of this post. Glenn himself is a gay man, and has defended Manning for ages.

Manning's abandonment at the hands of the mainstream gay rights movement is just shameful, especially since a lot of rhetoric against Manning in the right-wing press like Fox News specifically tried to use his sexuality (and likely gender-nonconformity) AGAINST him when discussing his actions.

This is a betrayal. Homophobia from bigots hurts, but betrayal by assimilationist, right-wing, and/or apologist fuckfaces within MY own LGBTQIA community fucking really hurts. I may identify as a gay man but crap like this is why I try to make it a point to label myself queer and not as "a gay man."

If being a part of the gay rights movement means abandoning Manning and others like Manning, count me the fuck out.

On a more positive note, Occupying the Pride parade again this year will be extra spicy. >:)


scahill :: 晴る
Love me some Jeremy. Gotta love a guy whose earnesty, honesty and firsthand reportage/analysis make other hired talking heads look like total pre-rehearsed, establishmentarian hacks.

Waiting with (mastur)bated breath for when his book tour brings him here to the Bay Area, fap fap fap lmao.

P.S. Insert gratuitous "fuck all Clinton/Obama stans" here, as per usual. :D

Fuck Yeah 夏川りみ

scahill :: 晴る
Sometimes all you need is a Natsukawa Rimi ballad. Because HOLY SHIT HER VOICE:

And for some moar classic Okinawan pop goodness, 島唄 (Shima Uta) from THE BOOM:


scahill :: 晴る
While I understand that mainstream liberals need to reserve a few minutes to kissing Obama ass over his Justice Department's refusal to defend DoMA at the Supreme Court, I hope they can manage to tear themselves away for a few seconds from jizzing over the late-to-the-party shittily-half-hearted home-stretch ally bandwagoning to spare a few seconds of their damn attention to a REAL fucking LGBTQIA hero who now faces trial tomorrow morning under that same president's government:

Margaret Cho's short piece on Dan Choi's trial tomorrow morning. Dan's relentless direct action forced the government's hand on DADT and helped lead to its repeal... and yet he's still being prosecuted for the activism he did on that front:

Anyone surprised at all that news of Dan Choi's trial is being buried under all the happy DoMA coverage? Don't take your eyes off the ball, people.

P.S. Can I just say how much I fucking LOVE that two of the most outspoken queer public figures on the national stage are KOREAN-Americans? Fuck yes. That's the kind of role models I needed as a kid, and not those fucked up backwards-ass fascist-as-fuck right-wing Christian Kor-Ams I was forced to socialize with until I was old enough to say nothxbai.

P.P.S. Speaking of queer people being fucked over by this shit-ass excuse of a center-left government, please cf. -- who is mostly ignored by mainstream liberals but would be a goddamn cause célèbre if we had a Republican president right now. I mean srsly Republicans, you all should just work to vote for and support Democratic presidents from now on, because they'll pull off all your hawkish foreign policy and corporatist wet dreams way easier than one of your own ever could. <3



haas :: tongue

His name is Leopold, and he's from ~Belgium~ ♥♥♥


Okay, so what if he's 222 years old? I still would time machine myself straight to dat ass.


haas :: tongue
Seriously, fuck all the fascist MSNBC-level "thinkers" denigrating great intellectuals of color like Dr. Fucking West as "race traitors" at worst or "people who just don't get it" at best simply for not kissing Obama's ass all the time:

I also like the ignorant "leftists" who don't know shit claiming that journalists like Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald are secret racists or Republican operatives for criticizing Obama so much. Never mind that some of these same critics who are part of the mainstream Dem/left establishment treated journos like Scahill/Greenwald like kings when Bush was in power and they were publishing critical shit left and right.

If there is anything this administration has exposed it has been the utter hypocrisy of the mainstream US left, who screamed like hell about torture, the Iraq War, Guantanamo, and civil liberties incursions under Bush but couldn't be fucking arsed to give a shit after Lolection Day 2008.

I have every right to be bitter as hell. As an activist and organizer I've had butthurt "liberals" and Democrats refuse to work with me, my allies, and my group simply because besides stopping foreclosures and evictions, and besides organizing to stop the construction of prisons, we've ALSO held peace/anti-war protests at Obama events, and have rallied for Obama to release Bradley Manning. MoveOn doesn't talk to us, and Move to Amend doesn't either. Apparently being for peace and not licking out the Democratic Party's asshole 24/7 is too out there and radical for some people.

If we had a Bush or Romney in power right now, I know that today's pseudo-intellectuals would be agreeing with people like Dr. West instead of exploiting social justice tropes to try and silence peace-minded and justice-minded dissent on the left.

And I fucking KNOW that if we had a fucking Bush or Romney in power right now, all the self-professed "leftists" who froth at the mouth over the latest Limbaugh/Gingrich/Palin/Boehner soundbite would have been standing right next to me at all the events I've put together, instead of treating me and my friends and fellow activists like poison. Excuse me for having a fucking conscience, and for giving a shit about violence that happens in Lahore and Kandahar as much as I do about Sandy Hook.

Oh and P. fucking S. but if you really want to do something about the underlying culture of violence we have in our country to prevent more Sandy Hooks, you've got to examine the type of death-laden policy actions our leaders commit to and engage in across the world, the legitimacy that our country's leaders have given to murderous policies (and to the idea that violence can indeed solve our most pressing problems), and the murders we are complicit in if we wait for a Republican president to take power before speaking up and speaking out.


Storm Clouds



scahill :: :3
I dun curr about MSNBC unless this hot piece of ass is on demolishing every mainstream Dem/liberal apologist pundit in sight:

But please, MSNBC and The Nation, please tell me more about how people like Scahill and Glenn Greenwald are sekrit racist white mens and/or Republican operatives who never gave a shit about these issues under the Bush administration.

