Tuesday, November 29, 2011

the PROTECT IP Act (S. 968) is BAD POLICY

I just received the following email from Daily Kos and thought it was worth sharing:
[P]lease take a moment to email your senators and ask them to oppose the so-called "Protect IP Act." 
Protect IP is legislation that would -- no exaggeration -- destroy the social web as we know it. In short, this proposed law would allow corporate copyright holders the ability to cut off funding and compel the government to shut down websites they deem infringing, without the need of a court order. (See here for more information on this devastating bill.) 
This poorly conceived piece of legislation has been rushed through Congress without proper debate, with only Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon standing between it and the president's desk. Pro-censorship forces have spent over $90 million to get this bill passed, we have, well, social media to fight back.
If you value Daily Kos, or Facebook, or Twitter, or any website which invites your participation, please take a moment to contact your senator. 
Markos Moulitsas
Publisher, Daily Kos

Alarmist? I don't know, but after reading the email, I searched the internet and found the following petition: Stop Censorship. After you've finished contacting your senators, it might be a good idea to click on that link and add your name.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Deconstructing the Right-Wing Alternate Reality (redux)

David Frum, via Kevin Drum:
....The thought leaders on talk radio and Fox do more than shape opinion. Backed by their own wing of the book-publishing industry and supported by think tanks that increasingly function as public-relations agencies, conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics. Outside this alternative reality, the United States is a country dominated by a strong Christian religiosity. Within it, Christians are a persecuted minority. Outside the system, President Obama—whatever his policy errors—is a figure of imposing intellect and dignity. Within the system, he’s a pitiful nothing, unable to speak without a teleprompter, an affirmative-action phony doomed to inevitable defeat. Outside the system, social scientists worry that the U.S. is hardening into one of the most rigid class societies in the Western world, in which the children of the poor have less chance of escape than in France, Germany, or even England. Inside the system, the U.S. remains (to borrow the words of Senator Marco Rubio) "the only place in the world where it doesn’t matter who your parents were or where you came from."
Some might ask, who is David Frum? A typical leftie bashing the conservative right? Actually, no. He's a well-known conservative writer (for the Weekly Standard, National Review, Wall Street Journal, and others); former fellow of the ultra-conservative American Enterprise Institute; and a former special assistant to President George W. Bush--all of which will be evident if you take the time to read his very thoughtful article in the link below.

So, do you want to read more? Here's the link: When Did the GOP Lose Touch With Reality?

Also, here's a link to Kevin Drum's blog from which I stole this post's title and opening quote: Deconstructing the Right-Wing Alternate Reality

And ... here's one more quote from Frum: "We used to say 'You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.' Now we are all entitled to our own facts, and conservative media use this right to immerse their audience in a total environment of pseudo-facts and pretend information."

Of course, there's an old word for this kind of activity. It's called "propaganda." We need to see through it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Meanwhile, over on Wall Street ...

And here's this quote from the NY Times:

A line of police officers surged into the crowd, shoving protestors to the sidewalk, grabbing some and hurling them to the ground, and using long batons to strike others with overhand blows. Officers then walked up Beaver Street pushing the crowd back. Many of the protestors moved around the corner joining another group sitting in a circle, at the intersection of William Street and Exchange Place.

I just can't say how inspiring this is, that regular people are willing to stand up, take a beating, and refuse to stop demanding economic justice in a cock-eyed world that defines "liberty" entirely as an issue of property rights and unfettered commerce. I only wish I could be at the intersection of William and Exchange right now. But for those who are, you have my undying respect and admiration.

Something I'm really looking forward to ....

Big Dance Theater's production of Supernatural Wife, tonight at the Walker Art Center (in Minneapolis), for which my wife and I have front row tickets.

If you're not familiar with this multimedia theater/dance company, here's a you tube clip from a different production:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Caught up in things

the mind wanders

out through our eyes, a thing
amongst things / at the command

of words / blind to itself / it radiates

from a self / this world
of immanence
& ideality / its upheavals & turbulence

become ciphers
of the visible / a texture
of Being

// exhaled //

inside a space / of vision
& movement

of humans who speak
from a pre-spatial / world, intertwined

in the roots of being
this texture
between a hand / & another hand

not contained / a spectacle
of nothing
moving / but self-moving
it ignores

what is unknown / & we awaken
to an echo of bodies

the voices of light, soil
beneath our feet / shifting

& repeating

"we are the inside / of the outside / touching"


as a question
not of lines (there is no border
visible in itself) but the mind

enters these lines
as they pass / through us

& surround us / we see / but there is
no actual awakening
to hold / suspended / transformed

in a thought

this world
that demands things / of things

that are not in themselves / things
the plural x
of our operations / to substantiate

we enter into a reversibility
of dimensions

into a cultural regime / a thickness
of meaning

reduced to a set / of techniques
& data / a plane
that cannot be assigned


radiates onto a map
of the visible / transforms

a world / into things
where there is neither truth
nor falsehood

& no enigma
but that of the blinding
light / of visibility

forming shadows / a reflection / opened up
& so quickly closed

"the mind is an instrument that moves itself”

a metaphysics / of depth
that our eyes & hands
cannot discover