Thursday, April 23, 2009

Songs for Spring

The New Centrist tagged me recently with an exercise I took part in last year. Here is how it works.

"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."

I picked up some good tunes from the folks involved in the circle last time around, and I am more than happy to put in my spring picks this year. I will tag Poumista, Jams, Kellie, Johnny, E.D., and Peteris. Feel free to take part if you are up to it.

My seven spring tracks are as follow.

Rogues - Not So Pretty (Feed Me Remix)

A track I downloaded from a friend on a file sharing network, that has been on pretty heavy rotation in my home as of late.

Yehuda Ovadya Ftaya & Ha'Yonah Ensemble - Yonat Rechokim

From their live recording “Jewish Sacred Songs of Iraq,” a record I came across a few years back, but that I have been playing frequently in the last few months. An incredible track from that record, and I have uploaded the mp3 file so that it can be downloaded.

Animal Collective – Prospect Hummer ft. Vashti Bunyun

A track that has been stuck in my head for some time. You can hear the first half of the track here, but it is worth finding in its complete state.

Herbert – Something isn’t Right

A very fine cut-and-paste jam from a few years back.

Billie Holiday – Summertime

No list of music from my collection would be complete without a track from Billie Holliday, a woman that never goes out of style in my household.

Taylor Swift – Love Story

Yes, its cheese, but I take pleasure in cheese, especially when it’s on crackers with some wine.

Why? – The Hallows

A great performer from my old stomping grounds that appears to have made it big in the last few years.

Trotsky: Part of a Well Balanced Diet

Poumista gives me the heads up to a story too strange to pass on: Trotsky’s ashes have been stolen, and apparently made into cookies by Anarchists in Mexico City. The supposed culprits wrote:
Eighty eight years of the day Trotsky directed the suppression of the anarchist uprising in Krondstadt, a group of bandits scaled the walls of his former house in Mexico City during the late hours at night. We broke the lock on his mausoleum and we expropriate the content inside it: a silver large vase that bears the inscription of his name, wrapped in the red scarf that he carried around the neck, containing the ashes of the corpse inside. We replace with care the lock in the monument with a reproduction that was similar in the appearance and escaped into the night.

The vase along with its content then was taken far away to a place where the vase was discarded and the content (a combination of ash and bone) were baked in cookies. These cookies then were sent, along with a letter that explains our actions, to newspapers, to organizations of Trotskyists, and to the groups of anarchist around the world.”
I have not had the story verified by any legitimate press outlets. If it is true, these Anarchist vandals put their Santa Cruz counterparts to shame. I wonder how those cookies tasted.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ron Paul and the Tea Parties

The Ron Paul Meetup website had this flyer up advertising a Tea Party in California.

This man (I doubt this ad was officially endorsed by Paul himself, but as I have documented before, Paul seems to roll with lots of folks who hold these types of views) as well as his followers need to find the rock they crawled out from under and return to it.

“Protest the War... and FREE WEED!”

You would be hard pressed to find a protest in Santa Cruz, California that can pull more than a hundred individuals, but the annual pot smoking event above the UCSC campus on 4/20 continues to draw thousands. The Santa Cruz Sentinel writes:
Thousands of college students, dispelling the notion that marijuana somehow makes users forgetful, showed up late Sunday afternoon at UC Santa Cruz and smoked major amounts of weed.

It was a coordinated effort that went off without a hitch to celebrate what has become commonly known as "4/20" to a pot-smoking subculture. In what could be aptly described as a cross between a New Year's Eve party and a wannabe Woodstock gathering, thousands of students found their way to the meadow behind Porter College in a scene reminiscent of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," then counted down the seconds until 4:20 p.m.

There is a lesson to be learned from this. International ANSWER and other protesting obsessed organizations need to spend less money on fancy signs and celebrity endorsements for their Great Leaders, and just spend their funds on weed for participants at their events. Guaranteed protesting success!

Enjoy a free book, You Yankee Imperialist!

Generalissimo Chavez sure loves publicity stunts, and now Obama gets to play a role in them. Chavez gave Obama a copy of "The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent," a book by Eduardo Galeano, which is a one sided and inaccurate history of Latin America, Imperialism, and the regions current position in the international system. Alvaro Vargas Llosa at Foreign Policy had the following to say about Chavez’s pick of the week.
Galeano takes a hemophilic look at Latin American history and concludes that the region´s inert state is the consequence of vampiric predation by bloodsucking Europeans and Americans. His book maintains that the capitalist system keeps poor countries in perpetual dependence vis-à-vis rich countries by forcing them to sell cheap primary products in exchange for expensive goods, and profiting from investments in natural resources.

One can picture Obama falling over with laughter as he reads the jeremiad against Third World exploitation, for it turns out that the new millennium is being dominated by the rise of poor, "dependent" nations and the increasing loss of competitiveness of wealthy nations. How does one square the dependency theory with with the fact that, through globalization, Latin America has pulled 40 million people out of poverty in six years and the United States has borrowed $1 trillion from China, a country whose per capita income is more than seven times smaller?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

That's Progress for Ya

From the NTY:
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Vice is making a comeback in this city once famous for 1,001 varieties of it.

Gone, for the most part, are nighttime curfews, religious extremists and prowling kidnappers. So, inevitably, some people are turning to illicit pleasures, or at least slightly dubious ones.

Nightclubs have reopened, and in many of them, prostitutes troll for clients. Liquor stores, once shut down by fundamentalist militiamen, have proliferated; on one block of busy Saddoun Street, there are more than 10 of them.