Archive for March 2013
From the March 28, 2013, edition of “Viewpoint.”
Easter’s always a special time; a time when parents teach their children the story of Jesus by convincing them a rabbit entered their home to leave teeth-rotting candy. It’s a time when pro-death penalty Christians can mark the execution of anti-death penalty Jesus and it’s all irony free.
But whether you regard the Bible as ancient poetry, literal fact, parable — like the way Jesus spoke — the Easter story does have relevance for all of us. It’s a story of pain and suffering, of death and rebirth.
In the story of course, Jesus shows up in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, gets a hero’s welcome. Over the course of the week he preaches love, drives the money-changers who are exploiting the poor out of the temple.
The conservative religious bosses, the Pharisees, get very nervous and conspire with the occupying European imperial government to have him arrested. And by Friday, the very people who welcomed him have been spin-doctored into demanding his death.
And almost everybody abandons him. He’s locked up by the soldiers, sold out and abandoned by his friends. He’s executed by the state, a naked, bleeding, humiliated, outcast, criminal loser.
And of course, as the story goes, he rises from the tomb on Sunday and does not seek any kind of revenge, just keeps talking about love.
Now we’ve just witnessed what may have been the most powerful few days in the history of the struggle for LGBT rights in America — and it happened during Easter week.
With not one, but two anti-gay laws going before the U.S. Supreme Court, an American public decidedly on the side of gay marriage, and a seemingly endless procession of politicians from both parties who once opposed equality, but have now come to view it as an essential human right.
And none of this would’ve happened without the unspeakable tragedy of the AIDS crisis.
Kids born after the mid ‘90s have no memory of those awful first few years of AIDS, when people suffering from HIV were targets of scorn and cruelty and ignorance. Scientists begged for funding, politicians did nothing and thousands of people died. And if you’ve ever been close to someone who died of HIV-related disease, you know it’s a painful, degrading and demeaning way to go.
But gay people didn’t give up. They organized. They came out of the closet. The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, or ACT UP, was formed and began leading demonstrations designed to make the rest of America very uncomfortable. People didn’t wait for their rights; they demanded them.
And as more people came out, more Americans realized they didn’t really hate gay people. They already knew some.
In 2012, the first openly gay and openly bisexual Americans were elected into Congress and that same fall the president of the United States came out in favor of marriage equality before an important election. No doubt the White House had focus-grouped this thing to death and they knew the reality: that America was ready to be on the right side of decency and the right side of history.
And what did we see through this revolution of culture, this evolution of the heart? The greatest, swiftest advancement for civil rights for any minority group in the history of the human race. And all this good happened because of a plague.
That’s the story that led us to this particular Easter week. And that’s the story of Easter
Radio show number 5
Just home after Radio show number 5. Then went and rocked to Vedora at Nectar’s.
Song before: Fire – Jimi Hendrix
From Our small city to the great big world, these are the sounds of Burlington. Her is Phil Yates and the Affiliates
1.) Might As Well Settle – Phil Yates and the Affiliates
2.) Moving Song – Zola Turn
3.) Bomb – Envy
Talked about Envy being a go to band. Talked about finally getting around to playing two of my favorites, Envy and Zola. Dedicated Moving song to one of my roommates, Joel and to my friend with the pickup truck, Dave Hall. Talked about Linda Bassickplaying trombone on the song, and that she just came back from playing the Moody Blues cruise. Hmmm, Swale
4.) Cancer – Swale
5.) Basalt Anchor – Vedora
6.) Your Downtown Aperture – Video Pigeon
Talked about needing a band to see, and Video Pigeon were there. Love the way the song takes off. Plugged Vedora at Nectar’s right after the show, and about how much fun it was to see the pickup band jam at her birthday party. Hmmm Swale. Hmmm Lendway.
7.) Gone with Eraser – Lendway
8.) Artroom Records – Jen Karson and Bad JuJu
9.) Hey Ernie – Cold Sweat
Talked about Sweat playing Killington on Saturday, and how they turned me on to watcher of the skies. Talked about meeting Jen, seeing Zola Turn, about her leaving Zola soon after and forming her band with Sean Altruiand others. Introduced the next song saying it was cool and would build and build. I said they were playing Bar Antidote in Vergenes Saturday March 30th. If you are a prog head, see Cold Sweat 1-5 at Killington, then Elephants of Scotland in Vergennes at 9pm.
10.) Errol McSquisitor – Elephants of Scotland
Song after Red Barchetta – Rush
Bill Maher “New Rule: Stop saying the producers of The Bible cast this guy as Satan because he resembles Obama. Right wing nuts are not subtle like that. They don’t hint around. If tomorrow, Obama announced, I am Lucifer, the fallen one, prince of darkness, father of lies, son of perdition, king of the bottomless pit, Laura Ingraham would go, he’s hiding something.”
Stephen Colbert “Now, if you enjoy watching The Bible, you’ll want to explore the source material. I speak, of course, of The Story Of God And All Of Us – A Novel Based On The Epic TV Series. All the Biblical stories you love from the mini-series, finally assembled into one book.
This starts at 1:57 and you can watch here:
Bill Maher “The Republicans in the Senate, this week, tried to repeal Obamacare again, get this, for the 36th time, they’ve tried. At some point it stops really becoming legislating, and it’s more stalking. And, Obama heard about that, and said he was glad to be in the Middle East, where people are more reasonable.”
I just got home from radio show number 4 on WBKM. It was a little rough, but I got to play a bunch of cool music.
Song Before: Rockaway Beach – The Ramones
From our small city to the great big world, these are the sounds of Burlington. I talked about Wide Wail opening for Juliana Hatfield in 2000
1.) All My Life – Wide Wail
2.) 10 Speed Car – Torpedo Rodeo
3.) Sharp Side of the Knife – Alice Austin
4.) Jan Michael Vincent – Chin Ho!
Talked about how catchy a riff there is in the Chin Ho! song (and had it in my head for the walk home), talked about how great Alice is when she growls out Sharp Side. I talked about seeing Torpedo at JP’s and Manhattan Pizza and talked about how Max Krauss sometimes has bands at parties in his basement. I talked a bit more about Wide Wail, then talked about Emily and how good a violin player she is.
5.) Medula Mamblongata – Strung Out
6.) Maria – Vedora
7.) Yayo – The Dirty Blondes
Talked about how the Blondes song mentions Maple st, Elm st, Pitkin st, Church st and how very Burlington it is. I talked about seeing Everybody’s Favorite Irish Drinking Songs Band on Saturday and Sunday. I talked about how Maria sounded like it would go great out of the Strung Out song, and that they are playing at 10, next Thursday at Nectar’s. I talked about seeing Strung Out at the Chickenbone, and several other places. I talked about how music exists in the moment they is gone, but recordings can be played forever. I talked about David L. Jarviswriting great songs in town then joining the Army, then being in El Paso and starting a psychedelic rock band.
8.) Paper Train – D. Jarvis Band (it played for a few seconds, then I hit something wrong and the next song started playing. Sorry Dave!! Sorry everyone else too!)
8.) Grounded – Invisible Jet
9.) Paper Train – D. Jarvis Band (in it’s entirety!!)
10.) Lights of Montreal – Lobot
Talked about how good Lobot were and that they play a reunion show every year. Talked about Chris Farnsworth playing guitar with Lobot and Dino Bravo. I apologized for cutting Paper Train, then talked about how cool it would be to walk into a club and hear something that sounds like Peter Gabriel, but it turns out to be a local band called Invisible Jet. I talked about the wonderful melody of Paper Train. I talked about playing one of my favorite Farm Songs
11.) Bad Oasis – Farm
12.) Time to Get Out – Aaron Flinn and Salad Days
Talked about how it was time to get out, and that Aaron would be playing on the 30th in Hinesburg. Talked about if Farm played Bad Oais at a festival, Robbie Williams would probably toss the I’ve got soul in the worst of places line into one of his medleys.
Song after: Gloria (live from Red Rocks) – U2
America’s broke and it’s the 10-year anniversary of the Iraq invasion. So if you’re mad about the former, thank the millions of Americans who opposed the latter. Because this anniversary is a fitting time to talk about the destructive budget battle that now divides our nation.
The Republican Party is outraged over the deficit — although George W. Bush never once balanced a budget in eight years, but of course those were freedom deficits.
Now after the credit-card-with-no-limit presidency of Mr. Bush, the credit card bill has arrived — in your mailbox. It’s called austerity. Last decade we had two wars off the books while cutting taxes for the wealthy and this decade, y’all get to pay for it.
Now there are ways to fix our deficit that don’t hurt the poor or the middle class. A carbon tax of $20 per ton could cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion. Treating capital gains as income could raise over $530 billion. A financial transaction tax could reduce the deficit by an estimated $350 billion. But apparently we don’t really hate deficits that much.
So here’s an even better idea: Let’s build a time machine, go back to 2003, and stop President Bush and his Republican and Democratic allies from invading and occupying Iraq. Because today we know from estimates by the Costs of War Project, the war will eventually wind up costing the U.S. taxpayers at least $2.2 trillion.
That’s in addition to the 190,000 people killed — the men and women in uniform, the contractors and civilians. Two trillion dollars America would have in the bank, if we hadn’t had a bloody unconstitutional dine-n-dash of a war.
Now please keep this in mind as some of the people who told you how necessary the Iraq War was — both in politics and media — are now telling you how necessary austerity is.
The people who were wrong about everything are now telling you we’ve got to repeal everything since the New Deal.
The same people who said Iraq definitely had WMDs are now telling us you’re going to have to definitely eat more Mickey D’s. The ones who promised we’d be greeted as liberators are now telling us you may have to be liberated from some of your earned entitlement benefits. The politicians who guaranteed democracy would flourish in the region now say surpluses will flourish if we voucher-ize Medicare.
The guys who said two wars in Iraq would bring down gas prices then, are telling you now that the Keystone Pipeline will bring down gas prices.
The folks who said Iraq would be a cakewalk are now saying, “Let ‘em eat cake.”
So let’s thank some of the people who opposed the Iraq invasion: people like Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Ron Paul, Arianna Huffington, Ted Kennedy, Robert Byrd, Pat Buchanan — yeah, I said it — Michael Moore and the last two popes. They knew how un-Christian a concept pre-emptive war was: “Forgive us our trespasses as we trespass against those we think might trespass against us.”
Or go ahead and listen to the ones who were wrong: Limbaugh, George Will, Kristol, Krauthammer, McCain, Condoi Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Coulter, Hannity, O’Reilly, Scarborough, Bush and way more Democrats than I should be able to name.
Unlimited funds then, austerity now. And they want your Medicare, and they want your Social Security. And they’re gonna get it, unless America wakes up in a way we didn’t wake up 10 years ago.
Because, my friends, going after Medicare to fix a budget crisis is like going after Iraq when you were attacked by 15 Saudis.
On Monday, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour asked how so many journalists could have been misled in the run-up to the Iraq War. She interviewed two reporters for Knight-Ridder newspapers, Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel, both of whom have been vindicated as being consistently right on Iraq.
Amanpour began by recapping some of the George W. Bush administration’s hallmark assertions regarding Saddam Hussein’s purported programs to make nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, and highlighting the debunked claims that Iraq was importing aluminum tubes to use in centrifuges for enriching uranium.
“So how could so any false assertions have been taken as fact?” she asked. “After the war, some of America’s leading newspapers were forced to apologize for getting it wrong.”
She then welcomed Strobel and Landay to the program.
Landay talked about the difficulty of getting stories published that ran contrary to the narrative being established by Washington. Editors would demand to know why these stories weren’t also running in the New York Times or the Washington Post.
“It was very lonely,” he said. “One of the ironies is that every time we would write something, the White House would say nothing, because we realized after a while that that would have been the best advertisement for our stories that we could possibly ask for.”
“There’s a problem with journalism in Washington,” said Strobel, “and that’s access. The New York Times and others had access to top officials who were spinning this line. We talked to those people as well, but most of our reporting was done with intelligence — military and diplomatic — mid-level and lower-level, the types that journalists don’t normally talk to or go after.”