Monday, May 28, 2012

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Matt Boors - www.mattbors.com

Decoration Day

Every weekday I drive through the Navajo Nation, a vast Reservation that straddles New Mexico and Arizona and is larger than some states "back east," as they call most of what is east of here here. Spread out all across the reservation are little pre-fabricated houses and house trailers.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Note: There are two new additions at my Greatest Rock And Roll Since Moses page on the right side of this page. This is free music on which the copyright has expired and can be downloaded, free, from here, for free.

First is a compilation of 14 songs including The Isley Brothers' Twist and Shout, Jerry Lee Lewis' Breathless and Gene Chandler's Duke of Earl, possibly the best performance of the best vocal arrangement in history.

If you can listen to those first few introductory bars of Twist and Shout without jumping up and flailing about, or dancing, one or the other, you are probably dead. Listen closely to this recording. It has that unique rhythmic structure that caused so many groups to try to cover this song. It's an almost slow, chugging along beat, but feels faster because of the momentum created by what's going on during the backbeat, the what you might call 'pregnant pauses' alternating with those relentless three note runups to the downbeat. This recording has an ad lib, spontaneous feel, because that's how they recorded it. They don't even get the words right sometimes, but this is a great recording of a great song.

Also, I added 33 songs by The Boppers of Stockholm, Sweden, that can be downloaded individually; their covers of some 50s Rock and Roll classics and not so classics. Some you may enjoy, some not. I don't really like them all but some are really good and you know these old farts love Rock and Roll.

Covers can be better than the original, and in fact there's a popular podcast, Coverville, devoted solely to covers. It's very well put together and it can be quite fun to hear different version of songs you already are familiar with.

Among these 33 by The Boppers are songs like Jeannie's Coming Back and Gonna Find My Angel that have actually been written in recent years but in the style of 50s music but are among my favorites. These tend to be the studio recordings, with orchestration, the good arrangements, etc.

Mainly though what you have is these Swedish guys' interpretation of music they and I love.  While in America, young people are listening to Frank Sinatra -- Sinatra fer crissakes, a thug, who could not hit a note, he slid into every note, his daughter Nancy is much better than he was, and he didn't have any range or power, either, hell, I sing better. Of course, I'm not Sinatra, and that's the main difference between me and Sinatra, he's Sinatra, I'm not -- but young people in America are listening to Sinatra and old people are sitting on the couch getting fat and watching Fox News and Dancing With The Has Beens, and the Swedes just keep on boppin' to the Boppers.

Coming soon: Running for middle aged and senior citizens. I'm working on this now. It's another web log but I will link to it here.

Anyone can start running at any age. It's a very good way to keep the heart, the cardiovascular system, the spleen, the gizzard, all of it, in very good shape and it's a very good way to keep the weight off.

It will tell you how to ease into running effortlessly and have a couple simple exercises you can do that will help you avoid injuries. It's basically what I've learned and figured out.

It's all pretty simple, really. You start walking. Then one day, when no is looking, run a little. Then, a day or two later, run a little more. When I took up running about seven years ago I could barely run 50 feet, but next thing you know you'll be running for 20 minutes, then an hour, up steep hills, in the sand, in any kind of heat or humidity. This part isn't so easy, and keeping in the habit isn't always easy and sometimes I have to force myself to get out there, but you'll be in shape enough to do it, and the satisfaction from knowing you can do it at your age is pretty satisfying, and you don't need no stinking badges, no stinking doctors, no fancy stinking running pants, just you and your will. I do recommend good running shoes, which will cost around $80 or $100, but you won't really need those right away, not until your time and distance start to increase.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Making Stuff Up

The notion that if you give a Capitalist some free money, say, in the form of a tax break, that he will use the money to hire people who will make a bunch of stuff that the Capitalist then hopes he can sell, is a stupid idea on its face.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Facebook IPO


From Neurotic November's Facebook page


Never have I seen so many words to live by, so many prescient photos and graphics and sayings as are shared on Facebook all the time. This is not the initial offering but it's my latest favorite.

