Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dizzy Gillespie, Arturo Sandoval,"Night in Tunisia"

A then-young Arturo Sandoval (trumpet) and Walter Davis Jr. (piano) sit in with Dizzy's band. Bari sax player, Sayyd Abdul al-Khabbyr, is remarkable.

Arturo Sandoval - Blues For Dizzy (Live)

PLEASE listen!

Nicholas Payton with the Ray Brown Trio -Bag's Groove

Ray Brown Trio featuring Nicholas Payton from the Bern Jazz Fest 2001. Ray's 75th birthday tour. With Larry Fuller-piano George Fludas-drums

Joe Newman - Wednesday's Blues (1960)

Joe Newman (tp)
Frank Wess (ts)
Tommy Flanagan (p)
Eddie Jones (b)
Oliver Jackson (ds)

Dave Lambert - Buddy Stewart w/ Red Rodney's Be-Boppers 1946 ~ Charge Account

Dave Lambert - Vocals
Buddy Stewart - Vocals
Red Rodney - Trumpet
Al Haig - Piano
Curley Russell - Bass
Stan Levey - Drums
Neal Hefti - Arranger

* Long before there was "Lambert Hendricks & Ross", there was
Dave Lambert and Buddy Stewart. Red Rodney was 3 years away
from accepting Charlie Parker's invitation to his quintet in 1949.

Red Rodney Quintet - You Better Go Now

Personnel: Red Rodney (trumpet), Ira Sullivan (tenor sax), Tommy Flanagan (piano), Oscar Pettiford (bass), Philly Joe Jones (drums)

Wingy Manone and his Orchestra - Tar Paper Stomp (1930)

Look him up  --  another old time jazz artist out of New Orleans.

WANG WANG BLUES by Yank Lawson's Jazz Band 1944

Ziggy Elman-"And the Angels Sing" (audio only)

What Happens When The Religion Of Peace Meets The Religion Of Love?

This from "Atheist Oasis"  ---  please follow link to original.

Wish that it was surprising.
Central African Republic’s Seleka rebels call for secession amid sectarian war
Rebels in the Central African Republic are calling for the establishment of a new country as a radical solution to the worsening sectarian conflict.
The name – the Republic of Northern Central Africa – and a design for a national flag, are circulating by mobile phone in the dusty town of Bambari, which divides the CAR’s largely Christian south from a northern region now controlled by the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels, according to Reuters. But the United Nations, the African Union, the former colonial power, France, and many analysts insist that this is neither likely nor desirable.
The call for partition echoes numerous secessionist movements across Africa, where arbitrary borders drawn by colonial mapmakers disregarded and cut across ethnic boundaries. South Sudan, the CAR’s neighbour, gained independence from Sudan in 2011 – but is now embroiled in a civil war of its own.
Bambari has become a sanctuary for Muslims fleeing lynch mobs in the south; a convoy of French peacekeepers escorted 100 Muslims there last Monday from the capital, Bangui.
Such evacuations, which are continuing, are tantamount to accepting partition, the minister for reconciliation and communications, Antoinette Montaigne has conceded.
Abdel Nasser Mahamat Youssouf, member of a youth group in Bambari lobbying for the secession of the north, was quoted as saying: “The partition itself has already been done. Now there only remains the declaration of independence.”
A colleague, Oumar Tidiane, said of the south: “They don’t want any Muslims. Rather than calling their country the Central African Republic, they can call it the Central African Catholic Republic.”
Militias known as the “anti-balaka” have driven tens of thousands of Muslims from the south, destroying mosques and virtually wiping out the Muslim population of Bangui. The UN high commissioner for refugees, António Guterres, has said the country faces “massive ethnic-religious cleansing”, while Amnesty International has warned of a “Muslim exodus of historic proportions”.
But there is no simple split. Before the crisis it was estimated that half the CAR’s population was Christian and just 15% Muslim. David Smith, a director of Okapi Consulting, who spent several years in the country, said: “The number of Muslims in the CAR was small and now it is dramatically smaller. The number calling for secession is so small that it’s hardly worth listening to them.
“There are some people who want to compare it with Sudan and South Sudan but that is completely off the mark.
“There are lot of independence movements all over this continent and most have more steam behind them than a group of young men in the CAR. It’s coming predominantly from Chadians and Sudanese who want to have free rein in the region,” he added.
Indeed, an independent north would play into the hands of neighbouring Chad and Sudan, whose mercenaries played a major part in a coup in March last year, sparking a backlash along religious lines that forced the Seleka to cede power in January. This is just one reason why partition is implacably opposed by the CAR’s interim president, Catherine Samba-Panza. The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, has also warned of its dangers and the French president, François Hollande, has vowed to prevent it.
It is also unlikely to win much sympathy in the rest of Africa, where governments are resisting separatist movements everywhere from Angola to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, from Nigeria to Kenya, from Somalia to Zimbabwe. At independence half a century ago, the Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union) declared the borders immutable to prevent wars erupting.
It made a special case for South Sudan but is hardly like to do the same for the CAR. Koffi Kouakou, a foreign-policy expert at Wits University in Johannesburg, said: “The partition of the CAR is not likely to happen and is not desirable at political and economic levels.
“The social evidence on the ground shows that while the strife of ethnic cleansing is increasingly becoming a grave concern in many parts of Africa, mainly in central Africa, the partition of the CAR is a mirage at this stage.
“The international community will not allow it as a matter of course. A divided CAR is not feasible on international jurisdiction and on paper.”
Kouakou added: “There may be an urgent need for a solution to isolate the warring populations for a while to help subside the violence. But it will not be in the interest of all parties to seek a secession of the mainly Muslim north away from the Catholic south.
“The partition of Sudan, a bordering country, is the evidence that the partition of a country is in fact not the solution to deep ethnic rivalries in Africa.”
Smith said: “It’s undesirable because the CAR as it stands is not a functioning state and has never been a functioning state. Cutting the CAR – which was the weakest part of French Equatorial Africa – in half will mean one half has virtually no infrastructure of any kind. If you don’t have Bangui, you don’t really have anything.”
“It serves nobody’s interest to create another basket-case state that requires aid from the international community.”
Not all Muslims favour the move either. Ibrahim Alawad, one of a small band clinging to their homes in Bangui, said on Friday: “It cannot be just like that. You grow up in one country and you live in one place. We want to know what is in the minds of our fellow Christians.
“I don’t want to see the country divided. Why not dialogue?
Because dialogue historically has never worked between religious factions. Look at the Crusades. The Goan Inquisition. The Albigensian Crusade.
For more topical examples, there is of course the Holocaust, the Yugoslav Wars…there seems to be an ongoing source even into the 21st century.
Religion is a mask that keeps humanity from looking at itself in the mirror.
Till the next post then.

The Other Christie Scandal

A post from Dr. Paul Krugman's blog - please follow link to original

What is it that makes self-proclaimed centrists such easy marks for right-wing con men? Actually, it’s not that much of a mystery: the centrist creed is that the two parties are symmetrically extremist, and this means that there must, as a matter of principle, be Serious, Honest Republicans out there — so such people must be invented if they don’t actually exist. Hence the elevation of Paul Ryan despite clear evidence of his con-artist nature.
And hence, also, the love affair with Chris Christie.
That affair ended up in a breakup over Bridgegate, but the evidence of Christie’s true nature was obvious all along. I wrote two years ago about his fiscal fakery, and in particular the way he tried to silence independent critics of his budget projections via crude, vicious personal attacks.
Now Vox tells us that the critics were in fact completely right, and that Christie’s budget projections were absolutely as unrealistic as they said.
Can we say that someone who tries to browbeat anyone daring to question rosy scenarios is someone who should never, ever be allowed near higher office? And can we also say that there’s something very wrong with pundits who failed to see the obvious about this guy?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How Piketty's Bombshell Book Blows Up Libertarian Fantasies Sorry, Ayn Rand. Your fiction has been exposed as, well, fiction. - by Lynn Stuart Parramore

This from Alternet.  Please follow link to original.

