Monday, December 21, 2009

So This Is Health Care Reform?

The Senate has passed its health care bill today. To say it's disappointing is being mild to say the least. This clip says it more than I could.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

CLimate Change News From Copenhagen

Via Democracy Now.

Just learned of a new secret agreement that allows unequal limits on per capital carbon emissions. Ths interview covers that, what it could mean, and similar things better than I could.. A lot of food for thought in this piece.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Clip Says More Than I Could on The Topic

Once in a while something will come across one's radar that just speaks for itself. I was looking at Feministing tonight and found someone posted a clip of actor Patrick Stewart (best known to a lot of people form his work on Star Trek: The Next Generation) speaking to Amnesty International in England on violence against women. This says volumes on a highly sensitive topic. Watch and pay attention.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Holidays 2009 - A Few Thoughts and Some Dates

Well it’s the ..Holiday.. season again and I’m almost guaranteeing that this post is going to piss some people off.

.. ..

I’m talking about the people who like to whine and complain about the whole “War on Christmas” bullshit. While they have a right to their opinion, I wish they’d take into account that other holidays are celebrated this time of year also. When people say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas it’s out of respect because you can’t always tell who celebrates which holiday this time of year whether it be due to spiritual/religious conversions, customs of the culture they grew up in, etc. This is why the people who act so damn persecuted when someone says Happy Holidays pisses me off.

.. ..

Now as for the Holidays themselves: we know X-Mas Eve and X-Mas is December 24th and 25th. New Years Eve and New Years Day are December 31st and January 1st. However, some holidays change dates (by our calendar anyway) each year. The following are some of those dates according to the Ethnic and Religious Cultural Holidays Page on the KU Medical Center website (though I tried to link to a few sites on the actual holidays themselves)

.. ..


27 - Eid al-adha (Islamic, Muslim)

.. ..

6 - St. Nicholas Day(International)....
8 - Bodhi Day - Buddha's Enlightenment(Buddhist)....
11 - 19 - Hanukkah(Jewish)....
12 - Virgin of Guadalupe (....Mexico....)....
13 - Santa Lucia Day (Sweden)....
16-25 - Las Posadas (Mexico)....
18 - Al Hijra - Muslim New Year....
25 - Christmas (Christian, Roman Catholic, International)....
26 - Boxing Day (..Canada.., ....United Kingdom....)....
26 - Kwanzaa (African-American - Dec. 26, 2009 - Jan 1, 2010)....

Some people will be pissed off at me for this, but remember your culture/religion isn’t the only one in this country much less the damn world. Get over yourselves and live your own lives.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Just Checking In - NOW UPDATED

Hey! I know it's been a while but things have been a bit crazy around here. Between getting the 17th anniversary issue done, trying to survive, looking for work, and other obligations I sometimes forget to get my head straight. Add to that coming down with a cold the week of Halloween and you have an idea why I've been a little distracted lately.

On a more serious note, the House passed its health care reform bill. Unfortunately it contains the anti choice Stupak Amendment, which not only keeps abortion care out of the "public option" but could keep it out of private insurance plans as well. While I have strong feelings on this misstep, this article at Pandagon states the case far better than I could. So does this post from Shark Fu.

I'll be trying to post more regularly in the future.

Friday, September 25, 2009

G 20 vs the WTO:

As the G 20 summit gets underway in Pittsburgh, a recent report from Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch finds that the push for regulation at these summits may be undermined by binding advancement by the World Trade Center to further advance deregulation.

Read or watch below:

I hope I'm not the only one out there that sees there needs to be massive change, if not abolishment of the WTO. There has to be a way to do it, and we need to take it seriously.

If this doesn't happen, then this ridiculous cycle that led to the current economic shitstorm will only continue downward.

More G 20

Today marks the first day of the G 20 summit and, as expected, protestors are facing adversity. From the use of L RAD (sometimes referred to as a "Sonic gun") and tear gas to National Guard troops and detaining activists before the fact, an overly intense law enforcement presence is in full effect.

Earlier tonight I came across footage of riot cops using sonic weapons and asking the crowd to disperse. I wondered how long it would take before we heard of people trying to disperse meeting up with riot cops blocking a way for people to disperse. I figured it would take a day or two to find out. 5 minutes later a friend sent me a link from Cindy Sheehan's blog confirming just such a thing happened.

Like most people aware of how things go down, I'm angered by this but not surprised. While it is likely the cops were given a green light to crack heads and use force, it can't be 100% proved at this time. I also wonder if some of the overreaction comes from those cops and National Guard troops from elsewhere called to the scene who might not be familiar with the protocol. While I'm willing to consider that as a possibility, I have a sinking feeling there's more than a pillar of truth on the former argument.

As the news trickles in from the system of tubes we all rely way too much on these days, new things will emerge. For now, it's another reason that sometimes the new boss is all too often the same as the old boss. Time will tell what happens next on this.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Watch This ......

With the G 20 going on in Pittsburgh and the economy still in its current state of somewhere between shitstorm and clusterfuck, it seems hard to take in all the issues around us (especially when most people are simply trying to survive). When I came across this interview with Ralph Nader, I had to turn you onto it as it cuts to the quick on a lot of relevant issues these days.

Whether you like Nader or hate him, we need people like him to put things in perspective and keep people in check. We all need to do more things like this - now more than ever.

Some Things Never Seem to Change

Tomorrow marks the latest round of globalization talks with beginning of the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, PA (a location reportedly chosen by President Obama to minimize protests). As world leaders discuss issues regarding world trade that seems to benefit business over the needs of its citizens, protests are already underway.

As there are protests, there are also reports of police harrassment as activists report being detained and illegal seizures. Though a Federal judge has dismisseed one case claiming no "irrepairable harm" has been done, Seeds of Peace still report police harrassment. This, even though a judge ruled six group can protest the G 20.

While this is a small trickle from an iceberg, I have a feeling that in the next few weeks we're going to be hearing more reports of police harrassment and brutality towards environmental and anti globalization activists in Pittsburgh. If something emerges that Pittsburgh made the G20 pay insurance to the city in case of damages, then we'll know something may be up.

I know some will say this is just an exception or that with added police presence mistakes will be made. However, having seen how things have unfolded in hyperdrive over the past decade in this society, I have a feeling the plans might be made to bust some heads. I really really really REALLY hope that I'm wrong on this, but I have a strange feeling I'm right.

Some of you reading this may disagree with me and that's your right. Now go argue amongst yourselves, I have things to do.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Review - Panther Entropy

NOTE: We normally don't use the blog to do CD reviews. Once in a while however a release's timeliness to a current situation or potential rarity requires us to make an exception. This is once such release.

PANTHER - Entropy LP

Panther is one of those bands that has snuck up under the radar and surprised a lot of people with their previous album 14kt God. On their latest, Charlie and Joe takes their avant rock in a different direction. Here, pianos play a more prominent role as they filter in a mid 70s pop cum art rock feel into these songs, taking the listener on a journey that can be as emotional as it is unexpected. The overall creation is music that is fairly unique though not as obtuse as some of their previous work could be at moments.

However, the ability to surprise is here as noted by "Birds that Move" where an incendiary guitar solo moves the song from a catchy as hell indie meets classic pop rock hybrid into an increasingly intense aural beast. These atmospherics add a texture of the music that move it apart from much of what is heard these days when it comes to punk/indie rock. This 12" continues to walk the thin line between potential pop classics and driving, unexpected twists and turns as personified by "Bridge on Fire" where, as the song progresses, the rampaging drums in the chorus add an intensity lesser bands wouldn't think to put in a song like this. Closing things out with a pair of dance remixes by Copy ("Birds That Move") along with Lips & Ribs ("Love is Sold") that take the tracks in different directions and you have a record that still has taken me by surprise.

As I said, it's extremely rare that we put a record review on the blog. However, given that this is a limited edition release (to the best of our knowledge only 500 copies are available - and only on vinyl) and it seemed more responsible to place it here rather than wait for the print issue to review it (and then repost it on the TTWN website once we get the issue released). While this will be rare, Panther has released a damn good record that flips the script on what fans may expect from them while taking underground rock a few steps forward sonically. A definite future classic album, in my honest opinion. Get it while (and if) you can.

Availble at either Kill Rock Stars. Or from here (if really anxious)

Monday, August 24, 2009

This Should Scare Us - School Textbook Edition

It's interesting (and very scary) how the culture war continues in this country. I was taking a break from looking for work today and came across something that should scare everyone. Apparently, the Texas State Board of Education is planning for new history text books that have a definite right wing bias but remove any mentions of those deemed liberal.

Under their plans, the text books would include mentions of Newt Gingrich (former Speaker of the House leader of the so-called "republican revolution" of the mid 1990s), and Phyllis Schlafly (Eagle Forum founder) among others. Who do they want to remove from the textbooks? Several reviewers have mentioned removing United Farm Workers organizer Cesar Chavez.

The question is who else will be swept from history books?

At first glance, one would assume this is a localized example and that those of us who don't live in Texas shouldn't be concerned with it. However, one thing I didn't know until today is guess which state plays a large role in setting national standards for school textbooks?

Now I have a bit of disillusionment towards how things are taught in America's prison, I mean school, system. I do believe the late Frank Zappa's view on schools having a search and destroy program aimed at wiping out any hint o creative thinking amongst kids. However, this takes things to a level even my skepticism couldn't imagine.

Does this need to be fought? Hell yes. Hopefully this won't make it out of the Texas legislature and the rest of us won't have to worry about it. However, it does remain one more instance of how regardless of Obama and his allies' push for bipartisanship and moving forward, the conservatives still have every intention of making sure the "culture war" continues.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Oustsourcing for Assassinations? WTGDMF?

It's amazing how the further we get settled into the Obama age that more of how his predecessor (and dictator wannabe) got us further into a damn quagmire comes out.

A short while ago, we learned that Dick Cheney had organized CIA assassination squads to kill people in the name of our supposed "national interests" in the months after 9/11. Scary enough if you know history (Chile in 73 anyone?), but just when you think it couldn't get worse - it does. Turns out they outsourced some of this job to guess who?

WHile it should surprise no one with a knowledge of history that Blackwater (or Xe or whatever they're calling themselves this week) is involved in this. It's still scary just how willing to emulate a dictatorship this country was willing to become.

Now the new question should be why does Obama continue to give them money and pay them to work in the middle East.

For a transcript of the video in this post, go here.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Food For Thought

Like a lot of people, I've found myself worried about the path our country's going to. I realize Obama has the unenviable task of trying to clean up the clusterfuck of the past administration (it will take about three different administrations to really deal with that), but he seems to be more concerned with making deals rather than actually creating the change we were promised (right now he's not on Bill Clinton level yet but who knows).

I was fooling around online when I came across this article which state the case far better than I could.

You might think this is right on. You might think it misses the mark. I do encourage you to check the article out and make up your own minds.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

And The Fear Just Keeps On Coming.....

As we move further into the Obama era, we find ourselves as a culture facing both the possible chasm between promises and reality as well as the fallout from the Dubya years that we thought wouldn't surprise us. It turns out the betrayal of trust from Shrub, Dick the Dick and company flirted even further with dictatorship than we thought.

First up is Dick Cheney wanting to use U.S. troops to arrest terror suspects on U.S. soil. Cheney claimed the President had the power to use troops to arrest people in the U.S. (a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act). Ironically Bush decided to use the FBI to arrest the Lockawanna Six, but this is yet another reminder of how reckless the previous administration wanted to trash the Constitution and create a possible police state.

However, it may appear that the military has already violated Posse Comitatus Act when activists in Olympia, WA filed a Freedom of Information Act request and discovered a military operative was spying on them. The guy claimed to be a civilian employee at Ft Lewis but was actually a member of Ft. Lewis' Force Protection Service. While activists try to figure out what happened, the damage is done.

Some in Congress want hearings into U.S. intelligence activities and their possible abuses. If they happen, we should also ask how much of this occured under Obama's watch as much as from the known war criminals of the previous administration.

What happens next is too early to tell. However, as the title of this post suggests, teh fear just keeps on coming. So much for transparency.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

R.I.P. - Walter Chronkite

When I got to where I was crashing Friday night I was coming back from the Sonic Youth concert in St. Louis and wanted to see what was up. It was then that I learned that TV news legend Walter Chronkite had died at 92.

While we've all heard or read the memorial pieces about him, this piece from Glenn Greenwald was the best piece on Chronkite I'd come across. It mentions the apparent difference between what Chronkite did and what journalism (especially on the telly) has become today.

I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Catching Up - The Topics Edition (Part One)

Hey, I know it's been a while. Sorry for not posting in a while but I got distracted between all the things going on as well as trying to get some personal things dealt with (trust me - you don't want to know). With that in mind, I'm going to try my return here with a multi topic post that I hope doesn't fall flat.

First up is the murder of Dr. George Tiller a month and a half ago. While I think anyone regardless of their views on abortion find the way he died repulsive, I'm especially sickened by the way some in the anti choice/pro forced pregnancy movement have made his killer Scott Roeder into some potential martyr, with some assholes even claiming that he's a hero sent by god. What the fuck are these people up to?

It's obvious that Roeder ain't no damn hero. It can also be said that, since Roeder was caught vandalizing a clinic the day before that it's possible this could have been avoided.

However, we can't change the past. I do wonder though why the system gives more leeway to an asshole like Roeder, who claims his jail conditions are "barbaric" than it does to some animal rights activists and environmentalists sentenced to CMU units inside U.S. Prisons. This is still a story in progress so I have a feeling I'll be going back to this topic now and then for a while.

Now let's move on to the Sonia Sotomayor Supreme Court hearings in Congress. Like many people I saw a bit of news footage but hadn't seen the whole thing because I have things to do. However, am I the only one that thinks the Republicans bringing up the "Wise Latina" comment is beyond tired? Yes I know the neocons (which the GOP has been pretty much reduced to after eight years of these people gone wild over the Constitution) are playing race issues as often as possible, but this is ridiculous. Between this and the usual playing politics, the news clips would be entertaining if these people weren't serious. Hell Pat Buchanan wants race brought up more as a wedge issue.

So why do the Republicans keep bringing up race and the "wise Latina" comment? Mainly 'cause they know if they repeat something out of context enough times they can get people to believe it. Add to this Sen. Tom Coburn (R, OK) and his imitation of Ricky Ricardo and I'm amazed that Sotomayor has stayed calm. Most likely she'll get confirmed to the Court, but nothing surprises me with the neocons.

There is one thing that should be brought up in the Sotomayor case: the fact that a wrongfully convicted inmate (later cleared by DNA evidence) had his appeal denied by Sotomayor. This should be brought up and discussed, if for no other reason than transparency.

While I do worry that Sotomayor might move the Supreme Court further to the right,it's obvious she's more qualified than some of the people Dubya appointed.

So what next? I don't know. But this should be a start for now.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Far RIght Polarization, Recent Shootings, and What Now?

The last couple of weeks have taken some surprisingly unsuspected turns for the worse in our society. Between the May 31st shooting of Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, KS while he was at church and last Wednesday's Holocaust Museum shooting, which killed security guard Stephen T. Johns, it appears that lone gunman are committing horrific acts seemingly out of nowhere. In both cases, the tragedies were shocking and reported as if they came out of nowhere. But were they?

Back in April a Dept of Homeland Security report was leaked that sought to warn law enforcement agencies about the possibility of violence from far right wing organizations. Especially noted was anti abortion extremism and a possible rise in anti Semitism as well as using these organization potentially using the economy to try and get recruits.

It's definitely a bit ominous - even scary. However, Obama's Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano had to apologize for the report after it was attacked by neocon pundits and bloggers ranging from Sean Hannity to Focus on the Family's James Dobson (who claimed "there were no Timothy McVeighs out there" and that they were "making a big deal out of something that hasn't happened and may not happen". Michelle Malkin even claimed the report was proof that the Obama administration was doing a hit job. Thus while the report was worried about neo-Nazis, white supremacists and the like, these people automatically claimed they were being persecuted and blamed Obama.

The funny thing about the controversy regarding aid report was this - the report was requested by the Bush administration.

Yes, another instance for the right wing in this country to attack the current administration on something the President they supported all these years actually requested. You;d think most of these people would see it was about neo Nazi types and distance themselves, but instead they cried victim (funny how the right seems to do that a lot these days).

Soon it was pushed into the media version of the rabbit hole until the murder of Dr. Tiller. While pro forced pregnancy groups condemned the act they also in the same breath attacked Dr. Tiller and what he did. While it did temporarily bring the previous memo to light, it appeared to be a one time thing. Then suspect Scott Roeder called the AP from his jail cell claiming that more anti abortion violence is planned nationwide. While the topic continued to make its way in the news, it would soon be eclipsed by Von Brunn's shooting at the Holocaust Museum.

At first glance it appears that both Roeder and Von Brunn were lone wolves, people who committed acts of terror that weren't members of specific extremist organizations. However, both suspects had ties to organizations even if they weren't hardcore members. Roeder for example had the phone number for Cheryl Sullenger, Operation Rescue's senioer policy advisor, on the dash of his car when he was arrested. Von Brunn had over the years had connections with Willis Carto of the white supremacist Liberty Lobby and had received praise from the White Supremacist web site Storm Front.

So how are the neocons reacting to Von Brunn. Well, they're claiming he was a leftist. Yes, I shit you not. They're actually claiming that this neo Nazi piece of fucking shit is part of the left wing movement. ONe of the more ridiculous ones include right wing blogger Andrew Breitbart's voicemail to gawker claiming Von Brunn wasn't a conservative and was actually a multiculturalist. Claims like these would be funny if they weren't scary and devoid of reality.

The truth of the matter is that assholes like Roeder and Von Brunn are the most obvious examples of the polarization this country has undergone over the past 25 or so years. Pushed to the breaking point by right wing radio hosts and Fox News, this movement has played a large role in creating a climate where people of opposing views cant communicate. While the right wing claims the left and their "PC culture" is to blame, the fact that they pushed their purge like attitudes even further during the Dubya era tends to show otherwise. It seems that many gravitate to this strain of conservatism when life doesn't turn out exactly as planned and they'd rather blame others than look inward and make changes. At this point, most of these people don't go to bombing places or shooting people (it's easier to cyberbully and troll websites on the other side using the Internet's anonymity to state things in a manner they might otherwise not say to a person's face). However just because most of these people don't reach that point doesn't mean the neocons had nothing to do with being a factor in Roeder and Von Brunn going batshit crazy and committing these inexcusable acts.

