Archive for September, 2011

Teach Your Children Well

September 30th, 2011 1 comment

You, who are on the road, must have a code that you can live by.
And so become yourself, because the past is just a good bye.
Teach your children well, their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams, the one they picked, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you

~~~ “Teach Your Children”  (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – 1970 – (listen)

[Update: 11/10/11 – Looks like I called this one. David Crosby and Graham Nash performed “Teach Your Children” in Liberty Plaza on Nov. 8 – watch their interview and performance on Democracy Now! – end update]

Hey there kids –

I don’t now if you’re aware of it – or what your thoughts may be about it – but for a crusty old demoralized lefty like your D who bemoans the lack of an effective political movement and street protest tactics, the Occupy Wall Street Movement is the only game in town and a litmus test for getting off your ass and into the streets. Read Chris Hedges’ essay about why that is the case:   “The Best Among Us”.

So, as the Occupy Wall Street Movement began, I spent this last week on a Southern road trip, in search of inspiration, courage, soul, and integrity – Selma, New Orleans, and Memphis (respectively, in photos below).

I am thinking of writing a post about my experience titled “Southern Culture on the skids tour”  or some-such – and heading up to NYC tomorrow to check out the Occupy Wall Street show.

Along my way south, I was stopped by Tennessee State police – a really blatant abuse of authority that they made no effort to hide. I mean come on, since when does a [pretextual] routine traffic stop begin with, and then focus intensely and exclusively on a set of questions about where the driver is going, what he plans to do there, and where his travel plans are going next?

When I dodged his questions about my travel plans and asked why he stopped me, he went back and repeated the travel questions, saying he would tell me why he pulled me over after I responded. So I told him where I was headed – he then proceeded to lie right to my face by claiming I had repeatedly been driving erratically over the white line (the stop occurred at 8:15 am during a heavy fog alert, so I was being extremely cautious in driving way under the speed limit, especially after being followed for 15 miles). In hindsight, due to my prior Homeland Security issues with photography, I’m fairly certain that I am on some kind of watch list and was profiled (perhaps by new license plate scan technology) – I did see Homeland Security marked vehicles on I-81 shortly before I was stopped.

I’ve read that Homeland Security designates heightened states of domestic surveillance due to special events (e.g. watch this deeply disturbing PBS documentary about the FBI domestic infiltration and persecution involved in the Minneapolis Republican National Convention “Better This World“. Also, I’ve written about Pittsburgh G 20 Summit, declared a “National Special Security Event”.

So, given the potential threat to the political powers that be in the event that this movement took off, I imagine that there is some kind of national state of emergency “Amber Alert” issued to the National Surveillance State bureaucracy.

I hope the Occupy movement is the beginning of the end of the World as we know it.

And I apologize in advance for the lazy substitution of visuals for analyticals  (but I bet no one knows who that placard in the foreground memorializes in front of the BB King place – hint, hit this link:

Much Love, D

Selma, Alabama

Selma, Alabama - scene of "Bloody Sunday"

street music, New Orleans

street music, New Orleans

Memphis, Tenn. - can you read that memorial placard?

Memphis, Tenn. - can you read that memorial placard?

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Politifact Is Full of Shit on Christie Shore Claims

September 25th, 2011 No comments

Beyond Stenography and “He said/She said” Lap Dog Journalism

We wrote last week about Governor Christie’s outrageous lies about shore water quality, his environmental record, and the motivations of those in the environmental community that criticize his policies – see: Of Monster Algae Blooms and Monstrous Lies

The Gov. was so over the top, we rhetorically asked: “where the Hell is Politifact when you need them?”

Well, today we found Politifact – with their head far up Christie’s ass – see: a “mostly true” finding in Gov. Chris Christie says Jersey Shore water quality is “perfect

Not surprisingly, Politifact has set up this column with a link to, which goes nowhere, making it impossible to comment on it.

So, until Politifact gets their links right, I felt the immediate need to write to the author and editor of Politifact, with a copy to Tom Moran in editorial:

Greetings – needless to say, I strongly disagree with your selective quotation, factually incorrect, incomplete, scientifically flawed, and deeply misleading evaluation on Gov. Christie’s shore claims.

First of all, here is the Governor’s full quote you clipped – a totally unprofessional practice:

