Category Archives: Site News

Joining the Elite: Writing for Fact-esque

When Kyle asked me to abandon Comments from Left Field, eRobin jumped into the vacuum and filled it by inviting me to join her very well-known efforts at the high-profile Fact-esque. I accepted with alacrity and have been posting like a madman there ever since, swathed in tears of joy.

Well, maybe not actual tears, but there was a definite sniff and a potential shiver of excitement that didn’t develop only because I was focused on devouring a Mars bar I found in an old suit.

Dump the Dems will remain here since this is where it started but for the nonce, everything else will be there since hers is a site that will comfortably ensconce everything from political tomfoolery to Trenches-like economic and labor news. See you there.

Me and Rob is a two-fer you don’t want to miss. Such a deal.


At Michael Tedesco’s invitation, I’ve been blogging at Comments From Left Field the last week or so, off and on, and will be temporarily abandoning Witness to take his place for a week or so in October while he goes windsurfing on Lake Titicaca.

The last couple of days I’ve been embroiled in a discussion of Democratic culpability for the mess we’re in with Kyle Moore, and I think between us, and with the help of commenters like matttbastard, we’ve put some perspective on the problem and begun to evolve the core of the debate that needs to happen. You can read Kyle’s post here and my response here.

I hope you’ll join us. In the meantime, a jab in the ribs from Ted Rall to keep the blood flowing.


Read at Your Own Risk


Free Online Dating

Mingle2Free Online Dating

Resurrection? Or Regurgitation?

Those of you not getting Witness via RSS will have noticed a few changes to the sidebar, viz.: a whole new collection of links to “Serial Fiction” blogs. Well, three links, actually. Not so many as to justify the word “collection”, but I digress. Oh, and a new link to an old blog.

Briefly, I discovered, much to my surprise and amazement, that Squarespace Hosting did not after all delete the old Resistance blog. It did delete everything I uploaded – photos and resource materials, most of them in pdf. format – but the blog itself remained intact.

Long story short, I re-animated it. Continue reading

Who Me? – The 2007 Koufax Awards

I’m only home for a few minutes between crucial errand-running and going to work but I had to stop long enough to acknowledge an event comparable to, say, Paris Hilton being nominated for an Oscar.

Over at Norwegianity, The Wege has nominated Witness for not one but two – count ’em, two (2) – Koufax awards.

I would be flabbergastedly honored beyond belief and/or credulity were it not for the fact that I have a sneaking suspicion he may have been imbibing a wee bit too much in celebration of his rash clearing up. Still, his other choices seem sane (except that he doesn’t understand the difference between a “community blog” and a “group blog”), so maybe it wasn’t a drunken accident after all. If not, then I own to being flabbergastedly honored beyond belief and/or credulity. So there.

Incidentally, Wege, a “community blog” is a diary site like dKos or My DD; a “group blog” is a blog with multiple users posting to it. The American Street would be a group blog.

Having been offline for the whole year, I’m not going to participate in the awards because I’m too far out of touch. Some of my favorite blogs have disappeared or are about to, and I haven’t even begun to catch up on the new ones. But if I was going to vote, here’s who I’d vote for: Continue reading

The New Dispatch from the Trenches Is Here

As threatened, I have re-animated my old blog focusing on working-class news and commentary, Dispatch from the Trenches, and moved it here to WordPress. I even imported the archives of the Blogger Trenches, and while the posts are a couple of years old now, there are some that are still worth re-reading. You’ll find it here and I hope you’ll add it to your blogroll along with Witness.

Real posts will follow soon – I spent so much time aetting it up that I just don’t have time to write today. Maybe tonight. Certainly tomorrow.

Opening Statement

For those of you who may remember me from Revolution or Ethel the Frog, this blog will come as no surprise. It will bear witness to the deliberate destruction of community and democratic values by a radical right-wing which has lost all touch with reality, and it will do so through satire, righteous anger, sarcasm, and bitter recriminations, as always.

See following post for sample.

Housekeeping #19: Summertime Blues

At least that’s what I think it is. Not much activity here the last few weeks. Partly I think it’s the heat and humidity–no AC and sitting at the computer is a trial even with a fan going full blast and aimed straight at me. Usually I like heat (I waaaay prefer it to being cold) but for some reason this summer it’s been getting to me. No energy. No oomph. I did my first post for LitBlogs yesterday in a week and I haven’t written a new story for Snake Tales in over a month even though there are notes for three of them, including the next chapter in the ‘bush wars’ saga, in my word processor.

But another part of the problem is systemic: I find I don’t have much to say that’s new and I can’t see repeating myself endlessly just because the Bushies do. How many times can you debunk the Swift Boat Vets’ lies? In how many different ways can you say that Abu Ghraib happened from the top down? I go through the papers every day and it’s the same old shit, day after day after day. I read it and I think, ‘I said that already–three times’, and find I don’t have the energy to say it a fourth. And you probably wouldn’t have the energy to read it.

So where do we go from here? Personally I’ve spent more of what little energy I have these days on Trenches. I’ve changed the name slightly–to Dispatch from the Trenches–and re-designed the site so it’s more focused on what I really want to get at–the impulse to selfishness and greed behind the conservative agenda. That agenda deliberately plays to all our worst instincts and praises them as our best; it wants us to Look Out For #1, to believe we are not Our Brother’s Keeper, and to build a society based on ‘ownership’–as in if you don’t ‘own’ something, you don’t count. I want to start aiming directly at that profoundly abusive and destructive concept. I know it’s tilting at windmills but where I come from that’s what windmills are for–tilting at.

I’ll likely get back to normal when a) the Republican Liars’ Festival is over (I mean, come on–they’re trotting out the last of the moderates that they otherwise keep locked in closets, and trying to pretend the GOP isn’t run by radicals; the whole damn convention is a lie, that’s gotta be a first), b) when I’ve got something to say that I haven’t said 40 times already, and c) when the weather gets cooler.

In the meantime, check out some of the blogs on the sidebar and see what they have to say. For example, John has a terrific post up at archy about Rove and the SBV attack:

We should not feel good about beating back the Swifties. Rove has a score of these attacks in the wings. Many writers have described the Rove method as “if you throw enough mud, some is bound to stick.” That is a naive oversimplification. The Rove method assumes that as a foundation and adds, “if mud doesn’t stick, try dung, then pudding, then paint, then gravy, then bile, then library glue, then baby poop, mud again, warm tar, herbed bread crumbs, cheese sauce, Silly Puddy ™, that stuff that collects in the trap of your kitchen sink, toe jam, more pudding…” You get the idea.The attack has just begun. We need to brace ourselves for the next assault.

(Note: John? It’s ‘Silly Putty’.)

There are people out there who have things to say that are worth reading. eRobin is doing stellar work at Fact-esque deconstructing the NYT; Bert’s ThatColoredFellasweblog has been re-invigorated recently with a lot of new posts, some excellent political commentary, and a fleet of new commenters; Tim Dunlop at The Road to Surfdom is in the thick of not one but two elections, ours and the Australian; Karlo has a great post up at Swerve Left about Bush’s time in the National Guard; and and Digby at Hullabaloo is, as usual, all over the political ramifications of yet another Bush ‘mis-statement’.

[Bush has] now simultaneously admitted that he screwed up big time on the single most important issue a president ever faces, while also saying that he has no intention of trying to figure out what went wrong. That is the worst of all possible worlds. It’s best not to have to admit screwing up something as important as war planning but if you do you simply have to make the case that [you] learned from the experience and you won’t do it again. He didn’t do that. Iraq is a massive failure and the president has just opened the door to his own culpability on that.

I may be dry as toast at the moment, but others’ juices are flowing strong.

Housekeeping #17

I don’t know if it’s actually #17 or not–I didn’t bother to spend an hour searching through the archives just to figure it out–but it’s as good a starting point as any.

First, you will notice that the Omnium Archives are no longer housed in the Pyramid Building in San Francisco. We discovered that the Pyramid is located directly over the San Andreas fault and decided it was prudent to move this precious resource to a safer repository before Ahnud lives up to his image and makes California the second US state with its own nuclear weapons (Kansas was the first but I’m reasonably sure they’d never use them against the rest of us; with Ahnud it’s impossible to know that for certain). They have therefore been moved to the British Library where they will reside cheek-by-jowl alongside Henry VIII’s recipe for blackbird pie (which does NOT, contrary to myth, call for 23 cloves of peppercorn and a bag of garlic) and Shakespeare’s first love poem, reportedly written in chalk and found on the wall of a privy in Stratford-on-Avon:

Fshe walked with Buty in the dirt.
So Aye clutched and lofted up her skirt–

I should perhaps add that there is some controversy over the authenticity of this poem but Tony Blair says that MI6 did an exhaustive study and reached the conclusion that it was genuine, which is good enough for me. Besides, I think it sounds just like him, don’t you?

Second, arch-Contributor Seattle has returned to the fold after a lengthy unexcused absence (he assures me that a note from his mother is forthcoming but I’ll believe it when I see it)–those who have been paying attention will have already remarked upon the noisy blizzard of posts with which he announced his re-emergence from The Darkness.

His absence may be unexcused but it is at least explained. Thus:

That’s him in front, looking like he’s about to plunge headlong into the whitecapped deeps, and not because he wants to.

Third, he has finally provided biographical material on himself which you can find here, though I’m not sure I’d bother if I were you. The picture he draws of himself is entirely unbelievable. Nobody could be that…normal. Where are the anomalies? the records of arrests? the pork-pie hats? the confessions of his unrequited love affairs with Danielle Steel and Jackie Collins? the polar bears? He’s hiding something, I tell you.

Fourth, there is a new story at Snake Tales called ‘blind pierre’s fiddle’ which is based on a real incident–unusual for me.

That’s it for now. Have at it.

Happy Birthday To Me

Yes, it is. I am–

Well, never mind. Let’s just say that as of today I’m at that awkward age: too old to be sexy and too young to retire.

You really wanna know? OK. I’m as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth–what’s left of them. And that’s all you’re getting.

Who Am I?

Perhaps I’ve already been infected by Lenny’s sick sense of honor and honesty. Or maybe I’m just screwing around. In any case, I have decided to come out–or pretend to come out–from under a layer of deceit, though not perhaps from under all of them, ay? The more eagle-eyed of you will notice that my post signature has changed from “maja” to “Mick”. That’s because it seemed to me time to dispense with anonymity–maybe–and ‘fess up. Or not. It could be that I got tired of one identity and manufactured/stole/copied from an 18th century tombstone a new one.

It’s entirely plausible that my real name is Marc Arran; possible, even. Though I’m not saying it is, I’m also not saying it isn’t. And it may be that at some time in the distant past, having gained a local reputation for playing drunken Irishmen in Shakespearean plays (you didn’t know there were any drunken Irishmen in Shakespeare? you should have been paying more attention in high school; see what you missed?), I managed to gather unto myself the nick of Mick because, as I prefer to believe, my Irish accent was flawless, NOT because I was such a good drunk.

And it’s not beyond the realm of all potential possibilities that I originally chose “maja” as a handle because, so I was told (though thinking back on it, it may have been a joke), that in Roumanian “maja” means “omniscient, all-seeing”, and I instinctively gravitated toward it as an apt and accurate description of the way I thought of myself. Or perhaps I picked it out of a hat which included handles such as tearjerker_seaweed, mishkoshVminot, and morallyrepugnantandproudofit, and considered that I had got off easy.

It may be true that I have been (select all that seem to apply):

# A taxi-driver
# A CIA contract agent’s go-fer
# A spot-welder
# A rich woman’s boy-toy
# A factory worker and day-laborer
# 3 sheets to the wind
# All of the above…and more
# None of the above…and less

(Warning: I may have led a very strange life and as a result the things you may believe to be true aren’t and the ones you think can’t possibly be true are. Then again, maybe I’m an accountant and consequently too boring to be of interest. Choose. The correct answer will win a coffee-date with Adnan Khoshoggi and Madonna.)

Naturally, this whole post may be an outright invention–Fantasy, LIE, Rip-Off. Maybe my name is actually Gertruden Hofftschtinkler and I mine pyrite in the Bavarian Alfs (a group of identical aliens whose musculature is loaded with the stuff and who landed in the mountains near Berchtesgarten in 1985, looked around for 10 or 15 seconds and moved immediately to LA where they instantly, of course, got their own tv show in which they took turns pretending to be an ugly Muppet). Either it’s all possible or none of it is.

Welcome to the 21st Century Blogosphere.

PS. And yes, I am male, the “a” at the end of “maja” notwithstanding. So ends that confusion, though it was fun while it lasted.

Omnium Is What Again?

Let’s start by saying that the idea here is to start a blog where widely scattered but interconnected data, events, personalities, news items, etc. can sit next to each other and schmooze, as they should, and we can start to see the Bigger Picture that all these little. disconnected pieces make when you put them together.