Friday, February 29, 2008

Democracy Now! With Ralph Nader

You are right this is all bullshit.

Shame on the Clinton Campaign

Even though, I am a peacenik loving commie who likes Ralph Nader and completely believes he is an American hero, this still pisses me off and goes way too far. Beyond the bounds of disgust. Hillary should be completely ashamed. Karl Rove all the way. Barack Obama for President

Obama responds:

hob'art: a co-operative art gallery in hoboken,nj

there was a nice write up in the latest issue of Palisades magazine about artists and art groups in Hudson & Bergen Counties. however i was disappointed that there was not any mention of the Hob'art co-operative gallery, of which i'm a member. i've since learned that it was an accidental omission so hopefully we'll see some mention another time. hob'art has a lot of exciting shows & events planned for this year so check their website often for updates.

that being said, i thought i'd highlight one artist in the group whose work i love. Meredeth Turshen is an artist, teacher and writer living in Hoboken, NJ, and teaching at Rutgers University. She exhibits regularly with Viridian Artists and Ceres galleries in New York City and with hob'art. Her artwork explores line and color non-figuratively in abstract compositions, and draws inspiration from nature, landscape and still life, as well as the human figure. You can view her artwork, writing, and current events on her website.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

this is marianne...

i just picked up my framed gimme gimme gimme from local art dealer and framer pablo godoy at right angle framing. it's glorious, praise jesus! pablo picked a gothic-inspired frame to evoke the feeling of the inside of a cathedral, it perfectly complements the tone and feel of celeste's painting. once the art is on my wall, (my apartment is too small for the largess of the piece), i will post a snapshot... thanks pablo! and thanks celeste! as i start to explore more art, i thought about one of my longtime favorites -- the german photographer loretta lux and her series of wacky, other worldly children. take a peek at her other surreal children...

"marianne" 2004 by loretta lux

The Brilliance of Dick Gregory: the State of the Black Union

Dick Gregory brilliantly satires Bill Clinton as the first black President, but also true to his form, he does not spare the black audience either.

"The Consensus on Climate Change"

Since I am in trial and too busy to write right now, thought I would share this. A good article/piece on climate change. They are right, there is not a consensus on the science. The consensus has not settled on just how bad it is going to be.

The more I write about global warming, the more I realize I share some things in common with the doubters and deniers who populate the blogosphere and the conservative movement. Like them, I am dubious about the process used by the U.N.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to write its reports. Like them, I am skeptical of the so-called consensus on climate science as reflected in the IPCC reports. Like them, I disagree with people who say "the science is settled." But that's where the agreement ends.

The science isn't settled -- it's unsettling, and getting more so every year as the scientific community learns more about the catastrophic consequences of uncontrolled greenhouse gas emissions.

The big difference I have with the doubters is they believe the IPCC reports seriously overstate the impact of human emissions on the climate, whereas the actual observed climate data clearly show the reports dramatically understate the impact.

But I do think the scientific community, the progressive community, environmentalists and media are making a serious mistake by using the word "consensus" to describe the shared understanding scientists have about the ever-worsening impacts that human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are having on this planet. When scientists and others say there is a consensus, many if not most people probably hear "consensus of opinion," which can -- and often is -- dismissed out of hand. I've met lots of people like CNBC anchor Joe Kernen, who simply can't believe that "as old as the planet is" that "puny, gnawing little humans" could possibly change the climate in "70 years."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Debate in Ohio

Barack Obama has a mesmerizingly and awestriking way of answering questions. I have not ever seen this in a candidate for President where he is not trying to strike points against his opponent, but trying to answer the question truthfully and honestly, what I think is his most appealing quality and why his campaign is doing so well. I think the pundits have it all wrong on him, that he is not good in debates that Hillary beats him (no doubt she is good).

Toward the end of the debate there was a question regarding Minister Farrakhan and could have been troubling for him. It stuttered a bit and then Clinton tried to hit him and he refreshingly answered it honestly, recovering and even scoring some points with the audience.

Tim Russert, I thought was outright unfair in some instances to both candidates and I think this is a situation where MSNBC tried to be part of the dialogue instead of asking questions. I thought it a bit shameful. It is gotcha politics and has nothing to do with the candidates. Russert did it with Clinton as well on the Iraq situation and she rightly shut him down.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hillary's Inner Tracy Flick

Q Lazarus - Goodbye Horses

My borther found this on youtube. From one of the most disturbing scenes in movie history, in Silence of the Lambs, this song rocks. Classic '80s.

Hugo Chavez Trying to Institute Fairness for Venezuelas in Major League Baseball

“Marines shouldered bats next to their rifles when they imposed imperial order in a region by blood and fire. Baseball then became for the people of the Caribbean what baseball is to us.”—Eduardo Galeano
When Hugo Chávez struck out in his December referendum aimed at overhauling the Venezuelan political system, a small group of overfed men raised their glasses in triumph: the assorted owners of Major League Baseball.

Edward Bennett Williams once called them a “Den of Idiots,” and for the last decade, the idiots have descended in vulpine fashion on both the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, marauding like free marketers on steroids in their quest for baseball talent on the cheap. Currently, 30 percent of all minor league players are from the DR alone.

Owners love Latin America for the same reason Disney can’t get enough of Haiti: they, can sign children for pennies, treat them like trash when they’re finished, and face contact lens-thin regulations for their troubles.

The impact on the athletes can be devastating. “Super Mario” Encarnación, once the most prized prospect of the Oakland As, was found dead in a Taipei motel room in October 2006, after an apparent drug overdose. He had been playing at the margins of the semi-pro baseball circuit desperate to not return home a failure to the DR. He returned, only when his friend former AL MVP Miguel Tejada, paid to have his body shipped back to their village from Japan.

Encarnación did do better than Lino Ortiz. The nineteen-year-old pitcher was about to be called up to the Majors when he died from taking an animal steroid in the DR looking for an edge. Steroids are actually legal and available over the counter, but their cost makes them prohibitive. Lino bought his from the pet store and met an all-too-early-death.

After the DR, the country that supplies the most talent in Latin America is Venezuela. There are now more than fifty players from Venezuela in Major League Baseball, including superstars like Johan Santana, Magglio Ordoñez and Miguel Cabrera. In the last twenty years, 200 Venezuelans have played in the Major Leagues with more than 1,000 in the minors. And yet despite this bounty of talent, the idiots are starting to scamper from Venezuela because Hugo Chávez is demanding that owners pay for the privilege of their pillage.

