February 28, 2010

Left Vs Right

Vocal Tea Party members often turn to historical references to justify their views. Yet, they also seem to have right wing views in support of the "free market" and constitutional rights of corporations. So, my question is, "are Tea Party members for the people or are they for the corporations?" Maybe they actually believe that corporations have the people's best interests at heart? ... as if corporations have hearts.

Left = government of the people, by the people, for the people

Right = government of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations.

Adherents to the right wing reasoning seem to believe that the invisible hand of the free market will make all things good. Under this reasoning, it's in the people's best interest that the Wall Street insiders got phat-rich over the last decade AND got bailed out by the tax payers when their system collapsed. Of course, they argue that the collapse was all Clinton's fault, because he forced mortgage companies to sell houses to the poor.

Corporations are also "people" according to America's current laws, or at least according to activist judges making America's laws.

But fear not, slavery was once America's law of the land, and the Supreme Court upheld that law in . Not to be too cynical, history shows we can change the laws of the land. Yes, if we take the multi-generational view of our social struggle, we can envision hope.

BTW: Hit the "Follow" button to the right :-D


February 26, 2010

How to Make MP3 Clip with GarageBand

Below is a rudimentary "How To" on making a recording in GarageBand and converting it to an MP3.

Fire Up Garage Band!

- Start GarageBand
- Select "New Project" from list on left
- highlight "Voice"
- click "Choose" (lower right corner)
- Name the project file (default is "my song") ... write down name in case you need to search for the file later. Note: You'll first be creating a garage band formatted file with the .band extension. Then, you'll compress it into an mp3 file, same name with .mp3 extension.
- Choose where you want it saved
- click on "Create" (Lower Right Corner)... might take a little time


LEFT Panel:
You should see two tracks identified They are labeled one for "Male Basic" voice, one for Female.

Two recording areas run horizonal across the upper part of the screen, with numbers across the top.

RIGHT Panel:
You can make different things pop up here, and make them go away to increase size of Center Panel. Upon starting a new project, you'll see Lots of stuff about "real instrument" or "master track."

Get Rid of Right Panel (this is an ass backward way, but it works):
- Select "Control" at top screen
- Select "Show Loop Browser" (It's an on/off toggle.. it will replace the right panel)
- De-select "Hide loop browser" from "Control" option. Right panel should be gone showing more of the recording area.

Recording Head:
The recording runs left to right. You should see a thin RED Vertical Line. It shows location of recording (playback) head. You can move the Red Line by putting the cursor on the little triangle at the top, holding down the track pad button, and dragging right or left. It's default position when starting a new project is all the way to the left.

Lets Record Something:

The "active track" label is blue. You can change the active track by clicking on the track ... ust to the right of "Male Basic" (if you click on the "male basic" label, it might prompt you to edit that label, so stay to the right). The Male track is probably already blue as a default when you started, but you can switch between it and Female) (up/down arrows also switch between tracks). We'll ignore the female track, tho if you want, you can delete it by highlighting it (make it active), selecting "Track" at the top of the screen, and scrolling down to select "Delete Track." You can also create "duplicate tracks" from the same drop down menu.

Highlight the Male Voice Track (it should be blue):
Talk loudly at your computer... you should see the GREEN volume meter light up a little (pair of horizontal bars). If not, check the volume control horizontal slider on the Track, and the Master Volume slider in the lower right of the screen. (See trouble shooting if you still see no green lighting up... if you're too loud, the green will go into the red area, far right of bar).

+ Record:

Hit the "R" key on the keyboard and start saying something to the computer. The red horizontal line should start moving to the right, and you should see indication of something being recorded.

STOP by hitting the Space Bar.

The recording will look like a purple (or yellow) bar across the top of the recording area.

+ Play back:

Move the record/play head (red line) back to the beginning (far left).
Hit the Space Bar ... it should play what you recorded.
Stop by hitting Space Bar again.

Basic Editing:

Note that if you click anywhere on the page, the purple bar will fade... you've de-selected it. Click on the purple bar and it should take on a darker color... it is now selected.

+ Split the Track:

- Select track (make it dark purple)
- Move the recording/playback/editing head (Red Line) to some position in the recorded purple area.
- Select "Edit" from the top of scree,
- Scroll down to "Split"... it should indicate a split.
- "De-select" recording, by Clicking anywhere on screen ... recorded track should turn light color (light purple).

+ Selecting multiple split pieces:

- For future reference, if you have lots of pieces of a track split up, and want to select several of them, select one, hold the Shift Key, and select others.

+ Delete Part of Recording:

To delete the last half of test recording, select the track to the right of the split (Apple 'T' is a shortcut key combination). It should turn dark purple, while the left part of the track remains light purple. Hit "Delete" and the right part of the track should vanish.

But, the right part of the recording really isn't gone!

+ Stretching Tracks (My term)

We'll make the deleted part of the track come back.
- drag the record/play head out of the way
- move your cursor to the lower right corner of the remaining track ... you should see what looks like a right square bracket, with tiny arrows indicating you're in the proper position < ] >
- hold the keypad button down to select, and drag to the right... you should be able to drag all the way to bring back everything you just deleted.

+ MUTE/Unmute: On each track label (male, female) there are some icons running horizontally. One looks like a speaker... when this is highlighted (blue) the track is muted. This is helpful if you work with more than one track, and also controls which tracks are active when exporting (sharing) the final product... sometimes, tracks have raw material from which you're extracting bits.

Real Recording:

Do a few tests to be sure you get the hang of it, and the volume is reasonable (not too low or way in the red and distorted). Then record your essay. If you make mistakes, don't worry about editing, unless you want to... just add on re-takes along the same track until you have everything recorded... I can edit it to clean it up. Save periodically (see below).


Once you've recorded something you like, go to "File" scroll down to "Save"

Creating a Compressed File to send me by E-mail (Sharing):

The Garage Band files are not compressed in any way, so they tend to be big relative to an MP3 compression format.

+ Clean up Blank Space: To the right of your recording, there's probably some blank recording space.
At the bottom of the screen is a slider that allows you to quickly scroll all the way to the right of the recording area. Go there.
At the top of the screen, among the numbers across the top, you should see a tiny white triangle pointing to the left. Drag that arrow to the left until it is a little way to the right end of your recorded track (purple track)... leave a little dead space.


Once you have what you want, and have saved it.
- Mute the Female Track (just to be safe)... little speaker icon turned blue.
- Select "Share" at the top of the screen
- Scroll down to "Send Song to iTunes"

Don't worry too much about where it will be saved, because you can find it in iTunes in "Most Recent" area.

- If not already selected, CHECK the "Compress" box.
- Select "Compress Using" "MP3 Encoder" option (vs the AAC)... I think AAC is a bit bigger file.
- Select "Audio Setting" select "Custom" & select "Custom" again.
Set the "bit rate" at 64 kbps (this is fairly low quality, but OK for voice and helps ensure a small file for emailing). Select OK.
- Click "Share".... It might take a little time to convert the file format (compress & send to iTunes).

You've Done it! You should now be able to find the file you created in iTunes! In fact, it might actually start playing in iTunes (mine does... I probably need to change a setting so this doesn't happen).

Check new file in iTunes:

Go to iTunes
See "Recently added" under "play lists" you should see the file. If not, search for it.
When you find it in iTunes, highlight it and click both "apple & the 'i' key"... a pop-up screen will give you a summary of the mp3 file, with file size and other info. You can add info to the MP3 file that goes around with it... my Podcast files are MP3 files to which I attach the GDAE Podcast graphic, and other.... you don't need to do this.

Copy the iTunes file of your recording to a Directory using Finder for future attaching to e-mail
(maybe you can attach the file directly from the iTunes, but I've never done that before).

Open Finder and navigate to a directory where you'd like to save a copy of the mp3 file.

Change the Finder & iTunes panel sizes & locations so that you can drag & drop the iTunes file to the Finder directory. Once this is done, you're ready to send me an e-mail and attache the mp3 file to it.


The most likely glitch, if any, is that you need to be sure GarageBand knows you're using the internal mic of your mac, not an external mic. I believe the internal mic is the default, and since you've probably never used an external mic, there should be no problem... but if there is... try below.

Check your microphone to be sure it's set for the internal mic:
- Open System Preferences (Icon=Gears)
- Open "Sound" (under "hardware" section...
- Select "Input" options
- Select "Built-in" (as opposed to

For Your Convenience:



February 25, 2010

Speak Out on Health Care

My message to the White House on the GOP (McCain's) call to "start over":

If you are forced to "start over with a clean slate" on health care, the administration's initial position should be "medicare for all" or some other single payer system. Then, your compromise can be the inclusion of a public option. The GOP needs to be careful of what it wishes for.

We all know, having watched "the process," Mr. McCain, that the GOP did not operate in good faith as the healthcare legislation was developed. Republicans used stalling tactics, including disruption of town hall meetings, to try to derail any progress.

Let your voice be known at the White House on single-payer approach now.

