John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica



 The different ways I don't like you 
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Tuesday, August 31, 2004
TAG board archive - August 2004


Everyone!  Into the pool!!
So ... why?  Well, I go through the TAG board periodically (or when asked) and delete entries.  Mainly I delete your entries because it reloads the page periodically or when you add a new entry for chatting and when it gets too large, it takes up bandwidth loading constantly.  My general rule was this: if you put an annoying little smilie emoticon on the TAG, that entry was the first to go when I cleaned house.

The second rule: if the entry was older.  But the second rule bummed me out because I hate to throw away memories, so, some entries were deemed to be classics and had to be preserved (like Hygelic reading my blog in the bathroom on his cell phone).

Then the first and second rules unfortunately clashed when it came to old school phreeks who might put an ascii emoticon at the end of their sentence, like Skennedy (et al).  These people were violating my first unstated rule through no fault of their own, and, because the programmers of the TAG board must have thought to themselves, "how handy-fucking-dandy would it be if we just translated every ascii emoticon to a different happy little yellow face?"  So, they dropped another few hits of Exstacy, patted each other on the back and went back to coding the TAG board.

So, whether it is a good thing or a bad thing, whether it is wise or terribly, terribly wrong -- I've decided to archive the TAG board here for all to see -- and still be able to delete older entries (and keep the TAG.html small) with a clear conscience.

Read 2004 Archive: [ August ] [ July ] [ Prior to July 2004 ]
 
JfZ » My TAG board is Bush World FCC-free. Talk about anything you want. God, no God, Liberal, Conservative, or just chocolate ice cream.
Duke » well I wasn't going to continue with the "pissing contest" as you put it, I was done...I said my bit...besides, that kind of discussion doesn't belong on a tag board
JfZ » Hi Dennis, Casmin Girls, Toulon! Long time, no hear (here). I appreciate EVERYONE's thoughts on the TAG board. Unfettered First Amendment fun for free.
JfZ » My old Imajica SysOp trick of inserting humor into a pissing contest seems to still work. Liquid Generation can be crude, but effective humor. Heh. <VBEG>
tazz » I liked the vision test must go change pants
Duke » Anyone else take that vision test? It's pretty cool really...click on Bush supporter? below...
The ladies at Casmin » Doesn't anyone study history any more as to why this country was founded. The separation of Church and State was put in to effect for a reason.
Brandon Starr » Hey, as long as you keep your "God" or "gods" out of my laws, I'm happy to let you believe anything you want.
dennis » Hey JfZ! This storm coming in is the first one to give me hee-bee-jee-bees! Watch out, eh? Miss ya guy!
dennis » I used to "defend" God - then I discovered he's good at it without me - even better maybe, eh?
Toulon » Remember, I too used to think that very same thing, until I found God and now share in the love and mercy that has been freely given to me because I believe. PRAISE JESUS, and pray for Brandon!
Toulon » Duke & Tazz: I wouldn't worry about Brandon Starr's comment on "no unconditional love" because there is "no God". - continued...
Bush supporter? » <<-- Take this simple vision test.
J f Z » Yeah, that's likely my problem. I still think I'm 25. I need lots of therapy, I guess ... Meh.
BrokenChaos » Ha, I call everyone sir. Bad habit I guess. Drives my boss crazy but that's just because he's hitting his late fifties and still refuses to admit he's getting older. It's all good
John Furie Zacharias » Wow. I guess I can't leave you guys alone on the blog for a day ... Did you guys just come back from a bad week at a GOP Bible Camp and they showed Fahrenheit 911 on the flight home or something? LOL
Duke » uh Tazz, please refrain from getting nasty, it's no way to help someone see they are wrong...he has every right to his opinion, God gave him the freedom to not believe in Him if he so chooses
tazz » I guess you cant see god becuse yr head is up your ass A brandon
Brandon Starr » Yes, because there is no "God." Wake up.
Duke » So I guess God's unconditional love for us is irrational?
Brandon Starr » I love how Duke thinks "unconditional" love is the best kind--just like an irrationalist.
J f Z » Hehw. Don't worry. Everything's fine with me -- I have chocolate ice cream.
sare » peace and love and all that!
Nysh » i saw the "bashing" on your tagboard. some people should really learn to read before they get angry about certain things...
J f Z » Heh. I'll try, chaos. Sir? (looks over shoulder) Meh. Yeah, I can't wait to archive the August TAGboard, now ... *sigh*
BrokenChaos » Thanks, the interview went ok. HaHa. I saw your tagboard, some people. Enjoy your weekend sir.
The Queen B » www.ilovebees.com Mayday!! Mayday!!
J f Z » Yeah ... I can't go anywhere without that pesky bright green digital background following me. ROFL.
atticus » is that a real pix of u @ top???
atticus » um.. hey
J f Z » Hi Pandie! Yeah ... tick-tock, eh? Only about 5 weeks left to register to vote in most states now.
Pandora » Hiya sweets! Someone I missed your link before. wicked place! & kewl you got the email about online registering? I was just getting ready to add mine!
J f Z » Anyone else notice the little [edit] link on their blogdrive blog today?
J f Z » There the Mel! Yay! But now, you'll have to use the calendar to see me worrying about Melicious y Mondo. Heh.
BrokenChaos » Awesome blog, very unique. Thank you for tagging me. Hope you find your way back sometime
Meliciraptor » Hi everyone <waves> I'm fine, cable's been out for over a week and my i-net is cable modem. talk more another time xoxo
J f Z » Are you two hitting on each other? Get a motel room! LOL.
Duke » That's a pretty good point and I must say I agree since a childs love is unconditional while an adults love is VERY conditional
Brandon Starr » All this reminds me of something Al Franken said...conservatives love America like a four-year-old loves his mommy; liberals love America like adults love adults.
Duke » That was basically my point...but people should use caution when lashing out during times of stress...be sure of what you are lashing out about
JfZ » No, they have a right to hate everything and everyone right now. I know I certainly would want to lash out. Some just totally missed my point in 191.html
Duke » oh, gee I'm sorry, are people being a little too sensitive?
JfZ » That's probably an inappropriate metaphor to use under the circumstances.
Duke » Wow, Thunderstorms is under heavy fire
JfZ » A point of /191 is to remind people that news media images/stories depict REAL people despite the smiling 5-second blurb Fox News will air. There are 958 soldier's friends and family grieving.
JfZ » Brandon, I appreciated 'Amy' clarifying the info on the 31st medic image from their /news page (or helping me undistort it, as 'Sharon' might want to say)
Sharon Houghton Gras » Hey Brandon look up the definition of civil - when one distorts facts and uses a soldier's name to slam our country, one should be prepared for the soldier's friends and family to "reply" :'
Brandon Starr » Looks like Thunderstorms on the tagboard. Happily, most except "Revelation" and "Sharon Houghton Gras" are being civil and adding to the discussion instead of just detracting.
JfZ » I agree that Andy is an American patriot. I was also an American soldier. No where will you see me saying Andy Houghton was anything but how you describe him, those that knew him personally.
West Pointer » Andy Houghton was the definition of compassion and caring. Those qualities made him a leader and a good soldier. He did not take freedom, his or others, lightly.
Vigilauntie » Stan is Andy's uncle. Andy is an American patriot. He believed his job as an American soldier was the most important line of defense against powers and pricipalities seeking to annihilate our country.
JfZ » Then I was mistaken about that. Thank you for clarifying the info. The blog entry is about real people caring for other real people when they are in need, not the way the TV news glosses over it all.
Amy Houghton » AGAIN,The article IS DATED 06-12-04 and the link is only referring to the 31st Combat Hospital itself... not the fact that the picture is indeed Andy "being off loaded"...
JfZ » That ABC news photo was linked to the 10 July 2004 entry on http://www.andyhoughton.org/news.htm and depicts the 31st Combat Support Hospital, or no?
Amy Houghton » Amazing that I found the very same pic that you claim is Andy Houghton being unloaded from a "Seahawk" was actually on taken from an ABC.cm article dated 06-12-04 about a month before he was injured.
Sharon Houghton Gras » The only waste is this web page.
Revelation » The comments made on this site about the war and those who gave their lives protecting free speech are disgraceful. The men and women who make that sacrifice DO NOT deserve that kind of disrespect.
JfZ (pix) » Done. I'm sorry for your loss, Stan.
Stan Mathews » the picture of CPT Andy Houghton on page http://thunderstorms.blogdrive.com/archive/cm-08_c y-2004_m-08_d-11_y-2004_o-0.html is copywrited, please take it down
JfZ » Dennis, I'll email the BP address and the Sandbox info to you.
JfZ » Okay *shrug* It's just that people think (on your TAG) you're giving them a virus when that java code automatically installs itself on visitor's PCs from your page. And in a way, you are.
erica » hey, thanks for the advice, but if i take that code outta my template, i won't have my music. and i gotta have my music.
dennis » Hey JfZ, wht is the address of BlueParrot? I've lost it and need it. Thankx
dennis » No excuse for that destruction - three homes I've built, been through hurricanes and two direct tornadoes and no damage. Mobile homes and houses built like mobile homes. Greed and graft in the build
JfZ » Mel y mondo are doing okay, I heard. Waiting on hearing from her directly, tho.
JfZ » Thanks DWstumps. Good to hear from you! We got lucky -- no need to do 'the paintball dance of death' -- how are you? 'Contact me' someday so I can have your address
tazz » jfz did you get melicious on the cell yet?
persecution smith » glad you survived dude. we were prayin for ya!
JfZ » Can one of you phreeks call Melicious' cell today? Charley hit her area as a cat 4 hurricane w/ 145mph winds yeaterday afternoon.
JfZ » I think I'm staying up as long as can this morning. Poor Helleena has been at work since 2pm, and isn't expected to be able to leave until 6-7am. Blech!
JfZ » Thanks Dennis ... all the little tinfoil houses here are fine, near as I can tell. I went up to the pool/club house around midnight and people were still there. They asked me if it was raining. LOL.
dennis » Good for you - See what good livin' can do for you? chuckle I'm relieved you are OK - got up at 2:30 am to check on you.
JfZ » Dodged the bullet in Northern Lake county. I went out for a spin in my chair earlier and it was nice. No wind or flood damage in this 'hood tonight.
dennis » JfZ, let us know how you are as soon as you can. They are comparing this to the one that destroyed south Miami - that's awesome. Be careful, you are loved, my friend.
Rainchild100 » anybody from Daytona area here?
JfZ » Bye for now ... I think they're going to mandatorily make us evacuate ... I'm going to bring my camera
tazz » avp starts at 12:01 tonight at AMC
JfZ » Yeah, it's a bad week to stop smoking crack. I'm moving the PCs from the FL-room and into the great safety of the tinfoil house.
Meliciraptor » Auntie Em, Auntie Em it's a .... no wait, Mommy Mommy help!!! It's CHARLEY!!!!!! So far so good, it hasn't hit yet but i'm a lil scairt about tomorrow!! But we're plannin to hit the beach for swells
dennis » I can't find my username and password for deviantart to download my book. You can put it here if you wish. Thanks!
dennis » I still can't reach you directly. My "contact" e-mail doesn't let me use it and I don't have a personal e-mail for you - lost it when crash occured.
dennis » Take care of yourself, my friend. I'm sending a sincerely, caring "groan" to tell you I feel for your losses and pain. Friggen' bummer, man!!!
tazz » jfz do you plan come up soon
skennedy » you should get a (free) livejournal account so that I can give you access to the truly nitty-gritty of my life. You don't even have to post.
tazz » what's in Illinois
JfZ » I think there are millions of people in Illinois still. Why?
xrayz » anyone in illinois?
xrayz » sup
splat » DOOM 3 for pc
JfZ » Can you imagine what those pesky rounds from a real weapon must feel like? I'd want to re-elect Bush if everyone was just playing Baghdad Paintball.
splat » The paintball arena sucks you have 2 pay 80 for a 30 dollar case of paint their like little supper balls they just hurt like hell
dennis » That's "tongue"
dennis » chuckle! That tree frog may mutate - then you are in deep do do - at the end of a long, sticky tounge (no, don't go there!)
JfZ » My soul is fine, it's my teeth that hurt occasionally. I'd have a quieter morning if one of God's mute birds would eat Satan's noisy tree frogs and cicadas and then fly away, though.
JfZ » I like quakers, Dennis. And I like spinners - blondes, brunettes and redheads...
dennis » Difference between a farmer and a redneck. They both raise pigs, but the red-neck gets emotional involved.
dennis » Hey Poptart - how is your firery furnace today? The Quakers (of which I'm one) would say, "How is thy soul today, brother?"
dennis » O' Goodie!! Where was the controversy on that Kerry thing? This is awful - I don't like anybody - I'm an equal opportunity disliker. But, I "love" everybody. (chuckile)
Hallie » another entry about bush; everybody but two ppl said they didnt like bush when it was in one of my entries
JfZ » For you, Mel -- I'll put the run in any rant you'd like.
Meliciraptor » How does one go about making a request for a [rant]?
Helleena » That pic of Zoe was really not the one I was thnking of using but it will work. Thank you
Helleena » hey here you go new topic for you the Taxation of food. I saw it on Daily Buzz on WB
JfZ » Hi tazz! DId you check out some of Henri Cartier-Bresson photographs (blog entry in between my Bush-bashing ones) Heh. His pix are very cool. Got to go -- Stargate Atlantis on in a few minutes!
tazz » Yes dennis it is true about Kerry
JfZ » HI dennis! So, that was you! I thought it was a current neighbor. That helped spark a lot of comments in that entry. Don't get mad at me -- e-hugs!
dennis » And what about that thing I sent you. Was Kerry really given an award by the N. Vietnamese for his meeting with them during the "war"?
dennis » Fess up, child. Do you really have "friends" that tell you about your being "toast"? I'd give them a hearty forgiveness and a Hi O Silver, Away! Kemosabi
JfZ » Okay. Let me know. I gathered from your blog that you're busy this week.
Brandon Starr » Good stuff, JfZ. I want to include some of the stuff you mention, but it's going to have to wait a while.
JfZ » Thanks Rikku
Rikku » hey! nice
JfZ » Hi Hallie ... how's the BLeather around your neighborhood, this morning?
JfZ » Thanks, Spanner ... don't be a stranger! (or a Strangergirl, even) Heh.
JfZ » LOL! Strangergirl: Spotty is the dalmation puppy in my DHS parody, not *that*
Hallie » hi jfz! it's been a few days since i've been here
Strangergirl » Wow! I love your blog@ Great HTML! And yes... I AM on my Period! Thanks for noticing! Luv YA!
Spanner » Great blog! thanks For checking me out!
JfZ » Heh. Ams, you're always scratching at something in Photoshop. WTF is a tree scratchy? Hi Carebear ... thanks for stopping by!
JfZ » Sorry, Lorianne, I try to irritate and agitate everyone equally. *pouts* I can't wait for a less political environment ... then I just post entries about art, TV, and other mind candy.
lorianne » uninspired* too..wtf is uninpired? jeez
lorianne » Rock The Vote! go you!! im so uninpired on the topic of politics lately..i came looking to get inspired or agitated..good reads but no luck. 'sigh" maybe ill blog about puppies...
Carebear » Just stoppin by to say hello! ^.^
~Ams » How did your sleep fast work out for you? How long did you go without? **TAKING UP BANDWIDTH**
~Ams » Accept my heart warming gift of tree scratchies! I absolve thee!

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Posted at 11:59 pm by John Furie Zacharias
 

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Monday, August 30, 2004
RNC@NYC: Pig Lipstick


RNC officially began
The Repuplican National Convention officially began Monday evening with a jumbotron screen video montage of RNC director Ed Gillespie commuting his way through the night-time bustle of NYC to Madison Square Garden and a delegate announcing a take on the familiar cultural phrase, "Live from New York -- The Republican National Convention!"  Of course, since I have been a fan of Saturday Night Live since my (very) high school daze when we would sometimes actually leave a party early on a Saturday night, wait for our friend's parents to go upstairs and go to bed, spark up a fatty, and laugh our asses off watching John Belushi jump around the SNL stage in a cocaine-induced frenzy -- the RNC was a comedic disappointment -- but overall, it was still a joke.

I call it a joke because I honestly have some moderate respect for the two prime-time RNC speakers, Arizona Senator John McCain and former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani.  McCain lambasting Michael Moore when he readily admits never even seeing Fahrenheit 911 is about as funny as the lock step boos from the GOP faithful in MSG who I think haven't seen the friggin' movie either.  In related Boo-news, the Dubya Daughters were also booed during their appearance at the MTV awards show in Miami.  But, had I less respect for McCain and Guiliani, I'd call the GOP starting the RNC with two popular moderate public servants something like -- Bait and Switch, Fraud, False Adverstising, or simply a Big Fat GOP Lie -- when they are campaigning for the re-election of a president that has shown no political moderation and is leading his administration with an uber neo-con foreign policy and an ultra right-wing socially conservative domestic agenda.

So, the RNC found two acceptable speakers. In related news, NASA announced the discovery of two new extra-solar planetary bodies.  I was thinking, "GOP Pig Lipstick," listening to two pro-choice candidates supporting a president who has been trying to further erode the rights of all americans and dismantle constitutional rights and civil liberties with discriminatory faith-based initiatives and 19th-century social engineering zeal. Then, I read this op-ed in the Boston Globe by a fellow Republican, Patrick Guerriero, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans:
Having primetime convention speakers such as Giuliani, Pataki, Schwarzenegger and McCain won't convince American voters this is a big tent party. Putting lipstick on a pig doesn't fool anybody -- it's still a pig. The 2004 Republican platform calls not only for a Constitutional amendment that imposes a federal definition of marriage on all 50 states, it goes even further by opposing civil unions, domestic partnerships, and indeed any benefits or protections for gay and lesbian families. The platform's language makes clear the radical right's true motives. They want to marginalize part of the American family.

For this election, there are clear signs that the radical right controls the Republican agenda. Aside from the anti-gay platform, pro-choice Republicans also seem to be left out of the ever shrinking tent. While Log Cabin takes no position on abortion, we recognize that in order to win, the GOP must have support from millions of prochoice Americans. Furthermore, members of the Bush controlled platform committee rejected a plank saying that Republicans of good faith may disagree on issues dealing with abortion and gay and lesbian issues. This obviously sensible plank was left out of the platform in favor of watered down welcoming language.
USA Today picked this up and had some additional quotes from other Republicans. "I don't think we should ever use the Constitution to drive a wedge between us," said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Sen. Arlen Specter, who is running for re-election this year in Pennsylvania, said that support for gay rights may not win votes but added, "It's morally correct."

Looking ahead to the rest of convention week, the RNC is likely to maintain a don't-ask-don't-tell policy in regard to the hypocrisy of the GOP platform placating the radical right and the televised speeches wooing the moderate, undecided and swing voters.  GOP disingenious flip-flopping.  Nothing new.

I'm John Furie Zacharias and I endorse this blog entry.

Blog the Vote!



Sunday, August 29, 2004
RNC@NYC: United March


saying NO
In the 2000 election, a whopping 82 percent of New York City voters said NO to George W. Bush.  It should be no surprise then that a few years after an election tainted by high jinx in the state governed by Dubya's brother, Jeb, some New Yorkers may want to take the opportunity of the Republican National Convention in their own city to once again express their politically negative opinion of the man trying desperately to get another four years at the top job.

So, there's the conundrum.  How does NYC protect the despised emperor from his own peasants?  In a striking and surreal similarity to the reason hundreds of thousands of protestors marched in NYC today -- Iraq -- Mayor Bloomberg has provided the RNC with a corporate and civilian equivalent of a Baghdad Green Zone.