Libertarians have always been flummoxed by inequality, tending either to deny that it’s a problem or pretend that the invisible hand of the market will wave a magic wand to cure it. Then everybody gets properly rewarded for what he or she does with brains and effort, and things are peachy keen.
Except that they aren’t, as exhaustively demonstrated by French economist Thomas Piketty, whose 700-page treatise on the long-term trends in inequality, Capital In the 21st Century, has blown up libertarian fantasies one by one.
To understand the libertarian view of inequality, let’s turn to Milton Friedman, one of America's most famous and influential makers of free market mythology. Friedman decreed that economic policy should focus on freedom, and not equality.
If we could do that, he promised, we’d not only get freedom and efficiency, but more equality as a natural byproduct. Libertarians who took the lessons from his books, like Capitalism and Freedom (1962) and Free to Choose (1980), bought into the notion that capitalism naturally led to less inequality.
Basically, the lessons boiled down to this: Some degree of inequality is both unavoidable and desirable in a free market, and income inequality in the U.S. isn’t very pronounced, anyway. Libertarians starting with these ideas tend to reject any government intervention meant to decrease inequality, claiming that such plans make people lazy and that they don’t work, anyway. Things like progressive income taxes, minimum wage laws and social safety nets make most libertarians very unhappy.
Uncle Milty put it like this:
“A society that puts equality—in the sense of equality of outcome—ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom.… On the other hand, a society that puts freedom first will, as a happy by-product, end up with both greater freedom and greater equality.”
Well, that turns out to be spectacularly, jaw-droppingly, head-scratchingly wrong. The U.S. is now a stunningly unequal society, with wealth piling up at the top so fast that an entire movement, Occupy Wall Street, sprung up to decry it with the catchphrase “We are the 99%.”
How did libertarians get it all so backwards? Well, as Piketty points out, people like Milton Friedman were writing at a time when inequality was indeed less pronounced in the U.S. than it had been in previous eras. But they mistook this happy state of affairs as the magic of capitalism. Actually, it wasn’t the magic of capitalism that reduced inequality during a brief, halcyon period after the New Deal and WWII. It was the forces of various economic shocks plus policies our government put in place to respond to them that changed America from a top-heavy society in the Gilded Age to something more egalitarian in the post-war years.
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As you’ll recall, if you watched the movie Titanic, the U.S. had a class of rentiers (rich people who live off property and investments) in the early part of the 20th century who hailed from places like Boston, New York and Philadelphia. They were just as nasty and rapacious as their European counterparts, only there weren’t quite so many of them and their wealth was not quite as concentrated (the Southern rentiers had been wiped out by the Civil War).
The fortunes of these rentiers were not shock-proof: If you remember Hockney, the baddie in James Cameron’s film, he survives the Titanic but not the Great Crash of ’29, when he loses his money and offs himself. The Great Depression got rid of some of the extreme wealth concentration in America, and later the wealthy got hit with substantial tax shocks imposed by the federal government in the 1930s and '40s. The American rentier class wasn’t really vaporized the way it was in Europe, where the effects of the two world wars were much more pronounced, but it took a hit. That opened up the playing field and gave people more of a chance to rise on the rungs of the economic ladder through talent and work.
After the Great Depression, inequality decreased in America, as New Deal investment and education programs, government intervention in wages, the rise of unions, and other factors worked to give many more people a chance for success. Inequality reached its lowest ebb between 1950 and 1980. If you were looking at the U.S. during that time, it seemed like a pretty egalitarian place to be (though blacks, Hispanics, and many women would disagree).
As Piketty notes, people like Milton Friedman, an academic economist, were doing rather well in the economy, likely sitting in the top 10 percent income level, and to them, the economy appeared to be doing just fine and rewarding talents and merits very nicely. But the Friedmans weren’t paying enough attention to how the folks on the rungs above them, particularly the one percent and even more so the .01 percent, were beginning to climb into the stratosphere. The people doing that climbing were mostly not academic economists, or lawyers, or doctors. They were managers of large firms who had begun to award themselves very prodigious salaries.
This phenomenon really got going after 1980, when wealth started flowing in vast quantities from the bottom 90 percent of the population to the top 10 percent. By 1987, Ayn Rand acolyte Alan Greenspan had taken over as head of the Federal Reserve, and free market fever was unleashed upon America. People in U.S. business schools started reading Ayn Rand's kooky novels as if they were serious economic treatises and hailing the free market as the only path to progress. John Galt, the hero of Atlas Shrugged(1957), captured the imaginations of young students like Paul Ryan, who worshipped Galt as a superman who could rise to the top through his vision, merit and heroic efforts. Galt became the prototype of the kind of “supermanager” these business schools were supposed to crank out.
Since the ‘80s, the top salaries and pay packages awarded to executives of the largest companies and financial firms in the U.S. have reached spectacular heights. This, coupled with low growth and stagnation of wages for the vast majority of workers, has meant growing inequality. As income from labor gets more and more unequal, income from capital starts to play a bigger role. By the time you get to the .01 percent, virtually all your income comes from capital—stuff like dividends and capital gains. That’s when wealth (what you have) starts to matter more than income (what you earn).
Wealth gathering at the top creates all sorts of problems. Some of these elites will hoard their wealth and fail to do anything productive with it. Others channel it into harmful activities like speculation, which can throw the economy out of whack. Some increase their wealth by preying on the less well-off. As inequality grows, regular people lose their purchasing power. They go into debt. The economy gets destabilized. (Piketty, and many other economists, count the increase in inequality as one of the reasons the economy blew up in 2007-'08.)
By the time you get to 2010, U.S. inequality, according to Piketty’s data, is quantitavely as extreme as in old Europe in the first decade of the 20th century. He predicts that inherited property is going to start to matter more and more in the U.S. as the supermanagers, the Jamie Dimons and so on, bequeath their gigantic hordes of money to their children.
The ironic twist is this: The reason a person like the fictional John Galt would be able to rise from humble beginnings in the 1950s is because the Gilded Age rentiers lost large chunks of their wealth through the shocks the Great Depression and the deliberate government policies that came in its wake, thus loosening their stranglehold on the economy and society. Galt is able to make his fortune precisely because he lives in a society that isn’t dominated by extreme concentrated wealth and dynasties. Yet the logical outcome of an economy in which there is no attempt made to limit the size of fortunes and promote greater equality is a place in which the most likely way John Galt can make a fortune is to marry an heiress. So it was in the Gilded Age. So it may be very soon in America.
Which brings us back to Friedman’s view that people naturally get what they deserve, that reward is based on talent. Well, clearly in the case of inherited property, reward is not based on talent, but membership in the Lucky Sperm Club (or marriage into it). That made Uncle Milty a little bit uncomfortable, but he just huffed that life is not fair, and we shouldn’t think it any more unjust that one person is born with mathematical genius as the other is born with a fortune. What’s the difference?
Actually, there is a very big difference. It is the particular rules governing society that determine who amasses a fortune and what part of that fortune is passed on to heirs. The wrong-headed policies promoted by libertarians and their ilk, who hate any form of tax on the rich, such as inheritance taxes, have ensured that big fortunes in America are getting bigger, and they will play a much more prominent role in the direction of our society and economy if we continue on the present path.
What we are headed for, after several decades of free market mania, is superinequality, possibly such as the world has never seen. In this world, more and more wealth will be gained off the backs of the 99 percent, and less and less will be earned through hard work.
Which essentially means freedom for the rich, and no one else.

Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen - Wynton Marsalis Quintet with Lucky Peterson

Wynton Marsalis (trumpet); Lucky Peterson (vocal, guitar, organ); Walter Blanding (sax); Dan Nimmer (piano); Carlos Henriquez (bass); Ali Jackson (drums)

Second Line (Joe Avery's Blues) - Wynton Marsalis Quintet featuring Mark O'Connor and Frank Vignola

The Wynton Marsalis Quintet performing "Joe Avery's Blues Second Line", featuring Mark O'Connor (violin) and Frank Vignola (guitar). Special guest: Jonathan Batiste (piano).

Wynton Marsalis (trumpet); Dan Nimmer (piano); Walter Blanding (sax); Carlos Henriquez (bass); Ali Jackson (drums)

Blues Walk - Dizzy Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie - Trumpet
Sonny Stitt - Tenor Saxophone
Lou Levy - Piano
Ray Brown - Bass
Gus Johnson - Drums

Jon Faddis - All Blues

Jon Faddis, trumpet
Benny Green, piano
Ulf Wakenius, guitar
Alvin Queen, drums
Niels Henning Orsted-Pedersen, bass

Poncho Sanchez and Terence Blanchard - Groovin High (Live at Amoeba)

Lee Morgan,Hank Mobley - 04 "There Will Never Be Another You"

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

Kenny Dorham - Bye Bye Blackbird

Kenny Dorham (tp), Allan Botschinsky (flh). Tete Montoliu (p), Niels-Henning Osted Pedersen (b), Alex Riel (ds)
Album:" Kenny Dorham / Short Story "
Recorded:Copenhagen, December 19, 1963

Booker Little Quartet '' Opening statement '' ( Stereotime , 1960 )

Buck Clayton 1961

Well, Git It - Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey & Charlie Shavers (Trumpet)

Harry "Sweets" Edison - Willow Weep For Me

Roy Hargrove Quintet Performs "Soulful" Live in KPLU Studio

Hargrove was accompanied in the studio by pianist Jonathan Batiste, bassist Ameen Saleem, saxophonist Justin Robinson, and drummer Montez Coleman

Roy Eldridge 09 Flyin' On A V-Disc - Part 1 + 2(Flying Home)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Boycott, etc., etc., etc.

