Sunday, February 28, 2010

Deadman's Flats

My cousin Matt Stambaugh plays mandolin and sings in a group called Deadman Flats. They had a gig Friday night at Kelly's Irish pub in Wichita. I video-recorded one of their songs. Here it is.

Technically, Matt is a first cousin once removed. When he was in high school, I made him a deal on a guitar amp and loaned him some cool effects pedals, which unfortunately got stolen.

I'm proud of Matt's musical skill and his guts in making a music career.

Kansans now have a choice for Governor

Tom Holland, a small business owner and State Senator for Baldwin City, has announced his candidacy for Kansas Governor. The Democrats have, in my opinion, have found a viable champion of moderation and common sense to challenge the extremism and pro-business ideology of Sam Brownback.

Topeka announcement here.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

NAACP on so-called "health freedom" amendment

Kansas NAACP Pres Kevin Myles discussing the proposed Kansas "Health Care Freedom" Amendment

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Eric Lee for Amnesty UK board

My friend Eric Lee is running for a spot on Amnesty International's UK board. Read about the effort here.

Eric's candidacy statement is here.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Adam Holland--blogroll friend--profiled on Normblog

I've never met Adam Holland, but I've regularly read his blog and include it in my blogroll. Now, I know a little more about him because he is featured in this week's Normblog profile. Each week, Norm Geras, a UK-based poltiical scientist, profiles a blogger. ( The index of blogger can be found here and I was profiled here.)

Here's what Adam says about his blog and his best blogging experience

Why do you blog? > I call myself a man-in-the-street blogger. I blog as a way to make sense of a sometimes insane world. When the extremist camel sticks its nose under the mainstream tent, I like to rap it with a rolled up newspaper. I frequently focus on issues relating to conspiracy theories, the far right, and anti-Semitism. I also write to counter unreasonable criticism of Israel and undiscriminating support of Israel's enemies. I do this with an eye to promoting liberal ideas and promoting good sense on the liberal left. I try to do all this without making too big a deal of my opinions, focusing as much as possible on facts and avoiding name-calling and blanket characterizations. I also like digging up dirt.

What has been your best blogging experience? > I revealed that a neo-Nazi and KKK leader was on the ballot in Tennessee to be a Ron Paul delegate to the Republican convention in 2008. He had been using his role as a county campaign leader to recruit racists until I posted about it and the AP picked up the story.

I should also mention that Adam has great taste in music, picking Thelonious Monk as his favorite composer and picking two great obscure cuts as his favorite songs (of the moment)
'Sugar Bee' by Cleveland Crochet; 'Hard Grind' by Wild Jimmy Spruill

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dale Hawkins RIP

Dale Hawkins, one of the few white artists to record for Chess Records has passed at age 73. Like many of my generation, I came across his work via Credence Clearwater Revival's cover of his most famous song "Suzy Q"

Here's what has to say

Dale Hawkins' 1957 hit "Suzy Q," with its crackling bluesy guitar and insistent cowbell, was one of the most exciting early rockabilly singles. Recording for Chess (as one of its few white artists) between 1956 and 1961, Hawkins never quite duplicated its success, either commercially or artistically, but came close enough on a number of occasions to warrant respect as one of the better rockabilly singers. His drawling delivery, sense of humor, affinity for blues, and sharp guitar work (which was actually provided by such ace players as Roy Buchanan, Scotty Moore, and James Burton) are heard to good effect on his 1958 album and a number of non-hit singles.

I bought a cassette of his early work post-LP and pre-CD, but it's not handy. I'll check to see what is available on Rhapsody.

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Union Label Chili Feed

I have no idea why my Flickr account suddenly is in Portuguese. Regardless, hereis a slideshow from the Feb 13 Union Label chili and hobo stew feed in Wichita.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I am a human

From Maryam Namazie on a poster from freedom forces in Iran

It says something to the effect: I am a troublemaker, a spy, a mercenary, an alien force, and now a Mohareb (warring against god) [labels the Islamic regime of Iran has given protestors]. 30 years has past - you still don't know my name? I am a human being.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Ishmael Reed on "Precious"

The African-American novelist and essayist, Ishmael Reed, had some interesting things to say about the movie "Precious" in a recent New York Times op-ed.

Black films looking to attract white audiences flatter them with another kind of stereotype: the merciful slave master. In guilt-free bits of merchandise like “Precious,” white characters are always portrayed as caring. There to help. Never shown as contributing to the oppression of African-Americans. Problems that members of the black underclass encounter are a result of their culture, their lack of personal responsibility.

It’s no surprise either that white critics — eight out of the nine comments used on the publicity Web site for “Precious” were from white men and women — maintain that the movie is worthwhile because, through the efforts of a teacher, this girl begins her first awkward efforts at writing.

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Two photos from my recent NYC trip

I took a weekend trip to NYC at the end of January and, for the first time in a long time, didn't take my Canon DSR camera. I couldn't resist taking a couple of pictures with my iPhone, though. I used the handy photoshop app on these two.

I think the app will be good for more subtle editing. BTW, it's free.

Airport in Wichita