Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Just like Christopher Walken, in the role of legendary record producer Bruce Dickenson, told Blue Oyster Cult:

"Guess What? I got a fever and the only prescription is MORE COWBELL!"

Well it's like that with this song:

Cuica-01d1-44-HR.mp3 - (high bandwidth - stereo)
Cuica-01d1-44-LR.mp3 - (low bandwidth - mono)

Again, this was done with Chocopoolp
"Bhaji's Loops", the music studio that fits in the palm of your hand! (Hey, that's a good slogan...)

Friday, November 18, 2005

What is Dick Cheney Smoking?

So, ex-CIA Director Stansfield Turner has labeled US Vice President Dick Cheney as the "vice president for torture":

He didn't make up this nick-name by himself - Cheney has solicited the US Senate to allow the use of torture in certain instances:
Link not working? Search Google News for this story - click here

I don't care what your political leaning is... the Geneva Convention forbids it. These are the accepted rules for warfare, and our country has used this convention to prosecute Nazi's and other war criminals over the last 55 years.

Legalizing the use of torture puts US military personnel & civilians in direct jeopardy - we cannot criticize or prosecute our enemies for doing the same things we allow, nor expect reciprocal civility from them. It lowers our country's standards to the same level of immoral behavior as regimes we have fought against, where we've cited their brutality as a reason for sanctions or removal.

If this passes, then vice-president Cheney and every representative who votes for it may as well charter a bus to Mount Vernon to celebrate, and take turns shitting on George Washington's grave.

The most disturbing part? An ex-CIA director from the Cold War thinks legalizing torture is going too far.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Almanac Market...

I'm wearing my Larry King hat again:

John Manhardt (former bassist for Trained Attack Dogs, Tri-State Kill Spree, former Mardi Gras float builder and ex-con) has gone into business with Joanne and Bob Aretz to open Almanac Market, on the corner of 4th and Poplar Streets in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia.

It's a nice little neighborhood spot in a good location, selling produce, cheeses, prepared foods, etc, with an organic bent where possible. They rehab'd the space themselves, built custom furniture and have done a really nice job with the place and have a nice selection of food. Today was their "soft opening".

So if you live down there or pass that way, you should stop in and get some groceries from your friendly neighborhood grocers.

By the way - I've noticed that Regis Philbin has replaced Larry King as the Welch's Grape Juice spokesman... I can put on a Larry King hat, but I don't know if I can put on a Regis hat... nothing personal Regis, I've just never seen you wear a hat, your hair's too nice.

Stick it to the (working) man...

So SEPTA is on strike.

Or more specifically, 5,000 city transit workers from TWU Local 234 are on strike against SEPTA.

For those of you unfamiliar with Septa, it's the South Eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority - the entity that runs all the busses, trolleys, trains and subways for the Philadelphia metropolitan region.

Six days into the strike, there are no negotiations, and 400,000 regular Septa riders have been left to fend for themselves, to traverse the 135 square mile metropolitan area on their own - in a city where 1 in 3 families do not own cars, and where tax dollars already subsidize the mass transit system.

There is no schedule for talks to resume, and both sides keep using emotional language in their statements about the situation to bash the other side. Is this anyway to run a business - especially one that is paid for twice, both out of taxes and out of pocket by the riders?

In case you need an illustration of the ratio, it's like having 405 people in a room, where 5 people's actions are making life difficult for the other 400 people. Now, where else is this tolerated?

Septa riders feel helpless, stuck in the middle - they are experiencing scenarios ranging from inconvenience to hardship, and can't make the two sides come to the table.

It's up to TWU Local 234 and Septa to act responsibly on behalf of their riders - which they're not doing.

I have a suggestion: Septa Riders should stage a boycott after service is restored - one day for each week the strike lasts. Without taking sides, this will remind both SEPTA and TWU Local 234 that there are THREE parties involved, and that without Septa Riders the whole damn system is irrelevant. If they stay out a month, Riders should boycott a week longer after the settlement.

Pretty tough talk from a guy who drives a car, eh? Well, I'm one of the riders Septa lost. I was a die-hard Septa rider between 1986 and 1998, but after two significant strikes during that period (and regularly repeated threats of additional ones), major cutbacks in service, unreliable service and poor attitude from vehicle operators, I gave up on Septa after 12 years and bought a car. As a result I have more freedom to come and go, but I do pay more to get around - and I certainly add more exhaust to the atmosphere as well. Maybe my next car will be a hybrid - I can't see going back to Septa, especially with strikes looming every few years.

The authority and the union don't get it: Mass Transportation is losing Federal and State funding each year because more dollars are being spent on asphalt roads and systems for individual drivers. We have a Washington Oval Office staffed by oil-men with little sympathy for Mass Transit Systems, and a conservative congressional majority who view Mass Transportation as a liberal expenditure for cities, where all the damn liberals live anyway. Whether this is true or not, TWU and SEPTA are shooting themselves in their own feet respectively each day this strike lasts. Don't forget, Washington tried to dismantle Amtrak earlier this year... I hope these guys wake up before they strike themselves into non-existence.