Friday, March 31, 2006

MP3s I Want - March, 2006 Version

I still haven't gotten my hands on these in MP3 or 4:

Back In The New York Groove - Ace Freeley
Renegades Of Funk - Afrikka Bambaata & The Soulsonic Force
Knock On Wood - Aimee Stewart
Daddy's Little Girl - Al Martino
Bend Me, Shape Me - American Breed
Guys Are Not Proud - Anemic Boyfriends
My Boyfriend's Back - Angels
Take The A Train - Anita O'Day
Tighten Up - Archie Bell & The Drells
Sugar, Sugar - Archies
First, Last, Everything - Barry White
Stayin' Alive - Bee Gees
Stand By Me - Ben E. King
Rock Around The Clock - Bill Haley & The Comets
Me & Mrs. Jones - Billy Paul
I Shot The Sheriff - Bob Marley & The Wailers
No Woman, No Cry - Bob Marley & The Wailers
Surrender - Cheap Trick
He's So Fine - Chiffons
One Fine Day - Chiffons
Don't Leave Me This Way - Communards
Da Do Ron Ron - Crystals
He's A Rebel - Crystals
Let's Go To Bed - Cure
(Today I Met) The Boy I'm Gonna Marry - Darlene Love
Glad All Over - Dave Clark Five
Chapel Of Love - Dixie Cups
Last Dance - Donna Summer
The Harder They Come (Acapella) - Donnie Calvin & Rocker's Revenge
Friday On My Mind - Easybeats
Candle In The Wind (Orig.) - Elton John
Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend - Emmylou Harris
Spill The Wine-Eric Burdon & War
Footstompin' - Flares
Burn Rubber On Me - Gap Band
96 Tears - Garland Jeffreys
Christine (fast and/or slow versions) - Garland Jeffreys
Groovy Situation-Gene Chandler
We Got The Beat - Go-Gos
Guardian Angel - Human Sexual Response
Going Underground - Jam
She Came In Through The Bathroom Window - Joe Cocker
Louie, Louie - Kingsmen
I Was Made For Loving You - Kiss
There But For The Grace Of God - Le Machine
I Think We're Alone Now - Lene Lovich
To Sir With Love - Lou Miami & The Kozmetix
On Broadway - Lou Rawls
To Sir With Love (Film Soundtrack Version) - Lulu
True Blue (Remix) - Madonna
Buffalo Love - Malcolm McLaren
(I Want To Be) Bobby's Girl - Marcie Blaine
Sorrow - Merseys
(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons - Nat King Cole
Frim-Fram Sauce - Nat King Cole
Route 66 - Nat King Cole
Every Beat You Hear - Otis Liggett
Psycho Blonde - Pastiche
Sweet Dreams - Patsy Cline
Because The Night - Patti Smith Group
We Three - Patti Smith Group
Kicks - Paul Revere & The Raiders
Everybody's Boring - Pearl Harbor & The Explosions
Fujiyama Mama - Pearl Harbor & The Explosions
Boat That's Leaving Soon For NY - Phoebe Snow
Two-Fisted Love - Phoebe Snow
See Emily Play - Pink Floyd
Be My Baby - Ronettes
Smooth Operator - Sade
Georgy Girl - Seekers
Sex Train - Sex Execs
Remember (Walking In The Sand) - Shangri-Las
Morning Train - Sheena Easton
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow - Shirelles
It's A Shame - Spinners
The Pusherman - Steppenwolf
American Fun - Stompers
Pillow Talk - Sylvia
Life During Wartime - Talking Heads
Stand By Your Man - Tammy Wynette
Easy To Be Hard - Three Dog Night
Rickie Don't Lose That Number - Tom Robinson Band
Footstompin' - Underbeats
You Keep Me Hanging On - Vanilla Fudge
Out Come The Freaks - Was (Not Was)
Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere - Who
Tighten Up - Yellow Magic Orchestra

Dick Mac Recommends:

Blank Generation
Richard Hell & the Voidoids

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The New Iraq Is Deadly For Homosexuals

As we attempt to spread Halliburton's version of democracy through the world, we continue to violate the basic tenets of freedom.

Halliburton's Democracy calls for freedom for all corporations, installation of radical right-wing political dogma, promotion of so-called Christian fundamentalist attitudes, and the total lack of protection for individual citizens.

In this vein, homosexuals in the new Iraq are being slaughtered, thanks to promotion of a law decreeing that sodomy is punishable by death.

Here's an uplifting report from an Iraqi homosexual living in exile in London:
"Badr [pro_Iran] militants are entrapping gay men via Internet chat rooms," [Ali] Hili continued. "They arrange a date and then beat and kill the victim. Males who are unmarried by the age of 30 or 35 are placed under surveillance on suspicion of being gay, as are effeminate men. They will be investigated and warned to get married. Badr will typically give them a month to change their ways. If they don't change their behavior or if they fail to show evidence that they plan to get married, they will be arrested, disappear, and eventually be found dead. The bodies are usually discovered with their hands bound behind their back, blindfolds over their eyes, and bullet wounds to the back of the head."

As we seek to control Iraq's natural resources under the pretense of installing democracy, our fundamentalist leaders are allowing our fundamentalist enemies to perpetrate heinous crimes that further the Bush administration's wacky agenda.

Please read this report at

Dick Mac Recommends:

Come Hell or High Water
Michael Eric Dyson

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

UEFA: Arsenal 2 - 0 Juventus

What a treat! The next round UEFA Champions League have begun, and my Arsenal is in the mix.

