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05/12/06: Alexander Cockburn's scoop now in NY Times!
Journalist and AT artist Alexander Cockburn published a shocking expose of abuse of wounded US servicemen at the long-term recovery unit at Fort Sill a couple months back in his always illuminating newsletter, Counterpunch. Today, the New York Times published a front page story on the shameful episode and yes, the article gave Counterpunch credit for breaking the story!

From the May 12, 2006 edition of the NY Times:
"LAWTON, Okla. The Army has shaken up a program to heal recruits injured in basic training after soldiers and their parents said troops hurt at Fort Sill were punished with physical abuse and medical neglect.

The program, which treated more than 1,100 injured soldiers last year at five posts, normally returns three-fourths of its patients to active duty, according to Army statistics. But at Fort Sill, recruits said, injuries were often subject to derision, ignored or improperly treated.

Two soldiers in the program have died since 2004, one or possibly both of accidental overdoses of prescription drugs. The latest death, in March, remains under investigation, the Army said. "I am an inmate," one soldier, Pfc. Mathew Scarano of Eureka, Calif., wrote in a letter home in January two months before he died. "I sometimes ask those friends of mine with jailhouse tattoos if they'd rather be back in jail, or here. So far, they are unanimous jail."

Commanders acknowledge problems with the Physical Training and Rehabilitation Program, and they have ordered changes here at the Field Artillery Center and at the other training centers. For the first time, as a result of the Fort Sill problems, a medical professional is to head each program. A civilian spokesman at the fort, Jon Long, said an investigation had substantiated "misbehavior" by a drill sergeant who, soldiers say, kicked a trainee with stitches in his knee. Mr. Long said the sergeant had been suspended and reassigned, along with another drill sergeant who, soldiers complained, had repeatedly awakened injured trainees throughout the night for uniform changes and formations..."


05/10/06: BloodHag on NPR!
From the website of Seattle NPR station KUOW:
"According to the Seattle band Bloodhag, "Our mission is to spread the gospel of Edu-Core. Bang The Head That Does Not Read. Everyone Smarter Than Everyone Else. Use Heavy Metal music to promote literacy and vice versa." It's not often that heavy metal and literacy intersect, or even thought about in the same hour, but Bloodhag pursues its mission and music with equal amounts of fervent zeal. As their new record Hell Bent For Letters hits the shelves, John Moe talks to members of the band about Robert Heinlein, Ursula LeGuin, Phillip K. Dick, and why they throw books at their audience."

You can hear the interview via Real Audio or mp3 here!


05/05/06: AT Mailorder Delayed! Sorry!
Hey eager beaver mail order and web order customers!
Many of you have noticed a delay in your order being shipped over the past week or so. Usually we're able to get orders turned around within 2 days. The delay in packing and shipping your orders is due to both my computer and I being pretty sick. (Not the same virus though, ba-dump-bump!)
I apologize for the delay but now we're both in much better shape and all of the pending postal mail orders have been shipped and the current backlog (about 5 days) of web orders are being packaged and shipped.

Thanks for being patient & Rock On!
Jesse/AT Mail Male


05/02/06: May Day 2006 a huge success!
"In what is being called the largest day of protest in U.S. history, over 1.5 million people stayed away from work and school Monday to take part in nationwide marches in support of immigrant rights. In Chicago, organizers claimed a turnout of 700,000 people. In Los Angeles, at least 500,000. Here in New York, over 100,000 marched down Broadway. At least 75,000 people turned out in Denver, with thousands more in cities including San Jose, Phoenix, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Las Vegas and nearly 50 others.

Businesses across the country were closed as workers walked off the job for an economic boycott dubbed "A Day Without Immigrants." Meat producing companies, including Tyson foods, Cargill and Perdue Farms closed down more than two dozen plants employing over 20,00 people. In Phoenix, protesters formed a human chain to block off Wal-Mart and Home Depot stores. Traffic was down 90 percent at the main ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, the country's largest. The boycott also attracted large student involvement. In Los Angeles, over 72,000 middle and high school students -- about one in every four students - were absent from school." To read, listen, or watch more about yesterday's history boycott, Democracy Now's coverage (quoted above) is a good place to start!


