When purple things are pulsating on your mind, I'm the one whose clock you want to clean. Aiding is Sparky, the Astral Plane Zen Pup Dog from his mountain stronghold on the Northernmost Island of the Happy Ninja Island chain, this blog will also act as a journal to my wacky antics at an entertainment company and the progress of my self published comic book, The Deposit Man which only appears when I damn well feel like it. Real Soon Now.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Sparky (somewhat akin to beating a dead horse) camps HuffPoCo again to highlight what the Puppethead Boy King is:
“… It scared me because it gave a glimpse of an America in which pandemonium rules. Between kick-ass action beats, when McClane and his young hacker sidekick make their way to a D.C. police station after all the traffic lights and phones have gone out, and the stock market has collapsed and every city's transportation system has shut down, we get a brief, slo-mo sense of what true chaos feels like -- it's post-Katrina New Orleans on a national scale.
Even scarier, the government is totally unprepared. ("It took FEMA five days to get water to the Superdome," the hacker reminds us.) That's what makes this George W.'s Die Hard: it's explicitly Homeland Security's incompetence and indifference that make the nation so defenseless. In fact, the terrorist mastermind is a former government security expert who wants to prove the network's vulnerability. So, naturally, a bald, fifty-something Luddite cop is America's only hope. But if Bruce Willis won't come to our rescue in real life, who will?”
“... Disney has put a rodent on top of the box office, though not the studio's venerable mascot, Mickey Mouse.
"Ratatouille," an animated comedy about a gourmet rat that gets a chance to cook in a French restaurant, debuted as the No. 1 weekend movie with $47.2 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
20th Century Fox's action thriller "Live Free or Die Hard," Bruce Willis's return as unstoppable cop John McClane, opened in second-place with $33.15 million. Since opening Wednesday, the movie has grossed $48.2 million.”
I. Lewis Libby Jr. walks out of Federal Court House in Washington with his wife and his lawyers after the verdict on March 6. Judith Miller, the so-called American journalist must be eagerly awaiting her boyfriend's phonecall.
WASHINGTON, July 2 — President Bush said today that he had used his power of clemency to commute the 30-month sentence for I. Lewis Libby Jr., the former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, who was convicted of perjury in March and was due to begin serving his time within weeks.
The action, announced just hours after a federal appeals court denied Mr. Libby’s request to allow him to remain free while his case is on appeal, spares Mr. Libby his prison term, but it does not excuse him from stiff fines or probation.
In a statement issued early this evening announcing his decision, Mr. Bush said he had listened to both critics and defenders of Mr. Libby, who was convicted of four felony counts for lying during a C.I.A. leak investigation.
“I respect the jury’s verdict,” Mr. Bush said. “But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend 30 months in prison.”
Like a pardon, a commutation is a form of clemency, granted to the president by the Constitution. But a pardon is an official act of forgiveness, whereas a commutation simply reduces the penalty, without making an official judgment of forgiveness.
Mr. Bush has been urged by some conservatives to grant Mr. Libby an outright pardon.
The president noted in his statement that the decision to commute “leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby.”
“The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged,” Mr. Bush said. “His wife and young children have suffered immensely. He will remain on probation.”
The unanimous decision earlier today by a three-judge panel, which had been widely expected, upheld a ruling of Judge Reggie B. Walton, who presided over the trial of Mr. Libby.
Judge Walton had ruled that the issues being raised on appeal by Mr. Libby’s lawyers were not substantial enough to have a strong chance of succeeding, which meant that under the law the sentence should not be delayed.
In June, Mr. Libby was sentenced to 30 months in prison and a $250,000 fine after he was convicted in March of obstructing justice and lying to a grand jury and F.B.I. agents who were investigating the disclosure of the identity of a Central Intelligence Agency operative, Valerie Wilson.
The president’s decision drew praise from Mr. Libby’s defenders. “That’s fantastic. It’s a great relief,” said former Ambassador Richard Carlson, who helped raise millions of dollars for Libby’s defense fund. “Scooter Libby did not deserve to go to prison and I’m glad the president had the courage to do this,.” he said, according to The Associated Press.
But Democrats assailed Mr. Bush’s move.
Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, a Democratic presidential candidate, said in a statement that the commutation of Mr. Libby’s sentence “cements the legacy of an administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division, one that has consistently placed itself and its ideology above the law.”
The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, said the decision showed Mr. Bush “condones criminal conduct,” according to The A.P.
