"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Eyes on The Seed

Two years ago, the saintly leaders at DownHillBattle did a nice little bit of copyright and general activism by organizing screenings of the seminal Civil Rights documentary Eyes on the Prize, which has not been available for sale for some time because of all the clearances necessary for the archival footage.

Their action was called Eyes on the Screen, and it used BittTorrent to distribute the first two episodes of the video series. I participated in SF, torrenting the first two episodes and setting up a showing at this anarchist loft I had a couple of connections with.

It was probably one of the single most rewarding pieces of activism I've participated in, as it drew a very diverse crowd both young and old, and people were very moved by both the documentary (which is GD amazing) and the circumstances (internet wizardry) by which it was presented.

That event was one of the rare moments in my time as a velvet revolutionary where I really felt like my work was building on, rather than digging itself out from under, the legacy of the 1960s. It was fucking inspiring.

Holmes and Nick and Tiffany got some serious pushback from the original producers who claimed they were really working hard on getting everything together for a DVD re-issue, and that this "stunt" was putting it all at risk. In response, they took down the torrent link and instead encouraged people instead to get the video from a library for screening.

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Car Ownership

January 13th 2007, the day I bought my first car. What did I get? A Taliban Truck, natch. I feel we've got a lot to learn (methodologically, that is) from global guerrillas, and their strong endorsement of late 80s Toyota pickups carries weight with me.

More info and pictures (obviously) soon.

UPDATE: Made it home. The truck, tentatively christened Moamar, performed beautifully on the drive up, although there's a non-critical leak in the coolant system. Good to be home: frigid night air and a hot tub an exotic turnip soup. Nice.

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We Don't Need To Escalate

Well, it's on now. Bush will double-down more troops. Nancy will go all-in to beat it back, but Bush will veto and the House and Senate don't have 2/3rds majority to come over the top. Maybe in the time it takes to do this, more Republicans will flip, but it still seems unlikely that this can be effectively fought with procedure.

After all, Bush already started the escalation, sending more troops yesterday as a matter of fact. He's the decider!

I don't know what to make of this. It's kind of chilling that the President can keep surging forward even though everyone knows it's not really going to work out. It seems like a pretty big failure that there's no check or balance here, because this is moronic and (considering that people are dying) also somewhat monstrous.

The other spooky thing is sending those aircraft carriers, putting a Navy man in charge, and talking up the Patriot missile batteries (which are no real use against IEDs). That all points to Iran. But he wouldn't be stupid enough to try that, would he? Would he? Could we stop him if he was?

Not a fun line of thought to consider.

UPDATE: Shitters. I'm starting to get a very bad feeling about all this. It's very very Nixon part deux, but kinda worse in some ways.

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Dirty Hippies

There's a lot of political talk about dirty hippies, the phantom which animates so much of our power elite. The reasons for this must be dark and deeply psychological, but I really don't care. This is a generational fight I have no interest in wasting cycles on.

On my Jetblue flight back, VH1 Classic had a bit about the 60s and drugs, and they had some old footage of Kesey, both the Paul Newman-looking Acid Test version and the more familiar Pleasant Hill farmer. That guy was the MF man, and it's a shame their whole scene got busted down on so hard.

So yeah, hippies are annoying I know. I don't want to talk about crystal healing either. But, on the other hand, Florida Gator fans are annoying too. So maybe it's just people and not just hippies who are annoying.

Anyway, I'm back in California. Just another freak in the freak kingdom.

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Food fight part 2

Cleaning Up After A Food Fight

The problem with flamewars is that everyone gets burned. As they say, fighting on the internet is for retards. Yet sometimes you still get into it. I did. I'm going to post a diary on MyDD that's about the issues at hand, but I figured that in the spirit of getting back to my autobio blog roots, I might as well write the whole thing up for y'all.


Apple TV looks interesting and surprisingly affordable. I'd like to see what success early adopters have in hacking it up, because if I can SSH into this thing and trick it out I'll probably buy one. If it can be a media center and a solid network hub/firewall, I'll drop $300 to have a purpose-built device as that's a good pricepoint vs me building my own.

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Food Fight!

Basically I've heard enough stuff that I don't trust Jerome Armstrong, who does a lot of technology consulting to sell people stuff and subcontract the work. So I finally had to call him out on something and it got a little unpleasant.

We'll see how this plays out. I hope I'm wrong about Jerome's motivations here, but it really looks to me like he's trying to take a lot of credit and sell a lot of snakeoil, and then abuse his admin rights when I try and call him out on it.

UPDATE: After sleeping on it, I really do need to explain the whole "snakeoil" smear up there. There are too many ways to read what I wrote, and it's not really what I mean. I have to work and get on a plane today, but I will write a post clarifying this in the air.

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Josh Koenig's 139th Dream

For reasons lost to the dream I'm having dinner at the White House. It's not really the White House of course, and the part of George W. Bush is (natch) played by my father, but for the purposes of the dream it is the White House and he is the President.

I'm sitting in the dining room alone at a bare eight-person table, shortly joined by a kind of schlubby companion, known to be an obsequious courtier and who I also somehow know is named Josh. Annoyingly, he takes the seat next to mine out of all the other seven . This will be awkward because I won't know if people are speaking to him or to me at dinner.

The Bush daughters arrive, played by somewhat more vampy versions of themselves. Dumb-blond Jenna briefly flashes us two Joshes in the style of girls gone wild followed by Barbara (the more intelligent and ergo more attractive), who crawls across the wooden table to the far corner seat with the exaggerated, cat-in-heat style hips of a stripper working the rail.

The table is set, and various "grown ups" filter in. Laura Bush is Laura Bush. For some reason there isn't enough wine or wine glasses to go around, and Dubya/My Father rations out tiny quarter-glasses into various mugs and short cups from the dregs of a magnum bottle. For reasons lost to the dream I know we will still all become drunk, although I also find it improbable in the moment that there isn't more wine, a functionally unlimited supply, to be had in the White House, and that what we do have to drink is rotgut.

Conversation is indistinct. There is discussion of a legal brief -- schlubby courtier Josh is some sort of lawyer -- which will have to be approved by Cheney. He is never seen but rather felt as a presence, perhaps just in the other room. George makes a comment about how "we don't like being disturbed in the mornings around here," and -- scene missing? -- the next thing I know I'm waking up on a couch with a hangover.

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Speaker Pelosi++

This is a very good start.

Speaker Pelosi says Congress will reject Bush/McCain doctrine of escalation.

Please please please do what you can to make sure that people know about this. While most Americans don't want to escalate in Iraq, the national press bubble is going to spin this all sorts of ways.

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