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A Buycott Worth Buying Into

Posted by libhom Monday, May 30, 2005 0 comments

Media critic Jeff Cohen has come up with a brilliant idea of how to stand up for democracy in Venezuela. He has called for a buycott of Citgo gas stations. According to the Citgo Web site:

The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of PetrĂ³leos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.


Venezuela is the same country whose democratically elected government has been the target of an unsuccessful coup attempt by the Bush regime.

Buying gas from Citgo stations can help accomplish three important goals:


-supporting democracy in Venezuela and throughout the world>

-opposing the tyrannical and unelected Bush regime

-keeping money from going to the terrorist regime in Saudi Arabia

Related articles:


Bush Administration Behind Failed Military Coup in Venezuela

Coup-making in Venezuela: the Bush and oil factors

Venezuela coup linked to Bush team

The American Flag Is More Than a Piece of Cloth

Posted by libhom Monday, May 23, 2005 0 comments

Sadly, too many politicians are forgetting that the flag is not just a physical object. It stands for freedom. Yet, many congressmembers and senators are supporting a “flag desecration” amendment which restricts freedom. The American Civil Liberties Union is taking a courageous stand against this Amendment, and you can support their efforts.

ACLU Action Alert

It should be noted that this amendment discriminates against atheists by trying to impose the religious concept of desecration into the political discourse and into the Constitution.

Moyers on the Media

Posted by libhom 0 comments

If every reporter, editor, and publisher/news executive took the following quote seriously, our media would improve dramatically.

News is what people want to keep hidden, and everything else is publicity.


This is from an excellent speech by Bill Moyers at the National Conference for Media Reform. I heard part of it during the latest WBAI pledge drive, and it was quite inspiring.

Full Text of Moyers’ 2005 Speech

Moyers’ 2003 Keynote

More Corroboration of Newsweek Story

Posted by libhom Saturday, May 21, 2005 0 comments

Human Rights First: In Their Own Words: Detainees Tell of Degradation of Religious Beliefs at Guantanamo

NEW YORK – Detainees held at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay told their U.S. lawyers about the use of tactics intended to degrade their religious beliefs in a series of interviews that were recently declassified by the U.S. Department of Defense and were published at Human Rights First today. The charges are consistent with other allegations by detainees at U.S.- run facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, and with Defense Department reports that have already been made public.


In addition to the press release, Human Rights First has released a detailed report.

It is becoming even more obvious that trashing the Koran is part of the Bush regime's policy of torturing prisoners, not just in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also at Gitmo. This is typical of the Christian Right's book-burning mentality.

The Newsweek Story Is True

Posted by libhom Thursday, May 19, 2005 1 comments

Harper’s Magazine has released an interview with an Afghan prisoner who was an eyewitness to throwing the Koran “into the latrine.”

Even before this latest disclosure, it was obvious that Newsweek had backed down from an accurate story in response to political pressure from the Bush regime. The retraction is so typical of the right-wing bias and lack of journalistic standards so common in today’s corporate media.

Of course, the very notion of “desecration” is intellectually dubious, to put it charitably. But, flushing books down the toilet too closely reflects the anti-intellectualism of Bush and the rest of the Religious Right.

Congratulations to The Liquid List for sniffing this one out.

UPDATE: The International Red Cross informed the Pentagon about similar incidents in 2002 and 2003.

Smith Slaps HRC in the Face

Posted by libhom Wednesday, May 18, 2005 2 comments

Sen. Gordon Smith, R-OR, has decided to vote against the queer community and support the “nuclear option” which would stop filibusters of Bush’s most homophobic judicial nominees. This is an interesting payback for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) which endorsed Smith’s 2002 Senate campaign in spite of the fact that his opponent was more supportive on lgbt issues.

The HRC has a habit of endorsing some Republicans who are less supportive than their opponents each election. This obvious pandering to wealthy Republican donors has been rationalized in various ways, none of which have ever had much credibility. One favorite excuse has been that endorsing less supportive Republicans is a way to improve our community’s relationship with that party, which supposedly will help us in the legislative arena.

The HRC has been making these deceptive endorsements since at least 1994, and the national GOP is even more fanatical in its homo-hatred than before. You would think that the HRC would abandon a strategy that has failed to achieve even one important queer civil rights victory, if the misleading endorsements actually were part of a legislative strategy.

Smith has taught the HRC an important lesson, pandering to Republicans does not make them your friends. The HRC needs to hold Republican politicians to the same standards that they hold everyone else to.

Firefox’s “Killer Ap” Part 2

Posted by libhom Saturday, May 14, 2005 0 comments

Part 1

There are a couple of catches. Installing extensions violates the premise of many user-interface gurus who want to clear away too many options. If you get confused by lots of options, you will want to be very selective about which options you want. Another minor problem is that their model has been so successful in generating extensions, the design for the extensions area could use an overhaul. Also, their Search engine would probably do a better job in helping you find what you want if developers had to enter a mandatory description field with a minimum of 100 characters.

The interesting aspect of this is that no competitor can maintain any kind of advantage for a significant amount of time. If someone comes up with a new bell or whistle, it will be added by a Firefox extensions developer in short order. It looks as though open source is the future of browsers.

To add extensions to your Firefox browser, go to the “Tools” menu, then select “Extensions.” Once the “Extensions” window pops up, select “Get More Extensions” on the lower right. The Extensions window also is useful, because it lets you uninstall extensions that you decide you don’t want later.

You don’t have Firefox???? Upgrade your browser to Firefox.

Much attention has been given to this open-source upstart browser, focusing on its security advantages, superior user interface, and reduce file size compared to Internet Explorer. In the general U.S. web public, Firefox now has nearly 7% of the market share, bouncing IE to below 89%, down from 95.5% a year ago. Given that most users do not bother to even install a browser, this is remarkable.

In Europe, where people tend to be better educated than here in the U.S., Firefox has over 13% of the market (30% in Finland and almost 23% in Germany). Firefox’s share on the O’Reilly web sites was recently reported at 35%, which is hardly surprising given the tech-savvy nature of that audience.

With all the media buzz, the best feature of the browser is being underemphasized. Extensions are what truly separate Firefox not only from IE, but from Opera and all other proprietary browsers. This is where the strength of the open source model has its greatest effect. Any sufficiently skilled programmer who wants a new feature or to change the browser’s behavior has the ability to design extensions to the browser. The Firefox Extensions site also has a user rating system, with comments, which help you evaluate whether or not you wish to add them.

“Paste and Go” is my favorite. If you copy a Web address, you can right-click and choose “Paste and Go,” meaning you don’t have to then click on Go after pasting or hit the enter key. Even more useful is that extension’s “Paste and Search” feature, which allows you to paste your keywords into the browser’s search box and get results with a single right-click. Other extensions improve bookmarking, get rid of animated gifs, and change the behavior of tabbed browsing, something Microsoft has yet to even implement in its browser.

There are serious developer tools, like validation of code, a color picker, and a screen reader validator. There are sublimely silly extensions, including one that makes the text on the pages sound like they were uttered by the Swedish Chef.

Part 2

One indication of how pervasive the right-wing bias is in corporate-owned media can be found in the burying of Gannongate. Let’s review the situation.

- A man posing as a reporter gained access to the White House on numerous occasions under an inaccurate name.

- The organization he worked for was a front for the Texas GOP.

- This person was given preferential treatment at Bush’s press conferences in return for softball questions which primarily served to glorify Bush and vilify the opposition party rather than obtaining information for the public about the Bush regime and its policies.

- There are allegations that Guckert/Gannon received classified information about the identity of a CIA agent whose husband offended the Bush regime.

- There is no indication that a proper vetting was done on Gannon before giving him access inside the White House, a serious security breach.

- The Gannongate scandal happened at the same general time that the Bush Administration got caught paying off fundamentalist propagandists Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher with government funds.

If something like this happened during a Democratic administration, every major news outlet would flog the story to death. Republicans would start impeachment proceedings, and they would be quite correct in doing so.

Gannon seems to be starting a pity campaign to get queers to ignore the story. But, it’s tough for me to have any sympathy for him when he has been completely disloyal to the lgbt community. Gannon has propagandized for Bush, a fanatical and dangerous homophobe and has been active in the homo-hating Free Republic crowd. He actually attacked a politician for being pro-gay (in this case John Kerry). Loyalty is a two-way street, something Gannon/Guckert/whatever has yet to realize.

The irony is that only sheer laziness by the Bush regime allowed Gannon to become the high profile player he temporarily became. If they knew he was queer, much less involved in porno/prostitution Web sites, the wouldn’t have been allowed anywhere near Bush’s press conferences.

Alternet has an excellent article on the subject by Michael Dietz, “Becoming Jeff Gannon”

Democrats.com is calling for a Special Prosecutor to investigate the scandal.

MoveOn is promoting a Flash animation that offers a solution to a relatively minor long term problem with Social Security during the middle of this century: eliminating the salary cap on Social Security taxation. As the animation points out, CEO’s pay a much lower percentage of their income to Social Security than police officers do.

Check it out

Onward Christian Spammers

Posted by libhom Monday, May 09, 2005 1 comments

There’s a fairly recent trend in spam: fundamentalist Christian junk emailers. One of the most prolific is from Christian Debt Removers. Christian Mortgage USA gets its licks in too. Even though I’m an atheist, I get emails for the “Christian Dish,” with the “best in Christian programming.” Talk about an oxymoron. I could even meet Talibanists for dating from “Christian Singles.”

I love how fundamentalist Christians, who love to condemn everyone else as “immoral,” have little or no standards of ethical behavior.

I can’t wait for emails selling “Christian” Viagra.

Positive Idea from Barbara Boxer and Lynn Woolsey

Posted by libhom Sunday, May 08, 2005 0 comments


Sen. Barbara Boxer 
The media tend to be more interested in covering Democrats when they criticize Bush and the GOP than covering Democratic policy proposals. It’s good to try to balance things out a bit.

Boxer And Woolsey Introduce Legislation To Permanently Protect The Sonoma Coast

It's important to defend America from the Republican Party's Talibanist agenda, but it also is important for liberals to present positive ideas. Being the lesser of two evils isn't enough.

I'm an apparently intelligent, liberal, not-too-generous, not-too-selfish, relatively well adjusted human being!
See how compatible you are with me!
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey

Bush Babbles Again

Posted by libhom 0 comments

During ceremonies commemorating the victory against Nazi Germany, Bush actually said the following:

"We are fighting this battle together. The struggle for peace connects us all."

The most notorious war-monger in the world today actually said he is struggling for peace. With Bush and his regime, truth is stranger than fiction. Article

Bush Wants to Make Iraq a Colony

Posted by libhom Saturday, May 07, 2005 0 comments

Rolling Stone has an excellent piece on Operation Iraqi Quagmire. The author saves the most interesting part for last:

---------------------------------

In fact, it may already be too late to prevent Iraq from exploding. Iraq's new government is stuck in a fatal Catch-22: To have any credibility among Iraqis it must break with the U.S. and oppose the occupation, but it couldn't last a week without the protection of American troops. The Bush administration is also stuck. Its failure to stabilize Iraq, and the continuing casualties there, have led to a steady slide in the president's popularity: Polls show that a majority of Americans no longer think that the war in Iraq was worth fighting in the first place. Yet withdrawing from Iraq would only lead to more chaos, and the rest of the world has exhibited little interest in cleaning up America's mess. Of the two dozen or so countries that sent troops to Iraq, fewer and fewer remain: Spain, Portugal, Hungary and New Zealand have already quit, and the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Italy have announced they are getting out. Even if the United Nations agreed to step in, there is little or no chance that the administration will internationalize control over Iraq. In the face of a full-scale civil war in Iraq, says a source close to the U.S. military, Bush intends to go it alone.

"Our policy is to make Iraq a colony," he says. "We won't let go."


---------------------------------

Article

Everybody? Loves Raymond

Posted by libhom Friday, May 06, 2005 0 comments

Looks like that annoying show is going to finally bite the dust, torturing people only in syndication. I could never get through more than 5 minutes of it without wretching. If I were Italian-American, I would be boycotting CBS over the negative portrayals of that ethnic group.

The program does show something about the state of network television these days. The militant fundamentalists at hate-groups like the so-called “Parents Television Council” have succeeded at censoring network tv to the point that only sanitized snores have a future on broadcast tv.

Two anti-Raymond links:

From Robotjohnny.com

From Downtownchickchat.com

MoveOn.org is fighting the Bush regime's efforts to wipe out Social Security:

https://www.moveon.org/donatec4/socialsecurity.html

Ex-Capitol leader in sex scandal
Spokane Mayor Jim West accused of molesting two boys

http://159.54.227.3/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050506/NEWS/505060305

And, the Religious Right says that liberal homos are the pedophiles.

Hello My Pretties

Posted by libhom 0 comments

It's going to be a bumpy ride.

Why did I start this web log?

I always thought I'd do something like this. Now, I have a cold, can't sleep, and don't feel like doing anything strenuous or productive.

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