Friday, September 3

We can't possibly Lose Congress & America to these Wackjobs!

I mean seriously, are we really looking at having Sharon (Obtuse) Angle as a U.S. Senator instead of Harry Reid? Or Rand (Anti-Civil Rights) Paul? Carly Fiorina who shot her mouth off as financial spokesperson for McCain and was benched as being too embarrassing by his Campaign? Mega Millionaire's Rick (Medicare Fraudster) Scott and Mega-Ebay Bucks Whitmann buying their way into Governorships? Jan (Icabod) Brewer who sees dead head-less torsos in the Arizona Desert? Tim Pawlenty who says the Federal Government is a like a Drug Dealer for cash strapped towns and business?

Were looking at losing Congress to this pack of wackjobs and hucksters?

I mean really?

How the hell can we not be motivated by that?

How the hell can we let people who think that the Constitution was built upon numerous references to "God", "The Free Market" and "Capitalism" be the ones running this Country?

(For the record, No - I'm not against or disparaging "God" or "Capitalism" only people who wrongly think those are Constitutional Tenets when they aren't even mentioned once in the entire document.)

They want to "Take the Country Back" to it's original founding? Back to where the Declaraion of Tea Bagging Independence read: We hold that all White Male Land and Business owners are created (more) equal, with the inalienable right to pursue and exploit anyone elses land, labor or oil especially from Non-Christian Heathen Socialist/Communist Illegal Alien Islamic Scum!

This can't be happening.

The facts are the Illegal Immigration is actually down by 60% over the past two years, while enforcement and deportations are up as much as 25% from the where they were at the start of Bush's first term.

Yet they continue to Fear-Monger and claim Obama has "Done nothing" about it? Yeah, except send 6,000 Troops and Predator Drones to the border.

On our side we have Facts.

On their side they have Ridiculous Bigoted Ass Clown Propogandists like Andrew Breitbart and his buddy/felon James (Pimp Daddy) O'Keefe, Louie (Run from the Terror Babies!) Ghomert, and Paul ("I have a Reverse-Robin Hood budget scheme") Ryan.

During this year the private sector has gained back over 760,000 jobs with a 63,000 private sector job increase reported for August. Yes, of course we need more - much more - but do you really think we're going to get what we need as a nation from Speaker Boehner!?

Let that sink in - we're seriously looking at having SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER.

Or Senate Majority Leader Mitch (Mc'Chinless) McConnell who takes "Obama at his word" that he's not a Filthy Muslim Traitor.


With the minority they currently have in the House and Senate, Republicans have done everything they could to block relief for small business with increased lending, blocked support for those who remain unemployed, stalled and watered down Wall Street Reform to prevent more financial disasters like the one that we're still recovering from, stalled and watered down desperately needed Health Care Reform, watered down the Economic Stimulus, DEFENDED BP and Big Oil despite their negligence causing the biggest environmental disaster in U.S. History and on and on and on...

It was Bush who ballooned the spending all out of proportion before Obama became President. Nearly all of our current Deficit goes straight back to him.

Together with the economic downturn, the Bush tax cuts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain virtually the entire deficit over the next ten years (see Figure 1).

The deficit for fiscal year 2009 was $1.4 trillion and, at nearly 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), was the largest deficit relative to the size of the economy since the end of World War II. If current policies are continued without changes, deficits will likely approach those figures in 2010 and remain near $1 trillion a year for the next decade.

Rather than let Bush's deficit busting tax cuts expire, their agenda is to shut it all down. All of it.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said he thinks the Republicans are hinting at shutdown with their promises to defund everything.

"They want to shrink it to where it doesn't work, and then when it doesn't work, they go, 'Look! It doesn't work, get rid of it.' And that's been their strategy all along," Trumka told TPM Thursday after speaking to reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. "They don't talk about how to make things effective; they talk about how to get rid of them."

The push to shut down the government that Dick Morris floated to conservatives last week is picking up some steam. Democrats who experienced the shutdown in 1995 and 1996 told TPM it was disastrous and it would be "un-American" to force people to endure another one.

Their clear goal was to functionally disable the Government, then turn around a whine "See the Government is Disabled - you can't trust it, you can't DEPEND on it - so let us RUN IT (into the ground)!" They're a pack of Bible-thumping nihilists. A God-Squad of Social-Economic Darwinists. Survival of the Most Entitled and Economically Protected Classes Only, screw the rest of us out here in the cold. For them it's as if America was still a frontier, and there was enough open space for anyone to put up a fence, build a cabin and live off the land - (that the government Gave THEM after stealing it from someone else!)

Why on earth would we EVER want to give these guys more power to block, obstruct, limit, defund and destroy our country?

We may not like everything Obama has done or how he's done it. We may be unhappy about the lack of a Public Option, comments about the "Professional Left" or "Fuck the Unions" or Gitmo, Indefinite Detention, escalating Afghanistan, a lack of action on War Crimes Tribunals or Torture Trials. While we may grumble about all that we also have to recall that Obama never campaigned as a Liberal or Progressive so we shouldn't be surprised if he doesn't act like one now, but on the other hand he certainly Isn't a Wackjob like these Frackers!

We're gonna have to grin and bare our disappointments. Pull it together and hit the pavement, and hit the phone banks to support the Democrats this November. Yes, gulp, even the Blue Dogs if they win the nomination. The alternative is too horrible to contemplate. If we can't generate excitement and enthusiasm over all the historic legislation that has passed, from the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act, to the Matthew Sheppard Hate Crimes Bill, the Nuclear Disarmament Treaty, the Iranian Sanctions, the First Serious Health Reform in 45 years, tax cuts and credits for 95% of Americans and small business to help them hire, $26 Billion to keep our Teachera, Firefighters and Police on the job, saving our economy from collapse and the American Auto Industry from the brink of bankruptcy and disaster, beginning the largest investments in clean energy in history, cutting tax loopholes that encourage businesses to ship our jobs overseas... we need to take a page from the oppositions book and point out exactly what we have to Lose if the other side gains power.


If you don't exactly like the Democratic candidate - just take a look at their opposition and motivate yourself to Keep them Out. If you don't feel energized to vote for something - you've got to get out there and VOTE AGAINST THESE PEOPLE.

We have got to keep them OUT of Power. Period. Let's get energized about that if nothing else.


Wednesday, September 1

Kelly & Crowley Defend Ridiculous Obama Myths

You see, it's dishonest and unfair "pablum" to point out that accusations that Obama is a "Dangerous, Muslim, Socialist" are simply a pack of deranged lies - but then he is kinda socialistic isn't he?
The really funny part is when they start accusing Newsweek of being a "Partisan Rag" - not that's there's anything "wrong with that", but...

Kelly: Shouldn't you admit and tell people you're a partisan rag?

Well, geez, I don't know has Fox News told anyone that Rupert Murdoch gave $1 Million to the Republican Governors Association?

Has Fox News told anyone that the biggest shareholder outside of memeber of the Murdoch Family, is a Saudi Price whose also given money to the Cordoba House/Park 51 project?

They again repeat the frankly ridiculous talking point (which Andrew Breitbart loves to spout) that "Nobody looked into Obama's background", after we had months and months of coverage of Reverend Wrong and Bill Ayers the Terrorist Pal.

Obama is the supposed "socialist" who didn't support Single Payer, and didn't support the Public Option and invited Insurance Lobbyists into the discussion who them demanded the Individual Mandate, and signed a weakened Stimulus Package chuck full of tax cuts for small business, and signed a weakened Financial Reform package, and still has Gitmo open and just gave George W. Bush a verbal reach around as he declared the Iraq War Combat Operations complete?

Regardless of what these partisan hacks spout, it's very clear that Obama Derangement Syndrome is very, very real.

A majority of Republicans believe that President Barack Obama “sympathizes with the goals of Islamic fundamentalists who want to impose Islamic law around the world,” according to a survey released on Monday.

That figure, buried at the very end of a newly released Newsweek public opinion poll, reflects the extent to which a shocking bit of smear and misinformation has managed to become nearly commonplace within the GOP tent.

There is no evidence, NONE, ZERO, that Obama "sypathizes" with Islamic fundamentalists.

The article they're all wee wee'd up over is simply an attempt to analyze and explain the previously reported Newsweek poll which says that well over 50% of Republicans think Obama wants to impose Sharia Law on the nation. And Alter's explanation makes sense...

Associational distortion and GOP complicity are certainly part of the explanation for the belief that Obama is Muslim. So is the prevalence of something psychologists call motivated reasoning. As I wrote last year, when people engage in motivated reasoning they “seek out information that confirms what they already believe,” as sociologist Steven Hoffman, visiting assistant professor at the University at Buffalo, told me then. They do not “search rationally for information that either confirms or disconfirms a particular belief.” In this Internet age, there is no shortage of sources you can find “proving” that Obama is Muslim (or that the moon landings were faked, or other false claims). “People completely ignore contrary information” and “develop elaborate rationalizations based on faulty information,” Hoffman explained.


McCain supporters said there is a 56 percent chance that Obama is Muslim, the scientists report in a paper in the current issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. But when the same McCain supporters were asked to fill out a card asking for their own race, which brought the topic of race into their consciousness, that jumped to 77 percent. Just thinking about a social category that differentiated the volunteers from Obama was enough to get them to believe a falsehood. This effect occurs with age, too. Undecided voters said there is a 43 percent chance McCain is senile; when they filled out a card asking for their (usually young) age, that increased to 73 percent.

Kelly & Crowley want to argue that "most" Republicans don't believe this nonsense, when the fact is They Do and part of the reason they do is because it's part of the GOP/Fox strategy to demonize the President, rather than honestly, openly or fairly critique him - let alone report the news. They are the masters of the Smear and Dodge tactic, repeatedly rationalizing and justifying outright lies and paranoia for political gain, then proclaiming no responsibility for it like Bart Simpson walking out of a candy store with a pocket full of M&M's.

"I didn't do it, Nobody saw me do it - You can't prove anything!"

But we did see you do it - you're doing it right now - and we can prove every bit of it.


Tuesday, August 31

Why Obama couldn't "Thank Bush" for Iraq

When it comes to finding the first car along the crazy train you can count on the GOP to always deliver, especially via twitter.

SarahPalinUsa Obama speech tonite may make u dig out ur old Orwell books so rewritten history can be deciphered, depending on who gets credit 4 Iraq surge

Drudge_Report FLASHBACK: Sen. Obama -- 'The Surge Will Fail'...

Drudge_Report McConnell: Obama should credit Bush on Iraq...

In response to this I had a few tweets of my own.

Iraq War was Lie, sold using Fear, Forgeries and Torture - Surge was Luck @SarahPalinUSA Obama speech make u dig out ur old Orwell books

Where were the WMD'S?? Mushroom Clouds? Links to Atta? @SarahPalinUSA Obama speech tonite may make u dig out ur old Orwell books

Orwell is GOP Operation Manual, who started war again? @SarahPalinUSA Obama speech tonite may make u dig out ur old Orwell books

According to 2007 NIE the main drop in Iraq violence was due to Sunnis Awakening & Change in Congress, not Surge @SarahPalinUSA

Only reason Conservs are trying to bash Obama over Surge? 1 Colorful distraction they have for every other Bush War Failure @SarahPalinUsa

"There is no doubt" Republicans will stop at nothing to trash Obama when he's simply giving us good news that even Bush agrees with #Iraq

"There is No Doubt" that @SarahPalinUSA & @Drudge_Report care more about their talking points than America, Our Troops or the #Iraq People

"There is no Doubt" that the Surge actually *Delayed* the Sunni defeat of AQI, which had started 4 months previously @SarahPalinUSA

"There is No Doubt" that all excuses for 4,000 US Troops dying in #Iraq for a pack of Lies fueled by Torture & Forgeries has finally Ended.

"The Surge" worked, eh? How's that "breathing space" for #Iraq Political Reconciliation Thangy working for ya? @SarahPalinUSA

One Last thing @SarahPalinUSA, do you still believe that Saddam Hussein attacked us on 9/11 as you said when Trig Track shipped out?

When Bush proposed "The Surge" it was just common sense to assume it would fail, Since Everything else that Bush done related to the War had already FAILED. Why should they get this one thing right?

