Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tennis: French Open - Nadal v. Soderling

SPOILER ALERT: This match will not be televised until 3PM on NBC. So if you want to watch it not knowing the outcome do not read any further.

In what I believe to be the biggest upset in French Open history, #23 Robin Soderling has defeated the King of Clay #1Rafael Nadal . Here is the offical French Open record:

Court Philippe ChatrierMen's Singles - 4th Round
Rafael Nadal ESP (1)277462
Robin Soderling SWE (23)Winner662677

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Vote immediately for our friend

Our friend Juliet Ucceli sent the following message:

Hi everyone,

My niece 14-year-old niece Nika Kashyap (my brother-in-law's daughter) has been nominated for the Ocean Hero award and if you could vote for her on line, it would be much appreciated.

Vote must be in by the end of May, i.e. tomorrow, Sunday. I did it and it's real easy.

Info about what she did and how to vote is below.



Three girls from Hawaii -- Chanel Gemini, Nika Kashyap and Sabina Van Tilburg -- have been nominated as Ocean Heros by for their efforts this year to amend the state list of recognized days to include World Ocean Day on June 8th. They worked for 2 years on this project and finally got the bill passed on April 1st. You can view the details of SB412 on the website

OK! Get busy and vote QUICKLY

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


If you haven't already heard, the Wiwa v. Shell trial was postponed today. In the brief announcement from plaintiffs' attorneys, no new opening date was given and rumors are swirling that Shell must be scrambling at the 11th hour for an out-of-court settlement. It's hard not to speculate but the plaintiffs, defendants, and court haven't said anything else about it.

Solidarity RALLIES WILL GO ON AS SCHEDULED in New York and London!

12 noon at Foley Square near the courthouse.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tonight (May 26): Celebration Of Women In The Arts @ Nuyorican Poets Cafe

Celebration Of Women In The Arts @ Nuyorican Poets Cafe

Raise your voices with ours as we celebrate strong, creative, intelligent, beautiful, powerful women
In an evening of music, song, hip hop, and spoken word

DJ Mary Mac 
Rephstar & PattyDukes 
Suzen Baraka
Aurora "Rory" Barnes  
Where's Leslie?  
J.Love Calderon 

Also featuring an 8 minute clip of an, as yet, untitled documentary by Karin Anderson, about the effects of sexual abuse and violence against women. 
This is a MUST SEE. It is beautifully done.

Supported by V-Day, We Got Issues!, Greater NYC Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, TADA!, NiteStar, PoetCD, Imajre Films, Circa'95,, Voices Of New York, Girls Like Us,, Women's Project, Propel-her Dance Collective!  

Tues. May 26th - 7pm doors, 7:30pm Show.  $10 admission

Nuyorican Poets Cafe
236 E 3rd St
F Train to 2nd Avenue Station
Get out at the 1st Avenue exit and walk east to Avenue B

Sunday, May 24, 2009

May 26: Meeting of Coalition to Take Back WBAI

WBAI has been the jewel of the New York Left since its founding in 1955. For most of its life it has lived up to its name, "Free Speech Radio." In case you haven't been paying attention (easy to do during the Spring and Summer) a cabal from San Francisco has taken control of WBAI, fired the program director Bernard White and station manager Tony Riddle and decided that they know better how to appeal to a New York audience. It seems to me that means much more talk about health and diet and less about war and peace. Since this is not the first time a group of outsiders has attempted to take over the station, many people are well prepared to fight back.
The second meeting of the Coalition to Take Back WBAI will be Tuesday, May 26, 6:30-10:00 PM at District Council 1707, 75 Varick St. (north of Canal St.), 14th floor.(A or 1 train to Canal St.). We need to start on time - there's a lot of urgent work to do. There will be an update on the coup, and time for the working groups to meet and move forward on action plans.
Current Demands of the Coalition to Take Back WBAI:

1. Reinstate Tony Riddle as WBAI General Manager and Bernard White as WBAI Program Director
2. No gag rule - no punishment of staff - reinstate Ayo Harrington and any other removed staff
3. Keep the transmitter under WBAI's control
4. Safeguard WBAI's historic local autonomy.

Among the people supporting the Coalition are

Pam Africa
Stanley Aronowitz
Father Luis Barrios
City Councilmember Charles Barron
Tony Gronowicz
Fred Ho
Akinlabi E. A. Mackall
Esperanza Martell
Dr. James McIntosh
Ken Nash
Ralph Poynter
Lea Rizack
Nayo Joy Simmons & Brenda Walker
of Operation P.O.W.E.R. (People Organizing
& Working for Empowerment & Respect)
Lynne Stewart
Valerie Van Isler

We can't afford to lose WBAI now. Support the Coalition. Take back WBAI.

Obama v. Cheney: Dueling speeches

At least that's the way a speech about national security by the President of the United States and a retread of the speeches the former vice-president has recently made whenever he faced a camera or a microphone have been treated by the corporate-owned media. They do love a controversy even if they have to create it themselves. It seems as if Cheney has spent too much time in bunkers since 9/11 and he thinks it's still 2003 and he's missed that most of his strategy was rejected during the second Bush term. I think there is a loop in his head and whenever he sees a TV camera it just clicks on. I have been thinking, if you wanted to get someone to spill what they know, you could subject them to the canned Cheney (father or daughter) speech. They would spill the beans as fast as they could. But seriously, Cheney keeps repeating several mantras: (1) If you disagree with him, you are endangering our security; (2) We do not torture. In order to sustain this lie, torture has been renamed "enhanced interrogation techniques;" (3) We kept you safe ever since 9/11, with the use of these "enhanced interrogation techniques." Let's look at these claims. We prevented an attack on the U.S. since 9/11. Well,it's true, there hasn't been such an attack. But did it have anything to do with Cheney and his torturers. What Cheney and his Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld did to prevent a second attack was to send thousands of our young men and women to be killed and maimed in Afghanistan and Iraq. With all that cannon fodder close at hand why would Al-Queda need to attack us here? Juan Cole, in his wonderful new book, Engaging the Muslim World quotes Bin Laden from a 1996 interview:
I can't fight the Americans on the American mainland. It is too far. But if I succeed in bringing the Americans where I can find them, where I can fight them on my own terms, on my turf, this will be the greatest success.
And as you know Bush and the Neocons accommodated him. Many people who know what actually happened claim that much of the waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation techniques" were used to get a few key people to say that there was a connection between Sadam Hussein and Al-Queda in order to justify their planned invasion of Iraq. In other words, people were waterboarded many times in order to promote Cheney and his Neo-Con buddies Iraq fantasy. It's important to remember that the primary method of governing during the Bush, Cheney, Rove years was to scare people in order to better manipulate them. Cheney continues to follow the same strategy: "scare the hell out of them and you can better control them."

Every thing that was done between 9/11 and the end of Bush's first term was done for two reasons: to get control of Iraqi oil in order to enrich their Anglo-American oil buddies profits and to situate Bush as Commander-in-Chief to enhance his election chances. Both tactics seemed to prove successful.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

May 27: Rally to turn the heat up on Shell

From OilChange International:

Dear Dan,

This coming Wednesday, the landmark Wiwa v. Shell trial will open in U.S. federal court. Multinational oil giant Royal Dutch Shell will finally answer to charges for its role in atrocities committed against the Ogoni people of Nigeria, including conspiring with the Nigerian military government to bring about the execution of human rights and environmental justice leader Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight of his colleagues.

Please join our May 27, noon courthouse rally to mark the historic opening of this trial and to turn up the heat on Shell.

