MetaFilter posts by johnb.
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Guns for Kids! -- According to a typical piece of journalism from NBC10, this site offers to children a wide range of hard-to-find munitions, including Wehrmacht Flamethrowers: "Climb up on top of a cafeteria table with a tank full of thick, stinking diesel fuel strapped to your back and watch the reactions of classmates and teachers. Outside, sweep right and left to take out SWAT team members and armored police vehicles. Make it all the way to your local shopping mall and be immortalized in the Guns For Kids Hall of Fame."
posted on May-1-01 at 1:47 PM

"Guess what, folks: We're taking back San Francisco." -- Woo Hoo! Forget BushGore; on Tuesday progressives won big time in San Francisco. Chris Daly seriously kicked ass in my district, while progressives Matt Gonzalez (yes!), Aaron Peskin, Jake McGoldrick, Sophenia Maxwell and Gerardo Sandoval, will all join our hero Tom Ammiano on the board of supervisors. Take that, Willy Brown.
posted on Dec-14-00 at 7:50 AM

Google Toolbar -- anyone try this yet?
posted on Dec-11-00 at 1:06 PM

Anarchist Rhetoric Gone Mainstream -- Democrats and Republicans have appropriated anarchist rhetoric while -- perversely -- strengthening state power at the same time. "...So it is that anarchists ultimately agree with the classical liberal thinker Adam Smith - ironically held to be a great classical exponent of laissez faire capitalism - when he wrote in 1776 that 'Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.' The right-wing 'anti-statists' who might otherwise venerate Smith cannot bring themselves to admit this fact. While seeking to enable private power to run government institutions more openly, they do not undermine the State's power but merely make sure it fulfills its classical role. "
posted on Dec-9-00 at 11:25 AM

One Year After Seattle -- "A year has passed since the World Trade Organization's "Millennium Round" collapsed under clouds of tear gas in Seattle," writes Mark Weisbrot, in this useful overview of what was -- and is -- at stake. "The debate over globalization has been altered, perhaps permanently, to include some of the concerns of civil society: poverty and inequality, economic instability, and the environmental costs of globalization...."
posted on Nov-30-00 at 12:47 AM

Linear regression analysis adds approximately 2700 votes to Gore's tally -- "If Palm Beach county were like the other counties, according to estimates with Bush's votes Buchanan would have gotten around 600 votes in that county instead of 3407 votes he actually got. If we used Gore's votes to predict Buchanan's vote, we would have predicted Buchanan to get somewhere around 792 votes. ...[in any case] it can be claimed with a high degree of statistical confidence that the mistakes cost Gore somewhere between 2000 and 3000 votes. If Bush wins Florida by an amount smaller than this, such as 1700 votes, a strong claim can be made that the confusion over the unique ballot structure in Palm Beach cost Gore the presidency...."
posted on Nov-9-00 at 4:33 PM

David Brower Dies At 88 -- "David R. Brower, who inspired and led the American environmental movement during the last half of the 20th century, died of cancer Sunday at his home in Berkeley."
posted on Nov-6-00 at 6:13 PM

Pesticide linked to Parkinson's -- "A commonly used organic pesticide produced symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease when small amounts were injected into rats over time. It adds weight to theories that repeated exposure to low levels of agrochemicals may also be causing cumulative damage to the human brain." (BBC)
posted on Nov-6-00 at 8:30 AM

Why the Democratic Party would rather lose this election -- Michael Albert clarifies the strategic implications of voting Nader: "Liberals talk and write as though the most important thing in captivity is their winning the election, or at least Bush not winning it. But at the top of their campaign, centrally important policies demonstrate that winning the election is not, in fact, their first priority. For them, priority one is serving the interests of their elite constituencies, and, just below that, of the Party itself...."

Also: hard-core Nader junkies should check out this vigorous (but quite long) rant: What every Republicrat should know (but is afraid to ask)

And, finally, a reason to join Greenpeace: new executive director John Passacantando takes a refreshingly sane, nonhysterical approach to Election 2000. Amen.
posted on Nov-5-00 at 7:41 AM

Hey Bay Area Nader fans -- get your tickets! (if you haven't already) -- 6:30 PM today at the Kaiser Arena in Oakland: the only California Super Rally, featuring Cornel West, Medea Benjamin, Danny Glover, Jello Biafra, Patti Smith, Tom Tomorrow, and other surprise guests! For those who can't make it there will be a Live Webcast available at
posted on Oct-21-00 at 2:41 AM

Napster for sale -- potential buyers include "a Western telecommunications giant and a brand-name 'pure' Internet service provider."
posted on Oct-5-00 at 2:27 AM

No way but to decommission the World Bank and IMF -- BusinessWorld columnist Walden Bello explains why the policies of these two institutions have magnified world poverty and inequality, and traces the opposition movement from its origins in the Global South, to Seattle, Prague and beyond:

"The historic Prague Spring of 1968 spelled the beginning of the end of the Soviet Empire. Will Prague, the site of the World Bank-IMF annual meeting for the year 2000, join Seattle in December 1998 and Washington, D.C. in April of this year as one of the catalytic events ushering the beginning of the end of hegemony of corporate-driven globalization?..."
posted on Sep-26-00 at 3:07 AM

West steps up threats against Yugoslavia -- "The Democratic Opposition of Serbia has signed up to the platform of the G17, a think-tank of market economists again funded by National Endowment for Democracy [an adjunct to the CIA]. This economic blueprint calls for the adoption of the German mark as the main currency for all of FRY, following in the footsteps of the Montenegrin republic last year. Other proposals include reduction of public spending, ending subsidies on food and other forms of social protection. The continuation of US and European economic sanctions on the FRY is being cynically exploited to bludgeon the population into accepting these terms as the condition for ending their economic isolation...." [more...]
posted on Sep-25-00 at 12:19 PM

Democratizing the Mass Media -- A way to finance Metafilter without banner ads: -- "Under Baker's proposal, the government would grant every adult citizen an entitlement to direct the U.S. Treasury to allocate a specific sum of money (let's say $150 per person per year) to a non-profit communications organization, or portions thereof to organizations, of his or her choice. The allocation could work something like the current taxpayer check-off to political parties, except that non-taxpayers would be entitled to participate as well as taxpayers -- just pick-up a form at the post office or at the ballot box, fill it out, and hand it in."
posted on Sep-21-00 at 3:49 PM

Why Big Oil Backed The Fuel Protests In Europe -- "Watched from a distance, the oil blockades in Britain look like spontaneous popular uprisings: regular working folk, frightened for their livelihoods, getting together to say, "Enough's enough." But before this David and Goliath story goes any further, it deserves a closer reading...."
posted on Sep-21-00 at 1:01 AM

Brilliant and funny Gore Vidal Interview (Real Audio).
Question: "Al Gore is a distant relative of yours. Do you see a debate going on between him and Texas Gov. George W. Bush?"
Answer: "No, no, there's no debate going on right now. They are essentially the same on the basic issues. They are both candidates of corporate America. They're paid for. How did George W. Bush, a man who has officially [advocated for] education, but has carefully avoided education for himself, end up where he's at? He's about the most ignorant man who has ever run for president...but he got $70 million from corporate America, and they expect him to pay them back." (partial transcript here)
posted on Sep-20-00 at 2:09 AM

More Evidence of Corruption , as if it were needed:
"Sorry you missed the vice president....I know" you "will give $100K when the president vetoes tort reform, but we really need it now. Please send ASAP if possible."
posted on Sep-13-00 at 11:24 PM

Bike Messengers Love IndyMedia -- Bike messenger Harim Veracruz says that the IndyMedia site has been "a godsend" for him and his colleagues. "All the messengers are using it," he said. "There's a map of the city, information on who is going to be where, what parts of the city to avoid, how to get from here to there fast, even restaurant recommendations. It's a very helpful site." Veracruz said he's even "gotten educated as to why these people are so angry" by reading some of the political news on the site, and is considering joining a protest walk to the U.N. on Friday.
posted on Sep-8-00 at 7:13 PM

What's wrong with corporate globalization? And why protest on s11? -- "If that is the future the World Economic Forum is pushing us towards, it's not a future we want to go to. There are no unions, the working conditions are appalling, the living conditions are appalling and there is an appalling environmental situation."
posted on Sep-7-00 at 2:25 AM

Face it: Gore doesn't have a chance. -- So what is going on? In an illuminating essay, Bijan Parsia suggests a cheap way that Gore might 'soften his anti-progressive image', but then concludes wisely that 'that image isn't merely skin deep'. Barbara Ehrenreich argues along similar lines. So will Gore lose because he has permanently alienated the progressive vote, or for other reasons? And regardless, what will a Bush victory mean for progressives? (more inside...)
posted on Aug-19-00 at 6:30 PM

John Stossel Reprimanded but not Fired by ABC - It is not exactly new information that Stossel has a habit of distorting facts and misleading the public. However, in this case he apparently thought he could get away with fabricating two complete sets of lab results related to food safety. Willingly disseminating false health information strikes me as a serious breach of journalistic ethics. In any case, ABC thinks a slap on the wrist will suffice, and tonight Stossel is expected to make an on-air apology. Will he admit he lied or blame an intern?
posted on Aug-11-00 at 2:52 AM