Ranting, Raving, and Rocking by Sal Canzonieri

This was my nineteenth column in AMP magazine. This one Rants on the war against the Middle Class, Raves about www.joost.com, and Rocks on about new records by many great new Canadian rock n roll bands !

Loud Fast Rules magazine issue 1
AMP magazine
(December 2007 issue #?)
Column #19

Welcome to my nineteenth column for AMP magazine.

This Month's Ranting:

The most well-adjusted and decent societies are those where the government provides basic social services (good schools, health care, police and fire protection), invests in infrastructure, including human capital, and promotes a thriving Middle Class. The Middle Class are the backbone of any country, and as such toady they are being used and consumed by many forces, to the point that there is a war on the Middle Class. Both the Rich and the Poor classes are draining and destroying the Middle Class. It's been a tough decade for the American middle class, which has been experiencing stagnant wages in the face of rapidly increasing costs for health care and prescription drugs, soaring energy prices and escalating tuition costs. But worst of all, the middle class is up against a Congress that is driven by powerful corporations and dominant special interests. There's been no Congressional action on raising the minimum wage since 1997, and inflation has eroded wages as a result. The minimum wage in the 21st century now stands at its lowest level since 1955, according to the Economic Policy Institute and Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The Financial Destruction of the American Middle Class - this is has been happening over the course of the past decades for a simple reason: Most people do not work for the finance industry. Most people do not get huge bonuses. Most do not own Picassos, nor do they have houses in Aspen . Most people earn ordinary wages. And they have not had a real raise in the last 30 years. In May of 2007 there was a three - day conference in NYC to discuss the upcoming Economic projections based on current analysis and the anticipated situations for the next 5-15 years. The conclusion from the “experts” was that we are facing a "financial reversal" of the middle class. They predict that within 5-10 years, there will be a "two-class" status within our country; there will only be a "financially OK class" and a "not-financially OK class". No more middle class. We will either be considered wealthy or poor. Nothing else. We are facing the "destruction" of the average worker. Extreme changes in how corporations operate in relation to employees is due to occur. One person predicted a reduction in employees of up to 40% within 7-10 years. Finally, within 10 years, the average population will go further into debt without having the usual leverage of increased dollar value, which only exacerbates the situation. With the current situation of household debt load that Americans are having to deal with, this only strengthens the forces that will lead to financial reversal.

In my opinion, these are the factors that are destroying the Middle Class:

