Monday, June 13, 2011

The Last Song Ever At CBGB's... and a short essay

Patti Smith performing 'Eulogy', the very last performance at CBGB's ever again

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I'm just remembering - It was the summer of 1977.
Typical warm New York evening. I was staying 9 Bleecker St......just down the street from CBGB's at the New York Yippie collective.
I'd been traveling alot those last couple of years.
Ever since I'd turned 18 I didn't have to look over my shoulder every time a cop drove past...I was legal now.
So, I hitchhiked alot between California and New York during that time.
After hanging with the Yippies at the Republican Convention in Kansas City, Mo. I'd bounced back to San Diego, then Berkeley and then back, and then hooked up with some Yippie friends in Athens, Ohio for a time,...and then I found myself back in New York City.
I was being asked to go to Maryland to help some local activists to kickstart preparations for events that would occur during the Presidential Inauguration of Jimmy Carter.
I still had one night left in New York City.
There was a girl staying at the collective...Linda, I think her name was, yeah, ...Linda Gelb,....she wanted to hang out with me that night and she asked me to join her at CBGB's but she needed to take her friend along who was also staying there, this girl who was young, thin, withdrawn...who sat there on the sofa endlessly staring at the coffee table then would frequently excuse herself to go off to the bathroom; then you wouldn't see her for quite awhile.Linda told me ...she'd just gotten out of an institution -she'd been sent there after OD'ing on PCP. She hadn't been the same since. Linda convinced her to come along with us... or had she convinced me to come along with them. Linda the social director.
We paid our way, entered, and sat down at table against the wall just to the left of the stage. The place was near empty. There were two other people in the club besides us. One biker , one drunk.
First a band was called the Preachers... the band playing fast while the singer just stood there with one arm supporting the elbow of another that continuously held a cigarette just inches from his mouth through the whole set. I couldn't tell what he was singing or talking about. Just some kind of endless narrative set to some fast jerky music.
Linda and I chatted it up...sometimes talking about her ex boyfriend who I knew well... Linda, a product of a middle class jewish family...she hung out with Yippies because she'd been brought in by her ex who she errantly thought was far more affluent than her first impression. She knew him in his dealing days when he'd had plenty of money to afford fine restraunts and expensive cars. Then he'd got busted and had to got underground. But she liked the NY Yippie collective and the traffick of ex luminaries of the 1960's who frequented the group and took part of the various events and radical hippy conspiracies hatched there. Although its founders and biggest fish had long since abandoned the nest (Abby was still underground, on the run and Jerry Rubin had gone to Wall St looking for work)
it was still from time to time the meeting point of the hipeousie.
Linda's friend kept excusing herself to wander off to the bathroom for long unexplained periods while Linda and I chatted it up. I was drawn to Linda but I could tell that unless I had a "career" or was destined to become a media was only going to be a fling.
The next band came on... they were called 'the Deadboys'.
Again, a singer with a strong sense of disaffection. He just stood there, trying to project as much ambivalence as he could muster... Linda would go to fetch her friend and we'd sit there, just the three of us -then the girl would slink off to the toilets again.
Stiv Bators, the singer stood there with a clipboard as if taking his every cue from it.... when the song would finish he'd just look down the clipboard and read off the next one.... then dryly he announced, "this next song is called 'fistfucking'!" He began to turnaround as the band played a slow metal durge and then he bent over as if emulating the recipient... the biker jumped to his feet and threw a chair towards the band... then the other guy who was by the bar lunged at him.
The two girls emerged from the bathrooms. At the sight of the disarray Linda suggested we head back to the collective. I didn't get the feeling the show was going to go on much further anyway.
We headed back.
Hardly anyone was up.
Linda took me to her strings attached.
She liked my company and I hers.
The next day I'd have to leave for Maryland. So I didn't see her for a very long time again.
Her friend, only two days after I left was sitting in the front room; there, she picked up a pair of scissors and cut her own jugular artery....she died that night.
I made a few trips to NYC since then, and to CBGB's... this is just one that stands out in my mind. My generation... and the birthplace of our soundtrack. I'll miss it. - David

West Berlin 1988

West Berlin 1988
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West Berlin as best as I recall,
Berlin when there were two Berlins,
Berlin, when there were two points of view,
To those looking on,
and to those looking out,
West Berlin, as a nervous fish in a small fish bowl,
Reveling in it's specialness,
The crossroads of cultures and countries,
East BErlin, as the hungry larger fish,
museum centerpiece of archaic dialects,

paying pennance,
paying eternal pennance,
paying and staying eternally.....unrepentant

West Berlin, island of self indulgence,
neon orgasms,
all night drumbeats,
the rythymic soundtrack for confrontation,
liasons with a loud soundtrack,
East Berlin,
Sea of grey buildings,
Grey life in the scarcity of abstractions,
absence of loaughter in the presence of strangers,

the workers' paralytic hell............

