Saturday, April 21, 2007

Gore Team Assembles? Imus Lawyers Up! Skakel Tries For a New Trial With RFK Jr's Help. Movies Shooting in Stamford.









It was front page for 12 whole hours on Huffpo and Chris Matthews mentioned it, so it must be true....Apparently someone in the UK press, Washington Bureau, has gotten wind of some secret assemblage of Gore advisers and workers in advance of a probable run. Gore has reportedly not asked the to do this, but he, tellingly, has not told them NOT to either....and the sleuthing American press can only watch his weight!...hmmmm...
I am an Edwards gal myself, but I cant say that I wouldn't love to see an Gore-Edwards ticket for 8 years with a smooth transition to an Edwards-Obama ticket for another 8 years, segueing into another 8 years and so on and so forth....It seems to me that the first 4 years post Bush is gonna consist of environment, diplomacy, and bringing the security system home where it belongs. Its going to be so much cleanup that its hard to imagine that much else will get done. Gore is the right guy for the job, for sure, but I will remain hesitant about him until I hear what his hindsight feelings are on NAFTA, welfare reform of the Clinton era, and how much of a hawk he really is. Its easy to project alot onto him, but its a different world now than it was in 2000, and we have to be very careful who we throw in with.


Ok...maybe its not really as fun as I think it sounds...but CBS is apparently gonna have to do some negotiating with the old cowboy before this is all said and done....
Looks like a 50 mil payout is to be expected if the fine print wasn't fine enough...dont they call it "moral turpitude?" or something like that?
This should be interesting:

Imus Hires a Legal Heavyweight

The former CBS radio talk-show host has retained a high-powered lawyer. Is a lawsuit pending?

Don Imus, the most famous former radio DJ in America, has hired renowned attorney Martin Garbus.

Garbus, a partner in the Manhattan law firm Davis & Gilbert, confirmed to BusinessWeek on Apr. 20 that the deposed radio host has retained his services, but he declined to discuss why. Garbus also declined to discuss whether Imus was plotting any legal action against his former employers at CBS (CBS) and MSNBC (MSFT, GE). A brief sentence on Garbus' personal blog, late Friday afternoon, noted that Garbus "represents Don Imus in a dispute with CBS"—a sentence that was later removed from the blog.

A ferocious litigator who has received numerous media citations as one of America's leading trial lawyers, Garbus has represented clients as diverse as the comic Lenny Bruce, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Nancy Reagan, and pioneering rap group Public Enemy.

Imus, 66, could not be reached for comment.

A CBS spokeswoman declined to comment on the matter. But Imus recently signed a five-year deal with CBS, which was set to pay him just shy of $10 million annually. The company's abrupt dismissal of its high-profile star also has led to speculation in the press about what his departure will mean to the company. A spokesman for MSNBC also declined to comment.....





Imus' disgusting pig of a producer was finally fired and I sure hope that the rest of his vile crew go too. I actually think that Bernard and Charles are more disgusting than Imus.
Why does anyone care for Imus? My Mom was just going on about how she thinks that Imus should be reinstated....huh? This is my hippie, women's movement, bohemian Mom?
All I can say is that I was very happy to not have him on the air this week. It made my mornings so much better to be able to watch MSNBC, which is my news channel of choice for background noise, Here is a little article by a guy who actually likes Imus and says that the liking Imus thing involves desensitization. In that case, I'm even more glad that he is off the air. The disgusting things that these guys have been saying should be sensitive issues for anyone, anywhere. Im not saying that he doesnt have the right to say whatever he wants to, but I wouldn't watch him, and I expect that the slow awareness of the sponsors was bound to stop him sooner or later. There is a big difference between free speech that cuts to the quick of society and free speech that expresses real ideas that need to be talked about. These guys who think its OK to misuse their rights and then scream about their rights are doing the whole system a big disservice...because its beyond rights...its about feeling real empathy for other people and being aware of who is around you (kids with cancer, a national audience, his own friends and family...did I mention kids with cancer?)


