Saturday, October 14, 2006

Jack Carter - Independent Voice



In a one-two punch directly aimed at Sen. Ensign's Good Ol' boy school of politics and squarely aimed at the center-right-rural votes that will likely determine this election, Carter challenges preconceptions about Ensign's performance on national security and his value to Nevadans as their Representative.

Jack is also steering clear of being too closely identified with Democrats.

"I don't want to be one of the Democrats like my opponent is One of the Republicans." Obviously he's running away form our own Sen. Harry Reid. So would I, as if my hair were on fire.

tag: , , , , ,

Invisible Alligators and the Reclamation of Suburban Iraqi Wetlands.

I quote from the link below:

Author Stan Goff, a retired 26-year veteran of the U.S. Army Special Forces, sounds a warning call that many of the historical precursors of fascism—white supremacy, militarization of culture, vigilantism, masculine fear of female power, xenophobia and economic destabilization—are ascendant in America today.

Truthdig - Sowing the Seeds of Fascism in America
Stan Goff (Master Sergeant, US Army, Special Forces (Ret.)

It's a long read, but a fascinating one, and it doesn't have the tone of pansy-assed peacenikism you might use to dismiss critics who make the very same points. It's told from an internal perspective, by someone who was inside the Sharp End.

There is a point that was left out that I do think obvious. Probably the author thought it so obvious that it was unworthy of mention. I've learned that the really obvious things are often made invisible by their own conspicuousness.

Means can conflict with ends, and if your end is to peacefully occupy a nation of brown skinned folks with different social constructs, it might be a good idea to not send troops that include even a tiny percentage of xenophobic racists.

It's pretty easy to predict that Bad Things Will Happen that will get in the way of the mission - and as the saying goes, "When you are up to your ass in alligators, it's hard to remember that the mission was to drain the swamp."

I think it's an inherently bad idea to invade a sovereign nation in the first place; it's bound to lead to trouble and one should be damn sure that the alternative is much worse to spend that much blood and treasure. But dewy-eyed civilian optimism often leads to such ill-advised adventures; it's fairly much a military truism. Therefore, a soldier who has a desire to retire somewhere other than Arlington needs to work to ensure that the guy next to him isn't going to be reducing his odds.

Success in any military adventure requires the sort of cold-eyed realism that ideology and mythic belief structures inherently degrade. It's bad enough to be up to your ass in alligators; in the middle east it appears that we are up to our collective asses in invisible alligators that are officially deemed to not exist.

The largest invisible alligator in the swamp is the large body of "military contractors." When it's public knowledge that certain large forces employed by Americans are immune from the law and from military justice, it's not all that surprising that the response of first resort is to blow them up and anyone else who isn't actually shooting AT them. That initiative probably includes allied Iraqi military and police, as well as the various militias.

I would too. It's not terrorism; it's not even immoral. it's prudence; the same prudence that requires that you shoot any dog that's foaming at the mouth.

Whatever other realities exist, it's a damn bad idea to allow murderers to participate in a war, and it can be a suicidally bad idea to get between them and the logical consequences of their actions.

They are a danger to the citizens of Iraq, obviously - and they are a danger to everyone they are near, because any citizen of Iraq with a gun is fully justified in shooting in the general direction of such monsters as would be anyone entrusted with the safety of Iraqi civilians.

tag: , , , , , , ,

Digital Brownshirts make pretty blond teen cry.

Myspace Bush Threat

When Julia Wilson was "investigated" by Secret Service agents their procedure likely planted the seeds of radicalism in the entire school.

Teen questioned for online Bush threats - Yahoo! News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Upset by the war in
Iraq, Julia Wilson vented her frustrations with
President Bush last spring on her Web page on MySpace.com. She posted a picture of the president, scrawled "Kill Bush" across the top and drew a dagger stabbing his outstretched hand. She later replaced her page on the social-networking site after learning in her eighth-grade history class that such threats are a federal offense.
Now, to me it is obvious that when you are investigating the potential of a possible threat, knowing that the person of interest is young and impressionable and surrounded by young and impressionable persons, you would want to make a very GOOD impression. Otherwise, there is a slight but real potential of creating the exact threat that you were trying to prevent.

