Thursday, June 30, 2005

Mark Knopfler - Dire Straits

Make a joyful noise indeed what a wonderful show - two encores. Check out the set list and the links to the bands diary. What a beautiful night in Portsmouth with a great crowd. Catch Mark if you can - one of the finest players, and arrangers ever. The sound was tremendous hats off to his sound crew they did an unbelievable job. Check out his tour schedule and good luck. I hope you are lucky enough to catch the show. He's one of the few talents that can hit you so emotionally with just his guitar - beautiful stuff - a world class musician - and a bit British ehh...very British - thanks Mark!

Porsmouth Show
1. Why Aye Man - Rag Pickers Dream
2. Walk Of Life -
Brothers In Arms
3. What It Is -
Sailing to Philadelphia
4. Sailing To Philadelphia
5. Romeo & Juliet -
Making Movies
6. Sultans Of Swing -
Dire Straits First Album
7. Done With Bonaparte -
Golden Heart
8. Song For Sonny Liston -
Shangri- La
9. RĂ¼diger -
Golden Heart
10. Donegan's Gone - Shangri - La
11. Boom, Like That -
Shangri - La
12. Speedway At Nazareth -
Sailing To Philadelphia
13. Telegraph Road -
Love Over Gold

14. Brothers In Arms
15. Money For Nothing -
Brothers In Arms

16. So Far Away -
Brothers In Arms
17.
Our Shangri-La

He's Been Busy!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Media Matters

For those of you sick of one sided gas bags with their facts wrong, and their heads permanently up their asses because they know all, and are above reproach while they fondle their subordinates, and abuse synthetic heroin check out the link above. What's going on now is history repeating itself in an accelerated mode. As the radical conservatives forge their way back into power trying to ultimately control the executive branch, the legislative branch, the judicial branch, and the media their same old intolerant, misguided and hypocritical flaws that rode them out of power to begin with come brilliantly into light. They use religion to spread hate, and they are intolerant to the very tenants of their religion and the country they profess so ardently to love. The professionalism of measured honest reporting is all but gone. Bring back Walter Cronkite - I'd clone him first.


Figure this out the Republicans with huge support from their media propaganda operatives Fox News, Limbaugh, and don't forget Dr. Laura spent more time and money investigating Bill Clinton than they have the Downing Street Memo. The government spent seven years and $70 million investigating Clinton's alleged misdeeds. That's much more money than was spent investigating the assassination of John F. Kennedy and Watergate combined, even after adjusting for inflation.

Even Rush Limbaugh doesn"t talk much anymore about the debacle that was the Clinton witchhunt because it ended so poorly. Clinton was guilty of adultry. George Bush, Sr. had known affairs while he was in office. How come the Republicans didn't go after him? A bit hypocritical wouldn't you say? When the independent counsel's final report on Whitewater was issued in March 2002, not one new indictment emerged.


Fair and unbiased reporting is dead - the media is now and has been for quite some time the tool of the Republican National Convention and their big money corporate supporters who own the media. Now they want to silence PBS and the nightly News Hour with Jim Lehrer one of the last in depth fair and honest reporting outlets. God forbid Americans are informed on substantive issues. The media, and the books the big corporations churn out are nothing more than high glossed propaganda. Just because it is on television people doesn't make it the truth. Just because you hear it on the radio doesn't make it the truth. Just because it's in print doesn't make it the truth. Do your own investigating dig a little deeper than the surface have some common sense, question authority, and remember absolute power corrupts absolutley.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

A Message From Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

"You simply can’t talk honestly about the environment today without criticizing this president. George W. Bush will go down as the worst environmental president in our nation’s history."

So writes Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in his new book "Crimes Against Nature," which details how President Bush has rewritten the nation’s environmental laws in favor of industry and filled his administration with former lobbyists and corporate executives who now oversee the regulation of their former industries.

A senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council and president of the grassroots Waterkeeper Alliance, Kennedy argues that the Bush administration consistently favored corporate interests over the environment and public health, assaulting the very idea of a common good. He recently spoke with MotherJones.com George W. Bush's many crimes against nature.

MotherJones.com: How has the U.S. government historically changed its approach to public "commons" such as the air and water?

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: One of the successes of the right-wing propaganda campaign has been to convince the American people that the environmental laws were new innovations passed after Earth Day. But in fact, it’s always been illegal to pollute. The pollution was restricted by two ancient doctrines. One’s called the Public Trust Doctrine, which says that those assets that are by their nature shared assets -- the commonwealth, the air and water, the wildlife, public lands -- are owned by the public. Everybody has a right to use them, and nobody has a right to treat them in a way that will diminish their use and enjoyment by others. The other law is Nuisance Law, which protects private property from intrusion by polluters. Nuisance law has been turned on its head by the right wing, who claim to be on the side of property rights, but really only favor property rights when they’re talking about the right of a polluter to use his property to destroy his neighbor’s property or the public property. The law in the United States, in every jurisdiction until about 1876, was that if a factory put smoke into the air, even one day a year, and it got onto a neighbor’s property, the neighbor had the right to enjoin to close down the factory, and the courts had no choice but to do that.

Those strong, ancient laws were dismantled through corruption and the political power of industry, as well as a general recognition that industrialization would be beneficial to the American public. But the pendulum swung too far, and by the early 1960s the polluters had basically displaced the public out of public trust assets. Then you had the reaction; you had Rachel Carson’s book "Silent Spring," which was the clarion call, and then you had Earth Day, 1970, when 20 million Americans came out onto the street to demand the return of their ancient environmental rights. The result of that was the passage of 28 major environmental laws over the next decade that made an effort to restore those rights to the public.

MJ.com: From there, what tactics did industry use to regain its position?

RFK: The "Gang of Five" foundations that are huge repositories of industrial polluter money [the John.M Olin Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the Castle Rock Foundation, the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, and the Bradley Foundation] have been used to create think tanks, to recruit phony scientists that we call “biostitutes” and to fund politicians in order to undermine and subvert those environmental laws that were passed after Earth Day: the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act. Industry was kind of caught off-guard by Earth Day and the legislative barrage that followed. But since then, they’ve mobilized to regain control of the public trust assets. And really, the best measure of how a democracy is functioning is how it allocates the goods of the land, the public trust assets. Does it maintain the air and water under control of the people for the benefit of the public, or does it allow those assets to be privatized by politically powerful entities?

MJ.com: How surprising has George Bush’s environmental policy been in light of his track record as governor?

RFK: We weren’t surprised by the federal environmental record, because we saw that he’d been the worst environmental governor in America. Under his leadership, Texas became the most polluted state in the country, with the highest levels of air pollution, the highest levels of water pollution, and the highest level of toxic waste and toxic releases. And it was 49th among 50 states in per-capita environmental spending. He was only worsted by Gov. Mike Leavitt of Utah, who he has named his EPA administrator and who is now in charge of stewarding all of America’s environmental assets.

MJ.com: And yet, as a candidate in 2000, he talked about regulating emissions and combating global warming.

RFK: The problem for the president is that the environment and our environmental laws are very popular with both Republicans and Democrats among the rank-and-file. So, from the beginning, he’s had to conceal his radical anti-environmental agenda from the American public. He did it on the campaign trail by simply saying that he was going to support initiatives to control global warming. But once he got into office, he immediately reversed that and abandoned that promise, and began dismantling our environmental infrastructure.

In keeping with that, his attack has been a stealth attack. They use Orwellian rhetoric to conceal this extreme agenda from the public. When they want to destroy the forests, they call it the Healthy Forest Act; when they want to destroy the air, they call it the Clear Skies bill. Most insidiously, as part of this stealth attack, they’ve put polluters in charge of the agencies that are supposed to protect Americans from pollution. The head of the Forest Service is Mark Rey, probably the most rapacious timber industry lobbyist in American history. The head of public lands is Steven Griles, a mining industry lobbyist who believes public lands are unconstitutional. The head of the air division of the EPA was Marianne Horinko, whose former job had been advising corporate polluters on how to evade Superfund. The second in command of EPA was a Monsanto lobbyist. If you look at virtually all of the sub-secretariats and agency heads in the Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Interior and EPA, the same pattern holds. Polluters have been put in charge of the agencies that are supposed to protect Americans from pollution. As I show in my book, these individuals have not entered government service for the public interest, but rather to subvert the very laws they’re now charged with enforcing.

MJ.com: One lesser-known example of that pattern is John Graham at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. What role does he play?

RFK: He’s been an anti-environmental activist for many, many years. He founded an anti-environmental think tank at Harvard, which is funded by polluting industries that pay Graham to produce reports [essentially] defending their corporate profits. He’s developed these phony algorithms that always end in the same result, which is that industry wins and the public loses.

He runs the most powerful agency in the government today, which is the OIRA, part of the Office of Management and Budget. It’s a secretive agency inside the White House that is not subject to many of the laws that require open government. The other agencies that are charged with protecting the American environment from time to time develop new regulations in keeping with that mission. Usually it takes about eight years for a regulation to go through the regulatory process, which involves a lot of public debate, public notice and comment, hearings and review by attorneys and scientists. At the end of this painstaking and extremely democratic process, those regulations now disappear into a black hole at OIRA, which is supposed to review the regulations prior to passage. And at OIRA, the industry meets privately with John Graham and rewrites the regulations in private. When the regulations come out of his office, generally they are no longer designed to protect the public, but rather to protect industry prerogatives and profits.

MJ.com: What's the worst example of how that collaboration between industry and government has played out?

RFK: One of the worst examples is the rewriting of New Source Review. I have three sons with asthma; one out of every four black kids in New York City now has asthma. Asthma attacks are triggered primarily by ozone and particulates, and the major sources of those materials in our atmosphere are 1,100 coal-burning power plants that are burning coal illegally. The Clinton administration had initiated investigations and prosecutions against 70 of the worst of those. But this is an industry that donated $48 million to President Bush and the Republican Party in the 2000 cycle and has given $58 million since. One of the first things that Bush did when he came into office was to order the Justice Department to drop those lawsuits. The Justice Department lawyer said that this had never happened before in American history, where a president accepts money from industries targeted for investigation and prosecution, and then orders the Justice Department to drop those investigations once he gets into office. There were 70 utilities involved here and, according to EPA, just the criminal exceedences from those 70 plants killed 5,500 Americans every year. Then the administration went and rewrote the Clean Air Act, gutting the New Source rule, which means those plants will be able to discharge ozone and particulates forever.

MJ.com: How has the situation changed now that Michael O. Leavitt has replaced Christine Todd Whitman at the EPA?

RFK: It went from bad to worse. Leavitt has giant social skills and charm, but his record is one of the most anti-environmental of any governor except for George W. Bush. The first thing that he did when he came into office was to dismantle President Clinton’s mercury rule. The same utilities that are discharging ozone and particulates, those same coal-burning power plants are also discharging huge amounts of mercury into our air, and the mercury ends up in the fish. Just a few weeks ago, the EPA announced its decision that, as a result of that, all fish in 19 states are now unsafe to eat because of mercury contamination. At least some of the fish in 48 states are now unsafe to eat. In fact, the only two states where they’re “safe” are Alaska and Wyoming, where the Republican-controlled legislatures refused to allocate the funds for their agencies to test the fish.

Today, one out of every six American women has so much mercury in her womb that her children are at risk for a grim inventory of diseases, including autism, blindness, mental retardation and heart, liver and kidney disease. My own levels of mercury are so high -- I had them tested recently -- that a woman with the same levels would have a child with cognitive impairment. The Clinton administration had classified mercury as a hazardous pollutant under the Clean Air Act, which triggered a requirement that those utilities remove 90 percent of the mercury within three and a half years. It would have cost less than 1 percent of plant revenue, and the great thing about it is that it works; we now know that when the utilities stop discharging mercury, that the fish downstream clean up almost immediately.

But this is an industry that gave all that money, over $100 million, to the president. A few months ago, the Bush administration announced that it was scrapping the Clinton-era regulations and substituting instead regulations that were written by utility lawyers, from the law firm of Latham and Watkins. Under the new rules, the utilities will effectively never have to clean up their mercury. And the chief lobbyist for Latham and Watkins was Jeffrey Holmstead, who is now the head of the air division of EPA. This is an example of how corporations have infiltrated our government and are dismantling it in order to privatize the commons.

MJ.com: In "Crimes Against Nature" you explain how the administration has cut funding to laws already on the books, such as Superfund cleanup.

RFK: Superfund has gone bankrupt. The Superfund itself, which was raised through a small tax on the chemical and oil industry, was used to clean up orphaned sites -- sites where the responsible party could not be found. But more importantly, it was used to leverage recalcitrant polluters to clean up their own sites, because Superfund includes a triple-damages provision. That gives the EPA power, when a polluter drags its feet, to say to the polluter, “Okay, we’re going to clean up the site ourselves, and then we’re going to charge you triple.” And 90 percent of the Superfund sites that have been cleaned up in America have been cleaned up as a result of that threat. Without that threat, Superfund just becomes a welfare program for corporate lawyers, who can argue forever and ever about who’s responsible and what kind of cleanup should result. So today, with Superfund bankrupt, you’re not going to see many Superfund sites really cleaned up. And if they are cleaned up, it’ll be with taxpayer money, which is absurdly unjust.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

To Michael Kinsley - LA Times

Michael,
I'm a little tired of the media giving George Bush a free ride where is the hard hitting journalism? Halliburton get's contract renewals even though they overcharge the Pentagon? This is a flagrant abuse of taxpayer’s money. The Downing Street Memo? Everyone knew the President wanted to go to war, and no one believed Iraq had WMD's, that's the excuse for not researching, and commenting on the Downing Street Memo that states that the US intelligence would be "shaped" to fit the policy. Michael that's Kremlin, KGB stuff and vintage "cold war" tactics. The only people that believed there were WMD's were the people that voted for George Bush in the first place. You have a duty to inform especially those that might not be in your circle.

