07/25/07 09:39 - 81ºF - ID#40251
I miss E:strip
I honestly feel like a jerk.
How can I make it up to you...
Here's an embarrassing picture of me!
I'm the one on the right who looks like he's getting smacked in the head with a paddle. This picture was taken at the end of an "Under the Sea" Costume Party.
By the way, I enjoyed Enknot's birthday party a few months back where I met some of you guys. I hope we can get together again sometime. I had fun talking to you all and seeing the house.
So where have I been? I haven't had much of a social life since March when my boss Mike went in for surgery. He had an operation on a vein in his leg, and he was out on disability until last month. i work at New Visions Photography, a studio of 3 people, Mike, Teri and me. So I've been keeping track of contracts, deadlines, customers, and everything else. Including the NYS Photographers convention, our studio was responsible for a team of 12 people who had volunteered to photograph everything for the event. So I took on Mike's responsibilities, staying up till 2am waking up ad 6:30. You get the idea. It's been stressful. At the same time I've been managing my own business doing web design, photography and advertising for my clients. That's the reason I haven't been around. Plus i work on the computer all the time, I like to spend my Free time outdoors.
But there is s light at the end of the tunnel. In October I will be leaving New Visions and becoming my own small business. I do web design, commercial photography, advertising, and graphic design. I'm getting enough work to sustain my current level of income. and I have enough happy clients to continue a chain of referrals and expand. It's a potentially difficult situation to get yourself into. But as a backup plan I have a lot of photography experience and equipment, so I could work for any photography studio during wedding season. But wedding photography is not what i want to do forever, that's why I'm leaving New Visions now, before it's too late.
I'm looking forward to October. I always miss fun events because of the busy New Visions wedding schedule. I work about 2/3 or 3/4 of the Saturdays in the summertime. Missing graduation parties, concerts, historic tours, community events, summer festivals, and more. but in October, I'll be self employed, doing something I enjoy, with a schedule and workload that I agree to. I'll have the opportunity to be more active and social.
More good news, I'm getting married to (e:mmtornow) next summer 6/28/2008, in the Finger Lakes at her parents house. We've been together for 5 years, time to make it official. We've figured out how to do a nice wedding that feels personal to us. We are doing a Quaker Ceremony, in her parents yard, out in the country. I go to a lot of weddings as a photographer, so it's interesting to be planning a wedding for myself.
(e:mmtornow) and I just got back from a camping trip in the Adirondacks. Took a lot of pictures with my now compact camera, the canon G7.
You can see what I've been up to by checking out my pictures.
Flickr, the more artistic gallery.
Picassa, the gallery where I share vacations and events.
Here's my business website, I'll be putting up something completely new in October that includes photography, but for now here's DC Photography and Design
And did you know that I set up an (E:strip) API? probably not. Here it is, you should do one too!
That's all for now, I hope you forgive me for disapearing for so long, I plan to more now that Mike is back at work and I have some time.
Don't worry, the political stuff will be back soon :-)
lots to talk about.
Location: Buffalo, NY
01/17/07 11:17 - 25ºF - ID#37752
Bush Thinks You're Stupid
But after watching Bush's interview with Jim Lehrer that's one of the big things that stuck out to me, he thinks you and I are a bunch of idiots whose opinions are worthless.
He says things like "this is what is hard, I think, for the American people to understand", he mentions us a lot, the "American People" you get a concept for his idea of We the people.
He always talks about convincing us, and teaching us to see things his way, like we're misguided children and he knows everything. Well, I'm sorry, but who the fuck believes this guy knows what he is talking about anymore? He has failed at everything, But now we are supposed to have faith in his judgment? Bush has zero credibility, but he is still an arrogant fuck who doesn't give a damn if we agree with him or not, because he is "the Decider". That's the perfect Bush-ism that says, "I don't give a fuck what you think, because I'm going to get my way no matter what, you are all coming along with me whether you like it or not.
I'm a believer in democracy. I know it's messy, compromise and consensus, and finding common ground upon which we can all agree to move forward. You have to be able to see things from the other perspective, to empathize with the other person because we all have very serious reasons for feeling the way we do. And you also can't have a hidden agenda, something you don't want to bring into the open because the reasons behind it are greedy or selfish. But I digress..
If you want to get a handle on the real Bush, watch this interview. I think Bush feels pretty safe, I mean it's just Jim Lehrer, nobody watches the News Hour on PBS, Jim Lehrer is pretty mild mannered, what's to be afraid of? Bush takes this interview less seriously than his weekly radio address.
