Seth Godin: How media changes politics


If you want to get elected in the US, you need media.

When TV was king, the secret to media was money. If you have money, you can reach the masses. The best way to get money is to make powerful interests happy, so they’ll give you money you can use to reach the masses and get re-elected.

Now, though…When attention is scarce and there are many choices, media costs something other than money. It costs interesting. If you are angry or remarkable or an outlier, you’re interesting, and your idea can spread. People who are dull and merely aligned with powerful interests have a harder time earning attention, because money isn’t sufficient.

Thus, as media moves from TV-driven to attention-driven, we’re going to see more outliers, more renegades and more angry people driving agendas and getting elected. I figure this will continue until other voices earn enough permission from the electorate to coordinate getting out the vote, communicating through private channels like email [and listservs] and creating tribes of people to spread the word… Mass media is dying, and it appears that mass politicians are endangered as well.


Nicholas Wilson: Mudslinging in Mendo

[This is a pure and simple choice between supporting a candidate, Wendy Roberts, who believes that the way out, locally, of our world-wide economic disaster is more of the same trickle-down philosophy that got us into it: develop our coast and exploit/export our resources for the rich and privileged to live here and visit here so we can grovel at their feet for small pieces of their growing largess — ho hum been there done that; versus supporting Dan Hamburg who understands that the required transition to a long-term, sustainable economy means we first work together husbanding and developing our local resources for those who live here: local food, local energy, locally-owned businesses. Only after that has been secured can we consider carefully our trade and economic relationships with our surrounding communities. The tactics and support team used by candidates reveal their character and ambitions… and our future. Vote for Dan! ~DS]

Little River, 5th District

Open Letter to the Editor, Press Democrat

Friday’s “Mudslinging in Mendocino” [see below] said: “After avoiding confrontation for months, candidate Wendy Roberts has aimed both barrels at her opponent, Dan Hamburg….”

But it’s outrageously false that Roberts just started attacking Hamburg. Hers is the dirtiest campaign I’ve seen in 40 years here, no surprise since her political consultant’s website says the owner was regional director of the Republican National Committee. Strange choice for one calling herself a liberal environmentalist.

It appears Karl Rove is running Roberts’ campaign.

Ralph Nader: Road to Corporate Serfdom

Common Dreams

It was Bill Clinton’s campaign strategist, James Carville, who in 1992 created the election slogan: “It’s the Economy, Stupid.” For the 2010 Congressional campaigns, the slogan should have been: “It’s Corporate Crime and Control, Stupid.”

But notwithstanding the latest corporate crime wave, the devastating fallout on workers, investors and taxpayers from the greed and corruption of Wall Street, and the abandonment of American workers by U.S. corporations in favor of repressive regimes abroad, the Democrats have failed to focus voter anger on the corporate supremacists.

The giant corporate control of our country is so vast that people who call themselves anything politically—liberal, conservative, progressive, libertarian, independents or anarchist—should be banding together against the reckless Big Business steamroller.

Conservatives need to remember the sharply critical cautions against misbehaving or over-reaching businesses and commercialism by Adam Smith, Frederic Bastiat, Friedrich Hayek and other famous conservative intellectuals. All knew that the commercial instinct and drive know few boundaries to the relentless stomping or destruction of the basic civic values for any civilized society.

When eighty percent of the Americans polled believe ‘America is in decline,’ they are reflecting in part the decline of real household income and the shattered bargaining power of American workers up against global companies.

It’s Morning In Griftopia: A Q+A With Author Matt Taibbi

From GQ

In his new book about “the long con that is breaking America,” the Rolling Stone reporter chronicles the bizarre sight of a nation about to reward—lavishly—the very same Wall Street titans, DC politicians, and shady power brokers who brought us low

Matt Taibbi, the profane, provocative reporter for Rolling Stone, is a larger-than-life figure in modern political journalism. That’s both literally true (he’s a big guy: he once played for the MBA—that’s the Mongolian Basketball Association) and figuratively true: he writes in a scorching, contemptuous style that gives the best of his work a cast of fire-breathing grandeur.

Known primarily for blaspheming the Pope, labeling Goldman Sachs a “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity”, and more recently, slinging a mug of hot coffee in the face of a Vanity Fair reporter, Taibbi is clearly a man of outsized emotions.

His new book Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con that Is Breaking America [Spiegel & Grau] is a stinging new history of the financial crisis that heralds a return of Mencken-esque, dirt-under-the-fingernails American journalism. Griftopia delves into the shadowy world of collateralized debt obligations, credit default swaps and sovereign wealth funds, but he navigates the turgid money stuff with soaring sentences like “Greenspan’s rise is…a tale of a gerbilish mirror-gazer who flattered and bullshitted his way up the Matterhorn of American power, and then, once he got to the top, feverishly jacked himself off to the attentions of Wall Street for twenty consecutive years.” No one is spared…

Article here

Hey Wendy: Two problems with whining…

“The first is that it doesn’t work. You can whine about [your political opponent or] the government  or your friends or your job or your family, but nothing will happen except that you’ll waste time [and money].

Worse… far worse… is that whining is a reverse placebo. When you get good at whining, you start noticing evidence that makes your whining more true. So you amplify that and immerse yourself in it, thus creating more evidence, more stuff worth complaining about…” ~Seth Godin, business guru

Antonio Andrade: Why vote yes on Measure C?


