margonaut blog archive (2004-2014)


my evil twin?

This may sound really weird, but I find Ann Coulter totally inspiring.

She may be vindictive and have a very limited worldview, but she's really quite intelligent and has managed to create quite a media persona around herself. She also has great legs and fashion sense! She's got a way with words, and some of her insults to the Democrats (who I'm not supporting here, don't get me wrong) are hilarious.

I'd like to be just like her, minus the hate, fear, egotism, and misguided nationalism!

Why Anti-Coulter?
Ann Coulter is a pundit who has made her mark as one of the loudest and most controversial of the far-right shouters on the web and on the airwaves. Her views are Neanderthal in their conservatism (scroll down for some typical quotes), yet she attracts a fair bit of attention (yes, I do catch the irony that this web site is part of that attention) and with, I feel, too few reasoned attempts to refute her flawed and harmful polemics. In column after column she fires crazed missiles of warped ideology at innocent and defenseless common sense. With this web site, however, common sense is armed and shooting back!

Quotes From Ann Coulter
COULTER: I take the biblical idea. God gave us the earth.
PETER FENN (Democratic strategist): Oh, OK.
COULTER: We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees.
FENN: This is a great idea.
COULTER: God says, "Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours."
FENN: Terrific. We're Americans, so we should consume as much of the Earth's resources...
COULTER: Yes! Yes.
FENN: ... as fast as we possibly can.
COULTER: As opposed to living like the Indians. Best Quotes From Ann Coulter's Columns
If John Kerry had a dollar for every time he bragged about serving in Vietnam -- oh wait, he does.


the news is no longer about journalism

We've all become so desensitized to advertising that companies (and the government!) are looking for new ways to reach the public with their messages. Making advertising look like news via a "video news release" (VNR for short) is getting more and more popular despite the fact that it should be illegal.

Pioneered professionally by Medialink, the Video News Release (VNR), the television version of the printed press release, translates the printed word into the sound and pictures television newsrooms need. Produced in broadcast news style, VNRs relay the news of a product launch, medical discovery, corporate merger event, timely feature or breaking news to television news decision-makers. Every major television station in the world now uses VNRs regularly, and most are from Medialink. It’s a fact.

The Art of Manufactured News
For viewers, discerning real news from pitches has never been harder. Sometimes the paid “newscasts” are authentic reports sponsored by a client. Other times, they’re corporate videos disguised as newscasts. Medialink has made buys for the latter on Rainbow Networks’ AMC and Fuse channels, among others, and for General Motors Corp., Siemens AG and Philips. One of its competitors, News Broadcast Network (NBN), a New York-based company that distributes conventional VNRs and corporate B-rolls, buys remnant time on cable networks and on stations in small TV markets, as well as on radio stations.

And Now, the Counterfeit News
Most of these tapes are very skillfully done, including "interviews" that seem genuine and "reporters" who look much like the real thing. Only sophisticated viewers would easily recognize that these videos are actually unpaid commercial announcements for the White House or some other part of the government. Some of the videos clearly cross the line into the proscribed territory of propaganda, and the Government Accountability Office says at least two were illegally distributed.

United States Government Accountability Office: Office of National Drug Control Policy
For the purposes of this opinion, we examined eight VNRs seven that you provided as part of your request, and one more that ONDCP provided to us. Seven of the eight VNRs include prepackaged news stories. As explained below, we conclude that the prepackaged news stories in these VNRs constitute covert propaganda and violated the publicity or propaganda prohibition because ONDCP did not identify itself to the viewing audience as the producer and distributor of these prepackaged news stories.

White House to agencies: Ignore GAO's ruling on 'illegal' TV news releases
The White House, intent on continuing to crank out "video news releases" that look like television news stories, has told government agency heads to ignore a Government Accountability Office memo criticizing the practice as illegal propaganda.

Filed under: news & media No Comments

heart to heart

I just remembered a good piece of advice a friend gave me awhile back: if two people hug each other with their left arms up and right arms around each others' waists, it makes their hearts touch, which leads to a more satisfying hug!

Pass it on.


we’re all missing pieces, we all have keys

the sincerest of love poems
get taken totally the wrong way

and sometimes
putting someone on a pedestal
only causes them to fall

Filed under: poetry No Comments

cause & effect

If you woke up tomorrow with the ability to see into people's minds and find out their deepest fears and desires how would you use this ability? Would you use it to selfish advantage by amplifying these fears in an attempt to make money, have power over others, and get laid more often eventually alienating everyone around you once they wise up, or would you use it to become a powerful, respected, and loved healer?

While you may not have this particular power, we all have been given and developed certain skills and abilities. How we use them affects the results we get from life. The idea of karma or "what comes around goes around" is very real indeed. Sometimes the "bad" things that happen to us are really blessings in disguise meant to lead us to something new, but other times it's a direct result of our past actions.

This may sound like a new-agey or religious concept (which it is) but it's also just the law of cause & effect.

Giving selflessly (without attachment to how your gifts are received) is powerful stuff. You might not be able to "save the World" with it, but it will have a strong effect on the way you experience it. This should be common sense.

Physics Has its Principles
First, why must every effect have a cause? The answer is so basic that it is practically a matter of definition. The “cause” is whatever makes the “effect” happen. If something in the universe changes (an effect), having no “cause” to make it happen is the logical equivalent of magic, a miracle, or the supernatural. Even then, we might think of the will of the magician, miracle worker, or supernatural being as the cause. However, we are not referring here to tricks or illusions, but to events that happen without something making them happen. Even the will of a powerful being cannot produce an effect without having the means to do so. The “means” is the cause, and typically involves force or energy in some form.

Wikipedia: Karma
Karma literally means "deed or act" and more broadly names the universal principle of cause and effect, action and reaction which governs all life. Karma is not fate, for man acts with free will creating his own destiny. According to the Vedas, if we sow goodness, we will reap goodness; if we sow evil, we will reap evil.

Galatians 6:7
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.


Canadian sovereignty

Canada is supposedly not going along with the United States' "Missle Defense" program, which is good news, but those who would profit from it are putting up a fight. I urge my Canadian readers to get involved and write to Paul Martin via the link below.

Government Says No to Missle Defense
It has been reported that Paul Martin has decided to not join the U.S. missile defence program. More than 50,000 letters opposed to Star Wars have been sent through, proving that individuals can make a difference.

But not everyone is happy. Already the editorialists, the retired generals, the ambassadors, and the CEOs are crying foul. They accuse the government of failing to convince Canadians that Canada needs to join the U.S. missile system.

Please write a letter supporting the government’s decision to not put Canada into George Bush’s Star wars program.

Canada Should Keep its Distance from U.S. Foreign Policy
Canadian security depends on our ability to maintain meaningful sovereignty from the United States. Being inside the U.S. security fortress isn't a missile shield, it's a missile magnet.

Filed under: politics 1 Comment

distant light

Here's some big news happening in space exploration! Modern observation technology is truly amazing.

NASA's Spitzer Marks Beginning of New Age of Planetary Science
Spitzer is ideally suited for studying extrasolar planets known to transit, or cross, stars the size of our Sun out to distances of 500 light-years. Of the seven known transiting planets, only the two mentioned here meet those criteria. As more are discovered, Spitzer will be able to collect their light - a bonus for the observatory, considering it was not originally designed to see extrasolar planets. NASA's future Terrestrial Planet Finder coronagraph, set to launch in 2016, will be able to directly image extrasolar planets as small as Earth.

Filed under: ETs & UFOs No Comments

can’t please everyone

Sometimes, despite your best efforts to be kind and friendly, some people are just not going to like you. It's important not to assume that if someone is grumpy or doesn't say hi that it's because of you, but sometimes the signals are obvious.

Perhaps you have a habit that annoys them or they are judging you by your physical attributes, sense of fashion, or choice of friends. Maybe they discovered they lost something while you were in the room and assume wrongly that you stole it. Maybe their attitude is, "F*** you, I have enough friends" (this is a t-shirt I've seen!)

It's hard to know what's going on in people's heads. All you can really do is to let it roll off your back and not let the situation make you feel bad about yourself, especially when you haven't done anything wrong.


why some people don’t like "hippies"

Every community has its own peculiar slang. Here's a word I had never heard before I moved West:

noun: A person who demands a lot from the Gathering and does not return anything. (from People of the Rainbow: A Nomadic Utopia.)

in context:

Arcata Finds It's Not Easy Being Green
In Arcata, plaza watchers such as Kolshinski make a distinction between the free-spirit love-is-all-you-need Rainbows and the parasitic Drainbows. The authentic Rainbow belongs to an amorphous and far-flung tribe of hippie-like vagabonds that converges, thousands strong, once a year at different remote locations in the United States. The tribe is knit together by a belief in some version of cosmic love, and by the karmic philosophy that what goes around comes around. While his adornment may be odd, his personal hygiene uncomplicated and his work ethic lax, he's a friend to the planet who picks up his own trash. The Drainbow may have the Rainbow look, but for him (or her), it's a one-way street. A sentiment heard in town is that the Drainbow takes everything he can squeeze out of a complacent world and leaves others to clean up his mess

Filed under: miscellaneous No Comments

reality is uncertainty

embrace not knowing
exactly who you are
what’s going on and
or what will happen
in the days to come

Filed under: poetry 1 Comment