Thursday, March 27, 2003

That was a great show!!

The benefit for Tim North was an incredible show. It was a great crowd, a
large crowd, and there was a lot to take in--
two stages, several large video screens, lots of things to buy, a raffle AND an auction.
There were some incredible performances (and others that I wish I'd seen, there was
so much going on). In the auction one small SRL piece for $800
bucks (and there were other big auction items). So I think that the benefit part did really well.
The SRL folks deserve high praise for all the work they did and
how well-run it was; they put the whole thing together in about a month!!

Tim looked good considering; he's lost a lot of weight, but he was chipper, and walking around some, while also
spending time in a rather majestic recliner that had been provided for him. And Tim even
got on stage and played drums at the very end of the show, with an all star Jam band
featuring former members of Saqqara Dogs and Rhythm & Noise. That was the highlight. The Extra Action Marching Band was a close second with a SCORCHINGly great set.

There's an awesome t-shirt, with a picture of Tim on it, and there
is an INCREDIBLE SRL nudie calendar. No sign of it being for
sale on their site yet, but I'll let you know if I find out where you can buy
it (or browse it). It is hilarious and very well done.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Tuesday, please don't miss

The Tim North Benefit

Tuesday, March 25

7 p.m. to 2 a.m. at SOMARTS Gallery

934 Brannan, San Francisco

door $10 - $10,000 sliding scale

Tim North is the man behind the Hoverdrum, one of the Ten
Percussion Wonders Of The World; he has also performed with Crash
Worship, Sauce of the Future, Comfort Control, and, the Indiana
new wave wonders, Dow Jones and the Industrials.

There are a lot of benefit shows, for many good causes, but for me
this is the most worthy I've ever known. Tim is a great guy with
a lovely family, and he is a talented and original musician. He
has cancer which incredibly unfair because he should have many
great years ahead of him. He recently moved to Southern
California after being a stalwart member of the San Francisco art,
music, machine, industrial scene for years and years. Because he
was focusing on music there, he was not working a corporate gig,
and thus does not have insurance. He needs all the help we can
give him, and he is 100% worth it. Please come out for this!!!

Friday, March 21, 2003

I give TT some credit on this one

Ted Turner says that he volunteered to cover Iraq for CNN.

Iraq is actually the same...

UPDATE: Haliburton in action in Iraq!

Haliburton, when Cheney was CEO, signed contracts with Iraq valued at $73 million [this from a news site that refers to Anti-War Protests as "Appeasement Protests", so it has survived a test by bias]. That's contray to Dick's version--he said, yes, they dealt with Libya, but Iraq was "different". Now, of course, Haliburton is on the shortlist of companies that will be part of the rebuilding party (whoops! "effort"). A brave soul in Congress tried to do something about the conflict of interest (sorry, did I forget to qualify that as apparent?), but it was shot down, basically, because Lockheed would also be precluded from the deal . And not having Lockheed be a part of the re-building is just unthinkable.

If you can spare a standing ovation, please do for this exchange:

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y, the chairman of the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade and Technology, admonished Waters for raising questions about the administration's rebuilding plan. "I think it's really irresponsible on the eve of the war to be (doing) this and implying something" about possible conflicts of interest, he said.

Waters replied that it is "irresponsible to wave the flag of war" in the face of potential conflicts of interest that could involve billions of dollars.

Here's some more on Cheney/Haliburton/greed:

Thursday, March 20, 2003

This is a great piece about How to support our troops but rue Bush's new global Darwinism . A lot of us need that. And he could be reading my thoughts when he says:

It seems likely -- and we should all hope, for humanity's sake and our country's -- that we'll win this war, that Saddam Hussein will be retired from active duty, that hard evidence of the existence of weapons of mass destruction in his Iraq will turn up (and hopefully be destroyed before they find their way to the black market), and that the Iraqi people will probably, to one degree or another, be better off under whatever comes next. Bush will benefit from these developments, a fact that brings me no joy. But we must admit that these are all very good things, and liberal opponents of the war need to acknowledge them--along with the fact that, let's face it, the United Nations was not enforcing its resolutions against Iraq, and only the pressure applied by this administration made it begin to do so.

I concede that last point, but it is hard for me to seperate the intention from the effect. I think that it is safe to say that the only reason that Iraq cooperated to the extent that they did with weapons inspectors is because the American military was massing on his borders. But I do not believe that Bush and his war engines ever intended to be satisfied by anything short of invading Iraq. And worse, some of them are motivated by a chance to display military might--after all these are guys who live on drills and drawing boards, rarely having a game day to reward all of that practice; others in the administration are relishing a mighty bombing campagin because it will allow them to grant generous contracts to their corporate buddies to rebuild the place. IF the "build-up to war" were part of a strategy to intimidate Saddam and not merely a pretense (a window dressing) for war, then I might spend time dwelling on the positive effects it had. But that wasn't the case and we were steered to war, as planned (albeit more slowly because of the UN route being invoked).

But the article is a good one. The author is Michael Tomasky and I got the link from Altercation (about my third favorite site these days, after Google News & TPM). I've now read a couple great pieces from Tomasky, who also writes for New York Magazine, and he also has guested on Altercation from Eric Alterman (of The Nation)

And how about Bechtel, huh? The pride of the Bay Area. Multi-national corporation responsible for horrors in the
privatization of Bolivian water rights, a crooked clusterfuck of a building project in Boston, the arming of Saddam, and now has applied for the spoils of his removal. Here's a quote from another article on this subject:

Five of the companies invited to bid on that contract - Fluor Corp., Bechtel Group Inc., Louis Berger Group Inc., Parsons Corp. and Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root - have contributed $2.8 million to candidates during the last two elections, 68 percent to Republicans, according Federal Elections Commission data.

Anyway, Bechtel got Real Shut Down today in San Francisco.

Blogging from Iraq

His name is Salam. He is in Baghdad. He has a weblog.
It is a really amazing thing. Not to get all cuddly about this internet technology thing, but, you know, it's fantastic that this exists and we can get a first hand perspective from someone there.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Every Station Plays the Same Anthem...

This is one of the scariest things that I've seen re: corporate wartime; Clear Channel, never my favorite, have offically gained my Most Hated Corporation status:

Some of the biggest rallies this month have endorsed President Bush's strategy against Saddam Hussein, and the common thread linking most of them is Clear Channel Worldwide Inc., the nation's largest owner of radio stations.

More Links, Less Chatter

Let's just link the quotes, shall we?

More as is necessary...

Essential reading

Here are some links to share this A.M, some are news and some are just essential reading!

That's all for now. More later. Believe in the possibility of peace and we can make it happen. mikl.em

Tentacle Session #38 : Sunday, March 30

Hal Robins will star in the Tentacle that ends all Tentacle Sessions. On Sunday, March 30th at 7pm, I hope you can join us for the Terminal Tentacle Session!! Location TBA this week!!!

Monday, March 17, 2003

Today is...

A shitty day. It is a day to wear your favorite clothes, eat something warm for lunch, look at your favorite things and make sure you appreciate them. It may be a watershed day. Everything may be different tomorrow. We don't need another war, but it seems that we will have one anyway. I fucking hate that guy. History will, too, I believe. Take care.

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Get a laugh out of it! is funnier than you are, smart guy! And they have stuff you can buy to help us all laugh a little bit more at how incredibly f*cked we are with Herr Shrub running things. In addition to their classic designs (like My President took a month-long vacation in Crawford, Texas -- and all I got was this lousy double-dip recession!), they have recently debuted a series of war poster designs.

And from a joke on the site, I found out about a news story that I had somehow missed, where George H Bush criticized his son's foreign policy!!!!

Here's a Pro-war Article

From the York [PA] Daily Record comes George W. Bush a big-league president, just to remind you that some people are actually falling for the administration's line (and apologizing for it when necessary).

Meanwhile Doonesbury had a great run last week at the un-logic of the Republican's pro-deficit budget; make sure to read all of them through the exciting conclusion. And did you catch Trudeau's coverage of the Portland Public Schools plan to cut 24 days from their school year due to budget crisis?

23-year old American dies in Gaza

A more detailed report than you are likely to find in the US media on the American peace activist who was killed today in Gaza.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Our tax dollars at War...

More details on how the Coalition of the Billing gets paid off to support George Bush's march to war! Chile, Bulgaria, and Romania get economic benefits for being our new allies.

Once you turn Turkey on...

The bUSh has stopped trying to bribe Turkey to let us base troops there, now they are back-pedaling, trying to convince Turkey NOT to send their own troops into Northern Iraq. This is an attempt to undo their earlier sellout of the Kurds; check out this Talking Points Memo post from last week on our sellout of the Kurds. The author of TPM is Josh Marshall who writes for the Washington Monthly and other politics-focused periodicals. I find it essential reading.

