June 21, 2006 - June 14, 2006
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Live8: Bigger by the
Reunions & Comebacks Galore
Harrison Jimi Hendrix
Kurt Cobain & Buddy Holly Keith Richards
ROCKING ROLL MUSIC
. Promoters of the impending Live8 concert have
the best for last. Interest in the event had already reached fever
Tens of thousands of people were
queuing today for a second chance to get tickets for the Live8 concert
in Hyde Park.
Many had spent the night outside theatres and concert halls around the
country in order to get some of the 55,000 free tickets to watch the
event on giant screens in the park.
In London, fans endured torrential rainstorms as they camped out.
But now, the public's apparently insatiable demand for middle-aged rock
stars is about to experience a rush as potent as a fatal heroin
overdose. Concert czar Bob Geldoff, Duke of St. Johns Wood, has
revealed a plethora of new additions to the Live8 performer lineup,
including John Lennon and George Harrison, who will team up with Sir Ringo
Starr and Lord Viscount Paul McCartney for a full-boat Beatles reunion, plus the late
Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison reunited with the legendary
Doors, Kurt Cobain, Buddy Holly, and most incredibly of all the long
and still deceased Keith Richards.
We had the unique opportunity to conduct a sit down interview with
these superstars at Geldoff's office in the U.K. It was an informal
session. We asked some questions of the group, and the stars spoke up as
they felt inclined. Here's a partial transcript.
News. It's great to see you all. People the world over have been
wanting to see you perform again for decades. What is it about this
event that has tempted you back into the limelight?
Buddy Holly. It's the debt
thing. We just can't stand by and do nothing while the Third World
suffocates under the usurious greed of the industrial nations.
John Lennon. You got that
Janis Joplin. Right on. Anybody
here got a little something to drink?
Kurt Cobain. Yeah, it's the
debt thing. And we also feel like we maybe owe it to our fans.
Jim Morrison. Did somebody say
something about a drink? Count me in on that.
Jimi Hendrix. That's right,
dog. I've always been really concerned about the Third World, and,
like, what those American bitches were doin to it. I also didn't like
all that s__t I been hearing about Live8 being only old white dudes.
(Turning to Morrison) Here, Jim, give this a try.
XOFF News. What do you honestly
expect is going to happen as a result of this concert? Do you think that
music actually has the power to remedy an international financial mess
involving hundreds of billions of dollars?
Morrison. Cool. This s__t rocks.
Joplin. Can I have some?
Cobain. That would be good.
George Harrison. How much? Did
you say hundreds of billions?
Jeez. That's more than Paul makes in a year.
Keith Richards. Don't hog all
that blow, Jimi. You know, I gotta say, you all look terrible. And Janis
doll, I'd appreciate it if you'd keep your hands to yourself.
XOFF News. Now that we've
covered the politics, let's move on to the fun stuff. How does anybody
feel about seeing the Beatles and the Doors all back together again?
Morrison. Geldoff. Pass me that
bottle of Wild Turkey on your desk, would you? Thanks.
Joplin. Don't be a pig, Jim.
Leave some for somebody else, would you?
Richards. Let's say we get rid
of these reporters and do a little jamming.
Lennon. I have a short written
statement I'd like to read about world peace and the crushing burden of
international debt. Could somebody lend me some reading glasses?
Morrison. Go f__k yourself,
John. You always were a g_d__n bore.
Lennon. Who you calling a bore,
you drunken sod? I'll smash you in your fat face in a minute.
Hendrix. Keith, what do you say
we get the f__k out of here and find a party and some ho's?
Richards. Dog, you took the
words right out of my mouth. (Exeunt.)
XOFF News. Well, thank you all
very much. I'm sure I speak for the whole world when I tell you we're
all looking forward to the concert.
Joplin. Is anybody else getting
horny? [General free-for-all]
Yes, it was a rare privilege to meet the giants of music history. It's
no wonder at all that Live8 is being billed as the greatest musical
event since Madonna's Blond Ambition Tour. Like all the other fans, we
just can't wait.
Be sure to wake us when it starts.
[Editor's Note: the music file accompanying this page is Janis Joplin's
new recording of the classic "Wild Thing," soon to be on iPods
Obama contemplating his
THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO
Peggy Noonan better look out. She wrote a column
this week that's bound to get her noticed by the biggest heads in
Washington. Here's a sample:
This week comes the previously careful
Sen. Barack Obama, flapping his wings in Time magazine and explaining
that he's a lot like Abraham Lincoln, only sort of better. "In
Lincoln's rise from poverty, his ultimate mastery of language and law,
his capacity to overcome personal loss and remain determined in the
face of repeated defeat--in all this he reminded me not just of my own
Oh. So that's what Lincoln's for.
