Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday Random Ten

The Around the World in 50 minutes edition:

01) Habib Koite - Sin djen djen
02) Donna De Lory - Om Mana Shivaya
03) Ozomatli - Te Estoy Buscando
04) Dragline - Lovely
05) Curtis Amy and Dupree Bolton - Amyable
06) Breakestra - How Do You Really Feel?
07) Joe Bataan - Ordinary Guy
08) Jill Sobule - Nothing Natural
09) Urban Knights - Urban Knights (rue dub)
10) Saint Rue - City To City

Bonus tune: Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66 - Scarborough Fair
Marie Boine - Come with me to the Sacred Mountain (Live)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Recipe: Sweet Potato and Black Bean enchiladas

I've been craving enchiladas recently. We have a couple of recipes for goat cheese enchiladas with mole sauce and they are good, but too rich. There are a couple of other enchilada recipes around our house. I just wanted something a little different. Sweet potatoes and black beans sounded like a good combo, but I wanted some thing more. That's when I thought of spinach. Anyhow, I looked around on the Internets and got some ideas. Ultimately, the recipe below is what I threw together. They turned out pretty well. I used the "options" listed at the bottom, but that's strictly up to the cook. Feel free to experiment!

2 teaspoons oil
1 small onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper stemmed, seeded, and diced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 cups cooked black beans (if using freshly cooked, then save some of the broth...if using canned, then you'll need a little extra water - about a quarter cup)
2 cups chopped spinach
salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups salsa
8 large tortillas or 10 to 12 smaller corn ones (which is what I used)
8 ounces sour cream, yogurt cheese, or creme fraiche
Optional: cheese for topping, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and jalapeno and saute until soft (5 to 10 minutes). Add sweet potatoes and spices. Cover and cook about 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in the beans and the spinach and a little water if it's a bit dry. Cover again and heat another 5 minutes or so; until the spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble: Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with a little salsa. If your tortillas are stiff (as my corn ones are), then heat them in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 30 seconds or so...just so they become more pliable. You don't want to cook them or let them brown. Place the tortilla on a flat surface. Spoon a line of the filling down the middle of the tortilla. It does not need to be a thick line. Spoon a bit of the sour cream over the filling. Roll the enchilada up and place it seam side down in the pan. Repeat until you're out of filling or you pan is full (I ended up with some left over). Cover the enchiladas in salsa and spread it evenly over the top. If using, sprinkle shredded cheese over top. Cover the pan with foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. When finished, if using, sprinkle chopped cilantro over the top.

Makes 4 - 6 servings

More quickies

Haretz has the latest election results in Israel while Jo-Ann Mort provides some analysis which is helpful. Israel is part of the key to finding stability in the Middle East, so it's good to get some insight into their political state right now. From Mort's piece:
Fifth, the American darling Bibi Netanyahu is no more. He brought in a disgraceful showing, with the Likud dropping to fourth place. It wasn't simply Sharon's creation of Kadimah that did in the Likud. The narrative of the religious/right wing settlement policy is dead. It is finished--and the U.S. Administration and the supporters of the settlers need to understand that. (Even though Lieberman is a settler- supporter and resident, he more represents the Russian vote than a vote for the settlements).
The NY Times reports on FISA judges having a disagreement with Bush over the authority of the executive to conduct warrantless searches.
Judge Harold A. Baker, a sitting federal judge in Illinois who served on the intelligence court until last year, said the president was bound by the law "like everyone else." If a law like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is duly enacted by Congress and considered constitutional, Judge Baker said, "the president ignores it at the president's peril."
This hearing by Arlen Spector is ridiculous and Democrats should clearly state that. Republicans are fond of saying things like, "We don't need a new law. We just need to enforce the ones already on the books." You know, some times they are right in saying that. They would be right in saying that this time if they had the balls to confront the President, but they don't. They are more interested in party power than they are in the citizens that they are supposed to be representing or the democracy that they are supposed to be upholding.

Dickie's Quickies

In the U.K., Blair's government is going to propose new rules about what can and cannot be used in a rape trial as evidence. The government wants to increase the number of convictions. This article from The Guardian explains why:
Last year, 14,000 rapes were reported but only one in 20 resulted in a conviction.
You may now pick your jaw up off the floor. Shit, and how many rapes went unreported because they knew the likelihood of conviction was so low? It seems to me that reform is obscenely overdue. The Independent has more statistics, but they are still terribly shocking:
Currently, only 5.6% of allegations lead to a rapist being punished.

In 2004/05, there were 14,002 allegations of rape reported to police by both male and female victims.

But in the the 2004 calendar year there were just 791 convictions.

Only 14% of allegations reach the trial stage, where about half of defendants are acquitted.

I see that President Bush is opposing a possible Iraqi Prime Minister candidate. While I note that this guys is probably a nasty character, I'd also note that democracy is never so grand as when it is guided by dictatorship. Did we learn nothing from the puppet regimes of the past? Apparently, the answer is "no".

I've been reading up on the Duke Rugby Team alleged rape case. You might say that the whole team didn't commit the crime, but I'd say anyone there who did nothing is complicit in it's actions. and Rachel have some good posts on this. Someone needs to put some real pressure on these players to speak up. If they don't come clean and they were there at the time of the crime, then they should automatically be expelled if there are convictions.

What sort of pain and torture does one have to go through to get refugee status in the U.S.? Check this out:
In Liberia, a female head of a household was referred to the U.S. resettlement program by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as a person particularly vulnerable to attack. Rebels had come to her home, killed her father and beat and gang-raped her. The rebels held her hostage in her own home and forced her to wash their clothes. The woman escaped after several weeks and made her way to a refugee camp. The Department of Homeland Security has decided that because the rebels lived in her house and she washed their clothes, she had provided "material support" to the rebels; the case has been placed on hold.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Slate is so cute

Sometimes, they really are. Take this headline from yesterday:
Invisible Men: Did Lindsay Graham and John Kyl mislead the Supreme Court?
It sounds just fine. As if the two Senators just made a minor slip up. Well, folks, back in my day we called that lying. Back in Bill Clinton's day, it was called perjury. Yet Slate decides to call it "misleading". I suppose that avoids judicial judgment and lawsuits, but when did that matter when it came to Clinton's behalf? I'm not an apologist for Clinton. However you'd think that since Kyl voted for impeachment on the perjury charge and Graham was one of the prosecutors, even they would see the hypocrisy in what they just did. I call for them to stand up, take personal responsibility, and admit that they perjured themselves, then pull their statements from the Supreme Court briefs.

Dickie's Quickies

Just a couple today. First, for those looking for coverage of the shootings this past weekend in Seattle, The Stranger has a fine write up of the time line. Good writing. Good reporting.

Yesterday, I got in email a phishing scam note. It's the first one that I've received that could have been real. It looked like my bank's header, but I noticed in the corner that it wasn't my bank at all plus the link (viewed in the source code) was certainly not my bank's link (you should never click a link in email to your financial institution...always go to the site directly via a bookmark in your browser or by searching for the site). What to do? Well, I reported it to my bank, first. Secondly, an organization formed by Castle Cops and Sunbelt called PIRT announced their formation yesterday as a group that will combat such scams. I reported the email to them as well.

Dickie's Quickies

Just a couple today. Yesterday I got a phishing email. Allegedly it was from my bank and it was asking me to update my address. It was a pretty good copy, but I could tell that it wasn't my bank who sent it. This began me wondering what to do in such instances. First thing that I did was report it to the bank. Second thing I did was report it to a new service called PIRT (Phishing Incident Reporting Termination). PIRT is a cooperative effort between Castle Cops and Sunbelt to try and shut down phishing operations as they arise.

The Stranger has a good article on the killing of 7 people at a party in Seattle this weekend. It's a good piece of writing and reporting.

Monday, March 27, 2006

'Trane coming to an end

Here it is, the last of John Coltrane's Live 'Trane: Underground.

Cross posted at JPT:

John Coltrane: Live 'Trane Underground final two discs and round up. It's been a long journey. The Live 'Trane: Underground project was conceived by Coltrane fans to put together a definitive document of the best recordings of the Coltrane European tours from 1960 through 1963. Beginning with the Miles Davis tour in '60 and ending in Stuttgart in 1963 these discs represent some of the best live performances (mostly) never released by major labels. There are many classic performances on this set and it is not to be missed. All of the mp3 files have been lovingly ripped at 320 kbps. Album art is enclosed with the last file download from each disc. First, a recap of what has come before. Then, a look at discs 11 and 12.

Disc one - 1960 with the M.D. Quintet in Germany featuring Davis, Coltrane, Kelly, Cobb, and Chambers:

Disc two - 1961 in Paris, Coltrane Quintet featuring Dolphy, Tyner, Workman, and Jones:

Disc three - 1961 in Paris and German with the Quintet (same line up as above):

Disc four - 1961 in Denmark with same line up as above:

Disc five - 1961 in Finland and Germany with the Quintet as above:

Disc six - 1961 in West Germany with the Quintet as above:

Disc seven - 1962 in Denmark with Quartet featuring Tyner, Jones, and Garrison:

Disc eight - 1962 in Denmark with Quartet featuring Tyner, Jones, and Garrison:

Disc nine - 1963 in Philadelphia and Denmark with the Quartet featuring Garrison, Haynes, and Tyner in Philly and Johns replacing Haynes in Denmark:

Disc ten - 1963 in Copenhagen and Paris featuring the Quartet in Denmark with Tyner, Garrison, and Jones and a trio in Paris with Garrison and Jones:

Disc eleven featuring Coltrane, Tyner, Garrison, and Jones recorded in Liederhalle, Stuttgart on Nov. 4, 1963:

1) The Promise (7:32)

2) Afro Blue (6:48)

3) I Want To Talk About You (10:42)

4) Impressions (28:52)

Disc twelve featuring the same group as disc 11 from the same venue and concert:

1) My Favorite Things (18:51)

2) Every Time We Say Goodbye (6:11)

3) Mr. P.C. (35:52) (a killer version)


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Kleptones new album

The Kleptones have a new double CD just released. These mash-up masters are not to be missed. Their previous release of "A Night At The Hip-Hopera" is a classic. You can download individual tracks, the whole album via BitTorrent as individual tracks or the whole album as 2 large, ready to burn mp3 files (though I couldn't get this last version to work). Get it while it's hot.

Need a BitTorrent client? I recommend µTorrent

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Live 'Trane: Underground

Live 'Trane: Underground Disc 10 is now available.

John Coltrane - tenor and soprano sax
McCoy Tyner - piano
Jimmy Garrison - bass
Elvin Jones - drums

Picking up where disc 9 left off at Tivoli Koncertsal, Copenhagen, Denmark, Oct. 25, 1963:
1) Impressions (19:27 - incomplete)
2) The Promise (10:01)
3) Afro Blue (8:43)
4) Naima (7:46)
5) My Favorite Things (17:15)

Salie Pleyel, Paris, Nov. 1, 1963 (dispute about this date and location...may be from 1962):
6) Chasin The Trane (5:21)

sans McCoy Tyner on this track.


44.04, 59.56, 50.96 MB respectively

Friday, March 24, 2006

More quickies

Yet another flaw found in IE...turn off active scripting until mid-2007, when Microsoft will get around to fixing the bug. (I kid, I keeeeed) Note: the link has instructions on how to turn off active scripting...Firefox and Opera and other users should do this as well if you're using Windows...plenty of programs launch IE automatically and if one of those programs is launched then it could set off a series of actions that could harm your machine.

When I read about these stories about company execs, particularly financial company execs, who are walking around with personal data on tens of thousands of employees, my first reaction is to ask why were they carrying that data around in the first place? (Actually, my first reaction is usually, did they have in encrypted). Well, according to El Reg, in the latest disclosure where reps from Fidelity lost a laptop containing the data on 80,000 HP employees, it was to impress the executives of HP. Mission accomplished. They left an impression alright.

Boing Boing reports that EMI has pulled a Sony in Brazil. Clip:
Brazilian mega-star Marisa Monte's new CDs from EMI ("Infinito Particular" and "Universo ao Meu Redor") come with DRM that can't be uninstalled, and requires you to "agree" to a contract that isn't published in Portuguese. Even if you disagree, the malware is installed. The DRM blocks you from playing the CD on Linux and MacOS, and from loading it onto an iPod.

Daffodils in bloom

Daffodils in bloom
Originally uploaded by dv8or70.
A close up of the daffodils in our back yard.

Daffodils in bloom

Daffodils in bloom
Originally uploaded by dv8or70.
From our back yard in a pot near our raised beds. We've grown potatoes in these pots in the past. Shawn decided that she'd like to put flowers in them this year.

Plum Tree in bloom

Plum Tree in bloom
Originally uploaded by dv8or70.
A close up of the flowers on the plum tree.

Plum and Cherry trees in bloom

Plum and Cherry trees again
Originally uploaded by dv8or70.
Actually, the cherry is a bit obscured by the plum tree in this picture. These trees bloom earlier than many of our other plants. They are our first real sign that spring is arriving.

Live 'Trane Underground, discs 8 & 9

Live 'Trane: Underground, Disc 8 is a continuation of the same concert that began on disc 7. Once again, the personnel are:

John Coltrane - tenor and soprano sax
McCoy Tyner - piano
Elvin Jones - drums
Jimmy Garrison - bass

Falkonercentret, Copenhagen, Denmark, Nov. 22, 1962 (continued):
1) I Want To Talk About You (11:11)
2) Traneing In (23:23)
3) Impressions (8:59)
4) My Favorite Things (19:20 - cut)

Stefaniansall, Graz, Nov. 28, 1962:
5) Autumn Leaves (10:33)

48.97, 52.71, and 63.87MB respectively


Live 'Trane Underground disc 9 is also available. Personnel for this outing is a little odd in that McCoy Tyner does not appear on all tracks. Where he doesn't appear, the track will be marked with an asterisk. Was he ill? Does anyone know?

