Friday, October 19, 2007

Phoenix New Times editor and CEO arrested

The arrests appear related to retaliation by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The Phoenix New Times reported that Grand Jury subpoenas were used by Maricopa county to track readers of the Times' stories related to Arpaio, and to scoop up reporter's notes, tapes and publications. The New Times also has had a series of reports on Arpaio's doings in the Phoenix area. Hm.

Apparently the paper is involved in a criminal case for publishing personal contact information about the Sheriff a few years ago. The grand jury subpoenas reek of spying, intimidation, and trampling of the 1st Amendment, so the paper felt obligated to disregard secrecy laws and let the public know about this little facet of life in Phoenix. What is the Press for, right?

Quoting the editor & CEO via a local paper:
“the authorities” probably believe revealing the subpoenas is against the law, “but there are moments when civil disobedience is merely the last option.”

"We're not harboring state secrets, we’re not harboring terrorists, we’re just straight up reporting on issues they don’t want us to report on.”

Read the article here in the East Valley Tribune. I've linked to the Phoenix New Times and recommend reading their articles about the Sheriff and the current tactics Maricopa County is using against the Press.

Welcome to Arizona, everybody!

-->UPDATE 10/19/07 P.M. John Peter Zenger would approve. The Maricopa County Attorney has dropped charges against the Phoenix pressmen and stated publicly that the prosecutors involved in the spurious and insane charges had overstepped their bounds in a major fashion. Quoting from the (Phoenix-area) East Vally Tribune: "Citing “serious missteps” by Dennis Wilenchik that led to the arrests of the paper’s top two executives, Thomas also dumped legal efforts to force New Times editors and reporters to turn over notes, emails and other research related to stories involving county Sheriff Joe Arpaio, as well as information about the alternative newsweekly’s Internet readers. To reiterate, John Peter Zenger would be proud, and is mostly likely SITTING UP in his grave, with his fist raised.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Josh Olson on lonliness

Yes, I read about in on the lovely Boing Boing.

I will quote writer Josh Olson's words and add a link and a brief comment after:
We spend much of our lives alone. Some cope with it better than others. The ones who don’t are primed and ready for victimhood. You have to learn to be with yourself, because if you don’t, there’s a whole world of drugs, booze and rotten people who will be your friend until you’ve been sucked dry. Beware of what loneliness makes you do; and beware of this creature [the lady in the photo above], because she is out there, she is real, and Janna St. James is only one of her pustulant manifestations.
This is the last paragraph from a fascinating story that appeared here in the L.A. Weekly.

Basically the story is about someone who was active in internet message boards for writers, and what happened to her. In short, why I don't chat or meet people over the internet. What really struck home for me was the paragraph above- the sentence in bold especially. We are born alone. I have always liked spending time alone. But. Abusive elements can really fuck things up. What a fascinating story. There's a lesson here for anybody's who's ever been had.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum takes down Mexican flag after complaints and threats

The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, a Tucson-area educational and environmental resource that's been around since the 1950s, will no longer fly the Mexican flag, or the U.S. flag, because of complaints and threats by local morons over the Mexican flag.

This article in the Arizona Daily Star states that death threats were actually made against the museum's animals in recent months.

I'm sorry to say it but this represents an accurate picture of the type of person that's receiving equal coverage in the newspaper around here lately.

However, the good news is that smart money says this kind of bullshit represents nothing like a random sampling of public opinion around here. It's highly likely the Star's passively-active dramatic coverage points to the actions of an extremely small, xenophobic, over-reactive group of citizens. In fact if you look at the subtext of the article it appears someone named Kaluzniacki who sits on the museum board was instrumental in the museum's gutless decision. True to form, the Star does nothing to reveal Kaluzniacki's political ties, nor does the Star report on the veracity or sources of the complaints the Desert Museum says it has received.

Of course in typical Star fashion the actions of the fringe are presented as some kind of legitimate occurrence, as if the xenophobic attacks against the Mexican flag should somehow naturally be countered by letters to the Museum in favor of flying the Mexican flag.

-->UPDATE 10/13/07 After hundreds of people called in to complain, both flags are going back up. A museum official said:
"We are going to explain that it is part of the museum's heritage dating back to the early '50s, and the flags are flown in great part to represent the binational conservation and educational endeavors of the museum regarding the Sonoran Desert,"

Friday, October 05, 2007

Dennis Kuchinch has balls of brass

In this interview on PBS Dennis comes out in favor of keeping jobs in the U.S, higher wages for ordinary working folks who keep the U.S. in the green, sensible corporate and industrial policy, and sensible foreign policy.

Kucinich may not be tall or look like a TV star or an athlete, but he can kick your ass when it comes to policy, when it comes to doing things that are good for the United States and all of our nearly 300 million souls and rest of our fellow world citizens. This guy could easily kick the ass of any Democratic or Republican presidential candidate when it comes down to brass tacks.

Watch out for this guy, he is one of the few voices keeping the Midwest strong, in favor of realistic economic and social policy. He also keeps his religion out of the social and political fray. Go Dennis, the world would be such a better place if we could keep our religions out of government and social affairs.

Mike Huckabee

I don't think a "Christian Minister" should be president. Separation of church and state is a very important worldwide principle right now.

1/16/08: To reiterate this point, I'd like to include this quote, which shows this guy is SERIOUSLY FULL OF SHIT, delusional, dangerous, psychotic:
"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution," Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. "But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that's what we need to do -- to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view."

However, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who got interested in being a triathelte and lost 110 pounds, is in favor of sensible, preventative healthcare, and is in favor of giving a hand to folks coming up here from Mexico looking for work, despite his "social conservative" and anti-gay marriage position, looks like a traditional, low-tax, less-government Republican who would not let the U.S. be overrun by Huge Corporate Interests seeking to overrun government, workers, Citizens, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, etc in favor of short-term profits. See his interview and read about him here on PBS.
Oh yeah, he also apparently plays bass, with his fingers.