Friday, March 23, 2007

House Passes Timetable for U.S. Troop Pullout!

Finally! The Democrats have finally acted upon their mandate won in November. The country's most important issue, the war in Iraq, has divided many in our soil. Furthermore, and most importantly, it has been the cause of death for thousands of our troops and many more Iraqi civilians. The House of Representatives passed legislation setting a timetable for a troop pullout. It says that the troops must be home by September 2008 if Iraq doesn't meet certain requirements. There is no question that this is the correct action to be taken after four years of relentless fighting.

Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) had to say:

The American people have lost faith in the president's conduct of this war. The American people see the reality of the war, the president does not.

Agreed! The White House has threatened a veto by the President. Democrats, nevertheless, grew some testicles and decided to face Bush with no fear. The administration has effectively lost touch with the reality of the Iraq War. Our current operations are no longer working (assuming they did work in the first place). Its imcompetence to plan a post-war Iraq led to the destruction of many American lives, and a dire situation where terrorism has flourished in Iraq. Osama Bin Laden is probably thanking Allah for Bush's war in Iraq!

As expected, this was a party-line vote. The legislation passed 218-212. Republicans were quick to argue that such a timeline would be an admission of failure. What they ignore is that, if it is indeed a failure, it is due to a Republican administration full of ineptitude and corruption!

Republican Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) had this to say:

The stakes in Iraq are too high and the sacrifices made by our military personnel and their families too great to be content with anything but success

I agree. The stakes in Iraq have been very high and the sacrifices made by our military have been enormous. However, if this is the case, why did the Pentagon and the White House pursue a war without adequate planning? Why were our soldiers rotting away in awful conditions at Walter Reed? It seems like the "idea" of the stakes and sacrifices is what Republicans like Blunt are worried about, not reality.

As my good friend BlackLabelAxe said, someone has to do something. Partisanship doesn't matter so much at this point. We have to get something done...quickly!

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer(D-Md) said:

The American public expects, the Congress of the United States, to do something, not simply to say 'yes' to failed policies, but to on their behalf, speak out and try to take us in a new direction.

I applaud Mr. Hoyer!

Hopefully the Iraqis will see this action as a kick in the ass. Perhaps this will force them to take action and defend their country. It is now their job to secure and stabilize Iraq. Of course, it is debatable whether it can be done, regardless of our presence there. Iraq would probably best function as three separate countries, but that's a debate for a different day.

Republicans, of course, claim that the legislation is full of pork, and it is. However, we must realize that pork is what "greases the wheels" in order for the vehicle to move. If pork is necessary to get this done, then so be it. I'd sure rather have a pork-laden legislation passed than continue to lose our troops in Iraq!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

House Ok's Subpoenas for Karl Rove and Aides

The Democratic-controlled House ok'd subpoenas for Bush advisor Karl Rove and other White House aides. The firing of several U.S. attorneys triggered this much-needed move, despite President Bush's threats against the Democrats.

Dubya warned Democrats that such a political move would be met with a "legal fight". He argues that the Rove and aides should be questioned out of oath and, perhaps, off the record. In other words, he wanted to create a stage where his advisors could do what they have continously done throughout his presidency-lie!

According to Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA):
After two months of stonewalling, shifting stories and misleading testimony, it is clear that we are still not getting the truth about the decision to fire these prosecutors and its cover-up
Hopefully, the Senate Committee on the Judiary will also issue a subpoena for Rove, as well as former White House Counsel Harriet "not-good-enough-for-wingnuts" Miers and her former deputy, William Kelley.

On Bush's lie-friendly terms, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) said:

Anyone who would take that deal isn't playing with a full deck
Alberto Gonzales has to either resign or be removed as Attorney General. The White House has recurringly shifted reasoning regarding the firing of the attorneys. Furthermore, Gonzales admitted to the illegal aquisition of personal data from Americans over the past few years. When will the lies and scandals end? I know, 2008!

In other news, Congress will vote on legislation dealing with troop withdrawal from Iraq. A House committee also made it possible for Valerie Plame, outed former CIA agent, to testify before it.

Discuss as you wish!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Concert Vids



Thursday, March 15, 2007


Legions of the Abyss now has a new look!

Sunday, March 11, 2007


If the RIAA and SoundExchange get their way, independent webcasting / Internet radio will soon cease to exist.

Why? The Copyright Royalty Board , the group overseeing statutory licensing for US-based internet radio stations, announced the new royalty rates for streaming radio performance rights. The board rejected the arguments made by webcasters and instead chose to adopt the proposal put forth by industry-backed SoundExchange, a royalty fee collection agency created by the RIAA.

The new rates are based on “performances” of songs. A “performance” is defined as one song being streamed to a single listener. In other words, a station with 1000 listeners is charged for 1000 performances of each song it broadcasts.

Further, the new rates, just announced today, are retroactive to 2006, and increase rapidly each year. The rates per performance are as follows:

$0.0008 in 2006
$0.0011 in 2007
$0.0014 in 2008
$0.0018 in 2009

At first glance, those seem like fairly small numbers: eight ten-thousandths of a dollar, eleven ten-thousandths of a dollar, and so on. When you actually do the math, however, you see the truth revealed. The average radio station plays 16 songs in an hour. Under this system, that would be equivalent to 16 performances.

0.0011 x 16 = 0.0176

Still a fairly small number - under two cents. But now assume this station has 1000 listeners. That means that, in one hour, the station would be billed for 16,000 performances.

0.0011 x 16000 = 17.60

That’s $17.60 an hour. Now we’re starting to see how expensive this truly is. Multiply that by 24 hours a day.

17.60 * 24 = 422.40

$422.40 a day. But there’s 365 days in a year.

422.40 * 365 = 154176

$154,176 for the year in performance royalties alone for a station with 1000 listeners. And that’s just for 2007: it gets even worse. In 2008, the cost rises to $193,536 for the year. In 2009, it goes up to $248,832. Even for a much smaller station, the royalties owed are huge.

Of course, these figures don’t include the other set of rights that Internet radio stations are required to purchase, which must be licensed separately from an agency like SESAC or ASCAP[/COLOR] , or the cost of bandwidth and server capacity. When you add all these costs together, you can easily see why nobody, save perhaps a megacorporation like AOL or Yahoo, could afford to pay these rates.

But wait - what’s this? The new rates apply retroactively to the beginning of 2006. In other words, someone who has been happily (and legally) running their small internet radio station for the past few years is suddenly going to be hit with possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional royalties owed. These bills could easily cause a small, independent broadcaster (and his family) to go bankrupt.

Meanwhile, over-the-air radio stations are still not required to pay one dime to the record industry for public performance rights from SoundExchange or an equivalent group. They only need to pay the far more reasonable fees of BMI, ASCAP, and/or SESAC. This reads like another tactic by the recording industry and corporate powers to exert control over anyone involved with music and an attempt to destroy independent broadcasting.

Whether you don’t want to see your favorite internet radio station go off the air, whether you just hate the RIAA, whatever the reason: please, help us get this senseless, greedy policy designed to do nothing but line the pockets of the record industry overturned. Write to, or better yet call, your representative , your senators, and the Copyright Royalty Board . Tell your friends and family, write on your blog, digg this - help get the word out and help to Save Internet Radio!

Here's the petition-

(Thanks Fat Jenk)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Ann "Bitch" Coulter Does It Again!

Outspoken wingnut pundit Ann "cunt" Coulter used a homosexual slur to throw mud at presidential hopeful, John Edwards. The "bitch", as many Americans know her as, called Edwards a "faggot" while talking about him.

Is there no end to Coulter's bullshit? Will she ever shut the fuck up? I suggest John Edwards return the favor and dick-slap her in the mouth, or at least in that adam's apple of hers! Feel free to BASH this whore all over this thread.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Accepted to Law School!

Today I received an acceptance letter from the John Marshall Law School here in Chicago! I'm very excited because this guarantees my pursuit of a legal education. Everyone wish me luck and good fortune while going through three years of hell!