Yesterday I was able to watch the Benfica 0-0 Barcelona match live on ESPN2 and listen (for free) to the Arsenal 2-0 Juventus match on my RealPlayer.

Juventus, the grand dame of Italian football, is a powerhouse from Turin. I have seen them play against (and beat) AC Milan in the past; and Arsenal's former captain, Patrick Viera, is now with Juve.

Arsenal skipper Arsene Wenger has a storied career as a coach and manager, and has assembled a remarkable squad in North London. Many criticize him for hiring so many non-English players; but he does not hire based on nationality, he hires based on talent and ability to fit into his gameplan. He was roundly criticized last year for allowing Viera (considered by many to be the world's best midfielder) to leave for Turin; but one only need look at the remaining squad to see a brilliant future in their new home at Ashburton Grove.

Thierry Henry, arguably one of the top three players in the world. Robert Pires, a brilliant midfielder who has been a scoring machine for Arsenal. Freddie Ljungberg, one of Europe's greatest all-around athletes (with a body and soul to math the reputation) and the currently the world's sexiest athlete. Denis Bergkamp, the intense hard-playing Dutch master. Jose Antonio Reyes, the maturing Spanish striker. Brazilian journeyman Gilberto. And the youngsters: Cesc Fabregas, Mathieu Flamini and Robin vanPersie. Add English international defenders Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell, newcomers Alexander Hleb, Alexandre Song and Abou Diaby. Throw in a defense that includes Lauren, Kolo Toure, Emanuel Eboue and Phillipe Senderos. Germany's back-up International goalkeeper Jens Lehmann in the box. Now you can overlook the presence of Pascal Cygan.

When Wenger received his OBE, the Queen's statement included this remark:
Arsene Wenger is regarded as one of a breed of 'educated' soccer managers. . . . Manchester United's Sir Alec Ferguson is reputed to call him 'the professor.'

Having plowed through Real Madrid in the last Round of Champions League competitions, I still was not confident that Arsenal could prevail, at home, against the likes of Juventus. You see, Arsenal has not fared well in international competitions over the years, and I have no reason to think this year will be different.

Except that this year is different. The Gunners have not allowed a goal at Highbury in the last seven international matches! And after enjoying years of winning or being runner-up in the English Premier League, this year's Arsenal squad is languishing in sixth place, with only eight games remaining to make-up the fur points needed to pass North London-rival Tottenham and take fourth place to clinch a spot in next year's Champions League competition. It's odd: years of domestic success and international failure, followed by this year's international success and domestic failure.

Yesterday's match again Juventus was wonderful to follow. Although the Italians seemed to control the ball for the majority of time, Arsenal pushed and pushed and pushed. With Robert Pires making short order of Patrick Viera, and Juve's squad missing international stars Alessandro Del Piero and Pavel Nedvěd, the tone of the match was all Arsenal early on.

Goals from Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas, and a near-miss by Henry shortly thereafter, seemed to infuriate the Italians, and as the match wore to the end, cards started flying. Viera received a yellow, making him ineligible for next week's return match in Turin; and both Mauro Camoranesi and Jonathan Zebina were dismissed with red cards in the last three minutes, making them also ineligible for next week's match.

Juventus must beat Arsenal next week by three goals to move forward in the competition, and a single goal by the Gunners next week might put advancement to the next round completely out of reach for Juve. Things look good for Arsenal, and I pray that yesterday's excellent showing is followed-up with a solid showing in Italy.

For a recap of the match, see the match report at

Freddie Ljungberg
Arsenal Midfielder and
international Calvin Klein model

Nicked from

Thierry Henry and Patrick Viera
Nicked from

Cesc Fabregas with Thierry Henry
Nicked from

(Images used without permission)

Dick Mac Recommends:

Arsenal Centurions - 100 Goals Each
Thierry Henry and Dennis Berkamp

Listen To The Chatter

"All I ask for is that people view me as I am and look at my record and take into account what I've tried to do," said New York's junior senator, "and if at all possible, kind of overcome some of the ongoing chatter that's in the background."
- Hillary Clinton in Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, March 28, 2006

I encourage all New Yorkers to examine Senator Clinton's record. The junior senator has voted the Bush agenda alarmingly often. Her views are not the views of most New Yorkers. Even conservative New Yorkers are more liberal than Clinton. Her plans for the future do not include New York, they include only herself.

New York deserves better. Clinton must go! That's why I am voting for Jonathan Tasini in the Democratic Primary.

Dick Mac Recommends:

Voting Tasini For New York!

Tasini For New York

Monday, March 27, 2006

The New Normal in Mississippi

The day after the storm, [Gus McKay] returned to the house. Virtually all of their belongings floated away or were completely sodden.

Wind and water damaged the roof and frame of the house and wrecked the contents. The house had to be gutted — the carpet and tile ripped from the floor, the soggy wallboards pulled down, the wiring unthreaded from the studs.

It will take $200,000 to fix everything. Their insurance company gave them only $27,000, and FEMA cut them a check for a mere $5,200, so they can't afford to fix everything right away. Not with monthly $1,500 mortgage payments to make.

"If we don't get some financial assistance, this house will not be put back together for many, many months," he said. . . .

Before the storm, the family's days were a blur of work obligations, school functions, softball games and cheerleading practices. Now, on top of all that, they have a home to rebuild and refurnish from scratch — and not nearly enough money to do it.

"I'm exhausted," confesses Gus' wife, Lori. "I'm the most patient person in the world, but I'm starting to feel the stress."

