Monday, January 30, 2006


January 30, 2006 will go down in history as a dark day for our democracy and a milestone in the far right's campaign to render our Constitution an empty shell. Today 18 - eighteen! - Democratic Senators voted with the Republicans to block a filibuster against confirmation of ideologue judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, virtually assuring the Bush regime a compliant rubber-stamp court as early as tomorrow. Look for more coddling of corporate robber barons, more dismantling of our increasingly rickety labor and environmental protections, more Guantanamos, more torture, more Americans incarcerated indefinitely without trial at the mere word of the imperial executive. Today's craven capitulation should lay to rest the last lingering doubt as to the moral and political bankruptcy of the Democratic Party. The many progressives who have, again and again, held their nose to vote for Democrats in hope of at least keeping quasi-fascists (there! I've used the f-word) off the Supreme Court find themselves rudely betrayed. And the Green Party's role as home to the last real patriots is brought into sharp focus....

Living will

This has been making the e-mail rounds:

Living Will Form

I,__________________________, being of sound mind and body, do not wish to be kept alive indefinitely by artificial means. Under no circumstances should my fate be put in the hands of pinhead politicians who couldn't pass ninth-grade biology if their lives depended on it or lawyers/doctors interested in simply running up the bills. If a reasonable amount of time passes and I fail to ask for at least one of the following:

  • Glass of wine

  • Margarita

  • Martini

  • Steak and baked potato

  • Chicken fried steak and cream gravy

  • Mexican food

  • Hamburger and fries

  • Pizza

  • The remote control

  • Bowl of ice cream

  • Double Espresso

  • Chocolate

  • Sex

It should be presumed that I won't ever get better. When such a determination is reached, I hereby instruct my appointed person and attending physicians to pull the plug, reel in the tubes and call it a day.


Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Open-Source Cultural Agenda

Douglas Rushkoff suggests three pillars of the "deeper cultural agenda" of the open-source movement:

  1. The systems by which we live are inventions and conventions.

  2. The codes underlying those systems can be learned and rewritten.

  3. This process best takes place collaboratively.

Sounds like an outline of participatory democracy to me.

(Tip o' the keyboard to Kevin Carson's Mutualist Blog.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Don't be evil

An open letter to Google:
Don't be evil!
We don't want Google to censor search engine results. Not in China and nowhere else in the world.

Welcome aboard, Molly!

In her January 22 column, Molly Ivins writes:
You sit there in Washington so frightened of the big, bad Republican machine you have no idea what people are thinking. I'm telling you right now, Tom DeLay is going to lose in his district. If Democrats in Washington haven't got enough sense to OWN the issue of political reform, I give up on them entirely. [...] Do not sit there cowering and pretending that the only way to win is as Republican-lite. If the Washington-based party can't get up and fight, we'll find someone who can.
I hope she means it. Come on over, Molly, there's some folks I'd like you to meet.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Green/Libertarian health care model

Esteban offers a potential hybrid Green/Libertarian health care model that I find more appealing, and truer to the Green Key Values, than the official Green Party position.

First, we change national health care to municipal health care. There's not much of a case to be made that bureaucrats thousands of miles away could administer health care better than local folks. Indeed, that's Greens' argument against the HMO model.
Then change the ideas of profit-driven or government-run for a cooperative model, in which the hospital is privately owned by its members. Profit could be a factor in its administration, but could not override other considerations.

One major issue he doesn't address, beyond an unsupported "it would be affordable to all," is how to finance care for low-income patients.