Thursday, July 31, 2008
House Resolution 5843, titled the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2008, would express support for "a very small number of individuals" suffering from chronic pain or illness to smoke marijuana with impunity.As usual, the article is cryptic in the details to the point of confusion. If you're not allowed to grow marijuana, then does the exemption only apply to processed marijuana? Legal to possess, but not to create. For all the articles useless hyperlinks, you'd think they would have bothered to link to the bill's text. Fortunately, Google did that for me. Other than it's introduction, no action on it yet.
If HR 5843 were passed, the House would support marijuana smokers possessing up to 100 grams -- about 3½ ounces -- of cannabis without being arrested. It would also give its blessing to the "nonprofit transfer" of up to an ounce of marijuana.The resolution would not address laws forbidding growing, importing or exporting marijuana, or selling it for profit. The resolution also would not speak to state laws regarding marijuana use.
HSU among the "best western colleges"
ARCATA -- Humboldt State University has been named a “Best Western College” and a “College With a Conscience” in Princeton Review's 2009 rankings.Nice to know. Does anybody have a report from last night's KHSU meeting?
HSU is one of 117 universities to receive a “Best in the West” designation and one of 81 listed under “Great Schools with Outstanding Community Involvement.”
”It's nice to have an outside organization recognize the work going on here,” said HSU spokesman Frank Whitlatch.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The first interviews with Knoxville victims
Here's an interview with a victim who will probably lose his eye. The article also contains some chilling details about the attack itself.
There are videos of both victims through the link.
I did hear on the news this afternoon that the attacker, Adkisson, was not targeting children despite the opportunity. Small favors from a troubled soul.
I strongly object to some of your world views, most profoundly your comments about Jews and Judaism. But I don't believe that you harbor ill-will to them on a personal level. I do believe that you are playing with some very dangerous rhetoric which has been associated with massive violence against Jews in the past, and I will continue to call you on them. But I will try to be more productive in my responses. If I start to relapse, please link me to this post and remind me.
In other respects I agree with you. An example is the ecological impact of the current subdivision lifestyle. But I don't believe your approach to the issue has been any more productive than some of the left wing protests which dehumanize the opposition.
I would like to meet with you sometime when I'm in transit to or from Nohum and we both have some time. I'll spring for the beer or coffee. There I'd like to discuss how we can promote more healthy exchanges on the local blogosphere. I'm jaded on the medium these days, but I still see potential for enhancing community rather than reflecting its less than attractive underbelly.
In fact, I'd like to suggest some sort of conference between local bloggers. It's long overdue.
San Francisco values in Missouri
Kay Barnes' responsive ad.
What about St. Louis values? I wonder if St. Louis feels slighted.
San Francisco gets too much credit.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Plant Paranoia Cinema
I didn't quite finish my work until just about 7:00. I figured I'd grab a quick sandwich somewhere, but almost everything is closed by seven. Flavors. Paradise Grill. Nacho Mama's. Giddyup. Even Flavors! It'd be nice if some sort of coffee house was open until late so teenagers can talk there instead if in movie theaters, but I'll discuss that shortly.
What's open, besides the fried food/microwave options at the gas stations and the sit-down restaurants for which I didn't have the time before the 7:30 movie start, is Calico's. Fine. I went there for a simple sandwich. Unfortunately I got caught behind a woman (probably a very nice woman) who is probably one of those who hasn't made up her mind whom she is going to vote for yet - in the primary. I mean Calico's has like 50 items. You'd think something would reach out to her. But her family was going hungry at their table as she scrutinized the menu and asked question after question, most of which I couldn't make out over Tanya's beautiful live violin music you can hear there most Tuesday nights. She would look up at the board menu, then down at the paper one, moving her finger down the list. Asking questions. After seven minutes and just about 20 seconds I ran out of time. So I decided to wait until after the movie and went for a walk towards the south end of town. On my way back, she had apparently ordered, but her family was sitting at one of the outside tables and she was standing up studying the menu in the window, intensely as before. As I said, I'm sure she's a very nice woman.
So I got to the movie theater. If I anticipate a movie will be under 4 stars (this one was 3, did I mention that?) I treat myself to a box of Junior Mints (the phrase in my family for B grade movies is "a Junior Mints movie"). So I'm waiting for the movie to start and I'm staring at my box of candy and I'm kind of hungry. My mother pushed this rule as a kid that we don't start eating our candies until the start of the movie. And not the previews. The actual movie. I don't know why I continue to follow that rule. But I did tonight. They were gone by the time the people in the park started killing themselves. But I'm not discussing the movie quite yet.
So the movie started. And on the opposite side of the theater there's a group of about six bored kids yacking up a storm. Someone else cleared his throat loudly, but they missed the cue. The manager, before the start of the movie, asked us not to talk and to turn off our cell phones (one went off near the end of the move anyway, but by then I was kind of looking for distractions - more on that shortly). Anyway, I walked over to ask the kids to shut up. Nicely. They did. I'm sure they're very nice kids.
So the movie is The Happening. It's by that director with the name that sounds like it's East Indian (probably because it's East Indian). He peaked with The Sixth Sense. So it starts with, oh, did I mention there would be spoilers? There will be. I mean, the movie's predictable from moment one, so maybe there are no spoilers. So it starts with people in Central Park (that's in New York City) stopping. The wind blows through the trees (trees, that's important - trees) and the people all freeze, start walking backwards, then start killing themselves. So, there are lots of scenes of people killing themselves. Their brains aren't working, but they come up with some very creative ways of killing themselves throughout the movie.
Yeah, it gets tedious. See, that's why I mentioned the part about the cell phone. I forget the word for the cinematic technique of prepping the audience for something later in the movie. You know, like a character pointing out a haystack under a barn loft so you won't be too skeptical when the hero falls out of the loft during a fight scene only to fall on a haystack instead of breaking his bones. Well, this move gives you plenty of those, whatever they're called, early on. The hero, in his classroom, asks his class to speculate as to why the bees are disappearing across the continent. And one seemingly dumb student shows his hidden depth by suggesting it's one of those "mysteries of nature which we'll never figure out." I guess that's the Indian guy's (or the Indian sounding name guy's) way of telling us we're never going to really learn why the people are killing themselves when the wind blows through the leaves.
We get another one of those cinematic revealing thingies when somebody talks about how tobacco plants have evolved a defense where they release some chemicals to attract crickets to eat the caterpillars. See, the plants are defending themselves. Only, they aren't walking around like triffids. They're using psychotropic chemicals to create wind which makes people walk backwards and kill themselves.
