Archive for October 2013

Swale at the BCA Center in Burlington, VT October 30, 2013   Leave a comment

I had a great time seeing Swale last night. They played to a small crowd who were (mostly) not watching the Red Sox win the World Series (there was a score check in the middle of the set).

The low lit room, filled with colored lights and art on the walls, had some droning rock playing as Swale set up. Dressed in black, with pointy witch hats, they mixed themselves into a slowly surging Armadillo, and we were on our way. It mixed into Faineant, which built the energy without going over the top. Waiting followed with a slow burn intensity, then they kicked it into full gear with a blistering Everyone Likes To Fight. They played a cool newish tune and a slow cover that I did not know. They ramped it back up for a full on fired up Popular Crowd. The set ended. with a stunning War Pigs and they really jammed the instrumental parts hard.

Part of me wanted to stick around and see what James Belizia and Heloise were up to, but she’s usually a bit more dancy, and after Swale’s stunning set, I was done. What a fantastic hour of music!

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Offering a frank assessment of how his fellow Republicans approach the issue of poverty, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) sounded a bit more like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) than a guy who stumped for Mitt Romney.

“I’m concerned about the fact there seems to be a war on the poor,” Kasich told the New York Times in a story published Tuesday. “That if you’re poor, somehow you’re shiftless and lazy.”

“You know what?” he added. “The very people who complain ought to ask their grandparents if they worked at the W.P.A.”

Although he opposes the Affordable Care Act, Kasich broke with many Republican governors when he accepted the Medicaid expansion under the law. Despite the efforts by some GOP lawmakers to block the expansion, Kasich unilaterally secured the federal funds — which will be used to provide coverage to up to 275,000 low income Ohioans — through a manuever that could face conservative legal challenges.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/gop-gov-kasich-says-there-seems-to-be-a-war-on-the-poor

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FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST:

But, first, here my take: I was in Malaysia this week and I expected a volley of complaints. The country was one of the stops on President Obama’s planned trip to Asia this month that was canceled because of Washington’s manufactured budget crisis.

The country’s Prime Minister Najib Razak told me, We were disappointed, but we understood the situation.

Others were less diplomatic, pointing to the cancellation as evidence of America’s dysfunctional political system and general decline. But many in Malaysia and across Southeast Asia told me that they were mostly puzzling not about what’s happening in Washington but rather in Beijing.

This is partly the product of power. As China has grown in importance, its neighbors have become increasingly attentive to the Middle Kingdom. In the past, the only politics that these countries followed outside of their own was in Washington. Today they feel they must also understand Beijing.

And there’s much to understand. China is in the midst of great political change. Last month, the country watched on national television as President Xi Jinping sat in on a meeting at which senior Communist Party officials publicly engaged in “criticism and self- criticism.”

It is part of the party’s “mass-line” campaign, designed to address concerns that the party is out of touch, elitist and corrupt.

The campaign includes a strong anti-corruption drive, most visibly involving the humiliation of Bo Xilai, the former party boss of Chongqing. Many in China have worried that anti-corruption is a mechanism that is being used to eliminate political opponents.

“There is so much corruption in China that whom you choose to prosecute is really a political decision.” Those are the words of a Beijing businessman to me.

More surprisingly to many, the new leadership has begun a sweeping crackdown on dissent. Chinese media and human rights groups say that hundreds of journalists, bloggers and intellectuals have been detained since August, charged with the crime of “spreading rumors” among others.

China scholars have noted in recent years that the Communist Party is deeply concerned about its legitimacy and grass-roots appeal. That led many to believe it would address these issues by opening up its political system, with political reforms that would accompany economic reforms.

Instead, it appears that the Communist Party is choosing older, Mao-era methods’ crackdowns, public confessions and purification campaigns.

The people I talked to in Southeast Asia were not approaching these issues from the perspective of human rights activists. They were really just trying to understand what was going on in China.

Above all, they wondered what the internal changes meant for Beijing’s foreign policy. “China is being very friendly with us these days,” an Asian politician told me, “More so than it was a few years ago, but it still pushes its own interests very strongly.”

Diplomats have worried that China has been circulating new maps of the region in which a previously dotted line demarcating Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea now appears as a solid line.

Last month, China’s foreign minister denied any such change in its claims when he was publicly asked about it at a Brookings Institution forum by the former U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen. Yet, the concerns highlight the nervousness felt in the region.

The United States washes its dirty linen vigorously and in public. When Washington messes up, it does so in prime time, with politicians, journalists and commentators describing every gory detail with delight.

China, by contrast, has an opaque political system, which makes it far more mysterious. But China, too, has its share of crises, controversies and change. And because of its newfound clout, the world is watching and wondering what to make of the black box that is Beijing.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1310/27/fzgps.01.html

 

 

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Bill Maher “Now, the other great story this week from overseas, my favorite Pope, the current Pope, Pope Frank.  Pope Frank fired the Bishop of bling.  Have you read about this guy?  There is this Bishop, full Bishop in the Catholic Church in Germany, who spent 42 million dollars renovating his residence.  Boy that basket adds up, you know the one they pass around.  They don’t call them the flock for nothing ’cause they get fleeced.  But OK, so 42 million dollars.  He had a 20 thousand dollar bathtub, a four million dollar private chapel with a retractable roof, this guy was out of control with the spending.  He was getting altar boys drunk on Crystal…But, I gotta say, I do love the Pope.  I love this Pope with not having it.  He is all about the humility.  This Pope made the bleeping Bishop come to Vatican City.  He marched him past the 180 marble columns in St Peter’s Square and into the 90 room gilded palace where he lives in his own country, and he says, we do not do over the top here.”

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Bill Maher “Now, when it comes to raising the minimum wage, conservatives always say it’s a non-starter because it cuts into profits.  Well yea, of course, paying workers is one of those unfortunate expenses of running a business.  You know, like taxes, or making a product.  If you want to get rich with a tax free enterprise that sells nothing, start a church.

You might think that paying people enough to live is so self-evident that even crazy people could understand it, but you would be wrong.  Michele Bachmann is not only against raising the minimum wage, she’s against having one at all.  She once said ‘if we took away the minimum wage…we could virtually wipe out unemployment..because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level.’  Put that in your brain and smoke it.  You could hire everyone if you didn’t have to pay them.  And naturally, Ted Cruz agrees.  Ted Cruz thinks it’s a good thing, that when his Cuban father came to America, he was paid 50 cents an hour to work as a dish washer…

When did the American dream become this pathway to indentured servitude?  This economic death spiral where workers get paid next to nothing, so they can only afford to buy next to nothing, so businesses are forced to sell cheaper and cheaper stuff.  Walmart employees can only afford to shop at Walmart.  McDonald’s workers can only afford to eat at McDonald’s and Hooters waitresses have to wear shirts have to wear shirts they grew out of years ago.

And, look, even if you’re not moved by the, don’t be such a heartless prick, argument, consider the fact that most fast-food workers, who’s average age, by the way, now is 29 we’re not talking about kids, are on some form of public assistance, which is not surprising.  When even working people can’t make enough to live, they take money from the government in the form of food stamps, school lunches, housing assistance, daycare.  This is the welfare that conservatives hate, but they never stop to think if we raised the minimum wage and forced McDonald’s and Walmart to pay their employees enough to eat, we the taxpayers wouldn’t have to pick up the slack.  This is the question the right has to answer, do you want smaller government with less handouts or do you want a low minimum wage, because you cannot have both.  If Colonel Sanders isn’t going to pay the lady behind the counter enough to live on, then Uncle Sam has to.  And, I for one, am getting a little tired of helping highly profitable companies pay their workers.”

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Jon Stewart:

“If it makes you feel any better, our government isn’t doing anything to you that they’re not doing to us,” Stewart said. “They’re spying on our studio, and I’m literally saying that into a camera that’s going to broadcast that. It seems kind of redundant.”

“Have you met us?” Stewart asked. “Meddling in your affairs for our national self-interest is kind of our thing. What part of, ‘Everything we’ve done since the Monroe Doctrine’ don’t you get?”

