June 30, 2007

"Can't Find My Way Home"

Avedon has YouTube links to four (4!) versions of Steve Winwood's Can't Find My Way Home, including two by the man himself from the Blind Faith album. The other two are live versions performed by (boggle) Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, and Nathan East.

Here's the Winwood pair (both acoustic and electric):
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June 29, 2007

Misleading survey

Over at My Left Nutmeg mr B got the same Republican National Committee survey I just did. It's got some really misleading questions in it.

For example, under "Homeland Security," this question:

Should we do everything we can to stop the Democrats from repealing critical border and port security legislation?

Well now. My memory is that every time Democrats attempt to amend legislation to move money in the direction of port security, the Republicans override the amendment and send that money to Wyoming.

For example, under "Economic Issues," this question:

Should Republicans renew the fight for a Balanced Budget Amendment?

Hahahahaha! From a trillion-dollar surplus when the Administration took office to a multi-billion dollar deficit now. I can only quote John McEnroe: "You cannot be serious!"

For example, under "Defense Issues," this question:

Do you think U.S. troops should have to serve under United Nations commanders?

Get real. That's never happened in the 60 years of the UN's existence, and it won't no matter what the Republicans say. It's a tired old claim they put out whenever a Democrat is in the White House. Even in Kosovo the Americans in NATO were commanded by a US general (Wes Clark, NATO commander; perhaps they've heard of him?).

The funniest thing is this poormouthing, "But at a cost of $.40 each, our CENSUS OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY will cost over $2.48 million." That's followed by a request for funds to defray the cost.

Self-delusional, ya think?

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Rhymin' Simon

Anybody see the Gershwin Award show Wednesday night? Here's the honoree singing Graceland in Central Park.

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June 28, 2007

Racial hatred 2, Fairness 0

What can we conclude from the demise of the immigration bill and the SCOTUS school decision today?

Why, that the conservative party of this country really does want to move society back to a time when black and Hispanic people were invisible at best and a troublesome minority to be trampled at worst.

I liked this, from Justice Breyer's dissent:

Indeed, the consequences of the approach the Court takes today are serious. Yesterday, the plans under review were lawful. Today, they are not. Yesterday, the citizens of this Nation could look for guidance to this Court's unanimous pronouncements concerning desegregation. Today, they cannot. Yesterday, school boards had available to them a full range of means to combat segregated schools. Today, they do not.

Elections matter.

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June 27, 2007


Curse you, Lance!

1. All right, here are the rules.
2. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
3. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
4. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
5. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Argh. Okay, okay.

  1. I haven't listened to commercial music radio since 1980.
  2. As a result of #1, my musical tastes are stuck in the 1970s.
  3. My family members have concluded that when they go somewhere, the gift they bring back for me should be a baseball cap.
  4. I'm a voracious reader.
  5. I drive daily, but I don't go very far; my 1997 Geo Metro has 46,000 miles on it.
  6. I have a 14-year-old dog.
  7. Apparently I have a family of mongoose living around the yard somewhere, as I saw mother and kit (pup?) this morning outside my bedroom window.
  8. I'm always in need of more clients.

Tag yourself if you want to play; just let me know what your blog post URL is.

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A puzzle

If faithless love is a principal theme of traditional music, why did it take until 1976 for somebody (J.D. Souther) to write a song with that title?

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June 26, 2007

Hype, v. 2007

Has there been a product introduced in the past five years with more hype than the iPhone is getting?

I'm thinking Segway, but other than that. . .

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June 25, 2007

What hath Bush wrought?

