Saturday, February 16, 2008

"Arizona Memories From the 1970s"

Channel 8 is producing an hour-long special on Arizona in the 1970s. The format will be similar to their previous specials on Arizona in the 1930s, 1950s, etc. I have been in touch with the show's producer, John Booth, and he is very much aware of the importance of KCAC and KDKB and all of the associated personalities during that period. I've already delivered one batch of tapes and memorabilia to him, and we have another meeting scheduled for Monday. The show will probably not air until June, but there's a good chance that progressive radio in Phoenix - and the community that revolved around it - will play a featured role. Stay tuned!


Saturday, February 02, 2008

Not John Stewart's Mother Country

As musicians and artists, we are not strangers to unethical tricks of the trade. As Tracey Ullman said in her one woman HBO show: "The bloody record industry are thieves!" So, it seems, is Congress. They're so pleased with themselves for agreeing on an 'economic stimulus package' to 'help' American consumers. Huh? Hear ye, hear ye, oh Fools on the Hill! The economy is being destroyed by the banking industry. Well educated, hard working Americans (AND YES, WASHINGTON, THAT INCLUDES MUSICIANS!) have been blindsided by unregulated interest rates. What good is a 'stimulus package' when interest rates on credit cards ride roughshod over the American consumer? Congress! If you want to help the American economy, stop this disgraceful practice!

As anyone who has had their credit card rates strangle them will attest, interest rates are no longer based on credit worthiness. Even if a credit history is perfect (it could happen!) interest rates can hike to 39.99% or more. No one is protected from banking's legal thievery. Not even the folks who opted for "REAL JOBS TO FALL BACK ON." Credit card companies have access to ALL of our consumer debt records! One late payment on a utility or phone bill allows the rate to skyrocket on any card, even if it has a spotless credit history.

The credit industry is out of control. We've all seen credit card companies hawk their cards at drunken student spring breaks and concerts; we're encouraged to charge groceries and fast food. Pay day loan "services", check cashing "services" and quick auto title loan businesses are on every street corner. They can legally advertise "the lowest possible interest rates" because no legal restriction exists!! Auto title loan 'services' typically charge 197% (yep, one hundred ninety seven percent) interest. Sure, there's 'no such thing as a free lunch' but since when is it okay for extortion to be served for dessert?

What's the matter, presidential hopefuls?! Big old cat got your tongue on this one?! People who serve in our military are forbidden to cash their military checks in check cashing 'convenience' marts! Our government at least protects them from as much as 197% interest from these ubiquitous legally sanctioned thieves!! But the question remains: how can the government turn its back on the rest of America??

We ought to tell Congress to take their $600 per person 'economic stimulus package' checks and eat 'em for lunch. Then it would be as hard to swallow for them as it is for the rest of us.