The touching of junk: How far will the TSA go?

As the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) moves to more invasive forms of screening, they’re getting some push back from pilots, attendants, civil rights activists, and citizens. Some people are saying enough is enough, but once you’ve given away freedom for the promise of security, it’s hard to know where to stop.

I read a novel that described how a prostitute was “turned out”. A woman meets a great guy, until one day he gets into trouble and owes someone a great deal of money. In exchange for the money, that person is willing to accept sex. The great guy tells his girlfriend his predicament and she bails him out – just that one time. Once she has slept with one guy for money, she’s damaged goods, and she does it over and over again.

We’re that prostitute; the first time a traveller took off their Nikes so that they could be checked for a bomb, we proved that we were willing to sell ourselves for safety – and the government, like a pimp, keeps coming back to us for more. The day that a terrorist smuggles a bomb aboard by hiding it in his anus, we’ll be grabbing our ankles and they’ll be grabbing the lube. All in the name of safety.

There’s a great quote from Benjamin Franklin (actually there are  a lot of great quotes from Benjamin Franklin):

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

So how far are you willing to go?

Cool cover songs

My iTunes collection is full of unique, weird covers, so I’ve been working on a playlist of cool cover songs. It’s difficult, because often I didn’t realize a song I liked was a cover (growing up, I didn’t realize “Pretty Woman” wasn’t an Al Green song. There are also covers like Toxic by Mark Ronson or “Common People” by William Shatner which surpass the original.)

So here are fifty some songs that I know are covers. I may be wrong about the original artist – let me know if I am. Share your favorite covers in the comments section. Click here to see the full list.

On another note – don’t forget to tune into my friend Joey’s show every Monday at 3 PM on Y Rock on XPN .

Name Artist Original Artist (I think)
No Surprises Easy Star All-Stars Radiohead
Reason to Believe Michael Penn & Aimee Mann Bruce Springsteen
Heroes Peter Gabriel David Bowie Continue reading

Run the bums in

Tomorrow we get our chance to voice our displeasure with bad leadership. The expectation is that we will “run the bums out” it record numbers; it’s deserved. The performance of our leaders has been abysmal. But it’s not enough to just run the bastards out. We need to be careful about who we run in.

I cannot believe the candidates that have been run out there as serious candidates. And people are so anxious for change, they don’t even seem to care what the change to.

On the way home today I saw a Jon Runyan around the corner from my house. I live in Pennsylvania. Runyan is running in New Jersey. People aren’t even paying attention.

For all of the reasons there are to bring in some fresh blood, there are just as many reasons to be careful. There are some dangerous candidates out there. This Congress is the worse that we’ve ever seen – only to be surpassed by the next Congress.

Don’t run out the bums, only to replace them with newer bums.

Don’t vote based on your affinity for witches, football players, or attack ads, because you’re bound to be disappointed. Do your research; get out and vote on Tuesday, and only vote for the other guy if he’s in fact better.

Radio doesn’t have to suck

There was a time when radio didn’t suck. Sure there was payola, but generally the music won out. Those times seem long ago.

Last week I was listening to my friend Joey do is first show on Y-Rock on XPN and it made me miss the good old days of music first radio. He deftly mixed new and old – Arcade Fire with Fugazi; Mumford & Sons with Sleater Kinney. I’m not sure why so many stations seem to think that you can play new or old – but the two should never mix. And when they do play old – it’s the single and not the deep track.

Joey’s show is on Mondays from 3 to 6 PM and you can listen to it on the WXPN website, in iTunes radio, or download the WXPN app in the iPhone app store.

You can also send Joey requests on AOL IM at yrockonxpn.

If you like music that doesn’t suck – please click the Facebook like button under the title of this post to share with your friends.

New Michael Penn Video: Count of Pennsylvania

Two years ago, we were all riding a wave a hope for the future. Michael Penn wrote a songlet (his words) for my blog series about the Presidential election that was perfect for the feelings of the day.

Today that wave has receded, and in its wake it has left anger, hate, and apathy – so Michael has updated the song to reflect this day.

What will Count of Pennsylvania 2012 sound like?

Find Michael Penn on Facebook.

Andy Reid | the smell of desperation

I am lost. I know the fans (who were excited that Kevin Kolb was named the starter in February) wanted Michael Vick in September, but Eagles fans are generally morons; I expected more out of Andy Reid.

I probably wouldn’t have traded Donovan McNabb in the first place, but I could understand and accept the reasoning. Kevin Kolb was the future of this team and McNabb was the past. I know that Michael Vick gives them a chance to win now, but I thought the plan was to win the big one? Donovan McNabb was let go because he couldn’t win the big game. The same argument can be made against Michael Vick. Does everyone forget how Michael Vick looked in the playoffs? Say what you want about McNabb, he’s never looked that bad in the playoffs. His issue was always ending up a drive short – not an entire game. Is Michael Vick what we got rid of Donovan McNabb for? Does he really give you a better chance to win in January? No.

The only reason for this decision is that Andy Reid has to win now. Joe Banner is holding him responsible for 10 years of failure, as he should, and Kevin Kolb is paying the price. Reid doesn’t care about the Super Bowl, he cares about his job.

I used to love the Eagles, now I can barely stand them.

Andy Reid needs to go now — anything else is a waste of time.

85 dogs convince me to not move into Philadelphia

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This is one of the saddest stories I’ve read in a long time. How does a city allow something like this happen? 7 years of complaints, 87 dogs (including two dead), two cats, and a stench that caused even the most experienced PSPCA officers to leave the house for a break. How does this happen? One word: bureaucracy.

The story about 739 Earp St. on Philadelphia Weekly is pretty amazing. This one article convinced me that I should stay in the suburbs. The fact that these taxpayers complained to the city government, city council, the PSPCA, Licensing and Inspections – and were unable to get any of them to act until a false tip was called in, tells me all I need to know about my hometown.

One thing about living in my small town, just outside of Philly – if something is happening that I want to ask about, I can call or email my councilperson and expect a response. I don’t know how these people dealt with it for as long as they did. I would have gotten in trouble.

So for all of that, I’ll stay in the suburbs. Close enough to enjoy, but far enough away to comfortably ignore and remain blissful.