Matt Taibbi On Judith Miller

Matt Taibbi On Judith Miller

The above link is a Rolling Stone article about former NYT reporter Judith Miller, who played a role in making the country think that Iraq was a war of necessity.  She has just released a book and is trying to redeem her reputation.  But there is nothing she can do to redeem herself at this point, especially when she still seems not to understand the full ramifications of her actions.  She helped lead this country into a war that has caused untold pain and suffering, with thousands of dead soldiers and even more innocent Iraqis killed, along with untold numbers that were either maimed or now face psychological trauma.  She betrayed the public trust in a way that I don’t think can ever be fully forgiven.

Sex, Drugs & Rock Criticism

Richard Goldstein On the 60’s

Above is a Rolling Stone interview with music critic Richard Goldstein, who has been working since 1966.  I was interested by some of the social commentary in the interview.  A sample (Especially read the second part of the answer, where I feel he is dead right.):

There seemed to be some disappointment in the book, a feeling and desire for change that maybe didn’t quite come through.

I think the Sixties produced a lot of changes. Multiculturalism comes from the Sixties. So does feminism, gay liberation, environmentalism, sexual freedom in general — even veggie burgers. A lot of things people take for granted today come from that decade. Most people had better lives as a result of the Sixties. But what didn’t change is the social justice agenda: equality. We’re less equal than we were as a society, and certainly racial justice has never been achieved. This was a huge priority. Almost everything of importance in the Sixties had something to do with race, including the music. Black music became front and center in a major way — black music by black people. And that’s never changed.

All of the things that did change were economically profitable. Multiculturalism created a new market. Feminism has, unfortunately, meant a cheap labor force. Gay liberation, gay marriage, means a new wedding industry. The things that didn’t change are things that demand that you give people money. Like racial justice. It means there has to be a program that redresses poverty — so it costs money. Same with economic equality: You have to tax people and distribute the wealth. These things failed. So to the extent that we thought we were changing the world…we were only making new markets. And we ended up as an advance force for the free-market economy. Maybe this is the way things work in history; I’m not saying we failed. But I certainly think our major goals in terms of justice were defeated.

The Soul Man Who Walked Away

The Soul Man Who Walked Away

I became explicitly aware of Bill Withers through working with Kevin Russell in Shinyribs.  (We have covered two of his songs throughout the years.  We just played one this past Saturday.)  I had no doubt heard some of his material, but was not overtly familiar with him.  He is still someone more on the periphery of my vision.  Everyone in Shinyribs is older than me, so perhaps it is just an age thing.  However, there is so much music in the world that is easy to let something, even something important on occasion, slip past you. 

Anyway, the above Rolling Stone article is interesting if you are a fan or not.  Apparently Withers is one of the few people who retired from the music business willingly at the top of their game.  The article dives into why Withers made that decision, among other things. 

What Does Ted Cruz Looks Like?

What Does Ted Cruz Look Like?

The above article is an entertaining read from Rolling Stone.  The article examines the public perception of several mainstream candidates over the last few years, based on their looks, and tries to discern how Ted Cruz’s looks will affect his candidacy.  (There is a pretty great side-by-side of President Obama and Sam the Eagle.)

One of my best friends has often said the following to me about Ted Cruz:  “Even if he was the greatest politicians ever, wouldn’t just the way he looked make you want to kick the shit out of him?” Yes, yes, yes….

Major Labels Begin to Question Spotify ‘Free Music’ Model

Major Labels Begin to Question Spotify ‘Free Music’ Model

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/major-labels-question-free-model-20150320

Out on the road in Florida through the rest of the weekend.  Posting will probably be a little slim till I get back to Texas.  Just read the above article in Rolling Stone.  It’s about time.  Hopefully this is the beginning of a major shift.  It is important to our culture as a whole that people are fairly compensated for intellectual property. 

Florida Bans Climate Change

Florida Bans Climate Change

I meant to post this the other day, but I forgot, or I couldn’t make myself because of the astounding stupidity involved.  Florida officials, once Rick Scott came into power, were told to not include the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in any official reports.  If this wasn’t so insane and depressing, this would actually be hilarious.  Florida is a state that is going to be in an especially dire situation due to climate change related problems.  Here is just one article about one part of Florida that is going to face catastrophe due to climate change:

Why the City of Miami is Doomed to Drown

Do we really need leaders who not only don’t act in their constituents best interests, but don’t even allow debate about things that may affect those same constituents?

Scott Walker, God’s Gift to the Democratic Party

Scott Walker, God’s Gift to the Democratic Party

Matt Taibbi has been slam dunking it lately.  Here he takes on Scott Walker, which those of you that have been reading along know I can’t stand.  A sample:

Beltway Democrats may not deserve good luck, but it looks like they could have plenty in the next presidential race. Heading into the weekend, Scott Walker, a man born to be slaughtered in a general election, is suddenly leading the pack in the Iowa polls.  

Walker is surging thanks to his performance at this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, where the union-busting governor inspired raucous applause with his “I was a dick in Wisconsin, and I can be one in Washington, too!” stump speech.

Walker’s address was a broadside against a litany of conservative bugbears, from Planned Parenthood to the media to tax day to the subversive act of voting without a photo ID, etc.

But the money line came during a Q&A session. Asked how he would take on radical Islamist terrorists, Walker referred to his experience taking on pro-union protesters in his home state:

“If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.”

Walker’s seeming comparison of peaceful union activists to head-chopping Islamic terrorists drew a predictable response, with progressive groups like American Bridge sending out alerts denouncing his comments, along with outrage from the Democratic National Committee.

But the National Review also called it an “unforced error,” with writer Jim Geraghty taking special offense at the fact that Walker had forced him into a place where he had to defend, of all people, union activists. Even Rick Perry, not exactly a kumbaya-chanting paragon of tolerance, chided Walker for crossing a line:

“These are Americans… You are talking about, in the case of ISIS, people who are beheading individuals and committing heinous crimes, who are the face of evil. To try to make the relationship between them and the unions is inappropriate.”

Canada and Keystone XL

Canada and Keystone XL

Well looking up a little background information on the Keystone XL Pipeline, which Obama thankfully vetoed, I came across this Rolling Stone article.  It explains Canada’s politics in connection to big oil and to the pipeline.  It’s worth a read if you want to get a broader perspective on the topic.