Oh, and there's this couple. The main two characters. They have a troubled marriage (she had dessert with another man. Dessert. Really!). But as we know from the other 500 apocalyptic movies we've seen, when the chips are down they get to see the real person in their partners, the personas that truly matter. And by the time the crisis is over, millions of people may be dead, but it's a happy ending because love conquers all.
Oh, damn! I've spoiled the ending!
Three stars. One for Zooey Deschanel's piercing bratty eyes. Another for the Indian guy's willingness to avoid sugar coating his tragedy by killing off kids as well as adults. And a third star for the performance of the old woman in the last part of the movie who was creepy even without the plant-induced evil and really was the scariest part of the movie. I don't know what inspired that sequence, but I could have seen that alone and come away satisfied. Basically, the Indian guy introduced his own Deliverance theme as the characters fled to the most rural corner of Pennsylvania they could find.
Did anybody watching the film come away afraid of trees and grass?
I never did see The Lady in the Water.
Tooby raids imminent? Duck and cover.
Heraldo reports on a lead. Heraldo was criticized roundly for spreading rumors of a certain previous raid, resulting in a DEA denial which turned out to be very misleading (the right question not being asked, namely "is a raid planned" rather than "are you planning a raid"). Heraldo turned out to have had the material nature of the story straight.
Again, the authorities could be playing mind games with these rumors, but if your home is raided do not engage the officers in conversation, whether you are guilty or innocent of anything. Many people who were caught up in last month's raids were innocent of any crime, but a search is justified under the law simply on the basis that there is reason to believe your home contains evidence of a crime. My advice is to leave the premises if they allow you to do so. Do not argue with the authorities. Ask to see the warrant and make it clear that you are not consenting to any search. If you are arrested, invoke your rights under both the 5th and 6th Amendments - the right to silence, and the right to be left alone until you've consulted with an attorney. If you have a camera you are in your rights to photograph the search, but remember there is the law and there is the reality that there are people in your house with guns who may be as scared as you are. Don't try to be a hero or heroine.
Most important, don't panic and don't do anything stupid. If they're breaking up your home or your stuff without good reason, or otherwise violating your rights, you can press the issue later. You won't win any arguments on site.
God, I feel just like the Duck and Cover Turtle!
Another story I missed - MRC in, PALCO out
A clean slate, sort of. Let's hope it works out.
For those of you, like me, fascinated by veep selection politics
There are others I would prefer, but it would be nice to have someone as VP and a possible future president who opposes the death penalty. He was also a major engine behind the blueization of Virginia.
But some on the right think they can attack that ticket as "inexperienced." Obama would really have to push the outsider-for-change theme hard, but this year it may work.
The "safe choice" is Sen. Evan Bayh, an "experienced" white guy with "Appalachian appeal." No controversy. Won't upstage Obama. Adds gravitas. Scoops in some Hillary support. Yada, yada, yada.
The photo comes from Kaine's site.
Monday, July 28, 2008
About that liberal media
From the L.A. Times (which also contains a reference to a study to add to the former):
During the evening news, the majority of statements from reporters and anchors on all three networks are neutral, the center found. And when network news people ventured opinions in recent weeks, 28% of the statements were positive for Obama and 72% negative.I saw a debate on the more recent study on one of the cable news shows tonight. The conservative head actually cited as rebuttal a Rasmussen poll which indicated that the majority of Americans believe that the media is slanted liberal. Seriously. Statistics defeated by popular perception.
Network reporting also tilted against McCain, but far less dramatically, with 43% of the statements positive and 57% negative, according to the Washington-based media center.
Conservatives have been snarling about the grotesque disparity revealed by another study, the online Tyndall Report, which showed Obama receiving more than twice as much network air time as McCain in the last month and a half. Obama got 166 minutes of coverage in the seven weeks after the end of the primary season, compared with 67 minutes for McCain, according to longtime network-news observer Andrew Tyndall.
I wrote last week that the networks should do more to better balance the air time. But I also suggested that much of the attention to Obama was far from glowing.
That earned a spasm of e-mails that described me as irrational, unpatriotic and . . . somehow . . . French.
And yes, I do believe CBS purposely edited McCain's gaffes out of the interviews, not necessarily because they're supporting McCain, but rather because they're gun-shy. Katie Couric wants conservatives to come onto her show to be interviewed (a boycott of the sort is reportedly what killed Crossfire in the latter Carville/Begalla days as one or both of them would chew up conservative pols and spit out the flag pins). I don't buy the "young editor" excuse.
Eric Alterman wrote about the impact of the LME meme a few years back in What Liberal Media?
On occasion, honest conservatives admit this. Rich Bond, then chair of the Republican Party, complained during the 1992 election, "I think we know who the media want to win this election--and I don't think it's George Bush." The very same Rich Bond, however, also noted during the very same election, "There is some strategy to it [bashing the 'liberal' media].... If you watch any great coach, what they try to do is 'work the refs.' Maybe the ref will cut you a little slack on the next one."And watching the news tonight, the media grudgingly point out that McCain has been "inaccurate" in his account of Obama with regard to visiting wounded soldiers, photo-ops, and the like (bloggers on the other hand have no problem using the word "lie"). But having been corrected, he continues to make the same accusations even tonight, with no real challenge from any network other than MSNBC.
Bond is hardly alone. That the media were biased against the Reagan Administration is an article of faith among Republicans. Yet James Baker, perhaps the most media-savvy of them, owned up to the fact that any such complaint was decidedly misplaced. "There were days and times and events we might have had some complaints [but] on balance I don't think we had anything to complain about," he explained to one writer. Patrick Buchanan, among the most conservative pundits and presidential candidates in Republican history, found that he could not identify any allegedly liberal bias against him during his presidential candidacies. "I've gotten balanced coverage, and broad coverage--all we could have asked. For heaven sakes, we kid about the 'liberal media,' but every Republican on earth does that," the aspiring American ayatollah cheerfully confessed during the 1996 campaign. And even William Kristol, without a doubt the most influential Republican/neoconservative publicist in America today, has come clean on this issue. "I admit it," he told a reporter. "The liberal media were never that powerful, and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures."
So while I am optimistic for an Obama win, the media's wimpiness remains McCain's ace in the hole.
Hate crime against.... Unitarians?
This gives me the heebie-jeebies. I spent a week in the woods with a bunch of Unitarians. At one point some campers from another area were target practicing on the hill above us. None of us felt like we were in danger, but it did break the tranquility of the week briefly. Had this story broken a week earlier, it might have rattled some nerves. I never thought of the Unitarians as an identity group. I think it's been about three years since I actually attended a service.
This guy thinks it should be regarded as an incident of terror - the motive apparently being political. But I think of terrorism as a calculated act aimed to promote a particular political agenda by intimidating opposition. This just seems like a random act of mental illness-induced anger.
What will be interesting is whether authorities in Tennessee will push for the death penalty even if the victims ask them not to. It's happened before and sometimes the prosecutor listens, other times the "victim's rights" get tossed aside when they're inconvenient to a prevailing agenda.
Check this map out. Humboldt County is like the only California county north of Sacramento with Unitarians.
Addendum: More info on the attacker. Plenty of ammunition if you want to trash right wing celebs like O'Reilly and Savage, but it's probably unfair. Interesting quote: Adkisson told Still that since "he could not get to the leaders of the liberal movement that he would then target those that had voted them in to office."
Wow! Too much catching up.
Drama at the Harbor Commission as Goldman Sachs' may not come in on a white horse after all.
KHSU's woes will be discussed on July 30 at the Kate Buchanan room at 6:30 p.m.
Former Eureka Reporter editor Glen Simmons has his own blog, and there's a little bit of controversy as to the explanation for his departure.
It looks like Johanna Rodoni is gearing up. I guess the Governor requested that the Legislative Council issue some sort of opinion as to whether her name should be placed on the ballot. I wonder if they'll consider whether she should be allowed to run at all.
Oh, and I wanted to thank my "blog watcher" for keeping the discussion in line last week. It's sad that those posts are made in the first place, but it's scary to think that some of them are made by people in their 40s, 50s, and even 60s.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
McCain yesterday on CNN discussing timetables:
First the Iraqi government gave Senator Barack Obama a boost by seeming to embrace his proposal for a 16-month timetable for withdrawing American troops from Iraq. But could Senator John McCain, who built his candidacy in large part on his opposition to a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, possibly be following suit?
“I think it’s a pretty good timetable,” Mr. McCain said Friday in an interview on CNN’s “The Situation Room,’’ before adding that it should be based “on the conditions on the ground.’’
For months Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, has railed against setting timetables for withdrawing from Iraq, and has criticized Mr. Obama, his Democratic rival, for suggesting one. But in recent days the debate has shifted as Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, moved closer to Mr. Obama’s position.
In the interview on CNN Mr. McCain first seemed to downplay any possibility that Mr. Maliki would actually ask for the United States to withdraw its troops in the next 16 months to two years. “He won’t,’’ he said, explaining that he knows Mr. Maliki well.
Then, asked why he thinks Mr. Maliki had called 16 months a pretty good timetable, Mr. McCain gave his enigmatic answer.
“He said it’s a pretty good timetable based on conditions on the ground,’’ Mr. McCain said. “I think it’s a pretty good timetable, as we should — or horizons for withdrawal. But they have to be based on conditions on the ground. This success is very fragile. It’s incredibly impressive, but very fragile. So we know, those of us who have been involved in it for many years, know that if we reverse this, by setting a date for withdrawal, all of the hard-won victory can be reversed.’’
Now, can someone educate me on the whole Iraq-Pakistan border issue and the subsequent CBS editing of the interview to mitigate matters for McCain?
Addendum: Obama in Berlin, Ich bin nicht Bush. You can find the whole speech pretty easily at Youtube.
Second addendum: Great post at Kos entitled "McCain tries to throw election, Media won't let him." For those who can't generate the energy to hit the link, here are the last two paragraphs:
Meanwhile the situation has risen to the level of Theater of the Absurd. The media is now hammering the theme that they are favoring Obama. I always knew that the Right would push this theme, but they don't have to. It is now all over the news. Apparently equal coverage is required for a speech before 20 in Berlin, Ohio and a speech before 200,000 in Berlin, Germany. Obama was gracious enough to take the McCain advice and make the trip, now he is being accused of overstepping his role as a candidate.Meanwhile, the post title of the week from Jake Tapper: "New McCain ad bashes Obama for not visiting the troops using footage of Obama visiting the troops."
The media's motivation is not a mystery, rather a multiple choice question. Clearly they have an interest in keeping the race competitive. They have always been intimidated by claims they have a liberal bias. They seem to crave respect from the right wing audience, and they seem to also crave Senator McCain's friendship. Or perhaps it is out of deference to a preexisting good relationship with the Senator that they are showing him such kindness.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
That's the short version. I'll try to elaborate a bit tomorrow.
I need to catch up on the KHSU firing controversy. I actually had some of the story ahead of time, but I was sworn to secrecy to protect the innocent. It sounds like HSU needs a serious shake-up, but I've only heard one side. I'll check out Heraldo's post and thread and maybe comment tomorrow.
I've been reading Justice Souter's biography, and the man is more fascinating than I'd imagined. I'll be drafting an article for submission entitled "Does the Left Owe Justice Souter an Apology?" I'm of course referring to some who vehemently opposed his appointment back in my first year of law school, including myself. We do owe him an apology.
Oh, and what do you get when you combine a Unitarian with a Jehovah's Witness? Someone who knocks on your door for no particular reason. Hey, whether you're amused by the joke probably determines whether you're a "holy Dane" or a "happy Dane."
All my cats are accounted for. Life is good.
COMMUNITY MEETING ON DIESEL
How can we solve the problems caused by diesel-based cultivation in our region? These problems have at times severely impacted our community. Locally there have been diesel spills and pollution of drinking water, dumped crankcase oil, fires escaping into wildlands, air and noise pollution, inappropriate use of cancer-causing chemicals, and other serious problems. All the public is invited to participate in a discussion and brainstorming session to seize upon ways to change these behaviors so as to end the damage to our community and its environment.
Meeting organizers noted that "We know there are good ideas out there and the energy to put them into use. People need to be informed and to talk to their neighbors. Community awareness can go a long way to helping end these conflicts." The adverse impacts of growing marijuana indoors will be discussed.
Longtime environmental activist Robert Sutherland was more candid. "Nearly all rural structure fires, and many town ones, originate from indoor marijuana grows. How long before one of these grow fires gets away and burns homes and people?" He added, "Sure, it's an outlaw industry, but illegal does not have to mean irresponsible. We need to do more now to get at these big-time threats."
Southern Humboldt County resident Juna Berry Madrone said that "Accidents from inadequate diesel containment and funky wiring could destroy a watershed or burn a forest. The dangers posed by these potential disasters outweighs individual property rights."
Organizers of the meeting are hoping many will come forth to share ideas, pledge energy, and learn what their neighbors think about these matters. It's an opportunity for anyone to get involved. A shift away from diesel methods will be encouraged.
The meeting is at Veteran's Hall in Garberville from 7 to 9 pm on Wednesday, July 30. A professional facilitator will moderate. Veteran's Hall is located on Conger Street behind the Best Western Motel. Those wishing more information may telephone 223-1884.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Who can we blame?
Noriel Roubini, the long time bear who predicted the subprime meltdown, the current credit crunch and the emerging recession in the US over two years ago wants to make it clear that he's only projecting the worst financial crisis since the depression, he's not one of those wingnuts predicting "armagedon." Naturally I'm much relieved:
Bear Market only Half Over, But It's Not Amageddon
But really, what we all want to know -- much more then how long this boring recession will be or how low housing prices will fall -- is who can we blame for this debacle:
1) Profligate spenders knowingly taking advantage of lenders by buying homes and cars and stuff they can't afford on credit and then mailing in the keys (jingle mail) and walking away from their homes and responsiblities when the going gets tough?
2) Predatory lenders/investors who leveraged up, knowingly loaned money to losers and flippers and bet trillions on the assumption that housing prices would never go down.
3) An American Culture of Debt
Here's couple views on the matter:
eric's blog watcher....
Death of free internet
1) Would you be willing to pay a monthly surcharge to your ISP to have access to a bundle of Humboldt blogs?
2) Does this article provide a fair characterization of Canadians?
3) If the article, which appears to written by a Canadian, uses excess hyperbole in its description of Canadians is the rest of the article even likely to be true...
See what you think... feel free to post a comment. You have until 2010.
eric's blog watcher...
Death of Free Internet is Imminent- Canada Will Be Test CaseRead more of the article...
Reality Check: Jul 20, 2008
By Kevin Parkinson
In the last 15 years or so, as a society we have had access to more information than ever before in modern history because of the Internet. There are approximately 1 billion Internet users in the world and any one of these users can theoretically communicate in real time with any other on the planet.
The Internet has been the greatest technological achievement of the 20th century by far, and has been recognized as such by the global community. The free transfer of information, uncensored, unlimited and untainted, still seems to be a dream when you think about it. Whatever field that is mentioned- education, commerce, government, news, entertainment, politics and countless other areas- have been radically affected by the introduction of the Internet.
And mostly, it's good news, except when poor judgements are made and people are taken advantage of. Scrutiny and oversight are needed, especially where children are involved. However, when there are potential profits open to a corporation, the needs of society don't count.
Take the recent case in Canada with the behemoths, Telus and Rogers rolling out a charge for text messaging without any warning to the public. It was an arrogant and risky move for the telecommunications giants because it backfired. People actually used Internet technology to deliver a loud and clear message to these companies and that was to scrap the extra charge. The people used the power of the Internet against the big boys and the little guys won.
However, the issue of text messaging is just a tiny blip on the radar screens of Telus and another company, Bell Canada, the two largest Internet Service Providers (ISP'S) in Canada. Our country is being used as a test case to drastically change the delivery of Internet service forever. The change will be so radical that it has the potential to send us back to the horse and buggy days of information sharing and access.
In the upcoming weeks watch for a report in Time Magazine that will attempt to smooth over the rough edges of a diabolical plot by Bell Canada and Telus, to begin charging per site fees on most Internet sites. The plan is to convert the Internet into a cable-like system, where customers sign up for specific web sites, and then pay to visit sites beyond a cutoff point.
From my browsing (on the currently free Internet) I have discovered that the 'demise' of the free Internet is slated for 2010 in Canada, and two years later around the world. Canada is seen a good choice to implement such shameful and sinister changes, since Canadians are viewed as being laissez fair, politically uninformed and an easy target.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Open thread - I'm going on vacation
In the meantime, if news breaks, feel free to post and comment in this thread. I'm sure the other bloggers will take notice and post up in more prominent fashion.
Enjoy your week.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Top 10 musicals
Here are the top ten musicals (movies only - I loved Evita on stage, but Madonna's movie was horrible). I don't like musicals really, so it was very hard for me to come up with ten. Most all of them are pretty dumb, but some do have entertainment value. Don't mind them as much as when they're done for kids.
1. West Side Story
2. Jesus Christ Superstar (70s version)
3. Oklahoma (for Rod Steiger alone)
4. Singin' in the Rain
5. Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory (70s version, I don't even know if the new one is a musical)
6. Little Shop of Horrors
7. Mary Poppins
8. Tommy (my prior comments about the Who notwithstanding)
9. Fiddler on the Roof
10. The South Pacific (I don't really like it, but I ran out and there were some decent moments)
My favorite moment in West Side Story:
Maria: Tony, you must be quiet or my parents shall awaken!
Tony and Maria in harmony at the top of their lungs: Tonight, tonight!! I found my love tonight...!!
Okay, I have to get back to work to clear my desk before vacation.
Addendum: Okay, I can't believe I left out the Wizard of Oz, which is the greatest musical of all time (yeah, I know the book was better). Geeze!
Which brings me to a question. Does anybody know the title of the first film musical? I have no idea.
Maliki endorsement of Obama's withdrawal plan
In an interview with SPIEGEL, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Barack Obama's 16 timeframe for a withdrawal from Iraq is the right one.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki supports US presidential candidate Barack Obama's plan to withdraw US troops from Iraq within 16 months. When asked in and interview with SPIEGEL when he thinks US troops should leave Iraq, Maliki responded "as soon as possible, as far as we are concerned." He then continued: "US presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes."
Now, normally it might have taken days for the story to break in the US press. Maybe it wouldn't have received any attention at all. But somebody in the Bush administration, intending to distribute the story to an internal e-mail list, accidentally "hit the wrong button" and sent it to a much wider list. The unemployment rate probably just jumped one.Obama's camp seized on the opportunity:
The national security adviser to the Obama campaign, Susan Rice, said the senator welcomed Maliki's support.
"This presents an important opportunity to transition to Iraqi responsibility, while restoring our military and increasing our commitment to finish the fight in Afghanistan," Rice said in a statement Saturday.
Ezra Klein of the American Prospect explains the significance of the development.
To really understand the importance of Maliki's comments, you need to consider their opposite. Imagine if Maliki had walked in front of the cameras and said, "at this stage, a timetable for withdrawal is unrealistic, and we hope our American friends will not bow to domestic political pressures and be hasty in leaving Iraq just as the country improves." It would be a transformative moment in this election. John McCain would talk of nothing else. The cable shows would talk of nothing else. Magazines would run thousands of covers about "Obama's Iraq Problem." Obama would probably lose the race.So how should McCain respond? Probably they just keep their cool and let it ride out, hope Obama makes some more centrist concessions, and harp on those as flip flops once Obama is back and his trip is no longer making news. But he's got two problems coming out of this.
1. Obama is starting to look like a statesman internationally. That's cutting into the one advantage the talking heads are giving to McCain.
2. McCain made a comment way back in 2005 to the effect that if the Iraqi government asked us to leave, we would have to leave. Having already flip flopped on long term presence, he will be hard pressed to flip flop on Iraqi sovereignty. Right now McCain's simply in denial.
