Monthly Archives: October 2008

Yupres: the new revolutionary class

Yupres, the young urban pre-professional. Defined here by my associate at VentriloquismNYC.

Job descriptions for internships read like the descriptions for real jobs; the only differences are the employees (students) and the pay (shit). Anyone taking these positions would be subject to the same demands placed on employees (producing original content, editorial work, etc), and their work would generate income in some form, yet often their only hope for advancement comes in the form of a rec letter or a resume bullet.

Now, now, I know that most of y’all thought that the revolutionary class was some outmoded classification like labor, or people of color, or some other oppressed bunch, but follow me here.

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FOUND! the New York Times and Me Pt 3: integrity

Woah. So this is the internet.

Even though this thing ain’t exactly salon.com, I’ve been found. Still mulling over what exactly this means.

Cave: hi ——-, i just happened to discover your blog where you posted our email correspondence and suggested that my story was both poorly written, and questioned whether i could be trusted (what you don’t like my florida shirt?).
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Voting Machine Boondoggle

Haven’t we gotten pretty far in touchscreen technology? I mean, McDonald’s takes my order on a touch screen. Apart from any allegations of voter fraud, the issue seems to be straight up incompetency. I bet its American made too. This man would not be pleased.

Next election I’m voting by Wii.

Something To Blockade

if boards were people

if boards were people

Several posts ago I asked the question, isn’t there something to blockade?*

Well apart from EVERYTHING, a spark was ignited tonight.

Housing.

Seriously, people should not be evicted from housing, it being a human right (Article 25) and all. It used to be that if your credit situation was terrible enough you could fairly easily file bankruptcy and maintain your primary residence. Not any more. In 2005 a new law raised the price of filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy raising the cost by a factor 2-3. This forced more people to file chapter 13.

From Business Week

By contrast, the new law was designed to protect creditors. For one thing, only low-income borrowers can file for Chapter 7, which wipes out debts. The amended law pushes more people into Chapter 13, which forces households to accept 3-5 year repayment plans on all debts—secured and unsecured. In other words, they’re still trying to make payments on car, credit card, medical, and other bills that used to be discharged in Chapter 7. That makes meeting the mortgage more onerous. Filing for Chapter 13 temporarily halts foreclosure proceedings, but the protection only lasts as long as the borrower is making mortgage payments.

So in effect the repeal of this has no effect on the credit crisis, but does take away the right to maintain access to your home. Before, the banks would get paid back, while most of your other debt would get erased, and you would stay in your home. Now, the bank gets paid back, if you can, while you are paying most of your other stuff, and you get kicked out of your house. But only if you can’t afford to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Which is why we should defend our houses or assist others in defending theirs.

*the question was actually “Isn’t there something I can blockade. Maybe I’m just doing this.

Update: Joe Biden voted for the Bill along with Harry Reid some other high ranking Democrats, and ALL the Republicans, John McCain included. Along with these folks in the house.

Correspondence with New York Times Reporter Damien Cave

do you trust this man?

do you trust this man?

After reading and commenting on this article in the New York Times I wrote to Damien Cave, the author of the piece.

I have a love-hate relationship with reporters, I love to debate and challenge them and prod them for information. Most tend to be really interesting because no matter whether they agree with you or not, or put something positive about you in a newspaper or tv or radio spot, they have access to all sorts of information you wouldn’t otherwise have. If its an amicable relationship they can tip you off, on things like police raids.

I hate being in a position where feel forced to respect them by virtue of their position or pander to them. Seriously, many are very needy people.

I appreciate the fact that this guy took time out of his day to talk to me, albeit probably on a Blackberry. On the other hand I think this is a little bit of yesterday’s column A, shoddy reporting, and a little out of column B, media blackout.

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New York Times Ignores Anti-War Vets

At best this article is poorly written. At worst, its the latest symptom of a media blackout.

The article finds space to mention “Pro-Victory” and “Pro-Mission” group Vets for Freedom, who’s board members include two members of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Director of Homeland Security for Military-Industrial Complex favorite, General Dynamics.

Yet it does not mention once Iraq Veterans Against the War.

IVAW is not only against the war, they are for pulling US troops out of Iraq immediately, a position the New York Times cannot find a single vet to make for the article. They have also been subject to obscene police brutality, most recently at the last Presidential Debate at Hofstra University in Hemptead, NY.

I am already suspect of the way political campaigns operate, in their advertising, television and ground organizing techniques, but his exchange in the article is just creepy. Carter and Finan are veterans who have been integrated into the Obama campaign.

Mr. Nickloy agreed. Mr. Finan stepped forward. “I think the Iraqis have gotten comfortable with us being there,” he said. (“That’s what I hear,” Mr. Nickloy interjected.) “And we’re not going to baby-sit them forever.”

Mr. Nickloy squinted, as if assessing a new hire. “What do you think about Afghanistan?” he asked. “Should we be there more?”

“Yeah,” Mr. Finan said. “Definitely.”

The conversation continued, turning from war to sports. Mr. Carter and Mr. Finan walked away unsure of whether they had won Mr. Nickloy over. But they said they trusted the message would slowly sink in. “It’s like a foot patrol,” Mr. Carter said. “It’s hearts and minds.

I’ll leave you with that.

event as catalyst

This post is meant to unearth the theoretical kernel at the base of my last post.

I do not believe an event can be an event for an event’s sake. This has two meanings.

The first is that the production of an event necessarily activates relationships between different constituencies and changes, builds or destroys these relationships. This shows that the event is not just the product of these relationships, but the embodiment.

This implicates the unity of means and ends. The second meaning is that one must not ignore this fact when organizing and must not allow the event itself to be the sole focus of pre-planning or post-analysis.

Often we as organizers are preoccupied with the success or failure of a given event. Was the goal reached? Too often this comes down to numbers, how many people showed up?, how many of each type?, anyone new?, how much news coverage? When we frame a discussion of an event like this we give weight to raw, quantitative data.

Instead when we approach the event as a catalyst, a point of action is also a point of departure, creating in the process of becoming, ways of being and ways of acting on the world. When we speak of success it is important to ask whether those ways of being and acting were positive and helped to bring in a new, just world in some way.