Monday, June 27, 2005

Counting the dead. 1742 or 6210?

Well I've been interested in the real story about this for while. I wrote about it back in December of 2004. Is the government really counting all the people who have died in Iraq? They use the number 1742 now, but my understanding is that they don't count US military personnel who died in German hospitals or en route to German hospitals.
According to this guy (link) US military personal who died in German hospitals is 6,210 as of 1 January, 2005.

I don't know enough about his data, maybe it includes all the military in Europe, maybe it included people who die of non-war related causes but I would like this info clarified.

Jumping from 1742 to almost 8,000 might get people's attention unlike the 2 here or 30 there doesn't. Bush is from Texas, he understands the power of BIG.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

It's not always fun being right

From the hard hitting Ted Rall.

Friday, June 24, 2005

The Mad Cow is BACK! But Where is He FROM?

Just when you thought it was safe to eat a burger the Mad Cow rears its ugly head.

Being from a non-beef producing planet I would find this whole thing hilarious if it wasn't so seriously scary and economically tragic.

Things to know about this story
1) Dumped on Friday afternoon, always bad sign
2) Key details withheld. For example: WHERE WAS THE MAD COW FROM? They KNOW! But they aren't telling! Are there more? Who were its feed yard buddies? Where are they? Have they been tested? How did this cow get the Mad Cow? People, these are BASIC facts consumers want to know. Shouldn't the USDA have found that info out before they released this news? Or do they know that info and, like the location, are simply withholding it.

Note this sloppy, incomplete reporting from CNN:No mention of the origin of the cow.
AP story, no mention of the cow's origin. Reuters story at least explains WHY there was no mention:
Neither official would identify the state where the animal came from. Several published reports have said the infected cow was in Texas when it was sent to slaughter last November.

Hmmm. I'm so glad the USDA is out to protect the people WHO MAKE MAD COWS. They are chartered with protecting the revenue and the food supply. It looks like the revenue part won.

Here is another hilarious comment from the Reuters story:
Johanns said he did not think ongoing discussions with Japan to reopen beef trade would be affected by the latest case.

HA! If I wasn't a Vulcan I'd be laughing my alien ass off. This is a multi-billion dollar announcement. Why? The last Mad Cow was traced to Canada. If this one is traced to the US there ain't no way that the Japanese will allow the doors to open again unless they get 100 percent testing (which was BLOCKED by the USDA when proposed by a meatpacker who wanted to sell to the Japanese!)
Yes you read that right. A meatpacker said, "We want to test 100 percent of our cattle so we can sell it to the people who want it tested and the USDA said, "No".

They say it is because it isn't scientifically warranted, which granted, may be the case. But it is really about the money:
Such plans have drawn fire from many in the beef industry who believe the tests would amount to an added cost burden. While some other small meat packers have endorsed Creekstone's efforts, major producers and processors believe Creekstone's plan would set a bad precedent and potentially leave consumers unsettled.

Hmmmm. What to have for dinner tonight? Mercury laden tuna? GMO corn? Mad Cow Meat? I think I'll have radioactive vodka from Chernobyl.

Ed Klein interviewed by Al Franken and Joe Conason on Air America, June 24, 2005

Listen to Joe Conason put the beat down to Ed Klein regarding his book "The Truth about Hillary "
This is GREAT radio folks! It is great to hear when the good guys nail people who are sloppy and misleading.


For those of you who have bit torrent and want to share, here is the torrent file

Here is a file that you can download and start a torrent.
Easy Download

If anyone wants a higher quality stream I have that too. I have it in MP3 format.
To Joe, Al, and the producers of the Al Franken show. GREAT JOB!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Click image or arrow to play short flash movie. Thanks to for hosting, make your own flash movie, it's fun!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Tom Cruise assault coverage by ET

Since Mr. Spocko is somewhat of a intragalactic celebrity himself, he occasionally feels the need to stand up for the mere earth-wide celebrities. After seeing the recent assault on one of your famous celebrities I wrote this letter to the producers of Entertainment Tonight and to a celebrity columnist at Salon:

Dear ET:

I don't want to over react but I also don’t want to UNDER react to this event. They squirted him with water. They could have just as easily squirted him with pepper spray, blood, urine, toxic chemicals, bleach or acid

Celebrities have been shot and killed by "fans", so it isn't absurd to see this event as a serious breach of security. I think that Mr. Cruise handled himself in a very restrained way. Put yourself in his position. Would you have gotten visibly pissed? Yelled? Pushed? Punched? Filled charges? Changed the screening procedures for the press that are allowed on the line?

These people's actions should be CONDEMNED by the celebrity press and by right thinking photographers everywhere. This "innocent" prank show shouldn't see the light of day on Channel 4. Since Mr. Cruise didn’t file charges, then the people in the press around him should. If they don't, they are giving tacit approval to these actions. The "Anything for a reaction!" attitude encourages this and is asking for copy cats and escalation, especially if there isn't some legal action taken. By not addressing this seriously the celebrity followers in the media (that's you ET) are going to make it harder and harder to get access to the stars. Who do you want to protect? Jerks out to do damage to your reputation or the stars who are your bread and butter? Maybe you owe it to Mr. Cruise and all of your celebrity watchers to pursue this matter FOR him.

Now some people might think, "Oh it's just a funny joke, lighten up Francis", but then they probably haven't received multiple death treats or been followed by multiple crazy stalkers. Celebrities like Mr. Cruise don't want to appear fan unfriendly, so he might not have sued simply because of that angle. He doesn't want to be a "bad sport", but if the photographers and media don't step up and say, "This is wrong, Tom SHOULD HAVE SUED and we will support him in a law suit", they are complicit in this and future acts that might be much worse.


Mr. Spocko (Last name unpronounceable by humans)
Star Fleet Academy
San Francisco, CA

P.S. I am neither a fan of Mr. Cruise, nor his off screen personal activities; I simply point this out as a very clear current example of an activity that has gone beyond the pale. I would have said the same thing if the celebrity was someone I liked.


Now just to show that I can appreciate a clever attempt at humor involving Mr. Cruise I give you this video clip

Tom Cruise Kills Oprah: The Movie
Thanks to for hosting and John Paczkowski of Good Morning Silicon Valley for the tip.
{typos fixed 6-23-2005. Thanks for spotting them Sage Potato head!

Note: I haven't heard back from any of the folks at Entertainment Tonight. Clearly they got their 13 seconds of footage and have moved on to the next prank and feel no need to comment on the act. Remember, your failure to comment ET when the next celebrity is injured. Of course an injured celebrity is simply more fodder for your show, so why should you care to even bother doing even the most minimal work of condemning the bad acts of the "Pranksters"?)

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Talkin' death and torture. Repsponse to readers

I decided to move this off the comments page.

Here are the comments from Shep and Jim and my responses below.

Shep said...
I wonder how many of those that have died or been seriously tortured at Gitmo or Abu Ghraib were convicted of any crime whatsoever. Zero, I believe. How many of those were even CHARGED with any crime whatsoever? Probably zero again. So the argument that these folks were all trying to kill us is a little weak...

We don't know about deaths at Gitmo yet, but we do know that some have been released from both locations. Now of course the act of releasing people and not charging them with a crime COULD point to the fact that not EVERYONE in Gitmo was correctly rounded up and detained. Just another reason why torture should not be used. Might they have info? Maybe, but they also might have been turned into the Americans by a warlord who wanted the cash that was offered for bodies (Bounties ranged from $3,000 to $25,000, the detainees testified during military tribunals, according to transcripts the U.S. government gave The Associated Press to comply with a Freedom of Information lawsuit. Gitmo detainees sold to Americans -AP May 31, 2005

The chance of torturing someone who is not-guilty, based on them being arrested and detained, is clearly higher than zero.
Thanks for posting!

Jim said...
Zero is also the number of deaths at Gitmo. Zero is also the number of people tortured there.

Jim: Excellent point! At this point in time we have no evidence that anyone has died in Gitmo. I'll do some research and put some info together to see if the reports from Gitmo detainees are meeting your definition of torture.
(and I realize that the definition of torture varies among some people) As you can see I'm trying not to be overly broad here since I don't have that information from a verifiable source.)

So, you WIN! At this moment in time, based on the current info I have, you are CORRECT. I agree with your comment.

Now, note that my comment was about Abu Ghraib (maybe you were responding to Shep, but I was taking your response to me. If it was directed to Shep I'll let him respond) You have changed the topic Jim. This move often is one used by people to avoid acknowledging that the other person is correct. It is a common face saving maneuver. "Oh yeah?, Well...(insert new topic or point here)"

I'm GLAD, based on the info I have that no one has died, at Gitmo. I'm GLAD that you don't think that the interrogation techniques at GIMTO amount to torture. That is a GOOD thing. And not just because I don't believe in torturing and murdering people we hold. It is also BAD for our reputation, makes our soldiers less safe, and increases the level of animosity toward the US. It is also not the point of my post, but since you replied that way it must mean you accept my comments. Now you could of course use the same technique about Abu Ghraib "Yeah, but... they were terrorists or there were only a handful of people involved in the torture..." but you didn't because you can't. They is solid evidence FROM THE ARMY'S OWN REPORTS that both of those arguments aren't correct.

Like Mr. Sussman, by focusing on Durbin or changing the topic we aren't addressing the issue. We are now torturing and killing people. We do not know for certain that these people are 'trying to kill up'. Is that a good idea? Do we want to be this kind of country? Are those activities effective? Morally correct? (Given the Administration's embracing of Christianity, I WILL bring up the moral card. They like to pick and choose which moral actions they will use and like to apply their idea of what is morals to others. But they are NOT morally consistent when it doesn't fit their agenda. Now, some people ARE fine with this. I'm not and I think most Americans aren't either.

Thanks for posting!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Brian Sussman: Why don't you want to admit that Americans torture people?

After listening to two days of Brian Sussman's radio show on KSFO 560 (Hot Talk! Home of Michael Savage! Dr. Laura!) I finally got riled enough to write him. I'm sure that is just what he wanted but what is really upsetting is when people call up and AGREE with his outragous statements! That is what scares me. This former weatherman attempted to rile up the citizens of San Francisco by going after Dick Durbin's comments. Here is the letter I sent him.

Dear Brian:

I listened to your show yesterday and today and I'm glad that your show is just an act. I mean it has to be because I can't believe you were seriously focusing on what Dick Durbin was saying as if what he said was the real issue and not the systematic torture that Americans have been involved in under this President and the policies approved by the Justice Department.

By focusing on what Durbin said you are falling into the same trap that Rush Limbaugh did when he simply focused on the photos at Abu Ghraib. Clearly you think your listeners don't read and you are probably right. The real issue? That American soldier and our agents in other counties are torturing people to death. Maybe "extraordinary rendition" sounds nicer than "flying people to other countries to have them tortured to death".

I thought I heard you come out for torture the other day by playing the classification system game. Since it is all just an act just come out and say you think it is GREAT that we torture people. That should serve your purpose of upsetting the good people of San Francisco. Then when you go home to your daughter and she is horrified that her Daddy would approve of torturing people (who you don't KNOW are guilty) you can say, "Oh honey it's just an act. Daddy really doesn't approve of torturing innocent people." But maybe I'm wrong.

I really find this "sure we torture, but not as bad as those other guys" argument very lame.

Brian, here are two questions.

1) How many people do you think have died from abuse and torture in Abu Ghraib? None? Wrong.

"There were five cases of detainee deaths as a result of abuse by U.S. personnel during interrogations... There are 23 cases of detainee deaths still under investigation..."
--The Schlesinger Report, August 2004

We now know that the number is higher, but I never even hear about these 5 dead or the other 23. Only about the ones with "underwear on their head".

