There’s got to be a better way

by lestro

From the Seattle PI on May 14, 2009:

The nation’s new drug czar looks like he has no interest in being the commanding general of a war on drugs.

Gil Kerlikowske, Seattle’s former police chief, says in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that he wants to end using the phrase “war on drugs.”

“Regardless of how you try to explain to people it’s a ‘war on drugs’ or a ‘war on a product,’ people see a war as a war on them,” Kerlikowske said in his first interview since being confirmed for the federal post. “We’re not at war with people in this country.”

Damn right.

We are never going to “defeat” drugs and Kerlikowske is right about it being a war on the American people. We should change our language to reflect that we are trying to reduce abuse and help those locked in a cycle of addiction.

I don’t know what that word is, but I am 100 percent sure it is NOT “war”…

Swine Flu! Swine Flu! Swine Flu!

by twit

Finally, some good-sounding news from the Associated Press on May 1, 2009:

CDC flu chief Nancy Cox said the good news is “we do not see the markers for virulence that were seen in the 1918 virus.” Nor does swine flu virus have the virulence traits found in the H5N1 strain of bird flu seen in recent years in Asia and other parts of the world, she said.

However:

It’s too soon to draw any definitive conclusions about what this variation of the H1N1 virus will do. Experts say the only wise course is to prepare for the worst.

this pandemic needs some theme music:

and a handy site to answer the question “Do I have Swine Flu?

Hey Paul Krugman, where the hell are you man?

by twit

Krugman recently wrote for the New York Times that “the zombie ideas have won,” which is unsettling, to say the least, considering he is talking about the Obama Administration’s plan to stabilize our economy.

Which brings us to the delightful way that our internets can manage to push the issue:

currently at #16 on the viral video chart

Read more of this post

It’s a turn-around jump shot

by twit

It’s everybody jump start

The Obama administration reversed years of U.S. policy Monday by calling for a treaty to cut mercury pollution, which it described as the world’s gravest chemical problem.

It’s every generation throws a hero up the pop charts

The statement represented a “180-degree turnaround” from policy under the Bush administration, said Michael Bender, co-coordinator of the Zero Mercury Working Group, a global coalition of 75 environmental organizations working to reduce mercury exposure.

Read more of this post

Theme music for an asteroid impact

by twit

oh Discovery Channel, the things you say:

video via The Viral Video Chart

Sweet Caroline, are we really talking about qualifications?

by lestro

Ever since she let it be known that she wanted to be the next senator from the Great State of New York, the biggest question on pundit lips has been ‘Is Caroline Kennedy qualified to be Senator?’

Come on, really?

She even got the dreaded Palin Comparison when in the early stages of all of this, a handler “whisked her away” after a reporter asked why she though she was qualified.

Honestly, how qualified do you really have to be to be a senator? Their job is to talk to each other and try to find compromise.

How about, “I’m older than 30, have been a citizen for more than nine years and I live in the state I am looking to represent. Which, coincidentally, puts me ahead of the person I am looking to replace…”

Fuck, we elect athletes and actors to the senate. The whole point of our system is that anyone can do it.

And let’s not forget that Kennedy would be taking over for someone who also had absolutely no qualifications other than her last name and wasn’t even from the state, but went on to do a pretty good job as senator. Read more of this post

A Very Ramones Christmas

 by lestro

It’s a little late in the day, but it is still Christmas. And it’s not like there’s ever a bad time for the Ramones…

while we are waiting…

by twit

The Blue Ribbon Glee Club performs “Waiting Room” by Fugazi:

circuitously via Your Daily Awesome

truth, justice and punk fucking rock

by lestro

Punk rock is the true American art form.

In its purest forms, punk rock is simply a rage of personal freedom and anti-authority that is at the very heart of the American idea. That simple reflex – “fuck you, I don’t have to do what you say” – is what not only founded the nation, but continues to permeate every aspect of American life.

That challenge, that question, that pushback against being told what to do and how to live, it IS the American experience.

Every culture that comes into the melting pot comes here for the same reason: the simple freedom to question.

And no matter what, through even the tightest of home cultures, America – the idea of America – persists and infects.

Read more of this post

a last hurrah for the cowboy mafia

by twit

as if we didn’t see it coming

Who wanted to hear from dismal economists warning that the whole thing was, in effect, a giant Ponzi scheme?

so do we really have to give away $100 billion to the folks sitting at the top of the pyramid?

The federal government theoretically will be repaid what it’s loaned except for $100 billion in losses incurred from buying some assets above market value.

Read more of this post

Cheney charged with organized criminal activity

by twit

update! From the AP on November 19, 2008:

A Texas judge has set a Friday arraignment for Vice President Dick Cheney, former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and others named in indictments accusing them of responsibility for prisoner abuse in a federal detention center.

So says the AP on November 18, 2008:

Cheney is charged with engaging in an organized criminal activity related to the vice president’s investment in the Vanguard Group, which holds financial interests in the private prison companies running the federal detention centers. It accuses Cheney of a conflict of interest and “at least misdemeanor assaults” on detainees because of his link to the prison companies.

Gonzalez, too!

The indictment accuses Gonzales of using his position while in office to stop an investigation in 2006 into abuses at one of the privately-run prisons.

and this is cute:

Regarding the indictments targeting the public officials, [District Attorney] Guerra said, “the grand jury is the one that made those decisions, not me.”

but before we get too excited:

The indictment returned Monday has not yet been signed by the presiding judge, and no action can be taken until that happens.

Read more of this post

Peace Through Music

by twit

with thanks to Weberence:

and Playing For Change.

Election Day!

by twit

Wake Up, America!

Win or lose

by twit

Tomorrow is the dawn of a new era.

In the meantime, while we wait for tomorrow to arrive:

You Can Vote However You Like

by twit

via Breitbart:

Time: “You Can Vote However You Like,” inspired by rapper T.I.’s hit “Whatever You Like,” has swept across the Internet over the past few days, amassing nearly 300,000 hits on YouTube and booking them upcoming appearances on ABC’s Good Morning America and BET’s 106 & Park.

Read more of this post

Vote 4 Hope

by twit

featuring the true genius of America:

via the Viral Video Chart

“Good evening bridge and tunnel elite”

by lestro

From Rolling Stone on October 17, 2008:

One also can’t underestimate the ability of a ninety-minute set of Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel hits to bring a theater packed full of middle age tri-staters to screaming fits of hysterical joy. “Good evening bridge and tunnel elite,” Springsteen said…

The pairing worked surprisingly well. When Springsteen sang “they’re closing all the factories down” in “Allentown,” it sounded like it could have been a Darkness On The Edge Of Town outtake. Likewise, Joel made the sweet nostalgia of “Glory Days” seem like one of his own. “Movin’ Out” was dedicated to Bush and Cheney, and featured Springsteen singing the verse about “Mister Cacciatore’s” and the “Cadillac-ack-ack-ack-ack.” Other highlights included “Thunder Road,” “A Matter Of Trust,” “Spirit In The Night” and “New York State of Mind.”

They also did ‘Born to Run,’ ‘River of Dreams,’ and ‘Tenth Avenue Freeze Out.’

But the line of the night came from the man of honor himself:

“I just told Michelle backstage that the reason I’m running for president is because I can’t be Bruce Springsteen.”

come on, who wouldn’t rather be the Boss?  that’s where the real power is…

Read more of this post

A United States of America

by twit

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., bottom right, at a rally in St. Louis, Mo., Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Associated Press

via McClatchy on October 18, 2008:

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Democrat Barack Obama drew his largest U.S. crowd to date on Saturday – an estimated 100,000 people who came to hear him speak at the Gateway Arch — as he campaigned in battleground Missouri just 17 days ahead of the election. [...]

Saturday evening, a crowd estimated at more than 75,000 thronged the Liberty Memorial near downtown Kansas City for another Obama rally.

via McClatchy on October 18, 2008:

Thursday’s first day of early voting drew record numbers across North Carolina, election officials said, as more than 100,000 people turned out.

[...] Across the state, Democrats showed the most first-day enthusiasm. Of the nearly 114,000 first-day voters, 64 percent were Democrats, 21 percent Republicans and 15 percent unaffiliateds

but wait, there’s more…

Read more of this post

Hey Sarah Palin

by twit

… just because I can see the moon / doesn’t make me an astronaut, you loon…

Via the Viral Video Chart

Read more of this post

A Vote for the American Dream

by twit

It is true that there is much to be afraid of with the ongoing demonization of Obama by the McCain campaign.  Many people are rightly concerned that it could incite people to violence against Obama.

The Politico reports on October 16, 2008:

Letterman also asked McCain whether Palin said that Obama “pals around with terrorists.”

After hesitating for a moment, McCain answered, “Yes. And he did.”

Do we want to live in an America defined by fear?  Not voting for Obama because of a fear that he will be assassinated is a vote for an America defined by fear.  It is a victory for violence and rage.

Read more of this post

Sarah Palin rallies the KKK

by twit

update: via Newsweek on November 5, 2008:

The Obama campaign was provided with reports from the Secret Service showing a sharp and disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October, at the same time that many crowds at Palin rallies became more frenzied.

You don’t need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows:

Just wow.  Via Wonkette, the Washington Post actually reports on October 6, 2008:

“Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers,” Palin said.

“Boooo!” said the crowd.

“And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, ‘launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,’” she continued.

“Boooo!” the crowd repeated.

“Kill him!” proposed one man in the audience.

So who is this nefarious Bill Ayers?  According to Palin, he is a terrorist:

“Our opponent … is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country,” Palin told a group of donors in Englewood, Colo.

A deliberate attempt to smear Obama, McCain’s ticket-mate echoed the line at three separate events Saturday.

“This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America,” she said. “We see America as a force of good in this world. We see an America of exceptionalism.”

However:

Her reference to Obama’s relationship with William Ayers, a member of the Vietnam-era Weather Underground, was exaggerated at best if not outright false. No evidence shows they were “pals” or even close when they worked on community boards years ago and Ayers hosted a political event for Obama early in his career.

Obama, who was a child when the Weathermen were planting bombs, has denounced Ayers’ radical views and actions.

Read more of this post

The Boss for Obama

by twit

via the Viral Video Chart

The Great Gig in the Sky

by lestro

Richard Wright, the keyboard player for the Pink Floyd, died today. He was 65.

I don’t know if you are a Floyd fan, but they are one of the bands that defined my high school and college years and remains not only a favorite, but a major cohesive force in the lives of my Idiot Friends.

Wright’s farfisa organ and Syd Barrett’s wild, wailing guitar were the soundtrack to many a night of adolescent debauchery as we too tried to achieve “Interstellar Overdrive.”

Wright is a founding member of the Floyd, formed in the mid 60s and along with Barrett (who died in 2006), Roger Waters and Nick Mason. Wright’s distinctive organ sound really helped define “the psychedelic sound” and helped the early Floyd become one of the most emulated sounds of the late-60s scene.

Wright contributed to the writing in many Floyd songs, as well as the vocal in ‘Astronomy Domine,’ but his most famous songs were probably “Great Gig in the Sky” and “Us and Them” from the Floyd masterpiece Dark Side of the Moon.

Great Gig” is the song that ends Side A. It is the one with the great orgasmic shrieks and no lyrics. It is a musical meditation on death, part of the album’s things that drive us to insanity motif.

After Roger Waters’ ego took over the band in the late 70s and early 80s, he and Wright clashed, which led to Wright being unceremoniously tossed from the band during the sessions for “The Wall.” After Waters left the Floyd, Gilmour (Barrett’s replacement) called him back into the fold for “Momentary Lapse of Reason” and “The Division Bell” as well as the ensuing tours for each album, the latter of which brought them to the Carrier Dome in Syracuse where a young Lestro sat pie-eyed in the worst seats in the house (they told us at one point to put our arms down because we were blocking the spotlight) for what is still today one of his favorite concert experiences ever.

