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Thursday, September 30, 2004

"The future belongs to freedom, not fear..." 

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F-ck a media post-mortem. From the 5 minutes I watched on MSNBC at the end of the debate tonight it's obvious that media doesn't want to admit what was crazy clear to me: Kerry.won.the.debate... period. Listening to Chris Matthews & co. try to claim Kerry's position on Iraq was still not clear was more spin than I could take or than I'd even give the GOP credit for.

Kerry quickly put to bed early in the exchange the ongoing lines that Bush and the GOP have tried to pin on him throughout the campaign that he's inconsistent, would go to the UN for "permsission slips" to defend America and has been unsupportive of the Iraq war & the troops. By the end of the debate a redundant Bush seemed almost desperate as he repeated the same tired talking points quoting Kerry lines about Iraq being a "grand diversion" and it being "the wrong war, wrong place, wrong time" long after Kerry had lucidly explained his posititon behind those statements. And if he said "it's hard work" referring to Iraq and the "war on terror" one more time, I was ready to toss a shoe through my TV screen. Can somebody give son some public speaking lessons for real? Seriously, in four years he still hasn't gotten any better which explains why he's never done any real press conferences.

The debate was far more substantive than I had anticipated although my expectations were so low it wasn't hard for that to be the case. Kerry was also surprisingly clear and on-message and seemed to take to the short answer format that many thought would trip him up.

What we witnessed tonight though was Kerry stepping his game up and presenting himself as confident and the viable leadership alternative to Bush that many swing voters and moderates were looking for. On the other hand Bush was exposed as the empty shell whose talents fall far short of the leadership standard the US and world needs right now. Kerry had a better grasp of the issues, seemed more statesmanlike and presidential, more on point and just seemed to have his game a lot tighter. Suddenly Kerry=ABB (Anybody But Bush) might now become WNK (Why Not Kerry?).

I'd be shocked if after tonight Kerry doesn't experience a nice bounce and some real momentum that will hopefully revinvigorate his campaign and make this race more competitive as we turn into the homestretch. Then again, if the media try to spin things more favorably for Bush like they have done repeatedly after his State of the Union addresses and for previous debates he's been in (yo, he lost to Gore every time they debated in 2000 from my p.o.v.), Kerry will still face a tough uphill battle turning things around.

For me though, sh1t just got real interesting again y'all.

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Endless War = Inevitable Draft? - Special jacking Newsweek edition 

The Bush campaign is entering dangerous territory with its organized effort to paint the Democratic candidate as a friend to terrorists argues the Times in the editorial "An Un-American Way to Campaign."

Ellen Goodman asks in The Washington Post How Exactly Are We Safer?

Fight fire with fire? Does Kerry really have to adopt Bush's campaign stragey of playing The Politics of Fear. Sadly, the answer is probably yes at this point. (The Washington Post)

Can you blame them? (USA Today)

And with that story in mind, readers 35 and under, don't be fooled: it's not being discussed during the campaign because it's political kryptonite but pleasebeleeve it's coming. Right now, we're only Dodging the Draft Issue. (Newsweek)

Especially when you're gonna need more soldiers if you are already making plans to wage war in Syria and Iran. (Newsweek)

So if that's not enough to get you out on November 2, this might be an effective get-out-the-vote strategy.

But, never mind the hurricanes (said with no disrespect to those who are suffering after the fourth hit last week), Florida is still f-cked up voter-wise four years later?!

While, even though the mainstream media doesn't seem to want to touch it, I'm glad someone is still asking questions, post F-9/11, about the Bush-Saudi connect. (Related: watch their ad win | real)

Was the Cat Stevens deportation bullish?
Recently Yusuf Islam broke with Muslim militants, condemning extremism and pledging proceeds from a CD set to 9/11 families. Jewish leaders in Britain praise him as a moderate and say an Islamic school he set up in North London teaches a peaceful brand of Islam. "All indications are that his move away from extremism is entirely genuine, and he now concentrates on his school and his music," said Michael Whine, a spokesman for Britain's Jewish community.
Even if it wasn't, it's evidence of a failed homeland security policy that he even made it on the plane when his name was on the "No-Fly" list. (Full story from Newsweek | Related: "Something Bad Has Begun," an Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times by Islam talking about his deportation. Reg' may be required to read the full article.)

Find Out Which Employers in Your Community Are Exporting U.S. Jobs at Working America.

More corporate bitch moves: are CBS and Disney owned by the same company (or is that ABC)? (Related: Newsweek looks at why CBS has played themselves repeatedly over the past year or so)

While finally, some words of healing and unity from Maya Angelou regarding the election:
I'm hopeful that the best person is elected. I would ask whoever is voted in to keep in mind that he is the president of the Latinos, of the poor whites in West Virginia and wherever else, of the blacks, of the Jews, of the growing Arab community. He is our president, whether we voted for him or not. The moment he is voted in, he becomes president of all America. And that means, just as all Americans are responsible to him, he is responsible to all Americans. I would love to see an end to the polarization, the "they and the we." I would love to see that.
from a Newsweek online interview.

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Swift Boats ride again... 

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Can you take one more post on this bogus issue? Had to post a couple things I just read on this:
John Kerry is being pilloried for his shocking Senate testimony 34 years ago that many U.S. soldiers—not just a few "rogues"—were committing atrocities against the Vietnamese. U.S. military records that were classified for decades but are now available in the National Archives back Kerry up and put the lie to his critics. Contrary to what those critics, including the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, have implied, Kerry was speaking on behalf of many soldiers when he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 22, 1971
from Nicholas Turse's "Swift Boat Swill" in the Village Voice.

And some letters from Newsweek that sum it up better than I can:
Comparing the swift boat attacks on John Kerry with attacks on George W. Bush regarding his Air National Guard duty does not make for balanced news. One involves tearing down behavior in battle that was deemed worthy of several Purple Hearts. The other involves filling in gaps in a service record embarked on (with whose help?) to avoid battle, and notable more for absence from—rather than attendance to—duty. Trying to equate these in any substantive way is not balance—it is spin.
Gregory Bachelis
West Bloomfield, Mich.

Your cover story implies that because mud is being slung, it is fairest to blame both parties. This is false, and most of the media know it. Bush's campaign workers have spent a large part of the election, and a large part of their ad dollars, smearing John Kerry. They have smeared him for not being wounded badly enough in a war they didn't bother to participate in. They have smeared him for voting to cut funding from the B-2, the Bradley fighting vehicle, the Apache helicopter and other weapons programs—the same cuts that the then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney asked for. The charges made by the Kerry campaign have been largely, demonstrably, measurably true. The Bush camp has engaged in far more distortion, negativity and deception, and thrown far more mud in this campaign. It is dishonest to try to paint a "balanced" picture where there isn't one.
Eric Hanson
Minneapolis, Minn.
Kerry, can you please do the damn thing tonight. You, and the country really need you, to do this, f'real f'real.

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The Real Debate Starts Now? 

I'm not exepcting much from the debates given that Bush's crew supposedly negotiated out any opportunity for Kerry to put their man on the spot f'real f'real with a ridiculously detailed 34 page debate agreement. This was apparently how they used their leverage in agreeing to do three, not just two, debates.

