Monday, July 26, 2004

Can't Help Myself - The Sloganator

The original Sloganator was designed for non-connected (i.e. not stinking rich) Bushies to make their own pro-Bush slogans. It was paid for by the Bush/Cheney campaign.

Well, you know word got out. Those bad widdle kids snuck in and added a few choice comments.
The official Sloganator is history but this will soothe your soul, restore or reduce your faith in your fellow citizens:

It is a 1.7MB download so it will take about 4 to 10 minutes on dial-up.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Tell Me, More, Tell Me More… My Feelings About Michael Moore

I stand on the dividing line. I respect what he has done and how he has played the game. He is no saint but he does get people talking and thinking about facts and concepts.

The only way to know the truth is to be able to gather the lies, rumors, parables and truth and then begin to compare and contrast. Moore’s movie provides a conversation point for that process.

Come to think of it - that would be grounds for sainthood in my book.

I accept the movie for what is – one man’s opinion of the events that had a relationship on September 11, 2001 and subsequent actions. This opinion is based on facts that he and his team have gathered and assembled and then interpreted through his eyes and experience.

Every storyteller, reporter, poet, journalist, photographer, documentarian does the same thing. Can’t help it. There is no absolutely unbiased human being. If we are honest we strive toward the light of truth. But that bright light of fame and success is a heady drink hard to ignore.

I first heard of Michael Moore when he created his first movie – Roger and Me. He was one of 300,000 laid-off workers from General Motors in Flint, Michigan. It financially devastated the city that has yet to recover. He grabbed his camera and started interviewing people who were also given the boot and he tried to interview the head of General Motors, Roger Smith.

Not NY or Hollywood company man, Michael was self-taught. He had a knack for self-promotion and a storytelling narrative. He managed to break past the thousands of graduate school filmmakers and got his film seen and praised. Deservedly so.

The Internet Movie Database has a short biography on Mike at and you can also view a list of his work as a producer at

So I have major respect for him from the get-go. I need to share that with you because it would be dishonest not to inform you of that fact.

I don’t approve of everything he does. Sometime he goes too far, or in the case of Bowling for Columbine, his film about gun control and America’s fascination with weapons, not far enough. He should have mentioned that those kids were on psychiatrists prescribed drugs that might have facilitated their desire to kill fellow students.

He can be overbearing. That is okay. I can choose to listen or not. He can be rude, hypocritical (Mikey, your website is produced and maintained by Canadians – what’s up the that?) and with this level of success he is about due for a bone headed move he is gonna wish in hindsight he hadn’t done.

And yes, he is and presents himself to be a liberal. His movies come from that viewpoint. That seems to be one of the major complaints about him. He is a liberal.

So what? He is not presenting himself as a reporter or journalist (citizen journalist – absolutely but that is kind of a new concept). He is not saying that he does not have an opinion. That is what a documentary is – an opinion or viewpoint on an experience.

If it is okay for Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio to do it then why is not okay for Michael to do the same? I’m asking?

Message To Michael – Michael Moore & Fahrenheit 9/11

(Spoiler Alert – I will mention specific scenes in the movie and most of the citations that are left, far left and nosebleed left of center. But there is a list of websites that hate Michael Moore with a deep passion and that review is listed on the blog at

For me to truly be satisfied with Fahrenheit 9/11 it would have to be 37.5 hours. But I can live with giving up 2.5 hours of my time to see it. I have been trying to see this movie for three dad -gummed weeks. People were serious about seeing it, more so than seeing Spider-Man.

I guess the reason I wanted it longer was to counter pundits saying that Moore is giving half-truths or using video tricks to have viewers come to conclusions. To his credit, Moore does attribute most of the sources used in the movie on his web site -

To be fair there are pundit who are asking fair questions about some of the information in Moore’s movie. There is an article in the MS-NBC Newsweek that point out some questionable associations -

One segment I wished he could have spent more time with was the section about Dubya’s military (or lack thereof) service. Fortunately, I know where to go for the documented goodies; AWOL makes the case for Bush’s military evasiveness during his time of service.

Using documentation obtained from the Freedom of Information Act and other credible sources, there is no question in my mind as to the nature of his commitment to the military -

I also would have wanted more information on just how much money Halliburton is sucking out of the country. We are talking big American buckaroos here and even the extreme right leaning citizens would back me up on this investigation.

You can visit a new site that is available to address the many questions that are in limbo land - including a on-screen counter that shows just how many days, minutes and seconds since a formal probe has been opened on Halliburton’s accounting practices.

In the movie, there was a banquette where Duyba referred to the elite as “my base”. Here is some of the many ways his base is paying for his advertisements. It is a downloadable Adobe PDF file -

It is a good thing I don’t have access to Mikey cuz I got more stuff like Do You Know – The Policies and Practices of the Bush Administration - or

Yo Mike – I needed much more information about how the soldiers and veterans are about to have their pay and benefits cut. I got relatives in the service and vets in the family. I did find I articles from the SF Gate URL: and USA Vanguard, but I need more official confirmation.

