October 20 08

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Back on track. Issue 10 brings some interesting and promising new contributors. Fortunately, as has always been the case, our reader base continues to slowly spread, even crossing some of those imaginary international lines. This is bringing about some revelations. Lattitude Zine is and always will be an independent publication. We want to provide the ideas of freedom and liberty along with other randomness to as many people around the world as possible. If you like Lattitude and the ideals behind it, please consider offering your support. For this, the Lattitude Zine Welcoming Committee has been started. Two dollars a month is all we’re asking. To be completely clear, we’re just asking. If you can’t afford it, please don’t do it. Keep reading and enjoying the zine and website for free, we still appreciate you. If you can afford it, below are a couple things that will come from your hard earned dollars: Reduced advertising You pick up a copy of Lattitude for the words, not the ads and we don’t like flipping through pages of ads anymore than you do. The more support dollars we have coming in, the less advertising we have to rely on. Larger print runs The more hard copies we have out and about the more random readers we are able to pick up, therefor getting everyone’s ideas and stories spread further across the globe. It is very simple to get new distribution sites throughout the world for free publications - it’s just a matter of having the postage and copies available. Internet advertising Google AdWords and additional high-traffic sites get more traffic to the Lattitude site and in turn provide new readers. All of these things and more will come from your increased support. If you have any ideas of your own, please feel free to let us know. Please visit LattitudeZine.com/welcome to help. Thanks for reading, jimmy

Lattitude Zine is published 12X a year, monthly give or take, in Louisville, KY. Lattitude is collectively written and designed with subjects and style that will vary from one issue to the next. The reader base is the staff essentially. There is no formal organization at work. Visit us at LattitudeZine.com for more information. Befriend us at: myspace.com/lattitudezine Contributions and correspondence to: info@lattitudezine.com Advertising information to: ads@lattitudezine.com Distribution requests to: info@lattitudezine.com Please Recycle

05 • News & info 06 • In Government We Trust?
Ron Paul

09 • Q&A with Scott Ritcher
Jimmy Flaherty

15 • Sun, Sea, Sand... and ANTI-Terrorism
The Pleb

16 • Review - Open Grave
Jimmy Flaherty

17 • Stop Voting

David Ker Thomson

18 • Existence
Sly Paradox

19 • Tyranny on Display at the Republican Convention
Chris Hedges

20 • RNC 8

Friends of the RNC Welcoming Committee

21 • Paintings

23 • Triztoons

Bill Trizcinski

News, information & random crap

Fuck Gas, part Lattitude Zine, part Shitluck Clothing, have set out promote bike riding as opposed to oil and gas consumption. The first event, the 40oz Fun Run, went off with enthusiastic attendance and zero complications. In continuing fashion, Fuck Gas is hosting their second ride labeled the Gutter Ball Bonanza on Friday, October 3. The ride will leave from On Your Left Cycles’ new home at 618 Baxter Avenue (next door to Spenellis) and finish at Executive Strike and Spare for some bowling. The grill gets lit at 8pm (potluck anyone?) and the ride takes off whenever everyone’s belly is full. For additional info go to: fuckgas.wordpress.com Speaking of On Your Left Cycles/City BMX, they have moved. The new shop is located just around the corner at 618 Baxter Avenue. If you’re bad with addresses, it’s the big orange blob right next to Spenellis. This new space will allow Derek and Drew to provide a much better experience for everyone as it won’t be the assholes to elbows fest the old shop was. Additionally, they still get to keep the “smallest bike shop in Louisville” tag which is nice. Had enough bike info? Too bad, here’s one more... Saturday, October 4 brings the Mondo Alleycat 2.0 here in Louisville, taking off from the Pinkdoor at 6pm. What’s an alleycat you ask? Alleycats are generally informal bike races of sorts, where the participants race to a series of check points and who ever makes it first wins. Check it out at: myspace.com/louisvillealleycat

We (Lattitude) want your written, photographed and drawn contributions! What do you get in return? A good feeling in your heart knowing you helped keep this thing going. This “thing” being an open forum of sorts where anyone can express themselves. You provide some content, we provide a vehicle making it available to the public. As well, we’re trying to get an education issue together. What we would like to see for this is: stories, essays or what have you providing individual experiences as to how people liked or disliked the type of schooling they received and how it has or has not helped shape who they may be today. Be them, home, alternative or traditional school. Additionally, experiences from parents about how their own children were educated would be good too. All ages, opinions and experiences are more than welcome. Please spread the word. Got some weird or interesting shit going on? Let us know and it could land here in next months news. Deadlines for submissions are the third Friday of every month. Send whatever you’ve got regarding anything you like to: info@lattitudezine.com Congratulations to our favorite guitar player, Brian Venable. He and Sam, have given birth to a baby boy down in Memphis. Well, Sam really did the given birth part, Brian was probably just waiting with some gross ass Man United jersey to disgrace the poor guy with.

