Monday, December 28, 2009

Sweet Jane

Jane Hamsher, a wonderful progressive blogger who helped encourage and activate many people for the progressive cause, just signed a deal with the devil.

Open letter:

Dear Ms. Hamsher,

I don't care about your reasons. I don't care why you went on Fux Newz to make this announcement, and I no longer care about anything you have to say or write.

You want to complain about Rahm, cool, I'm right there with you. You think policies and laws coming out of this administration aren't what we voted for, I'm right there with you. But if you want to make nice with Grover "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub" Norquist!? on Fux Newz!?

With a little editing, The Beatles said it better than I can:

You say you want a revolution, alright.
But if you make money for people with minds that hate, you can count me out.
But when you talk about destruction you can count me out.

Jane, you can count me out.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Friday, December 25, 2009

Ah, ah, beautiful is the mother; ah, ah, beautiful is her Son.

My Dad was unabashed in his love for music, especially Christmas music. Whether or not I would have become musically inclined without his influence, we'll never know. All I can say is that the guitar my Mom bought for me languished until 2 things happened: I was first taught music (the recorder) by my Dad, and I listened to early '60s rock'n'roll.

He told me when I was pretty young that his favorite Christmas Carol was a song I had never heard of:
"Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella" (French: Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle) is a Christmas carol which originated from the Provence region of France in the 16th century. The song is unique among Christmas carols in that it is in 3/8 time[citation needed].

The carol was first published in 1553 in France, and was subsequently translated into English in the 18th century. The song was originally not a song to be sung at Christmas, but rather dance music for French nobility.

The carol tells the story of two milkmaids, Jeanette and Isabella, who go to milk their cows in a stable in Bethlehem, only to find the baby Jesus sleeping in the manger. The two girls run to town to tell the village of the coming of Christ, and the townspeople come with their own torches to view the sight for themselves. However, they have to keep their voices down so little Jesus can enjoy his dreams. To this day in the Provence region, children dress up as shepherds and milkmaids, carrying torches and candles to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, while singing the carol.

I scoured Teh YouTubes™ for a version I thought would please my pop. Many wouldn't have, from well-intended Middle School choirs, to Mormon Tabernacle Choir/Renee Fleming operatic bombast.

This one, while a modern recording, seems the best. Just lovely vocals with balance between male & female singers, and the correct dance tempo:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

She Blinded Me With Science

Scientoid News CERN, Switzerland. December 19th 2009

The Large Hardon Collider had a limited success this month before having to be shut down due to a lack of lubrication. The experiment ran for four hours before scientists realized that the containment vessel had lost its charm. Truth and beauty were still trapped, but as chief scientist Adam N. Steve explained "Every experiment has it's quarks, we believe in the essential potency of the Large Hardon Collider and will explore every avenue to the Big Bang."

In this initial effort to stimulate the Big Bang it was found that spontaneous field emissions covered some sensors and resulted in the Higgs bosom being torqued, instead of tweaked. Various materials were experimented with before it was discovered that simple latex, when applied after initially exciting the protons, and before insertion into the main cyclotron, provided essential protection. Dr. Steve took some ribbing for his solution but added "this is just the tip of the reservoir of knowledge we need to expand in."

Scientists around the world immediately lepton this news. "Heisenberg would be uncertain, but I'm thrilled," exclaimed one scientist who immediately rolled over and took a nap.

Unfortunately Dr. Steve stumbled over an unpredicted fermion and hit the evacuation button prematurely. "In the final outcome," he stated, "no matter was created or destroyed ... but my humorous took quite a blow. And damn, that's gonna leave a mark."

This has been a pubic service announcement.

This post was inspired by Thers and commenters at Whiskey Fire.

Good people all, this Christmastime

Here's a fairly obscure piece of Christmas music, performed by some really talented people, that deserves to be heard more:

Seriously, listen to this, it's wonderful.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sweet Charity

This story at C&L caught my eye:
A Tale of Christmas Magic at the Aramingo Diner

Last Saturday, Dec. 5th, something startling and wonderful happened at The Aramingo Diner in Port Richmond.
The manager on duty, Linda [...] tells me that a couple in their 30s paid their check at the register, then asked the cashier to let them secretly pay the check of another couple in the dining room - a couple they didn't know.

"They just wanted to do it," she said. "They thought it would be a nice thing to do."

When the unsuspecting patrons went to pay their check, they were floored to find out that strangers had picked up their tab. So they asked the cashier to let them pay another table's check, also anonymously.
For two hours, delighted customer after delighted customer continued to pay the favor forward. And a buzz began to grow. Not among patrons, who had no inkling what was going down at the register, but among the dining-room wait staff - Marvin, Rosie, Jasmine and Lynn - and other Aramingo workers moving in and out of the room.
I did something similar yesterday. Where I work we have a hiring freeze, raises canceled, healthcare bennies cut back, (the last strikes me as ironic because we do medical research.) But I still have a job and it pays fairly well. To quote my friend Bill Arnett:I. Am. One. Of. The. Lucky. Ones.

So I took the money I would have spent on gifts for people who don't really need them and asked the supervisor of one of our tech support groups to step out into the hall because I had a complaint about his groups' work.

After we were alone I told him my complaint was that they didn't get their bonuses this year. I forked over some cash and told him it was from the research wing and he should distribute it as he saw fit.

Now this particular guy is very conservative, listens and believes Rush, but he's got a good heart and does good work, and I'm willing to bet when he handed out the 'bonuses' he probably added a bit of his own.

This was in addition to what I gave my favorite local charity that does nothing but feed people. No questions, no eval, no bureaucracy; if you walk in they give you a free meal. They're always going to be in my heart because I've been hungry, and being hungry sucks.

I'm not writing about this to tell what a great guy I am, (everyone who knows me well knows I'm not), but just to say if you've got an extra couple of bucks give it to people who need it. What I gave this year stings just a little bit. Heck, I may have to delay my vacation for a month or two. But what little I gave makes a whole lot more difference to the folks I gave it to than to me.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Monday, December 21, 2009

And you just can't escape from the sound

It's happened to all of us, you get a song in your head and you just can't get it out.

Fortunately for me, this time it's a great song:

SteveAudio: While we're on a Traffic roll, let's not forget this wonderful song:

Since you've been gone

So health care reform is on its way, passing its first major test in our awful dysfunctional Senate. How's that working out for regular Americans? Ladies & gentlemen, I give you the Rude Pundit:
Jacqueline Kelly died yesterday in Jersey City, New Jersey, of ovarian cancer. She also had emphysema. She was 61 years-old, a woman who was a stay-at-home mom to her six kids and a supportive wife for 44 years to John Kelly. John, 68, worked for fifty years as a truck driver and was old enough to get on Medicare when he retired. His wife could not, since she was 61.

She was told she didn't qualify for Social Security disability benefits because she had never "worked." They didn't qualify for welfare assistance or Medicaid because John's pension checks were too high. So, instead, most of the money went to paying for Jacqueline's medical expenses, as much as they could, until it became a choice of chemotherapy or food. As John put it, "I worked all my life. She's being penalized for staying home and taking care of her kids." Kelly died because of a lack of health insurance, pure and simple, cause and effect.

Here's a local newspaper article about Jacqueline:
Kelly was a stay-at-home mother who raised her six children and went on to help raise her grandchildren, while her husband John worked as a truck driver for 50 years.

When John Kelly, 68, retired he was able to go on Medicare, but Kelly was not old enough.

With no private insurance, the couple was also told she didn’t qualify for social security disability because she had never worked.

When John Kelly went to Welfare, he was told his pension checks were too high for his wife to get benefits.

The family paid for Kelly’s treatments out-of-pocket until the costs recently became too much to bear.

She was treated at Christ Hospital in Jersey City through charity care and Compassionate Care Hospice treated her at home in recent weeks for free through its foundation.

Back to the Rude Pundit for analysis. I've taken his words almost completely because they need to be heard:
Think about that: John and Jacqueline Kelly were like apple pie, they fit so perfectly into the mold of ideal Americans that conservatives propagate. John was able to support his family doing a job that he stayed dedicated to. Jacqueline chose to stay at home and raise a large family. This is also death by sexism in that we live in a nation where full-time motherhood is not valued as a job and never has been. The myth of the American dream is always, always revealed as the lie it always was, and those who continue to foist it upon us are the ones least willing to make it be true. Where were all the alleged Christians, who are now so ready to kill health reform legislation? Where was the charity that's supposed to take care of such things? There was some, but not enough to get her the medical care that might have saved her.