In local goings on, Mt Kisco's own Bobby Kennedy Jr. has been testifying downtown at Stamford Superior Court, on behalf of his cousin Michael Skakel. For what its worth, Bobby doesn't feel like the evidence was strong enough beyond a reasonable doubt for conviction, and I agree...but also now there is the issue of new evidence from someone who came forward after the trial that sheds further doubt on the already shaky outcome. I find it chilling that someone can be sent to jail for life on the kind of indirect and very old evidence that they showed. I'm not a lawyer, but I trust Bobby's opinion of this because I know that he is a smart and stand up guy....and logically, even if Skakel did do it, the direct evidence just wasn't there beyond a reasonable doubt, as far as I've seen in following this thing.
So, we've had a line of news trucks and even a huge Court TV van parked outside. I think that Bobby is done, but it might be worth it to try to get a seat if they have any public seats available. Not so fantastic criminal attorney, Mickey Sherman, has also been testifying...and is apparently under investigation himself for tax evasion, (as his partner, and a great guy who happens to be a neighbor of mine, has already pled guilty to the same.) Mickey has lost so many cases lately that its almost like he is just stuck on a streak...Its hard not to be fond of these guys though because they are local boys who grew up together and they know everyone....The amount that Rechihi pled guilty on is 1.8 million, which is really chump change around here. Anyway, I hope that he does easy time because he is not a danger and actually is someone who cares alot about conservation of the land up here and the community. He has helped me out quite a bit...and I'm sorry that he made this mistake.

Spring also brings lotsa movie shoots to Stamford, and next week we're going to have Sean Penn, Bruce Willis, and Bobby Deniro shooting on Tresser Blvd, in an office building (closed set, I hear.) And also apparently Steven Segal (who I cant even believe can work anymore, he is so god-awful) shooting and action film called Marker, here and in Bridgeport. I guess that the film business is hopping here because there is some deal that the film companies get a 30% tax credits, and there are more and more SAG actors here. They've been working on it for a very long time and its paying off...Anette Benning has a movie in the works to be shot in Norwalk, and Hillary Swank has begun a movie that is scheduled to shoot here and Norwalk, I believe.

I like Sean Penn...he sure puts his money where his mouth is, though he can sometimes seem to take himself too seriously, and go overboard. He showed a little of his funnier side on Colbert this past week, which was very nice.....I've got to get some tickets and go to one of Colbert's tapings....he is still my hero.



Its a regular lil' Hollywood ....and traffic, traffic, traffic...But I like the smell of the equipment and prop trucks, just as surely as I'm oh so glad not to be in that business anymore....

Happy Earth Day everyone...dont forget the bees...







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Wacko Bush Speaks Again; Put a Sock in it! !Welcome to the Brilliant, Welcome to the World, such as it is, Violet Marie! No Parrots!! Too Many Words!!















There is a bee outside my window!

One of my favorite reads lately is Jill's Brilliant at Breakfast Around the Blogroll in which she introduces us to what shes found out there in the blogosphere, with always some new writer/article/blog who I never would have found without her knowledge of these here tubes that we call the Internets. And I'm not just saying that because today she paid me one of the biggest compliments that I think Ive ever gotten in my entire life of being the one who was considered to be the "good" writer of whatever situation I might find myself in. Not for readership's sake, though I welcome any of you who are popping over here and I really welcome comments, but because I respect Jill's writing, her commentary, and her self discipline (which I totally lack, in the shorter is better dept....Ive been trying to learn that since high school but it doesn't stick, so it may be book time coming up sooner than I have time for.) Thanks Jill and welcome to Jill's readers. You may even like the parrots...(I have dogs too, you know, just write about them less...) And really because, without people like Jill I might not have tried or ever continued, when I got up the nerve to tell a few people that I was writing again.

It is a sparkling day here on the east coast of America, in the richest county this side of Palm Beach, and another dawning of some sorta recommitment to the "surge?"...Is that even humanly possible? Is anyone listening to Bush speak lately?...chicken plucking? polls go poof? When does he get HIS recommitment...to the mental ward?

