May 28

ITEM: IN case You're ever in the vicinity of poison gas...you need to know the scents. I certainly wouldn't want to get that "increased dopey feeling".  Get all four here.

ITEM: Atheists are all abuzz by that fantastic response to Wolf Blitzer's somewhat stereotypical question about the Good Lord. More here on that. Even funnier cartoon by Tom Tomorrow.

May 18 not March 18th

ITEM: One of the things I learned from the very informative alternative history offered by Oliver Stone some months back is the complete superiority of Henry Wallace. He would have continued the legacy of FDR. You almost wish that FDR had died a bit earlier so that this man could have taken power. Truman, according to Oliver Stone -- whose view of history I respect (Seems to come out of the depressing Zinn/Chomsky school which seems to be 99.9999 percent right most of the time...) -- is portrayed as some kind of dim witted rube that Big Money could manipulate at will. It was clear that Wallace was dumped by those same Big Money forces for Truman in 44. But I admire what Wallace was against. (See the pic here to see what this means.)

ITEM: I'm going back in time to produce this version of the Matrix featuring Sidney Poitier as Morpheus, Pam Greer as Trinity, Peter Sellers as Agent Smith and Bruce Lee as "Neo". (IN order to understand this reference to the Matrix you must first look at this poster.)

 

May 12

And: I really think Osama Bin Laden should have just become a successful American businessman. Kind of like that Saudi dude who invests in Fox...yeah, if I didn't like Americans I would invest in Fox news as well.

May 4

ITEM: I'm doomed when the Age Appropriate Music Act comes into force, probably right after CISPA passes. I don't think I'm too old or too black to enjoy the "Thee Oh Sees". These cartoons were brought to my attention by way of Boing Boing.

April 26

ITEM: I actually think people in the world have legitimate reasons  to hate the United States. Not that this would give me solace if I had gotten all blow'd up but still... Ted Rall nails it.

ITEM: I am trying to resurrect my somewhat moribund Progressive Examiner post.

MoveOn protest Thursday against horrible Obama plan to cut Social Security.

Also:

Here is the third report that states PA taking $17 billion in free money works.

And:

Die Max Baucus Die and other news around the Progressive Internets

ITEM: The war against Gidas Flowers continues. Next up: the best criminal complaint I can possibly write about false statements.

 

late nite April 2oth

ITEM: More good images from the Facebook. This one is about medical bankruptcies with health insurance. This other one talks about prosecution for bombers vs industrial terrorists.

 

late nite April 9

(Also published at my Examiner Post.)

Around the Internets or PHRC investigator Catherine Leete is the Whore of Babylon at least according to the evidentiary model used by Catherine Leete (Some guy said it so it must be true.)

Here are some interesting stories I found or wrote about during the day.
 

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, still trying to kill me by not accepting 17 billion in free medicaid money (See Stephen Colbert on why.) From the PG:

It does not help his position that other Republican governors -- every bit as conservative and opposed to Obamacare -- have looked at the expansion and signed on to it. Why do the likes of Michigan's Rick Snyder, Ohio's John Kasich, Arizona's Jan Brewer and New Jersey's Chris Christie see a good deal when Mr. Corbett can't? Gov. Corbett needs to invest in people and accept that Obamacare is here to stay. If he dithers on the way to doing nothing, he risks spending four years of idleness, beginning in 2015, to consider where he went wrong. The voters are more likely to bite him than the gift horse.

And Tom Corbett: has a second way to kill me (as a working poor person) by closing half of all state funded healthcare clinics. Tom Corbett: he has alleged Christian values.

There are currently 60 health care centers across Pennsylvania where people who have illnesses or injuries but don’t have the money for treatment can go for care. The Corbett administration is now planning to close nearly half of them before summer’s end, but the Service Employees International Union Healthcare Pennsylvania is suing to halt the closures on the grounds that the PA Constitution requires such a policy to be passed by the PA Legislature. All this is happening as Pennsylvania ranks among the lowest states in the nation in state government spending on public health and the West Nile virus is on the rise in the commonwealth. Because who needs community nurses when there’s just a little West Nile going around, right, Corbett?

Answer: They're intelligent?

Russell Simmons wants the war on drugs to end. Good luck with that. We're not even sure he's going to let states legalize marijuana. But hey sometimes he pays attention to rich people.

Long nine minute youtube video about new documentary that tells you about how the corporate media is ruining everything. Probably 99.9 percent true.

Learn about how much fun it is to take your civil rights case to the Pennsylvania Human Rights Coalition. See the summary of flaws inherent in alleged PHRC investigator Catherine Leete's findings. Find out why I refer to Peter Gidas of Gidas Flowers as serial liar Peter Gidas (Hint: its because I can prove it.)

late nite March 31st.

ITEM: I've decided to take my civil rights case against serial liar Peter Gidas public. This will be more fun for me than him and I might get a book or two out of it. So a no brainer. I was actually paid to take down posts in another legal dispute I had because apparently I know how to touch a nerve or two. Who knew.

March 18

Around the Internets

ITEM: Art from Juxtapoz. Below. I like how they find what I'm guessing are European surrealists although could be American. You never know. Like their page on Facebook and their website to figure out who the artists are. Reminds me of Heavy Metal and Steranko at the same time.

ITEM: I'm still trying to do some "writing" apparently at my Pittsburgh Progressive Examiner post. This used to generate some income for me. It's been a struggle resurrecting it. And I hate those automatic ads that play when you link on a page. I think that drives traffic away.

Three headlines:

What the ISP Six Strikes regime means and a roundup of Internet responses.

And:

Sign the Demand Progress petition against the new six strikes law.

And:

Thank Bradley Manning for being a true Patriot.

ITEM: Something political. Oh, and reminds me: The Christopher Shropshire War Atrocity Page is still going strong.

ITEM: Very good anti war posters that I found on Facebook of all places. Quick succinct arguments against both enlistment and the perpetual American Forever War against small non nuclear countries that have things that we want.

March 8, 2013

ITEM: I've created Fundly campaigns for both Three Rivers Online and Viable Third Party Campaigns. As for the latter, we can do better than the duopoly.  We can even do it with small donors.

Feb. 17, 2013

ITEM: Best Facebook pics and toons.

 

 

March 8, 2013

ITEM: I've created Fundly campaigns for both Three Rivers Online and Viable Third Party Campaigns. As for the latter, we can do better than the duopoly.  We can even do it with small donors.

Feb. 17, 2013

ITEM: Best Facebook pics and toons.

 

and:

And:

Feb. 4, 2013

 

Feb. 4, 2013

My humble plan to Rule The World in 2013.

I haven't been blogging much. Or at least I haven't been doing longer more involved posts. That's because my goal this year of lucky 2013 is to publish as many Kindle books as I possibly can.  I'm really focusing on e-books this year. Non fiction and short stories if things roll my way. It seems like the same amount of work or even less with the possibility of bigger payoffs. So that's my plan.  I will, however, try to do a  minimum of a few posts a week just to let the world know that I'm still breathing. Also keep in mind that the Acid Jazz Channel and the Twitter are being continuously updated...

ITEM: Great political pics on Facebook.

and:

And here's something that's just plain pretty:

The young gifted and black artist is named Trenton Doyle Hancock.

Or not. Still checking this...its good whoever it is.

Dec. 9

ITEM: And my vacation is over. Still tired from the election, especially since I'm pretty sure I went 0 for 3 in all the elections I personally worked in. Am reading this. Its being offered online for free.

And getting ready to publish many many things. Or so I keep telling myself.

Nov. 7

ITEM: Funny. And probably true even though thankfully they're a minority.

ITEM: I voted for Obama mainly for the courts. I wrote more about that here.

As exhibit one let's take the completely evil attempts to invalidate the vote of African Americans here in my home state of Pennsylvania. If not for one moderate Republican at the state appeals court Voter Id would have become the law here in my state of Pennsylvania. The ACLU should have won on the first attempt but the, surprise, Republican judge decided -- despite the Corbett administration admitting that they had no evidence of voter fraud to enter into the record and a prominent republican promising to deliver our state to Romney due to the Voter ID law -- that it was all above aboard and that the state wasn't lying. Luckily, this guy was strong armed by the appeals court and Voter ID died.

Here's the thing though. This wasn't some one off effort. The Republicans tried this in just about every important battle ground state. Even now there are long lines in Florida and Ohio that aren't accidental. Just the other day there was yet a new way in Ohio for Republicans to disenfranchise mainly black, latino and college voters. We were lucky in that all those attempts were defeated. But they'll probably be reinstalled in time for 2014 and the forseeable  future if the current composition of the high court doesn't change.

The only thing stopping the enshrinement of the New Jim Crows laws is a democratic president. I think that's a very compelling reason to vote for Barack Obama. I mean, no matter how far right or corporatist you think his appointments are I don't believe any of them have endorsed policies that strip certain segments of the population of their right to vote. This is an easy call for me. So a tactical vote now and let's work on building viable third party movements in the future. And no Ian: voting and getting one percent of the vote doesn't make Third Parties viable. Winning elections by way of the canvass and small donors could make the change.

 The very conservative dem I was knocking on doors for lost. This story is related. And so is this. I had no idea that a blue dog was working to retake the house for the dems. That would explain the effort. I wonder how hard that guy worked. Is this why Missa Eaton got so little support? Back to work on the progressive agenda.

Oct. 25

ITEM: Busy doing election stuff. I have also made a last ditch attempt to help the only pro choice candidate running in Western Pennsylvania. More info here and here.

As usual, check out the twitter where I try to post something everyday including interesting links. Posting will be slow as I'm involved in some election work. Some of it even pays.

October 7

ITEM (Christopher Shropshire): This started as snark but has now turned into something valuable.

You can find the site here: Chris Shropshire's Atrocity News. It was meant to be a somewhat sarcastic answer to my half brother -- let me stress that's "half" -- recent enlistment in the army. So I filled it with anti war news feeds and people that generally mock the notion that fighting for the United States has something to do with actually protecting the country, as opposed to protecting the interests of multinationals that aren't nationalistic.

It has turned out, however, to be a pretty good source of alternative news. Here are the best stories I've seen from the last week or so.

Related: Here's some background on the feud with my half-brother and again we should stress that's "half".

 

Sept. 28

ITEM: Why a tactical vote for Obama makes sense. Infinite drone wars and NDAA arrests notwithstanding...

And more Pittsburgh photos:

I likes clouds.

Sept. 24

ITEM: Photo of the South Side bridge that I probably should have altered more. I love walking across that bridge. I try not to look down though.

Sept. 18

ITEM: Been at the twitter and at the Facebook which does me no good as a writer because what I write there isn't well publicized.

Here are my last links, likes or shares, from Facebook.

I steal lots of images from Facebook. Here's one: "Taliban or Republican?"

Great headline writing at the Guardian: "US Media angrily marvels at the lack of Muslim gratitude."

Why science is better than religion: progress on the bio engineered organ front

Well, if you ask me Akin was asking for it, legitimately.

Noam Chomsky on warmongers or stuff you don't read about it in your newspaper.

I would say both when thinking about the prison industrial complex.

"Why the western media hates Julian Assange."

 

Sept. 7

ITEM: I've been doing the twitter more often than updating my main site. Will rectify this in the coming weeks.

ITEM: Go check out Tom Spurgeon's completely Superior celebration of Jack Kirby's birthday link roundup.

A Very Short and Late Nite Around the Internets

This Unified Progressive Platform looks interesting.

Gravity Lens guy hangs out at SF Signal, which just won a Hugo Award. Will have to check this out.

Opinion: I think Obama has a five to seven percent edge in polling but that could be wiped out by the GOP's open effort to steal the election by way of voter suppression, which the dems don't fight hard enough against.

August 26

ITEM: Been busy suing people. And reviewing comics. My life's work.

Scariest comic I've reviewed: "Fracking" by Daryl Cunningham. A snippet as they say:

So I read scary comics all the time about the end of the world with either zombies or mutants, interstellar wars where the Earth is kind of the bad guy (here and here) and the sex life of Chester Brown. Its all pretty terrifying and horrible. Yet I am strong and will continue to review comic books. But I can safely say that the scariest comic I’ve reviewed for Comics Forge is this beta version of an online — takes up 30 pages or more if you print it out — comic called “Fracking or Hydraulic Fracturing” by Daryl Cunningham.

If you’re not aware of this, and I barely am, “Fracking” is the next big economic thing to happen in the United States. What should be the next big thing is infrastructure investment to the tune of about $2 trillion dollars or even massive bank loans to small and mid size businesses. Republicans stopped the former because that would have helped the president and the banks stopped the latter because they own both parties.

The downside of Fracking, which this cartoon illustrates all so well, is that it leaves behind all kinds of waste which might be fine if you trust either the EPA, even under a Democrat, or the drillers. If you trust either of those entities, then you simply haven’t been watching current events. Here’s how the cartoonist, who is a British person so I presume that this will actually be a honest look at this, describes it.

Here's a panel:

August 18

ITEM: The voter id law decision summarized within one picture.

ITEM: I'm also busy reviewing other people's comics.

Review here. Pics I couldn't safely publish at Comics Forge but that I can publish at my sites because I'm in good with the publisher. I think these pics were why Black Kiss got banned in Britain.

August 12

ITEM: Joe Kubert died yesterday at the age of 85. Sometimes artists just can't draw when they get too old. As far as I can tell, Kubert, who's probably been drawing comics since at least the 50s, possibly a decade earlier -- this is where I go for all my modern history these days -- was drawing Before Watchmen: Nite Owl last week. And the art looked stunning to me.

 

 

You can see some of his art here as well: More art that I could find over at Comics Forge.

August 8

ITEM: Something I wrote about concerning my frustrations in trying to change the Green Party as a broke ass person.

Note to William Rivers Pitt: It's not the geography, it's the lack of money.

August 7

ITEM: The big news today is that the Milton Hershey School completely reversed itself on its not admitting that HIV positive kid to its school. They offered him a spot but the lawsuit continues although I'm not sure on what issues, probably lawyer fees. I really think that was the smart move by the school because their case made no sense at all, which I pointed out here some months ago while, admittedly, perhaps picking on a girl who used to be my friend otherwise known as Connie McNamara or as I affectionately refer to her: The Face of Terror. I'm looking for video feeds of Connie offering the about face but I see nothing so far. I think that's bad for Connie because she had to go out there and explain why killing kittens with mallets every Tuesday or so was a really really great policy for the MHS. ("For the children don't you know and we're not monsters for oh my we carefully deliberated not killing kittens in front of school students with big metal mallets but we're special in that we're very very rich and the rules of science and decency don't apply to us and don't I look maternal and comforting?"...) But now that they've done the decent thing she doesn't get a chance at Youtube redemption?

You know I run a video of her defending their "Let's carve out new discriminatory policy against HIV positive people" on the Acid Jazz Channel because Connie has a really sexy voice and it used to hit on me. And no I wouldn't have believed that either if I hadn't lived it. But I just wasn't putting out back in college...have I mentioned these are painful memories for me.? Ah well. Back to the topic...

I would certainly run a video with Connie explaining how they totally caved and decided that this was a civil rights violation. Or did she actually support that stupid policy? I sure hope not. I figure her job was a kind of putting pearls on swine kind of thing and that's her job to spin it.  I hope so. More as this news develops.

ITEM: I've decided to make this dispute between my half brother Christopher Shropshire over his voluntary enlistment public. I should point out that my position is much more in line with our father John Shropshire. Just for the record: Our father John Shropshire was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, which probably guaranteed the existence of a Christopher Shropshire. So thank goodness for small favors. But here's something I've never told anyone: John Shropshire was lying. My father was one of the strongest men I've ever known and if he had to kill he could probably do it. The Vietnam war wasn't worth killing for or being killed for, period. Likewise, our current occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan do not deserve anyone's blood, or at least anyone who has good sense.

And just for the record, I could kill too. What righteous black man wouldn't want to put a knife to the throat of some deserving Nazi or Confederate soldier? But other poor people of color in Iran or Afghanistan? And voluntarily at that? No way. And that's exactly what my father said as well.

More here:

First edition of Chris Shropshire's War Atrocity Porn News

More coming.

Late nite July 29th

ITEM: Soon to be published at the Acid Jazz Channel. Better take a look in case its taken down.

ITEM: The 2012 election could be determined by this lawsuit. I feel good that it will be overthrown by the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court, not completely corrupt even with a Republican majority. There's a 50/50 shot The United State's Supreme Court will grant Corbett and Romney's dream. Yes I'm making the assumption that the current composition of the Supreme Court is possibly corrupt and partisan. Related: Worse than Mississippi.

July 20 PST

ITEM: Despite pics like these "Bain" has nothing to do with "Bane".

I wrote something about it at the Examiner. I mean why not. Working links at that link...

Limbaugh wrong about Batman or Rush is still a big fat idiot.

Rush Limbaugh, known for making so many political and factual errors that there is a site called "Media Matters" that documents his multitude of political and factual errors, has decided to spread his lack of expertise into matters of both film and comics commentary. And we discover that his mediocrity is almost without bound.

But let's allow the formerly fat man to speak for himself about the conspiracy that is the new Batman film.

"Do you think it is accidental that the name of the really vicious fire-breathing, four-eyed whatever it is villain in this movie is called Bane?" asked the right wing hack recently on that awful advertiser deprived radio show of his.

Well, as a matter of fact, "Yes". It's just serendipity, luck or accident. Rush could have figured that out if he actually knew anything about comic books, or about anything of importance for that matter. Bane was actually created a long time ago and Rush could have figured this out himself if he used this magical thing called The "Internet". The character was created way back in 1993, which would mean that this would be a conspiracy that had been brewing for almost 19 years. Then there's the small matter that Bane has appeared in a previous and awful Batman movie that proved how bad a Batman film could actually be. That was simply a conspiracy of bad movie making by Joel Schumacher.

Two, there is a long and established long line of critical thought regarding superheroes that the very notion of garishly dressed vigilantes beating up other garishly dressed criminals is itself a right wing notion of justice. Superhero comics just fit into a number of traditional right wing narratives one being that you can solve all your problems with a punch in the face or with unlimited drone strikes. Comics, especially comics by American writers, never look too deeply into what heroes do. Just once, I'd like to see an American comic book hero question the sense of the drug war or see a comic that had all the subtlety of "The Wire". More than likely whatever the problems in this third Batman film they'll most likely be solved by a punch in the face, which fits into real life Republican narratives that Rush Limbaugh should get behind if only Rush had a brain...

So yeah Rush it's just an accident and in all probability its also "just a movie", which I understand does my home city of Pittsburgh quite proud so I look forward to watching it this weekend.

late nite July 15th

ITEM: I usually don't repeat my reviews of comics word for word here because the space just isn't unlimited. But I found the DC/Azzarello take on the Comedian to be nothing short of Blasphemous. Blasphemy I sez...He hath defiled the holy writ. "Burn the witch" and so on..."

Okay, now if there was one adaptation that I think Alan Moore would be tearing his stubbly great grey Snake God beard out over it would be Brian Azzarelo’s writing on the Comedian. But first let’s go back to the original Watchmen to understand my rage. Here’s a scene from the original:

Well let’s look at this. He’s reacting to a comment about whether or not he killed Woodward and Bernstein (Their careers ended tragically when Nixon was allowed to serve multiple terms….) and quite frankly I think he did kill them despite his denials. If you think people in government aren’t capable of that please look at the carefree life that Julian Assange now lives. He then states that “Nah…I’m clean, guys. Just don’t ask where I was when I heard about J.F.K.” And quite frankly I think he’s lying about that as well. In fact, if I recall the movie version of Watchmen, he’s the other gunman for sure. It fits his character. He’s corrupt, remember? Go watch the youtube clip. He’s the other gunman on the grassy knoll. This is quite consistent with his character who loves Richard Nixon. He probably advised Nixon to ask for Dr. Manhattan’s help in order to win the Vietnam War. Its probably why he wasn’t outlawed after the Keane Act is because he didn’t like that dirty hippie Kennedy.

Well that’s not the direction that Brian takes us in. Here Brian tells us that the Comedian is actually good friends with the Kennedys, both Bobby and John. In fact, its clear that he’s got a thing for Mrs. Kennedy who subtly instructs him to murder Marilyn Monroe and you get the idea she asks him because she’s jealous. Thanks Brian for maligning the Kennedys. But it gets weirder. In this crazy version of the alternate world of the Watchmen the Comedian is this world’s version of Mr. X, if you’ve studied over your notes of the completely correct version of the JFK assassination as directed by Oliver Stone. The Comedian is such a patriotic hero that he needed to be lured away from Dallas the day of the assassination. I guess he can’t protect Bobby either some years later. Right. Here’s a scene:



This also makes the odd calculation that any of these heroes would be democrats, at all. I can sort of see Nite Owl as a moderate and I suppose Ozymandius is kind of liberal but that’s about it. If ever there was a guy who would hate Democrats it would be the Comedian. That was the lesson of Watchmen is that these guys wouldn’t be liberal. They would be hard core Ted Nugent tea party Rorshack crazy, at a minimum.

So, I give it three stars objectively since the art wasn’t bad. I do give it one star subjectively for completely raping and misconstruing the Comedian mythos. Now, excuse me because I’ve got some fanfic to write where I recast Bond as a David Niven character who’s an effete bisexual who doesn’t get into fights. And when introduced to a character named “Pussy Galore” he says things like “Oh my. How improper!” and covers his eyes…I’m sure Bond enthusiasts will embrace my reworking of the tale.

Late July 9th

ITEM: I think I have to review all these Before Watchmen comics. Some kinda federal law. Two are up now. Minutemen and Silk Spectre, which actually felt more like a romance comic that might be aimed at girls. Has a girl writer and artist afterall. I mention that I really like the anime silliness. Or note that third panel....Quick summation of all I've read: the art is better the storytelling is not.

ITEM: As usual, been all over the Internets just not here. Have to figure this out. I have been studying these Ed Herman videos here, here and here. Herman is the co author of "Manufactured Consent" but most importantly the propaganda model of American corporate media, which is completely accurate. I would replace the cold war with terrorism though. Same difference.

June 30

ITEM: I'm trying my Indiegogo thing third party thing, again. The Crowdsourcing gods haven't been kind. But I think its time to try again. We need more choices in politics.

 

The Indiegogo campaign is here. This will last 10 more days.

June 26 (late nite)

ITEM: There is a sequel of sorts to Gasland. It's called "The Sky is Pink". More important than the usual prole murders and weather. Even Stillers news, possibly. Features former Pittsburgh Councilman Doug Shields doing good. Wish he had won that magistrate's race. Corbett is also mentioned and not in a good way.

June 20

ITEM: And I reviewed Prophet 25. I was most moved by the manly man action writing.

 

From the review:

Now, I would have written “Jonathon Prophet” is like, strong n’ stuff.” Here’s what Brandon Graham wrote:
“He’s fully awake now. The one man the Earth Empire fears. He knows them. Once he was their hero. But he learned the depths of their cruelty. The Friend of the Scale, The Unkillable Knife, The Wave Crester, The Spiral Jumper. The Lord of the Wolf-Rayet Star. The Old Man, Great Grey Grandfather Jonathon Prophet has awoken.”

Related: I am so inspired by the manly action writing describing Jonathon Prophet that I’ve decided to describe myself in the same way and hope that it catches on as an Internet meme or at least in search engines. Future employers should know what they’re getting.

“Philip Shropshire has fully awakened now. The one man the multinational rulers fear. He knows them. He once worked for them until he learned the depths of their cruelty. They fear him for Philip Shropshire is The Dull Blade That Keeps Stabbing. The Enemy of the Mirror. The Man Who Walks To Places. The Long Line Jumper. The Ruthless Lord of His Own Alternate Music Video Channel. He must now destroy the Evil Empire, again. He yearns for the taste of their blood and failed dreams on his lips….”
Please click liberally. That should be number one in my search results. I think that’s the kind of thing that employers are looking for.

I'm thinking about calling these: Phil's Manly Man Yet Humbly Accurate Aphorisms

June 16

ITEM: There has been an odd outpouring of anti Corbett art and videos that have appeared on the streets and on the television.

First, there's this hilarious cover on Pittsburgh's City Paper. Here:

 

The journalism is striking and on point as well. And there's more art that talks about that Shell Deal, which big labor and some Dems seems to have gotten behind, according to Early Returns. On the other hand, I wish Dems would fight for job creation as hard. Just look at the guest list and the number of Dems. I think I found this on Facebook:

Yeah its clear what his choice is. There's also a shadowy group (Dems for once...) already funding attack ads against him. They would be better served by trying to get better numbers in both the house and senate, although I hope this pays off in several years.

ITEM: My newest round of reviews is up over at Comics Forge.

Mystery in Space by a cast of thousands

Hope Beyond Hype by Ken MacLeod and Edward Ross

Irredeemable 36 and Irredeemable 37 by Mark Waid and Diego Barretto

Kushingar by Comics Journalist Joe Sacco

Supreme 63 by Alan Moore

Rohan at the Louvre by Hirohiko Araki

Prophet 23 by Brandon Graham and Simon Roy and

Ocean by Warren Ellis and Chris Sprouse/Karl Story

I think one of the most impressive things I read was from Nnedi Okorafor from the "Mystery in Space" one shot. What I didn't mention in the review is that of the 60 comics that I've read I think I only read two that were written by African Americans and I'm pretty sure I hated Marijuanaman (Legalization yes, Marijuanaman no.). More from Nnedi, please. Here's a page of art and how did she land living legend Mike Kaluta:

 

 Update: I asked her on Facebook how she got living legend Mike Kaluta and she told me: sort of luck but he liked the script. That's not luck it's a fantastic story. Here's what she said: "glad you liked it! i hope to do more, yep. landed kaluta by sheer luck and he loved the script i wrote."

June 10

ITEM: I've been all over the Internet, mostly twittering away and on Facebook that's closed off. (Thanks Mark.) Am busy doing freelance or "auditioning" for freelance work. We'll see what comes of it...

Meanwhile, I need to update my Atheist Examiner post. Here's some good food for fodder. The real big problem with the Big Three of religion (Islam, Judaism and Christianity) is that they create mindsets for land grabs and genocide, and not necessarily in that order. Here's more evidence of that:

Late nite May 30th

ITEM: I am attempting to revive my Pittsburgh Progressive Examiner post.

Here is my latest:

Green Party PA Sensibly Chooses Jill Stein over Roseanne Barr for presidential nominee.

The Green Party of Pennsylvania sensibly chose not silly candidate Jill Stein over the slightly silly candidate Roseanne Barr for their presidential nominee several days ago. Yet it was actually a pretty tight race as Stein only won by four points with a 51 to 47 percent margin. They're also doing it proportional representation style even though Jill Stein has won all 20 contests so far, according to the Green Party press release. Proportional representation, as we saw in the republican presidential race, makes it hard to achieve early blowouts although I would say that the momentum is with Stein.

Just personally, I just don't think that Roseanne Barr would be the best candidate for the Green Party. I can sort of imagine Jill Stein being a real contender if she was able to raise about 100 million dollars or so. I guess I'm curious why Barr, who has a reported net worth of $80 million (Wouldn't swear by the source but that seems about right for a successful sitcom star...)doesn't just become a kind of rainmaker for the party where she would wield the same kind of power. She could be the Karl Rove of the Green Party...

Read the whole thing here. Yes I hate those annoying pop up video ads.

ITEM: Legendary artist Leo Dillon, of the legendary and interracial (from way back in the 50s when you could get lynched for that kind of thing...) artistic couple Leo and Diane Dillon, passed away on Tuesday. I could never figure out who did what (I heard one story about how they could finish each other strokes...) but the results were astonishing.

May 24

ITEM: I have been updating Twitter almost daily. But have not posted down here. I'm hoping people have noticed. Probably not.

ITEM: You can find the updated Chipin Page here, with the right link this time.

ITEM: I finally saw the Avengers last week as mandated for fanboys by some obscure federal law. I'm glad that it's a big success for genre hero Josh Whedon but I don't think it's the greatest superhero movie ever made. In fact, a seriously made Black Summer would be a lot better, and a lot more realistic. (Short synopsis of Black Summer: Shield vs. dirty hippie heroes who believe the Rule of Law actually applies to the one percent.)

I actually thought, like a lot of modern films that wouldn't dare to call themselves such, it was a great science fiction film. It was just a dazzling film to behold and there was a lot of cool science fiction involved, everything from tesseracts to quantum tunneling and probably the coolest rendering of the Shield Helicarrier ever.  I mean, it wasn't bad and it was fun to look at. I liked the fact that the 3D didn't seem too dark. But there have been better superhero movies. I hear Whedon is thinking about doing the sequel.  He should do an Adam Warlock movie first since we're introduced to Thanos. It would be great for a black actor. I'm thinking about this shot of the Magus. Certainly happy for Whedon. It would be more effective, however, for him to have complete control of the characters.

Late nite May 14

Items: Found on Facebook.

ITEM: I have updated my Chipin page. You can actually create a third party if you have money. You need at least a quarter of a million to contest a US House seat or city with the same amount of people. You need at least 2 million dollars to contest a US Senate seat. If 300000 people gave 10 dollars a month that would be enough. How do you find 300000 angry people? I have tried but so far I have failed. I must keep trying.

 

May 14

ITEM: I have updated my Chipin page. You can actually create a third party if you have money. You need at least a quarter of a million to contest a US House seat or city with the same amount of people. You need at least 2 million dollars to contest a US Senate seat. If 300000 people gave 10 dollars a month that would be enough. How do you find 300000 angry people? I have tried but so far I have failed. I must keep trying.

Late nite May 7

ITEM: Things I'm looking at it concerning CISPA, British efforts to stop the Pirate Bay and other related issues.

First this quote from Greenwald which gets the SOPA victory right. It was public outcry combined with the power of the software kings.

This, of course, is how virtually all American laws are written: by having government officials meet in secret with affected industries to ensure that their interests (as opposed to the interests of ordinary citizens) are protected. This is what the recent (and probably temporary) defeat of SOPA revealed: although it was genuinely encouraging to see so many people from all different realms voice objections to the government’s attempted seizure of Internet-control powers, it was really the fact that the Interent industry opposed the law that doomed it. Citizen opposition, by itself, would never have been sufficient to overcome the pro-SOPA lobbying of the entertainment industry; it took a different powerful industry to stop it. For that reason, remaining remnants of Internet privacy depend upon the willingness of the tech industry to defend them, and while some companies have been commendable in those efforts, it’s far from clear that industry opposition to increased surveillance powers has anything to do with privacy concerns:

Related: Britain asks the question why don't American ISPs just block the Pirate Bay? Because it doesn't work.

Last week the UK High Court ruled that several of the country’s leading ISPs must block subscriber access to The Pirate Bay. The decision is designed to limit traffic to the world’s leading BitTorrent site but in the short-term it had the opposite effect. Yesterday, The Pirate Bay had 12 million more visitors than it has ever had, providing a golden opportunity to educate users on how to circumvent blocks. “We should write a thank you letter to the BPI,” a site insider told TorrentFreak.

More related: Gizmodo tells you how to pirate software without getting caught. That's the actual headline. There's some speculation that even writing a story like this in the future would be against the law. But the writer makes an interesting argument: You're just trying to recover software that you already own. Interesting.

May 1

ITEM: May Day Rally to be held today.

 

April 29

ITEM: Been busy. Working a job and posting meaningful updates not always easy. More stuff coming this week. Here are some toons.

and:

I would still vote for Obama over Mitt Romney because of the courts. But for a lot of people that won't be enough. I suppose it would be nice if the Justice or the Green Party ran decent viable campaigns. Note for the Justice or the Green Party: You need 125 million to actually contest a presidential campaign. You will probably be outspent 10 to 1 by the major parties. I don't think that Roseanne Barr would be a good choice for the Green Party. However, I wish Roseanne would raise 35 million for 5 viable senate runs and 25 viable house runs. Just thinking out loud here...

What should have been published April 22

ITEM: Something from the late Howard Zinn. And here's some election endorsements from the Leftist troublemakers at Moveon. I agree with all of these.

U.S. Senator
Progressives recommend: Bob Casey Jr.

 
 
Member of Congress
(14th District)
Progressives recommend: Mike Doyle

 
 
Attorney General
Progressives recommend: Patrick Murphy

 
 
State Representative
(24th District)
Progressives recommend: Edward Gainey
 

 

Related: Why Patrick Murphy over the lady in this era of the GOP war on women? Because Patrick Murphy campaigned to the left of the lady prosecutor on the choice issue. Plus, as a democrat, he managed to never give any money to Tom Corbett. As usual, I'll be completely blindsided by bond issues and judge races and vote by prettier last names...

April 15

ITEM: One of the pics that was supposed to be in that Hyperink book I was contracted to write. It's under a creative commons license. I was going to save up for the book but there have been some pressing concerns. One of the things I found out when I was researching the SOPA and PIPA legislation, aside from how bad that legislation was, is that this was just one attempt by the Hollywood/Chris Dodd lobby  to essentially change how the Internet functions. They actually have several plays in motion that could make the Internet look more like your cable, which you're probably very dissatisfied with. It's not just SOPA/PIPA.

First, it looks like they're trying to fold parts of SOPA/PIPA into something called CISPA. No one's sure how much. But this sounds bad...Techdirt has more.

Two, they could accomplish much of what SOPA/PIPA wanted to do through completely transparency free international treaties like ACTA or TPP. When I was researching this, and this is an issue I've watched since the mid 90s since the introduction of NAFTA (You're not even allowed to watch how the deliberations work in treaties like NAFTA or the WTO...closed courts. Almost a recipe for corruption. I think that's the point...), the best line I read that described this was "policy laundering".

Three, there are the lawsuits. You should be rooting for Youtube in Youtube vs. Viacom. Then there's this surreal case that would turn links and embedding into infringement. What is the meaningful Internet except linking and embedding...?