I can't say as I reacall much more than the cobblestones
Yet I know the cobblestones well,
I know the colour of the morning's light cast timidly upon them,
Which my feet took to with aggressive affection,
The cobblestones, as seen through my strained eyes,
Eyes adjusting from the smokey discos I've stumbled out of,
Eyes straining, ears ringing,
My head swimming,
My clothes covered in sweat,
Sweating from the dancing,
from the drinking,
from lustful conversations,
from heated political debate,
All orchestrated over cold bottles of beer,
glasses of sekt,
mixed drinks,
And the occasional friendly, high powered, quickly downed, social shots of brown tequila,
and it's obligatory after-slice-of-orange,

I sweat,
from the contact with strangers,
from the embraces of friends,
from feeling and seeing paradise won and lost,
to the helpless ruin of jealousy and regret,
fromp being pulled out of isolation and into the social,
Over and over again,
played and preyed upon,
'Von tiefen, zum pflegmatisch',
to a deeper understanding,
Understanding the real nature of the true Berliner,
The true Berliner is in love with the images,
The image of the macabre and the gothic rocker,
The image of acid flash and hip hop,
The image of the smoked out, blue lit jazzer,
The image of the middle-class and it's model citizen,
The image of revolution ...and the masked anarchist,
Inside each,
Always doing it to the end point,
The image of intolerance,
the image of decadence,
the image of romance,
the image of confrontation,
the image of flying so high,
so as to fall so far below,
the image of judging images
the images encased and perfectly preserved,
of artistic movements,
of musical histories,
of political upheavels,
and all atrocities past and present,

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Then, there is the image of the proletariat,
whose eternal vigilance,
at working and drinking,
is the heartbeat for the total being of all other images
that have come and past


West Berlin 1988


I recall the cobblestones,
Counted to the doorways of the next kneipe,
Counted to the streetcorners,
Where leather clad denisens of art and autonomy,
stood with their backs against brick walls,
holding bricks and bottles of beer,
laying in wait for the polizei
The polizei patrol like the occupying invader,
Inside the van,
four boyish faces in full armour,
bred in the west's shell of naiveté,
Trained and then thrust into the thick of the fray,
"Ich war junge gewesen, sheise, noch ein cigarette',
Clack, clink, clack- clack-clack,
the brick has hit the van

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Counting the cobblestones to the next café,
where they who sit and laugh,
live and dress,
as individual acts of art,
down shots of brown tequila in unison,
with its obligatory after-slice-of-orange,
Chin - chin!
Warm Berlin brown tequila summer evenings,
where the sun fades at 23 o'clock,
where the sun rises at 3am
Counting the cobblestones along the canals,
stumbling along the path
that bikes rumble on
Transgressing the dreaded autobahn for bikes
Counting the cobblestones past Turkish Imbisses,
shrouded in their thick scents of Döner Kebab,
Turkish delicacies ath sustain life at
3 marks a pop
Turks congregate inside these hot shops,
on the warm Berlin evenings,
Heatedly arguing politics and soccer
And returning the smile of any stranger
friendly enough to offer one
For after 20 years,
of doing the work that no german wants to do,
20 years,
becoming europeanized,
They are not germans,
but guests who've overstayed their welcome,
and smiles are hard to come by

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Counting the cobblestones,
Down ancient boulevards,
and ancient buildings,
from whose ancient windows and balconies,
ghosts wave fists and banners,
with the hammer and sicle flying,
ghosts throw flowers,
and wave swastika flags,
Under which ghosts march,
Some proudly,
Some as victims

Now the only cheering,
is the jeering of young turkish youths,
and taunting german 10 year olds
sporting mohawks
Time has left the cobblestones for me to count,
I have no choice but to count them,
For I have given myself up to drink,
and the force of gravity,
to guide me home,


West Berlin 1988


The snows caught me by surprize,
I was still counting the cobblestones,
and the bottles broken on them,
Sugar fell upon them
When I looked up,
And got it full in the face,
and looked around to find a different city,
White, cold and illuminescent
Day two,
It was grey slush
So I became familiar with the grey slush,
and the subterranean world,
and the people who inhabit
the subterranean world
I don't mean the 'spiese',
not those hamsters coming and going,
running in timid precision on the escalators,
not the polizei and the train kontrollers,
searching for those who haven't paid the fare,
Not the sullen turkish washerwomen,
commuting en masse,
at the hour that I've chosen to go home to sleep
Not the couples kissing and cooing,
their veins still filled with sekt and desire
Not the jovial old workmen,
gallantly joking with the ladies
not the old drunks,
bellowing racist statements at foreigners,
Statements they recited in their youth,
in the service of the Reich... now affixed to the neo-fascist Republikaner
(which in german means 'republican')
No, not the skinheads sitting quietly observing,
Not the young prolies,
with their noses buried deep in their
racist, nationalist Bild Zeitung newspapers,
the paper that's not news without
tits or soccer
Not the nervous punks,
their flourescent haired heads
bobbing back and forth,
keeping careful lookout for the trainkontrollers
Not the aging prostitute,
sitting with her boisterous john
Not the two schwule talking softly,
with their pink triangle buttons,
saying something louder
Not the brash young turkish lads,
trying to impress the girls

I guess I mean the true subterranean people
The true subterranean people are
the dispossessed
they are the homeless people keeping warm,
they are the jobless people making money,
they are the pointless people killing time,
they are music people sparechanging with notes,
they are the insane, sharing an interest,
creating abstractions out of life
in a country that has no place
for abstractions
This is germany they say,
there are no abstractions,
there are no subterranean people,
and there are no dispossessed
Here, every face has a place,

This is the modern germany,
This is the modern subterranean world,
during those cold Berlin winters,
and on the cobblestones,
in front of the train stations,
during the warm Berlin summer nights

West Berlin when there were two Berlins,
West Berlin, as best as I recall

(music performance at the Vieze Gasten Revue, 2003 featuring Raf and Mich of Kamil Foo MC'ing )

'On Opiates'    written and performed   by David 'Shadow' Velà squez with accompaniment by the Veize Gasten Revue Ensemble.Click here to listen to West Berlin 1988 on the track called 'On-Opiates 2004'

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The busker chronicles

I apologize for my lack of effort on this blog.
Far too many other concerns have clouded my thoughts.
Yes, is one all pervasive aspect... housing uncertainties, and some good diversions like trying to get a new band off the ground.
I'm currently in the process of moving out the place where I've resided for the last 8 years. Of course no one has it very easy in this day and age. Economic adversity has hit every corner of the globe. And none of us are immune.
I've had to get by on my unemployment pay... and gone back to my old avocation -busking. I'm sure many musicians occasionally fantasize traveling to europe and busking in the different cities for the adventure of it.
And I've done my fare share of that ...but it's a very different adventure when you've kids to feed.
I can't complain too much.
Busking has helped my guitar playing skills quite a bit.
I've played in alot of bands... but it's more of a challenge to set yourself out there in the thoroughfare with just a guitar.
I've been wanting to keep it interesting. To find that balance between exploring and mastering those songs that have influenced me, finding rare songs (something unexpected for the public to stumble upon) and to entertain without ending up feeling like a complete musical whore just another hack with a tin cup and a tin ear.
I try to offer interesting renditions ...but sometimes you find yourself standing out there, singing yourself hoarse to the indifference of passers by.
Oddly enough I used to go busking the day before important band gigs for that express purpose... just to overcome any impending stage sickness. To have people pass by while I sing and play my that the following night I could jump on stage with nothing but attitude.

But here and now... the punters' lack of reaction has a different effect.
In those moments I'm thinking...'Oh come on, I wasn't that bad!'
Well, it depends on the day really.
And usually at that moment I decide 'fuck it!' and choose to just play my guitar...just let myself jam a bit.
I'll drift into something bluesy... maybe in the tradition of ala Johnny Winter, Peter Green, Jonathan Richman.... or maybe tryout a more gothic style of guitar playing.
And it's at that instance of completely losing myself into my guitar that people surprize me by responding and rushing in with cash. Right at the moment when I don't even care about the money anymore or even want to be distracted from my jam.

For that reason I probably suck at being an entertainer as such.
Seems like I always put other considerations before just trying to satisfy assumptions of what the crowd is there for. That either exploring musical ideas, or artistic or political statements seems always be my first inclination.... to varying effect.
My current band effort though has forced me to learn a more conciliatory approach in that regard. I have a large repetoire of songs I've written for the last 28 years. But for this band (where I'm twice the age of my fellow bandmates)I decided to avoid wallowing in my own idiosyncracies by leaving it all to consensus... the end result is a departure from my own niche of post punk era stylings.
And the people of this day and age care nothing of loyalties or prejudices of that bygone period. Anyone of the punk scene eschewed anything from the hippy period. These days people here see it all as a musical lineage... even if they give you blank stares when you mention bands like The Fall, Gang of Four, WIRE, The Damned, Suicide or other pioneers like MC5, Blue Cheer... and yet they know of Slim Harpo or John Lee Hooker or memorized all the songs of The Pixies or Creedance Clearwater Revival.
While it may seem frustrating when trying to create a sense of atmosphere by offering something rare in one manner; -it's liberating in realizing those other traditions can be drawn upon and interwoven to create something new.
Even back in the day I never remained within the confines of one scene.
I loved it all.
I had good, loyal friends in the hardcore punk scene. Yet quite surreptiously played in synth bands, and went to new wave clubs, ska gigs, goth gigs, artpunk shows and reggae parties. One thing I learned from The Clash...who fearlessly ventured out from the strict confines of the anglocentric punk scene... that there is so many more musics to enjoy, to engage in and to allow one's world to widen by.

