Friday, December 30, 2005

The Year in Review

2005 was a special year. It was the year of natural disasters, including the aftermath of the Asian tsunami, and the impact of the chaotic hurricane season. It was also the year of baseball bliss for us White Sox fans in the southside of Chicago. Mark my words, the White Sox WILL repeat in 2006! The Bush administration faced several challenges, as did a Democratic Party struggling for a unified message. Jump the fence to read more...
Politically, 2005 was a shitty year for Republicans. President Bush has been unable to carry-out his agenda, which includes the removal of social security, removing the inheritence tax, and stabilizing Iraq.

Don't get me wrong, the Democrats didn't do much either. In terms of policy initiatives, they were right there with the GOP. Nevertheless, it was nice to see Dems such as Harry Reid and Dick Durbin prove that the Democratic Party has finally grown some balls! Fortunately for us on the left, the 2006 midterm elections look promising, but we'll wait and see what tricks the GOP have up their sleeves.

Republicans such as Bill Frist, Rick Santorum, and Jeb Bush succeeded in making complete fools out of themselves throughout the Terry Schiavo fiasco. Dr. Frist was the first doctor to diagnose a patient on TV. The diehard pro-small government right tried to entrench themselves in the personal life of a family. The Democrats just stood there and watched. I still can't figure out who will suffer from this on the ballots.

Bush fucked up by nominating Harriet Miers. The wingnuts constantly bitched about giving all nominees an "up-or-down vote". With significant pressure from conservative pundits and the 101st Fighting Keyboardists (ie Redstate), Miers quit. John Roberts is a genius! Scalito scares me, and the super-religious Pat Robertson hopes more SCOTUS justices die soon.

Scandals, scandals, scandals, and more scandals! I thought Clinton was fucked up! The Bush administration has been involved in much bullshit: The outing of Valerie Plame, the Downing Street Memo (at least for us lefties), Illegal Spying, futile FEMA, and torture. I'm sure I forgot something. Oh what political implications these will have!

I think I wrote enough about politics. We're all political junkies here, so we know what happened. Osgiliath and BlackLabelAxe, I'm looking forward to your accounts of 2005.

The MUSIC!!!
Ozzfest 2005 wasn't as good as last year. Iron Maiden kicked ass. Mastodon was awesome. Killswitch Engage impressed. Who cares about crap like Bury Your Dead? Shitty Milwaukee Metal Fest, boo hoo!

I saw the following bands, which all kicked ass to various extents:
Children of Bodom
Amon Amarth
Trivium
Suffocation
King Diamond
Behemoth
Slipknot
Lamb of God
Shadows Fall
Black Dahlia Murder
Nile
The Bands on Ozzfest 2005
Dimebag Tribute Show with Anthrax
and many more!

I leave this diary open for everyone to add their memories of this crazy year. Just edit the damn thing! Cheers.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Latest Recommended Albums

Greetings all! I hope everyone is having a great holiday season. I received several CD's from family and friends which I have listened to and have found to be awesome. I highly recommend the following albums for their stunning musicianship, solid production, and relevance to heavy metal:

Hypocrisy - Virus

Soulfly - Dark Ages

Xasthur- To Violate the Oblivious

Great shit. Xasthur may be too satanic for some of you right-wingers in here, but give it a try. HAILS!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all


Here's wishing all of our readers and contributers a merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. May your Christmas day be filled with good times with friends and family.

Merry Christmas from Lefty Metalhead!

I want to thank you all for contributing to this blog. Your thoughts are very welcome and I enjoy reading every post. May you all have the best holiday season ever! Let's look forward to the New Year and the advancement of metal blogging!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

All this court stuff is hard.

A federal appeals court caught the Bush administration in the act of attempting to transfer Padilla to civilian law enforcement in order to prevent the Supreme Court from reviewing the case.

We can only hope that the SCOTUS will take Padilla's case and school Bush.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

New York TWU goes on strike

I normally wouldn't post this, but this is to delicious to pass up. As most of you are aware the TWU has gone on strike in New York. This has pretty much shut down the city. What you may not know is that the TWO also has a blog, and they have left the comments open. I now direct you to the blog

Transit Worker

Here's the comments... I haven't read them yet, but these people are royally pissed off.

Comments section

Update

Comments have been taken offline. I've left the link for historical purposes.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Back From Mexico, Ready to Debate

Metal Pundits, I am back from my short, but awesome, trip to Mexico. I partied with my cousins every single night. We got wasted nightly by killing a bottle of Jack Daniels each! We had tequila during the day as a thirst quencher! Luckily, I got laid by a gorgeous young lady (she was actually one year older than me, 24), which comes as a surprise considering how out of shape I am! Anyway, I wanted to discuss Christmas, now that the holiday is approaching. I'm interested in everyone's religious background/beliefs as well as thoughts on the supposed "war on Christmas" by liberals like me! Read on below the fold.

**Update**

There are a few issues I think we must address. These came up from reading Osgiliath's and BlackLabelAxe's comments.

The first issue is the alleged "War on Christmas", or how Osgiliath put it, "battles fought against Christmas". Many conservative pundits have used the "happy holidays" phrase as evidence corroborating their argument of forced secularization in the Christmas season. As for the phrase itself, I will agree with Jon Stewart when he asked whether it ever occurred to people that Christmas and New Year's are two holidays close together. Therefore, the phrase "happy holidays" makes sense. It's significantly easier to say the phrase rather than "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year". I guess my larger point is that many people, mostly Evangelical Christians, have begun to take notice of these petty things, thus making a huge commotion, which makes them forget why they love Christmas in the first place. I think it's hardly the left trying to remove the Christmas label from American public discourse, but indeed the fundamentalist right making sure the label remains there and making a strong effort to expand it. In a season where Christ should be the focus, Christians are engaging in a bitter feud with America's values. On Christmas Day, I will pray for those troubled Christian souls who, rather than celebrate the birth of Christ, mudsling America and pick fights with the public. BLA said it best:
I think that a lot of Christians are waging a war against their own holiday. The season has nothing to do with Wal-Mart, lawn decorations, or harvesting pet evergreen trees. It's hardly a religious holiday anymore.
In other words, Christians are also responsible for the secularization of Christmas as they fill the aisles at Walmart, Target, Nieman Marcus, or wherever you purchase goods.

The second issue we must address is relationship, or lack thereof, between heavy metal discourse and religion. Heavy metal music is, at its purest, a form of expression with roots in liberalism. Conservatives haven't been nice to heavy metal throughout history. And I know the PMRC was created by Tipper Gore, but she is far from being liberal. Black Sabbath, the originators of heavy metal, praised the darker side of things, or the alternative to the status quo. They bashed war in their lyrics and created a sound deemed to be that of the devil himself.

Heavy metal has been kind to a homosexual legend, Rob Halford. Would country music be as kind to a gay Tim McGraw? There is more leftist activism in heavy metal while conservative activism is nonexistent. My greater point, however, is that the majority of heavy metal fans are not religious. How can a religious person enjoy heavy metal when the lyrics and images projected are non-religious or anti-religious? I'm not saying I stopped practicing religion because of my love for metal. But I find it hypocritical to attend mass weekly while I listen to Slayer during the week.

Yet another question, is music to be taken as seriously as I suggest above? Or am I confusing the line between reality and the musical/art world? You guys make the call...

First of all, we have heard Bill O'Reilly attempt to make a case against liberals and non-Christians being anti-Christmas. While such allegations are complete bullshit, I think the subject of religion and its role in heavy metal cultural discourse is worth discussing. I'll begin by offering my views on the subject.

I was raised Mexican Catholic. I say Mexican Catholic because being Mexican is almost equated to being Catholic, and Mexican Catholics tend to be ultra-faithful and not-as-conservative as the Evangelical cabal. Therefore, my parents had me attending mass every Sunday and participating in traditional Mexican events such as the Posadas and Homage to the Virgin of Guadalupe. As I grew older and became educated, I realized that many self-proclaimed faithful people are only so for the sake of it. In other words, this is similar to a driver getting car insurance just because the law requires it. I became detached from religion, that is, the organized aspect. I no longer care for most priests, churches, or the rest of the holy plutocracy. Nevertheless, I still firmly believe in the teachings of Christ, despite my profound admiration of Norwegian black metal. Nowadays, I loathe the fact that religion has been hijacked by the radical right for political gain, making me more skeptical of organized religion.

Religion has never been kind to heavy metal. The conservative nature of relgious people has placed hurdles in the progression of metal music from a subterranean powerhouse to a mainstream juggernaut (although this isn't bad at all!). Nevertheless, metalheads are typically scrutinized and wrongfully profiled as treacherous vagabonds. Of course, not only religious people do this, but a large portion of them do. At this point, I will open up the discussion to everyone else. Share your thoughts on religion, Christmas, and heavy metal. I'll add more thoughts tomorrow as I read everyone else's. Cheers!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Here comes Nancy

Nancy Pelosi has released a statement to counter President Bush’s speech on Iraq. In reading her response I jaw dropped ever closer to the floor. I’m not sure why, nothing should surprise me these days when it comes to the Democrats

While Nancy is technically correct on many points, I’d like to respond to her statement. The entire statement is below the fold in italics followed by my response.

“I am pleased that Iraq appears to be moving towards democracy, as indicated by tomorrow's upcoming election. However, democracy is not the reason that President Bush gave for invading Iraq more than 1,000 days ago.”

In a nutshell, the five primary reasons for the Iraq War given by Bush were the war on terror, prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, lack of weapons inspections, removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime and Saddam Hussein is evil.

While Democracy is not mentioned anywhere in there, did Nancy and the Democrats expect us to install a Stalinist regime after Saddam was removed from power? This is as intellectually dishonest as anything I’ve seen from the Democrats on this.

“President Bush asserted that Saddam Hussein presented an imminent threat to the security of the United States, a threat that could only be reduced by going to war. The president was wrong.”

She’s right and wrong on this. The intelligence about WMD does appear to have been incorrect. Her main point doesn’t seem to address the daily shots at American and British fighters enforcing the no fly zone, nor does it seem to take into account the reward that Saddam offered to the surviving family members of suicide bombers.

"How much further would we be in the effort to defeat Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, who perpetrated the attacks in the United States, Africa, and the Middle East, if President Bush had not allowed the focus of the war on terrorism to be diverted by invading Iraq?”

Right, because not invading Iraq would have allowed us to ignore Pakistani sovereignty more easily and just invade our ally in the effort to find Saddam.

“How much progress could we make in keeping the world's most dangerous weapons out of dangerous hands if we were not spending $5 billion a month in Iraq?”

So now we need to invade Iran or North Korea? Suddenly the UN is not good enough to reign in Iran and the multi-lateral talks with North Korea are a waste of time. It’s a good thing that I expect consistency from the Democrats these days, it helps explain these things. Whatever Bush does, we support the opposite – even if it requires us to take a contradictory view of our previous rhetoric.

“The president claims that there are more than 200,000 trained and equipped Iraqi security personnel. Although many political and stability challenges remain, those are challenges for the Iraqi people to address. There are ways for the United States to make Iraq more stable that do not require 160,000 U. S. troops in Iraq and which would make the American people safer and the Middle East more secure. The president should recognize that fact and send that message to the American people and the Iraqis."

I can’t find a lot to comment about with this one. I really like the claim of “There are ways for the United States to make Iraq more stable that do not require 160,000 U. S. troops in Iraq” – I’d like to know what we could do to make Iraq more stable without a troop presence to assist with security in the country.

Maybe we could bring the Germans in to train the security forces in Iraq as they are in Afghanistan. They’ve done such a wonderful job there.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A day late.. Dammit

I meant to post this yesterday, but I'm battling a nasty cold over here and the NyQuil prevents me from thinking properly.

Yesterday (12/13/05) marks the 4th anniversary of the date that the metal community lost one of it's greats.

For those of you that don't know of whom I am speaking, I am referring to one Chuck Schuldiner of Death/Control Denied fame.





In honor of his passing his family has posted a video interview conducted with Chuck and Gene (Hoglan) here. They have also located and released the last (and heretofore unknown) issue of The Metal Crusade, you may download it here.

Of all the musicians that have left us (Dimebag included), Chuck is the one that I miss the most, he did so much to help mold and shape an entire genre of music that he is sorely missed.

I still remember the first time I heard Death. Spiritual Healiung had just been released and a buddy of mine had picked it up on vinyl. He popped it in the record player and asked if I was ready to hear metal as I had never heard it before. As Living Monstrosity began, I was intrigued, but didn't fall in love immediately, that happened on the next track "Altering the Future". I had never heard such menacing vocals and thundering guitars before. I knew by the time I finished listening to the album that Anthrax and Megadeth just wouldn't cut it for me anymore... I was hooked and hooked bad.

With that said, I guess the only thing I can say at this point is, farewell Chuck, and know that you are still missed. R.I.P

Monday, December 12, 2005

Cool Dimbag Tribute Video

Click here!

Weighing in on Tookie

At 12:01 A.M. Pacific Standard Time Tuesday morning, Tookie Williams, founder of the violent L.A. street gang “The Crips”, will become the 12th person to be put to death in California since the reinstatement of the death penalty back in 1977. He was convicted of the murder of a convenience store clerk during a robbery, and of the murders of three people including a child in a hotel. All of the witnesses in these cases were all criminals as well that were given generous plea bargain deals for their testimony against Williams.In the years since Tookie was placed on death row, he has become very outspoken opponent of violent street gangs. He has authored many children’s books warning of the dangers of joining gangs, and has even been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize as well as various literature prizes. Now, many local civic leaders, national politicians, and celebrities have spoken out to try to save Tookie’s life. They are begging Gov. Schwarzenegger to grant clemency and reduce William’s sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Unlike the majority of liberals, I am pro-death penalty. I do, however, think that our justice system is fundamentally flawed and that executing just one innocent person is one too many. With this case, I’m torn. The Crips are responsible for the deaths of thousands of people, and I’m pretty sure that Williams was involved to a certain degree in the crimes that he was convicted. Williams has failed o offer any type of an apology to the families of the victims, and has repeatedly denied any connection to the crimes. On the other hand, if Williams is executed, I believe that L.A. is going to erupt in violence, which may result in the deaths of even more people. For this reason, I believe that Gov. Schwarzenegger should reduce the sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole. What do you think?

Update and additional Info from Osgiliath

Thankfully LA did not erupt in violence over the death of Tookie. I'm providing a link from a guy who grew up in LA around the time the gangs were forming. Visit it and take a read, it's worth the time.



Friday, December 09, 2005

Something I'm toying with

Check this out! This is a new blog that I just created. We have places to discuss music and politics, but what about sports. I know I'm almost as passionate about sports as I am about music and politics, so check this out and let me know what you all think.

BigSportsDay

Osgiliath reviews the COB show in DC 12/8

Greetings all!!

I attended the Children of Bodom show in DC last night and thought I would share my impressions of the bands that performed. As expected and hoped for Amon Amarth tore up the stage. These guys are fucking awesome live!! Johan has great stage presence and did a fantastic job getting the crowd fired up. The setlist was a nice selection of tracks from their new and older albums. I'll definately be seeing these guys again.

After Amon Amarth cleared the stage I went ahead and picked up my shirts for COB and Amon. Trivium took the stage at about 9PM. I was and am decidedly unimpressed with these guys. The vocal work was lacking and the guitar playing was incredibly sloppy. They did do a tribute to Dimebag towards the end of their set and played a bit of Walk. During this tribute was the only time the crowd seemed to come to life. Most tellingly for me was they stopped playing Walk right before the solo was to begin, I assume that this was because they are unable to do so.

The primary reason Trivium seemed to be on the tour was that they brought a decent selection of female fans to the show. Kind of refreshing after the normal sausage fests that we've all become accustomed to witnessing.

COB hit the stage at about 10PM. I wan't to keen on 'Are you Dead Yet', so I had some reservations about their setlist. I didn't need to worry. Children put on one of the best shows I've ever seen. I was thrilled to find out that Angels Don't Kill made the setlist for the tour. The highlights of COB weren't the songs, rather it was the drum solo and the dual of keyboards and guitar that they did so the other band members could take a break. Having watched the keyboard/guitar dual I have to say that I am extremely impressed with the keyboardists ability.

This is a must watch show, hopefully you'll be lucky enough to go to see it at a club that let's you exit the facility and come back in. This certainly helped kill 10 minutes from the 1 1/2 hour crapfext that was Trivium...

Coming next Morbid Angel. Hopefully these guys are able to put on a decent show now that Vincent is back in the fold......

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Dimebag Darrell Abbott Rest In Peace

Dimebag Darrell Abbott
1966-2004


On December 8, 2004, a date which will live in heavy metal infamy, Darrell Abbott was shot and killed by a merciless killer whose sole purpose was to inflict pain and suffering upon Dimebag's family and the heavy metal masses. It has been a year since Dime was brutally murdered. The wounds have yet to heal. Some have moved on. Others, like me, think about Dime everyday. I hope he's jamming in heaven with Randy Rhoads, Cliff Burton, Jimmy Hendrix, and even John Lennon (also murdered today), all while God sits back and enjoys the show, eventually showing them how it's really done! Vinnie, we all know we can't feel what you've felt. It must be terrible feeling alone without your mother or Dime at your side. At least mother Abbott gets to be with one of her sons already. You'll be there someday dude, we all will!

Rest in Peace to all the other victims of the Alrosa Villa tragedy: Nathan Bray, Erin Halk, and Jeff Thompson. Nathan Gale, you're a troubled soul, and hopefully you're paying for your crime.

Everyone feel free to post directly on the front page with your thoughts (especially you BigNewsDay).

From BigNewsDay:

I can’t believe it has already been a year. A year since that day; that awful day when our friend, brother was taken from us so senselessly. Growing up in Arlington, seeing Dime around was so commonplace, that I never really paid much attention to it. I would see him at the smallest of gigs to the largest arena concerts in town. I remember seeing Pantera play at Rascals down in the river-bottoms back in the mid-eighties, and then play at Reunion Arena opening up for Black Sabbath in the late nineties. In between, I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen them play. Metalworks, Joe’s Garage, The Basement, The Backroom in Austin, HardRocks in Lawton, or even at the Tattoo Bar with his side-band Gasoline. When Dime was alive and kicking much ass, I guess I failed to appreciate him as much I should have, because now it is fucked knowing I’ll never get to see him slay audiences with his guitar again.

Please share your thoughts and memories with us as we remember Dime and all the great music he gave us.

With love and respect,
BND

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

War on OPEC: How America will end the energy crisis (Part I)


You don’t need a degree in accounting to understand that there is something wrong with Exxon-Mobil posting $9,800,000,000.00 in profit for a 3-month period where they suffered major infrastructure damage from 2 of the strongest hurricanes on record. The reason we are constantly being extorted by the unjust price of fossil fuel is threefold: The OPEC nations that manipulate the market in order to demand outrageous prices, the OPEC-inspired lie and scare tactic that the world will soon run out of oil, and the domestic oil corporations and non-OPEC oil producing nations who play by their rules. All parties involved are stealing billions of dollars every month from the entire world.

Our own government receives regular kickbacks from lobbyists hired by all guilty parties, and therefore conveniently ignores the problem for the benefit of their own riches. This is not a Bush “H.W., 41” and a Bush “W, 43” accomplishment only, although both have done more than their share to maintain the status quo of “highway robbery” in the most literal sense. Both parties (red and blue, here) are incestuously related with Saudi riches and influence, leaving us, the consumer, leaving more of our hard-earned wealth behind for the purchase of a basic commodity. In short, if the market for grain or rice were manipulated like the oil market is, legal actions and even war would likely follow. To manipulate the price of food would leave human beings to die of starvation in a non-capitalist, fascist cash-grab by the cartel that controls the market.

To overcome the many myths surrounding the oil market is to be an enlightened and educated consumer. At this stage in human history, oil is every bit as vital as grain and rice for the survival of much of our population. To manipulate supply in order to create bloated prices and worldwide shortages is not only cruel (and illegal according to the World Trade Organization), but it is wickedly inhumane also. You and I, being relatively wealthy Americans, will do little more than complain about gasoline which costs $3 or more per gallon, but that same price might mean that a supply truck might not be able to make the trip to your village in Somalia.

The lie of a worldwide shortage has been justifying bloated crude prices for the past 45 years, and I for one am sick to the point of action of being held hostage by a myth that has overwhelming evidence to disprove. Of course the world would run out of oil one day if we did nothing to change course, we are but a sphere in space, and that sphere can only hold a known volume. What is that volume? Nobody knows exactly, but every geological report NOT financed by oil cartels or legal corporations says that we are roughly 1/3 of the way pumped out of crude oil as we know it, with at least twice that volume in other forms of oil that we do not yet process for gasoline. We will never pump the last drop of oil out of the earth, and here’s why:

In the pre-industrial age, wood-fired furnaces fueled factories. When they realized that wood, the fuel source, might run out at their rate of consumption, other avenues for energy were explored. Coal was introduced, and took over as a much more profitable fuel. Once coal was feared to be in shortage, alternatives were once again sought after. Oil became a viable fuel, and it proved even more beneficial than coal. Now that we’ve progressed through history, have we run out of wood and coal? Of course not. Stop panicking; we will discover the next generation of fuels when the market says the time is right. According to the market, we probably have another 10 years of carefree oil consumption, but due to our anti-capitalist friends at OPEC, we no longer have a choice. The time for an alternative fuel is now, so that we can begin the long-overdue backlash at OPEC for over 45 years of marketplace terrorism.

Environmentally speaking, we will benefit from cleaner, more advanced fuels. Producing fuel domestically will also help to counterbalance America’s gaping trade deficit, empowering the US dollar. The reason we must push this issue to the forefront is because OPEC must be punished for their crimes against not just America, but humanity, and banished into a shameful death in this sad chapter of an otherwise wonderfully productive period in human history: The Oil Age.

In part II of this post (a bit later this week- hopefully!) I will explain the details of the three-point strategy we must pursue to break OPEC’s grip on the world economy. If left unchecked, OPEC will destroy the world’s economic prosperity, and continue to fund the Islamic terrorists that will expand their fight against our very way of life so long as we keep sending them our wealth in exchange for the “black gold” beneath their feet in the desert. Americans are the greatest of innovators, and now it is time to prove that we will lead the world into an energy-independent future.

Yours in Freedom,

The BlackLabelAxe

Note: I borrowed many ideas from Raymond J. Learsy’s book, “Over a Barrel: Breaking the Middle East Oil Cartel”. This was written 100% by me, however I've linked the title to his book on Amazon.com, out of respect for Mr. Learsy's work. I would highly recommend this book if you hate economic terrorism as much as I do.

BigNewsDay says:

I agree Axe! A great alternative is biodiesel. Willie Nelson has started a biodiesel production and distribution company down here in Texas. Find out more by clicking here.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Those Were the Days...

James Hetfield and Dimebag Darrell Abbott (RIP)

I sure miss the days when Metallica employed the thrash metal attitude. But I really miss the days when Dimebag was alive! Why was he taken from us so soon? In three days, we will see the first anniversary of the legend's murder. It still hurts. It still chokes me up when I listen to Cemetery Gates or Hollow. I dedicate this entire week to Dimebag Darrell's memory. I miss you Dime. I still can't get over taking you for granted for so long. Rest in Peace bro'.

Friday, December 02, 2005

New Feature for Posting Diaries

Hello All! I've made some changes to the template. Click on the link below for more info.

As you can see, I added post summaries to our blog. I did this since we've been having some awesome, but long, posts. As more people join The Metal Pundit, were likely to have many posts on a given day. Therefore, post summaries will solve the problem of shorter posts being "hidden" in a sea of longer posts. You'll see a tag in the "edit html" tab in the post editor. Add your summary before the tag, and the rest inside the tags. As a general rule, use post summaries when your post is 3 paragraphs or longer, or if you feel it takes up much of the front page. You need not use post summaries if your post is shorter. If you have trouble using this, or if you have any questions, feel free to email me.

Hopefully this will improve this blog and make it more enjoyable for everyone. In the meantime, I'll be looking for other ways to improve it. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Censorship: How the government OWN3D us all

The FCC never fails to amaze me with their blatant defiance of our blood-ransomed right to free speech. Where did they get the term "acceptable for community standards" out of this black-and-white decree?:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

According to Dictionary.com, to abridge means to "reduce in scope while retaining essential elements". It seems to me the fathers made it very clear that in no way shall the government step on the freedom of the press, or anyone's right to speak or broadcast whatever they wish.

In practice, this might be debatable if we were talking about public broadcast media, subsidized by tax money. Instead, we're talking about cable television, which all customers must pay per month to view. Basically, we've got the FCC now telling Comedy Central, telling South Park (and others) what they can and can't show to an audience of paying customers. If that's not evil enough for you, I'll leave you with a Patrick Henry quote to wake you up to the severity of it:

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined."

-Partick Henry, to the Virginia Convention of June 5, 1788

As always, I'll remind you that a revolution of ideas will likely suffice, but we need to combat this usurpation of Constitutional Rights with whatever means are necessary. Our freedom, and our very lives depend on it. Our ancestors fought King George's mighty Redcoat Army in places like Lexington, Concorde, and Valley Forge in order to secure these freedoms for future generations of free Americans. It is a sad day when the very government we installed to protect ourselves has grown into such a monster that it feels it can control the freedoms of the citizens it derives its power from. We can honor the sacrifice of all our patriots of both the pen and the sword by protecting these sacred rights, and not allowing some non-elected buerocrat in Washington to decide what ideas we may consume.

Welcome Late Nite Ralph

Greetings everyone! I would like to welcome Late Nite Ralph to this growing community. I don't know what his political philosophy is, but I would sure like him to share it with us someday. Nevertheless, he will be a great addition to The Metal Pundit. The more metalipundits the better!

You will probably notice I changed the color of the Blogger navigation bar from black to silver. How do you guys like it this way? Also, if any of you guys know how to do the whole html stuff, feel free to make improvements to this blog. I haven't had much time to improve the overall appearance. Any ideas are welcome. Drop me an email with any changes you plan to make and I'll most likely agree. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

SCOTUS Review of Abortion Law

The Supreme Court began reviewing a New Hampshire law that requires under-18 girls to notify their parents if they want to get an abortion. This is a pivotal case because it will illustrate the course Chief Justice Robert's court will take regarding women's rights. Furthermore, this may be the beginning of an even more bitter fight between choice advocates and anti-abortionists. Here are some snippets of the Reuters article explaining this event. You can find the the full article here.

Why is this case important? Reuters gives us a brief explanation:
Arguments on the New Hampshire law will be the first abortion case for new Chief Justice John Roberts. It could give some indication whether he supports giving states more power to restrict abortions.

Roberts, who was nominated by President George W. Bush, has never ruled on an abortion case. At his Senate confirmation hearing, he declined to say how he would vote on future cases.


The case presents the issue of whether state parental notification laws must provide an exception when the minor's health is at risk.

The New Hampshire law required that a parent be notified 48 hours in advance of any abortion for anyone under age 18. It provides an exception when the minor's life is in danger, but not for medical emergencies that are not life-threatening.


Looks like this will be a true fight! Wingnuttia and its radical regime will surely unleash a fierce campaign supporting the law. However, the pro-choice crowd has history on its side:

In its last abortion decision in 2000, the Supreme Court ruled that state abortion laws must provide an exception to protect the pregnant woman's health. It struck down a Nebraska law that banned a type of abortion procedure.

A federal judge and a U.S. appeals court declared the New Hampshire law unconstitutional because it lacked provisions for an exception involving a medical emergency. The law, adopted in 2003, has never been enforced.


Despite this advantage, the fight will be unrelenting!

The high court has said a law is unconstitutional when it posed an undue burden on women in a large percentage of cases. It will consider whether a more difficult standard should be used, striking down the law only when the burden is unconstitutional in all cases.


Whatever happens with this case will set the tone for things to come. Will Roe v Wade be overturned someday? Will the Supreme Court give states more authority on this issue? Or will things remain the same? We'll have to wait and see.

I wasn't going to do this, but I will share my personal views on abortion. As a male, I don't know shit about being pregnant or giving birth to a child. As a young single guy with no kids, I don't know how difficult it is to raise children. I think the practice of abortion, which kills the possibility of a new child, is horrible, especially for the woman experiencing this trauma. It's a hard decision to make, and there are physical implications to it as well.

Nevertheless, being a man who will never give birth to a child (lucky for us, huh guys?), I can't look at a woman and tell her she can't make such a decision. When a woman chooses abortion simply because she doesn't want the child, I am sickened! However, when a woman knows she won't be able to care for the child, or that her health is at risk, I understand. I also understand that conservatives are wrong when they say abortion kills actual human beings. There's a fatal assumption, that embryos, zygotes, and fetuses are equal to a newborn child. But I also understand that fetuses et al are living things.

Perhaps I'm just talking out of my ass here. I have a hard time articulating my point of view on this issue. And I think that's the key. For those of us who don't understand, let's step aside and have those who do, women, decide. In a nutshell, I'm pro-choice. But I sure wish abortions didn't exist!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Metal Pundit Wishes Everyone a
Happy Thanksgiving!


A little humor from the left:

Alright metalheads and political pundits, have a kick-ass Thanksgiving! Enjoy your family and friends, eat some turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, pies, and etc., drink until you drop, and listen to some heavy fucking metal. Most importantly, be thankful for all the good things we have in life. Enjoy and have a kick-ass weekend! I'll be heading to my sister's house, where I'll likely drink several Corona's and Goose Island's (Chicago beer).

This doesn't mean you can't post stories. Do so if you wish. Take care!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Abramoff Scandal Escalating

From Hardball with Chris Matthews,

Jack Abramoff, a legendary Republican lobbyist, is getting closer to facing charges, stemming from a scandal involving Indian Tribes, bought Congressmen, and a host of Republican political/government elites.

Tom DeLay, the bastion of honesty and integrity, attempted to have charges against him dismissed by a Texas judge. Unfortunately for him, the charges aren't going away anytime soon. Yesterday, Republican big-shot Michael Scanlon, plead guilty on charges that he conspired to "defraud Indian tribes of millions of dollars and then bribe government officials, including a member of Congress, Republican Bob Ney of Ohio". He is said to be cooperating with federal investigators, and this has Abramoff and DeLay shaking in their boots. Why? Both are very close to Scanlon, and the uncovering of hidden graves will implicate Abramoff and DeLay.

According to Norm Ornstein, a Congressional expert of the American Enterprise Institute:

This is a scandal that could reverberate over the next couple of years and implicate many members of Congress, top administration officials and major outside political operatives...


As you can see, this isn't a small scandal. This is huge!

To further illustrate, Lawrence Barcella, a Washington Defense attorney said:

There'’s a good possibility given at least the relationship that we have seen so far in the press, I think there'’s a good possibility that Scanlon knows everything that Abramoff knows...

And if that's the case, then to the extent that there are bodies buried, he knows where every one of them likely is...


Abramoff and his peers are huge players in the conservative revolution. If he is charged and convicted of this conspiracy, which earned him $82 million, it will send shockwaves throughout Washington.

"Others touched by the investigation include Christian Coalition founder Ralph Reed, anti-tax guru Grover Norquist, and Republican Congressman John Doolittle, whose wife worked with Abramoff." (msnbc.com)

Most importantly, in my opinion:
Republicans in Washington remain worried that a big trial in the Abramoff case may add to the Democrats` argument that the GOP is breeding this culture of corruption.


The Republicans are just fucking themselves up. Looks like the Democrats haven't had to do anything. Democratic politicians have finally grown some balls, and they haven't used them all that much. For what? The GOP is fucking itself up. Whatever happened to "compassionate conservatism" and "moral values"? They were never there. Just some campaign slogan bullshit.

Read the entire article here, or click the title link. Enjoy!

Buying votes with tax money!

Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) has sponsored a tax refund that may be worth up to $50,000,000 over 10 years. Tax cuts are always a good thing, the problem is that they only apply to residents of Puerto Rico with children, who already don't pay income taxes. Curiously, her office would not explain why she did this. Clinton is the only sponsor of this bill.

Clinton is making appeasements to the very large Puerto Rican constituency in New York in exchange for easy votes in her upcoming re-election campaign, and she's doing it with our money. To manipulate the tax code in exchange for votes has all the markings of corruption on it, and we must not tolerate it for one second. Of course she's not the first one to try (or succeed) at buying votes with tax money, but this is a woman who has a great chance of becoming our next president. I'm not interested in starting red vs. blue debate here, because both parties have been or currently are guilty of the same thing. Currently, our tax scheme leaves the door wide open for abuse by politicians and their corporate lobbyists. This is blackmail at the election polls, and this threatens the very essence of Democracy.

Proposed solution #1

If you're tired of government blackmail, the purchasing of votes with taxpayer's money, and special interest lobbyists running our Legislative branch, we vote to ratify the Fair Tax Amendment. This gives politicians no leverage to buy votes, and lobbyists have no loopholes to hide in while they push corporate agendas.

Proposed solution #2

Don't vote for Hillary, even if you're Puerto Rican with children and it costs your family back home a bit more (read: what everyone else pays).

I'll support either solution, preferably both.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Caseys Mom to release book

Good old Mrs. Sheehan is back in the news again, this time sheÂ’s having a book published about her exploits at Camp Casey. Of course, it's all about getting the troops home safely and having another meeting with Bush, isn't it? While I can certainly sympathize with her, I canÂ’t get behind her making money off the death of her son.

This woman has unfortunately sold out the memory of her son as well as the sons and daughters of others in an effort to make a political point. Given her conduct since establishing Camp Casey, I have to wonder if it was ever her true intention to camp out in Crawford until she met Bush (again). SheÂ’s coming off more and more as nothing more than an opportunist.

From the Left (by Lefty Metalhead)

I would rather not comment on Cindy Sheehan's plan for publishing a book about her vigils in Camp Casey. The Sheehan debate is old and her mention is mostly used nowadays for partisan attack. I will, however, link Sheehan's message of asking the Bush administration to give Americans an honest statement on why we went to war in Iraq, to what's happening. In other words, we haven't found WMD's (at least to the extent Bush claimed they had), there was no link between 9/11 and Iraq, and Al Qaeda didn't set up shop in Iraq until we got there. Did we go to free the Iraqi people? Come on, we're not that nice! Sheehan succeeded in getting America's attention on the Iraq quagmire. At the moment, the Bush administration and the right-wing smear machine are working hard to quiet anyone who speaks out.

Now, Mr. Cheney has made an interesting claim. He said:
Those who advocate a sudden withdraw from Iraq should answer a couple simple questions. Would the United States and other free nations be better off or worse off with Zarqawi, Bin Laden and Zawahiri in control Iraq? Would we be safer or less safe with Iraq ruled by men intent upon the destruction of our country.

Huh? Where's the evidence? He suggests that if U.S. troops leave Iraq, the Iraqi forces will be incapable of defending Iraq against terrorists. Therefore, Iraq will be eventually ruled by Osama himself!

What's funny (and hypocritical) is what Defense Secretary Rumsfeld had to say yesterday:

People who denigrate their competence and capability are flat wrong. TheyÂ’re making a mistake. They either donÂ’t understand the situation or theyÂ’re trying to confuse it, but the Iraqi security forces are well respected by the Iraqi people. TheyÂ’re doing a very good job.
Hmm? Who shall we believe here? More Bush-bullshit courtesy of your friend from the left.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Talking Point for the Weekend

Murtha's Bravery and the Subsequent Republican Smear Campaign.

-Has Congressman Murtha changed the Iraq debate? How?

-Can the GOP discredit or smear an accomplished Vietnam veteran?

-How will Bush and Cheney respond to Murtha's comment about it being easy for draft-dodgers to send kids to war?

-Thoughts on the seemingly failed GOP political stunt, sending a vote on a proposition to the floor of the House.

Let's get a great discussion going about this as the weekend begins. I think Murtha has hit the Bush administration hard and where it hurts! Some GOP have come out defending Murtha (Henry fucking Hyde? Can't believe it!). Have a kick-ass weekend and make sure to listen to some fucking brutal shit! I'll be listening to the new Children of Bodom and Old Man's Child.

Friday, November 18, 2005

12/8 is quickly aproaching

December 8 will forever be known as one of the most fucked up days in music history. On this date two assholes took from us two of the greatest musical minds in history. On December 8, 1980, Mark David Chapman could no longer fight the demons in his head. He waited all day for his prey, and even took time to shake the hand of his baby boy. Later that evening, as Chapman waited and became more and more furious, John Lennon's Limo pulls up and the rest is history.

Twenty-four years later, in a small club in Columbus, OH, another sick fuck decides to strike. It has almost been a year now since that sorry son of a bitch took Dime from us. People may think what they want of Dime, Pantera, or Damageplan, but take it from someone who grew up in the same town as the Abbott brothers; this man didn't deserve this shit.

I remember back in the early to mid eighties, when Pantera was first starting out here in Arlington. They would play little shithole clubs but would always pack them in. I was not a fan of Pantera at all growing up. I considered their music cheesier than Def Leppard's music, who at the time pretty much ruled the cheesy music scene. I remember days of going to school depressed for some reason or another, but always being cheered up when I saw how ridiculous Darrell (who went by the name Diamond Darrell Lance back in those days) looked. You could see him about 75 yards down a packed hallway because his hair towered about two feet over his head (that may be a slight exaggeration but you get the point.) And as I would get closer, I would generally have to fight the laughter. This dude would be wearing your standard leopard print sleeveless t-shirt, spandex with bandanas tied all the way up them, and a bullet belt, but what always seemed to get me was the big furry Eskimo boots. Even though at the time I had no respect for this dude, I knew deep inside that he was bound for greatness.

To be continued...

Lefty Metalhead's 2 Cents:

On December 8, 2004, I had a relaxing Wednesday evening. This newfound relaxation was welcome after 10 relentless weeks of Fall quarter work at DePaul University in Chicago. I had several difficult courses, a full-time job, and worked on Senator Obama's campaign. I remember spending the day practicing guitar, listening to metal, and reading books on political strategy (trying to find out why the Dems lost again in 2004). I didn't bother to turn the television on.

The next day, I had an appointment at the Volvo dealer where I had just purchased my new S60 2.4T. They had given me a free polish/wax and interior detail, so I decided to take advantage of it on that day. When I got there, the manager told me they were backed-up. I was pissed off because it was only 9:00 am and they already had too much work. So I had to wait. I walked over to a Walgreens a block away. I remember buying some fruit and a bottle of water. I sat at a bench outside the store and decided to call my buddy Jon. The first thing he told me upon answering was "did you hear the brothers from Pantera were killed last night?" Obviously, he was misinformed. Only Dime had been killed along with crew members and fans. I couldn't believe it. I felt horrible. I actually cried! As soon as I got home, I blasted "Cemetery Gates" and "Hollow", read the latest news on Blabbermouth, and created a makeshift memorial in my bedroom. It's still hanging on the wall today (I'll put a picture up on 12/8). I still haven't fully recovered from the thought of never seeing Dimebag shred again. I had just seen Damageplan at the House of Blues two weeks earlier (November 21). Charlie Benante from Anthrax was there and some other dudes.

As BigNewsDay said, this is to be continued...

"It will never change, so here it stays, forever is my name"

Links of the day

(cross-posted from BigNewsDay)
Here are two funny links that have been e-mailed to me today

"Deferred Success" is new term for failure?

The Rude Pundit's story about Ann Coulter's C**t

Progress in Iraq?

Greetings all! As you all probably know, there are two fierce debates going on at this moment in Washington D.C. One is in regard to the "intelligence" that led to the war, questions about the Bush administration's honesty, and whether senators had access to the same information the White House did. We're hearing the Republican talking heads raise questions about Democratic senators who voted for the war and have recently called it a mistake (ie John Edwards). According to these Democrats, they didn't have access to the same information as did the White House. The Bush administration along with loyal partisans are claiming that all the intelligence was available across the board. So who's right?

The second debate is about setting a timeline, or at least a plausible plan, to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq. When do we get out of there? How do we know it is time? Why have troops been killed almost daily even when the insurgency has been in its "last throes" for months?

The Bush administration and the right-wing talking heads have consistently claimed that there is significant progress in Iraq, which is ignored by the mainstream media, or "liberal media". I'm not trying to throw mud at the right here, but I wish to ask the following question: What progress has been made in Iraq, besides the few elections that have been held? I ask this question not to piss anyone off, but as a humble request to learn something to which I haven't been exposed.

I would enjoy an in-depth discussion here about the various topics I have touched upon. I'll outline them here again (for clarity):

1. Debate on intelligence following up to the Iraq war. Did senators have the same info as the W.H. or is the Bush administration smoking the mirrors?

2. Debate on withdrawal of troops. When is it appropriate to start withdrawing? Should we have such a plan?

3. What progress has been made in Iraq? We know having elections is hardly a democracy, so what else has been accomplished? Is such progress wishful thinking by the right?

NOTE: If you write a comment which you feel is crucial to this discussion, feel free to post it here. If you think it's too long for the front page, you can put a preview paragraph and tell the reader that your comment continues in the "comments" page. ENJOY!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Yet more corruption in Government

Thus far, we’ve got 33 lawmakers who were engaged with our favorite lobbyist Abramoff (see Tom Delay and Nancy Pelosi). This time we’ve got Harry Reid and Dennis Hastert leading the way in a money for influence scheme. I’ll update with a complete listing of the assholes involved in this so that those of you affected may contact your elected officials to express your displeasure.

This is not a Republican or a Democrat thing. This is about right and wrong. I can see, understand and forgive neglecting to report a $2000 donation, but when the totals get to $100,000 (Hastert) or $66,000 (Reid) I become extremely skeptical that the politicians in question “forgot” to report it.

All 33 scum sucking swine are now listed. If anyone needs contact information for their reps. just let me know.

BigNewsDay says: I hear ya! Do you happen to know any toll-free numbers? This is going to get expensive. Maybe I can get some donations. Hmm. I'll call Abramoff.

Update

I've got the final list of the illustrious 33 who were involved in this one. I'll give Abramoff credit on this one, he seems to have gotten better at working the left and the right. As I've now got the complete list below, I have removed the prior listing. The people whose names are italicized are ones I could reasonably understand having forgot about the donation or had it fall through the cracks. That doesn't exonerate them, but it doesn't seem they were really playing hard on this and they could well be innocent of wrongdoing. The only one who seems to have done the right thing is David Vitter (R-S.C) who refunded the donations back in 2002.

Trent Lott (R-Miss.) $92,000
Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) $82,500
Harry Reid (D-Nev.) $67,441
Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) $62,500
Mary Landrieu (D-La.) $32,000
John Breaux (D-La.) $27,500
John Ensign (R-Nev.) $16,293
David Vitter (R-La.) $6,000 (Vitter refunded these donations on Feb, 18, 2002)
Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) $2,750

HOUSE
Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) $103,500
John Doolittle (R-Calif.) $64,500
Tom DeLay (R-Texas) $57,000
Chris John (D-La.) $56,625
Jim McCrery (R-La.) $36,250
Eric Cantor (R-Va.) $31,500
Ernest Istook (R-Okla.) $29,000
Pete Sessions (R-Texas) $22,500
Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) $20,100
Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) $6,000
Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.)$4,000
Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) $3,000
John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) $2,500
Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) $2,500
Sue Myrick (R-La.) $2,000
Ronnie Shows (R-Miss.) $2,000
Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) $2,000
Melissa Hart (R-Pa.) $2,000
Sam Johnson (R-Texas) $2,000
Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) $1,750
Walter Jones (R-N.C.) $1,000
Virgil Goode (R-Va.) $1,000
Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) $1,000
Jim Ryun (R-Kan.) $500

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Check out this video

Kinky for Governor '06

Next year will be very intersting down here in Texas!

What else has Fitzgerald missed?

So now Bob Woodward is testifying in Plamegate. It seems that he found out about the identity of Valerie Plame about a month before Scooter Libby is accused of doing so. With this level of incompetence showing in Fitzgeralds investigation what else could he have missed?

How do you run an investigation of Bush administration officials leaking Plames identity to the press and not even think to question the Assistant Managing Editor of the WaPo? Not to mention that he's probably the most famous journalist in the United States.

After nearly two years of investigating this, Fitzgerald seems to be no closer to figuring out who was first to leak Plames name to the media.

FROM THE LEFT (courtesy of Lefty Metalhead):

I wouldn't jump to such conclusions just yet. There are currently two theories regarding Woodward's recent comments. The first one indicates that Woodward secretly knows all the dirt regarding Cheney/Rove and Bush, and he will try to take them down with him. The second, which seems more plausible to me, is that Woodward is trying to put smoke in the air, thus bringing up questions regarding the credibility of Fitzgerald's investigation. Perhaps Woodward is in cahoots with some of Cheney's people (he could actually be Woodward's source) to discredit Fitzgerald and bring Libby some light at the end of the tunnel.

While compelling, the question isn't whether Fitzgerald investigated properly or not. I will suggest, however, that the question(s) be: What does Woodward really know, and why is he speaking-out NOW? Interesting stuff.

At this point, both Osgiliath and I can be right about this. We'll have to wait and see. Great post dude, you beat me to it!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Children of Bodom Show

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Children of Bodom show at the House of Blues in Chicago. The show met all my expectations as it delivered pummelling metal, enraging the sold-out crowd.

The openers, Amon Amarth, proved to be one of the best in the "Viking Metal" genre. They got the crowd going as soon as they struck the first chord. I have never seen an opening band rile the crowd like they did. Their set was crushing. Punishing riffery, solid guitar solos, and machine-gun drumming created several mosh pits that humbled even the most seasoned metal fans. Impressive!

Trivium, the young band headed by Matt Heafy, had a large following in the crowd. I was able to spot the "metalcore" kids rather easily. I feared for them, for I thought they would engage in their "karate kid" mosh style. However, they moshed in the traditional circle pits called upon by Heafy himself. As for the music, Trivium, although not as solid as Amon Amarth, played a brutal set. They demonstrated that they can hang with the tough guys. Both guitarrists played impressive guitar solos throughout their set, proving that these guys mean business. These dudes have the skills to be huge, but they must grow musically before that happens. In my opinion, they are still looking for their distinct sound/style. Once they find it, watch out!

Children of Bodom finally took the stage. The crowd was chanting "Bodom, Bodom, Bodom" rather loudly. They started off with a tune from "Follow the Reaper" and it sounded amazing! Soon thereafter, they were ripping songs from "HateCrew Deathroll", "Hatebreeder", and the newest album "Are You Dead Yet?" The trade-off solos by Alexi Laiho and keyboardist Janne Warman were jaw-dropping! The sound was phenomenal. The playing was perfect. The vibe was unforgettable. COB inspired the most violent crowd I have ever seen since Slayer! It was mayhem! I'm still trying to put all my thoughts together at this point, so this review may sound somewhat generic. Perhaps I can't put these feelings into words. Awesome show! I give it a 10/10!!!

Osgiliath, make sure you don't miss this one!!!

Gay Marriage Compromise?

As the preparatory groundwork begins for next years elections, gay activists are making noise yet again about how unfair it is that they are not allowed to be legally married in the United States.

As I expect that most of the readers of this site are on the left hand side of the political spectrum, I thought I would share my slightly more conservative views of the issue, and see if some agreement can be worked out on how to handle this issue.

Frankly, I do not support gay marriage as a right. For me, this is not about denying gays the same rights that straight people enjoy, I fully support that notion. My problem is with the label of marriage attached to this. In my mind a marriage is a religious bond in which two people affirm their love and/or commitment for/to each other in the eyes of their God (be it Judeo-Christian, Islam, or what have you)

As much as many liberals want to remove any shred of Christianity from the government, I’d like to remove government from the church. My solution is fairly simple. Stop issuing marriage licenses and make them all civil unions. This way the rights of the gays are not infringed upon and marriage (in the religious sense) has been protected.

I will add one caveat to this. In any law allowing gays the right to “marry” (I’m not clever enough to come up with a new term, and civil unions is fucking lame), an exemption should exist that any church refusing to perform the wedding ceremony may not be prosecuted for discriminatory practices. It is not for the state to interpret the Bible, Koran, etc for the church. This should be left to the church to decide for itself.

So, am I insane, or does this seem like a reasonable compromise between conservatives and liberals? I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Recommended Albums

Now for some heavy metal punditry, here are the albums I'm currently listening to. I recommend them because they kick major ass! Some are old, some are new, just listen! I may post reviews of some of these later today or tomorrow. In the meantime, consider picking them up.

Immortal - Pure Holocaust

Various Artists - Roadrunner United: The All Star Sessions

King Diamond - Abigail

Cryptopsy - Once Was Not

God Forbid - Constitution of Treason

Old Man's Child - Vermin

Grimfist - Ten Steps to Hell

Can't wait to see Children of Bodom this Sunday at the House of Blues!!!

Welcome Osgiliath


Fellow Metal Pundits, welcome our newest contributor, Osgiliath! I will say right off the bat that he is an interesting choice for the Metal Pundit community because he's a conservative, unlike the rest of us. Nevertheless, I chose to invite him as a contributor/administrator for his impeccable intellectual ability and respectful approach to debate. Many of us on the left engage in mudslinging whenever a conservative comes across our path. I believe that is owed to our assumptions about our political opponents. Not all conservatives make foolish remarks like Rush Limbaugh, insensitive claims like Bill O'Reilly, or attempt to smear the left like Michelle Malkin. I'm sure Osgiliath rejects many of the assumptions the right has about us. We're not all Michael Moore's or Hollywood celebrities!

When I created this blog, I intended it to be solely for liberals/progressives. After some thought and experience, I learned that our agreement on most issues will ultimately prove a disservice to our cause - to become more knowledgeable about politics while enjoying heavy fucking metal! We can learn very much being in a purely liberal environment, but such knowledge can become one-dimensional, something the heavy metal culture has always fought against. Therefore, I always thought about inviting people from other ideological stances. However, I never actually tried to find them. Just a few days ago, an anonymous person responded to our posts regarding the White House and other political news items. This person offered insight, logically refuting our arguments, exposing our assumptions, and shedding light on what the other side thinks, all in a polite manner. So I decided to invite this person. I know we will learn to sharpen our arguments and positions from his intellect. While many of us will be at odds with him much of the time, I expect full respect for Osgiliath, for he is now one of us - a fellow metalhead who actually cares about what goes on in this world. I know we will all get along and help this community grow.

Kull and I were contemplating ideas for a Metal Pundit mission statement. He came up with excellent ideas, but my lazy ass never followed through. I think we should collectively rethink what this mission should be (I basically said it in the above paragraph). Let us show the blogosphere that both sides can get along and learn from each other. This blog is growing, let's make sure it becomes one of the great ones!

I have come up with several points which I think we should address before the blog becomes bigger. Please consider them and tell me what you think:

1. We currently make up 7 contributors (another two are pending), so we will be at 9 pretty soon. At that point, we will be 8 liberals with only 1 conservative. Therefore, I ask Osgiliath (or anyone for that matter) to invite any people they know who: 1. Have some interest in heavy metal, 2. Pay attention to politics/current events. My goal is to balance the playing field. So we should get some more conservative (fiscal cons, neocons), libertarians, and others on here. Which brings me to the next point.

2. I would like to have a maximum of 20 (18 ideally, 9 libs, 9 cons) administrators. Everyone who joins after that will be simply a contributor. As you can see, I have high aspirations for this blog, and I can't handle it all myself. Currently, everyone who's a contributor is also an administrator. We will use this to remove potential trolls or random jagoffs who come on here and talk shit.

3. We have to come up with a set of rules. So ideas are welcome. Nothing too complex or restraining (ie mandatory posting, maximum # of comments, etc), just some guidelines for posting comments (respect for others, no personal attacks, etc.).

4. Last but not least, LET'S TALK ABOUT HEAVY METAL!!! We definitely need more of this.

Otherwise, enjoy and let's get rolling! Please take time to visit BigNewsDay's blog. I'm not sure how big he wants to get, but he may want some contributors. Oh yeah, let's get some girls on here. We need to know what they think too!

Only in Cali

Every time I think I've heard it all, California makes the news again. This time the voters elected a man in prison for a parole violation of his 1998 conviction of spousal abuse and drug possession.

I know, big deal. He's a politician and all politicians are crooks. We've all heard it before. Well, this one has a slight crinkle that I found interesting, this wife beating drug user has been elected to the school board there. It seems the ever diligent voters picked him because his name was at the top of the ballot.

German Chancellorship resolved

While Americans have been focusing on Katrina, gas prices and off year elections in the US, Germany has gone about figuring out whether or not Schroeder would step down after losing the election. At this point Merkel will become Germany's first Chancellor.

A deal was reached in a grand party coalition that will raise the VAT from 16% to 19% and with the Social Democrats recieving assurance that Germany's nuclear reactors will still shutdown by 2021.

Hopefully, Merkel will be able to revive the German economy as well as strengthen ties with Washington.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

US Troops using Chemical Warfare in Falluja

Watch this video posted by Italian state television. This is quite disturbing if this is true. Hey Kull, can you provide feedback as to the legitimacy of this website and TV station?
Click Here

Lefty Metalhead:

How low can our country go? Will the neocons be able to defend this? They will surely try. Next thing we know, they'll be framing this as "fighting fire with fire", "these things happen in war", "what white phosphorous? The liberal media is making this up!". Then we'll hear blundering idiots such as O'Reilly, Hannity, Malkin (that nasty guttersnipe), Coulter, et al saying that criticizing our military for such a "justified" action will only endanger our troops, hence making us anti-(enter either of the following here: American, freedom, democracy, etc). Let us fix this quagmire in 2006 and 2008.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Fucked-Up GOP

Could things get any worse for the Bush administration? Katrina, budget deficits, shameful approval ratings, outing of a CIA agent, Libby, Rove, Cheney, Miers, Frist, DeLay, and etc, indicate that this administration is complete bullshit! These morons asked America to put them in power to fix the wrongs done by the Democrats during the Clinton years, and all they have done is fuck things up over and over. Except for the 101st Fighting Keyboarders in Wingnuttia (Redstate, InstaPundit, that CUNT Malkin, Hannity, Limaugh), the country is beginning to feel putting these hacks in Washington was a mistake. Hell, they want nothing but radicals on the Supreme Court with Alito, the relief judge, going in there to overturn Roe v Wade and go on with his business (Bill Maher's anecdote). It's time for the left to take a stand and remove those bumbling idiots from power. What ever happened to Miers' up-or-down vote? These fucks made such noise about her nomination that she was forced to withdraw. Hypocrisy?

Fellow Metal Pundits, post your thoughts about the current state of affairs within the Bush administration. If you plan to write a lengthy comment, just make it into a front-page post.

\nn/ Lefty

Friday, October 28, 2005

Chicago White Sox Festivities



This photo was taken using my camera phone this morning at the parade. I was standing in front of the Chicago Board of Trade building, on Jackson and LaSalle. You can see the bus carrying some White Sox players. I think this one had Ozzie Guillen on the front of the bus.

This is a pic of closer Bobby Jenks as he exited Midway Airport yesterday. As you can see, I was there too. I was standing right on the corner of 63rd and Central, where the guys had to turn. I was able to see Paul Konerko, Mark Buerhle, Aaron Rowand, Tadahito Iguchi, Carl Everett, Jose Contreras, A.J. Pierzynski, and Ozzie Guillen. Yeah, this close!

This picture was taken by the media. It almost looks like it's snowing! However, the white stuff is confetti and shredded paper thrown down from the upper floors of the surrounding buildings.

Oh how sweet it is? I attended the parade this morning honoring the best fucking baseball team of 2005, my Chicago White Sox! Witnessing the guys pass by was truly amazing, giving me goosebumps and invoking a feeling of nostalgia. I mean, these guys made me love baseball, a sport I hated only 5 years ago. I began supporting these guys ever since, being heartbroken when they lost in 2000 in the Division Series, up to this special moment. I vehemently followed them this season, ever since the first game. Although I knew this team was special, I never thought they would go all the way. Let's just hope the guys (especially Paul Konerko) come back next year to do it again! Ozzie! Ozzie! Ozzie!

First Libby next Rove?

Now that Libby has been indicted and resigned from his post, how high up will this go? Rove looks like he may be indicted shortly but it is hard to say. I do feel that this could lead nearly to the top of the Bush Administration. Many on the Right are not saying much, though I did not listen to Rush or Sean today. Clinton's affairs seem meek compered to outing a CIA agent. This should be taken to the hilt.

Update from Lefty Metalhead:

The wingnuts (the right), at least in the blogosphere (i.e. Redstate), are playing this off as though it isn't a big deal. They are equating Libby's indictment to a Martha Stewart-type wrong-doing. Seems to me as though the right is "not in touch with reality". The implications this will have on the Bush administration will be seen in the coming months. Will we see hard evidence proving Bush's faulty premise for going to war? Will we be exposed to more corrupt individuals in his administration? I say this indictment has opened the floodgates, and Karl Rove may well see trouble coming his way. Merry Fitzmas everyone!!!

On a side note:

Thanks for joining my blog DarqueCarnivalBass. I can see you will be a great addition to this growing community. Please invite friends to join the Metal Pundit. So everyone, let us WELCOME OUR NEWEST CONTRIBUTOR!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Chicago White Sox are the CHAMPS!

After 88 long years, the Chicago White Sox, the southside underdogs, have won the World Series. Congratulations to the Sox, the team which has awarded all Sox fans bragging rights against the Cubs constant failures! Ozzie Guillen did a wonderful job with these guys, and he deserves all the recognition. Dusty Baker is in the dust! Thanks to Konerko, Iguchi, Dye, Rowand, Everett, Podsednik, Pierzynski, Crede, Uribe, Garland, Garcia, Buerhle, Contreras, Jenks, Politte, Cotts, Marte, Vizcaino, Hermansson, El Duque, Blum, Widger, Harris, Ozuna, GM Williams, Jerry Reinsdorf and the rest of the 2005 CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Video Game regulation???

Don't know how much any of you care about this but there are many attempts going around at the moment for the government to become active in the decision of what video games can and cannot be sold. For example, the state of Illinois is treating games like an illegal substance. The Safe Games Illinois Act, for example, has been put into place and will begin to regulate the industry in 2006. The thing that bothers me the most is that the industry already has the ESRB (Entertainment Softwar Rating Board) that rates games as Mature, for example, to keep parents from allowing children from playing it. The problem is, the state will be doing this now with a different set of standards that will, most likely, make more games rated Mature or Adult Only, meaning stores will not be able to sell these or even carry some titles. The most interesting part to me is that it is mostly Democrats pushing for this legislation...

Anyway, I've got to get to class, just wanted to know if anyone here cared about the issue.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Greetings from Texas

Howdy,
First off, my name is Jeff, but I go by the name BigNewsDay. I would like to offer my gratitude to Lefty for inviting me to join this community. Lefty has assembled a wonderful blog site for all of us to enjoy and hopefully gain knowledge about how the metal community can positively influence the political system. I understand that may sound a bit cheesy, but I strongly believe change happens one mind at a time.

Now a little about me. I am 37 years old and live in Arlington, TX. I've been a politically minded metalhead since the early eighties. Growing up in Arlington, I've witnessed the power and influence of the religious right on the political system. Arlington is one of the most conservative cities in the country, and is the largest city in the country without any form of public transportation. In a stunning move of indifference, Arlington citizens recently voted to raise taxes and evict low income citizens from their homes so that Jerry Jones may have a new stadium for his Cowboys. I'm not saying that I don't like sports, but I don't agree corporate welfare, especially at the expense of the underprivileged.

Arlington isn't all bad though. This is the home town of the mighty Pantera. I went to high school, briefly, with Dime and was fortunate enough to witness the transition from hair band to one of the greatest and hardest metal bands ever to hit the scene. I understand that some may disagree with that, and that is OK. We all have our opinions, and individualism is what makes this world great. I will share more stories about my Pantera experiences later. Once again thank you very much Lefty for inviting me to join.

Later,
BigNewsDay

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Top Metal Bands of All Time

I noticed today that I haven't posted anything of substance regarding heavy metal. I was supposed to submit a review of Hate Eternal months ago. However, by the time I got around to writing the review, I figured it was too late to do so. I've posted my opinions on several current political events, which I admittedly think lack serious substance, except for the Durbin post. I get most of my blogosphere news from DailyKos and the other liberal blogs (I'll lurk around Redstate just to see what the wingnuts are yapping about). I was reading Blabbermouth today, but didn't find any compelling news to share my thoughts on. For this reason, I have decided to write a generic post, typical of many discussion boards on the internet. So all you metalheads out there, tell us who you're picks are (with reasons why) for Top Ten Metal Bands of All Time. Here are my two cents:

1. Metallica
I admit, these guys haven't given us a quality album for quite some time, and their "selling out" is highly debatable, but no one can deny their impact on the heavy metal scene and culture. These dudes showed a faster and tougher alternative to the likes of Iron Maiden and other NWOBHM bands. Fuck, has any band delivered a masterpiece rivaling Master of Puppets? These guys know how to play a live show, even with songs from St. Anger (which sound surprisingly good live).

2. Slayer
These guys are like the evil, brutally fast, and angry counterparts to Metallica. While Metallica played to a larger audience, Slayer consistently delivered brutal efforts such as Seasons in the Abyss and South of Heaven. Their best effort, Reign in Blood rivals Metallica's Puppets album in shear genius.

3. Black Sabbath
The originators of heavy metal would have been on the top of the list if it wasn't for Ozzy leaving the band. Don't get me wrong, Ronnie James Dio is a phenomenal singer, but Ozzy is the voice of the true Black Sabbath. When Ozzy left, I think Black Sabbath lost part of their soul. Nevertheless, if it wasn't for Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master of Reality, and Heaven and Hell (with Dio), heavy metal wouldn't be what it is today.

4. Iron Maiden/Judas Priest TIE
Dual guitar leads, menacing riffery, awesome imagery, timeless lyrics, what else can we ask for? These guys are the epitome of the metal band. British Steel, Piece of Mind, The Number of the Beast, Screaming for Vengeance, and Killers are just amazing! That Steve Harris is a bad motherfucker!

5. Immortal
Venom promoted the satanic shit early on, other bands such as Mayhem helped the genre grow, but black metal would be lost without Immortal, the Sons of Northern Darkness just fucking rule this shit! Get Battles in the North!

6. King Diamond
That fucking voice! The awesome guitar work (Abigail)! Words can't describe how good this dude and his band is. Just amazing!

7. Nile
I loved these guys since Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka, but Annihilation of the Wicked cemented these dudes as the kings of death metal. They honestly rule with major balls! The musicianship is phenomenal with machine gun blast beats, brutal riffing, and the most gruesome vocals ever!

8. Children of Bodom
Alexi Laiho is the next Randy Rhoads! Yes, I said it. This dude can play up and down the fretboard so effortlessly! I urge you to check out Hatebreeder, Follow the Reaper, and Hatecrew Deathroll. The songs are just amazing, showcasing dual leads featuring Laiho and his keyboard virtuoso side-kick.

9. Anthrax
I like these guys best when John Bush is the frontman. His voice is so fucking pleasing to the ear. Nevertheless, the true high points of Anthrax's illustrious career are present in Among the Living, Spreading the Disease, Fistful of Metal, and State of Euphoria. Spitz is good, but I like Caggiano's style better.

10. Aura Noir
I'm hooked on these guys. They play a mix between thrash and black metal, and it sounds so fucking good. I urge you to check out all their albums, especially The Merciless.

PANTERA
They would have been number 2, but I hold this band in a special place because my favorite guitarrist, Dimebag Darrell Abbott, was killed almost a year ago in a senseless act of cowardice. I miss you so much Dime. I almost cry when I remember that day in December. I listen to Cemetery Gates at least once a week in your memory!

Alright fuckers, before you begin to obliterate my picks, keep in mind that this list is purely subjective, meaning that it is my opinion, and you don't have to agree. The method used for picking these bands is simple: I picked the bands that I listen to the most, and which have had an impact on my approach to music in general.

Please, no personal attacks when making comments regarding anyone's opinions. Here's an example of what NOT to say:

You're gay because you like Slipknot. Metallica are sell-outs, that means you're an idiot. Your mom sucked my balls because I disagree with you.

If you don't follow the fucking rules, your comment will be deleted, and I'll probably write a post telling the world how much you fucking suck!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Suggestions for Mission Statement

Hello all. Kull and I have been trying to come up with a mission statement for this blog. I welcome any suggestions. You can check out Kull's ideas in the comments for Kull's post Hello to you All. Any suggestions can be emailed to me or posted under this thread. Remember to invite as many friends to Metal Pundit as you can. Thanks again and enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Welcome Kull and SiliconMessiah

We have two new contributors on this "infant" blog, Kull and SuicideMessiah. These two gentlemen will make a fine addition to this community. Welcome guys. I hope you enjoy discussing various topics on here. Feel free to discuss whatever you want. In order to make this community larger, I would like for you to invite as many friends as you would like. I'm sure you know how to work the administrative stuff (inviting people from the "settings" tab, editing posts, and etc). If you don't, feel free to ask. Well, let's make this blog the best fucking metal/political blog on the net! Thanks again guys!

Random stuff about me

Hey all, I am yet another new comer to the blog!

I am not quite sure how long you guys have been running this thing, though I do know it's fairly new, but I am looking forward to reading and discussing things with everyone here. I am assuming you are all more intelligent than the average poster on Blabbermouth who only has time to call the other person gay or to tell him to go suck on Dave Mustaine's dick or something.

Anyway, who am I? I'm a young (18 year old) guy who loves music (metal the most but all forms of music have their strengths), plays music, etc. Music is the greatest thing in the world, I think. I am in college, studying history and secondary education, we'll see where that gets me.

I have a band that I play bass in (www.lostinblue.com) and I am starting another band in which I will sing. If anyone's interested in that, I'll give a link to that site once it's up and running.

That's all for now, I suppose. Speak with you all later.
-Ryan (everyone's favorite mediocre bassist)

Hello to you all...

My name is Paolo and I live in Genoa, Italy (in the country's NW quite close to the French border, the hometown of C. Columbus)...I am older than Jon Nödtveidt but younger than Lemmy and I know this is not saying much! ;-))) I have a 'cum laude' degree in Modern Literature and a voracious appetite for anything related to history, art and culture.
Politically I am a socialdemocrat and spiritually a rationalistic agnostic with some penchant for neopagan philosophies. I have also a deep-rooted love for metal and hard rock, which was born when I listened to 'Rainbow' for the first time on my uncle's hi-fi.
My favourite genres as of now are Thrash, Black, Heathen/Viking, Melodic Death and Epic/Symphonic Power Metal but there is ONLY a genre of 'metal' that I really dislike and that's 'nu-metal'.
I listened (and still listen) to NWOBHM, old-school death, speed metal, grindcore, progressive metal, australian warmetal and even 'venezuelan beaver cheese metal' (for the monty-phytonesque among you! ;-).
I have been invited on this blog by 'Lefty Metalhead' and I am still grateful for the chance he gave me to meet with like-minded people and to swap ideas comments and suggestions.
I trust this little post of mine will be the first of a long series.
;-D
Paolo / 'Kull'.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Thoughts on the Right



The cackling hen on the right have proved once again that they will do whatever it takes to direct responsibility away from them. The latest example is the indictment of now-former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX). This prick has been charged with several ethics violations (you can read about them on
DailyKos or any other liberal blog. Nevertheless, the jagoffs at RedState and that wench Ann Coulter defend DeLay with no shame. They claim that allowing the left to bring down DeLay will indicate that we can take anyone down without a fight. The idiots at Blogs for Bush even declared civil war against the left. Can we really be surprised at these radicals? Oh boy, I can't wait for '06!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Support Cindy Sheehan


Yes, the radical conservatives are at it again. As many of us have heard, the Republican Smear Machine has launched a smear campaign against Cindy Sheehan, the mother of Casey Sheehan. Casey was killed just five days after arriving in Iraq. To maintain his integrity, Cindy has unleashed a campaign seeking the truth. She has camped near President Bush's Crawford, Texas ranch, hoping to meet with him and demand answers. Why are our boys losing their lives in this war? Why did we go to Iraq? Why are we still there?

Unfortunately, people at Redstate.org and other blogs by that cunt Michelle Malkin and others are picking at a grieving mother, saying that she is only seeking fame. What can you expect from these bastards? And they dare claim to be the moral superiors! I say "shame on you" to those hacks. I say fuck them!

Support Sheehan, just a MOTHER seeking the truth...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Karl Rove on the ropes!

In my opinion, Karl Rove is just about finished. He uncovered the secret identity of a CIA agent, and he must pay. The radical conservatives claim that he didn't violate any law. This may or not be true, but the implications of Rove's questionable behavior has tainted his reputation. So long ya crazy bastard!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Durbin Shouldn't Have Apologized

The latest debate being held in the blogosphere is whether the Durbin apology should have been given. The radical right-wing blogs such as redstate claim that Durbin was wrong and his apology was the least he could have done. They argue that torture isn't going on at Gitmo, and that letting chained, naked POW's defecate on themselves in extreme cold is a normal interrogation technique. The conscious liberal blogs such as DailyKos and Alternet have mixed reactions to Durbin's apology. On the one hand, Durbin's comments may have hurt some people's feelings, so an apology was necessary. On the other hand, Durbin's remarks were truthful and really hurt the GOP. Therefore, he shouldn't have apologized.

This is the best diary I have read about the Durbin apology. The entire diary is found here. Here are some excerpts:

Durbin was not wrong. Not wrong in what he said. Not wrong in saying it. And the only person who has crossed the line is George W. Bush -- and we've heard no apologies from him.

Let's review. Durbin, quoting from an FBI memo, described how some detainees at Gitmo were chained naked, hand and foot to a concrete floor and left that way for up to 18 hours a day, where they inevitably urinated and defecated on themselves.

Durbin observed, correctly, that if someone read that account not knowing anything more, they would assume the people doing this to prisoners were Nazis or one of the other despicable regimes of history.

Durbin was immediately flamed by the White House and Republicans in Congress. How dare he compare the behavior of US soldiers to that of Nazis?

I agree, the wrong person has apologized. What a fucked up country we live in! Here is Stephen Pizzo's excellent reasoning behind Durbin's comments:But let me tell you why Durbin was right to make the comparison. And to make my point I am going to use the same argument conservatives use to justify their war on drugs.
If marijuana is a gateway drug, I ask conservatives, what's chaining a person naked to a cement floor and letting them sit in their own waste all day? A taste of torture? A snort of the abuse? Where do you go from there? A few lines of water-boardering? From there it's a short step to electric shock (after all, they're already wet.)
It's the proverbial slippery slope. And we're on it.

Great explanation of Durbin's apologetic screw-up:
If you think about all this for a moment with the partisan side of your brain turned off, you can see that all Durbin was trying to do was what any responsible parent of a teen would do after finding meth in their daughter's purse. He was trying to warn that we are playing with fire.

But, instead of listening up, his colleagues got all defensive, ganged up and beat the crap out of him. They kept it up until he agreed to say, "it ain't so."

Well it is so, and Durbin should not have caved. But clearly these patients remain in deep denial and are not quite ready to admit they're becoming hooked on the stuff -- far from it. Nightly now we hear Neo-cons and their supporters on talk shows actually justifying the rough treatment of POWs, treatment that just a generation ago would have had American civilians reaching for the air sickness bag.

The NeoCons advocate torture and humiliation:
But suddenly brutal humiliation of POWs in our care has become "necessary."

I don't quite understand why. Torture wasn't necessary 60 years ago when literally all of Western civilization was threatened by German fascism. Torture wasn't necessary during the Cold War, when the former Soviet Union had both the weapons and inclination to fricassee everyone west of Poland.

But today, when a few thousand certifiably crazy radical Muslims go on a murderous rampage, the fate of the nation suddenly hinges on being able to "rough up" (a.k.a. torture) prisoners. I don't get it. (Could it be that torture has replaced good intelligence-gathering?)

Mr. President, YOU should be apologizing. Shame on you and the rest of your radical conservative theocrat colleagues.