Thursday, September 27, 2007

Newt Gingrich in Second Life

Guest Post by Ana Herzog

Second Life passed another milestone today (Ouch! That sounds painful!) when Newt Gingrich used Capitol Hill SL today to announce his new plan to take over America.

This photo of Gingrich is courtesy of Liz Link. Used with permission.

The metaverse becomes more like real life every day.... the buying of Capitol Hill is nothing new in RL, but in SL this use was groundbreaking in that a precedent was set for Free Speech Zones in SL. I am gravely concerned about the creation of and tolerance for the zoning of free speech in RL, but in SL, well that is probably a good precedent. Capitol Hill folks, TROI Timtam and Kiwini Oe and their group that runs the Capitol Hill SL sim gave five of a very limited number of slots for avatars who could be in SL attendance at today's Capitol Hill SL event. Newt spoke to his minions and groupies in Atlanta and Second Life about the future of corporate politics and the emerging metaverse.

Most of the initial part of the speech was filled with him describing the metaverse. It didn't really take all that long to get Newt acclimated to presentation procedure in Second Life (which he repeatedly called Second Voice). I've been told by people in the know that Gingrich likes to drive his own avatar, but there was no evidence of that today. The avie appeared, sat, then stood in exactly the same spot for the duration of the talk.

In the second pic, above, you can see the back of him, the guests who were allowed invites into the sim, and at the very back beyond a virtual fence, invisible at a distance, there were the five lonely protesters.

It sort of honks me off that the sim folks presumed we would grief folks. I take my civic DUTY very seriously, as do other very courageous protesters. That is civic as in civil and civilization.

Anyway, you can see more photos of the event on flickr. i like the Venice Vandal's and Liz Link's photos of the event. But in these I took you can see the basic setup.

I may get around to the content portion of his speech eventually, but first I would like comment on the meta messages broadcast via this event today.

(Isn't In beautiful as she flies in protest?)

I'm not sure Newt really understands the whole merging of a personally expansive identity into a new and larger self that encompasses an electronic persona that is every bit as real as a corporate face, or the identity one puts on for family as opposed to the one puts on at church or in the supermarket.

Conservatism and corporatism are starting to "get it" as far as understanding the networking abilities that Second Life affords.

It does seem that Newt understands much more of the metaverse and Second Life than most RL politicos do.

This isn't surprising to me. Newt is intelligent. This is the thing that makes him most dangerous. It always has been. Newt took out his Contract on America with the help of Tom DeLay. Newt was major player in the creation of K Street and the corporate coup d'etat that knocked off the last semblance of the representation of the people of the U.S.A. His contract was such a snow job. He promised the conservative Chrisitian right that the contract would help to clean up Congress and America. It carefully tended the seeds of the demise of America that had been sown by Ronnie Raygun. Bush is harvesting that demise.

The hypocrisy shown by so many of the supposedly moral men who came into power in '94 by lying through their teeth to the American People about what their intentions were has become common knowledge and well documented. The longer serving hypocrits became emboldened. Foley, Craig, Stevens, Vitter, rode in with Newt. Opiate addicted Linbaugh served as a cheerleader. Stevens became the pork barrel king. Just look at this list of Republican scandals -- a major one every week this year. The Culure of Corruption is real and was orchestrated by Newt, Delay, Abramoff.....

So today Newt sang the praises of IBM (Yes the same IBM who allowed certain South American leaders to be tortured to death in their buildings a few decades back...) and the corporatization (is that a word) of SL. And this as the IBM Strike is going on. Oh, the irony... The double speak of Gingrich is scary. I believe he was well aware of the allusion to taking out a Contract on America. His current American Solutions campaign smacks of Dachau and Germany's Solution. He had to be aware of the similarity to Final Solution. This man is a soulless, corrupt maggot. He served divorce papers to his wife as she received chemotherapy for cancer. He told his second wife he wanted to divorce her over the phone at a holiday dinner. What a cowardly little sleeze bag. There is nothing honorable about this man and I am disturbed that so many folks continue to revere him.

Now back to the event itself.

Here (above) you can see the paltry presence the five allowed protesters made ion the Capitol Lawn But this Cap Hill group's dedication to showing there was dissent is good.

It would have been better if I could have had a banner drop off the Washington Monument but they nixed that.

Guess that is it for now.

So we were left to our rather "normal" protest signs. I had some problems in that I couldn't get the shake fist animation to work so I had a wilted protest sign most of the time. Oh well.

Probably the avie schmoozing after the event had as much impact as the avie attendance at the event. Gingrich just wanted to make a pr statement. We felt compelled to dissent. But as always, talking to people is the key to understanding and a better world.
Here you can see Liz Link and I in real discussion after the event.

Monday, September 17, 2007

More police brutality.

So students asking questions in a school sponsored event of national figure are appropriate tazer targets?

Read the article at:

Watch this video.

The police in this country have gotten way too full of themselves under this fascist national administration. We need to send a clear message that we will not tolerate this crap! Four cops on top of an unarmed guy do not need to taze him.


Aren't Tazers made in Glendale, AZ?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More on the Assault of the Rev. Yearwood and the illegal abduction of Lori Perdue by the Capitol Police

View the video by IPS of Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr. speaking about the attack on him and the police brutality that resulted in his severe injury.

Another video in which the Rev. Yearwood talks about the police brutality he experienced for simply attempting to listen to a hearing on The Hill. He encourages us to not give up and to continue to fight tor justice.

A third video puts his abuse in a broader contast and highlights his military service.

Also listen to/watch Colonel Ann Wright talk about her arrest and about the treatment of Rev. Yearwood. as well as the heinous routine treatment of prisoners in the D.C. jail.

Another ridiculous situation from Capitol Police in the last couple days was police abduction of a woman that consisted of the false arrest, imprisonment, and shackling of Lori Perdue for a nonexistant stay away order. This fifth video includes an interview with her shortly after being released from jail for doing absolutely noting wrong. It also includes a brief interview with a member of Democracy Rising discussing the Reverand's and Lori's outrageous abuse.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Call the Speaker and protest her "boys" assault on the Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr.

I'm trying to find out how the Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. is doing today after being tackled by 6 Capitol Hill cops who decided Rev. Yearwood shouldn't entrer the Patraeus hearings yesterday. He had waited in line with the women of CODEPINK and other progressive folks for hours in order to get in to the hearing. Of course the Washington Post iterates the police propaganda by saying, "Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., of the D.C.-based Hip Hop Caucus, who allegedly refused to move back after jumping in front of a line of people waiting to get inside the room. "

This so pisses me off! The black man as target of police violence shit has to stop. Non-whites as targets of hate (yes, police can be guilty of hate crimes) is beneath us. The U.S. is still predominantly composed of sensible and generous people, but if we do not collectively step forward and stop the militarization of our protective service forces, insist they live by the laws of our land, we are no better than the creeps who are currently running our country. A peaceful and honorable nation does not allow public servants cleanse our streets of select ethnic groups nor selectively single them out for assault.

Watch the video and join me in outrage and action. Pam's House Blend has the second video (after the police assault) when the medical personnel made the call that Yearwood was injured and needed a wheelchair to be moved.

This is NOT what democracy looks like from firedoglake has the most complete report I've yet found on the bogus charges against Yearwood and verification that the cops broke his leg during their assault on him.

I'm with Siun from FireDogLake:
The Capitol Police work for the Speaker’s Office. I’m calling the Speaker’s office to “discuss” this and I hope you will too. Her office number is:
(202) 225-0100.
This crap has to stop. I've faced off against these same cops doing very similar crap this past February. These tactics are totally bogus and anyone who has spent more than a couple days on The Hill know there is selective enforcement and the "rules" change from day-to-day. They insisted on misdirecting me to the wrong line as I waited to get into a hearing where Condi-LIE-za was to speak. They pulled the same crap but I remained calm and kept repeating, to a storm trooper who didn't deserve the respect, "But sir, may I say something. Sir. Please listen to us. We want to get in to the hearing at which Ms. Rice will speak. I I will move to where you want me to but I would like to ask a question as to how we can get in when we are directed to the wrong line. Sir, please may I speak?" as he was blaring out his orders and not at all assessing the situation. Finally another cop told him to cool the aggression. Yearwood wasn't as fortunate as I was.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Liz from Phoenix arrested at Petraeus hearing today.

Several CODEPINKers were arrested today and many more were removed from the "Betray us" hearings.

The early story coverage can be found here. The CODEPINK press release from before the hearing can be accessed for background on the group and their motivations for action.

Lydia's post on the CODEPINK DC Blog is well worth the read too. Seems they are now refusing entry to Gael. Many courageous women are there to disrupt if necessary -- and those who are carrying on as if this is business as normal after stolen elections, unconstitutional executive branch power grabs, illegal and immoral war that has escalated to all the way to enabling ethnic cleansing have gone from foolish to being criminal.

Hell yes this protestation is right and justified. Thank you CODEPINK! Thank you Ray McGover for yelling out,"SWEAR HIM IN". Betray us Petraeus is a war criminal as his crimes have gone far beyond being a twitchy little puppet. Just following orders doesn't cut it when you are directing a war while knowingl backing a failed tactic masquerading as policy.

According to Lydia, Cindy Sheehan, her sister DeDe, and the Reverand Yearwood were arested in the hall (as they were denied entry) for raising their voices. See the Washington Post article for the "approved for broadcast" version.

I guess the Halls of Congress have lost their status as a free speech "zone." This is one of my biggest causes of outrage. Free Speech "Zones.!!!" When the bleep did the First Amendment become "zoned?"

WAY TO GO, LIZ. Thank YOU for being brave enough to say what the vast majority of the country is thinking. Thanks to Desiree, Mona, Lydia and all the tireless pink souls temporarily "stationed" (voluntarily) in D.C. Special thanks to and request for support of the Rev. Yearwood who undoubtedly got assault charge for being a black man.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

News Release per TORTURE ON TRIAL from Nuclear Resister

from the Nuclear Resister newsletter

September 5, 2007

Contact in Tucson:
Jack or Felice Cohen-Joppa 520-323-8697


Three weeks after the conclusion of a pretrial motions hearing for
two priests facing trial for their November, 2006 arrest at Ft.
Huachuca, U.S. Magistrate Hector Estrada issued his rulings on the
various motions before his Tucson, Arizona court. He denied the
defense requests for a jury trial and dismissal of the charges
against Jesuit Fr. Stephen Kelly and Franciscan Fr. Louis Vitale. He
also denied the government's motion to use Fr. Vitale's prior arrests
and convictions as prima facie evidence of trespass.

In a significant order that effectively gags the defense, Estrada
granted the government's motion in limine to preclude defenses. The
gag order forbids the defendants from introducing evidence at trial,
either documentary or testimonial, about: the defenses of duress,
justification, necessity, or self-defense; the morality or immorality
of the government's use of interrogation techniques, training of
soldiers in interrogation techniques; the legality of the wars in
Iraq or Afghanistan; any military actions to support interrogations
in any foreign countries; the legality of the Military Commission Act
of 2006; the defense of international law; or the wisdom of any
political question or government policy.

Magistrate Estrada also ordered Fr. Vitale to report to court on
September 21 for a hearing on his conditions of pretrial release.
Because of the unavailability of his attorney, Bill Quigley, on that
day, another date will be scheduled for the hearing. On August 13,
at the end of the pretrial motions hearing, Estrada sent Vitale to
the court's pretrial services for evaluation, after learning that the
priest had been cited a few days earlier for a Nagasaki Day
line-crossing at the Nevada nuclear weapons test site. At their
April arraignment, Estrada had ordered the two priests not to break
local, state or federal laws.

The two are charged with federal trespass and an Arizona state charge
of failure to comply with a police officer following their attempt to
speak with enlisted personnel and deliver a letter denouncing torture
and the Military Commissions Act of 2006 to Major General Barbara
Fast, then commander at Fort Huachuca, on November 19, 2006. If
convicted of both charges, they each face ten months in prison.

A trial date is expected to be set later in September.

For more information, visit


Naomi Klein points out the villain... Disaster Capitalism

This is what I like to see... women leading the way against corporatist evil. Any person can lead the way of course, but so far men haven't been really good at this at Horatio Alger dreams seem to live in most of them.

I was so pleased to open my laptop this morning and see leading with a repost of the Toronto Star's piece about Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

My recommendation? Find an Independent Bookstore and order it today.

If you want to get behind a movement that can change the world, and has a proven track record, go anti-corporation, after all it is a major concept upon which our once great United States was founded.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Presidential handlers worried about the ultimate fragging?

How come none of the military folks around Bush today had any weapons? Very interesting.

And the the hoo-ha's sounded rather forced throughout the speech.