Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Andrews Sisters vs The Supremes (1965)

The Andrews Sisters sing The Supremes and The Supremes sing The Andrews Sisters.

Flo outshines Diane in this clip!

(You must click the video twice to watch it at youtube.com. Sorry.)


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Another Odd Conversation about Hillary Clinton

So, I am minding my own business on the subway home.

Man next to me acknowledges the Tasini badge on my shoulder bag and asks: "Is he the guy running against Clinton?"

"Yes, he is," I said cheerfully.

"He doesn't stand a chance, does he?" My fellow commuter added.

"It's a tough battle, but worth it, I think," I said.

"Clinton sure is amazing!" He said.

"Yeah!"

A bit of a silence.

"Are you against the war?" He asked.

"Yeah."

"Me too," he said. "Seemed like a good idea at first, but what a mess."

"Yeah," I agreed. "It's a mess. I wish we cuold get out of it."

"Well, Hillary will get us out of there," he said.

"I think she supports the war," I explained.

"Yeah, but she wants to get us out."

"But, she votes for the war each time it comes up."

"She does?" He acted surprised.

"Yeah, she does."

"That's wierd."

"Not really," I said. "Most conservatives support the war."

"She's not a conservative," he explained.

"She supports the war, she supports the Patriot Act, she is opposed to abortion, she supports NAFTA, she is against gay marriage, and the list goes on," I insisted. "Doesn't sound like a liberal to me."

"Really?" He asked. "Are you sure?"

"Yeah, I'm sure," I said. "Her record speaks for itself."

"Hmmmmm. Too bad there isn't anyone running against her," he offered.

"Tasini is running against her," I said. "That's what started this conversation."

"Oh, yeah," he seemd surprised. "That guy is running against her."

I was excited! "Will you vote for Tasini in the primary?"

"Ahhhhh . . . I probably won't vote," he explained. "What's the point?"

"Well," I offered, "Hillary will be very happy if you don't vote."

"Why?"

"Because when people start thinking about her, they stop liking her," I suggested.

"You know, you're right," he said. "I never really thought about it; but, she isn't very good."

"So will you vote for Tasini?" I asked again.

"I dunno." And he opened his Daily News and that was the end of the conversation.

It befuddles me that people think Hillary is a liberal. it befuddles me that people would not vote against her.

Here is a woman who supports moving American jobs off-shore, prevents equality for homosexuals (who then vote for her), opposes safe and legal abortions, supports a war in which three thousand Americans (including a parishoner at my church) have been killed, votes to extend the misnamed Patriot Act, and is loved by New Yorkers.

65% of New Yorkers believe the war was a mistake, yet they plan to re-elect a Senator who continues to support the war.

Of the twelve homosexuals I have asked about the primary election TEN plan to vote for her, even though she believes they should never have the right to marry!

I have asked two unemployed people if they would support Tasini, and they both said they will vote for Hillary -- even though she supports NAFTA, a treaty that has moved more jobs out of the USA than any other law.

I don't get it.

Hillary Clinton is bad for New York.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Manchester City Football Club Becomes A Progressive Employer and Business

In 2004 I posted an article about the English Football Association's battle against homophobia (England's Football Association Fights Homophobia).

Now, Manchester City of the English Premier League has taken the cause a step further by joining the Diversity Champions scheme, run by gay rights group Stonewall. (Man City's gay recruitment drive).

According to the article, '[t]he club said it wanted to send a welcoming message to gay, lesbian and bisexual supporters, be inclusive and be a progressive employer.'

Kudos to Manchester City Football Club and congratulations to Stonewall for this ground-breaking agreement!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Media Consolidation - Al Gore

Al Gore continues making sense. In the AP article linked below, he calls to task right-wingers Vladimir Putin and Silvio Berlusconi, who are more brazen than Rupert Murdoch, controlling media outlets.

In the United States "the only thing that matters in American politics now is having enough money to put 30-second commercials on the air often enough to convince the voters to elect you or re-elect you," he said. "The person who has the most money to run the most ads usually wins."

Gore lashes out at media consolidation

Friday, August 25, 2006

MoveOn Refuses to Poll Members in Clinton Race

MoveOn has declined to poll its members regarding the U.S. Senate race in New York, despite having done so in Connecticut. It is critical for MoveOn members to be aware that Hillary Clinton has an anti-war opponent in Jonathan Tasini. Please ask MoveOn to poll its members regarding the U.S. Senate race in New York.

Please take 5 minutes of your time and send a message today by going to the MoveOn homepage at http://www.MoveOn.org

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "CONTACT"

Where it says "Choose from one of the following," click on the last option (in red): "Other question or problem"

Type your name and e-mail into the boxes labeled "Name" and "E-mail."

Type "U.S. Senate race in NY -- poll your members!" into the box labeled "Subject."

Type your comments into the box labeled "Message."

When finished, click "Send" at the bottom of the page.

Here are the essential points to include in your message:

*Address your message to Eli Pariser and the MoveOn Political Action Team.

*The New York Democratic primary is September 12th.

*The New York Democratic primary race for U.S. Senate is heating up.

*Jonathan Tasini is running with an anti-war message against incumbent Senator
Hillary Clinton.

*MoveOn.org has not yet polled its members in this race as it did in Connecticut.

*Eli Pariser said in the NY Daily News: "We're not hearing a whole lot from our members in New York about the race."

*Much of the institutional media has denied New York voters their right to know about Tasini’s candidacy and the issues for which he stands.

*We challenge MoveOn to poll its members. Ask them if MoveOn.org should take a position on the New York Democratic primary race for U.S. Senate.

*MoveOn, please keep democracy alive in New York!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tasini for Senate, Tasini for New York

Jonathan Tasini is running for the Senate nomination of the Democrats in this September's primary.

This is a statement he made about the role of health care in this race:



Please support Jonathan's bid for Senate by sending a donation.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Robert Pires and Villareal

Robert Pires is one of my favorite footy players.

Iwas sad when he left Arsenal.

Villarreal's Pires to miss bulk of season

AFP
August 21, 2006

MADRID (AFP) - French midfield veteran Robert Pires will miss some six months of the new season after snapping a cruciate knee ligament.

Pires, 32, was looking forward to a new challenge with Villarreal in the Spanish top flight after a summer move from Arsenal but will have to see the majority of the campaign from the sidelines, although the club did not confirm the extent of his injury.

The news Monday is likely to see Villarreal, already without Argentine defender Gonzalo Rodriguez for a chunk of the new campaign with a similar injury, move to keep Argentine Juan Pablo Sorin, who had been in talks with a move to French outfit Bordeaux.

Valencia, who Tuesday will look to overturn a 1-0 deficit in their Champions League qualifier return against Salzburg, will meanwhile have to make do without Spanish international Ruben Baraja for some ten weeks after he picked up a leg injury, the club said.


I guess it is not so bad that Pires left Arsenal.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Seeking the Spotlight

Do you think the guy who's confessed to the JonBenét Ramsey killing really did it?

I don't.

I think he's a whacko like Zacarias Moussaoui.

I think there are people so desperate for attention that they see a limelight and jump into it.

I'm happy to be wrong about it, but I think I'm correct.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tina Turner Destroys Iggy Pop's "Tonight"

In 1979 or 1980 I saw Tina Turner's comeback show at the Bradford Hotel Ballroom, in Boston. She was spectacular. She had rebounded and was on her way back to the top.

Sadly, her comeback included this destruction of Iggy Pop's "Tonight," which her cohort in this video also destroyed on one of his albums in the mid-80s!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

WTC Voices

As the fifth anniversary of the tragedy at the World Trade Center approaches, America's fascination with profiteering from tragedy kicks into high gear.

A movie has hit the cinema, a television movie was aired, and I understand a documentary is close to release.

News organizations also get in on the booty by dramatizing all they can get their hands on.

AP presents this little tidbit today:
The voices of firefighters who came to rescue people from the burning World Trade Center hold clues about what happened after jetliners struck the towers on Sept. 11, 2001 -- but until now, many went unheard.

I did not know we needed clues to know what happened. We know what happened.

It's pretty clear what happened. I needn't repeat it, because everyone know what happened.

AP wants us to read on voraciously in hopes that we will read details of " . . . [t]he calls . . . made by people trapped in the twin towers."

Of course, AP gives us a taste:

The city planned to play the remainder of the call -- with only the operator's voice -- of Melissa Doi, who spent more than 20 minutes on the phone with a 911 operator from the 83rd floor of the south tower before she was killed. . . . "I'm going to die, aren't I?" Doi asked the dispatcher. "Please God, it's so hot. I'm burning up."

AP goes on to besmirch Ms. Doi's memory by pandering to the government's absurd trial against a crazy man:
Excerpts of Doi's side of the conversation were played for jurors in April at Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui's trial.

New Yorkers were not played the tapes of a horror that happened in their front yard, but citizens forced to pass judgment on a mentally ill American whose vainglory failed to bring him his wanted death, were played the tapes in a court case that never should have taken place.

It hurts me that those killed at the World Trade Center are not left in peace.

Release the tapes, but find a method to do it which is not rooted in our morally-bankrupt media's need to make money from tragedy.

Those killed on September 11, 2001, should not be exploited by Time-Warner (CNN), News Corporation and Disney, they should be honored.

Put the tapes in libraries or other government-owned spaces, not on Fox News.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Camoflauge Clothing

A pirate captain changed into a red shirt every time a battle ensued.

After observing this behavior for a few months, one of the crew members asked him what it meant.

"It's in case I get shot. I don't want you crew members to see blood and freak out."

"That's very sensible, sir."

At that moment, the crew member spotted eight hostile ships on the horizon. The captain all of a sudden looked very concerned.

"Get my brown pants."

Monday, August 14, 2006

Debate Politics

Televised debates are a prime-time staple during election years.

NY1, which is a local New York City subsidiary of the Time-Warner-CNN monster, hosts and airs debates whenever possible, and this year is no different.

Last week, two very odd people debated the issues in their hotly contested primary race for the Republican spot in the US Senate race in New York. One is an alleged Reagan-era Pentagon official whose career is so dull that no Reagan-era Pentagon officials really remember her, and the other candidate is a Vietnam vet and bigamist who once served as Mayor of Yonkers. The winner of that nomination will run for the seat currently held by Hillary Clinton.

I missed that debate but I have heard that it was mildly entertaining.

Historically, to qualify for an invitation to debate at an NY1 event, a candidate needed 5% in the opinion polls.

But, wait . . . this year, NY1 has decided to add another requirement: A candidate must have raised $500,000 in donations!

What NY1 has done is squeeze out any grass-roots candidates and has opened its airwaves only to billionaries and candidate who accept huge donations from PACs and the such.

NY1 has guaranteed that New Yorkers will hear no debate about the most important issues of the day by refusing an invitation to Jonathan Tasini to debate his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Tasini accepts no PAC or coroprate money, and his entire campaign is a grass-roots affair that, in my opinion, is an effort to win back the Democratic Party from conservatives like Clinton.

What are important issues today?

War in Iraq? Yeah! Pretty important. Clinton supports the War. I do not know many people in New York who support the war, and I know NO registered Democrats who support the war. Who is Hillary Clinton representing? Not New York Democrats, that's for sure! If New York Democrats were given the opportunity to hear Mrs. Clinton debate Jonathan Tasini, an anti-war candidate, they might be surprised to hear how right-wing she is. Then they might not vote for her.

Health Care? Yeah! Pretty important. Mrs. Clinton has a horrible record on health care. Her original plan, conjured-up when she was First Lady (or the real President; however you like to think of it) was such an anti-consumer debacle that even Democrats were against it. Her latest plan is so tilted to the benefit of insurers that she is now the #2 recipient of health insurer political contributions behind only Rick Santorum. Jonathan Tasini knows (as do you) that tax payers already fund an effective health-care plan, Medicare, and it should be used to provide every uninsured American with a health care safety net. Mrs. Clinton does not want New York Democrats to hear her position on health care from her own lips, because she would look like an idiot. Or worse, we should look like idiots for listening to her. Mrs. Clinton is not a Senator that is good for New Yorker Democrats and she doesn't want us to hear it on television.

Immigration? Yeah! Pretty important. Mrs. Clinton is to the RIGHT of George W Bush on the immigration issue. Bush wants to ensure some flexibility for "guest workers" (i.e., slaves), but Mrs. Clinton wants no gray area and wants immigrants to be treated like the slaves she knows they are. It is unlikely that Mrs. Clinton wants to voice those opinions on New York television. I'm certain she would like to voice those opinions in the South; but if New York Democrats ever heard her speak her opinion on Immigration, it is unlikely she would be elected.

Gay Marriage? Yeah! Pretty important. Mrs. Clinton is opposed to gay marriage. Yes! She is opposed to gay marriage. Sadly though, most gay men in New York support her. I am certain Mrs. Clinton does not want to voice her opinion about gay marriage on New York television where homosexual New York Democrats might hear that she wants them to remain second-class citizens.

It goes on. The list of topics that Mrs. Clinton does not want to debate on New York television, in front of New York Democrats reads like a laundry list of the New Right's attack on America circa 1980. The woman is further to the right than most New York Republicans.

New York Newsday had this to say about the issue:

Not debateable

It's too bad NY1 refuses to change its rules for allowing candidates to appear on televised debates. The qualifications - which include raising more money than many insurgents can manage - mean that Sen. Hillary Clinton can duck a debate with anti-war activist Jon Tasini. He amassed thousands of signatures to get on the ballot, no easy task. Clinton and NY1 should lighten up and let the voters get a look at both candidates - together.

Why is NY1 pandering to Mrs. Clinton? Why is Time-Warner protecting her? Why would they refuse to air a debate where Mrs. Clinton would have to answer for her voting record?

I recommend you call or write and ask:
Robert Hardt
Director of Politics
NY1
212-379-3330
Robert.Hardt@ny1news.com

Will you get a response? Or is Bob Hardt a Time-Warner-CNN lackey with no backbone to stand-up for what he knows is right: NY1 should host a debate amongst all candidates who have garnered 5% in opinion polls.

Time-Warner-CNN/NY1 is an embarrassment to America's "free press."

Friday, August 11, 2006

Back from vacation . . .

Having returned from the conservative stronghold of Oxford Valley, in Pennsylvania, I have to reiterate how thrilled I am that Joe Lieberman lost the Democrat primary in Connecticut. I can only hope that Democrats in my home state of New York bring the same result for Hillary Clinton in her primary with anti-war candidate Jonathan Tasini.

Liberals, no . . . let me change that . . . Intellectuals and thinkers, America lovers and patriots, Constitutionalists and hard-workers must stop the conservative movement that is destroying our once-great nation.

Joe Lieberman is a conservative; he does not represent the thinking people of Connecticut, he represents the money interests of Texan oilmen and their evangelist apologists.

Hillary Clinton is a conservative; she does not represent the thinking people of New York, she represents the money interests of Texan oilmen and their evangelist apologists.

Democrats in Connecticut voted against the Republican in Democrat clothing Joe Lieberman and Democrats in New York can vote against the Republican in Democrat clothing, the Arkansas lawyer, the Chicago commodities dealer, Hillary Clinton.

Please read The Rabbi's open letter to Lieberman. We can only hope he will write one to Clinton before her primary.

Thank you, Connecticut! Now c'mon New York Democrats! Make me proud! Vote Tasini!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Democrats in Connecticut Reject Joe Lieberman

I'm on vacation, but I just had to blog that another conservative is losing!

America can save itself by following Connecticut's lead. Any patriot can save America by voting against conservatives!

Democrats take note! If we vote the conservatives out of power, Democrats can regain control of the House, Senate and White House.

I plead with New Yorkers: Please follow Connecticut's lead and dump Hillary Clinton; vote Tasini for New York.

From AP: Sen. Lieberman is set on independent bid
.


Dick Mac Recommends:

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Gil Scott-Heron




Monday, August 07, 2006

Billy Preston, 1947 - 2006

Billy Preston's death in June of this year slipped right under my radar.

Preston's "Will It Go 'Round In Circles" was a huge hit in 1973, and the album from which it was culled garnered Preston a Grammy (which in the 1970s still meant something).

In 1974 he opened for George Harrison at the Boston Garden and stole the evening not only with his own electric performance, but when joining Harrison, Shankar and the rest on stage for an incredible encore. Without Preston on that bill, the tour likely would have been forced to end by inertia and boredom. Preston's exuberance while playing his piano, clapping his hands in the air and dancing around the keyboard.

My first exposure to Preston was The Beatles' "Let It Be" LP which I stole from my uncle's record collection. The only two non-Beatles pictured inside the gatefold were Yoko Ono and Billy Preston.

Around that same time Preston's name appeared in the credits of The Rolling Stones' "Sticky Finger" release, and he toured as part of the Stones' band. Making Preston the only musician to be in both The Beatles and The Stones! Pretty impressive if you ask me!

A tribute to Preston:


With George Harrison and Friends at The Concert For Bangladesh:


Watch him sing "Blueberry Hill" with Nat King Cole in 1958.

His obit from AP follows:
Tuesday, June 6, 2006; Posted: 10:14 p.m. EDT (02:14 GMT)

PHOENIX, Arizona (AP) -- Billy Preston, the exuberant keyboardist who landed dream gigs with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and enjoyed his own hit singles, including "Outta Space" and "Nothing From Nothing," died Tuesday at 59.

His longtime manager, Joyce Moore, said a heart infection in November left him in a coma, and he never regained consciousness; he was taken to a Scottsdale hospital Saturday after his condition deteriorated.

Preston had battled chronic kidney failure and received a kidney transplant in 2002. But the kidney failed and he had been on dialysis since.

Known for his big smile and towering Afro, Preston was a teen prodigy on the piano and organ, and lent his gospel-tinged touch to classics such as the Beatles' "Get Back" and the Stones' "Can't You Hear Me Knocking?"

He broke out as a solo artist in the 1970s, winning a best instrumental Grammy in 1973 for "Outta Space," and scoring other hits with "Will It Go 'Round In Circles," "Nothing From Nothing" and "With You I'm Born Again," a duet with Syreeta Wright that became a favorite at weddings. He also wrote Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful."

Other career highlights included being a musical guest on the 1975 debut of "Saturday Night Live"; having a song named after him by Miles Davis; and appearing last year on "American Idol." Among his film credits: "Blues Brothers 2000" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

His partnership with the Beatles began in early 1969 when friend George Harrison recruited him to play on "Let It Be," a back-to-basics film and record project that nearly broke down because of bickering among band members. Harrison himself quit at one point, walking out on camera after arguing with Paul McCartney.

Preston not only inspired the Beatles to get along -- Harrison likened his effect to a feuding family staying on its best behavior in front of a guest -- but also contributed a light, bluesy solo to "Get Back," performing the song with the band on its legendary "rooftop" concert, the last time the Beatles played live. He was one of many people sometimes labeled "The Fifth Beatle," a title he did not discourage.

Preston remained close to Harrison and performed at Harrison's all-star charity event "The Concert for Bangladesh," and at the "Concert for George," a tribute to Harrison, who died of cancer in 2001. He played on solo records by Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon.

Preston also toured and recorded extensively with the Rolling Stones, playing on such classic albums as "Sticky Fingers" and "Exile on Main Street." In the mid-'70s, he parted from the Stones, reportedly unhappy over not getting proper credit for "Melody" and other songs, but reunited with the band in 1997 on its "Bridges to Babylon" record.

"Billy was a fantastic and gifted musician . . . a superb singer in both recording sessions and on stage," Stones singer Mick Jagger said. "He was great fun to be with onstage when touring with us and I will miss him a lot."

His sessions credits included Aretha Franklin's "Young, Gifted and Black," Bob Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks" and Sly and the Family Stone's "There's a Riot Goin' On," three of the most acclaimed albums of the last 35 years.

"His legacy is so huge I don't even know where to start," Moore said. "It's many genres, so many years. ... It's rock 'n' roll, it's soul, it's funk, it's everything. He was truly, truly, truly a genius."

A Houston native who soon moved to Los Angeles when his parents split up, Preston was in and around show business for much of his life. He was taking piano lessons at age 3 and was just 10 when he played keyboards for gospel singer Mahalia Jackson.

Two years later he portrayed a young W.C. Handy -- played as an adult by Nat "King" Cole -- in the 1958 biopic "St. Louis Blues." He toured with mentors and fellow piano greats Ray Charles and Little Richard in the early 1960s, first encountering the Beatles while on the road in Germany.

Cole's daughter, singer Natalie Cole, said she appreciated Preston "and his musical genius over the two decades we crossed personal and professional paths," adding: "He is my favorite keyboardist of all times."

Gospel musician Andrae Crouch, whose friendship and musical collaboration with Preston spanned four decades, said he had a knack for knowing how to play a song.

"If I played a new idea, he would know where to put it and in what category," said Crouch, who has performed with Quincy Jones and Elton John. "He was the best keyboard player in the world . . . It was like having a harmonica in his mouth. He had that much control over it."

Exposed to drugs and alcohol early on, Preston had numerous personal troubles in recent years. In 1992, he was given a suspended jail sentence, but ordered incarcerated for nine months at a drug rehabilitation center for his no-contest pleas to cocaine and assault charges. Five years later, he was sentenced to three years in prison for violating probation. In 1998, he pleaded guilty to insurance fraud and agreed to testify against other defendants in an alleged scam that
netted about $1 million.

"It (jail) was a great lesson, an awakening. I needed to reflect, to get rid of some of the dead weight around me," he later said. "You take the bitter with the sweet and I have to say it was my faith that kept me going. I had nothing else to fall back on."

Preston is survived by two sisters.


Dick Mac Recommends:

Ultimate Collection
Billy Preston






Wednesday, August 02, 2006

In Brooklyn . . .

Sunny.

Near record high temperatures.

Heat index near 120F.

High 104F.

Winds W at 10 to 20 mph.

The electricity is still on; but how long can the deregulated energy industry provide high-cost power in this heat?

Dick Mac Recommends:

Water Wars
Vandana Shiva







Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hot, Hot, Hot

It's hot in New York!

Temperatures are expected to pass 100F and with the humidity, the Heat Index is expected to reach 110F today and 115F tomorrow!

Is there a website where you can place a bet on what time ConEd will go down?


Dick Mac Recommends:

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Gil Scott-Heron