Half the people I know are in horrible pain for various reasons right now, but mostly having to do with loss and relationships....and no one needs any advice, nor can they take it, but the only feeling that I have about these things anyway is this: feelings can be painful, but they wont kill you. It may feel like they will sometimes, but they won't. Feelings pass....so, hold on to the wall and wait as long as it takes. Don't buy a gun, don't go running back to anything that makes you unhappy, and try not to fall apart.
This is from someone who is firmly on antidepressants and still has to balance carefully who and what is around me....But the important thing is that, life is full of texture...all of the beautiful pictures of the perfect house and wedding and prom, those intense feelings of forever, are just fleeting moments that we create so that we can make our memory books....Life is pretty rough, but without that you wont feel the smoothness when it comes. It seems to me lately, maybe the shining moments can carry us through...I don't know for sure, but Im feeling more and more like the light at the end of the tunnel is getting a tiny bit brighter. Of course, when you go into the tunnel and see the light it can go either way, so lets hope that this isn't the death light, but rather some sort of dawning....Like, Joe Trippi is going to run Edwards campaign...cut to the angels singing. Gonzo's going down, in that deer in the headlights unreality of saying "I don't remember" 70+ times!! Its embarrassing and pathetic and I hope that his hell is reliving this moment over and over for all eternity, just for the attitude....Alec Baldwin showed us the mechanics behind laying the groundwork for real abuse and its out there so that all of us who have heard that shit can say, "Yeah, fuck him!! Fuck you Alec...and all of your buddys...and your fundamentalist brother too!"
Look, I know that it wont last, because everything runs in cycles and all, but maybe we're gonna get a little reprieve from the constant hammering thats been going on for years now....maybe fantasy-land has to hang on a sec so that we can clean up the mess for the children.











To PJ Sauter and the infamous Raging Granny (I hope to hear you all singing happy birthday!), a big congratulations on the birth of your granddaughter, Violet Marie....Grandpa and Grandma are working very hard for little Violet to grow up in a kinder world....Thats what its all about. (Note: the stand-in newborns above are NOT Violet, but she will be posted if and when pictures come my way!)
Smell her head and remember this fleeting moment, because before you know it she'll be showing up at the door telling you how much she hates her life and rolling her eyes at you because you are so silly....But the beauty of grandparenthood is that you can usually give them back at the end of the day! You guys are awfully young for this duty, but I think you're up to it!



flower images brought to you by Suzanne Camejo (the lovely woman who puts up with my father.)

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Nature of Humanity, Empathy, and Love as Seen Through the Looking Glass of Va. Tech..Maybe I Really Am a, Socialist...?

























I finally watched Babel tonight, trying to avoid the late fees from Blockbuster; no such luck....Tragedy and gun violence...and how intertwined the whole world is...and, yes, its a little self-aware as a movie, but I liked it. It was a good match for my mood. I didn't bother with Borat at all.

So whats going on? Lets see:

Pathological Narcissism...Asocial Personality Disorder....Psychosis....Selfishness...Anger Management...;
Is that Gonzo or Cho...or maybe Georgie himself? (...and lets not forget Alec Baldwin, for anyone who wants a little taste of...um...my childhood...?)










Yeah...about the tragic shooting: Its more than a little scary to hear some of the dissection (10% of the time only, they say) on every media outlet, non-stop, in the days since the shooting, and to realize that our own president shows signs of the same disorders, or at the very least some sort of extreme denial in the face of logical evidence. I suppose that if we called that particular manifestation a mental illness, we would have whole church buses full of people being treated (or not, as the case may be,)with anti-psychotic drugs...

For a moment yesterday I got an AAR signal in the car, just long enough to hear Randi Rhodes read a heartbreaking letter from a woman who has raised a kid with one of these extreme diagnosis', and it only confirms so much of what I've been saying, and what I'm now hearing all over, that this Virginia Tech tragedy is a failure of an overtaxed system that has its hands tied, but also that is controlled by insurance and drug companies, and then the burned out doctors, buried in paperwork, many of whom will throw meds at a patient and not follow up properly.

It is probably true that people with disorders this severe cannot be treated...they never get better....but if they are at least identified, maybe something like these sorts of mass killings can be prevented. Who knows?
I'm actually surprised that this doesn't happen more often, considering how much pain people seem to be in all around.

I know from my own experiences, that mental health problems all fall on some continuum, and that a stone cold diagnosis without a deeper understanding, or at least awareness, of this fact does little for society or safety, much less the sick person.
This kid apparently stopped his rampage long enough to go back to his room, finish a videotaped suicide bomber message, and then go and mail a package to NBC.

NBC, upon receiving this package had to decide, along with the FBI, how much to show in that fine line between encouraging copycats, and informing or upsetting the public. Of course there are ratings to be had there too.
The airing of the video is, I guess, a sticky situation, but I can't see that not knowing what this thing is about helps society. Hiding this from our kids isn't going to give them the tools that they need in order to question and reason about the world around them.

The hard truth is that we are actually evolving animals with layers of history contained within a brain mass that is hardly understood by medicine or philosophers. There are, of course, barbaric tendencies deep inside (or sometimes less deep, I guess,) and on that evolutionary continuum lies some sort of self control and awareness of right and wrong....maybe.
In a tribal world, this kid would have been taken out just because his basic behavior is not a desirable trait to pass on, (...or he might be worshiped as a god I suppose...anything is possible.)


We have this storied ability to reason and feel empathy which sets us apart from the other animals in the kingdom, but delusional thought is delusional thought, and that higer level reasoning depends so much on not only chemicals but the stark fear of death, that is also probably instinctual....and who decides if its crazy that Allah is telling you to strap on a bomb and go shopping, or if Jesus is coming to rapture you up to heaven? Where is the delusional line beyond the DSM-V.v6 and whats considered socially acceptable, from handling snakes to eating a wafer that is magically the flesh of God?



This kid had all sorts of very obvious problems and had actually checked himself into a mental hospital as a danger to himself and others at one point...but the system failed him in that there is no way ever to do anything unless and until someone gets hurt. The system is able to dispense meds and encourage therapy, if one can get it, wants it, and has health coverage... If not, then theres another soul added to the masses wandering round with a prescription bottle in one hand muttering to the sound of wheels turning somewhere.

If care and love and empathy are really caused by the release of certain chemicals; for example a breastfeeding mother hears her baby crying and the milk actually rushes down within her breasts; (...and it is the strangest feeling I can ever describe, let me tell you!).... or, my bird, Ben, is feeding his mate, Rosie, in the nest box while she sits on her egg(s?) Is that what we have been led to believe is "True Love?...Or, as Marc Maron said one morning a couple of years ago on the radio, "love is (just) need, all dolled up,"...Is this feeling of love and empathy just a thing that is necessary for survival, or is it more?....and so then are the most empathetic and well oiled in the hormonal and brain chemical department the fittest? If things get to a point where there are just too damned many of us, do we start to go crazy and cut the herd ourselves? Is that OK? I don't know, to tell the truth, but it seems like its worthwhile to think about it, because our system has been going through a long cycle of breaking down (as it seems to every time the republicans are in power,) and we are actually cutting the herd.
This is a close up view of Darwinism...and surely its a failure of society in that we are raising our kids not to question the cultures and personal proclivities of others, to the point where its OK to act like a maniac and no one will get involved lest they appear un-PC. There is a difference between personal space and privacy, and questioning insane behavior; even if it just makes YOU more safe and you don't give a shit about anyone else... . But what is missing when the individual only cares about itself, and doesn't see that the person who they are trying to move into the next subway car to get away from is a cog in the societal chaos that makes the self be able to survive, (or at least the gene line and history of the self.) In other words, if you feel guilty about running the other way, maybe you shouldn't because being selfish is the Darwinian way...right? Maybe that's politically incorrect, but where is the safety net and how can we draw a reasonable line?
We are raised to spend every waking moment going against what our animalistic urges are, and with the help of the constructs of society, laws and religion, we do a pretty good job of keeping things sort of orderly...but, every once in a while, it seems like its an awfully hard thing to maintain what the rules are if you haven't found your own ethical grounding...who are you and who do you want to be...and is it even possible?

The material released by NBC is an important piece in this story...I would never choose to hold this information back in order to stop any sort of copycat, as opposed to letting society know what certain behavior looks like, and that its not OK to just ignore it; just like the sweating guy praying furiously before getting on an airplane or the box left in the middle of Grand Central Station. Isn't it time we started taking some responsibility for whats going on around us? Not in a negative police state sorta way, but in some encouraging of awareness of our neighbors and the fact that we are all overstressed by life, war, and a government which has decided that the best way to hold power is to keep the masses in fear, ignorance, and poverty. How did it become OK to look at the Jerry Springer Show with interest and yet not OK to make sure that your neighbor is alright?

