January 31, 2008 archive

Video Samizdat as a Prog. Pop. Strategy … How and Why

People don’t read, they watch TV.

Since the dawn of the Television Age, this has been a club that the Power That Be have hit us on the head with. People watch TV, and those with money can buy their way Onto TV, and those approved by the estalishment are Broadcast on TV News … and progressives, whether progressive elitists or progressive populists, are largely left out.

And when progressives get on, its because the trendy lefty cocktail set … could be New York, could be Hollywood, wherever … sniff about the inability of TV to cover any Important Issues … and so the progressive populists, about whom nobody sniffs if they are ignored, are left out entirely.

But … well, but the environment is diff’rent. The technology exists. We can do what the Russian dissidents did … we can spread our message by Samizdat.

And how do we get people to read it? Well, we hand them a video, and they can watch it on TV.

That’s the Video Samizdat Revolution.

And it hasn’t happened yet, but if you want it to, it can.

China’s Buying Spree of US Businesses & American Aborginal Workers

There’s a lot of market manipulation going on these days, with the Feds slashing rates, so-called rebates for consumers, and Bush talking up the economy day after day. It’s doesn’t matter much, however, because none of the economic fundamentals change. In fact, they get worse, since the “rebates” are really just more loans from Japan — going to the people instead of Halliburton. These loans are off-budget red ink that you’ll have to pay back, in the end.

Thus, nations around the world are stuck with US dollars that can only be spent in the US — buying up what few valuable and growing assets we have left, before the dollar devalues further — real estate, natural resources, and sucessful corporations. The other day, I ran across this gem of article at the Washington Post. It has a human-interest/cultural-clash spin that I really enjoyed. You might, as well.

Washington Post, January 28, 2008 — “In 2007, acquisitions in the United States by foreign ventures hit $407 billion, up 93 percent from the previous year, according to Thomson Financial. The top countries investing were Canada, Britain and Germany; the Middle East and Asia — especially China — are quickly catching up.

“The biggest deals in recent months have involved Wall Street firms hit by losses from exposure to mortgage-related investment vehicles…. The sovereign wealth fund that invests the Chinese government’s hard currency is injecting $5 billion into Morgan Stanley, while Citic Securities, a private Chinese firm, is investing $1 billion in Bear Stearns.”


More progressives in Congress – a BlogTalkRadio interview series

This past weekend, I posted a diary talking about the progressive movement and how we needed to have more progressives in Congress in order for either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama pass anything progressive, as well as to fight for progressive causes, and against any agenda that a (gasp) President McCain or Romney would be pushing.  In that diary, I said the following:

None of the three Democratic candidates can really accomplish much with a Congress that is as divided as this one.  That may not be completely their fault, but it could also serve as a convenient excuse (as it has for both Reid and Pelosi).  And without more progressives in Congress, our movement will not continue in any meaningful way.  

—snip—

There is at least one, possibly two progressives running in my district on the Democratic side.  Scott Garrett will never vote with Clinton, Obama or Edwards on anything that I want to see passed.  But the Democratic candidates in my district will.  As will many other progressive Democratic candidates – some of whom are members of the progressive blogosphere.  From Charlie Brown to John Laesch to Darcy Burner to Barry Welsh to Ron Sheptson to Gilda Reed to Dennis Shulman in my district, and many others (I apologize if I forgot a few).

These are the people that we need – without them, NOTHING that Clinton or Obama or Edwards wants will happen.  On the flip side, it is these people who can not only stop the agenda of McCain or Huckabee or Romney but can also plant the seeds for the progressive agenda – one that can last for a generation or even longer.

More progressives in Congress – a BlogTalkRadio interview series

this past weekend, I posted a diary talking about the progressive movement and how we needed to have more progressives in Congress in order for either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama pass anything progressive, as well as to fight for progressive causes, and against any agenda that a (gasp) President McCain or Romney would be pushing.  In that diary, I said the following:

None of the three Democratic candidates can really accomplish much with a Congress that is as divided as this one.  That may not be completely their fault, but it could also serve as a convenient excuse (as it has for both Reid and Pelosi).  And without more progressives in Congress, our movement will not continue in any meaningful way.  

—snip—

There is at least one, possibly two progressives running in my district on the Democratic side.  Scott Garrett will never vote with Clinton, Obama or Edwards on anything that I want to see passed.  But the Democratic candidates in my district will.  As will many other progressive Democratic candidates – some of whom are members of the progressive blogosphere.  From Charlie Brown to John Laesch to Darcy Burner to Barry Welsh to Ron Sheptson to Gilda Reed to Dennis Shulman in my district, and many others (I apologize if I forgot a few).

These are the people that we need – without them, NOTHING that Clinton or Obama or Edwards wants will happen.  On the flip side, it is these people who can not only stop the agenda of McCain or Huckabee or Romney but can also plant the seeds for the progressive agenda – one that can last for a generation or even longer.

Four at Four

  1. Dana Priest of the Washington Post reports Soldier suicides at record level: Increase linked to long wars and lack of Army resources.

    Suicides among active-duty soldiers in 2007 reached their highest level since the Army began keeping such records in 1980

    Last year, 121 soldiers took their own lives, nearly 20 percent more than in 2006. At the same time, the number of attempted suicides or self-inflicted injuries in the Army has jumped sixfold since the Iraq war began. Last year, about 2,100 soldiers injured themselves or attempted suicide, compared with about 350 in 2002, according to the U.S. Army Medical Command Suicide Prevention Action Plan.

    The Army was unprepared for the high number of suicides and cases of post-traumatic stress disorder among its troops, as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have continued far longer than anticipated. Many Army posts still do not offer enough individual counseling and some soldiers suffering psychological problems complain that they are stigmatized by commanders. Over the past year, four high-level commissions have recommended reforms and Congress has given the military hundreds of millions of dollars to improve its mental health care, but critics charge that significant progress has not been made.

    The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have placed severe stress on the Army, caused in part by repeated and lengthened deployments. Historically, suicide rates tend to decrease when soldiers are in conflicts overseas, but that trend has reversed in recent years. From a suicide rate of 9.8 per 100,000 active-duty soldiers in 2001 — the lowest rate on record — the Army reached an all-time high of 17.5 suicides per 100,000 active-duty soldiers in 2006.

    Last year, twice as many soldier suicides occurred in the United States than in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  2. Meanwhile, U.S. commanders in Iraq favor pause in troop cuts reports the Washington Post. “Senior U.S. military commanders here say they want to freeze troop reductions starting this summer… There are about 155,000 U.S. troops in Iraq now, with about 5,000 leaving every month; the proposed freeze would go into effect in July, when troops levels reach around 130,000. Although violence is dropping in Iraq, commanders say they want to halt withdrawals to assess whether they can control the situation with fewer troops… Officers are still debating the length of the proposed freeze, with some arguing for 90 days and others saying it could be as short as 30. Because it can take as long as 75 days to withdraw a brigade, a freeze could result in troop levels remaining steady through most of the rest of Bush’s term, deferring any continued drawdown to his successor. Military planners fear that maintaining the current pace of withdrawals could lead to an unstable situation just as a new administration takes office in January.” Bush’s ‘temporary surge’ now becomes permanent. Surprised?

    According to the AP, “At least 37 U.S. soldiers have been killed in January – well above the 23 who died in December but still sharply lower than a year ago. In January last year, 83 soldiers were killed in Iraq. Since the beginning of the war in 2003, at least 3,942 members of the U.S. military have died. The total for January could rise; occasionally the military reports new casualties a few days after they occur.”

Four at Four continues below the fold with news about the fate of Afghan journalism student Sayed Pervez Kambaksh and Atlantic hurricanes.

Debate: Should Edwards supporters prefer Obama or Clinton?

