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Monday, September 11, 2006

How We're Losing The War On Terror

I'm not a journalist or some erudite historian. I'm a citizen of the United States who sees his country and its leadership heading down the wrong road.
We all know what happened 5 years ago today. The Islamic equivalent of rednecks got off a lucky shot with a couple of airplanes because our national leadership was worried more about clearing brush and creating an energy policy for their longtime friends at Halliburton and Enron than they were about protecting America. I remind the other citizens of this country that Spetember 11th, 2001 was a date that fell within the first term of the presidency of George W. Bush.
So, being the most powerful country on earth, did we do the right thing, that being making these Islamic rednecks eat the pointy ends of missiles in the mountains of Afghanistan until they were obliterated? Well, we were well on our way to accomplishing that goal, but we stopped and invaded Iraq instead. At the time, Iraq was a circumsized dictatorship, controlled completely by a multinational force by the use of "no-fly zones" that took up two-thirds of their airspace. We are told Saddam was an oppressive despot. How this differs from the leadership in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lybia, Jordan, Syria, Iran and Morocco has yet to be fully explained by the people currently in power in the United States.
Did Iraq have weapons of mass destruction? No. Is the Iraq War, as promised, being paid for by profits from the sale of Iraqi oil? No. Was the Iraq War over, as Donald Rumsfeld predicted, within months? Again, no. Is the Iraqi insurgency, as stated by policy wunderkind Dick Cheney, really in its last throes? Um, no. Was Saddam Hussein an imminent threat? Not counting probable halitosis, no.
The way to teach the Arab world a lesson would have been to drag Osama Bin Laden's lifeless body behind a jeep before news cameras right around Christmas 2001, following the Israel model of showing the world what happens to people who attack us.
What we got was a GOP-engineered clusterfuck, where our soldiers are underequipped sitting ducks in two countries, and batshit insane states like Iran and North Korea, seeing the quagmires the United States finds themselves in, are now feeling their militant oats on the world stage. Osama Bin Laden, the architect of a mass murder, now has a more prolific recording career than Michael Jackson and our president "doesn't much care" where he is.
The great equalizer is that Novermber 7th is a midterm election day, which gives the 60%+ of America who doesn't support the war in Iraq a chance to neuter the president for the remainder of his term in office. Based on the recklessness and irresponsibility we've seen from this president, it's a neutering whose time has come. Numbers don't lie. Those who now support the Iraq War can honestly be referred to as the lunatic fringe. Think of your vote as a shot of Thorazine across the bow of the S. S. Cuckoo's Nest that is the United States.

Friday, September 08, 2006

What I Musically Believe

I believe in the future of music.
I believe that the future of music lies in the hands of the individual and not in the hands of multinational conglomerate record labels.
I believe that the IPod is destroying the Long Playing album, and we're all going to be sorry when it becomes official.
I believe that synthesizers were better when they weren't manufactured to sound like other instruments.
I believe that music critics gave Dino Valenti a raw deal when he joined Quicksilver Messenger Service.
I believe that the most musically talented Beatle was Paul
I believe that the most musically talented Rolling Stone is Charlie Watts.
I believe that not enough people under the age of 30 are aware of who Mike Bloomfield was.
I believe that no rock band can recreate the power of an orchestra playing "In The Hall Of The Mountain King".
I believe that jazz could live a little longer if it embraced the avant garde.
I believe Talking Heads and Blondie were vastly overrated.
I believe that Minnie Ripperton was one of the best singers who ever lived.
I believe that Mariah Carey is a third-rate vocal acrobat.
I believe that no one will ever rule a stage again the way Tina Turner and Otis Redding did it.
I believe that MTV was the third worst invention in modern times, trailing only the atomic bomb and the 5-day deodorant pad.
I believe that terrestrial radio is dead.
I believe that Stephen Stills has less than three years to live after seeing Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young the other night in concert in Milwaukee., but I hope I'm wrong.
I believe that the Replacements were the most painfully human band I ever saw on a stage.
I believe that the best concert I ever saw was the Kinks in the pouring rain in Philadelphia.
I believe that there never should have been another Woodstock.
I believe that there should be another Monterey International Pop Festival.
I believe that Three Dog Night was one hell of an instrumental band.
I believe that John Williams deserves to be compared to Bach and Beethoven.
I believe that Republicans should be legally banned from listening to Rock and Roll and jazz, as well as telling us what they think they are.
I believe that Bono cares a little bit, but mostly I believe that he's full of shit.
I believe that REM has devolved to the point where they are now the musical equivalent of a restaurant in a good location.
I believe that given what he has survived in one lifetime, Iggy Pop is closer to God than Pat Robertson.
I believe that Eric Clapton is an adequate blues guitarist, no more, no less.
I believe that every track ever recorded that featured Nicky Hopkins on piano is to be treasured.
I believe that Bob Dylan singlehandedly changed the language of vocal music.
I believe that Tony Bennett could sing rings around Frank Sinatra.
I believe that flutes need to come back to rock and roll.
Finally, I believe that there is room for everyone in the world of music, but that doesn't mean that I have to like everyone in the world of music.