Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Another Inconvenient Truth
Guest perspective/Roy Morrison
As Al Gore's global warming call to action flickers on the screens of America's multiplexes, we must face another inconvenient truth.
We need to confront the really bad climate change news behind China's economic boom built on dirty coal.
And we also need to grasp the available market based solution to the global warming and sustainability crisis, one that can curb China's and our own poisonous habits.
In the last two years, China has put on line a phenomenal 90,000 megawatts of carbon dioxide belching coal fired electric plants. That's equal to the total British installed electric capacity.
China now burns more coal than the U.S. (2.73 to 2.10 billion tons/year), and by 2025, if the breaks aren't applied, Chinese coal consumption will be 40 percent of the world's total.
The U.S. position as global carbon dioxide king will soon be threatened by Chinese dirty coal powered industrialization. The U.S. will nevertheless remain safely in the lead as oil consumer and carbon emitter to power our ever-expanding motor vehicle fleet - unless we change.
While the West talks about clean coal technologies to make low carbon gaseous and liquid fuels, the Chinese plants are smoke and sulfur belchers using second hand equipment and obsolete technology.
The Kyoto treaty thoughtfully exempted China and the rest of the developing world from greenhouse gas reductions in the name of pollution equity.
Unless the Chinese (and Americans) conduct is fundamentally changed, we likely have no chance of stabilizing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels at 500 parts per million (ppm) or less by mid century (370 ppm today and rising ). And, of course, 500 ppm may already be way too high an amount of carbon for our liking.
So, what's a concerned movie goer and citizen to do?
Technologically, we have the means, if not the will or the proper price signals, to vastly improve energy efficiency, cover the plains and the coasts with wind turbines, the deserts and our roofs with solar cells, drive ultra light hybrids fueled with ethanol and biodiesel, use clean coal technologies, bubble power plant carbon dioxide through enormous biodiesel algae ponds. The solution to global warming is not simply to appeal to Chinese (or our own) long term best interests to stop pollution before it's too late. As long as pollution is "free," the price for sustainability remains too expensive.
The key is to make what's polluting, depleting, and ecologically damaging more expensive than sustainable alternatives. The means replacing income taxes with ecological consumption taxes and enlisting the market price mechanism and business acumen in service to sustainability.
We can swiftly help domesticate the Chinese dragon by getting our own house in order through ecological consumption taxes, in particular, an ecological value add tax, or VAT, a kind of smart sales tax on all goods and services.
The more polluting, the higher the ecological VAT rates.
What's more polluting will cost more. What's sustainable will cost less. Buy cheap, save the planet can be the new watchword.
And, most importantly, these ecological consumption taxes are consistent with World Trades Organization (WTO) rules. They can be levied on all imports--Chinese imports for instance --to level the economic playing field.
If the industrial world led by the U.S., the biggest consumer, adopts ecological taxes, the Chinese and the other exporting Asian Tigers will be forced to follow and substantially clean up their act or be forced from our markets.
The market and ecological taxation is an available and potent means to transform our own, and Chinese conduct, from the path of ecological self-destruction to that of sustainability and prosperity. It's time.
Roy Morrison is an energy consultant ( and writer. His latest book is "Eco Civilization 2140."

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Noise Top 30 Chart for July
Stations reporting: WAAF, WMBR, WMFO, WTCC, WZBC

1. Mission of Burma – The Obliterati
2. Mittens – Fools on a Holiday
3. Damone – Out Here All Night
4. The Curtain Society – Every Corner of the Room
5. Neptune – Patterns
6. Chas Mtn – Hugs
7. The Snowleopards – “Stuck in the Middle”
8. Adja the Turkish Queen – Adja the Turkish Queen
9. Hanneke Cassel – Silver
10. Ryan Lee Crosby & the Mindless – There is No Music
11. Francine – Airshow
12. Scamper – The Boulevards EP
13. The Silver Lining – Well-Dressed Blues
14. Baby Ray – Low Rises
15. Clawjob – Space Crackers
16. Mr. Lif – Mo Mega
17. The Motion Sick – Her Brilliant Fifteen
18. Ponies in the Surf – Ponies on Fire
19. Pop Gun – Trigger
20. Seekonk – Pinkwood
21. Corin Ashley – Songs From the Brill Bedroom
22. The Blizzard of ’78 – Where All Life Hangs
23. Cocked and Loaded – Ding Dong Doom Baby
24. Gene Dante & the Future Starlets – Gene Dante & the Future Starlets
25. The Glass Set – The Glass Set
26. Harris – The Light is Seeping Through the Cracks
27. Matt & Shannon Heaton – Blue Skies Above
28. Hilken Mancini and Chris Coburn – Hilken Mancini and Chris Coburn
29. The Spoilers – Under the Knife
30. The Weisstronauts – featuring “Perky”

