Open discussion about the war July 31, 2007Posted by Kilgore Trout in Uncategorized.
This is an open threat for anyone who would like to discuss in as reasonable as possible manner the issue of the Iraq war. I had essentially considered this website dead but I will open up for this to see if I can get a dialog going. This is a highly emotional issue from all sides but lets do our best to keep things civilized. Thanks.
slacking December 6, 2006Posted by Kilgore Trout in Uncategorized.
Im sorry to those who were checking the site on a regular basis. I haven’t had much time and the truth is that I have a bit more interest in the national politics than the local, partially because there is limited local media which makes it difficult to get around bias and find out whats really going on. So while I will try to get more involved with local affairs it will be a little slim at least for the near future, one thing I do hope to follow closely is the notion of Elmira privatizing its water board. This is a subject which I have limited knowledge, but everyone I know who knows about the subject is very opposed to the idea. I hope to get involved directly in trying to maintain our most cricital resource in the hands of the people as opposed to being at the whim of a few people behind closed doors, because that is what democracy is all about. I will not be told I cannot have water because coke-cola is decreasing supply to increase profits. If thats sounds far fetched then you probably have never heard of Enron either. sorry thats a bit cynical. The point is simply that Water is something too critical to be taken out of the domain of democracy.
Progressives November 13, 2006Posted by Kilgore Trout in Uncategorized.
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I was a bit surprised by my fellow progressives this weekend. The’re was a very pessimistic view of the recent election. Now I realize that things aren’t perfect I mean Joe Lieberman is still in office, but the reason I’m excited isn’t just because the Dems won, its because We the liberals won them the election. let me re-phrase that. Politics is a corrupt business I don’t care what anyone says, its corrupt. The last 6 years our nation has been run by people who sold a piece of themselves to the right-wing and to big-business. Now we have people in power who wither they like it or not were put in power by the left and unfortunately the Unions. So whats that mean, it means that we have some influence on them. I mean hell the blogsphere alone nearly toppled Lieberman who was elected but not selected to be vice-president in 2000.
It could be that these people aren’t connected to this wonderful thing we call collectively the blogsphere, if nothing else this internet creation is inspiring, as many people have put it, we each put a little candle in the window as a beacon of hope, in your own community it may seem hopeless as there may only be 3 or 4 candles visible, but if you go online and enter this domain then suddenly the candles are nearly blinding.
So am I hopeful about the next couple years, oh yes, but I am far from a lemming, as I think I have shown, I will not hold back against the Dems, they do not control me, but collectively we do control them (at least a little). To quote V for Vendetta, “the people should not be afraid of their government, government should be afraid of the people.” I wish that it didn’t have to rely on fear, I would rather the government simply reflect the will of the people, you know like a democracy, maybe we should try one of those.
Friday and all is well November 10, 2006Posted by Kilgore Trout in Uncategorized.
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Nothing much to report on the political front, and its friday so I feel like relaxing, I was hoping to post a song called “the Brews” because it was our way to kick off friday nights back at college. It starts with,
“Friday night we’ll be drinkin’ Manishevitz
Goin’ out to terrorize Goyem
Stompin’ shagitz, screwin’ shicksas
As long as we’re home by Saturday mornin
Cause hey, we’re the Brews
Sportin’ anti-swastika tattoos
Oi Oi we’re the boys
Orthodox, hesidic, O.G. Ois
Orthopedic, Dr. Martins good for
Waffle making, kickin’ through the shin
Reputation, gained through intimidation
Pacifism no longer tradition”
The friend that I usually started the night off with was usually rocking Doc’s and even got an anti-swastika tatoo eventually, a-la the Dead Kennedy’s.
Oh and two of the band members are jewish and so this entire song is full of yiddish and other jewish reffernces. They had an album called “white trash, two heebs and a bean” from that you can probably guess the racial make up of the band.
But I couldn’t find a good version of it so instead here is NoFX’s masterpeice, this one song was an entire album, its the second longest song in punk history. And its here in three parts. The longest was Crass with Sir! Yes Sir!
I didn’t think wordpress allowed video’s then I realised I’m just an idiot so hopefully this works. Oh and Mom if your reading this I don’t think you know much of the music I like but heres a good example, this is my favorite band, I’ve owned almost all of their albums, and Ive had almost every one lost of stolen. And these guys first started in 1983 when I was 1, they’re about to turn 40 and are still a great punk band.
UPDATE: as you can see, or actually not see, I’m not an idiot (debatable) wordpress won’t allow video. If you want to see it go Here thats part one, you can find the other from that site quite easily though.
the wrap up November 9, 2006Posted by Kilgore Trout in Uncategorized.
I’m obviously sad that the person I supported the most, Eric Massa didn’t win, its not quite over but the chances are almost nill that the absentee ballots will bring him the victory. Which brings me to the next point, should he conceed? well there are very good reasons why he should, basicly so he doesn’t seem like the sore loser, and because recounts cost the state quite a bit of money. But at the same time I’m a man of ideals, when you were a child it was driven into you that this is a democracy and every vote counts, so even if it seems silly because there are so many millions of voters and your one vote can’t make a difference it still does. Well what happens when that child grows up, do you want to be the one to tell them that well we don’t acctually count ALL the votes, but we get most of ’em so your vote really might not matter at all. Is the idea that every vote counts no more concrete than the idea of the tooth fairy? If for no other reason this, we should count every vote everytime, even if just out of principle.
At the same time I’m giddy like a 5 year old on christmas that the people have spoken, and they’re pissed. We got The House, The Senate and we got rid of Rumsfeld, what a day what a day. Rummy that was just icing on an already sweet cake right there. There isn’t much to say that hasn’t been said.
But on that note, now is the time for action The dems need to stand up and take charge oh sure they’re going to get vetoed a lot but so what its going to show the people where the president and his party really stand. If they do this right it could be huge, if they screw it up then… well lets just hope they get it right.
Yesterday was such a relief, went home had a beer played a video game did some reading and didn’t once think about politics, and all the while there was a weight off me, I know that were on the right path again, things are finally going to get better, people are paying attention, people care. we have a long road ahead but things are going to get better, I’m not sad for the children anymore.
End of the Line November 7, 2006Posted by Kilgore Trout in Uncategorized.
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(warning: still cell phone blogging, in other word errors abound)
Well even at this early hour we have one piece of good news, the net is blowing up about the problems with the electronic voting machines. Over on the left we’ve been saying they have fatal flaws for a while but now even the repubs are saying they’re flawed, which means they’re done for. So that’s one good thing, it does mean that there will be a lot of inaccurate votes this time but we should be good for 08, hey I’m in an optimistic mood today. That’s all for now. I’d drop some links but its kinda a pain on the phone, just go too daily kos or pretty much any political site (other than this one ) and you’ll get some good info. Have a good one, and go Vote!
Ok well wordpress didn’t want to work for me so I’m adding more.
Eric just stopped by, I have no idea how he still has the energy to fire up a crowd when he’s been up since 330 am, oh and he’s got broncitis. But man he’s still got it, of course he has been waiting for this day for almost two years now. Like a kid on christmas who has to wait for others to decide if santa came.
What limited info we have sounds good. Huge turnout, and rain. Now for most rain sounds like a bad thing, my thinking is that clearly our side is more fired up, there’s more of them but we care more, and at this point even that first point is questionable. So if its raining it will prevent some people who don’t care as much, hmm… Which side is that. Yeah I think the rain is actually a good thing.
Well two and a half hours to go…
The Big Day November 7, 2006Posted by Kilgore Trout in Uncategorized.