The Bush Administration, and those to whom they are beholden have given this Mississippi family $32,500 to replace their $200,000 lost home. Do you think Trent Lott will be given only $32,500 to replace his Mississippi home?

What happened to the social contract between society, government and business that made America great? Insurance companies, contractors, banks, and corporations, those whom this administration serves so effectively, hav no interest in making America great. The drive for profit has so completely over-ridden the notion of doing the right thing, that America stands no chance of rebuilding the Gulf Coast. Businessmen see this not as an opportunity to rebuild a bigger and better America, they see it as an opportunity to reap handsome profits at the expense of the taxpayer.

What has happened to the social contract that made America great?

Please read Tight Squeeze: Life Inside FEMA Trailer for an account of our failure to help those in need.

Dick Mac Recommends:

Come Hell or High Water
Michael Eric Dyson

Friday, March 24, 2006

Some Famous Cannabis Users

Although I do not personally use cannabis for entertainment, physical or mental health, I think it is absurd that cannabis is illegal.

There are movements throughout the Western world to legalize marijuana for medical and/or personal recreational use.

My feeling is that if we allow the consumption of high fructose corn syrup, genetically-engineered grains, alcohol, Prozaac, and carbon-monoxide fumes, we might as well allow the consumption of cannabis! I suspect it is better for you than any of the aforementioned.

In England, The Legalise Cannabis Alliance has found support from the SLATTS website, whit this list of famous cannabis users.

Are you on the list?

Dick Mac Recommends:

Never Mind the Bollocks
Here's the Sex Pistols

The Sex Pistols

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Job Well Done in Afghanistan

We are spreading freedom in Afghanistan, Republican-style: You follow our religion, or we kill you!

Our war against terror is supporting a theocratic regime in Kabul that kills any citizen who refuses to be a Muslim. Is that freedom? Democracy? What exactly have we done for the Afghani people?

These sentences were being spread by AP yesterday (so it must be true):
Abdul Rahman, 41, has been charged with rejecting Islam, a crime under this country's Islamic laws. His trial started last week and he confessed to becoming a Christian 16 years ago. If convicted, he could be executed.

Good work, America! Let's keep spreading freedom and democracy! We may be losing Iraq, but we've won Afghanistan! Soon every nation will be a theocracy!

Afghan Convert May Be Unfit for Trial

Dick Mac Recommends:

Our Endangered Values
Jimmy Carter

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

World Water Day

North Americans and Europeans have an abundance of water and plenty of money/credit. We have little fear of losing our supply of fresh water.

The developing world is not so lucky. They face two primary struggles: American/European companies (especially oil companies) polluting their supply of fresh water, and the World Bank forcing them to sell their water rights to Nestle, Coca-Cola, or another company as a prerequisite for loans unrelated to water.

Basically, anyone reading this is either poisoning or stealing the water supply in every developing nation. Whether we drink Dr. Pepper, pay taxes, or eat Lean Cuisine, every person in the developed world plays a role in the lack of fresh water available to those less fortunate.

What do you know about your water? What do you know about your role in the diminishing fresh water supply around the world? How do you spend your money? What exactly is our responsibility for protecting the water supply and ensuring that all human beings have free access to it?

Today is World Water Day.

Think about water. Read about water.

For a front-row view of the struggle against privatization of local water. Please see Sheila Franklin's 35-minute documentary about Bolivia, The Water Is Ours, Damn It!

World Water Day 2006 site

World Water Day site

Darryl Hannah takes action

The UNESCO Water site

America's Clean Water Foundation

The Wikipedia entry

The Water Is Ours article

Dick Mac Recommends:

Water Wars
Vandana Shiva

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Gas Prices Rise and It Doesn't Matter!

Gas prices in the United States have climbed to over $2.50 per gallon. America has been forced to be dependent on cars for transportation as the government has gutted and defunded public transportation over the past fifty years.

But why are gas prices so high in the United States? Why haven't consumers done something about it?

If the demand goes down, the price goes down.

If Americans stopped driving to every single errand all the time and started using a bicycle or simply walked to a nearby destination, our reliance on Canadian oil would be reduced and the prices would fall.

Yes, I said Canadian oil. We get most of our oil from Canada, not the Middle East.

Do Americans even care that gas prices are high?

Maybe Americans have just resigned themselves to the fact that prices will rise perpetually to fund the nine-figure salaries of executives who gut the pay and benefits of five-figure staff.

Maybe Americans don't care how much gas costs!

Would any American even consider walking or bicycling instead of driving?

Probably not.

Raise the prices! Americans will pay any price for their fix!

Remember, an addict will kill for his substance!

Gas Prices Rise Above $2.50 a Gallon (AP at Yahoo!)

Dick Mac Recommends:

Jose Canseco

Monday, March 20, 2006

Don't Let New York City's Girls' Roller Derby League Die!

Please help! I received this press release from the Gotham Girls Roller Derby League.

With the addition of a Bronx team this year, GGRD seems to be going strong. Now, their venue is closing its doors for good, leaving the girls without a home.

Please Help!

Operation CRASH PAD: Gotham Girls Search For New Home

New York, NY – March 16, 2006 – Gotham Girls Roller Derby (GGRD), New York City’s only all-girl Roller Derby league, has lost their home. After decades of operation in the South Bronx, the Skate Key Rink (home to the Gotham Girls monthly season games and year-round practices) has closed its doors for good - leaving GGRD homeless. This news comes only 4 weeks before their 2006 season opener, scheduled for April 7, 2006.

GGRD has launched a campaign to find a new practice location and game venue ("Operation Crash Pad"), and is looking for supporters and sponsors to help keep all-girl roller derby alive in New York City. To offer support or to donate to Operation Crash Pad, visit their website at or contact league founder Chassis Crass (aka Karin Bruce).

During the hunt for a new location, Gotham Girls will keep their established season schedule until alterations need to be made. Their Second Annual DerbyTaunt Ball Fundraiser will go on as scheduled (Sunday, March 26, 2006 at the Delancey (168 Delancey at Clinton) starting at 7PM. The evening will feature team roster announcements, official christening of 24 new skaters, as well as team themed drink specials, and 80s tunes spun by DJs Ian Aruba and Jared Preston. Festive attire is strongly encouraged.

About GGRD and the national Roller Derby phenomenon:

All-girl Roller Derby has been sweeping the nation and NYC’s own Gotham Girls have been at the head of the pack. Founded in 2003, GGRD has lead the charge to bring the American-born sport of Roller Derby back to the limelight. This new incarnation is a sport with real rules, real penalties, real injuries and real champions. Add a punk rock attitude, a "DIY" credo and some in-your-face action and you have Roller Derby today. In 2005, an average of 1100 fans attended each of their monthly season games with numbers raising every game.

GGRD is a proud member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) along with 30 other active, skater owned and operated leagues around the country, and celebrates the 80+ leagues currently in various stages of formation. Derby dames have been making headlines around the world with features in Bust Magazine ("Hot Wheels", October, 2005), Rolling Stone ("Hot Catfight", October, 2005, The New York Times ("Tough Girls Roll in the Bronx", May 15, 2005) and more. Additionally, all-female derby leagues have been featured on television networks such as CNN, ESPN, FOX News Channel, Comedy Central and reality series on A&E.

For more info on GGRD or Roller Derby around the country, contact Ginger Snap or visit the GGRD Web site.

Dick Mac Recommends:

Kansas City Bomber
Raquel Welch

Friday, March 17, 2006

Well, Of Course They Don't!

On the heels of two republican presidencies and a longer-entrenched repulican congress, President Bush states the obvious: Republicans don't fear the future.

Well, since the republicans have altered policy to benefit corporations, shareholders, and the independently waelthy, they see a rosy future.

The idiots who vote republican while trying to earn a living wage will be screwed.

Sadly, though, they'll keep voting republican because they hate fags, niggers, jews, abortionists, single-mothers, sick people, and/or liberals, and they think funding a military is the path to freedom. THOSE republicans will be screwed just like all other Americans working for a living!

If you earn a wage or a salary and you vote republican, you are an idiot and you wouldn't know a personal value if it bit you on the nose!

Bush Says Republicans Don't Fear Future

Dick Mac Recommends:

The Dictionary of Republicanisms
Katrina vanden Heuvel

Thursday, March 16, 2006

US Continues Anti-Iran Rhetoric

According to sources in the United States government:
[Iran] sponsors terrorism, threatens Israel, seeks to thwart Middle East peace, disrupts democracy in Iraq and denies freedom to Iranians. It said these can only be resolved if Iran makes the strategic decision to change its policies, open up its political system and allow freedom.

Who else sponsors terrorism? Israel, United States, China, Great Britain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan. It seems that the United States and its allies likely sponsored more terrorism this year than Iran has sponsored in its entire history.

Who else thwarts Middle East Peace? Could it be a nation that attacks a sovereign nation and sponsors its civil war (say, the United States), or a nation that occupies a colonized state and declares it a theocracy that can never include the current inhabitants (like, say, Israel)?

What other nation disrupts democracy in Iraq? Oh . . . wait . . . Iraq is not a democracy, and neither is any other Arab nation in the Middle East. Some democratic processes might be used in Arab nations (like in the United States, which also is NOT a democracy), but most Arab nations are NOT democracies in any way, shape, or form.

What other nation, besides Iran, denies freedom to its citizens? China? Pakistan? Other American allies?

It's always odd to me that the United States regime so blatantly accuses other nations of that which we are guilty of ourselves. No other nation is destroying the world like the United States. We are in no position to dictate international policy. We are just bullies and we are bad at it.

US pushes diplomacy on Iran

Dick Mac Recommends:

The Dictionary of Republicanisms
Katrina vanden Heuvel

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

One Dull Edge!

Is anybody else sick of hearing about Iraq being on the edge of civil war?

It seems to me that Iraq has been in civil war for weeks, if not months or years. There is no future tense necessary in the headlines, it is happening now.

There is a civil war in Iraq. All American taxpayers are responsible for this civil war. We destabilized a sovereign nation and the result is civil war. Were we supposed to expect otherwise?

If we do not put an end to our occupation of Iraq and allow those people to sort out the nightmare we have created, we will only exacerbate an already horrible situation.

Enough already!

Iraq Edges Closer to Open Civil Warfare

Dick Mac Recommends:

Worse Than Watergate
John W. Dean

Slow News Day?

Oddly, neither President George W Bush nor Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) are on the front page of the New York Times internet edition today. This is probably good for the President, but Hillary must be seething, because this can't be her game plan.

Hillary has to keep her name on everyone's mind at all times to show how vital she is, whether right or wrong. So, I feel it is my duty to keep the junior senator from New York in your mind.

The cost of Hillary Clinton's vote and continued support for the war includes:

Over 2,300 U.S. soldiers killed
Over 16,650 U.S. soldiers wounded
Over 35,000 Iraqi civilians killed
Over $246,000,000,000 spent in three bloody years of war
Loss of support for the U.S. from our allies around the globe

We are forging stronger ties with military dictatorships like Pakistan, and theocratic monarchies like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, but our European allies (the people with whom we have forged Western civilization) are slipping away and Clinton does nothing but alienate them further.

No good comes from our presence in Iraq.

We must get out of Iraq as soon as possible.

If they will have chaos upon our departure, it will be their chaos and they will solve it, just as every newly-liberated nation has over the past 250 years.

We cannot fix Iraq, because we broke it.

Iraq is less than 100 years old. It is not a real nation, it is a country whose borders were established by the English and French after WWI. It has never been a democratic nation and never will be. We cannot force democracy on those who have no cultural or political interest in democracy.

Furthermore, a country (like the USA) who is suspending liberty at home and building stronger ties with military dictatorships is hardly in a position to preach democracy to the Iraqis.

If Hillary Clinton wants to continue supporting George Bush's idiotic war in Iraq, she should become a Republican and get out of the way of Democrats who want to restore progress,strength and patriotism to the American way of life.

US out of Iraq! Hillary out of the Senate!

Dick Mac Recommends:

Supporting Jonathan Tasini for United States Senate!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Get Hillary Out Of New York!

Hillary Clinton continues to be exposed as a pro-business conservative. Her voting record as a US Senator is an embarrassment to New Yorkers of every political stripe. Clinton has voted the Bush line on every issue except the appointment of Samuel Alito as a Supreme Court Justice.

Why is she the senator from New York? She barely won election against a political unknown last time around, has been a terrible senator, and should be unelected this time.

Jonathan Tasini is mounting a challenge against Clinton in the Democratic nomination for senator. Tasini is a forward-thinking, pro-America New Yorker who is interested in restoring America's greatness. Read about Tasini For New York.

Now it comes to light that Clinton was on the board of the most despicable of all American corporations!

"That was a long time ago," she said recently when asked if she had done anything about the company's health care policies while she served on its board.

That comment was met with disbelief from Jonathan Tasini, a longtime labor organizer mounting a longshot challenge to Clinton in New York's Democratic Senate primary.

"Voters would find it a strained argument to believe that the senator who prides herself on intelligence and knowledge of detail can't recall any details in this case. It just strains credulity," Tasini said.

Nonetheless, Clinton and her advisers continue to insist that Wal-Mart has fundamentally changed since her tenure on the board.

Wal-Mart has not changed that much since Clinton's involvement. They have always been anti-worker, anti-health care, anti-woman, anti-union, anti-minority, and anti-American.

Clinton is not a liberal or a progressive. She is a conservative Arkansas housewife who will always vote like a conservative Arkansas housewife.

If you think she will ever take positions that New Yorkers support, you are kidding yourself. She represents no part of New York's political spectrum, not liberals, not moderates, not conservatives. She represents only herself and should be sent out of New York a loser in the coming election.

Hillary's Wal-Mart Connection

Dick Mac Recommends:

Support Jonathan Tasini For New York!

Losing Your Team.

As a sports fan, I have watched innumerable franchises pack-up and leave town for more verdant pastures. One team even packed-up in the middle of the night and drove out of town without telling anybody! My heart always goes out to the fans, the supporters who have been abandoned.

An odd thing has happened to me. My MetroStars have been sold to the manufacturers of a grossly unsafe and despicably marketed hard-drink product and the new owners have renamed the team after the product.

I always thought MetroStars was a terrible monicker. What is a MetroStar? A Metro is a subway system. So was my team the Subway Stars? New York's former soccer team was the Cosmos, which was a great nickname. I wish the team had simply been called the Stars, or Astros, or Cosmos, or Soccer Giants, or anything that was an actual word.

I have not purchased my season tickets for 2006, and I think I may not. The team plays in a crap venue which is a long way from my home. The front office seems to have no clue how to use the talent and they never get far in the playoffs. Now this embarrassment. It might just all be too much now.

Picture Nicked from Official Site
MetroStars sold and renamed (Yahoo! article)

MetroStars Sold (official site)

Ole Toros Rojo!

Dick Mac Recommends:

Playing For Uncle Sam
David Tossell

Thursday, March 09, 2006

It's Sickening To Get Sick, But The Apologists At BusinessWeek Offer These Suggestions

A lapse in health insurance is the worst thing that can happen to an American, because insurance companies don't have to re-insure you outside a group plan if they don't want to. Nobody is guaranteed the right to purchase health care insurance, especially the sick.

If you have a lapse in coverage, any existing medical problem you suffer will not be covered. That's right! It's called a pre-existing condition and is not covered if you've had a lapse in insurance coverage!

BusinessWeek, that bastion of progress to make America greater, offers these five tips for people recently unemployed, self-employed, or under-employed:

1. Buy insurance through Sam's Club. Wow! Thanks! The company that has re-invented the American workplace by uninsuring its employees, denying a decent wage, hiring illegals, and supporting candidates who vote against workers' rights, are offering discount health plans to those who can afford it! That's great: they wreck the American workplace with a 'successful business plan' then profit from selling us that which we once enjoyed as a benefit! Thank you, Walton Family! Keep up the good work. You're making America better and stronger by the day! You are true patriots!

2. Use a Health Savings Account. Most Americans who experience a lapse in insurance coverage have usually lost their job and are facing bankruptcy (a favorite tool of the wrong-wing to avoid responsibility while blaming the rest of the world for their problems). The notion that an American family has a few grand a month to stash in a HSA is absurd!

3. Work part-time. Most Americans, especially those slightly older than the mePod generation, find themselves unemployed and their families uninsured. Most would be happy to take a job at Starbucks 20-hours, but most 40- and 50-somethings can't get hired ANYWHERE -- even Starbucks!

4. Find an independent insurance broker. This is excellent advice! If you attempt to purchase insurance outside a group plan and you are denied, you may never get health insurance again. If you have the $5,000-$10,000 a year it will cost to insure your family, find a professional broker to make the purchase for you.

5. Broaden your search. Find independent contractor associations that offer group plans to the self-employed and under-employed. Since insurance companies and employers no longer want to insure the American population, you need to find others who will.

The American health care system is a mess. The rest of the developed world has excellent health care.

But, a patriot sticks to his guns, doesn't get sick, supports unbridled corporate avarice, shuts-up and goes to work!

Shut up and get to work, you sick bastard!

Dick Mac Recommends:

Our Endangered Values
Jimmy Carter

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A Happy Day For Fundamentalism In America

Muslim Fundamentalists attack our nation from the outside and Christian fundamentalists attack it from within. For over ten years, the violent attack of fundamentalism against the American way of life has been dramatic: the bombing of the Atlanta Olympics, the bombing of health clinics, the bombing of entertainment venues, the bombing of a federal office building, the bombing of two trade centers, the bombing of the Pentagon.

Fundamentalists have infiltrated the Supreme Court and control our White House and Congress and most of OPEC.

Everywhere fundamentalists infiltrate, the quality of life diminishes: Afghanistan, Iran, Indonesia, Israel, and the United States have all seen their economies and societal structures damaged by the closed-mindedness of fundamentalism.

This trend shows no sign of slowing down! Let's look at today's headlines:

South Dakota Bans Abortion

Congress Renews The Patriot Act

Tom DeLay Wins Renomination

Iran Threatens USA

Israel Will Act Against Iran If Others Don't

The last being the most frightening, because we have two fundamentalist theocracies threatening each other. And this list doesn't even include the terror of corporate fundamentalism so happily subscribed-to by bankrupt Americans who pretend they are Christian.

If you care about the world and your future, I recommend turning-off your iPod and taking some iAction and some iResponsibility and restoring progress to the American way of life.

Dick Mac Recommends:

The Dictionary of Republicanisms
Katrina vanden Heuvel

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Wal-Mart's New Corporate Shill

According to himself, Mr. Young is a "Statesman, Businessman, Humanitarian." The first two are obvious: he is the owner of a business and a former Ambassador, Congressman and Mayor. Humanitarian? Hmmm . . . Not so much!

I've never heard of a humanitarian working for Wal-Mart.

In 1997, Young was a business consultant for Nike (whose business practices and reputation are surpassed only by Wal-Mart and Nestle) and issued a report insisting that Nike's Asian employers were well-aid and fairly treated.
Only weeks behind Andy Young's . . . tour, auditors from the accounting firm Ernst & Young visited some of the same locations and detailed the unsafe, inhuman and abysmal conditions. This report, promptly leaked by a gutsy company insider with a human conscience, flatly contradicted Andrew Young's lies.

Now Young is heading-up the Working Families for Wal-Mart campaign, which is like Hillary Clinton heading up a liberal think-tank.

The above quote and longer article about Andrew Young's new career can be found at alternet: Andrew Young: Shameless Son

Dick Mac Recommends:

Wal-Mart - The High Cost of Low Prices
Robert Greenwald

Monday, March 06, 2006

Kirby Puckett, 44, Baseball Hall of Famer

Everyone who saw Kirby Puckett play baseball in 1985 knew he was the real thing. I had the good fortune of seeing Puckett play at Fenway Park at least twenty times over the years and he was always one of my favorite players.

His early departure from the game in 1995 due to glaucoma was a real loss to baseball. His passing today is a loss to the world.

Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett dies

Besides The Devil, Who Else Wears Prada?

In gold duchess satin cope and red Prada shoes, the Pope is becoming a fashion icon.

Yes, it's true! The Devil Wears Prada AND The Pope Wears Prada, too! Is that redundant?

Sadly, priestly drag has been rather dull. Even when trying to make it interesting on the internet, the choices are very limited. Play Kit-out The Priest. Not much to choose from (I mean, they don't even have Home and Away kits!)

Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent for the Times of London, offers this article about men in frocks: Time to dress up, guys!

Thanks to Richard for sending this along and correcting my inability to discern between Episcopalians and Papists.

Dick Mac Recommends:

The Devil Wears Prada
Lauren Weisberger

Friday, March 03, 2006

How Do You Spend?

In the not-so-distant past, Americans seemed to be much more conscious of how they spent their money. After the Reagan Reaction of the 1980s, it became unAmerican to question bad business practices and governmental policy. Raising issues is considered tedious, at best, and dull, at worst.

I try to spend my money with companies and campaigns that represent (even in some small way) that in which I believe. I like to avoid processed foods. I purchase no products made by Nestle or Nike.

And, worst of all, I like to talk about it.

Please consider the following two matters.

No Sweat is a line of clothing from clothing manufacturer Bienestar International. Their website explains:

Our gear is produced by independent trade union members in the US, Canada, and the developing world. We believe that the only viable response to globalization is a global labor movement.

No Sweat defines the market for goods that support independent trade unions - the only historically proven solution to sweatshops. We market direct to consumers, relying primarily on internet sales for distribution. We provide a competitive product to you and a living wage to our workers.

The products are high quality and worth buying. Please consider supporting No Sweat by using the link below. (Please note: there is always a No Sweat link on the sidebar. Shop often!)

    No Sweat

New York State has been being represented by Hillary Clinton since 2000. Senator Clinton has failed to bring any benefits to New York. In fact, though completely supporting the Administration's conservative agenda, New York receives tiny fractions of the money being distributed for military, infrastructure, and Homeland Security. This year, Clinton faces election.

New Yorkers have an opportunity to send her the message that her Southeast/Midwest Conservatism is unwelcome in our state which is known (even in Republican circles) as progressive, intellectual, vital, international, and an important part of the establishment of America as the greatest nation ever.

Jonathan Tasini has decided to run against Clinton int he Democratic primary. His website states:
For the past 25 years, Jonathan has been a union leader and organizer, a social activist, and a commentator and writer on work, labor and the economy. From 1990 to April 2003, he served as president of the National Writers Union (United Auto Workers Local 1981) During his tenure, the union tripled in size and became one of the most influential forces in the country for protecting the rights of freelance writers. During Jonathan's years as NWU president, his close-up experience with the health insurance crisis for creative workers inspired him to make Medicare For All a central plank of his Senate campaign.

He was the lead plaintiff in Tasini vs. The New York Times, the landmark electronic rights case that took on the corporate mediaƂ’s assault on the rights of thousands of freelance authors. In a historic decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2001 that media companies had illegally used the works of writers without their permission. The decision led to a series of class action lawsuits (in which Jonathan served as a principal strategist and negotiator) which resulted in a mass settlement for authors and the creation of an $18 million compensation fund.

Tasini opposes the war in Iraq, insists that Medicare can provide health care for all Americans, opposes NAFTA and other laws that hurt American workers, and wants to build a vibrant economy that raises the quality of life for all Americans.

If you are a New Yorker, please consider voting for Tasini in the Democratic primary. If you are a United States citizen or a permanent resident alien, at least eighteen years-old, and not a federal contractor, you can donate to his campaign by clicking the button below. (A Tasini button will also appear on the sidebar indefinitely.)

    Tasini For New York

Thank you for your consideration.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I Never Had Sexual Relations With That Woman - II

Former President Clinton was impeached for lying about a blow job. Please remember that when you pay your taxes and vote. $60,000,000 (sixty million dollars) was spent investigating oral sex.

Less than one million dollars has been spent investigating the lies and crimes of the Bush presidency. Said lies and crimes have resulted in the loss of two trade centers, a piece of the pentagon, four commercial jet liners, most of our allies, an army in the desert, an entire American city, thousands of American lives, and uncountable foreigners.

Now, for some good news!

I received this from

This evening, the Associated Press released secret transcripts and video footage showing President Bush being personally briefed the day before Hurricane Katrina hit land. The predictions he heard were shockingly precise and accurate—including the failure of the levees. He knew exactly what was coming.

The article is a smoking gun on Bush's unpardonable failure to keep us safe. In just a few hours, the White House will be filling the airwaves with spin, so it's important to reach out right now to pass on the straight story to family and friends. If each of us acts, we can directly reach millions of people before morning.

The full AP article is attached below. Can you help get the word out to at least 5 friends? You can forward on this note or follow the link below:

At the August 28th briefing, the president was told exactly what to expect:

The chief scientist of the National Hurricane Center warned that a major levee breach was "obviously a very, very grave concern." Bush lied to the entire nation about this point just 5 days later.

Michael Brown told the president that if New Orleans flooded the Superdome emergency shelter would likely be under water and short on supplies, creating a "catastrophe within a catastrophe."

Experts and officials implored the President to prepare for, as the AP described it, "devastation of historic proportions."

President Bush didn't ask a single question during the briefing. In the next two days he campaigned, attended birthday parties and played guitar while the worst natural disaster in American history killed over 1,300 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.

There can now be no mistake: President Bush had a chance to lead, and he failed to keep us safe.

In the next few days, we'll be tracking this story carefully and coordinating our response with partners in New Orleans and around the nation.

The survivors of Katrina deserve to know why the president left them to suffer the storm. And the people of the United States deserve leadership we can trust to keep our families safe. We'll work hard together until we have both.

Tonight, let's start by spreading the word:

Here's the full article from the Associated Press. You can also read it here:

March 1, 2006

Video Shows Bush Was Warned Before Katrina

WASHINGTON (AP)—In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage.

Bush didn't ask a single question during the final briefing before Katrina struck on Aug. 29, but he assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared."

The footage—along with seven days of transcripts of briefings obtained by The Associated Press—show in excruciating detail that while federal officials anticipated the tragedy that unfolded in New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast, they were fatally slow to realize they had not mustered enough resources to deal with the unprecedented disaster.

Linked by secure video, Bush's confidence on Aug. 28 starkly contrasts with the dire warnings his disaster chief and a cacophony of federal, state and local officials provided during the four days before the storm.

A top hurricane expert voiced "grave concerns" about the levees and then-Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown told the president and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff that he feared there weren't enough disaster teams to help evacuees at the Superdome.

"I'm concerned about . . . their ability to respond to a catastrophe within a catastrophe," Brown told his bosses the afternoon before Katrina made landfall.

Some of the footage and transcripts from briefings Aug. 25-31 conflicts with the defenses that federal, state and local officials have made in trying to deflect blame and minimize the political fallout from the failed Katrina response:

Homeland Security officials have said the "fog of war" blinded them early on to the magnitude of the disaster. But the video and transcripts show federal and local officials discussed threats clearly, reviewed long-made plans and understood Katrina would wreak devastation of historic proportions. "I'm sure it will be the top 10 or 15 when all is said and done," National Hurricane Center's Max Mayfield warned the day Katrina lashed the Gulf Coast.

"I don't buy the 'fog of war' defense," Brown told the AP in an interview Wednesday. "It was a fog of bureaucracy."

Bush declared four days after the storm, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees" that gushed deadly flood waters into New Orleans. But the transcripts and video show there was plenty of talk about that possibility—and Bush was worried too.

White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Brown discussed fears of a levee breach the day the storm hit.

"I talked to the president twice today, once in Crawford and then again on Air Force One," Brown said. "He's obviously watching the television a lot, and he had some questions about the Dome, he's asking questions about reports of breaches."

Louisiana officials angrily blamed the federal government for not being prepared but the transcripts shows they were still praising FEMA as the storm roared toward the Gulf Coast and even two days afterward. "I think a lot of the planning FEMA has done with us the past year has really paid off," Col. Jeff Smith, Louisiana's emergency preparedness deputy director, said during the Aug. 28 briefing.

It wasn't long before Smith and other state officials sounded overwhelmed.

"We appreciate everything that you all are doing for us, and all I would ask is that you realize that what's going on and the sense of urgency needs to be ratcheted up," Smith said Aug. 30.

Mississippi begged for more attention in that same briefing.

"We know that there are tens or hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana that need to be rescued, but we would just ask you, we desperately need to get our share of assets because we'll have people dying—not because of water coming up, but because we can't get them medical treatment in our affected counties," said a Mississippi state official whose name was not mentioned on the tape.

Video footage of the Aug. 28 briefing, the final one before Katrina struck, showed an intense Brown voicing concerns from the government's disaster operation center and imploring colleagues to do whatever was necessary to help victims.

"We're going to need everything that we can possibly muster, not only in this state and in the region, but the nation, to respond to this event," Brown warned. He called the storm "a bad one, a big one" and implored federal agencies to cut through red tape to help people, bending rules if necessary.

"Go ahead and do it," Brown said. "I'll figure out some way to justify it. ... Just let them yell at me."

Bush appeared from a narrow, windowless room at his vacation ranch in Texas, with his elbows on a table. Hagin was sitting alongside him. Neither asked questions in the Aug. 28 briefing.

"I want to assure the folks at the state level that we are fully prepared to not only help you during the storm, but we will move in whatever resources and assets we have at our disposal after the storm," the president said.

A relaxed Chertoff, sporting a polo shirt, weighed in from Washington at Homeland Security's operations center. He would later fly to Atlanta, outside of Katrina's reach, for a bird flu event.

One snippet captures a missed opportunity on Aug. 28 for the government to have dispatched active-duty military troops to the region to augment the National Guard.

Chertoff: "Are there any DOD assets that might be available? Have we reached out to them?"

Brown: "We have DOD assets over here at EOC (emergency operations center). They are fully engaged. And we are having those discussions with them now."

Chertoff: "Good job."

In fact, active duty troops weren't dispatched until days after the storm. And many states' National Guards had yet to be deployed to the region despite offers of assistance, and it took days before the Pentagon deployed active-duty personnel to help overwhelmed Guardsmen.

The National Hurricane Center's Mayfield told the final briefing before Katrina struck that storm models predicted minimal flooding inside New Orleans during the hurricane but he expressed concerns that counterclockwise winds and storm surges afterward could cause the levees at Lake Pontchartrain to be overrun.

"I don't think any model can tell you with any confidence right now whether the levees will be topped or not but that is obviously a very, very grave concern," Mayfield told the briefing.

Other officials expressed concerns about the large number of New Orleans residents who had not evacuated.

"They're not taking patients out of hospitals, taking prisoners out of prisons and they're leaving hotels open in downtown New Orleans. So I'm very concerned about that," Brown said.

Despite the concerns, it ultimately took days for search and rescue teams to reach some hospitals and nursing homes.

Brown also told colleagues one of his top concerns was whether evacuees who went to the New Orleans Superdome—which became a symbol of the failed Katrina response—would be safe and have adequate medical care.

"The Superdome is about 12 feet below sea level. . . . I don't know whether the roof is designed to stand, withstand a Category Five hurricane," he said.

Brown also wanted to know whether there were enough federal medical teams in place to treat evacuees and the dead in the Superdome.

"Not to be (missing) kind of gross here," Brown interjected, "but I'm concerned" about the medical and mortuary resources "and their ability to respond to a catastrophe within a catastrophe."

Well, you know, Clinton was the real liar in recent American history. These exposes of Bush's incompetence are just liberals playing the blame game. Bush is doing a great job: look at his numbers! Lower than Nixon's lowest ever numbers!

Good job, Mr. President! Keep up the good work. America should be destroyed by 2008 and then you can blame the Democrats for all the problems that plagued you.

Dick Mac Recommends:

Come Hell or High Water
Michael Eric Dyson

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Dies Cinerum

Mardi gras has ended and today is Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent.

Lent is a time for spiritual growth. It is an excellent time for fasting, meditation and prayer. I find Lent to be a very magical time.

Ash Wednesday reminds me that my body is merely physical and that it will come to pass; but that my spirit will live forever.

In this journey of life, how will my spirit impact those around me?

Some years ago, a spiritual advisor gave me abook of meditations, The Desert, An Anthology For Lent. I read it every year. Today it suggests:
The way you must go is the
way you already know.

He has set it in your heart.
The solitude will speak to you.

- Derek Webster

I hope your day is blessed and joyous.

Dick Mac Recommends:

The Desert
John Moses