- High expenses: Homeownership has been the No. 1 source of wealth-building for middle and lower classes, and the housing boom made millions of homeowners "house rich." But over the past five years, once you account for inflation, incomes for these groups are actually down. It now takes two parents working to make ends meet: rising food, energy, housing and health care expenses are eating people and businesses alive. Over the last 20 years, loss of purchasing power is over 60% . Government figures UNDERSTATE inflation by 2.5% a year, over the span of 20 years that is a huge number! The broad middle class has been told by the government and the media that their wages and savings are growing after inflation while they are actually plummeting. A two income family today makes less money than a one income person made in the 1970s. Many low- and moderate-income families are spending home equity just to maintain their lifestyles. Nationwide, nearly 90% of homeowners who refinanced homes from July through September took cash out of their property — the highest level in 16 years, according to Freddie Mac. And while rising home prices mean rising wealth, they also mean larger mortgages. For the middle class, the ratio of debt to net worth has nearly doubled since 2001 and is now in dangerous territory. The number of homeowners who spend 30% or more of their income on housing has jumped to 35%, up from 27% in 2000, leaving little or nothing left to save. By contrast, incomes for the rich are rising, protecting them from the downsides of real estate cycles. If we use 2005 dollars and the CPI-U (consumer price index for urban consumers), average weekly earnings decreased by about $1 per week over the 30-year interval 1975-2005. Middle Class people have thus stopped saving and have taken on massive amounts of housing and consumer debt. In 1999, total outstanding household debt in the US was $6.4 trillion. As of the end of the second quarter of 2006 total outstanding household debt was $12.3 trillion. US household debt has increased by almost as much since 1999 as the sum total of all debt accumulated by all households across the preceding 220-year history of the US . In 1999, household debt stood at $4.4 trillion. At the close of the second quarter of 2006 it had more than doubled to $9.33 trillion. In 1999, consumer credit outstanding was measured at $1.6 trillion. Today, this stands at approximately $2.4 trillion dollars in the US , signaling a 50% increase in less than seven years. Even though house prices were rising, owners' equity as a percentage of household real estate actually fell from 58% to 54%. In other words, people 'took out' so much wealth from their houses that they ended up with a lower percentage of ownership than they had had before – even at today's high prices. As prices go down, their 'equity' will fall even further. For many homeowners, it will disappear altogether. Americans keep refinancing and re-mortgaging out of desperation. Very soon many middle class Americans are going to begin to realize that something has gone wrong. Their houses will be falling in price, while their debts are greater than ever. They will realize that they have been ripped off. The reason middle class resentment is rising is because their incomes and the purchasing power of their wages and savings accounts are falling, courtesy of totally “out of control” spending by Congress, which amounts to the same thing as printing money out of thin air, there is nothing behind this printed money to back it up. The reason the guys on Wall Street, private equity and in the banking industry are getting so fabulously wealthy is because they get the newly minted money and credit first, the day after it is printed and stolen out of the savings accounts of the broad citizenry's. This theft is set to continue. It is how wealth is transferred from the middle class to the ruling elites, big banks and the governments they control.

- High Taxes : Taxes rise relentlessly, new taxes, old taxes, all rise and never are reduced or repealed, always growing faster than the economy or inflation. Spending rockets higher as government never shrinks, it actually grows faster than the real rate of inflation, which is understated by 2.5% The Middle Class pays more taxes on their earnings than any other class. For example, investment managers making upwards of a $1 billion a year are paying lower tax rates than the people who teach their children or deliver their mail. Another example: Warren Buffett, the world's third-richest man, blasted the U.S. tax system earlier this summer because he pays a lower rate of taxes than his secretary. Buffett said, without trying to avoid taxes, that he paid 17.7 percent on the $46 million he made in 2006, while his secretary who made $60,000 was taxed at 30 percent. He said the tax disparities have expanded income inequality in a way that has hurt the economy, by constricting opportunity and stifling motivation. Since the 1960s, the widening of income inequality has been spurred by a tax code that takes proportionately less from acquired wealth while keeping the burden on workaday paychecks. Bush purposely allowed his tax cuts to exacerbate the Alternative Minimum Tax problem for the middle class in order to give bigger breaks to those at the very top. According to Citizens for Tax Justice, Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife saved $111,000 in taxes last year thanks to the breaks he and the president stewarded through Congress. The Cheneys paid an effective tax rate of 23.4 percent on $1.8 million in income in 2006. Also less than Warren Buffett's secretary paid. In 1960, the top 0.01 percent of earners paid 71 percent of their income in federal taxes. In 2005, the same 0.01 percent, or those making more than $18 million annually, paid only about 35 percent. Taxes for America 's wealthiest are at historic lows, according to economists. Meanwhile, the average federal tax rate for the middle class has remained roughly constant or ticked up a few percentage points, depending on where in the middle one falls. The middle class is under relentless assault by the IRS and Regulators. If you are poor, you have no money and are on welfare, they ignore you. If you are rich or a BIG business you have accountants and lawyers to duel them and take advantage of the ins and outs of the IRS code and regulators. The IRS and regulators very rarely invade the turf of the big guys and when they do they are many times stymied by the high cost professional talent. If you are a Middle class citizen or small to medium size businessman you are killed by the regulators and compliance costs, helpless against the IRS and unable to afford good advice or purchase good representation to deal with the government. They can deal you a death blow and don't even care that you have obeyed the laws all your life and tried to comply with every detail of the law. Unfortunately the tax code is 9 million words of mind bending complexity and the federal register of regulations makes the tax code look like child's play. Regulations are created with no concern to practicalities. Cost benefit analysis never considered. The middle class is easy pickings for these government bullies, so they are the primary target of them. Taxes are too high, PERIOD. And that money is NOT being spent to take care of the taxpayers. The money goes to Israel and to war profiteers. $3 trillion (that's a million million) vanished without trace in the Pentagon. The last official act of any government is to loot the nation.

