Monday, April 30, 2007

Democratic debate is online

For those who missed it, the democratic debate is still online here.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Featured unregistered voter: Heather

Heather was in our Voter Registratoin Ads at VH1 in 2004. She wasn't registered at the time I met her. I followed up with her to see what has happened since:

On the 2004 Election:
By the time that the ad taped I had registered and actually what happened was weird.

I registered to vote at Sephora, and then when I went to the polls they didn’t have my name on the list - so they said there was a form I could fill out. I actually got a form a couple weeks later –but they said “your vote didn’t count”, which I thought was ironic. The registration hadn’t gone through or something. I voted for Kerry , and Kerry won in New York – so it didn’t really matter.

So I guess that’s it.

On registering now:
After that – I didn’t get around to it. It wasn’t a presidential election.

I’m going to be an English teacher, so I care about politics, but I kind of just forgot about it. I'm from Connecticut and there was a lot going on last summer with Ned Lamont and Lieberman. I just had whatever going on at school, and it sort of slipped my mind. I’d like to be involved in local elections, but with school and working I sort of forget about that - and not being a native New Yorker, I don’t feel attached – I don’t know all the local politics in Brooklyn , who the councilmen are...

I understand why people feel their votes don’t count. Going into education – I notice how little funding education gets – in Bushwick when I was teaching we didn’t have enough books, the facility felt like a prison... There’s schools on Long Island that have thousands more dollars per student – it’s really sad and it feels like it’s not a concern that gets seriously addressed by politicians. They give it lip service – like "No Child Left Behind" but it’s not genuinely doing anything to help the students.

It’s ironic that Bush doesn’t want to set deadlines for Iraq but he’s set this deadline for 2014 when the achievement gap between whites and minorities, and poor and rich students is supposed to be closed. Kids in poor schools don’t have the money to prepare. It becomes about studying to take the test rather than learning the subject matter.

Is she regisered to vote now?
No – I’m going to register as soon as I move back to Connecticut.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

DC voting rights clears a hurdle

The House voted on thursday to give DC voting rights along with a new representative from Repulican-leaning Utah. Challenges ahead: A dubious reception in the Senate, a threatened presidential veto, and claims that the law is unconstitutional because the district is not a state:

"Opponents of the legislation pointed to Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, which says members of the House should be chosen 'by the people of the several states.' "

Why does Eleanor Holmes Norton wanna vote anyway? Everyone knows voting is for sissies, and she's no sissy. Did you see her on Stephen Colbert when he told her he didn't know if he was white? She assured him that he was white.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Responsibility of the Media

Received this letter as a forward from a friend. Working in TV and film I try not to land on projects that are violent, or exploit violence, but it's difficult because so much of production includes or relies on violent themes from the news to features and shows. I wish that more people would express this point of view to media execs - or vote with their remotes and their feet away from violent programming.

From: David Markle
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2007 11:20 PM
Subject: Regarding your recent decisions

Dear Mr. Williams:

I feel that full disclosure of my emotional involvement in this matter is warranted before I discuss my problems with your recent actions.

My name is David Markle, and I am a Virginia Tech Class of 1998 graduate in Computer Engineering. Both my brother and my sister are also Tech graduates. One of my brother’s professors and my sister’s sorority sister were both murdered this week. I and a great many of my friends had classes in Norris Hall, so this all hits quite close to home for me. This being said, I hope you will not take my comments as a purely emotional response to last night’s broadcast.

I am going to try to explain to you why I, as well as many others, find your recent airings and web postings of the murderer’s publicity materials so upsetting.

The murderer sent you his package for the express purpose of you broadcasting it. With your broadcast and web postings, you dutifully fulfilled his wishes. You have sent a message to current and future psychotic individuals that the way to get their message to the world is to cause as much mayhem as possible, and that this behavior will be rewarded with your compliance with their wishes. Your action, more than anything else I have seen after this tragedy, greatly increases the danger of an act like this recurring. You need look no further than the contents of the messages you received to know this – the killer’s references to the Colorado murders of a few years ago validates the idea that extreme attention paid to murderers will inspire other unstable individuals to commit similar acts.

In your “vlog”, you mentioned how conflicted you were, and how newsworthy these materials were before you published them for the world to see. Let me ask you this question: wouldn’t it be newsworthy if, on June 5, 1944, NBC news learned that the Allies were to land at Normandy instead of Calais? You and I both know that although the answer to that question is “yes”, your duty as Americans would have prevented you from disclosing that information. Your duty as a human being and as an American is no less clear in this matter.

No doubt some may compare your actions to those of the Washington Post in 1995 when they printed the manifesto of the Unabomber. In that case, the Post did so with the consultation of law enforcement, and as we all know, it led to Ted Kaczynski’s subsequent arrest. Your actions were conducted unilaterally, and after any good could have possibly come from them.

The news media in the 20th and 21st centuries has become a very powerful instrument in affecting change in the world. Terrorist ideologies are spread by it and sometimes wars are started using it. We don’t need you to add incitement of the criminally insane to the list. But please don’t apologize to me, to the families of the murdered, or to the wounded. Save your apologies for the victims that are yet to come.


David Markle


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Featured non-voter: Porsche


On Why I Don't Vote:
I don't believe that we live in a democracy. I think that everyone has to believe in something, so some people buy into the belief that we live in a democracy. Everything around you is pointing to the fact that we don't have very many choices. The electoral college is a scam. It's all designed to make people feel imporant, and I think they've done a great job at fooling the American people.

On the Imus "Nappy Ho" Controversy:
I think that everyone is overlooking the point that Imus thought he said something cool - like trendy. He knew it meant something bad, but I don't think he gets it. I don't think that his intent was as horrible as we believe it to be. But at the end of the day you are responsible for your words and your actions. And although he can be forgiven, he's been punished - rightfully so. Just stop tryin to be cool and be yourself Imus... bein cool didn't pay off.

On 9/11:
I think that they shot that last plane down in Pennsylvania and why everybody overlooked it, I don't know. Maybe because you can't handle the truth. (I'm crackin myself up...)

On The Media:
The news is written. First of all - how do you write the news? I stopped watching because Jay-Z telling people to stop wearing throwbacks and to start wearing button-downs is not news.

On Chocolate Cake:
Everyone needs something to believe in - I believe in chocolate cake.