Because Shell doesn't want you there

Rally to mark opening of Wiwa v. Shell trial
Noon, Wednesday, May 27th
Foley Square, Manhattan, across from the U.S. Courthouse (near City Hall)

Please spread the word. Join OilChange on Facebook

This trial could send a shockwave - of the very best kind - through corporate boardrooms around the world. Together, we can send a message that corporations will be held accountable for human rights abuses, no matter where they occur.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Health Insurers Planning on Double-Crossing Obama

According to The Huffington Post:
One week after the nation's health insurance lobby pledged to President Obama to do what it can to constrain rising health costs, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is putting the finishing touches on a public message campaign aimed at killing a key plank in Obama's reform platform.
The industry argues that creating a public insurance program will undermine the marketplace and eventually lead to a single-payer style system.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fox Fall schedule announced today

For all you TV addicts (I'm one of them) this is the week that the networks present their Fall season schedules to the advertisers. Today (Monday) is Fox: So here it is (from Zap2it Daily)

Fall 2009 

The Cleveland ShowFamily GuyAmerican Dad
Mon HouseLie to Me
Tue So You Think You Can Dance performance show
Wed So You Think You Can Dance results showGlee
Thu BonesFringe
Fri Brothers'Til DeathDollhouse
Sat CopsCopsAmerica's Most Wanted

So there are  3 new Fall shows on Fox. The Cleveland Show, which joins the other 3 Sunday night  animated Sunday night shows. The Cleveland Show is essentially a spin-off of Family Guy. Cleveland Brown is the Griffin's next-door neighbor and deli owner.  Glee, on Wednesday at 9 PM, is another high school musical show although the producers claim it's edgier we'll just wait and see. Since it has a jock, a nerd, a Black girl, and all the rest of the  high school musical hill, I'm going with just another one. But we don't have to wait until Fall to find out, because they are previewing it tommorow (Tues) at 9 PM. And the third new show is Brothers  with Michael Strahan playing (surprise) a former football star and Daryl "Chill" Mitchell as his wheel-chair-bound brother.   Fox also renewed Bones and Dollhouse (a real surprise) at the last minute.  

The mid-season schedule will look like this:

Midseason 2010 

The SimpsonsSons of TucsonFamily GuyThe Cleveland Show
Tue American Idolperformance showPast Life
Wed American Idol results showHuman Target (January)/ Glee (spring)
Thu BonesFringe
Fri Brothers'Til DeathDollhouse
Sat CopsCopsAmerica's Most Wanted

A new comedy, Sons of Tucson with Chuck's Tyler Labine, Will be fitted into the Sunday night lineup by moving American Dad to 7:30PM.  Dramas Past Life and Human Target will join the line up. Oh! One more thing, comic Wanda Sykes will do a late night show (Saturday) in the Fall. The new season doesn't look like much but you never know.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tennis: Madrid: Championship Sunday: (#2) Roger Federer v.(#1) Rafael Nadal

Madrid Open: Final: (#2) Roger Federer (SUI) v. (#1) Rafael Nadal (ESP)

Federer     6    6
Nadal        4     4

Ah, the irony, the King of Clay upended in of all places Madrid, virtually his hometown. 
Well Roger that's the way to head into Paris (which begins next Sunday, May 24).

Tennis Madrid Open: Championship Sunday: Safina v. Wozniacki

The finals: (#1) Dinara Safina (RUS) v. (#9) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)

Safina            6    6        
Wozniacki    2     4

Saturday, May 16, 2009

May 17, 5-7 PM: Rally for Marriage Equality

This Sunday, May 17, stars of Broadway and Television will come out to perform and rally in support of love, peace and marriage equality. Please join us from 5:00pm - 7:00pm ET on Sixth Avenue at 44th street

Audra McDonald, four-time Tony winner and star of ABC’s Private Practice will lend her voice and presence to the cause. Cheyenne Jackson, star of Broadway hits such as All Shook Up and Xanadu, and guest star on television’s Ugly Betty, will be singing and speaking out on the issue. Two-time Tony nominee and star of Broadway’s newest hit HAIR, Gavin Creel, will serve as host for the event and will also lead his fellow cast members in a performance of “Let the Sunshine In.” Speakers in attendance will consist of Senator Tom Duane, who is sponsoring the marriage equality bill in the State Senate and New York State Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, brother of Broadway veteran Rosie O’Donnell. More speakers to come!