June 10

ITEM: I've been all over the Internet, mostly twittering away and on Facebook that's closed off. (Thanks Mark.) Am busy doing freelance or "auditioning" for freelance work. We'll see what comes of it...

Meanwhile, I need to update my Atheist Examiner post. Here's some good food for fodder. The real big problem with the Big Three of religion (Islam, Judaism and Christianity) is that they create mindsets for land grabs and genocide, and not necessarily in that order. Here's more evidence of that:

Late nite May 30th

ITEM: I am attempting to revive my Pittsburgh Progressive Examiner post.

Here is my latest:

Green Party PA Sensibly Chooses Jill Stein over Roseanne Barr for presidential nominee.

The Green Party of Pennsylvania sensibly chose not silly candidate Jill Stein over the slightly silly candidate Roseanne Barr for their presidential nominee several days ago. Yet it was actually a pretty tight race as Stein only won by four points with a 51 to 47 percent margin. They're also doing it proportional representation style even though Jill Stein has won all 20 contests so far, according to the Green Party press release. Proportional representation, as we saw in the republican presidential race, makes it hard to achieve early blowouts although I would say that the momentum is with Stein.

Just personally, I just don't think that Roseanne Barr would be the best candidate for the Green Party. I can sort of imagine Jill Stein being a real contender if she was able to raise about 100 million dollars or so. I guess I'm curious why Barr, who has a reported net worth of $80 million (Wouldn't swear by the source but that seems about right for a successful sitcom star...)doesn't just become a kind of rainmaker for the party where she would wield the same kind of power. She could be the Karl Rove of the Green Party...

Read the whole thing here. Yes I hate those annoying pop up video ads.

ITEM: Legendary artist Leo Dillon, of the legendary and interracial (from way back in the 50s when you could get lynched for that kind of thing...) artistic couple Leo and Diane Dillon, passed away on Tuesday. I could never figure out who did what (I heard one story about how they could finish each other strokes...) but the results were astonishing.

May 24

ITEM: I have been updating Twitter almost daily. But have not posted down here. I'm hoping people have noticed. Probably not.

ITEM: You can find the updated Chipin Page here, with the right link this time.

ITEM: I finally saw the Avengers last week as mandated for fanboys by some obscure federal law. I'm glad that it's a big success for genre hero Josh Whedon but I don't think it's the greatest superhero movie ever made. In fact, a seriously made Black Summer would be a lot better, and a lot more realistic. (Short synopsis of Black Summer: Shield vs. dirty hippie heroes who believe the Rule of Law actually applies to the one percent.)

I actually thought, like a lot of modern films that wouldn't dare to call themselves such, it was a great science fiction film. It was just a dazzling film to behold and there was a lot of cool science fiction involved, everything from tesseracts to quantum tunneling and probably the coolest rendering of the Shield Helicarrier ever. I mean, it wasn't bad and it was fun to look at. I liked the fact that the 3D didn't seem too dark. But there have been better superhero movies. I hear Whedon is thinking about doing the sequel. He should do an Adam Warlock movie first since we're introduced to Thanos. It would be great for a black actor. I'm thinking about this shot of the Magus. Certainly happy for Whedon. It would be more effective, however, for him to have complete control of the characters.

Late nite May 14

Items: Found on Facebook.

ITEM: I have updated my Chipin page. You can actually create a third party if you have money. You need at least a quarter of a million to contest a US House seat or city with the same amount of people. You need at least 2 million dollars to contest a US Senate seat. If 300000 people gave 10 dollars a month that would be enough. How do you find 300000 angry people? I have tried but so far I have failed. I must keep trying.

Late nite May 7

ITEM: Things I'm looking at it concerning CISPA, British efforts to stop the Pirate Bay and other related issues.

First this quote from Greenwald which gets the SOPA victory right. It was public outcry combined with the power of the software kings.

This, of course, is how virtually all American laws are written: by having government officials meet in secret with affected industries to ensure that their interests (as opposed to the interests of ordinary citizens) are protected. This is what the recent (and probably temporary) defeat of SOPA revealed: although it was genuinely encouraging to see so many people from all different realms voice objections to the government’s attempted seizure of Internet-control powers, it was really the fact that the Interent industry opposed the law that doomed it. Citizen opposition, by itself, would never have been sufficient to overcome the pro-SOPA lobbying of the entertainment industry; it took a different powerful industry to stop it. For that reason, remaining remnants of Internet privacy depend upon the willingness of the tech industry to defend them, and while some companies have been commendable in those efforts, it’s far from clear that industry opposition to increased surveillance powers has anything to do with privacy concerns:

Related: Britain asks the question why don't American ISPs just block the Pirate Bay? Because it doesn't work.

Last week the UK High Court ruled that several of the country’s leading ISPs must block subscriber access to The Pirate Bay. The decision is designed to limit traffic to the world’s leading BitTorrent site but in the short-term it had the opposite effect. Yesterday, The Pirate Bay had 12 million more visitors than it has ever had, providing a golden opportunity to educate users on how to circumvent blocks. “We should write a thank you letter to the BPI,” a site insider told TorrentFreak.

More related: Gizmodo tells you how to pirate software without getting caught. That's the actual headline. There's some speculation that even writing a story like this in the future would be against the law. But the writer makes an interesting argument: You're just trying to recover software that you already own. Interesting.

May 1

ITEM: May Day Rally to be held today.



April 29

ITEM: Been busy. Working a job and posting meaningful updates not always easy. More stuff coming this week. Here are some toons.

and:

I would still vote for Obama over Mitt Romney because of the courts. But for a lot of people that won't be enough. I suppose it would be nice if the Justice or the Green Party ran decent viable campaigns. Note for the Justice or the Green Party: You need 125 million to actually contest a presidential campaign. You will probably be outspent 10 to 1 by the major parties. I don't think that Roseanne Barr would be a good choice for the Green Party. However, I wish Roseanne would raise 35 million for 5 viable senate runs and 25 viable house runs. Just thinking out loud here...

What should have been published April 22

ITEM: Something from the late Howard Zinn. And here's some election endorsements from the Leftist troublemakers at Moveon. I agree with all of these.
U.S. Senator
Progressives recommend: Bob Casey Jr.



Member of Congress
(14th District)
Progressives recommend: Mike Doyle



Attorney General
Progressives recommend: Patrick Murphy



State Representative
(24th District)
Progressives recommend: Edward Gainey




Related: Why Patrick Murphy over the lady in this era of the GOP war on women? Because Patrick Murphy campaigned to the left of the lady prosecutor on the choice issue. Plus, as a democrat, he managed to never give any money to Tom Corbett. As usual, I'll be completely blindsided by bond issues and judge races and vote by prettier last names...

April 15

ITEM: One of the pics that was supposed to be in that Hyperink book I was contracted to write. It's under a creative commons license. I was going to save up for the book but there have been some pressing concerns. One of the things I found out when I was researching the SOPA and PIPA legislation, aside from how bad that legislation was, is that this was just one attempt by the Hollywood/Chris Dodd lobby to essentially change how the Internet functions. They actually have several plays in motion that could make the Internet look more like your cable, which you're probably very dissatisfied with. It's not just SOPA/PIPA.

First, it looks like they're trying to fold parts of SOPA/PIPA into something called CISPA. No one's sure how much. But this sounds bad...Techdirt has more.

Two, they could accomplish much of what SOPA/PIPA wanted to do through completely transparency free international treaties like ACTA or TPP. When I was researching this, and this is an issue I've watched since the mid 90s since the introduction of NAFTA (You're not even allowed to watch how the deliberations work in treaties like NAFTA or the WTO...closed courts. Almost a recipe for corruption. I think that's the point...), the best line I read that described this was "policy laundering".

Three, there are the lawsuits. You should be rooting for Youtube in Youtube vs. Viacom. Then there's this surreal case that would turn links and embedding into infringement. What is the meaningful Internet except linking and embedding...?

What Should Have Been Published April 8

ITEM: Some Easter Sunday Jesus and Mo. And below a toon for English Majors.

ITEM: And there are always reviews of other people's comics.

OR:
Irredeemable 35 or Doc Doom inhabits Sue’s body and makes out with Reed Richards.

Or Lex Luther inhabits the body of Lois Lane and makes out with Clark Kent.

Or the Green Goblin takes over the body of Mary Jane Watson and sleeps with Peter Parker.

Or Catwoman has sex with Batman. Wait, that last one is normal but you get the sick picture.

This is exactly what happens in the very disturbing oh gawd I can’t turn my eyes away issue 35 of Irredeemable. I must say this is one of the most disturbing issues I’ve read in a series which features all kinds of disturbing scenes of, well, worldwide destruction that causes millions of people to die. On the other hand, this issue features our body shifting Super Villain Modeus quenching out entire solar systems in order to, uh, “subdue” everyone’s least favorite mass murdering Plutonian. Here in the latest issue Modeus has taken over the body of the one woman who he describes as loving the “Plutonian” unconditionally. Keep in mind that Modeus has a bit of a sexual thing for the Plutonian. We found this out when we saw the number of sex dolls that Modeus had created in the Plutonian’s image some issues ago.

Read the whole disruptive gender bending thing.

Late nite March 27

ITEM: This was the second book that I was supposed to write for Hyperink. The book Hyperink ended up publishing is not a very good book and in fact is far inferior to the book that I turned into them. That's what I get for trying to explain that fair use isn't plagiarism. But I do intend to self publish that book that I wrote, written by a guy who knew what the fuck he was talking about. Oh, I spent my 2.99 on the book and you know what? There is a reader response section. Well, I'm a 12 year member in good standing over there at Amazon...I think I'll make a comment or two...Do you have any idea how I wished I had this tool of the Internet when I was beginning my career? You have no idea...(On the other hand, I wouldn't have appreciated this power! This would have been something that I would take for granted as things I could do. You have to remember those days to value the present...)

Oh look. My Amazon review was approved! And here it is:

April 2

A Short Happy Birthday to Me (Turning 30 plus or minus 20 years) Around the Internets



ITEM: I just really hate the republican party. Not only not progressive which would be okay, but violently regressive and seemingly pro pre-enlightenment.

ITEM: Related to the item above and Rick Santorum specifically: There's an interesting piece in Steel City Skeptics that extols the unfriendly atheist approach as outlined by Sir Richard Dawkins. Here's a bit:

Now consider what this clown’s platform seems to be – a platform of extreme religiosity and unrestricted comingling of church and state, a platform of homophobia and racial bigotry, of anti-intellectualism and willful ignorance, and misogyny – in short against virtually everything that any rationalist or humanist believes in and stands for. And these people admire and salute these positions.

So I ask you, how are you going to reason with these people? They are completely irrational and delusional and are not in the slightest amenable to reason. So why waste our breath? We sure as hell don’t need to worry about offending them – our very existence offends them and they are completely unwilling to actually listen to anything that we have to say since it conflicts with their hatreds and delusions. So why bother trying to accommodate them? It’s certainly not going to get us anywhere. So let’s just let ‘em have it with both barrels – treat their idiotic beliefs with the contempt and derision and ridicule that they so richly deserve. At every opportunity and chance that we get.

