He won

(Bumped because I just woke up and……..YAY! – promoted by buhdydharma )

Al Gore has won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

He is sharing the Nobel Peace prize with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”

The complete text committee’s announcement is available.

Here is one reason Why Al Gore deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.

In the 20th century peace was something to be achieved after the horrifying bloodletting of world war began. In the 21st century, although the world faces a new era of turmoil, peace ultimately must be about identifying and resolving the sources of conflict before battles break out. That’s why no one deserves the Nobel Peace Prize more than Al Gore.

Congratulations Mr. Vice President!

Now about 2008…

Shoe fetish

I’m finding it really difficult to write lately. Instead, I’ll offer some pictures and some words from others. Forgive me.

Van Gogh Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one.

Martin Heidegger
at the bottom of the Atlantic; Titanic They’ll cough in the ink to the world’s end; 
Wear out the carpet with their shoes 
Earning respect; have no strange friend; 
If they have sinned nobody knows.

The Scholars, W.B.Yeats

Kare Beach: Denmark It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out; it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.
Rodan of Alexandria
Pine Street, abandoned shoes
Ninth Ward: Katrina A little neglect may breed mischief:
for want of a nail the shoe was lost;
for want of a shoe the horse was lost;
and for want of a horse the rider was lost.
Benjamin Franklin
More Katrina
Aftermath: 9/11 The policeman buys shoes slow and careful;
the teamster buys gloves slow and careful;
they take care of their feet and hands;
they live on their feet and hands.

Psalm of Those Who Go Forth Before Daylight, Carl Sandburg

A son's shoes: Afghanistan
Aima Bridge: Iraq
Peace Demonstration: Republican National Convention, 2004 “And when you met, you found his eyes were always on your shoes,
 
As if they did the talking when he asked you for the news.”

Stafford’s Cabin, Edwin Arlington Robinson
More Titanic
Pauer-Gyula Memorial Promenade, Budapest
After the accident.
Manhattan-

Abandoned shoes Flickr photo by Joygantic, attributed and used with permission per Creative Commons license

“I can’t keep track of other people’s daughters.
 
Lord, if I were to dream of everyone 

Whose shoes I primped to dance in!”

The Housekeeper, Robert Frost

Not one more death, not one more dollar I look at the swaling sunset 

  And wish I could go also 

Through the red doors beyond the black-purple bar.

  I wish that I could go 

Through the red doors where I could put off

  My shame like shoes in the porch, 

  My pain like garments 

 
Mosque bombing claims 79.

And leave my flesh discarded lying 

Like luggage of some departed traveller 

  Gone one knows not where. 

  Then I would turn round, 

And seeing my cast-off body lying like lumber,

  I would laugh with joy.


In Trouble and Shame, D.H. Lawrence

He was just sitting there and poof!
Myanmar People dress and go to town;

I sit in my chair. 

All my thoughts are slow and brown:
 
Standing up or sitting down

Little matters, or what gown 

Or what shoes I wear.

Sorrow, Edna St. Vincent Millay

The Old Ones

Your Pee-Pee is Safe with the TSA




Far be it from me of accusing the U.S. government of examining your genitals — or your children’s tiny privates — before you board an airplane for Disney World.

As a matter of fact — from a tremendously pragmatic point-of-view — I really do believe that all laws and constitutional rights pertaining to privacy should be suspended if the US government is to keep you safe. After all, the United States has forcefully created determined enemies who will attempt to kill you and your children, in revenge, for the next 50 years or so.

I mean, we killed their kids, right? Tit for tat and all that….

TSA Promises Privacy For Subjects Of Clothing-Penetrating Scans

The millimeter wave scanning system being tested at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport can see through clothing to detect weapons, explosives, and other objects.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration today promised to protect air travelers’ privacy as TSA personnel peer through their clothes.

The TSA has begun testing a millimeter wave scanning system at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport as an alternative to pat-downs performed by security personnel when secondary screening is deemed appropriate. The technology can see through clothing to detect weapons, explosives, and other objects.