Madrid Open: (Semi-finals Saturday): men

Second men's match coming up: #2 Roger Federer (SUI)  V. Juan Martin Del Potro 

Federer            6        6
Del Potro         3        4

So tomorrow (Sun) it will be Roger Federer V. Rafael Nadal in the men's final
and Dinara Safina V. Caroline Wozniaki in the women's

First match: Rafael Nadal V. Novak Djokovic

First match:
(1)  Nadal          3      7      7  (11)
(4) Djokovic       6      6      6  (9)

If I have ever seen a sporting event in which both competitors deserved to win it was this one. It's going to be interesting to see if the U.S. corporate media will cover it. Their national chauvinism and racism (the only American tennis champions are two Black sisters) . Just for the record at 4:02:48, it is the longest match in masters series history.

Tennis Madrid Open: Semi-final Saturday: The Women

Second match: Dinara Safina (Rus) V. Patti Schnyder (Den):

Second Match

(1)Safina           6     6
     Schnyder      4     2

First match: Caroline Wozniaki (Den) V. Amelie Moresmo (Fra):

First match:

(9) Wozniaki    7     6      
      Mauresmo  6     3

Friday, May 15, 2009

Madrid Open: (Quarter-finals Friday): women

Madrid Open women:

A. Szavay             7   1    1
A. Maurismo         5   6   6

#9  C. Wozniaki         6     6
V.  Dushevina             0    4

#4  J. Jankovic        6 (6)     3
       P. Schnyder       7 (8)    6

#1   D. Safina              6   6
        A. Bondarenko     4   3

Tennis: Madrid Open: Quarter-final Friday: Del Potro v. Murray

Last match of the evening coming up:

Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) v. Andy Murray (GBR)

First set:
Del Potro       7 (4)
(3) Murray     6

Second set:
Del Potro        6
Murray            3

This is the first time Del Potro beat Murray. He plays Federer tommorow.

Madrid Open: (Quarter-finals Friday): Nadal v. Verdasco

All Spanish quarter final

(2) Rapheal Nadal v. Francisco Verdasco

Set one:
Nadal          6
Verdasco    4

Set two:
Nadal        7
Verdasco  5

Not surprisingly Nadal is coming back from 0-4 in this set. Now he's 4 points away from the semi-finals.  10:58 PM in Madrid.
Verdasco staunched the bleeding for the moment. But the inevitable has happened. The King of Clay is into the semis. He will play Djokovic tomorrow. 

Madrid Open: (Quarter-finals Friday)

#3 Novack Djokavic (Ser) 6 v. Ivan Lubicic (Cro) 4 (Djokovic breaks Lubicic and can serve for the set). Which he does 6-4 Djokovic. Second set: 6-4 Djokovic breaks Lubicic and is on target to win in straight sets (but let's not count our matches before they hatch). Djokovic can serve out the match. And he does. Lubicic fell apart in the last game. Novack will play either Nadal or Verdasco (I think we know who that will be - it's clay dude!) 

First set:
Djokovic   6
Lubicic      4

Second set:

Djokovic    6
Lubicic       4

Next match: All-Spanish match Nadal v. Verdasco @ 2PM EST (I think)

Madrid tennis - this week II (Quarter-finals Friday)

Roger Federer V. Andy Roddick (The battle of the newlyweds)

Roddick started off strongly winning the first 2 games. They were on serve until 5-5 Then Federer broke Roddick served out the set, it's now 1-0 in sets. They are on serve in the second set.Roddick 6 Federer 6. (tiebreak: Roddick 7-5)  
Third set Federer 6-1 .
Roddick being tended to for an injured finger on his left hand (he's right-handed)
It must be really hot out there or else Andy has a nervous twitch, because he has called for a towel before each point. It is 3:40 PM in Madrid.

Congratulations Roger! Into the semi-finals. He will play either Andy Murray or Juan Martin del Potro tomm.

