Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Tide Is Turning...

Happy Halloween !!!

Happy Halloween !


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Trying To Be Less Polite...

I went to see Tommy Womack and Will Kimbrough last night at my favorite little listening room, The Down Home in Johnson City, TN.
A great show by two very talented players and songwriters. It was obvious they were doing what they love and and having fun doing it.

Will's "Americanitis" from last year is full of catchy tunes with relevant lyrics and releases some angst and frustration over the current climate in our violent trend toward world domination. It was followed this year with "EP" which is an 8 song disc with a minimal approach as far as addtional instrumentation is concerned.

For those unfamiliar with Will's work, here's a brief bio from
This bio isn't current as it does not cover Will's work with Jimmy Buffett in the last few years.If your a Buffett fan, you have probably heard Jimmy cover Will's "Piece of Work", which is a marvelous song that deserves to be heard by the masses.

by Rev. Keith A. Gordon
Best-known as a name in the CD liner notes of some of the hippest country and rock artists of the '90s and 2000s, both Will Kimbrough's solo and his band work have been championed by critics on both sides of the ocean. Kimbrough first came to the attention of the industry as frontman for Will & the Bushmen, a popular college rock band formed in the unlikely locale of Mobile, AL. The Bushmen pounded out a reputation on the Southeastern frat-party circuit, releasing the self-produced Gawk in 1985. The band was signed to SBK Records on the strength of their popular live show, releasing the self-titled Will & the Bushmen album in 1989. The band moved to Nashville to record their third album, Blunderbuss, released in 1991. The album yielded a minor hit, but the band broke up in the aftermath of SBK's bankruptcy.Kimbrough formed the Bis-Quits with friends Tommy Womack (Government Cheese) and Mike Grimes (Bare Jr.), the band releasing a self-titled collection of whip-smart roots rock in 1993 for John Prine's indie Oh Boy Records. On the strength of his vastly underrated guitar skills, Kimbrough embarked on a career as an in-demand session player and touring musician, working with artists like Kim Richey, Todd Snider, Rodney Crowell, Steve Forbert, and Amy Rigby. Kimbrough recorded his first solo album in 2000, a collection of shimmering pop-flavored rock titled This, released on his own Waxy Silver Records. Later that year, Kimbrough reissued the Bushmen's Gawk on CD for the first time. In between the demands of session and road work, Kimbrough found time to record his second album, Home Away, released on Waxy Silver in 2002. Since that time, Kimbrough has kept busy releasing a handful of albums including among others Americanitis in 2006 and EP in 2007. A gifted songwriter and talented musician influenced by giants like John Lennon and Alex Chilton, Kimbrough would be a most valuable player on anyone's team.

Tommy's bio at AllMusic is criminally short and needs a good updating.

A onetime member of the post-punk unit Government Cheese, singer/songwriter Tommy Womack later resurfaced in the roots-rock band the Bis-quits, finally going solo in 1998 with the LP Positively Na-Na. Stubborn followed two years later. As an author, he also won acclaim for his memoir Cheese Chronicles: The True Story of a Rock & Roll Band You've Never Heard Of.

Tommy Womack has also done extensive recording and touring with Todd Snider.
Will and Tommy did a, so far, one off recording as a unit known as "Daddy" and the only
release is "Daddy, Live At The Woman's Club".

So, let me give you a taste of what the Will / Tommy experience is like, courtesy of YouTube.

"Trying To Be Less Polite"

A Nice Day With Tommy Womack

Will Kimbrough - "Piece of Work"

Jimmy Buffett's version with footage from "Lost"

Tommy Womack - Cockroach After The Bomb

Will - "Act Like Nothing's Wrong"

Tommy - "I Miss Ronald Reagan"

Will - "Everybody's In Love"

Tommy " Alpha Male & The Canine Mystery Blood"

Will "Life"

The quality of these recordings vary, hopefully it's enough to get you interested.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Showdown With Iran

As the United States and Iran are locked in a battle for power and influence across the Middle East -- with the fear of an Iranian nuclear weapon looming in the background -- FRONTLINE gains unprecedented access to Iranian hard-liners shaping government policy, including parliament leader Hamid Reza Hajibabaei, National Security Council member Mohammad Jafari and state newspaper editor Hossein Shariatmadari.

In this report, FRONTLINE examines how U.S. efforts to install democracy in Iraq have served to strengthen Iran's position as an emerging power in the Middle East.
"You will not find a single instance in which a country has inflicted harm on us and we have left it without a response. So if the United States makes such a mistake, they should know that we will definitely respond. And we don't make idle threats," Mohammad Jafari tells FRONTLINE in his first-ever television interview.

There are increasing signs that the Bush administration is considering military action before it leaves office if Tehran continues to defy U.N. demands that it cease enriching uranium for its nuclear program -- a program the Iranians insist is for peaceful purposes. "The president has said repeatedly that it is unacceptable for Iran to have nuclear weapons," former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton tells FRONTLINE. "If action is not taken in terms of regime change or, if need be, the use of military force, the question of when Iran achieves nuclear weapons is entirely in Iran's own hands. And that is extraordinarily undesirable."

But Richard Armitage, President Bush's former deputy secretary of state, warns, "It would be the worst of worlds for an outgoing administration to start a conflict."

After 9/11, the Bush administration hoped to drive a wedge between Iran's people and their Islamic rulers by installing democracies on two of Iran's borders. "If things had gone better in Iraq," says Hillary Mann, the Iran expert at the National Security Council during the run-up to the war, "then yeah, I think Iran was next."

"I think Iran is more secure now, courtesy of the United States," Bolton says. "We have removed the Taliban regime from Afghanistan, which they viewed as a mortal threat. We have removed Saddam Hussein in Iraq, which they viewed as a mortal threat."

Before invading Iraq, the Bush administration rebuffed a series of overtures from Iran's reformist government -- among them offers to help the U.S. stabilize Iraq after the invasion.

After the invasion a strange fax arrived in Washington. It was a secret proposal for a grand bargain resolving all outstanding issues between the U.S. and Iran, including Iran's support for terrorism and its nuclear program. But opinions differed on how serious the offer was. The State Department thought the reformists were politically weak and promising more than they could deliver. And the White House, newly victorious in Iraq, saw no need to negotiate with Iran. The "grand bargain" fax never received a reply.

Vali Nasr, author of The Shia Revival, believes the Bush administration's confrontational approach discredited Iran's reformists and inadvertently helped bring the new hard-line government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power. "The wars of 2001 and 2003 have fundamentally changed the Middle East to Iran's advantage," he says. "The dam that was containing Iran has been broken."

Watch the PBS program here.

Bush Asks Congress For $46 Billion More In War Funding

Appropriations Chairman Obey on President’s Iraq Request
October 22nd, 2007 by Jesse Lee

Chairman David Obey of the Appropriations Committee issued the following statement on the nearly $200 billion war funding request the President sent the Congress today:

“It’s amazing to me that the President expects to be taken seriously when he says we cannot afford $20 billion in investments in education, health, law enforcement and science, which will make this country stronger over the long term, but he doesn’t blink an eye at asking to borrow $200 billion for a policy in Iraq that leaves us six months from now exactly where we were six months ago.

“Only this White House would call this progress.

“The President needs to rethink his position on both fronts.”
For the last 5 days the Committee has been sending out press releases looking at the difference between the President and the Congress on appropriations bills. See the releases:

· Healthcare Access: $1.4 billion = 4 Days in Iraq (pdf)
· Education: $5.9 billion = 18 Days in Iraq (pdf)
· Transportation Infrastructure: $2.4 billion = 1 Week in Iraq (pdf)
· Medical Research: $1 billion = 3 Days in Iraq (pdf)
· Law Enforcement: $1.8 billion = 5 Days in Iraq (pdf)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Adrian Belew Autos on Ebay

From Adrian Belew's Elephant Blog:

for those of you interested in my car fixation I have recently listed two of my cars to be sold on eBay motors. they will be there for another 6 days. the first one (above top) is a custom-bodied CRX si, a quick agile little "pocket rocket" which I adore. I've had it since it was new in 1991 and still called a Honda CRX si. now it called a "Vitesse" by the customizers, a shop in Toronto. it took 3 months of labor to convert. such a fabulous car to drive, if you don't mind being constantly asked questions from twentysomething guys.the second car (above bottom) is anything but quick but it's a beautiful all-original "land yacht". a 1963 Chrysler Imperial Crown, a huge car with a square steering wheel and push-button transmission! what could be cooler! we have always called it "the imperial hammerhead" for its odd looking face. when I was a teenager I thought these were the ugliest things on the road. now I drive one! for anyone interested in seeing more about the cars go to eBay motors. the Vitesse is #170159897999. The Imperial is # 170160281888.
(Credit to original photographer for CRX si photo with Adrian Belew & Robert Fripp.)
(I can't remember who took that picture )

Frontline - Cheney's Law

For three decades Vice President Dick Cheney conducted a secretive, behind-closed-doors campaign to give the president virtually unlimited wartime power. Finally, in the aftermath of 9/11, the Justice Department and the White House made a number of controversial legal decisions. Orchestrated by Cheney and his lawyer David Addington, the department interpreted executive power in an expansive and extraordinary way, granting President George W. Bush the power to detain, interrogate, torture, wiretap and spy -- without congressional approval or judicial review.

