Crucifix in Northern Italy collapses, crushing man to death

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 09 18th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ahead of Sunday’s scheduled canonization of Pope John Paul II, in the Italian village of Cevo, a massive stone and wood crucifix dedicated to the late pontiff collapsed, instantly crushing a man to death and landing another in the hospital. Reports variously say the collapse took place on Wednesday or Thursday.

Marco Gusmini, 21, died after part of the wood of the crucifix splintered and broke, sending it, along with the attached statue of Jesus Christ, toppling to the ground. He was reportedly posing for a photograph under the monument.

The mayor of Cevo, Silvio Citroni, termed the incident “an unexplainable tragedy. A young life, so many hopes destroyed this way”. Describing the tragedy, he elaborated, “The young people were making a snack for lunch and when they heard the crunching noises coming from the cross they fled in all directions. Unfortunately Marco ran in the wrong direction.” Citroni also said the crucifix had undergone maintenance work last summer. “This is a place for pilgrimages and family visits. We never imagined that something like this could happen.” In light of the untimely tragedy, he said, plans for any further celebrations to commemorate the late pontiff’s impending canonization have been scrapped.

Sculptor Enrico Job designed the crucifix, which stood 100 ft (30 m) tall; curved unusually to symbolize, reportedly, the scars of World War II; mounted with a 20 ft (6 m) tall statue of Jesus Christ weighing 1,320 lbs (600 kg). Commissioned to commemorate Pope John Paul II’s 1998 visit to Brescia, and reportedly originally erected at a stadium there, the crucifix was moved to its present location in nearby Cevo in 2005.

Gusmini and his parents reportedly lived on Via Papa Giovanni XXIII, a street in Lovere named after another late pontiff to be canonized alongside Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII. In celebration of this double canonization, Rome is expected to play host to 19 heads of state, 24 heads of government, and some 800,000 Catholic pilgrims, visiting from around the world, according to the Interior Ministry of Italy.

Organizing Your Entryway, From Hanging Shelves To Coat Racks

92WMwx | Home Improvement | 09 18th, 2018  |  No Comments »

By Megan Cherry

Maybe you have always wanted a place that had a touch of the country charm, or perhaps you are simply tired of the sterile and harsh decorating that has been so popular in recent years. If you are interested in adding a touch of rustic appeal to your home, you are definitely not alone. Many people are a little bit hesitant to start adding this element into their decorating, afraid of overdoing it, but you’ll find that there are plenty of ways to get a lovely rustic accent to your home without going overboard. Take a look at a few tips below to get you started, and soon you’ll be enjoying a whole new look.

1. Rugs

Rugs are a terrific addition to hardwood floors or to the kitchen and the bathroom, and you’ll find that adding the right one can make your space enormously welcoming. Head to the flea markets or to the boutiques and find some soft, touchable rugs in warm colors. Avoid rugs with geometric patterns or with straight edges, instead looking for circular rugs or oval ones that will reinforce a look of gentle edges and give your home a yielding quality.

2. Blankets

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Leaving woven blankets strewn around on your couches and chairs is a great way to create a more homey environment. Make sure you select your blankets well; look for ones that have a handwoven look and that are made out of natural materials. Blankets made of sheep wool, hemp fiber or mohair make your living spaces wonderfully inviting, and you’ll find that they are perfect when you are feeling a little chilly when you read or when you want to lie down for a nap.

3. Coat Racks

The coat rack is a utilitarian item, but you’ll also find that it can add a great deal of charm to your surroundings. Avoid coat racks that are simply metal and instead look for ones that have been loving crafted from maple or oak. The wood will add a great accent to your home, and you’ll find they also give you a terrific way to get your coats off the chairs and couches. For a more rough look, choose a wooden coat rack made out of unfinished wood.

4. Shopping for antiques

When you think about antiques, you might be thinking of fine art pieces that are far beyond your price range, but you’ll find that with just a little bit of effort that you’ll be able to find some excellent rustic elements to your home. Take a look at estate sales and garage sales for old farm or home equipment, and don’t worry too much if it’s not in such great shape. Objects like this are terrific for conversation pieces Alternately, you can choose pieces that function well, despite being more than thirty or forty years old, like tea kettles, mugs or other pieces of kitchenware.

You can do a lot to make your home welcoming and inviting, and simply by looking around, you’ll be able to see some excellent options open to you. Make sure you don’t miss out, and take some time to really see what you can do with your surroundings!