Lou Meléndez, MLB’s vice president for international operations, was more than miffed to receive documents that called for instituting employee and player protections and requiring teams to pay out 10 percent of players’ signing bonuses to the government. Chávez wants to tax MLB for what they take from the country.

“We don’t pay federations money for signing players anywhere in the world, and we don’t expect to do so. It’s certainly not a way to conduct business,” huffed Meléndez. “When you see certain industries that are being nationalized, you begin to wonder if they are going to nationalize the baseball industry in Venezuela.”

As ESPN wrote, “There has been speculation, more internal than public so far, that Chávez, a socialist and self-proclaimed revolutionary who took office in 1999, will turn Venezuela into the next Cuba. In other words, some worry that baseball in Venezuela will serve to illustrate (once again) how politics spills over into sport.”

The hypocrisy is stunning. Heaven forfend, there is nothing “political” about a multibillion-dollar business running roughshod over an entire nation with no accountability for the dashed dreams of the 99 percent who don’t make it stateside. And there is surely nothing political about shutting down your baseball academy for fear that the natives might demand business practices that might approximate the humane.

Already, the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, and San Diego Padres have cut and run. “We just figured we might as well do it [then] to avoid some of the hassle of having to deal with some of the legislation that Chávez passes down there in hiring coaches, worrying about severance pay, and just getting in and out of the country,” Juan Lara of the Padres told the media.

This tension exposes the rot at the heart of this relationship. Chávez dares demand regulation and the first instinct of the owners is to flee toward more exploitable ground. Not only is Chávez right to pressure baseball to actually give something back, other countries—the Dominican Republic, in particular—should follow his lead.

Every year, millions of Latin American children are shredded as they reach to escape poverty with a bat and a ball. It’s long past time MLB gave something back to the nations they so blithely upend.

Even an idiot can see that.
Dave Zirin is the author of the book: "Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics and Promise of Sports" (Haymarket). You can receive his column Edge of Sports, every week by going to

Chris Dodd Endorses Obama

Chris Dodd is endorsing Barack Obama. Obama's campaign hopes that the March 4 primaries in Ohio, Texas, Vermont and Rhode Island will be the victory that clinches the Democratic nomination for him. When he faces Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in another debate tonight -- the last before these pending primaries -- he'll do it with Dodd in his corner.

It's unclear what Dodd's task will be with the campaign or whether he'll be hitting those last two New England states still awaiting primaries next week. But if Obama eventually gets the nomination, Connecticut's two senators will be in opposing campaigns. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman is one of Republican Sen. John McCain's staunchest allies.

Chris Dodd has been a lion on the FISA debate and would be a step-up as Majority leader in the Senate.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Clinton Campaign Shows Disturbing Pattern

Much like Talking Points Memo I decided this story was silly (mainly because it came from Drudge) and should not get all worked up about it. But, seeing the response from the Clinton campaign has angered me deeply and that it has been confirmed. This picture showing Obama in African (Somali) dress is obviously beautiful and heart warming, but the intention is not so. It is an attempt to slime Mr. Obama especially with the recent charges of his lack of patriotism on both the Bill Maher program (who did nothing to stop them - a la Representative Kingston) and now CNN.

To everyone's surprise the Clinton campaign is not even denying they circulated the photo. There are insinuating it is the Obama campaign that is divisive and shameful. There is no question what the meaning behind this photo is and for the Clinton campaign to not even disavow it is dastardly. This is the text of their comment:

If Barack Obama's campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed. Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely.

This is nothing more than an obvious and transparent attempt to distract from the serious issues confronting our country today and to attempt to create the very divisions they claim to decry.

We will not be distracted.

The Obama campaign responded:

“On the very day that Senator Clinton is giving a speech about restoring respect for America in the world, her campaign has engaged in the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we’ve seen from either party in this election. This is part of a disturbing pattern that led her county chairs to resign in Iowa, her campaign chairman to resign in New Hampshire, and it’s exactly the kind of divisive politics that turns away Americans of all parties and diminishes respect for America in the world."

the Oscars

The best moment at the Oscars by far from the best acting performance of the year.

Watch out for the plastic bag monster!!

Not only will he kill the earth, but he's stealing the balloons! I know it's an ad for Chico bags, but it's awesome and so are the bags. Enjoy!

Love Him or Hate Him, Nader is Back

"If the Democrats cannot landlide this time they ought to just wrap up, close down emerge in a different form."

Now, I do not totally support Nader's run and I am a big Obama supporter, but if we think the democrats platform speak to what he is saying we are living in la la land.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Music and Lyrics, Pop Goes My Heart

I saw Music and Lyrics last night with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. It was surprisingly entertaining. It lost its way toward the end a bit, but Hugh Grant is so fun on screen as is Barrymore. Here is the music video of an 80's song according to Grant's character that is a dead on fabrication of the 80's pop scene.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

non, je ne regrette rien!

in honor of my 2007 movie top ten list (see KR's list and comments), voila edith piaf, aka the sparrow (la mome) singing her heart out. also check out the movie website and trailer for more musique! click here for the lyrics.

Top Ten Movies of 2007

Since the Oscars are tomorrow night I thought I would give my top ten movies of 2007 as well as the best performances of the year. It was a good year for movies, no doubt, however when on 9/11 people said the age of irony is dead it did not prove to be true, but it seems maybe it is taking place now. Because every good movie (outside of a few) were terribly traumatic and violent films. It is the age we live in, I guess.

Best Actor - Daniel Day Lewis (by a long shot)
Best Actress - Marion Cotillard ( La Vie En Rose - also by a very long way)
Best Supporting Actor - Hal Holbrook (Into the Wild)
Best Supporting Actress - Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton)
Best Screenplay (Juno)
Best Director (Paul Thomas Anderson - There Will Be Blood)
Best Film (There Will Be Blood)

#10 - Knocked Up
A startlingly honest film about relationships. Maybe the greatest source of criticism for the film was how could the darling woman fall for Seth Rogen? Which is fair, but aside from that it was laugh out loud funny, sensitive and what I think many films are not doing these days, it reaches for the best in us.

#9 The Diving Bell and Butterfly
At first I thought it hard to love this character which tragedy befalls him and he makes lemonade out of lemons. But, the film stays with you because how horrific the tragedy is and how much this man made out of his situation in so little time. The camera work was also effective in giving one empathy. Powerful stuff.