First set:

A. Roddick   5
R. Federer    7

Second set:
 Roddick   7 (tiebreak:Roddick 7-5)
 Federer     6

Third set:

Roddick   1
Federer    6

Sets: Federer 2-1

Next: Novack Djokavic v. Ivan Lubicic

9:20 (EST): Sorry for the delay. My computer rebelled against the hard work. Back now.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Madrid tennis - this week

In Tennis: The clay court season is in full swing, leading up, of course, to Paris (5/24-6/7)

This week: Madrid: Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open:

Today (Thurs) Round of 16


R. Nadal ("Walkover" - Kohlscreiber left leg injury)
P. Kohlschreiber

A. Roddick   ("Walkover" - Davydenko left leg injury)
N. Davydenko

R. Federer   6 6
J. Blake        2 4

A. Murray     7  6
T. Robredo   5  1

N. Djokovic   6 6
A. Seppi         4 4

J. Del Potro   4  6  6
S. Wawrinka  6  4  4

I. Lubichich    3 6
G. Simon         6 4

F. Verdasco (in progress)   7 6
J. Monaco                             5 2


D. Safina         6  4  6
L. Safarova     0  6  3

J. Jankovic      6  6 
E. Vesnina       2  2

A. Savay            4  6  6
V. Azarenka      6  2  2

A. Bondarenko    6  2  6
A. Chakvetadze   0  6  3

C. Wozniaki          6  6
A. Klaybanova      2  2

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New York State takes a step toward Marriage equality

From The Human Rights Campaign (HRC):
Last night, the New York State Assembly passed the marriage equality bill (A.7732) with a vote of 89 to 52. Thanks go to Governor Paterson and Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell for their leadership.
Much will be expected of Tom Duane to lead the bill through the Senate, which will be much more difficult.

A Marriage Equality Rally
Sunday May 17
45th and 6th Avenue
from 5-7pm.

Many of New York’s Broadway and Television stars are turning out to take action. Appearances are scheduled by Cynthia Nixon, Kristen Davis, David Hyde Pierce with performances by Audrey McDonald, The Cast of Hair, Cheyenne Jackson, and many more. Also, elected officials scheduled to attend include City Council Speaker Quinn, Senator Duane, Assemblyman O’Donnell, Senator Liz Kruger and many more.

Saturday, May 09, 2009


If there is anything that is as sure as day following night in New York left circles it is that a group will try to get control of radio station WBAI. Well! It's happening again. Here's the latest info re: the Grace Aaron attempted coup.

Pacifica National Removes General Manager - Program Director Next?
Gag Rule Imposed on Programmers Who Dissent from National Takeover

WBAI is under attack from Pacifica’s Interim Executive Director, Grace Aaron of Los Angeles, as well as from the Pacifica National Board majority and the WBAI Local Station Board majority. Exploiting a very real financial crisis at the station, they want to impose their own brand of programming – removing what some label “racial divisiveness and balkanization,” meaning community self-determination programs, particularly those by and for the Black community.

On May 6, Aaron removed WBAI’s progressive Black General Manager, Tony Riddle, and replaced him with LaVarn Williams, Pacifica’s Interim Chief Financial Officer, from Berkeley. Another progressive Black manager, Program Director Bernard White, has been harshly attacked by majority board members locally and nationally; he is likely to be fired soon. The Local Station Board reportedly held an “executive session” on April 20 at which the majority did a snap “evaluation” of these 2 managers (over strong minority objections), which initiated the process of firing them. No data was collected and they were given no chance to respond. Riddle had served as manager for 13 months. White, a 30-year station veteran, has recently resumed work after major surgery.

These actions follow Riddle’s and White’s vocal and written protests about the recently revealed attempt by Aaron to hijack the station by changing the locks on the station’s broadcast transmitter room and installing equipment for remote control of programming – all without notifying manager Riddle.

Meanwhile, Aaron has imposed a gag rule threatening any programmer who discusses matters on air that she deems a “risk” to Pacifica will be removed from the air. Already, Wakeup Call programmers Don DeBar and Errol Maitland, who have dissented on the air, have been disciplined.

All these steps are reminiscent of the Christmas Coup of December 2000, when Pacifica changed locks, fired local managers, and purged dissenting programmers & other staff, with the goal of mainstreaming BAI – until a mass movement of listeners and staff fought back and won back control of the station and network.

• Attend a Public Forum on the WBAI Crisis – Tues., May 12, 7:00 PM at Dist. 1707, 75 Varick St. (n. of Canal St.), 14th Fl., Manhattan (A or 1 train to Canal St.) – Sponsor: Ad Hoc Community Activist Coalition on WBAI – for info on this event & those below, call 212-561-7231.

• Attend CEMOTAP’s Great Debate on Bloomberg’s Policies - Sun., May 17, 6 - 9 PM
Bernard White speaks re WBAI, 7:30 - Salem Church, 129th & AC Powell Blvd., Harlem

• Speak out at the WBAI Local Station Board mtg., Wed., May 20, 7 PM – place TBA


Send an email to the Pacifica National Board at – which reaches each board member individually, including Grace Aaron. Please send a cc to

Demand Hands Off WBAI Management! Maintain local control of programming!
* Also call Grace Aaron at (310) 286-1011 or (310) 402-4087 with the same message.
* Sign a petition to RECALL Local Station Board members Steve Brown, Mitch Cohen, James Ross, and Carolyn Birden, leaders of the attack on WBAI management.
* At this point, IT IS URGENT THAT YOU JOIN THE STATION (by donating $25 or more or 3 hours of volunteer work) so that you have the right to vote for Justice & Unity board candidates and to recall destructive board members. Call the station’s pledge line at (212) 209-2950 – ask them to note on the card that you oppose removal of local management. Or pledge at

(212) 591-2111 * (join our email list there) *

Friday, May 08, 2009

Mothers' Day was originally (1870) an anti-war day

When you are celebrating Mothers' Day on Sunday (May 10) it would be a good idea to remember the reason Julia Ward Howe first suggested the holiday. According to Amy Goodman (on Democracy Now) this morning: Julia Ward Howe’s “Mother’s Day Proclamation,” which was written in 1870, protest[ed] the carnage of the Civil War, Amy also showed a brief new film by Robert Greenwald on Mothers' Day. Here are the opening words (Reading the film by Gloria Steinem):
Mother’s Day really was in its origin an antiwar day, an antiwar statement. Julia Ward Howe was sickened by what had happened during the Civil War, the loss of life, the carnage, and she created Mother’s Day as a call for women all over the world to come together and create ways of protesting war, of making a kind of alternate government that could finally do away with war as an acceptable way of solving conflict
Obviously this is as relevant today (maybe more) than in 1870.

Here is the excerpt from Greenwald's Mothers' Day video (as shown this morning on Democracy Now).

(If you are reading this on FaceBook, click here to see video)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Maine today, New Hampshire tomorrow

Yesterday Maine became the fifth state to legalize gay marriage, following Mass- achusetts, Connec- ticut, Iowa and Vermont. The New Hampshire legislature passed a same-sex marriage bill, the governor could sign it as early as today (Thurs.) It's very likely that the opposition to gay marriage in Maine will follow the California example and pursue what the NYT calls a "people's veto," since Gov. John Baldacci signed the bill. The future of gay marriage in Maine may depend on what its organized supporters learned from Prop. 8. The Times quotes the Maine Marriage Alliance's Rev. Bob Emrich: "... they are very well funded, they have a great organization, and they've been at it a long time." The idea that civil unions are the equivalent of marriage is about as valid as "Separate but Equal" was. But just as in the case of schools, it's separate and unequal.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Pete, you outlasted the bastards, man.

