Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ralph Nader: Quincy Onboard The Nation Cruise


Hubbard Glacier, AK Oh boy, everybody! What could be better than sailing around Alaska with a boat load of liberals like Ralph Nader and Katrina vanden Heuvel? Well that’s exactly what I am doing this week, as I set sail with other like-minded Nation readers from Seattle on The ms Oosterdam for the tenth annual NATION CRUISE. Our travel escort has really made my voyage perfect. He and his dog, who has been hanging around with me ever since we set sail on Sunday while I cover this upscale, high-seas romp, couldn't be more gracious!

Everybody said “Quincy, why do you want to go on a cruise ship to ALASKA?” but do you know what? I am not the least bit chilly and my accommodations in steerage have been very nice since the head chef, let's call him Hans, has become very fond of me and is feeding me all kinds of juicy dishes from the Pinnacle Grill including selected cuts of Sterling Silver beef and let me tell you, he is sparing no expense when it comes to dessert and a vintage Rombauer Zinfandel to wash it down with. Mrs. Ethel Beasley, a philanthropist from Wichita, Kansas who befriended me in the pool yesterday has expressed concern that Chef Hans “may be using me” and perhaps that he has a “luau fetish” and for me to proceed with caution, especially if he starts offering me apples.

With all these amenities and distractions, I plan to do lunch with Ralph Nader and discuss his political views after a pre-arranged, ad-hoc session tomorrow but so far, between snapping pictures of Katrina vanden Heuvel in a leopard skin bikini and beseeching Richard Dreyfuss to do his psychiatrist imitation where he is having a nervous breakdown in “What About Bob?”, I have been a bit busy with all the gaiety.

So far, I have been enjoying the excitement of the Promenade decks--a playground of theaters, lounges, boutiques and plenty of winding, narrow corridors and laundry chutes in the vessel’s underbelly for a Pig to get completely lost in! But I really can’t wait to get to Victoria, BC on Friday where we will all pile off the ship and mingle with the locals there where I have made arrangements to do some antique shopping with Mrs. Beasley and a brisk stroll the botanical gardens.




Saturday, July 21, 2007

Too Darn Hot: The Left Heats Up

“Sometimes the greed and arrogance of Ruling Classes makes them careless and social waters heat too quickly. Sensing doom, alert citizen-frogs escape or revolt. Or they stay complacent and boil.”
-Joel S. Hirschorn

It’s about time for the Left to wake up and smell the boiling point. Can it?

Bill Moyers recently interviewed Lori Wallach, Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch and challenged the whole myth of labor shortages that Cretans like Bill Gates and global elites here in this country are hammering the masses here with. Click link below to read transcript of this interview entitled ‘Trade Policy Not Just a Rust Belt Concern Anymore’


One of the most dangerous elements of corporate globalization is that large corporations have historically used militaries and force to protect their access to cheap, natural resources, cheap labor, and the development of new markets. In a 1999 New York Times column, Thomas Friedman said “you can't have McDonald's without McDonnell Douglas, the weapons defense contractor.” Shades of Leave it to Beaver come to mind when answering that question: “Gee Wally, could this be why the U.S. picked a war with Iraq and will never, ever get out of there?”

Follow what is happening around the SPP meeting in Montebello Quebec August 20-21. Why is a 25 KM security perimeter being planned to keep the public from coming anywhere near this meeting? Why has the meeting space reserved for a public teach-in been taken over by the army?


Can the Left hop out of the pot and finally focus on the power being wielded by corporate elites comprised of an unlikely assortment of characters including but not limited to certain ceo’s, blowhard board members, governors with Austrian accents married to wives on the supposed opposite ideological spectrum, former vice presidents turned businessmen, wildly stock-optioned House Speakers and their technology and Beltway sons and daughters and pals who are robbing this country of any semblance of democracy? Despite it all, will the Left still continue to be warmed by the false promises of our sold out Congress and global elite, fanned by the flames of an ideology in lieu of facing the reality that a hijacked democracy (not by republicans or democrats) but an elite, big-monied inner circle of bipartisan, corporate globalists?

Where is the blogosphere that drew millions of alternative bloggers who set out to challenge the status quo? Oh, right. They turned into the status quo. One need look no further than the HuffPo, that ‘revolutionary alternate source for news’ we could not get from the traditional mainstream news outlets. I have to hand it to Arianna…I would venture to say that most of the pajama clad bloggers who participate in the HuffPo actually think that it started out with an ideological, Bolshevik Arianna sitting in some basement with tussled hair and overdue for a manicure typing furiously at a keyboard at four am. in hot pursuit of making America better for the People. Well, I guess you have to ask “which people.” But that venture is a prime example of good old fashioned capitalism at work. While it has attracted commenters from all across the world to engage in debate, the editorial slant is distinctly global elite and not community values driven. So far, the only consistent content repeatedly pitched is support for Al Gore, the former vice president turned green businessman who also serves as a Senior Advisor to the board of Google.

The Left has been looking right while wealthy, slick globalists run the media (we’re talking alternative and blog media here as well as MSM), in a feverish, 21st Century pitch to spin a veneer of “cool” on winding down America’s middle class. Want to see a third world society of have and have nots? Wake up America, you’re looking at it and the party down on the race to the bottom has just begun. It ain’t about to get any better, thanks to the collective complicity from some on the Left, who continue to talk “Iraq, Iraq, Iraq” (again, think Arianna Huffington) while the elites loot what’s left of our economy and the Left continues to “ooh and aah” about the cool factor of selling off our jobs and infrastructures under the banner of “liberalism.” Is the Left that selfish or just merely blind to the needs of our citizens and our communities?

The capacity for the wealthy, global elites to put profits before people relies upon its media bedfellows


Joel S. Hirschorn writes “Some Americans keep warning us – people like Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, Aaron Russo, Dennis Kucinich, Lou Dobbs, Ralph Nader, Ron Paul, Bill Moyers, Jon Stewart, and Keith Olbermann. They entertain complacent “frogs” and preach to the choir of alert “frogs” that also know the temperature is rising dangerously. Many of the former keep hoping that putting better Democrats or Republicans in office will get us back on the right track. Many of the latter are ready to jump to what our Constitution offers us: an Article V convention."
It is curious that while those on the Left stew in the pot while the global elites in Congress and our corporate communities craft their H1-b legislations to blow the lid off visa caps that will displace and unemploy millions of our educated American white collar professionals, where is the collective righteous indignation from the party of the People?

While affordable imports keep Americans docile and distracted and while we continue to allow our corrupt Congress and House Speaker to use our white collar jobs as a leading national export in order to fatten the wallets of the smug, arrogant, and insufferable frat boys running roughshod over our economy, has the Left really forgotten about the greedy British and how they motivated colonial America to inspire our Revolutionary War?

Only now, with oppression coming from within
and the slick media and bloggers lining up at the trough to capitalize off of the backs of our dwindling middle class, will Americans finally choose to sit in the pot until its too late? Has the Left developed a case of ‘elitism-itis’, which is responsible for them morphing into the status quo Cretans they set out to rebel against?

“Business schools teach "grow or die," the idea that we measure success in our economy and society by constant growth, by growing bigger and bigger. Even in a socially responsible business community, people will say, "Well, how much more did your business grow last year?" Or, "Do you have another unit yet?" And when people hear that I'm a successful restaurateur, they will say, "You mean you have only one restaurant?" But I made a conscious decision to stay a small business because I realized that when we grow in physical size, we give up something very important--authentic relationships with the people around us and those we do business with. I came to realize that we can measure our success in other ways besides just growing our size, sales, and profit: we can measure our success by growing our knowledge and expanding our consciousness, by deepening our relationships, increasing our happiness, and having more fun. This way we don't give up what's really most important and authentic--relationships that increase the quality of our lives.”


