Saturday, May 26, 2007

Boston is reaching Critical Mass!

Yesterday I was lounging on Copley Square, gently sipping my Gatorade Frost, when it occurred to me that there were many, many bicyclists loitering on the square, just hanging out and not riding their bikes. I figured that something would happen eventually, a bunch of random people with bikes do not coincidentally happen upon the same spot at once. And suddenly, they all got up and started riding around in a circle on the square, and as their numbers reached a critical mass, they darted out towards the street, at least 100 - 200 bicyclists saying "screw you" to the jumble of rush hour cars and taking to the streets for the fun of it, for the hell of it, and I guess to remind people that there are other ways to get around besides a gas guzzler. It was all very entertaining and it made me smile. It's a regular thing, too, called Critical Mass. There's one in Rochester, NY. There's one in London. There's one in Burlington, VT. Get on your bikes and ride, bitches! I would, if I owned one.

Friday, May 25, 2007

I Can't Really Believe It

I know that nobody reads this blog, but I am on my way to my election board to switch my party affiliation to independent. Then I am going to find something...anything that will benefit somebody in someway...i am really tired of the posturing and non-action.

"What kind of democracy is this — when the people do speak, and the people's voice is unambiguous … but nothing happens?" Andrew Bacevich, Sr ( he lost his son a month ago in Iraq, he spoke to NPR here)

at least there is a few democrats willing to fight. Lynn Woolsey from californaia. Russ Fiengold
. Pat Lahey . Barbra Boxer . But the rest are PUSSIES.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Shows of the weeks

Has anyone out there been to any shows lately? It's been a stretch of shows for me: first Appleseed Cast/the Life and Times/Harris/Caspian at the Middle East downstairs - a spectacular show! I guess you'd call it extreme emo? Anyway, I got there a little late and missed most of Caspian, though they may have been the best band of the evening. They're headlining at the Paradise next week, and I may drop in for that. They're pretty heavy. Harris was pretty good, but somewhat of a mixed bag. It was like they were trying to be more earnest than they actually were, which I find kind of comedic. The Life and Times were the artsiest of the bunch, and the most bombastic. They looked like a sad bunch, and it showed in their music. Appleseed Cast was prett cool, but I didn't get to hear much of them since I had to leave early. I thought it was kind of cool that their lead guy was an oldster, either that or he was very prematurely graying. Good bands all around, looks like I picked a good night to go to a random show.

The next night I went for some headbanging action with ISIS, Torche, and Blacktail (who I think I missed). Torche was just full throttle death metal, oh what fun! Seriously, it was a great set, they rocked out and we all loved it. ISIS, though, holy shit, ISIS...they really blew everyone away, best show I've seen since Helmet with Brett. There's not much to say about it, you'd really have to see them live, and you know it's good if I'm willing to stay out past the last train and take a cab home.

While I was away in San Fran I saw a couple of shows - Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, for one. The music was good, but it was awfully dull to see live. I like performers who rock out, and this guy clearly could not rock out even if he could produce some awesome sounds from his gear. The previous band was much more interesting to hear/see, although I don't remember who it was.

Another night we went to a punkish show at another club. It was a really punky night. None of the bands were terrific, but they were all fun because they sounded so punky and like they really didn't give a shit. Which sometimes, though not always, can be good. On this particular night, it was perfect. Drunken underage kids flooded the stage and threw their beer bottles...punks puked on the were was a banner evening. The wrong side of the San Fran tracks.

And the fun continued at home this past Friday when I saw the triumphant return to Boston of Sebadoh! Even though I saw the album cover of theirs with the baby looking into the toilet about 1,000,005 times, I've never really heard their classic stuff. I have their album "The Sebadoh," but that's not really classic, and I don't think it's much like their classic stuff. So this was an evening of completely classic stuff that was totally new to me, and it totally rocked. It started kind of slow, but gradually became fantastic and totally punky (I guess I'm totally into punky these days)! They really rocked and it was a spectacular show - they came out for FOUR encores. It never ceases to amaze me how comatose Boston audiences are, though. Only about an eighth of the audience were even going so far as to bob their heads to the music...jesus, people, get some life in you! This is totally rocking, head banging music! Anyway, the drunken bitch next to me kept on screaming "Natural One!!! Naaaturraall ONNNNNNE!!!!!" So, so dumb. But other than her and the horrible cocktails that were served, it was a terrific evening.

