Friday, September 20, 2002

My new favorite album at the station is Comets on Fire- - Field Recordings from the Sun. They come from the same influences as Monster Magent around Spine of God era, minus the coherent lyrics about 70's nostalgia and imagery (i.e. ZOSO and Fragile, lotso drug references, Hawkwind, etc) More Blue Cheer-ish, very sludgy, psychadelic and distorted, and the drummer sounds a lot like MM's. I can't get enough of this one at the station, and I highly recommend that you at the very least check it out.

I heard the last 15 seconds of distortion from the first track, Beneath the Ice Age, on WLUW and right away I knew this was something special. Two days later I stepped into the WZRD station and lo and behold there it was in the new bin. I can't quite decide whether FRFTS or Songs for the Deaf by Queens of the Stoneage is better. Both are solid choices.

Apparently there is no homepage for Bada bing records, the label that served up this fine sonic slab of sludge, however there are numerous reviews for the band on other sites, so don't take my word for it, listen to someone else!

This is a live review of Comets on Fire. I guess they don't tour much now, do they?

Here's a great review from fakejazz mag online I too had no idea how much this album would kick my ass.

I couldn't find a sound link, but if you trust me enough to just go out and buy it, here's the site to buy it on.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

I read this article the other day. It's about how if the United States continues to pursue its own agenda with complete unilaterlist attitude, we could seriously hurt ourselves economically. It's rather disturbing, although by no means a surprise. I have frequently wondered how long the US, or more specifically the more conservative elements of this nation, can think we can have it both ways for as long as we want. Both ways meaning do whatever we want and continue to reap the benefits of an increasingly freer world market.

While I don't like the direction this country is going in (the direction our [not really elected] President is steering us towards), what bothers me isn't the direction itself. It's the total oblivious attitude that so many of Dubya and his politcal cronies take and the consequences they have.

I don't like the US taking a unilateralist attitude. But it wouldn't be so worrisome if our economy were not so hinged on foreign markets, consumers and creditors. You can't say "Well do what we want because we're the US" and still be complete beholden to foreign marketplaces. The United States benefits greatly by the access we grant to foreign comapnies, and the access we have as a nation to the very same foreign markets. Let's not forget to take into consideration the fact that we are completely crippled from making sound foreign policy decisions because of our addiction to foreign oil. The article says that if we continue to take the path we have in the past, foreign creditors will eventually pull the plug to put a submission hold on the country econimically, and there will be dire consequences. The article covers the fact that multinational corporations have nothing to worry about since there manufacturing centers are overseas. But American owned companies have a great deal to worry about if we continue to go down the road we traveling. It's also pretty interesting to see how we did the same for the UK, pulling the plug on them to show our disapproval after the invasion of the Suez Canal back in the 50's.

If you want to run this country like a unilateralist nation you need to pick up all stakes in business interests abroad, complete close markets at home and stop shipping goods outside this country, be completely self sufficient and go it completely alone. But we can't; we have so many multinational corporations with such huge stakes overseas that the reprocutions with be immense at home.

Here are some thoughts I have been pondering to which I have no answer. Hypocrisy is so easy to pick up on, especially on the right side of things;

Conservatives on the whole love to bitch and moan about our sovreignty, local control, states rights, etc. The hate the UN, Non Governmental Organizations, Amnesty International, every friggin Bureacracy no matter what it is. And yet so many of them have (at the very least) nothing critical to say about the most powerful NGO in the world - The World Trade Organization. The People from the WTO hand down decisions, fining nations in the WTO millions of dollars because of trade violations and infractions. The people that levy these fines are not elected, and are beholded to the multinational corporations that have assembled the WTO, not to the governments or the people that financially support and are ultimately held responsible for the fines levied by the WTO. Does this make sense?

Going back to typical conservative idealogy - on the whole conservatives hate and don't trust government The don't trust the EPA to protect the environment, they don't trust government oversight to monitor business activity, they don't trust the Gorvernment to spend your money, the IRS to collect it. It's funny, because Conservatives DO trust the government to do one thing right; to administer the death penalty! Explain that one!

I live in the the great state of Illinois and just last year our embattled Governor put a moratorium on the death penalty because a total of 10 people had been exonerated. A total of twelve had been executed. That means that if all the people were truly guilty, our Attorney Generals have over the years ammassed a 54.5% average for convicting the right people when capital punishment is involved - great for a batting average, absolutely horrendous for administering the death penalty.

Tomorrow - the album of the week finally returns. I've fallen behind on my music listening.....

Friday, September 13, 2002

I've been meaning to get back to this recent post but I've been so busy playing devil's advocate at Sand in the Gears, a very nicely designed & very conservative blog with a lot of participants. Lately I've been trying to understand why someone would hold some of the opinions that are so diametrically opposite of mine, beliefs that so many conservatives hold onto. I thought a good place to start was SitG because of this heart breaking post of the author losing his daughter to a brainstem tumor. It helped humanize the author and soften the cold hard opinion that I think the net helps to foster. When you have all these angry posts of people who say whatever they want with little/no fear of retribution because they never have to face the person they are antognizing I don't think it's healthy. The net is an amazing thing, but there are definitely negative affects and this is one of them.

I've learned a little on SitG, but it's been mostly vocabulary, for I have been accused of prevaricating by another poster. That's just a really fancy way of saying I lied, when I made an honest mistake of referencing the wrong act thwarted by Congress. Actually there are a lot of problems with the facilities that are supposed to oversee what goes on in the business world, and it seems Congress tied up a lot of hands not allowing the SEC to do it's job.

Taken from Frontline website;
"The trail leads to Washington," Smith reports, "where Congress weakened the protections and tied the hands of regulators, making it easier for aggressive companies like Enron to push the envelope." During the past decade, the accounting industry has flexed its lobbying muscle on Capitol Hill as never before, and Smith examines the three major political battles of the decade's accounting wars: the fight over stock options, the fight over tort reform, and the all-out war over SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt's attempt to rein in conflicts of interest by forcing accounting firms to separate their auditing and consulting practices.


And my mistake doesn't even change the fact that these things happened, I referenced the wrong motion in Congress. Actually I dont even know if it is the wrong act, I just know that the law passed in Congress was supposed to alleviate frivolous lawsuits against Corporations in regards to accountability in defrauding investors. I'm not sure if this is the exact law that relaxed oversight of the accounting industry. But you can see for yourself the whole debate (when I posted this link there were 6 entries, and mine were numbers 3 and 6. It may not be the right act, it's just one of many reasons why we are in this mess with Enron, Worldcom etc.

There was an amazing program on PBS, specifically the episode on Frontline titled "Bigger than Enron". Why the hell can't all American media be this good? Why aren't more people watching it?

The program discussed some of the problems that immediately arose after Congress deregulated the accounting industry. If Enron had been Aurthur Andersen's only real violation I might have more sympathy for the company (AA not Enron). But they covered in the program that there had been numerous, literally hundreds, of counts of fraudulent accounting by all of the Big Five (Is it the Big Four now?) after this act of deregulation. A few other violations by AA include Waste Management (the biggest corporate profit restatement incident pre Enron), and Lucent, a company I own stock in. It's not that much stock, and right now it sure aint worth a damn thing.

What bothered me the most about the post is the finger pointing at former employees trying to sue the company that wronged them and the animosity that SitG's keeper has for these people. Genuine animosity for the people that got screwed. What the hell is going on here? What am I not seeing? I really want to understand where some conservatives are coming from.... Clearly I am failing at this one. Please, tell me, I'm listening (email palmerhaas@yahoo.com).

Friday, September 06, 2002

It is like information theory; it is noise driving out the signal. But it is noise posing as signal so you do not even recognize it as noise. The intelligence agencies call it disinformation, something the Soviet Bloc relies on heavily. If you can float enough disinformation into circulation you will totally abolish everyone's contact with reality, probably your own included - taken from the book The Trasmigration of Timothy Archer, author Philip K. Dick


I haven't posted much since I've been so busy lately. I moved this past weekend and I'm still trying to settle in. Moving out wasn't too bad though.

I had been living with what is now ex-roommate for the past 3+ years. Despite difficult times and aggravating moments (she'd move my stuff with out asking, I wouldn't do the dishes in a timely manner) I'd have to say that our time as rent sharers went pretty well, especially considering all our differences. She's (a) a dedicated Republican and (b) a religious Christian (sort of anyway). I have no idea how you rectify these things with your rock and roll aspirations, being that she was the main songwriter in a couple of bands. However from what I recall, a couple of the Spice Girls were more conservative, since they named Margret Thatcher the original Spice Girl, so she can't be the only one.

I'm amazed that we got along as well as we did. I did my best to completely avoid any and all political and religious discussions, although she did try to engage me in those types of debates an awful lot. I'd do my best to point out the faults that both Lib/Dem's and Conservative/Repubs had serious faults, and she was pretty patient and understanding when listening to me. I can't say she was the brightest person I've met though, so engaging in meaningful debate was not really worth it. Most of the typical conservative idealogy she spouted seemed like it was ingested while listening to Rush Limbaugh/ Christian Talk radio & watching Brit Hume/Tony Snow on Fox News, and then regurgitated when appropriate. It just didn't sound like she thought all that much for herself, that her personal beliefs came from within.

She hated Clinton with a passion. While I have a more positive outlook on the Bubba era, he certainly did give conservatives plenty of completely legitimate excuses to justify the hate they had for him anyway, all positive things aside. But I'd hear her say "I just love Bush" and it would send me to a fury. She went to the South side of Chicago for the St. Patty's Day Parade just to catch a glimpse of him. How can you not see what a complete idiot he is, how hypocritical he's been, how completely unqualified he is for the job he wasn't even elected to? I'll come back to that, but I digress.... this is not the point of this post.

The 3 years of the aforementioned stuff, and the stress of moving, and the fact that she had moved my boots and I couldn't find them while I was packing had made me very stressed and edgy the day before I was to move. So when she tried to engage me for the last time while we were living together as I was hauling stuff to my car, I kinda lost it... I lost bad. This how she started, and it is grossly paraphrased, so please bear with.

Ex-roommate : "I saw this woman on television the other day... I guess she had just written a book. She was awesome, I was so impressed and felt so empowered. She was just giving it to those liberals..."

Already my eyebrows were raised. I had a terrible feeling I knew who she was talking about.

Ex-roommate : "She was on Today with Katie Couric and she just gave it to her ...blah blah blah... liberals are hypocrites, blah blah blah (fill in your own conservative rhetoric). I can't remember her name, she had blonde hair, really skinny..." Like (a) Katie Couric is the bastion of liberal thought, the source for all liberal thought and (b) She's covertly indoctrinating morning viewers into liberal idealogy from her seemingly innocent morning post on a popular television show.

Me, with liberal bile on full rolling boil: "Was it Anne Coulter?"

A huge smile broke out on her face and she nodded enthusiastically, to which she responded, "Yeah that's the one...I just love her"

Whether you know this or not, Anne's most famous comment was in a column she had written just days following September 11th, in which she said, and I quote - "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

My roommate went to recount how Mrs. Coulter has said that so many people had raised a ruckus that she had lost her job because of those damn pc liberals, but look at the end result. President Bush had adopted 2/3 of her quote as standard policy! How fucking high or delusional do you have to be to believe something as stupid as that? Anne Coulter is taking credit for Bush's actions, making good on her comments about "invade their countries" and "kill their leaders", like he just hasn't gotten to the last part.

Never mind the fact that we haven't actually killed that many of their leaders , mainly because we sent the Northern Alliance after Osama in Tora Bora instead of doing it ourselves (I'll save that one for another time, if I can get to it...probably not). Never mind the fact that we really haven't done all that much to the people that are more reprehensible for this; I'm referring to Reagan, Bush I & II have had Uncle Sam's ass cheeks spread wide so Saudi Arabia and other oil producing /American hating theocracies have been able to take advantage of us for the past 20+ years and then throw it back in our faces. Yeah we sent some troops to Afghanistan, but really Afghanistan is like busting the small time drug dealer while not doing anything about where they grow the drugs....

My Question is this:

How fucked is the world we live in that the truth is now negotiable or even negligible?



If you’ve seen anything cited by Suburban Limbo on posts like this or this or even this, not to mention plety of other websites, you'd know there is a ton of documented bullshit that flows from her lips like the Mississippi. Just check this one out. It's a site that claims to be a conservative website dedicated to debunking Anne Coulter. It may or may not be conservative but they do a pretty good job of bringing down the horse. Salon did an article on her and her book not too long ago.

(to be continued, it's too much for one post)