Saturday, March 24, 2012

Blues on a Saturday: Joe Turner Wee Baby Blues

Bill Dahl writes in his biography of Joe Turner on

The premier blues shouter of the postwar era, Big Joe Turner's roar could rattle the very foundation of any gin joint he sang within -- and that's without a microphone. Turner was a resilient figure in the history of blues -- he effortlessly spanned boogie-woogie, jump blues, even the first wave of rock & roll, enjoying great success in each genre

Occupy Havana?

According to a March 23 report in the Havana Times, human rights activists entered several Catholic churches a week ago and planned to stay there as a protest reminiscent of the Occupy movement in the US and globally. After they refused to leave, Catholic Bishop Jaime Ortega called on the police to have them removed.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Congressional Stall Over Tax Break Could Cost Kansas a Vital Wind Energy Project

by Chaz Bolte


 Congress’ willingness to extend a tax break for wind energy may predict the future of Kansas’ flourishing wind power industry. Republican Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas proposed a one-year extension over two weeks ago but it has yet to be voted on. The tax break, which has been in effect since 1992, was part of President Obama’s stimulus plan and therefore is likely to gain opposition from both deficit hawks and Obama detractors running for re-election.

John Graham, CEO of BP Wind Energy, the company which runs Kansas’ Flat Ridge Phase I and II wind farms, says the tax credit is an excellent stimulant to the industry at a minimal cost to the government.

The tax credit, Graham said, costs the government $3.5 billion a year and attracts $15 billion to $20 billion in investment. Sixty percent of wind energy components are now made in the U.S. “We think it’s a very good return,” he said. 

In Kansas, where wind energy has taken off in part thanks to the tax credit, investors are waiting to see the result of the political process before committing the next round of resources. Historically, when this tax credit has been cancelled, which happened in 1999, 2001 and 2003, new construction plummeted between 73 and 93 percent the following year. Kansas and the wind industry can ill afford a hiccup of this magnitude.

“There is no state in the country that has more at stake in this than Kansas,” Sen. Moran said.
Without renewal, the tax credit will end on January 1st, 2013. This is a rare opportunity to flex bipartisan muscle in the interest of the environment. Alternative energy is a tricky issue on Capitol Hill, but if Washington can get its act together for a few moments the wind industry and Kansas’ economy will continue to witness growth and employ more people.

Below, video of the Flat Ridge wind farm with cattle grazing…


Chaz Bolte is a native of Pittsburgh, PA where he attended Slippery Rock University. He currently contributes to WePartyPatriots, where this post originally appeared.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Blues on a Saturday: Big Joe Turner with Johnny Otis

There's a great clip from the documentary Last of the Blue Devils featuring Big Joe Turner with Jay McShann and others in a lively, relaxed setting at the Kansas City Musicians Union Hall. Unfortunately, embedding is disabled. So, I've found a 1980 clip of Big Joe Turner with the Johnny Otis band.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hutchinson News On Kobach

The Hutchinson News had a great editorial last week on Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach

...Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach made yet another incomprehensible move that puts his own interests above the residents of Kansas and further erodes the integrity of the office of the state's top election official.

Kobach - the elected gatekeeper of fair and impartial elections in Kansas - has created a political action committee, naming himself as chairman. Its name is Prairie Fire PAC, and its purpose is to raise money for Kansas candidates. While Kobach said no decisions have been made about whom the PAC might support, he wouldn't rule out casting behind potential GOP candidates in upcoming primary elections, especially those "who are serious about fighting voter fraud."
And, here is the conclusion is starting to seem like the person Kansans should fear most is not the one who comes to the polls without identification but the one who will go to seemingly any length to control the ballot before voters ever arrive.  

Read the whole thing.

The Wonders of G+ Juxtaposition

Wow, these two posts showed up nest to each other in my G+ account today. I think, Karl Jung called in synchronicity.

Here's the link to the story on Wisconsin Gov. Walker's official time records showing very little time spent on official job duties and much more spent on "personal time" Here's the link for the item on shorter work week.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Blues on a Saturday: Smith, Burrell, Turrentine "Jumpin' Blues"

Three giants of the hard-bop, soul jazz moment take on "Jumpin' Blues," a song first recorded by the Jay McShann band in the 1940s. That Jimmy Smith on organ, Kenny Burrell on guitar, and Stanley Turrentine on tenor sax.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

International Women's Day: The Dream of Equality

Rannfrid Thelle, co-chair of Wichita Democratic Socialists, discusses the origins of International Women's Day and the history of womens' movements to achieve equality. In case you wondered, this program was on March 7, 2012--a day before IWD.