This lack of a chance for real dialog between Kerry and Bush is especially worrying given the fact that Kerry's mediocre campaign is only now starting to show some real signs of life. After realizing that Bush's sorry record of achievement and the rapidly deteriorating situation in Iraq wasn't going to be enough to put a dent in his approval numbers and deliver Kerry the election, it's now all come down to the debates and the need for Kerry to score a knockout in debate #1 tonight according to the conventional wisdom most media pundits and talking heads are spitting. Unfortunately, the highly restrictive debate format agreed upon leaves little room for Kerry to be able to do that.

I'll still watch anyway carrying a tiny torch of hope that Kerry can score enough zingers to maybe knock Bush off-balance and swing the momentum his way, but it's seems unlikely. Here's some possibly useful reading for those still taking this seriously though:

- Fareed Zakaria's guide on How to Pick a War President. (Newsweek)

- The Washington Post's suggestions on Questions to Debate.

- A Dozen Questions for Bush-Kerry - what may not be asked in the debates, but should be. (The Christian Science Monitor)

- The Progress Report's Claim vs. Fact: What The President Will Say.

And spotted via Wonkette:

- Al Gore on How to Debate George Bush. (The New York Times)


- (The inevitable) Official 2004 Presidential Debate Drinking Game. (The Chicago Tribune)

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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Bush on Iraq: Rhetoric vs. Reality 

The enemies of freedom are using suicide bombings, beheadings, and other horrific acts to try to block progress. We are sickened by their atrocities, but we will never be intimidated, and freedom is winning.

We're making steady progress in implementing our five-step plan toward the goal we all want: completing the mission so that Iraq is stable and self-governing, and American troops can come home with the honor they have earned.
From the President's September 25, 2004 Radio Address

versus Reality:

- Iraq Study Sees Rebels' Attacks as Widespread - 2300 attacks in just the past 30 days, WTF?! (The New York Times)

- Key Bush assertions about Iraq in dispute. (Reuters UK)

- Violence in Iraq Belies Claims of Calm, Data Show. (The Washington Post)

- Growing Pessimism on Iraq. (The Washington Post)

- Insecurity has become an issue even for those living in the heavily fortified bubble of the "Green Zone," home to the US Embassy and Iraqi interim government. (Christian Science Monitor)

Plus The Progress Report's take on Bush's disconnect from the reality in Iraq.

And no wonder Bush has had Donald Rumsfeld in a muzzle for the past few months when he shoots off his mouth like this and this. (The Washington Post | The Telegraph)

While Powell Deputy, Richard Armitage, contradicts Rumsfeld and says Elections Must Be 'Open to All' in Iraq. (The New York Times)

How long is it gonna take for people to get the message that Bush doesn't know what the hell he's doing, has no plan moving forward and is still wilfully misleading the public as to what's going on Iraq?

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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

New contest, free ish and some mp3's  

Ridiculous new Nas ish (feat. his pops, noted jazz musician Olu Dara | Related: another link via

Ja Rule jackin' Shuggie Gray's favorite Jackson 5 joint.

Game doing his best Lloyd Banks impersonation on his new banger "Higher" (but that Dre beat is double-retarded plus that little shout to "look out for Detox" makes my day month. | Related: another link via

Fat Joe gets very gulley on "Victim", the first single from his Things of That Nature album.

And am I gonna have to play this new Eminem joint "Just Lose It" from now until next Martin Luther King Day whenever I DJ (ouch!)?



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Ciara's Goodies album is in stores TODAY. I clowned it at first but now I play cRunk&B anthem "Goodies" like three times a night whenever I spin minimum. It's mandatory like Kevin Lyttle, "Lean Back" and Usher right now. And now, thanks to Cornerstone & Blue Marlin, we offer you a chance to win her album and a Blue Marlin hoodie.

To enter, just answer the question: "Who is the producer that has mentored Ciara's career (and seeming) overnight success by signing here to his label?" (hint: I think you can even just search this site to get the answer)

Email responses to me with the subject line "Ciara Contest" along with your sweatshirt size. A winner will be selected at random from all correct entries received. Contest ends 11:59:59pm on Sunday October 3rd.

In the meantime enjoy a bonus mp3 from the album where Ciara gets her Aaliyah on in a very serious way with an asisst from Ludacris (doing a Dirty South take on Eminem's flow?) - "Oh"

NB: by entering this contest you agree to allow Blue Marlin to collect your email address.

Sponsored by:

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I was at the Paul Weller in-store joint last night at Tower (good lookin' to Nadine S. and Gerald & Nelson at Tower for the line-jump hook up), but for those more hip hop inclined TONIGHT (Tuesday, September 28th) there's:

TALIB KWELI In-Store Performance and CD Signing @ The Virgin Megastore in Union Square, 8:00PM.

Space is limited. To ensure your spot in live to meet Talib, pick up your copy of the beautiful struggle @ 9AM on the 28th at the Virgin Megastore Union Square. You will receive your pass to this very special event. Click here for flyer details. BTW, I chekced out his album. It's OK. On a first listen through I rate it better than Quality but short of the Reflection Eternal.

Speaking of Nadine S. though, she says "For those looking for a beautifully photographed and provoking motion piicture, check out the road trip film, THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES, based on the journals of Che Guevara." And A.O. Scott at The New York Times agrees.

Sony and Lil Flip are f-cking amateurs for real. How could they think they would get away with this?

D-Nice keeps tellin' me to move on from wax so maybe I need to really peep game. (spotted via Coolfer)

My homegirl Pantera Saint-Montaigne makes sassy street soul.

Bonus free ish jumpoff: are there any a serious videogamers who read this site and want to get a free copy of a hot new game? Read on to find out what's really good: a marketing company called the Hype Council hit me saying they are willing to pass me Def Jam Fight for NY -the new game featuring 40 of the biggest Hip Hop artists and celebrities, such as Busta Rhymes, Carmen Electra (huh?), Freeway, Ice T, Joe Budden, Kimora Lee Simmons (!), Lil' Kim, Ludacris, Method Man, Redman, Sean Paul, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit with five brutal fighting styles, 22 interactive venues, and the ability to build your own street-ready fighter- in exchange for banner placement and a site reveiew but I don't really f-cks with gaming like that so holla at the kid if you are willing to do a guest shot reveiw for the game. Email me with proof of your gaming credentials/addiction and I'll select a worthy candidate for the game. Also specify your gaming plaform in your email (only Game Cube, X-Box and PS2 users need apply).


Now that the ban's been lifted, wouldn't it have made more sense if there was an Aramdale semi-automatic assautlt rifle?

The official UK army sneaker (handy for outrunning insurgent gunfire in Basra, perhaps?).

But in all seriousness, who the f-ck wants a JD or Da Brat action figure? And Bonecrusher? Maybe. He's pretty iconic looking but I thinks he need to have more than 1 hit to justify the action figure makeover.

DJ Krush bring you that DJ Shadow style cineamtic trip hop but with an Asian/world music influence in place of Shadow's 80's fixation on his new album Jaku. Also features guest MC's Mr. Lif and Aesop Rock. (UPDATE: DJ Krush live in NYC TONIGHT)

Jean Grae's new album This Week is out. I really don't get the appeal of this chick. I listened to the album a few times and, while she's not wack, pound for pound I think Kim, Foxy (and maybe even Eve) have better voices and flows and would wreck homegirl but Jean's supposed to be better 'cos she's more "conscious" and doesn't get half-naked in her photos or video shoots? The album does feature production by 9th Wonder (Jay-Z, Little Brother) and Midi Mafia (50 Cent) for those who care though.

Really worth checkin out though: On March 6, 1971, some of the greatest artists in popular music history traveled to Ghana, West Africa, to take part in Soul to Soul, a 14-hour musical celebration and cultural exchange. The award-winning film combines classic concert performances with scenes documenting the artists getting in touch with their roots as they return to the Motherland. Available for the first time on DVD, this two-disc set features the 95-minute feature film, plus an expanded, remastered issue of the soundtrack, including performances not featured in the film.

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Sunday, September 26, 2004

Prince Po at The Knitting Factory TONIGHT 

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So I bumped into my man Prince Po (formerly of the legendary Organized Konfusion), in all places, on the A train heading to Brooklyn on Wednesday evening so I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the show he told me about that he's on TONIGHT at the Knitting Factory.

For more details on Po, his new album The Slickness, the show tonight and/or to buy tickets, click here, here or here. I'm trying to make it there and it's looking slightly better than even right now so if anyone else is going, look out for the kid.

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Friday, September 24, 2004

Put Away Your Hankies... a Message from Michael Moore 

Image courtesy: The Economist

Fwd'd to me by my homergirl Brigitte who works at the Center for American Progress:

Monday 20 September 2004

Dear Friends,

Enough of the handwringing! Enough of the
doomsaying! Do I have to come there and personally
calm you down? Stop with all the defeatism, OK? Bush
IS a goner -- IF we all just quit our whining and
bellyaching and stop shaking like a bunch of nervous
ninnies. Geez, this is embarrassing! The Republicans
are laughing at us. Do you ever see them cry, "Oh,
it's all over! We are finished! Bush can't win!

Hell no. It's never over for them until the last
ballot is shredded. They are never finished -- they
just keeping moving forward like sharks that never
sleep, always pushing, pulling, kicking, blocking,

They are relentless and that is why we secretly
admire them -- they just simply never, ever give up.
Only 30% of the country calls itself "Republican," yet
the Republicans own it all -- the White House, both
houses of Congress, the Supreme Court and the majority
of the governorships. How do you think they've been
able to pull that off considering they are a minority?
It's because they eat you and me and every other
liberal for breakfast and then spend the rest of the
day wreaking havoc on the planet.

Look at us -- what a bunch of crybabies. Bush gets
a bounce after his convention and you would have
thought the Germans had run through Poland again. The
Bushies are coming, the Bushies are coming! Yes, they
caught Kerry asleep on the Swift Boat thing. Yes, they
found the frequency in Dan Rather and ran with it.
Suddenly it's like, "THE END IS NEAR! THE SKY IS

No, it is not. If I hear one more person tell me
how lousy a candidate Kerry is and how he can't win...
Dammit, of COURSE he's a lousy candidate -- he's a
Democrat, for heavens sake! That party is so pathetic,
they even lose the elections they win! What were you
expecting, Bruce Springsteen heading up the ticket?
Bruce would make a helluva president, but guys like
him don't run -- and neither do you or I. People like
Kerry run.

Yes, OF COURSE any of us would have run a better,
smarter, kick-ass campaign. Of course we would have
smacked each and every one of those phony swifty boaty
bastards down. But WE are not running for president --
Kerry is. So quit complaining and work with what we
have. Oprah just gave 300 women a... Pontiac! Did you
see any of them frowning and moaning and screaming,
"Oh God, NOT a friggin' Pontiac!" Of course not, they
were happy. The Pontiacs all had four wheels, an
engine and a gas pedal. You want more than that, well,
I can't help you. I had a Pontiac once and it lasted a
good year. And it was a VERY good year.

My friends, it is time for a reality check.

1. The polls are wrong. They are all over the map
like diarrhea. On Friday, one poll had Bush 13 points
ahead -- and another poll had them both tied. There
are three reasons why the polls are b.s.: One, they
are polling "likely voters." "Likely" means those who
have consistently voted in the past few elections. So
that cuts out young people who are voting for the
first time and a ton of non-voters who are definitely
going to vote in THIS election. Second, they are not
polling people who use their cell phone as their
primary phone. Again, that means they are not talking
to young people. Finally, most of the polls are
weighted with too many Republicans, as pollster John
Zogby revealed last week. You are being snookered if
you believe any of these polls.

2. Kerry has brought in the Clinton A-team.
Instead of shunning Clinton (as Gore did), Kerry has
decided to not make that mistake.

3. Traveling around the country, as I've been
doing, I gotta tell ya, there is a hell of a lot of
unrest out there. Much of it is not being captured by
the mainstream press. But it is simmering and it is
real. Do not let those well-produced Bush rallies of
angry white people scare you. Turn off the TV! (Except
Jon Stewart and Bill Moyers -- everything else is just
a sugar-coated lie).

4. Conventional wisdom says if the election is
decided on "9/11" (the fear of terrorism), Bush wins.
But if it is decided on the job we are doing in Iraq,
then Bush loses. And folks, that "job," you might have
noticed, has descended into the third level of a hell
we used to call Vietnam. There is no way out. It is a
full-blown mess of a quagmire and the body bags will
sadly only mount higher. Regardless of what Kerry
meant by his original war vote, he ain't the one who
sent those kids to their deaths -- and Mr. and Mrs.
Middle America knows it. Had Bush bothered to show up
when he was in the "service" he might have somewhat of
a clue as to how to recognize an immoral war that
cannot be "won." All he has delivered to Iraq was that
plasticized turkey last Thanksgiving. It is this
failure of monumental proportions that is going to
cook his goose come this November.

So, do not despair. All is not over. Far from it.
The Bush people need you to believe that it is over.
They need you to slump back into your easy chair and
feel that sick pain in your gut as you contemplate
another four years of George W. Bush. They need you to
wish we had a candidate who didn't windsurf and who
was just as smart as we were when WE knew Bush was
lying about WMD and Saddam planning 9/11. It's like
Karl Rove is hypnotizing you -- "Kerry voted for the
war...Kerry voted for the war...Kerrrrrryyy vooootted
fooooor theeee warrrrrrrrrr..."

Yes...Yes...Yesssss....He did! HE DID! No sense in
fighting now...what I need issleep... sleeep...

WAKE UP! The majority are with us! More than half
of all Americans are pro-choice, want stronger
environmental laws, are appalled that assault weapons
are back on the street -- and 54% now believe the war

Just for me, please? Buck up. The country is
almost back in our hands. Not another negative word
until Nov. 3rd! Then you can bitch all you want about
how you wish Kerry was still that long-haired kid who
once had the courage to stand up for something.
Personally, I think that kid is still inside him.
Instead of the wailing and gnashing of your teeth, why
not hold out a hand to him and help the inner
soldier/protester come out and defeat the forces of
evil we now so desperately face. Do we have any other


Michael Moore
An on a related note:

The New York Times Op-Ed Squad on "What Kerry Should Do?"

- Donna Brazile: Trust Your Gut

- Leon Panetta: Pick a Message, Any Message

- Paul Glastris: Bring the Battle to the President

- Bob Kerrey: Trading Up

And The Economist on how Kerry can revive his faltering campaign.

Meanwhile, the GOP line that Kerry is a flip-flopper on Iraq is bullsh1t. (The San Francisco Chronicle)

And also in the news:

- Ayad Allawi's performance in Washington was everything the Bush re-election campaign could have asked for. Unfortunately, most of it was wrong. (Full Op-Ed "The Face of Iraqi Democracy" from The New York Times)

- President Bush claims that John Kerry's plan to rebuild Iraq is "exactly what we're currently doing," but really it's only what Mr. Bush is currently saying. (Full Paul Krugman Op-Ed "Let's Get Real" from The New York Times)

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Thursday, September 23, 2004

George W. Bush: the real flip flopper 


Despite Bush flip-flops, Kerry gets the label. (Full story at

President Bush's plan to allow workers to divert some of their Social Security taxes into personal investment accounts would endanger the retirement system. (Full editorial from The New York Times)

Our efforts in Afghanistan are underfinanced and undermanned, and our attention is waning. (Full Op-Ed from The New York Times | Related: an opposing (and deluded) view)

And Cat Stevens - denied! (The Washington Post)

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Wednesday, September 22, 2004


A while back I recommended an Argentinian heist con game flick called Nine Queens. Well now it's been remade for the US market as Criminal. No idea if it's still as good (the track record of these Hollywod-remakes is generally not good although, anyone who disagrees, hit me in the comments section with any remakes that bettered their foreign predecessors).

One thing I do know though is that hiring Jessica Alba to play Sue Storm and the modernization of the uniforms based on the picture in this article is not a good sign for the movie verison of The Fantastic Four scheduled for next Summer. I think they should have stuck with a more 60's/modernist-inspired aesthetic for the movie like in the comic, but that's just me. (USA Today)

I'm feeling these Dunk Euro Low's (SC Edition) in white/navy/red.

Look out for an upcoming special by D.L. Hughley on Comedy Central. I went to the taping Monday night and that ish was mad funny.

De La Soul & Common - Days of Our Lives (via

Good luck to my man K-os as his new album Joyful Rebellion drops this week. Turns out we lived about a couple streets apart and went to the same junior high school (albeit four years apart). Flemo' represent.
K-os - The Love Song
• Real Player: High | Low
• Windows Media: High | Low (via
And whattup to my man Premo who I bumped into at the Alchemist release party last night at SOB's.

But tonight:

I expect to see any of you who care about where this country will be going for the next four years at the Slam Bush fundraiser at Sugar Bar in Tribeca. Little ballers welcome too, don't let the suggested donation amounts scare you, every little bit counts.

And afterwards come down to Fuelray for a bonus night. I'm only gonna spin for an hour or so (I love to DJ but four nights in a row at the spot is a little much even for me). Not sure how I'm gonna flip it but, if I can pull it together in time, expect lots of joints from the Sugarhill, Profile, Enjoy, Sleeping Bag, Cold Chillin', Jive, Sire and Tommy Boy labels.

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And finally, Russ Meyer R.I.P.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Alchemist's 1st Entry is on the march.... 

The Alchemist jumpoff is in-stores today: Mobb Deep, The Game, Lloyd Banks, Devin the Dude, MOP, Stat Quo, Dilated Peoples and The Lox. Need I say more? Don't be an asshole, go cop that and hit the release party at SOB's tonight!

New Q-tip via Royal Magazine. If you are one of the few people who was actually into Amplified (like me), you'll dig this.

I missed it so I wasn't gonna bother commenting but everyone's telling me I missed some major ish at the Dave Chappelle Block Party this past weekend especially The Fugees live reunion which I did note yesterday. Kalefa Sanneh of The Times waxes rhapsodic about it here. I guess I'll catch the Michel Gondry DVD when it drops.

Coming later this week: a Ciara contest courtesy Cornerstone Digital and Blue Marlin.

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New books to read & Bush's Iraq Delusions 

The American plan is to get Iraqis to impose order and protect civilians. But insurgents are slaughtering Iraqi police, and attempts to quickly boost police numbers mean the force now has thousands of bad apples. Some are known criminals. Others may be spies and saboteurs. Full story "Cops, Killers & Moles" from Newsweek.

Senior military and national security officials in the Bush administration were repeatedly warned by subordinates in 2002 and 2003 that prisoners in military custody were being abused, according to Sy Hersh's new book Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib. (The New York Times)

And in today's media and election climate, I'm sure Kitty Kelly's book will have no effect even though it's getting some play in the press (though it's mostly negative). interviews five-time Emmy-winning investigative journalist Peter Lance about his new book Cover Up: What the Government Is Still Hiding About the War on Terror. In his reporting for this book, Lance has uncovered truly shocking evidence of cover ups, incompetence and worse at the highest levels of law enforcement and the 9-11 Commission. (Because Lance is so critical of the Department of Justice, the FBI, the 9-11 Commission and the Bush Administration, he is meeting with significant resistance in the mainstream media. Even shows that booked him to appear for his last book, 1000 Years for Revenge: International Terrorism and the FBI--the Untold Story have declined to cover him this time around.) Click here to read the interview.

I could be off on this but I think Iyad Allawi is deluded. (Telegraph)

And while Bush is saying this about Iraq: " But all the world can be certain: America and our allies will keep our commitments to the Afghan and Iraqi people...." (September 18 Presidential Radio Address)

This is what's really happening: Britain to cut troop levels in Iraq - The British Army is to start pulling troops out of Iraq next month despite the deteriorating security situation in much of the country. (full story at The Observer)

While Paul Krugman's Op-Ed "The Last Deception" today in The New York Times looks at how President Bush is hoping to keep the Iraq disaster under wraps for a few more weeks.

So isn't it about time that Bush Come Clean About This War? (The Washington Post)

And what is Bush hiding about his National Guard service? (I mean I know, but E.J. Dionne Jr. is asking over at The Washington Post)

On the campaign trail, President Bush is busy telling voters that he wants to keep making government "smaller and more efficient" and that his opponent, John Kerry, wants a return to the days of big government. But in fact the Bush tax cuts will do nothing of the kind. Counterintuitive though it may seem, they will inevitably end up increasing the size of government. (Full Op-Ed "How Tax Cuts Feed the Beast" in The New York Times)

And to end: The World's Shortest Blog has just one simple question for Bush. (via Patrick T)

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Slam Bush New York event TOMORROW 

This is a copy of the email invite I sent out to my mailing lists yesterday for the Slam Bush fundraising event happening tomorrow in NYC. Join us or, if out of town, contribute to the cause by following the details outlined below:
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Dear Friends and Family:

Some of you hear from me regularly while some of you I unfortunately only keep in touch with every so often. However events over the past three years have compelled me to reach out to everyone I know with this letter and invitation.

If, like me, you feel the direction this country has been headed in under the leadership of George W. Bush has been the wrong one, I ask you to make your voice heard and help make a difference this November. One of the ways I am trying to make that difference is through my love of hip hop and by working with the Slam Bush PAC. Slam Bush’s mission is to mobilize young music fans of the hip hop nation and turn them into voters through grassroots efforts and the tremendous power of hip hop culture.

The centerpiece of the Slam Bush strategy has been a series of anti-Bush hip hop "MC battles" — half concert, half contest — that challenged rappers and slam poets to grab the mic and "debate the President." Contest prizes and heavy local promotion drew thousands of potential anti-Bush voters to these grassroots slams, and attracted the attention of the hip hop community and media around the country. Local hip hop voices were given an opportunity to be heard on a national political stage, and Slam Bush facilitated an innovative, new form of peer-to-peer political organizing.

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However, even grassroots organizing doesn’t come cheap and there are expenses and costs that still have to be paid from the over twelve regional Slam events that were held as well for the National Championship Wednesday, September 29 (see flyer above), so Slam Bush is holding a fundraiser event this Wednesday to help defray some these costs and to educate people more about the organization and its mission.

Many of you might not view yourselves as being political but this November’s election is far too important for potential voters to remain apathetic on the sidelines. At the very least, come check out the event this Wednesday and see how a music and culture many of us love and have made a living form is being used a tool for political change and some good and maybe even become inspired to become even more involved. Details follow in the invitation below and hopefully I will see you all at Sugar Bar on Wednesday.


-- Ian

The Slam Bush NYC Host Committee:

Billy Wimsatt • Sharese Bullock • Tate Hausman • Don Hazen • Nick Adler • Stephanie Low • Carol Lapidus • Ian Steaman • Belin Meslin • Nick Rudikoff • Shawna Kaplan • Chris Wangro • Diane Hatz • Johanna Schaetzke • Saranii Muller

Invites you to a "Hip Hop Reception and Spoken Word Smackdown"


2004's most Innovative, Bold and Effective Anti-Bush Campaign

Wednesday, Sept. 22,
6-8 pm
Sugar Bar - 311 Church St

(Take 1/9, A/C/E, N/R, J/M/Z or 6 to Canal, walk 1 block south on

• No door fee
• Open bar to 7
• Suggested donation of $50 - $500
• Bring your anti-Bush friends!

Special performances by:

Andrew "Tyree" Clinkscale
New York's own Slam Bush Champion

Verbal Tec
Slam Bush Online Champion (Philly)

Come hear how SLAM BUSH is successfully converting urban youth into lifetime voters. With support from friends like you, we can mobilize this crucial voting bloc. Bring your checkbook and prepare to be inspired!

Please RSVP by Tuesday, Sept. 21 to Tate Hausman by email or calling (212) 932-0934.

IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND, but still wish to support this important effort, you can make an online donation through our secure website:

For more information, click for the evite here or check out and

The Fine Print:
Federal Election Commission Compliance: Donations to Slam Bush are not tax-deductible because we are a political action committee (PAC). Individuals may contribute up to $5,000 to Slam Bush per calendar year. Individuals may contribute up to $95,000 per two-year election cycle to all candidates and committees and up to $37,500 per two-year cycle to PACs. In compliance with Federal Election Commission requirements, we cannot accept your donation unless the following statements are true:
• I am a United States citizen or a permanent resident alien.
• I am at least 18 years of age.
• I am making this contribution from my own funds.
• I am making this contribution on my own personal credit card and not with a corporate or business credit card or a credit card issued to anyone else.
• This contribution does not exceed my personal contribution limit.
• I am not a federal contractor.

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Monday, September 20, 2004

"From our point of view, and from the charter point of view it was illegal...."  

Comic courtesy: Atlanta Journal Constitution/

$3 trillion = the cost of Bush's RNC promises. (The Washington Post)

The UN calls the Iraq War "illegal." (Christian Science Monitor)

I'm so sorry I missed this (not). (Related: Michael Moore, it ain't: US right hits back with its own film festival from The Independent)

This is slightly old, but after their F-9/11 embarrassament, Disney pulls another b-tch-made move. (The New York Times)

Pilager '04: give it to Dickie and he'll give it to the wealthy and privileged!

Persons of Interest: Ashcroft calls them terrorists, they call themselves Americans.

And following on from yesterday: 1972 - Bush's "year of inconsequence" exmained by The New York Times. (Related: now CBS says they were misled into "Memogate" from The New York Times)

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Monday mp3's and more.... 

That was a serious run of news/political posts this weekend since the weather kept me in and I probably won't be able to do as many of them during the upcoming week, but back to some music ish now:

- Jay-Z & R. Kelly - Big Chips (following up on the links last week to "The Return" and "Don't Let Me Die." These two are running this game right now and I need to somehow get all these joints on wax like now.)

- NORE (w/Timbaland on the beats) - Get Down

- Slim Thug & Pharrell - I Ain't Heard

- Young Gunz (w/ Kanye) - Grown man (G.L.)

- The disco-punk thing is kind of dead (and I don't get to spin that stuff out much anyway) although I'm not sure why when there's still some great music coming out like the new Sound of Young New York II compilation album from Plant music. Peep the I:cube/RZA collabo, a 12” extended mix of The Stills already seminal, modern new wave classic (at least to me) "Still in Love Song", !!!'s also classic "Me & Giuliani by the Schoolyard (A True Story)" and The Glass's "Forever." (mp3's courtesy: | | | Related: The Glass's new wavey/DFA-esque "Won't Bother Me", available on a separate 12", is not bad either)

Fugees reunion? (

New website by my man Shu who's also having an album listening party tomorrow (September 21st) at VERLAINE (110 Rivington Street, at Essex) starting at 10PM.

Moog - the movie.

Afro-Punk, a great movie I mentioned when I first started doing this blog, needs your help. - Next Generation Electronic ish from Japan

Is this for real? C'mon...

Hasbians - the ultimate male fantasy? (spotted on the skrufff list | Related: New York magazine on the Hasbian phenom. I guess I'm way late on this one based on the date on this article. | The Word Spy definition)

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Sunday, September 19, 2004

The real story of the "Memogate" Air National Guard scandal 

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Once again in this presidential campaign, the media has managed to obsessively focus on a trivial issue while ignoring the important ones. The so-called "Memogate" controversy - the media debate over the integrity of CBS News and veteran journalist Dan Rather because of questionable documents used to support their story on Bush's service history in the Texas and Alabama Air National Guard - has completely overshadowed any dialogue about the authenticity of the story itself as well as the real bombshell news event of the week: the release of a report by Bush's own intelligence agencies containing more very dour forecasts about the future of Iraq similar to others recently published even as he continues to tout the "success" of the war effort in Iraq. (CBS News | The New York Times | Chatham House)

I've been meaning to post something about this scandal ever since it broke in the wake of the 60 Minutes II broadcast nearly two weeks ago but there have been so many twists and turns since then that my head has been spinning trying to keep up. I'm not even sure what the latest word is since a judge just ordered the release of all papers relating Bush's Guard service (sidenote: didn't the White House claim they had done that already months ago?) while some papers released Friday have not resolved any issues and have only raised more questions. Here's my take though ( |

When questions about the authenticity of the documents initially arose, I immediately dismissed them as partisan defense manoeuvres on the part of the GOP. It was a typical and expected response to the devastating revelations in Rather's piece which seemed to hold the promise of finally blowing the lid off the long-simmering rumors that Bush never fully served out his National Guard duty as he has always claimed. The story had the potential of being the factor that would finally undermine his reelection effort. But as the controversy grew, despite CBS at first standing by their story, they, not Bush, became the focus and were forced to reexamine their claims and eventually concede that their methods for verifying the memos' authenticity were sub-par. (San Jose Mercury News | CBS News | | The Boston Globe)

While the story has now become the incompetence of Rather and CBS News - which does, admittedly, deserve some attention - the bigger story is being ignored. The premises underpinning the original story: that Bush used privilege to get preferential treatment to enter the Texas Air National Guard thereby avoiding a draft call-up for combat duty in Vietnam; that he then deliberately disobeyed direct orders to report for a physical and that senior Guard command pressured his superior officers to gloss over the incident, still seems to hold up. In fact Marian Carr Knox, a sometime secretary to Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, author of the memos in question, recently came out as saying that while she hadn't typed the disputed memos and also thought they were probably forgeries, the information and opinions they contained with respect to her former boss were completely accurate. (The Boston Globe | The New York Times)

On top of that it seems that Bush not only did not honorably serve out his term in the Guard but may have falsely claimed to have served in the Air Force in past election campaigns and also worn medals he did not earn (see picture above). (The Blue Lemur)

As Eleanor Clift deftly argues in an online only Op-Ed "Where's the Outrage?" for Newsweek : "George W. Bush's proven failure to fulfill his National Guard duties was widely reported, but because of CBS's flawed journalism, the GOP was able to shift the story away from Bush's credibility to Dan Rather's."

This should have been yet another issue decisively beneficial to the struggling Kerry campaign but Bush has somehow managed to wiggle out of the bind again. Whether it's pure luck or genius on his part is up for debate> What's clear is that Bush is still benefitting from a media and US public who still inexplicably demonstrate tolerance for his track record of privilege, incompetence and lies even as larger issues, with which Kerry could score major points if he went on the offensive and presented viable alternatives for voter to consider and choose from, continue to be ignored by both candidates and the media. (Newsweek)

Related: somebody in the media agrees with me. Too bad they're in Canada! (The London Free Press)

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Saturday, September 18, 2004

Abu Ghraib: "From Bad to Worse..." 

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Lynndie England: convenient scapegoat in the "New Era of Personal Responsibility"?

A DAY OF congressional hearings yesterday confirmed two glaring gaps in the Bush administration's response to hundreds of cases of prisoner abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan. The first is one of investigation: Major allegations of wrongdoing, including some touching on Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other senior administration officials, have yet to be explored by any arms-length probe. The second concerns accountability. Although several official panels have documented failings by senior military officers and their superiors in Washington, those responsible face no sanction of any kind, even as low-ranking personnel are criminally prosecuted....
from the editorial "A Failed Investigation" in The Washington Post.
Cynics will not be surprised to learn that senior military commanders and Bush administration officials are on the verge of avoiding any accountability for the scandal of prisoner abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan -- despite the enormous damage done by that affair to U.S. standing in Iraq and around the world; despite the well-documented malfeasance and possible criminal wrongdoing by those officials; despite the contrasting prosecution of low-ranking soldiers....
from "Refusing to Whitewash Abu Ghraib" by Jackson Diehl. (The Washington Post)
After months of Senate hearings and eight Pentagon investigations, it is obvious that the administration does not intend to hold any high-ranking official accountable for the nightmare at Abu Ghraib. It was pretty clear yesterday that Senator John Warner's well-intentioned hearings of the Armed Services Committee are not going to do it either....
from the "No Accountability on Abu Ghraib" op-ed in The New York Times.

While finally, the The Progress Report sums up this disgraceful tragedy way better than I can.

Hold Them Accountable in 2004.

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"It's Worse Than You Think...." 

As Americans debate Vietnam, the U.S. death toll tops 1,000 in Iraq. And the insurgents are still getting stronger:
Sixteen months after the war's supposed end, Iraq's insurgency is spreading. Each successful demand by kidnappers has spawned more hostage-takings—to make Philippine troops go home, to stop Turkish truckers from hauling supplies into Iraq, to extort fat ransom payments from Kuwaitis. The few relief groups that remain in Iraq are talking seriously about leaving. U.S. forces have effectively ceded entire cities to the insurgents, and much of the country elsewhere is a battleground.

"We're dealing with a population that hovers between bare tolerance and outright hostility," says a senior U.S. diplomat in Baghdad. "This idea of a functioning democracy here is crazy. We thought that there would be a reprieve after sovereignty, but all hell is breaking loose."
from "It's Worse Than You Think" by Scott Johnson and Babak Dehghanpisheh. (Newsweek)

Life in the "Green Zone" in Baghdad:
"It's like Plato's republic in here, all of these well-meaning, smart people who want to do the right thing," says one security contractor and Green Zone regular. "But they never leave here and they have no idea what's happening in the country they're supposed to be building. It's totally absurd."
from "Lost in the Green Zone" by Scott Johnson. (Newsweek)

By deciding to invade Iraq, the Bush Administration decided not to do many other things: not to reconstruct Afghanistan, not to deal with the threats posed by North Korea and Iran, and not to wage an effective war on terror.
from "Bush's Lost Year" by James Fallows. (The Atlantic Monthly)

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"America's favorite totalitarian, theocratic monarchy...." 

If there are still people planning on voting for this man, like Jadakiss says, can you please tell me WHY?

For the Democrats out there who thought Sen. John McCain was one of the few Republicans above the partisan fray and who could have seriously been on the Kerry ticket, I hope this story finally lays that theory to rest. (The New York Times)

And could the judge's decision down in Florida end up being the straw that breaks the back of Kerry's so-far lackluster campaign when the election results are in come November? ( | Washington Post)

Why did Bush let the assualt weapons ban lapse this week despite there seeming to be clear evidence that it worked? Yet another Bush misstep. (Bureau of Justice Statistics)

And yet another Bush flip flop. (The New York Times)

On the other hand, even though they stopped short of any real action, should I at least applaud the Bush administration for finally taking the initial step of censuring the religiously repressive, terrorist-supporting Saudi regime for the first time? Maybe we're finally getting real about this so-called US "ally" in the "war on terror" although we'll see how this plays out from here. (Washington Post)

Can someone give me the 30 second version of what's going on with the Sudan situation? I've kind of lost the plot since Powell declared it a genocide a while back. (Guardian)

Many have said Kerry's chances for winning this election could come down to his performance in the debates which is why Bush probably only wants to do two of them. (Daily News)

Oops, sorry Diebold, but I guess it would have been feasible to get a paper record on an e-voting machine after all. Bu now that they and their rival manufacturers have dragged out the debate with arguments to the contrary for so long now, at this point it's probably too late to retrofit and test machines to do so before the election. (The New York Times)

And finally, despite Bush and the Evangelical Right's likely claims to the contrary, don't they know that Jesus is:
Wrong on social services,
Wrong on crime,
Wrong on defense and,
Wrong for America?
(spotted via Pop Life)

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Friday, September 17, 2004

Slam Bush New York event (& more....) 

One of the best shows on TV, The Wire, is back this weekend.

I don't know if it's any good but the retro-futuristic art direction of this movie Sky Captain has me intrigued enough to maybe check it out. Anyone seen it?

& Tim's new uptown spot The Cherry Lounge is a go as of last night. (Daily News)

Check out music from Citizen Cope's album which is in stores now.


I mentioned a while back that I was getting involved with the Slam Bush PAC/MC Battle Series. Well, things have almost come to a conclusion but the organization still needs support to help underwrite the expesnes of holding the final battle in Miami. If, like me, you love hip hop and also care about changing the direction this country is headed and live in the Tri-State area, in read on....
If you are looking for a fun, effective way to make a difference in this election, you've found it!

The Slam Bush NYC Host Committee:

Billy Wimsatt • Sharese Bullock • Tate Hausman • Don Hazen
• Nick Adler • Stephanie Low • Carol Lapidus • Ian
Steaman • Belin Meslin • Nick Rudikoff • Shawna Kaplan •
Chris Wangro • Diane Hatz • Johanna Schaetzke • Saranii

Invites you to a "Hip Hop Reception and Spoken Word Smackdown" benefiting ...

Sugar Bar - 311 Church St

Wednesday, Sept. 22
6-8 pm

(take 1/9, A/C/E, N/R, J/M/Z or 6 to Canal, walk 1 block South on Church)

• no door fee
• open bar to 7
• suggested donation of $50 - $500
• bring your anti-Bush friends!
Special performances by:

Andrew "Tyree" Clinkscale - New York's own Slam Bush Champion

Verbal Tec - Slam Bush Online Champion (Philly)

Come hear how SLAM BUSH - 2004's most innovative, bold and effective Anti-Bush Campaign- is successfully converting urban youth into lifetime progressive voters. With support from people like you, we can activate this crucial voting bloc. Bring your checkbook and prepare to be inspired!

Please RSVP by Tuesday, Sept. 21 to Tate Hausman by email or at 212.932.0934.

IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND, but still wish to support this important effort, you can make an online donation through our secure website by clicking here.

For more information, check out the official Slam Bush website.

If you are looking for a fun, effective way to make a difference in
this election ... you've found it!

Fuelray is OFF tonight but catch me spinning again tomorrow night. Best story from last week: this super hottie, bad-looking Spanish girl comes up to me last week and requests The Beatnuts. I say I don't have it so she asks me If I have the Ali Shaheed Muhammed so I reply "What are you: promoting for Penalty Records?" to which she replies "As a matter of fact, I am." I thought she was joking but turns out she really was working for Penalty, promises to put me on their DJ service list and then hangs out for about an hour. I know Penalty owner Neil a bit so she better come through. BTW: the new 'Nuts album might already be the winner of the album cover of the year award.

Finally though, on a more somber note: Johnny Ramone, R.I.P. (MTV News)

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Thursday, September 16, 2004

Kitchen-recommended surfing... 

There's a ton of things I wanna talk about on this site but I am stupid swamped right now working on some other stuff so it might be hard for me to post as much for the next few days. So don't get mad if upcoming posts have content that's a few days out date.

In the meantime though, check out some of these Kitchen-approved alternatives below as well as any of the suggested links in the sidebar at the left:

The Blue Lemur - Progressive Politics and Media News.

Caffeine Low

Cowboyz 'n' Poodles

No Frontin' Just Music mp3 Blog

On & On

Operation Truth

RUSI - the Iraqi information portal.

Seattle Bird

Street Dreams

And for those who missed it the last time they were posted, here's some links to the new Mos Def & Snoop Dogg singles:

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Mos Def - “Sex, Love & Money” Audio: win | real

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Snoop Dogg (ft. Pharrell) - "Drop It Like It's Hot" (w/ Snoop drop and w/o): real | win | real | win |

And the "ex"-mod in me has to mention this one: Paul Weller, "Modfather" & Britpop elder statesman, remakes Rose Royce's "Wishing on a Star" from his new all-covers album Studio 150 which also includes versions of Sister Sledge's "Thinking of You" (a track that's maybe in my top 10 singles of all time), Gil Scott Heron's "The Bottle", Aaron Neville's beat-digger favorite "Hercules" and Hendrix/Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower." Dude always was kind of a closet soul boy and rare(-ish) groove fanatic (cf. covering obscure Anita Baker songs in his Style Council days) so his impeccable track selection isn't that surprising (even if the results aren't always equally as impressive). But that's what being a real mod is all about, right? (video clip via Video-C)


Slight addendum and a question for everyone:

OK, so Enuff's been bangin' a joint on his afternoon drive mix show for about three weeks now with an MC who sounds (kind of) like Chubb Rock mixed with Biggie spittin' the following chorus over a bouncy, happy, chopped-up vaguely 60's ska/reagge beat:
People, hands in the air
We got guns, Cris' and white rum bacardi
Let's have a party
Got love for everybody
Does anyone know who does this record 'cos I'm really feelin' it and wanna cop that on wax? (Just please don't tell me it's a Guerilla Black jawn....)


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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Special jacking (jocking?) edition 

Pour out a little liquor for the late, great thug revolutionary Tupac Shakur

A couple days late but 2Pac, R.I.P. We and the game miss you, the good and the bad.

The streets (or at least Hot 97) are talking:

- Big rims are over for 2004-2005! Flex, of all people, called it Monday night. Wannabe ballas, relax, it's over you missed it.

- Carmelo Anthony vs. Sugar J (who he?) for the hand of MTV's La-La? (heard on Tuesday Morning Show, link via

- Remy Ma vs. Foxy Brown for a 200G purse, WTF? (also heard on Tuesday's Morning Show, link via | Related: not a good week for Foxy all around. Seriously, I feel for this girl. Story via Ballerstatus.)

Dr. Dre And Burt Bacharach?! - and it's not an Onion article! No joking, I'm genuinely excited about this. They are two of my favorities artists ever. (

Will Flash & crew get their props? (

Scarface videogame (spotted via

Does this render things like this and this moot? And if it holds up in higher courts, will we ever hear albums even close to this, this, this, this, this or this again? (


Important PSA:
Help find Tamika Antonette Huston.


New music:

- Kels and Hov are murderin' it (and providing further proof that Sean carter's "retirement" is the weakest PR stunt since Brandy's fake first marriage): The Return | Don't Let Me (via

- Game Ft. Kanye West & Ludacris - Whole City Behind Us (aka the Boost Mobile ad theme, chirp that to your cellie!)

- Destiny's Child - Lose My Breath (Mis-teeq, fall back and respect the architects!)

- Mase & Kanye - I love this but it should have dropped Memorial Day weekend for cookout season.

And a busy Wednesday:

- D-Nice does it again with guest DJ Scratch (EPMD, Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes) at Serena, 222 West 23rd Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues under the Chelsea Hotel). Doors Open at 10 p.m.

- Worsdworth album release party at Joe's Pub:

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- an Alchemist album listening party for those who know (and some music for those who don't: Alchemist ft. Mobb Deep - Itz a Craze | Alchemist ft. Stat Quo, MOP - The Show both via

Supreme Clientele is coming soon. Stay tuned.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2004

9/11 is not a campaign slogan.... 

Photo courtesy: The Sydney Morning Herald.

Despite recent news events, Bush has not only opened up a sizeable lead in current polls against Kerry but is inexplicably, and despite probably the most inept execution of American foreign policy since the Vietnam War, also beating Kerry 53% to 41% on the question of who would handle the situation in Iraq better and by a whopping 57% to 36% on the question of who would handle the war on terrorism better. (Time)

This is due in large part to the GOP's continued efforts to tie 9/11 and Saddam Hussein together as a jusification for this travesty of a war, even though this theory has been long-discredited. Bush's endless exploitation of 9/11 in general, despite his promise not to politicize this terrible tragedy, has no doubt also helped.

The recent RNC was just one instance of these campaign strategies at work:
The organizers of this year's Republican National Convention engaged in some very shrewd rewriting of history. If you watched carefully, you noticed a narrative of the war on terrorism in which most of the past two years disappeared.

Viewers got enormous detail on the bravery displayed by Americans after the attacks of Sept. 11. But [no discussion of] how so many of its assumptions went haywire or why our strategy was so flawed that we have now conceded large parts of the Sunni Triangle to our enemies. There were no reminders of "Mission Accomplished" or "bring 'em on."

Of course the Bush team wants voters to shield their eyes from the specifics of its record in Iraq. Otherwise, Americans just might hold the president accountable.

So President Bush and Vice President Cheney get us to look the other way by focusing on the vague question of which candidate is "tough" enough to handle terrorists.
from the E. J. Dionne Jr. Washington Post Op-Ed "Rewriting The Record." (BTW: this post's title comes from a protest sign I saw in a newspaper photo published during coverage of the RNC.)

And as David Ignatius puts it:
Any analysis of Bush's anti-terrorism record has to be divided into pre-Sept. 11 and post-Sept. 11. And in both periods, there is considerable evidence to challenge Bush's contention that his actions have made the country safer.
from his Washington Post Op-Ed "Has Bush Made Us Safer?"

But, even though the public's confidence in Bush's leadership in this so-called war remains high, his administration's execution of it has been both shameless and inept:
Two-and-a-half years after he was captured in Afghanistan and detained by the U.S. military as an "enemy combatant," a prisoner at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has been told he will be allowed to go home, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.
from "Panel: Cuba Detainee Wrongly Named Enemy" in The Guardian. (Full story)

As has their execution of the war and "Post-war" in Iraq:
American interrogators working in Iraq have obtained as much as 50 percent more high-value intelligence since a series of coercive practices like hooding, stripping and sleep deprivation were banned, a senior American official said Monday.
from "General Says Less Coercion of Captives Yields Better Data." (Full story at The New York Times | Related: USA Today story)

While the promise by Bush of the world being safer and more free from terrorism after the "completion" of the Iraq war has also proven to be a sad fallacy:
At least nine people have been killed and as many as 160 injured in a massive blast outside the Australian embassy in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta.
from "Massive blast at Jakarta embassy." (Full story BBC News)

There are many more stories and examples just like these that I could cite but only a few in the media, like Bob Herbert, have been brave enough yet to start labeling Bush's policies on the Iraq war (or the War on Terror) as the failures that they are:
They were sent off by a president who ran and hid when he was a young man and his country was at war. They fought bravely and died honorably. But as in Vietnam, no amount of valor or heroism can conceal the fact that they were sent off under false pretenses to fight a war that is unwinnable.

How many thousands more will have to die before we acknowledge that President Bush's obsession with Iraq and Saddam Hussein has been a catastrophe for the United States?
from the Op-Ed "How Many Deaths Will It Take?" in The New York Times.

Meanwhile, as has long been suspected by many pundits whose voices aren't being heard enough in the mainstream media, it looks like the "noble" cause of prosecuting the war on terror isn't even really a priority for the now-disgraced Neo-cons who drive the Bush Foreign Policy agenda and were largely responsible for getting the US into the war in Iraq in the first-place:
The Washington neocons' commitment to the war on terror evaporates in Chechnya, whose cause they have made their own:

An enormous head of steam has built up behind the view that President Putin is somehow the main culprit in the grisly events in North Ossetia... On closer inspection, it turns out that this so-called "mounting criticism" is in fact being driven by a specific group in the Russian political spectrum - and by its American supporters.

This harshness towards Putin is perhaps explained by the fact that, in the US, the leading group which pleads the Chechen cause is the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC). The list of the self-styled "distinguished Americans" who are its members is a rollcall of the most prominent neoconservatives who so enthusastically support the "war on terror".

They include Richard Perle, the notorious Pentagon adviser; Elliott Abrams of Iran-Contra fame; Kenneth Adelman, the former US ambassador to the UN who egged on the invasion of Iraq by predicting it would be "a cakewalk"; Midge Decter, biographer of Donald Rumsfeld and a director of the rightwing Heritage Foundation; Frank Gaffney of the militarist Centre for Security Policy; Bruce Jackson, former US military intelligence officer and one-time vice-president of Lockheed Martin, now president of the US Committee on Nato; Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute, a former admirer of Italian fascism and now a leading proponent of regime change in Iran; and R James Woolsey, the former CIA director who is one of the leading cheerleaders behind George Bush's plans to re-model the Muslim world along pro-US lines.

The ACPC heavily promotes the idea that the Chechen rebellion shows the undemocratic nature of Putin's Russia, and cultivates support for the Chechen cause by emphasising the seriousness of human rights violations in the tiny Caucasian republic.

Although the White House issued a condemnation of the Beslan hostage-takers, its official view remains that the Chechen conflict must be solved politically. According to ACPC member Charles Fairbanks of Johns Hopkins University, US pressure will now increase on Moscow to achieve a political, rather than military, solution - in other words to negotiate with terrorists, a policy the US resolutely rejects elsewhere [emphasis added].
from "The Chechens' American friends" by John Laughland. (Guardian)

So sadly, it looks like The Onion has, yet again, gotten it more right than many in the so-called "real media":
Bush Campaign More Thought Out Than Iraq War
WASHINGTON, DC—Military and political strategists agreed Monday that President Bush's re-election campaign has been executed with greater precision than the war in Iraq. "Judging from the initial misrepresentation of intelligence data and the ongoing crisis in Najaf, I assumed the president didn't know his ass from his elbow," said Col. Dale Henderson, a military advisor during the Reagan Administration. "But on the campaign trail, he's proven himself a master of long-term planning and unflinching determination. How else can you explain his strength in the polls given this economy?" Henderson said he regrets having characterized Bush's handling of the war as "incompetent," now that he knows the president's mind was simply otherwise occupied.
from the "News in Brief" column.

But finally, let's compare Cheney's now infamous campaign comments from last week:
"If we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we'll get hit again -- that we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States" (as published on
with one dictionary definition of the word "terrorism":
\Ter"ror*ism\, n. The act of terrorizing, or state of being terrorized; a mode of government by terror or intimidation [emphasis added]. --Jefferson.
(Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.)
In the immortal words of Killa Cam (?): "Pause...."

R.I.P. to all those whose lives were taken in the 9/11 attacks and all the innocent victims whose lives were taken in the subsequent Iraq & Afghanistan wars and the war on terror.

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