Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Ten Times Warmer

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  • Mal McDonald,

    I went to the same one as Grant, the Breeders were very good, Soundgarden much better the night before at the powerstation

    BDO checklist.........

    Oh no, Kiwis en-masse - check

    Many white dudes with dreadlocks - check

    Ugly pacific-celtic armband tattoos - check

    Exposed overweight hairy buttcrack - check

    Exposed hairy buttcrack with ugly arse antlers tattoo - check

    Fools playing touch rugby - check

    Unable to see over white doods with dreadlocks, head for grandstand, can't see or hear shit - check

    Had too much weed and its only 11am - check

    Dehydrated - check

    Claustrophobia - check

    Time clash between acts I want to see - check

    End up in tent with unknown aussie indie band who are actually quite good- check

    London, UK • Since Feb 2007 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    dangerous fruit loop # 1, John Bolton

    Okay look. I know his version of 'Dock of the Bay' is pretty ghastly, and anyone who'd want to do Nicolette Sheridan obviously has some dubious taste, but "dangerous"? I think that's a bit much.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 727 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    dangerous profile here

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Common,

    -->You'll love it, she's really good live. I saw her (and interviewed her!!) at the Paramount Theatre in Wellington in '94, promoting her first solo album Hips And Makers and pretty impressed.

    I saw her at that show at the paramount, and also saw Throwing Muses at orientation (just after the release of University) - both shows were brilliant and I've always been an unashamed fan of both Hersh and (too a lesser extent) Donnely... Also caught Tanya Donnely's show at the Parthenon in Wellington (which was great - a mix of TM, Belly, and her solo stuff - with David on the drums).

    I think she's actually the most under rated performer of our generation - but thats just me - I grew up on The Pixies and Throwing Muses as my international inspirations.

    I never made it too the 94 BDO (only actually been to one in my life, the recent one with Janes Addiction) - but I did catch The Breeders / Cinematic / Smashing Pumpkins at the town hall in Wellington, and even got a chance to hang out with Kim and Kelly before the show (press pass and I was on crutches - great combination when you throw a bottle of bourbon in to the mix). Never was big on the Pumpkins and found their live show to be like listen to Siamese Dream through a big PA, but the Breeders were fantastic that night (Cinematic were good too but I'm personally biased).

    Ah memories :-)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    RB,
    I am glad to see that you noted that Democrat Senator Joe Biden's stupid Iraq partition idea that he has been peddling for years was roundly condemned, especially in Iraq. I couldn’t agree more that it is a stupid idea and hubris, but that won’t stop ole’ Joe from harping on and on about it. Another stupid Dem idea. Add it to the pile.

    Disappointed that you peddled the tired old crap about the Army being “po’ black” folks. The average US Army soldier has attained higher educational achievement and is more likely to be white than the average US citizen.

    The extended and repeated tours are definitely putting a strain on the Army; one of Bush’s biggest mistakes was not increasing the size of the Army pretty soon after Sept 11, after which it was highly likely that there would be increased military activity. But my understanding is that the majority of military people and their families want to “see the job done” and that a premature US withdrawal which just about everyone (including most Dems) understand would plunge Iraq into much worse carnage than that which has transpired over the last 5 years, is not what military people and their families believe to be the right thing to do.

    How many more billions will Iraq cost over the next 5 years? I don’t know, but quite a few hundred of them. Iraq could all still fall apart at the seams, no doubt about that, but if it stays on the track it is on now, Iraq in 5 years could be something like Kurdistan now, still far from perfect but progressing in the right direction, a positive influence in the region and destabilizing to the remaining Middle Eastern dictatorships.

    As for what Sadr and Co would do if the US bombed Iran, absolutely, that is one of the many complicating factors. It all comes down to what you believe is the lesser of two evils, the potential fall-out from bombing Iran, or Iran with a nuke in 2 years or 10 year (who knows) and a nuclear arms race in the Middle East? As I said, glad I don’t have to make the choice.

    Simon,
    As for your contention that Petreaus’ testimony is a load of rubbish, that is, well, a load of rubbish. You really do have your head stuck in a dark smelly place on that point. In fact it is so obvious that the surge is reducing the violence in Iraq that even the BBC can’t ignore it. Here is an article from yesterday:

    Iraq violent death rates 'plunge'
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7021692.stm

    Have you read any of the posts written by on the ground journalists like Michael Yon, Micheal Totten or Bill Roggio? Their stuff is pretty compelling, and they are right out there on the ground in Anbar and the other provinces where the surge is going on.

    In terms of the politics of the war in the US, you can see how far things have turned by the fact that yesterday the Senate passed the Defense Appropriation bill by 93-3. Yes, that is right, 93 votes in favor of Bush’s request. Any way you slice it, it is a capitulation of the Dems anti Iraq war strategy.

    Democrats had threatened to hold up the Defense appropriation until George Bush bent to their will on Iraq. Harry Reid had petulantly taken the bill off the table in July, attempting to hold it to the last minute in order to pressure Republicans to change course in Iraq. Instead, as the success of the surge became more and more apparent, Reid found the ground falling out from beneath him.

