Thursday, May 29, 2014



THE CROWS - "GEE" (1953)



Ravens - Rock Me All Night Long - Mercury 8291 - 1952

Lloyd Price "Lawdy Miss Clawdy"

Indian teen girls gang-raped and hanged from a tree: police

Tell me again about the incredible "wisdom of the East".  Tell me about the "advanced" morals, about how "wise" and "peaceful".

Do you still believe it?

NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Indian police have arrested one man and are looking for four other suspects after two teenage girls were gang-raped and then hanged from a tree in a village in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, police said on Thursday.
The two cousins, who were from a low-caste Dalit community and aged 14 and 15, went missing from their village home in Uttar Pradesh's Budaun district when they went out to go to the toilet on Tuesday evening.
The following morning, villagers found the bodies of the two teenagers hanging from a mango tree in a nearby orchard.
"We have registered a case under various sections, including that of rape, and one of the accused has been taken into custody. There were five people involved, one has been arrested and we are looking for the others," Budaun's Superintendent of Police Man Singh Chouhan told reporters.
Chouhan said a post-mortem confirmed the two minors were raped and died from the hanging. DNA samples have been also been taken to help identity the perpetrators, he added.
The victim's families say the girls were gang-raped and then hanged by five men from the village. They allege that local police were shielding the attackers as they refused to take action when the girls were first reported missing.
It was only after angry villagers found the hanging corpses and took the bodies to a nearby highway and blocked it in protest, say the families, that police registered a case of rape and murder.
A case of conspiracy has also been registered against two constables, said Chouhan, adding that they had also been suspended.
Sex crimes against young girls and women are widespread in India, say activists, adding that females from poor, marginalized, low-caste communities are often the victims.
A report by the Asian Centre for Human Rights in April last year said 48,338 child rape cases were recorded in India from 2001 to 2011, and the annual number of reported cases had risen more than fourfold - 336 percent - over that period.
Women's rights experts and lawyers say rape victims also have to endure harsh treatment from an archaic, poorly funded and insensitive criminal justice system.
Police often try to dissuade victims from complaining and suggest a "compromise" between the victim and the perpetrator, largely because of their insensitivity to sex crimes, but also because police officials are rarely held accountable.
Public outrage over the fatal gang rape of a woman in New Delhi in December 2012 pushed the government into passing a tougher new law to punish sex crimes. This includes sentences of up to two years’ jail for police and hospital authorities if they fail to register a complaint or treat a victim.

If you are a woman   ---   DO NOT GO TO INDIA!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Comment

Some sultan established "Sharia Law" as THE law of HIS land, now, in another country, a woman was stoned to death for being married to a non-Muslim.  As Sam Harris once said  ---  "The only problem with Islamic fundamentalism are the fundamentals of Islam."

All the supposed "progressives" who ignore these facts are NOT, in any real way Progressive.  Anyone who speaks of "respecting their culture" as an excuse for this sort of barbaric "law", is beyond a moron.

Be they fundamentalist Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc., etc., they usually hate women, LGBT folks, and all those who are "different" in a way THEY do not approve of.


Monday, May 26, 2014

A Visit To "Some Assembly Required".

It's time to visit "Some Assembly Required" - follow link to original

Movin' On: The triumph – and the results across Europe are clearly that – of the anti-euro, anit-EU far right parties have served notice that the docile population is no longer docile, and that the great social/economic experiment is failing. And it is failing mainly because of the austerity that the leaders – bankers, politicians and industrialists – have instituted in a failed attempt to paper over the problems caused by too much unity, far too soon. The scramble of both major parties in England to claim the far right's position is the beginning of an cynical scramble we'll see repeated across the continent in the next few weeks as the politicians once more pretend they are leading the parade.

Pain In The... Neck: If they can tag a pill so your computer will know if you swallowed it, what does the government hide its tags in? 

Leadership: Uruguay has decided to attack drug traffickers where they live – by selling marijuana tax free, undercutting the traffickers' profits and thus their interest in dealing the drug. And Iran has executed a billionaire for... bank fraud.

Go there  --  there's more.  

The Practical Choice: Not American Capitalism or “Welfare State Socialism” but an Economy That’s Working for a Few or Many

This from Robert Reich - please follow link to original

For years Americans have assumed that our hard-charging capitalism  is better than the soft-hearted version found in Canada and Europe. American capitalism might be a bit crueler but it generates faster growth and higher living standards overall. Canada’s and Europe’s “welfare-state socialism” is doomed.
It was a questionable assumption to begin with, relying to some extent on our collective amnesia about the first three decades after World War II, when tax rates on top incomes in the U.S. never fell below 70 percent, a larger portion of our economy was invested in education than before or since, over a third of our private-sector workers were unionized, we came up with Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor, and built the biggest infrastructure project in history, known as the interstate highway system.
But then came America’s big U-turn, when we deregulated, de-unionized, lowered taxes on the top, ended welfare, and stopped investing as much of the economy in education and infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Canada and Europe continued on as before. Soviet communism went bust, and many of us assumed European and Canadian “socialism” would as well.
That’s why recent data from the Luxembourg Income Study Database  is so shocking.
The fact is, we’re falling behind. While median per capita income in the United States has stagnated since 2000, it’s up significantly in Canada and Northern Europe. Their typical worker’s income is now higher than ours, and their disposable income – after taxes – higher still.
It’s difficult to make exact comparisons of income across national borders because real purchasing power is hard to measure. But even if we assume Canadians and the citizens of several European nations have simply drawn even with the American middle class, they’re doing better in many other ways.
Most of them get free health care and subsidized child care. And if they lose their jobs, they get far more generous unemployment benefits than we do. (In fact, right now 75 percent of jobless Americans lack any unemployment benefits.)
If you think we make up for it by working less and getting paid more on an hourly basis, think again. There, at least three weeks paid vacation as the norm, along with paid sick leave, and paid parental leave.
We’re working an average of 4.6 percent more hours more than the typical Canadian worker, 21 percent more than the typical French worker, and a whopping 28 percent more than your typical German worker, according to data compiled by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.
But at least Americans are more satisfied, aren’t we? Not really. According to opinion surveys and interviews, Canadians and Northern Europeans are.
They also live longer, their rate of infant mortality is lower, and women in these countries are far less likely to die as result of complications in pregnancy or childbirth.
But at least we’re the land of more equal opportunity, right? Wrong. Their poor kids have a better chance of getting ahead. While 42 percent of American kids born into poor families remain poor through their adult lives, only 30 percent of Britain’s poor kids remain impoverished – and even smaller percentages in other rich countries.
Yes, the American economy continues to grow faster than the economies of Canada and Europe. But faster growth hasn’t translated into higher living standards for most Americans.
Almost all our economic gains have been going to the top – into corporate profits and the stock market (more than a third of whose value is owned by the richest 1 percent). And into executive pay (European CEOs take home far less than their American counterparts).
America’s rich also pay much lower taxes than do the rich in Canada and Europe.
But surely Europe can’t go on like this. You hear it all the time: They can no longer afford their welfare state.
That depends on what’s meant by “welfare state.” If high-quality education is included, we’d do well to emulate them. Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 rank near the bottom among rich countries in literacy and numeracy. That spells trouble for the U.S. economy in the future.
They’re also doing more workforce training, and doing it better, than we are. The result is more skilled workers.
Universal health care is another part of their “welfare state” that saves them money because healthier workers are more productive.
So let’s put ideology aside. The practical choice isn’t between capitalism and “welfare-state socialism.” It’s between a system that’s working for a few at the top, or one that’s working for just about everyone. Which would you prefer?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Slouching Toward... Hell on Earth by John Atcheson

This from "Common Dreams"  --  please follow link to original.

In 1961 Joan Didion released a collection of essays titled, Slouching Toward Bethlehem. The first essay, “Dreamers of a Golden Dream,” contains the following:
October is the bad month for wind, the month when breathing is difficult, and the hills blaze up spontaneously… Every voice seems a scream. It is the season of suicide, divorce and prickly dread…
She was talking about the Santa Ana’s… searing 100 mile-an-hour winds that shriek down the mountains and scorch everything in their path. Back in 1961, it was common knowledge that Santa Ana’s only came in the Fall – in October.
But the winds arrived the day before yesterday, here in the land of dreamers of the golden dream. In May, which is what used to be our wet season.
People were on edge as the hot gusts blasted through the valleys toward the ocean. They squinted at the hills, vigilant. They sniffed the air for tell-tale signs of smoke.
Homeowners gathered the things they cherished or needed – photos, gifts, important papers – and piled them by the front door, ready.
Firemen checked their equipment, and did double duty, and the entire area held its breath hoping that this time, it would pass. This time, the gods or fates would spare them.
But they didn’t.
On May 13th, a spark fell on the parched land and ignited. No big deal. The entire fire safety apparatus pounced on the isolated fire – helicopters, fire trucks, tanker planes, men and hoses by the hundreds. But they were no match for the hot, dry, winds. Sparks and cinders carried the fire westward in giant leaps, like some Titan stepping over mere mortals. As the day wore on, 20,000 homes were evacuated, and over 1500 acres were burned to a char.
By the evening of May 14th, there were nine fires burning in San Diego, destroying homes, with one headed toward a nuclear power plant.
So, three years into a record-breaking drought, we get Santa Ana’s... in May. And record breaking heat. To say that the weather is unusual is an understatement of epic proportions. It’s freakish. Unfortunately, it’s also going to be the new normal for much of the Southwest, as the recently released Climate Action Report shows.
Conservatives will be tempted to dismiss this as simply a “left-coaster” problem. Marco Rubio is probably sharpening his crayons right now, to say something like this. Unfortunately for Rubio, climate change will hit Florida even harder than the Southwest. With the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheets, it is now virtually assured that most of southeastern Florida will be uninhabitable, and absent aggressive action, Miami will be history within several generations. With this collapse, sea level rise of geologically significant proportions – twenty or more feet – is now pretty much hardwired into the system, the only question is how quickly it will proceed. There’s no off switch.
So absent action, we’ll pretty much have to abandon most coastal cities, left and right coast, as well as those on the Gulf.
In what has to be the ultimate in irony or maybe just poetic justice, the states with the most denier politicians are already experiencing the most weather-related billion dollar disasters, and the future looks even grimmer for them.
The odds for an el Nino year have gone up to more than 80% this year, and this could turn the Midwest into an infertile inferno – something it’s headed for anyway in the long run if we don’t do something radical and soon.
The record breaking cold snap this winter was also a function of climate change. “What?” Rush Limabough and the other fossilized fools shout. Global warming making things colder? Get Real. Ah, but my simple-minded chucklehead, it is all too real. Turns out that as the Arctic gets warmer, the gradient that shaped the prevailing winds weakens, allowing the polar vortex to wander south.
So climate change is not a left-coaster issue, and it’s not a thing that will happen in the distant future. It is here, now, and it is bad for life as we know it on planet Earth. Unless you’re a jellyfish. Or an insect. But not all simple life-forms will prosper … take conservatives for instance – they’ll suffer in spite of their denials. Or maybe we’ll all suffer because of them.
Didion took the title for her collection of essays from a poem by W. B. Yeats, called The Second Coming.The closing lines read:
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born.

