Still Watching Horror

I would love to try and yell about John Bolton becoming nominated undemocratically as UN embassador to the US, but why bother, it goes with the overarching theme in washington. Who needs accountability and qualifications, we got the good ol’ boys.

So lots of exposure to Portuguese news on television actually means lots and lots of international news. Maybe more than in Holland, and thats usually a pretty good amount. And I have to repeat the frustration and rediculousness of the situation in DARFUR. Sudan in general; is on the verge of civil war, genocide… let’s just say MASS DEATH, that could be stopped and we are all sitting around watching. Yes, even first world me sitting in a McDonalds parking lot on my powerbook using their expensive wi-fi.

But its not enough to say something should be done. I’d like to suggest and discuss what action would be best to take. Ill get more into it in the coming days. But to begin with, I send in the blue helmets – on a peacekeeping mandate. None of this crazy shoot first ask questions later strategy, but heavily equipped and supported military personel accompanied by NGO workers. Just go in and stand between the parties in conflict. Despite the risks, despite the unclear situation, despite all of that — put trained and professional international forces on the ground, to show beyond a shadow of a doubt, that what happens in Sudan DOES matter and we CAN act when the situation calls for it.

Now what I havent thought out yet, and Ill work on, is what do to from there.

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Partisan Hackery

I’ve been meaning to talk about the CIA documents on China which have been released, what the Dalai Lama said, and the evolving situation in Sudan. But I keep getting stuck on American elections stories. Perhaps it’s the Financial Times that included a one page collection of articles about all the flaws and irregularities of the voting system in the US. Or perhaps it’s the Dutch public television news program NOVA, that in the last weeks broadcasting from NYC, have had two of my favorites, Sy Hersh and Lewis Black, talking about the election. That Dutch host does a nice job, by the way. I still get impressed with the way he hosts the show in Dutch but conducts long interviews in English, and as far as I remember, it’s not even subtitled. I mean, I could do the same, but I like how he does it.

So today I take you to Colorado. I state I’ve never been to, and I really don’t know what I think of it. The only moment where I ever thought cool + Colorado was when Hunter S. ran for mayor of Aspen and barricaded himself, armed to the teeth in his cabin, on election night. OK maybe he wasn’t barricaded, but everyone seemed to be packin heat and expecting to be assaulted by crazy conservatives or the national guard.

I digress, Colorado. There’s a proposition on the table that I quite like. Prop. 36 Which reads like this:

    An initiated amendment to Article VII of the Colorado Constitution adding a new section requiring the proportional selection of presidential electors.

    ·Eliminates current system in which the presidential candidate receiving the most votes gets all of the state’s electoral votes.

    ·Apportions Colorado’s electoral votes based on the percentage of votes for each presidential candidate.

    ·Adds procedures and timelines to the state constitution for certifying election results and recounts, including the November 2004 presidential election.

I like this because it stops the winner-take-all stupidity. If half your state wants Ralph Nader, then 50% of your electoral votes go to him, instead of the usual everyone to one candidate, nevermind the huge percentage he didn’t vote for his ass. (cause its always a HE unfortunately)

During my house warming visit with Blonde But Bright yesterday, I noticed an article she had purposely left out for me in Time magazine. Those sons o’bitches at that centrist rag have been reading my blog! Instead of giving me credit for it, they went ahead and published a story which asks “Shouldn’t the whole world be able to vote in US elections.” Sound familiar? I mean, I believe in sharing, but you should give a brother some credit. I can’t for the life of me find the link, since their archive sucks so bad. Update later.

Today’s Sounds: Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks (thanks BBC Worldservice)

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As I mentioned last week, sometimes bloggers go silent or missing. Often times they are amongst my favorites. This morning I found myself reading about the disastrous situation in Iraq and scrolling through my bloglines, I wondered how Chris Missick is doing. Since announcing he’d be moving to a new camp, A Line in the Sand has been silent for some weeks now, nothing but those comments from people who are constantly talking about “praying for him.” What an odd link, I often think, between being a soldier and praying alot. Would some supreme being really support the idea of its creations destroying each other? Doubtful. But that’s not my point, the point is, I miss his writing and I do worry about him.

Then there are the other reasons people also disappear – health. Sure enough, I mention his great post yesterday, and now TPB, Esq. is going on the DL (disabled list) to have some exploratory surgery on his back. He doesn’t trust doctors. I wouldn’t trust anyone who says they’re going to use a knife to explore parts of my body. TPB was one of the first blogs I ever really got into. I remember the post that converted me, he went to some blog convention and wrote about it with a gonzo-journalist style that reminded me of Hunter S. – Ho-Hum. Anyway, there goes another blogger than I’m worried about and will be missed until he makes a triumphant return.

It must seem odd, for some, to hear (or believe) that while I ride my bike through rainy Amsterdam streets, I actually think of or worry about other bloggers – who I’ve never met in person. But I guess it’s not for everyone to understand, unless you’ve lived it – like so many of us in the sphere.

Putting the finishing touches on my course outline for a Weblogging related course I’m pitching to the U of Amsterdam, and I added Salam Pax’s book/blog to the reading list. I had almost forgotten he had made his blog posts into a book entitled: “Salam Pax: The Clandestine Diary of an Ordinary Iraqi.” The amazon review calls him the Anne Frank of this century. At first my reaction is — slow down there buddy. But then again, maybe it is something like that. Still, Where is Raed? is one of those blogs which I wish didn’t have to die. I’m almost bitter at Salam, because he did his thing, got famous and then went on to do other things with his life. (bigger and better perhaps) The Torontonienne says maybe that’s how it works, at some point you don’t blog anymore, you start doing other things related to your experience; teaching, writing, crusading. Perhaps she is right, only time will tell.

Today’s Sounds: Jon Stewart on Crossfire (Its fun to replay)

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Puppet Theatre

Lets get this debate shit out of the way, because I thought I wouldn’t talk about it, but in the end, I’ve listened to hours of analysis of it in three languages today. I skipped out of party stop #2 last night, cutting the Thursday night tour off early to prepare for the presidential pageant which I hoped would begin at 1h00 (CET) my time. It did not. So I put on my night cap and drank a night cap.. and waited. Worse than waiting, I waited and watched CNN International like Pavlov’s dog waiting for a bell to ring. The bell rang at 3am… I didn’t hear it. Subconsciously in between whatever dream I was having about flying, midgets, sex… all at the same time, I do believe the debate crept into my ears. Thus I believe I am now dumber. Both rich white old men said nothing, and each pretended to be the friend of the “people.” Is that what citizens elect, a friend? At any rate, if I were to compliment either bum, I would say Kerry’s empty rhetoric was better than Bush’s whining rhetoric.

But let me give you a deeper analysis:

Most mumbling: Prince Bush

Most statements beginning with “Well Jim”: Emperor Kerry

Most name dropping: K-dog

Most childish: B-boy

Weirdest Statement: Johny K ‘s “The Pottery Barn Rule- You break it you bought it”

Best Hair: JFK

Best Statement about any place in the world other than Iraq, Afghanistan or Sudan: none. There ARE NO other countries with trouble.

Most Shots of Water: GWB

Most “You can’t do that” type statements: Bushy

Most repetitive: Bushle about flip-floppin

stupidest Statement: W teaching us what he thinks the ICC is.

Overall winner: Jim Lehrer and PBS, this should help the next telethon.

But again.. I must remind myself… nothing was said during that pageant.

Some blog moments this passed week:

– The Torontonienne has been picking my brain about blogging and identity, I suspect she’ll be blogging by mid-October, a lovely month to start as Tony Pierce can attest.

Kirstin Dunst’s twin chatted me up in the fishtank at work, she’s a livejournalist and was fascinated by my 116 feeds in bloglines.

– Blueberry girl, who enjoys blogs and my love for the art, is off to work for the International Monetary Savings-n-loan in Paris.

– Crazy Dr. M found my desire to get onto certain academic blogrolls. my wish to get in with the in-crowd, interesting.

The State I’m In has mastered RSS feed, and now he’ll start living in his office.

– Despite my increase in visitors, I still only have 4 subscriptions to my feed on bloglines. Which means many out there are totally missing out on the RSS revolution!

I would love to go to this conference in Galicia and discuss Iberian-American digital journalism. First I’ll have to look through the couch cushions for loose euros.

ps- The upcoming American elections already don’t meet international standards. Just a friendly reminder.

Today’s Sounds: My Hero Robert Fisk Talking on Democracy Now

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