Tales From The Drop Box Episode 120, has several tracks from Canadian punk rock bands. All of them are from Ontario. I have no control over how that coincidence happened. It just did. Perhaps divine intervention (as you will see if you click the link it is also a really good Matthew Sweet song). I also think, because of the confluence of Canadian punk rock, that you are going to find this episode a little more aggressive than the past couple of episodes. So, if you like your Tales From the Drop Box to rock your day…this episode will surely do that. No particular reason for the change, it just is.
In keeping with a recent theme (see Episode 119) about the importance of voting, if you are not registered to vote, you need to get going and get that done. California makes it very easy for everyone to register:
The deadline to register or re-register to vote for any election is 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Time on the 15th calendar day before that election. So, for the November 6th election this year, your deadline to register online is Mon Oct 22, 2018 or by mail postmarked by Mon Oct 22, 2018.
To register online you will need:
Your California driver license or California identification card number,
The last four digits of your social security number, and
Your date of birth.
Your information will be provided to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to retrieve a copy of your DMV signature.
If you do not have a California driver license or California identification card, you can still use apply to register to vote by completing an online interview by 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Time on the 15th calendar day before an election.
If you are 16 or 17 years old, you can use the online registration application to pre-register to vote.
See how easy that is? You are now just a couple of mouse clicks away from enjoying one of the truly great benefits of being a citizen.
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #120:
Amyl & The Sniffers – “Some Mutts (Can’t Be Muzzled)” ( b/w Cup of Destiny 7”)
decker. – “Burning Grass” (Born To Wake Up)
Black Honey – “I Only Hurt The Ones I Love” (Black Honey)
The Dirty Nil – “Super 8” (Master Volume)
Justin Courtney Pierre – “I Don’t Know Why She Ran Away” (In The Drink)
Ecstatic Union – “Desert Queen” (Neurons)
Young Scum – “Freak Out” (Young Scum)
Real Friends – “Me First” (Composure)
Muncie Girls – “Clinic” (Fixed Ideals)
Moaning – “Close” (Moaning)
Reverend Backflash – “Fuckaround” (Too Little Too Late)
Fucked Up – “Torch To Light” (Dose Your Dreams)
Single Mothers – “24/7” (Through A Wall)
U.K. Subs – “C.I.D.” (b/w “Live In A Car”/ “B.I.C.)
Otoboke Beaver – “Anata Watashi Daita Ato Yome No Meshi” (b/w/ Anata Watashi Daita Ato Yome No Meshi (Instrumental)
I called the clinic and they said it was a three-week wait ‘But the doctor ’ll give you something just to get you through the day.’ I’m scared, I’ve never felt like this before… ‘Cos he’s an underground undercover agent for the CID, CID, CID got a loaded 44 walking armory store . . .
Not sure where I was going with this episode, Tales From The Drop Box Episode 119, if you are keeping track. I have spent some time thinking about elections and voting as my lovely wife is running for re-election for the school board in the city where I live. We are a little more than 6 weeks away from November 6 – a date that should be on everyone’s calendar. Voting is a privilege of citizenship. I say privilege because, although citizens enjoy the right to vote, a surprisingly large number of those eligible to vote, do not. Even more surprising, at least to me, are the number of citizens who are not able to vote because they are not eligible. That last statement should absolutely shock your conscience.
Your “right to vote” was earned through the service of the brave women and men who have defended our nation, fought in our wars, and died in preserving our freedoms. The “right to vote” appears 5 times in the Constitution but nowhere in the Constitution does it specifically state that “all individuals have the right to vote.” The Constitution merely rules out specific limitations on “the right to vote.” A right not guaranteed in affirmative terms isn’t really a “right” in a fundamental sense. How do we know that the right to vote is not a right and not a privilege then? Because the right to vote is often taken away by the State. The most egregious problem is that different states have imposed different “burdens” on the right to vote effectively creating a class of citizens who are deemed “worthy” of the privilege.
