Thursday, May 29, 2003

Philly Boy Scouts Defy National Stance on Gays

"'We disagree with the national stance, and we're not comfortable with the stated national policy,' council Chairman David H. Lipson Jr. said..."

Iowa City, are you listening?

Dutch Potheads Decry New No-Smoking Law

The drug policy debate in the Netherlands is just a TAD different than ours:

"Under a new ban on smoking in public places, Dutch coffee shops would be allowed to continue selling joints, but customers would have to go outside to smoke them..."
The Comeback Kid making a comeback?

"Clinton suggested yesterday, to a packed John F. Kennedy Library and Museum audience, that he thinks the 22d Amendment should be amended, making citizens eligible to serve more than eight years as president over their lifetimes..."

He'd have whomped Dubya like he whomped Poppy...

Anyone else remember NPR's Nixon for President April Fools 1992 broadcast?

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Dispatches from the Culture Wars: How the Left Lost Teen Spirit" by Danny Goldberg

I tried to buy this book as soon as I learned of its existence; Prairie Lights says it's not out till a week or so from now. Go to your locally owned book store and buy it ASAP; if you can't find it check that Prairie Lights link...

The author, a long time civil liberties activist and music industry insider states: "It’s rational for conservatives to attack pop culture because they have a constituency that for religious or cultural reasons is offended by the four-letter words and so on. It might cost them a few libertarians, but the good outweighs the bad. What’s irrational is Democrats doing it, because their constituency mostly likes pop culture. They might win some tiny group of swing voters, but they’re attacking a huge chunk of their following and not gaining very much."

And THIS is what I've been trying to tell my fellow Democrats for three years:

"Lieberman is a more extreme, humorless version of Tipper Gore, and he’s obsessed with beating up on pop culture... Al Gore believed that Lieberman was going to cleanse him of Clinton’s sexual behavior, and he completely turned his back on a huge percentage of his base. He never related to the Nader voters, never related to young people, and with a great economy and peace in the world, managed to lose an election."

More from Danny Goldberg

More from a couple years ago

Telling excerpt from reviews:

"In a meeting with Jack Newfield, according to Goldberg, liberal Sen. Charles Schumer confessed to having never heard of Eminem. This illustrates record producer and civil liberties activist Goldberg's powerful critique of the left and the Democratic Party's failure to stay in touch with its broad popular base and with popular culture as a way of reaching them..."

Politics of Celebrity Again: Gov. AH-nold

"Arnold Schwarzenegger says he may think about running for California governor after the summer release of his new movie, 'Terminator 3'..."

Thursday, May 22, 2003

The Onion | '90s Punk Decries Punks Of Today

"I saw some kid wearing a Sex Pistols T-shirt the other day—he couldn't have been more than 9 when the Pistols did their Filthy Lucre reunion tour," Tolbert said. "I was like, 'You can listen to the music, you can wear the T-shirt, but I was there.' I had fifth-row seats at that goddamn stadium, man, right up front, close enough to see Johnny Rotten's wrinkles. Did you see an original member of The Clash play during Big Audio Dynamite II's last tour? Did you see two of the four original Ramones play at the KROQ Weenie Roast in '95? You did not, but I did. I swear to God, they're like a joke, these people."

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Lieberman Watch: Now He Takes On Video Games

This little item illustrates one of the things that's most wrong with the attacks on popular culture that Joe Lieberman and Tipper Gore so love: portraying censorship as a progressive or feminist issue.

Lieberman also committs the fallacy of arguing for censorship by illustrating and emphasizing the most unappetizing examples, when the real point is the principle. The details of the speech involved are only one aspect of the debate, just like the crimes involved are only one facet of the death penalty debate. You don't have to approve of murder to oppose executions, and you don't have to approve of content to support free speech.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Kidman awaits Mr Right

And she STILL hasn't called!
E! Online News - Weiland: Stoned Temple Pilot?

THAT didn't take long... - Supreme Court Seat Shuffle? Judges' retirements would spark first shift in decades


"Well-informed court observers say that there could be two Supreme Court resignations next month, Chief Justice William H. Rehn quist and Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, bringing the greatest upheaval on the court in 32 years..."

And right in the middle of the Democratic presidential nomination...

Friday, May 16, 2003 : Texas Democrats Leave Okla., Return Home

"Runaway Texas Democrats returned to a heroes' welcome at the Capitol on Friday after their self-imposed exile in Oklahoma killed a redistricting bill they hated. Legislative business in the House of Representatives resumed.