P.S. Chris Hayes is the little spoon to Jeremy's big spoon a frond of Jeremy's so it's pretty hilarious to see him BS at the end about how the Iraq War is ended even though it's not really ended and how we can't possibly talk about several issues at once. I'm pretty sure he (and others) brings Jeremy on to say the things he can't.

Fuck Yeah 小野洋子

haas :: tongue

Check it. Some good shit from Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band. You can't tell where John's guitar ends and Yoko's voice begins:

And before you go "LOL YOKO broke up teh Beetles hurrrrrrrr lol tryhard betch cant sing durrrr" I suggest you read the following:

Time, of course, has been very good to Yoko Ono. Ono's manic, shrieking vocals on "Why"—a piercing, sirenlike wail derived from hetai, a technique used in Kabuki theater—presaged all sorts of extreme female singing that would emerge during the postpunk era. It's hard to think of a single female new-wave singer, from Lene Lovich to Kate Pierson to the vocalist in just about every early Rough Trade band, who didn't sound like she was swiping from Ono—albeit with relatively palatable and pop-friendly results. [NOTE: The B-52s openly admit to being influenced by/lifting from Ono's voice work.]

Ono's performance is astounding, but it wouldn't have the same power without Lennon's nasty, slashing guitar and the monster groove carved out by Ringo Starr and bassist Klaus Voormann. "Why" remains one of the most visceral rock songs of all time.

Listen to this one with the lights off.



castleton :: blau
Oh god, lmao.

So for a while now I've been watching a lot of British stand-ups/comedians via Youtube since 90% of their shit is never televised here.

About a year ago, I wrote some really pervy comments on a Youtube vid of this one comedian. I'll spare you the details, but um, yeah.

Not long ago, that comedian was on a chat show and the host read off some of the pervy things people have said about him.

I just saw a clip of that show on Youtube.

I was quoted twice. Almost verbatim.

L. M. A. O.

I'm not giving any more clues than that, ah ha ha ha. XD All I'll say is that I never expected my random internet pervdom to end up on a fucking national talk show on the other side of the globe.

I will say that the comments I made weren't even about a comedian I particularly like or find funny or even generally perv over, which makes it all the more hilarious to me.

P.S. Waiting for the day all the nasty things I've written about Roger Federer on the internet get quoted to him on ESPN or Canal+ or something.

Eight minutes well spent:

castleton :: blau
There are no words for how much I love this boy right now:

Just... FUCK. The layers, the GROOVE, the asdfkjhasfdlkjsahdfkljasdhflkJAHS- ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥



haas :: tongue
Been a fan for over a decade and haven't looked back. Few singer-songwriters (let alone "plain old" musicians, singers, and performers) can encapsulate introspective, intense emotion as well as this:

scahill :: 晴る
I mean, I know the raccoon-eyed coffee-breath stifling progressive dissent thing is just SO sexy but seriously:

In Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has pushed through legislation making it harder to get a march permit, providing tighter protest regulations and tougher penalties against arrested protesters, and city officials attempted to impose a march route far from the McCormick Place site of the NATO gathering. Organizers saw these actions as part of a "series of efforts by the city to stifle our efforts to have the largest protest possible." Ultimately, a compromise route was agreed upon by protesters so they could begin publicizing the event, even though they feared that the march route, plus likely future Secret Service-imposed restrictions, could limit their visibility to, and impact on, NATO summit attendees.

Rick Perlstein, in a devastating portrayal in Rolling Stone, noted Emanuel's new powers and his recent use of $200,000 in discretionary spending to purchase new full-face police shields and his solicitation of "bids for medieval joust-style riot armor for police horses." All this indicated that Emanuel "is no friend of democracy" and that using "draconian measures" he seems to be making "an apocalyptic smackdown during ‘Occupy Spring' almost inevitable." This possibility has "long-memoried lefties... freaking out," Perlstein wrote, thinking back to the beatings of protesters in what was later officially ruled a Chicago "police riot" at the 1968 Democratic national convention.

Seriously, go stan for someone else please.


Writer's Block: Dear God

sagan :: superstar
If you could ask God one question, what would it be?

A/S/L? lololololol

ffffffffffff dat groove


scahill :: :3


(lol Phill Jupitus)


Now that Kim Jongil is dead...

平井堅 :: bring it
Forgive me if I avoid the internet for awhile. I have no wish to read bullshit sentiments like:

1. "I hate death and brutality so much that it's totally okay to celebrate the death of a ruler who was the source of such death and brutality. I mean, I was totally one of the direct targets of his rule so I'm totally entitled to be cheering as if it made any difference in my life. That's why I'm celebrating his death. Because I get to appropriate this death as a victory I can celebrate from half a world away. Who cares that his death doesn't mean anything will change for North Koreans and may in fact mean that things get worse for them? I want to show how much I *care* and how much I despise him for causing death. Death is bad and I care for people. That's why I'm sitting here in the US cheering a person's death that benefits no people, instead of calling out the Obama administration for continuing the Bush-era hardline stance against the country, which has been THE MAIN REASON relations between N. Korea and other countries have gone backwards and is a major part of the reason why there has been no progress for the North Korean people. But who cares about actually thinking of ways to really help from where I'm located when I can just cheer a death, amirite?"

2. *insert here some othering, racist "ooh look at the silly exotic Asians!" macros/videos/comments/bullshit that would be called out as racist at most any other time but is accepted without question because ~It's Kim Jongil~ and it's North Korea and they're WEIRD and STRANGE, for gawdsake*

3. Tiresome and totally un-ironic, self-congratulatory statements about how we are so lucky to live in the freedom-loving land of The Enlightened West~. Because the current NDAA and Bradley Manning don't remind us at ALL of how thin the line is between freedom and totalitarian, fascist bullshit. Because it's not like so much of the problems right now in North Korea and lack of progress have anything to do with the hardline stance of the two most recent US administrations.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad he's gone. But I'll be surprised if this leads to any beneficial change in North Korea, and I have no interest reading the facile, trite bullshit people are coming up with in response to the news.

calleri :: segundo
UNNNNNNNNF Gordo get in me:

*_* Holy shit do I miss this sexy Argentine DILF one-handed-backhand God of Sexy Thighs.




