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Saturday, April 26, 2003
Just got back from seeing The Dixie...

...Dregs at a small theater in Huntington, LI. Lineup: Morse, Lavitz, Morganstein, LaRue, and the surprise of the night - Jerry Goodman (the original electric violinist, from both The Flock and the legendary Mahavishnu Orchestra).

We sat front row on the right hand side - away from Morse and Lavitz, right in front of Goodman. They did a sweet sampling of every Dregs era, from the first album to the last, with the classics like 'Cruise Control' and 'Blood-Sucking Leeches,' plus an outstanding medley of 'Orange Blossom Special' and 'Rocky Top.' I hadn't seen the Dregs for many years, and had forgotten just how effortless they make what they do look.

Bonus points for the encore - a crushing rendition of Mahavishnu's 'Birds Of Fire.' My ears are ringing, but it's a small price to pay for hearing what I heard.

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Good fences make good neighbors. Right?

Some chilling pics of what Washington, DC is turning into, from InfoShop by way of Daily Dystopian. From the comments on InfoShop:

"I've been thinking a lot about this recently. In the last 3 weeks, the only time President Smirk has appeared in public is at military bases; and when he met with Blair, it was at an airforce base in the Azores, the presidential compound at Camp David, and at a castle in colonial northern Ireland. What the fuck? Is this any way for a guy with supposedly an 80% approval rating to act?

Come out, come out, wherever you are... "

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Re-link to 'Habits of Waste' Interview

I did an interview with the webzine 'Habits of Waste' for its issue from last fall, and I noticed it pop up in my referrals. I figured I'd repost it, since I think at the time it was published,it sort of got lost in the shuffle.

While I thought I was a gabbling idiot when I actually did the interview, I just read it again and it now sounds like a pretty good explanation of what I do. What the hell, if you're bored, give it a read...

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Christie's Dos and Don'ts...

Saw this over at Eschaton, and while this raises the question of 'What the fuck is Whitman thinking?', it also brings up the larger issue of how little concern is given to the everyday workings of government - as well as Homeland Security - by the current administration:

Environmental Protection Agency criminal agents are being diverted from their normal investigative work to provide security and drivers for agency chief Christie Whitman — and getting long lists of do's and don'ts to keep her happy.

EPA agents assigned to investigate environmental crimes have at times been ordered to perform more personal tasks, such as returning a rental car for Whitman's husband after a trip or sitting at a table until the administrator arrived for a restaurant reservation, according to interviews with several EPA senior managers.

The lists of do's and don'ts instruct agents who chauffeur the EPA administrator to ensure they rent only a Lincoln Town Car, tune the radio to smooth jazz or classical music and set the volume low, and keep an eye out for a Starbucks coffee shop or Barnes & Noble book store.

I mean, what does an environmental investigation matter, as long as Christie gets her Starbucks?

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Mike Farrell kicks the bejeesus out of Novakula.

Maru has the transcript. Novak didn't stand a chance, poor old git.

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Adding more links today.

That BlogRoller is somethin'. I'm trying to build up the links list, but if you want to be included and it looks like I forgot you, send me an email.

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One of those sites I always mean to mention...

..but always seem to forget. Rathergood is the site that does those kitty flash vids, and they never fail to crack me up. The latest one features a flying left-handed puppy playing a Rich Bich, and the Viking Kitties want to take you to a gay bar.

Since it's Saturday morning, just consider Rathergood to be the really cool cartoons that you never got to see on teevee when you were a kid.

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Now I know how presidents feel...

...when they do something that gives them a boost in the polls.

Just doing my morning cruise around Bloghdad - windows open, looking for matches, Everclear's 'American Movie, Part 2' CD in the player - when I go check out the current state of the Ecosystem at Truth Laid Bare. Lo and behold, today I'm nearly cracking the Top 100! Today, I'm a Large Mammal - but to be realistic, tomorrow I'll probably be back in the Slithering Reptile pit, which is more in line with my station in blog-life.

I guess all that speculation about what happened when the site went down this week generated a big pile o'links for yours truly. I have to say I'm touched by the concern, and now that the domain's back I'll try to post even more semi-interesting stuff for you to read with your coffee. It's the very least I can do.

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Things to do on a rainy day...

Man, it's miserable here on LI today. It's been raining cats & dogs all night, and it's just depressing to look out the window. So I'm going to post a few articles, then maybe do some work around the house (since we bought the house in December, I've discovered the simple joys of puttering).

Tonight, I look forward to heading up to the North Shore and seeing the Dixie Dregs. Nothing like watching Steve Morse play for a couple of hours to make you wonder why you ever started playing guitar in the first place.

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Embedded super-reporter Judith Miller reveals Raiders won 2003 Super Bowl

SAUSALITO, CALIFORNIA, Feb. 7 - A respected accountant who is a member of the Sausalito chapter of the Oakland Raiders Fan Club has told a friend who told his cousin who told this reporter that he (the respected accountant) has provided evidence to the National Football League that the Raiders nipped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2003 Super Bowl.

