Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lionel Hampton & Oscar Peterson - Stardust

Stanley Turrentine With The 3 Sounds - Willow Weep For Me

Days of Desiccation -- Timothy Egan

An Op-Ed from "The New York Times"  --  please read.  Follow link to original.

SAN DIEGO — The bathtub rings in the reservoirs that hold California’s liquid life have never been more exposed. Shorelines are bare, brown and bony. Much of the Sierra Nevada is naked of snow. And fields in the Central Valley may soon take to the sky. A Dust Bowl? Not yet. Though this drought will surely go down as the worst in the state’s recorded history. Until next year.

But something else is evident in this cloudless winter: when you build a society with a population larger than Canada’s, and do it with one of the world’s most elaborate plumbing systems, it’s a fragile pact. California is an oasis state, a hydraulic construct. Extreme stress brings out the folly of nature-defiance.
The whole fantasy of modern California has long been dependent on an audacious feat of engineering. You could drain the Owens Valley to allow Los Angeles to metastasize. (See “Chinatown.”) You could grab water from Yosemite to keep San Francisco alive. And you could move all that snowmelt up north to the south, and feed the world.
When it works, it’s a marvel. Golden Gate Park is green. Los Angeles has a river (sort of). The fragrance of fruit trees fills Fresno. But what if there is no snow, no rain, and nothing left in the aquifers underground? To date, going back to the start of its water year last July, Los Angeles has received 1.2 inches of rain. Yes, for the year. San Diego will soon notch its driest winter ever. And 80 percent of the state is in extreme drought.
California will get through it, though not without significant pain. And while there will be some reordering of power, nothing will put to lie the old line about the arid West: Water flows uphill to money.
But at the least, these days of desiccation call for some honesty — to look at this state and see, in all its dimensions, the fragility of this kind of pact. And beyond that, to see in California a precursor of what could happen elsewhere if we think we can out-engineer a fevered planet. The drought itself may not be a result of climate change, but it is made worse by all the meteorological complications.
Media myopia tends to feed a one-sided narrative: There’s no global warming because, after all, much of the United States is cold and snowy. The West is the exception, but it’s a long way from Al Roker’s studio at 30 Rock. Even farther is Australia, where the warmest winter on record has been followed by a summer of wildfires and heat waves pushing 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The Millennial Drought, which lasted from 1995 to 2012, now looks like the new normal down under.
No surprise, some of the worst deniers of the obvious come from places where it pays to look the other way. Let me introduce Representative Devin Nunes, Republican from Fresno. Like most elected members of his party, Nunes apparently skipped out of science class.
“Global warming is nonsense,” he said last week, when President Obama visited the Central Valley. “We want water, not welfare.”
They’ve certainly got plenty of welfare. The Central Valley Project is a tangle of aqueducts, pumps, canals and dams, the largest water development project in the United States. Yes, we taxpayers built it, and still subsidize it. Its 20 reservoirs hold enough water to irrigate three million acres.
But Nunes prefers the myth, firmly planting himself with the fact-denial majority of Republican lawmakers. He took to the floor of Congress a few days ago to explain. “Our ancestors in California built an amazing irrigation system that can deliver a reliable water supply even during severe droughts,” he said.

Our ancestors! You know, those long-dead wise ones, the socialists from the New Deal and the bureaucrats of the federal Bureau of Reclamation. Better not to name them.

Then, more explanation: You see, he said, holding up a large sign with a picture of the sun, snow and a droplet of water, “Government doesn’t create water.” Oh, of course not. Then let’s just take government out of the picture and watch what happens to farms in the congressman’s district.
The enemy, he concluded, is nature. Fish in particular — “stupid little fish,” he said. Some pretty smart big fish, Pacific salmon, are in trouble as well. He didn’t mention them. Nunes was referring to the delta smelt, a key link in keeping the hydraulic heart of California healthy, but small and imperiled by the switcheroo of the smelt’s habitat to Nunes’s home. As for stupid, the fish yields its time to the congressman from California.
Following his lead, the Republican House has passed a bill moving precious water from the north to big farmers in the Republican-rich lower Central Valley. Government may not create water, but Congress can dole it out. The bill is dead in the Senate.
California’s big urban areas, after years of smart conservation measures, will get by. But in a state where agriculture consumes 75 percent of the water, farms will go fallow. This drought for the ages should prompt some imaginative thinking on what foods grow best in an arid land.
The congressman from Fresno could take his cue from another ancestor, William Randolph Hearst. Up high on a dry perch overlooking the Pacific, Hearst built his Mediterranean castle. Last month, the keepers of the compound started draining the big Neptune Pool and many of its fountains, a concession to the drought. Fantasy has its limits

Choose Your Monetary Adventure, Mt. Gox Edition

This from Dr. Krugman's blog  --  I guess the key word is PRIVATE.  After all, don't "libertarians" want to put both the rewards and the risks in their hands?    So, if some end up penniless, They will "do the right thing" and either work to recoup their fortunes, or, if unable to work, they will either happily starve or commit suicide.  After all, they cannot expect society to take care of them -- can they?

Please follow link to original.

Bitcoin was, of course, created in part to cater to libertarian dreams – to provide a way to store your wealth where governments can’t steal it through taxation or currency debasement.
And it’s true! Thanks to Bitcoin, you can instead have your wealth stolen by private hackers.

Monday, February 24, 2014


So, the bill to make discrimination against damn near ANYONE due to "sincerely held religious beliefs" legal passed their legislature and is awaiting Gov. Brewers signature.

Isn't that nice?

Meanwhile some folks who voted FOR this "bill", for this "law", are now having "second thoughts".

To me they seem like FIRST thoughts.  After all, what is there to prevent a Muslim from denying service to a Jew or a Christian?  How about refusing service to a Roman Catholic by a "sincere" Protestant?  From the way this bill is written  --  NOTHING.

To me, it just does not matter.  What does matter is the INTENT.  The "good people" of Arizona appear to believe that it's just plain peachy to deny service to any and all LGBT folks.  They seem to see no problem with it.

As a result this LGBT person will forever boycott Arizona.  I will "pass through" if I must, but will attempt to NEVER spend a penny in the state.  after all, what if I need gas (petrol) and am denied the sale  --  will I be forced to wander in the wilderness with no mode of transportation, no place to stay the night, and no one willing to sell me food?  How would this make the life of ANYONE better?  How will it help these "Christians" protect their religion?  How will it promote the teachings of Jesus?

It's just plain insanity.

My only regret is that I will NEVER get to see The Grand Canyon "in person".  I guess photos and video will have to do. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

America’s “We” Problem

From Robert Reich - follow link to original

America has a serious “We” problem — as in “Why should we pay for them?”
The question is popping up all over the place. It underlies the debate over extending unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed and providing food stamps to the poor.
It’s found in the resistance of some young and healthy people to being required to buy health insurance in order to help pay for people with preexisting health problems.
It can be heard among the residents of upscale neighborhoods who don’t want their tax dollars going to the inhabitants of poorer neighborhoods nearby. 
The pronouns “we” and “they” are the most important of all political words. They demarcate who’s within the sphere of mutual responsibility, and who’s not. Someone within that sphere who’s needy is one of “us” — an extension of our family, friends, community, tribe – and deserving of help. But needy people outside that sphere are “them,” presumed undeserving unless proved otherwise.
The central political question faced by any nation or group is where the borders of this sphere of mutual responsibility are drawn.
Why in recent years have so many middle-class and wealthy Americans pulled the borders in closer?
The middle-class and wealthy citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, for example, are trying to secede from the school district they now share with poorer residents of town, and set up their own district funded by property taxes from their higher-valued homes.
Similar efforts are underway in Memphis, Atlanta, and Dallas. Over the past two years, two wealthy suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama, have left the countywide school system in order to set up their own.
Elsewhere, upscale school districts are voting down state plans to raise their taxes in order to provide more money to poor districts, as they did recently in Colorado.
"Why should we pay for them?" is also reverberating in wealthy places like Oakland County, Michigan, that border devastatingly poor places like Detroit.
"Now, all of a sudden, they’re having problems and they want to give part of the responsibility to the suburbs?" says L. Brooks Paterson, the Oakland County executive. “They’re not gonna talk me into being the good guy. ‘Pick up your share?’ Ha ha.”
But had the official boundary been drawn differently so that it encompassed both Oakland County and Detroit – say, to create a Greater Detroit region – the two places would form a “we” whose problems Oakland’s more affluent citizens would have some responsibility to address.
What’s going on?
One obvious explanation involves race. Detroit is mostly black; Oakland County, mostly white. The secessionist school districts in the South are almost entirely white; the neighborhoods they’re leaving behind, mostly black.
But racisim has been with us from the start. Although some southern school districts are seceding in the wake of the ending of court-ordered desegregation, race alone can’t explain the broader national pattern. According to Census Bureau numbers, two-thirds of Americans below the poverty line at any given point identify themselves as white.
Another culprit is the increasing economic stress felt by most middle-class Americans. Median household incomes are dropping and over three-quarters of Americans report they’re living paycheck to paycheck.
It’s easier to be generous and expansive about the sphere of ”we” when incomes are rising and future prospects seem even better, as during the first three decades after World War II when America declared war on poverty and expanded civil rights. But since the late 1970s, as most paychecks have flattened or declined, adjusted for inflation, many in the stressed middle no longer want to pay for “them.”
Yet this doesn’t explain why so many wealthy Americans are also exiting. They’ve never been richer. Surely they can afford a larger “we.” But most of today’s rich adamantly refuse to pay anything close to the tax rate America’s wealthy accepted forty years ago.
Perhaps it’s because, as inequality has widened and class divisions have hardened, America’s wealthy no longer have any idea how the other half lives.
Being rich in today’s America means not having to come across anyone who isn’t. Exclusive prep schools, elite colleges, private jets, gated communities, tony resorts, symphony halls and opera houses, and vacation homes in the Hamptons and other exclusive vacation sites all insulate them from the rabble.
America’s wealthy increasingly inhabit a different country from the one “they” inhabit, and America’s less fortunate seem as foreign as do the needy inhabitants of another country.
The first step in widening the sphere of “we” is to break down the barriers — not just of race, but also, increasingly, of class, and of geographical segregation by income — that are pushing “we Americans” further and further apart.

I'll Always Be In Love With You by the Count Basie Trio

Blues In The Church by the Count Basie Trio

Royal Garden Blues by the Count Basie Trio

Charlie Parker - Lover Come Back to Me

Jazz At The Philharmonic:Charlie Parker (as), Sonny Criss (as), Flip Phillips (ts), Fats Navarro (tp), Tommy Turk (tb), Hank Jones (p), Ray Brown (b),Shelly Manne (ds)
Recorded:Carnegie Hall, NY, 1949
Album:"Charlie Parker / The Complete Carnegie Hall Performances"

Tony Fruscella & Brew Moore Quintet - Minor Blues

Tony Fruscella(tp)
Brew Moore(ts)
Bill Triglia(p)
Teddy Kotick(b)
Bill Heine(ds)
Recorded :New York, March 22, 1954

Joe the Plumber Can Blow Each and Every One of Us:

This from "The Rude Pundit" - follow link to original.

Remember Joe the Plumber? Remember the bald dude who dared, in 2008, to ask President Obama about why he had to pay more taxes if he moved into a higher tax bracket? And Obama dared to say, "I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody," which caused a hategasm on the right? And then he was invited to go along with John McCain, probably so McCain could spend less time with Sarah Palin, on the campaign trail? And then he became a conservative darling, the alleged voice of the Everyman, the regular guy who got hand jobs from Sean Hannity on an almost regular basis? And he was invited to give his opinion on everything from guns to immigration because of course he had some kind of Forrest Gump-like wisdom? And he got to be the star to fuck at teabagger orgies?

