Monday, June 30, 2008

Check out Liz's blog!
Check out the tracks on her MySpace as well: I lend keys to "62708". Also, due to her recent increase in free time, she'll be back on the Étudiant soon...

June 30 News

I make Bill Hicks look not funny.

Iraq update

Nobody wants the war to continue. Unless they work in Washington.

U.S. President George W. Bush has signed a war funding measure that will pay for the ongoing fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and guarantee troop support well past his presidency.

Hailing the $162 billion US measure as a rare product of bipartisan co-operation, Bush said Monday at the White House: "This bill shows the American people that even in an election year, Republicans and Democrats can come together to stand behind our troops and their families."

Africa pressures Mugabe

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) - African leaders on Monday pushed President Robert Mugabe to open talks with the Zimbabwean opposition after he was re-elected unopposed in an election condemned as violent and unfair by the continent's monitors.


Darfur update

ZAM ZAM CAMP, Sudan (Reuters) - Markets stocked with fresh fruit and vegetables. Shiny new gas stations. Freshly built houses. Smooth paved roads. A pizzeria.

These are not images one would normally associate with Sudan's western Darfur region, where hundreds of thousands of people are estimated to have died in five years of conflict. But they are all found in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur state.

A glimmer of hope? Let's hope that this violence can end soon enough. Perhaps, someday, all of Darfur will have what El Fasher has.

Election update

HARRISBURG, PA — Reacting for the first time to comments made by Retired Gen. Wes Clark Sunday questioning his military service, Sen. McCain told reporters today that the remarks are not “isolated” and distract Americans from the issues.

He's right. His political ideology should be the reason you're not voting for him.

495 south ramp closes

And now, a traffic update from

The on-ramp from Exit 11/Rte. 140 South – Comcast Center on I-495 South is closed after a tractor-trailer overturned.

Town votes on budgets tonight

WAKEFIELD - Budget reductions will be at the forefront of tonight’s Special Town Meeting, 7:30 at the Galvin Middle School Memorial Auditorium.

I feel sorry for next year's Wakefield Public Schools students.

Bill talks abortion

Take that Glen!

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Please note that many of you (possibly all) will not like anything contained in the paragraph (separated by pictures - Ben) below.

What Noam Chomsky says is relevant:

"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."

Humans. Love them or hate them, they are all around us. In fact, humans make everything possible. But first there was a fellow named God who creatively designed everything -- giving us the resources to produce material objects. Humanity, I'd say, has abused what God has given us.
Abortion clinics are being disguised under the name "Planned Parenthood": a sugarcoated cover-up of Hitler-esque destruction.

Stem-cell research has gone too far as doctors and big time medical researchers want to make a name for themselves albeit in a malicious fashion. Homos are weening their way down city squares pledging for a type of equality that was never meant to be; homo-marriage. China is still Commie.

Marijuana possession is a criminal offense in America. Freedom is synonymous with killing. Metro Station is more popular than Animal Collective.

You see, humanity fails. Humans are naturally flawed and if the modern age isn't enough to prove that conjecture than I simply don't know what is. Should we lose faith in humanity though? We need to educate our neighbors and teach them the way, the truth, and the life (religiously and socially). We don't need a totalitarian based political system to accomplish we don't..but what we do need is cooperation and vision. Hate -- which is far too prevalent to break down into systemic groupings -- isn't about not tolerating others. It is about working together to achieve a common goal. Once people get off of their cultural or economic high horses, humanity will be able to come together. Once money becomes as insignificant as a piece of wood, humanity will be able to come together.


Hamza Smuggles Hate Messages

American counter-terrorism chiefs are demanding a full explanation from Britain of how radical cleric Abu Hamza was able to smuggle murderous messages from his UK prison cell to Al Qaeda's deputy leader.

The major diplomatic row comes in the wake of a long-running battle by US prosecutors to extradite the former imam of London's Finsbury Park mosque to stand trial in America.

Hook-handed Hamza was jailed for seven years in Britain in 2006 for inciting murder and racial hatred and is held at Belmarsh prison, South-East London, supposedly one of Britain's most secure jails.