The TSA said that energy emitted by millimeter wave technology — 10,000 times less than a cell phone — is safe, that the technology is intended to keep passengers safe, and that it will keep the potentially embarrassing images safe.




So, the other day, I went to meet with this guy who sells gold (in coin form) to rich clients in La Jolla, California. He sells the gold coins, minted before 1930 — thinking it’s safe, because then they can call themselves “collectors” and their gold won’t be seized by Homeland Securiy in case of a “national emergency.” He also thinks you can take the gold out of the U.S. if you say you are a “coin collector.”

They pulled the gold right out of the mouths’ of Jews who tried that. I probably have an estate piece made out of someone’s molar crown.

InformationWeek — October 11, 2007 05:00 PM

“We are committed to testing technologies that improve security while protecting passenger privacy,” said TSA administrator Kip Hawley in a statement. “Privacy is ensured through the anonymity of the image: It will never be stored, transmitted, or printed, and it will be deleted immediately once viewed.”

Ensuring privacy, as the TSA describes it, involves having security officers view images from remote locations. Thus, the security officer cannot identify the passenger, visually or by some other means, but can send word to fellow officers if a threat is detected.

According to the TSA, the scanning system applies a security algorithm to further protect passenger privacy by obscuring the passenger’s face.

Not everyone finds such assurances credible. In a statement, Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU’s technology and liberty program, spelled out three objections to the TSA’s plans.

“First, this technology produces strikingly graphic images of passengers’ bodies,” Steinhardt said. “Those images reveal not only our private body parts, but also intimate medical details like colostomy bags. That degree of examination amounts to a significant — and for some people humiliating — assault on the essential dignity of passengers that citizens in a free nation should not have to tolerate.”

Steinhardt also expressed doubt that such screenings could really be considered voluntary if passengers did not understand the invasiveness of the images and that the program would remain voluntary in the future. Finally, he voiced skepticism of the TSA’s privacy safeguards. “They say that they are obscuring faces, but that is just a software fix that can be undone as easily as it is applied,” he said. “And obscuring faces does not hide the fact that rest of the body will be vividly displayed.”

Such concerns may not be shared by the majority of the public. The TSA says that since February, when it began testing backscatter scanning — a similar technology — in Phoenix, some 79% of those selected for secondary screening opted to submit to a backscatter scan rather than a pat-down.

Oh, by the way — Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, is where the TSA is testing this (underpants-peeking) technology. It is also where the TSA murdered that woman the other day — the one who was uppity. Remember her?

_______________________________________
I’ve been on a tear about this topic. Most recent diary —> http://www.docudharm…



Al Gore, Nobel Winner: Godspeed, Sir!

gore nobel 1100 t

http://news.bbc.co.u…
Congratulations and best wishes from us all, Sir!

Go to http://google.com for news of Gore+Nobel


This is odd…a Cato Institute member who is a columnist for The American Spectator announced Gore’s win before the Nobel Institute did:
http://www.spectator…

Gore’s statement re winning the Nobel Peace Prize:

“I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. This award is even more meaningful because I have the honor of sharing it with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change–the world’s pre-eminent scientific body devoted to improving our understanding of the climate crisis–a group whose members have worked tirelessly and selflessly for many years. We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level.

My wife, Tipper, and I will donate 100 percent of the proceeds of the award to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan non-profit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion in the U.S. and around the world about the urgency of solving the climate crisis.

Thank you,

Al Gore”

Mychal Bell Jailed Again — Equal Protection Under the Law — NOT

Just read a diary over at Daily Kos by rico — turns out that Mychal Bell (of the Jena 6) has been jailed again.

From the link (and it’s a short article so I am quoting its entirety – hope that is all right):

JENA, La. (AP) – A Louisiana teen at the center of a civil rights controversy is back in jail.

The father of Mychael Bell says a judge in Jena (JEE’-nuh), Louisiana, has revoked Bell’s probation because of an old drug charge that had never been tried.