Yeah, he's now a member of the United Auto Workers at a Chrysler plant in Toledo.

That's the same Chrysler that received a bailout from the federal government under Barack Obama that prevented it from going bankrupt. That's the same bailout that allowed Samuel Wurzelbacher, the artist formerly known as "Joe the Plumber," to have a job; the same bailout that Samuel Wurzelbacher, the 2012 Republican candidate for Congress, opposed and said was government overreach.

And while Wurzelbacher claims he has no problem with "private unions" if that's what workers want, his blog celebrated that workers at the VW plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, voted down unionizing and receiving the benefits that would bring.

See, Wurzelbacher, the self-professed good and loyal conservative, is eating of the fruits of liberalism and refusing to acknowledge it. What's he getting as a UAW member at Chrysler? Shit, the 2011 contract, good for 4 years, includes higher hourly wages for new employees, yearly bonuses, profit sharing, and cheap medical care. Oh, and the right to strike. As a UAW worker, Wurzelbacher will have security in a way that he has never had in his life. All because progressive workers and politicians fought together to make sure he could have that security.

So Joe the Plumber can bullshit us. He can act all tough and say, "It’s an American worker’s right to unionize for sure, but that being said don’t expect me not to point out when or if Union leadership takes advantage of union members. And if a union member wants to complain about their union or the upcoming 2015 contract – it’s also their right to do so – would anyone argue with that?"

But he knows. He knows that right now he owes everything he has and everything he's gonna have to the leftists who got the shit beaten out of them by the very people who used him to give them street cred with the masses. He was the taint washer of the media whores and political pricks, thinking he belonged in bed with them when he was just gonna be thrown aside like a stiff jizz rag.

And for a nation that had to put up with his ludicrous aiding and abetting of the people who would crush unions out of existence, well, he can go from sucking desperately at that dry teat to giving blow jobs to and eating out all of us who made it possible for him to work so he didn't have to go back on the welfare he once took.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Abbott/Nugent Video

 This from "Unfair Park" from "The Dallas Observer" website.  Please follow link to original

Later this morning, gubernatorial hopeful Greg Abbott will stumping at a Tex-Mex joint in Denton. At his side: rocker/conservative troll Ted Nugent.
For a candidate aiming to be taken seriously, Nugent, who has called President Obama a "subhuman mongrel" and "piece of shit" who should "suck on my machine gun," seems an odd choice of campaign surrogate.
Doubly so when you consider that Abbott is very consciously trying to beat back the narrative that the Texas GOP is waging a war on women, and that Nugent has called various female political figures a "brain-dead soulless idiot," "varmints," "fat pigs," "dirty whores" and a "worthless bitch."
See also: Ted Nugent is Going to the State of the Union, Thanks to Texas Congressman Steve Stockman
Abbott's camp is taking the line that, Yeah, but guns.
"Ted Nugent is a forceful advocate for individual liberty and constitutional rights - especially the 2nd Amendment rights cherished by Texans," Abbott spokesman Matt Hirsch told The Dallas Morning News.
"While he may sometimes say things or use language that Greg Abbott would not endorse or agree with, we appreciate the support of everyone who supports protecting our Constitution."
Still, one wonders if the Abbott camp would have been so keen to pal around with Nugent had they watched VH1's 1998 "Behind the Music" documentary on the Motor City Madman.
"I was addicted to girls," he says in the documentary, admitting to multiple affairs with underage girls. "It was hopeless. It was beautiful."
But don't worry. Their parents were on board with it.
"I got the stamp of approval of their parents," Nugent said on the video. "I guess they figured better Ted Nugent than some drug-infested punk in high school."
Contrast that with Abbott's boasts about taking the fight to child predators. The left-leaning Lone Star Project did just that in a pretty effective video montage they released yesterday:

Best to lock up your daughters now, Denton.

"Made In China"

I've noticed that a lot of Radical Conservatives (TM applied for) will not buy ANYTHING made in China.  I wonder how many of them blame "Tricky Dick" Nixon?  Remember, if he had not "normalized" our relations with Communist China we just might not be buying quite as much stuff from them. 

Does this fall under "unintended consequences"?

Or, did our "overlords" see them as a potential market?

Did that also lead to "unintended consequences"?

Have ANY of these folks stopped to think how our insane foreign policy has led us to our current situation?

Stan Kenton - 23 North 82 West

September Song June Christy with the Stan Kenton Orchestra &The Four Freshmen

The Four Freshmen - Laura

June Christy - Something Cool

Chris Connor - Blame It On My Youth

Chris Connor(vo)
Herbie Mann(fl,ts)
Ralph Sharon(p)
Joe Puma(g)
Milt Hinton(b)
Osie Johnson(ds)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Chico Hamilton - Blue Sands

Bass - Carson Smith
Cello - Fred Katz
Drums - Chico Hamilton
Guitar - Jim Hall
Reeds - Buddy Collette

Johnny Smith Quintet - Moonlight In Vermont

Just came across this.  I remember this cut from my youth.  Please listen.

Just a little late folks.

My last post on this little blog was on 2/13/14  --  the day before Valentines Day.  I have been silent since then. 

Perhaps you think  I lack sentiment, am neither loved nor in love, or just a plain old boor.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I am both loved and in love  --  and only occasionally a boor

It's just that this blog is not really a place for my private life.  I think my enthusiasms, beliefs, and ideals are well represented by the blog  --  but neither my current financial condition nor what I had, am having for dinner, are suitable subjects  --  most of the time.

In case you wonder, my financial situation is currently TERRIBLE.  In fact the stress is one reason I write less and mostly post stuff written by others, or music I find interesting.

What follows are some different versions of "My Funny Valentine"  --  please enjoy.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Why The Three Biggest Economic Lessons Were Forgotten

The latest from Robert Reich.  His blog is a "must check out daily" feature for anyone who is interested in excellent commentary on our economy, and the state of out nation.

Please follow link to original.

Why has America forgotten the three most important economic lessons we learned in the thirty years following World War II?

Before I answer that question, let me remind you what those lessons were:

First, America’s real job creators are consumers, whose rising wages generate jobs and growth. If average people don’t have decent wages there can be no real recovery and no sustained growth.

In those years, business boomed because American workers were getting raises, and had enough purchasing power to buy what expanding businesses had to offer. Strong labor unions ensured American workers got a fair share of the economy’s gains. It was a virtuous cycle.

Second, the rich do better with a smaller share of a rapidly-growing economy than they do with a large share of an economy that’s barely growing at all.

Between 1946 and 1974, the economy grew faster than it’s grown since, on average, because the nation was creating the largest middle class in history. The overall size of the economy doubled, as did the earnings of almost everyone. CEOs rarely took home more than forty times the average worker’s wage, yet were riding high.

Third, higher taxes on the wealthy to finance public investments — better roads, bridges, public transportation, basic research, world-class K-12 education, and affordable higher education – improve the future productivity of America. All of us gain from these investments, including the wealthy.

In those years, the top marginal tax rate on America’s highest earners never fell below 70 percent. Under Republican President Dwight Eisenhower the tax rate was 91 percent. Combined with tax revenues from a growing middle class, these were enough to build the Interstate Highway system, dramatically expand public higher education, and make American public education the envy of the world.

We learned, in other words, that broadly-shared prosperity isn’t just compatible with a healthy economy that benefits everyone — it’s essential to it.

But then we forgot these lessons. For the last three decades the American economy has continued to grow but most peoples’ earnings have gone nowhere. Since the start of the recovery in 2009, 95 percent of the gains have gone to the top 1 percent.
What happened?

For starters, too many of us bought the snake oil of “supply-side” economics, which said big corporations and the wealthy are the job creators – and if we cut their taxes the benefits will trickle down to everyone else. Of course, nothing trickled down.

Meanwhile, big corporations were allowed to bust labor unions, whose membership dropped from over a third of all private-sector workers in the 1950s to under 7 percent today.

Our roads, bridges, and public-transit systems were allowed to crumble under the weight of deferred maintenance. Our public schools deteriorated. And public higher education became so starved for funds that tuition rose to make up for shortfalls, making college unaffordable to many working families.

And Wall Street was deregulated — creating a casino capitalism that caused a near meltdown of the economy six years ago and continues to burden millions of homeowners. CEOs began taking home 300 times the earnings of the average worker.

Part of the reason for this extraordinary U-turn had to do with politics. As income and wealth concentrated at the top, so did political power. The captains of industry and of Wall Street knew what was happening, and some played leading roles in this transformation.

But why didn’t they remember the lessons learned in the thirty years after World War II – that widely-shared prosperity is good for everyone, including them?

Perhaps because they didn’t care to remember. They discovered that wealth is also relative: How rich they feel depends not just on how much money they have, but also how they live in comparison to most other people.

As the gap between America’s wealthy and the middle has widened, those at the top have felt even richer by comparison. Although a rising tide would lift all boats, many of America’s richest prefer a lower tide and bigger yachts.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

This is how families go hungry - By Ned Resnikoff

This from MSNBC.  When I say we were a better country "back when" just think about this  --  WE WERE ON OUR WAY TO ENDING HUNGER IN THE USA    -----    then Nixon and Reagan happened. and we turned back into some sort of hateful, inhuman, "society".

Please follow link to original.

A visit to a typical New York food pantry is supposed to get you nine meals, enough to last for three days. While the pantry bags may sometimes include fresh produce or fresh bread, most of the items distributed are a little more humble than that: Maybe some canned chicken, some rice, a couple single-serving packets of oatmeal. Some recipients may be able to stretch their monthly allotment further than others, but that bag of food will never be more than a stopgap to get you to the next paycheck, the next round of food stamp benefits, or—in especially desperate times—the next food pantry visit.
Now, even that short-term safety net is becoming more threadbare than ever. On November 1, a $5 billion automatic cut to food stamp benefits pushed America’s already historic levels of hunger and food insecurity even higher. The result was a sharp spike in the number of people accessing emergency food services.
In New York, the increased demand has been more than many food pantries are able to handle. Over the next month, nearly a quarter of the city’s pantries have had to conserve resources by cutting down on the amount of food they put in each recipient’s bag. Slightly more than a quarter of the city’s food pantries and soup kitchens have begun to turn people away due to lack of food, according to a survey by Food Bank For New York City. Some 522 food pantries and 138 soup kitchens participated in the survey.
Food Bank For New York City’s research looked only at the immediate aftermath of the cuts, but since then the problem seems to have gotten significantly worse. When the food bank held its annual conference on January 15, attended by over 500 representatives of the New York’s food pantries and soup kitchens, “over half of the room said that we’re absolutely rationing the amount of food we give people,” said food bank President Margarette Purvis.
What’s happening in New York is a testament to just how dire America’s hunger crisis has become. America’s most populous city also has what is perhaps the country’s most robust emergency food infrastructure, yet it is still flailing to address skyrocketing food insecurity and greater demand for emergency services. In 2013, Food Bank For New York City—America’s largest food bank—delivered 71 million pounds of food to nearly 750 agencies around the city. Yet the food bank, its member agencies, and  hundreds of other organizations providing emergency food assistance around the city, are still finding it impossible to keep up with the growing pace of food insecurity.
“I don’t think it’s ever been the way it is now…It seems like we just see more and more people coming in here,” said Community Health Action of Staten Island executive director Diane Arneth.
In a city of 8.3 million people, as many as 1.4 million residents suffer from food insecurity according to the New York City Coalition Against Hunger’s 2013 Hunger Report [PDF], which uses data from the USDA and adopts the agency’s definition of food security as “access … to enough food for an active, healthy life.” That number is likely to go up before it goes down, advocates say.
Death By A Thousand Cuts
“What’s happened in New York is pretty similar to what’s happened in the rest of the country. Like everything else here, it’s exaggerated and bigger, but the trends tend to be the same,” said Joel Berg, New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH) executive director and former advisor to President Bill Clinton. The modern hunger crisis “can be directly traced to the Reagan era and the replacement of living wage jobs with poverty jobs or no jobs at all,” Berg told msnbc.
Federal nutrition programs had expanded dramatically in the decade before President Reagan took office, but his administration put a decisive end to the forward momentum. In a 1983 Christian Science Monitor op-ed called “The return of hunger to America,” Democratic presidential candidate and South Carolina Senator Ernest Hollings noted that Reagan had successfully slashed at least $5.9 billion (or nearly $13.6 billion, in 2014 dollars) out of food stamps.
In the late 70s, hunger in the United States appeared to be nearing extinction. In New York, says Berg, there was so little need for emergency food services that in 1978 the city had only 28 operating feeding agencies. By 2014, that number had ballooned to about 1,000 agencies.
Granted, there was a slight dip in nationwide food insecurity figures during the boom times of the late 90s and early aughts, according to USDA figures. Yet the brief dip didn’t last long, thanks in part to President Clinton’s 1996 welfare cuts and the lack of any concerted federal anti-hunger effort.
The 2008 financial collapse vastly hiked the number of hungry people in New York and across the U.S. Between 2006 and 2012, according to NYCCAH estimates, roughly 200,000 New Yorkers became food insecure. To make matters worse, the same economic forces that added those 200,000 to the ranks of the needy also decimated the non-profit safety net which was supposed to catch them. Between 2007 and 2012, New York lost 25% of its food pantries and soup kitchens.
The 2009 federal stimulus bill helped to limit the damage by adding back $45.2 billion to the food stamp program and raised the cap on maximum benefits. Yet food insecurity never returned to pre-recession levels, and November’s $5 billion cut wound up making things worse.
In fact, the Food Bank For New York City reports that its member pantries and soup kitchens saw a greater increase in demand as an immediate result of the food stamp cuts than they did in the weeks after Hurricane Sandy slammed the city in 2012.
Now another cut is coming. President Obama recently signed a law that will cut food stamps by an estimated $8.6 billion over the next 10 years. The cuts, which eliminate “Heat and Eat” policies in 15 states and Washington, D.C., will cause 850,000 households around the country to lose an average of $90 per month. Roughly 190,000 of those households are in New York City alone.
The day before Obama signed the law, Berg held a NYCCAH staff meeting where he said “people were practically in tears thinking about what’s going to happen.”
“We’ve been socialized in America expecting some sort of Frank Capra-esque happy ending, or that somehow we’re going to cope…That’s just not the case,” said Berg. “People are going to suffer more.”
“It’s Going to Be Chaos”
If New York were a country, then Staten Island would be the closest thing it has to a red state. The city’s so-called “forgotten borough” is also its whitest and its most conservative; plus, it has a higher median household income than Manhattan. Yet the island also has its pockets of desperation: Isolated, poorer neighborhoods, occupied largely by people of color.
Community Health Action of Staten Island (CHASI) does what it can to feed those neighborhoods. For years, the non-profit has operated a food pantry along the north shore of the island, in the predominantly low-income neighborhood of Port Richmond. CHASI’s pantry is a “client choice” location, meaning that clients get to choose between different kinds of bread, produce, cereal, and so on.
The pantry also provides assistance in filling out applications for food stamp benefits—something that Food Bank for New York City now strongly encourages all of its member pantries to do, as part of its “all of the above” strategy for dealing with hunger. Yet even coaxing hungry people to ask for federal assistance can be a challenge in the city’s most conservative borough.
“There’s that stigma there that prevents a lot of people from even taking that first step of coming here,” CHASI executive director Diane Arneth told msnbc. Staten Islanders who are new to food insecurity will often flatly refuse to sign up for food stamps if they are referred to by that name; instead, CHASI urges its staff and volunteers to refer to the benefits program by its more recent moniker, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).
Many of CHASI’s regulars are already signed up for SNAP and other forms of government assistance. Several of the people msnbc encountered while visiting the pantry were also on federal disability benefits, for reasons ranging from difficulty walking to mental illness. The disabled and elderly are expected to be disproportionately affected by the most recent $8.6 billion cut to food stamps.
David Atkinson, 66, is among the pantry regulars who rely on disability benefits. He said he has been unable to work since his wife died about five years ago, leaving him with crippling depression. They had been living in North Carolina when she passed away, after which Atkinson returned to his hometown of New York, where he knew he could navigate the local welfare system well enough to survive.
Since moving to Staten Island, Atkinson has become a regular fixture at CHASI. At first, he just sat in on whatever communal events they offered; he even attended substance abuse support groups, despite not being a recovering addict himself. Eventually, Arneth invited him to join CHASI’s board of directors.
“I’m the only poor man sitting at the table,” he told msnbc, chuckling.
In person, Atkinson is soft-spoken and well groomed. Visiting the CHASI pantry, he wears a tie, pin-stripe shirt, gray slacks and a leather jacket. For the most part his demeanor is gentle and only a little bit melancholy, but he stutters slightly when he discusses the death of his wife and his voice rises in agitation when he considers the possible fallout of yet more food stamp cuts.
“We can only do as much as we can do, but it’s going to be chaos,” he said. “People are going to be stealing out of all of the supermarkets. They’re going to be stealing from the neighborhood stores. And they’re going to be good at it and steal some more. Look at it this way, if you have less food stamps, you’ve got to spend more cash, right? So if you need more cash, who are you going to go to? You’re going to knock somebody in the head.”
Fear of possible violence was on the minds of many of the food insecure people interviewed by msnbc. More than a few voiced their concern that more desperate people in the neighborhoods might resort to crime as food became increasingly scarce.
“It’s going to get the point where if they keep doing these cuts, you know who’s going to be hurt the most? The senior citizens,” said Robin Setzer, a grandmother and regular CHASI food pantry client. “Why? Because they’re easy targets. People are going to start robbing each other again, they’re going to start sticking them up, hurting them, getting their food taken from them, getting their money taken from them, and why? Because the government won’t take care of nobody. They keep taking from them.”
Purvis, the Food Bank For New York City president, said that security has become a growing concern among the food bank’s member organizations as the demand for emergency food service rises. Some pantry operators are reluctant to keep their sites open late at night, she said, despite high need among the working poor who are unable to come during the day.
“We have had more and more instances of people having security at their sites,” said Purvis. “You know, you don’t want it to be obvious, we don’t want it to feel like a police state, but we’ve had situations where it’s less than ideal. And I’m going to leave it at that.”
Fighting the New Normal
When Purvis compares the fallout of Hurricane Sandy to the aftermath of national food stamp cuts, she distinguishes between natural disaster and “man-made disaster.” But when she steps back and surveys the hunger pandemic that has blanketed her city, she calls it—not without some grim resignation—”the new normal.”
Emergency food organizations across the United States are now acclimating themselves to a perpetual hunger emergency. Food Bank For New York City, the largest organization of its kind, is better equipped than most to weather the never-ending crisis. Few other food banks have access to the sort of fundraising opportunities that come with residing in the nation’s cultural and economic capital. Similarly, no other food bank can boast of having both celebrity chef Mario Batali and veteran actor Stanley Tucci on its board of directors. Food Bank For New York City’s network is vast, and its resources are substantial.
And yet the food bank is now 40% over budget. In its struggle to keep up with the new normal, Food Bank For New York City has stretched its finances to the breaking point.
At the organization’s supply hub, the strain is palpable. Food Bank For New York City owns and operates a 90,000 square foot warehouse in the south Bronx, which at any given point houses between 3 and 4 million pounds of food collected through bulk purchases, individual donations and gifts from overstocked large retailers such as Target. Before the November 1 cuts, a fleet of 15 trucks would distribute the warehouse’s food, and other necessities such as diapers and pet food, to pantries and soup kitchens all over the city. Now the average number of trucks on the road is closer to 18 or 20 per day, though on at least one occasion the food bank has had to contract out as many as 31 trucks for one day’s worth of deliveries.
“It even takes an effect on our machinery, the way it just continues operating…The more work they have to do, they more they have to provide, the more those machines have to run,” the food bank’s director of food distribution for the Bronx Daryl Gardner said. “And the hours, and stuff like that, it takes an effect on the operation.”
No matter how hard they push, it’s never entirely enough. That’s why New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH) is pushing for the city government to get more involved. NYCCAH’s Berg has been meeting with staff from the young administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio and trying to persuade them to sign onto the organization’s “Food Secure NYC 2018” plan. The plan calls for policies such as aggressive job creation, a bigger nutrition safety net, and universal free school lunches.
Berg said he is “very, very, very optimistic” regarding the chances that de Blasio will adopt some of NYCCAH’s proposals. But the mayor has yet to make any firm commitments, and with new food stamp cuts scheduled to take effect, time is running out for many of the city’s most vulnerable residents. When asked what happens to those who aren’t able to receive emergency food assistance—to the people who can’t access the last line of defense against hunger—Purvis said she has been asking herself the same question.
“The way I got myself to go to sleep for a couple of nights was that I honestly prayed that they went to another program,” she said. “It is probably more likely that people have gone to bed hungry.”

Christian School Faulted for Halting Abuse Study By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑAFEB. 11, 2014

This from "The New York Times".  Once again we see how our "Christian Elite" are nothing but huge hypocrites.  Their hatred of women, lack of respect for the teachings of Christ when it comes to EVERYONE but themselves leads to one conclusion  --  they want power, and don't give a damn who is hurt in its quest.  These people deserve no respect.  Everyone of them belongs in one jail or another.  Some might just require very lengthy terms - perhaps in a prison populated by the very people they rail against in their insane "sermons".

Please follow link to original

GREENVILLE, S.C. — For decades, students at Bob Jones University who sought counseling for sexual abuse were told not to report it because turning in an abuser from a fundamentalist Christian community would damage Jesus Christ. Administrators called victims liars and sinners.
All of this happened until recently inside the confines of this insular university, according to former students and staff members who said they had high hopes that the Bob Jones brand of counseling would be exposed and reformed after the university hired a Christian consulting group in 2012 to investigate its handling of sexual assaults, many of which occurred long before the students arrived at the university.
Last week, Bob Jones dealt a blow to those hopes, acknowledging that with the investigation more than a year old and nearing completion, the university had fired the consulting group, Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment, or Grace, without warning or explanation. The dismissal has drawn intense criticism from some people with ties to Bob Jones, and prompted some victims and their allies — including many who were interviewed by Grace investigators — to tell their stories publicly for the first time, attracting more attention than ever to the university’s methods.

On Friday, Stephen Jones, president of the university and great-grandson of its founder, addressed students and employees, saying, “We grew concerned that in the process, Grace had begun going beyond the originally outlined intentions,” but he would not elaborate. He said the university had not told Grace what its concerns were and wanted to discuss them with the consultant but could do so only face to face and felt compelled to fire the firm first.
“We terminated our agreement with Grace so that we could sit down and get it back on track,” Mr. Jones said, vowing to complete the investigation, with or without Grace.
Critics angrily dismissed his statement. “As always, they’re worried about protecting the church and the university, not the victims,” said Camille Lewis, who spent two decades at Bob Jones as a student and faculty member before leaving in 2007 and said she had tried to help several abuse victims over that time.
Grace, whose leaders include lawyers and psychologists, specializes in advising churches and other Christian organizations on addressing abuse. It was founded by Basyle J. Tchividjian, a grandson of Billy Graham and a law professor at Liberty University, also an evangelical Christian school. The group declined to comment on Bob Jones.
Bob Jones is no ordinary university. Unaffiliated with any denomination, it is a leading force in promoting a kind of fundamentalism so strict that the university’s founders assailed evangelists like Mr. Graham, Oral Roberts and Jerry Falwell as too accommodating to the larger world.
On the campus here, students are forbidden to listen to popular music or watch television or movies; the student handbook tells them to avoid clothing brands that “glorify the lustful spirit of our age in their advertising”; they face sharp limits on dating and even leaving campus; and they are told which churches in town — usually run by pastors tied to the university — they may attend. Faculty members and other employees are expected to adhere to the university’s literal interpretation of the Bible and are forbidden to drink alcohol.
And the university, with about 4,000 students and an affiliated primary and secondary school, is having no ordinary version of the conflicts that have rocked colleges around the country over their treatment of claims of sexual assault. Those controversies usually begin with outrage over highly publicized offenses on campus, followed by an investigation.
But at Bob Jones, most of the stories that have been made public do not involve assaults on campus. They are about people who were abused as children and then looked for help in college. Nor is there much sign of outrage on the immaculate campus of low-rise beige brick buildings, covered walkways, spreading oaks and manicured lawns (off limits to foot traffic). Several students interviewed said they had known little or nothing about the charges and were not concerned about them.
Mr. Jones said that the university began the investigation not because of any particular allegations, but because of the trouble it had seen at other schools, and that it rewrote its policies on responding to sexual assault in 2012. But its attitude toward sexual assault and bad publicity had come under increased scrutiny by then because one of its board members, an alumnus and the pastor of a large church, had been accused of covering up a rape within his congregation and publicly shaming the victim.
A group of alumni called for the university to dismiss the man from the board; he eventually resigned. A student who had criticized the university over the affair was not allowed to graduate and alleged retaliation.
Catherine Harris, who attended the university in the 1980s, is one of several people who said it was very hard for her to talk to Grace investigators about being abused — and she now feels betrayed that Grace has been sidelined.
“Nearly everyone at Bob Jones grew up in a fundamentalist environment, so if you were abused, your abuser probably came from inside that bubble, too, which is what happened to me,” she said. “The person who supposedly counseled me told me if I reported a person like that to the police, I was damaging the cause of Christ, and I would be responsible for the abuser going to hell. He said all of my problems were as a result of my actions in the abuse, which mostly took place before I was 12, and I should just forgive the abuser.”
Ms. Lewis said she had seen other women have similar experiences. As a college senior, she took a friend to a university administrator for counseling after the other student said she had been molested by her father, a Sunday school superintendent in their church.
“They said not to go to the police because no one will believe you, to defer to authority like your father or especially someone in the church,” she said. “They said if you report it, you hurt the body of Christ.”
Erin Burchwell said that when she accused a university employee of sexually assaulting her in the late 1990s, “their idea of an investigation and counseling was to ask me what I was wearing and whether it was tight, and to tell me not to talk to anyone about it because it wouldn’t look good for me.” She said university officials alternated between “saying it never even happened and saying I was a willing participant.”
Randy Page, a university spokesman, said Tuesday that university officials had not yet met with people from Grace and that any disagreements would remain between them.
He said he could not respond to the claims about how the university had handled abuse victims in the past, “because I wasn’t there,” but that Bob Jones has a commitment to “a loving, scripturally based response” for everyone

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Jutta HIPP "Too close for comfort" (1956)

From the album "With Zoot Sims"; Jutta Hipp (pno), Zoot Sims (T sax), Jerry Lloyd (tpt), Ahmaed Abdul-Malik (db), Ed Thigpen (dr).

J.R. Monterose and Tommy Flanagan-"Never Let Me Go"

LIVE - Jackie McLean + McCoy Tyner + Jack DeJohnette - "Passion Dance"

Kenny Dorham feat. Jackie McLean "It Could Happen to You"

Kenny Dorham (tp)
Jackie McLean (as)
Walter Bishop Jr. (p)
Leroy Vinnegar (b)
Art Taylor (ds)

Kenny Dorham,J.R.Monterose - "The Prophet"

Kenny Dorham (tp)
J.R. Monterose (ts)
Dick Katz (p)
Sam Jones (b)
Arthur Edgehill (ds)

Lee Morgan,Hank Mobley - "All the Things You Are"

Lee Morgan (tp)
Curtis Fuller (tb)
Hank Mobley (ts)
Billy Root (ts, brs)
Ray Bryant (p)
Tommy Bryant (b)
Charles "Specs" Wright (ds)

Recorded live at "Birdland", NYC
Apr 21, 1958

Curtis Fuller Sextet - Judyful

Curtis Fuller Sextet
Lee Morgan (tp) Curtis Fuller (tb) Yusef Lateef (ts) McCoy Tyner (p) Milt Hinton (b) Bobby Donaldson (d)
NYC, June 7, 1960

Lee Morgan - Hank Mobley Quintet 1956 ~ Nostalgia

Lee Morgan - Trumpet
Hank Mobley - Tenor Sax
Hank Jones - Piano
Doug Watkins - Bass
Art Taylor - Drums

Donald Byrd -- Jeannine.. At The Half Note Cafe 1960

Donald Byrd - trumpet,
Pepper Adams - baritone saxophone
Duke Pearson - piano
Laymon Jackson - bass
Lex Humphries - drums

Lou Donaldson - Gravy Train

"Gravy Train " by Lou Donaldson released by Blue Note Records (1961). Lou Donaldson (Alto Saxophone) Herman Foster (Piano) Ben Tucker (Bass) Dave Baily (Drums) Alec Dorsey (Congas)

Clifford Brown & Max Roach - Jordu

Clifford Brown (Trumpet)
Harold Land (Tenor Saxophone)
George Morrow (Bass)
Richie Powell (Piano)
Max Roach (Drums)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Don Byas Quintet 1945 ~ How High The Moon

Benny Harris - Trumpet
Don Byas - Tenor Sax
Jimmy Jones - Piano
John Levy - Bass
Fred Radcliffe - Drums

Don Byas Quintet 1945 ~ Candy

Don Byas - Tenor Sax
Benny Harris - Trumpet
Jimmy Jones - Piano
John Levy - Bass
Fred Radcliffe - Drums

Don Byas - Slam Stewart Duet Live 1945 ~ I Got Rhythm

If I Had You - Pee Wee Russell

Henry Red Allen 1941 CarnegieHall One O´Clock Jump

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Morning Must-Read: “Mitt”, Tom Perkins, The 1%, The 47%, and How Inequality Is Destroying Our Leadership

Here is an interesting post from "The Equitablog".  Please follow link to original.  Read some more of the stuff there. 

Elias Asquith: The 1 percent’s most ruinous sin: How they sap our politicians of all decency:
‘Mitt’, Netflix’s recently released documentary… has, on the whole, been rather well-received…. Not everyone believes that the film succeeds in giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look… but most seem to have found it… a humanizing depiction of a seemingly decent man…. Even if the man in “Mitt” is not so charming and sympathetic a figure as to counterbalance the woeful policies on which he ran, there is the lingering question of why there is such a great distance between Candidate Romney and Mitt Romney. How could the same guy who at one point in the film acknowledges the immense privilege he was born into repeatedly insist, on the campaign trail, that he was a self-made man, a testament to the American meritocracy? How could the guy who infamously sneered that roughly half of the country were irresponsible, entitled, greedy moochers seem, in another context, to be kind, thoughtful, polite and fundamentally well-meaning?

Sure, people are complicated; and yes, the intensity of the politico-media complex often renders us incapable of seeing the men and women on the other side as fully formed human beings until well after the final ballot is counted. That’s all true. But I think there’s another explanation…. While [Tom] Perkins’ ahistorical and narcissistic ramblings were roundly mocked, they also inspired greater interest in discovering whether or not his fellow members of the 1 percent felt the same way he did. As it turns out, many, if not most, of them do. Bloomberg Businessweek’s Joshua Green explained how in the Obama years, ‘a class of financiers whose wealth shields them from the effects of practically any government policy has come to develop… a powerful persecution complex’….
Now, if Perkins and his ilk were as isolated from American society and politics as they feel they are, this kind of ‘frothing paranoia’ would still be annoying and ridiculous, but also fundamentally harmless…. [But] more than a quarter of all the disclosed political donations in the 2012 election (nearly $6 billion) came from a mere 31,385 people. And… these are Tom Perkins’ people…. Imagine spending five hours of every day talking to Tom Perkins and not only having to listen to his nonsense, but do so in such a way that he’ll feel inclined to give you huge amounts of money afterward….
So, getting back to Mitt Romney, keep in mind that during the roughly six years he was running for president — from 2006 to 2012 — Romney was spending an unfathomable amount of his time engaging in the soul-destroying process of pretending to listen, pretending to agree, pretending to care, all in the hopes of securing a big, fat paycheck… and then doing it again, and again, and again.
Think back to the infamous 47 percent video, which was taken during a high-priced Romney fundraiser. Romney’s a Republican, so I don’t doubt that on some fundamental level he believes that what separates Democrats and GOPers is an ethic of responsibility and self-reliance. But at the same time, you can easily imagine that Romney, long numb to the entire process of humoring the wealthy, was acting like any modern politician: telling his audience what it wanted to hear. And his audience wants to hear that they’re true Masters of the Universe, real champions of the meritocracy.
One of the most remarked upon moments in “Mitt” features Josh Romney explaining why “good people” don’t run for office. Referring to the nonstop criticism, scrutiny and abuse a candidate for president must endure, Josh says:
This is why you don’t get good people running for president. What better guy is there than my dad? Is he perfect? Absolutely not. He’s made mistakes. He’s done all sorts of things wrong. But for goodness sakes, here’s a brilliant guy who’s had experience turning things around, which is what we need in this country. I mean, it’s like, this is the guy for the moment. And we’re in this, and you just get beat up constantly.
It’s a common complaint, and people of all stripes tend to enjoy bashing ‘the media’, so it has quite a few adherents. But it’s got the dynamic all wrong. It’s not what happens on the big stage, in front of all the flashing lights and snapping cameras and hovering microphones and outstretched tape recorders, that keeps ‘good people’ from wanting to run. It’s what happens behind the curtain, during those thousands upon thousands of moments spent greasing the Tom Perkinses of this world, that turns a seemingly decent guy like Mitt Romney into that most vacuous and disturbing figure: the presidential nominee…

Trumpet Battle - Gillespie, Eldridge, Buckner, Coleman

 Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, Teddy Buckner and Bill Coleman

Bill Watrous best ever trombone solo'' Memories of you'' 1984. - I don't know if it's his "best" solo, but it is an example of his amazing ability as a trombone player. Many have told me he is "the best ever" - I don't really know that, but he is damn good.

Charlie Shavers - It's All Right With Me

Charlie Shavers (tp), Urbie Green (tb), Sol Yaged (cl), Sam "The Man" Taylor (ts), Buddy Weed (p), Barry Galbraith (g), Bob Haggart (b), Cozy Cole (ds)

Lush Life - Stan Getz + Gerry Mulligan + Oscar Peterson ... = Jazz Giants of 1958