So, Mr. Moore, I have to thank you. You gave me a class A headache -

Freeze Freeze Frame – Photography, Security and The Patriot Act

This is what I mean about being placed in a spiritually knocked upside the head position. I was coming home from work. I always have a camera with me. There was the Friday afternoon protest group that has been protesting every Friday since the attack on Iraq. They have recently switch from war protesting to the election. I have taken pictures of them on and off for a while.

Anyway, there was a picture opportunity that I could not ignore. This woman was standing in a black dress holding up a *No CARB* (Chaney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld and Bush) sign. I whip out my low rez camera and start shooting. Into my viewfinder, I could see a police car and two cops giving her the evil eye. Then they switched looking at her to me.

I know that look. The look sends ice water through you veins if you are a person of color. A police officer looking you over tells your body that you need pick up your feet and move if you don’t want trouble. It is a look of suspicion and summary judgment.

All I was doing was standing on a public corner taking a picture.

I started noticing the increasing frequency of black and whites rotating around the block. For a total of maybe 8 protesters. I kept taking pictures but my mind was thinking of catching the first thing smoking to get me home.

The next day I am reading some stuff about proposals to restricting new technologies and I see a link to an article from The – Taking Pictures While Brown -

It tells the story of Ian Spiers, who was taking pictures in a public place in Washington State. He was hassled by the local police and the Department of Homeland Security under the auspices of The Patriot Act.

The fact that this was a public place, in fact a tourist destination that encourages photography, did not seem to help him. Nor did the fact that non-brown/black photographers were also not similarly interrogated.

To get the full scope on what happened to Ian visit with photos in the area and then venture over to his main site at

It A’int Necessarily So – Restrictions on Photographers

Before anybody uses the magic words, “this is just an unfortunate aberration” you should also know that The Patriot Act and its progeny are affecting photographers of all colors, sizes and ethnicities - or

It is not just the cops on the hunt. Citizens confused /cautious are rattling photographers nerves as well -

New York Photographers are fighting to maintain their right to shoot pictures in the New York Public Subway system. Think about it, you could not shoot people coming into or out of the subway, the rail tracks or the homeless that live in the caverns of the system. It would be illegal to shoot unsanitary or unsafe stations, lovers on a train, the skyline view out of a train window or from a platform.

For photographers and casual snappers Bert Krages, a lawyer, provide free information about those potential interactions with your camera and those in law enforcement. You can download a guide at

And, as an added bonus, I found a site that lists various policies of transportation systems regarding photography.

Common sense goes a long way here.
  • Do not block the entrance/exit, don’t flash the conductor while he/she is working,
  • Don’t shoot up women’s skirts and
  • Be exceeding nice to the police.
  • But make them pry your camera out of your hands. Never, ever give it or the right to take pictures up. Democracy demands nothing less.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

The Right Thing To Do - Right Wing Humor Sites

I said a long time ago if I found any humor sites that expressed a right wing view of politics I would let you know. No, I have not met up with the Republican man of my dreams. Or Democratic, Green, or Libertarian. But you can't make an informed decision without looking at both sides of an issue. Now some of these sites are more political than haw-haw funny but I had a hard time telling on some of them.

Now Snark Bait - I like this, even as a low life liberal. They got pictures. The have captions on the pictures. The writing is clear, there is an personality to the site and the writer is not afraid to ask questions where the answer might not be 100% in his favor.

Oh-oh. I spoke too soon. A extracted section of a speech by Bill Cosby is presented out of context. It is used to support the notion that that 38 million people (plus or minus 3 or 4 good Repubican black folk) have been infantized. Okay I don't like that part at all. But the site does have a value. It don't make me want to instantly puke.

Right Thinking From the Left Coast is very much a GWB safe place. Humor, stuff for sale, a site list of celebrity idiots such as Al Sharpton and Elton John, and responses to those that venture an opinion to the topics presented. Marriage is male/female, The U.S. media is bad, and you can find out the 50 most loathsome New Yorkers, and well, check the joint out for yourself:

Next on the tour is the Museum of Left Wing Lunacy - taking the words of those of the left and reflecting them back for consumption. Or to extract a quote from the creator "A place where all the nuttiest liberal quotes and belief's were there to be shown to all." And you have your choice of lunacy: racial, celebrity, political, John Kerry specific and of course stomping on Michael Moore:

"We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elects a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fiction of duct tape or fiction of orange alerts we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you. Mr. Bush, shame on you.
Michael Moore
2003 Academy Awards acceptance speech

Um yeah, we live in a time where a big fat mental patient director who can't direct anything worth a Sh*t, creates movies that only the French could love!! Fiction??? He's the master of it, that movie he made earlier should have been called "Bowling for Left Wing Dollars!".

Continuing on the hit parade is Michael Moore Watch - man has he got folks pissed at him! This is another site that wants to expose the truth that is not the truth or half-truth about M.M.

You know come to think of it, Mikey is very inspirational cuz I have never seen so much stuff for sale about a man so loathed that was not elected.

See also Bowling For Truth
Moore Exposed
Red Line Rants
Michael Moore Hates America
Well - that's all for now kids. Remember, this is a democracy. Happy 4th of July.

P.S. Michael Moore's official web site is