Sunday, September 30, 2007


I have removed the "autoplay" feature on my "Playlist Project".
Hit the play button or select the track you wish and click on the title.
It is also helpful to use the "launch stand alone player" feature if you
are going to be browsing old posts and links, this way the playlist won't
start over every time.
Learning as I go...

Thanks for stopping by.
The Management

Seeds of Privatization

So, when did we, as a nation, become so bent on the privatization of, well, everything ?

To my mind, evidence suggests that, privatization means the squeezing out of the loyal
American worker, patriot, citizen, middle class man, woman and child.

I haven't been very politically aware for long and, I am still no expert by any means but, when did WE as the people decide that we wanted to contract our war waging to profit motivated enterprise ? Do you recall considering this issue, do you recall anyone asking ? I must have missed it and I'm sure someone can cite exactly when we made this hard turn.

I think we are beginning to see the fruits of just what this means to our nation.

This certainly is not just a "war" issue either, it is affecting so many aspects of our
lives as we see so many "no bid" contracts let out to companies by people who have
a personal interest in seeing that these companies get the work.

The conflict of interest status in Washington is staggering.

I'm all for free enterprise and capitalism but, it seems to me that when an enterprise loses
it's heart and soul and forgets how and why it got where it is, that something needs to be examined. How can we claim "family values" and yet, support a structure that no longer has any loyalty to families ? It seems to me to be in the bizzaro world.

I recall a time in this nation when a person devoted a lifetime of work for a given enterprise and that given enterprise appreciated and rewarded that loyalty into retirement. Today, you are likely to be given the golden boot in the arse award with a 20/20 hindsight issuance of "sorry, you really should have diversified your portfolio".

The recent "incident" in Iraq, which has brought the private security firms to the forefront
of the headlines, should really get Americans thinking and asking some hard questions.

The president is asking congress for almost 200 Billion more dollars to fund the war efforts but, do you know that the Department of Defense budget does not include all of these "privatized" services ? It is being paid for through the State Department rather then the D.O.D. so, if you include those figures with the budget being presented....Oh, I'm getting a headache just thinking about it.

Iraq Contractors To Make Billions on the Front Lines

A guest on Washington Journal last week stated that the Iraqi Government wanted to make these private security firms "look bad" because they want to use their own private security forces. Huh ?

And we don't want that to happen why ?
I thought the goal here was to have the Iraqi Government "Stand Up" ?
So, if they hired their own security forces, would it not fall to them to pay that bill ?
It would certainly help their extremely high unemployment rate, no ?

So, why is this not a good idea ? Oh yeah, I forgot, there's too much profit to be made hand over fist to hand that opportunity to someone else.

I know I seem to be bouncing back and forth between two different issues but, to me, they all seem to be tied together.

I can't understand how so many Americans are duped by the flag waving and fear campaigns
when they are the very folks being effected by the new heartless and soulless brand of free enterprise. Just like in my earlier "Wally World" posting I can't help but believe that We are bringing this upon ourselves. We want everything as cheap as we can get it without regards to the effect it will have on our own ability to remain ahead of the curve in manufacturing, development and research. Maybe it is the economic situation we find ourselves in that drives us into this mindset. It's a catch 22. You can't demand Wally World prices and complain about jobs going overseas too. We have become economic cattle.

So, why don't we want our war as cheap as we can get it ? Those purse strings seem to be out of our control and I suspect we really have no idea what the cost really is.
We need to Wally World this war. Wake up America !

What we need to do as individuals however, and this is going to sound insane but, we need
to spend more and get less. That's right, tighten our belts, insist on quality products ( preferably made locally ) and purchase them from little shops owned by your neighbors.
I know that's a tall order and there will always be exceptions when this just isn't possible / practical.

This isn't a party line issue either, if you aren't a wealthy, comfortable American, this should be a major concern to you and it seems like no one, on either side of the aisle in D.C. is going to step up and denounce the pocket stuffing power of big industry.

Can this nation afford to hire another group of "contractors" for yet another war ?
We are in a delicate balance as it stands. The drums are pounding for a grand entrance
into Iran. Diplomacy, we have none.

Thanks for allowing me to ramble on so...
I'm sure I am preaching to the choir here quite a bit but,
I am sure there are a few who see things differently.

Your thoughts ?


Bizzaro World

"Earlier this year, congressional leaders promised to show that they could be responsible with the people's money," Bush said. "Unfortunately, they seem to have chosen the path of higher spending."

He said while...

Bush also signed a measure to increase the U.S. borrowing authority to $9.815 trillion, a White House statement said.
The new debt limit is an $850 billion increase from the previous level and the fifth hike since Bush took office in January 2001. U.S. debt stood at about $5.6 trillion at the start of Bush's presidency.

Happy Birthday Leslie !

Leslie !

Happy Birthday Moon Zappa

Open Thread
By: bluegal @ 8:30 PM - PDT

We don’t usually do celebrity birthdays here at Crooks and Liars, but since “Zappa” has its own category at this blog, it’s only fitting that we should wish a happy birthday to Frank Zappa’s daughter, Moon Unit, who turns 40 this weekend.

From December 4 through 22, The Aristocrats will host, and a great many blogs will participate in, a celebration of the late Frank Zappa, in the annual blog event known as Zappadan.

Filed Under: Zappa, Open Thread

Friday, September 28, 2007

New and future releases of note...

CHUCK PROPHETSoap and WaterMuch like his work with seminal L.A. band Green on Red, Chuck Prophet's first new album in three years, Soap and Water, defies categorization. Soap and Water moves deftly from Americana and rock to R&B, molding styles at will. A true renaissance rocker, Prophet is a writer, producer and musician who helped define Los Angeles' Paisley Underground scene and open the door for's rise to prominence in the 1990s. Prophet's dark undercurrents and mythic persona have coupled with his seat-of-the-pants creative philosophy to make him one of the most sought-after songwriters in music today."His most satisfying album yet. The range of styles is impressive, from the pale hip hop of 'Something Stupid' to the title track's murky Southern funk and the swamp-blues of 'A Woman's Voice.' But he does the f---ed-up ballad thing expertly too, even drafting a children's choir for 'Would You LoveMe.'" - Uncut, 4 stars out of 4.(Yep Roc)MORE INFO + SOUND CLIPS CD $14.99

SHARON JONES DAP-KINGS100 Days 100 Nights LP"Sharon Jones not only earns her title of the "Queen of Funk" on her spunky new record 100 Day 100 Nights, she also burns, yearns, howls and growls for it. This is the kind of album that you dream about owning on vinyl - that practically begs to come wafting down from open windows on hot city nights. With a tone that is consistently upbeat and defiant, even when she's the woman left behind, Sharon Jones, with great support from the Dap-Kings (a.k.a Amy Winehouse's backing band), brings her own brand of funky fire to each and every song." -- Amy Wagner, (Daptone)MORE INFO + SOUND CLIPS

RESPECT YOURSELF: THE STAX RECORDS STORY VariousFilmmakers Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville present a breath-taking film that chronicles the story of the greatest soul label from its birth in Memphis through all its upheavals. Samuel L. Jackson narrates. Included are rare performances; interviews with Isaac Hayes, Mavis Staples, Carla Thomas, Sam Moore, Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Eddie Floyd, Jesse Jackson, Al Bell, Wayne Jackson, and more; lost performances by Otis Redding, Booker T. & the MGs, Isaac Hayes, and more; 1972 WattStax concert outtakes; interviews with Stax fans Elvis Costello, Bono, Angie Stone, Chuck D, and more; first interview with Jim Stewart in 15 years; and never-before-seen home movies. (Stax)MORE INFO DVD $19.98

STAX-VOLT REVUE: LIVE IN NORWAY 1967 VariousThis DVD is the first-ever official release of this historic concert, restored from original master tapes, with 20 minutes of recently discovered performances lost in the vaults for 40 years. Performers include Booker T. & the MGs, The Mar-Keys, Arthur Conley, Eddie Floyd, Sam & Dave, and Otis Redding. (Stax)MORE INFO DVD $14.98

Bettye Lavette and Drive-By Truckers collaborate on this one-of-a-kind record filled with mini-dramas about life, love and survival. The Scene Of The Crime is a blistering mix of anguished soul & greasy rock & roll, laced with the swampy guitars, Spooner Oldhams slippery Wurlitzer piano and Bettyes razor sharp voice in the forefront. Produced by Dave Barbe, Patterson Hood & Bettye LaVette, the disc was recorded in Muscle Shoals, AL. (Anti) Sound Clips:MP3: Take Me Like I Am (Still Want To Be Your Baby)MP3: JealousyMP3: You Don`t Know Me At All

Description:After an extremely rare three year break from recording, Steve Earle is back, with Washington Square Serenade, an album of new music his first for New West Records. The longtime Nashville (via Texas) resident, Earle has called New York City home for the past year and this will be his first release produced in the city. Recorded at New Yorks legendary Electric Lady Studios, the introspective album, inspired by NYC is Earles first produced by John King of The Dust Brothers (Beck, The Rolling Stones, Beastie Boys). The deluxe CD/DVD version includes bonus artwork, plus an exclusive documentary about the inspiration behind `Washington Square Serenade, including a walking tour of Greenwich Village with Steve and noted journalist Mark Jacobson (New York Magazine). Sound Clips:MP3: Tennessee BluesMP3: City of Immigrants (With Forro In The Dark)MP3: Oxycontin Blues

The album features Lovett`s versatile Large Band on 12 tracks that cover a broad musical spectrum -- from country to blues, to folk, to jazz, to gospel...Produced by longtime collaborator Billy Williams and Lovett, "It`s Not Big It`s Large" combines Lovett`s distinctive vocal style with his critically acclaimed, insightful and introspective songwriting skill...The deluxe version of the CD includes a DVD with footage taken in the studio during the recording of six songs from the album: "Ain`t No More Cane," "All Downhill," "Don`t Cry A Tear," "Up In Indiana," "The Alley Song," and "South Texas Girl."" -- (Lost Higway) Sound Clips:MP3: I Will Rise Up/Ain`t No More CaneMP3: All Downhill

ROBERT PLANT & ALISON KRAUSS Raising Sand (DUE 10.23.07)The musical collaboration of the decade, Raising Sand is the sound of two iconic figures stepping out of their respective comfort zones and letting their instincts lead them across a brave new sonic landscape. Despite hailing from distinctly different backgrounds, Alison Krauss and Robert Plant share a maverick spirit and willingness to extend the boundaries of their respective genres. This spirit, expertly honed by producer T Bone Burnett, has resulted in an album pitched three steps beyond some cosmic collision of early urban blues, spacious West Texas country, and the untapped potential of the folk-rock revolution. Supported by the unparalleled musicianship of Marc Ribot, Dennis Crouch, Mike Seeger, Jay Bellerose, Norman Blake, Greg Leisz, Patrick Warren, and Riley Baugus, Plant and Krauss - as both solo and harmony vocalists - tackle an intriguing selection of songs from such tunesmiths as Tom Waits, Gene Clark, Sam Phillips, Townes Van Zandt, The Everly Brothers, and Mel Tillis. Raising Sand finds Robert Plant and Alison Krauss exploring popular music's elemental roots while still sounding effortlessly, breath-takingly Contemporary.(Rounder)MORE INFO + SOUND CLIPS CD $14.99

Tour Releases
Tool Box (2007)

Too name but a few...

Street Life

Saturday, September 22, 2007

On An Island...

Remember That Night

Live At The Royal Albert Hall

David Gilmour's third solo album, "On An Island" was released in March of 2006. I picked it up shortly thereafter but I haven't really given it the time it deserves to become familiar with the piece. Now we have a new live DVD offering which includes "On An Island" performed start to finish. It hasn't been all that long since Dave had released a live, solo DVD so I was a tiny bit hesitant about jumping on this one, but, after reading the details of the 2 disc special edition, I decided to take the plunge. I'm glad that I did.

This stage band is basically just one Nick Mason short of a Pink Floyd v.3 performance. Special guests include David Crosby and Graham Nash, David Bowie, Robert Wyatt, Phil Manzanera and Dick Parry is there to add the familiar sax tones that he has contributed to much Floyd material over the years. Dave Gilmour himself delivers a very impressive saxophone solo during the "On An Island" portion of the program.

The show begins with a visit to some "Dark Side Of The Moon" material, "Speak To Me", "Breath" ,"Time", back into "Breath". While D.S.O.T.M. is certainly a classic of monumental proportion, I have to admit that I wouldn't be too bothered if it were shelved as far live shows are concerned. If I want to hear it I prefer to grab the 5.1 surround SACD version off the shelf. Having Crosby & Nash helping out makes for a good rendering worthy of one more listen though. I suppose there would be public unrest if some Dark Side material wasn't presented.

This is followed by the entire "On An Island" piece which concludes Part One of Disc One. I find that I am able to better absorb the new material when I can see it performed live. ( or, recorded live, in this case ) The musicianship is stellar as one would expect from this crew. It's always good to hear Richard Wright singing with David. The trademark lighting and lasers are present but no Floydish inflatables appear here.

"On An Island" seems to represent a new direction for Mr. Gilmour. Musically it requires, at least to my ears, a little more effort to become comfortable and familiar but, listeners who make that effort will be rewarded. A cousin told me years ago that the music that has to grow on you will stay with you longer. I have found this theory to be proven true over the years. The lyrics on this release are primarily the work of Polly Samson, a.k.a David's "other half". The words project a positive, uplifting atmosphere which I think reflect the place in which the Gilmour's are finding themselves personally these days. Of course, I don't know the Gilmour's personally so this is conjecture on my part but after reading several articles regarding these matters, I feel safe in thinking it out loud.

" So break the bread and pour the wine, I need no blessings but I'm counting mine, Life is much more then money buys, when I see the faith in my children's eyes."

-From "This Heaven"

I have read that Dave is finding less importance in material goods and is simplifying his life by unloading a lot of his "stuff".

"Times are rough and I've got too much stuff..."

-Jimmy Buffett

Part Two of Disc One continues with a pretty standard, expected list of tunes, "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" ( with Crosby & Nash), "Fat Old Sun", "Coming Back To Life", "High Hopes", "Echoes", "Wish You Were Here" and then a surprise rendition of "Find The Cost of Freedom" with Crosby & Nash. David Bowie now joins in for "Arnold Layne" and "Comfortably Numb".

Disc Two delivers an additional 13 tracks including "Astonomy Domine", "Dark Globe", "Wearing The Inside Out" and "Wot's... Uh The Deal" bringing the total track count to 36 songs. Also included on disc two are three documentaries that include tour and studio footage, two music videos and "Island Jam 2007". So, this package is stuffed with goodies that make it difficult to resist.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

B. Kliban

I really miss the humor of Kliban, his work had the same slanted, warped sense

that my own humor ( or lack thereof ) does.

What are we doing here ?

Scanning the news this morning I find myself disgusted, disheartened and confused as to what story deserves space here on My Belew Marble, is it Lara Logan's excellent but sad report on our shameful "rebuilding" efforts in Afghanistan ?. the failure to restore Habeas Corpus ?, The Blackwater debacle ?, The failure to pass the Webb amendment ? Britney's latest cry for help ?

I have friends who I know believe as I do and yet have decided to retreat into the cone of silence in an effort to realize peace in a personal space, I can see the logic and benefits to such a move, I have lived there before.

Then you have the contingent who, have bought the nature of the marketing method adopted by our privatized leadership, hook, line and sinker. Government by the corporations, for the corporations.

I struggle to wear the world as a loose garment. I find it difficult to do in the face of what I see going on in the world. All I have is a voice, a small cry in the deep forest.

There was a time, not so long ago, that I knew little to nothing about politics but the great fear of 2001 shook my core and caused me to take a deeper look because something in my heart worried me about what our next moves were going to create.
I still do not claim to be the sharpest knife in the drawer by any means but I have enough wits to see many reasons for concern.

How do we turn off the soundbyte nation ? How do we mend a broken heart.
I turn to music to work through my anger, frustrations, blues, etc.
You will find the evidence in my playlist here if you have the time to let
it run.

I do something these days which I have never done in my life, I write my congressional
representatives, though, for the most part, it is a wasted effort here in my state.
People of faith have been hoo dooded into thinking that faith is behind the current
goings on and I am anxious for them to see the light, many are beginning too.
Who would Jesus bomb ?

The signs are falling into place that a similar run up to war with Iran is being pushed forward.

We are in such a precarious situation right now. The financial structure in this country could not handle a devastating blow and yet, it could so easily be shaken with all the continued dipping into the coffers of major countries such as China.

"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it" -Mark Twain

In the last couple of days congress shot down an opportunity to reinstate habeas corpus and yet found the time to vote yes to a resolution to condemn
Whatever your thoughts are about the big add Move On placed in the N.Y.T., they are a voice for the people when our own congress will not be.

I guess I am ranting and raving, sorry.

Turn off the spin machine. Put the talking hit machine out of business.
Thank goodness for Jon Stewart and Bill Maher who address the issues
of the day in a frank and investigative manner.
Keith Olbermann is probably the Edward R. Murrow of our day.

“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.”

“We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.”

“No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices.”

“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”

-Edward R. Murrow

Use your voice while it is still permissible.

I could go on and on but...
I should get to a lighter post, eh ?


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Way Cool Job Opening !!!

Hello All!

My name is Michelle Moog-Koussa. I am the Executive Director of the
Bob Moog Foundation. located in Asheville, NC. For those of you who
are not familiar with Dr. Moog's work, he was a synthesizer pioneer,
largely credited with inventing the first synthesizer and changing
the face of music forever. Dr. Moog lived and worked in Asheville for
the last 25 years of his life and passed away in August of 2005. We
created the Bob Moog Foundation soon after that and received our non-
profit status in March 2007.

In January of this year, we went through Dr. Moog's extensive
archives, which include 50 years of prototype instruments, photos,
schematics, articles, notes, correspondence, vintage recording
equipment, reel to reel tapes and other historic ephemera.
Unfortunately, Dr. Moog stored this unique, historic and fascinating
collection in a hot, humid buidling out in the country and everything
is covered with mold. Additionally, time has taken its toll on just
about every item. With the help of a core group of dedicated
volunteers, we have moved the most important materials into a climate
controlled storage space in Asheville. We have begun to seek help in
preserving this important collection.

We are presently in the midst of applying for a grant from the Grammy
Foundation to help us restore the reel to reel tapes and the vintage
recording equipment. The Grammy Foundation requires that we find a
qualified archivist to help us with this project. If you are an
interested archivist with knowledge of reel to reel tape
preservation, please contact me immediately.

The grant application is due on October 1st, so time is of the
Please respond at your earliest possible convenience.

Thanks so much for your attention to this matter.

Michelle Moog-Koussa

Executive Director
The Bob Moog Foundation
(c) 828.215.8414

Credit where credit is due...

I am sure this is a result of our 13 strong pledge drive, we have them on the run. ;-)

Health Plan Overhauled at Wal-Mart
(click for full story )

Starting Jan. 1, Wal-Mart’s insurance will look a lot like that offered by many other American companies, but with some twists that even longtime critics described as innovative. Independent experts praised several features of the plan and said it could represent a turning point for the retailer, the nation’s largest private employer.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

I've said I'm a humanist,
but music is proof
that there is a God.

- -Kurt Vonnegut

Chapter IV

...Scott laughed hard when Wanda
brought home the contaminated cheese

B. Kliban

Song of America ( Part II )

The "Song of America" set will officially be released tomorrow ( 9-18-07) , at which time,
I suspect the link for listening will no longer be active.
If you haven't checked it out, there is still a little time.
I have heard the whole thing twice and I am sold. I think this collection should
be in the running for a Grammy, that's just my opinion.
With current, updated versions of songs from our history, I actually found myself
reconnecting to these songs.

You can read more about the making of this collection and why it came to be
at Ed Pettersen's website.

Articles on Song of America in yesterday's Washington Post and today's cover of the Miami Herald:

Once the free Napster preview is over, I will remove the link
from this site. I am not affiliated with, nor do I have anything to gain by
singing the praises of this release, I just love to share good music.


Musical Widget

You have likely noticed that I have added a nifty juke box type application at the top of this page. You can hit the stop button if you choose or you can just let it play. You also can select tunes from the list by clicking on them.
I want to point out that one song, David Wilcox - That's What The Lonely Is For (alternate version) is actually NOT that at all, it is titled "Hymn For The Highway" and, as I recall, was written very shortly after 9/11 and was available on his official site only. I don't think it is there now but, check out the site anyway, please.

Thanks and enjoy the tunes !


Freedom's just another word...

...for nuthin' left to lose ?

I don't usually watch the big award shows but last night I sat through the Emmy Awards, mainly to see if Boston Legal would fare well as they had several nominations.
If you see my post titled "Stick It !" you will see why James Spader picked up a gold statue.

The telecast itself though, was filled with censored moments. I'm sure the most talked about incident was when Sally Field ( Yes, The Flying Nun ) picked up an Emmy for her role in Brothers & Sisters. The end of her acceptence speach included an homage to Mothers and specifically Mother's with children off to war.
Her finally sentence included some "language" that some will find offensive and an anti-war message bundled together. The Fox network saw fit to censor the last item.
Canadian television, however, let the program play out live, apparently speach is truly free north of the border.

You can watch the uncensored clip from Canadian television here.
(scroll down in the article to the video )

Technically, Field's censored words are not profane. A 2004 FCC ruling specifically stated no objection to the use of "god damn" on TV when making a judgment on the uproar over Bono swearing at the Golden Globes in 2003 where he used more colorful language. See the ruling — CLICK HERE

The James Spader speach ( as Alan Shore ) can be viewed here.
It's a little choppy as I think someone edited it down to a web friendly size, none
of the dialog is missing.
This is a fine example of what I like about Boston Legal. It gets quite silly at times but
usually, at some point, has something to say.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


For Leslie

That tingling sensation means it's working...

Keeping Them Honest: Michael Ware on Bush’s Definition of an “Ordinary Life” in Iraq
Posted: 14 Sep 2007 11:45 AM CDT

It’s hard not to admire the hell out of Michael Ware after this clip. After watching/listening to other media pundits dutifully regurgitate Bush’s insistence that the surge is working, Ware’s honesty is breathtaking.

Download (4089) Play (6011) Download (1424) Play (3402) (h/t Heather)

…if the President means by ordinary lives families essentially living locked up in their homes in almost perpetual darkness, without refrigeration or perhaps constantly struggling for ever more expensive gas to run generators, if he means waiting in their homes wondering if government death squads will drag them off and torture them and execute them, if he means living in sectarian cleansed neighborhoods where people who were your friends have had to flee, if he’s talking about living in communities that are protected by militias, then yeah, life’s returned to ordinary.

Transcript below the fold
BUSH: Today most of Baghdad’s neighborhoods are being patrolled by coalition and Iraqi forces who live among the people they protect. Many schools and markets are reopening. Citizens are coming forward with vital intelligence. Sectarian killings are down and ordinary life is beginning to return.
COOPER: What he didn’t mention is that there are four million Iraqis not in their homes…neighborhoods here in Baghdad have been ethnically cleansed.
WARE: Absolutely and if by the….if the President means by ordinary lives families essentially living locked up in their homes in almost perpetual darkness, without refrigeration or perhaps constantly struggling for ever more expensive gas to run generators, if he means waiting in their homes wondering if government death squads will drag them off and torture them and execute them, if he means living in sectarian cleansed neighborhoods where people who were your friends have had to flea, if he’s talking about living in communities that are protected by militias, then yeah, life’s returned to ordinary.
If we single-pointedly practice great compassion, then, with little effort, we will be able to gain all other virtues.
-Geshe Namgyal Wangchen, "Awakening the Mind"

Charity Begins on the Back Porch...

Chilly Sunday morning, 46 degrees as I settle into my second

cup o java.

Signs of the approaching autumn.

(or is it the new ice age on it's way)

I happen to like this time of year,

while others mourn the end of summer,

I welcome the cooler temps and the changing of the guard outdoors

as Jack In The Green makes his winter vacation plans.

I admit that I don't care for the shorter, darker days

of winter but, I do so love to watch the leaves change

and even a good winter blanket of snow.

It won't be long before the old fireplace will see some action.

With the heat wave that most of the country has experienced

, I'll bet there are a few more folks then usual who

welcome the change this year.

This blog went over the 300 visitors mark during

the night. In a weeks time, I think that is

pretty impressive. I'm sure it has plenty to

do with the Adrian Belew reviews, links from/to other

blogs, and my gentle spamming of friends seen and


On a serious note, I am sure that I am not the only

one whose' thoughts turn to helping others this time

of year, specifically, Bat Boy...

Bat Boy needs our help, after having such a bad

run in the press with sordid tales, mostly untrue,

Bat Boy is forced to live his days in solitude, shunned

by society, for his perceived penchant towards mischief.

According to Weekly World News, Bat Boy has a chaotic sense of morality. He has been known to steal cars as well as come to the aid of the needy. According to the mythos, the only person who cares about the chiropteran child is Dr. Ron Dillon, who discovered him in a West Virginia cave. At the time of capture, he was two feet tall and weighed nineteen pounds. By February 2001, he was 2' 6". In 2004, he was five feet tall and his weight was unknown.
He sheds his wings every three years, and regenerates a new pair.[2]
During the 1990s Bat Boy is rumored to have tried to escape society's gaze by enrolling in a small liberal arts college in upstate New York under the assumed name of Guy Fledermaus (German for bat). He purportedly graduated with an art degree from the college's "Music Program Zero".
On 27 February 2001, he allegedly attacked a fifth-grader in an Orlando, Florida park. The girl was nearly ripped to shreds.[3] The next day, he endorsed presidential candidate Al Gore.[4]
On 14 August 2003, he announced he was running in the California gubernatorial election.[5]
In October 2005, it was revealed that a boy was saving his money for plastic surgery such that he would then resemble Bat Boy.[6]
In October 2006, Bat Boy was captured on film riding on top of a New York City subway car. Bat Boy was said to be living in the Subway's tunnels during this time. This story was converted into a "documentary" video on the Weekly World News web site. [7]

Please keep a kind thought for Bat Boy and, if you can, leave a little something for him to eat on the back porch when you go to bed tonight.

New Rule...

And finally, New Rule:
If you were surprised that the Chinese don’t care about toy safety, then the child who needs protecting is you.
Over the last couple of months, American consumers have been learning a shocking lesson about supply and demand: if you demand products that don’t cost anything, people will make them out of poison, mud and shit.
Now, since April, approximately 17 million toys in the United States, all of them made in China, have been recalled. Which is amazing considering that no one in the Department of Justice can recall a thing. Okay.
Now, believe me, I was devastated when Mattel recalled almost everything in my Barbie Dream Closet.
Although I had suspected something when Ken discovered a lump on his testicle.

Until recently, I never even worried about being harmed by the Chinese. Unless they were in the left-hand turn lane.I kid. I love the…

But then we found out that their dog food was deadly and that they were making toothpaste out of antifreeze, and that the Number 62A at the Szechuan Palace is Beef with Bronchitis. They’re the Chinese. They don’t care if your precious little Britney sucks a little lead. Because in China, their kids aren’t playing with the toys. They’re the ones in the factory all day making them.

Now, I know you’re saying, “But, Bill, I don’t have time to ponder whether these $12 jeans are the product of child labor. I just know I’m an American on a budget and our lifestyle is a blessed one. And I want to look nice while I’m standing in line for my iPhone.”

But, there is something to be said for thinking about why these bargains are such bargains. Wal-Mart is the most American thing in the universe, but all it sells is crap from China. Wal-Mart wouldn’t exist without the American consumers’ endless thirst for the cheapest stuff China has to offer. Like $30 DVD players and Jackie Chan. Yeah, you’re right, it was a great movie.

Anyway…in America, there is nothing more sacred than a bargain…And Jackie Chan. And that even includes the war. Yeah, there’s too much lead in the kids’ toys, but not nearly enough on the Humvees in Iraq. “Let’s have a war and cut taxes; what could go wrong?” “Let’s give mortgages to the homeless. Sounds like a plan.” “Let’s buy toys from a Communist police state. You just know they’ll put in a little extra love.”

Speaking of which, you know why today’s modern Chinese capitalist puts lead in the paint that goes on toys? Because it makes colors brighter. You’ve got to love America, a country that’s literally being killed by the stuff that makes objects shiny.
Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. We’re glad to be back. Thank you, panel. And I want to thank my guests, Tim Robbins, Michel Martin, Stephen Hayes, Mike Huckabee and Damien Cave from Baghdad. Thank you, folks.

From Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO
Live on Friday night at 11:00p.m. eastern

More Photography Fun

Photography fun

Occasionally I will post a photo from my collection, just because.
All taken by your's truly unless otherwise noted.
(click for larger rendering)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tomorrow Morning

Sorry to load up with videos but hey, you can watch 'em or skip on down.
I just learned that John Cowan has recently had some health issues.
From his site:

September 12, 2007
John's Health
We wish to thank everyone for their calls, prayers, and wishes.
John had an episode of chest pain last thursday night which, upon careful evaluation, was found to be caused by a partial blockage in one coronary artery. Following a coronary artery stent insertion, he is expected to recover quickly and completely." John will be coming home from the hospital this friday morning. After a short hiatus the band will return to it's regular touring schedule as of September 28th & 29th (see schedule). Special thanks to all the fine promoters for their compassion and understanding! Many thanks again. John, Carol, Jeff, Tony, Shad, & all @ New Frontier Touring.

I wish John a speedy recovery and hope he is back on the road soon.

Life In A Nutshell...

The Devil You Know ( DVD Trailer )

One Week !!!

That's right, as of tomorrow, Sunday 9-16-07,
This blog will celebrate it's 7th day of
They said it couldn't be done !
( They being the voices inside my head.)

In this short period of time I have managed
to waste the time of 268 bored folks
from such diverse locations as The Czech Republic,
Alaska, British Columbia and even a visit from
The F.B.I. ( really guys, I'm a peace loving, good citizen.)

So, tomorrow we will break out the party gear,
balloons, ice cream, streamers, etc. and celebrate the
fact that I was able to come up with a few words
to take up bandwidth in the digital world
for a whole week, so far.
( Like I'm doing right now )

Of course, this will be a virtual celebration
in that, like this blog, it takes place only in my
mind, but you are welcome to join me.

In this short week I have swayed an army of
five (5) to pledge support for local independent shops
of all colours, shapes and widgets.
Take that you Big Box conglomerates !!!

Together we can change the value of the time that it
took for you to read this dribble when you
should be doing your chores.

Thanks to all who stopped by for whatever reason
and feel free to visit anytime.

Support Independent Musicians !

"Be who you are and say what you feel,
because those who mind don't matter,
and those who matter don't mind."

--Dr. Suess

block dog

East Asheville Hardware

East Asheville Hardware
from the album East Asheville Hardware

An angel appeared in a holy vision
Stood by my bedside in shivering light
Spoke my name
Told me my mission
I could not believe I was hearing him right
Because he said, "Go, my son, go...
Always go to East Asheville Hardware
Before you go to Lowe's"
He said, "Go to East Asheville Hardware
Before you go to Lowe's
You'll help to keep them open
I'm worried they might close
From the stiff competition
From the national conglomerate
With the full page ad in the color section of the Sunday paper supplement
and stacks of plastic swimming pools and seven brands of power tools
and rows and rows of registers all having nice days
But no, you go, he said to me with light around his face
He said, You go first to that age-old place
To that old wooden door that you have to close behind you
To the wide-board wooden floor worn down soft
To the real thing, Good advice, quality at a fair price
And know that they know how deep the frost goes here.
Sure there's stuff you'll have to find at Paty's, Lowe's or Sears
But go to East Asheville Hardware
Go to East Asheville Hardware
Before it disappears.

David Wilcox
?1995 Midnight Ocean Bonfire Music/Nine-Ten Music,a division of Soroka Music Ltd. (BMI)All Rights Reserved/International Copyright Secured

Sadly, East Asheville Hardware did close their doors.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Song of America

My friend Ed Pettersen has put heart and soul into this project, acting as producer and performer, Song of America is a collection of historically significant songs performed by a diverse list of talent. The set will be released on Tuesday ( 9-18-07) but you can preview the entire set by clicking the link below. ( the player is a "pop-up" so please disable any pop-up controls, usually holding the shift or control button will achive this.)