Unfortunately, and selfishly, this officially means there will be no Pink Floyd reunion and tour.

However, if you’ve got some Floyd, especially old Floyd, now is the time…

Read more of this post

morning cartoon

by lestro

brilliant and I don’t know why.

it’s coming back around again

by lestro

Kick in the township rebellion!

Days after Rage Against the Machine‘s Lollapalooza set threatened to become a riot, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune‘s website has reported [viaRolling Stone's Rock & Roll Daily] that the band will play Minneapolis’ Target Center on September 3.

Making this show more than just another tour date is the fact that it’s happening during the Republican National Convention, which will take place in the Twin Cities from September 1-4.

So here’s what we’ve got: a “revolutionary” band whose most recent show at a mostly peaceful music festival incited the crowd to violence, causing many injuries to concertgoers in the process, playing a show in the same city and at the same time as a huge event celebrating the political party most opposed to that band’s message. (Not to mention the fact that the last time Rage played a party convention, things didn’t go so well.)

Read more of this post

morning cartoons

by twit

From drudge, front and center:

headlined “Doesn’t Look Like All the Others” and linking to this:

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) – Democrat Barack Obama, the first black candidate with a shot at winning the White House, says John McCain and his Republican allies will try to scare them by saying Obama “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”

Read more of this post

Slash is a whore

by loadz

Okay, we all know that we’ll never be as cool as Slash, formerly of Guns and Roses and current lead guitarist of the lead singer-less Velvet Revolver. But I really think his cred goes down a notch or two with this appearance:

“Slaash-ann, you don’t have to put out the red light. Play GnR songs for money, you don’t care if it’s wrong or if it’s right.”

Jeez, what’s next – playing on stage with a disco band?

C’mon Slash, stay home for an evening, you don’t have to go out and whore every night.

Read more of this post

it’s all viral marketing, isn’t it…

by twit

Viral marketing” videos are out and about everywhere these days, including the ones that don’t make it clear what they’re up to from the start, such as the crazy office guy” andpopcorn mobile phone” videos.

So the twit does wonder what they are selling with “crazy girl on a train,” now remixed by Ludrachrist:

via Delicious Ghost

yeah, it says you’re a fucking sellout

by lestro

So the emo/punk/rock band Alkaline Trio has officially sold out to the point where I don’t think I will ever be able to hear one of their old songs without spitting.

Because not enough people think “dark punk” when they think of overpriced athletic shoes, the Trio’s teamed with Nike for to design a Trio-branded athletic shoe.

Makes me want to fucking vomit.

It’s one thing to license a song to a commercial to try and find a new audience. I may not like it, but I understand why bands do it. And in today’s day and age, where art, design and commercialism all swim in the same lane at the pool, it’s just another delivery system.

But teaming with motherfucking Nike? You have to be kidding me.

“Seeing the swoosh and our logo on one product is unbelievable,” singer/guitarist Matt Skiba said in a statement. “The shoe looks amazing and provides some insight into who we are.

Read more of this post

First they came for the rappers…

by loadz

At first, it was hip hop, but it all finally makes sense, now that we know it is heavy metal hair, Jewish-American conspiracies and 2-Pac that cause homosexuality in Iranian youth.

via the Middle East Media Research Institute TV Monitor Project

I’m glad someone finally connected all this together.

Read more of this post

Stop me if you’ve heard this – Condi, KISS, Bono and ZZ Top walk into a bar

by loadz

United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently took time off from her busy schedule in Stockholm, Sweden to meet and chat with member of KISS, according to the AFP.

Simmons and the other band members — Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer — autographed for her a glossy concert photograph of them on stage and gave band T-shirts to Rice’s aides.

Rice said she had never seen KISS perform but she had been to four rock concerts in her life.

Rice took a second to pose for pics with the unmasked members of KISS, including this one where Gene Simmons is sizing Condi up for addition to his extensive collection of sexual conquests.

It’s not the first time Condi has been photographed hobnobbing with rock royalty. Read more of this post

Budweiser presents: The 2008 Democratic Convention

by lestro

According the the NY Times, the Dems are lagging on their fundraising efforts for their convention this summer in Denver. Smart money says the problem is that donors are wasting their money on a primary race that is being dragged out by one candidate who has no shot.

But at least the corporations are lining up to help write the platform. Promotional consideration paid for by the following :

Companies that have already donated to the Denver committee and whose logos appear on the committee’s Web site include the Lockheed Martin Corporation, the Ford Motor Company, Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Merck, Lilly, Allstate, Travelers, Lehman Brothers, A.T.& T., Visa, Target and Western Union.

Politicians are like racecars. They’re always gearing up for the next race and they’re both sponsored by hundreds of corporations, all hoping to have their interests advanced by some tool in a crash helmet and a three-piece Teflon suit.

Anyone running for office should be forced to wear the emblem of whatever toxic waste-dumper or puppy-flogger toward which they’re turning a blind eye and deaf ear.

Read more of this post

morning cartoons

by twit

and the crowd goes wild…

when it looks like obama flips clinton a bird…

and then Obama gets that dirt off his shoulders:

with a little help from Jay-Z

Read more of this post

Have fun in prison, Akon!

by twit

Based only on this picture and what I remember from the “I’m So Lonely” song, I’m surprised that it took this long to figure out that Akon is a shit-talking fraud, and not the hardened thug he has claimed to be.

http://photos.contactmusic.com/l/akon%20210507/akon_03_wenn1322476.jpg

The Smoking Gun reports on April 16, 2008:

Akon’s ad nauseum claims about his criminal career and resulting prison time have been, to an overwhelming extent, exaggerated, embellished, or wholly fabricated, an investigation by The Smoking Gun has revealed.

Police, court, and corrections records reveal that the entertainer has created a fictionalized backstory that serves as the narrative anchor for his recorded tales of isolation, violence, woe, and regret.

Akon has overdubbed his biography with the kind of grit and menace that he apparently believes music consumers desire from their hip-hop stars.

Read more of this post

Baby, he was Born to Run

by lestro

Today on his web site, the Boss publicly endorsed Obama:

http://wonkette.com/assets/resources/2008/04/brucespringsteen.jpgSenator Obama, in my view, is head and shoulders above the rest.

He has the depth, the reflectiveness, and the resilience to be our next President.

He speaks to the America I’ve envisioned in my music for the past 35 years, a generous nation with a citizenry willing to tackle nuanced and complex problems, a country that’s interested in its collective destiny and in the potential of its gathered spirit.

That should definitely help some with those blue collar voters Obama may have offended with his ill-advised and poorly phrased “cling to” bit.

But like the Wright controversy, Obama may be weathering this “cling to” thing better than expected and has significantly cut into Clinton’s lead in Pennsylvania and Indiana, according to the LA Times:

The poll found Clinton leading Obama 46% to 41% in Pennsylvania — a far cry from the double-digit margins she held in earlier polls.

In Indiana, where little polling has occurred, previous surveys gave Clinton the edge. The Times/Bloomberg poll put Obama ahead, 40% to 35%.

The leads in Pennsylvania and Indiana are within the poll’s margin of sampling error.

It is also important to note when this poll was conducted:

The telephone interviews took place Thursday through Monday, meaning the bulk were conducted just as controversy broke out over an Obama remark widely criticized as demeaning to rural voters in Pennsylvania.

This really isn’t surprising. In every state where he has campaigned, Obama starts out well behind Clinton – whose name recognition, especially among Democrats, stretches back 16 years – but ends up closing the gap and, given enough time, passing her. (This is why it would be completely unfair to include Michigan and Florida in the delegate totals without a re-vote, because Obama agreed to not campaign there, at the request of the DNC and as a consequence for those states scheduling their primaries early.)

The six weeks between the last primary and the Pennsy vote next week could actually give Obama a chance to not only catch, but pass Clinton, whose favorable ratings now hover around the President’s.

But while the more people see of Obama, the more they like him, the more people see of Hillary, the less they like her. And her husband.

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that nearly 60 percent of the country now thinks Hillary Clinton is not trustworthy:

Read more of this post

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