Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fujiya & Miyagi - Lightbulbs

1. Knickerbocker
2. Uh
3. Pickpocket
4. Goosebumps
5. Rook to queen's pawn
6. Sore thumb
7. Dishwasher
8. Pterodactyls
9. Pussyfooting
10. Lightbulbs
11. Hundreds & thousands

click cover to download

yeah 3

If You Really Want to Understand What This Race is About, Look at the Two Candidates' Fathers

By: Johann Hari

The tinsel and tinny sound bites of the conventions pushes us to judge the presidential candidates on the most simple -- and simple-minded -- video-version of their biogs. But amidst all this, we seem to be ignoring the best guide we have to John McCain and Barack Obama's hearts. Both men have written strange, searching books about their fathers. It is in their pages that we can find the clearest -- and most haunting -- clues to their potential presidencies.

At first glance, these slabs of non-fiction -- Dreams From My Father by Obama, and Faith of My Fathers by McCain -- are strikingly similar. They both tell the autobiographical story of an insecure young man who flails around for an identity, and finds it by chasing the ghost of his absent father to a dangerous place far beyond the United States. Yet Obama ended up writing a complex story of colonised people -- while McCain wrote a simple celebration of the coloniser.

Barack Obama Snr was a Kenyan goatherd, born into a country ruled by British white supremacists. He had watched his own father move from job to job -- as chef or butler or servant -- because he would not allow white men to beat him when he made a mistake or got "uppity." He saw his father disappear for six months into a British Guantanamo, because he had been (falsely) accused of being part of the resistance. All around them, some 50,000 Kenyans were being slaughtered by the British in an attempt to put down the rebellion. A favoured tactic was bursting their eardrums. Obama was offered a way out when some American aid workers saw he was smart, and helped him apply to study in the U.S.

There, he met Ann Durham, a poor white girl from Kansas. They quickly got married, at a time when "miscegenation" was still illegal in half of all states, and had a baby. He abandoned them in Hawaii when the baby was two, and the younger Obama only met his father once again, fleetingly.

As he grew up, Obama writes: "I was engaged in a fitful interior struggle. I was trying to raise myself to be a black man in America, and no one around me seemed to know exactly what that meant." He tried turning himself into "a caricature of black male adolescence." He tried living as a community organiser in Chicago. And -- when his father died in a car crash -- he tried to find it in Africa, by chasing his memory. But he discovered a father who had failed. Obama Snr. had left children strewn across the world. He had been blacklisted from the Kenyan government for speaking out against corruption; he sank into the bottle, and isolation.

It was in the slums of Kenya that Barack the son realised he was an American, tied inexorably to his country's freedoms and failings. There was no contradiction. He thought of his grandmothers -- one watching her home burned down by colonisers, another hurrying at 6.30am to catch the bus to work in a bank in Hawaii -- and understood: "They all asked the same thing of me, these grandmothers of mine."

The lens through which McCain views the world is radically different. He was born into military royalty, writing: "For two centuries, the men of my family were raised to go to war as officers in America's armed services." He writes of his "pride" in being descended from "the distinguished conqueror" Charlemagne.

McCain's father was mostly absent, away at sea. As a navy child, McCain writes, "you are taught to consider their absence not as a deprivation, but as an honour." But he hungrily sought out stories of his grandfather and father. They were both angry, hard-drinking men, often disciplined for starting fights: his grandfather even drank the alcohol used to fuel torpedoes on his submarine. Warring was all they knew. When the Second World War ended, his grandfather lamented: "I feel lost. I don't know what to do."

Sometimes their strict obedience to the military was put to great causes, like saving the world from Nazism. But just as often, it was used to crush democracy: in 1965, McCain's father led the invasion of the Dominican Republic to destroy the forces loyal to the elected leader and install a fascist thug. In his book, McCain calls this operation "a success".

While Obama's father and grandfather were being whipped and detained without charge, McCain was being taught to revere the people doing it. He writes of his father: "He was a great admirer of the British Empire, crediting it with keeping 'a relative measure of peace' in the world for 'someplace in the neighbourhood of two hundred years.'" This is a view his son holds to this day -- as we can see from the fact that his foreign policy adviser, Niall Ferguson, calls for the U.S. to pick up where Britain left off. He describes his own childhood in the wreckage of Obama's Snr's Kenya as "a magical time" where "scarcely anything had changed since the days of White Mischief".

But McCain feared he would never live up to his father. He too had become a fighting, drinking, bottom-of-the-class Navy brat always on the brink of being thrown out. Then, on one of his first air raids over Vietnam, he was shot down and captured by the Viet Cong. He was held and tortured. They offered to release him early, but US soldiers are told to insist on being released in the order they were captured. So he stayed for five years, and was tortured some more. In Hanoi, he writes, "I fell in love with my country". In its torture cells, he discovered he was worthy of "the faith of my fathers."

When he returned, his father told him the only problem with the war is it wasn't fought hard enough: Nixon and Kissinger should have bombed more civilians, with less restraint. (They killed 3 million.) His son still agrees: he is angry at the "utterly illogical restraints on the use of American power". McCain says of his predecessors: "I still aspire to live my life according to the terms of their approval." It's true. His father's reaction to failure in Vietnam was to urge bombing of Cambodia; his reaction to failure in Iraq is to sing "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran."

I do not want to exaggerate the difference between Obama and McCain. The U.S. political system is hemmed in by vast blocks of corporate power and geopolitical pressures. Any president can only nudge this system by inches, in either the right or wrong direction -- but when a giant moves by a few inches, the effect is vast.

From his father, Obama learned to eschew "the confidence reserved for those born into imperial cultures" that they should rule the world their way, with "a steady unthinking application of force". He can imagine the mentality of the boy in Basra whose father has vanished into an occupiers' prison, because it happened to his father and grandfather too. McCain learned the opposite from his father: that the natives only ever learn "to behave themselves" at the end of a big stick. So now we have to ask: which ghostly father will America choose?


Monday, August 25, 2008

Department of Eagles - In Ear Park

This project is Daniel Rossen(grizzly bear) along with Fred Nicolaus. Easily one of the best albums of the year.

click cover to download

enjoy i know u will!!!

The Music Tapes - Music Tapes for Clouds & Tornadoes

This album is crazy!!! It took me a few weeks to understand how freak great this album is. Yes he uses saws and ping pong balls to make his music giving it a very lo-fi feel for fans of really weird Daniel Johnston.

click picture to download



I'm Just Sayin': The idiotic "Biden undercuts change" argument

By: Phil Trounstine

The most idiotic punditbabble we're heard in the wake of Barack Obama's choice of Joe Biden -- advanced by the AP's Ron Fournier, NBC's David Gregory and others as if they were channeling John McCain's talking points -- is the notion that Biden undercuts Obama's message that it's time for a change.

Exhibit A, in this silly argument, is Biden's 35 years in the United States Senate. The simplistic formulation argues that because Biden is an old hand in Washington, he undermines Obama as a standard-bearer for change.

First of all, consider the absurdity of the suggestion that a brilliant, young, black president wouldn't represent an historic, transforming leap forward in American politics. On its face, this is nothing more than Rovian hyperspin.

Barack Obama personifies change -- no matter who his running-mate is.

But there's a further point (and thanks to Newsweek's Howard Fineman for picking up on it): That what Biden represents is a guy - perhaps uniquely qualified - to implement the change that Obama represents.

With his knowledge of the ways of Washington, his vast experience in the Senate, his insider savvy, Biden brings to the Democratic ticket a glimmer of hope that all the things Obama wants to accomplish - from foreign affairs and health care to economic and tax policy - might actually get done in the next administration.

McCain's people desperately did not want Obama to pick Biden for precisely this reason, along with the fact that Biden actually knows McCain, he's an Irish Catholic from Scranton, he's a family man who can rub elbows in union halls and he's a terrific debater and attack surrogate.

Without someone like Biden on the ticket - with a governor perhaps or a less effective senator - Obama risked looking like a dreamer, not a doer. But with Biden at his side, the Democratic ticket suddenly can offer itself as a pragmatic, can-do engine for change.

Biden doesn't detract from the message of change: he drives it home.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Cut-and-Runners Have Won, and They're Bush/Cheney

By: Marty Kaplan

Now that Condi has negotiated the very timetable for withdrawal from Iraq that this administration has been calling treasonous for the past three years, will anyone hold them accountable for the pure political motivations for their turnaround? Or will America be as obscenely forgiving of this attempt to deprive Obama of an issue as they've been willing to take amnesia pills about the gang that preferred "The Pet Goat" to "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US"?

