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05/18/06: Knights vs. AT fan! (updated!)
Here's the back and forth between a long-time AT fan and Michael Andrews/Knights Of The New Crusade (including Ra's response):

From AT fan "Ra":
Hi,
This is a sad day indeed. The signing of a christian rock band to AT marks the end of an era. Simply stated christianity was started by men so they could better control women and animals. I've heard you speak out against misogyny. Christians have a pretty damn powerful version of their own.
What's next for AT - white power bands? There are tons of white power/christian punk bands you could sign. They're equally fucked up and deplorable and some of them really can rock.
I suppose I shouldn't fault you for signing bands that support misogyny, racism and animal abuse, it is wrapped in such a pretty package, but you've always seemed like such a stand-up guy and I doubt you lead your life based on a myth..
As long as you sign Christian rock I'm going to stop supporting AT, except for The Fleshies(I'm not crazy), and I just stopped my cave news subscription that I've enjoyed for years. This sux..
groove, ra

There is nothing alternative about christianity but it is tentacle."

And here's Michael Andrews/KOTNC response:
"Hello Ra, I'm Mike from the Knights of the New Crusade. Your e-mail was forwarded to me by AT, though they didn't ask that I reply so nothing I say should be taken as a statement of the views of anyone there, including Jello. I hope you don't mind the unsolicited response, but I felt that I should try to clear up some misapprehensions you seem to have.
There are many belief systems presented by various people as Christianity. Personally, I believe them to be true inasmuch as they adhere to the teachings of Jesus Christ as presented in the New Testament. I wouldn't be surprised if such a profession of faith causes an immediate and adverse reaction, since it does so to many people, but please bear with me.
The modern, institutional "Christianity" (what Kirkegaard called "Christendom," as we do on our AT album) that hypocritical politicians and corporate interests use to cloak their distinctly unChristian practices is a pernicious corruption of Christ's teachings. Unfortunately, this is hardly a new thing: as soon as the Roman Empire co-opted Christianity (some would even say as soon as Paul started to interpolate his beliefs), true Christianity began to be obscured.
I can certainly understand someone being disgusted with how Christianity has been presented over the centuries. But being disgusted with, say, Blink 182 is no reason to to be disgusted with the music of the Damned or Johnny Moped.
With all due respect, I have to disagree with your simple statement, which is not only simplistic but erroneous (a statement such as you make really needs some evidence: "Saying don't make it so," as my grandfather often said). Here's my evidence to the contrary: Jesus was clearly against racism and misogony, as well as war. He told us that we should love our fellow humans, even those who hate us. We of the Knights are probably more distressed than you at how His message has been corrupted (usually by dragging in parts of the Old Testament that were superceded by Christ). Anyone who corrupts His teaching for the sake of promoting racism, misogony or war is doing the work of Satan, not God.
As far as animal abuse, that's a matter of judgement. If you are a vegan, for instance, you might regard any eating or use of animals and their products as abuse. If you feel strongly enough about it, you might want to boycott all bands that have one or more members who don't conform to your beliefs: it is certainly your right to do so. I hope that whatever your beliefs in the matter, you apply them impartially. Of course, it's also your right to dislike Christian bands that eat meat and cheese for doing so, but to not mind if non-Christian bands eat meat and cheese, if that's what you wish. Please bear in mind that I'm only conjecturing what you might be thinking, since you didn't specify what you meant by animal abuse.
By the way, I doubt that anyone has ever started (or corrupted) a religion in order to better control animals: animals seem rather immune to religious influence. I do apologize on behalf of my Master for sending the legion of demons into the pigs, however: as someone who's always liked pigs (one of the most intelligent animals), I've always been rather disturbed by that passage, since He seemed to be showing greater mercy to the demons than to the pigs . Maybe it made more sense to people at the time because of the Hebraic dietary restrictions: there's a lot I don't know, though I'm trying to learn.
Thanks for caring enough to write to AT, and for your time. As God said to Isiah, "Come, let us reason together."