What the Left, for the sake of this country needs now more than ever is a hot dose of
RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION. The 2008 election cycle is picking up steam, and with the candidates being trotted out, we have no choice but to ask which one of them—if any---is standing up for the middle class and what they will do to stop the wholesale sell-out of our jobs and infrastructures, something that so far, the Left has yet to address in any form of mass protest. Hint: don’t look to elitist businessman Al Gore to lead the way any time soon. Unless he kicks ass over at Google and wants to demonstrate he is an anti-elite by reversing this bogus “Myth of an American Labor Shortage”, the educated middle class has him number.


Will the Left stay complacent to boil?

Who will be the ‘Cindy Sheehan’ in this War on the Middle Class?


God Is A Crazy Woman: Judy Tenuta Live

Three Cheers for Judy Tenuta!

Thank GOD for Judy Tenuta, my Chicago accordion sista who I met at Cobbs Comedy Club after one of her killer performances. You must watch this youtube video, start to finish! 


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Pirates of the Health-Care-ibbean

"I've got mine and I feel fine so go ahead and die!"
-Austin Lounge Lizards
Half of every dollar spent on health care is wasted on administration, insurance company profits, and overpriced pharmaceuticals. Only by insuring everyone in a new California Health Plan that leverages the state's buying power and focuses on preventive care can we provide higher quality, affordable health care to all Californians.

Must See Video

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bill Gates' Nose Is Growing

-Bill Gates Blows off Immigration Rules-

Exposing the Myth of a Shortage of “Skilled” Programmers

Vancouver, B.C. is a wonderful place to go fishing, and apparently, the founder of Microsoft thinks so, too! But Bill Gates' nose is growing again…


The Monopoly Man from Microsoft, Bazillionairre Bill Gates, has been crying like a banshee for an “unlimited” H1-b visa cap to import foreign workers for jobs that American programmers allegedly don’t even exist to do.

Meanwhile, Silicon Valley companies Oracle and Cisco (Google was conspicuously left out of this interview) repeat the deceptive mantra “we don’t have enough skilled workers” below:


Omm...Let me remind you that what companies like Oracle, Google and Cisco really mean when they say they don’t have enough skilled workers is that they don’t have enough CHEAP bodies to stack on the slagheap of feudaldom. How, praytell, can a smug and arrogant corporate frat boy build an empire if h/she is forced to employ an educated, experienced, smart peer who dares have the nerve to request an adjusted cost of living salary? Worse, that peer might question the status quo in such a way as to make the frat boy slave driver in training yearn for unsuspecting underlings a few castes beneath him…

Anyway, Microsoft will open a software development center in Canada by the end of the year, a move that will enable the software giant to hire more foreign workers and to bypass U.S. immigration laws.

In the holy name of Profits over People, corporofascism has enraptured our Congress and that giant sucking sound you hear knows no bounds to help plunder the pockets of American programmers and decrease professional wages across the board in a town near you!

Read more



R.I.P. Frankie B.

Frankie B. 1955-2007
An old friend from grade school let me know this week that Frankie B., another former grade school classmate, has died.

Over the years, once and a while I have wondered what Frankie B. ended up doing and where he was… you know, how life was treating him.

I am sad. Frankie was my friend at St. Andrews, and for a boy, he was always so funny and great to sit next to in class. Whenever we got to choose who to sit next to, we found each other -- he always made me laugh so much all the time -- imitating Sister Vitusa in third grade cracked us all up!

I remember that cold, dreary November afternoon when JFK was shot and the principal's voice piped in over the P.A. Here is a story I have always remembered, just like people remember that day---what you were doing, and who you were doing it with. Well, That JFK moment in my life was shared with Frankie B.

On November 22, 1963, Frankie and I were paired together, doing an art (coloring) project and we were doing the usual: fooling around and laughing real hard about stuff. All of a sudden, he picked up a fat, brown crayola crayon and started swirling it around the paper, into a big ball, not letting up and with intensity - so I said, "hey, Frankie, what are we making here with that, a tornado?" and he leaned in closer to me and with that cute little grin he always had and his gravelly little voice he said "wanna hear what happened to my uncle?" (I think the uncle's name was Frank...) So I said "what?" and then he blurted out "he died. Want to know HOW?" So I said "how"?

Frankie kept looking down at the paper, swirling the brown crayon into what by then looked like a big brown mess all over the large paper of an assignment that was supposed to be a 'landscape' and he leans real close in now and he says

"He was sitting on the toilet takin' a dump and smokin' a cigar AT THE SAME TIME only then, he had a heart attack!!!"
At that point, we both really started laughing, and then he says "ya wanna know what happened after that?" So I said "what?" and by this time, we both knew it was something that we shouldn't be laughing about which made it funnier still and we couldn't stop laughing. He said "he was sitting on the pot and smokin’ his cigar and after he had his heart attack, his face fell down on the floor and SMASHED his cigar all over his face and his pants were down around his ankles!!" He could hardly get the words out between the tears from laughter and by that time, my stomach was killing me from laughing so hard. It was right then that the principal's announcement came. Stunned, in disbelief, we stopped coloring, we stopped talking. We stopped laughing.

That was the last laugh I can remember -- like yesterday --- having with Frankie B... cute and funny and good natured, with the big head of black hair, the gravelly little voice with a twinkle in his eye, my friend.

RIP, Frankie.


Sunday, July 8, 2007

2Truthy's LIVE EARTH Lowdown: Madonna and Mike Gravel Rock the MoveOn House Parties

- Plato
The LIVE EARTH concerts piped in some remarkable moves at MoveON.org parties all over the place last night, with MADONNA and MIKE GRAVEL picking up the biggest "WOW" factors at two different parties I attended. As a long time Madonna fan, having been into her Detroit onto NY dance scene before it was fashionable, I have never seen her dance so well! Make no mistake: MADONNA HAS GOT THE MOVES, and she is a mesmerizing, energetic and all-out incredible performer!
As the Democratic candidates were asked questions on how they would handle climate change, a host of responses varying in specifics were offered, and the general consenus among party goers at BOTH venues was Hillary was best, Biden very good, Edwards "most convincing" of the three presidential frontrunners, but (now here's the part that is crucial) MIKE GRAVEL was "the most awesome" and "really said all the right things" and "wow! why don't we hear more about MIKE GRAVEL?"
In short, the good news is that Mike Gravel said all of the right stuff on climate change and our economy that would benefit People first ---NOT corporations (Click link to watch them all)
That's the good news.
The bad news is that the attendees at both parties appear to be in line with the status quo media when it comes to the party line: most everyone fell for Hillary first, noting that she was backed with the most $$$ which (our MSM is doing its job) makes her a winning, electable candidate, despite the fact that many acknowledged that Edwards, who also has a considerable amount of financial backing, would be "the better choice". But then there was MIKE GRAVEL -- who clearly won the trust and likeability vote but was dismissed as a non-candidate due to his poor financial backing and non-existent media coverage.
Why Mike Gravel? Gravel urges us to "follow the money" when it comes to understanding how climate change affects politics as it relates to corporate interests. To address the corruption of green corporations, lobbyists and politicians, Gravel says that as president, he will empower the People with his plan he calls "The National Initiative" that will for the first time let the nation act as lawmakers. How revolutionary is that?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Hedge Funds: Three Democratic Frontrunners Debate Loopholes

A Hedgefund is Born: Hillary, Barack, and John (respectively)

The art of framing a political issue in a headline or sound byte is not lost on one Dan Gerstein, Democratic political operative who offers this headline for his story on hedge fund taxation loopholes submitted to Politico:

Failure to hedge could set Edwards apart


Note first that Dan Gerstein is a Democratic political operative and former Joe Lieberman campaign manager. Dangerstein, as his handle reads in email, describes the quandary the top three Democratic candidates are in as they ponder the current, unfair state of the hedge fund tax loophole that provides an essentially free tax pass for the wealthy (15%) while their maids, cooks and garbage men – oh, and the rest of the untouchables – the wage slaves of America --- who are taxed at a whopping 35%. Of the three frontrunners, Edwards has made a mark for himself as being the champion of the working poor who wants to bridge the gap between the rich and poor in this War on the Middle Class, and Dangerstein could have easily headlined this other wise factual and informative article with a title like this:

Failure for Hillary and Barack to pony up could set Edwards apart

See? See how Dangerstein could have revealed, if the mood behooved him, how much he might be a champion himself for the working poor of this country and the growing numbers who are without health insurance and jobs? Talk about hedging your bets, but I would guess that he’s probably not on the Edwards payroll…although, political communicators can and do switch back and forth depending upon greener pastures, this much we know.

Anyway, in a heartfelt speech, Buffet put a fine point on this issue last week while speaking at a $4,600 Clinton fundraiser in New York to an audience largely comprising money movers and managers.

"The 400 of us (here) pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do -- or our cleaning ladies, for that matter. If you're in the luckiest 1 percent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 percent."

Like I said, this is an article that is quite informative and who knows? Maybe Dangerstein will come around!


Good Thing: Where Have You Gone?

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts." <
Good thing, where have you gone? (Watch video, and for all you pianists like Yours truly, enjoy the truly fine ragtime riff of the 'king of the keys', Jools Holland.)
The 4th of July came and went with a quiet, rather uncelebratory bang around here and I am not sure if it had less to do with the fact that the 4th happened to fall mid-week this year or if, with all of the signs of our Democracy being looted (Libby pardon, Cohen &Grigsbygate, Iraq, the Subprime lending scandal, SCOTUS so far packed to the Right that is has fallen completely off the integer line, Poisoned food from China, the Dollar tanking, etc.) could it be that We the People have had just about enough yet?
Sure, maybe we're all a little tired and cranky from being reamed by the unmistakeably virulent corporate leaders who are hell-bent on colluding with a corrupt Congress to sell off our jobs and our civil liberties, while the elitist zeitgeist cooks up more international schemes to manufacture and sell any old crap to an increasingly wary world that is quite arguably being left worse off from the opressive Western hand of globalization?
Read more about this in the new book by Stephen Marshall "Wolves In Sheep's Clothing", which raises the specter of whether the forced corporatization (that's what 'democracy' really means) of our Western Democracy on third world societies is not only a failed model for people but a necessary tool of perpetual war all around the globe.


One concern I have about "Wolves In Sheep's Clothing" is that author defines blowhards like Tom Friedman as a "liberal elite" which, if you read the comments, almost every one raised questions about. I mean, I have always thought of him as a "conservative" but then when you think about it, he comes out here to Silicon Valley and schmoozes with self described bipartisan "best and brightest" ceos and executives who, with their legendary outsourcing bluprint, have made slave drivers on the plantations look like candy stripers.

On another note, Cindy Sheehan has taken up the Iraq war protest circuit once again and I don't know why she and her posse have not made an announcement to make a pitstop here and challenge the ceos and executives who are bunkered down in this War on the Middle Class as Cohen & Grigsbygate has outted them for selling off our educated white collar workers also to the third world Read more about this at



Good Thing: Have the Good Reporters Sold Out? With rampant layoffs and media consolidation, where does one find reliable reporting that respects its readers with an emphasis on speaking truth to power? As the "Big Blogs" take up banning their constituents, becoming more 'secretive' and Skull and Bonesy as they schmooze with the Kool-Aid stand manufacturers, the need for professional journalists with character and integrity has never been greater to report on this War on the Middle Class.

That, indeed, would be a good thing.


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

I Know What It Means to be Red, White, and Blue

The National Minority Anthem

Catch a hardworking,
talented, awesome
Entertaining minority
by the toe
If he can sing in English
Let him go

A long day in the cotton
Another bale of hay
Wrong turn down an
And the heat's on today
Got to run to catch up
With the Jones

Nobody said you had a free ride
Takin my family, my music, my pride
Into their hands, they took it away so I moved
to the city and here I will stay
Keepin with me the dream of singin my song
If you listen you'll hear me even when I am gone

My public, my passion, my liberty bells
Now the glory crowd gathers, the glitter, the swells
With song all around me
Applauding and new
And I know what it means
to be Red, White, and Blue


Sunday, July 1, 2007

Libby Pardon: Justice Whacked!

"Justice Whacked? NO PROBLEM!"
-George W. Bush
...JUST in time to celebrate the 4Th of July...
Who needs the mob when the United States of America has Bush and his handy band of thugs? That unholy Beltway Trinity of Bush, Cheney and Rove has done it again! This latest heist involves today's pardon of Scooter Libby
You might say that We The People just took another hit as the scales of justice have once again been tipped, involving the carcass of our dead judicial system wrapped in concrete boots thrown into a ditch somewhere along the New Jersey Turnpike.
And just exactly where IS our collective righteous indignation over this latest middle finger from the President of the United States to the millions of saps who play by the rules and for the other woefully misguided half who voted for this fill-in-the-blank-expletive-deletive role model of The Rule of Law and our Judicial System?
HA! Bwahhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaa! The Bush Mob sure showed Joe Sixpack what keepin' it in the family is all about! "Take THAT You Wimpass Rule of Law! I'm the Decider!Kaboooom!!!!!"

The Groupthink-o-sphere: The High Schoolification of the Blogosphere

Groupthink-o-sphere: The High Schoolification of the Blogosphere
-Through Being Cool-

Daniel Schulman has written an eye-opening account on the current state of the political blogospshere. In this July/August edition of MOTHER JONES, Schulman offers an evolutionary chronicle of the ‘sphere’s devolution in his article: Meet the New Bosses -- After Crashing the gate of the political establishment, bloggers are looking more like the next gatekeepers

Has the Left’s online community, formerly know as the blogoshpere, devolved into an online, lock-step status quo forum that it originally set out to challenge? From the “Skull & Bones” secret society, invitation only list known as “Townhouse”, consisting of some 300 liberal bloggers, journalists and consultants, has the liberal Left become an emulation of the Right’s bullying behavior with its bloggers elbowing each other in line to the trough? To answer this question, one needs to look no further than to the concept of groupthink as defined in Wikipedia:

“Groupthink is a type of thought exhibited by group members who try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas. During Groupthink, members of the group avoid promoting viewpoints outside the comfort zone of consensus thinking. A variety of motives for this may exist such as a desire to avoid being seen as foolish, or a desire to avoid embarrassing or angering other members of the group. Groupthink may cause groups to make hasty, irrational decisions, where individual doubts are set aside, for fear of upsetting the group’s balance.”

Can the Left do better? After reading this article, it is clear that the blogosphere is a magnet for certain people who have not yet graduated from that distinctive highs school clique mentality, best characterized by the intense desire by certain students to conform. One great example that everyone can recall is between class period gatherings at the lockers -- where basically three “types” of social groups would meet: the bullies, who would gravitate to one side and the smart iconoclasts to the other, and in between, the third group, which consisted of those who were oblivious to the social strata altogher either out of conscious rejection of all things “groupthink” and stereotypical labeling or those who appeared to either have had no clue, bad breath, or were so woefully lacking in basic social skills of any sort as to be left on their own, no worse the wear.

But politics is all about POWER, and what every ‘conformist first’ or groupthinker subliminally knows is that there is strength in numbers – however, in some cases, completely asinine that strength or those “numbers” may be. Schulman describes in this article that some of those who are described as “Big Bloggers” in the blogosphere are heavily invested in working with political campaigns, noting one former Republican and soldier Markos Moulitsas Zuniga of Daily Kos as being “in regular communication with Democratic leadership aides, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, himself.”

But with groupthink comes the same high school bully behaviors like backstabbing, the cold shoulder and its evil twin, the small-minded, petty and jealous conformity which risks earning it nothing more than a reputation of “bullies only allowed”, and to be sure, like the notorious “Skull & Bones” secretive in-club, this may well be an earned mark of distinction for those hypocritical bloggers who claim to be “for the People” but chase the economic and social status rewards at the expense of the very civility, respect and common decency that it initially sought to challenge and replace the status quo MSM.

For all of its emphasis upon politics but with its peculiar absence of what I refer to as “socialtics”, it is this very lack of civility and decency that undermines the sustainability of this medium. That the “Big Bloggers” would push their own mothers down a flight of stairs to line up first at the trough is a natural extension of power seeking and anti-intellectual maneuvering that indeed belongs to a class unto itself. Suffice it to say that the honorable journalist, Bill Moyers, would be as far from this groupthink-o-sphere as one could get.

A community of human beings. The Democratic Party's ultimate voice of civility himself, Howard Dean, says that
“The Internet is not just a tool. It is a community of human beings who are tired of what I call the one-way campaign…it’s (now) about listening to you first before we formulate the message.”

But what Schulman describes is a disturbing account of incivil groupthink so foul in the treatment of one notable and prolific blogger, Maryscott O’Connor, of Myleftwing.com, also a frequent blogger at Daily Kos. Several months ago, Ms. O’Connor penned a witty post about speaking truth to power entitled “Something is Rotten in Blogmark” and explained to Schulman:

“This is what happens when you crash the gates. All of a sudden, you're not just a pajama-clad kid in his parents' basement; once you've demonstrated your power and influence, people start demanding accountability and transparency. They want to know, for instance, that you aren't pushing a candidate MERELY because you (or your friends) have been paid by that candidate to do so."

"It's fucking Skull and Bones, man." One month after Schulman spoke with Maryscott, Moulitsas banned her from the site over a copyright violation. O’Connor further explained that she had begun to feel there was a "schism" in the blogosphere:

"I think that certain bloggers, the big ones, think politics is sexy," she said. "They want in, and they're getting in. They'll do anything to get in, almost. They want a seat at the table. They want to be in the inner circle of the Democratic Party."
A member of Townhouse, she was at first reluctant to talk about the list but changed her mind midway through our conversation, predicting that her comments would get her banished. "It's fucking Skull and Bones, man," she said.
"The very secretive, behind-closed-doors nature of it is anathema to everything that blogging is supposed to be about: accountability. We are supposed to be showing the way, not skulking around behind closed doors, coming up with strategies. Those are the people who we're trying to fight. I know about 'the real world' and all that shit. But we're the idealists, aren't we?"

Wow! ‘Big, bad Maryscott’ must have threatened the jack-boots off of Markos…I mean, for speaking truth to power, this guy ‘bans’ her? With ‘friends’ like these, who needs enemies? What level of intolerance, insecurity, egomania, smugness, and flat out megalomania prompts this type of ridiculous, anti-intellectual behavior? I mean, it’s not like Maryscott called him names or mooned him or anything, so what’s the big deal here? To say that Markos owes her an apology would be an understatement, for it is precisely this kind of over-inflated sense of self-importance at the risk of community and common decency toward one’s fellow colleague that is bringing down our civilization – whether in the blogosphere, or at the high school lockers, this is, for a lack of a better word, ‘bullshit’. If that’s how the “Big Bloggers” on the Left behave to one another, they deserve to enjoy the company of their fellow mean-spirited mindless counterparts, banished forever to hold their bullying courts with their boring and useless tools of devolution.

Speaking truth to power? Are some in the Left blogosphere consciously emulating the shameless behaviors of the Right it once shunned in its mistreatment of each other with its backstabbing and mean-spirited high school bullying behavior? Is questioning the status quo now so threatening to those few few groupthinkers that they are indistinguishable from the Right?
Will the charter of the Left blogosphere’s initial core motivation –- to challenge and fight the status quo --- ever find its way back to the soul of community? That the very message of peace and love that the sixties movement put together so beautifully is now tumbling down around the Left blogosphere like the Walls of Jericho in the Groupthink-o-sphere signals pause for all to listen and to reevaluate the merits of the trough versus our collective civility and what this means for our democracy.