Now, as the White House appears ready to ignore subpoenas in the investigations over wiretapping and U.S. attorney firings, FRONTLINE examines the battle over the power of the presidency and Cheney's way of looking at the Constitution.
"The vice president believes that Congress has very few powers to actually constrain the president and the executive branch," former Justice Department attorney Marty Lederman tells FRONTLINE. "He believes the president should have the final word -- indeed the only word -- on all matters within the executive branch."
After Sept. 11, Cheney and Addington were determined to implement their vision -- in secret. The vice president and his counsel found an ally in John Yoo, a lawyer at the Justice Department's extraordinarily powerful Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). In concert with Addington, Yoo wrote memoranda authorizing the president to act with unparalleled authority.
"Through interviews with key administration figures, Cheney's Law documents the bruising bureaucratic battles between a group of conservative Justice Department lawyers and the Office of the Vice President over the legal foundation for the most closely guarded programs in the war on terror," says FRONTLINE producer Michael Kirk. This is Kirk's 10th documentary about the Bush administration's policies since 9/11.
In his most extensive television interview since leaving the Justice Department, former Assistant Attorney General Jack L. Goldsmith describes his initial days at the OLC in the fall of 2003 as he learned about the government's most secret and controversial covert operations. Goldsmith was shocked by the administration's secret assertion of unlimited power.
"There were extravagant and unnecessary claims of presidential power that were wildly overbroad to the tasks at hand," Goldsmith says. "I had a whole flurry of emotions. My first one was disbelief that programs of this importance could be supported by legal opinions that were this flawed. My second was the realization that I would have a very, very hard time standing by these opinions if pressed. My third was the sinking feeling, what was I going to do if I was pressed about reaffirming these opinions?"
As Goldsmith began to question his colleagues' claims that the administration could ignore domestic laws and international treaties, he began to clash with Cheney's office. According to Goldsmith, Addington warned him, "If you rule that way, the blood of the 100,000 people who die in the next attack will be on your hands."

Goldsmith's battles with Cheney culminated in a now-famous hospital-room confrontation at Attorney General John Ashcroft's bedside. Goldsmith watched as White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and Chief of Staff Andy Card pleaded with Ashcroft to overrule the department's finding that a domestic surveillance program was illegal. Ashcroft rebuffed the White House, and as many as 30 department lawyers threatened to resign. The president relented.
But Goldsmith's victory was temporary, and Cheney's Law continues the story after the hospital-room standoff. At the Justice Department, White House Counsel Gonzales was named attorney general and tasked with reasserting White House control. On Capitol Hill, Cheney lobbied Congress for broad authorizations for the eavesdropping program and for approval of the administration's system for trying suspected terrorists by military tribunals.
As the White House and Congress continue to face off over executive privilege, the terrorist surveillance program, and the firing of U.S. attorneys, FRONTLINE tells the story of what's formed the views of the man behind what some view as the most ambitious project to reshape the power of the president in American history.

Watch the Program Here

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

BeleWings ( A Personal Note )

If you are lucky you probably have an item or two in your
possession that has been in existence in your world since you
arrived into it. Pictured above is one such treasure from my
family history that I cherish. I wish I had more detailed information for to
share this tale but it is a bit sketchy. I have been trying to research the story
with no positive result as of yet. I am going to have to visit some libraries with deep
newspaper archives and scour the microfilm.

My father had a deep interest in flight, he was a member
of a glider club in Johnson City, TN.

Eventually, he decided to go to Nashville and take the test to qualify for flight
school. Apparently, the highest test score was awarded flight training
with full tuition covered.

My mother decided to make the trip just so she could be there
with my father but, on a whim, she decided she might as well
take the test also since she was there.

Well, I can tell you're guessing ahead of me and you are
correct, it was my mother who had the highest test score.

I'm guessing this all transpired in 1936-37, for it was in
1938 that my mother brought home this lovely trophy

which reads:


WINNER 1938 Tri-City Flying Competition

presented by

Major Walter.M.Williams. Director

Tennessee Bureau of Aeronautics

As I understand it, the contest included a test for
bombing accuracy, which involved the dropping of
sacks of flour on designated targets.
I'm not sure what else was required of the contestants
but, I hope to learn more in my research.
I think that was the entire scope of my Mom's flying career.

My father went on to join the air corp in the army
in 1944. His three brothers all served as well and, the
family back home displayed a four star banner which, seems
to now be missing.
My father, as he entered his 80s, discovered that his
pilot's license was still valid and soon partnered up
with a friend who had a small twin engine plane
This led into an exciting, though brief, chapter
in my father's affair with the sky.
But... that's another story, for another time.

