Thursday, June 02, 2005

Editorial: Sunday Times says we attempted to goad Iraq into war in 2002, is Bush a liar or just willing to risk the safety of American citizens?

Most of you know that nothing can be finer, or more fun, for me than music except possibly to hang with Jess, Ty, Ava, Dona and Jim (Third Estate Sunday Review), Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man, Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Folding Star of A Winding Road and C.I. of The Common Ills. Folding Star and I weren't able to hang last weekend but they did just fine without us. Below is their editorial, reprinted in full with their permission. Make a point to share it with someone.

Editorial: Sunday Times says we attempted to goad Iraq into war in 2002, is Bush a liar or just willing to risk the safety of American citizens?

The Sunday Times has an article by Michael Smith entitled "RAF bombing raids tried to goad Saddam into war." It opens with the following:

THE RAF and US aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs on Iraq in 2002 in an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war, new evidence has shown.
The attacks were intensified from May, six months before the United Nations resolution that Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, argued gave the coalition the legal basis for war. By the end of August the raids had become a full air offensive.
The details follow the leak to The Sunday Times of minutes of a key meeting in July 2002 at which Blair and his war cabinet discussed how to make "regime change" in Iraq legal.Geoff Hoon, then defence secretary, told the meeting that "the US had already begun 'spikes of activity' to put pressure on the regime".

We realize that our readers are far more intelligent than the mainstream press corp but indulge us as we address the above. The Bully Boy and his cohorts went around screaming that we didn't want a "mushroom cloud," that Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological weapons. To accept those lies today, in the face of The Sunday Times of London's story, you have to accept that the Bully Boy was perfectly okay with the United States being attacked with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. If that were true, then the only response would be to call for an immediate impeachment. The leader of the country is not supposed to actively court the destruction of our nation.

But to believe the lies we were told, that truly is the most obvious conclusion.

Of course, the fact of the matter is that we were lied to. Everything we were told leading up to the invasion and everything that's followed can be characterized as lies and more lies.

Lying a nation into war is a pretty serious offense.

Now there are some who feel that the recent defense of Newsweek has awakened our press corps. We'd love for that to be the case. However, it can also be argued that the press is just closing ranks, protecting their own and still willing to swallow every lie the administration feeds them and duly spit it back out in a report.

Look, this is a serious matter. We'd even be willing to hold our tongues regarding Judith Miller and other stenographers if The New York Times or any other institution wanted to do now what they should have been doing in the lead up to the invasion, investigating the administration's claims and telling the people the truth.

Scott Shane, Douglas Jehl or Monica Davey (or anyone else) could be front paged with stories about the difference between what we were told and actual reality and we'd be willing to hold our tongues about Miller and the others. (Miller's the most infamous, she was far from the only one. And to date, no television program has issued any mea culpa that we're aware of.)

Why could a group of smart asses like The Third Estate Sunday Review do that? Because the bigger picture demands that Americans start getting some truth with their journalism. It's past time for some truth. We spent thirty minutes discussing this (Ava, Jim, Jess, Ty, Dona, Rebecca, Betty and C.I.) and we all agree that the truth coming out now (strongly and on the front page -- not tucked safely inside the paper where it can be ignored) is a great deal more important than Miller's head on a platter at this moment in time.

What we're saying is that we could take The Times running truth-telling stories without requiring them to note "by the way Judith Miller reported this differently." (Or any newspaper or TV program doing the same without making a point to name their reporters who got it wrong.) And here's a thought, who knows the lies that were told better than Miller? Get her committed to exposing reality and team her up with someone more trust worthy and let it rip. We're willing to bet that the sympathy she's been unable to garner for her current court issues, despite repeated attempts to garner sympathy, would suddenly emerge.

We're not going to spin here and say that all is forgiven and forgotten regarding Miller (to focus on The New York Times). That's not the case. It never will be. But if The New York Times wants to get back into the news business, we're perfectly willing to table our criticism of Miller for several months. Because we feel, and we can only speak for us, that the truth on the invasion/occupation is far more important than any individual reporter.

The latest from London's Sunday Times is explosive (as was the Downing St. memo). The press seems to have awakened a bit after the attacks on Newsweek. Our guess is that the way the domestic press handles the very serious issues emerging from across the Atlantic will tell us whether recent press coverage was about truth telling or protecting one of their own.

Lastly, we'll give credit to BuzzFlash for making The Sunday Times article their main headline.As always, the editorial is the last feature (other than our "note") that we work on. As soon as we finish everything else, we rush around online (BuzzFlash is always one of the stops) to come up with potential topics for our editorial. There was no debate this week. All eight of us agreed that the only topic was The Sunday Times revelations. Congratulations and thanks to BuzzFlash for catching the story and prominently running it at their website.
posted by Third Estate Sunday Review @ Sunday, May 29, 2005

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Statement of purpose for this blog

So Eli and Shirley and Wally have been e-mailing me about a site. A number of e-mails come in saying, "Kat, I'm looking for the Green Day review . . ." Or the Wilco review, or the Maria McKee or . . .

So this is what this site will largely be.

For newcomers, I'm Kat of Kat's Korner. At The Common Ills, I write on music. I like bands. I like music that's performed. In my title, you'll find "(of The Common Ills)" and you may wonder why that is? Because, as many e-mailers have pointed out, there are tons of Kat's Korners out there.

No surprise there.

My name is Kaitlin. I've been called Kat most of my life. But I didn't invent the phrase "Kat's Korner." So to help anyone figure out which one is Kat's Korner that you know from The Common Ills, I've added it to the title.

So Kat, you ask, is this just an archive?

Largely it is.

From time to time, I'll do something here. Not an album review because I do those at The Common Ills.

Maybe it'll be something brief. Like, for instance, as I type, drink a Corona and chill, I'm listening to The Doors' Morrison Hotel. So I might make a comment or two on that.

Or I might make a comment on something else.

Eventually, I'll have all my previous reviews up here so you can find them if you're looking for them. I'll provide a link to them from where they appeared (The Common Ills) and note the date that they ran.

Some of you may know them from The Third Estate Sunday Review. Like me, they are community members of The Common Ills. And they are some incredible people and writers. They are Ava, Jim, Dona, Ty and Jess. From time to time, I'll help out with a roundtable there or something else.

My blog roll contains Common Ills community members. You'll see Folding Star's A Winding Road, Rebecca's Sex and Politics and Attitudes and Screeds. Betty's Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man and, of course, both The Third Estate Sunday Review and The Common Ills. I think I got them right in terms of the order that they started. If I didn't, my apologies.

I love all those guys. You can learn something from each site. I'll always add community members to my blog roll. There's a community member who's blog is down. When it's back up, I'll add it. Other than community members, I may or may not add other links.

I'll probably add links to music magazines.

But in terms of what is up here, this will probably be the longest entry you'll ever see. Probably, I'll note something here that's a paragraph. At best.

I'll read e-mail, to clear that up from the start, but I'm not going to be writing back and forth.
I write Eli and Shirley and Wally and Kara and Rebecca currently. But I'm not going to start a pen pal list. If I have something to say, I'll say it here.

I'm not going to be C.I. of The Common Ills trying to go through every e-mail that comes in.

What else can I tell you?

I'm primarily into rock. So if you're looking for country albums, for instance, you'll never see anything on them here. I'm not even fond of Bob Dylan's country period.

I do about one review a month at The Common Ills. Sometimes more. I wish I did more but if I'm not inspired, I don't force a review.

As for a review, it is what it is.

I noted that awhile back. The Third Estate Sunday Review gang think I've created a catch phrase with that. I was justifying my own attitude. If you find a typo, consider it there to give those looking for typos a gift.

I'm not going to go back and correct my spellings or my grammar. It is what it is.

I'm not going to pretty it up.

It is what it is.

And if you can get into that, you can get into what will be up here. If you can't, hey, sorry for you but find another site to visit.

If you're reading the review I posted before this, the first review I wrote for The Common Ills, and saying "B-b-but, Kat, the children of Destiny are so awesome . . ." then this site isn't for you.
I won't confuse manufactured music with real music. If you're hoping that I'll praise kiddies dabbling at music, you came to the wrong site.

C.I. and I were e-mailing back and forth about music for a bit before I got asked, "Why don't you write something?" That's how it started. Susan, a community member, loves music probably as much as I do. But she wasn't comfortable sharing her opinions on music. Mainly, as she'll tell you, because she didn't want to hear from the lovers of the children of Destiny. And she could picture the nasty e-mails that are now part of an average week.

I don't let those bother me.

If you can dig it, great. If you can't, find something else to read.

So I wrote a the Green Day thing and that's how it all started. I've reviewed Wilco, Carole King, Maria McKee, Tori Amos, Judy Collins, Nirvana's boxed set (an empty coffin) and I don't even know what else. Seriously, I'll get an e-mail asking about a review and I'll think, "Did I review that?"

I don't like doing histories. I think the "On the last album . . ." 'perspective' is useless and harmful. It's not a review, it's a statistic report. When I'm reading a review, I want to know what the album made you think or feel. I want to feel a part of that album. I don't want a paragraph of two of history, then three song titles mention and a line quoted, then a "that's all folks" review.

But that's what we get too much and I honestly think it drains the life out of music.

They want to act as though a CD is the back of a baseball card and talk about batting average.
I want to know about the CD, the game, and how that went.

In my reviews, I usually mention my friends because we're usually listening to music. We're not TV watchers in my group. Okay, Maggie is if she's drunk enough. But most of the time, if a TV's on, it's on as a backdrop with the sound all the way down and the stereo blasting music.

Music's too important to me to be pedestrian about it.

I hope that explains to you where I'm coming from. If you think you'll enjoy it, great, groovy. If the hairs on the back of your neck are rising, nice to meet you, now move on.

I'll close by noting a song that's been in my head all day today, Stevie Wonder's "Love's In Need Of Love Today." I think that pretty much sums up where we are right now. If you can get that, if you can grasp it, maybe you'll enjoy this site and my occassional entries here.

I know a tiny bit about blogging but I'll say a thank you to C.I. for staying on the phone with me while I created this and for still being on the phone in case anything goes wrong during the posting.

Kat's Korner Green Day v. the Disney Kids

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Kat's Korner Green Day v. the Disney Kids

Just lit the Tulasi Sandal Wood incense stick. The stereo's cranked up high and I'm settled in. Good evening.

I'm Kat and here at Kat's Korner we'll be going into music. There's a need for those of us on the left to reclaim our cultural roots. I've been e-mailing the site about that and there's agreement but with a focus on The New York Times front page and other issues there isn't always time to devote attention to music.

If you feel this is fluff then you're welcome to skip it. If you'd like to drop a line you can write the site and it will be forwarded to me ( or you can write me at

In Kat's Korner, we're going to focus on music. As a post awhile back noted, our music has gotten very plastic. Don't count on Clear Channel to fix that for you, folks! They're happy to spin the naughty Disney Kids play acting at sex, but you won't hear any music raising issues or inspiring. They've said it, "We're in the business to sell ad time."Heretic talk to me.

Music inspires, soothes, motivates.

Are we we are, are we we are
The waiting unknown.

That's track five off off Green Day's rock opera American Idiot. Rock opera. Sometimes you have to pull that thing that's been hidden in the back of the closet out to realize what a prize it is. Using the rock opera form, Green Day takes on the ultimate American Idiot: George W. Bush. There was enough gas in the tank to drive this one to number one on the charts. But you didn't hear it much on your "pap" radio, did you?

It's not the language. As anyone who's suffered through a radio station playing the macho posturing of thug rap knows: radio stations are happy to bleep out the occassional word and still keep a song in rotation. What's so threatening to Clear Channel and the rest about this album?Must be the ideas behind it. "Pap" radio is more than happy to serve up Kelly Clarkson (today's Petulia Clark?) and assorted other high school talent show rejects singing songs that mean nothing but get an idea behind a song and corporate radio trembles.

As Dylan Thomas once wrote: "Whatever is hidden should be made naked. To be stripped of the darkness is to be clean."

Unless it's a conservative idea. The subversion that is Destiny's Child's "Solider" gets played like crazy. Not Crazy, Sexy Cool because these three gals are no TLC. TLC lived it and walked the talk. The children of Destiny seem to spend more time with their brokers than with their band. "Solider" is proof of how too much thought about marketing destroys the music muse.

See, on one level, it's a song that pretends to be about sex (it's about as sexy as listening to Dr. Ruth on the radio) and, on another level, it's supposed to have us all marching through the malls singing, "I need a soldier." Won't King George & Lady Laura be pleased! The Shirelles did this tired act so much better. But "Soldier" is playing, it's spinning. After stalling at number ten it leaps to number seven.

Three women famous (infamous) for their inability to get along? It's like Diana Ross & the Supremes without the talent. By the break, Lil Wayne drops in to compare himself to a vet (insulting awardees of the Purple Heart everywhere).

And what kind of a name is Lil Wayne? He's bragging about what he's got and it's ... money. And his name is "Lil" Wayne.

"I want a soldier" the girls squeal (occasionally on key) as though they're at Toys R Us picking out dolls. The children of Destiny never seem more virginal than when they try to prove that they aren't.

Give me the rowdy boys of Green Day any day. Rude, angry, thrashing their three chords for all they're worth and in the process painting a sonic portrait of the world we live in. You won't catch Billie Joe, Tre & Mike at Bush's money busting inaug next month. But don't be surprised if the children of Destiny do a return shout out for their man Bully Boy Bush.

It's really important to fit in when you're plastic, to blend in. "Solider" tells us that they want a guy who's just like ... well goodness me, everyone else! Conformity. Rick James rolls over in his grave. But he's probably hep to the fact that these gals are so bland they're beyond vanilla, beyond white bread.

Meanwhile, Billie Joe's singing

I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don't know where it goes
But it's home to me and I walk alone
I walk this empty street
On the Blvd. of Broken Dreams

That song lept from 48 to 27 but somehow the child porn of Destiny gets "greatest gainer/airplay" from Billboard (moving from ten to seven). Folks, the man's coming knocking on your door and wants you to give up the beat of your own drum and march along to the beat of conformity. In a maritime march, natch.

Where's the outrage?

We've gotten so used to downloads and other excuses that we've allowed the kids we would have laughed at in school to drive us away from our own radio stations. I'm throwing out this battle cry: We need to reclaim our music.

Beyonce, you've got a cute butt. We've seen enough of it. Somewhere someone told you that all you had to offer up was kiddie porn and that you were really saying something. You're saying nothing. Back your way out of the room now because apparently no one wants to see you from the front. (Which is kind of insulting if you think about it.)

Beyonce's the type of kid who indignantly pouts in government class, "Well I think Clarence Thomas is a great man!"

She's got nothing to say even with other people writing the words. She's Suzie Sorority and she's done now.

There was a post about the power of "yes" and the power of "no." It's past time that we rise up and start saying "no" to these Nixon clones that have taken over popular music. Yes, that means you too, Britney Spears. And Justin Timberlake, the ultimate mama's boy. When he goes off on his blunts rap, I always wonder, "Oh how sweet, does Mommy roll them for you?"

Anyone ever notice that onstage while ripping off Janet Jackson's top or grabbing at Kylie Minogue's butt, he's always fully dressed? Get the idea he's the uptight kid who really doesn't know how to let go? No wonder he's so close to Mommy. Sex to him appears to be something used as a prop to sell records. Wonder if he's still a virgin? He sings like one.

The Disney Kids brought honor to all the losers who wouldn't give it up in high school. Timid virgins. Well head on back to the Magic Castle, kids, because we're a rowdy crew here. Yeah, we even go [gasp] all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We don't just tease about sex, we actually do the deed. (Don't believe Mommy, Justin, it's wonderful!)

They're the kids taking the DARE pledges and promising to wait for marriage. And somehow they've been allowed to think they're cool.

I am a sexual animal. Maybe that's why the antiseptic antics of the Disney Kids leaves me so cold. I have desires and I act on them. To me, that's cool.

Wake up, America, they're nerds!!!!!!!!!

The world is spinning around and around
Out of control again
From the 7-11 to the fear of breaking down
So send my love a letterbomb
And visit me in hell
We're the ones going home
We're coming home again

Billie Joe, you and Tre & Mike ride the rapids while pop tarts are too busy making sure they're coloring safely within the lines.

The biggest snickers at Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 came when Britney weighed in that we should like trust our like president because like he's like the president. Those snickers should follow her everywhere. Sounding like the historically ignornant and unaware Disney Kid that she is, Britney deserves to be held up to ridicule.

The right wants a cultural war? In the words of the Bully Boy, Bring It On! In climatic times in our nation, the arts have spoken and having lost their heavy hitter The Gropinator, they're in no position to defend themselves. (Not that the stiff known best for portraying a cyborg was a lot of help to them.)

Kat's Korner exists on the far left side of the world and I'll be lobbing my spitballs from here at every prude who thinks their antiseptic, black/white, good/evil view of the world is somehow reality. The world's messy, life's messy. You can lock your bodies in a chastity belt (and your minds as well) but don't try to pass that off as cool.

For those worried that I'll only focus on new music here in the Korner, don't worry. Even if the current state of music wasn't so God awful, I'd still want to highlight some of the classics of the past.

Green Day is a rowdy, angry band that wasn't afraid to speak truth to the Bush lies so I started with them. If you're tired of living in a PG-13 world, I'd recommend you rush out and grab American Idiot. The CD, not the Bully Boy! You'll find fifty seven minutes of glorious messy (and gloriously messy) music by three guys who aren't trying to fit in. And just listening you know they've actually done the nasty!

King of the 40 thieves and I'm here to represent
The needle in the vein of the establishment
I'm the patron saint of the denial with an angel face
And a taste for sucidial cigarettes

Somewhere, the Disney Kids are running off to tattle to their mamas. Justin, be sure to tell Mommy that Green Day also says

Welcome to a new kind of tension
Where everything isn't meant to be o.k.
This review originally appeared at The Common Ills on December 19, 2004.