Song Of America

SONG OF AMERICAVarious Artists as diverse as John Mellencamp, Blind Boys of Alabama, Martha Wainwright, The Black Crowes and Andrew Bird contribute tracks to SONG OF AMERICA, a unique 50-song, three-CD set envisioned by former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and artist/producer Ed Pettersen, and co-produced by Pettersen, Bob Olhsson and Grammy-winning producer David Macias.
Track Listing Disc 1: Earl Bullhead - Lakota Dream Song/Julie Lee - Once More Our God Vouchsafe To Shine/The Blind Boys of Alabama - Let Us Break Bread Together/John Wesley Harding - God Save The King/Elizabeth Foster - Young Ladies In Town/Malcom Holcombe - The Old Woman Taught Wisdom/Ed Pettersen - The Liberty Song/Harper Simon - Yankee Doodle/The Wilders - Jefferson & Liberty/Steven Kowalczyk-Santoro - Hail Columbia/Take 6 - The Star Spangled Banner/Beth Nielsen Chapman - Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child /Freedy Johnston - Peg and Awl/BR549 - Sweet Betsy From Pike/Will & Jehnean - Trail of Tears/Minton Sparks/Pat Flynn - Declaration Of Sentiments/Fisk Jubilee Singers - Go Down Moses/The Mavericks featuring Thad Cockrell - Dixie's Land.
Track Listing Disc 2: Marah - John Brown's Body/Joanna Smith - Battle Hymn of the Republic/Janis Ian - Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye/Tim O'Brien - Thousands Are Sailing To Amerikay/Otis Gibbs - The Farmer Is The Man/Joni Harms - Home On The Range/Jake Shimabukuro - Stars & Stripes Forever/Judith Edelman & Neilson Hubbard - Sleep, My Child/Jen Chapin - Over There/Andrew Bird - How You Gonna Keep 'Em Down On The Farm/Karen Parks - Lift Every Voice and Sing/Danielson - Happy Days Are Here Again/Andy Bey - Brother Can Spare A Dime?/Jim Lauderdale - Seven Cent Cotton and Forty Cent Meat/Old Crow Medicine Show - Deportee /Suzy Bogguss - Rosie The Riveter/Folk Family Robinson - Reuben James.
Track Listing Disc 3: Elizabeth Cook and The Grascals - The Great Atomic Power/Devendra Banhart - Little Boxes/The Del McCoury Band - The Times They Are A Changin/Scott Kempner - Apache Tears/Kim Richey - Get Together/The Dynamites with Charles Walker - Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud /Ben Taylor - Ohio/Anthony David - What's Going On?/Martha Wainwright - I Am Woman/Matthew Ryan - Youngstown/Gary Heffern & Chris Eckman - Wave/Shortee - The Messag/Bettye LaVette - Streets of Philadelphia/The Wrights - Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning /John Mellencamp - This Land Is Your Land. (Thirty One Tigers)MORE INFO CD $24.98

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Speaking of My Home Town...

Arghhhh, I hate to start thinking about "the holidays" already but, they are coming rapidly once again. This brings to mind a situation that we have created for ourselves. We all want our goods for cheap, the cheaper the better, right ? Well, not necessarily so.

I remember the days when shopping downtown was the thing to do, then, I witnessed the death of downtown with the advent of the mall with all our favorite stores under one roof and a constant weather situation.

Now, it's the big box store that sells us crap from China and other regions unknown.

I still remember the smells and atmosphere of multi-story department stores such as H.P. King where you were waited on, hand and foot. Your Boy Scout supplies and uniforms were handled right there with it's own special counter.
I know things change...
Downtown is coming back to life but, primarily antique shops own the landscape now days.
The anti big box crowd has been around a while. I recently saw the film "Walmart-The High Cost of Low Prices." I just can't feel right about going back there after that. ( yes, I have shopped at the Wally World before. )
I never realized the cost to us as tax payers before. ( see first image above )
Do you know how much WE are paying to cover the medical insurance of
Wally World employees ?
So, I have decided to, not only NOT shop there, but to begin a campaign here at home to positively effect the bottom line for the small, independent retailer.
Holston Hardware has been around as long as I recall but, they are fighting for their life, as all
independents are. I intend to approach them and ask for their thoughts on ways to improve this situation. I am thinking of making a printed pledge for folks to sign locally. Bumper stickers, etc.
Of course, with my discipline issues, thinking along these lines may be the farthest I get without help. I think I will start a poll here on this blog to see how many people can / will make that leap. ( if they haven't already )
Wallmart-The High Cost of Low Prices is available cheap.
Robert Greenwald has made a series of highly recommended
documentaries that everyone should see.
He makes these films without thought of personal profit.
I own 8 of them so far and I wish I could get friends to gather
and watch them. ( not all at the same time, of course )
Can you travel back in time to a simpler, less materialistic and commercial holiday season?
Can I ?
What do YOU think ?

My Home Town

City of Bristol, TN population estimate of 2006

City of Bristol, VA population estimate of 2006

For a combined population of: 42,847

When people ask me this question of population, I never know the answer, therefor I throw out a wild guess. If you add the residents who live in the counties of Sullivan & Washington, our numbers grow to a point where the non visitors may think we are a much larger city /town.

Bristol is split right down the main street ( State Street ) by a state line which can make for interesting situations. Mostly, cooperation between the two cities prevails. For the record, I am on the Tennessee side of the proposition. My office is right at the state line which means I am in and out of Virginia constantly. This is not an exclusive situation here in the U.S. of A.
We have two city governments, two courthouses, two police forces, a TN High School and a VA High School. A true "Twin" city.

The thing that puts us on the map nationally is the fact that we have claim to the world's fastest half mile, Bristol Motor Speedway. This may be of little interest to many but to 200,000 NASCAR fans, it means a lot twice a year.

We are also ordained congressionally as "The Birthplace of Country Music" based on the recordings of Ralph S. Peer in 1927, who captured the audio styling of The Carter Family and Jimmy Rogers ( The Singing Brakeman ) right here in downtown Bristol.
These recordings became the first commercially distributed slabs of "mountain" music and became known as "Te Big Bang" of country music.

I am neither a NASCAR fan nor a country music fan. ( at least not the music of today being sold as "country".)
I do like some fringe elements known as Americana or roots music. ( Even some Newgrass )

This brings me to the next item that has the potential of putting Bristol on "the map". Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Festival. It is taking place this very weekend
for the sixth year in a row. September 14th through the 16th.
To the untrained or unadventurous eye, it may look like a "bluegrass" festival but,
it really covers a lot of ground in the Americana area, including some blues.
( see local favorite "Lightening Charlie" )
This festival hit the ground running and has grown by leaps and bounds in it's short six year time span. With multiple outdoor stages and musicians playing in every nook of downtown, there is truly something to feed your need for ear candy at every whipstich.
(Webb Wilder, Last of the Full Grown Men, performs at B.R.&R.)

Bristol is a community of very slow growth, I like it that way just fine.

So anyway, for those just passing by, this is a brief explanation of where I am on this big belew marble.


