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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Celebrate With Me

   By Majority Reporters at 7:16 AM

With the popularity of Bush and Schwartzenloser going down faster than a Hilton in one of their hotel rooms along with the dropping support for this bullshit war in Iraq, it might be a good time to stop, pause, smell the roses, smell the coffee, and pat ourselves on the back for knowing in advance and SAYING in advance that Bush, Ahnold, and this crappy war were all big mistakes.

Thanks to all of you in the channel who helped me realize that despite what the Corporate Mass Media was saying, that I was not crazy for thinking that tax cuts for the rich, cutting programs for the poor, the elderly, the sick, and our veterans, and this insane bloody mess of an Iraq war were all stupid, nuts, and wrong. As often is the case, the American public at large takes much longer to realize the truth than progressive liberal free thinkers, but at least they are finally starting to come around. So pat yourself on the back, pour yourself one of those latte's that the right wingers always think we are drinking, sit back, relax, and feel satisfyingly smug. All those months of fighting the good fight have earned you at least that much.

Thanks again and enjoy your coffee break,
Steve L.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

A Big Thank You

   By Majority Reporters at 11:10 AM

On March 31st, 2004, the liberal radio network Air America Radio began broadcasting to the world. I was listening that first day as were many others out there. To me, the whole event was very exciting. At last the left was going to get a voice!

Someone started a channel on IRC and posted the channel name and location on the www.majorityreportradio.com blog. When I saw the link I joined up. During those early days there were just a few of us in the channel, people like leftnut and EmeliusBrowne and fancypantselitist and myself. But we believed in the AAR show and the channel, and soon more and more people started to show up.

The channel grew and eventually we put up a few blogs like this one, and the overall experience has been very good. Many people have come to the channel and the blogs over the past 17 months and have had fun, learned things, and had a few laughs. This channel only exists because of the hard work and dedication of a number of people and I would like to thank those people now.

To all of you who have visited our channel, who have chatted and/or listened, to those of you who have read our blogs and/or added to them, I would like to offer my profound thanks.

The heaviest work for this channel has been done by our channel operators. They have learned the commands of the channel, they have learned how to keep the channel safe, and they have made newcomers feel welcome. In addition many of them have spent countless hours working on blogs for the channel and for that I am also very grateful.

While our channel operators have been the foundation of this channel, the channel itself would have been quite barren without our channel regulars. These are the people who gather regularly in our channel and interact with everyone else. They bring in news stories that they hear about and discuss many different ideas. You channel regulars are the lifeblood of our channel. Thank you every one for sharing your ideas and fun with us.

Finally, we have the occasional and new visitors. You also add greatly to our channel. Some people are very busy with life and can only stop by from time to time, but when they do, they certainly add welcome input. I salute these occasional visitors. Thanks for squeezing us in when you can. To the new visitors, I say that we were all new here once, and I hope that you find the channel as interesting, fun and rewarding as I have since it opened.

I want everyone to know that I read every article that is posted on our blog. I read them slowly and I really think about them. In addition, I read quite a lot of what is said in the channel. I don't read everything, because unlike the old days where I could leave my nick in the channel for a week at a time, these days undernet seems to love to boot me off, so I don't read it all, but I read enough to get a feel for what is going on and to help me get to know people better.

I am telling you these things for two reasons. First, I know that when you post a message to a blog or say something in channel, you are from time to time going to wonder just how much people care about what you say, and you will wonder if the words you say will stick to someone and have meaning, or whether tomorrow they will be thoroughly forgotten. Just to make it clear, I will always do my best to read everything posted to our blog, and I will always do my best to pay attention in channel when I am there. Now some things will come up. My phone might ring or I might run and put a pizza in the oven, but I will do my best.

If my nickname is in the channel and it has AFK at the end, which means I am "Away From Keyboard" I have that there because I am either away right now, but want to be able to read what is said later, or I am being pulled away from the keyboard so often that I cannot be sure I will be able to pay close attention to what is being said. It is my way of saying "I'm not ignoring you, I'm not really able to pay much attention right now"

But I like to leave my nick in the channel whenever I can so that even if I am busy at the moment I can catch up later on what is being said. Also, when I am running around, I like to be able to glance at the channel from time to time to make sure noone is screwing with it.

So, going forward, where should the channel and the blog go from here? Well, I would like to share my vision for them with you. If you disagree with it, feel free to comment on it or post your own response. Just message me if you need help with that.

Anyway, while I have learned tons from our channel and blog, the thing that I found most valuable about it was the camaraderie that I got from it. I loved getting to know other people and to have them learn a little about me. I have loved sharing a laugh with other people.

So while our channel is aimed at political discussions, my goal is to allow people to be able to talk about anything. I don't want to limit what we discuss in the channel, other than the sensible limits in our channel rules. In other words, it is still not ok to bash other people in the channel over and over. And remember if you want to talk about yourself, awesome, but be aware that this channel is built for discussions, not monologues. That means, if you are going to talk about yourself, or go on about any other subject, you should also be prepared to listen. This channel should be about sharing, meaning sharing ideas, laughs, war stories, or whatever. But the channel is not here for someone to try and browbeat other people into their way of thinking.
You want to have an argument with someone--that's fine, but be prepared for them to fight back.

This channel is about freedom--Everyone's freedom. You have freedom to talk, but also the freedom to listen, and thanks for listening now.

Steve L.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Those Annoying Bruce Berman Ads

   By Marion Delgado at 3:29 AM

THE AD

Two out-of-work porn actors are having a heated dialog:

OOWPA#1/"Employee": You can take this job and ...

OOWPA#2/"Boss": YEAH YEAH I KNOW -- TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT RIGHT???! WHADDDAYAGONNADOBOB? STADDABIDNIZ? HUH? HUH?

OOWPA#1: Yeah, uh

OOWPA#2: YOUGODDABIDNIZ PLAN? CANTRAISEMONEYWIDOUTABIDNIZPLANBOB!

OOWPA#1: Yeah, uh

OOWPA#2: WHADDDAYAKNOWABOUDSTADDINABIDNIZBOB? WHEYAGONNAGIDSTADUPMONEYBOB?? ... YOU EVEN KNOW *ABOUT* STADDUPMONEYBOB?

OOWPA#1:well ... uh ... my brother-in-law ...

OOWPA#2: YOU'RE *PATHETIC*! YOU NEED BRUCE BERMANS BOOK!

I would go on, but I get the funny feeling you're starting to hate me as much as you hate Bruce Berman (which, if you've ever heard the ad, you do).
I found this little gem on a quick web search:

Online Gurus

Bruce Berman"Bruce Berman is among the less known Internet marketers. He does not have any valid degree. However, he made 10 million dollars within the first year of his company. He informs on his website that his marketing techniques and systems have brought him huge sums of money. He also claims that others have made similar amounts by using such marketing techniques.
Bruce Berman’s products do not offer full guidelines for making money. Most of the facts and information on his products are available free on the Internet. When you pay money for products, you expect some detailed and specific information for making more money. The websites need to provide more techniques and secrets of making money.

Bruce Berman’s website offers a free book and CD but asks for all your personal information. Bruce claims that this will be necessary for mailing further information once you start making money through his proven methods. However, this page leads to another, which asks for shipping charges of $4.95.
You get thirty days to test his product and then send it back if you are not satisfied. However, the product stresses acquiring money and planning to start or expand existing business. Bruce claims that he earned $50,000,000 within four and half months when he made his plans public initially. However, there have been many before him who became wealthy soon after making a public offering.
It is difficult to understand the total information within thirty days and then the question of you applying techniques and earning money from them. You need to search through the package for information, which suggests that if you open the package and do not send it back or send it back within thirty days, you will be automatically charged $99.95. This charge does not find any justification.
Normally the guarantee period starts from the time you receive the package. However, persons from Bruce Berman’s office call up for an initial contact. Of course, they do not provide clear information and your guarantee period starts from the day of initial contact. Effectively, you only receive three weeks to study, understand and use it to earn money. Otherwise, you stand to lose $99.95.

Besides, even if you are fast enough and are able to do all that is in the product, you need to search extensively through the information to locate the customer service phone number. Again, the telephone line is permanently busy. Overall, Bruce Berman’s products only mislead you and cheat you of your money. There is no essence in them and definitely do you no-good. His website has an unsatisfactory rating from California BBB for many wrong and fraudulent advertising techniques. Most of them only deceive you. Hence, it is best for you to avoid Bruce Berman’s products.

The above is from a competitor, but that's how the system's supposed to work.
When you read the site you actually see one positive review.
In the contrarian spirit, let me put the facts less onesidedly than they are presented above, as I learned from the reviews posted.