But according to senior American intelligence sources, Hamza evaded the extensive security measures surrounding him to send a series of questions to Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama Bin Laden's right-hand man. - Mail Online

US Halts Solar Energy Projects

The US government is putting a hold on new solar energy projects on public land for two years so it can study the environmental impact of sun-driven plants.

The Bureau of Land Management says the moratorium on solar proposals is needed to determine how a new generation of large-scale projects could affect plants and wildlife on the land it manages.

The move has angered some solar energy proponents who argue it could hold up the industry at a vital juncture, given the pressing need to secure alternative energy sources at a time of soaring oil prices. "This technology has been around for nearly three decades. - Telegraph

June 29 2008 News

Spain Takes Home Euro 2008 Trophy

The Euro 2008 soccer tournament is over. Spain beat Germany by a score of 1-0 today in Vienna, with the lone Spanish goal coming from Fernando Torres. This is the first major tournament win for the Spanish since 1964. The Spaniards finish the tournament as the highest scoring team, with Torres providing most of the offense.

Congratulations to the Spanish!

Hot Video

This is a video for Big Black's cover of Kraftwerk's classic "The Model." A great video for a great tune!
P.s. I'm sure when the director was filming this, he had 80s noise rock in mind for the soundtrack!

Funny Pic of the Day

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Concert Review: Ben Tan's Band

All I can say is that they rock. They played nearly all of my requested tunes well. My favorites were "Anarchy in the U.K." by the Sex Pistols, "Blitzkrieg Bop" by the Ramones, and "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve. I'm leaving some other goodies out, but those stick out in my mind. Ben, you are great at remembering lyrics and melodies. Brian, if you are reading this, you are better than Dave Grohl. Liz, you make Kim Gordon look like the 2006-07 Boston Celtics. You guys are good...keep it up.

Good Time Emporium to close on Monday

The Good Time Emporium, known to many as just "Good Times" will close on this Monday, June 30th. The much-loved Somerville sports bar/arcade that brought fun to the masses over many years will close its doors to make room for an Ikea furniture store. Tomorrow is the last day to go play some video games or laser tag, or maybe have a nice go-kart race. Goodbye, Good Times. Thanks for all the good times.

June 28 2008 News

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Happening review

The Happening

Rated R

1/2 out of 5

Directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
Starring Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel.

The Happening, M. Night Shyamalan's latest offering, is an apocalyptic film that follows the trend set by the more recent work of the iconic horror director. In other words, It wasn't very good at all. The plot, to say the least, is ridiculous. People in New York City's Central Park start committing suicide for an unknown reason. Minutes later, people outside the park start jumping from tall buildings, shooting themselves, and partaking in various other acts of self-destruction.
The film's main character, Elliot (Wahlberg), a Philadelphia teacher, hears about this mass-suicide, and hops on a train to western PA with his wife Alma (Deschanel), his friend Julian (John Leguizamo), and his daughter. What happens after that pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the movie. The plot gets more and more ridiculous with every minute, the dialogue seems unnatural and forced for the entire film. If I could say one thing to Wahlberg after seeing this, I would say something like, "Please Marky Mark, is this the best you can do?"
On one good note however, this movie contained what is perhaps the funniest scene in the history of film. Our protagonists run like the wind from...well...the wind! My God, that scene was wicked funny. I laughed through most of the gorier parts too, because hey, I'm a guy!
Overall, I'd have to say that this is one of the worst movies that I have ever seen, ever. Please, for the love of God and all that is holy, do not waste ten of your hard earned dollars buying a ticket to see this disappointing movie.

White Boy Do Bad Things Like Show Video

A 12-year-old white schoolboy is among 120 people being dealt with by police in a new project combating Islamic-inspired violent extremism, it was revealed today.

The child, who has only been identified by the initials BC, was reported by his school in West Yorkshire after he was found circulating video clips of terrorists beheading Westerners.

Sick films were distributed to classmates on their mobile phones, prompting a teacher to march the boy to the local police station. - Mail Online

I guess the "Faces of Death" series is banned in the U.K.

Romania OKs 11 Year Old's Abortion

BUCHAREST, Romania - The government ruled Thursday that an 11-year-old rape victim would be allowed to have an abortion in Romania, dismissing the opposition of 20 church groups.

Pro-life Christian Orthodox groups had threatened to press charges if the girl was allowed to have an abortion in Romania since it would be beyond the 14 week legal limit. The girl is 21 weeks pregnant.

The stance of the church groups was in contrast to the Romanian Orthodox Church's official view that the decision should be left to the girl's family. The parents initially wanted to travel to a country where it would be legal. - MSNBC

Courtesy to Matt Hurton for first making me aware of this tragedy.

Sexual Exposure Chart

For all of you performing bad deeds such as premarital sex...this is for you! Yeah, that is right: you have essentially screwed people of your own gender!

My Own Musing: MTV Music Videos

I walked downstairs to see what was for dinner (just a few minutes ago) when I happened to notice soft core pornography on the T.V! I am not talking about Jenna Jameson and Briana Banks making out, not that, but instead a music video. I didn't pay attention to who was doing the hollering (I think they call it rapping nowadays); I noticed two girls next to a flashing wall with their roundish boobs on display. They weren't standing there innocently either -- they were doing dance moves akin to what you see in strip clubs (I wouldn't know, but I do). Now, let me just get this clear: If I want my daily fixing of pornography (I think Chris calls it "hamburgers"), I can just type in some obnoxious phrase in my little Google search bar, be it "woman and dog" or "tub girl". Since when did MTV Hits become Girls Gone Wild? What ever happened to real music videos? Occasionally, I will see The Verve's Bittersweet Symphony video (one of my favorites of all time) come on, but a couple of hours later I see scantily clad black girls. I fucking hate censorship, but they need to get this shit off the tube. The end.

I hate swearing like this too, but I'm sorry.

June 27 2008 News

Bill talks Drugs

This is one of Bill's finest moments, and actually if you can believe it most "toned down." Listen to Rant In E-Minor and you will know what I mean. Anyway this is a hilarious clip, and he actually makes several good points! Ben take notice to the part about the Beatles, I think you'll find it funny. Of course one cannot believe the Beatles' entire genius came from drugs, but it's all in good fun!

Alex Jones on Gun Control

Alex Jones is known for his staunch opposition to Gun Control, and in this video he gives us some insight as to what his actual views(conspiracies?) are. Note: these views are not necessarily mine; I am posting this as a response to all the news hysteria about gun laws. Enjoy!

Songs of the Week

00s- Arctic Monkeys- Riot Van (2006)

90s- Sonic Youth- Superstar (1994)

80s- The Replacements- Can't Hardly Wait (1987)

70s- The Damned- New Rose (1977)

60s- Sam Cooke- A Change Is Going to Come (1964)

50s- Hank Williams- I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive (1952)

Introducing The Supreme Court Justices

The Supreme Court of the United States of America consists of nine Justices in total (eight Associate and one Chief) and leads the federal judiciary.

Conservative Judges: Consider the Constitution to be firmly defined; believe in Originalism; generally believe in preserving established moral values

Liberal Judges: Consider the Constitution to be open to new interpretation; believe in Progressivism; generally are open to changing moral code

Moderate Judges: Don't explicitly vote Conservative or Liberal; they pick and choose which way they side on a given case

Chief Justice John Roberts - Age 53 - Nominated in 2005 - Conservative

Associate Justice Antonin Scalia - Age 72 - Nominated in 1982 - Conservative

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas - Age 60 - Nominated in 1991 - Conservative

Associate Justice Samuel Alito - Age 58 - Nominated in 2006 - Conservative

Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy - Age 71 - Nominated in 1988 - Moderate

Associate Justice John Paul Stevens - Age 88 - Nominated in 1975 - Liberal

Associate Justice David Souter - Age 68 - Nominated in 1990 - Liberal

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Age 75 - Nominated in 1993 - Liberal

Associate Justice Stephen Breyer - Age 69 - Nominated in 1994 - Liberal

It should be noted that the four conservatives and the one moderate are Catholics. The moderate, Kennedy, is often crucial as a swing vote.

SC Votes In Favor Of Gun Rights

Answering a 127-year old constitutional question, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to have a gun, at least in one’s home. The Court, splitting 5-4, struck down a District of Columbia ban on handgun possession.

Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion for the majority stressed that the Court was not casting doubt on long-standing bans on gun possession by felons or the mentally retarded, or laws barring guns from schools or government buildings, or laws putting conditions on gun sales.

In District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290), the Court nullified two provisions of the city of Washington’s strict 1976 gun control law: a flat ban on possessing a gun in one’s home, and a requirement that any gun — except one kept at a business — must be unloaded and disassembled or have a trigger lock in place. The Court said it was not passing on a part of the law requiring that guns be licensed. - Scotus Blog
I'm kind of shaky on this issue, only because we've seen what guns have done to our own people. But take a look at what George Mason said in 1788:
"I ask, Who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers."

Greenhouse Gas Depletion

LONDON - Sea spray and microscopic plants from the tropical Atlantic are destroying greenhouse gases in the lower atmosphere at a faster pace than scientists had thought, British researchers said yesterday.

The findings, published in the journal Nature, not only mean that current climate models may need adjusting, but they also underscore the difficulties in trying to predict future temperature changes, the researchers said.

"One of the key things we need to do in the future is reduce uncertainty around the natural processes that destroy greenhouse gases," said Alastair Lewis of Britain's National Centre for Atmospheric Science, who helped lead the study. "This is one of the first times we have been able to go and see how those models were doing at predicting the rate of destruction of some greenhouse gases." - Boston Globe via Reuters

Islamic Style Marriage

Call it marriage, Islamic style.

Saudi marriage officiant Dr. Ahmad al-Mu’bi told Lebanese television viewers last week that it’s permissible for girls as young as 1 to marry — as long as sex is postponed.

Al-Mu’bi’s remarkable comments also included an explanation that “there is no minimal age for entering marriage.”

“You can have a marriage contract even with a 1-year-old girl, not to mention a girl of 9, 7 or 8,” he said. “But is the girl ready for sex or not?” What is the appropriate age for sex for the first time? This varies according to environment and tradition,” al-Mu’bi said. - FoxNews (should I trust it?)

I think they said sex at 9 was fine.

Top Tan List: Albums

There's lots of albums I love. It pains me not to include classics like Dave Brubeck's Time Out, Sam Cooke's Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963, or the Who's Who's Next. However, I think it best to focus on five albums that are just plain important - discs that remain milestones in music, and paved the way for all that other great music. I've also named my favorite tracks, though, in these five cases, every song is worth a listen. Agree, disagree, or, even better, listen!

5) Revolver
One of the Beatles' best, and that's saying something. This album covers the entire pop music spectrum, from groovy sixties rock - "Taxman" - to techno - "Tomorrow Never Knows". The disc displays just how many things these guys were good at. Highlights: "Eleanor Rigby", "Tomorrow Never Knows"

4) Kind of Blue
Like how punk would kill disco years later, cool jazz destroyed be bop, a permutation of jazz that still hasn't recovered. Blame Miles, a man who did so much with so little, especially on this album. He turned the taboo into the norm, crafting songs not out of chords, but out of scales. Only musicians as skilled as the master trumpeter and his band mates could have pulled it off. Highlights: "So What", "Flamenco Sketches"

3) Tommy
Behold the rock opera that paved the way for the work of colorful bands like Pink Floyd to Green Day. Only an album like this one could have been turned into both a movie AND stage musical. The story's right there, and the best way to hear it is on the disc, as Pete and company originally intended. Highlights: "Christmas", "We're Not Gonna Take It"
2) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
This album marks so many events...the beginning of flower power, the first concept album, not to mention a huge turning point for the Beatles. If Please Please Me is your brain, Sgt. Pepper is your brain on drugs. Luckily, all those hallucinogens failed to hamper the Fab Four's ability to create great stuff, with a little help from their friend George Martin and his orchestra. Highlights: "She's Leaving Home", "A Day in the Life"

Shocker: my favorite album isn't by the Beatles?!?

1) Pet Sounds
In his masterpiece, Brian Wilson argues that music is the ultimate form of expression. He's often labeled a genius, but I think even that is an understatement. He's the modern day Beethoven, a master of writing, performing, arranging, and producing symphonies that use our emotions as their motifs. He's the J.D. Salinger of music, a man whose work brings out the feelings of its audience. Plenty of artists try to do that, but I have yet to hear an album that's impacted me like Pet Sounds still does. Highlights: "Don't Talk", "God Only Knows"

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Economy Is Growing...Very...Very...Slowly

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The fragile economy improved slightly at the beginning of the year and could grow a bit stronger in the current quarter as extra cash from tax rebates spurs people to buy more. Still, it's not out of danger yet.

The economy grew at a 1 percent annualized rate in the first quarter, helped in large part by stronger sales of U.S. products overseas, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

That was a tad stronger than the government's previous estimate of 0.9 percent growth for the quarter. And, the new reading was better than the anemic 0.6 percent growth rate logged in the final three months of last year.

Nonetheless, the two quarters together marked the slowest growth in five years. The economy has been bruised by housing, credit and financial problems. That led consumers during the first quarter alone to boost their spending at the weakest pace since the 2001 recession. - Yahoo! News

One percent...what a sign of encouragement!

Celtics Select J.R Giddens (First Round, 2008)

The Celtics have drafted J.R Giddens with the 30th pick in the 2008 NBA draft. Giddens, 23, had a very solid senior season at New Mexico as he posted 16.3 P.P.G. and 8.8 R.P.G. He is praised for his athleticism, but his character is a question mark -- on the court and off.

Ape Rights

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's parliament voiced its support on Wednesday for the rights of great apes to life and freedom in what will apparently be the first time any national legislature has called for such rights for non-humans.

Parliament's environmental committee approved resolutions urging Spain to comply with the Great Apes Project, devised by scientists and philosophers who say our closest genetic relatives deserve rights hitherto limited to humans.

"This is a historic day in the struggle for animal rights and in defense of our evolutionary comrades, which will doubtless go down in the history of humanity," said Pedro Pozas, Spanish director of the Great Apes Project. - Reuters

Doesn't this make you a little sick?

Coalition Tells Bush To Ban Torture

A bipartisan coalition of elder statesmen, military and national security honchos, and religious leaders is calling on the president to return to pre-9/11 standards for the treatment of prisoners.

An executive order to ban torture is essential, they say, to improve national security, shore up alliances in the war on terror, and recommit to American values.

"I've been worried for some time that the way we're conducting our struggle against terrorism was undercutting America's 'soft power' – our ability to attract others," says Joseph Nye Jr., former assistant secretary of Defense for international security affairs and chair of the National Intelligence Council, in an interview. "We're not only committing something unethical, but counterproductive at the same time." - Christian Science Monitor

One has to be seriously "not there" to condone torture.

SC Votes Against "Millionaire Amendment"

The US Supreme Court on Thursday struck down the so-called "millionaire's amendment" of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, saying it violated free-speech protections.

In a 5-to-4 ruling, the high court said Congress cannot use federal election laws to disadvantage candidates who choose to use their own money to run for a seat in Congress.

The idea behind the law was to prevent a wealthy candidate from using massive personal spending in a campaign to drown out the voices of other candidates. It was also intended to counter the impression that seats in Congress can be purchased. - Christian Science Monitor

The playing field naturally becomes uneven if a candidate is wealthy, but is it okay to restrict them because of that? This must have been one hell of a tough decision for the Court.

Top Tan List: Artists

Welcome to the Top Tan List, a biased, opinionated ranking of musicians by someone who only pretends to be a music authority. Might as well be blunt, right? Here's the top five...sorry if the name misled you.

5) Tony Bennett
Called "the best singer in the business" by no less a legend than Frank Sinatra, I can't argue with Old Blue Eyes, who wasn't bad himself. Kidding aside, the guy's still going strong at 81, still singing great American songs with his still fantastic voice. Must hear albums: The Tony Bennett Bill Evans Album, Playin' With My Friends

4) Herbie Hancock
Truly great artists aren't afraid to venture away from a formula that's proved successful...I'm looking at you, Mike Love. Like one of his most famous songs, Herbie's a true chameleon, trying something new with each release. Must hear albums: Maiden Voyage, Head Hunters
3) James Taylor
We go from two jazz greats to the king of mellow soft rock? Yes, I am insane. But no one can write an ode or sing a tune quite like this guy, who's worth seeing live any day. Must hear album: (LIVE)

2) The Who
Let's turn up the volume for Daltrey's scream, Entwistle's booming bass, Moon's manic percussion, and Townshend's masterful strumming. Everybody wishes they could rock like these guys. Must hear albums: Tommy, Who's Next

1) The Beatles
Are you surprised? How many other artists accomplished so much in a decade, and went on to produce classic solo work? Must hear albums: They're all worth a listen, but my personal favorites are Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Tom Morello interview

This is only part one; part two can be found on Youtube. Glen: notice he practically promotes riots, contrary to your analysis ( a good one at that) on "California's Dark." Ben:look at what he says about the War in Iraq. Everyone else enjoy!

CD Review: Aretha Live at Fillmore West

1) Respect
2) Love The One You're With
3) Bridge Over Troubled Water
4) Eleanor Rigby
5) Make It With You
6) Don't Play That Song
7) Dr. Feelgood
8) Spirit In The Dark
9) Spirit In The Dark
10) Reach Out And Touch
Find out why Aretha's the queen. This is the singer, songwriter, and pianist at her best - making crowds go crazy with her many talents. As if seeing this legend wasn't enough, she's joined on stage by Ray Charles, King Curtis, and Billy Preston!
Only Aretha could get away with turning "Eleanor Rigby" into a punchy soul number as powerful as anything else on this disc. Even better is the piercing shuffle of "Don't Play That Song", the passion of "Love The One You're With", and a speedy take on "Respect" that would do James Brown proud. Curtis busts out the famous sax solo at a frantic pace.
Aretha can cover anything and make it her own. The King Curtis band's take on "Bridge Over Troubled Water" sounds like a Stax single, with Aretha's trademark screams pulling together the background harmonies, horns, and percussion into a masterpiece. It's one of the most intense and spiritual moments on the disc, and Truman Thomas's beautiful electric piano intro always brings a smile to my face.
A more romantic moment arrives with "Make It With You". "Dr. Feelgood" is a bluesy number that retains the classic soul feel. Ray duets with the queen on a reprise of "Spirit in the Dark", and the combination is just as good as you'd expect.
Want ten tracks of soul done right? Aretha and her fantastic band turn every song into a party. No further proof of her greatness is needed.
****1/2 out of five

Strippers Show Up to Kids' Golf Tourney

BROOMFIELD, Colo. - A close encounter between flirtatious strippers and children playing in a golf tournament was the result of "mistiming," golf course officials said Tuesday as they apologized to parents.

The scantily clad women spilled out of a limousine as the youngsters were finishing their game as part of the Gold Crown Junior Golf Association tournament Monday. Tournament officials said they were not warned the strippers would be arriving before the end of the game for children, who ranged in age from 7 to 12.

The women were part of Shotgun Willie's Charity Golf Tournament to benefit breast cancer. The strippers were to serve as caddies to patron's of the strip club. A club manager said there were 144 golfers and 70 caddies.

A woman told KUSA-TV the event drew curious questions from her children, who asked her why the men joining the strippers had water guns and why the women wore only their underwear. KUSA said the woman declined to be identified.

Eagle Trace Golf Course manager Evelyn Koch says the women were forbidden from going topless and that they were just flirting with the men.

"I cannot tell you the girls didn't flash out there but it wasn't a free-for-all," Koch said. She said the Shotgun Willie's crowd and the young golfers had to share the same clubhouse while the children had lunch because their tournament started later than expected.

Still, she said the Broomfield golf course was sorry children were present when the strippers arrived.

Golf course instructor Dustin Moser said some of the strippers "got a little out of control" but that it happened after the children had left.
Lucky kids. I wish I was there.

Bill at Rascal's Comedy Club

This is a great, hilarious, early clip of Bill Hicks' comedy. It merely foreshadows what he would later do, especially in terms of social/political commentary. In this clip he is at the point in his career where he makes claims like "Reagan is a fascist!" without much to back it up. Five years later, right before his death, he was arguing that Bill Clinton, his entire administration, Janet Reno, the FBI, and all governments were liars and murderers. Excuse me ARE liars and murderers. But, that's for another day. Just sit back and enjoy this clip from 1988; I still think this is better than Carlin's best, but they are both fantastic.

June 26 2008 News

CD Review: One Man Revolution

The Nightwatchman (Tom Morello) is not your average social/political critic who plays average revolution hymns. "California's Dark" paints a murky picture of riots and strife across California. Is there any hope left for California? It may just be a little too late according to The Nightwatchman. "One Man Revolution", perhaps the most popular song on the album, is a mixture of humour and horror. We hear about a noose in Morello's garage, but also a denial of Morello on the Playboy mansion's list of guests. Revolutions are generally pretty weak if there is only one person on board, but The Nightwatchman convinces us that he could probably shoulder the load all by himself. In "Let Freedom Ring", The Nightwatchman is afraid to publicly call for liberty in a world that doesn't want to hear it. "The Road I Must Travel" documents The Nightwatchman's endless struggle for freedom. At the end of the song, he does spot a sign on the highway, "but its too dark now to read." Morello says "The Garden of Gethsemane" is a song about doubt, but what exactly that means remains unclear. What is clear is that this song has some of the best guitar playing heard from a folk song. "House Gone Up in Flames" is about "it". "It" seems to be "change". From miners to the homeless to body bags to prayers, each verse is crying for change and starting of things anew. "Flesh Shapes the Day" is an anti-capitalist hymn that has its roots in anarchism (sounds a bit like Against Me! when Morello sings about broken Starbucks glass). The Nightwatchman stresses that YOU are responsible for YOU and that material objects are NOT. "Battle Hymns" = Anti-War, must I even say more? This is one of my personal favorites. The harmonica makes for a great ending. "Maximum Firepower" is about our call to pursue the same agenda The Nightwatchman is pursuing. It is about advancing ourselves against all of the injustices that we and others face. One only has to wonder what "Union Song" is about. Out of all his songs, this one ranks up there as the most impassioned. "No One Left" touches on the tragedy of war, 9/11, and everything in between; truly a sad song. "Dark Clouds Above" departs from The Nightwatchman's traditional folk style, but in the best way possible. The lyrical format is impressive to say the least. "Until the End" is the last track on the album. Ripping the American government to shreds, Morello sings verses that would make Noam Chomsky proud. For one final time, The Nightwatchman calls for a revolution with a goal of democracy and social justice in the U.S. The Nightwatchman is naturally in the dark but he calls for everyone to see the light.

Grade: 10 out of 10

This Week in É: June 20-26, 2008

This proved to be a big week for us for a few reasons. We added two great writers to the team a few days before, Andrew Fallon and Matt Hurton, and they've already made excellent posts. Also, these guys boosted the amount of comments. We just need more people to join in the conversation!

This week will also go down as the week of Carlin. The staff is full of fans, particularly super fan Andrew Fallon. We've spent the week paying tribute to one of the funniest guys who ever lived, who's paved the way for every comic in the business. Rest in peace, George.

Carlin talks stuff

North Korea, U.S. break nuclear impasse

TOKYO: North Korea submitted a long-delayed declaration of its nuclear program on Thursday, and the Bush administration immediately responded by saying it would remove the country it once described as part of the "axis of evil" from the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism.
The declaration was believed to provide a partial, though important, view of North Korea's nuclear capability, and it marked a significant step forward in a multinational effort to end the country's drive to build nuclear weapons.

This, of course, means that the axis of evil now consists of Iran and Iraq. Um...there's a threat out there!

Iraq update

BAGHDAD: U.S. soldiers fatally shot three Iraqi bank employees Wednesday as their car passed a convoy near Baghdad International Airport, according to an Interior Ministry official and Yarmouk Hospital, where the bodies were brought.

The attack was one of two bloody episodes on Wednesday in which the American military and Iraqi officials offered sharply different accounts of what had happened.

The Iraqi authorities said at least eight civilians had been killed by American soldiers.

The Americans replied, "Oops."
American military officials said that in each case they opened fire after coming under attack, and that they were unaware of any civilian deaths.