Wednesday, March 30, 2005

WesPAC | Securing America

I started posting to the Daily Kos lately and was impressed to see that Gen. Wes Clark is one of the few potential presidents who is openly supported. In fact, up to now, he's the only one. While I've been a Clark Supporter for a long time (I'm an Arkansan who lives in LA now, soon to move to NY), I'm new to the Daily KOS, but Armando, one of the KOS regulars and best, often suggests General Clark should run. And when you read the comments left on Armando's posts, you'll see lots of people who agree with him.

Everyone who reads this should go to a lefty blog and leave a comment that supports Wes Clark. Make your comment topical and work the Clark comment into the flow. Make links to Wes Clark using HTML. Make his name link [to]. OR make the words potential president link to here. More links to General Clark can be one of our first strategic moves on the internet.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

I Knew This Would Be Good

When my wife Robin, who was angry about the Terry Schiavo case asked me to build Questions for Christians, I knew it was going to be good. Today, Robin got her best Christian Answer yet, regarding her out of the box thinking regarding abortion and homosexuality. But, as I had hoped would happen, the commenter, Jay, went beyond the scope of the question in question, and spoke to the bigger picture of her new blog. It is worth-while reading indeed.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

And Now for Something Completely Different

For proof that my wife really thinks outside of the box, I refer you to her latest inquiry at Questions for Christians:
If science develops a test to determine sexual orientation in the womb, will you fight to save [homosexuals] from abortions?
I can't wait to see the replies to this one! Great job, Rob!

Friday, March 18, 2005

Questions for Christians

On this day of concern for feeding Terry Schiavo, which, ironically, none of these hypocritical protesting pro-lifers cared about while she was starving herself into this state, my wife Robin and I have unveiled Robin's new blog, Questions for Christians. For now we're inviting anyone to come answer her questions. If we get death threats from Christians (which will raise more questions), we'll have to carefully moderate the comments. But for now, we're going to let anyone have their say.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Supak at the Daily Kos

I'm not really sure why I hadn't joined up at the Truth and Fair Argument Squad, AKA The Daily KOS. Probably because it's more work. But I've been reading some great stuff there, and couldn't resist setting up my own section to help keep track of it all.

Friday, March 11, 2005

House Ethics Panel in Gridlock

Just another speed bump in Tom DeLay's NASCAR-speed run through the ethics regulations of the US House. For Tom DeLay, the real meat is, and always will be, back home in Texas, where the crimes he's "allegedly" committed could pile up high enough to throw his ass out of office. At the very least, his next election will be even more interesting than the last.

DeLay always depended on big money to dupe the brainwashed Texans in his Houston X-urb district (drawn up just for him), and now he's fucked with his bread and butter. Lobbyists are going to think twice before dumping cash in his lap. He will still get piles of cash, but there will be increased scrutiny on every dime. This will make it harder to out spend his opponent 10 to 1 like he did in 04. In the mean time, Richard Morrison is continuing his campaign against DeLay.

And here is a chance for Democrats in the Dean age to show DeLay our new trick. There is no reason why any congressman in any district should ever have to take money from any corporate interest that is anti-consumer or anti-environment. Thanks to Dean's fundraising prowess through the internet, we now have a chance to raise money for any candidate directly from the people. I encourage anyone listening to send Richard Morrison $11.11 and donate anything you can to the DNC. Pennies in a pile...

I've become a grassroots member of the DNC at $10 a month.

And if you're wondering why I think it's so important to go after this red-neck SOB who managed to lie and cheat his way to the majority leader position of the People's House, I have one quote from the Hammer himself:
"It has never been proven that air toxics are hazardous to people."--Quoted in Houston Chronicle 10-28-90

Thursday, March 10, 2005

In first defeat of second term, Bush's pollution bill dies in Senate

See? It's not hopeless. Of course, my environmentally mental wife Robin pointed out in the LA Times article about this that there are still plenty of things they can do to help their big polluting friends. While direct action from the executive is limited, it's still possible for them to allow more pollution without any congressional action.

On the bright side, however, this is a major block to an aggressive anti-environmental bill from the Bushies. All we needed was Lincoln Chaffee and Jim Jeffords to make the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee split 9-9. And so it dies there. Of course, depending on moderate Republicans to fight these kind of bills is all we have at the moment, there is promise that standing up to these kind of things will raise the level of awareness among voters.

The fact that Kerry hardly ever talked about the environment drove me nuts. The only environmental question in all three debates came from a citizen in debate 2, so the press just ignored the issue. And now, as people read about fish so loaded with mercury that you can't eat them, pesticides causing cancer, and a myriad of other environmental disasters, maybe the Democrats will wake up and realize that a vast majority of Americans want more environmental protection, not less. Combined with the kind of populism many Democrats had to bail on to help the credit card companies that donate to them (like Joe Biden), working people everywhere might actually believe that Democrats fight for them.

