Daily Links November 30, 2010

November 30th, 2010

Robbie at unkut.com has examines the rap genre whose name he is coining as Soap Opera Rap.

MTV has a list of 10 reasons why Dr. Dre’s Detox will come out.  Consider me skeptical.

Iran Cracking Down on Rap Music

November 11th, 2010

Iran Has Begun Cracking Down on Rap Music.  The limiting of free speech is one of the clear signs of a totalitarian government that will not allow free speech to flourish.  From The London Telegraph:

According to Tehran-Emrouz, an Iranian daily newspaper, he said that young Iranian men and women were arrested last week in a score of raids targeting the capital’s underground rap scene. The rappers – both male and female – had apparently taken over “vacant” buildings in order to create what Iran’s regime has depicted as degenerative, anti-Islamic music. Tehran-Emrouz describes how the police kept the buildings under surveillance after they were informed that “young boys and girls” had been seen with “unusual appearances and musical instruments”

But the Iranian authorities are not cracking down on the music because it is anti-Islamic and somehow profane but because it is confronting problems with the Iranian government:

The regime can tolerate its youth intoxicated. But what it cannot abide is young Iranians actively subverting its authority. Iranian rap is not a direct emulation of what the regime deems “messianic” American rap; its lyrics often derive from the pain of living under the corruption and abuse of the Islamic Republic.

The establishment of the Islamic regime marked the exodus of talented Iranian musicians from the country. One famous Iranian rapper, Erfan, now lives in California. His lyrics are not about fast cars and money. And they are certainly not, as the Iranian government has suggested, sexually explicit. For an increasingly unpopular and paranoid Iranian President like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, they are far worse:

“I wanna break all borders and boundaries before the flight and escape of all our valuable brains. All the youth in Iran have plans of leaving, from continent to continent they are travelling. After 2000 years it’s the time of breaking tradition, suffocating our family trees in exile.”

These frustrated lyrics from Sad Ghasam, ‘One Hundred Promises’, are especially pertinent to the post-2005 era, when Ahmadinejad banned Western and “indecent” music from state-run TV and radio stations. In an explicit attack against the Regime, Erfan also wrote Tasmim, ‘Resolution’, after the June 2009 Green Movement protests in Iran. One line in particular echoes recent events: “Every day you say our Iran is at fault, you say this but you beat and you kill.” It is for lyrics like these that the young musicians have been arrested in Tehran.

Keith Olbermann “Suspended Indefinitely”

November 5th, 2010

Keith Olbermann has been suspended indefinitely for giving money to the Democrats.  Keith Olbermann has long been known to be a liberal so this should not come as a shock to anyone.  He should have pointed out that he was giving money to the candidates when he had them on the air.

MSNBC and Fox News are networks that have ideologic bias that will come out from their host.  That is okay as long as the hosts admit it.

Gilibrand Airs Attack Ad

October 6th, 2010

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has aired her first campaign attack ad against Republican Joe DioGuardi:

I think Chuck Todd is right when he reasons that this ad could bring up his name ID which isn’t hard to do since no one has heard from him.

Obama, The Black Panthers, George Bush

July 12th, 2010

A popular idea has been aired on conservative radio and television by the likes of Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, The Wall Street Journal and others that the Obama Administration at the behest of Eric Holder has let off New Black Panther Party members who engaged in voter imitation. This fits into an idea in the minds of conservatives that the Obama administration is full of liberal radical who believe in black liberation theology. The only problem is non of this is true. Obama certainly is a liberal but the events in question have not happened as reported.

The case against the New Black Panther Party members was actually dropped during the last days of the Bush Administration The truth is Obama isn’t really a radical he is just a big government Democrat. As nice as it would be to believe in some big giant conspiracy I believe the truth is scary enough.

Link via Julian Sanchez

Rand Paul Misstates Obama’s Record on Immigration

July 6th, 2010

Rand Paul Yark Sign
Rand Paul Misstates Obama’s Record On Immigration in his recently released press release. Barack Obama currently favors building a combination of electronic and actual fence at the border to control illegal immigration. This is the exact policy that Barack Obama follows in regard to immigration. Rand Paul at the very least is distorting Obama’s record to make himself feel tougher on immigration.

Elena Kagan’s Emails

July 2nd, 2010

While we have all learned this week that Elena Kagan is hilarious as far as Supreme Court Justices can get when neither confirming nor denying just about everything but her name.  These hearings have been so boring and she has done such a good job at avoiding questions that Senator Al Franken even fell asleep during the hearing.

But maybe there are things we could learn about Elena Kagan.  For example, the Sunlight Foundation has created a site called Elena’s Inbox which posts all the emails to and from Elena Kagan during her time in the Clinton Administration in a searchable manner similair to gmail.

Snooki on Taxes

June 10th, 2010

Recently Arizona Senator John McCain and Snooki from Jersey Shore had  a short discussion on Twitter regarding indoor tanning taxes:

“@Sn00ki u r right,” the 2008 Republican presidential candidate tweeted on his verified account. “I would never tax your tanning bed! Pres Obama’s tax/spend policy is quite The Situation. but I do rec wearing sunscreen!”

Snooki caught McCain’s shout-out and, though she didn’t respond to him directly, did tweet back, “Haha Yes!”

The health care reform legislation passed by Congress and the Obama administration imposed a 10% excise tax on indoor tanning services which goes into effect July 1st.

From a non policy standpoint this shows how the conservative movement is trying to embrace new media to attract the youth and get their message out to the public.

Hamas Doesn’t Like HipHop

April 27th, 2010

The Israeli paper Haaretz reports that Hamas police have broken up the Gaza Strip’s first major hip-hop concert:

Hamas police have broken up the Gaza Strip’s first major hip-hop concert.

The B Boy Gaza group had just started a lively dance set late on Saturday in a crowded auditorium when police from the Islamist Hamas group that rules the Gaza Strip ended the performance with shouts of “the show is over”, witnesses said.

“I told one of the policemen that rap meant respect for all people, but he didn’t seem to be listening. He said it was an immoral dance,” one of the dancers said.


Hamas officials said the performance, in a conservative enclave where most musical shows strike a nationalistic note, was shut down only because organizers had not applied for a police permit for the gathering.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights said police confiscated cameras and tapes at the venue and arrested six of the performers. They were released after signing a pledge not to hold further performances without police permission.

Hamas has denied accusations by Gaza human rights groups that it is trying to impose Islamic law in the enclave where 1.5 million Palestinians live. In public speeches, Hamas leaders have urged Palestinians to adhere to Islamic values

Hamas may say rap music bring immoral dance but it should be noted that some of the best American rappers are self-identified Muslims.

I like Pizza

March 16th, 2010

I like pizza as many Americans do.  And I don’t want to have to pay any more for pizza than it is worth.  But the government feels differently.  Researchers writing in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine feel differently.  These researchers argue that if you increase the price of pizza by 10 percent would reach a 12% decrease in the amount of calories consumed.  I understand that the government wants to protect people from obesity but I don’t think they should be doing it.  Taxes on things like pizza are not fair to those who choose to occasionally eat pizza but otherwise live healthy lives.

Link via Consumerist