On May 14th, we learned the answer. The beast is our child; born of our willful ignorance and careless disregard for the most precious gift we could ever hope for: A home in which the carefully wrought balances of energy, material, chance and time produced the one physical world and climate that allows us to survive and the ecosystems we rely on to prosper.
The first stanza of The Second Coming closes with the following lines:
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Where are the best? Where is their passion for affirming life? Will we truly relinquish our fate and the fate of all who come after us – and the fate of life on Earth as we know it, to a small collection of the ignorant, the greedy, and the evil?
As of today, it sadly appears so.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Here's how terrible U.S. broadband service really is

This from "The Daily Dot" - please follow link to original --------------------------------------------------------------

 The U.S. has its fare share of issues when it comes to the Internet, between the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance and the ongoing battle over net neutrality. With so many entities threatening the fundamental nature of the Internet, improving the quality of America’s Internet has, for the most part, fallen off the radar. If you were to tell someone in Hong Kong or Singapore how much you pay for your broadband Internet service in the U.S. and the speeds you receive in return, they would be shocked. America may have invented the Internet, but we have seriously fallen behind with the speed of our broadband networks and how much we pay to access a utility that has become essential across the world. The U.S. is ranked 30th in the world in broadband speeds, behind the likes of Iceland, Romania, Bulgaria, France, Russia, and the U.K. To put that ranking in perspective, the U.S. Mens Soccer Team—a sport that 99.1 percent of Americans quit before their 10 birthday—is ranked 13th in the world, and we definitely didn’t invent soccer. We also pay more for much less, shelling out an average of $55 a month for broadband service, while countries with faster connections like France, Russia and the U.K. all come in at under $45 a month. Even the citizens of Hong Kong—which averages the fastest Internet speeds in the world—pay over 40 percent less than American customers, with an average cost of $31 a month for broadband service. The breakdown of the cost per megabit for broadband continues the disheartening trend for Americans. At $3.50 per megabit, we are lagging behind countries like Russia ($0.98) and Ukraine ($0.90). This infographic shows how far—in every aspect of the Internet—we have fallen behind.

When it comes to the Internet, the U.S. isn’t leading by any means, and it’s only getting worse. Companies like Comcast, who control vast swaths of America’s Internet access—a number that could grow to 120 million Americans if the merger with Time Warner Cable goes through—has no incentive to bring America back to the forefront of Internet connectivity.
We have reached a vital point in the short history of the Internet, with a plethora of issues that will define how we utilize one of our greatest achievements for years to come. Our goal shouldn’t be to keep the Internet as it is, but to make it better, and change it into what it should be.

After Huge Tax Cuts For The Rich, Kansas’s Economy Is Foundering

This from "Think Progress"  --  please follow link to original.

In a time of slack economic growth and high unemployment around the country, Kansas lawmakers thought they had the solution: massive tax cuts for the wealthy would lure economic activity and jump-start the state’s economy. But after Gov. Sam Brownback (R) signed $1.1 billion worth of tax cuts into law over the past two years, the state is behind the national average for economic growth.
A new forecast from Kansas’s budget officials projects that “personal income in Kansas will grow more slowly than U.S. personal income in 2014 and 2015,” the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) writes. The projections come from Brownback’s own Division of the Budget, which expects personal income growth of 3.8 percent this year and 4.2 percent next year. The state’s overall economic growth is now projected to fall behind the nation’s after two decades of keeping pace, the think tank adds.
At the same time that Brownback’s promised economic growth is failing to materialize, his criticspredictions about the tax cuts are largely coming true. The tax package is starving the state of revenue. With less money coming in, Kansas is cutting public services. The state Supreme Court has ordered lawmakers to restore funding to poor school districts, saying that the spending levels they enacted were so low as to be unconstitutional. But given the state’s revenue problems, the way that the legislature is going about correcting the underfunding problem simply takes money away from other schools that need it.
Things are also getting worse for the neediest people in the state. Last fall, Census data revealed that the poverty rate in Kansas had risen each year since the governor was elected after vowing to reduce child poverty. A study by Kansas Action for Children last fall found that child poverty continues to rise in the state.
Brownback’s official response to the state’s poverty problem was a brief report that advocated fighting poverty by encouraging traditional family structures through eight-hour “pre-marital education” classes for couples wishing to wed, kicking tens of thousands of residents off of food stamps so that they will work harder, and finding mentors for the state’s kids.

Monday, May 19, 2014

"Lover Man"Sonny Stitt,Walter Bishop,Tommy Potter,Kenny Clarke.

Sonny Stitt Alto Sax,
Walter Bishop Piano.
Tommy Potter Bass,
Kenny Clarke Drums.

Sonny Stitt & Barry Harris - Just Friends

Sonny Stitt - Cherokee

Sonny Criss - Black Coffee / Don't Blame Me

Sonny Criss (as), Henri Renaud (p), Michel Gaudry (b)
Phillipe Combelle (ds)
recorded Octorber 10, 1962 Paris

Sonny Criss - Paris Blues (1967)

Sonny Criss (as)
Cedar Walton (p)
Tal Farlow (g)
Bob Cranshaw (b)
Lenny McBrowne (d)

Friday, May 16, 2014

MJQ and Sonny Rollins 12 Mambo Bounce

Miles Davis/Sonny Rollins - Dig (1951)

Miles Davis/Sonny Rollins - Dig (1951) Miles Davis Sextet;same chord changes as Sweet Georgia Brown.

Sonny Rollins - It Don't Mean a Thing

Sonny Rollins - tenor sax. Henry Grimes - bass. Joe Harris - drums.
Sweden, 1959.

The Privatization Scam: 5 Horror Stories of Gov't Outsourcing to Greedy Private Companies Taxpayers are getting fleeced.

This from "Alternet"  --  please follow link to original.
Here’s the scam: For decades we’ve been subjected to constant propaganda that government is inefficient and bureaucratic and expensive. We’re told that the answer is to “privatize,” or “outsource” government functions to private businesses and they will do things more efficiently and everyone comes out ahead. As a result we have experienced decades of privatization of government functions.  
So how has wave of privatization this worked out? Has privatization saved taxpayers money and improved services to citizens? Simple answer: of course not. If a company can make a profit doing something the government had been doing, it means that we're losing out one way or another. It’s simple math. And the result of falling for the privatization scam is that taxpayers have been fleeced, services to citizens have been cut way back and communities have been made poorer. But the companies that convinced governments to hand over public functions have gotten rich off of the deal. How is this a surprise?
Here are 5 privatization horror stories, where government outsourcing has gone terribly wrong. (Or maybe you’d say it has gone terribly right if you are one of the companies getting the taxpayer dollars.)