2) How many people were involved in the abuse and torture at Abu Ghraib? Seven? Wrong.

Based on the Taguba report, the Red Cross report and yes even the photographs themselves, clearly more than seven military police were involved.

"The new reports not only decisively prove what was long known, widening the circle of direct blame for what happened at Abu Ghraib to nearly fifty people, including military intelligence soldier and officers (although subsequent disclosures suggest that the number is at least twice that.)"
--Mark Danner, Torture and Truth America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror. p. 27

I know you won't read my letter on the air because it has facts and no swear word you can bleep. Sorry about that. I'll try and help you churn up your audience with some other letter based on your next fake outrage.


Spocko (Not my real name.)
San Francisco (my real city)

-- Spocko.
Author of Spocko's Brain, the blog that is sweeping the nation. Now with 15 readers!

UPDATE: So Brian wrote me back! Cool. Good for him. Here is his note:

From: Brian Sussman
To: "Mr. spocko"
Date: Jun 17, 2005 8:04 PM
Subject: Re: Why don't you want to admit that Americans torture people?

no beating around the "Bush" on this one:torture of those who would like to kill us is okay by me. I've said it on the radio and will make sure I say it again loud and clear for misguided people like you.


So now I just need to point out that lots of people who are being tortured ARE NOT OUT TO KILL US!

I'm glad he is clear on this issue. I wonder if he is okay with torturing people who AREN'T trying to kill us? Okay Mr. Weatherman. How do we know if they are trying to kill us or not? Torture them?

Torture is wrong on so many levels and not always for the reasons obviously cited.
I'd write some more, but I have to stop the torture of some people whom I suspect want to kill Brian Sussman. (That is a joke: I'm not going to stop them.... Okay That was the joke, but I think Sussman is serious and it saddens me because he gives weathermen a bad name. Maybe all those years of getting blamed for the rainy weekend finally made him crack.)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Please Don't Accuse our Advertisers of Poisoning Babies. It's Bad for Business.

ABC Bosses Tell ABC News "Kill The Interviews With Robert Kennedy Jr.!"

Here is the Salon story where RFK Jr. talks about the buried research and the role Big Pharm has with the doctors and politicians. What is interesting to me is who put the pressure on ABC to kill the interviews? Could it be one of the big DRUG manufacturer who advertise? Nah. Too obvious. They will do it through a third party and make some lame claim that they didn't think the science was strong enough. Maybe the canceling of the interview will draw MORE attention to the issue. I know it got me to notice. Good for you ABC!

And it's nice to hear that Republican lawmakers want to protect their children (I never doubted they did, but it seems like an issue has to touch them DIRECTLY before they are willing to do the right thing -- gay children not withstanding.)

Even many conservatives are shocked by the government's effort to cover up the dangers of thimerosal. Rep. Dan Burton, a Republican from Indiana, oversaw a three-year investigation of thimerosal after his grandson was diagnosed with autism. "Thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines is directly related to the autism epidemic," his House Government Reform Committee concluded in its final report. "This epidemic in all probability may have been prevented or curtailed had the FDA not been asleep at the switch regarding a lack of safety data regarding injected thimerosal, a known neurotoxin." The FDA and other public-health agencies failed to act, the committee added, out of "institutional malfeasance for self protection" and "misplaced protectionism of the pharmaceutical industry."

--- From Salon article By Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Drug companies put a cost on human lives. They don't want to admit it, but they do. They are, after all, out to make a buck. If a multiple injection vial is cheaper but you might have a few kids with autism or speech disorders, well that is sad but they have a responsibility to shareholders and besides, they are HELPING by providing vaccines! Making vaccines is hard work! And since the government won't protect them from lawsuits like they have asked them to (by trying to get blanket coverage slipped into 9/11 spending bills) what do you expect them to do? Admit they calculated that the cost benefit ratio INCLUDED X% of kids who will become autistic? Hell no! The public doesn't want to hear that! Certainly not the "culture of life" crowd. They can't let go of Teri Schiavo do you think they would be okay with the details of covering up the thimerosal problem?

No, not until they get that all important free pass. THEN and only then can they say, "Wow this data is more conclusive that we thought. We are changing the formulation now, but WITH OUT ADMISSION OF ANY GUILT and moving on, sorry folks, it's those damn lawsuits. If it wasn't for the lawsuits we would TOTALLY have done the right thing."

The people who should be doing oversight for big Pharm need to be held accountable.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Schwarzenegger Didn't Control the Box

I've learned a lot of stuff from watching the PR and media machine of the Bush Administration. I hate to give Arnold advice after his Santa Monica graduation speech but...

1) Only go to events where you can control the audience. If you can't control the audience bring your own or don't go. If there are protesters, put them as far away from you and the cameras as possible. Claiming security reasons always works, even if the people have been frisked and cavity searched.

There should never be a photo like this, with a sign in the background that is unfavorable to you. You should never be hearing boos. If there are boos, someone in security or on the entry gate didn't do their job vetting everyone even remotely suspicious.

2) Control the sound. This also can be used against your opponents (see Dean Scream.)If you can't control the audience then control the sound. Watch GOP chairman Sensenbrenner during the hearings on the Patriot Act where he cut off the microphones or Bill O'Rielly during his show screaming "Cut his mike! Cut his mike!"

In PR your job isn't to allow free speech. It is to control the message. Part of your job is to control the image AND the sounds. Not just what is said, but what is seen and heard by the audience and the media. You also want to control the media with intimidation threats and loss of access. Arnold hasn't learned this yet. I blame Maria and her antiquated ideas of letting people have their say in public forums. Don't expect to see these kind of shots again anytime soon.

3) In the background have words saying what the speech is about using alliteration or words simple enough for the Fox News crowd to get the point. Like this.

Damn Activist Coroners

I will be interesting to see how the results of the Teri Schiavo autopsy will be addressed by both sides of this event.

I just read the autopsy report especially the neuropathological examination by Stephen Nelson, M.D. P.A the Chief Medical Examiner for the 10th Judicial Circuit of Florida. (pages 12-20)

I was impressed by the thoroughness of the report and the scientific honesty of the last paragraph.

He is simply stating the limits of his examination. Will this be seized upon by the non-scientists?

This is the kind of statement that you see lawyers in courtroom dramas use all the time with medical experts, "Dr. Smith, can you say with 100% certainty that the..." and if the good Dr. hasn't been trained for this and wants to be true to his scientific principles will say. "No. With this method I can't be 100% certain." and the questioning lawyer will sit down in triumph. Then the opposing lawyer will stand and ask, "Dr. Smith, isn't it also the case that you can't be 100% certain of ANY result with this method?" Relieved, Dr. Smith will say, "Yes. With this method alone you can not be 100% certain. This method may provide you with a very high statistical correlation, but not 100%. Nothing can be 100% certain."

Watch how people will change the topic, subject and say things like, "But the bigger issue is..."

Kudos to MrNiX at Fark for the great headline!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The need for hope

Just saw the movie Cinderella Man. What struck me were the Depression scenes. And the clear need for people to have hope.

On the lead up to the Depression were there warnings that things had gotten out of balance? Signs ignored? I'm not really much of a student of that time period. But what struck me was a line in the film about the unemployed men and their despair. One character asked, "Who do you fight? You can't punch greed, you can't fight bad luck."

Is the Great Depression so far behind us and things so different now that we can't see economic signs that are severe warnings? It's one thing to hang on to the past and use old thinking on new problems, it's another thing to fail to recognize issues and signs from the past that will push people to their breaking point. I worry about the national debt. I worry about our unhealthy financial relationship with China and the cheap money we are getting from them. I worry about the housing bubble. I worry about vast differences between the rich and the poor. Maybe none of these are appropriate topics to worry about. I do often times think about the worst possible scenarios, especially when it comes to shenanigans and mendacity in government and big business.

I'm starting to think that health care is one of those breaking points.

There is a heartbreaking scene in the movie with some sick kids and you identify with the parents. I felt their need and desire to help their kids.

In today's Krugman column he talks about health care.

We need to do this one right. If reform fails again, we'll be on the way to a radically unequal society, in which all but the most affluent Americans face the constant risk of financial ruin and even premature death because they can't pay their medical bills.

In order to stop you thinking about taking care of everyone, all sorts of boogiemen are thrown up by insurance companies, drug companies, the neo-cons and the "markets can fix everything! We can regulate ourselves!" crowd. The more they scare us and disconnect us from each other the better.

Imagine a leader who was about connecting us to each other. Who was about caring about others instead of hating others. Who inspired us instead of scared us. Who would give us hope. Who used his power to put the good of the many first instead of the good of the few.

This person doesn't have to be a political leader. But just now thinking about religious leaders, I don't know if anyone fills that bill. Too much hate for others flow from them.

Jerry Falwell
"..blow them all away in the name of the Lord." on CNN with Wolf Blitzer Aired October 24, 2004

From Pentagon files. What happens when leaders like Jerry Falwell miss the message of Jesus and their followers enlist.

You think hope isn't for a nation in a war? I think it is. Who will give us real hope? Who has the heart?

[Edited 6-13-2005. Sorry Folks, Blogger has been a mess lately and what went up was a sloppy previous draft that wasn't corrected. I'm going to have to learn not to trust anything written in the Blogger window. In fact I'm going to save this post before I try publishing it.]

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Majority Report stupid Bush Caller

Stooge for Bush calls into Majority Report.

Link in MP3 format (higher quality)

Link in Windows Audio format (lower quality)

Are they being ironic or oblivious?

When I saw this video I wondered, are they thumbing their noses at people? Are they oblivious of the lyrics in the song? Are they disconnected on purpose or is it all a joke? It might be fun to show this video to a few real coal miners.

I guess I also think about the line "owing my soul to the company store" a lot these days especially after the passage of the bankruptcy bill. Remember the majority of bankruptcy happens due to medical costs, not people buying too many pairs of designer shows. After hearing today about a friends' struggle trying to find decent health care I wondered about all the people digging this "envirofriendly" coal for GE. Do they have any groovy new protection?

Slate did a story about this ad a week ago and the author has some of the same thoughts I did, but I still wonder about the GE people who signed off on this. I wonder if their boss watched it and said, "Why the HELL are they singing about owing their soul to the company store? Don't you know we have a massive FINANCE division? We don't want to REMIND people of the backbreaking debt they are in already. Sure sexy models digging coal is fine, but saying "St. Peter don't cha call me 'cause I can't go, I owe my soul to the company store." is like telling people they shouldn't die until they pay off their debt. OHHHH. Now I get it! You WANT people to feel obligated to pay off their debt, even it it means delaying going to heaven! Good Work Caruthers! "

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Why God sometimes says No to your prayers.

From the sick and brilliant Perry Bible Fellowship.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

We want Justice, damn it!

I'm sure you all saw the Arthur Andersen story in the paper the other day. This is the kind of story that can really depress you. Or make you angry. Or drive you crazy. Especially for people who want Justice to be served.

Now I know that there is a lot more to this story than meets the eye and it doesn't mean that AA is innocent or that they will rise up and rehire the 27,800 employees that have left (but don't get me started on Accenture--a.k.a. Andersen Consulting that was a big part of the Enron debacle but got away with it and weren't tarred with the same brush because THEY CHANGED THEIR NAME! I remember thinking at the time, are the media really that stupid that a name change will allow people to disassociate them with Enron? I guess so.).

I don't want to get into an analysis of the story, but I want to point out that legal "justice" and moral "justice" are not the same. In The Myth of Moral Justice, law professor and novelist Thane Rosenbaum suggests that this paradox stems from the fact that citizens and the courts are at odds when it comes to their definitions of justice.

After listening to two friends talk about their rage at small injustices it occurred to me how much pain is right at the surface when it appears that justice is denied in big situations like this. If you constantly see leaders and companies "getting away with it" after awhile the hunger for justice, either legal or moral or physical, drives people to several attitudes and copying strategies based on your internal belief system.

1) Activism. Go get 'em. Punish 'em. My new hero is Elliott Spitzer. I think it would be cool to work for him. What a great feeling it must be to make people pay when you bust them for ripping off consumers and clients. You could use the word comeuppance in a letter home to mom.

2) Denial. Willful or active. Billions are spent on think tanks and on right wing talk show hosts that actively work to facilitate people's denial. Check out the apologists, spinners, out and out liars that all want blunt your instinct to scream "Hey they are getting away with murder!" Because make no mistake, they ARE getting away with murder. And torture and grand theft. But maybe it will be less painful if they can deny or define away flying someone to Jordon to kill them through torture if you call it "extraordinary rendition."

3) Go Cynical. "TS, life ain't fair. The Golden Rule is 'Those with the Gold make the Rules'. So when you see injustice it fits just fine into your world view. No one is punished for lies? That's life.

4) Lashing out at the injustices with words. "Read my angry rant on my blog. For example, The Rude Pundit, one of the funniest, foulest mouthed writer on the web, (who, by the way, will be doing a stage play with some of his rants soon in NYC. If I lived there I would go in a flash.) Injustice provides an opportunity for you to spew and that might make you feel better. Okay, I'm doing some of this now. I feel a tad better, but just a tad.

5) Be depressed. One of my favorites. I know dozens of people in this category. Seeing stories where justice is miscarried, delayed or simply ignored can lead to a sense of hopelessness. "What's the point of: voting/suing/boycotting/writing letters to the politicians/rich/evil corporations/media because they will: simple ignore me/over turn my lawsuit/rig the market/marginal my comments.

6) Lashing out at smaller injustices you feel you can control. In the movie Crash there was anger just bubbling beneath the surface of most characters. Maybe you can't stop the big corporations and politicians from "getting away with it" but damn it I'm not going to let this clerk treat me like dirt. Psychiatrists have a word for it, transference

7) Revolution. I often wonder, "At what point will watching people "get away with it" reach a point of no return? Would a bunch of investors and employees riot and lynch an Enron executive who didn't get punished? On TV cop shows they always had those episodes where the offender 'got away with it' and the father (almost always the father) of the victim took the law into their own hands. Those little morality plays fed the hunger people had for justice and especially if they couldn't get it in a court of law.

I don't think the American people will rise up in revolution because too many are in denial or depressed. There is also a multi-billion dollar industry working 24/7 to disconnect the perpetrators of injustice from their acts. They will use all the tricks of money, power, PR and the press to deflect attention and cover up their involvement. I'm being purposely vague here. If you want some specifics of the distortions go to They have pages and pages of both corporate and government tricks.

A violent revolution will only happen if people feel that other coping strategies aren't working or that they have nothing left to lose. With the gap in pay becoming greater and greater there might be more people willing to go that route.

But because Christian religious leadership has failed people, the media has failed people and also the Democratic leadership have failed people they continue to get away with it (oh and just to be clear --the Republican leadership have REALLY failed the people of America, although they haven't failed their rich friends and sponsors).

And sadly if it ever goes really bad the wrong people will probably get blamed. When there were riots in LA I remember hearing people say, "Why are they destroying their own town?" Because they can't come to the homes of the people who pissed them off!

Would there be gas riots? Marches on Washington demanding better jobs? Roving bands of foreclosed homeowners rioting outside the banks? Will the Chinese take the blame? Or will "The Architect", Karl Rove?

Me? I'm rooting for Elliott Spitzer trying to avoid #3, #5, and #6. For my relatives using #2, well I guess it keeps them happy. I just hope that there are enough number 1 and 4 out there so we don't have #7.