Lying Media Bastards

July 31, 2004

Be Right Back

Probably no posting over the weekend, so y'all'll have to wait till Monday to get Jake's Take on the Democratic Convention.

Along those lines, Stephen Colbert's bit about his working class roots on Wednesday night's "The Daily Show" was one of the funniest things I've seen on TV in a long time.

Posted by Jake at 09:58 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 30, 2004

Strategic Humor

A few words from "President Bush" (video)

Okay, it's not actually President Bush, it's comedian Will Ferrell pretending to be President Bush. And it's not so much "a few words" as it is a few minutes of comedy followed by a few minutes of begging from "America Coming Together", some kinda liberal "get out the vote" thing. So you'll probably want to shut it off at that point.

Anyway. It's funny, and will kill time at your soul-crushing office job.

Posted by Jake at 10:29 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 29, 2004

So... there's only one flavor of Snapple, right? "Sugary"?

Posted by Jake at 04:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 28, 2004

Li'l Dissent

Funny how this isn't getting more coverage:

As Teresa Heinz Kerry spoke last night, on the floor of the convention, Medea Benjamin from Global Exchange and CodePink unfurled a pink colored banner that read "End the Occupation of Iraq." That apparently was not one of the DNC-approved messages of the night because within moments of the banner being unfurled, police were called in to remove Medea Benjamin.

Benjamin was dragged off the convention floor and thrown out of the FleetCenter. She said that the DNC was asked whether they wanted her arrested and that they decided that would not look good.

Who says the Dems don't have message discipline?

Posted by Jake at 12:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Tongue Tied

While his name is invoked so frequently these days, I'm not sure if there is anything more Orwellian right now than the concept of the Boston DNC's "Free Speech Zone".

As shown in pictures in the link above (or in words in this article here) the Boston Free Speech Zone is a prison of chain link and razor wire, constructed by the city as the designated area for activists who want to protest anywhere near the convention center.

The FSZ only holds 1000 people, so I guess if more people than that want to speak out this week, they're outta luck. They'll have to find another zone, or another country.

The FSZ (better known to activists as a "protest pen") is largely hidden by a bridge above, and I've seen photos showing that if buses park at a nearby bus depot, that the FSZ is almost completely hidden from sight. Which is the point, of course. If the powers-that-be had their way, everyone would be good little spectators and let the Big Boys make all the decisions. Of course, they can't participate, but if they want to speak their minds, that's acceptable, just do your best to keep them quiet and out of the way.

Strangely, the mainstream media seem to be universally against the FSZ, but mention it so casually. Dan Rather mentions it in passing in a commentary about the convention, whining that the 2004 DNC is not as exciting as the 2000 DNC (sorry the cops haven't been hitting my friends with rubber bullets and pepper spray for your amusement this year, asshole). So on the one hand, it's good that the mainstream media give the impression that the FSZ is wrong, but on the other, their lack of outrage turns an story of injustice into a yawn. I am glad to see that most DNC protesters seem to be boycotting the FSZ, and was extremely pleased to see the clever action of these people, who highlighted the police state mentality with a li'l street theater.

Of course, FSZ's can't be blamed on Boston, the Democrats, or the Bush regime. We started to see frequent use of FSZs/protest pens way back in April 2000, at large scale protests against the IMF and World Bank in Washington DC. Which presumably was a reaction to the "violent protests" of the Seattle WTO meeting in late 1999 (while the violence is usually blamed on protesters, or on police response to violence, I always have to remind people that the cops attacked non-violent protesters before the Black Bloc anarchists started vandalizing anything, and once they had begun the vandalism, the cops pretty much sat back and let them).

And we probably shouldn't get too reverent about free speech either. Even though it's numero uno in the Bill of Rights, free speech has pretty much been a joke in this country till the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s. Congress passed the Sedition Act in 1798, which made it illegal to criticize the government-- only seven years after the First Amendment was ratified.

So I guess all this puts me in mind of two opposing (or are they complimentary?) quotes:

"Power concedes nothing without a demand."

That's a classic oen. It says that rights are not given, they are taken, and you are as free as you want to be.


"The illusion of freedom [in America] will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater."- Frank Zappa

For more info on the protest scene at the DNC, check Boston IMC, of course.

Posted by Jake at 01:31 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 26, 2004


The Black Keys- Heavy Soul
Paris- Sheep to the Slaughter
Meryn Cadell- Johnny and Betty
Propagandhi- Resisting Tyrannical Government
Bjork- Human Behavior (live)
Billy Bragg- The World Turned Upside Down
Dr. Oop- Subterranean
Golden Shower- 2600
Bill Hicks- Marketing and Advertising
Angelo Badalmenti & the Thought Gang- A Real Indication
Curtis Mayfield- Pusherman
The Coup- Busterismology
Negativland- U2
Tom Waits- I'll Be Gone
Flogging Molly- Drunken Lullabies
Country Joe & the Fish- The "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die" Rag
Pearl Jam- Soon Forget
Wayne Kramer- Bomb Day in Paris
Black Jack Johnson/Mos Def- Freak Daddy

Posted by Jake at 10:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 24, 2004

"That's what addicts do. They burn bridges."

Posted by Jake at 02:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 21, 2004

Things That Make You Go Hmm...

I laughed at this for a good long time today.

Posted by Jake at 07:03 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

I Surrender

Bush Says: 'I Want to Be the Peace President'

Posted by Jake at 08:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 20, 2004

Forgetting the Past

Although I wrote a little parable or something about the "Iraq was the CIA's fault" thing, I think it's important to keep reminding everyone that it's a whitewash. The Bush administration would like us all to believe that the war was noble and righteous. Barring that, they'd like to think that the war wasn't the White House's fault.

When, of course, it was the White House's fault.

The "it's the CIA's fault" line comes from the recent Senate report which criticizes the National Intelligence Estimate of Iraq (NIE) which was released in October 2002.

Problem is that the Bush administration decided to go to war in December 2001.


I'm very pleased with Eric Margolis' piece on this issue, "CIA Did Not Fail - The US Was Deceived Into the Iraq War". Let's quote him a bit:

The Iraq weapons fiasco was absolutely not caused by an 'intelligence failure,' as the White House and the recent Senate whitewash claim. It was not an understandable mistake made by all, as a rigged British 'inquiry' concluded.

US national security and CIA were corrupted and blinded by extremist ideology, cowardice, and careerism. The failure at CIA was not of the organization, but its leadership...

Here's what really happened. In 2002, Cheney thundered that Iraq was seeking nuclear weapons. A month later, Secretary Colin Powell proclaimed 'no doubt he (Saddam) has chemical weapons.' Shortly after, President George Bush assured the UN that Iraq had biological weapons.

National Insecurity Advisor Condoleeza Rice warned a 'mushroom cloud' threatened America. Britain's glib prime minister, Tony Blair, made similar ludicrous claims.

Many veteran CIA officers dismissed these alarms as politically-motivated propaganda. The US State Department, Air Force, and French intelligence challenged claims Iraq had threatening offensive weapons systems. Many senior Pentagon military officers opposed invading Iraq.

But the word went out: Now here this. If you value your job and pension, do not, repeat, do not contradict the boss. The president is hell-bent on invading Iraq. Make it so.

This was not a case of George Bush going about his business, suddenly receiving a report about Iraqi danger, and then leaping into action. With no real evidence of Iraqi danger, the White House wanted to invade Iraq; they were looking for a "smoking gun", and didn't mind if that gun was stretched into unnatural shapes. If you get sucked into arguments about intelligence or weapons or liberation, then you, my friend, have been suckered.

Posted by Jake at 11:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Marriage Debate Crucible

Sex columnist Dan Savage had a recent article about gay marriage at Salon which has some interesting musings about sex, monogamy and love, but I was most intrigued by his ruthlessly short yet ruthlessly accurate description of the gay marriage controversy:

The problem for opponents of gay marriage isn't that gay people are trying to redefine marriage but that straight people have redefined marriage to a point that it no longer makes any sense to exclude gay couples. Gay people can love, gay people can commit. Some of us even have children. So why can't we get married?

I think that's the crux there. The institution of marriage has already changed from what conservatives like to think it is. And not because of some homosexual onslaught, but because straight married people have changed what it means. Conservatives hope that marriage can be changed back to what it used to be, but think that the acceptance of gay marriage represents a point of no return, where there would no longer be any hope of returning to "traditional values".

Which means they've already lost. They'll keep fighting, of course, but they've lost.

[via This Space for Rent]

Posted by Jake at 02:32 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 19, 2004

The Fear-mongering Continues

Last week, I wrote about the recent bout of anti-anarchist news articles, trying to make the public fearful and therefore accepting of police repression during large-scale protests.

RNC Watch has written a follow-up article, examining the NYPD's allegations described in the last week's tabloid piece: that anarchists were posting statements to the internet about how they are going to try to trick police and waste their time. The RNC Watch writers searched the internet, and could not find any such postings anywhere. They then challenged conservative writers who had gleefully seized upon the story and challenged them to find these postings. Nothing. And with powerful search engines like Google around, they should have been able to find something if such postings existed. RNCW then noticed that the author of the tabloid piece was also responsible for an equally vague and scary piece about violent protesters who were to allegedly wreak havoc at a protest in NYC back in 2002. Which leads me to theorize that this reporter, the NY Daily News' Patrice O'Shaughnessy, is one of the NYPD's go-to people when they want to spread these kinds of scare stories.

Along these lines, the NYC Independent Media Center has written a report titled "Getting Used: How the Mainstream Media Helps Create Climate of Fear and Repression During Political Protests" (.pdf). I'll go ahead and print the article's abstract here:

As New York City prepares to host the 2004 Republican National Convention, a familiar pattern of police exaggeration, governmental fear mongering, and media gullibility is threatening to create protest conditions that harm city residents and the American civil liberties tradition. Since the World Trade Organization (WTO) protests in Seattle in 1999, a sad but familiar pattern has become evident in the run-up and aftermath of protests. Police officials, aided by a hype-hopeful mainstream media, exaggerate the possible dangers posed by consistently non-violent protesters. Using the climate of fear created by this hype to justify their actions, the police consistently engage in extra-constitutional and illegal behavior, such as mass pre-emptive arrests, the interference with media outlets, and brutal protest behavior. Inevitably, the mainstream press realizes the hype once the protests are safely over, and sheepishly admits its mistake.

It is the purpose of this report to document this pattern during six large-scale political protests since the summer of 2000. Drawing almost entirely from mainstream press reports, the following pages document the climate of fear created by the media and police in the weeks and days before protests. We then see examples of how the mainstream press reported arrests during protests themselves, followed by descriptions of the actual reasons for the arrests once the protests were safely over. Usually, the reasons change. We also see how the very media outlets that eagerly repeated police claims during the protests angrily denounced manipulation once the protests were over.

It is the hope of the authors of this report that awareness of these patterns will help mainstream media outlets avoid making the same mistakes during future protests.

The report's only about 20 pages long, and is certainly worth a read.

Posted by Jake at 11:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Yay! I finally replaced my computer's faulty CD burner, which means a return to greater variety on the LMB radio show.

No guarantees (because I never pre-select my playlists), but I think today's show will include some David Bowie, Nas, Mos Def, Dresden Dolls, Bruce Springsteen, Wayne Kramer, Tool, Interpol, Reagan Youth, Rasputina, Franz Ferdinand, Bad Religion, and others. I'll also rant about political stuff and probably play some clips from Outfoxed.

Tune in at 2pm PST.

Posted by Jake at 12:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Psychopath LLC

Saw the movie The Corporation on Friday. Definitely good stuff and definitely too long. It felt like it should've been broken into four or five separate parts and shown as a series, not as a single movie. And I could definitely see the filmmakers doing that someday, perhaps turning it into a video series to be shown in schools (well, Canadian schools maybe). While the length didn't do the movie any serious harm, but I did spend the last 25 minutes or slightly distracted, thinking "surely it's just about over, now."

Using the increasingly-popular documentary style of combining new footage, news footage, stock footage, hip music, campy 50s footage and slick computer graphics, The Corporation is engaging and informative. While I didn't learn much from Fahrenheit 9/11, I did learn a number of things from The Corporation. I think you'll all be surprised at the genesis of Fanta cola.

The film trots out many of our favorite lefty commentators (Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Howard Zinn, Michael Moore), as well as a number of academics, evil CEOs and economists, progressive CEOs and economists, and activists, all geared towards proving the film's thesis: corporations are harmful. The film makes this point very well (although I'm sure that critics will ask why the film doesn't impartially present both the pros and the cons of corporations), and to my happy surprise, concludes by presenting a number of ways in which harmful corporate power can possibly be rectified. With so many political ideologies out there, it would've been pretty weak if the film had just said "vote Democrat" or "we need more enviro-conscious CEOs." Instead, the film seems to conclude that there are many different strategies that can challenge part of the corporate problem-- from legislation to lawsuits to storming the suites-- and doesn't try to pretend that a single cure-all exists.

Posted by Jake at 12:53 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 16, 2004

Save Geov!

When I first started up with this crazy lefty journalism thing some years back, I met a fella over the net who'd been writing and agitating for quite some time. He was very supportive and encouraging, and I looked up to him.

This fella, Geov Parrish, has some problems. He's walking around with a couple pounds of borrowed organs keeping him alive, but he's never let health problems get in his way. Until now, when sleazy health insurance companies turned his health problems into financial problems, costing him his life savings him and dropping him into debt.

Anyhow, some of Geov's Seattle pals have organized a benefit concert this coming Saturday, July 24 at the Trinity United Methodist Church. If you live in the area, I'd ask you to go to help toss a little cash Geov's way. If you don't, but would like to help out just the same, you can also donate cash online via the previous link.


Posted by Jake at 03:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 15, 2004

What Up, Docs?

There are more political documentaries in and around movie theaters these days than at any time I can remember. I'm seriously discovering a new one every week or two. For everyone's convenience, I'll go ahead and catalog em for you. Most of them have already been mentioned on this site, but let's get our one-stop convenience on.

Bush's Brain- in 2003, two reporters penned the book Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential. Karl Rove is, of course, the Mephistopheles to Bush's dim-witted Faust (what, all my references have to be to 80s cartoon shows?), the campaign advisor who's lies, strategery, and dirty tricks put his boss's cowboy boots on the desk in the Oval Office. Anyhow, someone read the book and said "hey, we should make this a movie", and did. Haven't seen the film, but its website implies that one of the main themes of the movie is new politics of not just defeating your opponent, but destroying him.

The Corporation- I plan to see this one this week (maybe tomorrow afternoon, if I play hooky). The film's conceit is "since corporations are considered 'people' under the law, why don't we try to psychoanalyze these artificial people and see what they're like." The conclusion is that if corporations were people, they'd be sociopaths. This film is also apparently based on a book of the same name.

Fahrenheit 9/11- you know about this one.

The Hunting of the President- another book-based doc, this one is about the lengthy Republican campaign to defeat/destroy Bill Clinton while he was in the White House. Of all the movies on this list, this is the one I'm least interested in.

Orwell Rolls in His Grave- just found out about this one like ten minutes ago. Near as I can figure, it's also about the run-up to the Iraq war, but with focus on the absolutely criminal behavior by the US media during this time. I'm most attracted to this film because of its stylish name and focus on my obsession, the media.

Outfoxed- I've mentioned this one a few times lately. Anti-Fox News documentary that is driving the network to distraction.

Super Size Me- least political of the bunch, but still, deals with corporate America, aspects of our government's food and nutritional policies, and getting a big fat ass.

Unprecendented: The 2000 Presidential Election- first of the recent "Un" trilogy. This one is about the Florida debacle part of the 2000 election.

Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War- second of the "Un" trilogy. Covers a lot of the same ground as F911, but with more focus on testimony by intelligence officials debunking the pro-war argument.

Unconstitutional- "Un" trilogy finale. Not yet released, but about post-9/11 fear and the Bush administration's attacks on civil rights in the US.

Posted by Jake at 08:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Story Time


"Yes dear?"

"When our son came home today, he was very curious. He was asking me all sorts of questions about... you know." She busied herself straightening this and that. "I think you need to have a talk with him"

Henry's eyebrows jumped and his pipe drooped from his lips. "Goodness Janet, don't you think he's a little young?"

"If he doesn't hear it from us, he's just going to hear about it from the kids on the playground."

"I suppose you're right." Henry sighed. "I'll go talk to him." He stood up, kissed his wife on the cheek, and headed up the stairs to Jimmy's bedroom. Jimmy was in his pajamas, saying his nightly prayers.

"Hello son."

"Hi daddy!"

"Your mother told me that you had some questions..."

"Yeah daddy. A bunch of the older boys at school were talking about... y'know..." He took a deep breath. "About last week's report from the Senate about intellijence failures before the Iraq war."

"Yes son, that's a popular topic these days."

"But I don't understand what's going on. What happened?"

"How about you get into bed and I'll tell you all about it?"

Jimmy wriggled underneath the covers and grinned up at his father. Henry sat down on the edge of the bed.

"Well, let's see here, how to explain this... Let's say that you had a big jar of-- what's your favorite kind of cookie?"

"Peanut budder!"

"Let's say you had a big jar of peanut butter cookies, up on the kitchen counter by the stove."


"Yes. Now let's say that the president of the United States came over to our house, and when no one was looking, he stole and ate every one of those cookies!"

"Hey! That's not fair!" Jimmy looked genuinely angry.

"Now let's say that sometime later, people noticed that the President had cookie crumbs all around his mouth. So the president ordered an investigation to find out why he had cookie crumbs around his mouth."

"But he had crumbs around his mouth because he ate my--"

"Yes, yes. Let me finish."

"Sorry daddy."

"So many days later, the investigators write up their conclusions, and they announce that there were crumbs around the president's mouth because cookies were stolen."

"We already knew they were stolen! The cookie jar was empty! Did the prezident get in trouble?"

"No, he didn't. The report didn't say who took the cookies, did it?"

"But... but... when are the investigaters going to arrest the prezident?"

"Well, they can't arrest him until they investigate the cookie theft."

"When will they do that?"

"Oh, I don't know son. Not for a long time, I suppose."

"But... but..."

Henry smiled and mussed his son's hair playfully. "Don't you worry. The President didn't leave you empty-handed."

Jimmy's timid smile grew. "He left me something in my cookie jar?"

"Indeed he did. After the war, the president made sure that your cookie jar was filled with the corpses of thousands of good little Iraqi boys and girls, just like you!" Henry smiled, and rose to leave.

He stopped just before closing the door behind him. "Do you want me to leave the light on?"

Jimmy didn't speak.

"I'll just leave it on then. G'nite, champ."

Posted by Jake at 12:11 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 13, 2004


Last week, I idly mentioned that there was a new anti-Fox News documentary out called Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism. Looks like a good flick, using the news channels' own footage to hang it, and you can apparently buy a copy for only about $10. But it's starting to get some media momentum, so let's take another look.

Apart from its obvious controversy, the documentary is also noteworthy because it uses more copyrighted material without permission than any previous film. The director seems to be hoping that he can get around it by claiming it was "fair use", a loophole that lets you use portions of a copyrighted work for "criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research". No one's used "fair use" so heartily before, so I'm looking forward to seeing how this shakes out.

While on the one hand Fox News is acting like the movie is no big deal, the network simultaneously seems to be losing its mind. In a really silly smear attempt, Fox is essentially arguing that billionaire George "Darth" Soros is the evil puppetmaster in this tale, making the movie, controlling the NY Times, and possibly eating babies.*

Then Fox tried to claim that every single ex-Fox-employee interviewed in the film was a low-level employee, fired for incompetence who lies for fun. And then Fox puffed up its chest and said that they will publicly release all of their "editorial directions and internal memos" if other major news agencies do the same. Which demonstrates all the courage of saying "I will stand in the middle of the freeway, if you do." I can say that fearlessly because I know full well that you're not gonna, and I still get to look like a big, ballsy hero (at least to the naked, stupid eye).

My absolute favorite thing though is that the film's director, in a mock effort to smooth things over with Fox, has offered to let the network air the film "for free." You, Mr. Director, are a funny man.

Anyhow, since this movie seems to be making Fox break out in a nervous, loony rash, there's only one thing to do: promote the hell out of it.

All you bloggers, post info and links about the movie on your site. Email the url to friends. Print out the logo/cover graphic and post it on the bulletin board at work. Go to Fox News HQ and pee on the doorknobs. Keep checking CableNewser, a blog that is apparently all over this story. Buy a copy of the movie, watch it, and pass it around.

I haven't seen the movie, don't know if it's any good, and guess that most Americans are already pretty aware of the reality of the movie's premise: the Fox News Channel is conservative. But if there's anything we can do to make Rupert Murdoch cry like a little girl, I say we go for it.


Wonkette has a batch of 30 Fox News memos where honcho John Moody tells his employees what to cover that day and how to cover it. Some of his directives are explicitly partisan, some are implicitly partisan, and some are just sensationalistic.


*There is a whisper of truth to this Fox allegation. Outfoxed was partially funded by, which was partially funded by George Soros. And a NY Times reporter wrote about the documentary, but agreed with the film's director not to call Fox News for comment till the last minute (allegedly so that Fox wouldn't be alerted about the movie, sue the director, and prevent the film's release). So obviously, these connections form a single tapestry of evil, woven by demonic succubi, on the payroll of mega-evil George Soros.**

** What's the deal with me and footnotes lately?

Posted by Jake at 07:26 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

The Surreal Life

I'm walking down the street in east Hollywood, when I see a motorcade coming my direction on the other side of the street, slowly revealing itself as it approaches.

Four cops on motorcycles? Who're they protecting, the president?

Okay, that kinda looks like a flatbed behind them. An extra-wide flatbed.

All that junk on the back of the flatbed... that looks like film equipment: cameras, lights, mysterious other devices.

Which way are the cameras pointed, what are they actually filming?

Wait, is that an SUV on the back of the flatbed?

Wow. They're filming the people in the front seat of a stationary SUV that is on a moving flatbed so that it will look like the SUV is driving down the street.

As the flatbed pulls even with me, I look in the window.

"Driving" the SUV: comedian Andy Richter.


Then, for no apparent reason, a bird flew at my head and attacked me. Twice.

Posted by Jake at 12:00 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 12, 2004

Lincoln Logs

Yesterday I wrote about the uber-suspicious plans by the federal government to possibly postpone/suspend the presidential elections if there were a terrorist attack. To show how unnecessary this was, I presented the recent history of East Timor, a tiny nation who's citizens went to the polls in droves even when threatened by Indonesian death squads. I thought this example made the point quite well.

But the BBC did me one better: they reminded me that the United States did not even postpone elections during the Civil War*. Yes, in the midst of a brutal war, when the very concept of the United States was under siege, on the verge of a potential split that could result in the failure of both half-nations, the Union said "let's have a vote anyway." And we even have a quote on the issue by Cap'n Abe himself:

"The election is a necessity. We cannot have a free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forgo, or postpone, a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered us."

Granted, this lack of postponement did result in a Republican victory. But you can't get too upset about it when the winner had such a cool hat.

In other words, if Abraham Lincoln were alive today, he'd tell those guys who want to postpone the election, to go fuck themselves.**


*Here in the United States, we are vaguely aware that other countries have had civil wars, but we still speak as though ours was the only civil war to ever occur. Only we are allowed to use it as a proper noun ("Civil War"). Any of you foreign folks can capitalize your civil wars, but if you try to do that while on US soil, you will be arrested and forced to do a jillion push-ups.

**I hope that this is the first and last time I make a joke about Dick Cheney's famous cursing, because such jokes really aren't very funny.

Posted by Jake at 11:57 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

More Anarchist Bashing


The tabloid the New York Daily News has another politically stifling scare story:


The entire article is goofy, really. If you look at the "substance" of the article, the NYC police commissioner claims that anarchists have posted ideas for disrupting the Republican National Convention to the internet. What website? He doesn't say. How do we know that this stuff is posted by anarchists? We don't. As we all should know, posting stuff to the internet anonymously, or while misrepresenting your identity, is pretty easy. Watch.

This is Jaleel White, but you probably know me best as the lovable TV nerd "Urkel". I want to urge you all to turn into giant sea monsters and destroy the Australian coast.

Thank you, good night

(I'd like to take this moment to condemn Jaleel "Urkel" White for his evil terroristical plot to destroy Australia. Thank you.)

And even if you look at these alleged anarchist ploys, you won't come away real scared. The "threat" that this "shadowy, loose-knit band of traveling troublemakers" pose is that some of them might make their clothes smell like gunpowder to so that bomb-sniffing dogs stop and smell them, wasting police officers' time. Or, if the officer was particularly paranoid, and the place was public enough, it could result in delays of subway trains or something (although I want to re-iterate, there's not even any evidence here that any anarchists posted these ideas, or plan to carry them out).

The article also claims that anarchists plan to throw marbles under the hooves of police horses to make them fall, or to use slingshots to shoot marbles at the horses. This sounds completely bogus. Just about all anarchists believe in animal rights (it's a byproduct of the political philosophy. Once you start thinking that it's wrong to use force on a person to get your way, you start believing that it's wrong to use force on any creature to get your way), which makes it very unlikely that they're going to try to harm horses.

The article concludes with a quick history re-write, in which all of the major protests in the past 5 years are tales of heroic cops fighting devious protesters.

So, in response, another "anarchist" (no real way of knowing, right?) posted this FAQ-ish response. Here's an excerpt:

What about all those police claims of violent or terroristic behavior?

Time after time police have made similar claims. Time after time they have been proven to be lying.

Just look at the hard facts, compare police predictions before and during protests with what actually ends up happening. Again and again, police spokesmen predict terrible violence. They predict goons with molotov cocktails, anarchists setting off bombs, protesters throwing acid or slabs of concrete at policemen, or even more bizarre fantasies - during the last Republican Convention, for instance, Philadelphia police claimed anarchists were preparing to release poisonous snakes and reptiles all over the city. During the protests, they often claim such things are actually happening. But every time, when it's all over, police are either forced to grudgingly admit they were "mistaken" (the molotovs turned out to be paint thinner used in making puppets, the van full of reptiles turned out to be owned by a pet store), or they just stop talking about it and hope nobody notices that none of these things ever actually occurred.

Real terrorists try to create terror. They threaten to do terrible things, to kill and maim innocent people, if governments do not agree to their demands. Then they go out and do it. Afterwards, they boast about it and threaten more. Here we have the exact opposite. The anarchists who help organize protests in America have never threatened to hurt anyone, never claimed to have hurt anyone, and in fact, in four years of protests, have never have hurt a single innocent bystander in any way. Despite that, every time there's a major protest, the police keep trying to terrify the public by predicting mayhem, and the anarchists keep desperately trying to reassure the public that there's nothing to be frightened of, that the last thing we'd ever want to do is to harm them.

In other words, it's the police spokesmen who keep trying to create a climate of terror. We keep trying to diffuse it.

So we've got two things working in tandem here: police who want to scare the public so that they'll accept repressive police behavior to "save" the city; and news organizations that draw more audience and sell more papers when they have scary stories to tell. Gotta love the synergy.

Posted by Jake at 10:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Paid Hooky

Sorry, no LMB radio show today. Instead I'll be at another radio station producing another radio show, for my payin' job. That one'll air 7pm Friday on KPFK, if anyone cares. Also, I've pretty much updated my list of playlists (pull-down menu in the upper right of the page).

While we're on the subject, would anyone like to hear more interviews on the LMB show? Musicians, artists, activists and experts, I figger. I've just discovered a cheap source of phone cards, so I think I can afford to interview people by phone all over these U-nited States.

And while I'm doing housekeeping: to the people who bought buttons, I will mail them out this week. I was having some Paypal issues, and wanted to take care of them before I put anything in the mail. Thanks for waiting.

Posted by Jake at 01:09 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 11, 2004

Democratic Shrink

So last week, Tom Ridge of the Office of Homeland Security announced that Al Qaeda was planning to attack the US to disrupt American elections.

First of all, I've stopped believing in these damn terrorist warnings. The government always announces that they have mysterious but credible evidence that terrorists are talking about attacking a nuclear reactor or a ferry or a highway or dry cleaners or clown college, somewhere in the coastal-desert-mountain-southern-northern-eastern part of the country, next week or this winter or in 2025. Then nothing happens. They're making shit up or are getting bad info, either way I can't trust that much. Or, perhaps Homeland Security is defeating the terrorists and foiling their plans, but somehow that never really crosses my mind.

With regards to this latest announcement, the FBI is saying that they haven't gotten any new terror info in the past six weeks, so you've gotta wonder why Homeland Security is brining this up now.

But that's not the kicker. The kicker is that the government is apparently talking about postponing the presidential elections in case of terrorist attack.

Read that again.

Let's pretend for a minute that this isn't way, way, way shady (and I don't think I could pretend for much longer than that), and ponder the idea of postponing an election due to violence.

Two words: East Timor.

East Timor is a small island country that was conquered by Indonesia back in the 1970s. The Indonesian army killed a few hundred thousand Timorese over the course of a couple decades, and when there were finally talks about East Timor becoming independent in the late 1990s, Indonesia started supplying and supporting thug militias to intimidate the Timorese people. As promised, the militias killed a lot of innocent people before the election. And after the election, the millitias went on a killing spree, and turned hundreds of thousands into refugees.

Still, under a cloud of fear and death, 90% of the Timorese turned out to the polls and voted for freedom.

When I think of that, the idea of postponing the American elections in case of a terrorist attack, no matter how heinous, is not only unnecessary, not only ridiculous, but offensive.

American democracy is pretty minimal. We don't get to vote directly, we only get to vote for representatives who will then vote for us. And, of those potential representatives, we get to select one of two white male millionaires who will generally vote in favor of large corporations instead of us.

Still, I utterly reject this idea of taking this tiny sliver of democracy away. If they can take it away for a little while, they can take it away for longer. Or whenever they want.

Posted by Jake at 11:32 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

New Evil Blogger

Michael Powell, pro-corporate head of the FCC, has a blog.

Actually, it looks like Powell is writing a regular column for a tech news site. But it has a comments section, which makes it kinda bloggy. Powell seems to actually read the comments. And happily, most of the folks commenting don't like Powell's policies.

Maybe you'd like a chance to try to debate Powell and sway his opinions. Or maybe you'd prefer to go yell at his punk-ass.

Door's open.

Posted by Jake at 07:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 10, 2004


I finally saw Fahrenheit 9/11 this week (partially just to put an end to all the "you haven't seen it yet? Of all people, Jake, I thought you would've been first in line etc.").

When I went to the theater, there was a line to get in. At 4:15 in the afternoon. On a Wednesday. That's probably saying something.

As I'd been hearing, the movie didn't provide that much new information for people who'd been keeping an eye on the Bush administration, and as I am one of those people, I didn't come out of the movie changed very much. The "Bonanza" parody and Moore's ice cream truck adventures cracked me up. The scenes of bereaved mother Lila Lipscomb choked me up, but since my mother's death last year, upsetting me with scenes of grief is not hard to do.

Parts of the movie seemed very loose and associational, taking many facts and stirring them together until the result looked like a (blurry) conclusion. As I think back, I'm not even sure what Moore's thesis is. He almost argues that Saudi Arabia was responsible for 9/11, that Bush & co. didn't stop 9/11 because they were friends with rich Saudis, and that to prevent their rich Saudi friends from being hurt, Bush & co. decided to invade Iraq instead. And oil was involved somehow too.

I didn't like how Moore kept talking about "the Saudis" again and again in the first half of the film. "The Saudis" are not responsbile for 9/11, nor were "the Saudis" friends of the Bush family. A handful of individual terrorists from Saudi Arabia were responsible for 9/11, and a handful of rich oil men from Saudi Arabia were friends with the Bush family. The rest of the 25+ million Saudis had nothing to do with any of this, and I feel that Moore's sloppy wording implies that the Saudi people are devious shieks or muderous fanatics. This is quite unfair, as the majority of the people there are poor, and victims of their own dictatorship.

I think that "sloppy" applies to a lot of this film. It's more polished than Bowling for Columbine was, but to me, there are still parts that seem unnecessary, as though they had extra footage, and just threw it in there even though it didn't fit.

Overall, I'd say the movie ranks as "good." I think it's an important film at this point in time. To me, the film's wide attendance shows that many people in this country who don't necessarily hate the president, can tell that the stories he's been telling them don't add up. Even if they don't know or like Michael Moore, they're willing to listen to someone with a different point of view try to explain what's going on.

It's Moore's hope that once they've heard another version of the story, that the audience will feel so angry and betrayed that they'll vote Bush out of office. I hope so too.

Posted by Jake at 05:55 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 09, 2004

Medium, Message

The 'prop-agenda' war- a look at current and past uses and techniques of propaganda by the US government on the American people.

Some theater chains refuse 'Fahrenheit'- I have no problem with theater owners choosing to show or not show Michael Moore's new movie. I am amused by a quoted theater chain owner's claim that the reason that they are choosing to not show Moore's film is because "It has always been and will continue to be our policy to refuse to play what we feel are propaganda films, no matter the source." We salute thee, Captain Patriot, on your long-standing non-propaganda policy! So when when exactly has this been an issue at your theater? What was the last wide-release film which was propaganda and made you put your foot down to uphold your virtue? Pompous lying motherfucker.

News Hounds- site that's new to me, "We watch FOX so you don't have to" (that's quite a community service). Basically, they watch and critique Fox News Channel programming from a liberal point of view.

If anyone knows a site that critiques Fox News from a conservative point of view, please let me know. That could be hilarious.

Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism- more Fox bashing. This is the site of a new documentary about the effects of corporate ownership on the news media, and on Fox in particular.

FCC may order media to keep on-air records- to better penalize broadcasters, the FCC is mulling over the idea of making those broadcasters keep recordings of all their shows. Expect broadcasters to fight back, talking about the high price of blank tape.

Photoshop other New York Post front-page scoops- after the New York Post's goofy blunder where they printed an erroneous front page about Kerry's running mate, the jokers at Fark put their graphical skills to work riffing on that theme. In related news, it looks as though the "mysterious source" who misinformed the Post might have been Post owner and media emperor Rupert Murdoch (actually, I'm not sure why the NY Times is running with that story, they only have a single, unnamed source making that claim. Oh wait, that's because they're the NY Times).

House Leaves Patriot Act Unchanged- members of the House of Representatives tried to alter the Patriot Act so that law enforcement did not have the right to search every American's library records and book receipts to find out what they're reading. The attempt failed. I love how when I read, Big Brother's lips move.

No Sex, Please, We're Texas- conservative nutjobs in Texas have decided that all the state's kids should be furnished solely with special "Texas edition" health books which teach that abstinence is the only form of birth control. Which is good, because there's nothing more evil than teen sex. Well, maybe teen pot smoking.

Posted by Jake at 06:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 08, 2004

News Vittles

Incarceration, Inc.- private, for-profit prisons. When you first hear the concept, it sounds like a bad idea. But when you start digging and looking at the reality, you see that it really is a bad idea.

The Truth About the Drug Companies- private, for-profit pharmaceutical companies. When you first hear the concept-- just stick the last article's joke here.

You Are How You Eat- your standard "common sense vs. stupid diet trends" article, but its a point that really needs to be made a lot of times. If you're overweight, maybe a healthier diet and exercise are a better plan than cutting an entire food group from your menu.

Women Stage Breast-Feeding Protest at Mall- "Chanting 'Got milk,' 50 mothers staged a protest 'nurse-in' at a Houston shopping mall after one of them said security guards asked her to cover herself or move on while breast-feeding her 4-month-old son." Rock.

Do [East Valley] anarchists pose terror threat?- a somewhat in-depth and slightly sympathetic about American anarchists. Law enforcement these days lumps together anarchists and terrorists without a second thought, harassing and arresting them. I keep thinking of that quote about the Holocaust by Martin Niemoller: "First they came for the Communists, and I didnít speak up, because I wasnít a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didnít speak up because I wasnít a Jew..."

Almost Six Months Later, Aftershock of Strike Still Felt in Small Town- interesting article about a failed 2003 strike in a small Wisconsin town, and the effects that the strike and its settlement have had on the people who live there.

The Dark Side of Ralph Nader- since Nader's presidential run in 2000, I've always heard rumors that despite his principled opinions, that in his private dealings, that Nader has engaged in union-busting and owns corporate stock and antagonizes his workers. No one's ever really given me any evidence to substantiate those claims though. This article does give some evidence that Nader treats some of his employees like shit. Overall, it paints a picture of Nader as a hard-working progressive who is harder on his friends than on his enemies, and who will let personal vindictiveness overcome all else. Can't verify it, and don't particularly care to, but it's an intriguing read.

FEMA worker ordered home- long story short, a couple went to a pro-Bush rally at the North Carolina state capitol, and were arrested for wearing anti-Bush t-shirts. Of course, the police claim that the couple were arrested for "trespassing."

Posted by Jake at 04:46 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Far Away, So Close

Amanda over at Mouse Words posted a link to a personality quiz today, implying that it was blogger-oriented. It wasn't, but I took it anyway. The results were fairly spot-on, actually, so I was going to post the results here. But I accidentally closed that browser window, so I quickly retook the test, presuming that I'd get pretty much the same conclusion. Kinda sorta. My first test said that I was a WEDL-- a Wacky Emotional Destructive Leader. My second said I was a WECL-- Wacky Emotional Constructive Leader. Go figure.

Let me present my schizoid self.


You are a WEDL--Wacky Emotional Destructive Leader. This makes you an anarchist. You don't give a damn. When push comes to shove, you just forget about it--it's just not worth the heartache. What this means for others is that dealing with you can be aggravating, because they find they can't get you motivated about things they care about. What this means for you is that you are happier, calmer, and saner then they are on their best days.

You are near-immune to criticism, and those who know you well acknowledge and respect that. You may come across as lazy, but the truth is that you find little to get worked up about. Regardless, you have slews of friends, because they are fascinated by your world view, jealous of your lifestyle, and drawn to the fact that you are hilarious to be around.

You are a pillar in a sea of hot-bloodedness. You have a sweet tooth.


You are a WECL--Wacky Emotional Constructive Leader. This makes you a people's advocate. You are passionate about your causes, with a good heart and good endeavors. Your personal fire is contagious, and others wish they could be as dedicated to their beliefs as you are.

Your dedication may cause you to miss the boat on life's more slight and trivial activities. You will feel no loss when skipping some inane mixer, but it can be frustrating to others to whom such things are important. While you find it difficult to see other points of view, it may be useful to act as if you do, and play along once in a while.

In any event, you have buckets of charisma and a natural skill for making people open up. Your greatest asset is an ability to make progress while keeping the peace.

LMB- fulfilling all your wacky, emotional leadership needs

Posted by Jake at 12:11 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 07, 2004

I don't know anyone named Brandon. But the woman implored me, "Tell Brandon I said 'hi!'"

So Brandon, a crazy homeless lady over on Vermont Avenue says "hi."

Posted by Jake at 08:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 06, 2004

More Books to Burn

Crossroads is the name of a new radical bookstore that has just opened up in Kansas City (the Missouri one. Don't know why you midwestern folks gotta confuse us by having two Kansas Cities, and having one of them not even in fucking Kansas). Actually it is an "infoshop" and bookstore ("infoshop" being a word that anarchists use for these spaces that are kind of a mix between a bookstore, library and community center geared toward activism and politics). According to them, the infoshop will "carry a variety of radical and progressive books, shirts, and novelties. Crossroads will serve as a space for film showings, speakers, and meetings. We are worker-owned and will be affilated with the IWW as a union shop."

I want to congratulate the Crossroads folks on their success. I believe I met them about a year ago when I was on tour with Lollapalooza. Good folks. We gave the Kansas City Direct Action Network an info table at the concert, and they were trying to raise money for their proposed "Revolutionary Education Community Center." I'm not 100% certain, but I'm pretty sure that they went ahead and created the center, choosing the much shorter and friendlier title of "Crossroads."

So congrats, kids!

If you live in that area, check it out.

Posted by Jake at 09:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Veep Veep

So, John Kerry has picked John Edwards as his running mate for the presidential campaign. I would have said that Edwards was the most likely choice, until I read this column, which argues that the candidates almost never choose any of the likely suspects. But in this case it was one of the likely suspects, so, um... yeah.

Edwards seems like a good choice, as he was one of the only Democratic candidates who was able to get anyone excited about anything-- the Anti-Lieberman, if you will. People got excited about Howard Dean, but as the media told us, Dean is a raving barbarian who, if elected, will storm the nation and eat manflesh. People got excited about Wesley Clark, until they saw him campaign; then they fluffed their pillows. People got excited about Al Sharpton, but for some reason, the lighter-skinned of those people were reluctant to support him... Which means that the boyish Southerner will join Senator Jawline on the Democratic ticket.

More than anything, I think we can expect the Republicans to super-saturate the media with attacks on Edwards, because he used to be a "trial lawyer." They will try to paint him as an ambulance-chaser, a liar, a shyster, a devil, an elitist, and the reason that your medical insurance rates are so high (apparently CNN has already blamed today's dip in the stock market on Edwards). I liked Juan Cole's idea that Edwards could position himself as a foil to Dick Cheney: Cheney takes your money and gives it to big corporations like Halliburton; trial lawyer Edwards sues big companies like Halliburton and gives the money to people like you.

Does the Vice Presidential candidate really make a difference in an election? Two words: Dan Quayle. I do imagine though, that the veep choice results in increased campaign donations from the folks who consider that potential VP to be one of their own. Which means that Kerry-Edwards might see an influx in North Carolina cash.

But since the VP has little power (breaking tie votes in the Senate, and protecting the space-time continuum), I think the addition of Edwards will result in an increase in populist rhetoric, but won't change much else about the Kerry campaign.

Posted by Jake at 01:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 05, 2004


Surely I'm missing a few tunes here? Or maybe I left early?

Schtum- Skydiver
Dangermouse & Jemini- Bush Boys
Prince- Erotic City
LL Cool J- Going Back to Cali
Mike Ladd- Animist
Moxy Fruvous- Spiderman
Nortec Collective- Polaris
Peter Murphy- Cuts You Up
Anti-Flag- Stars and Stripes
Nikka Costa- Nothing
Rage Against the Machine- Ashes in the Fall

Posted by Jake at 10:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"It's my estimation that every man ever got a statue made of him was one kind of a son of a bitch or another."
- Malcolm Reynolds, "Firefly"

Posted by Jake at 12:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 04, 2004

Fourth of Jooly

It's been quite some time since I've been big on patriotism and love of country and whatnot. I was born between a couple of arbitrarily drawn lines on a map, and since I didn't have much say in the matter, that seems like a funny thing to be proud of. I do like it here. I like some of the people here, and like a lot of aspects of the culture. All my stuff is here. So for those reasons, I do like America.

But what the hell does it mean to "be an American"? The population is so diverse that there really isn't anything that we all have in common. People of different income levels, races, or geographic regions do not experience this country the same way. There are only a few tenuous things that might define an American:

1) you live in or used to live in the United States
2) you endorse values like "freedom" and "democracy" (if you do not endorse these values, it is okay to endorse their shadow-selves, like "freedom-lite" and "democracy-flavored")
3) you watch the most popular American prime time TV shows, and talk about them with others
4) you consider yourself an American

Well, there probably is one more thing that makes you an American: you oppose those popularly considered to be America's enemies. Frankly, that probably unifies the citizenry more than anything else. All the talk of anti-Americanism and traitorism in political discourse these days is really just a disagreement about who is and isn't an enemy, and what is and isn't proper opposition to those enemies.

But that's enough sociology for one night.

When I ignore the oddness of "countries", "borders" and "nationalities", I have no problem with people being proud of this country-- so long as they know both the good and the bad. If you feel national pride because all you watch is Fox News and John Wayne movies, I can't respect you much. If you can juxtapose the country's achievements and victories with its shames and atrocities, and find that your pride outweighs your disdain, then hey, you're alright.

Lately, many liberals are talking about "reclaiming patriotism and the flag" from conservatives. And the patriotism hijack really was a clever conservative ploy: they managed to successfully sell the idea that close-minded, sexist, white Christian values of the 1950s and obedience to authority were patriotic, and that anything else was its opposite. Some liberals now propose a counterattack, to shift public opinion so that liberals can denounce corrupt CEOs and proto-fascist conservatives as anti-American traitors, so that they can paint liberal agendas with stars and stripes.

I'm tired of that bullshit, of everyone's bullshit. Fuck patriotism, fuck the flag, fuck the Founding Fathers, fuck the Constitution. My goals and values are about making as many people as possible-- Americans and others-- healthier, safer, happier, and free. Whenever these goals coincide with whatever "pro-American" is, I am a patriot. When my goals conflict with that, I am sedition. Anyone who seriously wants to make people's lives better-- Republican, Democrat, whatever--, that's where you should be too.

Happy Independence Day.

Posted by Jake at 05:18 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

Both projects focus on our media-marinated world, political lies, corporate tyranny, and the folks fighting the good fight against these monsters.

All brought to you by Jake Sexton, The Most Beloved Man in America ģ.


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July 15, 2004

What Up, Docs?

There are more political documentaries in and around movie theaters these days than at any time I can remember. I'm seriously discovering a new one every week or two. For everyone's convenience, I'll go ahead and catalog em for you. Most of them have already been mentioned on this site, but let's get our one-stop convenience on.

Bush's Brain- in 2003, two reporters penned the book Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential. Karl Rove is, of course, the Mephistopheles to Bush's dim-witted Faust (what, all my references have to be to 80s cartoon shows?), the campaign advisor who's lies, strategery, and dirty tricks put his boss's cowboy boots on the desk in the Oval Office. Anyhow, someone read the book and said "hey, we should make this a movie", and did. Haven't seen the film, but its website implies that one of the main themes of the movie is new politics of not just defeating your opponent, but destroying him.

The Corporation- I plan to see this one this week (maybe tomorrow afternoon, if I play hooky). The film's conceit is "since corporations are considered 'people' under the law, why don't we try to psychoanalyze these artificial people and see what they're like." The conclusion is that if corporations were people, they'd be sociopaths. This film is also apparently based on a book of the same name.

Fahrenheit 9/11- you know about this one.

The Hunting of the President- another book-based doc, this one is about the lengthy Republican campaign to defeat/destroy Bill Clinton while he was in the White House. Of all the movies on this list, this is the one I'm least interested in.

Orwell Rolls in His Grave- just found out about this one like ten minutes ago. Near as I can figure, it's also about the run-up to the Iraq war, but with focus on the absolutely criminal behavior by the US media during this time. I'm most attracted to this film because of its stylish name and focus on my obsession, the media.

Outfoxed- I've mentioned this one a few times lately. Anti-Fox News documentary that is driving the network to distraction.

Super Size Me- least political of the bunch, but still, deals with corporate America, aspects of our government's food and nutritional policies, and getting a big fat ass.

Unprecendented: The 2000 Presidential Election- first of the recent "Un" trilogy. This one is about the Florida debacle part of the 2000 election.

Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War- second of the "Un" trilogy. Covers a lot of the same ground as F911, but with more focus on testimony by intelligence officials debunking the pro-war argument.

Unconstitutional- "Un" trilogy finale. Not yet released, but about post-9/11 fear and the Bush administration's attacks on civil rights in the US.

Posted by Jake at 08:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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