Say you’re running for President. And say that it’s a couple days before before a major primary season straw poll. In someplace semi-important, like, say, Iowa. Ask yourself, what kinds of headlines would you really, really just not want to see in places like, oh, I don’t know, the AP and Forbes.com?
[C]learly this was not something that we expected to happen, given the history of this bridge, the inspection process, and how this bridge was rated.
â€” Mary Peters, secretary of Transportation, during an Aug. 4 White House press briefing about the collapsed Minnesota I-35W bridge that “[s]tate bridge inspectors [had] warned for nearly a decade before its collapse that the Interstate 35W bridge had ‘severe’ and ‘extensive’ corrosion of its beams and trusses, ‘widespread cracking’ in spans and missing or broken bolts … [with] certain components were ‘beyond tolerable limits’ … “
This record is not tainted at all, at all. Period. You guys can say whatever you want.
â€” San Francisco Giants right fielder Barry Bonds at a press conference after breaking Hank Aaron’s career home-run record of 755 home runs Tuesday night. Continue reading →
During the performance of “Daughter” the following lyrics were sung to the tune of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” but were cut from the webcast:
– “George Bush, leave this world alone.” (the second time it was sung); and – “George Bush find yourself another home.”
This, of course, troubles us as artists but also as citizens concerned with the issue of censorship and the increasingly consolidated control of the media. Continue reading →
The South African President, Thabo Mbeki’s, long war against his own people has just plumbed new depths. Loyalty to the party line is the only thing that matters to him. Everything and everyone else must yield or be sacrificed.
Deputy Health Minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge has just been fired. The one and only government minister with the courage, humility, independence and passion to admit the scale of the AIDS pandemic in South Africa and the failure of the ANC government in dealing with it. Her public acknowledgement of AIDS embarrassed the president and her boss, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang. That was, by the president’s standards, entirely unforgivable.
Mbeki’s statements about AIDS are intentionally ambiguous but his actions are not. Thirteen years into majority-rule more South Africans have died of AIDS than died through torture and massacre under Apartheid. This is not accidental. It is deliberate government policy. 5.5 million South Africans – 18% of the population – has HIV. 320 000 people a year die of the disease. There are 1.2 million AIDS orphans. In 1994, when the ANC took power, only 1% of the South African population was infected. Continue reading →
Max Yasgur’s farm, made famous by the Joni Mitchell song (which most folks know in the CSNY version) is on the market. Its current owner is tired of fighting the local “powers that be” over use of the property for anniversary concerts.