Friday, October 01, 2004

Good stuff from Paul Krugman in today's NYT...

As a result of the American military," President Bush declared last week, "the Taliban is no longer in existence." It's unclear whether Mr. Bush misspoke, or whether he really is that clueless. But his claim was in keeping with his re-election strategy, demonstrated once again in last night's debate: a president who has done immense damage to America's position in the world hopes to brazen it out by claiming that failure is success. Three years ago, the United States was both feared and respected: feared because of its military supremacy, respected because of its traditional commitment to democracy and the rule of law. Since then, Iraq has demonstrated the limits of American military power, and has tied up much of that power in a grinding guerrilla war. This has emboldened regimes that pose a real threat. Three years ago, would North Korea have felt so free to trumpet its conversion of fuel rods into bombs? But even more important is the loss of respect. After the official rationales for the Iraq war proved false, and after America failed to make good on its promise to foster democracy in either Afghanistan or Iraq - and, not least, after Abu Ghraib - the world no longer believes that we are the good guys.
more here

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Extended Play 29 09 04

Jackson 5-Ain’t No Sunshine (Phil Asher edit?)-Soul Source-2003 Brenton Wood-Better Believe It-Warner-1975 Tashan-Save the Family (MPG Dedication Mix)-OPR / Def Jam-1990 Carol Williams-Can’t Get Away from Your Love (Promo mix)-Vanguard-1982 Jean Carn-Got Some Catching Up to Do-Philadelphia International -1979 Captain Sky-Super Sporm-Dynamic Sounds-1978 Jablonski-Soul Makossa-Randys-1975? The LOD Crew-Fill The Be-Bop-Tri State-1982 The Style Council-Long Hot Summer ‘89-Polydor-1989 BB & Q-Ricochet (Danny D Mix)-Cooltempo-1987 Original Concept-Can You Feel It-Def Jam-1986 Mantronix-Bassline (Stretched)-Sleeping Bag-1986 Cyndi Phillips-Sacrifice-Atlantic-1986 Chaplin Band-Il Velero-White-1982 Fallout-The Morning After-4th Floor-1990 LNR-Work it To The Bone-House Jam-1987 Fire Island-Fire Island-Junior Boys Own -1992 Cajmere-Midnight (MG Funk D’Vocal)-Cajual-2004 Yello-Base for Alec (Trevor Jackson Remaster)-Output-2004 The Glass-Won’t Bother Me (Putsch 79 mix)-Fine-2004 Unit 4-Body Dub (Tiefschwarz Mix)-Clone-2004 Paperclip People-The Floor-Planet E-1996 Vector Lovers-Electrorobotic Disco-Soma-2004 Greg Churchill-Plutonic-CDR-2004 Inner City-Say Something-KMS-2004 Dave Clarke-Red 2-Bush-1995 The Most-Make-up -Beautycase-2004 Client-Radio (Rex the Dog mix)-Mute-2004

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Peter McLennan has an interesting piece on the Major Flavours release on his blog and goes into the phenomena of mix tapes and piracy. I really don't know how I feel about this, as a copyright owner, but I do know that that majors are doing themselves no favours attacking it with a sledgehammer. There is so little sympathy for their position, they are perceived as greedy (they are, but that's what their shareholders require them to be), and music is seen as too expensive (rubbish- its cheaper now than it ever has been) and the Burn and Get Burnt campaign in NZ, plus the RIAA overkill in the US has won them no friends. Sadly, major record companies have been treating those whose good works they distribute as workers in servitude for too long and there is some rough justice in what has come about in recent years. A fine correction of sorts coming out of the opportunities and anarchy that the digital age offers. I firmly believe, that once a recording is recouped the ownership should be shared by all involved parties. Indeed, a year back I passed the rights to the Blam Blam Blam catalogue back to the group. It recouped all costs in the mid nineties (after which we divided income equally) and I felt it fair to pass it back in 2004. I'm not trying to blow my trumpet but it felt like the right thing to do... God, that was a ramble....

I guess the problem John Kerry is having in the POTUS race is getting a story like this across to a population fed on Oprah and Fox, who still believe that WMDs were found and are happily oblivious to the rising US casualties on the ground and the fact that post Mission Accomplished, Iraqis are dying at a faster rate than they did under Saddam (at least since GW Snr encouraged the Shi'ites to rise in '91, with the promise of support and then sat back as Saddam massacred them). But how Bush Jnr can blatantly lie about the situation on the ground in Iraq and the future in the region in the face of statements like:

"Things are definitely not improving," said one U.S. government official who reads the intelligence analyses on Iraq.

"It is getting worse," agreed an Army staff officer who served in Iraq and stays in touch with comrades in Baghdad through e-mail. "It just seems there is a lot of pessimism flowing out of theater now. There are things going on that are unbelievable to me. They have infiltrators conducting attacks in the Green Zone. That was not the case a year ago."

is beyond me. But more to the point is the meek complicity of the US media in buying and propogating the myths in the face of overwhelming evidence otherwise.

Joseph Gobbels is alive and well, working for Rupert Murdoch, and living in DC it seems.

I saw Gregory Isaacs twenty years ago at some open air reggae festival in South London. The sun was going down and we were well sorted but he was terrible, he really was: sloppy, out of tune, clearly on another planet and all over the place. So why was I captivated, because I truly was. I couldn't forget Gregory, get him out of my mind. God knows why. Actually, god mightn't have any idea why but I do....its the voice, simple. What is it about the languid, lazy, stoned and plaintiff Isaacs delivery? My first exposure to Gregory was an import copy of the Front Line collection "Soon Forward" in 1979 and it became a permanent fixture on my deck. Gregory also became a permanent fixture in my buying habits: compilations, the good and great (Out Deh, Red Rose for Gregory, Rumours, Mr Isaacs, those Charisma albums etc) and the not so good (the early to mid nineties had a few, well more than a few) and I've ended up with a shelf full of the things. I wouldn't have it any other way. Its a fairly pleasant part of my vinyl addiction. I'm not quite sure where I'm heading with this but I wanted to find a way to write wonderful things about the recent Trojan compilation, The Cool Ruler. Strangely enough Trojan have given this thing the same name as an earlier, essential, album. Maybe they felt that tagging the thing The Definitive Collection would be enough, I don't know. But this is as close to being a definitive comp as exists for Gregory. There are dozens of comps of the man out there and some are pretty good, especially the Virgin ones and some of the ones that gather together the early raw singles. And a truly definitive collection would be at least four or five discs long. But this is as good as it gets without going that far. There are big gaps, especially early on (before about 78), but it includes the fairly rare, Prince Buster produced, "Dancing Floor" and there are 12"and 10" versions galore. And, damn, its good....that voice, that voice, that voice. You need this.