Friday, June 27, 2014

Anathema: "The Lost Song Part 2" (live acoustic)

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I blogged last week about one of my favorite bands, Anathema, and its latest album, the excellent Distant Satellites.

Well, let's get right back to the music. Here's a live acoustic version of one of the best songs on the album, "The Lost Song Part 2."

Seriously, how awesome is Lee Douglas? What a voice.


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Craziest Republican of the Day: Karen Mueller

By Michael J.W. Stickings


A Wisconsin Republican congressional hopeful warned Tuesday that a federal court ruling striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage could lead to the legalization of marriage between siblings.

Karen Mueller, an Eau Claire attorney whose practice has focused on opposing abortion and defending those "discriminated against and harassed in the workplace, the school, college and/or the public square because of their faith," is one of three Republican candidates seeking to challenge Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI). At a Republican Party of Monroe County candidate forum, she denounced the ruling and warned that it would create a slippery slope.  

According to the Tomah Journal, Mueller said that the ruling might set a precedent that any two people can marry: "We've got, for instance, two sisters, and these two sisters want to get married. They love each other. They are committed to each other. They want to spend the rest of their life together." Lawyers, Mueller explained, would be able to argue "'We can just do away with that state law the same way we did away with sodomy laws,'" noting that "once you do away with that, you reveal what is really going on here."

Mueller also suggested that the court's ruling will be overturned on appeal because the state's ban is not really discriminatory against gay and lesbian citizens. "They can get married. They just can't get married to each other," she argued.

In other words, Mueller -- who is only a small-time pol at this point but who is obviously active on the bigoted theocratic right -- is a massive idiot spouting the same old Rick Santorum-style nonsense about how allowing gays and lesbians to marry will unleash the sort of wet-dream sexual chaos that gets fundies all revved up into frothing-mad hysteria, because apparently they just can't help thinking about all that sibling, not to mention inter-species, sodomizing. They get so hot and bothered about it you'd think they all want to go fuck their pet dogs.

So of course she's a Republican.

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Some sanity prevails at Fox News

By Richard K. Barry 

What should we make of recent, apparently genuine, attempts by Fox News personalities to call bullshit in interviews with right-wing luminaries? First it was Megyn Kelly telling Dick Cheney he had some fucking nerve saying that President Obama was making a botch of Iraq after Vice President Cheney did so much to create the debacle in the first place. 

And then Neil Cavuto seemed to finally blow a gasket by the task of trying to take notoriously nutty  Rep. Michelle Bachmann seriously. (True fact: "Notoriously Nutty" is Bachmann's rapper name).

In this case, Cavuto got quite agitated as he called Bachmann "silly" for defending the GOP's lawsuit against Obama for over-using executive privilege and wanting to defund him. Cavuto's point, in part, was that Republican's didn't exactly support Democrats when they criticized George W. Bush for using the same executive orders.

Sure, this isn't earth shattering stuff, but it's Fox News we're talking about. I simply don't believe that network President Roger Ailes is offside with this. 

Are they pulling back a little bit before the midterms, which, in all likelihood, are going to go the GOP's way?  Is Fox News smart enough to know that ramping down the crazy might be the best way to elect Republicans this fall? In other words, seeming more reasonable and thoughtful to swing voters while your opponents are increasingly vulnerable is just smart politics.

Or am I giving Fox too much credit?

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How Republicans operate

By carl

The IRS “scandal” gives us an object lesson in the modus operandi of conservatives.

1) Grossly underfund an agency.

2) Task that agency to investigate an entirely new kind of possible fraud.

3) Whine when that agency performs its task to perfection – even tho an appointee from a President from your own party was in charge! She would know that the first people to abuse the status would be the very people who appointed her. Why else would she have been appointed?

4) Stamp your feet and yell that the agency can’t provide all the information you requested. Mostly because, you know, underfunded!

(Cross-posted to Simply Left Behind.)

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Like a circle in a spiral

By Carl

So Barry Diller’s latest venture, Aereo, has hit a major legal snag:
A two-year-long legal battle between the country's biggest broadcasters and a startup called Aereo is about to culminate at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court's decision, expected sometime this summer, could have far-reaching implications for television and technology companies -- and ultimately on how people watch TV programs.

That's because Aereo brings up crucial questions about copyright law and threatens to disrupt lucrative business models.

The case basically pits former Paramount Pictures (now part of CBS) and USA Television (now part of NBC Universal) head Diller versus…well, his entire stock portfolio, I’m sure: CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX (where Diller also worked), which means CBS Corporate, Universal/Comcast and Disney. And FOX, too. 

Ironic that these cable providers would also be involved in this suit, as the concept of cable’s beginnings is essentially the model behind Aereo’s service: capture broadcast signals and re-transmit them to viewers (in Aereo’s case, using small over-the-air antennae on the roofs of subscribers, then streaming those signals to the Internet for viewing on phones and tablets, and also allowing a DVR-like option to view at a later time).

It seems duplicative, except that Aereo charges $8 a month for 38 channels. To contrast, Time Warner’s basic 20 channel plan in NYC starts at $20 a month. And that’s before rental fees and other “charges”, and won’t allow you to stream your selection over the Internet through their website or app.

Diller has been a strong voice for breaking up media conglomeration and warning about how the consolidation of media outlets can only be a bad thing for the nation.

So he’s putting his money where his mouth is. I only hope his lawyers got enough of the leftovers.

(Cross-posted to Simply Left Behind.)

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Da 'Skins

By Capt. Fogg

Redskins - that's what we call the tourists with their New Jersey complexions who come down here in the Winter to expose themselves to old Sol in all his ultraviolet glory. Mad dogs and Northerners go out in the noonday sun.

But anyway, I wouldn't dream of calling one of our proud Seminoles a 'redskin' and for more reasons than that they're actually not red at all, having the sense to stay out of the sun, but none the less, they are an indigenous population which is not really the case with a Washington professional football team or its owner. No thought has been give to calling them the whiteskins or blackskins despite the player's origins. But this is America now and the right to make money, even if it defames or mocks the innocent is sacred. Daniel Snyder, even though as a Jew he should know far, far better, still thinks it's OK.

I'm sure I don't have to waste time illustrating how obnoxious this team name is even if the owner is too stupid or too greedy (or both) to realize it but for someone who loves irony, it's fun to speculate about a buyout. If the Florida Seminole tribes could buy the Hard Rock Cafe franchise for a billion dollars, perhaps the Washington Redskins might become available and particularly if Snyder gets tired of the ridicule he so richly deserves. It's fun to speculate about a name, but I'll keep it to myself and I have a feeling the tribe has too much class and business sense to consider any of my suggestions.

(Cross-posted from Human Voices.)

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