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"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)
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:
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.
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:
10/14/03: D.O.A. Celebrate 25th Anniversary
D.O.A., Canada's most influential punk rock band, is beginning the celebration of their 25th Anniversary. Having influenced a couple of generations of punks and musicians and made a big impact on underground "people power" politics, D.O.A.will mark the occasion in a couple of special ways. Sudden Death Records (Canada's punk godfather Joey Shithead Keithley's own record label) will release the definitive D.O.A. album "War and Peace" a 26 track compilation of D.O.A.'s greatest recorded moments. War and Peace starts at the roots with "Disco Sucks", "The Enemy" and "Liar For Hire" right through to their modern blitzkrieg sound of "Dead Men Tell No Tales" and "Just Say No To The WTO".
D.O.A. will blast through live shows with their new rock solid lineup of Joey, The Great Baldini on drums and new bassist Damned Dan Yaremko (Econoline Crush, Bif Naked). This fall, Shithead's first book "I, Shithead, a life in punk" will be out on Arsenal Pulp Press. It is a definitive and raunchy look at punk and the spread of counter culture throughout western society. Sudden Death Records will also release this fall "Let's Start The Action" an electronic tribute to D.O.A. performed by 20 different artists from around the world and inspired by the anti-globalization movement. As well, Sudden Death has recently re-released D.O.A.'s first two albums "Something Better Change" and "Hardcore 81", recently picked as two of the top five Canadian punk rock albums of all time, by AMP Magazine. A full length documentary on D.O.A. "Talk-Action=0" is being developed by film maker Marcus Rogers (The Widower).
D.O.A. has travelled a long, tough road, that has taken them around the world and the raw energy continues. The band has never been more active, having recently released their second DVD, D.O.A.'s "Greatest Shits" and a split album with metal legend Thor ("Are U Ready"). Recently Mayor Larry Campbell of Vancouver declared December 21st to be " D.O.A. Day" in Vancouver. The band has also been featured in punk and political books published around the world. Come join in the power and non compromise that is D.O.A.(see tour dates on our Tour Dates page - thanks)
10/11/03: Georgia To Name Mountain 'Schwarzenegger'?
Story filed: 13:57 Friday 10th October 2003
Authorities in the former Soviet state of Georgia want to nam e a peak in the Caucasus Mountains after Arnold Schwarzenegger. But there's a catch - California's governor-elect apparently must visit the small former Soviet republic if the honour is to be bestowed.
Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze's representative in the western Imertia region said that the regional administration is sending Schwarzenegger a letter congratulating him on his political victory.
The representative, Temur Shashiashvili, said authorities had invited the actor to visit three years ago and planned to name a mountain after him then.
He said Schwarzenegger had said he would come, but was unable to make it at the time.
"Now, congratulating him on his win, we are again inviting him to visit us. And we hope we hope that it will happen," Mr Shashiashvili said. "We want to establish close contacts with California."
He said that if the plan comes to fruition, the ceremony naming a peak after Schwarzenegger will be "a colourful show in which the leading role will be played by the renowned actor."
10/08/03: California Lay'd By Arnold
from Greg Palast's website (www.gregpalast.com)
According to a series of memoranda our office obtained today, Arnold Schwarzenegger's dalliance with boys in a hotel room just two years ago is every bit as scandalous as his manhandling of women during his career as celebrity he-man.
The wannabe governor has yet to deny that on May 17, 2001, at the Peninsula Hotel in Los Angeles, he had consensual political intercourse with Enron chieftain Kenneth Lay. Also frolicking with Arnold and Ken was convicted stock swindler Mike Milken.
Now, thirty-four pages of internal Enron memoranda have just come through this reporter's fax machine tell all about the tryst between Maria's husband and the corporate con men. It turns out that Schwarzenegger knowingly joined the hush-hush encounter as part of a campaign to sabotage a Davis-Bustamante plan to make Enron and other power pirates then ravaging California pay back the $9 billion in illicit profits they carried off.
Here's the story Arnold doesn't want you to hear. The biggest single threat to Ken Lay and the electricity lords is a private lawsuit filed last year under California's unique Civil Code provision 17200, the "Unfair Business Practices Act." This litigation, heading to trial now in Los Angeles, would make the power companies return the $9 billion they filched from California electricity and gas customers.
It takes real cojones to bring such a suit. Who's the plaintiff taking on the bad guys? Cruz Bustamante, Lieutenant Governor and reluctant leading candidate against Schwarzenegger.
Now follow the action. One month after Cruz brings suit, Enron's Lay calls an emergency secret meeting in L.A. of his political buck-buddies, including Arnold. Their plan, to undercut Davis (according to Enron memos) and "solve" the energy crisis -- that is, make the Bustamante legal threat go away.
How can that be done? Follow the trail with me.
While Bustamante's kicking Enron butt in court, the Davis Administration is simultaneously demanding that George Bush's energy regulators order the $9 billion refund. Don't hold your breath: Bush's Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is headed by a guy proposed by … Ken Lay.
But Bush's boys on the commission have a problem. The evidence against the electricity barons is rock solid: fraudulent reporting of sales transactions, megawatt "laundering," fake power delivery scheduling and straight out conspiracy (including meetings in hotel rooms).
So the Bush commissioners cook up a terrific scheme: charge the companies with conspiracy but offer them, behind closed doors, deals in which they have to pay only two cents on each dollar they filched.
Problem: the slap-on-the-wrist refunds won't sail if the Governor of California won't play along. Solution: Re-call the Governor.
New Problem: the guy most likely to replace Davis is not Mr. Musclehead, but Cruz Bustamante, even a bigger threat to the power companies than Davis. Solution: smear Cruz because -- heaven forbid! -- he took donations from Injuns (instead of Ken Lay).
The pay-off? Once Arnold is Governor, he blesses the sweetheart settlements with the power companies. When that happens, Bustamante's court cases are probably lost. There aren't many judges who will let a case go to trial to protect a state if that a governor has already allowed the matter to be "settled" by a regulatory agency.
So think about this. The state of California is in the hole by $8 billion for the coming year. That's chump change next to the $8 TRILLION in deficits and surplus losses planned and incurred by George Bush. Nevertheless, the $8 billion deficit is the hanging rope California's right wing is using to lynch Governor Davis.
Yet only Davis and Bustamante are taking direct action to get back the $9 billion that was vacuumed out of the state by Enron, Reliant, Dynegy, Williams Company and the other Texas bandits who squeezed the state by the bulbs.
But if Arnold is selected, it's 'hasta la vista' to the $9 billion. When the electricity emperors whistle, Arnold comes -- to the Peninsula Hotel or the Governor's mansion. The he-man turns pussycat and curls up in their lap.
I asked Mr. Muscle's PR people to comment on the new Enron memos -- and his strange silence on Bustamante's suit or Davis' petition. But Arnold was too busy shaving off his Hitlerian mustache to respond.
The Enron memos were discovered by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, Los Angeles, www.ConsumerWatchdog.org
Greg Palast is author of the New York Times bestseller, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" as well as "Regulation and Democracy" (with Theo MacGregor and Jerrold Oppenheim), the United Nations guide to utility deregulation. Read Palast's commentaries at www.GregPalast.com. Reprints permitted. Contact: email@example.com.
10/07/03: Darryl to speak & sing in LA on FBI suit and Earth First!
Darryl Cherney, just off a successful lawsuit against the FBI and fresh with new musical material, will be appearing in LA at the Onion Forum, 9550 Haskell, on Tuesday night, October 14th at 7:30 pm. Donations requested. Darryl will speak on his and Judi's successful trial against the FBI and Oakland Police for violations of civil rights stemming from a 1990 car bomb attack on their lives for which they were both almost framed.
10/03/03: Anti-Bush T-shirt approved
Judge rules school can't ban teen-ager from wearing it
By David Shepardson / The Detroit News
Dearborn High School was wrong to ban a student from wearing a T-shirt that labeled President Bush an "international terrorist," a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Patrick Duggan issued a preliminary injunction allowing senior Bretton Barber to wear the black T-shirt.
"The courts have never declared that the school yard is an inappropriate place for political debate," Duggan wrote. "Students benefit when school officials provide an environment where they can openly express their diverging viewpoints and when they learn to tolerate the opinions of others."
Barber wore the T-shirt to school on Feb. 17 and was told by an assistant principal to turn it inside out. He refused and left school for the remainder of the day.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit on Barber's behalf in March after the district refused to back down, fearing it might ignite tensions among students and noting the country was at war in Iraq. One of Barber's lawyers said he hasn't decided to wear the T-shirt to school.
"I don't think he's made a decision on whether or when he's going to wear it," said Michael Steinberg, who is legal director for the ACLU of Michigan.
Steinberg praised Duggan "for applying the well-established principles of free speech in public schools."
A lawyer for Dearborn Public Schools, George Butler, declined to comment because he hadn't seen the decision.
Duggan said if the shirt becomes a "substantial disruption" then the school district could return to court to ask him to reverse his ruling.
Barber will be honored by the ACLU on Nov. 8. The award will be presented by John Tinker, who sparked the landmark Supreme Court student free-speech case in 1969.
John Tinker, now 52 and living in Fayette, Mo., was expelled from school for wearing a black armband to protest the Vietnam War.
10/01/03: City Tries to Block Concert Suicide Plan
Tue Sep 30, 8:57 AM ET
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Reuters) - City officials in St. Petersburg, Florida, passed a law on Monday banning public suicides in an attempt to prevent a rock band from carrying out a planned suicide at a concert.
The band Hell on Earth said on its Web site, www.hellonearth.net, that a terminally ill member of the Euthanasia Society would commit suicide at the concert at an undisclosed location in St. Petersburg. The band said it planned to show the event on its Web site.
"This is about standing up for what you believe in and I am a strong supporter of physician-assisted suicide," band leader Billy Tourtelot said in a statement posted on the Web site.
"This performance will go in its entirety and it will be in St. Petersburg on Oct. 4," Tourtelot said.
The St. Petersburg City Council held an emergency meeting on Monday and passed an ordinance to ban public suicides. City officials are also seeking a court injunction to stop the performance.
The St. Petersburg-based band is known for its outrageous acts. At one concert, dead rats were put into a blender and some audience members drank the concoction.
The concert featuring the suicide had been scheduled to take place at the State Theater in St. Petersburg but the manager canceled it after he learned about the planned suicide.
09/17/03: Japanese Baseball Sign vs. George Bush
On August 29, Randolph Sill headed to a Mariners game with a homemade sign decked out with slogans written in Japanese kanji, along with the number of Sill's favorite player, Ichiro Suzuki. Whenever Ichiro came up to bat, Sill would hold his sign high. Sill, who's spent time in Japan, knows Japanese television regularly broadcasts Mariners games and spotlights signs for its native son Ichiro.
Here's what Sill's sign said: On one side, the kanji read, "President Bush is a monkey's butt." On the other: "Americans are ashamed of our corrupt president." Sill, who hoped his sign would be broadcast on TV here and in Japan, says many Japanese fans at Safeco Field smiled and winked when they read his sign.
Mariners security staff, however, were not amused. When they caught on during the seventh inning, a cop escorted Sill and his sign to the security office, and seized the sign. "I haven't heard, yet, if the sign was broadcast to all of Japan," Sill says.
09/16/03: Lawmaker Wants to Put 'French' Back in Fries
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - To get international help to rebuild Iraq, Congress may have to eat some French fries and French toast, according to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.
Saying it is time to put aside differences with France, the Texas Democrat circulated a letter on Monday urging the U.S. House of Representatives to put back the word "French" in fries and toast on House cafeteria and dining hall menus.
Lawmakers ordered them renamed "Freedom" fries and "Freedom" toast last spring, reflecting anger at France for its opposition to the U.S.-led war to topple Saddam Hussein as Iraq's president.
But times have changed, Jackson Lee said, and now the Washington is trying to get France and other members of the United Nations to contribute money and troops to help stabilize Iraq and rebuild its devastated infrastructure.
"President Bush is now urging that all parties put aside 'past bickering,'" she said in her letter. "A symbolic start to that effort" would be reinstating foods on the House menus "with their traditional 'American' names -- French toast and French fries."
Rep. Bob Ney, head of the House Administration Committee, ordered the changes in March. The Ohio Republican took the action at the suggestion of Rep. Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican.