Friday, September 29, 2006

Nationwide Protest Forming NOW!

In light of today's sickening, criminal events in the US Senate (re:
legalizing torture) and US House of Representatives (legalizing
Bush's ILLEGAL wire-tap program) it is again time to take to the
streets my friends.

Aside from the resistance we're already involved in against the Bush Regiem,
(thank you) and from the tremendous fatigue we all feel as this
nightmare only ever seems to get worse, we need to stand with our
friends, family, neighbors & co-workers in this battle for the soul
of our country.

We need to again fill the streets of our cities and
towns with signs and banners and shouts of resistance. We will not
go "quietly into this dark night" that the right wing radical
rapturists are trying to take us. Join me in doing this:

October 5, 2006
World Can't Wait

Find a protest near you HERE

Send this information to everyone you know and love. We're in this together, and that is how we'll win our country back from these madmen.

To share your opinion on this or any other post, please click the word "COMMENTS" below.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

ACTION ITEM: Congressional Cowards & Fools!

TRAGIC UPDATE: The Senate caved and shockingly 12 Democrats voted in favor OF TORTURE! They are:
Carper (Del.), Johnson (S.D.), Landrieu (La.), Lautenberg (N.J.), Lieberman (Conn.), Menendez (N.J), Nelson (Fla.), Nelson (Neb.), Pryor (Ark.), Rockefeller (W. Va.), Salazar (Co.), Stabenow (Mich.)Read more here

Dear Readers, I'm deeply angered, and saddened to have to report that yesterday, 34 Democrats joined all but 7 Republicans in "the people's" House of Congress to authorize the torture of prisoners. HR 6166

That's right 34 Democrats and 219 Republicans, voted to let President George W. Bush override the Geneva Conventions and the US Constitution regarding the treatment and rights of prisoners in our custody. If passed the Senate compromise bill would,
...repudiate a half-century of international precedent by allowing Mr. Bush to decide on his own what abusive interrogation methods he considered permissible. And his decision could stay secret — there’s no requirement that this list be published. New York Times

Congress Decides © Roberta Loach 2006
S.3930, the Senate version of this disgusting violation of our most basic Democratic tenants, is currently on the Senate Floor, (as of 4:31PM PST Thursday September 28, 2006). Several proposed ammendments by a few brave Democrats, have failed. I don't know when the vote on the main bill will occur but we'd better make DAMN sure every Democrat in the Senate votes NO!

If passed this heinous bill would:

...establish a military court system to prosecute terror suspects, a response to the Supreme Court ruling last June that Congress' blessing was necessary. While the bill would grant defendants more legal rights than they had under the administration's old system, it nevertheless would eliminate rights usually granted in civilian and military courts. New York Times

Does it piss you off? Does it make you sick? Do you want to stop it?
Fax both your Senators IMMEDIATELY

Bringing Democracy to the Middle East © Roberta Loach 2006

Secondly, You'll find a list of the spineless, fearful, right-wing pandering DINOs, (Democrats in Name Only) who voted yes on this assault on the US Constitution HERE. If you recognize anyone from your state, smack them upside-the-head with a piece of YOUR mind. Let them know, in no uncertain terms, what you think of their vote on this bill.

Does it piss you off? Does it make you sick? Do you want to stop it?
Fax both your Senators IMMEDIATELY

They All Feast Together in the Same Trough © Roberta Loach 2006

If you don't want these "cowards and fools" to get away with these fraudulent changes in our legally allowed treatment of other human beings, help stop this from happening:

Enemy Combatants: A dangerously broad definition of “illegal enemy combatant” in the bill could subject legal residents of the United States, as well as foreign citizens living in their own countries, to summary arrest and indefinite detention with no hope of appeal. The president could give the power to apply this label to anyone he wanted. New York Times

Habeas Corpus: Detainees in U.S. military prisons would lose the basic right to challenge their imprisonment. These cases do not clog the courts, nor coddle terrorists. They simply give wrongly imprisoned people a chance to prove their innocence.

