Friday, June 25, 2004

Just saw it!

Just got home from the Richmond, VA premier of Fahrenheit 9/11.

The sense of comraderie and excitement in the theatre before the movie was amazing. People talked to their neighbors and the folks in the next row, all total strangers. Spontaneous clapping and cheers broke out regularly.

One of the most highly received moments was when Moore showed footage of Bush in flight suit on the carrier deck, with the Mission Accomplished banner, to the theme from the 80's tv show "Greatest American Hero:"

Look at what's happened to me-e
I can't believe it myself
Suddenly I'm up on top of the world
Could have been somebody else


On the recognition of the not-subtle irony of that last line, the theatre went wild.

I arrived 10 minutes before the show started (with my pre-purches tickets in hand), and the theatre staff were explaining that all shows today were sold out, and they were taking tickets for tomorrow.

So many people had arrived to buy tickets, despite the sell out, that we had to park literally a 10-minute walk from the theatre to find a spot.

I don't care what you think of the man, or of the movie itself as a product. Moore and this film represent the same kind of phenomenon as the Howard Dean campaign: he is energizing up our base, getting new people excited about getting involved, and waking up this country.

The Republicans must be having fits.
|

To John, Mike and Adolf...with love from George

Speaking of the coordinated right wing campaign against Michael Moore, have you seen the new Bush campaign add?

It conflates Kerry with Al Gore, Dick Gephardt, Howard Dean, Adolf Hitler...and Michael Moore.

No joke. It's on the Bush site at: http://www.georgewbush.com/Default.aspx

2 points:

This strategy is consistent with they way that conservatives try to marginalize uppity women as hysterical or as strident bitches. Democrats who speak out are being characterizes as shrill and out of control

I assume that one of the real objectives of the ad is to create an association in the minds of the public (remember "Saddam...Al Quaeda...Saddam...Al Quaeda?) between Moore and Kerry, to imply collusion, and strengthen the claims against the movie.

Santimonious, pro-censorship, anti-liberty, freedom-hating rat bastards. We're fumigating the White House on November 2 and taking back our country.
|

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Tsurezduregusa Honyasan (bookstore) open for business

I'm a (documented) fan of independent booksellers and I'm also a bleeding heart liberal who works for free for good causes far too often. I've decided to reconcile these contrary passions by setting up an online partnership with Powell's books.

You can now support Tsuredzuregusa and the overworked/underpaid Democrat behind it by making a book purchase at Powells through this site:

1. Click on the book icons to the right.
2. Use the search engine on the right.
3. Or, click here to go to the Powell's homepage.

I'm always leery about selling my soul (and instead choose to go hungry--the neighbor's kid files a more impressive tax return for her lemonade stand most years), but I feel good about this one.

And, in the spirit of full disclosure, I'm just letting everyone know.

Other bloggers/webmasters who want to do the same can find the info on Powell's site here.



|

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Visit our Sister Blog, home of Campaign 101

Are you a high school or college student in Virginia, or do you know someone who is?

Check out the new site for Campaign 101, a progressive grassroots training for students in Virginia.

And, if you are free this weekend, help us with our recruitment campaign handing out flyers at theatres carrying Fahrenheit 9/11.
|

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Joe Trippi delivers the Revolution



Joe Trippi's new book, The Revolution Will not be Televisied: Democracy, the Internet Age, and the Overthrow of Everything, hits stores July 6. You can preorder it now from Powells Books (and support Tsuredzuregusa at the same time).

I've ordered mine with slow-boat-to-China shipping...can't wait to get my hands on it.

You can meet the man himself at one of his book signings.

More info from the Publisher
|

Where have all the hackers gone?

...long time passing...

What has happened to Clark's TechCorps and Dean's Tech4Dean and the open source software they developed? Is it available to other Democratics?
|

Friends don't let Friends vote for Nader

The good folks at Progressive Unity Voter Fund are tracking how much Ralph Nader hurts the Democratic vote -- and the news is bad.

While Nader claims he will help defeat George Bush by pulling votes of Bush supporters and mobilizing Democrats, polls show the opposite is true. Nader's presence on the ballot flips the outcome for several swing state, and may throw the election.

Don't let your friends vote for Ralph. Get involved with the Don't Vote Ralph direct voter contact program.


|

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Who is Who indeed

Given that GOP PR firm Russo Marsh & Rogers has already scrubbed its name from the registration for MoveForward, their astroturf campaign against Michael Moore, I wanted to make sure I captured the whois information for their other two campaigns with Howard Kaloogian: DefendReagan and the Gray Davis Recall, for the record.

http://www.defendreagan.org/ = [ 66.81.15.233 ]
Domain ID: D101890054-LROR
Domain Name: DEFENDREAGAN.ORG
Created On: 24-Oct-2003 18: 46: 43 UTC
Last Updated On: 24-Dec-2003 03: 51: 31 UTC
Expiration Date: 24-Oct-2004 18: 46: 43 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar: R1247-LROR
Status: CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED
Status: CLIENT UPDATE PROHIBITED
Registrant ID: tu5OPuyJDZIsBxNh
Registrant Name: Douglas Lorenz
Registrant Organization: Russo Marsh & Rogers
Registrant Street1: 770 L Street 950
Registrant City: Sacramento
Registrant State/Province: CA
Registrant Postal Code: 95814
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: 1.9164413734
Registrant FAX: 1.9164416057
Registrant Email: dlorenz@rmrwest.com
Admin ID: tu5OPuyJDZIsBxNh
Admin Name: Douglas Lorenz
Admin Organization: Russo Marsh & Rogers
Admin Street1: 770 L Street 950
Admin City: Sacramento
Admin State/Province: CA
Admin Postal Code: 95814
Admin Country: US
Admin Phone: 1.9164413734
Admin Email: dlorenz@rmrwest.com
Tech ID: tu5OPuyJDZIsBxNh
Tech Name: Douglas Lorenz
Tech Organization: Russo Marsh & Rogers
Tech Street1: 770 L Street 950
Tech City: Sacramento
Tech State/Province: CA
Tech Postal Code: 95814
Tech Country: US
Tech Phone: 1.9164413734
Tech Email: dlorenz@rmrwest.com
Name Server: NS1.EASYDNS.COM
Name Server: NS2.EASYDNS.COM
Name Server: REMOTE1.EASYDNS.COM
Name Server: REMOTE2.EASYDNS.COM


And

www.recallgraydavis.org = [ 66.81.15.233 ]
Domain ID: D94394695-LROR
Domain Name: RECALLGRAYDAVIS.ORG
Created On: 31-Jan-2003 02: 14: 36 UTC
Last Updated On: 05-Dec-2003 22: 23: 38 UTC
Expiration Date: 31-Jan-2005 02: 14: 36 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar: R11-LROR
Status: CLIENT DELETE PROHIBITED
Status: CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED
Status: CLIENT UPDATE PROHIBITED
Registrant ID: tuUMsaNdZSfsdnMN
Registrant Name: Douglas Lorenz
Registrant Organization: Russo Marsh & Rogers
Registrant Street1: 770 L Street 950
Registrant City: Sacramento
Registrant State/Province: CA
Registrant Postal Code: 95814
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: 1.9164413734
Registrant FAX: 1.9164416057
Registrant Email: dlorenz@rmrwest.com
Admin ID: tuUMsaNdZSfsdnMN
Admin Name: Douglas Lorenz
Admin Organization: Russo Marsh & Rogers
Admin Street1: 770 L Street 950
Admin City: Sacramento
Admin State/Province: CA
Admin Postal Code: 95814
Admin Country: US
Admin Phone: 1.9164413734
Admin Email: dlorenz@rmrwest.com
Tech ID: tuUMsaNdZSfsdnMN
Tech Name: Douglas Lorenz
Tech Organization: Russo Marsh & Rogers
Tech Street1: 770 L Street 950
Tech City: Sacramento
Tech State/Province: CA
Tech Postal Code: 95814
Tech Country: US
Tech Phone: 1.9164413734
Tech Email: dlorenz@rmrwest.com
Name Server: NS1.EASYDNS.COM
Name Server: NS2.EASYDNS.COM
Name Server: REMOTE1.EASYDNS.COM
Name Server: REMOTE2.EASYDNS.COM
|

MoveOn takes on Move Forward

MoveOn now has a campaign to promote Fahrenheit 9/11 and counter the right-wing attacks.

Their campaign to "Make Fahrenheit 9/11 a Huge Hit" includes a pledge to see the movie, links to theatre listing and advance tickets, and a email form to invite your friends to take part.

One logical piece of the picture is still missing:

Every activist and his or her dog is going to be out there on June 25th, right? In a year when the Presidential election may come down to GOTV, which relies in a massive volunteer effort...

So let's not just see the movie, but also stand outside the theatres and give people information on how they can get involved and make a difference.

Seriously...recruting at the theatre exits should be as easy as a single guy standing outside a revival tent. Why miss up such a golden opportunity?

Let's get the Kerry Campaign out there. Let's get the Young Democrats out there. Let's get Democracy for America out there. Let's get volunteer recruiters from every Senate, Congress, and State race out there. Let's make sure everyone who walks out angry and ready to make change has an opportunity to contribute to taking back the White House.

