Saturday, January 20, 2007

Internet Liars: Project much, Lee?

KSFO Hate Talk Radio 560
Lee Rodgers of KSFO is now a blogger!

Furthermore, he's thrown down the gauntlet to all "lefty bloggers" to see if they can keep up with us. If you were hoping for an apology, or any evident understanding of the not-very-complicated first amendment issues Spocko's interaction with Disney has raised - don't hold your breath.

On the other hand, if Disney was hoping this would all just go away quietly - Don't hold your breath for that, either. The Mouse is gonna end up looking bad and smelling bad for some weeks now, and if EFF and Spocko have grounds for some sort of suit against Disney and the former ISP, ... this could last for YEARS.

"INTERNET LIARS AND OTHER ASSORTED LOW-LIFE": "message: Get used to it, 'cause you ain't heard NOTHIN' yet! I don't roll over and play dead for people whose agenda I'm convinced would destroy this nation. I've travelled the world and learned long ago that, with all its flaws, it works a helluva lot better than most of the world!"

Ok, Lee, here's my problem with that statement. First, the "liberal agenda" you speak of is something you and your colleagues pulled out of your collective asses. Seriously.

I am by no means a liberal. Words have meaning, dude, dude and dudette, so I try and use them as Webster and the Queen would agree. In other words, "liberal" is not the opposite of "right-thinking gun-toting American," any more than Conservative is the opposite of "socialist commie pinko faggot."

Classical Liberalism is in favor of large, interventionist government as a guarantor of social "reform" and propriety.

Liberals (save for the Neocon variety) tend to be well-meaning knowitalls who are reasonably sure that on the whole they know better than most people what's best for them, for the nation, and civilization as a whole.

What they do not know is that five times out of ten, that which is good for the collective is bad for any given individual to some degree. The other thing they do not realize is that "knowing better" is NOT the same as knowing enough to meddle with any expectation of a good outcome.

I don't believe in messing with folks, either 'for their own good' or in order to 'uphold family values.' I don't have the right to mess with YOUR family to uphold idea - although I could make a case for both just by taking you at your own words. Yep, by the things you say, I could make a real good case you are a likely abuser in private - and probably the victim of abues. So I have you coming and going.

Or on the other hand, I could just repect your wish to not deal with your own shit. Hell, as long as you are yelling at a mike instead of me, I'm cool with that. I figure people can choose their own poisons, be it Scotch, bile or Oxycontin. But on the other hand, don't expect me to support your habits either, when your share of the public airwaves could be better used for... oh... poetry reading, classical music or baseball.

And I understand that's what several sponsors felt. They didn't feel like having their good names associated with your mouth. That's their right, sir. Spocko didn't say they had to pull their accounts, he asked them if they WISHED to be associated. They did not.

I believe in minding my own business and letting my neighbor mind his - unless and until my neighbor yells for help. That way I avoid the mistake of "one size fits all" solutions, which are generally create more problems than solutions, and cost a lot more than just, say, handing five bucks to a beggar and giving HIM the responsibility for spending it wisely.

At the very worst, I've bought him a beer in a warm place for more than an hour and a reasonable portion of his daily caloric intake. I am choosing to make use of his self-interest to maximise the benefit of my choice to be charitable.

In other words, I'm a Libertarian. I put my faith in the broad ability of well informed and well educated people to take care of themselves most times, take care of each other if given access to resources and trusted with them, and to know when they have to grit their teeth and ask directly for support, either for themselves, or for a cause or a need. (To complain, sir, is to volunteer.)

In this case, my neighbor Spocko yelled for help, and a lot of people came a-runnin,' in support of him, the Constitution of these United States and the "fair use" provision of copyright law. You might consider it to be a first-amendment militia, defending our little electronic villiages against the giant stomping mouse that wishes to tax our "t", copyright our "m", and register "e" as a trademark.

Needless to say, I oppose this giant corporate attempt to preserve the profitablity of talk radio in your market by exploiting the ignorance of your advertisers, whom I assume to be unaware of your slant, and the ignorance of your viewers - who are plainly ignorant of most everything other than that.

For this, I'm sure you'll have some choice words. But then, people who speak truth bluntly, without regard for the tender feelings of those they legitimately criticise are often yelled at.

For expressing my views I've been called a socialist - which is absurd; a liberal, which is ignorant, and an idealist, which causes me to chuckle aloud in a particularly cynical and evil-sounding way.

What I trust is self-interest. Mine first and yours, and everyone else's, knowing that I'll be wrong in some cases - but far less often than not, and I'm not willing to spend money, time or attention on figuring out who deserves this or that. Life is too damn short.

So, why am I blogging about this? Indeed, why am I intruding into Lee's field, as a call in talk show host, Saturdays at 2PM PST (7PM Eastern, if my fingers aren't lying to me)?

Well, it's in MY self-interest. I'd like to be heard, I have got views, and as Lee has proved, you don't have to understand what you are talking about to get a gig as a talker. However, other skills ARE required. For an illustration of how rusty and unpracticed my skills compare with Lees... Click here. Lord have mercy on me, I sucked.

The difference between me and Lee? I understand how to get better, and getting better doesn't require that I choose between my purse or my concience. For Lee to compete, he's gotta lean left, because the Right is sewn up - and losing traffic.

Me, I don't gotta do anything but practice. And I owe a debt to Ira Blue, who's rolling in his grave at the embarrassment of having such a trio of cretins eroding the KGO family reputation.

So, Lee; welcome to the blogosphere. I have to confess that your writing is a lot better than my talking, so I think you have an actual chance. Of course, it's even more fun if you allow comments - that's where the challenge begins - and where the traffic comes from.

Anyway, Lee, I'm after your job, Metaphorically speaking. No way I'm moving to San Francisco; you can't smoke there. But I'll be in a paid radio gig a lot sooner than you replace anyone in the marketplace of ideas, I gotta tell ya. Sorry about that, but you really need to read some books and check out the footnotes.

My call in number - should you care to know - is {646) 652-4834. I'll be at your disposal every Saturday at 2pm, and I'm scheduled for 60 minutes.

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Regaring KSFO "HOT TALK" Hosts

"Eef ju are gonna shoot, shoot! Don' talk!" - The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

One IS tempted to suggest that all such pointy-headed pea brains be encouraged to go put their pale white asses where their loud mouths are. On the other hand... maybe NOT such a good idea.

BIBLE WARNING

You will want to pass this on. It's fundimentally hilarious.

Googlebomb McCain for Peace

We must destroy his credibility in order to save it. Or is it that "It takes a global village to raze some McCain?"

On The Left Tip: Googlebombing is In The Air

Via this post by Chris Bowers on the recommended list at Daily Kos:
--1. Finding a recent new article from an established news sources that focuses on McCain's support of George Bush. I have determined that the first such article will be the beautifully titled McCain Defends Bush's Iraq Strategy from the Associated Press. It is hard to get any better than that. In fact, it was seeing that headline today that gave me the idea to conduct this campaign.
--2. For an extended period of time, several weeks if necessary, having as many people on the internet as possible embed a hyperlink to the chosen article whenever they use the word McCain, John McCain, Senator John McCain, McCain 2008, or any other popular search term on McCain.

--3. Having as many bloggers as possible place that same embedded hyperlink into the templates of their blog. Instructions on how to do this, and why it is important, can be found here. This will multiply the impact of any Googlebomb on McCain several hundred times. This process is also helped if people on community websites place the appropriate embeded McCain hyperlink in the signature line of their user interface.

--4. Monitoring the progress on the current McCain Googlebomb until it moves into the top five results on McCain in Google. Once this is accomplished, and it should only take a few weeks, we then start the process over again at step one with a different news article that tells the truth on McCain.
So Google Bomb John McCain. No McCain 2008, No John McCain, No McCain, no Straight Talk Express, and certainly no maverick can spew the party line and not get called on it.
I have to emphasize that the "new plan" is no more a plan than the old, completely non-existent plan. And to answer McCain's collywobbling - the worst that could happen in the region is - in my humble opinion, still no worse and slightly better than having it happen with us still there. The odds of some sort of worst happening, Sen. McCain, are not improved by staying this course, the previous course or any course supported by you or the Miserable Failure.

Celeb Kisses for Homeless Pets

I suppose there is something brutally cynical I could say about this, about our cult of celebrety, about cheap guestures... but I just can't. It's cheap, obvious and it probably isn't true. Besides, who wouldn't kiss a postcard for the Humane Society. The story would be, if any, who was too damn self-important to muss their lipstick.

Extra points to Gene Simmons, of course. He had to take his off and apply fresh. Black just isn't the right color...



Even more popular than this one?



Go figure. Of course, this is pretty good and pretty easy publicity for the stars, as well as a really good way to crank out some memorabilia for fans and support a good cause.

But there's one celeb who's sincerity in supporting this cause is utterly unquestionable:



20% of the net sale for all Humane Society Postage goes to support the programs of The Humane Society of the United States. Net sale is defined as the difference between the sale value and the face value of the postage. For more information regarding The Humane Society of the U.S. programs and services, please visit www.hsus.org, or write to: The Humane Society of the U.S., 2100 L Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20037

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mentioned In Dispatches

You know, in the old days of print journalism, where I started out, at keyboard and layout "stone", an entire career could pass without being quoted in the Columbia Journalism Review.

But I have been Mentioned in Dispatches!
CJR Daily: Reporting (and Blogging) Across the Pond: "While the fear of losing access is undoubtedly real, many in the blogosphere felt it was not a compelling enough argument to go soft on politicians. Bob King of graphictruth questioned the very necessity of the Washington press corps, opining: 'Journos seem terrified that they will be denied access to the President's incoherent ramblings and Tony Snow's nonsense. I figured out years ago that all I need to know about either is that their lips are moving. Why in heavens name would you waste a perfectly good reporter on such a meaningless job?' King continued, criticising American journalists' 'unwillingness to ask awkward questions' as well as their 'unwillingness to deal with complicated issues.'
Goodness, mercy me. This Internet thing is really starting to catch on.

The Number is (646) 652-4337

I've just signed up with BlogTalkRadio to do a show this weekend. I'll be chatting and live blogging for at LEAST fifteen minutes about the whole KSFO mess. Who knows, maybe even one of the nutters from that show will call in and give me a piece of their minds. If, yanno, they can spare it.

Here's the details, so far.

I'll keep everyone posted. Meanwhile, add the call-in number to your mobile and while you are at it, the show's IM address, graphictruthdotcom on yahoo!

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I have to warn you, this IS satire.

YouTube - FBI phone tap LEAKED! Bush arguing with Condi over Hu Jintao




And now you know why I had to warn you.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Thoughtful Quickie

This great Valentine's Card template lets you make a great impression this Valentine's Day. Grab an image of his or her website, or a picture of you and put it somewhere handy. Write a verse or two of poetry and clipboard it. Then click on the template and follow the prompts. Yes, it's THAT easy to avoid getting unlaid this Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Framing the unspoken debate.

Metaphor, Morality, and Politics

Or,

Why Conservatives Have Left Liberals In the Dust


by George Lakoff

© copyright George Lakoff 1995
Please go read it now, than bookmark it and blog on it.

Here's the bit that I found of particular importance (because, of course, it validated my own thinking, and put words to some incoherent gut instincts.)

Moral Pathologies

It is one thing to analyze a moral system and another to criticize it. Criticisms of moral systems are often suspect because they come from within opposing moral systems. I would like to suggest that it is possible in various ways to criticize a moral system on other grounds -- either on structural or empirical grounds. I believe that is is meaningful to speak of moral pathologies, and I will briefly discuss three of them, namely:

  1. Deviational Pathology: Here a deviation from an ideal model turns out to harm people the ideal model was supposed to help.

  2. Foundational Pathology: Here a moral system contradicts its own foundations.

  3. Empirical Pathology: Here the moral system simply makes an empirical error about the helpful effects it is supposed to produce.

Lakoff then details things you need to read and think on yourself, in relation to your own moral priorities, ideals of family, and how things ought to work in general. This 'graph is what I wish folks to consider deeply before proceeding:

In short, both models can be misused. Many of the critiques of the models are really critiques of the misuse of the models. Are such critiques fair? Yes and no. No, because they not critiques of the ideal models in themselves. Yes, because those ideal models have to be used by real people, who will fall short in many cases in just the ways indicated.
That is what I find so electrifying about Lakoff's work. It's not that it justifies my own ethos, it's that it accurately predicts where the failure points for my particular ethos will be, and what my sort of screw-ups will look like.

In a somewhat more abstract sense, it clearly outlines the period of cultural warfare we have engaged in; a cultural warfare that not only explains the foundation of the War on Terror, but all the other Conservative, Christianist crusades against what progressives see as abstractions.

All sides see the behavior of their opponents as being deeply and fundamentally immoral, and I confess I'm no different in that regard. But through this lens I can begin to understand how those on the "opposite side" can have come to hold their positions sincerely, and I can start to actually argue the morality, rather than attacking persons.

I'll stake out my personal positions and observations in a subsequent and probably long essay, but I'm as much interested in the viewpoints of others; please forward this post to anyone who you would think of having a particularly interesting take on it.

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Mouse sez bring it on. Libs show up packin' glueboards.

This is one of those things I would ordinarily consider off my beat; blog wars and talk show wars are "Hard Copy" and "ET" material in my arrogant opinion, akin to gossip about whether or not Rosie and The Donald are really fighting or just hyping their respective ratings. But as the blogswarm spreads across the Internets, it's making navigation difficult in these here "tubes," One particular obstacle to navigation showed up in this comment thread on Echidne of the Snakes. unintentionally brought attention to issues vital to all bloggers - not just Libs, Lefties and Litigants.

It's a bit self-serving to reference a thread in which I gleefully participated... so let us just say that the consensus was that they just had to be a corporate shill. Considering the exact points (and the exact and particular bits of misinformation about "fair use" and "copyright,") I can't imagine what or who else they could be.

(I have yet to be visited by such a corporate shill. Just the odd spammer. I clearly need to work harder.)

Anyway, KSFO's response to all this was to pre-empt three hours of regular programming and devote it to Spocko-slamming. Their management referred to it as their "response."

I wonder how their advertisers feel about that hearty little "fuck you?"

Media Matters - KSFO's Morgan: "I wouldn't describe Friday's show as apologetic by any means"

Go read the Media Matters article for full - and I do mean EXHAUSTIVE context - in contrast to KSFO's blustering and whining about being "taken out of context."

One wonders what context would make it appropriate to require a caller to "call Mohamed a Whore," to refer to Barack Obama as a "Halfrican," or agree with a caller that all mosques in Syria should be blown up by cruise missiles when they are most likely to be full of praying Muslims?

Tell, me do, oh Disney/Viacom/ABC? Explain to us why this sort of speech is something that should not be brought to the attention of your advertisers?

The First Amendment guarantees the right to free speech - it does not guarantee the right to speak without response or consequence. Anyone who really respected the first amendment - rather than trying to hide behind it - would not have acted in any way that KSFO/ABC/Viacom/Disney have.

But fair use requires me to take this chunk... out of context. (from Media Matters, and quotes from their KSFO transcript.)

During the January 12 program, the hosts certainly did defend many of the inflammatory remarks that, in 2006, San Francisco-based blogger Spocko highlighted on his weblog and in letters to KSFO advertisers, before ABC Inc. issued a cease-and-desist letter that ultimately led to his blog being shut down. Nonetheless, on several occasions throughout the broadcast, the hosts emphasized that they had already apologized for some of the comments in question. For instance, when discussing his October 2005 remarks in which he asked a caller to "[s]ay Allah is a whore" in order to prove he was not a Muslim, host Brian Sussman said, "I realized what I said was over the top. It offended a lot of people. It could be deemed as being highly insensitive. And not only did I apologize once, but I've apologized several times since." Later in the show, Sussman addressed another controversial comment from December 2006 in which he referred to Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) as a "Halfrican" -- a term that Morgan repeated. Sussman said on January 12, "[A]gain, this is one that I've apologized for and I've mentioned that my comments were insensitive." He then complained that people "don't want to hear any mea culpa. They don't want to hear any excuse. They don't want to hear any forgiveness or the asking thereof."
Media Matters went to look for the apologies and could not find them. Perhaps there's a script involved that detects liberal readers and adjusts contents accordingly? Hm. I wonder if it can detect First Amendment lawyers?

Even the venerable and Very Professional New York Times has taken notice - and over at DKos, that notice is put into context. The Times has a long memory, and has not escaped the notice of Hate Radio Talkers heard on KSFO.

Their summation was this, and their "slant" on the story may be inferred in these three graphs:

Most of the callers were sympathetic during Friday’s broadcast, but one blogger who has supported Spocko’s cause, Mike Stark, was encouraged to call in. The extended dialogue perhaps can best be summarized by one exchange.

Mr. Stark: “You’ve spoken of the number of apologies you have tried to make. How many apologies does a professional get before they realize they are an incompetent and move on to another line of work?”

KSFO’s Lee Rodgers: “Well I haven’t apologized for anything and I am not going to start with you. How the hell do you like that, creep?”

From your lips to the FCC's ears, Mr. Rodgers. And thank you for a tour of your neighborhood.

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Wanna make your point about KSFO-ABC?

The Freeway Blogger has some ideas for getting a word or two in edgewise...

Fun With Hate Radio

Follow the simple instructions and maybe you can make a hate talker plotz on air.

George Bush: His greatest strength...

...we were told, was that he didn't overthink things. That he wasn't wishy-washy or flippy-floppy, and by God would not second guess decisions he'd made once he made them.

Bush: 'We're Going Forward' - washingtonpost.com: "'I began to think, well, if failure is not an option and we've got to succeed, how best to do so? And that's how I came up with the plan I did,' Bush said."


Still, at one time, a few years back, say; around 2002, 2003, there was a general, bipartisan feeling that he must actually think.

Left, right and center, we disputed the presumed basis of his thinking, argued the merits of evidence we assumed decisions were based upon, and again, left, right and center, made rational predictions as to the way forward or back based upon the best information we could come up with and our best understanding of our own ideological premises and those of our dissenting colleagues.

All of us have found ourselves looking like fools after presuming in public that whatever we thought of the President and his stated policies and beliefs, that he was sincere, the best informed person on the globe, and capable of putting two and two together to arrive eventually at four.

We were all wrong to the extent that we assumed his thinking was based upon noble goals, nefarious agendas, resource imperialism, the spreading of democracy, concern for human rights or even the desire to enslave every human being on the globe.

All of those goals - though ranging from silly to blackest evil - are based in some sort of sanity. The problem here is that we relied on a weak reed - and he snapped on 9/11. He was never the sharpest crayon in the box, Lord knows. Not the most incisive thinker, but we always presumed that he was amplifying his brains with the very impressive cerebellae that any President has at their beck and call. It never occurred to us that he was literally too stupid, mad or delusional to make sense of the advice given him, and we, in our need to have a good leader in such a time of crisis, turned a blind eye to the evidence of a man who's mind had gone - or was never there to begin with.

This whole situation boils down to his particular form of madness; an incapacity to take "no" for an answer or accept any limitations on his actions compounded with a complete inability to take real responsibility for the messes and mistakes he's made.

Even his most recent "assumption of responsibility" boiled down to "I got bad advice from The State Department."

You know, I generally work by the premise that you attack the position, not the person. I usually reject Ad Hominum attacks as invalid by definition.

But this is based on the unspoken assumption that the person HAS an argument based in a valid thought process that can be attacked or defended upon it's merits. This assumption has proven to be deadly. We have wasted six years believing there was a functioning, sane, rational brain attached to the hand upon the tiller. We have been governed and guided by the tics and twitches of an "intellectually challenged" madman surrounded by people with competing agendas and no leadership, trying desperately to rationalize his decisions after the fact.

From a perspective of principle and justice, I have favored impeaching the President - but now that I realize that he would have a legitimate defense of "diminished capacity," I realize this is a job that falls within the authority of the Surgeon General, not the Speaker of the House.

Those who are truly guilty are those who mindfully took advantage of a weak man - and that charge falls unerringly in Dick Cheney's lap. As do the consequences - to him personally and to the nation as a whole. As a nation and as a people, we have to come to terms with the fact that the good among us - and there are good amoung us of every political stripe - have done nothing useful to prevent evil from flourishing, because we have been seduced by partisanship and supposedly competing idiologies.

The saddest thing about this is that George W. Bush had all the advantages and experiences that make truly great presidents. He had personal contacts that are literally of strategic value. He had a family with unspeakable clout and experience. He had a Yale education and an inside track with both friends and foes. Most importantly, he'd been blessed with enough personal demons and occasions of failures to learn the many otherwise unteachable lessons truly great leaders need.

As philosophically partisan as I am and as little as I care for the "strict father" model of leadership that my philosophical opposites work from, I'd never say that it precludes good leadership, nor would I say it to be incomparable with coincidence or ethics. I just say that my way is inherently better, believing that sincerely to be arguably true.

What IS inarguable is that the strict father model requires far better, far wiser and far better informed leaders and followers than we have been given to rely upon. We are led by those who believe that Authority is both sacred and infallible.

As Dr. Phil would say: "How's that been workin' out for ya?"

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Difference, Disability or Distinction?


Down's Syndrome
Originally uploaded by Richard Bailey.

I've been thinking a lot lately about disability and mental difference - and not in the usual terms. You see, I've known deaf people (with and without hearing aids), autistic spectrum people, people with multiple personalities, schizophrenics and rather a lot of people who thought of themselves as "normal." I've known folks who couldn't see, folks who couldn't walk and more.

Some quantity of each were disabled by their mental or physical limitations. But it's come to me that most of the truly disabled people I've met would call themselves "normal," because of limitations they put upon themselves or put up with in order to be seen as "no different than plain folks." Those of us who can't contort ourselves in that way are, I think, somewhat blessed.

This is Georgina.
She works part-time as a chef at a leading restaurant in Cheshire.
She has won many, many medals at Special Olympics over the years in swimming and gymnastics and now she is a swimming coach for youngsters.

On top of all this she is a spokesperson for the Special Olympics.
I have been producing calendars to raise awareness of Down's syndrome and this image was shot for the 2006 calendar.
You can find out more information at:
www.ds2006.com
Also you can look at: www.ds2005.com to see images from the 2005 calendar.

Uploaded by Richard Bailey on 7 Aug '06, 12.54pm PDT.


Thing is, there is really no linear scale running from ability to disability, any more than there is a true "normal," even in the conditional sense of "a normal What?" (I consider myself a normal aspie, once I discount the PTSD.)

Granted, there are people who are really incapable of doing much at all. But this does not apply to most folks.

There are two primary sources of disability, in my experience; one is imposed from outside, and the other comes from inside. There is a tremendous fear and intolerance of difference in our culture, and one of the ways of coping with it is to define differences as "disabilities" that make such people inherently "inferior" instead of different.

We also have a strong streak of Calvinism that says that a normal person "ought" to be able to do every conceivable thing they need for themselves. That's absolutely laughable in this increasingly complicated world; there are very few people who can honestly claim to be self-sufficient at a standard of living most of us would consider "normal" or acceptable.

The fact is that we all need accommodation and consideration; different sorts in different ways. The thing that has yet to penetrate the collective skulls of this culture is that people like Georgina bring as much to the party as they need to take from it. This is true of me as well - and I hope it's true of you.

Whoever and whatever you are.

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