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!