- Cost of War & National Debt : A new study by Columbia University economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001, and Harvard lecturer Linda Bilmes concludes that the total costs of the Iraq war could top the $2 trillion mark. Reuters reports this total, which is far above the US administration's prewar projections, takes into account the long term healthcare costs for the 16,000 US soldiers injured in Iraq so far. Of course, before the war started, Mitch Daniels, then the White House budget director, had said the war would be an "affordable endeavor" and rejected an estimate by the chief White House economic adviser that the war would cost between $100 billion and $200 billion as "very, very high." Yeah, right, like we can believe anything from the government any more! Reuters also reports that a Marine Corps spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Roseann Lynch, said that the war is costing the US about $4.5 billion a month in military "operating costs," not including procurement of new weapons and equipment. Colonel Lynch said the war in Iraq had cost $173 billion by January of 2006. Of course, the cost of the Iraq war completely aggravates the National Dept (which was a SURPLUS of over 90 Million dollars when Bush came in), which now stands at over $8.9 TRILLION – common sense tells you that the Middle Class is being slammed by the massive debt that will be choking our future and our children's future. Basically, the US is bankrupt, and it keeps on spending like there is no tomorrow. In Fiscal Year 2006, the U. S. Government spent $406 Billion of your money on interest payments to the holders of the National Debt. Compare that to NASA at $15 Billion, Education at $61 Billion, and Department of Transportation at $56 Billion. The US dollar is being replaced by the Euro as the international trade standard, thanks to our huge debt. Suppose you want to spend more money this month than your income. This situation is called a "budget deficit". So you borrow. The amount you borrowed (and now owe) is called your debt. You have to pay interest on your debt. If next month you don't have enough money to cover your spending (another deficit), you must borrow some more, and you'll still have to pay the interest on the loan. If you have a deficit every month, you keep borrowing and your debt grows. Soon the interest payment on your loan is bigger than any other item in your budget. Eventually, all you can do is pay the interest payment, and you don't have any money left over for anything else. This situation is known as bankruptcy. Each year since 1969, Congress has spent more money than its income. The Treasury Department has to borrow money to meet Congress's appropriations. The total borrowed is more than $8,000,000,000,000 and growing. Even when government officials claim to have a surplus, they still spend more than they get in. We pay interest on that huge debt. Who pays the most taxes? The Middle Class. SO, who pays for this huge debt? The Middle Class, again and again and again, thanks to the thieves and crooks in Congress.

- Israeli congressional lobbying : The biggest unnecessary drain on our economy, besides the Iraq War, is Israel government. From Middle Class tax payer money, three billion dollars in US economic and military aid is received by Israel every year - more than any other country. Israel and its lobby bear outsized responsibility for persuading the Bush Administration to invade Iraq and, perhaps one day soon, to attack the nuclear facilities of Iran . The cost of Bush's wars far exceed any possible future benefits from them, our security has been jeopardized, the nation's status has been compromised, and some analysts believe the total dollar cost of the Iraq adventure may eventually top $2 trillion - an amount extremely harmful to the nation's economy that's now worrying key business leaders and responsible people in government. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), dozens and dozens of other pro-Israel political action committees (PACs), and groups such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) that work on Israel 's behalf, are known simply as ‘the Lobby', reflecting their clout. Senator William Fulbright, then chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, conducted hearings on foreign influence-buying in Congress in the 1960s. He later said: “I hadn't realized before the hearings that the Jewish lobby was so powerful. … I didn't know they were subverting the Congress.” He also said: “The lobby can just about tell the President what to do when it comes to Israel . Its influence in Congress is pervasive and, I think, profoundly harmful…to us and ultimately to Israel itself.”  The Lobby indeed has tremendous influence on U.S. Middle East policy. For example, during the two-year 1988 election cycle, pro-Israel PACs spent over $5.4 million on Congressional campaigns and Israel received well over $6 billion in direct taxpayer grants, a return of roughly $1000 for every dollar spent lobbying Congress. (“Stealth PACs: Lobbying Congress for Control of U.S. Middle East Policy” by Richard H. Curtiss, 1996).  It is difficult to identify all the pro-Israel PACs because they fly under the radar with innocuous sounding names such as Metro PAC, Badger PAC, Pacific PAC, etc. that don't say anything about Israel or the Middle East. By using many dozens of PACs, the Lobby defeats the purpose of campaign finance laws and is thus able to invest large amounts of money in a favorite candidate or in someone serving on an important congressional committee. Money can also be used in campaigns to defeat politicians who are not sufficiently subservient to Israeli interests. The Lobby takes credit for defeating a number of well-respected politicians such as Senator Charles Percy and Representative Pete McCloskey, people who thought that they were in Congress to represent U.S. interests, not those of Israel . Because of its record, few in Congress are willing to stand up to the Lobby. This situation is reflected in the appalling vote on House Resolution 921 in which only eight members of the House of Representatives voted against the one-sided resolution that included support for the Israeli attack on Lebanon last year.  Author JJ Goldberg reported in his book Jewish Power: Inside the Jewish Establishment that in the early 1990s 45% of the Democrat Party's fundraising and 25% of that for the Republicans came from Jewish-funded Political Action Committees (PACS). James Petras, in his new book titled The Power of Israel in the United States, then updates the numbers using the ones Richard Cohen published in the Washington Post showing them now at 60% and 35% respectively, and that this funding relates to a single core issue - unconditional US support for Israel's agenda including those parts of it human rights activists and observers of conscience judge most egregious and illegal. Because of the Lobby's power, Petras reports, the US has unconditionally supported Israel 's wars of aggression since 1967. It's influence also led to the US Gulf war in 1991 and the second Iraq war begun in 2003, now raging out of control and seen by some noted analysts as unwinnable and causing potential irreparable economic and political harm to the nation. Nonetheless, it persists with no plan agreed on to end it. The Lobby also guaranteed this country's unconditional support for Israel 's illegal wars of aggression against Lebanon and Palestine with all the devastation they caused and the horrendous consequences from them unresolved. The Palestinian conflict still rages under the radar, and the status in Lebanon hangs by a hair trigger ready to erupt again any time Israel decides to resume hostilities. But inflaming the Middle East powder keg to a near boiling point is the strong possibility the US and/or Israel will attack Iran because Israel wants it and the Jewish Lobby put its powerful support behind it. This kind of influence and support has made Israel by far the largest recipient in the world of US financial aid that amounts upfront to about $3 billion a year with more forthcoming any time as needed in added funding, weapons transfers and large low or no-interest loans that may never have to be repaid. With the $3 billion a year direct US contribution and lots more help, US taxpayers (like it or not) have the burden of funding Israel 's belligerence and colonization agenda. (Oh, by the way, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, is an Israeli citizen.)

