Saturday, August 12, 2006

Mr. Bush's Jedi Mind Trick

Following news of a supposedly busted up plot to explode multiple in-flight airplanes en route to the U.S., Mr. Bush on Thursday executed the equivalent of the Jedi Mind Trick. From the official White House transcript:

"This country is safer than it was prior to 9/11."

This would be funny if it wasn't so sad and serious. With thousands of military casualties, record deficits and personal debt, the vanished middle class, destruction of the environment, disregard for the rule of law, the disappearance of basic Human and Constitutional rights, and general worldwide hatred and distrust of America's illegitimate leaders, there are no objective criteria to support claiming we are safer. However, just for saying it, some will believe. This is the mind trick.

In the same brief statement Thursday, made at the Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Mr. Bush also delivered what I call a Black Kettle, a statement that would be more true if the speaker was referring to himself:
"The recent arrests that our fellow citizens are now learning about are a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation."
The citizens of this nation are actually at war with American fascists who have usurped power and control of our country without even seeking the Consent of the Governed. Many citizens don't yet realize the parameters of this (revolutionary) war due to the prevailing paradigm forced upon us by the corporate media. Never mind that conditions in America currently reflect the definition of fascism more accurately than the precepts of democracy, and forget that the Islamic world does not, by and large, show the hallmark traits of fascism. To paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi: "These aren't the facts you're looking for."

Permalink:
http://wedonotconsent.blogspot.com/2006/08/mr-bushs-jedi-mind-trick.html


Posted by Dave Berman - 2:26 AM | Permalink
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Read or Post a Comment

How about the Dave Berman mind trick of pretending to represent the bloggers and independent media then blowing off their concerns as he misrepresents them? Dave, look in the mirror next time you think so high and mighty of yourself.

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ Aug 12, 2006, 7:32:00 PM
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This is the last time I am going to address anonymous baiting and non-content. I am not claiming to represent bloggers and indy media as a politician represents constituents. In the media forum discussed with a bunch of comments here, I do say I will represent indy media and the blogosphere. What I mean is that I will speak from a perspective of someone who most often uses such channels to get ideas out. I have not been elected nor have I appointed myself to speak for anyone in particular or in general. Instead, I have created a forum for all to have their own say. If anonymous doesn't want to avail itself of the opportunity, that cannot be laid at my feet.

Now, I am fine with allowing anonymous comments here provided they respectfully and meaningfully contribute to the dialog. I am under no obligation to do this but I think it is right. I do not wish to censor anyone and have never done so. Given that, I am now also saying that it will not be an act of censorship but rather a demonstration of this blog's netiquette to delete future anonymous posts that do nothing more than bait arguments without contributing meaningful content to discuss. If someone or some entity needs to be held accountable, provide evidence supporting the charge against them rather than vague and cryptic taunts. If you have concerns, let's read them without name calling.

As for the comments posted thus far about the media forum, the only signal to cut through the noise has been: we need an open phone line, which we'll have; and diverse viewpoints should be represented, which they will be both by virtue of the panelists and the callers. Mike Dronkers has interviewed me about election issues many times on KHUM, and he has demonstrated an evolved understanding of the situation. The trash talk without any examples is not registering here. I am aware that not long ago Mike went too easy on Rep. Thompson and that I may have missed other similar examples. Bring them forward. Even as the event host, Mike and KHUM should be held accountable too.

Posted by Blogger Dave Berman @ Aug 12, 2006, 10:39:00 PM
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Is this put plainly enough to cut through the noise: How does zero independent media representation equal diverse viewpoints? Can't you find any, or did you simply fail to look?

To threaten mass deletion of any comments criticizing you (when this blog is all about you criticizing the government, the media, the corporations) is nothing but censorship in this context. To engage in censorship with the giant "I Love Free Speech" sticker plastered on every page takes a lot of gall.

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ Aug 13, 2006, 12:14:00 AM
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Tell me now, how is my participation in the forum not reflective of indy media? How can I consider adding anonymous or even anonymous's suggested voice to the forum when you do not reveal yourself or even make a specific suggestion?