Hank William's Ghost - Darrell Scott

From: The Invisible Man

Discipline Global Mobile ( or DGM ) Update

Dear friends,
We bring exciting news of two amazing releases just added as pre-orders to the DGM shop. Read below for details on a critically praised new Crimson-inspired CD from Tony Levin. Also, we promised to add the Fripp & Eno release on September 1st, but due to a name and artwork change for this CD, we were just able to add Beyond Even today. Released to stores in the US, Europe and Japan in early November, you can pre-order your copy now. The first pressing of discs will contain two discs, one in which the music plays continuously. Once this stock is gone, the standard one disc version will be available. Beyond Even is a series of musical snapshots, ideas, tunes, pieces, covering a period of several years. Selected by Brian Eno, most are issued here for the first time on CD. Fripp & Eno - Beyond Even (1992 - 2006) Limited Edition
We are also thrilled to be working with Tony Levin on the release of his brand new CD, Stick Man, and we feel Tony is best equipped to describe to you his latest creation.
"Stick Man is a step in a new direction for me. Or perhaps in an old direction, because, from what listeners are telling me, it's come out quite Crimson-like. That could be because of the great participation by Pat Mastelotto on drums and percussion - also I was aiming at more raw, playing-oriented tracks. Backing off from the composition based writing I'd done recently, I've tried to feature not only both sides of the Stick, but some unusual bass techniques and sounds. There are a lot of tracks, (17) and it's mostly instrumental (especially if you consider my shouting not to be a song!) Oh, and we've decided it'd be nice to have me autograph the DGM pre-orders (and in fact I'm holed up in Cape Cod doing that right now -- nice to put the pen down and type a bit!) so if you pre-order, you'll have that, fairly legibly, on your CD! Hope to see you at a concert this coming year." - Tony
This cd, Tony Levin's 5th solo outing, is a breakthrough in numerous ways. It features the Chapman Stick (in addition to his basses) in ways it hasn't been heard before. With 17 tracks, 58 minutes of music, it's a prodigeous release - three tracks have Tony's vocals, the rest are unique sounding progressive instrumentals.
Most of the drumming on the CD is by King Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto, and Crimson fans will hear some tracks here that are reminiscent of the group. Tony Levin - Stick Man
As always, enjoy the music,The DGM Shop Team Discipline Global Mobile Not listed

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


It's beginning to sound a lot like "Side Four" is not as far off as it used to be.

Adrian Belew has been very busy, as always, releasing three solo albums
since 2005 with a fourth (Live) cd right around the corner. It will be the
first ever live release of Adrian Belew material under his own name. Side One and Side Two
were both released in 2005 while Side Three was turned loose in 2006. The Bears "Eureka" was also unleashed during this busy, productive period.
( Don't know The Bears ?, you should )

If you are not familiar with Mr. Belew's music, I highly recommend you check into his solo material, as well as The Bears. You have ,no doubt ,heard him performing on records by other well known artists but, rather then get into the long list ,as is covered in every other article relating to Adrian Belew, I will simply direct you to his website for your own research.

( click on the title of this thread ) or try this:

Adrian has a history of making solo records with himself as band but, he decided he wanted to try something different and put together a "Power Trio". For the sake of the studio output he borrowed the talents of Les Claypool(Primus) and Danny Carey (Tool) who contributed to a few tunes on Side One and Side Two. ( or was it Side Three ? )

At any rate, a road version was required so The Power Trio I was born consisting of Mike Hodges and Mike Gallaher along with Mike Adrian. A tour followed, the three were thunderous and mighty. I was fortunate enough to see them twice. The tour ended and for reasons unknown to this author, The Trio disbanded. I am "guessing" this because Adrian had a full plate and the Mike's had other obligations.

Trio II:
Adrian hooked up with The Slicktones
( this is my name for them and I apologize to anyone who would prefer I not use this moniker. )
Julie Slick, 21 and Eric Slick 20, siblings and graduates of The Paul Greene Rock School.

Another tour. ( see my post below ) They are currently in Mexico rocking the guacamole out of the inhabitants.
With road time under the belts of all, this trio has become a cohesive, monster unit.
Much more information can obtained at Adrian's site and my link to "In Her Own Write" in the right hand column of this blog.

If I am not mistaken, Side Four was recorded twice, once with each trio.
In my fantasy world, and that's all it is, Side Four would be a double disc which would include the finished product from both of the Power Trios. It could even be called the "Double Trio" which is a phrase borrowed from Mr. Fripp with a King Crimson reference. I am sure, for legal reasons and finacial reasons, this could not happen.

Anyway, get out there and collect the Belew catalog, solo and otherwise.
Lately I have been listening to Adrian's contributions to " Remain In Light" - Talking Heads
( in glorious surround sound ) and Graceland (remastered) by Paul Simon.

Anxious for "Side Four",

Concerts? In the Living Room ?

Pardon my blatant use of bandwidth to promote a little known musician in my last post.

That's what I do, not for a living but as an avocation or hobby. I have been a seeker and collector of musical ear candy for most of my life. It is said that my collection of albums and cds can be seen from outterspace. ( Okay, no one *really* says that but it sounds good. ) My musical journey has taken me from the commercial hit making machine to the obscure, lesser known talent which I tend to prefer these days.

I much prefer to visit an intimate setting where the entertainment is much more personal and yet the talent is as good as you would ever see in a high dollar, big arena performance. Sure, you get less pyrotechnics but, the amazing abilities of the artist are right before your eyes. This may not be important to some but it amazes me.

I could go on and on about my musical journey and, I probably will, eventually.

I'm doing better though, I attended some step meetings called On & On Anon.

I had to give it up because the meetings were way too long. It's a 42 Step program.


House concerts, that is the point I am getting too. To see an artist of some note in an intimate, personal home setting is a delightful experience. Now, to folks in my circle, this is nothing new to report but, in the event of a stray audient passing by, I share what I know.

My first such experience was in July of 2001. I belong to several discussion type groups on the Internet that revolve around music in some shape or form.

One such group is designed to keep up with the career and "goings on" of a contemporary "folk" artist named David Wilcox.

(not to be confused with the Canadian artist of the same name, though, I am sure he is a fine musician. )

It was discussed, as these type lists often do, to have a gathering for to meet face to face with all the residents of the "list", who we had come to know if only in the virtual world.
A friend and member of the group stepped up to the plate and set about to arrange a gathering
of the list members which was to revolve around a "concert" right there in her home.

Eventually, it worked out that the concert portion was to be a performance by the list namesake, David Wilcox himself. he was performing very nearby and the schedule just came together.
( most of us attended that show as well but that is another story for another time. )

You hear all kinds of warnings regarding meeting people that you have met "on-line" but I have found that musical compatriots are a safe bet, and anyway, this was a large group.
I have learned that it is a safe bet to "meet up" with folks when music is your focus.

I waffled at making the sojourn to a destination 11 hours away but ,at the last minute, decided to go for it and I am so glad that I did.
People began making plans to arrive in Chicago, list members came from all over the country and even Berlin and the Netherlands.

I could wax poetic for pages on the result of this event but that was not the point of this post.

It was a wonderful, wonderful experience and cemented my fondness for what is known as a "House Concert".
David played for nearly four hours in a room that miraculously housed about 45 guests. He did his homework and learned about this merry band, including group members in his songs and performance. Group members were called upon to join him and sing.

The house concert concept has grown and spread throughout the United States. Artists on tour ,with open dates between gigs, see the house concert circuit as an opportunity to make some clear pocket change and connect with their fans on a more personal level.
( make some new fans too. )

To see a sampling of just how many house concerts are riding this wonderful wave, visit

I have only, so far, visited one other House Concert venue.

This is where I first saw Jeff Black as mentioned in the last post. It was a wonderful experience and an opportunity to make new musical friends. I didn't have to travel quite as far for this show and I need to return to Pine Ridge more often.

I have since returned to "On The Map" for two more shows, both were artists I was not familiar with but I came away impressed on both occasions. Real music is out there and real people are making it.
The great thing about House Concerts is that, in my limited experience, the hosts are not in this for to make money, in fact, all proceeds go to the artist. ( or a charity, see below )
The whole purpose is to meet new musical compatriots and to appreciate the artist.

If you're in the Chi-Town area:

( act fast ! )

(seating is very limited )

Reading is the cornerstone for a solid education and a basic human right

~ Currently, the United States ranks 49th in literacy rates among all United Nations countries.
~ Across the United States, one in five Americans are considered functionally illiterate.
~ An illiterate adult earns 42% less than a high school graduate.

You are invited to a House concert/Fundraiser to benefit
Rock For Reading on Friday, October 12th
576 Sheridan Road, Highland Park, IL
RSVP 847 867 3303
Concert @ 7:30 PM ~ Doors @ 7:00 PM

Suggested donation is $20 and one new children’s book
“100% of the proceeds will benefit Rock For Reading”

Please come and help us help Rock For Reading raise awareness and fight illiteracy.
Music provided by Justin Roth (
Local favorite Ian Iyengar will open the show.

Sweet treats and healthy snacks will be provided along with coffee, tea and soft drinks.

We hope you can come and support one of our favorite, local charities.
Namaste, Bryn Benson & Ian Iyengar

Rock For Reading is an all volunteer 501C3 organization. Their mission is to fight the rising trend of illiteracy.
Their goal is to provide communities with the tools and incentives needed to experience the joy of reading.

If you have made it this far, click on the title of this thread which links to a very nice article in the Chicago Sun about my favorite place to see an intimate show, "On The Map".

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

That's Just About Right...

Buy everything you can by this fine artist.

Jeff can really craft a great song.

Blockdog approved !!!

Amber Glass


It is September, 11th 2007 and a day of reflection and remembrance for our nation and the world. I grieve for those directly affected as well as for the long term results of that tragic event on our nation's future. We, of all schools of thought, need to concentrate on taking our country back and rebuilding the vision that has sustained our growth and reputation in the global community.
There will be plenty said by pundints throughout the blogosphere and on TV screens everywhere supporting all schools of thought so I do not plan to mount my soapbox and rattle forth with my own view of events as I see them. I will, however, include some excerpts and tidbits of valuable insight that should give away my inner leanings for those who do not already know my views.

Starting with an excerpt from a book called "Blowback" by Chalmers Johnson which I will transcribe the old fashioned way. ( and if you know my typing skills, or lack thereof, you will consider it amazing. )

Chalmers Johnson - Blowback (Introduction)
Copywrite 2000 w/ Intro copywrite 2004
Published by Owl Books, Henry Holt & Co.
bold(ed) passages by Me

The suicidal assassins of September 11, 2001, did not "attack America," as political leaders and news media in the United States have tried to maintain; they attacked American foreign policy.
Employing the strategy of the weak, they killed innocent bystanders, whose innocence is, of course, no different from that of the civilians killed by American bombs in Iraq, Serbia, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. It was probably the most striking instance in the history of international relations of the use of political terrorism to influence events.

Political terrorism is usually defined by it's strategic objectives. Its first goal is normally to turn those domestic or international conditions terrorists perceive to be unjust into into unstable revolutionary situations. To a wavering population, terrorist acts are intended to demonstrate that the monopoly of force exercised by encumbent authorities can be broken. The essential idea is to disorient that population "by demonstrating through apparently indiscriminate violence that the exisiting regime cannot protect the people nominally under it's authority.
The effect on the individual is supposedly not only anxiety, but withdrawl from the relationships making up the established order of society."

Of course, such a strategy rarely works as intended: it usually has the opposite effect of encouraging people to support any strong reassertion of authority. That was indeed what happened within the United States following the attacks of September 11th, but not necessarily throughout the Islamic world, where the terrorists' objective of displaying America's vulnerabilities and destabilizing the world of the advanced capitalist nations was all too effective.

A second strategic objective of revolutionary terrorism is to provoke ruling elites into a disastrous overreaction, thereby creating widespread resentment against them.
This is a classic startegy, and when it works, the impact can be devastating. As explained by Carlos Marighella, the Brazilian guerrilla leader whose writings influenced political terrorists in the 1960s and 1970s, is a government can be provoked into a purely military response to terrorism, it's overreaction will alienate the masses, causing them to "revolt against the army and the police and blame them for this state of things."
The second Palestinian Intifada of 2000-03 illustrates the dynamic: terrorist attacks elicited powerful and disproportionate Israeli military reactions that led to an escalating cycle of more attacks and more retaliation, completely militarizing relations between the two peoples.

In our globalizing world, the masses alienated by such overreactions may be anything but domestic. The bombing of Afghanistan that the United States launched on October 7, 2001, inflicted gret misery on many innocent civilians, a pattern repeated in Iraq, where the death toll of civilians as of August 2003 stood at well over 3,000 , a figure that informed observers think may go as high as 10,000 as more evidence is collected.
(transciber's note: We know that this number is much, much higher now. )
Altogether, instead of acting to resolve the post 9/11 crisis, the United States exacerbated it with massive military assaults on Afghanistan an Iraq, two ill-advised and unnecessary wars that inflamed passions throughout the Islamic world and repelled huge majorities in every democratic country on earth.


The above section has been summed up and dumbed down by our presiding authority into a soundbite that explains, in depth, what really caused the events of 9/11 and everything that occurred since: "They hate us for our freedom !"

I will now include a couple of video insertions in the unlikely event that anyone reading has not seen them already.

and finally, the great fake news journalist, Jon Stewart's take on same:

If you have made it this far, I thank you. I do not have proper permissions to reproduce any of the above borrowed elements for this post so, until such a time when my readership grows beyond the dozen, or someone reports my usage of same, please support the original contributors of materials above. ( except Cheney, of course. )