- Non- representative Congress : Congress barely does anything that remotely comes near the “will of the people”. Instead, they do whatever the Israeli lobby group AIPAC tell them to do. There was a “Sixty Minutes” segment on AIPAC back in October 1988. During that segment, former Under Secretary of State George Ball said: “Practically every congressman and senator says his prayers to the AIPAC lobby. They've done an enormous job of corrupting the American democratic process.” Just look at the careers of any career politician in Washington . Very, very few members of Congress today can get any kind of traction without AIPAC's support. And AIPAC will only support those politicians whose agendas are those of Israel , period, end of discussion. Basically bribed to the hilt by AIPAC, congress, both Republicans and Democrats, do whatever AIPAC tells them to do, which in the long run amounts to TREASON. Nancy Pelosi betrayed the American voters, who ushered in more Democrats as a protest against the ever failing Iraq war. She does the bidding of whatever AIPAC wants her to do. She repealed pending legislation that would have required Bush to get Congressional approval before attacking Iran , simply because AIPAC told her to do so. At the same time, Congress continues to spend wildly on thousands of pet projects.

- Outsourcing of jobs: America 's middle class is being dismantled by jobs exported to cheap-labor Third World countries. CEOs and corporations that enjoy the luxuries of America 's hard won freedom care not whether you have a job or not-or a living wage. But the American man and woman on the street--the ones with two kids, a mortgage and bills coming out of their ears--stand powerless as their jobs vanish. American jobs are offshored, insourced and outsourced at such blinding speed that millions of American citizens stand in unemployment lines every morning while the rest of us go to work, that is, if we still have jobs. Congress upped the H-1B visas by another 20,000 again this year. That quota rise spits in the face of thousands of American workers standing in unemployment lines. Our Congress gave out nearly one million H-1B visas in the past decade. Congress facilitates outsourcing, insourcing and offshoring! It doesn't matter what trade one is in, globalization is now eating into ALL occupations! From lawyers to accountants, automakers to toy makers, everyone and everything are outsourced in order to make more money for the rich! And the wages of the top staff working on this massive project to destroy the middle class are going up, too. But everyone below the very top are seeing wages fall. This includes many occupations requiring college degrees. Once upon a time when the middle class was much smaller, the main road to the middle class was a college degree which is why the Democratic plan for the GI Bill was a huge boost to creating the middle class after WWII. Now, it is increasingly a path to lifetime debt and poor pay as wages for workers with degrees now begin to drop.

- Illegal immigration : The displacement of American workers proceeds methodically. American corporations sacrifice American workers in the name of profit. Over 200,000 illegal aliens swarm the job market in almost every major city. $51 Billion dollars a year in cash is lost as illegal immigrants send it to their home countries. The IRS reports the loss of $311 to $400 billion annually from employers not paying income taxes on employed illegal aliens. Illegals displace people in all manners of jobs in the construction and other industries, such as pavers, roofers, landscapers, beef processing plants, framers, dry wallers, and virtually have taken over all fast food restaurants. Major US companies import illegal aliens to thwart Federal Laws in order to 'lose' American workers and then, wholesale, break OSHA standards at will. How? Because illegal aliens will not make a whimper for fear of losing their jobs. Currently, 15 million illegal aliens commandeer jobs away from American citizens. If they don't steal those jobs, they depress the wages to the point of legalized slavery. We have an estimated one million illegal alien Chinese in this country (Source: March 2005 Forbes Magazine). At the same time, we outsource jobs to China where a billion people can't wait to make 50 cents an hour. Human smugglers bringing illegals into America make $7 billion annually according to the report. At the current rate of 4.1 million legal and illegal newcomers imported into the United States annually, it's only a matter of time before, we too, manifest conditions of the Third World . You can't drown the labor market with millions of people and expect to keep your wages high when immigrants will undercut you. That's why the pay in China or India is less than $10.00 per day. They have 2.4 billion people in those two countries. That's why they live subsistence lives. In time, that reality will manifest itself in America as the middle class vanishes. It's already happening. You need look no further than California as an example of the first Third World State of America . Most Americans, 80%, as supported by both the anecdotal evidence of popular opinion outlets such as talk radio, the Internet, etc., and by legitimate, scientific polling data, overwhelmingly support stopping illegal migration. Yet, when you talk to almost any elected official of either party at any level of government, there is a total disconnect between what they say and do, and what their constituents want them to do. Their polite response, of course, is that immigration, illegal or otherwise, is good for the country. Bush, Congress, corporations and the elite have moved our manufacturing base out of America in the last 20 years by outsourcing, insourcing, offshoring and breaking all our federal laws by encouraging 15-20 million illegal aliens to work at penury wages. In the process, they demolish our functioning Middle Class. Recall that Third World countries feature a high class and a low class. NO MIDDLE CLASS!

