Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Is my wife going to be thrilled?

Wow! I have been searching high and low for this Misfits 7" for my wife forever. Only 500 were pressed, and it's still one of their best releases overall IMHO.

Thanks to 7InchPunk for posting this. I cannot urge you enough to get over there and DL this thing while it's still available. Good luck finding the 7" though. Amoeba doesn't enve have it on their walls.


Misfits: cough/cool
Misfits: she

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Future of Commercial Radio?

My old friend Hawkeye Joe, whom I did radio with for many years at KFJC, now works in a very underused, and I'm sure, underaprreciated way at SF radio station KBLX: "The Quiet Storm". For years his monday morning radio show at KFJC, "The Breakfast Club" was considered one of the best shows at KFJC and in the Bay Area. He has attempted to make it in the commercial realm, but like me, has realized it would compromise his integrity way too much. He runs the board at KBLX.

Yesterday I recieved an email from him that appeared to be from an in-house KBLX memo, sent to all air personalities and staffer at KBLX, stating what they believe their on-air personalities need to do to maintain their employment. There are some amazing comments in here, leading me to believe that the future of radio is one of more consolidation, more syndication, and less diversity.

The memo is as follows:

"To: All Announcers

The following is a synopsis of the discussion at a full-time announcers meeting which we had two weeks ago. There is information you should know and if you have any questions, please call me.

Announcer’s Meeting

November 15, 2005

** This meeting is to discuss the changes in the industry in general, and focus on what will make us continue being a viable commodity.

Ratings come out this Thursday. It is a trend, but ratings information is crucial because of the intensity of competition we are experiencing. Technology and market pressures have changed the industry in a very short time and we can expect these changes to directly affect decisions we will make.

**As an announcer you are well aware of the tenuous nature of being an announcer. Your career is based on ratings and you know that public opinion can change within one ratings period. Every announcer has been let go from a position at one time or another.

This is not to scare anyone, but this is the nature of the business. What determines the viability of keeping on-air talent is a numbers game which means ratings and revenue potential will be scrutinized. Radio is now controlled by the accountants who scrutinize all day parts.

**The Bottom Line is now the Bottom Line. In other words, the focus has become “does your day part generate income”. Programming, music, and community service are no longer a part of the equation. Your day part must perform in order for you as an announcer to stay viable. If you are underperforming, they will begin to look elsewhere for viable, cost efficient solutions.

**An example of a growing trend is WDAS in Philly. Their morning show is syndicated and it’s the fourth show in their market. The issue here becomes, is it cheaper and easier for a station to broadcast syndicated programming from a fourth place rated show or should they keep a morning show where they have to pay talent salary and benefits.

**The industry will be watching how this plays out, but WDAS is one of several shows syndicated and is a sign of what is to come.

**Voice Tracking, we are all familiar with this mode of operation. One of our colleagues at a competing station voice tracks 8 or 9 stations for about $40,000 a year. This is not unique to our market. Any stations’ management constantly looks for cost-cutting and will implement what they believe to be cost-efficient use of talent.

**Another big change that is coming to our industry is the “People Meter” which will track every radio station a participant encounters. That means it doesn’t matter if you are in your car, in your office wherever there is a radio signal broadcasting, the meter will record it and credit will be given to your station.

Obviously, it will change the entire buying landscape and ratings system. Unfortunately, that means if a listener is stuck in the office where the office dictates his/her listening choice, it will register in the meter. The flipside is that the technology can actually track listening patterns and supposedly give us a more accurate accounting of listenership, but this remains to be seen. There is already discussion of how this affects Urban leaning stations and why this will still not give a completely accurate picture. They are still fine tuning the technology but by 2007 this type of measuring will be in place.

**Announcers like we have today will not exist in a few years. Right now we broadcast over the airwaves, but we also stream audio on the internet and we also have a digital channel 982 on Comcast Cable.

**This is a reality of the business that people want choices and can tune elsewhere to get them if we do not provide avenues for them to reach us.

**With the advent of automation, voice tracking, and the choices people have, from ipods, to satellite radio, to internet radio, Broadcast radio is in a state of flux and the industry must make major shifts to survive and be competitive.

**Even with the challenges we are facing, we can still help shape our own destiny and you have the ability and talent to keep the wolves at Bay.

**As an announcer you have to bring your “A” game every time you walk into the studio. You have to do everything in your power to keep people interested and listening. That is your job in a nutshell. It is important for you as an announcer to know that the more you are involved and get to know the audience you are serving, the better response you will receive and the results will be self-evident.

**“Content is King”, and this is a continuing theme at our station. You need to invest time in your show prep and keep yourself well-informed.

**Every time you crack the mic it has to be relevant. You have to have a beginning, middle and end. If you refer back to an old announcer tip sheet Kevin sent out. The Bits you do have to have a Billboard, Details, and the Kicker. The end of your bit must have that impact and must either make the listener laugh, or make them think.

You need to make the bit relevant to the music, to what the station is doing and you have to be concise. There is a plethora of information at your fingertips with the internet available in the studio. There are sites that can provide you with daily facts, music and artist facts and news. Use this tool to your advantage. Do the surfing for the listener who is at work and can’t spend time looking up information on his/her favorite artist.

This will encourage listeners to want to come back for more because you are the one providing that information.

**While this is certainly an opportunity for your personality to shine, it is just as important to be concise with your bits. Edit yourself, think about what you are going to say and edit it as many times as you can without losing the impact. The more you prepare the better your bits will be. Write down what you are going to say and edit again. Once you are in the habit of doing this it will come naturally.

**If you read the PD Advantage handouts, where listener comments can be reviewed, there are two themes that are prevalent when asked what it is about KBLX that keeps people coming back and one factor is definitely the music but another important factor that the listeners noted were “DJ comments.” Please keep that in mind when you are searching for material.

**Liners will be changing, and again this is another area where you can let your personality work to your advantage. The liners are guidelines with pertinent elements that you should use, but you most certainly can put your own style into your delivery.

**A few ways to keep your day part viable is by keeping yourself accessible to listeners, and station appearances are a great way to involve yourself with the community. Product endorsements are also a way to relate to the audience by sharing your experience and how a product can be useful to the listeners day to day activities.

**You have eight station appearance that are pro-bono to fulfill. As for paid appearances, it is your call if you decide to appear at an event. Keep in mind that your decision to appear or not appear is an important one that can have an effect on other departments as well as your day part.

When you are out at an event you not only represent the station but you also represent yourself. Relating to people will get them to tune into the station to listen to you. Again it is to your advantage if you put your best foot forward, with listeners and with our clients.

**One of our major events is the Oakland Holiday Parade and all Full-time announcers will be on the float this year. Look for emails/memos for updates.

**Changes are coming and we must take the challenges we face seriously and thoughtfully and we can continue to be successful if we keep to our game plan of being relevant, concise and relatable to our listeners in a positive manner.

**If you have anything you would like to discuss please see Kevin."

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Thanksgiving Day Massacre

I've been a Deadhead since I was about 12 years old, back in 1982. My father bought "Skeleton's From the Closet" and I just fell in love with the band from that moment on. I didn't attend my first show until 12-30-85 (first Mighty Quinn btw), and I was truly on the bus forever. Today, I always carry at least one show in my cd case, one never knows when the opportunity will arise to listen to favorite gem through their 30 years.

To see my catalogue of live music check out my list on etree.
So, when the Live Music Archive (LMA) began uploading Grateful Dead shows a couple of years ago, I was more than stoked. I, like so many others around the globe, began furiously downloading all those tasty bites from shows we had only read about in Deadbase, or seen on others lists for so long. I had collected/traded tapes since 1985, and I have over 1000 hours. When LMA put the Dead up, I had a pretty repectable collection on CD, but I truly took full advantage of what they had to offer.

What did they offer? Not only the shows themselves were available in soundboard or audience, but also a place to comment about the show. Whether you were there, and wanted to share what it was like when Jerry grinned after singing "test me, test me. Why don't you arrest me?", or you've had this show on tape for 20 years, and thank the good gods for LMA.

The day before Thanksgiving, the Dead decided to pull all of the soundboards off of LMA. They haven't, as of today, stated their reasons for this. Many are calling the Dead greedy. I consider these people to be the one's who showed up for the shows just to hang in the parking lot, never intending to go inside. You ruined the scene, btw.

I think the Dead have generally been poor businessmen through the years, and they know this. They have trusted many people, from Mickey Hart's own father, Lenny Hart, who robbed them of thousands of dollars, to Ron Rakow, who had bad ideas, and also bilked the band out of much hard earned money.

After Jerry died, it was obvious the band as a business would have to downsize. And downsize they did. Today they don't tour as much. They live off of royalties (they sure didn't have much luck with their studio albums), and of course anything they make off of the road, after the over head is paid.

If the band wants to keep the soundboards off of LMA so they can package them themselves, it's their right to do so as the intellectual owners of the works. Yes, Jerry said many times once they're done with it, it's ours. But the band needs to survive into their old age as well. They recently laid off more GDP employees, including Ram Rod, one of the original roadies from 1965. That was not an easy decision to make.

One thing that disturbs me though is what GD publicist, and acquaintance of mine, Dennis McNally said regarding the trading community. He didn't see LMA as a community at all, just the high powered internet allowing folks to horde as much music as they can, as fast as they can.

I disagree. I did enjoy the idea of searching people's lists and making the trade, and going to the post office too, but i see little difference with what LMA offers. If LMA didn't offer the an area to discuss each show, then perhaps Dennis has a point, but this is an area where we can all get together and SHARE the music. The band does not exist anymore. The technology of today dictates that we will move at a faster rate. To disallow the music to be shared in this way is to only postponing the inevitable.

I miss seeing the boys live. I love pulling out a show from any era and being magically transformed to that place above the clouds, where only the Grateful Dead can take me. The trading will live on. The band can package all the music they like. Some will purchase it. Others will boycott it. Either way, as Jerry told us, "Once we're done with it, you can have it."

We'll take it any way we can get it.

The Grateful Dead are dead. Long live the Grateful Dead!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Eight Term Congressman Indicted on Bribery Charges

Calif.Congressman Admits Taking Bribes

How great is this? In the midst of Tom Delay and Bill Frist getting their just desserts, and with the city of San Diego already relling from a scandal in the mayors office, now their eight term congressman, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, has resigned after taking bribes from defense contractors.

Is this a great country or what? I teach high school social studies, and I love to talk to the kids about the pros and cons of democracy. They all love the fact that they can vote, and own their own property, and such. What I really like are the answers I get when I ask what is bad about America? I'm not an apologist, but I have to say that we better be able to get up in the morning and look at ourselves squarely in the eye, and I mean before that morning pick-me-up, and be real honest with ourselves about who we are and where we're going.

By the looks of ol' Duke, he's not going very far right now. What a shame too. This guy is a career politician, and Vietnam vet. See the look on his wife's face. Damn, I can't tell if she's crushed or pissed. She's probably both. She probably ran the whole scheme. Old Randy is just her pawn. "You was supposed to be president. I was supposed to be the next first lady. Now look at us: you stupid fat ass! You'll hang for this."

All of this and Bush's approval rating taking the deep dive that they are, is just too much fun for me right now. Can it get any better?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Smorkin Labbits a Plenty

If you have a chance you need to get your hands on Frank Kozic's fabulous little Smorkin Labbits. They are so damn cute. I would be so proud for my little daughter to be influenced by them.

This is what it's all about

Ok, so on Halloween/Samhain, a couple of my coworkers went to Slims in SF to see Sunn0))) and Boris play some very loud sounds. I believe the bassist from the Melvins is in Sunn0))). Anyway, being the poster collector that I am, I asked Eric if he would pick up one from the gig (I was sure there would be one, though I didn't know what it would look like). He readily agreed.

When I saw him the following week (I went to a conference in Miami for a week. See entry below for November 1), he presented me with the amazing piece you can see here. I was shocked by the power of this piece. It is perhaps my favorite so far.

I was unfamiliar with the artist, Aaron Horkey, who also does skateboard art design, and I was unfamiliar with Burlesque Designs, until now. Their work is truly wonderful. The paper stock is thick, the colors are rich, and the artwork is some of the most intricate I have yet to see in poster work. I am so surprised that they do not appear in the "Art of Modern Rock" book. Shame on them.

Please check out the link, and enjoy their work. Also, one of the great things about collecting concert posters is that the price is very affordable. It's obvious to the artists that the fans cannot pay much, so they keep the prices down. Once you own the work, though, the price can rise to a good amount. This piece, I bought for $20.00 It now sells for as much as $120.00 The show was only three weeks ago. Only 250 were made. Wow! What a investment.

Should Tookie Receive the Death Penalty?

Governor dreading decision on life or death without clemency, Williams' execution is just weeks away
Williams, 51, the co-founder of the Crips gang and a four-time murderer who has become an anti-gang crusader and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, is scheduled to be executed at San Quentin State Prison on Dec. 13. . . .
. . . Prosecutors argue that a man responsible for four shotgun murders who was involved in nearly a dozen violent incidents in his first decade in prison -- before he changed his ways -- deserves the sentence a jury recommended.

Read about the history of the death penalty
More about Tookie and California's stance on the death penalty

Big thanks to Joel Arquillos for this story and the links. Check out his personal bog here.

Monday, November 14, 2005

An Active Weekend

Being a teacher can sometimes have its benefits. First, I have the pleasure to work in a career that offers a lot of autonomy. Second, it keeps me young. Third, I work with some amazing educators, each with their own political philosophies, which happily are very similar to my own. LEFT! Finally, I have quite a few vacation days, in which to enjoy with my little family.

Many of you might think that vacation days would top the list, but to be honest I love being in the classroom. I used to be in retail. Now that is a living hell! I always enjoy being in with my students, teaching them about the ways of life, liberty and the persuit of happiness. Yes, I'm a social studies teacher. Thank you very much.

With Veterans Day, I was lucky enough to have last Friday off. We actually did a minute of silence at 11am on the Thursday before. The kids were great. We didn't want them going into a day off without knowing just exactly what it was they we getting the day off for. When they're at the mall, or playing video games, or even getting stoned with friends, I want them to know that many people, soldier and civilian, died in a just or unjust war.

On Saturday, Kitty and I took Lauson out to enjoy the weather. It was beautiful in San Francisco this weekend. We found ourselves on Height Street, which is a rarity. We don't ususally dare to hit a tourist trap on a weekend. We hit up Amoeba Records, of course. Ali wanted some music, and I had to feed my jones, and buy a poster, like the little one above. Actually, that's the one I bought. It's a Chuck Sperry (Firehouse) piece for NYE 2004 Jello Biafra/Melvins show. I've been eyeballing it for a while. It's actually rather large. 4' x 3'.

I've decided to only buy one poster a month right now. It was a hard decision to be honest with you. I love the fact that these posters are so inexpensive these days. It truly is the working man's art. The artists know the buyers can't afford to spend much, so they keep the prices low. This one was $35.00.

The remainer of our weekend included a few parks with the one year old. She's about to walk; it's so fun to watch her go up and down the stairs and down the slides on her own. We also went to the 10th anniversary party for Laughing Squid. This is my friend Scott Beale's site. Check it out, but don't blame me if you get hooked, and use it every day.

I found myself actually taking about a 30 minute breather last night. Being a teacher is quite amamzing, but the work doesn't stop when the final bell rings.

Jello Biafra and the Melvins "Plethysmograph""Yuppie Cadillac"


Mother Daughter

AliKatt and our daughter Lauson Kai at the Laughing Squid 10th Anniversary Party on 11-12-05

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Compound

I feel like David Koresch must have felt like: isolated, but with a loving family that would die for you. It may come down to that.

I'm staying at the Doral Golf and Spa Resort, by Marriott in Miami for the NAF conference (see below for info about NAF). The accomodations are par for the course (did I already use that pun?) The food they are offering us in the morning is a muffin, sliced fruit and either juice or coffee. I drink neither juice nor coffee. I used to love juice, but I dislike pulp, and now the damn stuff gives me heartburn. It sucks getting older.

For lunch they offer over-priced sandwiches, and for dinner...well, I'll stop there. So, you ask, why not go off the grounds for some meals? That would be great, but the closest resource for food, away from the resort, is over a mile away. What's the big deal with that, you ask? I came with shredded shoes, desiring badly to purchase some while I was down here, and now I'll have to take an expensive cabride into downtown to locate some Payless Shoe Source to spend as little money as possible on some cheap tennis shoes.

I'm bitching, I know, but isn't that what these things are for?

I love what I've been learning? I attended a workshop on improving advisory boards. Here are my notes. Do what you will with them:

Gather student work and profile it at the next law advisory bd. meeting to help with fundraising.

how do we get professional clothes for kids who cannot afford clothes?

mentors need to talk to the kids about their attire. possibly bring in toastmasters for speechmaking.

National job shadow day.

Find the IT/Law Dept. heads from the Bay Area colleges to sit on the advisory boards. Invite the career services director from the college too.

kids should intern at the colleges too. in the IT/law depts. The two and four year colleges should offer scholorships too. Teacher's choice scholorships based on teacher's criteria (Kendall college Chicago offers this).

Competitions on college campuses. Invite college seniors to talk to the students.

Standard of conduct agreement the students need to sign.

"guidelines for Internship supervisors"

Chamber of Commerce-great resource
education committee, luncheons, be a presenter, have a student speak to them. the COC knows nothiing of NAF

Elks/Lions/Rotary/Kiwanis all have scholorship committees

Law graduation sash by holiday break

Advisory bd. meeting: invite students to present what they're doing in their classes.

Internship committees: fundraising, internship, publicity
Have the meetings at the school instead of the office.

Read "Oh, The Places You'll Go:, Dr. Seuss to the students.

Give local recognition to the business partners through the local media.

Also, I attended a workshop on student self-assessment.

All-in-all a productive day.

I'm not used to the weather. When I lived on St. John, USVI, it was always overcast, with ten minute showers. It's overcast now, and I'm just not used to it.

Well, one more meeting for the day coming up, and then off to Little Havana for shoes. Perhaps I'll wear my Che t-shirt.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Goin' Back To Miami

...goin back to my girl"

Actually, my girl(s) are back in San Francisco. I had to fly to Miami yesterday (11/01/05) to attend an education conference put on by the National Academy Foundation.

I'm designing an academy at my high school that they are sponsoring. They are a part of a nation-wide education reform group, that pushes the small schools concept. I teach at a school that has four small schools in 11th and 12th grade that the kids can choose from. They include: CAST (a creative/performing arts academy), International (for kids fresh off the boat, so to speak), WALC (Wilderness Arts and Literacy Collective), and Law (I'm in this one. I teach a constitutional law class). None of these are sponsored by NAF. I am however beginning a NAF academy with an informational technology focus (AOIT).

This is what brings me to Miami.

NAF holds a number of conferences a year, across the country. They sponsor about 1000 academies in over 700 schools in the US. I was in San Diego for their annual summer leardership conference last July.

the meetings here are focused around groups, like mine, that are engaged in the year of planning. We plan this year, we implement next year.

I haven't been to Miami since 1993, when I moved to the Virgin Islands for a mere four months of continuous bordem. Actually, the only real thing I did in Miami was fly out of their airport. I drove across the country with my friend Conrad (who I think I still owe $500 to. Sorry Conrad.), for three weeks. We did radio at KFJC together. We zig-zagged all over the place. It was an amazing trip. I encouraged all 20-somethings to do a road trip across the country at least once, before they get on with life.

We went to Vegas for three days and saw the Grateful Dead. Sting opened for them. By then, they pretty much sucked live, but I still love them. We drove up to Mt. Rushmore, and across South Dakota. We even went to Wall Drug. We ended up staying with his mom in a very small town in Minnisota for five days while our jeep was being fixed. he went to the same school for all 13 years. We were both a couple of long hairs too. You can imagine the looks on the kids' faces when we walked the halls.

After the jeep was fixed, we took off down the Mississippi river and into Fayetteville, Arkansas, where we stayed with some girlfriends of mine. Apologies go out to Amy. She knows what for. Great girls too. I met them first in Austin in 1993 at SXSW. SXSW used to be a great music conference for the industry types that wanted to get away from their work for a while, and just enjoy the music. It ahs since become the biggest music conference in the country. Everclear was discovered there. Of course, they drashed and burned, which is exactly what should have happened to them.

We hit Memphis after that. I touched Elvis' grave. He wasn't there though. He's in Africa, living under the name Mojo Risin'. Yeah.

We got to Sarasota, Florida and stayed with my cousin David. Sarasota is where PeeWee Herman was caught doin' his thang in an adult theater. Isn't that where you're supposed to do your thang? We met a bar owner who toold us he could hook us up with some jobs, once we got there. He also had a rather cute waitress working there. My apologies go out to her as well. I think you're getting the picture. We declined the offer from the bar owner though. We told him we had jobs waiting. We were heading out the St. Thomas, USVI to run a radio station. The owner told us that a music and program director positions were open, and they were ours as soon as we arrived. I had, at the time, seven years in radio, and was stoked to be making my way out there.

After Sarasota, where I left my mini-tape recorder, with a bunch of VERY private thoughts on it, we made our way to Ft. Lauderdale, to put our jeep on a ship. Got the jeep set, and taxied down to Miami. We headed straight for the airport.

I was home less than four months later. When we visited the radio station to begin our jobs, the owner met us, told us he didn't know who we had spoken too, but they were fired; there were no paying jobs, but we could volunteer if we wanted to.

I left my heart in San Francisco. So I went back to get it.

By that time my, then girlfriend, was pregnant...with someone else's kid.

I never did care for Florida. No offense. It looks good on you though.

Friday, October 28, 2005

It takes courage

I'm sick of the lies, aren't you? Over 2000 American sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers are dead. For what? It's for more than oil. It's for a way of life that is killing us all: capitalism! It's destroying the world. If it were up to the conservatives in congress, (and sadly it is) this war would never end. Laissez Faire economics has turned into corporatism, which is just a fancy word for fascism.

The only thing our leaders care about is how much the profits have grown for all of their wealthy CEO friends and relatives. Maybe, just maybe with the recent indictment of Tom Delay, and the possible future of indictment of Bill Frist, this county will wake up to the shameful way our "representatives" have been acting. Thank god for a special prosecutor who may actually hand down an indictment to our very own Spiro Agnew: Dick Cheney. I know, I know, I'm dreaming, but who knows, it may happen sooner than later.

Anyway, check out this short flash film about our fabulous leaders and their wonderful war.


Monday, October 24, 2005

Hatch Show Prints?

One of the oldes print houses in America is Hatch Show Prints ( "Advertising without posters is like fishing without worms."--The Hatch Brothers), out of Tennessee. They have been around for over a hundred years. Their work has been copied time and again by many poster companies throughout the years. Today, it has a retro 1920's looks, but they haven't really changed their style at all over the years.

I think they did this poster, which I got a few months ago. My wife, Alison and I attempted to attend this free show, featuring Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris, but after driving around for over an hour looking for parking we gave up. We should have known to take the bus, but being complete idiots we decided to drive into Golden Gate Park. Have you ever been there? I love this park, and I live about fifteen minutes (by car) away. It's a great place for live music too. There must be a dozen good places to have a show. The weather was beautiful that day too. Damn! Too bad.

If Hatch Show Prints did not make this poster I would be surprised; then again, many have copied their style.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Jermaine Rogers is truly "The Man"!

Allow me to say, right off the bat, that artists, those wonderful, hungry, wistful, socially conscious adornments of fate and destiny, have always inspired me, and driven me to spend more money than I have.

Ok, with that said, I must acknowledge, again, someone who I hold dear as an amazing artists, and social contemporary; whose work speaks beyond the band they are promoting for; someone who knows that his silkscreened work will last long past the event, and will bring memories, for those who attended the event, of a performance perhaps better than actually witnessed. You see, this is the work of someone who could quite possibly be the best soap opera writer of our day. The star: usually a cuddly little teddy bear that you would be best not come anywhere near. The story: like any good daytime soap: he keeps you guessing. The feeling you get when consuming the message: a bit queezy at first, then euphoria.

Jermaine Rogers of Houston, Texas has his finger on the pulse of the underbelly of the American Day, where we wander around bright streets and avenues in the inner city, waiting for the bar to open; not so we can drown our miseries in a pint, or a shot glass. No! But so we can share our true selves with the other loesome creatures who share a desire for pranksterism.

It's cowboy kareoke. It's punk rock twister. It's Bad Movie Night. It's comments from the bartender like "drink this. I don't know what it is, but I've been pouring all of the overfilled drinks into it all night." And you drink it, not giving a shit who sees, or doesn't see. It's not about who sees you. Who cares about being seen? it's about knowing that the only thing getting you through your existance is knowing that there are others like you out there. Good luck America. You're going to need it.

Jermaine Rogers: I salute you brother.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Machine Gun in the Clown's Hand

I did go to "Off the Wall" yesterday to check out their posters. They're on Haight Street in SF, and have a reputation of stocking the most recent posters by the best artist. I saw a lot of great Emek and Rogers prints, along with others. No Kozic though. The prices were reasonable as well. I scoured and purchased a Chuck Sperry for $15. The salesman was a bit of a prick when I asked for a cardboard tube though. He wanted to charge me $2, I told him I was surprised, and that "Artrock" doesn't charge for tubes. He says "we're not Artrock."

No shit.

They also do framing there, but it doesn't seem to be archival quality. A customer was asking the guy if one "had to get these framed. Couldn't I just tack them to the wall?" I almost went up and punched the guy in the throat. As my wife, an artist and archval framer, says "If you're spending the money on a piece of art, don't you want to preserve it for a long time?" It's an investment, right? I want her to go to Artrock and get them to work out a deal so she can frame in their space.

The Sperry piece I purchased is a poster for a book release show, if I remember correctly (it's at home and I just got it). you'll recognize it though as the cover of a Jello Biafra CD from last year. the CD only has Osama on it. As you can see, the poster shows him along with that other wacky clown, GW. The piece I posted is not the exact one I bought, the text is differnt.

I checked out the Firehouse website, and was displeased to find so few posters to gave at in their gallery. I had to search around a bit to find something similar to what I bought to post here. Also, they scan their posters to look like they've been ages in an old west style. I understand copyright protection, but this did not make me want to order from their site.


Wishing you my best

Dear Jermaine,

Although we have only spoken on the phone once, I regard you as a friend. Has this ever happened to you before? Me either. when I ordered that MC5 poster from you, I figured it would be sent, I stuff it away somewhere until I had the funds to frame it (sometime in 2015) and that would be that. But no! Instead it never got to me. I emailed you...emailed you again. You emailed me saying that you sent me three previous emails and that you only received one of mine. It went on like this for a few weeks. A few more lost emails here and there between the two of us, and then you got the smart idea of asking for a phone number exchange.

After three more lost emails between the two of us, I get a phone call from you. All I expected was a brief business conversation. What I got was beautiful, man. A twenty minute conversation about the fine art of silkscreening, how to get the band you love to allow you to make a poster for them, family ( I hope your daughter and wife are safe), and of course, talk about Hurricane Katrina, never once thinking about "what if it happened here". Now it's happening here...or should I say there. You live in Houston.

I still have yet to receive the poster, but what I'm most concerned about is the safety of your family. San Francisco may appear to be a world away from Texas and Lousiana, but in our hearts you are right next door.

Be safe, and be certain that you will survive and thrive. And when I do receive your fabulous work in the mail, you can bet it will be the next one framed and up on the wall. Even if that is in 2015.

Check out Jermaine Rogers' site here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Unfit to Print

I've been a bit busy lately with school beginning. I'm a high school teacher, and the year has just begun. We're in the third week of the term, and my schedule continues to change. More on that in another post, I'm sure.

I teach, or should I say taught, as of today I don't teach Media Literacy anymore. Anyway, I have taught Media Lit at the high school level for about a year. I have my degree in it, and I want to impart to the kids the imporatnce of not being duped by mainstream media.

Below you will read an amazing story of a non-New Orleans resident, as a matter of fact, a non-American resident, stuck in N.O. during the hurricane, and her experience with local law enforcement.

I ask, who's to blame for the way these people were treated? The local law enforcement feared mob mentality, while all these people wanted was to get the hell out of Dodge.


You can hear Lorrie tell this story first hand in audio (Act two of
This American Life) -- http://thisamericanlife.org/
although the numbers are a little different (1000s vs. 80-90)

Hurricane Katrina-Our Experiences
Larry Bradshaw
Lorrie Beth Slonsky

Two days after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, the Walgreen's
store at the corner of Royal and Iberville streets remained locked. The
dairy display case was clearly visible through the widows. It was now
48 hours without electricity, running water, plumbing. The milk,
yogurt, and cheeses were beginning to spoil in the 90-degree heat. The
owners and managers had locked up the food, water, pampers, and
prescriptions and fled the City. Outside Walgreen's windows, residents
and tourists grew increasingly thirsty and hungry.

The much-promised federal, state and local aid never materialized and
the windows at Walgreen's gave way to the looters. There was an
alternative. The cops could have broken one small window and
distributed the nuts, fruit juices, and bottle water in an organized
and systematic manner. But they did not. Instead they spent hours
playing cat and mouse, temporarily chasing away the looters.

We were finally airlifted out of New Orleans two days ago and arrived
home yesterday (Saturday). We have yet to see any of the TV coverage or
look at a newspaper. We are willing to guess that there were no video
images or front-page pictures of European or affluent white tourists
looting the Walgreen's in the French Quarter.

We also suspect the media will have been inundated with "hero" images
of the National Guard, the troops and the police struggling to help the
"victims" of the Hurricane. What you will not see, but what we
witnessed were the real heroes and sheroes of the hurricane relief
effort: the working class of New Orleans. The maintenance workers who
used a fork lift to carry the sick and disabled. The engineers, who
rigged, nurtured and kept the generators running. The electricians who
improvised thick extension cords stretching over blocks to share the
little electricity we had in order to free cars stuck on rooftop
parking lots. Nurses who took over for mechanical ventilators and spent
many hours on end manually forcing air into the lungs of unconscious
patients to keep them alive. Doormen who rescued folks stuck in
elevators. Refinery workers who broke into boat yards, "stealing" boats
to rescue their neighbors clinging to their roofs in flood waters.
Mechanics who helped hot-wire any car that could be found to ferry
people out of the City. And the food service workers who scoured the
commercial kitchens improvising communal meals for hundreds of those

Most of these workers had lost their homes, and had not heard from
members of their families, yet they stayed and provided the only
infrastructure for the 20% of New Orleans that was not under water.

On Day 2, there were approximately 500 of us left in the hotels in the
French Quarter. We were a mix of foreign tourists, conference attendees
like ourselves, and locals who had checked into hotels for safety and
shelter from Katrina. Some of us had cell phone contact with family and
friends outside of New Orleans. We were repeatedly told that all sorts
of resources including the National Guard and scores of buses were
pouring in to the City. The buses and the other resources must have
been invisible because none of us had seen them.

We decided we had to save ourselves. So we poured our money and came up
with $25,000 to have ten buses come and take us out of the City. Those
who did not have the requisite $45.00 for a ticket were subsidized by
those who did have extra money. We waited for 48 hours for the buses,
spending the last 12 hours standing outside, sharing the limited water,
food, and clothes we had. We created a priority boarding area for the
sick, elderly and new born babies. We waited late into the night for
the "imminent" arrival of the buses. The buses never arrived. We later
learned that the minute they arrived to the City limits, they were
commandeered by the military.

By day 4 our hotels had run out of fuel and water. Sanitation was
dangerously abysmal. As the desperation and despair increased, street
crime as well as water levels began to rise. The hotels turned us out
and locked their doors, telling us that the "officials" told us to
report to the convention center to wait for more buses. As we entered
the center of the City, we finally encountered the National Guard.

The Guards told us we would not be allowed into the Superdome as the
City's primary shelter had been descended into a humanitarian and
health hellhole. The guards further told us that the City's only other
shelter, the Convention Center, was also descending into chaos and
squalor and that the police were not allowing anyone else in. Quite
naturally, we asked, "If we can't go to the only 2 shelters in the
City, what was our alternative?" The guards told us that that was our
problem, and no they did not have extra water to give to us. This would
be the start of our numerous encounters with callous and hostile "law

We walked to the police command center at Harrah's on Canal Street and
were told the same thing, that we were on our own, and no they did not
have water to give us. We now numbered several hundred. We held a mass
meeting to decide a course of action. We agreed to camp outside the
police command post. We would be plainly visible to the media and would
constitute a highly visible embarrassment to the City officials. The
police told us that we could not stay. Regardless, we began to settle
in and set up camp. In short order, the police commander came across
the street to address our group. He told us he had a solution: we
should walk to the Pontchartrain Expressway and cross the greater New
Orleans Bridge where the police had buses lined up to take us out of
the City. The crowed cheered and began to move. We called everyone back
and explained to the commander that there had been lots of
misinformation and wrong information and was he sure that there were
buses waiting for us. The commander turned to the crowd and stated
emphatically, "I swear to you that the buses are there."

We organized ourselves and the 200 of us set off for the bridge with
great excitement and hope. As we marched past the convention center,
many locals saw our determined and optimistic group and asked where we
were headed. We told them about the great news. Families immediately
grabbed their few belongings and quickly our numbers doubled and then
doubled again. Babies in strollers now joined us, people using
crutches, elderly clasping walkers and others people in wheelchairs. We
marched the 2-3 miles to the freeway and up the steep incline to the
Bridge. It now began to pour down rain, but it did not dampen our

As we approached the bridge, armed Gretna sheriffs formed a line across
the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they
began firing their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing
in various directions. As the crowd scattered and dissipated, a few of
us inched forward and managed to engage some of the sheriffs in
conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police
commander and of the commander's assurances. The sheriffs informed us
there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to

We questioned why we couldn't cross the bridge anyway, especially as
there was little traffic on the 6-lane highway. They responded that the
West Bank was not going to become New Orleans and there would be no
Superdomes in their City. These were code words for if you are poor and
black, you are not crossing the Mississippi River and you were not
getting out of New Orleans.

Our small group retreated back down Highway 90 to seek shelter from the
rain under an overpass. We debated our options and in the end decided
to build an encampment in the middle of the Ponchartrain Expressway on
the center divide, between the O'Keefe and Tchoupitoulas exits. We
reasoned we would be visible to everyone, we would have some security
being on an elevated freeway and we could wait and watch for the
arrival of the yet to be seen buses.

All day long, we saw other families, individuals and groups make the
same trip up the incline in an attempt to cross the bridge, only to be
turned away. Some chased away with gunfire, others simply told no,
others to be verbally berated and humiliated. Thousands of New
Orleaners were prevented and prohibited from self-evacuating the City
on foot. Meanwhile, only two City shelters sank further into squalor
and disrepair. The only way across the bridge was by vehicle. We saw
workers stealing trucks, buses, moving vans, semi-trucks and any car
that could be hotwired. All were packed with people trying to escape
the misery New Orleans had become.

Our little encampment began to blossom. Someone stole a water delivery
truck and brought it up to us. Let's hear it for looting! A mile or so
down the freeway, an army truck lost a couple of pallets of C-rations
on a tight turn. We ferried the food back to our camp in shopping
carts. Now secure with the two necessities, food and water,
cooperation, community and creativity flowered. We organized a clean
up, and hung garbage bags from the rebar poles. We made beds from wood
pallets and cardboard. We designated a storm drain as the bathroom and
the kids built an elaborate enclosure for privacy out of plastic,
broken umbrellas, and other scraps. We even organized a food recycling
system where individuals could swap out parts of C-rations (applesauce
for babies and candies for kids!).

This was a process we saw repeatedly in the aftermath of Katrina. When
individuals had to fight to find food or water, it meant looking out
for yourself only. You had to do whatever it took to find water for
your kids or food for your parents. When these basic needs were met,
people began to look out for each other, working together and
constructing a community.

If the relief organizations had saturated the City with food and water
in the first 2 or 3 days, the desperation, the frustration and the
ugliness would not have set in.

Flush with the necessities, we offered food and water to passing
families and individuals. Many decided to stay and join us. Our
encampment grew to 80 or 90 people.

>From a woman with a battery powered radio we learned that the media
talking about us. Up in full view on the freeway, every relief and news
organizations saw us on their way into the City. Officials were being
asked what they were going to do about all those families living up on
the freeway? The officials responded they were going to take care of
us. Some of us got a sinking feeling. "Taking care of us" had an
ominous tone to it.

Unfortunately, our sinking feeling (along with the sinking City) was
correct. Just as dusk set in, a Gretna Sheriff showed up, jumped out of
his patrol vehicle, aimed his gun at our faces, screaming, "Get off the
fucking freeway". A helicopter arrived and used the wind from its
blades to blow away our flimsy structures. As we retreated, the sheriff
loaded up his truck with our food and water.

Once again, at gunpoint, we were forced off the freeway. All the law
enforcement agencies appeared threatened when we congregated or
congealed into groups of 20 or more. In every congregation of "victims"
they saw "mob" or "riot". We felt safety in numbers. Our "we must stay
together" was impossible because the agencies would force us into small
atomized groups.

In the pandemonium of having our camp raided and destroyed, we
scattered once again. Reduced to a small group of 8 people, in the
dark, we sought refuge in an abandoned school bus, under the freeway on
Cilo Street. We were hiding from possible criminal elements but equally
and definitely, we were hiding from the police and sheriffs with their
martial law, curfew and shoot-to-kill policies.

The next days, our group of 8 walked most of the day, made contact with
New Orleans Fire Department and were eventually airlifted out by an
urban search and rescue team. We were dropped off near the airport and
managed to catch a ride with the National Guard. The two young
guardsmen apologized for the limited response of the Louisiana guards.
They explained that a large section of their unit was in Iraq and that
meant they were shorthanded and were unable to complete all the tasks
they were assigned.

We arrived at the airport on the day a massive airlift had begun. The
airport had become another Superdome. We 8 were caught in a press of
humanity as flights were delayed for several hours while George Bush
landed briefly at the airport for a photo op. After being evacuated on
a coast guard cargo plane, we arrived in San Antonio, Texas.

There the humiliation and dehumanization of the official relief effort
continued. We were placed on buses and driven to a large field where we
were forced to sit for hours and hours. Some of the buses did not have
air-conditioners. In the dark, hundreds of us were forced to share two
filthy overflowing porta-potties. Those who managed to make it out with
any possessions (often a few belongings in tattered plastic bags) were
subjected to two different dog-sniffing searches.

Most of us had not eaten all day because our C-rations had been
confiscated at the airport because the rations set off the metal
detectors. Yet, no food had been provided to the men, women, children,
elderly, disabled as they sat for hours waiting to be "medically
screened" to make sure we were not carrying any communicable diseases.

This official treatment was in sharp contrast to the warm, heart-felt
reception given to us by the ordinary Texans. We saw one airline worker
give her shoes to someone who was barefoot. Strangers on the street
offered us money and toiletries with words of welcome.

Throughout, the official relief effort was callous, inept, and racist.
There was more suffering than need be. Lives were lost that did not
need to be lost.
Sarah Redman
31 Queenston Rd
M20 2NX
tel:0161 4343903

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Do you think this is an addiction

I had to go downtown in SF yesterday to renew my benefits for the school district. I'm a teacher, but I'm not tenured, so I have to renew every year for the first three years. This was the last time I need to do this. Anyway, I passed by Artrock; I couldn't help but step inside, it was calling me by name. I don't get paid until October 1st, and it's my wedding anniversary along with my wife's and my birthday this month; so, I was being a bit selfish and bought the two above posters.

The first one is by SF artist Mark Arminski. It's for a Patti Smith/Allen Ginsberg show in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I love the Yin yang concept for this poster. It appears to be showing the relationship between the punk which is in music, and the punk in prose.

Link here to Arminski's site.

The second poster is by Alan Forbes. I've been a Monomen fan since their early Estrus Records days; alcohol fuel injected rock and roll!!! The show takes place near my house too. The Kilowatt is still open too; a rarity in SF. This piece shows Forbes' Coop influence. If only the model was larger all the way around.

Link here to a site for Forbes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Wake Up America!

The Prophet Unarmed, by Isaac Deutcher. I have just completed the second volume of a trilogy on Leon Trotsky. Tragedy is the word that comes to mind. This man, so intelligent, so confident in his abilities; failed in one respect, in my opinion: party discipline. He was so devoted to it; he refused to stand up for himself. By doing this, he allowed his enemies, mostly Stalin and his followers, to push him into a corner, where he was not able to defend himself at all.

I need to familiarize myself more with the French Revolution, especially the Jacobins and the Thermidorian period. I see something very similar happening in the US today. Trotsky believed that the Bolshevik party had become a monolithic party, and therefore given up their fundamental Bolshevik beliefs. It would take years, perhaps decades, Trotsky said, for the working class to learn about freedom again, and rise up against the oppressors.

Benjamin Franklin said anyone who is willing to give up a little freedom for safety, deserves neither. Today, our citizens, along with our media have allowed the ruling faction in our country to usurp the peoples’ power. The party has become monolithic in form. It is the party over the people. It is the leader over the party. It may be that the experiment of democracy is coming to its end.

I blame the people for being so apathetic. We go along with what we are told as long as our creature comforts are not affected. We rail against anyone who is not like us. We cheer when we catch the dark skinned man who has done something un-American, yet we have nothing to say when he is quietly released and all charges are dropped. We shout out against high gas prices, and vow to boycott Shell every Tuesday, and Exxon every Wednesday, but we refuse to recognize that the cars we drive and the labor that goes into those cars are just feeding the corporations our soldiers are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan to protect.

I blame the press for following the party line, for fear they will be banished to some far away land if they print the truth, or question the leadership in any logical manner. The press, the one outlet our nation has for spreading the “truth” to the people. What is the truth today? What does Socrates say it is? How about Thoreau? What about Gandhi or King? How about Murdock, or Limbaugh? What is the truth to you?

Isn’t it the job of the press to show us the truth from all sides? Will the president meet with the mother of a fallen soldier, and answer her questions? No. And the press won’t cover it. Or if they do, the White House will continue to say the President has a very busy schedule. Perhaps an event of national security will occur, which will take the attention off of this mother and her desire to know what “noble cause” her son died for. Wouldn’t that be amazing? “The President doesn’t have time to meet with you ma’am, we’re in code mauve right now.” And, of course, the nation will gather together once again and pry that those dark skinned terrorists are brought to justice.

When they came for the Moslems I said nothing, because I wasn’t a Moslem.

When will our country wake up from its slumber? 2008? 2012? 2020?

Wake up America, the Bonapartists are in control.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

War Pigs

Some of you may know already that Black Sabbath actually started off as a pro-Christian band. It's true. As a matter of fact all you need to do is listen to some early lyrics. Take for instance "War Pigs". Don't take my word for it, check out this great Flash presentation, and sing along for yourself.


Thanks to Hawkeye Joe for this great short.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Lindsey Kuhn Site

As many of you who read this blog know by now, I collect concert posters. Two recent posters I purchased from Artrock in San Francisco are shown below.

Take the time to check out premire poster artist Lindsey Kuhn's site here. His work is unprecedented. His well known for his swampwoman series. The poster above sells for $1000.00 today.

My next poster purchase comes from Kuhn. It's the "Season of the Witch 2" series; five posters put together to make one image.

If you haven't seen the site for the new book "The Art of Modern Rock", do yourself the favor and check it our here.


Thursday, July 28, 2005

I'm funny, Damnit!

I took this today and found that yes, I am funny. But funny how? How am I funny? My father would say "funnny loooking".

How funny are you? Take the test.

the Wit

(60% dark, 34% spontaneous, 38% vulgar)

your humor style:

You like things edgy, subtle, and smart. I guess that means you're probably an intellectual, but don't take that to mean you're pretentious. You realize 'dumb' can be witty--after all isn't that the Simpsons' philosophy?--but rudeness for its own sake, 'gross-out' humor and most other things found in a fraternity leave you totally flat.

I guess you just have a more cerebral approach than most. You have the perfect mindset for a joke writer or staff writer. Your sense of humor takes the most effort to appreciate, but it's also the best, in my opinion.

Also, you probably loved the Office. If you don't know what I'm
talking about, check it out here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/theoffice/.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Jon Stewart - Woody Allen - Ricky Gervais

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 52% on dark
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on spontaneous
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 42% on vulgar

The 3 Variable Funny Test written by
jason_bateman on Ok Cupid

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

New Propaganda Tsar

It's not so difficult to write when one is passionate about the topic. Today I'm passionate about so many things, it's hard to organize them into seperate thoughts. Having a blog allows me to rant here and there about my varied interests: music, media, politics, local issues, education, etc. Sometimes, however, all of these interests overlap into one big ball of confusion.

Today I read that Karen Hughes, W's first communications director/press secretary has been confirmed as the Under-secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. She gave her testimony before two senators only and was easily confirmed.

This is a perfect example of how the tail will wag the dog. Any viewers of The West Wing will undoubtedly be able to prdeict that Hughes' job will be to do just exactly this: wag the dog, where foregin relations is concerned.

The question is, will the media continue to lay down and allow this to happen unabated? I find it interesting that ever since John Roberts was nominated for the Supremes, which by the way, the White House refuses to release all documents about him; we haven't been paying much attention to Karl Rove. What will happen with the Rove story? Why isn't the media continuing to pressure the white house about him? Why does the news media speak about issues only if they are brought up by the White House?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

My drug of choice

Since I was 13 years old I've collected vintage and current concert posters. Living in San Francisco, I have been in a perfect place to feed my jones. I used to shop at the Poster Mat in North Beach, run by Ben Friedman. He suggested my first poster should be BGP 162, Grateful Dead, Fillmore West February 26, 28, March 1 and 2. The album Live Dead took selections from these shows.

Over the years I've collected many posters over the years, mostly from the 60's psychedelic era. In the early 1990's there was a renaissance in poster making. Great artists like Coop, Kuhn, and Frank Kozic began to make a huge impact on the concert poster scene. I very quickly began to approach my local merchants, who hung the posters in their windows, and asked them for the posters after the show had passed. I knew from experience, these posters would jump in price soon.

This week I am attending a workshop through the National Foundation for Teaching Entreprenuership (NFTE). About a block away from the workshop sits the premire concert poster merchant in the city, if not the world: Artrock. I stopped by there during lunch today and could not help but pick up two Kozic posters. Both posters seem to harken back to the days of Stalinist Russia. As a matter of fact, one of them has Stalin on it.KZ94043 and KZ93033A

My wife has been an archive framer over the years and she has done an amazing job framing my posters. If you are interested in hiring her, shoot me an email.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

What a Trip

I just returned from five days in San Diego. I attended the National Academy Foundation's 21st Annual National Conference. It's in a different city every year. Last year New York, next year Detroit. This was my first time. I am the on-site coordinator of a NAF sponsored academy at my high school. I am developing an Academy of Information Technology at Balboa High School in San Francisco. NAF supplies some curriculum ideas, resources including advisory boards, fundraising ideas, and conferences to gather and discuss.

The conference was amazing. My wife and I flew down with our nine month old daughter (her first flight, what a great little flier) on saturday night. Early morning keynote speakers, followed by morning and afternoon workshops filled the agenda. As I attended the conference Alison took little Lauson Kai out and around the city. Nice city. We went on a harbor cruise with the NAF attendees on tuesday night. Excellent time. I was a bit surprised by the humidity in San Diego.

I attended workshops on how to plan a student conference (I advise the student government at my school), how to write a grant, how to build a successful team, and brainstorming sessions where teachers gathered together to discuss best practices.

At times I and Joel from Galileo high school felt that we were the only ones offering any good ideas, but after a few sessions people began opening up more. I truly enjoyed the brainstorming sessions. I left with a great amount of knowledge, as well as wonderful connections to great educators.

I met some great people there. Thanks to the whole gang of NAF folks who put this show on. Big thanks to Daniel, regional director for the Atlantic coast. This guy is great. We really hit it off. This is a really wonderful organization. They truly empower educators and recognize that even though the achievement gap has closed in elementary and middle schools, high schools haven't budged in over twenty years. NAF is working to change that.

Check out there site here.

Google Maps Rocks

Wow, I was looking through the wonderful new Google maps site, and, of course, since I've moved over 25 times in my life, I fiqured I would check out old neighborhoods. I was born in Toledo, Ohio. I haven't been there since I was 10 years old. My family moved to southern California in February of 1981. Here's a link to the elementary school I attended for fourth and half of fifth grade. I lived down the street, directly across from Westwood Park. That was the best house I ever lived in.

As a matter of fact, my father, what a great guy he is, always said that he wished we never moved away from that house. It was a very cool place. The backyard was a half acre, included a half basketball court and a sunken back part of the yard, which would flood and freeze during the winter, allowing us to skate on it and play ice hockey. Damn! I miss that house.

Take a look.


Friday, July 15, 2005

How To Talk To A Conservative About Karl Rove (If You Must)

If I was to speak to my conservative brother-in-law, which I haven't done in over a year, perhaps the following would benefit me in an argument against Rove. THERE IS NO RATIONALIZING WITH A CONSERVATIVE!

Everything you need to fight back against the right-wing misinformation campaign.

CLAIM: White House Can’t Comment While Investigation Is Ongoing
McClellan: “While that investigation is ongoing, the White House is not going to comment on it.”

FACT: White House Has Repeatedly Commented During the Ongoing Investigation
McClellan had previously cited that same investigation and then gone on to answer the questions as they pertained to Rove. For example, on October 1, 2003, he said, “There’s an investigation going on … you brought up Karl’s name. Let’s be very clear. I thought — I said it was a ridiculous suggestion, I said it’s simply not true that he was involved in leaking classified information, and — nor, did he condone that kind of activity.” Similarly, on October 10, 2003, McClellan said, “I think it’s important to keep in mind that this is an ongoing investigation.” But he then added with regard to a question about Rove’s involvement, “I spoke with those individuals, as I pointed out, and those individuals assured me they were not involved in this.”

CLAIM: Rove Didn’t Leak The Name So He’s Not Guilty
Rove: “I didn’t know her name and didn’t leak her name.” Rove attorney Robert Luskin said “he did not tell any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA.”

FACT: National Security Law Says Identifying Covert Agent Is Illegal
Rove at the very least identified Plame as “Wilson’s wife.” Under section 421 of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, the disclosure of “any information identifying [a] covert agent” is illegal.

CLAIM: White House Didn’t Push The Story
Rove’s lawyer Robert Luskin claims Cooper manipulated what Rove said to him “in a pretty ugly fashion to make it seem like people in the White House were affirmatively reaching out to reporters to try to get them to report negative information about Plame.”

FACT: There Was An Organized Campaign To Push Leak Info
First, Robert Novak admitted: “I didn’t dig it out [Plame’s identity], it was given to me…. They [the White House] thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it.” Second, Rove told Chris Matthews that Plame’s identity was “fair game.” Third, Time magazine reported the orchestrated campaign against Wilson in October 2003: “In the days after Wilson’s essay appeared, government officials began to steer reporters away from Wilson’s conclusions.”

CLAIM: Conversation Was About Welfare Reform, So Rove Didn’t Do Anything Wrong
National Review’s Byron York: “According to Luskin, the fact that Rove did not call Cooper; that the original purpose of the call, as Cooper told Rove, was welfare reform.”

FACT: What They Spoke About Was Irrelevant
The original purpose of the conversation between Rove and Cooper is irrelevant. It has no bearing on the fact that Rove did identify a covert agent during that conversation.

CLAIM: Plame Wasn’t An Undercover Agent
Ed Rogers, former official under Reagan/Bush: “I think it is now a matter of established fact that Mrs. Plame was not a protected covert agent, and I don’t think there’s any meaningful investigation about that.”

FACT: Former CIA Officer Who Worked With Plame Verified She Was Undercover
Larry Johnson, former CIA officer: “Valerie Plame was a classmate of mine from the day she started with the CIA. I entered on duty at the CIA in September 1985. All of my classmates were undercover–in other words, we told our family and friends that we were working for other overt U.S. Government agencies. We had official cover.”

CLAIM: Rove Was Trying To Correct A False Story
Rove attorney Luskin added, “What Karl was trying to do … was to warn Time away from publishing things that were going to be established as false.”

FACT: Wilson Was Right, Bush Was Wrong
Bloomberg recently reported, “Two-year old assertions by former ambassador Joseph Wilson regarding Iraq and uranium, which lie at the heart of the controversy over who at the White House identified a covert U.S. operative, have held up in the face of attacks by supporters of presidential adviser Karl Rove.”

CLAIM: Wilson Lied About His Trip To Niger
Former Rove deputy Ken Mehlman: “What Joe Wilson alleged was that the vice president, then he said the CIA director sent him to Niger.” [CNN, 7/12/05]

FACT: Wilson Never Said Cheney Personally Sent Him To Niger
Bloomberg reported, “Wilson never said that Cheney sent him, only that the vice president’s office had questions about an intelligence report that referred to the sale of uranium yellowcake to Iraq from Niger. Wilson, in his New York Times article, said CIA officials were informed of Cheney’s questions. ‘The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president’s office,’ Wilson wrote.”


Thursday, July 14, 2005

This may sound messed up, but...

I actually like Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. I saw this video they did where Ted starts off singing "Wheels on the Bus" to this group of kids, and then he's on stage with his band rocking out to one of his tunes; I'm not sure which one because I'm still new to his sounds. The kids were pogoing everywhere. Too cool. I'm a geek, aren't I?

Anyway, if you like this guy, or don't know who the hell I'm talking about, he has mp3s on his site, here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Up the River of Chocolate

Two great tastes that taste great together. Where were you on 9-11? I was at the Sony Metreon in San Francisco watching Apocolypse Now Redux. Enjoy.

Chocolypse Now: "Wonka," years later, darkly.

Thanks to Boing Boing for this.

Something I never thought I would see

I don't have cable, but that didn't stop me from downloading the Live8 Pink Floyd set. Damn, that set moved me to shivers and tears. I have been a fan, since my dad brought home Dark Side of the Moon in the early 70's. I remember fondly taking lots of acid with my friends and seeing the not so complete Floyd, live in 87 in Oakland, in the rain. Many a fabulous evening has been spent indulging in their many sounds.

I love pre-Dark Side just as much as post-Dark Side. I was never quite pleased with how often the performed the entire album show after show in the 70's though. And I do feel that Nick Mason is a mediocre drummer at best. Still, they are one of my favorite bands. I look forward to a tour? Come on guys, do it for Syd!

Download the vid here