Thursday, November 02, 2006

Keith Olberman : Hand Me the Cane

Video - WMV Video - QT

Transcripts below the fold:

And finally tonight, a Special Comment.

On the 22nd of May, 1856, as the deteriorating American political system veered towards the edge of the cliff, Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina, shuffled into the Senate of this nation, his leg stiff from an old dueling injury, supported by a cane. And he looked for the familiar figure of the prominent Senator from Massachusetts, Charles Sumner.

Brooks found Sumner at his desk, mailing out copies of a speech he had delivered three days earlier — a speech against slavery.

The Congressman matter-of-factly raised his walking stick in mid-air, and smashed its metal point, across the Senator's head.

Congressman Brooks hit his victim repeatedly. Senator Sumner somehow got to his feet and tried to flee. Brooks chased him, and delivered untold blows to Sumner's head. Even though Sumner lay unconscious and bleeding, on the Senate floor, Brooks finally stopped beating him, only because his cane finally broke.

Others will cite John Brown's attack on the arsenal at Harper's Ferry as the exact point after which the Civil War became inevitable.

In point of fact, it might have been the moment — not when Brooks broke his cane over the prostrate body of Senator Sumner - but when voters in Brooks's district started sending him new canes.

Tonight, we almost wonder to whom President Bush will send the next new cane.

There is tonight no political division in this country that he and his party will not exploit, nor have not exploited; no anxiety that he and his party will not inflame.

There is no line this President has not crossed — nor will not cross — to keep one political party, in power.

He has spread any and every fear among us, in a desperate effort to avoid that which he most fears -- some check, some balance against what has become not an imperial, but a unilateral presidency.

And now it is evident that it no longer matters to him, whether that effort to avoid the judgment of the people, is subtle and nuanced — or laughably transparent.

Senator John Kerry called him out Monday.

He did it two years too late.

He had been too cordial — just as Vice President Gore had been too cordial in 2000 — just as millions of us, have been too cordial ever since.

Senator Kerry, as you well know, spoke at a college in Southern California. With bitter humor, he told the students that he had been in Texas the day before, that President Bush used to live in that state, but that now he lives in the state of denial.

He said the trip had reminded him about the value of education — that quote "if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you can get stuck in Iraq."

The Senator, in essence, called Mr. Bush stupid.

The context was unmistakable: Texas;the state of denial;stuck in Iraq. No interpretation required.

And Mr. Bush and his minions responded, by appearing to be too stupid to realize that they had been called stupid.

They demanded Kerry apologize — to the troops in Iraq.

And so he now has.

That phrase "appearing to be too stupid" is used deliberately, Mr. Bush.

Because there are only three possibilities here:

One, sir, is that you are far more stupid than the worst of your critics have suggested; that you could not follow the construction of a simple sentence; that you could not recognize your own life story when it was deftly summarized; that you could not perceive it was the sad ledger of your presidency that was being recounted.

This, of course, compliments you, Mr. Bush, because even those who do not "make the most of it," who do not "study hard," who do not "do their homework," and who do not "make an effort to be smart" might still just be stupid — but honest.

No; the first option, sir, is, at best, improbable. You are not honest.

The second option is that you and those who work for you deliberately twisted what Senator Kerry said to fit your political template. That you decided to take advantage of it, to once again pretend that the attacks, solely about your own incompetence, were in fact attacks on the troops — or even on the nation itself.

The third possibility is, obviously, the nightmare scenario; that the first two options are in some way conflated.

That it is both politically convenient for you, and personally satisfying to you, to confuse yourself with the country for which, sir, you work.

A brief reminder, Mr. Bush: You are not the United States of America.

You are merely a politician whose entire legacy will have been a willingness to make anything political — to have, in this case, refused to acknowledge that the insult wasn't about the troops, and that the insult was not even truly about you either — that the insult, in fact, is you.

So now John Kerry has apologized to the troops; apologized for the Republicans' deliberate distortions.

Thus the President will now begin the apologies he owes our troops, right?

This President must apologize to the troops — for having suggested, six weeks ago, that the chaos in Iraq, the death and the carnage, the slaughtered Iraqi civilians and the dead American service personnel, will, to history, quote "look like just a comma."

This President must apologize to the troops — because the intelligence he claims led us into Iraq proved to be undeniably and irredeemably wrong.

This President must apologize to the troops — for having laughed about the failure of that intelligence, at a banquet, while our troops were in harm's way.

This President must apologize to the troops — because the streets of Iraq were not strewn with flowers and its residents did not greet them as liberators.

This President must apologize to the troops — because his administration ran out of "plan" after barely two months.

This President must apologize to the troops — for getting 2,815 of them killed.

This President must apologize to the troops — for getting this country into a war without a clue.

And Mr. Bush owes us an apology… for this destructive and omnivorous presidency.

We will not receive them, of course.

This President never apologizes.

Not to the troops.

Not to the people.

Nor will those henchmen who have echoed him.

