February 5, 2008

I see the states, across this big nation
I see the laws made in Washington, D.C.
I think of the ones I consider my favorites
I think of the people that are working for me

Markus Veter, Together We Can Defeat Capitalism, 2006

* Bush inaction guts privacy board. excerpt:

"As President Bush continues to spar with Congress over his demand that pending litigation that would examine his warrantless wiretapping program be thrown out of court, he seems to be furthering what critics see as his contempt for Americans' privacy rights by failing to staff a civil liberties oversight commission.

"The 9/11 Commission recommended creating the five-member Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board in its 2004 report, and it began work in March 2006 as a subsidiary of the Executive Office of the President. Last year, Congress further implemented 9/11 Commission recommendations and reconfigured the board to make it more independent and bipartisan -- no more than three members can be of the same party -- after the previous board was accused of being little more than a White House whitewash commission; now Bush seemingly has no interest in letting the board continue.

"'We want them to be more than just the privacy version of Congressional Research Service,' Timothy Sparapani, an ACLU lawyer told Wired's Ryan Singel. 'They need to be able to slap hands and force people to consider privacy in the initial creation of programs, and then whack people into line when privacy violations occur.'

"Although terms of its current members expired Jan. 30, Bush has made no effort to nominate any new members to the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which would have first crack at approving any appointments. The committee's chairman and ranking member say this failure on Bush's part has created a gap in oversight aimed at protecting Americans' rights."

* Onion AV club asks Dean Wareham about his upcoming book. excerpt:

AVC: Is your book going to be mostly about your bands, or will it be more of a personal thing?

DW: Well, it's both. It's a look at what it's like to be in a band, and the business, and what was going on in the record industry as a whole through the '90s. The grunge years, and then the Britney and 'N Sync years. And then rock came back again, and all of a sudden, CD sales began to plummet. There's that story—it's cultural, like urban anthropology—but it's also deeply personal.

AVC: Do you talk at all about your favorite music by other artists?

DW: Definitely. I talk about when I first heard certain bands, certain songs. There's stuff from my early childhood, like The Seekers doing 'Georgy Girl,' or seeing Elvis Presley on TV when I was 10 years old. There's also a bit about being in New York City in the late '70s for the punk explosion. I was a big Clash fan. I remember seeing The Clash at Bond's; it's a bit of a legendary series of shows. More legendary because the fire department came in after the first night and declared that the show was dangerously oversold. So The Clash tripled the amount of shows they were doing there. This was the Sandinista! tour, by the way, so some group was handing out literature about Nicaragua in the lobby. Grandmaster Flash were opening, and they got booed off the stage with chants of 'disco sucks' and 'nigger.' It was really horrible. It was strange to see the difference between The Clash and their meathead fans.

AVC: What did you think of Grandmaster Flash at the time?

DW: Oh, I liked it. What was it, 'The Message?' That was a great song. I wasn't deep into that stuff, but I liked it.

* Letters from Richard Nixon to Kevin Loughery shortly after the Washington Bullets lost in the 1971 Finals to the Bucks. take a look!

* "I listen to jazz mainly. Mainstream jazz." -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar


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