Saturday, July 24, 2010
In what would seem to be a complete reversal on his previous “hands off and leave it to the individual states” policy on marijuana, our supposed pal Barack wants to appoint a rabid drug warrior to head up the DEA.
“A coalition of organizations supportive of medical marijuana patients and providers is calling on President Obama to withdraw his nomination of Michele Leonhart to serve as administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Ms. Leonhart, who is currently the DEA's acting-administrator, has not demonstrated that she is capable of leading the agency in a thoughtful manner at a time when 14 states have enacted medical marijuana laws and science is increasingly confirming the therapeutic benefits of the substance. Under Leonhart's leadership, the DEA has staged medical marijuana raids in apparent disregard of Attorney General Eric Holder's directive to respect state medical marijuana laws. Most recently, DEA agents flouted a pioneering Mendocino County (CA) ordinance to regulate medical marijuana cultivation by raiding the very first grower to register with the sheriff. Joy Greenfield, 69, had paid more than $1,000 for a permit to cultivate 99 plants in a collective garden that had been inspected and approved by the local sheriff. Informed that Ms. Greenfield had the support of the sheriff, the DEA agent in charge responded by saying, "I don't care what the sheriff says." The DEA's conduct is inconsistent with an October 2009 Department of Justice memo directing officials not to arrest individuals "whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana." (Click here for more)
Click here for Lonnie Donegan
The secret word is Betrayed
Posted by Mick at 7/24/2010 04:47:00 PM
Not only is this man a pig and a corporate shill, but he voices the thoughts and attitudes of the most porcine of the arrogant affluent right. Do we have a rope and a handy lamppost?
“Writing at the American Spectator yesterday, former Nixon speechwriter and TV personality Ben Stein downplayed the suffering unemployed Americans are experiencing by writing that the people who are unemployed right now are “generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities.” He claims the unemployed are Americans with “unpleasant personalities…who do not know how to do a day’s work “: The people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities. I say “generally” because there are exceptions. But in general, as I survey the ranks of those who are unemployed, I see people who have overbearing and unpleasant personalities and/or who do not know how to do a day’s work. They are people who create either little utility or negative utility on the job. Again, there are powerful exceptions and I know some, but when employers are looking to lay off, they lay off the least productive or the most negative. To assure that a worker is not one of them, he should learn how to work and how to get along — not always easy.”
Click here for Uncle Frank
Posted by Mick at 7/24/2010 04:40:00 PM
Friday, July 23, 2010
Remember the old Cold War horror stories about innocent tourists in Moscow being hustled away to jail and interrogation by the KGB just because they pointed their cameras the wrong way in Red Square? Seems like it’s happening all over in these high tech times.
"Today, most people walk around with a camera of some sort in their possession. Point-and-shoots, DSLRs and tiny video cams--not to mention cellphones--have become ubiquitous. And yet it seems that in many public locations, security officials are touchier than ever about letting people actually use those cameras. Our guardians of public safety often have the idea that shooting pictures in public places might be a precursor to some sort of terrorism. It's an understandable concern, but misguided. I believe there is a good case to be made that having lots of cameras in the hands of citizens makes us more, rather than less, safe. Here's how bad it has gotten: Not long ago, an Amtrak representative did an interview with local TV station Fox 5 in Washington, D.C.'s Union Station to explain that you don't need a permit to take pictures there--only to be approached by a security guard who ordered them to stop filming without a permit. Legally, it's pretty much always okay to take photos in a public place as long as you're not physically interfering with traffic or police operations.” Click here for more.
Did I hear someone mutter Rodney King?
The secret word is Exposure
Posted by Mick at 7/23/2010 04:56:00 PM
Posted by Mick at 7/23/2010 04:51:00 PM
Click here for Wolf by way of an exorcism.
Click here for The Who and much the same
Posted by Mick at 7/23/2010 04:47:00 PM
Our goodly Hipspinster relays how the comic nerds won one for the good guys.
“They've faced down humans time and time again, but Fred Phelps and his minions from the Westboro Baptist Church were not ready for the cosplay action that awaited them today at Comic-Con. After all, who can win against a counter protest that includes robots, magical anime girls, Trekkies, Jedi and...kittens? Unbeknownst to the dastardly fanatics of the Westboro Baptist Church, the good folks of San Diego's Comic-Con were prepared for their arrival with their own special brand of superhuman counter protesting chanting "WHAT DO WE WANT" "GAY SEX" "WHEN DO WE WANT IT" "NOW!" while brandishing ironic (and some sincere) signs. Simply stated: The eclectic assembly of nerdom's finest stood and delivered.” Click here for more.