In calling him a "stuffed suit," Senator Kerry was wrong about the Press Secretary.

Mr. Snow's words and conduct — falsely earnest and earnestly false — suggest he is not "stuffed" - he is inflated.

And in leaving him out of the equation, Senator Kerry gave an unwarranted pass to his old friend Senator McCain, who should be ashamed of himself tonight.

He rolled over and pretended Kerry had said what he obviously had not.

Only, the symbolic stick he broke over Kerry's head came in a context, even more disturbing: Mr. McCain demanded the apology, while electioneering for a Republican congressional candidate in Illinois.

He was speaking of how often he had been to Walter Reed Hospital to see the wounded Iraq veterans, of how, quote "many of the have lost limbs." He said all this while demanding that the voters of Illinois reject a candidate who is not only a wounded Iraq veteran, but who lost two limbs there: Tammy Duckworth.

Support some of the wounded veterans. But bad-mouth the Democratic one.

And exploit all the veterans, and all the still-serving personnel, in a cheap and tawdry political trick, to try to bury the truth: that John Kerry said the President had been stupid.

And to continue this slander as late as this morning — as biased, or gullible, or lazy newscasters, nodded in sleep-walking assent.

Senator McCain became a front man in a collective lie to break sticks over the heads of Democrats — one of them his friend; another his fellow veteran, leg-less, for whom he should weep and applaud, or at minimum about whom, he should stay quiet.

That was beneath the Senator from Arizona.

And it was all because of an imaginary insult to the troops that his party cynically manufactured — out of a desperation, and a futility, as deep as that of Congressman Brooks, when he went hunting for Senator Sumner.

This, is our beloved country now, as you have re-defined it, Mr. Bush.

Get a tortured Vietnam veteran to attack a decorated Vietnam veteran, in defense of military personnel, whom that decorated veteran did not insult.

Or, get your henchmen to take advantage of the evil lingering dregs of the fear of miscegenation in Tennessee, in your party's advertisements against Harold Ford.

Or, get the satellites who orbit around you, like Rush Limbaugh, to exploit the illness — and the bi-partisanship — of Michael J. Fox — yes, get someone to make fun of the cripple.

Oh, and sir, don't forget to drag your own wife into it.

"It's always easy," she said of Mr. Fox's commercials — and she used this phrase twice — "to manipulate people's feelings."

Where on earth might the First Lady have gotten that idea, Mr. President?

From your endless manipulation of people's feelings about terrorism?

"How ever they put it," you said Monday of the Democrats, on the subject of Iraq , "their approach comes down to this: the terrorists win and America loses."

No manipulation of feelings there.

No manipulation of the charlatans of your administration into the only truth-tellers.

No shocked outrage at the Kerry insult that wasn't; no subtle smile as the First Lady silently sticks the knife in Michael J. Fox's back; no attempt on the campaign trail to bury the reality that you have already assured that the terrorists are winning.

Winning in Iraq, sir.

Winning in America, sir.

There, we have chaos: joint U.S./Iraqi checkpoints at Sadr City, the base of the radical Shiite militias — and the Americans have been ordered out by the Prime Minister of Iraq… and our Secretary of Defense doesn't even know about it!

And here — we have deliberate, systematic, institutionalized lying and smearing and terrorizing — a code of deceit, that somehow permits a President to say, quote, "If you listen carefully for a Democrat plan for success, they don't have one."

Permits him to say this while his plan in Iraq has amounted to a twisted version of the advice once offered to Lyndon Johnson about his Iraq, called Vietnam.

Instead of "declare victory — and get out"… we now have "declare victory — and stay, indefinitely."

And also here, we have institutionalized the terrorizing of the opposition. True domestic terror:

– Critics of your administration in the media receive letters filled with fake anthrax.

– Braying newspapers applaud, or laugh, or reveal details the FBI wished kept quiet, and thus impede or ruin the investigation.

– A series of reactionary columnists encourages treason charges against a newspaper that published "national security information" — that was openly available on the internet.

– One radio critic receives a letter, threatening the revelation of as much personal information about her as can be obtained — and expressing the hope that someone will then shoot her with an AK-47 machine gun.

– And finally, a critic of an incumbent Republican Senator, a critic armed with nothing but words, is attacked by the Senator's supporters, and thrown to the floor, in full view of television cameras, as if someone really did want to re-enact the intent and the rage of the day Preston Brooks found Senator Charles Sumner.

Of course, Mr. President, you did none of these things.

You instructed no one to mail the fake anthrax. Nor undermine the FBI's case. Nor call for the execution of the editors of the New York Times. Nor threaten to assassinate Stephanie Miller. Nor beat up a man yelling at Senator Allen. Nor have the first lady knife Michael J. Fox. Nor tell John McCain to lie about John Kerry.

No, you did not.

And the genius of the thing, is the same, as in King Henry's rhetorical question about Archbishop Thomas Becket: "Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?"

