Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Everybody in Washington can't wait to pat each other on the back for their success in passing the new corporate accountability bill. It was a virtual love fest at the signing ceremony, Dubya shaking hands with Daschle and Lott and the rest of them. One of the major features of the bill is the doubling of jail time in setencing for white collar criminals. You know call me a fool for asking but I gotta know -

What good is doubling, tripling, increasing any penalty if you're NOT GOING TO BRING THEM TO COURT!!!!

This Enron shit is almost a year old, we have no arraignments for Lay/Skilling/Fastow. Nothing doing on World Com. I've lost track of how many of these stupid conglomerates have been or are being investigated, but there are quiet a few as of now. I myself lost value on the ten measely shares of Lucent I bought 3-4 years ago. They were worth $80 at one point, last time I checked today they were worth $1.64. The bubble that burst was due to false profit reports (Thank you Aurthur Andersen!). I'm not complaining cause I'm not retiring anytime soon, but what about the person who had their life savings / 401K in Lucent or elsewhere? Doesn't he / she deserve justice?

You can threaten to disembowel, impale, castrate, decapitate, or tickle torture all the evil white collar criminals you want. How 'bout getting them into court, that would be nice! What good is it if they don't face a bloody trial! You can't sentence anyone until you find them guilty, and in order to do that you need a damn trial! NO ONE HAS BEEN ARRAIGNED FOR GOD FRIGGIN SAKES! Ass-croft, stop wasting time on covering bare stone boobs and DO SOMETHING IMPORTANT!

Increased penalties for Wire and mail fraud? How does that apply to Enron and WorldCom? Is lying now called wire and mail fraud? Anybody?

I'll post why the "Forefathers" agrument is bullshit tomorrow.

For now check this site out, it's pretty funny. It's called Fanatical Apathy, done by Adam Felber. He regularly appears on NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, a parody of the weekly news and quiz show. Someone close to him reads my blog. I don't have that individual's permission to post their name (much less a blog address that they are proud of yet) but I am working on it. This post from FA site talks about the only 3 Reps. in the US House who voted against the corporate reform legislation. I love people who clearly have the time on their hands to investigate the mundane details of life and discover just how wacky our government is.

Not to mention, male gynecologists are a bit weird, but it's even stranger when they go on to become an elected official. US Rep Ron Paul is from Texas though, so in some weird kinda way it makes perfect sense. $10 bucks says he's got whips, chains, a leather face mask and a steel dildo in his closet at home somewhere.

Is there any chance Mexico will take the Alamo back?

Monday, July 29, 2002

Made a major road trip, just got back this past Sunday. It was a whirlwind, filled with a whole lotta fun, craziness, and mileage. Many thoughts occurred on my excursion across the Northern part of the east coast as well as all those miles accumulated between Chicago , NYC, DC, Pittsburg and home again. I'm sorry I didn't have a lap top on the road to put in everything I thought of as it was happening. I'll do my best to recall what I can;

It was just two weeks ago that Rich of Suburban Limbo was mentioning the John Ashcroft covering the semi-nude sculpture of a female at the Department of Justice. While site seeing I couldn't help but notice while I was in DC that there were literally hundreds of bare breasts all over our Nation's Capitol! They are everywhere - carved in marble and granite, cast in brass and copper, on buildings and free standing (no pun intended), inside the Smithsonian, at the bridgeway leading to Arlington National Memorial's cememtary. For God-friggin-sakes, there are a couple of naked women on the entryway in a frieze in stone at the top of the Department of Justice building, Mr. Ashcorft's place of work! It's re-goddamn-diculous!

I wish I had a digital camera to prove it, but you'll just have to trust me. I tried to find a .gov site with pictures of this stuff on the web, but I can't seem to find one (yet, I'm sure they exist). I'll continue to look and post a couple if I come across one. Any help would be appreciated ( palmerhaas@yahoo.com )!

I don't know what exactly my point is.... just that AG Ashcorft is a silly fool, among other things. If he had his way completely would he apply expensive cloth bikinis to all these statues and friezes all over DC? *I hate to use this argument, but if you asked me, the covering of bare breasts in DC is NOT WHAT OUR FOREFATHERS HAD INTENDED!

*I hate when others use the whole NWOFHI argument to justify really stupid and unjust political actions, as if only certain people have a direct link with our forefathers and can channel their beliefs and opinions from beyond the grave. I hate using it BUT I thought it was appropriate to stick it here because I'd bet $$$ that Ashcroft (among many other conservatives) has trotted out that crappy argument. He could easily justify any legislation that seems within narrow political beliefs, but would without second thought toss it aside if it conflicted with legislation that he see fit to pass (aka The PATRIOT Act). Free mix CD to anyone who can find me a quote where he said something to that effect.

Next time - why using the whole "Not what our forefathers had intended" argument is bullshit.....

I'm not dead! I was on vacation, a road trip thru NYC, DC, Ocean City, MA and Pittsburg, PA. I thought I'd be able to post from the road - I was wrong. More later.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

How pissed John McCain must be...



You know, I feel for McCain. He goes to Vietnam to fight against communism cause his country told him to, gets shot down in a plane while in 'Nam, and was a POW for five years. After he was shot down he sat in pain and agony in the middle of the jungle, denied medical attention by the VC until they found out that his Dad was important. When finally given medical attention they set the broken bones in one of his arms wrong, to the point that, to this day, he can't use that right hand. He's given the option to exit the prison camp he's kept in early because of his family connection but decides not to because he won't leave his men or won't except special treatment (something like that, mind you I'm writing this all down based on memory, please correct me if I'm wrong).

He runs for president and puts up a good fight. He gets bashed by members of his own party, called a RINO (Republican In Name Only) by a bunch of blowhards, goes toe to toe with Pat Robertson, takes a couple of states, but ultimately loses to some chump who's greatest accomplishment was owning the Texas Rangers. Take a good look at all of Dubya's business successes before he ran for Gov of Texas in this little article in US News and World Report..

I thought I heard a lot during the 2000 election about Dubya defending the Texan border against the Vietcong, at least that's what I very vaguely remember. Wasn't he a "fighter pilot" in the National Guard during our foray into 'Nam. Why is it that I never hear about the fact that he went AWOL to avoid service in Vietnam in 1972-3?. I can't believe this barely made any headlines! Kudos to Lennin de KOS for this little gem.

We can sit here and debate Vietnam for the next 20 years and go nowhere. This post isn't even about 'Nam, it's about Walking it like you Talk it. But my philosophy is simple on service during that time: If you were against the War and draft dodged or protested or went to Canada or anything else for that matter, well at least did something that aligns with your belief, hopefully you helped others from facing the same fate if you really felt that strongly about it. If you served despite the fact that you disagreed with the war, congratulations cause you deserve some accolades. But if you were gung ho about Vietnam, then for god sakes you had better have been on the frontline. How can anyone get away with trying to justify the War and not manage to serve? Even with 20/20 hindsight, some of these people will try to justify Vietnam, but couldn't seem to make it over there due to "unfortunate circumstances".

Again, this isn't about Nam. Don't get me wrong, McCain's had some good fortune: running for Senate and succeeding, stumping for other Republicans across the state, etc. It just kills me (and it must kill him) that he's the one talking tough about accounting and corporate reform while Dubya is tossing softballs to the CEO billionaire friends that helped him get elected. It seems like McCain is the only one taking this issue on with any teeth. Even many Democrats are failing to make real headway on this issue. And however the hell those bozos over at Republican National Committee managed to dupe so many Americans and get Dubya elected without half of this crap coming out is actually sheer genius in retrospect. Sheer genius or testimony to how low the lowest common denominator is in this country. I'm afraid it's the latter....

By the way, if you want a real good laugh just go here - it's a list of politicians who served and didn't serve in the armed forces. Here's a sample of the funniest entries:


Dan Quayle, avoided Vietnam service, got a slot in the journalism unit of the Indiana National Guard when the unit was at 150% capacity.

Majority Whip Tom Delay - avoided the draft, did not serve. "So many minority youths had volunteered ... that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself."

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Way behind on blogging, but lotso thoughts -

People have dragging what I thought was a dead horse quite a bit lately, the dead horse being the Harken stock sale accusation against Bush. Not that it should be a dead horse; it's just that this issue was brought during the 2000 Election, at least in the liberal presses, but no one in the mainstream press seemed to care. Now it's a big deal. Nobody cared that Bush's main windfall in his ownership of the Texas Rangers was when he used his influence to confiscate land and get a new stadium build by Texan taxpayers. I remember reading in an article in Vanity Fair (I think) of a farmer in Texas complaining about how Bush had taken his land by having it confiscated, yadda, yadda, yadda. (Conservatives feel so strongly about land rights, unless they can gain financially, and then they toss those values out the window faster than you can say, "You have black people too?")

My point is every time some news source brings up the Harken deal, they make mention of how the SEC investigated, and while they never said Bush was innocent, there was not enough evidence to prosecute. I've heard this adage umpteenth times. Can someone please tell me why they never follow up the "SEC found insufficient evidence" with "While his Daddy was President"? If you've heard ANYONE say ANYTHING even close to that, please tell me.

I hate double standards and hypocrites. The GOP'ers got eight years worth of mileage outta Whitewater, Lewinski, the list goes on and on. And while I have a positive take on the Clinton years I would have to say that there are things I didn't like about him, he certainly gave The GOP plenty to toss back at him. And Clinton deserves some of the crap that they gave him, really. He had plenty of faults.

But why is it that so many Repub's are so willing to cut so much slack for the Harken & the Texas Rangers bullshit? The GOP made character such a big deal in the 2000 election, but they could not have picked a worse candidate to represent good ethics and character. How the hell did they nominate Bush over McCain? (Don't tell me, I know, it's $$$$$) In fact, the GOP'ers are still trying to blame Clinton for the recent scandals because he created a "Climate of Immorality". Was Clinton to blame for something Bush did in 1991 (Harken) or 1994 (Texas Rangers)?

Picture this - A courtroom setting where a youth is being prosecuted by the state for some unnamed offense. In closing arguments the defense lawyers gets in front of the jury and puts together some eloquent speech about how his client has suffered immeasurably because his Mom/Dad abandoned him or he didn't get good guidance at school or had bad influences etc. It wasn't his client's fault that he defaced property / sold drugs / assaulted an old lady, but it was society's fault.

Every time this scenario played out, in fiction or reality, Conservatives everywhere would moan and groan, complaining "When are you liberals gonna hold everyone responsible for their own actions." That scenario has changed though. Now, that conservative might just substitute the word SOCIETY with the name Bill Clinton. In fact every problem in the entire world can now be traced to Bill Clinton:

Why did you cheat on your test in high school? Bill Clinton!

Why did you have sex with that minor? Bill Clinton!

Unnamed Senator - "Why did you swindle investors out of Billions, Mr. Lay?"

"Well, I saw Bill Clinton lie in office and get away with it. It compelled me to cook the books and swindle billions of stockholders, employees and taxpayers. Ask my therapist, he'll vouch for me..."

It's like Slick Willy was the first politician to lie in office. Not Tricky Dick and Watergate, Not Reagan and Iran Contra, not Bush and the Savings and Loans Scandal (involving Neil Bush), or my personal favorite lie of Reagan, the Chicago-based welfare queen who drove a Cadillac and had 80 names, 30 addresses, and 12 Social Security cards in order to be eligible for veterans’ benefits on four non-existing deceased husbands was a Ronald Reagan invention. When the press searched for this woman, they found she had never existed. She was a lie, but the lie worked. Never mind this person didn't exist. As I've said it before, people see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear and believe what they want to believe, facts, truths and reality be damned.

All these aforementioned lies all negligible , although I don't know why. Maybe it's because all that other stuff is so complicated, with the hostages, and the contras, and the money, and the hostility conservatives have for welfare recipients anyway. Bill Clinton sticking his dick in an intern however is TOTALLY DIFFERENT! There the real outrage! Scamming taxpayers out billions or defying congress doing what they explicitly told you not to, never mind that shit. Slick Willy is getting head in the Oval Office! Get pissed America!

I feel a crazed liberal rant coming on..... Next time the GOP "personal responsibility" really means "It's all your fault, all the time, no matter who did anything unethical, illegal or otherwise....." and feeling bad for John McCain (no, really, I do feel bad for him).

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

I copied this article from the Sun Times website as further proof of what's going on at WLUW, since it was so short. Here's the address from where it's copied from.

Loyola looks to WBEZ to run university station

July 10, 2002 - BY ROBERT FEDER SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

Day-to-day management and programming of Loyola University's campus radio station would be taken over by officials of WBEZ-FM (91.5), under a plan to move WLUW-FM (88.7) off the university's budget.

Negotiations have been under way since spring between Loyola officials and executives of WBEZ Alliance, the nonprofit governing board and licensee of the public radio station.

Talks have centered on an operating agreement that would turn WLUW's management, programming and fund-raising activities over to WBEZ. Loyola would retain the license for the 100-watt noncommercial station.

"At this point, it's not for sure that we're going to partner up or do anything with them, but we've been looking at ways to enhance our students' educational opportunities," said Bud Jones, associate vice president of public relations at Loyola. "WBEZ has been a very helpful participant in discussions."
*does anyone smell bullshit in here?*

Since last fall, Loyola's president, the Rev. Michael J. Garanzini, has been moving toward weaning WLUW off his budget. To meet its $160,000 annual operating expenses, the station began seeking outside grants and underwriting and conducting on-air fund-raisers for the first time.

Torey Malatia, president and general manager of WBEZ, said that under his organization's supervision, WLUW would retain its mission as a community radio station and as a training facility for students. "We have no intention of making it an outlet to simulcast NPR [National Public Radio] programming," he said.

Students and community volunteers would continue to handle air shifts on the station, he said.
*I have a hard time believing this one*

Since no money will be changing hands, what's in it for WBEZ? Malatia said he sees WLUW as a resource and potential "hothouse" to develop new programming concepts, identify and nurture talent, and keep WBEZ "fresh, vital and sharp."

"I'm hopeful that we might find a way to make it happen," he said. His next meeting with Loyola officials is set for July 29.

My new favorite quote about Dubya -

"Bush was elected on a promise to end the contradiction between presidential rhetoric and presidential rationalization. So far, all he's done is change the subject from sex to money."

The closing line from this article in Slate.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Sometimes when a couple of bad things happen and they both effect the same thing, it feels like the sky is falling. Maybe the sky isn't falling, but things don't seem to be going very well in the broadcasting arena, at least not for independent musicians, artists, and broadcasters in the Chicagao area. After the Digital Millenium Copyright Act / CARP ruling came down from the library of congress just recently, it seems like things are getting worse, and not in webcasting either, but in regular old college radio.

88.7 FM WLUW Chicago, Loyola Radio will cease to exist as we know it as of August 30th!



This is not final but here's what I know, based on first hand information I've gotten from connections to the station (it's best that I don't name sources) ;

The Dean at Loyola has asked/begged WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio to go into WLUW and run the place, some sort of management contract as I understand it. It may be financial reasons or something else entirely, but I can't really say with any authority. The station is not for sale (Loyola realizes how valuble the FCC licence is) I'm guessing that this means Loyola will pay WBEZ to run the station. I could be wrong on this detail, as it was not made clear to me in my conversation or I didn't fully understand.

But as I understand the school as told WLUW staff that their jobs are only gauranteed till August 30th. After that they will be under the management of WBEZ and will either serve in another capacity (highly unlikely) or be let go (most likely). This despite that the station is a source of revenue to the school, being that they charge students to take classes and the station sees none of that money. It also held a fundraiser recently and I contributed, being that I enjoy a lot of WLUW's programming and appreciate the fact that they are a huge supporter of local and independent music, quite possiby the best out of the other radio stations in Chicago, including the one I do a show on (WZRD).

It should be known however that it is NOT TOO LATE! But if you don't do anything WLUW will surely be something else, be it local affairs, generic adult alternative (like a Philadelphia NPR station that plays Elton John, Ryan Adams, Sheryl Crow), classical or that shitty verison of "smooth jazz" the WBEZ plays now after 8pm weekdays. Chances are Loyola higher ups will not listen to you BUT if you are a NPR contributer (like myself) or even a listener you should immediately contact WBEZ to communicate your displeasure in their dealings with Loyola. Click the following for the email address for WBEZ -
WBEZ email address - questions@wbez.org


If you don't do something or at least speak up, WLUW will go under and Chicago will have one less independent voice on the radio. Here's a sample of my rather longwinded letter;


To Whom it may concern,

I have been an avid listener of NPR for the past couple of years. I enjoy and appreciate the quality of in-depth news reporting and
storytelling that appears on WBEZ, a level of commitment that is not available on commercial radio or TV. I am also very proud that
I was able to contribute financially to WBEZ recently in a pledge drive held late in 2001. I also fully intended to keep giving, or I had until very recently.

I have never felt compelled to communicate with you some of the things I don't like about WBEZ - Your music selection is bland at best. I am an avid music listener of all sorts, and probably listen to indie rock and experimental music more than anything else, but I do listen to a fair amount of jazz as well. I rarely tune in to 91.5 after 8pm because I find much of what you play during that time slot to be too close to the "smooth" jazz variety that is found on other commercial stations.

And to be perfectly honest with you none of this bothered me all that much until very recently. I can understand that it may be difficult for WBEZ to take to many chances with experimental music, or even more raucous jazz and indie rock. I just accepted this as fact, thinking that my musical listening tastes were outside the demographic of the typical NPR listener, and went elsewhere. This is why I am a dedicated listener of college radio as well. I listen to WNUR 89.3, WZRD 88.3 and WLUW 88.7 a lot, and have DJ'd as well. I also contributed to WLUW in their most recent pledge drive.

The only reason I feel compelled to write you is because of the recent events at WLUW. It has come to my attention that Loyola University has contacted WBEZ to consider some type of management deal, something that will most certainly change the very fabric of the station. I'll keep it simple - if WBEZ takes over at WLUW I DONT THINK I CAN CONTINUE TO CONTRIBUTE FINANCIALLY to WBEZ or WLUW. I don't appreciate your tunnel vision in respect to strictly playing and supporting local artists like Kurt Elling and those who sound like him. It is WBEZ's decision board of directors that must feel those artists are safe enough not to offend the average NPR listener.

The prospect however of WBEZ contributing to the death of another free from media outlet that plays more than one style of music is infuriating. I have no idea what your direction for WLUW is; whatever it is I can only see it as sacrificing the spontaneity, flexibility, freedom and variety WLUW currently exhibits in the name of "professionality"; inflexible playlists, an unsupportive staff towards experimental music, generic music not too offensive to the "average" listener. I heard "In The Media"'s show on the current payola mess and the NPR station in Philadelphia formatted as "adult alternative", playing Elton John and Sheryl Crow - aren't there enough stations clogging the airwaves with that music that it would be a waste of an invaluable resource for a college station to play that stuff? There aren't enough outlets now for music that doesn't fit a narrow definition (since the DMCA/CARP ruling and the inevitable demise of Web radio) how can a responsible and respectful institution like WBEZ be contributing to this current plight?

I know I am not alone in this sentiment; many of my friends and associates listen to both NPR and college radio, and I will be informing them of the situation, urging them to make their feelings known. (This would be you!!!! Please say something to WBEZ!)

I was planning on contributing again for your on line pledge drive until this. You at the very least owe an explanation to WLUW listeners and the public on what you plan to do. Please see to it that you show this to the board of directors at WBEZ before you decide to enter this deal with Loyola.


Feel free to copy as much of this letter as you want - it wouldn't hurt for you to reference your own contribution to WBEZ if you made one.

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Well, here's a thought for 4th of July;

What is more American?

The American flag - the abstract representation of our country, a nation that is (supposed to) represent democracy, liberty and justice and the rest of that stuff we all take for granted; A symbol in an abstract sense of the freedom we all claim to have...

or

The First Amendment, the constitutional ammendment that actually allows you the ability to speak your mind, protest your government, to remain free no matter what your opinion is. The very freedom itself.... What's more American than the First Amendment?

There are an awful lot of people who would pick the former... Try reminding those people you know to remember the latter this 4th. And try not blow up your hand while tossing fireworks this week. Enjoy your 4th of July.

(Probably no posts from me till next Monday - all five of you will have to go elsewhere for trivial blog entries until then)

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Here's a new project I started. It's just another blog, but I'm going to keep the BMA for rants and ravings. The Link Farm will pretty much reference other stuff I think is interesting. It's as much of a cheat sheet for myself as anyone else to look at. I generally hate blogs that are nothing but other people's stuff linked with a bit of their own commentary, which is why I am keeping this one separate.

Which reminds me I am way behind on ALBUM OF THE WEEK, three weeks to be exact, so here's three albums;

Domotic - Bye Bye
'"Domus" - Latin for house; "tic" relating to telematics or informatics. Robotic, domotic & telematic... human-robot interfacing. So, is Domotic music made by robot-humans or music made for human-robots, or...? There is a certain preciousness when machines are employed to bring to life delicate and warming sounds. The glitch pops and quirks just affirm personality, individuality and humanness. Like Blade Runner's Rachael, it's artificial, and at the same time it's the essence of humanity. Domotic work the medium expertly, mining emotive mindscapes from the 1s & 0s in their laptops. Fans of IDM, glitch-pop, take note."' Taken from triage international website (Triage is based in France, but don't hold that against them).

Sounds a bit like skip core, such as Oval, but more complex. Very unusual, even for electronica. Kinda spooky, as if Danny Elfman wrote a score for a futuristic surrealist movie.

Solex - Hard Kick and Low Bop (Matador Records)

“Like Beck or Cornelius at their best, the kitchen sinks consistently add up to full plumbing works.” — AP

Matador can do almost no wrong. They found this one woman show in the Netherlands. It's basically all Elizabeth Esselink using electronic samples, some swing and jazz and cartoon music elements. Mixed all together, she puts some really good songs to tape. I guess she uses some other musicians live, but otherwise it's pretty much all her. I've never been big on female artists. Not on principle mind you, but for whatever reason the average female music sensibility generally doesn't do it for me. PJ Harvey is an exception, and so is this. Highly recommended. Here's a place to download a free sample.

For someone else's opinion on Solex click here.

Central Falls - Latitude (Truckstop Records)
Adam Vida, new drummer for US Maple put this together before he joined the Maple. It sound absolutely nothing like US Maple though, it's heartbreakingly fragile country, awash in pedal steel and dreamy moments inspired on someone's steamy hot porch. I dig this a lot.

For someone else's opinion on Central Falls, click here. Their site is awesome but you need Flash so don't click here unless you have it or want to download it.

Monday, July 01, 2002

People wind up at my site for the strangest queries on Yahoo and Google - Check out I need sexy girls in Saudia Arabia and go to number TEN! - The search was from (surprise!) Saudia Arabia. They really need to get some porn over there.....