Saturday, May 6

It's too bad Patrick Kennedy didn't just shoot a lawyer in the face

From Democratic Underground

Because if he had, I don't think MSM would be so obsessed with the possibility that "preferential treatment" might have occurred at the time of the accident. If he had only shot a lawyer in the face, we wouldn't hear any discussion on TV about the possibility that he might have been drunk at the time of the accident. No discussion of how suspicious that no blood test was taken at the time of the accident.

No, if he had only blasted his hunting buddy's face off, we would have more time to spend on Patrick Fitzgerald meeting with Judge Walton on the Plame case. We might see top of the hour coverage on Porter Goss' resignation and the suspicious timing of it in connection with the intelligence link to the Watergate hooker scandal. Because it's not as if MSM would dare employ a double standard. Right?

I think we've all known for quite some time that there's a double-standard in the corporate media. Conservatives have been complaining, well - whining really, for decades about the "Liberal Media Bias". Exactly what that so-called bias ever entailed other than a failure to parrot some of their more psychotic double-speak like "cutting taxes raises revenue" and "providing poor people with food is bad for them" was never made clear.

But those days are long gone.

Now we have Paula Zhan on what used to be known as the Clinton News Network asking Ray McGovern what his "axe to grind" with Secretary Rumsfeld is? Stephen Colbert wasn't fall down on the floor funny - he was Rude, accoring to Richard Cohen. And we have Katie Couric practically frothing at the mouth when DNC Chairman Howard Dean (accurately) told her that the Jack Abramoff situation is "A Republican Scandal".

Sometimes the greatest media lapses are in what they don't ask, rather than in what they do. As noted by the DU poster, they were very quick to ask "why didn't Patrick Kennedy get a sobriety test?" but never did they really ask "why didn't Dick Cheney get a sobriety test - and why did he evade the police for 14 hours after shooting a man in the face?" Or better yet, why hasn't Dick Cheney recognized his obvious problem, as has Kennedy who admits he couldn't even recall the events of the previous night, and immediately checked himself into Whittington's Annonymous?

Any man who isn't satisfied after he shoots the first 50 pen-raised Quayle - then mistakes a 6-foot tall 70 year-old man for an 18-inch bird - clearly has a problem. The first step to recovery is admitting it.

I think we all understand that this kind of bias is the case, that progressive issues are rarely going to get a fair shake on Network or Cable News except on Olbermann, Daily Show or through the Colbert looking-glass. That's the deal, we know it.

We understand that the Washington Post hired, then very quickly fired a right-wing plagarist for "balance" and their so-called "Ombudsman" Deborah Howell still doesn't get it - so why should we be surprised when the News went Patrick Kennedy Mushuggah the other day?

Porter Goss retires as CIA director after less than two years amid indications and rumors that he's connected to Hookergate? Only to be replaced by Gen. Michael I-can-tap-you-if-I-want-to Hayden?

Ah, but none of that is a real story - because a KENNEDY got into a FENDER-BENDER!!!! See - his headlight is cracked, that's NEWS Baybee!

It's long past time we realized qualifies as News in this country.


    Britney Spears barefoot in a Gas Station Restroom? News!!

    Abortions and unwanted pregnancies rising among poor women due to lack of access to contraception? NOT News.

    Is Tom Cruise about to jump on another couch and bitch-slap Matt Laurer again? Film at 11!

    Jack Abramoff connected to Saipan Sweatshops? NOT News.

    Anna Nicole Smith at the Supreme Court - Anna Nicole Smith at the Supreme Court!! News

    Is Karl Rove about to be Indicted? NOT News.

    American Idol!! News!

    The President decides to ignore over 750 laws as he signs them? NOT News.


See it's easy, once you know the rules. The only odd thing is even with this incredibly lame reporting going on -- the President's approval ratings are in the toilet and circling the bowl. [Ap - 33%, CBS - 33%, USA Today - 34%, Fox - 38%?!]

Just imagine where the Republican Congress and President would be if the media was actually doing their jobs?