Bell and five other black teenagers had been accused of beating a white classmate. He was originally charged with attempted murder and then convicted of battery. An appeals court threw out the conviction, saying the case should have been brought in juvenile court.

Bell was released last month after thousands demonstrated in Jena to protest the severity of the charges against the teens.

Bell’s father says his son was detained after going to juvenile court for what was expected to be another routine hearing.

And Mychal needs to go to JAIL for this?  After he had already served so many months?  Something about this whole thing just plain stinks.

Ok, let’s see.  Be a mercenary and murder all kinds of folks, women, children, in Iraq?  No problem, no jail.  Head a telecommunications corporation and spy on Americans?  Hey, we’ll make sure you are retroactively protected!  Leak information about a covert CIA agent, risking our own national security?  Oh no problemo, a Presidential pardon awaits!

Equal protection under the law has become a joke.

Mychal Bell goes with his father to a routine hearing in juvenile court.  And now he is in jail.  Let’s look at a worst case scenario.  Let’s say he has broken probation.  Let’s say he has had problems with crime.

Let’s look at the picture here.  A white student pulls a gun on black students, they wrestle the gun away from him — the black students are arrested.  The white student doesn’t even get a slap on the wrist.

This is not about whether Mychal Bell is a saint or a sinner.  He is an American citizen and he is not getting the same treatment by our justice system as either a white person his age or the powerful folks in this country whose damage to America and to folks around the world would warrant they be put away for life.

Why is he in jail?  He reported to the juvenile court.  Is he a danger to someone?  For an old drug charge that was never tried?  There is something wrong here.

We have folks committing crimes against humanity, and I engage in no hyperbole when I write that, who are not only unpunished but allowed to retain power.

And we have a young man who is in jail, and for what?  For what?

I will keep Mychal and his family in my thoughts and in my heart.  I am worried about them for more than just this story.  They are now in the midst of a media circus, they are targeted by racist organizations, and their humanity is being subsumed amid this very worthy cause.  I sure hope they have friends in the community that will help them weather all this madness, keep them from the worst of the media attention, keep Mychal from becoming a poster child for injustice instead of what he really is — a human being, like anyone else, no saint, no villain, just human.

I can’t believe they put him back in jail.  And as rico says, I hope we will not wait for the bloggers of color to shoulder the entire burden of helping Mychal and the cause of social justice.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

I hated water skiing with Uncle Ralph.  He was Aunt Alida’s second husband and they lived in a ranch house perched on the edge of a quarry lake.

What’s a quarry lake?  Basically a pit filled with water.  The house was kind of a normal house on top of a steep driveway as you got near the edge of the crater.  The downstairs was a game room with a Pool Table and a genuine One Armed Bandit that paid out real money and was totally illegal as Uncle Ralph would proudly boast.

And a rack of water skis and pile of life vests and a changing room and laundry so you could wash your bathing suit before you got home.

When you stepped on the patio what immediately attracted your attention were the pike and walleye heads nailed to the trees while you clunked down the steep terraces toward the dock.

It was a funny kind of lake.  Three feet deep for about thirty feet out.  Then a watery plunge.  The dock was set up so you could step off the side and play around or dive straight into hell.

As a two ski skier I was sneered at as worthless and weak- real men (and women) slalom.  Uncle Ralph delighted in throwing me at rocks and docks and generally jerking me around.  He was a mean boat driver, I’m not kidding.  Last time my dad skied he skied with Ralph and dad could slalom and went down hard.

Still, it had its good points.  After you had suffered enough you could climb up and play pool with cousins you didn’t know and can’t remember; and later, when Uncle Ralph had driven everyone into a cliff, he’d give you a cup of quarters and let you play slots ’til you lost them all.  Then it would be about dinner time.