“Christie, in a news conference in Bergenfield today, said his environmental record is strong and that the ocean “is the cleanest it’s been in decades.” The beach this year, you saw no type of debris, no type of waste coming up on the beach this year,” Christie said. [Asbury Park Press 9/15/11]

Let’s repeat what you ignored: “no type of debris, no type of waste coming up on the beach this year.”

Second, you ignored multiple – multiple – sets of data and environmental indicators that contradict the governor.

Third, selective and exclusive focus on bacteria is a scientifically flawed and highly misleading assessment of water quality – and water quality is just one part of ocean ecosystem health. [Note: scientifically, this is the equivalent to a doctor giving a clean bill of health to an end stage cancer patient based on normal blood pressure readings.]

You not only clipped a direct quote and omitted facts that contradict the Governor’s statements, you ignored the context. This does a grave disservice to readers.

For additional news and science sources that contradict your assessment, see this post:

Of Monster Algae Blooms and Monstrous Lies

BTW, the Governor also said this, which opens the door to an assessment of the motives of environmental sources:

“There are some folks in the environmental movement who will never give me credit for anything I do, because they didn’t support me in the election and they’re Democrats, so they’ve got a political agenda,” he said.”

So, – now that the Governor has put the political motivation of the environmental community on the table – if you knew anything at all about the NJ environmental community – you would know that Clean Ocean Action is a partisan outfit when it comes to ignoring, selecting, and bending facts to support Republican Governors. Just go back and read the clips during the Whitman Administration – including the COA letter to US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee supporting Whitman’s confirmation as EPA Administrator (I’ve got links if you’d like).

Last – and I realize this is a difficult issue to fact check – in addition to attacking and smearing environmental groups, the Governor also falsely claimed his “environmental record is strong”.

That is the biggest lie of all and you gave it a pass.

Shoddy journalism is too kind a characterization of this POS – Shame on you.

Bill Wolfe

[Update – here is the Politifact author’s reply:

Good morning, Mr. Wolfe,

My fact-check was based exclusively on what the governor said at Jenkinson’s in Point Pleasant Beach, not Bergenfield. I listened to his entire statement and transcribed, verbatim, what he said regarding the Jersey Shore. I will be more than happy to send you the YouTube link when i am back in the newsroom on Wednesday since i do not have it at home. I will be at a conference Monday and Tuesday.

PolitiFact checks the veracity of exact, specific statements made by public officials. My story was not about the governor’s environmental record in totality. It was about his very specific statement that the quality of the water at the Jersey Shore is “perfect.” Those were his exact words.

Thanks for your note.

Caryn Shinske

That’s not a “fact check”, that’s a blowjob.

[Update #2Politifact has fixed the link to – so please, comment away!!

[Update 3 – 9 pm it is impossible to find the article to comment on. Hidden again.]

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The Course of Empire

September 24th, 2011 No comments

My good friend Bill Neil just sent me a note on my prior post, suggesting that we could rename Cole’s “Voyage of Life – Manhood” work: “Small investor contemplating financial markets, 2011.” Over the rapids.”

While I completely agree with Bill’s perspective, Cole’s “Voyage of Life” series is intensely personal.

Cole’s “The Course of Empire” series is more appropriate for portraying our current state of public affairs. We would locate 2011 somewhere between Cole’s “Destruction” and “Desolation” (see below).

Thomas Cole "Destruction" (1836)

Thomas Cole "Destruction" (1836)

Thomas Cole "Desolation" (1836)

Thomas Cole "Desolation" (1836)

We will be taking a week away from the blog – see you in October .

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The View From Ringoes, NJ

September 22nd, 2011 2 comments
Thomas Cole "The Voyage of Life - Manhood"

Thomas Cole "The Voyage of Life - Manhood" (1840)

Sunset tonight was so awesome, I couldn’t bear to take a picture too terrifying to even try to capture it. Conjured up Cole.

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On The Beach

September 18th, 2011 1 comment
Sunrise at Skip's

Sunrise at Skip's

I guess I’ll call it
sickness gone
It’s hard to say
the meaning of this song.
An ambulance can only
go so fast
It’s easy to get buried
in the past
When you try to make
a good thing last. […]

Well, I’m up in T.O.
keepin’ jive alive,
And out on the corner
it’s half past five.
But the subways are empty
And so are the cafes.

Except for the Farmer’s Market
And I still can hear him say:
You’re all just pissin’
in the wind
You don’t know it but you are.

And there ain’t nothin’
like a friend
Who can tell you
you’re just pissin’
in the wind.

~~~ “Ambulance Blues”  (1974) (Neil Young – listen) [from the album “On the Beach”] 



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