Happy Monday after Thanksgiving! Tales From The Drop BoxEpisode 51 is reasonably straightforward this week containing a sampling of a bunch of bands from foreign countries who deserve a listen no matter where you or they are located. After all, if Trump has his way the only media will be Trump media and I’m of the sincere belief that the content of Tales From The Dropbox would be perceived as a threat and consequently does not squarely fit with his view of making America great again. I dissent.
As Mrs. Belding aptly put it – better not to discuss politics in these things – so I won’t. I also concur with her belief that it is always a better goal each day to put your best ear forward (look on the bright side of life!) and seek out new tunes to put you in a good mood and continue to follow the only rule that matters: be a good human. I think this episode achieves that humble goal.
As I am still basking in the afterglow of thanksgiving and because I have much to be thankful for, I am poignantly aware that there are many whom do not share the great fortune that my family and I do. Thus, this time of year is also a good time to reflect not only on the good fortune that we enjoy but also to take action by supporting those causes and charities that need our help providing for those whose needs are greater than our own:
So as this holiday season begins, click the link above and support your own, local, social issues and causes. Mr. Belding is in LA so that’s where I began. Search out your own city and support those services. They need your support. Be a good human. Take action.
Half the way to 100, Tales From The Drop BoxEpisode 50 explores slightly darker territory. Not sure why this collection of tunes seems a little darker than normal but I think you’ll still find nuggets of sonic goodness that hopefully will keep you coming back for more. This week features some new stuff from the Courteneers, an advance track from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, new songs from Purling Hiss and the Computers – all of which highlight another fun filled episode. I put the King Gizzard and Purling Hiss tracks back to back so you can enjoy almost 15 minutes of sweetness! This show is going to run a few minutes longer than usual as a consequence. The 50th episode deserves something special, eh?
This week’s misguided opinion involves at least tangentially a hot button issue – illegal aliens – i.e. persons in the country without the government’s permission. To be clear, I am only concerned about the immigration status of this very large group. They are neither illegal nor aliens. They are currently your neighbors, and very likely taxpaying, contributing, vital members of your community.
In light of the anointment of an avowed racist president elected by the Obama disenfranchised (it’s the economy stupid), this is a good time to think about the impact of Trump’s promise to crack down on so called “Sanctuary Cities” (Note this link offers a Trump endorsed view of the Sanctuary issue but is only tangentially related to the issue I’m describing below) and to “cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities” within his first 100 days in office. In order to accomplish this goal, Trump is threatening to deprive nearly 400 jurisdictions of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars in grants and other money for policing, jails, courts, housing, roads and education. Subsequently in an interview with “60 Minutes” Trump pledged to immediately deport people in the country illegally who have criminal records – a subset he estimated could include as many as 3 million people.
Apart from the fact that the 3 million people subject to removal proceedings (the technical procedure for deportation) still have some rights (albeit very freakin’ limited), the real issue is the economic impact on those cities if Trump carries out his threat to deny federal funds to cities offering “sanctuary” to persons in the United States without permission of the U.S. government or whom have overstayed that permission and their families (which also include a significant number of U.S. citizens).
Regardless of your thoughts on persons remaining in the United States illegally (i.e. without government permission to stay) and what should or should not happen to those persons in that situation, the consequences to the legal residents of these “sanctuary cities” if federal funding is denied – will certainly impact yours and my daily lives.
A “sanctuary city” is a city that has enacted, usually informal policies, requiring their local law enforcement agencies to not cooperate or share information about the immigration status of a person in custody and refusing to cooperate with federal officials requesting immigration holds, called detainers. In the 2015 fiscal year, ICE issued more than 95,000 detainers to local law enforcement agencies. In nearly half of those cases, the detainers pertained to individuals who had not been convicted of any crime. An “immigration detainer” is a document by which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) advises other law enforcement agencies of its interest in individual aliens whom these agencies are detaining. ICE and its predecessor, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), have used detainers as one means of obtaining custody of aliens for removal proceedings since at least 1950. There are a number of significant legal issues with detainers that courts are continuing to address – most notably that ICE’s use of detainers violates the limited rights of persons in this country illegally. (See Immigration Detainers: Legal Issues.) See alsoMoreno v. Napolitano, Case No. 11 C 5452 (N.D. Ill. Sep. 30, 2016)
In a large number of democratically controlled cities and counties (about 400 jurisdictions), this sanctuary policy is prevalent. For example, there are a very large number of sanctuary cities in California including almost all of Southern California including Los Angeles and Los Angeles County, as well as most of northern California including San Francisco, and San Francisco County. And according to ICE the issue is growing.