Stephen Wisnia described the Madison Square Garden Green Zone in a post to nyc.indymedia.org:
The streets around Madison Square Garden are lined with concrete barricades, thigh-high highway dividers with dark metal grilles bolted onto the top. The air is sticky, polluted, miasmic, the most uncomfortable summer weather New York has to offer. Half the street is blocked by the barricades, forming an alley guarded by police. The Garden area looks like an outer-space military base, a mix of high-tech satellite-broadcast gear and white concrete bunker. The sophistication of multigigahertz graphics processing units and the crude brutality of clubs and guns. Well, if Mayor Bloomberg wants to bring George Bush into a city where three-fourths of the people can't stand him, they've got to put him in a fortress. The normal upscale cocoon of midtown Manhattan isn't enough.
Bringing the Green Zone to NYC
Nonetheless, several hundred thousand United For Peace and Justice protestors marched along their permitted route, past the MSG Green Zone, and patriotically expressed their opposition to George W. Bush.  Despite corporate media, like Fox News, trying to equate marchers with anarchists to marginalize their message of opposition to Bush World policies and create an expectation of violence, the march was peaceful and effective.



 

Blog the Vote!



Saturday, August 28, 2004
RNC@NYC: weekend


Learn more about Bush's Iraq
Not completely unrelated to the popular grass-roots protests many groups are planning to organize during the Republican National Convention in NYC, which are many, I'd like to interject my observation about the Najaf crisis that was avoided

Did you happen to notice how quickly after our U.S. media broadcast images of the massive Iraqi convoys following the grand ayatollah Ali al-Sistani to Najaf, and peace was restored, you see and hear nothing now?  It's as if the media was ready for the shit to hit the fan and civil war to erupt, but when it didn't happen, they packed up and scurried back inside the green zone -- as if there's no friggin' story to be told now.

Coming up next on Fox News -- some in-depth live reporting on some excrutiatingly minute detail of the Scott Peterson murder trial -- Fox News asks the tough questions -- Did Amber Frey's hair stylist also have an affair?

Back when Moqtada al-Sadr first took his Mehdi militia into Najaf, I made a quick comment about how I thought the media, or the Bush administration, seem to scoff and call them 'radicals' and 'insignificant insurgents'.  Also, despite published material from our own U.S. Army War College, the Bush administration couldn't seem to grasp the inherent importance of Iraqi clerics to the Iraqi people they so repeatedly take credit for 'liberating' -- or the huge significance that Iraq's grand ayatollah Ali al-Sistani got involved and reigned in Moqtada al-Sadr and his anti-occupation campaign.  Had al-Sistani not done so, civil war or a large-scale civilian uprising in Iraq was more than a possibility.  While time will tell if al-Sadr respects al-Sistani enough to keep his word on the cease-fire, it certainly should show anyone paying attention that Bush's occupational puppet prime minister of Iraq, Allawi, has no power with the Iraqi people.  But, at the end of the day, I said in Cooler Heads Prevail For How Long? that al-Sistani undoubtedly saved many lives, both Iraqi and U.S. military, and thank [insert-deity-here] al-Sistani has done it again.

Who dies when Bush lies?

On August 29, United for Peace and Justice will hold an impassioned, peaceful, and legal march past Madison Square Garden, the site of the Republican Convention.  When the Republicans descend on New York City with their agenda of war, greed, hate and lies, they will be met by a massive, diverse, peaceful outpouring of dissent, as huge numbers of us join together in a spirit of nonviolence for a legal, permitted march on August 29 to say NO to their destructive and divisive policies.

More than 360 groups — including Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, and September 11th families — have endorsed the August 29 protest and will be marching with us on that day. We will also be joined scores of prominent people, including Danny Glover, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., UNITE/HERE President Bruce Raynor and Congressman Major Owens.

If you're alarmed by the direction that the Bush Administration has taken this country, and disgusted by the efforts to marginalize and stifle our calls for change, you will want to make your voice heard on August 29.

Thousands ride in NYC

According to multiple reports coming into nyc.indymedia.org, even though TIMES UP! conducts a typically traffic-slowing Critical Mass Ride every month, several thousand bikers, skaters, and pedestrians took the opportunity to voice their opposition to the Bush administration.

Unfortunately, some 264 participants in last night's event rode straight into Bush World compassionate conservatism and were arrested.





March for Womens Lives
"In a show of unity and strength, we will gather in the birthplace of reproductive freedom - New York City - to support global family planning; real sex education; accessible, safe and legal abortion; birth control options; the right to privacy regarding sexuality; and access to health care."

Saturday, many thousands of women representing a number of women's groups marched across the Brooklyn Bridge and took part in the NY Planned Parenthood March for Womens Lives.


Blog the Vote!



Friday, August 27, 2004
RNC@NYC: Naked Truth


Get some effin' Gear by JfZ
Here at Thunderstorms, I strive to bring you the news and information that you're not likely (or never) going to see, hear, or read completely on Bush World FCC-approved news media outlets.

While I do read news reported by FOX, CNN, MSNBC and many large city newspapers, I also like to get reports from newspapers outside of the United States to see how they are reporting on the same stories.  I also look to independent media outlets and press releases from the groups that are actually doing the things about which the corporate-sponsored media reports.

The things that interest me aren't always political, but when they are, it should be obvious from my T-shirt (shown) what my own bias is going to be.

You see, if all you ever do is watch Bush World FCC-approved broadcast and cable news, your view of the world is going to be very much like the one in the Matrix movies.  Oh, but don't worry.  You'll be happy and content, or afraid and worried, depending upon how they want you to feel that week.  Watch their news and buy their stuff.  It's really not that difficult to figure out.  There's nothing exactly wrong about watching your evening news just so you understand that the person talking to you on the television should be believed about as much as the used-car salesman that shows up in the commercial during the television news broadcast.  If you don't, then you're just a mindless consumer -- which is what other people would prefer you to be.  But, if you're like me, you prefer to free your mind.

Concerning the upcoming Bush World love fest in NYC, I thought I might also provide some details and context beyond the blurbs you might hear about in the news.  You can check out the dynamic RNC Watch XML news feed for items of interest.  I guess I get to start out with the naked truth.



With the words "Stop AIDS" and "Drop the Debt" painted on their backs, eleven activists led by Act-Up New York, laid their naked bodies on the line in front of Madison Square Garden at noon today. Marching into the street at Eigth Avenue and 33rd Street, the activists filed in line, took off their clothes and began to chant, "George Bush, drop the debt!"

Exposing the Bush administration's dangerous policies that ignore the AIDS pandemic, the ACT UP activists were countering the spin the White House is spewing about the administration's AIDS record in order to attract swing voters. "When it comes to Bush's record on global AIDS, he's an emperor that has no clothes, " said Asia Russell of ACT UP. "He's exploiting the greatest public health threat of our generation in order to get moderate voters and faith based organizations.

Bush refused to support a proposal from June's G-7 summit in Georgia requesting the complete cancellation of Third World debt. ACT UP said that poor countries spend billions of dollars annually to pay undying interest on their international debts, which are funds that should be used for social services, including money needed for AIDS treatment and prevention programs.

By espousing a "record" that says the Bush administration is contributing to the global fight against AIDS, Russel said, "The Bush administration is giving us nothing but lies and empty rhetoric." The activists stayed in the streets for about ten minutes while a banner unfurled behind them reading, "Stop AIDS, Drop the Debt." Another banner was hung on a nearby trailer. Police then cleared the media-clogged area and arrested the activists.

Legal support for the protest said the arrestees were charged with indecent exposure, public lewdness and disorderly conduct. They were expected to be released today with tickets ordering them to appear in court at a later date.

Critical Mass bike ride

The TIME'S UP! environmental group has a long history of promoting a positive message about our environment and non-polluting transportation. The 2004 Republican National Convention (RNC) in New York City represents a great opportunity to express this message to our elected representatives and the national audience that will watch the Republicans nominate George Bush for another four years in office. TIME'S UP! is planning a full week of events to coincide with the RNC, starting on Friday, August 27th, with a scheduled Critical Mass Ride.


Check out Rooftop Films

Maybe one film festival can't change the world, but on the last Friday before the Republican National Convention, Rooftop Films is going to try, showing new short films by filmmakers who don't want four more years of disgraceful leadership and can't stand to be represented by an administration that only dissembles and destroys.  These filmmakers don't just wear their partisan hearts on their sleeves—they throw those very hearts at the screen. Read more about the films being shown for the Friday, August 27th festival, Misunderestimated.

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