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In Government We Trust?
Ron Paul

Many who agree with me on a lot of other

issues do not understand my enthusiasm for gold and sound money or why I spend so much time studying and talking about monetary policy. It’s true that I talk about money differently than most, but the fact is sound money offers many benefits. For example – peace. Can sound money really bring about peace? Actually, it plays a big part in peaceful international relationships. Money based on commodities, rather than paper, is not subject to government manipulation, and is a key component to free and honest trade. History shows that if countries engage in trade with each other, their governments tend to find ways to get along for the same reason you do not kill your customers at your place of business, even if they occasionally annoy you. If someone outright cheats you, however, you may engage in “war” by taking them to court, for example, and the relationship will sour. Governments and central banks with unfettered power to manipulate currency also have the ability to cheat their creditors. One way they do this is to simply create enough currency to pay off debts. This devalues the currency and “cheats” the recipient out of what they are owed. It would not be fair if you watered down your product the way our government waters down its currency, so it is not hard to understand, in these simplified terms, why loose monetary policy contributes so much to ill will and war around the world.

Sound money, on the other hand, simply is what it is. Removing governmental power to manipulate money removes the temptation for government to spend, print and cheat. Sound money ensures that our government’s spending priorities would be brought into sharp focus and reduced to only what we can afford. Sound money also limits the ability to wage wars of aggression. Imagine how much more careful Washington would have to be about starting a war if they did not have this financial sleight of hand at their disposal! Fiat currency allows government to do expensive things they should not be doing while paying the bills with cheap money. The Federal Reserve has lately been auctioning off large amounts of treasury bills as a way to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our crushing entitlement burden. The resulting devaluation of the dollar is quickly eroding our image as a good trading partner in the world. As a consequence, there is therefore more talk of economic isolation and war.
This vicious cycle of spending, fighting and

inflating is not what Americans want. It is what the government wants, and it has had to deceive the citizens into allowing and supporting it. Sound money curbs the government’s ability to engage in these shenanigans and reduces the wars we fight to only truly defensive ones, for which Americans are more than willing to stand and fight. So in these ways, sound money is very conducive to peace.

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Q&A, Scott Ritcher
Q - Jimmy Flaherty

A - Scott Ritcher
(ed. note: I really wasn’t sure how Scott would respond to a lot of these questions, if at all. However, I have to admit, I have a new found respect for him as a politician. Sure, I don’t agree with damn near everything he stands for, but I’d be willing to bet you couldn’t get another politico in the city to be as straight forward and honest as Scott was in his responses. A big thanks to Scott for taking the time to thoughtfully consider and respond to everything you’re about to read.) For those who don’t know, could you give us a brief background of who the hell you are?

effectiveness about eight years ago. I became an independent shortly thereafter.
As far as your campaigns have gone, I’ve got to ask - why Mayor and now Senator? Why not start with something a bit more attainable such as Metro Council? Is this something you have considered if this campaign doesn’t go your way?

I am 38 years old and I was born in Louisville. My occupation is a mix of lots of different efforts. As a writer, I have been a contributor to LEO Weekly, Louisville Magazine, public radio’s “This American Life,” and I’ve written two books. As a graphic designer, I have worked for companies such as The Courier-Journal, Hasbro, CityScoot, and I have designed more than 100 compact disc packages including albums by The Get Up Kids, Face to Face, Koufax, and Saves the Day. I write, design, and publish a magazine called K Composite which consists primarily of interviews of my friends. I sometimes play music in bands such as the Metroschifter and, more recently, Best Actress. For nine years in the 80’s and 90’s I ran an indie record label called Slamdek.
You’re registered Independent. Do you choose to affiliate yourself with any particular party?

In 1998, I ran for Louisville Mayor with the Reform Party for several reasons. As you may know, in Kentucky, if you’re not a Republican or a Democrat, you have to collect signatures from voters in order to get your candidate’s name on the ballot. If your minor party’s presidential candidate earns a significant percentage of the votes in the state, your party then gains the ability to nominate candidates to the ballot by convention for the next four years. Because of Ross Perot’s general election performance in 1996, the Reform Party earned ballot access in Kentucky and was able to nominate candidates without collecting signatures in 1998. It was the first time in decades that a third party had been able to achieve this. In the Louisville race for mayor, I was supporting Tom Owen, but he lost the Democratic primary to Dave Armstrong by just a few votes. I felt there were a lot of issues Louisvillians needed to be more aware of and at the same time the Reform Party had no candidate in the race. I decided to run for mayor to satisfy both of these concerns. There was never a chance nor expectation that I would win the race. My campaign budget was less than $1000 and Armstrong’s was over $300,000. However, it got some people involved in the process who may have otherwise been ambivalent and it helped

No. I usually vote for Democrats, but not always. I don’t think they’re the bad guys, but in a lot of cases they’re just not good enough. The lack of choices in American politics is one that fascinates people in other countries where there are multiple parties running in most races. I used to be active in the Reform Party which was started by Ross Perot, but the party faced a lot of defections and dilution of its

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spread the word about some issues I felt were important. Armstrong ended up pleasantly surprising me in his term as mayor and I have a great respect for him now. As to why I’m running for Kentucky Senate now instead of Metro Council, there are several reasons. First, I think people in Kentucky as a whole need a lot more help than people in Louisville. One in six Kentuckians lives in poverty, while the people in Louisville are much better off. Secondly, a candidate must run for office from the district where he or she lives, so much of my impetus for running is my dissatisfaction with our district’s current state senator Denise Harper Angel. If I felt she were a model Democrat and doing a great job, I would be just as happy sitting at home watching “The Colbert Report” and enjoying some snacks. On the Metro Council, my district’s representative is Tom Owen, who as I mentioned earlier, is someone I think does a good job. And again, I don’t think Louisville’s needs are as critical as the state’s. Louisville Metro Council districts and Kentucky State Senate districts have roughly the same number of voters, so really, they’re equally attainable. But the decisions of the Metro Council and the State Senate influence much different areas of life and at different scales. It comes down to a matter of where my efforts are best applied to bring the most attention to the concerns I have.
Would you be willing to, or have you signed the Small Government pledge? (if you’re unfamiliar you can check it out at: http://centerforsmallgovernment. com/sgpledgecand.htm)

open. “Every issue. Every time. No exceptions. No excuses.” ... that kind of statement just doesn’t allow for the flexibility to weigh every measure on its own merits, based on the situation at the time.
So Denise Harper Angel has filed suit to have you removed from the ballot for District 35, in hopes of her being the only option for voters to choose from come November. Would you mind elaborating and sharing your thoughts on this move by her campaign?

Basically, Denise Harper Angel’s lawsuit claims some voters who signed my ballot petition live outside the boundaries of District 35, a requirement for signing those documents. The state has certified my candidacy and will not revoke it or remove my name from the ballot based on the errors. Ballot access can only be overturned through a lawsuit if Ms. Angel can convince the court to disqualify enough signatures. Like I said earlier, Republicans and Democrats are not required to collect these signatures to get on the general election ballot. Only independents and third-party candidates are forced through this process, and once they have completed it, the major parties can challenge their petitions in court. That’s what she’s doing. In fact, Kentucky Democratic Party chairwoman Jennifer Moore told the LEO that they go through the effort of checking every petition for every such candidate in the state. In this case, 83% of the petitioners they are seeking to disqualify are their fellow Democrats. So there seems to be some disconnect between what their voters are asking and what the party is doing. I have even given them another petition with three times more signatures than those disputed, but I guess it hasn’t made a difference in communicating what voters want. I think it’s clear that people want more choices. Even if the options provided are ones that people don’t agree with, I think people want to preserve the right to choose. Obviously, I understand her desire to run essentially unopposed. It seems like the easiest way to win an election. You don’t even have to leave the house to win. I also understand her desire to get me out of it and to shut me up. I don’t really have anything positive to say about

I agree with the sentiment of this pledge, but I don’t think I can sign it. I don’t think the size of government is nearly as relevant as its effectiveness. Proportional to their population and GDP, some other countries have much larger governments than we do, but they are much more effective. These people also pay much higher taxes than we do, but they get a lot more in return. Denmark has a comparatively huge government and one of the highest tax rates in the world, but the Danes are also some of the healthiest, happiest people on earth. Also, I think any legislator needs to leave their options

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all the corporate and special interest money she raises or some of her actions in the senate. While this lawsuit is only a week old right now, from my perspective, her efforts to quiet me or to have my arguments removed from the debate have had decidedly the opposite effect. The hits on my website, requests for yard signs, and contributions to my campaign have all gone way up since her lawsuit hit the papers. It should be noted that our district is registered 70% Democratic and she’s a Democrat. That’s why I don’t understand the effort to remove me from the ballot. The Republican in the race is basically out following his arrest on felony wanton endangerment charges. This election was hers for the taking. Maybe she wasn’t so confident about that. I don’t really know.
Let’s get back to your campaign objectives. I’m just running down the list here... You’ve stated you want to provide “free” health care for all Kentuckians that would be paid for by our taxes. Is it really free when I’m being taxed for it? How would this all work?

A health care safety net that would provide a basic level of coverage for every Kentuckian would certainly not be free, but the bottom line is that it would cost less than what we’re paying now. Not only would it serve to make us healthier, it would give Kentucky a competitive edge and attract new families and taxpayers. It would remove the burden of health care from our business owners, allowing them the options to cut costs, increase wages, reinvest, and offer additional incentives to workers. Medical bankruptcy is a truly American disgrace that does not have to exist and should not exist in a civil society. I believe access to health care and child care are necessities and rights, not “benefits.” They should be as universally available when needed as the fire department. Everyone needs them at some point and we should never think of sending someone a bill for something they can’t live without. There are a lot of ways this system could work. The great advantage we have in trying to do something like this now is that so many other countries have already worked out a lot of the kinks. I’m not an expert on medical care, but anyone can look at the simple statistics on this issue and see the way health care in Kentucky is provided now is clearly not the most beneficial way.
Say you’re elected and you are able to institute the health care plan. Would you be willing to provide a provision in which I could opt-out of the health care plan and be taxed less?

You’re right, it’s not free, it’s included in taxes. It is, however, furnished without the patient being charged at the point of care or billed based on the type of care provided. The simple fact is that Kentuckians are not healthy people when compared with people in the rest of the world. We pay significantly more for health care in Kentucky than they do in Norway, France, Switzerland, and other places known for superior levels of care. The reasons for this disparity are also simple. So many people here are either uninsured or underinsured that no preventative health is practiced. Primary care conditions deteriorate when neglected until they become expensive emergency situations. People can’t afford basic care and easily manageable conditions rage out of control. Kentucky’s infant mortality rate is higher than that of Cuba, Lithuania, or Thailand. Furthermore, for those who do have coverage in Kentucky, the costs of that care enormous because it includes the costs of advertising, executive salaries, profits, denials of eligibility, and even the cost of hiring lobbyists to keep the pressure on our government to do nothing about it.