Don't loose sight of the fact that there are two America's. Those that believe George Bush actually gives a hoot about NASCAR racing, and those that know all he is interested in is lining the pockets of his friends, big time contributors, and family. America and the Environment come a distant second, and dead last. High oil prices are good news for George Bush, and his friends, and bad news for you and me. That story needs to be told.

The right wing press hunted Clinton like a dog. The left wing press says "everybody already knows." A little thing called evidence helps everyone recognize reality. Then how they respond is how they respond. But not shedding light on an issue because you assume everyone knows is lazy, and you know what's wrong with assumptions.

Just because Bush say's he's religious doesn't mean he acts religious. An article on his religious hypocrisy would be Pulitzer Prize material? Would a born again lie about McCain and Kerry's war records, service or adoptions? No they wouldn't. He's a phony for that right there. Freedom requires constant vigilance. The right wing dominated press can generate more decibels than you guys. You are loosing the battle for the voters to Rush Limbaugh, and Dr. Laura. Pathetic isn't it? Roll up your sleeves, and ask yourself if the thought of an America where dissenting opinion is mocked, ridiculed, and promoted as un-American is an America that is healthy for journalist.

A Christian theocracy and the moral police are on the rise. Saying it can't happen is making yourself vulnerable to the fact that it might, and an abandonment of your responsibility of vigilance on the behalf of liberty, and the freedom of choice of our forefathers. We need people proud to be liberals especially if being conservative means what it has always meant; a restriction of personal freedoms, a restriction of the press, and a restriction on the freedom of choice. Besides, these alleged conservatives blew up the budget that the liberals had balanced. What's conservative about that?

You need to paint the picture of what George Bush really is, and what he is up to. List the faults. Title it "What's Wrong with George," and call him on the carpet for subsidizing failed industries (timber and automobile), subsidizing record profit earning industries, (big oil and new refineries) being a healthy environment obstructionist, and capitalizing on a terrorist attack to consolidate power, eliminate dissent, and seek advantage and personal gain for himself and his friends.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Move On

Hello,

I'm writing to ask you to join me in signing a MoveOn PAC petition demanding real answers from President Bush regarding the "smoking gun" Downing Street Memo.

To help get the truth about why we invaded Iraq, please sign this letter today.

http://www.moveonpac.org/tellthetruth/

The Downing Street memo is called a "smoking gun" because it contains the minutes from a British cabinet meeting in July of 2002, 6 months before the war began. During that meeting high ranking British officials reported that the Bush administration admitted it was already determined to invade Iraq, and was "fixing" intelligence about WMD's to justify the war.

This, of course, contradicts everything President Bush has told us about how he chose war as a last resort, and made that decision because he thought he had solid intelligence about the Iraqi WMD threat.

Bush has refused to even respond to the memo, but after Tony Blair's visit this week the pressure is really building. Representative John Conyers of Michigan is gathering 500,000 signatures and comments from American voters to take directly to President Bush at the White House gates and demand real answers. Please sign today and help get out the truth.

http://www.moveonpac.org/tellthetruth/

Thanks!

____________________________

Here’s what I added to my submission – you have the opportunity to add to the content of a letter sent right to W. himself (his aides will read it he doesn’t read)

I'm embarrassed by you! I recently saw your video clip of your one finger salute - you flashed it right into the camera at us the American public. George you are President of the United States. You were running for the Office that George Washington occupied. Can you not fathom the responsibility and integrity you must bring to the Oval Office? Arrogance can be a tool for success to a degree, but you will be swallowed up whole by it if you don't get your act together. Getting away with as much as possible is not the mark of success. It is the mark of a criminal. Halliburton should be called on the carpet for over charging the Pentagon, and subsequently the tax payers - who you are supposed to represent. But by rewarding them with yet another contract you prove once again your loyalty is not to the tax payers whose votes you rely on, but to the people who paid for your campaign. That's wrong, and you know better. Come on George I'm rooting for you do something decent - give up privatizing social security to benefit Wall Street - strengthen the EPA - lead the fight against pollution - do something other than just pad your friends pockets, or you will have a legacy of shame - no matter the outcome in IRAQ.

Check out the next topics title link to see the picture of George giving the finger directly to the television camera’s – we are on the other end of that finger – thanks W.!


