August 2006

Media&Politics31 Aug 2006 02:47 pm

Investor's Business Daily political cartoon

You have to figure that Investor’s Business Daily newspaper is solidly investing in war profiteering the way they throw around war talk so lightly. This is an editorial page that defends the links between Saddam and 9-11 more vociferously than Rumsfeld, Bush and Cheney combined.

Today’s editorial page featured a cartoon of dropping a large bomb on Iran instead of debate or dialog. An article about the recent Fremont to San Francisco hit and run loony Afghan driver, branded him as a terrorist and scolded the media in general for softness on terrorists.

As a local to Fremont and the Bay Area, I’ve seen the local news coverage, and this man apparently has a history of mental delusional problems. There are theories that he had a method in his madness, but this is painting with a very broad brush to label this lone nut job as a terrorist. Fremont has a huge population of Middle Eastern and Asian origins, and implied in the IBD editorial is that if a crazy guy is from Afghanistan, then he surely must be a terrorist.

That is the news the way IBD wants to see it. Blindly. My attempts to respond to their editorials have been blocked by their web site, after they determined I did not often agree. Oops! I forgot, no tolerance for debate.

Book Review&Humor&Media30 Aug 2006 08:41 am

Dan Asmussen: BAD REPORTER

If you’re a redneck, from the South, or even a Red State Republican, you may be asking yourself, “What’s a chutzpah?” And what’s beyond it if we haven’t gotten to it yet? Well shmedricks and shmeges, the online definition of chutzpah is:

chutz‧pa[khoot-spuh, hoot] –noun Slang.

n : (Yiddish) unbelievable gall; insolence; audacity; unmitigated effrontery or impudence; nerve.

You can look up colorful, funny Yiddish words you’ve heard in a Mel Brooks comedy movie, or maybe on The View, at the online Yiddish Dictionary.

So what’s the big idea? Just that a professor of Political science at DePaul University in Chicago, Norman Finkelstein, has written a book by this title, Beyond Chutzpah. The basic idea from what I heard today on Democracy Now’s radio broadcast, is that many who criticize Israel are quickly labelled anti-Semetic by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League… in a League of their own, no doubt.

Norman Finkelstein: “Every time Israel comes under international pressure, as it did recently because of the war crimes committed in Lebanon, it steps up the claim of anti-Semitism, and all of Israel’s critics are anti-Semitic. 1974, the ADL, the Anti-Defamation League, puts out a book called The New Anti-Semitism. 1981, the Anti-Defamation League puts out a book, The New Anti-Semitism. And then, again in 2000, Abraham Foxman and people like Phyllis Chesler, they put out these books called The New Anti-Semitism. So the use of the charge “anti-Semitism” is pretty conventional whenever Israel comes under attack, and frankly it has no content whatsoever nowadays.

If you open up, like, Phyllis Chesler’s book, The New Anti-Semitism, she says Jewish feminists are anti-Semites, NPR is anti-Semitic, BBC is anti-Semitic, Los Angeles Times is anti-Semitic, New York Times is anti-Semitic, Washington Post is anti-Semitic. Everybody is anti-Semitic. The term is devoid of any content. Anyone who ever criticizes Israel is anti-Semitic.”

Finkelstein continued by pointing out many rampant comparisons by US war hawks of their favorite terrorist bad guys of the week to Hitler and Nazis is actually a form of Holocaust denial.

NF: “You heard the speech by Rumsfeld, where he says that Iraq is like the Nazis in the 1930s. Now, remember, the tenet of the Holocaust industry is, never compare the Holocaust to anything else. Never compare, and if you compare, they say you’re a Holocaust denier. But that side is always comparing. The Mufti of Jerusalem was Hitler. Nasser was Hitler. Saddam Hussein was Hitler. Hezbollah is now Hitler. Iran is Hitler. Hamas is Hitler. Iraq is Hitler. They’re the worst Holocaust deniers in the world, by their own definition. They’re always comparing.”

from the Democracy Now! interview, August 30, 2006 

It takes some chutzpah to report the facts of today’s news, and maybe Don Asmussen BAD REPORTER is the solutionator. The Bad Reporter mangles current events in illustrated comic format twice a week with all the bloody chutzpah of news in a blender. In Asmussen’s world, the planet pluto could be a Holocaust Denier. Who knows? The Bad Reporter may be the illegitimate hier to the Dave Barry humor columnist throne. Whatever he is, I find the flavor of his chutzpah maztoh balls very good and refreshing.