From AT fan "Ra":
t first I was impressed that you would respond to this lone voice but then I remembered that is what evangicals do - relentlessly. However I'm still not convinced this isn't a publicity stunt. It's hard for me to believe that someone who can compose a fairly articulate letter would disregard fossil evidence, believe this planet is less than 6000 years old and believe in a book with over 250 self-contradictions. Science says anything that self-contradicts itself even once is flawed. That makes perfect sense to me and proves the bible is fiction many times over. Not even good fiction at that.
Your arguments concerning the difference between the new and old testament, god and satan, are moot to me because I'm an atheist and don't believe in utter nonsense about gods or that either of the testaments from any religion are divine in nature. When I hear a christian talk about disregarding the old testiment for the new it makes me want to point out how absurd that is but it takes way too long and they are typically too brainwashed to listen to reason. Personally I think you're trying to cash in on the fracas by standing on the shoulders of bands like Gwar.
It's patently obvious that Jesus Christ was no different than Jimmie Jones, Charles Manson, Joseph Smith, David Koresh or jojo the monkey boy.. He was just another charismatic lunatic who believed he was having conversations with devils and gods - if he existed at all.
For myself it's easy to see through religions transparent goal - to gain power and wealth and to control women, animals and gullible men.. I'm at a loss as to why most of the population doesn't see it that way. I can only chalk it up to ignorance and/or brainwashing because it flies in the face of reason.
Take the LDS religion for example. Joe Smith(the founder) and his father were professional con men but ppl blindly believe his ludicrous story enough to give up 10 percent of their annual income. That particular religion is less than 200 years old and has millions of followers. To me that is evidence to the gullibility of most humans.
Christianity is so old and convoluted it has less credence than the, obviously fabricated, LDS religion which has no credence at all. One must ignore scientific evidence to believe in christianity. That's asking a lot from rational ppl who are not brainwashed. Remember the brainwashed do not know they are brainwashed. That includes you if you're serious about this nonsense.
You have absolutely no historical or empirical evidence to back the preposterous claims made in the bible. You just have blind faith and unquestioning obedience. That is the mark of ignorance and brainwashing. There is a good reason that atheists are typically very educated ppl. Education is the enemy of religion.
Historically Christians use biblical scriptures to justify murder, torture, slavery, racism, sexism, speciesism and war. All in the name of a mythical god. Therefore you help to promote ignorance and evil.
>>>>> "If you are a vegan, for instance, you might regard any eating or use of animals and their products as abuse."
I am and I do..
>>>>> "you might want to boycott all bands that have one or more members who don't conform to your beliefs."
If a band is overtly preaching something I consider evil i.e. - religion(KNC ), animal abuse(ted nugent), misogyny(much rap) - I do boycott them. I don't research what individual band members of all music I listen to believe. Who has the time for that? But if they are, lyrically, a one trick pony like you guys are then you make it obvious what you are about and I will check my wallet accordingly.
>>>>> "I doubt that anyone has ever started (or corrupted) a religion in order to better control animals: animals seem rather immune to religious influence."
This drives my point home that religious ppl are either ignorant or brainwashed. The list of religions that have sacrificed animals is too lengthy to mention. There are several that still practice it. Some of them derived from christianity.
No thanks to the bible many amerikkkans kill snakes on sight. I even recall some scripture that said god makes them eat dust for their lives. Not to mention that god made all women suffer for Eves transgressions.
News flash: The time of the bible was a patriarchal culture. Women and animals were in the same category - chattel.
chat·tel Pronunciation Key (chtl) n. Law. An article of movable personal property. A slave.
Animals and women were the personal property of men and could be abused or killed with no recourse.
The biblical story of Adam and Eve clearly makes a woman and an animal into the enemy of man. Eve's decision to obey the snake leads to man's pain and suffering and cleary puts them below man. The bible gives man authority over animals. That's crap. Animals have their own lives and are not ours to use for any reason. Period!
Your religion claims animals do not have a soul, have no conscious or feelings, only humans do. That is poppycock and is a means of control.
I have more news for you.. We are animals! Humans and chimpanzees have about 98.4% of their genes in common. We are just the smartest monkey.
The Bible clearly supports animal sacrifice and meateating. That is animal abuse plain and simple.
The bible allows man to reduce the rest of the earth's population to serfdom. The bible is evil.
If christians care about animals as their "dominion" then why don't they do something about factory farms? No pain and suffering in human history can compare with the animal abuse of factory farming methods and yet christians help it proliferate daily. That is evil..
Christians are among the most ignorant hypocrites in history. People like the Knights of the New Crusade make me proud to be an atheist and a vegetarian. The atheists I know have MUCH higher moral standards than the christians I know. The fact is that our prisons are full of christians while our institutions of higher learning are full of atheists.
The christian concept of morality based upon coercion, guilt, punishment and enticements of a paradise are utterly deplorable.
It creates nations of neurosis...
I think christianity is disgusting, pernicious and thickheaded. I stand by my original email to Jello and will continue to boycott AT now that they have joined the dark side.
If this is all a joke and you're making $ then all I can say is bravo!! Good show.. Otherwise you're a different kind of joke in my book.
groove, ra

"Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile." -Kurt Vonnegut"


05/16/06: Greg Palast on Democracy Now!
On the May 15th, 2006 episode of Democracy Now, investigative journalist and AT spoken word artist Greg Palast talks about his brand new book, Armed Madhouse. The full title is "Armed Madhouse: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf? China Floats, Bush Sinks, The Scheme to Steal '08, No Child's Behind Left, and Other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War."

In yesterday's interview, Palast talks about the role of oil in the Iraq war. Instead of going into Iraq to get the country's oil, Bush/Cheney and Big Oil went in to control the country's oil. As in, the US government does not want the oil to flood into the market, which is also why the US government is so against Venezuela's leader, Hugo Chavez. Venezuela has larger oil reserves than Saudi Arabia- and it's out of the control- right now- of Big Oil.

The interview covers this and much more packed into a short segment (which is also transcribed here). Check it out!


05/15/06: Punk News and the Knights
Our pals at Punk News Dot Org are covering the two Knights of the New Crusade podcasts, leading to the Punk News punters to give their two cents on everyone's favorite Crusading Christians! Check the action here!


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?"


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