Monday, July 18, 2005

"So, aside from Stewey, The Brain, Dr. Evil, Dr. Claw, Cobra Commander, Megatron... and a handful of others to worry about..."

Hey Everybody,

It was a pleasure meeting you, and I'm glad to throw my support behind you guys and arguably the most important cause of our time. I have an idea, some thoughts, and as promised proof that the 2004 election was stolen, and I believe they all work together.

Please read only what you'd like - you'll have to forgive me for the essay as I just felt like writing one, and believe the freshest analysis of a situation comes from the perspective of unfamiliarity. I've been working on ideas for a while and have a bunch I haven't touched on here, so I'm sure we'll politik and trade 'em later anyway...

I see my role as a "philosopher" as representing "the other" to shed a unique light on issues both within and outside a given circle. By nature it appears confrontational, but in reality I've seen it help create more inclusive paradigms that improve communication internally and externally.

For example, in hip hop I've represented with my "yuppie street-cred", and among yuppies with my "street-cred", helping clarify stereotypes and provide a more comfortable appreciation of "the other" as a potential ally.

As an "activist-consultant", I have a couple of immediate observations collected here:

1. PR Idea - "I AM CANADIAN!!!"

With their permission I wanna throw the boys in some flannel and give 'em a case of beer, and do some fun "I AM CANADIAN!!!" ads in print or video. Like any idea there are good and bad points, but having run through them myself I believe overall it's impact would be positive. Millions of Canadians loved the original Molson commercial and will appreciate the irony of disgruntled Americans saying it, thus ratcheting up pressure to let them stay.

2. Essay - The Spectrum of the Left

Within the Left and among intelligent knowledgeable people, I see many staking their claim to an exclusive set of of proofs while denying the possibility of others even within the same struggle. We're all smart and we all know a great deal, but it seems odd after the 4 year public character-indictment of The Bush Administration (and the brutal history of the 20th Century!) that we deny anything is possible.

To wit: "Bush stole 2000 for a fact, but he won 2004 fair and square by running a great campaign against a crappy opponent". Even if I know the former, how can I settle on the latter "officially accepted story" when: 1) a clear precedent was set; 2) these guys lie and cheat all the time; 3) others are passionately telling me otherwise?

In doing this, and in failing to recognize increased governmental control over the media and political process over the last 4 years has made it tougher to find "proof" or "coverage" of "everything", we are acting exactly like people who follow mainstream news and don't believe "us" when we speak of the "war crimes" committed in Iraq.

There are many layers of information and analysis, but it's clear that those who dig deeper in certain areas almost always find compelling information - and deserve the benefit of the doubt. With "the most secretive administration in history" classifying documents at a rate of "125 per minute" (NY Times - main editorial), "conspiracy" theories make perfect sense.

After all: aren't they always conspiring to screw somebody?

(If you ask me, "culpability" theories seems a more appropriate title.)

From Jon Stewart to Michael Moore to Amy Goodman to Noam Chomsky to Eminem to Seymour Hersh to Chris Rock to DailyKOS to Randi Rhodes to Alex Jones to... well, everybody who opposes them, we've got a huge well of information to draw upon. Rather than only endorse the narrow sliver of Left-wing political thought we've studied in detail, it makes more sense to realize when people are saying something passionately for a long time without being analytically discredited into oblivion, they should be given the benefit of the doubt.

We can't all check primary sources - and frankly, many say we can't trust a damn thing anymore in a world with too much misinformation.

So, a new formula for seeing:

+ how many people are saying something
+ for how long do they continue saying it
+ for whose benefit are they saying it
+ despite what losses in money or fame

= default credibility

would be a handy way to make peace with peacemakers that more people should adopt.

The "Swiftboat Veterans for Truth" came and went as a false-front movement; the ones that last despite economic and social stigmatization and without corporate support are arguably in the process of finding out something.

We all casually endorse "the military-industrial complex" as the source of much of the worlds military aggression, and yet just as casually we dismiss those looking into it as "conspiracy theorists" - despite their growing number and long history. This bizarre paradox is just fearful hypocrisy, and structurally weakens the integrity of the anti-war movement by marginalizing those who's information ultimately supports it.

With the Left "losing" right now, I believe we're scared to endorse anything that isn't totally proveable - by our own varied standards, for fear of discrediting the entire movement - thus playing into their "divide and conquor" strategy. Nothing has "worked" so far, so we are hyper-critical of even the biggest success stories for still not doing it exactly "right".

(e.g. "Fahrenheit 9/11" - a winning horse to bet on if I've ever seen one.)

Even the most sympathetic mainstream press and "Soft Left" are painstakingly careful in laying any charges against the Bush Administration, knowing that they have to brace for an echo-chamber attack, and spinelessly playing into it by artificially neutering and separating stories from the bigger picture or any News As Narrative.

So, they pussyfoot around "what Karl Rove did to Valerie Plame is probably wrong, but is it illegal?" or "blowing up Iraq was a mistake, but we have to stay to save it" nonsense, ripping the guts out of liberal arguments that argue for anything but the status quo (i.e. the "investigation" or the "war") - as if status quo checks and balances aren't routinely corrupted by power.

Overall, even the most pessimisstic mainstream pundits optimistically suggest that: "America goes through cycles, we'll go through some hard times and may take a few (5 - 10?) years to come out of - but we'll bounce back! America will recover from this collective insanity and be good as new!"

They seem to forget historically that the most authoritarian cycles of "political corruption" by "empires" have lasted much longer - even Russia and China lasted 50+ years as only the second and third most dominant of the 20th Century. There is widespread agreement that America is the most dominant "empire" in the history of the world, we've seen what previous "empires" have done to maintain and expand their power, and with the wrong people in charge we really do face "ultimate doom" (quoting Noam Chomsky).

This strategy applies to the "Hard Left" too, as I see many arguments deliberately separated from others, with a lack of personal "knowledge" illogically extending to an automatic lack of "belief" or "credibility". On the specifics the "Hard Left" is obviously more detailed and informative, but the "separation" anxiety over parallel questions is often the same.

In many circles today, just saying: "Well, I'm not one for "conspiracy theories..." gains people instant credibility for any crap that follows - including millions of sins of ommission.

I guess it makes sense to only endorse what you know...


A few years ago, if I said: "If the U.S. government was caught torturing hundreds of prisoners in Cuba, proof in photographs and video evidence was published and condemned around the world, and they saw a huge increase in terrorism - they STILL wouldn't stop doing it - and the American people STILL wouldn't ask them to!!!"

You wouldn't believe me.

Draft-dodging, Koran-flushing, Osama-dodging, WMD-flushing... unfortunately it's going to take a lot more than "proof" to convince enough people this mess is "wrong" on too many levels, especially in a corrupt system of deliberately complex disinformation designed to bore or bully people into accepting the official truth.

It's going to take the widest set of connected proofs across The Spectrum of the Left to reach the widest variety of people, building a comprehensive narrative anyone can tap in to follow at any chapter. All roads lead to the same destination - with new maps being built all the time, and people can look into it further until they finally realize that even within the obvious construct of a corrupt system these are quite simply (especially) "bad people".

Our cynicism is often only tempered by our worship of power, including both the government and the mainstream media: so this problem is a doozy.

The powerful neo-con think-tank "Project for a New American Century" (PNAC) is responsible for America's recent aggressive foreign policy, and many members of the current administration are founders and disciples. They believe in "Full Spectrum Dominance", or America's "right" to perpetually economically and militarily dominate the entire world to preserve their interests - reacting instantly and forcefully to those who oppose them.

(I won't get into the "Straussian" stuff here - but trust me, the goal of "permanent revolution" makes sense when you read that paragraph again.)

I believe in "Fuel Spectum Dominance", or the idea that we are all "fueled" by information further to the "Left" of our personal politics that deepens our knowledge and understanding and inspires us to speak on it. We all make editorial choices about the information we deliver based on our respective audiences (work/home/church/gym), but we also seek more than we'll always say and are energized by the work of those who say it.

To wit: I'm sure somebody talked to Michael Moore about 9/11 anomalies, and I'm sure he debated the benefits and harms of putting it in his movie, inevitably settling on the infamous "Bush classroom" footage for the widest possible audience.

Jon Stewart's the same: he knows a lot more than he challenges each guest with, and half the time he's "teaching" us his version of the right strategy to convince the most people. (e.g. "You can't just call people "Hitler!" [Please take] baby steps...")

Watching him interview Colin Powell and get confirmation of vigorous debate inside the government before the war - including the most members of the military completely disagreeing with the Bush Administration's war strategy, and you can see his prior knowledge facilitating the right questions and answers for his audience. Hopefully they'll look into it further, or at least recognize the lies in government propaganda officially disproven by "4-Star General Colin Powell".

I also can't believe any mainstream columnist in researching a topic stays within their narrow sliver of political thought - especially if they're critical of the hypocrisy of the Right as opposed to merely fleshing out their official Talking Points. I think Maureen Dowd of the NY Times (author: "Bushworld") gets more information than she can get published, and sneaks it into her piece in conscious or sub-conscious ways that convince her audience by (softly) speaking truth to power, and reaching who she can from the most famous Op/Ed pages in the world.

The fragmentation of information and entertainment has also lead to the widest variety of choices in history, so people are accustomed to their specific tastes being catered to and less open to the old "60 minutes at 6 o'clock" formula. This means "saying something from the heart" is not enough, as tactically we have to accept that it needs to be nuanced and tailored by different people for different cynical audiences - even as a "loss leader" to encourage eventual deeper investigation and understanding.

When competing against the seductive million-dollar-marketing messages of Nike, MTV and the X-Box, I'm willing to give more methods the benefit of the doubt in the hopes they'll work on more people.

If "Iraq" is too horrible for someone to think about, perhaps other information endorsed by the Left or anti-war movement will lead them there anyway, or lead them to filter "bad news" coming out of Iraq as likely true and the "good news" coming out of the White House as likely a lie. The more voices endorsed by the Left the more we grow the movement and inevitably Narrow the Enemies List, which will lead to more focused attacks on those directly responsible for: 1) the War in Iraq 2) the World we live in.

In fact, I'd like to take the 3 billion people who watched Bono and Live 8 and say: "Hey! We like Bono too! Take a look over here! The same bastards who are screwing Africa are blowing up Iraq too!" and see what happens.

This inclusive approach makes it possible to include everyone in the world not hell-bent on world-domination in the struggle. So, aside from Stewey, The Brain, Dr. Evil, Dr. Claw, Cobra Commander, Megatron... and a handful of others to worry about, we should be in pretty good shape to win.

- end -

3. The 2004 Election Was Stolen (But what will convince people?)

I'm guessing about a half-hour of Googling should do it, but three key points (among dozens) are:

1) Exit polls are never wrong, and they clearly gave Ohio to Kerry.

2) Electronic paperless voting machines are never a good idea according to ALL the experts, because they're easily manipulated. The Bush Administration insisted on those provided by companies with close GOP ties.

3) They didn't finish counting the votes before we all lost interest: Kerry's concession speech said "even if we counted them I wouldn't have enough to win" - and the mainstream media quickly moved on.

Bev Harris is the woman who's done the most work on this, her website is:

An article today quotes legendary Congressman John Conyers saying:

"Why is this important: because fraud occurred in Ohio; and that fraud is a paradigm for what we can expect in the 2006/2008 elections. If we can’t get fair elections, including a fair vote count, we Democrats will never regain control of congress and the White House. As a party, we are doing very little."


Wake Up America! What Went Wrong In Ohio – A Summary
Advice from Rep. John Conyers, D, MI
Monday, 18 July 2005, 2:48 pm

I believe that's more than enough from me, take care... :)

Peace, (NOW!!!)



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