Wednesday, October 31, 2007

In Case the People Who Love Their Guns get to Me

Put me in one of these. If I have time I'll try and drop something off with the good Dr. before I go. (Might have to use Dr. Zaius, I hope his advanced monkey mind can handle my katra.)

Here is the link to the whole line of STAR TREK urns and caskets. Niche marketing at its finest. If you do buy one, tell 'em Spocko sent you.

REAL Scary stuff

Want to hear something really scary? Story by Sheila Coronel, reporting by Elisabeth Witchel:

On March 24, 2005, as [Marlene] Garcia-Esperat was having dinner with her two sons, a man walked into her dining room, greeted her with a “Good evening, ma’am,” and pulled out a .45-caliber pistol. He shot her once in the head. She was 45.

At least 32 Philippine journalists, including Garcia-Esperat, have been killed in direct relation to their work since 1992, the year CPJ [Committee to Protect Journalists] began compiling detailed research on journalist deaths worldwide. While the country has a vibrant press that takes its watchdog role seriously, it is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a reporter. In Manila and other big cities, the media are able to work freely, but in out-of-the-way places like Tacurong, lawlessness and a culture of impunity mean that journalists put their lives on the line.

Garcia-Esperat’s case could have been like so many of the others in the Philippines, unsolved and ultimately forgotten. But her killing outraged local and international journalists, who launched intensive campaigns to bring attention to the case. The government, facing rising criticism for ignoring violence against the press, devoted national resources to ensure a thorough investigation. A gutsy private lawyer agreed to help prosecute, witnesses were given some protection, and the trial was moved to an impartial venue.

In October 2006, the gunman and his two lookouts were sentenced to life terms—making the Garcia-Esperat case, according to CPJ research, one of only two in the Philippines since 1992 in which the murderers of journalists have been convicted.

Now, the two officials said to have ordered the killing may also face trial. Incredibly, in the 15-year period analyzed by CPJ, no mastermind has been convicted in the slaying of a Philippine journalist. The Garcia-Esperat case, advocates believe, may serve as a map for justice in even the most intractable of places.

Read the rest here (link)

There are many methods to intimidate people, some don't go as far as killing them, but when someone doesn't want investigations to proceed or tough questions to be asked they use lots of tricks. Financial attacks, name calling, character assassination, calling the other person liars. But here is something most people don't know because they aren't exposed to the whole gamut of experiences, just what they see on tv or read about if they are interested.

The tricks used to intimidate at the highest levels aren't the same as the tricks used at the lower levels. As just one example, "some people say*" you can't look at certain procedures because "you will threaten National Security!" whenever they want to stop an investigation. Even if it isn't true, even if what they are trying to hide has NOTHING TO DO WITH NATIONAL SECURITY. They can ALSO use that excuse if, for example, they are hiding two things. Maybe one does have to do with national security, but the other has nothing to do with national security and has everything to do with gathering information that will be used to attack their critics. Of COURSE they will scream national security. And they could even be right, but only for SOME of the information. But it also is a very effective way to cover up the information that IS NOT related to national security and can only be related to national security in the fever pitched mind of someone who believes that everything and everyone critical of them is out to undermine national security.

* the phrase "some people say" is a registered service mark of Fox News and right wing pundits everywhere. I use it to refer to right wing pundits in this instance and if you want I could provide you with some actual examples.


My Halloween Treat for Visitors

From The Rut Check out the other cartoons too. Good stuff.
h/t to my favorite software sleuth

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Starstruck: I Want to Live In a House.

I saw this movie 25 years ago. Loved the choreography, it was very fresh at the time and it still has a unique look to it. It came out the same year as Jackson's Thriller and I see some similar dance influences (like he Zombie stomp), but this was filmed in Australia so maybe they developed independently or one or two people were the common influences. There are other great songs and fun choreography in the movie. Check them out in the related at YouTube. I especially enjoyed "It's the Monkey in Me." That song might be something to send to your Darwin hating friends.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bias Crimes are Message Crimes

I was talking the other day to someone about hate, bias, violence, racism, and the methods that people and groups use to intimidate others. Today I saw a great post by David Neiwert of Orcinus. Neiwert has been writing brilliantly for years on the issues that I was discussing.

What I especially like about this post are the following things.

1) Neiwert explains what "hate crimes" really are, and he points out the willfull ignorance of some people (in this case Don Surber when it comes to the definition of what we have been calling hate crimes.

But even more important, most people who write about hate-crimes laws are aware that the term is something of a misnomer; what we call "hate crimes" are in fact known in the law as "bias crimes" -- crimes committed with a motivation of bias (racial, religious, ethnic, sexual, or gender) against the perceived class of the victim.

And to suggest that all violent crimes are bias crimes is, well, just plain ignorant. Crimes are committed out of a plenitude of motivations, and ethnic/religious/sexual biases constitute only a narrow band of them. Evidently, Surber is unaware of this.

He goes on to display even more ignorance:

Crime is the last segregated business in America. Most black crime victims are victims of blacks. White criminals generally pick white victims. If you are killed by a person of another color, does that make you more dead?

It seems that Surber labors under what's becoming an increasingly common misconception about how hate-crime laws work. They're not about interracial crime or, more generally, inter-identity crime. They're about, once again, bias crimes.


Hate crimes are message crimes: They are intended to harm not just the immediate victim, but all people of that same class within the community. Their message is also irrevocable: they are "get out of town, nigger/Jew/queer" crimes.

Read the whole post here. And if you want to discuss the topic intelligently that is a great place to do it. And, if you feel the need to play games launching your own views about what is or isn't a bias crime and what is or isn't an effective message to send about that kind of crime, please do it over at Dave's place. He really is an expert and along with Sara Robinson much better at helping people clarify their thinking on the topic. But if you willful use lame arguments like Surber's expect to be challenged.

Oh and while you are at it, buy one or more of Dave's books.

Strawberry Days: How Internment Destroyed a Japanese American Community

Strawberry Days will be especially interesting for people who watched Ken Burn's feature "The War" and it will also be good to read in case the government decides that all brown people who look like terrorists need to be rounded up based on no data other than their faith or browness.

Death on the Fourth of July: The Story of a Killing, A Trial, and Hate Crime in America, Image above.

In God's Country: The Patriot Movement and the Pacific Northwest

And, if you are a journalist in need to an expert on this topic, the next time there a bias crime that happens America, call or David. He will put it all in context for you and help educate you on the issues. Dave Neiwart should be your first stop when discussing the topic of "hate crimes" when it comes up in your state.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

She Can Do What She Wants

Again, from Matt Memphis

I love the guitar riff in the beginning. A good friend of mine also loves great guitar riffs, I thought she might like this riff today.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bush Captures Owl Qaeda Leader

Capture Contest! Wheee!

From Think Progress

Later, the owl will write a book exposing Bush’s devastating effects on his habitat. The right-wing smear machine will go into full force, claiming that the owl could’ve protected its habitat on its own, by selling the lumber. And then they’ll say the owl is unamerican and secretly supporting our natural enemies, the bears.

Comment by TheToonGuy — October 20, 2007 @ 6:04 pm

Yup, they’re already calling it Owl Qaeda.

Comment by Starve-A-Bush_Feed-A-Beaver — October 20, 2007 @ 7:02 pm

I wonder how Harry Whittington and his family feel about the Presidential Joke. (double entendre intentional)

Comment by boreas — October 20, 2007 @ 5:54 pm

That’s his forte. Like pretending to be unable to find WMD in the Oval Office while troops died looking for the non-existent things.

Comment by Candyce — October 20, 2007 @ 5:59 pm

Thanks to Think Progress

And h/t to this commenter for the Owl Qaeda pun: Starve-A-Bush_Feed-A-Beaver — October 20, 2007 @ 7:02 pm

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Choose your Universe

Blue States - Allies

I know a bit about parallel universes, this video reminded me of a few of those. I think of universes where the Evil Spock lives and where Dr. Zaius is firmly in charge.

Small things we do matter, but we don't always know how we are changing the world for the better. It might be fun (or not fun) to see what would happen if we made a different choice. We know what happens on a big scale when people always make the selfish choice, the "screw you, I've got mine" choice. They describe for you the terrible parallel universe that will exist if we make the, "Let's help others choice." But you should notice they always create a absolutely horrible universe for that choice.

We can see what happens when some people get a narrative in their head that is incorrect like, "Bush and Gore: pretty much the same." c. 1999.

Thanks to Matt Memphis

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Who is Melanie Morgan's Minder?

Melanie Morgan is one of the most prominent power brokers in California politics.
She is regularly given credit for starting the successful recall of now former Governor Gray Davis. The Marin Republican party named her Conservative of the Year. (link to Marin Republican party page)

When I wrote last week about Morgan's heavy promotion on the ABC Radio station, KSFO, of her counter protest to Code Pink's action I was hoping that someone higher up in the ABC Radio corporation or within Citadel Broadcasting would pay attention to Morgan's use of the public airwaves for this action. (This quote is from the MAF site, so if you want all that context --that won't change any meanings--go there.)

I am furious about this insult to our troops, and I am organizing a counter protest for Wednesday, October 17th at high noon. I am planning to bring as many of our KSFO audience as possible, plus do a big Move America Forward push for a large crowd.
-Melanie Morgan on Move America Forward's website

What was upper management's response? I'm guessing it was a memo to Morgan saying something like, "be sure to mention that your counter protest is meant to be a non-violent protest". Maybe someone just checked with the insurance company and asked if they would be covered if a fight breaks out on this ABC Radio-promoted event. Sure enough, this morning after Morgan promoted the event again and called Code Pink traitors, she says how she is going to confront them and tell them exactly what she thinks of them; she throws in at the last minute in the most sarcastic voice possible, "of course only in the most non-violent of ways." As George W. Bush reportedly said to his CIA briefer after he got his Aug 6. PDB. "All right. You've covered your ass, now."

Audio link MP3 here WMA here.
You really should listen how she spits out the word traitors (and she knows what we do to traitors in the country, right?) and then switches to the sarcastic, "of course only in the most non-violent of ways." Tone is important here. And note when she says "we" and "our". Who is she speaking for, where is she saying this, who is paying for this?

I'm sure that nothing will happen. It will just be Morgan shouting how non-violent she is at some poor Code Pink member. The TV cameras will eat it up. Wheee! No harm, no foul. This time.

Since it seems that the only time upper management pays attention to what Morgan actually says on the air is when I point it out to them or their advertisers, I do wish that they would pay more attention to the behavior of their own people than to me. I'm not the one bragging on the radio show about all the work being done to make sure the TV cameras are at the event and I'm not the one telling the TV producers that unless they show up they will lose credibility. ABC Radio station KSFO wants the PR they are getting. Just be sure to spell their names right is the old saying. And if something goes wrong, remember folks, approval for this goes to the top.

Now also might be a good time for Citadel Broadcastings' internal people to look at how the time is allocated on this program to various advertisers, charities and non-profit groups. Maybe someone should clock how much time is devoted to Move America Forward and its requests for money or to sell merchandise on Morgan's site. Check out the week before Sept. 15th or the weeks before today just to give two recent examples. 4-5 minutes an hour, hour after hour, day after day. That must add up.

I'm sure that both Citadel Broadcasting and Move America Forward are recording the in-kind advertising in the appropriate places on the balance sheets. I'm sure everyone is covered on the personal side, these people are very smart and I don't doubt that is it correctly accounted for. On the corporate side I'm sure that Citadel knows how to account for all this, they can't be confused like the general public might be. Of course if there are problems we will never know, they don't break out that info to the public, only internal auditors will know.

By the way, I've heard that Citadel might be bringing back a big name in radio. I'll bet they will need to squeeze every dime out of the other stations to pay his salary and cover any insurance in case they have to fire him.

I'm not an accountant, I don't know how these things work, but when you give lots of air time to one group it has to be recorded by that group, right? Or doesn't it count if the whole program is an infomercial for the host's group? But if an infomercial raises a lot of money for the people putting it on, doesn't that need to be recorded somehow? I mean money does flow from listeners to the group based on where they heard it. I suppose a political talk radio show can give free time to a group like MAF, especially when the chairman of MAF is the host of that show. What if this host is so strongly identified with this group that her public appearances always mention this association and all the guests on the radio station acknowledge that she is the head of the organization?

I'm sure that it is all very clear and there are no issues, after all, this is an important money issue and we know how accurate people are when it comes to accounting for finances.
But it's just so very confusing to the public. But again, I'm sure the accounting people at Citadel will have it all figured out and guidelines will be followed to the letter of the law.

Because conservatives are all about the rule of law, right?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Command Control to Rudy, "We Can't Hear You! Thanks for Nothing."

I have some friends in the firefighter business here in SF. I think they might want to watch this video to see how Rudy treated the first responders in NYC. Of course if the shouting starts about someone "politicizing 9/11", please be reminded WHO is running on their 9/11 record. Photo ops and looking tough while being forced to walk in the streets because your command and control center is located in a stupid place, is great for some people, but for the ones who are doing the work, putting their lives on the line, good communication that in integrated with the rest of the city's emergency organizations can NOT be blown off as some sort of minor mistake.

When the next earthquake hits SF, people will use their cell phones and landlines to call their loved ones. "Just want you to know I'm okay!" we will say.

But imagine you are pinned down outside your loved one's house and are trying to call them on the phone because you can see their house swaying and the house next to it has collasped. "Your house is going to collapse!" You shout.

But your phone can't "talk" to their phone. The house collapses and your loved one dies. Later you find out that it wasn't just an accident that the phones couldn't connect. Suppose you found out that the person whose foot dragging ensured that you would NOT be able to reach your loved one is bragging about how much HE cares for your loved one. And suppose he brags that he did such a good job about caring for your loved one that he should be in charge of caring for everyone's loved ones. Might piss you off, right?

You can sign a petition to have this looked into more throughly. Our first responders deserve no less.

Salih Saif Aldin, Washington Post Journalist Killed

Reporter For Post Is Fatally Shot In Baghdad

By Joshua Partlow and Amit R. Paley
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, October 15, 2007; Page A01

BAGHDAD, Oct. 14 -- On Sunday afternoon, Salih Saif Aldin set out for one of Baghdad's most dangerous neighborhoods. He knew exactly where to go. He nodded, smiled, grabbed his camera. There was nothing he needed to say.

Saif Aldin always came back -- from death threats, from beatings, from kidnappings, from detentions by American soldiers, from the country's most notorious and deadly terrain -- but on Sunday he didn't. The 32-year-old Iraqi reporter in The Washington Post's Baghdad bureau was shot once in the forehead in the southwestern neighborhood of Sadiyah. He was the latest in a long line of reporters, most of them Iraqis, to be killed while covering the Iraq war. He was the first for The Washington Post.

"The death of Salih Saif Aldin in the service of our readers is a tragedy for everyone at The Washington Post. He was a brave and valuable reporter who contributed much to our coverage of Iraq," said Leonard Downie Jr., executive editor of The Post. "We are in his debt. We grieve with his family, friends, fellow journalists and everyone in our Baghdad bureau."

In 2005, he received a note threatening his life if he did not quit journalism and leave Tikrit. He refused. "This is my city, and I'm a journalist," he told colleagues.

In July of that year, he was attacked by two men, who beat him with a metal pipe and the butt of a pistol. He had bruises all over his body and a gash on his head that required eight stitches.

In January 2006, Saif Aldin reported a story accusing Tikriti officials of looting a former palace of Saddam Hussein's. Word circulated of a $50,000 bounty on Saif Aldin's head.

Saif Aldin later moved to Baghdad, where he repeatedly braved the city's most dangerous neighborhoods, often traveling alone. For security reasons, he sometimes wrote under a tribal name, Salih Dehema. But otherwise, he was always off to the next challenge: He met with commanders of the Mahdi Army and leaders of Sunni insurgent groups. He drove south of Baghdad, to what is known as the Triangle of Death, to interview neighbors of a 14-year-old girl who had been raped and killed by American soldiers. Perhaps more than anyone at the newspaper, his work provided a window into the motivations and methods of those responsible for Iraq's violence, in its many complicated guises.

Emphasis mine.

Read the whole story here.

(h/t Carolyn Kay from Make Them Accountable.)

At least 118 journalists have been killed in Iraq while on duty, nearly 100 of whom were Iraqis. -Committee to Protect Journalists. (link) (While you are they you can contribute to CPJ)

Salih Saif Aldin, a hero for journalism. I'm sure that the right will figure out some way to attack Aldin or the Post. Suggesting the death of journalists is a regular thing for certain people on the right. It gets them invited onto tv and radio shows to talk to people who call themselves journalists.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Debates: Now Fact Free for your Enjoyment

Facts are SO pre-21st century.

I don't suppose any of the alleged journalists present could say anything. They are, after all, just there to get in their tedious, pre-fab gotcha questions from 1978, and tell jokes. Correcting the debater on his facts on current relevant issues during the actual debate (or even after it when they are all getting as much TV face time as possible and subjecting themselves to media of all kinds) is obviously not part of their job description. And anyway, if a rival does manage to bring it up, it's presented as "politics" and "he said/she said" unless a snotty operative can successfully turn it into some kind of "gaffe" or the right wing drags out the fainting couch and stages a ritual humiliation kabuki. Fact-checking? How droll.
From the insightful, brilliant Digby

I especially like how Digby explains what happens if anyone else brings up the facts. That is EXACTLY what happens. She does leave out the rare occasions where a journalist does block them from fact-free spewing. Then the focus is on the journalist for being a partisan hater.
"They are all liberals anyway, they hate us and are picking on us!"

Like I said the other day about name calling, if I wanted to just fact check a typical segment of "Hot Talk" radio it would be a full time job and I'd count more errors than stars in the Alpha Quadrant. Facts aren't important to them when it comes to one of their own. Yet they are the most important thing ever on the other side. "We've fact checked Michael Moore!" and if they don't find any problems, right to the name calling. "He's obese!" Wow. Way to move the discussion ball forward.

This doesn't even begin to address the way that they bring on sources that have no legitimacy, whose funding it clearly suspect or who just make stuff up.

"But it's just for entertainment!" some cry, except when they want respect in the "marketplace of ideas" or when they have political leaders on for interviews. Then suddenly they demand attention be paid!

To paraphrase Franck Eggelhoffer: "Welcome to the 21st century Mr. Banks."

11th Richest Man Likes SF; Searches for Aliens in Space

In second place of our worship of celebrities, is our worship of the rich. As Tevye said, "When you're rich, they think you really know!"
So when Paul Allen says something, I do hope it's not blown off as just some kook who likes science fiction. But the real reason I put this up? I think Xeni Jardin is the best thing to come to video since the Pipettes.

Direct video link

Flash version

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Project: Bring Miracle

The Joseph family lost their Lower 9th Ward home for the second time. Kellie Joseph and her 6 children lost their home to Katrina. The rebuilding of their home was nearly complete when it was tragically destroyed by a fire after someone abandoned a stolen car in their backyard and lit it aflame to destroy evidence. The flames engulfed the home.
(via Scout - First Draft)

We in the left side of the blogosphere can help out. But that doesn't mean that people on the right can't donate too. Heck I'll bet that even the talk radio hosts on the right would be impressed by the pluck of these people who rebuilt their home once and are trying to rebuild it again.

What do you think? Nah...

On the anniversary of 1,577 dead in Louisiana and tens of thousands displaced, Lee Rodgers and Melanie Morgan said this about New Orleans and the Saints' fans:
Rodgers: "I don’t wanna hear anymore of this crap from people in Louisiana saying.'Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme.' Shut the hell up. Solve your own problems. It’s been two years, grow up." (audio link WMA) (audio link MP3) (Windows Media Audio files. Mac users try Flip4Mac download plug in here)

BTW, don't bother to write Rodgers about his comments about the people in Louisiana. He stands by his comments, he doesn't care what you think, you aren't going to change his mind he's said so. Just send money to the Joseph family.

UPDATE: Scout just informed me that Project Bring Miracle has raised about $3,000 dollars from us bloggers. I like to hear news like that. And if are tapped out and and can't give I understand, if you have a blog tell this story on your blog. You might reach someone who can.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What Happens the Day After They Spill Blood?

When does inciting violence toward anti-war protesters become real enough to matter?

Does someone have to die? Does getting punched or tackled count?

If you gather a group of people for the express purpose of "fighting back" against peaceful protesters and someone then is hurt or dies, are the people who used the public air waves to assemble them responsible?

Are the bosses of those people, who are aware of and encourage these activities, responsible?

I ask these questions because the other day Phoenix Woman, writing at Fire Dog Lake, wrote about how a peace protester was assaulted by a group from Gathering of Eagles. (link)

I heard another similar story about what happened at the September 15th protest by the Move America Forward Chairman, Melanie Morgan.

Morgan is quite proud of her "Fighting Debs" for punching a die-in protester on Sept. 15 in D.C. (Listen at 3:45 minutes in to this audio link is 7 minutes long (don't want to be accused of being "out of the context!") You can hear how happy she was that an anti-war protester got punched.

Hear how excited she was that "the crowd was so riled up after our rally was over" and since they were all fired up they had to "take it to the streets, I mean they had some 'tudes going on" so of course they go looking for trouble at the die-in. (She sounds like she envisions some kind of Jets/Sharks rumble.)

You will note in THEIR description of Deb Johns punching out this middle-aged member of the "moonbat" contingent, that it was clearly self defense. Is that how it really happened? I don't know, I wasn't there, I don't have video. But in their world when someone shoves you, you escalate it, you punch them.

What if Something Really Happens?

MAF has sponsored counter protest events before and they are planning to do it again. They promise the TV media some shouting and dangle the possibility of violence and the cameras show up. They WANT something to happen. They are the ones setting up the scene.

They were down right giddy the last time the media fell for it in the Bay Area. You can bet they will do it again. The media got their juicy footage of a father of a dead Iraq soldier screaming at the little old woman who owned the land at the Lafayette hillside memorial. With that kind of exciting footage who can resist?

Right now Melanie Morgan of Move America Forward has alerted her "one million member pro-troop" organization to the event below. I want you to note her links to her good friend Michelle Malkin. This was also posted on Malkin's website, Melanie Morgan's website and on the KSFO website.

This following is from Move America Forward's website.

STOP Harassment of Military by Anti-War Activists!

CALL TO ACTION:We will rally to support our troops and denounce efforts by Code Pink and others to 'chase' the military out of Northern California. We make our stand at the Marine Recruiting Center in Berkeley which has just been defaced by anti-war protestors.

Code Pink has a rally planned to denounce the miltiary [sic] on Wednesday, October 17th. We are calling on YOU the patriotic mainstream of this nation to join with us and counter their effort with a pro-troop show of support for our military men and women! Bring your American flags and signs supporting our troops and our veterans!

[snip. Location information]

From Move America Forward Chairman, Melanie Morgan:

I have a favor to ask.

Code Pink has vandalized the Marine Recruiting Center in Berkeley, California and is harrassing [sic] the landlord to cancel the lease for the 'illegal, immoral, unjust' war machine--calling our guys 'TRAITORS.'

Code Pink says it is going to demonstrate there until the Recruiting station is driven out of Berkeley.

I am furious about this insult to our troops, and I am organizing a counter protest for Wednesday, October 17th at high noon. I am planning to bring as many of our KSFO audience as possible, plus do a big Move America Forward push for a large crowd.

Tip of the hat to Michelle Malkin - HERE and ALSO HERE.

Enough context for ya? If you wish to see the whole alert you can go to the website www moveamericaforward com.

This is not a, "we will use the public air waves to gather people for peaceful assembly" This is "Hey, I'm furious at those smelly hippies. Let's get some angry people together to provoke the hippies until one pokes us back so we can let them have it in "self defense"." kind of message. And if you don't believe me you can check out of some of the comments on Malkin's page:
On October 5th, 2007 at 1:34 pm, trinitytim said:
Lock em up!

Code Pink has NO patriotism. They are idiots who can’t spell or think. They are not worthy of the protection we provide them.

Lock em up or better yet, as Fasternu426 said, Fix Bayonets!

People told me not to worry about them, they are harmless, they won't REALLY do anything rash, it's all just for show, but with the video that Phoenix Woman had and the audio I have ( link), I conclude that they are just one step away from serious violence.

During the week of the Sept. 15th protests, a group from GOE showed up on the doorstep of Medea Benjamin, of Code Pink. Did they do that so they could have a "market place of ideas" discussion? No. They wanted to let her know they know where she lives and that they can get to her whenever they want.

People ask me if the FCC cares about this. Not really. Not until someone dies, and even then nobody is going to lose a precious license if the management moves fast enough and fires enough people. However, what the FCC may or may not do isn't what the new head of ABC Radio should be paying attention to.

Follow The Corporate Sponsors -- out the door
In the corporate world when your spokesperson does something wrong, spokesperson money dries up and goes away.

If someone is seriously injured at a MAF/GOE event that was promoted on your station by your employees, who do you think they are going to come after financially? Remember the radio stunt where a woman died from drinking too much water? It wasn't just the DJs that got fired.

We do know that James M. Robinson, president of ABC Radio Networks, is aware of all this. He knows that KSFO encourages and supports the MAF activities on their radio station. He knows that KSFO management has given its blessing, its facilities as a meeting space and a TON of free advertising (about 5-7 minutes in every hour) to MAF so they can gather a group of people together for the express purpose of "fighting back"against the anti-war people.

Maybe its because I'm only half human, but I can tell the difference between a group of angry pro-war counter-protesters and a peaceful non-violent protest. (NOTE: I try not to use the word "mob" because it has other connotations, but a group of angry pro-war counter-protesters might be considered a mob to some.)

Of course Robinson probably doesn't care about the inciting violence aspect of this because nothing "real" has happened yet. He's a bottom line kind of guy. Will this cost him money? Will it make him more money than the potential cost? What are the odds? What is the history of these people at this station? Do they follow reasonable guidelines?

Robinson doesn't have to do any preventative action, that is not how corporate managers think. Most wait until AFTER something bad happens, and say, "Nobody could have anticipated..."

If I was a time traveler from the future I could say that Mr. Robinson might consider this his August 6, 2001 PDB. I believe the headline would be, "Morgan determined to strike anti-war protesters".

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Indo-Americans Heroes and Movie Stars

I met some amazing people last week at a conference. A movie star, a TV star, several raising political stars and a man who had a critical role in bringing justice back to the Department of Justice.

I have my priorities in order, so I passed up the chance to meet Kal Penn, (whose most famous movie role to date was Kumar in "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle") and Raj Peter Bhakta (who was on The Apprentice) to meet and talk to Preet Bharara, Why?

Because Preet Bharara is Chief Counsel to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts.

As far as I'm concerned Preet deserved to be the one surrounded by all the fan boys and girls that wanted to meet Kal and Raj. For every person who wanted their photo taken with Kal Penn there should have been three people who went up to Preet to say, "Thank you for helping clean up the Department of Justice. Thank you for making sure that Senator Chuck Schumer had solid questions when investigating the US Attorney firing. Thank you for all your hard work that led to the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales." (link)

Since Preet wasn't swamped by fans I thanked him for us. I shook his hand and let him know that he is a hero (American hero? Indo-American hero? He's both) and that I was truly honored to meet him. I told him how much I appreciated his work and look forward to his future efforts. We are lucky to have him cranking away on these issues because he is smart and very effective.
(Long time readers of this blog know that I strive to be effective. For those of you who are new visitors, here is one of the stories about my battle against violent rhetoric on the radio that has been directed toward Democrats, journalists, liberals and Muslims.)

Preet said that the focus will be shifting to hearings for a new AG, but I asked him to not let up just because the focus is off Gonzales. He smiled knowingly. Before I said goodbye I specifically said how much I want to make sure the AG's secret memos about torture aren't overlooked. I feel confident with Preet backing up Schumer that this part of the story won't go down the memory hole.

Where did I meet all these amazing people? On Saturday I attended the inaugural Indo- American Council conference at the India Community Center's Malavalli Hall in Milpitas. (Milpitas, "the Gateway to Alviso") I think I was the only blogger there and it was exciting to watch this community get geared up to become more politically active.

I'll write more about it later but I really hope that the conference organizers get up the video of the panel session that Preet, Kal and Raj were on. Not only was it insightful and inspiring, it was funny too!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

"Out of context" is the new "wide stance"

When you are busted for saying something horrible on right-wing radio there are multiple methods that are used to deal with any controversy. Here is a partial list. I have an example in mind for all of them. They range from:
  • sincere apologies

  • fake apologies

  • no apologies

  • non-apologies

  • aggressive non-apologies

  • attacks on your accusers

  • attacks on the people connect to your accusers

  • attacks on people NOT connected to your accusers

  • deny the words were ever said

  • retroactively remove the words

  • claim the words were only a metaphor

  • claim the words were a joke

  • claim the words were twisted

  • claim that the words weren't said recently so they don't count anymore

  • claim the people didn't hear the word(s) they thought they heard

  • Agree with the words and make more horrific remarks

  • Call everyone names

  • Cry that they are being picking on

  • Threaten anyone who reflects the words back to them with lawsuits

  • Have critics shut down using bogus legal maneuvers (Spocko waves hand)

  • Call people more names, associate the accuser(s) with followers of one of the worst mass murders of the 21st century

  • Claim you have "a wide stance when going to the bathroom." (oops, that's Larry Craig's)

  • Claim the words were "out of context"

My blog friends over at Online Blogintegrity did a whole detailed post on the "out of context" gambit. (warning, OBI contains dirty words, be sure to clutch your pearls before entering link to their new site)

The "out of context" gambit is an easy dodge to use because it takes the focus off what was said and moves the "debate" into something that they want to control. They will say "you have to listen to the entire four hours to get the context!" and in the meantime they can recontextualize their comments.

Now we could play this game too, "Hey you know that Dean Scream? EVERY TIME you use that audio clip I expect you to play the whole speech to give listeners the context. Also please play the audio clip from the ABC News' follow-up report, where we can hear he ambient audio from the event. Note that they admit Dean's mike feed was not what people heard, but the audio was exploited for political purposes."

This is all a part of the right-wing projection methods. They love to use quotes out of context, but when someone starts calling them on their words, they scream "OUT OF CONTEXT!" I just heard a DJ on the radio use a Dick Durbin quote out of context, he didn't bother to set up what is was about, when it was said or why it was said. This is a standard practice of right-wing talk radio.

So when you hear "out of context!" realize that they are probably working their way down the list above to attempt to avoid any consequences for their words.