Sales Up? Let's Sue!

In celebration of the rumour that the BPI is about to go the way of the RIAA and start suing its own customers for fun and profit, here’s an old mash-up of a great Saint Etienne track and a speech given at the 2002 Grammy Awards.

YozRipping Kids of Death

currently playing: Epic 45: I’m Getting Too Young For This

It's Debating Time, and Joby's Here As Well!

But first…

Somebody challenged me earlier today to come up with a case for voting for John Kerry that didn’t mention George W. Bush. I’m just an interested observer, but here’s why I would vote for Kerry:

I would vote for John Kerry because he would repeal the tax cuts for the top 2% earners of the country, eliminate many corporate tax loopholes, use the money to help combat the deficit and fund enhanced college tax credits, and raise the minimum wage from $5.15/hour to $7.00/hour.

I would vote for John Kerry because he has plans to reduce the prices of prescription drugs, by reforming patent law so companies cannot prevent generic brands from entering the market, and bringing the benefits of bulk purchasing pricing to all. He would fund a medical insurance policy for every child in the US enrolled in school, as well as expanding coverage for working parents and single adults living below the poverty line.

I would vote for John Kerry because he would call for a law that would make education funding mandatory, and increase that funding by $10bn per year. He will remove the parts of the No Child Left Behind Act that cut off funding for failing schools, instead giving extra help and funding to see that they catch up. He will also allocate $25bn for the rebuilding and modernisation of schools, and increase support for after-school clubs. He will simplify the application form for college aid, which will hopefully result in more students taking the opportunity of a $5,000 loan from the Government, as well as the tax credits mentioned earlier.

I would vote for John Kerry because he wishes to find energy sources beyond OPEC, and he will set a target of having 20% of America’s energy needs supplied by renewable energy by 2020. He will also strengthen the Environmental Protection Agency, giving them new powers to research and take action against toxic waste. He will ban logging in important forests, reinstate the Clean Air Act, close loopholes in that Act, and enforce it.

I would vote for John Kerry because he would encourage other nations of the world to help in the reconstruction of Iraq by offering contracts to all countries (including Iraq itself) and ending the no-bid ones. He would engage in negotiations with the rest of the world to create a fully-fledged multinational force to keep the peace in the country. He will ask NATO to take expand its force outside of Kabul, and stop the Taliban from regrouping and stop the rebuilding of the poppy fields. He will help the Russians secure their nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons stockpile, and will work with other nations to cut off funding for terrorist organisations.

I could go on, but that’s some of the reasons why I would vote for John Kerry. Come back next May when I do the same thing, setting out the reasons why I will be voting to ensure a third Labour term. (and Mr. Blair, I feel for you. That’s going to HURT tomorrow, speaking from some experience)

(oh, and while I’m here, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA to the Conservative Party, who are being blasted back to the 19th century even as I type)

So, the debate, then. Actually, less of a debate, and more of two people giving speeches. The two camps agreed to a 32-page memorandum listing what can and can’t be done tonight. So, no follow-up questions from moderators, the two candidates cannot address each other, and most bizarrely of all, an order that cameras should not show the other candidate when the other is speaking (perhaps they were worried that funny faces and/or mooning would be involved otherwise). Really, it’s a wonder why they’re even bothering to be in the same building. But who knows, something interesting could happen.

And the biggest part of the build-up hype? Fox News is making a big deal about Kerry having a manicure. I’m switching to CNN; it’s the only way my TV will survive the night. Oh, and Dan Quayle is a talking head. hahahaha.

My God, Novak really does look like the Douchebag of Liberty, doesn’t he?

And so we begin. 90MinutesSpeechifyingGO!

(by the way, this debate is Foreign Policy, in case you were wondering)

First question to Kerry: do you believe that you could do a better job of preventing another 911? Kerry answers by thanking everybody for inviting him. Then after thirty seconds of that, getting into the question proper (see above for what he said ;-)). Bush responds by recounting all the successes he’s made so far. In his eyes.

Second question to Bush and he’s stopped making sense…and naturally not answering the question (“do you believe that a Kerry presidency would allow another 911” or something”)

“We also have to be smart.” — BOOYAH!

And our first two-camera shot! Take that, rules!

Well, in my opinion, Kerry is making a decent case why Iraq was a mistake. Bush blows it apart by pointing out that Kerry supported the war.

George Bush mixes up bin Laden and Saddam. I’m telling you, they believe it themselves…

Kerry is treading on dangerous ground with the underfunding line — as Bush will hit back by pointing out that he didn’t back the funding bill. But he didn’t, and Kerry came out reasonably well.

Onto national security. And Kerry is kicking ass. Personally speaking. But Bush says that he can’t afford it. Kerry makes a point about the untranslated tapes, and claims that’s another symptom of Bush’s failure.

Ouch! Kerry is hitting on the Oil Ministry thing (where the US soldiers protected the ministry and nothing else).

And Bush breaks the rules. To get in a flip-flop reference. And Kerry comes out swinging. The first time he’s ever really spoken clearly about voting against the funding bill, to be honest. And a standard Bush tactic of saying that Kerry is denigrating the other nations’ contributions. Definitely trying to harp on at the “wrong war at the wrong time” meme. Saying that Kerry cannot bring in other nations.

WE FORGOT POLAND!

DAMN KERRY! You should have said: “yes, and nobody is being executed now, are they?”

Bush is a little rattled. Oh! Schoooled! “I’ve worked with these leaders for longer than this President. I came bring them back to the table.”

Kerry gets in his website! “President Bush’s plan is four words: ‘more of the same’”

Bush keeps on saying the same thing over and over. It’s actually becoming annoying, actually. Kerry talks about something, then Bush just rambles: “wrong war at the wrong time - he can’t lead us!”

Admittedly, I’ve lost all impartiality here, but Kerry is doing quite well.

“We use diplomacy every time we can” — HAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Kerry’s has seized on ‘the enemy that attacked us’ to blast the war on Iraq. Ooh! OWNED!

‘bin laden attacked us. i know that!’ — said in the tone of a five year old child.

ACTIVIST JUDGES IN THE HAGUE! Those damn Dutch. Oh, and is he denigrating us, because WE signed up to that court? Hmmm?

Bush is having trouble stringing sentences together.

Now onto other countries Kerry is still banging on about the current state of the US Army, and making a few mistakes along the way (North Korea and uranium, Iran and sanctions).

Bush is now saying nice things about Kerry. Before wailing on him. Because “I know how the world works!”

Coming to the last ten minutes now. Kerry is decrying the new nuclear weapons that the US is building, promising that he’ll shut the programme down, Missile defence systems don’t protect against suitcase bombs, nutcase!

Closing statements now. Kerry first. “a fresh start, a new credibility.”

Bush stumbles and mutters, and finishes eventually.

Result? Bush got slammed. Now we’ll see what the media says about it…

currently playing: Kerry v. Bush

Polls, Polls, Polls (Can you take my polls?)

The campaign has moved on from Swift boats and National Guard records; now it’s an all-out assault on the most heinous of all evils: the polling companies (death to Joey Lucas!).

Specifically, Democrats are fuming about Gallup’s polling for the past three months, which has been consistently showing a large lead for Bush over Kerry, contradicting the results from almost all of the other polling companies. Some are questioning Gallup’s reliance on what it calls The Likely Voter Model; this method involves asking seven questions of the pollee (no, I know it’s not a real word), and throws out answers by people who score below a certain threshold (supposedly, you need either six or seven correct answers to be included in Gallup’s sample). And this model creates a split in the sample, indicating that Republican voters will outnumber Democrat voters by six to eight percentage points (the rest of Bush’s lead comes from independent voters). But, historically, voters who identify themselves as Democrats outnumber the Republicans at the actual polls. In fact, if the Gallup data is true, then the change in vote would be almost equal to the shift towards FDR in the 1930s. It could happen, but none of the other polls are predicting such a huge shift. If Gallup’s LV data is re-weighted to 2000’s turnout, then the race narrows to Bush 48-47 Kerry. (Also, the high lead masks that Kerry is leading smong independent voters)

Here’s MoveOn.org’s advert from yesterday’s New York Times.

currently playing: Annie — Anniemal

69 Links (okay, six)

Hmm, space sugar…

A sad day for sport.

The greatest shoot ‘em up in the history of mankind…so far.

Mobile Barbie!

Ooooh.

Sigh. I remember when Everything Is Nice (Matador At 10) was released.

currently playing: Shonen Knife — Daydream Beliver

Watching the softballs

[whiny tone] I take heat for a lot of things

YOU’RE THE PRESIDENT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!! WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?!

currently playing: Something I should really not watch ;-)

Catching Up — No Typewriters In Sight!

Before beginning any sightseeing, make your very first destination a walk to the nearest fire exit at your hotel. Know how to get out of your hotel in an emergency. Instead of sightseeing, maybe consider not leaving your hotel at all.

Coming this Fall on Fox News: Epic Journeys To The Back Gate And Back.

Yes, I’m warming up for the first debate on Thursday. Consider yourselves warned…

While I’ve been away: Donald Rumsfeld gets confused about who the heck Osama bin Laden is:

Saddam Hussein, if he’s alive, is spending a whale of a lot of time trying to not get caught. And we’ve not seen him on a video since 2001.

That he did it twice in the same interview suggests that even the Bush Administration has been affected by its relentless juxtaposition of the two regimes. But lo! Is that another episode in “Mr. Rumsfeld’s Neighbourhood”? But of course. This time: faced with the suggestion that it might be a little dangerous for elections to be held in troubled parts of Iraq:

Let’s say you tried to have an election and you could have it in three-quarters or four-fifths of the country. But in some places you couldn’t because the violence was too great,” Rumsfeld said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
“Well, so be it. Nothing’s perfect in life, so you have an election that’s not quite perfect. Is it better than not having an election? You bet,” he said.

On a completely unrelated note — international observers to oversee upcoming US elections.

Moving on to John Ashcroft, a man who has had so much success. After all, he got the PATRIOT Act passed, thus allowing the authorities to ignore many of the safeguards built into surveillance laws, in order to safeguard the nation and lock up all the terrorists. To date, the agencies Mr. Ashcroft oversees have locked up 5,000 people across America. Unfortunately, he’s yet to get a conviction to stick; at the start of the month, a judge overturned his only success; a conviction of a group of men on terror charges, on the basis that the prosecution was making it all up. But you have to trust the Administration! Changing in mid-course would be tantamount to treason! Even the recent attempt to go after 1970s singer-songwriters seems to be backfiring on them at the moment.

Go Florida!

Go Ohio!

currently playing: Saturday Looks Good To Me — When The Party Ends

A General Plea To Nicky Wire

like the Twin Towers / falling down like April Showers

Nicky. Nicky. Please. For the love of God and The Holy Bible, please stop. It’s getting embarrassing.

currently playing: R.E.M. — Final Straw

Modern Miracles

It’s Cadbury’s chocolate — but shaped like a Pringle! GREATEST THING EVER!

Brought To You By The Numbers 25 and 45 And The Letter Q

This Friday’s selections are just the right thing for when an Autumn day is drawing to a close.

Epic 45I’m Getting Too Young For This

Epic 45 are a UK band, but this song comes recommended via Laura, Chapel Hill and the WXYC radio station (they don’t have a UK record deal at the moment). It has one of those guitar parts; gentle and disarming, introspective and star-gazing. The vocals are hidden behind multiple echo effects, a technique stolen from Disco Inferno (but if you’re going to steal, you might as well go after the best). It’s a song that is trying to express itself, but can’t, hiding behind its tricks, offering brief glimpses of its real state of mind.

Section 25Inspiration

Another old Factory record. This one is much closer to the traditional Factory sound; not surprising considering that this was produced by Bemusic, or New Order under a pen name. A stripped-down dance tune, with a very simple synth melody (which sounds fantastic, but it’s only about five notes), a spaced-out drum beat, and the ever-helpful advice of “once you’ve left the floor, there ain’t no beat no more”. It’s perfect listening for 1am…

currently playing: Le Tigre — I’m So Excited

Continung Suckage

Perhaps next week, then. Sorry!

currently playing: R.E.M. — Country Feedback