You would also wish to avoid creating the impression that you have the right to act with impunity, disrupting the lives and educations of hundreds of students. You would certainly wish to avoid the appearance of an improper interrogation without benefit of council or parents even if the statutes permitting that are technically in favor of doing that. That might create the wrong impression in the minds of taxpayers who had not been closely following politics.

In this situation, there was absolutely nothing whatsoever to lose by proceeding in a courteous and considerate manner. Every investigator - and especially those who's duties require broad latitude and discretion - should be extremely conservative about approaching the boundaries of their authority. In this case, it looks a lot like they behaved in an intimidating way due either to thoughtlessness or in some pin-headed attempt to "send a message."

And indeed they did. Congratulations, gentlemen - the reply will be delivered to your supervisor by your employers.

That would be us.

The 14-year-old freshman was taken out of class Wednesday and questioned for about 15 minutes by two Secret Service agents. The incident has upset her parents, who said the agents should have included them when they questioned their daughter.

On Friday, the teenager said the agents' questioning led her to tears.

"I wasn't dangerous. I mean, look at what's (stenciled) on my backpack — it's a heart. I'm a very peace-loving person," said Wilson, an honor student who describes herself as politically passionate. "I'm against the war in Iraq. I'm not going to kill the president."



Had you investigated discreetly, you could have easily figured out that she was not a threat. Goodness, you might even have steered her safely into a career in the Secret Service. I understand that the federal government is finding it difficult to entice recruits of her potential caliber, and ironclad opportunities to speak to school age persons are not exactly leaping to the fore.

But no, you had to jerks. I admit that is an accurate representation of the current administration, and I suppose it may be difficult to resist slipping into that mindset, but I expect far, far more of one of the proudest and most respected enforcement agencies in the land.

On the rare occasions when I hear of your activities, I expect your actions to make me proud - not squirm in horrified embarrassment.

Yelling at 14 year old girls and making them cry is not a shining example of professionalism, nor is angering and frightening thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of parents. These "Internet tubes" go everywhere, these days.

Cindy Sheehan became a personal nightmare of this Administration simply because she was snubbed. Having your child personally threatened by armed paranoids in brown suits is an order of magnitude beyond that.

I believe that someone owes someone a public, personal apology. I would suggest that there are two agents who could use some sensitivity training, because if they cannot treat white, blond children with due courtesy according to the spirit of the constitution, it's not a big leap to assume that no-one will be afforded their rights.

When the rottweiler cannot tell the difference between a threat and a challenge, the rottweiler is put down.

We don't shoot agents, of course. We just have them fired, revoke their carry permits, their security clearances and suggest they pursue a less stressful career path that doesn't require much human interaction. I've always felt that unmanning lighthouses was a foolish mistake.

I do not believe it's part of the overall mandate of the Secret Service to create political problems for the Administration - much less create public situations that could crystallize a potential threat into a madman's plan. Gentles, as you never know what sort of nut is reading the news, it would behoove you to stay out of it. These days, you can't just rely on a couple of phone calls to ensure such a story goes away.

tag: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, October 13, 2006

Is October Surprise a Blitzkrieg into Iran?

This article documents recent developments, focusing on military deployment and preparations in the event of a US led war on Iran. This text follows a number of earlier reports published by Global Research pertaining to the War on Iran (See Iran dossier, Nuclear War dossier, Lebanon dossier )

read more | digg story

Jobless man asks judge for jail time

A man who couldn't find steady work came up with a plan to make it through the next few years until he could collect Social Security: He robbed a bank, then handed the money to a guard and waited for police. The comments on digg from the Compassionate Conservatives will - or should - outrage you.

read more | digg story

Lancet Estimates range from 400000

Echidne is my go-to Goddess for analytical rigor. I wanted to see what she had to say about the Lancet study which was so airily dismissed by Bushco.

ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES: On the Lancet Study of Iraqi War-Related Deaths

I'm still reading the study and its critiques. If I have anything useful to say on the statistical aspects of the study it will most likely be tomorrow. It is sad to note that opinions about the validity of the study split almost exactly along political lines.

But what is unbearably sadder is the violent death and dying in Iraq, whatever the actual numbers of victims might be.

The comments are meaty and filled with insight

From what I can tell so far - and this is a developing story - the Lancet study is being deliberately conservative in it's estimates. Estimates, by the way, done with rigorous methodology of the same kind as a Pentagon Battle-Damage estimate. Or in other words, these numbers are being held low, not inflated as you would expect if this were a propaganda exercise.

Majikthise : More on the Lancet study of Iraqi deaths: "The Lancet study is quite simply the best evidence we have about the death toll attributable to the invasion. The Iraqi investigators interviewed almost thirteen thousand people all over Iraq, except two regions that were too dangerous visit.

Sure, there's a wide margin of error. The takehome message of this study is that vastly more people have died in Iraq than the government or the media have told us. The study has a wide margin of error. Between 400,000 and 800,000. "

There's not a lot I could find that strikes me both to be valid critique and written in words I could understand - although I'm sure it's about to come. Lancet was criticised in 2004 for a similar study that suggested a number of 100,000, apparently with some rigor; at least, enough to affect their methodology, and there is a spritely debate as to the validity of the current study there as well.

Interestingly enough, the casualty figures for the first gulf war are in dispute, and the person who dared try to come to some reasonable estimate - against the will of the Defense Department - was forced out of government for trying. Again, estimates are just that, but this figure is within a fermi of 100,000, the largest proportion being attributed to "indirect health effects" post-war.

Update: Just found these two links. A Debunking of Right-Wing "debunkings"
and Flypaper for Innumerates.

Reading all this has led me to understand a problem with much right-wing critique - the belief that disbelief in a result IS a "debunking." But then, we are dealing with folks who also harbor a larger than average belief that teaching evolution is a communist plot to brainwash our children into becoming morally-relative secular humanists who will use critical reasoning to attack the throne of God.

That last bit was an editorial moment.

tag: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Meet the "other" Kerrey

"For those who have fought in war, decisions about war and peace and how you send men and women to war become personal in a hurry. Wars -- even when we agree they are necessary -- are not the result of our successes; they are the result of our failures." -Senator Bob Kerrey

I'm bumping this May post back up to the top because it's become even more urgent.

Full text of the message below, but first, a word from your Blogger.

The words above, for all their power, are not an original thought, nor are they derived from some sort of fuzzy-minded Liberalism. They are a distillation of the words of many men who went to war, both victoriously and not. They are the words of Von Clauzwitz, Sun Tsu, Erwin Rommel, Patton, Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Generals Grant and Lee. They are the words of those who's job it is was to reduce the cost political failure to a body count in the pursuit of "diplomacy by other means."

It is not cowardice to point these truths out. No war fighter can be ignorant of these facts of life and death, though one hopes that contemplating the truths makes them less fearful than those who hide behind self-delusion and rhetoric based on wishful thinking.

Both Kerry and Kerrey have gone and "seen the elephant," have learned first hand the brutal principle stated by Von Clauswitz. "War is fought by human beings."

He stated that as a path to victory; an explanation of why a small, well motivated force could often defeat a much larger force. The force that wants the victory the most, the one who has the least to lose, the one with the best leadership and the best morale has a tremendous advantage over any force composed of those who are unsure of the worth of their task or unable to see the correspondence between what their leaders say and what the enemy actually looks like and does.

You don't need to be much of a student of history to find examples as to how this works, a fact that may explain why Vietnam is yet to be included in general US high school history texts.

Nor do you need much insight into the Iraq war to understand why we have so little to show for what we have spent. Wars are not fought for nebulous ideals; they are fought by human beings for things that matter to them.
Pep rallies, incoherent speechification and airy dismissals of the importance of the reality on the ground makes warriors cynical and risk-averse.

A war is won when you achieve something as the result of it that you could not have achieved in any other way. National survival, freedom from oppression, access to resources, strategic control, or a tangible, just and visible outcome; whatever it may be, and whatever the justice of the cause, that is what must be weighed in the balance against the price paid by those who fought - and those who tried and failed to avoid the fighting.

This is why we lost the Vietnam War. This is why we have lost the Iraq war and will lose the Iranian conflict, should there be one.

Not because we have lost battles - we lost very few indeed. If warfare were scored on points, well, there would have been no contest, and indeed, against almost any conceivable enemy, there can be no contest.

But in the end, General Giap got what he set out to get - a unified Vietnam, free of foreign domination. They achieved national self-determination for the first time in centuries.

We can say that we went to Afghanistan to liberate it from the Taliban and make it's people free - but the Taliban has returned in force.

We could say that we went to Iraq to free it from Saddam - and we did. We may count that as a victory, and one that was certainly cheap enough had we been satisfied with that outcome. Clearly, our leaders have reasons for not being satisfied with that - and are yet unable to comprehend that geopolitical positioning for a New World Order dominated by American military power is not a goal shared by most members of our actual military.

Not, at least, under our current leadership.

I have never once heard a coherent and credible enumeration of what we were fighting for that could be put in terms of a tangible achievement, or that was reflected in (rather than refuted by) actual policy. This makes me doubt the sincerity of our leadership, and I have far less access to pragmatic policy than the sons and daughters of our nation who face death every day for reasons that must seem unclear at best.

Now, one may say that we should not focus entirely on the short term. We do have a fairly stable Southeast Asia, dedicated to the principle that a rising economic tide lifts all boats. And that is an achievement that is the result, in no small part, of Vietnam veterans who have been there - on both sides - and know that the way to avoid war is to wage peace with equal dedication. Perhaps that could not have achieved without the contrast given by those years of warfare and privation, and the unified purpose given the Vietnamese people by the experience. Nonetheless, I note that we did not try very hard, when trying would have been both cheap and the course of action most in accord with our national principles.

Likewise, we and the rest of the world have much to gain from a stable middle east, and I think it is a goal that is achievable in the region - once it is made possible for the results to benefit the people that actually live there and are directly affected by our policies and statements to that end.

In order to do that, though, we must again act in accordance with our own principles while respecting and understanding the principles, needs and drives of those we need to co-operate with us.

Diplomacy is an unspectacular way to achieve great things. There are many popular biographies of victorious war leaders, but few wish to read an accurate account of the struggles of Senators and diplomats.

But they are the people on the front line of Civilization and without them armies are rather pointless institutions. For the carrot is more attractive than the stick when, and only when the stick is at least as big as the carrot - and kept mostly out of sight.


"I believed then, just as I believe now, that the best way to support the troops is to oppose a course that squanders their lives, dishonors their sacrifice, and disserves our people and our principles."
-- John Kerry, April 22nd, 2006 in Boston

Dear Robert,

When we were in the Senate together, John Kerry and I shared a lot more than a last name. We both came to public service after having served our country in Vietnam. And that experience caused us to make a fifteen year effort to bring peace to Cambodia, resolve the POW-MIA issue, write a road map to normalization with our former enemy, and follow that road map until a former prisoner of war returned as our ambassador in 1998.

That diplomatic voyage was long and very contentious. It began with President George Herbert Walker Bush and ended with President Clinton. It was not possible without the courageous leadership of Senator John McCain and many other Vietnam veterans who served in Congress. It was angrily opposed by many and reignited many of the bitter, personal debates surrounding the war itself.

It's among my proudest accomplishments. We were able -- Republicans and Democrats together -- to achieve a great foreign policy success at the site of our worst foreign policy mistake. We stood shoulder to shoulder for peace and reconciliation. Millions of Cambodians and Vietnamese are better off today because of it. For me this was an effort worthy of our sacrifices and reflects my strongest desire for America's destiny as a peace maker.

For those who have fought in war, decisions about war and peace and how you send men and women to war become personal in a hurry. Wars -- even when we agree they are necessary -- are not the result of our successes; they are the result of our failures.

Something more, though, was seared into both John and me by our Vietnam experiences. Half of the names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall are the names of Americans who died after the policy makers knew our nation was on the wrong course, after both political parties called for expeditious withdrawal. And yet the war dragged on for five more years.

"How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

Thirty-five years ago, John Kerry asked that question as a recently returned Vietnam veteran testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He acted because he believed it was right to dissent from a war he believed was wrong -- and he was willing to endure the attacks of the Nixon Administration which hated John for saying what he believed.

This testimony provoked more than partisan attacks. Even many of his fellow veterans were angry and some never forgave him. I remember this well because I nearly lost my first race for Governor because people thought I was John.

Say what you want about the content of that testimony, it was an act of profound courage. And say what you want about that testimony, there is little doubt that Vietnam and the United States would have been spared tens of thousands of its youth had John's advice been taken.

Ten days ago, in a powerful speech on Iraq and dissent at Boston's Faneuil Hall, John made it clear that those who disagree with President Bush's course in Iraq have a right and an obligation to challenge a President who they believe is wrong, a policy they believe is wrong, and a war in Iraq they believe weakens our nation.

John stood up and defended the dissenters -- whether retired generals or our fellow Vietnam veteran Congressman Jack Murtha.

In an age where those who speak out are too often vilified or worse, John spoke out about and acted on the real meaning of patriotism: having the courage to speak your mind, heart, and gut even when it's unpopular.

I urge you to watch this vitally important speech and to forward it to as many people as possible.

VIEW HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FANEUIL HALL SPEECH ON DISSENT AND IRAQ

We're at a big moment here - one where each and every one of us must reject attempts to silence criticism of the rudderless course Washington has charted, one in which each of us must absolutely refuse to let soldiers and civilians die to save face for politicians unwilling to admit their mistakes or change course.

I urge you to watch this speech and to join with John Kerry in speaking out and doing everything possible to make 2006 the year that we did what's right for our soldiers in Iraq, our nation's foreign policy values, and our national security.

Sincerely,

Senator Bob Kerrey



tag: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Remember "The Sting?" Book reveals how Karl Rove led the faithful astray.

Not that it's a surprise to anyone who was paying attention, but this scam was aimed at those who's faith reqires that they avoid "worldly" things, like "liberal media."

Think Progress » BOOK EXCERPT: Rove Demands ‘Just Get Me A F—ing Faith-Based Thing. Got it?’:

"David Kuo, the former second-in-command of President Bush’s Office on Faith-Based Initiatives, has a new book detailing how the office was “used almost exclusively to win political points with both evangelical Christians and traditionally Democratic minorities.”

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann had an exclusive report on the book last night (watch the video), and part two of his report airs tonight at 8 PM ET.

ThinkProgress has obtained an excerpt from the book, set shortly after Bush’s 2001 inauguration:

Every other White House office was up and running. The faith-based initiative still operated out of the nearly vacant transition offices.

Three days later, a Tuesday, Karl Rove summoned [Don] Willett [a former Bush aide from Texas who initially shepharded the program] to his office to announce that the entire faith-based initiative would be rolled out the following Monday. Willett asked just how — without a director, staff, office, or plan — the president could do that. Rove looked at him, took a deep breath, and said, “I don’t know. Just get me a f—ing faith-based thing. Got it?” Willett was shown the door."
Olbermann on the Murder of Habeus Corpus

This latest power grab should have all americans talking.

Jazzaphant


Jazzaphant
Originally uploaded by teetsy.

This may be the cutest tee-shirt ever. If you want one, I think you have to pester the folks at Teetsy.

Media Matters debunks Foley Myths

Like cats covering up on linoleum, it seems this particular crop of "Republicans" and paid flacks like O'Rielly, Limbaugh and Coulter say and do the wrong thing for the wrong reasons out of sheer instinct.


read more | digg story

Snow in Reno


Reno snow
Originally uploaded by Ilikethenight.