If you brought your own money you could play nickle, dime, quarter with Uncle Ralph and all the other older relatives on the big felt pool table.  It was an odd night I didn’t walk away $4 or $5 dollars richer, but they were my relatives and I didn’t see them that often and I am a very good poker player.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

It was so gracious of Madame Speaker to take a few minutes out of her busy schedule whoring for war criminals to chat with Wolf Blitzer and Dana Milbank.  I can’t speak for anyone else here, but I learned a lot from these helpful interviews.  For example, I had no idea that Democrats curling into fetal positions every time The Decider appears at a podium is actually courageous defiance.  I had no idea that handing Bush $300 billion to keep getting American soldiers killed in Iraq is supporting the troops.

I had no idea this 60-vote barrier in the Senate was such a sacred bipartisan tradition.  Ever since this Beltway Race to Batshit Land started back in 2001, I thought it was a shameful trick only treasonous obstructionists would resort to. I had no idea that taking Impeachment off the table would unleash a juggernaut of accountability of such awesome power that Scooter Libby might lose his license to practice law. 

I was feeling exceedingly reassured because of Madame Speaker’s enlightening explanations until I noticed that she sounded an awful lot like Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.  When she told energized advocates of the Constitution like us to calm down and get with the program, she said it in a superior, Nurse Ratched sort of way, like she knows what’s best for us and is just trying to help us adjust to our confinement in this coast to coast mental institution that used to be the United States of America. 

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Let’s get something straight, Madame Speaker.  You are not Nurse Ratched and we are not going to line up to take our daily dose of Feel Good pills from you.  We are not going to be lulled into submissive obedience by that expedient posturing you call “leadership”.  We are not going to clap louder.  We are not going to listen to any more condescending lectures from you about how Congress functions.

We’ve seen how Congress functions. 

Bush tells Congress to roll over and Congress rolls over.  Bush tells Congress to fetch a stick, and Congress fetches a stick.  Bush tells Congress to lay down by its dish, and Congress lays down by its dish.  That’s how Congress “functions,” Madame Speaker.

I’m fed up with that shit.  So is Chief, so are several million other ADVOCATES, Madame Speaker, and we’re not the only ones.  The people running this nationwide Cuckoo’s Nest, and the people content to swallow their Feel Good pills day after mind-numbing day are the crazy ones. 

It’s time to fly, progressives, it’s time to set ourselves free.  Madame Speaker isn’t going to set us free, all Madame Speaker cares about is Madame Speaker. 

Restoring American democracy is up to us and a few of our friends now:

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  GORE/KUCINICH 2008

  Make.

  It.

  Happen.

The Party that likes to Save Peoples’ Lives

Clammyc wrote about how the Republican Party likes to destroy peoples’ lives. It seems to me that in order to combat all this, we should talk about reforming the Democratic Party into the party that likes to save peoples’ lives. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the big things, like Iraq; it also has to be the little things, like Patty Murray’s bill to ban asbestos in the US that passed the Senate.

1. BANS ASBESTOS

Prohibits the importation, manufacture, processing and distribution of products containing asbestos. The ban covers the 6 regulated forms of asbestos and 3 durable fibers. The EPA will issue rules to ensure asbestos products are off the shelves within 2 years of the bill’s enactment.

Now, how hard was that, to get a bill of that nature passed that will save peoples’ lives? Here are some of the health risks that will be averted:

People may be exposed to asbestos in their workplace, their communities, or their homes. This is why workers should undergo respirator face fit testing with G & L Consultancy Ltd prior to working around the lethal substance. If products containing asbestos are disturbed, tiny asbestos fibers are released into the air. When asbestos fibers are breathed in, they may get trapped in the lungs and remain there for a long time. Over time, these fibers can accumulate and cause scarring and inflammation, which can affect breathing and lead to serious health problems (6).

Asbestos has been classified as a known human carcinogen (a substance that causes cancer) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the EPA, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (2, 3, 7, 8). Studies have shown that exposure to asbestos may increase the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma (a relatively rare cancer of the thin membranes that line the chest and abdomen). Although rare, mesothelioma is the most common form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure. In addition to lung cancer and mesothelioma, some studies have suggested an association between asbestos exposure and gastrointestinal and colorectal cancers, as well as an elevated risk for cancers of the throat, kidney, esophagus, and gallbladder (3, 4). However, the evidence is inconclusive. Mesothelioma is a serious cancer that can gratefully affect the life of those who become affected by it. There is a lot to know about the illness and those who are interested can learn more about mesothelioma and its effects.