The Warheads in the 5-point building

It's not like I'm a fan of Army Secretary Thomas E. White, former Enron executive and fat cat. But isn't there an adage about "my enemy's enemy is my friend?" What I mean is that anyone who is a thorn in the side of Donnie Rumsfeld is... well, okay, I still don't think I'd invite White over for dinner or anything, but I'm glad to root for him from afar. This article (originally from the LA Times, who make you register to read and then put their articles in archives after 7 days--boo!) discusses the current situation, which involves not following the proper spin cycle...

Recently, he again irked the Pentagon's civilian leaders by refusing to challenge Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric K. Shinseki's prediction that it could take "hundreds of thousands" of U.S. troops to keep the peace in a postwar Iraq.

Pentagon's civilian leaders (read: Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz) are notorious for dicatating policy and valuing yes-men and not skeptics or critical voices. From the above article we learn that the Air Force Secretary feels undermined by the Pentagon, that there is no secretary or undersecretary of the Navy right now, and that Shinseki, the Army's top military officer, has been a lame duck since Rumsfeld named his successor nearly 15 months before the general's scheduled retirement in June.

So it really is the Rums n' Wolfy Show, as long as some of these people with ACTUAL MILITARY EXPERIENCE would stop shooting off their mouths about how many troops they think will be required. Since Rumsfeld is such an accomplished public speaker himself, able to turn the headlines of European papers and the stomachs of European populations, the BBC has put together the Donald Rumsfeld soundbite archive though it is out of date by many months now.

Have you heard the infamous Kissinger quote about Rummy? He called him the most ruthless man I know. Comforting, huh?

Wolfowitz, by the way, looks like a weasely bad guy from Battlestar Galactica or Buck Rogers. Thanks to the genius of military web design, you can get a version of Wolfowitz's image which is so hi-res you could print a poster from it. Watch it fill your browser window! You don't want to see his eyes this big. You don't want to know!

Protests foreshadowing the morning after?

Did you hear about the war protest here in SF? It included the 60 year old former President of the Pacific Stock Exchange. The protest centered on the Stock Exchange, which is right across from my chricopractor's office. :) They tried to bum rush it and shut it down. They got kicked out so they shut down a few intersections. The power of a mass of human bodies; which is a metaphor for a mass of human opinion. This is in some ways a test run for the morning after a war starts. Which is NEGATIVE THINKING--we should be planning on the war never starting!!! Intersections will be shut down all over the city, but especially downtown. I wasn't there today, but you can bet I'll be there if that day does come around.

In other news, have you heard about Terror Insurance? Or how bout the 74 former members of congress who sent a letter to the White House urging Bush to hold off on his attack plans?? Or the former Nebraska Congresman who is suing George W Bush to restrain him from attacking Iraq?

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Do you know about Patriot Act II!? You better.

Ashcroft is more evil and blatant than you could ever imagine. This policy was leaked a month ago, it wasn't going to proposed until we were in the heat of distracting war. Here's what the ACLU has to say about this policy proposal that they had been working on for months, while denying that they were doing so. You can hardly believe it's the United states, huh?

Also read this on the frightening Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-screening System II (CAPPS II) . According to the ACLU this is being
tested (not "proposed", not "approved") at several airports this month!! The Transportation Security Agency
Lockheed Martin got the contract the economy looks pretty sweet if you're a Homeland defense contractor.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

do you need links on Politics?

Well, here they are anyway. First of all, the must-reads, which have become daily obsessions for me:

A few interesting blogs that I've been meaning to check out (more of):

By the way, it seems that Alterman critiques Kurtz in his book, and Welch disses Alterman regularly. I wonder what Donahue thinks?

A couple other recent politico links of note:

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Can you spell "NO WAR"? How about NUDE?

In Sydney, Australia 300 naked women spelled out NO WAR in protest to US threat of attacking Iraq.
That sounds impressive, but in fact the first such protsest in Sydney, last month, featured 750 women! Not to be left out in the cold, naked men in Sydney spelled out Peace last week, tho they could only get up [sik.] a force of 250 or so.
Here's the call-to-disrobe published before the protest.

In Vancouver naked protestors made a Peace sign. It turns out that the whole thing traces back to "BARING WITNESS" which started in... guess what state? Of course there are also Naked for Peace opportunities in San Francisco.

Gibson points out this link about the Gaudi tower that was originally planned for the eventual site of the WTC.

Bill Clinton. Juror?

There is not a lot more that I need to say. Just the link.

Blogger FAQ-ers Google

Ev/Pyra/Blogger has now posted a FAQ about the Google buys Pyra deal. Google has stayed mum, press-wise. Likewise, Neil Gaiman seems to have no comment. Not that probably anyone has asked him. Though you could ask him, since he's a customer. Another famous Blogger user is William Gibson who today posted about Roky Erikson and Starbuck's.