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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.

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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:

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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…



Signs of the Time: The Healthcare Hipster [OBAMA BRING BACK ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT]
|| 8/13/2009 || 12:04 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Photograph of a Hipster at a Healthcare Town Hall Meeting with a sign that says Obama Bring Back ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT from a somewhat anonymous Flickr user

Photograph from a first-time Flickr user named “granitepics”

The other day I was a asked by a friend who writes for a local DC blog called ReadySetDC to define the word “hipster.” There was recently light-hearted article in the Washington Post that used the term “quasi-hipster,” and few other blogs debated the merits of the story.

Before submitting my overtly wordy & somewhat absurd quote for his story, I sent him the link to Douglass Haddow’s Adbuster’s article that I had transcribed last summer. Basically I was implying that I’ve already offered my two cents on the topic, but I’ll still participate because I’m curious as to how other people will define the word in the entry. Visually, however….

Earlier today a friend posted this link on Facebook and after scrolling down to bottom, past the crazy signs, and the dude wearing a gun, I found the photo above and chuckled.

Oh how timely, there was a hipster…. Sporting tacky dark red sunglasses, a batman t-shirt, flip-flops, and an absurd sign: OBAMA BRING BACK ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT.

I immediately sent the photo to my high school friend Scott Thomas Towler because he used to work on the television show Arrested Development. I probably wouldn’t have even written this post had it not been for his work on the show—-

There has been such vitriol displayed at these dubiously titled “town hall” meetings by useful idiots, so seeing a hipster engaging in some type of contemporary culture jamming gave me some hope. The photograph shows that there is a societal buffer between for and against; evidence that people are not all left or right or wrong.

But then again, healthcare is a human right— something akin an inalienable right. Other countries know this very very well but there is far too much money to be made off of pain & suffering to transform health insurance corporations into non-profit entities. As such, it will continue to be a contentious issue that will be played out in the media for weeks to come.

Maybe we can begin to use a new term, like useful morons or useful morans, to describe the people being severely duped? Useful idiots needs to be modernized to describe the ignorance present in the American political landscape. Lucky for us, many of these useful morans will probably get distracted by a new television show come September. But unlike the show mentioned in sign the hipster is holding, the future health & well-being of Americans cannot be canceled.

Photograph of a Hipster at a Healthcare Town Hall Meeting with a sign that says Obama Bring Back ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT from Flickr user ccc photography

Photograph from Flickr user ccc photography



[FOUND MAP] New York City: The 51st State
|| 12/24/2008 || 6:34 pm || Comments Off on [FOUND MAP] New York City: The 51st State || ||

I have rallied for years about having DC become the 51st state in America. Even last week I redesigned the American flag to address my feelings toward this subject. However today I came across this map above that mentions the 51st state and predates the organization of the DC Statehood Movement.

In 1969 author Norman Mailer ran for mayor of New York City and one aspect of his campaign was New York City secession through urban statehood. This lovely map shows all the neighborhoods in each of the boroughs and subtly pokes fun at the current “state” of New York City.

I can’t help but wonder, what if this political option was pursued again? Would New York City residents be interested in having federal funds being directed to the city instead of the rest of the state? Political climate aside, would Americans be more receptive if DC statehood was concurrently offered so that the number states is not an odd number? Or is America just stuck at 50 because its a nice number?

When president-elect Barack Obama assumes office, he’ll be the first black president to live in the same federal district that has a majority black population who can never duplicate the steps in his American Dream. His path to presidency included a path no resident of the nation’s capital can follow- he was a United States senator. Without two senators like every other state, the residents of the nation’s capital, unlike the residents of New York City, are still second-class citizens denied the same equality every other American enjoys. Will Obama be a real leader and address this fundamental flaw in our government?

While the map above proposes the concept of urban statehood, there is also the notion of urban / island balancing worth mentioning. The boroughs themselves are drawn as distinct counties and in some respects their natural geographies create urban islands, like Manhattan & Staten, within the unified state of New York City. President-elect Barack Obama comes from a former island territory, now state, Hawaii, which was brought into the union at nearly the same time as Alaska for balancing purposes. Could urban statehood, like that of Washington, DC or New York City, be balanced with statehood for other American islands, like Guam, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands? Or with the islands having a majority population of non-white people, like their urban counterparts, be a lurking reminder that racism still present in America? Should congressional representation be denied to American citizens simply based upon how their geography happens to be located or politically aligned? Sadly, I think thats what we have today and, to me, its veiled racism defended as normal partisan politics.



