Monday, July 31, 2006

Peter Murphy & Nine Inch Nails - Nightclubbing Video

Nine Inch Nails and Peter Murphy do a good cover version of the Iggy Pop classic Nightclubbing. There are more of these covers floating around that were made on the recent NIN/Bauhaus tour this summer.

"We learn dances brand new dances
Like the nuclear bomb"

Out Of Touch

"Firefighters who want to live in high-priced cities can work two jobs, said W. Michael Cox, chief economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. 'I think it’s great,' he said. 'It gives you portfolio diversification in your income."

There is really no other way to read this quote except to say is this guy fucking serious? If so, he is really out of his mind. But it does show what he thinks about working and middle class people.

Think there is a class war going on?

Minimum Wage Vote: In The Darkness Of The Night...

Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington nails the Republican hypocrisy of putting the minimum wage hike with an estate tax reduction for the rich in the same bill. Gotta love the GOP, their lust for cutting taxes to the rich never is out of their minds. Tax cuts are their answer to everything don't you know. Disgusting pigs.

If you are NOT rich (which is the vast majority of the country) and you vote for a Republican you are out of your fucking mind and get what you deserve. Which will be absolutely nothing because they don't give a shit about you.

End of story.

Have a nice day.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Neil Young's Living With War: A Short Documentary

This is a 10 minute documentary by a former Vietnam war reporter about Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's Freedom Of Speech tour now going across the country.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Howard Dean, Right On Iraq & Paul Wolfowitz, Completely And Absolutely Wrong On Iraq

Go to Glenn Greenwald's site here for more.

Below is an excerpt from a speech Howard Dean gave in February 2003 before the U.S. invaded Iraq:

To this day, the President has not made a case that war against Iraq, now, is necessary to defend American territory, our citizens, our allies, or our essential interests.

The Administration has not explained how a lasting peace, and lasting security, will be achieved in Iraq once Saddam Hussein is toppled.

I, for one, am not ready to abandon the search for better answers.

As a doctor, I was trained to treat illness, and to examine a variety of options before deciding which to prescribe. I worried about side effects and took the time to see what else might work before proceeding to high-risk measures. . . .

We have been told over and over again what the risks will be if we do not go to war.

We have been told little about what the risks will be if we do go to war.

If we go to war, I certainly hope the Administration's assumptions are realized, and the conflict is swift, successful and clean. I certainly hope our armed forces will be welcomed like heroes and liberators in the streets of Baghdad. I certainly hope Iraq emerges from the war stable, united and democratic. I certainly hope terrorists around the world conclude it is a mistake to defy America and cease, thereafter, to be terrorists.

It is possible, however, that events could go differently, and that the Iraqi Republican Guard will not sit out in the desert where they can be destroyed easily from the air.

Below is Paul Wolfowitz in testimony before Congress in February 2003 as well:

In his testimony, Mr. Wolfowitz ticked off several reasons why he believed a much smaller coalition peacekeeping force than General Shinseki envisioned would be sufficient to police and rebuild postwar Iraq. He said there was no history of ethnic strife in Iraq, as there was in Bosnia or Kosovo. He said Iraqi civilians would welcome an American-led liberation force that "stayed as long as necessary but left as soon as possible," but would oppose a long-term occupation force. And he said that nations that oppose war with Iraq would likely sign up to help rebuild it. "I would expect that even countries like France will have a strong interest in assisting Iraq in reconstruction," Mr. Wolfowitz said.

What Are You Supposed To Think?

"At Jiyeh, the Israelis attacked the power station. This too was a "terrorist" target.

Yet when I drove to the actual headquarters of Hizbollah, a tall building in Haret Hreik, it was totally undamaged. Only last night did the Israelis manage to hit it."

The quote above is from Robert Fisk, the longtime Middle East reporter for the UK paper the Independent. The title of the piece is called "What I Am Watching In Lebanon Each Day Is An Outrage" which came out on July 15th and you can read it here if you like.

It is an interesting fact to read this and see that it doesn't fit with the consensus as it is called about what is going on in Lebanon. By that I mean that Israel is attacking Lebanon to get Hizbollah and find the two soldiers that were captured. If it was true that they were going after Hizbollah why did they attack and destroy a large part of the infrastructure of Lebanon for days before hitting the headquarters of the group they claimed they were after in the first place? Obviously it wasn't hard to find or an unknown or secret place.

I will venture a wild guess that the capture of these two soldiers was an excuse to put into action plans that we now know were drawn up a year ago to invade Lebanon. Like most people I would understand Israel sending in special forces to go after their soldiers or hit Hizbollah in their well known headquarters in Haret Hreik but that isn't what happened.

The question is why?

The answer, unfortunately, is quite obvious.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Persephone's Bees - Nice Day Acoustic Live Video

A song from the soon (I hope) to be released debut record Notes From The Underworld by Persephone's Bees, here is an acoustic version of Nice Day for you to enjoy.

Check out their website here.

Debra Saunders: Loves War & Bush Too

The other day I mentioned the conservative right wing columnist named Debra Saunders who writes for the "liberal" San Francisco Chronicle loves Bush, war and Republicans in that order. I will now revise that and say she loves war, Bush and Republicans in that order. If you want to read about her naked bloodthirst in all it's "glory" just read her current colum titled No Peace Through Weakness here. It is another piece of fiction disguised as analysis which is her "special" talent, if one could call it that. Just another Yellow Elephant, conservative Republican member of the keyboard fighting brigade that write about death, destruction and war in some far off land, this time Lebanon usually Iraq, approvingly and with gleeful lust.

Oh and there is no bias at all.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Harris Poll: Half Of Americans Still Believe Iraq Had WMD

This is just...mind boggling insanity. How can this many people believe in something that is the equivalent of believing in The Wizard Of OZ? Let's not also forget over 60% believe Saddam/Iraq had ties with Al Qaeda.

Just fucking unbelievable. The media sure do a good job of informing the public of GOP talking points. But not facts.

By E&P Staff Published: July 25, 2006 10:40 AM ET
NEW YORK Despite several years of official and press reports to the contrary, a new Harris poll finds that half of adult Americans still believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) when the United States invaded the country in 2003.This is actually up from 36% last year, a Harris poll finds. The polling company itself called this "surprising" -- considering that no WMD were ever found and U.S. inspectors have confirmed the non-existence of active weapons. In early summer, there were reports that 500 shells once containing mustard or sarin gas nerve agents were found buried long ago in Iraq but they were judged by experts and military officials as decrepit and useless by 2003.

In another finding wildly diverging from most expert opinion and media reports, Harris found that 64% said Saddam Hussein had "strong links" with al-Qaeda, up from 62% in October 2004. The poll of 1,020 adults was conducted July 5 to 11 and has a margin of error of three percentage points.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pictures From Lebanon And They Ain't Pretty

If you are wondering about the pictures above, those are Israeli girls writing on artillery shells.

These pictures are self explanatory I assume.

Layoffs At IRS Will Halve Audits Of Wealthy Estates

Republicans are looking out for your interests. If you are rich, that is, and want to cheat on estate taxes. These people are criminals. Liars too, but then, when are they not?

by David Cay Johnston

NEW YORK - The U.S. government is moving to eliminate the jobs of nearly half of the lawyers at the Internal Revenue Service who audit the tax returns of some of the wealthiest Americans, specifically those who are subject to gift and estate taxes when they transfer parts of their fortunes to their children and others.

The administration plans to cut the jobs of 157 of the agency's 345 estate tax lawyers, plus 17 support personnel, in fewer than 70 days.

Kevin Brown, an IRS deputy commissioner, confirmed the cuts after The New York Times was given internal documents by people inside the IRS who oppose the action.

The Bush administration has successfully lobbied Congress to enact measures that reduce the number of Americans who are subject to the estate tax - which opponents refer to as the "death tax" - but has failed in its efforts to eliminate the tax entirely.

Brown said during a telephone interview that he had ordered the cuts because far fewer people were obliged to pay estate taxes under Bush's legislation.

But six lawyers whose jobs are likely to be eliminated said during interviews that the cuts were just the latest moves to shield people.

Sharyn Phillips, an IRS estate tax lawyer in New York, called the cuts a "backdoor way for the Bush administration to achieve what it cannot get from Congress, which is repeal of the estate tax."

Brown dismissed as preposterous any suggestion that the IRS was soft on rich tax cheats. He said that the money saved by eliminating the estate tax lawyers would be used to hire revenue agents to audit returns, especially those from people making more than $1 million.

Brown said that civil service rules barred the estate tax lawyers from moving to audit income taxes. An IRS spokesman said that the agency had asked for permission to allow such transfers twice but that the Office of Personnel Management had not responded.

Brown said that analysis showed the IRS was auditing enough returns to catch cheats and that 10 percent of the estate audits brought in 80 percent of the additional taxes. He said that auditing a greater percentage of such returns would not be worthwhile because "the next case is not a lucrative case" and likely to be of relatively little value.

That is a change from six years ago, when the IRS said that 85 percent of large taxable gifts it audited had sought to shortchange the government.

Over the past five years, officials at both the IRS and the Treasury have told Congress that cheating among the highest-income Americans was a major and growing problem.

Pink Floyd - Us And Them Live Video

One of my favorite Pink Floyd tunes is Us And Them, that I am dedicating to all those people who push for war from behind their keyboards (right wing bloggers) or in front of the camera (Limbaugh, Hannity, Kristol and all the Fox News fanatics) but have no desire to go themselves or send any of their kids to fight either. Nothing new there.

That mullet on the sax player is just awesome.... in a sick kind of way.

Democrats' Version Of John McCain

Some of you may not be familiar with Debra Saunders, she is the conservative columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle (you know that "liberal" paper) who loves Bush, war and Republicans. In that order. She wrote one the other day about Joe Lieberman and guess what? She thinks it is just horrible that Holy Joe is being challenged by the "fringe" left of the Democratic party who just hate, hate Bush and this war. She could never fathom that people have good reason to despise Bush and his policies unless your super rich and love death and destruction that is. Then it's party time!

She writes good fiction disguised as political insight. If I have time I will go through this paragraph by paragraph but I suspect most people would be able to spot the bullshit easily. Since 99% of it is just that. It's like hitting water falling out of a boat on a lake. Not too hard.

Howie Klein over at Down With Tyranny does a great job of it.

MONTHS AGO, I was lunching with some savvy Democrats, when one of them asked me: What is the problem with all those Republicans who can't stand maverick GOP Sen. John McCain?

As a McCainiac, I warmed to the subject. I disagree with McCain on illegal immigration and other issues, but I like the fact that McCain appeals to Democrats and independents and that he can work with senators on the other side of the aisle. I appreciate McCain's efforts to curb Washington's runaway spending, and wish more Republicans followed his lead on fiscal restraint. What is more, I think McCain in the White House could go a long way in healing the country's ugly partisan divide.

Then again, I added, Democrats have their own maverick -- Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman. Unlike Dems who ran from their support of the Iraq resolution, Lieberman has remained stalwart. He has forged relations with the Bush White House and joined McCain and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., in fighting pork-barrel spending.

That's when the table got quiet. It is one thing for Democrats to feel superior to rube Republicans who don't like McCain because he is not sufficiently doctrinaire. When, however, a Democrat gets along with Republicans and espouses moderate positions, well then, he is a turncoat, plain and simple. The episode demonstrated how voters value bipartisanship -- from the other side, only.

And that was before rich-guy and cable exec Ned Lamont waged his primary challenge to Lieberman, who is serving his third term in the Senate.

Just six years ago, Democrats hailed Lieberman as Al Gore's running mate -- a position that spoke of the party's confidence that the Connecticut senator was qualified to take over the presidency, should something happen to a President Gore. Now, among the Democratic base, his name is mud.

A new Quinnipiac poll shows Lieberman trailing Lamont, garnering 47 percent of likely voters in the Aug. 8 Democratic primary, compared to Lamont's 51 percent. The poll also showed Lieberman handily winning a general election, if he runs as an independent against Lamont and Republican Alan Schlesinger, as well as Lamont beating Schlesinger in a two-man race, if by a lesser margin than Lieberman would enjoy.

Of course, Connecticut Democrats have every right to reject Lieberman because they disagree with his policies. The fact that he is an incumbent does not mean that he should own his Senate seat for life.

That said, Lieberman is a cut above the routine D.C. politician who habitually runs from difficult votes and unpopular positions. While his constituents have soured on the war in Iraq, Lieberman is sticking by his early support of the war -- even if it costs him re-election. He has shown a dedication to principle that voters like to think they want.

Except that the Nedheads -- as Lamont's supporters are called -- object to Lieberman's support of President Bush. As the Weekly Standard's Matt Continetti reported, the most popular campaign button among Nedheads features Dubya's embrace of Lieberman after his 2005 State of the Union address. They are incensed that Lieberman is not a Bush hater. Indeed, the Nedheads are so angry about the Big Hug that they are willing to torpedo a man who campaigned against Bush in 2000.

Hoover Institution fellow Morris Fiorina told me it scares him to watch the extremes dominate each party as they chase moderates out of office. In this case, Connecticut Dems may be "willing to sacrifice" a shot at taking control of the U.S. Senate from the GOP -- Lieberman would be the surer bet to win in November -- "for the sake of their ideological purity."

While many Democrats say they want to see an end to partisan rancor, Fiorina added, Lamont's supporters "are the kind of people who thrive on partisan rancor." Where moderates see bipartisan bonhomie, they see a traitor.

As Fiorina sees it, when busy moderates sit out primaries, they "abandon the field to all those people who have extreme views."

You can forget all those "re-elect Gore" bumper stickers so dear to the angry left. Because Lieberman gets along with the president of the United States, they have a new slogan: Dump Joey.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Arrested Bush Dissenters Eye Courts

Republicans sure love democracy...don't they?

By TODD DVORAK, Associated Press

When school was canceled to accommodate a campaign visit by President Bush, the two 55-year-old teachers reckoned the time was ripe to voice their simmering discontent with the administration's policies.

Christine Nelson showed up at the Cedar Rapids rally with a Kerry-Edwards button pinned on her T-shirt; Alice McCabe clutched a small, paper sign stating "No More War." What could be more American, they thought, than mixing a little dissent with the bunting and buzz of a get-out-the-vote rally headlined by the president?

Their reward: a pair of handcuffs and a strip search at the county jail.

Authorities say they were arrested because they refused to obey reasonable security restrictions, but the women disagree: "Because I had a dissenting opinion, they did what they needed to do to get me out of the way," said Nelson, who teaches history and government at one of this city's middle schools.

"I tell my students all the time about how people came to this country for freedom of religion, freedom of speech, that those rights and others are sacred. And all along I've been thinking to myself, 'not at least during this administration.'"

Their experience is hardly unique.

In the months before the 2004 election, dozens of people across the nation were banished from or arrested at Bush political rallies, some for heckling the president, others simply for holding signs or wearing clothing that expressed opposition to the war and administration policies.

Similar things have happened at official, taxpayer-funded, presidential visits, before and after the election. Some targeted by security have been escorted from events, while others have been arrested and charged with misdemeanors that were later dropped by local prosecutors.

Now, in federal courthouses from Charleston, W.Va., to Denver, federal officials and state and local authorities are being forced to defend themselves against lawsuits challenging the arrests and security policies.

While the circumstances differ, the cases share the same fundamental themes. Generally, they accuse federal officials of developing security measures to identify, segregate, deny entry or expel dissenters.

Jeff Rank and his wife, Nicole, filed a lawsuit after being handcuffed and booted from a July 4, 2004, appearance by the president at the West Virginia Capitol in Charleston. The Ranks, who now live in Corpus Christi, Texas, had free tickets to see the president speak, but contend they were arrested and charged with trespassing for wearing anti-Bush T-shirts.

"It's nothing more than an attempt by the president and his staff to suppress free speech," said Andrew Schneider, executive director of the ACLU of West Virginia, which is providing legal services for the Ranks.

"What happened to the Ranks, and so many others across the country, was clearly an incident of viewpoint discrimination. And the lawsuit is an attempt to make the administration accountable for what we believe were illegal actions," Schneider said.

In Cedar Rapids, McCabe and Nelson are suing three unnamed Secret Service agents, the Iowa State Patrol and two county sheriff deputies who took part in their arrest. Nelson and McCabe, who now lives in Memphis, Tenn., accuse law enforcement of violating their right to free speech, assembly and equal protection.

The two women say they were political novices, inexperienced at protest and unprepared for what happened on Sept. 3, 2004.

Soon after arriving at Noelridge Park, a sprawling urban playground dotted with softball diamonds and a public pool, McCabe and Nelson were approached by Secret Service agents in polo shirts and Bermuda shorts. They were told that the Republicans had rented the park and they would have to move because the sidewalk was now considered private property.

McCabe and Nelson say they complied, but moments later were again told to move, this time across the street. After being told to move a third time, Nelson asked why she was being singled out while so many others nearby, including those holding buckets for campaign donations, were ignored. In response, she says, they were arrested.

They were charged with criminal trespass, but the charges were later dropped.

A spokesman for the Secret Service declined to comment on pending litigation or answer questions on security policy for presidential events. White House spokesman Alex Conant also declined to comment, citing the ongoing litigation.

But Justice Department lawyers, in documents filed recently in federal court in Cedar Rapids, outline security at the rally and defend the Secret Service agents' actions.

They contend the GOP obtained exclusive rights to use the park and that donation takers were ignored because they were an authorized part of the event. They also say McCabe and Nelson were disobedient, repeatedly refusing agents' orders to move.

"At no time did any political message expressed by the two women play any role in how (the agents) treated them," they wrote. "All individuals ... subject to security restrictions either complied with the security restrictions or were arrested for refusing to comply."

Defenders say stricter policies are a response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and a small price for ensuring the safety of a world leader in an era of heightened suspicion and uncertainty.

But Leslie Weise says law enforcers are violating citizens' rights to voice objections within earshot of the president.

Last year, in Denver, Weise and two friends were evicted from a Bush town hall meeting on Social Security reform.

Weise, a 40-year-old environmental lawyer who is now a stay-at-home mother, opposes the war in Iraq and the administration's energy policies. Like friends Alex Young and Karen Bauer, Weise did some volunteer work for the Kerry campaign.

In the days before Bush's March 2005 town hall meeting, the trio toyed briefly with the notion of actively protesting the visit. But they said they decided against it because they had heard of arrests at Bush appearances in North Dakota and Arizona.

After parking Weise's car, the three, dressed in professional attire and holding tickets obtained from their local congressman, arrived at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum. Young cleared security, but Weise and Bauer were briefly detained and told by staff they had been "identified" and would be arrested if they tried "any funny stuff," according to court records.

After finding their seats, they were approached again by staff and removed before Bush began speaking. Days later, Weise learned from Secret Service in Denver that a bumper sticker on her green Saab hatchback — "No More Blood for Oil" — caught the attention of security.

"I had every reason to attend that event, just as anyone else in the room had that day," said Weise. "If we raised security to a higher level just because we had an opinion different from the administration, I think that goes far beyond what is appropriate for this country."

Lawsuits by protesters are not always embraced by the courts. In Pennsylvania, a federal judge dismissed a suit challenging the arrests of six men who stripped down to thongs and formed a pyramid to protest the Abu Ghraib scandal when Bush paid a visit to Lancaster.

The judge ruled the authorities acted with probable cause and are entitled to qualified immunity, shielding them from liability. The ruling is on appeal.

Such efforts to segregate or diminish dissent are hardly new to American politics.

The ACLU has sued several presidents over attempts to silence opposition, as in 1997, when President Clinton tried to prevent protesters from lining his inaugural parade route. And during the tumultuous 1960s, it was not uncommon for hecklers and protesters to be whisked away or managed at a distance from rallies and events.

"In my mind, it all started with Nixon. He was the first presidential candidate to really make an effort to control their image and disrupt public interruption at events," said Cary Covington, a political science professor at the University of Iowa.

But political experts say the 2004 Bush campaign rewrote the playbook for organizing campaign rallies.

At the Republican National Convention in New York City and at other campaign stops, security segregated protesters in designated "free speech zones" set up at a significant distance from each rally. To get into events headlined by Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney, supporters were required to obtain tickets through GOP channels or sign loyalty oaths.

Political experts agree Bush 2004 went to greater lengths than Kerry officials — or any past campaign — to choreograph a seamless, partisan rally free of the embarrassing moments that attract media attention.

Gone are the days of candidates facing down hecklers or reacting to distractions like, the man who donned a chicken costume and pestered George H.W. Bush in 1991 after he balked at Bill Clinton's invitations to debate.

Anthony Corrado, a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution, said ticket-only events are an effective tool for rewarding legions of volunteers who work the phone banks, raise money and build support.

"In my view, the Republicans did a much better job of linking field volunteers with their schedule and events," Corrado said. "I had never seen it done to the extent it was on 2004 on the Republican side. And my guess is we'll probably see a lot more of it all."