Music25 Aug 2006 09:06 pm


Added Snakefinger photos from 1981 to the Rockpix section of I foresee Media Spin growing into some kind of massive glob of content, much like the other sites. At least for now I have some control over it.

Snakefinger made some very intense music, a lot of it sounded like a man drven mad by a mad society: warnings, and many a cry for help.

In the previous century, Eric Drew Feldman toured with Captain Beefheart and then Snakefinger, the San Francisco based band of musicians, and is now preparing to tour with Frank Black. It was fun to get back in touch with Eric through As Eric mentioned, it was good to take a little tour through Snakeland. Look up his music, there are many hidden gems.

Eric Drew Feldman

Media21 Aug 2006 02:34 pm

“NO PHOTOGRAPHY” – Hassan Sabbah Castle Originally uploaded by DD/MM/YYYY.

If you’ve ever wondered about the legal and ethical do’s and don’ts of photography, Bert P. Krages II, an attorney and photographer, posts information on his web site, and authored a book, Legal Handbook for Photographers. The online, downloadable article, The Photographers Right, is partially in response to rights violations connected with the war on terror.

No Photography
Originally uploaded by escapekiken.

No photography allowed
Originally uploaded by Steve Rhodes.

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Internet&Personal18 Aug 2006 12:37 pm

Monday I participated in a design review for Youthgive, a youth oriented charitable community web site. At the table were a number of writers, thinkers and designers with strong knowledge of web design and Internet development, such as Howard Rheingold and game developer Anselm Hook. Part of what we did was to share links to innovative web sites such as OpenLayers, Wayfaring, Wetpaint and ID Mashups.

MappedUp screenshot thumbnailFollowing up and tracking many of the new mashups, creative displays of local based information, I found MappedUp. Of course anything that looks this cool was done in Flash. MappedUp is an application that tracks a large number of RSS news sources and displays their latest items on a world map, geographically and in real-time. It’s been developed by Jeroen Wijering a grad student in the Netherlands.

GG Bridge from Presidio. Originally uploaded by goblue72.

So, it was good get outside and see what other folks are doing. A meeting on the Presidio campus with the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands out the window allowed the mind to air out a bit. I need to do this more often.

Finally I ended the week by impulsively starting up another blog, Tubular Times, devoted exclusively to the explosion of online video. It’s on Goggle Blogger, which handles Flash video more gracefully than this WordPress blogging software does.

Media&Music&Politics15 Aug 2006 06:31 am

Woodstock PosterConservatives do not like Woodstock. Perhaps it bothers them that the large gathering of people was not under their control, and so it must be a threat of some kind. But get over it small minded ones, you who see positives in our marvelous invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. Surely you can see the good that came out of the 3 Days of Peace and Music also known as Woodstock, 37 years ago.

Media&Movie TV DVD Review11 Aug 2006 05:23 am

Jackson Pollock drip painting

Half a century ago, on August 11, 1956, an Oldsmobile convertible driven by Jackson Pollock, who was drunk, hit a tree in the Springs, killing the artist and a passenger.

Peter Schjeldahl, “American Abstract”, The New Yorker

This is an excellent write up on the power of Pollock and the film by Ed Harris is also mentioned. Pollock, the movie is enough to make any drinker swear off the bottle… at least for a few days.

Liquids can be dangerous, as yesterday was a red terror alert day, for fear liquids and gels might be used to assemble terrorist bombs on trans Atlantic air travel.

Pollack painting-Grebe photocollage


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Book Review&Spiritual07 Aug 2006 08:58 am

Painting by Hank Grebe

It has become clear to me that as war and deaths rise in the Middle East and the Congo that the world needs a new dream. Humanity is living a nightmare of its own making by clinging to old agreements.

An inciteful book, the kind I find myslelf recommending to friends and relations is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. This inspiring book will help you find freedom from old beliefs and judgements that you may have about yourself and others. It is a pathway to a new dream.

Another fellow human agent of change, is Dream Change founder John Perkins. His ideas involve using your personal power to shape shift your internal and external worlds into a better reality.

Surely by now you must know that you cannot rely on government leaders, priests, politicians or pharmaceutical drugs to make these changes. Too many rely on old ideas, invested in vendettas, based on fear and revenge. We must dream a new dream.


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