Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Dubya: Father? Yes, son? I want to kill you. Mother? I want to...

Bush on the Couch, the bio/analysis by Dr. Justin Frank, is certainly not conclusive in its theories critical of GWBush. Any analysis done by long distance, without direct contact with the subject, is immediately suspect. And of course Right-Wing psychoanalysts would never use that tactic:
Krauthammer said that Vice President Dick Cheney "did the manly thing" in withholding information from the public concerning his accidental shooting of lawyer Harry Whittington during a hunting excursion in Texas on February 11.

Krauthammer repeated the unsubstantiated assertion
, advanced by the Bush administration, that terrorists would like President George W. Bush to lose the November election. Krauthammer wrote: "Of course the terrorists want Bush defeated. How can anyone pretend otherwise?"

Charles Krauthammer, on FOX News Channel's Special Report with Brit Hume, on May 26:
It looks as if Al Gore has gone off his lithium again.
(Charles Krauthammer is a syndicated Washington Post columnist, Time magazine columnist, and FOX News contributor. He holds a medical degree from Harvard and worked as a resident in psychiatry in the late 1970s before moving to Washington.)

No, of course they wouldn't.

Regardless, Frank's book notes some troubling episodes, ones that, if true, might make anyone drink heavily. Quotes from the book, through wikipedia:
George Bush's next-eldest sibling, Robin, died of leukemia at the age of three, when he was seven years old himself. Frank argues that this loss, and the way his parents handled it, has had a lasting impact on Bush's psyche.

At the time she became ill, Robin was the future president's only sibling (although Jeb Bush was born before she died) and a favorite playmate. His parents never told him that she was sick, although he was asked to stop playing with her. Only after her death did they disclose to him her illness, which had lasted longer than doctors expected it to and had led the Bushes on a frantic quest back East to find a specialist who could treat her. These efforts kept them away from their son for long stretches of time, and he was not present when Robin died, nor at her burial.

After the service in Connecticut, Barbara and George H.W. Bush returned to Houston the next day. There was no further attempt at closure or a protracted mourning process, in keeping with WASP mores of the time.

Frank argues that the apparent abruptness of his little sister's passing and the lack of any way to deal with it have had a strong impact on George W. Bush's later personal development. Barbara Bush has since said the way she handled Robin's death with her son was one of the few mistakes she made as a parent. Frank documents several incidents in Bush's life related to Robin's death at various points through Bush's childhood and adolesence.

. . .

Later on in his teen years, he began drinking and eventually developed the alcoholism which would plague him for much of the rest of his life. Frank asserts that Bush was a very heavy drinker from the age of 15 until the age of 40. While alcoholism can have many origins, Frank argues that the unresolved pain from his sister's passing could be one motivator for this self-medication. Frank describes several incidents during Bush's presidency leading him to suspect that Bush resumed drinking during one or more of his many long vacations from the White House.

Bush's struggles with his father's shadow have been well-documented — he was never the athlete or student that George H.W. Bush had distinguished himself as. Bush's military career was lackluster as well, where his father had earned medals and was considered a war hero. Frank argues that Bush may subconsciously blame his parents, his father in particular, for taking his sister away from him, aggravating an already difficult father-son relationship.
Another direct quote from Frank's book:
Robin died in New York in October 1953; her parents spent the next day golfing in Rye, attending a small memorial service the following day before flying back to Texas. George learned of his sister's illness only after her death, when his parents returned to Texas, where the family remained while the child's body was buried in a Connecticut family plot.

Golfing? WTF?!? And didn't attend the burial! These are some coldass people. On some levels, GWBush wasn't given much of an upbringing. But who knows? Some people grow up in misery and rise to greatness. Others grow up with a silver spur in their mouth and turn out, well, special.

From Jeffrey St. Clair writing in Counterpunch we learn more about Mom:
His mother, Barbara, is a bitter and grouchy gorgon, who must have frightened her own offspring as they first focused their filmy eyes onto her stern visage.She is a Pierce, a descendent of Franklin, the famously incompetent president, patron of Nathaniel Hawthorne and avowed racist, who joined in a bizarre cabal to overthrow Abraham Lincoln. (For more on this long neglected episode in American history check out Charles Higham's excellent new book Murdering Mr. Lincoln.)