I think we need to move away from the model that treats people differently than each other and denies care to patients. I’m proposing a basic level of care for everyone that covers necessities and emergencies. If you want more than that, you could still get that from a private insurance company or your employer could provide it as an incentive. There would really be no reason for someone to want to opt-out of a system that is more cost effective and covers most conditions. They would then run the risk of not being able to get state services if they need them.

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Also, if every Kentuckian paid taxes at the same rate, and an exemption was provided for those not earning a substantial living wage, the tax rate for most Kentuckians would be lower. Such a system would be fair to everybody and generate more revenue for the state. The rich and super rich are not currently paying a rate proportionally on par with the rest of us. It’s only fair to close that gap. If we were to replace Kentucky’s current multi-tiered income tax system in this way, most Kentucky taxpayers would pay less taxes and the state would have more resources available to provide services. When we start providing exemptions and optout clauses we lose sight of our common needs, however, I don’t see a problem with providing a voucher or deduction option if there are enough people who insist on not participating in the state program.
On elections or representative democracy in general, how do you feel about democracy being related to the situation of two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner? Seriously.

to have the social problem that comes from forcing children away from their parents and community so early in life. Why advocate the compulsory Prussian system from the 1800’s?

I have almost nothing bad to say about the way they do things in Sweden. I’ve spent a lot of time there and the people I know in Sweden are some of the best-educated, well-informed, healthy, happy, friendly people I know. I’m always eager to look at their successful systems for most applications, in fact, I usually look there first. Kentucky is certainly not Sweden, though, and we’re starting from a completely different set of challenges and a much smaller set of resources with which we can work. I think the argument that we’re already spending too much on public schools may be a hard one to win. I know that teachers in Kentucky do not feel they have the tools or facilities they need to improve the lives of children as much as they would like. Kentucky’s schools just don’t receive the funding that schools in other states do and our results show that. As you suggested, the quality of schools can make a difference for nearly everything else in society. Crime, productivity, innovation, co-existence, personal responsibility, progress; they’re all related to the quality of one’s education. While this isn’t Prussia or Sweden, I think we can never underestimate what relevance our schools have to the quality of life we are able to enjoy. We can learn a lot from other ways of doing things, but ultimately, our challenges are uniquely Kentuckian and I think funding is one of the main areas our schools are in need. Trying varying approaches in different places is also a proven way to pilot-test and develop new methods. I think any strategy that provides us with a more informed way of revising and improving our schools should be considered. Education is just too important to be underfunded or to have its significance underestimated.
I appreciate your views towards renewable energy and the coal communities and companies that operate in them. However, how do you plan to get the extra money you are proposing these companies pay be directly funneled into the communities in which

It’s easy to think of democracy in this way, especially when there are so few regulations governing corporate influence in government. If we can get corporate-backed contributions out of our elections and have clean campaigns funded only by individual voters, that’s a major move toward restoring a truer democracy. If paid lobbying were eliminated, I think that would be an even bigger step toward removing the wall that exists between voters and their government. It might sound idealistic, but I think both of these steps would help our democracy start resembling shepherds rather than wolves or sheep.
You are proposing more money be provided to schools and teachers, year round attendance (although the same amount of school days) and even starting school 1 year earlier. If I may, I would like to argue that we already spend too much money on public schools, have children attend too long and start too early. Have you ever considered the Swedish system? In a society (that of Sweden) recognized for quality in everything they do, surely schooling must have some effect on this. A child cannot even begin school until the age of seven, and the Swedish system lasts only nine years as opposed to the thirteen you are suggesting. Reason being is that the Swedes don’t want

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they operate instead of being absorbed by the state bureaucracy?

Funny you should ask, because that’s exactly what happened last year. States with substantial coal mining operations, like Kentucky, collect what is called a Coal Severance Tax from the companies that run the mines. This tax is levied on the value of the coal removed from the ground. The money collected is intended to be used by the state to clean up mining sites and reinvest in the communities where mining happens. Kentucky is the third-largest producer of coal in the United States and our severance tax is one of the lowest. Mining corporations pay just 4.5% of the value of their coal back to our state. Last year, in trying to lure a coal gasification plant and a few dozen jobs to Kentucky, the state legislature voted almost unanimously to raid this fund. Denise Harper Angel and every other state senator except one voted “yes” to giving the world’s largest coal company, Peabody Energy, $300 million in incentives and tax breaks. They essentially took $80 out of the pocket of each Kentuckian and handed it over to Peabody in a year when that company was posting record profits. And they did so under the guise that somehow coal gasification is a clean, forward-looking alternative energy. Kentucky’s Coal Severance Tax could be doubled or quadrupled and these companies would still be swimming in money. Furthermore, the fund this tax creates must be off limits to anything except what it is intended to do; reinvest in mining communities. The free ride mining companies have in Kentucky must end. They must be held accountable for the devastating effects mining has on our landscapes and the lives of our miners. Coal is getting increasingly harder to find and these companies are literally moving mountains to get it. When the coal is gone, so too will these employers be. If we don’t take every opportunity to collect billions in the process, we’re being played for the fools they obviously think we are.
You would like to mandate a living minimum wage calculated to provide “sufficiently reasonable” necessities. Who determines what is “sufficiently reasonable” and isn’t this just one size fits all hegemony?