- Failing educational system : Contrary to Bush's “No Child Left Behind” crap, America is faced with a public education system that's failing at a devastating rate while putting our nation at risk. ( America ranks near or at the bottom on international test scores despite the fact that America spends more money on education than any other nation in the world) Nearly 1 in 3 public high school students won't graduate.  Nearly half of all dropouts ages 16-24 are unemployed. Many of our public schools resemble schools in a third world country. The sight of run-down schools, filthy bathrooms, dysfunctional pluming, lack of power, broken systems, crumbling ceilings, broken windows, pest problems, exposed electrical wires and a long list of other problems that puts children's health and safety at risk, is a COMMON thing in America today. America is faced with a broken system which has created public schools that are fast becoming the schools of the poor and a breeding ground for violence and drug abuse not to mention growing social ills. Education is no longer about educating society in the truest form by preparing kids for success in college, the workforce and beyond with meaningful life skills while treating the body, mind and spirit as a whole. Few would deny that there is a systematic process of dumbing-down our kids by conditioning them not to think critically (student are taught what to think rather than how to think).  Perhaps it's because politicians have decided that they don't need to educate American citizens anymore as they want people to work at McDonald.  Why?  Since America has lost practically all manufacturing industry (factories) and has become a service industry, the jobs are no longer there.  Perhaps politicians have a vested interest in having an uneducated population because it's much easier to manage, control and influence the outcome of political campaigns (as uneducated people are not likely to challenge questionable practices and corruption that put the quality of their lives at risk and/or justifiably demand accountability). The middle class struggles not just for itself, but to invest in the next generation and the future of the country by raising well-educated, healthy, well-fed children. The decline of the middle class means the decline of the country as a whole, now and in the future.

Our Founding Fathers worked hard to ensure that a small group of wealthy people would never dominate this country — they'd had enough of aristocracy. They put policies in place to ensure a thriving middle class. When the middle class took a hit, beginning in the post-Civil War Gilded Age and culminating in the Great Depression, democracy-loving leaders like Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Dwight Eisenhower revitalized it through initiatives like antitrust regulations, fair labor laws, the minimum wage, and The New Deal. Before the advent of neoconservative economic policies beginning with Ronald Reagan, the American middle class arising out of various New Deal reforms enjoyed the longest period of rising prosperity in U.S. history. The laws insuring social security, the right to form unions, the GI bill, certain banking reforms are among several of those adjustments that allowed the middle class of that 40 year span to flourish. Under the guise of "freeing" the market, the programs set up by Republicans and Democrats to protect the middle class have been systematically dismantled to install policies that favor the superrich and corporations. The rich want power. And if this means killing the middle class, they will cheerfully do this for this makes them stronger, politically, as well as richer.

What can be done to stem this tide of destruction?

1 - Find creative ways to make money that can be applied to reducing debt. Buy and sell used items on the internet is a fast way to generate cash for paying bills. Creating quick projects that generate a few thousand dollars at a time is another way to make fast cash (such as making something that someone else wants to buy from baked goods to creating art pieces to writing books and articles for pay).

2 – Don't work for someone else. Start your own business that can be administered globally via the internet and other means and get out of the system.

3 – Fire the politicians! Don't vote for the career asshole politician. Vote in new people. Get involved in local elections and join local boards to take charge of your community. Get involved in Civil Governance. The Federal Government doesn't do anything well. It's inefficient, slow, prone to fraud, and ineffective. Why would you want the Federal Government to take care of your social security in retirement? People complained that the federal government didn't do enough for Katrina recovery; then when the federal government did step in, we find massive fraud and waste. This happens time and again because the government has become a den of thieves, eating us alive, stealing from tax payers every chance it gets.

4 – Push congress for a Progressive Consumption Tax! Rising economic inequality causes harm to the middle class, increased concentrations of income and wealth at the top of the economic pyramid have set off "expenditure cascades" that raise the cost of achieving many basic goals for the middle class. Make those rich asshole PAY TAXES! Repeal the tax cuts that that fuckhead Bush and Congress passed and hit the rich fuckers with a fair and balanced progressive tax that fits their level of profit. It is a function of economic justice--- those who created their wealth using the infrastructure of this country paying their fair share back into that commonwealth.

5 – Push congress for a balanced budget constitutional amendment! Going deeper and deeper into debt can be stopped only by a balanced budget constitutional amendment. Everything else has been tried, and failed. It is time for effective action. Only a constitutional amendment will work. What other realistic solution to the debt problem exists? There is a long history of unsuccessful attempts in Washington to balance budgets. Unprecedented mountains of debt are an irresponsible government created burden on citizens now, and on the next generation. A chronic fundamental problem requires fundamental change. The need is serious. This important amendment is crucial for the financial security of each of us, and for America 's future.

This Month's Raving:

One of the best kept secrets on the internet is www.joost.com - Joost is a new way of watching TV on the internet. Joost (pronunciation: yoh-st not 'jew-st') is a system for distributing TV shows and other forms of video over the Web using peer-to-peer TV technology, created by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis (founders of Skype and Kazaa). With Joost, you get all the things you love about TV, including a high-quality full-screen picture, hundreds of full-length shows and easy channel-flipping. There's tons of great tv shows to watch on Joost! First you get invited to join – go to their site and find out how. Then you download the free software, and then you begin watching after you register! I've been watching old Saturday morning cartoons from the 1960s and cool martial arts tv shows I never saw before! Hundreds of great tv shows from all over the world are all here for you to watch. You'll never get off the computer watching all the great stuff available on Joost.com. You get great internet features too, such as search, chat and instant messaging, built right into the Joost software – so you find shows quickly and talk to your friends while you watch. And with no schedules to worry about, you can watch whatever you want, whenever you like – as often as you want. Joost is completely free, and works with most modern PCs and Intel Mac-based computers with a broadband connection. Get Joost today before everyone else does! 

Joost began development in 2006. Working under the code name "The Venice Project", Zennström and Friis assembled teams of some 150 software developers in about six cities around the world, including New York , London , Leiden and Toulouse . The program is based on P2PTV technology and is expected to deliver (relaying) near-TV resolution images. It turns a PC into an instant on-demand TV without any need for additional set top box. News updates, discussion forums, show ratings, and multi-user chat sessions (often linked to the active stream/channel) are made possible through the use of semi-transparent widget overlays.

This Month's Rocking:

As always, Canada Rocks! Canada has always had great Rock & Roll bands throughout the decades. From the 1950s into today, some of Canada's great Rock bands were: The Diamonds, The Four Lads, Paul Anka, Ronnie Hawkins / The Band, Bobby Curtola, Steppenwolf, Neil Young, The Haunted, The Ugly Ducklings, David Clayton Thomas (Blood, Sweat and Tears), The Guess Who, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Mahogany Rush, Rush, Triumph, Exciter, Martha & The Muffins, D.O.A., The Viletones, The Forgotten Rebels, Rough Trade, Diodes, Teenage Head, The Demics, The Young Canadians, Subhumans, SNFU, Dayglo Abortions, Nomeansno, The Orphans, The Cherokees, Camel Clutch, Deja Voodoo, The Gruesomes, and The Doughboys. Today, Canada is known for such great Rock bands as: Tricky Woo, Sheavy, Come On, Bionic, Voivod, Spaceshits, The King Khan & BBQ Show, CPC Gangbang, Nasty On, Red Hot Lovers, The Spitfires, The Daggers, Rod Iron Haulers, Maximum R&R, Danko Jones, Spread Eagle, and many more! (Here's a big list of the best known bands: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bands_from_Canada )