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(warning I’m phoneblogging again, probably lots of errors)
So today’s the big day. We,ve been walking around putting fliers on doorknobs and calling dems since, well some started at 5am but I wasn’t one of them. I got going around 8, hit the streets by 830-9 and was walking till about 1230. Came back to the hq and got a little lunch blew up a couple ballons for the party and now I’m down the road making calls because we ran out of phones. I think everyone hates doing these calls but they claim they’re effective so we do ’em.
My friend and co-worker charlie stopped in to light up the phones for a little bit. He was hoping to do something with voter protection but there hasn’t been much concern with that around here. I hope that means that they haven’t been cheating, and not that they are cheating and were just not catching them.
Ok well I gotta do some more of these phone calls, and remember that today is election day, in case you forgot.
Predictions November 6, 2006Posted by Kilgore Trout in Uncategorized.
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Well as an oh-so-amateur pundit I’ve got to make a few predictions about the big day.
First the house, I’m saying that tomorrow we take back about 18 seats, that’s tomorrow, then there will probably be about 10 more during the re-counts, and maybe 2 more during the trials of Rove and Diebold. These will be long drawn out affairs, the trials may take longer than the term in office but in the end the Diebold machines (as they are now at least) will not be allowed to be used in any further elections. Diebold will get a new name and a slightly more difficult to hack machine but will still be good friends with the Republican party but that isn’t going to gain them much after the party disbands in the winter of 2009-10.
Ad for the Senate, I haven’t been paying much attention so I’ll go with 5-7. yeah it’s a lame prediction because that means that anything could happen and I didn’t really predict anything. Hmmm… maybe a could be a professional pundit, and actually if we had some Democrats in office then maybe the media would actually hire a liberal talking head, oh sorry, gotta’ give props to Keith Olberman. He wishes he was Edward R. Murrow, he’s got the idea he just didn’t have the name going into it.
So anyway, those are my predictions. Lots of races to close to call, their will be cheating, there is already cheating going on but we will take the house anyway. And someone will end up in jail, probably not Rove, he would get a pardon anyway, they’ll blame it on some lackey. The senate I don’t have a clue, I’ll be psyched if it happens but its far far from a guarantee.
The last Republican sunset November 6, 2006Posted by Kilgore Trout in Uncategorized.
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In less than 24 hours will be one hell of an election. I’m quite sure I can’t hold my breath that long but I feel like I’m trying, I might need a new inhaler. I’ll be taking the day off from work to watch the process in action. Not sure exactly what Ill be doing but I want to be involved.
This election in general scares the crap put of me. Have we made our point clearly enough to both parties that we’re not going to put up with this BS anymore? Have the Democrats found that they need to re-embrace their base, energize those their troops, anti-war troops but troops all the same. Have the Republicans leaned that we’re not going to sit back and cower when they call us names? That simply screaming terrorists isn’t going to work forever. They cannot simply attack in every direction like a rabid pit bull any longer, we’re paying attention and when people attack we can, will, and do respond immediately.
The netroots is growing, the people are speaking, often we’re screaming and we will not go quietly into the night. Tomorrow the Democrats will take the house, the Senate is a toss-up. The Republicans will try to rig many elections, and when they do we must catch them. They need to be caught red-handed stealing votes, they were caught both in 2000 and in 04 but not until it was too late. Tomorrow we will do what we can to catch them in the act and then we will indict everyone involved. Have the Democrats gained the courage needed to actually follow through? That will not be learned tomorrow. But right now there is some incredibly dirty politics going on right now, their backs are against the wall and they face the one thing they have no idea how to fight against, Accountability.
hillary live blog November 3, 2006Posted by Kilgore Trout in Uncategorized.
This may have more errors than usual, I’m doing this live, on a phone so bear with me.
Hillary hits the stage. She kinda reminds me of my mom…but shorter.
The usual stuff. Mostly about getting out to vote. And that the republicans have failed. Unfortunately I’m surrounded by labor folks who I don’t care for. I won’t get into that now. Hill’s doin alright. Probably cause of the aucustics it sounds like shes yelling. Oh well.
