Klein on "Anybody But Bush"

Naomi Klein writes in the Nation a really good take on the Bush vs. Kerry race. I couldn't agree more with her. Let's get Bush out, not because Kerry will be much better, but because we can stop with the silly Bush jokes about how stupid he is and concentrate on more systemic issues.

Billboard Coop

There's a billboard coop in Olympia called FREE TO DISAGREE. Very cool idea. I might think of better ways to spend the money but on the other hand, why be down on someone else's choice of tactics? It's pretty great. It'd be great if every city had a group like that. Especially more conservative cities. Imagine putting a billboard like that up in San Diego, or Charleston, SC. whew.

Good ol' Iowa

Today 3 banks in my hometown were robbed during Bush and Kerry appearances there.
Good old Davenport. Actually I wasn't born there, but I grew up there, from about the age of 5 till I went off to college. I think it's great that the bank robbers of my homeland were smart enough to take advantage of the preoccupation of the city's boys in blue.

I wonder which banks they were. The second-to- last time I was back to visit, I noticed that the old Davenport Bank, which was based in the city's tallest building (I think 12 stories), had been taken over by Wells Fargo. And of course so many other things keep changing all the time. My mother and stepfather live in a suburb that was a cornfield when I was a kid.

fresh air, mountain views and bullets

I went camping this weekend with 8 friends in Mount Hood National Forest, near Estacada, just about 1 hour from southeast of Portland. It was for the most part really great. I really wish I could go camping more often. It's hard to organize a whole group of people to go, and arranging transportation. I almost feel like I should buy a car just so I can get out in to nature more often. Pretty ironic, isn't it. Alter the climate, pollute the air, so you can enjoy nature. sigh.

Anyway, the one part of the trip that sort of marred the whole experience was this morning when the bullets started flying. I mean literally. Read more>>>

blogspam stopped in its tracks!

I just installed an MT plugin for blocking spam, MT-Blacklist, yesterday, and already 5 attempted commentspams have been blocked. Right on.

Team America

I really look forward to this film. Perfect timing, too.

i love how the site graphic is ambiguous about the film's position. Leftwing, irony-enabled folks can see immediately what an excellent critique of US policy this will be. but i can imagine rightwing nutjobs seeing it and not realizing ("aw yeah!!" they shout, raising a fist). i hope they maintain that ambiguity somewhat in their further marketing. otherwise, it willl just be more preaching to the converted....

Penguin Day, Live!!

update: I'm at Penguin Day, as discussed in my previous entry, and just wanted to mention a cool thing that is happening:
live updating to the wiki for the event.
There are tons of laptops here, a temporary wireless access point, and people are taking notes and pasting them into the Wiki as we speak.
You can hear snatches of biz-speak and investoresque jargon as you circulate around.... This is the kind of conference that you would expect to be at a Hyatt Regency out by the airport or downtown, but it's at Freegeek, which
has always had more of a "loading dock chic" kind of look to it. There are no microphones, and bascially one big room, tho
breakout sessions have spread into the little meeting room next door. But, it seems like a lot of good will come of this.

And yet I still just don't know what I personally want from it. My heart is just, in general, not in computers anymore. sigh.

Penguin Day

Today I'm going to Penguin Day at Free Geek. Penguin Day is a little symposium to bring together open source developers with non-profits. A worthy goal. Read more>>>

going global

All day I've been trying to get this article from IMC Bolivia about the Bolivian referendum made into a feature on the global Indymedia site. I didn't understand the process so I wasted lots of time this morning, and then this afternoon, waiting. Now I finally know the process and realize that it's rather involved.

But I'm nearly there, and then i'll send it in as a real proposal to the feature group.

I'm doing this while sitting in my backyard again, the superhot portland summer is cooling with the coming of twilight. I'm drinking yerba mate from the gourd I bought in Montevideo. A copy of today's New York Times is sitting under my laptop, open to their page 6 story about the referendum, which basically just says that Mesa won, there's hard times ahead, how's he going to implement it, he's in a hard spot. Which is all true. I bet very few people envy Carlos Mesa's position right now, he is between Scylla and Charybdis.

But the NYT article, typically, doesn't talk to anybody on the street, except for one poll worker. That's why I like Jennifer's article, it is direct eyewitness reporting, talking to real people out there. it's biased, of course. everyone is.


Is Bolivia About to Explode?

I've been devoting most of my time in the last couple of days to Bolivia, in one way or another. Either I've been scouring the web for news from there as the referendum Sunday, today, has approached, or I've been preparing for our screening on Bolivia that we're doing Tuesday. Yesterday I made a DVD of our 4 videos that looks pretty great. Today I made the cover for it, and distributed flyers for the show around to other portland imcistas who agreed to help post them around town.

Meanwhile I wait and wonder if in a few hours the object of all our effort, that country that has been screwed over so much in the last 500 years, will blow up in more violence and bloodshed like last October. I'm ready to help funnel news of this to northern indymedias, but other than that I feel like a helpless spectator, so far, far away.

I've been reading Eduardo Galeano's Open Veins of Latin America and really have learned a ton about the history of that part of the world. It's sort of a People's History of The United States for Latin America. Much more disturbing, though, because the opression is so much worse.

Strange or not so strange coincidence: I also have been reading Derrick Jensen's excellent A Language Older Than Words, and in it he mentions naming his new dog "Tupac Amaru." Just a day earlier I had read in Galeano's book about who Tupac Amaru was: an indigenous leader of a rebellion in colonial Peru. Very weird, and I never would have gotten Jensen's allusion if I hadn't also been reading Open Veins.

Of course it makes perfect sense that he would be aware of Tupac Amaru. In a way his book is a sort of superset of all the horrible exploitations described by Galeano. One can read of the genocides and enslavements and then turn to Jensen's book and read exactly what is behind our culture, this culture that hosts these atrocities and why it does.

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