I understand this position but I don't agree with it. I think you have to replace religion with something better that provides some or all of those things, meaningful things mind you (from jobs to day care to spiritual comfort..). We need a secular movement that practices a kind of intelligent proactive Erich Fromm kind of love. That doesn't mean hand holding but more like what noted Atheist Bill Gates did in Africa by saving millions of African lives by providing needed vaccines. This also countered the Catholic Church's horrible anti condom policies. I mean, if you wanted, for example, to really wean African Americans away from the church, you would have to provide jobs and community. You won't go far just by saying that your religious thinking is shoddy and superstitious. Religious institutions provide things that people need. We have to offer things to. More on this later when I have time.

ITEM: Let's hope this Facebook user wins. Not unlike the boss asking me for my home keys...

ITEM: "And then...I shall rule the World!"

Late nite March 27



ITEM: Learn about elementary criminal law from a criminal attorney, with pictures. I think he's influenced by Eisner but that's just a guess based on a panel where he mentions "homage" and a guy who looks like Eisner appears in the panel.



Funny. Yet true. I hope Democrats notice that we're losing on all the important issues. Doesn't mean that I want Mitt or Rick as my next president but I could see why people would just stay home. Not inspiring me here, Barry. And something funny. Ward Sutton's rejected "Family Circus" cartoons.



Official Firebagger Position: Free riders aren't the problem, unaffordable health insurance is the problem.

ITEM: I watched some of the Supreme Court hearing today and it didn't seem to go too well for the government. Here's the thing:I hate the individual mandate. The best possible outcome would be to uphold the rest of the bill and strip out the individual mandate. It wouldn't work anyway because there's no cost containment. This is why some of us are so embittered over the loss of the public option, as well as the fact that the president dealt that out from the start. You would just be forcing people to buy stuff they couldn't afford. This also becomes dicier as its becoming clear that they're going to try to criminalize debt.

Just for the record: the problem with health care isn't the "free rider" problem. Its that "insurance is too expensive for working people to buy" problem. People can barely afford Cobra when its offered. If you expanded Medicare for all or added another seven percent in taxes for a kind of single payer, and it was good French style coverage, people would take that in a heartbeat. It's just that it wasn't offered and the health insurance industry fought against such coverage. They won by the way. The American public lost. The individual mandate is a boondoggle for the insurance industry, an evil industry that routinely kills people by denying them the coverage they need.

So, good riddance individual mandate. No love lost here.

March 26



ITEM: Found on Facebook. Why do the ladies vote Republican? There are signs that there will be less of that in light of this War against common sense contraception...



ITEM: This was the second book that I was supposed to write for Hyperink. The book Hyperink ended up publishing is not a very good book and in fact is far inferior to the book that I turned into them. That's what I get for trying to explain that fair use isn't plagiarism. But I do intend to self publish that book that I wrote, written by a guy who knew what the fuck he was talking about. Oh, I spent my 2.99 on the book and you know what? There is a reader response section. Well, I'm a 12 year member in good standing over there at Amazon...I think I'll make a comment or two...Do you have any idea how I wished I had this tool of the Internet when I was beginning my career? You have no idea...(On the other hand, I wouldn't have appreciated this power! This would have been something that I would take for granted as things I could do. You have to remember those days to value the present...)

Oh look. My Amazon review was approved! And here it is:

Poorly researched "objective" book written for dumb laymen, not "hackers"., March 26, 2012


By Philip Shropshire

This review is from: Hacker's Guide To SOPA and PIPA (Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act) (Kindle Edition)


Well, first, the book that I delivered to you was a much better, much more intelligent, much better researched book than the "book", and I use that term loosely, that you actually decided to go with. Its a very good study of why the corporate mentality doesn't produce writing of interest, intelligence or vitality.

Two, the book is written for four year olds, not hackers. For example, there are workarounds to SOPA and PIPA, everything from browser encryption protocols to the old TOR network to virtual private networks. None of this is even hinted at in this poor excuse of an effort. It's not even stylishly written. Joshua should stick to code.

Three, there are a total of about seven links in this "book". (What's the nonfiction term for "short story"?)and there is almost nothing verified about any of its declaratory statements. For example, when he talks about how "The Acts were primarily aimed at preventing U.S. Internet users from accessing illegal content", well, everybody who's anybody on the Internet disagrees with you Joshua. What's actually really really amazing is that Marc Andreessen, the guy who gave Kevin Gao, the founder of Hyperink, over 1 million in funding(!), also hates the bill! Look up "An Open Letter to Washington" on the Google...I believe Marc's exact words were that these bills would "give the US Government the power to censor the web using techniques similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran..." Perhaps Marc should have a good talking to with Kevin about the kinds of harmful laws that can destroy everyone's business model, including Hyperink's!

Four, it totally misses the point that the war continues with both the ACTA and TPP treaties. Inexcusable. These treaties would accomplish what SOPA and PIPA failed to do. Again, something that real hackers would want to know and that real writers would write about. Not info found in this 2000 word essay.

Five, it's "gizmodo" not "gizomodo". What do you pay your editors for anyway?

Bottom line: not worth nine cents let alone $2.99. You would be better off looking at Wikipedia entries. Pathetic. And you know what? I don't even blame Joshua. I blame his editors and his publisher. You get what you pay for. There's a difference between "objective" and "advocacy" journalists. Here you needed an advocate for your own damn business model.

Sincerely,

Philip Shropshire



March 22



ITEM: Really good interview with that Mark guy from Boing Boing. I wonder if the "unschooling" reference has anything to do with the Ivan Illich "deschooling" term? Probably not..nice look at the future of tech.

ITEM: I am, like most African Americans, deeply pissed off over the murder of Trayvon Martin in Florida. A black kid who I resembled at 17 and who resembled the current president and also the current attorney general. There isn't much I can do except fume however I wish the two slightly more powerful African Americans that I mentioned would make an angry comment or two. I guess Zimmerman has to be a dim witted terrorist you're entrapping or a medical marijuana facility in order to get the attention of those guys...no I'm not impressed by just the grand jury. I remember the everything is fine federal verdict on the Jordan Miles beatdown, not to mention not intervening in that Georgia death penalty case, or betraying me on Keystone and the public option...Washington Generals party indeed.

March 20



ITEM: Yet another comic book review. Here's a snippet:

I really had no idea what to expect from this property when I picked it up. What I found was one of the most intense SFnal comics that I had read in a while. In fact, the weirdness is so sublime and relentless that I do believe this is the first comic that I can describe as “Delaneyesque”, mainly for its disturbing portrayal of the alien sex drive.

How disturbing? More snippet:

Four: But the highlight for me would have to be the man on alien sex. And I’m not talking about the hot kind like with say certain Borg queens or blond cylons. Nope. Really alien.

Read the whole thing as they say.

March 19

Just a check. Been having some upload problems lately. More tonight when I have time...



ITEM: You can find all the Moebius pieces and a few more that were below over at Mirror Universe where the extra pixels won't slow down the page. Related: Here is a portrait of great comics artists done a while back. It features Connie McNamara's favorite writer (that's a joke I'll explain later if I ever complete the final chapters about The Face of Terror..) Harlan Ellison introducing Moebius and probably over exaggerating his French pronunciations.



 

March 14

ITEM: More Moebius.

A complete obit roundup by The Comics Reporter guy.

THINGS I'M READING IN ORDER TO WRITE ABOUT THINGS AROUND THE INTERNETS

Plans to raid Pirate Bay possibly futile. We shall see.

Student loan debt forgiveness act.

New Tech Site.

Long depressing screed about how hard it is to do third party runs in Pennsylvania.

What should have been published March 10

ITEM: Rest in peace Moebius, arguably the most gifted artist to ever do comics.

 

As per usual The Comics Reporter has the best roundup, with a nicely written obit and a video roundup of all things.

ITEM: I just think that black people who support the Republicans are kind of idiots. I'm beginning to think the same of women who vote Republican.

March 6

ITEM: Probably not the best way to convert black religious people to the joys of faithlessness (Does keep your Sunday mornings relatively free...) but it is an effort. Actually, if you read the article, which I eventually did, they're not trying to. They're looking for people who have doubts about the whole communion good times after death stuff. I suppose African American humanists are more subtle small steps kind of billboard people. Some reaction from Harrisburg's right wing rag, a very conservative paper that probably represents Pennsyltucky very well.

Related: Facebook conversation featuring religious people talking about the billboard. Verdict: Not popular with the saved.

March 5th

ITEM: My new review of "Fatale 1" is up.

Here's a bit:

“Fatale” looks to be an intriguing combination of “LA Confidential” and “Angel Heart”.

Or if you haven’t seen those movies a combination of California Noir and California Noir combined with Real Magick. Its a little hard to describe but it starts out in 2011 with the funeral of a writer named “Dominic H. (Hank?) Raines”, a man in his 70s who’s described as an atheist who hates all religions. (Just as an aside: just because you’re an atheist doesn’t mean you hate religion. It just means that you don’t believe in them although this character would seem to have a different motivation: religions and their crazy vindictive gods are real and destructive but back on point…) His funeral is attended by his godson who now has control of the late writer’s estate, whose work he derides as being commercial yet hackish junk. Sounds a little like cheap pulpster Mickey Spillane, or the poor man’s Raymond Chandler.

Read the rest here.

ITEM: Ed Gainey is running against dinosaur Joe Preston for the 24th legislative district. I know this because he knocked on my somewhat lower class Wilkinsburg door this weekend. He made a very compelling case against Joe for voting for the "turn off poor people's heat in the winter" bill and being unresponsive on the Marcellus Shale issue. I was surprised that Joe didn't get the endorsement this year and that Ed had won it. If I remember Ed from the familiar Dem faces I've seen he's worked downtown in some kind of political capacity for the last seven or eight years. Definitely a machine guy but that doesn't mean he couldn't be better than Joe. I guess he's got my vote since he made the effort, especially since my steps are kinda shaky and he made the trip anyway. I also thought he was respectful yet critical of Joe's leadership. I suppose Mr. Preston could change my mind if he makes it to my door. Doubtful.

For the record, I'm completely angered by the ineffectiveness and corruption of the state's Democratic Party leaders. The goal of the Democratic Party in 2010 had to be win something: the state house, the state senate or the governor's seat and they went 0 for 3. We lost the redistricting war which means we may have lost the state for the next 10 years to the openly and successfully fascist Rush Limbaugh Republican Party. I could lose bus service and lots of other essential things over the next decade or so. O Canada...Or Norway. I might leave if I could ever afford it...

Feb. 29

ITEM: More shots around Pittsburgh or where I do most of my walking. This is another shot of East Liberty. I played with the colors (the city isn't hallucinogenic) and I did some weird curvature thing to the center of the photo.

ITEM: The real news of the day is the Wikileaks/Anonymous Stratfor leaks. This is a potent combination or as Stratfor itself notes (Thanks to the hack. Funny.) page hacking is lame but information theft, especially things powerful people don't want you to know, now that's valuable. The Young Turks has the best wrap up. More stuff from Firedoglake's prolific and hardworking Dissenter columnist. I just can't work that hard any more. Just for fun look at everything Kevin wrote today. Or David Dayen.

Jan. 27

 

Feb. 27

Been busy with other projects. Back to work.

ITEM: Slightly altered pic of East Liberty. Over at my Flickr site which I'll be updating with my art. All with a creative commons license I think. Taken several days ago.

ITEM: Review of Ed Piskor's second Wizzywig book or "Wizzywig: Hacker". Or the not fun side of hacking: getting caught. Related: CBS  interview with Ed Piskor.