Asbestos exposure may also increase the risk of asbestosis (a chronic lung disease that can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and permanent lung damage) and other nonmalignant lung and pleural disorders, including pleural plaques (changes in the membrane surrounding the lung), pleural thickening, and pleural effusions (abnormal collections of fluid between the thin layers of tissue lining the lung and the wall of the chest cavity). Although pleural plaques are not precursors to lung cancer, evidence suggests that people with pleural disease caused by asbestos exposure may be at increased risk for lung cancer (9).

It has become a consensus among all of the Democratic candidates that we need to reform the healthcare system. So, if the House follows suit, then what will happen is the reduction of healthcare costs both at the governmental level and at the hospital level. There will be that much less demand for cancer treatments, bringing the costs of healthcare down over the long term. If we pass and implement a Universal Healthcare system, then this ban will reduce the costs of that over the long term. There are some healthcare costs that the Government should avoid making cuts on, especially to the wages of the professionals who are helping to save people’s lives on a regular basis. It is important that even the workers who are provided by an interim healthcare staffing agency get paid what they should as they are providing their services to help positively impact an individual and their work shouldn’t go unnoticed in the process.

And we need more such bills introduced, brought to the floor, and passed like Senator Murray’s bill was. This is all about branding — branding the Democratic Party as the party that likes to save peoples’ lives; if the Republicans obstruct, we can brand them as the party that likes to destroy peoples’ lives. They have already done the job for us through their hysterical attacks on Graeme Frost and their irrational support of the SCHIP veto. So, anytime the Republicans try to brand themselves as pro-life, it would be an oxymoron, in addition to being factually untrue. The Republican Senators understand this — none of them wanted to be branded as the Party that destroys lives even though they were the ones who obstructed her efforts in the Senate when they were in power.

The bill creates a public education campaign regarding asbestos. This could create a battleground that unions can pick for the future — they can insist that employers have adequate safeguards for employees working near high asbestos sites. This can create a ripple effect where workers demand safer working conditions for themselves so that they do not contract premature cancer.

And one of our long-term goals as outlined here should be the eradication of major diseases such as cancer. This means that this bill is not good enough. We cannot rest on our laurels if this bill passes the House and gets signed into law. We must follow through on this and ensure that the law is being implemented by both this administration and the next administration. Unlike the Party which Likes to Destroy Lives, we are the boss, which means that we are responsible for making sure that the law is implemented and enforced; therefore, we should maintain contact with Murray and other legislators who would be helpful on this issue.

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writing in the raw: where IS melvin?

i don’t have much tonight. i thought i’d write about writing on the blogs. like how to structure these essays or diaries. how to make them work better. but suddenly, i don’t want to anymore. I want to jam about Jay Elias’s essay, Of Politics and People

Many of you may wonder why I have been so dogged with my “Quotes for Discussion” posts over the last year.  I usually offer them up without context or commentary, and they are tangential to the point of the sites where I post them at best.  Further, few people, including few of you, bother to read them or discuss them.  And even more, sometimes the quotes, and my purpose in posting them, is very hard to gather.  So, I’ll tell you why.

I post those quotes to remind us about people, and to try to get people to think about them, often in a different way than usual for politics.  Because it is easy to speak of political policy and strategy without thinking about these things, about the crucial role that people will have in them.

It is my belief that most political programs and ideas fail because they are not conceived or implemented with people in mind.

emphasis mine (and also a bit out of order of the original)

And I want to go on about Delivery in jessical’s Pony Party: Oh Superman, In a Box.

