Category Archives: music

John Turturro, James Gandolfini, a musical…?!

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I think this is a must-see.

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Filed under entertainment, Humor, music, The Big Lebowski, The Sopranos

Norman Podheretz: It’s 1938, Iran or somebody is Germany, somebody is Hitler, and let’s bomb somebody; okay, God?

Norman Podheretz has an op piece in the Wall Street Journal today, in which he “hopes and prays that the US bombs Iran.”

Podheretz was one of the principal architects of Bush’s “ideas” about the Middle East that resulted in the Iraq War. The WSJ piece is an attempt to string together a lot of unrelated history, make Iran seem like Nazi Germany, but somehow even more evil, evoking a religious and racial war to the death…WW IV, as he calls it.

Firstly, 9-11 was not a sudden declaration of war by a religion. It was an attack by a group of Saudis who were fundamentalist Sunni Muslims who wanted our troops out of Arabia…that group of al-Qaeda had, with our assistance, previously ejected the Russians from Afghanistan. They did not follow the Russians home.

There is a similar group with a similar name in Iraq attempting to eject the US troops from that country. They are not the same group that attacked us on 9/11.

Iran is a largely Shiite country, and is historically peaceful. It supported the US efforts against al-Qaeda and the Taliban until Bush, under the influence of Podheretz and the neocons, to declare it part of the Axis of Evil. Its president does not have the power to do a much more than shoot his mouth off (and have his words mistranslated). Iran is ruled by clerics, whose policy is no nuclear weapons. Iran supports the Saudi peace plan for Palestinians. The idea that some day in the future Iran might have a nuclear weapon, that could somehow be placed in a missile and launched in the general direction of Israel is ridiculous. Why would Iran want to blow up thousands of Palestinians or destroy the Temple Mount? And become a target for US nuclear weapons?

Iran certainly would like to see the US out of Iraq. So would everybody in the Middle East except some who imagine that US presence there would help Israel (it won’t). We can buy our oil just like everybody else. If American oil companies want to operate there, they can make competitive bids, just like the Russians and the Chinese. Meanwhile, we can develop alternative energy sources.

But Iran is not al-Qaeda. And we are not living in 1938. And bombing Iran would almost certainly provoke the very sort of religious war that Podheretz is trying to suggest now exists, a war which would, I believe, result in the annihilation of Israel.

Podheretz’ piece, appearing in the Wall Street Journal, is disturbing. But what is more disheartening is that we have a man in the White House who is susceptible to this sort of madness. We have a Vice President who seems to be detached from reality, who is reportedly trying to make an end run around the president, to instigate an attack on Iran. Who knows what Bush will do? He has the power to do whatever his simple thoughts, or “God”, or his “gut”, tells him to. There is no one to stop him but our military brass. A sad commentary on the state of the Republic.

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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, Countdown to attack on Iran, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, music, Politics

Russell Simmons calls for “ban” of three words: ho, bitch and nigger

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Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons said Monday that the recording and broadcast industries should consistently ban three racial and sexist epithets from all so-called clean versions of rap songs and the airwaves.

Currently such epithets are banned from most clean versions, but record companies sometimes “arbitrarily” decide which offensive words to exclude and there’s no uniform standard for deleting such words, Simmons said.

The recommendations drew mixed reaction and come two weeks after some began carping anew about rap lyrics after radio personality Don Imus was fired by CBS Radio and NBC for referring to the players on the Rutgers university women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos.”

Expressing concern about the “growing public outrage” over the use of such words in rap lyrics, Simmons said the words “bitch,” “ho” and “nigger” should be considered “extreme curse words.”

“We recommend (they’re) always out,” Simmons, the pioneering entrepreneur who made millions of dollars as he helped shape hip-hop culture, said in an interview Monday. “This is a first step. It’s a clear message and a consistency that we want the industry to accept for more corporate social responsibility.”

Government censorship is virtually always the wrong approach. Industry censorship is slightly better. The issue is the attitude, the mindset: being cool by using words to show and exert power and humiliate others. The cycle has to be broken somehow. The Imus flap gave an opportunity to break that cycle, as the objects of the scornful epithets stood up and said “no.” I applaud Russell Simmons for his motivation. But censorship is sort of like “talkin the talk.” We need more “walkin the walk.” If the artists would get the idea, that would be much better, because they are the real opinion leaders/ changers for “the consumers.”

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Keith Richard says he snorted his father’s ashes.

Let me check the

“Official ‘Over the Line, Smokey!’ Classification Guide, Shop Manual and Recipe Book.”

yep, I thought so…. p. 34, “snorting the ashes of a family member”……..that’s over the line.

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You want iTunes with that latte? Starbucks starts its own recording label

“Starbucks shoppers: That mood music you’re listening to can be purchased at the counter or by going to http://www.iTunes.Starbucks.wegotchermoney.com”

…the company launched a record label based on its existing Hear Music brand.

The world’s largest specialty coffee retailer said it would partner with Concord Music Group, which controls several other labels and helped Starbucks sell the Grammy-winning “Genius Loves Company,” an album of Ray Charles duets.

Now, rather than basically lending the Starbucks brand to an album, the Los Angeles-based Hear Music label will sign its own artists and sell records through Starbucks stores and other retailers.

The company also has opened four hybrid Hear Music Coffeehouses, where customers can purchase music from thousands of titles and burn the selections to CDs, and it has a branded page at Apple Inc.’s online iTunes store.

Recording artists also should like the idea of a built-in audience in Starbucks stores, particularly at a time when digital downloading has created “a stressful time for the music industry,” said Glen Barros, president of Concord Music Group.

“This is a pretty powerful new platform, when you can reach 44 million customers per week through Starbucks’ stores,” Barros said.

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Best Buy uses fake website in stores to fool customers into Worst Buy

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Gee, I coulda sworn that TeeVee was 220 bucks on the website……

Under pressure from state investigators, Best Buy is now confirming ….that its stores have a secret intranet site that has been used to block some consumers from getting cheaper prices advertised on BestBuy.com.

Company spokesman Justin Barber, who in early February denied the existence of the internal website that could be accessed only by employees, says his company is “cooperating fully” with the state attorney general’s investigation.

Barber insists that the company never intended to mislead customers.

State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal ordered the investigation into Best Buy’s practices on Feb. 9 after my column disclosed the website and showed how employees at two Connecticut stores used it to deny customers a $150 discount on a computer advertised on BestBuy.com.

What is more troubling to me, and to some Best Buy customers, is that even when one informs a salesperson of the Internet price, customers have been shown the intranet site, which looks identical to the Internet site, but does not always show the lowest price.

……they threw in this interesting line: “Although we have an intra-store web site in place to support store operations (including products and pricing), we are reminding our employees how to access the external BestBuy.com web site to ensure customers are receiving the best possible product price.”

That last sentence seems to indicate that Best Buy, which is supposed to be staffed by tech-savvy employees, is putting the blame on memory lapses: that employees have somehow forgotten how to access BestBuy.com from the store.

After making sure the computer is turned on, employees should click twice on the Yahoo Internet icon and then type in BestBuy.com.

This is not the first time the giant electronic retailer has gotten into trouble misleading customers. …Attorneys general in New Jersey and Ohio have accused Best Buy of deceptive sales practices, repackaging used merchandise and selling it as new, and failing to pay rebates and refunds.

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Of course, some customers wouldn’t notice

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Hot new single from The Cheney Boys: BommIr-Ann

Coming out of seclusion after many years of mental illness, quail hunting and unsuccessful midterm elections, the famous California beach band The Cheney Boys has reunited as a wing of the US Department of Defense. They have recorded a new CD, but its release has been delayed because the title they had selected has already been used by Yello. But they have released one of the cuts, that they hope will be a hit single; it’s sort of a sequel to one of their early classic hits.
Enjoy.

BommIr-Ann (all rights reserved)
(to the tune of “Barbara Ann,” by The Beach Boys)

Lets bomb bomb bomb, bomb BommIr-Ann
Bomb bomb bomb, bomb BommIr-Ann

Let’s bomb Iran, bomb their land
BommIr-Ann
It’s got me rockin and a-rollin
Rockin and a-reelin
Bomb BommIr-Ann
Bomb BommIr-Ann

Went to Iraq, not comin back
thought “bomb Iran” so I guess I’ll take a chance
With BommIr-Ann, bomb BommIr-Ann
Take my plan
It’s got me rockin and a-rollin
(oh! oh!)
Rockin and a-reelin
Bombing Iran bomb bomb
bomb bomb bomb bomb black sheep

Bomb bomb bomb, bomb BommIr-Ann
Bomb bomb bomb, bomb BommIr-Ann

Bombing Iran, take my plan
Bombing Iran

It’s got me rockin and a-rollin
Rockin and a-reelin
Bomb BommIr-Ann bomb bomb
Bomb BommIr-Ann

(lets go now!)
(ow!)
([…])
([…], Karl.)
(hal, and his famous ashtray!)
([…])
(you smell like rocky. youre always scratchin it.)
(hey, come on!)
(scratch it, Karl, scratch it, baby, right over there.
Down a little lower. down a little lower!)
(saw– tried–)

First we shock and awed
But Rummy’s plan was flawed
We tried more men
But I knew we couldn’t win
Bomb BommIr-Ann, bomb BommIr-Ann
Take my plan
Bomb BommIr-Ann
Take my plan
You got me rockin and a-rollin
Rockin and a-reelin
Bomb BommIr-Ann bomb bomb
Bomb BommIr-Ann
Bomb bomb bomb, bomb BommIr-Ann

etc..

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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Humor, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, music