Monday, June 29, 2009

Mr. Peabody's Coal Train

"And daddy, won't you take me back to Muhlenburg County down by the Green River where paradise lay? Well, I'm sorry my son but you're too late in asking, Mr. Peabody's coal train has hauled it away." - John Prine, in "Paradise."

It has been reported by Brad Johnson at "The Wonk Room," that Newt Gingrich's organization, American Solutions for Winning the Future (ASWF) received at least $275,000 from Peabody Energy, the world's largest coal company in 2008.

Since that time, Newt Gingrich has continually railed against the costs of addressing climate change. Apparently the real costs he fears would be to his own interests.

Gingrich's association with Peabody Coal should come as no surprise. The very fact that our politicians continue to evade the whole issue of sustainability and continue to force feed the public a fossil fuel based economy should make us look closer at who is backing our politicians, and not just the unelected one's like Gingrich, but those currently in office as well.

FOLLOW THE MONEY! Where is the media in examining the connections between big oil, big coal and big politicians? The next time you see an article discussing the cost of green energy, try to figure out how much of that costs is created by the roadblocks put in place by politicians indebted to their contributors in the old energy economy.

Perspective on a Pop Star

Another celebrity has died and is now being lionized for his talents. For several days it seems that all news has stopped. Nevermind that a revolution may be brewing in the streets of Iran, nevermind that a military coup has apparently occurred in Honduras, Michael Jackson has died. The gloved one, the self proclaimed "King of Pop," the man who turned his home, Neverland, into a carnival ground.

What is being glossed over are the multiple charges of molestation and pedophilia. The first case was settled out of court for a reported $20 million dollars and the second ended in acquittal. However, to those familiar with the case, clear doubts remain as to his innocence. Professionals who work with victims of abuse will note that Jackson clearly displayed a number of behaviors that point to a "grooming" of the victims. Such behaviors include: gifts for the victims, becoming friends with their families, assisting the victims and their families, etc. With wealth and celebrity it was easy to bring people into his reach.

The costs of being a celebrity include the loss of privacy and the inability to know if people want to be near you just for fame or wealth. Jackson, having been famous since age 10, never knew a normal existence. Constantly hounded by the media, he became stranger and stranger in the public eye. Demonstrating a racial ambivalence and an addiction to plastic surgery, he slowly became a running joke in the media. Despite all of this, he inspired a devotion in his fans that was unparalleled. No matter how strange, or how many accusations against him, fans flocked to be near him. Some seemed to use Jackson's interests in children as a means to contact him.

It is the parents of those children who were left to spend the night, to have sleep-overs with Jackson, who are the offenders who most need examining. For the reflected glory of being near a celebrity, parents left their child in the care of an accused pedophile. Whether he was guilty or not, what parent would leave their child in the care of an individual who had previously been accused of this crime?

I remember seeing an interview with Jackson years ago in the midst of the allegations where he attempted to deflect the charges by stating how innocent the sleep-overs were, how he had "little McCauley Caulkin here and .... (some other child whose name I can not recall) on the other side." Jackson continued in the interview to discuss his love of children. As the interview progressed I remember thinking that he seemed to be convicting himself with every sentence. At one point Jackson proclaimed that it was "all very innocent." At the time he was around 35 years of age. The idea that a 35-year-old man is innocently sleeping with 9-year-old boys strains credulity.

After the first allegations against him one would think that a reasonably prudent person would try to avoid any further actions that might even allow people to make such charges. Instead, he continued to invite young children to his bed (as if it were a compulsion) and to act as if no one could possibly see anything wrong with his behavior.

Pretending that Jackson was a great hero overlooks the legacy he may have left. According to estimates, the average pedophile may have 150-300 victims in their lifetime. That's without the fame and the amusement park.

Ray Bawarchi has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Green Like Money

According to a report filed by Dave Gram and Frank Bass for the Associated press, the corporations that own nuclear plants are not putting aside enough resources to dismantle them. The high costs of building and operating the plants aside, the current problem is being blamed on the financial crisis and the loss of investments that were to pay for the decommissioning of the plants.

The underlying problem is not just that the projects will be delayed, the consequences of the delays are more the concern. The possibilities of nuclear leaks, either into the atmosphere or into groundwater, are but one aspect of the delay. Workers needed to maintain the site, with inadequate funds to do so, will be at increased risk of accidental exposure. Then there are the not so accidental risks -- soft targets for terrorists, getting softer by the day.