What strikes me about Jay’s piece is how simple its main premise is: politics is missing people. It isn’t that it’s new, it’s how he slams me with the relationship between the words and the ideas. And when he makes the words sing the ideas, he is illustrating levels below or above his own meaning. That shakes me up and then, as i am writing this right now, puts me back in the frame work of how to write in this medium.

We have brilliant pieces of work here… on complex and hard-to-breakdown subjects. People do lots of research and, hell, you could put together your thesis from the work of these writers. And for all the work and preparation and immersion and brilliance, sometimes they don’t seem to generate the same heat as meta or emotional pieces that are more or less thrown up and land here…

Reading Jay’s piece made me see again. Emotional housing of intellectual ideas is incredibly effective.

So why is this important? It speaks to the structure and density of what we see here. Literally. Long box quotes, words crammed in rectangular space and dense…

I’ve been thinking about playing around with ideas on intro, summarize the meat, all of it, and conclude by sweeping into the detail, for those who want more.  a play within a play… an essay within an essay. hit all kinds of readers… some only want topline, some will chew on it and come back, others won’t stop and will take it all in.

Work on the emotional casing… like Jay said… make what we’re writing about include the people we want to inform and build a foundation for action. It will take self-editing or maybe we can get a group together. No glad handing, but really do the job of editors and writers.

I’m hoping Cronie will stop by and let me know what she thinks. She’d be the one to shepard this. Cronie has an innate sense… she is emotional in a way that makes me want to cuddle up, have a cup of tea, and talk the day away looking at family pictures or reading aloud or laughing and eating cream puffs too…

The work here is becoming clear. It’s not just informing. It’s not just action. It is NOT about anger or blame. It’s some way to incite our beautiful and powerful minds to that “wait just a fucking minute” moment of healthy skepticism and willingness (and ability) to pull apart what is being said. Critical thinking. How to write to that… how to talk to the reader, and how to listen. Now it’s up to you guys… tell me what you think……………


Delivery. Huh. What the fuck. It twisted me a bit. It set me up. the industrial, dehumanized, dirty city. the lone house and that guy… what got me was the way he rubbed his head… that was so fucking normal and the old man gum no teeth how do you describe it…. like my grandfather at night before bed and we’d say poppy, take out your teeth… oh, put them back, take them out and we’d laugh at this wonderful magic and how silly he looked…

certainly, though, something mutant about him. not scary. and that scene, with the flowers and the sparing drop of water.

when it was over, i thought i’d be satisfied. but it kind of freaked me out, those big flowers

did you see? what did you think?


something that shattered me…

… I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.

from The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

something shattering me…

Cost of the War in Iraq
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one last thing. where THE hell is melvin?

Music Censorship: An Overview

The President’s “Faith-Based and Community Initiatives” have enabled numerous –

Source

“government-funded social service jobs explicitly (to) refuse to hire Jews, gay people, and other undesirables in the name of religious freedom.”

Michelle Goldberg. “Kingdom Coming.” p. 107.

  I experienced something similar in an interview from a local pastor for a church job. I was asked questions about my beliefs that were none of his business, and was required to participate in religious activities, despite the fact I was only being hired to play music. I lied because I needed the work…

Gaining prominence, constituents and their elected officials who condone these discriminatory practices of the “Faith-Based Initiatives” have accomplished the following: elected a president, had two amendments be presented to amend the Constitution, and all but hand-selected the newest members of the Supreme Court (the list could go on and on). That is real political power to me.Faith-Based Initiative Programs or its supporters may possibly hire composers and musicians, too.
Composers and musicians who agree with them, of course.

Are there now “right conditions” for a future and possible storm of music censorship? Maybe so or maybe not. One possible scenario based out of factual accounts: since a woman was reported by her neighbor to federal authorities for having an “unpatriotic” poster in her home, would that same woman have been reported to federal authorities for having “unpatriotic” music?

Maybe she would have been for listening to “The Star Spangled Banner” by Jimmy Hendrix.

What’s the difference between an “unpatriotic” poster and an “unpatriotic” song to the censors? Next, she might be strip-searched in full public view the next time she tried to fly, hypothetically speaking.
To view my justification for my “possible scenario”:

Reasonable justification for my possible scenario

(I suggest exploring freemuse
and the ACLU to develop a broader view on these topics).

It greatly disturbed me when I learned years ago that Shostakovich, the composer I admire most lived in fear of his life for composing music that Stalin found “unpatriotic” during my lifetime. He was loved and admired by the citizens of Russia, while Stalin’s regimen attempted to subjugate Shostakovich to their repressive ideology.

Source

“Music illuminates a person and provides him with his last hope; even Stalin, a butcher, knew that.”

So said the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, whose first compositions in the 1920s identified him as an avant-garde wunderkind. But that same singularity became a liability a decade later under the totalitarian rule of Stalin, with his unpredictable grounds for the persecution of artists.

The desire to use force that would result in censorship is more recent than some might be aware of.

Source

DEA Must Not Be Allowed to Chill Speech or Shut Down Electronic Music Events. (9/11/2003)

Is the RAVE Act Just About Ecstasy and Raves?
No. While proponents of the RAVE Act target Ecstasy and raves, the Act allows federal prosecutors to target other events, such as Hip-Hop concerts, hemp festivals – even country music events could be targeted.  The law applies to hotel and motel owners, cruise ship operators, stadium owners, landlords, real estate managers, and event promoters. Anyone who throws an event (such as a party or barbecue) in which they know or anticipate that one or more of their guests uses drugs could potentially face a $250,000 fine and up to twenty years in federal prison.  In reality, however, the electronic music community faces the greatest immediate threat because the law’s sponsors, and the DEA, have singled out electronic music as a “threat” to young people.

Brief Timeline on Censored Music (ACLU)

And, in Berlin religious fundamentalists succeeded in censoring Mozart in September of last year.

Source

Berlin’s arts world has been shaken to the core today by the news that a Mozart opera is to be postponed indefinitely because it might offend Muslims and provoke attacks by Islamists,
thus endangering the lives of theatre goers, opera singers and stagehands.
Security authorities have warned the Deutsche Oper that its staging of the 1781 opera Idomeneo which is set in ancient Crete, poses a serious safety risk.

What a sad state of affairs and what a blow to free speech.
In the `offending’ scene which already caused audience walk-outs mainly amongst Christians when it was premiered almost three years ago, King Idomeneo produces the heads of Poseidon, Jesus, Buddha and the Prophet Mohammed from a bloody sack, and displays them on four chairs.
The Deutsche Oper’s decision to comply with the authorities’ recommendation has been criticised across the worlds of arts and politics as “blackmail” and “censorship”. Some have even compared it to the sort of censorship which Germany has not seen since the Third Reich, while others have called it cowardice.
The director is suing the opera house.
It certainly marks a serious threat to artistic expression and one which merits a serious debate.Is silence really the way to fight the threats we face?

Fundamentalists do abhor free expression that conflicts with their repressive ideologies.


(Used with permission from People For The American Way)
Click for: People For The American Way

Well, I have some bad news for them. True artists have all had a similar moment as this.

Ludwig van Beethoven:

“But little more and I would have put an end to my life. Only art it was that withheld me. Ah, it seemed impossible to leave the world until I had produced all that I felt called upon to produce, and so I endured this wretched existence.”

“The Enjoyment Of Music.” Joseph Machlis. p. 264

Art which frees the mind, uplifts the spirit and speaks truth survives the artist, whether they are suppressed, threatened, or murdered.

Source

Picasso watched closely from his adopted Paris as the Spanish Civil War unfolded, and when German bombers leveled the Basque village of Guernica, the previously apolitical Picasso felt stirred to action. Created at a frenzied pace, his painting Guernica was both homage to his Catalonian homeland and a scathing indictment of bloodshed?
Picasso’s “Guernica” was painted in reaction to the barbarous Nazi bombing of the Basque village in Spain in 1937.
Martin (Beethoven’s Hair) extensively researched the circumstances surrounding the creation of this painting and the attention it has continued to command.

What if Pablo Picasso had not died in 1973, but had been murdered by Nazis during the occupation of Paris?

Let the fundamentalist censors who approve of Stalin’s repressive ideology –

Michelle Goldberg, “Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism” p.160 :

Source

…Constitutional lawyer Edwin Vieira discussed Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion…which struck down that state’s antisodomy law…Vieira accused Kennedy of relying on “Marxist, Leninist, Satanic principles drawn from foreign law… “What to do about Communist judges in thrall to the Devil? Vieira said, “Here again I draw on the wisdom of Stalin. We’re talking about the greatest political figure of the twentieth century…He had a slogan, and it worked well for him whenever he ran into difficulty. No man, no problem.'”

– try censoring Mozart, Shostakovich, Picasso, Hendrix, and the modern day equivalents in skill or spirit now. They can’t; it’s already too late.

Holding on to sanity

I wonder if you’re like me and think we might be living in some kind of crazy alternative universe where the inmates have taken over the asylum. And perhaps that’s why the only people who seem to be making sense these days are our comedians. I mean really, have you watched one of the so-called morning “news shows” lately? You don’t have to take a digital trip over to the likes of Malkin or Drudge or Fox News to feel like your head is spinning with the crazies. Because, while

the current occupation in Iraq continues and Cheney has his sites set on Iran,
the best the Dems can do on healthcare reform excludes even legal immigrant children from coverage, and then that gets vetoed,
the Dem-contolled congress gets ready to pass yet another bill approving spying on US citizens,
global warming threatens to destroy the planet,
the Supreme Court continues to uphold the concept of executive priviledge,
New Orleans residents contine to either suffer at home or remain in the diaspora,
we continue to legalize torture and strip habeus corpus of any meaning,
our economy teeters on the brink of disaster, and
one of the biggest “growth industries” is prisons for the marginalized in our society (be they brown immigrants or black youth)…

we get fed lines of dribble about the importance of the most inane “news” stories one could ever imagine. Frankly, sometimes I feel like I’m loosing my mind. And were it not for the blogs where I can touch base with other “crazy folks” and the television comics like Stewart, Colbert, Black, and Maher, I’m sure I’d be locked up by now. Here’s a prime example of one of my links to sanity:

This is the line that sent me over the edge:

I’m not comfortable with any idea that can’t be expressed in the form of men’s jewelry. If it takes more than two cufflinks to say it…you lost me. Now that’s some funny (oh, but only because its so heart-breakingly true).

I’d love it if folks would share some of your sanity-saving devices, especially the ones that make you laugh!!

writing in the raw: pre-whoring brought to a whole new level

I’ll be up at 10pm on the front page. i couldn’t get Jay Elias’s essay, Of Politics and People, out of my mind. I’m hoping to stir up some stuff… and see if it grabs you as it did me… here’s what i thought was brilliant (i have it out of order)…

Many of you may wonder why I have been so dogged with my “Quotes for Discussion” posts over the last year.  I usually offer them up without context or commentary, and they are tangential to the point of the sites where I post them at best.  Further, few people, including few of you, bother to read them or discuss them.  And even more, sometimes the quotes, and my purpose in posting them, is very hard to gather.  So, I’ll tell you why.

I post those quotes to remind us about people, and to try to get people to think about them, often in a different way than usual for politics.  Because it is easy to speak of political policy and strategy without thinking about these things, about the crucial role that people will have in them.

It is my belief that most political programs and ideas fail because they are not conceived or implemented with people in mind.

The other just happened to me. Watching Delivery in jessical’s Pony Party: Oh Superman, In a Box. Also like the vid titled, Oh Superman in a Box.

Watch it.

Then maybe,if you’re inclined, come back to visit. Let’s try something a little different tonight, shall we…

DO NOT REC the PRE-WHORING ESSAY PLEASE… DO NOT LEAVE COMMENTS

I plan to delete this…

save yourself for the real thing…

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