Friday, February 19, 2010

Soul In Pop: Spain's "Hang Your Head Down Low" Review

A nice review of my band Spain's new song "Hang Your Head Down Low" from La Blogotheque:

3. Spain - "Hang Your Head Down Low"
Ça aurait pu être Bill Callahan. On aurait pu choisir Stuart Staples. On retiendra Josh Haden. Il y a dans cette chanson de la retenue, de la douceur, une sensibilité qui flirte autant avec la soul qu’avec la prière (mais n’est-ce pas au fond la même chose). Il y a du recueillement, de l’évocation, de la sensualité. Et même un solo de guitare!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Political Stumping

I usually don't stump for specific political organizations, but two interesting recent events in U.S. politics have inspired me to do just that.

The first was something President Obama said in his 2010 State Of The Union address: "...if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know."

A young doctor by the name of Dr. Margaret Flowers took Obama at his word and went to the White House with a letter addressed to the President describing why in her opinion a single-payer approach to health care would fulfill all of his stated requirements. Not only did the President not accept her letter, Dr. Flowers was eventually arrested for trying to deliver the letter to him.

Dr. Flowers isn't some lunatic nutcake. She is a physician who's vision of health care is, as she states in her letter, supported by 65% of the American public and 59% of physicians. So she has some clout and evidence to back up her theories.

Now, if by what Flowers means by "single-payer" health care is meant "free (for the patient), universal, publicly-funded health care", I, too, support the validity of such an idea, and I signed the “Open Letter to President Obama to Support Single-Payer Health Care,” which can be found on the Physicians for a National Health Program website, and, if you agree with me, I urge you to do the same, seeing as though Obama has so much as said that he would consider such ideas. I thought he was open to the single-payer idea from the start, but obviously I was wrong or a lone physician wouldn't have felt the need to get arrested trying to deliver the idea to him.

In my opinion any government that gives the well-being of money priority over the well-being of its citizens should be ashamed of itself. Just as it is my opinion any government that allows even one of its citizens to live in poverty should be ashamed of itself. These are just my opinions though.

The other interesting recent event is the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the details of which can be found here.

How any person can call himself a conservative, say that they are against the status quo of big money influence in politics, and then support this ruling is beyond me. What this ruling says, amongst other things, is that if a wealthy corporation has the money to support a political cause in an advertisement or "movie" during primetime television, then the right to free speech applies to the corporation. If an unwealthy corporation, or group, or organization, or individual would like to support a political cause in an advertisement or "movie" during primetime television but doesn't have the financial means to do so, then said group or individual needs to either shut up (at least in their hopes of making their case on primetime TV in competition with the corporation), or bust out their soapbox and go to some streetcorner (or lonely website outpost) somewhere and scream "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" to anyone who'll listen. Said people who are all probably lunatic nutcases like Dr. Flowers.

This ruling is about free speech. Conservatives say it supports free speech, liberals, like me, say it stifles it. I heard one liberal TV pundit ask a conservative TV pundit, if corporations are people why don't you support an electoral system in which corporations are afforded the right to vote as well? The conservative conveniently skirted this question.

Anyways, I signed the Move To Amend's "Motion to Amend" the U.S. Constitution to make it clear that corporations are not human beings, nor were they ever intended to be by our founding fathers. If you agree with me, I urge you to sign it too.