04/29/06: May 1st is May Day!
That's right, Monday is May Day, a traditional celebration for the worker and the working class, whether anarchist, communist, socialist, green democrat, or republican! Our mailorder department will be closed in honor of our fellow workers- plus this May Day is even more important because of the nationwide 1-day walkout in solidarity with both legal and illegal immigrants! Last Thursday the California State Senate approved a resolution that calls the one-day protest the Great American Boycott 2006 and describes it as an attempt to educate Americans "about the tremendous contribution immigrants make on a daily basis to our society and economy."

There are many events around the country and around the world, here are just a few!
InkWorks Party, noon-6pm, Berkeley, CA
MayDay in San Francisco
ActionLA in Southern California, plus links to other US MayDay celebrations of immigrants
http://www.nohr4437.org/


04/28/06: Defend Net Neutrality!
From our smart internet pals at Save The Internet comes this really important news. This is something that, if passed, WILL affect all of us. Don't let the corporate bastards- er, US Congress- give away the internet to the other corporate bastards in the boardrooms!

"Congress is pushing a law that would abandon the Internet's First Amendment -- a principle called Network Neutrality that prevents companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from deciding which Web sites work best for you -- based on what site pays them the most. Your local library shouldn't have to outbid Barnes & Noble for the right to have its Web site open quickly on your computer.

Net Neutrality allows everyone to compete on a level playing field and is the reason that the Internet is a force for economic innovation, civic participation and free speech. If the public doesn't speak up now, Congress will cave to a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign by telephone and cable companies that want to decide what you do, where you go, and what you watch online.

This isn't just speculation -- we've already seen what happens elsewhere when the Internet's gatekeepers get too much control. Last year, Telus -- Canada's version of AT&T -- blocked their Internet customers from visiting a Web site sympathetic to workers with whom the company was having a labor dispute. And Madison River, a North Carolina ISP, already tried to block its customers from using any competing Internet phone service."

Come on, step up now and fight or be bent over and screwed w/o lube later!


04/14/06: Nardwuar vs. Jello and Nardwuar vs. Zolar X on CiTR FM this afternoon!
Today at 3:30pm (PDT) on CiTR FM, Nardwuar's radio show will feature the latest interview he did with Jello Biafra last week in Vancouver as well as an interview with Zolar X he taped during SXSW. You can listen over the Internet here at the CiTR website.


04/11/06: Vote for Seattle-based AT Bands!
Two Alternative Tentacles bands from Seattle have been nominated for Seattle Weekly's Music Awards: BloodHag for the Metal/Hard Rock category and Nat Damm from Akimbo for the Best Drummer category. You can go here to vote (you don't have to be a Seattle resident). Akimbo's new release Forging Steel and Laying Stone (Virus 344) is available here at the AT web store or in record stores. BloodHag's new album Hell Bent for Letters (Virus 357) is scheduled for release on May 23, 2006.

Good luck to both bands!


04/05/06: Sunday, See Mail Male Mull Music!
Jesse The Mail Male will be a panelist at this Sunday's "You Can't Stop the Music: Ways to get your Music Moving - Music Booking Panel" in San Francisco! This exciting event features local artists, critics, promoters, SF Entertainment Commission members, and more. Should be a blast!

Sunday April 9th 7PM till 9PMish roughly at the Edinburgh Castle, 950 Geary (between Polk and Larkin) in San Francisco. $3 -5 (No one turned away due to lack of funds), 21+. Check out Lilycat.com for more information.


04/04/06: Deadly Kennedys Roll Over Dallas!
From the Dallas, Texas Assassination City Roller Derby League comes our favorite new team: The Deadly Kennedys!

"Thought you might want to see The Deadly Kennedys new team photo. We ran out of time to spray paint the "S" on the front of our shirts..
Thanks AT! We love you!
Iona Switchblade 8, The Deadly Kennedys




03/31/06: Mail Male as political partisan Saturday!
See Jesse the Mail Male in his alter ego as local political activist at this exciting forum on public financing of elections and Instant Runoff Voting, 2 things which will help our ailing US democracy! It's hosted by East Bay Common Cause at the Greenlining Institute 1918 University Avenue, 2nd Floor (Wheelchair Accessible), in Berkeley, CA. Saturday April 1, 2006 1pm-3pm.

Speakers include:
Assemblymember Loni Hancock - Implementing state-wide public financing (AB 8385)
Trent Lang (what Berkeley/Oakland people can do on this issue)
Councilmember Kriss Worthington - Implementing IRV (Instant Runoff Voting)
Joanne McKray Oakland IRV (what Oakland people can do on this issue)
Jesse Townley Berkeley IRV (what Berkeley people can do on this issue)



03/29/06: No Jello at Fab Mab Show
(You'd Think People Would Know By Now, But...) Here We Go Again

We are getting too many reports of people buying $25 tickets to a so-called "Fab Mab Reunion" concert at the Fillmore in San Francisco thinking it is a Dead Kennedys reunion, therefore Biafra will be there.

Jello responds:
Enough people are confused [that] we need to set the record straight. No, it is not a Dead Kennedys reunion. Yes, I am boycotting the whole scam. These are the same greed-mongers who ran to corporate lawyers and sued me for over six years in a dispute sparked by my not wanting "Holiday in Cambodia" sold into a Levi's commercial. They now pimp Dead Kennedys in the same spirit as Mike Love suing Brian Wilson over and over again, then turning around and playing shows as the Beach Boys. They despise everything our band ever stood for.

"Money Uber Alles" is what all these bands used to stand against. Back in Mabuhay days, no one was more up front about not selling out to Bill Graham than Dead Kennedys and Flipper, especially Will Shatter (RIP). Now Bill Graham Presents has been swallowed and the name is being used as a front for Clear Channel, as nasty a corporate predator as Fox News and Wal-Mart.

It breaks my heart that Dead Kennedys now seems to have the worst reputation of any old punk band trying to cash in on their names, even more than the so-called Misfits. We still get complaints from people who bought tickets to shows expecting Dead Kennedys and getting stuck with the world's greatest karaoke band. Others report someone they know getting ripped off thinking they were seeing me the whole time because no one on stage ever mentioned the singer's name. I guess it's sort of like paying to see Black Sabbath and finding out the singer is Donny Osmond.

So I hope people who go know in advance what they are getting into. As Johnny Rotten said at the Sex Pistols' own miserable Bill Graham experience, "Ever get the feeling you're being cheated?"


03/22/06: Akimbo, George, and the Bay Guardian!
Check out this SXSW wrap-up in the San Francisco Bay Guardian which features Akimbo and our very own press dude George Chen!


03/20/06: Bat Bash in Austin=Awesome!
Whew, with weary legs and battered eardrums your trusty Bat buddies are trickling back to the Bay Area...

Friday's Alternative Tentacles showcase @ the Jackalope was an event for the ages, with the rockin' started by Ralph/Victim's Family and his new band The Freak Accident! Soon afterwards Akimbo leveled the crowd, making way for a surprise appearance by the original Triple-X rapper, Blowfly, who, with entourage and television cameras in tow, jumped up on stage for 2 songs. Immediately afterwards, Turn Me On Dead Man knocked out a winner of a set.

Jello Biafra had been introducing each band and before the next band Nardwuar The Human Serviette jumped up on stage and had a mini-interview with Jello Biafra about Canadians, Zolar X, and, well, we're really not sure what else because we were laughing so hard!

Beginning the interplanetary portion of the night was Plutonium's finest, Zolar X, who sent us out into space for an extended rock odyssey. And from the Planet Kero-Kero, none other than eX-Girl followed Zolar X and sent everyone in the sold-out club to the moon and beyond in the 2nd of only 2 shows in the USA this time around!

It was a great night and big thanks to the Jackalope, SXSW, the bands, and you for making it a kick ass event! The rest of SXSW had a lot more AT representation through Bat superstars like Dash Rip Rock, The Yuppie Pricks, The Bellrays, and multiple shows from Akimbo and Blowfly. We may be missing a couple of bands in that list, if so sorry, we're still woozy from many many bands and little little sleep!


03/08/06: Steve Chinn show and auction tonight!
Tonight! It's a benefit for Steve Chinn, ex-AT shirt printer & ex-member of SOSA, FANG, BOOM AND THE LEGION OF DOOM, and more! There will be an auction between bands, including 3 Alternative Tentacles music and dvd packages!

Bands include:
Strychnine (headliner)
Sick On The Bus (UK)
Poop (L.A. - featuring Rikk Agnew)
at Annie's Social Club (formerly CW Saloon), 917 Folsom @ 5th St., SF., $7, 8pm. 21+

Don't forget to bring checkbook and/or extra cash for the auction! Check out the flyer here. You can keep up to date on his progress here, and you can make a donation towards his medical costs here.


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