Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Day Without A Musician

While I'm recycling things I've previously written, now seems as good a time as any to post this, as we're seeing the power and influence that music has in the world...

"Why don't you get a real job?"

If you are a musician, you have heard these words a million times. They are spoken sometimes in anger, sometimes in pity, sometimes in frustration. Why anyone with a brain in their head would choose to fritter their life away honestly puzzles many people.

Read the rest here:

Saturday, April 29, 2006

If You Want To Know

what the atmosphere of the choir session with Neil Young was like, listen to the end of "Let's Impeach The President". Hear the cheers and applause? Multiply by ten.

Welcome DivaJood to the Blogosphere

My good friend DivaJood has recently become a blogger and is new to all this. But, to quote her last comment,
"Where I live, most of the people I know are either supporters of Bush, or so apathetic they don't care. I've felt silenced, isolated, and defeated at times. And now, through music and blogging, I feel hope.
Go figure."

To me, that's what blogging at its best is all about. That's what it did for me.

If you have a moment, please stop by at Journeys With Jood and say 'hi' to Jood - she's a great gal.

Friday, April 28, 2006

In Honor of Rover - Night Before Fitzmas, Again

'Twas the Night before Fitzmas, and through Hootervill-age,
A hope was held out for an end to the pillage.
An end to the theft of American dollars,
An end to the demonization of scholars.

The people of Hooterville wished and they prayed
For justice and peace to be no more DeLayed.
They longed for the day that their country would be
No longer a captive of venality.

For many a year now, the Hooterville people
Have cried, "What's the matter with all of you sheeple?
How can you just sit there and let this go on?"
But, sadly, their outrage was met by a yawn.

And those who were stealing from those who have least,
Rampaging like some kind of greed-maddened beast,
Were holding us up, shouting, "This is a heist!
So put up your hands in the name of our Christ!"

Then, what to our wondering eyes should appear
But a man speaking words that we so longed to hear:
"It's time for the Piper at last to be paid"
And Hooterville happily hip-hip-hoorayed.

Indictments all round for the scum who would claim
That they'd never known Wilson or Valerie Plame
And all along, vengeance had been the sole reason
To 'out' our own agent, and so commit treason.

For war must be waged, and their coffers be filled -
Who cares about mothers whose sons have been killed?
Who cares for the dying, the crying, the hurtin' -
Just look at those profits for ol' Halliburton!

It's time for the hammer of justice to fall;
Time we put a stop to it once and for all.
A stop to corruption, and cronies, and lies.
Let's stop before one more American dies.

And what do I want 'neath my own Fitzmas tree?
A Scooter, a Rover, maybe a Cheney!

This Just In - Rush To Judgment!

Our favorite drug-addled gasbag, Rush Limbaugh is almost as photogenic as Tommi, but his smile looks a little tentative - not bold and devil-may-care like our Sugar Land Sugar Daddy.

Rush skeeves out of it, though, with the same attorney who defended William Kennedy Smith.

Got Neil's Link On Randi Rhodes Site

Just called the Randi Rhodes Show - she was talking about Neil Young's album, but didn't seem to be aware that you can hear it now. Called the show, and they put it on their front page!

Neil Young's "Living With War" Here Today!

Click album cover to hear the full record of Neil Young's "Living With War"

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Welcome, Tony Snow!

A marriage made in heaven. "Fair and balanced®™©" Fox News 'reporter' is the new White House Press Secretary. His journalistic credentials are impressive, including the venerable Washington Times.

Sean Hannity must be somewhere, crying hot tears of frustration.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Scientifically Righteous!

Earl Bockenfeld has the truth at last. It's Christian! It's science! Mysteries explained here. Leave that heretical monkey stuff behind, and get with the Good Book - the New Christian Science Textbook, that is!

Where's the Patriotism, Corporations?

As the oil prices go through the stratosphere, perhaps we would do well to hearken back to yesteryear - those golden days of the "Greatest Generation". World War II.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't we ask a good deal, not of just our citizens, but our corporations?