Click here for Casablanca
Posted by Mick at 7/23/2010 04:29:00 PM
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Maybe the image is extreme but extreme is how I feel. The cheap racism-for-ratings of the Fox Right that is currently emerging to all of our shame is a extremely dangerous game, and taps into the deep and darkest warped-evil of the human mind. Mankind, when wallowing in fear and ignorance, can find an innate and unholy capacity for hating and killing anyone who looks different, who behaves different, who loves different, who prays different, or who even just comes from a different side of the hill. The final product is genocide, and, if your don’t believe me, check the following…
"The list of ethnic massacres is a long one. A nonexclusive list of victims of ethnic massacres since the Romans includes: the Danes in Anglo-Saxon England in 1002; the Jews in Europe during the First Crusade, 1069-1099; the French in Sicily in 1282; the French in Bruges in 1302; the Flemings in England in 1381; the Jews in Iberia in 1391; converted Jews in Portugal in 1507; the Huguenots in France in 1572; Protestants in Magdeburg in 1631; Jews and Poles in the Ukraine, 1648-1954; indigenous populations in the United States, Australia, and Tasmania in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; Jews in Russia in the nineteenth century; the French in Haiti in 1804; Arab Christians in Lebanon in 1841; Turkish Armenians in 1895-1896 and 1915-1916; Nestorian, Jacobite, and Maronite Christians in the Turkish Empire in 1915-1916; Greeks in Smyrna in 1922; Haitians in the Dominican Republic in 1936; the Jewish Holocaust in German-occupied territory, 1933-1945; Serbians in Croatia in 1945; Muslims and Hindus in British India in 1946-1947; the Chinese in 1965 and the Timorese in 1974 and 1998 in Indonesia; Igbos in Nigeria in 1967-1970; the Vietnamese in Cambodia in 1970-1978; the Bengalis in Pakistan in 1971; the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1956-1965; 1972, and 1993-1994; Tamils in Sri Lanka in 1958, 1971, 1977, 1981, and 1983; Armenians in Azerbaijan in 1990; Muslims in Bosnia in 1992; Kosovars and Serbians in Kosovo in 1998-2000. To show how far from exhaustive this list is, the political scientist Ted Gurr counted fifty ethnically based conflicts in 1993-1994 alone." From The Elusive Quest for Growth, William Easterly (The MIT Press)
Click here for Big Bill
The secret word is Condemned
Posted by Mick at 7/22/2010 03:39:00 PM
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I don’t know how true this story might be. Supplied by our pal Wendy, it does come from the somewhat hysterical Brit Daily Mail. I do recall however how – long ago when I was a real degenerate – the late Steve Took and I would crank up headphones to pain threshold and listen to “Sister Ray” by the Velvet Underground with similar in intent. We had, however, already primed ourselves with cheap whiskey and LSD.
“They put on their headphones, drape a hood over their head and drift off into the world of ‘digital highs’. Videos posted on YouTube show a young girl freaking out and leaping up in fear, a teenager shaking violently and a young boy in extreme distress. This is the world of ‘i-Dosing’, the new craze sweeping the internet in which teenagers used so-called ‘digital drugs’ to change their brains in the same way as real-life narcotics. They believe the repetitive drone-like music will give them a ‘high’ that takes them out of reality, only legally available and downloadable on the Internet. The craze has so far been popular among teenagers in the U.S. but given how easily available the videos are, it is just a matter of time before it catches on in Britain. Those who come up with the ‘doses’ claim different tracks mimic different sensations you can feel by taking drugs such as Ecstasy or smoking cannabis.” Click here for more.
Click here for Sister Ray
The secret word is Cortex
Posted by Mick at 7/21/2010 04:49:00 PM
Our excellent Elf Hellion sent me this flattering clip from the blog of Steve Shark. I am now back at work on Renquist V after breaking for the heatwave.
"Yes, vampires can be credibly updated and turned into characters with whom the audience can sympathise (or even empathise) – and I’m not including romantic Goth crap like ‘Twilight’ and its many clones. Authors like Mick Farren, Stephen King, Jasper Kent and Charlie Huston have shown that vampires can be portrayed in an highly effective way without resorting to stereotypes or clumsy attempts to bring them into modern day life."
Click here for The Pretty Things
Posted by Mick at 7/21/2010 04:40:00 PM
Click here for Bowie
Posted by Mick at 7/21/2010 04:25:00 PM
She’s our favorite government regulator, and we need her.
“Last week Congress passed a Wall Street reform bill that created a new federal agency in charge of protecting consumers. The agency was an idea that came from Elizabeth Warren--a Harvard professor and consumer advocate. And she's the best person to head it up. But Wall Street bankers, Republicans and some in the Treasury Department don't want her in the top post. So I signed a petition telling President Obama and Congress that voters want a tough advocate on our side--and we want Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Can you join me at this link? (You can see a clip of her on the Daily Show there too)” Click here.
Posted by Mick at 7/21/2010 03:47:00 PM
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
We’ve run a bunch of rants by the hard-hitting Chris Hedges, but this one – in which he postulates the humanity is a species that habitually destroys it’s own future – hits harder than most.
“The human species during its brief time on Earth has exhibited a remarkable capacity to kill itself off. The Cro-Magnons dispatched the gentler Neanderthals. The conquistadors, with the help of smallpox, decimated the native populations in the Americas. Modern industrial warfare in the 20th century took at least 100 million lives, most of them civilians. And now we sit passive and dumb as corporations and the leaders of industrialized nations ensure that climate change will accelerate to levels that could mean the extinction of our species. Homo sapiens, as the biologist Tim Flannery points out, are the "future-eaters." In the past when civilizations went belly up through greed, mismanagement and the exhaustion of natural resources, human beings migrated somewhere else to pillage anew. But this time the game is over. There is nowhere else to go. The industrialized nations spent the last century seizing half the planet and dominating most of the other half. We giddily exhausted our natural capital, especially fossil fuel, to engage in an orgy of consumption and waste that poisoned the Earth and attacked the ecosystem on which human life depends. It was quite a party if you were a member of the industrialized elite. But it was pretty stupid. Collapse this time around will be global. We will disintegrate together. And there is no way out. The 10,000-year experiment of settled life is about to come to a crashing halt. And humankind, which thought it was given dominion over the Earth and all living things, will be taught a painful lesson in the necessity of balance, restraint and humility. There is no human monument or city ruin that is more than 5,000 years old. Civilization, Ronald Wright notes in "A Short History of Progress," "occupies a mere 0.2 percent of the two and a half million years since our first ancestor sharpened a stone." Bye-bye, Paris. Bye-bye, New York. Bye-bye, Tokyo. Welcome to the new experience of human existence, in which rooting around for grubs on islands in northern latitudes is the prerequisite for survival.” Click here for the rest.
Click here for what Lemmy has to say on the matter.
The secret word is Extinct
Harvey Pekar – RIP
Posted by Mick at 7/20/2010 04:31:00 PM
Monday, July 19, 2010
Wasn’t he a cute teen?
We on the left – even the psychedelic left – have long had a tendency to turn on the leaders we elect because we feel they’ve failed us. We swiftly fall to denigrating them because they have not kept what we imagined were the promises they made to us. We did it with Jimmy Carter, we did it in spades with Bill Clinton, and now we’re doing it with Barack Obama. This is not to say that that Obama hasn’t disappointed a whole bunch of us on multiple fronts. On the day of his election, I published a 3000 word, cover-story valentine to the President-Elect greeting him as a new FDR come out of Chicago to sweep in a 21st Century New Deal – with massive public works projects – in which a measure of neo-socialism would be no vice, and choirs of massed rock stars would sing “This Land Is Your Land.” Seems I had the right song but the wrong guy. Healthcare, as passed into law, is laughable. Banking regulation lacks teeth. Afghanistan has become Vietnam 2 with the US floundering around in an ancient – and, this time, tribal – civil war. Economic stimulus has been meager where it counts. He fails to fall on BP like the Terminating Wrath of God, and seemingly cannot silence the gauleiters of the Fox Right in a war of words, or flog the Senate into submission. But let’s face it. None of us is going to flee Obama and vote for – or support – Sarah fucking Palin (or whomever.) Obama will continue, by default, to be our man. The rebel may not trust the vacillating, centrist liberal further than a rebel can spit, but, within the confines of democracy, an uneasy alliance must be formed with the forces of compromise, and that requires the management of the fairly complex multi-tiered tactical perception too long to explain in this post. The answer is, of course, that he who places his thrust in politicians and expects them to provide anything beyond flawed half-measures is nothing more than a damned fool. But that also means we have to accept the reality that the real answers are in our own hands. And means blood and sweat and much disappointment before the mission is really accomplished.
Click here for the O’Jays
The secret word is Radical
Posted by Mick at 7/19/2010 03:54:00 PM
“On July 9, 2010, The People’s Daily of China ran a story about a UFO witnessed by hundreds over China on July 7. The UFO closed down Xiaoshan Airport, which serves the city of Hangzhou, for an hour; and Air Traffic controllers could not identify the UFO. An official investigation was subsequently launched. A resident took a photo of the cigar shaped UFO that was cited in the People’s Daily story. Together with radar evidence, the photo has been widely circulated in the mass media as physical evidence of a UFO responsible for closing down a busy regional airport. However, shortly after the People’s Daily story, the photo was included with four others on Godlike Productions a popular U.S. internet forum. The problem was that the four other photos were unrelated to the China incident and/or fakes. The fakes were included with the genuine UFO China photo in a Youtube video that went viral. Was it simply a mistake, or had a psychological operation begun to downplay the significance of the China UFO incident by mixing a genuine photo with fakes.” Click here for the full story, links and a video.
Click here for Chairman Mao’s H-Bomb
Posted by Mick at 7/19/2010 03:46:00 PM
Sunday, July 18, 2010
To honor the passing of Tuli Kupferberg, Rock’s Back Pages posted an ancient NME story of mine on Y! Music. To find it is needlessly complicated (but that’s why I’ve never been a fan of Yahoo.) First you click here for the RBP home page. Then you look for the Y! Music badge and click it. On the Y! Music Page you hit “blogs” on the tool bar, then hit “See all blogs” and finally (muttering “who needs this shit”) you scroll to RBP blog which will – for the moment – show Mick Farren – The Fugs. Enjoy.
Click here for Tuli
Posted by Mick at 7/18/2010 05:19:00 PM
clicking here to try it yourself.
Click here for the totally obvious.
Click here for the totally obvious.
Posted by Mick at 7/18/2010 05:11:00 PM