Thursday, February 26, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Should post a little larger.
There's now a growing plethora of street art in the always active Northside neighborhood of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Down the street from this is a big, gruesome and yellow FREE MADOFF with a picture of Bernie smiling from behind bars.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
MB: No, I don't, because I think Palestinians can easily be unified if Israel removed its objection to the formation of a national unity government in Palestine. We managed - I was the main mediator of the construction of the first national unity government; we had a very good government that represented 96% of the Palestinian spectrum. We had a government that had a rather flexible political program. We were promised by many world leaders, including some American leaders, that that government would be recognized, and then it was Israel that launched a campaign to undermine that national unity government and its impact. So, we had the best democratic elections in the whole Arab world. We had the model of democracy, and it was thwarted by Israel, when Israel arrested one-third of the members of our legislature, who are still in Israeli jails.
So, the key to peace is that Israel accept our right, like their right, to democratically and openly and freely choose our leaders. If they recognize our right of freely choosing our leaders, like the people of Ireland chose their leaders, like the people of South Africa had the right to choose their leaders, like Senator Feinstein said, in the inauguration of President Obama, when she introduced him, and she said that very important sentence. She said: the root of democracy is the right of the people to freely choose their leaders.
If that is applied to Palestine, you can have a unified leadership tomorrow. But Israel has to accept our right of choosing our leaders. What Israel is doing is transforming the area into an apartheid system; they want, not Palestinian real leadership, they want cantons and something like a Vichy government, something like a security agency occupation. They want to choose for us who should be our leaders, and who should negotiate on our behalf, and of course the outcome would be a very weak leadership, and then they will say, we have a weak leadership that we cannot negotiate with.
The basic problem is, Israel up to this moment does not want to negotiate because Israel does not want to share the land, and does not want to accept our right as human beings, as equal human beings who are entitled to freedom and dignity, like Jewish Israelis have.
GG: A couple more questions, and just a couple, I know our time is a little bit limited. When you were running for the presidency of the Palestinian Authority in 2005, you were subjected to all sorts of extraordinary restrictions regarding your ability to speak to the Palestinian people, even your mobility within Palestinian land.
Could you talk about some of the restrictions that were imposed upon you even as you were running for president of the Palestinian Authority?
MB: During the period of six, seven weeks, I was subjected to several attacks from the Israeli side. I was basically arrested or attacked eight times, in seven weeks. At one point I was stopped at a checkpoint with my people and I was beaten by the Israeli soldiers. I was arrested three times inside Jerusalem because each time, even when I had a permit to go to Jerusalem, and meet with President Carter there, they, after the meeting, they arrested me and practically kidnapped me for a few hours.
GG: And Jerusalem was where you were born, right?
MB: I was in East Jerusalem, exactly. I worked in East Jerusalem as a medical doctor for 14 years in the major hospital there, and still they prevent me from reaching the people in Jerusalem and they arrested me.
Friday, February 06, 2009
Paul Kelleher: Yes, I'm calling to inform you that my mom died on the 24th of January.
Bank of America Estates representative: I'm sorry. Oh, it looks like she never even missed a payment. That's too bad. Well, how are you planning to take care of her balance?
PK: I'm not going to. She has no estate to speak of, but you should feel free to just go through the standard probate procedure. I'm certainly not legally obligated to pay for her.
BOA: You mean you're not going to help her out?
PK: I wouldn't be helping her out -- she's dead. I'd be helping you out.
BOA: Oh, that's really not the way to look at it. I know that if it were my mother, I'd pay it. That's why we're in the banking crisis we're in: banks having to write off defaulted loans.
The former rep, who worked until quite recently at [Bank of America]'s Belfast, Maine-based collections unit, described for TPMmuckraker a system in which staffers responsible for making collections were routinely encouraged to mislead customers or those calling on their behalf, and were financially incentivized to do all they could to get payments.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
For over a year the one point that I and others have been trying make is that the polite fiction that masters of the universe of Wall Street and their defenders in the media and Congress have been trying maintain, that this is liquidity crisis not an insolvency crisis, is utter horseshit. They made bad leveraged bets and lost immense amounts of money, and now they, and their buddies Geithner and Summers, want taxpayers to bail them out so they can go on living their opulent life styles while some of my neighbors wonder if their next food stamp card is going to show up.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Check it out:
Our NYC debut is coming up. This is our first run as a full-on rock band, this ain't no acoustic jamboree. Be there when we bring it down:
w/ The Accomplice Theory & Dirty Dirty
Sunday Feb 22nd 4pm-8pm
All Ages, Cake Shop, $10
152 Ludlow St, NYC
Between Stanton & Rivington
A little background:
BEN FRANKLIN is the new band that I've started with Eddie Garza of OAOTS and Imperialists fame. Eddie rocks so hard that there's a documentary coming out soon about how hard he rocked back in LA (see the Kiss or Kill trailer). I suspect his stage energy is actually derived from his mighty mexi-fro, which surely acts as an antenna for catching atmospheric radiation and solar winds.
We have a special guest-performer, drummer Sarah Tomek, who was awarded best drummer at the 12th and 14th annual Asbury Music Awards. I haven't had the pleasure of playing with Sarah for years because she's quite possibly one of the best drummers you'll ever have the chance to see and that sort of talent keeps you busy with paying gigs.
We are so going to bring down the house. I do hope you can make it, we're gonna make it special for you.
I'm NOT crazy about the idea of the stimulus package, not convinced it will work, but I know what WON'T work: letting the idiots who got us into this mess railroad your only working idea into something that amounts to a worthless waste of money and tax cuts for rich people.
So if you're going to save the economy by spending a ton of money, that fucking do it, and get on the goddamn TEEVEE and tell Kit Bond and all those other failures and losers with no ideas to shut the fuck up.
Sell it to the public, sell it to me, stop letting these people who've received a vote of no confidence from the entire country dictate the terms of discourse. Or you will lose. And we will lose. We will lose a lot of jobs AAAAAND a lot of money. Wouldn't that be fun? And at that point you can't really blame it on the damn GOP, only your lilli selves. So get to it, jerks!