Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Michigan/Florida Solution, WHEW!

Not sure if you know but there's been a months-long controversy within the Democratic Party regarding the delegates from Michigan and Florida. It's very confusing and convoluted but the gist is:

Traditionally Iowa holds "First-in-the-nation" status for Presidential primaries, with New Hampshire coming second. For the 2008 Presidential election the state parties of Michigan and Florida tried to schedule their own primaries to occur before Iowa's. This is against party rules and the Democratic National Committee punished the two states for breaking those rules by refusing to seat their delegates in the August Convention (in Denver, CO.)

Now originally Clinton thought she was a shoo-in for the nomination and she, along with all the other Democratic candidates, signed a document with the DNC promising not to campaign in either state. She did however, leave her name on the ballot in both states. Obama removed his name from the ballot in Florida.

Now, as Obama closes in on the magic number of delegates needed to win the Democratic party's nomination, Clinton (who trails badly) is demanding that all the delegates from Michigan and Florida be seated at the convention. Supporters on both sides are furious.

Horrendous anti-Obama sign

So, today the Democratic Party's Rules Committee settled the dispute. Their decision is to seat all the delegates at the convention but each of them will only have the power of a 1/2 vote. This is a big concession from both candidates and a good compromise.

Clinton's representatives and supporters were so angry at the meeting that over two dozen of them were ejected from the room. In contrast the Obama campaign was very clear going into this meeting that no one should make trouble in the candidate's account. From everything I've read they remained true to the request.

Clinton issued a statement that she may very well appeal the ruling of the committee. I sincerely hope not for the good of the Democratic party, and the country.

The Democratic Primary ends official on June 3, 2008 with the last three contests in Puerto Rico (June 1st) New Mexico and South Dakota. Let it end with a clear, clean win by Barack Obama so we can get to the work of defeating John McSame's campaign to continue the crime wave of George W. Bush!

Obama Hope by Shepard Fairey (Obey Giant)

Here's a TIMELINE of the entire 2-year-long fiasco.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Peace Billboards on Memorial Day

Tomorrow, Memorial Day (May 26, 2008) ten unique billboards will go up in San Francisco.
10 Visual artists from 10 member states of the United Nations were asked to imagine what peace looks like, from their unique cultural perspectives.
The artists are:

Betty Nobue Kano - Japan

Clinton Fein - South Africa

Igor Yusev - Ukraine

Jamyong Singye - Tibet

Rafael Trellis - Puerto Rico

Richard Kamler - USA

Taraneh Hemami - Iran

Tonel - Cuba

Uzi Broshi - Israel

Victor Cargagena - El Salvador

If you're in the Bay Area you can take a special tour tomorrow of these 10 billboards:
Free billboard bus tour begins May 26 at 10am from UCSF at Golden Gate and Parker, returning at 2pm for a reception at Handlery Room at Lone Mountain College.
Admission Free. RSVP required 415-422-2697.
The exhibitions runs until June 22, 2008. Here's a link to the project website (there's a map showing the location of each billboard.)

The aim of this project is to incite members of our community to imagine for themselves their own vision of peace. Because if we cannot first imagine peace, we may never make it so. Source

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

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Clinton Has Gone Too Far

Friday, May 23, 2008

Can You Tell Them Apart? Take MoveOn's Bush-McCain Challenge

Take the quiz HERE!

For all the coverage this week of Senator John McCain's background, there are some important things you won't learn about him from the TV networks. His carefully crafted positive image relies on people not knowing this stuff—and you might be surprised by some of it.

Please check out the list below, and then forward it to your friends, family, and coworkers. We can't rely on the media to tell folks about the real John McCain—but if we all pass this along, we can reach as many people as CNN Headline News does on a good night.

10 things you should know about John McCain (but probably don't):

1. John McCain voted against establishing a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now he says his position has "evolved," yet he's continued to oppose key civil rights laws.

2. According to Bloomberg News, McCain is more hawkish than Bush on Iraq, Russia and China. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan says McCain "will make Cheney look like Gandhi."

3. His reputation is built on his opposition to torture, but McCain voted against a bill to ban waterboarding, and then applauded President Bush for vetoing that ban.