You know who stepped up to help the Kelly family? Professional wrestlers. Yeah, Total Mayhem Pro Wrestling held a fundraiser for Jacqueline about a week ago, raising $4000 for medical expenses. That money will now be used for a funeral.

Pulls at your heartstrings, no? Really gets that lump in your throat going, this story of love and failure? Jacqueline Kelly was one of millions of Americans who would have qualified for help in just about any of the health care reform measures that actually seek to insure people. She'd have qualified for the public option. She'd have qualified for Medicare buy-in. In almost any other country in the developed world, and even in some in the undeveloped part, her care would not have even been an issue.

We are overwhelmed, yes, by tale upon tale of the sadness and horror brought on by this country's willful neglect of its citizens because we need to please some mad god of capitalism. And because we need to soothe the vanity of politicians, like Joe Lieberman.

We focus our rage on Lieberman out here in Left Blogsylvania not just because he is the kind of man who sucks his own cock in public and then grins, his semen-slicked teeth shining in the klieg lights, to the delight of Aetna and Wellpoint executives just before they shove his ass full of cash and tell him he can have it after he shits it back out. That would be enough. But it's that Lieberman actually takes pleasure in dicking over the Democratic caucus. Motherfucker said he supported the Medicare buy-in and then bailed? What kind of fuckery is that? That's just doing shit for the sake of doing shit. He's Shylock with less motivation. And that just makes us wanna go Berlusconi on his face. (Rhetorically, of course. Of course.)

But, if only to take a little power away from Lieberman, let's spread some blame around here for what is now a fairly worthless bill that is absent any control over insurance companies for jacking up prices in the wake of any new regulations. There's, of course, the Republicans, who never once negotiated in good faith (or bad faith, for that matter). There's Harry Reid, who took reconciliation off the table, thus shaking empty the compromise toolbox that had been dumped out when single payer wasn't even discussed. And there's the President, who demonstrated that if you are unwilling to say specifically what you want, then you will get nothing. Goddamnit, if Barack Obama had said he wouldn't sign a bill without a public option, if members of Congress knew he had their backs, his supporters would have rallied around the cause in a way that would have had the teabaggers grabbing their sacks in fear. He didn't, and you can't have a movement based on a vague hope that something might perhaps get done.

There's a couple of paths left now: revive reconciliation and/or try to salvage a bill that can be spun as a first step in a longer battle. The former is almost a must, because Lieberman has given anti-health care reform forces a boner for the final fucking. It might be a chance to get at least the Medicare buy-in or go back to the public option. The latter is close to surrender and is disgusting to contemplate, but there we are.

Lieberman's gotta be punished, or they gotta get rid of Reid. There's gotta be consequences for Lieberman. He's gotta lose his Homeland Security committee chair, maybe even be ejected from the caucus. He's gotta be publicly defiled. If there was any kind of justice right now, Lieberman should be locked in a glass room with the ghost of Lyndon Johnson. Motherfucker would be on his knees after five minutes, begging to give LBJ a rim job for mercy's sake.

Or, instead, Lieberman should be forced to eat the body of Jacqueline Kelly. He should have to taste her diseased organs and mutated cells. He should have to stare at her dead face as he ingests her faded skin and deteriorated muscle. And if he can't do it on his own, he should have her bones shoved down his throat until he fucking gags. Then maybe he'll understand that we're not talking about abstract numbers of people dying. We're talking about real corpses.

What's really sad, and makes a telling commentary on exactly how screwed up this country is politically, are some of the comments at the newspaper article. Talking about seeing trees rather than forest, or taking an ideology and bending it to fit the situation:
  • This is so sad that an American woman can't get any type of medical coverage, but an illegal alien can get medicaid with no problem!
  • if this was a woman from a foregn country she would have been flown here and treated for free so some hospital,doctor and politician would look good in the sympathy to her family.
  • You are so right, Bayonne is under attack by immigrants and the governing bodies are addicted to serving them their free housing, their free medical, there free education, their free cell clothes, their free school uniforms, their free everything, Just so the local governing bodies and workers and County and State and Fed. employees can justify their existence and have a wonderful Christmas time....more pork please.....the employess need their bennies too.
This wouldn't have happened in virtually any other industrialized country on the planet, yet here, in America, we still kvetch about providing benifits to illegals, with no real interest in making sure we care for actual citizens.

