Just my thoughts on things I think about. Music, politics, society, and unfortunately, religion.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

McDermott?

Growing up in Seattle I have been aware of Jim McDermott for a long time. He at one time was my political hero. In the 1980's he seemed to be the only honest politician around. He was intelligent, compassionate, and very progressive. He quit politics to go work on the Aids crisis in Africa. Pretty much an excellent human and politician.

But blast forward to 2005. I have been involved in local politics for 10 years now. I'm in no sense a large political player, but I know my fair share of elected leaders, and work when I can to support their campaigns. In the process I have gotten to know many of the progressive politicians who want the support of the music community - from city council members to US Senators. But never in all this time have I met or heard from McDermott. I live in his district, am politically active, and yet I couldn't tell you much about what he does or has done in the last 15 years plus he has been in office. But I have been thinking about Jim's seat. Seattle is one of the most liberal cities in the world. For the democrats, the 7th congressional district is a 'safe seat'. So it seems to me we should have someone incredibly active, vocal and visible in that seat passing bills and blocking the crazy right wing shit coming out of the radical right in the US Congress. And we should see a lot of benefits from a senior member of the house coming back to Seattle. But I don't really see that from McDermott. Yes, when he speaks, he says great things. And I personally think he is a decent human. But shouldn't we have someone vital in that seat. And also use it to groom the next governor or US Senator? Shouldn't the person in that seat help elect other progressives in Seattle? And take some stands on important local issues? What was the last bill McDermott passed? What was the last one he blocked. Shouldn't we be judging our politicians on their effectiveness, not just their words?

As we come up on another year where McDermott will run unopposed, should progressive candidates in Seattle consider running against him? I would love to see a young, bold progressive challenge Jim. The worst that could happen is that Jim has a fire lit under his ass. Or, the challenger could win, putting someone in the House who will really make things happen for the left and Seattle. Isn't it time Seattle is on the political map for having a maverick Representative who is in a 'safe seat'? I think it is time we start considering this. Would love to know what other people think.

Soulive and Reggie Watts on Larry King

Larry King got down with some of the best musicians around this weekend. Check out the interview here - http://www.vmsdigital.com/MyFiles.aspx?Onum=6D848FF4-7018-4782-AF4B-C95280CDC923

Youth Vote Makes a difference

The Music community came out huge in support of John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential election. Most of the effort was directed at getting the youth vote out. Well, it made a difference. According to an AP article today:

"About 47 percent of Americans 18-24 voted in 2004, up from 36 percent in 2000, according to the Census Bureau. No other age group increased its turnout by more than 5 percentage points....according to exit polls, Kerry won 56 percent of votes cast by people aged 18-24. Bush earned 43 percent of their votes."

""But the 2004 campaign itself was an immense mobilizing event, bringing out the largest percent of young voters in 32 years."

This should encourage everyone in the music community who worked hard in the 2004 election. Let's keep it up. We made a difference, and that is something to build on.

Read the full article here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051117/ap_on_go_ot/young_voters;_ylt=AgEjr_cPuHWhzh5DUhZui_dvzwcF;_ylu=X3oDMTA5aHJvMDdwBHNlYwN5bmNhdA--

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Why the Dem's should oppose Miers

Maybe she's not qualified. Maybe her pick is more Bush cronyism, putting his unqualified friends into positions of power as insider policitical payoffs. While all that is more than enough reason for anyone to oppose Bush's Supreme Court Nominee Miers, more important is who else is backing Miers and why. Here is a short article from Robert Novak's column at http://townhall.com/opinion/column/robertnovak/2005/10/15/171467.html

" In choosing Kenneth Starr to vouch for the social conservative credentials of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, Dr. James Dobson picked a man who 24 years ago as a Justice Department official did the same for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Former Whitewater prosecutor Starr, now law school dean of Pepperdine University, appeared on conservative activist Dobson's radio program Wednesday. Starr called Miers "a very, very strong Christian [who] should be a source of great comfort and assistance to people in the households of faith around the country." In 1981, Starr advised President Ronald Reagan of O'Connor's pro-life stance and ignored her pro-choice record in the Arizona Senate.

The talk with Starr on Wednesday's program was overshadowed by a long segment in which Dobson denied receiving inside information from the White House about where Miers stands on Roe v. Wade."

Dr. Dobson is a famous rascist, sexist, homophobe. His 'Christianity" is similar to the Taliban's view of Islam. It is extreme to say the least. He is the man who led the charge against a video featuring Big Bird and Sponge Bob promoting tolerance as promoting the 'Gay' agenda. He complains that the video supposedly teaching "tolerance and diversity" instead promoted "incomprehensible references to adult perverse sexuality"

This is a man who longs for the 'good old days' when women couldn't vote, our white children did not have to attend school or live near the 'colords' , interracial marriage was illegal, not to even mention 'gay' marriage. And of course, civil rights applied only as a strict constitutional constructionist would apply them - to white, land owning men. We are one step closer to returning to these days with Judge Roberts. Crony Miers will deliver us to that land of milktoast and honey. We need to stop her nomination now.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

New Study: Religion is bad for Society

This story seems to have slipped by the American press, as many do. As someone who grew up in a fundamentalist home, school and now lives in a country controlled by religious nuts, I think this story is interesting and should be out there as much as possible. According to a new study Regligious belief is actually damaging to society. Check out the full story here - http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1798944,00.html

Some highlights:

"RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today."

"Many liberal Christians and believers of other faiths hold that religious belief is socially beneficial, believing that it helps to lower rates of violent crime, murder, suicide, sexual promiscuity and abortion. The benefits of religious belief to a society have been described as its “spiritual capital”. But the study claims that the devotion of many in the US may actually contribute to its ills."

"The study concluded that the US was the world’s only prosperous democracy where murder rates were still high, and that the least devout nations were the least dysfunctional. Mr Paul said that rates of gonorrhoea in adolescents in the US were up to 300 times higher than in less devout democratic countries. The US also suffered from “ uniquely high” adolescent and adult syphilis infection rates, and adolescent abortion rates, the study suggested."

“The non-religious, proevolution democracies contradict the dictum that a society cannot enjoy good conditions unless most citizens ardently believe in a moral creator.

“The widely held fear that a Godless citizenry must experience societal disaster is therefore refuted.”

So there's the facts. Most religous folks will argue that Religion helps to regulate our conduct and behaviour in society by providing a set of morals and a value-system for human existence, without which humans would be morally ruddeless. Religion guides our actions in life, putting a check on criminal tendency in human nature.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Seattle is famous, and I am embarrased by our Mayor and City Council!

Seattle made news around the world today - over 301 papers. For what? Our progressive solutions to environmental issues, a new transportation system, some proposal that promotes our great music or arts scenes? NOPE. That would actually show leadership by our politicians, and might make us look like Portland, now the jewel of the Northwest - an up & coming city with a transportation plan and....yes, STRIP CLUBS.
Read all about us at the following link. Look, we're world famous!
I am embarrassed to be living in Seattle today. I thought our Mayor and Council were joking when they proposed amendments effectively banning strip clubs. I mean, it seems there are real issues to worry about. But no, let's take on STRIP CLUBS. Because, you know, the other cities people want to move to and live in don't have them right? Like Austin, Portland, San Francisco, New Orleans, New York, Paris, London, Amsterdam. Oh wait, that's right, we don't want to be like THOSE cities, my god, they have strip clubs! We are busy studying how the great cities like Fresno and Federal Way handle things.
Where is the freaking vision in the city?? Where is the political spine and will of our electeds?
To you politicians who support this ban - it SUCKS!! You should be embarrassed! We elected you to provide real solutions to real problems and make our lives better. I know all of you, and appreciate a lot of the good work you do, but what the hell!?!? What are you doing, spending your time banning dancers? Where are you going to stop? Are you going to ban drinking in Seattle? Bring back the Teen Dance Ordinance? Ban porn at 7-11? This law is right wing christian nannyism. You are acting like prudes, and not just prudes, but prudes who want to use the government to enforce your prudishness on everyone else. Move to Lynden already, it's more your speed!
This sucks, sucks, sucks. You could regulate strip clubs with all sorts of ordinances, create zones for such things, be a real city with real diversity. Are these things too difficult to think about?
The ghosts of Margaret Pageler, Mark Sidran and Pat Robertson live in Seattle's City Hall this week. I thought we elected smart progressives to do great things. Guess I missed something.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Stop the Smoking Ban

Initiative 901 SEEMS like a good thing - ban smoking inside of bars to protect the health of bartenders and wait staff. I don't smoke, don't like that other people do, and believe the science that says second hand smoke kills. And while I think the government has some reason to ban smoking inside, INITIATIVE 901 goes to far. It also bans smoking "within 25 feet from entrances, exits, windows that open, or ventilation intakes...".

So, bars like the War Room or Linda's will not be allowed to let people smoke on their deck. If you want to smoke outside the Baltic Room, you will have to walk up or down the block to make sure you get 25' away from any entrance or exit, window etc. That could mean across the street in the parking lot. If you work downtown and want to take a smoke break, better stand in the middle of the street because there is an entrance or exit about every 5'.

It is sad that the people who wrote 901 would have to be such extremists and ruin an otherwise good initiative. I'm afraid these people don't just want to do away with the annoying and unhealthy smoke inside bars and restaurants. They want to control every aspect of people's health wherever they are. This is more of the politics of fanatics and zealots.

The supporters of 901 should go back to the drawing board and craft this initiative without the 25' foot rule in section 6. They should hold back on their desire to use the government to enforce their health standards on everyone everywhere and be happy with just banning smoking inside all public places. From Iraq to the Monorail, from Rush Limbaugh to Louis Farrakhan, from smoking bans to pharmacists refusing to fill birth control prescriptions, I am tired with the politics of zealots. Time for moderate, reasonable laws and politics!

Please vote against initiative 901. Make the Anti-Smoking folks present us with a law that is reasonable.

Monday, July 11, 2005

City Council Candidates Forum Online

In case you couldn't be there in person, here is a link to the Candidates forum. http://www2.ci.seattle.wa.us/Media/ram_sc.asp?ID=3345

Hope to see the Council Members ideas turn into reality. Pay attention to what they have to say and vote appropriately.

Especially interesting is the Candidates reasonable approach to issues relating to noise and density, compared to the Joint Assessment Task Force the Police, Mayor and City Attorney are pushing (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/230713_nightclubs30.html)

Thursday, June 30, 2005

City Crackdown on Clubs

Last night Neumo's was packed with people from the music community out to hear what City Council candidates have to say about the music community. One of the questions asked was about issues with urban density and noise. They all said they supported a vibrant music and club scene and that people who move downtown need to deal with that. But a conflict is arising in a City where the Mayor is supporting the music community, says he wants Seattle to be a 24 Hour City, but also wants a lot of residents living downtown in the same areas that have been the hotbed of music and nightlife for decades. And the City is choosing to come down on clubs, not developers or residents, so we have a preview of where this conflict might head. A mixed message for sure.

To deal with this The Mayor has a PLAN. The plan calls for a team of city employees to spend every Friday and Saturday night between early July and September inspecting the more than 80 nightclubs downtown. But no similar checks on developers noise insulation and building to code. And no police crackdown on the actual drug and violent crimes happening on the street corners of Belltown and Pioneer Square.

Instead, The City has created a Joint Assessment Team, which will also include firefighters making sure clubs are meeting safety codes and city revenue and consumer affairs inspectors checking business licenses and whether clubs are paying the admission tax.

At times, they will be joined by Liquor Control Board agents, inspectors with Public Health -- Seattle & King County and the city's Department of Transportation, looking for crowded sidewalks or blocked roadways.

According to an article in today's PI (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/230713_nightclubs30.html) the City says "We're not out there to shut people down or find violations," .... "But we need to get a better handle on what actually is going on." Some of these ideas they are taking from cities like Sacramento, LA and Giuliani's New York. In those cities they have been adapting Sidranesque civility rules concerning nightlife. We need to be sure that does not happen in Seattle!

Having been in the business for many years, I have yet to be in a club where the Police, Fire, Liquor or Health boards show up to just see what is going on. They are looking for violations. Not to be too cynical, but the music community needs to watch this with an eye to protecting ourselves. This could be a good pro-active plan by the City to take out the bad clubs who have not been regulating themselves, or it could be another attempt by the City to harass a now thriving music community as has happened in the past. Let's give Mayor Nickels the benefit of the doubt - he has been excellent on music issues so far, working to get rid of the Teen Dance Ordinance, creating a rational noise ordinance, opening the Music Office, working with the music community to come up with decent liquor rules protecting all ages shows, etc.

But let's also remember that the City Attorney who worked on this plan also took a strong anti-postering position in the court of appeals (but who also supports all ages shows), and the Police who are leading this secretly fought behind the scenes to support the Teen Dance Ordinance and kill all ages shows by lobbying the Liquor Board to change rules that would make them it impossible to do mixed use shows and who don't arrest the crack and heroin dealers in the streets. And let's not forget that until the last few years The City of Seattle was pro-actively ANTI-MUSIC, shutting down the music scene every time it has started to be successful here as far back as the 1930's Jazz scene. This is the next battle line between the Police who are driving this and the music community. We need to make sure the Council and Mayor temper this with some pro-music politicking. Let's make sure the City does not go back to it's evil Anti-Music ways.

So please everyone, write to the Mayor and City Council and let them know you are paying attention and that you support music and a vibrant nightlife downtown. They need to hear from you!

Write to them asap at

Greg Nickels (Mayors.Office@seattle.gov); Jan Drago (jan.drago@cseattle.gov); Richard Conlin (Richard.Conlin@seattle.gov); Richard McIver (richard.mciver@seatle.gov); Jim Compton (jim.compton@seattle.gov); Peter Steinbrueck (peter.steinbrueck@seattle.gov); Nick Licata (Nick.Licata@Seattle.gov); David Della (David.Della@Seattle.gov); Tom Rasmussen (tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov); Jean Godden (Jean.Godden@Seattle.gov)

Monday, February 28, 2005

No More Money for Millionaires

I love the Sonics I watch almost every game. But giving them more of our money is offensive even to a fan like myself. Plain and simple, at a time where our City and State are in a financial crisis, we need to stop giving public money to millionaires.

Please tell the People in the State Legislator to vote NO on House Bill 2209. This is OUR money. NBA players average over $4 million per year. Sonics owner Howard Schultz is worth around $700 million. Because of a bad business plan the Sonics made a few years ago, Seattle is losing $7 million a year on Key Arena. This is after Washington State taxpayers spent $80 million on 'fixing' Key Arena at the Sonics request. Because of their poor planning, the Sonics now want more of your money, in part to build a 40,000-square-foot basketball practice facility. A practice facility ...because they NEED a nicer weight room?!

Say NO to welfare for professional sports. OR, if we do give them money, demand the State receive partial ownership of the team. Then the team can never threaten to leave and when it does make money we can re-invest the money into the local community.

To see how hard it is to survive as a Sonics player, check out this article in the Seattle Times on the player's tricked out Hummers, Mercedes and Escalades. Poor boys need new showers too.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/text/2002186408_sonicars22.html

For some perspective, check out how Seattle has to close down schools because of lack of money. The millions we are giving the millionaires would sure be nice about now!

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/212089_schoolbudget15.html
http://www.seattleschools.org/area/news/story.dxml

Not to mention that The Sonics have asked that the tax stream they get the money from what used to go to Arts funding go mostly to them. Screw the artists and school kids, some millionaires need better individual hot tubs for their post-practice muscle rubs.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Dumb People Like Bush

The people with the lowest IQ's win again.

http://chrisevans3d.com/files/iq.htm

State Avg. IQ 2004
1 Connecticut 113 Kerry
2 Massachusetts 111 Kerry
3 New Jersey 111 Kerry
4 New York 109 Kerry
5 Rhode Island 107 Kerry
6 Hawaii 106 Kerry
7 Maryland 105 Kerry
8 New Hampshire 105 Kerry
9 Illinois 104 Kerry
10 Delaware 103 Kerry
11 Minnesota 102 Kerry
12 Vermont 102 Kerry
13 Washington 102 Kerry
14 California 101 Kerry
15 Pennsylvania 101 Kerry
16 Maine 100 Kerry
17 Virginia 100 Bush
18 Wisconsin 100 Kerry
19 Colorado 99 Bush
20 Iowa 99 Bush
21 Michigan 99 Kerry Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment passed
22 Nevada 99 Bush
23 Ohio 99 Bush Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment passed
24 Oregon 99 Kerry Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment passed
25 Alaska 98 Bush
26 Florida 98 Bush
27 Missouri 98 Bush
28 Kansas 96 Bush
29 Nebraska 95 Bush
30 Arizona 94 Bush
31 Indiana 94 Bush
32 Tennessee 94 Bush
33 North Carolina 93 Bush
34 West Virginia 93 Bush
35 Arkansas 92 Bush Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment passed
36 Georgia 92 Bush Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment passed
37 Kentucky 92 Bush Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment passed
38 New Mexico 92 Bush
39 North Dakota 92 Bush Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment passed
40 Texas 92 Bush
41 Alabama 90 Bush
42 Louisiana 90 Bush
43 Montana 90 Bush Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment passed
44 Oklahoma 90 Bush Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment passed
45 South Dakota 90 Bush
46 South Carolina 89 Bush
47 Wyoming 89 Bush
48 Idaho 87 Bush
49 Utah 87 Bush Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment passed
50 Mississippi 85 Bush Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment passed


The IQ numbers were originally attributed to the book "IQ and the Wealth of Nations", though they do not appear in the current edition. The tests and data were administered via the Raven's APT, and the The Test Agency, one of the UK's leading publishers and distributors of psychometric tests. This data has been published in the Economist and the St. Petersburg Times, though this does not mean it should be taken as fact. Though the data does correlate somewhat to IQ of students per state based on SAT/ACT data, though this would be biased for those that had completed a high school education. Someone has also taken 2000 census data on percentage of state residents that have earned a college degree and used that to compare the voting in the 2000 election, it's funny, but that seems to correlate as well.