Monday, August 31, 2009


I watched the eulogies live at Ted Kennedys Funeral Service here in La Sechere and later turned on my computer and found the same forward from 3 diiferent habitual offenders which was a character assasination/smear job of Kennedy.
I was struck that the emails were sent out during the service...
I stopped and thought for a few seconds, if this was just three people sending to me, one lone "progressive" all at the same time, think of the exponential number of emails of hate being sent...ALL AT THE SAME TIME!
This is was mind boggling, this was a regular HATE-IN! A Totally Groovy Cluster-Fuck of Hate, so to speak, well, these were conservatives, so I assume they were using "protection" and had their Swiffers handy....
since we already had a summer of love 42 years ago,
I officially declare that this is Americas Summer Of Hate.

Somebody To Hate
 When the truth is found to be lies
and all the joys within you dies
don't you want somebody to HATE
don't you need somebody to HATE
wouldn't you love somebody to HATE
you better find one before it’s too late

When the democrats baby are elected
and your mind, your brain, is just full of red
don't you want somebody to HATE
Because all you need is HATE
wouldn't you love somebody to HATE
you better find somebody to HATE

Glenn Becks eyes, his eyes are full of tears
messin up your head baby, he knows that you are so full of fear
don't you want somebody to HATE
don't you need somebody to HATE
wouldn't you love somebody to HATE
someone different than you to HATE

Too many facts and big words, none of them make any sense
and liberals baby they treat you like a pest
don't you want somebody to HATE
don't you need somebody to HATE
Because all you have is HATE!
 better buy more ammo before it’s too late.........

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Northern Indian Blues....

This is a live portion of a piece by Doug Cox, an American Dobro Master, jamming with the masters of Indian Slide Guitar, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and his son, Salil Bhatt. the tabla player is Ramkumar Mishra.
There is quite a tradition of Indian Guitar which has adapted Western Slide technique to Indian classical music traditions. The results? A sort of crossover rollicking raga blues...Sometimes the ghost of Elmore James dances through the notes.
I will review a new record by Salil Bhatt and Doug Cox later this week, but for now, check this stuff out!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Fried Chicken Story

In 1971 John Lee Clary was 22 years old and a Ku Klux Klan leader. In this segment, he explains how he tried to intimidate the Reverend Wade Watts,  who died in 1998 and was a leader of the NAACP and a major figure in the Civil Rights movement.
John Lee and his punks tried, they burnt crosses, they tried to burn down his church, but in the end, Wade disarmed them and won over Wade by his humor and first rate psy-ops.
Make sure you watch until the end and catch the fried chicken story!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Most Awesome Tax Evasion Scheme...EVER!

This is Ingmar Kamprad, the director of the INGKA Charitable Foundation which has its headquarters in the Netherlands. Ingmar was once the owner of Ikea, but now, he doesn't, but his wife kinda does and things are pretty murky as the family could take control of Ikea after his death, but somehow doesn't have to pay taxes hardly any taxes on the mammoth profits Ikea generates...Let me try to explain...

Ikea's corporate structure is insanely complicated. It is technically owned by a Dutch charitable nonprofit -- a strategy that allows the group to pay 3.5% tax on annual profits of €553m. However, the charity itself appears to do almost no charitable giving. Most of the money disappears into generic line-items like "other operating charges" which it refuses to explain. In 2004, the last year that the INGKA Holding group filed accounts, the company reported profits of €1.4 billion on sales of €12.8 billion, a margin of nearly 11 percent. Because INGKA Holding is owned by the nonprofit INGKA Foundation, none of this profit is taxed. The foundation's nonprofit status also means that the Kamprad family cannot reap these profits directly, but the Kamprads do collect a portion of IKEA sales profits through the franchising relationship between INGKA Holding and Inter IKEA Systems.

Inter IKEA Systems collected €631 million of franchise fees in 2004, but reported pre-tax profits of only €225 million in 2004. One of the major pre-tax expenses that Inter IKEA systems reported was €590 million of "other operating charges." IKEA has refused to explain these charges, but Inter IKEA Systems appears to make large payments to I.I. Holding, another Luxembourg-registered group that, according to The Economist, "is almost certain to be controlled by the Kamprad family." I.I. Holding made a profit of €328 million in 2004.

In 2004, the Inter IKEA group of companies and I.I. Holding reported combined profits of €553m and paid €19m in taxes, or approximately 3.5 percent.

The Berne Declaration, a non-profit organization in Switzerland that promotes corporate responsibility, has formally criticized IKEA for its tax avoidance strategies. In 2007, the Berne Declaration nominated IKEA for one of its Public Eye "awards," which highlight corporate irresponsibility and are announced during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

In other words, INGKA is a charitable organization that is bigger than Bill Gates, except that if you were to judge charitable organizations, Gates would win hands down...The only stated purpose of INGKA is "innovation in the field of architectural and interior design" and to make a show at the sham of dedication to this noble aim, they make a grant of 3.7 million dollars a year to a Swedish University.

INGKA is now worth 36 Billion Dollars and in the murky world of accountability of Netherlands based charitable organizations, the Kamprad family can dissolve INGKA and sieze the assets after Ingmars death.

Perhaps the next time you are assembling your new IKEA folding couch bed, you will understand why the directions are so damn complicated!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Woodstock, 40 Years and one week later......

Yes, the words you always thought you heard Joe Cocker singing were actually the ones he was.
As promised, I have a new Zip Drive and I was able to take some of the pictures from the Woodstock Music Festival off of the disk. The quality is pretty bad, I admit. They were scanned many years ago

Me, In Front Of The Tent

The Crowd and The Stage as The Big One Approached
Another Crowd Scene

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Life During War Time #4 Rider Of The Storm

(this is the fourth installment of an alternative future series I started last year, Life During War Time. The last three episodes are in the archives of thebrainpolice, but they are going to be published together in a separate blog, called lifeduringwartime)

The storm was approaching out of the southwest at a leisurely rate. Lightning spiked against the black clouds on the endless horizon over the dusty cornfields. A normal late summer afternoon in Kansas and Dale was pedaling his bike against the increasing wind trying to get to his job at the local Commonwealth Corporate Hardware Store before the fiirst rain drops hit.
He swore silently, a secret pleasure rushing through him as he cursed. No one could hear him out in the fields on his bike on the outskirts of Overland Park. He had silently whispered a curse word in his lab class yesterday at Cheney High and was reported to the monitor by that little pest, Angela Blasinsky.
That’s why he was riding his bike. He couldn’t take the bus like the other kids because of the corrective Christian detention he had to sit through as punishment for the next week.” I gotta get out of here” he desparately thought, “ Someday I’m gonna save enough money to go to New york or Los Angeles!”
An unspoken dream that could get him in even more trouble. “You never know who’s a snitch” he sneered.
Last month, his Uncle James had visited from New york City. Uncle James had arrived late complaining that he had been strip searched at the Heartland Visitors Welcome Center at the Kansas City Airport. “They took my newspapers!” He fumed, “No one said that I couldn’t bring a copy of the New york Times into the Commonwealth! You’d think this wasn’t part of the United States anymore!”
Then he had hinted that he had been questioned about his marital status and sexual orientation. They finally let him enter after a DNA sample of his saliva was collected.
An airport security gaurd had syruply smiled and said, "Welcome to the Christian Hearland Commonwealth, sir. Your visitors pass has been approved for a 2 week period."

It seemed that the border was getting tighter and tighter. Less and less visitors from the outside were coming into the Commonwealth for simple tourism. People seemed more suspicious than ever of outsiders.. There had recently been an incident of violence against a group of travelers that had blundered into a small town and tried to buy more gas than the rationing system allowed. They had been roughed up a bit because there was a panic that they might be arabs or something worse. The sherrif’s men had saved them and asssured the towns people that they were Americans with an Italian last name.

The family assured them that they were only trying to get to a relatives house for a visit in the next county and were in the Commonwealth on valid visitors passes and weren’t trying to get jobs.

Dale knew the last thing he wanted to do was work for the rest of his life for a Commonwealth Comapny. He could see gangs of laborers in the farm field even now as the storm approached. “What chance of a future did any of them have?” he thought. You were born into a workers family, no chance of a real education, brainwashed into religious submission and housed by the Corporation in a settlement in the middle of the endless Commonwealth Corporation Farmlands.
You could have a little plot of land if you wanted to have a garden, but other than that, the Commonwealth owned you. They gave you the medical care they thought you deserved, taught you what they thought you needed to know and you really didn’t even have to buy food. You could always eat at your community Christian Heartland Kitchen. The question was, what were they serving you?

When the Christian Heartland Commonwealth was formed in 2013, it seemed to be a buffer against the failing economy, the godless influences of immorality, the creeping menace of foreign workers and ideas. Christians united in a common vision to take care of each other with out the interference of the Federal Government. The 4 state Union was approved under President Palin, soon after she took office after the unfortunate, tragic death of President McCain. Alaska soon followed suite. Alaska was made a security buffer Commonwealth, with the newly appointed Brigadier General Todd Palin as the de facto military governor. It all seemed legal enough, but who had the time to stop anything, these days?

It was hard for President Palin to do other wise, what with the endless and expanding war with the Arabs and the unexpected results of the pre emptive offensive against Iran that McCain had initiated.
Dale had seen the latest pictures of the slow devastation of Israel, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon as they slowly succumbed to the spread of radiation. The news casters were invariably grim when reporters braved the dangers to bring the latest pictures, but the reports invariably ended on an upbeat note, with items about advances in the treatment of radiation sickness and the cheery predictions that the fallout would have little effect on the mainland United States.
Europe, on the other hand.......

Lightning flashed somewhere very near in back of him and the resulting thunder almost knocked Dale off of his bike, he pedaled faster as the first raindrops dashed against his face.
Still about a quarter mile to go, he cursed silently again.........

Hey Mike!

That's Right, Mike, I Got Yer Tomato Here! It's A One Kilo Russian Beaut...It's not the biggest one in the patch, either!
(to see wimpy vegetables grown in Toledo, Ohio, check out
mini-harvest on a Sunday Afternoon in August
on HistoryMike)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sun Ra/Pink Elephants

In the late 1970's, Composer, Pianist, Band Leader and Brother from Another Planet, Sun Ra, became interested in the music in Walt Disney films. His orchestra, The Arkestra, even played a concert at Disney World in the late 1980's.
Composer and arranger, Hal Willner put together a compilation of various artists performing Disney Music on the recording, Stay Awake.
(a pretty interesting record, featuring Aaron Neville, Yma Sumac, Tom Waits among others...)
Sun Ra and the Arkestra performed their version of Pink Elephants on Parade from the animated calssic, Dumbo.
I was just informed of the existence of this video on YouTube, where the Sun Ra recording and the original movie footage was synched together...It really works!
I've posted pieces and short snippets of Sun Ra's life on this blog.
Ra died in 1994, but was an true original whose utter outsidedness was so inside and outside of time that he will keep influencing musicians as long as there is a way to keep his music playing!

What Republicans Really Want To Know!

I would like to direct your attention to a thread in the Free Republic blog that is currently active. As these compulsively ever more psychotic right wingnuts devolve into lower life forms, their on line discussion is now musing on whether Barck Obama has been circumcized or not. Yes, they are still trying to prove that he was born somewhere...else.
But the convuluted meanderings of these so called investigative theoretists have wandered into some pretty skeezy territory here. I think there was a lot of "one handed typing" going on.
The entire thread is fascinating for pathological interest, alone...I give it a 7 and 1/2!

Billionaires For Wealth Care

Here on thebrainpolice blog, I want to help minorities defend their rights and my friends, billionaires are only a small portion of the population.
They are a minority and they need your support!
I am publishing thier statement and demands:

Just Vote NO! We Like The Status Quo!

We billionaires are a very small minority in this country. It is important for us to stick
together and stand up for what we believe in. And I don't have to tell you that we believe in one thing and one thing only:PROFIT!
My Fellow Billionaires, we are in perilous times. The New Governemnt in Washington is trying to put an end to our decades long profitiing spree in health care. I say, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
We bring two important things to this fight against the poor and middle classes:
An abundance of money and an utter lack of ethical convictions. Together, we can turn the tide against democratic action and crush the masses who so selfishly desire their rights and fair share as citizens of The United States!

Here is our List of Demands:

1. Retain the Status Quo: Say NO to any health care reforms.
2. Privatize Medicare: What do Old People need money for anyway?
3.Abolish the FDA: we will self regulate. TRUST US...AGAIN!
4. Grant Insurance Companies complete immunity from lawsuits

For more info, contact

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Last week, I posted 2 videos featuring the Algerian Rai singer Khaled. I was trying to show the breadth of his artistry and the sense of adventure as he pushes the boundaries of Rai.
"Tarab" is a difficult word to translate from Arabic. It evokes a form of ectasy that an audience can experience when listening to powerfully moving vocal music. This word applies to Khaled and the effect his singing has had on countless people in audiences all over the world.

The first time I heard Khaled, he was on a French music program in the early 90's. he performed his international hit "N'ssi N'ssi" with a muscular band with a great horn section powered by the bass playing of Don Was, who produced the song.
After I heard it, I thought I had imagined the quarter toned fusion of funk and Algerian traditional forms. I went out and bought the record.

At the time, Khaled was an exile from his home in Algeria. The Fundamentalists had declared that his music was evil. They were waging a war against Rai, the popular music of rebellion and youth. That is a war that can never be won, music and youth will always triumph.

Khaled went on to make records that crossed all genres of pop music. On his Kenza recording in the late 90's, he teamed up with the Israeli artist, Noa, to do a duet of John Lennon's Imagine.
He gained a world wide following and took Rai into a world of electronic soundscapes and hip hop beats, but he remained the same artist who could go into a cafe and with just his accordion, captivate an audience until dawn, playing traditional Rai.
Liberté is his newest release and reclaims the traditional forms and eschews the electronic music production he sometimes seemed mired in.

The songs again have the introductions, there is again the subtlety of his vocal technique. The sophisticated microtonality and soaring raspy soulfulness, the interplay of beats and language...flavored with the sounds of northern Africa and the musical traditions of the Mediterrenean.
There is traditional Algerian instrumentation mixed with horn sections, Egyptian String sections and back up singing with his old friends, Rita Marley and IThree for a little Jamaican flavah.
The production by Martin Messionier completes the vision. Messionier plays bass as well, and is able to bring varied sounds and textures to the grooves he creates.

By coming back to the roots of his music, Khaled has discovered a lush forest.
I would like to recommend this record, Liberté, by Khaled with out reservations!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hey Willie!

In 1980, a band named Mink Deville released a record called Le Chat Bleu which many critics at the time acclaimed "The Best Rock Album Of All Time" except Capitol Records didn't know what to do with it. You see, they thought they had signed this New York Punk Band.....

Mink Deville was a band headed by a perfectly coiffed pencil thin singer who called himself Willy Deville. They played the same stages as the Ramones, Patti Smith, Talking Heads in the late 70's in Lower Manhattan. At a time when punk and new wave music was inventing itself, Mink Deville was reinventing tradition. Willy was the guy who in the words of the great Doc Pomus, "Got It!"

Willy had it alright, style, attitude, taste and talent. He was soul, he reinterpreted and reinvented the sounds of classic of American rock and soul music.

I knew Willy. We were neighbors in New York. Only recently, I learned that he wasn't Puerto Rican. I just always assumed he was this incredibly hip hispanic guy, I mean we lived in a Puerto Rican neighborhond, he spoke spanish to everyone...listen...Willy had the best record collection I have ever seen.
He lent me his Edith Piaf Records when I started to rave when he played them for me.
I've been trying to return them ever since.

Willy should have been a big star, but in America, he was destined to be an outsider.
Too unique, too uncompromising and in his own universe. Willy was a big star in Europe. as far as that went. He was authentique, he sold records here and could sell out theaters whenever he could get a tour together.

Willy's last record was Pistola, released last year. He was touring until last year when he discovered he had pancreatic cancer.
Willy died on August 6, 2009.
Willy Deville, August 27, 1950...August 6, 2009
Check out his bio, I love this guy too much to want to sell you any records...
I wish I could have given his Piaf albums back to him....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Valium Smoothie

The state of the Helth Care Debate as of Monday night in Las Vegas. An Israeli attempts to explain the Israeli Health Care System and how Israel honors its soldiers with its Health Care. A Conservative protestor screams "Heil Hitler" at him and when she tries to elaborate when the Israeli man angrily demands an explanation, she can only reply in obnoxious gibberish.

He goes on to state that he was charged over $8,000 for a visit to an American Hospital Emergency Room ans her response is to imitate a crying baby, "Wahhh, Wahhh"....

Meanwhile, more and more sightings of armed citizens at these events, just exercising their Second amendment rights to carry a licensed fire arm, don't you know....

You know, this could be the tipping point. The rest of America realizes the debate has been highjacked by a small group acting more and more like thugs. They don't need logic, they don't need reasons and if you don't like it, well, they've got guns.

The ever loquent Michael Steele, the nominal head of the Republican National Committee stated this morning that he didn't really know what was in the bill, but there's some kind of panel, but perhaps it's wrong to call them "Death Panels".
Please, he's supposedly setting the tone of policy for the Republicans and he admits that he doesn't have a clue as to what is in the bill! He just mistates and repeats a lie about some kind of "Panel".

Today in the NY Times it was reported that the major Labor Unions have made it clear that they are going to withdraw support if the Health Care Reform legislation is stripped of the "Public Option". Good Move!

The White House also today admitted that it is ready to forego the dead end road of bipartitisanship and go it alone with the process of parliamentary "reconcilliation" in which they will only need 51 votes to pass a bill.
That is a process which was used by the last 3 republican Administrations to ram there legislation through in their "bipartitisanshipply" manner.
When they do it, it's okay. If the Obama administration does it, they will screm holy hell, what a bunch of left wing socialist hippies! and it will get messy.
But at the end of the day, Health Reform will pass and a win is a win and that is all the American people will remember.

Meanwhile, the crazy borderline anti semitic babe in the video should go home and finish her Valium Smoothie.

What If Democrats Behaved More Like Republicans?

This from Tom Tomorrow!
click to enlarge!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Find 'em, Fry 'em and Forget 'em!

Almost two decades ago, Troy Anthony Davis was convicted of murder and sentenced to die. Since then, seven of the witnesses against him have recanted their testimony, and some have even implicated Sylvester “Redd” Coles, a witness who testified that Davis was the shooter. In light of the very real evidence that Davis could be innocent of the crime that placed him on death row, the Supreme Court today invoked a rarely used procedure giving Davis an opportunity to challenge his conviction. Joined by Justice Clarence Thomas in dissent, however, Justice Antonin Scalia criticized his colleagues for thinking that mere innocence is grounds to overturn a conviction:

This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is “actually” innocent. Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged “actual innocence” is constitutionally cognizable.

So in Justice Scalia’s world, the law has no problem with sending an innocent man to die. One wonders why we even bother to have a Constitution.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ye Olde American Death Panel

...."never once did I have a Medicare bureaucrat tell me what I couldn't do for a patient, but all the time we have bureaucrats from the insurance companies calling up and saying we're not going to cover this, we're not going to pay for that, we're denying coverage for that. The system we have now is broken. We need to fix it."
Dr. Howard Dean, former Democratic Presidential Candidate and former DNC Chairman

Based on my own family experience, I know this is a fact. I grew up in a solid middle class family that was destroyed financially by health problems. My father had Blue Cross and worked for Chrysler and Ford for 25 years, but died in debt because his insurance did not cover the costs of my mothers illness.
He died soon after of a chronic condition that was accelerated by his own personal stress. We were told after by a doctor that he could have been given more care, but it was decided that our insurance didn't cover it.

Needless to say, my teenage existence was not solid middleclass. I was a homeless kid for 3 years, because there were no real social services in Detroit to deal with my specific problem. No sweat, I survived...It was an educational experience and perhaps I should thank the insurance company for the golden opportunity I had to become a teenage pot dealer in Detroit.

The reality is that the most intrusive system to life-saving medical care is already occurring. Doctors daily have to contend with the regulation on their medical practice by the Health Insurance Industry that decides what treatment is acceptable for payment.

So while former Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin has called President Obama's health plan "evil" because it may lead to "death panels" that decide who gets to live and die. Unfortunately, we already have these death panels and they are insurance company executives that decide who will get to live and die based upon what they will pay for.

The absurdity of the rationale in which it is all right for a person to live or die based upon whether they have good health insurance, but it isn't all right for all people to have access to health care because the government might be involved is a type of American madness.

Americans have been conditioned for so many years to see the government as the enemy but never to question their own slavery to the Financial and Corporate interests that run America.

The real enemy is the not-so-invisible hand of Financial and Corporate power that not only calls the shots on who gets to live and die, but also gets to call the shots on how well Americans live and the way in which they will live.

The money system that has corrupted the American psyche to its very core views any form of care and help for others as a threat to the welfare of America. This allows for the fear mongering of near lunatics like Sarah Palin and the unbelievable willingness of many Americans to accept the insanity.

The seeming political insanity of Palin is more evident for what it really is when you read this Proclamation, issued by the then Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin on April 16, 2008 which she declared "HealthCare Decisions Day":

WHEREAS, Healthcare Decisions Day is designed to raise public awareness of the need to plan ahead for healthcare decisions, related to end of life care and medical decision-making whenever patients are unable to speak for themselves and to encourage the specific use of advance directives to communicate these important healthcare decisions. [...]

WHEREAS, one of the principal goals of Healthcare Decisions Day is to encourage hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement communities, and hospices to participate in a statewide effort to provide clear and consistent information to the public about advance directives, as well as to encourage medical professionals and lawyers to volunteer their time and efforts to improve public knowledge and increase the number of Alaska’s citizens with advance directives.

WHEREAS, the Foundation for End of Life Care in Juneau, Alaska, and other organizations throughout the United States have endorsed this event and are committed to educating the public about the importance of discussing healthcare choices and executing advance directives.

This is exact concept in the Administrations Health Care Legislation that Ms. Palin is now referring to Euthanasia in her attempt to shill for the Insurance Industry.

Much of the body of the proposed legislation to be included in the reform legislation has already been enacted into law under 2 Republican Administrations. Many of the same legislators who are using this issue, that end of life counseling is a form of euthanasia, supported and enacted the laws that we already have.

Ms. Palin has scrubbed her website of any mention of Alaska's Health Care Decision Day. She was proud of it when she did it, now it's a liability to her value as a lackey of the corporations she is paid off by.

Again, we already have death panels, they are the administrators of the insurance companies. They are making intrusive medical decisions based purely on profit.
How many more real solid American families will be destroyed by their greed?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

One More For Lester

This is great! 1953...Les Paul and Mary Ford on the CBS Omnibus Program with Alistair Cooke. To dispel rumors that their performaces are sheer electronic gimmickry, Les proves that they most certainly were and much much more!

By The Time I Got To Zip Drive Died

I think this will be one of the most posted YouTube videos this week end. Jimi Hendrix' grand coda for the Woodstock Festival. 40 years later still it remains an iconic statement about America at that time. The aftermath of racial riots, political assasinations of our leaders, the ever escalating War in Vietnam and the chasms of chaotic divisions in American society.
One man in total control of the expressive possibilities of music was able to somehow express the horror and the grandeur of it all.

I apologize because I was intending to post a few pictures of my own here, but they are stuck on a zip disk and I have a dead zip drive. I discovered the zip drive was kaput last night aftrer 11 years of faithful service and I actually have a bid for a new one as I write on ebay....

Many people who went to Woodstock remember it as if it was the ultimate spring break. I suppose it was and it was a watermark as far as defining the reality that Amnerica really did have a counter culture thatr was now officially main stream.
It became a defining experience for so many. Perhaps it was a glimpse of a reality denied. A collective conciousness able to control itself and harness the power of dreams.

I was a teen who had a very complicated life. I had been in trouble with the law and as a result of my attendance at Woodstock, I ended up in the Lucas County Jail for a week for a probation violation. I had told my Probation Officer that I was going camping in upstate New York. Too bad a little incident with the New York State Police made the evening news in Ohio.....
That's another story....

I think I had a real crash from Woodstock. There was very little rock music in the aftermath that I felt was interesting. I felt the sentiments of "hippiedom" were facile, trite and did not deal with the real world and how to really effect change.
Of course, it was all about change, but much of that change was based on fantasy and escape.

In the mid 70's I became involved in rock music again. I started to listen to Punk and started to play. I became very interested in experimental music and naturally the world of New Wave and No Wave. I moved to New York and played in rock bands for 20 years. Sometimes I believed that what I was doing could somehow be successful, but mostly, it was a personal journey into the world of expression and performance.

I never mentioned to anyone that I had been to Woodstock because to me, that was the old world and I was of the new world, I was not a peace and love drug addled relic, I was above all, a modern nihilistic punk boy.
It wasn't until 1994, the 25th anniversary of Woodstock, when I bought the New York Times as I did every morning that the historical evidence of my attendance began to sink in. There was an editorial and a picture of the crowd. Smack dab in the middle of the crowd picture was me.

So this 40th Anniversary is sort of a coming out party for me. I contributed to the best selling book, Woodstock Peace, Music, Memories by Joanne Hague and Brad Littleproud. I was happy to see how much of my narrative they wove into the book.
They also used a few of my photos and there is are pictures of me, then and now.
Yes, I am happy to have been there and I am happier to be around today feeling in so many ways that though I was young then, I'm younger than that now....

Friday, August 14, 2009

How High The Moon

On June 9,1915 in Waukesha, Wisconson, a red headed child, Lester Polsfuss was born. Lester started to play guitar at an early age and when he was 17, he quit school and began to perform professionally in St. Louis as Red Hot Red. He played in a number of country bands and became a regular recording musician. He changed his name to Les Paul, though, sometimes, Les would release novelty country songs under his alter ego, Rhubarb Red.

In the 30's, Lester formed The Les Paul Trio. They were a jazz trio and Jim Atkins, the brother of country guitar legend and innovator, Chet Atkins played bass. Les became dissatisfied with the performance of amplified acoustic guitars and began to experiment on his own. He invented his prototype, The Stick, which was actually a solid piece of wood with a microphone which was machined and strung like a guitar. This was essentially the first solid body electric guitar.
He dismantled an Epiphone accoustic and glued the "wings" on his stick to give it a more orthodox appearance.

But this was just the beginning. Les developed the design and made an instrument which is essentiually unchanged almost 70 years later, the classic Les Paul Guitar. The guitar became more refined as the technology of designing and winding pickups became more sophisticated.

Les became obsessed with what he could accomplish with this new instrument and pretty much invented much of the recording techniques we take for granted today.
He invented the concept of multi tracking, stacking instrument tracks to create the effect of a larger ensemble. He began by cutting acetate disks using a self designed recording rig employing a flywheel from a Cadillac Automobile. He would play the disc and record a second with the first as an accompaniment...and so on...
Part of his "sound" involved manipulating the speed of the guitar tracks and inventing the first real echo effect, which involved drilling a shaft into the face of the cliff his Los Angeles home was built on.

With the development of magnetic recording tape, he was able to use tape recorders in tandem and was able to take his sound on the road. He and his wife, vocalist Mary Ford, would perform live over a multitracked recording. Mary would start singing and then her voice would multiply iinto a tightly woven chorus. They created a new sleek, modern sound. Les' playing created a new sonic playground that would spawn generations of artists. Les and Mary had many hit records during the 50's and early 60's. I used this 1953 tape of How High The Moon to display the sound and effect they had at that time.

All this was accomplished inspite of the 1948 car accident in which he was seriously injured. His left elbow joint was destroyed. In the hospital, he was told that what ever position it was set in, it would remain for the rest of his life. His response was to tell the doctors to get his guitar.

Gibson manufactures the Les Paul Guitars and Les became involved in the recording industry in the 60's as an executive as well as his life long friend, Chet Atkins.
Les told the story of driving to New York with his son in 1965 and stopping at a roadhouse in New Jersey. His son went in to buy some beer and came out raving, "Dad, you gotta ssee these guys!" Les went into the bar and a group called Jimmy James and the Flames were burning the house down. This guy, Jimmy James was one of the best guitarists he had ever seen and a true showman, playing his guitar behind his head, with his teeth....
They had to get to NYC, but Les said that on the way back, they had to stop and sign this band. On the return trip, when they stopped at the bar, the manager said the band had been fired because they were too wild and he didn't know where they went.

The next time Les saw Jimmy James, he was on a plane and the fellow he was traveling with opened his briefcase and told him, "Man, you gotta check out this record. This guy is unbelievable!" Les looked at the record and his jaw dropped. There was Jimmy James, but he had changed his name to Jimi Hendrix and the record was Are You Experienced?

Hendrix always said that he idolized Les Paul. Jeff Beck claimed Les was his spiritual god father. In some ways, Beck is the logical extension of Paul...the humor, the obsession with trying to discover new tricks for the instrument...the legacy of Les Paul will live on in his guitar and the music he gave to the world and continues to inspire generations of musical explorers.

Les played every Monday night in New York for the last 35 years. He played at Fat Tuesdays on 2nd Avenue until the place closed and then moved uptown to the Irridium Club at Lincoln Center. I saw him quite few times and half the show was Les joking and playing jokes on the musicians who wanted to see him and play with him
If there is a heaven, Les Paul is going to be jamming on Mondays forever...
Les Paul, June 9, 1915...August 13, 2009.......

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Perhaps Sarah Palin made that ridiculous statement about "Obama Death Panels" because she knew this story was going to break -- it was happening in her own state, right under her nose:

State programs intended to help disabled and elderly Alaskans with daily life -- taking a bath, eating dinner, getting to the bathroom -- are so poorly managed, the state cannot assure the health and well-being of the people they are supposed to serve, a new federal review found.

The situation is so bad the federal government has forbidden the state to sign up new people until the state makes necessary improvements. No other state in the nation is under such a moratorium, according to a spokeswoman for the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

In the meantime, frail and vulnerable Alaskans who desperately need the help are struggling. One elderly woman is stuck in a nursing home, for lack of care at home. Another woman, suffering from chronic pain and fatigue, said she's so weak, she often can't even pop dinner into the microwave.

This is the GOP's alternative to a public or universal option. Sarah wants to talk about evil socialist plans that will kill people, but I betcha she doesn't want to talk about the hundreds of Alaskans who died waiting for these services.

A particularly alarming finding concerns deaths of adults in the programs. In one 2 1/2 year stretch, 227 adults already getting services died while waiting for a nurse to reassess their needs. Another 27 died waiting for their initial assessment, to see if they qualified for help. Read on...

In honor of the people of Alaska who died on her watch, Sarah Palin needs to stop makin' stuff up about health care reform, and apologize for screwing things up and then running away when the going got tough.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hedy Lamarr

In 1938, an Austrian film actress, who had been called the most beautiful woman in Europe came to the United States as part of the wave of artists like Fritz Lang and Peter Lorre, who left Germany to pursue their craft in America.
Hedy Lamarr was born Hedwig Eva marie Kessler in Vienna Austrian to a haute bourgeois Jewish family in 1914. She started acting in films in the early thirties and soon made a reputation for herself as a major German cinema star. In 1934, she shocked Europe in the Czechoslovakian film, Ecstasy where she appeared in nude scenes and probably portrayed the first orgasm ever filmed in a movie. She later claimed that the acting in the scene was abetted by the director, Gustav Machaty, who poked her with a safety pin to induce the expressions he filmed.

She married a Viennese Jewish Arms manufacturer, Freidrich Mandl, who was extremely possesive of her and tried to curtail her career. He even bought up copies of the Ecstasy film to try to prevent it from being seen.
She was confined in his castle and in spite of his Jewish background, Mandl frequently entertained German officials, including Hitler and the Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini who attended his parties..
Bored and extremely intlelligent, she sat in on her husbands meetings. She was a very gifted mathematician and soon learned much about military technology.

In 1937, she decided to leave Mandl and in an ruse that would have made a great film plot in itself, she persuaded Mandl to let her go to a party decked out in her most expensive jewelry. She drugged him before she left and got out of the country with the jewels and made her way to London, where she obtained a divorce.
She met Louis B. Mayer in London, who invited her to Hollywood. Immediately, she started making films and was called one of the most beautiful women in the world.
Some of her biggest films were Algiers, Boom Town, Tortilla Flats and White Cargo, which is an iconic film which I remember seeing many times just for it’s over the edge campiness.Probably her biggest success was in DeMilles epic, Samson and Delilah.

But there is another Hedy Lamarr, this was the woman who in 1942 along with George Antheil, an avant garde composer who had invented a method to have multiple player pianos play his scores, invented the concept of Frequncy-Hopping Spread Spectrum Technology.
It was based on technology she had learned in Vienna at the Castle of her arms manufacturer ex husband. He had been trying unsuccesfully to develop radio controlled torpedos.

Lamarr and Antheil envisioned a secret communications system for the US Military which would be impossible for enemies to detect or jam. Their early system used a piano roll from a player piano to change between 88 frequencies. Why 88? That’s how many keys there are on a piano.

This was way ahead of its time. They were granted U.S. Patent 2,292,387 and gave the technology to the American military, but it languished forgotten and unused until the time of the Cuban Missle Crisis in the early 60’s by the Americans who made use of it during their blockade of Cuba.
By this time the patent had expired and neither Lamarr or Antheil, who died in 1959, made any money.

Lamarr was finally honored in 1997 by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Today, Lamarr and Antheil’s Frequency-Hopping Technology is the basis for modern spread spectrum communication technology, such as COFDM used in WIFI network connections and CDMA used in some cordless and wireless telephones.
Lamarr wantred to join the National Inventors Council, but wasn’t taken seriously as a glamorous female movie star during the war, so she went out and raised money selling war bonds.
She raised over $7,000,000 at just one event.

Three years after Lamarr was finally honored for her work, she died in 2000 in Altamonte Springs, California. Her son, Anthony Loder, took her ashes back to the Weinerwald Forest in Austria, where they were spread...

Cactus Break...

Align Center
Tonight, the huge Hylocereus undatus that has taken over the corner next to the fireplace in front of the glass door started to bloom.
It is an orchid cactus from Guatamala and will take over what ever space you allow it to, given the right light. The plant normally grows in the tree tops of a rain forest.
This particular plant reaches from floor to cieling, a mass of wild vining foliage.
The flowers are gigantic, these are almost 8 inches across and pure white.
One of the most interesting things about the evolution of this jungle plant is its night blooming habit. It blooms in the dark and each flower stays open for only one night.
The pollinators of these huge nocturnal blooms are bats.
This particular plant has a strange history. I used to frequent a Chinese carry out at Avenue B and East 6th Street in the East Village in New York City, years ago.
When the carry out first opened, the windows were filled with exotic plants and as time wore on, through neglect and bad light, they began to suffer and die.
One night, while waiting for a some Szechuan Chicken, I pinched a leaf from the plant.
I took it home and put it in a pot in the window. I lived on the top floor and had plenty of light. In a matter of 2 years, it was flourishing and it soon covered the cieling of the small room it was in. One night, I realized the plant had a number of huge flower buds and woke up later smelling a strange fragrance.
I looked up the plant in a cactus book and realized what I had.
When I moved to France, I took a leaf in my luggage. It's 9 years later and the plant flowers regularly every year and I have started many plants to give to unsuspecting friends over the years.
I had to take this picture, to do it, I had to go outside and shoot through the doors.
I had to do it now, because tomorrow they will be gone.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Is It Now A Crime To Be Poor?

(Image from the CC-licensed Flickr stream of onurkiyak )

Snip from an op-ed by Barbara Ehrenreich (!) in the New York Times, which examines the moral and social impact of ordinances against the publicly poor. The op-ed is based on a new study from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty which found that the number of ordinances against the "publicly poor" are rising. More American cities, according to the report, are enacting and enforcing laws against "the indigent."

How do you know when someone is indigent? As a Las Vegas statute puts it, "An indigent person is a person whom a reasonable ordinary person would believe to be entitled to apply for or receive" public assistance.

That could be me before the blow-drying and eyeliner, and it's definitely Al Szekely at any time of day. A grizzled 62-year-old, he inhabits a wheelchair and is often found on G Street in Washington -- the city that is ultimately responsible for the bullet he took in the spine in Fu Bai, Vietnam, in 1972. He had been enjoying the luxury of an indoor bed until last December, when the police swept through the shelter in the middle of the night looking for men with outstanding warrants.

It turned out that Mr. Szekely, who is an ordained minister and does not drink, do drugs or curse in front of ladies, did indeed have a warrant -- for not appearing in court to face a charge of "criminal trespassing" (for sleeping on a sidewalk in a Washington suburb). So he was dragged out of the shelter and put in jail. "Can you imagine?" asked Eric Sheptock, the homeless advocate (himself a shelter resident) who introduced me to Mr. Szekely. "They arrested a homeless man in a shelter for being homeless."

Is It Now a Crime to Be Poor? (NYTIMES)

Read the report that was the inspiration for this op-ed, produced by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (NLCHP) and the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH): Homes Not Handcuffs -- List Of "Meanest Cities" Released, and here is a direct link to the document (PDF)

Sunday, August 09, 2009


That's right, two videos featuring the Algerian King of Rai Music,
Cheb Khaled
The first video is a piece by the great Cuban Artist Compay Segundo called
Saludo a Chango.
The second is a recent live performance of Khaled collaborating with Carlos Santana
performing the joint composition,
Love To The People.
Rai is Algerian Pop Music. It has evolved over the last 30 years and has embraced the world. It is rock, it is hip hop, it is Algerian soul...
Khaled has been one of its foremost artists from its roots and truly one of the great voices of world music!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

A Short History Of America....

Align Left
Align Center
Robert Crumbs Klassik strip from the 70's.
In the late 80's he added three new panels.
Klik on them to enlarge them.
Crumb is still a giant in the world of cartoon art.
I suppose I felt like publishing this because we are about to celebrate the
40th anniversary of a seminal cultural event.
The Woodstock Music Festival.
I am going to be posting a bit about this anniversary because I am finally "coming out"
and admitting that I was there. I was in denial during the 70's and the 80's, well,
because I was a punk.
I have the pictures to prove it and my personal memories are
used in the new bestselling book,
Woodstock Peace, Music & Memories
by Brad Littleproud and Joanne Hague.
The anniversary is in one week and if you have any memories or thoughts that you would like to share on this blog, email them to me at
I will share them.

But You Knew This...

Today, I ran across an item in the French Political Newspaper, Le Canarde Enchaine regarding a recent interview that Jacques Chirac gave. It was alarming to me that I had never heard the claims that Chirac makes here before, but it's not because it hadn't been reported. It was just never picked up on as relevant by the American Media. I did a little checking and in fact I found that a French News Blog, Rue89, which I regularly check out had in fact given the history back in 2007.

Incredibly, President George W. Bush told French President Jacques Chirac in early 2003 that Iraq must be invaded to thwart Gog and Magog, the Bible’s satanic agents of the Apocalypse.

Honest. This isn’t a joke. The president of the United States, in a top-secret phone call to a major European ally, asked for French troops to join American soldiers in attacking Iraq as a mission from God.

Now out of office, Chirac recounts that the American leader appealed to their “common faith” (Christianity) and told him: “Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East…. The biblical prophecies are being fulfilled…. This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins.”

This bizarre episode occurred while the White House was assembling its “coalition of the willing” to unleash the Iraq invasion. Chirac says he was boggled by Bush’s call and “wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs.”

After the 2003 call, the puzzled French leader didn’t comply with Bush’s request. Instead, his staff asked Thomas Romer, a theologian at the University of Lausanne, to analyze the weird appeal. Dr. Romer explained that the Old Testament book of Ezekiel contains two chapters (38 and 39) in which God rages against Gog and Magog, sinister and mysterious forces menacing Israel. Jehovah vows to smite them savagely, to “turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,” and slaughter them ruthlessly. In the New Testament, the mystical book of Revelation envisions Gog and Magog gathering nations for battle, “and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”

In 2007, Dr. Romer recounted Bush’s strange behavior in Lausanne University’s review, Allez Savoir. A French-language Swiss newspaper, Le Matin Dimanche, printed a sarcastic account titled: “When President George W. Bush Saw the Prophesies of the Bible Coming to Pass.” France’s La Liberte likewise spoofed it under the headline “A Small Scoop on Bush, Chirac, God, Gog and Magog.” But other news media missed the amazing report.

Subsequently, ex-President Chirac confirmed the nutty event in a long interview with French journalist Jean-Claude Maurice, who tells the tale in his new book, Si Vous le Répétez, Je Démentirai (If You Repeat it, I Will Deny), released in March by the publisher Plon.

Oddly, mainstream media are ignoring this alarming revelation that Bush may have been half-cracked when he started his Iraq war. Oddly enough, The Charleston Gazette in West Virginia, is the only U.S. newspaper to report it so far. Canada’s Toronto Star recounted the story, calling it a “stranger-than-fiction disclosure … which suggests that apocalyptic fervor may have held sway within the walls of the White House.” Fortunately, online commentary sites are spreading the news, filling the press void.

The French revelation jibes with other known aspects of Bush’s renowned evangelical certitude. For example, a few months after his phone call to Chirac, Bush attended a 2003 summit in Egypt. The Palestinian foreign minister later said the American president told him he was “on a mission from God” to defeat Iraq. At that time, the White House called this claim “absurd.”

Recently, GQ magazine revealed that former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld attached warlike Bible verses and Iraq battle photos to war reports he hand-delivered to Bush. One declared: “Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.”

It’s awkward to say openly, but now-departed President Bush is a religious crackpot, an ex-drunk of small intellect who “got saved.” He never should have been entrusted with the power to start wars.

For six years, Americans really haven’t known why he launched the unnecessary Iraq attack. Official pretexts turned out to be baseless. Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction after all, and wasn’t in league with terrorists, as the White House alleged. Collapse of his asserted reasons led to speculation about hidden motives: Was the invasion loosed to gain control of Iraq’s oil—or to protect Israel—or to complete Bush’s father’s vendetta against the late dictator Saddam Hussein? Nobody ever found an answer.

Now, added to the other suspicions, comes the goofy possibility that abstruse, supernatural, idiotic, laughable Bible prophecies were a factor. This casts an ominous pall over the needless war that has killed more than four thousand young Americans and cost U.S. taxpayers perhaps $1 trillion.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Mass Inanity...or how a once proud nation shoots itself in the ass

...the subject which will be of most importance politically is Mass Psychology. ... The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated. ... As yet there is only one country which has succeeded in creating this politician’s paradise.” - Bertrand Russell, The Impact of Science on Society, 1960.

Russell wrote these lines in 1960 and the country he was referring to at the time was Nazi Germany...and yes, the Nazis became masters of political manipulation through the use of fear, prejudice and paranoia.

But, to go back a few years, to the rise of fascism in Italy after World War 2, we might be able to see some alarming connections with the world we are faced with today.
The manipulator in this modern world is not a charimatic personality, l
ike Benito Mussolini, but it is a corporate entity which has the advantage of controlling media.
The charismatic figure is the hypnotic ranting of talking heads like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. The tools are the same, economic panic, racial fear, using loaded concepts which the public which has been trained to respond to in a Pavlovian fashion.

What is happening in America now, the violent suppression of speech and debate, the use of force to prevent communication is not new.
After the first world war, in Italy, as in most of Europe, there was real economic hardship. The labor movement was being born and the concept of Socialism was growing. In Italy, the Socialist Labor movement also had an ally in the Liberal/humanist elements of the Catholic Church. Italy was one of the first countries in Europe to have a Socialist Party.

This of course was percieved as deadly threat to the established order, the corporate and class interests of the ancient nobility and wealth. The fact that Socialism was an international movement made it easy to attack as being unpatriotic. Fear of socialism as being a foreign influence was played upon as the movement to suppress it gained momentum.
Benito Mussolini was a young officer in the first world war, like Adolph Hitler who was determined to create a political movement. Italy was an ally against the Germans, but after the war, the political realities of the repartioning of territories seemed to punish Italy. They lost territory to the Austrians.

Mussolini was elected to parliament, Italy st that time was still a monarchy and he used the rise of the Socialists and their strikes for higher wages and better working conditions as a springboard for his Fascist Party.

The Fascists were never a very big percent of the Italian population, but through the use of his organized gangs of "blackshirts" to violently suppress meetings, destroy the press, burn down their buildings and murder and maim the opposition and creating an aura of fear, he was able to cow a nation in to subservience.

The rhetoric he used was seductive as well, he spoke of the inherent nobility of Italy as a true vestige of Ancient Rome and promised a new Roman Empire. The aura of violent power and the dark power of totalitarianism was seductive to a young generation facing a bleak economic reality.

In 1922, he was able to stage a coup and sieze control of the government. he
theatrically stage a spectacle with thousands of people recruited to be brought in to participate in his mass march of Blackshirts into Rome. The language he used was seductive to a nation, but the only ones who benefited were the upper classes and nobility, of course we know the end of the story...
A dictator hunted down and hung upside down and burnt by an enraged populace after he destroyed the country. These big dreams of power and control always seem to crash and burn, but that doesn't seem to deter a new generation of psychopaths from believing they are different....or are they?

Here is a video shot yesterday in Tampa, Florida of todays brown shirts, driven into a frenzy by the corporate mind controlling media drones. Thay are destroying a ttown hall meeting to discuss health care. They have been brought in and told what to do. This is the current state of Republican political discourse in action. They have nothing but hate and fear to bring to a discussion. This is Glenn Becks army of ignorant blackshirts shooting themselves in the ass:

I Put A Spell On You

I apologize, I have a few posts working, but today was the day of the suspicious smelliong leak in the cave that turned into the reason I excavated the septic tank.
Tomorrow, the truck comes and it gets pumped out...Now, that's entertainment!

Meanwhile, Screaming Jay Hawkins will put a spell on you! He ain't kiddin!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Ad CNN Refuses To Air

MediaMatters, the unshakable organization that fights for accuracy and honesty in American Media, has produced this ad, CNN's Dobbs Problem, which CNN refuses to air inspite of its absolute factual content. CNN has taken the position that Lou Dobbs iss an actual legitimate News Reportage Program. The Ad is supposed to run on MSNBC and FOX. Youu can read more about the ad at DobbsConspiracy and sign a petition asking CNN to actually live up to its slogan as The Best Political News.
Dobbs now claims that MediaMatters is Swiftboating operation from the left.
Well, if the fair and unbiased American Media won't run the ad, I will!