- 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004
- 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004
- 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004
- 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004
- 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004
- 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005
- 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005
- 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005
- 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005
- 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005
- 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005
- 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006
"Disorder in the house. . . reptile wisdom . . . zombies on the lawn, staggering around; Disorder in the house, there's a flaw in the system, a fly in the ointment's gonna bring the whole thing down."
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Saturday, May 28, 2005
(I will try to change the music every now and then. But not today.)
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Monday, May 02, 2005
And hey, it's a good day for the blues.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Still, I wasn't so drunk that I couldn't recognize a great performance, and off and on for the next six years I've tried in vain to find any information about an Angie Carrol from Atlanta, Georgia. Confident that a musician of his caliber was still playing, I scoured the internet again over the weekend, and discovered that Atlanta singer/songwriter Angie Aparo bore a remarkable physical resemblance to man I saw on stage back in 1998. After checking out his discography, I knew I'd found him.
And, through the invaluable Live Music Archive, I also found several of his live performances, which although based around different material, are every bit as good as what I heard that night. Angie's studio recordings are also excellent, although I must confess I prefer his live recordings, especially those as a solo artist. And while I can't find performances dating from the time period of the one I remember, I have found several good ones, including a show at The Handlebar in Greenville, South Carolina, from June of 2004. You're listening to "Broken," and the whole show is available in lossless format here.
As to tribulations, well, death threats certainly qualify, but the cyber dust up between Jesus' General and "Iron Fist" and/or his Little Green Football buddies, is more amusing than anything else. Not as amusing, however, as the photograph that started it all, which depicts possibly "Iron Fist," possibly another Charles Johnson groupie, in full faux biker regalia. As one of the General's commenters notes, judging from the lighting, the scene was captured in a rather well-heeled bar. Good thing, because if "Iron Fist" or anyone else showed up with that vest in any of the biker bars in my neck of the woods, where real colors are worn, they'd be leaving in a body bag.
Sunday, April 03, 2005
In the past several weeks, though, she's gone to the well for some great material of her own. Read for example "Unconstitutional," her excellent post on religion, conservative politics, and the recent Supreme Court arguments involving the display of the Ten Commandments on state property.
Referring to Justice Antonin Scalia's statement that the Ten Commandments are a reminder that "government derives it's authority from God," Avedon writes:
"Alas, I often get the feeling that the definition of a "conservative judge" is one who doesn't regard the law as relevant to the outcome he seeks. I know this is what right-wingers like to suggest is true of liberal judges when they talk about "judicial activism", but it's always been clear that this claim of a concern over method is just a means to obscure the fact that they are concerned over the outcome of the individual cases. Much like the "states' rights" argument, a veil over out-and-out racism, it's all double-talk so we won't notice that what bugs them isn't corruption of process but just getting outcomes they don't like."
Couldn't have said so better myself.
Plenty of people, including me, have commented on the fact that the majority of Christian conservatives exhibit a worldview which somehow completely filters out the Biblical focus on social justice. Clark, however, correctly points out that even those who hear the message on a personal level manage to achieve a sort of political disconnect which allows them to support an administration that submits a morally abhorrent budget, cuts social programs, offers tax cuts to the rich, and passes truly horrible legislation like the recent Bankruptcy "Reform" Act.
Clark's particularly apt case-in-point is Rick Warren's recent appearance on Larry King Live, in which Warren addresses concerns of poverty and social justice in the context of Psalm 72. While Psalm 72 deals rather unambiguously with Godly principles for earthly governance, Warren, the author of the emormously successful book "The Purpose-Driven Life," speaks of the Psalm in terms of himself, as a pastor, and as an individual. As Clark notes, while a personal application of the teachings of Psalm 72 is laudable, (especially in Warren's case), the text is clearly a directive to a worldly "king" to govern with justice, to "defend the cause of the poor of the people," and to "give deliverance to the needy." Efforts to address poverty and social injustice on a personal level are insufficient; the true Christian also supports a Godly government.
Clark then correctly observes that such a personal focus is a hallmark not only of Warren's brand of evangelicalism, but of "American-style Christianity" as a whole, as is evidenced by the requirement that one must accept Jesus as one's "personal savior." Clark's quip that this terminology was developed after "privatized savior" didn't poll well is both memorable and insightful, and I must agree with his observation that "privatized savior" is probably the more appropriate term given the typical political leanings of today's conservative Christians.
If you don't read Slacktivist, you should, and Psalm 72 is a good place to start. Then move on to his continuing series on the LaHaye "Left Behind" novels. Read him every day. Good stuff.
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Yes, it seems that the conservative Delay family also opted to sue the manufacturer of a railroad coupling which they contended was defective and led to Charles Delay's death. Somehow, I suppose, this litigation was different that the "frivolous, parasitic lawsuits" that Delay now claims are undermining our legal system. And, as the LA Times reminds us, after the Delay family lawsuit was settled, Tom Delay cosponsored a bill specifically designed to override state laws on product liability such as the one cited in his family's lawsuit [which] provided sweeping exemptions for product sellers."
