6 September 2012 >>
If you pay taxes, part of the money the government takes from you is used to fund political activity that’s likely to leave you with an even higher tax bill in the future. The days of Tammany Hall are long gone, but the old-school political machines have been replaced. Their modern equivalent is the government union, a massive lobbying force whose primary interest lies in growing itself, by growing government.
In a four-and-a-half minute animation, Union Made: The Machine explains the mechanics of this modern political machine.
7 November 2011 >>
Recently, I brought a camera and a few multiple-choice questions to Zuccotti Park, where I conducted a quiz game with some of the Occupy Wall Street protesters. As a reward for getting the answers right, contestants were able to choose among several options for prizes. Unfortunately, one gentleman in the audience apparently did not appreciate the prize selections made by his fellow protesters, so he disrupted the game, bear-hugged me, grabbed the question cards out of my hand and attempted to run off with them before I stopped him.
31 March 2010 >>
Not too long ago, taking to the streets to protest your government was considered a patriotic act.
But it seems that publicly airing your grievances stopped being patriotic right around noon on January 20th, 2009.
Once President Obama was sworn in, protesting became incitement to violence.
If you’ve opened up a newspaper or watched a cable news program in the past week or so, you’ve probably seen members of the media painting Tea Party activists as dangerous bigots. That’s because disagreeing with President Obama on issues like government spending and high taxes makes you a racist, you see.
What’s interesting about the media’s latest freak-out is that there were radicals a-plenty under President Bush. They protested in the streets. They talked openly about revolution and killing. But oddly, the violent imagery used by people claiming to be advocates for peace never registered with the media. They were too busy fawning over Cindy Sheehan.
Why the difference in coverage? Did the media cheerlead protests against President Bush to hurt him politically? Are they trying to marginalize the increasingly powerful Tea Party movement because they favor President Obama’s agenda?
One thing’s for sure: If there is such a thing as dangerous rhetoric, then the media is at least one president too late in reporting the story.
Don’t believe me?
Well, then let’s take a trip down memory lane...
13 October 2009 @ 6:22PM >>
Months before Barack Obama formally accepted the Democratic presidential nomination, the name “Obama” was already being stamped on or sewn into objects of every type, and these objects could be purchased just about anywhere you happened to be standing. Keychains, buttons, hats, t-shirts were all readily available. I saw Obama skateboards and heard rumors of Obama bongs. Eventually, companies usually seen selling things like pewter gnomes and porcelain kittens got into the game, hawking commemorative coins and Obama dinner plates on late-night cable shows.
21 May 2009 @ 7:26PM >>
In 21st century America, the federal government’s solution to every financial problem seems the same: people who are responsible with money are forced to foot the bill for the reckless.
19 January 2009 >>
Congressman Charles Rangel has been in the news quite a bit lately. He’s having trouble keeping up with his taxes, despite being the chairman of the committee responsible for writing the nation’s tax laws.
5 September 2006 >>
On a remarkably clear morning five years ago, New York City came under attack. This video memorial, taken from footage shot by eyewitness David Vogler, shows New Yorkers waking up to that grim reality. Crystal Morning tells the story of September 11th, 2001 through fire and ambulance radio calls, the 911 call of a trapped World Trade Center worker, and the lens of local resident who saw an explosion while walking to work.
26 January 2005 >>
President Bush’s re-election left some Americans distraught and depressed. And with Inauguration Day set to rub salt in those still-healing wounds, I decided to act in the interest of national unity and extend an olive branch across the great Red/Blue divide. Would my overtures of peace be rebuffed?
29 June 2004 >>
Bill Clinton’s latest attempt to define his legacy is a 957-page book called My Life. Though panned by the New York Times as “sloppy, self-indulgent and often eye-crossingly dull,” thousands of people still stood on line for eight hours or more to have the former president sign their copies. As the line snaked around the corner of Broadway and Wall Street in lower Manhattan, I asked the autograph-seekers for their thoughts on Bill, his book, and his legacy.
24 March 2004 >>
Some people would like you to think President Bush lied when he talked about Saddam Hussein’s weapons. The funny thing is, many of the president’s current critics are politicians who made strikingly similar claims about Iraq in the not-too-distant past. To find out if the current spin was sticking, I impersonated a game show host and quizzed a few protesters about some particularly hawkish quotes from notable Democrats.
19 January 2004 >>
On January 15th, New Yorkers awoke to single-digit temperatures and a few inches of new snowfall. In what has since become known as “the Gore effect,” former Vice President Al Gore chose that day to give a speech on global warming. The speech was sponsored by MoveOn.org, a website-turned-political-action-committee that recently gained notoriety by hosting two political ads equating President Bush with Adolf Hitler. Although such comparisons were common at anti-war rallies, I still wasn’t sure whether this mindset was now infecting the Democratic base—the sort of folks who’d brave the cold to hear Al Gore speak. To find out, I spent a few shivering hours outside the Beacon.
3 November 2003 >>
Mary Lou is an articulate spokeswoman for liberal causes. She is also an example of why so many on the left refer to President Bush’s intellect in derogatory terms: their standards are simply too high. It is unfair and unreasonable to expect that every candidate for elective office demonstrate the level of mental acumen shown in this speech. Watch, and you will see why Mary Lou is my new favorite protester.
20 October 2003 >>
I was now completely encircled. When I tried to escape, the protesters then started smacking the camera with their signs, while others were shoving me from different directions. I started retreating, pushing my way back from the loudspeaker, all the while leaving the camera running and asking the protesters why they weren’t letting me film. Just when the scuffle between me and the protesters seemed like it was about to take a turn for the worse, I remembered that there were some cameras present from a few mainstream media outlets. I started yelling, “Why are you trying to censor me?” The idea was to attract the other cameras, thinking that the protesters would back off if their actions were captured by the news media. The gambit worked: we were soon surrounded by cameras.
19 September 2003 >>
The fact that liberals dominate the industry is even more significant given the recent changes in campaign finance laws. Michael Moore and his fellow filmmakers are free to embed their opinions in movies, but citizens who want to finance political ads will discover new limits to their freedom of speech. What would Mr. Moore have to say about this? To find out, I staked him out over the course of four days.
30 May 2003 >>
The same weekend that I filmed the original Protesting the Protesters video in New York City, Kfir Alfia and Alan Davidson assembled a group to infiltrate the San Francisco protest with signs mocking the protesters. The attention they received led them to start ProtestWarrior.com.
4 April 2003 >>
Anti-Israeli sentiment ran strong at the San Francisco protest, in some cases suggesting an undercurrent of anti-Semitism. Is support for a Jewish state the same as ethnic cleansing? Should the Israelis be shipped to Madagascar? Some of the protesters thought so...
21 March 2003 >>
During my interviews covering the San Francisco peace protest, I spoke with a gentleman named Frank Chu. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Frank is somewhat of a celebrity in the financial district of San Francisco. He even has a couple of websites dedicated to him. So, at the request of Frank’s adoring fans, I have decided to post the uninterrupted interview.