Here are today's SCOTUS decisions in a nutshell, from the WaPo Court watcher (all four links in the block are pdf): Conservatives go 4-4 today at the Supreme Court

Legal and political conservatives hit for the cycle Monday morning when they "won" four long-awaited rulings from the United States Supreme Court. The Justices further chipped away at the wall that separates church and state, took some of the steam out of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, neutered federal regulators in environmental cases to the benefit of developers and slammed a high school kid who had the temerity to put up a silly sign near his high school.
Yep. This is part of what federal elections do: they give us Justices like Roberts and Alito, both of whom joined Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy in denying taxpayers the right to complain about Bush's faith-based organizations getting federal money, allowing corporations to run ads saying "Vote agin' X, he's a bum!" all the way up to election day, stating that EPA has no requirement to assess the potential impact of a developer's actions, and deciding that a school principal has the right to discipline a kid who puts up a dopey sign reading "Bong Hits for Jesus" outside his school.

Elections matter, and Presidential elections matter more than people like to think. Had Kerry won, it's safe to bet that a more moderate justice than Alito would have been appointed to replace Sandra Day O'Connor, particularly with a Democratic Senate.

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Cheney's peculiar view of government

The other day we learned of the schizophrenic idea that the Vice President thinks his office is not subject to rules which govern either the Executive or Legislative branch. By now you may have heard of the WaPo's ongoing four-part series about our illustrious Vice President. Part Two was published today. If you haven't got the time to read it right now, Dan Froomkin has picked out highlights (or lowlights) from the first two stories for you, all the while saying it has to be read in full for a real understanding of Cheney's role in this Administration.

So far it appears that Cheney's been Regent to Bush's Dauphin.

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June 24, 2007

Speaking of Ronstadt

For my money, Linda Ronstadt did a better job of selecting songs suited to her voice than any other woman in the 1970s. This one's "It's So Easy," written by Buddy Holly and Norman Petty.

She's still active, by the way: her latest album is a 2006 collaboration with Ann Savoy entitled Adieu False Heart. Savoy is a musician and Cajun music scholar; if you saw Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood or heard the soundtrack, you'll recognize her music. You can hear a couple of songs from their performance on Bill Maher's show at that link. One of them is "Walk Away Renée," The Left Banke's 1966 hit, slowed down to ballad tempo. It's beautiful.

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June 23, 2007


If you're a woman blogger and you write about rape, your site may be subject to a Denial of service attack. That's what's happening to Shakespeare's Sister right now.

There are a lot of small-minded nasty people in the world.

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Newport Folk Festival 2007

Hey, Northeasterners: Here's the current lineup for the Newport Folk Festival August 3-5.

Friday, August 3rd
: Linda Ronstadt :

Saturday, August 4th
: Allman Brothers Band :: North Mississippi Allstars :: John Butler Trio :: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals :: The Dirty Dozen Brass Band :: Assembly of Dust :: The Nightwatchman (Tom Morello Acoustic) :: Song Circle with Martha Wainwright, Sloan Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche :: Martha Wainwright :: Phonograph :: Vishten :: The MacKenzie Project :: Duane Andrews :

Sunday, August 5th
: Alison Krauss & Union Station Featuring Jerry Douglas :: Emmylou Harris :: Amos Lee :: Alejandro Escovedo :: Carolina Chocolate Drops :: Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys :: Cheryl Wheeler :: Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem :: Elvis Perkins in Dearland :: Julie Lee :: Song Swap Hazel Dickens [with Dudley Connell] & Diana Jones :: Sierra Hull & Highway 111 :

Ticket Info: Tickets at $85, $65. $50 and $30 go on sale at 10:00 am on Wednesday, April 25 at the Festival box office located at 770 Aquidneck Avenue in Middletown, Rhode Island and also on line at www.ticketweb.com or by calling 888-468-7619.

Since Ronstadt has sung duets with both Alison Krauss and Emmylou Harris in her long career, I wonder if she'll join them on Sunday.

I wish I lived in the neighborhood.

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June 22, 2007

Name that mountain!

Long long ago, on a vacation far far away...

I was caught posing for a picture.