“Do I really have to justify myself to a country that invaded Poland because they thought Poland was looking at them funny?” Stewart demanded of Germany. “So get over it — or better yet, turn that frown upside down. Don’t think of us as an overly aggressive, paranoid superpower; think of us as what anyone’s looking for in a partner: a good listener. A great listener. The best listener in the history of the world.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/10/25/jon-stewart-apologizes-for-the-nsas-global-spying-were-sorry-that-you-forgot-that-were-kind-of-dcks/

Radio Show 34 Thursday October 24 , 2013 9-10pm Eastern US Time WBKM.ORG   2 comments

WBKM CREW

WBKM CREW

 

http://wbkm.org/

 

I just got back from internet radio show number 34 on WBKM.ORG. I’m assuming you all turned down the sound on the world series to listen in. If not, the archived copy of the show will be available sometime. I played a set of shimmering songs and opened with an Orion, and the coming of winter, theme. The tagline for Stylus is: I don’t mind the cold, Orion…..

Song before: Orion – Jethro Tull

promo

intro

From our small city to the great big world, these are the Sounds of Burlington. It’s been a chilly day, and it’s a cold night here in the Champlain Valley. Winter is coming and it’s the time of Orion to light the sky. This is a song called Stylus of Id by a band called Somah on WBKM, and they are Burlington’s kind of music.

1.) Stylus Of Id – Somah
2.) All My Life – Wide Wail
3.) The Possibility Shop – The Red Telephone

Sean Toohey and Matt Hutton are such great songwriters and performers and have played lots of great music in Burlington. With a line like, you can stop at the costume shop, I though it was an appropriate song to play, since Halloween is next week. Definitely tune in, I have a cool show lined up for Halloween, which is next Thursday. I’ve got some great dark local music, and I think, a special guest. Wide Wail were stunning at times and rocked this town hard. Somah have lots of great songs, and this one always reminds me of this time of year. Next up is, essentially, the tile song of Alice Austin‘s To A Star In The Yard. It’s the second song on the album and I will work my way through the full disc, over the next several weeks.

4.) Shoots Like You – Alice Austin
5.) Not True – Peg Tassey
6.) Sunflower Street – David L. Jarvis
7.) Kick The can – Cave Bees

The Bees came back from Texas for the summer, but haven’t played too much. Hopefully they will play a show or two before they go back. Dave is in Texas, and when he comes back to New York, I hope he writes more great songs like Sunflower. Peg can be regal and majestic, but at times she can just rock. This is one of those times. Alice rocks too and was such a huge part of the Burlington music scene for so many years. Next up, let’s play some blues, St Albans style.

8.) St. Albans Blues – farm
9.) The River Hymn – The Sweet Remains
10.) Matilda Bridge – The Cush
11.) Breathing In – The Hero Cycle

I love the huge swell in Breathing. Matilda is so shimmering and cool and sounded great coming out of River. Hmmm Farm. OK, it’s almost time to go. I should grab another drink.

12.) One More Drink – Will
13.) Unstopable – Lendway
14.) Come to Space – ROUGH FRANCIS

I loved the way the chaos at the end of the Lendway song mixed into the chaos of the Space beginning. Great Rock from Francis. Great harmonies from Lendway. Great song by Will. I hope you enjoyed checking out the music of our town. Let’s do it again next week, shall we?

outro

promo

Tim here for a moment more. This is the title song from Fish’s new album

Song After – A Feast Of Consequences – Fish

 

 

 

 

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A Texas judge puts the blame squarely on Tea Party Republican rhetoric for his decision to run for re-election as a Democrat in a campaign video he released on Sunday.

“Rational Republican beliefs have given way to ideological character assassination,” Bexar County Judge Carlo Key says in the video, over shots of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other Republican lawmakers. “Pragmatism and principle have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry. Make no mistake, I have not left the Republican party. It left me.”

“I will not be a member of a party in which hate speech elevates candidates for higher office, rather than disqualifying them” Key says. “I cannot place my name on the ballot for a political party that is proud to destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of federal workers over the vain attempt to repeal a law that will provide healthcare to millions of people throughout our country.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/10/21/texas-judge-slams-republicans-in-video-announcing-hes-now-a-democrat/

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FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST:

But, first, here’s my take. The crisis has been resolved, but this respite is temporary. We’re bound to have more standoffs and brinkmanship in the months and years ahead. To understand why, you must recognize that, for the tea party, the stakes could not be higher.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz put it plainly at the recent Values Voter Summit in Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: We’re nearing the edge of a cliff, and our window to turn things around, my friends, I don’t think it is long. I don’t think it’s 10 years. We have a couple of years to turn the country around or we go off the cliff to oblivion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAKARIA: Cruz dominated the summit’s straw poll, taking 42 percent of the vote, more than three times his nearest rival. Cruz’s national approval rating might be an abysmal 14 percent, but to the base of the Republican Party, he’s an idol.

