Monday, February 28, 2005

more dutcher-riffic recordings of the casting couch! from tonight at emos:

mix tape and the never-before recorded pancho villa!


Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Twangfest details are finally settled:
Thursday March 17
1:00 Richmond Fontaine (El Cortez)
2:00 Caitlin Cary and Thad Cockrell (YepRoc)
3:00 Steve Wynn and the Miracle Three (Dbk Works)
4:00 The Bottle Rockets (Sanctuary Records)
5:00 Calexico (Quarterstick / Touch and Go)

Saturday, February 26, 2005

new hitchhiker's guide trailer!

and THIS one's got alan rickman in't!!!


adding feminist blogs to the sidebar....

Friday, February 25, 2005

casting couch on kvrx 2/15/05: the exclusive recordings!

"flying machine," "hopeless," and a lovely mike nesmith cover.

aw yeah. enjoy.

(i definitely think i'm stickin' to bass playing. no more of this shaker-shit.)

(thank you, dutcher, for the recording job!!)

Dear friends,

There are two special upcoming events of which you should be made aware.

The first: The Casting Couch will be playing at Emos on Sunday, February 27th at 10:45 with Knife in the Water, Stories From the Frontier and Purchase NY. I have heard tell that Songs From the Frontier, who will go on at 10, are not to be missed.

The second: we will be on KUT's Eklektikos with the infamous John Aielli on Monday, February 28th at high noon. For those of you confined to what some refer to as "jobs," you can listen online at KUT.org while enjoying the creature comforts of your cubicles or tractors or white rooms with padded walls... Otherwise, as a tribute to Marconi himself, tune in to 90.5 fm Austin, TX to hear us float through the airwaves by means of some sort of powerful transmitter sending out invisible waves that are somehow received through your tuner and turned back into sound, or something like that.

jo's coffee has posted their SXSanJose/Honky Tonk Parking Lot Schedule:

The South Austin Blues Review
1pm Chili Cold Blood
2pm Seth Walker and The Differentials
3pm Gary Primich

Honky Tonk Parking Lot
4pm Caroline Herring
5pm Rick Trevino
6pm Dale Watson
7pm Elizabeth McQueen
8pm Billy Joe Shaver

1pm Robyn Ludwick
2pm Alice Spencer
3pm Amy Cook
4pm Lola and the Fallen Sisters of Mercy
5pm Tift Merritt

Sinners Brunch

12:30 Tina Rose & The Jo's House Band w/ Special Guest Joel Melton

Thursday, February 24, 2005

this made me laugh. and now i want this t-shirt.

link from coyote!

elizabeth mcqueen's new album happy doing what we're doing reviewed in the chronicle! i hear there's also a review in no depression, so if you've got a copy, go look for it!

go firebrands!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Alas, a Blog? discusses the various forms of feminism.

hmmm. as i've never taken a women's studies class or thought much about my deeply entrenched personal feminism, i never worried about this before. i guess i fall mostly into the most broad definition, the "liberal feminism" camp, probably BECAUSE of my vague "girls can do anything they want to"-type feminism. definitely gonna have to think on this some more, and do some reading. now i want to know. because i am, after all, a feminist.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

don't forget...

tonight at midnight (CST) there'll be a casting couch mini-set on KVRX, which you can listen to from wherever you are! lynn, wendy, and i will be doing our singin', our playin', our promotin', so go listen to us! aw c'mon, i know you're not all that busy at midnight. you may as well listen to us. ayup.

two things:

White House Press Pool Application: Press Secretary Scott McClellan Unveils Strict New Credentialing Application to Ensure Rock-Solid Integrity of the White House Press Pool. and it's about time. yeesh!

also, paul krugman on the Bush Administration's next Dog-Wagging attempt.

...Mr. Bush has repeatedly shown himself willing to play the terrorism card when he is losing the debate on other issues. So it's important to point out that Mr. Bush, for all his posturing, has done a very bad job of protecting the nation - and to make that point now, rather than in the heat of the next foreign crisis....

M. Ward! M. Ward! Free! and Free Beer! sweet.

Merge Records + Barsuk Records + KEXP + Red Stripe Present a Party!
Friday, March 18 @ Pok-E-Jo's
1603 W. 5th St.

