Monday, July 30, 2007

Seizure of Properties of War Opponents

At first, I figured it had to be one of those lefty conspiracy theories. On Monday afternoon, July 30, British friends sent a link to Michael Chossudovsky's analysis of an Executive order signed by Bush on July 17. I was somewhat skeptical because Chossudovsky has worked with Global Outlook, a Canadian magazine that used to carry good international economic analysis, until it became obsessed with proving 9/11 conspiracy theories. Now it's next to worthless.

But Chossudovsky was spot-on, in fact the White House carried the text of the order on its Web site. While it appears to be aimed at violent instigators of actions against the war, it could easily be extended to cover protesters involved in civil disobedience. OK, it may be midsummer, but where the hell is the U.S. media on this one?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Vigil at N-8

Five years ago at Minuteman Missile Silo N-8 in New Raymer, Colorado, three nuns were arrested for pouring blood on a silo lid, and had the book thrown at them by a federal government tired of civil disobedience. Sixty-two years ago this July 16, the Trinity test was conducted at the north end of the Alamogordo Test Range in New Mexico. To commemorate both events, 50 members of Colorado peace groups went to New Raymer July 14 to urge the federal government to "uproot, not upgrade" the Minuteman missiles in Colorado and Wyoming. Far too many U.S. citizens think we are closer to global disarmament now that the Cold War is over and the Soviet Union has reverted to the authoritarian but open Russian Federation. Let's look again at the Nuclear Posture Review, Stockpile Stewardship, and other U.S. national security documents. Let's pay attention to Russia's July 14 decision to pull out of the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty because of the U.S. position on nuclear disarmament. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was right to set the Doomsday Clock ahead. We are nowhere near nuclear disarmament.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Justice Delayed is not Justice Denied

In contrast to the faster-than-a-Qwest-fiber trial of Joseph Nacchio, the trial of media baron Conrad Black seemed to drag on forever. When the jury started warning the judge they were having trouble reaching a verdict, it got pretty scary. But on Friday, July 13, Black was found guilty of multiple counts of fraud and one count of obstruction of justice (albeit innocent of racketeering).

This means more than just the downfall of another arrogant media bigwig. Black was a neocon brute, a former member of the British House of Lords who was very tied into the arch-conservative new-imperialist movement. He was prosecuted by Patrick Fitzgerald, the same attorney who took on Scooter Libby.
This is one neocon bastard who got exactly what he deserved.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Spoon: Bringing Back That GbV Feeling

Seems like I never give Britt Daniel and the Spoon gang their due. Oh, albums like Gimme Fiction and Kill the Moonlight were enjoyable enough, but they never clicked with me enough to turn me into the crazed Spoon fan I meet every now and then. Reminiscent of The Replacements in the 1980s. It became embarrassing to say to some folks that I was lukewarm about Mats and Paul Westerberg, and almost as embarrassing to be blase about Spoon.

The new double-disc version of Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is something not to be blase about. The main disc, while a bit short, is full of masterfully-produced hook-laden pop gems. The bonus disc, Get Nice!, is a slopadaisical mess of partial tunes, lo-fi noodling, silly huzzahs, and failed experiments that bring Spoon's buddies, Guided by Voices, to mind. Some people will call the bonus Spoon disc an utter waste of time. I call it the soundtrack to your favorite drunken evening practicing with your sucky neighborhood band in the basement. And that is a good thing.

Friday, July 6, 2007


Even the ravings of critics can't do it justice. Once is a musical message of integrity and hope in a world devoid of both. Seeing it is critical, whether you're an independent musician or just passionate about music.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Vibracathedral Orchestra At Open Circuit 2007 Fatcat Records

VCO is in a bit of a hiatus these days, with Bridget finishing art school and Neil busy with the Astral Social Club. Still, it's nice to get tidbits....

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Just Shut Up

The most disheartening thing about the July 2 dust-up at Rocky Mountain National Park is that I can't even build up a sense of outrage. The feds are simply up to 21st century business as usual. Ashley Casale and Mike Israel, pictured here, were on one of those cross-country peace walks that seem to have an upsurge in popularity every ten years or so. But they made the mistake of trying to walk through Rocky Mountain National Park. They were held and interrogated by park rangers, who claim that federal Park Service rules consider the wearing of a peace-walk placard to be a public protest. The ACLU was duly flustered, the pair continued their walk, and they may even end up with a hefty settlement if this case is taken to the courts. It's a sad commentary for the Fourth of July that this sort of federal action is just par for the course in a White House administration that has been more averse to the Bill of Rights than any administration in a century. Yawn.