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02/02/04: Conservative Punks challenge Punk Voter!
You've heard of battle rhymes, now get set for battle political punk sites!

"The "Right" Side of Punk- As of January 31, 2004, ConservativePunk.com officially launches. The site has been created to educate, inform and increase the little known demographic of the Conservative Punk. "

Check it out at http://www.conservativepunk.com, complete with links to the Drudge Report and David Horowitz's Front Page Magazine.


01/20/04: Mental Torture School Still Open for Business!
Jello Biafra talked about Provo Canyon School on his first spoken word cd "No More Cocoons" in 1987- and it's still torturing and warping its young inmates- er, students. One of its victims forwarded us the following information. Here is a .pdf file of an article from last year about the school: http://students.washington.edu/~ruckus/vol-7/Issue2_Oct20_web.pdf Here is a petition to close the school: From http://www.petitiononline.com/closepcs/


01/12/04: United Auto Workers, AFSCME, and Punkvoter.com unite!
United Auto Workers (UAW), and America Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) have joined forces with Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack and Punkvoter.com in order to draw the nation's youth into the political process. UAW and AFSCME are excited to participate in the effort to ensure America's younger generation realizes what is at stake for working families. Both AFSCME Iowa and UAW Iowa have suffered severe job losses because of the Bush Administration's ruthless tax cuts and protection of the wealthy at the cost of working families.

"Iowa has lost over 30,000 good paying jobs in the manufacturing sector and Bush has done nothing. Our families have been deeply hurt in the heartland and we are glad to see Punkvoter taking action and bringing the story to our country's youth," said Dave Neal, of UAW. "We must encourage young voters to participate in the dialogue more - we need their help and their spirit in the fight for working families"

"It is time all of our country starts to speak out. From farmers and factory workers to punk rockers. George Bush has mortgaged our children's futures with his tax cuts for the wealthy, if they want don't want to inherit the debt Bush is passing on to them, they need to get involved", said Marcia Nichols of AFSCME.

Punkvoter is the nation's largest coalition of punk and music-related organizations and individuals uniting to expose the problems of the George W. Bush Administration, including Jello Biafra, Alternative Tentacles, and mail male Jesse Luscious. For more information about Punkvoter visit them here!


01/12/04: Ex-Treasury Sect'y says Iraq War planned pre-9/11
Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill told CBS's 60 Minutes that regime change in Iraq was the main topic at the very first meeting of Bush's National Security Council - a full eight months before 9/11/01. O'Neill said, "It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it.The president saying 'Go find me a way to do this'... From the very beginning, there was a conviction that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go."

O'Neill, who, as Bush's top economic official, was a permanent member of the National Security Council, was asked to resign in 2002 after threatening to publically oppose Bush's second round of major tax cuts. In the book, O'Neill says that the president did not make decisions in a methodical way: there was no free-flow of ideas or open debate. At cabinet meetings, he says the president was "like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people," a major difference from O'Neill's experiences in the Nixon and Ford Administrations.

Read the coverage on the 60 Minutes website here!


01/05/04: Tell Taco Bell That Slavery Tastes Terrible!
Three events organized by Florida's Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) in Southern California will kick off the 3rd year of the Boycott The Bell campaign!

The fruits and vegetables we eat are produced, almost without exception, in a world virtually unknown to US consumers. It is a world hidden from our view by the bright neon logos of the fast-food giants and the shining rows of neatly stacked produce lining the aisles of WalMart supercenters from Miami to LA.It is also a world of extreme exploitation and human rights violations.

In 2001, the CIW called for a national boycott of Taco Bell, demanding that the multi-billion dollar corporation recognize its role in the exploitation of farmworkers who pick its produce and take steps to clean up human rights violations in its supply chain. With public attention to the modern-day slavery and sweatshop conditions in Florida's fields at an all-time high, this year's action promises to be the most powerful yet in this growing, grassroots campaign. The highlight of the 2004 Tour will be a three-day march, from East LA to Irvine. From March 2-4, Immokalee workers will be joined by allies from across the country on the 40-mile march, taking the boycott to millions of consumers on Southern California streets. The march will culminate in a huge, day-long rally on March 5th -- a political, musical, cultural festival that will shake the foundations of a fast-food industry built on the exploitation of workers and consumers alike.


12/31/03: FCC allows "Fuck" on TV, conservatives pissed!
Reacting to an October Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling, Reverend Wildmon's far right American Family Association is mobilizing its grassroots activists. They had complained that the televised Golden Globe Awards included U2 singer Bono saying `this is really, really, fucking brilliant,'' or ``this is fucking great.'' The FCC ruled that Bono's comments were not indecent or obscene- they were free speech.

From the FCC decision:

"Indecency findings involve.. two fundamental determinations. First, the material alleged to be indecent... must describe or depict sexual or excretory organs or activities. Second, the broadcast must be patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards... The material aired during the ``Golden Globe Awards'' program does not describe or depict sexual and excretory activities and organs. The word ``fucking'' may be crude and offensive, but, in the context presented here, did not describe sexual or excretory organs or activities. Rather, the performer used the word ``fucking'' as an adjective or expletive to emphasize an exclamation... The use of specific words, including expletives or other ``four letter words'' does not render material obscene."


12/31/03: Big Mother: Cell phones tell parents their teens location
From Yahoo: "Parents wishing to keep track of their kids without having to call their cellular phones can subscribe to ChildLocate, a mobile location-based service.

The service, which was launched last month, is available in the U.K. It is among the first to use handset identification capabilities of GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) technology for locating children's phones within cell-based networks... Parents with computers can go to the ChildLocate portal where, after entering their password, they can tap in the phone number of their child's phone and view a map showing the child's location within 25 seconds."

Government agencies are already tracking people through cell phone technology. After all, the Global Positioning System (GPS) within cell phones is used for "911"/emergency calls. The question is, do the law enforcement agencies in your country also use the GPS or GSM for illegal or unjustified surveillance?


12/24/03: Shopper Trampled at Wal Mart Survives!
"11/30/03- A 41-year-old woman was knocked unconscious and then trampled by a mob of shoppers who continued to step over her as she suffered a seizure during a Friday sale at Wal-Mart in Orange City, Fla. Authorities said that Patricia Van Lester arrived at Wal-Mart at 3 a.m. for an early sale on a DVD player for her mother. When the store's doors opened at 6 a.m., Van Lester grabbed the DVD player but was quickly overcome by hundreds of shoppers rushing into the store. The woman was knocked to the ground, slammed her head on the ground and suffered at least one seizure... When Orange City and EVAC paramedics got to the store they found Van Lester lying on her left side on top of the DVD player, surrounded by shoppers seemingly oblivious to the unconscious woman." (From local6.com)


12/24/03: Lenny Bruce finally pardoned in a win for free speech
"Lenny Bruce, the provocative and profane satirist who revolutionized the art of stand-up comedy, on Tuesday received a posthumous pardon from Gov. George E. Pataki for a controversial 1964 obscenity conviction. The pardon, the first for a deceased person in state history, represented "a declaration of New York's commitment to upholding the 1st Amendment," Pataki said in a statement, adding: "I hope this pardon serves as a reminder of the precious freedoms we are fighting to preserve as we continue to wage the war on terror."

Bruce was charged after reportedly using 100 obscene words during a freewheeling set at Cafe Au Go Go, a Greenwich Village nightclub that was staked out by an army of plainclothes police officers... Bruce was known for his lacerating, often brilliant comedic attacks on a host of sacred cows, ranging from the pope and organized religion to Eleanor Roosevelt and Jacqueline Kennedy. He didn't seem to care whom he offended, and his comedy routines were liberally sprinkled with four-letter words. Long before late-night comics stretched the bounds of taste and decency, he spoke bluntly about sex, racism and other taboo topics. " (Los Angeles Times)


12/22/03: KFJC Sets Wesley Willis Radio Record

Los Altos Hils based college radio station KFJC set the world record this past weekend by broadcasting Wesley Willis music, interviews, and related content non-stop for 24 hours.

The show, which started Saturday night December 20, 2003 at 9pm and ended Sunday December 21st at 9pm was put together by Dominic Trix and Trinity from the station with help from former AT General Manager Uli Elser. The show was a celebration of Wesley Willis' life, who passed away this past August at the age of 40 of complications from leukemia. The day-long affair featured music from over 50 Wesley Willis CDs, most of which are not in circulation, as well as a few cover-versions of his songs. It also featured interviews with Wesley's brother Michael, Jello Biafra and numerous other friends of Wesleys'.




12/15/03: Brand new Noam Chomsky interview on Guerilla News Network!
Brand new interview with Noam Chomsky on the Guerrilla News Network! GNN is an underground news organization with headquarters in New York City and production facilities in Berkeley, California. Their mission is to expose people to important global issues through guerrilla programming on the web and on television. http://www.guerrillanews.com/human_rights/doc3566.html


12/01/03: Bush's Drinking Daughter Goes 'Pansy' (Division)
lifted from www.365gay.com

Bush's daughter Barbara was spotted recently having a gay old time at a concert by all-gay punk band Pansy Division. Barbara and friends cozied up in the back room drinking, while out front the band screamed their queer hearts out. The band reportedly dedicated their rabid anti-Bush song, Political Asshole, to the first daughter during the show. Daddy's just got to love that.




11/03/03: CNN covers PunkVoter.Com!
Punk Voter Dot Com, the political advocacy group started by Fat Mike/NOFX and joined by, among a host of others, Jello Biafra and Alternative Tentacles Records, has made the web version of CNN:

"'Punkvoter' founder aims to unify youth vote", Sasha Johnson, CNN Political Unit, Monday, November 3, 2003

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Would a plea from the lead singer of Anti-Flag, Bouncing Souls, Frenzal Rhomb or Sick Of It All get you to turn out and vote in the 2004 presidential election?

Probably not if you're a mainstream music fan downloading the latest tune from Britney Spears. But, if you're an avid young punk music lover, it just might do the trick.

At least that's what NOFX lead singer and founder of "Punkvoter" Mike Burkett is hoping. Burkett or "Fat Mike" as he's known to his legion of fans, is teaming up with roughly 50 punk bands and a dozen record labels to form Punkvoter, a group designed to register, educate and push 500,000 18-24 year-olds to the polls next year.

You can read the entire article here: http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/11/03/elec04.punkvoter/index.html


10/27/03: Fleshies & Phantom Limbs Nab Local Awards

Congrats to Fleshies and Phantom Limbs for winning the 2003 SF Weekly Music Awards !!!!

We are all amazed that 2 of our bands won considering that there are thousands of local bands in the Bay Area - many of which that are in the same category that our band's won in Punk (Fleshies) and Rock / Indie Rock (Phantom Limbs).

Phantom Limbs just returned from their US tour in support of their new album Displacement and Fleshies are on a hiatus after releasing their latest album The Sicilian in April and touring for 4 months (!) in support of that.

Congratulations!!!!!




10/14/03: U.S. Soldiers Sending Form Letters on Iraq War ?
LEDYARD KING GANNETT NEWS SERVICE
The Olympian Online
From : http://www.theolympian.com/home/news/20031011/frontpage/121390.shtml

WASHINGTON -- Letters from hometown soldiers describing their successes rebuilding Iraq have been appearing in newspapers across the country as U.S. public opinion on the mission sours.

And all the letters are the same.

A Gannett News Service search found identical letters from different soldiers with the 2nd Battalion of the 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment, also known as "The Rock," in 11 newspapers, including Snohomish, Wash.

The Olympian received two identical letters signed by different hometown soldiers: Spc. Joshua Ackler and Spc. Alex Marois, who is now a sergeant. The paper declined to run either because of a policy not to publish form letters.

The five-paragraph letter talks about the soldiers' efforts to re-establish police and fire departments, and build water and sewer plants in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, where the unit is based.

"The quality of life and security for the citizens has been largely restored, and we are a large part of why that has happened," the letter reads.

It describes people waving at passing troops and children running up to shake their hands and say thank you.

It's not clear who wrote the letter or organized sending it to soldiers' hometown papers.

Six soldiers reached by GNS directly or through their families said they agreed with the letter's thrust. But none of the soldiers said he wrote it, and one said he didn't even sign it.

Marois, 23, told his family he signed the letter, said Moya Marois, his stepmother. But she said he was puzzled why it was sent to the newspaper in Olympia. He attended high school in Olympia but no longer considers the city home, she said. Moya Marois and Alex's father, Les, now live near Kooskia, Idaho.

A seventh soldier didn't know about the letter until his father congratulated him for getting it published in the local newspaper in Beckley, W.Va.

"When I told him he wrote such a good letter, he said: 'What letter?' " Timothy Deaconson said Friday, recalling the phone conversation he had with his son, Nick. "This is just not his (writing) style."

He spoke to his son, Pfc. Nick Deaconson, at a hospital where he was recovering from a grenade explosion that left shrapnel in both his legs.

Sgt. Christopher Shelton, who signed a letter that ran in the Snohomish Herald, said Friday that his platoon sergeant had distributed the letter and asked soldiers for the names of their hometown newspapers. Soldiers were asked to sign the letter if they agreed with it, said Shelton, whose shoulder was wounded during an ambush earlier this year.

"Everything it said is dead accurate. We've done a really good job," he said by phone from Italy, where he was preparing to return to Iraq.

Sgt. Todd Oliver, a spokesman for the 173rd Airborne Brigade, which counts the 503rd as one of its units, said he was told a soldier wrote the letter, but he didn't know who. He said the brigade's public affairs unit was not involved.

"When he asked other soldiers in his unit to sign it, they did," Oliver explained in an e-mail response to a GNS inquiry. "Someone, somewhere along the way, took it upon themselves to mail it to the various editors of newspapers across the country."

Lt. Col. Bill MacDonald, a spokesman for the 4th infantry Division that is heading operations in north-central Iraq, said he had not heard about the letter-writing campaign.

Neither had Lt. Cmdr. Nick Balice, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla.

A recent poll suggests that Americans are increasingly skeptical of America's prolonged involvement in Iraq. A USA Today-CNN-Gallup Poll released Sept. 23 found 50 percent believe that the situation in Iraq was worth going to war over, down from 73 percent in April.

For the rest of the article see:
http://www.theolympian.com/home/news/20031011/frontpage/121390.shtml




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