RTMark Quarterly Report (second quarter, 1999)

Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1999

"MAYORAL AIDES CAN'T UNPLUG PARODY PAGES" (http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/99/08/biztech/articles/14rudy.html)

Rudy Giuliani is known for his thorough "financial cleansing" of Manhattan, but not for his glowing 1983 appraisal of Haiti dictator "Baby Doc" Duvalier.

RTMark hopes to correct this and other omissions with http://YesRudy.com, as the Times (New York edition) reported on Friday.

Giuliani, whose official website is at http://RudyYes.com, is running for a U.S. Senate seat against Hillary Clinton. According to his campaign, he has "absolutely no resource" to fight the RTMark site.


That's not what Microsoft is saying about http://microsoftedu.com/ (RTMark project SOFT), which calls Microsoft's influence on higher education tantamount to intimidation and bribery. Microsoft lawyers have ordered the site taken down (http://rtmark.com/microsoftedu.html), but project participants have yet to show interest in complying.


RTMark and its workers have never been seriously affected by such legal threats, but have sometimes "spun" groundless efforts to intimidate them into extensive and embarrassing publicity (most notably in the cases of Geffen, who tried to stop Deconstructing Beck, and George W. Bush, who tried to stop GWBush.com).

Many others, however, have not been so lucky. RTMark will soon initiate a program to use its proven "tactical embarrassment" methods to deflate quasi-legal corporate intimidation tactics--tactics that range from threats of the sort RTMark has often received, to the much more serious SLAPP (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) suits aimed at community activists.

SLAPP suits are usually not intended to hold water, only to enmesh targets in paralyzing legal nonsense that can go on for decades. These targets are most often isolated activists, like residents distressed about the effect of a neighboring toxic waste dump.

In the process of trying to embarrass a SLAPP suit or two into vanishing, RTMark hopes also to highlight for public scrutiny some aspects of the democracy corporations have helped build in America.


USA OR SERBIA? http://helpKPFA.rtmark.com

Modelled atfter helpB92.xs4all.nl, the purpose of helpKPFA.rtmark.com is to investigate the depth of the similarities between the plight of independent media in the United States under the "free market," and in the former Yugoslavia under Milosevic.

Included on the site is a letter of support from banned radio station B92's Belgrade staff, in which they assert that there is "an unexpected similarity between the media in the US and Serbia today... Freedom of speech is being stifled in a similar manner... The character of media repression is virtually the same under openly totalitarian dictatorships as it is under democratic systems which are increasingly influenced by conservative structures."

(Public radio station KPFA was recently shut down by its owner, who intended to sell it. After enormous public outcry and moves towards government intervention, KPFA has been at least temporarily reopened.)


On an organizational level, RTMark's newly installed Project Development Database (PDD) downsizes administrative overhead by creating an anonymous mailing list for each project, allowing users of the system to communicate directly with one another. The impromptu think-tanks created by this system are working quickly to improve the probability of successful projects.


Many RTMark projects have been repositioned within very small and specific funds, each of which also has a mailing list. One effect of this restructuring has been to increase PDD traffic considerably. Some new funds are:

* The Frontier Fund, which challenges naive, utopic visions of the
"global village," focussing on the implications of allowing corporations and other multinational interests to operate free of social context (this fund is managed by DJ Spooky); * The Education Fund, which addresses the changing ways that education
is conceived, distributed, and perceived in the "global marketplace"; * The Health Fund, which concentrates on human health and welfare
within a market-ruled world; and
* The Labor Fund, whose projects focus attention on labor practices and
workers' rights;
* The Y2K Fund, whose projects concentrate on issues pertaining to
millennium, especially corporate-promoted utopic visions of the future.

Thus far, the most active fund-level discussions in the PDD have occurred with the Frontier Fund and the Y2K Fund, perhaps because of their extreme timeliness.

GWBush.com (http://rtmark.com/bush.html)

TBLA (http://rtmark.com/tbla.html)
2995 (http://rtmark.com/2995.html)
VCR2 (http://rtmark.com/vcr2.html)



The impending millennium calls us to consider the enormity of the so- called "Y2K Bug," whose (social) effects and consequences utterly dwarf those of any RTMark project, planned or historical. The free market is necessarily extremely short-sighted and, as corporations profit from real or imagined scourges and threats, they can only react to events; but RTMark must begin to look towards distant horizons--not just one or two years hence, but even decades into the future--using lessons of the past like the "Y2K Bug" to model the course of its actions with intentionality, purpose, and directed resolve.

RTMark (http://rtmark.com/) uses its limited liability as a corporation to sponsor the sabotage of mass-produced products. One of RTMark's ultimate aims is to eliminate the principle of limited liability. Occasionally, as with http://YesRudy.com/, RTMark participates in advocacy directly related to issues of corporate abuses of the political process.

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