Taguba FSRN-Abu Ghraib Part 3, a mashup by ANON

Artist: ANON
Album: The Reign of the Mayberry Machiavellians
Song Title: Taguba FSRN-Abu Ghraib Part 3
Genre: Mashup/Electronic
Track #: 4 of 8
Description: Odd polka like music introduces us to reporting about the US military investigation by Gen. Antonio Taguba that exposed the abuse of Abu Ghraib prisoners by the US military in Iraq.

MP3 3m 46s 4.4MB 44.1kHz 160kbps

Local Blogging Community

Last night we held our regular Chapel Hill Bloggers meetup. Usually 3 to 5 people show up. Last night sixteen (by my count) people showed up. One person in town to do research, one person just moved here, one person from Dook :), one Chapel Hill Town Council member, and many regulars. Such a diverse group of people. Bora has pictures up already. Awesome conversation.

I wish Ruby could have been there. But I don’t feel too bad for her. She was in Montevideo, Uruguay, is going to Austin for SXSW today, and then off to Seatle for NTEN. I’m jealous. (only a little bit) 😀 Thanks to Bora for emailing us about the guests and Anton for his steadfast community building. We owe Anton a lot!

Side note:
Q: What the hell does this post have to do with Activism?
A: Everything! Community building is EXTREMLY important in movement building. True these folks I met with last night aren’t all part of some movement. But we are all creative people who blog. Creativity is a political act. Viva La Blogs!

NYT article about Anarchist household in Greensboro

Ed Cone links to a really well written article in the NYT by Liz Seymour called Inviting Anarchy Into My Home. It’s about her experience growing an intentional community run with consensus – aka anarchist collective – in Greensboro, NC. It’s such a beautiful story.

I hope it will help people learn about these lifestyles and have respect for them. So much fear and ignorance abounds. Even the most progressive democrats I know are terrified by the ideas behind Anarchism. It isn’t just made up of the violent, no rules, black hooded, molotov cocktail throwing crowd.

Fear of Anarchism is truly perpetuated by governments. Mainly because some Anarchists suggest that governments aren’t necessary. Some are against ANY government and some are against national governments only.

One of my favorite parts is:

After Isabell came home from college an anarchist herself, I began to put aside my preconceptions about these people — as disorderly, violent and destructive — and to see them as a community dedicated to replacing hierarchy with consensus and cooperation. (Isabell once described them as Quakers who swear a lot.) Over time I found myself drawn to their hopeful view that people know best what is best for them and to their determination, naïve or not, to build a better world right away. Anarchism, at least as practiced here, seemed to be more about building community gardens and making your own fun than about black bandannas and confrontations with the riot police (although it was about those things, too).

If you want the facts about Anarchism I recommend you read An Anarchist FAQ Webpage. But the only way to really understand is by getting to know people with an open heart.

Email Congress to Stop the ATandT Merger

Stop the ATandT merger! Goto the Freepress Take Action: Stop the AT&T Merger page and email your Congress people, FTC, and FCC to express your concern. This type of electronic letter writing campaign can achieve results. Go for it! Let yourself be heard!

From the Freepress site:

ATandT and BellSouth plan to merge into a single colossus. This deal must be stopped.

The merger resurrects the Ma Bell monopoly that was busted up in 1984. But it’s far worse today. These companies no longer just control telephone calls. They want to become gatekeepers to all digital media — television, telephone and Internet — at prices that many Americans can’t afford.

The merger is now in the hands of the FCC, FTC and Congress. They’ll rubber-stamp the deal unless the public speaks up. Stop the merger now.

AT&T plans to buy Bell South

AT&T eats Bell South like Pac Man! In a deal reported to cost $67 Billion in stock AT&T is calling its child back home. That’s right Ma Bell lives again!

Wasn’t there a good reason to split up Ma Bell in the first place? Times certainly have changed but duopolies (AT&T and Verizon) are just as bad as monopolies. The deregulation of the telecommunications industry has been a disaster for consumers and the free flow of information. It has lead to the consolidation of corporate competitors who once provided a mediocre amount of choice, service, and pricing. Now our choices could be fewer and worse. (Choice is one of the consumers greatest powers.)

This new corporate giant could make it much harder for our Congressional representatives to resist the privatization of the Internet. A bigger company has more resources to create armies of lobbyist with pockets full of cash.

The effect upon localities could be big too. Having a large multinational corporation breathing down your neck when you try to negotiate any kind of deal for your citizens is going to be hard. Not to mention the notoriously bad customer support AT&T provides. Not just bad for individuals but bad support for towns themselves. (I snagged the graphic from MediaGeeks site. Thanks man!)

This news raises the urgency level even higher. Local communities need to create their own municipal networks. (Voice and Data) Citizens need their cities and towns to provide them equal access to municipal networks now more than ever!

To get much better analysis and links to lots of good info about this merger read MediaGeek‘s blog posts It’s Confirmed — AT&T Planning To Gobble Up BellSouth, Public Interest Be Damned and Recreating a Monopoly.

Mumia Speaks – Abu Ghraib Part 2, a mashup by ANON

Artist: ANON
Album: The Reign of the Mayberry Machiavellians
Song Title: Mumia Speaks – Abu Ghraib Part 2
Genre: Mashup/Electronic
Track #: 3 of 8
Description: Mumia Abu-Jamal – a prisioner himself – speaks about the terrible torture at Abu Ghraib committed by US soliders upon Iraqi detainees. “If you hate someone, if you disrespect them, if you fear them, how can you liberate them?”. A bit of music accompanies his words.

MP3 4m 4s 4.7MB 44.1kHz 160kbps

Interview with Alex Laats of Podzinger

This podcast is an interview with Alex Laats President of BBN Delta. They have a new audio search tool called Podzinger. It allows you to search for key words inside of audio content like podcasts. I wrote more about it in my post called Search for Keywords in Audio. I’ve used a bunch of services that try to do this and this is only one that works well. This type of audio search tech is used by governments why not activists?

In my first post I brought up some concerns I had about the metada created from audio Podzinger indexes. (To get a bit more context read Retaining My Attention Data Part 1 and Part 2.) Alex addresses some of these concerns and talks about how Podzinger can create metadata that can be used in interesting ways.

I encourage activists of all kinds to explore Internet tools that let you create metadata. This information can serve our missions in powerful ways, from investigating injustice, to gathering support for a cause, and making strategic decisions. But remember always be critical of Internet tools. They are powerful and can cut many ways.

Thanks to Alex for letting me interview him. He was very gracious and a excellent guest. 🙂
MP3 20m 12s 9.3MB 44.1kHz 60kbps

Video shows Bush Warned Before Katrina

The folks over at MoveOn let me know today via email about a new AP story called Video Shows Bush Was Warned Before Katrina. It discusses video footage – I’ve yet to see myself (John Stewart?) – that tha Srub and his unqualified lackeys Chertof and Brown were well aware of the potential destruction of hurricane Katrina BEFORE it hit. Even though they’ve claimed they didn’t and have worked hard to distance themselves from the ultimate responsibility of over 1,500 deaths. Outrageous! At the very least Bush and others are responsible for NOT cutting through all the government red tape and send more resources sooner to help!

Read the whole story by clicking more. (I include here under fair use.) Continue reading “Video shows Bush Warned Before Katrina”