In fact, business itself was supportive of price controls during wartime. War profiteering was simply not to be done - to be even thought of was dangerous and unpatriotic for business in those times, endangering their relationships with their customers. We are constantly told that normal liberties need to be curtailed during wartime. How about the liberty to take financial advantage of death and destruction? That is not only morally grotesque, but how far removed is that from encouraging continued death and destruction for continued larger-than-normal profits?

War profiteering was thought of as treasonous during World War II. Now, it's applauded as the triumph of the free market and the American Way.

Monday, April 24, 2006

I'm From The South So I Can Say This...

The thirty things you'll never hear a redneck say ...

30. Oh I just couldn't, she's only sixteen.

29. I'll take Shakespeare for 1000, Alex.

28. Duct tape won't fix that.

27. Come to think of it, I'll have a Heineken.

26. We don't keep firearms in this house.

25. You can't feed that to the dog.

24. No kids in the back of the pickup, it's just not safe.

23. Wrestling is fake.

22. We're vegetarians.

21. Do you think my gut is too big?

20. I'll have grapefruit and grapes instead of biscuits and gravy.

19. Honey, we don't need another dog.

18. Who gives a crap who won the Civil War?

17. Give me the small bag of pork rinds.

16. Too many deer heads detract from the decor.

15. I just couldn't find a thing at Wal-Mart today.

14. Trim the fat off that steak.

13. Cappuccino tastes better than espresso.

12. The tires on that truck are too big.

11. I've got it all on the C: DRIVE.

10. Unsweetened tea tastes better.

9. My fiancé, Bobbie Jo, is registered at Tiffany's.

8. I've got two cases of Zima for the Super Bowl

7. Checkmate.

6. She's too young to be wearing a bikini.

5. Hey, here's an episode of "Hee Haw" that we haven't seen.

4. I don't have a favorite college team.

3. You Guys.

2. Those shorts ought to be a little longer, Betty Mae.


1. Nope, no more for me. I'm driving!

(this from my buddy Danny McBride)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

New Mark Bryan Dick Pic!

Mark Bryan has a new painting. Harsh? Goodness gracious, yes. Not as harsh as the reality.

Check out his work at Art of Mark Bryan.

Tagged By Yoga - Chilling Out With A Meme

Yoga Korunta suggests that I lighten up for a minute and do his meme - 6 random facts about myself.


1. I have played a piano that Beethoven has played in Japan.

2. I have been a fire eater in the circus.

3. I was too ADD to go to college.

4. I don't have a middle name.

5. I played alto sax in the very first Tampa Bay Buccaneers marching band.

6. I almost ran over Count Basie in a Denny's parking lot.

Happy, Yoga?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

To My Blog Friends - Asking For Blog Help Promoting "Living With War"

Hi Friends -

By now, you've heard plenty about the new Neil Young record. I'm trying to do what I can to get this out to a wide audience, and I've been in touch with folks from Reprise, who played the record last night for a group of people interested in getting this message out. What Neil wants to do is go through the Internet and the blogosphere. So if the idea of a record like this appeals to you and you'd like to be a part of it, you can.

Neil has a new blog,, as well as his official website, (Neil's Garage). The exciting news is that he's going to make the songs available for streaming (free!) on April 28th. Excerpts from my review are now on the LivingWith War blog.

What you can do, if you're interested, is - post about it; link to it; blogwhore it; send it on to friends in high places. Talk to people you know who don't blog; send them emails. Let me know where you're posting and I'll link to you here as well. If you'd care to recommend my diaries on Kos (I'm QueenIdella there) or My Left Wing (just plain old 'Alicia') that would help too.


Update - the review is posted front page on My Left Wing - thanks, eugene!

Is The Wave Of The Future An Old Hand From The Past? Neil Young Shows How It's Done - My Review of "Living With War"

Music today is at a crossroads.

With the digitization of music, the paradigm has changed completely. The old business model of selling a hard copy of music one piece at a time is no longer viable, and the struggle to find a suitable replacement has rocked the music business to its foundations. Do you hang on grimly to the old way, suing anyone who downloads your product and keep trying to shore up the crumbling structure? Do you jump on the digital bandwagon and embrace the downloading process, thereby creating a new relationship with the modern music consumer, but not seeing an immediate financial reward by doing so? Do you attempt a mixture of the two? How is the artist to be compensated in this new world? Or the writer, the producer? How do you manage royalties? And what about distribution if the method of distributing music has changed? Who is entitled to a piece of the music pie, anyway, and what percentage? If your role in the music production and distribution process has become obsolete, what do you do about it? And what is the purpose of commercial music in today's corporate-controlled climate?

These may not seem like questions to be addressed by an album review, but they lead into what Neil Young, a 40-year veteran of the music business, is doing with his new album "Living With War".

Neil Young is an artist who has always gone his own way. He filters his life journey through his music, and he constantly challenges the prevailing paradigm, whether it be political, cultural, or personal. For this he is both revered and reviled. His life and his art are one and the same in a way that very few artists can claim.

With his newest record, "Living With War", Neil Young shows the kids how it's done.

This album was recorded so quickly that even his record company was unaware of its existence. Young calls it 'metal folk protest', which is as good a way as any to describe it. Consisting of a 'power trio' (Young on Old Black, Rick Rosas on bass and Chad Cromwell on drums), Tommy Brea on trumpet, and a hundred-piece choir, the music is carefully constructed to serve the message. The 10-song record is meant to be heard from beginning to end in sequence. The driving, distorted guitar, bass and drums lay down a solid bed from which to launch the rocket-propelled vocals. The trumpet solos accentuate the military aspect of the songs. This is martial music, make no mistake - a war against war.

The choir was put together by the legendary Rosemary Butler, arguably the most famous backup singer in music history (and a formidable lead singer and producer in her own right), having sung with the likes of Jackson Browne, James Taylor, and Bonnie Raitt, to name only a few. In a day she managed to round up 100 of LA's most respected session singers and assemble them the next morning at Capitol Records. I was fortunate enough to be included in that august company, and as we milled around the studio, greeting old friends and getting coffeed up in preparation for what looked like a long day ahead (we were booked from 10 in the morning till 10 at night), we had no idea what was in store for us. But as we sorted ourselves into sections ("Where are the altos? Are you going to sing soprano? Do we have enough baritones?"), the words to the first song, "After the Garden", flashed up on the video projection screen ("Don't need no shadow man - running the government - don't need no stinking war") and it instantly became more than just another session. We gasped as we realized that this was a protest record, and not just an ordinary one (if there is such a thing), but one that had the potential to galvanize the nation and give voice to those who have not been listened to in the 21st century.

The choice of a hundred voices for this record, like the use of a trumpet, had a symbolic purpose. According to the LA Times, Young said he enlisted that many back-up singers because he liked the metaphorical weight of having "100 voices from 100 lands." He could have easily hired 10 singers and had them double themselves ten times, but that was not what this record is about. To that same purpose, it was recorded on analog tape, not ProTools, so that we had to wait for the tape to rewind after each take, something that most of us had not done for a long time. Our mission? To sing along with Neil's pre-recorded vocal as closely as we could. There were no 'overdubs', no 'fixing it in the mix' - we had to do it until it was right.

But, as I listened to it last night at Reprise Records in preparation for this review, it was worth it. The effect was so emotionally compelling - Neil's distinctive, plain-spoken voice, echoed by a multitude, was like a beacon from a lighthouse in a storm. There is nothing ambiguous or generalized or euphemistic about this record. It names names. It points fingers. Most of the people in the room listening with me had not heard the record before, and I watched their faces as the impact of the lyrics sunk in. No one was unmoved.

When we began the session, Neil was in the control booth with his hat pulled down over his eyes, but as the enthusiasm of the choir became apparent, he came out into the big room with us - smiling, walking around, occasionally directing us himself, singing along. On top of a giant boom mike, he had draped a military jacket and camo hat. The choir was like a Maserati - powerful and responsive, giving whatever is asked for instantly. The hardest part was holding back, especially the gospel contingent, but in the end, we did what we came to do - serve the message.

