"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Civil Unrest

If life were a game of Civilization, the guy running New York would want to create some entertainers or raise the luxury rates or build a colloseum (providing it's a democracy), or in a less open kind of government quarter a few more garrisons.

It's heavy out there today, choppers in the skies and police vans in the streets. Things are apparently getting pretty hairy. I don't know what will be accomplished by all this, but the full accounting tomorrow will be interesting to see. I'm at The Tank where Air America has been broadcasting. Things are getting strange, man. They just threw on PBS's convention coverage and Ahnold's saying that Nixon is a breath of fresh air.

I've been struggling with my role as a pro in all this lately, but the going has certainly gotten weird, and as the Doctor would say, thus the weird must turn pro. My health is coming back and while things could be better, but the way forward is maybe becoming clearer.

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The Struggle

The most important thing is to stop struggling. When you feel that tight knot getting tighter in your shoulders and your guts twisting up and your teeth beginning to grind; when you can't stop thinking of how wrong or bad or ugly something is; when you can't seem to get the weight off your chest in spite of a lifetime of squirming, this is my advice to you. I'm advising myself here, but I use the second-person to make it more engaging as a blog. Bear with me. This is how I do.

Anyway, when this thing just won't stop pressing on you, and you've writhed and bucked to the best of your ability, the most important thing is to stop struggling. This is the universe telling you to take a deep breath, look around calmly, catlike, and try a new way of doing things. Turn over a new leaf, strike out in a new direction, drop down and tap the inner source again.

This can be frightening. We become wedded to our struggles over time, some kind of king-hell parasitic thing, starts out as you and your enemy and ends up your identity is hard to separate. Maybe you can't get free without losing some skin, unless that is you take some time and soak it, tease it out. It takes time and will to extract yourself from habitual chaos, from ritualized struggle.

Tough as it may be, failing this will only lead to being ground down and rendered hopelessly boring via repitition. Break free from struggle; walk through the goddamn walls.

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Largest Convention Protest Ever Goes Down Smooth

Hundreds of thousands in Manhattan today, enough that it took five hours to march 20 blocks, and no violence. The only thing remotely hary was the black block setting fire to their little paper mache dragon, an almost plaful gesture (considering it was in the middle of the street and posed no real danger) which gave everyone else the chance to applaud and cheer for the FDNY.

It couldn't have gone down better. Rest of the week we're doing trainings and concerts; we'll see what else happens. By all accounts today was a major success.

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Former Lt. Governer Admits to Getting Bush into TX Air Guard

Peep it at Greater Democracy, like right now.

Also, Frank tells me that tonight's critical mass had about 2,000 riders, was under helecopter survelence, few people got arrested. All kinds of fun gonna happen here in New York town.

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How do you spell "wrong direction" again?

The New York Times: More Americans Are Living in Poverty, Census Bureau Says

1.3 million more people living in poverty. 1.4 million more without health care. Third straight year of increases for these numbers. Third straight year of Bush.

Connect the fucking dots, people. John Kerry's far from perfect, but he a shit-ton better than the worthless brat we've got in office now.

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Where To From Here?

summer 2004As I finish packing to head back out to New York, still weak with some virus or bacteria, I'm feeling reflective in a way I haven't been in a long time. Nostalgic for past loves, easier times. I find myself more and more estranged from the things that matter to me and starting to really buy those cheap military metaphors for politics. Campaigning is ugly business, and not much fun sits in store for you when you go to be a solder.

So here I sit, a chap who's doing his best to defy the right-wing revolution, sifting back through memories of 2, 4 even 7 or 8 years ago. It's a lot to deal with, childhoods end. I don't want to give up playing, don't want to give up innocent dreams. And I don't want to give up wanderlust and whimsy and lazy days either, but I have; at least for the time being.

The real question that nags at me is where this all leads. Why am I doing what I do and what will it all mean in 6 months, a year? Where will I live and how will I spend my time? Will I have any better stories to tell? Will I feel more accomplished, more at home, more alive? I'm out of groove here; bouncing across the vinyl, or maybe I'm too deep in, to rutted. The work being done is good and important, but on some fundimental level it isn't me, not quite, not yet. This single-mindedness is not to my liking.

