all art/music/culture links (including music biz/file sharing news), fiction I'm reading and what I'm listening to and watching
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(r) = re-reading
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The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers -- and What They Expect in Return
Sam Smith's Great American Political Repair Manual: How to Rebuild Our Country So the Politics Aren't Broken and Politicians Aren't Fixed
American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush
Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare
The Velvet Coup: The Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Decline of American Democracy
Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of the Free Press
Just consider what current events will sound like two thousand years from now -- the greatest nation on Earth bombing some of the smallest and weakest for no clear reasons, people starving in parts of the world while farmers are paid not to plant crops in others, technophiles sitting at home playing electronic golf rahter than the real thing, and police forces ordered to arrest people who simply desire to ingest a psychoactive weed. People of that era will also likely laugh it all off as fantastic myths...
It is time for those who desire true freedom to exert themselves -- to fight back against the forces who desire domination through fear and disunity.
This does not have to involve violence. It can be done in small, simple ways, like not financing that new Sport Utility Vehicle, cutting up all but one credit card, not opting for a second mortgage, turning off that TV sitcom for a good book, asking questions and speaking out in church or synagogue, attending school board and city council meetings, voting for the candidate who has the least money, learning about the Fully Informed Jury movement and using it when called -- in general, taking responsibility for one's own actions. Despite the omnipresent advertising for the Lotto -- legalized government gambling -- there is no free lunch. Giving up one's individual power for the hope of comfort and security has proven to lead only to tyranny.
You had to take those pieces of paper with you when you went shopping, though by the time I was nine or ten most people used plastic cards. . .It seems so primitive, totemistic even, like cowry shells. I must have used that kind of money myself, a little, before everything went on the Compubank.
I guess that's how they were able to do it, in the way they did, all at once, without anyone knowing beforehand. If there had still been portable money, it would have been more difficult.
It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time.
Keep calm, they said on television. Everything is under control.
I was stunned. Everyone was, I know that. It was hard to believe. The entire government, gone like that. How did they get in, how did it happen?
That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on.
. . . Things continued on in that state of suspended animation for weeks, although some things did happen. Newspapers were censored and some were closed down, for security reasons they said. The roadblocks began to appear, and Identipasses. Everyone approved of that, since it was obvious you couldn't be too careful. They said that new elections would be held, but that it would take some time to prepare for them. The thing to do, they said, was to continue on as usual.
By the time Oscar reached the outskirts of Washington, DC, The Louisiana air base had benn placed under siege.
The base's electrical power supply had long since been cut off for lack of payment. The aircraft had no fuel. The desperate federal troops were bartering stolen equipment for food and booze. Desertion was rampant. The air base commander had released a sobbing video confession and had shot himself.
Green Huey had lost patience with the long-festering scandal. He was moving in for the kill. Attacking and seizing an federal air base with his loyal state militia would have been entirely too blatant and straightforward. Instead the rogue Governor employed proxy guerrillas.
Huey had won the favor of nomad prole groups by providing them with safe havens. He allowed them to squat in Louisiana's many federally declared contamination zones. These forgotten landscapes were tainted with petrochemical effluent and hormone-warping pesticides, and were hence officially unfit for human settlement. The prole hordes had different opinions on that subject.
Proles cheerfully grouped in any locale where conventional authority had grown weak. Whenever the net-based proles were not constantly harassed by the authorities, they coalesced and grew ambitious. Though easily scattered by focused crackdowns, they regrouped as swiftly as a horde of gnats. With their reaping machines and bio-breweries, they could live off the land at the very base of the food chain. They had no stake in the established order, and they cherished a canny street-level knowledge of society's infrastructural weaknesses. They made expensive enemies. . .
Louisiana's ecologically blighted areas were ideal for proles. The disaster zones were also impromptu wildlife sanctuaries, since wild animals found chemical fouling much easier to survive than the presence of human beings. After decades of wild subtropical growth, Louisiana's toxic dumps were as impenetrable as Sherwood Forest.