Aqueduct – 1pm
Rosebuds – 1:40 pm
Crooked Fingers – 2:20 pm
Jesse Sykes and Phil Wandscher – 3pm
The Long Winters – 3:40 pm
Radar Bros – 4:20
Matthew Caws (Nada Surf) – 5pm
M Ward – 5:30

**Beer Provided by Red Stripe**Please remember to drink responsibly**

Monday, February 21, 2005

so lil' deb's list has compiled a comprehensive list of SXSW dayparties, which i will be putting in the sidebar ASAP for your reference convenience...

thanks, lil' deb!!!

okay, so i just found out that Lynn, Wendy, and I (y'know, from the casting couch) will be doing an acoustic mini-set tomorrow night around midnight on KVRX' "the doug show" around midnight. and, i think, you can listen from anywhere! should be interesting, at least. that'll be me on backup vocals, the glockenspiel and the maraca. sweet.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

interesting-looking SXSW party...

March 16, 2005.  Austin, TX.  Free pre-SXSW day party at Emo's.  They'll be playing on the outside stage - here's the lineup:

I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness 5:30
Mono 4:45
Shearwater 4:00
Zykos 3:15
Natural History 2:30
Octopus Project 1:45
What Made Milawukee Famous 1:00

Saturday, February 19, 2005

wise words about democrats' waffling on the bush social security scheme, from joe victor.

also, no, i'm not blogging as much, but you know why? it's hard being in two bands AND planning a wedding at the same time!

oh dear. "buzz" bunny? "loonatics?" this is a travesty.

Friday, February 18, 2005

okay, Mouse Words points out that alas, a blog is actually written by a man.

hmmm. there was also the small point of his introducing himself, in the very first post visible this morning, as "barry," so you'd rather think i'd have caught on by myself. guess not. hey, it's FRIDAY finally, and i haven't had enough sleep all week, and i'm a rockstar, so let's just let that slide. heh.

in the meanwhile, i read enough of mouse words to be in the mood to add HER to the sidebar, as well, ESPECIALLY since she's right here in Austin! and links to things near and dear to my heart, like beerland. so she's gettin' sidebarred, as well, thanks to the Big Alas, A Barry Mixup of 2005...

need more female political blog-voices in my sidebar, yep. so i'm adding two that i recently started getting into who have a lotta good stuff to say, not to mention amazing collections of great links!

there's Alas, a Blog, ranting about sexism and politics, two of my favorite rant topics!

also, what she said! who really got me thinking about the number of female political bloggers in my sidebar. and how there aren't enough.

adam, you're my movie trailer hero!

here we go. from adam: a working link to the new, fully-fleshed out (MARTIN FREEMAN!) trailer for the Hitchhiker's Guide Movie!!!

aw man. amazon seems to have taken down the hitchhiker's guide trailer. and it so rocked. it was so beautiful! if you find it again, will you let me know? i miss it. *snif*

Thursday, February 17, 2005

OHMIGOD! the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- The Official Movie Website will point you to amazon.com, where they've got the new movie trailer for your viewing pleasure! go look and see! arthur! tricia mcmillan! zaphod! ford! they're all there! and i'm so excited! could you tell?! i didn't think so!

oh, okay, i'll post about the SXSW day shows that i'm REALLY excited about and *planning* to attend!

from: http://www.bloodshotrecords.com/news/

Fri Feb 11 '05 10:40 am
Bloodshot Returns to SXSW

Here's what's happening at the annual SXSW

Wed March 16

Red Eyed Fly
Time TBA Scott H Biram Offical SXSW Showcase

Thu March 17

Dogfish Head Party @ Bitter End
6pm Rex Hobart and the Misery Boys

Fri March 18th

Yarddog Gallery Annual Bloodshot BBQ

Dogfish Head Party @ Bitter End
9pm Nora O Connor

BD Rileys
Time TBA Nora O Connor Offical SXSW Showcase

Opal Devine's
Time TBA Rex Hobart and the Misery Boys Offical
SXSW Showcase

Sat March 19th
Dogfish Head Party @ Bitter End
6pm Dollar Store

8pm Official Bloodshot SXSW Showcase with:
Nine Pound Hammer
The Meat Purveyors
Devil In A Woodpile
Jim Jennie and the Pinetops
Bobby Bare Jr
The Waco Brothers

holy cow, i can't keep up with it. information is just flowing in. i may make another blog, or i may not, depending on how much time i have. in the meanwhile, the Donewaiting.com SXSW 2005 Music Festival Coverage blog is doing a GREAT job of keeping us all up-to-date on much of this AND has some early info on label showcases. go check them out, and perhaps i'll get my act together and coherentize all the info i'm getting. only time will tell...

the bill also includes:
black lips
year future
jennifer gentle

"Chunklet loves a lot of bands, even some they make fun of...
they make fun of all and love some, that's their style...
it's all laughs..."

and MORE free day party action!

at the Ginger Man on St. Patty's day, 3/17 (Thursday), 2PM-7PM. It's a showcase for Genuine Recordings Austin, Texas!

Should be a blast, AND great beer. No charge to get in.

Genuine focuses on the old-timey/bluegrass music in
Austin. Bands are:

2PM - Skeeter Truck
3PM - Brother James and the Choir (ex-Asylum Street
4PM - White Ghost Shivers
5PM - Boxcar Preachers
6PM - Grassy Knoll Boys

Come on down.

Gen*u*ine Recordings, Austin, Texas

another SXSW day party...

Twangfest KDHX FM 88.1 Party
1:00pm to 6:00pm
Thursday March 17
1619 South First

The Bottle Rockets
Steve Wynn and the Miracle Three

More acts to be announced.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Another Free SXSW Daytime Party!!!!

4th Annual Porchlight Pop Fest
March 19 @ The Tillery Street Theater
701 Tillery Street
Austin, TX 78701
Map: http://www.allgo.org/map.htm

all times subject to change,
stay tuned to www.tightspotrecords.com for the final stage times

1:00 Subset
1:45 Bedbug
2:30 The Winter Pageant
3:15 Palaxy Tracks
4:00 Fivehead
4:45 Swearing At Motorists
5:30 This Microwave World
6:15 The Natural History
7:00 Earlimart

Free Beer Provided and food will be sold on the grounds. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

jeff gannon? yeah, that's old news. i've been too busy to post these last few days, and i'm not about to start in on the whole issue. but i do want to point out that The Rude Pundit has quite a few choice words on the matter.

melissa's new column is up at austinmama. go read it!

Friday, February 11, 2005

wow. SXSW is nearly upon us! and i don't know if i'm going to dish out for a wristband this year, given all the fun free stuff there is to do. maybe i will, maybe i won't. i haven't decided yet. anyhow, here's a good resource for finding out about them day parties happening all over town. i'm gonna sidebar it. in fact, i think i'm gonna make a new sidebar category just for SXSW news and information, particularly the free sorts. aw yeah.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

CONGRATS to Hayden, Emily, and Abraham!!! awwww...ain't he the cutest? (they got photos! go look!) our newest lil' austinite. and with those parents, that kid's gonna be our first President/Rockstar! i'm so proud of you, hayden and em. good job. you've done a wonderful thing, and here's to many, many years of happiness and joy (once the terrible twos are over with, anyway)!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

sick kitty blogging: philip's doing better!

tonight, he's even sitting with me as i peruse the internet. don't you just love his PINK! bandages! tomorrow, i'm requesting PURPLE!

America's last attempt at 'ownership society' crashed big. ah yes, it worked out so well. ended around '29, didn't it?


Monday, February 07, 2005

interesting Women In Indiepop article...it doesn't say a whole lot other than moaning about the lack thereof. what about feist, i ask? what about whassername from superchunk? jack white's other stripe? i guess it's telling that i can't even remember their names, and they're certainly not frontwomen. if someone can think of an obvious somegirl that i've just not thought of, leave a comment. i don't want the article to be right (well, they're not 100% right. there's me (no, not exactly a superstar), in an indiepop band with TWO women in't, one of them the singer/songwriter...and i know at least one other female-fronted austin indie band personally. but really, we haven't broken out of the ranks of "the so indie that we don't even HAVE a record label..." heh.).

Saturday, February 05, 2005

saturday silliness...

You are a Folkie. Good for you.

What kind of Sixties Person are you?
brought to you by Quizilla



?? Which Of The Greek Gods Are You ??
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, February 04, 2005

remember the asylum street spankers of yore (guy, pops, john, wammo, jimmy dean, christina, olivier, kevin and stan smith, and of course, colonel josh)? well, mr. josh has a new album out, "Colonel Josh and his Cowboy Pals" as well as a TV advert you can watch. too good!

first notice i've had of day parties during SXSW '05:

Friday afternoon at the Red Eyed Fly
glurp and little radio present:
Li'l Cap'n Travis
Grand Champeen
The Deathray Davies
Viva Voce
Apostle of Hustle (Broken Social Scene side proj.)
More Bands TBA...

ahhh, here we go. jesse taylor at pandagon brings our attention to a new york times article that does a bit more of the explanation i was looking for in my last post.

"...Here are the basics of the proposal, as described in greater detail by a senior administration official than by Mr. Bush, who called it "a better deal" for younger workers, echoing President Franklin D Roosevelt:

Beginning in 2009, workers could invest up to 4 percent of their wages in individual investment accounts up to $1,000 a year initially. The maximum contribution would rise by at least $100 a year afterward.

The program would be phased in. In 2009, this option would be available to workers born between 1950 and 1965; in 2010, workers born as late as 1978 could participate; and beginning in 2011, all those born after 1949 would be eligible.

Account holders would have to choose from a small menu of diversified stock and bond funds with varying degrees of risk, similar to the Thrift Savings Plan available to federal government workers.

The personal accounts would be administered by the government; private companies would manage the investment funds under contract with the government.

does halliburton do investment?

No withdrawals would be permitted before retirement.

When workers retired, most would be required to use at least part of their accounts to buy from the government lifetime annuities, financial instruments that provide a guaranteed monthly payment for life but that expire at death. Despite Mr. Bush's declaration that money in the accounts could be passed on to children and grandchildren, the principal of an annuity cannot be inherited.

Money left over after the annuities were purchased would belong to retirees to spend or invest as they wished and could be bequeathed.

The costs of the proposal would be substantial. Presumably all of it would be borrowed, vastly increasing a swollen budget deficit.

A senior administration official put the cost from 2009 through 2015 at $754 billion - $664 billion to pay benefits and $90 billion for interest on the money borrowed. Peter R. Orszag, a Social Security expert who served in the Clinton administration, calculated that the program would cost the government over $1 trillion in the first 10 years the accounts were in place would be over $1 trillion and more than $3.5 trillion in the second 10 years.

In the long run, the administration official said, the program would save the government money, but he was unwilling to say how long that would take."

so, it will cost more to implement this plan than the amount the plan will actually save? and this, when SS is projected a surplus for at least the next few decades? great.

The official, who spoke to reporters on the condition that he not be identified because he did not want to upstage the president, said that as a rule of thumb, workers who think their investments would earn at least 3 percent a year should participate and others should not."

hmmmm. okay, but what if you invest, thinking it's a good idea, and it turns out that you're wrong? then what?

matthew yglesias gives the most coherent and easy to understand explanation of the Bush Social Security Privatization plan that i've seen or heard so far.

so, why isn't the math being done on the national news? yesterday on NPR they had pro- and con- views of the plan discussed, and it was all about the ideology. no hard numbers given. sure, part of this is because the bush administration hasn't really given very many hard numbers, but we do have enough to do at least some rudimentary calculations on the actual rate of return for the average payee into the system vs. the average privatizer. and it doesn't look good, nope. c'mon, liberal media, let's get this out into the open!

i do note that NPR continues to refer to the scheme as "privatization," against the administration's [most recent] wishes.

and, of course, krugman and E. J. Dionne on the same issue. (links from the mahablog)

actually, the more i poke around, the more articles i find doing the math and coming up short. i take it back. we're not living entirely in foxnewsland. thank goodness.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

oh, and about those "frivolous asbestos lawsuits"?

Asbestos Claims Make Halliburton Hazardous

A recent trio of asbestos-related verdicts may be enough to push Halliburton into a financial black hole. And, while few other oil service companies have Halliburton's potential level of exposure, the fear of costly litigation could be enough to push investors away from the sector.

Last Wednesday, a Baltimore jury verdict saddled Halliburton with $30 million in additional asbestos liability. While that alone may not seem terribly significant, as $30 million is pocket change for the company, the continued jury verdicts against the company are a real threat. Including the Baltimore case, Halliburton subsidiaries have lost three verdicts in three months, with liability pushing $125 million.

"Thirty million dollars, in the scope of things, is nothing," says Dan Pickering, director of energy research at Simmons & Co., a Houston energy investment firm, and a member of the TSC Energy Roundtable. "It's the data point and what it means that people are reacting to."

Halliburton shares lost 43% of their value Friday to close at $12, as news of the Baltimore verdict made the rounds.


Some still argue that Halliburton's core oil service business continues to lead the industry. While that may be true, it now seems irrelevant.

"This shackles Halliburton and its solid core business," says Pickering. "Right now, the direction of the business doesn't matter. The market has put a tight collar around the company's neck."


ooops, can't have halliburton discomfited, now, can we? better make sure there's legislation in place wot will keep their stock up. ayup.

(skippy's got a bit on this, too!)

thanks for the heads up from andy!

didn't get to watch the state of the union address last night? bummer. me, neither. i was too busy, um, er, washing the dog. yeah.

just so you can stay caught up on the themes and ideas tossed around by Our Mr. Bush last night, here's a few links for you:

the address, as prepared,

some comments on the content from thinkprogress.org,

kevin drum's liveblogging of the speech,

and last, but not least, my brilliant friend dana's summary of the entire boondoggle:

"Anyway, for those of you who missed it, here are the major threats made by Smirky McSmugpuss:

Millions of New Jobs Created! Unfortunately, the high paying ones are all in Iraq (BYOBA - Bring Your Own Body Armor).

No Child Left Behind and Community Colleges are our Only Hope! Because America's current educational standards will prepare our children for nothing loftier than Community College. Fortunately, there are plenty of debt opportunities to get your children that pseudo-degree they're dreaming of!

Down With Frivolous Lawsuits! Asbestos is friend to children!

Competitive Economy Now! Bring Nike back to America by lowering worker expectations of decent wages and benefits.

Health Savings Accounts Now! When you "own" your own health care money by saving it from paychecks that are insufficient to pay your monthly bills (let alone insurance premiums), your employer will see a greater return on his stock options, and you'll die happier knowing that wealthy Americans are wealthier than the wealthy people of any other country on earth. America rules! (With or without your diseased and dying ass….)

Medical Liability Reform! Why should insurers have to pay exorbitant claims to patients just because Dr. Community College amputated the wrong leg? Protect the rights of insurance company executives and lay off the whining. Your leg is already gone. Should he really have to forego an extra corporate jet just so you can retain the right to be a justice system freeloader?

Affordable Energy Now! Fuck the Arctic Wildlife! The ice cap is melting anyway, isn't it?

More Nukes for Cheap Power Now! Republican nukes are SAFE nukes! Honest!

Less Dependent on Foreign Energy Now! Let's make foreign energy OUR energy! Why pay for gas when we can invade the oil-producing countries and get it for free (not counting the billions we spend to kill them, of course, but seeing as that money goes back into our economy by bolstering the income of Halliburton and other American corporations, it's not exactly wasted money, is it?)

Tax Code Reform Now! Progressive taxes are unfair, and you won't want to pay that higher rate after you win the lottery or become a movie star, will you? Flat Tax Now! If everybody pays 30% across the board, fairness will have finally prevailed, and fairness IS the American Way.

Immigration System Reform Now! Immigrants will work for next to nothing, and once we let them stream in unhindered, the American people will see the wisdom of accepting a minimum wage future for themselves, so it's in your interest to open the borders and help corporate America realize its goals of being "competitive" in the 21st Century.

Social Security Reform Now!

55 or Older: A-Okay! You're gonna get your money, so keep voting Republican! P.S. Fuck you to everyone else who's paid into a system that we intend to starve into obsolescence. Sure, that sounds unfair, but it's not as if we're not giving you 11+ years to prepare for the sad fact that you've spent four decades paying into a system that will abandon you when the time comes.

Hey, Younger Workers! Social Security was Created for a Very Different Era: (Otherwise known as "The Era of the USA Caring about its Citizens") Look, you don't like old people anyway, right? If we pit you against them, you'll think we're giving you a chance to get the upper hand. What we're not bothering to mention is that we're making every effort to convert the US economy to a two-tiered system that minimizes your wages and benefits. Also… seeing as we've racked up an enormous debt that you'll have to pay off, we're fucking you from every conceivable angle, even as we flatter you by promising that you'll benefit from our transition to an "Ownership Society".

By 2033, Social Security will need to find as much as $300 billion extra to pay the promised benefits! In other words, we'll need to dig up the same amount of extra money as we now spend killing Iraqis. If we don't reform SS now, we'll have to quit killing innocent foreigners before the year 2033, and who among us wants to face that sort of tragic deprivation?!?

"Our Children's Retirement Security is more important than partisan politics!!" Make no mistake about it… those who disagree with my policy ideas are not sincerely disagreeing about the wisdom of my policy ideas. No… they're simply practicing PARTISAN POLITICS, which is just about as evil as you can get in a democracy, because a democracy is all about everybody hewing to the dictates of a single leader and his agenda.

Voluntary Personal Retirement Accounts: We'll give YOU control over YOUR money. Sounds great, doesn't it? Flattering, too! Never mind that handing your money over to private corporations will remove any hope of accountability. Enron robbed its employees of their pensions, but - unfortunately - Enron cannot be put in jail, so those people are just fucked and pension-less. On the upside, there may someday be a reckoning with a handful of executives who embezzled tons of Enron cash. On the downside, those embezzlers will - at worst - be forced to pay fines to the government, which won't send a dime to the citizens who were screwed out of their pensions. Sure, that might make you angry, but keep in mind that the government will likely give a small portion of those fines to Christian churches in the form of "faith-based" funding, which will then benefit those who don't mind feigning religious faith in order to get free soup and hand-me-downs in lieu of the independence they might have had if SS had been kept intact.

P.S. Please disregard concerns about funding all impending retirees via your reduced contributions. Bush's compelling claim to "crisis" is that there won't be enough people contributing under the current system, so his answer is to reduce the contributions of those few who are still contributing. Oh, and seeing as Social Security is also used to fund those who are disabled, please ignore your conscience when you're forced to pass the multitude of homeless cripples who will be cast aside when payroll taxes no longer provide a safety net for them.

Yay for the Ownership Society! We own YOU.

Constitutional Amendment to Protect the Institution of Marriage: Let's resolve to raise responsible, MORAL children who reflexively hate faggots & lesbos!

Culture of Life: What America needs is more unwanted babies with no income, no medical benefits, no pensions, and no civil rights!

Judicial Nominations: Rubber-Stamp the judges that I want or else, you partisan enemies of justice and morality!

Faith-Based Funding: We will continue to funnel tax dollars to the churches who helped get me re-elected. It's the American Way!

Funding Organizations to keep young men out of gangs w/ an ideal of manhood that respects women and rejects violence: We MUST deal with Pesky Negro Men and their Crappy Values now!

Justice System: DNA is a magic bullet for settling all legal issues! Get ready for the mandatory DNA database that will keep Americans safe from crime and unfair prosecution in one fell swoop, while also insuring that the government retains the ability to place your DNA into any crime scene if it wants to have evidence against you.

Security: Promising Freedom from Fear Is he planning to resign?

Homeland Security: Bragging about crap they haven't actually bothered to fund or accomplish. Curiously, no mention of the important role that Hawaiian cocktail parties for the HS executives play in their overall strategy of securing our lives.

Enemies Abroad: Al-Qaeda… Sure, they still have leaders, but we've captured a bunch of their commanders. Thank goodness commanders are more effective than leaders, or we'd still be endangered by all those leaders, which we're not, because we've got their commanders!

Regimes attempting to acquire WMDs: A charge easily leveled at anybody we want to attack, and one that obviously works. Get ready for Permanent War!

Stay on the Offensive until the fight is won: Even more Permanent War!

Pursuing Our Enemies: Double-plus Permanent War!

Support Our Military: Support them as if "our military" could be YOU. Sooner or later, it WILL be you.

Other Nations Around the Globe Have Stood With Us: Few that you've heard of, and even fewer that have stayed stood, but still….

Iraq: We have 28 Allies on the Ground! Each one of whom has sent upwards of 14 soldiers! (Didn't it used to be more than 30 allies?)

Building Coalitions to Defeat the Dangers of Our Time:
See: Eradicating Medical Coverage, Medicare, Social Security, Livable Wages, Judicial Access for Commoners, etc.

The Peace we Seek will only be achieved… (if we stop lobbing bombs). Peace is overrated.

"Recruiting Grounds for Terror" are something we need to eradicate! And the only way to eradicate them is to bomb the shit out of them, wherever we may imagine them to be.

Only force powerful enough to Prevail: The force of human freedom! Which we will eradicate through our efforts to eradicate the recruiting grounds for terror. Freedom is Terror!

Ending Tyranny in Our World! (Tyranny-Ending Begins at Home, but who's counting?)

We have no intention of imposing our form of government on anybody else. We're against those who believe in letting a tiny group of rulers control every aspect of every life, unless that tiny group is led by Dick Cheney… in which case, we have every intention of imposing our form of government on everybody else.

Landmark Events in the History of Liberty:

Taking credit for Palestinian political progress, such as it is. In an effort to assure peaceful reconciliation in Israel, he's sending Condi there next week, assuring that Palestinians will be blinded by her toothy grin, thus enabling the Israelis to kill them en masse with far less resistance.

Peace and Stability in the Middle East: Saudi Arabia and Egypt are the vanguard of political reformation and democracy in the region, Well, of course they are!!

Syrian Accountability Act… Translation: Officially Sanctioned Next Enemy!

Iranian Nuclear Smackdown Act… Translation: Officially Sanctioned Next Enemy!

Iraq: Vital Front in War on Terrror: Fighting Terrorists in Iraq so we do not have to face them here at home! Better innocent Iraqis riddled with bullets and shrapnel than innocent Americans riddled with bullets and shrapnel, eh? Hell, yeah!

Iraqi people value liberty, as they showed the world last Sunday

Election: Waking to the sound of mortar fire on election day. (Sure, it was American mortar fire, but still….). The courage of those people! They have inspired us all!! Not that we give a shit about our own voting rights, with or without mortar fire and its attendant sounds.

Iraqi Human Rights Activist: Thank you to the American people who paid the cost, and to the soldiers!

A small group of extremists will not overturn the will of the Iraqi people!!
Nor will a small group of American Corporate Interests turn over the wealth of the Iraqi oil fields!!

Freedom in Iraq will make America safer for generations to come. Too bad there will be no freedom in Iraq, and thus no safer America. For generations to come.

No Artificial Timetable for Leaving Iraq. And no real timetable, either.

We're there to achieve a result. That result will take at least 20 years, so give up your dreams of any foreseeable end to this war, puny taxpayers and human-rights activists!

Soldiers: Examples of Idealism and Character that makes every American proud! As exhibited at Abu Ghraib and Fallujah, so YMMV.

Dead Soldiers: Byron Norwood. Killed in Fallujah. Byron loved being a Marine. Loved being on the front lines against terror (and children, and hospitals, and all the other evil, menacing threats against the USA that we destroyed in Fallujah!). Let's hear it for the chunky white-trash mother of the dead guy!

We are Part of a Great Venture:

Extend the promise of freedom in our country
(except where prohibited by the Patriot Act)

Renew the values that sustain liberty (except where prohibited by the Patriot Act)

Spread the peace that freedom brings (except where prohibited by the War on Terror)

Quotes FDR (Good for quotes; bad for social policies applicable to the 21st century.)

Our Generation has Dreams of its Own, and we go forward with confidence. Because we're confident that those who follow us are too under-educated and too brainwashed to recognize the degree to which we're fucking you from every conceivable angle. "

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

I want one. i want one real bad.

of course, this one ain't so bad, neither...

(my rare guitars is WAYYY too much fun to poke around. they got your dipinto, they got your EKO, they got your teisco...they got it all! check out them vintage guitars...all in all, a would-be guitar collector's paradise!)

(in fact, perhaps i'll sidebar them. yes, i think i will.)

check it out! it's the world's smallest pacman game!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

yes, all you friends of mine who are spawning, y'all need one of these:

from boing boing.

krugman, with the numbers on exactly why the Bush Administration plan for social security privatization won't work.

The fight over Social Security is, above all, about what kind of society we want to have. But it's also about numbers. And the numbers the privatizers use just don't add up.

Let me inflict some of those numbers on you. Sorry, but this is important.

Schemes for Social Security privatization, like the one described in the 2004 Economic Report of the President, invariably assume that investing in stocks will yield a high annual rate of return, 6.5 or 7 percent after inflation, for at least the next 75 years. Without that assumption, these schemes can't deliver on their promises. Yet a rate of return that high is mathematically impossible unless the economy grows much faster than anyone is now expecting.

...[explanation of numbers, worth a read, really!]...

In other words, to believe in a privatization-friendly rate of return, you have to believe that half a century from now, the average stock will be priced like technology stocks at the height of the Internet bubble - and that stock prices will nonetheless keep on rising.

Social Security privatizers usually defend their bullishness by saying that stock investors earned high returns in the past. But stocks are much more expensive than they used to be, relative to corporate profits; that means lower dividends per dollar of share value. And economic growth is expected to be slower.

Which brings us to the privatizers' Catch-22.

They can rescue their happy vision for stock returns by claiming that the Social Security actuaries are vastly underestimating future economic growth. But in that case, we don't need to worry about Social Security's future: if the economy grows fast enough to generate a rate of return that makes privatization work, it will also yield a bonanza of payroll tax revenue that will keep the current system sound for generations to come.

Alternatively, privatizers can unhappily admit that future stock returns will be much lower than they have been claiming. But without those high returns, the arithmetic of their schemes collapses.

It really is that stark: any growth projection that would permit the stock returns the privatizers need to make their schemes work would put Social Security solidly in the black.

And I suspect that at least some privatizers know that. Mr. Baker has devised a test he calls "no economist left behind": he challenges economists to make a projection of economic growth, dividends and capital gains that will yield a 6.5 percent rate of return over 75 years. Not one economist who supports privatization has been willing to take the test.

But the offer still stands. Ladies and gentlemen, would you care to explain your position?

now, why is this plan still being taken seriously?


okay, my use of the term "proto-fascism" isn't entirely accurate and in fact, is rather fear-mongering.

but still. i've been mongered into fear by this pair of articles investigating and picking apart the sources, beginnings and roots of fascism through history, and comparison of that to the political climate in the US today.

original article: http://www.zompist.com/fascism.html

which will refer you to the real meat of the matter. warning: VERY long, thorough article with well-documented and linked sources and quotations. this takes a while to get through. i haven't even gotten half-way yet. okay, so i've only gotten through part VI, but this article is what's really got me scared and thinking. for one thing, it discusses the very mutability of proto-fascism as being one of its strengths, and how, as a result, the very aspects of our society that indicate the potential for a rise in fascist thought becoming mainstream actually seem to be ANTI-fascist (in the classical sense). the comparison of proto-fascism through history to a mutagen is particularly apt, i feel.

not to mention scary as shit.

go read the articles, especially if, as i suspect, my own introduction above makes little to no sense.

U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote:

Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror

by Peter Grose, Special to the New York Times (9/4/1967: p. 2)

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 — United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam's presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting.

According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong.

The size of the popular vote and the inability of the Vietcong to destroy the election machinery were the two salient facts in a preliminary assessment of the nation election based on the incomplete returns reaching here.

Pending more detailed reports, neither the State Department nor the White House would comment on the balloting or the victory of the military candidates, Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Van Thieu, who was running for president, and Premier Nguyen Cao Ky, the candidate for vice president.

A successful election has long been seen as the keystone in President Johnson's policy of encouraging the growth of constitutional processes in South Vietnam. The election was the culmination of a constitutional development that began in January, 1966, to which President Johnson gave his personal commitment when he met Premier Ky and General Thieu, the chief of state, in Honolulu in February.

The purpose of the voting was to give legitimacy to the Saigon Government, which has been founded only on coups and power plays since November, 1963, when President Ngo Dinh Diem was overthrown by a military junta.


think it's satire? an ironic comment on the iraq election that took place merely days ago? not at all. this is a real article, about the actual elections held in vietnam a mere four months before the tet offensive was launched.

this has happened before, let's hope it doesn't work out in a similar manner...

actually, i didn't get this from adam, or even mick. but i did get the tet offensive factlet from adam. thanks, adam!

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