Wednesday, December 07, 2011

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012

Dear Mr. Reid:

Thank you for writing to express your concerns about the detention provisions in the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012."  I appreciate knowing your views and welcome the opportunity to respond.

This year's defense authorization bill would, among other things, authorize funding for the U.S. Department of Defense.  As you know, section 1031 would authorize the U.S. government to detain suspected terrorists until the end of hostilities, and section 1032 would require that certain suspected terrorists connected to al-Qaeda be automatically detained in military custody when apprehended.

Like you, I oppose these provisions.  Section 1031 is problematic because it authorizes the indefinite detention of American citizens without due process.  In this democracy, due process is a fundamental right, and it protects us from being locked up by the government without charge.  For this reason, I offered an amendment to prohibit the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without trial or charge.  Unfortunately, on December 1, 2011, this amendment failed by a vote of 45-55.

I was, however, able to reach a compromise with the authors of the defense bill to state that no existing law or authorities to detain suspected terrorists are changed by this section of the bill.  While I would have preferred to have restricted the government's ability to detain U.S. citizens without charge, this compromise at least ensures that the bill does not expand the government's authority in this area.

I also oppose section 1032 of the defense bill, which creates a presumption that individuals associated with al-Qaeda will be held in military custody, as opposed to being processed through the criminal justice system.  I disagree with this approach, and believe that the President should be able to hold captured terrorists in the military or the criminal justice systems based on the individual facts and evidence of each case.  Accordingly, I offered an amendment to clarify that under section 1032, the presumption of U.S. Armed Forces detention only exists for an individual captured abroad.  Unfortunately, on December 1, 2011, this amendment also failed on a vote of 45-55.

Once again, thank you for your letter.  Please know that I am committed to ensuring that our nation has the appropriate tools to combat terrorism, and committed to upholding our fundamental constitutional rights.  If you have any additional comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841.  I hope that you and your family enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season.

          May I wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season.

Sincerely yours,

  Dianne Feinstein
         United States Senator
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fever Dreams EP

This weekend it'll be up on the Bandcamp page. Not doing anyone any good sitting on my hard features remixed versions of our track from the Trip Inside This House Summer Solstice compilation by us, Inhale, Plasticstatic and Blue Weather Ghosts. It's not too bad...

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Dear Mythbusters... from Maiya (age 6)

Some kids write letters to Santa. Mine writes them to Adam and Jamie.

"Dear, Mythbusters
I love you're show and here is a thainge that I wont you too test it.
What do whal sharks dfend ther self with?"

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A new song appears

The first new S17 recording in nearly a decade is featured on this great compilation! Get it, it's FREE!!
Track 6: The Sirago 17 "Fever Dream (Playing With Prescriptions)"
Lyrics: Dan Woodward
Music: Chris Reid
Performed by Chris Reid and Pablo Rossetti
Here it is live:

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


The Sirago 17 mk II makes its debut Saturday, May 21 at Tokyo Garden, Fresno. Also on the bill are our friends Ryan Gregory Tallman - celebrating the release of his latest album - and Kevin Gan Yuen (usually known as Ferment√¶) -
If you're in the area, drop by.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

SWANS and Wooden Wand, Regency Ballroom, SF - March 1, 2011

Wooden Wand were 3 guitarists doing electric folk blues. They, unfortunately, suffered from being NOT SWANS. Seriously, though, they were pretty good (though my friend thought they really needed a drummer). I think under different circumstances I'll like them quite a bit more. I just kicked down some money for their new record on Kickstarter -

around 9:15 or so, the percussionist came out and turned a drone machine of some kind. Keep in mind, the house lights and pre-show music were still going. After about another 10-15 minutes, the steel guitarist came out and switched on a drone machine. Then, the drummer came out and started noodling on a glockenspeil (possibly...couldn't quite see). Then the percussionist came back out and started playing the orchestra bells. Then, Mr. steel guy and Mr. bass guy came out (I forget which came first) and started noodling, rumbling, and feeding back. At times I thought we were having an earthquake. Then out come Michael Gira and Norman Westberg to much applause. Then they started an almost groovey jam with many James Brown-esque "hit me x times" breakdowns...
Finally, they stopped. Then, around 10:00 or a little after, the first "proper" song started!
And it just got better.
I'm not familiar enough with the new album's song titles yet, but most of it was played - I recognized "Jim", "Little Mouth" (which was the encore), and the live arrangement of "Eden Prison". A particularly intense (but slightly too fast for my tastes) rendition of "Sex, God, Sex" was the highlight for me. All in all, they played about 2 1/2 hours.
Time well spent.
And Michael Gira came out to chat with people and sign stuff at the merch table. Seems quite nice. He chuckled when I told him my first exposure to Swans was the New Mind video on MTV back in 88 or whenever...
Memorable MG quotes (paraphrased):
"We don't do that agression stuff anymore. Now it's all peace and love! So FUCK YOU, CUNT HOLES!!... (laughter)...My band is often appalled to be up on stage with me."
"I love San Francisco...I came here in '78 to audition for Flipper. I didn't get the job."

(not my video - but it's the best quality video I could find, thus far)
Little Mouth (Encore)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Obligatory quarterly blogpost

Elsewhere (live) by The Sirago 17

And, as a bonus: