Sunday, May 28, 2006

Turn Right on Engstrom Rd.

NTodd "the Pantless one" over at Dohiyimir is holding a blogathon over at his place. I'm hoping at the end of the day he will have a tearful reunion with his pants. Stop over and say hi (or donate money or buy a print or something I'm not sure what we are supposed to do). I'm doing it because I'm under the mistaken impression that this will allow us N-Tier bloggers to move up to the G-Tier NTodd level. I mean it's not like Jeff Goldstein or Atrios ever linked to me or introduced me to the wonderful Candleblog people. NTodd is the little engine that could of the left bloggersphere. He's good people, and I mean that in a totally symbolic literary deconstruction way.

But don't be staying there forever! One time Blogger messed up my commenting software here and I didn't know it and when I got it turned back on I lost Ellroon. :-(
So keep coming back! It works! or something like that...

P.S. The headline? If you work you know where you will get the painfully obvious reference. Wishing you all a happy Memorial Day.
Today's research topic? Number of actual solider's funerals that George W. Bush has attended.
Either from Afganistan or Iraq . And I mean, "out there funerals", not the hugging of "the moms" behind the scenes later. Is he still using the lame excuses to not go?
What kind of President doesn't go to the funerals of the soliders of the men he sends into combat?
Could he go to at least 1 percent of them? Landmark ones? Local ones? I'm just askin'.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Globe Exclusive! George and Laura's Marriage Breakup!

I mean if the NY Times considers Presidential marriages fair game and something to put on the front page like a Tabloid, then you would expect the Tabloids to do the same with the Bushes. Hey and guess what, they did! Now what does that say about the NY Times? Is it a tabloid too? Sure it is. Think about how much this story is like the NY Times story about the Clintons. When will the NY Times do this story on the Bushes. The Globe is leading the way!

GEORGE and Laura Bush's marriage has collapsed as his approval ratings plummet and a host of mounting personal problems rip the first couple apart and push them to secretly lead separate lives!

GLOBE has learned that while George and Laura still appear as the first couple at various public functions, they hardly speak to one another in private and don't even want to be in the same room together.

"When the cameras aren't on, they have nothing to do with one another," a longtime friend confides to GLOBE. "There's no interaction at all. "For all practical purposes, they've broken up. But Laura is a fighter. Deep in her heart she still loves Dubya and she won't give up."

Bitter President Sources reveal that an increasingly bitter president has had a series of nasty fights with his wife of 28 years after she expressed fears he would again turn to the bottle to. drown his worries, which include his battered image and a nasty feud between Laura and his mother.

"After their last fight over booze, they just stopped talking - period," says the family friend. "Things are really icy between George and Laura." Late last year, after Hurricane Katrina devastated the . Gulf Coast, another big, storm swept through the marriage, triggered by reports that Bush, a recovering alcoholic, had been caught tossing back a Texas-size shot of whiskey.

"Laura has told him she'd leave if he took one more drink," a family friend noted. "She said the marriage would be over if he didn't stay off booze."

As the war in Iraq continues to rage and his approval shrinks to an all-time low of just 31 percent, those close to the president tell GLOBE he has become more isolated and increasingly bitter and depressed.

"We've never seen him so down," says the friend. "Everything's getting to him. He just can't understand why America seems to be turning on him. "Everyone, particularly Laura is afraid he'll turn to booze again. And no one wants to see that. But right now, there is no talking to him."

"They've had some terrible arguments lately and Laura has been at the point of walking out completely," the friend continues.

GLOBE, in a world exclusive, reported in January the couple sought therapy to help save their marriage. [Hmm. Did the NY Times jump on THAT?] But the therapy did little to ease the tension in their marriage, sources confide. "Laura urged him to go back to counseling to save their marriage, but he wouldn't even discuss it."

They talk about Laura's probable face life, Barbara Bush meddling and how George will finally come to his senses and stick with Laura.

© Globe 2006
Be sure to pick up a copy of the Globe at the Supermarket. And I hope that Paul, Jim and Lynn stay safe and encrypt their email with 256 encryption or one time pads.

The fact that this story is in the Globe and the Clinton story was front page in the New York Times tells you a lot about the media today and how timid they still are in covering Bush. The timidness in the reporting on Bush still goes on years after 9/11. Say what you will about tabloid vs. respectable journalism, the double standard is still in effect when it comes to Bush's presidency vs. Clintons.

If you want to read a great book about how much the press is missing and how cowed they have become, check out Eric Boehlert's new book.
You might also like David Brock's book The Republican Noise machine to read about the massive infrastructure that is in place to manipulate the press.
Finally, to get into some details of just which laws Bush is breaking (especially the FISA laws) check out Glenn Greenwald's book.

So, do you think that the Globe will get in trouble for this reporting? May I remind you of yet another terrorist attack that Bush never solved?
The AMI anthrax case. Globe is owned by AMI. It was their building that was hit.

Interesting, eh?

Bush hasn't found Bin Laden and he hasn't found the Anthrax mailer. If you look at the two ACTUAL attacks on American soil you see that Bush hasn't found the perpetrators of either of them. I wonder why not? I guess he has more important things to do. Finally,
Here is an interesting follow up story about the AMI anthrax case.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

CNN Headline Writers and Photo Editors Mislead on Front Page

Scandal-scarred Democrat refuses to quit key role

(Actual Screen shot from CNN USA at 5/24/2006 at 3:00:54 pm PDT. This image was on the front page of the CNN website. The linked story doesn't use the same photo.)

I'm looking forward to similar photos and headlines each and every time we see trials and accusations for the many many Republicans involved in scandals. Remember how the White House scrubbed the photo archives of all photos of Bush with Abramoff?

Of course that wouldn't stop CNN if they wanted to, they could do the same thing. They could use this same format for Bush and Abramoff, Bush and Tom Delay, or Bush and Ken Lay.

I searched through 82 articles on Tom Delay on CNN and found NO photos of him with any Republican leader in the same pose or with a similar misleading headline.

So, for that famous bullshit "balance" that Fox claims they want and CNN pretends they do, here is a doctored CNN front page article and photo set I made.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Iran War Campaign: How they will sell this one?

"In the event of any attack on Israel, the United States will come to Israel's aid," Bush said.

Yesterday on The Majority Report Bill Scher of The Liberal Oasis talked about the play book that the Bush Admin will use to go to war with Iran. He noted that they are using some of the same techniques and even the same players to push the rhetoric. I spotted the quote above on CNN. I'd start looking for this one more and more. Why? It's a great one to use.

"ANY attack." Now we all know that there can be multiple ways to fake this or simply take an attack from another source and say "That one was from Iran." and then we go get them.

To that I say, "Remember the Maine!"

New underwater technology has shown that the Maine actually blew up from the inside. Definitive scientific analysis says the Spaniards could not have sunk it. The explosion that brought it down most likely came from a faulty boiler or a munitions misfire, but definitely not from a Spanish mine or torpedo. The Spanish-American War, with all its bloody imperial slaughter, had been sold on a lie.

Four Bloody Lies of War,
from Havana 1898 to Baghdad 2003

Hixs Nix Chixs. Dixs.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Who is Push Polling for Fiona Ma in the Senate Assembly race?

I got a "survey call" last week asking me questions about my opinion about the California State Assembly race from a group called OTR (On Track Research) out of Florida. I'm going to call it a push poll.

Now what is a push poll? It is a poll designed to spread rumors and to disparage the reputation of the person the pollsters are targeting in the guise of an opinion poll. The people who commissioned it don't really care about the results, they just want to get the rumors and whisper campaign started based on negative, false and misleading info.

A push poll is one of the politics tactics that Karl Rove "allegedly" used to smear John McCain in South Carolina. I've long found it disgusting and I've wondered how to combat it. Like the Zombie Facts that Atrios talks about that keep getting used over and over even years after they have been discredited, push polling can be difficult to combat.

For example:

Bush's campaign strategists, including Karl Rove, devised a push poll against John McCain. South Carolina voters were asked "Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for John McCain for president if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?". They had no interest in the actual percentages in the poll, the goal was to suggest that he had. This was particularly vicious since McCain was campaigning with his adopted Bangladeshi daughter. The sight of the little dark skinned girl made the seed planted earlier grow and John McCain lost South Carolina, effectively ending his run for the presidency.

-- SourceWatch, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy (link)

During my poll I was asked questions about Janet Reilly and Fiona Ma, but I was only asked questions designed to cast aspersions on Reilly. Some polling experts make distinctions about what is a legit poll and what is a push poll. Kathy Frankovic, Director of Surveys for CBS News, says, " A push poll is political telemarketing masquerading as a poll." She also says that:

Not all questions that seem negative are part of push polls. Candidate organizations sometimes do actual polls that contain negative information about the opposing candidate. These polls, which are not push polls, are conducted for the same reasons market and advertising researchers do their work: to see what kinds of themes and packages move the public.

Other experts say we should focus on intent:

Again, the proof is in the intent: If the sponsor intends to communicate a message to as many voters as possible rather than measure opinions or test messages among a sample of voters, it qualifies as a "push poll."

A call made for the purposes of disseminating information under the guise of survey is still a fraud - and thus still a "push poll" - even if the facts of the "questions" are technically true or defensible.

The Mystery Pollster

Now I'm not a brilliant political strategist, I'm just a brain in a box, but I have been giving this some thought.

I can't know the intent of whomever commissioned the poll and it's hard to know if they are contacting 40,000 voters or 40 since they likely won't divulge that information.

No matter who commissioned this or what the intent, based on the questions in the poll that I got, it seemed designed to disseminate information under the guise of a survey or as the The National Council on Public Polls (NCPP) defines it:

"A telemarketing technique in which telephone calls are used to canvass vast numbers of potential voters, feeding them false and damaging 'information' about a candidate under the guise of taking a poll to see how this 'information' affects voter preferences. In fact, the intent is to 'push' the voters away from one candidate and toward the opposing candidate."

The thing that occupies me the most about this kind of polling is how to combat it. It is almost a no-lose situation for the campaign deploying it. Why? Because once they ring the bell about false information, it is hard to be "unrung". As Richard Davis, the campaign manager for the McCain campaign said, in the Boston Globe story, The anatomy of a smear campaign"

Campaigns have various ways of dealing with smears. They can refute the lies, or they can ignore them and run the risk of the smear spreading. But "if you're responding, you're losing." Rebutting tawdry attacks focuses public attention on them, and prevents the campaign from talking issues.

We chose to address the attacks by trying to get the media to focus on the dishonesty of the allegations and to find out who was making them. We also pledged to raise the level of debate by refusing to run any further negative ads -- a promise we kept, though it probably cost us the race. We never did find out who perpetrated these smears, but they worked: We lost South Carolina by a wide margin.

So one way might be to educate voters on this topic and bust campaigns that try this moment they start it. Maybe I should have made a bigger stink about this right away, so fewer calls would be made. But I thought, "Will I simply draw attention to the disinformation? Will actually writing about the poll INCREASE the number of people who hear about any disinformation or political positioning it contains?

I finally decided to write this piece focusing on the technique as an education issue. I contacted both campaigns to ask if they commissioned it.
A worker answering the phone for the Ma campaign said no. The campaign manager for Janet Reilly assured me that they weren't behind it and and pointed out the flood of money flowing into the Ma campaign from third party groups that could have funded and commissioned it.

Note the interesting gambit candidate backers can use. They can fund a push poll and they don't have to tell the campaign. Actually I believe they are not SUPPOSED TO, especially anything that makes it look like they are coordinating with the candidates official campaign. Well, since the campaigns aren't supposed to coordinate, I called OTR in Melbourne Florida. And, no surprise, they can't tell me who commissioned the survey. Neat trick.

So, we have one "outside" group that isn't supposed to inform the inside group at the campaign what they are doing by law and in addition, the "outside" group hires a third party that "ethically" can't tell us who commissioned the survey. An even better trick.

Now I checked to see who was funding the Ma campaign. (link)
Based on the amount contributed, this could have been commissioned by "Leaders for Effective Government" see Matier and Ross for a little back story here.

I wrote Jerry Waldie the head of the group Leaders for Effective Government two days ago and he said that he personally didn't know about this, but he would forward a staff response to me. I haven't heard back yet.

James Fabris, the Chief Executive Officer of the San Francisco Association Of Realtors responded to my letter and said "No. I know nothing about it."

I haven't heard from Carol Bravo the General Manager of the Peace Officers Research Association Of California yet either.

Now if anyone from the campaigns wants more information about this call since I took some notes (say for example you DIDN'T commission it and you would like to know what it contains, so you can refute any misinformation, drop me a note) and if you are in the mainstream media and would like more information on this I can talk to you as well, but my goal here is NOT to talk about the charges made, but to expose and discredit the entire PRACTICE, no matter who is doing it. Hopefully we could solicit a pledge from any campaign to refrain from this practice all together and if it is undertaken by a third party on their behalf to condemn the practice. They should also inform the voters of the action and condemn the group who undertook it.

I hesitate to ask that candidates talk about the charges made. Would it have helped John McCain if the group that started the push poll whisper campaign said, "We are sorry that we claimed that John McCain had fathered an illegitimate black child. That was wrong. He simply adopted a Bangladeshi daughter. We don't know if he fathered any illegitimate black children." For the racist bigots who DIDN'T hear that "information" would it simply reinforce the smear? If they didn't say WHAT the push poll campaign was about would they generate MORE bad rumors based on nothing at all?

In the case of push polling, the press might need to take a more active role in beating this down and condemning the practice. If the practice can be condemned strongly by the media so that if a campaign uses it they will get WORSE PR than what they might gain, that might help.
As in, "I refuse to vote for Bush because of that terrible push poll whisper campaign they started. Push polling it disgusting, dishonest and I refuse to vote for anyone who would stoop to those tactics no matter how nice he seems to have a beer with."

If a candidate didn't start it, then he or show should condemn it the second they find out what happened and criticize the group that did it. In addition they should publicly let people know WHO was behind it, who paid for it and who did the actual work. In fact, the candidate should go on record in such a way that strongly disassociates them from the tactic and people involved. Hopefully this will educate people to the tactic and make candidates and groups using it think twice before they try it because of the negative consequences.

Finally, I have no financial relationship with either campaign.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Telcos hire bag men to give your records to the NSA?

So Paul Kiel and Justin Rood of TPMmuckraker have a fascinating inside story about how the Telcos might have gotten around the "we didn't give your info to the NSA" situation.

Did Telcos Hire "Scapegoat" To Give NSA Phone Records?

Very clever. And given how they parsed the words on WHO they gave the records too the ever brilliant John Aravosis, at AmericaBlog has other info about the tricks the telcos are using.

Regarding all this. I have three words. Oversight. Oversight. Oversight.
And no Rubberstamps folks (I'm looking are you DiFi.)

And for the record, several of my 21 readers are in the NSA and CIA, especially the NSA. They are more aware of the laws regarding what is and isn't acceptable than anyone I know. It pisses them off when their work is used in ways that they think is illegal. As a group they are scary smart, patriotic and more concerned about personal privacy than the average citizen, partly because they know just out easily it can be breached with the click of a button.

They are the ones constantly worrying about the boundaries of the law and the line between protection and exploitation. Partly to protect themselves, but also because they know the difference between bullshit and real threats. Remember, someone hirer up "pulled the trigger" on this op. You can bet a LOT of people within the group knew this would eventually come out and warned management against it. And like the NASA engineers who warned about the o-ring problems, they too were overruled by more "political" people higher up in the organization.

They could be saying "I told you so" but that doesn't make people in the center offices of the puzzle palace happy.

To see where the problem lies in the NSA look UP, not DOWN within their ranks.

And finally to all my friends at the NSA, yes we know how lame Dan Brown's characters are in his non-famous book but wasn't it kind of fun to read about heroes in the biz? Be well. Do what's right. Stay safe.

Inspiring words from Dick "Boom Boom" Cheney

Cheney to grads: Don't be stopped by failure

BATON ROUGE, La. Vice President Cheney has a message for college graduates: don't let failure stop you. In fact, he says, setbacks can sometimes be a good thing. [Look at 9/11! The failure there got us to our true goal, Iraq. The failure there got us to our true goal, control of the oil. The failure there got us to our true goal, Iran. We haven't failed there yet, but if we do, it will be a good thing.]

In a commencement speech at Louisiana State University, Cheney said it's the rare successful person who hasn't had "a taste of failure, or a false start along the way." ["Look at George W. Bush. He tasted failure his entire life! Failed business owner, failed pilot, failed president, false start in the war against Iraq, but right now he is in the best physical shape of his life! 9 percent body fat! Abs of steel! And I have no doubt he will be the most successful former president ever. The money that is owed him will come rushing in after 2008! Now that is Success!"]

Cheney cited his own experience at Yale, where he flunked out -- twice. He also described interviewing for a job with a young Congressman Donald Rumsfeld -- and being dismissed out of hand.

Cheney says the lesson is this: "Don't give up, or let your doubts get the best of you." ["I kept shaking down CIA agents until I found one who said what I wanted. I never doubted I could get the CIA to play ball."]

Setbacks can either "stop you dead in your tracks -- or they can inspire you to move forward."
['For example when we couldn't dupe all the American people so we decided to dupe the press first. They proved very dupeable." ]

Either way, Cheney says, they're "crucial days" -- when your choice of a future "belongs to you alone." ["Oh," he added "And the 3 NSA agents who are listening into your calls, so make it a good choice. And stay out of the military, it's a sucker's game. Trust me. I know."]

AP story, with fictional modifications by Spocko.

The Axis of Medieval: Robertson-Falwell-Graham

The Axis of Medieval. I love it! Kelley B over at Singularity mentions this in an interesting post talking about how George W. is feeding two of his bases with the militarization of the border. The Axis of Medieval is fine with it, but The Catholic Church, not so much. Turns out some of the immigrants are Hispanics and Catholic. They might not be so gung ho for shooting people crossing the border. And with the military involved the odds of that happening just go up.

Dear Leader's trying to please two pillars of his base, the isolationist racists by building an Iron Curtain between the Corporate States of America and Mexico, and the Company regulars, by requiring all workers (citizen or not) to register everything about themselves with two government databases in order to get a job in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

-Kelley B, Singularity (link)

He points out the technology they have deployed in the past failed dismally and the odds are it will be yet another money transfer from taxpayers to a "private" enterprise crony-filled business.

Oh, and just because I love it, here is the opening photo over at Singularity.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Bush at the Border -- The Mission Accomplished Express.

See under the universal not symbol? It says "Brown People"

I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

KSFO Sales Manager calls me a coward. School yard tactics ENGAGE!

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."


I used to do a feature in which I argued with wingnuts I didn't know. I think this calls for a return. Below is a post on this blog that I got from a person claiming to be the sales manager from KSFO, Michael Black. After that post was a post from another person (his wonder twin?) who sounds suspiciously like Michael Black whom (for the purpose of this post) I'll call Anonymous Concern Troll (ACT). So let’s unpack these posts. As always, wingnut in black. Spocko in Blue


Your decision to avoid debate is not surprising. It shows your cowardice. If you have nothing to hide, call in, identify yourself as Spocko and offer your opinion. Maybe you can actually change some listeners' minds politically.

Of course I never asked for a debate, it was his suggestion, (or maybe his boss' suggestion). This of course is a standard tactic of rightwing radio hosts. They want to set the stage where they have the mike, they have the sound and they have the last word. They have their screeners and sycophant callers, easily mockable callers and a forum to broadcast to hundreds of thousands but they know that it is still not enough, so they have to keep the game fixed. I've heard Sussman's "debates" with people on his show. Goofy music cues for them, mocking them the second they are off the air. It's a set piece to produce the illusion of debate. As Jon Stewart has said, "It's theatre." and "No, I'm not going to be your monkey." Or as Mark Danner has said, "It's people sitting around a fire grunting."

And of course if the KSFO management wants to call me a coward, fine. I'm not the one continuing to support a man who calls for killing 10 million Muslims that he estimates are out to kill us. I'm not the one who talks about how he would torture Iraqis by cutting off their finger and then their penis. It wasn't me who demanded that a caller say "Allah is a whore".
I don't know what you would call someone who supports that kind of speech. Enablers?

Most multi-national corportations (sic) support the conservative agenda with millions of dollars aimed at special interest groups.

Oh, I'm quite aware of this. And they are also willing to lose (invest?) millions in it. Read The Republican Noise Machine and you will see their long term strategy. And I'm sure that is what you are telling advertisers: that they are supporting a "conservative agenda" when you sell them time. If you told them they were advertising on hate speech radio, they might not sign up. And when they find out the ACTUAL content of the show then they say, "We'll go elsewhere."

I'm not sure how the "conservative agenda" is supported by associating with the outrageous comments of Brian Sussman. I don't quite see how driving away the business of Muslims is a smart business move. Or demanding that they adhere to his version of Christianity, which is different from say the nice Coptic Christians or the smart evangelical Christians like Jim Wallis. Of course maybe they think they are aligning with Christians in general, but since Sussman has never actually claimed to be a Christian I don't see it. He calls himself a "theocon" and I suppose there are a few self identified Theocon's out there who listen. Great. But Sussman doesn't say he is any specific Christian faith because if he did people could point out that he isn't even following the tenets of that version of Christianity.

Do you really think that getting one or two off KSFO temporarily has any lasting effect? They just move their money to another radio group like Clear Channel that supports the conservative agenda.

Actually I do think it will have a effect. You wouldn't be writing me if it didn't. Lasting? Who knows. But I do know that I have to stand against Sussman in ways that shows people I find his comments unacceptable for advertiser supported broadcast radio. I'm not a big time blogger like John Avarosis, Atrios, Athenea, NTodd or Kos. I don't have the resources of Media Matters or the legal experience of the folks at EFF. I'm long winded and rarely topical. I've got 21 readers on a GOOD day. 22 if I count you. Most people who find me are looking for links to funny videos or Star Trek stuff. But occasionally I provide inspiration to others to also act, like PTCruiser whom I'm proud to have as a reader.

Big corporations make massive investments in nations around the world with less than questionable human rights. By targeting corporate divestment you can affect actual change.

Sadly, you're only speaking to the converted on your blog.

Michael Black


"Targeting corporate divestment"? Hmmm. I'll have to put that on my list of things to do. Just like your mistaken idea that I'm against some mythical "conservative agenda" (whatever you think that is) I have other steps to take first. One is giving advertisers an opportunity to choose what they will and won't support.

Companies have stated values and missions. And even if they can all be seen as expendable to the great "bottom line", some companies actually can see that certain values make good business sense. Insulting your customers and potential customers is usually not a good business mode.

Companies are composed of people. People who would rather be inclusive and diverse than exclusive and narrow. Some of these people listen to Sussman and think, "We ADVERTISE on that SHOW? That's not us. That's a bad fit. Call the media buyer. Pull our ads."

Next we have part two. A post from "Anonymous Concern Troll" who as another reader pointed out is either Michael Brown writing from home (note the similar content) or one of his buddies. I don't want to assume anything.

What I want you all to notice is how these two letters fit together and use multiple tactics to get me to stop. This is the salesman's mind. How do I overcome objections? In this case throwing up anything and everything even if they wildly contradict each other to see what sticks.

Letter one:
Calling me a coward.
Suggesting an ineffective course of action
Misstate what the issue is about "conservative agenda" so that a straw man can be set up
Suggesting my actions are ineffective (although by his very act of writing, proves that they are)
Say the action that has effected them really will have no lasting effect, so why bother
Marginalize the player and the participants

Now you will notice additional tactics in letter two, here's what to look for:

Ingratiation: "Hey I agree with you, but..."
"What's-the-point"ism. You aren't changing the world, so why bother?
Appeal to ego
. Go for a bigger prize (Because I'm so ineffective with this?)
Group identification "I'm one of you! We stopped apartheid! Don't bother with Sussman, he's not as bad as apartheid!"
Nobody is listening -- to KSFO anyway, so why pick on them?
Appeal to my compassion and humanity (funny because I'm only half human)
Suggest again a debate that I never requested or suggested and then when I refused--
Call me scared (Hmmm, now do you wonder why I think this is Micheal Black?)
Try to get me to rally and do the debate. Suggest that he'll debate this bastard himself. (gee, now we hope this isn't Michael, he's calling Brian Sussman a bastard! )
Question my motives and pigeon hole me as either disgruntled or a competitor (useful for telling the advertisers why they are getting these letters. "He's probably just some nut working for Clear Channel who got fired from KSFO, ignore him--and everything he says. Especially ignore the actual things Sussman says."
and finally, the true point of this anonymous post
Vague threats of lawsuits

Now I'll unpack this ACT post. I'm sure I've probably bored 20 out of my 21 readers, but I like to be long winded since I'm a brain in a box and I don't get out much. Maybe if I had legs I could take up running as a more interesting hobby.

Anonymous said...

While I applaud your efforts, Michael's right. The advertisers you've been able to get off of KSFO are only moving these small amounts of money elsewhere that support some other multinational corporations conservative agenda.

Couldn't your hard work and dedication be better served by targeting international divestment by corporations who violate human rights? Think about what we did to help end Apartheid. It stopped because massive numbers of people would not invest in companies who had investments in South Africa.

Consider that the collective mind of KSFO's relatively small conservative audience has already been made up, you're wqasting your time. Fry bigger fish is you want to make a difference.

The only people you end up hurting are the hourly wage earners at KSFO who are trying to eek out an existence becuase it's their jobs that get cut when revenues go down. Fry bigger fish Spocko.
Wow. Way to tug on the ol' heart strings ACT! This is interesting. So when revenues go down, Sussman's wages stay the same and the sales people's stay the same. What a messed up business model, but not surprising. Host says terrible things, advertisers leave. Hourly employees fired. Who's the problem here? The HOST! Who's punished? Low level workers! Maybe this is the conservative agenda that you are talking about. Sounds like something they would be in favor of, no consequences for them, just "the little people".

ACT, the problem here is that Sussman is a defective product. This product should have been recalled long ago, but it wasn't, now that people are noticing it, the answer isn't to look at the person pointing out the problem, but to look to the source.

And why not debate Sussman? Maybe you can change sone listeners' minds. By refusing, you come off sounding scared. Hell I'll call in tomorrow to debate this bastard

Sure, go ahead, if you want to play that game. If you want to debate him about "international divestment by corporations who violate human rights" go right ahead. But of course that is your suggested issue and method of dealing with Sussman, not mine. Of course it would be kind of funny if Sussman recognized your voice, "Why does this person who sounds like the sales manager calling me a bastard"?

Your focus is so narrow that you really sound like a disgruntled ex KSFO employee or a radio station competitor who is afraid of being identified.

Ah ha! Well ACT, wouldn't that be convenient. I'm not just a listener who finds Sussman's comments offensive, I'm disgruntled (how come there are no gruntled employees?) or a competitor! As if those could be the only two choices.

The Disney attorney's will end up coming after you anyway for defamation of character, slander, using audio clips without full context etc etc etc. I can only imagine how many they've lined up already so they'll out you eventually. Then the jig will be up. Move on while you still have some credibility.

And here we have it folks, the true purpose of this Post. ACT brings out The Big Guns. A Disney law suit. ACT is just concerned about my credibility. Right.

Now considering that Disneyland ITSELF pulled their ads from the show that seems a little strange.

Maybe there is some wishful thinking and projection going on here ACT. I've simply let the advertisers hear what Sussman is saying on the show they are advertising on. My identity isn't really the issue. (Of course I have to admit that the "let's get him in here for the debate so we can see just which disgruntled/competitor he is so we can sue him" trick is a pretty good one)

No the actual Disney attorneys are probably consulting human resource professional agencies trying to figure out how to fire Sussman and not get his union to file a counter suit for unlawful termination (that would be the union he hates so much and has said so on many occasions. The one he wishes he didn't have to join.) Now if CAIR decided to file suit (being official and stuff) they might be off the hook and say, "Hey we had a complaint from offended Muslims! We had to fire him." That is much easier than acting at the time and saying, "That's it. That's too far. You are fired." like WMAL did with the host in DC.

A wise person once told me, "Don't mess with The Mouse." And in this case I'm not the one messing with The Mouse. Sussman is.

Sussman is the one making the comments that make ABC Radio/Disney look bad. Sussman is the one talking about cutting off someone's penis between 6-8 pm on commercially supported broadcast radio in the Bay Area. And because he wasn't stopped long ago they are continuously tarred with his hateful comments. Up until now they could hold their nose and ignore it, but now that there are some economic consequences they have noticed. Until December 2006 Sussman is their problem. Then he's Citadel's problem.

You see if the General Manager had fired Sussman for any ONE of his MANY comments that went too far, we wouldn't be having this conversation and you wouldn't be holding the specter of a Disney lawsuit over my head. The public person Sussman is the one making the comments to incite violence. He's the one making the indecent comments between 6-8 on commercially supported broadcast radio, not me.

In the end, if you pay taxes in the US, you too Spocko support the war in Iraq and the conservative agenda.
11:47 PM

Well gee, Anonymous Concern Toll, nice nonsequator. Are you suggesting that I shouldn't pay my taxes? That would be unAmerican. That would be like cutting taxes while we are fighting a war with Iraq. Because surely people who support the war in Iraq would be happy paying MORE taxes, right?

Well I'm off to play 3D chess with a computer program. I find it relaxes me after dealing with humans all day.

Singham's Law. To use when discussing ID and science

I've really enjoyed the work of Mano Singham* on his blog. Here he postulates a "law" like Goodwin's "law":

I was thinking that this might be a good model to follow in finding a resolution to the interminable discussions over whether so-called 'intelligent design' theory (ID) is a part of science. My rule would read as follows:

"As soon as the advocates of any theory go to legislative or other non-scientific bodies to get their theory labeled as a science, they have lost the argument and their theory is automatically declared to be not a science."

Why do we need such a rule? Because ID advocates are the latest in a long line of people who have tried to bypass the normal processes of science by going outside the scientific community to implement their agenda.

The aspect of Godwin's "law" about "losing the argument" isn't one I find interesting, but it can be useful to bat down people who run out of reasons. On the other hand it can also be used by people to bat down VALID comparisons when they are necessary. Just like calling everything EXTREME waters down actual EXTREME things.

I don't usually argue with ID people, but if I did I'd probably find the need to invoke this law. On the other hand, what are these anti-science people doing using computers forums to argue in? Maybe it should be, "why don't you carve your views in a clay tablet and walk it over to my house?"

*Singham is a theoretical physicist and currently Director of UCITE (University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education) at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Rove to be Indicted? Tranya for everyone!

Sources close to the case said there is a strong chance Rove will also face an additional charge of obstruction of justice, adding that Fitzgerald has been working meticulously over the past few months to build an obstruction case against Rove because it "carries more weight" in a jury trial and is considered a more serious crime.

Friday Funny Blogging -- Stewie Soundboard

On Friday's we get to take a break from one aspect of the important work of Spocko's Brain and focus on the other aspect of our work. You know, the work that actually brings 20 of my 21 readers here. Links to funny videos. Because Spocko knows funny. When you think of Vulcans you think of funny, right? What with suppressing my emotions and all for 90+ years I've learned what is funny enough to make a Vulcan laugh (or at least grin in a bemused way while hating myself for showing emotion). For you humans think of trying not to laugh at a funeral (sick humans!) everything is funnier when you have to try and suppress it.

So check out this sound board from Family Guy. If you haven't watched the show you might not appreciate it. It can be very uneven and crude, but also roar-out-loud funny. And the VOICE of Stewie is great. Tone and delivery is very important in comedy. Sometimes it really IS how you say it.

My favorite is the last one under Exclaimations/Anger
"I'm not going to lie down from some Frat boy."

Expecially after the post last night about evil frat brothers.

Thanks to Dailyhaha for hosting this soundboard. And thanks to Seth MacFarlane for the great voice work! If you click on the image of the soundboard it will take you to or you can click here.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

"Daddy I've been RAPED! BY MY BROTHER!"

she cried, "And now you are telling me I can't have an abortion? "

"That's correct." Said her father.

Welcome to South Dakota 2006 and Brian Sussman's mind.

Here is the complete quote and the audio. ( Windows audio link 59 seconds.)

"This South Dakota story they signed into law today a bill that outlaws all abortions with the exception of the health risk to a mom. So if mom's health... if her life can only be saved by an abortion then you can have an abortion But they do not allow exceptions for rape or incest. Which I think is correct. I never quite figured out the logic there.

Do you mean to tell me that the child who was conceived because on a very unfortunate tragic circumstance like a rape is not worthy of a life? I don't get that. Do you mean the child who is actually born to a mother who is the victim of a rape is somehow less than? I..I.. that..You talk about discrimination. 'No you deserve to die! You should have never been born! Not only are you a bastard, you are a rape bastard. You deserve to die.' I just don't get that. Never have."

--Brian Sussman KSFO Radio 560 AM 6-8 pm March 6, 2006

KSFO San Francisco can be heard East to Reno, South past San Jose and North, nearly to Eureka.

And those of you who might want to write KSFO, ABC Radio Disney or KSFO's advertisers, you might want to drop ol' Spocko a cc on the letter, because remember folks, KSFO management is giving Sussman "great support". So your letters will probably be ignored by KGO/KSFO president and general manager Michael "Mickey" Luckoff. Unless you are a Muslim group then not only will you be ignored by him you will be insulted by Lee Rogers. I wouldn't bother asking to speak to KSFO's Operations Manager Jack Swanson either, he's married to Melanie Morgan who is the occasional co-host with Sussman on the morning show.

If there were a women in charge there I'd give you her name. I suppose you could ask for Deidra Lieberman, the new director of sales, but she is pretty busy trying to replace the advertisers who are leaving KSFO because they don't want to be associated with Sussman.

Hopefully some of my female readers can explain this to Sussman. So Donna, Sally Karen, Kathy, Katie, Kari, Vonda, Athenea, Jane, Maryscott, and Reddhedd help me out here.


UPDATE 11:56 pm
After the end of tonight's Sussman Show I considered modifying the headline

"Daddy I've been RAPED by Brian Sussman's Frat Brother!"

she cried, "and nobody stopped them!"

"We don't call it rape Pumpkin when it is done by a Frat Brother. If nobody stepped up to report it you must have been asking for it. Now we'll just send you away until the baby is born." said the father.

Here is the Sussman quote that triggered the new headline idea and the new fictional quote. (Audio link here 99 seconds)

"I was in a fraternity in college my freshman year. That place was a mad house. Boy from the hood I'm serious. It was wild Bacchanalias every weekend. And if I could be so bold. I don't know if I should say this or not, but it's true. Fraternities in the hood are called gangs. Well I'll tell you what, in my particular fraternity, this is one of the reasons I left after my freshman year-- I couldn't tell you honestly, I can't tell you how many girls were raped in that fraternity house. I'm very serious. Absolutely, Absolutely. Absolutely!

Guys would get these girls drunk to the point were they'd pass out. I wish... you know. There are a lot of messed up women out there to this day. If I could ever be a help I would, but its a. I left after my freshman year. It was just too much. But it was, this was going on. This was the 70's. They didn't call it rape back then. But it was. It was just nasty, nasty stuff and for those of you who were in fraternities in the 70's, don't lie to me, you know exactly (chuckle) what I'm talking about, that crap was going on big time."
--Brian Sussman KSFO Radio 560 AM 6-8 pm May 11, 2006

So maybe THIS is why Brian Sussman thinks it is correct not to allow abortion after a rape. He was thinking of all the girls raped by his frat brothers! Yep, gotta keep those genes going. And of course the line "we didn't call it rape in the 1970's" is just precious. What did you call it when your frat brothers sexually assaulted drunk passed out girls? Making Love? Oh that's right a Bacchanalia. How "greek" of you.

It was just swell how he offered today to help those messed up women who were raped after they passed out drunk at his frat house. So you quit the frat after a year. Whoopee! So you MUST have known SOMETHING was wrong, correct? You said it was just ONE of the reasons. What else did they do there? Torture? No, that couldn't have been it, you are pro-torture. Murder? Probably not that either, you are all for killing, especially if you think they were out to kill you.

After you quit your frat did you go to the raped women and offer to testify against your frat brothers when they pressed charges? Did you apologize to them? Tip off the cops about your frat brother's behaviors? Tell us those stories of your moral courage before you joke and dismiss the fines that were assessed after the homophobic hazing at the Vermont frat.

I'm not from this planet and even I know that you don't allow helpless people to be sexually assaulted on a regular basis, no matter WHAT it is called. But given some of your other opinions it doesn't surprise me, it just disgusts me.

I suppose we can't expect much moral courage from the freshman Sussman. But come ON. You stood by and watched it happen. Again and again and again. And you did nothing. Why? Because nobody told you it was wrong? Because "They didn't call it rape"? Because you wanted to get along with all the other neocon frat boys?

And your response now is, "Gee I wish I could help those messed up women." The time to help them was THEN.

You know what? I wanted to get some righteous anger going at this, but I just can't. Its just too damn depressing.

At sometime in your life people you knew, perhaps people in our own family or people around you should have stood up and countered your hateful misogynistic views. Someone should have caused you some uncomfortable moments, to make you think. Maybe an big sister type could have told you what it means to be raped and what your role and responsiblities are to help the women who were raped. Or a person from Latin America could have told you what government sponsored torture is really about. But you probably bullied them away with your own twisted sense of morals. You screamed your views louder, you made excuses, you twisted scripture to fit.

And now you are trying to propagating those ignorant, hateful views onto others. Hey, they are PAYING you for it, so it must be right! You're working hard to give them permission to unleash their "inner Archie Bunker". What a swell role model you are. Your children must be proud.

Maybe one of those girls raped by your frat brothers back in the 70's should give you a call. I could imagine it would sound something like this.

"Thanks for NOT being there for me Brian. I can see you are still supporting evil and not dealing with the impact of rape on women, but putting men's sacred sperm first."

It won't happen of course. Because unlike Veronica Mars, they probably don't know who raped them since you never came forward. It would be interesting to hear what they think about your support of the South Dakota Abortion ban.

DJ fired for making threatening remarks (no it's not Sussman)

I always like to keep track of who is fired on radio and why. So today a Clear Channel DJ got fired for making threatening remarks. So I asked myself, why was this guy fired and not Sussman?

I figured it was because of a few things:

Troi Torain, the “Star” was fired for making threatening on-air comments directed at the daughter and wife of a competing personality.

Brian Sussman, the "Suss-Man" was NOT fired when he called for killing 10 million Muslims.

Message: Threaten one. Fired. Threaten 10 million. Not fired.

Tori Torain, the "Star" was fired for saying “If you didn’t hear me, I said, I would like to do an R. Kelly on your seed, on your baby girl. I would like to tinkle on her.”

Brian Sussman, the "Suss-Man" was NOT fired for saying, ""I would say first we cut off your finger next we go for your penis, what do you want? What do you want? Okay? I'll tell you what, the guy says nothing we cut off the finger first. Just the tip of the finger, that's all. I got news for you he's going to start talking quickly, we can't do any of that now."
(20 second Windows media sound clip here)

Message: Talk about tinkling on someone. Fired. Talk about cutting off someone's penis. Not fired.

Star, who calls himself “The Hater,” also said that he carries a gun.

Suss-Man who calls himself "the Neocon Theocon," also said he has a gun, (and kindly provides us with a photo.)
Message: Talk about carrying a gun. Fired. Talk about carrying a gun and actually show us a photo of it. Not Fired.

Clear Channel New York market manager Rob Williams said: “Power 105 finds the comments alleged to have been broadcast by Troi Torain to be wholly unacceptable. We have removed him from the air pending a full investigation.”

ABC Radio's San Francisco general manager Michael "Mickey" Luckoff supports Sussman, (As Sussman stated on March 24, 2006, "I've got great support from the staff and management of this great radio station.") They have kept him on the air.

So I guess that this means that ABC Radio and Disney have much lower standards than Clear Channel. I mean we know that KSFO "Hot Talk" will spew out pretty much anything whereas "Power 105" actually has guidelines. Nice to know, I wonder if when Farid Suleman of Citadel Broadcasting picks up KSFO as part of the ABC Radio purchase he will keep the same low standards. I hope not.

Oh and I'd like to thank Paul Heine of Billboard's Radio Monitor for the quotes for this story. Drop me a line if you want some more info about KSFO's Brian Sussman show on 560AM between 6-8 pm.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


You have to love this shot. "See they already have the bomb! There is the symbol on the big screen right THERE!"

This is from CNNs webpage at 6:05 pm. Beat that NUKE war drum Rummy! Beat it! Beat it!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Brian Sussman Should be Fired

The President and General Manager of KGO/KSFO, Michael "Mickey to my friends" Luckoff, wants to meet with ol' Spocko. Last week the general sales manager for KSFO, Michael Black, sent me an email. It appears he was acting as envoy for Mickey.

The letter was odd. It started with the strange comment, "Against my recommendation, Mickey wants to meet with you." What was that about? Was it referring to a conversation they had?

"Don't meet with this punk Mickey, if you do, the terrorists win! If you meet with him, he'll know that we are getting pressure from ABC/Disney to can Sussman. Keep backing Sussman's hateful speech just like you did Savage in the good old days. Remember, like Lee Rogers said, here at KSFO we don't "ass kiss every Muslim cause that comes along"

Maybe Mickey will seat me in a big board room with a couple of henchmen outside the door and give me the speech that Howard Beale got from the head of the network, in the movie Network "YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature. And YOU WILL ATONE."

Maybe Luckoff wanted to arrange a meeting but will cancel it with some lame excuse like the time they didn't want to meet with the Marin students of The Branson School in Ross, after Michael Savage (then with KSFO) said that female students who come from Branson to feed and provide services to the homeless "can go in and get raped by them because they seem to like the excitement of it..."

They even offered me a chance to debate Sussman. Wow. Fame. It would be like getting on Survivor! Who could resist the shot at KSFO's huge audience!? Surely someone with 21 readers would jump at the chance to be bullied by the bestest used car salesman debater Brian Sussman! The ratings would be huge!

Thanks, but no thanks.

As Jon Stewart said to Tucker Carlson, "I'm not going to be your monkey". With talk radio the game is always fixed and the playing field is never level.

Maybe Mickey just wants to know what my "demands" are so he can appease me so Spocko's Brain readers and I will stop letting advertisers know what they are supporting when they advertise on the Sussman show. Perhaps he wants to tell me about all the "stern warnings" he and KSFO's Operations Manager Jack Swanson (who by the way is married to Melanie Morgan who is the occasional co-host with Sussman on the morning show) have given Sussman. You know, the ones have had absolutely no impact.

I guess I should have made my opinion clear months ago. Brian Sussman should be fired.

Frankly, it should have been obvious to KSFO's management and any civilized person, that his comments were beyond the bounds of decency and he shouldn't be on commercially supported broadcast radio.

At first I naively thought Sussman was being controversial just for ratings and he didn't REALLY believe what he was saying. I couldn't fathom a man so hateful and a management team so complicit that he wasn't yanked off the air before the end of some of his shows. Then I thought maybe I misunderstood his views. But as I listened to him and wrote to him and heard more from him I realized he really meant what he was saying, he isn't joking and I didn't misunderstand.

Sussman is serious about his views so he can't use the, "I was just joking" defense. He stands behind his frequent outrageous statements and, based on the fact that he has not been fired, KSFO management also stands behind his comments. Maybe he was reprimanded, maybe he was fined, but that doesn't appear to be the case since Sussman has said on more than one occasion that management supports him.

Management supported him during:

- his morally repugnant statements in support of torture
- his demand that a caller say, "Allah is a whore" TWICE (audio link)
- his description of how he would torture Iraqis by cutting off their fingers and then their penis
- his call for killing 10 million Muslims that he has determined are out to kill us

Since none of those comments were firing offenses or even APOLOGIZING offenses it tells you something about KSFO's guidelines and what is acceptable to management. And the "say Allah is a whore" comment wasn't even a slip of the tongue like that sportscaster who called Condoleeza Rice a coon, and then instantly apologized for it. That DJ was instantly fired.

Now contrast the sportscaster accidental comment with Sussman's comment demanding a caller say "Allah is a whore" TWICE. And he didn't apologize afterwards. Later his comment about the incident was to whine about how that call "got him in trouble." What did this trouble look like? A stern talking to? A negative letter in your permanent record? A fine? Or was it ignored, chucked about and forgotten when the ratings book came out? Maybe even a raise was in store. The "trouble" certainly didn't take the shape of a pink slip.

Management is clearly fine with comments like this, as I wrote earlier, his colleague Lee Rogers best described managements sensitivity to other faiths when he said, "We won't ass kiss every Muslim cause that comes along."

When statements like Sussman's and Roger's get made and nothing of consequence happens, management is either in agreement with the comments or complicit. Although the station management seems to think these comments are swell, some of the advertisers have wisely decided not to be associated with them. And sometimes it spills over to the rest of the shows. When Bank of America instructed its agency to, "pull all advertising not just from the Brian Sussman Show, but from all programming on KSFO", that must have hurt the precious bottom line. Maybe that was when ABC/Disney noticed.

Or maybe they finally noticed when Roxanne Robert, Guest Communications Manager of Disneyland, heard about what Sussman was saying and said "The situation mentioned in your correspondence has been addressed." Maybe THAT got through to management. But I doubt it.

Their response? Offer me a debate. Wheee! How Rove like, try to co-opt the critics, but don't address the problem.

You see some advertisers DO have values. Sometimes they just value staying away from controversy. But sometimes they are decent humans who don't like to be associated with morally repugnant hate speech. Good for them.

A few Words About Commercially Supported Broadcast Radio vs. Ranting on the Sidewalk

What you can say on a commercially supported broadcast radio is not the same as what you can say on the sidewalk in front of the federal building. Commercially supported broadcast radio (and TV for that matter) have agreed upon language guidelines that have been in place for years. In addition, owners of multiple stations like ABC, Citadel or Clear Channel have OTHER guidelines that might be even MORE strict than FCC official guidelines.

For example in 2004 Clear Channel instituted a zero tolerance policy for indecent content.

And finally, addition individual stations have standards and guidelines that spell out what is acceptable and what isn't. So for example at WMAL (another radio station owned by ABC Radio Disney), Chris Berry the president and general manager fired Michael Graham for anti-Muslim statements.

Jeff Katz was fired from KTSE-AM in Sacramento (owned by Clear Channel). He urging listeners to use their cars to hit illegal immigrants trying to cross into the U.S. from Mexico.

Beau Duran was dismissed from KUPD-FM for calling the widow of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile a few months after his death, telling her she was "hot" and asking her for a date on the air (link). So clearly there is a precedent for firing talk radio hosts for multiple reasons.

Sussman can harrumph about his "free speech" all he wants but he knows very well that there are and have always been rules and restrictions on his speech on commercially supported broadcast radio. And if management keeps looking the other way when even the most minimal guidelines have been breached time and time again perhaps they should be removed as well.

So sorry Michael, but I won't be meeting with you.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Bush Mocked by Colbert. Carrot Top Attacked in Retaliation

Bush aides, "We are fighting Carrot Top in Vegas so we don't have to fight Colbert in New York."

Washington D.C.--Several aides close to the president have revealed that the secret service police force have been dispatched to the Vegas home of the comedian Carrot Top to deal with the grave and gathering treat of program related comedy material. "Look, Carrot Top is the real threat. It is a well known fact that Stephen Colbert met with Carrot Top several times in a gym in Vegas to exchange material or "chunks" and "bits" for Colbert's devastating appearance in D.C. two nights ago." said an unindicted White House senior staff member who demanded anonymity.

Sec. Def. Donald Rumsfeld was quoted as saying. "Did I like Colbert's routine? No. Do I think he had the right to say it? You bet. Will I allow others to mock the president? Not on your life!" The Sec. Def. went on to say, "Bibbity Bobbity Boo. Carrot Top is Magica Boola and must be dealt with."

Condoleeza Rice, Sec. State, supported the SS police's attack. "No one could have anticipated Colbert's remarks. He has never attacked the president before. We didn't even know he was against the President until last night. Carrot Top on the other hand has long been known for his biting political satire and his explosive colored hair in the shape of a cloud."

Heard by NSA agents over a VPN line was CTU agent Jack Bauer in an undisclosed location in LA,, "We have to find Carrot Top. NOW. There is NO TIME. He has deadly words and I've promised the President I WILL DEAL WITH IT. We can't wait until he unleashes his routine. THERE IS NO TIME." He then asked Chloe O'Brien to hack into Carrot Top's comedy routine.

When reached for comment at his undisclosed location (12498 Carlyle Street, Tysons Corner VA, between Main and Center street second door up from the red house) Vice President Cheney said, "Grrr. Arrrgh."

Karl Rove, President Bush's most trusted adviser said totally off the record on double secret background, "Homo's adopting babies. Wetbacks taking your jobs. Iran's got The Bomb and will Nuke Israel. Hillary Clinton? Lesbo. Colbert? Pedo. Carrot Top? Buff. Hung."

--Reporting from Washington, Karen Ryan

Carrot Top moments after SS attack in Vegas.

--Hat tip to Sharoneym for the original idea.


Candy Gram.