Judicial Review: The courts would have no power to review any aspect of this new system, except verdicts by military tribunals. The bill would limit appeals and bar legal actions based on the Geneva Conventions, directly or indirectly. All Mr. Bush would have to do to lock anyone up forever is to declare him an illegal combatant and not have a trial.

Coerced Evidence: Coerced evidence would be permissible if a judge considered it reliable — already a contradiction in terms — and relevant. Coercion is defined in a way that exempts anything done before the passage of the 2005 Detainee Treatment Act, and anything else Mr. Bush chooses.

Secret Evidence: American standards of justice prohibit evidence and testimony that is kept secret from the defendant, whether the accused is a corporate executive or a mass murderer. But the bill as redrafted by Mr. Cheney seems to weaken protections against such evidence.

Offenses: The definition of torture is unacceptably narrow, a virtual reprise of the deeply cynical memos the administration produced after 9/11. Rape and sexual assault are defined in a retrograde way that covers only forced or coerced activity, and not other forms of nonconsensual sex. The bill would effectively eliminate the idea of rape as torture. New York Times
Does it piss you off? Does it make you sick? Do you want to stop it?

Fax both your Senators IMMEDIATELY

Don't be an American who shirks from your most basic civic duty like these folks. War is not a television "Reality Show" it's just plain old reality and must be faced and processed accordingly:

War Games No. 1 © Roberta Loach 2006

Please respect the work of the artists you see here and be sure to credit them when you share their artwork with others.

To share your opinion on this or any other post, please click the word "COMMENTS" below.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

California Screaming: Who's My Candidate for Governor Again?

Almost everything I read about the Governor's race in California is about the Republican candidate, either for or against him. Granted it's tough to get some attention if your opponent is an over-exposed, vain, Hollywood movie star but it's not impossible.

Phil Angelides, Democratic Candidate for Governor of California, 2006
As linguist George Lakoff has often pointed out, "Negating a frame evokes the frame." In other words, you can't fight a candidate by naming him all the time. If you do, you're basically giving your opponent free publicity and that's exactly what Democrat Phil Angelides' campaign has been doing. That is why so many of my fellow progressives, when asked, have no idea what Angelides stands for or what his platform is. In fact some of them don't even know who he is!?! Therefore, so that you know what and who you're voting FOR I'm going to present your candidate for Governor to you:

Phil Angelides, Democratic Candidate
for Governor of California, 2006

If a politician doesn't define him/herself their opponent will, with glee. I won't repeat any of what the Republicans say about Angelides because that would, "evoke their frame". I won't show you images of their candidate with "poisonous" Republicans because that too will "evoke their frame". The only way Phil Angelides can win the governorship of the great state of California is by evoking his own frame of success and hope.

Phil Angelides, Democratic Candidate
for Governor of California, 2006

The images and words that Angelides needs to get out into the public realm, AND QUICK, are of him being effective, him being different than his opponent, and him being human and connecting with us through the TV screen. It's actually not too late for Angelides to do this, in fact it's just the right time but I don't know if his campaign consultants, and the Dem leaders in California even understand what's going wrong here.

1) When running a campaign against a well-established, popular movie star, don't give him free airtime. If anyone DOESN'T need more airtime it's Angelides' opponent.

2) SHOW, (not talk about) your executive experience, your fundamental differences from the Republican candidate, and your successes in ways that clearly explain to voters how they will benefit from you being governor. How did Angelides save Californians money while State Treasurer? How did he protect our hard-earned money? What will he do to expand these efforts? This must be SHOWN in clear visual terms, not explained by wonkish policy blather.

Phil Angelides receiving Statewide Community Development Affordable Housing Award from Mutual Housing

3) BE HUMAN! Howard Dean showed how quickly this honesty can endear a candidate to his/her supporters. Being human in the context of a political campaign means understanding the people who you want voting for you and connecting with them in a honest, social way. If voters find you aloof, unavailable, unoriginal, reserved, inauthentic in any way they'll reject you.

Phil Angelides, campaigning with his daughters, 2006

4) Express your policies in clear, succinct terms, not as being anti-the-other-guy policies but by showing how you will help ME, the voter, protect my home/family/job, and increase my prosperity/security/comfort. This is a very good start:
Friends, progressives, members of the labor movement, it is time for us to stand up and it is time for us to stand together. But, unfortunately, instead of leading the fight for our progressive values, I see too many in full retreat, bending to the politics of the moment rather than doing what is right for California. My friends, that's not what I'm going to do, that's not what we're going to do. We're going to stand up for our beliefs.

The belief in an economy and society that includes everybody, not just the privileged few; the belief in an education system that embodies excellence, that gives true meaning to the promise of expanding opportunity; the belief that all workers have a fundamental right to living wages and safe working conditions; the belief that every child and every family in California ought to be able to see a doctor when they are sick.

And the belief that our most sacred obligation as Californians, as Americans, is to build a better future for our children.

Now, sometimes the right is so much on the offensive, we forget to be proud of who we are. We should always be proud that progressives and labor have led this country's greatest economic expansions. From Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Bill Clinton we have consistently proven that when we invest in the future, when we expand opportunity, when we strengthen the middle class, our entire society prospers. And when we do these things, the people stand with us.

These basic values stand in stark contrast to the agenda now being advanced by Republican politicians from Sacramento to Washington. The constant din raised by Republican leaders about taxation, deregulation, worker demands, the labeling of this great and historic movement as a special interest has obscured the insidious threat that their policies pose to the working men and women of America. What has been lost in this din is a creeping corrosive change in the very fabric and culture of our state and nation.

This nation's success, California's success, has always been based on the fervent belief that if we reinvest back in the society, we will create sustained wealth for future generations.

-Phil Angelides speaking to the Building & Construction Trades Council

Phil Angelides, Democratic Candidate for Governor of California, (Espanol) 2006

But listen, don't just vote for Angelides because he's not-the-other-guy, (or because I advise it), vote for him because he's going to be a much better governor. Decide for yourself if that's true, watch and listen to his own words here:

Video of Phil Angelides environmental speech in San Francisco:
Part 1
Part 2

Video of Phil Angelides regarding energy problems:

Video of Phil Angelides on judicial diversity:

Monday, September 25, 2006

Talking the Walk: Part 1

Today I'm featuring some excellent text from one of the nation's few progressive Think Tanks, the Rockridge Institute, and exhibiting some more of Art Hazelwood's wonderful prints. The text excerpts are from linguist George Lakoff's new book, Thinking Points: Communicating Our American Values and Vision, A Progressive's Handbook.

You can download the entire first chapter, and more, at their website. This is a very useful manual for clear thinking and communication that progressives need to learn to use, and propagate. Read it, think on it, share it around your personal community and work it, work it, work it!

For progressives to succeed in taking back this country, we need to stay true to our values and communicate them effectively. To accomplish this mission, we need to be aware of the traps that have often tripped up progressives in the past

Six of the Twelve Traps to Avoid:

1. The Issue Trap

We hear it said all the time: Progressives won't unite behind any set of ideas. We all have different ideas and care about different issues. The truth is that progressives do agree at the level of values and that there is a real basis for progressive unity. Progressive values cut across issues. So do principles and forms of argument. Conservatives argue conservatism, no matter what the issue. Progressives should argue progressivism. We need to get out of issue silos that isolate arguments and keep us from the values and principles that define an overall progressive vision.

The News Consumer © Art Hazelwood 2001

2. The Poll Trap

Many progressives slavishly follow polls. The job of leaders is to lead, not follow. Besides, contrary to popular belief, polls in themselves do not present accurate empirical evidence. Polls are only as accurate as the framing of their questions, which is often inadequate. Real leaders don't use polls to find out what positions to take; they lead people to new positions.

3. The Laundry List Trap

Progressives tend to believe that people vote on the basis of lists of programs and policies. In fact, people vote based on values, connection, authenticity, trust, and identity.

It Can't Happen Here © Art Hazelwood 2000

4. The Rationalism Trap

There is a commonplace--and false--theory that reason is completely conscious, literal (applies directly to the objective world), logical, universal, and unemotional. Cognitive science has shown that every one of these assumptions is false. These assumptions lead progressives into other traps: assuming that hard facts will persuade voters, that voters are "rational" and vote in their self-interest and on the issues, and that negating a frame is an effective way to argue against it.

America: A Prophecy © Art Hazelwood 1998

5. The No-Framing-Necessary Trap

Progressives often argue that "truth doesn't need to be framed" and that the "facts speak for themselves." People use frames--deep-seated mental structures about how the world works--to understand facts. Frames are in our brains and define our common sense. It is impossible to think or communicate without activating frames, and so which frame is activated is of crucial importance. Truths need to be framed appropriately to be seen as truths. Facts need a context.

6. The Policies-Are-Values Trap

Progressives regularly mistake policies with values, which are ethical ideas like empathy, responsibility, fairness, freedom, justice, and so on. Policies are not themselves values, though they are, or should be, based on values. Thus, Social Security and universal health insurance are not values; they are policies meant to reflect and codify the values of human dignity, the common good, fairness, and equality.

America: Safety Net © Art Hazelwood 2001

Please respect the work of the artists you see here and be sure to credit them when you share their artwork with others.

To share your opinion on this or any other post, please click the word "COMMENTS" below.

Friday, September 22, 2006

With Us Or Agin' Us

With Us or Agin' Us © Emily Duffy 2006
Photo by Siblia Savage

"With Us or Agin' Us" is the title of the first political sculpture I created back in 2002. It was in response to this quote by President Bush:

At the beginning of this war, I made it very clear -- as clear as a fellow from Texas could make it -- either you're with us or you're against us.
-George W. Bush, Fayetteville, North Carolina, Mar. 15, 2002 (Source)

This attitude, filled with arrogance, bravado, and self-righteousness has become an all too familiar mentality from our "leader" and his administration. Worst of all, it's a failing policy yet until we can remove these greedy monsters from government office we make little progress stopping their devilish plans for the world.

The sculpture's base is a battered Soviet Union era globe with small maps of Texas covering every land mass on earth. The globe hangs by a noose made out of American flag printed fabric. the noose hangs from a flagpole collaged with news headlines about our government's imposition of the so-called Bush Doctrine upon the world.

This strategic plan for basically taking over the world is actually the creation of former White House advisors Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Pearle. Neither of these right wing think tankers remains on staff in the Bush Administration yet their calculated plan for American imperialism lives on.

With Us or Agin' Us © Emily Duffy 2006
Photo by Siblia Savage

The Bush Doctrine promotes the following key points (original version):
Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to general global power.


While the U.S. cannot become the world's policeman, by assuming responsibility for righting every wrong, we will retain the preeminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs which threaten not only our interests, but those of our allies or friends, or which could seriously unsettle international relations.


In the Middle East and Southwest Asia, our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside power in the region and preserve U.S. and Western access to the region's oil.

With Us or Agin' Us © Emily Duffy 2006
Photo by Siblia Savage

Any of that sound familiar? Keep in mind this plan was written in 1995 (a period still in the shadows of the Cold War). This plan, over a decade old, was instituted with very little change to it's original thesis. This plan, the disastrous results of which splash across our television screens each night, must be stopped.

You can read the entire 90-page "Rebuilding Americas Defenses" from Project for a New American Century here. It explains exactly what the radical right wing leadership of our government is doing. Understanding their plan is the first step to stopping it.

This, in his clumsy self-aggrandizing way, is what Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was talking about at the UN two days ago when he said,

The devil is right at home. The devil, the devil himself, is right in the house. "And the devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the devil came here. Right here." [crosses himself] "And it smells of sulfur still today.

Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly. As the owner of the world.

I think we could call a psychiatrist to analyze yesterday's statement made by the president of the United States. As the spokesman of imperialism, he came to share his nostrums, to try to preserve the current pattern of domination, exploitation and pillage of the peoples of the world. Source

With Us or Agin' Us © Emily Duffy 2006
Photo by Siblia Savage

Please respect the work of the artists you see here and be sure to credit them when you share their artwork with others.

To share your opinion on this or any other post, please click the word "COMMENTS" below.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

THIS is What a News "Man" Looks Like!

Fearless MSNBC columnist
Keith Olbermann

Our day's
Edward R. Murrow
, had this to say on September 18, 2006:

Bush owes us an apology

The President of the United States owes this country an apology.

It will not be offered, of course.

He does not realize its necessity.

There are now none around him who would tell him or could.

The last of them, it appears, was the very man whose letter provoked the President into the conduct, for which the apology is essential.

An apology is this President's only hope of regaining the slightest measure of confidence, of what has been, for nearly two years, a clear majority of his people.

Not "confidence" in his policies nor in his designs nor even in something as narrowly focused as which vision of torture shall prevail -- his, or that of the man who has sent him into apoplexy, Colin Powell.

In a larger sense, the President needs to regain our confidence, that he has some basic understanding of what this country represents -- of what it must maintain if we are to defeat not only terrorists, but if we are also to defeat what is ever more increasingly apparent, as an attempt to re-define the way we live here, and what we mean, when we say the word "freedom."

Because it is evident now that, if not its architect, this President intends to be the contractor, for this narrowing of the definition of freedom.

The President revealed this last Friday, as he fairly spat through his teeth, words of unrestrained fury directed at the man who was once the very symbol of his administration, who was once an ambassador from this administration to its critics, as he had once been an ambassador from the military to its critics.

The former Secretary of State, Mr. Powell, had written, simply and candidly and without anger, that "the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism."

This President's response included not merely what is apparently the Presidential equivalent of threatening to hold one's breath, but within it contained one particularly chilling phrase.

"Mr. President, former Secretary of State Colin Powell says the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism," he was asked by a reporter. "If a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former secretary of state feels this way, don't you think that Americans and the rest of the world are beginning to wonder whether you're following a flawed strategy?"

“If there's any comparison between the compassion and decency of the American people and the terrorist tactics of extremists, it's flawed logic,” Bush said. “It's just -- I simply can't accept that. It's unacceptable to think that there's any kind of comparison between the behavior of the United States of America and the action of Islamic extremists who kill innocent women and children to achieve an objective.

Of course it's acceptable to think that there's "any kind of comparison."

And in this particular debate, it is not only acceptable, it is obviously necessary, even if Mr. Powell never made the comparison in his letter.

Some will think that our actions at Abu Ghraib, or in Guantanamo, or in secret prisons in Eastern Europe, are all too comparable to the actions of the extremists.

Some will think that there is no similarity, or, if there is one, it is to the slightest and most unavoidable of degrees.

What all of us will agree on, is that we have the right -- we have the duty -- to think about the comparison.

And, most importantly, that the other guy, whose opinion about this we cannot fathom, has exactly the same right as we do: to think -- and say -- what his mind and his heart and his conscience tell him, is right.

All of us agree about that.

Except, it seems, this President.

With increasing rage, he and his administration have begun to tell us, we are not permitted to disagree with them, that we cannot be right, that Colin Powell cannot be right.

And then there was that one, most awful phrase.

In four simple words last Friday, the President brought into sharp focus what has been only vaguely clear these past five-and-a-half years - the way the terrain at night is perceptible only during an angry flash of lightning, and then, a second later, all again is dark.

“It's unacceptable to think," he said.

It is never unacceptable to think.

And when a President says thinking is unacceptable, even on one topic, even in the heat of the moment, even in the turning of a phrase extracted from its context, he takes us toward a new and fearful path -- one heretofore the realm of science fiction authors and apocalyptic visionaries.

That flash of lightning freezes at the distant horizon, and we can just make out a world in which authority can actually suggest it has become unacceptable to think.

Thus the lightning flash reveals not merely a President we have already seen, the one who believes he has a monopoly on current truth.

It now shows us a President who has decided that of all our commanders-in-chief, ever, he alone has had the knowledge necessary to alter and re-shape our inalienable rights.

This is a frightening, and a dangerous, delusion, Mr. President.

If Mr. Powell's letter -- cautionary, concerned, predominantly supportive -- can induce from you such wrath and such intolerance, what would you say were this statement to be shouted to you by a reporter, or written to you by a colleague?

"Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government.”

Those incendiary thoughts came, of course, from a prior holder of your job, Mr. Bush.

They were the words of Thomas Jefferson.

He put them in the Declaration of Independence.

Mr. Bush, what would you say to something that anti-thetical to the status quo just now?

Would you call it "unacceptable" for Jefferson to think such things, or to write them?

Between your confidence in your infallibility, sir, and your demonizing of dissent, and now these rages better suited to a thwarted three-year old, you have left the unnerving sense of a White House coming unglued - a chilling suspicion that perhaps we have not seen the peak of the anger; that we can no longer forecast what next will be said to, or about, anyone who disagrees.

Or what will next be done to them.

On this newscast last Friday night, Constitiutional law Professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington University, suggested that at some point in the near future some of the "detainees" transferred from secret CIA cells to Guantanamo, will finally get to tell the Red Cross that they have indeed been tortured.

Thus the debate over the Geneva Conventions, might not be about further interrogations of detainees, but about those already conducted, and the possible liability of the administration, for them.

That, certainly, could explain Mr. Bush's fury.

That, at this point, is speculative.

But at least it provides an alternative possibility as to why the President's words were at such variance from the entire history of this country.

For, there needs to be some other explanation, Mr. Bush, than that you truly believe we should live in a United States of America in which a thought is unacceptable.

There needs to be a delegation of responsible leaders -- Republicans or otherwise -- who can sit you down as Barry Goldwater and Hugh Scott once sat Richard Nixon down - and explain the reality of the situation you have created.

There needs to be an apology from the President of the United States.

And more than one.

But, Mr. Bush, the others -- for warnings unheeded five years ago, for war unjustified four years ago, for battle unprepared three years ago -- they are not weighted with the urgency and necessity of this one.

We must know that, to you, thought with which you disagree -- and even voice with which you disagree and even action with which you disagree -- are still sacrosanct to you.

The philosopher Voltaire once insisted to another author, "I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write." Since the nation's birth, Mr. Bush, we have misquoted and even embellished that statement, but we have served ourselves well, by subscribing to its essence.

Oddly, there are other words of Voltaire's that are more pertinent still, just now.

"Think for yourselves," he wrote, "and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too."

Apologize, sir, for even hinting at an America where a few have that privilege to think and the rest of us get yelled at by the President.

Anything else, Mr. Bush, is truly unacceptable.

Watch Olbermann say it on tape HERE

We need more reporters and leaders with the fearlessness to tell the truth like Olbermann! Bookmark his blog and check it for fresh courage regularly!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Recovering from ArtCar Fest

After four incredible, fun-filled, artistic-oriented days, ArtCar Fest 2006 officially ended last night. I still have 3 houseguests (2 from Minnesota, and 1 from New Jersey) and this morning was being filmed by a camera crew from the Smithsonian so I'm not in the least bit recovered yet. There are costumes, wigs, and hats strewn all around my art studio, there's a mountain of laundry to be done, and it'll be several days before my life is back to "normal". I wanted to at least post a few quick photos from the fest so you could get a small taste of what it was all about.

(NOTE: All ArtCars are copyrighted by their creators. You may use these images only for a non-commercial purposes and need to properly credit the artists. Thanks.)

ArtCar Fest 2006 Day 1
Photo by Ken Duffy

ArtCar artists from all across the U.S. and Canada arrive at our rendezvous-point in San Francisco. This is Fest co-founder Philo Northrup in his newest car "Daisy Singer" followed by his "Truck in Flux".)

ArtCar Fest 2006 Day 1
Photo by Ken Duffy

"Flutter Bug" by Konnie May and a new car I don't know the name of but I think the owner's name was Tim, and he traveled with "Shadow the Wonder Dog".

ArtCar Fest 2006 Day 1
Photo by Ken Duffy

Here I am all bundled up in layers of pink because it was bloody freezing out at Ocean Beach in San Francisco, our caravan's starting point. Wind, fog, and cold were the order of the first day I'm afraid. I'm sure some of our out-of-towners were shocked to learn that not all of California is like Malibu Beach.

ArtCar Fest 2006 Day 2
Photo by Ken Duffy

Our second morning started with coffee and muffins at Al Honig's art studio/gallery where we met his amazing robot-like sculptures. Afterwards we were treated to a "dinosaur" demolition derby by artist Tom Kennedy and friends that scared the crap out of all the ArtCar artists who's creations happened to be parked near the 1/2 ton flicking tail of one of the creatures. Sometimes art is very dangerous!

ArtCar Fest 2006 Day 2
Photo by Ken Duffy

We then headed down to San Jose where we visited a school for 3 hours. Here you can see some kids giving the VainVan a close and personal going-over. I had to glue some of the toys back on it after they were done!

ArtCar Fest 2006 Day 3
Photo by Ken Duffy

We spent our third day at the San Jose Museum of Art. It was our 4th year there I's all a wonderful, colorful blur. Here's a shot of one of the more technically amazing ArtCars, "Carthedral" by Rebecca Caldwell.

ArtCar Fest 2006 Day 4
Photo by Ken Duffy

Our fourth, and final, day of ArtCar Fest is spent at the How Berkeley Can You Be!? Festival. We're the grand finale of the Grand Parade and have been every year of our history. The two events have had a wonderful symbiotic relationship that grows ever stronger each year.

ArtCar Fest 2006 Day 4
Photo by Lara 7

And finally, alas, Ken and I collapsed (actually we did several times over the 4-day-long fest. It's an exhausting, exhilarating, one-of-a-kind experience every time we do it. ArtCar Fest is a wonderful event that we love planning and participating in. I'll post more about it after I've recovered further. I have to say it's been a blessing to be away from newspapers and television for a week, a true vacation from fear, sadness, and suffering. You should take a break and make time for silly, joyful, fun too. It's a huge relief and strengthens you for the coming battles you face.

We got a bit of press for the fest at Inside Bay Area which has five local papers including the Oakland Tribune, and San Mateo Times. The San Francisco Chronicle, also covered ArtCar Fest as did several TV stations.

Please respect the work of the artists you see here and be sure to credit them when you share their artwork with others.

To share your opinion on this or any other post, please click the word "COMMENTS" below.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Day in the Life of Joe Middle-Class Republican

I'll soon be heading out to work and play at the ArtCar Fest here in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area for the next few days so I won't be blogging again until next week. I decided to leave you with some ammunition with which to battle any right wingers you have the misfortune to cross paths with. Consider it your civic duty to educate them about the benefits of our liberal past. Read on:

A Day in the Life of Joe Middle-Class Republican

by John Gray
(From Michael Moore)

Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards.

Photo Source: Reservoir

He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised. All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now Joe gets it too.

Photo Source: Safe Medications

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

Photo Source: Safe Meat

Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo; His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Photo Source: Shampoo

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

Photo Source: Smokestacks

He walks to the subway station for his government subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Photo Source: Subway

Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medicals benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

Photo Source: Union Workers

Its noon time, Joe needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression. Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his life-time.

Photo Source: Bank

Joe is home from work, he plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dads; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home.

Photo Source: Crash Test

He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural Republican’s would still be sitting in the dark)

Photo Source: Rural Power

He is happy to see his dad who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to. After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home.

Photo Source: Social Security

He turns on a radio talk show, the host’s keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. (He doesn’t tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day) Joe agrees, “We don’t need those big government liberals ruining our lives; after all, I’m a self made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have”.

Photo Source: Right Wing Radio

To share your opinion on this or any other post, please click the word "COMMENTS" below.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

9/11/06 Bush Exposed in Fauxto Op

The official photo of our President and his wife, and a US soldier praying at "Ground Zero" in New York City. Poignant yes? But wait a minute....

Grieving President
Photo courtesy of StopGeorge

Here's the wide angle view of the same scene.

Wide angle view
Photo courtesy of StopGeorge

Where is the crowd of mourners? Isn't this a public space and the anniversary of one of our greatest national tragedies? Where are the widows, orphans, and grieving parents of those who died on this spot five years ago? What gives?

