Saturday, March 05, 2005

In Syracuse

In Syracuse

The mission of the Redhouse in Syracuse is to present works of theatre, film, music and fine art in an intimate and innovative way. Currently, in cinema at the Redhouse, you can see Rivers and Tides, which is a sensual and poetic journey into the world and mind of renowned sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. Filmmaker Thomas Riedelsheimer followed the artist for over a year intimately documenting his improvisational process and capturing the artist’s relentless obsession, observation and manipulation of the seemingly ordinary as he coaxes nature’s raw materials into striking sculptural forms.

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Larry Hoyt presents his "Common Threads" radio show every Sunday on WAER radio (88.3) from 2-5pm.

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This coming Saturday, March 12, The Lost Boys will play at the Westcott Community Center, in conjunction with the Folkus Project, on a double bill with Dana "Short Order" Cooke. The Lost Boys are in their sixth year as one of Central New York's premier bluegrass groups. My old friend Paul Wakker has the purest bluegrass tenor in this area, and his smooth, clear voice is often compared to the singing of Vince Gill. (I surely do wish I could attend, I have a family wedding this weekend.)

More upcoming Westcott Community Center concerts are listed HERE.

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Blog Josh tells us about a new cybercafe which is now open at 700 South Crouse Ave. It's called Cybercuse.

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There is a Philosopher's Carnival at Parablemania, with more at EG.

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The faculty and staff of the Program in Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises (EEE) at Syracuse University are committed to working with South Side residents to address their business needs. The goal of the South Side Entrepreneurial Connect Project (now on line) is to foster the development of a sustainable entrepreneurial community within the South Side, including:

- increasing the number of new start-ups,
- facilitating the stabilization and growth of existing small businesses, and
- building a supportive infrastructure that connects entrepreneurs at different stages of development to critical resources.

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Red Thunder shares a Mohawk Grandmother's words of wisdom to her children.

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David Metraux has some fantastic travel photography to show you.

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Doppler lives

NYCO reassures us that Doppler the WSTM Weather Cat is still alive, contrary to the rumor of his demise.
Mark Blum is a bit more skeptical...

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Mick Mather recommends "Miss Bea's Diary", and I think you'll agree that it's an intriguing, unique and colorful place to visit. I especially love Bea's recipe for Spicy Peanut Sauce.

Exposing Hypocrisy

Exposing Hypocrisy

Nicola Calipari, by witness accounts, died while acting as a human shield for freed hostage/Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena.

Now, think about that while you re-read Jim Gibbons' recent statement.

Even though it's likely that the troops were just doing their job, Eason Jordan's words are ringing through my mind this morning.

Now, think about the right-wing-bloggers' witch-hunt that silenced Eason's professional concerns about journalists in Iraq.

I'll say no more.

Atrios comments here.

Joe Gandelman has collected some comments here.

Bill Maher on Jeff Gannon

Bill Maher on Jeff Gannon

Bill Maher, Robin Williams, Leslie Stahl, Joe Biden on Jeff Gannon.
Thanks to Mike for this referral.

Question: For all his tough talk, why hasn't Senator Biden been more of a force in getting the investigation going? He backed off on signing the letter to the President.

John Edwards Visits Kansas

John Edwards Visits Kansas
TOPEKA, Kan. - Former vice presidential candidate John Edwards stumped here Friday, assuring fellow Democrats that they represent the working class, excoriating Republicans and President Bush's plan to revamp Social Security.

On the Democratic party and the media:

"There are people in the Democratic Party and there are people on television, you know, who yap a lot, who say that the Democrats don't know what they believe in..There are a lot of Democratic politicians, unfortunately, who are nuancing and changing their positions, trying to figure out the best way to maneuver their way through the political landscape, in order to try to be more appealing to more people. I think that's dead wrong.."

About more Americans struggling financially and falling deeper into debt - and how that trend is not an accident:

"It is by design because our Republican leaders value one thing: wealth. We see it in everything they do."