I've seen so many great words to live by on Facebook that I rarely have to bother with thinking anymore, which never proved to be that efficient of a way to proceed in life anyway, for me.




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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Just To The Right Of The Right




When an establishment figure like University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole warns about creeping fascism, it might be time to take note.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Obama/Geithner in 2012




Soon after the housing meltdown took hold I recall hearing President Obama's Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner casually dismiss a question about whether it would be a good idea to give some relief to homeowners, millions of whom were underwater or behind on their mortgage payments. Geithner, who was formerly with the big investment bank Goldman Sachs, was on TV trying to promote the Obama Administration plan, a supply side bailout for banks, and simply said no, he didn't think it would be a good idea, and the TV talk show host let the matter drop.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

"The atmosphere here in Frankfurt is tense"

As documents the US government has been forced to release under Freedom of Information Act requests begin to surface and reveal details of how the Obama Administration coordinated and directed the nationwide, often violent police crackdown on the Occupy Wall Street late last year, peaceful Occupy protesters at the other main center of the assault on worker's living standards, German Central Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, are withstanding attacks by riot police who outnumber them 2 to 1.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Why Do They Hate Our Freedoms?

Former President George W Bush, as have many others, told us that they hate our freedoms, but did not speculate as to why. There's an article reprinted at Reader Supported News from the New York Times that talks about some poetry that was found among the papers of Osama bin Laden. It reproduces this poem by Yusuf Abu Hilala, which it says bin Laden used in a statement he released shortly after the attacks on the World Trade Center.


Though the clothes of darkness enveloped us and the poisoned tooth bit us

Though our homes overflowed with blood and the assailant desecrated our land

Though from the squares the shining of swords and horses vanished

And sound of drums was growing

The fighters' winds blew, striking their towers and telling them:

We will not cease our raids until you leave our fields.



 The article's author, Faisal Devji, chalks this poem up to a preoccupation "with what they see as Islam's long and global history of conflict with Christendom" and misses or perhaps willfully ignores the obvious point of the poem. It's not our freedoms they hate. It's us being in their fields; ARAMCO and Exxon-Mobil being in their oil fields, for example. Zionists being in the fields of the Palestinians.

It's the US Fifth Fleet being in a harbor in Baharain a few miles off the coast of Saudi Arabia, US troops and CIA being stationed in the holy land of Saudi Arabia, and in Iraq and Afghanistan after destroying those countries. It's Egypt's corrupt military taking aid from the Americans to oppress the people of Egypt and help Zionism oppress the people of Palestine. It's the Crusades, then and now. Stupid.


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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Yesterday Evening At The Club


I've posted this picture before but I like it so much I'm posting it again, and we can't be reminded often enough of what it's saying. 

I just came across it again a web site called Set You Free News (subtitled Breaking The Chains Of Enslavement.) I haven't seen the web site before and don't know where it comes from but it has an interesting mix of stories. Right now I'm reading one from Pravda, which says that if the US needs a missile defense system in Eastern Europe, Russian needs one in Latin America. Can't argue with that.

Another article is an account of a speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallh in which he says Hezbollah can now hit "specific targets" in Tel Aviviv (I'll be darned) while another reveals that London police plan to use US-made sonic crowd control weapons during the upcoming Olympics. On each other, I hope, but they probably plan to use them against the citizens of London.

Clicking on the banners at the top of the site -- World - Economy - Conflict - Environment - Science & Tech - Police State  -- gives you a handy lists of stories with handy summaries of each. I say the site is interesting because it's unusual to see such disparate stories, bringing together strands not often brought together, in one place, but also, because with headings like Police State, the people or person who edits the site give legitimacy to a part of the dialogue, that section of the discussion where conspiracy theories and alarm bells are sounded, where many on the Left fear to tread.

As you wade out through the surf, you encounter many strange and alarming things. Some aren't really real. Some are and you don't want them to be. Our judgment is affected by various things, such as a desire for legitimacy. We confer legitimacy, on others, and ourselves. 

Meanwhile Here In New Mexico

Several people have been attacked lately by Pit Bull dogs. One dog, owned by the family it attacked, killed a 16-month old child.

These dog attacks occur fairly regularly here, but there's never an outcry or a move to regulate dogs. You might say we have a Stand Your Ground law and it applies to dogs, too.

If you pass through certain neighborhoods here, every yard is fenced and as you pass it, a Pit Bull rushes toward the fence. The houses are small and unpainted. There are no gardens, no grass, just cars that don't work, debris, and a thick layer of the dust that blows in from the desert. The smaller the house, the bigger the dog.

These same neighborhoods are where most of the police shootings occur. There are many, many shootings of unarmed people by the police here. There's no outcry about that, either. The Police State is reproduced on a smaller scale. The smaller the people, the bigger the police.


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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Big Bro Is Watching

(Note: Brother Obama, who has spent most of his term helping the rich get richer and blocking environmental regulations, as he seeks reelection by making political hay out of the anger the Occupy Wall Street movement has focused on those financial elites, has all the while been using the government's massive spying abilities to infiltrate the Occupy movement and make sure it never accomplishes any change in the status quo. Stephen Lendman writes in Uruknet.info about how through Freedom Of Information requests it's steadily coming out how Mr 'Change we can believe in' has far surpassed his predecessor in illegal domestic spying and in eroding civil liberties in the service of those who want to make sure things never change.)


Washington Targets OWS


by Stephen Lendman




May 7, 2012


Last October, Obama told ABC News:

Sunday, May 6, 2012

(note: A Buddy Holly collection that demonstrates his tremendous innovation has been added to my Greatest Rock And Roll Since Moses page, and a working class gourmet dessert that will cure the blues, even if you've been betrayed by Oprah, has been added to Socialist Kitchen Tips.)


The Greatest Movies Of All Time Forever

There's been no great demand for me to come out with my Greatest Movies Of All Time list, but in anticipation of such demand, I've decided to go ahead and publish my list now.

Perhaps you've wondered about these lists. Maybe you've compiled one. Movie critics Gail Kinn and JimPiazza put one out that was reproduced widely recently. The movie review site Rotten Tomatoes has them by type. The Internet Movie Database has several that readers vote on. The one the New York Times publishes has 1,000 movies in it, and the Wikipedia article on the topic has several, including one voted on by thousands of critics and filmmakers for the 1956 Brussells World's Fair. The great Leftist (you didn't know?) movie critic Roger Ebert, who writes for the great Liberal newspaper the Chicago Sun Times (my Dad wouldn't even allow the Tribune in the house) has a short one, which he discusses here.


Here is mine.


1. Dumbo of the Circus
2. Citizen Cane
3.
La Dolce Vita
4. Wizard of Oz
5.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
6. Music Man
7. Cabaret
8. The Sound of Music
9. I Am Cuba
10. The Battle of Algiers
11. Doctor Zhivago
12. Psycho
13. Wild At Heart*
14. From the Terrace
15. Shampoo
16. The Old Man and the Sea
17. King Kong
18. Cool Hand Luke
19. Thelma and Louise*
20. The Crying Game
21. Ironweed
22. Once Upon a Time in Mexico*
23. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
24. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
25. Yankee Doodle Dandy

Honorable Mention

  Cinema Paradiso
  The Razor's Edge
  Pulp Fiction
  Oklahoma
  Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Comedy, American
 The Bank Dick
 The Jerk
 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Documentary
Roger and Me



Several selections are marked with an asterisk. Wild At Heart, by David Lynch, is marked because it is considered part of a trilogy which includes Eraserhead and Blue Velvet. All are excellent movies and this results in Wild At Heart placing further up on the list. The same goes for Once Upon A Time In Mexico, by Robert Rodriquez, which is part of a trilogy of movies, with Desperado and El Mariachi, usually known of as The Mariachi Trilogy.

Thelma and Louse has an asterisk because it's a movie that's on my list, despite having some flaws in the script, primarily for what it stands for, and in that, for what it says, and ultimately the essential purpose of art is to say something significant, which Thelma and Louise does. As you'll recall, the movie takes Thelma and Louise on a series of adventures, on the road to liberation. It's partly 'how far women have come', partly 'where we'd ideally like to see them get to.' I recall reading that it was a "watershed" film. But some of these adventures involve the setting up of straw men which the women then knock down. One was the sexist truck driver whose tanker eventually gets blown up by the two women. I'm a truck driver. Have I ever met any truck drivers anything like that character? No. Did I ever call the woman who wrote that screenplay an uppity woman? No. Did I ever leer at her? No. Did I try to ruin her life? No.

I'm glad she won the Academy Award for writing that screenplay, which was written directly for the movie and not from a book, and I'm glad the movie, including the knocking over of straw men, was empowering to women. But it points out something about feminism that I plan to write about sometime, which is that some of it is not about equality but about increasing women's power, and those are two different things. Increasing women's power may result in equality, and it may not. This opens up a whole can of worms regarding human nature, that hasn't been fully addressed by any group seeking to escape domination, but it must be addressed.

My list includes only films I have actually seen. I've gone several long stretches in my life without seeing any movies, and just haven't seen some of the films others judge highly. My list, and other lists like this, I think, could just as easily be called My Favorite Moves list, although I will add that I have not included movies for which some of my attachment consists of sentimental reasons such as It Happened In The Rain, The Bells Of St Marys and escape movies like The Getaway (original 1972 version), The Shawshank Redemption and Mutiny On The Bounty.

Comedic Genius In The Movies

I consider WC Fields and Steve Martin to be the greatest comedic actors of all time, as far as those I've seen anyway. I included two of Martin's movies, The Jerk and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, where he's at his comedic best. I've never seen a bad WC Fields movie so my comedy list simply includes one of Fields' best known movies, The Bank Dick. Fields should be somewhere on anyone's list, although I can't find a list that includes any of his movies.

One comedy made Honorable Mention; Planes, Trains and Automobiles, starring Steve Martin and John Candy. In it Martin mostly plays straight man to John Candy. The movie has comedy, but it's mostly situational and doesn't rely on the comedic genius of the two great comedians in it. It's just a good story.


Coming up in my next post:

Dumbo? Are You Kidding?



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Thursday, May 3, 2012

2,000 Palestinians On Hunger Strike And Zero News Coverage

So reads the headline on John Wight's Huffington Post blog, and indeed, although some hunger strikers are now in critical condition, in scanning the long Front Page of today's Huffington Post, I see no mention of the hunger strike, although you can read about one movie star's daring dress and another one's new puppy.

In searching Google news for "Palestine," the first story that comes up is about two of the hundreds of road blocks in the West Bank being removed, which is nice, but then you move into stories about politics in Israel, arguments against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and accounts about Americans' trips to "The Holy Land." Eventually you get to a story about the best bakeries in Jerusalem.

For more about the hunger strike look here.

As mentioned earlier, the mass hunger strikes, like the BDS movement, are part of what appears to be a new phase of the Palestinians' struggle, in which the Palestinian people leave their ineffective leadership behind and take matters into their own hands.

The best place to keep up on the hunger strikes and on the Palestinian struggle, and on the Middle East in general, is called Uruknet.info. That's where I saw John Wight's blog post. There's a link to Uruknet on the right hand side of this page, but better yet is to subscribe to it's RSS news feed or follow it on Facebook, Twitter or mobile, all of which you can easily do from the Uruknet home page. The email newsletter (from the link at the top of the page) comes out often and is also good.

A good Palestinian news site in English is the Ma'an News Agency



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