April 30, 2003

They're Only Evil When They're Not Repressing Their Wifes..

"It so happens there are times when there are issues where social conservatives, whether they be Muslim or Christian, find common ground."

that's from Newsday

Iran, Syria, Iraq, Axis of Evil. Yep, unless its about repressing women. All of a sudden they become our best friends in the UN. Perhaps Bush and Co want to fight with all them because jealous of the way they mix politics and religion and get to beat their wifes. How fucking backward is this country going to be after another 1-5 years of this crap? We'll be acting like cavemen soon enough. Christian cavemen.

[via Matthew Yglesias]

Posted by Abe at 08:29 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Headline Flow

Ethan Eismann maybe on hiatus from blogging with Information Flow, but he did post some really interesting stuff on a mailing list we belong too.

Headlines around the world an incident in Iraq. I believe taken from Google News last night:

US Force Said to Kill 15 Iraqis During an Anti-American Rally
New York Times - 16 hours ago

US Troops 'Massacre' 13 Iraqis
The Mirror, UK - 8 hours ago

US troops 'shoot dead two more Iraqis'
Guardian, UK - 3 hours ago

Iraqis say US troops killed 14 protesters
San Francisco Chronicle, CA - 5 hours ago

US troops take fire, shoot back at Iraqis
Casa Grande Valley Newspapers, AZ - 12 hours ago

US forces kill 13 pro - Saddam protesters
Hi Pakistan, Pakistan - 13 hours ago

A good reminder that media bias is certainly not all structural...

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Another Gem at the Whiskey Bar

Whiskey Bar: The Doctor is in - billmon keeps rolling. No idea who he really is or what he does, but he writes some of the funniest, sharpest political comedy around.

Posted by Abe at 05:38 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 29, 2003

Fabrica Ocupada: Naomi Klein on Argentina's Quiet Revolution

Here in Buenos Aires, every week brings news of a new occupation: a four-star hotel now run by its cleaning staff, a supermarket taken by its clerks, a regional airline about to be turned into a cooperative by the pilots and attendants. In small Trotskyist journals around the world, Argentina's occupied factories, where the workers have seized the means of production, are giddily hailed as the dawn of a socialist utopia. In large business magazines like the Economist, they are ominously described as a threat to the sacred principle of private property. The truth lies somewhere in between.

Naomi Klein: Snapshot of a nation: Argentina

There is a revolution going on in Argentina and only Naomi Klein seems to be noticing. This is Klein at her absolute best. My take on her has always been that she's a marvelous journalist and a god awful theorist/figurehead. And now that's she's playing journalist again the results are great. No one reports better from the front lines of corporate globalism then she does. Read the whole article, its worth it. If the world economy doesn't U-turn soon then this piece is a crystal ball.

Posted by Abe at 08:54 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

April 28, 2003

The Structure of Media Bias

The Liberal Media, the Conservative Press, which one is it? I find it interesting and sometime amusing the way liberals and conservatives always seem to think that the media swings the other way. I once thought it was a nice indicator of a relative balance in the media. And the media is a bit more balanced then many give it credit. But there is something else, something structural, let me break it down.

There is a strange dynamic inside our most popular media of today, minus the internet and books. That means TV, movies, radio, newspapers and magazines. Those 5 media have a structural bent towards conservative messages. But counteracting that bent, is a tendency for the staff to lean a bit liberal.

The typical result? A liberal leaning reporter trying to act balanced, but producing a story that comes off with a bit of conservative edge to it. The dynamics are easiest to see in Hollywood. Politically the players in the movie industry on average are strongly to the left, and they contribute mainly to the Democrats. But somehow a fuck of a lot of patriotic movies with strong moral messages come out of system.

Why? Because the conservative approach of pushing strong simple moral messages is tailor made for movies. It makes a nice strong ending to the story. Same goes for TV spots, newspaper headlines, and magazine covers. Simple, basic and familiar but dramatic. Its the conservative way. The structure of these media encourages the right wing worldview to show through on the simplest level.

However, the traits that make good reporters, actors, directors, editors and the like are more in tune with a liberal world view. Creativity, rational thinking and detailed exploration of stories. The nurturing liberal worldview breeds these ideas and encourages liberal reporters. Hence the "liberal media". And in times of slow news, the questioning liberal worldview slowly takes over the tone of the news.

You could see it in GW2 when news was hot and running quick the tone was pro-war, celebrating the moral clarity of soldiers heading to battle. A couple days later as things settled in, the questioning and exploration of the darker sides would return. And then bam! more war motion and the bombastic conservative headlines were back. Slow down, more liberal, explode fast, more conservative. Cycle. Repeat.

I have a feeling this sort of dynamic has been around for a long time. What's different now is that the Bush administration has a great feel for the rhythms of media, and have been timing there actions remarkably well. Their over the top conservative rhetoric and action is pace perfectly for maximum US media exposure. They understand the structure better then the Dems and it shows. And the advantage is huge. The left just doesn't have the rhetoric to win in the game of overblown headlines. Their arguments are better suited for a slower more reasoned environ. Its no coincidence that the lefts biggest media victory of late, the downfall of Trent Lott, came during the slow news time around Xmas. The Left needs to throw off the Bush administrations rhythm and slow the pace down. Summer is dead when it comes to news, and they'll need to maximize that to their advantage. And come Fall its all about setting the pace, whoever does it going to control the media game.

