Thirty years ago today, March 2, 1984, the film This is Spinal Tap was released. This rockumentary, or mockumentary, directed by Rob Reiner, featured Christopher Guest (Nigel Tufnel), Michael McKean (David St. Hubbins), Harry Shearer (Derek Smalls), and a bevy of actors and actresses in guest spots. Numerous actors filled in the role of . . . → Read More: Spinal Tap: It Was 30 Years Ago Today, by Mark Erickson
I watched the Sochi Opening Ceremony. Kyrgyzstan had a cool flag, and I learned that Nepal has the world’s only nonrectangular flag. I was surprised that Iceland had only five athletes. Mexico had one out of a population of 118 million. By contrast, Sweden had 111 out of a population of less than 10 . . . → Read More: Sochi and the Heroes of Telemark, by Mark Erickson
According to the liner notes of Black Box, WaxTrax! Records moved from Colorado to a storefront on Chicago’s North Lincoln Avenue in 1978 after being “fueled by the punk revolution.” WaxTrax! issued its second single in 1981, featuring Divine of Pink Flamingos and Polyester fame. Also, in 1981, the record store and recording studio . . . → Read More: From Beer to Eternity, Ministry’s Final Release, May Be Band’s Best, By Mark Erickson
A treestone at Bohemian National Cemetery.
During one furlough day I had to break from my massive deck project to rest my bones from all the bending, lifting, and stooping. I choose to do something I had never done in my 25 years of living in Chicago: I toured the Bohemian National Cemetery located . . . → Read More: Touring Chicago’s Bohemian National Cemetery, by Mark Erickson
David Bowie is a staple on classic rock radio, and deservedly so. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (and my Rykodisc extended version) is clearly a four-star album. I am also quite fond of Outside (1995) and Earthling (2007), among other releases. Bowie has had duds. I listened . . . → Read More: David Bowie’s Reading List, By Mark Erickson
I have not been able to follow the logic of the government shutdown. Clearly, America has divided government. One faction(s) has sought repeatedly (>41 times by Congressional vote) to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is approved legislation and upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Personally, I do not . . . → Read More: America Needs to Significantly Decrease Military Spending, by Mark Erickson
During Sunday’s Viking/Bear debacle, the network aired a commercial/PSA that reminded viewers to remember 9/11, honor the troops stationed abroad, and that the United States has troops stationed in 175 countries. Parenthetically, the United States has over 800 bases located throughout the world. In today’s Wall Street Journal, Andrew Browne wrote an article about . . . → Read More: U.S. Should Not Re-Establish Military Bases in the Philippines, by Mark Erickson
Rep. Barbara Lee (CA), one of a select few Honorable Members of Congress who opposed 43′s illegal invasion of Iraq, has written a letter concerning Syria to 44 in the last 24 hours. Here’s the letter.
– Mark Erickson
Dear Mr. President:
We join you and the international community in expressing unequivocal condemnation . . . → Read More: Rep Barbara Lee Cautions Obama on Syria Involvement, by Mark Erickson
In April 2013, The White House accused Syrian President Bashar Assad’s shi’ite forces of using sarin gas, a deadly nerve agent banned by international treaty, on a “small scale” against rebel sunni factions. Russia denounced the allegation of sarin gas use, calling the evidence “unconvincing.” Retired Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former chief of . . . → Read More: Why is the United States Now Arming Al-Qaeda? By Mark Erickson
I am disappointed by President Obama’s forays in the Middle East, failure to close Guantanamo, and use of drone “missions” that create more hatred than peace. The following lyrics come from a Dead Kennedys song called “Kinky Sex Makes the World Go ‘Round,” which was part of the 1987 release, Give Me Convenience or . . . → Read More: The Dead Kennedys Were Both Poignant and Prescient, By Mark Erickson
I was never a rabid fan, just a casual one. However, I’d love to see these guys in concert (not at a festival). I can’t believe they dissolved over 20 years ago. Man, I am old!
– Mark Erickson
HOW THE REPLACEMENTS SAVED ME FROM THE LEDGE, by Claude Iosso
This Swedish band, Goat, is from Korpilombolo. There were in Chicago two days ago. I should have gone. Drat! Sweden produces great music these days… Opeth and Meshuggah are very different from Goat.
– Mark Erickson
. . . → Read More: GOAT live at Truckstop Alaska, Gothenburg, By Mark Erickson
Passage from Escape From the Planet of the Apes.
Zira: I should have said that chimpanzees had no part in the destruction of Earth. Only the gorillas and the orangutans.
E.2.: What’s the difference? You’re all monkeys.
Cornelius: Please do not use the word ‘monkey.’ We find it offensive. As an . . . → Read More: The Minnesota Starvation Experiment: Their Conscience Drove Them to Starve, By Mark Erickson
In the months before the United States invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003, leaders of the Bush (#43) regime, i.e., National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and Vice President Dick Cheney, made statements to various organizations such as the United Nations, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the House+Senate Armed Forces Committees, . . . → Read More: Some Iraq War Questions Still Unanswered a Decade Later, By Mark Erickson
In this latest installment, you will learn that George W. Bush was the worst president in our lifetime.
Earlier this month the European Court of Human Rights found the CIA guilty of torturing a German citizen, Khaled el Masri. Allegations included kidnapping him in Macedonia, covertly transferring him via extraordinary rendition to an Afghan . . . → Read More: George W. Bush Was the Worst President in our Lifetime, By Mark Erickson
My church arranged speakers over the four Sundays preceding the national election to facilitate discussion concerning “Christian Faith and this Year’s Election Issues.” Last Sunday, retired North Park University Professor of New Testament, Dr. Cal Katter, focused on the dire economic issue of America’s widening gap between the rich and everyone else. Dr. Katter . . . → Read More: Please Pray Before You Vote, By Mark Erickson
In the Business section of yesterday’s conservative Chicago Tribune, writer Gail MarksJarvis has a column about the Standard & Poor 500 index’s performance over the last five years. I will use her analysis to further inform the masses of the depth of the damage caused to this country by President Obama’s immediate predecessor, #43. . . . → Read More: Supposed Socialist Obama Has in Fact Revived Stock Markets, By Mark Erickson
George W. Bush (43) was notably absent at the Republican National Convention, and his two-term administration was barely mentioned. However, brother Jeb quipped “during incredibly challenging times,  kept us safe.” What ?! 9/11 happened on the watch of 43! In fact, Condoleeza Rice testified during the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry that a Presidential . . . → Read More: Thoughts about 43 on 9.11.12, By Mark Erickson
My neighbor, Bill Werner, MD, MPH, authored this article for my church’s monthly newsletter. I am copying it verbatim with his permission, as follows:
Soon after the Supreme Court issued its decision that the majority of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010 was constitutional, I attended a debate by two . . . → Read More: Obamacare, What Now? By Mark Erickson, Dr. Bill Werner
I have had “Vkgoeswild” bookmarked for quite a while, and you should follow. And now she comes through: Only piano for Free Bird. This pianist is amazing! I love her Queen stuff. Check out DP’s Lazy, NIN, and System of a Down (who rawked last month when I saw them) and so many others. . . . → Read More: The Flight of the Bumblebee – Vkgoeswild, By Mark Erickson