Archive for June 2013
On Friday night’s edition of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow took a hard look at some of the draconian rape and abortion measures that could be enacted if Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) signs the state budget currently on his desk. Under new laws contained in the budget, abortion clinics would close, the terms “pregnancy” and “fetus” would be redefined and women would have to undergo mandatory ultrasound exams for abortions and even some types of contraception.
“On Sunday night John Kasich faces a deadline on whether he signs the state’s new budget,” said Maddow, but the former “marble-mouth, half-cocked tea party radical” is facing intense pressure about a few items in that budget, which comes right in the midst of Kasich’s attempt to reinvent himself as a moderate.
Among the provisions of the Ohio budget is “huge omnibus of rape and abortion provisions that Republicans put in without even debating any of them,” Maddow explained, including a law that imposes a gag order on staffers at rape crisis centers. Ohio will defund the centers unless they forego their option to tell victims that they can get an abortion.
“So if you take any of the state money, the Ohio Republicans will intervene in the type of counseling that rape victims get at rape crisis centers,” Maddow said. “The state government will intervene in the counseling rape victims get. They will intervene in the instructions and information that the victims are allowed to be given, to gag the rape crisis counselor from being allowed to tell a rape victim that she can get an abortion.”
Other measures in the budget include defunding Planned Parenthood, forcing women to undergo ultrasound tests before they can access abortion services (at the patient’s expense) and ordering physicians to give a scripted speech to patients seeking abortions about the probability of their pregnancy lasting to term, whether they agree with it or not.
The list goes on and on, Maddow said. “For some reason, Ohio Republicans decided it was also a budgetary matter to redefine the words ‘pregnancy’ and ‘fetus’ in Ohio state law,” she said.
I had a great night of music at the Monkey House last night. I met up with Nathan Curtis around nine, and took the short drive. We got in and settled, and Persian Claws took the stage. It took me a few songs to get into them. Their songs seem more straight forward rock, but have quite a few changes going on. It’s fun to try and find the groove, and keep rocking. The band is very talented and the songs are fun. Dee’s voice was strained a bit, but she persevered like a champ. She’s such a fun, bouncy front woman.
Persian Claws at the Monkey House June 28 2013
Next up, Black Rabbit delighted the fairly full Monkey House with loud fast fun songs. Most of the songs just built in intensity, until Marc Scarano ripped into a massive lead, and rocked the place hard. Their set was fun as always. They brought Dee up for a song in the middle of the set and had Max Krauss join in on guitar for a song at the end. Well, it would have been the end, but the audience wanted another. They obliged with a couple of minutes of furious rock, and that was that.
Black Rabbit at the Monkey House June 28 2013
Black Rabbit at the Monkey House June 28 2013
Black Rabbit at the Monkey House June 28 2013
Next up, Max and Torpedo Rodeo played some funky and fun rock and roll. All of the songs had a nice complexity, but were easy enough to get lots of people dancing, for most of the set. After they wrapped up, they were asked to play another, and did.
Torpedo Rodeo at the Monkey House June 28 2013
Torpedo Rodeo at the Monkey House June 28 2013
I got to hang out and chat with some cool people, saw a lot of great music and gave the body a good shake. What a great night. Thanks everyone!
John Oliver (talking about the Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage) “Yesterday, more than a dozen members of the Republican study committee got together in front of less than a dozen members of the press to share their feelings.”
Rep Joseph Pitts (R-PA) “The Supreme Court wants to dictate to the American people what elected legislators can do regarding Federal law.”
Rep Michele Bachmann (R-MN) “And now we have an effective oligarchy of five who decide what are the most fundamental issues of our day.”
Rep Steve Scalise (R-LA) “It’s a sad day when unelected judges could change the definition of marriage, and turn their backs on the will of voters.”
Oliver “Yea, but here’s the thing about that. If we did everything American voters wanted, we would long ago have replaced our clean water supply with Mountain Dew and Red Bull. The whole point of the Supreme Court is to keep us in check. Sometimes, we as a nation, make bad decisions, and the court has to come in and say, sorry buddy, give us your keys. You’re really going to regret segregating schools tomorrow morning. There is a reason that Lady Justice is blindfolded holding scales, and not giving a wink and a thumbs up. That is the point of the Supreme Court.”
