Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Choosing Healthy Foods Now Called a Mental Disorder

This is fucking insane...(Oh, no, sorry, i'm the one.)
In its never-ending attempt to fabricate "mental disorders" out of every human activity, the psychiatric industry is now pushing the most ridiculous disease they've invented yet: Healthy eating disorder.

This is no joke: If you focus on eating healthy foods, you're "mentally diseased" and probably need some sort of chemical treatment involving powerful psychotropic drugs. The Guardian newspaper reports, "Fixation with healthy eating
can be sign of serious psychological disorder" and goes on to claim this "disease" is called orthorexia nervosa -- which is basically just Latin for "nervous about correct eating."

But they can't just called it "nervous healthy eating disorder" because that doesn't sound like they know what they're talking about. So they translate it into Latin where it sounds smart (even though it isn't). That's where most disease names come from: Doctors just describe the symptoms
they see with a name like osteoporosis (which means "bones with holes in them").

Getting back to this fabricated "orthorexia" disease, the Guardian goes on to report, "Orthorexics commonly have rigid rules around eating. Refusing to touch sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol, wheat, gluten, yeast, soya, corn and dairy foods is just the start of their diet restrictions. Any foods that have come into contact with pesticides, herbicides or contain artificial additives are also out."

Wait a second. So attempting to avoid chemicals, dairy, soy and sugar now makes you a mental health patient? Yep. According to these experts. If you actually take special care to avoid pesticides, herbicides and genetically modified ingredients like soy and sugar, there's something wrong with you.

But did you notice that eating junk food is assumed to be "normal?" If you eat processed junk foods laced with synthetic chemicals, that's okay with them. The mental patients are the ones who choose organic, natural foods, apparently.

What is "normal" when it comes to foods?

I told you this was coming. Years ago, I warned NaturalNews readers that an attempt might soon be under way to outlaw broccoli because of its anti-cancer phytonutrients. This mental health assault on health-conscious consumers is part of that agenda. It's an effort to marginalize healthy eaters by declaring them to be mentally unstable and therefore justify carting them off to mental institutions where they will be injected with psychiatric drugs and fed institutional food that's all processed, dead and full of toxic chemicals.

The Guardian even goes to the ridiculous extreme of saying, "The obsession about which foods are "good" and which are "bad" means orthorexics can end up malnourished."

Follow the non-logic on this, if you can: Eating "good" foods will cause malnutrition! Eating bad foods, I suppose, is assumed to provide all the nutrients you need. That's about as crazy a statement on nutrition as I've ever read. No wonder people are so diseased today: The mainstream media is telling them that eating health food is a mental disorder that will cause malnutrition!

Shut up and swallow your Soylent Green

It's just like I reported years ago: You're not supposed to question your food, folks. Sit down, shut up, dig in and chow down. Stop thinking about what you're eating and just do what you're told by the mainstream media and its processed food advertisers. Questioning the health properties of your junk food is a mental disorder, didn't you know? And if you "obsess" over foods (by doing such things as reading the ingredients labels, for example), then you're weird. Maybe even sick.

That's the message they're broadcasting now. Junk food eaters are "normal" and "sane" and "nourished." But health food eaters are diseased, abnormal and malnourished.

But why, you ask, would they attack healthy eaters? People like Dr. Gabriel Cousens can tell you why: Because increased mental and spiritual awareness is only possible while on a diet of living, natural foods.

Eating junk foods keeps you dumbed down and easy to control, you see. It literally messes with your mind, numbing your senses with MSG, aspartame and yeast extract. People who subsist on junk foods are docile and quickly lose the ability to think for themselves. They go along with whatever they're told by the TV or those in apparent positions of authority, never questioning their actions or what's really happening in the world around them.

In contrast to that, people who eat health-enhancing natural foods -- with all the medicinal nutrients still intact -- begin to awaken their minds and spirits. Over time, they begin to question the reality around them and they pursue more enlightened explorations of topics like community, nature, ethics, philosophy and the big picture of things that are happening in the world. They become "aware" and can start to see the very fabric of the Matrix, so to speak.

This, of course, is a huge danger to those who run our consumption-based society because consumption depends on ignorance combined with suggestibility. For people to keep blindly buying foods, medicines, health insurance and consumer goods, they need to have their higher brain functions switched off. Processed junk foods laced with toxic chemicals just happens to achieve that rather nicely. Why do you think dead, processed foods remain the default meals in public schools, hospitals and prisons? It's because dead foods turn off higher levels of awareness and keep people focused on whatever distractions you can feed their brains: Television, violence, fear, sports, sex and so on.

But living as a zombie is, in one way quite "normal" in society today because so many people are doing it. But that doesn't make it normal in my book: The real "normal" is an empowered, healthy, awakened person nourished with living foods and operating as a sovereign citizen in a free world. Eating living foods is like taking the red pill because over time it opens up a whole new perspective on the fabric of reality. It sets you free to think for yourself.

But eating processed junk foods is like taking the blue pill because it keeps you trapped in a fabricated reality where your life experiences are fabricated by consumer product companies who hijack your senses with designer chemicals (like MSG) that fool your brain into thinking you're eating real food.

If you want to be alive, aware and in control of your own life, eat more healthy living foods. But don't expect to be popular with mainstream mental health "experts" or dieticians -- they're all being programmed to consider you to be "crazy" because you don't follow their mainstream diets of dead foods laced with synthetic chemicals.

But you and I know the truth here: We are the normal ones. The junk food eaters are the real mental patients, and the only way to wake them up to the real world is to start feeding them living foods.

Some people are ready to take the red pill, and others aren't. All you can do is show them the door. They must open it themselves.

In the mean time, try to avoid the mental health agents who are trying to label you as having a mental disorder just because you pay attention to what you put in your body. There's nothing wrong with avoiding sugar, soy, MSG, aspartame, HFCS and other toxic chemicals in the food supply. In fact, your very life depends on it.

Oh, and by the way, if you want to join the health experts who keep inventing new fictitious diseases and disorders, check out my popular Disease Mongering Engine web page where you can invent your own new diseases at the click of a button! You'll find it at: Natural News - Disease Mongering Engine

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Repuglicans: 61 monster paintings
by Pete Von Sholly

from BoingBoing:
The folks caricaturized in Repuglicans don't deserve to be depicted as famished ghouls, white-eyed vampires, drooling werewolfs, and rotting zombies. What I mean is, they aren't worthy of the fantastic 1960s monster-trading-card treatment bestowed upon them by veteran storyboarder Pete Von Sholly. In the same way that Mad magazine only parodied good TV shows and movies, this kind of honor should be reserved for good people.
In any case, it's still a treat to pore over the hilariously doctored images of Roger Ailes, Glenn Beck, Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and 55 other power-hungry fear-mongers. As Steve Tatham (who wrote the commentary to the book) writes in his introduction:
There are 55 million Republicans in the United States. Most of them are decent, honorable people. The Republican limited government, state's rights, traditional American values, pro-business political philosophy is a reasonable and worthwhile set of beliefs. Real Republicans and real Democrats share a common goal: they want the United States to be a better place for all its people. The Republican party has its fair share of towering intellects and inspiring heroes. None of them are described in the pages that follow.

Repuglicans on

Monday, June 28, 2010

Allen Ginsberg's photographs of the Beats

I've heard from one of my best friends in DC that this exhibit is really great, and the notes Ginsberg wrote on the images are incredible.

 Images Indelible-Allen-Ginsberg-Jack-Kerouac-Allen-Ginsberg-2

From 1953 to 1963, poet Allen Ginsberg (below) snapped thousands of candid photos of his friends, documenting the personal, intimate, and spirited lives of the writers and artists who created the major works of Beat culture. His images of Jack Kerouac (above), William S. Burroughs, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Peter Orlovsky, and others are now on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. The exhibition, titled "Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg," runs until September 16. The hardcover exhibition catalog is $32 from Amazon.

From Smithsonian:

Ginsberg started taking photographs as a young man, in the 1940s, and kept doing so through 1963, when his camera was left behind on a trip to India. The result was a kind of Beat family photo album: informal, affectionate, full of personality—and personalities. We see, among others, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Neal Cassady and Orlovsky. Ginsberg liked to say he was “fooling around” with the camera (whether behind or before it). These were pictures, he felt, “meant more for a public in heaven than one here on earth—and that’s why they’re charming...

Ginsberg resumed taking pictures, more seriously, in the early 1980s. He was inspired by the example of an old friend, the photographer Robert Frank, and a new one, the photographer Berenice Abbott...

Ginsberg began using better cameras and having his photographs printed professionally. “I had been taking pictures all along,” he told an interviewer in 1991, “but I hadn’t thought of myself as a photographer.” The most noticeable difference was a simple yet distinctive way he found to marry image and text. He began writing captions, sometimes quite lengthy, on each print. He extended the practice to earlier photographs, too. His images, Ginsberg felt, “all had a story to tell, especially the old ones,” and his captioning was a way of acknowledging that. Ginsberg’s printers had to start making his images smaller to leave room for the words he was writing beneath them—not so much captions, really, as brief excerpts from a running memoir.
"Allen Ginsberg's Beat Family Album" (Smithsonian)

Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg (Amazon)

from BoingBoing, Thanks!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

BS 2000
in case you didn't know

My boys, Amery Smith and Adam Horovitz.

These videos are years old now, but just got turned onto them and had to share.

And my other friend, the recently married Ryan Murphy directed this one (with some actual old stunt footage of Amery's pop, Valor Smith).

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Totally Dublin

I got a nice preview piece (including the cover!) in Totally Dublin Magazine that's currently out, check it out:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Photographers' bust-card screened onto a lenscloth

Very cool, I hope someone will save one for me!

The UK Amateur Photographer magazine is giving away free lenscloths silk-screened with the Photographers' Bill of Rights with its July issue. UK anti-terror legislation gave the police sweeping powers to harass photographers for shooting in public places, and to compound matters, tabloid-driven hysteria over paedophilia has seen many photographers accused to paedophilia for taking pictures of (for example) public busses and empty playgrounds. UK law enforcement heads and the new government have spoken out against the practice, but it does not seem like word has reached the copper on the street, as there are still numerous accounts of photographers being rousted for taking pictures in public.

Photographers' rights campaign spawns lens cloth launch

thanks, BoingBoing

Thursday, June 24, 2010

CD on one side, vinyl record on the other

pretty interesting format...

Techno artist Jeff Mills produced this CD/5" vinyl single for "The Occurrence." One side of the disc is a normal CD, the other side plays on a normal analogue turntable.

The Vinyl And CD Release On One Disc From Jeff Mills

Axis Records (unlinkable Flash-blobs ahoy!) (via Make). Thanks BoingBoing.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ingenious Flipper Bridge Melds Left-Side Drivers With Right-Side Drivers
How To Switch To The Other Side Of The Road Without Causing A Pile

from Fast Company
Hong Kong drives on the left side of the road, mainland China on the right. So how do you prevent crashes when driving between them?

One of the most vexing aspects of traveling between mainland China and Hong Kong is the car travel: People in the former drive on the right side of the road; people in the latter drive on the left (a vestige of the British empire).

So to quell confusion at the border and, more importantly, to keep cars from smashing into each other, the Dutch firm NL Architects proposed a brilliant, simple solution, the Flipper bridge.

The bridge does exactly what the name suggests: It flips traffic around. The key here is separating the two sides of traffic, using a figure-eight shape. One side of the road dips under the other, funneling cars that were traveling on the left to the right (and vice versa), without forcing them to encounter head-on traffic at an intersection. The bridge makes what should be a disorienting switch exquisitely easy. Check out PixelActive's 3D model of the traffic flow below:

Say, for instance, you're coming from Zhuhai. As you cross the bridge on the right into Hong Kong, the highway slopes downward to let you pass under the oncoming traffic. As it slopes back up, you reemerge on the left. No cars barreling straight at you. No concrete labyrinth to maneuver through. No sweat (and, ostensibly, no blood).

The bridge is part of a master plan NL Architects floated for an ideas competition on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, a complex of bridges and tunnels connecting the west side of Hong Kong to mainland China and Macau. (As clever as their idea was, NL Architects, alas, didn't prevail; first prize in the professional category went to a proposal called "Under One Roof" that unctuously billed itself as "China, Macau and Hong Kong as one big family," all but ensuring a win.)

In some ways, though, perhaps the Flipper bridge may be too good of an idea. One of the great paradoxes of driving, as Tom Vanderbilt highlights in his terrific book Traffic, is that dangerous roads are actually safer precisely because they're perceived as dangerous; that is, they make drivers more vigilant and therefore less likely to get into a collision. (Which explains the seemingly inexplicable appeal of European roundabouts.)

In 1967, Sweden switched over to right-side driving, after years on the left, and everyone steeled themselves for a spike in accidents. Instead, incidents plummeted. Facing apparent peril, people became more cautious behind the wheel (and others probably stayed off the road altogether).

Sure, the Flipper bridge seems like a fail-safe idea. But what if a driver, lulled by the easy left-right transition, forgot that the change over had even been made? You can bet a horrifying accident would result. Sometimes, a little danger is a good thing.

Thanks, Presurfer

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Carrot rainbow

from BoingBoing:
As PNH reminds us, "The reason modern Western carrots are orange is because they were bred that way, in the 16th and 17th centuries, in tribute to the Dutch royal House of Orange."

Carrots of Many Colors (Thanks, @bopuc)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Creationism In The Classroom...
plus a music video about the 'Mark of the Beast'!

from DangerousMinds:

A “science” class in Dayton, Tennessee, from the BBC1 documentary Science Friction: Creation from 1996. These kids have been skull-fucked by superstition and generational ignorance. Fourteen years later and I wonder what some of these kids are doing now: if they ever escaped fundamentalist dogma or if they’re running for Congress as a Tea party candidate… Stick with this for the last line, it’s a classic.

I saw the above clip at Religious Douchebags, a great site that Christian Nightmares introduced to me. And check out this stupidly paranoiac and tres cheesy ‘80s ditty called Cathy Don’t Go that was posted on Christian Nightmares. Don’t go where, you ask? Listen to the song and find out!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What Is Eaten In One Week Around The World

I first saw these photos early in 2008. They are from a book called "Hungry Planet" by Pete Menzel. You can find out more about his photo essays on his website and through this article from NPR's Michele Norris.

Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07

United States: The Revis family of North Carolina
Food expenditure for one week $341.98

Italy: The Manzo family of Sicily
Food expenditure for one week: 214.36 Euros or $260.11

Mexico : The Casales family of Cuernavaca
Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09

Poland : The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorna
Food expenditure for one week: 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27

Egypt : The Ahmed family of Cairo
Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53

cuador : The Ayme family of Tingo
Food expenditure for one week: $31.55

Bhutan : The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village
Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03

Chad : The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A helpful reminder for modern life

from BoingBoing:

"This public service announcement brought to you by the hardwood floor sander... But I feel the sentiment has a wide range of applications."

Friday, June 18, 2010

Obama’s Address to the Nation: A Missed Opportunity to Tell It Like It Is

Once again, from Robert Reich in his June 16th blog
The man who electrified the nation with his speech at the Democratic National Convention of 2004 put it to sleep tonight. President Obama’s address to the nation from the Oval Office was, to be frank, vapid. If you watched with the sound off you might have thought he was giving a lecture on the history of the Interstate Highway System. He didn’t have to be angry but he had at least to show passion and conviction. It is, after all, the worst environmental crisis in the history of the nation.

With the sound on, his words hung in the air with all the force of a fundraiser for your local public access TV station. Everything seemed to be in the passive tense. He had authorized deepwater drilling because he “was assured” it was safe. But who assured him? How does he feel about being so brazenly misled? He said he wanted to “understand” why that was mistaken. Understand? He’s the President of the United States and it was a major decision. Isn’t he determined to find out how his advisors could have been so terribly wrong?

Tomorrow he’s “informing” the president of BP of BP’s financial obligations. “Informing” is what you do when you phone the newspaper to tell them it wasn’t delivered today. Why not “directing” or “ordering?”

The President distinguished what has happened in the Gulf of Mexico from a tornado or hurricane because they are over quickly while the leak is an ongoing crisis, lasting many weeks and perhaps months more. He likened it to an “epidemic.” But the real difference has nothing to do with time. Tornadoes and hurricanes are natural disasters. Epidemics occur because germs mutate and spread. The spill occurred because of the recklessness and ruthlessness of a giant oil company in pursuit of profit.

And what has the nation learned from all this? The same lesson we’ve known for decades, according to the President. We must end our dependence on oil. But if we’ve known this for decades, why haven’t we done anything about it? The President endorsed the cap-and-trade bill that emerged from the House (without calling it cap-and-trade) but didn’t call for the only thing that may actually work: a tax on carbon.

I’m a fan of Barack Obama. I campaigned for him and I believe in him. I think he has a first-class temperament. I have been deeply moved and startled by his ability to speak about the nation’s most intractable problems. But he failed tonight to rise to the occasion. Is it because he’s not getting good advice, or because he’s psychologically incapable of expressing the moral outrage the nation feels?

Or is it something deeper?

Whether it’s Wall Street or health insurers or oil companies, we are approaching a turning point as a nation. The top executives of powerful corporations are pursuing profits in ways that menace the nation. We have not seen the likes since the late nineteenth century when the “robber barons” of finance, oil, railroads and steel ran roughshod over America. Now, as then, they are using their wealth and influence to buy off legislators and intimidate the regions that depend on them for jobs. Now, as then, they are threatening the safety and security of our people.

This is not to impugn the integrity of all business leaders or to suggest that private enterprise is inherently evil or dangerous. It is merely to state a fact that more and more Americans are beginning to know in their bones.

I’m sure our president knows it too. He must tell is like it is — not with rancor but with the passion and conviction of a leader who recognizes what is happening and rallies the nation behind him.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Taken By Storm - A documentary

A re-aqainted friend, whom i had not seen in close to 30 years, I met at a Jem Cohen screening last fall. It was a friend who I was in 9th and 10th grade classes with, most notably art, where we collaborated on a painting of one of my Tony Alva photos that was published in SkateBoarder magazine probably in 77 or so, (the painting by the way is now owned by Cynthia Conolly).

Well now Roddy and I both have very young sons that ride scooters together in the park, 3000 miles away from where we were in school together, and recently he told me about his biggest most ambitios project to date. Currently he's teaching film, and working on a documentary of the life of Storm Thorgerson and his design crew HIPGNOSIS.