Those were the words of Bruce Springsteen on Sunday (May 3) in tribute to Peter Seeger, on his birthday. And what a night it was. Because Ann was one of the performers at Pete's 90th birthday party at Madison Square Garden, Andrew and I had great seats for what has to be one of the most exciting events in recent memory. I think Springsteen's tribute to Pete was the highlight of the evening, after which he and Tom Morello (from Rage Against the Machine) performed Ghost of Tom Joad:
It says, 'Wherever there’s a cop beating a guy, wherever a hungry newborn baby cries, wherever there’s a fight against the blood and the hatred in the air, look for me, Mom. I’ll be there.'
Well, Springsteen said, Pete has always been there. And he has always been there for labor, for civil rights, for peace and, in recent years, particularly, the environment. The birthday party was both a tribute to Pete and a fund raiser for his Clearwater project to clean-up of the Hudson River. (I think it's entirely possible that that was the only reason the very modest Pete Seeger agreed to this tribute.) In addition to Springsteen and Morello, the evening included Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Tom Paxton, Ani Difranco, John Mellencamp, Bernice Johnson Reagon (and her daughter Toshi, named after Toshi Seeger, Pete's lifetime partner), Billy Bragg, Arlo Guthrie, Taj Mahal, Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristof- ferson, Ben Harper, Roger McGuinn, Dave Matthews, Bela Fleck and the McGarrigle Family and Tao Rodriguez Seeger, Pete's grandson. Oh! and how can we forget Oscar the Grouch and Tom Chapin doing Garbage, Garbage, Garbage. In addition to the musical performers (almost all of whom did Pete's songs), Tim Robbins, Ruby Dee, and Norman Leer also appeared.

Morrello and Warren Haynes (Gov't Mule and the Allman Bros. Band) were the real workhorses of the evening. Everytime someone needed guitar back-up, they called on one or the other or both. Ann and the NYC Labor Chorus also officially performed four separate times (on their own they sang To My Old Brown Earth, and a smaller Chorus contingent backed up Bernice and Toshi Reagon - with others - on Oh Freedom, Joan Baez on Jacob's Ladder and Emmylou Harris and the McGarrigal family on The Water is Wide.) Obviously, because they were on stage from curtin to curtin, they joined in most of the songs.

Other highlights were Taj Mahal and Morello (Waist Deep in the Big Muddy,) Bela Fleck and Tony Trishka (Banjo Suite,), Dave Matthews (Whiskey Rye Whiskey) and everyone doing We Shall Overcome, to close the first act and This Land is Your Land to end the second. Then to top it all off, everyone, plus the Seeger family, ending with Irene Goodnight.

Lets give Bruce the final word:
At 90 he remains a stealth dagger through the heart of our country's illusions about itself. Pete Seeger still sings all the verses all the time. And he reminds us of our immense failures as well as shining a light toward our better angels in the horizon where the country we've imagined and hold dear we hope awaits us

(The photos are from NotloB music)

(The upper (left) photo is obviously Bruce and Pete; the lower (right) photo (left-right) Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Scialfa, Pete and Dave Matthews. Behind them in red vests are several NYC Labor Choristers.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Send your comments on health care to your senators

It's very important that we be heard by Congress on the issue of health care. It is our right as human beings to have the best available health care, not only what profits the insurance companies. Especially with the new Schumer cop-out proposal, which truly benefits the insurance companies and not the rest of us. will send your message to your senators if you click here

Friday, May 01, 2009

Our health-care bureaucrats or theirs?

I've been following the right-wing attack on health-care reform and one bogus argument keeps cropping up. Do you want bureaucrats running the medical-care system? Well the real question is who's bureaucrats do you want to decide on your health-care? Our bureaucrats or theirs? In other words, do you want corporate health-care bureaucrats evaluating your claim (and rejecting it to protect their corporate profits) or our bureaucrats, who don't answer to the profit motive to make their decisions.

House passes Matthew Shepard bill

According to Political Intelligence:
The House [of Representatives yesterday] ... passed an expanded hate crimes bill that would protect gay victims, and its chief sponsor in the Senate [Ted Kennedy] called for prompt final action.

The measure passed 249-175 over the objections of conservatives, the Associated Press reports.

The bill -- named for Matthew Shepard, the gay college student who was beaten to death in Wyoming in 1998 [despite Rep. Virginia Fox's bogus claim that the bill is mis-named because, according to her, Shepard was the victim of a robbery, not a hate crime] -- is a stronger version of a bill that died two years ago under a veto threat from President Bush.

By contrast, President Obama supports it.