Wednesday, March 1, 2006

News round up:
Here are some things going on you may have missed. I probably would have missed them - had I not been looking - because I've been pretty busy these days.

Just as our own Senator John Sununu is getting some faint praise for working out a deal on the PATRIOT Act, another senator comes to his senses: ["Byrd Says He Regrets Voting For Patriot Act"]. FoxNews had this first - probably because they are on the Byrd death watch [they also caught the "white n*gg#r" comment on tape, which Byrd made a couple of years back. Byrd was a former Klansman]. This, of course, is the key point to everything involving this act and other things the government has been doing over the past 10 years, paraphrasing Ben Franklin:
"Ben Franklin, that wise man among the Constitution's framers, perhaps said it most simply," Byrd says now. "'Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.'"
Of course, Byrd has seen better days - and recently incurred the wrath of some Dems for voting to appoint Alito to the Supreme Court. But, it is pretty good having him there because he realizes the big picture.

The Brothers Bulger
Howie Carr has finally released his book about the Bulger crime family, most specifically Whitey, the notorious Southie mobster, and his political thug brother and former Senate President, Billy. Three excerpts were published last week in the Boston Herald, in order to generate some sales interest. Howie has been making the rounds on all of the cable talk shows too. Here are the links:

["Blood Brothers: How Whitey made good his escape"]
["How the state cops let Whitey slip through their hands"]
["Hoodlum wannabe Whitey was Hub hustler"]

I waited to buy "Black Mass" in paperback so I might have to wait for this to come out in paperback too.

Sex Pistols won't play!
For years, I have been bitching about the Sex Pistols not being inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame even though the band kept saying they wouldn't accept the honor. Well, they were named this year ... and they aren't showing up:
["Sex Pistols spit on Hall of Fame honor"].
The text was posted on "The Filth and the Fury" Web site, the site of a great documentary film on the band and the time period in England ["The Filth and the Fury"].
Thinking about it now, this is probably the correct decision for them, although I wonder. They are making a bold statement about the pomposity of the music business. It is an industry - always has been - even if it didn't start out to be that way. It is always best to at least attempt to stick to your laurels [Plus, who knew it was $25k for a damn table! Warners has made a fortune from them. Pony up already].
And what would the jam session be like? Steve Jones mocks a pretty good Chuck Berry but can you hear Johnny Rotten trying to sing Blondie's "Call Me" or Skynyrd's "Free Bird"? Ugh. Imagine the ever obnoxious Eric Clapton or some other wank-off trying to follow along to the Pistols' anti-abortion opus "Bodies" or "God Save the Queen" [Clapton could pull of the solo in "GSTQ" but it kinda wouldn't be the same now would it?]. Although, they might be able to pull off Iggy's "No Fun" or The Who's brilliant "Substitute" together. Will Mike Love show up drunk and call Paul Cook onto the stage to jam and have Cook kick over the rack bopping the TM specialist on the head with a cymbal? Love might sue! Sid Vicious could come back from the dead as a ghost pissing in the champagne and shooting bullets from his revolver at everyone to the glorious musical back drop of "My Way." Oh, the horrors ... Better yet, they should just show up and not pay the table fee. Or grab the statue, say "Bullocks!" and bolt.

Depleted uranium
This is an interesting article which didn't get much play recently but might be worth a second look:
["UK radiation jump blamed on Iraq shells"] and a more thorough opinion piece here: ["The Queen's Death Star"].
In 1998, when I ran for Congress in Massachusetts' 8th District, I was invited to a lecture about the dangers of DU usage being put on by local Arab-American activists at Somerville High School. I was the only candidate who responded to their invitation or even showed up to other events sponsored by the group.
The lecture was surprisingly covered by NECN because it was right around the same time the President Clinton was bombing aspirin factories and other such nonsense [I got no play in the coverage but that was OK, the event wasn't about me]. Since most of the candidates were Democrats, and wouldn't speak against their president's actions, I was also the only one who talked about the issue. The bombing campaigns were wrong then; the bombing campaigns were wrong in 2003.
To this day, I can still recall the endless array of photos on display at the lecture of some of the Iraqi victims who had been affected by DU shells. The photos, especially of the women and newborns, were some of the most horrific you would ever see in your life. I won't go into the gory details ... but you can just imagine. The pictures will forever be seared in my mind like a bad dream.
I know in my heart that Jesus would never want anyone to be treated that way. And no one who proclaimed to follow the political philosophy of Jesus Christ would ever allow this to another human being, especially over oil reserves or to get a little intern sex scandal off the front page.
Years later, my father and sister came to visit us in Boston and we made the rounds of some of the tourist sites in the middle of a freezing January day. As we were passing by the Park Street Station, some of those same activists were standing outside with signs as we walked by. "Anthony, Anthony," one of them shouted to me, as we waved and walked over for a quick minute. The guy heaped praise on me for forwarding their cause against DU during the campaign, telling my father what a good man I was. It was a little embarrassing but when my dad looked at me and said, "He sure is," and gave me a pat on the back, it was made all the more meaningful.
It is always important to remember that it isn't whether you win or lose the fight, it is all about what you stand for and the issues you forward as a human being.

The continuing demise of local radio is covered in this recent piece in the Boston Globe:
["Mixed signals"]. The line about the lady coming in just to read the school lunch menu was pretty funny. Now that is local. Do kids even eat school lunches anymore? And how about that price tag: $4.5 million for two 1,000 AM stations granted, on the outskirts of the Metro Boston market [11th in the country]. Wow. In reaction to the sale of WJDA, the fledging and award-winning WADT on the South Shore is making a play for more listeners: ["WATD to broaden its listening base"].

There is an interesting Flash file here of someone's take on Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey":
["Kubrick 2001"]. Interestingly, this got me thinking about Zacharia Sitchin's books and I did a Google and found his site here: ["Zacharia Sitchin"].

The Village Voice and 9-11
The Village Voice, one of the premiere papers in the country for investigative journalism, has been delving into the 9-11 situation a lot lately. Last week, there were a slew of articles on some of the theories and people trying to advance some "conspiratorial" concepts:

["The Seekers"]
["Conspiracy 101"]
["The Usual Suspects"]
["Your Turn: Ground Zero stories"]

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