About the Author: Megan Cherry writes for http://www.pegandrail.com If you are looking for a high quality well made coat rack step in and check us out, we manufacture a complete line of wall mounted

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Source:

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West Palm Beach, Florida plane crash kills four

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 09 18th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A plane crash at about 6:00 pm local time yesterday at the Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida killed four people. The aircraft involved in the incident was a twin-engine Piper PA-44 registered to FIT Aviation LLC, a Melbourne, Florida flight school.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board when the plane took off it encountered trouble with the left engine. It crashed into the tarmac, causing a fiery explosion. The dead have been identified as 26-year-old flight instructor Dheni Frembling, 21-year-old and 22-year old flight students Jordyn Agostini and 22-year-old Kristopher Henegar, and his 26-year-old brother Kyle Henegar.

The plane was flying a training flight from the Bahamas to Melbourne via Palm Beach when it crashed.

Nuclear leaks after Japan quake are worse than first reported

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

In the wake of yesterday’s earthquakes, Japan is today reporting that leaks at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant are worse than first reported.

In addition to a leak of 315 gallons (1200 liters) of radioactive water into the Sea of Japan, reports say that drums with nuclear waste lost their lids and radioactive gases cobalt-60, chromium-51 and iodine were released into the atmosphere. Several pipes are also reported to have broken.

Officials are also reporting 50 different problems at the plant of “malfunctioning and trouble,” but officials would not comment further on the damage other than calling the issues “minor.”

Clinical signs a ‘reliable measure’ of HIV treatment progress

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 09 17th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Monday, May 5, 2008

Researchers have found that, in terms of survival, assessing the status of a HIV/AIDS patient by clinical examination is almost as reliable as laboratory blood testing during their course of treatment.

Poor access to laboratory tests should therefore not be a barrier to rolling out antiretroviral (ARV) drug programmes for HIV in developing countries, they say.

The findings were published in The Lancet recently.

Patients on first-line ARVs in the developed world are monitored regularly for the amount of HIV circulating in their blood. When this falls below a certain level, treatment switches to second-line ARVs.

But because of limited access to laboratory tests, the WHO recommends that people in the developing world are monitored for clinical signs of HIV progression, such as bacterial infection in the mouth and certain types of cancer.

Monitoring of CD4 cell levels — an indicator of the health of a patient’s immune system — is also used when laboratory testing is available. Until now, little was known about the effectiveness of this strategy.

The researchers used a computer model to simulate the course of HIV infection and estimate the impact on survival of monitoring by viral load, CD4 count or clinical observation.

The model was initially developed for wealthy countries, but was adapted for lower-income countries by taking into account factors such as interruptions in drug supply.

It predicts that after five years, 83 per cent of patients monitored by viral load, 82 per cent of patients monitored by CD4 cell count, and 82 per cent of patients monitored by clinical examination alone, would have survived. This decreases to 67, 64 and 64 per cent, respectively, after 20 years.

Andrew Phillips, professor of epidemiology at the UK-based Royal Free & University College Medical School and lead author of the study, says the findings shouldn’t dissuade people from relying on viral-load monitoring.

“I certainly wouldn’t want to inhibit the roll-out of viral-load monitoring and the development of cheap and robust tests that don’t rely heavily on infrastructure or highly skilled laboratory staff,” he told SciDev.Net.

But, he says, that shouldn’t be done at the cost of getting ARVs to everyone who needs them.

“The issue of whether to use viral-load monitoring or not pales into insignificance when dealing with whether you’ve actually got everyone who needs ARVs on therapy. Having drugs without viral-load monitoring is a lot better than not having drugs.”

Ties found between Abu Ghraib prison abuse and Guantanamo Bay

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 09 11th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Thursday, July 28, 2005

In testimony at a military hearing yesterday on abuses at the U.S. prison camp in Iraq, the former warden of Abu Ghraib, Maj. David Dinenna, said he attended in September 2003 a meeting with Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, who was then commander of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp. Maj. Dinenna said Gen. Miller recommended using dogs, because of their effectiveness.

Two dog handler soldiers at Abu Ghraib stand accused in the hearing. Sgt. Santos A. Cardona, 31, and Sgt. Michael J. Smith, 24, are alleged to have used the dogs to threaten and intimidate prisoners. During the defendants’ testimony on Tuesday, they said the interrogation techniques used by them on prisoners was learned from a team of interrogators that was dispatched to Iraq from the Guantanamo Bay military base in Cuba.

The Article 32 military court proceeding, which concluded Wednesday in Fort Meade, Maryland, is a preliminary hearing to hear prosecution and defense arguments in the case. The Prosecution is seeking a court-martial with claims that the defendants acted criminally. The Defense contends the soldiers were following orders, and that the charges should be dropped.

The investigating officer of the military court, Maj. Glenn Simpkins, has two weeks to weigh the evidence that was presented. Some or all charges could be dropped, but if some charges stand, he will make a recommendation on how Sgts. Cardona and Smith should be dealt with when it goes to trial.

The two accused said in yesterday’s testimony that Col. Thomas M. Pappas, the top military intelligence officer at Abu Ghraib, approved the use of the dogs. Testimony was also heard from Pvt. Ivan L. “Chip” Frederick, now serving an 8-year sentence in Fort Leavenworth for his role as ringleader in the abuse, who testified by phone from prison that approval was given to use the dogs, and that a civilian interrogator was also sometimes involved in directing which prisoner cells were to be visited by dog handlers.

In addition to the use of dogs, aggressive interrogation techniques such as clothing removal and sleep deprivation were also part of the series of abuses. Staff Sgt. James Vincent Lucas previously had told Army investigators in Guantanamo that he left Cuba in 2003 to go to Iraq where he, as a member of a 6-man team, taught the “lessons learned” at Guantanamo, and served to “provide guidelines” to interrogators at Abu Ghraib.

Legislation sponsored by several Senate Republicans seeks to specifically regulate the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo and other military prisons. A co-sponsor of the bill, Lindsey Graham (RSC), recently released declassified internal memos dating from 2003 and written by top military lawyers. They warned the Pentagon about the aggressive tactics at Guantanamo. The memos noted it would heighten the dangers for U.S. troops caught by the enemy.

Army charge sheets accuse Cardona and Smith with maltreating detainees from November 15, 2003, to January 15, 2004 by “directing, encouraging, or permitting [their] unmuzzled military working dog[s] to bark and growl at detainees in order to unlawfully harass and threaten the detainees and in order to make the detainees urinate or defecate on themselves.”

Cardona, of Fullerton, with the 42nd Military Police Detachment in Ft. Bragg, N.C., was charged with nine counts. Smith, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with the 523rd Military Police Detachment in Ft. Riley, Kan., was charged with 14 counts.

Huge interest takes Wikileaks offline

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 09 9th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Wikileaks website, which publishes sensitive and censored material submitted by anonymous contributors, has experienced unprecedented levels of Internet traffic today through public interest. This interest has caused the website’s servers to be unable to meet the demand of over 164 gigabytes of download traffic within twenty-four hours, leading the site to be temporarily inaccessible.

The film Fitna, directed and produced by Dutch politician Geert Wilders, has caused controversy for its presentation of Wilders’ negative view of Islam as being committed to world domination and acts of terrorism. A trailer for the film was widely uploaded to many video sharing sites, including YouTube and Google Video; this met with anger from Islamic nations, the debacle culminating in Pakistan’s government ordering the nation’s internet service providers to block the YouTube site. This caused YouTube to be inaccessible to residents of other countries whose Internet service providers’ equipment automatically began routing traffic to YouTube via Pakistan Telecom’s servers, due to their ban accidentally propagating to other providers. Ultimately, YouTube acquiesced to the demands made by Pakistan and other organisations, in exchange for access being restored. The site LiveLeak originally hosted a copy of the trailer, which has now been replaced with a video message stating that the lives of their staff have been put at risk due to hosting it.

As a consequence of this censorship, Wikileaks mirrored the video, receiving heavy access traffic through hosting one of the few copies remaining on the Internet. Wikinews has obtained an exclusive statement from a representative of Wikileaks, affirming that the site has not been taken off-line due to external pressure, and is instead suffering technical problems due to this high demand. The representative gave the following statement:

It seems that due to a more than less overwhelming interest in the Fitna video and recent other media coverage from the protests in Tibet, as well as a few dozen new documents leaked on the portal in the last few days, parts of the portal have given up service and need a few warm words from a friendly Wikileaks operator. Please standby, the portal will be back soon.

Wikileaks gained recent public attention in the Bank Julius Baer vs. Wikileaks lawsuit, following publication of leaked documents that were alleged to provide evidence of money laundering, tax evasion and asset hiding by Swiss financial institution Bank Julius Baer. The documents are said to have been uploaded by Rudolf Elmer, a former chief operating officer of the bank’s Cayman Islands division, who was sacked following an investigation by the bank that involved polygraph testing. Wikileaks has not, however, stated that Elmer was the source of the documents. Bank Julius Baer sought an injunction against the operator of Wikileaks’ domain name, Dynadot, to remove access to the site from the Wikileaks.org domain; this was granted by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The site was consequently inaccessible through this domain, although access could be obtained through many alternate addresses. Following activity by organisations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, who sought to defend the right to free speech that Wikileaks relied upon, the lawsuit was dropped and access was restored.

Business Brief for December 14, 2005

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 09 9th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

These are short blurbs about current events in the business world.

Contents

  • 1 A World Bank lead economist speaks on Bird Flu
    • 1.1 Sources
  • 2 Gold prices drop
    • 2.1 Sources

John Vanderslice plays New York City: Wikinews interview

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 09 5th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Thursday, September 27, 2007

John Vanderslice has recently learned to enjoy America again. The singer-songwriter, who National Public Radio called “one of the most imaginative, prolific and consistently rewarding artists making music today,” found it through an unlikely source: his French girlfriend. “For the first time in my life I wouldn’t say I was defending the country but I was in this very strange position…”

Since breaking off from San Francisco local legends, mk Ultra, Vanderslice has produced six critically-acclaimed albums. His most recent, Emerald City, was released July 24th. Titled after the nickname given to the American-occupied Green Zone in Baghdad, it chronicles a world on the verge of imminent collapse under the weight of its own paranoia and loneliness. David Shankbone recently went to the Bowery Ballroom and spoke with Vanderslice about music, photography, touring and what makes a depressed liberal angry.


DS: How is the tour going?

JV: Great! I was just on the Wiki page for Inland Empire, and there is a great synopsis on the film. What’s on there is the best thing I have read about that film. The tour has been great. The thing with touring: say you are on vacation…let’s say you are doing an intense vacation. I went to Thailand alone, and there’s a part of you that just wants to go home. I don’t know what it is. I like to be home, but on tour there is a free floating anxiety that says: Go Home. Go Home.

DS: Anywhere, or just outside of the country?

JV: Anywhere. I want to be home in San Francisco, and I really do love being on tour, but there is almost like a homing beacon inside of me that is beeping and it creates a certain amount of anxiety.

DS: I can relate: You and I have moved around a lot, and we have a lot in common. Pranks, for one. David Bowie is another.

JV: Yeah, I saw that you like David Bowie on your MySpace.

DS: When I was in college I listened to him nonstop. Do you have a favorite album of his?

JV: I loved all the things from early to late seventies. Hunky Dory to Low to “Heroes” to Lodger. Low changed my life. The second I got was Hunky Dory, and the third was Diamond Dogs, which is a very underrated album. Then I got Ziggy Stardust and I was like, wow, this is important…this means something. There was tons of music I discovered in the seventh and eighth grade that I discovered, but I don’t love, respect and relate to it as much as I do Bowie. Especially Low…I was just on a panel with Steve Albini about how it has had a lot of impact.

DS: You said seventh and eighth grade. Were you always listening to people like Bowie or bands like the Velvets, or did you have an Eddie Murphy My Girl Wants to Party All the Time phase?

JV: The thing for me that was the uncool music, I had an older brother who was really into prog music, so it was like Gentle Giant and Yes and King Crimson and Genesis. All the new Genesis that was happening at the time was mind-blowing. Phil Collins‘s solo record…we had every single solo record, like the Mike Rutherford solo record.

DS: Do you shun that music now or is it still a part of you?

JV: Oh no, I appreciate all music. I’m an anti-snob. Last night when I was going to sleep I was watching Ocean’s Thirteen on my computer. It’s not like I always need to watch some super-fragmented, fucked-up art movie like Inland Empire. It’s part of how I relate to the audience. We end every night by going out into the audience and playing acoustically, directly, right in front of the audience, six inches away—that is part of my philosophy.

DS: Do you think New York or San Francisco suffers from artistic elitism more?

JV: I think because of the Internet that there is less and less elitism; everyone is into some little superstar on YouTube and everyone can now appreciate now Justin Timberlake. There is no need for factions. There is too much information, and I think the idea has broken down that some people…I mean, when was the last time you met someone who was into ska, or into punk, and they dressed the part? I don’t meet those people anymore.

DS: Everything is fusion now, like cuisine. It’s hard to find a purely French or purely Vietnamese restaurant.

JV: Exactly! When I was in high school there were factions. I remember the guys who listened to Black Flag. They looked the part! Like they were in theater.

DS: You still find some emos.

JV: Yes, I believe it. But even emo kids, compared to their older brethren, are so open-minded. I opened up for Sunny Day Real Estate and Pedro the Lion, and I did not find their fans to be the cliquish people that I feared, because I was never playing or marketed in the emo genre. I would say it’s because of the Internet.

DS: You could clearly create music that is more mainstream pop and be successful with it, but you choose a lot of very personal and political themes for your music. Are you ever tempted to put out a studio album geared toward the charts just to make some cash?

JV: I would say no. I’m definitely a capitalist, I was an econ major and I have no problem with making money, but I made a pact with myself very early on that I was only going to release music that was true to the voices and harmonic things I heard inside of me—that were honestly inside me—and I have never broken that pact. We just pulled two new songs from Emerald City because I didn’t feel they were exactly what I wanted to have on a record. Maybe I’m too stubborn or not capable of it, but I don’t think…part of the equation for me: this is a low stakes game, making indie music. Relative to the world, with the people I grew up with and where they are now and how much money they make. The money in indie music is a low stakes game from a financial perspective. So the one thing you can have as an indie artist is credibility, and when you burn your credibility, you are done, man. You can not recover from that. These years I have been true to myself, that’s all I have.

DS: Do you think Spoon burned their indie credibility for allowing their music to be used in commercials and by making more studio-oriented albums? They are one of my favorite bands, but they have come a long way from A Series of Sneaks and Girls Can Tell.

JV: They have, but no, I don’t think they’ve lost their credibility at all. I know those guys so well, and Brit and Jim are doing exactly the music they want to do. Brit owns his own studio, and they completely control their means of production, and they are very insulated by being on Merge, and I think their new album—and I bought Telephono when it came out—is as good as anything they have done.

DS: Do you think letting your music be used on commercials does not bring the credibility problem it once did? That used to be the line of demarcation–the whole Sting thing–that if you did commercials you sold out.

JV: Five years ago I would have said that it would have bothered me. It doesn’t bother me anymore. The thing is that bands have shrinking options for revenue streams, and sync deals and licensing, it’s like, man, you better be open to that idea. I remember when Spike Lee said, ‘Yeah, I did these Nike commercials, but it allowed me to do these other films that I wanted to make,’ and in some ways there is an article that Of Montreal and Spoon and other bands that have done sync deals have actually insulated themselves further from the difficulties of being a successful independent band, because they have had some income come in that have allowed them to stay put on labels where they are not being pushed around by anyone.
The ultimate problem—sort of like the only philosophical problem is suicide—the only philosophical problem is whether to be assigned to a major label because you are then going to have so much editorial input that it is probably going to really hurt what you are doing.

DS: Do you believe the only philosophical question is whether to commit suicide?

JV: Absolutely. I think the rest is internal chatter and if I logged and tried to counter the internal chatter I have inside my own brain there is no way I could match that.

DS: When you see artists like Pete Doherty or Amy Winehouse out on suicidal binges of drug use, what do you think as a musician? What do you get from what you see them go through in their personal lives and their music?

JV: The thing for me is they are profound iconic figures for me, and I don’t even know their music. I don’t know Winehouse or Doherty’s music, I just know that they are acting a very crucial, mythic part in our culture, and they might be doing it unknowingly.

DS: Glorification of drugs? The rock lifestyle?

JV: More like an out-of-control Id, completely unregulated personal relationships to the world in general. It’s not just drugs, it’s everything. It’s arguing and scratching people’s faces and driving on the wrong side of the road. Those are just the infractions that land them in jail. I think it might be unknowing, but in some ways they are beautiful figures for going that far off the deep end.

DS: As tragic figures?

JV: Yeah, as totally tragic figures. I appreciate that. I take no pleasure in saying that, but I also believe they are important. The figures that go outside—let’s say GG Allin or Penderetsky in the world of classical music—people who are so far outside of the normal boundaries of behavior and communication, it in some way enlarges the size of your landscape, and it’s beautiful. I know it sounds weird to say that, but it is.

DS: They are examples, as well. I recently covered for Wikinews the Iranian President speaking at Columbia and a student named Matt Glick told me that he supported the Iranian President speaking so that he could protest him, that if we don’t give a platform and voice for people, how can we say that they are wrong? I think it’s almost the same thing; they are beautiful as examples of how living a certain way can destroy you, and to look at them and say, “Don’t be that.”

JV: Absolutely, and let me tell you where I’m coming from. I don’t do drugs, I drink maybe three or four times a year. I don’t have any problematic relationship to drugs because there has been a history around me, like probably any musician or creative person, of just blinding array of drug abuse and problems. For me, I am a little bit of a control freak and I don’t have those issues. I just shut those doors. But I also understand and I am very sympathetic to someone who does not shut that door, but goes into that room and stays.

DS: Is it a problem for you to work with people who are using drugs?

JV: I would never work with them. It is a very selfish decision to make and usually those people are total energy vampires and they will take everything they can get from you. Again, this is all in theory…I love that stuff in theory. If Amy Winehouse was my girlfriend, I would probably not be very happy.

DS: Your latest CD is Emerald City and that is an allusion to the compound that we created in Baghdad. How has the current political client affected you in terms of your music?

JV: In some ways, both Pixel Revolt and Emerald City were born out of a recharged and re-energized position of my being….I was so beaten down after the 2000 election and after 9/11 and then the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan; I was so depleted as a person after all that stuff happened, that I had to write my way out of it. I really had to write political songs because for me it is a way of making sense and processing what is going on. The question I’m asked all the time is do I think is a responsibility of people to write politically and I always say, My God, no. if you’re Morrissey, then you write Morrissey stuff. If you are Dan Bejar and Destroyer, then you are Dan Bejar and you are a fucking genius. Write about whatever it is you want to write about. But to get out of that hole I had to write about that.

DS: There are two times I felt deeply connected to New York City, and that was 9/11 and the re-election of George Bush. The depression of the city was palpable during both. I was in law school during the Iraq War, and then when Hurricane Katrina hit, we watched our countrymen debate the logic of rebuilding one of our most culturally significant cities, as we were funding almost without question the destruction of another country to then rebuild it, which seems less and less likely. Do you find it is difficult to enjoy living in America when you see all of these sorts of things going on, and the sort of arguments we have amongst ourselves as a people?

JV: I would say yes, absolutely, but one thing changed that was very strange: I fell in love with a French girl and the genesis of Emerald City was going through this visa process to get her into the country, which was through the State Department. In the middle of process we had her visa reviewed and everything shifted over to Homeland Security. All of my complicated feelings about this country became even more dour and complicated, because here was Homeland Security mailing me letters and all involved in my love life, and they were grilling my girlfriend in Paris and they were grilling me, and we couldn’t travel because she had a pending visa. In some strange ways the thing that changed everything was that we finally got the visa accepted and she came here. Now she is a Parisian girl, and it goes without saying that she despises America, and she would never have considered moving to America. So she moves here and is asking me almost breathlessly, How can you allow this to happen

DS: –you, John Vanderslice, how can you allow this—

JV: –Me! Yes! So for the first time in my life I wouldn’t say I was defending the country but I was in this very strange position of saying, Listen, not that many people vote and the churches run fucking everything here, man. It’s like if you take out the evangelical Christian you have basically a progressive western European country. That’s all there is to it. But these people don’t vote, poor people don’t vote, there’s a complicated equation of extreme corruption and voter fraud here, and I found myself trying to rattle of all the reasons to her why I am personally not responsible, and it put me in a very interesting position. And then Sarkozy got elected in France and I watched her go through the same horrific thing that we’ve gone through here, and Sarkozy is a nut, man. This guy is a nut.

DS: But he doesn’t compare to George Bush or Dick Cheney. He’s almost a liberal by American standards.

JV: No, because their President doesn’t have much power. It’s interesting because he is a WAPO right-wing and he was very close to Le Pen and he was a card-carrying straight-up Nazi. I view Sarkozy as somewhat of a far-right candidate, especially in the context of French politics. He is dismantling everything. It’s all changing. The school system, the remnants of the socialized medical care system. The thing is he doesn’t have the foreign policy power that Bush does. Bush and Cheney have unprecedented amounts of power, and black budgets…I mean, come on, we’re spending half a trillion dollars in Iraq, and that’s just the money accounted for.

DS: What’s the reaction to you and your music when you play off the coasts?

JV: I would say good…

DS: Have you ever been Dixiechicked?

JV: No! I want to be! I would love to be, because then that means I’m really part of some fiery debate, but I would say there’s a lot of depressed in every single town. You can say Salt Lake City, you can look at what we consider to be conservative cities, and when you play those towns, man, the kids that come out are more or less on the same page and politically active because they are fish out of water.

DS: Depression breeds apathy, and your music seems geared toward anger, trying to wake people from their apathy. Your music is not maudlin and sad, but seems to be an attempt to awaken a spirit, with a self-reflective bent.

JV: That’s the trick. I would say that honestly, when Katrina happened, I thought, “okay, this is a trick to make people so crazy and so angry that they can’t even think. If you were in a community and basically were in a more or less quasi-police state surveillance society with no accountability, where we are pouring untold billions into our infrastructure to protect outside threats against via terrorism, or whatever, and then a natural disaster happens and there is no response. There is an empty response. There is all these ships off the shore that were just out there, just waiting, and nobody came. Michael Brown. It is one of the most insane things I have ever seen in my life.

DS: Is there a feeling in San Francisco that if an earthquake struck, you all would be on your own?

JV: Yes, of course. Part of what happened in New Orleans is that it was a Catholic city, it was a city of sin, it was a black city. And San Francisco? Bush wouldn’t even visit California in the beginning because his numbers were so low. Before Schwarzenegger definitely. I’m totally afraid of the earthquake, and I think everyone is out there. America is in the worst of both worlds: a laissez-fare economy and then the Grover Norquist anti-tax, starve the government until it turns into nothing more than a Argentinian-style government where there are these super rich invisible elite who own everything and there’s no distribution of wealth and nothing that resembles the New Deal, twentieth century embracing of human rights and equality, war against poverty, all of these things. They are trying to kill all that stuff. So, in some ways, it is the worst of both worlds because they are pushing us towards that, and on the same side they have put in a Supreme Court that is so right wing and so fanatically opposed to upholding civil rights, whether it be for foreign fighters…I mean, we are going to see movement with abortion, Miranda rights and stuff that is going to come up on the Court. We’ve tortured so many people who have had no intelligence value that you have to start to look at torture as a symbolic and almost ritualized behavior; you have this…

DS: Organ failure. That’s our baseline…

JV: Yeah, and you have to wonder about how we were torturing people to do nothing more than to send the darkest signal to the world to say, Listen, we are so fucking weird that if you cross the line with us, we are going to be at war with your religion, with your government, and we are going to destroy you.

DS: I interviewed Congressman Tom Tancredo, who is running for President, and he feels we should use as a deterrent against Islam the bombing of the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

JV: You would radicalize the very few people who have not been radicalized, yet, by our actions and beliefs. We know what we’ve done out there, and we are going to paying for this for a long time. When Hezbollah was bombing Israel in that border excursion last year, the Hezbollah fighters were writing the names of battles they fought with the Jews in the Seventh Century on their helmets. This shit is never forgotten.

DS: You read a lot of the stuff that is written about you on blogs and on the Internet. Do you ever respond?

JV: No, and I would say that I read stuff that tends to be . I’ve done interviews that have been solely about film and photography. For some reason hearing myself talk about music, and maybe because I have been talking about it for so long, it’s snoozeville. Most interviews I do are very regimented and they tend to follow a certain line. I understand. If I was them, it’s a 200 word piece and I may have never played that town, in Des Moines or something. But, in general, it’s like…my band mates ask why don’t I read the weeklies when I’m in town, and Google my name. It would be really like looking yourself in the mirror. When you look at yourself in the mirror you are just error-correcting. There must be some sort of hall of mirrors thing that happens when you are completely involved in the Internet conversation about your music, and in some ways I think that I’m very innocently making music, because I don’t make music in any way that has to do with the response to that music. I don’t believe that the response to the music has anything to do with it. This is something I got from John Cage and Marcel Duchamp, I think the perception of the artwork, in some ways, has nothing to do with the artwork, and I think that is a beautiful, glorious and flattering thing to say to the perceiver, the viewer of that artwork. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at Paul Klee‘s drawings, lithographs, watercolors and paintings and when I read his diaries I’m not sure how much of a correlation there is between what his color schemes are denoting and what he is saying and what I am getting out of it. I’m not sure that it matters. Inland Empire is a great example. Lynch basically says, I don’t want to talk about it because I’m going to close doors for the viewer. It’s up to you. It’s not that it’s a riddle or a puzzle. You know how much of your own experience you are putting into the digestion of your own art. That’s not to say that that guy arranges notes in an interesting way, and sings in an interesting way and arranges words in an interesting way, but often, if someone says they really like my music, what I want to say is, That’s cool you focused your attention on that thing, but it does not make me go home and say, Wow, you’re great. My ego is not involved in it.

DS: Often people assume an artist makes an achievement, say wins a Tony or a Grammy or even a Cable Ace Award and people think the artist must feel this lasting sense of accomplishment, but it doesn’t typically happen that way, does it? Often there is some time of elation and satisfaction, but almost immediately the artist is being asked, “Okay, what’s the next thing? What’s next?” and there is an internal pressure to move beyond that achievement and not focus on it.

JV: Oh yeah, exactly. There’s a moment of relief when a mastered record gets back, and then I swear to you that ten minutes after that point I feel there are bigger fish to fry. I grew up listening to classical music, and there is something inside of me that says, Okay, I’ve made six records. Whoop-dee-doo. I grew up listening to Gustav Mahler, and I will never, ever approach what he did.

DS: Do you try?

JV: I love Mahler, but no, his music is too expansive and intellectual, and it’s realized harmonically and compositionally in a way that is five languages beyond me. And that’s okay. I’m very happy to do what I do. How can anyone be so jazzed about making a record when you are up against, shit, five thousand records a week—

DS: —but a lot of it’s crap—

JV: —a lot of it’s crap, but a lot of it is really, really good and doesn’t get the attention it deserves. A lot of it is very good. I’m shocked at some of the stuff I hear. I listen to a lot of music and I am mailed a lot of CDs, and I’m on the web all the time.

DS: I’ve done a lot of photography for Wikipedia and the genesis of it was an attempt to pin down reality, to try to understand a world that I felt had fallen out of my grasp of understanding, because I felt I had no sense of what this world was about anymore. For that, my work is very encyclopedic, and it fit well with Wikipedia. What was the reason you began investing time and effort into photography?

JV: It came from trying to making sense of touring. Touring is incredibly fast and there is so much compressed imagery that comes to you, whether it is the window in the van, or like now, when we are whisking through the Northeast in seven days. Let me tell you, I see a lot of really close people in those seven days. We move a lot, and there is a lot of input coming in. The shows are tremendous and, it is emotionally so overwhelming that you can not log it. You can not keep a file of it. It’s almost like if I take photos while I am doing this, it slows it down or stops it momentarily and orders it. It has made touring less of a blur; concretizes these times. I go back and develop the film, and when I look at the tour I remember things in a very different way. It coalesces. Let’s say I take on fucking photo in Athens, Georgia. That’s really intense. And I tend to take a photo of someone I like, or photos of people I really admire and like.

DS: What bands are working with your studio, Tiny Telephone?

JV: Death Cab for Cutie is going to come back and track their next record there. Right now there is a band called Hello Central that is in there, and they are really good. They’re from L.A. Maids of State was just in there and w:Deerhoof was just in there. Book of Knotts is coming in soon. That will be cool because I think they are going to have Beck sing on a tune. That will be really cool. There’s this band called Jordan from Paris that is starting this week.

DS: Do they approach you, or do you approach them?

JV I would say they approach me. It’s generally word of mouth. We never advertise and it’s very cheap, below market. It’s analog. There’s this self-fulfilling thing that when you’re booked, you stay booked. More bands come in, and they know about it and they keep the business going that way. But it’s totally word of mouth.

U.S. automaker GM plans to close 1,100 dealerships

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 09 5th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Friday, May 15, 2009

American automobile manufacturer General Motors (GM) announced plans Friday to shut down about 1,100 of its dealerships, in an effort to evade bankruptcy and lower its expenditures.

GM’s move comes a day after Chrysler, another U.S. car maker, released a list of 789 dealerships that it was closing. Unlike Chrylser, GM will not publicly announce the dealerships that it intends to shut down. Instead, dealerships whose franchises won’t be renewed after October of next year will receive a private letter telling them of the decision.

At the moment, GM has 6,246 dealers in the U.S. It intends to reduce that number to 3,605 by the end of 2010. GM said the dealerships that were to be closed are “underperforming and very small sales volume U.S. dealers.”

“They’re dealerships that are in most cases hurting, losing money, and in danger of going out of business anyway,” said GM’s sales, service, and marketing vice president in a telephone conference. “It’s a move that people could argue should have been taken years ago but this leadership team had no choice but to do it today.”

The dealers that are to be closed represent 18% of the firm’s dealership network, but only 7% of GM’s 2008 revenue.