For Your Convenience:


February 21, 2010

GDAE Podcast - Episode 27

Populist Movements
  • Bankruptcy: Punished by 2005 Law.
  • Worse than Apartheid: Israel's Roads and Weapons.
  • Prosecution of Bush era Officials: More than a pipe dream... Israeli Officials Feel the Heat.
  • Media-Criticism: Falsehoods on Bush Vs Obama's policies to keep us Safe.
  • MUSIC: Gypsy Jazz.
  • Banksters in Obama Administration: Former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.
  • Rise of the Right Wing: Prelude to Howard Zinn on American Populist movement.
Play Episode 26 from this page:

February 11, 2010

Challenging Conventional Wisdom

As you might have noticed, I've been taking on the sanctity of the US Constitution on my "other" blog, Challenge the Establishment.

I remember, just within the past 4-5 years, that my initial reaction to hearing criticism of the US Constitution was one of discomfort ... Intellectually I could understand the critiques, but I was emotionally socialized to think of the Constitution as being ... exceptional and immutable.

It takes time to come to grips with challenges to one's bedrock beliefs. But, through repeated exposure to the critiques, through alternative critiques that accumulate into a body of evidence, through dialogue with other humans who are exploring the same path of inquiry, the bedrock can loosen into soil. Over time, as the weight of evidence becomes irrefutable, the soil becomes fertile ground for advancing positive social change.

The discomfort of challenging deeply held, socialized beliefs never goes away completely, in part because they are so deeply ingrained. But, in addition, by challenging conventional wisdom, you become a minority; facing reactions ranging from apathy to rejection to ridicule to outright hostility.

Facing the discomfort with the company of others helps. The Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy (POCLAD) Challenging has been bringing humans together on such issues for over a decade. The conventional wisdom about the role of corporations in our society goes hand in hand with challenging myths about the sanctity of the US Constitution.

I'll be revisiting these topics on this blog, the Challenge the Establishment blog, and on GDAE Podcast in 2010. I invite you to probe these bedrock issues with me.



February 9, 2010

Slavery & Corporations: The Connection

What's the connection between slavery and corporations? In part, it's about wealth accumulation. It's also about deficiencies in the US Constitution.

Gotta wonder where the wealth accumulated by Brooke and Hubbard is today.



"Challenge the Establishment" blog.


February 7, 2010

Palin: Torch singer in a piano bar

"Sarah Palin looking for all the world like a torch singer in a piano bar."

Our Next President?


One-liner by PENolan of menopausalstoners blog

Photo by Ed Reinke


GDAE Podcast - Episode 26

Catching up on History
  • Haiti: A Historical Perspective to Dispel the Media Myth that Blames the Victim
    • Role of Corporate Globalization
    • Century of Opression
  • Howard Zinn and the voice Ginora Dollinger a local hero in a 1930s auto worker's strike in Flint Michigan
  • MUSIC: Stevie Ray Vaughn and a guitar masterpiece.
  • Prosecute Bush: Evidence of the Possible: The Case of Peru's Alberto Fujimori

Click to Download Episode 26.

Previous Episodes & 60-Sec Promo:

GDAE Podcast 60-Second Promo

GDAE Podcast Episode 25 January 19, 2010
GDAE Podcast Episode 24 December 31, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 23 November 29, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 22 November 11, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 21 October 18, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 20 October 9, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 19 September 27, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 18 September 16, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 17 August 31, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 16 July 30, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 15 June 17, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 14 June 10, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 13 May 22, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 12May 5, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 11 April 24, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 10 April 9, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 9March 28, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 8 March 15, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 7 March 1, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 6 February 17, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 5 February 6, 2009
GDAE Podcast Episode 4 January 24, 2009

February 5, 2010

Just a Little Reminder

Consider clicking that little button to the right. Thanks!


February 4, 2010


A short animation by Daniel Kendall.

Sure to become a Christmas classic.


February 3, 2010

Israeli Military Admission Masks True Inentions

The acknowledgment, by a high-ranking Israeli officer, of violating rules of engagement during the January 2009 assault on Gaza is spin. In short, the Israelis know that they have been caught committing war crimes, so now they are trying to say it was merely a matter of exceeding a principle of military conduct in order to protect Israeli soldiers. But, while true on one level, the purpose of Israel's violation of military conduct went beyond protecting soldiers.

Israel's claim, released as if the general is speaking on his own, is that the military exceeded the principle of "means and intentions" during their Operation Cast Lead. The principle is that "a targeted suspect must have a weapon and show signs of intending to use it before being fired upon."[1] Instead, Israeli soldiers were told to shoot at anything, as was revealed by testimonials of Israeli soldiers documented by the Israeli group Breaking the Silence:

This is First Sergeant Amir, a reservist from the Armored Corps who served in Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, as they call that, the Israeli assault on Gaza earlier this year. He’s describing the briefings his unit received during the training for the assault. [2]

    FIRST SGT. AMIR: [translated] At any obstacle, any problem, we open fire and don’t ask questions, even if it’s firing in the dark, aimed at an unknown target. Fire when we don’t see, deterrent fire? No problem with that, etc. A vehicle that’s in the way? Crush it. A building in the way? Shell it. This was the spirit of things that was repeated throughout the training.

    INTERVIEWER: Meaning that in briefings no one even mentions the issue of innocents?

    FIRST SGT. AMIR: It is not mentioned. And if it is mentioned, it is only to say that there are no innocents, everyone there is enemy. That’s a phrase we kept hearing from that brigade commander, too, that wherever we would be, if there is anyone there, they must be the enemy.

    INTERVIEWER: You had briefings before entering that included rules of engagement?

    FIRST SGT. AMIR: Not that I recall. There were no rules of engagement. The rules of engagement were to shoot. Those were the rules of engagement. You see anything suspect? Shoot. [2][3]

The military code of conduct principle of "means and intentions" is that you don't shoot unless you can reasonably determine that your opponent has the "means and intention" of shooting you. In an ironic play on words, Israel's "intention" in violating this code of conduct wasn't simply to protect its soldiers.

Israel's recent admission is a preemptive attempt to mask their true "intention" of collectively punishing the Palestinians in Gaza as Israel did the country of Lebanon in 2006. It's instructive to look back at Israel's track record in Lebanon, as described in a 2009 P.U.-Litzer Award written up by Fair and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR):

In a January 14 column, New York Times superstar pundit Tom Friedman explained Israel's war on Lebanon as an attempt to "educate" the enemy by killing civilians: The Israeli strategy was to "inflict substantial property damage and collateral casualties on Lebanon at large. It was not pretty, but it was logical." Friedman added, "The only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians--the families and employers of the militants--to restrain Hezbollah in the future." That strategy of targeting civilians to advance a political agenda is usually known as terrorism; Osama bin Laden couldn't have explained it much better. [4] - Thanks to GLH Blog for the tip on this.

Israel's intentional destruction of civilian areas in Beirut Lebanon has become military doctrine, now named the Dahiya doctrine. Major General Gadi Eisenkot, the Israeli Northern Command chief, expressed the premise of the Dahiya doctrine:

What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on. […] We will apply disproportionate force on it and cause great damage and destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases. […] This is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has been approved. [5]

What happened in the Dahiya quarter is reflected in "before" and "after" photos below.

Israel's policy of targeting violence towards civilians to achieve political goals, also known as terrorism, has been documented in the Goldstone investigation of war crimes surrounding the 2009 Gaza events. Just another of several examples,

Major General (Ret.) Giora Eiland has argued that, in the event of another war with Hizbullah, the target must not be the defeat of Hizbullah but “the destruction of the national infrastructure and intense suffering among the population… Serious damage to the Republic of Lebanon, the destruction of homes and infrastructure, and the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people are consequences that can influence Hizbollah’s behaviour more than anything else”.[5]

Goldstone cites similar language used by General Eisenkot "while he was in active service in a senior command position and clarified that this was not a theoretical idea but an approved plan." [5]

Israeli politicians and cabinet members voiced similar intentions in advance of Israel's assault on Gaza. One example, of many, voices the intention of collective punishment against civilians and disproportionate use of force:

On 6 January 2009, during the military operations in Gaza, [Israeli] Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai stated: "It [should be] possible to destroy Gaza, so they will understand not to mess with us”.
On 2 February 2009, after the end of the military operations, Eli Yishai went on: “Even if the rockets fall in an open air or to the sea, we should hit their infrastructure, and destroy 100 homes for every rocket fired.”[5]

Thus, for the Israeli military to simply admit that they merely broached military codes of conduct to minimize risk to their soldiers, while having a grain of truth, isn't the whole truth.


1. The Independent, Israeli commander: 'We rewrote the rules of war for Gaza', February 3, 2010.

2. DemocracyNow!, "Israeli Activists Criticize US House for Considering Resolution Condemning Goldstone Report on Israeli War Crimes in Gaza," November 3, 2009.

3. Breaking the Silence web site.

4. Fair and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) 2009 P.U.-Litzer Awards.

5. References to Goldstone Report, Mondoweiss.

6. Photo Credit, A comparison of the Dahiya neighborhood before and after Israel attacks in 2006 Gorillas Guides.

7. Graphic Credit: Blockade After Gaza Victory, by Zealousof Peace.