Saturday, May 31, 2008

"No More Hotdogs!"

A short documentary about the late outsider rock and roll “star” from West Virginia, Hasil Adkins.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Another Reason to Vote for McCain

Why do left leaning celebrities say this every time there is an election? From Susan Sarandon:
“If McCain gets in, it’s going to be very, very dangerous,” she says.
“It’s a critical time, but I have faith in the American people. If they prove me wrong, I’ll be checking out a move to Italy. Maybe Canada, I don’t know. We’re at an abyss.”
So let me get this straight: all we have to do is vote for McCain and we can send this woman to another country and hopefully never hear from her again? Sounds like a win-win to me!

If I had a car, I would make a bumper sticker that read: Vote McCain- Do it for Susan.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rebellion in North Korea?

The Daily NK continues to be one of the best sources for information on the situation in the hermit kingdom available to English speakers. Everything they say I take with a grain of salt, simply because it is all heresy, and there is no way to verify their reports at this moment in time. But there has been a continuing theme over the last few months, and that is rebellion in the north is a possibility more so than it was in the past 20 years, and a lot has changed since the famine in the 90s.

“Thanks to shortwave radio and influx of DVDs and CDs, outside culture and information is prevalent. Moreover, people found out how to survive without government ration.
Lee said, “Survivors of the last decade know why we starve. It is because our leaders did not open and reform our country.”

Hong said, “Before then (1990s), people believed in the Party and Kim Jong Il. Now, they pretend to believe. What they really believe is themselves. It is true that we are having a hard time, but people learned how to survive. There would be no great famine this time.”

Nevertheless, North Koreans are increasingly disgruntled with their leadership. And fear of mass starvation remains, especially among the least favored class.

Open criticism on the regime was not imaginable 10 years ago, but this has become common, even among party officials.”

The Daily NK goes on to say that the government’s bureaucracy is still strong. An independent movement has not formed to challenge the government, and likely won’t as long as the state kills thousands of individuals a year to remind the populace who is in control.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Hufftards Hit a New Level of Relativism

Now that al-Qaeda has started to train young people to be suicide bombers against their will, you would think a round of condemnations would be in order from even your most dedicated anti-war Democrat. But not at the Huffington Post.

“how is it any different than what we are doing right here to an entire generation of young Americans?” – Kellygrrrl

“Instead of greeting the occupiers with flowers, in a desparate attempt to get the occupiers out, Iraq is throwing it's most precious resorce at's children. Animals kill their offspring in a last-ditch effort for the species to survive in extreme conditions.” – Watchingthings

Bloody idiots.

Monday, May 26, 2008

(US Navy Ensign Jesse Leroy Brown)

Over at ROK Drop, there is a fine bio for Jesse Brown, one of the African American heroes from the Korean War, and lists the contributions he made to making South Korea free.

Another American hero that fought in Korea by the name of Robert Fletcher, spent 33 months in a North Korean prison camp, and lost nearly half his body weight through the ordel. When asked what he would change, knowing what he does now about the experience, he responded:

"I'd do it the same way," he said. "Because we saved a democracy."

(Hat tip Marmot's Hole)

Songs for Spring

I was tagged by Bob from Brockley a week or so back with this following meme:
“List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your spring. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they’re listening to.”
Since I listen to a hefty assortment of music pretty frequently, this was right up my alley. Here are the tracks that are currently rocking me from left to right in a dancing-like motion that are “shaping” my Spring. All of the song links are to a Youtube video of the track, if you feel like giving any of them a listen.

1.J Dilla - “Stop!” First up is from the late, great producer from Detroit, off his Donuts record. It samples a Dionne Warwick b-side called "You're Gonna Need Me.” It’s a short track, but I can get enough of the break near the end.

2.Pete Rock - “We Roll.” Another great Hip-Hop producer, with a fine track off his newest record NY’s Finest. Although this record is about NY and its street culture, it brings me back to the Bay Area on these warm humid days sitting about the Korean mountains.

3.Tortoise - “Seneca.” A great track from one of Chicago’s best post-rock bands, from their Standards record. Nothing about it specifically reminds me of this season, but it has surely been on the deck a lot this spring.

4.George Symonette - “Don’t Touch me Tomato.” A fine Calypso track from a classic singer, singing about “tomatoes” if you get my drift. The Youtube video I have linked to hits you over the head with the message if perhaps my nuance evaded you.

5.Erlend Øye - “If I Ever Get Better.” This remix of a Phoenix song comes from the man who brought you the Kings of Convenience, and is off his mix record in the DJ Kicks line. A great Euro-dance inspired track, and sure to get even the hippest of scensters to nod along.

6.Melina Aslanidou - “To parelthon thimithika.” A remarkable talent from Greece that I discovered on one of those Putumayo world music discs a few years back, but you can also get this track on her "Pehnidi Ine" album.

7. Susana Harp – “La Llorona.” What list would be complete without a rendition of “La Llorona?” This one is from the Mexican songstress known as Susana Harp, off her first record titled “Xquenda.” A haunting rendition of a classic Mexican folk song.

Since it seems like most of my blogging circle has already been tagged, I’ll just tag Jams, Steve, and the Hydra.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Internationalism for this Memorial Day

Terry Glavin, better known as Transmontanus with the Drink Soaked Trots, has a great piece up at the National Post about the battle in Afghanistan, and I believe accurately describes it as “our generations Spanish Civil War.” As Terry states:
“This is not just "George Bush's war." This is a liberation struggle. It's a war of resistance against clerical fascism, against the most unspeakably brutal kind of misogyny, against tyranny, slavery, illiteracy and oppression. Over the past six years, poll after poll has provided unequivocal, empirical evidence that the Afghan people want us there to help them win this fight. And the people are winning.”

…cultural relativism has eaten away at the principle of universal rights -- which was once the bedrock of left-wing politics --and a crude and paranoid anti-Americanism has come to serve as a substitute for rational, progressive analysis. By Sept. 11, 2001, the politics of solidarity had been eclipsed by the politics of the counterculture, and so the main ranks of the left settled into a comfortable and familiar Sixties' narrative: It's the Third World vs. American empire.”

Over at the New Centrist, he rightly commends McCain for supporting a League of Democracies, but sees fault in his desire for it to “compliment” the UN and other transnational organizations. NC writes:
“I commend McCain for stating the organization could apply more serious sanctions against Iran and act “without approval from Moscow or Beijing”. I disagree with McCain regarding the need to supplant the U.N. As Stephen notes above, the recent actions of China and Indonesia regarding blocking aid to Burma should make it clear that the organization is impotent to act in the most pressing cases (famine, war, genocide).”

Lastly, some very grim news coming out of North Korea concerning the fate of the prisoners in Kim’s Gulag. From the Daily NK:
“When a college student asked about the fate of prisoners after reunification, Ahn replied, “The policy is to kill all of them before it happens. I saw a new dam constructed from a satellite picture in 2000. If destroyed, it could flood the entire Camp No。22 and kill all of the inmates.”

Still One of the Best