Saturday, July 26, 2008

Salon Radio with Glenn Greenwald launches

And it launches big in an interview with Dan Ellsberg.

Listen to it here:

Friday, July 25, 2008

Animal Farm Friday - Rabbit Rules

This looks kind of brutal, but I'm sure this crow deserved it.

Why teaching Intelligent Design would be so bad

Collection of Funniest & Hilarious Exam Answers

More fun stuff here.

Why I'm proud to be part of MoveOn

Got this in my inbox tonight. All I can say is WOW! Take that, racist FOX pigs!


Watch the video!

Dear MoveOn member,

Big news! Your petition signature telling FOX to stop their racist smears against the Obamas had a really exciting day on Wednesday. Here's what happened:

1:00 p.m. Your signature was printed off at a New York City Kinko's along with 620,126 others—filling 19 big boxes.

2:00 p.m. The signatures were piled in front of FOX's national headquarters at 6th Avenue and 48th Street.

3:15 p.m. Hip hop star Nas (whose new album had just risen to #1 on the Billboard charts hours earlier) joined over 100 activists and delivered the petitions to FOX on behalf of ColorOfChange, MoveOn, and Brave New Films.

3:30 p.m. FOX refused to accept the petitions. (Sometimes, the truth hurts.)

4:00 p.m.—9:00 p.m. News of FOX's racism and the star-studded petition delivery made its way around the world—with stories in Rolling Stone, Billboard, USA Today, Associated Press, Reuters, India Express, Huffington Post, MTV, OpenLeft, and over 200 other places.

11:30 p.m. Stephen Colbert welcomed Nas as his guest on the Colbert Report and dedicated over half of his show to FOX's racism. The boxes containing our signatures were stacked prominently on Colbert's set in place of his normal interview table and chairs—and he conducted the entire interview surrounded by petitions! Then, Nas performed his new song "Sly Fox," which is all about FOX's racism.

12:00 a.m. Several MoveOn staffers, jaws dropped open, get on the phone and engage in several rounds of, "Wow!" :)

Since then, the news has kept spreading around the world. You sent a message to FOX, and that message was very much received!

And the fight's not over. We'll continue to push back together against FOX's racism and their smears against Obama. But for now, enjoy the video of Wednesday's petition delivery—led by our friends at ColorOfChange—and the video of Colbert. Both videos are at this link:

Thanks for all you do.

–Adam G., Laura, Ilyse, Justin, and the rest of the team

P.S. You can listen to Nas's new single "Sly Fox" on the Colbert video at the link above. If you like it and want to buy the full album, it's available here:

Want to support our work? We're entirely funded by our 3.2 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. This email was sent to James Barlow on July 24, 2008. To change your email address or update your contact info, click here. To remove yourself from this list, click here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

This is what my life is like

McCain's Counter-inSURGEncy

If you watched Countdown with Keith Olbermann tonight (segment posted below in case you missed it), you saw that very sloppy bit of CBS editing from the previous night's blathering interview of John McCain by Katie Couric, arguably the worst anchor outside of Fox News. This is the piece where CBS edited out McCain's major, major gaffe when answering her question about Obama's statement on the "surge" at the expense of inserting in a spiteful and insipid remark about Obama wanting to lose the Iraq war.

You also would have seen McCain trying to explain away his gaffe - which was exposed the night before by Olbermann - about the surge starting nearly a year before it actually started. Check it out:

In McCain's world, a "surge" is synonymous with a counter-insurgency, and that because a counter-insurgency had been underway in Iraq long before the technical "surge" start date, his "surge" had begun long before. Never mind that the term surge is actually a media-propagated euphemism for "escalation" that Bush preferred because it sounded less - invasive.

But I get it now. McCain can sees surge in counter-insurgency, so by his twisted logic, this all makes sense.

Satire aside, I want to make another point here, and this is critical. McCain keeps crediting General (then Col.) McFarland as the genius who thought up the surge, and the media seem to be fine with giving him a pass on this. But the truth is that McFarland adopted the strategy that had been put into successful play in Tal Afar back in 2005 by one Colonel H.R. McMasters, which was to clear, hold, and re-build. In order for this strategy to succeed, you need troops. It took some time, but the idea caught on and was implemented in other parts of Iraq (primarily Baghdad). In order for these types of operations to succeed, an escalation of troops was needed, which is what the rest of us know as "the surge". So it is true that a "clear/hold/rebuild" counter-insurgency strategy had been succeeding long before the Anbar Awakening, this can in no way be confused with a "surge". This strategy is not a surge, but a surge makes a strategy like this more successful.

If McCain had been throwing props to McMasters, then he might have some credibility his idea of a "surge" already happening, but he showed his true colors when he gaffed on CBS. There can be no doubt about it, McCain's old age was showing through. He might have actually been thinking about McMasters's successes in Tal Afar. Instead, he got his timeline confused and implied that the surge had been succeeding before it even started, and tried to support that with events that did actually happen, just not in the order that they actually happened (in this universe at least). By confusing the actual start of the surge (where most surge troops deployed to Baghdad) with the Anbar Awakening, McCain showed that he does not have a solid grasp on what has been going on in Iraq. Then, by trying to explain his screw-up by conflating a counter-insurgency strategy with operational logistics, he showed that he is a liar who will say anything and hope that no one catches him.

McCain says that we don't understand what a surge is. No, we understand. McCain is confused.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Old man driver

Josh is on point here:

Novak says he didn't realize he'd hit anyone. And if that's true it
removes a great deal of the moral and potential criminal liability. But
it puts in real question whether Novak should be driving a car. If you
can be driving through the relatively compact streets of downtown
Washington, hit a pedestrian so that he rolls up on to your windshield
and then trundles off onto the ground and you don't notice, should you
really be driving?