The Republican agenda, which kicked into high gear when Reagan was in office, has cut as much funding as possible from social programs, from health to education to welfare to...you name it. My question is, hows that been working out for us?
Is society getting healthier and better as we outsource everything to private entities? Who ends up with the ultimate responsibility after a few heads roll? Americans have an insatiable appetite for who to blame, and then we go back to the couch and turn on Oprah and eat some more chips.
Will we ever look at this for what it is? Its a failure of our entire society and government to take care of each other...and yes, that includes so-called liberal programs and safety nets that take care of our weakest members. We are only as strong as the weakest member of our society, and we are only as good, moral, and ethical as we act towards those people. So for any religious people out there trying to fulfill that impossible perfection of a God's requirements, there will be no rapture or heaven for you ...no flying either...no clouds...unless you straighten this out.
Would a social system with a good safety net in place catch everyone who might fall? No. Would it maybe prevent some of the horrible things that come out when the human mind scrapes bottom with nowhere to turn? Maybe...and its worth a shot. Its at least worth it to actively engage people, like we do in the first year of a baby's life with so many doctor's visits and checkups....Why do we not have health insurance that includes preventative health care?

Anyone at any time can lose certain capacities through brain injury, onset of mental illness, or just be born without certain juices that make one "normal". We are an evolving animal but it remains to be seen which direction we're evolving in. So, isn't it worth it to work towards solving problems and actively providing outlets to people?...maybe try to evolve in some sort of positive direction....
So, blame the kid. Storm off the Today show because they aired the video. The kid is a monster and he killed your kid; never forgive him. But as sure as you or I are gonna go on, I can say that there are others like him out there right now. Is it more important to try to show what this one looked like or more important to show some sort of grief driven respect to the dead?

Without regulation of the health insurance industry, a national health plan, a strong set of programs to allow parents to actually parent their children, and an adjustment of what is expected in the way of a work week as opposed to time to live...and education...and encouragement of reasoning, learning ethics, decision making, and philosophy...How can we expect that every member of society is going to at least be caught in a safety net somehow, somewhere?

We are surely evolving, but the question that we have to ask ourselves is are we falling backwards into to tribal barbarism and warring behaviors of earlier versions of ourselves...and should we expect more of ourselves as a society? I say that we should...much more. Forget your tax break and spending it at Wal-mart. We should demand a society with programs for everyone. Health, parenting, nutrition, education (even college!) We should also expect that kids growing up in this society do some work for the country in the military or in social services programs. Everyone should be invested, and everyone should expect something back.


For any of us who might feel like they are empathetic and caring and who also realize (sometimes to our own dismay and embarrassment) that its all really about the big "me", I say, good!...because you at least realize that you are interacting with another human being, and at the moment of realization that you are probably acting as just a selfish animal trying to put on a jacket and tie in the jungle, you have shown more self awareness than most people ever have.
Most of us are so afraid to even peek in the mirror, and some of us ONLY look in the mirror. The difference is in how we reason about the clear information that is presented to us there.

So, look in this kid's eyes. Hate him all you want....maybe he had no empathy for anyone at all, ever....maybe he was born a stone cold murderer....Some people know this of their kids and beg the system for help, as the woman who wrote to Randi Rhodes has done for years. In the end, she is begging for help because the kid will leave home soon and she is sure that he will be hurting people in the best case scenario; become a killer in the worst. But also realize that the kid is all of our failures. We need to own this as a society...its not just a crazy kid...its not just solid evil...Its not the devil; Its a mix of things including gun control, health care, mental illness, dissociation in society.....

If real love and connection with another person is some sort of looking into another and feeling as one, or seeing yourself in someone else, and in fact a chemical reaction, then why does it stop there? Isn't the point of the capacity to care and love one other person that it also has the capacity to extrapolate outwards to all of society? The truth is, that we are less human if we cant see ourselves in the drunk on the street or the crazy guy with a gun.
I cant say if the shooter in this case was in pain, depending on how removed he was from himself...but, I can say that most forms of mental illness, be they just some mild obsessive compulsive disorder or depression, up to the worst illness you could imagine, hurts like hell...and there is no escape. The horrible thing is that this guy had to take so many people out with himself....but maybe because of this huge systemic failure we can look at the system from the government on down and try to remember every person's right to have proper medical care and attention no matter what...maybe that will prevent the next tragedy.

The victims....The New York Times has a nice graphic of who got killed...but in the same week, a couple hundred people were killed in Iraq, and countless others as collateral damage, not to mention the injured and the kinds of injuries that we are seeing in this war (or not seeing, actually...)
As sad and horrible as this thing is, don't ever think that these kids are more valuable than the kids in Iraq, or Oklahoma City so many years ago....Here is a CNN graphic site of soldiers killed in Iraq, if we have to know who each one was individually.( ...and I hope that hell for George Bush is eternity watching the home movies of not only the US and "coalition" forces, but also the civilians killed in this farce of a war.)

I have an inherent fear of those huge universities with hundreds of kids packed into each lecture hall. It feels like there are too many of us sheep out here and like we are warehousing our kids, overworking our teachers, and like, if we are crowding people into the system like cattle and not spending the money and time that is necessary in order to address their needs, we cant expect that something like this isn't going to happen once in a while. Probably more than we know, depending on what is newsworthy and what to actual body count is.
The thing is that most of the kids around here who have been in precious private schools for their entire lives yearn to be at the huge high schools or colleges. You cant really tell kids anything, but you can raise them to be empathetic and to know that the world depends on them being able to reason and make ethical and moral decisions ...and that its not such a bad thing to run the other way once in a while....trust your gut...tell someone.










And one more word to Alec Baldwin: Its you, Alec, who is a "worthless pig"...she is an 11 year old child who has been put through hell because you are an aggressive asshole. Hows that yelling and screaming thing working out for YOU?... There is NO excuse for ever speaking to a child that way.

And Personal to Joementum Lieberman: Shut the fuck up, butt boy! ...or Ill fly out there, pull you out of Bush's butt, you worthless little pig, and straighten you out!! The Ill fly away!! Oh and, Joe, no one cares what you think...only Bush, Laura, and Barney...like I said, nobody!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

GUESS WHO LAID AN EGG????






Rosie!!! She laid Egg # 1 today!!!!! Ben has been feeding her and guarding her for almost a week in the nest, driving me crazy waiting out here...they are both sitting in the nest all of the time. Its a perfect little white thing, and I shouldn't look at all anymore until I hear little peeps in 24 days!
I should expect one each day or every other day now until they've laid, hopefully 4 or 5! Im so excited!...Just hope that they all have babies inside...at some point its up to mother nature! My birthday is coming up and THIS is what I wanted!! Thanks guys!...How many am I gonna get??

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The Daily Show's Jason Jones on the Missing Emails and How it Coulda Possibily Happened



Comedy Central is nice enough to let us embed this until April 20th!! By then, hopefully some stealthy geek will have put it up on YouTube in code....

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech Shooting, The Deluge, Mark Green Responds to His Email, Gramercy Finale for Maron Rollins & Garafolo......






Bear with me here... I've got pumps running in the basement and the intrepid Panda Garden deliveryman boating up here through the floods with $50 worth of Chinese food, in the interest of growing boys who want MEAT!! (and my little broccoli rabe and tofu steam on the side...though roast pork calls with a pretty intense voice....)
School was canceled and half my town is shut down...and I cant even describe the mess.
This is what it is going to be like as coastal areas go under water due to global warming. Maybe we wont have an alarmed Jake Glyndenhall looking over his shoulder at the ice wall rolling through Wall St., but the consequences of rising water and the inability of the ground to hold it all, is very real here at sea level...and even my place which is 200 feet above the water and sits up from the road on an upward sloping mountain of sorts, is completely overcome by the new amount of water that is coming down all at once, and over a long period of time. The water is shooting up out of the boulder in the basement, and as ready as I can be is not enough in the face of this thing. I'm a little scared at how this is playing out so quickly...and just from a layman's point of view, in the number of years that I have lived in this area, its changed pretty rapidly weather-wise. I don't need to read a scientific report that warming is real or have Rush Limbaugh tell me that this is part of a natural cycle and that I shouldn't worry...This is really happening, and something has to be done about it right away.

Meantime, people are shooting each other here and blowing up and shooting each other in Iraq and the clear voices that I've been listening to lately, speaking truth to... whatever it is anymore out there powering this thing (fear?), are dwindling as I work my way through the last podcasts on my iPod that mean anything ...I am struck by what I'm reading and what is going on, and the little tiny moments of clarity that Ive been having.

First the unclear: This Virginia tech shooting is unfolding horribly today, and as much as this sorta thing tends to happen from time to time (though apparently not on this level) and will undoubtedly be dissected over and over in the next few days, I view this as a tragedy that is part of the natural progression of a sick society that solves things with violence, and doesn't provide health care for its citizens. If its a crazy guy who did this, who would ever have known unless circumstances were just right? We're so busy trying to get them over there before they get us here ....and we want to spread our own brand of democracy so badly that we are willing to give up the rights that come with that democracy...but meantime, all we've really been doing is making sure that back in the homeland the profits of the health insurance companies, drug companies, and oil companies are safe.
So, while our down-armoured surge troops may be bravely trying to hold Baghdad, we're really at the mercy of the underpaid campus police, and the constraints of whatever healthcare, educational, and social system this guy was raised in.
For Christ's fuckin' sake, how is it possible that such a huge portion of OUR money is being funneled into the pockets of unregulated corporations and we are not taking care of our own people?
I cant possibly say that any specific event could be prevented, but I know for sure that its getting harder and harder for everyone in this country to stay even partially sane and get anything at all done besides the grind of work, family, crap you need to do, and trying to navigate the fucked up system and the huge amount of information coming at us all, much of it nonsense and noise. There is nothing to shoot for, for most people, and the American dream seems to be more about that winning the Lotto fairytale than any realistic plan of community coming together to make a better world...So, there is naturally so much more obsessive compulsive feeling about every little thing and an increase in depression too. If every loss, slight, or just the pain of living, eats away at so many of us, who is gonna be next? Who cares and who is even paying attention in an increasingly alienated society? ...and what are we thinking when we spend our resources to fight an ideological lie that doesn't have an end, much less any hope for victory or defeat,rather than taking care of our citizen's own safety and health?
Whats missing besides community and oversight is what might be possible if family were supported in our society; Why aren't we teaching critical thinking and ethics in school? What happened to philosophy?...even in the lower grades of public school in my own very good district, I see am early push towards cutting corners, the easy way out, and what is the best way to pass the test that allows the school to get funds. Lost in there somewhere are the patient steps necessary to actually solve problems, do research, figure things out, and knowledge of how to accomplish a task while learning. There is a lack of empathy all around and little time to address the needs of overcrowded classrooms full of kids who often just don't care....and its not that the teachers and school administrators aren't trying or don't care....they are victims of the priorities of our government; a government that used to value education, stability, and community above all.
So, will it be a spurned boyfriend? A foreigner? ...A local?....Will the police have screwed up?... the university? What sort of real security is there anywhere for any of us? Who are the campus police in our own lives?
This is just a tragic microcosm of the way things are going.

I don't want to go on too much about the Air America Radio situation because I'm pretty much gone from there and have only to cancel my premium, but I was struck today, first of all by Bobby Kennedy Jr's comments on Sam Seder's last show, that he had spoken to Mark Green and that he just cant understand what Green is thinking. That a terrible mistake is being made.
I love Bobby Kennedy Jr.....but, he doesn't understand? What must it be like for Mark Green, who is basically politcally impotent to have to have Bobby Kennedy Jr come to give him advice? Who's in charge now, Bobby?...But, it doesnt work that way, really. Bobby actually knows a thing or two, and the idea that he would have that conversation with Green and get nowhere is just incredible to me.
I've had more than one person imply that I'm being too conspiratorial in my growing feeling about this situation, (and I am NOT a conspiracy theorist by and stretch,) in that the blogosphere is full of comments that Green is moving the network towards center and into a safe political zone. It is not an understatement to say that that Sam Seder has been the heart of the place since certain shows were canceled and other certain people left the network...but more than that, there is something about Sam that makes him a great broadcaster. He isn't as multi-talented as Maron or as famous as Franken or as ...whatever...but the whole package has developed in a way that has made him into such an excellent voice for the network and the liberal viewpoint, that it makes no sense to get rid of him...unless he is too left for the new owners of the network, and one in particular who is always positioning himself in the power elite of NYC politics. I think that this slimy move to Lionel and the less substance model of broadcasting is something that he thinks will bring him closer to his goal of....?
I'm sure this must be a joke, but I'm struck by it nonetheless.... Via Jill to the Seditionists blog....its a joke, right? Jill: Draft Mark Green For President in 08...