Neil Young was hoping that the younger generation of musicians was going to pick up the torch of the 60's protest tradition. Thirty-six years ago he recorded 'Ohio' about the Kent State killings, and he wrote 'Southern Man' in response to racism. He has never hesitated to address the causes he feels strongly about, but after 35 years, he and many other people of the Woodstock generation figured that today's musicians in their 20s would be the ones to stand up and speak truth to power. Many of them have, individually, but as a movement it hasn't happened. And throughout his career, the records he has made and the positions he has taken stubbornly refuse to be categorized. He wrote 'Ohio', but he also wrote 'Let's Roll' after the 9/11 attacks to commemorate Flight 93, caught up, as was the rest of the country, in the fervor to avenge those innocent lives, and deal with those who perpetrated the attacks. This categorized him in many people's minds as a right-wing Republican, especially since he endorsed Ronald Reagan during the 80s.

But Neil Young merely calls it like he sees it, and is not beholden to any party or ideology. He has seen the country hijacked by criminals and is not afraid to come out and say it. In this, he is echoing what the people he meets say to him all over the country. He addresses our concerns - the fear of what will happen if we descend into total war; the love and loss of our children, both the ones we send to war and the ones who stay behind; the rampant corporatism and the mindless commercialism which lets it pillage unchecked; the longing for a real leader; the need for the unheard voices to be heard; the deep love for our country, for our freedom, and the sadness which comes from the harm being done to it in the name of military/industrial domination. One could call it "The Neos And The Damage Done".

So, here he is.

This record is both a throwback and the future. Young is going to make the songs available to listen to for free. Reuters reports that "starting April 28, fans can log onto Young's Web site,, and listen to the 10-track collection in its entirety, free of charge, said Bill Bentley, a spokesman for Warner Music Group's Reprise Records." And Neil Young has both feet planted firmly in the future, bypassing the slower (and more expensive) traditional forms of promotion and going directly to the Internet to reach his audience. The message he has is so urgent that there is not a moment to waste, and the immediacy of the Internet is the perfect conduit. He has also started a blog,, to keep his fans up to date in real time. This is the direction that music should be going in, I think - where the artist and the fan can be closer to one another, and actually co-create, in a way, for this record came about as a response to the conversations that Young has had with all kinds of Americans.

Music is in the middle of some serious growing pains right now, but as you will see with "Living With War", growing pains mean strength and maturity. We have a chance to come out of this stronger, better and more true, and Neil Young, music icon from the 60's, is leading the way.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Scotty, No-o-o-oooo!

It is with great sadness and despair that I must announce the resignation of my favorite spokes-puppet and master tap-dancer, the lovely and talented Scott McClellan. He, like so many others, needs to 'spend more time with his family'. He will be sorely missed, and never forgotten. Scotty, no one can take your place in my heart...

A Review of "Living With War" By DownWithTyranny

Well, now that it has been confirmed by Neil Young himself that there is indeed a Neil Young anti-war record on the horizon, Howie Klein of DownWithTyranny and the Huffington Post (as well as an occasional denizen of Hooterville), who is the former president of Reprise records and who knows of what he speaks, has posted an excellent review of "Living With War" on both his blog and the Huffington Post. Anyone interested in a comprehensive heads' up on this record should check him out right away.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Interviewed For The London Independent

This morning I was interviewed by phone in reference to an article in The Independent of London by Andrew Buncombe. It should be out tomorrow. I have no idea how much, if anything, I said will be used in the article, but it should be interesting.

Update - I stand corrected - it's out now.

This Week In Review - What I Learned From Neil Young

I have to say that I never expected my post about my Neil Young session to cause the flap that it did. or reach such a wide audience. The idea that I would ever be quoted in NewsMax is astonishing to me.