A privilege is a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people. All citizens should have the right to vote, but they do not. We have permitted our elected officials to chip away and to usurp the right to vote by enacting legislation designed to remove or unduly burden the ability of certain groups/classes of individuals to vote. In so doing, the privileged class converted a right appearing in the Constitution to a mere “privilege” through the permanent disenfranchisement of citizens with felony convictions, superfluous voter identification requirements and complex voter registration laws that are designed to eliminate the right to vote of the poor, the uneducated, and those who do not conform to the politics of a particular state. That is, we live in a country that has permitted voting as a privilege to be enjoyed by “worthy” people and not by others.
Without uniform election laws, the prevalent patch-work election rules and regulations that vary state-by-state will continue to disenfranchise millions of voters countrywide. This disenfranchisement will continue to target those persons who have committed a felony in the past, do not possess government issued identification, or lack a fixed residence. Finally, as is becoming obvious, more persons will be disenfranchised because States run elections as cheaply as possible. This lack of funding makes it more difficult to vote as States respond by placing polling places in remote locations or simply by not having ballots for registered voters. This is shameful in a Country that prides itself in “free” elections. As States place more burdens on voting, we lose our rights. If we fail to vote when we are able, then we shouldn’t complain that we didn’t get te government we wanted. However, if we wrongfully prevent our citizens from voting then we destroy our democracy.
So, as the midterm elections approach, exercise your privilege because you are voting for those citizens our government says shouldn’t vote. Perhaps in time, voting will be a right… and not a privilege.
Mystic Braves – “Under Control” (The Great Unknown)
Hank Wood and the Hammerheads – “Love is a Cold White Tile” (Hank Wood and the Hammerheads)
Loose Tooth – “Asteroid” (Keep Up)
Megative – “Can’t Get Away” (Megative)
The Blank Tapes – “Paradise” (Candy)
Culture Abuse – “Dip” (Bay Dream)
Boston Manor – “Flowers in Your Dustbin” (Welcome To The Neighborhood)
As It Is – “The Wounded World” (The Great Depression)
WSTR – “Fling” (Identity Crisis)
The Beggars – “Game” (The Day I Lost My Head)
Illuminati Hotties – “Paying Off The Happiness” (Kiss Yr Frenemies)
Public Image Limited – “Flowers of Romance” (Public Image Is Rotten)
Amy Shark – “Mess Her Up” (Love Monster)
Et quand je trippe, j’ai tort sous cannabis, je dors et quand je bois j’ai tort quand je me bats j’ai tort . . . it’s the brush of my hand in a wide hallway, it’s the long goodbyes that give us away, it’s the song that comes on and hurts the most.
Let us all take a moment to regain our composure. Things will get better. The playlist I have created for Tales From The Drop Box Episode 118 is calculated to brighten your day! Truly, this episode is mostly filled with sunshine. As you know, there is always a little darkness in these podcasts, but as I hope you will discover, this episode is filled primarily with sunny and bright indie pop and punk pop music. I should also probably note that Episode 118 is also mostly filled with a solid bunch of very new releases including the latest from Idles, Menace Beach and The Primals.
Now, I digress. Rather than weigh in on the clowns chasing their own tails in the current NYT Op-ed administration crisis ( which would be an easy target, unless you already had deduced that General Kelly was the primary author of what is a composite work), I thought this week, I would focus on an issue that may be significantly more consequential to America. The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
In case you were not keeping track as to the happenings of the inquisition of the candidate for the Supreme Court, I was particularly taken with one aspect of those hearings. Sure, there is a ton of posturing, and Kavanaugh has revealed little in not answering any questions as to cases that might come before him as a judge. However, one small bit of testimony gave me pause as to whether Judge Brett Kavanaugh is actually qualified to be a justice on the Supreme Court. I think Kavanaugh is willing to disregard facts in reaching decisions which he believes are against his value system. That is, I believe Kavanaugh’s bias interferes with his ability to serve. We all have biases. The problem with Kavanaugh’s bias is that he is willing to create “facts” in order to confirm his bias. i.e. recognize as statement as a fact when no evidence exists supporting that fact.
During his testimony Kavanaugh referred to some forms of birth control as “abortion-inducing drugs.” You might think this statement is relatively innocuous. Certainly not a statement that should disqualify a candidate for the Supreme Court. Regardless of your views on abortion – pro-life or pro-choice, the adoptive use of this phrase reveals a complete disregard for science and fact based inquiry and portends, perhaps, that as a Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh will decide cases not on fact but on his beliefs. This is dangerous because it requires transforming his opinion as to what he believes to be true into a fact to be relied upon in reaching a decision. There is not one bit of scientific support for his statement that some forms of birth control induce abortions. None.
You can already find stories trying to limit the harm created by Kavanaugh’s use of the term. (See Contraception Confusion: Judge Kavanaugh and Priests for Life.) Although, various commentators are currently engaged in some debate about what precisely Kavanaugh was testifying to at that time he responded with abortion-inducing drugs, the use is consistent with Kavanaugh’s dissenting opinion in the case Priests for Life v. DEPT. OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERV’S, 808 F.3d 1 (2015). The reference was given in response to Ted Cruz’s questions about the case. My impression of his testimony was that he was not discussing it from the litigant’s viewpoint, but rather my impression was that Kavanaugh has adopted the litigation position of Priest’s For Life, a pro life advocacy group who, along with a number of other groups including Catholic hospitals, clinics, universities, schools, and social services, challenged the contraceptive mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act on religious liberty grounds.
Why do I believe my impression is valid? An examination of the case itself lends support that Kavanaugh adopted Priest’s For Life’s position. Kavanaugh, dissenting from the denial of rehearing en banc wrote:
In my respectful view, the panel opinion misapplies the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and contradicts the Supreme Court’s recent decisions in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., ___ U.S. ___, 134 S.Ct. 2751, 189 L.Ed.2d 675 (2014), Wheaton College v. Burwell, ___ U.S. ___, 134 S.Ct. 2806, 189 L.Ed.2d 856 (2014), and Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Sebelius, ___ U.S. ___, 134 S.Ct. 1022, 187 L.Ed.2d 867 (2014). I would grant rehearing en banc and rule for the plaintiff religious organizations. (Id. at 14. (emphasis added).)
Kavanagh’s dissent is lengthy and worth the read because his reading of the religious freedom cases cited above weighs very heavily in protecting religious freedom (I believe a good thing) but, if Kavanaugh’s opinion was the law of the land, it would alter the carefully constructed balance between individual rights and a religious organization’s ability to interfere with those individual rights. Further, Kavanaugh wrote that HHS mandate would “substantially burden the religious organizations’ exercise of religion” (i.e. filing a form) and that “requiring the religious organizations to submit this form is not the Government’s least restrictive means of furthering its interest in facilitating access to contraception for the organizations’ employees.” This is where the rubber meets the proverbial road. One way of altering the balance between individual rights and freedom of religion is to impose limits on an individual’s right of access. What has become obvious in the wake of Roe v. Wade, is that for anti-abortion advocates, the best way to limit access to abortions is to impose governmental restrictions making it more difficult to obtain access, such as requiring hallways in clinics to be 8 feet wide (about double the width of a traditional office hallway. See Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, 136 S. Ct. 2292 (2016) (striking down primarily two portions of Texas HB-2 (1) the “admitting privileges requirement” provides that a “physician performing or inducing an abortion … must, on the date [of service], have active admitting privileges at a hospital … located not further than 30 miles from the” abortion facility and (2) the “surgical-center requirement” requires an “abortion facility” to meet the “minimum standards … for ambulatory surgical centers” under Texas law).
The erosion of various individual rights is perhaps is a discussion left best for another day. In the context of this post, Kavanaugh’s use of the phrase “abortion-inducing drugs” represents Kavanaugh’s shorthand for a position he has already adopted, i.e. a belief that there are forms of contraception that induce abortions. This is a reiteration of a pro-life belief that a fertilized egg is a person and that disrupting a fertilized egg’s ability to attach to the uterus is abortion which is “the moral equivalent of homicide.”
This “belief” has no scientific support. None. Kavanaugh’s adoption of the phrase is troubling because it represents an uniformed view of how birth control operates to prevent pregnancy and more distressingly is further stated as a “fact.” The law depends on actual facts and if a “belief” is declared a fact, then Kavanaugh should not be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, because a holder of this lifetime appointment should not be able to create facts from his beliefs to decide cases and controversies.
Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, America needs judges who rely on facts not on alternate facts. We have Trump to rely upon for those already.
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #118:
Best Coast – “When I’m With You” (Best Kids)
Big Mouthers – “Stupid War” (Wishes)
Fourbanger – “Get Back Up” (Never Let Go)
Me & Marie – “Sad Song To Dance” (Double Purpose)
The Over Unders – “ One Fine Day” (One Fine Day)
Vacationer – “Magnetism” (Mindset)
Chistophe Deschamps – “This Is Time For Love” (Flower Power)
Railway Gamblers – “Save Me” (Lover)
Menace Beach – “Mutator” (Black Rainbow Sound)
Idles – “I’m Scum” (Joy As An Act of Resistance)
The Primals – “Dead Predators” (All Love Is True Love)
Woolen Men – “Shadowline” (Post)
Mowgli’s – “I Feel Good About This” (I Was Starting To Wonder)
The Jags – “Back Of My Hand” ( Back of My Hand b/w Double Vision 7’’)
Bad Moves – “One Thing” (Tell No One)
The world is lazy but you and me we’re just crazy so when I’m with you, I have fun … you’re not unreadable, you’re not unbeatable, I know just what you are, don’t push your luck too far you’re not untouchable, not just another girl
Hopefully you enjoyed your long weekend. I am just getting back from 5 days in Las Vegas attending a legal convention where I had a chance to ponder why I still practice law when I would rather produce episodes of this podcast. I selected the songs for Tales From The Drop Box Episode 117 while listening to a seminar on harassment cases. The topic itself was compelling and a rather serious subject concerning the introduction of #MeToo evidence, i.e. the introduction of other similar incidents as evidence of a pattern or practice of sexual harassment. However, the speaker left me cold and consequently, I looked for a diversion, and you – my faithful listeners – are the beneficiary of that diversion.
Episode 117 is fifteen catchy tracks covering the gambit of the rock pantheon. Okay, not really. The episode is mostly a selection of catchy indie pop and rock, with some punk rock at the end. And it has a Pavement classic track. That is just how it all worked out by the end of the seminar. A good analogy is that you are getting the sweetness of desert at the beginning, and the meat and potatoes at the end. In short, the perfect way to eat a meal. I start with a few tracks that I have had kicking about (and playing repeatedly) from April and May of this year but add a couple of new tracks such as the latest from Interpol, Murder By Death, and Personality Cult. In short, your usual solid lineup of music from the fringe.
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #117:
Say Sue Me – “Old Town (Radio Edit)” (Where We Were Together)
Peace – “Power” (Kindness is the New Rock and Roll)
Belly – “Stars Align” (Dove)
The Lulu Raes – “Slow Ride” (Lulu)
Lady Legs – “Bottomless Pit” (Holy Heatwave)
X-Wife – “Monday Tuesday” (X-Wife)
Personality Cult – Brazen” (Personality Cult)
Murder By Death – “New Old City” (The Other Shore)
Interpol – “Complication” (Marauder)
Lydia – “Tourist” (Liquor)
Exit – “See You Around” (Too Little, Too Late)
Turnstile – “Generator” (Time & Space)
The Longest Hall – “Punch A Nazi In The Face” (Don’t Panic!)
And she’s eating her fingers like they’re just another meal and she waits there in the levee wash mixing cocktails with a plastic-tipped cigar . . . Hey, wake up and smell the lavender of my flower power, technicolor massacre just rolled into your ends dismembered all your friends…