These events detail the rise of personal computing in the late 70s and mid 80s. Here's a bit:

You can follow the evolution of personal computing and you can sort of watch Boingthump’s abilities grow. First he masters the initial Basic assembly code that powers the first computers. He then combines his skills as a phone phreak and social engineer/actor of the highest order to give himself free phone calls and free software. You can also see how his exploits lead him into real trouble. I suppose his greatest hack is walking into a phone company office and stealing everything that he can get his hands on including a key password to one of their central databases. He eventually gets caught and the local press makes him out to be some kind of cyberpunk Menace to Society. It’s like the real you is a cartoony anime person but the person the police and media are drawing is right out of some kind of Robert Crumb crime comic.

Read the rest here.

SENSIBLE LOW KEY AROUND THE INTERNETS

Looks like the president may already be betraying us on Keystone despite earlier feints and fake outs. Daily Kos headline is very critical. David Dayen more circumspect.
Detroit also pissed off about bus cuts. Related: Big meeting here in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Public transit is one of the best things about this city. It also helps sustainability. So of course the powers that be want to kill it.
Treasure trove of Wikileaks data from Stratfor, highly regarded Intel firm. Said it before and will say it again: Anonymous hacking is the way to go. First gem: has Israel already destroyed Iran's nuclear facilities? So we don't have to steal Iran's oil right?
I have got to give Kickstarter a try to fund some of my ideas. Here is a journalism idea that was funded.

It would be so nice if this story was true. If the numbers are right, then this would solve the gasoline crisis. This is switchgrass times ten. Related: This grass derived fuel apparently works (way better than ethanol) and is being tested with the California car fleet.

 

Feb. 21

 

ITEM: Review of a surprisingly good Warren Ellis comic.

Here's a bit:

Warren Ellis is often a mixed bag. He usually tries to write too much (If I had to pick a writer who I thought was on or was trying to attain Modafinil…) and occasionally you’ll get a Warren Ellis story that’s a little thin or has two pages of dialogue and 20 pages of “action” or at least that’s how I remember that one issue of the “Global Frequency”. However, when Ellis is on he’s one of the best comic book writers in the world (Alan Moore level as I once explained to Jorn Barger) and a very good and well versed science fiction writer as well.

“Aetheric Mechanics” is Warren Ellis when he’s on. When I looked at this at first I thought this was a take on the Steampunk genre, which it looks like and which he’s also done with “Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island“. But it turns out to be something completely interesting and science fictional. Spoilers ahead as they say.

Read the rest here.

A short and concise Around the Internets

Really good reporting about the man financing Romney from Glenn Greenwald
How Iceland solved its banking crisis by way of David Dayen who got it from Bloomberg from all places. Short version: housing debt reduction works, austerity not so much.
Really good anti drug war site called Stop the Drug War.org.

Speaking of criticism of the corporate press, Project Censored is absolutely essential. Take a look at the top censored stories of 2012.

Feb. 19

(Photo by Kalamun, creative commons license.)

ITEM: It looks like I'm going to self publish this book on SOPA/ACTA/PIPA/TPP. But I'm going to rewrite entire sections and add even more perspective. I had some "creative differences" with the publishers. Sometimes the "objectivity" standard isn't appropriate. You need to take an "advocacy journalism" stance here. You don't quote German officials and then quote emaciated Jews and then think you've done a fair story about the Holocaust. You write a story or a book that will kill the Holocaust; you write something or attempt to write something that will stop the trains running to Dachau. And if writing fails, as it probably will because rational arguments and evidence are often dismissed by Evil, then you blow up the train tracks...But you do the world a disservice by pretending that the views of the MPAA and the Internet community are somehow equal. You need to make a call here.

The Internet is the only cool and science fictional thing that's actually happened in my life. You could lose it all if any of those bills actually pass, if ACTA hasn't already passed since the President has signed onto it. I understand that Google is close to the President. What good is that if he signs bills like ACTA?

I'm hoping I can have this done within several days. I might be writing more about this later but I have to do some other things first...

ITEM: I think I should make my next atheism column about these mean spirited images concerning the Catholic Church's horribly bad position on modern birth control availability. "The Handmaid's Tale" was a work of fiction not a how to guide...Best pro choice reporting from RH Reality Check.

Feb. 13

ITEM: Something interesting from Amnesty International. Now that we have an African American president I'm sure he'll take care of this. Or they'll use an African American president to kill Muslims and excuse the usual kinds of expropriation that evil multinationals do abroad, especially in Africa. I'm sure its one of those options...Sign the pledge.

ITEM:

Philip Shropshire is Number One in General Technology & Reference. Kneel before Zod...!

Some clarification: I am number one in "Top 100 Free". Do I get paid for that? I'm hoping that Amazon pays for that and I get something out of it like, say, "money". Probably not. But its 466 overall, in the Whole Wide World, and its probably not bad promotion for a guy named "Philip Shropshire". I've had worse days. I guess I need to self publish some more books and get a boost from this...This screenshot was taken an hour ago....

Jan. 27

           ITEM: I will not be writing about She Who Cannot Be Named today. Or as I call her: The Face of Terror.

 

Late Nite Feb. 8

ITEM: I usually don't reprint my reviews but this one was kind of interesting. So...

Its hard to describe just how unique and original just the concept of “The Nightly News” is.

 

It doesn’t feature capes or underwear perverts but it does feature a very intelligent sense of violence that could be aimed at the Fourth Estate. In fact, as a former reporter, not a big time reporter mind you but I did work for a daily at one time, I can tell you that this critique waged by the terrorist group composed of both The Voice and The Hand is completely accurate.

“The Nightly News” is also very prescient in that it predates and predicts the rise of groups like Anonymous, Wikileaks and various other new media terrorists. I mean, it would be bad if these groups used force to kill people but you wouldn’t think they didn’t have a reason…

It’s as if someone actually decided to read the best modern press criticism and create a terrorist group that’s willing to shoot people in the head over it. And make it into a thrilling comic book adventure.

(Just as an aside here are the fount works/writers of corporate press criticism: “Media Monopoly” by Ben Bagdikian, try to find what you can of A. J. Liebling’s “Wayward Press” columns and here’s a nice primer by the great Noam Chomsky and Ed Hermann called “Manufacturing Consent: A Propaganda Model” and you’ll get the point. The press no longer works as an independent verifier of truth and corruption. This is why documentaries like “Sicko” and “Gasland” break big stories because your corporate press outlets work pretty much like PR firms. They even feature the same kinds of people although they  make less working as reporters….)

Here’s a page:

That statement about “Twenty companies” controlling everything is taken straight out of Bagdikian’s “Media Monopoly” mentioned earlier. In fact, I’m pretty sure that number is down to about five or six. Now here’s something curious. You see that guy in the lower right hand corner? His name is David Allen Kite but his resume sure looks like Walter Cronkite’s. Spoiler: He gets shot by the way. But first he accuses Walter of being a stooge for the CIA. In fact, he mentions several other prominent journalists as being CIA plants, which I discovered has a basis in fact.

Here’s the statement from one of the crazy assassins:

“You weren’t alone: Paley, Jackson, Luce, Sulzberger…How long were you on the payroll of the CIA?”

There’s actually evidence that this is actually true. I heard about that and I had seen it in my own career as a reporter not necessarily from the inside but there was pressure not to report on what was happening in South America in places like Nicaragua and El Salvador. I think the story that Jonathon Hickman bases this on is this Carl Bernstein report in Rolling Stone back in 1977. I haven’t read it closely enough to find out if Cronkite was mentioned. But that just goes to show you the level of the research involved here. This is light years beyond in conception of the average dopey comic books I usually review. (I’m looking at you John Byrne’s meaningless “Cold War” comic books…)

Just for the record I don’t agree with the tactics of either The Voice or  his Hand. There is something called “The Internet” which has all kinds of alternative press outlets for both the left and the right. This is why SOPA and PIPA fell to defeat recently so no need to shoot people in the head.

The story begins with a team of 3 shooters killing at first random people in order to draw news people to the scene in order to shoot them. Not necessary. Unless its Fox News of course…just kidding. Or am I? I should also point out that your local news stations offer practically worthless information. But again: summary execution not an acceptable option.

I should point out that the artwork is outstanding. It’s not necessarily that the figures are super well drawn but that the overall design is just flat out brilliant. It’s not just a comic that’s well told but told in a completely new and interesting way. You know how films like “Sin City” and “300″ have their own particular color coded cinematography? That’s exactly how “The Nightly News” works with its dizzying array of pink pastel geometric backgrounds. 

Bottom line an outstanding work that you can actually research into later. It’s that dense. 4.734 out of 5 stars. Completely original and well thought through.

Feb. 3

ITEM: I helped deliver some Firedoglake packages (gloves, jackets and other winter clothes...) with Dean Mougianis  to the Occupy Pittsburgh's camp some weeks ago. Thought I should post these pics before they're shut down within several days. It's not over. Decentralize decentralize decentralize...

Yes that's one of those hawt Occupy women also seen in this video (but what's with the funny hat...see 47 seconds in) I believe...I forgot everybody's name but they seemed to like the stuff.

Feb. 1

Welp, there's nothing wrong with opening up my windows on a warm fall day...hey, wait a tic.

What Should Have Been Published Jan. 29

ITEM: My review of "Noche Roja" is up at Comics Forge. I think it means "Red Night" or bloody night considering all the murders that are involved.

An excerpt:

 What’s remarkable is that Noche Roja is one of the few comics I’ve read that talks about the Mexican present and Third World misery...Yes there’s WW3 but its not published by a major label indy imprint like Vertigo. This is a present that could easily turn into the American future. You can definitely tell that the writer has spent time living in the Third World. Without giving too much away, the story involves a number of issues that pervade the daily routines of the Mexican poor. 1.) You can be murdered very easily if you’re a journalist in Mexico. 2.) The treatment of Mexican workers, mostly women, is pretty horrible. Those workers are mistreated and abused for the most part. They don’t make a living wage and those factories have successfully lowered the standard of living for every U.S. Citizen. 3.) There are a number of unsolved murders (100s I think…) of mostly women within the Maquiladoras. It’s a serial killer’s dream.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, this all makes for a great and truly entertaining and suspenseful graphic novel.

Read the rest here.

ITEM: It looks like all of my privileges as an underpaid Examiner have been restored. I used it to make a bit of pocket money recycling progressive press releases although there was one month where I'm pretty sure I made as much as I did during my first months at the New Pittsburgh Courier. (Thank you Reddit referral.) I actually got into trouble by doing some real reporting which tells you everything that's wrong with the corporate media. But hey if it pays some bills...Not sure why I was asked back. I was actually one of the more productive "reporters". I actually held three posts and one of them was the title Pittsburgh Atheism Examiner. So back to work...That's Jesus and Mo by the way. No the writer doesn't give his or her name. He or she must want to live a long time...

ITEM: Funny stuff people say to Atheists clip.

ITEM: Must see Young Turks on Rick Santorum's advice not to send your kid to college. Actually, I think he's kind of right but not in the way he thinks.  Yes its true that if you go to college as a fundamentalist then you're less likely to leave as one. But that's not because college is evil. Your college experience should give you the critical thinking skills to figure out that religion isn't true or that it's clearly based in myth and fable and not some kind of divinely ordained truth. Joseph Campbell had the right idea.

I wish I could say that I hadn't heard of this kind of completely crazy fundie theory but one half of my family is integrated into a fundamentalist church. True story: my father rose high enough at Clarion University to get me in tuition free which is why I transferred to Clarion for my final year or so of college. I'm also certain that he got people in who weren't necessarily close relatives or relatives because education is kind of important or at least that kind of credentialed education used to be. However, there was one relative that didn't want his kids to go because he thought they would lose their religion. My father was visibly angered by this and I don't blame him. I mean, what would you rather be: smart or saved? I actually think you can be very intelligent and have sincere religious beliefs they just can't be in line with any kind of dangerous violent and myopic form of fundamentalism. Or you could just compartmentalize  like most people do. (Sometimes you need the eggs.) And I sure hope Rick Santorum is nowhere on the republican ticket. Jeebus...More related: This protest against sensible birth control availability is a terrible policy by the Catholic Church, yet again.

 

Jan. 27

ITEM: Ted Rall has been arguing against nonviolence as a sole tactic in the struggle for a long time. I sort of fall off the wagon when he recommends that black folks should be the first to rise up in violence against the state. I, for one, think that New York cartoonists should be the first to take on the might of drones and local police and state police and national guardsmen and if that wouldn't be enough the US military. Then, and I say this as an unofficial spokesperson of the Black Community, we shall watch your results and act accordingly. (Just for the record: Anonymous hacking is the way to go.) I suppose he joins his sometime animation cohort Stephanie McMillan, who draws, arguably, the most radical comic strip I have ever read, in making the argument that nonviolence won't beat the Nazis, or the friendly (sometimes gorgeous) face of American Fascism as foretold by Bertram Gross.

Related: Here's a taste of Stephanie's newest. She's been critical of the Occupy Movement as of late even though she's been an early and vocal supporter. This is a familiar plotline for all you Doonesbury/Mary Worth fans. Our two characters are using arms attained by a German drug dealer in order to attack a corporation known as Omnicorp to stop them performing a geoengineering experiment. Just like South Park...

More Related: Derrick Jensen, also one of Stephanie's collaborators and most likely to be shipped to the FEMA camps (looks like those camps are real Jesse Ventura notwithstanding...), has articulated this view with the Environmentalist's version of Star Wars. Also: The Gandhi Shield. And: A different Indian hero.

           ITEM: I will not be writing about She Who Cannot Be Named today. Or as I call her: The Face of Terror.

Jan. 23

ITEM: Sigh. Why hasn't my photoshop work turned me into an international art superstar...? Not fair...

You can even buy the tshirt if you don't mind being arrested on public obscenity charges. Great for schools I'm sure...

ITEM: Yeah. 61 degrees in January. Right. Thank goodness global warming isn't real...

Jan. 18

ITEM: No blackout for me because I just don't have that many readers where that will matter. But I will certainly support those efforts. I and 20 other people in the world love the Acid Jazz Channel apparently. There is no Acid Jazz Channel without Youtube. Youtube is probably dust if either SOPA or PIPA pass in their current forms. I'm going to do what I can as a citizen but we should all thank our lucky stars that powerful players  like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are on our side. Those lobbies are what's stopping SOPA and PIPA. Not the public good. Now if we could only get them to care about indefinite detention...Here's what you will find on Boing Boing's page today:

503: Service unavailable

Boing Boing is offline today, because the US Senate is considering legislation that would certainly kill us forever. The legislation is called the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), and would put us in legal jeopardy if we linked to a site anywhere online that had any links to copyright infringement.

This would unmake the Web, just as proposed in the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). We don't want that world. If you don't want it either, visit American Censorship.org for instructions on contacting your Senator. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has more information on this and other issues central to your freedom online.

ITEM: I guess the above would be my commentary on MLK's birthday. Thanks to local activist Celeste Taylor for pointing this out to me on Facebook. My other commentary is that the drug war has pretty much destroyed The Dream, unless that dream is undermining public education and pushing as many black men as possible into the prison industrial complex. More on that issue over at Democracy Now. My African American president has done nothing to slow down the drug war and hasn't even made the easy call toward marijuana legalization. He could have made a difference with the California ballot initiative that would have legalized marijuana. Firedoglake's Jon Walker lays this all out. Barack Obama: Not a field negro.

 

More possibly inappropriate but not illegal commentary about MHS PR Flak Connie McNamara

or:

Let's not call this a MHS PR Flak Connie McNamara Obsession

ITEM: So I'm still thinking about this Connie McNamara MHS thing. You don't understand I used to sit in the woman's dorm room.* I think I sat on the floor as a clever psychological move to downplay the fact that I was a towering six five black guy (right). I think she was, what, 5 seven with heels...? Anyway, she described herself as being "mousy". And I thought, to myself certainly, well then "mousy is something I'm into apparently...". Now, when I watch her on these Youtube clips not only does she not seem "mousy" but she resonates, well, power. This is more in the line of a Game of Thrones Matriarch in Red. That might be the kind of power one emanates when one has great wealth. She might make low six figures in her current post and from other postings on the Internets one of her hobbies with her late husband was "refurbishing homes". Not the kind of hobby poor people can get into. Possibly a millionaire. Possibly making ends meet with three kids to feed even on a low six figure salary. Possibly looking at the rare occurrence of not having a job since she left college in 1985 (How many people can say that? Connie's emotional intelligence is off the charts...) since this somewhat tainted Zimmerman guy is leaving. Are they looking for a new team? I don't think I want to know...Or perhaps the power comes from something tragic. I did find out, not with any deep searches just the Google, that her husband died in 2006 leaving her with three children under the age of 10. I can't even imagine how painful that would be. Or what's tougher: telling your three young daughters that their father won't be coming home or facing off against Anderson Cooper? I have a feeling that if I survived the former that the latter would mean nothing...It would certainly make you stronger in a Nietzschean sense.

 I also wanted to point out that when I mentioned that Connie, still a practicing Catholic from what I can tell and an early supporter of Liberation theology I'm just now beginning to surmise (our earliest conversations were about Archbishop Romero and the nuns that got slaughtered in El Salvador...) was "non abstinent and impulsive" as a young person in college I didn't mean that in a bad way.

(Aside: Connie was a serial monogamist like most Americans back during the years of 81 to 83. First with Curt the fiancé she didn't marry and then that black haired kid she saw Nikki Giovanni with when Curt was studying abroad and then Curt again when he got back...Doesn't make her a bad person. Words like "normal" and "healthy" come to mind.. I think the fiancé bit was a bit of rationalization, which means her Catholic upbringing had an effect on her...possibly more on this later...Must investigate. Hurm.)

I think that's the strongest part of her argument with Anderson Cooper on that show of his. Those words struck me as completely truthful and not talking points. Where I think she loses the argument is what kind of outside independent medical advice the board got or did they even seek it out. My guess is that they did not. This is where Connie admits that she wasn't in on those meetings with the medical staff, not independent of the board I'm guessing. The prevailing medical evidence seems to be that there just isn't that much of a risk of transmission. Though, after taking a look at the many many longshots that have happened at the Milton Hershey school such as in this particular instance perhaps the MHS board doesn't equate low percentages with no chance at all...and think of the damages if another child was infected. More on this later. Or I might wait another 30 years to comment more. Who knows.

Related: I signed this petition in favor of letting that kid in the school. Of course, in a strong and loving world this kid would have wonderful public schools to choose from with decent food and teacher/student ratios in the 16 to 1 range. He wouldn't have to be, what's the word, "adversarial" in order to get a decent education. The school has a wonderful shot because the board is full of republican operatives  and republican judges tend to be loyal. Plus they have an 8 billion dollar endowment. They'll get good lawyering. Just like when you're rich you can buy "reasonable doubt" you can probably also buy some kind of novel exception question that you can pitch to the appeals courts. Republicans tend to throw a lot of Hail Marys and they often win. The 2000 election being the most publicized outcome and this evil Texas redistricting plan being the latest 4th quarter throw to the endzone...the school should lose if the courts didn't tilt toward both Republicans and the rich. I guess we'll watch and see...

*These are my memories from the time I spent with Constance from 1981 through 1984 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I have not spoken to Connie in over 28 years although I think I sent her a letter back in 1992...no I don't know why. I'd like to say I was drunk but I don't drink...

Jan. 16

 

ITEM: I review Spaceman 3 here. Here's a snippet:

"Scenes of third world poverty strewn amidst almost unlimited tech advances. It’s what makes the world of Spaceman 3 so compelling. And so depressingly realistic."

ITEM: Or you could buy my art as a mousepad over at Cafe Press, which I haven't updated in over 10 years. Should probably do something about that...More art samples here. Nope I never sold any but people liked the work...

Jan. 12

LATE NITE AROUND THE INTERNETS

Just some things I liked on Facebook.

Two depressing stories about fracking. One: EPA abandon's PA town over destroyed water. The president is a democrat right? Two: fracking tied to local Pittsburgh quake. I saw the tremors.

 Truthdig invite to reasonably dissatisfied  New York Times reporters.

I am studying this Cory Doctorow video about The War Against Computation.

I will probably vote for Obama if the Justice Party doesn't get its act together. What choice have I got. I think these anti Romney ads are very effective.

Something I need to read: District 9 has supercharged African science fiction movies

 

Jan. 12

LATE NITE AROUND THE INTERNETS

Just some things I liked on Facebook.

Two depressing stories about fracking. One: EPA abandon's PA town over destroyed water. The president is a democrat right? Two:fracking tied to local Pittsburgh quake. I saw the tremors.

 Truthdig invite to reasonably dissatisfied  New York Times reporters.

I am studying this Cory Doctorow video about The War Against Computation.

I will probably vote for Obama if the Justice Party doesn't get its act together. What choice have I got. I think these anti Romney ads are very effective.

Something I need to read: District 9 has supercharged African science fiction movies

Jan. 8

A SPECIAL THERE'S NO CRYING IN BLOGGING/FOOTBALL AROUND THE INTERNETS

ITEM: A healthy Steelers can beat anybody. We almost beat em with one leg down and second stringers everywhere. We'll get em next year if, you know, we're healthy...

ITEM: Occupy Pittsburgh has an event planned for Tuesday, Jan. 10.

I still think a decentralized movement is probably more effective in the long run, not to mention working to actually elect somebody. That would be a thrill right...

From Firedoglake and from the Occupy Pittsburgh website:

Occupy Pittsburgh is calling out to the 99% around the world for a Day of International Solidarity and Action against BNY Mellon on January 10. This is the day we go before a judge to fight for our right to continue our nonviolent protest against the greed, corruption, and influence of the 1%. We ask that you stand with us and tell BNY Mellon, the bank of the 1% that you can’t evict an idea whose time has come!
The People of Pittsburgh, like many others around the globe, answered the call to action that Occupy Wall Street put before the world on October 15th. Since then, we have peacefully rallied and occupied People’s Park, the space formerly known as Mellon Green. Pittsburgh’s is the only Occupation to reclaim land from a bank.


BNY Mellon is now calling for Occupy Pittsburgh’s eviction. This is a blatant attempt by BNY Mellon to silence us and to prevent us from resisting the corruption by the 1% of our political and economic systems. In response, we have announced our own eviction of BNY Mellon from our city. BNY Mellon’s fraudulent and exploitative practices have denied its customers and its workers billions of dollars in wages and benefits. We are fighting to redefine the ethics of our economy and to resist corporate control of our cities, our spaces, our politics and our lives.

Read the rest of the letter to find out what they want supporters to do.

What I Should Have Written Jan. 7

Blogging: For people who can't afford decent psychotherapy.

Jan. 6

Item: How I'm feeling today.