#8 The Savages
This is a film that also stays with you about two flawed, albeit likable siblings who must take care of a father who never took care of them. Also, trying to find the best in humans, going above and beyond what is asked of us, or maybe what is required of us. But, the film gets at the heart of humanity, loneliness and family with all its flaws and of course its joy.

#7 Once
The best musical film I have ever seen. The first of two beautiful Irish films. Set in Dublin, a marvelous love story that is not typical and leaves one with a sense of beauty. The music is astounding (Falling Slowly should win best song) and the actors are believable. Made me want to move to Dublin.

#6 No Country for Old Men
Scary as hell. In other years it may be the best film of the year. The Coen Brothers are masters and Josh Brolin shows his ability to act. I thought the film let us down with the Brolin character, but that is probably the point, the senseless violence leaves us all breathless. A tough movie to take. Have a drink afterwards.

#5 Juno
I left this film quoting Ellen Page and Michael Cera. They were so cute together and so likable. Again, like Knocked Up one has to suspend some belief, but instead of the film saying this is the way things are, it is saying this is the way things should be. Flawed families that stand by one another and do the right thing. More characters in film should be like Ellen Page, extraordinarily intelligent, sarcastic, yet vulnerable thinking she has the answers, but all the time learning from the people around her.

#4 Michael Clayton
I loved this film, mostly because it takes down corporate America. Talk about fantasy, but it had you on the edge of your seat the entire film. Clooney is great and is getting better every time out. All the performances are superb. A thriller that delivers.

#3 The Wind That Shakes the Barley
I saw this film at the beginning of the year and it stayed with me the entire year. It teaches us that many times the incitement of the terror is much worse than the terror itself. Great performances all the way around including strong and soulful performances by the women that fought beside the men (in the early 1900's) which one does not see often enough in film. In the Irish tradition (as is so in the African-American tradition) the women are the driving force. Poverty teaches us that this is how it has to be.

#2 No End in Sight
One has to accept the fact that we went to war (though, I never bought it for a second) and could have helped rather than hurt. But, this film shows the incompetence of the Bush administration and the callous disregard it showed for the people of Iraq and our soldiers. It makes the case clearly, concisely and powerfully. The best documentary of the year by far.

#1 There Will Be Blood
There Will Be Blood is the best film I have seen this decade, maybe ever. It is a sprawling tale of greed and evangelical ambition, maybe the two most powerful and destructive forces operating in America today. Daniel Day Lewis is phenomenal as is Paul Dano.

Overrated films of 2007 include Atonement and Away from Her. Julie Christie's performance was wonderful in Away from Her, but I never bought the story at all. It just seemed forced to me. La Vie en Rose was a good film, but confusing at times, but the performance by Marion C. was so good many feel it should be in the top ten. Not me, but worth the viewing.

Friday, February 22, 2008

mannequins of jersey

i snapped this pix while wandering around journal square in jersey city, near my workplace. the child mannequins creeped me out. this particular kid seemed like he was crying out in pain. maybe because some of his mannequin fingers were missing and his teeth & mouth were severely chipped. he's been locked in a glass case since the 60s from what i can tell. oh, wikipedia notes that manneken is dutch for little man. makes perfect sense.

The Debate in Austin

A couple of clips from the debate where Obama did well. This is for my mom who told me she had to work and could not see the debate. Since she is a huge fan of Barack Obama and I get MOST of my political instincts from her I wanted to do a bit of a wrap-up.

I thought the debate was a tie. Barack did very well, though at times seemed to go through the motions. I did love his immigration arguments (as well as Hillary), his belief in changing the system and why he can do it and the fight on the plagiarism charge (which is simply preposterous). See why below and why Hillary did the same thing. Anyway, they both did well and I don't think it will change things.

Keith's wrap-up on the debate which is near perfect.

And certainly Hillary's best moment in the debate. Was it conciliatory or was it a new day in the Clinton campaign? I am not sure. It may be her best moment in the campaign, although at first I thought it was a little pandering, but then she did score. Although, Talking Points Memo says she took the line from her husband in the 1992 campaign.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Army Ink

As the Iraq war is whitewashed by the mainstream media, and the major candidates for president rarely discuss the reality in the Middle East and make only vague promises about the removal of troops, I thought I would do a little advertising for a photojournalist that my brother turned me onto: Zoriah. His work, which can be seen at is an amazing collection of photojournalism from some of the world's most oppressed and troubled places: The West Bank, China, and Iraq.

I was particularly struck by a short series of photos entitled Army Ink. Here is the description from the collection:

A member of the United States Army shows off a tattoo. The US Army has recently lifted a ban on certain kinds of tattoos in order to address one of the worst recruiting crisis in US military history. Tattoos have long been a source of pride, tradition and a rite of passage for soldiers as well as a way for them to express their individual personalities in a world of conformity.

The tattoo in the above picture reads:

Walk peacefully in heavens streets, you've done your time in hell

Malcolm X Assassinated 43 Years Ago

Malcolm X was certainly controversial, but his life is one of the greatest stories to ever grace American soil.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Chris Mathews

Last night Chris Mathews attacked a state senator from Texas and asked him to name one accomplishment by Barack Obama in the Senate. He could not and obviously the man was embarrassed. He is probably a superdelegate, but I thought it was low...and uncalled for in light of the win. First off Obama had been there for two years before declaring a Presidential bid so one must consider also what he did before that (he is running on change, not experience) and admittedly the Obama camp should prepare its guests better and got a bit lazy, but I thought it was a bit ridiculous. Here is the clip.

Camp Clinton is already capitalizing upon this.

So, I went and looked up his accomplishments for the two years + he was there before running for President. It is not that bad. Of course, his life as a community organizer, civil rights lawyer, Law Professor and state legislator should also be taken into account, but here is what I found: Another caveat is this is probably written by an Obama surrogate, but that is the point, isn't it?

Obama took an active role in the Senate's drive for improved border security and immigration reform. In 2005, he co-sponsored the "Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act" introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).[54] He later added three amendments to the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act", which passed the Senate in May 2006, but failed to gain majority support in the U.S. House of Representatives.[55] In September 2006, Obama supported a related bill, the Secure Fence Act, authorizing construction of fencing and other security improvements along the Mexico–United States border.[56] President Bush signed the Secure Fence Act into law in October 2006, calling it "an important step toward immigration reform."[57]
Partnering first with Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN), and then with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Obama successfully introduced two initiatives bearing his name. "Lugar-Obama" expands the Nunn-Lugar cooperative threat reduction concept to conventional weapons, including shoulder-fired missiles and anti-personnel mines.[58] The "Coburn-Obama Transparency Act" provides for the web site, managed by the Office of Management and Budget. The site lists all organizations receiving Federal funds from 2007 onward and provides breakdowns by the agency allocating the funds, the dollar amount given, and the purpose of the grant or contract. In December 2006, President Bush signed into law the "Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act," marking the first federal legislation to be enacted with Obama as its primary sponsor.[60]

As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Obama made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In August 2005, he traveled to Russia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan. The trip focused on strategies to control the world's supply of conventional weapons, biological weapons, and weapons of mass destruction as a first defense against potential terrorist attacks. Following meetings with U.S. military in Kuwait and Iraq in January 2006, Obama visited Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian territories. At a meeting with Palestinian students two weeks before Hamas won the legislative election, Obama warned that "the U.S. will never recognize winning Hamas candidates unless the group renounces its fundamental mission to eliminate Israel." He left for his third official trip in August 2006, traveling to South Africa, Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Chad. In a nationally televised speech at the University of Nairobi, he spoke forcefully on the influence of ethnic rivalries and corruption in Kenya. The speech touched off a public debate among rival leaders, some formally challenging Obama's remarks as unfair and improper, others defending his positions.[64]

110th Congress

In the first month of the newly Democratic-controlled 110th Congress, Obama worked with Russ Feingold (D–WI) to eliminate gifts of travel on corporate jets by lobbyists to members of Congress and require disclosure of bundled campaign contributions under the "Honest Leadership and Open Government Act", which was signed into law in September 2007. He joined Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in sponsoring S. 453, a bill to criminalize deceptive practices in federal elections, including fraudulent flyers and automated phone calls, as witnessed in the 2006 midterm elections. Obama's energy initiatives scored pluses and minuses with environmentalists, who welcomed his sponsorship with John McCain (R-AZ) of a climate change bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds by 2050, but were skeptical of his support for a bill promoting liquefied coal production.[67] Obama also introduced the "Iraq War De-Escalation Act", a bill to cap troop levels in Iraq, begin phased redeployment, and remove all combat brigades from Iraq before April 2008.[68]

Later in 2007, Obama sponsored with Kit Bond (R-MO) an amendment to the 2008 Defense Authorization Act adding safeguards for personality disorder military discharges, and calling for a review by the Government Accountability Office following reports that the procedure had been used inappropriately to reduce government costs. He sponsored the "Iran Sanctions Enabling Act" supporting divestment of state pension funds from Iran's oil and gas industry, and joined Chuck Hagel (R-NE) in introducing legislation to reduce risks of nuclear terrorism. A provision from the Obama-Hagel bill was passed by Congress in December 2007 as an amendment to the State-Foreign Operations appropriations bill. Obama also sponsored a Senate amendment to the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to provide one year of job protection for family members caring for soldiers with combat-related injuries. After passing both houses of Congress with bipartisan majorities, SCHIP was vetoed by President Bush in early October 2007, a move Obama said "shows a callousness of priorities that is offensive to the ideals we hold as Americans."

I certainly do not agree with all of it, but he was busy.

Calypso for Barack

His resume and plan in Calypso.

Civil Unions in New Jersey Are Not Working

Thanks to Blue Jersey for this video and discussion. Most know in New Jersey that civil unions are indeed second class status to marriage equality. Also, most know that once the November election passes Governor Corzine wants a bill on his desk to sign for marriage equality. It will happen in New Jersey. Since New York just said it will accept other marriages from other states this will help the northeast continue its roll toward marriage equality altogether.

It is strange to advocate for this - as someone who does not really want to be married, but it is clearly a human rights issue, one that is preposterously overdue in the Garden State.

Cease Fire By Muqtada Al Sadr in Serious Jeopardy

Al-Sadr's Shiite Mahdi Army is among the most powerful militias in Iraq, and the cease-fire he ordered last August has been credited with helping reduce violence around Iraq by 60 percent or more in the past six months.

The cease fire is the violence reduction, not the surge. Evidence in point. The surge was announced in January, that moronic state of the union speech. Still, violence continued and intensified over the summer including three months in April, May and June where deaths of American soldiers ranged above 100 + deaths. In August there was 85 American deaths and then the casualties dramatically drop off down to 65 in September and 38 in October. Recently, the deaths have been ticking back up. This says nothing of the violence that has occurred to and by the Iraqis on their own people. 60 percent violence reduction is credited since June. The violence is still occurring, but at much less violent levels, although recent events have sparked a bit of an uptick in the violence.

In a separate attack, three American troops were killed by a roadside bomb Tuesday night in northwestern Baghdad, the U.S. military said. Their names were not released.

Sheik Salah al-Obeidi, a spokesman for al-Sadr in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, said that if the cleric failed to issue a statement by Saturday saying that the cease-fire was extended, "then that means the freeze is over." Al-Sadr's followers would be free to resume attacks.

Influential members of al-Sadr's movement said earlier this month they had urged the radical cleric to call off the cease-fire, which initially was set to expire at the end of the month.
Al-Sadr's followers have claimed the U.S.-Iraqi raids, particularly in the southern Shiite cities of Diwaniyah, Basra and Karbala, are a pretext to crack down on the wider movement, which has pulled its support for the Washington-backed government.

"Resuming their activities, whether against the government or civilians, will lead to a new confrontation with them," she said. And the reconciliation of the political process will seriously be damaged, though this isn't occuring anyway. No one has claimed responsibility for Tuesday's rocket attack, the second in as many days. But in both cases the explosives apparently were launched from Shiite militia strongholds in the capital, underscoring the fragility of the truce. Smith, at a news conference later Wednesday, blamed Iranian-backed Shiite militias for the attacks but said the rationale behind the timing of the attacks was unclear.

If the cease fire is called off you can no doubt expect a serious increase in violence, therefore cementing the need for us to get the hell out of there and let the Iraqis decide their own future. We can help, but we cannot do it with rockets, bombs and soldiers. It is completely counterproductive.

10 in a Row for Obama

I believe as part of the ten is the Virgin Islands, I could not figure that out last night. 10 is 10 I guess. A really big win in Wisconsin last night and an expected win in Hawaii as well as a popularity contest in Washington. Take a look at Washington; even in a state that didn't even count the democratic vote was twice as big as the Republican turnout.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Clinton Campaign Expands Tactics to Include the Procees Itself

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign intends to go after delegates whom Barack Obama has already won in the caucuses and primaries if she needs them to win the nomination.
This strategy was confirmed to me by a high-ranking Clinton official on Monday. And I am not talking about superdelegates, those 795 party big shots who are not pledged to anybody. I am talking about getting pledged delegates to switch sides...

"I swear it is not happening now, but as we get closer to the convention, if it is a stalemate, everybody will be going after everybody’s delegates," a senior Clinton official told me Monday afternoon. "All the rules will be going out the window."

This is really unbelievable and unprecedented. Do we forget how thirsty for power the Clintons were and are? Though, I don't believe these tactics will work, it makes me think that my support for Mrs. Clinton will be in serious jeopardy if Obama fails to win the nomination.

Check Daily Kos for more.

Fidel Castro Resigns

Amazing. I woke up this morning at 5:00 am because I could not sleep and turn on CNN International (none of the other stupid American stations were covering) and Breaking News is Castro Resigns. See a retrospective at the New York Times. Never has a figure been so divisive in international politics. See his farewell letter here.

Change is coming. I am interested to see what Naomi Klein thinks of this. Because make no mistake about what the United States Embargo on Cuba is about. It is about unfettered capitalism and the right of corporations to rule supreme. If Raul Casto rids the country of that evil health care for all policy, I am sure Bush will seek to lift the embargo.

Certainly, Castro is not perfect and oversaw an oppressive regime, but he is not nearly the dictator he is made out to be. It is all about capitalism.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


our guest columnist, ms. alice, shares some of her favorite nyc sushi spots...

yummy sushi village

The sushi quality is pretty good and it is pretty reliable. The price is very reasonable especially for the quality of the food. The atmosphere is fairly low key and for the NYU crowd. They have a sushi eating contest that is worth checking out, but beware that if you don't finish, u r gonna have to pay for all the pieces that u pick to eat.

avenue a sushi

Their special boats are a great deal. You get lots of sashimi and oysters! I didn't expect to get oysters but i enjoyed those little morsels very much. The uni, which is the yardstick i use to measure the quality of a restaurant's sushi, did not disappoint. You get a lot of food for the value and the fish is very fresh. The only criticism that I have is that the bathroom could have been cleaner but i think that one should overlook it simply because the food is amazing and u can't beat the value.


We came here because we heard that the chef formerly worked at nobu. We wanted to eat at place with nobu quality, but without the high costs. We ordered the omakase and the chef was willing to reveal what he was going to include in his omakase, unlike other restaurants, which like to play hide the ball. Although we had to wait awhile for our food, we were treated to complimentary edamame and miso soup. Our omakase was worth the wait. The arrangement of the fish was on ice cubes in a big bowl. The sashimi pieces were very fresh and there was plenty of it. Sometimes, sashimi can be overwhelming, but the arrangement here was just right. Also there were some original pieces in there. Next, came the nigiri pieces, which were equally fresh and innovative. This was all for $60 per person.

and, a word to the wise...

East 53

The food is simply gross. The rice crumbled apart immediately and the fish tasted frozen and unfresh. Also, there was an omnipresent fly lurking around the window, near where I ate. Do not come here for good food.

Black History Month: Muhammad Ali, A Recipe for Life

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Metal Saturday: The Best Heavy Metal Song Ever Written - Q5 - Steel the Light

Delegate Math for the Democrats

I have been doing some math and some perusing around the internet regarding this democratic race to take back our Presidency to at least some form of people, not corporations. I am crossing my fingers anyway. But, the math for Mrs. Clinton does not add up. Anyway you slice it she must rely on the superdelegates. And one more thing, there is no way this race comes down to March 4th. This thing is going a long way. Right now wikipedia (this is a good source for this information because they have been keeping track and they only award delegates when they are actually awarded, not estimated) has the delegate count at pledged delegates 1124 for Obama and 984 for Clinton. That is a lead of 140 delegates.

With Wisconsin (70 delegates) and Hawaii (20 delegates) upcoming Obama should be expected to pick up a few "net" delegates. Even if Wisconsin stays pretty close, which I think it will; he should win Hawaii by a huge margin. Then, on March 4th there are 380 pledged delegates (Rhode Island, Vermont, Texas and Ohio) up for grabs. In my opinion the only way this thing ends is if Mrs. Clinton loses both states. It is true if Obama does well Mrs. Clinton is in trouble, but no way in hell is she out of it and with the super delegates waiting in the wings to decide this nomination I doubt seriously this will end soon.

Small contests of Mississippi and Wyoming happen later in March, but nothing of any substantiality until April 22nd in Pennsylvania which will be close no matter what people say right now. In the middle of May we still have North Carolina, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and Puerto Rico all with substantial delegate counts.

If we think somehow Howard Dean is going to broker a deal before the convention we are sadly mistaken. If Obama was down that certainly would be the case, but the Clintons will not be stopped. There is no down for them. It is the Presidency or nothing. They have already been there, what compromise could possibly be struck?

This is good politics, good theater, but is it good for the general is the real question? On another note, I do not like the safety right now of Obama's campaign. He seems to be playing it safe, ala New Hampshire. And if Mrs. Clinton wins Wisconsin next week, though the delegate math will be quite small for a win, the bragging rights could take her right up to Junior Tuesday for a big win and on to Pennsylvania. If she wins all three then maybe we need to start calling Al Gore. Regardless, of the outcome it is fun, but I am crossing my fingers for Wisconsin and then a win for Obama in Ohio or Texas and I believe some pressuring on the Clintons as well as the media talking about it being over could help it along. I doubt seriously, however we have any idea what happens until Pennsyvlania.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Keith Olbermann on Fire: Special Comment on FISA

House Intelligence Committee Chair Representative Silvestre Reyes (TX- D) Strongly Worded Letter to the President

This is well worth the read:

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

The Preamble to our Constitution states that one of our highest duties as public officials is to “provide for the common defence.” As an elected Member of Congress, a senior Member of the House Armed Services Committee, and Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I work everyday to ensure that our defense and intelligence capabilities remain strong in the face of serious threats to our national security.

Because I care so deeply about protecting our country, I take strong offense to your suggestion in recent days that the country will be vulnerable to terrorist attack unless Congress immediately enacts legislation giving you broader powers to conduct warrantless surveillance of Americans’ communications and provides legal immunity for telecommunications companies that participated in the Administration’s warrantless surveillance program.

Today, the National Security Agency (NSA) has authority to conduct surveillance in at least three different ways, all of which provide strong capability to monitor the communications of possible terrorists.