He signed up to Kickstarter a few weeks ago because the film needs some financial help, I kicked down a bit and i thought i'd ask to see if any of you may be interested in helping as well. Seems like a pretty cool project. After the current "trailer" below, here's part of the blurb:

Storm Thorgerson is an artist who believes in the craft of his imagemaking, no matter at times whether these images were bombastic, surreal, impossible, hypnotic, or sublime. As HIPGNOSIS, along with partner Aubrey (Po) Powell, Thorgerson designed some of the most recognized album graphics in popular culture - Pink Floyd’s DARK SIDE OF THE MOON and HOUSES OF THE HOLY for Led Zeppelin - while relentlessly pushing the boundaries between art and commerce. Not only examining the prolific work of Thorgerson, TAKEN BY STORM will also examine his idiosyncratic techniques and visual achievements shunning computer fabrication for more ‘materialistic’ means such as constructing the various objects, scenarios, or performances in real time and space and simply photographing them. As a designer continually working with his creative philosophies and principals guiding his art in his quest to "do it for real" while the very nature of imagemaking has dissolved into the digital realm, Thorgerson has created a massive body of work that intersects movements in art, culture, and perception and TAKEN BY STORM will be a film resonating with the moment in which we live where beauty and poetic discovery are things which can still send us back in time and memory.

At the moment, the film is @95% shot (yes, that is 16mm film) and I am trying each and every avenue to raise the funds as soon as possible to get a cut of the project (which means, yes, even though I have a mac, etc. etc., I want to hire a good editor). I’ve filmed numerous interviews of Storm many at the sites where he created some of his most iconic images and gotten amazing interviews with musicians such as David Gilmour and Nick Mason from Pink Floyd, Robert Plant, Peter Gabriel, Graham Gouldman from 10cc, Alan Parsons as well as Dominic Howard from Muse, Rob Dickinson from Catherine Wheel, Noel Hogan and Fergal Lawler from The Cranberries, Cedric Bixler Zavala from The Mars Volta, and Simon Neil and James Johnston from Biffy Clyro. I’ve also interviewed artists such as Sir Peter Blake (who designed Sgt. Pepper) and Damien Hirst as well as rock photographer Jill Furmanovsky. I know it sounds a little crazy that I haven’t been able to raise the money to finish the film, but I’ve had loads and loads of interest from distributors, producers, sales agents, and the like, but no hard cash!

And so my urgent and humble plea, dear Kickstarter fan…

My Kickstarter request, if successful, could not come at a more opportune time. I have raised some private money towards the edit but need to raise the total amount of my project request to insure a cut of the film to be completed in the next several months. The money raised will be used to keep the editor on the project until a full cut is done that can be screened to potential distributors and sales agents. As things go, I hope to submit the film to next year’s festival circuit.

Storm has generously gifted me with several original artworks to help in my Kickstarter campaign as well as Atavistic Records supporting me with discounted copies of the soundtrack to my last film, I WAS BORN, BUT…, scored by indie rock musician Chris Brokaw. Chris is a co-producer on the film and recording original music again for the soundtrack and I am also getting original music from Antony Genn and Martin Slattery of The Hours who if you know their history (Pulp, Elastica, Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, Black Grape), you know they ooze Britpop.

TAKEN BY STORM will really be a film for the ‘punters’ as Storm puts it and if all goes well will be the first film of mine to get a wide release. And so for TAKEN BY STORM to be featured on Kickstarter makes sense in so many ways…that the ‘punters’ (fans to us yanks) can be part of its completion and also help in getting the word out. Any and all contributions, any and all recommendations, any and all communication, I thank you profusely in advance.


links for project:

This project will only be funded if at least $20,000 is pledged by Tuesday Jul 6, 12:00pm EDT.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

News Flash: Tens of Millions in USA Like Idea of “Socialism”

from ZSpace
By Ted Glick

"Those Who Take the Meat From the Table

Teach contentment.
Those for whom the taxes are destined
Demand sacrifice.
Those who eat their fill speak to the hungry
Of wonderful times to come.
Those who lead the country into the abyss
Call ruling too difficult
For ordinary men and women."

Bertolt Brecht

Here's some information you probably didn't read about in your newspaper or see on the evening news: according to a Pew Research Center poll released on May 4th, "29% [of U.S. Americans] say they have a positive reaction to the word 'socialism'. . . Among those younger than 30, identical percentages react positively to 'socialism' and 'capitalism' (43% each)." 37% of the total population has a "negative reaction" to "capitalism."

Whoa!!! Half of those under thirty and almost a third of all of us in the USA think "socialism" is preferable to "capitalism!" And this isn't news? You'd think our mass media was owned by corporations or something.

What does this amazing set of facts mean for the organized U.S. Left?

One thing it must NOT mean is that we look to book-based socialist, communist, Marxist and other ideologically-defined organizations doing the same kind of things they have been doing for decades. Given that none of them have come close to tapping into and making visible this massive discontent with corporate-dominated capitalism, we need to look for other ways to help this silent big minority and the much bigger "progressive" majority find its collective voice.

One thing that this political reality should mean is that we are more confident, more willing to do on-the-ground outreach to our neighbors and co-workers to talk with them about the big political, economic and social issues, or local issues, of the day. We'll find-some of us are finding-more receptivity when we do this than we might think we would, particularly if we talk to people with honesty and respect.

And it absolutely has to mean that we Step It Up as far as our coming together to forge a national, united, progressive political force. Being "progressive," by the way, is seen as a positive thing by 68% of those polled, behind "family values," 89%, "civil rights," 87%, and "civil liberties," 76%.

Fortunately, some people and groups have been doing just this, organizing toward the critically important, second United States Social Forum (USSF), happening June 22-26 in Detroit, Michigan.

The first USSF was held in Atlanta, Georgia in the summer of 2007. 12,000 or so people came together for several days of workshops, strategizing, networking, dancing and hanging out with a beautiful, multi-cultural, young and old, positive gathering of sister and brother activists from around the United States.

This month's USSF will be similar. As explained on the USSF website, "The USSF will provide space to build relationships, learn from each other's experiences, share our analysis of the problems our communities face, and bring renewed insight and inspiration. It will help develop leadership and consciousness, vision, and strategy needed to realize another world."

Steph Guilloud of Project South, one of the main organizers of the 2007 and 2010 USSF's, describes them as "a big tent for real change. People from all walks of life will join under the banner of building a more vibrant civil society from the ground up, and creating a world that will be livable for our children and grandchildren."

There will be 1,000 self-organized workshops on a wide range of subjects, as well as 50 "People's Movement Assemblies," longer sessions for more in-depth discussion and planning. A final Saturday afternoon plenary will provide a space for the results of those "assemblies" to be put forward to the conference as a whole and to identify follow-up plans and possibilities going forward.

As important as this second USSF is, it is just as important that many of us who are going to it look for every opportunity there to advance the perspective that we need an on-going, nationally-organized, independent progressive network with a USSF-type political perspective and organizing process. We need to talk seriously about how we can unite our many organizing efforts into a unified framework that is all about power to the people and defense of our threatened ecosystem.

The USSF is without question the only organized political force in the USA with the credentials, the experience, the resources and the leadership to advance such a process in a way that can yield the most results, most quickly. And things are urgent for our peoples and our world.

Ultimately, power to the people is what all of our progressive efforts have to be about. This means that we need to be about activism and organizing, and it also means that we have to relate to the electoral system.

Without question, the undemocratic, two-parties-only, corporate-dominated U.S. electoral system is a primary reason why those tens of millions of socialist-friendly people either don't vote, because they don't see a viable progressive alternative, or they swallow their disgust and vote for a lesser-evil Democrat. Think about how different this country could be if it had a genuinely democratic, multi-party electoral system. Think about progressives or socialists consistently getting vote totals that reflect what masses of people in the U.S. actually think about corporate-dominated capitalism. And think about how much stronger, more visible and more massive all of our progressive social movements would be.

It's not impossible. It's not a pipe dream. It can happen. Si, se puede, y pronto.

(For information on the U.S. Social Forum, go to

Ted Glick has been an activist and organizer since 1968. His main work is on the climate crisis. He is also a leader of the Independent Progressive Politics Network and the Green Party in northern New Jersey. More information can be found at

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What about the fucking Pier 62 Skatepark?

Oh Shit! Did i tell you i shot a few of my friends there almost two weeks ago? I shot one roll of E6 film and got it back pretty quickly, and i've yet to finish the one roll of Kodachrome I started, that I know is going to have some bad ass shots on it too. Anyway, this new park is amazing, over by the Chelsea piers sports complex, directly on the Hudson River at 23rd street, bus will take you to the gate of the skatepark practically... Well, i shot some cool stuff of old good friends Steve Olson, and Lance Mountain. check'em it out:

And here's the reverse angle photographed by Martin Fedor, of Olson and I shooting the above shot on the lip of the over vertical pocket.

Monday, June 14, 2010

the loudest thing i have ever heard anywhere.

Sunday was the classic Puerto Rican day parade. If you don't live in New York you may not know about it, but Puerto Rican pride is on display in an incredible ritual that most have come to love. Beside many folks adorning their automobiles in Puerto Rican flags, showing off the strength and volume of your car sound system is also a highlight. While walking home with my family from "House Of Vegetarian" in China Town (some 50 blocks away from the end of the actual parade), through Little Italy, we heard some really loud dance music that made us think there was a street fair or parade a block or two away, so we walked towards the direction of the music to see what was going on, it sounded like a lot of fun. As we got closer to the source it was getting so loud it was actually funny, seriously, i guess you "had to be there", but i was really enjoying the volume of the insanely obnoxious dance music, and then when I realized it was all coming from the back of a car, i was really loving it even more. To think just two guys cruising in a car could make so much noise, and entertain while simultaneously annoy so many people, put a huge smile on my face. As my wife says "You know us Puerto Ricans love to share our music"... Sharing indeed.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Eco-Filmmaker Breathes Sigh Of Relief As Big Oil Has Little Setback

from Ecorazzi

If there is any good that has emerged from the Gulf oil spill, perhaps it’s the harsh reality that our addiction to fossil fuel comes with a laundry list of environmental consequences that we are finally beginning to grasp.

We can no longer justify, turn a blind eye or reserve our energy concerns for a rainy day because with each day that passes, new eco-system casualties are being documented…and if you’ve seen any of the photos, it’s an absolutely heart-wrenching scene out there.

That’s why the latest news about documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger’s mini-success in court is so timely.

Following the release of his 2009 movie CRUDE – which documents the continuing saga of Equadorian natives who say that oil giant Chevron decimated the Amazon jungle and the health of their people during the company’s 30 year Lago Agrio oil field exploration – just last month, the deep pocketed corporation somehow managed to get a federal judge to order Berlinger to hand over more than 600 hours of leftover documentary footage.

Chevron was hoping that by combing through the documentarian’s scads of videotape, they might be able to conjure up some sort of misconduct or fraudulent evidence that could enable them to say buh-bye to the hefty $27 billion class action lawsuit that has been haunting them for well over one year.

Bear in mind that this has been a painfully drawn out case with many twists and turns, so being cautiously optimistic about team Berlinger, while nice, might be somewhat naïve.

A full hearing will occur in July, at which time “the appellate court could decide to merely narrow the scope of the subpoena” and order that Berlinger hand over the footage anyway.

Fingers crossed that at least ONE oil company gets their head served to them on a big fat bank-account-busting platter.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Eric B. and Rakim
more in the 80's classic's series

Probably my favorite MC of all time is Rakim. I never really got to know him, although i did get to be friendly with Eric B. eventually. I was just intimidated by these guys like no one else. Eric was like no one else i had ever met, he was "No Joke".

I think it's long overdue that i post as many of their great songs here for y'all to check out. It's been too long that i haven't had a good listen myself. This was hip-hop as art and technique like no one else. I loved putting this post together! (with the little re-hash at the bottom).

These first two tracks are the original versions from the 1st vinyl 12"
(Much better than the album remixes)


Eric B. is President

My Melody

I Know You Got Soul

As The Rhyme Goes On

and a few of those late 80's videos

Obviously, without question, one of the, if not the greatest hip-hop lyricists of all time, Rakim. (a.k.a. the MC of the group Eric B. & Rakim) - Another previously unpublished photo from my archive.

Friday, June 11, 2010

History Of The Electric Car

from Automoblog
As the turning world melts about us, natural disasters turn up to 11 and an estimated five thousand barrels of crude oil blast into the Gulf of Mexico each day, America’s cry for electric cars has never been louder. Electric cars aren’t new. When the internal combustion engine was in its infancy and, like an infant, was only capable of crapping out, the most reliable horseless carriages were powered by electric motors. As gas prices fell and the internal combustion engine became more reliable, electric cars were cast aside with the rest of the old timey garbage — like busted suspenders and empty jars of Dr. McSomebody’s Mystery Mustache Wax.

Take a look at the graphic below for a full history of the electric car, from the 19th Century EVs you’ve never heard of, to the future concepts you might be driving next year.

Click on the image for a full-res, readable version:

As an overview, the electric car came back in the middle of the 20th century, languishing in the hands of small companies run by patchouli idealists who honestly thought minuscule cars with cripplingly ugly body lines were the wave of the future. And the crickets chirped for many years.

At the end of the 20th century, major auto manufacturers gave the electric car a few sideways glances. Most notably, General Motors gave the electric car a half-serious test run from 1996 to 2002 with the EV1. Eight hundred cars were produced and were available through special lease programs in select U.S. cities. In 2002 the EV1 program was canceled and all road going EV1s were repossessed and either crushed or disabled. Around the same time, Toyota’s Prius began its rise to power and major manufacturers the world over were clamoring to jump on the Hybrid band wagon. A hybrid Ferrari, really?

Things are changing on the electric car scene. Technology is advancing and world governments are taking alternative transportation energy sources seriously. Ironically enough the best of the fully electric cars today is built by a small company. The Tesla Roadster has a lot in common with the Lotus Elise and its performance figures, as well as its range, are the best anyone has achieved with a fully electric vehicle thus far. But we’ve still got a long way to go, baby.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's the new shit from Trent Reznor

Believe it or not, I've always liked something about this guys music, I can't pin point it but something has always got me into his work. Never met or seen the guy, but I am a fan.

I'll never forget after Rick Rubin worked with him he told me he was probably the most talented or gifted musician he had ever met. In fact i must give credit where it's due, Rick even bought me his 1st NIN album many years ago after i insisted i had NO interest in hearing it, he insisted I must.

Ok fast forward to 2010, I just read about his newest project over there at Dangerous Minds:
I [Brad Laner] make no bones about my appreciation for Trent Reznor’s work. There is nobody, I say nobody with so large an audience that is more consistently truly experimental in a sonic sense and in visual presentation, more willing to foist micro-tonal scales and layers of clashing dissonance upon a sea of ready and willing ears. I’m really enjoying his new project with his wife [Mariqueen Maandig], named for the classic Coil record, How To Destroy Angels. Go download the spanking new EP for free, no questions asked. It’s a cool treat to hear soft female vocals in this context and I must say it reminds me more than a little bit of Curve, and yes, my old band at times. I always wished back in those days and still do that groups attempting a “shoe-gazey” type of sound would go further in this direction, away from the boring old rock band format, further into the realm of pure electronics where all sounds are truly possible. I also have to say that the cover art image hits me nicely in my fetishist of all things Los Angeles region. Below is the stunning and bloody first video from the project. Whoa ! That brilliant fucker has all bases covered. Always someone to watch.
The Space Between

I agree with Brad. Does it bring the future any closer, I think so. check it out...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Imagining Life Without Oil, and Being Ready (NYT)

from the New York Times:
As oil continued to pour into the Gulf of Mexico on a recent Saturday, Jennifer Wilkerson spent three hours on the phone talking about life after petroleum.

For Mrs. Wilkerson, 33, a moderate Democrat from Oakton, Va., who designs computer interfaces, the spill reinforced what she had been obsessing over for more than a year — that oil use was outstripping the world’s supply. She worried about what would come after: maybe food shortages, a collapse of the economy, a breakdown of civil order. Her call was part of a telephone course about how to live through it all.

In bleak times, there is a boom in doom.

Americans have long been fascinated by disaster scenarios, from the population explosion to the cold war to global warming. These days the doomers, as Mrs. Wilkerson jokingly calls herself and likeminded others, have a new focus: peak oil. They argue that oil supplies peaked as early as 2008 and will decline rapidly, taking the economy with them.

Located somewhere between the environmental movement and the bunkered survivalists, the peak oil crowd is small but growing, reaching from health food stores to Congress, where a Democrat and a Republican formed a Congressional Peak Oil Caucus.

And they have been resourceful, sharing the concerns of other “collapsitarians,” including global debt and climate change — both caused by overuse of diminishing oil supplies, they maintain.

Many people dispute the peak oil hypothesis, including Daniel Yergin, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power” and chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a company that advises governments and industry. Mr. Yergin has argued that new technology continues to bring more oil.

Andre Angelantoni is not taking that chance. In his home in San Rafael, Calif., he has stocked food reserves in case an oil squeeze prevents food from reaching market and has converted his investments into gold and silver.

The effects of peak oil, including high energy prices, will not be gentle, said Mr. Angelantoni, a Web designer whose company, Post Peak Living, offers the telephone class and a handful of online courses for life after a collapse.

“Our whole economy depends on greater and greater energy supplies, and that just isn’t possible,” he said. “I wish I could say we’ll quietly accept having many millions of people unemployed, their homes foreclosed. But it’s hard to see the whole country transitioning to a low-energy future without people becoming angry. There’s going to be quite a bit of social turmoil on the way down.”

Transition US, a British transplant that seeks to help towns brace for life after oil, including a “population die-off” from shortages of oil, food and medicine, now has 68 official chapters around the country, since starting with just two in 2008. Group projects range from community vegetable gardens to creating local currency in case the national one crashes.

Bleak books like James Howard Kunstler’s “The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century” and Richard Heinberg’s “The Party’s Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies” have sold 100,000 and 50,000 copies, respectively, according to their publishers.

In Congress in 2005, Representative Roscoe G. Bartlett, Republican of Maryland, and Senator Tom Udall, a New Mexico Democrat who was a representative at the time, created the Congressional Peak Oil Caucus. Web sites, online videos and numerous social networks connect adherents in ways that would once have been impossible.

Mr. Angelantoni, 40, came to his concern about peak oil from an interest in climate change, because he felt its impact would be more precipitous. “The peak oil conversation is where the climate change conversation was 20 years ago,” he said. He distinguished the peak oil crowd from the environmental movement. “The Sierra Club tells people that if we use less energy, the underlying model is sound,” he said. “I don’t think that’s the case.”

Like several people in the telephone class, he said his concern with peak oil had strained his relationship with his spouse, creating an “unbridgeable” distance between them.

“It’s very difficult for people to hear that this form of the economy is breaking down,” he said. “They think that because it hasn’t happened yet that it won’t ever happen.”

Mrs. Wilkerson has now read two dozen books about peak oil and related topics. For a while, she became depressed at work and had trouble discussing her feelings with her husband because the conversations were so dire, she said. At work, her colleagues told her directly “that they were tired of hearing about it,” she said. “They felt I was going to an extreme, thinking collapse was going to happen.”

She added, “I was ready to move out to the country and be an organic farmer, but I learned that’s not the way to do it. You need a community.”

Despite the rapid growth of Transition US, the movement was much easier to sell in England, said Raven Gray, who came to this country to found a branch here. While Americans embrace doomsday scenarios, they are less likely to work together on how to live afterward, she said.

“There’s lot of apocalyptic people in environmental circles,” she said. “A lot of those people were outraged that we presented an optimistic view of the future. There’s a dark vision driving us, but we’re about moving toward a positive picture of what can be done.”

For Mrs. Wilkerson, who is now growing vegetables in her kitchen, the course, which cost $175, gave her encouragement to move in that direction.

“Whether or not collapse happens, being able to teach other people to grow food so they can weather any adversity is a good investment of my time,” she said.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Punk Rock In The Holy Land
Of Lies and Echoes: Documenting Israeli Dissent

from Dangerous Minds:

While the actual events surrounding Israel’s raid of the Gaza flotilla are under debate, there’s little doubt that the event—along with the Gaza blockade policy—has generally degraded Israel’s public image. Unfortunately, many in the progressive movement and leftward in the US and Europe perceive Israel as little more than a theocratic bastion of Western imperialism that harbors no resistance against government policy. That’s because the country’s long, vibrant tradition of dissent groups—from established human rights NGOs like B’Tselem to radical groups like Anarchists Against the Wall—get near-zero exposure in either the mainstream or leftist media in the West.

You’ll find solid proof of Israel’s underground movements in two dynamic and criminally undersung documents: David Massey’s 2002 anthology It’s All Lies: The Fusion of Resistance and Creativity in Israel—Leaflets, Underground Press and Posters and Liz Nord’s 2006 documentary Jericho’s Echo: Punk Rock in the Holy Land.

Massey’s oversized, spiral-bound 100-page collection spans from pioneering early-‘70s groups like the Israeli Socialist Organization and the cleverly named Sephardic org The Black Panthers through to the many draft resistance, anti-cop, and anti-capitalist crews that established themselves throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s. It includes a CD’s worth of Israeli punk bands from the early-‘90s Left Bank scene, including Dir Yassin and the Astroglides. Meanwhile, Nord’s 75-minute feature picks up the chronicling from the late-‘90s onward, including performances and interviews with punk bands ranging from the more well-known Useless ID to the more militant Nikmat Olalim, the all-female Va’adat Kishut, and even the rightist Retribution. Along with the great live footage, Jericho’s Echo features insightful interviews with scene figures who recount everything from getting psychiatric deferments from Israel’s mandatory army service to simply getting by in the country’s cities and towns. Both the book and the film show evidence of an important yet little-known politico-cultural temperament in Israel, one of the most highly criticized and misunderstood countries in the world.

It’s All Lies: The Fusion of Resistance and Creativity in Israel—Leaflets, Underground Press and Posters (16.3 x 11.6 inch spiral-bound book)

Jericho’s Echo: Punk Rock in the Holy Land (DVD)

Monday, June 7, 2010

SkateBoarding today... truly unbelievable.

On Sunday, I went to that big contest out by the huge steel globe in Flushing Meadows, Queens. The Maloof "Money Cup".
Number one disappointment: my good friends' son, Alex Olson, did not make the finals. After that it was just a "recon" mission to see what was going on. With $250,000 in cash and prizes, one would figure the skating would be incredible. Well as far as i'm concerned it wasn't! Some stuff was OK, but didn't seem like much considering these "Pros" land less than 30% of what they attempted, and even then, relative to the skate videos and magazine sequences i've seen, not such a big deal.
I was happy to see some old friends and meet some new ones and some nice fans too, good times, but the skating was horribly disappointing. That said, I could see there was some incredible talent out there... But i sure didn't miss not having my real camera, I took just a few stills and a few movies with my little digi, that's it.
In the 70's we used to repeat: "Silly Rabbit, Trix are for Kids!" - main difference: they pay them a lot for tricks now... even if they don't make them half of the time. (Oh yeah, the "kids" are a lot older now too!)

Here's one cool one:

Here's the scene:
What do you think Steve?

btw. please don't think i'm hating on the younger generations, cause i'm not, i'm just acknowledging times have changed and while there is a lot of good in most progress, and great that kids are doing their own thing, it's just not as shiny to me as it is to most, that's all, I'm not bitter one bit.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lance Mountain in his backyard, 1983. *

I just saw Lance yesterday here in NYC at the new skatepark over at the Chelsea Piers (It's incredible and i will be going back), I even shot a few photos yesterday while he, Steve Caballero, Pat Ngoho, and Steve Olson skated. (Maybe post some after i finish the roll).

Here's a post of mine from last year early in this blogs history that i thought i'd recycle since most of you were not reading here yet.

Here's another previously unpublished photo from my archive.
No flash, No reflector, No fill, No frills, just skills and Kodachrome 64 on a nice day.

*I'll probably be doing some more blog recycling in the slow summer months, and while i travel to keep it changing every day.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

NYC Assemblyman Proposes City-Wide Cigarette Recycling Program

from inhabitat
Approximately 176 million pounds of cigarette butts are discarded in the United States every year. Usually they end up on the ground or in a landfill and leach their toxic chemicals into the water table. Assemblyman Michael G. DenDekker, of Queens New York, wants to do something about that. He recently found out that cigarette butts can be turned into all kinds of useful things, so he proposed a bill for a cigarette recycling program for New York City. It would charge a 1 cent deposit on each cigarette — similar to the current bottle recycling system — to fund the recycling program and get those butts off the street.

If you live in New York City and you love the earth, you’re probably as furious as we are when you see those little discarded butts hanging out in the gutters and on the sidewalks. Well, the same can be said for the constituent who turned Assemblymen DenDekker onto this idea. After the idea was proposed, DenDekker found lots of uses for recycled cigarettes. If soaked in water they create a solution that can keep steel pipes from eroding, they can be made into sealants and glues, and a clothing maker in Brazil turns them into fabric.