Posted by Abe at 02:26 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Tyranny of Structurelessness

'The Tyranny of Structurelessness' by Jo Freeman is a 30+ year old feminist document, that Clay Shirky has lately been recommending as as a seminal document for the study of social group dynamics. Blogging it mainly so I can find it easier in the future, but its well worth reading.

Posted by Abe at 01:40 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 27, 2003

The Decline and Fall of the OED Empire?

Ok the title is an exaggeration. The Oxford English Dictionary is going to be the academics dictionary of choice for a while I think. But they are really missing an opportunity. How? By charging a shit load to gain access to their dictionary online. Fits in with their snob appeal and they probably make good money selling to institutions. But they are missing a huge window of opportunity to become the one and only dictionary that matters.

What? Here is the pitch. The OED has a well deserved rep as the definitive dictionary. But most writing is now done on computers connected to the internet. And its a lot easier to look things up online. And if OED was available online the way Merriam-Webster is, they could gain a dominant market share. Who wouldn't go with the definitive dictionary given an even market place? But pay $500 for the privilege? Forget it. The free dictionaries are going to win every time. The OED will retain its elite appeal, but at what cost? Another loser in the attention based economy...

Posted by Abe at 11:13 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 26, 2003

The Bush Media Silencer Strikes Again

Sharon Bush is moving on. One week after the grueling two-day mediation that sealed the deal, Bush is turning philosophical about her split from presidential brother Neil Bush.

She won't be writing a Bush family exposť after all. "You know I'd never write a hateful tell-all," she said Tuesday...

As for her post-divorce financial situation, Bush said Tuesday, "The grandparents (former President George Bush and Barbara) have been good to me and to the children."

HoustonChronicle.com - Bush ex-inlaw decides not to spill

Ok, lets paraphrase. After a nasty split with her husband Sharon Bush threatens to write a tell all exposť of the family. Papa Bush steps up and makes it clear that isn't an option, and tosses in a pile of cash to sweeten the deal. This stuff is old hat the Bush family. Nothing gets written about them. Those that try have a habit of dying... or at the least staying out of print. (note to self if you plan on writing a Bush bio it pays to be a loony who is down with Lyndon Larouche.)

Posted by Abe at 02:55 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

The Law Groks P2P For Once

A strong victory! File-Swap Sites Not Infringing, Judge Says. Lets hope this one holds up.

A federal judge in California ruled yesterday that the Internet's most popular music-swapping services are not responsible for copyright infringements by users...

The surprise decision... likened music-sharing services to companies that sell VCRs.

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April 25, 2003

Emperor, New Clothes

The current buzz around social software reminds me of the excitement around web services last year... The new monikers allow people to talk about old concepts as if they were new...

- Jason Kottke: The emperor has new clothes

Posted by Abe at 11:56 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Not Lying...

"We were not lying," said one official. "But it was just a matter of emphasis."

That's from ABCNEWS.com : Officials: 9/11 Was Main Reason for War. Not that I'm happy about it, but it does fit in with my thesis on The Art of Lying in Politics. Point 3, never admit that you are wrong. How true. If you are more concerned with manipulating the public via the media then with keeping friend and making diplomacy that is. The Bush administration continues to work the media effortlessly. More on that soon.

Posted by Abe at 10:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Analogy of the Day

Being Senate majority leader is akin to being grounds-keeper at a cemetery; you have a lot of people under you, but they aren't paying much attention.

[via Semi-Daily Journal]

Posted by Abe at 09:44 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack


Prate has returned.

Actually I'm slow on the uptake/disengaged from the graphic design world. Been back for a bit it seems. Nice stuff Jemma. As always. Of course.

Posted by Abe at 07:52 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

On Santorum, Resign Now

Think its pretty evident that Senator Rick Santorum should be resigning from office, effective immediately. If he has any sense of decency that is. What a disgusting and morally repugnant creature. Couple quotes from the now infamous AP Interview:

In this case, what we're talking about, basically, is priests who were having sexual relations with post-pubescent men. We're not talking about priests with 3-year olds, or 5-year olds. We're talking about a basic homosexual relationship.

So let me get this straight a priest using his position of authority to molest a 12 year old boy is "a basic homosexual relationship"? Don't know what world Santorum lives in, but he needs to leave the world of the Senate pronto.

Lets not even get into his man on dog comments...

Course Bush is fully behind this sort of repugnant immoral homophobia:

"The president believes the senator is an inclusive man. And that's what he believes," Fleischer said.

So I guess inclusive now means you are willing to group homosexuals with pedophile rapists priests and bestiality, I think I'm going to be sick.

Let me say it again. Senator Santorum should be resign and resign now.

Bush, that is a whole other story...

[links via DailyKos]

Posted by Abe at 07:21 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

New Yorker = Asshole, Scientifically (maybe)

Guess I can't live in denial anymore... This paper by one Robert Levine pretty much proves that us New Yorkers are the least friendly people in the US.

Actually the paper only studies how friendly people are on the street. Its got nothing to do with how people interact in any other situations so its pretty limited. Most interesting to me was the fact the main correlation they found between kindness to strangers and cities was population density. People in dense cities just can't afford to be kind to every strangers because they interact with far too many every day. Its got no relevance to how people behave in any sort of more intimate setting...

Posted by Abe at 05:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Economic Frictions (and Capital Letters?)

Not sure what they have against capital letters but headmap: augmented capitalism raises some good points about the potential lessening of economic frictions in a digital economy:

money was predicated on spatial constraints

the range of currencies is infinite and the money is intermediary between them

hats are currency, butter is currency,

they get filtered through money (so that ..hats can buy butter at another place and time)

the friction that transportation and distribution and communication among those who would exchange created the right climate for money

the internet is doing some disturbing things

it is creating currencies and ecoonomies with no money intermediary

link economies, peer two peer file sharing economies and software development and exchange economies

this seems to suggest that in the absence of friction money makes less and less sense

in fact in the current climate many things are starting to make less and less sense

and these network economic anomalies will soon slip into the real world

destroying huge industries based on friction difficulty seperateness and centralisation

as exchange without money becomes more efficient and reliable

money won't disappear but will have to start living in parallel with vibrant, aggressive efficient parallel economic forces

the moves towards hardware level copyright controls and crippling copyright legislation

seem more and more like attempts to artificially introduce friction into a system that by its nature is able to remove it entirely

there seems to be the fear that money itself may be on the verge of collapse and that only a radical lockdown can save a civilisation with money at its heart

capitalism is being augmented at a frightening speed

Posted by Abe at 05:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tables Turned

What if Iraq took over the US?

CalPundit: Turning the Tables

some good points in there.

Posted by Abe at 05:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 24, 2003

When the Shiite Hits the Fan at the Whiskey Bar

I knew I was going to link to it just for the title, but Billmon has really topped himself with, When the Shiite Hits the Fan. Get this man a sitcom or something...

Posted by Abe at 12:21 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 23, 2003

Today USA Wakes Up to the Power of Structure

Why don't Americans walk anywhere?

Old answer: They're lazy.

New answer: They can't.

There is no sidewalk outside the front door, school is 5 miles away, and there's a six-lane highway between home and the supermarket.

That's from USA Today! Ideas spread. Slowly. But they spread.

The way cities and suburbs are developed could be bad for your health.

[via blackbeltjones | matt jones | work & thoughts]

Posted by Abe at 11:27 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Flying Securely

Marked S. Enter an airport and that's about the last thing you want to happen. Your ticket is scared with dozens of esses in the corner. It means you have been "randomly" selected for an ultra thorough security screening, potentially adding a lot of time to your trip.

I've flow 3 times in the last 10 days or so. Each time I got marked S. Flown a ton since S11 don't think I've been selected for the secure screening more then 3 times over the whole time. Has my luck just ran out? Or am I now on some list? Flying a few more times soon, guess I'll find out...

Posted by Abe at 11:07 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Better Input?

Mainly blogging this because I had a hard time finding it again, be easier to just search my blog. Anyway FingerWorks -iGesture NumPad is a really intriguing input device. They actually have handful based on the same principal, you use your hand as the mouse. Allows for a huge range of gesture based control too. I hate mice, don't use them and this looks like it might be better then a Wacom tablet. Only reason I don't have one is that I want to test drive this thing before investing any cash. Could be utter garbage, could be genius. Not up for the risk of going in blind right now...

Posted by Abe at 09:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 22, 2003

Michael Wolff on Al Jaz

"Al Jazeera, like so much else in the region, becomes part of an Americanization machine." Michael Wolff's latest column,
Al Jazeera's Edge digs into the breakout network of the GW2. Good stuff. His point is that Al Jaz is a business, a TV station. What grabs me more then that though, is that its making money by selling a political viewpoint. On a similar note is Mecca Cola, pitched as an alternative to Coca-Cola.

Both are examples of something, I've been thinking about a long time, the commercial viability of ideology. I call it Revolutionary Capitalism, and there will be more coming in the near future.

Posted by Abe at 11:20 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The Coming Iraqi Civil War?

In the previously mentioned A Farewell to Arms post, Christopher Allbritton talks about a rumor going round Iraq:

The marchers in Baghdad demanding a quick end to American occupation, he said, were incited by Ahmed Chalabi and the INC to stir up trouble against the Americans, so they will leave and the INC can seize complete control.

Now Chalabi is the neocons man in Washington/Iraq. His position of being the next potential leader of Iraq arose due to his extensive DC connections and lobbying. No idea if that rumor is true, but if it is then Iraq is going to get really nasty real soon. If even Chalabi wants the US out, then imagine what others think? As Allbritton points out there are a lot of ethnic groups, tribes, religions and invaders involved here. And they all want their power in a limited space.

Messy indeed. Lets see how Bush, Rove and company handle the news. More Afghanistan style ignoring I expect. But the stakes are larger in Iraq will the media be willing to step up and report? Unlike some who have given up on mainstreams media's ability to criticize the current administration I have some hope left. I think a good deal of the mainstream Bush dickriding that went on during the war was the product of the media's laziness combined with good timing on the part of administration PR machine. The admin PR people where able to keep creating new news events for the media. And since the media is lazy they went for the easy story. After a couple slow news days you could see the more balanced reporting return. But then the PR machine would hit back with new stories. Return to lazy media.