Saddam Hussein did not have a stockpile of WMD's left over from the first Iraq War, those had been destroyed back in 1991 as George Bush was specifically told by Habbush the former head of Iraqi Intelligence said before we invaded. Rather than listen to the truth, Bush authorized the forging of a letter which attempted to Link Saddam Directly to al Qaeda and 9/11 to help justify his desire for the War.

The Iraqi Nuclear program was long dead, as the Niger Forgeries, the State Dept and Energy Dept told us in the original Iraq NIE when they pointed out that the Anondyzed Coating made the Aluminum Tubes improper for Uranium Enrichment, but that information was classified while Scooter Libby was given free reign to Lie to the New York Times in an effort to discredit Joe Wilson, in the process leading to the outing of his wife, who was a Covert CIA Operative working on Weapon's Proliferation in Iraq and Iran.

Talk about destroying U.S. Foreign Policy and Counter-terrorism goals.

There were no Mobile Chemical Weapons Labs as we were told by paid informant Curveball.

Lastly, Saddam Hussein and Iraqi Intelligence DID NOT train Muhammad Atta on the use of Chemical Weapons as we were told by al Libi after he'd been tortured in Egypt.

[W]hat I have learned is that as the administration authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002—well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion—its principal priority for intelligence was not aimed at pre-empting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al-Qa'ida.

So furious was this effort that on one particular detainee, even when the interrogation team had reported to Cheney's office that their detainee "was compliant" (meaning the team recommended no more torture), the VP's office ordered them to continue the enhanced methods. The detainee had not revealed any al-Qa'ida-Baghdad contacts yet. This ceased only after Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, under waterboarding in Egypt, "revealed" such contacts. Of course later we learned that al-Libi revealed these contacts only to get the torture to stop.

Still to this day the acolytes of Dick Cheney, his daughter and people such as Marc Theissen continue to this day to expound on the value of "enhanced interrogation" when honest reporting shows that these types of techniques WERE WHY THE INTELLIGENCE WAS FLAWED and consequently helped lead to the death of over 4,000 U.S. Troops and far far more innocent Iraqis.

More importantly the Wingnuts continued crowing over the "Success of the Surge" is incorrect as I stated years ago (and linked in one of those tweets) - the Surge didn't Work, the problems in Iraq largely solved themselves.

It should be noted that violence does seem to be going down in many parts of Iraq as a result of Sunni Tribal leaders turning against and fighting al Qeada, a trend that began four months before the Surge was even announced, but what should also be noted is that the Political Reconcilliation - which was the entire POINT of the surge - hasn't even begun yet, and isn't likely to begin anytime soon.

So is the violence down because of the Surge or the Sunnis?

Or was it possibly both? Were the Sunni's emboldened by America's new found commitment to their security? Well according to the Iraq NIE for 2007, not so much.

August 24, 2007 : Yesterday, the National Intelligence Estimate reported "measurable but uneven improvements" in the security situation in Iraq. While the White House has rushed to suggest that the modest gains were the result of escalation, the improvement can more plausibly be the product of Iraqi expectations of a U.S. withdrawal.

    " "[F]earing a Coalition withdrawal, some tribal elements and Sunni groups probably will continue to seek accommodation with the Coalition to strengthen themselves for a post- Coalition security environment" [...]

    "The IC assesses that the emergence of ‘bottom-up’ security initiatives, principally among Sunni Arabs and focused on combating AQI, represent the best prospect for improved security over the next six to 12 months, but we judge these initiatives will only translate into widespread political accommodation and enduring stability if the Iraqi Government accepts and supports them.""

Now why would Iraqis have been anticipating a withdrawal of U.S. Troops - Four Months Before Bush initiated the Surge? Could it have been the fact that was September of 2006, just when the Democrats were poised to take control of both houses of Congress?

I think it could.

The Ill-fated, Ill-conceived and Ill-executed Iraq Conflict is now over. The Bushies should be stopping while their miles and miles behind not doubling-down on the biggest example of their MASSIVE. EPIC. FAIL. particularly at a time when the American people have much larger challenges with the economy, the recover for the Gulf and our own future in a world turning increasing Green in the months and years to come.


Monday, August 30

Park 51 Protests Make More Jihadis

It's Official: Newt Gingrich & Mark Williams have been emboldening the enemy with their anti-Islam Crusade (Yes, I said Crusade).

Taliban officials know it’s sacrilegious to hope a mosque will not be built, but that’s exactly what they’re wishing for: the success of the fiery campaign to block the proposed Islamic cultural center and prayer room near the site of the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan. “By preventing this mosque from being built, America is doing us a big favor,” Taliban operative Zabihullah tells NEWSWEEK. (Like many Afghans, he uses a single name.) “It’s providing us with more recruits, donations, and popular support.

Nice going Newt, Nice going.

Taliban officials say they’re looking forward to a new wave of terrorist trainees from the West like this year’s Times Square car bomber. “I expect we will soon be receiving more American Muslims like Faisal Shahzad who are looking for help in how to express their rage,” says a Taliban official who was a senior minister when the group ruled Afghanistan and who remains active in the insurgency.

As an indication of the anger that is growing among some Muslims in the West, this official, who requested anonymity for security reasons, mentions the arrest of three Canadian Muslims in Ontario last week on charges of plotting to build and detonate improvised explosive devices. (A fourth individual was arrested in Ottawa last Friday in connection with the case.) The Ground Zero furor will likely add to that anger. “The more mosques you stop, the more jihadis we will get,” Zabihullah predicts.

Not only has the hate-speech coming from the right begun to inspire the Taliban who we are fighting in Afghanistan, it's begun to inspire domestic terrorist including the arsonist who set fire to the Mosque in Murfeesboro Tennessee.

Local and federal authorities are investigating a fire at the construction site of an Islamic community center and mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn., this weekend, as well as reports of gunshots as community members gathered at the site.

The fire, which damaged a large piece of construction equipment, was discovered early Saturday morning. The local sheriff's office, the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau and the FBI are investigating.

A spokesman for ATF said today that although they aren't ready to say the fire was intentional, an accelerant was found.

"We're leaning toward arson," Special Agent Glenn Anderson said on MSNBC.

Church burning! We've returned to Church Burning, like what used to happen during the Civil Rights Era. Fighting Terrorism with Terrorism. Brilliant.

But we have to realize that this isn't a battle between Christians and Muslims, it's a battle between Extremists and Moderates as Imam Feisal Rauf himself has stated.

DUBAI (Reuters) - Election-year politics are interfering with the plan to build an Islamic center near the site of the September 11 attacks, the Muslim cleric leading the project said in comments published Monday.

Kuwait-born Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has been tight-lipped on the planned cultural center as he tours Gulf Arab countries to speak about religious radicalism, but said he felt the uproar was linked to the U.S. congressional elections in November.

"There is no doubt that the election season has had a major impact upon the nature of the discourse," Abdul Rauf said in an interview with Abu Dhabi's The National newspaper.

The imam said the issue was "not between Muslims and non-Muslims, but between moderates of all the faith traditions and the radicals of all the faith traditions."

Amen to that brother, Amen.


Sunday, August 29

Battling the Punk Rock Supremacy

The other day Radio Host Johnnie Wendel put forth the following question on Facebook.

After the Dickies, Me First + Gimmie Gimmies and too many others to name have made a career out of "punk rock versions of non punk songs", the question remains: Has there ever been a song that cannot be turned into punk rock?

I don't usually wade into musical discussions because they don't generally end well, and can be even more angry than discussions of politics - but this time I did anyway.

Now for those who don't know this is what Me First & the Gimme Gimmie's do, take songs from Pop, Classic Rock, Funk and even R&B and give it a "Punk Rock" make-over as they do here with the R. Kelly song "I believe I can fly".

My answer to the question was simple - there are some songs that where this can't be done. Admittedly I came down hard.

Is there is a song that can't be musically dumbed down into simple-minded 3-chord crap? Yes. Try "Roundabout" by Yes or "2112" & "La Villa Strangiato" by Rush - would turn most Punk Bands to puddles of quivering mush with bleeding fingers and tendinitis.

Now I admit my answer was based in the fact I don't like (most) Punk, hate it even, because I'm a musician who cares about actual musicianship - and Punk at it's core has become ANTI-music.

Be that as it may, I got an equally saucy response from Johnny, who himself is a punk rocker (ne "musician").

"Roundabout" is basically "Eight Miles High", which was punked up impressively by Husker Du, so, that would be easy, changes and all.

No, it's not really "Eight Miles High" - that song is completely different. Contrast and Compare:

Roundabout vs Eight Miles High

He also said this.

No sane human being would bother spending more time on Rush than it takes to hit an "off" button.

To which I responded, rather hotly.

‎"No sane person" eh? That's a typically bigoted and ignorant punker position. No surprise, I've heard that crap for years. If you were talking about Dream Theater you might have a point, but you don't. Fact is, Rush has had more consecutive Gold and Platinum Records than any band other than the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. Lots of proud to be "Not Sane" people out there. If this is how little respect you have for a group of genuine musicianship and integrity, it's no surprise that all it takes to "punk up" a song is to remove the talent, ability, and play it lousy. See, it doesn't suck - it's the "Punk" version. Feh!

And when I say I've heard that for years, I'm not kidding. I heard nothing but a complete disdain for musicianship all through the 90's. Nothing but excuses for bad playing, bad singing and bad writing which grew to it's peak in the wake of Nirvana's rise to fame and misfortune. The problem wasn't necessarily with Nirvana, but with Kurt's specific anti-guitar attitude (he even used to badmouth Pearl Jam because they had extended Guitar Solos, until he met them and got to know them) which permeated the music scene and destroyed tons of bands and tons of perfectly fine musicians. Some of those guys were friends of mine. It was like a plague, and yeah, I'm still miffed about it. Always will be.

Kurt wasn't a great guitarist, but that was ignored because he was treasured as a "Great Songwriter" - however many people don't know what many of his songs are about. Few even realize that "Teen Spirit" was a women's deodorant. Even fewer realize that the reason he could hit the notes during those Meat Puppets songs he was covering was because he was being "so emotional" - it was simply out of his range. What happened, largely because of him - but many others who put him on a pedestal, was that a lot of bad playing and bad singing became treasured and good players and good singers were trashed.

People kept telling me that Chino from the Deftones was such a great singer, I said he's trashing his voice. What happened? He had to have throat surgery, just like Jon Bonjovi who also had lousy technique and some horrific glottal stops in his singing. It's wasn't "Jealousy" - it was just physics - they were SINGING WRONG, and Cobain if he's survived long enough was headed vocally right down the exact same road.
I've heard Chino since his surgery and he was retrained to sing properly and Now he's great, he sucked balls before. That's a fact.

I was told then that good singers and players were just "Technicians" - they didn't have "feeling", they didn't have "Emotions". They had "No Soul". All crap. Define "Soul", please? It's all subjective, in the ear and eye of the listener, not something you can quantify and measure. It's about what the listening thinks about someone, whether they think they "Cool" - not whether they actually perform well or not. Yes, there were some who went over the top and overplayed or over sang, but the vast majority didn't. It's like saying that only someone verbally illiterate has the ability to speak, or should be heard. I'm not saying Kurt wasn't great at what he did as a writer and his ability to connect with his audience, I'm saying he became the standard bearer for everyone else to follow and that's always a bad thing. No one should be put on a pedestal that way, as used as a weapon to denigrate everyone else. It's like saying that everyone should eat Italian Food, because suddenly French Food, and Mexican Food and Chinese Food are just no damn good.

We battled further, and all the whlie I kept asking - "How do you convert a song like La Villa... into Punk?" as others jumped into the fray.

Johnny Angel Wendell - Rush couldn't write a concise, succinct song if their lives depended upon it nor could me leben G Lee sing it if they did--might be the worst lead singer in history.

Lee Joseph - Punk by Rush? The least organic thing I could ever think of. Rush does not have the heart nor soul to do punk rock either of the 60s or 70s variety.

Lee Joseph Frank, three words. 1) "pretentious" 2) "bullshit" 3) "yawn"
Turn blue, dude.

Fair enough, I came out swinging - but what's writing a concise song have to do with whether someone can do a punk version or not?

The issue to me is one of Musical Supremacy that drives Punk. Is not an accident that it's the chosen music of the Skinhead movement. Certainly they aren't alone in this of course, I've seen the same type of Supremacist attitudes among Classic Musicians and Fans (Oh the compositions are so elegant, you just don't understand how the melodies interweave with the counterpoint in such creative ways).. or Jazz (the inspiration and improvisational nature is just so *special* with Jazz music), or with Metal (Dude, those bands are just so Heavy!) or with Death Metal/Grindcore (Everybody else is FAKE!")

This comment of Johnny's completely betrays the smug hubris of the genre.

Johnny Angel Wendell - Rush, for all of their skill, couldn't possibly write a "Personality Crisis", "Pale Blue Eyes", "Deny", "God Save The Queen", "I Wanna be Sedated", because they do not have it in them to write a song--y'see Frankie, assembling a composition... out of meticulously rehearsed parts doesn't equal "good song", it takes zero inspiration or imagination to "compose", it takes raw talent to make three simple chords and a beat come alive--which is why "Wooly Bully" or "I Fought The Law" or "Dance Franny Dance" are light years beyond Rush and why Al Jackson or Tommy Ramone playing a backbeat are vastly more talented than an uptight rightist ham hander like Neil "Ayn Rand is God" Peart.

So many things wrong with that from "Ayn Rand is God' to "They don't have it in the to write a song"... Yeah, they didn't write "Tom Sawyer", "Freewill", "Working Man", "Spirit of Radio", "Nobodies Hero", "One Little Victory", "Ghost Rider", "Vapor Trails" or "Subdivisions"?

No Songs? Here check this Rush cover by Jacob Moon, if this doens't bring you to the edge of tears you've got compassion deficit disorder.

Or this "Earthshine" from the Rush in Rio Tour


Or I said, even a "Punk" song like Dog Years

But here's the bottom line and has purely to do with music. The way that groups like Me First (who I actually like) do what they do is boil a song down to it's essential chord progression, shift the tempo upward to double-time - possibly with a Bo-Diddley Shuffle, and sing the original melody on top. Viola. Presto, Chango - It's Punk.

The reason you can't do that with "Roundabout" is that it's got a specific signature bassline which is integral to the song. It's not about how "cool" the line is... it's that it's not "ROUNDABOUT" if you don't play that part. If you just play a chord and sing the vocal melody - it's an imitation of "Roundabout" but it's not "ROUNDABOUT". Plus it's already pretty fast, so trying to speed it up any further doesn't really work either. You either aren't really playing "Roundabout" or you've sped it up so fast a human being can't perform the parts. Not Les Claypool, not Billy Sheehan, not John Entwistle - nobody could do that part that fast.

La Villa Strangioto.

My point wasn't the "La Villa" Is such a awesome song no punk rocker could play it - although chances are they CAN'T except for maybe the Gimmie's or Taylor Hawking's solo and Coat Tail Riders who already mix punk and prog - but the same thing is true about it as Roundabout, and even worse because it's an instrumental - so simplifying the parts and pretending you're doing the same song by singing over isn't possible - there are no words. Also again, La Villa isn't just a "lot of notes" it has various movements and changes - some of them a very slow and quiet, some of them fairly fast. but the primary portions is just one chord played three times followed by a fast 16th note guitar fill. If you aren't playing that fill - you AREN'T PLAYING LA VILLA STRANGIOTO - you're just playing a power chord three times. If you try and speed the part up and do it double-time, you'd need YNGWIE to pull it off that fast - and Yngwie's not gonna play your dirty little punk song.

Just like the bass line on Roundabout, you've got a simply problem with human physiology and temporal physics. IT CAN"T BE DONE. These songs can't be tempo shifted and work, and IMO you can't remove crucial parts and pretend you're actually playing the song, because YOU'RE NOT.

The fact that Punk Rockers don't know the musicality of that fact is why I started out so harsh, and why I continue to hold my view that some songs can't be reduced to 3-Chord Punk Crap, because once you do that - they aren't the same song anymore, period.