Blasted By A Missile On The Road To Safety

Family ordered to flee were targeted because they were driving minivan
by Suzanne Goldenberg

The ambulanceman gave Ali the job of keeping his mother alive. The 12-year-old did what he could. "Mama, mama, don't go to sleep," he sobbed, gently patting her face beneath her chin. Behind her black veil, her eyelids were slowly sinking. "I'm going to die," she sighed. "Don't say that, mama," Ali begged, and then slid to the ground in tears.

On the pavement around mother and son were the other members of the Sha'ita family, their faces spattered with each other's blood. All were in varying shades of shock and injury. A tourniquet was tied on Ali's mother's arm. A few metres away, his aunt lay motionless, the white T-shirt beneath her abaya stained red. Two sisters hugged each other and wept, oblivious to the medics tending their wounds. "Let them take me, let them take me," one screamed.

Their mother was placed on a stretcher, and lifted into the ambulance. "God is with you, mama," Ali said. She reached up with her good arm to caress his face.

The Sha'itas had thought they were on the road to safety when they set out yesterday, leaving behind a village which because of an accident of geography - it is five miles from the Israeli border - had seemed to make their home a killing ground. They had been ordered to evacuate by the Israelis.

But they were a little too slow and became separated from the other vehicles fleeing the Israeli air offensive in south Lebanon. Minutes before the Guardian's car arrived, trailing a Red Cross ambulance on its way to other civilian wounded in another town, an Israeli missile pierced the roof of the Sha'itas' white van. Three passengers sitting in the third row were killed instantly, including Ali's grandmother. Sixteen other passengers were wounded. In recent days, families like the Sha'itas are bearing the brunt of Israel's air campaign and its efforts to rid the area of civilians before ground operations. A day after Israel's deadline for people to leave their homes and flee north of the Litani river, roads which in ordinary times wind lazily through tobacco fields and banana groves have been turned into highways of death.

Plumes of smoke rise in the distance, and the road in front of us offers up signs of closer peril: car wrecks, still smoking after Israeli strikes, and abandoned vehicles with shattered rear windows. Some were direct hits by Israeli aircraft. Others were drivers who had lost control. Overhead is the menacing roar of Israeli warplanes and the buzz of drones tracking every movement.

With bridges on the main coastal roads severed by Israeli air strikes, and secondary mountain routes scarred by craters, the means of escape for Lebanese trying to follow Israel's orders are limited. "All the smaller roads leading to the coastal roads are destroyed," said a spokesman for the UN in the border town of Naqoura. "In some areas you have people pushing cars by hand through obstacles made by a rocket or a bomb." By yesterday afternoon, for many villagers, there was truly no way out.

Death came crashing into the Sha'ita family soon after 10am, in the form of an Israeli anti-tank missile, seemingly fired from an Israeli helicopter high overhead, in Kafra, about nine miles from their home. Those passengers who were not killed or injured by shards of burning metal were hurt when the van plunged into the side of a hill.

In their village of et-Tiri, the Sha'itas were an extended clan of 54 people. Between them they had three cars. When the Israeli evacuation order came, in leaflets shot out of aircraft, the family planned at first to stay. "We were at home living our lives," said Musbah Sha'ita, Ali's uncle.

By 7pm on Saturday night, the deadline set by Israel for people in about a dozen villages in south Lebanon to leave, the Sha'itas were close to panic. "Whoever could run was running," said Mr Sha'ita. "I pushed them to go."

One of their fleeing neighbours said he would send transport for them, and the next morning all 54 of the Sha'itas set out in a convoy of three white minivans. That choice of transport proved a fatal mistake.

In their leaflet campaign, the Israelis have warned repeatedly they would consider minivans, trucks and motorcyles as targets. "The minivans are a target for Israel because they can take Katyusha rockets for Hizbullah, so they do not contemplate too long," the UN official said. "They just shoot it."

Dozens of others have met a similar fate as Israeli F-16 jet fighters and attack helicopters intensify a campaign meant to cut off the supply of Hizbullah rockets, and the movement of its fighters.

But Israel's offensive is being felt across a much wider swath of south Lebanon. The Lebanese Red Cross in Tyre said 10 cars carrying civilians and three or four motorcycles had been hit by Israeli missiles yesterday. Red Cross ambulances were no safer; a spokesman said an ambulance had narrowly escaped a missile near the village of el-Qlaile, south of the city. A number of the dead, including the three members of the Sha'ita family, remained trapped in their cars because it was too dangerous to retrieve their bodies.

In Tyre, south Lebanon's main town and a stopping point on the flight to the north, the hospital received a steady flow of injured. By late afternoon there were three dead and 41 injured, two critically."They are bombing them all in their cars," said Ahmed Mrowe, the director of Jabal al-Amal hospital.

Those who choose not to flee - the UN estimates that 35%-40% of villagers are too poor or too frail to make the journey - are being left stranded.

That was the predicament facing the Sha'itas when Musbah Sha'ita urged them to flee. In a car on the way to the hospital, his ear was welded to his phone, trying to find out where his wounded relatives were, and he could not stop blaming himself.

"We put a white flag. We were doing what Israel told us to do," he says. "What more do they want of us?"

Tom Friedman Is A "Free Market" Propagandist

"We got this free market, and I admit, I was speaking out in Minnesota--my hometown, in fact, and guy stood up in the audience, said, `Mr. Friedman, is there any free trade agreement you'd oppose?' I said, `No, absolutely not.' I said, `You know what, sir? I wrote a column supporting the CAFTA, the Caribbean Free Trade initiative. I didn't even know what was in it. I just knew two words: free trade."

This quote tells you all you need to know about Thomas Friedman of the NY Times. He essentially is a fundamentalist, except his religion is the "free market" as it is called, which as most sentient beings know is really just corporations getting trade agreements that work for them and not for the people or labor force as they would call it. Friedman is a sick joke and the joke is on all of us.

Read David Sirota's take on this here.

Boomtown Rats - I Don't Like Mondays Promo Video

I love the Boomtown Rats, I think they were one of the best "new wave" bands from the late 70's early 80's period. This song was their biggest hit in the U.S. if my memory serves me right. Of course it is based on a real incident that happened in San Diego. Bob Geldof was a great songwriter and front man at this time. Now, of course, he is Sir Bob.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Keith Olbermann Talking About Bill O'Reilly

"Keith Olbermann was eagerly anticipating his first meeting with Bill O'Reilly. It didn't happen. The feuding cable TV personalities both attended a charity fundraiser thrown by New York Yankees manager Joe Torre last November. Olbermann picked up his name tag and spotted O'Reilly's tag on the table.

"He never got within 20 feet of me," Olbermann told the Television Critics Association's summer meeting Saturday. "I swear to God, every time I looked up, he would suddenly look down. He was staring over at me. But we're about the same height, so I really don't think he's going to come talk to me. If I were about a foot shorter, I'm sure there would be a confrontation of some sort."

During his "Countdown" show on MSNBC, Olbermann regularly tweaks O'Reilly, whose "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox is No. 1 in the cable TV news ratings. Olbermann generally runs third in the same time slot.

O'Reilly has referred to Olbermann — although not by name — as a "notorious smear merchant" and pointed out his low ratings.

Olbermann said his phone number has been distributed at Fox and his e-mail hacked into.

"They're annoying things, and that's about it. That's the price you pay," he said. "Nothing that you do in putting yourself in the public eye is for free. I can live with it."

Olbermann opened his session by whipping out a mask of O'Reilly — a poke at Fox asking journalists to accept handout photos of TCA news conferences from photographers the network had hired.

"We thought we'd help you out, those of you who needed a good photograph of," Olbermann said, pausing to hold up O'Reilly's photo glued to a stick as reporters laughed.

Olbermann has named O'Reilly his "Worst Person in the World" at least 15 times. The nightly "award" is Olbermann's way of criticizing bad behavior.

"It's just so much fun," Olbermann said. "I've always liked playing in traffic. I was told in 1977 that I had no future in the business and wouldn't last if I didn't change my style, so I don't really worry about it."

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Rep. George Miller, Democrat Of California On Pension Criminals

Rep. George Miller on pension fairness: "It's a devastating picture when you meet your constituents who have lost their retirement, who have lost big chunks of their retirement and they come and talk to you at the shopping center, they talk to you in the grocery store, they talk to you in a town hall and they tell you what it means to their plans. We were all stunned as a nation when pensioners got their plans wiped out and devastated by Enron. We called those people criminals. Here we call them legislators. Because people are getting -- people are going to get a devastating hit on their pensions, and we're going to say it's the law."

Republican Rep. McKeon asks that Rep. Miller's words be stricken saying, "I would like to know for sure if he was calling us Criminals." ...

Friday, July 21, 2006

An Open Letter On Israel/Palestine By Arundhati Roy, Harold Pinter, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn & Others

The latest chapter of the conflict between Israel and Palestine began when Israeli forces abducted two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from Gaza. An incident scarcely reported anywhere, except in the Turkish press. The following day the Palestinians took an Israeli soldier prisoner - and proposed a negotiated exchange against prisoners taken by the Israelis - there are approximately 10,000 in Israeli jails.

That this "kidnapping" was considered an outrage, whereas the illegal military occupation of the West Bank and the systematic appropriation of its natural resources - most particularly that of water - by the Israeli Defence (!) Forces is considered a regrettable but realistic fact of life, is typical of the double standards repeatedly employed by the West in face of what has befallen the Palestinians, on the land alloted to them by international agreements, during the last seventy years.

Today outrage follows outrage; makeshift missiles cross sophisticated ones. The latter usually find their target situated where the disinherited and crowded poor live, waiting for what was once called Justice. Both categories of missile rip bodies apart horribly - who but field commanders can forget this for a moment?

Each provocation and counter-provocation is contested and preached over. But the subsequent arguments, accusations and vows, all serve as a distraction in order to divert world attention from a long-term military, economic and geographic practice whose political aim is nothing less than the liquidation of the Palestinian nation.

This has to be said loud and clear for the practice, only half declared and often covert, is advancing fast these days, and, in our opinion, it must be unceasingly and eternally recognised for what it is and resisted.

Tariq Ali
John Berger
Noam Chomsky
Eduardo Galeano
Naomi Klein
Harold Pinter
Arundhati Roy
Jose Saramago
Howard Zinn

Bush Doesn't "Support The Taking Of Innocent Human Life"

“This bill would support the taking of innocent human life in the hope of finding medical benefits for others. It crosses a moral boundary that our decent society needs to respect, so I vetoed it.”

Beyond hypocrisy.

The fucking nerve of these people to even say this in public is astounding especially with the Israel/Lebanon disaster getting worse and worse every single day.

We really don't need to mention all the lives lost in the great Iraq phony WMD hunt do we?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb Live Video 1981

From one of the few original shows they did of The Wall live. The footage is pretty good quality. A friend of mine went to one of the shows they did in L.A. and they also did shows in New York and London if my memory is correct.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

William Kristol: A PNAC, Neo-Con Lunatic

KRISTOL: We have to be ready to use military force against Iran, if it comes to that. Think what this crisis would be like given what we now know about the Islamic Republic of Iran, its regime, its recklessness, its close, close ties to terrorist groups. Think what the world wore would be like with an Iran with nuclear weapons. This is a very interesting moment in that respect. You know? We are in a way lucky that Iran has revealed its aggression, its recklessness, its terror ties before they succeeded in becoming a nuclear power. We have to stop them from getting nuclear weapons. We can try diplomacy. I am not hopeful about that. We have to be ready to use force.

QUESTION: You know, the down side, though, you know very well, to all of that being that we’re involved in Iraq and Afganistan. Also that Iran is much different than Iraq. It’s huge and more formidable.

KRISTOL: It is, but also the Iranian people dislike their regime. I think they would be – the right use of targeted military force — but especially if political pressure before we use military force – could cause them to reconsider whether they really want to have this regime in power. There are even moderates – they are not wonderful people — but people in the government itself who are probably nervous about Ahmadinejad’s recklessness.

This is why standing up to Iran right now is so important. They’re overreached. They and Hezbollah have recklessly overreached. They got cocky. This is the moment to set them back. I think a setback to Hezbollah could trigger changes in Iran. People can say, wait a second, what is Ahmadinejad doing to us. We’re alone. The Arab world is even against us. The Muslim world is against us. Let’s reconsider this reckless path that we’re on.

You think these people learned anything from the past (like their illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq over WMD's...remember them?) and their fantasies of what the world is like compared to what it is actually is?

The answer is obviously no.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Teenage George Bush "Massages" Angela Merkel, The Chancellor of Germany

This man, our President, is a complete adolescent. He likes to give nicknames out like he is still in a fraternity, for example his nickname for Vladimir Putin is Pootie-Poot. Imagine what this guy thinks of Bush? What would you think? He has a simplistic view of the world because emotionally he is probably not much beyond a 18 or 19 year old, if that. He is a person suspended in a teenager. Which makes sense because as Molly Ivins put it so well "he was born on third base and thought he hit a triple". Why should he have ever grown up when he hasn't had to?

Yet the press keeps ignoring the obvious about the "leader" of the free world as he is called.

An embarrassment for our country.

A danger to the world.

Oh, by the way, do you think she enjoyed having George Bush "massage" her?

Update: It seems I am not the only one who thinks this about the President.

"But in 2000 the Supreme Court delivered the White House to a man who, although he may be 60, doesn’t act like a grown-up."

Those are the words of Paul Krugman who has been saying along how nuts these Neo-Cons really are.

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager: Episode 1

This very well made and funny little Star Wars parody video is about Darth Vader's younger brother Chad and his adventures of being a day shift manager at a grocery store.

I don't know about you but I need a laugh right now and this did it for me and I am a Star Wars fan.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Juan Williams & William Kristol Exchange On Video

Juan Williams explains to the non-reality based PNAC Neo-Con William Kristol, on Fox News of course, that his fantasy world is not the real world when talking about the current Middle East crisis. Kristol just throws up his hands, literally, when confronted with that strange thing (in his world) called facts and history. Or what the rest of us call reality.

I mean this most sincerely, these Neo-Cons are insane, end of story. When facts and history don't work to change your view you are not mentally healthy to use a neutral term as Kristol likes to call them.

Or to put it more simply these people are fucking nuts.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

James McMurtry - We Can't Make It Here

A homemade video to the wonderful and right on the money song called We Can't Make It Here by James McMurtry.

Buy his record called Childish Things here.

Vietnam Vet with a cardboard sign
Sitting there by the left turn line
Flag on the wheelchair flapping in the breeze
One leg missing, both hands free
No one's paying much mind to him
The V.A. budget's stretched so thin
And there's more comin' home from the Mideast war
We can't make it here anymore

That big ol' building was the textile mill
It fed our kids and it paid our bills
But they turned us out and they closed the doors
We can't make it here anymore

See all those pallets piled up on the loading dock
They're just gonna set there till they rot
'Cause there's nothing to ship, nothing to pack
Just busted concrete and rusted tracks
Empty storefronts around the square
There's a needle in the gutter and glass everywhere
You don't come down here 'less you're looking to score
We can't make it here anymore

The bar's still open but man it's slow
The tip jar's light and the register's low
The bartender don't have much to say
The regular crowd gets thinner each day

Some have maxed out all their credit cards
Some are working two jobs and living in cars
Minimum wage won't pay for a roof, won't pay for a drink
If you gotta have proof just try it yourself Mr. CEO
See how far 5.15 an hour will go
Take a part time job at one of your stores
Bet you can't make it here anymore

High school girl with a bourgeois dream
Just like the pictures in the magazine
She found on the floor of the laundromat
A woman with kids can forget all that
If she comes up pregnant what'll she do
Forget the career, forget about school
Can she live on faith? live on hope?
High on Jesus or hooked on dope
When it's way too late to just say no
You can't make it here anymore

Now I'm stocking shirts in the Wal-Mart store
Just like the ones we made before
'Cept this one came from Singapore
I guess we can't make it here anymore

Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I'm in
Should I hate 'em for having our jobs today
No I hate the men sent the jobs away
I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams
All lily white and squeaky clean
They've never known want, they'll never know need
Their sh@# don't stink and their kids won't bleed
Their kids won't bleed in the da$% little war
And we can't make it here anymore

Will work for food
Will die for oil
Will kill for power and to us the spoils
The billionaires get to pay less tax
The working poor get to fall through the cracks
Let 'em eat jellybeans let 'em eat cake
Let 'em eat sh$%, whatever it takes
They can join the Air Force, or join the Corps
If they can't make it here anymore

And that's how it is
That's what we got
If the president wants to admit it or not
You can read it in the paper
Read it on the wall
Hear it on the wind
If you're listening at all
Get out of that limo
Look us in the eye
Call us on the cell phone
Tell us all why

In Dayton, Ohio
Or Portland, Maine
Or a cotton gin out on the great high plains
That's done closed down along with the school
And the hospital and the swimming pool
Dust devils dance in the noonday heat
There's rats in the alley
And trash in the street
Gang graffiti on a boxcar door
We can't make it here anymore

Robert Novak On Meet The Press

I caught the last part of Robert Novak being interviewed by Tim Russert on this morning's Meet The Press show about Valerie Plame being outed as a CIA operative. There is only one conclusion you can draw from what I saw.

Robert Novak is a liar.

Even if you didn't know what the issue was about you would still know that he was lying.

It was that obvious.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Israeli Invasion Of Lebanon

Does anyone really think this is about kidnapped soldiers? If you do then you must believe the Iraq invasion by the U.S. was because of WMD.

If you do I have a great bridge you might of have heard of near San Francisco called the Golden Gate that I will sell you really, really cheaply.

If you think it is going to stop in Lebanon think again.

Tears For Fears - Sowing The Seeds Of Love Promo Video

Because one can hope.

And it's a really good video too.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Keith Olbermann Interviews John Dean

A really interesting interview about John Dean's new book called Conservatives Without Conscience that confirms what many of us suspected about some conservatives and their willingness to blindly follow authoritarian figures. It really is quite scary and speaking of scary if you want to see an excellent film that portrays this sort of blind ideological madness then you should see the movie Downfall.

Ah you can say that dirty word, it's called....fascism.

Is It Just Me?

Or do you have this horrible feeling deep down in the pit of your stomach? With what is going on right now in the Middle East with Israel/Lebanon, the Iraq invasion and occupation and the US sabre rattling by the neo-con madmen who are in charge of our country licking their chops at the thought of invading Iran how could you not be scared?

I remember the quote from one of the lower echelon members of the Bush neo-con cabal saying something like "everyone wants to go to Baghdad, real men want to go to Tehran" and to know that this person was deadly serious is to have fear of where that part of the world is heading.

This thing can spin out of control very, very quickly.

You can see the train wreck coming.

The horror.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pink Floyd - The Look Of The Week Video

A wonderful clip from a British show probably late in 1966 or early 1967. Interesting comments from the German fellow at the start who admits that maybe he just doesn't get it about what they are doing. Wish it was in color though. A really great performance of Astronomy Domine.

Syd Barrett RIP.

Syd Barrett - RIP

Isn't the aging process just amazing?

I guess unrelenting is the word actually.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Roger Waters - What God Wants Promo Video

I have not been the biggest fan of Roger Waters solo work but I really like What God Wants and the video. The video is a wonderful mixture of live footage of animals, stop motion animation and live footage of Roger singing.

Like all good songs it always seems so relevant even when it is over ten years old.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Elvis Costello - Shipbuilding Live Video

Bush's New Poll Numbers At 35%

People don't hate the President they just don't approve of the President. You get it Nora O'Donnell?

Fox News should be calling any minute now. You'll fit right in.

Nora O'Donnell, Cindy Sheehan & The Facts

Nora O'Donnell did a great job auditioning to be on Fox News when she interviewed Cindy Sheehan about her hunger strike and the illegal Iraq invasion. See if you can catch the two obvious falsehoods and outright lies that Nora feeds to the rubes and the dupes in the hope that they don't know better. Plus there is a third distortion and a bit of propaganda you could call it.

It's a fun game for the whole family.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Peter Murphy - Cuts You Up Promo Video

A very nicely done video by Peter Murphy for his biggest solo hit Cuts You Up which is from my favorite record of his called Deep. I saw him on this tour and he was really, really good live. Wasn't bad on the tour after that either.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Steely Dan - FM Live Video

Love Steely Dan and yes I went and saw the movie this song was written for in the late 70's and no it isn't a very good movie.

No static at all.

4th Of July Special: Laird Hamilton Surfing Teahuppo

I can't remember if this is the same sequence from the movie Riding With Giants or not or if it is some rough footage used in the film, but that is one massive and thick left he is riding.

Monday, July 03, 2006

William Bennett: Bush Apologist Takes One To The Gut

Dana Priest of the Washington Post gives a not so subtle response to William "holier than thou" Bennett's statement about how she should have been jailed for writing a series of stories on secret CIA prisons instead of getting the pulitzer prize.

Some things come back to bite you in the ass eh?