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In The Studio Audience of the Al Jazeera English Show “Faultlines: Afghanistan”
|| 11/14/2009 || 4:43 am || + Render A Comment || ||

Last summer I was invited to attend the taping of Al Jazeera English’s show “Changing Channels” and enjoyed the format and the discussion. Last week I was invited to attend the taping of Avi Lewis’ show Faultlines concerning the topic of the war in Afghanistan. I found the discussion was quite interesting and I am glad I attended the taping.


[Watch on YouTube]

Watch part two:


[Watch on YouTube]

This Friday, November 20th at 3pm, Al Jazeera English is hosting another town hall forum on race and the recession at the Newseum:


If you are interested in attending, be sure to RSVP and arrive about 45 minutes before the show is set to start taping.


My Record Cover Was Featured On Current TV Last Night
|| 11/12/2009 || 1:47 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Last night a friend of mine from college, Andrew Wiseman, left a message on my Facebook wall saying that he saw the map I made on Current TV. Knowing that I had met the film crew back in June of this year at the 18th Street Lounge, I was expecting the show to eventually broadcast. Earlier today the full show was uploaded to YouTube:

Around 18 minutes into the episode, while Eric Hilton and Rob Garza of Thievery Corporation are at the record shop Som Records (about 4 blocks from my house), Rob picks up the record Supreme Illusion, which I licensed Pentagon Quilt and Lower Manhattan Quilt as the cover artwork.

If you don’t want to watch the entire show, you can skip to 50 second mark on this truncated version of the show:


[Watch on YouTube]


“Welcome to my room” – A YouTube video showing my outdoor photo installation for Fotoweek DC
|| 11/5/2009 || 3:23 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

This short video documents my temporary photo installation called “Welcome to my room.” for FotoweekDC 2009. The installation consists of about 24 random photographs that I had doubles of in my archives. They were stapled to the temporary wooden walkway on the west side of 14th Street near the intersection of T Street, NW, Washington, DC. The building for which the temporary walkway was constructed will become the chain department store called Room & Board. So welcome to my Room, I hope you are not Bored. Please add your own photos to the walkway and make the room ours. Send me photos of your additions.


UPDATE – I’m pleased to say that in the week since I installed the photographs, they’ve all been removed. Every other day I walked by the exhibit to see how many were remaining, which were mixing with the leaves on the sidewalk, and by yesterday they were all in the urban ether. The installation was never meant to be permanent nor really even a serious photographic exhibit, just an experiment, and since the photographs were all duplicate photos from 1992-2002, their sacrifice totally was worth it!



YouTube Music Video of Gogol Bordello singing “Illumination” at the 2006 Leads Music Festival
|| 10/26/2009 || 2:18 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Gogol Bordello is a multi-ethnic Gypsy punk band from the Lower East Side of New York City that formed in 1999. I was first introduced their music a few years ago by a friend and have seen them perform a couple times.

Sometimes when the rain gets me down I enjoy listening to this song. It was filmed at the 2006 Leads Festival in the United Kingdom and is the only decent quality version I could find on-line. Of unfortunate note, the graphic displayed at the beginning of the video incorrectly lists the song as Start Wearing Purple, which is one of Gogol Bordello‘s break-through hits.

Below are the lyrics to the song:

+ MORE



YouTube Videos, Photos, and Newspaper Articles About American Farmers and Businessmen Planting Hemp Seeds at the DEA Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia
|| 10/25/2009 || 1:36 pm || + Render A Comment || ||


[Watch on YouTube]

On October 13th, 2009, I was invited to document this demonstration at the DEA Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. You can spot me in the YouTube video above in the beginning. I am wearing a black jacket and hat with a rose on it.


This story starts back in 2007 when farmers Wayne Hauge and David C. Monson attempted to obtain permits from the Drug Enforcement Administration to grow industrial hemp [well actually the story goes back further!]. Their respective state governments had granted the farmers licenses to grow the plant, but since the DEA still considers the non-psychoactive industrial hemp plant to be marijuana, they have refused to grant the farmers permits. Faced with no other legal option, they decided it was time to stage a direct action on the grounds of the DEA Headquarters to help push public opinion towards changing the outdated laws. A week later the Department of Justice officially clarified it’s stance on medical marijuana, but has not yet addressed industrial hemp farming. Below are two articles about the demonstration with photographs that I took that eventful morning:

+ MORE



YouTube video of the Billionaires for Wealthcare singing “Public Option Annie” at yesterday’s AHIP conference in Washington, DC
|| 10/24/2009 || 8:19 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

This video was filmed at AHIP‘s 14th annual State Issues Conference at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC. I think the activist singers did an excellent job conveying the message of the importance of a public option in any health insurance reform.



AHIP is the powerful insurance lobby that spends 5 million dollars a week trying to kill health care reform. Billionaires for Wealthcare is a grassroots network looking to stop them – with song.