Eric’s up, going a little deaf from the cheers. Pretty good energy from the stage and the crowd, of course I’m used to punk concerts so its probably damn good energy for a political event. Eric’s sounding more like the Eric I like. Oh bringin out the family. I’ve met the kids before, this is the first time I’ve seen the wife. Not sure why I’m mentionig that. He has the audience hooked. No one really talks about issues, but they don’t need to, these are their people and there’s three days left. One last send offf from clinton, she’s better than I expected, and its done.
Ok now I’m in line to meet hillary. And they won’t stop playing U2 beautiful day. Springstien came on, I got happy, then it cut out and went back to U2. WTF They turned out the lights. Were trying to leave. BTW I don’t think I’m actually goint to meet the senator, now I think this is just the line to leave.
Oh and I need to point out that the secret service guy was kinda ammusing, the only person looking at the audience instead of the stage.
Well that pretty much wraps it up, nothing of importancee was said, it was a cheerleading event. And not a very long one at that.
They’re coming after the Babies November 3, 2006Posted by Kilgore Trout in Uncategorized.
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Quite the post for DKos
What a country, we give a corporation 2.3 billion dollars to do a job and they fail, but they keep the money. Then we tell infants who are legal citizens that they won’t be seeing a doctor anytime soon because were to cheap to help them survive. Yes these are the children of illegal aliens but they are still human beings and for some of us that still matters.
Iraq Afganistan Veterans of America Scorecard November 3, 2006Posted by Kilgore Trout in Uncategorized.
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Randy didn’t do so well. He scored a D
Hillary got an A-
Chuck got a B+
IAVA homepage Is this a non-partisan site? no idea, it claims to be thats all I know. There is also some classic Orwellian Double-Speak in some of the legislation. For instance if you voted for the “Military Death Gratitude” bill then you were actually voting to keep the money given to families who lost love ones $12,000 if you voted against this bill you were actually raising that number to $100,000.
Kerry, Kerry, Kerry… November 3, 2006Posted by Kilgore Trout in Uncategorized.
Something needs to be said about Kerry. To be honest I haven’t listened to exactly what he said and I don’t really care. He said something dumb, very dumb, and at the worse possible time. Does this mean that he “doesn’t support the troops” no, don’t be stupid. People are bitter about the war, we want it to end but we don’t want their country to completely collapse either. Unfortunately those who have been running the show with absolute incompetence, and I’m not talking about anyone in a uniform, have left us in a no win situation. I’m not going to go any further with why this illegal war was a disaster from the first time Bush implied that Saddam has something to do with 9/11. No this is about Kerry, he screwed up and he screwed up bad, this has played right into the hands of the Republican machine including now when the Democrats take back fewer seats than they expected because of massive disenfranchisement (and Diebold, and other voter fraud) the news will just say, wow Kerry’s remark had a bigger impact than we expected and will call it a day.
And if you don’t believe me then just think about how many times you’ve seen that banner from the troops making fun of Kerry, which was actually pretty funny, and how many times have you seen troops protesting Bush in the news? And don’t try to say that no troops are angry with Bush, or Cheney, or Rumsfeld most especially Rumsfeld.
Hillary’s comin’ to town November 3, 2006Posted by Kilgore Trout in Uncategorized.
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Today there is going to be an event with Hillary Clinton supporting Eric Massa. This is an interesting move, Bringing in one of the biggest names the Democratic party has to offer sounds like a good thing but being a big name doesn’t necessarily mean she’s well liked. Seems as if I’m one of few people left on the fence about her. There have been many votes one important issues where she stood for what I consider the right position. But then there’s here unwavering support of this illegal war. Overall New York obviously likes her, she is going to win this election with probably 65% of the vote, but her numbers are no where near that for this district which is what matters for Massa. Honestly I only now realized that she’s campaigning for herself as well as helping Massa, Her win was never even in question so I basically forget that she’s even running.