Here's more about Babs:
Understandably, George Sr. spent much of his time far away from Barbara Bush's icy boudoir, indulging in a discreet fling or two while earning his stripes as a master of the empire, leaving juvenile George to cower under the unstinting commands of his cruel mother, who his younger brother Jeb dubbed "the Enforcer." This woman's veins pulse with glacial melt. According to Neil Bush, his mother was devoted to corporal punishment and would "slap around" the Bush children. She was known in the family as "the one who instills fear." She still does...with a global reach.

How wicked is Barbara Bush? Well, she refused to attend her own mother's funeral. And the day after her five-year old daughter Robin died of leukemia Barbara Bush was in a jolly enough mood to spend the afternoon on the golf course. Revealingly, Mrs. Bush kept Robin's terminal illness a secret from young George, a stupid and cruel move which provided one of the early warps to his psyche.

Overblown rhetoric, but it still paints a picture that ain't pretty. This is the same loving Mom who famously said this:
...dismissing the escalating body count of American soldiers in Iraq. "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many," the Presidential Mother snapped. "It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"
Yeah. I'm guessing she won't be helping with bandages at Walter Reed, or going on any USO tours any time soon.

St. Clair continues, name checking Dr. Frank:
Frank, author of Bush on the Couch, zeroes in on the crucial first five years of W's existence, where three factors loom over all others: an early trauma, an absent father and an abusive mother. It is a recipe for the making of a dissociated megalomaniac. Add in a learning disability (dyslexia) and a brain bruised by booze and coke and you have a pretty vivid portrait of the Bush psyche.

Lovely imagery, that.

Other books seek to answer the question of GWBush's humanity, or lack thereof. From Salon:
Nevertheless, if you can hack your way through the underbrush, "Bush on the Couch" brings together a lot of provocative information, and some genuinely enlightening hypotheses, from which the resourceful reader can assemble a portrait of Bush that accounts for his seeming contradictions. Combine it with Peter Singer's "The President of Good and Evil: The Ethics of George W. Bush," a clear-headed and superbly reasoned dissection of Bush's much-touted morality, and the forthcoming "Personality, Character and Leadership in the White House: Psychologists Assess the Presidents," a comparative evaluation of Bush and his predecessors in the office, by Steven J. Rebenzer and Thomas R. Faschingbauer, and the portrait gains more heft.

What emerges is the image of a man shaped by rage and fear. Frank, who subscribes to the variant of psychoanalysis formulated by Melanie Klein, has his own ideas about where Bush's anger and anxiety come from. Some of those ideas are silly and difficult to support, like the belief that newborn infants blame themselves for their expulsion from the paradise of the womb, and feel both guilt about and fear of their own destructive capabilities. Others make sense, like the probability that Bush, who surely experienced the usual sibling rivalry, felt some unconscious guilt over the death of his younger sister Robin, from leukemia, when he was 7 and she was 3.

Bush's parents dealt with Robin's death by squelching any expression of grief; there was no funeral and they played golf the day after she died. This, according to Frank, is a key example of the family's approach to all such painful emotions, and the result was to distort and cripple the psyche of their firstborn son. Frank provides an elaborate description of how the healthy process of psychological "integration" is supposed to work, some of which is based on such unconvincing Kleinian theories as the "good mother" and the "bad mother." But in general, his thesis is credible: If a child's parents teach him that his feelings of suffering, fear, weakness and rage are so unacceptable that they can't even be acknowledged, he is likely to spend his life projecting those feelings onto other people and punishing them for it. It's one of the ways bullies are minted.

While Mommie Dearest receives most of criticism, not much is said about "Poppy" as a father figure, except that he managed to succesfully do virtually everything little GW could never do, except, you know, that Saddam thing:
George W. would find plenty of opportunities to practice the art of projection as he grew up. Frank, who is always on firmest footing when he's working from concrete biographical material, points out that from an early age, George W. Bush consistently failed in everything at which his father excelled. He got poor grades at the same schools where his father did well, and was a disaster in the same industry (oil) where his father made his fortune. His father was a varsity athlete; George W. had to settle for the cheerleading squad. His father was a torpedo plane pilot in World War II; George W. was a desultory member of the Texas Air National Guard.