Once again we have antisemitism hiding under another label.  Now they call it "anti-Zionism".  God forbid Jews defend themselves against people who have been attempting to "throw them into the sea" for over 65 years.

If the USA had been attacked with the ferocity and frequency our Arab friends have attacked Israel we would have turned them and their country into GLASS.

I'm quite aware of the institutionalized antisemitism that still thrives in the USA.  It includes all sorts of folks  --  white, brown, and black  --  blaming Jews for everything from climate change, financial failures, acne, boils, and cancer.  After all, what do you expect from "The JEW"?

Now it tries to be "respectable"  --  "Boycott - Divest - Sanction".  This for our only real ally in the middle east.  This for people who have been under attack from the very beginning.  Fighting wars, fighting terrorists while making the desert bloom.

We once admired them.  Now some supposed "progressives" support the folks who stone women, stone gay folks - if the don't just kill them other ways - and have a history of forced "conversions".  People who took over North Africa and the Middle East with the sword   ---   "convert or die".

Today our so-called "progressives" support folks who are stuck in the 15th century.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Night Train [Bonus Tracks included] - Oscar Peterson Trio - Full Album

Oscar Peterson - Night Train   --  full album

 Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown - bass, and Ed Thigpen - drums

Night Train 00:00
C-Jam Blues 04:53
Georgia On My Mind 08:18
Bag's Groove 12:04
Moten Swing 17:48
Easy Does It 20:44
The Honeydripper 23:29
Things Ain't What They Used To Be 25:54
I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good) 30:33
Band Call 35.42
Hymn To Freedom 39:37
Night Train [Alternate Take] 45:16
Volare 50:16
My Heart Belongs To Daddy 53:04
Moten Swing [Rehearsal Take] 1:00:59
Now's The Time 1:04:37
This Could Be The Start Of Something 1:07:13

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A visit to "Some Assembly Required"

A visit to "Some Assembly Required".  Please follow link to originsl.

This, Just In! “Politicians don’t seem to care very much about what the public thinks: when elite preferences and popular preferences are different, the elite almost always wins.” If you pay the band it plays your song.

Fan, Stuff Hitting The: There are allegations that Poland's NATO-installed leadership was pressured last fall to provide a month or so of training to persons to be dispatched to Ukraine to stir up trouble. Now Biden runs off to Kiev to boost the morale of the chosen oligarchs in our struggle to appropriate Ukraine's natural resources for Western Capitalists. Back in DC, the US warns Putin he has “days, not weeks” to fall in line. Grab your popcorn, the exciting part is coming right after the commercials. 

No Gold From Straw: A new study confirms what has long been suspected – the main value of corn bioifuels are the dollars it lets the politicians distribute to favored clients, and not in reducing CO2 buildup in the atmosphere. In fact it is a tad worse than gasoline in killing the planet as we know it. The politicians and the bioifuel industry quickly claimed that it was the study's methodology and not corn biofuels that were flawed.

Days Of Whine and Rosieness: Science geeks aat the US AID say that there will not be enough arable land, available water or needed energy to sustain the 9 billion expected to populate the earth by 2050, resulting in starvation, famine and migration becoming “politically destabilizing” - which is science talk for war. They didn't mention plague, but that's in there too. Why don't scientists just keep busy figuring out ways for the rich to get richer and quit scaring the rest of us?

   Philanthropy is not charity, it is the rich using tax write-offs to shape society to their purposes. D S Wright

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Why Not?

Here'e what I don't quite understand.  Let us say a bank, or a Wall Street firm really is "too big to fail", why does that mean its leaders, its principals, are immunized from prosecution?

The bank can remain whole  --  just under new leadership.  In fact, a temporary "nationalization" should be in order until the "books are uncooked".

Can anyone give me a good reason why this cannot, or should not happen?

Monday, April 14, 2014


Here's another selection of "headlines".  Perhaps now you understand my despair.  In fact, most of this crap goes well beyond anything you might call satire.

Wisconsin Republican Party to vote on secession at state convenction in May


Pastor John Hagee: Tuesday’s ‘blood moon’ eclipse signals the end of the world


Why are geocentrists trying to undo centuries worth of accepted science? (Hint: The Jews)    -------   arrrrgh!!


A Minneapolis Restaurant Hosted A Nazi-Themed Party On MLK Day

Just noticed this on TPM (Talking Points Memo)  --  ties in nicely with my previous post  --  don't you think?  All those "nice heartland folks". 

When do the pogroms, murders, and book burnings start?

Please notice this "party" was held on MLK day.  Nice tie in, don't you think?  It is my opinion a lot of folks have to rethink their antisemitism, both casual and otherwise. 

Please follow link to original.

The gathering, replete with Nazi flags and men clad in uniforms, was a Twin Cities historical society's annual Christmas party. But the party wasn't held in December. It was thrown in January. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, no less.
Photos of the party were published this week by the Minneapolis alt weekly newspaper City Pages. The paper subsequently received additional photos and information about the gathering.
According to the Star Tribune, a staff member at Gasthof zur Gemutlichkeit, the restaurant that hosted the event, lost his job last week after admitting to taking photos and sharing them with friends.
Gasthof’s owner Mario Pierzchalski doesn't understand the uproar. An immigrant of Poland, Pierzchalski said the participants were merely "actors" and "peaceful people." Even so, Pierzchalski said that after six years of hosting the party, the event will no longer be held at his establishment.
“So now we have a lot of bad messages on our phones; they want to burn down the building,” he told the Star Tribune. “We live in a free country...but from the comments I see, a lot of people they don’t see what freedom is. If I break the law, punish me. But we did this for so many years and everything was fine.”
Pierzchalski has not responded to TPM's request for comment. When TPM called Gasthof’s, the woman on the other end seemed accustomed to handling inquiries about the controversy.
"Is this about the article?" she asked.
The organizers of the event have also insisted that they were not making a political statement.
Scott Steben, the organizer of the party, told the Star Tribune this week that "[b]y no means do we glorify the edicts of the Third Reich." According to the newspaper, Steben has had roles as a German soldier in "at least three movies."
Jon Boorom, who also participated in the event, compared the party in an interview with City Pages to "a Star Trek convention but for WWII enthusiasts."
On Wednesday, Steben issued an apology and said he understood "that some of the items we displayed at the dinner have made people feel uncomfortable."


Today marks the beginning of Passover, celebrating the liberation of the Jews from Egypt over 3300 years ago.

It lasts seven days in Israel, but eight in the diaspora. 

This past weekend, a RABID anti-Semite killed three innocent people outside a Jewish Center and a Jewish senior living community.  The Dr. and grandson shot and killed outside the Jewish Center were both Methodists  --  but, I guess they "looked Jewish" to the killer - a former klu-klux-klan "leader", insane anti-Semite, candidate for public office, and ex-con.

As I've said before  --  sooner or later "they" ALWAYS come for the Jews.  It NEVER fails.  Every attempt to be a "good German", a "good" whatever eventually fails  --  simply because, whenever we have bad times, some fool will ALWAYS blame it on the Jews.

Now we have antisemitism raising its ugly head on both right and left  --  the right wing with its usual "Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion", it's general "anti-anything-black-brown-non-Christian" (of the "approved" kind), and it's fear of "hippies", and damn near anything "different".  The supposed left cloaks its antisemitism in "anti-Zionism", while giving hard line Muslims who will not accept Israel as a "legitimate" country (wishing to drive them into the sea) a pass on all they do - and many of them "do" a lot.

It makes no sense for American Jews to support the Republican Party, and their support of the Democratic party must be dependent on reciprocal support from Democrats.

This does NOT include support for groups of ultra-orthodox folks who tend to publicly denigrate women and DEMAND their rules be followed in PUBLIC places.  It is, after all, still the USA - right?

Oh, by the way, antisemitism is on the rise WORLDWIDE.  Choose your friends carefully.  Always remember:  NEVER AGAIN   

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


The very latest from Robert Reich.  Please follow link to original.

Momentum is building to raise the minimum wage. Several states have already taken action  — Connecticut has boosted it to $10.10 by 2017, the Maryland legislature just approved a similar measure, Minnesota lawmakers just reached a deal to hike it to $9.50. A few cities have been more ambitious — Washington, D.C. and its surrounding counties raised it to $11.50, Seattle is considering $15.00
Senate Democrats will soon introduce legislation raising it nationally to $10.10, from the current $7.25 an hour.
All this is fine as far as it goes. But we need to be more ambitious. We should be raising the federal minimum to $15 an hour.
Here are seven reasons why:
1. Had the minimum wage of 1968 simply stayed even with inflation, it would be more than $10 an hour today. But the typical worker is also about twice as productive as then. Some of those productivity gains should go to workers at the bottom.
2. $10.10 isn’t enough to lift all workers and their families out of poverty. Most low-wage workers aren’t young teenagers; they’re major breadwinners for their families, and many are women. And they and their families need a higher minimum.
3. For this reason, a $10.10 minimum would also still require the rest of us to pay Medicaid, food-stamps, and other programs necessary to get poor families out of poverty — thereby indirectly subsidizing employers who refuse to pay more. Bloomberg View describes McDonalds and Walmart as “America’s biggest welfare queens” because their employees receive so much public assistance. (Some, like McDonalds, even advise their employees to use public programs because their pay is so low.)
4. A $15/hour minimum won’t result in major job losses because it would put money in the pockets of millions of low-wage workers who will spend it — thereby giving working families and the overall economy a boost, and creating jobs. (When I was Labor Secretary in 1996 and we raised the minimum wage, business predicted millions of job losses; in fact, we had more job gains over the next four years than in any comparable period in American history.)
5. A $15/hour minimum is unlikely to result in higher prices because most businesses directly affected by it are in intense competition for consumers, and will take the raise out of profits rather than raise their prices. But because the higher minimum will also attract more workers into the job market, employers will have more choice of whom to hire, and thereby have more reliable employees — resulting in lower turnover costs and higher productivity.
6. Since Republicans will push Democrats to go even lower than $10.10, it’s doubly important to be clear about what’s right in the first place. Democrats should be going for a higher minimum rather than listening to Republican demands for a smaller one.
7. At a time in our history when 95 percent of all economic gains are going to the top 1 percent, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour isn’t just smart economics and good politics. It’s also the morally right thing to do.
Call your senators and members of congress today to tell them $15 an hour is the least American workers deserve. You can reach them at 202-224-3121.

A Visit To "Some Assembly Required"

Time for a visit to "Some Assembly Required".  I am beginning to think it should be renamed, "A Survey Of Stupidity" - but, there seem to be times when it's not stupidity but some sort of criminal activity combined with short term thinking.  Also what is seen as self serving by folks too stupid to understand we are all in this mess together.  Please follow link to original.

You Shouldn't Be In Kansas Anymore, Toto: Acting at night, over the weekend, brave GOP'ers in Kansas have nullified the existing contracts of the state's public school teachers, stripping them of tenure, making them individually renegotiate their existing contracts without any union representative tainting the process. And if a teacher does not agree to this process, termination is automatic and cannot be appealed. This travesty was committed in lieu of providing court-ordered funding levels to the state's public schools. 

Get Off Your Ash: A judge has told the NC Environmental Management Commission that it had both the power and the responsibility to get on Duke Energy's ass about the massive and ongoing pollution from its 'coal ash ponds”, and that the Commission should “require an immediate halt to pollution.” The Commission, a wholly owned subsidiary of Duke Energy, is appealing the decision.

Yawn: So many scared, ignorant parents in Oregon have refused to have their little darlings vaccinated against measles that the disease is on the rise again. Politically correct stupidity reigns supreme.

 About Farce: In January, small business were at their most optimistic levels in seven years. That has collapsed in the subsequent two months to reach levels last seen back when we all knew who Lehman Brothers was.

There's more - please go there. 

Call climate change what it is: violence Social unrest and famine, superstorms and droughts. Places, species and human beings – none will be spared. Welcome to Occupy Earth - Rebecca Solnit

Here's an interesting take on climate change from "The Guardian" - please follow link to original.

If you're poor, the only way you're likely to injure someone is the old traditional way: artisanal violence, we could call it – by hands, by knife, by club, or maybe modern hands-on violence, by gun or by car.
But if you're tremendously wealthy, you can practice industrial-scale violence without any manual labor on your own part. You can, say, build a sweatshop factory that will collapse in Bangladesh and kill more people than any hands-on mass murderer ever did, or you can calculate risk and benefit about putting poisons or unsafe machines into the world, as manufacturers do every day. If you're the leader of a country, you can declare war and kill by the hundreds of thousands or millions. And the nuclear superpowers – the US and Russia – still hold the option of destroying quite a lot of life on Earth.
So do the carbon barons. But when we talk about violence, we almost always talk about violence from below, not above.
Or so I thought when I received a press release last week from a climate group announcing that "scientists say there is a direct link between changing climate and an increase in violence". What the scientists actually said, in a not-so-newsworthy article in Nature two and a half years ago, is that there is higher conflict in the tropics in El Nino years, and that perhaps this will scale up to make our age of climate change also an era of civil and international conflict.
The message is that ordinary people will behave badly in an era of intensified climate change.
All this makes sense, unless you go back to the premise and note that climate change is itself violence. Extreme, horrific, longterm, widespread violence.
Climate change is anthropogenic – caused by human beings, some much more than others. We know the consequences of that change: the acidification of oceans and decline of many species in them, the slow disappearance of island nations such as the Maldives, increased flooding, drought, crop failure leading to food-price increases and famine, increasingly turbulent weather. (Think Hurricane Sandy and the recent typhoon in the Philippines, and heat waves that kill elderly people by the tens of thousands.)
Climate change is violence.
So if we want to talk about violence and climate change – and we are talking about it, after last week's horrifying report from the world's top climate scientists – then let's talk about climate change as violence. Rather than worrying about whether ordinary human beings will react turbulently to the destruction of the very means of their survival, let's worry about that destruction – and their survival. Of course water failure, crop failure, flooding and more will lead to mass migration and climate refugees – they already have – and this will lead to conflict. Those conflicts are being set in motion now.
You can regard the Arab Spring, in part, as a climate conflict: the increase in wheat prices was one of the triggers for that series of revolts that changed the face of northernmost Africa and the Middle East. On the one hand, you can say, how nice if those people had not been hungry in the first place. On the other, how can you not say, how great is it that those people stood up against being deprived of sustenance and hope? And then you have to look at the systems that created that hunger - the enormous economic inequalities in places such as Egypt and the brutality used to keep down the people at the lower levels of the social system, as well as the weather.
People revolt when their lives are unbearable. Sometimes material reality creates that unbearableness: droughts, plagues, storms, floods. But food and medical care, health and well-being, access to housing and education – these things are also governed by economic means and government policy. That's what the revolt called Occupy Wall Street was against.
Climate change will increase hunger as food prices rise and food production falters, but we already have widespread hunger on Earth, and much of it is due not to the failures of nature and farmers, but to systems of distribution. Almost 16m children in the United States now live with hunger, according to the US Department of Agriculture, and that is not because the vast, agriculturally rich United States cannot produce enough to feed all of us. We are a country whose distribution system is itself a kind of violence.
Climate change is not suddenly bringing about an era of equitable distribution. I suspect people will be revolting in the coming future against what they revolted against in the past: the injustices of the system. They should revolt, and we should be glad they do, if not so glad that they need to. (Though one can hope they'll recognize that violence is not necessarily where their power lies.) One of the events prompting the French Revolution was the failure of the 1788 wheat crop, which made bread prices skyrocket and the poor go hungry. The insurance against such events is often thought to be more authoritarianism and more threats against the poor, but that's only an attempt to keep a lid on what's boiling over; the other way to go is to turn down the heat.
The same week during which I received that ill-thought-out press release about climate and violence, Exxon Mobil Corporation issued a policy report. It makes for boring reading, unless you can make the dry language of business into pictures of the consequences of those acts undertaken for profit. Exxon says:
We are confident that none of our hydrocarbon reserves are now or will become 'stranded'. We believe producing these assets is essential to meeting growing energy demand worldwide.
Stranded assets that mean carbon assets – coal, oil, gas still underground – would become worthless if we decided they could not be extracted and burned in the near future. Because scientists say that we need to leave most of the world's known carbon reserves in the ground if we are to go for the milder rather than the more extreme versions of climate change. Under the milder version, countless more people – species, places – will survive. In the best-case scenario, we damage the Earth less. We are currently wrangling about how much to devastate the Earth.
In every arena, we need to look at industrial-scale and systemic violence, not just the hands-on violence of the less powerful. When it comes to climate change, this is particularly true. Exxon has decided to bet that we can't make the corporation keep its reserves in the ground, and the company is reassuring its investors that it will continue to profit off the rapid, violent and intentional destruction of the Earth.
That's a tired phrase, the destruction of the Earth, but translate it into the face of a starving child and a barren field – and then multiply that a few million times. Or just picture the tiny bivalves: scallops, oysters, Arctic sea snails that can't form shells in acidifying oceans right now. Or another superstorm tearing apart another city. Climate change is global-scale violence, against places and species as well as against human beings. Once we call it by name, we can start having a real conversation about our priorities and values. Because the revolt against brutality begins with a revolt against the language that hides that brutality.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tea Party Defender Of Traditional Marriage Busted Wrecking His Traditional Marriage

This from "Joe.My.God." - please follow link to original.  Once again, our supporters of "traditional marriage" seem to also support "traditional cheating". 

Don't many of these guys also support mandatory jail time for the CRIME of adultery?


Freshman Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA), who campaigned on a platform of "defending our Christian way of life" and on the "defense of natural marriage" has been caught on video making out with a young female staffer. Local news outlets are speculating about an affair. McAllister has issued the usual statement asking for privacy while his family gets through this extremely fucking embarrassing time.

There’s no doubt I’ve fallen short and I’m asking for forgiveness. I’m asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff and my constituents who elected me to serve. Trust is something I know has to be earned whether you’re a husband, a father or a congressman. I promise to do everything I can to earn back the trust of everyone I’ve disappointed. From day one, I’ve always tried to be an honest man. I ran for Congress to make a difference and not just be another politician.
McAllister was elected in November 2013 special election after GOP Rep. Rodney Alexander resigned to join the administration of Gov. Bobby Jindal. During his campaign McAllister sought and received the endorsement of the Duck Dynasty clan.

8 Things Mainstream Media Doesn't Have the Courage to Tell You

Here's a little something from "Alternet".  Please follow link to original.

The following are all relevant, fact-based issues, the "hard news" stories that the media has a responsibility to report. But the business-oriented press generally avoids them.

1. U.S. Wealth Up $34 Trillion Since Recession. 93% of You Got Almost None of It.

That's an average of $100,000 for every American. But the people who already own most of the stocks took almost all of it. For them, the average gain was well over a million dollars -- tax-free as long as they don't cash it in. Details available here.

2. Eight Rich Americans Made More Than 3.6 Million Minimum Wage Workers

A recent report stated that no full-time minimum wage worker in the U.S. can afford a one-bedroom or two-bedroom rental at fair market rent. There are 3.6 million such workers, and their total (combined) 2013 earnings is less than the 2013 stock market gains of just eight Americans, all of whom take more than their share from society: the four Waltons, the two Kochs, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett.

3. News Sources Speak for the 5%

It would be refreshing to read an honest editorial: "We dearly value the 5 to 7 percent of our readers who make a lot of money and believe that their growing riches are helping everyone else."

Instead, the business media seems unable to differentiate between the top 5 percent and the rest of society. The Wall Street Journalexclaimed, "Middle-class Americans have more buying power than ever before," and then went on to sputter: "What Recession?...The economy has bounced back from recession, unemployment has declined.."

The Chicago Tribune may be even further out of touch with its less privileged readers, asking them: "What's so terrible about the infusion of so much money into the presidential campaign?"

4. TV News Dumbed Down for American Viewers

A 2009 survey by the European Journal of Communication compared the U.S. to Denmark, Finland, and the UK in the awareness and reporting of domestic vs. international news, and of 'hard' news (politics, public administration, the economy, science, technology) vs. 'soft' news (celebrities, human interest, sport and entertainment). The results:

-- Americans [are] especially uninformed about international public affairs.
-- American respondents also underperformed in relation to domestic-related hard news stories.

-- American television reports much less international news than Finnish, Danish and British television;
-- American television network newscasts also report much less hard news than Finnish and Danish television.

Surprisingly, the report states that "our sample of American newspapers was more oriented towards hard news than their counterparts in the European countries." Too bad Americans are reading less newspapers.

5. News Execs among White Male Boomers Who Owe Trillions to Society

The hype about the "self-made man" is fantasy. In the early 1970s, we privileged white males were spirited out of college to waiting jobs in management and finance, technology was inventing new ways for us to make money, tax rates were about to tumble, and visions of bonuses and capital gains danced in our heads.

While we were in school the Defense Department had been preparing the Internet for Microsoft and Apple, the National Science Foundation was funding the Digital Library Initiative research that would be adopted as the Google model, and the National Institute of Health was doing the early laboratory testing for companies like Merck and Pfizer. Government research labs and public universities trained thousands of chemists, physicists, chip designers, programmers, engineers, production line workers, market analysts, testers, troubleshooters, etc., etc.

All we created on our own was a disdainful attitude, like that of Steve Jobs: "We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.".


Please follow link to read the rest.  

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Some of our Cats

That's Dixie, our part Siamese belle and Gidget, a perennial kitten. Both are loving, sweet cats. They are growing old together - along w2ith our other kitties. More to come soon.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Here are some headlines for all y'all to enjoy.  Do they describe what you want America to be?  If they are not   ---   DO SOMETHING.  Organize, vote, write letters, show real support for those who describe and support REAL AMERICAN VALUES  --  not the KKKonservative - KKKristian - Right-Wing-Republican crap they are ALL selling.

Read some REAL American History, not the tortured, revisionist, crap David Barton is selling.  Please, learn about your country.  Support the egalitarian dream that was America.

Visitors to Arkansas town greeted with billboard directing them to pro-KKK website


Oregon GOP candidate for governor: Same-sex marriage is ‘a sin, just the same as murder’


Tea Party group suggests ‘dictator’ Obama staged Sandy Hook massacre to ‘get your guns’


Fox guest links Ft. Hood shooting to welfare recipients and immigrants ‘who do nothing’


Pat Robertson: Buying stuff ‘by computer’ is the ‘Mark of the Beast’

etc., etc., etc.

The Distributional Games

From Robert Reich  --  please follow link to original

Every year I ask my class on “Wealth and Poverty” to play a simple game. I have them split up into pairs, and imagine I’m giving one of them $1,000. They can keep some of the money only on condition they reach a deal with their partner on how it’s to be divided up between them. I explain they’re strangers who will never see one other again, can only make one offer and respond with one acceptance (or decline), and can only communicate by the initial recipient writing on a piece of paper how much he’ll share with the other, who must then either accept (writing “deal” on the paper) or decline (“no deal”).
You might think many initial recipients of the imaginary $1,000 would offer $1 or even less, which their partner would gladly accept. After all, even one dollar is better than ending up with nothing at all.
But that’s not what happens. Most of the $1,000 recipients are far more generous, offering their partners at least $250. And most of partners decline any offer under $250, even though “no deal” means neither of them will get to keep anything.
This game, or variations of it, have been played by social scientists thousands of times with different groups and pairings, with surprisingly similar results.
A far bigger version of the game is now being played on the national stage. But it’s for real — as a relative handful of Americans receive ever bigger slices of the total national income while most average Americans, working harder than ever, receive smaller ones. And just as in the simulations, the losers are starting to say “no deal.”
According to polls, they’ve said no deal to the pending Trans Pacific Trade Agreement, for example, and Congress is on the way to killing it.
It’s true that history and policy point to overall benefits from expanded trade because all of us gain access to cheaper goods and services. But in recent years the biggest gains from trade have gone to investors and executives while the burdens have fallen disproportionately on those in the middle and below who have lost good-paying jobs.
By the same token, most Americans are saying “no deal” to further tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. In fact, some are now voting to raise taxes on the rich in order to pay for such things as better schools, as evidenced by the election of Bill de Blasio as mayor of New York.
Conservatives say higher taxes on the rich will slow economic growth. But even if this argument contains a grain of truth, it’s a non-starter as long as 95 percent of the gains from growth continue to go to the top 1 percent – as they have since the start of the recovery in 2009.
Why would people turn down a deal that made them better off simply because it made someone else far, far better off?
Some might call this attitude envy or spite. That’s the conclusion of Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, in a recent oped column for the New York Times. But he’s dead wrong.
It’s true that people sometimes feel worse off when others do better. There’s an old Russian story about a suffering peasant whose neighbor is rich and well-connected. In time, the rich neighbor obtains a cow, something the peasant could never afford. The peasant prays to God for help. When God asks the peasant what he wants God to do, the peasant replies, “Kill the cow.”
But Americans have never been prone to “kill the cow” type envy. When our neighbor gets the equivalent of new cow (or new car), we want one, too.
Yet we are sensitive to perceived unfairness. When I ask those of my students who refuse to accept even $200 in the distribution game why they did so, they rarely mention feelings of envy or spite. They talk instead about unfairness. “Why should she get so much?” they ask. “It’s unfair.”
Remember, I gave out the $1,000 arbitrarily. The initial recipients didn’t have to work for it or be outstanding in any way.
When a game seems rigged, losers may be willing to sacrifice some gains in order to prevent winners from walking away with far more — a result that might feel fundamentally unfair.
To many Americans, the U.S. economy of recent years has become a vast casino in which too many decks are stacked and too many dice are loaded. I hear it all the time: The titans of Wall Street made unfathomable amounts gambling with our money, and when their bets went bad in 2008 we had to bail them out. Yet although millions of Americans are still underwater and many remain unemployed, not a single top Wall Street banker has been indicted. In fact, they’re making more money now than ever before.
Top hedge-fund managers pocketed more than a billion dollars each last year, and the stock market is higher than it was before the crash. But the typical American home is worth less than before, and most Americans can’t save a thing. CEOs are now earning more than 300 times the pay of the typical worker yet the most workers are earning less, and many are barely holding on.
In 2001, a Gallup poll found 76 percent of Americans satisfied with opportunities to get ahead by working hard, and only 22 percent were dissatisfied. But since then, the apparent arbitrariness and unfairness of the economy have taken a toll. Satisfaction has steadily declined and dissatisfaction increased. Only 54 percent are now satisfied, 45 percent dissatisfied.
According to Pew, the percentage of Americans who feel most people who want to get ahead can do so through hard work has dropped by 14 points since about 2000.
Another related explanation I get from students who refuse $200 or more in the distribution game: They worry that if the other guy ends up with most of the money, he’ll also end up with most of the power. That will rig the game even more. So they’re willing to sacrifice some gain in order to avoid a steadily more lopsided and ever more corrupt politics.
Here again, the evidence is all around us. Big money had already started inundating our democracy before “Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission” opened the sluice gates, but now our democracy is drowning. Only the terminally naive would believe this money is intended to foster the public interest.
What to do? Improving our schools is critically important. Making work pay by raising the minimum wage and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit would also be helpful.
But these are only a start. In order to ensure that future productivity gains don’t go overwhelmingly to a small sliver at the top, we’ll need a mechanism to give the middle class and the poor a share in future growth.
One possibility: A trust fund for every child at birth, composed of an index of stocks and bonds whose value is inversely related to family income, which becomes available to them when they turn eighteen. Through the magic of compounded interest, this could be a considerable sum. The funds would be financed by a small surtax on capital gains and a tax on all financial transactions.
We must also get big money out of politics — reversing “Citizens United” by constitutional amendment if necessary, financing campaigns by matching the contributions of small donors with public dollars, and requiring full disclosure of everyone and every corporation contributing to (or against) a candidate.
If America’s distributional game continues to create a few big winners and many who consider themselves losers by comparison, the losers will try to stop the game — not out of envy but out of a deep-seated sense of unfairness and a fear of unchecked power and privilege. Then we all lose.