And for that matter: let's do the same thing the when The Manchurian Candidate opens on July 30.
|

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

More on Moore!

New developments in the grassroots turf war over Michael Moore's upcoming release, Fahrenheit 9/11.

Peter Wikoff of Van Nuys, California has just launched Take a Republican to Fahrenheit 9/11.

Wikoff's site includes great ideas for how to issue your invitation, including:

1. I’m buying! You’re seeing it for free!
2. I will watch 2 hours of Bill O’Reily with you.
3. America loves GW, Dick, and Rumi, let’s get to know them better.
4. I’ll even drive, so you don’t have to fill up your SUV.
5. Give me two hours, and I will listen to 3 hours of Rush with you.
6. Make it part of a bet (just make sure you win).

He's taking suggestions, so email him your ideas.

And don't forget to make a date now for June 25th.
|

Vote with Your Wallet: Support the Big Dog



Bill Clinton's autobiography, "My Life," will hit book stands on June 22, and book sellers are already taking advance orders.

This book's sales success will be a news story all its own.

Help kick up a big, positive, Democratic buzz this summer by buying your own copy and keeping this book at the top of the best seller list.

Where can I buy the book?

Be a rebel: don't buy it from a big box store. There's lots of other good options.

Find your local independent retailers through Book Sense and put your dollars back into your own community.

Or, support Buzz Flash by pre-ordering through their site as a Buzz Flash Premium.

Or, out of the goodness of your heart, you can buy it from Powell's Books and a small portion of the proceeds of your sale will go to support Tsuredzuregusa, by clicking here.

[Disclaimer: as much as I'd love to say I am a close friend fo the Clintons, I have never met the former president nor do I profit financially from the sales of his book, unless you choose to buy it through above. My pre-oreded copy arrived 04/06/23 and I am devouring it right now.]
|

Vote with your Wallet: Book World Monopolies

Why not just buy a book from Amazon or Barnes & Noble? I'm glad you asked.

I am constantly shocked that people who are active writers, who are passionate political activists, and who are uniformly concerned about corporate media monopolies in the US don't know about what is happening in the book industry and the impact it has on the flow of information.

Larry Stevenson, former CEO of Canadian big box book retailer Chapters, infamously complained that the biggest problem with the book industry was that there were too many books. For him, that meant too many risky decisions to make about which books to carry and which to cast into the oblivion--otherwise known as the independent book store. It would be far simpler, and much more profitable, if someone just told everybody to read the same few books. (I find this eerily reminiscent of Bush's dictator quotes.)

Someone has been telling everyone to read the same few books: the behemoth book retailers, including Chapters, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. In the past ten years, there has been a great simultaneous consolidation of book publishers and book retailers in North America. Translation: consolidation of power, accomplished through illegal price rigging and promotional concessions.

The result? They get more money, we get fewer books.

In addition, independent publishers and independent books stores are struggling to survive--and largely failing. Fewer authors are publishing, and it is much harder for first-time authors to publish. The book world monopolies threaten the diversity and quality of new literature.

What can you do? Vote with your wallet!

1. Brick and Mortar Shopping
Remember when you used to buy books in a locally-owned bookstore where the owners lived down the street, were invested in the community, and knew you by name. How were we seduced to abandon our neighborhood entrepreneurs in favor of a $3.00 cup of coffee?

Shop in your neighborhood, at your local independent book seller. If you don't find something you want on the shelf, ask them to place a special order. Buy gift certificates for special occasions, and help your loved ones re-learn the pleasure of reading independent voices and supporting independent businesses.

2. Online Shopping
Yes, there is life beyond Amazon. Check out Book Sense, a portal site for independent booksellers. And for rare, used, and out of print books, don't forget the legendary Powells Books.

For more information about Book World Monopolies:

William Petrocelli, co-owner of Book Passages, an independent bookstore in Corte Madera, California, and an attorney, has authored an article online documents in detail the rise and impact of the book world monopolies. Read it here.

Michael Neill, an old friend of mine, is the owner of Mosaic Books in Kelowna, British Columbia, one of Canada's pre-eminent independent book stores, and The Book Manager, a provider of software for independent book stores and distributors. He has been on the forefront of informing and organizing independent book publishers and retailers. You can contact Michael by email.
|

Monday, June 14, 2004

Good News for Kerry, Bad News for Hackers

The Washington Post reported on Saturday (June 12) that 42 percent of college students back Kerry, with 30 percent for Bush and 4 percent for Ralph Nader.

However, the article by Charles Babington goes on to dismiss the importance of the hacker vote:

Maybe Kerry should target the Shakespeare students and leave the computer nerds to Bush. More than 70 percent of humanities majors said politics was relevant to their daily lives, compared with 36 percent of computer science students.
Puleeze, Mr. Babington.

Hacker culture is one of the most inclusive, non-judgmental, intelligent subcultures in the US. (Don't believe me? Read the Portrait of J. Random Hacker in the Jargon File.)

The problem is, these folks are too bright to fall for most politicians' hogwash. In the words of Jim Hightower, "If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote, They'd Have Given Us Candidates (worth voting for)."

Hackers tend to be gently liberal and should naturally feel at home in the Democrats big tent...at least the one everyone talked about 30-40 years ago during the civil rights movement. Now, just where did we put that tent?

Senator Kerry, please reach out to our hackish friends and be a candidate who gives them a reason to vote. This population alone can give you more than a margin of victory.
|

Meme for a Day

Memes, memetics, and meme gardening. All fascinating stuff.

My meme for the day is "internet carpetbaggers."

The term has been around for a while in IT circles, to variously describe the marketroid types who go from one dot-com disaster to another; to "tech writers" who can barely spell FTP; or to the multi-level ponzi schemes all over the web. The unifying thread among these different uses is the act of dissembling one's true credentials or intention through use of the internet. Outsiders with agendas.

I haven't seen the term used yet in a political context, and I think it is time we started.

Internet carpetbaggers, def.: manufacturers of "ersatz" grassroots activism to usurp the authentic voice of a community and impose an outside agenda.

I can't think of a better term, really, to describe the cynical machinations of the GOP in their attacks on Michael Moore.

Right now, a Google search brings up 46 discrete hits. My prediction? It should catch on in political circles. Let's check back in a month or so and see how the count is going.
|

Internet Carpetbaggers: Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You

Kurt Nimmo of the Alternate Press Review and blogger Max Blumenthal are shedding light on the Republican hacks behind the NewsMax campaign to manufacture dissent and bully theatres out of showing Michael Moore's Iraq documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11.

Nimmo does some nice web sleuthing to discover that the real players behind the scam are Russo Marsh & Rogers, a GOP consulting firm.

The front men include a typical collection of republican disreputables, including Howard Kaloogian. Kaloogian's bio on the attack campaign website boasts that he not only launched the historic subversion of democracy to overturn the legal election of (Democratic) California Governor Gray Davis, but he also chaired Defend Reagan (sic), a campaign to bully CBS, vision and showdown into dropping their broadcast of the movie, "The regains." The GOP didn't think the account was flattering enough, so they decided that no one should get to see the film.

This is where the plot thickens.

Taking a cue from Kurt Nimmo, I did a whois search on the Defend Reagan website: another project of GOP consultants Russo, Marsh & Rogers. And guess what else they've worked on recently? The Gray Davis recall. (You can see the actual whois results here and here.)

Don't underestimate this crowd's ability to fool executives. The Defend Reagan campaign flooded the offices of CBS and their sponsors with drummed-up complaints until the movie broadcast was cancelled. And we all know what happened to California.

What can you do?

1. Scratch and Sniff
The campaign against Michael Moore is typical GOP ersatz grassroots activism: pay PR hacks to build a glitzy website, plug in freepers, and overturn freedom of speech and free market forces. When you encounter a GOP "grassroots" campaign, scratch the surface and see if it passes the smell test. And if your local media is not checking their facts and presents these stories at face value, write and fax and call and let them know what's going on.

2. Reverse Engineering

Move America Forward (sic)includes a list of contact information on their site for theatres that have committed or are considering carrying Moore's film.

These people are internet carpetbaggers and their antics constitute an orchestrated effort to subvert the first amendment by misrepresenting public opinion to manipulate the "free market" process they allege to love so dearly while they wrap themselves in the flag.

So...use their resources. I encourage everyone who cares about free speech and wants to see this film to use the list, supplied so handily by our friends in the right wing, to contact the theaters in support of Moore's film. You can find the list (along with some truly hyperbolic right wing rhetoric here.

(Yes, I've sent my email to all of them already.)

3. Vote with your wallet
Advance tickets for Fahrenheit 9/11 are already available! Circle June 25th on your calendar, grab your friends, and order your tickets now.

[Disclaimer: I do not know nor am I related to Michael Moore. I make no financial gain from the proceeds of his ticket sales. I do, however, strongly believe that if the Republicans can hijack taxpayers' dollars for a partisan campaign event under the thin pretext of a presidential funeral, that Michael Moore deserves a reasonable opportunity to distribute his film without political meddling.]
|