For more on the missed populist opportunity, and why it was missed by some Democrats, see this post of mine at the Daily KOS. Here's a clip:
One of the other failures here is that, once they knew it would pass, the Democrats didn't even do as the woman who argued with Biden in the hearings suggested: address the outrageous fees and usury rates they supposedly have to charge to cover their losses. The Dems could have made it a clearer issue to the public by playing up the populism side of it, pointing out that consumers were giving something up, but not the CC companies. No guarantee of lower rates, like with any deregulation.

Monday, March 07, 2005

More from the Conversations with Stagehands files. We've veered off into religion.
I'm agnostic. I really don't know what the definition of spiritual is. I know it's big. It would include wiccans, nature worship, pagans, and even Buddhists, who really don't believe in God. I think in many ways an atheist could be considered spiritual, since they believe in the non-existence of God. As my daughter Jasmine told me when she was 6:
"Daddy, you can't be an atheist, you don't have any faith."
I guess that's why I'm not sure if I could be called spiritual, since I'm very scientific, really. If I don't know something, I don't want to pretend I do, or convince myself to have some revelation so I can stop drinking or whatever. The realizations I've come to, the mistakes I've made, the good I've done are all because of me. That's all I can really know. So, I'm not going to try to theorize about some other explanation for That Which I See.

My apologies to Bertrand Russell and my symbolic logic professor.
I always remember this from Russell:
"I wish to propose for the reader's favourable consideration a doctrine which may, I fear, appear wildly paradoxical and subversive. The doctrine in question is this: that it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true."

Sunday, March 06, 2005

My Half of a Conversation about a Prime Mover

My stagehand friend Jeff made a post to our union newsgroup in response to some study saying Atheism is waning in Europe.
Hey, whoa, whoa, whoa... Aldous Huxley, like Hunter S. Thompson, is one of my heroes. Huxley, like Thompson, wrote under the influence, and was very good at it. He didn't just do drugs in his old age, and what's wrong with that anyway? You say it like doing mushrooms occasionally, especially when you're old and not too worried about your long-term health anyway, is immoral or something.

One reason atheism is not expanding is because of what my daughter said to me when she was 6: "You can't be an atheist, Dad, because you have no faith."

I think a lot of people who used to think of themselves as atheists have just realized that they're really agnostic. That being said, and knowing a little about logic, ONLY flawed logic calls for a prime mover.

To posit a God only complicates your ontology.

A exists.

A exists because B made it.

Logic demands proofs. What is your proof that B made A? Oh, right, there is none. So, then the second statement is illogical.

"The best answer is usually the simplest." Albert Einstein, who refused to believe this axiom in the case of religion.

"The individual who is aware and in possession of free will must have some characteristics or have some embodiment of or at least a reflection of the Image of his Maker since intelligence and free will are not quantifiable they must, logically, not be of this universe."

Damn, that sounds like Plato, Jeff. It assumes a lot, including a maker. Why is it impossible for me to be aware and in possession of free will because that's how our brains evolved? Over millions of years of natural selection, brains with those abilities have managed to breed more than brains without them. Pretty logical, no?

Intelligence and free will are not quantifiable? Hmmm.. I'd say you have a lot of intelligence. I'd say [a Bush loving rapture-ready union brother] doesn't. Quantification complete.

Free will? A tougher argument. To argue that everything we do isn't determined is like trying to argue that everything in the universe didn't double in size last night.
I'm sure my friend Jeff knows there's no hard feelings.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

The Birth of Neo-Gonzo (not affiliated in any way with the Muppet or the movement surrounding the Great one) is my blog about Hunter S. Thompson. Today I made a couple of posts to make up for the fact that I was late on commenting on a few HST stories, like ?Counselor?. The last entry, Frank Rich's comparison of HST and Dan Rather, touches on an issue that's near to my heart. I maintain that The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has been passed the torch of true gonzo journalism. Last week, for example, Samantha Bee made two anti-lawyer crusaders look like complete idiots. She did it in a story in the greatest of Gonzo traditions of Satire and Sarcasm. HST would have been proud.

While Frank Rich's story focuses on how different journalism has become from Thompson's hard-hitting, pre-blogger blog style, I'm realizing that Rich is missing what a million "stoned slackers" have been tuning into every night, especially since the Bush Junta took over. Rich might have missed the Emy's that Stewart and the Daily Show won. Those Emy's were for the entertainment value of the "fake news" show, but anyone who has ever seen the Daily Show will tell you, they get at more truth through their "fake" news than Brian Williams ever will.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Frank Supak, Hollywood Bowl Master Soundman, died 3/3/2000:

"We are evolving toward simplicity."
Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of my father's death. Half of the day had gone by before I remembered. I was on my way to pick up Spencer at baseball practice, and it just dawned on me.

And it reminded me of the day Dad died. I had just picked Spence up from his bus stop, and before I could say anything, he asked me what happens to people when they die. Probably just coincidence. That's the kind of things five year olds ask. But, I like to think it's an example of how children know everything.

For a little soundman dialogue, see the post below, which includes a letter from my soundman friend Phil Allen, in which he had some very nice things to say about Dad, who was the Hollywood Bowl soundman from 1970 to 1993.