Saturday, August 02, 2003
An Undernews reader counters the wind power claims of the Earth Policy Institute (original post) [See near bottom of page in Undernews]
The "update" neglects to project how many wind towers we would need to power the U.S. In California, at the forefront of wind development in this country, 14,000 turbines provided one half of one percent of the electricity in 2000. To provide all of their electricity, California would therefore need 2,800,000 towers. Extrapolating their population to the U.S. as a whole, we would need 24 million wind towers. Newer towers are more productive (because they are bigger, noisier, more dangerous, more intrusive in every way), so let's say a mere 20 million, one for every 15 people. Wind turbines would be as common as cars, except that they are the size of jumbo jets mounted on fully lit 200-foot towers, anchored in huge cement and steel filled holes. One can see why Enron was not alone in being so excited about developing this resource that's right in everyone's back yard -- in fact it has to be there to be profitable.
11:39 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
European Central Bank dumping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac holdings [u]
8:30 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Shulamit Aloni on Israelis and Palestinian blood [u]And of course, there's no comparing Jewish blood to Palestinian blood. Palestinians, after all, use the terrible weapon of suicide; while on our side, everything is aesthetic and elegant: Bombs fall out of the sky and the pilot goes home safely; the tanks fire flechettes; and our skilled snipers always hit their target. Of course, nobody ever asks which target.
8:18 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Robert L Bartley on the end of objectivity in journalism [Big, Left, Outside]Though an opinion journalist myself, I'm certainly not against attempts at objectivity. Indeed I believe the ethic is a more powerful influence than disgruntled readers and viewers often seem to believe; it's simply not true that journalists conspire to slant the news in favor of their friends and causes. Yet it's also true that in claiming "objectivity" the press often sees itself as a perfect arbiter of ultimate truth. This is a pretension beyond human capacity.
Especially so given the demands of modern technology. With instant radio, television and now the Internet taking over bulletin-board news, newspapers have to make their mark explaining not just events but their meaning. This is manifestly a matter of opinion.
7:49 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Voices in the Wilderness fined tens of thousands for delivering medical supplies and food to Iraqis in defiance of US sanctions [a]
5:10 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Fortress America file:
Visas now required for many foreign travelers passing through US
4:57 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Plight of unprotected informants for US in Iraq [Where is Raed?]In his simple home of cement and cinder blocks, the father, Salem, nervously thumbed black prayer beads this week as he recalled a warning from village residents earlier this month. He insisted his son was not an informer, but he said his protests meant little to a village seething with anger. He recalled their threat was clear: Either he kill his son, or villagers would resort to tribal justice and kill the rest of his family in retaliation for Kerbul's role in a U.S. military operation in the village in June, in which four people were killed.
"I have the heart of a father, and he's my son," Salem said. "Even the prophet Abraham didn't have to kill his son." He dragged on a cigarette. His eyes glimmered with the faint trace of tears. "There was no other choice," he whispered.
In the simmering guerrilla war fought along the Tigris, U.S. officials say they have received a deluge of tips from informants, the intelligence growing since U.S. forces killed former president Saddam Hussein's two sons last week. Acting on the intelligence, soldiers have uncovered surface-to-air missiles, 45,000 sticks of dynamite and caches of small arms and explosives. They have shut down safe houses that sheltered senior Baath Party operatives in the Sunni Muslim region north of Baghdad and ferreted out lieutenants and bodyguards of the fallen Iraqi president, who has eluded a relentless, four-month manhunt.
But a shadowy response has followed, a less-publicized but no less deadly theater of violence in the U.S. occupation. U.S. officials and residents say informers have been killed, shot and attacked with grenades. U.S. officials say they have no numbers on deaths, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the campaign is widespread in a region long a source of support for Hussein's government. The U.S. officials declined to discuss specifics about individual informers and would not say whether Kerbul was one.
9:02 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
4 UK soldiers who died of gunshot wounds in the same barracks between 1995-2002 did not die of self-inflicted wounds, according to a forensics expert, contradicting the army's conclusion
12:30 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Friday, August 01, 2003
Sam Smith on free and occupied AmericaAlmost all great changes in American politics and culture have had their roots either in the countryside or among minorities within the major cities. From the religious 'great awakenings' to the abolitionist movement, to the labor movement, to populism, to the 1960s and civil rights, America has been repeatedly moved by viral politics rather than by the direct procedures outlined in great man theories of change promulgated by the elite and its media.
There has been much justified talk of late about the larcenous redistribution of the airwaves by the FCC. The complaints and supporting activism are righteous and necessary. But in the end, given the times in which we live, we will probably lose anyway. Further, the energy devoted to the fight has obscured an essential point: good has rarely come from the major media whatever its rules. Essential to successful change is its own news.
From the North Star of Frederick Douglass to the 2,000 labor newspapers published in this country at one time or another, to the hundreds of underground papers of the 1960s to the multiple rebellions of the Internet, those who have caused real change have made their own media.
10:55 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Devolution of Congress file:
Members call each other names, act like whether or not someone served in the military has anything to do with "leadership on national security"
Like shrub's pathetic PR action on the big boat impressed anyone. Like the War on Iraq (which both parties supported) was a real bright move toward "stopping terrorism". Like all this attention on Saddam and his family has anything to do with the guerrilla war in Iraq. Like the Homeland Security boondoggle will stop another 9/11.
10:22 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Farmer's GM suit against Monsanto
Schmeiser trial in Canada goes to Supreme Court
Old post at my blogger site (look for highlighted words).
12:14 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Thursday, July 31, 2003
Court rules Unocal must stand trial in California for abuses performed by troops (rape, murder and enslavement) hired in Burma to guard pipeline
11:33 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
UK schools to expel students who won't take Ritalin [u]
4:21 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Bogotá chooses people over cars, unlike Harvard & Tufts [u]When I was elected mayor of Bogotá and got to city hall, I was handed a transportation study that said the most important thing the city could do was to build an elevated highway at a cost of $600 million. Instead, we installed a bus system that carries 700,000 people a day at a cost of $300 million. We created hundreds of pedestrian-only streets, parks, plazas, and bike paths, planted trees, and got rid of cluttering commercial signs. We constructed the longest pedestrian-only street in the world. It may seem crazy, because this street goes through some of the poorest neighborhoods in Bogotá, and many of the surrounding streets aren't even paved. But we chose not to improve the streets for the sake of cars, but instead to have wonderful spaces for pedestrians. All this pedestrian infrastructure shows respect for human dignity. We're telling people, "You are important -- not because you're rich or because you have a Ph.D., but because you are human." If people are treated as special, as sacred even, they behave that way. This creates a different kind of society.
4:14 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Wind could power US -- or perhaps even the world -- alone with current tech [u]In 1991, a national wind resource inventory taken by the U.S. Department of Energy startled the world when it reported that the three most wind-rich states?North Dakota, Kansas, and Texas?had enough harnessable wind energy to satisfy national electricity needs. Now a new study by a team of engineers at Stanford reports that the wind energy potential is actually substantially greater than that estimated in 1991.
In a joint assessment of global wind resources called Wind Force 12, the European Wind Energy Association and Greenpeace concluded that the world's wind-generating potential?assuming that only 10 percent of the earth's land area would be available for development?is double the projected world electricity demand in 2020. A far larger share of the land area could be used for wind generation in sparsely populated, wind-rich regions, such as the Great Plains of North America, northwest China, eastern Siberia, and the Patagonian region of Argentina. If the huge offshore potential is added to this, it seems likely that wind power could satisfy not only world electricity needs but perhaps even total energy needs.
4:04 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
shrubco finally axes thug Poindexter as head of doomed TIA
It's just so perfect -- busted for trying to start a racket in terror futures.
Talk about a rigged game.
3:35 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
TSA to test program to classify all airline passengers by security risk
11:18 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Wednesday, July 30, 2003
Disease similar to acute respiratory distress syndrome, but affecting other organs, hits US soldiers in Iraq [drudge]
5:40 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sure this'll stop the terrorists file:
Foreign visits to US drop sharply, as shrubco plans to tighten restrictions even moreMany US institutions say they're missing out on qualified foreigners who bring cultural enrichment, fresh ideas, and, frequently, lots of cash.
At the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., visa delays are hurting a once-booming international business. The application used to be a 24-hour process but is now routinely a 3-week wait, says Stephen Gudgell, head of the clinic's international program.
He notes that competitors in other countries, including Germany, are capitalizing on America's newly cumbersome process.
5:10 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
More "For Sale" and "For Rent" signs - homes and retail space
Economic reports from the street
10:15 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Blame same-sex sex
10:06 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
9:57 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Military/govt search referralsthe shorter pepys washington
"nikki tinsley" nomination [house.gov]
cia study noah's ark [DoD]
?encryption letter of commendation? [navy intel]
cia noc officers [DoT]
Clinton restricting the unionizing of airport screeners [DoD]
rudi bakhtiar gold club [NASA]
iraq, kbr, 1990s [DoD]
mick ronson, mormon [DoD]
officers chair canvas [Army research lab]
sibel edmonds [BART]
norwalk virus timeline [FDA]
representative "charlie wilson" texas bio [Treasury]
hybird cars [GSA]
asa hutchinson + militia [DoJ]
talil air base [FDA]
doran police alamos [Los Alamos National Lab]
9:53 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Monday, July 28, 2003
101 Peculiarites Surrounding the Death of Vince Foster [u]101. To my knowledge the following story has never been investigated. Debra von Trapp was a member of George Bush's staff during his presidency. She served as a computer surveillance expert. She worked with a team that has been described as Bush's "plumbers unit." In this capacity, she often worked with Robert Goetzman, an FBI agent. According to von Trapp, Goetzman sounded drunk and extremely excited when he called her California home from Washington, D.C., at 11 p.m., July 20, 1993 (the day of Foster's death). She says she records all phone conversations. This is a partial transcript of her alleged exchange with Goetzman.
RG: "We did him! We did him!"
DT: "Did who?"
RG: "Vince Foster."
DT "What do you mean?"
RG "We did him!"
DT: "Well, where did you do him?"
RG: "Well, we did him somewhere else, but we dumped him in a queer park to send Clinton and his queer wife a message!"
Although von Trapp wrote a long letter to Kenneth Starr detailing this and other allegations, to my knowledge, he never deposed her or Robert Goetzman. Nor did he request the tape recordings of the alleged phone conversation. Nor did he check the phone company records to verify the phone call. Why not?
2:15 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Youth torture camps in Mississippi [u]Don't be misled by those who will tell you that the two Mississippi training schools are anomalies. They are standard. They are emblematic of the break-'em-down-build-'em-up theory of youth rehabilitation which every true educator knows is neither educational nor therapeutic. It's obedience training and brainwashing. These facilities were just as rotten last year when nobody was looking, and they are no worse than many other similar institutions elsewhere.See post on Tranquility Camp in Jamaica earlier this month.
What will happen now? If the past is any guide, official acknowledgement of the problem will be brief and subdued. Corrective measures will be mainly superficial. The establishment is just too riddled with enablers and accomplices to be able to deal decisively with systemic child abuse. The guilt runs deep and broad, resulting in moral paralysis. Expect a few resignations, transfers or early retirements, but no prosecutions. The most dangerous bullies will move on, and everyone will breathe a sigh of relief, hardly noticing the new bullies who arrive to replace them.
2:11 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Hospitals charge uninsured 50% - 70% more than insurance cos. [u]
2:02 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Social development in US stalled in 1980 [u]
Gee I forget -- what happened that year?
1:59 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
The banana (at least the kind we're used to eating) will be extinct in a decade due to genetic tampering [u]
1:55 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Undernews on new evidence on the Vince Foster cover-up
1:46 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
On David Kelly and the turf war between UK Intel and the Ministry of DefenceIs it possible that the Ministry of Defence thought they had a deal with Kelly to testify before the foreign affairs select committee that he was the sole source for the BBC and that his words had been twisted by them, thus proving that the dossier wasn't dodgy after all and all the blame for this issue could be put on the BBC? Is it possible that Kelly agreed to this, but never intended to lie, and breached his understanding with the Ministry of Defence by going through his elaborate performance before the committee? Is it possible that he was assassinated for his betrayal? Did David Kelly die in a power struggle between British intelligence and the Ministry of Defence? In answering these questions it would be interesting to see who first planted the idea in the press that Kelly was highly distraught over his testimony before the committee, as that seems to be the beginning of the suicide cover story.
1:38 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sunday, July 27, 2003
shrubco admits harassing activists -- and sometimes denying passage under guise of anti-terrorism [, salon click-through required]
11:04 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
BigPharma whips government into line so they can continue price-gouging seniors for necessary drugs
FDA shamelessly lobbies against consumers buying cheaper drugs from Canada and elsewhere
10:58 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Merle Haggard's new antiwar(!) song is hot and I hope this is a sign that heartland America is coming to its sensesI don't even know the Dixie chicks, but I find it an insult for all the men and women who fought and died in past wars when almost the majority of America jumped down their throats for voicing an opinion. It was like a verbal witch-hunt and lynching. Whether I agree with their comments or not has no bearing.... As a country we need to look inward for the answers to the energy of the future. We need to bring down our demands for oil, rebuild some bridges and highways and allow the farmers to grow something that replenishes the soil. Those who don't know what that is, should do some research. The problem is not in Iraq and the answers are not in Iran. I hope were not buried alive beneath this pending financial collapse if the pipeline doesn't get through. Surely everything doesn't depend on oil!
10:44 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Phillippine "rogue soldiers" surrender
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't see anywhere Arroyo actually deny the soldiers' allegation that the government supplied terrorists or incited terrorist action -- either to get US aid or at the behest of the US or whoever.
Perhaps now a little more attention will be paid to the quality of life of Phillippinos, and less to the neocons' agenda.
10:29 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
from Sassafrass (9/23/02)
"Unconventional viewpoints at 'charging the canvas'
Opinions that will ruffle feathers, from someone who clearly knows their way around information and the blogosphere."
Blog of the Day
In the eyes of posterity it will inevitably seem that, in safeguarding our freedom, we destroyed it; that the vast clandestine apparatus we built up to probe our enemies' resources and intentions only served in the end to confuse our own purposes; that the practice of deceiving others for the good of the state led infallibly to our deceiving ourselves; and that the vast army of intelligence personnel built up to execute these purposes were soon caught up in the web of their own sick fantasies, with disastrous consequences to them and us.
-- Malcolm Muggeridge
Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
-- Mark Twain
NOT IN OUR NAME
(link to list against Iraq War)
Philip K. Dick
DEEPER NEWS LINK
The Global Beat
Progressive Review's Undernews
Guerrilla News Network
newshub top 25
Christian Science Monitor
The UK Guardian
Int'l Herald Tribune
The Smirking Chimp
Spin of the Day
USGS Earthquake update
Serendipity WTC page
xymphora (also Mid East)
Matt McVeagh's summary of theories
Namebase (Public Information Research)
FAS Intel Index
J Ransom Clark US Intel Bibliography
ARAP TWA 800 page
Gnostic Liberation Front
Philidelphia Experiment/Montauk Project
Military Intelligence by John Patrick Finnegan
BLOGS WITH A BULLET
Aron's Israel Peace Weblog
The Unbound Writer's Online Journal
The Mink Dimension
The Asylum Eclectica
VINTAGE BLOGS, DIVERSIONS
J. Orlin Grabbe Sassafrass
the null device
new world disorder
a dam site
This Modern World (the blog)
a bright cold day in april
wood s lot
Ethel the Blog
follow me here
Watch It! (site update notifier)
Ask Now (24/7 reference help)
The Virtual Acquisition Shelf & News Desk
Chilling Effects (online rights)
EIA Environment Consumer Education Initiative (Computer recycling)
The Center for Justice and Accountability
Astrodienst (free charts)
Institute of Noetic Sciences
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
Fully Informed Jury Association
Privacy Rights Now
Contacting the Congress
Amer. Booksellers Found. Free Expression
Critical Resistance (prisons)
Working for Change
Contract with the Planet
Physicians for a National Health Program
insound (music and mags)
half.com (books & music cheap)
Web Source Sales (ink carts cheap)
Invisible Web search
They were past the motels now, condos on both sides. The nicer ones, on the left, had soothing pluraled nature-names carved on hanging wooden signs, The Coves, The Glades, The Meadowlands. The cheaper condos, on the right, were smaller and closer to the road, and had names like roaring powerboats, Seaspray, Barracuda's, and Beachcomber III.
Jackie sneezed, a snippy poodle kind of sneeze, God-blessed herself, and said, "I bet it's on the left, Raymond. You better slow down."
Raymond Rios, the driver and young science teacher to the bright and gifted, didn't nod or really hear. He was thinking of the motels they had passed and the problem with the signs, No Vacancy. This message bothered him, he couldn't decide why. Then Jackie sneezed and it came to him, the motels said no vacancy because they were closed for the season (or off-season or not-season) and were, therefore, totally vacant, as vacant as they ever got, and so the sign, No Vacancy, was maximum-inaccurate, yet he understood exactly what it meant. This thought or chain of thoughts made him feel vacant and relaxed, done with a problem, a pleasant empty feeling driving by the beaches in the wind.
from Big If by Mark Costello
Bailey was having trouble with his bagel. Warming to my subject, I kept on talking while cutting the bagel into smaller pieces, wiping a dob of cream from his collar, giving him a fresh napkin. "There's a pretense at democracy. Blather about consensus and empowering employees with opinion surveys and minority networks. But it's a sop. Bogus as costume jewelry. The decisions have already been made. Everything's hush-hush, on a need-to-know-only basis. Compartmentalized. Paper shredders, e-mail monitoring, taping phone conversations, dossiers. Misinformation, disinformation. Rewriting history. The apparatus of fascism. It's the kind of environment that can only foster extreme caution. Only breed base behavior. You know, if I had one word to describe corporate life, it would be 'craven.' Unhappy word."
Bailey's attention was elsewhere, on a terrier tied to a parking meter, a cheeky fellow with a grizzled coat. Dogs mesmerized Bailey. He sized them up the way they sized each other up. I plowed on. "Corporations are like fortressed city-states. Or occupied territories. Remember The Sorrow and the Pity? Nazi-occupied France, the Vichy government. Remember the way people rationalized their behavior, cheering Pétain at the beginning and then cheering de Gaulle at the end? In corporations, there are out-and-out collaborators. Opportunists. Born that way. But most of the employees are like the French in the forties. Fearful. Attentiste. Waiting to see what happens. Hunkering down. Turning a blind eye.
from Moral Hazard by Kate Jennings
HANKY PANKY NOHOW
When the sashaying of gentlemen
Gives you grievance now and then
What's needed are some memories of planing lakes
Those planing lakes will surely calm you down
Nothing frightens me more
Than religion at my door
I never answer panic knocking
Falling down the stairs upon the law
There's a law for everything
And for elephants that sing to feed
The cows that Agriculture won't allow
Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow
-- John Cale