John Coltrane - tenor and soprano sax
Jimmy Garrison - bass
Roy Haynes - drums
McCoy Tyner - piano

From SHowbaot, Philadelphia in June, 1963 (possibly the 10th, 17th, or 24th)

1) Chasin' The Trane (10:50)*
2) It's Easy To Remember (6:42)*
3) Up 'Gainst The Wall (5:40, cut)*
4) The Inchworm (8:34)
5) Impressions (13:27 - incomplete)
6) audience noise (0:24)

Tivoli Koncertsal, Copenhagen, Denmark, Oct. 25, 1963
7) Mr. P.C. (23:41)

The concert that features this last number will be continued on disc 10. Haynes was replaced by Elvin Jones for this date.


51.86, 50.07, 53.66 MB respectively.

Friday Random Ten

This week's selection was odd. The music went from quiet and sedate to upbeat and raucous. It alternated every tune. Perhaps my player has gone bipolar.

01) Paul Duncan - Swam An Ocean
02) Aretha Franklin - Good Times
03) Astrud Gilberto - How Insensitive
04) Jon Rose - Great Fences
05) Bobi Cespedes - Anoche
06) Jolie Holland - I Wanna Die
07) Temptations vs. Technotronic w/Mariah Carey & Corona (Voicedude Remix)- I Can't Get
Pumped Up
08) Les Baxter - Temple of Gold
09) Lloyd Cole - People Ain't No Good
10) The Meters - 9 'til 5

Bonus tune: Ozomatli - Saturday Night

Dickie's Quickies

By now you might have heard that the French have proposed interoperability between DRM songs and players. Apple and Microsoft are outraged. This blog post sums up the reason for the proposal nicely. Clip:
Can we allow a couple of vendors to establish monopolies tightly controlling their clients and excluding competition? I think that no American can wish for that. Neither Apple, nor Microsoft, nor anyone else is threatened by this law if they intend to play fairly with competitors and consumers. If Apple wants to remain a big player, it will have to innovate and continue providing exciting new products. This is a good news for consumers, who will get better, cheaper competition. And it is also a great news in the long term for Apple.
Someone really needs to build a big reference chart for Republican corruption in Washington. Laura Rozen has been doing her best reporting on the Duke Cunningham scandal that continues to spread. Co-conspirator Mitchell Wade and his partner have ties to John Doolittle, Bob Ney, Conrad Burns, and members of both the Clinton and Republican administrations and defense departments. Clip from Rozen's latest post:
The next contract MZM received was just three days later from the Defense Department's own IT contracting unit, DITCO, and while it was for only roughly half a million dollars, it was swiftly followed by two contracts for several million dollars. I believe those came from the Army National Ground Intelligence Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, whose director's son was hired by MZM, one of many NGIC officials and relatives hired by the company.
When the "product's" "features" describe the following:
* highly sensitive telepathic nipple array for detecting poetic phenomena
* bionic legs for kicking CEO's, politicians, priests, soldiers and other agents of oppression and exploitation.
* whipped cream and olive array for generating Anti-Yahweh telepathic shielding
Then you know you want to see the Meat Cyborg. NSFW (who dreams this shit up?!!?)

Whiteboy DJ comes up with a Christian parody video, Baby Got Book. I still prefer Jonathon Coulton's folk remake of the original.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Yeah! at Jazz Pour Tous posted an album by Michel Banabila the other day, VoizNoiz volume 3. As it turns out, I have a copy of the long out of print VoizNoiz volume 1 which Yeah! did not have. So, I've posted it over there and I offer it here as well.

This is an interesting album. It's comprised of many sampled voices remixed and resampled into songs that are primarily improvised by Banabila and friends. The results have been compared to Jon Hassell, Jean Michel Jarre's 'Zoolook', Eno/Byrne's 'My Life in the Bush of Ghosts', African Head Charge and more. The problem with categorizing this music is that so many different styles are represented on one disc. It begins with "jazz" moves to "space reggae" and takes off from there. Spread over 20 tracks, it's as if one were walking down the streets of a futuristic city where every block had it's own record store and represented a different culture. The overall effect is pretty fantastic. Link@192kbps:


Nothing sells like Christianity

And the Republicans are buying heavily with your tax dollars. Why aren't they farming out Pentagon contracts to the faith based communities?

It does explain why some Christians suddenly have enough dollars for a Wrestling organization or a cosmetic line.

Live 'Trane Underground disc 7

Note the change in personnel:

Live 'Trane Underground continues with disc 7. We're over the halfway point and that brings us to 1962.

John Coltrane - tenor and soprano sax
McCoy Tyner - piano
Elvin Jones - drums
Jimmy Garrison - bass

Falkonercentret, Copenhagen, Denmark, Nov. 22, 1962:

1) Bye Bye Blackbird (21:03)
2) Chasin' The Trane (7:30)
3) The Inchworm (9:10)
4) Every Time We Say Goodbye (5:44)
5) Mr. P.C. (19:28)

47.22, 50.32, 43.75 MB respectively


ripped @ 320 kbps, art included in final file

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Dolittle Congress

Below, I made a reference to the "Do little" Congress while discussing Rep. Dolittle of California. I meant to provide a link to my reference. I simply forgot as I had some things that needed to be done and I wasn't going to spend much time on line today. Here's the link and the clip:
The House schedule for 2006, the second session of the 109th Congress, has a grand total of 71 days when votes are scheduled to take place, along with an additional 26 when no votes will occur before 6:30 p.m. The total of 97 calendar days, counted generously, is the smallest number in 60 years and the days of what Harry Truman derided as that "do-nothing 80th Congress."

The 'L' Word

We don't get premium cable. Hell, we don't even get cable. So it intrigues me sometimes to hear about the shows we're not seeing. Usually, if I have any interest at all, I'll just rent the DVDs when they come out. Actually, I prefer that method because then I can catch up with a minimum of commercials and I don't have to wait a week for the next installment (which I won't remember to watch because television programs do not matter that much to me to care).

One of the shows that I've heard/read plenty about was The L Word. I was leery of the positive reviews that I've heard regarding this show. Like most queer oriented entertainment these days I expected the worst - shallow characters, mostly middle to upper middle class, the basest stereotypes without diversity. Hm, perhaps that basically describes television in general and not just queer oriented television. Reading this post and this one confirmed my worst fears. I think I'll pass on the show. Clip from the second link (be sure to read the comments section):
i apologize for my language, but i really tried to give this show the benefit of the doubt. but i hate this piece of shit show. i advise all women of color, in solidarity, to please boycott this program. it does not need to make another season. we do not need to continue to support a show that insults us, degrades us, and exotifies us. at the expense of our degredation, ilene chaiken is making bank and it's making me sick.

Live 'Trane Underground disc 6

Live 'Trane Underground continues with disc 6 - halfway there!


John Coltrane - tenor and soprano sax
Eric Dolphy - alto sax
McCoy Tyner - piano
Reggie Workman - bass
Elvin Jones - drums

Kongresshalle, Frankfurt am Main, West Germany, Nov. 27, 1961:
1) Impressions (17:29, intro cut)
2) Every Time We Say Goodbye (5:15)
3) My Favorite Things (19:14, intro cut)

Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Nov. 29, 1961:
4) Impressions (9:12)
5) Every Time We Say Goodbye (5:28)
6) My Favorite Things (14:39, cut)

51.44, 64.17, and 45.41 MB respectively.


Dickie's Quickies

A new compilation of (mostly Northern) soul records by Soul Sides has just been released. It's an excellent collection of tunes. Part of the proceeds are donated to the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, which make it a worthy cause as well. Get your groove on now and feel even better about it. Soul Sides has the word on where to get the compilation and, for a limited time, get a free bonus disc. Solid.

Another Republican following in Randy Cunningham's footsteps? I know, hard to believe. The San Diego Union-Tribune has the lowdown on John T. Doolittle (whose name does more to describe this Congress than any before it), Republican from California. Clip:
Between 2002 and 2005, Wilkes and his associates and lobbyists gave Doolittle's campaign and political action committee $118,000, more than they gave any other politician, including Cunningham.

Calculations based on federal and state campaign records suggest that Doolittle's wife received at least $14,400 of that money in commissions. Meanwhile, Doolittle helped Wilkes get at least $37 million in government contracts.

NBC reports that the CIA had a high level Iraqi government official as an inside contact before the war and that they ignored his more accurate assessment of Hussein's arms even though Tenet used those assessments in speeches.

The front page of The Seattle Times today features a headline about the U.S. bases in Iraq: "US bases in Iraq built with an air of permanence" Gasp! You think? How fucking naive can you get? I doubt that they could be this naive. It's got to be willful ignorance.

Bruce Schneier reported yesterday on the head of Qantas airlines being stopped by U.S. airport screeners for carrying blueprints of planes. Apparently the screener(s) had difficulty buying the CEO's explanation because she is a woman. Great...feel safer yet?

The Guardian reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury disagrees with President Bush and does not think that either creationism or so-called intelligent design should be taught in public schools. Clip:

"I think creationism is ... a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories ... if creationism is presented as a stark alternative theory alongside other theories I think there's just been a jarring of categories ... My worry is creationism can end up reducing the doctrine of creation rather than enhancing it," he said.

The BBC reports on the damage and aftermath of the cyclone which hit Australia on Monday. Clip:

Australian officials - keen to avoid the criticism that followed the US government's response to Hurricane Katrina - began issuing warnings about the storm on Saturday.

Will our government learn the same lessons? Stay tuned.

Bubblegeneration has a great discussion about social capital and how it is ignored and not measured when making decisions about community building and big box stores. Clip:

The argument goes that by choosing to shop at Wal-Mart rather than at mom-and-pop shop, the consumer is choosing to vote with her wallet and therefore, society must let Wal-Mart win. However, free markets are the right solution only if buyers and sellers are reasonably well-informed, capable of judging a price based on the value of utility, and operating in a non-monopolistic environment. None of this is applicable in this case : economics has not yet developed the capability of figuring out the value of social capital and large scale retail is almost always a game of creating localized monopolistic power to destroy competition.

Samsung unveiled a 32GB Flash-based drive designed to compete with standard hard disk drives. Expect to see these in notebooks, soon, as I've been predicting.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Live 'Trane Underground, disc 5

We're almost halfway through the series, cross posted at Jazz Pour Tous:

Live 'Trane Underground, disc 5 is now available. Details:

John Coltrane: tenor and soprano sax
Eric Dolphy: alto sax
McCoy Tyner: piano
Reggie Workman: bass
Elvin Jones: drums

Kulttuuritalo, Helsinki, Finland, Nov. 22, 1961. Second concert (9:15 pm):
1) Blue Train (8:58)
2) I Want To Talk About You (6:58)
3) Impressions (7:59)
4) My Favorite Things (20:20)

Sudwestfunk TV Studio, Baden-Baden, West Germany, Nov. 24, 1961:
5) announcement (2:16)
6) My Favorite Things (10:37)
7) announcement (0:58)
8) Every Time We Say Goodbye (5:13)
9) announcement (0:50)
10) Impressions (7:15)
11) untitled blues (trio) (1:28)

Ripped at 320 kbps. Cover included in final link.



Saturday, March 18, 2006


The 3rd Annual Nigerian Email Conference (pretty funny from a security standpoint)

CenSEARCHip is a project that compares search engine results from various countries.
We currently work with the Web search and image search functions of four national versions of Google and Yahoo!: the United States, China, France, and Germany.

When you enter your search terms and select one of the search buttons, the lower part of your browser window will show a split display of the results for the two countries. For example, if you're comparing China and the United States, you'll see information about the Chinese search on the left and the United States search on the right.

Canadian Recording Industry study notes the real effects of P2P

Interesting read:
Consistent with many other studies, people who download music from P2P services frequently buy that same music. The study found that only 25% of respondents said they never bought music after listening to it as a P2P downloaded track. That obviously leaves nearly 75% as future purchasers, including 21% who have bought music ten times or more. Note that demographically, the lowest percentage of non-buyers actually belonged to the 13 to 17 year old demographic (page 70).

A 'Trane of Thought

Cross posted from Jazz Pour Tous

Disc 4 of Live 'Trane Underground is now available.

John Coltrane - tenor and soprano sax
Eric Dolphy - alto sax
McCoy Tyner - piano
Reggie Workman - bass
Elvin Jones - drums

Recorded live at Falkonercentret, Copenhagen, Denmark on Nov. 20, 1961.

1) words by Norman Granz (2:24)
2) Delilah (12:03)
3) Every Time We Say Goodbye (5:11)
4) Impressions (14:16)
5) Naima (7:40)
6) My Favorite Things false start 1 (0:40)
7) My Favorite Things false start 2 (0:08)
8) words by John Coltrane (0:39)
9) My Favorite Things (28:54)



Friday, March 17, 2006

Friday Random Ten

Luck of the iTunes to ya!

01) Trouble Funk - Drop The Bomb
02) Yaz - Don't Go Plus Plus (DJ Mike W's mash-up mix)
03) A Frames - Eva Braun
04) Yellow Magic Orchestra - Neue Tanz (the something wonderful remix)
05) Afro Celt Sound System - My Secret Bliss
06) Rusty Warren - Bounce Your Boobies
07) Yellow Magic Orchestra - Chance
08) Lazy Dog/Julien Jabre - That Day
09) The Kinks - Superman
10) Odetta - Hit or Miss

I'm pretty happy with this mix of old and new tunes. Right after Odetta, the iTunes chose to go all mellow on me and play Boards of Canada. I like BoC, but that was a sure fire downer after the upbeat songs here.

Live 'Trane Underground continues

Cross posted at Jazz Pour Tous:

Disc 3 of Live 'Trane Underground is now available. It picks up where disc 2 left off by beginning with the late show in Paris. Details:

Olympia Theatre, Paris, Nov. 18, 1961
Second concert (11:30 pm):
1) Blue Train (12:47)
2) I Want To Talk About You (9:38)
3) My Favorite Things (25:35)

Konserthuset, Stockholm, Nov. 23, 1961,
Second Set:
4) Naima (incomplete) (2:34)

Auditorium Maximum, Freie University, Berlin, West Germany, Dec. 2, 1961:
5) Impressions (13:05)

John Coltrane: tenor and soprano sax
Eric Dolphy: alto sax
McCoy Tyner: piano
Reggie Workman: bass
Elvin Jones: drums

As before, cover is included in last link. Ripped at 320 kbps, split into 3 links:



Thursday, March 16, 2006

How your taxes are spent

Via Boing Boing, comes this link to an artist who has put together the picture above which represents how your taxes are spent. Tres cool. From the artist's statement on the deviantART page.
Most people are unaware of how much of their taxes fund our military, and those aware are often misinformed. Well here it is. Laid out, easy to read and compare.
With data straight from the White House.

I hope this makes people think and ask questions.

Why do we spend more on jets than we do on public housing?
Why is the Endowment for the Arts so small?
Whats with all this foreign military financing?

Im sure you can come up with numerous questions of your own. Unfortunately i dont have any answers. Our leaders do. Your president, his cabinet and your congress person have these answers. Ask them for the answers or better yet, demand them.

More quickies

The Washington Post has a very good article on botnets and keyloggers today. This isn't a technical article. Instead it hopes to bring some information about how these things work to the average reader.

Ever want to reminiss about the good old days after the Iraq invasion when all looked so sunny and cheerful and full of opportunity? The good folks at Fairness and Accuracy in the Media (FAIR) have put together a list of quotes from some of the sage pundits from those days so that you, too, can bask in the glory that was our victory. Or recognize bullshit when you see it. Either way, go read it.

Yesterday, the FCC leveled fines in dozens of cases involving alleged obscenity that had been backlogged in the agency. WFMU's blog gives a quick rundown of the good, the bad, and the hypocritical. For a more detailed report, check out BuzzMachine's part 1 and part 2. From WFMU's Beware of the Blog:
What could be more entertaining than an entire federal commission utilizing tons of public resources over long periods of time to mull over the merits of the term "wang" and argue over whether Janet's pastie-covered nipple was exposed for 19/32 or 9/16 of a second (I told you to read those footnotes)?
Someone at the FCC has a foot(note) fetish? Who knew? Everyone should send them pictures of their own feet to let them know that the fines stink. The fetishist might be so thrilled that s/he will turn to the light and change the decisions.

Worried about your feet being identified? No nail polish? Here, use mine.

Live Trane Underground disc 2

I just uploaded disc 2 in this series. Same album art, though I include it again in the second link.

John Coltrane Quintet, 1961.
John Coltrane (tenor and soprano sax)
Eric Dolphy (alto sax)
McCoy Tyner (piano)
Reggie Workman (bass)
Elvin Jones (drums)

Recorded at the Olympia Theatre, Paris on Nov. 18, 1961 (First concert at 6:30 pm):

1) Impressions (10:53)
2) I Want To Talk About You (6:52)
3) Blue Train (16:07)
4) My Favorite Things (22:33)
5) words by Norman Granz (1:41)
6) Impressions (same as track 1, but using a different source) (10:54)




Dickie's Quickies

Jack Abramoff is seeking the help of his friends before sentencing. Write the judge and tell him how Abramoff grew up as a poor minority figure who suffered great abuse at a young age which later manifested itself in both a rise to power and a need to stick it to The Man.

The GOP in Missouri is voting to discontinue the distribution of birth control in state clinics. Actually, they voted it down in 2003, but they got an opportunity to clearly state their position yesterday:
"If you hand out contraception to single women, we're saying promiscuity is OK as a state, and I am not in support of that," Phillips, R-Kansas City, said in an interview.
For the record, the vote was 96-59 against the distribution funding. I've long suspected that the real agenda behind many in the so-called "Pro Life" (I call it 'Secretly Pro Death Cult') community was to not stop at just abortion, but to also dispose of contraception as well. Heck, the Roman Catholic Church has made the same argument for years.

Live 'Trane Underground, disc 1

Cross posted from Jazz Pour Tous:

Culled from a series of live Coltrane appearances in Europe from 1960 through 1963. The sources vary from radio to limited LPs. The sound quality has been remastered. These sound surprisingly good. Ripped at 320 kbps. Disc one features the Miles Davis Quintet:

Miles Davis: trumpet
John Coltrane: tenor sax
Wynton Kelly: piano
Jimmy Cobb: drums
Paul Chambers: bass

Unknown venue, probably West Germany between March 21 and April 10, 1960.
1) So What (intro cut)
2) 'Round Midnight
3) Walkin' (incomplete)
4) So What

Kongresshalle, Frankfurt am Main, West Germany, March 30, 1960.
5) announcement
6) So What
7) All of You

Two links. The second contains the album art.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Dickie's Quickies

Protect yourself from spamware, spyware, malware with the SiteAdvisor plug in for IE and Firefox. Every little bit helps.

Following up on yesterday's comments about Iran, the Washington Times reports that elites in the country think that further pressure on it's current government may bolster it rather than take it down:
"If they keep piling on the pressure, Ahmadinejad will become a national hero," the newspaper editor said.
"Let the Iranians deal with him. If you leave him alone, he will become a bankrupt politician within a year. With greater pressure, only the extremists will benefit."
More on the FBI spying on anti-war activists.

David Cay Johnston of the NY Times writes on how utilities are collecting federal and state taxes from consumers and then keeping the money rather than passing it on to governments. It's legal in many states. Oregon has a law against this and the utilities are fighting mad about it. Bottom line: your money may not be going to where you think it is, but rather enriching ill-conceived ventures of wealthy board and stock investors.

Corporations are attempting to sway NJ lawmakers to pass a bill making it easier for them to discover who the person is behind an alias blogging name. They hope to use this information to squelch free speech and to sue.

The Pennsylvania AG has seized the hard drives of 4 PCs from a newspaper as part of a grand jury investigation into government leaks to reporters. Encrypt your data, folks.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The bleeding edge of science

A new source of stem cells has been found.
They were able to obtain about thirty times more stem cells from menstrual blood than from bone marrow, Miyoshi told Reuters Health.

Dickie's Quickies

Well, well, well, it's become official. Bush has announced that he plans on withdrawing the troops from Iraq in 2006. This blog yawns at the announcement. I applaud bringing the troops home, but I suspected that the plan was to bring them home in significant numbers before the mid-term election in order to help bolster chances for Republicans to maintain their hold on Congress. In other words, like all things Rove, it was a political decision and this crap about caring about the Iraqi people or our troops is exactly that - crap.

Of course, Bush is losing allies right and righter on this war. From that article:
Columnist George Will points out that Iraq, Iran and North Korea are "more dangerous than they were" in 2002. Blogger Andrew Sullivan says "we have learned a tough lesson."
Really, Andrew? I thought we learned that lesson in Vietnam and that the British, French, Dutch, Portuguese, and Spaniards learned it much earlier.

And then there's William F. Buckley Jr., who judges that Bush "has a very difficult internal problem here because to make the kind of concession that is strategically appropriate requires a mitigation of policies he has several times affirmed in high-flown pronouncements."

Suggests Buckley: "The kernel here is the acknowledgment of defeat."

Defeat for the misguided and deadly foreign policy initiatives by the Republicans. Defeat for the Iraqi population which has replaced a despot (a good thing) with a civil war. Defeat for the neoconservatives whose idealism led them to ignore the history of the region and the current political balance in the hopes of creating a well of democratic progress which they naively assumed would back U.S. initiatives because we brought them democracy (Hamas said "Thank you, now get the fuck out.") Defeat for generals who compromised their integrity and troop lives by towing the Bush line instead of telling the truth about the costs and the numbers needed to accomplish the task. But surely not defeat for the troops who went out against these heavy odds and attempted to carry out this incredibly stupid plan.

Hell, even the Iranian dissidents are pleading with our leaders NOT to spend money promoting democracy in their country. Will the Republicans listen? No. Guaranteed.

On a bright note for Republican leaders, porn star Mary Carey will be back at the fund raisers this year at invitation of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Hey, I'm all for porn stars being politically active. I'm sure it plays well with the family values crowd. Perhaps Pat Robertson will invite her on some time soon?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Dickie's Quickies

The judge presiding over the penalty phase of the Moussaoui trial has called a recess after finding out about the government coaching some witnesses:
"In all the years I've been on the bench, I have never seen such an egregious violation of a rule on witnesses," she said.
Check out this obvious headline from UPI: Survey finds women own lots of shoes. Well, duh! At least, the ones who can afford lots of shoes.

Oy, McAfee released an errant update this weekend that quarantined or destroyed legitimate data files from a variety of programs, including office.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Dickie's Quickies

Planet Xtabay is offering 36 versions of the song "Louie Louie".

Boing Boing reports on the Citibank PIN/ATM scandal. A friend of mine told me yesterday that rumors are that this could become the new test case of what not to do when faced with a consumer crisis. Note: the crisis, according to Boing Boing, is spreading to other financial institutions.

White House appointees: Some get theft right; others get theft wrong. That's probably unfair to Rumsfeld, but when was he ever fair to me?

Speaking of Rummy, who most likely got his appointment because his name reminded the president that it was time for another shot, it seems his people are working with the British to close down the prison on Guatanamo. Someone at the White House probably figured out that it was becoming bad publicity. What to do? What to do?
Senior Bush administration figures have asked British officials for advice on how to hand alleged terrorists over to regimes with a reputation for torture and extra-judicial killings, such as Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Pakistan.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Dickie's Quickies

The Independent Online has a couple of great articles today. First, in the U.S. we hear a lot about India's economic surge these days. Bush just got back from a trip there (one where he endorsed India's nuclear development without doing the same for Pakistan and at a time when he's trying to get Iran to come into line with International standards - standards he says India does not have to follow). Lots of U.S. companies are outsourcing jobs to India and this also causes conversations and consternation. A fair number of Indians are coming to the U.S. to work for Microsoft and other companies that can hire these folks at a fraction of what they would have to pay U.S. based workers which raises further consternation. However, we rarely hear about the ill effects of India's transformation.
Jaduguda illustrates the way that India moves into the future: this is the style of its progress. When the state wants to do something it just does it. Land is requisitioned, the earthmovers arrive. If there are rules to be followed - and, according to the Indian Constitution, land f held by tribal people in tribal areas subject to the Constitution's Fifth Schedule cannot by any means be transferred to non-tribals - it is a sound bet that they will be ignored.
After all the recent bashing of members of the Islamic faith (on many sides of the political spectrum in the U.S.), this second article focuses on inventions that have changed the world developed by people loyal to Islam.
12 The technique of inoculation was not invented by Jenner and Pasteur but was devised in the Muslim world and brought to Europe from Turkey by the wife of the English ambassador to Istanbul in 1724. Children in Turkey were vaccinated with cowpox to fight the deadly smallpox at least 50 years before the West discovered it.
Bubble Generation turned me on to the Dealing with Darwin blog. Warning, we're talking emerging economic models. Both are interesting reads if you like that sort of thing.

Mark Russinovich published an interesting article over a week ago, but I finally got around to it today. He demonstrates how to run IE and/or Outlook (or any other Internet interface) as a limited account using either his Process Explorer or PsExec tools. Doing this is a way to help prevent malware from sneaking onto your PC and becoming more destructive than if you were logged in as an administrator; a functionality Microsoft will provide users in the next version of Windows.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Dickie's Quickies

Would someone please tell me how this is any different than the previous procedure? As I recall, one of the complaints about the way that the White House handled the original warrantless spying on Americans was that it briefed a select group of 8 members of Congress and these people were not allowed to say anything about it or debate the issue. Now comes this report from the Washington Post about the alleged compromise agreement yesterday:

Members of the Senate subcommittee -- which, along with Roberts and Rockefeller, includes Republicans Mike DeWine (Ohio), Orrin G. Hatch (Utah) and Christopher S. Bond (Mo.) and Democrats Carl M. Levin (Mich.) and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) -- will not be able to share what they learn with the other eight members of the intelligence panel, according to rules the White House has proposed.

Gotta give the White House credit when it comes to working with religious organizations. Yesterday they announced that President Bush was helping to get federal money to groups that aid disaster relief AND that they had spied on Quakers and it was wrong. Either way, they’ve got the religious folks covered. Brilliant.

Jazz - Thomas Chapin

I've been hanging out at the jazz blog, Jazz Pour Tous, lately. The folks over there have been doing some killer write ups of jazz artists and their releases. Last week, they reminded me of an old favorite of mine, Thomas Chapin. I was introduced to Chapin's work while working as music director at WORB in either 1991 or 1992. I had picked up an album (long out of print) by Robert Musso called 'Active Resonance'. Thomas was listed as Thomas 'Rage' Chapin and he had this killer sax solo on one of the best tunes on the album. Because I was so entranced, I decided to seek out his solo works. I was not let down. The Thomas Chapin Trio became, for me, one of those obsessions where I listen to the albums over and over again and never tire of them. Sadly, over time, I played the records less. Not because I tired of them, but because life takes you on the journey to other, new sounds. Still, it's good to look back and reflect every so often. So, Chapin remains on my shelves along with Miles and Coltrane, Gillespie and Puente, and so many others. It was a gift to be reminded of his work. Better still, the kind folks at Jazz Pour Tous invited me to contribute which gave me a great deal of time to listen to the old albums. I'm still going through them and re-absorbing them while also catching up on what I missed by reading other posts on the blog.

One thing I was reminded by was how many of the Thomas Chapin Trio albums were recorded live. As powerful as these albums are, it doesn't come close to having actually seen the group. I saw them play - twice on the same day - at the DuMarier Jazz Festival in Vancouver in 1994. The early show was a 45 minute set on one of the free stages in Gastown. I had sat through 6 hours of music before the Trio took the stage. While waiting for them to set up, I grabbed some dinner at The Spaghetti Factory, snagging a seat outside on the sidewalk with a clear view of the stage. Before the show, while setting up mikes, a child walked to the front of the stage with a toy on a string. The child was dancing around and snaking the toy through the air like some sort of Chinese dragon. Chapin, who was warming up, seemed delighted at the scene. He got this mischevious look in his eye and a grin on his face and he began improvising a soundtrack for the toys movements. The child played along. For a few minutes, I watched as Chapin whirled through notes on his alto sax - moving faster as the child moved faster and slowing down to thump on his reed when the child slowed down. It was lovely.