Click here to read more about the map and view numerous close-up details.



The PointAbout 2009 Presidential Inauguration Mobile Application for iPhone & Blackberry
|| 12/23/2008 || 7:09 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

I’m still in awe at how much technology has advanced since the last presidential inauguration. I believe my Inaugural Map was one of the most advanced maps that was on-line at the time (Google Maps wasn’t released until February of 2005) and now you can get a mobile phone application which puts all of the features (and then some) into your pocket. While I don’t think I’ll be purchasing this, I’m curious as to what information it will ultimately feature on January 20th. Check the press release and video below:


2009 Inauguration Mobile App Launched by Patton Boggs and Qorvis

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 – A new software application launched today gives guests attending the historic 2009 Presidential Inauguration the ability to navigate Washington with a glance at their smart phone.

The application, introduced by Qorvis Communications, a strategic communications firm, and the law firm Patton Boggs, provides location-aware (GPS) information about all inaugural galas and events and delivers details in real time about where to eat, what Metro line to take, and how to find museums and other places in Washington, DC. It even provides walking directions to the Inauguration.

“This first-of-its-kind application will help the nation’s first high-tech president usher in a new era of government – one that embraces technology and advanced communications,” said Stuart M. Pape, managing partner at Patton Boggs.

The first iteration of the Qorvis/Patton Boggs application is now available in the iTunes App Store. A Blackberry version will soon follow. Development of a version for the Google phone “Android” is slated for early January 2009.

“Everyone in Washington is throwing a party or hosting clients, family and friends for the inauguration,” said Michael Petruzzello, managing partner of Qorvis. “We wanted to offer the public a useful and speedy way to obtain information about this historic event.”

The mobile application was designed by Qorvis’ in-house interactive team and developed by PointAbout, which has enabled the application to be used on a variety of mobile platforms.

The application currently available features evolving content – which will include RSS feeds on inauguration events and services and other related information closer to the event date. Plans also include a polling component to gauge real-time user sentiment about the Inauguration. FortiusOne will be analyzing and visualizing the results through their GeoCommons platform.

Current services include:

    Zagat Restaurant Guide
    Walking directions to the Inauguration
    Metro train and bus schedules
    News and alerts
    Free Wi-Fi zone locations
    Local weather, traffic, and news
    Starbucks locations
    ATM-bank search

The 2009 Inauguration Guide is a reflection of the broader services Qorvis and Patton Boggs provide: helping organizations and companies navigate the complexities and nuances of Washington with regard to legal services, public affairs, issue advocacy, and media and public relations.

The app for iPhones can be found here: https://inauguration.pointabout.com/


I also found this video on the PointAbout website:



If you end up purchasing it, I am curious to hear about it in the comments.



Uncertified Election Results from Precinct #137 in Washington, DC
|| 11/5/2008 || 5:48 pm || Comments Off on Uncertified Election Results from Precinct #137 in Washington, DC || ||

Above is the unofficial results from yesterday’s election. Since I didn’t vote for Barack Obama, I decided to not celebrate last night. It wasn’t my victory. All I can say is that I voted for the other black presidential candidate, the one the media decided to ignore. I’ll probably revisit my feelings toward the 2008 election in a future entry. I’d also like to make another round of maps of where DC residents voted for DC Statehood Green Party candidates. One positive aspect of the election is that the party was able to maintain ballot access for the 2010 elections.



Related 2008 Election Entries:

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Obama’s vice presidential selection is a slap in the face to every progressive American
|| 8/23/2008 || 11:16 pm || Comments Off on Obama’s vice presidential selection is a slap in the face to every progressive American || ||

I think the screen grab from the LA Times sums up my feelings. You have an advertisement for Obama’s candidacy next to a photograph of Obama with his vice presidential selection Senator Joe Biden (D-Delaware). It’s as though the election has already been bought and paid for without any votes really being cast.

Years ago I made a pact that I would not vote for anyone who unconstitutionally & illegally gave president George Bush the authority to invade Iraq. Obama’s vice presidential selection voted for the war and so did Hilary Clinton. In all there were 23 senators and 133 representatives who courageously cast a vote against the war that would have been better vice presidential candidates.

Cynthia McKinney is only candidate running for president of the United States who voted against the war. She showed leadership six years ago, unlike Obama or Biden. Where were they before the war started? McKinney was at the anti-war demonstrations speaking up and clearly showing what it is to be a leader in America and that’s why I’ll be voting for her.


Related 2008 Election Entries:

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