And Bill Nelson, Joe Lieberman, and the rest of he conservadems wank hard about their petty issues.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Do you hear what I hear?

I've had an ambivalent relationship with Christianity all my life. These days, I think it's a lovely idea which has been perverted to cause much anguish and hurt over the centuries. And the same can be said about most religions, frankly. With the possible exception of Buddhism.

That said, I have a great relationship with Christmas music, having loved & collected it all my life. I have no trouble singing "Christ the Saviour is born..." while not being sure that is actually what took place. The music, along with the ideas it represents, are wonderful.

I've praised these women for years, and I'm not going to stop now. The Roches, 3 sisters with serious vocal skills, did a Christmas album in 1990 that I still love, "We Three Kings". Comprising both traditional songs as well as a few lovely originals, it combines the best of the Christmas spirit with their populist folky vocal stylings. While not classically trained, the sisters represent to me the way singing must have been during the middle ages & the Renaissance, technically skillful yet not overly mannered.

Here they are live, singing a medley of several of their versions of traditional Christmas carold:

And if you have any doubts about their vocal skills, listen to them rock Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" live in '82:

Point is, you don't have to believe the mythology to love the music and the spirit of Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Just Like Starting Over

I try to stay out of the mainstream news cycle and bring something to the table you might have missed. But in the case of health care reform I just can't resist.

I thought in this post I would be bringing my insight, my medical expertise, my observations, my personal experiences into one cogent, devastating argument. As it turns out, I'm not only un-original in my thinking, but others have stated my case better.
There is No Drawing Board To Go Back To

Starting Over
My case is:
Point 1) Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid and all civil rights bills were opposed by a powerful minority and barely passed in weakened form. Then they were expanded upon.

Point 2) The process isn't over. If the Senate passes their bill and then it goes to reconciliation with the House bill. That's where we need to focus our attention. But for this to happen the Senate needs to vote for cloture and then vote for their bill.

Point 3) The rethugs are so against anything happening that they've been employing tactics against it since its mere suggestion, and they are on record as having done so. It really wouldn't matter what President Obama said was his his main agenda, or any agenda this President has, they will do anything, say anything, to do their best to see Obama's administration fail. If it means 45,000 Americans die each year due to lack of healthcare, they don't care. It's how they roll.

And if the history of HCR is any measure, and this bill doesn't happen, then nothing will happen for at least a decade. I can't live with that ... and neither can 450,000 of my fellow citizens.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Old Black-hearted Joe

Monday, Dec. 16, 2024

Joseph Isadore "Joe" Lieberman, disgraced former Senator from Connecticut, died today after a long illness, Cause of death was heart failure. He was 82.

Lieberman was recently the victim of bad luck, when he was recently told the only drug that would keep his condition in check was no longer sold in the U.S. Instead, according to Merck-LaRoche-Lilly, the one remaining pharmaceuticals manufacturer in the U.S., the entire output of Dickophil™, once considered a wonder drug for heart-related ilnesses, is now sold only in China. In fact, lobbying by PhRMA, the drug industry lobbying company for whom his wife Hadassah worked, had resulted in Dickophil™ being illegal in the U.S.

Lieberman lost his Senate seat in the '12 election by a wide margin. In fact, many politicians & consultants, both Democratic, Democratic-Socialist, Republican, and Tea Party counseled Lieberman not to run. But run he did, and he was beaten soundly by former Admiral Joe Sestak. After this defeat, he stayed out of public view, and was largely absent from politics.

Lieberman's downfall occurred when, in 2009, he opposed his former party, the wishes of the majority of the U.S. population, and his own constituents in CT by opposing all progressive portions of then Pres. Obama's Health Care Reform. While the much weakened bill did pass, voters in his state would never turn out in favor of Lieberman again. In fact, during the '12 campaign, he was assigned extra Secret Service details after many people at one town hall meeting threw rotten fruit and used toilet paper at the Senator. He was called Crappy Joe after this by several progressive blogs, and the name stuck.

Former Surgeon General Howard Dean said of Lieberman: "He voted his conscience, which unfortunately was weak and petty". Former Sec'y of State and Vice President Hilary Clinton said: "I liked Joe, until I got to know him." And former running mate and former Senator John Kerry said: "I thought I knew Joe, until I selected him to be my VP candidate. Then I discovered what a mean, miserable prick he was". And Sarah Palin, his V.P pick in his failed Presidential run in 2008, said: "Wow, I didn't know the old dude was still alive. I mean, he was like so old when he campaigned with me. If it hadn't been for him, I would have won, also".

Lieberman is survived by, well, no one, because his disastrous health care decisions resulted in several deaths in his family, including, at the end, his own.

He will not be missed.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Regem Angelorum

Adeste Fideles again, in a more traditional setting, by the Vienna Boys' Choir:

If you're not moved by this music, regardless of your faith tradition, then I'm sorry for you. That may seem elitist, but it's not. This is seriously good music, performed spectacularly.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tell it like it is, Don't be ashamed to let your conscience be your guide

I have a love affair with Rep. Alan Grayson (D-BrassOnes), not him personally, (not that there's anything wrong with that), but with his frank speech and principled positions.

He called out the Republicans for their (lack of) Health Care Proposal on the House floor:
"The Republican plan is don't get sick. And if you do get sick, die quickly."
The rethugs were incensed and called on him to apologize- "That is about the most mean-spirited partisan statement that I've ever heard made on this floor, and I, for one, don't appreciate it," Rep. Jimmy Duncan, R-Tennessee.

Grayson did:"I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven't voted sooner to end this holocaust in America"

And now he calls out Darth Vader dick Cheney for his statements on Fux News->
Cheney: I saw [Obama], when he got elected, as a liberal Democrat -- but conventional, in the sense of sort of falling within the parameters of the national Democratic Party. I think he's demonstrated pretty conclusively now during his first year in office that he's more radical than that. That he's farther outside the parameters, if you will, of what we've traditionally had in Democratic presidents in years past.
Grayson's reply was made on Hardball->
Grayson: I don't know, you know, on the internet there's an acronym that's used to apply to situations like this, it's STFU. I don't think I can say that on the air, but I think you know what that means."
Each time, of course, the republicans and their M$M allies clutch their pearls like Margaret Dumont in a bad outtake from a Marx Brothers film. (Fainting couches are optional.)

Somehow repubs don't mind Cheney saying "Go fuck yourself" on the Senate floor, GW Bush calling the US Constitution a "goddamn piece of paper" or their constant cries of people like me being called terrorist supporters because we think torture and violating the Geneva Conventions and the US Constitution is a very bad thing.

Did I mention Grayson was rich? That's not a bad thing:
"I don't need the job for income or satisfaction," said Grayson, sitting on a bench outside the House chamber in between votes. "The truth is, it's really a hardship. I took an enormous pay cut to take the job. Every week, I leave five young children and my wife to come up here.

"I don't owe anything to anyone here. I don't owe anything to lobbyists. I don't owe anything to leadership. The only thing I owe to anybody is the well-being of 800,000 people who depend on me.
Well said sir. It's always a pleasure to see rich people, like FDR and George Soros and even Bill Gates do the right thing. It's especially nice when they have FY money and they choose not to say FY to the people who don't.

And now a special treat:

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Friday, December 11, 2009

Adeste fideles, laeti triumphantes

Regardless of your feeling about "the reason for the season", this is wonderful classical Christmas rock'n'roll music by a talented singer, not afraid to venture outside her comfort zone.

Dolores O'Riordan-Adeste Fideles:

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

What in the world you thinking of, Laughing in the face of love, What on earth you tryin’ to do, It’s up to you, yeah you

Joe Scarborough, writing at HuffPost, is very sad that we just passed the 29th anniversary of John Lennon's death:
I listened to Lennon's last BBC interview with Andy Peebles. I read the Rolling Stone tribute issue that told me how my hero's last word was "yeah." I remember watching Elton John singing "Empty Garden." I remember listening to Paul's tribute "Here Today." But nothing really helped in a murder as senseless as this one. Nothing, sad to say, but the passing of time.

Almost 30 years later, I still can't believe what happened that cold night in December 1980. But tonight, I will kiss my 6-year-old daughter goodnight under the sign on her wall that reads "All You Need Is Love." Then I'll be listening to Lennon on my iPod when I walk a few blocks over to 72nd Street and Central Park West. When I reach the Dakota, I'll keep pushing my iPod's button until "Merry Xmas (War is Over)" starts playing in my ears.

It's ironic that Joe doesn't understand Lennon would Joe's Republican positions on everything distasteful at best, and appalling at worst.

Like so many self-centered people, Joe's concern is not what the music actually meant, but only what it meant to him. Joe should have listened more to John's words:

The Mouse That Roared

Trust the intellectually dishonest to be, well, dishonest. Eamon Javers writing at reports Disney's Bob Iger, at the White House Jobs Summit said:
Disney CEO Robert Iger, for example, used one of the break-out sessions to propose a cut in the corporate tax rate – a move that would cost the Treasury billions in uncollected funds at a time when the deficit is already $1.4 trillion.

“I think that’s where I would start,” Iger said. “It’s definitely an issue not just for the Disney company but for the whole television industry.”

Yes, because helping Disney's bottom line is good for America. Thing is:
Burbank, Calif.-based Disney said it earned $895 million during the three months that ended Oct. 3, compared with $760 million a year ago. Revenue climbed 4 percent to $9.9 billion.

Operating profit at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts fell 17 percent during the quarter to $344 million, on revenue that slid 4 percent to $2.8 billion. Park attendance improved, but ongoing discounts continued to eat into profit margins.

The results capped a difficult fiscal year in which Disney was squeezed hard by the recession. Disney said it netted $3.3 billion for the year, down 25 percent from last year, on sales of $36.1 billion, down 4 percent.

So even in this soft economy, the Mouse earned $3,300,000,000. That's 3300 times $1,000,000. That's serious bank. And against sales of $36,100,000,000. That's over 9% profit!

Disney has had layoffs, forced salaried employees to work hourly shifts, forced hourly employees to take shift cuts, etc., etc. Yet how has Iger's income been affected? 2009 numbers are not in yet, but for 2008, the result is pretty startling:
3. Walt Disney - DIS: Robert Iger earned around $1,965,384 for every 1% his stock dropped, giving him a total salary package of $51.1 million based on DIS shares declining 26% over the past year.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

I know you've heard it before But then it wasn't enough

Grammy nominations were announced tonight. For some hipsters, the Grammies are too too passé, not cool, too corporate. While the Recording Academy has fallen flat on its face several times (Jethro Tull-Heavy Metal, Milli Vanilli), it still tries to be relevant.

As a voting member of the Academy, I consider the process to have some validity, and take my voting pretty seriously. And while I would never vote just because I know someone, there are several folks nominated that are clients & friends, and I wish them well. Especially 2 in particular:

Category 4

Best New Artist
(For a new artist who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist.)

  • Zac Brown Band

  • Keri Hilson

  • MGMT

  • Silversun Pickups

  • The Ting Tings

While I really like The Ting Tings, Silversun Pickups are on Dangerbird Records, the label for which I'm currently finishing a recording studio installation. I had nothing to do with the album, but the label folks are friends The producer, Dave Cooley, is also a client & good friend, and it's a great album. If I didn't think so I wouldn't bother to blog about it.

Category 7

Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
(For established duos or groups, with vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Never Say Never
    The Fray
    Track from: The Fray

The Fray were produced by Mike Flynn, and engineered by my dear friend Warren Huart. Apart from that, it's a great album of quality pop music. The Fray were also nominated in this category:

Category 11

Best Pop Vocal Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

  • The Fray
    The Fray

And in an unexpected category, keyboard player Skip Edwards, one of the best B3 players in L.A., is nominated:

Category 78

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Story Telling)

  • Jonathan Winters — A Very Special Time
    Jonathan Winters (Music By Verne Langdon & Skip Edwards)
    [Dejavu Record Company/The Orchard]

So, these are quality recordings by great people, worth checking out.