I am not threatening mass deletion but I will reluctantly delete select comments that seek to start arguments over nothing. Better would be to have comments that contribute substance to the discussion. Why do you have such a hard time saying what you want?

I have done nothing to single you out for exclusion. You repeatedly pop your head in here to shoot your mouth off. Nobody needs that and it is not welcome. I repeat, you are welcome to continue posting provided you contribute to the discussion. You can criticize me if it is based on what I've done, said or written. The distinction I make is when you post vague, even incoherent, slurs that attempt to bait confrontation. Tell us exactly what you want and why. Make a cogent argument, please.

Be good or be gone.

Posted by Blogger Dave Berman @ Aug 13, 2006, 12:31:00 AM
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I Do Not Consent for you to "speak for me" in any form or fashion. I find you to be long winded, pompous and a bore.

"Given that, I am now also saying that it will not be an act of censorship but rather a demonstration of this blog's netiquette to delete future anonymous posts that do nothing more than bait arguments without contributing meaningful content to discuss."

Also you can now claim the high road at any removal of comments now. Spoken like a true hero you are. Has anyone spoken to you about how you write like a English teacher? Boring, dull, and not to the point?

Posted by Blogger Anon.R.mous @ Aug 13, 2006, 11:18:00 AM
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George W, Bush couldn't define "fascist" if he had a dictionary. "Islamo-facsist" is a misnomer which was coined by Christopher Hitchens before the Iraq invasion/occupation in order to lump disparate Islamic religious adversaries of the US into a larger, more menacing group. The term didn't gain much traction until recently, in its new incarnation as "Islamic fascists."

The term was problematic from the start, since few religious militants I've heard of are facsist (advocates of a strong, centarlized, dictatorial government which maintains order for, and does the biiding of corporations). I suppose that they've worn out "Islamic militants," and they needed sometihng new, exotic and menacing.

It's a term we should reject.

Posted by Blogger Carson Park Ranger @ Aug 13, 2006, 2:49:00 PM
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How do we hold an election to choose the Humboldt Blogosphere representative? Could somebody start a poll or petition? I vote Fred too with AnonRMous as back-up.

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ Aug 13, 2006, 3:24:00 PM
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Maybe now we're getting somewhere. anonymous 3:24, I am not looking to have an election or other contest to choose representatives of the local blogosphere, but I am in favor of expanding the one scheduled media accountability forum into a series. One installment of the series could certainly be just for bloggers. The point is to create space for much needed dialog to occur. I know who Fred is, but of course I don't know who any of the various unnamed commentators are. That is going to have to be a sticking point as we can't very well achieve accountability when we don't know who is responsible for saying what.

Up thread further, anon.r.mous, you need to know that I'm not trying to speak for you. I'll take it as a compliment that my writing reminds you of an English teacher, typically one who educates others in the practice. For the rest of your remarks, though, I wonder why you would bother reading a site so much to your disliking? This is not required reading or homework. Also, if you want to have a say here, I've given reasonable ground rules that are consistent with other local bloggers. Those posting with their real name will get more latitude but anonymous baiting is just not welcome. Keep in mind, too, that you can't get anything published anonymously in a newspaper; you can't yell fire in a crowded movie theater; and most businesses will even advertise their arbitrary right to refuse service to anyone. Here at WDNC, you can be as alarmist as you want if you own your comments and allow others to hold you accountable.

And to Carson Park Ranger, thanks for staying on topic and helping to deconstruct the language of propaganda.

Posted by Blogger Dave Berman @ Aug 13, 2006, 3:55:00 PM
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Just like Democracy Unlimited and Local Solutions, they don't hold elections either and yet pretend to be defenders of democracy.

You claimed there were two empty seats left Berman. Who gets to fill those, and by what process?

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ Aug 13, 2006, 4:38:00 PM
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Most likely there will be someone from the Reporter and someone in local TV. What I tried to do was get people working in various different media.

Posted by Blogger Dave Berman @ Aug 14, 2006, 1:22:00 AM
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after the blowup on buhne between their staffers do you really think the standard and the reporter can stand to be in the same room with each other? thatd be like the independent and the redwood times, or the advocate and, well, anybody.

so why do we have to wait for khum to grant us the right to have a forum? lets start one right now, right here on the web! radio is so passe and so boring.

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ Aug 14, 2006, 2:53:00 PM
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You are right that we don't have to wait. I've been saying that I want this forum to be part of a series, and that just because it is the first one to be confirmed does not mean it must be the first one held.

Certainly no one has to grant us the right to have a forum, but it is helpful that KHUM will afford us the reach to such a potentially large local audience (and beyond, considering their web stream).

Despite all the vacuous quacking from unidentified and therefore unaccountable anonymous commentators, I am gratified that the concept of a media accountability forum is gaining traction. As I have written many times about advocacy journalism, the writing style here at WDNC, the most effective use of this space is to collaborate on bringing organizing ideas to life. Please tell us more about how you see holding an online forum for Humboldt bloggers actually taking shape. I think it needs to be done in a way that allows folks outside this tiny niche of our overall community to easily participate or at least observe/listen/read in real time.

Thanks a lot for moving the discussion forward...

Posted by Blogger Dave Berman @ Aug 14, 2006, 3:24:00 PM
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You can't call for transparent elections very effectively if you are so repelled by the idea of holding one of your own on this issue. Blogger's rep should be chosen by ranked choice voting, right?

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ Aug 14, 2006, 5:18:00 PM
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Um, repelled? What issue, exactly?

I support ranked choice voting but see no purpose in concocting an online "election." How many ballots shall each anony-bot be allowed to cast? Please.

What other ideas can we come up with for a public gathering of bloggers to expose and discuss topics of mutual interest, presumably under the general heading of media accountability?

Posted by Blogger Dave Berman @ Aug 14, 2006, 7:46:00 PM
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So Dave, what about this Voter Confidence Committee? Do they promote democracy by not practicing it themselves too? Is that why most of your former members split off to form HVA?

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ Aug 15, 2006, 4:09:00 PM
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ATTN PLEASE:
Buhne (http://buhnetribune.blogspot.com/) gets criticism of Hoover, Hoover objects, Buhne wipes out all comments. I guess we know who he works for now!

So in the spirit of free speech I have disabled comment moderation so feel free to exercise your right to free speech and rest assured I will not be bullied by the likes of Kevin Hoover, nor will I censor anyones right to free speech on my blog.

Posted by Blogger Nick Bravo @ Aug 15, 2006, 6:31:00 PM
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To anonymous 4:09 - the Humboldt Voters' Association (HVA) is focused on ranked choice voting. There was an article about their work in Monday's Eureka Reporter. According to the piece, they are holding an open meeting on Wednesday night at 6pm at Liquid Cafe in Eureka’s Burre Center, 906 Myrtle Ave. The HVA website is www.humvote.org.

While the Voter Confidence Committee supports ranked choice voting, we work on other issues of election integrity as well. Our next meeting is Thursday 5:30pm at the Redwood Peace and Justice Center, 1040 H St. in Arcata. You are welcome to attend.

Posted by Blogger Dave Berman @ Aug 15, 2006, 7:27:00 PM
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Sorry to tell ya anon 4:09,but we get along with Dave just fine.There has never been any hard feelings.Dave has his election concerns,we have ours.It was the best thing to go our own ways.He can do what he does without our interference,and we do what we do without his.For both sides, it's a better strategy to use for hopefully achieving our goals.We have always said that if the time comes we will work together on a given issue.So anon 4:09,please take your spin elsewhere.The HVA and the VCC will be just fine,thank you.

Posted by Anonymous Mark Konkler Humboldt Voters Association @ Aug 15, 2006, 9:11:00 PM
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It's still a valid question as to whether either organization practices the kinds of elections they preach.

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ Aug 16, 2006, 8:51:00 AM
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oh just stop it. theres no need for election reform critters to hold elections, they just get in the way of the vision of those in charge. same goes for the mayor of eureka, peter should be king for life so we don't have to put up with messy campaigning.

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ Aug 16, 2006, 9:29:00 AM
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Anon 8:51 - I mentioned these open meetings so you or anyone could choose to attend and see how each group operates. I can't speak for the HVA, but the VCC has never had offices or titles and thus has not needed to conduct an internal election. We generally make decisions by consensus.

Posted by Blogger Dave Berman @ Aug 16, 2006, 9:33:00 AM
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Well there are kudos definitely deserved to Berman for that, these other 'pro-democracy' groups like Loco Solutions and Demockery Limited never make their decisions in a public meeting.

I still wonder though about this forum of yours, do you think a verifiable petition using real residential addresses would address your concerns with anonymous overvoting?

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ Aug 16, 2006, 10:07:00 AM
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The HVA has no officers or titles.Decisions are made by consensus.We are not a pac.I certainly hope to meet some of these anonymous bloggers tonight at the Liquid Cafe in Eureka at 6pm where will be having an organizational meeting.

Posted by Anonymous mark konkler @ Aug 16, 2006, 10:16:00 AM
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Liquid Cafe:906 Myrtle Ave,Eureka
707-268-0772

Posted by Anonymous mark konkler @ Aug 16, 2006, 10:20:00 AM
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Anon 10:07 - I'm not sure what you are asking. A petition for what? Anonymous overvoting is merely one reason why we shouldn't conduct an online election. I don't know what that has to do with a petition. Have you ever voted on a petition before? It seems to me a petition and an election are two different things.

If I had to guess, I'd say you're still looking for a way to allow input on choosing participants for another forum. That's cool. I really do want to have a series of events on media accountability. But consider that a petition or an election, either one worked out with logistics considered legit, is really a way to determine who is excluded as much as who is included. Why not rent a room, announce the date, and tell everyone they're welcome to participate if they show up? There is still a problem with this approach in that it doesn't necessarily come with built-in media coverage or participation of community members wanting to add questions from the audience.

Am I on the right track here? This kind of collaborative brainstorming is what I would like to be about. If this is where we can take a reasonable discussion, then perhaps what we really ought to consider is the creation of something along the lines of a Humboldt bloggers consortium. It would be inclusive rather than exclusive, and if I'm to participate, it would start with an effort to identify shared goals. The stupid sniping just isn't helpful.

Posted by Blogger Dave Berman @ Aug 16, 2006, 5:16:00 PM
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Welcome at the Redwood Peace For Just-Us Center? Only if you support Dave Meserve's political career, otherwise you get the cold shoulder from that bunch. I hope Quillman and Schwartz get elected so we can have some real Greens on the Council to support Pitino. Incidentally, the RPJC also censored their short-lived on-line forum once criticism of Meserve appeared. No wonder the blogs are the only outlet of free speech remaining.

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ Aug 16, 2006, 5:38:00 PM
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You make no sense Berman. You are excluding people and then pretending to be inclusive. An election, a petition, these are ways to get more voices, more choices included outside the Democratic Party apologists and Republican Party hacks you've stacked your forum with so far. Fred would be a legitimate choice to get new and different ideas into the mix. Why so resistant? Is it because Mangels would say what he feels and not feel constrained by the duplicity of people like KHUM's Dronkers?

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ Aug 17, 2006, 10:15:00 AM
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Make no sense? How about trying to tell other people what to do on the subject of accountability when you hide your own identity and remain unaccountable yourself?

Who had the idea for the forum in the first place? That's right, me. And I went right out and called the media on their ridiculous coverage of unverifiable elections, telling them not to print what can't be proven and what they haven't independently verified. What basis is there really for being concerned about the toughness of my questions for the media?

My concept for this event was to get these corporate players together so they could hear not just from me but from the entire community. I have created an opportunity for us all to redefine what is required of the media to be considered credible. That's for this event. I keep saying I'm into the idea of holding additional events on the overall topic of media accountability. But instead of saying, ok, let's work together, you (or some other unaccountable anon) keep wasting bandwidth with your whining. I have yet to hear from Fred himself. I would be happy to talk with him about organizing the next event.

