Thursday, March 28, 2013

Arizona Group to Give Away Shotguns in High-Crime Areas

Tucson residents living in crime-ridden areas could soon receive free shotguns.
Operating on the premise an armed neighborhood is a safer neighborhood, a group led by former mayoral candidate Shaun McClusky is raising money to purchase shotguns and provide training for anyone who lives in a mid- to high-crime neighborhood and can pass a background check.
The project is part of a developing nationwide movement to see if more guns really do translate into less crime.
Bonus: 2 Retired Cops Shoot and Kill Own Sons 4 Months Apart. (They both thought their sons were burglars.)

More: It's the same town Gabby Giffords and 18 others were shot, six of them killed, on January 8, 2011.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Loving, Part II [update]

In 1967 (1967!) the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Loving v. Virginia, a case about marriage: marriage between a black person and a white person.

A lot of people HATED with a captal HATE the idea of some awful dirty black person marrying a white person.

How's your day going?

Update, Mar. 28: Wow - he even used the word "filthy."


The View From the Pub

Christine took this shot on Monday while we were having an adult beverage or two at our local watering hole. She didn't get up or anything - this was from our table on the deck:

Ho hum.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Guitar Note: Last Night Something Happened

I've been playing guitar for 32 years. From early on I decided (or was forced to grudgingly give in to, whatever) that I was a strummer and simple picker kind of guitar player, the kind that plays to accompany lyrics. I love writing lyrics, I’ve loved writing the fairly simple guitar songs I’ve written, but I always wanted to play lead guitar. Or just much more dynamic and colorful guitar. And I just could not do it. I tried. A lot. I just couldn't do it. Nothing but anything simple, anyway. (I can SHRED a Neil Young one-note lead until the neighbors throw flaming cats through the windows.)

I don't play out anymore. My last gig was way more than a year ago, and there weren’t that many in a few years preceding. But I've picked up the guitar at home more in recent months, and I just play. I pick, I strum a bit, but more often I play - or try to play - lead-like stuff. And I just play.

Last night something happened. My brain, all of a sudden - and I mean I noticed it the way you notice you’ve almost fallen asleep and your car has left the road - my brain was all of a sudden doing something that I had never felt it do with me and my guitar. My brain was communicating with my fingers and my ears - most importantly with my ears - in a way that was, honestly, completely gobsmacking. And I was playing dynamic, colorful, lead guitar. And it didn’t suck! (Or at least I thought so. Maybe I was having a flashback?)

I know it's just me and my guitar, and I know there's a lot of hurt out there in the world, but hot damn. This is music. I am very happy and very thankful about this, and, well, there you go.

I hope I can play you a song some day that makes you feel a little better about everything.

Thanks for listening.

P.S. I'm very thankful Christine puts up with - and even seems to like - my noodling, too. Thank you, baby.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Michelle Shocked Vows to Show Up at Cancelled LA Gig

Oh dear:
Friday afternoon, the beleaguered singer tweeted that she would be appearing at Saturday night at McCabe’s in Santa Monica for a “speaking engagement” on the subject of “Effects of Gay-Bashing on the L.A. Mayoral Race.”
This came as news to the club -- and not good news. “She is not welcome at McCabe’s,” said the venue’s angry concert director, Lincoln Myerson, who had just learned about Shocked’s vow -- or threat -- to show up after he got calls regarding the singer’s mysterious tweet.
On Monday, the guitar shop and concert venue joined nearly every other club on her itinerary in canceling her planned show after the singer's alleged anti-gay comments at the opening gig of the tour Sunday night in San Francisco led to mass walkouts and media furor.
Michelle Shocked tour meltdown history:

Elementary Music, Art, Gym Teachers AXED in Lansing, MI

Following up on this post:
Lansing elementary students will soon say goodbye to all their art, music, and gym teachers.
They’re among 87 staff positions getting the ax this year. The district’s got to scrape together $6 million in savings, and what with the right-to-work law taking effect next week, teachers around the state are eager to ink new contracts.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Graphic: 98 Days Since Newtown: 2,238 Dead

Very powerful and fairly sickening graphic at HuffPo right now. (Link here. It actually plays, counting up the days and number of dead.) Screen shot:

The accompanying article.

Credit page says "By Jay Boice, Aaron Bycoffe and Andrei Scheinkman. Research by Jason Cherkis, Peter Finocchiaro, Adam Goldberg, Mark Hanrahan, Benjamin Hart, Alana Horowitz, Melissa Jeltsen, Chelsea Kiene, Brad Shannon and William Wrigley." Great work, gang.

@GunDeaths on Twitter.

"Bottomfeeders" song #5: Sigh

From my CD "Bottomfeeders."

You might like to add this to your collection of songs. You can do this ever so easily at iTunesRhapsodyCDUniverse, or CDBaby, among other fine digital music establishments.

A Request From an American Public School Teacher

An email from a nephew who is an elementary school teacher in Western New York:
Hello Family, I am wondering if all of my lovely local (or not ) family would be willing to cut and save their box tops for me?
I recently discovered that my school lets me buy things for my classroom with that money.
You know what this email is? It's even more evidence that super wealthy Americans need another tax cut.

P.S. This.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

PM Julia Gillard Issues Apology For Forced Adoptions

The Australian:
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has told victims of forced adoption practices: "We apologise". Ms Gillard made the long awaited national apology at a special ceremony in Canberra attended by hundreds of people, including mothers betrayed by a system that decided their children were better off elsewhere.

"We acknowledge your loss and grief," the prime minister said.

From the 1950s to the 1970s an estimated 150,000 unwed Australian mothers had their babies forcibly adopted under a practice sanctioned by governments, churches, hospitals, charities and bureaucrats.
I'll post video and trascript when they become available. *You can watch it here. This is worth putting other stuff away and watching.

Wikipedia on Australia's forced adoptions.

"Stories from the mothers who had their babies taken away":

Michelle Shocked: Audio of Rant; Lying in Statement

I'm listening to the audio of Michelle Shocked's Yoshi's rant right now. There is no other way to say this: She lied in her statement. I'll have my own transcript soon.

Statement From Michelle Shocked: "I'm Very Sorry"

Update: We have audio of the rant.

Yeah. Well, first the statement. For what it's worth I'll add my own thoughts after it soon.

The statement comes from SPIN (it's apparently all over the place), and they rightly say it "finds her apologizing for the supposedly misunderstood speech":

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

Sandstone Cliff, Middle Head, Sydney Harbour

Middle Head.

Beach, Bath

Beach, Bath 

Holes are part of Nature. 
They're Inherent 
In this
This System
Of Bringing, 

We are all these grains. 
We are all these holes. 
All these gaps. 

We are shoes, too. Waterproof, 
For a while,