The reason for the problem is linked to the significant changes in the manner in which persons are subject to removal in the wake of the last significant changes to the immigration law, namely Pub. L. 104-208 known as the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (“IIRIA”). IIRIA is manifestly unfair for two main reasons: mandatory detention of non-citizens awaiting a decision as to whether they are deportable, and indefinite detention of non-citizens ordered removed to countries that will not accept them. These consequences, in light of Trump’s pronouncement to deport 3 million persons whom are here illegally, present significant problems when he decides to try and carry out his promise.
As should be obvious to everyone, where in the #$@^# are you going to put 3 million people who you think should be deported while the already overburdened immigration courts determine that you have rounded up and jailed the right ones? Where are you going to put all of the people when Trump determines that they can be removed to their country of origin and that country says to Trump – fu_k off their your problem now? Are we going to keep them locked up forever?
The cost to the Feds to maintain these people is going to be huge. That means the cost to the taxpayers is going to be huge. If Trump pulls the plug on federal funding to sanctuary cities then how inclined are those cities going to be to assist with this colossal problem? Not likely, I would assume.
And that is just the start. You might say, well “I’m a citizen and those people should not be here. It is not my issue.” Well, if the promised happens and you live in one of those sanctuary cities it is going to be not only your issue – but everyone’s issue. Why you might ponder? The reason is fairly straightforward – the Feds will start squeezing the money supply to these cities while increasing taxes to try to pay for all the housing etc. necessary to keep the “illegals” contained. While it is unlikely that Trump will be able to withhold funds already earmarked for programs that the Feds already contribute such as roads, education, healthcare etc., you can be sure that there will no new federal funds sent to these cities. Projects already funded will be de-prioritized and delayed.
The withholding will result in a long slow decline in those economies lasting several years but the impact on sanctuary cities will be noticeable. In those cities dependent on Federal business the impact will be devastating on these local economies….
No federal business means no business.
And that is why you should care: because the citizens in sanctuary cities are going to feel it in their wallets.
Sanctuary cities exist because the Federal government is depriving persons accused of being illegal aliens of their limited rights to due process. Regardless of your position on this issue, these are humans and deserve to be afforded the rights we as a nation have agreed to provide until the laws change. They do not deserve to be detained indefinitely and cities protesting the Federal Government’s morally abhorrent use of detainers should not be “punished” because they desire the Federal government actually follow the law.
It is going to be a painful exercise for everyone when Trump acts as promised.
Episode 49 of Tales From The Drop Box skews a little older. This episode marks the return of several 2nd generation UK punk bands long thought dead. Anti-Pasti, Anti Nowhere League, and Chron Gen have new records as does LA punk rawk stalwarts NOFX. These records are all “dropbox” worthy. The fact that they all are so worthy is a surprise because each of these efforts easily could be dismissed as efforts to revisit a time long past relevance by people older than even myself. Also interesting by these new efforts is that all of these releases cover socio-political issues relevant to this time and this generation. The views on these records represent a mature political punk view and each album contributes something slightly different to the discussion, and in several cases through humor. Good stuff all around!
N.B. If you are not into political-social opinion, then stop reading and just enjoy the show! No worries, at Tales From The Dropbox – we still respect your right to be left alone and your choices! I’m just glad you still choose to listen to some awesome music not likely to be experienced on radio or found on your Spotify feed!
As there is much discussion of Trump’s projected Supreme Court appointments and his campaign “promise” to reverse Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) the issue of concern in these episode notes is three-fold:
(a) What does Roe v. Wade actually say?;
(b) What the impact of a reversal of that important piece of legislation will mean to the average citizen?; and
(c) WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO EXERCISE THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO PEACEABLY ASSEMBLE TO DRAW ATTENTION TO THE POTENTIAL HARM ARISING FROM ANY REVERSAL?
The most important portion of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade is that the Court found a personal right of privacy in the Constitution. While the common perception is that this is the court case guaranteed the right to an abortion, this is in fact not the case. The case merely holds that a woman has a right to choose to terminate a pregnancy but it does not restrict a State’s ability to regulate that process to the extent that it does not interfere with the right to privacy. Although the Supreme Court noted that “[t]he Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy, it did not stop them from constructing an artifice from prior decisions which opened the door for not only a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy but altered the direction of personal rights in a number of areas:
In a line of decisions, however, going back perhaps as far as Union Pacific R. Co. v. Botsford, 141 U. S. 250, 251 (1891), the Court has recognized that a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy, does exist under the Constitution. In varying contexts, the Court or individual Justices have, indeed, found at least the roots of that right in the First Amendment, Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U. S. 557, 564 (1969); in the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, Terry v. Ohio, 392 U. S. 1, 8-9 (1968), Katz v. United States, 389 U. S. 347, 350 (1967), Boyd v. United States, 116 U. S. 616 (1886), see Olmstead v. United States, 277 U. S. 438, 478 (1928) (Brandeis, J., dissenting); in the penumbras of the Bill of Rights, Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. at 484-485; in the Ninth Amendment, id. at 486 (Goldberg, J., concurring); or in the concept of liberty guaranteed by the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment, see Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U. S. 390, 399 (1923). These decisions make it clear that only personal rights that can be deemed “fundamental” or “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,” Palko v. Connecticut, 302 U. S. 319, 325 (1937), are included in this guarantee of personal privacy. They also make it clear that the right has some extension to activities relating to marriage, Loving v. Virginia, 388 U. S. 1, 12 (1967); procreation, Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U. S. 535, 541-542 (1942); contraception, Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. at 453-454; id. at 460, 463-465 (WHITE, J., concurring in result); family relationships, Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U. S. 158, 166 (1944); and childrearing and education, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U. S. 510, 535 (1925), Meyer v. Nebraska, supra.
This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment’s reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.
(Id. 410 U.S. 152-53.)
This is truly vague reasoning but, for now, it is the law of the land.
Reversing Roe v. Wadenot only would eliminate a woman’s right to choose but also would significantly alter a number of rights flowing from the right of privacy. A good summary of the court cases regarding the evolution of the right to privacy and reproductive rights is here. These privacy rights would then be left to be decided at the state level. This will be very bad. ( Can you hear Trumps voice? Not that he would express the same sentiment here.) Without the federal right to privacy individual states would be left to determine what rights would be embodied in the right of privacy – and this would portend a huge problem as different states would be able to enact different legislation. This would effectively create states where abortion is legal, illegal, or somewhere in between with a shift in position with each successive change of power.
This concept of the states choosing what privacy rights to permit their citizens to exercise is important, because as this presidential election demonstrated, America is not a patch work of various political viewpoints. Rather, people tend to live with people like themselves because they share the same ideals, color, and viewpoints. If the decisions regarding personal privacy are left to the states, then the majority viewpoint will prevail by enacting legislation that does not respect the viewpoint of the minority while still respecting the desires of the majority. Our nation’s divisions will widen as people are forced to seek rights afforded to citizens available in other states but not their own by crossing state lines.
Lastly, while the U.S. Constitution still has some relevance to the freedoms afforded by the Bill of Rights to that Constitution it is important to note that the people DO NOT have to sit and watch President Trump wreck havoc on those personal rights and freedoms. There must be an active dissent.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the United States Congress from enacting legislation that would abridge the right of the people to assemble peaceably. The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution makes this prohibition applicable to state governments. The Supreme Court of the United States has held that the First Amendment protects the right to conduct a peaceful public assembly. The right to assemble is not, however, absolute. Government officials cannot simply prohibit a public assembly in their own discretion, but the government can impose restrictions on the time, place, and manner of peaceful assembly, provided that constitutional safeguards are met. Time, place, and manner restrictions are permissible so long as they “are justified without reference to the content of the regulated speech, . . . are narrowly tailored to serve a significant governmental interest, and . . . leave open ample alternative channels for communication of the information.”
This right of peaceful assembly gives the minority viewpoint the opportunity to demonstrate their opposition to government acts that interfere with individual rights. The protest march is the Constitution in action. Without the right to challenge the government’s acts there is no Constitution. It is merely a piece of paper and there is no democracy. The only limitation on the potential tyranny of the majority is the willingness of the minority to act against the imposition of laws that interfere with the legitimate rights afforded by the Constitution. Do your part. We don’t need any more “conversations” to “heal” our divided nation. We need action. Do your part.
Talk – Action = 0.
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #49:
Bad Sleep “Bad Rep” (Bad Sleep EP)
Imperial State Electric – “Would You Lie” (All Through The Night)
Waterparks – “Stupid For You” (Double Dare)
LVL UP – “I” (Return To Love)
Civilian – “Reasons” (You Wouldn’t Believe What Privilege Costs)
Night Riots – “Breaking Free” (Love Gloom)
Duotang – “Quite Content In A Rut” (New Occupation)
Kurt Baker combo – “Jerkin’ Back ‘n’ Forth (In Orbit)
Tales From The Drop Box is still in shock. I am compelled to acknowledge that an avowed racist, misogynist, sexist, tax avoiding, lying, pussy grabbing hypocrite is the leader of the free world and his election reflects the will of slightly less than 50% of the voting public’s view that he is the best person to lead our country.
Not a proud moment in our history.
So, in the spirit of positive reflection: Trump’s election was truly a test of our democracy and his election confirms that the process, for all of its flaws (e.g. the electoral college myth) shows that anyone can be elected. In the same spirit as Trump’s name-calling campaign, we should all now hail him President Scumbag.
It is not the end of the world. It just feels like it.
On a sad note, the news just broke that Leonard Cohen passed away at age 82. You likely have heard covers of his most famous song “Hallelujah,” which he wrote in 1984, but for me, the introduction took place through the song “Suzanne” which is the most covered song in Cohen’s catalogue. I discovered it during my college years as I was experimenting with a wide variety of sounds during that period. Cohen, from Canada, was a diamond who will be missed.
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #48:
The Ettes – “Dead and Gone” (Shake the Dust (10th Anniversary Edition))
Tango in the Attic – “Leftside” (Bank Place Locomotive Society)
Taking Back Sunday – “Call Come Running” (Tidal Wave)
The Record Play – “Get Well” (Second Year)
Famp “In Love With A Feeling” (Exist)
Black Honey – “Hello Today” (Hello Today EP)
Mannequin Pussy – “ Meatslave One” (Romantic)
Out Came The Wolves – “Queen Mary” (Strange Fate)
Crocodiles – “Jumping on Angels” (Dreamless)
Terry Malts – “It’s Not Me” (Lost At The Party)
Spirit Club – “Fast Ice” (Slouch)
Celeb Car Crash – “Because I’m Sad” (People Are The Best Show)
Pixies – “All I Think About Now” (Head Carrier)
CRX – “Walls” (New Skin)
Nancy Pants – “Take” (Vol. 27 EP)
Hey you could call on me I’d come running . . . you say I’m too much of a distraction and although we can’t agree you know we had something so we drink we drink so we don’t have to face one another…
Tales From The Drop Box mourns the loss of Resistor Records, my local record store. After almost three years, Sean and Ally shuttered they doors on their retail operation to begin a new adventure on October 31. I will miss hanging out in the store on my lunch breaks and trading jabs, barbs, and moments of lunacy all the while listening to selections of vinyl haphazardly selected as appropriate for the moment. Truly a sad day for me, but hopefully the start of a great adventure for both of them.
As for the social issue that regularly appears in these show notes, the WikiLeaks produced illegally obtained emails from the DNC’s and John Podesta’s accounts (which you can find here: DNC Emails and The Podesta Emails) raise the question as to whether the exchange of comment and opinion contained in correspondence authored by others and not meant to be public should reflect on the veracity and ability of a politician, in this case – the democratic party’s nominee for President aka Hillary?
The release of these emails may shed new light on the email scandal which has given Hillary and her campaign fits. Does it matter? Hillary has already acknowledged that she made mistakes, and that the intentionally deleted emails were not work related. While the contents may be personally embarrassing to Hillary, their destruction is not a crime. See Why Hillary Clinton Deleted 33,000 Emails on Her Private Email Server
A couple of important facts: Hillary did not read any of the emails on the server from which the emails were requested. Her legal team not only conducted the search of relevant emails and their production, but the legal team was responsible for the production of the relevant emails. As for the remaining emails which the legal team ( and consequently Hillary) believed were of a personal nature, these emails either deleted by Hillary in the ordinary course as almost all of us in the same situation are apt to do, or her legal team carried out the destruction on all emails not related to the request.
So why the continued flap over emails? If the deleted emails are produced as Kim Dotcom intimates will happen shortly, and none of those emails indicate a .gov or other work related extension, then there release will likely just confirm what we all know:
Hillary is a genetically predisposed politician possessing a gene which permits her to speak out of both sides of her mouth to accomplish a goal. This is consistent with the dictionary definition of a politician as “a person who acts in a manipulative and devious way, typically to gain advancement within an organization.” While these actions are morally indefensible, they are apparently the status quo for our political system and candidates who fail to recognize that achieving this skill and actively facilitating its development i.e. tell only the truth and be transparent about all issues – will fail.
This is not an excuse for morally reprehensible behavior. However, as this election cycle teaches, the ability to say one thing in what is “supposed” to be private communication and say another publicly is standard practice and has been since the first government was formed – anywhere. We are also unlikely to change the system which has a design flaw as it rewards people who lie easily and punishes those who only tell the truth and cannot “compromise” their ideals in order to achieve results.
What distinguishes Hillary from Donald is this: Hillary mostly speaks the truth and lies to press an advantage. Donald mostly tells lies and the truth is an anathema.
So, as we vote on November 8, we must each decide for ourselves which of the two morally deficient candidates is best suited to lead our country for the next four years. In my mind the decision is relatively easy: I prefer the candidate who lies only about emails over the one who lies about every fckng thing.
Not sure how to describe Episode 47 but perhaps awkward is an apt description. Oh … and if you don’t like the F-word or other potentially inappropriate lyrics in your songs or there are tender ears listening to this episode, then perhaps skip tracks 10 (Hospital Job) and 12 (Bowling For Soup). You’ve been warned!
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #47:
Duchess Says – “I’m an Idea” (Sciences Nouvelles)
Electric Six – “Greener Pastures” (Fresh Blood For Tired Vampyres)
The Broadcast – “Steamroller” (From The Horizon)
Blaney feat. Mark E. Smith – “Rude All The Time” (Urban Nature)
Wilco – “Someone to Lose” (Schmilco)
Merchandise – “Lonesome Sound” (A Corpse Wired For Sound)
All Get Out – “Chasing Skirt” (Nobody likes A Quitter)
The Glazzies – “Paper Thin” (Kill Me Kindly)
Earwig – “Badr Moon” (Pause For The Jets)
Hospital Job – “Hey Hey” (Never Get Cold)
Jacuzzi Boys – “Boys Like Blood” (Ping Pong)
Bowling For Soup – “Shit To Do” (Drunk Dynasty)
Mowgli’s – “Automatic” (Where’d Your Weekend Go?)
Sonic Avenues – “Dancing In The Sun” (Disconnector)
Gurr – “Rollerskate” (In My Head)
It wasn’t love she was putting me on I went further down . . . I’ve got sh*t to do.