Now generating stories is hard work. Especially without an army of 300,000 people working for you to create some news. I have a feeling that the media will start hitting harder when slow news periods emerge. All of a sudden they'll need to investigate a bit to find the story. And odds are the story will sometimes be in Iraq. And it might not be pretty. I'll be keeping my eyes open.

Posted by Abe at 08:21 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Farewell to Back to Iraq (for now)

Christopher Allbritton has a great post on leaving Iraq, A Farewell to Arms. His experiment with user supported blog driven journalism has been a great success. His reports were great and the concept is fully proofed. He's dedicated to developing the form and I wish and all other indy journalists the best of luck. He's got some reflections on the experience and should be returning to Iraq soon to go deeper into the fractured rebuilding on the country (countries?). Can't wait to read more.

Posted by Abe at 06:44 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 21, 2003

Scaling Mount Dean

How far can Dean go? The campaign for US president has barely started and that's the first big question I'm trying to answer.

Dean is the only exciting candidate in the race for the Democratic nomination. But excitement is fleeting and it doesn't necessarily lead to victory.

Dean has a street level buzz that blows away the competition. He gets people charged up, makes them believe. But what works for the political core might not work for the Democrats as a whole. And what works for the Dems might not work for the country at large.

Does Dean have what it takes to excite the Democrat primary voters AND convince them he can win the larger race? If he can then can he really go the distance?

Honestly I have no idea. He's a down home straight talker with some good ideas. Is that enough? Doubt anyone really knows.

Dean is the high risk - high return candidate. If he can scale his energy to a national level he's got the best shot of taking out Bush. But he's got the biggest chances of flopping too. Going to watch closely and see how he handles a rising campaign.

Posted by Abe at 04:07 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 19, 2003

Primary Reforms

Been thinking a lot about what it will take for the Democrats (for lack of a better alternative) to retake the White House. The Primaries are less then a year away. 8+ men (and probably just one woman) all competing with each other for the nomination over a span over a year. Its an archaic process and one that needs changing. Too much time is spent on the internal competition and not enough focusing on the opposition. It presents a picture of an un-unified party and draws attention to the flaws of the candidates. And the odd week by week progression through states is just bizarre, its designed to give jobs to obscure strategists, not help out the process. Anyway here are some thoughts on a better process, no idea what it would take to implement any of them.

  1. A one day nation wide primary. Just get it over with. Skip all the state strategy BS and pick a candidate. Early. Maybe a full year before the presidential election. Once there is one candidate they need run an intense and focused campaign, and they'll have plenty of time to do it.
  2. Prenuptial agreements. If someone wants the parties nomination, they should be required to play by some rules. No negative campaigning against other party candidates. No sore loser tantrums, if they lose they need to support the winning candidate 100% That includes campaigning hard for the nominee in the losers stronghold. Maybe it even includes using remaining campaign funds to support the winning candidate.
  3. Coordinated attacks on the opposing party. Before the primary the party should be planning certain unified points of opposition with the other party. Each candidate can push their take, but together they all should be coordinated as part of a larger strategy.

Again this is all said while being relatively ignorant of the actual structure of the Democratic party system, but still they can do better and we all know it.

Anyone but Bush in 2004!

Posted by Abe at 07:46 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 18, 2003

Dean Steps Up on Bush

Howard Dean just wrote a tearing attack on Bush. Strong, clear and on point. Gives me a lot more respect for Dean. Someone needs to call Bush on the tone of paranoia and anger that he's setting for the world. And Dean comes real close to taking him up on the fact. Good stuff.

Theirs is a radical view of our role in the world. The President who campaigned on a platform of a humble foreign policy has instead begun implementing a foreign policy characterized by dominance, arrogance and intimidation. The tidal wave of support and goodwill that engulfed us after the tragedy of 9/11 has dried up and been replaced by undercurrents of distrust, skepticism and hostility by many who had been among our closest allies.


When did we become a nation of fear and anxiety when we were once known the world around as a land of hope and liberty?

On day one of a Dean Presidency, I will reverse this attitude. I will tear up the Bush Doctrine. And I will steer us back into the company of the community of nations where we will exercise moral leadership once again.

And not only will I seek to heal the divisions this President has caused in the world community, but I would also begin the process of healing the divisions he has exploited here at home.

This President shamelessly divides us from one another. He divides us by race ? as he did when he claimed that the University of Michigan uses quotas in its law school admissions. He divides us by class by rewarding his campaign donors with enormous tax cuts while the rest of us are deprived of affordable health care, prescription drugs for our seniors, and good schools for our kids. He divides us by gender by seeking to restrict reproductive choice for women. He divides us by sexual orientation by appointing reactionary judges to the bench, and as he did in Texas by refusing to sign the Hate Crimes bill if it included gay or lesbian Americans as potential victims.

It is a Bush Doctrine of domestic division, and I want to be the President who tears that doctrine up, too. I want to restore a sense of community in this country.

The whole article is archived below.

Published on Thursday, April 17, 2003 by CommonDreams.org

Bush: It's Not Just His Doctrine That's Wrong
by Howard Dean

[Note: After reading a recent article that called into question my opposition to the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war, I wanted to state my position clearly to set the record straight. I appreciate that the editors of Common Dreams have given me this opportunity.]

When Congress approved the President?s authorization to go to war in Iraq ? no matter how well-intentioned ? it was giving the green light to the President to set his Doctrine of preemptive war in motion. It now appears that Iraq was just the first step. Already, the Bush Administration is apparently eyeing Syria and Iran as the next countries on its target list. The Bush Doctrine must be stopped here.

Many in Congress who voted for this resolution should have known better. On September 23, 2002, Al Gore cautioned in his speech in San Francisco that ?if the Congress approves the Iraq resolution just proposed by the Administration it is simultaneously creating the precedent for preemptive action anywhere, anytime this or any future president so decides.? And that is why it was such a big mistake for Congress to allow the president to set this dangerous precedent.

Too much is at stake. We have taken decades of consensus on the conduct of foreign policy ? bipartisan consensus in the United States and consensus among our allies in the world community ? and turned it on its head. It could well take decades to repair the damage this President and his cohort of right-wing ideological advisors have done to our standing in the international community.

Theirs is a radical view of our role in the world. The President who campaigned on a platform of a humble foreign policy has instead begun implementing a foreign policy characterized by dominance, arrogance and intimidation. The tidal wave of support and goodwill that engulfed us after the tragedy of 9/11 has dried up and been replaced by undercurrents of distrust, skepticism and hostility by many who had been among our closest allies.

This unilateral approach to foreign policy is a disaster. All of the challenges facing the United States ? from winning the war on terror and containing weapons of mass destruction to building an open world economy and protecting the global environment ? can only be met by working with our allies. A renegade, go-it-alone approach will be doomed to failure, because these challenges know no boundaries.

The largest, most sophisticated military in the history of the world cannot eliminate the threat of sleeper terrorist cells. That task requires the highest level of intelligence cooperation with our allies.

Even the largest, most sophisticated military in the history of the world cannot be expected to go to war against every evil dictator who may possess chemical weapons. This calls for an aggressive and effective diplomatic effort, conducted in full cooperation with a united international community, and preferably with the backing of the multilateral institutions we helped to build for just this purpose. This challenge requires treaties ? such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty ? that this Administration has sometimes treated cavalierly. In any case, war should be a last resort or an option to be used in the face of an imminent threat.

The UN Charter specifically protects the right of self-defense against armed attack, and most agree that action against imminent threat is also justified. As President ? as has been the case with all previous presidents ? I would not hesitate to use our military might to protect our people or our nation from an imminent threat. But you will not find a Dean Administration turning to the option of force in the first instance as this President does.

The immediate task at hand of the next president will be to begin rebuilding our relationships with our allies so that we can work in concert on tackling these challenges.

The next president will need to undo the work of this band of radicals currently controlling our foreign policy ? who view the Middle East as a laboratory for their experiments in democracy-building, where no such traditions exist. Their approach will drastically change the view that the world has had of the United States.

Our nation should be viewed as a moral and just power, a power that seeks to do good, one that has led by example and with a spirit of generosity, and one that works with the world community in advancing the ideals of human dignity and rule of law across the globe.

The people of this country must understand that this Administration has a far different concept of the role of America in the world. This concept involves imposing our will on sovereign nations. This concept involves dismantling the multilateral institutions that we have spent decades building. And this concept involves distorting the rule of law to suit their narrow purposes. When did we become a nation of fear and anxiety when we were once known the world around as a land of hope and liberty?

On day one of a Dean Presidency, I will reverse this attitude. I will tear up the Bush Doctrine. And I will steer us back into the company of the community of nations where we will exercise moral leadership once again.

And not only will I seek to heal the divisions this President has caused in the world community, but I would also begin the process of healing the divisions he has exploited here at home.

This President shamelessly divides us from one another. He divides us by race ? as he did when he claimed that the University of Michigan uses quotas in its law school admissions. He divides us by class by rewarding his campaign donors with enormous tax cuts while the rest of us are deprived of affordable health care, prescription drugs for our seniors, and good schools for our kids. He divides us by gender by seeking to restrict reproductive choice for women. He divides us by sexual orientation by appointing reactionary judges to the bench, and as he did in Texas by refusing to sign the Hate Crimes bill if it included gay or lesbian Americans as potential victims.

It is a Bush Doctrine of domestic division, and I want to be the President who tears that doctrine up, too. I want to restore a sense of community in this country ? where it?s not enough to worry whether your own kids have health care, but whether your neighbors? kids have health care. I want to go to the South and talk about race. White southerners have been flocking to the Republican Party in recent years, but I want to offer them hope that their children will benefit from better schools and affordable health care, too. The Republican Party has done nothing for working people, black or white, and we need to remind Southern white folks that the only hope for better schools, and better job opportunities, and health care that is affordable is a Democratic President.

I am what is commonly referred to as a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. I am proud of the fact that as Governor I routinely balanced the budget ? which I was not required to do by Vermont?s constitution ? and paid down our state debt by nearly a quarter. I had to make tough decisions, and I will admit that some of them did not make the progressive community happy. But I made those decisions because I have a guiding principle that social justice must rest upon a foundation of fiscal discipline. Because of that approach to governance, Vermont today is not cutting education and is not cutting Medicaid despite the perilous economic times brought on by the Bush fiscal policies.

One of my goals as a Presidential candidate is to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party ? a line made popular by the late Paul Wellstone. Some have questioned why I would so closely align myself with a politician whose politics were considerably more liberal than mine. The fact is that I admired Paul Wellstone greatly, not only because of his politics, but because he stood up for his beliefs and fought for them until the day he died. I can only hope that someday people will say the same about me ? that I, too, remained true to my core principles no matter what. I believe that the Democratic Party needs to stand for something if we want people to vote for us. And by standing against the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war and domestic division, we may yet rediscover the soul of our Party.

Posted by Abe at 01:19 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

April 17, 2003

Your Privacy is Now Sponsored By Doubleclick, If You Wish to Opt Out Please Uncheck Your Passport and Leave the Country

Whiskey Bar informs us that we have a new privacy bar. Former lawyer for Doubleclick, an online ad company that wants to collect data on all your browsing habits, and has the tech to do it. Great. If there is anything resembling an upside then I suppose its the fact that she didn't come from an industry that could have existed in the 19th century like the majority of the Bush appointees. I would have expected them to get a Pinkerton to handle privacy...

BTW Billmon's Whiskey Bar is rapidly becoming my favorite political blog. Excellent blend of high quality info, opinion and much needed humor.

Posted by Abe at 10:12 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

O'Reilly on the Near Future

Tim O'Reilly's Inventing the Future is an excellent essay on the near future of technology. Its got a level of detail and practicality missing from most similar speculation, good stuff.

[via Based on a True Story]

Posted by Abe at 10:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 16, 2003

Lunch With Sharda Sekaran of the Drug Policy Alliance

Going to try a page out of the Joi Ito handbook and blog lunch. Plus is a good excuse to use the free wireless in Bryant Park. Had lunch with Sharda Sekaran of the excellent Drug Policy Alliance. Talked mainly about the global politics of imperialism and the way the current administration is handling things. the DPA is shifting towards more of Think Tank model, with some libertarian leanings at the expense of its focus on social justice issues. Be interesting to see how that shift plays out.

If there is one up shot to the way Bush and co have let the economy fall apart and abandoned the states to deal with their budget crisis themselves it might be better drug policy. The current draconian drug laws in America are costing the states huge amounts of money. Sad to think, but it might be economic desperation not reason that gets them to change their policies.

Posted by Abe at 04:44 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

April 15, 2003

Cons vs Neocons: A Growing Discord?

MyDD: Fallout has a couple of nice instances of discord among the conservatives. Lets hope this grows enough to shatter the tactical unity they've been enjoying in recent elections. Favorite quote is Eagleburger:

If George Bush [Jnr] decided he was going to turn the troops loose on Syria and Iran after that he would last in office for about 15 minutes. In fact if President Bush were to try that now even I would think that he ought to be impeached. You can't get away with that sort of thing in this democracy.

Wonder if he's thinking he's got better job prospects in a Democratic White House then he does in the current. Nevermind that he's probably ancient and in no need of work. Guess that's the radical side coming out in the neocons
like old communists they are upsetting the old conservatives. Be funny if it wasn't so damn upsetting. If I become president, be sure to remind me to wake Osama out of retirement, so he can bomb me a carte blanche to do whatever I want in DC. And for those .arpanet and .mil people who periodically visit this that's a joke, get it.

Posted by Abe at 01:08 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Is There A History to The Evil in the Washington?

How neoconservatives conquered Washington -- and launched a war raises far more questions then it answers. I've heard many times that the neocons where originally Trotskyists, but never have seen the story laid out. If its even true, that is. And if its true it should be documented someplace. Anyone have any pointers?

Posted by Abe at 12:35 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

April 14, 2003

Will T-Mobile ever get it?

T minus 1 year and counting. Been over a year now that Starbucks has been offering 3rd party wireless internet. Forgot the initial company name, but the service is run by T-Mobile now. And its a case study on how not to attract customers.

Would you rather rip off one customer or have 10 happy customers? T-Mobile apparently wants the former. From the get go the Starbucks wireless service had 2 pay options. Pay by the minute at super sized prices or unlimited access provided you commit to a year contract. What's missing is a middle ground, the space where all most all their target market lies. People's need for wireless internet comes in bursts, on random trips where they don't have access in an office or hotel. And when they have need for access they want it to be unlimited. If T-Mobile offered day passes for $10, weeks for $20 and months for $30 they'd be racking up customers. Instead they rack up animosity. I've paid them at times, but each time I do I hate them more. And I sure don't recommend them to people.

Writing this up now because for a second I thought T-Mobile had learned. They finally offered a month to month option for a sort of reasonable $40 I only need a week but I almost paid up, it make this week a bit smoother. Until I saw the $25 cancellation fee. WTF? What is the point of a monthly option if you get penalized for only taking a monthly. Could have easily bought 3 or 4 months scattered through this year at $40 a pop. Instead I'll be taking my business else where, thank you.

And just for google let me add that T-Mobile sucks.

Posted by Abe at 04:20 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

April 13, 2003

Real Time Overload: CNN Under fire in Tikrit

Whoa, whoa in the midst of a realtime reality + data overload. Flying from SF to NY, Jet Blue, watching CNN, live via satellite from Tikrit. Brent Sadler venturing outside of western controlled Iraq and heading in Saddam's hometown of Tikrit. Crazy stuff as gripping and tense as any movie. If you haven't heard yet Sadler was lead into Tikrit after hearing that it was no longer under Saddam's control. After one tense encounter, he was shot at while leaving the city. Watching live was intense, a long calm as he explored abandoned military complexes on the outskirts of the town. Then a raw and frightening race away from machine gun fire. CNN had an armed guard actually firing back, is that a violation of journalistic ethics.

Crazy thing to watch, and watching it live on an airplane high over Wyoming made it stranger still. Complete satellite overload. And now I'm typing this into my phone to make it even close to the edge of the datasphere. Just a small taste of a strange future my friends.

Posted by Abe at 12:06 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 11, 2003

That Strange Home of Mine

Chris Bishop - Fine Art has a bunch of photos from the last openning at my current (for a day more) home in San Francisco, the Culture Cache Gallery. Yep I get to wake up to all that art. Nope I don't curate the shows (this last one was guest curated by the excellent Jeff Soto). Be there 12-5 tomorrow, Saturday, if you want to check out the show. Packing off for NY right after that. Not sure if or when I'll be living in the gallery again, but its been and interesting experience.

And for those that don't know I'm in the midst of nomadic experiment. When I leave town my life fits in one carry-on bag. Expands to about one closet + one desk when I settle down for more then a week or so. Going on two years living this way. Is it normal? Not in this day and age, but you know what William Gibson said about the future being unevenly distributed...

[via the Reverse Cowgirl]

Posted by Abe at 11:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Apple Buying Universal Music?

Forbes.com: Apple Wants Vivendi To Dance. I don't know what to say, could be suicide on Jobs' part, or it could be brilliance. Maybe they have the answer to digital music distribution. Maybe they just want to make sure Microsoft won't impose their own brand of DRM on everyone. Or maybe Apple just wants take a dive together with all major labels.

Its just a rumor of course. The markets are dumping Apple because of it. Personally I think its a solid bet. I've always maintained that the labels have serious value beyond their current business model. So even if the industry tanks there is value to be salvaged. And if any prominent CEO is going to know the way to do it, I'd be betting on Jobs.

Be watching this one with interest.

Posted by Abe at 04:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Republicans Vote Racism

How low can they get? The Republican Party was the party of Lincoln. I know its hard to believe in this day and age, and it just got even harder:

Yesterday's debate suddenly veered from guns to race when Cubin criticized a failed Democratic amendment that would have banned gun sales to drug addicts or people in drug treatment. After noting that her sons, ages 25 and 30, "are blond-haired and blue-eyed," she said: "One amendment today said we could not sell guns to anybody under drug treatment. So does that mean that if you go into a black community you can't sell any guns to any black person?"

Rep. Melvin Watt (D-N.C.), who is black, interrupted and demanded that Cubin retract the statement. Cubin said that she did not mean to offend her "neighbors" on the Democratic side, and maintained that her comment was within House rules.

Watt was not satisfied. "She needs to apologize for using words that are offensive for the entire African American race," he said. He demanded Cubin's comment be "taken down," meaning it was inappropriate for a House debate. In a largely party-line vote, the GOP-controlled House voted 227 to 195 to uphold the chair's ruling that the remark fell within House rules.

In other words the entire Republican party in the House of Reps just voted in favor of racism. Disgusting.

Debate on Gun Rights In House Turns Racial (washingtonpost.com) is the reference.

[via dailyKos]

Posted by Abe at 04:46 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 10, 2003

Cultural Migrations in New York City

The Migration of Hipsters Along the L Line: An Independent Study

[via Gawker]

Posted by Abe at 04:36 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 09, 2003

Social Excess (Software)

The excesses of "Social Software" rings really true with me. Choice quote:

But there's something about the abandonment of concepts of 'online community' and the complete rejection of familiar terms and paradigms like the message board that worries me. There seems to be a bizarre lack of history to the whole enterprise - a desire to claim a territory as unexplored when it's patently not. And more importantly a remarkable lack of implementation and experiment around the place.

Agree completely, there is a feeling as if the theorists and idle chatters are running in one direction and the coders in another. Lots of talk, and a bunch of experiments from the coders, but not that much useful stuff yet. There is definitely a regression of sorts, the current blog driven communities are actually less cohesive then the old school message board ones.

What I think is happening at the moment is a case of taking a step or two backward in order to progress forward. Blogs have some serious advantages over boards, they promote high quality writing, archive better, and are far more standards compliant. But they also are significantly more ego driven then boards, and the conversations that arise are scattershot and often hard to follow. And as a result I think there are few conversations per community member, a fact that has been offset by the continued growth of the community.

I think we'll be seeing a resurgence of the bulletin board soon in the blogsphere. Already sites like Daily Kos and the Agonist are switching over to bulletin board systems for their comments. And I have a feeling a good way to integrate blogs, RSS, and bulletin boards is going to emerge soon. Or at least I hope it will.