Ex-Pentagon Aide Tells Neocons to Cool It

Ex-Pentagon Aide Tells Neocons to Cool It

I was reading Laura Rozen (one of my favorites) and was led to an interesting article at The Forward about a former Pentagon aide named Dov Zakheim. Dov admonished NeoCons in a recent public speech, telling them that they cannot expect to transform the Middle East overnight and that establishing democracy in the region will never be won in any fruitful way by an endless force of arms. Mr. Zakheim agrees with something that I mentioned last Thursday while I was talking about the Neocon glee over developments in Lebanon and ex-CIA officer Michael Scheuer's solemn warning. I had said:
Somewhere between lies a caution that we must use in our approach and with which we must measure our country's options for military involvement.
Mr. Zakheim says:
"I support the idea of democracy, but we have to be cautious about it. This is not the first time Iraq has had an election. We shouldn't view the future with rose-colored glasses."
Mr. Zakheim says he doesn't believe the Bush administration is a "neocon" administration, and that Bush is simply a hard-headed guy with a vision. I don't agree there. I have witnessed Bush repeating, almost verbatim, the words and sentiments of neocons in publications like The Weekly Standard and National Review. I gave you an example the other day:
I realize that President Bush is their best representative, because every time I see an editorial by a Neocon, Bush is repeating their lines the very next day.
Bob Woodward revealed, after interviewing Bush, that Bush considers himself to be "a gut player" who relies largely on his instinctive reactions to crises." Bush has claimed to "read" only the newspaper stories which have been selected by his staff, and he also relies on just a few people for most of his ideas about the world (a world he had not traveled in the years leading up to his presidency). John Bridgeland, who was the first director of Bush's Domestic Policy Council said of Bush: "He trusts his closest advisers to synthesize the information he needs."

It's apparent, to me, which stories Bush's staff are selecting. Combining Bush's hard-headedness and his synthesized newsworld of information, along with his reliance upon his own instinct, and I think you have the near-perfect picture of a man who will likely execute a war on Syria.

I have to say, after reading Dov Zakheim's comments, that I think he's a conservative American (he won't admit to being a neoconservative) with a hope for peace and democracy in the Middle East. I do have to question his own judgement, however, when he can say this and expect us to believe it:
JULY 7, 2004: "The situation today [in Iraq] is not bad at all. In terms of the big picture, the Middle East is better off without Saddam Hussein. The majority of Iraqis support America's presence; and the world is starting to stand behind the U.S. effort."
And Mr. Zakheim tells Neocons to take off their rose-colored glasses?!

Yet, even Mr. Zakheim is telling the neocons to cool their jets.

Go figure.

Bloggers' Freedom of Speech Threatened by FEC/Congress

Bloggers' Freedom of Speech Threatened by FEC/Congress/American "Justice"
Gee, thanks, McCain/Feingold

From Seeing the Forest:
CNET: "The coming crackdown on blogging"

Declan McCullagh's latest is an interview with Bradley Smith, a Republican FEC commissioner, about the potential effects of being forced to apply McCain-Feingold campaign donation regulations to the Internet.

Here's the first paragraph:
"In just a few months, he warns, bloggers and news organizations could risk the wrath of the federal government if they improperly link to a campaign's Web site. Even forwarding a political candidate's press release to a mailing list, depending on the details, could be punished by fines."
Apparently (perhaps because of the Talon News/GOPUSA scandal), the regulatory issue has produced a partisan split--there was a 3-3 vote to not to appeal the Internet related portion of Judge Kollar-Kotelly's latest order. I'm not sure what the Democratic Party appointees' rationale for this vote was (they're not quoted), but, at least on the surface, the postulated outcome is fairly alarming... links to candidate websites being categorized as campaign donations, along with forwarding press releases to email lists (for example).

--Thomas Leavitt
I'm including this excerpt:
Then what's the real impact of the judge's decision?
...It becomes a really complex issue that would strike deep into the heart of the Internet and the bloggers who are writing out there today. (Editor's note: federal law limits the press exemption to a "broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine or other periodical publication." )

How do you see this playing out?
There's sensitivity in the commission on this. But remember the commission's decision to exempt the Internet only passed by a 4-2 vote.
This time, we couldn't muster enough votes to appeal the judge's decision. We appealed parts of her decision, but there were only three votes to appeal the Internet part (and we needed four). There seem to be at least three commissioners who like this.

Then this is a partisan issue?
Yes, it is at this time. But I always point out that partisan splits tend to reflect ideology rather than party. I don't think the Democratic commissioners are sitting around saying that the Internet is working to the advantage of the Republicans.
One of the reasons it's a good time to (fix this) now is you don't know who's benefiting. Both the Democrats and Republicans used the Internet very effectively in the last campaign.

What would you like to see happen?
I'd like someone to say that unpaid activity over the Internet is not an expenditure or contribution, or at least activity done by regular Internet journals, to cover sites like CNET, Slate and Salon. Otherwise, it's very likely that the Internet is going to be regulated, and the FEC and Congress will be inundated with e-mails saying, "How dare you do this!"

MARCH 6 UPDATE: Kos readers have caught wind of the story and are currently discussing it.