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No Nader this time, please

Via Lawyers Guns and Money comes a link to Jonathan Chait's 2002 review of Ralph Nader's book Crashing the Party: How to Tell the Truth and Still Run for President, a chronicle of the 2000 Presidential campaign. Scott Lemieux quotes a couple of paragraphs which demolish Nader's assertion that he acted for the good of the country in 2000, and then he comes up with a pair of trenchant observations about Nader's latest claims:

. . . there's the claim that the possibility of Clinton running means that the Dems are just as bad because she's just responsible. Now, I won't be supporting Clinton in the primaries, and please criticize her awful vote on the war as heartily as you like. But as for apportioning responsibility, I think this is pretty straightforward:
  • If Clinton votes against the war, we would have had the Iraq war.
  • If Nader doesn't run in 2000, no war.

This is pretty straightforward--their relative responsibilities are not remotely comparable.

Amen. The fog of war is only marginally larger than the fog of Nader's ego. His capacity for self-delusion knows few boundaries. The trouble is, with the media's horserace mentality, he will again be given a forum to spout the same sort of nonsense about there not being a dime's bit of difference between the two parties that he did in 2000. Hopefully this time the electorate will have wised up.

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June 21, 2007

Et tu, SI?

It really is "Let Linkmeister know he's mortal" week. Today I got a renewal offer from Sports Illustrated which had emblazoned on the outside of the envelope: "As a loyal subscriber for over thirty years you are entitled to choose 2 free gifts."

C'mon already!

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I'll stay jobless, thanks

There are a lot of jobs in sports I wouldn't want to have: Notre Dame football coach, New York Yankees manager, Chicago Cubs general manager, Boston Celtics general manager. Hands down, though, the one I'd least like to have is agent for Terrell Owens, with Pacman Jones coming up on the outside.

Any sports jobs you'd not want?

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June 20, 2007

Guilty pleasures

Alright, readers, 'fess up: which authors do you read for pure enjoyment with no expectation of enlightenment? These may fit the designation "Beach Book."

I'll admit to early Tom Clancy, almost anything Clive Cussler writes (with or without co-authors), Louis L'Amour, Robert Ludlum (the real one, not the ghostwritten ones that have appeared after his death) and Alistair MacLean.

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June 19, 2007

What the hell?

Yesterday it was the barber asking me if I qualified for a senior discount; in today's mail I got a slick brochure from a hearing aid company.

I'm gonna defy all this and run off to join the circus.

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How to fix America's foreign policy

Here's the lead paragraph of a review of three newly-published books about American foreign policy, found in the New York Review of Books and titled Bush's Amazing Achievement:

One of the few foreign policy achievements of the Bush administration has been the creation of a near consensus among those who study international affairs, a shared view that stretches, however improbably, from Noam Chomsky to Brent Scowcroft, from the antiwar protesters on the streets of San Francisco to the well-upholstered office of former secretary of state James Baker. This new consensus holds that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a calamity, that the presidency of George W. Bush has reduced America's standing in the world and made the United States less, not more, secure, leaving its enemies emboldened and its friends alienated. Paid-up members of the nation's foreign policy establishment, those who have held some of the most senior offices in the land, speak in a language once confined to the T-shirts of placard-wielding demonstrators. They rail against deception and dishonesty, imperialism and corruption. The only dispute between them is over the size and depth of the hole into which Bush has led the country he pledged to serve.

The three books are Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic by Chalmers Johnson, Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower by Zbigniew Brzezinski, and Statecraft and How to Restore America's Standing in the World by Dennis Ross.

Johnson's book is the third in a trilogy he's written about American Empire. I've got it on order.

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June 18, 2007


As I walked over to the cash register at the barber shop to pay for my haircut, the lady who just cut it asked me "Are you 65?"

I have entered a slough of despond.

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June 17, 2007

Abu Ghraib

Well, as if we weren't pretty sure already, the man who was charged with investigating prisoner abuse there, Major General Antonio Taguba, now says that the orders to mistreat detainees at the Iraqi prison came from higher-ups at the Pentagon.

From the WaPo via Josh Marshall:

Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba said that he felt mocked and shunned by top Pentagon officials, including then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, after filing an exhaustive report on the now-notorious Abu Ghraib abuse that sparked international outrage and led to an overhaul of the U.S. interrogation and detention policies. Taguba's report examining the 800th Military Police Brigade put in plain terms what had been documented in shocking photographs.

In interviews with New Yorker reporter Seymour M. Hersh, Taguba said that he was ordered to limit his investigation to low-ranking soldiers who were photographed with the detainees and the soldiers' unit, but that it was always his sense that the abuse was ordered at higher levels. Taguba was quoted as saying that he thinks top commanders in Iraq had extensive knowledge of the aggressive interrogation techniques that mirrored those used on high-value detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and that the military police "were literally being exploited by the military interrogators."

Taguba also said that Rumsfeld misled Congress when he testified in May 2004 about the abuse investigation, minimizing how much he knew about the incidents. Taguba said that he met with Rumsfeld and top aides the day before the testimony.

No wonder our leaders refused to sign on to the International Criminal Court's jurisdiction.

How do they look themselves in the eye when shaving?

Update: Hersh's article.

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Gaza failure

Has there ever been a group of people more poorly served by its political leaders than the Palestinians?

A few years ago somebody said the Palestinians (as represented by Arafat) "never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity." Looks like it's still true.

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June 16, 2007


Who's seen Cats live in theater? Where?

I saw it in London in a theater-in-the-round in 1984. I had an aisle seat, and I was enthralled when I noticed that the off-stage cats were actually creeping up the aisles waiting to come back on for their next scene. They were so into their roles they were hissing.

I saw it again in Honolulu in an arena; it wasn't even close to the same (other than the music, all of which I dearly love).


Cats is the only Andrew Lloyd Webber spectacle I've seen. I know the critics don't think much of his work, but the music alone would put him on my shortlist of great theatrical geniuses.

(This memory brought to mind by a commenter at Making Light who's a newly minted Ph.D and calls herself Jennyanydots.)

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June 15, 2007

Didn't you?

Tomorrow will be the 42nd anniversary of the recording of Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone." Here's an excerpt from Greil Marcus's Like A Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads, which I read Wednesday night. It's a fascinating read, with Marcus attempting (more or less successfully) to make the case that this recording was a seminal point in rock n' roll history. It's got lots of amusing details; he's even identified the guy who yelled "Judas!" at Dylan when the song was played in a concert in Manchester, England.

Marcus tends toward the hyperbolic, but in this case he might be right. I might argue that The Beatles' first appearance on the Sullivan show was equally important, but nonetheless, when Dylan put the acoustic guitar down and began performing with a backup band, it was a really big deal. Up until then, folk was folk and rock was fairly mindless pap; nevermore.

The other not-inconsequential thing it did? It legitimized song lengths of more than three minutes. It clocked in at 6:00 (initially released half on Side A and the other half on Side B to accommodate radio stations; it was re-pressed very quickly with the entire song on Side A).

I got out my copy of Highway 61 Revisited to follow along. This is not a song or album to be listened to on a portable boombox; put it onto your stereo system or iPod and blast it.

Late addendum: I'll be damned. I've linked to that excerpt before. Ah, well, at that time I hadn't read the book. Now I have.

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June 14, 2007

Bail, now

James Wolcott suggests the following be posed to all those pols and pundits who wring their hands and say that withdrawal from Iraq would be disastrous, "What happens if the US stays--and loses? How prepared are you to deal with that eventuality?"

Wolcott quotes an article discussing the USAF's stepped-up campaign to bomb Iraq's bridges, which is redolent of the old Vietnam phrase "destroy the village in order to save it." He then quotes another article discussing the current policy of arming certain Sunni groups to help fight the insurgency. If that's not picking sides in a civil war, what is it?

Even if a civil war between the Sunnis, the Shi'a, and the Kurds takes place, to whom is the greater obligation? The people whose country we invaded for specious reasons, or the soldiers we've put into an impossible situation? The greater good for the greater number is all very well, but when does one decide that the end no longer justifies the means?

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June 13, 2007

Those little bitty screws don't cut it

I went into Lenscrafters today to get a nose pad for my glasses fixed. The optician said it would be more sensible to replace both, so I said fine. She mentioned that this was the second such repair she'd done today, and that I wouldn't believe how many nose pads were replaced every day. At that point her colleague chimed in to say she'd already done four. This was at 11:10 am.

Sounds like a design problem to me.

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Tunnel visions

You know those coffee-table books titled "Underground (city name here)?" Honolulu doesn't yet have the book, but it's got an underground I sure didn't know about, even after living here for 29 years. Check out the photo gallery.


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This is what Emma Lazarus had in mind

Immigrants are lazy bums who live off the taxes their betters pay and use up social and educational services, or so the Republican party would have you believe.

Ellen Chesler begs to differ.

  • Natalya Berezovskaya, the class salutatorian with a 3.99 GPA, was just seven years old when her family escaped political unrest and a resurgence of anti-Semitism in post-Soviet Moscow.
  • Carolyn Ly, the daughter of Chinese immigrants and the first in her family to go to college, will become a sociologist. She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a 3.97 GPA and next fall will begin a PhD program at Yale on a full scholarship.
  • Natalya Titova, born in Latvia, moved here when she was fourteen. She taught herself English, graduated from high school in Brooklyn with awards in math, history, science and English, and was accepted into Hunter's Honors College, where she's earned a 3.95 GPA.
  • Anna Kouremenos, born in Greece, emigrated to the US at the age of nine, but never forgot her roots. She graduated with a BA/MA in anthropology and a 3.7 GPA and will begin her doctoral studies in classical archaeology in September at Oxford University in England.
  • Suman Pradha grew up in a tiny village in a remote part of Nepal. There are no roads to his village, and it takes days to walk to the nearest populated area--the base camp around Mount Everest.
  • Danielle Okoro, born in Miami, returned to Nigeria when she was two years old, so her grandmother could raise her, while her mother attended school in Florida.

All of those students just graduated from Hunter College of the City University of New York last week. There's more detail about them at the link.

We need these kinds of immigrants.

via Lawyers Guns and Money

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June 12, 2007

Fun with my iTunes library

I have three different songs titled "America," one sung by Chita Rivera (from West Side Story, 1957), one sung by Neil Diamond, and one sung by Simon and Garfunkel.

There are three different songs with "Ballad" in the title: "Ballad of a Thin Man" by Bob Dylan, "The Ballad of John and Yoko" by The Beatles, and "The Ballad of Mack the Knife" by Gerald Price (from The Threepenny Opera, 1954).

Three songs exhort the listener to Go: "Go and Say Goodbye" by Buffalo Springfield, "Go Tell It On the Mountain" by Simon and Garfunkel, and "Go to the Mirror" by The Who.

There are three songs beginning with Oh: "Oh, Lady Be Good" by Artie Shaw (from Symphony in Swing, 1939), "Oh Susanna" by James Taylor, and "Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'" by Gordon MacRae (from the film version of Oklahoma, 1955).

There are even two songs beginning with Q: "Quarter to Three" by Bruce Springsteen and "Queen Jane Approximately" by Bob Dylan. Top that.

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Luck of the draw, I guess

Even with the addition of several new cousins as a result of my uncle's marriage to Teresa's mother (see below), his oldest daughter gleefully points out that I'm still the oldest of the younger generation in the family. Drat.

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June 11, 2007

Afflict the comfortable, comfort the afflicted

That used to be the accepted model for journalists, or so I was told. Apparently Joe Klein of Time magazine was never introduced to the concept. Here's Glenn Greenwald:

In a post entitled "Thoughts on Sentencing," Klein actually argues -- seriously -- that it is imperative for the public interest that Paris Hilton receive jail time because "it is exemplary: It sends the message . . .that even rich twits can't avoid the law," but:
I have a different feeling about Libby. His "perjury"--not telling the truth about which reporters he talked to--would never be considered significant enough to reach trial, much less sentencing, much less time in stir if he weren't Dick Cheney's hatchet man. . . .

But jail time? Do we really want to spend our tax dollars keeping Scooter Libby behind bars? I don't think so. This "perjury" case only exists because of his celebrity--just as the ridiculous "perjury" case against Bill Clinton, which ballooned into the fantastically stupid and destructive impeachment proceedings.

Klein deliberately makes no mention of the several felony counts of "obstruction of justice" and "false statements" for which Libby was convicted -- it's just "perjury." More dishonest still is Klein's underhanded attempt to insinuate that the conviction and sentencing are politically motivated (none of this would have happened "if he weren't Dick Cheney's hatchet man"), while Klein inexcusably conceals from his readers the fact that the prosecutor who prosecuted Libby and the judge who sentenced him are both Republicans and appointees of George W. Bush's administration.

As Glenn says, the Inside-the-Beltway press crowd is so tied in with the people it's supposed to report on that it's become increasingly impossible for it to put aside its prejudices toward its friends and relate the facts with objectivity.

Get a clue, Klein. A crime is a crime is a crime. Libby was convicted of obstruction of justice and perjury by a jury. He was not railroaded by a bunch of partisan political operatives (like, say, a former President named Clinton in the US House of Representatives).

Glenn has chapter and verse; go read the rest of his essay.

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June 10, 2007

Sunday fun with iTunes

  • Day Tripper - The Beatles
  • Beyond the Horizon - Bob Dylan
  • Love Has No Pride - Bonnie Raitt
  • Workingman's Blues #2 - Bob Dylan
  • Phantom of the Opera - Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford
  • Bluebird - Buffalo Springfield
  • Love is Here to Stay - Gene Kelly (from An American in Paris)
  • Puttin' It Together - Barbra Streisand
  • Finest Lovin' Man - Bonnie Raitt
  • Appalachian Spring (1st Movement) - Leonard Bernstein/NY Philharmonic
  • Thank Heaven for Little Girls - Maurice Chevalier (from Gigi)
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June 09, 2007


Did you know it is a very small world?

Go read this. You'll learn of my uncle's impending marriage to the mother of a very well-known blogger and how we discovered the connection.

I'm still shaking my head at the coincidence.

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June 08, 2007

That word doesn't mean what you think it means

Jeebus. These idiots really have lost whatever critical thinking skills they once possessed. Fouad Ajami, writing at the WSJ's Opinion Journal, calls Scooter Libby a casualty of war.

Get a clue, Ajami. 3,500 dead American soldiers, sailors and marines are casualties of war. 25,830 wounded American soldiers, sailors and marines are casualties of war. Some 65,000 - 72,000 dead Iraqi civilians (at minimum) are casualties of war. 4.2 million Iraqi refugees are casualties of war. Scooter Libby is not a casualty of war. He's a convicted perjurer on behalf of a corrupt Administration.

via Firedoglake

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Yesterday I wrote about a "Breaking News" alert I got from my local TV station about Paris Hilton's release from jail.

I just got another one:

Paris Ordered Back To Jail

A judge orders Paris Hilton back to
jail and she is taken from court screaming.


Now that's brevity in headline reporting.

Look, I don't have strong opinions about Paris Hilton. I do have strong opinions about what our media consider important news. Is this it? It's titillating, sure, but is it a big deal?

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June 07, 2007

Yeah, so?

I get a twice-daily news headlines e-mail from one of our local TV stations, along with occasional "Breaking News" updates for things the editors think are necessary if I'm to be a fully-informed citizen.

This morning I got one of the latter telling me that Paris Hilton got out of jail early.

Oh, and for the past two weeks or so one of the video rental/sales places you find in the sports pages (discreetly advertising XXX DVDs; you know the kind) has been offering Paris Hilton material for sale; at the bottom of the ad is the following: $1 of each sale will go to the Paris Hilton Legal Defense Fund.

Now, lessee: Hilton. Isn't she an heiress in that family that owns a gazillion mid-to-upscale hotels?

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over?

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June 06, 2007

Glad I missed it

I never really thought I'd like to live in Saudi Arabia. There was a time when it was possible I could have done so, back when I was working for Department of Defense contractors and was immersed in that peculiar subculture of traveling expats. After reading this article from an LA Times reporter who spent several years there, I'm doubly glad I never went.

In the depths of the robe, my posture suffered. I'd draw myself in and bumble along like those adolescent girls who seem to think they can roll their breasts back into their bodies if they curve their spines far enough. That was why, it hit me one day, I always seemed to come back from Saudi Arabia with a backache.

The kingdom made me slouch.

That's the least of it. She relates anecdotes of her time there that make me think that place will never ever modernize and would prefer not to. Blech.

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June 05, 2007

Another 40th Anniversary

The Six-Day War between Israel and the Arab Middle East began 40 years ago this week. I remember it for several reasons, but the one that sticks in my mind most is that I suddenly realized that some of my fellow students at Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia were Jewish. I honestly didn't know that before I observed the worry and then the pride that appeared on their faces.

I suspect that doesn't mean I was exceptionally stupid or blithely oblivious, but rather that religion was not a topic of much discussion at my suburban middle-class high school in the 1960s.

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June 04, 2007

The drum is silent

Mark Harris has died.

“Bang the Drum Slowly” (1956) was the second of Mr. Harris’s tetralogy of baseball novels, following “The Southpaw” (1953). The others were “A Ticket for a Seamstitch” (1957) and “It Looked Like For Ever” (1979).

Harris and Malamud made it acceptable to use baseball as a setting for serious adult fiction.

I'll have to re-read the books. "Bang the Drum Slowly" was made into a movie with Robert DeNiro as the dying Pearson and Michael Moriarty as Wiggen. It's worth renting.

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June 03, 2007

A wonderful voice retired too soon

Ah, 1965. Among the CDs I loaded was a compilation of the first two albums released by We Five, one of the early San Francisco bands. Here's a video of them singing their biggest hit, "You Were on My Mind."

The female singer's name is Beverly Bivens; when she quit the band it broke up, and she rarely sang commercially again. It's a damned shame; that voice should have been used for art.

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June 02, 2007

Saturday at iTunes

I've added a few more CDs.

  • Another Suitcase in Another Hall - Sarah Brightman
  • The Ballad of John and Yoko - The Beatles
  • Jerusalem - Charlotte Church
  • The Acid Queen - The Who
  • Mr. Soul - Buffalo Springfield
  • Three Welsh Bird Songs: Tylluanod - Charlotte Church
  • Strike Up the Band (Film Version) - Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney
  • Sing/Make Your Own Kind of Music - Barbra Streisand
  • Everybody Knows - The Dixie Chicks
  • The Sun is Burning - Simon and Garfunkel
  • Fascinatin' Rhythm (Soundtrack Version from Girl Crazy) - Tommy Dorsey and Orchestra, Mickey Rooney

I have a six-CD set of Broadway tunes from the 1930s through the 1960s compiled by Time-Life, in case you're wondering.

Posted by Linkmeister at 12:03 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 01, 2007

Sgt. Pepper taught the band

On the occasion of the 40th (!) anniversary of the US release date of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, here's a thoughtful column about how/why Beatles songs last.

Posted by Linkmeister at 09:30 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack