Jimi Hendrix made it shriek. Buddy Holly made it swing. Stevie Ray Vaughn made it snarl.
Some of the most legendary guitarists in music history have elicited unforgettable sounds from the Fender Stratocaster, the distinctive double-cutaway guitar born in a small Fullerton, Calif., workshop 60 years ago this month.
It’s far from a musical relic: It remains an essential tool for some of today’s top guitarists. Vince Gill relies on it so much he calls it an “extension of my hands,” while blues virtuoso Robert Cray calls it a workhorse.
As shredder Yngwie Malmsteen put it: “There is no substitute.”
As this iconic guitar celebrates its 60th anniversary in April, The Associated Press takes a visual journey into the creation of the iconic guitars, and explores why it’s still a fixture on concert stages today. (AP)
(Photographs by Associated Press Photo)
A new study out of Princeton University finds that the United States is no longer a democracy, but an oligarchy. Try to act surprised. Class warfare? We already had that war. the rich won. What the right calls “class warfare” is actually more in line with what the Chinese used to call “counter-revolutionary” — i.e., trying to undo the new order and restore the previous system.
Related” Dick Morris says the popular vote is just a way for Democrats to steal elections. You know, by being all counter-revolutionary and everything.
Obamacare signups are now at 8 million — way over the target of 7 million. And that problem where the young “indestructibles” decide not to sign up? Yeah, that didn’t actually happen. “This is good news—very, very good news,” reports Jonathon Cohn. Well, it’s good news unless you’re a Republican and politically invested in America’s failure — then it’s not good news at all.
A rightwing PAC shuts down after an uproar of it’s offensive name — “Boats ‘N Hoes PAC.” At this point, if Republicans want to convince people that they aren’t waging a War on Women, it would probably be wisest to avoid any mention of anything remotely female ever again. They clearly have no idea how to talk about women respectfully.
You might want to go through your Facebook and see if you ever liked anything from General Mills. The food giant argues that liking a brand online means you can’t sue them if you get a bad batch. This seems like marketing suicide to me — why on Earth would you ever like one of their products now?
American ex-pat whistleblower Edward Snowden embarrasses Putin by putting him on the spot on live TV.
Finally, New York City is considering raising their minimum wage to $15 an hour.
[cartoon via Truthdig]
Racism, inequality is literally in the very air we breathe.
In an interview with The Minnesota Post, the study’s lead researcher, Julian Marshall, an associate professor of civil engineering at the University of Minnesota, said that “the main [factors in how polluted the air breathed in was] are race and income, and they both matter. In our findings, however, race matters more than income.”
When Marshall compared the exposure gap between high-income Hispanics and low-income whites, for example, the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations were still higher among high-income Hispanics.
“We were quite surprised to find such a large disparity between whites and nonwhites related to air pollution,” Marshall told The Minnesota Post. “Especially the fact that this difference is throughout the U.S., even in cities and states in the Midwest.”
That income inequality is a factor in the purity of the air you breathe is nothing new. When it comes to polluting industries, people are protected by their wealth and power — you’re never going to see an incinerator or a fracking site move in next door to a multi-million dollar mansion. This is one of the ways in which income inequality is a very real problem that creates very real dangers. It’s not about people being “jealous” of rich people — despite what Republicans and blowhards on Fox News tell you — it’s about very real dangers that people at the bottom of the ladder face every day. If we really were a society dedicated to equality, the poor person’s health would be as much a concern as the rich person’s. They voices would be equal. But they aren’t — and people are literally and inarguably suffering because of it.
The disparities in race paint an even darker picture. There, it’s not as much about income, but about status. People of color breathe dirtier air because they’re automatically lower on the societal ladder, regardless of income. These are both very real problems and the people who bring them up aren’t just bellyaching. Conservatives who talk about free market solutions should take a closer look at what this market does and ask themselves if the people at the bottom rung — measured by income, race, or both — are by any stretch of the imagination free.
Or are they just worthless peasants in a nation that’s increasingly governed by a new aristocracy based on income and a racist class system? When working people have to literally consume the waste of the rich, calling those working people “free” is a ridiculous joke.
Here’s your “trickle down economics.” That’s not money that’s trickling down.
Americans increasingly think Democrats have a better plan for healthcare than Republicans, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted after the White House announced that more people than expected had signed up for the ‘Obamacare’ health plan.
Nearly one-third of respondents in the online survey released on Tuesday said they prefer Democrats’ plan, policy or approach to healthcare, compared to just 18 percent for Republicans. This marks both an uptick in support for Democrats and a slide for Republicans since a similar poll in February.
Stories to Watch: 4/15/14.
Republicans are clawing their own eyes out in fake outrage over news that the Obama administration is adjusting census healthcare tracking. “They’[re trying to cover up what a trainwreck Obamacare has become!!!” the right is shrieking with ear-piercing hysteria. Sarah Kliff points out a big, big problem with this argument: “What’s being missed here is that the Obama administration will use the new survey questions to collect data for 2013, the year prior to Obamacare’s health insurance expansion,” she writes. In other words, the Republican Outrage of the Day is the same as what every other Republican Outrage of the Day — carefully packaged horseshit.
If Republicans were really interested in convincing people there is no War on Women, they’d actually wage war on women like Phyllis Schlafly, who inexplicably seems to despise her own gender.
The situation in Ukraine is rapidly deteriorating.
Florida Republican Rep. Ted Yoho tells an African-American constituent that he’s not “100 percent” sure the Civil Rights Act is constitutional. I’m not 100 percent sure Ted Yoho has a functional frontal lobe.
This one’s sure to generate an avalanche of victim cards: following an antisemitic mass shooting in Kansas, CNN crunches the numbers and finds that rightwing extremists have been more dangerous and deadly post-9/11 than Islamic jihadists. We told you so.
Finally, a few tax day facts from ThinkProgress.
[Cartoon via Truthdig]