Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Wooo Hooo for David Wu !!! .... Someone on Capitol Hill gets it.... in spades!!!!

This message was sent to me by a good friend and fellow broadcaster Dan Flessas ( KBOO 90.7 FM on Friday nights with "The Outside World"... a great eclectic local radio program.)

Check him out if you can, and often!!!

The message is another cry from that majority of people that Bush and his imperialist cronies can't see (and won't acknowledge) through that giant blind spot in their collective vision.

Take a bite out of what goodness Oregon Rep. David Wu. is serving....

Mmmmmmmm.....the smell of people coming together in knowledge, and not ignorance!!!



------ Forwarded Message
From: daniel flessas
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2007 12:35:18 -0700 (PDT)
To: my self
Subject: Oregon Rep. David Wu sez:

i was pretty impressed by this, coming from David Wu. It's people like this in Washington who need us behind them, showing them they are on the right track (and not a moment too soon--hopefully not too late either!), so thought i'd share this. i may even read it on the air tonight...



I am deeply disturbed by the Bush Administration's blatant disregard for
the constitutional limits of presidential authority. Our nation's founders
wisely constructed a system of governing institutions that divides power
among co-equal branches of government. Yet time and again we have
witnessed President Bush ignore and purposefully disregard the
constitutional limits of his power in efforts to advance his own
self-serving agenda.

Throughout our history, nations around the world have looked to the United
States as a model of liberty; and we have done our best to set a high
standard. Recently, however, we have witnessed the Bush Administration
ignore the freedoms established in the Constitution on countless occasions
for what they have claimed is in the national interest.

The Bush Administration orchestrated the U.S. invasion and occupation of
Iraq, a policy I opposed from the beginning and continue to oppose today.
I voted against giving the president the authority to go to war and
continue to support bringing our troops home at the earliest practicable

Of more concern, documents such as the leaked Downing Street Memo suggest
that the Administration manipulated intelligence to so that it would
appear as though the Iraqi government possessed weapons of mass
destruction. Similarly, White House attempts to discredit Ambassador
Joseph Wilson's refutation of the Niger yellowcake story, and the
subsequent exposure of his wife Valerie Plame as a covert C.I.A. agent,
show the depths to which the Administration is willing to stoop. The
perjury and obstruction of justice trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the
Vice President's former Chief of Staff and a close advisor to the
president, has revealed that the vice president was likely deeply involved
in the White House effort to discredit Ambassador Wilson.

This serves as a poignant example of this Administration's willingness to
engage in ruthless politics of personal destruction when confronted with
critics who speak the truth. I believe Congress can -- and should --
scrutinize the vice president's actions and policies.

We must not sit idly by while the president and his advisors run roughshod
over our constitutional freedoms. I cosponsored H. Res. 635 in the
previous Congress. This resolution would have established a Select
Committee of the House of Representatives to investigate the Bush
Administration's intent to go to war; its manipulation of pre-war
intelligence; its retaliation of its critics; and its condoning of
torture. The resolution also directed the committee to make
recommendations regarding the grounds for possible impeachment. H. Res.
635 was referred to the House Rules Committee, but was not brought up for
a vote prior to the adjournment of the 109th Congress. A similar
resolution has not yet been introduced in this Congress, but if Judiciary
Committee Chairman John Conyers (MI) does introduce such a measure, I will
give it serious consideration again.

Congress is currently considering H.Res. 333, a resolution introduced by
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (OH) to begin impeachment proceedings against
Vice President Cheney for purposely manipulating the intelligence process
to deceive the citizens and the Congress of the United States by
fabricating a threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and an alleged
relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda in order to justify the use of
American military forces against the nation of Iraq in a manner damaging
to our national security interests. H.Res. 333 has been referred to the
House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
where it awaits further consideration.

Unfortunately, President Bush's failings are not limited to his political

Recently, our country bore witness once again to President Bush abusing
his authority for the personal gain of one of his loyal supporters. On
July 2, 2007, President Bush commuted I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's prison
sentence for perjury and obstruction of justice for his involvement in
leaking Valerie Plame Wilson's name as a covert C.I.A. officer. Libby was
convicted in March 2007 of lying to F.B.I. agents and a grand jury and was
sentenced to 30 months in prison. While Libby was required to pay a
$250,000 fine and will remain on probation for two years, he no longer
faces the prospect of serving time in prison.

Although the Constitution gives the president the power to grant clemency
in cases when he deems it to be warranted, I strongly disagree with
President Bush's judgment in this matter. I am deeply disturbed by
President Bush's disregard for accountability and the rule of law.
Commuting Mr. Libby's sentence undermines our judiciary and is blatantly
irresponsible given the severity of Mr. Libby's offenses and the high
level of trust his position in the Administration required. Congress has a
responsibility to protect the American people from unchecked executive
power; and I believe President Bush has overstepped his constitutional
authority in commuting Mr. Libby's sentence.

With this in mind, I became an original cosponsor of a resolution
introduced by Congressman Robert Wexler (FL) to censure President Bush for
commuting Mr. Libby's prison sentence. The resolution expresses the sense
of Congress that President Bush failed to comply with his obligations
under Executive Order 12958 concerning the protection of classified
national security information by revealing to members of the media the
covert identity of Valerie Plame Wilson as a C.I.A. operative. Knowingly
leaking the identity of a covert agent is a criminal violation of the
Intelligence Identities Protection Act. The resolution further expresses
the sense of Congress that in commuting Mr. Libby's prison sentence,
President Bush has finally and unalterably breached any remaining shred of
trust he had left with the American people and rewarded political loyalty
by flouting the rule of law. I strongly oppose President Bush's decision
to commute Mr. Libby's sentence. As my colleagues and I work to pass this
important resolution, I will continue to keep your thoughts in mind. I
respect your belief that the best way to move forward is to impeach the
vice president. This is a matter of extremely serious concern and if the
Judiciary Committee takes the resolution up, I will give a vote of this
magnitude my full and thorough consideration. Thank you again for sharing
your views on this issue. If you have further questions or concerns please
contact me at 503-326-2901 or 800-422-4003. /signed David Wu

Monday, July 16, 2007

What a short, but interesting trip it has been lately...

Hello all good people who love good music!!!

Here I am back in town after a good stretch of time,playing some interesting gigs out and about.

I managed to miss the Blues Festival this year in Portland, but I did get to make some great music with wonderful people, out of town this time around.

The group I was with this year, the aptly named Strings For Industry

(including Darol Anger, Tye North, Scott Law, Tony Furtado) played in front of some wonderful people at both the High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy, California, and also the Oregon Country Fair in Veneta, OR. (the remains of what used to be called Renaissance Fair, or Ren Fair to the oldtimers around and before 1980)

I was an initiate in both of these gatherings, and historically, I always had local people talking to me about going to the OCF and checking it out. I just never got the time to variate from what the bill of fare was at that time, work-wise for me. This was an eye-opener to me, and lots of fun to get some music out to a new crowd of people this time around.

In both places, lots of people, all in emotive, festival mode. Lots of earthy vibes, bright colors and churning rhythms.
All the festival smells and sights were wonderous to behold. The band had a good, engaging set, and it seems we are finally on our way with the usual dealings of such an undertaking.

In particular, our friend and liaison Jen (an artist coordinator at High Sierra) went out of her way to make it wonderful for SFI to do our thing during our stay.
(Hey Jen...I will not forget to send you that folder of pictures I promised.... really soon ! :)

As the events unfolded, the other guys in the band were rekindling old friendships and fan connects all during the three days we were there. Lots of after hours jamming by guys in the group...usually until sunrise is a good bet on this stuff. I think that I was getting up, as Tye and Scott were getting in to the B&B from just that sort of action the night before.
All of the crews on stage and elsewhere at High Sierra were warm and helpful, and just a joy to be around. Some of the support was from right here in the Portland area. It was good to see some of the brotherhood there and functioning in important waters of commerce.

You didn't have to want for anything, and since it was 105 degrees there that weekend, lots of water and iced towels were to be had in general, and this was in evidence at the stage where SFI spent some time...
People were taking care of business for the artists, so to speak.

Plenty of kids and others running around, and other festival events, in and around the music were available for consumption.
On one of the evenings, there was a night parade at HS, with many fest goers in splendid dresswith neon appendages, and lots of stick walkers and costumes and drummers, pipers and other various glorious noise,
and there was a contingent of Portland people staying in a tent community of sorts, together in harmony, and welcoming all that passed by their spot.

The vibe was "no worries" by the fest goers...no drama, and I saw only one person go out in an ambulance, probably from heat exhaustion, it looked like to me... but at least they were smiling from the open end of the vehicle.

In the town of Quincy proper, where we stayed off-site as a band, the ladies at the Sporting Inn Bed & Breakfast were just that...truly sporting and helpful with all they did. It was a comfortable place to stay, and the communal breakfast with all the kids running around in the halls made it for a great, warm atmosphere. That nut bread for breakfast (the kind that you wait in line for at the bakery, the ladies said) was just sterling.

I also saw some wonderful music in both places...
In particular, High Sierra had great performances by Bobby Previte's Coalition of the Willing (whom I talked to at the Bed & Breakfast for a bit....he was wonderful to hear)

Leftover Salmon (with the great Jeff Sipe, aka Apt.Q258 powering the band along on drums)
Soulive, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Drive-By Truckers, Page Mc Connell, Brian Auger's Oblivion Express, The Del Mc Coury Band, The Hot 8 Brass Band (with their wonderful turn on the brass band tradition with more "street" leanings in their music), and many others.

As to my engagements, I did double drumming duty with SFI, and also playing Tony Furtado's band set (including his regulars Alan Toribio on guitar/vocals and Damian Erskine on Electric Bass), since his drummer had commitments back home and couldn't make this particular booking.

Here's an interesting aside...
I remember having a conversation/debriefing with Tony sometime after his show, and making the comment that it's always interesting to have to learn/chart out 12-15 high level tunes from someone's catalog, play the show, and then discard them from your ROM memory, only to have something else take it's place in the machinations of learning music in a musician's world.

I hope I get to essay Tony's work again. It's very engaging, and he is truly a string virtuoso, as are the other men in SFI.

As to the Oregon Country Fair and it's vibe...
Same good people digging the sounds and such.
Lots of organization and people doing their job.
Cops out in numbers in the town proper of Veneta, getting those coffers full for the city by expressing more tickets out to the unlucky fair goers.

My guest and I got to the front gate and got credentialed, and a Gator truck was sent to get us and the gear loaded up to the Main Stage.
As we rode open-air in the vehicle, we appeared to be swallowed up by the forest... I did lose my sense of direction that day, and it reminded me of some sort of Lord Of The Rings scenario/ scene from the Ewok Village from Star Wars with all of the trees reaching out to envelop us from the rustic, twisty gravel roads.
People were camped at every turn, and signs to warn people of various patches of Poison Oak (!!!) were placed at different intervals.

We finally reached our destination inside of the fairgrounds, and were greeted very much in a kind way with our arrival by stage personnel.
All around us, there were lots of people in various states of dress and undress, and generally having a good time.

The SFI guys have played this affair before, so once again, I am the newbie to all of this particular event. All are kind and helpful with direction for me.

A trance kind of band from Colorado played before us, and after, a gent named Scott Huckabay played solo guitar with lots of bells and hoofs on his ankles and a looping system on stage to create layers of sound in his performance. He held the crowd's attention for a long time and was good at what he did.

It was just a wonderful few days to behold, and as my mind digests more, I will post here.

Let us not forget our wonderful friend Doug Balk, who lugged gear for us in both places (CA. and OR.)
and was a generally great vibe around and for the band.

Cheers, Doug!!

take care, c