Frank's psychoanalytic training pays off in one aspect by giving him an eye for the eloquent detail. There's George W.'s first, abortive engagement at 20, the same age at which his father married. And then there's George W. celebrating his role in the purchasing of the Texas Rangers by printing up baseball cards with his picture on them, a pathetically transparent effort to erase the fact that "he could never be the baseball star his father was." Even the exhaustively analyzed "Mission Accomplished" charade on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln in May 2003 takes on new meaning when you interpret it as a "pantomime of [George W.'s] father's war heroism."

Some observers have read George W.'s obsession with ousting Saddam Hussein as motivated by revenge for Saddam's attempted assassination of his father. It could also be seen as the determination to pull off something that his father failed to achieve. But dig a little deeper and it also looks like an attempt to exorcise what must be one nasty case of Oedipal resentment. By Frank's formula, families like the Bushes, where difficult emotions are banished, produce children who cast other people as the symbols of their own unintegrated negative urges and feelings: "I don't want to kill my father, he does, and to prove that I'm devoid of such bad impulses, I'll take him out."

Maybe Morrison was writing about GWBush when he said:
The killer awoke before dawn
He put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall

He went into the room where his sister lived
And then he paid a visit to his brother
And then he walked on down the hall
And he came to a door
And he looked inside
Yes son?
I want to kill you
Mother, I want to. . .

Monday, May 29, 2006

I'm telling you now, I know it's been said before

As my friend RJ Eskow mentioned, we lost Desmond Dekker and Hamza El Din this past week. But we lost 2 other music related people recently.

Freddie Garrity:

Freddie Garrity, the lead singer of the 1960s pop band Freddie and the Dreamers, has died in hospital. The 69-year-old, originally from Manchester, had been receiving treatment for what were described as "circulation problems".

He died on Friday at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor, north Wales.

The five-piece band had success in both Britain and the US with hits such as I'm Telling You Now and You Were Made For Me.

Sadly, they weren't taken as seriously as some of the other British Invasion bands, and often don't get mentioned in the same company as The Hollies, The Searchers, The Dave Clark Five, and of course, the Beatles & The Stones. Wikipedia has this:
In the end success for the group was limited. Despite Freddie's innocent novelty appeal, the Dreamers had a "wrong-side-of-the-law" look, a similar mix to that of their Merseybeat rivals Gerry & the Pacemakers, which made both groups looked older, "square" and past their sell-by date. This "mums and dads" appeal was a big contrast to image of The Beatles and the young and trendy beat combos starting to emerge, such as The Dave Clark Five, The Who, The Small Faces or The Kinks. Television shows such as Ready Steady Go! subtly stressed the point. Freddie and the Dreamers were also happy to appear on the popular BBC children's show Blue Peter.

Also passing this past week was Ian Copeland (from Pollstar):
Ian Copeland, founder of Frontier Booking International and brother of former IRS Records CEO Miles Copeland and ex-Police drummer Stewart Copeland, died May 23rd in Los Angeles after a long battle with melanoma. He turned 57 on April 25th.

Ian got his start in the agency business at Paragon Agency in Macon, Ga., in the 1970s, working with Alex Hodges. Buck Williams and John Huie, before starting FBI - where he represented some of the top artists of the 1980s including the Police, R.E.M., Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Go-Go's, and Squeeze.

Copeland wrote an autobiography, "Wild Thing," in 1995 recounting his remarkable career and upbringing as the son of an American C.I.A. agent in the Middle East.

In recent years he owned the Backstage Café in Beverly Hills.

He is survived by two daughters, Chandra and Barbara.

While not household names lately, both men made a difference in the music world. That should provide some comfort to their families.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Identification cards: Every step you take, I'll be watching you

GWBush, a week ago Monday night:
Therefore, comprehensive immigration reform must include a better system for verifying documents and work eligibility. A key part of that system should be a new identification card for every legal foreign worker. This card should use biometric technology, such as digital fingerprints, to make it tamper-proof. A tamper-proof card would help us enforce the law, and leave employers with no excuse for violating it. And by making it harder for illegal immigrants to find work in our country, we would discourage people from crossing the border illegally in the first place.

Some suggestions for a "better system" and a "new identification card":

as worn by this lovely model on her way to the fabulous summer camp at Manzanar:

And of course, the Gold Standard for racial ID:

David Niewert adds much to the discussion of racism:

What's missing from this analysis is that, in fact, the Latino migration is occurring in many precincts that, historically, were all-white by design. As James Loewen details (excruciatingly) in his study Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism, there are literally thousands of towns across America -- relatively few of them in the South -- who for much of the 20th century forbade minorities, blacks especially, from living within their communities. Many of them placed signs at the town limits warning "Whites Only After Dark" or "Nigger, Don't Let the Sun Set on You Here" -- that all nonwhites were to be out of town by sundown. In many cases, especially suburbs, no signs were visible, but all-white covenants provided the same effect.

Most of the "sundown towns" that Loewen documents were in the Midwest and West -- the same places where we're hearing complaints about a "Mexican invasion" now. The same places where George Bush sees his base eroding.

These same "sundown towns" have, unsurprisingly, a history of following racial election appeals, including broad support for George Wallace in 1968, and Republican presidential candidates in the ensuing years, all of whom made use of the Southern Strategy's core appeal to white racial interests:
As a result of such leadership, Republicans have carried most sundown towns since 1968, sometimes achieving startling unaninimity. ... So the "southern strategy" turned out to be a "southern and sundown town strategy," especially in sundown suburbs. Macomb County, for example, the next county north of Detroit, voted overwhelmingly for Wallace in the 1972 Democratic primary. Wooed by Nixon, many of these voters then became "Reagan Democrats" and now are plain Republicans. The biggest single reason, according to housing attorney Alexander Polikoff, was anxiety about "blacks trapped in ghettos trying to penetrate white neighborhoods." [pp.372-373]

The core appeal of the Southern Strategy, as even the GOP admits now, was all about protecting white privilege, and so its reach ran well beyond the South.

The same is true of the newly emerging "Southwestern Strategy" -- and it is one that may similarly cut across regional and even party lines.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I look at you all see the love there that's sleeping

Working in the recording studio business, it's pretty easy to become jaded. Sometimes it's because of exposure to the best and most well known musicians, other times it's a certain sense, however silly and misplaced, of self-coolness: "I hung out with so-and-so today."

But from time to time, one finds something really moving, really special. These are the kinds of musical moments that make one glad to be living in a world where music is so valued. And no, I mean real music, played by real people who have something to say and share. Not like American Idol.

Recently I discovered Jake Shimabukuro, who elevates the ukulele to a place previously reserved for Jimi's & Eric's guitars. Watch and listen to him play "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." If you're not moved, if you don't smile, you're beyond hope. This kid is the real thing. His soul sings.

Friday, May 19, 2006

a wailin' song and a good guitar, the only things that I understand

From my friend RJ Eskow, writing both at skippy and his own place, we learn of a musical crisis in the making (via NYTimes):
Mike Matthews, a sound-effects designer and one-time promoter of Jimi Hendrix, bought an unusual Russian factory making vacuum tubes for guitar amplifiers. Now he has encountered a problem increasingly common here: someone is trying to steal his company.

Sharp-elbowed personalities in Russia's business world are threatening this factory in a case that features accusations of bribery and dark hints of involvement by the agency that used to be the K.G.B.

For those of us who work in audio electronics, the "tube vs. transistor" debate has been going on for some time now. Ever since Lee DeForest put a grid into Fleming's Valve and turned it into the first voltage amplifier, tubes were an integral part of 20th century electronics. The introduction of transistors, followed by the integrated circuit (IC, or chip) largely did away with the need for tubes, since in many cases the "solid state" trnsistor based circuitry is more reliable, demands less operating power, runs cooler, in short, is more efficient.

But in the world of professional audio, tubes still command respect, and even awe. With their almost supernatural glow, they seem like science fiction props. But the real reverence is for their sound.

All electronics changes the signals going through them, hopefully in minimal ways. Tubes can, when pushed past their comfortable operating parameters, add 'distortion' to the sound that can be attractive to most ears. The adjectives "warm" or "smooth" are often used to describe tube audio gear. And nowhere is this more important than guitar amplifiers, where the tubes, or "valves" as our British cousins still call them, are driven far past the onset of distortion, to produce some of the characteristic growl and scream of the rock guitar.

Mike Matthews is most well know for being the founder of Electro-Harmonix, an innovative guitar effects maker know for such pedals as the Big Muff Pi (sorry, can't find the Greek symbol-the pun should still work). More recently Matthews has become one of the biggest evangelists for tube manufacturing with his New Sensor company, standing alonside Aspen Pitman of Groove Tubes here in Los Angeles.

The potential loss of the world's largest extant tube factory might not be a clear and present danger to rock'n'roll, but it would be a sad commentary on many things:
  • Mike Matthew's and Aspen Pittmans' commitment to keeping the sound real,
  • the music business again falling victim to thuggery,
  • GWBush's adolescent crush on Vlad Putin ("I have looked into his soul...")
Send letters and messages of support to Mike at info@ehx.com.

Much thanks to RJ Eskow for finding this. We both play guitar, and for us, this is really personal.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Heaven is in your mind

WorldNutDaily writer and affirmative action recipient Vox Day has the courage of his convictions. He is quoted all over the web denouncing GWBush's Monday night immigration reform tapdance, saying:
Not only will it work, but one can easily estimate how long it would take. If it took the Germans less than four years to rid themselves of 6 million Jews, many of whom spoke German and were fully integrated into German society, it couldn’t possibly take more than eight years to deport 12 million illegal aliens, many of whom don’t speak English and are not integrated into American society.

Read the quote and the resulting furor at Pharyngula, Martini Republic, Crooks & Liars, and many other places.

Only problem is, you can't read about it at Vox Day's (Gawd I hate to type that! It's a childish pun, and demeans the name of a great British guitar amp.) own place, where it seems to have been scrubbed:
It couldn't possibly take more than eight years to deport 12 million illegal aliens, many of whom don't speak English and are not integrated into American society. In fact, the hysterical response to the post-rally enforcement rumors tends to indicate that the mere announcement of a massive deportation program would probably cause a third of that 12 million to depart for points south within a week.

The complete absurdity of stating that enforcement of the national immigration laws is unrealistic, while simultaneously insisting that reshaping the entire Dar-al Islam to the liking of the World Demokratic Revolutionists is perfectly feasible, should be obvious. Dear Jorge's deceits are not only transparent, they are downright insulting to anyone capable of considering two concepts at the same time.

Not one mention of Germans. But wait, were we mistaken? Not according to the folks at Balloon Juice and Lucianne Goldberg, who write shimmering prose about Day's quote:
If Vox Day didn’t exist, I would have to invent him

Well, he does exist. From ConWebWatch:

We learn through World O'Crap, Bartholomew's Notes on Religion and Unscrewing the Inscrutable that the real name of the WorldNetDaily columnist is, apparently, the decidedly less U2-esque Theodore Beale. And he apparently has had quite a career under his real name -- he is authoring the "Eternal Warriors" fantasy series based on what he calls "the Christian concept of spiritual warfare," as well as a former member of the industrial-techno band Psykosonik. And just as Beale's site fails to mention Vox Day, Vox's site fails to mention Beale.

Pretty impressive resumé, and we don't begrudge him that. It's his WND involvement we find intriguing -- like the August 2003 WND interview with Beale that says nothing about his alter ego, even though it's conducted by Tom Ambrose, WND's commentary page editor, where "Day's" weekly column appears. (Beale does try to keep up appearances, though: "Vox" has a bad Mohawk, Beale does not.)

Even more intriguing are Beale/Day's family connections. A June 2003 WND story by Art Moore tells the saga of Robert Beale, who complains that Minnesota officials seized his $3 million, 30-room house for back taxes. Beale insists he was not a Minnesota resident at the time and doesn't owe the taxes, but he refuses to fight the seizure in state tax court because he denies its legitimacy. But it's not until we get to the end of the story that we discover the apparent main reason for the story: "By way of disclosure, Robert Beale is a board member and stockholder in WorldNetDaily.com."

The story links to a Web site that details Beale's complaints. The site's designer? His son, Theodore Beale, who apparently lives in Italy.

So his history studies are weak, his family connections are strong, and his rhetoric harsh. And his convictions, well, let's just say that someone removed his words from the WorldNutDaily.

