Upsetting
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
 
For some men the power to destroy life becomes the equivalent to the female power to create life.

-- Myriam Miedzian, U.S. author. Boys Will Be Boys.
 
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
 
A study of file-sharing's effects on music sales says online music trading appears to have had little part in the recent slide in CD sales.

For the study researchers at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina tracked music downloads over 17 weeks in 2002, matching data on file transfers with actual market performance of the songs and albums being downloaded. Even high levels of file-swapping seemed to translate into an effect on album sales that was "statistically indistinguishable from zero," they wrote.
 
 
I’ve heard some rumblings that some of my comments during the staff meetings didn’t quite come off as I’d intended them. So, I want to set the record straight.

When I stated that “Nobody tunes in to hear you, they tune in to hear the music,” I should have added that: “While the music is what defines this station in listener’s minds, it’s the packaging and presentation that is the glue that holds it all together and makes it work.”

Each member of the staff brings their own music flavor and personality to the station. THAT is exactly what makes us so special. I just wanted each of you to be sensitive to what you say. I believe I said, “If you have something worthwhile to add, be succinct. If it’s not relevant, don’t say it.” The air staff, both paid AND volunteer is absolutely crucial to our successful sound. Presently, there is not one person on air who doesn’t enhance the station and who I feel does not do their best. I’m just requiring that all of us continue to focus. That is why I emphasized the formatics and may have left the impression that your commitment to the station is not appreciated.

TRUST ME, IT IS! And if you have any question about it, feel free to talk to me. In fact, it’s very difficult to have a meeting with 20-30 people and say what needs to be said in a manner that everyone hears the same way. Because of our staff size, that’s the only way I can do it, I’m afraid. But, if anything needs addressing, see me personally. I will make the time to have a one-on-one conversation with you.

Jazz 88 is growing and flourishing, in large part because of the efforts of our air staff. Thank you.
 
Monday, March 29, 2004
 
The report contrasts with Bush administration officials' assertions that none in government had imagined an attack like Sept. 11 before that time.

"I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile," national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said Thursday.
 
 
This Day In History

U.S. WITHDRAWS FROM VIETNAM:
March 29, 1973

Two months after the signing of the Vietnam peace agreement, the last U.S. combat troops leave South Vietnam as Hanoi frees the remaining American prisoners of war held in North Vietnam. America's direct eight-year intervention in the Vietnam War was at an end. In Saigon, some 7,000 U.S. Department of Defense civilian employees remained behind to aid South Vietnam in conducting what looked to be a fierce and ongoing war with communist North Vietnam

 
Sunday, March 28, 2004
 
From allmusic.com:

Boston's Jejune delivered a hit-or-miss debut with This Afternoon's Malady, though it can actually make for a fairly interesting listen if you're wide open to it.

Producer Ted Leo layered the studio sheen on pretty thick for the album, which complements guitarist Joseph Guevara's overblown, J Mascis-meets-Neal Schon textbook emo stylings. Depending on your perspective, this could be an absolute dream come true or a gruesome emo nightmare; regardless, it's difficult to get past Guevara's roundly awful vocals — at one point during the opener, "Morale Is Low," he audibly loses it, cracking up like a pubescent Brady mid-chorus.

Indeed, it seems like the nicest moments on this album come when bass player Arabelle Harrison takes the mic; she is, singlehandedly, all of Jejune's potential; her quite lovely voice and phrasing lend the band's earnest pop a much-needed lighter touch. Of course, Guevara makes a giant slobbering mess out of the lot (except on "38 Calumet," a sunny pop number where his gaudy wank is conspicuously absent), but you've gotta take the good wherever you can dredge it up.

And speaking of the good, here's the biggest redeeming quality Jejune's got going for them (aside from a paltry handful of legitimately nice melodies), which, come to think of it, is probably also their tragic flaw: they sound like they're really trying — hard. So, chalk up a big ol' "A" for effort and be glad they called it quits before things got really out of hand.
 
Friday, March 26, 2004
 
Dear All Employees Everywhere:

____ and ____ are pleased to promote an atmosphere whereby employees may freely express positive ideas and suggestions for improvement. You are encouraged to openly discuss suggestions with your supervisor as well as with the Human Resources staff and senior management.

We are pleased to announce the launch of the ____’s Anonymous Online Suggestion Box* accessible via the employee intranet at ____. The messages will arrive in my inbox; however, the messages are strictly anonymous unless you fill in your name where indicated, obviously optional.

Whoever put the 2 pennies in the ____ location’s employee suggestion box - thank you! We really do want your 2 cents!

*This was an actual employee suggestion - thank you!

VICE PRESIDENT • ADMINISTRATION,
LEGAL AFFAIRS & HUMAN RESOURCES
 
Thursday, March 25, 2004
 
But less than four months after he signed it into law on Dec. 8, Bush's Medicare-reform dream has turned into a nightmare and a potential drag on his bid for re-election.

-- The Bush administration deliberately didn't tell Congress that the measure could cost more than $100 billion more than advertised.

-- House Republican leaders abused House rules to push the measure to a narrow victory. There are also allegations of threats and bribes that are under investigation.

-- The Bush administration spent millions of taxpayer dollars on public service TV ads touting the Medicare reform law that look suspiciously like Bush campaign commercials. Those, too, are now under investigation.

-- Polls show that a majority of Americans don't like the Medicare reforms.

"It's something that's eating away at the credibility of the administration in an election year on a bill that he (Bush) thought was a building block for his re-election," said Stephen Hess, a political analyst for the Brookings Institution, a centrist think tank, and a former aide to President Eisenhower.
 
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
 
There were at least 24 suicides among U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Kuwait last year, according to the Army's count. That number may increase because the circumstances of some other deaths are still in doubt.
 
 
"Using these terms in daily business is about as professional as wearing a novelty tie or having a wacky ring-tone on your phone."
 
 
It's funny, in retrospect, that Bush ran for president as a uniter.

To unite a country, you have to acknowledge and reconcile differences.

Bush doesn't work toward unity; he assumes it.

He doesn't reconcile differences; he denies them.

It's his tax cut or nothing.

It's his homeland security bill or nothing.

It's his terrorism policy or nothing.

If you're playing politics, this is smart strategy.

But if you're trying to help the country, it's foolish.

The odds are that 50 percent of the other party's ideas are right.

By ruling them out, you start your presidency 50 percent wrong.
 
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
 
RESOURCES FOR LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

I. Tips on how to get your letter published:

- Your own words, written from the heart, are always best.

- Brevity is the soul of wit.

- The key to publication is to pounce on something specific you've
seen in the newspaper -- anything that seems related to you.

- Be sure to include your name and address, and especially your phone
number when submitting your letter. Editors need to call you to
verify authorship before they can print your letter. They don't
print your phone number.
 
Monday, March 22, 2004
 
Dear Sir/Madam,

I got your contact through my private search on the internet, I therefore decided to contact you. I am the first son of Mr Williams T Mcneil, a senior former Haitian cabinet minister and leader of opposition in Haiti, who was murdered on the 27th day of June 2000 for his role in opposition to the tyrannical rule of Jean Bertrand Aristide, the present ruler of Haiti.

When my father was alive I used to move funds, in cash, running into millions of United States dollars to the Caribbean, and other parts of the world, for safe keeping on his behalf. However, on the eve of my father's death on June 26, 2000, he gave me the sum of 85M in cash to move to the Caribbean as usual, but unfortunately he died and I had to move the funds to Europe through a diplomatic courier service to a trusted security company in Europe.

The funds have been in the security company since July 2000. However, because of the many restrictions placed on my family by the present Haitian Government, I simply cannot travel to secure the funds from the security company in
Europe. Also, the fear of being discovered by the agents of the Aristide government has added to my fear and inability to claim the funds using my name.

What I now need from you if you are interested are as follows:-

1. You must travel to Europe to secure the funds in cash on my behalf and deposit it in your bank account for onward remittance to your Country or any country as we would both decide.

2. Your share of the funds will be 30% of the entire value for your trouble and participation in this. On investment of the balance on my behalf, you will further be entitled to a share of the profits accruing on investments.

3. As soon as you confirm to me by my e-mail address your readiness to travel to Europe, I will send a copy of my Power of Attorney and other relevant documents to the security company in Europe authorizing them to release the funds to you.

4. As soon as you have the funds in your custody, I will give you details of where and in which sector of the Busines world you will invest my share of the funds, on my behalf.

5. Please note that this deal while being risk free for you could be very dangerous for me if it is discovered that I moved out such a large amount of money from Haiti. As such you must keep this very secret and confidential for my sake and for the successful conclusion of this transaction.

Please contact me via my alternative email only for now; justdoranmcneil@netscape.net, in due course I will also provide a confidential phone line on which you can call me from time to time. On contact, you will immeditely be given details of the transaction and how to proceed. Please rest assured that we will definitely meet as soon as I am assured of your trust and dedication to this deal.

Regards,

Doran Mcneil


 
 
As part of my new policy to not give a shit anymore, I'm not going to give a shit.

But remember when you dumb fucks were all swinging on this guy's nuts and telling me to love it or leave it?

This is your guy.

 
Sunday, March 21, 2004
 
Preaching

Every accent, every emphasis, every modulation of voice, was so perfectly well turned and well placed, that, without being interested in the subject, one could not help being pleased with the discourse; a pleasure of much the same kind with that received from an excellent piece of music. This is an advantage itinerant preachers have over those who are stationary, as the latter can not well improve their delivery of a sermon by so many rehearsals.

-- Benjamin Franklin (1706-90), U.S. statesman, writer.
 
Saturday, March 20, 2004
 
Philadelphia-born trumpeter Lee Morgan was onstage at a New York club called Slug’s in February of 1972 when he was fatally shot by a longtime paramour named Helen Moore, apparently after telling the woman he was leaving her.

Morgan, a black man, was 33 years old.

Lee Morgan died seven years after the passing of the Voting Rights Act, a measure that called for a more stringent application of the 15th Amendment, which guaranteed the right to vote anyone regardless of race or color. Earlier in 1965, several hundred people who wanted a say in their future – a voice to which they were legally entitled – marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge en route from Selma, Ala., to the state capitol in Montgomery and were met by police determined to stop them.

A clash ensued, and 17 people were hospitalized.

Dr. Martin Luther King filed legal papers asserting the right to march, and the group eventually made it to Montgomery. There, a 39-year-old white woman from Detroit named Viola Liuzzo was fatally shot by the Ku Klux Klan. She had gone to Montgomery to support the marchers.

Said then-President Lyndon Johnson: “Mrs. Liuzzo went to Alabama to serve the struggle for justice. She was murdered by the enemies of justice who for decades have used the rope and the gun and the tar and the feather to terrorize their neighbors.”

---

The enemies of justice.

Without context, it’s such an interesting phrase. The enemies of justice. Without aid of a dictionary, I take them to mean, Those opposed to what is right and fair. Maybe that’s not quite right.

How fucking arbitrary it seems.

Did Lee Morgan, a black man all of his life but barely regarded as a human in his country of birth, know justice? Or what about Helen Moore, the woman who shot him? Did she experience justice?

A fatal shooting in a place called Slug’s. Is that justice, or just irony?
 
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
 
perfidy \PUR-fuh-dee\, noun: The act of violating faith or allegiance; violation of a promise or vow; faithlessness; treachery.
 
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
 
 
Monday, March 15, 2004
 
We declare our responsibility for what happened in Madrid exactly two-and-a half years after the attacks on New York and Washington. It is a response to your collaboration with the criminals Bush and his allies.

This is a response to the crimes that you have caused in the world, and specifically in Iraq and Afghanistan, and there will more, if God wills it. You love life and we love death, which gives an example of what the prophet Mohammed said. If you don't stop your injustices, more and more blood will flow and these attacks will seem very small compared to what can occur in what you call terrorism.
 
 
Chrissie Hynde tried (unsuccessfully) to convince Motörhead drummer Phil Taylor to join the Pretenders in the late '70s prior to finding eventual member Martin Chambers.
 
Sunday, March 14, 2004
 
Incident Number: 30886
Date: 03/14/04
Time: 1118
Beat: 434
Watch Commander: SGT. VANDIVER

Location: CARDIFF ST/JAMACHA RD Neighborhood: JAMACHA/LOMITA

Type: ADW - SHOOTING

Synopsis:

A Hispanic male confronted a couple children for looking at his girlfriend. The father of the children came out of the store and confronted the Hispanic male. They had words then the father got into his vehicle. The Hispanic male got a gun and fired several rounds into the rear window of the vehicle. The father sustained a minor wound to his head either from a bullet or flying glass. The suspect fled in an older “ratty” looking, brown, possibly a Nissan pickup truck. Southeastern is investigating.
 
Saturday, March 13, 2004
 
"Masters of War"
Bob Dylan (1963)

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand o'er your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead
 
Thursday, March 11, 2004
 
 
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
 
The caffeinated headlights blast through the empty street, illuminating things meant to stay in the dark. Burned-out liquor stores with their graffiti-covered, boarded-up windows. Hookers bent to the rides of their johns. Cigarettes glow in the faces of the men who call the shots out here.

You keep going. It’s been a long time since you bought drugs, and even longer since you bought them off the street. This street.

There are televisions in the cars now, you see, and the advertising machine says this is another way of branding all tomorrow’s children. Get them while they are in the car seats. Compel them to compel their parents.

It’s indirect lobbying, like mass mailers you don’t ask for but come to your home anyway. They say, Go tell Sweeney about it. How you feel. Vote for this.

You can’t understand how to vote. You think it should be more simple here in the United States of America. They tell you the computer is fucking up or some such broken line.

Are we not men?

Is this Guatemala of ’54?

Take the red line out of Cambridge, and it’s just a couple of stops to the city. See Kenmore Square and the Rathskeller. Your friend tells you about a place called The Unexamined Life, though you’re doubtful it still exists.

You get to a certain age where you don’t give a shit about making the light in this part of town. If they come, they come, and you are ready. You’ve spent years preparing, and you’d almost like to see how the preparation pays off.

If it doesn’t, it wasn’t meant to.

The advertising machine tells you that the measure on the ballot is supported by one group, and you could swear the exact same group is opposed to it. Read it again, and you see the groups differ in name by only one word. How’s a guy to know?

Hear your friend say, Read the paper, see what they recommend, and then do the opposite.

They’re all in it together, like an ethics seminar at Boeing. Go through the motions and tell them, seriously, guys, stop this bullshit. You'll almost get us in trouble.

You slap glasses together and head for the golf course.

Are they really boycotting the Girl Scouts?

The headlights poke across the intersection, and you see the motorcycle pull out of the closed service station. Could be a cop, but the advertising machine said something about guys pretending to be cops, pathological fucks. They say they terrorize the people over here who already have what is generally termed a deep-seeded mistrust of the uniform.

Where is that damn onramp, anyway?

As ever, you just want to go home, and it’s like those slow dreams where it all moves away from you.

But you keep driving, sure you’ll find it.

Even while they sit in the backs of the cars, taking pictures of the television with their telephones.
 
Monday, March 08, 2004
 
Sheep are not the docile, pleasant creatures of the pastoral idyll. Any countryman will tell you that. They are sly, occasionally vicious, pathologically stupid.

--Joanne Harris, Chocolat
 
 
Buffett Says Bush Tax Cuts Favor Wealthy
By JOE RUFF, Associated Press Writer

OMAHA, Neb. - Billionaire investor Warren Buffett accused the Bush administration Saturday of pursuing tax cuts that favor large corporations and wealthy individuals.

"If class warfare is being waged in America, my class is clearly winning," Buffett said in Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s annual report.

Except for 1983, the percentage of federal tax receipts from corporate income taxes last year was the lowest since data was first published in 1934, Buffett said.

"Tax breaks for corporations (and their investors, particularly large ones) were a major part of the administration's 2002 and 2003 initiatives," Buffett said.

Buffett said many large corporations now pay nothing close to the stated federal tax rate of 35 percent.

In an April 2 speech, Pamela Olson, assistant secretary for tax policy at the U.S. Treasury, referred to "a certain midwestern oracle" when she said Buffett played the tax code "like a fiddle."

However, Buffett said in the report his investment company pays its taxes and is almost certainly among the country's top 10 taxpayers. The company will pay $3.3 billion in 2003 corporate income tax, he said.

"Alas, my 'fiddle playing' will not get me to Carnegie Hall — or even to a high school recital," Buffett said.

Buffett also accused mutual fund managers and directors of using policies that hurt investors, said chief executives generally continue to be paid too much, and said recent reforms aimed at ensuring independent boards of directors will not work.
 
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
 
As the Worm Turns: Stern, Sully and the Bush Backlash
By Maureen Farrell

Thirty-six years ago, Walter Cronkite returned from a visit to Vietnam and set the nation straight. "We've been too often disappointed by the optimism of the American leaders, both in Vietnam and Washington, to have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds, " he said. "For it seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate."

"If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost the country," President Johnson remarked.

 
Monday, March 01, 2004
 
Before it rushes from the mother’s belly, the human fetus drinks amniotic fluid filled with substances with names like vernix and lanugo. These protective coverings peel off into the womb and are consumed by the unborn and form what is called meconium.

This is why babies have black shit.

Sometimes, if the pregnancy runs past term, the fetus may breath in this black-shit amniotic fluid into its tiny lungs, something that is called meconium aspiration.

Thus, before it is born, the human is eating its own shit.

She told you all that about the baby shit and breathing in the womb with a straight face, and you couldn’t believe she had all that at her synaptic fingertips. It would’ve probably been a good time to ask her what she did for a living, and also to compliment her on her careful effort of telling the story with the fetus’ life in proper chronology.

Is a life a life if it isn’t born?

You remember those videos about pregnancy, and it was hard to fathom that life began after a man drank a six-pack of domestic beer, as you’d been told growing up. You couldn’t conceive of joining one side or the other, those fucking crazies with bloody pictures at the park, they of the encyclopedic knowledge of the Bill of Rights and assembly and speech and all that.

You once French-kissed someone wearing a t-shirt that read NO U.S. INTERVENTIONS IN WOMEN’S WOMBS.

Those fucking crazy people screaming across the fence at each other, their faces pinched in celibacy and hate, their roiling guts predicting an early death.

Quite an amazing thing, she said. I mean, the kid has no goddamned say in the matter. Yanked from one shit-eating environment into another. What a lousy go, huh?

You thought about the poetry of childbirth, about the age-old should-I-bring-a-life-into-this-fucked-place question.

The advertising machine tells you there’s never been a better time than now to make babies, and fucking is everywhere. It abhors violence and sex unless it’s taxed for $10 at your local multiplex. Where’s the bloody passion in that?

Yeah, I don’t know about all that, you told her. I mean, sounds crummy. It’s why I play the piano and listen to the dogs. It’s all that really make sense. The rest is sort of Habitrail stuff. Get on, spin, go forever, die.

Because you didn’t have a choice, she said. And now you’re doing all you can to just slide on through.

You clarified to her that you weren’t really doing all that much except playing the piano for dog food. That and a couple drinks.

So it doesn’t hurt so much.

Yeah, I guess so. So you don’t hurt so much.
 
 
\m/

The above is the :) equivalent of metal horns.
 
Formerly GOD'S LONELY MAN

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