Actually Lincoln's life is a lot like Mr. Obama's. Lincoln came from a
lean-to in the backwoods. His mother died when he was 9. The Lincolns
had no money, no standing. Lincoln educated himself, reading law on his
own, working as a field hand, a store clerk and a raft hand on the
Mississippi. He also split some rails. He entered politics, knew more
defeat than victory, and went on to lead the nation through its
greatest trauma, the Civil War, and past its greatest sin, slavery.
Barack Obama, the son of two University
of Hawaii students, went to Columbia and Harvard Law after attending a
private academy that taught the children of the Hawaiian royal family.
He made his name in politics as an aggressive Chicago vote hustler in
Bill Clinton's first campaign for the presidency.
You see the similarities.
Rather delightfully, she gives much the same treatment to the
senators who forged the "no
, except..." deal (McCain,
McCain, etc), as well as Silent Majority Leader Bill Frist, the
Clintons, and Supreme Court justices Ruth Bader-Ginsberg and John Paul
("The Great") Stevens. In her coda she imagines the latter two retiring
from the court to write their memoirs, which might go something like
Like Jefferson I held to principle,
and like Lincoln I often lacked air conditioning. But in my
intellectual gifts I've always found myself to be more like Oliver
Wendell Holmes . . .
She wants to know what is in the water in Washington, DC. We want to
know what is going on with Peggy Noonan. Has she accomplished some kind
of astral body soul swap with Ann Coulter? Ms. Noonan is often clever
and perceptive, but she is never uproariously funny. Not like this. And
our suspicions were heightened when we checked out Ms. Coulter's latest
which is uncharacteristically grave and lacking in yucks:
That's the America you live in! A
country founded on a compact with God, forged from the idea that all
men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights is now
a country where taxpayers can be forced to subsidize "artistic"
exhibits of aborted fetuses. But don't start thinking about putting up
a Ten Commandments display. That's offensive!
feel like chuckling?
You see? And that's why we're worried about Peggy. Heaven knows, Ann
Coulter's used to the abuse
that flow from being a conservative with a wicked
sense of humor. She's at the peak of training for dodging liberal
brickbats, the slings and arrows of outrageous pundits, and the
occasional cream pie that passes for reasoned argument in the halls of
academe. But is Peggy up to this?
Ann Coulter skillfully avoiding the
trajectory of an intellectually superior pie.
We suggest that Ms. Noonan immediately
hire a personal trainer and begin a gruelling regimen of twice daily
dodgeball workouts before venturing out in public again. The other
alternative would be for Ms. Noonan to go back to being Peggy Noonan
and leave being Ann Coulter to Ann Coulter.
No disrespect intended to either lady.
Just trying to be of service.
UPDATE: Thanks for the link from PoliPundit -- welcome to
PoliPundit.com visitors. Feel free to take a look around.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Tragedy strikes the 'Today' family.
"HE IS HISTORY, AND I
AM STILL TODAY'S HEADLINE..."
Life is so unfair. Matt
tries to branch out from his Today
base and cash in just a little
on his popularity as the smarmy girlie-man sidekick of NBC's perkiest
dominatrix and what happens? He takes the mass-media
equivalent of a
shotgun blast to the face. He has to stand there and pretend to like it
when the numbskull TV viewers of America choose Ronald Reagan as the
"Greatest American." Who could have guessed? The nominees included
Tom Cruise, and Michael
, for God's
sake. And Matt had really done his usual
on the presentation
and production end. When it was time to discuss the relative
candidacies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, for example, Matt was
masterly in his subliminal communication
In summarizing the lives of the 25
finalists in the Discovery Channel's "Greatest American" contest, NBC's
Matt Lauer on Sunday night labeled Bill Clinton as "brilliant" before trumpeting
"Under Clinton the economy boomed -- deficits turned into surplus --
and more than 22 million jobs were created. Along with the character
flaws and the subpoenas came peace and prosperity." The brief segment
did not feature any explicit criticisms of Clinton's presidency, but
when it came to George W. Bush, whom Lauer described as "our
tough-talking, language-mangling Commander-in-Chief
who most Americans
just want to hang out with," Discovery put on musician "Moby," who
declared over flag-draped coffins: "From my perspective, you cannot
call yourself a Christian, talk about the sanctity of life, and then
support the death penalty, and support a war."
It must have been disquieting when three Republicans made the list of
ten finalists, but one of them was Abraham Lincoln, and both FDR and
Bill Clinton made the cut too. Who could have foreseen the terrible
things would take?
The program "Greatest American," has
aired on the Discovery Channel for the last month; originally starting
with the Top 100 Greatest Americans of All Time. The list was ridiculed
and ripped apart for major exclusions of what some would consider
"obvious members" of the list as well as the inclusions of people such
as Ellen Degeneres, Brett Favre, Dr.Phil, and Oprah Winfrey.
The Top 100 dwindled down to a Top 10 two weeks ago, where
10. Franklin D.Roosevelt
9. Oprah Winfrey
8. Elvis Presley
6. President George W. Bush
The Top 5 was named last night with sections of the studio squared off
for the crowd's favorite.
5. Ben Franklin
3. Martin Luther King Jr.
Then it came down to two Republican presidents Abe Lincoln and Ronald
President Reagan beat Lincoln for the top spot by just 0.5% of the vote.
Approximately 2.5 million people voted in the final vote via telephone
and America Online.
O Calamity! O Horrors! Oh, Mommy, what have they done to your poor
little boy? Reagan? Reagan? REAGAN? REAGAN?
AND HE HAD TO PRETEND TO LIKE
IT. O WEEPING AND WAILING AND GNASHING OF TEETH.
There really aren't any words that can take away the pain at a time
like this, and we're reluctant to do more than gravely shake Matt's
hand while a tear drips slowly down our cheek, but the desire to say
something helpful is too strong to overcome. So, in addition to our
condolences, we'd like to offer Matt an empty platitude or two to show
that our heart is in the right place. Time is the great healer, Matt.
Someday -- perhaps in a year, or two, or five -- you will awaken as a whole
girlie-man once again. The
sun will shine, the birds will sing, and Katie will nod briefly in your
direction before storming into the producer's office for another
knock-down-drag-out brawl. Trust us on this, Matt. You will
recover, and maybe you'll even
write a bestselling book about your heroic conquest of post-traumatic
shock syndrome. Tom Cruise could play you in the movie.
Does any of this help at all? No? Okay. We'll just tiptoe out of the
room now and leave you alone. Sorry.
Safe? No way.
The supposed design of the towerlet
to be built at Ground Zero.
SMART GUYS TAKE OVER
. It's supposed to be safe. Here's
The new design for the 1,776-foot tower
is meant to make it more resistant to truck bombs. The building will
now be 90 feet _ instead of 25 feet _ from West Street, the major
north-south thoroughfare along the Hudson River.
The tower's cubic base will be clad in
luminous materials _ probably a combination of stainless steel and
titanium _ that will be shimmering and light-reflective as well as
blast-resistant, according to a description of the redesign posted
online by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.
As in the original design, the structure
outlined in the latest plan exceeds city fire code requirements, and
will have biological and chemical filters in its air supply system.
It also has the original design's
extra-wide emergency stairs, a dedicated staircase just for
firefighters, enhanced elevators and "areas of refuge" on each floor.
Stairs, communications, sprinklers and elevators will be encased in
But it isn't safe. Because the terrorists, er, foreign insurgents,
still don't like us. Everyone knows that, which is why the really smart
people are slowly taking over the Ground Zero redevelopment project.
Debra Burlingame, a 9/11 widow, alerted us to the effort in a Wall
Street Journal article
earlier this month.
World Trade Center Memorial Cultural Complex will be an imposing
edifice wedged in the place where the Twin Towers once stood. It will
serve as the primary "gateway" to the underground area where the names
of the lost are chiseled into concrete. The organizers of its principal
tenant, the International Freedom Center (IFC), have stated that they
intend to take us on "a journey through the history of freedom"--but do
not be fooled into thinking that their idea of freedom is the same as
that of those Marines. To the IFC's organizers, it is not only
history's triumphs that illuminate, but also its failures. The public
will have come to see 9/11 but will be given a high-tech, multimedia
tutorial about man's inhumanity to man, from Native American genocide
to the lynchings and cross-burnings of the Jim Crow South, from the
Third Reich's Final Solution to the Soviet gulags and beyond.