Welcome to the Christian Socialist movement.

Spineless weasel.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Coming back from Houston, Houston, Houston

I'm flying back from Houston in a few hours, fresh from final touch up work on my friend Michael's studio, Lucky Run, and from the grand opening party yesterday.

Modern digital recording technology comes to a Red State. More about this later.

Back at work on LA studio tomorrow.

Monday, May 08, 2006

John McCain: but a tower of strength is somethin' I'll never be

In his latest and greatest ankle-grabbing and cheek-spreading act for GWBush, McCain says of Michael Hayden:
"In all due respect to my colleagues — and I obviously respect their views — General Hayden is really more of an intelligence person than he is an Air Force officer," McCain said on "Face the Nation" on CBS. "I think that we should also remember that there had been other former military people who have been directors of the CIA."

As AP's Nedra "Pickles" Pickler points out:
If Hayden were nominated and confirmed, military officers would run all the major spy agencies, from the ultra-secret National Security Agency to the Defense Intelligence Agency.

This thought should have government hating Conservatarians and black helicopter wingers absolutely wetting themselves in frustrated fury. Heck, listen to Saxby Chambliss (R-Swift Boaters)
who said Hayden's military background would be a "major problem,"

Even Arlen Specter, who has never seen an issue that he can't take both sides on, is drumming his tiny fingers on his desk in, well, deep seated concern:
Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said he would use a Hayden nomination to raise questions about the legality of the program and did not rule out holding it up until he gets answers. "I'm not going to draw any lines in the sand until I see how the facts evolve," Specter said on Fox.

Of course, since he said it on Fox, it's really just code words for "I'm really a Republican stooge, I just play a Senator on TV. Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more." So it doesn't count one bit.

But ol' Straight Talk McCain, you'd think he would grow some stones. Instead they shrivel up smaller everytime he basks in Der Leader's radioactive glow.

But I'll ask the same question here that I asked Sen. Russ Feingold at the blogger's lunch a few weeks ago:
With GWBush's numbers well into the lower 30s, with Rove looking like a probable indictee sometime soon, with the Abramoff, Cunningham, DeLay, Libby, Burns, Doolittle, Scanlon, Goss et al scandals continuing to develop, exactly what 'juice' did (/Rove) Bush have? What could he threaten (/Democrats) Republicans with that carried any weight?

Why doesn't this little twerp, who clearly has given up any of his hard earned prisoner of war credibility, just tell GWBush to shove it, and take control of the Republican Party? Hell, that would be the Left's nightmare. McCain is the only Republican that could arouse any interest from the Left, however misguided it might be. But as GWBush's lifeboat continues to take on water, McCain is bravely trying to bail him out, not realizing that it's sinking.

Go Johnny go!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Bush to Abramoff: Come on-a my house, I´m gonna give you candy

From the San Jose Mercury News, (via Assoc. Press):
The Secret Service has agreed to turn over White House visitor logs that will show how often convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff met with Bush administration officials - and with whom he met.

. . .

Abramoff was a $100,000 fundraiser for Bush and lobbying records obtained by the AP show his lobbying team logged nearly 200 meetings with the administration during its first 10 months in office on behalf of one of his clients, the Northern Mariana Islands.

But GWBush never met him:
The president has said he does not know Abramoff personally. When a photo of Bush with Abramoff surfaced earlier this year, the president said he has his picture taken with "a lot of people." In the 2001 photo, Bush is shaking hands with a leader of an Indian tribe. Abramoff is in the background.

Yeah, right.


Monday, May 01, 2006

Immigration reform: Turn around, go back down, back the way you came

Tomorrow, 5.1.06, is the scheduled immigration reform boycott:
Thanks to the success of previous rallies plus media attention, planning for Monday's events, collectively called Un Dia Sin Inmigrantes - A Day Without Immigrants - is widespread.

I am ambivalent about the effectiveness of this, a pretty harsh course to take. Public perception and actual conditions for some folks may suffer. Schools will lose ADA monies by not having students in seats, for example. The only hurt there is to the students.

