Hollywood Smokescreen

Hollywood Smokescreen
Posted by FoM on August 14, 2000 at 05:17:42 PT
By Arianna Huffington
Source: Salon Magazine
"If there is one thing worse than the modern weakening of major morals," said G.K. Chesterton, "it is the modern strengthening of minor morals." The latest manifestation of this truth is Al Gore and DNC chairman Joe Andrews blowing their stack over Rep. Loretta Sanchez's proposed fundraiser at the Playboy Mansion, while seemingly having no problem with the fact that their convention's host city is the poverty capital of the United States -- with one in three children living below the poverty line. 
"We have no alternative but to take action," said Andrews' spokesperson. Not, you understand, about the immorality of the children being -- in the phrase of the day -- left behind, but about the immorality of politicians, who trade their votes for money. That's trodding the same turf as the Playmates who shed their clothes for cash -- and who, by the way, would not even have been at the Sanchez party. In a sharply worded letter to Sanchez, Andrews said that "as the father of young children" he was troubled by the message being sent. Apparently he wasn't troubled by the message being sent by the fact that, according to a United Way report, "economic conditions for children in Los Angeles have not been so precarious since the Great Depression." That's obviously no big deal. But a little soft money changing hands in Hugh Hefner's grotto -- that's, for the DNC folk, "the end of the line." Isn't that what's known as a tempest in a hot tub? If there was any further proof needed that the convention at the Staples Center is all about preserving images, the Sanchez-Playboy episode was ludicrous confirmation. So the DNC convention is about spinning a fantasy -- of a world in a state of perfect order, morality and prosperity. Which is why we're holding a Shadow Convention just down the street -- to shine the spotlight on reality. The Shadow Convention is about the 1 in 3 children in Los Angeles County living below the poverty line. The Democratic Convention is about the unprecedented economic prosperity that has given us a 400 percent increase in the number of billionaires in the last decade. The Shadow Convention is going to offer a grim daily reminder that Los Angeles has the largest number of poor of any metropolitan area, that the number of abused children placed in foster care here has risen 86 percent in the last 10 years, and that homicide is still the No. 1 cause of death for children under 18. The other convention will do everything it can to make you forget all this: downtown has been given a multi-million dollar comb-over, the homeless have been swept from the streets and the Staples Center itself is going to be sealed off from reality behind a 13-foot-high chainlink fence. City leaders and convention organizers are clearly determined not to let anything disturb their carefully airbrushed facade. "Los Angeles has never looked better," crowed its mayor, Dick Riordan, as he rolled out a photo-op-friendly red carpet in front of the Staples Center. "We want some positive images," echoed Noelia Rodriguez, head of L.A.'s host committee, "so that we don't continually see reruns of the same negatives." Yes, it gets so boring seeing all those shots of downtown sweatshops, multimillion-dollar toxic school sites and corrupt cops caught up in the Rampart scandal again and again.Still shaking his pom-pons, Mayor Riordan promised to show conventioneers "the best beaches, the best mountains, the best weather...the best restaurants, the best theaters. But most of all, we will show them the most diverse and beautiful people in the world -- Angelenos." That's as long as they aren't carrying a protest sign. In which case, convention organizers would rather you just looked the other way. "We're not going to let 200 criminally minded people ruin this convention," said Riordan. "It's going to be a wonderful, happy time." Even if it means suspending the Constitution -- including trying to search the protesters' headquarters without a warrant and illegally detaining protest organizers. The local authorities seem intent on enforcing a zero tolerance policy for anyone hoping to remind people of what one human rights activist called "the politics behind the protests." "We have plenty of room" in the county jails, chirped Sheriff Lee Baca. It's difficult to imagine how, since Los Angeles has the state's highest rate of imprisonment of those convicted of misdemeanor drug possession -- a 2,700 percent increase since 1980. The price tag for locking up L.A.'s misdemeanor drug offenders for a year: a whopping $110 million. Is that what's known as "affordable housing" these days? From the comfort of the luxury skyboxes at the Staples Center, life must seem so cozy, so secure and so safe -- not just from protesters but from ordinary citizens. And it's so easy to paint all the demonstrators who will fill the streets this week with the same brush -- demonizing anyone not buying into the Democrats' "progress and prosperity" charade. The message is clear: "Don't mess with our party." But a democracy dismisses its disillusioned, disaffected and disregarded at its own peril. What Democrats will ignore during their stay in Los Angeles -- and what the Shadow Convention won't.Direct Link To Above Article: 2000 Salon.comContact: salon salonmagazine.comAddress: 22 4th Street, 16th Floor San Francisco, CA 94103Fax: (415) 645-9204Feedback: Articles & Web Sites:The Shadow Conventions Convention 2000 News Board MapInc. Articles On The Shadow Conventions: CannabisNews Articles On The Shadow Conventions: 
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Comment #7 posted by dddd on August 16, 2000 at 05:18:28 PT
 Greenfox,I'm glad you dont seriously think I need to have crap for dinner. Someday soon,I think it would be nice to meet with all the people behind the names here. I'm curious as to what Greenfox looks like.Would Kaptnemo arrive in a sailors cap,with a popeye style pipe?Would we be able to recognize Observer,,kanabys,,Dan B,,,MikeEEEE???? What would rainbow,or Dr. Russo look like?..would congressmanSuet arrive in a suit?,,,,would greenfox get in trouble with FoMs husband?,,,,Maybe we could all meet at Dr Ganjs',or legalizits house and have a convention.My memory is shot,so dont be offended if I didnt mention your name.I still wonder what you look like...........dddd
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on August 14, 2000 at 13:56:18 PT
That was cute!
