Feed on

The wires that control the public mind

Via the Left Coaster. You know, I don’t think most people can even conceive of the lengths to which the corporate class goes to shape our perceptions:

Wendell Berry:

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Continue Reading »


My buddy Cliff Schecter wrote this piece over at C&L, and since as a reporter, there was nothing I loved better than going through data to get answers on different issues (and you too, Cos!), I think this is a splendid resource:

I find urban studies fascinating, which is perhaps why it was a concentration back when I was in school. To me–perhaps because I have lived in big cities most of my life–finding ways to reform city government, bring transparency, better deliver services and improve the quality of life in metropolitan areas is a passion, because I think there are so many possibilities (especially with today’s technology) for making people’s lives better by rising up to meet these challenges.

This is why I am thrilled to be working with the City Forward initiative. What is City Forward? It is a tool that pulls public data from urban centers on different issues (user specified) and displays it in customizable graphs.

For example, users can create an ‘exploration’ for important environmental issues such as water usage in multiple cities, and then have it displayed in charts that will visually present the data in a way that people can understand it. These charts allow anyone to make a case or tell a story about what one city or many cities are doing to improve in an areas such as this one, and what others are neglecting.

In other words, in addition to being groundbreaking in its potential applications, its a pretty cool tool for improving government transparency and letting people access public records in a useful, understandable way.

You can go to the site and see what explorations have already been done in cities across the world, and come up with some of your own. And you can encourage your city to share data with the initiative, to fight for the kind of improvements we all need, and quite frankly, deserve.

This is just provides another way to bring some light into the often dark corners of government, while improving our everyday lives. Not a bad thing in today’s world, for sure.

Knock tobacco out of the park

Good idea! Don’t think the ballplayers will for it, though…

Dumb cluck

Rick Scott.

Convicted felon

Wow. Is this really a reason to send this guy to jail? Especially considering how many culpable bankers are walking around free:

Environmental activist Tim DeChristopher was convicted yesterday of two felony counts. DeChristopher was on trial for bidding on more than 22,000 acres of public land that he could not pay for: his two crimes are making false representations to the government and interfering with the land auction.

DeChristopher made the $1.79 million bid in order to “do something to try to resist the climate crisis,” he told Tina Gerhardt, in an interview published by AlterNet. But, as Kate Sheppard explains at Mother Jones, the judge threw out “the defense that his actions were necessary to prevent environmental damage on this land and, more broadly, the exacerbataion of climate change.”

“They’re hoping to make an example out of me.”

DeChristoper now faces the possibility of  a $75,000 fine and 10 years in prison. In an interview withYES! Magazine’s Brooke Jarvis, before the trial started, DeChristopher said he had faced the possibility that he would be found guilty.

“There is still the possibility of acquittal, but I think the most likely scenario is probably that I will be convicted,” he told Jarvis. “The prosecution has been very clear that they’re hoping to make an example out of me, to convince other people not to fight the status quo.”

Hate in Orange County

But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

– Matthew 18:6

Half a loaf

A judge has ordered Wisconsin protesters out of the Capitol overnight, but reaffirmed their right to be in the building during normal hours:

MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin judge ordered the removal Thursday night of pro-union protesters who have camped out in the state Capitol for more than two weeks, but he also ruled that the state had violated the public’s free speech and assembly rights by restricting its access to the building.

Dane County Circuit Judge John Albert directed authorities to immediately take actions to remove demonstrators who stayed in the Capitol after its normal 6 p.m. closing time. He also ordered the removal of unauthorized materials, such as sleeping bags, air mattresses and the hundreds – perhaps even thousands – of signs that protesters have taped to the Capitol’s walls.

Some protesters voluntarily complied with the order to leave. Others did not immediately do so.

The demonstrators are upset with Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to eliminate nearly all collective bargaining rights for public employee unions. At times, tens of thousands of people have congregated on the Capitol grounds during the past couple of weeks. About 100 people ignored a 4 p.m. Sunday deadline to leave the building so it could be cleaned, instead sleeping on the floor and occasionally banging drums and chanting.

Since Monday, the Department of Administration has restricted public access to the building, generally allowing in more protesters only when an equal number left. Unions challenged the policy in court, leading to Thursday’s night’s interim order. The lawsuit could continue.

The decision was a partial victory for protesters, because Albert determined that the policy restricting public access violated constitutional rights and ordered the state to re-open the Capitol with greater public access by 8 a.m. Monday. Although it was not detailed in his written order, the judge issued an oral order in court allowing the administration to institute permitting procedures that limit the times and locations where rallies can be held in the Capitol.

Someone like you




« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

eXTReMe Tracker