Artists Should Get Paid

I know I’ve linked to this Harlan Ellison rant before, but repetition is strength. Right?

And, finally, to artists of all genres – Harlan Ellison is a loud, irascible and vehement voice for respect and payment. He is the rare combination of a well-developed artistic mind combined with exquisite business smarts and an innate sense of unwavering justice. Ellison dares, in one of his rants, to speak out against a major film studio who wanted to re-release material involving him on DVD. When asked to be paid for his participation, the young assistant seemed shocked. A highly unfortunate reaction on her part – as she then became the target for a giant Harlan Ellison emotional whipping. Did she expect her gas station attendant to give her free gasoline? Her doctor to perform surgery for free…and did SHE, in fact work for free?

Artists are sick to death of trying to pay their bills off of jobs that “offer great exposure.” Harlan Ellison laments the fact that professional writers are constantly being undercut by amateurs these days… and he’s right. It might behoove all of us to listen to Harlan’s rants in DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH and re-inspire ourselves as a nation to “get what we pay for” and maybe bump up our standards a little.

[From SUNfiltered : Fresh culture daily. » Blog Archive » Harlan Ellison: Who is He and Why Should We Care?]

Anyway Mr. Ellison’s amusing rant re: the Warners Brothers release of a DVD of Babylon 5


Pay the artists!


Why is Harlan Ellison’s name on the end credits of THE TERMINATOR? Find out the truth in this video.


The Clash’s Shea Stadium Gig Heading To CD

“Clash on Broadway” (The Clash)

Excellent news. I’ve heard crappy versions of some of these songs, but an official release is exciting. The Clash are still one of my all time favorite bands.

Long bootlegged and sought after by collectors, the Clash’s Oct. 13, 1982, performance at New York’s Shea Stadium will finally see official release Oct. 7 via Legacy.

The gig found the Clash opening for the Who on the latter band’s “farewell” tour, and features a wealth of favorites, from “London Calling” and “Police on My Back” to “The Magnificent Seven” and “Clampdown.”

The band, which at the time was touring in support of its recent album “Combat Rock,” also offered up the singles from that effort, “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and “Rock the Casbah.” According to Legacy, late guitarist Joe Strummer found the Shea tapes while preparing to move into a new house.

[From The Clash’s Shea Stadium Gig Heading To CD]

In case you were curious, this is the track listing:

Kosmo Vinyl Introduction

“London Calling”

“Police on My Back”

“Guns Of Brixton”

“Tommy Gun”

“The Magnificent Seven”

“Armagideon Time”

“The Magnificent Seven” (return)

“Rock the Casbah”

“Train in Vain”

“Career Opportunities”

“Spanish Bombs”


“English Civil War”

“Should I Stay or Should I Go”

“I Fought the Law”

Did the CIA give Iran the bomb

“State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration” (James Risen)

Bush’s team should be impeached for incompetence on top of all their other crimes.

She had probably done this a dozen times before. Modern digital technology had made clandestine communications with overseas agents seem routine. Back in the cold war, contacting a secret agent in Moscow or Beijing was a dangerous, labour-intensive process that could take days or even weeks. But by 2004, it was possible to send high-speed, encrypted messages directly and instantaneously from CIA headquarters to agents in the field who were equipped with small, covert personal communications devices. So the officer at CIA headquarters assigned to handle communications with the agency’s spies in Iran probably didn’t think twice when she began her latest download. With a few simple commands, she sent a secret data flow to one of the Iranian agents in the CIA’s spy network. Just as she had done so many times before.

But this time, the ease and speed of the technology betrayed her. The CIA officer had made a disastrous mistake. She had sent information to one Iranian agent that exposed an entire spy network; the data could be used to identify virtually every spy the CIA had inside Iran.

Mistake piled on mistake. As the CIA later learned, the Iranian who received the download was a double agent. The agent quickly turned the data over to Iranian security officials, and it enabled them to “roll up” the CIA’s network throughout Iran. CIA sources say that several of the Iranian agents were arrested and jailed, while the fates of some of the others is still unknown.

This espionage disaster, of course, was not reported. It left the CIA virtually blind in Iran, unable to provide any significant intelligence on one of the most critical issues facing the US – whether Tehran was about to go nuclear.

In fact, just as President Bush and his aides were making the case in 2004 and 2005 that Iran was moving rapidly to develop nuclear weapons, the American intelligence community found itself unable to provide the evidence to back up the administration’s public arguments. On the heels of the CIA’s failure to provide accurate pre-war intelligence on Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, the agency was once again clueless in the Middle East. In the spring of 2005, in the wake of the CIA’s Iranian disaster, Porter Goss, its new director, told President Bush in a White House briefing that the CIA really didn’t know how close Iran was to becoming a nuclear power.

But it’s worse than that. Deep in the bowels of the CIA, someone must be nervously, but very privately, wondering: “Whatever happened to those nuclear blueprints we gave to the Iranians?”

[Click to read a large excerpt Did the CIA give Iran the bomb? Extracts from New York Times reporter James Risen’s new book | Environment | The Guardian]

When do we get to do pointed sticks?

Apparently, these revelations came out in 2006, but this is the first I’d heard of them. Book is now available in paperback, I’m going to look for it. The plan, called Operation Merlin, was to sell slightly flawed nuclear plans to Iranian agents in the hopes that they wouldn’t realize part of the data was flawed. The agent who sold the plans pointed out the flaw, and thus helped accelerate (allegedly) Iran’s nuclear program. Yikes.

Continue reading “Did the CIA give Iran the bomb”