Posted by Blogger Dave Berman @ Aug 17, 2006, 12:36:00 PM
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Anonymous posting is no longer allowed at We Do Not Consent. Relevant, on-topic comments are welcome, but commentators must be willing to be held accountable for their words by identifying themselves. And as previously stated, while freedom of speech is treasured, taunts, off-topic argument baiting, and other non-content will be deleted. I will post a broader announcement in a main post later tonight.

Posted by Blogger Dave Berman @ Aug 17, 2006, 4:51:00 PM
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Dave Berman's censorship of recent postings is indicative of how threatened he feels in his self-appointed position as representative of the Humboldt Blogosphere and all local independent media.

One of the deleted posts pointed out how there were few comments, if any, on most of Berman's postings on We Do Not Consent (wedonotconsent.blogspot.com). As soon as a really vibrant discussion and healthy, non-threatening exchange of diverse viewpoints was underway on the issue of media reform, Berman's answer is to wipe out substantive comments and slam the door on any more debate. This is the act of a coward who doesn't really give a whit about accountability.

The other post Berman deleted revealed Dave's lie about how a media accountability forum was his own original idea, when local activists like Paul Cienfuegos, Heidi Calton and David Giarrizzo have been talking about this exact same idea for years, before We Do Not Consent was even around. Maybe the fact that these people are Green Party members and Berman is not has something to do with his attitude, or maybe he didn't want the Eureka Greens to be involved since they agreed to sponsor such an event last year. Or maybe Dave just wants to protect his turf and his fragile ego from the challenges such independent thinkers might present to him.

Berman may try to characterize this as protecting accountability, but all he is doing is preventing tough questions from being asked, which is kind of what he likes to do to government and corporate officials himself on a regular basis. Berman still refuses to consult other bloggers on his so-called representation of them, he still declines to acknowledge the existence of the Indepenent, the Eye, the McKinleyville Press, the Advocate, GreenFuse and other alternative media worthy of inclusion in a media reform event.

What good is a second forum if its just a 'kid's table at Thanksgiving' kind of deal? Especially as a second forum focused on bloggers and independent media would be without the participation of the corporate media and without the airtime and attention Dave is generating for the KHUM event on Sept. 21. In essence, it's an attempt to discriminate and relegate alternative voices to obscurity, even though its these voices who have been fighting the good fight for years to expose local and global corruption.

Dave says he treasures freedom of speech, but he seems to treasure his role as gatekeeper a lot more. Thank goodness people like Paul Benson are in our community, as he want to involve us all in real accountability with his public meeting on August 31 to set up a new media reform organization to break open the kind of stagnant status quo which Berman is content to perpetuate.

I wish I could be there in Blue Lake that day to see such a fine project get off the ground, and I encourage all my media-savvy friends to help out in a project which seems more democratically oriented. Berman can have his little private club with Clear Channel, Media News Group and KHUM, the rest of the media reform community will be moving forward with far more interesting projects...


“MEDIA REVOLUTION” – New Media Group Scheduled to Meet

A new not-for-profit organization forming in Humboldt County plans to hold its first meeting this month to discuss how to organize the citizen media movement - locally, nationally and beyond. The group, under the tentative name of Citizen Media Net, carries an ambitious goal: to bring about a “total revolution” in the way Americans get their news and entertainment. “After this revolution, ideas and information will flow not just from the top down, but from everywhere to everywhere,” says Paul Benson, Arcata resident and founder of the group.

By bringing strategic organization to the emerging citizen media movement, Benson suggests that the group can help bring about an age in which independent citizen media-makers can compete directly with “Big Media.” An age, he says, in which “ordinary citizens will not only consume media content, but produce it.”

The group will aim to provide organization and support to citizen media. “We’ll provide all types of media-makers - amateurs and pros alike,” says Benson, “with the facilities, equipment, and training they need to create powerful media content and deliver it to a mass audience. Rather than complaining about mainstream media, we’ll simply build our own media system - of, by, and for ordinary people.”

Much of Benson’s "revolutionary" vision involves the idea of collaboration. “With our help, citizen media-makers will have, at their fingertips, the tools they need to begin combining their skills, talents, and equipment with those of other media-makers. Working collaboratively in groups, we as individuals will no longer be held back by our own personal limitations, or by our lack of professional media experience. By collaborating, one person’s weaknesses are compensated by the strengths of another. Collaboration will result in higher quality work, which will, in turn, draw larger audiences to citizen media. As more and more people tune in, citizen media will be increasingly recognized as a credible alternative to mainstream media. Perhaps it will even become the mainstream.”

“Either way, citizen media is going to be the next big thing,” asserts Benson. “That’s why Apple is touting its new 'iLife' suite, an all-purpose set of tools designed for citizen media-makers. Both Apple and Microsoft are bundling audio and video editing software right into their operating systems. And people are using these tools, too. Citizen media is sweeping across cyberspace. Anyone with iTunes and a broadband internet connection is already set to discover a world of citizen audio and video programming, for free, through the magic of podcasting. It’s already starting to make traditional radio and TV look a bit obsolete. And who's producing the shows? Regular people like you and me. All signs are pointing to citizen media.”

“Our goal is to take the citizen media movement to the next level – to ramp it up and turn it into a new media revolution, where the power of the press truly is in the hands of the people, where it belongs.”

The meeting is planned for Thursday, August 31st, at 7PM, at the Green Life Evolution Center in Blue Lake. Directions and more information can be found at www.newmediarevolution.net.

Posted by Blogger Nick Bravo @ Aug 17, 2006, 5:32:00 PM
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Nick Bravo,

Thank you for posting under your own name and for sharing the information about Citizen Media Net. I had not heard of that and appreciate you making me and surely others aware of it.

A lot of what else you wrote above is the same sort of effort to push my buttons that I have repeatedly identified as taunting and baiting throughout this thread. What you call a vibrant discussion and healthy non-threatening exchange of diverse viewpoints does not describe this thread. A "substantive comment" deleted: "Just leave Dave alone people, he's obviously too sensitive to handle this." What is "this" exactly?

While I don't know all the details I am aware that other local blogs have recently been receiving many anonymous comments. I understand some of them have changed their comment policy. How many different anons do you figure have been making this happen? How many posted here? What is the goal of doing this?

Throughout this thread I have tried to give straight answers to fair questions that often came packaged with a slant or dig. I kept trying to draw out exactly what anon(s) (you?) really want. But no answers were made clear. I kept operating on the assumption that likely we really both want the same thing, and that anon just hadn't considered a nicer way to ask for my cooperation. Are you, Nick, really opposed to a radio broadcast giving you and the whole community a totally unique chance to ask a panel of local media figures whatever is on your mind? I could never let go of the thought that this is something we should both want.

I take nothing away from Paul Cienfuegos, Heidi Calton and David Giarrizzo. I am glad to know we have shared concerns about the media. Some of mine are in the Voter Confidence Resolution, and even its earliest incarnations as the No Confidence Resolution, back in April 2004. To learn now that these folks had previously been suggesting a forum makes my choice of words unfortunate. Specifically regarding the upcoming forum on 9/21, the concept and pitch were mine and I succeeded at signing up six people to participate. Do you know what the maximum capacity of the KHUM studio is?

Being so limited, obviously there were going to be people who would just have to tune in, this time. Other media people were contacted prior to the 9/21 event filling up, and though there wasn't always an immediate commitment (or returned call), there was encouragement to do additional events. This is no holiday kids table. Not unless we come back around to the idea of an election for blogosphere spokesperson. This is not a mantle that exists, or should exist, and I have never tried to claim it. In trying to balance the 9/21 panel, I sought people who use a mix of media types (3 radio, 2 newspaper, 1 TV, 1 blog). I don't owe anyone an apology for taking the blogger spot.

In initially imagining a series, I thought of four total events, but I did not yet then consider the possibility of an all blogger event. That came up in this thread, because again, I tried to parse the vitriol and just build on what it seemed like could be a shared goal. In other words, I have been both offering and seeking out the collaboration that is the stuff of Paul Benson's "revolutionary" vision. It sounds like Paul's project may finally be a way for me to bring the Project-Based Format to life. Again, thanks for telling me about this project.

As for the rest, I'm not fighting you. If you don't see me as one of the good guys, then try asking nicely whether I would consider seeing things your way. If you are clear about what your way is, then we can actually have a really vibrant, healthy, non-threatening discussion.

Sincerely not taking the bait,
Dave Berman

Posted by Blogger Dave Berman @ Aug 17, 2006, 11:27:00 PM
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What's up with all these anonymous comments? We've been talking about the forum for how many months now, and all of a sudden Dave's some kind of bad guy for not holding an election to decide who's going to be in the first forum?

It makes sense to me that someone running the forum has a role in the discussion, at least to help keep it on topic, and Dave certainly fits as Election Blogger Dude. He may not be the only Election Blogger in Humboldt, but holding a regular series of forums leading up to the election has been part of the VCC's plans for a long time. At first he wasn't sure if the media would be interested, but there's enough interest that this first forum will be the "pilot" for the series. I didn't get any kind of impression that subsequent forums would be less important--rather, they would build on the success of the earlier ones.

I was home recuperating from surgery and missed tonight's meeting, so I don't know how the group decided to choose future participants.

Posted by Blogger Kathryn @ Aug 18, 2006, 1:36:00 AM
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The original topic was... oh, right, Dubya standing up and telling a Big Lie in hopes that people who aren't paying attention will believe he's doing a good job. And we're not talking about small-town bickering, no, we're talking about the President of the United States. The President who has managed to squander whatever goodwill the USA had overseas and turn it upsidedown. He's acting against everyone's best interests--not just acting without consulting everyone whose name has ever come up in an Arcata City Council election, on something his critics generally agree is a good idea.

Sorry for the bad grammar--I'm too tired/headachy to edit properly now.

Posted by Blogger Kathryn @ Aug 18, 2006, 1:45:00 AM
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"Give a damn about the world you live in? Give a damn about what you and I both know is one of the most shameful and destructive periods in American history? If so, do something about it. You can start by reading We Do Not Consent."

— Brad Friedman, Creator/Editor, BradBlog.com; Co-Founder, VelvetRevolution.us


"If in the future we have vital elections, the "no basis for confidence" formulation that GuvWurld is popularizing will have been a historically important development. This is true because by implicitly insisting on verification and checks and balances instead of faith or trust in elections officials or machines as a basis for legitimacy, it encourages healthy transparent elections. It’s also rare that a political formulation approaches scientific certainty, but this formulation is backed up by scientific principles that teach that if you can’t repeat something (such as an election) and verify it by independent means, it doesn’t exist within the realm of what science will accept as established or proven truth."

— Paul Lehto, Attorney at Law, Everett, WA


"Dave Berman has been candid and confrontational in challenging all of us to be "ruthlessly honest" in answering his question, "What would be better?" He encourages us to build consensus definitions of "better," and to match our words with actions every day, even if we do only "the least we can do." Cumulatively and collectively, our actions will bring truth to light."

— Nezzie Wade, Sociology Professor, Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods


"Dave Berman's work is quietly brilliant and powerfully utilitarian. His Voter Confidence Resolution provides a fine, flexible tool whereby any community can reclaim and affirm a right relation to its franchise as a community of voters."

— Elizabeth Ferrari, San Francisco, Green Party of California


"This is an important collection of essays with a strong unitary theme: if you can't prove that you were elected, we can't take you seriously as elected officials. Simple, logical, comprehensive. 'Management' (aka, the 'powers that be') needs to get the message. 'The machines' are not legitimizers, they're an artful dodge and a path to deception. We've had enough...and we most certainly DO NOT consent."

— Michael Collins covers the election fraud beat for "Scoop" Independent Media


"What's special about this book (and it fits because there's nothing more fundamental to Democracy than our vote) is the raising of consciousness. Someone recognizing they have no basis for trusting elections may well ask what else is being taken for granted."

— Eddie Ajamian, Los Angeles, CA


"I urge everyone to read "We Do Not Consent", and distribute it as widely as possible."

— B Robert Franza MD, author of We the People ... Have No Clothes: A Pamphlet for every American