With a big hat tip to Move To Iceland here is what Green had to say on AAR's page about the outpouring of protest emails of support for Sam Seder:

Comment from Mark Green about Sam Seder
Statement:

I want to thank all of you who took the time to contact us at Air America about the Sam Seder Show. It shows you care and are part of our extended Air America family, even if we can't agree on every lineup judgment.
I, too, think Sam is terrific and was eager to keep him on air. After we discussed various possibilities, I'm very happy that we agreed on a new show that's really unlike anything else on radio (or television). The three hour program, as I wrote in my posted "Message" earlier week, will focus on "networks and netroots" -- that is, a review of the Sunday political talkfests with mostly bloggers as commentators.
Please know that, consistent with my 35 year history as a dedicated progressive advocate and author, I'm devoted to keeping Air America as the leader in progressive talk and to taking it from the red to the black. Both.
I believe when we're done with all our plans for the new Air America 2.0 -- in terms on overall lineup, new platforms, better marketing, important collaborations (like our partnership with MoveOn this week broadcasting the "Virtual Town Hall on Iraq") -- you'll be as optimistic as I am that Air America will both survive and thrive after a roller coaster past year.
Mark Green
President
Air America



Does Green think that we are idiots? They "agreed" that Sam should do this Sunday thing? He thinks that we all just don't agree on a simple lineup judgement, but are really part of an extended family? And he wants us to buy this shit about turning round the station that they got on the cheap into some fantasy-land of profitability? With Lionel at the morning helm?...Sam, Armstrong Williams, The Young Turks, Thommm Hartmannn?
No, this is so much more than that.

This was my answer to that in a comment on Move To Iceland:
... as a hard core AAR listener from the get go, I think that Mark Green is totally wrong in his shifting views of 2.0 and short sighted retooling.
We have to know that the old model of terrestrial radio as the only outlet for the programing that he thinks speaks to...um...the future(?) is living on borrowed time, as even old folks will eventually find themselves buying radios with the capacity to get internet content and wireless will reach 50 miles or more before we know it.....
To move ahead into a model that cuts out the strongest move towards the interactive, internet... movement is foolhardy.
regardless of Mark Green's political aspirations and what goes on in the power centers of NYC politics, where he has been scratching at the door for so many years, he is stone cold wrong to think that the only way that AAR will be a force will be through earnings.
He has thrown away more money on Starbucks for his campaign staff than it would cost to invest in the future of broadcasting....
But I don't see him doing that...I see him promoting his own vision of the good old boy's network...
Good luck Greens....
I think we used to call this penny dumber and pound dumber....
They've lost all of the best established talent who had already made the inroads and contacts that are paving the future....
Go on and serve the lowest denominator....
see ya at your future learning annex course on how to run for office...or how to run a radio network....



All I have left is a few observations from last night in New York City for the final night of the Garafolo/Rollins/Maron show.

First, the storm didn't keep anyone home...it was a pretty full house and a very good crowd. Also,Janeane is not as emaciated as Jill was thinking she is, nor does she really have the old lady upper arms that she seems to think she does. She was fantastic and brilliant. I was happy to see her again. She took off her coat!
I cant say much about Maron because you all know that I am too big of a fan of what he does to give you anything new....but he kicked ass...again!

Rollins does a great piece on what Wolfe Blitzer should have said to Cheney when Cheney shut him down about the gay daughter questioning. This is something that I hope he has written or put on a CD because it is so true in a universal sense about how the press should grow some balls. I really like it when Henry does these specific rants about current and real events in his life....I like it less when he goes off into his singing in the rain/isn't New York wonderful spiel....I like that he is positive but I don't get the feeling that he is revealing who he is...or maybe he is and its a little much for me....? I could watch him only 1.25 times over the course of 2 shows and hope to someday soon see him in a different venue to see if its any different. Following Maron isn't easy...that's something else I realized...their crowds are a little different and some people left. maybe it was the rain and that it was Sunday, but it was also a little too loud... unnecessarily so. That's just how he uses the mic. I like Henry but I would like to see him more focused.

Catch them in LA if you can, April 24th-29th...and also try to catch any of them separately wherever and whenever you can....its honestly a great time; you'll laugh, you'll cry...you'll wonder why these folks don't have more of a forum to talk to the world without all the corporate bullshit getting in the way.

I drove home through the Bronx listening to the Replacements, old Elvis Costello, and
Marvin Gaye...and managed to avoid all the cars that were hood deep in water, and the closed highways along the coast....
I love a good Nor'Easter....

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