And the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, told The A.P.: “Libby’s conviction was the one faint glimmer of accountability for White House efforts to manipulate intelligence and silence critics of the Iraq war. Now, even that small bit of justice has been undone.”
TOP TRAITOR "U.S. President" George W. Bush AKA the BUSH JUNTA II Puppethead Boy King
The prison sentence of I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby has been commuted by U.S. President George W. Bush. Libby is the former chief of staff for U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, and was at the center of the CIA leak scandal, where the identity of former CIA agent Valerie Plame was leaked to the media officials by White House officials.
Bush's intervention ensures that Libby will not serve jail time, however Libby must still pay a $250,000 fine and undergo two years of probation. In a statement, Bush said, "I respect the jury's verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison."
He continued, "My decision to commute his prison sentence leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby. The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged. His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. He will remain on probation. The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect. The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long-lasting."
A federal court convicted Libby of perjury and obstruction of justice on March 6, 2007, and sentenced him to 2 1/2 years in prison. Bush issued the order to commute Libby's prison term after a federal appeals court ruled that Libby could not delay his prison term while his case was on appeal.
Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution grants the President authority to fully or partially commute the sentences of those convicted in federal courts, however acceptance of a pardon also requires the party to admit guilt in the matter.
Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, remarked today that Congress was ready to go to court if the White House continues to refuse to comply with subpoenas for information regarding the firing of federal prosecutors.
"They’ve chosen confrontation rather than compromise or cooperation," said Leahy on the 'Meet the Press' news program. "The bottom line is in the U.S. attorney investigation, we have people manipulating law enforcement. Law enforcement can’t be partisan."
The investigation questions whether the White House illegally exerted undue political influence in the firing of 8 federal prosecutors. The Democratic-led investigation could result in a Constitutional showdown over issues of Executive Privilege and Congressional Oversight.
The Senate has also subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney’s office for documents related to the administration’s 'Warrantless Wiretapping' within the United States. In this case, lawyers for Vice President Cheney first argued that the Vice President's role in the Senate meant that Cheney wasn't part of the Executive Branch. This legal claim generated substantial criticism and a failed attempt to get funding for Cheney's executive role cut off. White House lawyer David Addington and others in the administration have since backed away from this argument.
A Sparky Ramble - How We Need To Show REPUBLICAN Values to the Electorate this Independence Day! Why 1976 wasn't the Summer of Love but had 8 guitars on stage at the Hollywood Bowl; And More Cowbell! Patti on the Pier!
Posted by Brandon English Thursday, June 28, 2007 at 4:36 PM
Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), announced today the DCCC is launching an Independence Day ad and grassroots campaign in 14 targeted Republican districts. The ads begin airing on Monday during drive time and will run for five days.
"Next week, Republicans are going home to talk up their support for our nation’s troops and veterans. But, their constituents deserve to know that the Republican record on veterans is all talk and no action," said Chairman Chris Van Hollen. "America’s troops and veterans deserve more than patriotic speeches this Independence Day."
Beginning on Monday, the DCCC will:
Run strategic radio ads and targeted telephone calls in 14 Republican districts;
Begin a grassroots initiative which includes targeted e-mails to 2 million voters and more than 50,000 telephone calls;
Release targeted web videos highlighting individual Republicans’ shameful record on veterans’ issues; and,
The audio recording of the ads is available on the DCCC website, www.dccc.org/vets. The text of the ad follows:
DCCC Ad on Congressman Sam Graves (MO-06)
"Freedom”– 60 Second Radio
Our fathers and mothers. Our sons and daughters.
The men and women of the U.S. military.
Putting their lives on the line every day to defend our freedoms. It’s why we must provide military families with the care they deserve … when they come home.
So who would oppose full benefits for all of our nation’s disabled veterans? Who would oppose a combat bonus for our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Congressman Sam Graves.
Congressman Graves voted against a fifteen hundred dollar bonus for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. And Graves voted against giving all veterans their full disability and retirement benefits.
Call Congressman Graves at (202) 225-7041. Tell him he owes our soldiers and veterans more than patriotic speeches this Fourth of July.
Announcer: Paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, www.dccc.org. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.
Agents of Fortune is a 1976hard rock album by Blue Öyster Cult. Upon its release, and the success of the song "(Don't Fear) The Reaper", Blue Öyster Cult became the center of a controversy surrounding the supposed pro-suicide lyrics of the song, which is actually a love ballad concerning love that lasts beyond death, and a call to seize the day.