Based on that evidence, which this reporter and her editors have not yet seen, the New York Times has decided to retract earlier stories filed the night of the game that proclaimed a Bucs victory.

More at Take Back The Media.

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Leung case may be getting ready to break wide.

About damn time.

Sens. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., called Friday for a Senate inquiry into the latest FBI espionage scandal as the implications of the penetration of the bureau by an alleged Chinese spy spread to the 1996 presidential election campaign finance investigation, United Press International has learned.

According to congressional sources, the two prominent senators have written to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, asking for hearings on the growing crisis of espionage failures at the FBI.

The latest scandal involves a wealthy, 49-year-old California woman and major Republican Party contributor who the FBI said in a court affidavit was a "double agent," working for two decades for the FBI while secretly reporting to Beijing....

During the course of its investigations, UPI has been told:

-- Senate investigators in 1996 suspected Leung as being a conduit for secret Chinese government payments to the Republicans, but the committee, headed by former Tennessee Republican Sen. Fred Thompson, dropped the inquiry before a report could be written. "The money came out of Macao," said one former congressional investigator, and "was funneled through Taiwan."

-- At that time, Leung was a key FBI asset under the direction of Smith. UPI's source said that investigators for the Thompson committee "guessed" she was an FBI asset, because the bureau resisted letting her be interviewed.

-- At the same time Smith was supervising Leung, he was also the agent the FBI assigned to one of the key prosecutions of another aspect of the 1996 probe, the secret Chinese payments to the President Bill Clinton/Vice President Al Gore campaign. Smith was assigned to debrief Johnny Chung, who was secretly cooperating with the FBI and admitted feeding $400,000 to the Democratic campaigns.

Just a thought - could this be the reason Fred Thompson decided to become a full-time actor?

This might get big after all. Let's hope, or pray to the Special Investigation Fairy, or whatever..

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Just checking referrals...

And it just hit me - I have to post links to some of my flash stuff.

Eh. Manana. I've been drinking beer all night, so I'd prolly screw up the links, anyway. And remember, you can see a lot of the 'Media' series at Take Back The Media's Flash page.

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Friday, April 25, 2003
Where was he 3 months ago??

Sure, now McCain opens his mouth:

North Korea's atomic weapons stash is a bigger threat to America than was pre-war Iraq, said Sen. John McCain said Friday.

McCain's remarks, made to The Associated Press in an interview, came as nuclear talks with North Korea ended unresolved in Beijing.

``We're in a very serious situation. You could argue, in some ways, more serious than it was with Iraq,'' he said.

And what's worse, he blames Clinton:

McCain said the Bush administration hasn't paid as much attention to problems in the North as it should. But he quickly added that the administration has been ``dealt a very bad hand,'' calling the situation as the ``latest failure of the Clinton administration.''

I truly believe that there's not a single Republic in this country that knows what personal responsibility is any more.

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Hightower's blog

Bookmark it.

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CIA candidate for Iraqi leadership killed in Najaf

I'm wondering if all US-favored candidates for Iraqi leadership will meet the same fate. Mr. Chalabi must have some really good guards:

Intelligence Online reports that former Iraqi general Nizar Khazraji was killed by Shiites in southern Iraq last week. reports that the general was killed on his way to attend the US-called meeting of opposition groups in the southern city of Nassiriya last week.

A former Iraqi military chief-of-staff, who turned against Saddam in 1996, he had publicly declared that he was prepared to lead a rebel army into Iraq. "All real Iraqis want to overthrow this regime and I am one of them," he declared from his home in Denmark.

The CIA had touted Gen. Khazraji as the leading candidate of a group of Sunni military officers who might be "Iraq's Karzai" - a reference to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. In a March 2002 article in the New Yorker, writer Seymour Hersh says that Khazraji was the spy agency's preferred choice.

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Rolling Back the 20th Century

Sometimes we forget about William Greider - which is a shame, because he's among the great, reasoned voices in America - one of the few left at this point.

George W. Bush, properly understood, represents the third and most powerful wave in the right's long-running assault on the governing order created by twentieth-century liberalism. The first wave was Ronald Reagan, whose election in 1980 allowed movement conservatives finally to attain governing power (their flame was first lit by Barry Goldwater back in 1964). Reagan unfurled many bold ideological banners for right-wing reform and established the political viability of enacting regressive tax cuts, but he accomplished very little reordering of government, much less shrinking of it. The second wave was Newt Gingrich, whose capture of the House majority in 1994 gave Republicans control of Congress for the first time in two generations. Despite some landmark victories like welfare reform, Gingrich flamed out quickly, a zealous revolutionary ineffective as legislative leader.

George Bush II may be as shallow as he appears, but his presidency represents a far more formidable challenge than either Reagan or Gingrich. His potential does not emanate from an amiable personality (Al Gore, remember, outpolled him in 2000) or even the sky-high ratings generated by 9/11 and war. Bush's governing strength is anchored in the long, hard-driving movement of the right that now owns all three branches of the federal government. Its unified ranks allow him to govern aggressively, despite slender GOP majorities in the House and Senate and the public's general indifference to the right's domestic program.

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Conservatives Rise for the Bill of Rights!

Nat Hentoff writes:

A significant development in the movement to resist the Ashcroft-Bush dismembering of the Bill of Rights is the growing coalition between conservative groups and such organizations as the American Civil Liberties Union and People for the American Way.

This has been going on—with only marginal attention from the media—since the ACLU organized a broad-based, though unsuccessful, fight to defeat the first USA Patriot Act toward the end of 2001. And it was the conservative Republican libertarian, Dick Armey, then majority leader in the House, who stripped the Orwellian "Operation Tips" out of the Department of Homeland Security bill...

Said Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform at the April 10 ACLU session: "I would support legislation that would sunset all legislation passed during a time of war. And I would vote against any legislation somebody felt they had to name 'Patriot.' [Which no one would have felt the need to do] if it were a worthwhile bill. [That name] was used to mau-mau people because it looks bad on a 30-second commercial to have voted against it." Gee, that line could have been in The Village Voice.

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Bush loves the Iraqi Information Minister!

My first link back to Hesiod:

"He's my man, he was great," Bush enthused in an interview with NBC's Tom Brokaw on Thursday. "Somebody accused us of hiring him and putting him there. He was a classic."

Bush said he had made a point of watching Sahaf, as well as scenes such as the toppling of a huge bronze likeness of Saddam Hussein.

"I did watch some of his clips," he said. "I get a lot of things secondhand, but in the case of the statue or Sahaf, somebody would say, he's getting ready to speak and I'd pop out of a meeting or turn and watch the TV."

Nice to know that the business of the country could wait so TCOOTWH could have a crack-up watching TV. Very nice.

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Victory is about to be declared.

Reports have it that as soon as next week, The Current Occupant Of The White House (TCOOTWH) will declare victory in Iraq.

Fine, I say. Let's get this war crap out of the way, along with the 'bounce' that TCOOTWH will get in his approval ratings. The sooner that is done, the sooner we can get back to pointing out what a complete mess he's made of the economy and the right to privacy in this country.

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Randi Plug

It's been a while since I gave a shout-out to Randi Rhodes and her crew They've set up new streaming software that lets you listen no matter what platform you're using to compute (the old stuff wouldn't let you listen if you're a Mac user).

Go visit, go listen, enjoy. Randi rocks.

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Ashleigh Banfield Wakes Up

Y'all know that Banfield just plain bugs me. Well, she finally said something that makes sense.

"We didn't see what happen when Marines fired M-16s," Banfield said during a Landon lecture appearance today at Kansas State University. "We didn't see what happened after mortars landed, only the puff of smoke. There were horrors that were completely left out of this war. So was this journalism? Or was this coverage?"

On the other hand, she said, many U.S. television viewers were treated to a non-stop flow of images presented by "cable news operators who wrap themselves in the American flag and go after a certain target demographic."

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Most recently posted blogs...

Damn. I must have flashed by so quick on the list, I didn't even see myself.

This isn't doing wonders for my vanity, y'know.

And how do you do permalinks, just in case I say something brilliant? It's gonna be one of those days, if it isn't already.

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Sex Tips From Rick Santorum

Mark Morford rocks.

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First on the list today...

Now that I've gotten my gabbling out of the way, I want to remind you that as bad as the media is today, it could get a whole lot worse on June 2 - the day that the FCC votes on trashing any regulations as to which media conglomerate can buy what.

go here for more information. This, as I'm sure I don't have to tell you, is serious shit.

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Breaking News: Blah3 Redesign Imminent!

Okay, I've made a decision. Now that the B3 domain is down for a time, I'm going to take this opportunity to do a re-design. This will remain the temp blog until I get the new stuff all set up, so bear with me for a week or so.

Site needs an update anyway. This'll get me off the dime and make me do it. I'll go fishing for links and be back in a bit. Might as well give you something to read while you're here.

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Cheap Trick and Mooks from LGF in NYC

Damn, using blogger makes you gabby, I guess. I just feel like posting and posting.

Went to the Beacon Theater last night to see Cheap Trick (hey, Alterman's got Springsteen, so I claim the Trick). Any band that's been around as long as CT risks falling into self-parody - but remember, they started as self-parody, and they still rock harder than a bagful of Sum41s.

K and I sat behind 3 guys, one of which was wearing a Little Green Footballs t-shirt. They spent the entire show pointing out people who were clapping or dancing and making fun of them. What a way to waste a perfectly good Cheap Trick set.

Is this how 'non-idiotarians' spend their off-time - mocking people who are obvisouly enjoying themselves? I mean, I might be a loser liberal, but at least I went to the concert with a girlie on my arm.

I'm gonna head over to LGF (ick) and see if any of these guys posted about the concert.

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Okay, I'm a dope.

I let the domain reg for expire - it was up on April 15, but since I moved in December, I'll probably receive the expiration note early next week. (And don't try to grab Blah3 - I renewed it this morning.)

So here I am, a temporary vacation home in Bloghdad. Might just integrate the blogger end into Blah3 so I can have comments like everybody else. We'll see.

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