Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Musical Excursion

      Tomorrow I leave for a brief but sure to be sweet mini-tour with Damages, a hardcore band I drum in originating from Dayton, and Black Kites, a New Jersey band. I played drums in Damages all summer in Dayton as I was finishing up school and I've had a great time.  The forced hiatus due to moving back to Massachusetts has been a drag...We're going to get to reconnect with some bands we played with this summer while we're out over these next few days; it'll be great to see everyone again. 

The Schedule:
Wednesday October 21st Dayton, Ohio
Black Kites/Damages/Colonial/Sok/Others - 214 Shroyer Road 

Thursday October 22nd Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - House Show
Black Kites/Damages/Others TBA

Friday October 23rd Brooklyn, New York - Stolen Sleeves Collective
Black Kites/Damages/The Men/Rational Animals

Saturday October 24th Amherst, Massachusetts - Hampshire College
Black Kites/Damages/Relics/Coerced

Sunday October 25th New Brunswick, New Jersey - Ask Somebody House
Black Kites/Damages/Stressed Out (Last Show)

Needless to say I'm excited for all of this. Also: Just got a deal on a nice ride cymbal off craigslist to replace my embarrassingly destroyed current ride cymbal situation.  

I got a backpack, sleeping bag, cymbals, sticks, and a skateboard.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

And So It Begins...

      While scanning the news headlines this morning I happened upon a disturbing article: A U.S. Census worker was found dead, having been hung from a tree in Kentucky. If that wasn't enough to kick the worrying into high gear, he also had a the words "FED" scrawled across his body. While the police and Federal authorities are still investigating the motivations for the killing, they have ruled that it was an apparent homicide. I hate to assume the worst, but it's almost too obvious in this situation: this appears to be a politically motivated killing as a probable reaction to the growing paranoia surrounding the upcoming U.S. Census. 
       Associated Press reporter Devlin Barret was a guest on the Rachel Maddow show last night to talk about the implications of the crime, aside from its' already brutal circumstances. 

   As Barrett mentioned in the video, it seems unlikely that the Federal authorities would remain involved in the investigation of a homicide for this long after the fact (a week and a half) was there not a political element.
   One can't help but connect the dots between the absurd rhetoric regarding the Census coming from the far, far Right, and this most recent occurrence of political violence. Hopefully the authorities will get to the bottom of this immediately so Justice can be served and order be restored, 

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The UK Just Loves Orwellian Ironies

File this under: Self-righteous good intentions gone horribly wrong; more potential social destruction to come.

I had done a post in the past regarding the UK's obsession with CCTV cameras and its' social and legal implications. While I didn't expect that to be the last word on the issue, I never expected this:

THOUSANDS of the worst families in England are to be put in “sin bins” in a bid to change their bad behaviour, Ed Balls announced yesterday.

The Children’s Secretary set out £400million plans to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour CCTV super-vision in their own homes.

They will be monitored to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on time and eat proper meals.

Private security guards will also be sent round to carry out home checks, while parents will be given help to combat drug and alcohol addiction.

Around 2,000 families have gone through these Family Intervention Projects so far.

But ministers want to target 20,000 more in the next two years, with each costing between £5,000 and £20,000 – a potential total bill of £400million.

While the intentions are for the best: routing out drug problems and anti-social behavior in struggling home environment, the means in which it is being carried out are deeply disturbing. At a certain point it is up to the responsibility of the family to curtail the behavior of their children within the home and that should be it. A person's home is meant to serve as the last frontier of your privacy, especially in this day and age. While one might argue that these families had their to prove their responsibility, I think that this action is totally inappropriate.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

From a month ago: Let's rehash it...

I am sick and tired of hearing the same debunked Republican talking points regurgitated over and over again in attempts to scare the American people away from a health-care reform bill that would have a Public Option. OPTION. As in, you DON'T have to choose it. Here's a video in which former Governor Dr. Howard Dean slams (in the nicest way possible, even though it must be incredibly frustrating to refute this garbage time and time again) Norah O'Donnell of MSNBC's onslaught of bogus accusations. I mean it's like she literally collected the worthless dribble that's been sliding out of Mitch McConnell's mouth for the last four months and put it into the teleprompter...Here's the video:

Thanks to crooksandliars.com for the video.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Shameless Self-Promotion Content: My Bands.

You might know by now that I have some other past times besides politics...okay, I have one: Music. I currently play drums in two bands based out of Dayton, Ohio. Colonial is a band I started last year with two friends but has now been reduced to a two-piece outfit. My roommate and friend Matt Ewald is responsible for the guitar playing while I take care of the drums. I'd describe our sound as a throwback to the late '90's hardcore/screamo sound. Think bands like Neil Perry, Joshua Fit For Battle, La Quiete, and Raein. Other people have described us as emo-violence.
I have also fairly recently started drumming in a power-violence/hardcore/thrash band called Damages. James does the vocals and used to play in Hex Noir (A Dayton black metal band) while still currently occaisonlly doing stuff with his pet project known as Altars (I have done some drumming for this as well). Ryan, ex-Hex Noir bassist, plays the four string for us in Damages while Justin, who was in Hex Noir for all of 30 seconds, plays guitar in Damages.
Tonight Damages will be playing a show with Punch (SF), Regrets(CHI), and Rad Company (DYT) at 214 Shroyer road in Dayton, Ohio. Pretty excited, seeing as the other bands are excellent and Damages played well at our last show. We will have our demo tapes as well as cd-r's and some badass looking t-shirts. Get down.
The last was filled with so many good shows that I was able to particpate in with both of my bands. It really reminded me how much I miss being able to play all the time. There's talk of a Damages/Black Kites mini-tour in August. This would be a phenomenal thing.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Republicans! WHAT?!

More on Republican's and their ridiculousness tomorrow.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Robert Greenwald's Rethink Afghanistan Campaign

Robert Greenwald and Brave New Film's have been working hard on their Rethink Afghanistan campaign to bring about more public awareness to the staggering toll the war has taken on Afghanistan's innocent civilian population. Most people's connection with the war seems to be through mainstream media sources or the stories they catch in the newspaper which, while providing content relating to military causalities and Taliban deaths, hardly ever delve into the grim reality of the civilian death toll.

Rethink Afghanistan Part 4

It's the elephant in the room that people refuse to recognize or simply just lack a real grasp of: We are murdering thousands of innocent people. Yes, we all know the old caveat "war is hell", but that shouldn't act as a blanket statement of comfort for the American people (let alone the Afghani people).

When does this end? It's not like some day we're going to kill the last member of the Taliban and they will become some sort of figment of history. As long as we keep making their country resemble the surface of Mars, we will continue to do the Taliban's recruiting for them. We're fighting a war against intangible enemy fueled by ideology that thrives in its' underdog status. Theres got to be a more effective way to curtail them because the current method is not working. There is no justice here. No liberation. Just annihilation

If we want to rid Afghanistan of as much terrorism as we can, then we must change the approach. All of the money that we funnel into guns, bombs, tanks, and body armor could be spent on rebuilding their country, feeding them, clothing them, et cetera. These are all things that would GREATLY improve America's image in the eyes of the average Afhangi citizen, because after all, that's what we really are trying to acomplish here.
The numbers are staggering. 235,000 people are living in tents in camps because of U.S. airstrikes that have obliterated their homes and jobs. People are starving to death. Everyday that this continues, more and more people in Afghanistan join up with the Taliban because they are fed up with America trying to liberate them with bombs.

The equation is seemingly simple one: The more we do to ruin the lives of Afghani citizens, no matter how inadvertent or noble we thought our intentions to be, we will continue to the hearts and minds and strengthen the Taliban's motives and reasoning.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Post-Election Violence in Iran

As I'm sure many of you have heard, the post-election violence has reached unprecedented heights as the Iranian people take to the streets in support of their allegedly defeated candidate Mousavi.

The Huffington Post has been compiling twitter and other various live-blogging feeds from the ground in Tehran and other cities as the demonstrations continue to unfold. To subscribe to an RSS feed, click here.

While many in Iran and around the world have shown their support for the results, the suspicious nature of the circumstances should be noted. Leading up to the election, polls showed Mousavi carrying a hefty lead against the incumbent

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks newscast had an excellent run down of what he says are clear indicators of coordinated state efforts to, at the least, influence the results and at worst, disregard the people's votes entirely.

Many around the world, and especially the Iranian's, are looking toward's President Obama administration for an opinion, a motion of support, et cetera but have only recieved brief acknowledgement. This seemingly strange silence is not without purpose as the administration clearly understands the precariousness of the situation. While the Iranian people clearly want acknowledgment and vindication, they want it on their terms and through their hands.

Expect more developments in the coming days, and continue to check The Huffington Post for more critical updates.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dayton suffers another economic blow with the departure of NCR

The city of Dayton and National Cash Register have shared a unique history with one another, intertwined in communal growth and technological innovation. It was NCR, founded by John Patterson (whose name decorates many a fixture and street sign through out the city) in 1884, who spurred great economic growth around the Dayton municipality during the early part of the 20th century.

The student neighborhoods that so many University of Dayton students have come to know and revere were once the original housing provided to employees by NCR so they could live close to their jobs and maintain affordable and respectable homes. Although NCR extracted most of its' manurfacturing out of the city, it still retained corporate offices employing over 1,200 Dayton area people until now.

After rumors began circulating that NCR planned to pack it's final bags for Georgia, Ohio politician's began to scramble to prevent the exodus. Efforts made to communicate with the company were met with a wall of silence, despite Govenor Ted Strickland (D-OH) reportedly offering the company around 31 million dollars in incentives to say. There have also been allegations that Georgia may be using Federal stimulus money to purchase the building which will eventually be leased to NCR. Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown has been said to be investigating that allegation and will be exploring what legal options, if any, Ohio may have concerning it. Finally, NCR released an official statement declaring their official intentions of moving their final offices to Georgia:

“The decision to consolidate functions in Georgia and build a technology-focused corporate headquarters campus is right in line with our business strategy to drive growth, improve our innovation output, increase productivity and continually upgrade our focus on the customer,” said Bill Nuti, NCR’s chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Aparrently their business plan does not account for the 125 year old relationship between Dayton and National Cash Register. This startling economic hit comes admist continually rising rates of unemployment, especially in the Dayton area, whose unemployment numbers have reached a towering 13% compared to the national average of 9.4%.

During it's tenure with the City of Dayton, National Cash Register, brought such innovation in cash registers and related products like integrated liquid-crystal displays, bar code scanning for retail, automated tellar machines, and self-check out equipment.

When NCR checks out of Dayton for the final time, it is predicted they will take over 1,200 jobs with them, leaving this increasingly desolate city in an even weaker economic position.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

California Supreme Court dropped the ball...it's time for everyone else to pick it back up.

As you've probably heard by now, the California Supreme Court ruled to uphold proposition 8 today. In a move that shocked and disappointed many, a state commonly viewed by the rest of the country as more tolerant and progressive proved that the politics of fear and money will dominate policy as long as we, the people allow it.
When organization's such as ProtectMarriage.com (ad 1) (ad 2) are spewing such absurd fear-mongering, lambasting the television with their hate, it's unfortunately not that surprisingly that this has occurred. People are too easily swayed by their television.
I'll leave you with a parody of one of those ads.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Nearing The End

...of the semester. Finals are fast approaching and the work is piling up. Hopefully I will have time to update this thing in the next few days regardless. Many things to discuss:

-WHRB's Record Hospital Fest
-Celtics post season potential minus the infallible KG
-Spring time topics such as bicycling and skateboarding
-Importance of a renewed push for an Assault Weapons Ban

Check back in a few days!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Washington, D.C...now?

About to hit to the road in a few hours (oh ya 3 am status) with the Hopkin's sisters. The plan is to try and make it to the district by the early afternoon. It's a long story...VISA's...Korea's...and we have to be back by midnight tomorrow night. When it comes to certain people, there are some things you just don't think twice about doing.

I'll see if I can sneak in a quick interview with President Obama. I can settle for Rahm Emanuel.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rep. Earl Blumenauer Says Get On Your Bikes And Ride-Republicans/Centrists Say No

This Bipartisan thing has really come back to bite President Obama in the ass. American's are on board with the President and the notion that if drastic and deliberate action is not taken soon, we will be in economic peril. All of this is obvious. Terrible concessions are being made in the name of "bipartisanship". It just needs to stop. President Obama won with a landslide victory. I am not saying its any kind of a mandate aimed at ignoring Republicans, but I am saying this: Republicans need to acknowledge that eight years of their neo-conservative ideas have been one of the biggest contributing factors to why we are in such a quagmire right now.

Republicans, "centrists", blue-dog democrats and the rest are concerned with spending. All they can talk about is how big government is bad and how this is a "pork" stimulus bill. I can see their smug faces right now. American's don't care if this spending spree is going to continue to increase the nation's deficit in such a time of need. Eliminating "pork" from the bill doesn't put real pork on the kitchen table.

People need to be put to work. That is the only thing that is going to jump start this economy. Rather then spend stimulus money on taxcuts, each dollar would be so much more effective if it were put to use for public works projects, health care research, green energy projects, etc. This is not socialism and the right wingnuts need to stop trying to make people think that it is. Our nation's infrastructure is literally on a direct path crumbling beneath us and it will only get worse. What's an easy way to employ people? Bid out the contracts!

Check out Rep. Earl Blumenauer common sense regarding this:

With this latest attempt to strip bike funding from the recovery bill, Republicans have once again demonstrated how out of touch they are with their pathologically short-sighted attacks on bicycles. To their detriment, they are continuing their trend from last Congress of using the most economical, energy-efficient, and healthy forms of transportation as their whipping post. Investment in bike paths will not only improve our economy, and take our country in the right direction for the future; it is exactly the kind of investment the American people want.


Think about it: More than 50% of working Americans live less than 5 miles from work, an easy bicycle commute. Already more than 490,000 Americans bike to work; in Portland, 8% of downtown workers are bicycle commuters. Individually, they are saving $1,825 in auto-related costs, reducing their carbon emissions by 128 pounds per year, saving 145 gallons of gasoline, avoiding 50 hours of being stuck in traffic, burning 9,000 calories, reducing their risk of heart attack and stroke by 50%, and enjoying 14% fewer claims on their health insurance.

Nationally, if we doubled the current 1% of all trips by bike to 2%, we would collectively save more 693 million gallons of gasoline - that's more than $5 billion dollars - each year. From 2007 - 2008, bicyclists reduced the amount Americans drive by 100 million miles.

I am big cycling enthuist myselfe and I wish more people would get into it. I bought a road bike in fine condition off of craigslist for 40 dollars. Spent about 20 more dollars doing some minor repairs and it was good to go. It is now my sole form of transportation (no car) and my sole form of exercise (way to lazy to work out). I think I heard somewhere once America has an obesity problem...well this might kill two birds with one stone.

This post was a little all over the place, mainly because I was trying to squeeze in a bunch of ideas in about 15 minutes with no real plan...I'm going to be refocusing my efforts in the next few days and hopefully get the next entries more cleaned up and organized before I post them.