Wut Wut in the Butt

平井堅 :: 唇
01. Make a list of five things you can see without getting up.
Sunscreen (SPF 45 and fragrance free, natch); scratch paper for BOTE calculations/working out finances; satsuma peels; empty kombucha bottle; a small piece of ~rustic~ grey-green pottery.

02. How do you style your hair?
I keep it cut short enough that I don't need to do anything to it. It's boring: short back and sides and longer on top. When I was super poor I made a ruthless effort to cut out as many body, skin, and hair care products I don't need and the way I have it cut now I don't need to really use gels anymore. I still gel my hair once in a while when I'm going out or when it's at a nice length to do so but I do it so infrequently that what little gel I have left from purchases made years ago will last me at least a few more years, if not longer.

03. What are you wearing now?
Dark blue hoodie, dark blue t-shirt, dark grey pajama pants, sterling silver bracelet, stainless steel bracelet, cloth anklet.

04. What are your favorite dishes?
Hummus, preferably homemade with tons of garlic, lemon, tahini, and parsley;
pa amb tomàquet (good bread grilled or toasted with a bit of olive oil, rubbed with raw garlic and tomato, and topped with more olive oil and sea salt);
som tum (Thai green papaya salad), preferably with cashews and dried shrimp;
a perfectly ripe Fuerte or Reed avocado with lemon juice and sea salt;
vegetarian gỏi cuốn (Vietnamese spring rolls;
lahpet thohk (Burmese tea leaf salad);
wild salmon pan-seared with mirin;
uni (gunkanmaki-style);
miang kham (Thai snack of dried shrimp, lime, toasted coconut, peanut, onion, galangal, and coconut sauce wrapped in fresh leaves).

05. What do you hear right now?
Listening to Phil Ochs: Live at Newport [Folk Festival].

06. What's your favorite guilty pleasure treat?
Belgian beer; expensive, over-priced raw/vegan treats from the local health food store.

07. Are you hungry?
Had dinner a few hours ago so that would be a no.

08. What things do you like to smell?
Lime zest, coconut being toasted, good sandalwood, white chocolate, quince, the smell of live mint plants growing under a hot sun, the very particular Northern California coastal terrace prairie smell (a blend of resinous/herbal plants, seaweed, dried grass, sand, and coastal air); any blend of the cinnamon/clove/nutmeg (i.e. "pumpkin pie spice") variety.

09. Dog person or cat person?
Dog person when I was younger. Cat person now but I still love both.

10. What song is currently stuck in your head?
"Cross My Heart" by Phil Ochs; live performance from the 1966 Newport Folk Festival. :p

11. What was the last thing you watched?
Episodes of QI and Miranda on Youtube. Besides being entertaining they're excellent to fall asleep to.

12. If you could afford to go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Barcelona, the Hebrides/Orkneys, Sicily, Iceland, the Faroes, Algiers, Okinawa.

13. Last thing you cooked?
Normally I'd have a quick answer but I've been so busy I honestly don't remember.

14. Last book you read?
Dragonheart by Todd McCaffrey. A pile of shit, frankly. Skies of Pern was the last tolerable Pern book and Todd should never have picked up for Anne (RIP) because he fucked shit up majorly.

15. What are you doing this weekend?
Activism-related shit I don't want to discuss publicly, eating and catching up with fronds, and hopefully having time to fit in some hiking which I haven't been able to do lately.

16. If you could play any musical instrument, which one would you play?
I already play the piano, flute, and sax. I guess if anything I would want to learn to play the guitar better since my level is very beginner on that instrument, and plus I really want to be able to cover Phil Ochs songs properly.</stan>

17. What are you doing tomorrow?
Work 7:30-17:00; gym 17:15 to 19:00; dinner and an important meeting 19:00-21:00. Did I mention I'm busy? XD

18. What are you looking forward to the most?
Sleeeeeeeeep; seeing some of the work I've been putting in the past couple months bear fruit in the near future; quality gym time tomorrow; camping with fronds hopefully before the year is over.

Dear Occupy Oakland,

scahill :: :3
Thanks to you, I have been bursting with Bay Area pride for the past week.

Thank you for taking the Occupy Wall Street movement to the next level.

Thank you for proving definitively that this movement is not one that will be dominated by entitled white students, what passes for the mainstream left (i.e. Democratic Party machine bullshit), or dirty hippies... as if dirty hippies were ever wrong about the war(s), the environment, and the economy, but that's another conversation for another time.

Thank you for coming out en masse on Wednesday to shut down the ports. To decry the brutalization of Scott Olsen and other peaceful protesters. To call out the 1%, and to make the elite shake in their fucking boots.

Thank you for reminding the nation that SF, Oakland, and Berkeley are still important hotbeds of radical and leftist politics.

Thank you for proving to all the white middle-class dumbasses who continually whine and fearmonger about ~crime-ridden Oakland~ that Oakland is not just a place where Scary Brown People Will Shoot You.

Thank you for showing the real beauty of Oakland: the diversity of its people, the radical nature of its politics, and the example it sets to the rest of the nation of what needs to be fixed and also what is tantalizingly possible.




