Monday, February 28, 2011

Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" and Smashing Pumpkins "1979"

(Update: 23/02/2012 - 're-embedded' The Smashing Pumpkins' "1979" (EMI) from Dailymotion.)

I like this.

It reminds me of 1996 when the Smashing Pumpkins "1979" came out.

To me both entries are a dismal reality check - fifteen years apart.

Have we been moving sideways?

This cannot stand. Will not stand.

We are are the verge of something very profound I think.

Something wonderful.

Check out Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" at their site:
(they're independent - so buy their stuff at their site)

Update: 11/12/11 - Pumkins taken down at Youtube - Fuck EMI - highlight and search.

Update: 23/02/2012 (found it on Dailymotion) - The Smashing Pumpkins - 1979 by EMI_Music


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Protests across U.S. against Wisconsin-like anti-union bills - with Video Google Map is aggregating video of the nation wide protests against Wisconsin-like anti-union bills - from people who were there to those of us who were not. They've integrated the social tools in this case by using Google maps to give us the big picture. Below is an embed of the Map; click on any of the blue Placemarks to see video embeds from that place of the Saturday, February 26th demonstrations.

Wisconsin Workers' Rights Rallies-Video Map

View Wisconsin Workers' Rights Rallies-Video Map in a larger map

If you were out demonstrating in your city and have media you'd like to contribute, go to contribute page for this story:


Encampment at the State Capitol at Madison Wisconsin

Wisconsin Protests - Day 12

From: OneWisconsinNow

100,000 Strong

Looks like more than 100,000 to me...

Democracy Now! reporting from Wisconsin Friday. A nice tour of the 24 hours, now 13 day encampment in the State Capitol Building in Madison to defeat Governor Scott Walker Budget Repair Bill, and protect the rights of citizens to bargain collectively with their employers.

Also from "One Wisconsin Now": 

I really like this one - it's a montage of 11 days of protest, the song is real catchy.

("Kids" is the third single from MGMT's album "Oracular Spectacular": spiritual and enlightened; a beautiful melody with lots of synthesizers, the robotized sound is a haunting counterpoint to the lyrics:

Madison Protests

Democracy Now!
Friday Feb 25, 2011:

"Protesters Expect 100,000 in Madison as Assembly OKs Anti-Union Bill

"Wisconsin’s Uprising: A Guided Tour of the 11-Day Protest Encampment Inside the State Capitol in Madison


Lee Camp is Gooood - Very good

We're Losing A Game Of Solitaire! - by comedian Lee Camp

His Bio at "Lee Camp2"
"1-minute Moments of Clarity by comedian Lee Camp. Contributor to The Onion, Saboteur of Fox News, Raconteur on stage."

 See much, much more at his Youtube channel:

Like this here - an hilarious stand-up on the ironies that exist between our planet-destroying life style and our neurotic fetish for saving oil soaked birds and beached whales...

(And yes, the address is a live link --- and I see "Blogger-in-Draft" ( has enabled the idea - the idea being, these blogger address's are transparent; you can see where the link is going before you click on it. I pasted the Youtube address into the blog intending to create a link out of it - a transparent link which is the standard around here from now on - but, I didn't have to open the widget and paste in the address again - all I had to do was hit the Link button and the address went live! Thus you will soon know - as Blogger roles this feature out in the blogosphere - that every Blogger link like this is legit.)


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Right to Collective Bargaining a foundation stone of Democracy

Not some hedonistic 'entitlement' that 'spoiled' baby boomers are likely to give up easily.

Corporations and their neo-con representatives are hoping we'll forget who caused this "Great Recession" and start blaming our neighbours. More on that in this rather level headed discussion lead by Laura Flanders, founder & host of GRITtv - which is NetCasting yesterday and today, from the Wisconsin State Capitol.

Mary Bottari & Mark Pocan: National Implications in Wisconsin

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 by GRITtv

Mary Bottari is the Director of The Center for Media and Democracy's Real Economy Project and the Editor of the BanksterUSA site for bank busting activists. She is an experienced policy wonk and she previously served as a Senior Analyst for the Washington, D.C.-based consumer group Public Citizen in its Global Trade Watch division.

Mark Pocan is a Wisconsin State Assemblyman from the 78th District.

GRITtv - Mary Bottari & Mark Pocan: National Implications in Wisconsin

CommonDreams Video - link list.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Madison, Wisconsin City Council pulls off 'end run' on Governor Scott Walker's 'Demolition Bill'

The Madison, Wisconsin City Council has pulled off a sweet end run on extreme right wing Governor Scott Walker. Before the Republican majority at the State Legislature could pass the Governor's "Budget Repair Bill" - which would strip public employees of collective bargaining rights - the city has settled two year contracts with all their unions which will last until the end of 2012.

Here's City of Madison, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's blog post from last Thursday announcing Madison City Councils enlightened tactic.

Mayor Dave’s Blog

Special Meeting & a Special Walk
February 17, 2011 7:53 PM

It's just a question of simple fairness. The City of Madison has a dozen unions. Some have settled contracts to the end of 2011, some have contracts to the end of 2012 and others have not yet settled a contract at all. With Governor Walker's proposal to essentially wipe out any possibility of collective bargaining on the fast track, we had to act soon in order to treat all our unionized employees the same. If we wait until our next regularly scheduled Council meeting next Tuesday we might already be preempted from doing the right thing.

So, I've called a special Council meeting for tonight to settle all of our contracts through 2012. In addition, we'll try to help our non-represented employees as much as we can by eliminating a health insurance co-pay (they'll be forced to pay at least 12% of those premiums by the state anyway) and by trying to lock in the same modest pay increases that we'll give to our unionized employees over the next two years.

Because the Dane County Board has its meeting tonight in our usual chambers we had to relocate the Council meeting to the Overture Center where live video streaming is possible. Council members, union officials, leaders of non-represented employees and managers are invited to join me on the steps of the City County Building for some brief remarks. Then we'll walk together across the Capitol Square to the Overture Center for our meeting.

The point of that symbolic walk together is that labor and management are united on this. In fact, I'm not aware of a city in the state whose administration thinks that union busting is a good way to solve a budget problem. Collective bargaining has worked for better than four decades. My hope is that there's still some chance that sanity will reassert itself at the Capitol, but in case it doesn't we'll do our best to enforce Madison values in Madison.

The city is taking a risk - if Govenor Walkers bill is not defeated or amended the State Legislature will drastically reduce shared revenue transfers to Madison in 2012. (If the unthinkable happens - and at this point that seems VERY unlikely - this reporter would hazard a guess that the unions would remember the solidarity that this council is showing at this hour of need and agree to re-open the contracts.)

The Madison City Council move nicely highlights the conflict of visions between the radical right and everyone else: the extreme right wants to fix the recession by lowering peoples wages and laying off staff through service cuts - while everyone else thinks a Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Great Depression style New Deal stimulus and financial reform effort is the only way to get America and the world, out of this 'Great Recession'.

Wikipedia's article on the New Deal says it all in the first paragraph:

"The New Deal is a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President of the United States, from 1933 to 1936. The programs were responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call the "3 Rs": relief, recovery, and reform. That is, relief for the unemployed and poor; recovery of the economy to normal levels; and reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression."

1)  Obama's stimulus spending is coming to an end, and the Republican dominated House has just passed a bill over to the Senate (which will not pass) that would cut $61 billion in discretionary spending.

2)  Unemployment is still trending up. If you take into account all the people who have stopped looking for work the official unemployment rate of 10% is  probably closer to 20%. The economy is not anywhere close to "normal".

3)  No effective reform of the financial system has been achieved through an Act poplarly known as the Banking Reform Bill - the official title of which is "An Act to promote the financial stability of the United States by improving accountability and transparency in the financial system, to end "too big to fail", to protect the American taxpayer by ending bailouts, to protect consumers from abusive financial services practices, and for other purposes." I like the way Congress puts what we want to hear in the titles of bills (as that's all anyone reads), while the content of this bill leaves the toxic asset derivative vehicles in place, and Glass–Steagall (the 1930's bill to prevent economic instability) remains gutted.

The Great Depression of the 1930's had these same conservative voices that were willing to sacrifice the unemployed and the poor to fix the economy - people that thought giving more money and power to the institutions that caused the crisis in the first place was a good way to fix the crisis - vested interest, Pork Barrelers all.

It's amazing how fear makes people immediately go to their guilt impulse. I guess it's related to the hard winters our ancestors had to survive less than a hundred years ago - if you pigged out in autumn and over Christmas you might not live to see spring ( plus all the ads on TV today that play to those puritan values - the narrative goes: 'The recession is your fault because your greedy at the core of your nature [as you know], so buy this to make yourself feel better [because you're modern and know it's not real anyway]' ) - and while these are nice stories, they provide no real links to lessons learned in the history of economic crisis. They are ignorant knee jerk reactions that make good headlines and sound good coming out of talking heads mouths. They also represent the interests of the powerful and work against the interests of working people and the middle class.

Starving a recession leads to depression - that's the lesson of history - not the 'Little House on the Prairie' rhetoric that I hear coming from the corporate backed neo-con right.


The Capitol Times - Feb 17, 2011: "Laptop City Hall: "City Council approves all union contracts through 2012".

City of Madison - Mayor Dave's Blog - Feb 17, 2011: "Special Meeting & a Special Walk".