And now I explore those different traditions, in my own way.
I take them out on the street with me.
Just a guy with a guitar.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tea Bags...I Gotcha Muthafucking Tea bags!

* FOX Noize, Rush Limbagofgas, Michelle Malkin and the GOP made a big fuss the last couple of days over the DHS report that cited rightwing radicals as being the greatest terror threat.
As if the vice presidential campaign speeches of Sarah Palin didn't exascerbate suspicion, hate and fear of a black presidency enough...
When I think of the language that anti Obama people use in regards to Barak... 90% of the time has a strong subtext of racist hatred. I don't believe I'm exagerating. All the 'Not My President' tags seem to belie a pathological aversion to accepting what the semi democratic process has determined. Maybe they picked it up from those of us who recognized that the elections were stolen by the GOP in 2000 and 04'... I don't consider that bad sportsmanship but justified outrage considering the massive electronic voter fraud, disfranchisement and minority vote caging they engaged in.

If they can't have your gov't ...then they're taking their ball and going home

Meanwhile the GOP is doing everything in its power to foment civil war. The Governour of Texas Rick Perry exhorted participants at a tea bag protest to secede from the Union as Glen Beck & Ann Coulter go into hysterical fits over perceived fascism ...where were they during the Bush years? Oh yeah,... cheerleading for torture, the rounding up of dissidents and gov't surveillance. The air in the room just gets more and more poisoned and filled with fear and hate as it did during Bush's reign whenever they wanted you to keep voting GOP.

Not particularly sportsmanlike or democratic of them. ....They've mutated into a party of political trolls.... tea bags? ...I gotcha' teabags right heah!

So how could any of this incessant hissyfitting by the right do anything but encourage rightwing gun groups into becoming more racist in nature?

Southern Poverty Law Center:

50% rise in violent hate groups

David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Wednesday April 15, 2009

A new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks the activities of violent hate groups in the United States, has found an alarming rise in the number of such groups, from 602 in 2000 to 926 in 2008.

This comes on the heels of a controversial report on "violent extremism" from the Department of Homeland Security, which has outraged many conservatives by seeming to lump them in with extremists.

Morris Dees, the founder of the SPLC, told CBS's Harry Smith on Wednesday that he believes the two reports do "synch up pretty much" and that "the report from the Department of Homeland Security should be taken very seriously."

However, the SPLC's own report focuses very narrowly on groups which actively preach violence, including neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and the "racist skinhead subculture." It also notes the surprising rise of "anti-Semitic black separatists calling for death to Jews on bustling street corners in several East Coast cities."

"A key 2008 hate group trend was the increasing militancy of the extremist fringe of the Hebrew Israelite movement," the report states, "whose adherents believe that Jews are creatures of the devil and that whites deserve death or slavery. These radical black supremacists have no love for Barack Obama, calling him a 'house nigger' and a puppet of Israel. They preach to inner-city blacks that evil Jews are solely responsible for the recession."

Dees told Smith, "The political climate, the election of Obama, the immigration issues ... and now, especially, the economy is almost causing a resurgence of what we saw in the days of Timothy McVeigh, almost a militia movement that's being reborn. ... I think that an American person is much more likely to be harmed by a domestic terrorist extremist group than by one from abroad."

Dees also emphasized that many extremist groups are recruiting Iraq veterans and even active-duty members of the military because of their expertise with arms and explosives. "It's a serious issue," he stated, "especially with a lot of these guys coming back with post-traumatic stress syndrome, coming back to a failing economy, the inability to buy a home and get a job and get credit."

The tea bag protests aren't grassroot populist events but staged by millionaire republicans according to Paul Krugman.

The tax rate on the top income earners will be raised under the Obama plan which interestingly is about ten percentage points less than when Reagan was president. However, the squawking GOP parrots will swoop into their fake spontaneous tea parties to express their outrage over taxes even though it will not affect 99.9% of those attending the rallies. In fact, most of the attendees have already been notified about the reduction of their tax rates which in simple terms is a lower tax rate! - Fake Spontaneous Tea Parties and Socialism - Paulie Brading

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Twisted Logics & Manipulative Definitions

The arguments of the rightwing conservatives just dipping further into the area of loopier and meaner. As we get closer to legalizing pot it would appear that the rightwing has gone off their meds.

Same-Sex Unions and Child Sacrifice
A judeo christian organisation that makes the claim that allowing same sex couples to marry will facilitate a societal slide into child sacrifice and rampant paganism ( ...ooh,... do ya' think?)

Lately I've been getting emails from a conservative site called 'Human Events' which features numerous conservative luminaries such as Coulter, Gingrich and Chuck Norris.
Sorry to bore you with this ...but it is interesting watching them losing it in a very public fashion.
That they'd practically coronated Rush Limbaugh at last weekend's GOP just tells volumes of how far they've chosen to sink. Limbaugh at the convention reiterated his wish that President Obama would fail... seems to me I remember being often admonished to "support the President" no matter who he is because "we're in wartime" and "because he's the commander-in-chief"...and any less than that was condemned as 'unpatriotic' and even 'treasonous'.
...but, that's just for when they're in power.

Human Events couldn't sell this hate propaganda trash so now they're trying to give it away...
Mark Steyn: 'Why America will have to fight alone
in the battle for Western civilization'

And why, if we fail, mankind faces a new Dark Ages

Mark Steyn claims that the "anti-american" democracies of europe are allowing radical islam to spread and because of it "western european culture as we know it will disappear"... his suggestion is -' intolerance'.... "the Supreme Court decides sharia law doesn’t violate the "separation of church and state"
Human Events calls his book "humorous" and Steyn "witty"?

In europe the dilineations between political groupings and ideologies are quite numerous and unequivocally clear, -and the only ones making the claims Steyn is making and Human Events is promoting, -are far right nationalists (i.e., ...neo nazis)
Multiculturalism is not the failure he makes it out to be, nor is the socialism in the social safety nets necessarily dragging europe down and encouraging islam to spread.
I think he's jealous that europe doesn't have the same rampant hunger and homelessness and healthcare insurance deprived citizenry that America has.

Meanwhile Human Events posts other conservative concerns
Bernard Goldberg: 'A Slobbering Media Love Affaire with Barack Obama'

Exposed: How the liberal media actively worked to elect Barack Obama President

They were fine with the media when the media unquestioningly reposts verbatim whatever the Bush White House issued through its press office.... including when the White House and the GOP invented journalists and publications (re: Jeff Gannon and his Talon News site)

Meanwhile ...
Anne Coulter;

"Dear Fellow Conservative,

Do you know which special interest gave more money to the Obama campaign than any other?

If you guessed "trial lawyers" -- well, okay, that's too easy. But can you guess which special interest came in second?

Labor unions? Nope. The Green Lobby? Nope. AARP? Wrong, again. NEA? Nyet.

Give up? Okay, here's the answer: Wall Street.

That's right. According to, Wall Street securities and investment firms gave over $35 million to Democratic candidates this election cycle. And the amount they gave to the Obama campaign was nearly five times the amount they gave to McCain.

If you've been wondering why the financial industry is in meltdown -- and taking your 401(k) or investment portfolio down with it -- now you know.

Let's face it: The former frat boys who populate Wall Street today understand economics about as well as the pinko professors whose courses they snored through.

That's why betting their entire industry on "subprime" loans to people with no jobs and no collateral made sense to them -- and why betting the entire U.S. economy on the likes of Obama makes sense to them now.

These jokers don't even know what's in their own self-interest, much less yours. Trusting them with your money is like trusting Bill Clinton to babysit your underage niece.

But I know someone you can trust to manage your investments -- or rather, to help you do it yourself, without paying a nickel in commissions to some Wall Street frat boy.

His name is Dr. Mark Skousen -- that's "Dr." as in "Ph.D. in Economics and Monetary History," something you don't get by playing Beer Pong with your frat buddies.

I thought Anne liked fratboys? What's her beef? Aside from whining about the fact that Wall St firms knew there'd be fallout from the financial institutions' collapse so they've tried to cosy up to the other side..."pinko professors?" ...without much credibility left she resorts to stock conservative vitriol... kinda like using stock film footage of car crashes, plane wrecks and battle lizards dressed like dinosaurs.
She doesn't mind it when CEO's and criminal investors like Maddoff play with other people's money... when in a corner and left looking for someone to blame she targets those losing their homes because of the jobs that are disappearing at a rate of more than a half a million a month.
Anne Coulter is an endless well of hate and rancour... eventually, when it runs out of fashion ...she'll find herself out of a job.

And now for Goebbels' illegimate son;

Patrick Buchanan 'Pitchfork Time' :

"In his campaign and inaugural address, Barack Obama cast himself as a moderate man seeking common ground with conservatives.

Yet, his budget calls for the radical restructuring of the U.S. economy, a sweeping redistribution of power and wealth to government and Democratic constituencies. It is a declaration of war on the Right."

I will admit it... Buchanan stands out to this crew as being the most intelligent of the far right pundit lot... and even man enough to admit it when' capitalism has crumbled'. Yes, the far right crowed about the disintegration of the former U.S.S.R. and Buchanan has been one of the few to admit that it's been our turn. He has castigated the greed of neocons and neo-liberals alike as being the cause of this downfall. If he weren't such a blatant racist and totalitarian statist you'd think he'd turned marxist.
The far right are mourning the loss of their empire and pining away for the halycon days of both the Reagan era and even the early days of the Bush jr administration.
We are just now starting to get a glimpse as to how far the assumption of 'executive priviledge' went.

Declassified Memos Provide Look Into Bush Policies

I blogged about alot of this back then. There were hearings and interviews with Pentagon staff where we were forwarned of their 'Continuity of Gov't Plan' and the suspension of civil rights and imposition of martial law. Given the current info trickling out... lawyers like Roberto Gonzales and John Yoo were busy laying the legal groundwork for extra-legal actions like domestic covert actions like assassinations of what they called terrorists. But keep in mind that at the initial debate and passing of the Homeland Security Act , their definitions of what constituted a 'terrorist' was broadened to include not just terrorists in the conventional sense but even to those in the figurative as including those who advocate for enviromentalist causes such as Greenpeace and the Sierra Club, and those that support them by giving them money ...and, pro human rights groups like Amnesty Intl, and those that give them money.
In fact, it was anyone who protested against industries and corporations, or were critical of gov't policies.
The definitions of 'terrorist' and 'subversive' were quite vast in the post 9/11 mindset of the Bush admin, and its targets were on the long held hitlist of the GOP.

The maintainance of their control was almost absolute.

Diebold voting system sported 'delete' button: report


* Imagine having a glimpse of a completely different life to bask in for a week or two; -and then being returned to a life of misery.
It's possible that Slumdog Millionaire' Director Danny Boyle felt he was doing the right thing by bringing them along to enjoy their share of the limelight. He's tried to compensate them for by creating trust funds for them. But could he forsee the what the ignorance, greed and desparation of those around them is likely to do to endanger them?
Was he familiar with the fates of many child actors in coping with sudden fame and sudden anonymity?
Certainly in the areas of both drama and documentation certain areas of human existence need to be examined and brought to the greater public's consciousness, -and yet by examining it under a camera's lens they become changed.
This to me is a question that filmmakers need to ask themselves very similar to that of a Schroedinger's Cat-type conundrum.

I remember watching the Oscar awards and being struck by what seemed self serving justifications used by film makers on social subjects.
Like, forinstance the acceptance speech of Megan Mylan (resplendant in her designer dress for the occasion) winning an Oscar in the short subject documentary category for her film titled ' Smile Pinki' about an impoverished girl suffering from being a social outcast for her cleft lip in a small village in India.

"All I could think of is 'oh, lucky, lucky me!'"..."and this is for all the children suffering cleft lips"... I dunno, at the time it just struck me as being incredibly self serving... But I might be taking this a tad out of context given the subject matter and extraodinary circumstances.

March 5th
Listening to the Live California Prop 8 hearing right now...
Ken Starr arguing his view that constitutional rights garanteed to all are revocable through the initiative amendment process.
He wants a de facto retroactive anullment of all gay marriages under the aegis of Prop 8 ...according to him to 'protect the children'.
He's cited cases where the 'right of privacy' and against 'unreasonable search and seizures' can be abrogated and revised.
"'The people' have carved out an area of exception in regards to constitutional equal protection rights."
"We want to restore the definition of marriage to what it was when this state was founded"
He goes on to cite initiatives that cause revisions to laws regarding individual rights...forinstance, the death penalty...mainly as the locus of his argument.

The California AG has been quoted as wanting to strike down Prop 8 as a point of 'inalienable rights' has been raised... Ken Starr rejects this and refers to freedom to contract.... wants to "deny" "Only is to deny the validity and recognition of the full panopoly rights " in regards to pre Prop 8 marriages and civil unions.
" there was a swirl of uncertainty"
The analogy has been raised by the panel...what if a law were passed that raised the age of consentual marriage from 18 to 21 and subsequently invalidated all marriages?
"Context, ...170 years of California history"
"we rely on the exception buried in Article 1 section 7.5"...he's arguing about the original "architect's' intent in the writing of marriage statutes and the voters' intent of continuing the definition that was written 170 years ago.

The rebuttal begins... "popular sovereignty versus the history of institutional discrimination" against same sex couples. That same sex couples would be put into a class that would virtually exclude same sex couples from the rights contained within the constitution normally extended to ALL american citizens... and in a sense a revision meant to exclude a substantial minority from protected rights and to reduce them to 2nd class citizens.
Then she gets cut off by one of the justices.

Next to argue that definitions in language in California statute that revised issues focused on gender specific definitions.

Stewart argues that anti Prop 8 arguments are not about changing the structure of revision whereby the people's constitutionally guaranteed (electoral) sovereignty would be undermined but to recognize what the framers of the constitution who created built in limitations as protection to ourselves and the shifting electoral whims.

Court justice argues about inalienable right of the people to invoke changes in the constitution... the power of the people to limit the power of the executive... that the executive may not override a statute.

I couldn't really keep up with this but in essence it's an argument between the people's right to set limits and create revisions and amendments in deciding the language of definitions in regards to the stat constitution. The opposing view is that it was never intended for these rights to ever be subject to change or limitation by initiative of one part of the population concerning the rights of a minority population. That all are protected equally under the constitution.

However eloquent Ken Starr was... he's still a fetid bag o' pus!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Milk of Human Kindness & General Hysterics

'Phelps bong' owner, seven others arrested

Well, this may have run its course. The sheriff's insistence on pursuing an investigation of alleged pot possession based on an infamous photograph backfired on him leading to hundreds of phonecalls criticizing him for expending taxpayer money and manpower on a crime that's very quickly becoming a moot point. Recent polls suggest that far greater numbers of americans favor the legalisation of marijuana than to continue prosecuting offenders.
California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has recently introduced legislation to legalize the sale licensing and taxation of medicinal marijuana.
Nestle's decision to drop Phelps' endorsement at this point is going to look more an more short sighted... not that I ever needed this issue to boycott Nestle's for. Back in the 1970's there was a major boycott campaign against Nestle's for marketing a baby formula through some aid agencies insisting that their baby formula was more nutritional than mothers' own milk. In those days they were just coming to the realisation that mothers' milk had nutrients that help strengthen childrens' immune systems through their lives... alas for me a bit too late.

"Under the influence of the hormones prolactin and oxytocin, women produce milk after childbirth to feed the baby. The initial milk produced is often referred to as colostrum, which is high in the immunoglobulin IgA, which coats the gastrointestinal tract. This helps to protect the newborn until its own immune system is functioning properly, and creates a mild laxative effect, expelling meconium and helping to prevent the build up of bilirubin (a contributory factor in jaundice)" ...from the Wikipedia-Breast_milk.

Nestle's main crime then, which, given their long history as a Swiss (baby foods/formula and condensed milk manufacturers since 1866) may owe something more to corporate naiveté as well as overzealous marketing. But how much were they willfully ignoring the fact that the water sources used for mixing their formula in developing nations often came from wells heavily contaminated by toxic chemicals or pathogenic bacteria?... factors which increased the likelihood of infants suffering dehydration and weakened immune systems and possible deaths. In 1977 there was an average of about 1.5 million infant deaths in developing countries attributed to lack of breastfeeding. In developed nations there were also infant deaths cited as stemming from the same cause. Nestle's has since been compelled to put a warning on their products 'Warning: "this product is not to be used as a breast milk substitute."

Glenn Beck warns Al Gore is building anti-climate change 'Hitler Youth'

State Brainwashing Children To “Re-Educate” Their Parents For Green Dictatorship

Just goes to show whose trough the Watson brothers are feeding from. They call themselves 'truthers' but throwing oneself in league with a complete far right nutter like Glenn Beck doesn't exactly pad one's anti establishment street cred.
I'd already called Beck on his anti global warming contentions; -and now the Watson brothers with their anti global warming rant- which they insist is part of the illuminati plan to thin the world's population. I've never quite understand how they could make the claim how the "global warming hysteria is a scam" created by corporate and world elitists when the most elitist gov't (being the Bush administration) did everything from supressing scientific reports and hiring pr firms that formerly worked for the tobacco industry to promote the 'anti global warming' view.
I do understand Paul Joseph and Steve Watson's concern about populate control conspiracies.
I too was obsessed with the whole Club of Rome pronouncements that began with the 1972 report titled The Limits to Growth in part inspired by Paul Ehrlich's 1968 book 'The Population Bomb' and the Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus in An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798). Back in 1981 I had read articles in the San Francisco Chronicle about the Club of Rome making anouncements connected to a report commissioned by then US President Jimmy Carter titledThe Global 2000 Report to the President.
What got me going was an article (that I saved for a time) that a group connected to the Club of Rome called 'the Committee for the Global 2000' comprised of elitist industrialists, aristocrats, scientists, military leaders made a statement saying that most of the world are just "surplus humanity ... eaters that just consume" and that somehow ' atleast 2/3's of the world's population would have to just cease to exist'. I was so unnerved by this article that I even wrote a stageplay about it ....7/8's of one atleast.
And apparently I wasn't the only one who caught it ...googling 'Global 2000 club of rome' usually yields a number of links each with specious claims exposing this group's link to conspiracies involving the World Health Organisation, AIDS, etc...
I admit... I have very 'X-files' tastes and much as I insist that the CIA killed President Kennedy and all that... I have a hard time making that leap of faith with some of these theories and assertions. So it goes with the Watson brothers. I mean, how can they claim industrialists are leading the 'pro-global warming theory' movement when since already a decade now corporations have stood as an almost united front in funding propaganda that contends the exact opposite... one of their main contentions (and rightfully that is) the economic costs to their investors in retooling industry to meet the standards of reduced carbon emissions. (well, atleast in utilizing the 'trickle down' economic logic in saying that healthy dividends for their investors spells a healthy national economy...wherever did they learn to spell,btw?)
Of course now with President Obama hoping put tens of thousands of americans back to work as part of the process of greening american industry the old commerce claims seem to ring hollow. Not that I'm going to re enter the debate about global warming at this still hour of the night... but suffice it to say that I find the Watson brothers logic to often be more illogic than anything. And Glen Beck to be a hysteric on the verge of imploding.