I started this blog mostly as an outlet for my frustration with the current Administration and a chance to learn to express myself in writing, not as a challenge to those who don't think as I do. Along the way I have made many friends from all over the world. I don't spend a lot of time trying to promote it, because that was not particularly my goal. I enjoy having a blog of the size that I can get to know each poster that stops by.

That changed, if only temporarily, when I wrote about my recording session with Neil Young. Make no mistake; I do not know him other that having spent one day on his beautiful record, and having one very brief conversation with him, along with 99 other singers. But, through his music, he has expressed his viewpoint throughout his life, and pissed off both the right and left at times. No one can 'claim him for their own' politically. I have a deep respect for that. For good or bad, he says his say. In fact, during the session there was a question of pitch on a particular note he sang, which the choir was being asked to sing in unison with. When asked what note he sang, he said, "I don't remember; but, whatever it was, I stand by it!" Everyone laughed, but there was a point there that I would do well to pay attention to.

I am not a confrontational or argumentative person by nature. I've seen the blogs that have 'flame wars' going on, and people insulting each other back and forth, but that was not my intent for this blog. My view is, if you don't like my point of view, pass on by. That's what I do. The reason for that is that it doesn't change anyone's mind.

I draw a distinction between the people I am furious at (this Administration) and the people who visit this blog. My writing and graphics on the subjects I feel strongly about can be pretty harsh, and some people are offended by it. My response to opinions I don't care for is to ignore them. And I've asked for courtesy in person-to-person discourse here. But Opus, who told me to 'thicken my skin or close my comments', has a point.

The reality is, that if I have a point of view that I believe in, I need to be able to withstand the 'slings and arrows', so to speak. What kind of activist do I expect to be if I can't deal with legitimate challenges, or accept the fact that by speaking out I will be a target for haters?

If I want to stand for something, I need to stand by something.

And I want to stand for peace.

So, thank you, Neil Young.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Used Wars- Part 2

Wrong Turn?

Perhaps some of you more recent posters may have taken a wrong turn and ended up here. Perhaps you have not noticed that this is not a blog where we attack and insult the individuals who read and write here. I understand that many of you are not regular readers of Last Left Turn Before Hooterville. You may be here due to the mention of Neil Young, who some of you were happy to accuse me of 'betraying' or lying about (while lying to Capitol Records yourself) without the least knowledge of what you were talking about. Or maybe you were trolling for people with opposite views to trash.

However you ended up here, I think you may be in the wrong place. You are more than welcome to disagree with me. You are not welcome to insult me. There are some blogs where this is par for the course and a way to increase readership, but this is not one of them. You may want to think about taking your rapier wit and incisive analysis elsewhere if you cannot find your way to common courtesy. I have had right-wing readers here occasionally who have been able to express their views and disagreements in a way which encourages me to have a real dialogue, and I appreciate them.

This is an opinion blog. I don't go to other people's blogs and attack them personally if I don't agree with them. I have better things to do with my time. All I ask for here at my blog home is common decency. Would you enjoy a stranger coming into your home and strewing trash and filth all over your living room? I always appreciate my new visitors, and my views may not be your cup of tea, but insulting me or my readers is not the way to get me to change my views. In the future, you may want to take a detour around Hooterville.

And, if you've stumbled upon us for another reason and would like to visit - welcome to you!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Illegal Immigration. You Know You Want It.

You want it. You know you want it. You want it bad.

You know what I'm talking about.

That's right. I'm talking about illegal immigration.

Not even immigration in general, but illegal immigration.

Agribusiness in particular, construction, meatpacking, landscaping, restaurant work, sweatshops - all these businesses rely on illegal immigration to stay fat and happy. Why illegals? Why not hire citizens?

It's no secret that the minimum wage is not a living wage. You can work full-time - forty hours a week - and not make enough money to survive. Survive - not prosper; survive. Unless by 'survive' you mean living 12 to a room in a dirty, crime-ridden, dangerous neighborhood. Or some kind of 'company' shack. So when illegals work, they are not "taking work away from Americans". ("Hey, Pedro - I could have had that shack!")

What it is, essentially, is indentured servitude not much above slavery. One difference, of course, is that a slave-owner is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of his property. The employer of illegals has no such obligation or expense. Just picture it - all the benefits of slavery, and none of the responsibilities! These employers offer no medical, no pension, no benefits of any kind. And, these are jobs much more grueling and physically demanding than jobs that do pay benefits. Then, of course, you can complain loudly when illegals use public services.

But how about Social Security? Most illegals are required to show some kind of ID, always forged, to get a job. This is so that the employer can 'get off the hook' (wink, wink). And when you show a Social Security card, Social Security is withheld from your paycheck.

According to an article in the New York Times in April of 2005 by Eduardo Porter,

It is impossible to know exactly how many illegal immigrant workers pay taxes. But according to specialists, most of them do. Since 1986, when the Immigration Reform and Control Act set penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, most such workers have been forced to buy fake ID's to get a job.

Currently available for about $150 on street corners in just about any immigrant neighborhood in California, a typical fake ID package includes a green card and a Social Security card. It provides cover for employers, who, if asked, can plausibly assert that they believe all their workers are legal. It also means that workers must be paid by the book - with payroll tax deductions.

IRCA, as the immigration act is known, did little to deter employers from hiring illegal immigrants or to discourage them from working. But for Social Security's finances, it was a great piece of legislation.

Starting in the late 1980's, the Social Security Administration received a flood of W-2 earnings reports with incorrect - sometimes simply fictitious - Social Security numbers. It stashed them in what it calls the "earnings suspense file" in the hope that someday it would figure out whom they belonged to.

The file has been mushrooming ever since: $189 billion worth of wages ended up recorded in the suspense file over the 1990's, two and a half times the amount of the 1980's.

In the current decade, the file is growing, on average, by more than $50 billion a year, generating $6 billion to $7 billion in Social Security tax revenue and about $1.5 billion in Medicare taxes.

In 2002 alone, the last year with figures released by the Social Security Administration, nine million W-2's with incorrect Social Security numbers landed in the suspense file, accounting for $56 billion in earnings, or about 1.5 percent of total reported wages.

Social Security officials do not know what fraction of the suspense file corresponds to the earnings of illegal immigrants. But they suspect that the portion is significant.
"Our assumption is that about three-quarters of other-than-legal immigrants pay payroll taxes," said Stephen C. Goss, Social Security's chief actuary, using the agency's term for illegal immigration.

Other researchers say illegal immigrants are the main contributors to the suspense file. "Illegal immigrants account for the vast majority of the suspense file," said Nick Theodore, the director of the Center for Urban Economic Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "Especially its growth over the 1990's, as more and more undocumented immigrants entered the work force."

Using data from the Census Bureau's current population survey, Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, an advocacy group in Washington that favors more limits on immigration, estimated that 3.8 million households headed by illegal immigrants generated $6.4 billion in Social Security taxes in 2002.
But the people whose paychecks this money is deducted from will never see it. No security for them. And with the Resident with his panties in a bunch about Social Security going broke, imagine how more broke it would be without the tax money brought in by illegals?

If you are illegal, there are no protections for you. No workplace standards have to be enforced. You have to be silent about any mistreatment or injury, or you're in danger of being turned in. So why bother with expensive, restrictive safety standards when you have a 'captive audience'?

So what do we do?

How about a Living Wage plan? In the short run, prices of certain items would go up. But I think it would be worth it.

How about really cracking down on the employers who hire illegals, starting with the CEOs? No more wink-wink, slap-on-the-wrist stuff.

How about rethinking NAFTA and CAFTA and BAFTA and HAFTA? Let's find a way to boost the economy south of the border as well as north. An interesting article in the Washington Post estimates that, with a $20 billion-a-year investment in Mexico's infrastructure and economy, within 10 years Mexicans would be well-off enough to...stay home! And it would be an investment, not a giveaway. The rewards would come to us in the form of less illegals and a better trade partner and useful ally. Compare that with the near-half-trillion we're spending on the present war in Iraq., and it's a bargain. Instead of 'racing to the bottom' in terms of wages, we could really have a 'rising tide that lifts all boats'.

Let's get some kind of decent health care for all. I know that the idea of 'universal health care' sends conservatives into paroxysms, but I think it really is the only way to go. I don't think that businesses should have to be in the job of providing it. Years ago, when people worked at one job for an entire career, it made more sense, but now with people changing jobs so often, it's not fair to either the employer or the employee. Free up the businesses - take that burden off of them. With this patchwork of managed care, HMOs, PPOs and the like, all the things they worry about with universal health care are already here. No doctor choice? We don't have that now! Waste? Bureaucracy? Fully one-third of employees in the medical field are paper-pushers, trying to manage the mish-mash of thousands of conflicting insurance plans. In fact, the only people who have really great government health insurance are the people who want to make sure the rest of us don't get it!

But don't let the rhetoric and chest-thumping fool you. "Beer Guts Across America" notwithstanding, if actually confronted with losing those valuable serfs - I mean illegals - the people who profit from them will fight you tooth and nail. The last thing they want to do is have to hire citizens, with rights and all that expensive, inconvenient stuff.

You just watch if you think I'm kidding.

Dear World:

Dear World:

We just want to let you know - America is NOT George Bush and his posse of outlaws! America does not hate you. We don't want to kill your sons and daughters. We don't want to kill our sons and daughters either. We are terrified that The Gang That Can't Shoot Straight is going to start World War III.

Maybe we haven't been perfect, but we want to get along with our neighbors. We don't believe in pre-emptive war, or shoving 'democracy' down anyone else's throat at the point of a gun. This crazy son-of-a-bitch does not represent the way the most of us feel. We are horrified. It feels as if we're passengers in a car driven by a drunken 9-year-old the wrong way down a one-way street.

We're afraid that this thug is going to destroy any chance for relationships with countries that were either our friends or at least countries that we could get along with. Every single day it gets crazier and crazier, and we can't seem to find a way to stop him yet.

But we're trying.

Most Americans - real Americans - see themselves as citizens of the world, not only our own country, and do not believe that total military domination is the only way to keep Americans safe. Believe it or not, the Christian religion is supposed to be one of peace and love for one's neighbors, or at least that's what Jesus said. I know that's not what Pat Robertson says, but he represents Christians the way George Bush represents Americans.

We don't want this war or any other war. We hope we can find a way to stop this madman and the greedy, lawless criminals that prop him up before he starts something that no one can stop.

So, dear World, please know that we're trying hard to avert more disaster, and that what you're seeing from Bush and Co is not the American way. We don't want to lose the soul of America and what it stands for.


the USA

Monday, April 10, 2006

No Time Like The Present!

Finally, something about which Bush and I agree! All that exercise ought to be good for something...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Folk Wisdom

Just Switch The Final Consonant

Here we go again. According to Seymour Hersh, the Kowboy Koward of Krawford is getting' ready to saddle up and ride into Iran with six-guns a-blazin'. Yee haw.

Why? See if any of this sounds remotely familiar...

According to this article (emphasis mine),
There is a growing conviction among members of the United States military, and in the international community, that President Bush’s ultimate goal in the nuclear confrontation with Iran is regime change. Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has challenged the reality of the Holocaust and said that Israel must be “wiped off the map.” Bush and others in the White House view him as a potential Adolf Hitler, a former senior intelligence official said.
It also states that

“This is much more than a nuclear issue,” one high-ranking diplomat told me in Vienna. “That’s just a rallying point, and there is still time to fix it. But the Administration believes it cannot be fixed unless they control the hearts and minds of Iran. The real issue is who is going to control the Middle East and its oil in the next ten years.”

In recent weeks, the President has quietly initiated a series of talks on plans for Iran with a few key senators and members of Congress, including at least one Democrat. A senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, who did not take part in the meetings but has discussed their content with his colleagues, told me that there had been “no formal briefings,” because “they’re reluctant to brief the minority. They’re doing the Senate, somewhat selectively.”

The House member said that no one in the meetings “is really objecting” to the talk of war. “The people they’re briefing are the same ones who led the charge on Iraq. At most, questions are raised: How are you going to hit all the sites at once? How are you going to get deep enough?” (Iran is building facilities underground.) “There’s no pressure from Congress” not to take military action, the House member added. “The only political pressure is from the guys who want to do it.” Speaking of President Bush, the House member said, “The most worrisome thing is that this guy has a messianic vision.”
My husband says, "Don't worry - thay can't possibly do that."

I myself do not have that confidence. This ain't our first rodeo, cowpokes. The evidence is to the contrary. They already have, and they're champing at the bit to do it again.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Tommi Is Persecuted For Righteousness' Sake - Sister Nancy Beth Eczema Understands

The Martyrdom of Tommi continues...check out Sister Nancy Beth Eczema's touching tribute.
(thanks to Blue Gal for finding that!)

I Am The Luckiest Girl In The World!

Yesterday, I had the most incredible musical experience of my life.

Have you, like me, been recalling the great protest songs of the sixties, and wondered where the new protest songs are?

Yesterday, I found out.

On Wednesday, I was at work when I got a call for a Neil Young session the next day. Needless to say, I was excited about it - Neil Young is one of my musical heroes. When my husband and I got to Capitol, we found 98 other singers, a collection of L.A.'s finest. All I knew was that we were singing on a new Neil Young record, but when the lyrics we were supposed to sing flashed on the giant screen, a roar went up from the choir. I'm not going to give the whole thing away, but the first line of one of the songs was "Let's impeach the President for lyin'!" Turns out the whole thing is a classic beautiful protest record. The session was like being at a 12-hour peace rally. Every time new lyrics would come up on the screen, there were cheers, tears and applause. It was a spiritual experience. I can't believe my good fortune at being a part of this.

It was also recorded on analog in the A room at Capitol Records, which they're talking about selling and turning into condos. No ProTools, no 'flying in', no Auto-Tune. Just real singing, and real songs, from a real artist. And to hire a hundred live singers? Incredible.

I got a chance to talk with Neil for a minute, and I told him that every word of every song expressed what I've been screaming about since 2000. I've never been at a recording session that was more like being at church. Heck, I've never been to a church that was more like a church than that session. We stood up for 12 hours (except for lunch and dinner) and I got a massive headache by the end, but I didn't care. It was worth the price of admission. We finished the session by singing an a capella version of "America the Beautiful" and there was not a dry eye in the house.

If I do nothing else for the rest of my life, I can say I was on that record. Whether it sells or not, it's the truth, and I got to be a part of that. What an honor; what a privilege.

Neil said it should be out in 6 to 8 weeks. I hope all of you get a chance to hear it.

Update: Attention to the disgruntled - I will be removing rude or insulting posts.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Really, I Can't Add Anything...

Chris Matthews. Tom DeLay. Total piggery.

MATTHEWS: Hey thank you for calling me. It was a good thing for me, mostly.

DELAY: Oh really.

MATTHEWS: Oh of course it was. We got on the air as fast as we could....


MATTHEWS: Shannon [DeLay aide] told me, she called me, she said 'don't worry -- he's not calling in to complain'...

MATTHEWS: Have you seen this new focus group stuff on the candidates?

DELAY: No I haven't

MATTHEWS: It's great stuff. I'll send it to you -- it's great -- yeah it's great stuff. Hillary, John Kerry. All these guys, all these democrats, and how they do. And, uh, Frank Luntz did it...

DELAY: who I like

CM: ...and Hillary did not do well. Kerry did well.

DELAY: You're kidding.

MATTHEWS: I am NOT kidding. They didn't like Edwards -- they thought he was a rich lawyer, pretending to care about poor people...

DELAY: Too slick. Too slick.

MATTHEWS: ...and Hillary was a know-it-all.

DELAY: Nothing worse than a woman know-it-all


MATTHEWS: Thanks. I owe you one. I owe you two -- today and last night.

DELAY: No you don't.


DELAY: I appreciate it.

Don't you love the liberal media?