March 20

All things outside of Burning Man.

Postby Badger » Wed Mar 17, 2004 8:55 pm

Umm, why did you quote me? Does that have anything to do with what I said?


It usually doesn't. He's often long on the linking and cut-and-pasting and somewhat short on original ideas and dialogue.
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Postby DVD Burner » Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:07 pm

Badger wrote:
Umm, why did you quote me? Does that have anything to do with what I said?


It usually doesn't. He's often long on the linking and cut-and-pasting and somewhat short on original ideas and dialogue.



No you did'nt.

I know you did'nt.

You of all people are kidding right?
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Postby DVD Burner » Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:37 pm

I forgot to put the <head moving from side to side> as I was saying that
with these expressions :? :o on my face as I put my hands on my hips.









:lol:
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Postby Zephryus » Wed Mar 17, 2004 10:33 pm

Hey KellY,

If you haven't gotten it yet, click the snopes link. The satire should become clear. (snopes.com is also a great site to visit in general - I guarantee there are a couple urban legends that you take to be conventional wisdom.)

As for your reasons for marching, I agree with every single one.
[crazed ranting]
I am just as outraged as you are about the Bush administration's numerous attempts to define their views and actions as True Patriotism, and any dissent (even sympathetic) as Treason. I know that slow, sick feeling that builds in my gorge whenever I turn on CNN and just in time to hear my President and countryman (no, I didn't vote for him, but he's my president regardless, and he's my countryman just as I am his) self assuredly tell the camera that he doesn't consider my thoughts and views worth considering, nor does he believe that the Civil Rights Act should apply to my friends and family because their ways lusting and loving don't jibe with his view of how the world should work. And then the realization that he wishes people like me didn't exist, and that he just sort of tolerates us because actually shutting us up would be far too uncivilized. It's playground politics at its finest: "I have the ball and I'm not gonna share it with you because I don't like you." Selfish, childish, and running the fucking country. This is no way to live together.

BUT

The enemy of my enemy is not my friend. I may agree more with the bullet points of ANSWER's political stances than with the GOP's, but when I hear their representatives talking I sense the same selfishness, ignorance, conceit, and willful disregard for the lives and values of those who differ from them. I would argue that the only reason they haven't committed the same stupid mistakes that the Bush administration has is that they've never been given the chance. They call Bush Hitler in the same way the radical right calls Clinton Stalin. They talk about the Israelis in the same way that the conservative pundits talk about muslims. They shout to drown out dissent in the same way that bible-thumping "God Hates Fags" protesters do. They speak only in anger and outrage. If you want to see what happens when people like them take power, take a look at Zimbabwe. I don't want to give these people my support any more than I want to vote for another four years of Bush.
[/crazed ranting]

[thoughtful opinion]
The real problem here, as I see it, is not that the people currently running our government don't agree with me, nor is it that they are acting in their own best interests. The problem is that they have shown themselves unwilling to listen to worldviews foreign to their own, and indeed have acted hostilely toward those views and those that hold them. They are lacking in the maturity needed to hold seemingly conflicting points of view in mind and find the underlying commonalities. They seem very fearful of that which they do not understand. They see terrible things happening and they are so desperate to stop them that they don't pause to consider why those things are happening or how to address the underlying causes of those problems. Finally, they don't stop to consider that perhaps some of those problems originate and reside within themselves, and that they need to constantly examine their own motives and actions as they apply to any given situation. These are problems that are shared on both ends of the political spectrum.
I differ with ANSWER in that I see the war as a symptom, rather than a cause. I see the symptom, in part, as the expression of a deep seated need to feel safe from those that wish to harm you. This is a need that I share. What I do not share is the expression. One of the major mistakes I feel the anti-war movement has made is not correcting the pro-war movement's view that it would stand by and do nothing while skyscrapers full of people burn. Of course we don't want that. We share the feeling that we are not safe from harm and that something needs to change. But instead of approaching the issue in an open, conciliatory way, the protests and the ANSWER representatives focused their hurt and outrage into a stridently oppositional demand for power. I, for one, am sick of playing power games. No one wants to share, no one wants to listen, everybody gets hurt. Screw that. I want to cast my vote for mutual understanding and long term solutions, and since there aren't any massive marches for that, I'm gonna have to stop marching and figure out how to speak with my own voice. And no, I don't quite know how to do that yet. Suggestions are welcome. And thank you for reading this far. -Zeph
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Postby Alpha » Wed Mar 17, 2004 10:42 pm

Kelly and Zeph did a great job getting this thread back on topic but I'll respond to this anyway :-)

DVD Burner wrote:There are'nt any real resourses in Hati are there?


In colonial times the resources were slave labor -- no small temptation. Later, during Wilson's regime, there are two reasons commonly cited for the invasion: 1) a humanitarian effort to restore peace to a country wrought with civil war, and 2) to protect the financial interests of American corporations who had invested heavily in Haiti.

I suppose you can guess which explanation I believe.
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Postby DVD Burner » Thu Mar 18, 2004 12:48 am

Alpha wrote:In colonial times the resources were slave labor -- no small temptation. Later, during Wilson's regime, there are two reasons commonly cited for the invasion: 1) a humanitarian effort to restore peace to a country wrought with civil war, and 2) to protect the financial interests of American corporations who had invested heavily in Haiti.


cites please.

Thanx
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Postby DVD Burner » Thu Mar 18, 2004 6:16 am

Zephryus wrote:As for your reasons for marching, I agree with every single one.
[crazed ranting]


I do not disagree with anything you've said, I think a solution to a doing something fast would be to expose this administration for what they are in a big media saturation kind of way. use the model of the Howard dean internet campaign only in addition to using many servers to host information about the bush dynasty, put the same information on huge posters and huge picket signs if you go to demonstrations. make lots of big signs with the info on it and include website addresses.
anything to make people feel more comfortable and more at ease. just demonstrating with "bring the boys home" or "stop the war" is not gonna cut it.

just a suggestion.[/quote]
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Postby Alpha » Thu Mar 18, 2004 10:13 am

DVD Burner wrote:cites please.


I'll admit the reason I said "most commonly cited" is because I was relying on the statements of others rather than searching primary sources myself. Nevertheless, this should get you a good start:

The Encyclopedia of World History, 2001. "Haiti" http://www.bartleby.com/67/2315.html

Dash, J. Michael. Haiti and the United States: National Stereotypes and the Literary Imagination. 2nd ed. New York: St. Martin's, 1997 pp45-60

Loewen, James W. Lies My Teacher Told Me, Simon and Schuster 1995. pp.219-220

Raimondo, Justin "Behind the Headlines" (AntiWar.com) March 3, 2004 http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=2082

I highly recommend reading Loewen's book. Also, to sum up what happened, take this quote from Raimondo's article:

Haiti has, much to its misfortune, been considered our front yard since at least 1910, when the National Bank of Haiti, capitalized by the French, went broke, and the National City Bank of New York moved into the vacuum, taking over de facto administration of the Haitian treasury. U.S. railroad interests soon followed, and it wasn't too long before a host of American business interests, including W. R. Grace Corp., lobbied President Woodrow Wilson to demand the revenue coming in from Haitian customs as repayment for the government's debt: in effect, turning over the administration of Haiti's independent government to the U.S.
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Postby MrMullen » Thu Mar 18, 2004 5:00 pm

KellY wrote:Hey Zephyrus,
Oh, and Mullen, try doing some research before making such stupid proclamations - or is that too much like being part of the "liberal intellectual elite" conservatives hate so much?


Prove me wrong? Name one leader of Haiti that lead the country through better times than when the US was in charge of Haiti? When has GDP growth been better without the US than with?

It's not racist to say that a county needs help in fixing its self? I'm not saying this about the Dominican Republic and they occupy the other half of the island.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Mar 18, 2004 5:05 pm

It's awful hard to pull yourself up by your bootstraps when you have no shoes to begin with.
Even harder when someone comes along and chops off your feet.
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Postby MrMullen » Thu Mar 18, 2004 5:14 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:It's awful hard to pull yourself up by your bootstraps when you have no shoes to begin with.
Even harder when someone comes along and chops off your feet.


You are absolutely right. Now the problem is, who caused it and how do we fix it?

Leaving Haiti to own devices will not improve anything. My argument is, let's have the US and/or UN come in and run the place for about 10 years. We can make sure there is law, a growing economy and general stability. After things start looking better, let the Haitians elect a leader and let him/her run the show.

Apparently, saying that makes me a racist.
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Postby Apollonaris Zeus » Thu Mar 18, 2004 5:35 pm

DVD Burner wrote:
KellY wrote:Oh, and Mullen, try doing some research before making such stupid proclamations - or is that too much like being part of the "liberal intellectual elite" conservatives hate so much?



182 .. William J. Clinton (D)
175 .. James E. Carter (D)
174 .. John F. Kennedy (D)
155 .. Richard M. Nixon (R)
147 .. Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)
132 .. Harry Truman (D)
126 .. Lyndon B. Johnson (D)
122 .. Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)
121 .. Gerald Ford (R)
105 .. Ronald Reagan (R)
098 .. George HW Bush (R)
091 .. George W. Bush (R)

"


Hey don't put down someone with a 90'ish IQ or lower!

It kept me out of the Vietnam War!!!!

don't let this administration stop any of you from Protesting!!!!

the FBI knows me and I know them!

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Postby DVD Burner » Thu Mar 18, 2004 5:36 pm

MrMullen wrote:You are absolutely right. Now the problem is, who caused it and how do we fix it?

Leaving Haiti to own devices will not improve anything. My argument is, let's have the US and/or UN come in and run the place for about 10 years. We can make sure there is law, a growing economy and general stability. After things start looking better, let the Haitians elect a leader and let him/her run the show.


Great idea but you really dont propose the current U.S. administration be left to do this do you?

Oh and thanks alpha for the start.
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Postby KellY » Thu Mar 18, 2004 8:48 pm

Once again Zeph, good points.

A friend of mine is going to be at S.F. protest as part of Code Pink, a very fun and cool activist group. She's told me the I.A. is difficult to work with, and they are ideed very angry and shrill. But that's not going to stop her group from partcipating. Her point of view is that this is an international coordinated day of protest and numbers matter; to do otherwise because you don't like one group is "shortsighted and self-centered". I don't actually think that describes you at all Zeph, but that is a point of view. One event that draws a hundred thousand people will have a lot more impact than two hundred events that draw five hundred people each.

This actually reminds me of problems I have with a number of anarchists I know. Purity of vision is such a concern of theirs that they don't like to work in conjunction with anyone who doesn't agree with their idealogy on all points. As a result, they stay pretty isolated, and they don't accomplish much of anything aside from putting out zines that other anarchists read.

Stalin was a monster, easily as vile as Hitler. Does that mean we shouldn't have worked with the Soviet Union to defeat Hitler?
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Postby Zephryus » Thu Mar 18, 2004 9:12 pm

You make an excellent point. The flipside of aligning yourself with people who do more harm then good is turning your nose up at everyine who chafes your idealogical aesthetics. What I said about communication needs to be applied to allies as well as adversaries. I think your friend has the right idea, in that she's organizing, not just lending IA her voice.
I think this points to a perennial challenge of radical politics. When you have a group of people working together toward a common goal, how do you rein in those people who passionately go off the deep end? And when working toward a common goal, how do you put aside personal disagreements while ensuring everyone gets their voice heard? Troubling indeed.
In my opinion, the reason the conseratives have grabbed the reins of power so effectively is that they somehow got their collective shit together and decided to vote for the same guys, regardless of personal disagreements. I like to think that the left can do the same thing, but in a more thoughtful, less king-of-the-hill style way. Or maybe I'm just being optimistic.
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Postby Zephryus » Thu Mar 18, 2004 9:14 pm

Oh, and from my point of view, during the massive demonstrations, IA isn't just one group among many, but are rather dominating the podium. Am I completely off in thinking this?
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Postby joel the ornery » Fri Mar 19, 2004 3:53 pm

Zephryus wrote:I like to think that the left can do the same thing, but in a more thoughtful, less king-of-the-hill style way. Or maybe I'm just being optimistic.


Delusional is a more appropriate description.
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Postby KellY » Fri Mar 19, 2004 6:38 pm

I'm you're right in thinking that I.A. is pretty much running the show Saturday, although I've been told there will be plenty of non-I.A. speakers and groups present.

Yeah, the left does have a big problem with infighting. I think that happens with any group that starts to feel marginalized - just look at the GOP in California before Herr Governator waltzed in. A "circular firing squad" is one way I heard them described. The radical Lefties are even worse. I remember a few years ago in Berkeley a group called the Vegan Liberation Front or something had a demonstration in front of a McDonald's. Food Not Bombs came by to participate and serve free vegetarian/vegan (I'm not sure which) food. Well the VLF thought was Food Not Bombs wasn't pure or vehgan or God-knows-what enough, and basically chased them away. Talk about a counterproductive idealogy.

Groups fight amongst themselves because that way they at least have a chance of winning. Read that somewhere, not sure where.
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Postby Badger » Fri Mar 19, 2004 8:41 pm

Yeah, the left does have a big problem with infighting.


I'm not so sure it has much to do with infighting although your vegan v. FNB is noted. I think it's more about marginalized/nominally functioning groups clawing for visibility and recognition of a fairly myoipc agenda at the expense of the larger issue. that's when it seems to me that the message gets diluted or, sometimes, lost.

Back when I was with ACT UP/San Francisco (yeah, I'm dating myself) we had numerous people come to the meetings trying to railroad the message and the various actions to include other agendas. Ultimately, it lead to a split within the organization because people who were participating and giving of a single purpose (HIV/AIDS) were profoundly frustrated that whenever we had any sizable demo that the message was getting clouded.

The biggest culprits were ALWAYS the very leftist - usually Maoist leaning - groups who, at the end of the day didn't give a tinker's fuck that people were dying from the disease. It was more about pushing their agenda at all costs and at any expense.
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Postby DVD Burner » Fri Mar 19, 2004 8:54 pm

KellY wrote:
Yeah, the left does have a big problem with infighting. I think that happens with any group that starts to feel marginalized - just look at the GOP in California before Herr Governator waltzed in. A "circular firing squad" is one way I heard them described. The radical Lefties are even worse. Groups fight amongst themselves because that way they at least have a chance of winning. Read that somewhere, not sure where.



Badger wrote:
Yeah, the left does have a big problem with infighting.


I'm not so sure it has much to do with infighting although your vegan v. FNB is noted. I think it's more about marginalized/nominally functioning groups clawing for visibility and recognition of a fairly myoipc agenda at the expense of the larger issue. that's when it seems to me that the message gets diluted or, sometimes, lost.

The biggest culprits were ALWAYS the very leftist - usually Maoist leaning - groups who, at the end of the day didn't give a tinker's fuck that people were dying from the disease. It was more about pushing their agenda at all costs and at any expense.




So are there any long term solutions gonna be suggested?

I see lots of complaints but not many solutions other than " join the march this weekend."

This is a smart group of people. cant anyone suggest some alternative solutions?
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Postby III » Fri Mar 19, 2004 10:31 pm

>>cant anyone suggest some alternative solutions?


sure. the one i like is "don't go to burning man this year and donate all the money you'd have spent to a political group of your choice". given the $6M in revenue made by burning man, plus the $10M estimated in reno, plus somewhere close to that same amount at other locations, and you've got a hell of a lot more political impact than a couple thousand people marching around and being written off as lunatics by the popular media.

but i bet taking e and hittin on the hot chicks in the desert is a lot more important to most of those enlightened burners than changing the current political course in this country.
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Postby DVD Burner » Sun Mar 21, 2004 12:07 am

hey,

how was the march today?
I really like the 3 second spot it got on CNN and the other cable news networks (total). it got about 30 seconds on local.
I'm sure it really got the attention of this administration.


:o
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Postby Badger » Sun Mar 21, 2004 12:01 pm

but i bet taking e and hittin on the hot chicks in the desert is a lot more important to most of those enlightened burners than changing the current political course in this country.


Trey, you've been reading that Barlow essay again. Right?
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Postby III » Mon Mar 22, 2004 7:38 am

>Barlow essay

nah - i couldn't make it through that.

it just seems to be self evident to me. i spose i could try to get funding to properly research it, though.
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Postby KellY » Thu Mar 25, 2004 8:44 pm

Protest Report:

(haven't had a chance to post for a few days, but still feel some sort of obligation to talk abot what I saw since I brought this whole thing up)

On the whole, disappointing. Not too big ( I heard around 50k), a lot of the usual suspects. As I said before, I think this needed to be the size of the protests of late 2002 to really make an impact. It's a lot like voting, really -turnout makes all the difference. Oh well, still glad I went.

One of the things I liked the best were the people handing out little homemade copies of their personal manifestos. I got one titled "Why I support Palestine" written by an Evangelical Christian -usually a type I assume I have nothing in common with. Lots of people wanting to tell everyone about their particular take on things. Less pleasant were some pro-Israeli counter-protesters who got rather aggro at me after seeing me shake my head while reading their signs (I think it was the one praising the new security wall that caused my reaction).

My friend who worked at a table said there were some very good speakers -Dolores Huerta, Matt Gonzalez (who's getting better)- but the ones I heard were really annoying: shrill, inarticulate, and so anti-U.S. that it was just silly. The speaker really lost me when she exclaimed "U.S. out of Afghanistan!"

Some very cool satirical pieces of street theater, like the Ronald Reagan Home for the Criminally Insane doing their Corporate Pigs at the feeding trough. Some stupid costumes - would someone please tell me what the point of protesting while wearing bunny ears is? I imagine it's some kind of discordian hippy thing, but isn't the point to be taken seriously? I'm not trying to say one shouldn't be creative or have fun at these things, but I can't help thinking of pictures of the prtests and strikes in the thirties - you could tell those people were there because it was important to them.

On the other hand, I think the kind of puritanism Trey is speaking of is the kind of thing that just drives people away from activism. Like Emma Goldman said: "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution."
Or to put it another way, Don't Burn Out, Burn the Man!
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Postby Zephryus » Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:38 am

You're Damn Right.
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