1. Chicago Parking Meters
The mother of all privatization horror stories is what happened with Chicago’s parking meters. In 2008 the city “financialized” its parking meter revenue stream. It leased the rights to collect from parking meters to a consortium led by Wall Street bank Morgan Stanley. The lease is for 75 years.
Right away parking-meter rates went up fourfold and meters stopped working. The city’s residents were unhappy, but there was nothing they could do about it.
But wait, it gets worse. Unsurprisingly, it turns out that the big Wall Street bank was more interested in making money than in giving Chicago the best deal it could. An inspector general looked into the deal and found that the city was shortchanged by at least $974 million. But a 2010 Forbes story says the Morgan Stanley consortium may realize a profit of $9.58 billion after paying Chicago only $1.15 billion.
To top it off, the city not only gave up 75 years of revenue for not nearly enough up-front cash, it had signed a contract prohibiting the city from interfering with Morgan Stanley’s ability to profit from the deal. This means the city can’t build parking structures where they are needed and can’t even give out disabled parking permits. The city can’t even close streets to have street fairs or festivals without paying Morgan Stanley for lost meter profits.
2. Toll Roads
Some states are considering privatizing their roads with “public-private partnerships.” The deal is that private companies maintain the roads and in exchange can charge a toll and make a profit. How is this working out?
In 2006 Indiana privatized I-90, the Indiana Toll Road. For $3.8 billion the state gave a 75-year lease to the Australian company Macquarie Group and Spain’s Cintra. (Goldman Sachs is said to have earned $20 million for brokering the deal.) At the time Washington Post business columnist Jerry Knight wrote that the deal sounded like “tossing the family furniture in the fireplace to keep the house warm.”
Since then tolls have just about doubled. And it’s going to get worse. Dave Jamieson at the Huffington Post explained, “The road's leaseholders can now raise the toll annually at one of three rates -- at a flat two percent, at the percentage increase in the consumer price index or at the percentage increase in gross domestic product -- whichever is highest. Over the course of the coming decades, Hoosiers can expect to learn a hard lesson in compound interest, long after Gov. Daniels is gone.”
In 2007 Colorado leased its Northwest Highway to a Portuguese/Brazilian company for 99 years. The company raised tolls 50% and taxpayers have to pay the company if too many carpoolers use the high-occupancy lanes. The contract includes a “non-compete” clause that "requires payments to the foreign corporation if certain roads or facilities are built in the area that would compete with the toll road." In other words, if traffic gets really bad Colorado is not allowed to do anything to solve the problem for its citizens – mass transit, congestion-relief arteries, etc. -- instead forcing citizens to use that highway and pay whatever the toll is. For 99 years.
3. Prisons for Profit
Imagine a system where someone makes a profit if more and more people are put in prison. This is known as a “perverse incentive.” Really, can you think of anything worse than getting a profit to get people put in jail? What you think could go wrong is exactly what does go wrong. These companies want profits, so rehabilitation becomes a “cost.”
These companies push for government policies that put more people into prison for more crimes and for longer sentences. Prison-for-profit companies working with the corporate/right-wing lobbying outfit American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) came up with model legislation pushing things like “three strikes” and “truth in sentencing” which greatly increase the number of prisoners and the amount of time they serve.
But the worst part of prison privatization is companies saving on “costs” by cutting back on staff, food quality and you-name it. A 2013 Palm Beach Post investigation found that “dangerously low numbers of corrections officers — including local guards with criminal backgrounds — and reports of squalor, rape and riots dog corporate prison operators. ...Audits, security reports, lawsuits, government records and state and federal investigations in 21 states unveil a startling pattern of murder, riots and sexual assault at private prisons nationwide. Often, those failures stem from not enough guards.”
Nine major riots erupted since 2000. At least 25 inmates died amid claims of mistreatment, inadequate medical care or in riots. Three prisons for teenagers were shuttered between 2000 and 2012 after discoveries of squalor and sex abuse. A women’s prison was emptied after widespread reports of rape by staff.
How does this compare to prisons that are not run by private companies for profit?
At Florida’s state-run prisons in the same 12-year period: No major damage or severe injuries from riots; no closures over squalor; no Justice Department investigations over human rights.
In another example in Mississippi, a private company called the GEO Group ran the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility. The Justice Department spent two years looking into conditions at the facility and issued a report saying the facility engaged in “systemic, egregious and dangerous practices.” A judge wrote the company "has allowed a cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts and conditions to germinate, the sum of which places the offenders at substantial ongoing risk."
A recent In the Public Interest report, The Costs of Private Prisons, says “the promised cost savings often fail to materialize.” The report looked at more than 40 studies of private prisons and how this turned out, in five states. They found “no cost advantage” and that for-profit prison companies, “employ questionable methodology when calculating costs of private facilities. This includes finding ways to hide the costs of private prisons, ensuring that increased costs are not apparent until after the initial contract is signed, and using inflated public prison costs during comparisons.”
4. Cost Overruns
Cost overruns are a common scam when governments outsource to private companies.
In 2008 New York City decided to “save money” by contracting out its payroll system. The original estimate to develop the “CityTime” system was $68 million. A little over 10 years later the cost had ballooned to more than $700 million and the system still didn’t work. A recent Daily Kospost descibed what an investigation revealed:
The corrupt contractors lined their pockets with millions of dollars as they accepted kickbacks, funneled huge sums into shell companies, deposited stolen money into overseas accounts, inflated bills and maintained a bloated payroll with excessively paid and even fired employees.
The contractor, Science Applications International Corp. has agreed to pay the city $500 million “under a deferred-prosecution agreement to resolve claims that it conspired to defraud the city.” Three employees were recently sentenced to 20 years each for their roles in the theft and fraud.
5. Any Government “Outsourcing” Anything
If you examine the claim that private companies are always more efficient than government, the argument starts to fall apart. Just how are companies more efficient?
The first way companies are supposed to be better is cost-savings. But just how do they save money? There are two ways a company can save money over what government spends. The first is to reduce what it pays employees and suppliers. The second is to cut back on the amount or quality of the service the company is taking over.
So let’s say a town decides to “save money” by outsourcing its trash collection. The people who were employed by the city to do this are laid off and things are turned over to the company. Typically the company will hire people at as close to minimum wage as possible and likely with no benefits. It will employ fewer managers and pay them less as well. It will cut back on maintenance of the fleet, and it will try to cut back on the pickup service.
Does this actually save government money? If people with OK public-employee jobs are replaced by lower-paid workers the community is poorer in the aggregate. More people will need public “safety-net” services. There will be foreclosures. Tax revenue drops because of lower pay but also because poorer people can’t spend as much in stores. Sales taxes drop as stores face fewer customers able to get by.
Daphne Greenwood of the University of Colorado did a study of privatization titled, The Decision to Contract Out: Understanding the Full Economic and Social Impacts. The study found that the resulting wage and benefit cuts hurt the community at large, including declining retail sales, greater reliance on public assistance and a larger share of at-risk children in low-income families. On a recent phone call discussing the study Greenwood said that when governments outsource, “the availability of middle-class jobs is affected, even upward mobility.” She said, “Contracting to private corps usually means big reductions in worker benefits and benefits,” and “lower wages often mean a shift to less experienced employees.”
In addition, she said, “There are more workers and retirees who end up on public assistance, which means more children in poverty so local schools are dealing with more problems.”
Janice Fine of Rutgers University has also done a study, Overlooking Oversight: A Lack of Oversight in the Garden State is Placing New Jersey Assets and Residents at Risk. She looked at outsourcing in New Jersey and found that a “stunning lack” of government oversight of contractors caused problems for Hurricane Sandy victims as well as greater risk for vulnerable children – and millions in wasted tax dollars in New Jersey.
On the same call as Greenwood, Fine said she found, “a stunning lack of government oversight of contractors,” and that, “oversight shouldn’t be set aside because of cost, it should be an essential part of outsourcing.”
Time To Reassess
Government outsourcing, also known as privatization, has been going on for decades, and now governments are reassessing whether turning public property and services over to private companies has really been a good idea. Story after story has appeared detailing horror stories of corruption, incompetence and general scamming by companies interested only in profit. Molly Ball reported recently in The Privatization Backlash in the Atlantic, “In states and cities across the country, lawmakers are expressing new skepticism about privatization, imposing new conditions on government contracting, and demanding more oversight. Laws to rein in contractors have been introduced in 18 states this year, and three—Maryland, Oregon and Nebraska—have passed legislation, according to In the Public Interest, a group that advocates what it calls 'responsible contracting.'"
Other Horror Stories
A report by In the Public Interest titled “Out of Control: The Coast-to-Coast Failures of Outsourcing Public Services to For-Profit Corporations,” highlights several other horror stories that happen when local and state governments privatize public functions to private companies. The report begins,
“Eager for quick cash, state and local governments across America have for decades handed over control of critical public services and assets to corporations that promise to handle them better, faster and cheaper. Unfortunately for taxpayers, not only has outsourcing these services failed to keep this promise, but too often it undermines transparency, accountability, shared prosperity and competition – the underpinnings of democracy itself.”
The next time someone tells you private companies are always “more efficient” than government, tell them the facts are against them. It has been tried and it didn’t work.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Crazy Climate Economics

Today's column by Dr. Paul Krugman.  Please follow link to original

Everywhere you look these days, you see Marxism on the rise. Well, O.K., maybe you don’t — but conservatives do. If you so much as mention income inequality, you’ll be denounced as the second coming of Joseph Stalin; Rick Santorum has declared that any use of the word “class” is “Marxism talk.” In the right’s eyes, sinister motives lurk everywhere — for example, George Will says the only reason progressives favor trains is their goal of “diminishing Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism.”
So it goes without saying that Obamacare, based on ideas originally developed at the Heritage Foundation, is a Marxist scheme — why, requiring that people purchase insurance is practically the same as sending them to gulags.
And just wait until the Environmental Protection Agency announces rules intended to slow the pace of climate change.
Until now, the right’s climate craziness has mainly been focused on attacking the science. And it has been quite a spectacle: At this point almost all card-carrying conservatives endorse the view that climate change is a gigantic hoax, that thousands of research papers showing a warming planet — 97 percent of the literature — are the product of a vast international conspiracy. But as the Obama administration moves toward actually doing something based on that science, crazy climate economics will come into its own.
You can already get a taste of what’s coming in the dissenting opinions from a recent Supreme Court ruling on power-plant pollution. A majority of the justices agreed that the E.P.A. has the right to regulate smog from coal-fired power plants, which drifts across state lines. But Justice Scalia didn’t just dissent; he suggested that the E.P.A.’s proposed rule — which would tie the size of required smog reductions to cost — reflected the Marxist concept of “from each according to his ability.” Taking cost into consideration is Marxist? Who knew?
And you can just imagine what will happen when the E.P.A., buoyed by the smog ruling, moves on to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.
What do I mean by crazy climate economics?
First, we’ll see any effort to limit pollution denounced as a tyrannical act. Pollution wasn’t always a deeply partisan issue: Economists in the George W. Bush administration wrote paeans to “market based” pollution controls, and in 2008 John McCain made proposals for cap-and-trade limits on greenhouse gases part of his presidential campaign. But when House Democrats actually passed a cap-and-trade bill in 2009, it was attacked as, you guessed it, Marxist. And these days Republicans come out in force to oppose even the most obviously needed regulations, like the plan to reduce the pollution that’s killing Chesapeake Bay.
Second, we’ll see claims that any effort to limit emissions will have what Senator Marco Rubio is already calling “a devastating impact on our economy.”
Why is this crazy? Normally, conservatives extol the magic of markets and the adaptability of the private sector, which is supposedly able to transcend with ease any constraints posed by, say, limited supplies of natural resources. But as soon as anyone proposes adding a few limits to reflect environmental issues — such as a cap on carbon emissions — those all-capable corporations supposedly lose any ability to cope with change.
Now, the rules the E.P.A. is likely to impose won’t give the private sector as much flexibility as it would have had in dealing with an economywide carbon cap or emissions tax. But Republicans have only themselves to blame: Their scorched-earth opposition to any kind of climate policy has left executive action by the White House as the only route forward.
Furthermore, it turns out that focusing climate policy on coal-fired power plants isn’t bad as a first step. Such plants aren’t the only source of greenhouse gas emissions, but they’re a large part of the problem — and the best estimates we have of the path forward suggest that reducing power-plant emissions will be a large part of any solution.
What about the argument that unilateral U.S. action won’t work, because China is the real problem? It’s true that we’re no longer No. 1 in greenhouse gases — but we’re still a strong No. 2. Furthermore, U.S. action on climate is a necessary first step toward a broader international agreement, which will surely include sanctions on countries that don’t participate.
So the coming firestorm over new power-plant regulations won’t be a genuine debate — just as there isn’t a genuine debate about climate science. Instead, the airwaves will be filled with conspiracy theories and wild claims about costs, all of which should be ignored. Climate policy may finally be getting somewhere; let’s not let crazy climate economics get in the way.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Jaki Byard - St. Louis Blues

Jaki Byard - Piano
David Izenzon - Bass
Elvin Jones - Drums, Tympani

Mary Lou Williams - It Ain't Necessarily So

Ramsey Lewis - Slippin' Into Darkness

Freddie Hubbard 5tet - Bernie's Tune [1985]

Freddie Hubbard - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Kenny Garrett - Alto Saxophone, Flute
Mark Templeton - Piano
Ira Coleman - Double Bass
Carl Allen - Drums

+ Dizzy Gillespie & Woody Shaw - Trumpet

Legends of Jazz: Dave Brubeck & Billy Taylor - Take The 'A' Train

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cecil Taylor - Bemsha Swing

Port of Harlem Seven - Blues for Tommy (Ladnier) (1939)

Frank Newton (trumpet); J.C. Higginbotham (trombone); Sidney Bechet (soprano sax); Meade "Lux" Lewis (piano); Teddy Bunn (guitar); Johnny Williams (bass); Sidney Catlett (drums)

It Ain't Necessarily So - Grant Green w/Sonny Clark

Grant Green (quitar)
Sonny Clark (piano)
Sam Jones (bass)
Art Blakey (drums)

Sonny Clark - News for Lulu

Curtis Fuller - tb
John Coltrane - ts
Donald Byrd - tp
Sonny Clark - p
Paul Chambers - b
Art Taylor - d

Tommy Flanagan, John Coltrane, Idrees Sulieman & Kenny Burrell -- Minor Mishap

Tommy Flanagan - p
John Coltrane - ts
Idrees Sulieman - tp
Kenny Burrel - g
Doug Watkins - b
Louis Hayes - d

"East St. Louis Toodle-Oo"

Roger Pryor Dodge & Mura Dehn dancing Dodge jazz choreography,New York,1937. Duke Ellington with Bubber Miley trumpet.

Frankie Newton and His Uptown Serenaders - Who's Sorry Now ? (1937)

Frank Newton (t, a); Edmon Hall (cl); Pete Brown (as); Cecil Scott (ts); Don Frye (p); John Smith (g); Richard Fullbright (sb); Cozy Cole (d)

Freddie Hubbard 5tet - I'll Remember April [1985]

Berlin Jazz Festival, Germany - 1985-11-02

Freddie Hubbard - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Kenny Garrett - Alto Saxophone, Flute
Mark Templeton - Piano
Ira Coleman - Double Bass
Carl Allen - Drums

+ Dizzy Gillespie & Woody Shaw - Trumpet

Wardell Gray - Howard McGhee Sextet 1947 ~ Groovin' High

Howard McGhee - Trumpet
Sonny Criss - Alto Sax
Wardell Gray - Tenor Sax
Dodo Marmarosa - Piano
Charlie Drayton - Bass
Jackie Mills - Drums

Fats Navarro - Goin' to Minton's

Fats Navarro and his Thin Men: Leo Parker (bars), Tadd Dameron (p), Gene Ramey (b), Denzil Best (d). Recorded in New York, January 1947.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Six Principles of the New Populism (and the Establishment’s Nightmare)

New post from Robert Reich  --  follow link to original

More Americans than ever believe the economy is rigged in favor of Wall Street and big business and their enablers in Washington. We’re five years into a so-called recovery that’s been a bonanza for the rich but a bust for the middle class. “The game is rigged and the American people know that. They get it right down to their toes,” says Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Which is fueling a new populism on both the left and the right. While still far apart, neo-populists on both sides are bending toward one another and against the establishment.
Who made the following comments? (Hint: Not Warren, and not Bernie Sanders.)
A. We “cannot be the party of fat cats, rich people, and Wall Street.”
B. “The rich and powerful, those who walk the corridors of power, are getting fat and happy…”
C. “If you come to Washington and serve in Congress, there should be a lifetime ban on lobbying.”
D. “Washington promoted moral hazard by protecting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which privatized profits and socialized losses.”
E. “When you had the chance to stand up for Americans’ privacy, did you?”
F. “The people who wake up at night thinking of which new country they want to bomb, which new country they want to be involved in, they don’t like restraint. They don’t like reluctance to go to war.”
(Answers: A. Rand Paul, B. Ted Cruz, C. Ted Cruz, D. House Republican Joe Hensarling, E. House Republican Justin Amash, F. Rand Paul )
You might doubt the sincerity behind some of these statements, but they wouldn’t have been uttered if the crowds didn’t respond enthusiastically – and that’s the point. Republican populism is growing, as is the Democratic version, because the public wants it.
And it’s not only the rhetoric that’s converging. Populists on the right and left are also coming together around six principles:
1. Cut the biggest Wall Street banks down to a size where they’re no longer too big to fail. Left populists have been advocating this since the Street’s bailout now they’re being joined by populists on the right. David Camp, House Ways and Means Committee chair, recently proposed an extra 3.5 percent quarterly tax on the assets of the biggest Wall Street banks (giving them an incentive to trim down). Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter wants to break up the big banks, as does conservative pundit George Will. “There is nothing conservative about bailing out Wall Street,” says Rand Paul.
2. Resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act, separating investment from commercial banking and thereby preventing companies from gambling with their depositors’ money. Elizabeth Warren has introduced such legislation, and John McCain co-sponsored it. Tea Partiers are strongly supportive, and critical of establishment Republicans for not getting behind  it. “It is disappointing that progressive collectivists are leading the effort for a return to a law that served well for decades,” writes the Tea Party Tribune. “Of course, the establishment political class would never admit that their financial donors and patrons must hinder their unbridled trading strategies.”
3. End corporate welfare – including subsidies to big oil, big agribusiness, big pharma, Wall Street, and the Ex-Im Bank. Populists on the left have long been urging this; right-wing populists are joining in. Republican David Camp’s proposed tax reforms would kill dozens of targeted tax breaks. Says Ted Cruz: “We need to eliminate corporate welfare and crony capitalism.”
4. Stop the National Security Agency from spying on Americans. Bernie Sanders and other populists on the left have led this charge but right-wing populists are close behind. House Republican Justin Amash’s amendment, that would have defunded NSA programs engaging in bulk-data collection, garnered 111 Democrats and 94 Republicans last year, highlighting the new populist divide in both parties. Rand Paul could be channeling Sanders when he warns: “Your rights, especially your right to privacy, is under assault… if you own a cellphone, you’re under surveillance.”
5. Scale back American interventions overseas. Populists on the left have long been uncomfortable with American forays overseas. Rand Paul is leaning in the same direction. Paul also tends toward conspiratorial views about American interventionism. Shortly before he took office he was caught on video claiming that former vice president Dick Cheney pushed the Iraq War because of his ties to Halliburton.
6. Oppose trade agreements crafted by big corporations. Two decades ago Democrats and Republicans enacted the North American Free Trade Agreement. Since then populists in both parties have mounted increasing opposition to such agreements. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, drafted in secret by a handful of major corporations, is facing so strong a backlash from both Democrats and tea party Republicans that it’s nearly dead. “The Tea Party movement does not support the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” says Judson Philips, president of Tea Party Nation. “Special interest and big corporations are being given a seat at the table” while average Americans are excluded.
Left and right-wing populists remain deeply divided over the role of government. Even so, the major fault line in American politics seems to be shifting, from Democrat versus Republican, to populist versus establishment — those who think the game is rigged versus those who do the rigging.
In this month’s Republican primaries, tea partiers continue their battle against establishment Republicans. But the major test will be 2016 when both parties pick their presidential candidates.
Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are already vying to take on Republican establishment favorites Jeb Bush or Chris Christie. Elizabeth Warren says she won’t run in the Democratic primaries, presumably against Hillary Clinton, but rumors abound. Bernie Sanders hints he might.
Wall Street and big business Republicans are already signaling they’d prefer a Democratic establishment candidate over a Republican populist.
Dozens of major GOP donors, Wall Street Republicans, and corporate lobbyists have told Politico that if Jeb Bush decides against running and Chris Christie doesn’t recover politically, they’ll support Hillary Clinton. “The darkest secret in the big money world of the Republican coastal elite is that the most palatable alternative to a nominee such as Senator Ted Cruz of Texas or Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky would be Clinton,” concludes Politico.
Says a top Republican-leaning Wall Street lawyer, “it’s Rand Paul or Ted Cruz versus someone like Elizabeth Warren that would be everybody’s worst nightmare.”
Everybody on Wall Street and in corporate suites, that is. And the “nightmare” may not occur in 2016. But if current trends continue, some similar “nightmare” is likely within the decade. If the American establishment wants to remain the establishment it will need to respond to the anxiety that’s fueling the new populism rather than fight it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Four Biggest Right-Wing Lies About Inequality

