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Tuesday, October 26

Conservatives Against Bush

from the American Conservative:
Bush has behaved like a caricature of what a right-wing president is supposed
to be, and his continuation in office will discredit any sort of conservatism for
generations. The launching of an invasion against a country that posed
no threat to the U.S.
, the doling out of war profits and concessions to
politically favored corporations
, the financing of the war by ballooning
the deficit
to be passed on to the nation’s children, the ceaseless drive to
cut taxes for those outside the middle class and working poor
: it is as if
Bush sought to resurrect every false 1960s-era left-wing cliché about
predatory imperialism and turn it into administration policy. Add to this his
nation-breaking immigration proposal—Bush has laid out a mad scheme to
import immigrants to fill any job where the wage is so low that an American
can’t be found to do it—and you have a presidency that combines imperialist
Right and open-borders Left in a uniquely noxious cocktail.

from The Lone Star Iconoclast:
The publishers of The Iconoclast endorsed Bush four years ago, based on
the things he promised, not on this smoke-screened agenda. Today, we are
endorsing his opponent, John Kerry, based not only on the things that Bush
has delivered, but also on the vision of a return to normality that Kerry says
our country needs.

Four items trouble us the most about the Bush administration: his initiatives
to disable the Social Security system
, the deteriorating state of
the American economy
, a dangerous shift away from the basic freedoms
established by our founding fathers, and his continuous mistakes
regarding terrorism and Iraq

from John Eisenhower:
The fact is that today’s “Republican” Party is one with which I am totally
unfamiliar. To me, the word “Republican” has always been synonymous with
the word “responsibility,” which has meant limiting our governmental
obligations to those we can afford in human and financial terms. Today’s
whopping budget deficit of some $440 billion does not meet that criterion.

Responsibility used to be observed in foreign affairs. That has meant respect
for others. America, though recognized as the leader of the community of
nations, has always acted as a part of it, not as a maverick separate from that
community and at times insulting towards it. Leadership involves setting a
direction and building consensus, not viewing other countries as practically
devoid of significance. Recent developments indicate that the current
Republican Party leadership has confused confident leadership with
hubris and arrogance.

Friday, October 22

Big Weekend in Philly
I've got a big weekend planned in Philadelphia - between
the South Asian Writing celebration put together by
Project IMPACT on Saturday, doing Kerry canvassing on
Sunday, and volunteering for the Kerry/Clinton event on
Monday morning, it'd be a full weekend. But I'll be out of

For anyone who wants to go to the Kerry/Clinton event,
it's going to be this coming Monday morning @10am at
Love Park at the cross-streets of 16th Street and
Benjamin Franklin Parkway. For more info, call

Clinton could become head of the UN if Kerry is elected
president. Kofi Annan's UN Secretary-General term ends
in 2006 and Clinton has said he would like that position.
Clinton is popular worldwide, especially in Third World
countries, but would require US federal government
sponsorship to become head of the UN.

Tuesday, October 19

Bad Days for Barry
These past few weeks have been tough on Bonds, between the Giants
missing the postseason
, Sheffield's SI cover story calling Bonds a bad
friend and bad person
, the BALCO steroid allegations, and now his rival
Jeff Kent's walkoff home run in the NLCS. At least he's made a fan
happy - and $100,000 richer.

Two old guys who have actually been to the World Series and won (unlike
Bonds) will likely be pitching tonight/tomorrow.

Sunday, October 17

She gave the shirt off
her back to charity.

Sarah McLachlan's World on Fire
I'm not a Sarah McLachlan fan - she sings melancholy music
which can be ok in small doses, but not really a fan...

What she did with her new video for the song World on Fire
is pretty cool though - she spent the $150,000 that it would take
to film a new video, donated that amount to charity, and noted how
it was used. She only spent $15 on the actual video, presumably for
film and stuff. It's a bit of a publicity stunt, because surely she's
rich enough to donate the $150 K AND make a $150 K video, but
whatever - maybe she's trying to inspire others to donate as well.

I have 2 "Huh?" questions about this video:
1. The video surely didn't just cost $15. It's pretty graphics
intensive and there's a lot of footage from Third World countries.
I know documentary filmmakers are constantly applying for grants
to try to get enough cash to travel and stuff so they can film. A
side page on the site shows where the $150,000 was donated
and how it was used
, but I want proof that the video actually
only cost $15.
2. What, was a shirt not part of the allotted budget? Is she trying
to feel at one with the world's poor who can afford designer denim
but no top? What's up with that? (not necessarily complaining, but

* WorldChanging Post on the video
* Direct Link to the video

Friday, October 15

Burnt toast can cure a hangover | Other Remedies
Surprisingly enough, the burnt toast remedy is actually based
on scientific fact. The secret behind this cure is the carbon
in the charred bread. Carbon acts like a filter in the body,
attracting the impurities released during alcohol metabolism.
It does this so well, in fact, that emergency room patients
with alcohol poisoning have a carbon mixture pumped into their
stomachs to prevent them from dying of toxicity. This filtering
effect is also behind the success of over-the-counter remedies
such as Chaser and Sob'r-K HangoverStopper, which claim carbon
as their main ingredient. Carbon is effective as a preventative
measure as well as a morning-after helper.

How Hangovers Work

Wednesday, October 13

Civil rights leaders in Florida
fighting for the right to vote

John Pappageorge

Some associations affiliated with the Republican party in swing
states like Florida (excerpt) and Nevada have discarded voter
registration cards by Democrats, particularly poor Democrats.
Check with your local Election Department to make sure you
are properly registered.

In another scam, some 46,000 people are registered in both
Florida and New York

"If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a
tough time in this election cycle."
-- State Rep. John Pappageorge, R-Troy, while discussing
election strategy at a meeting of the Oakland County
Republican Party

Monday, October 11

A MacGyver for the Third World | article
"Looking at things from a more basic level, you can come up with a
more direct solution, and a lot of people go well, duh, that's really
obvious!" mechanical engineer Amy Smith, winner of the MacArthur
'genius' award
, said. "But that's what you want: people saying
it should have been done that way all along. It may sound small in
theory, but it in practice, it can change entire economies."

Alternative fuels are one way to cultivate that change. Smith recently
created some simple, effective methods to make charcoal from
agricultural waste. "We are adapting it for India, where the problem is
the use of cow dung for cooking fuel," Smith said. "It's so abundant,
but it also produces a lot of smoke. Breathing indoor cooking fumes
is the No. 1 cause of children's death in the world. So if you can
produce a cleaner-burning fuel, then you impact public health and
the environment, as well."

Thursday, October 7

Debate transcript | more PhotoShop. . .

Figured I'd adorn this picture with some links, like why Edwards beat Cheney in their debate the other night, but I decided against it. Instead, just two quotes from the debate:

Cheney: "I have not suggested there's a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

Cheney: "They know the charges [on Halliburton] are false. They know that if you go, for example, to, an independent Web site sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania, you can get the specific details with respect to Halliburton."

Saturday, October 2

Middle School where
we painted

Mural I worked on

I volunteered today (pictures)
NetIP Philadelphia volunteered both through the Philadelphia
Cares Day program and the National Gandhi Day program.


Philadelphia Cares Day is a marathon day of service
that gives the children of Philadelphia public school
attractive and more functional learning environments.
150 schools will benefit from fresh coats of paint,
refurbished libraries, landscaped green spaces, restored
playground equipment, and much more. As one of 12,000
volunteers, you will help contribute 60,000 volunteer
hours in just one day!

National Gandhi Day of Service (NGDOS) is an annual event
sponsored by South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow
(SAALT) to inspire and empower people around the world
through civic engagement and community service. Participants
will be united through Gandhi's common values of equality,
tolerance and nonviolence, regardless of ethnicity, racial
or religious background.