4. McCain opposes a woman's right to choose. He said, "I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned."

5. The Children's Defense Fund rated McCain as the worst senator in Congress for children. He voted against the children's health care bill last year, then defended Bush's veto of the bill.

6. He's one of the richest people in a Senate filled with millionaires. The Associated Press reports he and his wife own at least eight homes! Yet McCain says the solution to the housing crisis is for people facing foreclosure to get a "second job" and skip their vacations.

7. Many of McCain's fellow Republican senators say he's too reckless to be commander in chief. One Republican senator said: "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He's erratic. He's hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."

8. McCain talks a lot about taking on special interests, but his campaign manager and top advisers are actually lobbyists. The government watchdog group Public Citizen says McCain has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign, more than any of the other presidential candidates.

9. McCain has sought closer ties to the extreme religious right in recent years. The pastor McCain calls his "spiritual guide," Rod Parsley, believes America's founding mission is to destroy Islam, which he calls a "false religion." McCain sought the political support of right-wing preacher John Hagee, who believes Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for gay rights and called the Catholic Church "the Antichrist" and a "false cult."

10. He positions himself as pro-environment, but he scored a 0—yes, zero—from the League of Conservation Voters last year.

John McCain is not who the Washington press corps make him out to be. Please help get the word out—forward this info to your personal network. And if you want us to keep you posted on MoveOn's work to get the truth out about John McCain, sign up here:

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Message From Al Gore

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Listen To The Vets

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The REAL McCain - From Brave New Films

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

John Edwards Endorses Barack Obama!

Photo by the Washington Post

Since John Edwards was my original candidate-of-choice, and I've been supporting Barack Obama since Edwards dropped out of the race for Democratic candidate to the presidency, I'm especially happy to report that today, John Edwards officially endorsed Barack Obama for president! Perhaps this means that Obama has asked Edwards to be his VP running mate (a decision I definitely support) or just that Edwards finally made his choice. His wife, Elizabeth Edwards, is apparently supporting Clinton. Let me reiterate again that I'll take EITHER Obama or Clinton over John McSame (more Bush policies) but I'm very happy that Obama is poised to win the nomination of the Democratic party.

Read More Here!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Yellow Journalism: As If We Needed More Proof

Yellow Journalism

Irony abounds as right-wing pundits such as Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly claim (as they have for a decade now) that America's mainstream media is left-leaning.
Published on Wednesday, May 7, 2008 by the Chicago Sun-Times

Why Media Fix on Wright and Ignore Hagee
by Andrew Greeley

I fail to see that the envious and bitter attacks of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright should have created the crisis in Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign when the remarks of Pastor John Hagee have not created a similar crisis in Sen. John McCain’s campaign. Why is McCain somehow not responsible for Hagee while Obama is responsible for Wright? I suggest the difference is that the senator from Illinois is a Kenyan American and the senator from Arizona a white American.

A second question is why the elite national media fix on Wright and ignore Hagee. Wright, you will say, is much better media copy than Hagee. Yet the latter explains Hurricane Katrina as God’s wrath on gays and lesbians and describes the Catholic Church as the “whore of Babylon.”

As the watchdog group Media Matters points out in a recent report, two elite papers — The New York Times and the Washington Post — have paid 12 times as much attention to Obama’s clergy as to to McCain’s.

Since McCain accepted Hagee’s endorsement on Feb. 27, the Times has published 46 articles about Obama and Wright and five articles about McCain and Hagee. The Post’s score is 53-3. The Times has produced 22 editorials and op-eds that mention Obama and Wright and two about McCain and Hagee, and the Post scores 40-2. In the words of Karl Frisch of Media Matters, “It is time for the major media outlets to ask themselves if they’ve been covering the candidates for president with equally critical eyes. . . . If they are honest, they’ll admit they have not.”

One must wonder why not. Obama is the front-runner and hence his destruction is raw meat even for the top journals in the country. Surely both papers understand that many Americans are looking for a reason not to vote for a Kenyan American and that this gaffe will feed their hunger.

The same observation could be made of the rigged “debate” on ABC. Both Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos knew what they were doing.

Moreover, it is hardly politically incorrect to assert that the Catholic Church is the “Great Whore of Babylon.” When was the last time either paper became righteous about anti-Catholicism? At some deep level in the souls of the editors and op-ed page editors of both the Times and the Post there must lurk the suspicion that the Catholic Church is, if not the Great Whore, then it is the next worst thing.