Posted by Abe at 07:06 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Peace Americana

I'm an American, no doubt about it. I was born here and lived here for all but a year of my life. America represents a lot of things I'm proud of and some I'm not. I'm not a big fan of nationalism, but I still love this country, despite all that Bush and friends have done lately. Been pretty disturbing since S11 to see just how much the anti-war movement is willing to hand over the American Flag to the conservatives. Waving a flag is almost like being pro-war. And that's fucked up.

The American Peace Sign flag is my favorite response to the co-option of the flag by the right wing. It simultaneously promotes a support for America and support for peace. As my small contribution to spreading the meme, here is vector version of the peace flag. Its an Illustrator 10 .ai file so its really for designers only, but if anyone wants other versions just email me. And yeah feel free to do whatever you want with the file. If you improve it at all, be cool to get sent a copy, but there are no restrictions.


Posted by Abe at 03:50 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Topic: New Media Art

Channel 'new_media_art' is a new topic at Topic Exchange. Set up by the one Ethan Eismann. Be interesting to see how it develops.

Personally I have some reservations on Topic Exchange. Too impersonal. No editing. People want their information served up in a friendly manner, and the best way to do that is customize the design to the topic. Templates seem to be in the works for Topic Exchange, but I'm not sure that's enough. I think the concept is cool, but it needs to be decentralized so that people can fully customize their topic channels or whatever they will be called. And they need to be able to edit who can post. Otherwise the signal to noise will destroy all topics as soon as the spammers discover the concept. Plus editing equals vastly higher quality.

All coming soon I think, but I'm not sure Topic Exchange will be the enabler.

Posted by Abe at 02:23 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

April 06, 2003

Weblogs Information & Society

Weblogs, Information, and Society. Berkeley. April 10. 6pm. 9pm.

Posted by Abe at 11:44 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Invade Tile Space

The Space Invader comes from France. Graffiti continues to evolve and this maybe my favorite manifestation. Mosiac tiles as graf. Hot shit. Worldwide.

I'm going to take a wild guess say that at least half the painters and illustrators under 30 in America were involved in graffiti to some extent. I'm sitting in Culture Cache right now, looking at Robots Have Feelings Too. Great show, and the graffiti influence pulses throughout it. It'll pulse even stronger in a few days at the Barnstormers opening at Punch Gallery. Creativity grows on the street.

Posted by Abe at 07:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 04, 2003

Before I Stop Loving My Country


Posted by Abe at 10:50 PM | Comments (37) | TrackBack

April 03, 2003

The Onion as Nostradamus

Right at the beginning of Bush's Presidency the Onion had a piece called Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'. Scarily they were all too right.

Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over."

"My fellow Americans," Bush said, "at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us."

and a bit later

During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

Posted by Abe at 10:42 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Moblog: On

The First International Moblogging Conference has a date. July 5 in Tokyo. Props to Adam for putting it together. Now if I can just figure out a way to get there...

Posted by Abe at 07:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Googlewashing Democracy?

The Register has an interesting article on the "Googlewashing" of the 2nd Superpower. Describes how quickly the phrase the 2nd Superpower went from being used to describe the protesting masses and switched to the blogging masses. Definitely shows how blogs can get overweighted in Google current Page Rank algorithm. But its also way premature in its critique. For one Google constantly tweaks its algorithm and more importantly a quick Google bleep is not a signal of a permanent trend. If the author's preferred use of the term has real roots its going to continue spreading, online and off. And over time Google should reflect this. $20 that Google's results balance out in a month or two. Or perhaps ironically this article will come up first...

Posted by Abe at 05:03 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Good Propaganda pt 2

Keep them coming

Posted by Abe at 02:29 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

2004 Strategies - part 1 of ?

CalPundit has a good post on strategies for the Democrats in 2004. Most intriguing are: 1 - Gay rights and 2 - a 1964 Barry Goldwater strategy.

Gay rights is interesting. As Calpundit points out there is a 30 trend of increase acceptance of gays in America. Has it passed the tipping point where the acceptance outweighs kneejerk homophobia? Definitely close, but it merits further investigation. Drug policy reform, especially with marijuana is a similar issue with an even stronger case behind it I think. Is there an American born after WWII who hasn't smoke a joint?

The Barry Goldwater strategy is potent as well. Don't know much about it but CalPundit claims "Lyndon Johnson beat Barry Goldwater in 1964 by making him look like he was set to plunge us into World War III". Considering Bush and Co are running things on fear and loathing, if the Democrats go figure out a way to make this approach work they could be in really good shape. End the bloodlust and paranoia, that's exactly what the country (and the stock market) needs.

Posted by Abe at 02:08 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

April 02, 2003

The Quality of Information Increases?

Demand for news pushes web traffic to record levels

Posted by Abe at 11:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

On a Mission From God to Ruin Us All

"Bush believes he was called by God to lead the nation at this time, says Commerce Secretary Don Evans, a close friend who talks with Bush every day."

This is one scary fucking article. As Bush might say, will God help us all...

[Via Daily Kos]

Posted by Abe at 07:04 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack