Thursday, February 26, 2004

Well, I never cease to amaze myself at my cheater html skills. I managed to figure out how to format this comments thing to my liking for now. I'm so proud of myself I could just shit.

What's newsworthy today? More lies from Bush about how the dems are "gonna raise your taxes" to small business owners. More gobbledygook about the Passion of the Christ, a movie that I am not planning on seeing any time soon. I watched the Last Temptation of Christ again recently and recommend that instead.

Rock the mic with the pantyhose.

xo.
Thanks to Comment This, I now have comments on my blog. I need to send the dude his two dollars. "I want my twooooo dooollars....twoooo doollars." -The Kid from "Better Off Dead."
Since we're on the subject of Jesus lately, I thought I would share an email exchange via fanmail to our site recently. Names have been changed to protect the innocent and the not so innocent:

From : xxxxx
Sent : Wednesday, February 25, 2004 4:26 PM
To : A Fan
CC : xxxxxx@xxxxx.com
Subject : Re: Jesus

ahh xxx, if it were only that easy. god gave us a
brain, a very powerful instrument to use, not to give
up. again, like a good parent, god has given us this
long life to experience things and come to our own
conclusions. it's that wonderful thing called "free
will." remember, after adam and eve were cast from
the garden of eden humans were no longer divine and
were left to make decisions for themselves. also,
when i get messages like this i wonder..."are you a
good christian" or just somebody who has accepted
christ as their saviour? there's a big difference,
and i hope you realize that. what i mean is, do you
act like christ through your daily actions or do you
just think you're saved merely because you've accepted
him. we have hypocrite christians like george bush,
or pat robertson, or the millions of americans who
favor war and capitalism yet they know nothing of the
gospels. mr. bush would never accept the likes of the
apostles or mary magdalene into his home. he would
never wash the feet of a leper, he would never "turn
the other cheek" as Jesus instructs us to do. yet
under the guise of christianity he goes on and on
about moral duty, protects the rich, and kills
innocent people half way across the world. so i ask
you sean, are you one of those christians, a false
prophet per se? i mean the average born again
christian in this country is a republican, and the
average repbulican is pro capitalism, against social
care for the poor and disadvantaged, pro death
penalty, and pro war. that's the saddest part. all
these born again christians who don't act like christ.
that's why i just want to know how seriously i should
take your message. i want to know if you're a good
person. i want to know if you do good acts. in fact,
i want to know the last time you helped someone you
didn't know. the last time you gave the shirt off
your back to someone you didn't know. the last time
you gave all your money away. merely accepting jesus
as your saviour is too easy, that's why millions of
americans do it, yet they still spend millions of
dollars on evil companies, sin profusely, hate
minorities, and act unchristian on a daily basis. so
while god may not need to prove anything to me, i'm
afraid you do. if you're going to send me an email
and try to convert me, then you better prove to me
that you're not the average hypocritical american
christian. i want to know WHO i'm dealing with.

p.s. glad you like our music, we appreciate it.
thanks.


--- "A Fan" wrote:
> I recently heard your song, "xx xx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxxxx," on the web site. If anything from this
> message, I hope you realize that God does not have
> to
> prove anything to you. Give it up. If you want
> proof, give it up. Stop trying to control your
> life.
> If life has shown you anything, it is that you can't
> go through life with expectations of anyone, even
> God.
> Realize that you will be happier if you ask Christ
> to
> take control. Give up. Just try it. If you are
> truly tired of looking for answers, let the answers
> come to you. Allow Christ to take control instead
> of
> saying, "God, show yourself." I've already been
> down
> that road. I eventually got tired and realized I
> was
> helpless and I have no power in my solitary, selfish
> soul. If you come to the end of your rope in your
> own
> philosophy of life, give it up. Answers will only
> come when you let yourself go. I am a huge fan of
> your music and I have been for several years. You
> have an original edge to your music that has made
> your
> recent album addictive. If only you could take some
> of my advice. I would hate to see you stop playing
> your songs and lose your lease on life. I hope you
> realize I am concerned about your life, and I only
> want to help. Make Christ personal instead of this
> big entity that you can't talk to directly.
>
> Wish you well,
>
> A fan

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

And so begins the first shot in the war between generations. We knew the debate about baby boomers retiring and how it affects Social Security would one day become out and out generational warfare. Greenspan made the first move.
In the words of the CIA:

"Even if Al Qaeda is crushed, terrorist threats will remain because of a global surge in anti-Americanism, the emergence of dozens of groups representing terrorism's "next wave" and the worldwide spread of Al Qaeda's philosophy and "destructive expertise," the nation's top intelligence officials said Tuesday."

The source of the above quote comes from the Chicago Tribune. The reason? Pre-emptive war. Chirac was right when he said that jumping the gun to war in Iraq could create "100 more Bin Ladens." Sucks to be right, eh?
Interesting article in Slate today about social decision making and how it explains the move to Kerry by the majority of the Dems. It is something I had been thinking about in my own move away from Dean at the beginning of the primary season. The article hits the nail on the head.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

On the gay marriage wedge issue, the smirking chimp says:

"After more than two centuries of American jurisprudence and millennia of human experience, a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization," the president said in urging Congress to approve such an amendment. "Their action has created confusion on an issue that requires clarity."

Proponents of slavery used the same argument a century and a half ago. Just because it's been done that way before doesn't make it right. So a shotgun wedding of two eighteen year olds who will end up getting divorced from their "starter marriage" three years later is sacred, but the union of two ladies who have stayed committed to each other for over a half a century is wrong?
I was foraging through some articles I saved in Word over the past year and came across a passage from an early Edwards speech that I pointed out here in hamradiocentral, before I deleted the blog and started over. These words ring as true today as they did then:


Their economic vision has one goal: to get rid of taxes on unearned income and shift the tax burden onto people who work. This crowd wants a world where the only people who have to pay taxes are the ones who do the work.

Make no mistake: this is the most radical and dangerous economic theory to hit our shores since socialism a century ago. Like socialism, it corrupts the very nature of our democracy and our free enterprise tradition. It is not a plan to grow the American economy. It is a plan to corrupt the American economy and shrink the winners’ circle.

This is a question of values, not taxes. We should cut taxes, but we shouldn’t cut and run from our values when we do. John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan argued for tax cuts as an incentive for people to work harder: Americans work hard, and the government shouldn’t punish them when they do.

This crowd is making a radically different argument. They don’t believe work matters most. They don’t believe in helping working people build wealth. They genuinely believe that the wealth of the wealthy matters most. They are determined to cut taxes on that wealth, year after year, and heap more and more of the burden on people who work.

How do we know this? Because they don’t even try to hide it. The Bush budget proposed tax-free tax shelters for millionaires that are bigger than most Americans’ paychecks for an entire year. And just last week, Bush’s tax guru, Grover Norquist, said their goal is to abolish the capital gains tax, abolish the dividend tax, and let the wealthiest shelter as much as they want tax-free."


Right on, brother!

Monday, February 23, 2004

Looks like Kos is thinking along the same lines. I swear I posted this before reading about Kos's endorsement. I came to this conclusion over the weekend.
Well, assuming he's still in the race by March 2nd, I've decided to cast my vote for Edwards, despite his borrowing from Meat Loaf. Incidentally, my dad, who has been a Republican all his life, informed me that he voted for Edwards to "cause mischief" for Kerry in the WI primary. As you well know, Wisconsin has an open primary. "Nobody's challenging Bush, so I thought I'd have a little fun." The old man's got a little pep in him at 76. So I guess this is a moment in history: the first and probably only time that my father and I will have voted for the same Presidential candidate. Of course now that I've said that Edwards will probably drop out before 3/2.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Now as I read over the contents of the debate again, I realized I missed a very important point: Corporate Welfare. When I pointed out that the GOP only seems to be helping people who make over $200K a year, I should have specified that in terms of unnecessary subsidies by the government to people who obviously don't need it.

But some battles aren't worth fighting. The great thing about my family is that we can agree to disagree and leave it at that.


Over the weekend I found myself embroiled in a mini-debate with my uncle, a retired Brigadier General whose views are obviously a bit different than mine. It all started when my mom forwarded, as she often does, three of his right-winged emails right in a row. One was a pilot's rant about how much of an asshole Kerry was, a rant that revealed more about the psyche of the pilot than any dirt on Kerry. The second was a post I forget, but I can assure you it was sufficiently right wing-tipped. And here is the third:

Subject: Democracy

At about the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution, in the year 1787, Alexander Tyler (a Scottish history professor at The University of Edinborough) had this to say about "The Fall of The Athenian Republic" some 2,000 years prior. "A Democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship." "The average age of the worlds greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From Bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.”

Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning the most recent Presidential election: Population of counties won by:

Gore=127 million
Bush=143 million
Square miles of land won by:
Gore=580,000
Bush=2,2427,000
States won by:
Gore=19
Bush=29
Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by:
Gore=13.2
Bush=2.1

Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush won was mostly the land owned by the tax-paying citizens of this great country. Gore's territory encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements and living off government welfare..."Olson believes the U.S. is now somewhere between the "apathy" and "complacency" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy; with some 40 percent of the nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase.

I've gotten such forwards for years, and finally I responded, but only to my mom. I'll spare the details, but my response began like this:

"Well now you've gone and unleashed the politcal beast in me." I went on to say how I couldn't understand why anyone in our family was a Republican because we can't afford to be. The GOP only seems to be helping people who make over $200K a year, etc.

She decided to forward it to my uncle. We then got into a friendly but pointless debate about the role of government. Here's one excerpt:

As we keep giving to the "needy" (Dem terminology which means votes), that part of the pie which is around 70%, if I recall from a few years ago, keeps growing and we won't afford to do anything except pay for people to continue to abuse themselves.

I responded by saying there are some people out there who truly do need help and that flippin' burgers doesn't cut it for most people to be able to live in this day and age.

Here was part of his final word:
As I told your mom, never trust a politician. And two, the right to keep and bear arms is the only way our first amendment can be protected, primarily from the politicians. The reason I live up here is that we can keep out most of the trash, few have MTV or cable for that matter, and we are far enough from Madison, the peoples' republic, (or MA, CA and others) to not to hear about their tripe much. In the real world, someone has to make money in order to form a firm to hire real people. I have a small business, make far less than $100K, and am taxed to death. The government is too big and should not be the primary provider of so many.

And when I happened upon an article in Mother Jones about Grover Norquist today, I realized what I was dealing with. And that is a group of people drawn to a nihilistic worldview, who wish to withdraw from the real world and to allow the rest of us to slide down the slippery slope into that Hobbesian state of nature that more people in this country would do well to realize just where the NRA's rhetorical statement "An armed society is a polite society" truly leads: A state where the life of man is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."
Preparations are going forward for our upcoming round of tours. Two months, my friends, two months. This is a long time to be away from home with no certain job after returning. I just found out today that the parent company that took over about the time of the last tour finally realized they made a mistake in not docking the unpaid leave I had of approximately 11 days back in October of LAST year. Luckily the pain of this can be spread over four pay periods to soften the blow. Still, it was something I should have planned for. Whatever. That's what rainy day funds are for.

Here is the van for the European leg of the tour. Beats previous vans, where we were packed in like sardines with only a window on one side that didn't open. We go to Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and Austria. Most sights will probably be seen outside of those van windows. Then we return for a full U.S. tour. In August, there will be some festivals and then we are going to call it a day.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

I have officially removed the Clark and Dean for President sites, among a few others I have lost interest in from my links. I guess that is symbolic. It looks like Dean's about to drop out of the race, and Clark has already done so. I am somewhat heartened by the rise of Edwards, who seems to have the most integrity to me of the remaining two candidates that have a chance to win this thing. Dean's right, though. He shaped the debate for this primary. Maybe there's a cabinet job for him at Health and Human Services if he'll take it. I have to hand it to my home state for continuing to take the road less traveled when it comes to elections. Russ Feingold's entrance into the Senate a decade ago is evidence of that. Wisconsin has a proud history of progressivism and clean government. I wish the state I'm currently in could take a few lessons in civility from my home state.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Well the Drudge thing went limp. Some of my colleagues think that Kerry's going to win the general election. I'm not so sure. I am solidly ABB, but I have yet to be inspired by Kerry. Of course, I felt the same way about Clinton in '92.

I got into a little political "debate" via email with my uncle, who's solidly conservative and in Bush's corner. I'm a bit weary from the exchange and don't know why I bother. The fact of the matter is this country is divided across the middle. I see more partisanship in our future, when all talk of "generational warfare" becomes reality as the baby boomers retire and make our current deficits look tame.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Looks like Drudge is having himself a good jizzfest this a.m.:

XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX THU FEB 12, 2004 11:45:28 ET XXXXX

CAMPAIGN DRAMA ROCKS DEMOCRATS: KERRY FIGHTS OFF MEDIA PROBE OF RECENT ALLEGED INFIDELITY, RIVALS PREDICT RUIN

**World Exclusive**
**Must Credit the DRUDGE REPORT**

A frantic behind-the-scenes drama is unfolding around Sen. John Kerry and his quest to lockup the Democratic nomination for president, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal.

Intrigue surrounds a woman who recently fled the country, reportedly at the prodding of Kerry, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

A serious investigation of the woman and the nature of her relationship with Sen. John Kerry has been underway at TIME magazine, ABC NEWS, the WASHINGTON POST, THE HILL and the ASSOCIATED PRESS, where the woman in question once worked.

A close friend of the woman first approached a reporter late last year claiming fantastic stories -- stories that now threaten to turn the race for the presidency on its head!

In an off-the-record conversation with a dozen reporters earlier this week, General Wesley Clark plainly stated: "Kerry will implode over an intern issue." [Three reporters in attendance confirm Clark made the startling comments.]

The Kerry commotion is why Howard Dean has turned increasingly aggressive against Kerry in recent days, and is the key reason why Dean reversed his decision not to drop out of the race after Wisconsin, top campaign sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT.

Sounds like the "Character Issue" is reborn. We'll see how long it takes for it to be acknowledged (if at all) in the dailies. If it is, then I'll be worried. My guess is this would be good news for Edwards if so.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

My two cents worth on the gay marriage amendment? Using the consitution to restrict a person's rights goes against the "original intent" of the framers. Hey Scalia, take that duck and stick it up your ass! To wit:

"Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any State, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups."

Note the use of the word "only." I could not find the use of this word in any one of the amendments to the constitution. Not in the bill of rights, nor in the amendments passed since. Constitutions written in a way that does not take the long view and allow for changes in social mores fail. Ours has lasted this long because it has not. Agree?

In fact, when I searched the entire constitution for the word, I "only" found it this one time, in Article III, section 3:

Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

And in this context, the word "only" is not used as an abridgement of a person's rights, but a restriction on the definition by which the government can prosecute someone for treason. These motherfuckers like to set precedents in this country, don't they? What is all this talk about complaining of "activist judges?" These pricks are the most activist of all.

The thing that bothers me about this the most is that Bush & Co. know they can't get it ratified, but they DO know that people are gonna ask Kerry about it. And what do you suppose Kerry will do? I hope he comes out strong on this one, because if he waffles, this is going to be a long campaign. I am so sick of this holy roller bullshit. And I'm not even Gay! AND I'm married!

Friday, February 06, 2004

I would like to say this feels like 1992 all over again, but it feels more like 1988. I don't think the Dems realize what they're getting into. They've been so focused lately on Dean's faults, that they have forgotten what Bush and Co. are going to do to Kerry once annointed. They will pick apart his record, call him a liberal, call him the senator from Taxachusetts, point out that he was Lt. Gov under Dukakis, and catch him in some dumb photo op reminiscent of Dukakis riding in that tank. Kerry seems to have a fetish for dumb photo-ops. The Harley thing on Letterman was cheesy. It's only a matter of time...so my advice to the Kerry campaign is to get him to stop fucking doing that shit before something embarrassing happens. Kerry's poll numbers may well be up vs. Bush now, but there's a lot of ball left. I do not like Kerry's chances vs. Bush in the longview.

It's a shame what has happened to Dean. He really reminded me of Truman in the beginning, a common sense pragmatist with liberal leanings who wasn't afraid to tell it like it is in an articulate, no nonsense way. It looks like I won't get a chance to vote for him now because I live in California, unless he can pull off some miracle in my home state and stay in the race. I guess all people in this country want is a feel-good person who will do precisely nothing. I felt that way in '88 when Dukakis was annointed. I felt that way in '92 when Clinton (remember "Pander Bear") was annointed. Same with Gore over Bradley in 2000. What is the matter with me? Am I just betting on all the losers?
My mind has been preoccupied with less heady material this week. First, the car: recovered. After a long bureaucratic process, the end was anti-climactic: the car was driveable, so I just hopped in and drove it straight to Kragen Auto parts, where I bought two clubs, one for the steering wheel and the other for the clutch. This will never happen again.

Second, the housing situation. As I alluded to in my worst case scenario, we knew something was coming but we weren't sure what. Well, after sending us a contract, which we signed two months ago which was basically a month-to-month agreement for the same rent, the new landlords decided to send us a new contract raising the rent by 56%. They cite some loophole in the law that allows for a larger than normal rent increase due to "debt burden." But they signed the estoppel agreement when they bought the house and they knew what they were getting into.

So the war is on...

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

My wife's car was located in the Tenderloin last night at 3am. A cop called, wanted to know what we should do with it. Should I come and pick it up? Eh...maybe there's a problem with the ignition and the wheel might lock up, y'know? And no garage or body shop is open that hour so...nope, go ahead and have City Tow pick it up. BAD MOVE. $171 + $28.25 in towing and storage fees. What is THAT? It's just a nightmare of bureaucracy all around. The SF Department of Parking and Traffic is a racket, pure and simple.
I am changing my mind again. Dio for President! Somone has a lot of time on his hands apparently...
One more thought about tittygate: Dean has it right. It is silly and a big waste of time. I've decided that I am going to cast my vote for Dean in California should he still be in the race. And it's not because of his stance on tittygate, it's because of his consistency about the war, about the fact that he's a fiscal conservative and a social liberal (I still don't know why the DLC has a problem with him), and about his ability to tell it like it is. Do I want someone who makes me feel good when he accomplishes exactly nothing? I do feel a sense of Deja Vu, having voted for Moonbeam in the '92 primary, but....fuck it!

Monday, February 02, 2004

I was busy grilling sausages out back during "Tittygate," barely paying attention to the Super Bowl at that point in any case due to being upset over my wife's car being stolen. I don't see what the fuss is about. Uh, yes I do. Americans get so bent out of shape about a little boobage. Big deal! With all of the hardcore porn a mouse click away, it's a bit tame. Drudge is certainly enjoying himself I'm sure with the closeup front and center.

I find it amusing to see all of the grown men (Michael Powell, Paul Tagliabue, execs at CBS) squirming over this. Next year the halftime show is going to be Christian Rock. Unless, of course, the GOP is booted out of office. Uh, I take that back.

Really, this debate boils down to what I think is the central tension of being human: one's animal instincts (innate) versus the socialized factors that make us embarrassed over those animal instincts in the name of being "civilized." Different cultures have varying degrees of this, of course. I doubt if this were on German or French TV that anyone would even bat an eye. Until we Americans realize that these taboos are silly, people will go on having latent fantasies and buttoned up conservative types will go on with their kinky fetishes on videotape and hide the tapes in boxes at the bottom of their junk piles in their basements, one day to be discovered by their horribly embarrassed nine year olds.

I also find it amusing that different rules apply for network TV when in reality any kid in America who is resourceful enough can pop onto Google, type in "cumslut" and find a whole lot of stuff way more graphic than Janet Jackson's sun-kissed nipple.
About two weeks ago I my car got towed to the tune of $171. Two days later, I got another parking ticket for $40. Some time yesterday morning or Saturday night, my wife's car got stolen. The luck lately has been tremendous. Did I mention the part about how we're waiting for an eviction letter any day now, because our apartment of two years had been sold a while back and the new owners are planning an "owner move-in" eviction, which I suspect should arrive at any point between now and when I have to quit my job in mid-april to go on tour for two months with my band. I'm thinking the timing will be just about perfect. When I'm on the road, I'm guessing my wife will probably have to move all of our things out and put them into storage, crashing at her mom's house until I get back. I haven't been reading the "worse case scenario" handbook, but...I mean, with luck like we've been having, it's inevitable, right? Here is a message to all young people in america: to get ahead or succeed here in this country, cheat or steal.