Archive for June, 2007

http://www.youtube.com/v/6VdNcCcweL0

Seriously. Watch the clip. Is this a SNL sketch or something? Maybe it’s because I don’t watch TV, but this is like bizarro world to me. I honestly believe the anchors were encouraged/instructed to say complimentary things about Paris. And there’s no other reason besides “distracting the public” that I can think of that would explain why the producer of a supposedly serious news program would want to lead with Paris Hilton.

And did Joe Scarborough actually say Paris Hilton was thinking (in the clip they showed) “How do I further the Kingdom of God”?

What the fuck is going on in this country?!! Dick Cheney says he’s above the law, outside of the executive branch and all the media wants to talk about is Paris fucking Hilton?!!!!

…and people call me paranoid.

I’ve been thinking about music a lot lately. Okay, I always do that, since I’m obsessed with music, but you wouldn’t know it from this blog. I don’t know why, but I don’t usually like to write about music (it’s like “dancing about architecture” or so says Frank Zappa).

There’s an article over on Slashdot that got me thinking. It’s about the decline of the CD as a medium. Yeah, an article on that subject comes out every couple weeks, but I didn’t even read it. More important, I thought, was the ensuing discussion. It seems everybody has a different take on the state of the music industry. For me, no, CDs are not dead. I prefer my music uncompressed and pre-backed-up before I put it on my iPod. Plus, if you count CD-Rs, CDs are more popular than ever. I burn CDs all the time, whether its a copy of a CD a friend gave me or mixes from my band’s recording sessions.

Band Update – finally
Speaking of the band, I know I haven’t posted about us in awhile, probably because I didn’t want to jinx anything. People have been asking me when our album’s coming out for years and I keep telling them, “pretty soon. It’s right around the corner!” For the last few months I’ve been saying, “in a few months!” Well, it’s been a few months and it’s not out yet, but not for lack of effort. To be honest, we don’t know what the fuck we’re doing, but whatever we’re doing is shaping up pretty nice. We’ve got about 7 songs pretty much in the can — which is to say 90% or more recorded. They all need some mixing, but we’re going to try to bust out 2 more tracks before mixing begins in earnest. The songs are heavy but not punishing. They are melodic, but not sappy. They are all fairly unique but I think they will sound pretty cohesive together on an album (except for maybe one oddball).

We’ve learned so much about recording over the last 7 months, I don’t know where to begin. But we’ve also had some setbacks. I’m not blaming anybody (*coughMattcough*), but my Digi 001 suddenly went from an 8 track recorder to 6 tracks. Not good. But we’ll pull through. We’re recording all of the instruments separately for maximum flexibility (and it just sounds better in my opinion), so this shouldn’t cause too many problems. After all of the overdubs are added on we typically end up with over 20 tracks anyway, now we’re just limited to recording 6 tracks at a time.

So anyway, the band: I haven’t even told you the name yet. We’re Darkfold. We’re on UnderUtopia Records, which is our own independent net-based label and our album is yet to be named. Darkfold consists of me, Matthew R. Coon (esquire) and Andy Riedinger (esquilax). We trade off instruments. Matt does much of our singing, but I do a bunch, too. We play heavy rock music, at least that’s what we’re focusing on at the moment. The second album could be totally different; who knows?

Anyway, I’ll try to keep y’all better informed as the album nears completion. We hope to start gigging soon, but we want to get this album done before Armageddon (which could be any day now… in fact… we’d better hurry!). This making an album thing is fucking difficult, especially with 3 fulltime jobs between us. Of course, it would be impossible without money coming in. I really respect anybody who can start a band, even a shitty one, because there’s so much that goes into making it work.

Music, Money & Class
I’ve been thinking about music and money — more specifically, music and class. A question to ponder: How much music is the world being robbed of because the would-be musicians are too poor to start a band? I mean, becoming a professional musician is basically like taking a vow of poverty to begin with (unless your name is “Paul McCartney”), but you have to have a certain level of wealth before you can even take that plunge. Buying guitars, drums, amps and assorted gear is expensive. So is buying recording equipment and practice space and a van for touring. Then, after doing that you need to find time to practice — but how can you do that if you’re working all the time to afford food, clothing and shelter, let alone the aforementioned gear/space?

So needless to say, I’m kinda shocked anybody can afford to start a rock band these days. That’s why I wasn’t too surprised to find out that many successful rock musicians were wealthy before they hit the top of the charts. Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst, for instance, had rich parents to help him out when he was just getting started:

Conor: Dark? Not really. Actually I had a great childhood. My parents were wonderful. I went to a Catholic school. They have, I had money, so it was all easy. I basically had everything that I wanted anytime

Gee, wouldn’t that be nice. If my parents were bankrolling my musical endeavors I think we would’ve released 5 albums by now. Curse my middle-class upbringing! (j/k) It seems like every other star is the child of someone famous, from Norah Jones to Jakob Dylan. Rock and roll music was sparked by working class kids like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Elvis. Would those same kids have a chance in today’s cut-throat economy with all its barriers to entry?

America’s Famous Poverty Machine
So my question is: Do you have to be upper-class or at least well-off to have a good chance of making it in music these days? Do the rich people in America make the rules? Music has evolved and the bar for “good” music has been raised and if you don’t want to sign your soul away to a near-extinct dinosaur of a record label what choice do you have?

Personally, I get the feeling that we’re being fucked. The economy seems to be devised to deprive of us our hard-earned money. After inflation, college loans, housing bubbles, gas prices and the fucked up healthcare system, most people are barely scraping by. I have several friends who are still living with their parents because moving out just doesn’t make economic sense. Rent is sky-high and wages are down (even as productivity is up!). Most of my other friends have massive debt (myself included) and no easy way out.

This is the richest, most prosperous nation on earth?! Bullshit. We are being fucked by the rich. The fascist/capitalist oligarchy that controls our government is all about extracting ever more money from the poor and the middle class, not because the rich need another yacht (they don’t) but because the whole system is set up this way. It all needs to come crashing down. And at the rate the dollar is falling, it might just do exactly that. And we’ll have Bush to blame. The “legacy” they keep talking about will be one of fascism, terrorism, poverty and incompetence.

Music and class is not something most people like to talk about. It’s fair to ask, “does it matter? If the music is good, so what?” I would argue that it does matter, and we miss their unique perspectives. If you need a lot of equipment or players (like rock
and classical, respectively) the poor simply can’t play that game. And music education is already cut to the bone in inner city schools.

We’d be condemned to hearing only music created by the offspring of rich people if it wasn’t for hip-hop. Hip-hop, thankfully, can be made on the cheap if you know your way around the software (and if you have a computer) or mixer. But not everybody wants to be (or can be) a rapper. And what is the manifest goal of almost every single rapper on the radio — that’s right; getting filthy rich. (not every rapper is like that)

I don’t wanna be rich; I just want to make some music. I would love to do it for a living, but that just doesn’t seem possible these days. Signing a record contract is a great way to feel rich for a couple years before you discover the terms of the contract have impoverished you and stolen the most valuable thing you have — the copyright to your own songs. So we’re going the indie route, even if it kills us (and it might). In the meantime, I urge you to give some thought to the idea that lower and middle class folks are being shut out of the music game. Just like the other games.

I should make it clear that the most valuable commodity the rich have is time; specifically the time that comes from not having to work.

If only rich people are able to make popular, radio-friendly music we’d lose about 90% of all potential music, and we’d be subjected to endless songs about Jacuzzis, Mercedes Benz’s and Courvoisier. Thankfully, there are a lot bands out there struggling against impossible odds and making songs about real shit, like trying to pay the rent, finding their way in the world and dealing with relationships. Shit, music used to be the province of poor folks — look at all those old blues albums. Leadbelly was poor as piss, but now people think there’s a lot of money in the music game so the rich’s kids have invaded… and conquered.

Shit, the music business ain’t even worth that much, monetarily. But its cultural and entertainment value is immense! I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m whining, but I certainly have a new respect for musicians of modest means who have managed to carve out a good living for themselves without signing to a major label. I just don’t know who those bands are… -

Oh yeah — The Goodyear Pimps!

And WookieFoot! Represent, bliss junkies!

Do you know any others? Give me a shout-out!

The Washington Post’s profile of Dick Cheney reveals there is “unannounced standing order” in the White House: “Documents prepared for the national security adviser, another White House official said, were ‘routed outside the formal process’ to Cheney, too.” [/digg]

This is unbelieveable. Cheney has set up a Shadow White House, a secret one designed to give him control over information going from and to Bush.

Sorry if this blog seems like the “Dick Cheney really sucks, mkay” blog lately, but I think it’s amazing how blatantly unconstitutional Cheney’s mindset and the Bush/Cheney White House really is. We need to get this asshole out of here NOW. He has remade the executive branch in his own image, but with himself floating above the pyramid like an all-seeing eye. Sauron, er, I mean, Cheney, is clearly trying to build a dictatorship.

Somebody has called for a general strike. At this point, I’m prepared to second that motion.

The Office of Vice President Dick Cheney told an agency within the National Archives that for purposes of securing classified information, the Vice President’s office is not an ‘entity within the executive branch’ according to a letter released Thursday by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. [/digg]

See? This is why Dick needs hookers (and hooker disposal services) — being the master of a super-governmental agency, floating above the executive, legislative and judicial branches is tough work.

Hookers. Dick needs hookers.

Ladies and gentlemen of the internet, today I would like to introduce a bill for consideration by The Congress of the United States of America. Please join me in supporting this critical piece of legislation.

In the rough and tumble world of politics a man needs a chance to unwind at the end of the day so he can face tomorrow refreshed and ready to go. This is especially important when that man is engaged in the stressful task of starting wars and silencing enemies. Isn’t it time to give back to the man who has taken so very much? I hope you’ll join me in lobbying Congress to pass The Dick Cheney Hooker Disposal Act of 2007.

Full text of this important bill:

110th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 6660

To amend the Department of Hookers and Cheap Cigars Department Act of 1914, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 18, 2007


A BILL

To amend the Department of Hookers and Cheap Cigars Department Act of 1914, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the The Dick Cheney Hooker Disposal Act of 2007″.

SEC. 2. It shall be resolved forthwith that—

(a) Any prostitutes the Vice President of the United States of America, His Honor Richard B. Cheney wishes to dispose of shall have duly deposited into the account relating to her post-use period via her microchip implant a credit of not less than 8,000 U.S. dollars and not more than 1 million ($1,000,000) U.S. dollars, plus free shipping in Wyoming.

(b) Definitions- For purposes of this section—

(1) The term “prostitute” shall be defined as “a woman who for whatever reason has sex with Dick Cheney and is not his wife” and shall be used throughout this bill.

(2) The term “hooker” shall have identical meaning herein.

(3) The term “pimp” shall refer to the business associate of a hooker

(c) All prostitutes shall be supplied by Madam Palfrey or a duly appointed representative (or “Pimp”).

SEC. 3. Hooker disposal in accordance with Hooker Disbursement and Collection Agency (HDCA) rules and regulations

(a) All prostitutes must be disposed of in a method befitting the secreting of all evidence of prostitute fucking and killing from the general public. Since they never read these bills, they’ll never fucking know. Therefore, all prostitute remains must be remanded to the control of the Chief Deputy of the Hooker Disbursement and Collection Agency (HDCA) or his duly appointed representative.

(b) It is resolved that hooker remains must be deposited into—

(1) The cement foundation of new buildings or

(2) Blended with molten steal

(c) So as to ensure no evidence will be found of the Department of Hookers and Cheap Cigars Department Act of 1914, and all subsequent legislation, including this Act.

(d) Furthermore, it is resolved that Dick Cheney’s hooker disposal is hereby given utmost priority over other hooker disposal requirements, including

(1) The President’s (POTUS) Playboy Bunnys Get Fucked Department and related activities, known as Section 69-G, and

(2) all other hooker disposal priorities.

SEC. 4. It is further resolved that funding for this act shall—

(a) Be acquired by secretly re-routing funds appropriated to the Faking Unsolicited Concern for Kids, Orphans, Females and Freedom (FUCKOFF) Act of 1969 and

(b) From the Central Intelligence Agency’s (C.I.A.) Secret Slush Fund for Hookers and Blow.


You may be wondering if I’m serious. You’re damn right I’m serious.

We live in an age of unprecedented government corruption and corporate malfeasance and few people seem to care. The point of this admittedly cynical satire to make people think. In my wildest wet dream this bill would be introduced and even debated on the floor of House of Representatives. I don’t expect them to pass it; shit, I’d be the first to say they should vote against it.

Getting the bill passed is not the point. I’d just like to see a member of the House introduce it to make a point about how incredibly corrupt and evil our government has become. There are so many secret or just oft-ignored parts of the government all running around doing god-knows-what with the trillions of dollars the taxpayers have given them, it’s hard to imagine the government is even aware of what its doing.

Like an octopus with a million tentacles a few must inevitably be up to no good. A few errant tentacles I can accept but when a man like Dick Cheney take
s control of the Octopus’ cranium and controls it so effectively I begin to wonder if maybe corruption is the plan. Cheney’s deft control of the war machine revealed that corruption is not the exception; it’s the norm. And if he’s ordered a prostitute or two? Well, maybe reality is more corrupt and decrepit than my darkest nightmares.

Please, join me in supporting a bill that you don’t really support. It’s a crazy choice for crazy times.


Oh Velicirapture!

In his boundless love he can even cradle and soothe a young velociraptor. This photographic proof disproves evolution…. but if Jesus loves velociraptors so much why did he smite them with a mighty asteroid? Maybe they’re all sitting on his lap in Heaven.

Site changes

I’ve been slow with the posts lately. Part of the reason is that I’ve been screwing around with the design/layout of the blog a bit…. not enough to give y’all whiplash, but you’ve probably seen a few different iterations if you’ve been checking regularly.

I tried the cool digg/reddit buttons that show you how many diggs the story has, but I thought it was loading too slow and even caused my browser to crash on occasion. My apologies if this has happened to anyone else. Let me know in the comments if you’re having any issues with the new version, which just has static buttons to click; no javascript.

I went ahead and added a javascript-based “Top Tags” section, courtesy of Technorati, though. I’m a little disappointed I can’t edit the color/layout of that widget more, but it’s better than nothing. I’ll probably bust out a more useful navigation/label table later on, which will keep you on the site rather than sending you off to Technorati. It will include all of my tags, too, not just the most popular.

I promise to have a new post up soon; a real one! It should get your attention, too!

This needed to be said. This was a long time coming. In fact, I feel like we should’ve had this discussion and stopped the stupid practice back when I was knee-high to a grasshopper (that was many moons ago, ya see?). But here we are in 2007 and women still expect a diamond ring from a guy as if diamonds were some sort of magical talisman that grants access to her vagina. And guys know diamonds are like gigantic “No Trespassing!” signs that keep other (honest) males away. Are we really so base and banal?