P.S. If you can spare 6.5 minutes of your life, this is a glorious quick video recapping the 2 Nov. general strike in Oakland (with a cameo by Angela Fucking Davis *_*). I am not ashamed to admit I had tears in my eyes watching this:


P.P.S. I have a feeling that one of my biggest regrets in life will be missing out on the 2 Nov. general strike, but there was no way I could have gone. Between work and participating in two different local #Occupy movements AND playing a major part in trying to start a new one up in my home town (more on that in a filtered post later, when I can find the time), I've been fucking BEAT lately and have gotten myself totally sick, and I couldn't afford to miss work on 2 Nov. after calling in sick so much already. I was so sick I even stayed home instead of going to see Glenn Greenwald, who was in town for two nights this week on a rare stop to the West Coast during one of his infrequent trips outside of Brazil. I really wanted to go, but my body is running on empty, I've had little sleep, and I'm sure I've gained a little weight because all this #Occupying has left me little time to cook or hit the gym for the past two weeks.

But you know something? Even being this sick, this tired, and this overwhelmed, I have never felt more excited, more inspired, and more OPTIMISTIC about the direction this country is heading in than I have been lately. In spite of the shithole we're in now thanks to the corporate elite and the people in government who serve them, I've never felt this fucking proud of my country, and I've never felt this energized about the future that is possible for us here in the US.

It's funny, when I marched across the Golden Gate Bridge this past 11 Sept. with hundreds of peace activists, an older gentleman from Veterans for Peace asked me (with more than a hint of despair in his voice) if I ever thought more people besides us dedicated few would finally wake up and take to the streets to regularly voice their anger, their discontent, their righteous grievances, and take action, instead of just voting for shit Dems and thinking that would take care of everything. I told him that I didn't know that if that awakening would ever happen, but that it was important for us to be out there doing what we were doing in case that day came because it was important to have that basic foundation in place for when others were ready to join us.

I don't want to jinx the #Occupy movement, but it seems like people are fuckin' ready now. All the protesting and demos and actions I've been involved in before this movement has seemed like mere training exercises for this new era in American political awareness/activism, and I am SO fucking ready like you wouldn't believe. This movement has been so beautiful already, and the best part of it is, it's only just started.

"Hope"? I have it now, at long last.


In less heady news, gonna SLEEP IN (blessed sleeeeeeeeep), watch a bit of tennis, and go on a long run/hike tomorrow before attending an organizing meeting in the evening and an impromptu b-day dinner after that. There's a "Move Your Money" protest action going on at noon tomorrow near me that I wanted to attend, but I really, REALLY need some Me Time right now, unless I want this persistent overtiredness-related cold/fever that I've had for the past week to develop into something really fucked up.

Good night, fronds~ :* Sorry I've been so shitty about responding to your entries and to even comments in my own entries. I promise I'll reply when things aren't so ridiculously crazy.

Nearly Belated Hallowe'en Zombie Jam

castleton :: blau
Nine minutes to midnight!


LyricsCollapse )


o rly

scahill :: :3
President Barack Obama, as quoted in the Toledo Blade in September of 2009 when discussing planned anti-capitalism/anti-neoliberalism/anti-globalism protests ahead of that years G20 summit:

"I was always a big believer in - when I was doing organizing before I went to law school - that focusing on concrete, local, immediate issues that have an impact on people's lives is what really makes a difference and that having protests about abstractions [such] as global capitalism or something, generally, is not really going to make much of a difference."

Two years on, and in the midst of global #OccupyWallStreet protests, all I have to say is:


STFD; and


Quick Sign Round-Up

haas :: tongue
I'm about to make a voice post or two because I'm hitting the road to go to #OccupySanJose but before I do I wanted to post a quick round-up of the signs I've been holding up at both #OccupySF and #SJ:


If You Want
"Hope and Change"
Take to the Streets
You Are the 99%


We Got
99% Problems
But Bitch Ain't


In Solidarity:
#Occupy Seoul
#HeuimangSeoul (written in Korean)
#Hanmi FTA Jeoji! (written in Korean)


If Corporations Are
People, When Will
Obama Assassinate One
Without Due Process?





scahill :: teh sex
Naomi Klein, BAMF and author of The Shock Doctrine (AND good fronds with mai waifu Jeremy Scahill), spoke at #OccupySF this morning. Would have loved to have gone to hear her speak, but I can't take ANY time off of work right now (in fact I've hardly been able to participate in #OccupySF at all because of work and other concerns, which has been frustrating me to no end). Here is a short interview she gave to KPFA 94.1 after she spoke. Importantly, she addresses the bullshit corporate media/mainstream liberal meme going around which tries to advance the idea that the various #Occupy movements are ridiculous and/or don't have any legs because there are no ~set goals~ within the nationwide uprising, but she also talks about possible dangers to the movement if it fetishizes the lack of a structure. She goes on to touch upon the history behind the words "occupy"/"occupation" and how those words need to be reclaimed:

Love her. And as it stands right now it looks like I'll be hitting up both #OccupySJ and #OccupySF this weekend, so FUCK YES. *_*

- - - - -

"It's not about who you vote for on Election Day: it's what you stand for today and the day after.

"Voting is not a revolutionary act, but taking to the streets is. Making your voice heard—that's where change happens. Those of us who are able to keep our heads above the water and aren't worrying about where our next meal is going to come from: we have an obligation, living in this country in particular, to stand up to those in power and refuse to move out of the way until they are gone. We have an obligation to do that."

— Jeremy Scahill, 17 October 2008

haas :: tongue
Excerpts from a good commentary piece by professor Larry Goldsmith re. Bradley Manning and the trouble that occurs when identity politics tries to work within the rules of the mainstream and the dominant power structure. Sorry, I know some people will be all "fffffuuuuu hatuhiko y u no LJ-cut" XD XD XD but it's all worth a read:

The President of the United States, a former Constitutional law professor lately suffering amnesia about the presumption of innocence, declares publicly that "[Bradley Manning] broke the law." The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Amnesty International, and the American Civil Liberties Union express grave concern about the conditions of his imprisonment, and the spokesman for the U.S. State Department is forced to resign after calling it "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid." A letter signed by 295 noted legal scholars charges that his imprisonment violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and the Fifth Amendment guarantee against punishment without trial, and that procedures used on Manning "calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality" amount to torture.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Human Rights Campaign, having invested millions lobbying for "gays in the military," have no comment. Of course not. Bradley Manning is not that butch patriotic homosexual, so central to the gays-in-the-military campaign, who Defends Democracy and Fights Terrorism with a virility indistinguishable from that of his straight buddies. He is not that pillar of social and economic stability, only incidentally homosexual, who returns home from the front to a respectable profession and a faithful spouse and children.

No, Bradley Manning is a poor, physically slight computer geek with an Oklahoma accent. He is, let us use the word, and not in a negative way, a sissy. Having grown up in a dysfunctional family in a small town in the South, he is that lonely, maladjusted outsider many gay people have been, or are, or recognize, whether we wish to admit it or not. He broke the law, the President says. And he did so--the liberal press implies, trying terribly hard to temper severity with compassion--because he wasn't man enough to deal with the pressure. He did so because he's a sissy and he couldn't put up with the manly rough-and-tumble that is so important to unit cohesion, like that time three of his buddies assaulted him and instead of taking it like a good soldier he peed in his pants. And then of course he was so embarrassed he threw a hissy fit and sent Wikileaks our nation's most closely guarded secrets, like some petulant teenage girl who gets her revenge by spreading gossip. This is, of course, the classic argument about gays and national security--they'll get beat up or blackmailed and reveal our secrets. And NGLTF, Lambda, and HRC, with their impeccably professional media and lobbying campaign, based on the best branding and polls and focus groups that money could buy, have effectively demolished that insidious stereotype.

They have demolished it by abandoning Bradley Manning.

Military recruiters do not spend much time in middle-class neighborhoods. They seek out those like Bradley Manning: poor, isolated teenagers dazzled by the slick brochures, the cool technology, the lofty rhetoric of duty and honor, and the generous promises--or who see right through the hype but know they have no other option. The military does not discriminate solely on the basis of sexual preference. In its recruitment it has always observed the time-honored and deeply discriminatory precept of "Rich man's war, poor man's fight."

This is the club that NGLTF, Lambda, and HRC would have gay people join. Let us leave aside for the moment the question of whether the club is a defender of freedom and democracy or an imperialist killing machine. It is in either case an institution that sends the Bradley Mannings of the world, and not the Dick Cheneys, to be killed or maimed--killing or maiming the Bradley Mannings, and not the Dick Cheneys, on the other side. Whatever collective psychosexual hangups or perverse ideological interests have prevented it from openly accepting homosexuals (or, not so long ago, women, or African-Americans in integrated units), it is an institution whose fundamental design is to send poor people to die defending the interests of the affluent.

Organizations like NGLTF, Lambda Legal, and HRC would like to pretend that Bradley Manning's case is not a "gay issue," or worse, remain silent because they know that it is indeed a gay issue, one that threatens to undermine their carefully-crafted plea for admittance to the military. Addressing it as a gay issue would mean looking critically not only at the specific discriminatory policy of the military, but also at the very purpose of the military. It would mean taking a good close look at the patriotic rhetoric of "equal rights" to serve in an "all-volunteer" military, whose purpose is to defend "freedom" and "democracy," where LGBT people can be just as "virile" in carrying out organized killing as their heterosexual counterparts. It would mean considering how such rhetoric hides unpleasant truths about economic domination in our world, understanding how such domination relies on structures of power embedded in social relations of class, race, and gender, and recognizing that these structures cannot be addressed individually, but must be attacked simultaneously.

- - - - -

Manning's case is a prime example of why, apart from a small online donation once or twice, I've never been involved in the mainstream gay rights movement. Fuck any movement that abandons one of its own to languish in a prison cell without trial for the "crime" of whistleblowing while they actively campaign for the reelection of the asshole who put him there.

Oh and P.S. my use of the word "asshole" to describe Obama just reminded me:

I've been highly amused by the new liberal meme where Obama apologists are now concern trolling over the fact that the anti-Obama rhetoric on the left is getting "out of hand" and "too angry" and "far-left" and "extreme." I suppose calling out politicians because you give a shit about torture, Guantanamo, escalations in civilian killings, endless war abroad, and endless class war at home is now "far left" and "angry" because the head honcho is no longer an "R" but a "D." Whatever. I'm sorry, but if caring about that sort of thing makes me "far left" then fine, I'll wear that mantle happily. The concern trolling is especially ridiculous because even with all this "anger" no one on the ~far left~ has been calling for a drone strike on Obama or saying disgusting things about "watering the tree of liberty with blood" or shooting at Congressfolk the way the right-wing/teabaggers have done, and for mainstream liberals to be sadfacing over the fact that a few anti-war lefties aren't being nice to Obama any more is fucking ridiculous. And as for the ~anger on the left, thank goodness some of us still are. It's the only thing giving me hope in a nation filled with liberals whose convictions on war, poverty, torture, law, and civil liberties suddenly disappeared now that there's no longer a Head Republican to rail against.


Troy Davis

scahill :: scruffy
I've always been again the death penalty. Against it no matter the situation. Even leaving out my moral/political stance against the concept of any state getting to decide who lives and dies, the fact remains that:

humans are inherently imperfect/biased, and as they govern themselves by systems of justice they have created these systems are also inherently imperfect;

under an inherently imperfect justice system where the death penalty is an option, innocent people absolutely WILL, from time to time, be unfairly convicted and put to death; and as such

the regular occurrence of such a travesty is an absolute certainty, not a ~bleeding-heart hippie's fantastical nightmare.

The logic behind taking a position against this horrifying certainty should be extremely straightforward, but plenty on the right and even the mainstream left seem to be incapable of grasping that reasoning.

In any case, the Troy Davis case perfectly illustrates why I've always been uncomfortable when people who self-identify as progressive or liberal profess sentiments like, "Well, I'm not in favor of the death penalty but in situation X involving criminal Y where the guilt is ~totally obvious~ and the crime is totally heinous, I can see it being justified."

Just no. No no no. Who are YOU to make that decision? How do you not see that justifying a policy in "obvious" cases allows, under our imperfect systems, for its INEVITABLE misuse in others? How do you not see that being in favor of the death penalty in so-called "obvious" situations is the reason why Troy Davis lies dead? How do you not see that your "anti-death penalty except when it makes perfect sense" stance is effectively a pro-death penalty stance? Saying you're a liberal who would only allow the death penalty in ~obvious situations~ makes you no different than a George W. Bush or a Rick Perry, who each have presided over the deaths of hundreds of incarcerated people in Texas. You're just as pro-death penalty as they would be in "obvious" situations; the only difference between you and them is that you have less faith than they do in The System's ability to administer justice properly.

Oh, and it's been hilarious listening to the mainstream left and the Dem Party faithful on the news/internet/etc. circling the wagons and defending Obama for not even offering an opinion re. Troy Davis. Don't get me wrong, I have no illusions that a President could have done anything to change the course of a state prosecution: as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney explained, "it would not be appropriate for the president of the United States to weigh in on specific cases like this one, which is a state prosecution."

So I get it. It's not like Obama actually saying something on the matter might have saved Troy Davis's life. But how fucking dumb does the line "it would not be appropriate for the President of the United States to weigh in" look in the context of what's going on in the world right now? Obama just made a significant dick-waving speech to the UN in which he claimed, using a disgusting disregard for logic, that he was ~soooooo ttly~ for Palestinian statehood even though he is also against Palestinians asking for international recognition of Palestinian statehood. (Seriously, how does this even work? How do you claim to be for a people's right to self-determination and then turn around and in the same breath say that you're going to cockblock these people from achieving their dreams because they're going against your own interests and rendering you irrelevant in the process? Fucking ridiculous.)

So wait wait wait. It "would not be appropriate for the President of the United States to weigh in" on a domestic state-level criminal prosecution, but it's TOTALLY okay for him to weigh in on why it's wrong for a people to achieve their goals for self-determination in a way that goes against US/Israel interests? As the anti-war group ANSWER said yesterday, the President doesn't feel constrained from speaking out about executions in Iran and other sovereign countries and the White House regularly poses as the ~human rights champion of “specific cases” in other countries. The President did his best to cheerlead for yet another war in Libya and sell it to the public both at home and abroad, so why does the White House remain mute when it comes to a glaringly obvious miscarriage of justice within the boundaries of the United States?

Like I said, no, I wouldn't have expected a public statement from Obama to save Davis's life. All I'm saying is that it's High Grade Bullshit for apologists to argue that it's ~inappropriate~ for him to weigh in on a case he has no effective jurisdiction over. Press Sec. Carney is talking about the "inappropriate" nature of such a hypothetical act because he's covering for the fact that the lack of a comment was a purely political, calculated move—one that reflects where the White House's interests lie and the administration's deliberate CHOICE to not exhibit any leadership in this situation. And while it's sad that this is how the White House framed the debate, spewing this sort of perfectly spun bullshit is Carney's job. What's REALLY sad is that apologists ate it up immediately and uncritically, and did their best to shut down differing opinions instead of thinking. We have a President who is perfectly willing to speak up and "take the lead" and give us his opinion and show some gonads when he wants to bomb brown people abroad, so please, don't try to tell me that it's the "inappropriateness" of it all that's stopping him from having a public opinion of the unjust murder of a person of color at home. This is about priorities, plain and simple, and our President has precious few of the right ones, no matter how people try to rationalize his actions or lack thereof.

P.S. If your blood isn't boiling enough over the death of Troy Davis, enjoy this little bit of rage-making juxtaposition.

"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.

"This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."

(Frederick Douglass)

May Troy Davis rest in peace, and until the mainstream left is willing to put some actual conviction behind their principles and hold the politicians who are supposedly on our side accountable, may the ideals that Americans hold dear rest in peace as well.


Golden Gate Bridge Protest, Public Entry

ochs :: 空
On Sunday, 11 September, my friends (I'll call them S and H) and I joined hundreds of other protesters, bystanders, activists, and regular folk for a pretty awesome peace march/rally at the Golden Gate Bridge:

Half of us rallied on the San Francisco side of the bridge while the other half rallied on the Marin side (actually, our group on the SF side was a bit larger—it was about a 60%/40% split), and then at 11:30 we marched across with our signs, banners, flashing the peace sign, etc. and our groups met roughly in the center. We did get the rare glare from passersby and one dumbass driving by yelled, "Get a job, losers!" out his window (because people out protesting on a Sunday afternoon don't ever have Mon.-Fri. jobs, amirite?), but 99% of the reactions we got, from the tourists walking the bridge with us to the cars honking from the road and the tourists waving from the sightseeing buses, were all positive and supportive and it was really uplifting. (I mean, this is San Francisco we're talking about, but tourist sites like the Bridge don't always have as left-wing an "audience" as the rest of the city does.)

When our groups met at the center of the bridge we stayed there for a few minutes of silence, to honor of the victims of terror, not only those who died on 9/11 but the thousands who have died in our name since then, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and beyond. We stood in silence to mourn the slow and steady death of government respect for civil liberties; to mourn the deflation and decimation of the anti-war movement post-Obama; to mourn the exploitation of fear to keep the country in perpetual war; and to mourn the way perpetual war is used to silence dissent, expand executive powers to a dangerously authoritarian level, and keep the killing machine on and running. We mourned the way the deaths of American on 9/11 have been absolutely USED by the powers that be to weaken progressive forces, to justify torture, to imprison our own citizens without due process, and to drain the public coffers dry in the name of security theater as poverty and income inequality continue to increase while thousands continue to die due to lack of access to "entitlements" that are taken for granted in other rich nations that still have some semblance of respect for the concept of a public commons/welfare state.

