Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Jersey boys: like white on rice

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., better known as A&P supermarket, is suing a pair of college students who shot this clever gansta rap parody in their off hours at the A&P in Califon, where they (cough) used to work. From the sounds of the updates on their website, brothers Mark and Mike D'Avella from Glen Gardner are taking in stride that they were relieved of duty earlier than expected this summer.

It's A&P's $1 million minimum lawsuit against them for the floundering company's self-proclaimed defamation (I thought only live people could be defamed) and loss of business. The lawsuit, itself, must be a parody, because at the time the company filed it, only 200 people had hit "Produce Paradise" on YouTube. And, let's face it: Two college students' pockets aren't deep enough to buy A&P's lawyers coffee.

Now, many thousands have viewed the Fresh Beets video and are saying they won't shop at A&P because of the lawsuit. Ooops, big ooops, perhaps, A&P?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

He can pick his friends, he can pick his nose, but can he find a friend to pick his nose?

So, 58% of New Jerseyans wouldn't even want to have a cup of coffee with George W. Bush. Go figure.

New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and ex-President Bill Clinton came out on top as folks we'd most like to meet. No surprise, both personable intellectuals.

That was an unrelated question in a Zogby poll commissioned by Garden State Equality that found 63% of us support gay marriage. That would surprise only people who listen to the right-wing noise machine.

This is must-see TV

Dan Rather seems to be starting his new journalism road hitting the ground running.

One of his first reports on HDNet television is "The Trouble with Touch Screens," and the venerable journalist doesn't disappoint.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Buh bye, KKKarl

The thing is, I think we haven't seen the worst of him yet. He's just going to San Antonio County, Texas, to plot the theft of the '08 elections in unobstructed peace and obscurity, and for an excuse not to answer Congress' subpoenas.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mail bag

The New Jersey NOW is marching Saturday, Aug. 25, in Newark as part of this year's People's March for Peace, Equality, Jobs and Justice. U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., is scheduled to speak there.

The march commemorates the 44th anniversary of the March for Jobs and Freedom the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led in Washington, D.C., the 40th anniversary of the Newark Rebellion and the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Details here.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Censorship sure is a "mistake"

Pearl Jam isn't taking this sitting down. Good.

AT&T Blue Room, which apparently had the contract for live webcast from the Lollapalooza concert, scrubbed two lines from Pearl Jam's song, "Daughter," because they were anti-George W. Bush ("George Bush, leave this world alone" and "George Bush find yourself another home").

After questioning AT&T about the incident, Lollapalooza was informed that material was indeed missing from the webcast, and that it was mistakenly cut by AT&T's content monitor. Tiffany Nels of ATT told CMJ that they are working the matter out with the band. "We regret the mistake," she explains. "This was not intended and was an unfortunate mistake made by a webcast editor." She went on to explain that AT&T has a policy for any excessive language, and that it was set up because of its all-ages audience.
Can you say, "Third Reich"? Or rather, "Fourth Reich"?

And, a clue for AT&T: Senior citizens hate Bush, too. Remember Bush's bungled Medicare prescription plan and his attempt to pull the rug out from Social Security forever (he already stole the trust fund baby boomers paid to pay for a couple of days of this Iraq invasion)? He's quantifiably the worst president of all time, having the lowest sustained favorability polling of any in modern history.

We need to speak loudly about Part 2 of the outrageous crush-FISA legislation coming quickly down the pike next month. From Balkinization:
From the President's Message on signing the FISA fix: "When Congress returns in September the Intelligence committees and leaders in both parties will need to complete work on the comprehensive reforms requested by Director McConnell, including the important issue of providing meaningful liability protection to those who are alleged to have assisted our Nation following the attacks of September 11, 2001."

Note the key item on this wish list: legal immunity for having participated in the illegal NSA program.
That would be our own Verizon and AT&T, among other Big Telecoms.

Was this just cocky overreach by a big lobbying corporation, or a corporation that already believes it controls the people's government and gets to call the laws and contracts to suit it? I think the latter, and the latter = fascism, Italian style, by its very definition.

I'm not trying to be alarmist, but I'm going to say so when the emporer has no clothes.

Save the Internet reminds us:
AT&T routinely rails against Net Neutrality as a “solution without a problem.” They say Net Neutrality regulations aren’t necessary because they wouldn’t dare interfere with online content. At the same time they tout plans to become gatekeepers to the Web with public relations bromides about “shaping” Web traffic to better serve the needs of an evolving Internet.

Such spin needs to be held up to the light of experience. AT&T’s history of breaking trust with their customers includes handing over private phone records to the government, promising to deliver services to underserved communities and then skipping town, pledging never to interfere with the free flow of information online while hatching plans with the likes of Cisco, Viacom, RIAA and MPA to build and deploy technology that will spy on user traffic.

The moral of this story is never trust AT&T at their word.
And, in another censorship outrage, the Michigan Senate majority leader blocked the blog Blogging for Michigan from all Senate computers because he didn't like the constituent's opinion and deemed no one there would read it. Imagine, a state Senate majority leader thought this was reasonable. Has the slow and methodical erosion of the civil liberties embodied (literally with blood of our original, REAL patriots) in our U.S. Consitution brought us to a point where anyone can think for a moment -- let alone a whole week -- that such a thing is acceptable in America?

Think about that.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

It's about time

On the "more later" front:

Ocean County Republican Reps. Jim Saxton and Chris Smith are both feeling the heat on their pitiful support of the Iraq war and may be prepared to switch their votes to withdrawal, along with Reps. Frank Lobiondo and Mike Ferguson next time the pullout vote comes around.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

And yet, women still get screwed

Cara, a New York feminist blogger who runs Curvature, cross-posted a diary at Feminsting that cuts through the military spin to figure out what's what with Airman Cassandra Hernandez' rape case.

It's stomach-turning outrageous.

Trifecta: Yet another clever girl -- two more, in fact

Maybe we're a bigger force for leadership than the mainstream mindset imagines.

Even I am warming up to Sen. Hillary Clinton, even though it still is irrationally distasteful to me to have another family dynasty designated to resume White House duties. But how prescient was she in May in an interview including Robert Murray, the owner of a Utah coal mine where six trapped miners are missing, to say it's time for a president (her) who is "pro-labor and will appoint people who actually care about workers' rights and workers' safety"?

Murray's bungling banter is truly mind-boggling, but it probably seemed normal to most viewers because this exchange was on Fox not-News.

"Bob, do you view this rhetoric as pro-labor, anti-business, what?" (Neil) Cavuto asked Murray.

...Murray responded, "I view it as anti-American. These people should -- are misleading the American worker then they talk about jobs. These are the people advocating draconian global warming conditions that are going to drive American jobs to foreign countries and raise electric rates for everybody on fixed incomes."

... Murray also testified before Congress two months ago that his safety record with all of his mines "is one of the best in the coal industry anywhere."

In a testy exchange with Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Murray said a story reporting two of his Ohio mines showed injury rates a fourth higher than the national average was "propaganda" by a mine union.

"You are flat out wrong," Murray told Boxer when she raised the story in the Columbus Dispatch saying Murray's mines have the biggest fines against him versus any other mine in Ohio.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has cited Murray's mine in central Utah with more than 300 violations since January 2004, including 118 "significant and substantial" violations that are considered serious enough to cause injury or death.

Murray, who testified against regulation of the energy industry as part of effort to combat global warming, said the changes to the coal industry would cause losses of high-paying mining jobs and would be "extremely destructive" to the nation.
Yeah, I'm sure right now those six fated miners and their families are so thankful for their "high-paying" mine jobs. They might clear a whole $1,500 a month after taxes. Must be grateful.

Another clever girl

Rudy Giuliani's daughter, Caroline, is -- or was -- supporting Barack Obama for president. She seems to have been compelled to removed Obama's campaign from her "friends" list as of Aug. 6, but she still calls herself "liberal," unlike the dear old dad she reportedly doesn't speak to.