"Welcome home, Texas heroes," one sign read as the lawmakers stepped up to the Capitol to cheers and applause from like-minded citizens..."
DallasNews -Democrats back in Austin

Redistricting bill dead; House GOP leaders expect no retribution

"They rolled out about 10:45 p.m. and crossed the state line 30 minutes later. Democrats held a brief news conference amid blustery winds, and about 15 of them repeatedly shouted, "Glad to be back in Texas!" as they flashed the "hook 'em Horns" sign to the media... - Texas Dems return home - May. 16, 2003

YEEEEEE-HA! They won!
Alleged Mobster Charged With Plotting Hit on Sammy the Bull

Now THAT's a shocker...

"A reputed Gambino family hit man has been charged with plotting to kill mob turncoat Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano, who left the witness protection program and dared the Mafia to hunt him down..."

Thursday, May 15, 2003

E! Online News - Guns N' Weiland

Scott Wieland? Slash et al. hire the one guy in all of rock who may be as completely dysfunctional as Axl?

Actual Chinese democracy still likely before Chinese Democracy...

Come on, sky! Clear up before the eclipse!
CBS News | Report: Feds Joined Texas Posse | May 15, 2003 12:45:39

This Texas thing is now officially As Big As It Gets even by Texas standards:

"...the lawmakers said they received bandannas, whiskey and a note from Willie Nelson, who wrote 'Way to go. Stand your ground.'"

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

The Burnt Orange Report: News Politics, and Fun from Deep in the Heart of Texas

For color and flavor you can't beat the Texas State Legislature.

Short version:

The Texas GOP is trying to re-redistrict the state's congressional delegation. This is Tom DeLay's baby.

The GOP has majorities in both Texas houses. However, a 2/3 quorum is required.


53 Democratic legislators have "disappeared" and state troopers are out looking for them. Most are believed holed up at the Ardmore, Oklahoma Holiday Inn.

Even if you don't know the names and faces, this whole thing is worth the read...

Saturday, May 10, 2003

The Mill to close in June

Sigh... it just gets worse and worse and worse.

"Keith has had enough," his wife said. "Keith is tired by now. He's tired of fighting with the City Council. First, there's the smoking ordinance. Then, there's the 19-and-older ordinance. Who knows what they're going to do next?"

The first time my parents, who are in their 60s, came to visit me in Iowa City, the Mill was the very first place I took them. And they loved it. And we went back.

When is Iowa City going to start playing to its strengths?

Friday, May 09, 2003

Smiles Coffee - the freshest, home roasted coffee you can brew

Avoid Smiles Coffee like you would avoid dinner with Hannibal Lecter!

E-commerce at its worst. WHY does it take five seconds to debit your account, but five WEEKS to credit the same account? Also the rudest customer service on the planet.

Not much one can do when you're already cancelling your business, but I'm blogging this just for the principle of it. Maybe some search engine will spider me and spread my advice.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Appeals court rules against young Packers fan, favors school

Now this is some SERIOUS messin' with free speech:

"A federal appeals court upheld a ruling that the New Prague, Minn., School District did not deprive a fourth-grade student of constitutional rights when it barred him from wearing a Green Bay Packers jersey to a Minnesota Vikings party..."

My home town is on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi and we had a sizable minority of Viking fans when I was a kid. There used to be playground fights - actual pint-size punching fights - between the Packer and Viking fans.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003 : Do Violent Lyrics Beget Violent Thoughts?

"Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, a Democratic candidate for president, says, "This study is another reminder of the potential health risks posed by media violence, and of the need for parents to pay attention to their children's media diets."

In a statement, Lieberman says he is preparing a proposal to set up a federal program to fund new research into 'both the positive and negative consequences of electronic media use and expand our knowledge base in this area.'"

I said it before, I'll say it again and for the record: If Lieberman is the nominee I will vote for Ralph Nader again.

That reminds me, I promised my daughter a copy of 8 Mile. That's between me and her and NONE of Joe and Tipper's business.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - News - Bicyclist Wearing Only Thong Draws Range Of Comments

Not that the article is that noteworthy, but when it was first up it had a banner ad for the California Smoker's Helpline: 1-800-NO-BUTTS


Monday, May 05, 2003

Exhuming McCarthy

Senate unseals 50-year-old McCarthy transcripts...

"Among the nearly 500 witnesses covered in transcripts of closed door meetings, made public Monday by the Senate, are composer Aaron Copland, New York Times journalist James Reston and Eslanda Goode Robeson, the wife of blacklisted singer-actor Paul Robeson..."

Any comments from Natalie Maines, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon would be especially timely.

By the way, I did my patriotic duty and bought a copy of the Dixie Chicks latest the other night. Every so often I reminisce back to my two years as a country DJ...