Nota Bene #120: Crazy Ivan

“If you can make a woman laugh, you’re seeing the most beautiful thing on God’s earth.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #118: VOTE!

“I am not fit for this office and should never have been here.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #115: RIP No. 32

“If you’re really pro-life, do me a favor—don’t lock arms and block medical clinics. If you’re so pro-life, lock arms and block cemeteries.” Who said it? Continue reading

SB 1070 Implementation Day: a view from the front lines in Arizona

by Pollyanna Sunshine

In her Tuesday column in the Arizona Republic website, columnist Laurie Roberts noted that

We are now less than 48 hours until Senate Bill 1070 becomes the law of the state – unless, of course, Judge Susan Bolton nixes the whole thing. . . Already, the barricades are up at the Sandra Day O’Connor Federal Courthouse . . .  Busloads of folks will be coming in from California to join with Arizona opponents of the new law.

[Ed. Note: Judge Bolton issued an injunction against key portions of the law this afternoon.]

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a notorious immigrant-hater who has for many years been violating the civil and human rights of  citizens and non-citizens alike, has just drawn his own line in the sand.

Thousands of people will reportedly descend upon Maricopa County this week in support of or in protest to SB1070.  Continue reading

Nota Bene #113: Seth's Near-Death

“Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #107: Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

“I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” Who said it? Continue reading

Psst! Mamasita Presidente! Laura Chinchilla strikes a blow for Ticas everywhere

by Shelley Jack

Mamasita! Mamasita! Psst! Psst! Psst!

Taunting, yet playful faces of men passed me by on uneven sidewalks, working diligently to make eye contact. I was lost, again, on a street in downtown San Jose, Costa Rica, walking quickly, head down. Only a few months in to my year-long stay as a business English teacher in the country, the unpredictability of the road and transportation systems continued to challenge even my most adventurous side. When I finally arrived at my destination, three hours into what should have been a 30-minute walk, I sat down and cried one of those long, cleansing cries. I felt dirty from a steady stream of what we North Americans might refer to as aggressive cat-calling or ogling. I was drenched in sweat and tears, and I was painfully conscious of my light skin, blue eyes. Worst of all, I was immersed in a kind of fear that most of my countrywomen never have to face here on the streets of America. Continue reading

Nota Bene #101: Your Pal, Mike S.

“The guys who are shooting films now are technically brilliant, but there’s no content in their films. I marvel at what I see and wish I could have done a shot like that. But shots are secondary for my films, and with some of these films, it’s all about the shots. What’s the point? I’m not sure people know what points to make.” Who said it? Continue reading

ArtSunday: Amalgam

Here follow many of my favorite painters, illustrators and photographers. This comprehensive list
was lovingly compiled—be sure to click on the images or names to see and learn more. Enjoy! ∞

Continue reading

Lou Dobbs' next horizon: A Rush to radio?

I have three stuffed animals at home that I hide when I expect visitors. (Guys don’t do stuffed animals.) But my fuzzy critters serve a purpose. Four years ago, I destroyed my living room TV set by throwing a beer bottle at it in anger and frustration. I had been watching Lou Dobbs.

So, for years, I have been throwing stuffed animals at Lou instead of beer bottles. But now I need throw them no more. Lou no longer haunts my 7 p.m. viewing. He quit his CNN program in a multi-syllabic huff this week. CNN’s venerable, respected chief national political correspondent, John King, will take over in January. I’m sure I won’t have to throw stuffed animals at Mr. King.

But I once considered Lou venerable and respected. He’s a Harvard grad, y’know, a self-touted intellectual giant in matters of finance and economics. That’s why I began watching him years ago. I learned from him things I did not know. But for the past few years, Lou has only taught me the face of intellectual arrogance, bigotry, and unexceptional reporting masquerading as “advocacy.”
Continue reading

Nota Bene #88: Pigeon Power

♫♪ If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed Continue reading

Nota Bene #85: Beer Votes and Rock Quotes

Summer is gone Continue reading

AP reporter's tough Gaza questions disappeared

by Brad Jacobson

During Monday’s State Department press briefing, Associated Press State Department Correspondent Matthew Lee posed the most pointed question about the conflict in Gaza and the Bush administration’s position: “What’s wrong with an immediate cease-fire that doesn’t have to be sustainable and durable if, during the pause that you get from an immediate cease-fire, something longer-term can be negotiated?” Lee didn’t tread lightly either when Deputy Secretary of State Sean McCormack failed to provide a sufficient answer and continued to challenge McCormack on the same point in Tuesday’s press briefing.

Yet a funny thing happened on the way to print: the substance of these exchanges never made it into Lee’s corresponding articles. Continue reading

Meet Satan's towel boy, Ralph Nader, and other famous rabblerousers in a call for open debates

He’s the man who caused Sep. 11, war in the Gulf, a million Iraqi deaths and probably mad cow disease too, as you’ve no doubt heard from disgruntled Democrats. Of course I’m talking about Evil Incarnate, consumer advocate and political gadfly Ralph Nader.

As evidenced by the comments to my piece on him way back when, he’s still roundly feared and loathed by countless Dems for supposedly helping George W. Bush, no matter how indirectly, steal the 2000 election from Al Gore and allowing everything that followed to pass. Well, he’s running for president again, and his anti-bigwig rhetoric has grown more pointed and caustic, just as the general lefty revulsion for him and his supporters has. Continue reading

Reconquista: A nativist creation

by Amaury Nora

A couple of years ago, I addressed the Reconquista myth because this myth was making it rounds among hard-core right-wing pundits. It seems the same conspiracy theory is once again making those rounds again. One of the approaches xenophobic conservative pundits use to stir up fear so people are willing to support tough immigration policies is race baiting. Given the history of race relations in the US, history has shown repeatedly that this nation is willingly to act aggressively in punishing minorities.

The same right-wing populist fears that fueled the Cold War anti-communism, rallied against the Civil Rights Movement and brought about the armed citizens militia movement in the 1990s have reappeared with an elaborate conspiracy theory about the reconquering of America – La Reconquista – the idea that Mexicans are invading America to reclaim it for Mexico.

Recently, Media Matters reported that G. Gordon Liddy, on his nationally syndicated radio show, stated that undocumented immigrants from Mexico “want to reconquer America.” Continue reading

Pop quiz: Did you know that you may lose your television service in less than ten months?

static-tv.jpg By Martin Bosworth

Is the answer to the above question “No?”

Well, that’s part of the problem–millions of Americans are in the same boat, and they are equally unaware of the situation

The basic gist is this: On February 17, 2009, “over-the-air” (OTA) broadcast television stations that use analog signals (which you pick up through the familiar “rabbit-ear” antennae) are switching to digital signals, which means that unless you have a strong enough antenna set and a special set-top converter box, your television will not be able to pick up the new signals. The government’s official DTV site gives a concise description of the whole event.

Continue reading

Democrats are second-class citizens in eyes of corporate media

Today’s Guest Scrogue is Natasha Chart. 

BooMan pointed out that Edwards’ message isn’t resonating with the natural constituencies that you’d think it would: hyper-partisan and low income voters.

I’ve heard people say that it’s because Edwards is appealing to fear or anger and it turns people off, but I think that misses the point. Then there’s the fact that he doesn’t get much press coverage at all, and that almost gets it right. He’s angry and uses fear in a way that turns the press off, so no one else gets to hear what he says. Why, though?

Let me suggest that one of the reasons Democrats have a hard time pushing fear messages is because they’re accorded second-class status by the press. Continue reading