August 28, 2008 archive

I have a dream

Forty-five years ago tomorrow, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke these famous words on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial:

Spiral Jetty Pony Party

Public art, particularly sculpture in public spaces, is the most democratic of art forms: no admission required, you just have to go and look at it.

Today, a few pics of perhaps the most obscure public work (because it is generally submerged)–Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson.  Constructed in April of 1970, it extends into Great Salt Lake in Utah, and is a bravura work.  Although the lake covered it for about 30 years, by 2004 it had re-emerged due to drought.

For nearly three decades Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty” lay underwater in the Great Salt Lake. Since 1999, as drought has lowered the water level, this famous American earth sculpture — a 1,500-foot coil of black basalt rocks — has slowly re-emerged. Now it is completely exposed; the rocks encrusted with white salt crystals are surrounded by shallow pink water in what looks like a vast snow field. [snip]

“The trip to see the artwork brings people to a place they would not normally experience,” said Nancy Holt, Smithson’s widow and executor, who lives in New Mexico. “The ‘Jetty’ is a vortex that draws in everything in the landscape around it.”  

NY Times

Below the fold are some pics I found at photobucket, plus a nifty video.

Open thread: be excellent to each other.  And remember: don’t REC the pony party!

Sign Petition to Help Guantanamo “Child Prisoner” Mohammad Jawad

Last week I publicized the extraordinary appeal campaign for Guantanamo detainee Mohammad Jawad initiated by his military attorneys. Jawad, who was arrested as a teenager in Afghanistan in December 2002, is the first child soldier to be tried as a “war criminal” in modern times. In U.S. custody, he has suffered beatings, threats, physical isolation, sleep deprivation, been subjected to 24-hour bright lights, and more. His attorneys have called for letters to be written to the Convening Authority at Guanatanamo, asking them to withdraw and dismiss the charges against Jawad.

Now, his attorneys have initiated an online petition campaign in his behalf. You can follow this link to go straight to the petition. Please sign it and pass the info on to whomever you can.

American Indian Activism at the DNC

I would have hoped that the Longest Walk that began in February and ended six months later, would have brought the issues of the truth about the suicides on reservations, the lack of justice on reservations, climate change, alcohol and drug addiction in the American Indian population, health concerns of American Indians, and the worries of the American Indian People in general into the public domain. It doesn’t seem like it did, and the same message is being given at the DNC in the midst of all that’s happening.


The delegate count got to New York where Senator Hillary Clinton asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi to suspend the rules and nominate Barack Obama outright. It’s official. Howard Dean said expect the unexpected with Hillary Clinton. That’s an understatement.

Pelosi just announces Obama accepted the nomination.

The Pepsi Arena is going wild. The Big Tent is going wild.

It’s done. It’s all over.

… now back to some Fat Tire Ales.

Correction: Here’s what Chris Grotke, friend and co-founder of IMO his words were accurate with what happened.

They were going through the usual roll call vote with states saying a few words about why they were great and who they would cast ballots for. Clinton was around 300 or so and Obama was at about 1500 – still a ways to go to the 2200 or so needed for the nomination Illinois had passed, presumably so that they could be the ones to put him over the top later.

They weren’t on New York. They were on New Mexico, and NM was about to cast their votes when they suddenly yielded to Illinois, who had passed earlier. Then Illinois yielded to New York.

The delegates got excited when they saw Shumer and Clinton making their way to the New York delegation.

At that point, New York got into the action and said a few words before giving the floor to Clinton. She then said that for the sake of unity, and for victory, she was making a motion to suspend the roll call vote and accept Obama by acclamation.

Pelosi guided them through the voice vote and that was that.

Polls, The Media And Who Will Win In 2008

Are polls worth watching? Do they measure or do they make public opinion? Are the polls we read in the papers or on the net good indicators of whether it will be Obama or McCain who will win in November?

The one thing they never seem to attempt to measure is whether it will be everybody who wins or loses this fall…

August 27, 2008 – about 7 minutes

Barry Kay on the accuracy of polling and the presidential elections

Dr. Barry Kay teaches a seminar on voting behavior, as well as courses on U.S. Government and Public Policy in the Political Science Dept., at Wilfrid Laurier University. His research tends to be in the area of elections and public opinion. He is a past member of the Canadian National Election Study team, and recent publications pertain to electoral systems, public opinion polling, and the impact of single-issue interest groups. He has developed a model for projecting parliamentary seat distributions from popular vote or opinion polls, that is posted on the LISPOP page of the Laurier website. He is also a political analyst with Global Television, for their national election coverage.

More Outrage from Denver: ABC News producer arrested for taking pictures in public.

I just talked to Jane Hamsher of FDL who told me an ABC News producer was arrested for taking pictures of fat cat donors coming out of a fund raiser. Here’s the diary she wrote at Firedoglake. But Brian Ross of ABC News has the story. Check it out.

“Police in Denver arrested an ABC News producer today as he and a camera crew were attempting to take pictures on a public sidewalk of Democratic Senators and VIP donors leaving a private meeting at the Brown’s Palace Hotel.

Police on the scene refused to tell ABC lawyers the charges against the producer, Asa Eslocker, who works with the ABC News investigative unit.

A police official later told lawyers for ABC News that Eslocker is being charged with trespass, interference, and failure to follow a lawful order. He also said the arrest followed a signed complaint from the Brown Palace Hotel.

Eslocker was put in handcuffs and loaded in the back of a police van which headed for a nearby police station.

… Eslocker and his ABC News colleagues are spending the week investigating the role of corporate lobbyists and wealthy donors at the convention for a series of Money Trail reports on ABC World News with Charles Gibson.”

You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me.

Here’s the link to the story. They’re not just going after activists…. now they’re going after…


Sweet Jesus! What have we come to? Spread the word…. and more to come.

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