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Iraq’s Secret War Files: Documentary based on Wikileaks info reveals brutal truth
10.29.2010
12:45 am

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The truth is uglier than you imagined.

Dispatches, Channel 4’s flagship current affairs strand, exposes the full and unreported horror of the Iraqi conflict and its aftermath, revealing the true scale of civilian casualties and allegations that even after the scandal of Abu Ghraib, American soldiers continued to abuse prisoners; and that US forces did not systematically intervene in the torture and murder of detainees by the Iraqi security services. The programme also features previously unreported material of insurgents being killed while trying to surrender.

 

 
Parts 3, 4 and 5 after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Posters printed with oil from the Gulf of Mexico
10.26.2010
02:54 pm

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Art
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Environment

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A clever, simple and powerful idea, well executed. Grab ‘em fast.

A project by Happiness Brussels
Designed by Anthony Burrill

Limited edition of 200 posters,
screen printed with oil from the
Gulf of Mexico disaster

All benefits go to CRCL,
(Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana)
A non-profit organisation dedicated
to restoring the Gulf of Mexico’s
coastal wetlands

 

  Thanks Sara Padgett Heathcott !

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Save the 100 Club
10.24.2010
04:57 pm

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Last month in London, it was announced that the legendary 100 Club was to close after sixty-eight years of promoting live music in the same location at 100 Oxford Street. The venue was originally a restaurant called Mack’s, and live music first played there, when British jazz drummer, Victor Feldman’s father hired the venue for a regular Sunday night showcase, to promote the talents of his sons and their bands. Gradually word spread of a new jazz haunt, and it soon became the hot spot for British servicemen and visiting American G.I.‘s. Amongst the early performers to play at the venue were Glen Miller, Ray McKinley, Mel Powell and Peanuts Hucko.

By 1948 the venue was called the London Jazz Club and it was the centre for Jitterbug, Swing and then Be-Bop as well as promoting new forms of music. The Feldmans then gave up ownership and the Wilcox brothers took over the now thriving club. In the 1950s, the lease changed hands again and it was taken over by Lyn Dutton, agent for popular jazz trumpeter, Humphrey Lyttleton, who renamed the venue to the Humphrey Lyttelton Club, giving Lyttelton residency. The club scored a major coup when Louis Armstrong played there in 1956, and it later became the venue for Trad Jazz throughout the 1950s.

With the arrival of The Beatles in 1963, British music changed, and the club was given over to the next generation, and renamed the 100 Club.  The policy was still the same - a venue to promote new music. Soon the 100 Club was spearheading the R’N'B scene with Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, and B. B. King all taking to the stage, along with new acts such as Rod Stewart, Alexis Korner, Julie Driscoll, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and The Animals. The rise of Beat music brought in The Who, the Kinks, The Pretty Things and The Spencer Davis Group.

The success of the Sixties was but a memory by the 1970s began, as the club struggled through a variety of work-to-rule measures and energy black-outs enforced by the government of the day. This all changed when the 100 Club launched the first festival of Punk:

On Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st September 1976 the 100 Club was host to the first ever Punk Rock Festival. Seen for the first time, certainly in London, on the 100 Club stage were the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, Siouxsie & The Banshees the Buzzcocks the Vibrators and Subway Sect. No one outside of a select few had heard of any of the them and all of them were unsigned. The Melody Maker’s opening line of its review stated ‘The 600 strong line that stretched across two blocks was indisputable evidence that a new decade in rock is about to begin.’ It was to be one of the most famous events in the club’s history. The Punk festival of ‘76 also had an enormous effect on music in general. It changed the club’s fortunes and its image indefinitely. As no other venue wanted to put on Punk at all, it stayed at the club on and off for the next eight or nine years incorporating its second wave with bands like U.K.Subs, G.B.H., ADX, Peter & the Test Tube Babies, The Exploited and Discharge. The 100 Club is still the spiritual home of the Punk movement.

At the same time the 100 Club was also promoting Reggae, with Steel Pulse and The Might Diamonds, and Northern Soul, with Terry Callier, Doris Troy, The Flirtations and Tommy Hunt.

In 1980s, African Jazz / Township Music became the focus for the club:

Julian Bahula, the distinguished African drummer, decided to run a regular Friday night featuring authentic African bands. Many of the musicians he employed were political refugees isolated from their South African homeland because of the apartied laws and were members of the outlawed A.N.C. The weekly Friday nights became a whole movement for change and with the pulsating music on offer a whole new genre in the 100 Club‘s history was born. Great African musicians like Fela Kuti, Marion Makeba and Hugh Masekela appeared on the Friday night bill as did Youssou N’Dour, Thomas Mapfumo, Dudu Pukwana and Spirits Rejoice. It ran for almost ten very successful years until the release of Nelson Mandela, then the change in the political climate in South Africa meant the cause was over.

1992 was to see the start of the biggest era in popular music at the club since 1976. The club was once again going through a lean spell when a chance phone call from concert promoter, Chris York, inquired whether the club would be interested in showcasing one of his new bands. The band were called Suede and in September 1992 they kicked off the club’s successful period in Indie music.

Over the next four years Oasis, Kula Shaker, Echobelly, Catatonia, Travis, Embrace, Cornershop, The Aloof, Heavy Stereo and Baby Bird would be just a few of the names to play the club and right up to the present day, the club has seen gigs from Semisonic, Toploader, Muse, Shack, Doves, JJ72, Jo Strummer, Squarepusher, Ocean Colour Scene and The Webb Brothers.

Now, the venue that has been at the heart of new music in the U.K. since 1942 is about to close, and a campaign has been set up to Save the 100 Club.  As the club has been in difficulty for a wee while (for various reasons), £500,000 has to be raised by November.  If you are interested in saving the 100 Club or have a spare half-million to spend or just ten quid, then get in touch and be part of history.

If the money is raised, the club will stay open as a non-profit organisation, with its new owners being the donors. A Board of Trustees would be democratically elected by the donors to run the venue, and “your donation would entitle you to an equal say in these decisions, whether you are able to pay £10.00 or £10,000.” the ultimate aim is:

..restore the venue as a place where new bands can develop and existing bands can continue to thrive.

Look at it this way, if the 100 Club shuts down, your venue could be next.

Without a place for musicians to play live, the future of music will be in the hands of the karaoke-singing, bastard children of Simon Cowell’s X-Factor and American Pop Idol. Hyperbole aside - seriously. The choice is ours which way it goes.
 

 
Bonus Clips of The Sex Pistols and The Clash after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Joe Miller thinks Social Security is ‘unconstitutional’ (but only for other people, not Joe himself)
10.22.2010
06:15 pm

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Slimy, Sarah Palin-endorsed, goon-squad hiring Republican Senatorial candidate from Alaska, Joe Miller’s got some s’plaining to do. It seems that Miller, who thinks Social Security, Medicare and jobless benefits are “unconstitutional” forgot to add that he meant only when other people receive them, not Joe himself! What will the Teabag weenie people think of this hypocritical fuckwit now?

Apparently, when a correspondent for Wonkette asked Miller a question about exactly what percent “disabled” he was from his military service—for which he would presumably recieve benefits—Miller promptly freaked out:

Looking away from your correspondent, Miller yelped to no one in particular, “We’ve gotta go!” He then pointed to his wife and said, “Let’s move!” The Millers hustled to the back of the vacant strip mall office next to the pizza place and surrounded themselves with campaign staffers.

This time, Miller’s phalanx of creepy skinheads dressed as Secret Service agents — last seen assaulting and restraining a local journalist — were nowhere around. Your correspondent was able to escape unscathed.

A West Point graduate who served in the first Gulf War, Miller boasts of his military record in his radio and teevee ads, yet refuses to discuss the nature or the degree of his service-connected disabilities; he receives monthly tax-free payments for life as compensation. If Miller is classified as 30% or more disabled, he receives additional payments for each of his nine dependents. This Veterans Administration benefits chart shows that Miller could conceivably be bringing in over $4,000 a month, tax free, depending on his disability rating.

He needn’t report or declare this income. What are the disabilities for which Joe Miller receives tax-free payments? A Post Traumatic Stress Disorder diagnosis should concern voters more than say, hearing loss.

Yet when asked, Joe Miller froze for a moment and then fled like a guilty child.

Nicely! It’s fascinating watching this tool’s candidacy implode.

Who would be dumb enough vote for this clown, now? The more we know about Joe Miller, the more craven he appears. Yuck.

Joe Miller Runs Screeching From Simple Question (Wonkette)
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Cannabis sodas: No smoking (necessary)
10.22.2010
05:12 pm

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Colorado residents with a doctor’s prescription for medical cannabis will soon be able to purchase a mass-produced THC-infused soft drink that comes in several flavors. A Colorado-based company called Dixie Elixirs is preparing a line of marijuana-laced sodas for the medical-cannabis market that now numbers 14 states. Not sure exactly how something like this would work across state lines, but I suppose that they’re about to find out. Maybe they’ll have to have plants in each state, which will—HELLO—provide new jobs. Decriminalizing pot is a no brainer.

It’s amusing to note that “discretion” is one of the key advantages to the product (i.e. not smoking something) but maybe they’d want to leave the pot-leaf off the bottle, then! Strikes me as like when people have Grateful Dead bumperstickers. Might as well have one reading “I’ve got pot (and/or LSD) in the car!”

It’s also worth mentioning that a hundred years ago Coca-Cola famously used to have a coca leaf extract which provided its “kick.” This seems tame in comparison.

I’ve tried a similar type of cannabis soda (not a Dixie Elixer, to be clear) but it didn’t do much for me. Okay, I drank three and still felt nothing. Maybe these guys will get it right. The market for something like this could be massive, especially if California’s voters pass Prop 19.

Via Discovery

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Slits’ Ari Up is dead
10.20.2010
09:11 pm

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Sad news via John Lydon.com:

John and Nora have asked us to let everyone know that Nora’s daughter Arianna (aka Ari-Up) died today (Wednesday, October 20th) after a serious illness. She will be sadly missed.

Everyone at JohnLydon.com and PiLofficial.Com would like to pass on their heartfelt condolences to John , Nora and family.

Rest in Peace.

 

 

 
Thanks Jimi Hey

 

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Cash crop: Cannabis crushes grapes, wine, in California economy
10.20.2010
02:46 pm

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Photo by Kevork Djansezian from The Big Picture

According to several polls, the presence of marijuana reform initiatives on the ballet in states in the west, will probably bring many younger Democrats to the voter’s booth who might have decided to sit this mid-term election out, otherwise. I’m definitely looking forward to casting an affirmative vote for Prop 19 and I hope all of my fellow Californians reading this will chose to do the same.

Unofficial state estimates indicate that California’s cannabis crop is worth more—far more!—than the state’s wine industry. I’m confident that Prop 19 is going to pass. To leave tax money on the table isn’t something the state can afford to do right now. Besides that, legalization, according to a RAND Corp. study, could cause pot prices to drop considerably, something that will be seen as additional welcome economic relief to millions of the state’s unemployed tokers…

The most persuasive argument for legalizing pot might just be a dollar sign.

California’s pot crop is worth $14 billion, according to a state report. The Press Democrat points out that crushes the wine crop which comes in at $2 billion.

Legalization would be a huge shot in the arm for plenty of ancillary industries, such as banking and construction.

Of course, there’s always the possibility that the federal government would crack down. That risk might make investors too skittish to get involved. Earlier this month, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the government would continue its dangerous raids.

Some regions, such as Mendocino County, have leaned on pot agriculture as other industries dried up. It’s estimated that at least half of that county’s economy depends on cultivation of the plant. [Half? Try three-quarters!—RM]

The only sure thing is that there’s no sure thing. Marijuana legalization is uncharted territory. Or at least, it’s uncharted in this country. Other countries have managed to figure it out, but here in The Land of the Free, we’ve clung to prohibition.