First, NSA can use its authority under Executive Order 12333 to conduct surveillance abroad of any known or suspected terrorist. There is no requirement for a warrant. There is no requirement for probable cause. Most of NSA’s collection occurs under this authority.
Second, NSA can use its authority under the Protect America Act, enacted last August, to conduct surveillance here in the U.S of any foreign target. This authority does not “expire” on Saturday, as you have stated. Under the PAA, orders authorizing surveillance may last for one year – until at least August 2008. These orders may cover every terrorist group without limitation. If a new member of the group is identified, or if a new phone number or email address is identified, the NSA may add it to the existing orders, and surveillance can begin immediately. We will not “go dark.”

Third, in the remote possibility that a new terrorist organization emerges that we have never previously identified, the NSA could use existing authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to monitor those communications. Since its establishment nearly 30 years ago, the FISA Court has approved nearly every application for a warrant from the Department of Justice. In an emergency, NSA or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) may begin surveillance immediately, and a FISA Court order does not have to be obtained for three days. The former head of FISA operations for the Department of Justice has testified publicly that emergency authorization may be granted in a matter of minutes.

As you know, the 1978 FISA law, which has been modernized and updated numerous times since 9/11, was instrumental in disrupting the terrorist plot in Germany last summer. Those who say that FISA is outdated do not understand the strength of this important tool.

If our nation is left vulnerable in the coming months, it will not be because we don’t have enough domestic spying powers. It will be because your Administration has not done enough to defeat terrorist organizations – including al Qaeda -- that have gained strength since 9/11. We do not have nearly enough linguists to translate the reams of information we currently collect. We do not have enough intelligence officers who can penetrate the hardest targets, such as al Qaeda. We have surged so many intelligence resources into Iraq that we have taken our eye off the ball in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As a result, you have allowed al Qaeda to reconstitute itself on your watch.

You have also suggested that Congress must grant retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies. As someone who has been briefed on our most sensitive intelligence programs, I can see no argument why the future security of our country depends on whether past actions of telecommunications companies are immunized.

The issue of telecom liability should be carefully considered based on a full review of the documents that your Administration withheld from Congress for eight months. However, it is an insult to the intelligence of the American people to say that we will be vulnerable unless we grant immunity for actions that happened years ago.

Congress has not been sitting on its hands. Last November, the House passed responsible legislation to authorize the NSA to conduct surveillance of foreign terrorists and to provide clarity and legal protection to our private sector partners who assist in that surveillance.
The proper course is now to conference the House bill with the Senate bill that was passed on Tuesday. There are significant differences between these two bills and a conference, in regular order, is the appropriate mechanism to resolve the differences between these two bills. I urge you, Mr. President, to put partisanship aside and allow Republicans in Congress to arrive at a compromise that will protect America and protect our Constitution.

I, for one, do not intend to back down – not to the terrorists and not to anyone, including a President, who wants Americans to cower in fear.

We are a strong nation. We cannot allow ourselves to be scared into suspending the Constitution. If we do that, we might as well call the terrorists and tell them that they have won.

Silvestre Reyes
Member of Congress
Chairman, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Clinton Leading in Ohio and Pennsylvania

It ain't over yet:

A new Quinnipiac poll in Ohio shows Sen. Hillary Clinton leading Sen. Barack Obama, 55% to 34%, among likely voters. In Pennsylvania, Clinton is ahead of Obama, 52% to 36%. Said pollster Peter Brown:

"Despite her losing streak, Sen. Clinton remains far ahead of Sen. Obama among likely Democratic primary voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania. But in some of the earlier contests Obama has closed similar gaps and gone on to win. With Ohio the next big state, along with Texas, voting on March 4, Clinton must fend off another last-minute Obama surge in the Buckeye State."

Nancy Pelosi

The New York Post says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) is considering endorsing Sen. Barack Obama. According to aides, "she's weighing whether a public endorsement would harm her ability to function in her job."

In other news, Senator Edwards is mulling an endorsement of Senator Clinton, surprisingly. But this is not stopping Obama from courting him. The Presidential race sure won't solve our problems, there are just so many right now. We must pick a leader, however who can begin to peck away at these issues. This is only the beginning, once we have a nominee then the real work begins.

street art in hoboken

i went for a walk last weekend and spotted this recycled garden-hose-chair-art on garden st in hoboken. how creative and fun! thanks to whoever made it. it was a nice surprise on a cold day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Roger Clemens and the Congressional Hearings

Certainly, there are more important matters that Congress could be spending its time doing, but this is surely good theater. And Roger Clemens is sincerely misinformed if he thinks we buy this line of bullshit.


I have heard about this movie and asks the questions what is wrong with Africa? The answer is privatiztion and greed of not forgiving the debts of these nations so they will sell off their natural resources. Read the Shock Doctrine Now. I cannot stress it enough. But, also see this movie if you can find it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Another Sweep for Obama

The Patomac primaries go big for Obama. Virginia right now is at about 63% - 36% in Virginia. As I write Obama is speaking and is now 8-0 since Super Tuesday. And is projected to win in Hawaii and Wisconsin in a week:

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Wisconsin shows Sen. Barack Obama leading Sen. Hillary Clinton, 50% to 39%. His support cuts across all racial and gender lines.Key findings: "Obama actually barely leads Clinton among self identified Democrats, 46% to 44%. But there are a lot of independent voters in Wisconsin, who can vote in the state's open primary, and Obama's lead with that group is 63% to 25%."In the GOP race, Sen. John McCain leads Mike Huckabee, 53% to 32%.Wisconsin's primaries will be held on February 19. Is the Clinton campaign relenting on Wisconsin too? It seems a mini Rudy strategy.

However, will Ohio and Texas be the "firewall" Mrs. Clinton is looking for. Right now, though it is slipping, her lead in Ohio is substantial. It is double digit right now. Then, on to Pennsylvania and North Carolina. My question is will this lead shrink and Obama will move Ohio and Texas into race or will she trounce him there, thus creating a deadlock that will not be broken until Denver? I DON'T KNOW.

Selling Out for Security?

Daily Kos has a great line on this. "We Need Better Democrats."

Here are the democrats who voted for the dreadful new FISA bill and are willing to sell our constitutional rights down the river so to speak.

Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ken Salazar (D-CO), Tom Carper (D-DE), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Jim Webb (D-VA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Kent Conrad (D-ND), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and of course the sellout Lieberman. Maybe Jim Webb isn't the gem we all think him to be. Our rights sacrificed and the phone companies pocket books protected.

For the record Clinton did not vote and Obama did against immunity.

"Those who wish to sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." - Benjamin Franklin.

Iran and Its Democracy?

For anyone who saw the movie Persepolis knows that the Americans stopped the Iranian democracy in 1953 and the problems that country has today is mainly due to this time and the many events that happened afterwards.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Universal Coverage Ad for Obama

I really like this one.

McCain 'O8: Like Hope, but Different

Rep. Tom Lantos Dies

From the Washington Post:
Rep. Tom Lantos, 80, a California Democrat whose experience during the Holocaust shaped his concern for human rights and his staunch view in favor of U.S. military intervention abroad, died early Monday morning, a spokeswoman told the Associated Press. He had esophageal cancer and died at Bethesda Naval Medical Center. Lantos, born in Budapest to Hungarian Jews, served 14 terms in the House of Representatives. He is the only Holocaust survivor elected to Congress. His district included southwest San Francisco and much of San Mateo County, where he was known for supporting the socially liberal agenda of his constituents. Last year, he announced he would not seek reelection because of his cancer treatment.

Lantos was a powerful figure on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, where he had been the senior Democratic member since 2001 and its chairman since 2007.

Feeling a Little Miss Sunshine Today

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Amazingly, Obama Sweeps

Obama won in Nebraska by a huge margin 68 - 32 percent and won in Washington 68-31% and finally as the night subsided a large, but expected victory in Louisiana. Washington state was the only state in play really from projections on Saturday. But, today as Maine wound up the weekend (she was favored) Obama is projected in a landslide. With 70% of the precincts reporting he is leading 59-41%.
As we move into the Chesapeake primary of Virginia, Maryland and D.C. which he is projected to win and then on to Hawaii and Wisconsin on February 19th, also two favorable states for him it is difficult to understand how Hillary Clinton comes back from this. Certainly, Texas and Ohio loom on March 4th which at this point she is heavily favored, but momentum is momentum.

The only state she is currently fighting for right now is Virginia. The latest polls in Maryland and Virginia are as follows:

Maryland: Obama 57%, Clinton 31%

Virginia: Obama 55%, Clinton 37%

Of course, Mrs. Clinton was counted out before, so Magda, Thelonious and co. please continue the fight in the Chesapeake!!
Whoops!! Forgot about the Virgin Islands. Obama overwhelmed Clinton there.

women for barack obama

ok, a few days past super tuesday but check out this clip, women for barack obama rally, and listen to samantha power (pulitzer prize winner and barack's foreign policy advisor) inspire the crowd.

chan marshall of cat power sings "the greatest"

a calming, lovely chan marshall of cat power for a sunday morning, singing "the greatest."

Saturday, February 9, 2008

exploring her religion...

gimme gimme gimme

lil' miss

i stumbled upon the work of local new jersey artist celeste rapone (a RISD graduate) and was drawn to her series on religion... her oil on canvas paintings of jesus and co., with jesus surrounded by patterns of colorful peeps and chocolate bunny candies or lil' miss, a beauty pageant-inspired youthful virgin mary with baby doll jesus resonate with my twisted views on catholicism. after an email correspondence with the artist, i'm learning more about her work and influences... i just bought a fabulous print of gimme gimme gimme that i can't wait to frame and hang on my wall (this painting evokes for me that odd rite of passage i suffered through in childhood -- CCD and indoctrination).
the express line

in her own words, read celeste's take on her religiously inspired work--

Catholicism Series:
Growing up Catholic in northern New Jersey meant taking my religion very seriously (or at least making sure it appeared that way on the surface). As a young child in North Jersey, however, a vital part of being Catholic meant letting everyone else know you were Catholic. This was obviously not done by practicing or abiding by the rules of Catholicism, but in religiously inspired personal decor and embracing the accessibility of going to church or confession once a year around the holidays. This plastic idea of fulfilling one’s Catholic duties as a young boy or girl by materially exhibiting the icons of the religion led to the most superficial and misunderstood displays of Catholicism I have ever encountered. This series, based on my experiences growing up in this environment, is meant to capture the exploitation and convenience of calling oneself “Catholic” in a modern-day society.

celeste also has a series on medication and portraits... this month her work is part of an exhibition at the visual arts center of new jersey... see more of her work at juxtapoz, then catch her 2008 solo show at phoenix gallery in nyc (where she just won a 2008 fellowship)!

stay tuned for my Q and A with the artist...

Metal Saturday: Orion the Hunter So You Ran

Ahhhh 80's music as I came of age. This was a doozy. The guitarist Barry Goudreau from Boston on his own. The cheesy 80's fashion aside, the song is well constructed, the melodies are good and the vocals are wonderful.

Polls close at 9 PM ET in Most States Today

The Weekend Schedule

Democrats will be busy in four states this weekend as they try to choose between Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton as their party's presidential nominee.


Louisiana primary: 56 delegates; Polls close at 9 pm ET.
Nebraska caucuses: 24 delegates; Caucusing may end as late as 9:30 pm ET.
Washington caucuses: 78 delegates; Caucusing may end as late at 9 pm ET.

Maine caucuses: 24 delegates; Caucusing may end as late as 6pm ET.

See you at 9 PM

Hillary Clinton and MSNBC

Just as Barack Obama has a legitimate gripe with Fox so does Hillary with MSNBC. We all know the Chris Mathews story about his comments about Mrs. Clinton, but David Schuster said Chelsea Clinton was being "pimped" out by her mom for the campaign. The comment seems particularly out of context since all family members do this for their prospective campaigns of loved ones. In fact, I am a fan of David Schuster, he is a good reporter, but the sexism coming out of this channel is ridiculous. Schuster has been suspended.

Here is the comment and following is the apology.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Obama Stirs New Orleans

Obama is so stirring, it is simply remarkable. But, to his credit he has been talking about the tragedy of New Orleans since its occurrence.

Obama on the anniversary.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Shameful Record

A New York Times Editorial yesterday layed out the record for the United States treatment of juvenile offenders as 'shameful.' The Editorial says: As many as 38 states sentence minors to life without the chance of parole, including Pennsylvania, the worst offender, where hundreds of inmates — estimates range from 360 to 433 — have no hope of ever being released because of crimes they committed between the ages of 13 and 18.

According to Human Rights Watch, 2,380 people in this country are serving life sentences for crimes they committed before they turned 18. That makes the United States an extreme global outlier. Sentencing juveniles to life without parole is at odds with international law; the vast majority of the world’s countries ban the practice.

Lazale Ashby, 23 of Hartford, Connecticut was recently sentenced to death in this small moderate northeastern state for a crime he committed at the age of 18 and 3 days. Four days before he would have been eligible for life in prison. A child's (the Supreme Court said we cannot kill teenagers anymore) brain development makes them less able to resist impulses among other very important factors in young adults. Do we not share some of this blame?

I knew Mr. Ashby when he was a young 14 years old, a client of mine in a therapeutic after school program, in 1998. A troubled young man to say the least, but what do we gain by committing murder? What do we gain by imprisoning all of these children? It is high time we have a policy that reflects what is happening in our society, in our urban communities and to our children.

Lieberman Stripped of Superdelegate Status

Fuck Joe Lieberman. I mean seriously. Campaigning for John McCain? When did this guy go so wrong? Just because Ned Lamont kicked his ass - he turns on the democrats and Harry Reid just carries his sorry ass. Go away! Strip him of his committee assignments too.

Anyway, whew, sorry - Joe Lieberman has been stripped of his superdelegate status: Lieberman's endorsement of Republican John McCain disqualifies him as a super-delegate to the Democratic National Convention under what is informally known as the Zell Miller rule, according to Democratic State Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo.

As my DC friends have reiterated all about the same time, superdelegates (all congressionally elected Democrats of each state as well as the Governor and other designated DNC folks) are more like stupiddelegates. It subverts the democratic process. Superdelegates are a way to have both direct primary elections, while keeping the party bosses happy. Well, at least Joe Lieberman doesn't have a say because he endorsed John McCain, the newly right wing Senator from Arizona.

P.S. 1 Goes Green!

“For us it’s an opportunity to create an exciting structure,” Ms. Andraos said of the project, “but also to talk about issues and ideas — to be engaged with the world.”

I have always loved heading over to Long Island City, whether it's to check out the Phun Factory, head to Socrates Sculpture Park, or see what's cooking at P.S. 1. I ca't get enough of the wackiness of the converted public school building: whether it's a room with a gigantic plastic T-rex balloon, or a video showing of Bjork videos, or a three-story spiral slide, I eat it up.

Today, I was reading the New York Times online, and I saw that this summer, PS 1 has outdone itself. From the article:

The proposal by Dan Wood and Amale Andraos, the husband-and-wife duo behind Work Architecture, was clearly a departure from previous design proposals to transform the courtyard of the P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City, Queens for a summer. But the urban farm concept — including an abundance of fresh produce and a genuine harvesting plan — was apparently just too darn offbeat to pass up.

That's right, an urban farm as a motif for the winning proposal for the Young Architects Program, which selects a theme and design for the summer dance and dj summer sessions on Saturdays throughout the summer.

The design calls for all sorts of funky, weird, and fresh components.

For example:

There will be two sound columns — one that plays farm sounds when you sit down, another in which you can look upward, see stars and hear crickets. There is a phone-charging column, a children’s grotto of columns with swings, an herb-growing column with circulating fans dispersing scents like basil or lavender, and a juicer column where fresh juice will be made and sold.

Check out the farm in the city at P.S. 1 in Long Island City, coming this summer. I hope to see you there.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

save the spiral jetty

Nancy Holt, Robert Smithson's widow, recently sent an email out detailing specific threats to Smithson's masterpiece, Spiral Jetty.

Click here to read full article.

If you want to send a letter of protest to save the beautiful, natural Utah environment around the Spiral Jetty from oil drilling, the emails or calls of protest go to Jonathan Jemming 801-537-9023 Please refer to Application # 8853. Every letter makes a big difference, they do take a lot of notice and know that publicity may follow. Since the Spiral Jetty has global significance, emails from foreign countries would be of special value. Deadline for comments is extended to Feb 13.

Photo credit George Steinmetz September 2002

New Jersey Chooses the Wrong Elvis

A Third Bush Term?

How Clinton or Obama could lose to these people is beyond me. But, of course the country I live in is not the country that others live in, obviously.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


with super tuesday and the super bowl -- giants mania (ick!) gripping our attention lately, i wanted to devote a little space to my main everyday worry -- mother earth.

walking around hoboken, jersey city and nyc, i'm reminded that we haven't heard the message to conserve. lots of plastic bags, bottle and to go cups. one trip bags for a few items that are soon tossed, a coffee cup -- once consumed, littered.

barista boy sent me this super alarming article about "a 'plastic soup' of waste floating in the Pacific Ocean [that] is growing at an alarming rate and now covers an area twice the size of the continental United States, scientists have said."

the details get worse:

"The 'soup' is actually two linked areas, either side of the islands of Hawaii, known as the Western and Eastern Pacific Garbage Patches. About one-fifth of the junk – which includes everything from footballs and kayaks to Lego blocks and carrier bags – is thrown off ships or oil platforms. The rest comes from land."

scared? we should be... this soup ends up as our dinner...

"These pollutants act as chemical sponges attracting man-made chemicals such as hydrocarbons and the pesticide DDT. They then enter the food chain. 'What goes into the ocean goes into these animals and onto your dinner plate. It's that simple,' said Dr Eriksen."

but i leave you with a bright spot... the irish solution!

the new york times reported this good news last sunday:

"In 2002, Ireland passed a tax on plastic bags; customers who want them must now pay 33 cents per bag at the register. There was an advertising awareness campaign. And then something happened that was bigger than the sum of these parts.

Within weeks, plastic bag use dropped 94 percent. Within a year, nearly everyone had bought reusable cloth bags, keeping them in offices and in the backs of cars. Plastic bags were not outlawed, but carrying them became socially unacceptable — on a par with wearing a fur coat or not cleaning up after one’s dog."

and the good, green irish government news continues...

"Ireland has moved on with the tax concept, proposing similar taxes on customers for A.T.M. receipts and chewing gum. (The sidewalks of Dublin are dotted with old wads.) The gum tax has been avoided for the time being because the chewing gum giant Wrigley agreed to create a public cleanup fund as an alternative. This year, the government plans to ban conventional light bulbs, making only low-energy, long-life fluorescent bulbs available."

can a town like hoboken ever usher in change like this? i'm not so optimistic right now, seeing how cleaning up after one's dog has yet to be conquered, but i'm hopeful one day soon, it will be seriously uncool to carry plastic bags and disposable cups...