Tag Archives: us politics

Questioning Equality

You’ll notice the red equal signs all over Facebook today. An example of resistance (as opposed to reform):


“Against Equality is an online archive, publishing, and arts collective focused on critiquing mainstream gay and lesbian politics. As queer thinkers, writers and artists, we are committed to dislodging the centrality of equality rhetoric and challenging the demand for inclusion in the institution of marriage, the US military, and the prison industrial complex via hate crimes legislation.”

I’m somewhat with it because I’m really pretty ‘meh’ about the necessity and value of marriage. But on the other hand I do think that if we’re going to have the idea/institution we ought to present it with at least a semblance of equality of opportunity. The other two issues seem similar – yes, we should reduce (or in some views eliminate) the military and drastically alter the prison system – but if we do not have the power to take these actions (because we must compromise in a democracy that includes the radical right) we ought at least strive for equality of opportunity. Maybe it’s just the name I have a problem with – against equality – instead of considering, questioning, critiquing and understanding society in our efforts to achieve equality of opportunity.

Blog Piggy Bank

Shotgun Blast

I decided to break open my blog piggy bank and see what was inside:

  • I often talk about how much I value assertiveness and outgoing people, provided that they’re honest and not too negative. I’ve been wondering if maybe what I’m talking about is how much I value other driven leaders. There are plenty of outgoing friendly people who go out and party but don’t really care about others or the world.
  • My roommate watches A LOT of TV. For him it’s great, he can sit and code on his laptop for hours on end in front of the tube. TV bugs the crap out of me (especially mindless negativity [Southpark] and death news), so I usually go back into my room and close the door. It got me to thinking – I usually identify myself as part of the multi-tasking generation who likes copious multimedia feeds and yet I can’t deal with TV. I pay attention to it too much and it has commercials that interrupt the story (if there is one) all of the time. I greatly enjoy watching TV episodes that I choose to download that come without interruptions, just like I listen to MP3’s on random instead of radio. In total it’s more about sustained narrative, not jumpy disconnected bits of information. Maybe I’m more old-hat than I thought.
  • This was further emphasized the other night when I was talking to several people online who could have all hung out together. At the time I knew of 5 people in different spots who were being social (online) but didn’t want to be social in person. Granted group hang out is different but back before ICT’s these people would have had to hang out in person and I think I would have preferred that situation. I know technology enables us to be social in ways that we might not have been able to otherwise but I think it’s also, on the whole, been more of a way to allow people to be passive and introvert and that bugs me. Maybe I’m less young and technology-minded than I thought, at least when it comes to people.
  • I’ve decided my value in creation should be better described as value in creative, fun and passionate creation, not obsessive productivity. I like people who are driven in joyous ways, not super efficient cogs.
  • The election reminded me – there’s no information about local judges up on the internet. In fact I think they have identity management or protection going on, you can barely even find them on Google. I can Google my neighbor and find out more. Places like Judgapedia have tried to cover this but are far from filled out. I know we probably shouldn’t categorize them by Republican or Democrat or Green but I would definitely like to see a decision history and their stance on issues. If citizens are expected to vote yes or no for them we have to know something about them and one of the biggest places young people get information is the internet. DUH. A battle for another day.

Mercenaries and more

To understand Iraq, we need to know more than the headlines and the sound bites. We need to hear what people there have to say and what they think is happening. Well here’s part of that puzzle. If you care at all about what’s happening in the world, you need to watch this video:

Incensed? Outraged? Well, you probably should be. A lot of what’s going on in Iraq with private contractors is still coming to the surface. I didn’t know that one of the big reasons for poor soldier retention is contractor presence in Iraq, I didn’t even know about the contractors. If you find yourself looking for more information, the rest of the documentary can be found “here”:http://iraqforsale.org/ and of course there’s the new award-winning book from Jeremy Scahill, “Blackwater”:http://www.amazon.com/Blackwater-Rise-Worlds-Powerful-Mercenary/dp/1560259795.