Click on the picture to read the screen.

Monday, August 6, 2007

What a clever girl

Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds is the most gagged person in U.S. history, and yet, she manages to find a way around it:

"I assumed the enemy was foreign."
"I had taken the oath to protect my new country, against all enemies, and this was my chance to serve my country. I assumed the enemy was foreign. ...

Within a few months, I came across some serious issues. Wrongdoing. Some of those would be considered criminal, within the FBI. Some of those involved security breaches, 911 related coverups, and sabotaged intelligence operations. In one case, due to the pressure of the State Department and Pentagon, the FBI was prevented from criminally investigating certain U.S. officials who were engaged in actions against our national security, having loyalties to other governments."
Among the things she knows is the names of four sitting members of Congress who are being bribed by the Turks. Much, more more at Monosyllabic Fish.

Very creative

I found this at Delilah's blog, but I dunno where it is or who to credit.


George W. Bush wasted no time throwing his weight around with his new warrantless spying power. What the hell were those Blue Dogs thinking, by God!?

Within a day or so of getting the power he claimed to need to secretly eavesdrop on international phone calls, Bush had the FBI use a secret warrant to raid the home of an American, former Justice Department lawyer Thomas M. Tamm. Looks like he just wants revenge on an honest civil service professional who may have told the truth about Bush's illegal warrantless wiretapping before Congress legalized it for him last Friday. Bush will have to go after former Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller, too, I guess, because they were critical of the Bush administration about this at the same time as Tamm.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Yo, Krankor

The fabulous Mystery Science Theater 3000 is back with a DVD!

Melevision has more fan trivia:

The series ran from 1988-1999 featuring a man and his robots who were trapped on a satellite in space and forced to watch really bad movies, especially (but not limited to) those of the science fiction. The man and his robots make a running commentary on the film, making fun of its flaws and wisecracking their way through the film in the style of a peanut gallery. During its eleven years and 198 episodes, MST3K attained a fiercely loyal fan base, and much critical acclaim. The show was nominated for a writing Emmy in 1994 and 1995.
If you like MST3000, you'll love What To Do In A Zombie Attack, from movie archives.

If only we knew what Sibel knows

Monosyllabic Fish puts together some big pieces of the illegal spying/Gonzales puzzle with the help of whistleblowing translater Sibel Edmonds, speaking here:

More Sibel:

Let Sibel Edmonds Speak
Call Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif. Demand public open hearings:
DC phone: (202) 225-3976
LA phone: 323 651-1040
Capitol switchboard phone: 800-828-0498

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Who knew Alabama was so intriquing?

Yankee news scrubbed this, but I find it interesting that, after Alabama attorney Jill Simpson last month told all about how Karl Rove manipulated the U.S. Department of Justice prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, Simpson's house burned clean to the ground. Alabama blogger Robby Scott Hill, in a take off Eugene Debs' famous speech, gives his courageous take on it.

Until Jill Simpon's (sic) house is rebuilt, I am homeless. So long as my attorney colleagues are made into political prisoners and placed in the criminal element, I am in it and as long as Don Siegelman, Larry Sutley and Steve Russo remain in prison, I am not free.

Who would want to be a member of a Bar Association that allows prosecutors to tread upon The Bill of Rights, inflict these injustices and go unpunished? We fought a war against Great Britain to be free from such tyranny. National Security is the age old cry of the tyrant and is just another way of depriving us of our liberties. These men have been framed like my mother.
New York lawyer Scott Horton wrote a good recap on the whole Siegelman case this month at Harper's magazine, but you have to subscribe to read it all.

And speaking of fascism, Scott Horton also wrote a fascinating piece July 16 about philosopher Leo Strauss and the media for Balkinization, a legal blog I like a lot.

And speaking of Leo Strauss, the guru of fascism was the impetus for the hysterically funny play, "Embedded," that Oscar winner Tim Robbins wrote, directed and acted in on off-Broadway a few years back. "Embedded" now is on DVD -- not as crisp as the real thing on stage, but very well worth the $18.