    None of this means that the Iraq war or Bush will suddenly become popular as a result, it just means that a reversal of Bush’s Iraq policy in no longer on the cards in the foreseeable future and it does give him more leeway on Iran. The recent rhetoric of Monsieur Sarkozy helps in that regard as well, but that is another subject.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 341 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    ...eventually we started telling people they were, and as the day went on, we then said they'd just played (and they were AWESOME).

    So I like to think there are people who will have a false memory of having seen Rage Against The Machine at the Big Day Out in 1994.

    That would work so well at Burning Man. I think I will try it next year.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4467 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I think Iran is a huge sabre rattling exercise for an administration desperate to take focus from Iraq. All of the military options against Iran are so bad they will only be taken seriously if there is a September 11-like casus belli. But they are a convenient excuse for the utter failure that is the Iraq adventure.

    It's the only play-card that BushCo have. Rarking on Iran. They can't possibly get away with any serious military action against Iran other than the spy games they have been playing for years. They don't have the manpower for a land assault, and an aerial assault invites massive casualties which the US might care about, all those pretty fly boys, and probably a lot of sailors too. Guerrilla war would intensify hugely in Iraq. Oil prices would skyrocket. International support for the US would drop to only the banana republics that they can afford. The conflict could easily widen rapidly as well, with US troops heavily committed in both Iraq and Iran, there would be no 'protection of US interests' in the rest of the planet where their fingers are firmly poked, and could easily be bitten off. It's a nightmare scenario all round for the US with no real payoff whatsoever. Bush can't be reelected anyway, but he still could be impeached, or worse.

    I'm not saying it's harmless sabre rattling. Far from it, it's extremely dangerous. It is likely to be accelerating any nuclear program that the Iranians do have. It's inviting crazy actions from regional mad-dogs like Israel. It's keeping the price of oil up. It's keeping Iraq unstable. It's giving the Iranians a sense of national unity against a wilful enemy, which can only undermine their civil rights.

    But it does at least take withdrawal from Iraq off the table and I think that is the main purpose and always has been. It keeps the War on Terror justified, and thus keeps Bush safe from any other role than Commander in Chief. It doesn't matter that he's as hopeless a CIC as he is as a domestic manager, but under the US system he can safely make national security his number one job and exempt himself and his cronies from any kind detailed scrutiny. As this cabal of creeps winds up I seriously think that is their highest priority, and we've already seen the biggest offenders being retired away safely.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8599 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I never made it too the 94 BDO (only actually been to one in my life, the recent one with Janes Addiction) - but I did catch The Breeders / Cinematic / Smashing Pumpkins at the town hall in Wellington, and even got a chance to hang out with Kim and Kelly before the show (press pass and I was on crutches - great combination when you throw a bottle of bourbon in to the mix). Never was big on the Pumpkins and found their live show to be like listen to Siamese Dream through a big PA, but the Breeders were fantastic that night (Cinematic were good too but I'm personally biased).

    I found out about that gig too late to get tickets (only being in Wellington for part of the summer holidays), and trooped down there in the early evening to try and beat someone up at the door to get in. No luck unfortunately.

    I hung around outside for a while hoping that the noise of the gig would carry outside, but then I realised that would unlikely to work, and truly sad. So I moped off home. Spewing.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6208 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I actually think that the proliferation of nukes is both inevitable and less scary than people think.

    They're like bubble wrap - even if the US manages through military effort to stop Iran getting one, there are plenty of other states that might get them: Pakistan already has them and could have a revolution at any stage. Any state that feels itself threatened by the US and isn't utterly bankrupt could probably acquire one eventually.

    The reason it's less scary is that deterrence will stop these states from using their weapons unless their national existence is threatened, and equally stop others (i.e. the US) from threatening that existence.

    So we'll just settle down to a similar situation to the Cold War - and hopefully there eventually be a global initiative to disarm.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4467 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    One click past what "even the BBC" are calling (the snigger quotes are theirs) a 'plunge' in the death toll in Iraq, we find this more qualified report form someone "on the ground".

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1579 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I actually think that the proliferation of nukes is both inevitable and less scary than people think.

    I agree. But I think non-proliferation would be better and will always argue for it. Why arm up, just to disarm? Better would be to disarm now.

    However, just because it would be better doesn't mean it's going to happen. I think proliferation will continue, as will the Cold War. The enemy may change but the war will continue, and it will always be fought in the third world. It may also be a war that the US will ultimately lose, in exactly the way the Russians bowed out of it - they will not be able to afford it. Who knows? Wars are dangerous and unpredictable things, which is why they are best avoided.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8599 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Hey folks! We don't need to read BBC reports on Iraq or argue here about withdrawal strategies or any of that complicated stuff. Because ...

    (drum roll ...)

    The war in Iraq is over! According to John Key:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10467590

    So who won?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 784 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    James,
    my load of rubbish was supported by the US DOD, and various other US government agencies who disputed the the Petreaus report, and assorted other garbage like the assertion that the 500 killed in the bombings in Kurdistan were not ethnic cleansing..or the removal of the people shot thru the front of the head from the stats. And your on the ground reporters are goodies eh...the same guys who contribute op eds to The Daily Standard and the like...what's Rush thinking on all this, eh? Or Coulter? Give me a break...almost 30 US troops were killed in Anbar last month, and a poll this week showed 100% local Iraqi support for attacks on US troops. Don't believe the hype, James.

    I'm glad violence has dropped somewhat to the level it was at before the surge. The other argument you can draw from that is that ethnic cleansing in much of Iraq is largely complete..and that, as I believe you'll find if you search a little further, is supported by quite some evidence.

    Ok, back to my dark place now...how is it here?

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3208 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    The war in Iraq is over! According to John Key:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10467590

    So who won?

    On the day, war was the winner.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8599 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    "The war in Iraq is over! According to John Key"

    Most impressed with Keith Lockes reply

    "Until Mr Key put me wise, I had assumed the US and its coalition allies were bogged down fighting an intractable insurgency in Iraq that had seen a surge in US troop numbers earlier this year.

    "The deaths of 805 US troops and at least 13,600 Iraqi civilians this year alone were obviously due to some other cause, and Congress must have been deluded to recently endorse an extra $150 billion for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan."

    He added: "I look forward to hearing Mr Key resolve the Israeli-Palestinian crisis next week, and move on to resolve global poverty by Christmas."

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    James
    Gotta agree on one point. My cousin in the Marines has a partial degree his brothers have MA & BA from UCLA. Most of the Marines I met on the piss in Hawaii (who had been home less than 72hrs) were as you described. And all believe Iraq is about 9/11, the safety of the USA, & Freedom, they really really do.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    "The war in Iraq is over! According to John Key"

    2007 will almost certainly be the worst year yet for US military deaths in Iraq. Should someone tell Mr Key?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Since the music I like stretches backwards from the 19th century, and because - while I have opinions on the US ventures in Iraq and elsewhere - I agree with some contributors and totally disagree with oithers and would therefore think expression of same redundant - I want to say something about that amazing link at the bottom of Russell's post.

    *something can be mathematically proven but a practical nonsense*

    Just which minds/consiousnesses are involved in multiversing?
    Homo erectus? Corvids? Elephants? People with Down's syndrome?
    Your dog's?

    It is becoming more & more scientifically apparent that where you have a brain (even a highly insufficient one like those unfortunate humans
    born lacking anything more than a brainstem) you have a form of consiousness...
    It was quite the best mind-scrambler I've encountered for some time...thanks Russell!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • insider outsider,

    SO if the war is going on and NZ at HC's insistence did not support the war and so did not send troops, why did she send troops to the war , in defiance of her own commitment not to be invovled in the war.....?

    nz • Since May 2007 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • insider outsider,

    Hmm who do I believe, Keith "pol pot" Locke or Helen "the Yanks are buggin my phone" Clark? This is a really hard one...

    nz • Since May 2007 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Common,

    I found out about that gig too late to get tickets (only being in Wellington for part of the summer holidays), and trooped down there in the early evening to try and beat someone up at the door to get in. No luck unfortunately.

    Ahhh man that sucks - was a truley good show (sorry don't mean to rub it in). Not quite as good as Sonic Youth playing at the St James (before the renovations) on their "Dirty" tour with the Dead C opening (favorite overhead conversation from that gig was, "man these roadies are better than most bands I see!").

    And while we're at it I shall make a shameless plug for a gig this Friday in Wellington I'm involved in...

    The Dukes of Leisure
    http://www.last.fm/music/The+Dukes+Of+Leisure
    (Video's and free MP3's there)

    Spartacus R
    http://www.amplifier.co.nz/artist/14525/spartacus_r.html

    Cue the Sun
    http://www.youtube.com/v/IvoAbYT1va0

    Bar Bodega from 10pm / $10 on the door

    So if anyone in Wellington's interested in a good nights worth of instrumental meandering then feel free to pop along (I'm with the Dukes if anyones interested)...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    *something can be mathematically proven but a practical nonsense*

    I think there are highly practical applications theorized as an outcome of this maths. Quantum computing, for instance, which has the potential to make the silicone revolution look like a mere stepping stone. I especially like the idea of a computer that has exponential power on the number of parts, and consumes quite literally no energy. Ultimate Nerd Power.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8599 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Hmm who do I believe, Keith "pol pot" Locke or Helen "the Yanks are buggin my phone" Clark? This is a really hard one...

    Dammit, you're right. The war's been over for years. All those people dying is just damned carelessness.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It was quite the best mind-scrambler I've encountered for some time...thanks Russell!

    Sounds like you're with me -- I can hold the idea in my head, but I get dizzy about what it means ...

    Basically, the universe(s) is/are stranger and more complex and beautiful than we can imagine.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Ahhh man that sucks - was a truley good show (sorry don't mean to rub it in). Not quite as good as Sonic Youth playing at the St James (before the renovations) on their "Dirty" tour with the Dead C opening (favorite overhead conversation from that gig was, "man these roadies are better than most bands I see!").

    Could someone who knows the Dead C pass that one on? I think they'd enjoy it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

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