John Edwards recently suspended his campaign for the Democratic nomination for President, saying “It is time for me to step aside so that history can blaze its path” and reminding us all that “We must do better if we want to live up to the promise of this country we love so much.” He ran a strong campaign that influenced the positions of both Obama and Clinton. Naturally his supporters are disappointed. Many of them vote this upcoming Tuesday and are now trying to decide whether Obama or Clinton deserves their vote.

Mike Gravel’s uncensored Alternative Debate tonight (link fixed)

Don’t let the CNN decide which Candidates you see and hear.

Mike’s going to put the Network feed on a screen, stand in front with a pause button, and interject his answers and commentary. He’ll catch up  during the commercials. Alternative debate live stream 8PM Eastern, 5 Pacific.

Bush’s NOLA Surprise

In last year’s State of the Union address (which I’d taken to calling his State of Denial address for this very reason) Bush had never said a word about New Orleans, the Gulf Coast, or Katrina–as if he’d written off an entire area of the country. So I didn’t expect them to be mentioned Monday night.

You could have knocked me over with a feather when Bush first mentioned “armies of compassion” on the Gulf Coast, then announced that NOLA will be the venue of the next North American Summit with Canada and Mexico.

What is this–NOLA’s “not ready” to host a fall presidential debate, per the site selection commission–yet she can, per Bush, host a summit of three world leaders in April?  

The DailyKos Widget

I created this widget as a contribution to the DailyKos community. When you place the widget on your Blog or social network page you will have a handy rotating display of headlines from DailyKos. So will all of your site’s visitors.

The widget is free and easy to install. Just click the “Get & Share” button at the bottom of the widget and select a service from those displayed. Or you can select “Embed” to get the code to paste onto your page. That’s it!

I am presenting this as a sort of proof of concept. It can be replicated for any web site with an RSS feed (including this one). It could also use mixed feeds. And there are many ways to alter the look, feel, and purpose. Think creatively.

Hopefully, technology like this can be used to expand the reach of alternative media. It can spread important messages to the many corners of the InterTubes™. Given the state of the media, we all need to think of ways to multiply our voices, and the creative use of widgets is one way to do that.

If you like this widget, you can get more information here.

Update from the Farm

Let’s see since I last updated I:

1. Fixed two broken lights in the barn, they were in the area originally intended for the horses but the previous owner found it easier to put them in another spot.  Now they’ll have the option of two places if I need to do work in one of the areas.

2. Took the ATV out to the farthest point of the property and tested the hand held radios.  The Cobras worked great but the Audiovox radios weren’t as strong.  It’s good to have the radios in case something happens and I need help.  The stories are many about men who were working on their tractors on the back 40 and had to lose a leg or an arm for lack of a communication device.

3. The birds are enjoying their sewet cake and feed, so far I’ve seen chickadees, winches, blue jays, wrens and there are some pigeons in the barn(note to self must fix cupola on barn), and an owl has decided to make the woods around here his/her home.

“Eyes on the Prize”

On NightProwlKitty‘s diary, “I’m not waiting on the government to give me nothing”

https://docudharma.com/show…

tahoebasha3 posted a comment about a group named NENA (The Lower Ninth Ward Neighborhood Empowerment Network Association) that is part of the effort to rebuild the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans. The organization is under the auspices of Lower 9th Ward residents. Tahoebasha3 posted NENA’s telephone number.

I called and the woman who answered the phone later told me she was President of Lower Ninth Ward Homeowner’s Association. She was handling the phones while everyone else went to lunch. I’m still a little bit overwhelmed by our conversation, so this essay will be brief. I was told that the majority of the people NENA helped were senior citizens. We exchanged emails and plan to stay in touch. I thank everyone who blogs on this issue, it’s because of you that I made this simple phone call.

NENA’s priority needs are:

1.) Building Materials: nails to studs to wire.

2.) Money

3.) Gift Cards from: Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, Win Dixie Food Stores, Dollar General, Family Dollar  

Send to:

NENA

PO Box 3920

New Orleans, Louisiana 70177

“If it wasn’t for the people who call us, we wouldn’t be as advanced as we are.

It’s the thought, you know?”


~~Linda Jackson

Hide the Children

Photobucket

 

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