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Our? President or Halliburtons?

I'm sorry our president just holds all of us in contempt. If you are not a wealthy financier or (a.k.a.) a large oil company, or his close buddy he doesn't care. He's a spoiled frat boy, punk, period. Did you see the picture in Rolling Stone of him actually flipping the bird from the podium? What type of flagrant disregard do you have to have for our government, our system of laws, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and the unique position of the President of the United States to stick your middle finger up at anyone while you are trying to represent us - as what - thugs, brats and thieves - disregarding the law that you are sworn to uphold.

George you put your hand on the Bible, and swore to uphold the Constitution, and then immediately set out to erode the Separation of Powers, and the Separation of Church and State, and consolidate as much power into the executive branch as you could muster. If he had any respect or sense of history, regarding the genius of the men who established our country, or any actual real faith in the Bible he put his hand on – he couldn’t advance his greedy agenda. His agenda is unconstitutional, and he swore to his god to uphold the Constitution. In fact he lied to his god in front of us all! Nope our Georgie hasn't a clue - it's all about power, money, and how much he can get away with.

Would a born again lie about our war veterans McCain and Kerry - it is beyond shameful - just to win at all cost. Well when the cost is our system of government the stakes are too high. It's time for a change try to vote for strict constitutionalists next time, or at least someone who knows how to act, and not get swept up in campaign rhetoric. We are getting farther and farther away, and are on the way outside looking in when it comes to having our voices heard in our own country. Thanks George way to go big guy! Friday afternoon watch those executive orders snuck through at 5pm. Classless punk! Flipping the bird on camera behind the podium at an official Presidential event just shows his lack of respect of what it means to be an American, and his horrible judgment under pressure. It's a low class, low rent thing to do, and he should be called on the carpet. The arrogance is unbelievable. Would anyone other than a Republican get away with that?

Where is the so called moral majority on this one - hoping no one notices? Am I the only one who respects history, and what this country is about, and what we came through in the American Revolutionary War, The Civil War, and The War of 1812 – just to hand the reigns over to someone who blatantly disrespects the Constitution, and the voters? This spoiled, draft dodging brat, and his cast off socially inept advisors (Rove and Chaney) soil the integrity of what it means to be the United States. They better get their acts together and start acting a helluva lot more respectful, and in an open, forthcoming, and honest fashion. At this point they don’t deserve to represent us - giving us the finger while running roughshod over our well founded national policies. Giving us the finger like that is in a nutshell exactly what they think about you and those that voted for them (dupes) and those of us sending them our hard earned tax dollars (chumps). They hold us in complete contempt people. Wake up they are ripping us off blind as Halliburton gets yet another contract despite the Pentagon publicly disclosing the overcharge on their previous contracts. Overcharges that had to be recallibrated to show our fighting boys got four meals a day instead of three to balance the bottom line. Pathetic!

The worm will turn it always does - soon those that put them in power will be sickened by their un-American actions, flagrant abuse of tax dollars - plundering of our national resources into their private accounts, and their back door dealings, and all cloaked in the name of Jesus. It disgusts me.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Music

Well we do talk about music quite a bit - and we listen to it - with the emphasis on listen - the interplay of the musicians, the harmony of the voices, and the lyrics. Music isn't a distraction - background noise - and certainly I don't care what the trends of the day are. The "coolest" music deemed by who - a bunch of corporate suits trying to increase their profit margin? Souless, money grubbing, bums jamming the airways with the same song rotation over and over again until we are all mindless idiots - must buy Britney, Justin. Eleven weeks of American Idol - now that's marketing!

No honest music is what sells here - and is what I love. Music for the sake of making music, and what the true musical experience can do to your soul - we have souls you know - hmm interesting - souls. Souls that are impacted by what we feed our bodies, our heads, and minds, and souls that impact each other projecting onto each other what we feed to ourselves. Turn the commercials, noise, lies, and pundits off, and be careful about what your senses take in through your eyes, and ears because it eventually comes out of your mouth. Love your brain don't feed it a bunch of b.s., the "art of noise" indeed.

So what's in the player these days? Well I stumbled into "Birdland" a wonderful old music store, and was surprised to see David Bromberg's "Midnight on the Water" reissued. I featured "Yankee's Revenge" quite a bit on my show and scooped that disc up.

So what did I buy that wasn't a reissue?

I'm in love with "Exploration" by Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion. Dynamic interplay of Byrds like, folk rock - with a nice edge. It will surprise you, and it is very thoughtfully played, and sung. If Sarah and Johnny are in your neighborhood go see them! They get a big "full heart" recomendation from me!