The platinum selling Agents of Fortune peaked at #29 on Billboard's Pop Albums chart, while the single "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" peaked at #12 on the Pop Singles chart, making it Blue Öyster Cult's biggest hit.
One of the lead characters in the 1994 film The Stoned Age (Lanie, played by Renee Griffin), declares "Agents of Fortune is a total fuck album", and the single "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" is featured prominently in the movie.
The song "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" appears in the recently released game, Prey. It rightfully appears as aliens begin to take the human population from a bar on a reservation.
Smith came to prominence during the punk movement with her 1975 debut album Horses. Called "punk rock's poet laureate", she brought a feminist and intellectual take to punk music and became one of rock and roll's most influential musicians.
Smith was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in Woodbury, New Jersey. Her father was an atheist and her mother was a devout Jehovah's Witness. The family was not wealthy and, with her formal education temporarily over at 16, Smith went to work in a factory – an experience she found excruciating.
In 1967 she left New Jersey for good, moved to New York City and met Robert Mapplethorpe while working at a book store. The two were lovers for a time, in spite of Mapplethorpe's homosexuality, and they remained close friends until Mapplethorpe's death from AIDS in 1989. In 1969 she went to Paris with her sister and started busking and doing performance art. When Smith returned to New York City, she lived in the Chelsea Hotel with Mapplethorpe. They began frequenting Max's Kansas City nightclub at this time, and Smith appeared with Wayne County in the play Femme Fatale by Jackie Curtis in 1969. (Among Smith's other well-known lovers were poet Jim Carroll and Television member Tom Verlaine.) She spent the early 1970s painting, writing, and performing spoken-word poetry—frequently at St. Mark's Poetry Project. In 1971 she performed – for one night only – in the play Cowboy Mouth, a collaboration with the playwright and actor Sam Shepard (the published play's notes call for "a man who looks like a coyote and a woman who looks like a crow").
Smith subsidized her career in these years by publishing rock journalism, especially in Creem magazine. She also wrote songs during this period in connection with Allen Lanier of Blue Öyster Cult, who recorded several songs to which Smith contributed, including "Debbie Denise" (after her poem "In Remembrance of Debbie Denise"), "Career of Evil," "Fire of Unknown Origin," "The Revenge of Vera Gemini," and "Shooting Shark."
Patti Smith in concert in Copenhagen, October 1976
By 1974, however, Patti Smith was performing rock music herself, initially with guitarist and rock archivist Lenny Kaye, and later with a full band comprising Kaye, Ivan Kral (guitar), Jay Dee Daugherty (drums) and Richard Sohl (piano). Financed by Robert Mapplethorpe, the band recorded a first single, "Piss Factory/Hey Joe," in 1974. The A-side describes the helpless anger Smith had felt while working on a factory assembly line and the salvation she discovered in the form of a shoplifted book, the 19th century French poet Arthur Rimbaud's Illuminations. The B-side was a version of the rock standard with the addition of a spoken-word piece about fugitive heiress Patty Hearst ("...Patty Hearst, you're standing there in front of the Symbionese Liberation Army flag with your legs spread, I was wondering were you gettin' it every night from a black revolutionary man and his women...").
The Patti Smith Group was signed by Clive Davis of Arista Records, and 1975 saw the release of Smith's first album Horses, produced amidst some tension by John Cale, formerly of The Velvet Underground. The album was recorded and mixed by Bernie Kirsh. The record fused rock and roll, proto-punk rock with spoken poetry and is widely considered one of rock's greatest debuts. The album begins with a cover of Van Morrison's "Gloria," and Smith's opening words are some of the most famous in rock: "Jesus died for somebody's sins ... but not mine." The austere cover photograph by Robert Mapplethorpe has become one of rock's classic images.
As the Patti Smith Group toured the United States and Europe, punk's popularity grew. The rawer sound of the group's second album, Radio Ethiopia, reflected this. Considerably less accessible than Horses, Radio Ethiopia received poor reviews. However, several of its songs, notably "Pissing in a River, " "Pumping," and "Ain't It Strange," have stood the test of time, and Smith still performs them regularly in concert.
While touring in support of the record, Smith accidentally danced off a high stage in Tampa, Florida, falling 15 feet into a concrete orchestra pit and breaking several neck vertebrae. The injury required a period of rest and an intensive round of physical therapy, during which time she was able to reassess, re-energize and reorganize her life, a luxury that had been denied her in her swift rise to fame.
The Patti Smith Group produced two further albums before the end of the 1970s. Easter (1978) was her most commercially successful record, containing the hit single "Because the Night" – co-written with Bruce Springsteen – which rose to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. Wave was less successful, with "Frederick" and "Dancing Barefoot" receiving only minor radio airplay.
Following the release of Wave, Smith, now separated from long-time partner Allen Lanier, met Fred "Sonic" Smith, former guitar player for legendary Detroit rock band the MC5, who adored poetry as much as she did. The running joke at the time was that she only married Fred because she wouldn't have to change her name. Patti and Fred had a son, Jackson, and later a daughter, Jesse. Through most of the 1980s Patti was in semi-retirement from music, living with her family north of Detroit in St. Clair Shores. In 1988, she released the well-received album Dream of Life. This album was considered more mainstream than her earlier punk-influenced work.
In 1994 her husband, Fred died of a heart attack, and shortly after she faced the unexpected death of her beloved brother Todd. When her son, Jackson, turned 12, Smith decided to move back to New York. Her son had a band called Back In Spades.
After the deaths of her husband and brother, her friends Michael Stipe of R.E.M. and Allen Ginsberg (whom she had known since her early years in New York) urged her to go back out on the road. She toured briefly with Bob Dylan in December 1995 (chronicled in a book of photographs by Stipe). The next year, she worked with her long-time colleagues to record the haunting Gone Again, featuring, "About a Boy", a tribute to Kurt Cobain. Smith was a great fan of Cobain's, but was more angered than saddened by his suicide. She was quoted in Rolling Stone, "When you watch someone you care for fight so hard to hold onto their life, then see another person just throw their life away, I guess I had less patience for that."
On Sunday, October 15, 2006 she performed the final show at CBGB in Manhattan. Her tour de force to close out CBGB's 33 year run lasted over 3½ hours, as she took the stage at 9:30 PM (EDT) and closed for the night (and forever for the venue) at a few minutes after 1:00.
Smith was an active supporter of Ralph Nader's 2000 presidential campaign, touring with him and playing "People Have the Power" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" before crowds of thousands at the campaign's "super-rallies." She also performed at several of Nader's subsequent "Democracy Rising" events. She nominally supported John Kerry in the 2004 election; while she did not participate in the Vote for Change tour, "People Have the Power" was performed at all the shows involving Bruce Springsteen. However, after the election she raised money to help Nader's 2004 campaign, deeply in debt from lawsuits by the Democratic Party. She also toured with Ralph Nader in late 2004 and early 2005 to hold rallies to end the Iraq war and impeach President George W. Bush. Her mentions of Nader at concerts are usually greeted with boos by a substantial portion of the audience (who may blame him for Al Gore's loss to Bush in 2000), to which she responds, "They booed Thomas Paine, too."
Smith premiered two new protest songs in London in September 2006. Louise Jury, writing in The Independent characterized them as "an emotional indictment of American and Israeli foreign policy". One song ("Qana") was about the Israeli airstrike on the Lebanese village of Qana, the other ("Without Chains") about the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay.
Jury's article quotes Smith as saying, "I wrote both these songs directly in response to events that I felt outraged about. These are injustices against children and the young men and women who are being incarcerated. I'm an American, I pay taxes in my name and they are giving millions and millions of dollars to a country such as Israel and cluster bombs and defense technology and those bombs were dropped on common citizens in Qana. It's terrible. It's a human rights violation."
"Without Chains" is about Murat Kurnaz, a Turkish citizen who was born and raised in Germany, held at Guantanamo for four years. Jury quotes Smith, "He is the same age as my son, Jackson. When I read the story, I realised how I would feel as a mother if my son had been taken away at the age of 20, put into chains, without any hope of leaving, without any direct charge."
The Night (Aloes Books 1976) Patti Smith & Tom Verlaine
Ha! Ha! Houdini! (1977)
Early Work, 1970 - 1979 (1995)
The Coral Sea (1996)
Patti Smith Complete : Lyrics, Reflections and Notes for the Future (1998). The second (paperback) edition, published in 1999, contains additional material and a revised title: Patti Smith Complete : Lyrics, Notes and Reflections. The third edition published in 2006 is titled Patti Smith Complete 1975 - 2006 : Lyrics, Reflections & Notes for the Future.
Wild Leaves (1999)
Strange Messenger: The Work of Patti Smith (2003) – the catalog for a show of Smith's artworks at the Andy Warhol Museum, compiled by Patti Smith, David Greenberg and John W. Smith
Foreword to An Accidental Biography: The Selected Letters of Gregory Corso (April 2005)