The current fear derives from Obamacare and what it will do to America, but that is only the most recent cause for alarm. Modern American conservatism was founded on a diet of despair.

In 1955, William F. Buckley Jr. began the movement with a famous first editorial in National Review declaring that the magazine “stands athwart history, yelling stop.” Hardline conservatives have been yelling stop ever since.

John Boehner tries to tie into this tradition of opposition when he says in exasperation repeated, “The federal government has spent more than what it has brought in in 55 of the last 60 years.”

But, one might respond, what have been the results over these past 60 years? The United States has grown mightily, destroyed the Soviet Union, spread capitalism across the globe and lifted its citizens to astonishingly high standards of living and income.

At the end of his 1961 speech that launched his political career, Ronald Reagan said,

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And if you don’t do this and if I don’t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAKARIA: But the menace Reagan warned about, Medicare, was enacted. It’s provided security to the elderly. There have been problems regarding cost, but that is hardly the same as killing freedom.

After all, the right-wing Heritage Foundation ranks many countries as “more free” every year. For example, Switzerland and Australia and they all have universal health care.

For many conservatives today, the “rot” to be excoriated is not about economics and health care but about culture. A persistent theme of conservative intellectuals and commentators, in print and on Fox News, is the cultural decay of the country.

But compared with almost any period in U.S. history, we live in bourgeois times, in a culture that values family, religion, work and, above all, private business.

Young people today aspire to become Mark Zuckerberg. They quote the aphorisms of Warren Buffett. They read the Twitter feed of Bill Gates. Even after the worst recession since the Great Depression, there are no obvious radicals, anarchists, Black Panthers or other revolutionary movements except for the tea party.

Now, for some tacticians and consultants, extreme rhetoric is just a way to keep the troops fired up. But rhetoric gives meaning and shape to a political movement.

Over the past six decades, conservatives’ language of decay, despair and decline have created a powerful group of Americans who fervently believe in this dark narrative and are determined to stop the country from plunging into what they see is imminent oblivion. They aren’t going to give up just yet. The era of crises could end, but only when this group of conservatives makes its peace with today’s America. They are misty- eyed in their devotion to a distant republic of myth and memory and yet passionate in their dislike of the messy, multiracial, capitalist and welfare-state democracy that America actually has been for half a century, a fifth of this country’s history.

At some point, will they come to recognize that you cannot love America in theory and hate it in fact?

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1310/20/fzgps.01.html

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Hard times have arrived for the Republican Party and particularly for right-wing pressure groups like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, Heritage Action and the one-time lavishly funded tea party PAC, FreedomWorks. According to a report in Politico, heavyweight Republican donors are frustrated and “horrified” that their money is going to wrong-headed politicians and groups that appear to have no effect on election outcomes.

“In conversation after conversation, donors express growing frustration with the party and the constellation of outside groups they’ve been bankrolling,” wrote Politico‘s Maggie Haberman and Anna Palmer.

Donors, they say, were “horrified in November after pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into campaigns for president and Congress with nothing to show for it,” and in the wake of the Republican shutdown fiasco, they have become even more concerned.

FreedomWorks PAC’s CEO Matt Kibbe took to CSPAN on Friday to declare that schisms between the old and new guards of the Republican Party are making it “a real possibility” that the party will split in two. Kibbe didn’t mention, however, that his group is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy thanks to a top-heavy management structure and tendency to hemorrhage cash on things like craft beers and Las Vegas hotel rooms.

Similarly, Karl Rove’s super PAC Crossroads GPS is, Politico said, among those “feeling the hardest pinch” from donors shutting their checkbooks. Crossroads spent $300 million in 2012 and saw nearly every single one of its candidates lose that November. Since then, donations have slowed considerably as the right’s financial backers have begun to lose faith in party gurus and politican strategists.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/10/19/desperate-donors-tighten-purse-strings-on-right-wing-groups-and-self-immolating-gop/