Here's the advance team setting up the scene:

Filling the pond for Bush at "Ground Zero"
Photo courtesy of StopGeorge

Is this actually just another photo op for Bush? Can he be that callous about our most horrible national moment? The moment he himself has used since that day to gain power and bend our Constitution?

Bush floats the wreath
Photo courtesy of StopGeorge

Bush gives the wreath a push.

All Done
Photo courtesy of StopGeorge

Can't you just imagine Bush saying something like
Okay we're done here. What's next on our agenda for today? I'm hungry can I get a sandwich or something, long day, lots of speeches to make.

SICKENING? Well here's something that will clean that nasty taste out of your eyes from seeing that staged bullshit memorial:

MSNBC reporter Keith Olbermann has proven himself to be our modern day Edward R. Murrow for the second time this month. His speech about the "hole in the ground" in New York City is powerful, smart, and righteous. You need to watch it:

Keith Olbermann on 9/11

And if you like what you see there, if the delicious "truthiness" of it feeds your tormented political soul then also watch his target-searing comments about Donald Rumsefeld's unfitness for duty here:

Keith Olbermann on Rummy

And then watch Olbermann take Bush to task for cowardly hiding behind his certifiable Secretary of State here:

Keith Olbermann Shames Bush

All Olbermann video links from: Crooks and Liars.

To share your opinion on this or any other post, please click the word "COMMENTS" below.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Gone Fishin!

Photo by Anon

I actually haven't "gone fishin", (which is a handy euphuism for being on vacation) but I will be gone fishin soon. Today was the first of many ArtCar days I'll be participating in with my tribe. It was the 32nd year for the Solano Stroll a mile-long parade and festival that takes place every September in Berkeley & Albany, California (East of San Francisco Bay). It's crowded, smoky, noisy, and like all festivals has lots of food on a stick and lots of handmade things you don't need. One special thing about this fair though, that I really like, is the dozens of liberal political booths. There was one for Jerry McNerney the man who's going to whup Richard Pombo's corrupt ass. Local Democratic Clubs were of course there registering voters as were the Gray Panthers, a Berkeley tradition. Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Code Pink and this worthy organization, Save the Bay were there to as were many booths sporting a variety of bio-eco-non-oil fuel thingies.

Photo © Ken Duffy 2006
Click on photos to enlarge

ArtCars have been a part of the parade/festival for the last 10 years. In fact we're the only gas-powered vehicles allowed now except fire engines! That's how special we are! Here are a few pics from today's Stroll:

My niece Ava and her friend rode Princess style in my VainVan ArtCar.

Photo © Emily Duffy 2006
Click on photos to enlarge

Here are a few of today's cars parked on display after the parade:

Photo © Ken Duffy 2006
Click on photos to enlarge

For the FIRST TIME in all the years we've been doing the Stroll, the Albany police were actually helpful instead of hostile. I'm not sure why but this friendly officer was even interested in hearing about one of the cars. You see things can change!

Photo © Ken Duffy 2006
Click on photos to enlarge

Last but not least my husband Ken, and fellow Cartist Avril Hughes clown around (the theme for this year's stroll being "Send in the Clowns" (hey give them a break you'd be out of themes after 32 years too!)

Photo © Emily Duffy 2006
Click on photos to enlarge

But in the next few days I really will be GONE FISHING, with the ArtCars!

Sashimi Tabernacle ArtCar by Richard Carter, John Schroeter, and a team of 30 volunteers.

I'll be feverishly working to help ArtCar Fest producers Harrod Blank and Philo Northrup organize our 10th annual event here in the San Francisco Bay Area. We usually get 60-80 ArtCars from all over the country and Canada. It's a jaw-dropping sight and one of the events I look forward to every year because each time is even more fun than the previous one. If you're in the area be sure to come and check out at least one of the cool, unique, and crazy days of freak-infestation we're inflicting upon the poor un-entertained citizens of San Francisco Bay!

Please respect the work of the artists you see here and be sure to credit them when you share their artwork with others.

To share your opinion on this or any other post, please click the word "COMMENTS" below.