I just got back from show 18 on WBKM.ORG. I learned a new studio trick, and played a bunch of fun songs.
Song Before: Xanadu – Rush
From our small city to the great big world, these are the Sounds of Burlington. Summer is here. It’s hot and humid and if you can dodge the downpours and lightning, it’s time to head to the beach. This is Beach Song by Ray Fork, and this is Burlington’s kind of music.
1.) Beach Song – Ray Fork
2.) Early – Snowplow
3.) 1,000 Lies – Sean Toohey
Talked about digging through old albums and finding treasures like 1,000. Talked about How Brad Searles brought a lot of music to town with many bands, such as Snowplow. Beach song is fun. Next up, we go to the next song on the Cush album. What could it possibly sound like, a Pink Floyd song?
4.) Roll Me – The Cush
5.) Full Power – Elephants of Scotland
6.) The Down – Swale
Talked about loving Swale and getting to hear one that Amanda doesn’t sing, to show how their sound varies. Talked about the hard work being done by Elephants, and how Dan MacDonald was the first person to ever call in during a show. Hmmm, the Cush.
I saw some music last night, including Trapper Keeper, who I’ve been meaning to see forever. But, before that, here is a band who are playing the Monkey House tomorrow night. This song was chosen as one of the songs of the summer mix tape by Daniel Bolles. This is 89 by Black Rabbit.
7.) Eighty Nine – Black Rabbit
8.) It’s Only 1,930 Miles to Austin – Trapper Keeper
9.) Best Friend – Dog Party
10.) I Bleed Rock And Roll – Kepi Ghoulie
Talked about how much fun the Kepi, Dog, Trapper show was. I did not get any Be Aggressive to play, but will soon. Talked about Dog Party being a duo, and Kepi joined them on bass for his set. Trapper rocked and played really fast. Black Rabbit play tomorrow, and so do Torpedo Rodeo.
11.) Starlust – Torpedo Rodeo
12.) Empress of Ireland – Thompson Gunner
Thompson played a killer version of Empress last Friday at Nectar’s. Yea, more music tomorrow with Torpedo. Well that does it for me. I hope you enjoyed checking out the music of our town. Maybe just one more drink before I go.
13.) One More Drink – Will
Song After: Big Wedge – Fish
I just got back from seeing and hearing some nicely intense guitar rock at the Monkey House. Be Aggressive, from White River, were a three piece, guitar, bass, drum. The drummer had a small kit and a small Mohawk, and furiously kept the beat with subtle finesse. The bass player ran the frets fervently, and kept the songs together. The guitar player tossed in a few chords towards the rhythm, then lit out on yet another lead. I really liked them and need to check them out again.
Next up was the band I’ve been wanting to see for ages. Trapper Keeper played fast and loud and the songs had a huge amount of power to them. Their set was short and sweet and each song was a wonderful sonic barrage.
Up next was Dog Party. They are two young girls (black X’s on the hands, so under 21) from California. The guitarist/singer and drummer/singer had nice harmonies over the Ramonesish rock and roll. All the songs were good, and the music was fast and solid.
Dog Party at the Monkey House June 26 2016 photo by John Otis Bro
The headliner was a guy named Kepi Ghoulie and Dog Party were his back up band. He sang and played a not quite flying V bass. His songs were fast and fun, and the girls kept the music driving. I knew noting about him coming into the show, and loved every note. During the song Chupacabra, balloons began to fly in from the back of the club. It added a bit of extra flair to the show, but it was the music that stole my heart. They ended with a Chuck Berry song, but the way they played it, was more Ramones.
Kepi Ghoulie at the Monkey House June 26 2016 photo by John Otis Bro
I’m so glad I put in the effort. There were quite a few people there, but it was nowhere near packed. I love that it is so easy to go out and find great music that you’ve never heard before.