Let us debunk the myth once and for all that nuclear power is clean, safe, or cheap. It is none of these. The whole process of producing nuclear power is an environmental nightmare. From the mining of uranium at the beginning of the process, to the storage of the spent fuel rods at the end, there is no means by which nuclear energy is clean. While it may not produce carbon emissions, there is more to caring for the environment than just limiting carbon. Just as we need to limit the amount of carbon floating around in the atmosphere, we even more so need to limit the amount of plutonium floating around the planet.

Safety is ludicrous to even discuss when it comes to nuclear energy. The precautionary principle would suggest that the possible damage that could be inflicted by even one catastrophic meltdown or other accident, no matter how remote, renders the whole notion of nuclear power illogical. Accidents happen: Three Mile Island and Chernobyl drew the most attention because they happened early on in the nuclear power game. Japan recently revealed a number of small nuclear accidents. The more nuclear plants built, the greater the odds become for a major accident. In a probabilistic sense, it is only a matter of time before there is an incident of unimagined proportions.

Safety also has to take into account the possible deliberate misuse of the nuclear material. Efforts to secure this material at increasing number of sites becomes more and more difficult as we build more nuclear plants. That, in turn, drives up costs. Costs, in the energy business, are just passed on to customers. The idea that nuclear energy is cost efficient is a myth propagated by energy producers who base these statements on some mythical "costs per unit" that calculates the costs after the reactor is up and running. Mining costs, building reactors, etc. are out of the calculation. When you sell energy, demand is what matters.

Calls for nuclear power are driven by a desire to control the flow of energy by corporations in order to maximize profits. Mostly these are the same transnationals that are in control of the old petroleum-based economy. The only green that nuclear energy is associated with is money.

The Scales of Justice?

Donte Stallworth, 28, of the Cleveland Browns received a 30-day sentence for a manslaughter conviction incurred while driving drunk. The NFL is reportedly reviewing the matter for further sanctions.

Michael Vick, 28, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons, received a year in jail, is still under house arrest and is banned from the NFL for life for a conviction for dog fighting.

Dick Cheney, 68, formerly of the Washington Torturers and now of the Wyoming Revisionists, walks around free.

Monday, June 15, 2009

New Iranian Revolution

Iran is experiencing the beginnings of a new revolution. Ahmadinejad has officially been declared the winner of the election, but he, and the conservative clerics that pull his strings, have already lost the battles to come.

Things have changed in Iran. There is rioting in the streets. News services are reporting over 100.000 in the streets of Tehran. Even though the government has banned the rallies, and despite the fact that they are shooting at the people, the demonstrations are continuing. Moussavi has vowed to continue to press his case despite threats against him and the arrest of other opposition leaders.

The clerics and the military establishment, the Revolutionary Guard, must respond. The GOP of Iran, they are shrinking and isolated. Attempting to maintain control by any means necessary, they are responding in the repressive manner of tyrants everywhere.

Like the Republicans in America, the Iranian establishment has demographics working against it too. Iran is a young nation, and the youth are no longer willing to take the repression of rights and totalitarian controls. Women are also at the forefront of the new revolution, no longer willing to settle for a life in the shadows.

Internationally, Iran has been effectively neutralized. The government of Iran may be more difficult to deal with for the foreseeable future, but this will be mostly due to the fact that the government will have to turn its attention inward. There will be little ability to successfully do anything on the world stage as the legitimacy of the government is called into question. Efforts to control internal dissent and discord will ultimately backfire.

The new Iranian Revolution began not with the election or its likely fraudulent outcomes, rather it began with the run up to the election and in the aftermath of the same election, where the people came together. Awareness that the power structure is fraudulent can not be suppressed. The more the actions of the opposition are met with brutality, the more illegitimate the government becomes to the Persian peoples.

The youth of the country have time on their side. The old guard is just that, old, and no longer revolutionary. Ahmadinejad and the ruling clerics may have continued their reign for the short run, but ultimately, the seeds of change have already taken root. The rot and detritus of continuing repression will only serve to nourish the resistance, which sooner or later, will bloom.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Loving Day

June 12th is officially known as "Loving Day." For those who have never heard of this day the title is both appropriate and ironic. How can this be?

Loving Day is the day that the Supreme Court in 1967, struck down as unconstitutional, laws against "racial miscegenation" that were used as barriers to inter-racial marriage. First arrested in 1958, just a few weeks after their marriage, Richard and Mildred Loving (yes, believe it or not, that was their name) were charged under the state of Virginia's Racial Integrity Act. They were made to pay a fine and forced to leave the state of Virginia where they resided. Sixteen other states had similar laws on the books at that time. Alabama finally rescinded its final laws on miscegenation in 2000.

The Lovings, who had known each other for years before their marriage, were not the typical challengers of social convention. Working class people, they were not trying to change the law or make a constitutional point. They just happened to have married the person they loved and society did not approve. Loving Day is an appropriate name in that it has turned out to be a celebration of love between people others did not want to recognize.

But there is also irony to the name Loving Day. Had the Loving's not encountered such hatred and bigotry we would never have known of them. Also, the date chosen is the date of the legal case. What does the law have to do with love? Likely, had they not chosen to legalize their union no one would have cared. It was the very act of marriage that caused problems with their local sheriff.

In the final analysis it is fortuitous that Richard and Mildred Loving had the name they did. I doubt that had their name been "Smith" or "Jones" that we would have Smith Day or Jones Day. But perhaps there is more here than just a name. In the year before her death Mildred Loving issued a statement that she supported the right of gays and lesbians to marry. Like she and her husband, gays and lesbians primarily raise the ire of bigots when they want to marry and be out in the open. As long as gays and lesbians don't attempt to formalize their unions, but just live together, no one cares. Mildred Loving saw that connection. So should we all.

Why do I make such a big deal about this? You see, Mildred and Richard Loving changed the course of my life. Were it not for them, I legally could not have married my wife. To Mildred and Richard, this June 12th I will remember you.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

America: NOT a Socialist Nation (Unfortunately)

Enough with all the right wingers claiming that America is becoming a "socialist nation." Sarah Palin's ludicrous interview with Sean Hannity last night on Fox News was just the latest such example. The crying jags of Glenn Beck, the calling of the sheep by Rush Lim-baa, and the false righteous spew from the rest of the lot, are but a lame attempt to use socialism as a buzz word to arouse visceral fear. This should be viewed for what it is, the desperate ploy of a rejected political viewpoint.

Socialism is used precisely because they believe the public is afraid of the word. And I mean the word, not the actual political philosophy. The above mentioned pundits and politicians are clearly trying to play on fear, not an actual evaluation of socialism. Likely they count on the fact that their listeners and followers have not thought about the consequences of a truly socialist America. The reason is that the right wing is not interested in what is best for the nation, they are interested in what is best for themselves. Capitalism has nearly destroyed the country and yet its failed philosophy continues to be championed by the tools of the transnational corporations and the wealthiest of the wealthy. Capitalism is a morally bankrupt philosophy that is designed to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich.

If America were a socialist nation we could immediately solve most of our financial problems. Here's how we would do it. First and foremost we nationalize all of the industries that are currently using OUR national resources for THEIR private profit. Why should the wealth of the nation not belong to the nation and its citizens? Let's begin by nationalizing the oil, natural gas, mining, timber and private water industries. The revenue generated by our new oil companies alone should go a long way towards balancing the federal budget.

National Health Care is a must for a socialist nation. None of these promises from the insurers (lying capitalists only concerned with profit. Where have they taken us so far?), no watered down public option, not even a one-payer system. Instead, give us true socialized medicine. Put the doctors on salary and take over the pharmaceutical industry. That would certainly drive down costs. In the coming debate on health care please do not accept distortions and delusions that a public option is anything like socialism, its just the only way to keep the private insurers honest. Private insurers are only intersted in profit, not health care.

One of the great flaws of capitalism is that the quest for excessive wealth creates a moral hazard, i.e., temptation to cheat and manipulate the system may be too great to turn down. Dennis Kozlowski of Tyco and Bernie Madoff are just two convenient examples. Therefore, were America truly a socialist nation we would try to prevent the accumulation of excessive wealth. The best solution to this would be to raise the marginal income tax. You don''t want to completely stifle the incentive to work, so the rate should be graduated. I would suggest that a fifty(50) percent rate kick in around the $2 million mark (if you can't live on a million a year, you are a decadent running dog) and rise to an eighty (80) per cent rate by the $10 million dollar mark. Is Rush Lim-baa's commitment to capitalism really about what is good for the country or what is good for his tax rates?