There are greater dangers looming to the world than Obama's centrist social justice aspirations and had the conservatives' darling GWBush truly been the tough guy they painted him to be then the Iraq War debacle wouldn't have been an excercise in flaunting international law by violating Iraq's national sovereignity over fabricated WMD threats and leaving verified inhuman systems like the North Koreans with their WMD's completely intact.
Which brings us to...
US Ready to Respond to N.Korea Missile Launch

But I should be easier on GOP'ers.
They are a party that is sinking by the minute.
I've been subscribing to Human Events... a far right conservative blog that such leading conservative "thinkers" like Newt Gingrich, Patrick Buchannan, Anne Coulter and Chuck Norris post on. Lately it's funny as I receive their notifications apparently there's somehow of a fire sale going on there where their books usually selling at around $60 a doorstop are now selling a $2 or $3. They almost virtually can't even give them away.
I suppose the reaction to Gov. Jindal's speech as the GOP response to President Obama's address hasn't helped any.

Jack Cafferty: 'GOP in position to talk fiscal responsibility?'
I'm glad someone was paying attention.

Bank under fire for lavish SoCal weekend
Bout' what you'd expect from those benefitting from the kind of 'socialist bailout' that the GOP doesn't seem to mind.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Probable Cause

Just because you think they're out to get you doesn't mean they aren't

I've been alittle hot under the collar lately.
Watching the flurry of anti Obama bulletins flying around Myspace calling him a fraud and a traitor.
They were doing so before he even took office.
And we have Rush Limbaugh loudly wishing for his failure.
I'm alittle confused.
I thought the "patriotic" types are supposed to support whoever the president is, blindly. That was usually the heat I got from them for being critical of national policy.
Now the shoe is on the other foot, and the heels are revolting.
I see the comments supporting him and declaring their opposition to 'sharing of the wealth', they've so much personal fortune that the idea of a middle class tax cut seems outright communist in nature. As if the last 8 years of Bush and Cheney giving the nation's CEO's and top 8% every imagineable advantage like cutting the inheiritance tax, giving KBR no bid contracts, making federal oversight agencies like the FDA, EPA and the BLM subserviant to corporate interests and appointing to federal courts pro-corporate Federalist Society where now we're weathering the after effects of nearly a decade of greed and naked self-interest so wanton as to make even Ayn Rand cringe in her grave.
The bailouts have been approved and CEO's are still getting their golden parachutes while we're averaging nearly a half a million jobs lost each month and ever growing numbers of home reposessions. Yet somehow the phrase...'redistribute the wealth' causes conservatives and rightwing conspiracy theorists to start hoarding bullets and cans of baked beans.
I've even run into the self canceling logic that claims that 'zionists and illuminati elites are pushing socialism on us so they can control us and enrich themselves'. Paranoids always want to have it both ways... to be able to blame those they've always wanted to pass the blame onto.
They'd rather obsess about the possible effects of flouridation and chemtrails than about oil spills and bad educational policies.
Areas of conjecture and the intangible seem more appealing than the more quantifiable effects of bad social, enviromental and economic policies.
I'm an occultist so I guess I can understand the need for a leap in faith once in awhile.
But I'd like to think my priorities aren't that askew.

FBI agents posting bogus links and entrapping people

Maybe they set themselves up... I can't say... but what bothers me about this is wondering what's to prevent them from using the same constitutionally suspect methods from setting other people up for political or philosophical reasons.
But on a similar note...

Teen "Sexting" Worries Parents, Schools

Wtf !!!..... so, ...we're turning sexually curious and playful teens into registered sex offenders presumably to save them from themselves???? Ah yes,.... the sex negatives out to scare teens away from the evils of their own raging hormones.
Fuck, I hate the mothers of prevention! And they wonder why most teens don't want to grow up to be just like them.

Wherein 'voter fraud' no longer matters to Republicans...

Their memories seem to be slipping of a simpler time.

Stolen Election 2004:

"....In Cleveland, election officials rejected 8,099 provisional ballots - one out of three of the 24,472 provisional ballots cast in the Nov. 2 election."

None dare call it voter suppression and fraud

A few other headlines of note from this last week, before I forget;

Income of 400 richest Americans doubled during Bush era

Fannie Mae's Overpaid Board: Can President Obama Turn Words Into Action?

Fox host: Capping bailout executives' pay 'slippery slope' to socialism

Dismay on Wall Street over Obama pay cap

Savings lost to Madoff, elderly forced back to work