What the Drone? Dear President Obama…

Please explain the value of the “fire from above” approach we have now with invisible drone strikes. We’re getting closer and closer to Terminator’s reality. NSA and Skynet now able to blow up folks with the push of an anonymous button. WRONG.

Dear President Obama,

Please explain and justify the use of our strike drones and the unnecessary death they have caused.

NYU student creates dronestre.am to track strikes and collateral damage. (That’s the non-enemy combatants who are also being killed, including women and children.)

visualizing the US drone strikes since 2004


And the site he created to provide the API for dataviz folks to build more interactive representations of this carnage. This is not a game! These are people being killed by missiles dropping silently from the sky. Dronestre.am

We can change this.

J Mercurial

An Open Letter to Senator Al Franken [UPDATED]

Facebook page of Al Franken

UPDATE: Still no word from Al Franken’s team that they’ve even seen this post. No worries, they are still sending out cause-based marketing emails. Here’s today’s request for a handout.

What's all this fund-raising?



Dear Al Franken,

I’m behind you 100%. But there’s something I don’t understand. And you are just like everyone else in asking for the donations. You even make a joke about it. But can you help me understand?

Is this cause-based funding or cause-based marketing?

Al Franken, asking for money, just like everyone

See, Mr. Franken, I simply don’t get what you’re talking about. In principle I do, but you seem to be trying to enlighten me, perhaps you can take it all the way to the (bank) goal line for me.

Here are my questions.

1. “Our political system is so screwed up” you say, therefore give me money. Huh? What does “Our budget requires that we raise $175,000 from our online community,” you say. OR WHAT? What happens if you fail to raise your online contribution budget? And what does it matter to me as a citizen of the US, but a resident of Austin, Texas? I don’t care about the end of the “third fund-raising quarter.” What does that have to do with anything?

2. Stuff you need. Um, the 3d bumper sticker was a stupid example. Rent, materials, salaries for staffers. Those are things I understand. But again, how does this “third fund-raising quarter” have anything to do with me, or your budget requirements?

3. Yeah, everyone is fundraising. A government shutdown threat = DCCC fundraising letters. War in Syria = fundraising letters. Obamacare = fundraising. Okay, so how do these $3 “campaigns” actually contribute to any of the causes that you are using to drive the urgency of your demand? You see, it’s not the cause, it’s the frequency and relentless ask for money that causes so many of your subscribers to UNSUBSCRIBE. I’m still trying to figure out how MY $3 contribution to the OBAMACARE campaign has any significance at all. Are these EVENTS, just like you “third fund-raising quarter” just slogans and mottos to try and get more money from the American public?

I understand the system is broken, but your letter didn’t address any of the broken issues, it simply used them to ask for more of the same.

I am not interesting in “impressing the Washington pundits” for your benefit or even the benefit of the entire country, if that’s what this is about.

I am about getting this crazy flow of money into politics OUT of politics. And I believe you are the man for the job. I know this is one of your key issues. And if you showed me how I could contribute to THAT cause, to earmark my $5 contribution just for that effort, I might be interested.

But honestly, I think you even know, that showing me the “impressing the Washington pundits” card and the “our political system is seriously screwed up” card are NOT compelling reasons for me to give you ANY money. And I think you know it. But you don’t have an answer, so you keep moving in the same direction as the herd.

And all this seems to be building to something. Even you say you need my help to “build a winning campaign.” But what campaign? You’re already elected. Are you talking about your re-election campaign? The 2016 presidential campaign? Or just a marketing campaign based on “third fund-raising quarter?”

Your interested fan,

J Mercurial

Getting American Values Back in Check – Learn About the 1%

We’ve got to do something to keep the 1% from continuing to enrich themselves at the expense of the rest of our entire country. No matter where you stand, in terms of your income, you need to stand up for those below you.

Share Your Voice.


J Mercurial

permalink: http://99stickers.com/learn-about-the-1-percent/

Live the Lie – Lance Armstrong Tries to Get Clean

Living the Lie - Lance Armstrong Tries to Get Clean

We’re workin on a 99stickers version of this graphic. What do you think?

99 Voices

The Children of Rich People, “We’re People Too, Just Different.”

I should know, I am one.

It’s not that rich people think their kids are better than your, it’s just… Well, they’re not all that sure they want their kids playing with someone from your neigborhood or tax bracket. I’m sure my dad had that concept, my mom, not so much. Although before Obama she was a RED-Stater all the way. Things DO change.

So today I was walking a block over from my neighborhood and into the way 1% area where Sandra Bullock built her home. Even their neighborhood pool looks snooty. And I was noticing all the fences. Just about everything is fenced in. With codes and locks and gates and … security services.

I’m glad they can’t take a reading of my credit report at the moment, or I’d a been booted from their streets and back into my more variable neigborhood PDQ.

Anyway I was wondering about the ‘normal’ people in the backyards of their gated houses. And they looked just like me. Most of them, okay all of them, were white. And while the cars in the driveways were nicer than mine, I was at least, from the street, a member of their tribe. So here they are, just like me, living in a HUGE frickin house with a beautiful front yard with no one in it. Ever!

So they’re gonna play and keep their kids playing in their backyards. Approved play dates, I guess. And something IS different about this than how I was raised 40+ years ago. The kids in our neighborhoods all played together. And we played in the front of our houses, in huge packs, playing kick the can, werewolf, and capture the flag. It was a neighborhood.

Today there was not a single group of kids anywhere. The gated and protected pool was empty, but school’s still a week or so from being out. I did see two other folks jogging. They looked pretty much like me, too.

So what keeps them so “gated?” Is there something sinister that comes in when you don’t fence and arm your property?

Sure the rich love their children. They just don’t love your children. And unless you’re at the private school, they’re not so sure they want their kids to love your kids either. Maybe that’s it, classism.

A high school friend asked me the other day, “How is it, that we grew up together and yet we came out with such different politics?” It was a friendly question.

The answer came a few hours later. It was my hippy sister. She didn’t care to much for classism. She balked at my father’s discipline and dislikes of her boyfriends. In fact, I’m sure she went the other way just to piss him off.

It must be kinda sad on the other side of that fence. I mean, lonely. Unless you schedule a playdate, how are you going to make friends?

It just goes to show you, that people are people. Biases and prejudices are everywhere. I’m sure I have some of my own. But I AM sure it does not involve providing healthcare for the poor kids as well as mine.

If we all rise we all rise. If only the rich rise, the rest of us fall further behind. That’s what I believe, anyway.


J Mercurial

permalink: http://99stickers.com/2012/05/the-children/

Dear Wells Fkin Fargo

Dear Wells Fkin Fargo,

I’m gonna pay my damn mortgage today, okay, so quit having a cow. It’s not easy out here in middle-class land. [God save the lower income folks.] But you’ve been so damn crappy since two days after it was due [ya know there's a 12 day grace period, right? I mean, you wrote the fukin documents.]

So you’ve been pounding me with phone calls begging me to call you guys back for about 25 days now. And I really want to say fk it and not pay, but I HAVE NEVER MISSED A PAYMENT. So WTF? Why are you treating me like I’m skipping town when I’m a great fkin customer. With a half-way descent credit score, considering.

So, I just wanted to say, I fkin hate your harassing practices. And as much as I’d like to take my mortgage elsewhere, it would probably be sold right back to you. So fk you. I’m paying today. And I know it’s late. And I know you will start calling me before the weekend for the next payment.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, the number you have is my Google Voice number. It doesn’t even ring my phone. I get an email that you called again. I kinda like hearing your minions and robots leaving their angry or desperate messages. But mostly I just clear my Google Voice inbox and ignore the emails I’m getting about your harassment.

I’m paying today, but I fukin HATE YOU.


J Mercurial.

if you like this, please join our Facebook community, it’s where the discussions and actions are taking place. http://facebook.com/99stickers

Bill Moyers Talks about the 99% Spring

Non-Violent Direct Action of the 99% Spring

Bill Moyers Journal: The 99% Spring (VIDEO)

By Bill Moyers Journal

Activist George Goehl on People Power from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

The Issue: Democratic Reform, Workers Rights

The Initiative: The 99% Spring is a weeklong series of trainings in April about economic inequality and non-violent action techniques.
Bill Moyers interviews organizer George Goehl.

Background: The 99% Spring is being organized by a coalition of over 40 national and local groups and movement leaders — including George Goehl, Sarita Gupta and Ai-jen Poo — who “envision a new economy that the 99% can count on.”

From April 9-15, 2012, 99% Spring organizers plan to gather 100,000 people across America, in homes, places of worship, campuses and the streets to join together in the work of reclaiming our country. They are organizing trainings to:

  • Tell the story of our economy: how we got here, who’s responsible, what a different future could look like, and what we can do about it
  • Learn the history of non-violent direct action, and
  • Get into action on our own campaigns to win change.

There are already over 890 trainings planned around the country.

I’ve Got A Problem With 99 Stickers

My problem with 99 Stickers on Facebook.

Pay per click advertising on Facebook

Pay per click advertising on Facebook

Yeah, I’ve got a problem. This is a wonderful experiment. And what we’ve got here, in a few short months, is an actually “community” on Facebook. And we’re sharing, commenting, and reposting a lot of information.

My problem is this. Unless I pay for it, we’re not getting any more “reach.” Meaning no one is joining us, unless I pay ¢.25 to ¢35 per click, on an advertisement similar to what got you here. So what’s the issue? Why aren’t WE sharing 99 Stickers to others?

One more, minor problem. My vision was that people would get the stickers and send back pictures of the stickers in funny places. And a few of you have done that, but not 500 – 600 of you. That’s how many stickers I’ve given out so far. And I’ve gotten $65 from Pay-Pal since the beginning.

My question: What’s wrong with this approach? Is facebook not conducive to sharing? Are you afraid to publish or promote your connection with something so clearly 99% related?

I’d really like to know what you think. That’s why I’m here.

NOTE: And if you’re reading this on the 99stickers.com website, what’s your perception, what’s your disconnect? I want to CONNECT, not disconnect. So what’s your problem with 99 Stickers?

J Mercurial
permalink: http://99stickers.com/2012/03/a-problem/ ‎

Also, check out the99spring.com. I will be leading some trainings in Austin, Texas. I hope to see you there.

Free 99 Percent Stickers – 99 Voices – 99 Stickers

be heard #occupyyourself


#99voices #99stickers – be heard – voice yourself

Get the FREE 99 Voices Sticker use that link, or send your mailing address to 99stickersite@gmail.com  We’re out of stickers at the moment, but we’re reprinting. Give us a week.

The 99Stickers team.


Fkin STRIP SEARCH? In the USA? WHAT? SRSLY? Now I’m Mad.

Let's Protest Strip Searches by Driving Naked

NSFW - click to view video

STRIP SEARCH!Good idea or police state tactic? Here’s my initial take from a first-hand routine traffic stop:

I had no idea the other day, in my white middle class neighborhood that I could’ve been strip searched when I said, “That’s fucking ridiculous to the cop that was pulling me over.” I’m betting in other areas, with my skin being a bit different and my auto being a bit more run down, I’d have been in for a different experience all together.”We’re cracking heads on the OWS folks all over this country in a way that we would frakin invade other countries for. Regardless of how you feel about OWS, it’s not right.

And now they have the power of the STRIP SEARCH? I think no one, none of us smart ass honkeys, can actually believe it would happen. Not to us, not in our neighborhood. But it that truck of smelly outdoor workers gets stopped in front of our house, heck, they might have been illegals too. They were speaking Spanish.

Disgusted with my country at the moment. That’s why I’m activating with the99spring.com and my own little uprising http://facebook.com/99stickers

Of course stickers won’t solve anything. But they can get us talking to each other. We can spread the dialogue with thinking folks and see if we can tip the balance away from the tea party and the way RIGHT that are trying to get Santorum elected. SRSLY? What kind of nightmare would that be.

I encourage you to get involved somewhere. Make sure your opinion is heard. And if you don’t agree with me, that’s cool, but let’s keep the discussion in the top levels of the hierarchy of a disagreement, okay.Bungle in the Jungle or What’s In a Snipe: Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement

But we definately need to raise up our voice on this one. What’s the MEME that we can start online to support or defeat this amazingly retro ruling?

Hey they won’t have to strip us if we’re naked. That’s it. DRIVE NAKED.Thanks RR for the push.


J Mercurial
permalink; http://99stickers.com/2012/04/strip-search/

Video of the new Movement: DRIVE NAKED (NSFW)

Know Your #occupy Twitter Hashtags: #ows vs #occupy vs #99spring

While spending time in a training for trainers of the99spring.org group I was interested in learning which hashtags still had momentum. It’s good to know where the conversations are happening and Twitter is a powerful tool to understand public sentiment.

One of my favorite tools is TwitterVenn. A quick way to compare the volume of tweets.

Occupy Wall Street and the communications war

Here’s a post that has even more ideas for harnessing the information available on Twitter.

How to Get Useful Business Information Out of Twitter: Hashtags for Social Media Research

Get organized and be heard. We are the majority, let’s empower ourselves with action.