Thursday, October 31, 2002

Why is it that stories like this appear in Canada and not in the United States? Privatizing everything especially the educational system does not work.

Alternet has a story about the corpratization of our educational system. It includes a note about the (previously mentioned here) Greening Society which have handed out videos to teachers "debunking" environmental concerns.

Salon had an interesting article with Christopher Hitchens, former writer for the Nation. He spends a lot of time talking about what a mess the Left is in this coutry. Salon premium so you may not be able to read it unless you have a subscription.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Album of the week - Oxes-Oxxxes
Fucked up metallic math rock, no vocals. You can hear the Don Caballero influence, but they have more of a sense of humor than the Don. I can also hear some US Maple in them, but not too much to ostracize the Maple haters out there.

(sidenote: as far as I'm concerned US Maple is phenominal, but they're not for everyone.About 20, 000 people [out of the 6 billion] can hear God talking thru the guitars of Todd Ritman and Mark Shippy US Maple. Everybody else may see their influence as a negative. For more testimonials on US Maple go here and here.)

No time for a real review on my part, cause I'm gonna try to get a decent night's sleep for once. But there are other people with reviews more eloquent than I'll ever be.

Here's a live review from a Baltimore alternative weekly. They played with Rye Coaltion no less, a band (previously mentioned here) that kicks much ass.

Here's a mention of their tour in Europe in the same weekly.

You can stream or download an MP3 from here to judge for yourself, as well as see the album cover - it's truly in the Baltimore tradition ala John Waters - there are people "protesting" holding posters saying things like 'Equal Rights Does Not Include Nudity' and 'Oxes Suck Coxes'.

This web article is in German but the photo of them in their underwear with paper bags over their head is worth seeing. Those wacky Germans sure know their rock and roll.

Please, whatever you do DO NOT CLICK HERE and then scroll to the very bottom of the page! You may never stop vomiting - or laughing - Baltimore has to be the modern day Sodom and Gemorra, or Babylon - please forgive the possibly mangled biblical reference, it's been a while since I read the torah/old testament.

Delusions of Adequacy have their own review for the Oxes new record.

And you can always go to the website of their record label Monitor Records.

Or go to the Oxes own website right here.

Friday, October 25, 2002

I was going to post a review of my album of the week, but it's going to have to wait. I'm too depressed by the passing of Senator Wellstone. Here was a man of extraordinary courage, principles and integrity. He had the balls to vote against the War Resolution in Iraq, the only Democrat to do so that was up for re-election in a tight race. Durbin-D from Illinois is up for re-election, but the race has never been really competitive, and is expected to win handily. There could be other Dems too, but I don't know of any, so forgive me if I'm wrong.

I'm not much for sentiment, but if it helps even the slightest I will say this - The great state of Minnesota and this nation will sorely miss the fine human being that lost his life today. Peace and condolences for the Wellstone family and Minnesota.

PS - if you did a web search on election law in relation to Minnesota and wound up here, I have no useful information in regards to what the law say in regards to the death of candidate up for re-election in Minnesota. The only reason I'm coming up on the search engines is in reference to Joe Conason's post about the switching of a candidate for Governor in Mnnesota back in 1990, and it's relevance to the current Laughtenberg / Torricelli situation in New Jersey.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Quoted from this Slate article ;

An article tags President Bush the "partisan-in-chief." He spends more time fund raising and stumping for local candidates than any previous president, including Clinton. And yet polls show that voters place Bush above the partisan fray.

Are we a nation of idiots? Who the hell are these polls of, as in whom are they polling?

The GOP/Right Wingers slammed Clinton for as long as he was in office for this kinda thing, and now Dubya is doing the same exact thing. After slamming Clinton for renting out the Lincoln bedroom, Bush had the courtesy to move his fundraisers to the Vice Presidents place of residence. Hypocrisy can drive a man to drink.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Why do people who find the government utterly clueless, inefficient, and worse-than-useless when it comes to airport security find the same government utterly trustworthy, prescient, and correct when it comes to Iraq?

Shouldn't anybody with an "Impeach Norm Mineta" bumper sticker call for war in the Middle East with, at the very least, a sense of irony? - posted by Sam Coppersmith on October 8th at 8:33 AM

If you haven't read Mr. Coppersmith you should start now. I'm almost positive I've mentioned Liberal Desert and Sam before, but I can't get enough of his insightful writing. Sam apparently was a Rep in the House for 2 years (93-95). The reason this good soul is no longer in National politics is he ran in the Democratic Primary for Senator in Arizona, but eventually lost. Well, Washington's loss is the blogosphere's gain.

In other news - I've been harping on the anti-oil front since I started this blog. Former conservative and now... I don't know what but I like the way she thinks - Arriana Huffington rants about our terrible oil problem and how no one seems to want to talk about it. Go figure.

I must confess, with all the ultra negative anti Islamic rhetoric coming from the far right wing why isn't there at least one conservative suggesting we strike back at Islamic Fascist nations not with weapons but with alternative fuels, sending oil prices thru the floor. Not even some yahoo in rural corn growing (and ethanol producing) state has got the balls to start pounding this drum. Why not? I don't get it! Here's an opportunity to create jobs in primarily rural / poor areas, boost the economy, give us the ability to make sound foreign policy decisions wihtout thinkg "What will the Saudis think?", put the smackdown on Saddam (the US's second largest oil supplier is IRAQ!!!!! what the fuh.....) No money for Saddam, no ability to produce WMD. Instead it's nothing but crickets out there. Why am I the only one, well Arriana and I, the only ones who think this is the most important issue in the US in these times?

Hell, the next Democratic Candidate for President could have a field day in the 2004 campaign, pounding Bush into the ground by showing that the Bush family has ties to the Bin Laden family, that all his business cronies currently have business ties with strongly anti-US Middle Eastern nations, that we have a totally different visa policy for other Middle Eastern Nations vs The Nation where 15 out of 19 terrosits came from (courtesy of our beloved doughboy cheerleader President), that we fund these nations, and we punish those who call America the Great Satan by sending them even more of our money so we can buy their oil.

Instead we get... nothin. Apparently almost all of the Democrats have been neutured, aint got no balls. What the hell is this world coming to? Will we ever learn?

Friday, October 18, 2002

This article in Slate gives you one more reason not to trust this administation in the recent discussion on war in Iraq. Its about how way back in 1991, when Chenney was Sec. of Defense talking about why we shouldn't invade Iraq. What's changed between then and now?

Another thought - just about everybody I know had to read 1984 by George Orwell in high school. Remember how there were three countries at war all the time, and the country they were at war with one day would become their ally the next, and vice versa. Then the government would do it's best to erase any evidense to the contrary in history books.

Well, we're not that close yet, but it is a creepy thought when you think about how we once used Iraq to get to Iran, and now Iraq has been the enemy for the past 10+ tears, and our relations with Iran has changed for the better even with saying Iran is part of the axis of evil.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Album of the week - Viva Death

Apparently this is a side project from two of the guys from Face to Face (Trever Keith and Scott Shifflet) one from Foo Fighters (Scott's Bro Chris Shiflett) and others. I dig a lot of FF music, but I've never been big on SoCal punk and what little I've heard of Face to Face has never turned me on, so the fact that they put an album together is I think rather impressive.

All the reviews I've seen have mentioned goth, punk, Jawbox, NIN, Sisters of Mercy, a dry martini or a frothy pint of stout or a super-stiff whiskey and Coke, but for some reason nobody has pegged them for the obvious musical influence. These guys sound so much like Girls Against Boys, House of GVSB era it's ridiculous. Now granted they have some other influences; you can hear way more goth and punk influence than GVSB has. But the sultry/sexy/sleazy/ hoarse sounding vocal approach from VD's frontman sounds like he's apeing Eli Janey, the three baritone guitars (GVSB used two basses), the cock rock riffs all sound a lot like House of GVSB. Hell, the drummer sounds like a dead ringer for Alex Fleiseg (that's a good thing). The political content of the lyrics might be the only big difference between GVSB and Viva Death.

Normally I might rip into a band for doing this kinda thing, were it not for two things - (a) Girls Against Boys don't really sound like this anymore, meaning they don't write music that sounds like this, and (b)Viva Death does a phenominal job of sounding like them. I can't stop listening to this in my car. This might be one of the best things to come thru the station, start to finish.

You can totally hear the catchy punk roots on Trust Me . The song Safety is our Primary Concern is also a fave; it's starts with two blue based riffs, both going in opposite directions, till it turns around in the chorus which continues to stay stuck in my head. There something distictly creepy about the chorus to Desire Us a Flood. Granted there a couple of weak moments, but even they have reedeming qualities. I wasn't that into Rigor Mortis Shake the first time I heard it, sounding like some 50's blues song filtered thru some 80's goth act. But after hearing the guitar harmony in the turnaround it makes it worth listening to.

As if the band didn't sound enough like GVSB, they stuck a sax solo on the end of Blood and Oranges, which sounds a lot like something New Wet Kojak has done, NWK being a side project for two members of GVSB.

Viva Death was originally supposed to be released back in October 2001. The album (originally titled "Terrorism For Fun And Profit") was postponed since 9/11 totally changed the context, and they re-titled the album and released it in September. There is no bass, but there are three baritone guitars gives them a unique sound.

Their webpage is still under contruction, but you can see what they have done so far. It's not all that much mind you, but you can download the first track off the album, Fundamentalist from here.

Or better yet go to the Vagrant Records homepage, where you can download Fundamentalist and Blood and Oranges, another really great tune of this album.

Here's a review on

And another on Delusions of Adequacy.

Yet another site with a mention of Viva Death.

In doing research for this post I must have come across more than a dozen mentions in Japanese, so I guess they must be big there, or something.

Monday, October 14, 2002

Stuff like this never fails to amaze and fascinate me. Dick Armey wants to break up the Belo Company (which owns several news organizations including the Dallas Morning News, WFAA-TV of Dallas, etc.) Why would a deregulation advocate of virtually everything like Armey, be so in favor of regulating this media company his own district?

From the Seattle Times Article
The dispute between Armey and Belo stems from the Dallas Morning News' reporting on his son, Scott, a former Denton County judge who hoped to succeed his father but lost in an April 9 GOP primary runoff. Armey said the newspaper engaged in "vicious unprofessionalism" with a series of articles this year critical of his son's judicial record.

In other words "I am all in favor of deregulation... until it comes around to bite me in the ass."

I first heard the story on On the Media, NPR.

More links can be found here;

Documented in the Seattle Times.

The National Review Crying about the Media Conglomerates - boo hoo! That's right you closed minded idealouges - Deregulation is the answer to everything - unless we wind up deregulating a business that "doesn't share our values"- code words for run by liberals or pretty much anyone else that is counter to what the right wing status quo demands.

News on the issue from Gov is not God PAC. Social Conservatives? What the hell does that mean?

On another note - Saw Ira Glass, host of NPR's This American Life at the Centre East in Skokie this past Saturday. He's phenominal, and I highly suggest you make it a point to listen to his show, just check the NPR affiliate in your area.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

New perma links - enjoy!

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

The battle rages on GetDonkey. I feel like I'm pretty open minded in regards with some of the gripes many GOP'ers have with the NJ Supreme Court ruling. Even I'm a bit confused by this whole mess. To a non-lawyer (myself) it seems like the line is pretty well drawn, 51 days and all.

But if the court was so politicized, then at least 7 of the nine justices would have gone with "law". Seven of them were appointed by Republican Gov., including two by Christine Whitman. The court unanimously seems to feel that the "51 days" was a guideline. A unanimous decision by the court is a lot more comforting or at least easier to stomach than say a 5-4 decision ruling for the President if the US. I can't explain their ruling, but the hypocrisy everywhere else in the GOP argument seems pretty obvious unless you are wearing blinders, especially in reference to the aformentioned and aforelinked (is that a word?) Conason Journal in Salon.

Did I mention I love

Also you should all start making a habit of reading Tuesday Morning Quarterback by Greg Easterbrook. Highly entertaining and laugh out loud funny even for the casual football fan.

On an unrelated note, when are you gonna post again Rich? Your witty entries are getting fewer and farther in between! I miss your regular blogging!

Monday, October 07, 2002

So the Supreme Court decided to not here the GOP's complaint about replacing Lautenburg with Torriceli?

This whole situation feels like a sporting event, where after the umpire makes a bad call in favor of one team, he tries to make up for it by making a another bad call the other way. The whole 51 day rule seems somewhat airtight, but I must admit I'm confused because if this were pure politics, then why would the NJ Supreme Court be unanimous? Apparently 2 or 3 of those judges were appointed Christine Whitman, former Republican Govenor of NJ before she took the position of head of the Environmental Perpatration Agency. Seven of Nine (no Star Trek joke) were appointed by Republican Govenors.

The best way to judge a situation is to find when something similar, if not the same exact thing, that has happened with victim and perp reversed. Funny enough, such a situation can be found, referenced in Joe Conason's Journal on Salon. The Repubs pulled a very unholy candidate after a sex scandal within about 8 days of the election;

Minnesota's election law was sufficiently vague to permit a challenge by the Democrats to keep Grunseth on the ballot. Certainly, eight days before the election, the Democrats could have gone to federal court and argued -- as Forrester's GOP lawyers will now -- that absentee voters were being disenfranchised. But they didn't.

Either way at least it sounds like New Jersey is going to get a candidate they want instead of the lesser of two evils. Even that neoconservative Mickey Kaus of Kausfiles (scroll down to October 2nd, 12:33am post) seems to be in favor of more choices. How can you fault that? If people were that strongly about Forrester then why is he already trailing Lautenburg in the pols not even a week after Torricelli was replaced? Point was NJ voters were not all that happy with Forrester but really disgusted by Torricelli.

For either party to claim the moral high ground on this one is a bunch of bullshit. Both the GOP and Dems have bended and even broken the same rules when it suits their purpose and then try to hide behind it to impedes the other party's progress. While I am biased, I tend to believe the GOP do this way more than the Democrats. My bias or not, the GOP is always more sactimonious and self righteous when these opportunities arise. It's funny to see a spoiled little brat that normally gets his or her way finally get their due, however meager it is.

Friday, October 04, 2002

Again I have no time to write anything significant, but plenty on my mind. I will leave you with this;

When I started this thing I could blog twice a day. The addiction is very strong early on. But after a while you lose your fire. I came across this blog the other day, just some guy just starting out, full of piss and vinegar. Show some support!