Hypocrisy and family values, GOP style.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
"The next time you find yourself in a debate about Ms. Schiavo with a person who agrees with Bush and the Congressional majority on this, ask them about Sun Hudson. Hudson was born with a genetic disorder and was sustained by machines from the day of his birth. The Texas hospital housing him decided there was no point in sustaining his care, and Hudson was removed from his machines. He died at five months old.
This happened last week.
Five-month-old Sun Hudson was removed from his life-sustaining machines by a Texas law signed by then-Governor George W. Bush in 1999. The law allows patients deemed unsalvageable by the hospital to be removed from ventilators and other medical apparatus, with a ten-day window given to the families of the stricken to find another facility before the plug is pulled.
Sun Hudson was African-American, and neither Congress nor Mr. Bush came storming to his rescue before his death last week. Believe this: If Ms. Schiavo were an African American child, a Hispanic mother, an Iraqi wife, an Afghani grandmother, an American soldier suffering massive brain trauma from an explosion in Mosul, anyone from Darfur or the Congo, if she had been anything other than a white woman in a Fundamentalist-controlled state, we would have never, ever, heard of her.
The piercing hypocrisy found in this hue and cry over Schiavo is the simple fact that the GOP majority pushing this doesn't give a tinker's damn about her condition or her fate. They want to cobble together some kind of bastardized precedent with this to knock down a woman's right to choose, and they'd like to tag Nelson while they're at it. Beyond that, this is a smokescreen to cover their true intentions."
As usual Pitt is right on the mark. Read the rest.
Another approach, different but equally effective, is Jon Stewart's brilliant sketch "Congressional Meddle," helpfully linked here by onegoodmove.
"Culture of Life," my ass.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
According to the US Geological Survey, there are likely to be somewhere between "5.7 billion and 16 billion barrels of recoverable oil" in the Arctic Refuge, with the most likely amount being around 10.4 billion barrels. As America currently consumes about 20 million barrels of oil a day, the recovery of 10 billion barrels would equate to a supply of oil that the country would deplete in six months. And, with drilling projected to begin in 2007, with ten years of work necessary before production is maximized, we're talking 10 years work for a six month supply.
What were not talking about is a recovery that will in any way reduce our dependence on foreign oil. As the Atlanta Journal Constitution points out, "If Congress and the Bush administration were serious about making the nation more energy independent, they should raise fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks. Increasing fuel economy by a mere 3 miles a gallon would save more oil in a decade than could be recovered from ANWR in a lifetime." But we know that's not going to happen, that would mean tighter profit margins for Bush's corporate supporters. No, we can't have that. Far better to drill in the wildlife refuge, screw those alarmist environmentalists, and cater to the oil industry all at the same time.
Six months. Doesn't sound like a benefit to national security to me. Doesn't sound like a significant reduction in our dependence on foreign oil. Sounds to me like another lie from an ignorant man with his head up the ass of corporate interests who have no qualms about destroying one of the last pristine wilderness areas in America.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
When I first read it, I could hear in my mind the words of the song you're now listening to, "Toss the Bouquet," written by an incredibly talented friend of mine, Sam Frazier.
"Toss the bouquet, don't hit the chandelier; Strike up the band, and dance."
Monday, March 14, 2005
Great. As Maru reminds us, five years of paid-off "journalists," propaganda outlets, and staged, carefully rehearsed "townhall meetings" and the Washington Post just now decides to write about it. As anyone with a brain knows, Bush's "conversations on Social Security" are anything but:
The White House follows a practiced formula for each of the meetings. First it picks a state in which generally it can pressure a lawmaker or two, and then it lines up panelists who will sing the praises of the president's plan. Finally, it loads the audience with Republicans and other supporters.
. . .
The night before the event, the chosen participants gathered for a rehearsal in the hall in which the president would appear the next day. An official dispatched by the White House played the president and asked questions. "We ran through it five times before the president got there," [a participant] said.
. . .
The few dissenting voices in the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts were quickly silenced or escorted out by security. One woman with a soft voice but firm opposition to Bush was asked to leave, even though her protests were barely audible beyond her section in the back corner of the auditorium. The carefully screened panelists spoke admiringly about Bush, his ideas, his "bold" leadership on Social Security.
Yeah, we know how "bold" he is.
(Link to the Washington Post, photos of the "smirking chickenshit," and damn near everything else in this post, shamelessly stolen from Maru.)
Saturday, March 12, 2005
No, this post is devoted to yet another deficit, the ever-critical trade deficit, and the Bush policies that are pushing us to the brink of global economic suicide.
"It Takes a Pillage," by Avedon Carol is a good place to start. As she quite correctly points out, the corporate giveaways and budget priorites that encourage American outsourcing are as shortsighted as all the rest of Bush's policies, because "out-sourcing means more than just giving your job to some guy in China; it means that while the Chinese are learning to do your job, Americans are not."
Then, follow her link to Paul Craig Roberts' column, "Turning Chinese." Like his earlier writing on outsourcing, http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts02152005.html" Roberts pulls no punches:
"America's remaining job market is domestic nontradable services. While India and China develop first world job markets, the US labor market takes on the characteristics of a third world work force. Only jobs that cannot be outsourced are growing.
The Bush economy has seen a loss of 2.8 million manufacturing jobs, a rise in the unemployment rate of 1.2 percentage points, and a stagnation in real weekly earnings.
How bad will things have to get before economists realize that outsourced jobs are not being replaced? Indeed, many American companies are ceasing to have any presence in the US except for a sales force."
Roberts' case in point is Cisco, Inc., whose CEO, John Chambers, recently stated, "What we're trying to do is outline an entire strategy of becoming a Chinese company." More on that particular situation can be found through Avedon's update link to a post by Charles Dodgson.
Then consider Simon Bowers' March 7, 2005 article for The Guardian, based largely on the recent comments of Warren Buffet to the effect that our current administration seems intent on creating not an "ownership society," but a "sharecropper's society:" "In his annual letter to investors in Berkshire Hathaway, the fund he has run for more than 30 years, Mr Buffett painted a bleak picture of a future US in which ownership and wealth had continued to move overseas, leaving the economy in thrall to foreign interests and faced with financial turmoil and political unrest. He said his performance last year had been "lacklustre". He explained his mounting bet against the dollar in terms of a spiralling US trade deficit - which, he warned, may be approaching crisis point. . . . This force-feeding of American wealth to the rest of the world is now proceeding at the rate of $1.8bn daily."
Avedon Carol calls it "asset-stripping," others refer to it as outsourcing America, but how ever the current trend is described, the status of our trade deficit, and the percentage of America now owned by foreign interests is as least as much a concern as our fiscal deficit.
And for those who continue to trust in the global value of the dollar to save us, as if on cue, the New York Times just yesterday reported that "the U.S. dollar fell against the euro and the Japanese yen Friday after the United States reported its second-highest monthly trade deficit ever, reinforcing concerns about the health of the economy. . . .The soaring U.S. trade deficit must be financed by foreigners willing to hold U.S. dollars in exchange for the products they sell to the United States. The concern has been that has been that the trade deficit at some point could rise so far that foreigners become reluctant to hold dollar-denominated assets like stocks and bonds."
And when that happens, well, as Paul Craig Roberts stated earlier in the week, "the dollar's value and status as reserve currency cannot forever stand the trade and budget deficits that are now part and parcel of America's economic policy. Unless there are major changes soon, America's economic future is a third world work force with a banana democracy's worthless currency."
Friday, March 11, 2005
I learned that sometimes, as with S. 256, even the good guys can be bought and sold.
I learned what the autopsy photos of a three week old baby girl look like when she's born into a home that operates as a crystal meth lab.
I learned that Ken Layne reads The Stinging Nettle, but not Reptile Wisdom.
I learned that Faithful Progressive knows what it's like to have a week like this one;
And, I learned that even after a week like this, a bottle of 1998 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon is best enjoyed with microwaved Ballpark franks, your wife, and a fourteen month old little girl;
And that afterward, you should put the little one to bed and watch "Avatar" with the four year old on the couch. He really is the last of the Airbenders, you know.
Saturday, March 05, 2005
Then read Avedon's typically excellent post on truth and the media, as manipulated by the right, then follow her link to Mahablog's post on the travesty of the current bankruptcy "reform" bill.
Then, on that note, Read Maryscott O'Connor's knowledgeable and righteous rant on the bankruptcy bill, the defeated amendments, and the outrage we should all feel based on Democratic acquiesence to the worst piece of legislation we're likely to see in our lifetime. Yes, I think it's worse than the Patriot Act. Read the amendments that were rejected and you'll see what I mean. (Thanks to my fellow Stinging-Nettle blogger, DrFrankLives, for the link, and for an excellent post on the bill from a corporate practitioner's perspective.)
Then go read Apostropher, not for any particular post, but because he's one of the best writers on the net, or anywhere else for that matter.
To be sure, Layne's songs and recordings have gotten all manner of rave reviews. Ken's vocals have been compared to Steve Earle and Mick Jagger, and the recording itself has been hailed as a modern incarnation of "Exile on Main Street." But, as any self-respecting music snob knows, accolades like that are a dime a dozen in any number of music magazines, and any given band has some reviewer convinced that they're the only "real" rock-and-roll/roots rock/alternative/alt-country band out there. So I had previously just stifled a yawn and kept clicking. But, for whatever reason, the Hunter S. Thompson comment piqued my interest, so when Avedon Carol linked to Ken's cdbaby webpage, I clicked through and I bought the record.
And, well, it's good. It's really good. Actually, it's better than good. Great songs, great band, great production values, great music. No corporate agenda, no songs tailored for radio formats, just twangy, soul-deep rock that'll stick in your head from the first listen. If you're like me, you know you've got a great record when you're heading down the road, thinking about something else, and then you notice that you're unconsciously reaching for the CD player volume knob with a big grin on your face. This is that kind of record. Turn it up.