Notes From The Overground

Progressive-minded weblog devoted heavily to politics and media with some music and popular culture sprinkled throughout working on the assumption that anything that comes out of Washington or the mass media is bogus propaganda unless proven otherwise.

Created by Tom

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Thursday, July 24, 2003
 
Business Proposition

What follows below may just be the controvercial "smoking gun" evidence that dubya got from the CIA and used for his "state of the union" address. Like the rest of us, the White House is not immune to spam. Please read the entire document as it is very enlightening...


TO: GEORGE W. BUSH
CC: GEORGE TENET, CIA AGENCY, WASHINGTON, USA
FROM:MRS. M SESE-SEKO

DEAR FRIEND,
I AM MRS. SESE-SEKO WIDOW OF LATE PRESIDENT MOBUTU SESE-SEKO OF ZAIRE? NOW KNOWN AS DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC). I AM MOVED TO WRITE YOU THIS LETTER, THIS WAS IN CONFIDENCE CONSIDERING MY PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCE AND SITUATION.

I ESCAPED ALONG WITH MY HUSBAND AND TWO OF OUR SONS JAMES KONGOLO AND BASHER NZANGA OUT OF DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC) TO ABIDJAN, COTE D'IVOIRE WHERE MY FAMILY AND I SETTLED, WHILE WE LATER MOVED TO SETTLED IN MORROCO WHERE MY HUSBAND LATER DIED OF CANCER DISEASE. IN THE COURSE OF OUR TRAVELS WE LEARNED THAT SADDAM HUSSEIN OF IRAQ WAS TRYING TO PURCHASE URANIUM FROM SOMEONE IN NIGERIA.

HENCE MY CHILDREN AND I DECIDED LAYING LOW IN AFRICA TO STUDY THE SITUATION TILL WHEN THINGS GETS BETTER, LIKE NOW THAT PRESIDENT KABILA IS DEAD AND THE SON TAKING OVER (JOSEPH KABILA). WE DECIDED NOW WOULD BE A GOOD TIME TO CONTACT YOU AND YOUR CIA TO INFORM YOU OF THIS THREAT TO THE SECURITY OF THE WORLD.

I HAVE DEPOSITED THE EVIDENCE OF THIS BREACH OF WORLD SECURITY AND PROOF OF HUSSEIN'S ATTEMPTS TO PROCURE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION IN A SAFE DEPOSITE BOX. IN ADDITION, I HAVE DEPOSITED A SUM OF EIHGTEEN MLLION UNITED STATE DOLLARS(US$18,000,000,00.) WITH A SECURITY COMPANY , FOR SAFEKEEPING. THE FUNDS ARE SECURITY CODED TO PREVENT THEM FROM KNOWING THE CONTENT. WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO IS TO INDICATE YOUR INTEREST THAT YOU WILL ASSIST US BY RECEIVING THE MONEY ON OUR BEHALF.ACKNOWLEDGE THIS MESSAGE, SO THAT I CAN INTRODUCE YOU TO MY SON ( KONGOLO ) WHO HAS THE OUT MODALITIES FOR THE CLAIM OF THE SAID FUNDS. ONCE THE FUNDS HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED I WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH THE DOCUMENTS THAT PROVE SADDAM HUSSEIN HAS HAD NUCLEAR DEALINGS WITH NIGERIA.

I WANT YOU TO ASSIST IN INVESTING THIS MONEY AND RIDDING THE WORLD OF THIS TYRANT, BUT I WILL NOT WANT MY IDENTITY REVEALED. I WILL ALSO WANT TO BUY PROPERTIES AND STOCK IN MULTI-NATIONAL COMPANIES AND TO ENGAGE IN OTHER SAFE AND NON-SPECULATIVE INVESTMENTS. MAY I AT THIS POINT EMPHASISE THE HIGH LEVEL OF CONFIDENTIALITY, WHICH THIS BUSINESS DEMANDS, AND HOPE YOU WILL NOT BETRAY THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE, WHICH I REPOSE IN YOU (I.E. DO NOT INCLUDE THIS INFORMATION IN ANY PUBLIC SPEACHES OR YOUR UNION STATE ADDRESSES). IN CONCLUSION, IF YOU WANT TO ASSIST US , MY SON SHALL PUT YOU IN THE PICTURE OF THE BUSINESS, TELL YOU WHERE THE FUNDS ARE CURRENTLY BEING MAINTAINED AND ALSO DISCUSS OTHER MODALITIES INCLUDING REMUNERATION FOR YOUR SERVICES.

FOR THIS REASON KINDLY FURNISH US YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION, THAT IS YOUR PERSONAL TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBER FOR CONFIDENTIAL PURPOSE AND ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF THIS MAIL USING THE ABOVE EMAIL ADDRESS.

BEST REGARDS,

MRS M. SESE SEKO





Wednesday, June 25, 2003
 
Mein RIAA

WASHINGTON — The embattled music industry disclosed aggressive plans Wednesday for an unprecedented escalation in its fight against Internet piracy, threatening to sue hundreds of individual computer users who illegally share music files online.

The Recording Industry Association of America, citing significant sales declines, said it will begin Thursday to search Internet file-sharing networks to identify users who offer "substantial" collections of mp3 music files for downloading. More...

Let me see if I can translate this into a non-bullshit dialect of English:

Instead of making hundreds of billions of dollars, record labels are only pulling in tens of billions of dollars. Rather than blame this on the economy or a backlash resultant of terrible product based on shortsightedly greedy business practices that have no interest in quality music, the labels hold "file sharing" accountable for their woes. When all is falling to pieces, and one must trade in their 40' yacht for a 39.8' yacht, it is oh-so-handy to have a scapegoat — a nice little voodoo doll that comes to represent all that is wrong with one's diluted microcosm. Thus the labels fight back in the only American way that doesn't involve amassing troops — they litigate.

So, ladies and gentlemen, good people who choose to read these words while they're still (somewhat) free, sit back, relax and let the shit storm reach typhoon proportions.

As the Jews came to symbolize all that was wrong to the Nazis, "file sharing" is the analogue to the music corporations. The battle lines have been drawn, so to speak. Computer gestapos will round up the offenders through the infrastructure of the public networks. The vast web of cyberspace will ensnare the offenders. And the vile offenders (with only public defenders to protect them) will face legal fees and punitive damages at the hands of multi-million-dollar lawyers who will see to their swift and thorough destruction in this final solution. Vile File Sharers will be relegated to the concentration camp of indebtedness to the corporate powers that hold all under their jack-boots.

And the great and mighty corporations will receive the thanks of a grateful nation.



 
Not Quite a Field Day

I found this in the latest Rolling Stone. It's not available on-line so I retyped a section from the print edition of their write-up on Field Day. This is absolutely outrageous...

Other evidence suggests that a competing promoter may have tried to squash the festival. Bill Schulman, who runs the golf course adjacent to the planned Field Day site, says he received a "ranting and raving" phone call from Clear Channel co-president Ron Delsener, who books most of the major concert events on Long Island. According to Schulman, Delsener encouraged him to speak out against the festival. "He said 'I know it will affect your business, and I know you're active in the community.'" And Robert F. Kozakiewicz, the Riverhead town supervisor, says that after Field Day was announced, he got a letter from Delsener "asking me to consider a long-term arrangement for them to do concerts out here in Riverhead." Neither Delsener nor Clear Channel would comment on these claims.


Clear Channel, the company that brought you 'round the clock unquestioning patriotism while stifling dissent...

More from Newsday...

He [Field Day promoter and short-sighted dumbass who sold 50,000 tickets without a permit, Andrew Dreskin] and others speculate that politics killed the deal, and raises an eyebrow at the continual appearance of politically connected rival promoter Ron Delsener on the scene. Delsener, who opposed Field Day, is an employee of the corporate media Goliath, Clear Channel, which owns 1,200 radio stations nationwide and controls major New York area concert venues, including the state-owned Jones Beach Theater.


While Delsener and Clear Channel seem, at the very least, to be peripheral villains in this fiasco, Andrew Dreskin still gets an award from me for being a pandering moron (for reasons other than SELLING 50,000 TICKETS TO A CONCERT THAT HE DID NOT HAVE PERMITS FOR!!!!!). Just join me in a laugh at the expense of this quote in Rolling Stone: "This was about the desire of certain people to keep rock & roll out of their juristiction."

That's right Mr. Multi-millionaire-concert-promoter-guy-who-happens-to-be-pissed-at-a-more-powerful-and--more-evil-promotor-guy, your so "with us" and hip in this 1960s-esque crusade. It's all because a bunch of stiffs didn't want "rock & roll" in their backyard. How adorably after-school-special rebellious of you. It's a modern-day "Foot Loose" and Andrew Dreskin will be the Kevin Bacon who will liberate us with ROCK & ROLL. Gee Whiz! Come off it! That's so wicked harsh of them man

What? Me cynical?



Wednesday, June 18, 2003
 
New Site

Check out my new work-in-progress music site, Blue Eyed Son.



 
Down(load) the Hatch

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Orin Hatch, came out against illegal downloading by favoring the development of new technology that can destroy the computers of people who illegally download music and movie files. This is brilliant in a way that only sociopathically moronically spiteful ideas can be. Great idea: destroy somebody's $1000+ machine for the computer equivalent of "taping off the radio." I guess the industry has to scapegoat something for declining sales. So they find the one possible cause of the decline in sales that they can't blame on themselves. Gee, it couldn't be the declining quality of the product as a result of bottom-line-driven corporate monoliths... that just couldn't be. It couldn't be the tendency toward pandering to the least-common-denominator in order to make a quick buck through corner-cutting and repetition repetition repetition. It couldn't be the fact that rather than cultivating talented artists, the labels are just pre-fabbing everything. No, that can't be the case when you have your head rammed up the ass of some CEO whose head is in the sand ostrich-style.

Why not just develop a software that puts an electric shock through Lars Ulrich's testicles every time somebody downloads an illegal MP3?

Speaking of Lars Ulrich's testicles (or lack thereof), check out this creatively penned review of what it sounds like when a bunch of 40 year old millionaire tools of the establishment going through a mid-life crisis decide to pose as revolutionary 20-year-old skater punks.



 
Saving Private Lynch part 824 (The Saga Continues)

The Washington Post released a lengthy investigative piece that discounts most of their original unquestioningly patriotic account of the trials of Pfc. Jessica Lynch...

The account, published on April 3 under the headline "She Was Fighting to the Death; Details Emerging of W.Va. Soldier's Capture and Rescue," was widely repeated in other news reports, and helped make her story an inspirational touchstone for American support for the war. But subsequent reports by The Post and other news organizations have cast doubt on several aspects of the initial portrayals of her story, raising questions about whether the United States military manipulated the episode for propaganda purposes and about whether American news organizations were seduced by a gripping, patriotic tale.

American military misusing it for propaganda purposes!? But Ari Fleischer says that that is not how America works! And what's that they say about American news organizations being "seduced by a gripping, patriotic tale"? My Pollyanna instinct tells me that that just is not possible. The corporate American media would never just echo the right-wing propaganda.

Steve Coll, managing editor of The Post, said in a telephone interview yesterday that the paper was still pleased with its article on April 3, saying it was good reporting done within days of her rescue...

...without any fact checking and with a blind desire to disregard the responsibilities of the American free press and work as a tool for the Bush administration's agenda to get some good ol' red, white and blue patriotism points and boost those green circulation dollars. Yellow journalism with a touch of blue blood makes Green Journalism.

Michael Getler, The Post's ombudsman — a columnist charged with examining the paper's own coverage — noted in a column on April 20 that the article on the Lynch capture waited until the fourth paragraph to raise cautions about the preliminary nature of what it called "battlefield intelligence." Mr. Getler wrote that one reader called it "a sensationalistic story riddled with inaccuracies" and another wrote, "I smell an agenda."

In a telephone interview yesterday, Mr. Getler said: "Those first several paragraphs were written in a very hard fashion and the rest of the story made it clear that those sources were less than firsthand. I thought the story was overwritten to begin with, whether it was true or not." He added, "It was at a crucial point in the war and my instinct at the moment was to be very skeptical. It had a strong propagandistic twinge to it."

And they wonder why we're so cynical...



Monday, June 09, 2003
 
Guess What? You Were Lied To

Months have passed. No WMD. And to think they impeached Bill Clinton for lying about sex...

But there's still time to get those WMD where they need to be...

After nearly three months of fruitless searches, weapons hunters say they are now waiting for a large team of Pentagon intelligence experts to take over the effort, relying more on leads from interviews and documents. (Emphasis added)





 
Back in the Saddle Again

Apologies to my readership (all three of you) for the extended hiatus. Life circumstances (other duties, etc.) coupled with disgust and contempt for what constitutes our current state of affairs (culture, gov't, etc.) kept me off the blog for a while. Hopefully, I'll be back more than sporadically.

Lots of things have happened. The FCC was effectively rendered useless by young Powell and Shrubya continues to insist that WMD are really in Iraq while he robs from the poor, depletes the middle class and fattens those of his pedigree.

On top of it all, Metallica released a new album that sounds like Fred Durst's ass decided to make a thrash tribute band with strung-out monkeys on guitar and drums and called the album St. Anger under the 'tallica moniker. Once upon a time there was an album ironically titled ...And Justice For All and it actually said something useful about a conservative dystopia. Now all we get are bone-head cock-rocking riffs and inane couplets.

The Union is a Joke.



Tuesday, May 20, 2003
 
I've Got My Spine, I've Got My Orange Crush

You know the drill... it's "ORANGE" time again...

Officials with the Department of Homeland Security said the threats were not specific to location, time or method of attack. The warning sets in motion new security measures for the federal government and advises cities, states and businesses to take extra steps as well.

Somewhere in the heavens, George Orwell is shaking his head at the pathetic state of it all.

WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH



Monday, May 19, 2003
 
Oh, But He Was So Funny...

...In an easily-led, narrow-minded, condescending yet ignorantly self-righteous kind of way.

NEWS ALERT
Ari Fleischer, White House Spokesman, to Step Down in Summer (9:14 AM ET)




Wednesday, May 14, 2003
 
President Nero Does the Voodoo So Well

Bob Burnett at Alternet.org has an interesting take on the Bushites' tax cuts for the rich and shameless. So what if the economy's funeral pyre will burn ever brighter. So what if social programs are destroyed. Let 'em eat rice cakes, so long as they keep their filthy hands off of the private money that's squirrelled away, earning bundles from the interest rates that will have risen as a result of the growing deficit. It trickles down right into their savings accounts. Meanwhile, creditors like MBNA who gave unspeakable campaign contributions to Dubya will rake it in even more as the APRs they offer reach stratospheric heights.

If you are a regular reader of progressive media outlets like this one, you cannot have escaped the prevailing opinion that the Bush administration's latest round of massive tax cuts are folly. But is not just the left which finds them bizarre; almost no reputable economist supports this plan.

Joseph Stiglitz, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, described the tax cuts as leading to "reductions in job growth relative to what they otherwise would be." Speaking to Congress, Federal Reserve Board Chair Alan Greenspan opined that unless there are comparable reductions in Federal spending, the tax cuts will only add to the deficit, which would promote higher interest rates and depress the economy. Alternet contributors David Martin, Chris Hartman and Ben Robinson commented that "the only thing this plan 'stimulates' is more economic inequality in the United States."
...
Americans must not be fooled by Bush propaganda that the proposed tax cuts will magically stimulate the economy or create jobs. This not about the economy, it is about right-wing ideology. These cuts are a stealth initiative to diminish government at all levels: education, healthcare, public safety, aid to elderly and veterans, transportation, protection of the environment, etc. This is intended to starve the Federal budget until all that is left is defense, homeland security, and huge interest payments.

It's not the economy; it's the extreme conservative ideology of George W. Bush and his pandering to that base of his political support.

More here





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