Also, I forgot that before all of this I went to a show at Johnny D's - my friend Jonah's band The Patrons played, along with some Swedish band. Super show. The Patron's are all Alt-Country-Blues, and they totally rock live. If they ever tour near you, definitely check 'em out. The Swedish band was terrific, also - started out slow, but then totally got into it and turned sort of extreme-emo on us, although they seemed at first to be kind of Alt-countryish as well. They tore the roof off of Johnny D's. Those Swedes sure can rock.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Just give it all to Haliburton

The company that Walter Reed was 0utsourcing its care to owned by Haliburton. Honestly this administration just wants to outsource everything to Haliburton. Bush ran in 2000 on a platform of less government. I guess what he meant by that not small government but, actually letting private companies do government. If you look at most policies they want other people to do it rather than the government. Look at the faith based charity initiatives that Bush pushed when he got into office. Take people off welfare and send them to churches for help...and who really takes advantage of that? Walmart and its 38 hours a week non-full time employees who don't get health and insurance and actually have organizations and governmental organizations where employees can get help with for their families on bulletin boards. Sorry for the digression...anyway Haliburton could not get ice to Katrina Victims, it way overcharges for meals to feed the troops at war, and they could not take care of the wounded warriors when they come home. This really has to stop...or we should for get about Hillary, Obama, and Edwards and just elect the CEO of Haliburton. We already have one former CEO of Haliburton serving as Vice-President.

Monday, March 05, 2007

That about sums it up...

There was a editorial in the NYT yesterday that pretty much covered about 1/3 of what congress needs to undo. The NYT's must do list is important for out own civil liberties and our image abroad. I am pretty sure we are now held in very high regard by any group any where right now. Who knows how many moderate Muslims have been nudged from of the fence and are not necessarily enemy's of the state but are not friendly anymore. So far the congress is not getting as much done as many had hoped, but they do need to make some changes in the areas the New York Times suggests.

The New York Times
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March 4, 2007

The Must-Do List

The Bush administration’s assault on some of the founding principles of American democracy marches onward despite the Democratic victory in the 2006 elections. The new Democratic majorities in Congress can block the sort of noxious measures that the Republican majority rubber-stamped. But preventing new assaults on civil liberties is not nearly enough.

Five years of presidential overreaching and Congressional collaboration continue to exact a high toll in human lives, America’s global reputation and the architecture of democracy. Brutality toward prisoners, and the denial of their human rights, have been institutionalized; unlawful spying on Americans continues; and the courts are being closed to legal challenges of these practices.

It will require forceful steps by this Congress to undo the damage. A few lawmakers are offering bills intended to do just that, but they are only a start. Taking on this task is a moral imperative that will show the world the United States can be tough on terrorism without sacrificing its humanity and the rule of law.

Today we’re offering a list — which, sadly, is hardly exhaustive — of things that need to be done to reverse the unwise and lawless policies of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Many will require a rewrite of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, an atrocious measure pushed through Congress with the help of three Republican senators, Arlen Specter, Lindsey Graham and John McCain; Senator McCain lent his moral authority to improving one part of the bill and thus obscured its many other problems.

Our list starts with three fundamental tasks:

Restore Habeas Corpus

One of the new act’s most indecent provisions denies anyone Mr. Bush labels an “illegal enemy combatant” the ancient right to challenge his imprisonment in court. The arguments for doing this were specious. Habeas corpus is nothing remotely like a get-out-of-jail-free card for terrorists, as supporters would have you believe. It is a way to sort out those justly detained from those unjustly detained. It will not “clog the courts,” as Senator Graham claims. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the Democratic chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has a worthy bill that would restore habeas corpus. It is essential to bringing integrity to the detention system and reviving the United States’ credibility.

Stop Illegal Spying

Mr. Bush’s program of intercepting Americans’ international calls and e-mail messages without a warrant has not ceased. The agreement announced recently — under which a secret court supposedly gave its blessing to the program — did nothing to restore judicial process or ensure that Americans’ rights are preserved. Congress needs to pass a measure, like one proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein, to force Mr. Bush to obey the law that requires warrants for electronic surveillance.

Ban Torture, Really

The provisions in the Military Commissions Act that Senator McCain trumpeted as a ban on torture are hardly that. It is still largely up to the president to decide what constitutes torture and abuse for the purpose of prosecuting anyone who breaks the rules. This amounts to rewriting the Geneva Conventions and puts every American soldier at far greater risk if captured. It allows the president to decide in secret what kinds of treatment he will permit at the Central Intelligence Agency’s prisons. The law absolves American intelligence agents and their bosses of any acts of torture and abuse they have already committed.

Many of the tasks facing Congress involve the way the United States takes prisoners, and how it treats them. There are two sets of prisons in the war on terror. The military runs one set in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay. The other is even more shadowy, run by the C.I.A. at secret places.

