Archive for February 2014
Sam Bell is in the third year of a PhD program in geology at Brown University. Geology as in rocks. But Bell also moonlights as the the state coordinator of The Rhode Island Progressive Democrats, the state affiliate of the 10-year-old Progressive Democrats of America. And in his work with The Rhode Island Progressive Democrats, Bell was instrumental to the investigation that ultimately led to the National Rifle Association paying the second largest campaign finance fine in the state’s history.
Last year, Bell and his group started digging into the financial relationship between the NRA’s state-level political action committee, which over the previous decade had given tens of thousands of dollars to Rhode Island lawmakers, and the NRA’s national PAC, known as the NRA Political Victory Fund. What Bell and his associates found led them to file a complaint with the state’s Board of Elections, alleging a number of serious campaign finance violations. In apparent response, the NRA last year quietly dissolved its Rhode Island PAC. Then, earlier this year, news came that the pro-gun group had reached a settlement with the state, and agreed to pay a $63,000 fine — officially for not creating a separate bank account for money the state PAC received from the larger national PAC.
In an interview with TPM this week, Bell explained how his interest in science led him to politics.
“The thing that first got me interested in getting involved in politics was watching how science got devastated by cuts to fundings, particularly at the federal level but also at the state level.” Bell said. “I had the sort of disappointing realization that politics has a huge amount to do with the advancement of science. And in many ways the best thing one can do for science is to get politicians to be willing to support it.”
I just got back from my local music radio show on internet only WBKM.ORG. I had great plans all set, then noticed that the flower to click on, to listen to the stream, was missing. It’s working now, but I’m not sure how many people were able to listen to the show. Thanks Britt Shorter for letting me know that it could be heard by some, and played at Healthy Living.
Song before: It’s Going Down – MIDLAKE BAND
From our small city to the great big world, these are the Sounds Of Burlington. Today, I got asked one of the nicest questions ever. Eric Olsen asked if I would like a new Swale song to play on the show. I said yes!! This is a song called Joyless by a band called Swale on WBKM, and this is Burlington’s Kind Of Music.
1.) Joyless – Swale
2.) Jet Pilot High – The Red Telephone
3.) Carry The Oar – Pours
Pours are a newish duo who have an album coming out in May. it’s on Section Sign Records, who are making vinyl albums of local music. They will play a show in April at Signal Kitchen. I saw them once at the Lou Reed tribute night at the Monkey House, where they played a killer version of Venus In Furs. It will be fun to hear what the album sounds like. Before that was the mighty Red Telephone and what a great new song from Swale. They are playing March 7th, the same night ROUGH FRANCIS are playing an album release show at Arts Riot. Also that night both Black Rabbit and The Mountain Says No are playing at Manhattan Pizza and Pub. How do I be in 3 places at once? Oh well, here’s the next song on Maximum Soul Power.
4.) Righteous – Rough Francis
5.) Knight Ov Swords – The Contrarian
6.) Children Of The Grave – JCHA
7.) Home Invasion – Rough Francis
I felt so bad about cutting Hi off last week I wanted to play it again this week, only all the way through. JCHA played at Metal Monday at Nectar’s after Elephants of Scotland the other week. I was tired and did not stay, but they left out 4 song discs that said take one, so I did. Nice cover of Sabbath on that one. Burlington seems to have a thing for covering Sabbath, whether it’s The Dirty Blondes doing Paranoid, Swale doing War Pigs, Samara Lark Brown singing Electric Funeral with the Mildred Moody band, or any of the ones I’m forgetting. Swords is a killer song and Casey Hades Rae is in town, so I had to play one of his songs. I probably should have picked up that he was on a music panel Wednesday night with Dan Bolles and walked down to check it out. OK, let’s keep rocking
8.) Dirty Knees – Persian Claws
9.) I Need A Raise – Cave Bees
10.) Scorned Woman – The Dirty Blondes
11.) Trading Bullets – Fire The Cannons
I love the eponymous song from the Cannons. The Blondes always rock. It’s Mardi Gras in Burlington this weekend. One year I saw the bees on the Seven Days float playing I Need A Raise right in the heart of downtown. The Claws have been playing some impressive shows lately!! Next up, let’s slow it down a bit with one of the great women singer songwriters in town. Not only does she play a lot, but she is very active in supporting Girls Rock Vermont, which helps give girls the resources to go out and play rock music. That can only make our musical community better,and I praise Linda Bassick for all of her great work.
12.) One From Two – Linda Bassick
13.) Think I’ll Stay – Great Western
14.) Go Ahead – farm
Hmmm, Eonosburg’s finest, Farm. I love that song by GW. I may try and catch some of their set at 1/2 Lounge tomorrow, before heading to Signal Kitchen for the Rachel Ries album release party. I hope you enjoyed checking out the music of our town. Let’s do it again next week, shall we?
Song after: Market Square Heroes – Fish
I had a great time seeing music last Saturday at The Monkey House. I met up with Christopher Larrow and we arrived at the show with Kelly Ravin and band onstage. He was singing and playing electric and was accompanied by a stand-up bass player and a twangless pedal steel player. I listened to the country song they were playing as I settled in, but the next song had a nice pop sound and some great lyrics, and it just blew me away. They followed with another country song and closed with a rocker that had a slight Floyd vibe. The band were smooth and elegant, and I need to find out what those two songs were!
Nathan Curtis showed up after that and soon Swale took the stage. They started slow and song by song got more rocking. They were going at a good clip, but just dd not take it over the top. They slowed things down for another song or two, then built the rock again. They climbed a little higher, but still not to the heights they can hit. They brought things down almost too much with Old School, then used If You Get Lost to ramp things up. By the end of the set they were in full glorious all out rock mode and I was blissfully happy.
Vedora followed with a solid set of mostly new songs. They tossed in a couple of classics but the new songs took center stage. I’m still getting to know them, and like them a lot. I really liked the set, but it was not quite as dynamic as some of the shows in the past. The new material seems a bit more tightly constructed, and I’m sure I will get used to it soon. They closed with a Matthew Hastings guitar workout on Sober, and that was that.
A band called Great Western Plains, from Maine were set to follow, but I was just drained. I took the easy ride home from Nate and called it a night. I’m bummed I missed the last band, and should have showed up earlier, but I loved what I caught.
Gov Jan Brewer (R-AZ) “Good evening, and thank you for joining me here today. I am here to announce my decision on Senate Bill 1062.
As with every proposal that reaches my desk, I gave Senate Bill 1062 careful evaluation and deliberate consideration.
I call them like I see them, despite the cheers or boos from the crowd. I took the time necessary to make the right decision.
I met or spoke with my attorneys, lawmakers and citizens supporting and opposing this legislation. I listened, and asked questions.
As Governor, I have protected religious freedoms when there is a specific and present concern that exists in our state.
And I have the record to prove it.
My agenda is to sign into law legislation that advances Arizona.
When I addressed the Legislature earlier this year, I made my priorities for this session abundantly clear…
Among them are passing a responsible budget that continues Arizona’s economic comeback.
From CEOs to entrepreneurs to business surveys Arizona ranks as one the best states to grow or start a business. Additionally, our IMMEDIATE challenge is fixing a broken Child Protection system. Instead, this is the first policy bill to cross my desk.
Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona. I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.
The bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences.
After weighing all of the arguments, I vetoed Senate Bill 1062 moments ago.”
Judge Andrew Napolitano on Fox News “I prefer to look at Lincoln this way. At the time that he was the President of the United States, slavery was dying a natural death all over the western world… Instead of allowing it to die, or helping it to die, or even purchasing the slaves and then freeing them, which would have cost a lot less money than the civil war cost, Lincoln set about on the most murderous war in American history. “
Jon Stewart “Oh right, compensated emancipation. Why didn’t Lincoln think of that? Oh, he did think of that. He spent most of 1862 trying to convince the border states of Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, and West Virginia to free their slaves in exchange for money and everybody said bleep off. OK, alright, ’cause it wasn’t economically feasible and the slave states had a deeply vested sociopolitical interest in maintaining a two-tiered culture based on cheap forced labor. Frankly, I don’t even know why we’re talking about slavery. I mean, why are we even talking about slavery? It seems that wasn’t really what the civil war was about.”
Napolitano “Well, it’s not even all together clear if slavery was the reason for secession…But, largely the impetus for secession was tariffs.”
Stewart “Sure, unless he’s talking about a slave named tariff, he’s talking out his ass, ’cause in their own declarations of secession, South Carolina, Georgia, and Mississippi all clearly put slavery as the number one issue for wanting to secede, with Mississippi saying quote our position is thoroughly identified with the institute of slavery, the greatest material interest of the world. I guess you can read into that. Going on to say, although for future whitewashing purposes please replace the word slavery with tariffs. Alright, for more on the issue we talk to our senior black correspondent Larry Wilmore. Larry, thanks for joining us. So, what about this idea that Lincoln should have just waited because slavery would have eventually died of natural causes.”
Wilmore “Uh Jon, the south was so committed to slavery, Lincoln didn’t die of natural causes.”
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: “But first, here’s my take. 2013 seemed in many ways to be the year of Vladimir Putin. The Russian president had consolidated power in his country, crushed any possible opposition, kept his ally in Syria from being toppled and brokered a deal to remove Syria’s chemical weapons.
2014 was also going pretty well for Putin. The Sochi Olympics was not the disaster many had suggested and, above all, Putin had maintained Russia’s historic relationship with Ukraine, outmaneuvering the European Union, which had made Ukraine a complicated and conditional offer that Ukraine’s president turned down in return for cold Russian cash.
That’s what it had looked like until just a few days ago. But now, on the central issue of Ukraine, Russia does not look so triumphant. Ukraine’s President Yanukovych, who is now its former president, overplayed his hand.
Putin assumed that force would solve the problem and disperse the protests. Western observers were despairing and assigning blame for all that had happened from Washington to the European Union.
And then things started to change. President Yanukovych and the opposition made a deal, brokered by the Europeans, calling for a coalition government, national elections and a new constitution.
But even that was not enough for the protesters, who have managed to achieve change much faster, ousting the president and beginning the process of transformation right away. In this long and complex situation, it is the people on the street who have shown determination, courage and persistence.
Now one has to be cautious; everything we know about these kinds of revolutions is that this is the thrilling moment which is often followed by turmoil, tension, violence and chaos. Destroying the old order is a lot easier than building a new one.
This is going to be particularly true in Ukraine, which is riddled with corruption and, in many ways, is on the brink of economic collapse. The opposition will have to act with wisdom and include those whom it despises, including the supporters of former President Yanukovych.
And Russia will not allow Ukraine to slip completely from its grasp. One of its main fleets is based in the Black Sea in Ukraine. Russian pipelines crisscross the country, carrying natural gas to Europe.
Russia will demand a say in what happens there as it has for 300 years. That’s why the Ukrainian opposition turned government needs to approach things with caution and a sense of national unity.
But Russia, too, will have to be careful; as the last few weeks have shown, it has created a deep sense of opposition among tens of millions of people in Ukraine and their hostility to Russian domination might well grow.
For now at least, let’s just marvel at the spirit of the Ukrainian people, let’s keep our fingers crossed for their future and let’s note that 2014 is not looking quite as good for Vladimir Putin as it did a week ago.”
Bill Maher “It’s still a very volatile there in Ukraine. President Obama hasn’t really decided exactly what we’re going to do. Fox news has already decided that whatever it is, it’s wrong. Sean Hannity said today it’s either gutless and will show the world we’re weak, or it’s reckless and will get us all killed. I’ll get back to you on Monday.
And, people keep asking me what are they fighting about there in the Ukraine. Well, it’s complicated, but basically half of the country wants to modernize and become more western in their outlook, and the other half of the country wants to live in the past. Same problem with our country.”