Oct 16 2011
Jan 29 2011
For the past five days, Egyptians have been in the streets protesting, calling for President Mubarak, who has served for thirty years, to step down. It is a very big story. Print media, understandably have trouble keeping up with it because so much is happening so quickly in so many places. Putting up a written story takes time, time to write, time to edit, time to post. Even if you’re lightning fast, print media (and the part of them that is on the Internet) aren’t built for this kind of speed. But what about television?
Nov 22 2010
I have a few pleasant photography stories to tell from a week ago. Between the autumn color and the desperation of one last warm weather week, it was a good week for a photo buff. Now don’t go busting my bubble by just looking at the photos because you can learn a lot from a photographer. We see things.
Below you will find a Third Rock from the Sun brief encounter during an evening walk in the Village. I have several memories from a lecture I attended on photojournalism. There is a pleasant Veterans Day walk under the George Washington Bridge on the New Jersey side followed by a sunset from the New York side. Then a Friday afternoon walk in Central Park with some music videos I made and all day Saturday there too. There is even a little taste of Florence, Italy.
May 23 2010
Exactly how far does BP have to go, how many times does it have to blunder and fail and make excuses while it tries to preserve its investment in the leaking well, before the US pushes BP out of the way and stops the leak that is now destroying the Gulf of Mexico? Apparently, pretty damn far. Long story short, the US isn’t going to take over the problem at this point. You know we’re in big, big trouble when the intervention of the US Army Corps of Engineers looks like an improvement in disaster management.
This from Reuters makes the US government’s intentions less than perfectly clear:
The U.S. government will move aside BP (BP.L) from the operation to try to halt the Gulf of Mexico oil spill if it decides the company is not performing as required in its response to the well leak, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said on Sunday.
“I am angry and I am frustrated that BP has been unable to stop this oil from leaking and to stop the pollution from spreading,” Salazar told reporters after visiting BP’s U.S. headquarters in Houston.
“We are 33 days into this effort and deadline after deadline has been missed,” Salazar added, referring to the failure of containment efforts attempted so far by London-based BP to control the gushing undersea well one mile (1.6 km) down on the ocean floor.
President Barack Obama’s administration is facing growing public and political pressure to take full charge of the oil spill containment operation as criticism against BP grows.
Yeah, Ken, we’re all angry and frustrated. But, guess what? We’re not the Secretary of the Interior or of anything else. We’re not in the cabinet. We’re sitting here watching the Gulf of Mexico turn into a petrol gumbo laced with oil coated pelicans.
And what exactly do you mean when you say, “if” the company isn’t performing as required? Performing as required means that the leak is stopped. Closed up. That there’s no more oil. Running a straw into the leak so that BP can sell it and make money on it isn’t exactly “performing as required.”
“If we find they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing, we’ll push them out of the way appropriately,” Salazar said, but he did not specify at what point this would occur or what might be the trigger for it.
“This is an existential crisis for one of the world’s largest companies,” he said, in a reference to the billions of dollars of cleanup and damages costs that BP faces.
Give me a f*cking break. That last paragraph has to be some kind of sick joke. “An existential crisis for one of the world’s largest companies?” Dude, it’s an existential crisis for the Gulf of Mexico, its inhabitants, and its wild life if not the oceans generally and the planet. You think I or anybody else gives a rat’s ass whether BP fails?
If you know how to stop the leak, it’s really time to stop it. This sitting and watching as BP diddles and tries to harmonize stopping the leak with preserving its investment in the well is going to kill the Gulf, if it hasn’t done so already. 33 days is more than enough time to stop the leak.
The federal response, described in your brilliant statements today, is what I call feckless. And that’s the nicest term I can find to describe it. This is a disgrace. The only thing we’re lacking at the moment is the icing. That would be Obama telling Ken Salazar what a great job he’s doing. I wish I didn’t think that was next up.
May 17 2010
As you can see, I’ve gotten tired of just typing and complaining about this. That just didn’t seem to be enough, especially because BP is now collecting oil from the spill that it can sell, their stock is still traded, they’re still doing business. No, I wanted to do something else. So here’s an invitation to join me in creating a leaderless, spontaneous national boycott of BP.
Well, it isn’t exactly Alice’s Restaurant. Yet. But who knows what this can lead to.
Please join me.
Apr 10 2010
What with nuclear disarmament, a Supreme Court nomination, and the looming possibility that I may actually have to shovel my driveway all falling upon our heads at once, we are not going to have a lot of free time over the next few days–so we better have some fun while we can.
To get it going, I have a couple of videos for your dining and dancing pleasure…videos that are each, in their own way, so crazy that you will be talking about them, from now until the time we get around to some of that more serious stuff–and possibly for quite a while after that.
Let’s start with the funny.
Mar 16 2010
Feb 07 2010
There are many people who lament the end of the ’60s and complain about today’s self-absorbed, materialistic youth. Now, I’m a teenager, and I can tell you that there’s a grain of truth (maybe a boulder…) to those complaints, but there’s also a vibrant political culture among those of us whippersnappers who do care.
Well, we all know Dylan, Lennon, and Young. But what about Francis, Folds, and Morello? If you take a look at the music scene today, it’s apparent that there are a lot of young people who care. There’s currently a lot of music in the same spirit, if not the same style, as the classics of protest music.
Dec 09 2009
originally posted by Will Urquhart at Sum of Change
Last week, we covered the basics of managing and organizing a campaign budget. If you know little-to-nothing about campaign finance but would like to, or if you are just about to start putting together the budget for a campaign, you should definitely check out last week’s Training Tuesday. Today is not for the basics. Instead, we are using this Training Tuesday to share with you four very important tips that will help you out along the way:
Dec 02 2009
Every political campaign and organization must spend money to maintain serious levels of activity. Increasingly, campaigns must raise significant amounts of money to become and remain competitive. Although we can protest the growing costs of campaigning, the reality for any campaign is that without these funds, there can be no staff, no office, no phones, no computers, no signs, no media coverage – no campaign.
-From the Democracy for America Campaign Academy Training Manual
Nov 09 2009
Whether you are deliriously happy, incredibly sad, or still uncertain about how you feel about what has emerged from the House this weekend, it’s probably safe to say that one thing everyone is…is sick of the whole thing.
Of course, we’re far from done-but just to give us all a break, I’m going to abruptly change the subject.
I have a Flip Video camera-which I am still getting used to-and last night we ran up the hill to Snoqualmie Pass, Washington, ostensibly to test the camera’s low-light capabilities…but really so we could drive around in all the fresh new snow.
There’s plenty of time to get back to the political wars in a bit; but for right now let’s head up the mountain, see some cool stuff, talk about what the camera can-and can’t-do, and, just for fun, we’ll answer the age-old Seattle question: “how long does it take to find three places that sell espresso at the top of a mountain pass in the middle of nowhere?”