All you have to do, sir… is hand out enough new canes.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Kicked In The Shins

Wincing the Night Away!

Probably one of the most anticipated albums in the indie world. Long delayed, 3 years from the northwest darlings of indie pop. On a first listen it's more mellow than Chutes or Oh, and more produced and meticulously tweaked. Buy it when you can : here

First impressions? (4-7 word reviews)

Fantastic! :

Split Needles (Classic Shins, delectable hook)
Turn Me On (Could be on Chutes)
Australia (Makes me Smile Forever, ala Pet Sounds)
Sleeping Lessons (Creepy 50's keyboard riff mutates into shin-heaven)
Adult Contemporary/Mid-Tempo Blah:

Phantom Limb (Fuzz bass...where's the Fonz?)
Girl Sailor (Tired. Overproduced)
Black Wave (Average. sgt. pepper vibe)
A Comet Appears (Best of the Mid-Tempo)
Sea Legs (Sounds like Beck produced it...very weird...)
Red Rabbits ("True Love Romance" bells begin)
In other news, I'm on a found/sounds kick in recording processes. Lots of weird things for drums or drones to be endlessly messed with and tweaked. I'm going to post a song that's pretty rough from just about every angle, but it was alot of fun to create it with found/sound. enjoy:
See the Light

Saturday, September 30, 2006

vapid in vegas

what are they looking at?? the color of vegas no doubt! an electronic sky! projecting jets, flags and our heroic pride. ohh the stagnation, the digital stare into the flashing, flickering mayhem of slot machines...the 7am hunch over a slot machine propped up with a rail Tom Collins...jesus...

I've wasted a week in the scented and conditioned air of vegas, standing, selling, standing, then selling some more...nothing better to cure the ennui than a precious duo called elephant parade.

I'm also reading an excellent book titled "The Omnivore's Dilemma", the story of corn and other food sources. An excellent read, sent me straight off to the farmer's market to partake in food that was grown within 50-60 miles, a practice I try to do as much as possible, no need to eat an apple or garlic that has been shipped from hundreds if not thousands of miles away. Eating honey crisp apples that bathed my tongue in unbelievable sweetness, finding green beans, cider, bread, eggs, bacon, grains, eggplant, all from Minnesota; this is the way to live.

Friday, September 08, 2006

why now?

why not. it's been a long time, much has challenged me. since the last pathetic post and this one, I've... canoed 30 miles with dearest friends in the b.w.c.a., traveled to the u.p. for a cabin in the wilderness and an unfortunate grandfather-inlaw's death, finished an album, and lately i've been playing soccer with some smoking (literally-during half-time!) djs I danced to at raves in high-school! surreal

my other band is still struggling along, --two members left--we carry on as 3 now, i like it, it lets us pare down like the minimal music I listen to these days. we have great moments playing as 3 and we're writing new material! as it is, minneapolis is a happenin' place and it's tough to book the shows we want...must hit the pavement. selling your band is another job, a job i'm not very good at (or at least I don't want to do it), a job i spend too little time on...

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Why Can't I Own a Canadian?

October 2002

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a east coast resident, which was posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted fan,


Friday, October 14, 2005

Falling Fridays

Thursday, September 22, 2005

a time with no words

so i took a bit of time off from the blog. a time in my life with no words for the cipher. got overwhelmed with Iraq. then got decroded by Katrina. now i'm sweating Rita. H5N1 is the new catch phrase. and fuck they might blow up a dirty in NYC! Everything converges and everyday is more panic and fear. bullshit. I was speaking with Scoop Jackson down in Austin, TX where the panic and terror has begun to set in. We spoke about how the media with Katrina, had no talking points, no directions from NEMA, etc. they needed to find their own story and this "good" journalism was a return to form of hard news reporting that mainstream media has been lacking. a story that made appointed lackeys squirm with guilt. it was a good thing, for a few moments before the dynamo churned again and the mainstream media back to it's talking points and leadership is back to playing hot-potato.

the discussion then turned to the immediate aftermath coverage that we've witnessed in the last 2-weeks. we spoke in ideals and dreams about a mainstream media that continues to discuss the specifics of what went wrong in New Orleans, Iraq, Afghanistan, the stolen 2004 election in Ohio and the fleecing of poor Americans. Instead what we've seen, is a foreboding anxiety across the media landscape. instead of a pursuit of the truth, we've seen a spectacle of what sells; fear. instead of investigating the people who've fucked up, and need to be removed instead of just apologizing and moving on to fuck up again. my sentiments lately: please government, do your job, quit trying to placate me with your bold face lies.

anyway Minneapolis, is turning to fall. tornados last night in brooklyn hoo, some suburban homes were my garden is producing more than can be eating, the single-track trails of wirth park are in their prime.

music is good. one band playing many shows, the other: practice, practice, practice... shows this weekend. at Offbeat Friday...(one of their last shows!! :(
and for MNArtists/Walker Art a CD release party at Grumpys.

took a mental holiday today. tired of the grind.

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