Below the cut are pictures from the San Francisco Chronicle article which mentions our protest; S, H, and I are visible in a few of the photos. :D

S took her own photos of the protest, which I will be posting in a friends-only post after this.Collapse )

Friends-only post with a few more details and more photos to follow.


gregh0r :: lol no
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Blah blah blah Jon Favreau-flavored bullshit rhetoric, blah blah blah gubmint can't help people only businesses and freedumb can help people, blah blah blah plz to be passing mah Jerbs Act, blah blah blah.


PO: Blah blah blah we need to "reform" Medicare/Medicaid which is my Sexy Presidential Code for we're gonna start cutting shit out of ur favorite entitlement program, blah blah blah faux outrage over mercury contamination even though I just helped to kill stronger EPA regulations to the delight of polluters and Republicans, blah blah long-winded mention of how great Amurrika is, blah blah blah no mention of how the wars I've continued and the new one I started has contributed massively to the debt/jobs/economic crisis we currently face, blah blah GOD blah, PRAISE JEEBUS blah blah, blah blah blah lofty rhetoric, and may God Bless Amurrika.

(The full transcript is here.)


Meet Novak ;D



Month of Music, Day #29

平井堅 :: bring it
Day 29. A song from your childhood — "마음약해서" (들고양이들)
     — ["Because I'm Weak-Willed" (The Wild Cats)]

LMFAOOOOOOO I can't believe I found this fucking song. Oh, internet!!!!11!1 ♥

"마음약해서" (which can be approximately transliterated as "Ma-eum Yak-hae Seo" or "Because I'm Weak-Willed"/"Because I'm Scared"/etc.) is an old song I used to sing along to as a toddler/preschooler. Either my parents or one of my aunts/uncles had this song on a cassette or an 8-track and I still vaguely remember them putting this song on during family gatherings so that they could laugh their asses off at me bopping and singing along to this song. Lmao what makes it even better is that my Korean was far better as a preschooler than it is now, XD;;; and that the song is a typical "lost love," cry-fat-tears-of-pain-into-your-soju song. Perfectly sensible for a four-year-old to be singing and dancing along to:


Meme PromptsCollapse )


The State of "Mainstream" Media

scahill :: :3
Last night I had to take an impromptu short plane flight due to some family issues (don't feel like elaborating publicly but no worries, it's nothing serious) and had to endure the tedium of sitting at my departure gate watching mainstream news (ABC).

For context, my TV here at home is used solely for watching DVDs/videos/playing games (I can't afford cable or satellite TV and my TV is from way before the digital conversion), and so my current news "diet" has had little to no cable or mainstream network news for a long time now. The few times I do turn back to those news sources I'm always appalled at how soft/fluffy the "news" is, how jingoistic the tone is, and how lazy and uncritical the reportage is.

In the few minutes I spent waiting at the gate, ABC News went on about the Murdoch scandal: not in a deeply illuminating way, but in a stupid, "Wow lol wouldn't it suck if we were British and had to deal with this? Thank gawd we're Amurrikan, oh ho ho" sort of way. Never mind the fact that Murdoch has many interests housed in the US and wields massive influence in US politics and the corporate media system that serves as its megaphone; ABC News would have you believe that this is a Purely British Problem and we're just Lucky, Special Americans ensconced safely in our subdivisions as we watch this overseas trainwreck unfold.

And then after Diane Sawyer reports the death of the Murdoch whistleblower and manages to say that "there are no signs of suspicion surrounding the death" with a straight face and without bothering to follow the story and elaborate further (such as asking/answering basic questions like, "How do they know that?"), ABC News moves on to a fluff piece about the World Cup, about how the Japanese team's win was all the more significant in the wake of the tsunami and nuclear plant disasters.

Now, this had potential to be a good piece, focusing on the skills of the Japanese women who won the Cup for their country, or going into more detail about the plight over in Japan and how all these months later, radiation is STILL leaking, nuclear is still an unsustainable and dangerous form of energy generation, and so much more STILL needs to be done to help those affected by this profound tragedy. Instead, the piece becomes this insanely patronizing sour grapes parade in which the ~special comment~ person opines that because Japan has "been through so much" this year, maybe they just deserved the trophy more and they were fated to win. He said that even though the Americans played perfectly, it was like some "divine force" was guiding fate for the Japanese and it was out of Amurrika's hands. That's right, because instead of using his/her/its time constructively and stopping Japan from experiencing a major environmental (tsunami) and man-made (nuclear plant) disaster in the first place, this Divine Force decided to be a patronizing fuckhole and let those disasters happen just so he could toss the Japanese team a pity victory because his pary was with the victims and he was truley sorry for their lots. It had nothing to do with the fact that the Japanese team were the better team and fucking defeated the US (heaven forbid!); it was all about the fact that the Japanese needed some charity and who better than the amazing, magnanimous US to give it to them.


Even better, I then get home to see Mai Waifu Jeremy Scahill actually on MSNBC, talking about Obama's CIA operations in Somalia and his (undeclared) wars around the world that are killing civilians every single day.

As Scahill points out, Obama has succeeded in normalizing and legitimizing policies that were considered illegal in the extreme only a few years ago as part of the Bush Doctrine. Bonus sexy pic of Sharif Abdel Kouddous under the cut~Collapse )

Month of Music, Day #28

haas :: tongue
Day 28. A song that makes you feel guilty — "When I'm Gone" (Phil Ochs)

Ani DiFranco's excellent cover of this Phil Ochs classic (from her 2000 EP swing set) is what first introduced me to this gorgeous song, and it's where my Phil Ochs love started. While I've been an Ani fan since my early teens, it still amazes me to think of how many musicians/singers/poets/composers I've been introduced to simply by being a fan of her work: I first learned of Joni Mitchell (and eventually became a huge fan) while listening to a bootleg of an Ani concert in which Ani spoke of how Joni's music/poetry resonated with her far more deeply than Dylan's ever did; I got into Laura Nyro after reading books about Mitchell and noticing consistent mentions of Nyro's work during analysis of Mitchell's; Bruce Cockburn was through another Ani bootleg in which she spoke highly of his music and politics and covered a couple of his songs a capella (one of them being "Mama Just Wants to Barrelhouse All Night Long"); and of course, Phil Ochs was through "When I'm Gone" from swing set. When I first heard it all those years ago I was just floored, played it over and over again, and had to learn more about Phil and his music.

"When I'm Gone" makes me feel guilty, but in the good way. It's a call to action, Phil's gentle reminder to himself and to the world that the only time we have is now. For all those of you who are secular people, the urgent message in the song that we have to do all we can today because we won't have the chance after death to make things better is a particularly salient one. It's the song that my mind conjures up when I'm deciding whether I should just sleep in and watch hours of shit on Youtube, or get my stupid ass out of bed and go marching in a rally or hiking along the coast. It's a song I want to dedicate to all the protests I missed because I chose to sleep in, to all the votes I didn't cast because I didn't care enough, to all the phone calls to friends I didn't make because I was too anti-social, to all the smiling people in the street whom I broke eye contact with because I was too worn out to smile back, to all the job and school opportunities I've wasted or just plain missed out of sheer negligence, to all the sweet/smart guys I didn't call back even after they showed genuine interest, and to all the days where the weather was heartbreakingly wonderful and I decided to stay in and check the internet instead of going out to breathe the ocean air and reunite with the world.

This is a song for all the misses, and a reminder to myself to stay focused, present, and above all fully alive.

Ani's excellent version is below the cut:

Ani"s Cover and Meme PromptsCollapse )


that boy is mein~

scahill :: :3
These things that are masquerading as debates? There hasn't been a single debate yet. If it was a real debate, we would see John McCain, Barack Obama, Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney, Bob Barr, and any other candidate with a base of people supporting them. The idea that you can be on the ballot in forty-five states in this country and be systematically excluded from the debates is a crime against the democratic process in this country.

It's the Democrats who, for years, have been the force behind excluding third parties form these debates. Barack Obama doesn't want to debate Ralph Nader because Ralph Nader would expose every aspect of Barack Obama's campaign that is almost identical to John McCain and George Bush's policies. They don't want to talk about those issues.

I am not a Democrat or a Republican—I'm a journalist. And I don't have a dog in this fight except that I care about this country and I care about the world. I'm not going to cede my conscience to a politician and act as though voting for that person on Election Day is somehow a revolutionary act or is somehow an act that's going to bring actual change to this country.

Now, most of my best friends are in love with Barack Obama to one extent or another, and I'm not trying to break up their engagement to Barack Obama. I want them to cheat on Barack Obama with conscience on the war, on the economy, on policy toward Latin America, on policy toward Africa.

But at the same time I think one of the most destructive aspects of the debate right now is this scurrilous string of attacks on people who believe in building a multi-party system in this country. They roll out the myth laboratory again, that Ralph Nader lost the 2000 election for the Democrats; no, the Democrats lost the 2000 election because they let the Republicans steal it, and the moment that Al Gore decided to have his spine extracted from his body was the moment that the Democrats lost the 2000 election.

In 2004 it was the Democrats who lost the election because John Kerry ran as a Republican against George Bush—he wanted to be Bush Lite. And in 2006 the Democrats sweep the elections—they take control of both houses of Congress—and if there ever was a moment in recent history when the Democrats could've shown themselves to be an actual opposition party it would've been then, and yet on every major policy the Democrats have either gone alone with the White House or backed down and rolled over. On FISA, on spying: Not only did the Democrats allow, willingly, the immunity to go forward for these telecom companies that spied and facilitated the US government in spying on people in this country and around the world and intercepting their phone calls, but then AT&T was one of the sponsors of their convention the next week. On the issue of the war they have continued, vote after vote, to fund it, sometimes offering Bush more money than he actually asked for for the war. The Democrats' rhetoric on Afghanistan plays right into the warmonger policies of the current administration and unfortunately Barack Obama is running saying, "George Bush is finally implementing my policy in Afghanistan," which is more troops, more pummeling of the Afghan people.

It is so important that we take off partisan caps if we believe in a free society and start looking at what their policies are. Because as much as anyone may believe in an individual, or think he's a great speaker, or think that he has the best interests of the nation in his heart, it's not about a man, it's not about one person: It's about who's around them and what are their policies. What Barack Obama has done recently is to take a lot of the old guard hawks from the Ciinton administration and make them the centerpiece of his foreign policy and economic policy teams. The same people who brought you the bombing of Sudan, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Iraq, are now the people who are with Barack Obama.

We need to be critical and not blind at this moment. It's not about who you vote for on Election Day: it's what you stand for today and what you stand for the day after. That's what matters right now. You show me in recent history a time when someone ran to the right and governed to the left.

Voting is not a revolutionary act, but taking to the streets is. Making your voice heard—that's where change happens. Those of us who are able to keep our heads above the water and aren't worrying about where our next meal is going to come from: we have an obligation, living in this country in particular, to stand up to those in power and refuse to move out of the way until they are gone. We have an obligation to do that.

-- Jeremy Scahill, 17 October 2008


haas :: tongue



Powered by
Designed by Naoto Kishi