As well, given I run a business and a potential employee agrees to work for $2 per hour, like servers at restaurants, isn’t that voluntary interaction? After all, they don’t have to come work at my restaurant.

People don’t have to work at your restaurant but they have to work somewhere. If the lowest of wages are determined by market forces instead of by some larger sense of fair compensation, we’ll simply see wages plummet and the overall purchasing power of workers in our society deteriorate. This is what happens in countries without fair labor laws. There’s an old saying, “If the company owes you something morally but not legally, they will give you nothing.” So if the living wage is “one size fits all hegemony” then I would think the minimum wage - or no wage restrictions - must be even more apprehensible. Living wage laws enacted in other places in the United States are indexed to inflation and, honestly, for Kentucky’s cost of living, would not be much different than the Federal minimum wage. A primary difference is that the living wage changes annually and automatically, whereas the minimum wage is at the mercy of legislative action, which can take years to catch up to true costs. Struggling people just can’t wait around for somebody to take action. Ironically, the salaries of Kentucky’s legislators update automatically but those for other workers do not. The main opponents to the living wage aren’t restaurants or small businesses, they’re big-box retailers like Wal-Mart. They can save billions simply by paying every worker 50-cents less per hour. Wal-Mart all but packed up and left Chicago when the city council worked to pass a living wage bill there. Even then, Mayor Daley quickly vetoed it after Wal-Mart ran a multimillion dollar marketing campaign attacking him and the effort. While this issue certainly has widespread economic considerations, I don’t see the living wage as a matter of economics. I see it an issue of morals. No civil society should expect workers to work for less than what they need to comfortably survive. In a country as rich as the United States, there should be no such thing as “low-wage workers.”

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In true socialist fashion, you want to regulate noise levels and pollution emissions of motor vehicles, but provide assistance to drivers who cannot afford to keep their vehicles up to standards. Why should I have to pay for the upkeep on someone else’s car? Why can’t they ride a bike or take the bus?

This is a matter of everyone pitching for the greater benefit of society. Everyone benefits when levels of noise and air pollution are reduced. But to your point of why you should pay for it, the cost of this could be included in the price of gasoline. In that case, if you ride a bicycle there is a lesser chance of you sharing this nominal burden which would amount to less than a dollar a year. We should also recognize that in a state as large as Kentucky, and even in a city as spread-out as Louisville, not everyone has the option or ability to uses buses, bicycles, or their feet for transportation. I agree those modes of transport are preferable because they reduce noise and pollution, but they’re not always practical or available.
Could you elaborate on the idea to have the community vote on, as you put it, “propositions to legalize, regulate, and significantly tax casino gambling, marijuana products, or any other controversial issue which is legal elsewhere”? I like legalize part, but I am curious, why only the issues that are legal elsewhere? As well, what is the harm in all this voluntary interaction?

the legislature isn’t aware or willing to act on a particular issue, it can take many years for Kentuckians to get the message through that changes are needed. Creating a voter-initiated ballot referendum process in Kentucky would give citizens a more direct route to their own governance.
With your proposed banking regulations, I’m a bit put off. I know when I got my checking account I specifically signed an agreement that stated if I overdrew my account I would be charged $33 per overdraft. I have allowed the bank to charge my account if I don’t handle my own finances properly. Instead of regulating how private businesses operate wouldn’t we be better off teaching our citizens how to handle their finances correctly in the first place?

Absolutely. There should be practical classes in high school that teach students useful life skills such as how to balance a ledger and how interest is compounded. But Jimmy, you also have to remember that not everyone is as intelligent or informed as you are, nor are they able to be. The main point I’m trying to make is that overdrawing one’s account is illegal and banks have the technology to prevent electronic overdrafts. Use of this technology was standard industry practice and historically protected banks from overdrafts until its creative use for extra profits began to grow in the past decade. About 50% of all income in the banking industry is now generated from fees. The Center for Responsible Lending says 46% of overdrafts today are caused by instantly-verifiable transactions, that is, debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals. That’s more than any other type of transaction. A practice among many banks now is to keep transaction-stopping technology on hold while allowing a customer to run up overdraft fees and only alerting the customer by mail, which can take days. The bank will eventually implement their ability to decline transactions, but only after the negative balance grows to the point where it becomes a collection risk. In the same way that institutions are able to instantly verify whether a customer is overdrawing their account, they can also allow customers to view their recent activity in real time. Many banks don’t do this. Instead, a customer’s online account access may

This might be a misunderstanding of the larger point of what I’m saying. I don’t think anything necessarily needs to be legal somewhere else to be considered here. I was just trying to illustrate that Kentucky may be behind the curve on some of these issues. Certainly not a revolutionary statement considering there are places in our state where you can’t legally buy beer. One of the main impediments to progress in Kentucky law is the absence of a ballot referendum process. Many states have systems which allow voters to place statute revisions on the ballot for a public vote. Kentuckians, however, are at the mercy of a part-time legislature which meets only a few weeks out of the year. It is just not responsive enough to keep up with the pace at which reform is needed. If

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deceptively not reveal recent transactions until several days after they occur. These banks are generating huge profits by deliberately taking advantage of confusion and providing inadequate information to the consumer. I agree that everyone should be responsible for their own finances and banks should be able to freely enter into agreements with consumers, but just as with the living wage issue, if market trends dictate what is to prevail as standard practice, 99 out of 100 times that practice will favor the corporations, not the people. Corporations are interested in delivering results to shareholders and that typically does not provide a lot of room from them to refrain from profitable practices regardless of how detrimental or unethical those practices may be from the consumer’s point of view. A 2006 study also found that the overwhelming majority of these fees, nearly three-quarters, are paid by financially-distressed customers who live “on the margins of solvency.” And with the shift toward consolidated ownership of banks, media, food, and energy, I feel government must take a role in protecting the consumers from the prospect of unfair practices becoming unavoidable standards.
Lastly, I want to note that it should be apparent I am coming from a stance of completely despising government intervention in any part of my life whether it be local, state or federal. I would really like to know what makes you (or any politician for that matter) a better candidate for making decisions on how I should live my life, i.e. manage my finances, educate my children, care for my health or run my own business, than myself?

people who have unfortunately bastardized its objectives and monopolized it for subversive purposes. I don’t claim to have answers, I only have suggestions, which I feel is what we need a lot more of. I know that taxes can be collected and services can be provided without the obscene levels of intervention that government has in our lives. I know the quality of health care, education, and life in general can be improved if we try new things. But I also know that I am just one person. My hope is that other people will hear what I’m saying and add their own ideas and perhaps become inspired to do something. Nothing will get better through not voting or not being involved. We’ve definitely seen the results of leaving it to someone else. So I agree with you that we are all responsible for ourselves, but I also think simple compassion dictates that we have an obligation to try to make things better for other people as well. It may take a small sacrifices here and there, but our own selfish demands so far have proven to be less than advantageous or admirable than the chances we take by doing nothing.

Scott Ritcher for Kentucky State Senate, District 35 2342 Grinstead Drive No. 4 Louisville KY 40204 www.ScottRitcher.org www.BallotRevolution.org Vote November 4, 2008

We might be on the same page on this one. I don’t think anyone is better equipped than you are to make these decisions about your life. But I think as a society, we have an obligation to provide for those who are unable to provide for themselves and to protect those who cannot protect themselves. This can often be accomplished only through government. I see government as the collective pooling of our resources to accomplish goals we are unable to achieve individually. The dissatisfaction with government is usually the result of disgust at

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Fuck Gas is a collective effort, part Lattitude Zine, part Shitluck Clothing, working to illustrate the retardation of gas and its effect on the american culture all while having a hell of a good time doing it. Get FREE propaganda by sending a self addressed, stamped envelope to: P.O. Box 197535 Louisville, KY 40259

fuckgas.wordpress.com ~ myspace.com/fuckgasrideabike

Sun, Sea, Sand… and ANTI –Terrorism
The Pleb

Who’d be a Hero?

If you stopped a handbag being snatched, would you expect a word of thanks? Or if you prevented a Bank robbery, would you expect a reward? So if someone goes out of their way to prevent Terrorism, where would they end up?? A) Daytime TV shows. B) Prison. C) Solitary confinement then massive prison sentences under maximum security. Well if you’re Cuban and subject to the U.S. “Justice” system then the answer is C. They probably taught you this at School, but here it is again. Since the Cuban Revolution of January 1st 1959 (50th Anniversary here we come!) a bunch of nutcases basing themselves in Miami have been attacking Cuba in every way they could think of, with the help of a few Agencies and powerful friends (!) Whether it was bombing an Embassy, Hotel, or airliner, or using the more extravagant biological weaponry, that darn Revolution just would not break.
So what does this have to do with Anti-Terrorism???

After gathering information and passing it to the Cuban authorities the FBI was invited to Havana to receive the info. So, the FBI is given the details of terrorist organizations operating from U.S. soil…Perry Mason or Jessica Fletcher would have had this one sorted before the first advert break! The FBI returned to Miami and arrested the messengers…not the terrorists. The men now known internationally as the Cuban 5 (aka Miami 5) were arrested and held in solitary confinement for 17 months, followed by a trial where the jury were tailed by the Miami Mafia (who have a bloody history when it comes to what they see as being “soft” on Cuba).
So what do you get for trying to prevent Terrorism?

Gerardo Hernández: 2 Life sentences plus 15 years. Ramón Labañino: Life plus 18 years. Antonio Guerrero: Life plus 10 years. Fernando González: 19 years. René González: 15 years.
The Cuban 5 have now been in prison for 10 years.

Well the Cubans aren’t stupid, and they don’t actually like being subjected to Terrorism, so they sent people to Miami to gather information about the dodgy groups operating there. This would enable Cuba to have a heads-up on future terrorist acts and thus give them a better chance of stopping them. The task given to these Cuban anti-terrorists was not without risk (just how brave did they have to be!), but nobody predicted what happened next…

Perhaps one day there will be a United States where terrorists go to prison and anti-terrorists are given the respect they deserve…there are 5 heroes hoping that day arrives soon. Visit www.theplebsite.com for cartoons, poetry and other random creativity.

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Open Grave

In full disclosure Jeani Rector has been paying for advertising in Lattitude for a few months now. When she offered us a copy of the book for review this thought did come to mind, but at the same time - it was a free book. My opinion is honest and true, if you still feel I may be biased, I really don’t give a fuck. Too bad. Open Grave - The Book of Horror, begins with 9 short stories and concluding with a 26 chapter novella to which the book itself derives it’s name - all horror or thriller stories to some extent. I may not be the best person to have reviewed this as I am not a big fan of fiction, I tend to opt for more reference based literature. However, I can honestly say I truly enjoyed reading these stories and even found myself questioning what would happen next as the drama unfolded, even without the book in hand. Because I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone, I’ll just note that my favorites were “Open Night Dive,” for tipping its hat, in a sense, to a different way of life and the ending novella, “Open Grave.” Dive, went a completely opposite direction than what I expected at every point, and left me with a smile after the read. It was entertaining all while preparing me for the worst. Open

Grave on the other hand was as much as I hate to use the term - a roller coaster. This damn story never stops, and that’s a good thing, as well as adding in one more twist as soon as you think there’s nothing left. Good stuff. More good news is there really aren’t a lot of negative things I can say about the book. In my opinion, cover art as a tad middle schoolish - if that makes any sense, which really has zero effect on the readability and enjoyment of the book. All in all, I thought this was an enjoyable read. I find this to be meaningful coming from myself, as like I mentioned before, I am no fiction fan. Jeani seems to have put a lot of work into this book and I think if you get a copy for yourself, you won’t be disappointed. To Pick up your own copy visit www.opengravenovel.com

October 2008 • LATT!TUDE 16

Stop Voting
David Ker Thomson
Just drop the vote and step quietly away from the vehicle.

We hope you’ll join us. We are a multitude, and we have been on the increase for forty years. Forty years, and now our time is at hand. You looked for us when you sought an object for your ill-conceived charity, but we quietly sent you away. We who will not vote, who will not gratify you with an opinion of your foolish and indistinguishable pretenders to this or that throne, we infuriated you. You called us apathetic for refusing to play the game. Refusing even to register. You said it was the only game in town. But if we’re so apathetic, why have you sought us so desperately, coveting even our style, asking our barbers if you are real, begging us to hold the mirror for you while you compose yourself? You have courted our swingers, but we have seen your anxious eyes in the rear-view of your Volvo. You like statistics, go see if it isn’t true: voter turnout has been decreasing in the established democracies since the 1960’s. You’re desperate for a mandate, but it’s flowing away from you. Your empire flunkies are banging at our doors, telling us we’re red or blue, or striped with white bars, and we should go to our color-coded stations. Greens, now there’s a hue for you. Use ’em for a side salad while you get on with dinner. Or get them to do the washing up. Greens are excellent for washing things. And you know how they just love to be included.

What’s driving you nuts is, we’re not even refusing. We’re not saying anything. And we know you’re nuts. We’ve seen your conventions. Also, your good wars, and your bad ones. Your Motor Voter legislation so you can register to kill twice at one convenient location. You are a computer virus. You thrive on attention. Say no to you, and you preen because someone noticed. We say nothing. You probably think this song is about you. Don’t you? You have immense standing armies, and they wish to march left, right, left, right. We are more than forty percent of the adults in America, fifty percent in Europe. If we would just say something, anything, left, right, left, right, you could get a stronger mandate, get these armies working efficiently, instead of going around losing wars to tiny countries. But like you say, it’s hard to fight a war if we don’t all stick together. David Ker Thomson is taking a year out from the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto to write a book on American radicalism since 1637 entitled “A.”

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Sly Paradox
The thing I love about the human existence is our ability to constantly evolve, to pull ourselves up from whatever trenches we have fallen into, whatever traps we have managed to ensnare ourselves in. Our minds and imaginations are never an absolute, our potential never finite; the only blockades we will ever come across are the ones we put up ourselves. Your destiny is as mailable as wet earth; you can mold it to whatever conclusion you see fit. You hold the power to do so, no matter what superficial outside forces try to lead you to believe. Remember; the things that will try to divert you from your chosen path are not going to be wearing a big, flashing neon sign spelling out “evil”. The serpent understood that long before it dained to show up at the Tree of Knowledge it had to lull Eve into a false sense of security in order to convince her to take a bite of the apple. True evil is seductive like that. It is charming, even charismatic in some cases. It will tell you whatever it knows you need to hear to get what it wants. But that is the thing. The ability to charm is not the same as being a genuine person with good intentions. Too many gullible people who want to live in a certain state of denial as to the bad things in the world make this mistake. After all, Ted Bundy was an awfully charming fellow who still to this day probably has women who will swoon over him. Scott Peterson has groupies, receives fan letters every week, even wedding proposals. Charles Manson had women crawling on their hands and knees for him and shaving their heads. Evil can talk a very good game. It is perfectly capable of gaining your trust in order to take advantage of you. People always seem to forget that. It is up to us to learn how to filter out the lip service and jive, and find the genuine souls in this world, because they are truly becoming a dying breed. We need to bring ourselves back to helping our fellow man just out of good will and no other reason. Paying it forward is what helps sustain us and gives us momentum in our own lives, spiritually and literally. For more from Sly Paradox, check her blog at: www.slyparadox.com

October 2008 • LATT!TUDE 18

Tyranny on Display
Chris Hedges

at the Republican Convention

St. Paul is a window into our future. It is a future where, as one protester told me by phone, “people have been pepper-gassed, thrown on the ground by police who had drawn their weapons, had their documents seized and their tattoos photographed before being taken away to jail.” It is a future where illegal house raids are carried out. It is a future where vans containing heavily armed paramilitary units circle and film protesters. It is a future where, as the protester said, “people have been pulled from cars because their license plates were on a database and handcuffed, thrown in the back of a squad car and then watched as their vehicles were ransacked and their personal possessions from computers to literature seized.” It is a future where constitutional rights mean nothing and where lawful dissent is branded a form of terrorism. The rise of the corporate state means the rise of the surveillance state. The Janus-like face of America swings from packaged and canned spectacles, from nationalist slogans, from seas of flags and Christian crosses, from professions of faith and patriotism, to widespread surveillance, illegal mass detentions, informants, provocateurs and crude acts of repression and violence. We barrel toward a world filled with stupendous lies and blood. What difference is there between the crowds of flag-waving Republicans and the apparatchiks I covered as a reporter in the old East German Communist Party? These Republican delegates, like the fat and compromised party functionaries in East Berlin, all fawned on cue over an inept and corrupt party hierarchy. They all purported to champion workers’ rights and freedom while they systematically fleeced, disempowered and impoverished the workers they lauded. They all celebrated the virtue of a state that was morally bankrupt. And while they played this con game, one that gave them special

privileges, power and wealth, they unleashed their goons and thugs on all who dared to challenge them. We are not East Germany, but we are well on our way. An economic meltdown, another catastrophic terrorist attack on American soil, a war with Iran, and we could easily swing into an authoritarian model that would look very familiar to anyone who lived in the former communist East Bloc. A few of those arrested in St. Paul, including eight leaders of the RNC Welcoming Committee—one of the groups organizing protests at the GOP convention in St. Paul—now face terrorism-related charges. Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik Oseland, Nathanael Secor, Robert Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald and Max Spector could get up to seven and a half years in prison under the terrorism enhancement charge, which allows for a 50 percent increase in the maximum penalty. This is the first time criminal charges have been filed under the 2002 Minnesota version of the federal Patriot Act. The Patriot Act, which was put in place as much to silence domestic opposition as to ferret out real terrorists, has largely lain dormant. It has authorized the government to monitor our phone conversations, e-mails, meetings and political opinions. It has authorized the government to shut down anti-war groups and lock up innocents as terrorists. It has abolished habeas corpus. But until now we have not grasped its full implications for our open society. We catch glimpses, as in St. Paul or in our offshore penal colonies where we torture detainees, of its awful destructive power. The commercial media told us that what was important in St. Paul was happening inside the convention hall. The vapid interviews, the ridiculous soap opera sagas about Sarah Palin’s

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continued from 19

Hello to all our friends and supporters, In the last week, eight people affiliated with the RNC Welcoming Committee were arrested in their homes or picked up off the streets and charged with conspiracy to riot and furtherance of terrorism. The Welcoming Committee was a group that formed to facilitate logistics (food, housing, convergence center) around the 2008 Republican National Convention Protests in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Most of them were arrested in the days leading up to the convention, and many had their homes raided by law enforcement. They were being held in the Ramsey County jail but as of Thursday were all released on bail or bond. They are now facing serious criminal charges and the potential of a protracted and expensive legal battle. This case is potentially dangerous not just for these individuals but for organizers and activists all over the country. It represents a seemingly coordinated effort between state and federal agencies to crack down on organizers as a way of intimidating and systematically repressing movement building in all its forms. It now falls to all of us to fight these charges not just for these eight people but to protect our friends, our movements and our communities. Currently, our immediate need is for financial resources. We are asking for people to donate money or set up benefits in their own communities. You can donate by going to www.nornc.org and clicking on the “Donate to RNC Welcoming Committee Legal Support” button. To check out ongoing updates on the case visit www.RNC8.org. Thank you so much for your support. In solidarity, The Friends of the Welcoming Committee Visit St. Paul in September 2008! http://www.nornc.org

daughter and the debate about whether John McCain or Barack Obama has proprietary rights to “Change” divert us from the truth of who we have become. You had to search out “Democracy Now!,” TheUptake.org, Twin Cities Indymedia, I-Witness, along with a few other independent outlets, to see, hear or read real journalism from St. Paul. It does not matter that the RNC Welcoming Committee describes itself as an “anarchist/ anti-authoritarian” organization. We don’t have to embrace a political agenda to protect the right to be heard. Shut down free speech and radicals only burrow deeper underground, splitting ossified political systems into fractured extremes. We may well end up with the Christian right on one side, with politicians like Sarah Palin providing an ideological veneer to a Christian fascism, and embittered leftist radicals who turn to violence on the other. St. Paul was not ultimately about selecting a presidential candidate. It was about the power of the corporate state to carry out pre-emptive searches, seizures and arrests. It was about squads of police in high-tech riot gear, many with drawn semiautomatic weapons, bursting into houses. It was about seized computers, journals and political literature. It was about shutting down independent journalism, even at gunpoint. It was about charging protesters with “conspiracy to commit riot,” a rarely used statute that criminalizes legal dissent. It was about 500 people held in open-air detention centers. It was about the rising Orwellian state that has hollowed out the insides of America, cast away all that was good and vital, and donned its skin to shackle us all. Chris Hedges is a journalist and author, specializing in American and Middle Eastern politics and society. You can find more of his work at LewRockwell.com

October 2008 • LATT!TUDE 20

Paintings by Kali

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October 2008 • LATT!TUDE 22


October 2008 • LATT!TUDE

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