Jim Lehrer rocks, He's probably the last real reporter on TV, he asks the questions that a journalist is supposed to ask... like this "But to be very direct about it, Mr. President, you had a few years here and you've been in charge. And you've made a lot of decisions; you've made a lot of judgments about things and they haven't worked. And so now you've made a new one. So why should anybody expect the new ones to work when the prior ones did not?" RIGHT!!! You see what I'm saying?!?! You're going to have to watch the video to get Bush's response.
I like Jim Lehrer because he has standards, he knows his job as a journalist is very important to the survival of democracy. That's why the Press is protected by the constitution, not so they can make a bunch of money, the purpose is to make them the watchdogs of democracy. We protect their right to ask difficult questions of those in power, for the sake of protecting the public from tyranny.
So at long last, Here is our commander in chief, with no clothes. definitely watch the video,
PBS Jim Lehrer News Hour, Interview with President Bush.
Location: Buffalo, NY
01/12/07 11:58 - 44ºF - ID#37660
I smell corruption
So far Democrats have passed bills to raise the minimum wage, fund stem cell research, and inspect cargo coming into the US.
Today they are trying to fix the medicare perscription drug plan and make it less expensive. And the Republicans are trying to protect their corporate sponsors.
This is one of those programs that is so corrupt and harmful to the taxpayer that everyone I tell about the program is appalled. Whether they vote republican or Democrat, or don't vote at all. This plan is a huge giveaway to the pharmicutical companies. (funny, the pharmicutical industry gives the most money to political campaigns). The program costs more than tripple what they originally projected. It is just funneling government money into the pockets of corporate doners.
The biggest problem with the program is this; our government is prohibbited from negotiating with the drug companies for lower prices. There is a clause in the bill explicitly forbidding the government from negotiating prices. Why? In any normal market situation companies bid on contracts. When you are spending a lot of money, say providing 23.5 million seniors with perscription drug coverage, companies try to get that contract by offering a competitave price. I thought republicans liked the free market? Maybe not when it prevents them from funneling taxpayer money to their campaign doners.
The government already negotiates lower prices for the Veterans Administration, why not the medicare perscription drug plan? Shouldn't we be concerned about saving the taxpayers money? Spending responsably?
The Republicans are trying to block this reform of the medicare drug bill. The Democrats are going to pass a bill opening the door for the government to start negotiating lower drug prices, getting rid of the loophole. but the republicans are threatening to filabuster, and the president it threatening to veto the bill. Thanks George, I can see you realy have my best interests at heart.
I find it amusing that this is the first thing the republicans are actively trying to block. They must figure that money is worth more than votes. Corporate sponsors are worth more than popular support. When it comes to getting reelected, they would rather hyponotize voters with TV commercials, instead of getting support based on responsably looking out for the interests of the taxpayer.
The republicans who vote against this bill will give you a long line of bullshit, but essentially they can't vote against the bill because they will lose their corporate sponsors.
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/20/06 01:11 - 41ºF - ID#21759
Changing the war debate
Iraq has become a cesspool of revenge killings and hatred. The US is in a situation where our millitary is essentially just another Millitia battling for controll of Iraq. That is nothing but a recipe for disaster.
This is not a battle in which we can simply allign ourselves with one side of the struggle and try to defeat the other. This is a country in crisis, where neighbors are killing eachother for the sake of revenge. You kill my family I kill yours. And the more killing that goes on, more hatred is created, and the more evil the other side seems.
There is a solution, but it has very little to do with military strategy. Talking about a surge in troops, or attacking this militia or that one, or reoccupying this city or that city is meaningless without addressing the real problem, Violence. Stop the killing and you will have success. All of our involvment sohould be focused on reconcilliation, and easing the tensions, and establishing a system of justice that does not come from the barrel of a gun.
No sir, this is not about "winning" it's about Ending the Violence.
Location: Buffalo, NY
11/08/06 11:58 - 52ºF - ID#21758
America Saves itself
The manipulation of fear and prejudice for political gain is a recipe for disaster, it is the most severe challenge democracies face. The manipulation of fear, and the demonizing of a shadowy enemy is a classic tactic for the strangling of democracy. This has killed democracies in the past, and it was very alarming to see it's ugly head in America again.
Thank you America for stepping back from the brink of fascism. I had a feeling that we would not be so easily fooled into submission. I knew that there were certain things that America would not stand for like suppression of the freedom of speech, and our right to demand answers and accountability from the government. I had a feeling that these strengths would carry us through this radical un-American regime. And I'm happy to say we still have the will and the power to save ourselves.
We have a lot stacked against us. The bush administration broke a lot of constitutional boundaries designed to protect us. They showed no regard for checks and balances, they even flaunted the subversion of the constitution and the rule of law openly, and sadly some Americans fell for it.
This is one of the most secretive administrations in history, information control is a high priority for Bush and company, and that is very dangerous. National security was the excuse, but saving face or avoiding retribution was often the real motive. Thankfully some whistleblowers had the courage to release the information about Abu Graib, the NSA spy program, the manipulation of Iraq intelligence, and countless others.
This is also one of the most manipulative administrations in history. They are not afraid to lie in our face. to say things like "Saddam Hussein harbors terrorists. And there are al-Qaeda in Iraq" Bush conveniently left out the fact that those al-Qaeda were trying to overthrow Saddam so he couldn't possibly give them WMD. But this was one of many manipulative sales pitches. lip service to renewable energy and handouts to oil companies. He read the CIA report that the war in Iraq was making us less safe and he lied to us about it before the report was leaked. Uranium from Africa was obviously false, he lied about it.
Subverting the rule of law. Abandoning treaties like the ABM treaty, Kyoto, small arms trade limiting treaties. Calling the Geneva conventions "quaint" the list goes on. This executive branch put itself above the law, that's not how America works.
Wonton destruction of international ties, disregard for allies and other nations. I don't know about you but I wish we had some friends left in this world.
Starting another Arms Race, by trying to scare the world into submission. it doesn't work that way. You need allies, friendships make you safer because you have more people watching your back. All you fuckers who were talking about letting France and the UN dictate American foreign policy.. "oooh nobody can hold us back.. we won't let anybody tell us what to do.. we know everything.. our ideas are better than everyone else.. we don't need to have a conversation or ask for advice.. or check with people who know more about the middle east than we do..." How do you feel now? We invaded Iraq, kicked out the inspectors, and said, bombs are better, we need to kill first and look for WMD later. hey, good fucking job asshole. next time all you Bill Kristols of the world Shut The Fuck Up!!
Man did we lose a lot. We really have. What a shame we don't learn from history. It took us this long to figure stuff out.
Now we have a health care system that serves the drug companies before the people. the Medicare prescription Drug giveaway, you know the government can't negotiate for lower prices? Why not the Veterans Administration drug plan does? oh, right, corruption, line the pockets of the richest Americans.
That explains why we're giving tax breaks to the richest companies in the world, the oil and gas companies. Hello!! they're making record profits, they don't need any subsidies, or any help, they need to be taxed!
Let's spend billions on a war, where all the money goes into the pockets of defense contractors who aren't doing their job. They are charging us tax payers $80 for a case of Coca Cola! They are driving around with empty trucks because they get paid by the trip, they don't have to deliver anything.
Yea global warming doesn't exist, how come the only people who believe that crap are scientists that are paid by the energy industry or the Republican party.
and the deficit, what happened to fiscal responsibility? Bush DOUBLED the deficit in just 6 years, sending us 600 billion more in debt, way to go you fiscal conservative you.
I think the internet helped us a lot. We quickly found out if somebody was lying by doing a Google search and finding the transcript or video of the lie. Tons of concerned people were linking back and forth, pointing to official documents and mind blowing investigations. Secrecy is not so easy nowadays.
We have just overcome something big. This Republican government war drunk with power.
What does a Democratic Congress Mean
Contrary to Republican scare tactics, I don't think it is going to be payback time. I don't think the most liberal policies are going to be suddenly thrust down the throats of an unwilling electorate. and I don't think the democrats are going to be the congressional bullies. Although no matter what they do they couldn't possibly top the last 4 years of republican rule.
It boggles the mind when conservatives warn against polarizing the country. Does "you're either with us or your with the terrorists" ring a bell? how about straight party line votes in congress, and wedge issues like flag burning and gay marriage. I have the scream when republicans talk about Democrats being divisive.
But back to the point, I think Democrats know that a lot of people should be on their side, and they're going to show it. They aren't going to be divisive, there are so many issues ahead of things like abortion and gay marriage, they won't have time for those, nor do they want to bother calming oppositional voices. Republican citizens have been voting against their best interests for a long time. And over the past 6 years Republicans have become the party of the Super Rich, while the middle class has shrunk. The Democrats are going to go for those broadly supported yet long neglected issues that everyone agrees upon.
The democrats will work on raising the minimum wage. They got a bill to the floor but the Republicans put abolishing the estate tax on the same bill so it failed. Anyone have an estate worth over $7 million? ok none of you will pay the estate tax, only .5% of estates pay any tax whatsoever. gee sounds like a pressing issue
They will also work on Energy independence. Scary huh? too bad everyone supports that. getting rid of fat oil companies and high gas prices, sound's like a far left fringe issue to me.
They will also investigate where our tax money is being wasted. Hmm I thought that used to concern republicans.. I guess power and campaign contributions made looking after our tax dollars a non-issue, wasting tax money became a great policy when it went to their friends in the oil and pharmaceutical industries.
There will be investigations on waste and fraud in Iraq.
The Medicare Prescription Drug Plan will be amended so that the government can buy in bulk and negotiate for lower prices. Hmm saving my money.
Social Security is not in as much danger as the Republicans made you believe, small changes will be put forward eventually.
Taxes, you have to face it, the whole mantra of lower taxes is a bunch of bullshit that republicans pay lip service to. How come the middle class hasn't felt any tax relief? and how come our jobs pay less, and our money buys less than it has since the 60s? The Republicans have lowered taxes all right, on the top 1% of America. And guess what it hasn't stimulated the economy at all!!!
There is a simple equation for this economic taxation mumbo jumbo. If you want to stimulate the economy, you give money to the people who are most likely to spend it. Wow, that's not so hard, how come nobody told the president? The people most likely to spend money are Those who need new cars, a new water heater, a new roof, a paint job, a new TV, to pay off their credit card, go out to dinner for once, a new house, maybe they stop renting and buy a house, new shoes, a winter jacket, a new computer on and on. It's an indisputable fact that the middle and lower class spend money, not the richest 1%. We have given all the tax breaks to the top 1% they put it in the bank, the end. No seriously someone has $4 million in assets, you give them an extra $8,000, they might expand their business and hire new employees, but most likely it's going to the bank to earn interest. They don't really need that money, they're ok as it is, they can choose to spend it or not. Unlike you and me, who really need that new car but we can't afford it, we really need to do some home repair, and we need to buy a house and stop living paycheck to paycheck. We will spend the money, that stimulates the economy.
So eventually we're going to have to get some money into the pockets of the middle class and the working poor. We will have to raise taxes on the rich... go cry me a river, I said we're going to have to raise taxes on the rich. Sorry, the democrats won't be acting on that one any time soon, they can't cause the Republicans will manipulate it for all it's worth, "high taxes, kill jobs, hate America" you know, the usual. Bush's tax cuts will expire in 2010 but that's the best that can happen, and you know the Republicans will cry foul, even though it's the middle class that has been fouled for so long.
I just feel bad that the Democrats have to deal with Iraq, they were all lied to by Bush, and he knew it all along. Now we have a horrible mess, and those who aren't responsible will have to deal with it.
Location: Buffalo, NY
11/07/06 09:07 - 48ºF - ID#21757
To Josh, Faith Based Voting
Do you doubt that politicians cheat in elections? You think nobody in America has ever intentionally cheated voters? Rigged voting counts, under-supplied voting machines in districts not favorable to them, jammed phone lines of the opposition party, called voters on the other side with misleading information to frustrate them and prevent them from voting?
Sorry to burst your bubble but all of these things happened in 2004, and in past elections. In 2004 some people went to jail for it. And guess what, most of the time the cheating was on the Republican side. I'm not saying nobody else has ever cheated, but the Republicans insult my intelligence on a daily basis, and I don't trust that they will respect me or my vote. Nor would I demand any fewer protections from Democratic or any type of cheating.
And I certainly don't trust paperless electronic voting machines. As far as I'm concerned that's like "faith based voting". No government Ever deserves that leisure. Honest, verifiable, and open elections, that's the basis of democracy. That's the principle of America, the idea of checks and balances, and the idea of a government ruled by the people. If the Executive or Legislative branch cheats, the judicial branch is there to enforce the rules, and make sure the interests of the people prevail. What better example than making sure votes are counted. This is an imposable task if the only record of the vote is a number on a computer screen, we all know how easy that is to manipulate.
Foul play happens, and we need to safeguard against it right away, or else we will be throwing away the dream of America, and pissing on the graves of our founding fathers and all the men and women who have died to preserve our noble democratic system.
I you don't want the election to drag on for days, get rid of Faith based Voting, and have stricter penalties for misleading or lying advertisements, voter intimidation, fake phone calls, and voter help line jamming.
And by the way, if the exit polls don't match the vote count, trust the exit polls, the vote count is wrong. Don't bullshit me, I'm a Political Science major, and half of that field is statistics. Exit polls are the one true check against corrupt vote counts, even in this country. We scrutinize power to make sure it is not abused, that's America. Don't stop now, or we'll lose everything.
Location: Buffalo, NY
11/05/06 11:45 - 45ºF - ID#21756
Rushing into War
Anyway, in case you needed more proof, here's another ex-CIA analyst who retired after 25 years. He's an insider who worked directly with Iraq during the lead up to the War. He just published a new book "On the Brink: An Insider's Account of How the White House Compromised American Intelligence" You can read a few of its key points here
You can also watch a movie from 2004 about this topic, it's a good primer for everyone. And you can watch it in full here
Location: Buffalo, NY
11/03/06 12:53 - 37ºF - ID#21755
The lone office in Iraq keeping track of government waste bribery and corruption. Closed. Just like that. Republican leaders decided that they didn't want a lawyer watching over their business.
Congress Tells Auditor in Iraq to Close Office
The problem is not waste, corruption, fraud, bribery and everything else going on in the corporate paradise that is Iraq. No, the problem is that You, me and the American Media find out about it. The problem is that some corrupt bastards who are profiting off of the blood of our soldiers and the Iraqi people, have gone to jail. The problem is that Americans who know the truth are getting pissed off. The solution, Hide the truth better.
First stop reporting Casualty figures to the UN:
Then Stop investigating corruption in Iraq
BRILLIANT!! Hitler and Goebbels would be proud.
Thugs are ruling this country. They don't care about the Troops, the Taxpayers, and they certainly don't give a damn about that once honorable country called America. They only care about their own power, and they will do absolutely anything to preserve that power, anything.
The US public must remain in ignorance of the facts. Reality is a bad thing. The war in Iraq is going well, and Rumsfeld is doing a Heckuva job.
Why do Bush's statements always directly contradict the classified reports?
Military Charts Movement of Conflict in Iraq Toward Chaos:
Shoot the Messenger:
And Get More PR and Propaganda Quick!!
Analysis from NY Times
The Great Divider:
Our Country has been taken over by Liars, Thugs, and dangerous megalomaniacs.
Location: Buffalo, NY
10/23/06 10:16 - 39ºF - ID#21754
From a soldier
America's shame should be glaringly obvious to all of us. If you are a patriot, you should have your fist in the air demanding a regeme change in this country. I'll let Kevin Tillman explain why...
After Pat's Birthday
Posted on Oct 19, 2006
By Kevin Tillman
It is Pat's birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice... until we got out.
Much has happened since we handed over our voice:
Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can't be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.
Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few "bad apples" in the military.
Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It's interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.
Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.
Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.
Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.
Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.
Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.
Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.
Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.
Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.
Somehow torture is tolerated.
Somehow lying is tolerated.
Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.
Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.
Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.
Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.
Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.
Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.
Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.
Somehow this is tolerated.
Somehow nobody is accountable for this.
In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don't be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that "somehow" was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.
Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat's birthday.
Brother and Friend of Pat Tillman,
Location: Buffalo, NY
10/18/06 07:28 - 56ºF - ID#21753
Tyranny in America.
Back in the 11th century civilized peoples realized that there was a need to limit the power of the king. One of the most basic limits to this power, was the right to know why you are in jail, and to challenge that detention in court.
The power of Kings, and Presidents must be limited, because they will throw you in jail just because they do not like you. Annoying the president is not a crime, but if you are never allowed to have a trial, you can rot in jail for the rest of your life, for nothing.
Does it get any more basic than that? I don't think so.
The law now says "Enemy Combatants" can be locked up without charge, and they can be condemned to death without knowing why they are in jail or what evidence there is against them.
So who is an enemy combatant? Anyone. No Bullshit.
A "Combatant Status Review Tribunal" can declare anyone an enemy combatant, citizen or not. Forgive me if I don't trust an appointed tribunal with no legal mandate, to decide who can be stripped of all their rights and held indefinitely without charge. Every American should be in the streets demanding that the president stop pissing on the document he swore to protect. THE CONSTITUTION!!
The beauty of America is that we are ruled by a set of laws, not by the whims and suspicions of tyrants. Had we been living by that standard and the rest of the constitution, we would have never gotten to this point.
What can I say. This is the exact opposite of America. Bush is an Outlaw. We must impeach him before any more damage is done to this country. This is an abomination.
90% of those in Guantanamo have been held without charge for over 4 years. Many, if not the Majority of them are innocent. People were turned over to the US by Afghan warloards just so they could get the $5,000 reward.
By the way, there is something inherently wrong with declaring somebody an "Enemy" BEFORE having a trial.
Video: Olbermann; The Day Habeas Corpus Died:
The President Gets His Wish: He's the Dictator:
Shame on Us All:
NY Times, Rushing Off a Cliff:
Location: Buffalo, NY