Poor John McCain. His hundred-year occupation now looks more imperial, and less sensible, than ever. His bipolar framing of Iraq -- Democrats want to surrender, but I'm going to stay there until we win -- now smacks more than ever as the dementia of General Jack D. Ripper, rather than the steely resolve of Truman or TR.

The advice of the generals on the ground... the patriots who put country before politics... the contemptible surrenderists... the timetables that mean that the terrorists have won... all the Republican rhetorical crap of the post-Mission Accomplished era, which was masquerading as statesmanship, is now -- as the Nixon crowd called it -- inoperative. Negotiating a sensible timeline for withdrawal with Iraqis turns out after all to be good for them, and good for us, and good for the war on terror. Who would have thunk it? And who will explain it to the families of the dead and wounded American troops, not to mention to the millions of displaced, demoralized and dead Iraqi civilians?

Depend on a revisionist account from the White House that makes this stunning reversal the inevitable consequence of all they've done before. But just because they're good at propaganda doesn't mean we have to be good at stupid.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

High Places - High Places

High Places - High Places

One of the best groups making music today!!!

Better Rip

enjoy 3

Koushik - Out My Window

Koushik - Out My Window


1. Morning Comes
2. Be With
3. Lying In The Sun
4. Coolin
5. Buttaflybeat
6. See You
7. Nothing's The Same
8. Welcome
9. Corner Of Your Smile
10. In A Green Space
11. Ifoundu
12. Outerlude
13. Bright And Shining
14. Forest Loop
15. Out My Window
16. Flying On


The Great Corporate Tax Heist

By: Robert L. Borosage

Remember the old Steve Martin routine on how to make a million dollars and not pay taxes: "First, make a million dollars... Second, don't pay taxes." Turns out Martin's joke is standard operating procedure for corporations in the United States -- only, in comparison, Martin was a piker.

Today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a study on taxes paid by corporations. In what Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND) mildly called "a shocking indictment of the current tax system," the GAO found that about two-thirds of corporations operating in the US did not pay taxes annually from 1998 to 2005.

Now most corporations in America are start-ups or small, mom and pop operations that have adopted a corporate form to lower their tax rates. And a greater percentage of large corporations do pay some taxes. But in 2005, with corporate profits reaching new heights as a percentage of national income, the GAO found that over one-fourth -- 28% of large corporations paid no taxes. (It defined large corporations as those with assets of at least $250 million dollars or gross receipts of at least $50 million dollars.) They can tell you how to make $50 million dollars and not pay taxes.

Not surprisingly, the income collected from corporations has been declining as a percentage of GDP, with the burden transferred to your income and payroll taxes. According to a study by the Treasury Department, from 2000-2006, an average of 2.2% of GDP was collected in corporate taxes. This compares to an average of 3.4% in other industrial countries. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that, under current law, corporate revenues will decline to 1.9% of GDP by 2017.

Why is this important? Well, the Bush administration, led by Treasury Secretary Paulson and conservatives led by John McCain are mounting a major campaign to cut the corporate tax rate even more, arguing that we are crippled competitively by having a US rate higher than any industrial nation other than Japan. "America has the second highest business [tax]rate in the entire world," says John McCain. "Is it any wonder that jobs are moving overseas? We're taxing them out of the country." But the GAO study confirms what we already knew: whatever the nominal tax rate, US corporations pay an effective rate among the lowest in the industrial world.

Yet the core of McCain economic agenda consists of breath-taking corporate tax breaks. He calls for cutting the top corporate rate from 35% to 25% and allowing corporations to write off investments in the first year. Combined, the Tax Policy Center wonks cost these at over $1.3 trillion over 10 years. Len Burman of Tax Policy Center estimates that in total, McCain would cut corporate revenues by about 50% from current levels. They'll be making hundreds of millions of dollars and not paying taxes. This is no joke.

To pay for these tax breaks, sustain the Bush tax cuts, add more tax breaks AND balance the budget in four years, as McCain promises, will require heroic cuts in spending. Not military spending; McCain promises to increase that. How will he do this? On the stump, McCain promises to veto any earmarked spending. But that is a gesture, providing about $18 billion a year. (And he isn't exactly consistent. McCain often tells folks who defend a local project that it is the process, not the individual project that he opposes.) Perhaps that's why McCain calls for raising Medicare taxes on seniors with over $50,000 a year in income and taxing employer-based health care benefits for families. Working people and seniors will help pay the tab for the corporate tax give-away.

It's hard not to wonder about the pure, contrary, inanity of the current conservative position. Our military is by far the strongest in the world, while our trains are among the slowest and our sewers are collapsing. So they propose raising spending the military and cutting domestic investment. We suffer gilded age inequality, with the wealthiest 15,000 families -- one-one hundredth of one percent of the population -- capturing fully one-fourth of the entire income growth from 2000 to 2006. Their average income rose from $15.2 million per year to $29.7 million per year. Meanwhile, the rest of us -- 133 million households that make up 90% of the country -- divided up 4% of the nation's income, adding about $305 to our average $30,354 income. So conservatives push for more tax cuts for the wealthy, while proposing to tax employer based health benefits. Corporate profits (prior to the recession) have catapulted to what is by far the highest percentage of national income in the past half century. So they want to cut corporate taxes, inevitably increasing the burden on labor. The economic future looks dim because consumers, drowning in debt, are cutting back. So they suggest cutting taxes on corporate investments will generate new investments and growth -- as if companies don't need someone to buy the products they make.

Maybe that will be Steve Martin's next routine: How to sell more stuff and not have customers. Somehow, it doesn't sound so funny.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Dutchess & the Duke

The Dutchess & the Duke: She's the Dutchess, He's the Duke

This album is stellar. Its all I've listened to for the past week or so. It sounds like a lost record from the mid 60s with some top notch songwriting. Stop what you are doing and download it.

The Dutchess & the Duke: She's the Dutchess, He's the Duke

1. Reservoir Park
2. Out Of Time
3. Ship Made Of Stone
4. Strangers
5. The Prisoner
6. Back To Me
7. Mary
8. You Can Tell The Truth, Now
9. I Am Just A Ghost
10. Armageddon Song


McCain: MLK and RFK Were Dumb Blondes

By: Marty Kaplan

And the people who went to their rallies calling for an end to the war and for social justice were airhead-worshippers.

It took me long enough, but I think I've finally figured out what those McCain ads about Paris and Britney -- and, yes, the Summer of Love -- are saying. As always, with Republicans in general, the most reliable way to understand their thinking is from the perspective of the culture wars of the '60s, and in the case of McCain in particular, the perspective of his Vietnam experience.

McCain is saying that the people who believed in Bobby Kennedy, the Americans who made him a star, were just as ditzy to believe in his message about ending the war and reducing inequality as they were to worship Marilyn Monroe. The people who rallied on the Mall in amazing numbers to hear Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream, the people who wanted to follow him out of Vietnam, were naive starf***ers; by turning their backs on Nixon and Kissinger, by putting joy ahead of sacrifice, they were undermining America in the world and our troops in Southeast Asia.

Those McCain ads are as much about you as they are about Obama. If you believe in all that global warming and gay marriage stuff, you're as dumb as a Lindsay Lohan fan. If you cheer a guy who talks up negotiation as part of our national security arsenal, you probably went to San Francisco and put flowers in your hair instead of being tortured in Hanoi. If you think this economy hurts the middle and the bottom and favors the rich, you're as dumb as a plank, or as Paris, or as Britney.

To the movement conservatives in charge of McCain's campaign, and to the movement conservative that McCain himself has settled in to being, Obama is just the most recent leader of a series of children's crusades -- spoiled children's crusades. No wonder they want to paint him as elitist and effete; after all, a couple of generations ago, these were the Nixonians who depicted the anti-war mobilization not as a principled political groundsurge, but as a bunch of Ivy Leaguers indulgently parented by Dr. Spock.

Obama often said in the primaries that he feels as though today's Washington conflicts were actually reruns of campus skirmishes of the '60s, and that he wants to get beyond that. It's an admirable sentiment. But the paleo-conservatives running against him are determined to refight and win those culture wars, just as that movement's "intellectual" parents are forever rerunning the '30s battles of the City College of New York cafeteria in their heads.

Don't forget: the people behind McCain loathed Bobby and Martin at the time. Today, they'll do anything they can to make it feel embarrassing to imagine that those leaders might have an heir in Obama. The message of McCain's ads is that change is for chumps, belief is for boobs, fame is for charlatans, and that the calendar in America will be forever set on Groundhog Day 1968 until all the war protesters, uppity women, tree-huggers, faggots and dirty f*****g hippies finally go back to the places where they belong.

later 3