Earlier, the state estimated that it could rake in $1.4 billion in taxes if Prop 19 passes, but they’ve since backed off that estimate, claiming that there are too many unknown variables. Prop 19 would allow each individual municipality to set its own pot regulations, which some detractors have said will create an unwieldy patchwork of laws. Coincidentally, most of those who oppose legalization are those who make money from prohibition: law enforcement agencies and the alcohol industry.

Marijuana Crushes Grapes as Cash Crop (NBC Bay Area)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Unemployed Workers.org: Sign the petition to extend jobless benefits
10.18.2010
01:26 pm

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Unless Congress extends “Tier V” unemployment benefits in the 4 days between the time they return from the election and before their Thanksgiving recess, nearly 2 million American families face immediate poverty and homelessness. Over the summer—thanks to the Republicans, natch—it took 50 days to get the last extension. The matter of these extensions needs to be removed from the political process and pronto. The extensions should be automatic, as per the Stabenow bill proposed by Michigan Senator Debbie Sabenow (D) (and blocked by a single Republican), at least in states with unemployment above 8% (which of course means double that in the REAL WORLD) and exempt from “pay as you go” rules.

It’s infuriating and just… nauseating to watch rich, sanctimonious, and supposedly Christian politicians wage class war against the poor in this country. Please sign this petition, and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Post this on your Facebook page, on your Twiiter feed, everywhere you can.

Extended unemployment insurance benefits expire at Thanksgiving—a very cold turkey for millions of Americans already facing the devastation of long term joblessness.

Unemployedworkers.org is launching a campaign to SAVE THE LIFELINE—we need to push Congress to renew the benefit extensions.

The unemployed desperately want to work. They would much rather have a job than benefits, but the jobs lost in the crisis just haven’t come back yet. Until we create jobs, we can’t just throw millions into homelessness and onto public assistance

There are dozens and perhaps hundreds of people for every job opening. Clearly, the odds are firmly stacked against unemployed Americans.

As one astute YouTube commentator wrote:

“Just vote Republican if you want to see maximum unemployment, ever-widening wealth imbalance, and an American 3rd world country. This isn’t rocket science folks. Without job creation funded through taxation, America is doomed. By 2012, teabaggers will be begging for Socialism.”

Hear, hear!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Republic Of Rastafari’s Underground News Network: Ganjaournalism
10.16.2010
03:42 pm

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CNN (cannabis news network) for potheads, the Republic Of Rastafari’s Underground News Network and its master blaster newscaster Ek Balam (Black Jaguar) is the alternate surreality to Fox and MSNBC and probably just as reliable.  Balam has uploaded close to 400 newscasts/manifestos to Youtube and his stream of consciousness raps are weirdly compelling. While toking on spliffs the size of a baby’s arm, Balam delivers disjointed (pun intended) mashups on the state of the modern world, the Mayan calendar, Hopi prophecies, conspiracy theories, Rastafarianism, Fortean pseudo-science, reggae, Islam, and a motherlode of other topics. In the thick haze of pot smoke, certain thoughts emerge with clarity while others flit around like stoned moths circulating the brushfire hanging from Balam’s lower lip. Edward R. Murrowjuana ina Babylon.

The out-of-synch audio adds to the overall strangeness of the experience.
 

 
The Black Jaguar on aliens from outerspace after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Straight talk on gay marriage: The FCKH8 campaign
10.16.2010
11:15 am

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Queer

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Strangely, despite the spectacle of under-18s cursing on camera, this lovely spot and campaign by political activist and nonprofit marketing consultant Luke “Sissyfag” Montgomery hasn’t made the outrage rounds on Fox after being posted 11 days ago.

Give it time, I guess. Meanwhile, Luke’s tactical approach here has come under a bit of discussion in some of the comments. But I’d think it’s immaterial since at this point it seems the play now is NOT to convert California voters since the issue of gay marriage is going to the Supreme Court, right?
 

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
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