Here's some reviews of four recent great Canadian Rock bands:

Rod Iron Haulers – self titled CD: From Victoria, British Columbia they come. I listened to this between a Kiss and a Dead Boys record, and it sounded great! They combine the best of both worlds from when ALL Rock bands sounded great during the late 70s, featuring Strong hard rock Riffs with cool smooth vocals and Dead Boys style old school punk power melodies. High quality song writing makes this record a memorable one. The main riffs in each are original sounding and fun. Fans of The Stooges, Radio Birdman, EF, Turbonegro, Hellacopters, The Dwarves, Dead Boys, will enjoy the tasty treats on this Real Rock & Roll record.  The band has been playing all over Canada for the last five years, paying their dues and getting better and better each year. Buy your CD direct from the band and check them out at: http://www.myspace.com/rodironhaulers  .

The Spitfires – new 6 song demo: The Spitfires are back! The Spitfires are the best rock band to come out of Vancouver , BC , in a REALLY LONG time. They create incredible hip shaking tunes. More high quality 70s influenced Punk Rock & Roll, something one can never get bored of! Big bursts of AC/DC style super Rock with sneering punk attitude. Great story telling in the lyrics too. Between 1998-2003 The Spitfires released three amazing full length LPs, four 7 inches, and appeared on over 14 compilations and videos and on various labels worldwide. The band has toured the US and Canada extensively as well as the UK before making a premature departure from the scene late in 2003. After a 2 year hiatus, current members; Jason Solyom, (vocals) CC Voltage, (bass) Mr. Dean O, (guitar) Marty Peters, (drums) with the addition of new axe grinder Marcel La Fleur, look to reclaim their stake in the arena of rock and roll.  Always known for their dynamic and energetic live shows, check them out at http://thespitfires.ca/ and www.myspace.com/thespitfiresvancouver .

The Daggers – “Right Between the Eyes” CD and “Tear it to Pieces” CD (both on Sloth Records): The Daggers began in 1997 as a merging of two bands from Calgary , Alberta . Members from the bands Forbidden Dimension and Rogue Pope got together to make some great swaggering, snarly Pure Punk Rock & Roll. All kinds of people have been in and out of this band over the years, even members of AFI and Tiger Army! These mean streets old school melodic punk songs make them sound like they would have been right at home playing the early days of CBGB, NYC (RIP CBGB and Hilly!). Fans of early Jeff Dahl, Radio Birdman, NY Dolls, will do no wrong here. Check them out at: http://www.thedaggers.com/ .

The Fat Dave Crime Wave - “Brothers & Sisters… This is Rock & Roll” CD: A thick & creamy southern rock/blues groove with a California style punk-rock energy. The Fat Dave Crime Wave is the brainchild of 'Fat' Dave Johnston, a hot-shot rock & roll guitar player & singer around Edmonton , Alberta , Canada in the early 2000's in such rock & roll bands as Black Market Inc. & The Open Wounds. One this sweltering raw Whisky laced Punk Rock n Roll record, Fat Dave and friends combine the straight-up southern rock & blues style of bands like ZZ Top, Grady, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and AC/DC with the California punk rock energy of bands like “Lars Fredericksen & The Bastards” and “The Bronx”, creating street tough blues boogie rock that mows you down with it's monster truck power. Check them out at: http://www.myspace.com/thefatdavecrimewave .

That's it for this month! Thanks.

If you want your cds, dvds, etc., to be reviewed in this column, send them to:
Sal Canzonieri, POB 294, Whippany NJ 07981 , USA , thanks!

That's it for this issue! Click here to read column #20 (not existing yet)

Sal Canzonieri - www.electricfrankenstein.com / www.myspace.com/electricfrankenstein

(c) 2007 BGT ENT / Sal Canzonieri