Most likely Answer: Out of a job and soon to be Impeached as of November.

What's your fantasy of how the Press should be behaving these days?

Vyan

Friday, May 5

Student Barred from singing anti-Bush Song

As reported by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

A 10-year-old Coral Springs girl won't be allowed to sing a controversial President Bush-bashing ballad at her school talent show after her principal deemed it inappropriate and too political.

The song, Dear Mr. President, performed and co-written by the singer Pink, criticizes the president for the war in Iraq and other policies, including his stance on gay rights.

Yeah, how dare someone state in a pop song that not only do gays have rights, they're actually kinda people-like? Y,know - with feelings?

The Mother stands up for her daughters song choice...

Parent Nancy Shoul says her daughter Molly should be lauded for choosing lyrics that are full of substance rather than pop music fluff. She said the principal's ban sends a bad message and violates her daughter's right to free speech.

"If this was a student singing a pro-administration song, no one would quibble with it," Shoul said. "The principal is just running scared and doesn't want to upset any parents."

Well, she could always substitue in "I'm in Love with a Stripper" - that ought to make the Parents, well ok, just that Dads, kinda smile? Or how about, "Don't you wish you're girlfriend was a freak like me?" Yeah, that's much better.

Meanwhile, the Principal gave their excuses.

The principal of Park Springs Elementary, Camille Pontillo, could not be reached for comment Thursday. In an e-mail provided by the mother, Pontillo explained that the song Molly "chose to sing is a political song and does use the word hell in it." A Broward County School District official said the principal has every right to determine what music her students should hear at a school function.

"This is a fifth-grade student that wants to perform a song filled with lyrics about drug use, war, abortion, gay rights and profanity," said district spokeswoman Nadine Drew. "This is an elementary school that includes kindergarteners and pre-K students."

The report does go on to point out some basic facts about the song...

The song does not mention abortion, and the profanity mentioned is the word "hell." The drug use refers to Bush's alleged conduct before he became president.

This entire incident reminds me of when students at my step-son's Jr. High school were voting on their class song. They were leaning toward using "Under the Bridge" by Red Hot Chili Peppers. I informed him at the time that the song, which was an incredibly popular ballad, was actually about singer Anthony Keides recalling the most harrowing days of his addiction to heroin. He was singing about being curled up under his favorite shooting spot - under a bridge in the downtown L.A. area.

Under the Bridge Downtown... I could not get enough...Under the Bridge Downtown... I washed my life away

The bridge was even shown in the video, with shots of bassist Flea dancing under it - while you see slow motion images of Keides running away.

My step-son brought this up to his class, and was hooted down by clueless classmates. Ultimately, they did use the song.

So here's the question - are controversial songs appropriate for kids this age? Or is it more an issue that these songs bring forth issues that parents don't want to have to explain? Is it the subject matter, or that fact that the Pink song is direct and unambigous and unapologetic for it's stance? Should they wait until the kids are better able to comprehend the subject matter or should they - y'know - try to Educate and stuff?

[Note: I didn't object to the "Bridge" song on content reasons, my problems with it were asthetic - I thought they should be accurately informed on what they were going to be singing - plus IMO it was a bad song that was incredibly overhyped, not to mention that Keides vocal performance on it was for crap. The idea of listening to a class full of kids trying to copy his already bad singing (as a 20-year musician myself) was about as attractive as going out and having a unneccesary root canal. But I admit, that's probably just me - and most of the non-tone deaf portion of the population.]

Vyan

Now Playing "Dear Mr. President" on Truth 2 Power Radio

Thursday, May 4

Rummy gets Clowned on CNN by 27 year CIA Vet

Today in Atlanta Secatary of Defense Don Rumsfeld, whose resignation has been asked for by six retired generals, was grilled during a press conference in Atlanta.

Video via ThinkProgress.
QUESTION: So I would like to ask you to be up front with the American people, why did you lie to get us into a war that was not necessary, that has caused these kinds of casualties? why?

RUMSFELD: Well, first of all, I haven't lied. I did not lie then. Colin Powell didn't lie. He spent weeks and weeks with the Central Intelligence Agency people and prepared a presentation that I know he believed was accurate, and he presented that to the United Nations. the president spent weeks and weeks with the central intelligence people and he went to the american people and made a presentation. i'm not in the intelligence business. they gave the world their honest opinion. it appears that there were not weapons of mass destruction there.

QUESTION: You said you knew where they were.

RUMSFELD: I did not. I said I knew where suspect sites were and -

QUESTION: You said you knew whe
re they were Tikrit, Baghdad, northeast, south, west of there. Those are your words.

RUMSFELD: My words -- my words were that -- no, no, wait a minute, wait a minute. Let him stay one second. Just a second.

QUESTION: This is America.

RUMSFELD: You're getting plenty of play, sir.

QUESTION: I'd just like an honest answer.

RUMSFELD: I'm giving it to you.

QUESTION: Well we're talking about lies and your allegation there was bulletproof evidence of ties between al Qaeda and Iraq.

RUMSFELD: Zarqawi was in Baghdad during the prewar period. That is a fact.

QUESTION: Zarqawi? He was in the north of Iraq in a place where Saddam Hussein had no rule. That's also...

RUMSFELD: He was also in Baghdad.

QUESTION: Yes, when he needed to go to the hospital.

Come on, these people aren't idiots. They know the story.

(PROTESTER INTERRUPTS)

RUMSFELD: Let me give you an example.

It's easy for you to make a charge, but why do you think that the men and women in uniform every day, when they came out of Kuwait and went into Iraq, put on chemical weapon protective suits? Because they liked the style?

(LAUGHTER)

They honestly believed that there were chemical weapons.

(APPLAUSE)

Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons on his own people previously. He'd used them on his neighbor (AUDIO GAP) the Iranians, and they believed he had those weapons.

We believed he had those weapons.

QUESTION: That's what we call a non sequitur. It doesn't matter what the troops believe; it matters what you believe.

MODERATOR: I think, Mr. Secretary, the debate is over. We have other questions, courtesy to the audience.

Now the core issue that the questioner was bringing up, were Rumsfelds comments from March 30th, 2003 (11 days into the Iraq War) on This Week.

MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, weapons of mass destruction. Key goal of the military campaign is finding those weapons of mass destruction. None have been found yet. There was a raid on the Answar Al-Islam Camp up in the north last night. A lot of people expected to find ricin there. None was found. How big of a problem is that? And is it curious to you that given how much control U.S. and coalition forces now have in the country, they haven't found any weapons of mass destruction?

SEC. RUMSFELD: Not at all. If you think -- let me take that, both pieces -- the area in the south and the west and the north that coalition forces control is substantial. It happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed. We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.

Second, the [audio glitch] facilities, there are dozens of them, it's a large geographic area. It is the -- Answar Al-Islam group has killed a lot of Kurds. They are tough. And our forces are currently in there with the Kurdish forces, cleaning the area out, tracking them down, killing them or capturing them and they will then begin the site exploitation. The idea, from your question, that you can attack that place and exploit it and find out what's there in fifteen minutes.

I would also add, we saw from the air that there were dozens of trucks that went into that facility after the existence of it became public in the press and they moved things out. They dispersed them and took them away. So there may be nothing left. I don't know that. But it's way too soon to know. The exploitation is just starting.

Second, the criminal facilities, there are dozens of them, it's a large geographic area. It is the -- Answar Al-Islam group has killed a lot of Kurds. They are tough. And our forces are currently in there with the Kurdish forces, cleaning the area out, tracking them down, killing them or capturing them and they will then begin the site exploitation. The idea, from your question, that you can attack that place and exploit it and find out what's there in fifteen minutes.

I would also add, we saw from the air that there were dozens of trucks that went into that facility after the existence of it became public in the press and they moved things out. They dispersed them and took them away. So there may be nothing left. I don't know that. But it's way too soon to know. The exploitation is just starting.



Ray McGovern at DSM Forum
pictured third from Left with Wilson & Sheehan
Now, besides for Rumsfeld being factual wrong about what he did and didn't claim - and also wrong about was removed from the area (unless you count the missing munitions from Al Qaqa) - there is the fact that the questioner wasn't just some random rube from Pacoima. It was reportedly former 27 year CIA Analyst Ray McGovern, who along with Cindy Sheehan and Joeseph Wilson attended the John Conyers Downing Street Forum from last year. This was no Harry Taylor, but a person with experience and knowledge concerning the CIA and it's interactions with the Executive.

Like former European CIA Chief Tyler Drumheller was featured on 60 Minutes recently, has been quite outspoken and has echoed the same concerns brought forward by State Dept Inteligence Analyst Greg Theilman (under then-Secretary Colin Powell).

“I had a couple of initial reactions. Then I had a more mature reaction,” says Thielmann, commenting on Powell's presentation to the United Nations last February.

I think my conclusion now is that it's probably one of the low points in his long, distinguished service to the nation."

Thielmann was a foreign service officer for 25 years. His last job at the State Department was acting director of the Office of Strategic Proliferation and Military Affairs, which was responsible for analyzing the Iraqi weapons threat.

He and his staff had the highest security clearances, and saw virtually everything – whether it came into the CIA or the Defense Department.

Thielmann was admired at the State Department. One high-ranking official called him honorable, knowledgeable, and very experienced. Thielmann had planned to retire just four months before Powell’s big moment before the U.N. Security Council.

On Feb. 5, 2003, Secretary Powell presented evidence against Saddam:
“The gravity of this moment is matched by the gravity of the threat that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction pose to the world."

At the time, Thielmann says that Iraq didn't pose an imminent threat to the U.S.: “I think it didn't even constitute an imminent threat to its neighbors at the time we went to war.

And Thielmann says that's what the intelligence really showed. For example, he points to the evidence behind Powell’s charge that Iraq was importing aluminum tubes to use in a program to build nuclear weapons.

Powell said: “Saddam Hussein is determined to get his hands on a nuclear bomb. He is so determined that he has made repeated covert attempts to acquire high-specification aluminum tubes from 11 different countries even after inspections resumed.”

This is one of the most disturbing parts of Secretary Powell's speech for us,” says Thielmann.

Intelligence agents intercepted the tubes in 2001, and the CIA said they were parts for a centrifuge to enrich uranium -- fuel for an atom bomb. But Thielmann wasn’t so sure.

Experts at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the scientists who enriched uranium for American bombs, advised that the tubes were all wrong for a bomb program. At about the same time, Thielmann’s office was working on another explanation. It turned out the tubes' dimensions perfectly matched an Iraqi conventional rocket.

“The aluminum was exactly, I think, what the Iraqis wanted for artillery,” recalls Thielmann, who says he sent that word up to the Secretary of State months before.

So if Secretary of State Colin Powell truly believed what he said before the UN in October of 2002, then he was clearly not paying attention to what his own primary staff was telling him. Either that or he's liar, just as Rumsfeld is a liar.

Vyan

Bush's Reaction to Colbert (Pics and Video)

Well, after several days of assuming their usual position in response to Bush - sitting on their hands - the Press has finally begun to rise and awake to the signifigance of Stephen Colbert's performance at the White House Correspondants dinner.

Mostly what they've had to say is "he wasn't funny", or like Richard Cohen "he was rude".

How about another perspective on this. In fact, how about the reactions from the President himself?

Apparently ABC's Cameras were pointed at the President during the Helen Thomas Video...

Courtesy of Democratic Underground

During the video segment of Stephen Colbert's speech last Saturday, ABC News trained their cameras on George W. Bush for the duration. Video Here (The Cameras switch to Bush at 16:39)

Following on the heels of the Coretta Scott-King Funeral, and the grilling by Harry Taylor, all indications are that Bush left the Dinner "ready to burst" - to which I say, let's all enjoy the slow boil over and over again, shall we?

As we do let's reflect on all the wonderful pithy gems that Colbert has planted right in our laps... "Reality has a Liberal Bias", "Sombody Shoot Me in the Face", "They're all Fact, No Heart", "Events can change, this man's beliefs never will", "Fox News gives you both sides of every story, The President's side and the Vice-President's side". "Enjoy that metaphor, because you're grand-children will have no idea what a glacier is..." All of it pure gold, and what truly frightens and angers the pundit class - is that Colbert has provided the left with reams and reams of ammo to shoot down their pen raised quayle-like arguments.

Colbert gave both the Press and the President a verbal Peppering they won't soon forget, and neither will we.

Vyan

Now Listening to "Past Time Paradise" by Stevie Wonder on... Truth 2 Power Radio

Wednesday, May 3

Media Matters punks Gibson on Neil Young and Pink Songs

In a recent report Media Matters again does an excellent job of deconstructing right-wing spin on the anti-Bush Protest songs released by Neil Young and Pink.

Summary: John Gibson alleged that Neil Young, whose latest album is critical of President Bush and the war in Iraq, is "forgetful" and has "amnesia," and that the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks are "a distant memory" for him. Gibson suggested Young go see the new movie, United 93. But far from "forget[ing]" about Flight 93, Young wrote a song in 2001, "[i]nspired by a Newsweek story recounting the fatal flight."

Let me just be blunt, John Gibson is a Fucking Lunatic! Far more than the average Faux-ite, this guy is over the right field wall and far away. Bully O'Leily gets a lot of press via Olbermann, and by being lampooned by Stephen Colbert - but Gibson's is a truly genocidal asshole.

From his Book "Hating America: The New Sport"

As America defends its security in the ongoing war on terror, Gibson argues, we must be prepared to face this growing tide of resentment abroad, which will only result in serious consequences for the haters themselves. For the anti-Americans, he argues, would "like us to forget that those who hate us may eventually try to kill us -- because they now know that we will never allow that to happen without exacting a price on those who would attempt it."

Serious consequences like a storm of Bunker-Buster Nukes one wonders?

Leaving aside Iran for the moment, it appears that Gibson currently has that aging neo-terrorist Neil Young in his sights.

On the April 28 edition of Fox News' The Big Story, host John Gibson alleged that singer/songwriter Neil Young's latest album, Living With War (Reprise, May 2006), which is critical of President Bush and the war in Iraq, indicates that Young is "forgetful" and has "amnesia," and that the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks are "a distant memory" for him. Gibson suggested Young go see the newly released movie, United 93 (Universal, April 2006), a fictionalized account of events aboard United Airlines Flight 93, one of the planes hijacked on September 11, which crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Gibson even questioned whether Young "would accept free tickets from me" to see the movie. But far from "forget[ing]" about Flight 93, Young wrote a song in 2001 titled "Let's Roll," "[i]nspired by a Newsweek story recounting the fatal flight," as The Washington Post noted at the time.

On Pink Gibson said.

Gibson also criticized singer Pink for her song, "Dear Mr. President." Referring to recent video and audio tapes released by Osama bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, and Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, Gibson said: "I wonder if they listen to Neil Young and Pink. I doubt it. Do you think they would spare Neil Young and Pink while they killed the rest of us because, after all, Neil Young and Pink are against the war, and they want peace?" Gibson then added: "If Zarqawi and bin Laden are against Bush, they must be against war, right? You might think so if ... all you listen to was Neil Young and Pink."

You mean would they spare them like released hostage and journalist Jill Carrol, that traitorous bitch who "was carrying Zarqawi's Baby", according to guests on Imus?

This is classic Right-wingnuttery, just as Glenn Greenwald has documented.

I recently documented how this self-justifying, fantasyland mindset is constant and applicable to every issue. Insurgency in Iraq? Can't be; it just doesn't exist. Reports of civil war? Not true - the media is just biased and dishonest. Poll after poll showing the President is reaching historic levels of unpopularity? The polls are just biased and corrupt because the President is really beloved. Secret torture gulags in Eastern Europe? They don't exist either - that was all just a masterful set-up to find the CIA leakers (a fantasy in which Strata indulges for the Plame disclosure, too: "I think this was a canary trap"). The CIA agent outed by the administration was working on Iran's nuclear program? False - the reporter is an idiot, her husband is a liar, it's just one CIA agent, and the President is too good and smart to do that, no matter what facts emerge.

The denial is so steadfast, immediate and shrill because the notion that perhaps it's true never occurs to them. They begin with the premise that any fact that reflects poorly on the Leader is false, and then set out in search for rationale to prove that.

This is the way the game has to be played for them. Constant denial, convenient re-arrangment of reality to suit the latest administration position and argument.

1994 - "We're the party of fiscal restraint". 2004 - "Well, ok - maybe were' not".

1994 - "We're the party of accountability". 2004 - "Er, Not so much anymore".

Any arguement can be used, any rationale suggested and summarily dismissed as soon it becomes expedient for those who don't care about factiness.

Reality is indeed a Liberal Bias, Liberals live in real world, the Neo-con Cabal that currently runs the Executive, Congress, most of the Courts and Media don't live in that world. They live in a world of Devout Faith and Fealty to Greed, mixed with a generous dose of Xenobia and a more than a dash of Self-delusion.

In their world, dissent is a crime. Stephen Colbert embarrising the President by throwing his own bullshit back in his face was a 'disgrace'. How dare he - he - get so truthy on us?

But of course, although we all know this already - it's still a fascinating phenomon to observe, much like watcing some species of animals devour their young.

Fascinating and frightening. Very frightening.

Vyan

Now Listening to "Fortunate Son" by Creedance Clearwater Rival on Truth 2 Power Radio

Tuesday, May 2

The Day Without a Mexican...or a German, or an Israeli

In 2004 an amazing movie satire was released called A Day Without A Mexican, which hypothesized what would happen if every Mexican, legal or not, suddenly vanished from all of California.

Yesterday that hypothesis came true. The filmakers had this to say about it.

In the spring of 2006, reality has imitated art. Immigration issues have exploded onto the national stage and currently there is a call for a National Boycott on May 1st -- No work, no school, no buying, no selling -- in support of immigration reform in the United States.


All artists dream of changing the world. Our goal is to create work that is relevant to our times. If our work has encouraged social change, that is the ultimate satisfaction. In making this film, our objective was to open the dialogue on the issue of immigration by including factual information and alternative views that would change the terms of the discussion. This in the hope of having the Latino community take its rightful place as an important contributor and player in the history and future of the United States. The film was meant as a fable, a warning to be heeded.

Today, the fable has come to life. As we see reality and our imagination become one, we want to encourage people to participate in the struggle as they are able. We will be documenting the process and the outcome in hopes of furthering the discussion of the contribution made to our society and economy by not just the Latino immigrants but all immigrants. That these contributions increase productivity and raise the standard of living for all of us.

Yesterday's demonstrations were clearly not limited to just Mexicans. One of the most amazing things about it was the broad range of immigrants, from Iran, Germany, Ethiopia, Australia, who all came together to protest the threat of making a minor immigration violation into a Felony.

Feelings and reactions were mixed - from those in LA who felt that "Traffic has never been better" to those who were outraged that "law-breakers" would dare to demand for the ability to continue flouting our laws.

From the Los Angeles Times (which wasn't included in SusanG's roundup of coverage).

Feeling power in their numbers, hundreds of thousands of people marched peacefully, even joyously, through the streets of Los Angeles on Monday as part of a nationwide demonstration of economic and political clout by immigrants -- legal and illegal.

Thousands of businesses were shuttered on the "Day Without Immigrants" as workers and their families, most of them from Mexico, participated in a boycott of work and commerce, rallying to demonstrate their importance to the U.S. economy and to demand changes in immigration law that would give illegal migrants a path to citizenship.

...

A crowd estimated by Los Angeles police at 250,000 marched to City Hall in the morning, after which many determined demonstrators made their way, on foot or by subway, to MacArthur Park for a larger march along Wilshire Boulevard. Police estimated that crowd at 400,000 and reported few problems.

With nearly a half-million in LA alone, not to mention some reports of nearly 600,000 in Chicago, the scope and scale of this March seems unprecedented - at least to me.

The latest polls indicate that feeling on immigration is almost evenly split - with an even 45% feeling that immigrants "Help more than Hurt" the nation as the reverse.

61% of respondants were in favor of the question "If you had to make a choice, would you favor deporting immigrants in America who are not legal citizens and do not have work permits, or would you favor allowing these immigrants to stay in America as long as they pass a security check, meet certain conditions, and pay taxes?"

68% of respondants were in favor of some phase plan which would allow some long term illegal immigrants, who pass a security check, a form of amnesty while others who have only recently arrived are sent back in order to re-enter legally.

We have to come to realize that we are primarily a nation of immigrants and that at it's basic core the impulse to deny other the oppurtunities that our forebears or ourselves have had is just plain selfish.

Since the early 1920's our Immigration Policies have been Racist at their Core in response to that era's "Yellow Peril". Quotas limiting the number of legal Visa allowed to desirables and undesirables have been closely controlled for decades, in clear violation of the Civil Rights Act prohibition against discrimination based on national origin.

SEC. 201. (a) All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.

SEC. 202. All persons shall be entitled to be free, at any establishment or place, from discrimination or segregation of any kind on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin, if such discrimination or segregation is or purports to be required by any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, rule, or order of a State or any agency or political subdivision thereof.

How can we continue to insist that we enforce laws which are inherently unfair and discriminatory? It's far past time we looked at the quality of these people, not the nation of their birth when assessing the question of whether they "deserve" the oppurtunities and freedoms we take for granted and frequently fail to appreciate. We do indeed need reform, but a "Guest Worker" or a "Amnesty" program is just playing around at the margins, we need to address the heart of the issue. Just who do we let in and why? How do we accomplish this fairly, and at the same time protect ourselves from those who wish to exploit our immigration law to harm us?

Whether yesterday's protest accomplishes the desired effect and helps establish a method for illegals to pay back their debt to our society and eventually enter with "full docmentation" proudly remains to be seen - but what can't be easily brushed off is the fact that these millions of people are showing a love for this country and it's tradition of free speech and freedom to assemble that many of us have long forgetten and/or rarely show.

"If you want something, you have to fight for it," said Jaime Torres, 19, an illegal immigrant from Jalisco, Mexico, and a student at Los Angeles City College. "We have to be respectful, but we have to raise our voices."

We could all learn a thing or three living for a day without a Mexican (or a few Million).

Vyan

(Now listening to "War Pigs" by Faith No More on Truth 2 Power Radio)

Sunday, April 30

Protest Rock : Beyond Pink, Springsteen and Young

The recent return of Protest Rock, with the new albums by Neil Young, as well as songs by Pink and Springsteen have been greatly welcomed, at least compared to total crap like "I'm in love with a stripper" or the Pussy Cat Dolls.

Pop Music has always had it's fluff, and it's been quite a while since mainstream artists have darned to speak up about the world around them, and political issues in particular especially after the whip-lash Natalie Mains from the Dixie Chicks received for a simple onstage comment.

Or has it?

Last years Grammy Winning Album by Green Day featured some extremely biting commentary on the Iraq War and the state of Boy George Bush's America. Maybe the art of the Protest Song isn't as lost as we usually tend to think?

Protest music has a long tradition, going back to Creedance Clearwater commenting on the Vietnam Draft with "Fortunate Son", Jimi Hendrix wailing on "All Along the Watchtower", Black Sabbath speaking out on the "War Pigs" and Edwin Starr's classic "War".

Good God y'all! Huh!

During the 70's the tradition continued when Marvin Gaye battled Barry Gordy of Motown Records and after a year eventually was able to release his seminal "What's Going On" album featuring great songs like "Inner City Blues". Stevie Wonder followed suit and released "Past Time Paradise" and "Village Ghetto Land", not to mention John Lennon with "Imagine" and "Nobody Told Me, while Bob Marley told us "Get up, Stand up!.

Then of course, there was U2 (the Real U2 that is). With "Sunday Bloody Sunday", "Pride (in the name of Love)", "New Years Day" and "Bullet in the Blue Sky" who beside the Australian Band Midnight Oil lead the cry for justice and freedom internationally while Public Enemy continued to "Fight the Power" and do what they could to "Shut 'em Down". They were joined by groups such as Living Colour who addressed the culture wars - "Fight the Fight", environmental issues "Time's Up" and neo-nazism "Auslander" equally well.

That torch was picked up in the 90's by Rage Against the Machine - mixing the power and punk and the passion of Hip-Hop and electrified the world with "Killing in the Name Of" and "Take the Power Back". Ministry pointed out the dangers of Bush's post Cold War with "N.W.O. (New World Order)". You also had Queensryche , "Resistance", and Megadeth "Foreclosure of a Dream" making their mark. And don't forget Bodycount practically making the top of Charlton Heston's head pop-off like a champagne cork echoing Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sherriff"with their anti-police brutallity song "Cop Killer"! Even Alice in Chains addressed War (Vietnam) with their song "Rooster".

When R.A.T.M., and Megadeth broke up - many thought the days of the angry protest band with a messege were over. But that tradition hasn't completely died - it's simply gone somewhat unnoticed. Cases in point.


    "Meglomaniac" by Incubus - Released 2004 (Featuring a video with clear anti-establishment/militaristic intent - Bush was clearly the target)


    Hey megalomaniac
    You're no Jesus
    Yeah, you're no fucking Elvis
    Wash Your hands clean of Yourself, baby
    And step down, step down

    "Holiday" by Green Day - Released 2005 (Video)


    Hear the sound of the falling rain
    Coming down like an armagedon flame (hey)
    The shame
    The ones who died without a name

    Hear the dogs howling out of key
    To a hymn called "faith and misery" (hey)
    And bleed
    The company lost the war today

    ...

    Sieg heil to the president gasman
    Bombs away is your punishment
    Pulverize the Eiffel Towers
    Who criticize your government
    Bang bang goes the broken glass
    Kill all the fags that don't agree
    Trials by fire setting fire
    Is not a way that's meant for me

    "Deify" by Disturbed - Released 2005


    (Song starts with a G.w. Bush audio clip)

    I won't be sleeping tonight
    I only wanted a blessing made
    now I've been labelled a renegade

    it seem clear now what I must do
    you're no immortal
    I won't let them deify you
    they view you as the new messiah - deify you
    renew belief in some demented man

    This Disturbed album "Ten Thousand Fists" also features a cover of "Land of Confusion originally by Genesis which completely skewered the Reagan Administration back in the day.

    "B.Y.O.B." by System of a Down - Released 2005 (See Video)


    Everybody's going to the party have a real good time
    Dancing in the desert blowing up the sunshine

    Blast off
    It's party time
    And we don't live in a fascist nation
    Where the fuck are you?
    Where the fuck are you?

    Why don't presidents fight the war?
    Why do they always send the poor?


Now we have Pink joining the fray with veterans Young ("Rocking in the Free World") and Springsteen ("Born in the U.S.A.") - and I for one am glad to see it.

I've been running my own Live365 Internet Radio Station since July 4th 2005 focusing specifically on Protest and Confrontational Music, and all of these tracks are included in the rotation (and lots more, even the new Pink song with a "Let's Impeach the President" Chaser by Young). It's called Truth 2 Power Radio - and is free to listen to with a sign-up to Live365 (they don't ask for anything)

Normally Live365 has commercials (unless you join as a preferred listener), but thanks to Napster there will be no commercials for the next 24 hours! What's your favorite protest song?

Vyan