One place this does help Eric is that it gives him a little more political credibility. He’s never been in politics before on any level so starting as a Representative is about like learning to swim by being tossed off the high dive. I’m not saying he’s going to drown but it will be rough at the start. So by having such an established name like Clinton in your corner has got to make you feel a bit more comfortable. So my stance is that she’s ok, not great not always good even but not terrible either. If she were in a close election against a Republican I would vote for her, maybe have a sign, but that’s as much help as she’d get from me. On the other hand she is not in a close race, she’s hardly in a race at all, so I’ll probably vote for Howie Hawkins out of protest to her war stance.
Wow I never even knew who Republican candidate for senate was, I saw a few Faso signs around and assumed that was the guy, but Faso is running for Gov. which means he’s going to lose to Spitzer, and badly. The guy running against Hillary I’ve never heard of, so that’s probably a good sign that the area isn’t as anti-Hillary as I thought they might be, or I just never noticed the signs. Well whatever, I’m hopefully going to head to the National Warplane Museum later (3:30 pm) to see my Senator and my next Representative speak, one of my supervisors may go too. Hope to see you there.
Rush November 1, 2006Posted by Kilgore Trout in Uncategorized.
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I haven’t mentioned the whole issue of Rush Limbaugh calling Michael J. Fox a faker over Fox’s ad for those who support stem cell research, which could lead to a cure for Parkinsons. I haven’t touched on this partially because everyone else had but mostly because I didn’t have the time to properly explain my contempt for Rush Limbaugh and for anyone who actually cares what he has to say, not counting those who listen purely for the shock value and not because they agree. He is the political version of Howard Stern but isn’t as funny, and has a drug problem.
Because I’d rather not go on a rant right now I’ll play a little soothing music instead.
Pelosi has a plan November 1, 2006Posted by Kilgore Trout in Uncategorized.
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Our soon-to-be Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has a new law in the works which would limit if not completely destroy the house side of lobbying. Sounds good to me, and anyone else who thinks that voters and not corporations should have control of the government. My fear is that this, no matter how far it goes, will only slow them down temporarily. I have said before that I feel the only way to completely eliminate corporate money from politics is to remove ALL private money. I did a quick outline of what I meant Here. But I am impressed that before she takes office she has already put forth a pan to drastically reduce the influence of the lobbyists on the House of Representatives, which is a move I applaud. Of course it might also have to do with the lobbyists giving more money to the Republicans…
Heres an article about this.
Of course this could just mean that we get a new name for lobbyist. I hate to always be so cynical but I have few reasons not to be.
Randy Kuhl lied to me November 1, 2006Posted by Kilgore Trout in Campaign.
I rarely expect politicians to uphold campaign promises, but we’re sinking pretty low when they can’t even keep the promise through the campaign. During the Elmira debate both candidates Kuhl and Massa promised to run clean campaigns. Up until that point there had been some minor slinging but really they had stuck to the issues quite well. It could be said that they were both guilty of negative campaigning as both had stated the opponents position in a negative connotation. But most still consider an opponents voting record fair game. But recently Kuhl has turned to what can only be described as negative campaigning. I’m not talking about the “sniper ad” as its completely despicable and would be a more accurate portrayal of Kuhls positions than Massas but that ad was run by the RCC (or is it RCCC?) so while I think Kuhl could stop the ads if he really wanted, he did not approve them. But there have been other ads including a radio ad which do include his approval which I can only see as negative, not to mention completely untrue.
Kuhl and the gang have used a common republican claim that the democrats want to raise your taxes. No one wants to raise taxes, at this point we may need to raise taxes, or at least reverse the massive tax reductions for the rich, in order to pay for all the wasteful spending of the last few years. If things had been managed appropriately then we would not have the budget deficit that we now have. If we had not given billions in tax giveaways to the rich and to huge corporations then we could have easily paid for the Katrina clean-up. Of course if republican shills had not been put in charge of a position that was left nearly impotent after being thrown into the largest government agency ever created (again by “small government” republicans) then that response might have even been effective. This administration, both the executive and the legislative branch have simply failed in every conceivable way. And now when the Democrats take back some of the power and try to restore order they will be called the bad guys for raising taxes. I for one will not stand for it.
So to you Mr. Kuhl, you are a liar, you broke your promise to me and to this district. You said you would not run a negative campaign and within a month you have done just that. I knew you were a scoundrel a cheat and a liar before, but now you have lied directly to my face. You must have assumed that we are too stupid to remember what you told us, to dumb to actually check your voting record. You have lied to us for the last time, this district is not stupid, and we will not allow you to slap us in the face again. Have a good week, after that you will be a lame duck, not to say you weren’t before.
Democracy School November 1, 2006Posted by Kilgore Trout in Uncategorized.
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This was quite an experience and its something I would recommend to any activist but also to anyone who is simply interested in how our country has come to be the way it is. Interestingly this goes well beyond simple dem vs. repub or even liberal vs. conservative, everyone at the school I attended would probably accept the label of Liberal but we were learning about tactics used by farm towns in rural PA, quite conservative people. Because the reality is that this is about people who think that in a democracy the people should rule, its that simple. The problem is that huge corporations have trampled our rights, and so ideology is of little importance so long as you believe that we should return to a democratic system.
The school takes two and a half days, Friday afternoon through Sunday. It’s a very fast and fairly draining couple of days there is a ton of information to try to absorb which is why many people end up coming back, some even become instructors.
So what exactly is the idea behind Democracy School? The short of it is that it’s a new (sorta) way to think about organizing, or mort to the point it’s the idea that rather than fight against the symptoms, we need to fight the root of the problem. So what is the root of the problem, first we should ask what the problem is. It seems to me and many others that huge multinational corporations have gained unprecedented control over our country and our way of life, and in reality over the way of life of almost every person on this planet. So there is the problem, what is the solution? Well the first thing is to see the history that only a few hundred years ago a corporation was considered a gift, it had incredibly narrow range of operation, even having limits on how long it could operate. Many decisions of the corporation had to be ratified by the public, because these decisions affected the pubic at large and therefore were bound to majority control, because this is a democracy. So if we are still a democracy (and that can be questioned) then why is it that a few people in a boardroom can make decisions that over rule the decisions of an entire town? I’m not going to get into details and examples of town in those situations, if you want to know more than you’ll have to attend a democracy school.
In the end these corporations have nearly unlimited power because they are legally considered to be people, and people have inalienable rights, unfortunately they don’t have the same liability, so if a real person kills someone they go to jail, when a corporation kills thousands that’s progress, they might get a fine. (more…)
Who needs Water in the desert? October 31, 2006Posted by Kilgore Trout in Uncategorized.
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Halliburton allowed our troops in Iraq to shower, bathe, and sometimes brush their teeth with water that tested positive for e. coli and coliform bacteria. One expert has said that the troops would have been better off using water straight from the highly polluted Euphrates River. Halliburton has admitted that it lacked “an organizational structure to ensure that water was being treated in accordance with Army standards and its contractual requirements.”
This is from Here, Iraq Water
Support the Troops, Bring them Home, or at least bring them clean water
Local Judges, Ramich and Finnerty October 31, 2006Posted by Kilgore Trout in Uncategorized.
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Ramich and Finnerty are running for judge in Elmira. I don’t know either of them, I don’t even know much about either one. When I ask people almost everyone has said Ramich is a jerk, but then half say Im not sure if thats abad thing for a judge. But my mind was made up the other day inthe simplest of manners. I asked a person I work with who has nearly identical values as myself. She know Finnerty fairly well and thinks very highly of him. Her endorsement was enough for me. I’m not telling you who to vote for I just felt like I needed to say something about this race. Oh and Finnerty is the Republican, I’m supporting him anyway, because at the local level I’m convinced that party is not critical, and I’m not sure why judges are members of parties anyway.