And Kevin Drum, a pretty smart guy, adds this:
I'm cautious by temperament, so I don't really trust my own reaction to the boycott. Still, there's no question that backlash is a real concern, and a militantly confrontational strategy strikes me as pretty risky right now. More importantly, though, I figure that if Marc, who shares neither my caution nor my inexperience at political protest, thinks the boycott is a bad idea, then there's a good chance it's a bad idea. So for now, that's where I stand.

From the ever-vigilant Mom, AKA Ruth, we have an opposing viewpoint making its way around the internets (not her feelings, just some winger email):
WASHINGTON (AFP) Immigrants' rights advocates, elated by the resounding success of last Monday's "National Day of Action," which drew the backing of hundreds of thousands of protesters across the United States, now are planning a national boycott which they hope will have an even greater resonance.
Organizers are planning the May 1 "Great American Boycott," urging illegal immigrants -- who cannot vote and who have only limited political power -- to flex their economic muscle.
Protesters are being urged to refrain from shopping, and to stay away from school and work.

You should take a moment to let that sink in.

This is a movement orchestrated by people who entered the US illegally,and then want to scream about their "rights." WHAT RIGHTS? YOU DON'T EVEN BELONG HERE!

Let's take a look at some of the many benefits that illegal aliens have blessed our great country with: Street gangs, graffitti, drugs, skyrocketing healthcare, depreciation of property value, illiteracy. The list could go on. What they actually have to offer (cheap labor) pales to what they have given our country to deal with. I'll take expensive vegetables over expensive healthcare any day!

And now, like terrorists, they are going to attack our economy -- the one entity that makes our nation stand out from all the others. The backbone of our nation. The country they came to like locusts so they could reap the benefits is now the focus of their boycott. You've seen it on TV: Marching on our American streets waving their Mexican flags, boldly showing that they can be more racist than who they accuse of, and yet the obvious is totally oblivious to them......


To all the real Americans, you can do one small thing on May 1st, 2006. It won't be racist, nor will it be violent. It will not be boastful, arrogant, selfish, nor distasteful. It will not be any of those things that our "guests" have already displayed. What it will do is nullify a movement.

All you have to do is buy something on May 1st. Make up for what they will try to take away. It doesn't have to be a new car or house (unless you were already planning on getting one). It simply needs to be a day of trading.

Hold off grocery buying until May 1st.
Take your wife out to eat that night.
Get the kids pizza, hamburgers, whatever!
Make several trips to the convenience store.
Buy your meals at work.
Fill up your tank.
Shop for clothes, furniture, outdoor equipment.
If it needs to be bought, BUY IT MAY 1st!

Those are just a few suggestions. We're not asking you to spend your inheritance that day, but just to spend more than you normally would. Even if it's only a few dollars, this will help soften the blow that the Mexicans will try to inflict on our economy that day. It sounds trivial at first, but if this idea gets around, what the Mexicans set out to do will fail.

This email will not self-destruct if you don't send it to someone.
It will not cause bad luck, nor will it make you impotent.
It will not do some trick or show a cute little animation if you send it to "X" amount of people.
You will not get paid for doing it.

It will not spread the message though, if it just gets deleted.
Forward at will.....
Nice. Probably comes from the immigrant-focused VDare folks my friend tbogg (I call him t) mentions here:
Damn those African illegals stowing away on the slave ships and taking jobs away from Americans!

Next up: the meteorologists at Stormfront on that crazy hip-hop music....

Genocide in Darfur: I hear the drums echoing tonight

Pamela Leavey has a good piece up at The Democratic Daily about George Clooney's effort to raise awareness about the tragedy of Darfur:

George Clooney is on a mission — to Save Darfur. Clooney was in Washington today for the Save Darfur rally just days after returning from a secret mission into Darfur with his television-anchor father, Nick Clooney. They smuggled cameras into the Darfur refugee camps to report on what’s been called the 21st century’s first genocide. This Week interviewed George Clooney this morning, watch the video clip here:

The WaPo reports that among the speakers at today’s Save Darfur rally in Washington, D.C., were: “Rabbi David Saperstein; Al Sharpton; Joe Madison, a liberal black radio talk-show host who has been pushing the issue; Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention; rap and fashion mogul Russell Simmons; and former basketball star Manute Bol, who is himself Sudanese.”

Please read. Thanks.



Human Rights Watch

Wikipedia-Darfur Conflict