Slate’s running an article about the insidious practice of giving/receiving diamond engagement rings. O’Rourke goes after the engagement ring in particular because it’s like giving a “pre-gift” gift and it’s only for their girl (the price for access?), but I think the whole practice of buying absurdly expensive rings for the purposes of betrothal is antiquated, offensive and stupid. Let’s have a look into how this scam by the diamond industry got started:

In fact, the “tradition” of the diamond engagement ring is newer than you might think. Betrothal rings, a custom inherited from the Romans, became an increasingly common part of the Christian tradition in the 13th century. The first known diamond engagement ring was commissioned for Mary of Burgundy by the Archduke Maximilian of Austria in 1477. The Victorians exchanged “regards” rings set with birthstones. But it wasn’t until the late 19th century, after the discovery of mines in South Africa drove the price of diamonds down, that Americans regularly began to give (or receive) diamond engagement rings. (Before that, some betrothed women got thimbles instead of rings.) Even then, the real blingfest didn’t get going until the 1930s, when—dim the lights, strike up the violins, and cue entrance—the De Beers diamond company decided it was time to take action against the American public.

De Beers proceeded to brainwash the public into thinking they needed to buy diamonds, wedding bands, engagement rings, matching trinkets and assorted crap. Fuck all that status-seeking consumerist bullshit. Diamonds are not even that precious. Their value has been greatly inflated by the diamond industry’s tricks, which have revoked supply and demand through the power of advertising and a monopoly on distribution. The whole diamond wedding ring “custom” is a tradition manufactured and sold to the American public through marketing, PR and Hollywood glamour.

Don’t believe me? Try to sell a diamond.

De Beers proved to be the most successful cartel arrangement in the annals of modern commerce. While other commodities, such as gold, silver, copper, rubber, and grains, fluctuated wildly in response to economic conditions, diamonds have continued, with few exceptions, to advance upward in price every year since the Depression. Indeed, the cartel seemed so superbly in control of prices — and unassailable -that, in the late 1970s, even speculators began buying diamonds as a guard against the vagaries of inflation and recession.

The diamond invention is far more than a monopoly for fixing diamond prices; it is a mechanism for converting tiny crystals of carbon into universally recognized tokens of wealth, power, and romance. To achieve this goal, De Beers had to control demand as well as supply. Both women and men had to be made to perceive diamonds not as marketable precious stones but as an inseparable part of courtship and married life. To stabilize the market, De Beers had to endow these stones with a sentiment that would inhibit the public from ever reselling them. The illusion had to be created that diamonds were forever — “forever” in the sense that they should never be resold.

When you give your loved one a diamond, you give them a symbol of greed, albeit one of ingenius avarice far outpacing your standard, run-of-the-mill greed. It’s a pretty fucking impressive pyramid of greed and faux-glamour, I’ll admit. But it is fake and empty nonetheless. Blood Diamonds, they call’em, and not for nothing.


And what are you saying about each other if you need a diamond to seal the deal? Does the man have to be a breadwinner of a certain caliber to merit your hand in marriage? Guys, does the girl not sparkle enough without a diamond on her finger? If that’s the case, let her go. Girls, refuse those rings. Your affection should not be for sale, and all you’re accomplishing is putting a guy in debt. Then you marry him in a lavish ceremony and — bingo!you’re both in debt. Brilliant.

I know we’re all concerned about De Beers’ profits and whether its CEO can afford that third yacht, but try to think of yourself first. Do you really really need a sparkly rock at the end of your finger?

If so, might I suggest quartz?

Ten Ways Dick Cheney Can Kill You


Just a friendly reminder.

… I’d actually be more worried about #11 — invades your country and lets his private mercenary armies rape, pillage and kill indiscriminately.

Freelance reporter Matt Lepacek, reporting for Infowars.com, was arrested for asking a question to one of Giuliani’s staff members in a press conference. The press secretary identified the New York based reporter as having previously asked Giuliani about his prior knowledge of WTC building collapses and ordered his arrest. [/digg]

Here’s the video:

Take note, reporters: Apparently asking tough questions is an arrestable offense in New Hampshire.

And people wonder why reporters are so soft on our leaders! Well, when the elite can have you arrested with a snap of their fingers that sort of puts a damper on things, wouldn’t you say?

This is a sad day for true Americans who believe in the First Amendment.

You’ve probably seen news reports about the supposed plot to blow up JFK airport. Pretty scary stuff, right?

No, it’s bullshit.

The JFK operation, like earlier terror scares, is almost certainly a fraud perpetuated by our government in order to terrorize the populace and provide cover for the neocons who are increasingly on the run.

Bold claims, you say. Damn right. But let’s look at the facts — ALL of the facts — before we decide. The media tends to focus on the most frightening and explosive (pun intended) parts of the plot, but they seldom go deep into the details and question the government’s motives and their version of events.

Facts of Interest
Fact One: Most of the “plotters” were in their 50s and 60s. Not exactly the spry young wannabe martyrs we’re used to seeing.

Fact Two: The plotters had no experience with terror attacks. They were still in the planning phase and they had no funding necessary to pull this plot off. And frankly, these guys were incompetent… and set up.

Fact Three: “Terrorist mastermind” Russell DeFreitas was employed by the CIA.

Waitaminute! Full stop! What did you say?

Yes, Russell DeFreitas used to work for Evergreen International Aviation, which is a notorious front for the CIA. The airline was most likely involved in the extraordinary renditions you may have heard about (basically the CIA flies suspected terrorists to other countries where they can be tortured “legally”).

The CIA Angle
I think this goes without saying, but I’ll say it: The CIA doesn’t staff it’s fronts by hiring the first moron who comes in off the street. Okay, they might do that in some cases, maybe even this one, but once you’re involved with The Agency it can be hard to get out of their wicked web. Perhaps The Agency saw how gullible and easily manipulated DeFreitas was and decided to use him as a patsy without his knowledge. Or perhaps he was aware of what he was doing the whole time. Either way, the CIA angle puts a whole new spin on things, especially since the CIA is the premier terrorist organization in the world today.

Joseph Cannon makes the case that Russell DeFreitas was a drug smuggler, possibly still working for the CIA:

It is fair to presume that the CIA vets everyone connected with its ultra-sensitive air operations. I do not believe that the Agency would accidentally hire someone linked to a foreign criminal organization.

But the DeFreitas story gets even stranger.

For someone living in poverty, he did an astonishing amount of international travel. The Complaint mentions the trip he made late last year to Guyana, where he met with various shady characters.

Cannon goes on to point out that DeFreitas claimed to be selling junk in Guyana and Jamaica, but the economics just does not add up. Something is fishy here, and it smells like DeFreitas’ connections to the CIA and the way he makes his living. How could you make a living flying garage-sale junk down to third world countries? If anything, that just guarantees an even smaller return on your investment. Much more likely is that DeFreitas was involved in drug smuggling, probably under CIA protection. Those flights probably contained more than just old blenders and slightly used toasters…

The Agency is in a vastly superior position to its mules. Mules can get pinched at any time, with or without a tip from The Agency. Then, in order to get a reduced sentence said mule will cut a deal with the CIA and do exactly what they tell him to do. If he doesn’t, he spends time behind bars and The Agency simply finds another mentally deficient mule/patsy.

All things considered, this plot looks extremely sketchy. The plotters were being led by a former (current?) CIA stooge who couldn’t manage to keep his car running, yet the media is hyping this as a foiled 9/11-style plot. DeFreitas was a former jazz musician and aficionado, yet music is banned in many Islamic countries. Is this guy your standard loner/drifter or a extremist terrorist mastermind? The truth appears to be somewhere in the middle. DeFreitas’ motivation was probably money. The Agency tells him to start acting Islamic and formulate a bomb plot and he does exactly that because he expects a fat payday. Will he ever get paid? Probably not. If you sign a Faustian bargain, don’t be surprised if the Devil doesn’t stay true to his word.

Meanwhile, the neocons are saying that we should be worshiping at the feet of Dear Leader Bush because he has stopped all of these terror attacks. What they neglect to mention is that he started them, too. Already, many Republicans are clamoring for another terrorist attack to remind people of Bush’s steadfast leadership… or something.

With the neocons’ prospects looking dim, they might just get their wish.