Bands That Dissappear Without A Trace

Right now I'm listening to this CD by a band called Wingnut Supreme. I bought this CD in 1997 and have loved it ever since, always wondering why they didn't get big. I never know a lot about them, so I did a google search on them, and there was virtually no information on them. How does that happen? You figure in the internet era anybody who ever put out anything would have a bunch of pages with reviews, interviews, bios, something, anything. Are there any great bands you know of who seem to have been wiped off of the planet with no trace? Feel free to comment. Feel free to buy Wingnut Supreme.

The Paris Hilton Tax

It never ceases to amaze me how people in this country vote and hold positions that are not in their own self interest (Thomas Frank wrote a whole book about it, called What's The Matter With Kansas). One of the reasons for this phenomenon is theat the Republicans have done an outstanding job of renaming things to sound easy to support/oppose. One great example of this is the so-called Death Tax. Death tax? It's ridiculous to tax someone just because they died, you say. I don't want to be taxed when I die, you say. And so you oppose the Death Tax and the Republicans win again.

But wait.

The "Death Tax" is actually the Estate Tax. The Estate Tax affects only the extremely rich, at most the top two percent of incomes in the United States (estates worth over $1 million for individuals, $2 million for couples, $5 million for businesses, and $8 million for farms). The people who "suffer" because of the Estate Tax are not the rich, they are dead, but the children of the rich. Think Paris Hilton. But call it the Death Tax, and suddenly hordes of Americans think it's completely fair for Ms. Hilton to pay no taxes on her inheritance. Believe it or not, things like interstate highways, Medicare, and the military (and the wars it engages in) cost money. If you take away the billions of dollars the Estate Tax raised, that money has to be made up somewhere. Who do you you think is going to pay it? Answer: You. And your kids. And your kid's kids. And why? Because you got snookered by a marketing ploy coined up by Republican strategists. What's going on in this country is a transfer of taxation burden, from the very rich to the middle class. Apparently the middle class is fine with this, because otherwise we'd be marching in the streets.


Warning: Ironic Quote Mark Overdose Ahead

Well, lookee here! David Asman, one of the "personalities" on Fox "News" accidentally revealed his "network's" true stripes. During an "interview", after Trent Lott maintained that Republicans had enough votes to end a Democratic filibuster, Asman responded:
So, Senator, if we should have done it and if we had the votes to do it in the Senate -- if you guys in the Republican Party did -- then why did you need a compromise?
Notice how he caught himself in the middle of his admission. Beautiful.


Politics boring? Never.

I’m feeling kinda guilty. I consider myself a political junkie, but lately, on many matters of national importance, I’m just not into it. The filibuster debate? Yawn. The fight over Social Security? Where’s my pillow? I should be passionate about these matters, but I simply can’t muster up any partisan rage. Give me more of Tom DeLay’s ethical lapses and sleazy doings. Give me voter repression in Ohio and Florida. Give me John Bolton. Give me off the wall conspiracy theories. I need red meat, dammit! And if I, a nerd who religiously watches ‘The Capital Gang’, feels this way, God knows how mostly apolitical people feel.
That being said, now that the filibuster debate is over (for now), here’s my feeling. Both sides arguments made absolute sense in purely theoretical terms. Maybe that’s why my feelings aren’t as strong on this. The filibuster is not a Constitutional right. But neither are many other Washington traditions. Hell, political parties aren’t mentioned in the Constitution. But at the same time, the Constitution does give the President the right to nominate federal judges, and if a Senator does not support the nominee, his role should be to vote ‘No’ at the confirmation hearings. Judicial nominees should get a vote on the floor, but the filibuster has not been the only method used. We needn’t look back far to see how many of Clinton’s nominees didn’t make it to the floor, not because of the filibuster, but because their nominations could not escape the Republican dominated Judiciary Committee.
Bottom line, both sides need to cut the shit and quit whining. Both sides are crying like little babies about the deal that was brokered. Have we become so lost that we’ve forgotten that compromising involves giving something up?
As for Social Security, wow, I got sleepy just typing the phrase. Talking Points Memo is easily the best resource concerning it. But just so you know, I’m for keeping things as they are. Don’t ask me to explain why or I may go into a coma.


This whole “Newsweek caused riots in Afghanistan” bullcrap is making me sick. After the abuses documented at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, you show me someone who doesn’t think the Koran was desecrated, and I’ll show you a fucking moron. End of story.
This administration has balls the size of Jupiter to get indignant about this. After starting a war based on documented lies, after calling that war a “crusade”, after the Abu Gharib pictures, after documented cases of females wiping a red liquid on prisoners at Guantanamo and saying it was their menstrual discharge, White House spokesman Scott McLellan had the absolute gall to say that "our image abroad has been damaged" by Newsweek. Yet you sheep buy it. Next time I talk to a Republican, I can almost guarantee they will bring up Newsweek before anything else. Hopefully, I will restrain myself from choking them.


Essential Music: Rocket From The Crypt - Circa Now!

San Diego’s RFTC was putting out high quality rock’n’roll long before this, their major label debut, but this is where it all came together. This was released in the early 90’s when San Diego was being whispered about as “the next Seattle”. That designation never panned out commercially, artistically San Diego cranked out some great music. A lot the music of the time was angular math rock like Drive Like Jehu (i believe Speedo, RFTC's singer, was in Jehu) and No Knife, but when it came to Rocking The Fuck out, RFTC was (and to some extent, still is) THE band. Incorporating saxophone in a (thank God) non-ska way, Circa Now consists of one juggernaut after another. It’s hard to come up with a good comparison for their style, but add some melody to the previously mentioned bands and you’re getting warm. It's Heavy, it's melodic, it's fast, it's slow, you know, fuck it, I’m not gonna try and describe them, just go get it. If you listen to it three times and don’t love it, I’ll buy it off of you. Oh, and don’t ask me what any of the lyrics mean, I have no idea.

Why not Beelzebub?

Last week, I was at Carl’s Jr at the mall in downtown Sacramento. I’m eating my Super Star with cheese (no lettuce), when one of the many young mother’s giving her kids a jump start on heart disease and clogged arteries (like I'm one to talk) yells at her kid, “Malachi, get back over here!” Malachi? A google search tells me that Malachi is Hebrew for “messenger of God”, but a search of my memory tells me that Malachi was one of the main creepy characters in the 1984 movie ‘Children Of The Corn.' Now, I’m sure that watching ‘Children of the Corn’ now would induce many bouts of laughter, but when I was a kid, that movie just plain scared the crap out of me. Therefore, naming your child Malachi after 1984 is simply not an option. I mean, c’mon, Damien is Greek for “sweet and harmless”, but anyone who saw ‘The Omen’ knows that little fucker was neither sweet nor innocent. He was the spawn of Satan. So young mothers of America, I know you want a unique name for your precious child, but please, for the sake of us Gen X’ers, cross Malachi and Damien off of your list.