  • AHIP and other insurance and HMO interests spend nearly $5 million per week undermining real health care reform, including a public option.
  • AHIP has resorted to out-right lying and scare tactics to block health care reform. They sent letters that lie to seniors about what health care reform means for Medicare, and they issued a report on the costs of health care reform legislation that is so misleading even the reports embarrassed authors distanced themselves from the way AHIP used their work.
  • Every year, 45,000 people die because they cant get access to the health care they need. Yet AHIP continues to stand in the way of health care reform that would provide coverage to millions of Americans because the industry is more concerned with protecting profits than saving lives.

Lyrics to “Public Option Annie” sung in the tune of “Tomorrow” from the Broadway musical Annie.

+ MORE



Timelapse YouTube Video of the Crowd at FiestaDC
|| 9/29/2009 || 4:48 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

On Sunday afternoon I filmed this timelapse video of the crowd of people at FiestaDC walking down Mount Pleasant Street in Northwest, Washington, DC. My good friend has an apartment right above the street which made for some awesome people watching (I think I called it “people watching caviar”). This elevated perspective allowed me to capture this unique footage of the festival participants. The audio in the video is from a separate recording of the same location played at normal speed. I did this to capture the sound of the festival without having to resort to some cheesy music playing over the timelapse video. As for the opening title sequence, I decided to play around with the fonts of the title for 15 frames each. I don’t really know why I did that except to add some random flair to the footage.



YouTube Video of Teabaggers Having A Rally On Astroturf
|| 9/16/2009 || 6:43 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||


[Watch on YouTube]

Last Friday, on the evening before the Taxpayer March On Washington, a large group of teabaggers, patriots, small-government conservatives, and libertarians staged a rally at CityCenterDC, the site of the old Washington, DC Convention center. Little did they know they were standing on Astroturf.

Astroturfing is a word that describes political, advertising, or public relations campaigns which seek to create the impression of being spontaneous “grassroots” behavior. Being that the Taxpayer March on Washington was promoted heavily by Fox News and other conversation media organizations, it was far from being a grassroots mobilization. So when I realized the demonstrators were actually standing on astroturf, I decided to make this short video to highlight the irony of the spectacle.


Related Taxpayers March on Washington, DC Entries:
Photographs of Friday’s Opening Rally of the Taxpayers March on DC at CityCenterDC
Photographs of Friday’s Opening Rally of the Taxpayers March on DC at CityCenterDC
Photographs of the Taxpayers March on Washington [PART ONE]
Photographs of the Taxpayers March on Washington [PART TWO]
Photographs of the Taxpayers March on Washington [PART THREE]



As predicted, Russia Today continues to promote 9/11 Conspiracy Theories on the 8th Anniversary of 9/11
|| 9/14/2009 || 11:09 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

As I predicted last week, Russia Today continued their somewhat unusual promotion of the 9/11 Truth Movement during the 8th anniversary of 9/11. Instead of producing one or two news reports, which I expected (specifically one about the Van Jones resignation), the news organization produced no less than seven in the last week. On the flip side, there wasn’t many other articles or videos produced by any of the major news organizations in the same period that address the questions surrounding the world changing event. As I posited last week, I am still curious as to why Russia Today continues to be the only news organization covering this contentious topic. Does the Russian government believe in the conspiracy theory? Does the Russian government hope to destabilize America by producing propaganda that makes American’s question the official story? I still don’t know, but I think its important to understand why no other news organization, privately owned or state sponsored, is aggressively reporting this issue as much as Russia Today.

Below are the YouTube videos Russia Today produced in the last week:

+ MORE



YouTube Video From Rethink Afghanistan: What Does the Easter Bunny Know About Rethinking Afghanistan?
|| 8/31/2009 || 8:55 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Watch Video on YouTube

Today I read the New York Times article American Antiwar Movement Plans an Autumn Campaign Against Policies on Afghanistan and noticed that Rethink Afghanistan was mentioned. Earlier this year, during Easter weekend, I was solicited by a friend who works with the organization to voluntarily dress up like the easter bunny and hand out easter eggs around Chinatown and the White House. The video above is the result of two days of volunteering and while I was saving the video for a blog entry next Easter*, I felt compelled to share it today.

…..4 months after this video was filmed……

  • There are more soldiers going to Afghanistan today —-not less
  • 51 percent of Americans now feel the war in Afghanistan is not worth fighting
  • August 2009 was the bloodiest month since the war began
  • Afghanistan is the graveyard of Empires

Obama campaigned on bringing the troops home, but he hasn’t done so, and I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Imagine all the money that could be spent on free healthcare for all Americans that is currently being spent fighting unwinnable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


* I also have about a dozen pictures of this action and another video of me trying not to get arrested by police officer in Chinatown. I plan on posting them in a future entry…





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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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  • thank you,
    come again!