Consider these points:

First, did you know that 45% percent of Counties (and numerous cities) charge anywhere between 8.375% and 9.75% in sales tax? Last weekend my wife and I went to a wedding in San Francisco. We spent a night close to the city, ate locally, and shopped at the Giants Dugout store (Go Giants!). All these purchase were subject to 9.5% sales tax, a tax that essentially subsidizes that County’s services.

However, when San Francisco residents visit our County to recreate,, enjoy our scenery, attend passport weekend, the Mendocino Music Festival, etc. and buy our local products, they use our roads and services, yet pay only 8.25% in sales taxes supporting our County services Let’s strive for parity with other counties and stop subsidizing non-residential usage.

Second, we spend an inordinate amount of our County dollars on law and environmental degradation enforcement, social services, and health issues addressing marijuana- related impacts. Yet those who grow and sell weed and associated value-added products pay tax on an insignificant portion of their revenues. It is absolutely essential that underground marijuana merchants pay towards these impacts. One of the few current ways to capture tax dollars from these folks is through sales taxes paid when their proceeds are spent within Mendocino County. Sales tax is regressive, but there are free-market and government-related options we can explore to lessen that impact on lower income folks.

Finally, there is the ‘politics of no’ engaged in and paid for by Measure C opponents.

Quack: Quadruple-dose seasonal flu “super” vaccine now being aggressively pushed onto senior citizens

Natural News
(article with links and footnotes here)

[See also: Pancreatic cancer takes 20 years to grow into detectable tumors – here’s how to halt it.]

The vaccine industry has now decided that injecting senior citizens with the “standard” vaccine dose just isn’t working. (Gee, really?) So now they’ve decided the way to make it work better is to offer a quadruple viral potency vaccine that packs 400% more viral fragments into one toxic shot.

The target for this quadruple vaccine injection? Senior citizens, of course — the very people most likely to suffer the most serious side effects from a vaccine overdose. The FDA reportedly approved the new vaccine in April even though no scientific tests have ever been done to show it reduces flu symptoms. Then again, since when did vaccines have anything to do with real science in the first place?

Why do people need a quadruple vaccine all of a sudden?
What’s especially entertaining about all this is that the FDA’s approval of this quadruple potency vaccine is a blatant admission that single-dose vaccines just don’t work! Obviously, if the single-dose vaccine was working as advertised, then it would be 100% effective and there would be no need for a double, triple or quadruple-dose vaccine. But all of a $udden, now that the quadruple-dose vaccine is available, the regular single-dose vaccine “isn’t good enough.”

So all that propaganda about “get a flu shot and you won’t get the flu” just turns out to be marketing quackery,

Energy developer GreenWave pleads with FERC for second chance


The Southern California partnership that wants to develop the waters off Mendocino for wave energy is asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a second chance.

On Sept. 23, FERC revoked GreenWave Energy Solution’s exclusive right to study ocean waters from Point Cabrillo to Little River. FERC yanked the permits for the Mendocino project and a similar one in San Luis Obispo, citing a pattern of late filings and incomplete, non-specific information.

Now, Bill Bustamante, GreenWave vice president, is asking for a rehearing to appeal the revocation of the preliminary permits.

“We must apologize for the seeming lack of specificity in the previous required reports. As you are aware, projects such as the GreenWave projects are front loaded with a great deal of work gaining acceptance and support from the myriad of stakeholders involved in the development process. GreenWave has been working with the stakeholders and is aware of their concerns and potential role in the development process,” Bustamante wrote to FERC.

However, GreenWave has also not followed through on announced plans to hold meetings on the Mendocino Coast, nor has it met with local governments.

“The current economic and political situation has made it very difficult to reach agreements which can produce reportable agreement results,” Bustamante wrote.

In a follow up interview, Bustamante said GreenWave kept running into scheduling difficulties. He hopes to make a trip up next month to meet with local officials.

If GreenWave’s relatively large proposal became reality, it would produce the most energy of California’s wave energy proposals. While all the wave energy projects exist on paper, so far GreenWave has shown the least local groundwork for the biggest project… Article here

Todd Walton: Disappointment


Whilst discussing my hopes and expectations for the San Francisco Giants with Mark Scaramella, he suggested I try my hand at writing about disappointment. I just hope my attempt doesn’t disappoint him.

“Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy — the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope and expectation.” Eric Hoffer

What is disappointment? The New Shorter Oxford Dictionary defines disappointment as: dejection or distress caused by the non-fulfillment of desire or expectation. Substitute the word suffering for distress and we land smack dab at the outset of Buddhist philosophy. The First Noble Truth (and I have yet to read a satisfactory explanation of why the Four Noble Truths are noble rather than big or unavoidable or groovy) is that life is suffering. I recently read an article in a Buddhist magazine suggesting that suffering might not be the most accurate translation of the Sanskrit word Buddha purportedly used. The article suggested that annoying might be a more accurate translation. And in some texts the First Noble Truth is stated as: Life is full of suffering (though not necessarily completely full, which would allow for the occasional pizza, chocolate bar, or delightful flirtation).

But seriously folks, the Second Noble Truth states that the cause (or origin) of suffering is attachment. If we can learn not to be attached to things and people and baseball teams winning the World Series, or even just to being alive, then our suffering will lessen and might even disappear entirely.