Thursday, November 29

Okay, so the music's a little melodramic, and I think it's been around for a while, but the concerns about civil liberties are worth taking a look in this little presentation (Flash required). Here's the follow-up to it as well courtesy of Working for Change/Working Assets.

While you're at Working Assets, check out Adrianna Huffington's latest rant about her decision to not send Christmas cards this year! It's a hilarious read, with valid points.

Wednesday, November 28

Update: Opensewer artist Robert Banks has a few events coming up that may be of interest to you.
Update: The deadline for entries in the 4th Annual CAi Photography Competition has been extended to January 18, 2002.

Tuesday, November 27

According to the Environment and Energy Daily (November 16, 2001), the EPA will propose a new rule in 2002 and a final rule in April of 2003 that may allow pollution trading, a practice that would enable companies in some cases to purchase permits to pollute rather than further limiting their water pollution emissions. I know that the world is a complicated place and that tough decisions must be made all the time, but why must we so often act in ways that are completely contrary to common sense?
According to writer Norman Solomon, "If George Orwell had lived long enough to reach the 21st century, it's a good bet that--while treasuring the civil liberties and other freedoms that exist in the United States--he would deplore the deep patterns of indoctrination that undergo constant reinforcement in our society." This is a great article. And here is Orwell's preface to Animal Farm, which Solomon mentions.

Monday, November 26

Today is the anniversary of the first handwritten publication of Alice in Wonderland (originally titled Alice’s Adventures Under Ground). Lewis Carroll has been accused, by a number of conservative entities and individuals, of being under the influence on drugs while writing this story. Eighty-nine years after Carroll’s handwritten manuscript was given to little Alice Liddel, Disney produced an animated version of the story. Disney likes it when you buy stuff from them. Conservatives also want us to buy stuff, because it’s morally proper and it helps us recover from September 11 and the current economic slowdown. So, should I buy a copy of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland to support the cause, or will this be too ethically confusing for everyone?

Wednesday, November 21

Before we break for the Holiday, we want to remind everyone again about Buy Nothing Day this Friday. Talk is cheap - remember and observe The Day. You'll be able to look yourself in the mirror on Saturday morning, as your reflection gives you a big ol' happy wink in return for your good deeds.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, back on Sunday.

Tuesday, November 20

Monday, November 19

Sunday, November 18

Artist Wyeth Koppenhaver uses digital collage to transpose his grandfather's observations from World War II into the visual and social context of the present.

Saturday, November 17

Perhaps another Tom Hanks movie? The BBC informs us that "top Hollywood executives have met with a senior advisor to President George W Bush, to discuss ways the industry might spread the message of patriotism and tolerance." Hmmm... maybe we'll start seeing "Duck and Cover" or other classic Civil Defense Films as well! (Search for "Duck" - it's worth it!)

Friday, November 16

I told myself I wouldn't blog anything today about Bush, the War ... but I can't resist, because I found this article - reminiscent of what I wrote earlier about McCarthyism - claiming that the "message" of the voice of academe was "Blame America First," and alleging that these institutions are the "weak link in America's response to the [9-11] attack." Oh and by the way, one of the co-founders of American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), the organization mentioned in the article, is our VP's wife, Lynne Cheney and the other is Joe Lieberman.

For those of you interested, here's the report by ACTA which actually names names of individuals and universities who spoke out against America's response to 9-11. Among those are on the list are Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Jesse Jackson and various universities.

Thursday, November 15

The Harry Potter movie is opening this weekend! Are you excited? Have you been waiting for this? Are your kids excited? Coca-cola is excited, they are reaching a young audience which is smitten with the world of Harry Potter, a world in which there is Coca-cola, so it must be good right? You want some right now don't you? Some people aren't too excited about it - Save Harry is trying to teach people about just how bad liquid candy is and what it is doing to our kids.
I'm linking to this a couple of days late, but... Well put, Scott.
The economists as good guys and the humanists as bad guys? Whaaat?

Wednesday, November 14

Help our friends at - contribute today to this worthwhile website.
This article will make you think twice the next time you tell your kids to go outside and play.

Tuesday, November 13

As Bush hosts his Backyard BBQ with Putin, maybe he can ponder, while he's chompin' on a Texas Size Rib, Tony Blair's words that the West cannot enjoy "the good life" without tackling the world's problems. Think about that while you're lickin' your fingers, Bush!
It's fast approaching... it's coming your way on Friday, November 23rd. Here's an interesting article talking about it as well!

Monday, November 12

These aren’t all future Susan Sontags. Carrying tattered copies of ‘in’ books is a fashion statement for some.

In the Wall Street Journal this past Friday (11/9/01, page W-1), an article entitled Look Who’s Reading by Pooja Bhatia calls attention to the fact that reading has suddenly become hip in the under-25 set—the post-Gen-X generation. “It’s a backlash against MTV culture,” according to sociologist William Strauss, author of Millennials Rising: The Next Great American Generation. Well, a backlash against MTV culture is fine with me, but what’s not good is that this movement seems to be based more on image than anything else. I quote from the article:

No one would accuse Kathleen Dodge of being a slacker. The Berkeley, Calif., 25-year-old showed up three hours early just to get a seat at a local reading by [Dave] Eggers last summer. She wore a carefully chosen outfit—green cashmere sweater, long black shirt—that she felt connoted just the right mix of intellect and style.


Saturday, November 10

Speak from your heart, even if your voice shakes.

Friday, November 9

Get Local! See how your state ranks as far as who's making the political contributions as well as where the money's coming from.
An incident like this in America would be called Kent State; over there, it's called Crowd Control.

Thursday, November 8

oh that is so sad
Hey Megan, they do exist! You can even get your very own Condoleezza Rice card! Collect all 89!

Thanks to John Alston for the tip.

I actually find myself surprised these aren't real.

Tuesday, November 6

The media issuing apologies, newspaper editors getting fired for joking about Bush, talk shows (and hosts) getting canned for expressing opinions -- professional journalism/media post-September 11. Is our Nation becoming more sensitive, or is this war just a further impact on our rights to free speech?
"We have taken the superiority of our institutions and values too much for granted."

--Sir Iain Vallance, president of the Confederation of British Industry.

Monday, November 5

Bush reversed a decision made in the Clinton years about mining restrictions on public lands making it easier for a Nevada company to dig an open-pit gold mine in a part of the California desert considered sacred by a local Indian tribe. As always and still, making life easier for industry. (NYTimes; username: opensewer; password: iswatching.)

Sunday, November 4

Artist Sean Hopp has strange dreams. Fortunately, because he's a painter, we have a chance to see them. In his words, "a complete visual world philosophy is possible through the use of introspection and personal symbols."
"An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. Good. Then everyone in the world will be walking around blind and toothless."

--Tevye, from Fiddler on the Roof

Saturday, November 3

Indeed, the gender gap in support for this U.S. military effort is unusually small. Historically, female support for war has lagged between 10 and 15 percent behind men's, according to Joshua Goldstein, author of War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa. But in a recent survey released by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 79 percent of women, compared to 86 percent of men, said they support the ongoing military intervention, a near parity Goldstein believes may be explained by the fact that the Taliban is anathema to women.

Thursday, November 1

Happy Dias de los Muertos and All Saints' Day to all!
Everyone's been hearing so much about the state of the economy since September 11th. Yesterday I saw on the news a proposal that would eliminate sales tax during the holiday season so as to encourage more spending. Yet ... I'm thinking this may be the opportunity for America to take a good, long, look at themselves and ask, "Do I really need this?" For starters, take a look at this organization, where you can even purchase your very own Starter Kit entitled, More Fun Less Stuff (irony duly noted). Add that to your Christmas Wish List?