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Still giddy about ABC

ABC played the Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry, N.H., of all places!
Friday night my wife and I went to see the 80s synthpop band ABC at the Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry [the Good Luck Joes opened for them] and I am still giddy about the experience.
To start, I was happy to see that I wasn't the oldest person in the room. I was additionally happy to see that I wasn't the chubbiest person in the room [not clubbiest; chubbiest!]. And I was also happy to see Sean and Liz from Freezepop there [!], with their friend Craig [who looks strikingly similar to my old bud Doug Gintzler]. They were nice enough to let us sit at their table and it was good to see them after soooo many years [They aren't "friends" per se; just acquaintances. I am a fan of their band and have a bunch of their CDs, and also interviewed them on WMFO and in the Belmont Citizen-Herald since one of their members lives in Belmont].
Liz was surprised that the band wasn't playing in Boston - only Londonderry and Hartford, CT. My wife asked how they found out about the gig and Sean said Liz read about it on one of the Internet boards, rolling his eyes.
I'd been meaning to come down to the Tupelo to see a band for awhile but just never got the chance despite some pretty fine shows. Owner Scott Heyward appeared on my A&E show at the club's one year anniversary and I've done some interviews with appearing artists, including a strange one with Leon Redbone right around the time Katrina hit.
But after interviewing Martin Fry of ABC on the radio, I wasn't going to miss the opportunity to see them in a place like the Tupelo.
Fry seemed a little uneasy when the band first started playing. Dressed in an orange twill suit with a black shirt - very Halloween actually - he looked out of sorts. In fact, the look on his face into the first song said it all: It was one of half embarrassment, half "Spinal Tap" ala the scene where the puppet show received higher billing at this amusement park they played.
"What the hell am I doing here?" he seemed to wonder.
But by the third song, "Poison Arrow," if I recall correctly, and clearing up some earphone mix adjustments, he seemed to get into the show a bit more and truly warmed up the place and crowd. I initially wondered if he hadn't checked out the empty hall before bounding on stage because he truly seemed surprised by the tables and intimacy of being able to look everyone in the eye.
Of course, it helped that there was a pretty raucous crowd in attendance. While not dancing right away, the crowd was cheering loudly from the start, including a few women in their mid-to-late 30s from bouncing around [ isn't really a site, it is kinda like a portal or something. Their picture from the show is here: " girls"]. My wife remarked that it was like being at a very weird wedding.
Fry looked much older than before [granted, it has been 20 years since their last big hit] but thankfully, not tired, and still as cool as all hell.
As promised, he ran through all the hits - "When Smokey Sings," a revamped "Be Near Me," "Date Stamp," and the cheesy "How to be a Millionaire" - while saving the best for last, "The Look of Love." There were even a few tracks I didn't recognize, including something called "Ride" which had a harder, more dissodant feel to it and pretty cool guitar work in it [actually, the guitar work, while limited in places, was impressive]. Fry said he would be trying out a few new ones and that one at least stood out.

The Good Luck Joes opened and played a fine set although I wouldn't describe them as sounding like a cross between Coldplay and Wilco because the band was a tad more Plain Jane than those bands although not bad. I guest I was expecting a bit more experimentation, especially after hearing the description [Who writes those things? They set the band up ...]. The band members can play ... the singer can sing and strum ... but the songs weren't memorable. Sometimes when you see a young band, the songs just knock you in the face. It isn't often the playing that turns you on, because they are a young band. This time though, it was the other way around. They could play but the songs didn't blow you away. They were simply good and that's OK too. I also didn't really like the lead guitarist's tone very much and I couldn't hear the keyboards drowned in the mix but the bass player played well and looked all of 15. I will check out some mp3s online and see if I change my mind on the studio stuff.

If you haven't been to the Tupelo yet, it is a great place to see a band. Just a few miles from the Exit 4 on I-93, the place is like a large barn/shed attached to a residence. There were about 100 chairs with tables and probably could house about 120 people comfortably. They have a small PA but it wasn't too soft and wasn't overpowering. You didn't have to scream to talk to the person next to you while at the same time, folks around you weren't making so much noise you couldn't hear a thing. I reminded me of a small 1950s supper club.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

"Be near me ... be near ..."
I don't usually post stuff about things I do at work but this week, I had the coolest interview with Martin Fry, the frontman of the 1980s synthpop band ABC. You can hear the two segments here on mp3: [A&E]. See, man does not live on politics alone, heh, heh ... ABC will be playing at the Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry, N.H. tomorrow night. I will be there. If you see me, do say "Hi." :-)

Congrats to WCAP: ["Local radio hosts sound off about the good old days, honor boss"]. How many radio stations can do this kind of event? Not many.

Gray is the new, well, black: Ah, Taylor Hicks ... the hottest single guy in America: ["Taylor Hicks: Silver Fox"]. Yeah, I got sucked into that silly "American Idol" thing this year and, from the beginning, I said Taylor Hicks was going to be in the finals. I didn't know if he would win; I thought he might. But I did know he would make it far. I don't know why. Maybe, it was the hope that someone with gray hair - granted, not because of age, he is prematurely gray - could win on a silly teeny-bopper show. Although, I was surprised to learn that so many adults watch that show! Practically everyone I know was watching and rooting for Taylor. But still. The guy was cool. He actually had a band - unlike some of the twinks on the show - and he can play the damn harmonica! I can't wait for the album. Hopefully, it will feature his bandmates and will have original tunes on it. Actually, watching Taylor and some recent open mic nights around town have only reminded me how much I miss making music. Although, I don't miss it that much.

One thing to fear - Hillary: It has become painfully clear. And thankfully, leftwingers are going after her. And for good reason. Here is the latest: ["Clinton booed on Iraq"]. This is the killer line right here, from Campaign for America's Future co-director Roger Hickey:
"The lesson we drew from the Clinton administration is that the progressive wing of the Democratic Party needs to be better organized in order to be heard, especially given the influence of groups like the DLC and corporate influence in general ..."
Gee, you think? Can anyone say Ralph Nader? And Iraq iscolossalsul mess. A failure beyond proportion.
Then there is this, from CODEPINK's Medea Benjamin: ["Peace Activists at Hillary Clinton's Speech Try to Take Back 'Take Back America'"]. If what Medea says here is true, does anyone else realize what this says? Essentially, the Take Back America folks lied or allowed themselves to be "taken aback" - pun intended - by Hillary's henchmen.
If they lied, then they can't be trusted and they are just another stupid group of people who think they are making a difference when they aren't really making any difference at all. If they didn't lie and were tricked by Hillary & Co. or didn't do anything when her henchmen took flyers from people, then we have more to fear than we thought.Publish
If this doesn't say it all about why we don't want to Clinton folks back in the White House - especially after what W. has done to the Constitution - I don't know what does!

Olbermann: OK, I love "Countdown" as much as the next guy, but please, please Keith, stop attacking your co-workers ... in writing!: ["It's 'Putdown With Keith Olbermann'"]. So what if she is as dumb as a post or has the personality of a soap dish. Big deal. Have some respect dude!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Lieberman may run as an indie
In previous posts, I've touched upon some of things going on in the U.S. Senate race in Connecticut where Joe Lieberman - a former presidential candidate and Gore's VP in 2000 - appears to be in trouble. The latest is that Lieberman is leaning towards running as an indie if he loses the primary: ["Senator Keeps Options Open"].
"I am not going to close out any options ..."
Boy, talk about Sore Loserman!

Unity08: I haven't really been tracking this Unity08 movement thing but I'm intrigued by it. The "people" are clearly irked by both parties. But, I'm worried about some of the rumors I have heard about the people involved in the movement not wanting to take specific positions on trade, immigration, and other important issues. What is the point of that? But then, there is this from Novak, of all people: ["Bloomberg for President?"]. Bloomberg? Bloomberg?!? Well, he is a liberal Republican and he was a Democrat before and he is worth billions and he seems to be an OK mayor so ...

Newt: Another campaign to be intrigued about is Gingrich's, who is leaning towards a run: ["Gingrich May Run in 2008 If No Front-Runner Emerges"]. In other words, he is running. There is no clear frontrunner except McCain and he doesn't count because he ran before and he has about as much chance of being the nominee as Pat Buchanan did in 1996. Gingrich is trying to reinvent himself - by not being as vicious and criticizing his own party - but the big question mark is what the moralists within the party will think about a guy who dumped his first wife on her death bed and dumped his second wife for a twinkie intern. Lesser sexual activity by President Clinton killed Al Gore's campaign. What will it do to Gingrich in a nasty, bloody, 10-way GOP primary?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

More on Coulter
Here are two more things on the Coulter spat. First, a former 9-11 commissioner levels some criticism: ["9/11 Commissioner Criticizes Coulter"] and this, about possible vote fraud: ["Coulter lines up heavy hitter"]. Vote fraud? Ann Coulter? No, really?
The latter is worth printing in its entirety:
What? Ted Olson wasn't available?
Conservative pundit and best-selling political writer Ann Coulter has hired a white-glove, White House-connected law firm to fight allegations she voted illegally in February's Town of Palm Beach election.
And the attorney from the Miami-based Kenny Nachwalter firm is no stranger to Palm Beach voting. Marcos Jimenez - who was, along with the more famous Olson, one of the lead attorneys who fought for George W. Bush's side in the 2000 presidential election snafu here - was assigned to Coulter.
Jimenez, by the way, also knows a thing or two about criminals. Appointed by Bush as U.S. attorney for the southern district of Florida in 2002, Jimenez was charged with going after terrorists, drug dealers and wayward union bosses. Jimenez returned to private practice last year.
"Mr. Jimenez asked us to send him all the correspondence we sent Ms. Coulter," deputy dlections chief Charmaine Kelly said.
A poll worker reported to his supervisors that he saw Coulter try to vote in the precinct closest to her Palm Beach home. But when she was told the address on her voter's registration was elsewhere, Coulter ran out instead of correcting it and ended up voting in a precinct that wasn't hers. Knowingly voting in the wrong precinct
in Florida is a felony.
Elections Supervisor Arthur Anderson gave Coulter until April 30 to explain what happened, but she has yet to answer his registered letters. Now with Jimenez, Kelly said, officials will wait "a few more weeks" before starting a procedure that could strip Coulter of her right to vote here and refer the case to State Attorney Barry Krischer for possible prosecution.
Coulter couldn't be reached and Jimenez didn't return calls.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't ole Englepuke ..." A felony, eh? Wow. That would mean she might end up in a women's prison and probably as someone's bitch ... oops, I shouldn't say that, that would be uncivil ...

The revenge of Michael Brown continues: I don't read Editor & Publisher in the print form but I do try and check out their Web site as much as I can. Here are two recent interesting items from it. First, the reason you want to always save your emails: ["Heckuva E-mail, Brownie: Releases Bush 'Scapegoat' Message"]. Now, this is leadership, huh?:
"This was the text of the email message to Brown read on the air: 'I did hear of one reference to you, at the Cabinet meeting yesterday. I wasn't there but I heard someone commented that the press was sure beating up on Mike Brown, to which the President replied, 'I'd rather they beat up on him than me or Chertoff.'"
Jeez, so much for the great job he was doing, eh?

And then there is this: ["Goldman Lifts Tribune Rating, Says Odds 'High' for Restructuring"]. This is why things are so bad in the newspaper industry. Well, it's one of the reasons. There are others. But let's stick to this one. The "news" isn't a business. It can't be predicted or controlled. It is its own free-flowing choatic entity. You can make money on it, sure. But, it is irresponsible to destroy the news just to make more money from it. You can't decimate the staff of a newspaper and then expect your product to survive. It just doesn't work that way.

Thursday, June 8, 2006


Maybe it is my old age or my previous life as the mouth that would occasionally roar. But, if there is one thing I have learned in later life it is that we, as a people, have to try and be civil to each other. It is OK to be critical; but let's try and keep it civil. It isn't easy but it's not hard either.
I'm not a big fan of super conservative or super liberal book authors. There are some I really respect, like Pat Buchanan and Jim Hightower, for example. But I don't go for any of the "haters" like Al Franken and Michael Savage ... "liberalism is a mental disorder ..." oh yeah. And, I don't go for that lunatic Ann Coulter. For someone who professes Christianity so strongly, she is a pretty poor example. Check out this, from her new book, "Godless," talking about the 9-11 Widows:
"These self-obsessed women seem genuinely unaware that 9-11 was an attack on our nation and acted like as if the terrorist attack only happened to them. They believe the entire country was required to marinate in their exquisite personal agony. Apparently, denouncing Bush was part of the closure process. ... These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by griefparrazies. I have never seen people enjoying their husband's death so much."
Gasp. Wow. Can you believe that? These women lose their husbands and they have to get this from some blonde ding-a-ling? What has she lost? She doesn't have kids who will grow up without their fathers. My Lord!

Mihos picks Sullivan
So much for respecting Christy Mihos' independent run for governor of Massachusetts. Today, Mihos picked John Sullivan, Winchester Town Moderator, as his running mate:
["Mihos names Sullivan as running mate"].
Needless to say, I'm shocked. Most people in Winchester respect Sullivan and never liked that I was often critical in editorials for The Winchester Star of the way in ran Town Meeting - speaking from the moderator's podium about policy and editorializing on how the meeting should vote which would often sway the vote; closing debate down when he felt no one else should speak instead of when the meeting wanted to adjourn a question ["I'm sensing it is time to move the question ..."]; his alleged back room deals and under-handed moves to keep TM members from their elected right to govern - like squashing a warrant article to kill the controversial Winning Farm elderly housing project and then later, helping to ram it through to passage, despite deep opposition for the project. Nevermind the really bad NESWIC contract he was involved in negotiating which almost brought the town to bankruptcy. They have only just begun to get out underneath that mess and are now, finally, paying much less than they were before. This guy is the last person you want a heartbeat away from the governship, believe me.
I should try and dig up some of my columns and editorials about the guy - some pretty amusing and hard-hitting writing, if I say so myself.
Sure, Sullivan was funny with a quip; but deep-down, I sensed something pretty bad about the guy and I just couldn't prove it beyond off-the-record comments, semantics, and insinuations. Well, now he is in the big time. And maybe someone else will find the skeletons. A really bad move by Mihos.

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Is all lost?
Interesting headline yesterday morning: ["Field commanders tell Pentagon Iraq war 'is lost'"].

An apology: I also forgot to post this a couple of weeks ago: ["AN APOLOGY FROM A BUSH VOTER"]. I especially like this quote:
"With a belated tip of the cap to Ralph Nader, the system is broken, so broken, it’s almost inevitable it pukes up the Al Gores and George W. Bushes. Where are the Trumans and the Eisenhowers? Where are the men and women of vision and accomplishment? Why do we have to settle for recycled hacks and malleable ciphers? Greatness is always rare, but is basic competence and simple honesty too much to ask?"
The perfect Father's Day gift: ["Special forces to use strap-on 'Batwings'"]. Well, so long as you actually aren't in battle with those wings on getting shot at!

Political roundup: GOP straw polls are yielding some unusual results: ["Tancredo wins straw poll in Michigan"] and ["Gingrich is delegates favorite of 2008 presidential race"]. Thinking about Tancredo, this might be something to ponder: ["Fake ID Sellers Dismiss Tamperproof Push"]. I can't believe reporters are floating this one: ["OBAMA IN '08?"]. The guy has barely been a senator. Please. But do check out this interview with former Sen. Mike Gravel: ["Long-form interview with Sen. Mike Gravel"]. And leave Al Gore alone already!: ["Lights, Camera, Al Gore!"]. And the over-rated "netroots" which can't take the place of a good field organization in any election: ["A New Open-Source Politics"].
Speaking of the "netroots," here is a lot of croaking about some of the recent primaries, including the Bilbray-Busby CA-50 race which was held last night. Kos, the most popular mouth piece of this "movement," and his buddy Matt Stoller, go off on it here: ["CA-50: Post-mortem"] and here: ["Progressive Messaging Wins: Tester, Angelides, Winograd, and Bilbray? "].
They are dead-on correct about how a pol crafts a message, what the person stands for, and the insidious beltway mentality [they are a little late to this boat. Some of us have been talking about this for years and years and years ...].

But the problem with much of these post-mortem comments is that these are the same people who were this woman's cheerleaders for months and months and months - writing pieces on her, begging people to give money and lend time to the effort, etc. Kos had her up on his "Netroots Endorsed" list [like somehow he and his fans can stake claim to the name Netroots or something, or can be the only ones who can endorse someone from the netroots ... Ugh, another insiders club?]. And every time Kos talked about the race, he put up a beg link to Busby.
In other words, even though the consultants were blowing through millions and possibly weren't advising this woman properly, they didn't say jack. They kept cheerleading and now they are kicking the woman while she is down and out. It is pretty pathetic if you think about it and goes to the heart of why we should wonder about these folks just a bit before you buy the book or fall into lockstep with them.
Of course, the woman had problems - like this, right before Election Day, blasted all over the Drudge Report - where she is telling illegal aliens that they didn't need papers to vote: ["Busby on defense, says she misspoke"]. But still, there is no reason to be kicking this woman around so much even though she lost in a Republican district by a sliver.
Is the Netroots a "movement"? I don't know. Are a bunch of people in front of their computers anything more than a bunch of people in front of their computers? People in front of computers can write interesting things, create campaigns, talk about strategy, but they won't - and can't - replace a field organization or a real campaign and I don't really think they are a movement per se.

RFK going off on election results: ["Was the 2004 Election Stolen?"]. Call me stupid but I just don't believe the election was "stolen." Were there things done which shouldn't have been done? Absolutely. You can chalk it up to a whole lotta other folks - including Democrats - who have "stolen" elections over the years.

One of my favorite new bands: [The Glass Set]. I love this new band fronted by bandaphrenic Leah Callahan and a former bandmate of mine, Allen Esser, a great drummer. I've been listening to their demo for weeks now. It is pretty good - with strong songs, decent vocals, nice guitar work, and a new band feel not like a lot out there right now. Although, I think the production leaves a tad to be desired. It sounds too much like spackle on the wall - like the band put each piece of the music together track by track. I wonder what they would sound like live - or what they would sound like if they recorded sections of each track live.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

R.I.P. Billy Preston
["'Fifth Beatle' Billy Preston Dies"]. Boy, are we getting old? I find it funny that he was considered the fifth Beatle when he could have been considered the seventh Stone too - after Ian "Stu" Stewart, who was the sixth Stone. Only a few of the articles on Google News mention that he also played on "Black & Blue," one of the better Stones albums.

Weld out: Big Red drops out of the New York gubernatorial race: ["Weld Drops Out of N.Y. Governor's Race"]. Damn, does he look tired and aged by drink. As well, Spitzer is going to win anyway so ...

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Dem conventions
Both New Hampshire and Massachusetts will be holding their Democratic state conventions today. I don't know of anyone from NH blogging from the scene. But for the Mass. one, check Adam Reilly from the Phoenix who has already posted some stuff from last night: ["Talking Politics"].

A big "Thank You" to Janice over at Cow Hampshire and New Hampshire Blogging for listing Politizine on her NH blogs site: ["New Hampshire Blogging"]. Her other site is here: ["Cow Hampshire"].