Via “Truthdig”:http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/20070510_legal_stealing/

"Video Vets" complete

I posted a few weeks ago about the “Video Vets commercial”:http://duenos.net/article/184/ being made by “MoveOn.org”:http://moveon.org and director “Oliver Stone”:http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000231/ and wanted to update you on that project. The commercial has been finished and is embedded below, although you can also “find it here”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvJ9Ys7rhrA&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fmoveon%2Eorg%2F. More than the ad, I found “the interview”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv2tAaTNNX0&mode=related&search= with Oliver Stone to be very interesting, although not surprisingly on the wordy side.

VideoVets: interviews with veterans

http://moveon.org have teamed up to create a 30-second TV spot focusing on "bringing the troops home" from Iraq. The project, called "VideoVets":http://pol.moveon.org/videovets/ will be composed by Stone, himself a veteran, from the most popular interview voted on by the viewing public. My personal favorite interview is with Sgt Sam Schultz of the Indiana National Guard. When he arrived in Iraq, he was given a white Chevy pickup truck as his primary fighting vehicle which he later modified to carry a machine gun in the bed. Says Sgt Schultz: "It's important to end this war, because we are the wrong people to fight this war... we're doing more harm than good."

Thanks to the folks at “Truthdig”:http://www.truthdig.com/ for their “article”:http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/stone_moveonorg_join_forces/ about this project.

Maryland leads the charge for electoral college reform

In an historical decision, the state of Maryland may be changing the criteria for how their electors would vote for the president. Instead of representing the popular vote in Maryland itself, MD electors would vote for which ever candidate won the _national_ popular vote. The condition? Maryland’s revision will only go into effect if enough states pass similar legislation as to represent an electoral majority, or 270 votes. So far the only other state considering the move is Hawaii, making the count–combined with Maryland’s 10–a total of 14 votes. Before you write the whole thing off as a populist pipe-dream, California (55 electoral votes) legislators voted for a similar resolution last year only to see it vetoed by Governator Schwarzenegger.

A “CNN article”:http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/04/10/schneider.electoral/index.html and a New York Times “op-ed”:http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/14/opinion/14sat3.html?ex=1334203200&en=758bba2672dc1257&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss about the change.

The RIAA? Not in MY Democratic Party.

“Boing Boing”:http://www.boingboing.net today posted an extremely disappointing article revealing that one of the people heading up public affairs and relations for the Democratic National Convention in Denver will be Jenni Engebretsen, the Director of Communications for the Recording Industry Association of America. For me, as a staunch supporter of the Democratic Party, this link to the RIAA, an organization made famous by glorified bullying and deceptive legal practices, makes me much more cautious to support the party.

From Boing Boing: “The liberal blogosophere is united on many fronts — not just disliking US foreign policy. We also hate the RIAA — for suing our friends, for lobbying for laws that suspend due process rights of the accused (the RIAA’s favorite law, the DMCA, was used by Diebold to suppress information about failures in its voting machines), and for demanding the right to “pretext” (commit wire fraud) in order to catch “pirates.””

Read the full article “here”:http://www.boingboing.net/2007/04/12/dnc_appoints_riaa_sh.html, and more quotes from her “here”:http://www.boingboing.net/2007/04/12/riaa_shills_greatest.html. Don’t like the news? Contact the DNC “here”:http://www.democrats.org/contact.html.

Our President looks like a monkey

So it’s no secret. He does. Not only does he look like a monkey, but sometimes he probably smells like one too, although I wouldn’t know because I’ve never been that close to him. To celebrate his looking a bit more simian than the rest of us, I’m glad that the internet has produced “bushorchimp.com”:http://www.bushorchimp.com/ in which pictures of President Bush are put right next to pictures of chimpanzees. Almost 5 million people have visited since the site went up in 2000, join them. Here are some of my favorites: