Charlie Don't Surf

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Go-Betweens at Mercury Lounge in NYC

(an account emailed by Johnny Scheinman, an old friend)

You live the life you live, but once in awhile a heroic effort must be made at any cost to capture great beauty, even if in a fleeting, dying moment. That moment was Friday night (6/10) at The Mercury Lounge in New York, where the Go-Betweens put on the most beguiling rock and roll show I have ever seen in my life. If there is no hope for humanity, and therefore the planet, I am God-blessed to be alive at the same time as Robert Forster, who, for my personal esthetic, delivers all the connecting I can over hope to do with artists and their art. Long may he reign over the tiny flock, and if carrying the once-great, now just good Grant McLennan along in order to keep the Go-Betweens name alive, so be it. "Oceans Apart," upon repeated listenings, is the best of the comeback albums, and this gig, with the fabulous new bassist Adele Pickvance aboard, showed their form cannot be any higher than it is now. They rocked with passion and wit, they sent goosebumps with a "Clouds" that wended its way into Dylan's "Live Minus Zero" and back again. They played the set list and then rolled through at least ten more songs. Robert even laughed at my banter. When the sweat-drenched audience, dazed with joy finally began to saunter out into the night, some stopping in hopes of getting one of the few copies of the double-live at the Barbicon CDs for sale, no one wore a happier smile than Robert Vickers, fan and alumni in a drop-dead gorgeous Vickers-style suit, laughing with friends at the bar. Lord, we were all home, at least for a night .

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

really the most worstest awfulest presidency ever in the world, ever, Part LXVII

do you think there's a single f-cking land-use or environmental agency in the government that is not run by former industry lobyists?

okay, so at length I'm ready to put on an orange robe, sit down quietly on the sidewalk and pour gasoline over my head


Bush Aide Softened Greenhouse Gas Links to Global Warming

June 8, 2005

A White House official who once led the oil industry's fight against limits on greenhouse gases has repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming, according to internal documents.

In handwritten notes on drafts of several reports issued in 2002 and 2003, the official, Philip A. Cooney, removed or adjusted descriptions of climate research that government scientists and their supervisors, including some senior Bush administration officials, had already approved. In many cases, the changes appeared in the final reports.

The dozens of changes, while sometimes as subtle as the insertion of the phrase "significant and fundamental" before the word "uncertainties," tend to produce an air of doubt about findings that most climate experts say are robust.

Mr. Cooney is chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the office that helps devise and promote administration policies on environmental issues.

Before going to the White House in 2001, he was the "climate team leader" and a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute, the largest trade group representing the interests of the oil industry. A lawyer with a bachelor's degree in economics, he has no scientific training.

The documents were obtained by The New York Times from the Government Accountability Project, a nonprofit legal-assistance group for government whistle-blowers. The project is representing Rick S. Piltz, who resigned in March as a senior associate in the office that coordinates government climate research. That office, now called the Climate Change Science Program, issued the documents that Mr. Cooney edited.

[...] "Each administration has a policy position on climate change," Mr. Piltz wrote. "But I have not seen a situation like the one that has developed under this administration during the past four years, in which politicization by the White House has fed back directly into the science program in such a way as to undermine the credibility and integrity of the program."