Close examination of the trophy reveals that half of the prop
is missing. I seem to recall, somewhere in the deep recess
of my memory, that I may have had something to do with this
at a very young age.
Anyway, I was thinking of my Mother and Father
and thought I would share this sketchy history, perhaps
I can update it later as I uncover further detail.
If you have parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles
who are still around, take this opportunity to learn their
stories. Find out those details that go with your treasures.
You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Adrian Belew - Side Four

Still no news on a release date for the new "Side Four", Adrian Belew Power Trio Live.

In the mean time, while we anxiously wait, here for your pleasure, are some previous releases from the world's greatest stunt guitarist.
Please go out and purchase these if you enjoy them.

coming attractions

Inner Revolution

salad days

Please disable any "Pop Up" killers before clicking the links to listen, usually accomplished by holding the shift or control key while clicking the link. Hold until player appears.

Song of America (Update)

Song of America is still available for streaming at Free Napster.
I have updated my original post to include the link.
( See September 14th post "Song of America" )
Link to player is a "pop up" application, please disable any pop up stopper, usually accomplished by holding the shift or control key.

Enjoy the free preview but please, run out and purchase a copy, you'll be glad you did.

The rising tide is only lifting the yachts

The rising tide is only lifting the yachts
By: Steve Benen on Saturday, October 13th, 2007 at 5:30 PM - PDT

The very week that the Republican presidential field insisted that the economy is great, we need more tax cuts for the rich, and that Americans who feel left behind really have nothing to complain about, we see yet another report about the stunning gap in income inequality.

The richest Americans’ share of national income has hit a postwar record, surpassing the highs reached in the 1990s bull market, and underlining the divergence of economic fortunes blamed for fueling anxiety among American workers.

The IRS data go back only to 1986, but academic research suggests the rich last had this high a share of total income in the 1920s.

Asked about the growing gap between rich and poor, the president said, “Our society has had income inequality for a long time.” How insightful.

Note: The comments section on this article at Crooks and Liars contains language that may be considered offensive to some. The views in said comments section are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of this blogger.

Buying The War

I know it's a lot to ask, for over an hour of your time, to watch a documentary but this is "Must See TV". ( someone probably has a copyright on "Must See TV". )
In America we tend to prefer an easier watch such as "American Idol" or "Friends" but, take a chance, this film is informative and riveting. More importantly, it is full of information that America needs to know.

I also highly recommend "Buying The War" from Bill Moyer's Journal which can be seen

I have become a fan of the documentary format, in part, thanks to "Doc Day" on The Sundance Channel.

Iraq For Sale

Saturday, October 13, 2007

NSA Started Domestic Phone Record Program 7 Months Before 9/11 ???

Startling statements from former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio's defense documents alleging the National Security Agency began building a massive call records database seven months before 9/11 aren't the only accusations that the controversial program predated the attacks of 9/11.

All of the cases pending against the nation's telecoms for allegedly violating the nation's surveillance and privacy laws could be mooted if Congress gives immunity to the companies, as the Administration and the telcos powerful lobbyists are arguing for.

Read the entire article HERE

Friday, October 12, 2007

Dolly Varden

A Band that deserves more recognition...

This is a House Concert video of Dolly Varden performing "The Wheels Have Left The Road"
form their latest " The Panic Bell". I discovered this band with the "Forgiven Now" album after reading much great buzz about same. I picked up the vinyl edition and fell in love after one spin. I burned the LP to CD for the car until my official copy arrived.
I have since backtracked and purchased each release, including a duo disc by Steve and Diane ,
which I also highly recommend.
You can read more about them and hear some more music at their Myspace Page or visit the Official Site. This is a lovely song but doesn't represent the diverse directions and influences found in their catalog. Look into it, they are block dog approved.

Don't miss the video on their MySpace Page, you'll have to scroll down to find it. Fun !

Who has theater style seating in their house for concerts anyway ? How cool is that ?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Free Burma

On October 4th this blog will go silent as part of this world wide statement in support of the monks and people of Myanmar. (Burma)

The header of my post below links to one article while clicking on the picture links to another.

Free Burma!
International Bloggers' Day for Burma on the 4th of October
International bloggers are preparing an action to support the peaceful revolution in Burma.
We want to set a sign for freedom and show our sympathy for these people who are fighting their cruel regime without weapons.
These Bloggers are planning to refrain from posting to their blogs on October 4 and just put up one Banner then, underlined with the words "Free Burma!“.

Google Links

The World Is Watching

Or needs to be !
Please keep the monks of Myanmar in your thoughts.