Close the C.I.A. Prisons

When the Military Commissions Act passed, Mr. Bush triumphantly announced that he now had the power to keep the secret prisons open. He cast this as a great victory for national security. It was a defeat for America’s image around the world. The prisons should be closed.

Account for ‘Ghost Prisoners’

The United States has to come clean on all of the “ghost prisoners” it has in the secret camps. Holding prisoners without any accounting violates human rights norms. Human Rights Watch says it has identified nearly 40 men and women who have disappeared into secret American-run prisons.

Ban Extraordinary Rendition

This is the odious practice of abducting foreign citizens and secretly flying them to countries where everyone knows they will be tortured. It is already illegal to send a prisoner to a country if there is reason to believe he will be tortured. The administration’s claim that it got “diplomatic assurances” that prisoners would not be abused is laughable.

A bill by Representative Edward Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, would require the executive branch to list countries known to abuse and torture prisoners. No prisoner could be sent to any of them unless the secretary of state certified that the country’s government no longer abused its prisoners or offered a way to verify that a prisoner will not be mistreated. It says “diplomatic assurances” are not sufficient.

Congress needs to completely overhaul the military prisons for terrorist suspects, starting with the way prisoners are classified. Shortly after 9/11, Mr. Bush declared all members of Al Qaeda and the Taliban to be “illegal enemy combatants” not entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions or American justice. Over time, the designation was applied to anyone the administration chose, including some United States citizens and the entire detainee population of Gitmo.

To address this mess, the government must:

Tighten the Definition of Combatant

“Illegal enemy combatant” is assigned a dangerously broad definition in the Military Commissions Act. It allows Mr. Bush — or for that matter anyone he chooses to designate to do the job — to apply this label to virtually any foreigner anywhere, including those living legally in the United States.

Screen Prisoners Fairly and Effectively

When the administration began taking prisoners in Afghanistan, it did not much bother to screen them. Hundreds of innocent men were sent to Gitmo, where far too many remain to this day. The vast majority will never even be brought before tribunals and still face indefinite detention without charges.

Under legal pressure, Mr. Bush created “combatant status review tribunals,” but they are a mockery of any civilized legal proceeding. They take place thousands of miles from the point of capture, and often years later. Evidence obtained by coercion and torture is permitted. The inmates do not get to challenge this evidence. They usually do not see it.

The Bush administration uses the hoary “fog of war” dodge to justify the failure to screen prisoners, saying it is not practical to do that on the battlefield. That’s nonsense. It did not happen in Afghanistan, and often in Iraq, because Mr. Bush decided just to ship the prisoners off to Gitmo.

Prisoners designated as illegal combatants are subject to trial rules out of the Red Queen’s playbook. The administration refuses to allow lawyers access to 14 terrorism suspects transferred in September from C.I.A. prisons to Guantánamo. It says that if they had a lawyer, they might say that they were tortured or abused at the C.I.A. prisons, and anything that happened at those prisons is secret.

At first, Mr. Bush provided no system of trial at the Guantánamo camp. Then he invented his own military tribunals, which were rightly overturned by the Supreme Court. Congress then passed the Military Commissions Act, which did not fix the problem. Some tasks now for Congress:

Ban Tainted Evidence

The Military Commissions Act and the regulations drawn up by the Pentagon to put it into action, are far too permissive on evidence obtained through physical abuse or coercion. This evidence is unreliable. The method of obtaining it is an affront.

Ban Secret Evidence

Under the Pentagon’s new rules for military tribunals, judges are allowed to keep evidence secret from a prisoner’s lawyer if the government persuades the judge it is classified. The information that may be withheld can include interrogation methods, which would make it hard, if not impossible, to prove torture or abuse.

Better Define ‘Classified’ Evidence

The military commission rules define this sort of secret evidence as “any information or material that has been determined by the United States government pursuant to statute, executive order or regulation to require protection against unauthorized disclosure for reasons of national security.” This is too broad, even if a president can be trusted to exercise the power fairly and carefully. Mr. Bush has shown he cannot be trusted to do that.

Respect the Right to Counsel

Soon after 9/11, the Bush administration allowed the government to listen to conversations and intercept mail between some prisoners and their lawyers. This had the effect of suspending their right to effective legal representation. Since then, the administration has been unceasingly hostile to any lawyers who defend detainees. The right to legal counsel does not exist to coddle serial terrorists or snarl legal proceedings. It exists to protect innocent people from illegal imprisonment.

Beyond all these huge tasks, Congress should halt the federal government’s race to classify documents to avoid public scrutiny — 15.6 million in 2005, nearly double the 2001 number. It should also reverse the grievous harm this administration has done to the Freedom of Information Act by encouraging agencies to reject requests for documents whenever possible. Congress should curtail F.B.I. spying on nonviolent antiwar groups and revisit parts of the Patriot Act that allow this practice.

The United States should apologize to a Canadian citizen and a German citizen, both innocent, who were kidnapped and tortured by American agents.

Oh yes, and it is time to close the Guantánamo camp. It is a despicable symbol of the abuses committed by this administration (with Congress’s complicity) in the name of fighting terrorism.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Al Franken throws his hat in...

the ring for the senate race in Minnesota...I thought the video is well done. I am pretty the MSM will not take him seriously but i think he will meet and greet alot to people in the state he is running in...they are the ones who elect the State senator.

Franken will get a lot of support from the Wellstone democrats...i hope they are still enough of them around to get him elected...if only for the fact that congressional debates with be a lot funnier.

are they kidding?

I tried to watch the whole show...but i have seen cable access shows that had more flow. One week between shows and this is the crap they come up with...i am sure the people on the right with praise the show's glory...and to be really honest is not that different from trying to watch fox and friends and all their failed attempts at humor.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Most brilliant press conference ever

At first I thought these guys were a couplel of douchebags (judging from the media coverage), but their press conference is an A+ #1 winner! First up is the unedited version:

And here is the network version with commentary and extra visuals:

Awesome. I love it when the media gets shat upon, especially in such an artful manner.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Boston: Pansy Metropolis or Safety City?

Many of you have probably heard by now of the mass chaos in Boston yesterday due to a viral advertising scheme by Turner Broadcasting. Supposedly the city was shut down and there was tremendous chaos everywhere, though I didn't catch any of that. Two artists have been arrested. Last night I saw some small pictures of these devices that were placed around town, and my reaction was, how stupid could these people be, if you put things like this on bridges all over the place of course people are going to think that they're bombs. But this morning I read the Globe and saw a better picture of what these things are...and although I think Turner Broadcasting should have definitely informed local authorities that they were doing this ahead of time, I must say that Boston is such a namby-pamby city for reacting to this in the way that it did. I mean, basically this is proof that the terrorists have won, no? If I were walking down the street and saw one of these things I would have thought it was some kind of art installation. It looks like a freaking Lite Brite. You can say it's a generational thing, and there's truth to that. But it's kind of outrageous that it took so long to figure out that these things were harmless. And now two artists are being arrested? Jesus H. Christ. Of course it's the poor artist schlep who pays for the crime of the multibillion dollar corporation. I think it says something, though, that this ad campaign was going on in many cities across the nation, and Boston is the only city that got its panties in a bunch over it. Sheesh.

Update: I'm glad to see this quick reaction to the artists' arrest.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

since nobody posts here...

Newsweek's got a point

this whole kidnapping story continues to be

Saturday, December 09, 2006

`Truthiness' Is Named Word of the Year

From the first time I heard the word I was hooked, and it was great that he used it at the Press correspondents dinner in front of the president. Read more here.

"Truthiness" was credited to Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert, who defined it as "truth that comes from the gut, not books."

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I am in love with a horse...her name is Ann Coulter

The Right Brother are a right wing band with a message...check them out on my space.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Great Line

Just watching Jon Stewart's coverage of Glen Beck's interview with Rep.-elect Keith Ellison (D-MN) the nations first muslim american in congress...Stewart had a great line after showing the video. "Finally someone who says what people who aren't thinking are thinking"

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Fox News: Fair and Balanced

Here is an internal fox news memo , that shows how fair and balanced they are. You get that feeling that things are slanted when you watch, and here is just evidence your feelings are justified.

Update- Last night on Count Down, Keith Olberman first disected the memo and then disscussed the memo with Robert Greenwald (Out Foxed).

Friday, November 10, 2006

Remembering the PET

It was a solid computer.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bush + Pelosi = political harmony?

I was just remembering how Bush is partial to surrounding himself with/taking advice from strong-minded women. Maybe he'll actually get along famously with Pelosi? That would be an interesting turn of events.

Crazy times

You know we live in unique political times when the always reliably red state of New Hampshire is suddenly fairly blue. Really, this is quite an historic reversal.

GOP's have thrown in the towel. What do the dems do?

How 'bout that. The GOP quit. There's not really anything they can do now to push their agenda--and note the lack of screaming from Virginia and Montana (well, maybe a little--but NOTHING like I was expecting). Since I'm not in the States, I'm not seeing all of this first hand, but they're going out with a whimper. The GOP, for the moment, is completely wrecked--abandoned by the old-school conservatives like Buckley and Will as well as the NeoCons and the crazy right-wingers. There really ISN'T a Republican party right now--look at the right wing pundits. They can't even define themselves--look at their blogs. They're trying to pillory anyone and everyone they can.

This is a --Potentially-- good backdrop. It doesn't mean, however, that the Democrats have a well-oiled machine going (yet), or that they won this thing based on the sheer brilliance of their party. They have a ton of work to do--both in terms of running the damn congressional show as well as trying to define their own values and agendas.

If those values are aimed entirely at demolishing and humiliating W and the GOP, however warranted it might be, things won't go well for them, 2008 will be a wash, and 2006 will be a fluke. The country is in crisis on nearly all fronts, and they have to go and show 300 million people that they're going to do something about it. Depending on how an Iraq war investigation is run, and to what extent it drains the resources and attention of congress, I could support it. Bush's seeming reconciliation is nothing more than a ploy to cover his own ass--we all know that. The last 6 years shouldn't go unpunished. But, that said, what I want to see is the Dems get shit done. I want to seem them demonstrate that they are a strong, functional political party, and one that is representative of the general will of the US. No games. If they can get W to crawl out of the Oval Office in shame, great. But don't let it get in the way of getting stuff FIXED.

That's the point of this whole diatribe--my issue isn't really whether the dems try to be progressive, or bi-partisan, angry or conciliatory. I want to see a powerful, principled party out of this--a goddamn juggernaut that will inspire people to vote for them even if they don't agree with everything on the agenda du jour--because they get things DONE. If that happens, there really wouldn't be much of a danger of them being too much like the GOP, OR of being so far to one side that they're out of touch.

Just some thoughts...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

This is F***'d up

I first read about this on Jesus General's website, it is from Editors & Publishers. One of the things that I hope Democratic control of the legislative branch(Yeah, I wrote Branch...AP just called Virginia for Webb (51-49)) will bring is more oversight and investigation into the toll war takes on the soldiers and the country. I hope the truth comes about what happened to Army specialist Alyssa Peterson. Some blogs comment on the potential for foul play. I guess that is a possibly a small part of the issues, but really I feel it is about her and other soldiers, what they told do during interogations, and the mental well being of soldiers who serve.

Revealed: U.S. Soldier Killed Herself After Objecting to Interrogation Techniques

The true stories of how American troops, killed in Iraq, actually died keep spilling out this week. Now we learn, thanks to a reporter's FOIA request, that one of the first women to die in Iraq shot and killed herself after objecting to harsh "interrogation techniques."

By Greg Mitchell

(November 01, 2006) -- The true stories of how American troops, killed in Iraq, actually died keep spilling out this week. On Tuesday, we explored the case of Kenny Stanton Jr., murdered last month by our allies, the Iraqi police, though the military didn’t make that known at the time. Now we learn that one of the first female soldiers killed in Iraq died by her own hand after objecting to interrogation methods used on prisoners.

She was Army specialist Alyssa Peterson, 27, a Flagstaff, Ariz., native serving with C Company, 311th Military Intelligence BN, 101st Airborne. Peterson was an Arabic-speaking interrogator assigned to the prison at our air base in troubled Tal-Afar in northwestern Iraq. According to official records, she died on Sept. 15, 2003, from a “non-hostile weapons discharge.”

She was only the third American woman killed in Iraq, so her death drew wide press attention. A “non-hostile weapons discharge” leading to death is not unusual in Iraq, often quite accidental, so this one apparently raised few eyebrows. The Arizona Republic, three days after her death, reported that Army officials “said that a number of possible scenarios are being considered, including Peterson's own weapon discharging, the weapon of another soldier discharging, or the accidental shooting of Peterson by an Iraqi civilian.” (Her parents now say they were never told about her objections to interrogation techniques.)

But in this case, a longtime radio and newspaper reporter named Kevin Elston, unsatisfied with the public story, decided to probe deeper in 2005, "just on a hunch," he told E&P today. He made "hundreds of phone calls" to the military and couldn't get anywhere, so he filed a Freedom of Information Act request. When the documents of the official investigation of her death arrived, they contained bombshell revelations. Here’s what the Flagstaff public radio station, KNAU, where Elston now works, reported yesterday:

“Peterson objected to the interrogation techniques used on prisoners. She refused to participate after only two nights working in the unit known as the cage. Army spokespersons for her unit have refused to describe the interrogation techniques Alyssa objected to. They say all records of those techniques have now been destroyed."

She was was then assigned to the base gate, where she monitored Iraqi guards, and sent to suicide prevention training. “But on the night of September 15th, 2003, Army investigators concluded she shot and killed herself with her service rifle,” the documents disclose.

The Army talked to some of Peterson's colleagues. Asked to summarize their comments, Elston told E&P: "The reactions to the suicide were that she was having a difficult time separating her personal feelings from her professional duties. That was the consistent point in the testimonies, that she objected to the interrogation techniques, without describing what those techniques were."

Elston said that the documents also refer to a suicide note found on her body, which suggested that she found it ironic that suicide prevention training had taught her how to commit suicide. He has now filed another FOIA request for a copy of the actual note.

Peterson's father, Rich Peterson, has said: “Alyssa volunteered to change assignments with someone who did not want to go to Iraq.”

Peterson, a devout Mormon, had graduated from Flagstaff High School and earned a psychology degree from Northern Arizona University on a military scholarship. She was trained in interrogation techniques at Fort Huachuca in Arizona, and was sent to the Middle East in 2003.

The Arizona Republic article had opened: “Friends say Army Spc. Alyssa R. Peterson of Flagstaff always had an amazing ability to learn foreign languages.

“Peterson became fluent in Dutch even before she went on an 18-month Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission to the Netherlands in the late 1990s. Then, she cruised through her Arabic courses at the military's Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., shortly after enlisting in July 2001.

“With that under her belt, she was off to Iraq to conduct interrogations and translate enemy documents.”

On a “fallen heroes” message board on the Web, Mary W. Black of Flagstaff wrote, "The very day Alyssa died, her Father was talking to me at the Post Office where we both work, in Flagstaff, Ariz., telling me he had a premonition and was very worried about his daughter who was in the military on the other side of the world. The next day he was notified while on the job by two army officers. Never has a daughter been so missed or so loved than she was and has been by her Father since that fateful September day in 2003. He has been the most broken man I have ever seen.”

An A.W. from Los Angeles wrote: "I met Alyssa only once during a weekend surfing trip while she was at DLI. Although our encounter was brief, she made a lasting impression. We did not know each other well, but I was blown away by her genuine, sincere, sweet nature. I don’t know how else to put it-- she was just nice. ... I was devastated to here of her death. I couldn’t understand why it had to happen to such a wonderful person.”

Finally, Daryl K. Tabor of Ashland City, Tenn., who had met her as a journalist in Iraq for the Kentucky New Era paper in Hopkinsville: "Since learning of her death, I cannot get the image of the last time I saw her out of my mind. We were walking out of the tent in Kuwait to be briefed on our flights into Iraq as I stepped aside to let her out first. Her smile was brighter than the hot desert sun. Peterson was the only soldier I interacted with that I know died in Iraq. I am truly sorry I had to know any."

UPDATE: A Friday report in The Arizona Daily Sun of Flagstaff reveals that Spc. Peterson's mother, Bobbi Peterson, reached at her home in northern Arizona, said that neither she nor her husband Richard has received any official documents that contained information outlined in the KNAU report. "Until she and Richard have had an opportunity to read the documents, she said she is unable to comment," the newspaper reported.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Democrats have the house back

I think when the house went rebublican during the 1993 elections the democrats had held the house for 40 some old years. I hope the next couple of years are more productive then the last 13 years.

So far...

It has been ok...Looks like the senate with stay republican the house will likely go democratic...A bitter sweet half an hour...Just saw Rick "man on dog" Santorum give his concession speech...but as I type Ted Lamont just gave his.

Monday, November 06, 2006

One of the bests ads this season

I don't remember political ads and the political atmosphere being this combative and negative.(here is a story about negative ads backfiring against Bernie Sanders) I hope that the change in the house and possibly the senate does not result in more of the same nonsense. My hope is that the democrats do not seek retribution for the last couple of years, but actually try and make things better as most democratic contenders have promised across the country. Anyway, the reason I started this post was becuase of an ad I just saw from the Septemberfund. It really made me laugh, even though the subject is so sad.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The coming election

There's a site,, that pulls polling data for all active Senate/House races this election cycle... It's fantastic - I've been looking for something like this online and here it is. Easily digestible and understandable, and this site did a good job with the 2004 election.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Disturbing the peace

Friday, October 13, 2006

Good news

Jeb Bush gets chased by angry mob!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

If you read one magazine this month

You should read the Atlantic Monthly! The issue you should read may be off the shelves by has this cover:

I've read the North Korea article, which explains the NK situation rather well, and an article on how prosecuting alleged terrorists is now determined by their intent, and not their actions. It's something that I've thought a lot about, but it's the first article I've read that addresses the issue. You can read it on the Atlantic's website, but you have to pay for a subscription.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

It is unbelivable...

I discovered this while look at posts about woodards books and I really could not believe it. I am really getting tired of it. The nerve of some people.

Tammy Duckworth, Democratic candidate for Congress from Illinois and combat veteran. Tammy lost both legs in a helicopter crash. Hearing the charge that she wanted to cut and run, Tammy said:

"Well, I didn't cut and run, Mr. President. Like so many others, I proudly fought and sacrificed,; Duckworth said. "My helicopter was shot down long after you proclaimed 'mission accomplished."

It is really looking like this representative Foley is very similar to the catholic priest is possible that many high ranking rebublican house memebers new about the pervert's behavior for over a year. Foley was even in charge of house sub commitee on Missing and Exploited children or something like that...but it is just sick.

I got the Tammy Duckworth Quote off of a blog by Larry Johnson at No Quater

Friday, September 29, 2006


Gutless f***ing wonders.

This is the only good that could possibly come out of the passage of the detainee bill.


UPDATE: I'm happy to hear this!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Daily Show does it again

Last night on the daily show Jon Stewart brought a perpective to the reporting of the Clinton - Wallace/Fox news incident that shows how sad the mainstream media really is and how much they just echo each other matter what the name of the channel is. Tonight he did it again by bringing up that her comments from yesterday to the new york post editorial board stating that they had not been left a comprehensive plan by the Clinton Administration can, infact, be refuted by her own testimony on Aprin 8th, 2004 to the September 11th commision that they were left with a list of actionable targets. I can't find video from the show yet. I can not believe that the research staff of The Daily show is better than CNN's.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Ned Lamont wrote a letter to Lieberman

Here is a link to an open letter Lamont wrote to Liberman reagarding the National Intelligence Estimate. The part of the report that has been leaked reinforces what most people with commom sense already knew. That bullying does not do anybody any good. In schools it leads to columbine's and in countries it leads to insurgancy. Oh, by the way it is not a war or civil war or and occupation anymore....because the prez sez that it is just a comma in history. The invasion of Grenada is a comma, not Iraq after over 2,700 dead service men and women, 150,000 Iraqi's, and 11.5 million dollars an hour.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Senator Reid and Durbin

This exchange on the senate floor is something rarely seen from democrats. I am not sure how many people saw it since it was on C-Span. I know it was not on the main stream media. I found it on crooksandliars. Its funny and sad all at the same time. It basically summarizes that is wrong with the administration. It was a inovatice approach to calling attention to this article which appeared in the Sunday Washington Post. The author was also interviewed on Fresh Air (20min). In both the article and interview he give specific examples and concrete evidence of why Iraq has turned in to such a Fiasco which was destined to go south from the beginning. Sometimes I wonder where we would be if more questions were asked from the beginning. How loud would have been loud enough to break through the "patriotic" silence leading up to the war.

"The decision to send the loyal and the willing instead of the best and the brightest is now regarded by many people involved in the 3 1/2 -year effort to stabilize and rebuild Iraq as one of the Bush administration's gravest errors." -Rajiv Chandrasekaran

Saturday, September 09, 2006

the gifted children

for the past month, due to techincal difficulties with my car cd player(i think a paper labeled wedding parting gift cd got stuck and sequestered the last to cd's), I have only been able to play two CD's and I have a weekly commute from Plattsburgh, NY to Albany, NY that takes me through a radio dead zone in the adirondacks that limits me to some evangelical jiber jabber, Vermont NPR ( which plays mostly classical), E-Z listening ( usually Delilah at all must know the show). What are those CD's you ask? one is a cd compilations of some current hip-hop stuff from a white co-worker who wanted to drop some knowledge on me...its OK the only artists i recognize are kanye west and Jay-z. the other is Color fast Anthems by the gifted children. so I have had a chance to listen to this cd alot in the past few weeks...I have to say that at 2 in the morning driving from albany to plattsburgh last night it dawned on me this is a nice nice little disc both musically and lyrically...those of you that have a copy hanging around...take a takes you back to your college days and i hope gives you a good visceral feeling of how those time were and what we were like and doing back then...i have a few cds that i pop in everonce in while to go back those times good or house painters- songs for a blue guitar. Radiohead- the bends. REM- Automatic for the people. Ani Difranco - out of range. Barenaked ladies - gordon... i now have to say that i will add color fast anthems to that list...i have no reason to make this assertion or do I? (well maybe I reunion weekend is coming up and i might crash with jeff) i am not sure what the artists think about this cd now...they have definetly evolved since then...i will keep it some where with in reach...definetly as mp3's on my carputer...carputer? yeah, a new project i am working on and will post pictures soon.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I rode the dragon's wing!

For you Rochesterians who missed out (and you know who you are!) on the Asia show at the Water Street Music Hall, you totally missed out! They played at Avalon last night, and totally rocked, a bunch of progrock fogeys having a terrific time. Here's my review:

Walking past Avalon on my way to meet my friend Blake, I notice that there's a growing line of older, balding, fat, geeky looking men (and a middle-aged woman) streaming out of the club door. Oh my god, I think to myself, this could end up being an absolutely horrific experience. At the very least, though, it will be interesting!

Arriving at Avalon laer on with Blake, we see that the male/female ratio at the show is something like 4 to 1. The over-30/under-30 ratio is probably like 9 to1, with the 1 being a Berklee guitar student who wants to take a gander at Legendary Guitar God Steve Howe. Finding myself among a crowd as different from me as when I saw Helmet at Axis, I giggle a little and start wondering if this is going to be disastrous show.

Prog-pomp classical music belts out of the speakers. Literally, seeing as how the tune is "Pomp and Circumstance" by Elgar. It's good to see these guys have a sense of humor (it's generally true that the older prog musicians get, the more they understand how pompous a lot of their music is. But they still revel in it). The band gets on stage to cheers and applause - Steve Howe as rail thin and ugly as ever, sporting a very 70s flowery shirt, John Wetton fat and drunk looking, Carl Palmer in amazingly good shape for his age (I guess that probaby goes with drumming), and Geoff Downes looking like he never left the 80s. John Wetton wore a shirt that read "ALEA JACTA EST," which upon investigation I found to mean "the die is cast," as said by Julius Caesar at some point in his career.

The first song begins - I'd been guessing with Blake what would be the opener, we were both wrong - and I can't remember what it is, but it sounds familiar. It turns out that it's one of my favorite tunes from their first album that I've totally forgotten about, "Time and Time Again." The mix is really bass and drum heavy, the guitars get a bit louder, but the keys are lost in the mix unless it's a solo (the mix was fixed later on, not perfectly, but good enough).

They were all rocking, and it was pretty fantastic. John Wetton played like a bass ace who'd had one drink too many. Carl Palmer was crazy on the drums. Steve Howe made his funny faces during his guitar solos. They were all a bit rusty and having a good time of it.

They played every single song off of their debut, and just a couple from their second album. During "Sole Survivor," John Wetton kept on raising his index finger in the air as if to indicate, "Just one, single, sole survivor," in case we were confused about that. It was pretty funny. One of the tunes they played, "Cutting It Fine," I had again totally forgotten about, and it totally rocked. So many arpeggios and riffs to fit into a 4 to 5 minute tune!

And then there were the non-Asia tunes they played. "Roundabout" was a predictable choice, and they did an OK job with it. Steve Howe got 2 old tunes to play, as he did "The Clap," also, which of course everyone clapped along to. Carl Palmer's tune was "Fanfare for the Common Man," which made for a surprisingly entertaining prog-jam. It really rocked. John Wetton's bass shook the place. In a strange move, they played "In the Court of the Crimson King," which is a huge mystery since Wetton didn't even play on that; Greg Lake did. Who knows? The 80s Moment of Zen came when the band played "Video Killed the Radio Star," which was a surprise, though I guess it shouldn't have been. It was one of those audience bonding moments. Good Times. John Wetton sang through a megaphone, and Geoff Downes brought out his Synthaxe. Brought the house down. They hadn't had this good a time since 1982.

Not surprisingly, they ended with "Heat of the Moment," which the crowd of course went totally nuts for. The concert was well worth the money, and my only regret is that I wasn't able to meet up with John Wetton for a pint after the show. He seemed half in the bag already.

Friday, August 18, 2006

own your own republic

What's the deal with all these lofty but standardized country names? Democratic Republic of Congo. People's Democratic Republic of Korea. Islamic Republic of Iran.

Why don't these dictators just stick their own names on? Come on--Pervez' Republic of Pakistan. Mitt's Massachusetts. Chris Webbistan.

time for someone to get creative. At least the ruler of Turkmenistan (turkmenbashi) has renamed himself "Leader of the Turkmen".

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Lamont & al Qaeda

A poignant and hard hitting piece from the Daily Show. Someday I'll get cable and watch the show on a real TV rather than on YouTube.