Sunday, February 24, 2013

Stand UP! Fight BACK! Rally Photos

Blues on a Saturday: Magic Slim "That Will Never Do"

Magic Slim (Morris Holt)a very fine Chicago bluesman, who had relocated to Omaha, died on Thursday February 21 at the age of 75. (Here is his wikipedia entry.) /He started his career playing bass for his friend Magic Sam, who bestowed his nickname. Slim won the W. C. Handy Blues Band of the Year six times. Having seen Slim perform live many times in Chicago in the 1980s, I can attest that the awards were well deserved.

Bill Dahl, writing on says "Magic Slim & the Teardrops proudly uphold the tradition of what a Chicago blues band should sound like...His guitar work dripped vibrato-enriched nastiness and his roaring vocals were as gruff and uncompromising as anyone's on the scene."

Friday, February 22, 2013

Kansans To Converge On Capitol To Defend State On Saturday

Rally To Feature Broad Cross-Section of Kansans Addressing Extremist Legislation From Corporate Lobbyists

 Topeka, KS—Nurses, teachers, clergy, elected leaders and others will rally at the State Capitol this Saturday February 23 at 2:00 p.m. to push back against an increasingly extreme legislative agenda. Kansans from a variety of backgrounds, political parties and professional backgrounds will be in attendance and among the featured speakers.

“The Governor and legislative leaders need to know that what they’re doing will not happen in some back room where nobody notices,” explained AFT Kansas President Lisa Ochs. “The people of Kansas will know exactly who is destroying the quality of life in our state, along with its future.”

Divisive, extremist bills being threatened by some legislators are known as "model legislation" from the corporate lobby ALEC—essentially a one-size-fits-all legislative template the group has introduced in a number of states.

“They’re threatening Kansas with bills that have nothing to do with our state,” Ochs continued. “They’re the same ones, written by the same corporate lobbyists, we’ve seen submitted in one state after another across the nation.”

Speakers at Saturday’s rally will include:

  • State Sen. Anthony Hensley
  • State Rep. Paul Davis
  • Former State Sen. Jean Schodorf
  • Vanessa Boyler, KU Medical Center Nurse
  • Lisa Ochs, AFT Kansas President
  • Rev. Joshua Longbottom, Plymouth Congregational Church Pastor
  • Dave Reber, Free State High School Biology Teacher
  • Resa Boydston, Kansas Neurological Institute Technician
  • Randy Mousley, United Teachers of Wichita President
  • Sulma Arias, Sunflower Community Action Executive Director

“Governor Brownback cannot claim to care about our state’s future while dismantling it," added Randy Mousley, President of the United Teachers of Wichita. "As a science teacher, I can tell you that slashing education and then expecting our kids to compete in a global, knowledge based economy is shortsighted and self-defeating in the extreme.” 
Rally with Public Speakers
This Saturday, Feb. 23, at 2pm
State Capitol in Topeka, South Steps


AFT Kansas is the oldest public employee union in the state, and represents teachers, school employees, health care workers and other public employees across our state. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Blues on a Saturday: Jimmy Johnson "Cold, Cold Feeling"

Here's a nice Jimmy Johnson cut performed live at a Chicago blues club.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Review: Michael Austin's That's Not What They Meant About Guns

Michael Austin has written an extremely timely and informative analysis That's Not What They Meant About Guns. It is really an extra chapter on the second amendment added to his recently published That's Not What They Meant!: Reclaiming the Founding Fathers from America's Right Wing,which I also highly recommend. Austin destroys the ill informed and ignorant arguments of crazy right wing talk shows hosts like Glenn Beck and Mark Levine. There is historical background about what militias meant in revolutionary America that has some profound implications. And, an eye-opening section on how commonly-proposed gun regulations most likely pass Constitutional muster is really great.

I only have two smallish criticisms. There is a small section of Austin's conclusion("psychological effects") in my Kindle for PC download which is garbled. And, Austin's rhetoric of showing his moderation by positing, even if in passing, an liberal viewpoint on guns just as extreme and absolute as that of today's conservatives seems a little contrived to me.

The debate over gun violence is going to heated in coming months. If you want to be an informed citizen there is no better book to read.

Blues on a Saturday: Guy Clark, Jr. "Catfish Blues"

This generation's blues savior Gary Clark Jr. performed "Catfish Blues" at In Performance at the White House: Red, White & Blues. Hosted by President and Mrs. Obama on February 21, 2012 and aired on PBS on Feb 27, 2012. There are shots of the Obamas grooving and, more interestingly to me, of Booker T. on the organ. You can see the entire show at