Archive for October 2013

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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.”


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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.


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.


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,


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.


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?

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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.

Elliott Smith cover night at Radio Bean with Phil Yates, Hana Zara, Invisible Homes, Joshua Glass, Eastern Mountain Time and Phil Yates   Leave a comment

I had a good time seeing and hearing music tonight. I did not know the songs of Elliott Smith, but had a deep respect for the artists who wanted to play his songs tonight. Though them, I got a hint of what he brought to the world.

I chatted with Phil and Joshua Glass a bit, then a friend showed up out of the blue. Apparently no one was home, and Tim’s Living Room was moved to the Bean. Christopher Larrow showed up,and there was an open seat at the bar. Cool, see lovely local music, my friends.

Hana Zara opened with a song I did not know, like all of them, but her playing was so nimble, I caught the flow and loved every moment. She said she was surprised when the next song started in F but when the lyric kicked in, it produced a sweet harmonic effect. She was right, and Twilight smoked. I missed the name that foloowed, but think it was Rose Parade, from what she said and sang. Whatever it was, it was sweet.

Ater that, Phil Yates came on to play a song. My notes say it was a bouncy song. Any way, Phil played his heart out and it sounded great. The timing was odd, but I was beginning to learn Elliott.

Next up was a guy playing acoustic guitar, like almost everyone this night. He had a nice style and voice. Billed as Invisible Homes, He was a guy named Sean. The bar was at peak loudness, and drink desiring, so his pretty sweet set got lost a bit, but he played and sang well. I did not know the first two songs, or the third, but his off-kilter pop was fun, The third was something like Miss Misery.

Phil came on again to play Some Some song.

Joshua Glass broke up the singer/acoustic guitar thing and filled in with a singer/keyboard player thing. He played two majestic songs. The first was something about Drink Up, and then followed with something about Cathy’s Clown.

Next up, Phil came up and played Division Day.

Next up, a guy named Sean (?) played as Eastern Mountain Time. He had a great voice and guitar style. His voice was deep and the guitar restrainedly ferocious. He played three really solid songs, ending with the biggest lie.

Phil came on and closed with Ballad of Big Nothing.

In the end, I gained an appreciation for Elliott’s songs, but it was the people who played it, that really attracted me. I think the way his influence plays out within the artists I love, will attract even more than his songs. Most of us will never get higher accolades than that.

After the last note, tab closed before, I dragged Chris down Church st to see if Hana was still on at the 1/2 Lounge. It looked vacant, rats.

We headed back to my place. There was much lugging of speakers and the sound changed a bit.

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As the optimum period opens for flights to Mars, both India and the US are poised to launch Mars-orbiting craft. The US federal shutdown, though, threatened both missions, delaying them until the next launch window opens in 2015-2016. As it is, dispensations were granted to allow work on Nasa’s orbiter, Maven, to continue and to provide essential tracking assistance for the Indian probe.

The latter, Mangalyaan or Mars-craft in Hindi, is India’s first interplanetary mission and is to be launched from a site in Andhra Pradesh during a three-weeks window beginning on 28 October. Primarily a technology demonstration mission, it should spend 25 days in an elongated Earth-orbit before being boosted towards Mars, where it should enter another eccentric orbit next September. The science and imaging it will perform there is regarded as a secondary objective. Even so, it is remarkable that the project was only approved as recently as August 2012.

The launch period for Maven, or Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, opens on 18 November with its arrival at Mars also due next September. From an orbit ranging between 150km and 6,200km above the planet, it is due to investigate the planet’s upper atmosphere, studying how it interacts with the solar wind and how its gases and ions are escaping into space. Such mechanisms are crucial to understanding how the Martian climate and Mars’s precious water have evolved over time.

Posted October 19, 2013 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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President Barack Obama “That’s not a surprise that the American people are completely fed up with Washington. At a moment when our economic recovery demands more jobs, more momentum, we’ve got yet another self-inflicted crisis that set our economy back. And for what? There was no economic rationale for all of this. Over the past four years, our economy has been growing, our businesses have been creating jobs, and our deficits have been cut in half. We hear some members who pushed for the shutdown say they were doing it to save the American economy. But nothing has done more to undermine our economy these past three years than the kind of tactics that create these manufactured crises.

And you don’t have to take my word for it. The agency that put America’s credit rating on watch the other day explicitly cited all of this, saying that our economy remains more dynamic and resilient than other advanced economies and that the only thing putting us at risk is — and I’m quoting here — “repeated brinksmanship.” That’s what the credit rating agency said.

That wasn’t a political statement. That was an analysis of what’s hurting our economy by people whose job it is to analyze these things.

That also happens to be the view of our diplomats, who have been hearing from their counterparts internationally.”

Radio Show 33 Thursday October 17 , 2013 9-10pm Eastern US Time WBKM.ORG   2 comments




I just got back from my local music internet radio show on WBKM.ORG. The first song I was going to play jumped out of the player at the last moment. Also,I stuck the players in queue mode to mix out the ending of the second to last song, but forgot to put it back, so at the end, the outro played a little early. The edges were a bit rough, but the center was pretty creamy.

Song Before: Song Of Wandering Aengus



From our small city to the great big world, these are the Sounds Of Burlington. It’s been a beautiful warm sunny day in Burlington, and Church Street is hopping. Here is a song that was just released this week. This is Autumn Drone Part 2 from Alpenglow, on WBKM and they are Burlington’s kind of music.

1.) Overcoat – Swale (was supposed to be Alpenglow, but it jumped out of the player)
2.) Autumn Drone Part !! – Alpenglow
3.) Lithuania – Hana Zara

One of my roommates, Mike Luoma was just representing the Point at the Advance Music Singer Songwriter competition on Tuesday. He said that Hana played Lithuania and advanced to the finals. It’s a great song, no wonder she made it. The order was wrong on the first two, but both are great Fall songs. Last week I finished playing Swale’s album, and tonight I will start a new one. This artist has played in a couple of bands in Burlington, and made so much great music in our town. Week by week, song by song, I will work my way through To A Star In The Yard by Alice Austin

4.) Wings To Me – Alice Austin
5.) Naomi’s Back – Fire The Cannons
6.) Crickets – Wolvings
7.) Things Change – Black Rabbit

If you ever need a great scrappy little garage rock band, you could not do better than Black Rabbit. They are recording, and with a little luck I will have a new song to play on Halloween. Stay tuned. The band Spirit Animal just changed their name to Wolvings. They are playing Friday at The Monkey House. I was just there last Tuesday seeing some heavier than expected metal. It was fun. I love the FTC song and didn’t it just flow out of the Alice song? I hope you liked the Alice, because I’m going to play it all, over the nest few weeks. A while ago a guy named Adrian Belew used to play Burlington, VT to packed houses, all the time. I’ve seen him solo. I’ve seen him with the Bears. Once, when he played solo, he had a band called the Irresponsibles open for him.

8.) Mr Belew – The Irresponsibles
9.) Superboy – The Bears
10.) Ready To Race – Lendway
11.) I Can Feel It – Vetica

I thought that was fun to play two great pop songs that rock, from bands from out of town, with two great pop songs that rock, from bands from in town. Did you notice that Adrian was playing guitar on the Irresponsibles song? Saturday I may head to Radio Bean to see bands play Elliot Smith songs. Hana Zara is the draw and Phil Yates is hosting, so hopefully he’s playing too.

12.) Could You Be The One? – Phil Yates and the Affiliates
13.) Teenage Mother Earth (live) – The Red Telephone
14.) Time To Get Out – Aaron Flinn and Salad Days

I left the queue mode on so the outro started playing, but I got it stopped. I mentioned Aaron and Red and hoped you enjoyed checking out the music of our town. I asked if you’d like to do it again next week.

Outro (again)


Tim here, if you’re in Poland you know this next song. It’s been in the top 30, and descending, for the last three weeks.

Song After: All Loved Up – Fish