So what now? This question is way easier to ask than answer. Nothing is solved by censoring other opinions (and with the Internet the way it is that may be very impossible to do). While we shold allow free speech (if for no other reason than that knowing one's enemy is easier when one states their views out in the open) there are already laws that cover assault, vandalism and the like. When the line is crossed (and if we're going to have laws and government in the first place) those should be the go to when shit falls apart. However, in Roeder's case he was caught gluing the locks of an abortion clinic in Kansas City the day before he murdered Dr. Tiller (a clear violation of the FACE act) and was not arrested proving that if an existing law isn't enforced than new laws probably won't help things.

I know this has been a long, winding read. Sadly, this is the tip of the iceberg as things stand now. Currently this story is being written as it unfolds. What happens from here on out is up to us.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Breaking News

I was getting looking around online briefly before having to get some yard work done when I decided to see what was up at Feministing. I was immediately shocked to learn that Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider in Kansas, was shot to death.

Besides being disgusted by this type of idiocy (as I think most people would be regardless of their stance on this issue), I don't know which is worse. That some asshole killed a doctor because of what he did or that Tiller was shot at church.

I've always had some issue with a lot of the people who call themselves "pro life" over inconsistency on some of their stances on certain issues once a person is born and actually becomes a person(especially in regards to war, the death penalty, torture, etc). Shit like this doesn't help. Fucking sickening.

Andrew Sullivan points out that this issue may have some connection (although influential more than concrete) to Bill O'Reilly.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Preventative Detention? WTF?

Many of you have at least probably read about President Obama's speech last week regarding a plan to shut down Gitmo. While he said a lot of good things, there was one chilling thing that deserved to be criticized. Part of his plan calls for "prolonged detention," which allows the government to detain someone without charges possibly indefinitely.

Scary shit, right? I think this deserves criticism regardless of who proposes it. Obama says it would only be used on those small minority of people held at Gitmo we can't try, but what's to keep the government from expanding it to everyday people (remember Dubya said they were only wiretapping suspected terrorists, but actually monitored all of us).

ONe of the better responses towards Obama's stance on reviving the military commissions and prolonged detentions came from WI Sen. Russell Feingold, who's letter to Obama is a must read.

I'll likely say more on this later, but this article should be a good starting point to get food for thought. Click on the link and read it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Is Abuse Still Goin' Down At Gitmo?

There's been a lot of talk about President Obama's plan to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay amidst allegation of torture from the Bush years. Obama signed an executive order to shut it down in the next year and is facing resistance from the Democrats in Congress over where the detainees will go. While this is an important issue, there's something scarier that hasn't been fully examined.

President Obama has promised that things would change on his watch, but recently I came across this article claiming that prisoners might still be abused at Guatanamo. Also here is the mention of a US soldier who underwent the same treatment in the name of training, with a code word to stop it, and ended up with brain damage because this force refused to stop. Watch below for more on this.

Why isn't the mainstream media calling Obama and company to account for this (yes, I already know the answer on this)? Yet more proof that any change we get in regards to the government only happens when we do everything in our legal power to make sure it happens, regardless of who gets elected. Scary shit indeed.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Scary Times Are Never Dull - Swine/Spring Breaker Flu Brief

My apologies for not being around here the last couple months. There has been a lot on my mind to deal with and a short term job kept me busy. Thus, I had less time to go online than anticipated. So, just to ease in a bit, Let me hint at some things to think about that I've come across.

With swine flu being the big news story (though little is mentioned of how globalization plays into it) I came across this article mentioning North Con and whether it will end up in all this mess.

A lighter approach on this comes from my friend Channing, who brings up the Spring Break aspect of H1N1.

And now a piece on globalization and swine flu that's worth reading.

Many of you have probably already read these, but I thought they were worth linking to. I'll be back with other things to talk about soon. For now let's be aware but not jump to any conclusions - especially the fucked up racist ones.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Little LIght Humor

I know it's been a while since I last posted. Being as there's a lot of heavy info coming at us from all over I thought it would be nice for a little humor to balance things out. Thus a clip from last night's Countdown with Keith Olbermann interviewing Janeane Garofalo on the "left wing smear machine" recently ranted on Fux Snews by Bernard Goldberg and Bill-O. There's a serious turn on this near the end, but it's time we knew the truth - ha ah!!!!

The big question on Bill-O and crew: since Garofalo is know on 24, does that mean they're gonna boycott said show? Just wondering

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Just Found Out About This Myself

This is something I feel embarrassed about posting so late in the day. However, I didn't find out about it until a few minutes ago. It turns out today, March 10, was the National Day of Appreciation For Abortion Providers.

I know that things seem to be moving in the right direction on this issue but providers still face a lot of hassles and struggles. So, I wish to offer my appreciation here (though few may read it). My apologies for not getting to this sooner but I really didn't know until now.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

International Quirkyalone Day

With all the hoopla surrounding Valentine's Day (a day which must be destroyed in my humble opinion), it's easy to forget that February 14 (today) is also International Quirkyalone Day. The Trouble With Normal wants to wish its Quirkyalone readers a very happy IQD today. May it be everything you want it to be like.

