Indiana Jones: 1, Rolling Ball: 9

If your system can handle it, watch in 4k. This looks like a fun thing to do in New Zealand after visiting all the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit locations.

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Why Rand Paul’s Libertarian-ish Anti-tax Ideas Are Like Boner Pills

I can barely wait for the Rand Paul announcement for President. It’s perfect timing. I know he will be talking about his views on taxes. It would be interesting if someone dug into where some of the craziness comes from.

Tax time makes right wingers crazy. Especially men. The thing is, even though I’m only half human male, I get freaked out around tax time too. I wonder how much of this is traditional guy stuff? Or white guy stuff?

You know the lines you hear from rich male jerks? “Money is just a way of keeping score.” and “He who dies with the most toys wins.” There is still a part of me that buys that and it takes a Vulcalean effort to look at it rationally.

At this time of year in the male money world of “Keeping score” guys ask themselves, “What have I accomplished?”

First, there is the “I never get enough.”feeling.That’s because it’s always a moving goal post. Then I focus on what is “taken away.” (Never on what I got in services, always what is taken.) This focus on what is taken diminishes my self image, which I correlate with self worth. When I . . . → Read More: Why Rand Paul’s Libertarian-ish Anti-tax Ideas Are Like Boner Pills

Watch This Guy’s Brilliant Anti-fraking Demo

This is the most straight-forward and powerful video I’ve seen in awhile. It’s from a hearing on shipping fracking wastewater to a well in Sioux County Nebraska.

The lack of slickness helps. The crappy camerawork adds to the authenticity. I’d like my friends at various non-profits and activists to watch this to see what was done right.

The speaker knew his audience. Not only the commissioners, but the people in the room and in the community. He was not an outsider. He looked like them, dressed like them and talked like them. He addressed the concerns of both sides before his demo He made a powerful visual case with common items people knew He made an emotional appeal and had an intellectual back up. This is for the people who say they only decide based on “facts,” to rationalize their emotional decision.

So many great things in one short video, and I’m glad that Bold Nebraska used it to get people to sign their petition, Don’t Frak our Water.

After I watched the video, I read some comments at Reddit and in the YouTube section. I searched Google News to see how the story got picked up by the local . . . → Read More: Watch This Guy’s Brilliant Anti-fraking Demo

Dancing Fun Video. Watch. Smile. Repeat.

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New Happy Mutant Hairstyles From Yukon

The hairdos in this winning photo from the annual hair freezing contest at Takhini Hot Pools in Yukon reminded me of Xeni’s hair at Boing Boing. I like that they are all happy with their mutant hairstyles.

Canada for the win!

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Asking if House of Cards is Realistic Is the Wrong Question.

Sunday Night on Virtually Speaking Digby and I talked about the Leonard Nimoy’s passing and how fiction and fictional characters can shape people’s attitudes.  (podcast link here.)

Today some friends who work in the world of politics were discussing House of Cards. Some loved it, some hated it.  I don’t really move in those specific circles so before the discussion I wanted to know, “Is it realistic?” A professional musician friend asked,

Does anyone really expect a TV show about politics to be a more realistic representation of that life and that process than the Monkees represented a life of trying to make it as a young band in theirs?

This seems like such an obvious point I realized that I was NOT asking the question that the producers and writers of the show were asking themselves, which is, “Is it entertaining?”

Last night I watched a movie called “Harmontown” about the creator of Community, Dan Harmon. He talked about his deep desire to entertain people. He craved the satisfaction he got knowing his writing made people laugh, smile or feel better.

I watch a lot of fiction on tv. I also read a lot of fiction. I . . . → Read More: Asking if House of Cards is Realistic Is the Wrong Question.

3 Easy Steps to Change the Media’s Views on War & Torture

These days I’m like Mr. Spock in the dark, parallel universe of Star Trek. I see our leadership going down the wrong path regarding the use of war and torture. It’s an illogical, fear-based path, and it’s presented as the only alternative.

Therefore I’ve come up with some fun, easy steps to change that.

In our country fear rules people and acquiring resources has trumped all ethical considerations.  The power structure and media viewpoint has rejected non-violent solutions as weak and ineffective. The discussion of other solutions are mocked,  marginalized and the proponents cast as naive or terrorists lovers.

In the Mirror Mirror universe Captain Kirk challenged the waste of lives, potential, resources and time of an Empire that ruled by fear and violence.

The goateed Mr. Spock could see the illogic of that Empire but says, “One man cannot summon the future.”  Kirk replies, “But one man can change the present.”

There are powerful groups and people who support war and torture. They are smart, organized, well-funded and know how to use strategic propaganda and specific appeals to ego, power and corporate monetary gain to get what they want.

How to you overcome these groups, people and their . . . → Read More: 3 Easy Steps to Change the Media’s Views on War & Torture

Torture Supporters have Better PR and Marketing People

On the most beautiful sunny day of the year in San Francisco I took a train to the East Bay then walked up a hill into a windowless room to listen to five experts talk about torture.  This was my idea of a good time, and possibly the reason I’m a laugh riot at parties.

It was a symposium titled:

Torture, Security, and Law The Senate intelligence committee report The involvement of psychologists and lawyers Holding ourselves accountability

It was held at Boalt Hall at UC Berkeley School of Law which is the current home of distinguished scholar John Yoo.

I went to hear the progress of bringing accountability to the people who encouraged, legalized and normalized torture in America. I was also hoping for a path to accountability for those who tortured.

I was very disappointed

I was not alone in my feeling. The panel members expressed their own disappointment with their progress. ACLU lawyer Jameel Jaffer talked about his problems getting documents out of the government or getting the voices of the people tortured to be heard by the public. He was fighting to get images of their torture seen but keeps getting blocked.

What was especially frustrating was hearing . . . → Read More: Torture Supporters have Better PR and Marketing People

Where are the Anti-war Experts on my TV, Radio and Papers?

Yesterday Digby mentioned that Chris Matthews was hungering for some war action.

Obama pushing for an Authorized Use of Military Force agreement to go after ISIS might make Matthews happy, but I wonder whom he and the other news/talk opinion shows will book to talk about other alternatives?

Media Matters just put out an extensive report about The State of Sunday Morning Political Talk Shows.  The results won’t surprise you. White men dominate. While I haven’t gone through the entire report, the other theme that I’m seeing is a pro-war bias of guests.

One of my friends in the radio biz talked about pro-AUMF guests being pushed at her. I asked, “Are you also getting anti-war guests pushed and promoted to you?” She wasn’t.

I’ve pointed out this issue before many times, not all experts are created equal. Not all messages have a well-funded team pushing them. I’ve asked in several forums. “Who are the anti-war go to guests? Why aren’t they in the conversations? What will it take to get them in the conversations?”

The recent Brian Williams suspension revealed that lying was winked at and promoted when it had a pro-war agenda. The punishment was for the lying, . . . → Read More: Where are the Anti-war Experts on my TV, Radio and Papers?

NBC’s News Brand Includes a Responsibility to be Truthful

Breaking: From NBC News president Deborah Turness

We have decided today to suspend Brian Williams as Managing Editor and Anchor of NBC Nightly News for six months. The suspension will be without pay and is effective immediately. Link to memo here

This is an important step and I want to point out the reasons that they say they did it.

As Managing Editor and Anchor of Nightly News, Brian has a responsibility to be truthful and to uphold the high standards of the news division at all times.

Note how he is called a “Managing Editor?” That’s the kind of title you give a journalist. He’s not the “top content creator and anchor.” This is about their view of how a journalist working for them should act.

NBC has now gone on record that a responsibility to be truthful is part of the job description for anchors. Turness has said this in print, so its got the support of powerful people behind her.

Now compare to Fox News, a company they won a case in Florida that ruled they didn’t have to legally tell the truth. Yet Fox News still gets get all the rights and privileges of a “press entity” (a . . . → Read More: NBC’s News Brand Includes a Responsibility to be Truthful