The Trio took the stage a short time later and blew everyone away. Listening to Chapin, no matter how avant garde he got, no matter how squeeky or squawky, it still came off as perfectly reasonable and almost melodic. Mario Pavone attacked his bass like no one I've seen before or since attack it. Pavone appeared to be wrestling with his instrument. It was a very physical relationship. And what can I say about Michael Sarin, the drummer? A madman with a chest full of surprises and a galaxy of creativity. It was never really off putting and most people seemed to enjoy it. The short set only got my blood boiling for the show that night.

The evening show took place in an art gallery, of all places. The owners had hung a tapestry to seal off some of the sound and handle the acoustics. Beer and wine were served. The place may have held 50 people. Lots of folks showed up and I think that they ended up packing the place and turning some away. Being by myself, I ended up sharing a table with 4 other people. One of those folks worked for the jazz festival as a volunteer and she hadn't heard of Chapin, but was told that it was the place to be that night. The trio took the stage at around 10 PM. They put on 2 sets of music and didn't leave until 2:30AM. The energy was so high that the audience was screaming approval throughout the show and providing standing ovations between tunes. The whole trio seemed to be on fire, feeding off of the crowd. Indeed, when they wrapped up the first set on a quiet note, Chapin, Pavone, and Sarin leapt from the stage together and strutted, practically skipped, through the crowd in rock star fashion. Unlike rock stars, though, these people were thoroughly approachable. During the break, Pavone came out and spoke with several folks. It was all relaxed. When they hit the stage again, they attacked as if they had found a well of energy during the break. Pavone stripped down to his t-shirt, Chapin opened up his shirt and took his cap off, and Sarin wiped his brow throughout the first song. But they carried that energy for another 2 hours. Simply amazing.

All Music describes Chapin this way:
Chapin was a player of great generosity and authentic spirituality. He played with rare humor, passion, and intelligence. At the end of his life, he was just beginning to receive attention outside the realm of experimental jazz. Indeed, had he lived, it's not inconceivable that Chapin's amalgam of freedom and discipline might have become a force in the jazz mainstream.
Thomas Chapin died from leukemia in 1998. He passed too quickly from this world. His fans are lucky to have the documentation of his art that he has left to us. Check them out:

Third Force
Menagerie Dreams
Insomnia (over at Jazz Pour Tous)
Sky Piece
Night Bird Song
Live! On Tour

and 2, more traditional releases, with expanded line ups:

I've Got Your Number
You Don't Know Me


These are up for a VERY limited time.

Friday Random Ten

Here you go...up and early edition:

01) Michael Franti and Spearhead - What I Be
02) Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass - This Guy's in Love With You
03) Devil Doll - You Put A Spell on Me
04) Cem Karaca & Apaşlar - Anadolu Oyun Havası
05) Chip E. - Time to Jack
06) Fujikato - Burn Summeremix
07) Prozac For Lovers - Proud Mary
08) Joseph Arthur - Let's Embrace
09) k.d. Lang - A Case of You
10) Everything But The Girl - Temperamental (Pull Timewarp remix)

This group of tunes actually flowed pretty well, though I admit Herb Alpert following up the soul/R&B stylings of Michael Franti was a little rough first thing this morning. The 4th tune is actually a 60s tune from Turkey. The 5th song is from a compilation of Chicago House music. The 6th tune is a mash-up. The 7th tune is just plain hysterical - a bossa nova remake of a very tired old song.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Orchid without flash - close up

Orchid without flash - close up
Originally uploaded by dv8or70.
Yet another shot of the orchid blooming. We've got another 5 or 6 potential buds on the stem that I hope open up.

Orchid with flash

Orchid with flash
Originally uploaded by dv8or70.
Our orchid has just started blooming - a sure sign of spring. It sits in our kitchen garden window. I shot this picture with a flash.

Call me a cynic

..and you'd be right. I was thinking just yesterday how this dust up over the UAE ownership of port authorities could be a White House maneuver. Wonkette just summed up what I was thinking:
...all we’ve just witnessed is an elaborate Rovian pageant designed to help those who are standing for re-election this year to have a big fat “stood up to the President” line-item on their resume.
The problem with that reasoning is that you'd have to believe that the White House was super competent to pull that off. I don't buy it. They're good at fear mongering, at heterosexism, at flag burning amendments, and at invading people's private lives, but they are not capable of pulling off such an elaborate scheme. Wonkette gets this next part right, though:
the Democrats have once again mistaken a “Bush mistake” for a “Democrat victory.”
Yep, they're going to claim some victory, but it's wrong. It will only strengthen the Republicans case that they are practicing oversight in the Congress when, in fact, they overwhelmingly are not. Instead of making a positive case, the Democrats spent some good opportunities on whining and bashing. Too bad.

Time for Texans to take a stand

Kinky Friedman's campaign to be included on the ballot for governor of Texas launched yesterday. The Kinkster needs 45,540 signatures collected in 64 days to be on the ballot in November. The rules are here. Do yourselves a favor, Texans, and sign the damn petition. If nothing else, it'll liven up the tedious ads in the fall.

Dickie's Quickies

The Smoking Gun has a story of an Arizona sheriff, a lamb, and his neighbor, one Mr. Alan Goats. You know this isn't good.

YouTube has a wonderful real people recreation of the opening to The Simpsons.

Are we getting a lot closer to doing away with hard drives and replacing them with SD Cards in notebooks? Perhaps. Panasonic announced yesterday that they plan on bringing out a 4GB card this year using the new SD 2.0, or SDHD, standard. This standard will allow the disc capacity to reach an estimated 32GB. One of those could hold an OS and quite a few nifty apps.

The new Bush budget would eliminate a Census Bureau report that details the economic health of Americans. To be fair, the report is to be replaced by a new system which is less costly and more effective, but that system's design hasn't been worked out yet. Wanna bet it never gets worked out? That way we won't have those pesky reports from NGOs and universities on things like health care and poverty in America. Such details must really bring a wealthy person's day down.

Dan Savage has a new website: which stands for "Impeach The Mother Fucker Already". Go Dan, go. I don't always agree with Dan on what he considers an impeachable offense, but I do agree with the sentiment even if it leaves Cheney in power for a short time.

µTorrent has a new client out. If you're not familiar it's an extremely light weight, but powerful Bit Torrent client. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Dickie's Quickies

Great obit of Ali Farka Toure

The Arizona Republic reports on a Bishop in the Catholic Church denying Communion to an autistic 10 year old boy. File under "wacko".

From an article in the NY Times, two different perspectives on the constitutional role of Congress:
"We're eager to work with Congress on legislation that would further codify the president's authority," Ms. Perino [B.D. - White House spokesman] said. "We remain committed to our principle, that we will not do anything that undermines the program's capabilities or the president's authority."

"The committee is, to put it bluntly, basically under the control of the White House," said Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, the West Virginia Democrat who is vice chairman of the panel.

Which perspective do you think summarizes the correct constitutional role of oversight? will take web pages that do not have an RSS feed and basically convert them to an RSS feed for your convenience. Interesting.

TechCrunch has screenshots of Google's forthcoming calendar.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Two more quickies

The Simon Wiesenthal Center wanted to build a Museum of Tolerance dedicated to all religions in Jerusalem. Where did they decide to site the new building? On an area that served as the main Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem until 1948. Doesn't sound like a good start to me, but they're working on their mediation skills.

When Republicans came to power in the House of Representatives in 1994, one of the things that they derided was attaching riders to bills that had nothing to do with the main legislation. So why does the so-called Patriot Act, recently renewed, have sections regarding meth production? It would seem to me that this legislation would probably be popular enough to merit a bill on it's own.

Note: Full disclosure - I'm against the drug war in virtually all of it's current forms, but that's a separate issue.

Dickie's Quickies

ABC News reports that Republicans are attempting to squelch any investigation into the President's illegal wiretapping and other surveillance programs. That's not surprising. Congress has given up showing any sort of independence. With poll numbers showing Bush with very low ratings, I had a slight hope that someone running for re-election might break with ranks on this topic. The port ordeal has provided that cover for that, though, and we're not likely to find out the ugly nature of this until the Democrats take either the White House or Congress. News leaks are going to be harder to come by as the Justice Department has been ordered to aggressively pursue sources of leaks for prosecution. The irony being, of course, that the White House leaks all of the time (Plame, for instance). They just want to control what is leaked.

Wonkette reports that the military filters out news sources for the troops in Iraq. Boing Boing found out recently that they were filtered out by several countries in the Middle East due to nudity on their site. Civil libertarians were outraged on Boing Boing's behalf. Can we expect similar outrage on Wonkette's behalf? We'll see. In the meantime, check out the interesting pattern to the blockage of sites from the military:
Wonkette: blocked
Bill O'Reilly: OK
Air America: blocked
Rush Limbaugh: OK
ABC News "The Note": OK
Al Franken Show: blocked
G. Gordon Liddy: OK
Don and Mike Show: blocked
Lots of discussion about South Dakota's governor signing a law that basically outlaws abortion in the state. The Daily Kos does a good job calling John McCain to the mat for supporting the measure. Keep this in mind when you consider him as your next President:
A spokesperson said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., would have signed the South Dakota legislation, "but [he] would also take the appropriate steps under state law -- in whatever state -- to ensure that the exceptions of rape, incest or life of the mother were included."
Of course, the South Dakota measure does not do this. Rape and incest are not exceptions in that state as Digby notes so eloquently. Firedoglake brings up an interesting thought exercise on the issue.

I support abortion rights. I support the comments made by these bloggers and others. I support abortion rights for several reasons. Among those reasons are that I don't think the state should have a say in what a woman does with her body. The fetus should not be awarded the same protections as a child that has been born. There are also scientific arguments to be made such as the number of fertilized eggs that are flushed out naturally during menstruation. Or the number of miscarriages which, as I point out to religious folks, is just God's method of abortion.

None of this will matter to those who are religious fundamentalists. Playing these types of arguments really plays into the hands of those folks and it misses part of the point that we've forgotten in the decades since the Roe v. Wade decision. The fact of the matter is that abortions will still take place in South Dakota even with the passage of this ban. Just as they have for thousands of years, abortions will continue to be practiced. Women and men will turn to friends, neighbors, and the Internet for information on having abortions. Some of that information will be correct and some of it incorrect. Most of it will be dangerous and very often harmful to the life of the woman as well as the fetus. One of the major questions is, if given a choice of having an abortion in a clean, safe environment or having a dangerous, possibly lethal procedure in a setting that is not clean or safe, which would you prefer your wife/daughter/sister to have?

Abortion became a hot issue for many women and men not merely because of birth control. Nor was it merely because women should not have to suffer after a vicious crime. The fact is that abortions have taken place throughout history. Often times those abortions were performed by scary people using scary techniques. Women were maimed and or died during those abortions. Providing access to clinics and doctors and letting women make their private choices with their physicians has prevented thousands of deaths and even more traumatic experiences.

Sure, the thought games, religious discussions, and so forth are intriguing, infuriating, fun, and interesting. However, behind that is the very real issue of women dying because, for whatever reason, they felt that an abortion was appropriate. That's the real tragedy. South Dakota is hoping to bring it back and they're celebrating about it. Remind them of that when they pompously tell you that they are the real culture of life, because they aren't. They are the culture of ignorance, of state power, and of female subservience and they celebrate death when they pass such laws. They just want the right to choose whose death and they know better than you.

RIP, Ali Farka Toure

One of the most talented artists to come from Mali has died. He won two Grammy awards and truly was one of the top guitarists in the world.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Conservatives agree - Bush incompetent

Think Progress has this quote from Bill Kristol on Fox News Sunday:
I think it’s become in people’s minds an emblem of the administration that just isn’t as serious about the competent execution of the functions of government as it should be. And even — I’m struck talking to conservatives and Republicans — they agree with the president on basic political philosophy, the they agree with his basic policy agenda, but they are worried that they just don’t seem to be able to execute as well as they should be.

Dickie's Quickies

We're meeting up with some friends this morning for brunch. After that, I've got to bake some sandwich bread for the week and I might make some pizza dough as well. So, baker boy again. Plus, I'm working on a new seed for a barm for whole grain breads. This should be lots of fun and I look forward to using it. The seed will be done anywhere between 5 and 7 days from now. Then I'll make the barm.

Laura Rozen points to this story in the NY Times of a Republican congressman who opposed the port deal with the UAE company having his trip to Iraq canceled in what might be a retaliatory move by the White House. Writes Rozen:
The Bush administration continues to make fools of Congress, including Republican representative of New York, Peter King, who took the lead in opposing the Dubai port deal.
Congress is no longer a separate, but equal branch of government. Not with the toadies in the Republican party running it.

Chris Ilias posts on his blog a way to get Thunderbird or Seamonkey to use the address book of Outlook Express or Outlook:
To make Thunderbird use your Outlook Express address book, close Thunderbird, and add the following lines to your prefs.js file:
user_pref("ldap_2.servers.OE.description", "Outlook Express");
user_pref("ldap_2.servers.OE.dirType", 3);
user_pref("ldap_2.servers.OE.uri", "moz-aboutlookdirectory://oe/");

For Outlook Contacts, use these lines:
user_pref("ldap_2.servers.Outlook.description", "Outlook");
user_pref("ldap_2.servers.Outlook.dirType", 3);
user_pref("ldap_2.servers.Outlook.uri", "moz-aboutlookdirectory://op/");

One important note: in order for it to work with Outlook, Outlook must be set as the system default mail client.
And to think that I spent all of that (painful) time exporting and importing the data.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Rare Chaiyo sighting

Rare Chaiyo sighting
Originally uploaded by dv8or70.
Chaiyo stood still for this picture! The cutie is rarely seen by anyone but ourselves.


Originally uploaded by dv8or70.
A view from our house of the small forest that was taken down this week. I'm sad to have lost the trees. It was bizarre to watch them being taken down. Houses will be built here.


2 pictures for you
Originally uploaded by dv8or70.
Behind our house we used to have a wonderful green belt. This week a crew moved in and took down most of the trees. We assume that there will be new housing construction soon. So sad to lose the trees.