Here's SSP:

Here's The Fray:

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I Shot the Sheriff

Bump & update below

Sheriff Joe is at it again: July 18th
Apology ordered in court paper flap

A Maricopa County Sheriff's detention officer has been ordered to apologize to a public defender for taking a document from files on her desk during a sentencing in Superior Court.

Judge Gary Donahoe said Officer Adam Stoddard must issue his apology at a news conference on the north plaza of the Central Court Building on or before Nov. 30 or face jail for contempt of court.

Stoddard was pictured on courtroom video Oct. 19 taking a piece of paper from the courtroom desk of Public Defense Joanne Cuccia.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Wednesday [...] "Superior Court judges do not order my officers to hold press conferences," Arpaio said in a statement. "I decide who holds press conferences and when they are held regarding this Sheriff's Office."
I've excerpted this article not to cherry pick quotes but to fall in the guidelines of copyright protection. The whole article is much more damning.

The defense counsel, the prosecutor and ALL cops are officers of the court. To have a sheriff's deputy steal defense records, copy them and send them to the government's side is not only theft it's against federal law and a violation of the Constitution.

The cop is lucky he was only found in civil contempt. He should go down! (By 'down' I meant to the corner and apologize.) Personally, I think the Feds should prosecute him & Sheriff Joe et al for Federal crimes, (no way that the County Atty will prosecute the theft that was involved), because they think that cops run the gov't.

But wait, there's more:
MCSO officer files motion to delay judge's ruling

Video footage shows Stoddard glancing at the documents during a sentencing hearing for Antonio Solis Lozano, 26. He's then shown removing the handwritten notes and having them copied.
INAL, but as I understand it there is no recourse when a judge sentences you for civil contempt. Criminal contempt, yes, civil, no.

Justice might be served if Arpaio & Lozano were sentenced to live in tents and made to wear pink panties.

Gosh, I bet they'd never flout the law again! Like Bull Connor never did.[/sarcasm]

Sheriff Joe has got to go. He's not just a criminal, he runs a criminal enterprise.

Mother of mercy, can this be the end of RICO?*

*Under RICO, a person who is a member of an enterprise that has committed any two of 35 crimes—27 federal crimes and 8 state crimes—within a 10-year period can be charged with racketeering. Those found guilty of racketeering can be fined up to $250,000 and/or sentenced to 20 years in prison per racketeering count. In addition, the racketeer must forfeit all ill-gotten gains and interest in any business gained through a pattern of "racketeering activity." RICO also permits a private individual harmed by the actions of such an enterprise to file a civil suit; if successful, the individual can collect treble damages.

When the U.S. Attorney decides to indict someone under RICO, he or she has the option of seeking a pre-trial restraining order or injunction to temporarily seize a defendant's assets and prevent the transfer of potentially forfeitable property, as well as require the defendant to put up a performance bond.
Update: A commenter thought I was over the top by suggesting RICO charges against Sheriff Joe. In a twist of irony, Joe has filed a lawsuit alleging RICO charges be applied to the Superior Court Judge Donahoe & county Supervisors.
Alleging widespread conspiracy, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio filed a civil suit in U.S. District Court on Tuesday against county administrators, elected officials, judges and attorneys. Those defendants, they say, are violating federal racketeering laws by hindering criminal investigations and depriving their offices of resources.
And speaking of "depriving their offices of resources" check this out:
Now, with Sheriff Arpaio's support, officers who protect the Superior Court where Judge Donahoe works are calling in sick in sufficient numbers to shut down business. The courthouse was also evacuated when a bomb threat against public defenders was phoned in (Cuccia is a public defender).
AZ is the new Alabama! Great job Alazonians! [/snark]

Notice he files the lawsuit in civil court. Not state criminal, not Federal criminal, but civil. Why? Because civil courts have a much lower standard of proof than criminal courts. It's still not gonna work.

He's cost Maricopa County taxpayers more money in lost Fed & state lawsuits against him and his thugs than any illegal alien has. But he doesn't care because the good citizens of the county pay for it. The good citizens of Maricopa county are also paying for him to sue ... wait for it ... wait for it ... Maricopa County!

Sher'f Joe has got to go.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak