Double Standards

So of course the NeoCon machine is going apeshit over Kerry’s bone-headed comment about how not studying gets you “stuck in Iraq.”

Kerry claims it was a flubbed joke, and that he was supposed to be criticizing Bush, saying that not studying leads you to “getting *us* stuck in Iraq.” Whatever — the reason why this story has legs is because we all know that the majority of people entering the military nowadays aren’t exactly our best and brightest. They’re often joining up because they have no other options. Hell, the military has had to LOWER recuitment standards to get enough people to join up. This isn’t a secret.

What pisses me off, though, is the double standard. “He’s INSULTED THE TROOPS!!! APOLOGIZE! APOLOGIZE!!!!!!”

Strange how they’re silent on the fact that Republican House Leader John Boehner blamed the military for screwing up the war on CNN (link includes a video of the statement — no bias there.). Trying to defend Rumsfeld, he said that we shouldn’t blame the SecDef (you know, who’s in charge), because “the fact is the generals on the ground are in charge.”

Directly blaming the troops. Silence from the Right.

Strange how they’re silent on the Bush administration shorting the Army of nearly 18 Billion dollars. Money that the Army says it needs, which the administration is not providing. Silence from the Right.

Strange how they were silent when Bush urged the insurgents to ‘bring it on’, and attack US troops in 2003. Strange how they were silent when Bush joked about the fact that his reasons for going to war turned out to be false. Silence from the Right.

Strange how they were silent on the fact that the WMD thing wasn’t true…..that Cheney said the insurgency was in its “last throes”…..that Bush already declared “mission accomplished.”

Keith Olbermann was right in his special commentary last night — it is Bush and his supporters, not Kerry, who owe the troops an apology.

But all we’re going to hear is silence from the Right.

Friday Music

Here you go, people — another weekly mixtape.

The forthcoming release of Casino Royale has had me thinking Bondian thoughts, which of course makes me think of music. I’m pleased as hell that David Arnold is doing the score to this film, since I’ve loved all of his work….and I’m especially chuffed that he co-wrote the theme. It always makes much more sense when the phrases of the theme music can be worked throughout the score. Here’s an example of something that pissed me off on that front — David Arnold did the score for Tomorrow Never Dies — and he worked the score through with phrases from the theme he wrote. Of course, the suits at the studio decided that his choice for the vocalist wasn’t commercial enough, so they gave the theme duties to Sheryl Crow, who wrote her own theme, which had nothing to do with the score. The song was pathetic. David’s composition, sung by kd lang, was squeezed in as an end-credits song. I mean, fer chrissakes…..listen to this! It’s like she’s channeling Shirley Bassey, circa 1965. kd lang – “Surrender.”

Sometimes, having a theme separate from the score is a good thing, though….as evidenced by the absolutely AWFUL score for Goldeneye by Eric Serra. So bad that that the studio added music after the fact (including the traditional Bond theme, which Serra bizarrely didn’t use at all), and this brilliant theme song by Tina Turner, written by Bono and The Edge from U2: Tina Turner – “Goldeneye.” Needless to say, Serra wasn’t hired to do another Bond film.

On a slightly related theme (by band and song name only), here’s some nifty cool spybreak electronica from Thunderball – “Domino.”

Enough Bondage for now.

Industrial electronica veterans Front Line Assembly have a new album out, Artificial Solder, which I’ve been listening to quite a bit recently. Great stuff. Check out this track: Front Line Assembly – “Low Life.”

It’s very cool to see alternative hip hop move further and further away from the heavy bling and fuzztronica sound of the commercial stuff, and more towards jazz. This is a new track from Gumbo, the latest album by New Orleans-based Voice, who lays her vocals over a live band that is damn near riffing straight bebop jazz. This track is funky as hell, and I really like it: Voice – “Know Rhythm”

Here’s some more international hip hop for , from Mexico’s Control Machete (of “Si Senor” fame): Control Machete – “Andamos Armados”

Here’s some 70s glam for fans of the genre — my favorite track from the 1974 film Phantom of the Paradise. This is the “frankenstein creation” stage show sequence introducing the new rock star, Beef. The Undead – “Somebody Super Like You.”

Lastly, here’s a new artist I discovered this week — a Swedish woman who goes by the name Robyn. The song is a nice breakup ballad, elevated by some really nice synth and strings work. Robyn – “With Every Heartbeat.”

Hope you liked ’em.

Republicans End Oversight of Iraq

This was sent to me by my father: An article in today’s New York Times that reveals an obscure provision in the Military Appropriations bill signed by Bush two weeks ago (the same one that gave him expanded Martial Law powers — the same one that the media STILL hasn’t reported about), which terminates the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, the federal oversight agency which had sent American occupation officials to jail on bribery and conspiracy charges, exposed disastrously poor construction work by well-connected companies like Halliburton and Parsons, and discovered that the military did not properly track hundreds of thousands of weapons it shipped to Iraqi security forces.

The clause was put into the bill by the Republican side of the House Armed Services Committee over the objections of Democratic counterparts during a closed-door conference.