The bill would put the departments of Environmental Conservation and Health in charge of the recycling program, and it would be funded partially by the 1 cent deposits payed by smokers when they purchase a pack. It would be the first recycling initiative of its kind in the country. DenDekker was a smoker for 30 years, but has since quit and doesn’t mind seeing smokers pay more for their habit, especially because of the waste they cause in our cities. “This is something that is going to be a long process,” DenDekker noted, “but imagine if we had started cleaning them up 20 years ago.
If you've been reading this blog for a while you know how i hate people just tossing their butts in the street as though they are not litter, so i'll be happy if this bill actually changes things.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Are Cameras the New Guns?

from Gizmodo:
In response to a flood of Facebook and YouTube videos that depict police abuse, a new trend in law enforcement is gaining popularity. In at least three states, it is now illegal to record any on-duty police officer.

Even if the encounter involves you and may be necessary to your defense, and even if the recording is on a public street where no expectation of privacy exists.

The legal justification for arresting the "shooter" rests on existing wiretapping or eavesdropping laws, with statutes against obstructing law enforcement sometimes cited. Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland are among the 12 states in which all parties must consent for a recording to be legal unless, as with TV news crews, it is obvious to all that recording is underway. Since the police do not consent, the camera-wielder can be arrested. Most all-party-consent states also include an exception for recording in public places where "no expectation of privacy exists" (Illinois does not) but in practice this exception is not being recognized.

Massachusetts attorney June Jensen represented Simon Glik who was arrested for such a recording. She explained, "[T]he statute has been misconstrued by Boston police. You could go to the Boston Common and snap pictures and record if you want." Legal scholar and professor Jonathan Turley agrees, "The police are basing this claim on a ridiculous reading of the two-party consent surveillance law - requiring all parties to consent to being taped. I have written in the area of surveillance law and can say that this is utter nonsense."

The courts, however, disagree. A few weeks ago, an Illinois judge rejected a motion to dismiss an eavesdropping charge against Christopher Drew, who recorded his own arrest for selling one-dollar artwork on the streets of Chicago. Although the misdemeanor charges of not having a peddler's license and peddling in a prohibited area were dropped, Drew is being prosecuted for illegal recording, a Class I felony punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison.

In 2001, when Michael Hyde was arrested for criminally violating the state's electronic surveillance law - aka recording a police encounter - the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld his conviction 4-2. In dissent, Chief Justice Margaret Marshall stated, "Citizens have a particularly important role to play when the official conduct at issue is that of the police. Their role cannot be performed if citizens must fear criminal reprisals…." (Note: In some states it is the audio alone that makes the recording illegal.)

The selection of "shooters" targeted for prosecution do, indeed, suggest a pattern of either reprisal or an attempt to intimidate.

Glik captured a police action on his cellphone to document what he considered to be excessive force. He was not only arrested, his phone was also seized.

On his website Drew wrote, "Myself and three other artists who documented my actions tried for two months to get the police to arrest me for selling art downtown so we could test the Chicago peddlers license law. The police hesitated for two months because they knew it would mean a federal court case. With this felony charge they are trying to avoid this test and ruin me financially and stain my credibility."

Hyde used his recording to file a harassment complaint against the police. After doing so, he was criminally charged.

In short, recordings that are flattering to the police - an officer kissing a baby or rescuing a dog - will almost certainly not result in prosecution even if they are done without all-party consent. The only people who seem prone to prosecution are those who embarrass or confront the police, or who somehow challenge the law. If true, then the prosecutions are a form of social control to discourage criticism of the police or simple dissent.

A recent arrest in Maryland is both typical and disturbing.

On March 5, 24-year-old Anthony John Graber III's motorcycle was pulled over for speeding. He is currently facing criminal charges for a video he recorded on his helmet-mounted camera during the traffic stop.

The case is disturbing because:

1) Graber was not arrested immediately. Ten days after the encounter, he posted some of he material to YouTube, and it embarrassed Trooper J. D. Uhler. The trooper, who was in plainclothes and an unmarked car, jumped out waving a gun and screaming. Only later did Uhler identify himself as a police officer. When the YouTube video was discovered the police got a warrant against Graber, searched his parents' house (where he presumably lives), seized equipment, and charged him with a violation of wiretapping law.

2) Baltimore criminal defense attorney Steven D. Silverman said he had never heard of the Maryland wiretap law being used in this manner. In other words, Maryland has joined the expanding trend of criminalizing the act of recording police abuse. Silverman surmises, "It's more [about] ‘contempt of cop' than the violation of the wiretapping law."

3) Police spokesman Gregory M. Shipley is defending the pursuit of charges against Graber, denying that it is "some capricious retribution" and citing as justification the particularly egregious nature of Graber's traffic offenses. Oddly, however, the offenses were not so egregious as to cause his arrest before the video appeared.

Almost without exception, police officials have staunchly supported the arresting officers. This argues strongly against the idea that some rogue officers are overreacting or that a few cops have something to hide. "Arrest those who record the police" appears to be official policy, and it's backed by the courts.

Carlos Miller at the Photography Is Not A Crime website offers an explanation: "For the second time in less than a month, a police officer was convicted from evidence obtained from a videotape. The first officer to be convicted was New York City Police Officer Patrick Pogan, who would never have stood trial had it not been for a video posted on Youtube showing him body slamming a bicyclist before charging him with assault on an officer. The second officer to be convicted was Ottawa Hills (Ohio) Police Officer Thomas White, who shot a motorcyclist in the back after a traffic stop, permanently paralyzing the 24-year-old man."

When the police act as though cameras were the equivalent of guns pointed at them, there is a sense in which they are correct. Cameras have become the most effective weapon that ordinary people have to protect against and to expose police abuse. And the police want it to stop.

Happily, even as the practice of arresting "shooters" expands, there are signs of effective backlash. At least one Pennsylvania jurisdiction has reaffirmed the right to video in public places. As part of a settlement with ACLU attorneys who represented an arrested "shooter," the police in Spring City and East Vincent Township adopted a written policy allowing the recording of on-duty policemen.

As journalist Radley Balko declares, "State legislatures should consider passing laws explicitly making it legal to record on-duty law enforcement officials."

Wendy McElroy is the author of several books on anarchism and feminism. She maintains the iconoclastic website as well as an active blog at
Thanks, Chris!