If you decide YOU NEED BRUCE BERMAN'S BOOK you'll get a book and CD free. He charges $5 shipping and handling, which nowadays is only a little high.
He will also send you, unasked for, a set of 4 CDs the nominal cost of which is $100 if you don't return them within 30 days from when they're sent, unopened.

IF you decide you just want the book and original CD, send the other CDs back, and if the Bruce Berman people try to charge you because they got your credit card out of you, tell your CC company it's not authorized and the BB people will drop it.
On the other hand if you do want the other 4 CDs then call the BB people and tell them you do NOT want the CDs. The BB people are supposed to talk you into keeping them at a lower price. They are told to go down to 10% - $10. Therefore, you can get the book and CD for $5 and a little hassle - which could be fun if you tell the Bruce Bermaners they're busted.
You can have all of it for $15 but you have to put on a little show of resistance.
The other item I found from the competitor's review site was the claim that Bruce Berman's father made him millions in his 20s more than Bruce's business acumen. Color me shocked - shocked!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

White Rose Society Fundraising Pitch started Friday

   By Marion Delgado at 11:53 PM

Before there was, e.g., AirAmericaPlace.com, there was white Rose Society.org
Ben Burch, Mike Malloy's Elgin, IL Bureau Chief, has been archiving liberal radio on the web for years, mostly by himself. Ben also beat the bushes for Radiopower.org when they had a fund raising drive.

He has more shows archived than even airamericaplace.com does.


The White Rose Society - Donations Page:
Please Donate to cover our
Bandwidth, Storage, Payroll, and Domain Name Bills.
It costs over $1500 a month to provide this service,
and I do this as my full-time job.
Please help me survive to continue to serve you!

Please help this site 'on the air'.

Please note, subscriptions for the Thom Hartmann archives
can only be created via the buttons on that page.

(Note that contributions are NOT tax deductible.)

Now you can subscribe for monthly donations:

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Volunteer to help The Ayn Rand Institute: Not so fast!

   By Marion Delgado at 5:46 AM

OTHER METHODS OF CONTRIBUTING TO ARI

A variety of available arrangements and techniques can allow donors to give more at the same or lower cost to them—or to simply add ease and convenience to the process.

In addition, there are several non-financial ways to contribute that you may not have considered.

If you would like more information about any of the methods described below, click on the e-mail links and let us know.

Gifts of Expertise


Some of ARI's supporters occasionally provide professional advice and assistance on a "pro bono" basis, typically in technical and professional fields. If you're receptive to contributing in this manner, please indicate so on the response card, and an ARI staff member will most appreciatively contact you.

donorservices@aynrand.org

Gifts of Time

ARI has a hard-working group of volunteers whose work saves the Institute many hours and dollars—time and money that otherwise would be spent on over-qualified staff or outside services to accomplish routine, repetitive tasks.

Typical volunteer activities include assembly of mailings, data entry, and other clerical tasks. If you live in—or plan to visit—Southern California, and would like to volunteer, please contact ARI.

Volunteer For ARI




THE AYN RAND INSTITUTE: JUST SAY NO TO VOLUNTEERISM:

Wednesday, September 8, 1999
By: Larry Benson

Press Release
Contact: Larry Benson
Media Relations Manager
Phone: 310-306-9232 (ext. 213)
Fax: 310-306-4925 The Ayn Rand Institute
Suite 406
4640 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

MARINA DEL REY, CA -- The increasing popularity of volunteerism in public schools is a disastrous trend, said the director of communications for the Ayn Rand Institute.

'It is dangerous for a government to promote any morality -- especially the anti-American ideology of sacrifice and service in volunteerism,' said Scott McConnell.

Contrary to the claims of the government and school officials who cite service to others as an American ideal, McConnell said, volunteerism is anti-American because:

It substitutes altruism for the Founding Fathers' moral premise of the right of Americans to pursue their own happiness.

It rejects individualism, adopting instead the idea that one's life belongs to others, the moral creed that underlies every dictatorship.

It promotes service, obedience, and duty as the standard of morality, not virtues such as honesty, productivity, or independence.

'The purpose of education is to teach children to be thinking, independent individuals, not servile, obedient robots,' said McConnell. 'Volunteerism's purpose is no different than that of the Hitler Youth and the Soviet Young Pioneers.'

Since 1997, the Ayn Rand Institute has been the only voice morally opposing volunteerism. Through the Institute's Anti-Servitude Internship Program, students have the opportunity to fulfill their school's volunteer requirements by working to abolish volunteerism.

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