This was the scene at the Reno Arch in December, 2004. This is a not bad sort of storm for us. We've had some memorably bad winters when those of us living in the north valleys had to shovel our cars out - once the plows had gotten to us.

The forecasts say that we are looking at a mild, el-nino winter this time around. As concerned as I am with the issues of global warming, I'll take the good with the bad and smile.

tag: , , , , ,

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Is Political Affiliation Just Blind Loyalty? Why I'm Leaving the GOP

From LewRockwell; a Republican writes: "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." We Republicans must give first loyalty to the vision of America we share with Franklin, that of a nation that is better than momentary fear and anger."

read more | digg story

Bush's Downward Slide

President Bush's approval ratings appear to be dropping to their lowest levels ever -- and this time, to the enormous apprehension of the White House, there's something voters can do about it. Great roundup article includes some news you may have missed.

read more | digg story

And now for something completely irrelevant!



I stumbled across a classified ad for this on fark.com and I gave it a whirl. It brings to mind some of my favorite games on the C64 - nice, simple games with simple strategies that that are a challenge to your brain instead of your reflexes, cpu and graphics card.

I plan to spread my turns out so I can have a little break between breaking outrages.

My first two hundred moves were fun, and I didn't even bother reading the rules. Jump in - it might take your mind off the strong possibility that we might be at war with Iran - possibly even nuclear war - by the end of the month. And if oil hits 110 bucks a barrel, you may just need a quiet, cheap diversion from an increasingly ugly reality.

tag: , , , , , , , ,

Apres' Moi, Le Armageddon: Bush's Atomic October Surprise

Every time I think George Bush has reached the limits of his hubris, I am further astonished.

Ordinarily, the deployment of a carrier battle group to the Persian Gulf region would be a matter of routine. Indeed, this probably is just that. However, given the current Geopolitical situation and the election timing, it might have been wise to dawdle, because intentions can be misread, or worse yet, read quite accurately.

That is one hell of a lot of ... well, atomic and precision munition hell, pointedly directed at Iran, because there's bugger all that battle group can do to improve the situation in Iraq.

I think that if it looks to GWB that the Republicans are going to loose Congress, he will start a nuclear war and declare martial law, because in that scenario, he does not have a great deal to lose. He will almost certainly be impeached, and if he is not further convicted of various illegal acts, possibly extending to war crimes, it will be a strange mercy.

In effect, this is a gun pointed at your head, far more than at Iran's population.

This sort of threat is directly in line with his past behavior. Were I to bet on the scenario being played out, I would bet money on the USS Eisenhower disappearing in an atomic fireball in a repeat of the "USS Maine" pretext used to start the Spanish American War.

AlterNet: Does Bush Think War with Iran Is Preordained?:
By Chris Hedges, Truthdig. Posted October 10, 2006.

The Christian right sees an apocalyptic nuclear war with Iran as a vision set forth in the Bible. Bush himself may be a believer, too.

The aircraft carrier Eisenhower, accompanied by the guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio, guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage, guided-missile destroyer USS Mason and the fast-attack submarine USS Newport News, is, as I write, making its way to the Straits of Hormuz off Iran. The ships will be in place to strike Iran by the end of the month. It may be a bluff. It may be a feint. It may be a simple show of American power. But I doubt it.

The article goes on to point out that even a precision nuclear barrage cannot defeat Iran. We would have to occupy it and defeat some very justly pissed people in detail. If you think you've seen problems with suicide bombers before, imagine a scenario where there are thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people who know they are dead already from fallout, to whom an explosive finale could only be a mercy. It also points out that atomic war in Iran will mean in all probability, the end of Israel as a nation, world wide depression and oil at 110 dollars a barrel.

Democrats and Republicans in Congress have to wake up and smell the reality. This administration must go, and it is up to them to send it packing. Republicans now have little or nothing to lose and could even restore their political fortunes, at least well enough to return another day. Indeed, it's hard to think of anything less dramatic that might redeem them in the eyes of the public. A little actual heroism might dispel the impression that Congress persons of both parties are little better than used car salesmen or personal injury lawyers.

But in order to do that, there would have to be a Congress of elected Senators and representatives. It seems to me a good bet that George Bush considers all of you dispensable in his quest for Armageddon.

I think I should remind you-all that Congress is where Congress meets. That might best be done in a place where George has less direct control of air and land forces.

tag: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


One of the very worst things you can do to a fine article of clothing is to use a wire coathanger. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 09, 2006

Khul on Katrina - Exploring the Alternate Republican Universe.


I've been looking at polls, which show numerically that those who call themselves Republican are somehow living in a completely different Time/Space continuum in which Bush is both a Republican AND a strong, effective and competent Leader. In the future of this same reality, Spock wears a goatee.

tag: , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Proud to be on Page Ten: CafePress Breast Cancer Awareness Shop


Breast Cancer Awareness Month - please read
Originally uploaded by Graphictruth.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

A couple of weeks ago, cafepress shopowners were asked to create and donate designs for a fund-raising and awareness-rasing effort. We were all happy, of course, to show our support.

Today, the results came in the form of a newsletter, and it saying the following:

Breast Cancer Awareness month is a time for people to come together and use the power of community to make a difference.

At CafePress, we've looked to our own community of over 2.9 million users to make this difference - and the response was a rally cry of support.

The CafePress Breast Cancer Donation Shop contains hundreds of products designed and donated by our community of Shopkeepers.

CafePress.com will donate 40% of the retail price of all products sold through the Breast Cancer Donation Shop through October 31, 2006 to a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with a core purpose of raising awareness and funding breast cancer research and education.

Your purchase today directly supports a great cause, and makes you part of an empowering message of support, survival and prevention.

We at CafePress thank our generous Shopkeepers, and send our own well wishes to everyone involved in this cause.

CafePress Breast Cancer Awareness Shop : CafePress.com

I paged through it to see if my slightly odd design had made the cut. There it was, on page ten of "women's pink shirts."



I was thrilled, of course. It's a huge complement, when you consider how many designs must have been submitted. The top several pages are filled with designs from storekeepers who have proven track records as creators of best-selling designs. If you are trying to raise money for a cause, there is nothing unfair about that! Those of us with less stellar records had best just do a better job, or stop whining. But the design fairly lept from my tablet to the screen and I thought it compelling enough to enter. They thought it compelling enough to list. I hope that at least someone, other than myself, will buy one.

Ok, buy ANY one. Buy the one you like best. Or maybe two, it's a whole MONTH, after all! Now, after completing the sale , Cafepress will say "thank you" by offering you the chance to send a five dollar coupon to five of your friends.

Ordinarily, I would not suggest you spam your friends, but in this case, it's a good cause. But before you send off the message to cafepress with their email addresses, I would first ask you to send them a personal note, explaining why they are going to get that five dollar coupon and a small amount of junk mail from time to time.

Ask them, if they can afford it, to show their support by buying a shirt - and passing the letter and the coupon along to five more friends.

No guilt, no pressure, no icky chain-letter hype. This is simply viral marketing in a damn good cause. Make sure that you carefully select the five people you think would actually welcome the communication.

As a male, I decided to create a design aimed AT men. As I know that you WILL ogle a pert pair, (as I do, and without any visible shame) I know too that any message placed upon the bouncy bits will be sent right to your hind-brain, bypassing your ordinary filters.

So girls, if you wish to do your bit for raising the awareness of the OTHER half of the population that doesn't think this is their issue, take this "Ducks Unlimited" approach. One cannot view, ogle, whistle at or contemplate fondling that which is no longer there.

It might be seen as unfair, sexist and a lewd and lacivious suggestion to hint that you forgo a bra when wearing this shirt - but I assure you, it will be even more unfair to the men!

Should you happen to wear this shirt to school and be forced to turn it inside out because it's "suggestive," I suggest you contact your local newspaper and the ACLU - because publicity like that cannot be bought, it relies on the generous stupidity of others.

That's a Graphictruth for you, courtesy of Graphictruth.com



tag: , , , , , , , ,

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Popular Posts

News Feeds

Me, Elsewhere