Polls are Worthless (except the ones you agree with)

Mark Morford has brought us another great and timely rant, Who The Hell Is "Undecided"? / And why do so many election polls leave you angry and stupefied and drunk? He talks about how ridiculous it is that Kerry was ahead after the DNC and suddenly Bush is ahead after the RNC, and just barely hints at the manipulation going on, that of course the candidates are neck and neck because that gets people to watch TV and buy newspapers.

He also links to an interesting story about a poll that says most people in other countries, by a 5 to 1 margin, want Bush out. Of course, yeah, I believe that, but I still think that poll is as useless as all the others, and even more useless is the way it was reported. Never did they mention the list of 35 countries that were surveyed. 35 is not a lot, it would have been easy to list them. Never did they question that maybe 35 thousand is not a sufficient sampling of 6 billion. Oh well. Again, I'm not saying I disagree, I of course believe with all my heart and head that the people of the world for the most part hate Bush with a burning passion. It's just disturbing how statistics are spun.

No Class War But the Privileged Artists Against Developers War

A local artist on a local art mailing list (that I'm not on) posted something about a big warehouse in the southeast central industrial district being sold for 3 times market price. This warehouse is the location of studio space for many artists, and the writer was bemoaning the situation and proposing some sort of vague struggle against the further gentrification of the area.

So the message was forwarded to another list that I am on and the whole thing reminded me so much of what happened in the Mission District in San Francisco when I was living there. I decided to write a little rant about it: Read more>>>

Countering the (Il)Logic of Political Violence

Wow, here's another good article on Portland Indymedia about political violence. I only saw this because there happens to be a little controversy on our internal mailing list over whether we should feature it. There's a lot of partisanship within our IMC, and this kind of article falls right across the battlelines, so to speak.

Anyway, I haven't read it all, it's long, but I really am excited to see it, because the debate is really very important in today's movement(s).

Local Sweatshop

Just found this story on the portland imc site about Columbia Sportswear and the conditions there. This is the kind of great local articles that makes Indymedia great. Wow.

I'm particularly interested in the sweatshop issue because clients I have had are in the apparel industry. I don't feel good about that at all, but consequently I try to do what I can to get the word out and do other activism around the issue.

The Rule of Laws

The murderer of Archbishop Romero in El Salvador was found liable in a civil lawsuit for crimes against humanity and for "an extrajudicial killing," and was fined $10 million. (I love that phrase, extrajudicial killing - killing outside the law, killing not sanctioned by a court. The government has a monopoly on killing - a subject for another time, perhaps.)

My friend Jos

Playing for Team Cascadia

I didn't really do it conciously, but in response to or in spite of my thoughts expressed in my earlier post this morning, I spent most of the afternoon at the Portland IMC space, helping out with the audio webcast. Before that I talked to friend on his cell phone who is in New York, and got news of everyone he knew who had been arrested or detained or was just missing. Then I wrote a story about it for the portland site.

All of this was fun and interesting and I felt very useful. It's hard to tell how useful it really is because we seem to be just duplicating the efforts of the NYC people, but I guess that's better than just passively watching from across the country. At least we're taking on some of the bandwidth load, and we have been getting lots of hits and listeners.

Again, I don't know if I should have instead worked on Bolivia videos today, or something. I'm really feeling indecisive lately. I wish someone would tell what was most important. No I don't, actually. But still, the Burden of Freedom is a heavy weight. sigh.

RNC poster for auction

A friend got into the RNC yesterday and held up a sign saying "Girlymen for Arnold" - he consequently got lots of mainstream press attention. Now he's selling the sign
on ebay. Proceeds go to getting his friend and fellow video producer out of jail.

The World Turns, as New York Churns

As the arrest count spirals upwards in Manhattan all eyes not there, including my own, turn that way, when they're not doing whatever they need to do otherwise - working to pay september rent, trying to concentrate on other projects, trying to figure out what i'm doing with my life. Etcetera. Read more>>>

Political Flash Mobbing

Here's an article on NYC IMC about a flash mob street party tommorrow as part of the protests against the RNC. It's great to hear that the flash mob tactic has been taken up by the politically minded. When I first heard of it people were doing it just as a sort of Fluxus-like arty spectacle/prank, which I suppose in a way is inherently political, but I like the evolution it has come to now.

stupid happy people

Wow, this is disturbing: bad moods help you be more aware and remember more accurately.

Makes sense, but it's unfortunate. What happens when science finally proves happiness is bad?

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