Archive for January, 2003

  • Rob Spectre
  • 29
  • Jan
  • 03

In reality we have these little things called “facts.” It is a strange concept for those unfamiliar with the term, a number of alarming size and could be fit to include the President of the United States. Let’s take a look at his State of the Union address and critically examine this speech, with as little applause breaks as possible. Full text of the address can be found here.

“During the last two years, we have seen what can be accomplished when we work together. To lift the standards of our public schools, we achieved historic education reform – which must now be carried out in every school, and every classroom, so that every child in America can read, and learn, and succeed in life.”

During the last two years, Bush has done very little indeed to lift actual standards in public schools. Though he does seem to talk about the subject a lot, his only real concern seems to be in moving more federal education dollars into religiously controlled concerns. In fact, very little of Bush’s “historic education reform” seems focused on public schools at all.

“To protect our country, we reorganized our government and created the Department of Homeland Security – which is mobilizing against the threats of a new era.”

Osama bin Laden has not been captured. A ranking CIA officer admits that the “war on terrorism” is so horribly inadequate and misguided that he refers to is as a myth. And nothing has been done to cure the sources of the growing global anti-American sentiment. Bush seems content in ignoring the only current real threat against the security of the United States, simply because the man has proven exceedingly hard to capture. Handing out money is not working. Ignoring the problem is not working. With the millionaire playboy’s two known forms of action exhausted, how will he go on?

“To bring our economy out of recession, we delivered the largest tax relief in a generation. To insist on integrity in American business, we passed tough reforms, and we are holding corporate criminals to account.”

An existing deficit, a further $600 billion “stimulus” package, and a major invasion of a Middle Eastern country does not compute. Two-thirds of his tax cut was centered on the upper 10% and Bush’s proposal to eliminate the stock dividend tax is more of the same. Kenneth Lay is still a free man. Under his administration, the rich have gotten richer and the rest of us have gotten economically screwed. Investor confidence is still low, unemployment is still high. This is not a “good record” and if it is a “good start,” the economy will suffer further decline through the next two years.

“If this tax relief is good for Americans three, or five, or seven years from now, it is even better for Americans today.”

It didn’t work for Reagan, and it is not going to work for Bush.

“Instead of bureaucrats, and trial lawyers, and HMOs, we must put doctors, and nurses, and patients back in charge of American medicine.”

Then, why is Bush’s healthcare proposal suggesting the exact opposite? In Clause 17(g) of his healthcare bill, seniors will have to abandon their Medicare doctors to the “tender mercies of HMOs.”

“Tonight I am proposing 1.2 billion dollars in research funding so that America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles.”

A transparent bone thrown to environmentalists that not even school children would believe. Instead of addressing the very real problem of current automobile pollution, he elects to revive a program initially created by Clinton. There is nothing remotely original about this idea, and again ignores the pressing current problem.

“The gravest danger facing America and the world … is outlaw regimes that seek and possess nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.”

It a danger that has never been consistently address by George W. Bush, but it is increasingly clear that his interest in Iraq is about one thing and one thing only: oil.

In the State of the Union, Bush referred to historic precedent constantly as the rationalization for his insane policies. But, if there is one thing that has been proven in the history to which he so ignorantly refers, it is that empires always crumble by not facing reality. America, I fear, will be no different.

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 28
  • Jan
  • 03

Did some more work on the bulletin board today. I think I’ve resolved a problem where apparently literate internet users completely bone the themes. Many thanks to thelilone81 and Kitten for helping with testing.

I also moved everybody over to the new mailing list using the Mailman program. This way, subscribes and unsubscribes can occur with complete automation, both increasing security and reducing my administrative load. Plus, users can now just sign up for the list on the right-hand side of the sidebar. I’ll be sending out the first email with it tomorrow.

In other news, my paternal grandfather recently underwent his third colostomy (sp?) surgery. I haven’t seen him since I graduated and am nervously awaiting more news on the subject. Apparently, he is through the worst of it now and it is all a question of whether or not his system can maintain weight. The number of issues this brings to immediate attention are many, and I find myself wondering if I have the resolve to see them through.

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 27
  • Jan
  • 03

Bejeezus! Chandra has a metric shit-ton of killer art up at her new gallery. Definitely worth checking out if you liked the cover art from Yes, Ray and Blades of Vengeance or really any Shaft related art you have ever seen. She is an amazing and versatile artist; far better than Arturo Got The Shaft deserves to have drawing the occasional graphic. Check it out and be awed.

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 26
  • Jan
  • 03

Big thanks to everyone who came out to hear Thom’s class lay down the fat rhymes in a wicked collection of poetry reading. This is definitely something I think should be added on a much more regular basis down at the Blue Moon. Tonight proved evidently that the power of geek is high in Hastings; a power that should be extended through the hills and valleys of this land as sure as the shadow of a solar eclipse. The tools are starting to form together to make that happen.

Me and Alex Houchin (sp?) are having an ongoing conversation about the selection of the triforce as the symbol for Arturo Got The Shaft. He thought it was dumb that I was copping an existing logo and just changing the color to use to promote the band. I, naturally, disagreed and think that the background on that decision might be good to put here:

“A little more thought went into the selection of the triforce for the band’s symbol. The black triforce with a shadow represents a specific song, “A Link to the Past,” that was essentially the way I first started getting shows for Arturo Got The Shaft. Give a listen to it and I think you’ll see what I mean. The whole idea that what we left behind is what keeps us geek inside; our worldviews were shaped by the games we played. It is the past but it is still a part of us.

It provides the general thesis for what I’m trying to accomplish in this particular musical project. This “geek rock” idea is spoken only half-jokingly. The ultimate purpose is to give a certain group of people who are generally outsiders feel a part of something special. The triforce is obscure enough (though what little obscurity remains will likely be destroyed by the next Zelda game) that it is easily recognizable by most all different types of geeks our age but still just three triangles to the guys who were busy playing football and shit. It demonstrates where the intellectual ante is in this particular discourse; these songs are specifically for the nerdly set.

I don’t think the triforce as a symbol is dumb at all… In fact, I think it is the only logo appropriate for Arturo Got The Shaft. Kinda like Dinosaur Jr’s use of the Klingon symbol from the old Star Trek series, it gives geeks something immediately to identify with and a reason to pay attention.

A little more thought went into it than might be immediately obvious, but either way I like it and I have no intention of getting rid of it.”

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 25
  • Jan
  • 03

What a busy little bee I’ve been.

1. Tunes page has been updated with all BoV stuff.

2. Fixed the What’s New box; added date of last post on board.

3. Fixed link over at Chivalrous Productions.

4. Alienated girlfriend from all this dork web stuff.

*shrug*

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