This from Robert Reich.  Please follow link to original.

Even though French economist Thomas Piketty has made an air-tight case that we’re heading toward levels of inequality not seen since the days of the nineteenth-century robber barons, right-wing conservatives haven’t stopped lying about what’s happening and what to do about it.
Herewith, the four biggest right-wing lies about inequality, followed by the truth.
Lie number one: The rich and CEOs are America’s job creators. So we dare not tax them.
The truth is the middle class and poor are the job-creators through their purchases of goods and services. If they don’t have enough purchasing power because they’re not paid enough, companies won’t create more jobs and economy won’t grow.
We’ve endured the most anemic recovery on record because most Americans don’t have enough money to get the economy out of first gear. The economy is barely growing and real wages continue to drop.
We keep having false dawns. An average of 200,000 jobs were created in the United States over the last three months, but huge numbers of Americans continue to drop out of the labor force.
Lie number two: People are paid what they’re worth in the market. So we shouldn’t tamper with pay.
The facts contradict this. CEOs who got 30 times the pay of typical workers forty years ago now get 300 times their pay not because they’ve done such a great job but because they control their compensation committees and their stock options have ballooned.
Meanwhile, most American workers earn less today than they did forty years ago, adjusted for inflation, not because they’re working less hard now but because they don’t have strong unions bargaining for them.
More than a third of all workers in the private sector were unionized forty years ago; now, fewer than 7 percent belong to a union.
Lie number three: Anyone can make it in America with enough guts, gumption, and intelligence. So we don’t need to do anything for poor and lower-middle class kids.
The truth is we do less than nothing for poor and lower-middle class  kids. Their schools don’t have enough teachers or staff, their textbooks are outdated, they lack science labs, their school buildings are falling apart.
We’re the only rich nation to spend less educating poor kids than we do educating kids from wealthy families.
All told, 42 percent of children born to poor families will still be in poverty as adults – a higher percent than in any other advanced nation.
Lie number four: Increasing the minimum wage will result in fewer jobs. So we shouldn’t raise it.
In fact, studies show that increases in the minimum wage put more money in the pockets of people who will spend it – resulting in more jobs, and counteracting any negative employment effects of an increase in the minimum.
Three of my colleagues here at the University of California at Berkeley — Arindrajit Dube, T. William Lester, and Michael Reich – have compared adjacent counties and communities across the United States, some with higher minimum wages than others but similar in every other way.
They found no loss of jobs in those with the higher minimums.
The truth is, America’s lurch toward widening inequality can be reversed. But doing so will require bold political steps.
At the least, the rich must pay higher taxes in order to pay for better-quality education for kids from poor and middle-class families. Labor unions must be strengthened, especially in lower-wage occupations, in order to give workers the bargaining power they need to get better pay. And the minimum wage must be raised.
Don’t listen to the right-wing lies about inequality. Know the truth, and act on it.

Monday, May 5, 2014


This country has gone INSANE.  "Real" news stories are more stupid than anything "The Onion" can possibly think up.  I'm afraid to put stuff up - simply because folks will not believe the crap actually happening.  Folks today really do not know any history.  As always, young people think they have "THE ANSWER", and insist on reinventing the wheel - even if they cannot quite make it round.

That's all for today.  See you all  tomorrow.

Thursday, May 1, 2014