Addendum - McCain strategist: "We're f#$%ed!"
As one poster remarked, the timeline is popular with the Iraqi people and so Maliki's hand may be forced by prevailing politics. But I wonder if the Bush people didn't somehow manage to piss them off like they've done with pretty much everyone else.
And this goes beyond the presidential election. It could actually mean and end to the war, or our part in it anyway.
Expect from McCain over the next week: "...but, but, but... it was the surge! I deserve credit because I supported the surge!"
Second addendum - Maliki: "So far the Americans have had trouble agreeing to a concrete timetable for withdrawal, because they feel it would appear tantamount to an admission of defeat."
Third addendum: McCain, it turns out, does not believe in Iraqi sovereignty, making this flip-flop number 62. He doesn't care what Maliki says.
"His domestic politics require him to be for us getting out," said a senior McCain campaign official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "The military says 'conditions based' and Maliki said 'conditions based' yesterday in the joint statement with Bush. Regardless, voters care about [the] military, not about Iraqi leaders."Fourth addendum: Looks like Malaki is trying to backtrack (no doubt he got an earful from Bush or a surly surrogate), but it's too late. In fact, I think this is a tactical error which will only draw the whole discussion out longer. The cat's out of the bag, and it's the second time he's said it. Note he's not saying precisely how he was "misquoted."
An Obama official, also speaking on background, asks:
"So given that al-Maliki said today that it’s time for an official timetable and that Obama “is right when he talks about 16 months,” will McCain honor that commitment and call for withdrawal or change his position that we should leave Iraq if asked?"
Fifth addendum: Turns out, Malaki's only clarification was to emphasize that he's not endorsing Obama for president. Even Fox reports it this way.
Sixth addendum: Telling quote from Sen. McCain:
"Could I mention the presence of my friend, Congressman Steve Pearce, who I believe will be joining me in the United States Senate?"
-- Sen. John McCain, quoted by Politico, apparently planning to still be in the Senate next year.
More Fed raids may be on the way
There was Fed activity reported this week. Federal vehicles were reported in Whitethorn where papers were served - presumably forfeiture actions. On Thursday a caravan went to Harris, with conflicting accounts as to what happened there.
I've now heard from several sources that on the day of the original raid a young woman who had been sleeping was forced to stand naked for an extended period of time while the agents tore through her home. I don't know the details but it sounds like grounds for a civil rights action on the face of it.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Quiet night - random reviews
That's Freudian sentence to type actually as the TV is on behind me with an airing of The Kids are Alright. I haven't seen it in nearly 30 years. In high school I saw it probably about 4 or 5 times in various states of consciousness. Usually it played in the now nearly extinct repertoire theaters along with the Woodstock documentary or the disco version of Hair released that same year. I'll admit I enjoyed it at least the first couple of times, but really it's a greatly overrated documentary about a greatly overrated band. I never really like Pete Townshend as a person, and watching these old clips doesn't improve on my impressions.
I won't make it to Reggae tomorrow. I'll make a donation. On Sunday I'm actually off to family camp for the week, out of range of cell phones, wi-fi, and pretty much all things electronic. I'll be there for a week. I'll leave an open thread in case anything happens and someone to monitor.
I didn't really like Keith Moon either. Daltry had the personality of a sponge. Entwhistle never annoyed me, probably because he mostly kept his mouth shut. He died in 2002. I didn't even hear about it until maybe 2004. A shame he didn't learn anything from Keith Moon.
But I liked the music. The lyrics were vacuous, but the music was fun.
I almost went to the closing tour when they came to the Oakland Coliseum in, I think it was 1983? By that time I'd gotten over them, but the Clash was opening for them and I wanted to see them. But the tickets were two rich for my blood anyway. When Townshend was asked what he'd miss most upon the supposed break-up he responded that he'd miss the big checks. My dorm mates thought it was clever, ironic, and creatively nihilistic. I think he meant it. They were too insipid for nihilism as much as they tried. The last I heard of them in the news, Townshend was under suspicion of downloading child porn claiming it was "research." He's not nihilist. He's just self-important.
Daltry did play the voice of a school bus driving dragon on a kids' music special on a library video my son picked out a few years ago. Was he hard up for money? Check it out, I found this clip on youtube.
Another recent blast-from-the past viewing was the 1990s version of Jesus Christ Superstar. While the original was filmed outdoors in the sun, the 90s version was filmed inside in claustrophobic fashion. The theme was darker in the newer version, as the chorus sympathetic to Judas was altered from the angelic tone of the original to one of more malevolence. Judas ended up in Heaven in the original, but comes back to haunt Jesus as a demon in the newer version. And Jesus wasn't a Tenor in the newest version.
On another DVD note, I just finished the old series Reilly Ace of Spies about Sidney Reilly, the historic figure on whom James Bond was loosely based. He's played by the British actor who was in Jurassic Park, can't think of his name. The theme of the series which was based on a book was the ascent of ruthless spying in the early 20th century as the "game" moved from somewhat gentlemanly practices to a no-holds-barred standard of practice. I'm not sure I accept the premise, but the series is probably my second or third favorite to come out of Britain after Upstairs/Downstairs and maybe To Serve them All of My Days. Actually, I have to work Prime Suspect into there somewhere. And yes, they're all better than Dr. Who, even during the Baker days.
Reilly presents some very interesting depictions of certain historic figures, including a very complex and nuanced view of Lenin not likely to satisfy either the hard core Third International hold-outs nor the red scare brigade. The depiction of Stalin was somewhat less complex, but then Stalin was less complex. I think the finale was somewhat fictional in that most sources don't think Reilly deliberately brought about his own death to bring down the infamous "Trust," and in fact he was probably outplayed in his last hand. But really, if you have Netflix, check it out. I was sucked in with the first episode.
Okay, I need sleep.
Jesse Jackson's use of the "n" word and other celeb tantrums
Addendum: speaking of celebrities going off the deep end, alleged human and wacked out right wing talk show host Michael Savage went on the attack today against..... kids with autism. They're just "brats who haven't been told to cut the act out."
That’s what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they’re silent? They don’t have a father around to tell them, ‘Don’t act like a moron. You’ll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don’t sit there crying and screaming, idiot.’” Savage concluded, “[I]f I behaved like a fool, my father called me a fool. And he said to me, ‘Don’t behave like a fool.’ The worst thing he said — ‘Don’t behave like a fool. Don’t be anybody’s dummy. Don’t sound like an idiot. Don’t act like a girl. Don’t cry.’ That’s what I was raised with. That’s what you should raise your children with. Stop with the sensitivity training. You’re turning your son into a girl, and you’re turning your nation into a nation of losers and beaten men. That’s why we have the politicians we have.”What a guy, huh?
Later, I have some other items to add.
Addendum: Here's a test to see if you may be autistic. I actually scored a 13. Just like a girl!
The situation seems pretty complex
In The Know: Situation In Nigeria Seems Pretty Complex
I wonder how many takes these things have to go through before everybody makes it through with a straight face. The old guy in particular just carries it brilliantly.
ABC/Wapo shuffles the coverage of their own poll to create news favoring McCain
In disclosing the results of their poll, conducted July 10-13, ABC News and The Washington Post issued staggered releases, withholding from their first release on July 14 poll results favorable to Sen. Barack Obama, including the finding that 50 percent of registered voters would vote for Obama "[i]f the 2008 presidential election were being held today" versus 42 percent who favored Sen. John McCain. A partial release of the results, "embargoed for release after 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 14, 2008," was titled "McCain Stays Competitive on Iraq; It's About More than Withdrawal" and disclosed the results of only 10 questions relating to foreign policy.I don't know how you can be more blatant in your bias when you have to reconstruct your own news. It's like ABC and Washington Post turned it over to the McCain PR committee. I guess since the media giants aren't 527s the coordination meets the criteria of campaign finance reform.
Following the July 14 release, ABCNews.com posted an analysis of only the foreign policy poll results under the headline "McCain Tops Obama in Commander-in-Chief Test; Stays Competitive on Iraq." Similarly, Time magazine senior political analyst Mark Halperin linked to the ABCNews.com analysis using the headline: "Poll: McCain Wins More Confidence as Commander in Chief." In a July 15 article headlined "Poll Finds Voters Split on Candidates' Iraq-Pullout Positions," the Post reported only the poll results disclosed in the first release. The article did not mention Obama's 8-point lead over McCain among registered voters on who they would vote for "[i]f the 2008 presidential election were being held today."
On July 15, the day after the initial release, ABC News and the Post issued a second release disclosing the results of 18 questions "embargoed for release after 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 15, 2008." Included in the release was the result that overall, Obama leads McCain by 8 percentage points among registered voters. Additionally, the release stated: "Obama continues to hold most of the advantages in the presidential race, in enthusiasm, levels of partisanship, personal qualities and trust on top domestic issues, notably No. 1, the economy; and he's improved in the past month among swing voter groups." The release noted that Obama leads McCain by 19 percentage points on the question of which candidate respondents "trust more to handle the economy."
I guess it's not of major importance, but Obama finally hit the 50 percent threshold (even 2 points higher when Rob Barr is factored in), while McCain hasn't hit 45 percent since Obama clinched the nomination.
Healy Center Rummage Sale this weekend
It'll be 9 to 5 on Saturday, and 10 to 3 on Sunday.
Addendum: It actually starts today - 9 to 5. Thanks to the poster.
Johanna Rodoni will run
In the WTF? department is this passage:
“I am hoping to be on the ballot in November,” Johanna said.As I've said before, there shouldn't even be write-ins in a run-off, but unless somebody files a court challenge the state and local elections departments are basically allowing Johanna's (or anybody else's) write-in candidacy. The article states nothing about Johanna's legal argument. And whether she's actually on the ballot or as a write-in, somebody's bound to file a legal challenge either before or after the election, no matter who wins.
But whether or not voters in Fortuna and areas south will see her name next to candidates Clif Clendenen and Estelle Fennell on the ballot hinges on a legal opinion being considered by California’s Legislative Council, which is expected any day.
What a mess.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Big win for EPIC
A copy of the decision can be found here.
July 17, 2008 California Supreme Court Ruling – Selected Quotes
EPIC v. CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY AND FIRE PROTECTION et al.,
A. SUMMARY (in the Court’s own words)
“We conclude that one of the challenges to Pacific Lumber’s Sustained Yield Plan (SYP), which, as explained below, is a kind of master plan for logging a large area, is valid, inasmuch as an identifiable plan was never approved. We also conclude, as explained below, that any resubmitted SYP should have an adequate analysis of individual planning watersheds, which the plan as originally approved did not contain. We further conclude that the state Incidental Take Permit, authorizing the capturing and killing of endangered and threatened species incidental to lawful activity, was deficient because it included overly broad “no surprises” clauses limiting in advance Pacific Lumber’s obligation to mitigate the impacts of its logging operations.” (P. 3)
“Petitioners contend there was no single, agreed-upon [Sustained Yield Plan] that has been approved, and that the CDF director’s approval of the SYP must therefore be invalid. We agree…. (E)ven Pacific Lumber and CDF do not appear to agree on what constitutes the final SYP.” (pgs. 34-36)
B. NEED FOR A FINAL SUSTAINED YIELD PLAN
“There can be no question that approval of a final document that is usable by the government agencies and by the public in monitoring the SYP is required.” (p. 41)
C. NO SURPRISES – NO WAY!
“…the Legislature intended that a landowner bear no more — but also no less — than the costs incurred from the impact of its activity on listed species. To the extent that the changed and unforeseen circumstances provisions of the Incidental Take Permit exempt landowners from this obligation, they exceed DFG’s statutory authority under [California’s Endangered Species Act].” (p. 63)
“This language does not diminish the extent of a landowner’s obligation under
CESA, however, but merely provides that when that obligation can be met in several ways, the way most consistent with a landowner’s objectives should be chosen. It does not relieve the landowner of the obligation to fully mitigate its own impacts.” (p.65)
D. PACIFIC LUMBER SHOULD HAVE DONE MORE“The draft HCP established the minimum protective measures to be included in the final HCP — it was to serve as a floor, not a ceiling.”
(Not so) wild, wild rumor
Like I said, wild rumor. I think the most famous person to stay at the Benbow before that was Eleanor Roosevelt. After her, Basil Rathbone.
So why would the King of Jordan come to Benbow? A gorgeous no-prize for the best answer.
Addendum: Well, the King ordered a hamburger with mushrooms and onions in Oregon yesterday.
Second addendum: Yup. He's been all through Oregon "under the radar." Look for the guy in the photo, which comes from the article.
Third addendum: And yup. The president has been here viewing fires. All could very well be true.
When I left the radio station Cynthia Elkins and Sue Maloney were on their way down to Benbow to track the rumors and try to get an interview. Good luck to them!
Fourth addendum: Turns out, Cristina scooped me!
Reggae settlement announced
1. PP and/or Dimmick will pay the Mateel $500,000.00.
2. PP keeps all the equipment on site.
3. It appears from Carol's statement that the Mateel's insurance company kicked in some amount of money for the slander and libel case. The amount would reveal whether it's a nuisance settlement or whether the insurance company took the causes of action seriously. We'll have to wait for that information.
It appears they're still working out a payment plan, and my understanding from another source is that the judge will keep the case open in case PP/Dimmick fail to make the payments - bringing the parties back to where they were a few weeks ago.
I don't have time to comment on this as I have a radio show to attend to. Try to post like adults if possible.
Addendum: Here's the MCC press release.
Mateel Signs Peace Accord with Dimmick, People Productions
The Mateel Community Center Board of Directors has agreed to drop its claims against Tom Dimmick and Carol Bruno’s People Productions rather than to continue to battle in the courtroom. In return, Dimmick and Bruno will pay Mateel a half million dollars. They will also dismiss all of their lawsuits against the Mateel, its staff and Board of Directors. The Mateel will retain ownership of its trademark, Reggae on the River, kicking off a new era of Reggae this coming Saturday at Benbow Lake State Park.
We feel the need to get on with our lives is important to many people in the community, and that the courtroom drama only continued to hold us all hostage to a future of fighting over a very uncertain outcome. The months of legal battling, the cost of the lawsuit to Mateel donors, and a desire to get on with our real job-running the Community Center, has led us to this difficult decision. Both sides were also motivated strongly by Judge Warren, who twisted everyone’s arms to get us to settle the case. At this point, we feel the settlement path best fulfills our fiduciary duty as the Board of Directors of the Mateel.
We are ever so grateful to the hundreds of community members who’ve supported us through this difficult struggle. It’s been amazing to watch the outpouring of people’s energy to help at the Mateel—something which will need to continue for the Mateel to thrive as a local Community Center. While we believe that the $500,000 isn’t nearly enough, it will help to re-establish a modest reserve for the Mateel, as well as help pay for long-deferred maintenance of the building. But the future of the Mateel no longer lies at the feet of a monster Reggae show—in fact, it remains in the capable hands of the people of Southern Humboldt, and the Mateel will remain strong with ongoing community support.
All Things Reconsidered Program Note
Addendum: In the aftermath of the Council backlash against the Task Force, Bonnie Blackberry called in to my show to report that Council Chair Jill Geist had unilaterally changed the agenda for tomorrow morning's meeting. I'll try to follow up tomorrow.
Second addendum: Heraldo has a post about the show highlighting some of Charlie's points.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Vandalism in Eureka
This photo was taken in central Eureka on Tuesday, July 15.
According to the EPD representative who came, spoke with me, and took photos of the same vandals' work in my neighborhood, complaints were coming in to EPD from all over the city after a spree of spray painting between Monday night and Tuesday morning.
The letters were dense black and about one foot high. I hope you will consider making these important points about graffiti: 1) Victims should call the police and let the police respond, taking pictures and getting information, and 2) Victims may want to take their own pictures and send them to SoHum Parlance, and 3) As another commenter remarked It is very important for Victims of graffiti to remove or paint over the graffiti as soon as they possibly can.
Some ideas on how to remove graffiti. I find that Zinsser 1-2-3 Primer is very good for covering up even dark paint on light surfaces. It dries quickly. I was able to put two coats down in less than an hour even in cold weather, so the letters can no longer be seen.
Another point worth making, Eric. A local anti-gang organization several years ago in Eureka found that too much publicity of vandalism can actually encourage it. It becomes part of a feedback loop for trouble-makers.
So I think printing some pictures is a good idea. It will help people like us figure out if we are dealing with the same people, and whether they are criminal gangs or bored teenagers with underdeveloped consciences. Or somebody we haven't even thought of. On the other hand, printing several dozen of pictures of the vandalism might act as a reward or "an art gallery for delinquents."
I encouraged you to write an opinion piece for the Times-Standard. Go back and read the passage I quoted. That is a message our community needs to hear. Not specifically about what happened in Southern Humboldt, but what is happening everywhere around us. ( I'm not getting into the issue of "collective punishment for individual guilt." )
Sorry for remaining anonymous. Think of me as HighNoon2400 if that helps. And if you HAVE managed to guess my secret identity, please don't reveal it. What am I saying? Of COURSE, you won't reveal it.
For the record, I haven't figured out your identity. But your suggestion that I could figure it out makes me curious.
Wonkette on Cynthia McKinney
Beloved former congress-lady Cynthia McKinney is the Green Party’s presidential candidate! She’s in it to win! The Greens had a convention on Saturday, apparently, and McKinney was the big winner. Her running mate is “Rosa Clemente, a hip-hop artist and activist.” Well, all right.In the comments section you can find this colorful gem:
McKinney represented Georgia in the House for six terms, and then she slapped around a cop or something, and said Bush did 9/11, and the Jews ran her out of office, and she impeached Bush, in her mind. Experts say she will end up with about 47% of votes intended for McCain, because their names are pretty much the same. [Reuters]
None of this helps the left’s image as gay ass, war-ending, vagina-toting cowtowers of the festering “Negro” agenda.I don't know what it means exactly, but it's transgressive enough in the imagery to deserve attention.
McKinney's running mate's acceptance speech included praise for the Weather Underground and Mutulu Shakur, serving a long sentence for his role in the Black Liberation Army's lethal heist of a Brinks truck in 1981.
Somebody sent me an e-mail of a post from a blog entitled "Lerterland," which includes these remarks:
Clemente says, "I stand on the 10 key values and principles of the Green Party" — and note on the C-Span clip that she can barely say it with a straight face. Because one of those principles, clear in black and white, as I observed in yesterday's post, is non-violence.He also notes that she slams not just Obama, but also Jesse Jackson and Nelson Mandela as black sellouts.I agree with Marc Cooper that not too many years ago,there were a few patches of Green that seemed semi-rational, even promising. There were candidates, activists and even some low-level elected officials that seemed to reflect a forward-looking, accessible reform politics that based itself on a rejection of the big money corruption of the two major parties. At least at the local level, the Greens seemed a possible option that could cut across partisan lines and embrace a rainbow stretching from lefty liberals to cranky libertarians.But now, as Marc rightly says, "the Greens have ossified into a tiny, shrill, 'revolutionary' cult," with a 9/11 conspiracy theorist heading the ticket and a hypocrite sloganeer in the number-two slot. This is the radical left's answer to Obama, who has mobilized millions upon millions with his message of enlightened democratic pluralism.
Can't wait for the tempest-in-a-teapot debate between Clemente and Matt Gonzalez. Does Rob Barr have a running mate yet?
Kucinich's impeachment article to get hearing, but not on impeachment
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich's single article of impeachment will get a committee hearing -- but not on removing President Bush from office.I'll try to dig up some information as to what actually happened, because AP is as clear as mud.
The House on Tuesday voted 238 to 180 to send his impeachment article -- for Bush's reasoning in taking the country to war in Iraq -- to the Judiciary Committee, which buried Kucinich's previous 35-article effort in June.