So many things left to do, left to explore, left to unearth, uncover, depths left to plumb. How to swing it; how to travel the world, advance my career (whatever that means), ameleorate my debts, reconnect with friends and family, enrich my knowledge, find love again, make new connections, start building the foundations for a full adult life, and still have time for stupid hijinks and fun. It all seems too much, yet anything less seems a cop-out.

I haven't been philosophizing much lately, just getting hung up with work and petty concerns. I haven't written anything really good, anything remotely dangerous, in a long time. It's time to get back to basics, methinks. If you don't change the direction you're headed, you're liable to end up where you're going.

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Great Daily Show Clip

Over/Spun has the link to a torrent file of a Daily Show clip that's absolutely priceless. The satire of the present day is great, but what I like even more is the use of historical punnery to frame the whole thing.

Cordery: "This war of words between the campaigns threatens to become a quagmire. Ooops, I shouldn't say 'War.' This police action between the two campaigns could go on for some time."

Smart. Insightful. Laugh out loud funny.

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Personal Update

I'm sick. I woke up Monday morning in Salt Lake City and I knew I was ill. Swolen throat, stuffy head. I've been pushing it a little too hard lately it seems. I'm taking it easy, which also means refraining from any vice. Today I realized that my headache wasn't just from congestion, but also from 36 hours without caffeine. Addiction, anyone?

I fly to NYC Thursday; get in early evening, will be calling around tomorrow to find the place to crash.

Hopefully my health will recover. Until then its off to the races regardless.

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Rumsfeld Must Go Part 9659

The hits keep coming. WaPo: Intelligence Soldiers Are Implicated

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has told reporters that one detainee was kept hidden on his instructions, following a request by the CIA. Staff Sgt. Christopher Ward, a member of the 372nd Military Police Company deployed at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, testified this week at a military trial in North Carolina that he was ordered to hide prisoners during at least three ICRC visits last fall and winter.

So our Secretary of "Defense" has brazenly admitted that he directly ordered US Military Personnel to violate the Geneva Conventions. And we're fine with this? Warning! Warning! Slippery slope ahead! Nation must change course asap, refute barbarism!

Does this trouble anyone else?

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Anarchist Scaremongering

It was only a matter of time. We've all had the script for a while:

The New York Times prints this on the front of their website (which I assume means front page in print), an articled called Anarchists Emerge as the Convention's Wild Card. It's the same old same old. Here's what protest-busting Miami Mayor Timoney has to say:

"These guys are pretty sophisticated and just wait for opportunities,'' said Chief Timoney, who as a ranking officer with the New York police confronted anarchist demonstrations during the 1992 Democratic convention. "They are going to look to provoke the cops. It's all a game.''

I'll tell you what I'm worried about: I'm worried about Agent Provocateurs. I'm worried that the patriot act makes it legal to infiltrate political groups and that some people may be embedded to start trouble. This was documented in '68, and though there are very few paralells between NYC and Chicago, one would be remiss to remember the chaos without remembering that it was largely instigated by excessively aggressive police action and agents of the police and COINTELPRO.

I know the NYPD is going to be relatively mellow, their little display of arsinal notwithstanding. Most of them don't really like Bush all that much, so they sympathize with protesters generally. They're by in large not looking to bust heads or book people.

The question is whether there will be any mob action. I can see the smart black blockers running their calculated decentralization tacits, demonstrating how a few hundred people with cell phones and a few bicicles can bring a major metorpolis to a halt. These tactics are effective, but they don't make great television, so I don't expect a lot of media coverage.

All in all I think the hype is good for everyone on the left; it will lead to a bigger "let down" when the streets of NYC fail to flow red with the blood of the unbelievers. It will also let the protesters prove their tactical superiority. And maybe just maybe the naicent ties between regular liberal and the radical left will continue to strengthen, as we realize we have goals in common.

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