"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Got To Stop The Hating: Get Your Learn On

You need to know science.

That's an animation from the Union of Concerned Scientists (who just leapfrogged most of the polical pack of 2006, son), which explains how the blast of a "bunker busting" nuke attack on one of Iran's remote nuclear facilities could still kill 3 million, and put ten times that up for a fatal cancer risk.

We have got to stop the hating. Found this via Billmon, who's apparently been raised from his slumber by all this

Pass it on

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Forgive us now for wasting the dawn

Sunday wasted away on work and dithering. The newly painted room carries and aura of accomplishment though. Also on the upside: I informed the Belle de Park Slope that I would probably be spending some/all of the summer months in the State of Jefferson. Unsurprisingly, she was unsurprised. Tough girl. Like that.

The spring has arrived, and it seems that the wheels are in motion again.

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The Now Trip

It's 70 degrees. I slept in late. I'm missing the alleycat (unsanctioned bicycle street race) that Frank invited me to in DUMBO. I'm drinking some coffee and some OJ and thinking about how much work I should try to get done and when I should call the Belle du Mois.

I'm thinking about getting started painting my room, because even if I bail out of here at the end of May I still want to do it. It'll make it a nicer room, and it's something I've wanted to do, and I already bought the paint and everything. (Update: I did it!)

I'm wondering when my generation is going to start getting its shit together. Probably not for another four or five years, but there's lots and lots of groundwork to be laid in the mean time. Thinkin' about that old tyme corpulent populism. Thinkin' about how spreading the internet all over the planet in the next 50 years could be the key to lasting world peace: when people can connect directly, it makes it a lot harder to gin up the war fever.

I'm thinkin' about the summer of Jefferson.

Among other things, I've been thinking about that idea for having pr0n support "The Foundation."

It's vitally important that as many aspects of what we do are independently and sustainably funded. It's also true that from a political perspective, straight white males are the backbone of almost everything evil. I've been thinking there's synergy here.


1) Prontrepreneurial site lets anyone run their own porno operation, keep the legal rights to their content and the lions share of the net profits. Has all the functionality of your standard 3rd-wave stuff (community/networking, memebers-only torrents, etc). Some small portion (10%?) goes to funding projects and other stuff. The goodstorm business model, but with smut.

2) One of the projects will be an attempt to push some of the best and most tasteful content onto politically impressionable young white males, but packaged within the context of a "lifestyle" website which espouses our own social values. Like playboy in its heyday. Kind of non-misogynist-consumer-zombie version of Maxim, but we show nipples.

3) The magazine (which I like to call "Corpulent Populism") also becomes a showcase for other Foundation Funded projects.

And now I want to go outside and tune up my bike. So I will.

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Fuckin' a! www.royband.com. These guys are classic. They hit the comic nerve exploited by Napoleon Dynamite more than 5 years ago (shit, has it been that long?). I saw them live in the basement at the House of Rock &anp; Roll, where my friends Luke and Tom and Chris and John Henry and Max -- and some otheres no doubt -- lived, at a show/party that featured mostly punk and metal bands and a couple kegs of beer. They brought their own ironing board to set up the Casio on. The crowd sang along. It was a good time.

Do yourself a favor and check it out: www.royband.com.

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A Little More Iran

Apropos the post below about the (in)ability of debate to do anything to alter our nation's course towards or away from war with Iran, I'm still going to post about it. If you want some good background, listen to this bit from Sy Hersh on Fresh Air. Chock full of facts.

Out here on the internets, some think it's hip to compare the president of Iran to Hitler. The impetus is that a few neo-nazis in Germany are rallying in support of Iran, but really I think it is about ginning up support for a war. I think that's stupid.

Granted, it's not quite as moronic as comparing Howard Dean to Der Feurer, which happened last December after he put forward the view (now conventional wisdom) that we can no longer "win" in Iraq. No, it's smarter than that. Unfortunately, it is also more dangerous.

Let's nip this shit in the bud. Let's keep it real. What real fucking significance is there to a few asshole skinheads in Germany doing their usual crap? Zero. That doesn't make invoking WWII and the Holocaust apt, it makes it crass.

Wot-wot? Goodmin's Law, sucka. We gots to stop the hating.

Given the total worldwide costs and consequences of an aggressive attack on Iran -- which would be massive, just think about it -- the idea seems like a loosing proposition even through the most steely realpolitik, especially considering that there is not even any immediacy to the threat.

There are plenty of players who have skin in the game. Perhaps when we have a head of state capable of, you know, conducting diplomacy, progress might be made. There's still plenty of time.

Do people really think that Iran would give up it's existence in order to nuke Israel? Ahmadinejad may be many things, but he's not crazy. He's not even Kim-Jong-cooky. He's a populist head of state who's well connected and has no desire to kill himself or cause his nation and people to be annihilated.

But suppose diplomacy really is useless. If nothing changes, in 5 to 10 years, Iran may have a nuclear weapon, which they'd be pretty unlikely to use offensively. The far more likely logic for acquiring nuclear arms for these smaller nations is deterrence against conventional attack from a superior external force.

Let's not feed that paranoia any more, eh?

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Does the debate over Iran matter?

Tracking the possibility of an upcoming air-war with Iran (which might or might not include "bunker busting" nuclear weapons and would be followed by who knows what), I think one of the most discouraging things is that after the past three years I really don't feel like there's much I can do about it.

Glenn Greenwald: Does the debate over Iran matter?

[W]e can have all the lofty and vigorous debates we want over whether a military offensive against Iran is desirable, prudent, disastrous, crazy, etc. But ultimately, nothing we think - or our representatives in Congress think - really matters, because these decisions, under this administration, are "for the President alone to make." We could refuse to authorize this military offensive, or even enact legislation banning it, and none of that would matter in the slightest. It's worth remembering that in our country today, the President is the "sole organ" in all such matters, and he has full, limitless, and un-limitable authority to do whatever he wants.

If the administration really resolves internally - whether for political reasons or bloodlust or some crazed Steyn-like beliefs or any combination of those or other motives - to attack Iran, is there any doubt that they will do that no matter how much opposition there is? One thing is clear - they believe they have the power and authority to do that unilaterally, and that they need no further authorization of any kind beyond the President's will.

This is where we're at. It might be an interesting showdown if Bush went to Congress for some kind of authorization, but short of a truly massive and resounding rebuke, I don't think our "representatives" really have any power here. Given that a strike on Iran would be calculated to maximally improve the GOP's changes of retaining control of the House and Senate, I think the majority party would play along.

As for we the people, well, if we had mass protests that were even larger than the current immigration rallies, maybe something might happen, but I think that kind of turnout is unlikely. Roll that 9/11 b-reel, crank up the fear machine, talk about mushroom clouds and how "they" can't be trusted, and a cricial mass of the citizenry will go along initially. Even if mass protests were to happen, given the nature of the Media (who will likely cheerlead any march to war) and the Bush Administration (which, we must remember, considers protesting citizens a kind of "focus group") and the continuing disconnect between Establishment Democrats and the now-majority of Americans who are (with regard to Iraq at least) anti-war, I think it's doubtful that such demonstrations would do anything to alter the course of events.

It's in pappi's hands, baby. This is what you get.

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Bittorrent TV

New version of Democracy, the internet TV app from those revolutionaries in Worcester. It should work great for getting a lot of interesting indie content, and if you feel like it's your right to watch regular TV online (like I do) there are lots of torrentfeeds around for your electronic civil disobediencing pleasure.

Good to see these things are coming along.

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Bittorrent TV

New version of Democracy, the internet TV app from those revolutionaries in Worcester. It should work great for getting a lot of interesting indie content, and if you feel like it's your right to watch regular TV online (like I do) there are lots of torrentfeeds around for your electronic civil disobediencing pleasure.

Good to see these things are coming along.

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Net Freedom Going Down

Telecom reform moves forward / House panel OKs measure favored by phone companies:

A House subcommittee handed phone companies a victory Wednesday by voting 27-4 to advance a bill that would make it easier for them to deliver television service over the Internet and clearing the way for all Internet carriers to charge more for speedier delivery.

The lopsided vote was a defeat for Internet and technology firms like Google and Microsoft, which had hoped to amend the bill to enforce a principle called network neutrality and preserve the status quo under which all Internet traffic is treated equally

This was last week. Looks like the internet is on its way to losing this one. Suxxors. No word on this from any of the players I know of. I have a creeping suspicion that business as usual will bear down. Until Google, Yahoo, and some kind of aggregator of internet participants start handing out big checks, I don't think many Congresspeople will take the time to "get it."

Maybe I'm just in a cynical mood.

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Signs and Wonders

Last Saturday afternoon Mark and I took a little drive over to Patrick's Point Park a few miles North of Westhaven, hiked out along the rim trail for a mile or so. Great vistas, even with a windy drizzle on. For those of you who haven't been to the Pacific Northwest, there's really nothing like it in terms of raw natural power in a coastline. I suggest you take it in before you die.

It was a good chat. The crisis of meaning is an everpresent first-world problem. Those of us who ascend Maslow's Pyramid of Human Needs, we get past the basiscs of survival and safety and living within a society, and then we're buggered by things like having a social circle that esteems us, and finding that inner source of purpose and reason.

Maslow's Pyramid of Human Needs

And we're not getting any younger. Mark's 27. I'll be there in another month. We can joke all we want about the 35-to-55 sweet spot for having a family, but the truth is if you want to get there in style there's groundwork to be laid.

(On a related note, I came home to find the only mail that had piled up was wedding-related, from friends. Everyone goes through this, I'm sure, but it sure is new and interesting to me.)

But groundwork. Where and how to begin? I await revelation, listening to the wind and to my guts, searching for way to call down lightning, sniffing around for signs and wonders.

My ability to plan my life has always been somewhat light. What is a plan? A list of things that probably won't happen. Surely I can make decisions, pursue goals, change courses through the exercise of will -- I believe in all that -- but all the Great Things that have ever happened to me came through synchronicity and luck.

I'm an accidental person, embracing the unexpected. It is written in my soul, my genesis. I maneuver into the moment and channel my talents and instincts based on the situation. It all sounds more hippy-dippy on paper than it feels to me inside. I still have great expectations and outlandish ambitions, and I really believe this kung-fu is the best way for me to get shit done. So it's not as though I'm a lost soul or one of those Tolkienesque wanderers. The internal compass and gyro units still run strong, but how this squares with putting together a whole stable life remains unknown.

Awaiting revelation the question rattles: do I settle down and start playing by the rules, or do I persist in my alternative/outlaw style. Instinctually the choice is clear -- I'm an outlaw baby; a ramblin' man -- but the suit grows around me through fear of the unexpected: something demanding medical insurance, a death in the family, who knows what might happen. "Be prepaired," a certain voice says. Ironic: what's the difference between these unexpected events that I should settle down in preparation of and my long-awaited sign from heaven? It's in the eye of the beholder I suppose.

I need to get out from under the weight. This is why I want to get to California for the summer. This is why I want to stop working for political groups and start working in politics. This is why I want to tear down this old website and get back to my roots.

The square world isn't going anywhere. That's one of the nice things about it. It's high time to hew to the ethos.

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