This time, the panel will open hearings, possibly as soon as next week. But House Democratic leaders said the proceedings would not be about Bush's impeachment, a first step in the Constitution's process of a removing a president from office.
Instead, the panel will conduct an election-year review -- possibly televised -- of anything Democrats consider to be Bush's abuse of power. Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat, is likely to testify. So will several scholars and administration critics, Democrats said.
Of interest is the 9 Republicans who voted yea, and 10 Republican abstentions.
The news coverage is scarce.
Charges filed against driver who killed Rodoni
Did she fall asleep maybe?
I forget, is that good luck or bad?
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Are there differences between Bush and McCain on the economy? Well, sure, there are lots of them. There's umm,...., well, you know... earmarks!
From the MCC
JULY 19, 2008
REGGAE ON THE RIVER ®
2008 at BENBOW LAKE STATE RECREATION AREA (Benbow, CA)
What: Mateel Community Center’s Reggae on the River
Where: Benbow Lake State Recreation Area (Benbow, CA)
When: Saturday, July 19, 2008
Who:, The Wailing Souls, Culture, Katchafire, Warrior King & more!
Why: A keep-the-name-alive-forever fundraiser for the Mateel Community Center
For Press Passes and Information: Justin@Mateel.org
Reggae On The River ® Rises From The Ashes & Lands In Benbow July 19
(Redway, CA July 11, 2008): Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, on Saturday, July 19th, the Mateel Community Center will revive Reggae on the River as a single-day, roots reggae and world music celebration at Benbow Lake State Recreation Area in southern Humboldt. A transitional year for the event, with issues still unresolved in the festival’s ongoing legal dispute, Reggae on the River 08 will be an in-house production offered in a keep-the-name-alive-forever spirit, with hopes to return the festival to 3 day event that will again support the work of both community non-profits and the Mateel Community Center.
In keeping with the paired down theme, the festival will eschew top heavy headliners to feature a deep and top class billing of international talent including The Wailing Souls, Culture with Kenyatta Hill, Katchafire, Warrior King, Sister I-Live, Stevie Culture, and Afromassive. Additionally, the event will offer vendors, a children’s area, delicious food and drink, a beer & wine bar, and plenty of irie vibes on the beautiful shores of the Eel River in Benbow Lake S.R.A.
Don’t miss this chance to support the work of MCC while helping keep Reggae on the River alive. Tickets are available online at www.inticketing.com and at the usual Humboldt and Mendocino County outlets for $50 advance. Visit either www.mateel.org or www.reggaeontheriver.com for further festival information and don’t miss the return of Reggae on the River at Benbow Lake State Recreation Area on Saturday, July 19. Gates open at 11am and music starts at 11:30am. Camping is available on a first come, first served basis in both Benbow Lake and Richardson Grove campgrounds by calling (800) 444-7275.
Reggae on the River is a registered trademark of the Mateel Community Center.
Monday, July 14, 2008
The national topic of the day -the infamous New Yorker cover
I think that before anyone is allowed to become a political activist they should be required to take a basic lit class and learn about satire and irony. Their heart conditions might benefit.
It's not an attack on Obama. It's a comment on the ridiculous nature of some of the attacks on him.
The New Yorker caters to a semi-elite literate crowd. Everybody else will only see it in light of the hysteria and the media coverage. It will convince nobody that Obama is a Muslim terrorist, nor that Michelle Obama is a closet Angela Davis. The crowd who believe they are radicals, don't read the New Yorker.
Addendum: Obama was on Larry King tonight and they discussed the New Yorker cover.
KING: But I've heard a lot of others comment on it. We haven't heard you speak about it yet. That "New Yorker" cover which depicts you and your wife, and you dressed in a Muslim outfit, your wife in a kind of military outfit, Osama bin Laden's picture burning, what do you make of that?Personally, I doubt it. But overall, a very grown-up response.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I know it was The New Yorker's attempt at satire. I don't think they were entirely successful with it. But you know what? It's a cartoon, Larry, and that's why we've got the First Amendment.
And I think the American people are probably spending a little more time worrying about what's happening with the banking system and the housing market, and what's happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, than a cartoon.
So I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about it.
KING: But didn't it personally sting you?
OBAMA: No. You know, we've -- one of the things when you're running for president for almost two years is, you get a pretty thick skin.
And, you know, I've seen and heard worse.
I do think that, you know, in attempting to satirize something, they probably fueled some misconceptions about me instead.
Some color added to Green
The Green Party has nominated former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and community organizer Rosa Clemente as its 2008 ticket. McKinney is a former Democratic representative from Georgia. She was elected to the House in 1994 from a 64%-black district and was reelected three times until she was defeated in the Democratic primary by a totally unknown DeKalb County Commissioner in 2002. She came back and was elected again in 2004 when the incumbent, Denise Majette, ran for the Senate. She ran for reelection in 2006 and lost in the primary. She is most famous for trying to enter the House without her pin identifying her as a representative and when a capitol police officer questioned her, she punched him in the chest.
It is hard to understand what the Green Party is thinking. In 2000, Ralph Nader got 2.7% of the national vote on the Green ticket. In 2004, the Green candidate, David Cobb dropped to 0.1% of the vote (120,000 votes nationally). While some day a party might be able to win by running two unknown black women, 2008 is not that time. People who don't like Obama or McCain have two high-profile alternatives this year, Ralph Nader and Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate. It appears that the Green Party is trying to commit political suicide. If it had picked a candidate known for something more than punching a police officer, it might have had a chance to at least get 0.1% like in 2004. Better luck in 2012. The Green Party's only hope is that rich Republicans shower money on it in hopes of hurting Obama. But it is a slim hope as McCain will be pleading for that cash himself.
Interestingly enough, green parties in other countries have a real influence. In 1998, the German Green Party got 6.7% of the vote, 47 seats in parliament and entered into a governing coalition with the Social Democrats. Three of its leaders became cabinet ministers, including the foreign minister. But it achieved this by running top-tier candidates and focusing on getting as many votes as it could.
I don't want to rehash all the old analysis about the differences between parliamentary and electoral-college systems. Nor David Cobb's "safe state" strategy. As much as I appreciate the Votemaster's analysis of the mainstream election campaigns, he obviously doesn't get the point of party building where you don't have proportional representation. Nor does he quite get that not all election campaigns are focused exclusively on the win itself. And I'm certain any party tries to get "all the votes it could." Besides, who would Votemaster consider a "top tiered candidate" available to the Greens. Jello Biafra maybe?
Still, I hope the smaller parties all come together for their own debates. Nader, McKinney, and Barr in one setting would certainly have its entertainment value.