Get your Rapture hats ready, kiddies! The sky is falling, and our wise gift of nuclear winter will propel us all into the loving arms of the all-knowing and all-everywhere G-d.


"Politics" IS A HOAX, and has always been

extremely jaded & asinine [TITLE /in this case, please]

Are the Dems Committing Vote Fraud?

Posted by Joshua Holland at 12:00 AM on June 24, 2006.

a long, long way
Posted by: rsaxto on Jun 24, 2006 3:36 AM    [Report this comment]
This all goes to show that America is a long, long way from being a real democracy. We can't become a real democracy until we prosecute all those of every party who have done vote tampering and other methods of vote fraud. We have to have laws with real teeth in them to get to a real democracy free of numerous types of vote tampering and fraud. Regardless of party all those who tamper with the vote process need to be prosecuted and removed from political tampering. America will continue to bleed until we get rid of political greed.

Posted by: gramps on Jun 24, 2006 5:10 AM    [Report this comment]
The corporations have an iron grip on American politics and the only way out of it is for us to put our red shirts back on. It is time to take to the streets like the latino's did. We seem to have forgotten that the twelve year war in Viet Nam was the product of both Democrats and Republicans. Honest politicians like Kucinich and Conyers are swamped. Our local progressive Bob Filner has just voted for the repeal of the estate tax. When queried about this his office explained that it was log rolling. I am taking a razor blade and chiseling his bumper sticker off of my van. No enemy is more dangerous than a traitor in one's own camp.

I've been saying all along
Posted by: feduphoosier on Jun 24, 2006 6:13 AM    [Report this comment]
Its all of us against the greedy corporations. We have to stop thinking 'Democrat' and 'Republican' and start thinking about which person will represent us against the corporate takeover of our government. If those elected to Congress won't reform campaign finance then we the people should consider getting smart (I know, I know...) and voting for the candidate with the least money, and the most heart. In the end, short of Diebold cheating, we are responsible for devouring the media glitz.
[« Reply to thi

.Why did Scheurer run as an independent this time around?
Posted by: thoughtcriminal on Jun 24, 2006 9:30 AM .../..., why didn't this guy run as a Democratic candidate in the primary? Did polls indicate that he'd be trounced? In addition, just because someone set up some false contract with the guy - why did he do that? Why didn't he at least check out the person who was going to gather all these signatures? Maybe call him at his office and verify things? If he is that dumb, then I wouldn't want him as a political candidate anyway.

If you want to write about vote fraud, look into Ohio 2004 and Florida 2000 and the current plan to steal the 2008 and 2006 elections using rigged electronic voting machines. Here you have a hell of a lot more evidence then an apparently anecdotal tale involving a mysterious stranger that noone can find. Diebold, on the other hand, is in the phone book.

I can hear it now - "but we want politicians who are morally solid, who stand up for what they believe in, who can lead us to a new and glorious progressive future, and we need to vote our hopes, not our fears!". This is politics you are talking about, remember? Wake up and smell the bullshit! You think that someone is going to ride up and save you from fascism?

Take a look at the recent imigrant rights rally - did you see different groups of immigrants from different parts of the world attacking each other? NO! Despite all their differences, they managed to put them aside and work towards a common well-defined goal - you didn't seem them grandstanding for their own narrow interests.

Success requires good strategy, good diplomacy, and good execution. Now, write that on the blackboard a hundred times.

Springsteen: '[M]usicians shouldn’t speak up? It’s insane. It’s funny.'

Posted by Evan Derkacz at 10:27 AM on June 23, 2006.

Posted by: on Jun 23, 2006 10:57 AM    [Report this comment]
Well, if you turn it on, present company included, the idiots rambling on on cable television...

And she [Soledad Obrien] just keeps going, as if he didn't just call her an idiot.


Tenacious Truthiness [Tom (Dispatch) Englehardt Interviewed]

Go to Original

For background, see:     
Part I | Tom Engelhardt: Reading the Imperial Press Back to Front    •

    Part II | Tom Englehardt: On Not Packing Your Bag and Heading Home When Things Go Wrong
    By Nick Turse

    Thursday 22 June 2006

.../... Now, four thousand words can come out in twenty-four hours. If I were religious, I would say I was possessed and the next question would be: Whose voice am I channeling? In fact, I know it's mine in some grim moment weirdly made for me. If I ever had two seconds to go back to writing fiction - because doing my novel, The Last Days of Publishing, was one of the quiet joys of my life - I might write about possession.

    NT: How do you define what you do at Tomdispatch? Are you a news editor, a journalist, a commentator, or an Internet activist?

NT: So is Tomdispatch providing a service to the country?

    TE: When I interviewed Ann Wright, one of three State Department diplomats who resigned in protest as the invasion of Iraq rushed toward us - a brave act - I asked her what she thought her military and State Department careers and her anti-war activism had in common. "Service to America," she said. And here was the thing, I had written the word "service" next to the question beforehand. So I replied, "Hey, I knew you were going to say that," and I showed her. I've come to feel particular sympathy for many of the people you write about, Nick, in your Fallen Legion series, people in government or the military who thought they were serving their country and find themselves serving officials they can't bear, who have betrayed them and the country. In that sense, Tomdispatch has come to feel like my version of service to country.

.../... Officials like Cheney clearly think of the world in terms of energy flows. They think in terms of interlinked military bases and global military power. They've been thinking big, thinking strategically, connecting disparate countries. They look at Russia and, as old Cold Warriors, they think: Rollback. So they're considering Estonia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan in the same frame. You read the press in this period, and you can find a piece about Estonia, another about Ukraine, and yet another about Uzbekistan, but not together. You can read a piece about Uzbekistan, about Afghanistan, about Iran, about Israel, about Iraq, about Turkey. But from mainstream American coverage generally, you would have no idea that those countries were near to, or related to each other, or that our leaders were thinking about them in the same breath and via sweeping geographic labels like "the arc of instability."

    The press, in those first few years, was striking in not connecting the dots, even when reporting well on specific subjects. What I think Tomdispatch does best is to connect those dots. My hope is that, when you read a dispatch, it will provide a connect-the-dots framework so that the next little bits that wash over you, you'll be able to slot them into something larger, and say, oh, that makes a kind of sense.

    You don't have to accept my way of framing things, but maybe, at its best, Tomdispatch gets you thinking about how to fit these pieces together.

    NT: And what if, as readers start to see things in this larger framework, they're outraged and come to you for some guidance ...

    TE: Sometimes they do.

    NT: ... and want to do something. What advice would you give them?

    TE: I'm going to disappoint you on this one, Nick, because the advice I give is terribly limited. I have no hesitation about putting the world together in immodest ways, right or wrong; but I'm modest indeed about telling people what they should do in the world.

    I don't see any reason why, because I'm capable of connecting those dots, I should become an oracle. Usually what I write back is very simple. I always suspect that people already know what they should do. There's always something to do in one's world, after all. But who am I to tell them what it is? So I don't.

    Oddly enough, if I had anything to tell them on the subject, it would be this: I'm proud of the pieces I've posted at Tomdispatch, especially since many of the authors could be writing for far bigger places. But I'm proudest of all that I didn't do a very American thing, which is to post for a while, get discouraged, and go home.

    That was the story of the prewar anti-war movement. I predicted before the invasion of Iraq that the huge anti-war movement would only get bigger. Boy was I wrong. I've been wrong about many things in my life, but one of the bleak miracles of this period is that, to take an example, just about everything that's happened in Iraq looked obvious to me from the beginning. If you were to go back and read the things I wrote just before or after the invasion, it's clear that I sensed more or less what was going to happen. Only on the anti-war movement was I wrong. When they didn't stop the war, so many of them got discouraged, packed their bags, and went home.

.../...    TE: Just the feeling that I've hung in there and, if someone asks, that's really the advice I do give. I don't know what you should do, but do it and don't stop when it doesn't quite work out, when you don't get the results you want.

    NT: So what's your vision for Tomdispatch? You've gone from clipping service to mailing list to website. Now you've got a book of interviews coming. Where would you like to see it in five years?

    TE: A five-year plan, Nick? You know me better than that. I'm usually worried about the last five minutes and the next five. The rest I leave to the gods. Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow morning and that voice in me will have abated, and maybe that'll be that. Proud as I am about having lasted this long, there's nothing wrong with Tomdispatch not going on forever.

    I don't believe in thinking too carefully about future plans. Not as a lone individual in this world. Spend too much time considering what you want to do and you probably won't do it, because it'll look hopeless. So whatever it is, maybe it's best just to close your eyes and try.



Net Neutrality / Its A Diversion

Net Neutrality Diversion

Art Brodsky

June 21, 2006

A couple of days ago in an auditorium at George Washington University here in Washington, former Clinton Administration spokesman Mike McCurry trotted out the hottest talking point in the fight against keeping the Internet open. He accused the pro-openness forces of hypocrisy because search engines play favorites.

What Google does, he said, “looks suspiciously to me like exactly the sort of content-discrimination business model that advocates of the network neutrality are foisting off on the telecoms. What is the difference?”

As a logical argument, the issue is just silly. As a diversionary tactic, it is more valuable. For while this is being argued out, the telecom, cable, movie and recording industries are getting away with one big goodie bag.

Google, of course, is a staunch advocate for a fair and open Internet. In his answer to what looked like a planted question during a debate with Amazon’s Paul Misener, McCurry kept in play a great diversionary tactic that surfaced in April during the House Energy and Commerce Committee consideration of telecommunications legislation. Then, Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, D-Texas, who represents AT&T’s hometown of San Antonio, proposed an amendment that would have required the Federal Communications Commission to study “preferential practices of the top five Internet search engines by usage and the top five electronic sites by revenue.”

The amendment was defeated, but the issue has been kept alive as the telephone and cable companies never miss a chance to make Google and other e-commerce companies defend their businesses. Search engine neutrality now comes up in conversations with Hill staff and legislators, requiring Google and others to get away from the main debate to point out that there are many search engines but only at most two broadband providers, that users willingly Google, and that many customers have little choice in how to get onto the Internet.

However, just as the Google non-issue is a diversion from the core of net neutrality, so the net neutrality debate is in a sense a diversion from other major flaws in the telecom bill.

The debate over net neutrality is certainly important, because it will in large part determine whether the free and open Internet will continue to exist as we have known it for the past 15 years or so. But by focusing all of the attention on the issue, many other important features of the telecom legislation the Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to mark up June 22 will be completely ignored.

There is no meaningful net neutrality language in either the House bill or the current version of the Senate bill, so the telephone and cable companies come out ahead on that score.

The main purpose of the bills was to create competition in the cable business by allowing telephone companies to get into that business more quickly. In theory, prices would be lowered for consumers if the telephone companies didn’t have to obtain permission from 33,000 local areas that award franchises to cable systems to offer video services. And so the “national franchise” was born, in which all the telephone company has to do is fill out a form at either the FCC (House bill) or a local agency (Senate) and, voila, enter the business. No muss, no fuss, no negotiations that bogged down cable companies for years when they were starting out. Cable companies get the same deal when their franchises expire.

There is, of course, one little detail. The newly entered telephone companies are under no requirement to build out their systems to all the parts of a local area. 

Unlike the House bill, some states require the new telephone companies-as-cable-operators to build out their systems over an ever-increasing percentage of a state.  That type of requirement makes certain that eventually all parts of an area will have access to the new services and, presumably, the price competition that comes along with it.  The practice of providing service in some areas and not in others is called “redlining,” a term that first came from the practice of financial institutions literally drawing a red line on the map around some neighborhoods in which they didn’t want to do business.

The House panel rejected the approach of setting build-out requirements.  Instead of having an affirmative requirement to serve everyone, the bill instead said a video service provider may not deny access to its video service to any group of potential residential video service subscribers because of the income, race, or religion of that group.

On the surface, that might sound feasible, until you look at the exceptions to the rule. According to the bill, it is not a violation of the anti-redlining language if video service is denied because “technical feasibility, commercial feasibility, operational limitations, or physical barriers preclude the effective provision of video service.”  There’s plenty of wiggle room in those exceptions —  perhaps call them excuses — if a phone company wants to be ultra-selective in where it builds.  All it has to do is to claim that it is not “commercially feasible” to build in areas where the residents might be less well off.

But wait, there’s more. In the Senate bill, the movie companies get a long-cherished goodie, the “broadcast flag.” That’s a bit of code in an over-the-air digital TV signal that tells your set-top box or TV whether a program can be copied, saved, forwarded, or none of the above. Movie companies, which own TV shows, have tried for this clause for five years, and the FCC gave it to them in 2003. The U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned the regulation in May 2005 (in a case brought by Public Knowledge, the American Library Association and others), ruling that the FCC far exceeded its authority by attempting to control the design of consumer electronics. The ostensible reason for the “flag” is to prevent high-quality digital content from being stolen, and thus giving programmers an incentive to continue producing it. Viacom, in 2002, told the FCC that unless the flag was implemented in 2003, CBS wouldn’t put on any high-definition shows. Right.

Lastly, the record companies get in the Senate a bill a clean shot at satellite broadcasters. Again, the issue is whether consumers can record music they buy, in this case through a monthly fee. XM Satellite Radio has a device that not only stores songs, but allows consumers to listen to the songs in – shock! -- any order they choose, and not as programmed.  The recording industry considers such a feat to be a threat to their business because such song-saving represents a lost CD sale. The Recording Industry of America wanted content controls on radio, and got it in an earlier version of the bill. In the latest version, the FCC sets up a commission to come up with audio controls, and the bill makes sure the membership is stacked so that the proper outcome is assured.

Those are the highlights of a 159-page bill produced by Republicans who don’t like big government—except when telephone, cable, movie and record companies come calling.

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