ITEM: Some comic book reviews I've done:

Spaceman 2.

Angel and Faith Issue 5, Season 9

The Strange Talent of Luther Strode Issue 3

RASL 12 Written and Drawn by Jeff Smith

Holy Terror by Frank Miller

African American Classics edited by Tom Pomplun and Lance Tooks

Wizzywig Volume 1: Phreak by Ed Piskor

And proof that my mother doesn't read my work. I may be the mysterious and enigmatic Philip Doppelganger, unless someone wants to arrest me. Then of course its just a fictional construct.

Jan. 5

Late New Years Resolution

Welp, 2011 wasn’t the best of years for me. I’ve been posting everyday but in different and multiple formats. I’m having a difficult time integrating various sites with this page. I’m also dealing with something I’ve not had to deal with or the implications of being a newly diagnosed diabetic. It’s not the serious insulin diabetes but I do have to take medication. This has totally screwed with my energy levels. The quick fix is some kind of caffeine jolt but I’m trying to do something long term. Given my new physical limitations I have to rethink some things.

In fact, given the fact that my uncle and father died at 60 and 64 respectively I have a replicant like lifespan of 10 to 14 years.  Possibly 20 years if there are some treatment breakthroughs. I turn 50 in several months. My writing career could end much sooner. Now is the time for me to finish that novel, that collection, whatever. Next five years I need to get this done. Kindle publishing seems the fastest route if they don’t kill the Internet.  For better or worse, this shall be my legacy.

I am quite happy with how the Acid Jazz Channel has turned out. Still the best music video channel I've ever made. Now if I could just figure out how to make money from it...

More Milton Hershey Communications Vice President Connie McNamara Porn

Amanda Bearse in Fright Night is pretty close to the Connie McNamara I knew 1981 - 1983, except that Connie has prettier eyes. We worked the same IUP campus job about, what, 10 to 15 hours a week? And she was nice to me. Obviously this was pure torture for me...I got to look at that everyday. Might be a reason why I started crying...withdrawal.

ITEM: Still figuring out if I should spill the deep dark secrets of my past friend Connie McNamara. (Don't know if Connie still considers me a friend or considers me at all. I would bet good money on the latter. Not that I care about it. I might be lying about that last thing I said.) It should also be pointed out, since I'm stupid and I hadn't considered that some people might think this is recent, that all this 1 in 7 billion stuff happened about 30 years ago from 1981 and 1983 on IUP's campus. Hey, its one of the advantages of being old and knowing about the Before Time when the info I've been able to get about Connie within an hour (Is she updating her linked in page and why..) would have taken a team of reporters weeks to do in the 80s. I'm thinking about writing a long several thousand word piece on it and seeing how and if it might sell via the Kindle. Would be fun to find out and I'm trying to build a library.

Actually it would be very positive stuff. Here's something I wrote already for this longer essay I had in mind.

This would be the beginning:

"In fact, Connie McNamara is probably the coolest woman I’ve ever known and with the benefit of 30 years of hindsight probably the best friend I’ve ever had."

This would be the end.

 "Some of the best and kindest moments of my life were spent with Connie McNamara."

Just add several thousand words in between.

But its not going to all be that nice. It can't be. Nobody's that saintly. For example when Connie looks into the camera with Anderson Cooper and talks about those impulsive kids who don't  choose abstinence might interact with this HIV kid well...I know for a fact that she was one of those non abstinent impulsive kids...how do I know this? I've seen the serene Afterglow too many times up close and personal. (Not the only evidence I have by the way...)No it wasn't me we never even held hands. It's complicated. And Connie has three little girls now. Maybe she wants to lie to them like any good parent. I don't know. Plus I've suppressed these memories because they're painful. I'm crying again. I don't cry over stuff. Attacked by two 100 pound rottweilers in this neighborhood. Didn't cry. Threatened by the Klan, personally. Didn't cry. Probably cried 10 times since 1984. Seven of those times can be attributed to Connie...so I might wimp out. But I'm running out of time. I know this could be a really good essay. I might even be able to shop this...So...I'll work on another freelance assignment for another few days and come back to this...

Jan. 4

ITEM: Out of  7 billion people on this planet Connie McNamara, the woman in this video, is the only person to tell me "I love you." (Relatives don't count although its nice to hear.) Born to play Peter Pan in your neighborhood revival show...I would write more about this and my relationship with her if Connie hadn't...reduced me to a puddle of my own tears at least several times...I might be Yella. I think the school is clearly wrong but she's so good...Like Walken in every movie.

 

Dec. 26

Happy Festivus all.

ITEM: Here's that book I wrote for the e publisher Hyperink.

Last time I checked I hadn't sold a single issue for $2.99. On the other hand, the book is retailing for $3.99 on Hyperink's front page for . Perhaps I should keep checking since they raised the price...Update: I've definitely sold more than one. Number 6 in the hot sellers list.  Number 36 to 48 on the top one hundred.

Dec. 7

It's been a long time away. But now it's back.

Around the Internets

ITEM: Thomas Merton Center says the Mayor wants to close down Occupy Pittsburgh in the next 48 to 72 hours. It was close to petering out, anyway. I don't know why they're even bothering. It would be probably be stronger as a decentralized movement anyway. Onward Occupy Mic Checks and Occupy Homes...

ITEM: Three great sites that touch upon progressive state policy. There are a number of national think tanks but just about zip when it comes to local and state policy. No I don't count the Scaife think tank.

Here's the list:

Third and State.

Keystone Research Center.

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center

I think these are all funded by Big Labor but I'm not sure...I do know that they're must reads if you're interested in  progressive policy.

ITEM: Kepler confirms Earth like planet in the habitable zone. Curious about the gravity though and how to get there: Over 600 light years away.

ITEM: Must read Ian Welsh. "Public opinion is irrelevant" is an instant classic.

"Most countries in the developed world do not have functioning democracies in any meaningful sense.  You can vote for party A, B, or C, but they will all do substantially the same things, differing only in how fast they do them and the degree of gratuitous cruelty they engage in.

Your opinion does not matter.  Politicians are almost entirely in the thrall of a neo-liberal ideology, and are almost entirely the bought and paid servants of the very rich.  If a politician does what the oligarchy wants, he or she will be taken care of, even if thrown out of office.  If they don’t, money and influence will be used against them, and once out of office they will be on their own."

ITEM: I just wrote a 10000 word non fiction book for someone else. I got a decent up front payment and I get 30 percent royalties, I think. However, I could just as easily write my own eBooks and keep all of the royalties. Here's some background on the Obama record that I need in order to complete a book on third parties. Fits with the Ian Welsh above as well.

ITEM: Links to online tv. Trying to find a way to watch Current online now that Verizon has priced me out of service. Background: As soon as Keith Olbermann made the channel interesting they moved Current into a higher priced tier. Meanwhile, I can get all the brainless Fox news channels that I would ever want and would never watch.

 

 

 

Dec. 7

It's been a long time away. But now it's back.

Around the Internets

ITEM: Thomas Merton Center says the Mayor wants to close down Occupy Pittsburgh in the next 48 to 72 hours. It was close to petering out, anyway. I don't know why they're even bothering. It would be probably be stronger as a decentralized movement anyway. Onward Occupy Mic Checks and Occupy Homes...

ITEM: Three great sites that touch upon progressive state policy. There are a number of national think tanks but just about zip when it comes to local and state policy. No I don't count the Scaife think tank.

Here's the list:

Third and State.

Keystone Research Center.

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center

I think these are all funded by Big Labor but I'm not sure...I do know that they're must reads if you're interested in  progressive policy.

ITEM: Kepler confirms Earth like planet in the habitable zone. Curious about the gravity though and how to get there: Over 600 light years away.

ITEM: Must read Ian Welsh. "Public opinion is irrelevant" is an instant classic.

"Most countries in the developed world do not have functioning democracies in any meaningful sense.  You can vote for party A, B, or C, but they will all do substantially the same things, differing only in how fast they do them and the degree of gratuitous cruelty they engage in.

Your opinion does not matter.  Politicians are almost entirely in the thrall of a neo-liberal ideology, and are almost entirely the bought and paid servants of the very rich.  If a politician does what the oligarchy wants, he or she will be taken care of, even if thrown out of office.  If they don’t, money and influence will be used against them, and once out of office they will be on their own."

ITEM: I just wrote a 10000 word non fiction book for someone else. I got a decent up front payment and I get 30 percent royalties, I think. However, I could just as easily write my own eBooks and keep all of the royalties. Here's some background on the Obama record that I need in order to complete a book on third parties. Fits with the Ian Welsh above as well.

ITEM: Links to online tv. Trying to find a way to watch Current online now that Verizon has priced me out of service. Background: As soon as Keith Olbermann made the channel interesting they moved Current into a higher priced tier. Meanwhile, I can get all the brainless Fox news channels that I would ever want and would never watch.

 Dec. 3

ITEM: I just finished a 10000 word nonfiction book about a popular eReader. Here's the big question as always for Internet jobs: will they pay me? On ePaper it seems like a great deal and I wouldn't mind doing more work for them. But is it real? Did I miss something? Stay tuned.

And:

and something cool:

Nov. 21

ITEM: Obviously I've been updating the twitter and doing some freelance jobs. Very very busy.

ITEM: Finally had a chance to praise Black Summer. Now on You Tube.

Praise for Spaceman.
Two thumbs way down for Marijuanaman.
Blurb worthy praise for Orc Stain. Or: "Just sustained marvelous violently inspired weirdness."
Just generally horrified by what's going on with Irredeemable.

ITEM: Funny posters about OWS.

ITEM: Yes that's Julian Assange. Yes that's very cool.

ITEM: Farley is back. But is the president on Occupy's side? There is some doubt. We shall see.

Nov. 6

ITEM: I did a review of what I think is the best online comic I've ever read: "NYC2123: Dayender" for Comics Forge. I also do a mini comic where I show how you can do comics by way of photoshopping your friends. My editor Dan has a good sense of humor apparently...Here's the last panel I "drew":

Nov. 2

ITEM: A Powerful Blonde from the East has asked me to create a channel just based on the Occupy Wall Street Movement. As I told her propaganda entertainment channels shouldn't feel like homework or C Span. So music and quick vids. There's plenty of stuff from Occupy Pittsburgh.

links:

Kevin Gosztola is...The Dissenter!

Chris Bowers and Daily Kos Page

Occupy Wall Street News

Oct. 25

ITEM: I support the Occupy Wall Street movement although I'm beginning to think there are limitations to what nonviolence can do. There are also indications that "The Man" is getting angry, at least in Oakland.

ITEM: I do think that the Occupy Wall Street movement is a better movement than the Tea Party Movement. This handy chart explains it:

Oct. 14

Sept 15

ITEM: Again, I've been writing quite a bit. Just look at the twitter thingie.

ITEM: My conclusion about politics as of late.

ITEM: Sign the  petition for Troy Davis, who looks to be an innocent African American wrongly convicted and sentenced to death within days. Yet again. It would be nice if I had a black president who might do something about that.

Also, sign the petition that would allow college student loan forgiveness. The only mistake is thinking it would make it through congress. A better idea would be for the President to do it unilaterally and just tell whoever's collecting loans to stop doing for 15 months or so. Should last through December 2012 with a campaign promise to do it for one more year. The precedent, unfortunately, was him asking the EPA not to enforce certain congressional rules on Greenhouse gases horribly enough...well, what's good for the goose...