Bloomberg - Nov 18, 2010: "Prime U.S. Mortgage Foreclosures Hit Record as Unemployment Hurts Finances".

Wikipedia: "Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act"

Wikipedia: "New Deal"

Wikpedia: "Glass–Steagall Act"


Sunday, February 20, 2011

"The Uptake" Citizen Journalists covering Wisconsin Protests via "LiveStream" and networking via "Spot.Us"

Wisconsin Protests - Day 6

100,000 people came out on Saturday (Day 5), the biggest demonstration in support of Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Rights yet.

This breaking story offers an opportunity to describe a New Media Model that is evolving.

Below is an embed of a live stream from Madison Wisconsin where The Uptake volunteer journalist/producers are creating content and streaming it through LiveStream.

Pro-Labor Demonstrations Continue In Madison Wisconsin

Watch live streaming video from theuptake at

How does it all work?

1. Broadcasting

LiveStream is an application that aggregates live streaming video to viewers parceled via subject categories. The first time I saw LiveStream was during the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico - where a live feed of the broken pipe at the bottom of the gulf streamed day after day, after day.

"Livestream is the leading live video destination and platform. Event organizers, content owners, celebrities and artists around the world use Livestream's social broadcasting tools to engage and grow their audiences on the web, mobile devices, and connected TVs. More than one billion video minutes are streamed each month to a growing community of 20 million monthly viewers (50,000 of whom will be watching right now)."

It's like a TV box with only live streaming channels, no spin, no talking heads - just live streaming video on any subject you can imagine. 

2. Content Production

"The UpTake is a citizen-fueled, online video news gathering organization. Established July 2007."

The UpTake have volunteer journalist/producers feeding live streams from the Winsconsin Protests through LiveStream. The UpTake is gathering a community of volunteers, activists and donors via an innovative social networking site, Spot.Us.

3. Funding
"Community-funded reporting"

"Spot.Us is a nonprofit project of the "Center for Media Change" and funded by various groups like the Knight Foundation. We partner with various organizations including the Annenberg School of Communications in Los Angeles."

4. Spread the News

You can embed this LiveStream too.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Aimee Mann and Sarah Mclachlan get jobs in Portlandia and Facebook is Weird

I love longish short clips of Portlandia because I can't watch the whole show - because I don't get that channel.

From IFC:

See a longer short (?) at GawkerTV click --->!!5754009/portlandia-sorry-about-the-music-industrys-downfall-aimee-mann-and-sarah-mclachlan

The laudry scene, the shrunken sweater is about 12 inches long and the Aimee Mann domestic character says,

"I don't know how you can tell if it doesn't fit if you don't try it on."

Zing! Small. So small.

My favourite show I have never seen (I don't do cable TV).

Via Gord Cumming, via Steve Kane at Facebook, and IFC (the producers).


(Interesting, when I link Gord and Steve you can't see much on their profiles, and you can't see their content, unless you: sign up for an account; figure out which network their in; and (assuming you don't know them) 'fool' someone into friending you into that network, then 'fool' Gord or Steve into friending you . Then you can see the link to GawkerTV as it appeared a few minutes ago, there. 

Facebook is a very neurotic place - you know? Apartheid Social Networking???)


The Real News Network on Wisconsin Protests

AFL-CIO Associate General Counsel Damon A. Silvers lays it all out rather succinctly in this interview with Paul Jay.

More at The Real News

More coverage of this budding national (hopefully international) movement - an updating Google search list: TRNN + Wisconsin + Protests.

TRNN Link list 02/18/2011:

Best of the Web: Wisconsin Videos

 Wisconsin Workers Protest Anti-Union Bill
 Wisconsin Protesters So Loud They Drowned Out FOX Reporter
Democratic Lawmakers In Wisconsin Go Into Hiding
 Wisconsin Gov. Attacks Public Employees & Unions; Threatens to Use National Guard To Quell Protests
 Unions Threatened Across US Featuring: In These Times' Mike Elk debate and Less Government's Seton Motley
 Protesters & Unions In Wisconsin Threatened With National Guard!!
 Wisconsin protests war on unions
 Budget Repair Bill Protest! Madison WI 2 15 2011 Students Arrive
 Governor Walker Discusses Budget Repair Bill with Greta Van Susteren (2.15.11)


Wiretap's "Couples"

The Story of Anne, the homeless dog.
( - will cease to exist soon)

When at age five the understanding that life entails death becomes a certainty he realizes that if his parents really loved him - they never would have had him.

"Life support machine" takes on new inflections.

What a well crafted story (life?). 

I guess if someone decided they should offer this fellow a writing job - they'd have to consider that he would probably sabotage the gig as the opportunity would entail the job ending at some point.

Perhaps a Never Ending Story rewrite?

A dread of our horrible future leads him to a fetish for an appreciation for the present. And there's a word for that, a Welsh word, "Hiraeth".

Wiretap episode "Couples".

Secrete Communist Content Portal:

Dog Love story by Scott Kravitz


Thursday, February 17, 2011

A revolution in Neuroscience, Youtube playlists, and an Internet Ad Model

We live in interesting times, revolutionary times

This post is about several revolutionary things that I came across in the last 44 minutes...

First, I was happy to find this CBC production - "The Brain That Changes Itself" - available at Youtube. It concerns the fast advancing theory of Brain Plasticity, the idea that our brains are not mechanical devices but rather organisms that are incredibly flexible. Nothing about our brains, as I used to say, is "hard wired". All our behaviours, aptitudes and learning have specific patterns to them that scientists can now map in 3 dimensions and over time with very non-invasive scans. We now know that normal healthy individuals create specific and predictable electromagnetic patterns when they do similar things, and we can even measure the amount of empathy one subject feels for another (as noted in an earlier post here). Not only can we measure electromagnetic patterns but also specific and predictable physical patterns, changes in the robustness of certain parts of the brain. Our brains are so incredibly flexible that neurons delegated to do one thing can be reassigned by the brain itself - or through therapies designed by doctors - to do other functions as well! Old neurological patterns that are unhealthy (in the thinking sense) or un-helpful (in the motor function sense) can be 'un-trained' and 're-threaded' along existing or new, neuro pathways through therapies that use this three dimensional mapping as a guide and as a proof of concept, that is pushing forward our understanding of how the brain works and is giving therapists real time scientific feed back on the effectiveness of various therapies as well as helping them to devise new ones.

This is a revolution in our understanding of the brain, and I think, a moment in the history of the study that will re-balance our use of chemical solutions with talking and behavioral therapies that rely more on interaction with the patient, which can empower caring and understanding --- a return to the social interaction that began the study of the brain in the 1850's - but now with a scientific feed back that confirms or disputes the effectiveness of treatments. Now therapists can apply a relatively 'super understanding' of the way brains function to help them teach patients to un-learn bad brain functions (neurosis); or in physical rehabilitation re-gain lost brain function by rerouting data through still healthy parts of the brain.


Secondly, I wanted to find out if I could create a Playlist in Youtube and then embed it here so that it would play one after the other almost like a broadcast TV show - as that's how I've been watching much of the content I view of late.

The video below is part of a four part playlist that I created that encompasses the 44 minute production, "The Brain That Changes Itself". I named the playlist so it shows up properly in search, and credited to the CBC in the notes section that accompanies the playlist creation feature at Youtube.

It plays almost seamlessly.


Third, this Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) production that was first aired in Canada on a show called The Nature of Things with David Suzuki is now posted at CBC's Youtube Channel and has an advertisements placed where in the broadcast model ads would normally appear - in this case, when I watched the videos, a Google Ad about how to use a search engine effectively shows. This is a break though and hails the beginning of a model on the internet that will pay for production.

My question is, since this production is showing here, at Michael Holloway's FilterBlogs ... do I get a slice of the ad revenue too? And, on the other hand, if I were to allow advertisements at this blog would I then have to share that revenue with CBC based on the number of eyes that watched their productions here?

The future of broadcast is just coming into view; so I will not then end this idea with a, 'just kidding' - as I might have been tempted to in the very recent past. I'm serious,  this is now a serious question.

As I grow my credibility over the years, and grow an audience that comes here because this blog has content that interests them, I become a 'local channel' - local in the WWW sense that FilterBlogs is a tiny web within the World Wide Web. A channel that might be viewed by people in Singapore, or at the South Pole, or people right around the corner here in Leslieville, Toronto, Canada.

Revolutionary times indeed.

The Brain That Changes Itself

Post Script: 

Upon watching the entire program again, here, no Google ads showed.

Watch this program at

"The Brain That Changes Itself" was produced by "90th Parallel Film & Television Productions Ltd."


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Jonathan Mann's "Song A Day" up to #766 !

At Jonathan Mann's "SONGATRON" web site Mann's been posting an original composition - with a video - everyday for over TWO YEARS!

I found it via a search of playwright "Anton Piatigorsky" (who's play, ETERNAL HYDRA I'm going to see this afternoon) ... believe it or not ... (Google is magic).

At SONGATRON the magic of music and production is explained thusly:

"SONGATRON (noun): Mystery machine discovered by Jonathan Mann. SONGATRON makes videos and music daily. The results are posted here."

From Thursday, February 10th 2011,
Jonathan Mann and The Rock Cookie Bottom's

#766 Wren The Polyamourous Bear (LIVE!)

Jonathan Mann's "Song A Day" at Youtube (all uploads).

Video: Jonathan Mann - A Brief History of Creative Work.