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Mar. 27th, 2009

[baseball] sweet lou

noshootingstars

Two noteworthy things:

1. The Big Takeover by Matt Taibbi: Arm yourself with the knowledge of how AIG helped bring the economy to its knees, what happened with the initial bailout money, and what is/isn't/should be occurring in the future.

This article is important. Give it the special treatment. Print it out, even, because it's not a light read.

2. Stand With Dr. Dean

This is the first step is taking the grassroots movements of DFA and the progressive desires of a majority of 2008 voters and doing something other than listen to political promises and bill debates.

Right now, that involves signing a petition. If you live in the U.S. and want to change the way health insurance works in this country, please sign the petition. It's not difficult to do, but it is important to raise our voices so people in D.C. can speak for us more ably and those who wish to speak against health reform will have more than pin drops to speak over when these issues are addressed.

Mar. 18th, 2009

[baseball] sweet lou

noshootingstars

I was going to make a pun about silver lining/silver fox but then I beat myself up.

Anderson Cooper in Detroit for CNN's "Road to Recovery" week.

While I missed Monday night's segment, last night's coverage from New Orleans was incredible and definitely verified Cooper's statement that he (and others) are looking at all aspects of how the recession is affecting people in the U.S. Of course, for me, anytime Cooper goes "home" to New Orleans I'm satisfied by how much he and the city resonate.

Last night they didn't just cover the unemployment, the big business greed, and government squabbling. Cooper and co. interviewed a woman whose jewelry business is dwindling; instead of the usual pessimism, though, this woman voiced how she was making trips to Louisiana to help build homes for people who are still in limbo due to Katrina. With her extra time and what money she could save for travel fare she is doing something so good--so much better than moping and taking in all the bad news being spewed from all directions during this time and then giving up and waiting for the government to fix things.

We also saw the family who would finally have a home soon after waiting over three years since theirs was first destroyed due to Katrina.

Maybe my expectations are too low, but I am just absolutely chuffed by the tenderness and good will that Cooper is finding. Perhaps it strikes me so much because it reflects the changes I feel in my own life goals. (And it's so Kennedyesque, don'tcha know?) So many of the people active in volunteering due to an upswing in free time are asking themselves what they can do for their fellow citizens rather than when their country is going to do stimulus for them.

I really think we're going to make it after all. I'm thinking that it's going to be an amazing thing if we beat the government by propping ourselves up first so that by the time they start stimulating things, we'll we all the wiser for it.

And then rainbows will shoot from our eyes and everyone will get free self-sustaining puppies and kitties and the really yummy ice cream will no long have high fructose corn syrup as a major ingredient. Yes.

*ahem* Still, I'm definitely looking forward to what Cooper covers for Michigan tonight. We can have good news please?

Mar. 13th, 2009

[baseball] sweet lou

noshootingstars

C-C-C-Conscience!

If you haven't read "The Assault on Reason" by Al Gore (which you should), know that one of the most powerful arguments Mr. Gore makes is about the destructive quality of television for public consumption and discourse--especially 24 news hour cycles on television.

He speaks on the power of the written word. The word you can have laid out before you and readily share with others and respond to easily. Word that has been given the time to be edited, thought over, and word that moves just slowly enough to allow its recipients time to take it in and respond if they so wish before the entire cycle has moved on and their response is lost. The diminishing of public's ability to think critically and respond at all is due to television's frenetic pace. News stations are no longer a public service. They are a money-making business first and foremost and most (though not all) onscreen forget about the rest. Even those who care earnestly, though, have their hands tied by being part of a giant establishment.

Gore made a specific point to compliment Jon Stewart's appearance on Crossfire: his clear head and serious demeanor in pointing out the harm such programs inflict on the public.

When Anderson Cooper was on The Daily Show Jon Stewart asked him if he could save the news.

My college graduation ceremony included a speech from a man whose name I never bothered to remember but I do remember him telling all us young hipster kiddies that in the real world we had to grow up. We couldn't get our news from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert anymore. We needed to watch serious news stations, local news, and read big people papers and/or magazines. If we wanted to be taken seriously amidst professionals and in interviews and display a manner of true awareness.

"Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are fools, let them use their talents," says the fool Feste in Twelfth Night.

The Daily Show vs. CNBC:

TDS' first segment on CNBC
TDS's segment on Jim Cramer's show
The unedited interview with Jim Cramer: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

I'd recommend that everyone watch the interview with Cramer, though the previous videos are important to understanding CNBC and how the interview itself came about.

What does Stewart do here? In his usual polite, straight-forward, and righteous manner he questions Cramer's station, his show, and his shortcomings in doing what he's supposedly paid to do: deliver sound trading advice to the public.

However, littered throughout the interview is a manifesto for what news media should be doing. What they have a responsibility to do. Cramer keeps admitting they fell short and they should do more but that's not enough. They need to actually *DO* more. After the Wall St. Clusterfuck, they need to promise to rework their programming and mission statement--or at least follow whatever is on that mission statement probably lost behind news of the recession on tack boards in multiple offices.

Will they? I have no idea. Has anyone forgotten what happened to Crossfire after Stewart's appearance? I think that still looms large. Additionally, the media took time to blow TDS' criticisms and CNBC's third-party responses out of proportion as well drum up the "clash" supposedly to take place on TDS. I don't think the meat and potatoes of the interview will be covered less dramatically. I've already seen it splashed across many internet news sites. For an example of how to be blinded by it, swing by Huffington Post's front page while it's still up. (Anyone care to screencap that for posterity?)

I'm optimistic. I think this is one small step towards a new information hunting and gathering society geared towards discussion and self-drive to inform oneself adequately.

Or we could just scorch the television today and rebuild on its ashes. I'm alright with that too.

Mar. 7th, 2009

[baseball] sweet lou

noshootingstars

My view from the back of the theater.

To the people who walked out of The Watchmen during a certain R-rated moment,

You had no difficulty watching a brutal attempted rape scene or war violence or the murder of a pregnant woman but when two individuals enact a consensual sex scene--that's where you drawn the line?

Really?

Sincerely,

Maddened in Michigan.



(A part of me wants to believe that Snyder himself created such exploitative scenes to hold up an ink blot to the audiences of the world but even I can't give him that much credit after having spent an amount of time longer than the film to discuss the movie's failings in light of the book after leaving the theater.)

Mar. 6th, 2009

[politics] tastes like grassroots!

noshootingstars

Howard Dean News | March 4 2009

Howard Dean's found himself a new job.

McKenna Long & Aldridge’s GOP ties boosted its influence in Washington during the Bush era.

Its hiring this week of Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, should help the law firm’s government affairs practice during the Obama administration.

The practice’s focus is on “the intersection of business and government,” says senior managing director Eric Tanenblatt, “and having someone like Gov. Dean, who’s been in the political environment like he has, will be an invaluable resource to us.”

Dean will guide clients on health care and alternative energy matters.

McKenna Long is known for Republican insiders like Tanenblatt, Gov. Sonny Perdue’s former chief of staff. But it’s also home for Democrats like former U.S. Rep. Buddy Darden.

“Our firm,” states Tanenblatt, “is bipartisan.”


Press Release from the firm.

I've got to say, as a student of paralegal studies and someone toying with the idea of law school somewhere down a road of undetermined length, Howard Dean in a law firm tickles me. I now have more fodder for meeting or working with Dr. Dean in the future.

I'm also proud at how swiftly the man found a venue for his new direction and how he's still working in areas he made promises to in his presidential campaign.

But at the same time, this news is like a knife to the heart. I feel very disheartened that a man as clever, industrious, and effective as Howard Dean has no place in Washington or within the new administration. To me, Dean is one of the faces of the Janus-like future of the Democratic party. I am constantly inspired by his ability to get things done, his foresight in politics and policy, and by the fact that the man gives a damn and doesn't give up. Barack Obama may have inspired me to give voice to my political opinions in 2008, but it was Dean's work that allowed for their to be a local outlet when I needed one.

This is just a new step for the man, I know. We may see great things arise from his position at McKenna, Long & Aldridge. I certainly hope so. Yet, it seems so odd that Dean should have to go looking for a place to work from rather than be shoved into a demanding and rewarding position from within Team Obama because of his resume.

Still, I hope Howard Dean continues to make news with his progressive activities.