Think about that. For most of us I think having anything make
contact with your car while you're in motion is very jarring, as it
should be. That's certainly been my experience. And you don't notice
when you plow into a guy and he rolls up on your windshield? I don't
get that.

My guess is that Novak has been reading all the pro-velo posts about bicycles in D.C. at Andrew Sullivan's blog, got all pissed off and tried to make a point. Too bad his point was so potentially dangerous.

McCain is (not) a foreign policy expert.

hilzoy puts McCain's major faux pas under the microscope.

Money quote:

Note to self: if I ever run for President and decide to stake
everything on my understanding of one thing, I should familiarize
myself with the basic facts about it. I should be especially careful to
do this before I say something like this about someone who got it
right: "I don't know how you respond to something that is such a false
depiction of what actually happened."

Obama thwarts McCain's oil rig photo op with hurricane

Not really, but I'm sure old man McSame feels that way. Ol' Johnny tried to upstage Obama by flying out to an oil rig in the Gulf Coast, but he got upstaged by Hurricane Dolly.

Of course, maybe that was (his) God getting back at him for stepping on his toes.

Animal Farm Friday?

Obviously, I didn't post anything last Friday, but for good reason. I spent a couple hours in line for the opening night of The Dark Knight (and have been too busy ever since). So here's the post, a little late. In honor of Batman, I bring you bats.

Be warned. This even creeps me out.

My next new bike

Radial engine powered motorcycle

Wasp Knife

Pretty sick mind what thought this up...

Santa Claus is EVIL!

Radovan Karadzic in disguise

Justice on hold

Yes, I am pissed off at Cass Sunstein's recent wussified remarks about an Obama administration not pursuing justice against "egregious" crimes committed by the Bush administrations. But after reading about Radovan Karadzic's capture, and knowing that Ratko Mladic is still on the loose, and factoring in that it will take many years before - if ever - these barbarians will face trial, adding to that the notorious impatience and short attention spans of Americans, I am certain there will never be any war crimes trials at the Hague for Bush and Dick (hell, Dick will be dead in a couple of years anyway). The best we can hope for would be that a President Obama declares Bush and Cheney enemy combatants and ships them off to Gitmo forever. Of course, along with the many pardons Georgie doles out - including his own and Dick's too - he'll close own Gitmo on the off chance that it might have even a slight possibility of becoming a permanent residence.

From out here, looking at the Hague's back-logged docket and lack of ideal locations to imprison war criminals, the world is a very small step away from looking like the American penal system. We're well on our way to becoming a prison planet. (Insert imaginative leap here.)

Don't even get me started on one of histories current living "war" criminals Mugabe.

Straightjackets Popping Off

I'm not one to quote Joe Klein. In fact, I think he's one of the douchiest of the douches, and I squarely sink him right down in that shithole where most contemporary journalists writhe. But it is telling when even Mr. Klein is gobsmacked by how frackin' pathetic McSame is.

Popping off to McSame's "popping off" in New Hampshire this Tuesday, Joe unloaded on John's un-presidential behavior.

McSame said this:
This is a clear choice that the American people have. I had the courage
and the judgment to say I would rather lose a political campaign than
lose a war. It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order
to win a political campaign.

Joe said this:
This is the ninth presidential campaign I've covered. I can't remember
a more scurrilous statement by a major party candidate. It smacks of
desperation. It renews questions about whether McCain has the right
temperament for the presidency. How sad.

Joe went on to say this:
There is a reason why politicians who want to be President don't say
these sort of things: It isn't presidential. A President exists in the
straitjacket of literality. His words mean something. So John McCain
has to literally believe that Barack Obama would "rather lose a war in
order to win a political campaign." I can't imagine that he does. He
popped off, out of frustration.

I give props to Joe for finally coming around to acknowledging what so many of us have known all along, but he's showing again that he's not very much in control of his own "popping off". If he were, then he would have been applying that "straightjacket" metaphor to nearly every utterance that dribbled past King George's vulture-like lips.

If only there were some truth to that metaphor. There wouldn't be enough straightjackets on this planet for Georgie. How sad.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How I spent last Saturday

The day before the annual AIDS Walk, Clarice and I volunteered with Hands On Bay Area to help spruce up a [tiny] part of the route that passed through the AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate National Park. I know it looks like I'm having a tough time planting this little sapling, but it had nothing on the blackberry shrubs I was digging up later. Check out the photos here, and be sure to look deep in the bushes. That's where I was battling it out with the blackberries... and I have the scars to prove it.

It was a cold July day in SF (that never gets old), but we were greeted with a nice breakfast before getting started, and a bit of lunch at the end. I wasn't expecting either, really, so that ended up being quite the treat. The work was really tough, but I was loving it. The significance of it didn't really sink in until the end when we all gathered in a circle around the memorial and stood silent for a moment, hands joined, while we remembered and acknowledged those we've known and lost to AIDS. Many of the volunteers there - some since the inception of the memorial - had lost many, many more loved ones than I have, but it was a very emotional experience for us all, driven home as we spoke the names of those we lost. There is nothing else quite like getting genuinely present to a moment and a feeling.

Honestly, I can sort of see why most people try to avoid being present with their emotions at certain, intense moments. As incredible as the experience can be, it is almost too much to take on a regular basis. That may sound cold, and perhaps it is, but then I've always been on the bleeding edge of being overwhelmed by my emotions. But I also know that it's important to put emotions aside when it involves helping others, and often times helping others helps manage emotions. So I'm definitely signing on for more volunteer work with Hands On Bay Area, and elsewhere.

If you get a chance, give some of your time to someone or something else that needs it (besides your self, your kids, or your pets). As Mahatma Ghandi said, "You must be the change you want to see in the world."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Censure DiFi

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Sketch - Bad Press