Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Flying Eagle soars.... Again!!!

the late, great NW Jazz saxophonist who incorporated his Native American language, along with all forms of American music into his multi-layered sound

I had the pleasure of playing in the Jim Pepper Rememberance Band-"NIGHT OF THE FLYING EAGLE" at the Blue Monk last night with pianist/musical director Gordon Lee, vocalist Caren Knight-Pepper, guitarist John Butler, bassist Glen Moore, saxophonist Renato Caranto, and dancer Luciana Proano.

This was a continuation of things started at the Portland Jazz Festival of 2005 with a select group of musicians who did various amounts of service for Pepper when he was alive and playing.

With the permission of Sean Cruz, who has previously posted this text on his Jim Pepper Blog site, I have re-posted below the full joint resolution of the Oregon Senate that Senator Avel Gordly masterfully introduced to the Oregon Legistature that will ensure Pepper's place in history will not go without entering his house justified, within a proper and formal clothing.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Jim Pepper--The Flying Eagle Honored

Senate Joint Resolution 31, Honoring Jim Pepper
Sponsored by Senator Avel Louise Gordly (at the request of Suzie Pepper

Whereas the 2005 Portland Jazz Festival paid tribute to the musical legacy of Jim Pepper, a true son of Oregon, with a concert dedicated to the late Native American saxophonist and jazz legend; and

Whereas workshops, panel discussions, performers and audiences at the festival recalled how Jim Pepper, born to Gilbert and Floy Pepper in Salem on June 18, 1941, blazed a unique trail across the musical horizon with his innovative synthesis of Native American song, the harmonic structures of modern jazz and the rhythms of Africa, South America and the Caribbean; and

Whereas Jim Pepper performed throughout the United States, Europe and Africa, played with such jazz giants as Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, Colin Wolcott, Larry Coryell and Mal Waldron; and

Whereas Jim Pepper also collaborated with many Oregon musicians, including Gordon Lee, Tom Grant, Leroy Vinnegar, Nancy King, Caren Knight-Pepper, Obo Addy, David Friesen, Dan Balmer, Glenn Moore, Ron Steen, Sonny King, Dennis Springer, Mel Brown, Nick Gefroh, Marianne Mayfield, Ralph Black, Lee Reinoehl, Carlton Jackson and many others; and

Whereas Jim Pepper's 1971 crossover hit 'Witchi Tai To, ' based on a Native American Church peyote chant taught to him by his grandfather, earned him a spot on both the jazz and Top 40 radio charts and continues to be widely popular among national and international performers and recording artists to this day; and

Whereas Jim Pepper's remarkable career was marked by more than 50 recordings as bandleader, featured artist and composer, including 'Pepper's Pow Wow,' 'Comin' and Goin'' and ' Remembrance'; and

Whereas Jim Pepper's symphony 'Four Winds' was performed by the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra in New York and by the Cologne Symphony Orchestra in Germany; and

Whereas Jim Pepper served as musical director for 'Night of the First Americans,' a Native American self-awareness benefit concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. in 1980; and

Whereas Jim Pepper toured Africa with Don Cherry as part of a United States-Africa cultural exchange program; and

Whereas Jim Pepper succumbed to lymphoid cancer in February 1992 in Portland, Oregon, at age 50; and

Whereas Jim Pepper was honored posthumously in 1999 with the Lifetime Musical Achievement Award by the First Americans in the Arts and was inducted into the Indian Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Native American Music Awards Hall of Fame in 2000; and

Whereas 'Pepper's Pow Wow,' the 1996 award-winning documentary of his life produced and directed by Sandra Osawa and Yasu Osawa, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was broadcast on PBS in 1997 and 1999 and has since been presented to enthusiastic audiences at the Amiens Film Festival, the Margaret Mead Film Festival, the Native American Film and Video Festival, the Red Earth Film and Video Festival and the Portland Jazz Festival; and

Whereas the Leroy Vinnegar Jazz Institute and the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission named Jim Pepper 'Jazz Artist of the Year' and presented the Bill McClendon Award for Excellence in Jazz to his mother at the 2005 Portland Jazz Festival; and

Whereas Jim Pepper's music continues to be performed and recorded in countries throughout the world, including Germany, where a performance of 'Witchi Tai To' by the WDR Radio Orchestra and the Remembrance Band, arranged and conducted by Gunther Schuller, was recorded; and

Whereas Jim Pepper's life and music harmonized distinct cultures and served as a poetic example for all indigenous people, ' walking in three worlds with one spirit'; and
Whereas Jim Pepper is survived by his mother, Floy Pepper, his sister, Suzanne Henry of Portland, his nephews, Jim Pepper Henry and Jesse Laird Henry, and his grandnephew, Jackson Laird Henry; and

Whereas Floy Pepper said during her acceptance of her son's First Americans in the Arts award in 1999, 'Jim Pepper was a member of the Kaw Indian Nation known as 'The Wind People' from his father. From me, his mother, he was a member of the Creek Indian Nation known as 'The People of the Waters.' It's no wonder his music was so strong and powerful--with the wind to carry his music to the four directions of the Earth. And as long as the grass shall grow and the waters flow--which is forever--may his spirit remain alive for time immemorial'; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon:

(1) The members of the Seventy-third Legislative Assembly honor the extraordinary accomplishments and musical legacy of Oregon native son Jim Pepper and direct that a copy of this resolution be delivered to the Oregon Historical Society for inclusion in its permanent collection.

(2) The members of the Seventy-third Legislative Assembly direct that a copy of this resolution be delivered to the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., for inclusion in its permanent collection.

(3) The members of the Seventy-third Legislative Assembly direct that a copy of this resolution be delivered to the Leroy Vinnegar Jazz Institute at Portland State University for inclusion in its permanent collection and encourage the creation
and endowment of a Jim Pepper (hUnga-che-eda 'Flying Eagle') Chair at the university to further the study of Native American music and its relationship to jazz.

Adopted by Senate May 19, 2005
Adopted by House June 7, 2005

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Zen and the Art of Versatile Drumming

this is something that may be of use to you budding drummers/instrumentalists....

I should open this current post by saying that this is one outline of some clinic material I use when I am giving presentations to musicians/drummers/percussionists at a clinic setting, so some of the verbiage is just a prompt for me to expound on when giving said speech.

Read between the lines here, and you will find some good information to chew on.

Hopefully you will find something contained herein to make you think about what it is that motivates you to be a drummer, and to hopefully give you some direction/suggestion on how to participate effectively, and to search out information in organized music concerns.

Please enjoy, and it is always my hope that it (the posting) will get you to do some thinking about things.

"Zen And The Art Of Versatile Drumming"

1. experience
how do I get to stay in the batter's box of experience

a) jam sessions...remember your etiquette in these situations!
you may want to bring your own pedal, sticks to lock in the 'comfort factor'

b) subbing on a gig for a friend or mentor
breaking in due to another person's generosity and trust.....this reflects on your friend and yourself as to ability to cover the gig.
Dont be afraid to do your homework to cover the music. Tapes, charts, cheat sheeets all fill the bill...

c) hang with the older guys who have done what you want to do
(they didn't get to be old being foolish, they are still out there playing for a reason!)
or hang with gigging friends on gigs backstage/network!

d) any open playing situation
community bands, rehearsal bands(college and pro, semi-pro),jam sessions!!!

e) organized situations
orchestras, church musical groups, rehearsal studios
hire a great band around you for a gig to get contacts?

2 be ubiquitous & responsible
a)don't be afraid to immerse yourself into different music's
(listening skills and sources:library, radio, records, CD's, tapes, kinescopes, internet, etc.)

b)the more versatile, the more busy?
(how can this be so?)....

c)different styles, different fluent are you? this may mean putting some time in on your instrument on a steady basis...practice, practice,...

d)being a model citizen (or can you just pretend that you are for this 4 hr. gig?)
showing up on time and ready to play. correct dress and such....
people will recommend those who show that they are responsible.

e)get out and interact with your drumming community
(know who your peers are and where they play at...
there are lots of world-experienced people living here in PDX now to soak up info from!)

f) get a business card made!
post your services on musical bulletin boards/newspaper or music magazines.
develop a network of musicians, bands, producers, engineers, booking agents, club owners and other industry people that have the work you want...

3. what music should I concentrate on?
a)what is your passion in music

b)what kind of music do you gravitate to?

c)your background? (what have you learned/what will you learn in the future?)
this may be a key in what you are into....

d)what kind of gigs do I want to play?? Private/club/cover band?

4. try to branch out into new territory with your music
a)get involved with different mediums and musics:

b)hang out w/Latin players/hip-hop nation/world beat/
Dixieland/classical players/avant players/jazz/rock/blues/klezmer/street musicians

c)joining music societies and organizations
(Creative Music Guild / Wild Cheetahs / NW African American Ballet / Cascade Blues Assoc. Young Audiences,USA, Accelerated Learning Stage Band, Vancouver School Øf The Arts, The Academy)

d)absorb new styles of music. Develop your listening skills
go to the used record shops and scour them for information in the recorded medium...

5. Preparation
what to think about....
a)where you are at b)where the music is at right now
keeping those two things separated

b)things not to think about
(keeping your head clear of junk so you can play music)
learn to breathe
be settled in your posture and grip while preparing to play.
Balance points between the throne and the feet.

c)physical items and situations you need to fulfill the gig
a)equipment what is the right stuff for the job?(Different drumsetups)
Water for on stage/rehydration.

b)set-up time/when is it yourself enough time to be ready.
Find out when is the best time, and maybe purchase a hand truck for difficult load-ins
(save your tendons from injury...lifting overly heavy objects)

6. Equipment choices
heads clear vs. coated
sticks pencils or bats?
cymbals how versatile is your set up?
drums the wide gulf of opinion..
the ergonomics (set-up) of the kit?
(is it easy to get around your set up?)

Emergency fix-it kit???
(duct tape, felts, springs, metal washers, tension rods, snare cable or straps...extra heads??) how about the concept of Preventitive Maintenence??

7. Good Time/Sustaining a groove - what does it take to do this?
a)what is groove? time? pleasant, consistent time feel that inspires....

b)giving of one's self in respect to the building of the groove
example: James Brown's music:adopting the "everyone has a part,
so I will play mine for the sake of the groove" mantra

c)does the music feel good? are you being selfless to the aim of the tune??

d) how about song form and functionality
each song has its own problems to form to a drum part will aid in it's functionality. Ask yourself what is the job to be done with the drum part at hand.
Construction of the part is made up of choices in both rhythmic and tempo considerations. Where do you push the tempo? Where do you lay back at?
In what sections do you accompany the band. Or drive the band?

The choice is yours...

8. selfless drumming
what is good for the music? (ego?)
playing the style for what it is....respecting the style (ego?)
role playing... a necessity! (EGO?)

9. Cutting Yourself Some Slack during your search:
a)Learning how You sound
What do you like about your playing? your choices in equipment
b)Growth Takes Time (and time is all you have...)
c)Learning From All...
other drummers
artists in other mediums

10. The Media Kit
glossy photo
(black and white, make sure it represents you and your music w/ name and phone #)
(solo or band, it is a good selling tool in this day and age),
(full name, email address followed by educational bkgrnd.
i.e.HS,College,Drum Lesson/Music Camp experience)
Playing experience
(tours and notable bands you have played with, Album and Demo recording experience...)
some quotes/testimonials
(about your playing from people about you on their letterhead with a contact number or address for follow up)
demo tape
(show many sides of you and your playing as you can, but keep the examples short!)

11 Auditions
You have to be ready at a moments notice to get these done, because they usually happen without much notice. They are usually in a bigger city than the one you are in(These usually happen in NYC, LA, Nashville), so this is a reality check.
Do I want to move to be next to everyone with the same aspirations as I do in a bigger city?

Trade mags such as SPIN, BILLBOARD, MUSICIAN, ICE, HITS, ROLLING STONE, MUSIC CONNECTION have listings of these events when they materialize
Call the management of the band or record company, and be prepared for the cold shoulder. Persistience is the key here. But being a pest is not good.
Remember your Citizenship.
You are basically just trying to find out who is in charge of the auditions.

The Musician's Union is a good place to get people to know who you are...check the gig book and the boards for auditions....

Hanging/Practice at a rehersal never know who is at the pop machine getting a drink.

12.. the big finish
a)trying to figure out what You want out of all of this?
lifetime commitment /part-time player, hobby, etc....

b)What music should represent to you in the big picture - is it a privilege to do this????

c) your responsibility in all of this....for you to decide....


Books and Study Guides

Here are some books that you may or may not be aquatinted with....they will aid and abet your search and study of playing the drums....

Syncopation For The Modern Drummer / Ted Reed
Stick Control / George Stone
Modern Reading Text In 4/4 / Louie Bellson/Gil Breines
Salsa Handbook For Piano and Ensemble / Rebecca Morleon
Syncopated Rolls for the Modern Drummer / Jim Blackley
Teaching Rhythm / Joel Rothman
Essential Styles For the Drummer & Bassist / Houghton/Warrington
Haskell Harr Drum Method / Haskell Harr
Drumset Reading / Ron Fink
Percussion Symposium / Vic Firth
Eclectic Drums / John Perett
Rhythm And Rudiments vol. 1 / Gordon Rencher
Contemporary Drummer +1 (book and tape) / Dave Weckl
The New Breed / Gary Chester
Patterns vols. 1&2 / Gary Chaffee
Advanced Techniques For the Modern Drummer / Jim Chapin

RE: Brushes...

any of the brush study books by Philly Joe Jones, Charley Perry, Ed Thigpen, or even the brain of Mel Brown (a former student of PJJ) can and should be picked clean of the knowledge that they hold inside of them!

There is such a wide variety of books, tapes, and videos of many subjects that concern the world of drumming. Take your time and wade around in this minefield of learning. There are many ways to go, and the person who, without reserve, drinks in the big pool of learning, is the same person who will be mostly humbled by varied experiences that will mark their playing life.


Here are some humble suggestions of albums that you can get and listen to in your chase of further knowledge. Hopefully these suggestions will 'spark on' your learning curve as they have mine over the years......

P.S. I am happy to say that they continue to do so after repeated listenings!

Album / Artist / Drummer

Kind Of Blue / Miles Davis / Jimmy Cobb
Seven Steps To Heaven / Miles Davis / Tony Williams
A Love Supreme / John Coltrane / Elvin Jones
Gretsch Drum Night/Birdland / Various / Blakey, P. Joe Jones
Captain Fingers / Lee Ritenour / Harvey Mason, Jeff Porcaro
Swingin' New Big Band / Buddy Rich Orch. / Buddy Rich
Gnu High / Kenny Wheeler / Jack De Johnette
The Funk Stops Here / Paul Jackson/Mike Clark / Mike Clark
Headhunters / Herbie Hancock / Harvey Mason
Thrust / Herbie Hancock / Mike Clark
The Atomic Mr. Basie / Count Basie Orch. / Sonny Payne
Sinatra At The Sands / Sinatra w/ C. Basie Orchestra / Sonny Payne
Start Here / Vince Mendoza / Peter Erskine
Speak No Evil / Wayne Shorter / Tony Williams
The Pursuer / Carl Allen / Carl Allen
Groove Shop / Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orch. / Jeff Hamilton
Stratus / Billy Cobham / B. Cobham
Album Of The Year / Art Blakey/Jazz Messengers / Art Blakey
Bill Holman's Great Big Band / Bill Holman Mel Lewis
Mon. Night /Live at The Village Vanguard / Thad Jones- M Lewis / Mel Lewis
The Big Bang(box set) / Various / Various
Live At The Pershing / Ahmad Jamal / Vournel Fournier
We Three / Newborn, Chambers, Haynes / Roy Haynes
Romantic Warrior / Chick Corea & Return To Forever / Lenny White
For Dancers Only / Jimmy Lunceford Orchestra / Jimmy Crawford
Giant Steps / Woody Herman Orchestra / Ed Soph
Live At The Wichita Jazz Festival /Clark Terry Big Band / Ed Soph
Ellington At Newport / Duke Ellington Orchestra / Louis Bellson

There are many, many albums that could go on the list.
Start your listening and make your own suggestions / add to this list as you get more experience with different styles and artists.
Used Record stores are a good source for getting many of these albums at a fair and reasonable price.

Get out there now, and have fun gathering knowledge...
and playing your drums!!!

® copyright -1998 Carlton Jackson

Monday, September 11, 2006

Camping.....MOI`??? = ARRRRRRGH!!!

this could be MY manifesto on the whole camping thing...

I am always stopped in my tracks to read the latest email from Jim Walker...a talented PDX musician who deserves your attention, as well as your support.
He (and usually his musical partner, the equally talented guitarist/vocalist Tim Ellis) manage to cut a musical swath through the morose conventions that sometimes contain and restrict the true art of musicmaking.

Check out some songs, view pix and lyrics, and become Jim and Tim’s bestest-ever
pals at:

Jim truly cracks me up with his views on his life and living in it...

The parallels and intersects are uncanny sometimes, but I think that this happens with all of our lives....we all just get to run down another street for a second, before crossing with others and intersecting.

This is his post from the 9/10/06 email from JVA Weekly. (Jeroan Van Aichen is his other nom de plume to the un-initiated of you...
Just do a Google search for that name, and it will lead you back to Jim)

Pretty circular, right???? ....and blissfully so.

BIG LOVING NOTE: This post has not been edited, due to the wonderful,salty nature of Jim's delivery, and out of big respect for the author and these stories.

In previous emails to his group(away from the blogsphere), the details of his love for his dad has more 'backstory' than any post here can bring to you.

Suffice it to say that I am moved (when Dad is involved) when I hear these stories, and it is largely through Jim's generous heart that he shares, and hopefully, we are the more enlightened for it.

If this morphs into a lame attempt at a 'parental advisory', then please make it so :)



“So what time do you want to leave tomorrow?” I asked my father.

This was a couple of weeks ago.
Kim and I had just spent a few days vacationing on the Oregon Coast. Most of
the time is was cloudy and drizzly, the beaches rugged and rain swept. The
nights were chilly.
It was fantastic. My kind of weather and landscape.

The back half of our trip was going to be spent driving down to Santa
Barbara, CA to see my sister, my brother-in-law, and my little nephew
Joaquin. Joaquin was turning two but I hadn’t been down to visit with the
dude. It was high time.
Then my father found out we were going.
He wanted to go too. But he wanted us to pick him up on the way down. And he
insisted on taking his car...and he wanted to drive.

Oh sweet Christ.
The very thought of it made me too weak to try and come up with the one
hundred reasons why it was a bad idea.
So I caved.

And there we were.
Kim and I standing with him in the hallway of his house in Northern
The question still hung in the air, thick as cigar smoke.
We braced ourselves, knowing we weren’t going to like the answer.

“Five AM.” He said.

Are you out of your f*cking mind or something, man? No, no, no. That’s way
too early, Dad.” I said.

“Sh*t, kid...gotta beat the traffic!” He hollered.

“For what reason?
Dad, look, I don’t mind getting up early and all but Jesus...can’t we
compromise a bit here? How about we leave at...eight?”

“Ah hell no, we’ll be sitting in traffic all day!!”

My sister told me awhile back about the last time my dad came down to visit
her. He got to their house at 1pm and she wasn’t going to be off work until
So he sat on the porch for four hours and waited for her.

“Dad, what’s so important about beating the traffic?
We get up early and race down there so we can sit in the hotel room and wait
for them to come home? Come on, be reasonable...”

But reason isn’t really dad’s strong suit. I was wasting my breath.

The next morning Kim and I were rudely awakened by a fist on the door.

“Alright you guys...time to get up...”

I cracked one lid.
Not a speck of light showed anywhere.

“It’s still night time!” I croaked into the blackness.

“Time to go...”
So we got up and we went. And it was horrible.

“Get something to eat before we go!” Dad said.

“That’s okay I’ll get something later - my stomach doesn’t know I’m up
yet...” I said.

My father drove for hours without stopping, focusing completely on the road,
and driving in silence.
His eyes were fixed on a distant place; a stopping point.
Somewhere with no traffic, someplace where he was finally THERE.

Somewhere near Stockton my cell phone rang. It was a text message from Kim
in the back seat:
I HAVE TO PEE, it said.
And it was like pulling teeth to get him to stop.

“Where? Where am I gonna stop, huh?”
We’d passed about a thousand signs for fast food places.

“Wendy’s? Taco Bell? McDonald’s? Anywhere...” I said.

He didn’t know you were allowed stop at those places to use the bathroom.
He’s stopped exclusively at designated ‘rest areas’ for the last 78 years.
For years he refused to fly on airplanes because he didn’t know they had
bathrooms on them, and he didn’t want to hold it from Sacramento to
I’m not making this up.
Thank God I was adopted. If that same blood was flowing through my veins I
would’ve thrown myself off a building by now.

It dawned on me as we were driving along the I-5 corridor there (and please
forgive my clumsy and tangential segue) that my father is one of the main
reasons I don’t camp.
I do not camp
You want to camp? Go.
Me? I don’t camp.
There’s nothing about it that’s even remotely interesting about it to me.
I’m not really crazy about this ‘outside’ as a concept either.
I can hardly wait till city’s are covered with those LOGAN’S RUN domes so we
never have to deal with ‘outside’ again...ever.

But this camping phobia is mostly due to having to camp with the old man
growing up.

What is this thing that so many men have about getting up at three o’clock
in the morning and getting in the car and going?
What is that please?
I know it’s definitely not a vacation. That I do know.

We’d go to Chilao Flats up Angeles Crest Highway when I was a kid.
You know what’s up there in Chilao Flats?
Scrub brush, Yucca plants, a few scrawny-ass coyotes, and some of the
gnarliest L.A. biker gangs you’d never want to run into in your life.

We had one of those pop-up tent trailer things.
We’d head up the mountain in the wee small hours of the morning so Dad could
‘get a spot’ and so we could have breakfast on one of those common grills
that campgrounds have.
We’d set up the trailer (an hour and a half Rubex Cube of cotter pins,
aluminum posts, and me sweating and buried under sun-heated canvas while my
father barked instructions at me), then Dad would scrape the remnants of
bird droppings, and two thousand other hamburgers off the rack there (come
to think of it this may be why I’m a vegetarian too) and then start cooking.
Breakfast took 35 hours to prepare for some reason, and when it was finally
plopped onto our paper plates it was hard to tell where the charcoal began
and the food ended. Just burned beyond recognition.

Camping days were hot and boring. Whatta supposed to do? You walk around in
dirt and look at a stream. Who cares?
When it got dark there was nothing to do but go to sleep. And it’s like 8:30
at night!! That’s when night STARTS, not ENDS!!
The nights were spent lying in my sleeping bag listening to the symphony of
chirping crickets, waiting for a rustle in the bushes outside.
Was that a bear? Coyote? Snake? A guy named Logjammer with a machete and
tattoos on his eyeballs? Who knew?
But this little squirt never slept a wink.

When I got a little older and was still getting dragged to these things I’d
go off by myself for nearly the whole weekend with my Radio Shack mono
cassette player, lying on a rock, smoking Marlboro Lights, listening to
PHYSICAL GRAFITTI till the batteries died.
The great outdoors.

When I was 20 or so, my friend Tony (A guy who has the enviable and
potentially injurious ability to talk anyone into anything) convinced me
that I really had never experienced camping the ‘right way’.
It took him a while to convince me to go, but he finally wore me out.
The next thing I know we were driving up Angeles Crest in my truck, again
toward Chilao Flats, armed with a couple of bedrolls, a 12-pack of Bud, some
Fruit Roll-Ups, and several packs of smokes.
We didn’t leave at four in the morning either, quite the opposite; we left
at 8pm.
So far I was liking this camping.

“Your ashtray is full” Tony said as I drove around one of the dark and
deadly curves of the Crest.
I heard him say it but it didn’t really register because it was a warm night
and the windows were rolled down. Plus we were listening to ARMED FORCES by
Elvis Costello and that’s a really good record.
I saw Tony reach for something. As he did I connected a series of dots in my
1. Tony had just said that the ashtrays were full.
2. Tony was reaching for something.
3. It was probably the ashtray.
4. I think his plan was to dump it out the window.
5. The windows were rolled down.
Suddenly everything went black and my eyes were burning, filling up with the
airborne contents of the ashtray, which were now swirling around the car
like blue tarps in a twister.
I was a blind man driving.
Oh and did I mention we were going about 45mph around a hair-pin curve?

“F*********CK-GARKKK!!!! I screamed but I was choked off by ash silt.

I hit the brakes as hard as I could and heard the screeching tires. I was
waiting for that imminent moment where I would hear, then feel the front end
of the truck hit the guardrail. Astonishing crash of scraping metal, then a
weightless free-fall in the dark for perhaps four or five seconds before the
truck connected with the rocky canyon floor. Just a moment of pain, then it
would be over. Free from this mortal coil.

But no, the truck stopped. About six feet from the guard rail. We were both
breathing hard. We collected ourselves and continued driving up the
We were going camping.

We got to the campground.
I killed the motor. We sat for a few moments.

“What do we do now?” I asked Tony.

“Crack a beer, sit back, relax, and just...listen to it...”

Oh no.
I’d come all the way up there to find out that what makes Tony happy is to
‘commune with nature’.
And I don’t do that.
If God wanted us to live outside he wouldn’t have created mortgages.

We sat there in the pitch, no light save for the glow of the cherry ends of
our cigarettes. We had a few beers.

“Welp...time to turn in.” Tony said.

We laid out our bedrolls in the back of the truck. Within moments Tony was
asleep. I laid there...
It was dark and the crickets screamed.

The bushes began to rattle and the more I tried to put it out of my mind,
the more I was convinced there was an inhuman forest man watching us. He was
wearing a pelt made out of the dried skin of wolves, rattlesnakes, rabbits,
and a few unlucky campers. His face would appear any moment over the rim of
the truck, dead eyes like a tarantula. He’d grab us (me first, better
eatin’), violate us, and tear us apart with the long razor nails he spent
his days sharpening on rocks. He’d...

“We gotta go.” I said shaking and waking Tony.


“We’re leaving...NOW!”

Tony barely had time to get in the car before I was gunning it back to town.

If you’ve stuck with me for the duration of this tale, I’m grateful and very
surprised, but I have one more small, more recent part of this to relate.

I’m very lucky because my wife feels the same way about the camping as I do.
Although she had lovely times growing up in Wisconsin camping in cabins on
lakes, she could pretty much take it or leave it now.
Thank the Lord.

Our friends, Don and Deb, love the outdoors. LOVE the outdoors. They build
canoes, camp out in the wilderness in a tent, they love it.
Ever since we met these two they’ve been trying to get us to go on a camping
trip with them.
We resisted it for a long time.
Then one night after about nine cocktails, they were talking about camping
and suddenly out of the blue - I could see it...
They spoke of a little cabin they knew of.
It had a fireplace. It had a bathroom.
Don and Deb would bring all kinds of food up, and they would cook gourmet
meals for us (they are amazing cooks), excellent wines would be imbibed,
guitars would be brought up, and we’d sit by the fire, strumming away,
buzzed and full of delicious food, basking in the warmth of our friends and
all the loveliness.

“I’ll do it!!” I said.

The upshot of all this was for the two months leading up to the trip. I
started having second thoughts.
I’m mean, yeah, those nights sound okay but what are you supposed to do in
the woods during the day?
There was talk of snow and us possibly having to snowshoe in to the place.
Snowshoe? That sounded horrible. And I hate snow. It’s cold.
I wondered how close that bathroom was to the main room. If this was a quiet
little cabin in the snow, chances are you could hear someone in that
bathroom...and what if enchiladas were served?

I began to have panic attacks thinking about the trip. Nothing could calm me
down. It began to ruin every day. It would be a beautiful day out and
suddenly I’d think, “Yeah, but in five hundred and twenty two hours I have
to go camping...oh God...”
And it would spoil everything.

Finally I had a nightmare one night. I can’t remember all the details but it
was something to do with the members of Led Zeppelin serving me enchiladas
out of a snowshoe.
John Bonham looked at me with tarantula eyes and said “More wine, Jimmy?” He
handed me an ashtray full.

I woke up and screamed, “CAMPING!!!!!”

The next day I called Don and cancelled. With some pride I have to say that
I’ve managed to not go camping for 20 years.

Kim and my idea of camping is no room service after 10pm.
That’s roughing it, my friend.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Storm Large Has Balls and Class on Rockstar/Supernova!!!

Portland's statuesque rocker was indeed all of that with her talent and charming moxy on the popular CBS reality show last evening

To be truthful right off the bat....

I was not a regular viewer of the aforementioned show on CBS, and usually could be found, plying my craft on that evening, playing professional, live music in a venue somewhere here in town (such as Storm usually does ,on a regular basis in PDX),
so the idea of a reality show actually being able to present worthy candidates to actually fill the lead singer chair of a professional -level band was not a real, tangible atmosphere for me. It usually takes a bit more 'mojo' than all of the TV hoopla that can surround the "entertainment" generation.
(For me, I think the above feelings started with that show that tried to find a lead singer for INXS, one of my favorite bands at what they do, so it seemed contrived to mess with the delicate nature of finding qualified people to fill out a band and not tamper with the "vibe" it usually takes to get all on board and feeling good).

There is, also in the modern era, the dreaded "karaoke" thing that activates some sort of presumed performance gene in people, and serves to inject a feeling (sometimes painfully false) that they too can get up on a large stage and really deliver (with undying stamina and verve) a truly entertaining show, in front of multitudes of people, and presume to hold their attention for a full 90 minutes in an arena show.

Not always the easiest thing to do...
just ask someone like for instance...Mick Jagger, about that sometime when he crosses the street in front of you...

TV Ratings are the driving force and the ruler of Rock Reality shows and also feed into the resulting search for players/superstars who could represent the "lone gunmen rocker"... those who are outside of any formed current contingent of group, bringing up the ratings ante to "Superband" level with their own varied (see provocative...) singular resumes.

Enter also the everyman contestants, who are up on the fully on atmosphere of the rock music stage. Some participants at more 'professional' levels than others, just trying to catch the brass ring /smell of success, all during a season of episodes of a TV show.
Some are replete with their somewhat forced and not fully formed routines, schemes and miles of professional dreams, managing all the while to sing just a few cents sharp on pitch, and not know the pitch center of what is correct. Some on the other hand are closer to the source of what it is to entertain people.

Now try filtering all of this through a process where voting America gets to be a big portion of the eventual judging of talent.

In the long run, I still think that big time experience, repetition on the bricks, hitting the boards, if you will... doing your gig and honing it, plus the passing of time will get you in tune with your voice...let's not forget that shear desire to be a professional...

It just takes hard, hard work.

Now unless you were living under a rock lately in the Portland, OR area, you were probably privy to all of the buzz surrounding the subject of this blog, vocalist Storm Large, who was finally eliminated on tonight's episode of Rockstar/Supernova.

Although I am certainly not wishing her any bad luck or discounting her obviously higher level of performance aura compared to her other competitors that evening,
somehow I just didn't hold out a bunch of hope for her, compared to the other singers who had that certain something that dovetailed a bit more easily with the tatooed atmosphere of Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee's rock circus smell.

Once again, I hope the last paragraph is not misunderstood....

While saying that I didn't hold a bunch of false hope for her, I say this with a big caveat...

I do really believe that Storm is destined for larger, more soul satisfying endeavors just from knowing and seeing her presence in the music wars here in Portland. That is why I didn't worry a bunch with her.

I also had the satisfying resignation that she would not be voted ahead into the next round, and eventually enslavement to that particular band of rock individuals and/or the the execution of those leather-bound rituals...

I felt a, excuse the word 'largeness' in her emotional content.
She was bigger than the staged atmosphere that evening.

I say this because of that giant heft of emotion I felt tonight when she sung the
Pink Floyd tune "Wish You Were Here", a tender, elegiac ballad, not in the usual performer ovure / general Floyd-ian overall orbit (save for their great ballad anthem "Us And Them" from "Dark Side Of The Moon") and a brave choice to fly against type on the show.

As she performed that evening on TV, Storm had an aire of
connectedness, vunerability and polish that the other contestants, in my humble opinion, could not meet up with...

The kind of polish that does come from that desire of hitting the bricks night after night and doing your dirty work on a stage in front of people as she has done as a matter of public record for quite a while now.

That assured-ness doesn't come from just formulaic moves and gesticulations...
It comes from doing your time on a stage. That confident polish informs the complete and bigger package of her aura also, and frankly it doesn't feel (to me) that she is in need to be in front of all of the studded dog collars or piercings to do her thing.

She WAS bigger than all that.

That evening Storm also dedicated the song to her mother, so the tears shared and shown seemed truly driven, not contrived and deeply felt...
Those feelings being larger than this competition could ever explain or contain.
All those components pulled together seemed to put the fine point on a bigger, perhaps deeper resonance of her performance that evening.

I did see a tear come down from the eye of bassist Jason Newsted (ex-Metallica), caught on camera for all to see, and also from Storm near the end of her tune...
and to be totally truthful, I did choke up a bit myself.

This is what moves me to write after seeing all of this.
Seeing some genuine emotion coming from the TV screen...
Not of a contrived nature, mind you, but real and tangible.

All of those aforementioned chasers of the rock brass ring, with the aforementioned trappings of piercings,studded dog collars and wrist bands will chase what they acknowledge (or the producers will steer) what they should be concerned with as trendy during the ensuing season of this show...

But they all don't necessarily co-exist in Storm Large's orbit, with or without the Supernova smell
on it.

The multitudes of the world at large will continue to be elsewhere...waiting to be entertained again by her.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

More History / Get out those legal pads!

This little tome falls under the category.... " things that SHOULD make you go AAAAAGGGGHH !! "

The Resume of our commander-in chief.....George H.W. Bush

I was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol.

I pled guilty, paid a fine, and had my driver's license suspended for 30 days.

My Texas driving record has been "lost" and is not available.


I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL.

I refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug use.

By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty
in Vietnam.

I graduated from Yale University with a low C average.

I was a cheerleader.


I ran for U.S. Congress and lost.

I began my career in the oil business in Midland, Texas, in 1975.

I bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas.

The company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock.

I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land
using taxpayer money.

With the help of my father and our right-wing friends in the oil industry
(including Enron CEO Ken Lay), I was elected governor of Texas.

I changed Texas pollution laws to favor power and oil companies, making Texas
the most polluted state in the Union.

During my tenure, Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most smog ridden city in America.

I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of billions in borrowed money.

I set the record for the most executions by any governor in America history.


I am the first President in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record.

I invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one billion
dollars per week.

I spent the U.S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury.

I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history.

I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12 month period.

I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12 month period.

I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the U.S. stock market.

In my first year in office, over 2 million Americans lost their jobs and that
trend continues every month.

I'm proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any
administration in U.S. history.

My "poorest millionaire," Condoleeza Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker named after her.

I set the record for most campaign fundraising trips by a U.S. President.

I am the all-time U.S. and world record holder for receiving the most
corporate campaign donations.

My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends, Kenneth
Lay, presided over the largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in U.S. History.....Enron.

My political party used Enron private jets and corporate attorneys to assure
my success with the U.S. Supreme Court during my election decision.

I have protected my friends at Enron and Halliburton against investigation or prosecution.
More time and money was spent investigating the Monica Lewinsky
affair than has been spent investigating one of the biggest corporate rip offs in history.

I presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S. history and refused to
intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed.

I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history.

I changed the U.S. policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded
government contracts.

I appointed more convicted criminals to administration than any President in
U.S. history.

I created the Ministry of Homeland Security, the largest bureaucracy in the
history of the United States government.

I've broken more international treaties than any President in U.S. history.

I am the first President in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove
the U.S. from the Human Rights Commission.

I withdrew the U.S. from the World Court of Law.

I refused to allow inspectors access to U.S. "prisoners of war" detainees and
thereby have refused to abide by the Geneva Convention.

I am the first President in history to refuse United Nations election
inspectors (during the 2002 U.S. election).

I set the record for fewest number of press conferences of any President
since the advent of television.

I set the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one year =period.
After taking off the entire month of August, I presided over the worst
security failure in U.S. history.

I garnered the most sympathy for the U.S. after the World Trade Center
attacks and less than a year later made the U.S. the most hated country in
the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world history.

I have set the all time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously
protest me in public venues (15 million people), shattering the record for
protest against any person in the history of mankind.

I am the first President in U.S. history to order an unprovoked, preemptive
attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation. I did so against
the will of the United Nations, the majority of U.S. citizens, and the world community.

I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in duty
benefits for active duty troops and their families in war time.

In my State of the Union Address, I lied about our reasons for attacking
Iraq, then blamed the lies on our British friends.

I am the first President in history to have a majority of Europeans (71%)
view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and security.

I am supporting development of a nuclear "Tactical Bunker Buster," a WMD.

I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to bring Osama Bin Laden to


All records of my tenure as governor of Texas are now in my father's library,
sealed and unavailable for public view.

All records of SEC investigations into my insider trading and my bankrupt
companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.

All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice President, attended
regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for
public review.



Monday, September 04, 2006

Couldn't resist this one... Just keeping the history straight, the record current.

this one falls under the "can you believe these guys when they get on their horse and get going "??

Cheney Dismisses Critic With Obscenity / Clash With Leahy About Halliburton

By Helen Dewar and Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, June 25, 2004; Page A04

A brief argument between Vice President Cheney and a senior Democratic senator led Cheney to utter a big-time obscenity on the Senate floor this week.

On Tuesday, Cheney, serving in his role as president of the Senate, appeared in the chamber for a photo session. A chance meeting with Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, became an argument about Cheney's ties to Halliburton Co., an international energy services corporation, and President Bush's judicial nominees. The exchange ended when Cheney offered some crass advice.

"Fuck yourself," said the man who is a heartbeat from the presidency.

Leahy's spokesman, David Carle, yesterday confirmed the brief but fierce exchange. "The vice president seemed to be taking personally the criticism that Senator Leahy and others have leveled against Halliburton's sole-source contracts in Iraq," Carle said.

As it happens, the exchange occurred on the same day the Senate passed legislation described as the "Defense of Decency Act" by 99 to 1.

Cheney's office did not deny that the phrase was uttered. His spokesman, Kevin S. Kellems, would say only that this language is not typical of the vice presidential vocabulary. "Reserving the right to revise and extend my remarks, that doesn't sound like language the vice president would use," Kellems said, "but there was a frank exchange of views."

Gleeful Democrats pointed out that the White House has not always been so forgiving of obscenity. In December, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry was quoted using the same word in describing Bush's Iraq policy as botched. The president's chief of staff reacted with indignation.

"That's beneath John Kerry," Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. said. "I'm very disappointed that he would use that kind of language. I'm hoping that he's apologizing at least to himself, because that's not the John Kerry that I know."

This was not the first foray into French by Cheney and his boss. During the 2000 campaign, Bush pointed out a New York Times reporter to Cheney and said, without knowing the microphone was picking it up, "major-league [expletive]." Cheney's response -- "Big Time" -- has become his official presidential nickname.

Then there was that famous Talk magazine interview of Bush by Tucker Carlson in 1999, in which the future president repeatedly used the F-word.

Tuesday's exchange began when Leahy crossed the aisle at the photo session and joked to Cheney about being on the Republican side, according to Carle. Then Cheney, according to Carle, "lashed into" Leahy for remarks he made Monday criticizing Iraq contracts won without competitive bidding by Halliburton, Cheney's former employer.

Leahy, Carle said, retorted that Democrats "have not appreciated White House collusion in smears" that Democrats were anti-Catholic for blocking judicial nominees such as William H. Pryor Jr. Democrats demanded that Bush disavow the allegations by conservative groups, but the White House did not.

The Democratic National Committee has declared this to be "Halliburton Week" to portray administration ties to the controversial company. "Sounds like it's making somebody a little testy," Kerry spokesman Chad Clanton said.

Republicans did their best to defend the vice president. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), while pointing out that he was unaware of the incident, described Cheney as "very honest" and said: "I don't blame anyone for standing up for his integrity."

There is no rule against obscene language by a vice president on the Senate floor. The senators were present for a group picture and not in session, so Rule 19 of the Senate rules -- which prohibits vulgar statements "unbecoming a senator" -- does not apply, according to a Senate official. Even if the Senate were in session, the vice president, though constitutionally the president of the Senate, is an executive branch official and therefore free to use whatever language he likes.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company

Rummie * The * Dummy !!!

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld lately has been invoking a new "F-word" in his litany of speeches around the country recently...

(In my recent memory, me thinks that V.P.Dick Cheney has owned the exclusive license-to-ill, with regards to getting away with using that other familiar and
widely used F-word, on the Senate floor) :)
(see related story inside of this blogsphere....)

...Rumsfeld's current and favorite blowback to his audiences (of course while continuing to shill for his Government's lunch) is that if "we the people" don't support the current administration in every way suggested...
then we are basically "fascists".

Let's study this....if any of these apply to you, then maybe he has a point...
I, in my heart of hearts don't think so, but judge for yourself...
and feel free to correct me here, if I have the great tactitioner of war DR wrong on this one :)

NOTE: The 14 Points listed below were written in 2004 by Dr. Laurence Britt, a political scientist.
Dr. Britt studied the fascist regimes of: Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile).



1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism

From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia.

2. Disdain for the importance of human rights

The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause

The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and “terrorists.” Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly.

4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism

Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. A disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.

5. Rampant sexism

Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. They were adamantly anti-abortion and also homophobic. These attitudes were usually codified in Draconian laws that enjoyed strong support by the orthodox religion of the country, thus lending the regime cover for its abuses.

6. A controlled mass media

Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders of the mass media were often politically compatible with the power elite. The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes’ excesses.

7. Obsession with national security

Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

8. Religion and ruling elite tied together

Unlike communist regimes, the fascist and protofascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the power elite was tantamount to an attack on religion.

9. Power of corporations protected

Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.

10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated

Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.

11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts

Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these regimes. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent were strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed. To these regimes, art and literature should serve the national interest or they had no right to exist.

12. Obsession with crime and punishment

Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. “Normal” and political crime were often merged into trumped-up criminal charges and sometimes used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.

13. Rampant cronyism and corruption

Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. Members of the power elite were in a position to obtain vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.

14. Fraudulent elections

Elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls were usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.


Does any of this sound familiar? As America sinks deeper and deeper into corporate greed will this country continue to be a democracy by the people and for the people or will it be ruled by the few? Will the trinity of money, power and greed over come one of the greatest countries in the world? Only we, the people, can keep it free. SPEAK OUT AND LET YOUR THOUGHTS BE KNOWN...ONLY BY SILENCE WILL WE BE DEFEATED!

"What no one seemed to notice. . . was the ever widening gap. . .between the government and the people. . . And it became always wider. . . the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting, it provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway . . . (it) gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about . . .and kept us so busy with continuous changes and 'crises' and so fascinated . . . by the machinations of the 'national enemies,' without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. . .

Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, 'regretted,' that unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these 'little measures'. . . must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. . . .Each act. . . is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join you in resisting somehow.

You don't want to act, or even talk, alone. . . you don't want to 'go out of your way to make trouble.' . . .But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That's the difficulty. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves, when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. . . .You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things your father. . . could never have imagined." :

From Milton Mayer, They Thought They Were Free, The Germans, 1938-45 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955)

A final note to Rumsfeld from me.....

"I am not a fascist....just a lover, by nature."

More on BC....When Bruce Carter was on drums, you knew it was him...

Here is a wonderfully written memory of the late Bruce Carter, by senior music writer
Marty Hughley, found in the Portland Oregonian on 8/21/06

Big thanks to Auntie P. for her wonderful, and as always sparkling research and archival work :)

"When Bruce Carter was on drums, you knew it was him..."
Remembrances - A heart attack robs Portland of a huge presence in funk, jazz

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Oregonian

At some point in the evening, inevitably, the chant would arise. Started by one of the musicians onstage, it would be picked up eagerly by the fans crowding the dance floor and quickly take on a kind of rolling rhythmic energy.

"B.C.! He can play the drums! B.C.! We're gonna give him some! B.C.! He can play the drums! B.C.! . . ." everyone would repeat, turning the room into a veritable engine of anticipation and encouragement.

Then the voices would fall away as Bruce Carter began to solo. After all, it's hard to chant, or to say much of anything, when you're slack-jawed. And even if you knew how well Carter and his bandmates in the popular funk outfit Cool'R could play, even if you came back week after week for their regular Sunday night gig at the Last Hurrah or caught them at other Portland clubs, Carter's sometimes-10-minute drum solos would leave you shaking your head in disbelief.

That was during the 1980s, when Carter already had established his reputation with Pleasure, the Portland band that toured nationally and reached the R&B chart Top 10. He'd go on to 15 years in the drum chair of smooth-jazz superstar Kenny G's touring band.

Carter died Aug. 12 of a heart attack, at age 49, leaving Portland a less funky and less joyful place. Though he'd performed in the area rarely over the past decade, he remained a huge presence in the memories of music fans of his generation and in the hearts of his fellow musicians.

A public funeral will be held at 11 a.m. today in Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church, 3138 N. Vancouver Ave.

Carter was heavy, physically as well as musically. Music critic Rick Mitchell, a former contributor to The Oregonian, aptly nicknamed him "the Round Mound of Get Down," a variation on "the Round Mound of Rebound," as basketball star Charles Barkley was called.

Jazz sax star Grover Washington Jr. once told The Oregonian that his first question whenever he visited Portland in the 1970s was, "Where's Pleasure playing?" and that the band had "one of the best rhythm sections around." David Leiken, the longtime concert promoter who also managed Pleasure, recalls the vaunted musicians from Tower of Power watching Carter closely, hoping to learn his secrets.

Carter excelled at the dance floor imperatives of funk, but was just as adroit with straight-ahead jazz, rock or whatever.

No matter what, his sound was distinctive.

I once went to review a Kenny G concert, before I knew he'd hired Carter. When I sat down, the house lights still were up and technicians were milling about the stage. I could tell someone was behind the drum kit but couldn't see a face behind the cymbals. Then came a single strike of the kick drum: "Boom!"

"That's Bruce!," I yelled, darting up with the instant energy of recognition.

"Bruce played Bruce," said veteran jazz drummer Dick Berk, a former Portlander who called from Las Vegas when he heard the news of Carter's death. "Some drummers all sound the same. But he had his own thing. Everything came out when he played -- the heart, the wit, whatever. You just felt life.

"Plus, he was the kind of guy who you'd meet and feel like you'd known him for years."

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Providence Medical Center Cardiac Care, or to organizations supporting music education.

Marty Hughley: 503-221-8383;

©2006 The Oregonian

maybe a change is gonna come?? not without work....

Folks: It's been a while, but I have been busy, as all have been with the holiday and what it requires of us to make it come off okay....the last gasp of things before school starts with children in the streets and such.

These things were on my mind as I guided my car through the Mt. Hood area on HWY 97 toward Bend on a sunny weekend that was perfect to drive in....

Except that I do wish that people wouldn't follow so close on those roads, or any highway for that matter.
It is just so patently dangerous to be within a car length. with 3000 pounds of metal around you, at 60-65 miles an hour...
we all could just end up...
well you get the drift if it doesn't go well for the person in front of us.

I had a great time playing with the DK4 at Sunriver for their music series in the courtyard.
Thanks to Michael John, our host, and all of the wonderful people at the restaurant that took care of us from start to finish, which name escapes me, but they were great to play for.
Thanks also to my long time buddy Carolyn (known her since the early-mid 80's) and her always great hospitality in town there...
and her friend Diana who was fun to talk to and hang with, and here's hoping the next life chapter is good for you, D!!

I was reading the NY Times today, and this looked juicy and ready for consumption....

Enjoy with me, and let's keep the right direction on all of this. Keep your resolve firm.
Call your senators and congressmen, and let them know what you don't need them to endorse, and what you do need them to endorse...

and for big safety's sake....
One car length for every 10 miles an hour...MINIMUM!!!

your humble servant,

G.O.P. Seen to Be in Peril of Losing House

Published: September 4, 2006

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 — After a year of political turmoil, Republicans enter the fall campaign with their control of the House in serious jeopardy, the possibility of major losses in the Senate, and a national mood so unsettled that districts once considered safely Republican are now competitive, analysts and strategists in both parties say.

Sixty-five days before the election, the signs of Republican vulnerability are widespread.

Indiana, which President Bush carried by 21 percentage points in 2004, now has three Republican House incumbents in fiercely contested races. Around the country, some of the most senior Republicans are facing their stiffest challenges in years, including Representative E. Clay Shaw Jr. of Florida, the veteran Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee; Representative Nancy L. Johnson of Connecticut, a state increasingly symbolic of this year’s political unrest; and Representative Deborah Pryce of Ohio, the No. 4 Republican in the House.

Two independent political analysts have, in recent weeks, forecast a narrow Democratic takeover of the House, if current political conditions persist. Stuart Rothenberg, who had predicted Democratic gains of 8 to 12 seats in the House, now projects 15 to 20. Democrats need 15 to regain the majority. Charles Cook, the other analyst, said: “If nothing changes, I think the House will turn. The key is, if nothing changes.”

Republican leaders are determined to change things. Unlike the Democrats of 1994, caught off guard and astonished when they lost control of the Senate and the House that year, the Republicans have had ample warning of the gathering storm.

“I have been in all these tough races, and the ones in those tough races are doing what they have to do,” said Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the House majority leader, who spent all but two days of the August recess campaigning for fellow Republicans. “It is a difficult environment. I can see us losing a seat or two. But I don’t see us losing our majority at all.”

Representative Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, countered, “The Republicans are playing defense in over 40 races — one-tenth of the House.”

“My biggest worry,” Mr. Emanuel said, “is getting overpowered from a financial perspective.”

A turnover in the Senate, which would require the Democrats to pick up six seats, is considered a longer shot. Democrats’ greatest hopes rest with Pennsylvania, Montana, Rhode Island, Ohio and Missouri; the sixth seat is more of a leap of faith.

It would require Democrats to carry a state like Tennessee, Arizona or Virginia, where Democratic hopes are buoyed as Senator George Allen, a Republican, deals with the fallout from his using a demeaning term for a young man of Indian descent at a rally last month.

Democrats must also beat back Republican challenges to Senate seats in Washington, New Jersey, Maryland and Minnesota.

National polls show that key indicators — presidential approval ratings, Congressional approval ratings, attitudes on the direction of the country — reflect an electorate unhappy with the status quo and open to change.

“It’s the most difficult off-year cycle for the Republicans since 1982,” said Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma and former chief of staff to the Republican National Committee. “Environmentally, it’s about as good from the Democratic perspective as they could hope to have.”

In the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll, just 29 percent said the country was headed in the right direction, a measure of national pessimism that rivals the 26 percent who felt that way in October 1994. The war in Iraq, the price of gas and a sense of economic unease all play roles, analysts say. The mood is particularly sour in states like Indiana and Ohio, where it is stoked by local issues and the Republican governors’ political difficulties.

Representative Chris Chocola, easily re-elected two years ago from the district centered in South Bend, Ind., is battling a Democrat, Joe Donnelly, in a race so tight that several people offered Mr. Chocola their sympathies on the campaign trail this week. “You doing O.K.?” a bank executive asked at a groundbreaking for a small manufacturing company. Mr. Chocola replied, “It’s an exercise in democracy.”

Mr. Chocola began advertising in March, rather than in May as he has in his three previous races. The attacks and counterattacks have been swift and nasty. In one recent round, the Chocola campaign charged that Mr. Donnelly, who owns a printing and rubber stamp company, had paid his property taxes late 15 times. “Joe Donnelly wants to raise our taxes,” the ad warned. “Even worse, he’s delinquent paying his own.”

Mr. Donnelly’s advertisement pointed out that the company Mr. Chocola once ran, which manufactures products for the agricultural industry, had itself missed a tax payment of $67 one year. “But hypocrisy is normal in Washington,” the ad said, concluding, “It’s time for a new congressman.”

Outside groups are advertising heavily there, as well: trial lawyers and against Mr. Chocola, the Chamber of Commerce in his favor.

Even in such a climate, Republicans retain some formidable institutional advantages to help them hold on, Mr. Cole and others say. After 12 years in control of the House, Republicans have done much to fortify their incumbents, including having district lines so carefully drawn that even in a tumultuous year only about 40 House races are seriously competitive, compared with roughly 100 considered in play in 1994.

Moreover, Republicans are counting on their vaunted get-out-the-vote campaign, which proved so effective in 2002 and 2004, to overcome what many concede is a less than enthusiastic conservative base. The Republicans are also expected to have a financial edge this fall, although the Democrats have worked hard to narrow it.

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The strategic imperative facing the Republicans, many analysts say, is clear: transform each competitive race from a national referendum on Mr. Bush and one-party Republican rule into a choice between two individuals — and define the Democratic challengers as unacceptable.

“Democrats are trying to indict an entire class of people, who happen to be called Republican candidates for Congress,” said Glen Bolger, a Republican pollster handling dozens of House races. “We have to bring individual indictments with different cases and different pieces of evidence.”

Mr. Bolger added, “If you like positive campaigns, you’re going to be let down.”

The question, analysts say, is whether the Republicans’ race-by-race strategy can overcome what is shaping up, so far, as a classic midterm election driven by national issues. “I don’t really care what the national climate is,” said Representative Tom Reynolds of New York, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “At the end of the day, House races are a choice between two people.”

Democrats will be pushing hard to remind voters of the big picture, and their frustrations with it. In southeastern Indiana, Baron Hill, a Democrat who is trying to reclaim the Congressional seat he lost two years ago to Representative Mike Sodrel, held an event at a gas station where he pumped fuel at a 2004 price, $1.80, rather than $2.79.

“People are angry,” Mr. Hill said. “They want to know why we’re paying $3 a gallon and Congress is giving tax breaks to oil companies.”

Another major variable is whether Republicans are able, as they were in 2002 and 2004, to make the national security issue work in their favor. Democratic strategists say they are determined — this time — to answer every suggestion that their party and their candidates are less committed to the national defense.

“The key on national security: every time they hit us, answer them back strongly and hard,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “People are not happy with how George Bush conducted the war in Iraq, and they know we’re not safer.”

Over the next four weeks of Congress, beginning on Tuesday, both parties will try to frame the security debate.

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority whip, made his party’s case on the CBS program “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “We’ve liberated Afghanistan and Iraq, and by staying on offense we’ve protected America here at home,” Mr. McConnell said, acknowledging that the struggle was “a tough slog.” But in terms of the ultimate goal of protecting the home front, he said, “that policy has been a 100 percent success.”

In the end, Democrats are acutely aware of how close they have come since 1994 to regaining power on Capitol Hill, and how often a majority (218 votes) slipped from their grasp, notably in 2000, when the Republicans held on with just 221 seats. Representative Thomas M. Davis III of Virginia, a veteran Republican strategist, said Democrats simply had trouble “closing the deal.”

Mr. Emanuel, discussing the widespread predictions that his party would win the House if the election were held today, said simply: “It isn’t today. That’s the unfortunate part.”

Robin Toner reported from Washington for this article, and Kate Zernike from Indiana.