She also revealed the identities of those who are helping to design the
The driving force behind the IFC is Tom
Bernstein... a proud member of Human Rights First since it was
founded--as the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights--27 years ago, and
has served as its president for the last 12.... It was Human Rights
First that has called for a 9/11-style commission to investigate the
alleged torture of detainees, complete with budget authority, subpoena
power and the ability to demand that witnesses testify under oath.
In fact, the IFC's list of those who are shaping or influencing the
content and programming for their Ground Zero exhibit includes a Who's
Who of the human rights, Guantanamo-obsessed world:
• Michael Posner, executive director at Human Rights First who is
leading the worldwide "Stop Torture Now" campaign focused entirely on
the U.S. military. He has stated that Mr. Rumsfeld's refusal to resign
in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal is "irresponsible and
• Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, who is pushing IFC
organizers for exhibits that showcase how civil liberties in this
country have been curtailed since September 11.
• Eric Foner, radical-left history professor at Columbia University
who, even as the bodies were being pulled out of a smoldering Ground
Zero, wrote, "I'm not sure which is more frightening: the horror that
engulfed New York City or the apocalyptic rhetoric emanating daily from
the White House." This is the same man who participated in a "teach-in"
at Columbia to protest the Iraq war, during which a colleague exhorted
students with, "The only true heroes are those who find ways to defeat
the U.S. military," and called for "a million Mogadishus." The IFC
website has posted Mr. Foner's statement warning that future
discussions should not be "overwhelmed" by the IFC's location at the
World Trade Center site itself.
• George Soros, billionaire founder of Open Society Institute, the
nonprofit foundation that helps fund Human Rights First and is an early
contributor to the IFC. Mr. Soros has stated that the pictures of Abu
Ghraib "hit us the same way as the terrorist attack itself."
Mrs. Burlingame seems to regard this team as sinister in some way, but
if safety is the prime consideration -- as it seems to be for so many
Americans -- then there is no alternative to soliciting the
participation of people with these kinds of backgrounds. By the time
they have completed reconfiguring the Ground Zero project's
architecture and content, the place will be absolutely 100 percent
safe. There will no longer be any doubt that however much foreign
insurgents may hate America, it's nothing compared to how much elite
and powerful Americans hate America. This has to be an enormously
effective deterrent to further acts of violence in the city whose most
powerful people lead the world in hatred of this country. That's why
the over-engineered tower described in the piece referenced above will
never be built. It just won't be needed. The whole idea of a single
fake-me-out tower with 50 stories of panic room office bunkers and 50
stories of uninhabited, bomb-repellent gridwork can be tossed in the
trash where it belongs. New Yorkers will be able to go all the way to
the tippy top of the new twin towers design that will soon be unveiled
by Soros and company. What do you think of it?
Artist's rendering of the "World
We were impressed too. With towers like
those, they can be 150 stories tall. Think of the view from the Turban
And there's more. Mrs. Burlingame
described the square footage allocation now being planned:
While the IFC is getting 300,000 square
feet of space to teach us how to think about liberty, the actual
Memorial Center on the opposite corner of the site will get a meager
50,000 square feet to exhibit its 9/11 artifacts, all out of sight and
underground. Most of the cherished objects which were salvaged from
Ground Zero in those first traumatic months will never return to the
site. There is simply no room.
She's right. That's why the final solution of the Ground Zero facility
will entirely replace the cramped 9/11 Memorial with a Museum of Heroes
those who have done the most to bring about a peaceful end to the
so-called war on terror. The 9/11 relics will, of course, be stored
away so they won't be disturbing to members of the mass media, who are
uniformly delicate of stomach and unanimous in believing that 9/11 should never be mentioned, referenced,
or depicted again.
Our sources won't yet give us permission to reveal the names of the
individual heroes who will be celebrated in the museum, but we can tell
you that many of the interior design details are already finalized. The
walls will be hung with beautiful burkha blue drapery fabric, the
floors will be fabricated from cedars of Lebanon and covered with a
Persian carpet woven especially for this space. You can see a rendering
of it here
information about the Museum of Heroes as we get more results from our
beseechings and pleadings.
Safety first, safety last, safety always. That's the American way. Or
at any rate, it's the new American way.
Thanks to Michelle
for the "Love Link." Our most recent entry in support of her
can be found by scrolling down to the June 24 posting. And if you keep
scrolling to June 22, you'll encounter our infamous Piss Pelosi"
artwork and our proposed "Contract with America for Democrats," of
which we're very