While we're talk in taxes, let us not overlook one of the great sources of untapped tax revenue in this country -- the churches. In a nation where we allegedly have separation of church and state, it seems unfathomable that churches are tax exempt organizations. In theory, this should be true whether the nation is socialist or capitalist.

Even greater sources of tax revenue would be the legalization and taxing of vices that are now criminalized. Legalization of gambling, prostitution, and drugs, followed by the appropriate taxation would also go a long way towards solving some of our financial woes.

These are just a few changes that we might see were America to become a socialist nation. To the wealthy who have the wealth of the nation transferred daily into their hands, this is a frightening prospect. To the masses, it is a solution to the ills of the nation. Many of the most successful projects of the U.S. government were socialist in nature. The creation of the power grid, public water plants, the interstate highway system, and to a degree, the Internet, are all a result of projects that are by their very nature, collectivist. Capitalism, on the other hand, has led to the privatization and downgrading of government services and no bid contracts for Halliburton.

Finally, were America really a socialist nation, the bank bailout would have never occurred. The government would have taken over the entire banking system and exerted complete control over the economy. The banks would not have been loaned money to rescue them for engaging in fraud, they would have been taken over and their officers put in prison for their actions.

If one considers what America would be like as a socialist nation, it is abundantly clear that the United States in no way fits this description. Outcry to the contrary should be taken as the fear provoking drivel that it is. America is still firmly under the thumb of capitalism and a long, long way from socialism. From my point of view, this is unfortunate.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Power of Rhetoric

Barack Obama demonstrated yesterday that rhetoric can matter. In a speech delivered at Cairo University in Egypt, he essentially re-ordered the direction of American foreign policy. Several statements can be given as evidence.

On two occasions he used the term "Palestine" in such a way as to elevate the Palestinian state to a current reality on an even footing with Israel. Use of the phrase will have greater reverberations in the Middle East than in the U.S. Further, he openly rebuked Israel for continuing to expand the settlements. This public flogging of Israel was a further sign that there is a different direction in this policy. In recognizing the plight of the Palestinians in a manner that no American president has ever done, he signalled a willingness to confront one of the major conflicts underlying all the other conflict in the Middle East.

He openly condemned torture and unequivocally stated that he would close Guantanamo by early next year. The Iraq War was referenced as a "war of choice." In all of these statements he not only refuted the Bush Doctrine, he refuted the whole approach of the Bush (mis)Administration. Obama also demonstrated a recognition that these efforts by Bush-Cheney served to further alienate the Arab and Islamic worlds.

He directly confronted stereotypes of both Islam and America as counterproductive. In so doing, he served to isolate the fanatics from the moderates, rather than driving them together. One of the major effects of the Bush-Cheney approach to Islamic radicalism has been to cause moderate Muslims, who would normally reject the extremists, to at least tacitly support them because of their anger at the actions at Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, etc. Referring to "Holocaust deniers," he made a not-so-subtle jab at Ahmadinejad in a manner as to align him with the marginalized extremists just ahead of the coming elections.

He extended a hand to Iran with a defense of its right to have nuclear power, and then drew a line concerning nuclear weapons. In a deft maneuver that recognized the difficulty of the only nation that has ever used atomic weapons telling others not to build them, he took the opportunity to advocate a nuclear free future. Idealistic rhetoric not likely to happen in the foreseeable future, yet, a necessary statement to stake out a strategy that begins by making sure no other nations join the already too large nuclear club.

The most stunning revelation made by Obama was an open admission that the United States had played a part in the overthrow of Mohammad Mosaddeq and the government of Iran. This coup directly led to the installation of the Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi to the Peacock Throne. The support of the U.S. for the Shah is what ultimately led to the Islamic Revolution that occurred under Ayatollah Khomeini. In acknowledging this bit of history Obama demonstrated to the Persians that the tensions of the present have a historical basis that must be addressed in a truthful and cooperative manner.

This is the speech that George Bush should have given after 9/11. Of course, it would not have been possible for him to do so. This speech required a knowledge and understanding of history, an awareness of other cultures, and a thoughtfulness that Bush did not possess. Had such an awareness of the complexities and realities of the multiple interrelated conflicts in the Middle East been elucidated at that time, where might we be now? Instead we got, "Bring it on."

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Twenty Years Ago Today, Tianamen Was No Place To Play

Twenty years ago on June 4th, the Chinese government ruthlessly crushed the pro-Democracy movement that had drawn to a head in the center of government, Tianamen Square. Today the government has effectively squelched all remembrances of that day with a crack down on dissidents and censorship.

In the twenty years since Tianamen, China has shown unprecedented growth, selling the world large quantities of cheap plastic crap. Poisons seem to be in every product. Thumbing their nose at the world they have hosted an Olympics and financed a credit debacle. All the while they have promised to improve human rights and provide a more open society.

What they have delivered is more repression and censorship. To even discuss the events of Tianamen Square writers have to refer to the date as "May 35th" in an attempt to evade the censors. A whole movement utilizing the phrase "grass-mud-horse" has arisen in another attempt to evade censorship.

Remember June 4th. China is a smoldering ember, ready to burst into the flames of a true revolution. Repression only causes greater dissent. Stop subsidizing the oppression of your fellow man, stop buying Chinese.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thoughts on White Privilege

Over the past few days I have listened with a bemused attitude as a parade of white men have bemoaned the losing of their privilege. Most of this pity parade was in response to the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court of the United States. In a case of mass projection, a plethora of white men have challenged Sotomayor as racist, primarily because there seems to be a fear among them that she will not automatically rule in favor of the white man.

Many of their challenges have been absurd. Tom Tancredo compared La Raza to the Ku Klux Klan, Rush Lim-baa (as in sheep), compared her to David Duke, a charge that even the former Klansman reputed. Karl Rove, the dropout who doesn't respect the educational process, questioned her intelligence. Throwing everything against the wall and hoping something sticks, we've got the usual absurdities from the likes of Glenn Beck and Toad Gingrich.

Sadly, NBC commentator Pat Buchanan appears to be the most blatant of the lot, openly decrying the declining power of the white male. Buchanan, for his part, at least seems genuine, although I'm not sure if that's in his favor or not.

The position that these white men have all staked out is that leveling the playing field is racist. That taking away the automatic advantage that white males have expected for centuries is somehow wrong. Buchanan stated on Monday that if a job were given to a minority it was taken from a white male. His underlying bias is that a white man must be the best for every job. Suppose that giving a job to one minority took the job from another minority (e.g. female vs. Latino). Where would Buchanan stand? On the side of the white man that finished third.

You see, what those who are crying racism at present are really upset about is the loss of their own privilege. It is presented that giving a fair opportunity is somehow unjust, while the old status quo that held down everyone but the white man was somehow fair. Arguments against affirmative action in colleges never seem to suggest that the legacy admissions (children of alumni) are an unfair advantage even though these allow underqualified students admission to many top schools (e.g. Bush 43). Let's not bring up that the dumb children of the rich can guarantee decent SAT's because of a prep school education, while a brilliant child of poverty stricken parents may not be able to afford to take the test.

Advantages and disadvantages do matter. White males have had everything their way for so long that any attempt to even things out is seen as an attack. The bigoted are now accusing everyone of racism because they fear their days of dominating the power structure are over.

Summer's Here and the Time is Right

Summer's here and the time is right for the manipulation of oil prices. Despite the fact that crude oil inventories are at a 20-year high, the price of oil is once again going up. A veritable glut of petroleum is currently available on the market, yet the retail price is once again on the rise. In the city in which I reside, gasoline has gone up nearly 40 cents a gallon in the last two weeks.

As regular readers of this column will know, I am not opposed to high gas prices. In fact, I have noted on numerous occasions that high gasoline prices are good for the environment and conservation. However, what I object to is the blatant manipulation of prices for profit. The reason I advocate high oil prices is to discourage use and raise revenues for alternative fuels to help wean ourselves from our addiction to oil. The high prices I'm seeing are only to enrich the pushers of the petrol drug which are then used to prevent and lobby against the development of sustainable energy.

This summer, let's stick it to the pusher man. Walk, carpool, coordinate trips. Drive as little as possible, let those tankers sit off-shore loaded with the world's greatest addiction. Make it cost them more to store it than they can sell it for.

British Petroleum Gulf Oil Spill Costs

  • 11 workers killed in initial blast
  • Damage to Ocean Ecosystem
  • 35,000 to 60.000 Barrels of Oil Per Day. That's somewhere between 1,500,000 to 2,500,000 gallons a day or 150 to 300 million gallons already spilled into the ocean as of July 27th by that estimate.
  • Gulf Fisheries Industry
  • Gulf Tourism (ongoing costs)
  • Long Term Health Effects to Humans and Wildlife (to be determined)

Worst Oil Spills

  • Kuwait 1991 - 520 million gallons: Gulf War I
  • Gulf of Mexico 2010 - 206 million gallons: BP Oil
  • Mexico, Bay of Campiche 1979 - 140 million gallons: Pemex Oil
  • Trinidad & Tobago 1979 - 90 million gallons: Greek Oil Tanker Atlantic Empress
  • Russia 1983 - 84 million gallons: Leaky Pipeline collapsed into Kolva River
  • Iran 1983 - 80 million gallons: Tanker collided with Oil Platform
  • South Africa 1983 -79 million gallons:Tanker Castillo de Bellver sank
  • France 1978 - 69 million Gallons: Amoco Cadiz ran aground and broke in half.
  • Angola Coastal Waters (700 miles at sea) 1991 - 51-81 million gallons: ABT Summer exploded at sea.
  • Italy 1991 - 45 million gallons: M/T Haven Oil Tanker exploded.
  • Source: Mother Nature Network. The 13 largest oil spills in history. by Laura Moss. Friday July 16, 2010.

Nuclear Accidents (Under Construction)

  • 1957 Windscale, UK
  • 1961 Idaho Falls, Idaho, US
  • 1979 Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania, US
  • 1984 Athens, Alabama, US
  • 1985 Athens, Alabama, US
  • 1986 Plymouth, Masachusetts, US
  • 1986 Chernobyl, Ukraine, USSR
  • 1996 Waterford, Connecticut, US
  • 1989 Griefwald, Germany
  • 1999 Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
  • 2002 Oak Harbor, Ohio, US
  • 2004 Fukui Prefecture, Japan
  • Source: Benjamin Sovacool

Mining Disasters (Under Construction)

  • China 1942 - 1549 deaths
  • France 1906 - 1100 deaths
  • Japan 1963 - 447 deaths
  • Wales 1913 - 438 deaths
  • South Africa 1960 - 437 deaths
  • Source: Epic Disasters Website
  • Note: Do not look at the dates herein and conclue that mining disasters are a things of the past. Every year thousands of miners die worldwide in largely unreported accidents.

OIL IS OVER! - Resources

  • Hibbert's Peak - "The" source that explains why Oil is Over.
  • Tragedy of the Commons -Garrett Hardin
  • The Land Ethic - Aldo Leopold
  • Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight - Thom Hartmann
  • Eco-Defense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching


  • The Dirt People - Ray Bawarchi (yes, that's me)
  • The Razor's Edge - Somerset Maugham
  • Demian - Herman Hesse
  • Black Elk Speaks - Black Elk (as told to R. Neimur)
  • The Quiet Don - Mikhail Sholokov
  • Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
  • Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
  • 1984 - George Orwell
  • Delicious Laughter - Jallahudin Rumi
  • The Sybil - Par Lagerksvitz
  • The Fixer - Bernard Malamud
  • Spirits Rebellious - Khalil Gibran
  • The Quiet American - Graham Greene
  • Midaq Alley - Nagib Mafouz
  • Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
  • Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
  • Farenheit 451- Ray Bradbury
  • We - Yevgeny Zamyatin


  • John Coltrane - St. John the Divine
  • Patti Smith
  • The Clash - the only band that matters
  • Billy Bragg
  • Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band
  • Art Blakey
  • Death - pre-punk visionaries from Detroit
  • PJ Harvey - Polly Jean, Polly Jean
  • Woody Guthrie
  • Michael Franti (Spearhead)
  • Public Enemy
  • Ray Charles - the Genius
  • Bob Dylan
  • Velvet Underground
  • Flaming Lips
  • John Doe & X
  • The Beatles

opiate of the masses

  • God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh. - Voltaire
  • I do not feel obliged to believe that the same god who has endowed us with sense, reason and inellect has intended us to forgo their use. - Galileo Galilei
  • The ink of a scholar is worth far more than the blood of a martyr.- Mohammad
  • If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him. - Sheldon Kopp
  • No one will be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Louisa Mae Alcott
  • When it is a question of money, everyone is of the same religion.- Voltaire
  • If God were alive today, he'd be an athiest. - Kurt Vonnegut
  • The god I worship is not short of cash, Mister. - Bono
  • Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine. My sins they only belong to me. - Patti Smith
  • God sure baked a lot of fruitcake baby, when Adam met the Eden lady. - Joe Strummer