Yet to serve the sickness of the racists in American society should hardly be politically correct. Are the decision makers at the Times and the Post that eager to provide grist for Sen. Hillary Clinton’s election mill? Moreover what about the McCarthy sin of guilt by association? Did not the two papers fervently oppose that tactic in the era of Tail-Gunner Joe — and ever since. When did their ethics change?

And why?

The truth is that McCain is not responsible for the wild babbling of Hagee and should not be blamed for it. Nor is Obama responsible for Wright’s crazy pronouncements. It is improper and indeed immoral to hector either man about their “troublesome priests.” There is no more reason to believe that they will have tunnels into the White House than the pope did to John Kennedy’s White House.

Therefore, I charge the editors of both papers, and Gibson and Stephanopoulos, of intellectual dishonesty, flawed ethics and McCarthyism.

Andrew Greeley is a priest in good standing of the Archdiocese of Chicago. for 52 years, a columnist for 40 years, a sociologist for 45 years, a novelist for 28 years, distinguished lecturer at the University of Arizona for 28 , research associate at National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago for 46 years.

More Reading on this topic:

The Violent Language of Right-Wing Pundits Poisons Our Democracy

Project Censored

Saturday, May 10, 2008

In Memory of Marilyn Dreampeace

This weekend is the Houston, Texas Orange Show. It's the world's largest, and longest-running ArtCar parade. My dear friend Marilyn Dreampeace traveled from California to Houston many a May to participate in this unique event. We lost Marilyn last November (cancer) so this year the Houston folks had a memorial for her. Here is the lovely message her life-partner, Shalom Dreampeace Compost sent for them to play in her memory:

I am not alone in deeply missing Marilyn. Her zest for life, her gentle stubborness (especially when she wanted me to see or learn something new and I was resisting) and her enormous loving heart did make this world more beautiful. I always think of her when I'm traveling in my ArtCar and even tied some purple ribbons on my antenna to remind me to emulate her open spirit when out adventuring.

You didn't have to know Marilyn yourself to use her life as a model for your own. You can read more about her in the blog post I put up last November. And you can see some of the wonderful photos Ken and other folks took of Marilyn HERE. Although she lived through plenty of tragedy she didn't use it to get over on people...even after her (terminal diagnosis.) There were times I thought she might actually outrun the cancer because she was so damn busy the last two years traveling, visiting friends and family, gambling (she loved penny slots) and showing her wonderful decorated cars at festivals all over America and Canada.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Inventions, Freaks, and Corndogs - Celebrating DIY in the 21st Century

Life Size Mouse Trap (photo by Ken Duffy)

Today I was invited to bring my VainVan ArtCar to the Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA. It was a really fascinating experience. I've been to many types of festivals and fairs over the years and while I do love having my annual corndog, I always get the creeps from the carnies, the immense, pasty, Americans waddling around, and the scary toothless, drunk, fools hootin and hollarin as they peel out in their 12' tall pick ups. It almost doesn't matter what state you're in or what the fair is about, the components seem to almost always be the same. WELL, not today!

The Maker Faire is just about the coolest mix of the good things about county fairs, wood working...

Custom Conference Table & Chairs by

science fairs...

Giraffe photo by Scott / Laughing Squid

crafts festivals...

Log Pillow by Erika Kern My Imaginary Boyfriend

and Burning Man...

Neverwas Haul photo by my web-host, Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

PianoMotion by Mark Chang

It was like anywhere U.S.A. Summer fair but instead of rednecks, it was populated with pierced, tattooed freaks and artists. IT WAS GREAT! It was especially fabulous to see how many cool kids are being introduced to creative thinking, art, inventions, and the common-ness of being weird. And...I even got my corndog!


I'm happy to report that Jennifer Marsh, who I did a story on last Fall, has finished her amazing International Fiber Collaboration. Here's a photo of the finished piece installed over the derelict gas station in Syracuse, NY. Click on the link for more photos. WOW!

International Fiber Collaboration © 2008 Jennifer Marsh

All is not lost as long as people are willing to create, laugh, and help each other through life!

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

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