John Oliver “So,Snowden had disappeared. The media now has a clear choice. Either you accept that, wait for developments, or…”
Thomas Roberts (MSNBC) “Where in the world is Edward Snowden?”
Fox reporter “We were told, or we thought anyway, it was reported anyway, that he would fly either to Havana, Cuba…”
Another Fox anchor “and then on to Venezuela.”
CNN anchor “Snowden did apply for asylum in Iceland.”
Fox Reporter “then on to Quito.”
Reporter “For all we know, he’s having lunch at the Ecuadorian embassy.”
Fox reporter “Whatever the truth, we believe he’s in Moscow right now.”
CNN anchor “No one knows anything for sure.”
Fox anchor “This is all speculation at this point.”
Oliver “Then stop guessing! Just stop it, stop guessing. News is not a game show. You don’t win a car, if you happen to be right. Although if it was like a game show, at least, when you got everything wrong, you would not be invited back the next day.”
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: This is GPS, the Global Public Square.
“But, first, here’s my take. In the debate over U.S. intervention in Syria, there is a striking mismatch between ends and means. Proponents of intervention want to defeat a ruthless and powerful regime, rescue a country from civil war and usher in a new democratic political order.
But these people say, at the same time, that they want to achieve all this with the most limited methods. “The worst thing the United States could do right now is put boots on the ground in Syria,” says Senator John McCain.
We’re often told that the goal of this intervention is to stop the killing, but sending more arms into the mix will actually increase the violence. That’s fine, say the interventionists, because the real goal is to oust Assad.
But as we learned in Iraq, ousting the dictator is only the beginning of the task. The actually goal here is the creation of a democratic Syria in which all sects can live in peace.
Now, the United States tried that in Iraq with an almost decade-long invasion and occupation spending over a trillion dollars and it hasn’t quite worked. But, now, we’re going to achieve a better outcome in Syria and just with a no-fly zone? In the mid-1980s, the scholar Samuel Huntington pondered why the United States, the world’s dominant power, which had won two world wars, deterred the Soviet Union, maintained global peace, was so bad at smaller military interventions.
Since World War II, he noted, the U.S. had engaged militarily in a series of conflicts around the world, but, in almost every case, the outcome had been inconclusive, muddled or worse.
Huntington’s answer was we rarely entered conflicts actually trying to win. Instead, he reasoned, U.S. military intervention had usually been sparked by a crisis, which then put pressure on Washington to do something, but Americans rarely saw the problem as one that justified getting fully committed.
So, we would join the fight but in incremental ways and hope that these incremental moves would change the outcome. It rarely does. Instances where we have succeeded, 1990 Persian Gulf War, Grenada and Panama, were all ones where we did fight to win, used massive force and achieved a quick, early knockout.
In Syria, the interventionists have lofty ends but no one wants to use the means necessary to achieve them. So we are now giving arms to the opposition and hoping it will bring the regime to the negotiating table.
But, as Huntington observed, “military forces are not primarily instruments of communication to convey signals to an enemy; they are instead instruments of coercion to compel him to alter his behavior.”
This reminds one of the strategy of the Johnson administration in Vietnam, use force to pressure the enemy to negotiate. But the enemy is fighting to win not to play a negotiating game.
The chance that our current efforts in Syria will do enough to achieve even our objectives is small. Eventually, the contradictions in U.S. policy will emerge and the Obama administration will face calls from people like John McCain for further escalation.
They should resist them and it’s possible that they will. The scholar Daniel Drezner argues in his blog on ForeignPolicy.com that the new move “is simply the next iteration of the unspoken, brutally realpolitik Obama policy towards Syria that’s been going on for the past two years.”
“The goal of that policy is to ensnare Iran and Hezbollah into a protracted, resource-draining civil war, with as minimal costs as possible. This is exactly what the last two years have accomplished, he writes, “at an appalling toll in lives lost.”
If this interpretation of the Obama administration’s behavior is correct, then the White House might well be playing a clever game, but it is Machiavellian rather than humanitarian games.”