Checking In, Deadly Crash etc - Catching Up

Hey! Hope all is well with you. First I want to offer belated condolences to the family friends of those who died in the crash of Continental Connection flight 1349 in Clarence Center, NY Thursday night. I was going to post another piece in my battle against the exploitative and wretched pseudo holiday today happens to be. However, in the big picture that doesn't seem as important.

Why is it only when a tragedy happens that many people tend to find perspective? We all fall into these ruts at one time or another where the day to day drudgery we have to endure to survive gets in the way and drags us down (and yes, I include myself in that). As a result we often don't tell people how we feel and what they mean to us unless something really horribly bad happens. I wish I could say I've successfully broken this chain but in a society where honesty and telling people what you think makes you an almost automatic target, there have been times I've fallen into the shit myself.

As for the crash, investigators are still looking into it, though the flight crew reportedly saw significant ice before this tragedy went down. As much as we as a species want to avoid hurt, pain and tragedy, there are times when bad things do happen and there's nothing anyone can do. Realizing that is humbling, angering, and scary. However, it's something we all have to deal with at one point.

So what do we do now? I wish I had the answer. Hell, I wish I knew if anybody is actually going to read this. However, when we encounter a tragedy like this (even if nobody we know is involved), we tend to have an idea what to do. Thus, these are the times when we tend to have perspective and let people know what they mean to us and not take things or people for granted. Even just putting yourself in someone else's shoes and trying not to judge can be helpful. I think we have an idea what to do when something bad happens, we just don't want to deal with doing these things every day until something bad happens and we have to examine it.

I wish I had a better answer than that, but that's all I can figure out. In terms of February 14, think about these things and remember that not everyone may be as fortunate as you regarding what this pseudo holiday represents so please try not to look down on them or judge. I hope everyone has a good weekend. Now go argue about this amongst yourselves.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Is Love Fucked 2009!????!!!??!!!

As we all unfortunately know, this Saturday is that most E-V-E-Y-L Evil of all pseudo holidays, Valentine's Day. While I hope those friends of mine in relationships are happy and doing well, this is the one day I would love to see terminated with extreme motherfucking prejudice.

Since you can't actually do that to a day we decided to call attention to my 1994 article on this topic. Make sure to click the link at the bottom to my more recent commentary regarding this piece (it was reprinted online for the 15th anniversary issue in late 2007).

Just wanted to let you know about this.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

R.I.P.Lux Interior

We got the very very sad word last night that Lux Interior, lead vocalist of punk rock legends The Cramps, died yesterday in a Glendale, CA hospital of an existing heart condition. He was 60. The Trouble With Normal offers its condolences to his family, friends, and fans (among which we consider ourselves).

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Few Thoughts Regarding My Personal Mishaps and Unsolicited Advice.

Many of you who actually know me in the physical realm (i.e.: the offline world) are aware that I don’t exactly have the best luck in my personal life (or lack thereof). Hell, I think a case can be made that I have the worst luck in the Western World when it comes to matters regarding romance/relationships/etc (maybe not a good case, but a case nonetheless). While I don’t want this post to be a pity party or some ruminations on my loneliness, there are a few things I want to get out of my system.

First, there’s the hassle of societal expectations. When you’re single past a certain age, you’re either considered sad and pathetic (society usually applies this to women but men get this to some degree as well) or irresponsible (i.e.: they think you’re falling from wild party to orgy and back). In both cases people often assume you know what to do to change things. It never occurs to people that one may be happy with where they’re at or that they might just be having really bad luck in this department. Often people want to think that if it’s easy for them then something should be easy for everyone. Guess what? It isn’t. Get used to it.

Then there’s one of the biggest things about this that pisses me off. Often when you’re down in this part of your life people feel the need to give you unsolicited advice on the matter. They don’t seem to want to really help but are more than willing to tell you to stay positive or not to give up. After a while of hearing this, one can begin to think that for every person who actually means what they say with this, two others may be throwing out platitudes to get you to shut up. This is where I find myself at right now and it’s pissing me off.

As a result I find myself ready to have a new rule (which I hate to do) regarding advice and my lack of a personal life (usually when it seems down, but sometimes even as passing comments). Any person who offers me unsolicited advice on my personal/love life (or lack thereof), including mentions to think positive and mentions of self fulfilling prophecies has to introduce me to women. Those not willing to help me out this way should please do me a favor and shut the fuck up.

I don’t like the idea of having rules but this is something I feel needs to be done since I’m not sure who really wants to help and who just wants me to shut up if I’m a bit skeptical and not kill their buzz. Besides, I think anyone willing to offer advice should at the very least help out. If I want advice I’ll ask for it.

That’s it for now. Hopefully people reading this will take this in the spirit intended. While maybe some people will help out, I have a feeling people more than likely will shut up rather than help. It may even make the situation worse (I've learned from experiences via past writing about my problems that things don't seem to turn around after I write about it, unfortunately). Maybe I’m wrong on this, but who knows.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Much Worse Than We Thought

Okay, we're about a week into the Obama administration and so far it seems he has his hands full just trying to undo the various crisis' Shrub and company left. This is far from news - a welcome change of pace, but far from news. However, a few days back we learned something that definitely should shock the hell out of people regardless of their belief systems. It now appears that the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program may have targeted journalists as a group.

Former NSA Whilstleblower Russel Tice said on Countdown with Keith Olbermann that he was told they were paying attention to journalists just to take them out of the loop but it was going on all the time. He also mentioned that they possibly had the correspondence of all of us. Watch part one of the two part interview and hear things for yourself.

Does anyone else find this awfully scary as fuck? Yeah, I admit I'm getting old but I remember being a kid in school and being taught that this was the sort of thing those "evil Soviets" did and that a free country like the U.S. would never do. Of course, as we all know, the schools do tend to lie to us in the best of situations. However, even someone as skeptical of the system as me didn't think it was this bad. If we're to be the beacon of democracy then adopting the worst aspects of the former Soviet empire isn't the path we should be taking if we're to move forward.

Granted there are a lot of questions. Did the Bush era NSA use this to go after those who questioned the wisdom of Shrub, Dick the Dick, Turdblossom and friends? Was this used to create a database? For political purposes? These are the questions that need to be asked if we ever need to know what the fuck is going on here. I knew Dubya couldn't be trusted, but this shit is ridiculous even for him.

We're at a crossroads here. Thus we have to do what we can legally to make sure this sort of shit isn't allowed to continue. The story is still unfolding, but I guarantee this will get scary before it gets better.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Get Yer Weekend Pumpin'

Wow! What a week. Between Obama's inauguration (as well as the various responses to Rick Warren giving the opening prayer at it), the adjustment to life without Shrub and company, and people getting ready to mark the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, it's been quite busy for many people. Now it's the weekend and I think it's safe to say people want to let loose for a couple days.

Now I'm not a dance-y kind of person (while my taste can be all over, my heart's in the hard loud fast stuff). However, when I saw this clip on a recent Colbert Report I knew its kickin' beat would get all of us psyched for the weekend.

That actually got me into the groove, so the speak. Anyway, I wish everyone a kickass weekend and hope things are going good. As for me I have to get over this cold.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Blog for Choice Post/Pro Choice Hopes

So we're officially a couple of days into the Obama administration and may see the government move into a direction more amenable to reproductive freedom. The question of what my hopes are for Obama or the Congress are in terms of reproductive freedom and justice issues has come up as something to discuss. In my case the challenge has been trying to determine which one to put up here as well as wondering if I have anything to add that hasn’t already been said on other blogs regarding this. Having to narrow down from the way too many things that many participating in this feel need to change after all these years of reproductive freedom and reproductive justice being under attack does tend to be a challenge of sorts. From getting rid of the Global Gag Rule to maybe simply ensuring access to abortion and birth control to more people (i.e.: maybe overturning the Hyde Amendment), it was hard to pin it down. However, I think I finally found one factor in this issue that I’d definitely like to see the Obama administration as well as Congress tackle ASAP.

The big hope I'd like to see is the passage of the Freedom of Choice Act (H.R. 1964/S. 1173) into law, thus guaranteeing women in the U.S. the fundamental right to determine what to do with their bodies in case of a pregnancy, including the right to get an abortion. Given the defeat anti-choice ballots in several states faced during the last election, this shouldn’t really be an issue. However, with reproductive freedom and justice (from abortion access to birth control) a highly hot button issue means that this bill is and/or will be contested. President Obama has said he'd sign it if it passes Congress, but I have a strange feeling that quite a few Republicans will try to filibuster this bill any chance they get just to prove their anti choice credibility (I’ll leave the decision of whether to call these people “anti choice” or “pro forced pregnancy” up to you).

In a sane and just world, this wouldn’t be an issue. This would be considered a personal decision between a woman and her doctor and left at that. Unfortunately, the anti choice/pro forced pregnancy contingent have made it clear that they intend to make the rest of us abide by their worldview by any means necessary rather than simply live their own lives according to their convictions. Thus, the issue of choice, reproductive freedom, and reproductive justice becomes politicized and what should be a personal decision places the lives of women and those that care about them at risk for threats and possible physical harm at times.

Will this bill become law? I really hope it does. However, Congress may have its hands full on this one trying to get it passed before making it to Obama’s desk for his signature. Thus, its up to us to put the pressure on and make sure the people elected to supposedly watch out for us know we want this to make it through.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What Should Be Next for Dubya

Yes, the end is here. AS I type this George W. Bush and his family have packed up and are all but ready to leave 1600 Pennsylvania Ave (i.e.: the White House) on their way to life as private citizens and 10 years of Secret Service protection (ironically, lifetime protection was ended by Congress in 1999 (a Republican congress, at that) with the last President to get such protection being Bill Clinton). Which leads us to the question of what should happen to the Bush administration post script.

Obama is facing pressure to press charges in regards to torture and war crimes. Bush is off to a house in an exclusive neighborhood in Dallas, TX. So what should the new administration do. I have my ideas on this, but when I came across this special comment from Keith Olbermann, I realized it says it better than I could.

It's quite a lot to take in, I admit. However, I hope it places things into the proper context. I know right now most people want to be hopeful and focus on the possible good ahead after the eight year long national nightmare. However, this issue has to be addressed. Here's hoping (with our help and encouragement, of course) that the Obama adminstration does the right thing - or at least works with the UN to do it if all else fails.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Just wanted to mention that today was Dr. Martin Luther King Day. I hope you take this day and what Dr. King meant to heart. I think it's important to note that while we have gotten a hell of a lot closer to bringing Dr. King's dream of equality to reality, we still have a long way to go.

It's still fucking tragic that racism still exists in the 21st century. Some people may use Obama's election as proof that we're in a post racial society, but we still have a long way to go before we eliminate a learned behavior that's been institutionalized in our culture to the point that many people may not be aware of how deep it goes.

So where do we go now? We're at a historical moment with Obama's inaguration tomorrow and the end of the Bush 43 era. However, it's important to keep in mind that bringing about a better and saner world required more than just voting in an election. It's a lifelong effort that mandates all of us to further our awareness and go beyond what we've merely been taught, whether its on race, politics, etc.

That's it for now. I hope you've had a good MLK Day.

Dubya's Last Day

Well, the day has finally arrived. George W. Bush's last day of President of the United States. It's a day many feel couldn't come soon enough. In fact when he gave his last TV address last Thursday, I was among those worried that he might decide to stay and pull some sort of coup (see dictator remarks in previous post for why). Outside of him pimping the horrific tragedy of 9/11, there wasn't much to see.

It's somewhat ironic that his last day falls on Martin Luther King Day. Both are controversial figures for completely different reasons. However while Dr. King caused controversy for trying to move this nation and humanity somewhat forward, Dubya managed to try to push humanity back to a simpler, more willfully ignorant, scarier time.

So how do we say bye to G.W. Bush? I don't know. I'm just glad this long national nightmare is over. The next four years may bring their own set of problems, screw ups, and things that have to be challenged. However, I don't think things can get much worse than what we've been through.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Goodbye Dubya

In a few hours, President George W. Bush will give his final address to the nation before leaving office Tuesday (when Barack Obama actually becomes President and can drop the elect part of the title). Given the recent round of interviews (which for someone who claims not to care what others think seems like he's overcompensating) it'll probably be the usual round of self congratulation that's shown him to be an even more smug, self satisfied prick than he was eight years ago. I know it's the supposed death knells for the Bush II era but I'm still worried.

What if Dubya decides not to leave office and thinks a coup would be a good idea? I really hope this is just part of those paranoid nightmares everyone has once in a while but we forget about his 2000 statement on if it were a dictatorship.

Feel free to watch if you don't believe it.

The media played this as a joke. However, it did seem to answer a lot of questions about how he governed over the past eight years (hell, he made Nixon at his worst seem passable in comparison). However, how do we know he won't pull this shit?

I really really REALLY HOPE I'M WRONG about this. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope these really are the last four or so days of the George W. Bush presidency.

The Godbiscuit knows we can't afford to continue this.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Trouble Everywhere

Hey! I know things seem to be busy with an inauguration next week and everything. However it is important to be aware of the problems elsewhere that may or may not effect us.

I've been meaning to comment on the recent invasion of Gaza. However, given the complexity of the situation I prefer to do it right. In the meantime I linked to a blog detailing human rights in Gaza and Israel while this goes down (see it to your right in the links/sites we like section.

Then there's Dubya's farewell tour, so to speak. I have to agree with Jon Stewart on the irony of someone who claims not to care about people's opinion but is doing interviews like he has a new album about to drop.

As for me I have to finish the new print issue and get that ready so I've been busy and more than a little worried. That's it for now. Feel free to argue amongst yerselves.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

R.I.P. Ron Asheton

We have just learned that Ron Asheton, founding member and guitarist for legendary band The Stooges was found dead in his Ann Arbor, MI home. He Was 60. Our condolences to his family, friends, fans, and fellow band members.