Ah, home for the holidays. m-pyre has divided into threes and flown home to nest -- Maggie to North Carolina, Marjorie to East Texas, and Mikaela to South Florida (a test drive of a new home, sort of).
So things may be quiet on the m-pyre front, as we recharge our batteries with lots of family and Christmas cheer.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Peaceful Ramadan, Happy New Year, Seasons Greetings, to all, and to all...
a good night.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Such a great feeling to read about bravery at the beginning of this season of peace.
Read here for the most compassionate, reasonable, and open response to bigotry and fear-mongering I've ever seen. The newly-elected muslim House Representative confronts the ignorance of Virginia Representative with a wall of acceptance. It's fantastic. I've never felt more patriotic.
(From a spiritual side, I've never seen a Christian with more to learn about Christian values than Rep. Goode [all of a sudden, this is a Hawthorne morality tale]. Christians who don't listen to Jesus really exasperate me. It's about loving your neighbor, people.)
Mr. Ellison: Well, what I’d tell [Representative Virgil Goode] is that, you know, there might be a few things about Muslims that he might want to know. He might want to know that Muslims, there are about five million in the country, that they’re here to support and strengthen America, that they are nurses, doctors, husbands, wives, kids who just want to live and prosper in the American way, and that there’s really nothing to fear, and that all of us are steadfastly opposed to the same people he’s opposed to, which is the terrorists.
And so there’s nothing for him to be afraid of, and that what we should do is to tell our constituents that we should reach to each other, not be against each other, and we should find ways for common ground.
I would urge Congressman Goode to have his congregation reach out to a synagogue or a mosque and start some interfaith dialogue so that we can increase understanding among each other, as Americans of different faiths. That’s what I’d tell him.
Mr. Blitzer: Do you think he’s a bigot?
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
What are they thinking? The Bush Administration in its death throes reminds me of all the low-budget horror movies in which the tentacled monster clasps the hero or heroine or whoever he can reach as he falls backward over the cliff or pitches into the sea.
Having been repudiated at the polls, having the Pentagon reject "Stay the Course" or anything like it, having a special panel of experts hand us an alternative way out of the Iraq quagmire, Bush in all his wrong-headed glory is pushing for one last gasp -- send a surge of troops to die in Iraq. Soldiers aren't working... what's should we do? Send more. Sounds logical to me.
There have been certain points in my life, albeit Generation X amnesia-soaked, where I have felt poised on the fulcrum of history, wobbling in the political winds blowing from the north and the south, east and the west.
Today, it feels drafty again. This in a week in which KUNM is reporting that UNM President Harris met with the group Stop the War Machine, and when asked what UNM researchers contribute to when paid by Sandia Labs and Lockheed Martin and others known for weapons development, President Harris said he didn't know, but that the science skills and knowledge gained by students was good enough. In my mind, he may as well have said, So what if they work on bombs?
There are rare moments when public opinion can tip the balance of government policy. We saw it all the polls -- maybe. We saw it during Vietnam. Polls are showing fewer and fewer Americans find Iraq palatable. The next question is: will we act? Our politicians are still paralyzed with indecision, not quite knowing which choice history will bear out as the right one.
Today and tomorrow and into the early new year, there's a small opportunity for a few voices to tip the balance toward peace, away from empire. Who will speak? I am listening. What I hear is a circling of wind through Christmas bells.
May we choose peace. May our world become whole. May we be well.
From Democracy Now:
Joint Chiefs of Staff Oppose Sending More Troops to Iraq
The Joint Chiefs of Staff are unanimously opposing a White House plan to send up to 30,000 more troops to Iraq. According to the Washington Post, top Pentagon officials have warned President Bush that a short-term troop increase could give a boost to virtually all the armed factions in Iraq, without strengthening the position of the US military or Iraq's security forces in the long term.
Pentagon: Violent Attacks in Iraq At An All-Time High
As Robert Gates was being sworn in, a new Pentagon report revealed that attacks against American and Iraqi targets are at their highest level ever. ...The Iraq Study Group report concluded that the government is significantly underreporting violence in Iraq.
Robert Gates: Failure in Iraq Would Haunt Our Nation For Decades
- Robert Gates: "All of us want to find a way to bring America's sons and daughters home again. But, as the President has made clear, we simply cannot afford to fail in the Middle East. Failure in Iraq at this juncture would be a calamity that would haunt our nation, impair our credibility, and endanger Americans for decades to come."
Sen. Reid Supports Temporarily Sending More Troops to Iraq
The top Democrat in the Senate has said he would support President Bush's call for sending thousands of more troops to Iraq. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He spoke on ABC's This Week.
- Harry Reid: "If it's for a surge, that is, for two or three months and it's part of a program to get us out of there as indicated by this time next year, then, sure, I'll go along with it."
Colin Powell: U.S. is Losing War in Iraq
Meanwhile former Secretary of State General Colin Powell has said he opposes the idea of sending any more troops to Iraq. He also admitted the U.S. is losing the war in Iraq.
- Colin Powell: "So, it's grave and deteriorating, and we're not winning, we are losing. We haven't lost, and this is the time now to start to put in place the kinds of strategies that will turn this situation around."
White House Tries to Silence Ex-Official from Criticizing Iran Policy
A former Bush administration official is accusing the White House of trying to silence him from criticizing the president's policy on Iran. Former National Security Council official Flynt Leverett recently drafted an op-ed intended for the New York Times on Iran. The CIA cleared the article but then the White House blocked its publication. According to Leverett, the White House is demanding that he removes entire paragraphs that detail publicly known information about how Iran cooperated with the United States in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and how Iran offered to negotiate a comprehensive "grand bargain" with the United States three years ago. Leverett accused White House officials of using fraudulent charges of revealing classified information to keep critical views from being heard. Leverett said "Their conduct in this matter is despicable and un-American in the profoundest sense of that term." Leverett is the former Senior Director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council and a former senior analyst at the CIA.
U.S. Army Considers Breaking Goodyear Strike
The Financial Times is reporting that the U.S. Army is considering measures to force striking workers back to their jobs at a Goodyear Tire & Rubber plant in Kansas. 17,000 members of the United Steelworkers have been on strike at 16 Goodyear plants since October 5th. They are seeking greater job security and continued healthcare after they retire. The military relies on a plant in Kansas to make tires for Humvee trucks and other equipment used in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to Duncan Hunter, outgoing chair of the House armed services committee, the strike has cut output of Humvee tires by about 35 percent. On Saturday, solidarity actions were held in support of the striking workers in over 100 cities around the country and in Canada.
Report: Blair Knew Iraq Had No WMDs
The Independent of London is reporting the British government's case for going to war in Iraq has been torn apart by the publication of previously suppressed evidence that Tony Blair lied over Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. Britain's key negotiator at the UN testified privately that Blair knew Iraq possessed no weapons of mass destruction. The official – Carne Ross told an official inquiry that at no time did the British government believe that Iraq's WMD capability actually pose a threat to British interests and that any threat by Saddam Hussein had been "effectively contained." The British Foreign Office had attempted to prevent the testimony of Ross from being made public.
U.S. Accused of Bribing UN Security Council Nations
Researchers at Harvard University are accusing the United States of using its foreign aid budget to bribe countries which have a vote in the United Nations security council. A detailed analysis of 50 years of data has revealed that the U.S. gives nations nearly 60 percent more cash in years when they have a seat. Much of the money is channeled through the UN's children's fund UNICEF which the U.S. has traditionally controlled. The current head of UNICEF is Ann Veneman – President Bush's former agricultural secretary.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
How bad is it that I've been gone for a month, and in that month been writing, reading, and engaging more than ever... just not on m-pyre? In a half-hearted attempt to jumpstart my blogging self again, here's a fun quiz* for a Tuesday afternoon.
Maggie's been hanging out at City Council meetings a lot because:
A) She has a huge crush on Craig Loy
B) It's the best comedy in town
C) She's a nerd in her job and her personal life
The best dinner party conversation Maggie recently had was:
A) The Wild Oats on Carlisle is the best place to get picked up in town
B) "Here here!" to divorce... and "Congratulations, newly engaged couple!" in the same breath
C) Little-known uses for Pop Rocks
Maggie's current opinion of Mayor Martin Chavez involves:
A) No change: Man is crazy!
B) Improvement: Man has vision!
C) Downward spiraling: Man is worse than I thought!
Which lyric from Damien Rice's "Accidental Babies" does Maggie find most haunting?
A) "Does he drive you wild, or just mildly free?"
B) "Is he dark enough to see your light?"
C) "Do you brush your teeth before you kiss?"
Maggie believes that a modern streetcar in Albuquerque would:
A) Be a much-needed first step to get people out of their cars in this *(#@!$ town
B) Be the spine of a balanced transit system in town
C) Help her get back and forth to Nob Hill bars a lot easier
How many Ms are in love?
A) None of us; we're too smart for that
B) All of us; we're too smart not to be
C) Some of us; it depends on our mood
Who does Maggie like for the Dems in '08?
A) John Edwards
B) Barack Obama
C) Dennis Kucinich
What does 2007 have on tap for the Ms?
A) Whatever Eric Francis says
B) Marriage, babies, and moves
C) Starting a commune (as soon as we can come up with a catchy M name for it)
Why should ABQ brace itself tonight?
A) Marjorie will be eating meat
B) The Journal editorial staff is resigning en masse
C) There'll be a Girls Night happening at a bar near you... ;-)
*Since planners are subjective, of course there's never one right answer... sometimes all these choices are true, and sometimes none of them are. We're obnoxious like that.
Monday, December 11, 2006
While its true that my first thought upon hearing that Pinochet was dead was "good riddance," I am not "glad" he's dead. Those two sentiments are not the same.
In truth, I would have preferred to have seen Pinochet brought to justice for his crimes before his death. His crimes were many: he presided over the whole sale murder of Chilean leftists, he initiated a rein of terror for those he left alive, and he was a thief. More broadly, he destroyed a democratic socialist government and paved the way for neoliberalism in Latin America. In this sense, he hurt us all...every last one of us. Speaking of neoliberalism, isn't it odd that Pinochet died very shortly after Milton Friedman, the neoliberal economist who gave him instructions? Frankly, I'd put Friedman right up there with Pinochet, along with the U.S. government, in culpability for the crimes I listed. Just because you don't have the actual blood on your hands doesn't mean you aren't responsible for your work behind the scenes.
You can never expect much from the mainstream media so don't expect good commentary now. But as you're reading all the drivel, much of which I am sure will mention the Soviet Union and Communism, keep in mind that Salvador Allende was a democratically elected socialist president of Chile. It was his government that was destroyed by Pinochet not some communist dictatorship. In fact, its the way of the right, not the left, to destroy democracies...history bears that out.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Augusto Pinochet died today and I'm not quite sure whether to be glad that one of the 20th centuries great embodiments of evil is dead, or whether to be disappointed that he never got what was coming to him.
And, it would be nice if our government could for once take responsibility for its own culpability in the atrocity of Pinochet's dictatorship. But as we all know, that is way too much to expect.
Labels: latin america
Friday, December 08, 2006
That's right. It's that time of year again.
Saturday, 7:30 pm @ Outpost Performance Space, slam poets will battle it out for a spot on the ABQ Team to head to the National Poetry Slam in Austin (August 2007).
The best of the best will become the City Champion.
This is one not to miss. Wheat's already separated from the chaff, etc.
this is for you.
- you want to check out what poetry slam is,
- or just hear good poetry,
- or go do something fun on a Saturday...
For Tickets: 268-0044
See you there.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
How do you like my dramatic title? What can I say...it was the thing that popped into my head as I was reading Erik's great history post about Sam "The Banana Man" Zemurray over on Alterdestiny. Yes, I'm having a bit of a lovefest with Alterdestiny this week...but its well-deserved. In this post, Erik describes the life of this guy Zemurray, who in order to build a banana empire in Central America provoked insurrections, coups, and armed conflict all in the name of his own profit. Its a very instructive synopsis of how money can corrupt government, and how democracy is never a given but rather constantly in danger of being completely undermined if not simply eliminated. Erik also gives an incredibly concise description of how blind consumption of goods that are "marketed" to the public can lead to not only mass bloodshed but incredible environmental destruction. In this passage, he describes the environmental consequences of one man's determination to make money off of bananas, which had before been considered a luxury item:
"The US demand for bananas, which soon became one of the cheapest fruits on the market, also spawned widespread environmental destruction. Millions of acres of native jungle were destroyed to provide for bananas, decimating wildlife populations. The monocultures that replaced the jungle became susceptible to diseases such as Panama disease and Sigatoka disease. Today, much of that originial Cuyamel and United land cannot support bananas."
This is, of course, how the much vaunted market works. A person decides to make some money so looks for a product. Upon coming up with an idea, that product is "marketed" to the public, composed of people who probably never realized before they needed that product. And because it is generally presented completely devoid of any kind of context about how its production impacts people or the environment, the public will blindly consume it.
We see the impacts all the time. Sweatshops are a good example, or piecework at home that forces young children to work brutal 20 hour days. I saw that with my own eyes one evening after dark in India...a child sewing away on a beautiful sari. Or the food production industry in this country that abuses animals at the same time it grossly pollutes our water supply. Or the complete destruction of the ocean itself. There are countless examples, from history and from today.
This dilemma of blind consumption begs for a new way of doing business. Rather than digress on an elitist tear about the grossness of the American public, I will simply note that there is no systemic way for the public to make informed decisions about these things. Specific issue activism itself is a great thing. For instance, child labor laws are, in my mind, one of the greatest points of progress we've made as a society, and the elimination of child labor should continue to be an issue actively pressed everywhere. But we have to think broadly when it comes to how consumption decisions are made. We certainly see heightened awareness of this issue when it comes to Global Warming. And certain efforts, such as the Fair Trade movement, are a step in the right direction although not an actual solution. Our government recognized a long time ago that capitalism has to be countered by strong social welfare programs and regulations. In the face of how capitalism works, its imperative now that we construct mechanisms to counter the destructive nature of our consumption.
Mikaela reposts a plea from a close friend:
NM State Representative Mimi Stewart has been a great supporter of Tricklock, the Duke City Shootout, UNM's Sustainability Studies program and more initiatives I care about...
A close friend reposts a plea from Mimi Stewart:
I apologize if you got this mail from me before, but I am asking for your immediate help. I am running for the Majority Leader of the NM House of Representatives and am locked in a head to head battle for votes with my opponent through an Internet blog.
Now, I ask you, when do YOU ever get to vote for Majority Leader? The answer is now, if you will go to the following blogspot and vote in the upper right hand corner, for me, of course, I hope.
Of course, it's not the real vote, but I'm trying to win in the dominate media, which in this case is the Internet. Please ask your friends and family to do so also. Thanks so much!!
PS. The real vote will be Dec. 18 and will be decided by 41 Democratic members of the House of Representatives. Stay tuned!
Labels: new mexico
Friday, December 01, 2006
Ah, vindication is sweet. Finally! Another good sign that all is not lost in America.
Happy Holidays, everyone. Peace to all.
From Democracy Now:
A Colorado couple has won their battle to keep a holiday wreath shaped like a peace sign on the front of their house. Last week, Lisa Jensen and Bill Trimarco received a letter from the board of their homeowners association threatening them with fines of $25 a day unless they removed the peace wreath from their house.
The couple refused and as word spread, others in their town put up peace wreaths in solidarity. Earlier this week, there was a march of people carrying peace signs through the center of town. And a peace wreath has been placed on a bell tower in the middle of the town square. The town website also posted a message saying that it wholly supported the Jensen/Trimarco wreath and "also wishes for peace on Earth."
The three-member board has withdrawn their demand, issued an apology to the couple and resigned from the association.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Check out the comments to Norman Lear's article in the Washington Post about respect and tolerance for religious belief.
We got problems...
Not sure what this Christian was doing up on the Internet so late, but ...
Posted November 29, 2006 1:16 AM
And this deep thinker:
Posted November 29, 2006 9:37 AM
Check out the nuance shown here:
These were the most vitriolic entries, I admit, but check it out and see everything on the spectrum of belief. If I had lots of time, I'd chart them and do the percentage to find out just how much trouble we're in.
Posted November 29, 2006 11:06 AM
This is one of the biggest reasons why we thought to separate government and religion in the first place. There is way too much at stake for people to base rule of law on the beliefs only some of us share and some of us would die -- or kill -- for.
Heap o' trouble. Oh boy.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Mainstream media has begun to label Iraq a civil war. Academics who study these things are finally satisfied. The White House isn't happy.
Here's standard criteria by which to judge a civil war:
She says yes to all above in Iraq since 2004.
By Monica Duffy Toft
There are six criteria for considering a conflict a civil war.
Q. Is the focus of the war control over which group governs the political unit?
Q. Are there at least two groups of organized combatants?
Q. Is the state one of the combatants?
Q. Are there at least 1,000 battle deaths per year on average?
Q. Is the ratio of total deaths at least 95 percent to 5 percent? In other words, has the stronger side suffered at least 5 percent of the casualties?
Q. Is the war occurring within the boundaries of an internationally recognized state or entity?
What the **^%$%& is this?
Courtesy Democracy Now:
U.S. Stops Describing Americans as "Hungry"
In news from Washington, the Bush administration has stopped using the words "hunger" or "hungry" when describing the millions of Americans who can't afford to eat. Instead of suffering from hunger, the Agriculture Department now says these people are experiencing "very low food security." The USDA estimates that 12 percent of Americans or 35 million people could not put food on the table at least part of last year.
I'm totally down with the latest exploration of white as a culture, not an invisible standard by which all other colors are deemed lesser.
Marjorie has often decried the lack of discussion around white culture, which could be a powerful organizing tool if taken to the suburbs and taken out of the hands of supremacists.
Cheers to Out ch'YondA for once again leading the way in celebrating all diversity and enriching our cultural discussions here in the Q.
Explore the unexplored territory of White identity through art, intellectualism and radical thought without trashing White folks--not even hillbillies.
White artists from the community include:
- Bryan Konefsky
- Bill Nevins
- Ourania Tserotas
- Mark LeClaire
- Peter Chase
- and more.
Together, we can bridge the historical, social and psychological gaps around Whiteness and bring this identity out of the neutral zone in current times. Events include a gallery opening, poetry, film, performance art, music, panel discussion, anti-racism workshop, food and more.
- Opening Event: Friday, December 1 @ 6.00; $5
- Poetry: Saturday, December 2 @ 8.00; $5
- Brunch & Panel: Sunday, December 3 from 11.00 am-3 pm; $10
- Gallery Opening: Friday, December 8 @ 6.00 pm
- Films: Saturday, December 9 @ 7.00 pm; $5
- Anti Racism Workshop: Thursday, December 14 @ 7.00 pm; $10
- Music: Friday, December 15 @ 8.00 pm; $10
- Closing Event: Saturday, December 16 @ 4.00 pm; $10
For more specific information, please contact us at 385-5634Out ch'YondA Live ArtZ Studio929 4th St. SW9 blocks S of Central5 blocks N of Cesar Chavez385-5634
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Democracy Now reports:
Bush Sr. Lecture Audience Cheers Criticism of President
Former President George Bush Senior got into a verbal confrontation with a student audience in Abu Dhabi Tuesday after several people criticized his son’s policies. One audience member told the elder Bush she did not respect the President and what he’s doing in the world. The Associated Press reports Bush appeared stunned when most of the audience applauded in approval. Another questioner said US wars were waged to open markets for American corporations. Bush Sr. replied: "I think that's weird and it's nuts. To suggest that everything we do is because we're hungry for money, I think that's crazy."
That is money, people. Classic. I have got to find audio. What a fantastic early Christmas present!
Monday, November 20, 2006
Been working too much to write lately, and I'm off to North Carolina in the morning for the holiday. Hopefully I'll be full of writing upon my return.
Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone... I wish you all lots to be thankful for and lots and lots of yummy food.
They've got me thinking about all things nuclear.
Democracy Now reports that an insider has come forward with information that Cheney's office is asking intelligence agencies to cook the books about Iran's nuclear capabilities much like they did in order to justify invading Iraq for WMDs in the complete absence of evidence for WMDs.
That and the controversy over the inequitable treatment of Israel's nuclear capability vs. other Middle Eastern countries.
And our focus on nuclear energy as a viable option, coupled w/ news that researchers have found a way to speed the half-life of certain radioactive metals, so that instead of taking 10,000 years to become "safe," it takes 5,000. Not really a "solution" but clearly will be used to increase the optimism of human control over radiation. [Heard on Living on Earth, October 27]
The reality on the ground for those working with these materials is often overlooked. This poem, written by Jeffrey Hillard, from Atomic Ghost: Poets Respond to the Nuclear Age, sums up for me the working man's perspective on the risk we ask him to take.
I want the sign to read, never come back again.
Instead, it reads, Safety Is A Man’s Best Friend.
I know each one: Alert! above the utility room.
Know Your Goggles near the loading docks.
I have partners who can’t spell half the words,
each orange letter a directive that keeps our
sleeves buttoned and hard-hats within reach.
A mishmash of phrases that exalt our lungs
above any skill; words bold as hot metal,
composed in some super’s office, under a cool fan.
They’ll never convince me that I’d burn myself
or remove my gloves near a blasting furnace
or breathe the fumes from a lead vat
rimmed with sulfuric acid.
I don’t need signs to echo my flaws.
A Careless Employee Is A Disaster In Uniform.
I already load sludge and leave my body
to the eyes of a detector scanner.
Since I drive a forklift, I look ahead,
not above. Today, something is different.
I imagine the tar-black walls swelling,
tiers of sludge frothing over the catwalks,
my lead shield coming apart, dust floating past.
I salvage my thoughts, especially after lunch.
I know it’s dangerous, but I’ll steer the lift
near a pit and join a crew for a cigarette.
We take three puffs, crush them on our hard-hats
and drop them in a shirt pocket. Safe, not sorry.
I’m not yet relieved. I imagine another sign
saying, All bodily cells replaced here,
but the wisdom I receive is Shower Thoroughly.
I find a blessing in each thump of the time-clock,
in the exit gate, in the sign whose broken letters
remind us to dump uniforms in the black barrel.
I say to no on in particular I do, I do.
I think, what else can I give? What else
do they want from a man whose name is duty
and paycheck, a man who sheds these clothes
like they’re footprints to be mopped and forgotten.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
It's all over the "news" this morning about the new O.J. Simpson book coming out in which he "hypothetically" describes how the murder would have happened "if" he had killed his wife Nicole.
You know, this book is utterly crass but that will be covered plenty so I won't go into it here.
The most interesting thing to me about this is how its covered as "news." There are certain news sources that tell us point blank what it really is, like this Washington Post article, by Lisa de Moraes:
"And, in one of those incredible coincidences that make covering the TV industry so fulfilling, the book is being published under the Regan imprint, headed by Judith Regan, who will conduct the interview with O.J. on Fox. And her publishing outfit, ReganBooks, is a division of HarperCollins, which is owned by News Corp. -- which also owns Fox!"
Ok, just to make sure everyone gets that:
News Corp. owns Fox and the publisher of this book, Regen Imprint. The book is coming out just in time for Christmas sales and Fox is promoting the book under the guise of "News" when it airs an "interview" with O.J. Simpson, as news...
There are other news sources that give us this tidbit as well, and to be honest, I don't really know how its being covered on the T.V. "news" outlets of choice for most Americans. Please, somebody tell me.
What is news really, for me, is the fact that so many "news" outlets are covering this as "news"...rather than the corporate money making venture that it is...just like any new product coming in time for our Christmas love affair with material goods. Just skim through all the "news" articles today and you'll see what I mean. In one after the next, the reporter never mentions the money angle...see for yourself here, here, and here.
Fox represents the utter corruption of the concept of News. Here we have a station that mixes shows with so-called news "commentators" and "experts" who are blatantly biased with these types of completely gross entertainment pieces masquerading as news. What kills me is how it reverberates throughout the "news" world, with bonafide outlets simply picking up the schtick and running with it.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Is it just me, or does this point to the fact that Bush contemplated -- or at least asked about -- not allowing the election, since we're "at war"?
Mikaela reposts courtesy Democracy Now:
Bush: Nation Should Be Proud Elections Were Held in Time of War
Over the weekend President Bush gave his first weekly radio address since the mid-term elections. He said the country should be proud that the elections were held even though the county is in a war.
- President Bush: "One freedom that defines our way of life is the freedom to choose our leaders at the ballot box. We saw that freedom earlier this week, when millions of Americans went to the polls to cast their votes for a new Congress. Whatever your opinion of the outcome, all Americans can take pride in the example our democracy sets for the world by holding elections even in a time of war."
Monday, November 13, 2006
First ClearChannel bought KBAC, then they watered down its programming.
Now they're selling it to a company that will change it to a Christian broadcasting station.
Below is a letter urging you to action to protest the sale and save this long-loved local community station. Time is of the essence.
Mikaela edits & re-posts courtesy Friends of KBAC, Radio Free Santa Fe:
has been making a difference in the LIVES of the community
11 years now.
It is time we as a community gave KBAC the same support.
RADIO STATIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
ARE BEING BOUGHT UP BUY BIG RADIO COMPANIES, REGARDLESS OF HOW COMMUNITIES FEEL.
THIS NEEDS TO STOP!
COMMUNITIES NEED TO BECOME MORE INVOLVED
AND GET BACK OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY RADIO STATIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
STARTING WITH KBAC!
Who is buying this station?
Clear Channel is in process of selling KBAC to a Christian Broadcasting Company, EMF Broadcasting out of Rocklin, California.
Who to write?
I encourage you to write letters and/or fax and EMAIL to the following addresses to air your opinions and get others in the community to do the same. Your letters will make a difference AND please make sure that a copy of your letter gets sent to Friends of KBAC, 223 North Guadalupe #533, Santa Fe, NM, 87501 so that we have a copy on file to send out as well when I write the FCC to protest this sale.
WRITE, EMAIL, FAX ALL NAMES BELOW
(especially Mr. DICK JENKINS, CEO, EMF Broadcasting).
FLOOD THEM WITH YOUR LETTERS.
THAT IS THE ONLY WAY WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
IT ONLY TAKES A FEW MOMENTS TO WRITE A LETTER.
IF YOU COULD PASS INFORMATION ALONG to others,
THAT WOULD HELP TOO
Attention: Mr. Joe Miller, VP
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Attention: Mr. Dick Jenkins, CEO
email : email@example.com
5700 West Oaks Blvd, Rocklin, CA 95765
Phone: 916.251.1600; Fax: 916.251.1650
and, go right to the source...
Clear Channel Communications
John Hogan, President & CEO
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Clear Channel Radio, Clear Channel Communications, Inc.
200 East Basse, San Antonio, TX, 78209
email : email@example.com
Jerry Kersting, Acquisitions
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone : 210.822.2828 / fax : 210.822.2299
and closer to home
Mr. Chuck Hammond, VP Sales, NM Market
email : ChuckHammond@clearchannel.com (Albuquerque Office)
Phone: 505.830.6400 / fax : 505.830.6599
5411 Jefferson NE, #100, Albuquerque, NM, 87109
but WHY stop there?
Governor Bill Richardson / MAIL: Office of the Governor,
Attention : Annette Sedillo, State Capital #400, SFE, NM, 87501
EMAIL : email@example.com / FAX: 505.476.2226
Mayor David Coss / MAIL : Mayor David Coss,
Attention : Marge Sandoval, 200 Lincoln Ave, SFE, NM, 87501
EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org / FAX : 505.955.6683
Senator Bingaman / MAIL : 119 East Marcy Street, SFE, NM, 87501, Attention : Landri Rush / EMAIL : email@example.com / FAX : 505.992.8435
FCC Commissioner Tate / MAIL : Commissioner Tate,
Attention : Susan Fifenne, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554 / EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org / FAX 866.418.0232
Attention : Chris Robbins, Media Advisor to Commissioner Tate /
EMAIL : Chris.email@example.com
What is going to happen?
Friends of KBAC plans on protesting this sale, BUT WE CAN'T DO IT ALONE. WE NEED YOU, THE COMMUNITY. When this sale becomes official on the FCC docket, we plan on fighting this sale to preserve the "REAL LOCAL" community radio station and its unique format with your help. If this sale does not go through, there will be an opportunity for the local management of KBAC to purchase the station. This would "FREE" KBAC once and for all from Clear Channel. The raised voices of the Santa Fe community are needed to prevent this sale as we as a community will have only 30 days to voice our opinions once this sale hits the FCC.
IS THE TIME TO WRITE, FAX, EMAIL AND VOICE YOUR OPINIONS.
How can YOU show your IMMEDIATE support?
Friends of KBAC will be needing volunteers, as we are going to need as many signatures and letters as we can get, so if you feel moved to become more involved and can spare a block of time, please contact Friends of KBAC at the email address below.
Skye Rivers, FRIENDS OF KBAC @ friendsofkbac.com
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Despite a new power balance in Congress, we're facing a time of more rampant religious warring in our own country and around the globe.
Fanatics on all sides are being roundly, and perhaps rightly, excoriated for intolerance, fear-mongering, prejudice, and violence.
But let's remember that religion itself is not to blame. Just as all things not taken in moderation can lead to imbalance and disaster, a little belief goes a long way. Believing in the support of a kind, generous, charitable faith community is a good thing. Advocating for a singular definition of the saved and the damned or the good and the evil or believers and non-believers -- well, that's where it becomes dangerous.
Interestingly, despite the Republican co-optation of the religious right as the keepers of all things "moral," American do not in fact have a singular belief in God. An overwhelming majority of Americans do believe in God, just not in the same one. Nor do they agree about how to behave to keep this God happy, if that's even possible, or the extent to which God is involved in our day-to-day lives.
Researchers at Baylor University found that Americans' images of God fall into four categories, which align miraculously, one might say, with particular regions of the country and with voting patterns.
- The South: "Authoritative God" who has strict rules and punishes -- conservative voters (33%)
- The West: "Distant God" who created the universe but isn't involved now -- liberal voters (24%)
- The Midwest: "Benevolent God" who believes in kindness and chartity -- moderate voters (23%)
- The Northeast: "Critical God" who is judgemental but doesn't intervene -- independent and economic conservative voters (16%)
Do we see harbingers of the time when political strategists market God images to attract voters? That might be a whole, huge can of wriggly worms.
On the positive side, we might begin to understand that as a country full of believers (92% of us), we need as much freedom to pursue our own gods as we need freedom to be all different colors, multiple genders, and the whole spectrum of political beliefs. Perhaps out of desperation, politicians will be forced to concede that their gods, and the gods of those they represent, must coexist with other ideas in order to get elected and rule with justice and compassion in the service of peace and community. Can I get an amen?
At the very least, even if Americans can't accept or acknowledge that different beliefs co-exist within our country, we can try to remember that our own level of religious belief is NOT like the rest of the world. Each country has its own compendium of beliefs, percentage of believers, and spectrum of fanaticism. Understanding ourselves better would take us a long way toward opening the door for an understanding and tolerance of others. Religions teach community; they can model peace. May we learn to live together and support each person's right to believe. Our lives depend on it, no matter what you believe.
Compiled from: Encyclopedia Britanica's Adherents of All Religions by Six Continents
Source: World Religions Project (Click here for full resolution PDF version)
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Maggie reposts, courtesy of The Nation:
It's Over for Bush
The year 2006 will long be remembered as the Great Retribution--or perhaps the Deliverance Election. George W. Bush's presidency is toast. Bush's potential to further harm the Republic has been greatly reduced. Most Americans stopped believing anything he said a good while back. This was their opportunity to tell him to his face. And they did, with such force and breadth that maybe even he and his cronies heard them.
Much credit goes to the voters and the Democratic Party. Not many off-year elections move history in a fundamental way, but this one did. Americans have elected an opposition that can now check the Administration's destructive policies and investigate its actions at home and abroad, while at the same time putting forth policies that begin to reverse the damage of the past six years.
Read the rest here.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
You know what's both amusing and annoying to me in the aftermath of the Democratic sweep of Congress? All the "put up or shut up" talk in the media. As if the Republican control of our government over the past six years hasn't been one of the worst examples ever of gross mismanagement. We have an enormous debt that we might never crawl out from under, a war gone disastrously wrong (not that it was ever right) with almost 3000 U.S. troops and untold number of Iraqi's dead, huge tax cuts for the super rich, a wall reminiscent of Berlin being built on our border and a judiciary well on its way to being stacked with ideological reactionaries.
Let's take the issue of judicial nominees to illustrate my point. In this article, we have a political analyst from CBS, Andrew Cohen, saying this:
"But Senate Democrats will face their own pressure points if and when Webb prevails. No longer will they be able, politically anyway, to threaten to filibuster when the President appoints federal judges. If they obtain their majority, they will have a responsibility to fill the many vacancies on the federal bench-- some that have existed for years. If they balk at this job they will subject themselves to an honest charge of obstructionism, the opposite of what they pledged to do on election night when the extent of their victory became clear.
"There is an opportunity now, I believe, for real progress on the judicial nomination front, which has been mired for years in rank partisan conflict. The President has to know from these election results that he must govern with a more moderate focus. And if Webb prevails in Virginia Senate Democrats have to know that their newfound power brings with it newfound responsibilities to ensure that our federal judiciary is up and running at full speed, with many fewer vacancies than it now has. The moment is here. Let's see what the politicians can do with it. "
Where does CBS find its political analysts? No, the Democrats won't be able to filibuster any longer, they'll be able to flat out stop the stacking of the courts. And if the Republicans threaten to filibuster, the Democrats can do what they did...remember?? Of course, we all know the Democrats don't have that kind of hard ball in them.
As for the vacancies on the federal bench...who's responsibility is that, again? The Republicans had control of the Congress for 12 long years. Let's not forget that. What is this fellow talking about..."if they balk at this job"?? Something tells me that if Bush sends middle of the road judges to a Democratically controlled congress, that bench will get filled up quick...unlike the behavior of the Republican congress under Clinton or Bush. The Republicans held up the vast majority of Clinton's nominees and who can forget Harriet Miers??
This type of analysis is a good example of what is rampant in American politics...speaking and acting as if there was no yesterday. But nothing ever operates in a vacuum...and we can't judge today or predict tomorrow unless we have a good handle on that.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Today's going so well I'm bound to believe that anything can happen!
"Madrid Cuts Wilson's Lead"
Democrat picks up votes in latest Bernalillo County tally.
Although Democratic challenger Patricia Madrid leads incumbent Republican Rep. Heather Wilson in populous Bernalillo county by 700 votes, Madrid trails Wilson by 1,048 votes overall in the five counties that make up the 1st Congressional District, according to the latest roundup by the Associated Press.
But still to be counted are 4,850 ballots in Bernalillo County that were kicked out of machines and must be hand-tallied, County Clerk Mary Herrera told reporters this morning.
Full story here.
...was just calling my dad at his job site - far away from breaking news - to tell him that not only is Rumsfeld resigning, but that Jon Tester just officially won Montana.
There was a whoop, and a cheer, and a laugh, and then this question:
"Has W resigned yet?"
What an amazing day!!!
It was a very long day yesterday, so I came to work a little late. As I'm settling in here there are several things running through my mind.
Before I get to New Mexico, can I just first note the incredible moment in Nicarauga? Yes. Daniel Ortega is the new President Elect of that country. I don't have any observations to make about Ortega or what kind of impact two decades have had on the Sandinistas. Clearly they have had to change a lot. But in this moment, I think its amazing, simply amazing...that the heart-breaking Sandinista's are back. And this also represents one more domino in the resurgence of leftist governments in Latin America.
Also, KUDOS to South Dakota!!! While these mid-term elections are BIG on the congressional front, this electoral battle clearly shows the American mind-set about a woman's right to control her own body.
Now...on to the congressional races. Regardless of what happens here in NM-District 1, we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief that our federal government is no longer controlled by crazy right wingers. Because let's face it, the House is the place most of the real ones end up. I still don't think much will change, but am looking forward to watching the Democrats.
As for NM-District 1...how is it that we have such a razor thin margin here? Well, I think its due to the military presence, which represents a large pool of people who do go out and vote. We have a lot of work to do to counteract that presence if we want to send a Democrat to the House. It'll be very interesting to see how the numbers break down by precinct in the coming days.
...still watching. Can't break away.
The Senate seems so close, so real!
Marjorie and I left the party in a glum state after Wilson's press conference, so now I'm asking myself how bittersweet a Madrid loss would be with all these other amazing gains.
Of course, we never know until we know... But these numbers have spoken tonight, all around the world. And that makes me proud. I know the effort and heart and soul behind the Madrid campaign, that they tried their very best, and they were part of this sea change tonight, part of its spirit. But if that race doesn't prevail, it's gotta be okay. Tonight is bigger than one race, bigger than two candidates.
The larger battle has been won handily tonight, and Americans have spoken. That's the real victory, whatever happens with NM-01.
Optimism update, courtesy of Gene Grant: Lots and lots of ballots to hand count tonight. It's bigger than conservative precincts.
...freaking out, as Marjorie noted.
My insides are on a crash course between optimism and cynicism. The three Senate races left - Missouri, Montana, and Virginia - are all ones I called Dem, and we're still ahead in all three. But could we really take all three? Oh my.
As for NM-01... my stomach is in knots. I seriously felt like I was going to throw up a minute ago. That feeling, the deja vu of bad things about to happen, isn't something I wanted to go back to tonight. The caveat is that the House is ours, thank goodness. But yeah... hiding out here in the dark, quiet press room is about all I can take right now. The cheering through the wall makes my stomach knot up even more.
It's been fun watching Big Bill do his press thing back here. Richardson was my commencement speaker when I graduated from college in Boston... how weird is that? Small world.
C'mon, Senate. C'mon.
Update: Uh oh. Heather just announced that the precincts left are all conservative ones. If that's true, Madrid's done.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
In case any of you were wondering, Maggie is sitting right here with me in the press room (Sophie from fabulous Duke City Fix is here too). Unfortunately, my fellow M can't stop biting her nails long enough to post on m-pyre. But never fear...she'll surface any minute.
Labels: election '06
and here's live:
Yep, that's Bill. I think just about every Democrat in the state must be here tonight. The energy at the Hotel Albuquerque at the moment is intense...there's a very large crowd and a lot of very happy people.
And they should be...an incredible amount of hard work went into taking back the Congress this year...and it looks as though the House at least has finally come back to the Democrats. All I can say is...it's about freakin' time America!!!!
I'm in the press room right now, sitting close to the fellow in the white shirt:
Its quiet in here, as all good press rooms should be...but we can hear the party in full swing just on the other side of that wall. While I've never been much of a party person, it's been nice to see some of my political friends here tonight, in all there glory. Here are some of my favorites:
I'm glad I took this picture for a couple reasons. First, I'm glad I can finally mention Bernadette with an actual picture. Bernadette Miera (seated) and her husband State Representative Rick Miera (standing) live down the road from Mikaela and I, and are the driving force behind our Halloween gala street event every year. I know I digress but I can't help it. Second, I get to show you all a picture of Teresa Cordova (standing), Bernalillo County Commissioner and very good friend of m-pyre. You see, Teresa is also a professor in the Planning school, and I for one would not have made it through the program without her.
On that note...I think I'll go back to the party now...more to come in a bit.
Mjae: yo ladies
Marjorie: wish you were here!
Maggie: just got another house seat!
Mjae: Which station u watching?
Maggie: that was from cnn.com
Mjae: Interesting that TV calls things much earlier than newspapers
Maggie: yes, npr is lagging too... i keep surprising dad with the latest
Marjorie: these days they shouldn't call early...
Maggie: he's a die-hard NPRer
Mjae: yes, but that's momentum for them now and intrigue later when they change their call
Mjae: At least on CBS Katie Couric is a continuous woman's presence
Mjae: The other stations are driving me nuts w/ men men men
Marjorie: that's true
Marjorie: all men...
Mjae: And CBS is a panel of 6 men, one of color -- and he's Republican!
Maggie: although not the biggest katie fan.. she's alright i guess
Marjorie: at that level they're plastic
Mjae: but there are LOTS more women getting interviewed because she's there
Mjae: Marked difference
Marjorie: that's good...
Mjae: They're talking about "women's rights" now -- highlighting races where both men were antichoice
Mjae: Here's another question. What's up w/ the standardized Republican elephant, whereas every station has that damn ass doing something different?
Mjae: CNN has it rearing up
Mjae: CBS has it avoiding stepping in shit or some damn thing
Mjae: So weird
Maggie: 5th pickup in the house!
Mjae: WaPo has 7 pickups
Mjae: CBS is listing 11 so far
Mjae: Trying to find WaPo's list
Mjae: Harder than it should be
Maggie: Marjorie and i bursting at the seams with the hypocrisy of the republican commentators on gene's show right now
Mjae: KY-3 (Yarmuth), ID-9 (Hill), ID-8 (Ellsworth), ID-2 (Donnelly), OH-18 (Space), CT-5 (Murphy), NC-11 (Shuler)
Maggie: NBC projects Democrats take control of the House
Maggie: and if you're working on your spreadsheets, losses are FL-13, KEN-04, and VA-02
Mjae: Marriage prop. in AZ losing
Mjae: Anti-immigration props losing
Marjorie: i love my nerdy blogging friends. you realize i hope that i can't even dig into these numbers right now like the two of you
Marjorie: give me everything in a nutshell tonight
Mjae: Looking good in a nutshell
Mjae: knock knock knock
Marjorie: LOL!! awesome!!
Mjae: Can't even stand watching Fox right now
Marjorie: yeah, i think Fox would make me >>>
Mjae: Ok, CNN added a woman, but she's ... not a sexy woman. Androgynous
Mjae: Not sure if that's better or worse than plastic
Marjorie: by golly..we want a hoochie cooch!
Mjae: Predicting CT to Democrats in House District 5
Mjae: No, just a full woman
Maggie: ok, we are off to PARTY!
Mjae: Have fun ladies. Wear my nametag on a bag or something
Marjorie: shall we put it on our forehead?
Mjae: Graff for AZ
Mjae: House 8
Mjae: No, wouldn't want false advertising, Marj!
Mjae: Hill for IN-9
Mjae: Gillibrand for NY House 20
Marjorie: ok...i'm over and out.
Marjorie: bye mik!
Gene will cringe at that headline, but I can't help it, because Gene's one of my favorite people in town (okay, on the planet). Plus, the man just is magic, isn't he, Albuquerque? So since he's so magical, you KNOW you want to watch him do his thang (as he always says) on KNME, Channel 5, TONIGHT!
Here are the details for the show:
ELECT NEW MEXICO 2006: Decision Day
7:00 - 9:00
Host: Gene Grant
Panel: Margaret Montoya, Whitney Cheshire, Steve Lawrence, and Mario Burgos
Guests: Michael Rocca, Timothy Krebs, and Lonna Atkeson from the UNM Political Science Department
- A segment with Matt Farrauto from the Ds and George Buffet from the Rs, along with student reps from each party
- Gene's interview with Nancy Pelosi and another with Roy Blunt
- A blogger segment with Scot Key, Mario Burgos, and Sophie Martin
- Cut-ins from the BBC and the Newshour
- Tape of a mock debate at Jefferson Middle School (Scot Key's class!) between Wilson and Madrid
Now that's just too much fun for two hours, isn't it?!
...Nope. Well okay, but only a little bit. :-)
Local races are too personal, too (literally) close to home, too big, too... everything. So instead, I hide in the national races, perfect for my wonky, big-picture sensibilities. Yet as we know, all politics are local, so here are the only things I'll say about in-town races:
- Voting is a breeze. Been getting calls from friends all day who say they were in and out of their polling place in record time. There was so much angst over those long early voting lines, but let's face it: twelve voting locations for an entire city = lines; citywide voting locations = decentralized ease. So go vote! I'll be heading over in an hour or so myself...
- Sorry, Mary. I'd already decided I just couldn't bring myself to vote for Mary Herrera for Secretary of State, and then I saw the Alibi "endorsement" of neither candidate and busted out laughing. I'm leaving that one blank; I just have to. People I care about are confident she'll be a fine Secretary of State, and I know she's from the Valley and all... but as a Bernalillo County voter for the last four years, I'm not exactly confident. Enough said.
- Poor Jim. The Land Commissioner race really disappoints me... and I agree with other local bloggers who say it points to the disconnect folks have between environmentalism and their own lives. This gap will continue to get wider as our environmental problems worsen, and we should all worry about that. Baca v. Lyons represented such a clear choice between philosophies, and I really regret that the majority of New Mexicans seems to be favoring an oil/gas/sprawl man rather than a true advocate for public land.
- Madrid/Wilson. Can't do it, and those of you who know, you know why... It'll be tight, and it'll all depend on turnout, and that's about all I can say right now.
Whew! This is where I'm much more comfortable... I've spent a week doing not much besides obsessing over the latest polls and reading way too much about candidates whose names I'll promptly forget tomorrow, so it's time for tonight to HAPPEN already.
If you're unlucky enough to be on my e-mail distribution list, you already received my exhaustively nerdy House and Senate spreadsheets, where thanks to the goodness of Pollster I've compiled averages of all the latest polls per race along with an outcome category: "Lean Dem," "Toss-up," etc. Going through the numbers race by race, it's hard not to foresee huge Democratic victories tonight... But being realistic, I'm not going to go all-out rosy in my predictions. So here we go:
- House. I'm going to go with 25 pickups. Look through Pollster yourself and you'll see how astronomical some predictions could be, simply based on the lastest polls. But haven't we all been disappointed enough in the past few years by predictions v. outcome? This time I'm choosing to be pleasantly surprised tonight... hopefully. 25 seems reasonable.
- Senate. This will be verrrrry interesting to watch tonight. My prediction is picking up 5 seats, but I can't break that number down at all. Race-by-race I've chosen six pickups, the magic number. Yet I know one of them will fall, one of them will be the "should have won" race that just won't be able to pull it off in the end. Which, I don't know. But I love McCaskill's spunk and Jon Tester makes me want to move to Montana just to vote for him, so how could I predict one of them going down? I've lost hope for Ford in Tennessee, but I'm still predicting Dem wins in Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia. I could see Rhode Island falling, maybe... Not sure, but one of them likely will, and we'll get five. And that's not a number to be ashamed of.
It's going to be a long night... but a fun one, I hope.
I want to wake up tomorrow and SMILE... don't you?