Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Years (Here Are Some Treats!)

Okay, my New Year's Eve bash involves going to see the Slim Cessna's Auto Club New Year's Eve show... which is wicked. So, I thought I would give y'all some Slim Cessna type goodies. First, here's a clip of them off of YouTube performing the awesome "Magalina Hagalina:"

Now, because that just ehn't enough Slim, here's a New Year's Eve treat for y'all... it's their out of print live album "American Country Music Changed Her Life" now available for download in all its glory:

Slim Cessna's Auto Club - American Country Music Changed Her Life [Live]

Now, on non-Slim related topics, I thought you all might also like a little more "traditional" New Year's Eve treat. So, again from YouTube, here's Auld Lang Syne as performed by Billy Preston & Aretha Franklin:

Billy Preston & Aretha Franklin - "Auld Land Syne" (sorry, embedding was disabled on this video)

Happy New Year's y'all.

EDIT: Added link to AMCMCHL album

Friday, December 29, 2006

The Friday Music Video

Well, it's Friday and that means it is time for another music video. Let's go for something a little lively to make up for what seems to be shaping up to be an otherwise kinda dreary day: here's Toots & The Maytals featuring Jack Johnson and Ben Harper performing "Pressure Drop" on SNL:

Have a good Friday, y'all.

Lieberman and his Surge

If you haven't read it or heard of it yet, Lieberman has an op-ed in today's Washington Post, making his case for an increase of troops to Iraq. A taste:
To turn around the crisis we need to send more American troops while we also train more Iraqi troops and strengthen the moderate political forces in the national government. After speaking with our military commanders and soldiers there, I strongly believe that additional U.S. troops must be deployed to Baghdad and Anbar province -- an increase that will at last allow us to establish security throughout the Iraqi capital, hold critical central neighborhoods in the city, clamp down on the insurgency and defeat al-Qaeda in that province.

If you read over the whole thing (and you should), you'll very likely come away with the distinct impression that that this is a man who is pretty well detached from the reality of Iraq. Assuming that a limited increase of troops will fix this war is delusional. Lieberman needs to ground himself in reality - fast.

The other aspect of this position of Lieberman's which is wildly irritating is that it gives this troop surge the magical "bipartisan" label, never mind the fact that Joe isn't a Democrat anymore.

Irritating. All very irritating.

(Via pretty much every blog)

Astronomy Images of '06

The good people over at Bad Astronomy Blog have compiled a list of the top 10 astronomy images of 2006. They're all awesome, and they discuss each image and what's so great about it. In terms of pure visual goodness, number nine may be my favorite (pictured above).

Neat, huh? Be sure to check out the rest.

(via Slashdot)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ford Critical of Bush & Iraq

It's been discussed with some frequency already, but in case you hadn't heard, Gerald Ford (you know, the president that just died... the one who didn't want to live in a world without James Brown) has been saying things about Iraq that probably really harsh Dubya's buzz. Kagro X over at Daily Kos has the full rundown, but here's the juicy meat (from the WaPo):
In a four-hour conversation at his house in Beaver Creek, Colo., Ford "very strongly" disagreed with the current president's justifications for invading Iraq and said he would have pushed alternatives, such as sanctions, much more vigorously. In the tape-recorded interview, Ford was critical not only of Bush but also of Vice President Cheney -- Ford's White House chief of staff -- and then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who served as Ford's chief of staff and then his Pentagon chief.

So, even frickin' Ford (who, no disrespect meant to the recently deceased, will probably not be remembered as one of the shining beacons of wisdom and intelligence) figured out that invading Iraq was dumb.

So, there's that.

John Edwards For Prez

No, the title of this post isn't an endorsement, but just to make sure you all know that John Edwards is, again, running for President. I'll make sure to note that I do like Edwards, and look forward to what promises to be a more spirited, grassroots campaign from the man. You all should point yourselves to his website and check out what he has to say. He has video blogs and everything!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas from Bowie and Bing

Well, since Christmas comes but once a year, I thought that I would post another classic bit of music from youtube for the holidays (what with this being Christmas Eve and all). Here's a classic duet from Bing Crosby and David Bowie - pure awesomeness:

Merry Christmas and hope all y'all get some good loot tomorrow.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Friday Music Video

Okay, instead of doing "The Friday Bootleg" like I used to, instead I'm going to post a YouTube music video every friday. I'll try to primarily use live performances but will not shy away from music videos. Today is a Christmas music video of Vince Guaraldi's "O Tannanbaum" using images from The Charlie Brown Christmas Special. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Upgraded Layout

As you may notice, the site layout has changed a little. I updated the blog template which changed how some of this stuff works. It was a bit of work but I think everything is pretty much how it used to be. Behind the scenes, this should make it easier to edit the site, which is good. If I decide there are big problems or things look too hideous, I'll change things back to the way they were.

F.U. Lieberman

I don't have anything to say here which wasn't covered by Kos, but go read this about Lieberman and his campaign. Classy.

Christmas treat!

For those that may not have seen it, here's a special Christmas song (for adults only):

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Christmas Story

If you're tired of the O'Reillys of the world appropriating Christmas for their own conservative (and/or idiotic) agenda... here is Jesse Jackson re-focusing the meaning of the season towards something more meaningful and infinitely more timely:
But shopping isn't the point of the story. It's not about exchanging Christmas cards, or about holiday parties. The story of Christmas is about a couple -- Mary and Joseph -- forced by an oppressive imperial government to leave their home to travel far to be counted in the census. When they got there, they were like immigrants, homeless in a strange land. The innkeeper had no room for the strange couple. If he had understood who the baby was, he would have offered them his bed.

Christmas is the story of a child born in a cow's barn, and placed in a manger, a makeshift crib. Mary and Joseph had no address, so it wasn't about exchanging cards. It wasn't about purchasing gifts. Yes, wise men left their daily ways, followed the star, and brought gifts to the child, while others might have stayed away from a poor child with little hope. The wise men were wise not because of the value of their gifts, but in their ability to see what the innkeeper missed: the potential of the infant asleep in a wooden manger. The Christmas story instructs us to treasure every child -- even what are now delicately called "at risk children" -- for we do not know what gifts even the poorest child of a homeless couple may possess.

What is Christmas about? It is about an oppressed people praying for a Messiah, a mighty warrior who would conquer their oppressors. He would come, they thought, assemble a great army and conquer the Roman legions. The expectation grew so high that even Herod grew uneasy. But when the Messiah came, he came as the prince of peace, not the marshal of war. He taught love and hope and charity, not violence and vengeance. He was the greatest liberator of them all, but he carried no arms, and provisioned no army. His army would transform the world, but it consisted of the legions of the faithful struggling to follow in his path.

I recommend reading the whole thing. So next time someone blather on about the War on Christmas or how the liberal agenda is antithetical to the season, you can hopefully re-frame the debate in a way that highlights the real importance of the season.

Those Poor Bastards

Here's the deal: if you don't like the gothic country stylings (or as they call it: Old-Time Hellfire Music) of Those Poor Bastards you are a fucking hobo. That is all there is to it. These guys are freakin' awesome. Think Munly. Now think Munly if he were even fucking creepier. Yeah. It's that awesome. These guys are pals of the righteous Hank III so you know it's the kind of country that's... you know... freakin' brilliant. Anyways, check out some samples of their tracks here. Still not enough? You greedy bastards. Okay, well here's a clip of Those Poor Bastards performing "Crooked Man" (which ehn't even on any of their albums):

so... rock out to them. Now.

Clinton Distances Herself...

...from her 2002 Iraq vote. One of the main criticisms of Hillary Clinton from The Left has been that she has, up until now, seemed fairly defensive of her 2002 Iraq vote - not doing what presidential hopefuls like John Edwards have done and saying that their vote to go to war was a mistake. Well, now Clinton has seemingly said that her vote was a mistake. Her exact words:
This morning on NBC’s “Today” show, Sen. Clinton was asked about her 2002 vote and offered a slightly evolved answer. “Obviously, if we knew then what we know now, there wouldn’t have been a vote,” she said in her usual refrain before adding, “and I certainly wouldn’t have voted that way.”

So, her phrasing wasn't quite as definitive as some may have wanted but I think the main point is that she realizes the error of her ways and, hopefully, has learned from this. I may still prefer a candidate like Obama or Edwards, but for me this softens me up to Clinton a lot.

Oh, and as for the argument that this is just another political calculation, all I can say is: maybe. Who really knows? I think we have to pretty much assume she's sincere about this until her actions suggest otherwise. I wish that a person's capacity to change their mind on an issue wasn't greeted with such suspicion these days. Oh well.

Via: The Carpetbagger Report

Some Changes

Hey all,

Just thought I'd share some additional changes to the site. I upgraded to the latest version of Blogger, which means neat things like tags (you'll see them at the bottom of every post). I probably won't go back and re-tag every old article (actually, I'm quite certain I won't), but new posts will be tagged you can use these tags to find related articles and amazing stuff like that.

Oh, and my profile is now gone from the sidebar. You don't need to know what books or music I like. It's just a little extra bit of narcissism I was glad to do away with.

Iraq War Ehn't Popular

Who would have thought? Polls are coming out saying folks are less keen on the Iraq War (and El Presidente's handling of it) than ever before. CNN lays us down some knowledge:
The survey, conducted Friday through Sunday by Opinion Research Corp., found support for Bush's handling of the Iraq conflict has decreased to 28 percent from 34 percent in a poll taken October 13-15.

And a record 70 percent of respondents said they disapproved of Bush's war management, up from 64 percent in the October poll.

I think America just harshed the president's buzz. Uncool, man. Uncool. Troop increases are also unpopular - maybe because people realize they won't friggin' work.

I think we've pretty much lost Iraq no matter what we try and do. There, I said it. We're fucked. Merry fucking Christmas.

EDIT: I just noticed how I went to kinda jokey in most of the post to very bitter and hostile in the last two sentences. That's because this situation sucks and I don't think anything will make it better. Maybe I'm just tired.

Matsuzaka II

Since I posted about Matsuzaka earlier, I thought I'd share with y'all a little montage of his "stuff" for those that may not have seen some of his finest moments before.

Enjoy it!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Site Updates

Hey, just added/cleaned up the sidebar a little. reshuffled some of the active/inactive sites and changed links as appropriate. One or two more items may still be shifted around or slightly edited so be warned.

Inside the Matsuzaka Deal

Now that I have no readers whatsoever (so long you 2-3 suckers who used to read!), I can post any damned thing I want. And I want to post about the Red Sox. Actually, I did that anyways... hrmm... come back loyal readers! *tear*

Anyways. I just wanted to point out Gordon Edes' (surprisingly) excellent article on the Daisuke Matsuzaka signing and how the Red Sox F.O. (that's Front Office for those that aren't hip to "scene") managed to pull the whole darned thing off. A taste:
The story of how Matsuzaka, a 26-year-old pitcher who is mostly a mystery to the baseball fan in the United States but has had Michael Jordan-like status in his native Japan almost from the day he became a national hero as a high schooler, has played out for the last month mostly as a protracted financial negotiation. It culminated with Matsuzaka coming to terms with the Red Sox on a six-year, $52 million contract that they signed Thursday afternoon shortly before the news conference. While Boras completed the paperwork, finalizing the handshake agreement they had made the night before while Matsuzaka was undergoing his physical at Massachusetts General Hospital, Matsuzaka was being guided through the Red Sox clubhouse by the owners. He broke into an enormous smile when he saw a locker with "Matsuzaka" on the nameplate and a Sox jersey bearing his No. 18 hanging inside.

But that is not the end of the story of how the Sox acquired Matsuzaka, just the beginning.

Find the whole thing here.

Is it April yet?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Polygamy Makes Kittens Sad

Holy shit... an update. Am I back? We'll see...

I've just been itching to try and help lay to rest the whole "gay marriage will lead to other horrible and worse things" argument which I see cropping up by otherwise reasonably intelligent people. I don't claim to have a retort to every single snarky comment that may be made on the subject, but it strikes me that the biggest problem with this "gay marriage will lead to things like polygamy" is that the supporters of that position are framing the entire issue wrong. Allowing gay marriage isn't about creating new rights - it's about expanding existing rights to marginalized groups. To whit:
Gays are not arguing that people should be able to have whatever marital arrangement they want. They argue only that everyone should have access to marriage as it is now commonly understood. Nor are gays arguing for any legal rights other people do not have. They argue that they are uniquely denied a right everyone else already has — the right to marry someone they love.

By contrast, an advocate of legal polygamy cannot argue that he (or she) is seeking anything akin to traditional marriage — unless the Old Testament is considered “traditional.” Nor can he argue he is being denied a right that everyone else has. He would have to argue that he desires and deserves a new right that no one currently has. Perhaps that argument could be made but it has not been so far.

So... there you have it. There's not really any need to worry about slippery slope problems rising from letting gay folks marry. Expansion of existing rights doesn't suggest the creation of completely new rights. I guess you could still worry about it happening... but you probably wouldn't have any coherent sense of the legal process on your side. So good luck with that.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Art For Sale

Holy guacamole! A new post. Does this mean a return? I don't really know... maybe. But, onto the business at hand:

A good buddy of mine (from ye olde Summit County punk scene) is selling some of his artwork online, since he and the missus are expecting a kid (I already tried to get it named, Flex - no dice). Anyways, his artwork is totally awesome and anyone that can afford real, genuine artwork should buy as much of it as possible. Even if you can't, you should check out the site and leave some feedback. Check out his site here. And show the site off to all your friends!

Oh, and happy holidays all y'all.