Well thanks Greenfox! I didn't know I was a babe! LOL!Thanks for saying it though! I didn't think old people could be babes!Take Care, FoM!
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Comment #5 posted by greenfox on August 14, 2000 at 12:06:50 PT
One last thing- FOM is a babe. ;) (no, actually I don't mean it in a sexual sense even tho you prob. are, but.. ) FoM is a babe because she releases HOT news (snicker snicker..ok bad pun whatever) but the whole point is:FOm you're doing great. Don't stop. I read this page EVERY DAY and judge my public opinion around the things I read. It's very important to me and my secret, sly.. and getting high-greenfox
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Comment #4 posted by greenfox on August 14, 2000 at 12:04:15 PT
Heya heya DDDD!
dddd sayz:'If this isn't proof that the "news",is owned and dictated,by the mega-monopolies who the own the network,,,then I'll eat a piece of crap......dddd'Well guess what, DDDD, start chewin! :) No, not actually. I agree 110%. This is the thing, right? We ARE the news. Sounds funny, doesn't it? Well let's define news:Main Entry: news           Pronunciation: 'nüz, 'nyüz           Function: noun plural but singular in construction           Usage: often attributive           Date: 15th century           1 a : a report of recent events b : previously unknown information                     2 a : material reported in a newspaper or news periodical or on a           newscast b : matter that is newsworthyOK, according to this, anything that is 'matter that is newsworthy' is news, right? Well, the things people like you, KAP, & OBS. say is pretty much NEWS. It informs the public you and I of things happening. Mainstream 'news' isn't news at all- it's entertainment. Cannabisnews & wonderful people like FoM are the REAL news reporters. See? It all makes sense, (and I'm not even stoned!) :)-sly in green, FOXY in kind-=greenf0x=--
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Comment #3 posted by dddd on August 14, 2000 at 08:14:02 PT
last nite
Last nite,KPFK,the local public radio station,had live coverage of the shadow convention,until Bill Maher was going to speak,at which time,they explained that they could not continue,because of some 4 letter word rule for public radio...disgusting.... Local ABC news made their corporate ownership,(Disney,I believe),blatantly obvious,with idiotic and inane blurbs about the DNC,but no mention of the Shadow convention. If this isn't proof that the "news",is owned and dictated,by the mega-monopolies who the own the network,,,then I'll eat a piece of crap......dddd
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on August 14, 2000 at 06:43:22 PT
Hi Everyone
Hi kaptinemo and everyone,I have been thinking a lot about how to handle this weeks news. I want to concentrate on The Shadow Conventions because this is History in the making. I hope I don't miss to many other articles but with the issues being discussed tomorrow I know I could easily miss other good articles. Email me if you see one I should look at and I'll do my best to get it posted. I will be putting more articles about The Shadow Convention on my board and I will also do my best to maintain a board on any protests that break out too. Hope this is helpful and let's keep our fingers crossed for a great week. They are going to view GRASS The Movie. I wonder if we will be able to see it on video. That would be great because it sure won't be playing in our area.Peace, FoM!Shadow Conventions 2000 News Board 2000 Protest News Board
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on August 14, 2000 at 06:23:57 PT:
Let them eat ca- , er, tortillas!
'Criminally minded people', huh?It never changes. Whether it is Marie Antoinette sneering at the sans culottes, or Georgette Mossbacher complaining that she couldn't wait for the '92 election to be over so that she could bring out all the jewels and furs, the attitude of the elite towards the people who really pay all the social bills of society never changes. Needless to say, the billpayers are grumbling. And some of them are taking to the streets. As they did in Seattle. As they did in Philly. As they will in LA.Given that so many people have largely given up on the political process, you'd think the Dems might have picked up on what an enormous windfall it would be if they started addressing the concerns of those billpayers. The same concerns being addressed by the Shadow Conventions.But the Dems have been just as consistently purblind as the Reps have been determinedly so. Particularly in the WoSD; the Dems have knuckled under to Rep browbeating about being 'soft on drugs' for so long they simply react with one-upmanship, raising the cost of the WoSD higher without thinking of the final tally.I sincerely hope Nader takes a big bite out of the Dems, as the Reform Party under Buchannon takes a lot of the Right Wing wind out of the Reps. The major parties have been fat dumb and belligerent for far too long, and are in desperate need of ego-deflation. This just might be the year that that happens.Then we'll see who eats cake. 
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