"US President Barack Obama has shelved plans for controversial bases in Poland and the Czech Republic in a major overhaul of missile defence in Europe."
That said, there's the not-so-good news, but at least it's not part of the Star Wars never-ever-worked missile defense boondoggle.
"Although the White House said the US "no longer planned to move forward" with the old shield scheme for Poland and the Czech Republic, Defence Secretary Robert Gates stressed the US was not abandoning missile defence of Europe.
He said negotiations were under way with both nations about deploying upgraded SM-3 interceptors from 2015.
The first phase of the new strategy, he said, would be to deploy "current and proven missile defence systems in the next two years", including the sea-based Aegis and the current SM-3."
09/04/09: AT closed Labor Day (Monday!)
Alternative Tentacles is closed Monday, September 7th. It is Labor Day here in the U.S.
From a 2001 New York Times opinion piece about the holiday:
"The grand marshal of the first Labor Day celebration, held in New York City in 1882, has been quoted as saying, 'Let us offer monopolists and their tools of both political parties such a sight as will make them think more profoundly than they have ever thought before.'
...Most of us have trouble hearing the 'labor' in Labor Day any longer -- the use of the word, that is, that distinguishes labor from management or worker from capitalist. The very radicalism of devoting a day to the honoring of labor's role in the creation of national wealth has been lost to the waning of both union power and a proud sense of class distinction. Laborers have been redefined as 'consumers,' a category that somehow muddies everything.
But in its time the idea behind Labor Day was genuinely radical, as radical in its own way as the origin of Independence Day. As Ms. Litwicki observes, one of the critical steps in the evolution of Labor Day was balancing the class defiance, even the potential violence, of some forms of trade unionism with the patriotism and the conciliatory spirit of others. What resulted, when it became a legal holiday in 1894, was a version of Labor Day that managed to celebrate business and industry as well as the unions. It also made room at the front of the parade for politicians, who had been excluded from the original Labor Days. It became a holiday that honored sociability more than solidarity."
08/21/09: Wesley Willis Anniversary
Wesley Willis died on this date 6 years ago.
May 31, 1963 – August 21, 2003
Listen to the Anniversary Batcast! It includes many Wesley songs PLUS a previously unheard recording of the Jelvins covering "Rock & Roll McDonalds" live in 2005!
Rock On Wesley Willis! We Love You Like A Milkshake!
08/10/09: Palin says watered down healthcare is EVIL!
From everyone's favorite nutbag right-wing 'news' site Newsmax comes this gem from ex-Governor Sarah Palin:
"The former Republican vice presidential candidate posted her thoughts Friday on Facebook.
Palin says in the America she knows, people won't have to "stand in front of Obama's 'death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of healthcare."
BEST PUNK-ROCK COMMISSIONER
Trivia questions pertaining to local government and ballot propositions may not be the most typical way to win concert tickets from your local college radio station — but longtime KALX DJ Jesse "Luscious" Townley is not your typical college radio personality. The ever-active activist punk-turned-politician headed west from Philly in 1989 to attend the San Francisco Anarchist Gathering and stayed on, becoming a positive fixture on the East Bay punk and political scene. Townley may have just been elected a commissioner on Berkeley's rent board last November, but he has no plans of giving up his weekly show, which offers a fun mix of punk, funk, rap, comedy, jazz, and blues, sprinkled with sharp social commentary. Same goes for his weekly half-hour talk show "Soap Box Derby." Townley may have once published the fanzine "Berkeley Sucks" and performed "Berkeley Is My Baby (And I Want to Kill It)" with his former band Blatz, but he sincerely cares about his adopted East Bay city, and his KALX listeners. KALX 90.7 FM Tuesdays 6 a.m.-9 a.m., Thursdays 9-9:30 p.m.
07/31/09: New Star Fucking Hipsters tune & U.K. TOUR!
Star Fucking Hipsters- led by STZA from Leftover Crack- has uploaded up a brand new song from their upcoming Alternative Tentacles debut "Never Rest In Peace"!
All of you U.K. kids should get out & see SFH starting tonight in Kingston, West Sussex!
Jul 31 2009 8:00P the Fighting Cock Kingston
Aug 1 2009 8:00P barfly (cheap show) Cardiff
Aug 2 2009 7:00P Star & Garter Manchester
Aug 3 2009 7:00P End Bar Newcastle
Aug 4 2009 7:00P Sumo Leicester
Aug 5 2009 7:00P Asylum Birmingham
Aug 6 2009 7:00P Underworld London
Aug 7 2009 6:00P Rebellion Fest! Blackpoole
07/10/09: Michael Parenti on Honduran coup & Obama
From our friend & spoken word artist Michael Parenti comes this short piece from this week:
The Honduras Coup: Is Obama Innocent?
by Michael Parenti
Is President Obama innocent of the events occurring in Honduras, specifically the coup launched by the Honduran military resulting in the abduction and forced deportation of democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya? Obama has denounced the coup and demanded that the rules of democracy be honored. Still, several troubling questions remain.
First, almost all the senior Honduran military officers active in the coup are graduates of the Pentagon's School of the Americas (known to many of us as "School of the Assassins"). The Honduran military is trained, advised, equipped, indoctrinated, and financed by the United States national security state. The generals would never have dared to move without tacit consent from the White House or the Pentagon and CIA.
Second, if Obama was not directly involved, then he should be faulted for having no firm command over those US operatives who were. The US military must have known about the plot and US military intelligence must have known and must have reported it back to Washington. Why did Obama's people who had communicated with the coup leaders fail to blow the whistle on them? Why did they not expose and denounce the plot, thereby possibly foiling the entire venture? Instead the US kept quiet about it, a silence that in effect, even if not in intent, served as an act of complicity.
Third, immediately after the coup, Obama stated that he was against using violence to effect change and that it was up to the various parties in Honduras to resolve their differences. His remarks were a rather tepid and muted response to a gangster putsch.
Fourth, Obama never expected there would be an enormous uproar over the Honduras coup. He hastily joined the outcry against the perpetrators only when it became evident that opposition to the putschists was nearly universal throughout Latin America and elsewhere in the world.
Fifth, Obama still has had nothing to say about the many other acts of repression attendant with the coup perpetrated by Honduran military and police: kidnappings, beatings, disappearances, attacks on demonstrators, shutting down the internet and suppressing the few small critical media outlets that exist in Honduras.
Sixth, as James Petras reminded me, Obama has refused to meet with President Zelaya. He dislikes Zelaya mostly for his close and unexpected affiliation with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. And because of his egalitarian reformist efforts Zelaya is hated by the Honduran oligarchs, the same oligarchs who for many years have been close to and splendidly served by the US empire builders.
Seventh, under a law passed by the US Congress, any democratic government that is the victim of a military takeover is to be denied US military and economic aid. Obama still has not cut off the economic and military aid to Honduras as he is required to do under this law. This is perhaps the most telling datum regarding whose side he is on. (His Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is even worse. She refuses to call it a coup and states that there are two sides to this story.)
As president, Obama has considerable influence and immense resources that might well have thwarted the perpetrators and perhaps could still be applied against them with real effect. As of now he seems more inclined to take the insider track rather than an actively democratic stance. On Honduras he is doing too little too late--as is the case with many other things he does.
"But the thing that sets it apart from most every club in the country is not as readily apparent. As part of its mission to operate in an environmentally responsible way, Brooklyn Bowl was built according to the strict standards of the United States Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, which call for, among other things, efficient use of energy and water. Scrupulous attention was paid to construction materials: the stage was made from recycled tires, for example, and the wood was certified to have come from well-managed forests."
06/25/09: EXCLUSIVE! Michael Jackson Not Dead
In his most thrilling media stunt yet the King of Pop basket cases burst through the doors to the ER, dancing, prancing, moonwalking and tossing false noses to adoring fans like Elvis with the scarves in Las Vegas. Sources tell us he will soon resume his sideline activity from the "Thriller" days - going door to door disguised as an old lady soliciting money for his fellow Jehovah's Witnesses.
Yet another earth-shattering scoop that Wolf Blitzer missed, but Jello Biafra didn't. And TMZ?
06/24/09: The Bat in Baltimore this weekend!
Alternative Tentacles is a proud sponsor of this year's epic Insubordination Fest in Baltimore, MD! It's this weekend and features Pansy Division and Reverend Norb's Boris The Sprinkler. You may remember Norb's contribution to the Alternative Tentacles catalog: his twisted take on Bob Dylan as Nob Dylan and His Nobsoletes!
Both Pansy Division & Boris The Sprinkler play on Friday June 26th, along with the Dead Milkmen, The Steinways, Toys That Kill, Underground Railroad to Candyland, and more!
06/22/09: Witch Hunt contest!
To celebrate the new Witch Hunt LP/CD "Burning Bridges to Nowhere," we're giving away signed tour posters to 3 lucky customers!
Jared the Mail Order Prince will choose 3 people who've ordered the new release on CD or LP. The lucky 3 will receive the 2009 US Summer tour poster signed by all 4 band members, in addition to the new Witch Hunt release.
Do you want in? Just place your order for "Burning Bridges to Nowhere" on our website by Midnight Pacific time Tuesday, June 23, 2009, and you're in the running for this ace prize!
To get you in the mood, here's the podcast interview Jared & Jesse Luscious did with the band when they were in the Bay Area last week on tour.
Check out either the direct link to the Witch Hunt Batcast, the Batcast page, or subscribe via iTunes to the Batcast & never miss a show!
06/08/09: Ebay makes way for The Bat!
Yep, Alternative Tentacles has returned to eBay after many years away. We'll be offering a series of rarities & neat things that generally are out of print or otherwise unavailable through our regular website.