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Summerstage: a gentle amble… [updates] 26 June 2007

Posted by marisacat in Border Issues, DC Politics, Democrats, Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, la vie en rose, Political Blogs, SCOTUS, Viva La Revolucion!.

   summerstage / central park

a gentle amble thru a handful of blogs.. 😉

There is a lovely lovely post of Delarue’s over at Lucid Culture  about Central Park’s Summerstage…  

Oldtimers will tell you about the time they saw Springsteen here in 1974. Back then the concerts were held on the 72nd St. playfield. The sound was so loud that Eastsiders would routinely call the cops and complain.

Another generation will tell you triumphantly how their college buddy can be seen in the crowd on the cover of that awful Simon & Garfunkel album recorded here in the early 80s. Chances are that even if they don’t like the band, they bought the album as a vicarious souvenir. Willie Nile’s blazing 1981 set here was also recorded and released several years later on cd.

In the 90s, corporate creepiness settled in, with the Summerstage series’ pompous producers subjecting crowds to a litany of commercial announcements before every show. But it was still a destination that just about every New York music fan made it to at least a couple of times a year. ::…::


If this had been the 70s, the hippies would have bumrushed the stage. If it was the 80s the punks and hip-hop kids and West Indians would have done the same thing. Was it the Reagan era that changed things, that turned the crowd completely docile, oblivious to the fact that they were being treated like cattle? No. It was the crowd itself. As recently as a few years ago, people came here because it was free, quite possibly because they couldn’t afford to plunk down, say, $60 to see Monty Alexander at the Blue Note, or $35 for the Master Musicians of Jajouka at Town Hall, or if they liked David Poe but didn’t feel like shelling out for the $10 cover plus a two-drink minimum at stuffy, overcrowded old Fez.

Those people aren’t coming to New York anymore because they can’t afford to. It’s a new paradigm and a new crowd, suburbanites from across the nation who’ve never experienced the great times New Yorkers could have here til recently.

If you remember those days, hold onto those memories because you won’t be making any more of them.

Whether Delarue’s wistful memories or his often joyous and always superbly written reviews of music, jazz, and jamming in the boroughs, or lucid’s wonderful, lilting live music or CD reviews, I find I smile with happiness and remember so many days and nights in NY.

I float after I read lucid and Delarue….

lucid is hosting meaty, informative postings and threads for “VAGs” (never did know what that one meant!) and ”Vipers” (think that was some meanness from Dkos that was refashioned, an Mcat trademark, refashioning)…

anyway lucid has good threads to support the crowd… check. it. out.  8)


Madman in the Marketplace at LSF looks at caging, whether votes or dissent or just alternative views…

Most people don’t take to the streets. They have been raised to think that voting matters, that the system works, that the political pendulum always swings back. For most, the control takes other forms.

It’s gentler, often voluntary on the part of the citizenry. Join a group, give money, write a few letters. Best of all, be active in a church. Built in tendency to believe, to follow direction, to not rock the boat … what could a money-grubbing, power-chasing politician or party want more than people pre-disposed to act in a predictable way?

Some will say, “what about MLK or the abolitionists or the Berrigan Brothers, they acted for social justice within a religious context?”

History shows that yes, good people have pursued leftist goals with the encouragement of their faith, but it’s important to remember that they were NOT encouraged to do so by the hierarchy of their organizations. Martin made other ministers nervous. The Berrigan Brothers were certainly not encouraged by the powers-that-be in Rome … that church has been trying to kill social justice movements and liberation theology for decades now.  [snip]


And a look at the movie rating for LSF .  (Remember, Mcat clocked in at NC-17.)



Over at Stop Me Before I Vote Again they have the hard nosed (and imo, damned right) take on the Digby … what to call it…  haven’t a clue… PR?

But enough of generality – let’s dive in. Here’s an example of darling Ms Digby’s fatuous preening (try to chew this, you melancholy curs):

We [prog-bloggers] are, in short, something of an enigma. I like to call this phenomenon–irrational fear of hippies which has, in my view, become–irrational fear of political passion.

Something of an enigma? To whom, good hearted crusader, are y’all any sort of “enigma”? For fucksake, Lassie could size you up. And exactly in whose evil heart have you sown “fear” of your “passion”?

How Blanche Dubois you are, my dear… passion passion passion! One sniffles in nervous embarrassment at this flowering into divahood. How predictable is it that a closet histrionic might suddenly explode into unbecoming self-display upon the receipt of a statuette.

I had tried twice to comment at SMBIVA, but I guess the “Hillary” pass code for comments does not like me (she senses the Red Thai Poodle photo over to the right? hmmm), so am leaving the “comment” here at my own blog:

Yummy!  Agree… tho since she whipped out the following, I have to admit I get there a lot less (tho I do like both poputonium and tristero, have read both for a long time)…

Anyway, here is the Great Digby Liberality (which I made sure to quote and link at the time):

I hope some of the comments I’m reading around the blogosphere aren’t reflections of of a knee jerk cynicism on the part of Democrats who have fallen in love with their assessment that they are superior to their elected leaders. This is a very dangerous state of mind.

Right … we can’t have that.  And if you follow the Digby link, note the comment about filibuster… the great Kerry play from Davos (he phoned it in)…

If the Dems had 60 in the senate they would not stage a filibuster.  Much less 45 or 49/50/51.  They agree with the effing Republicans.  Too often.

Anyway, if you love bitchy dish that is smack on target, head over to SMBIVA.  Some of their sharp little shivs at Digby are divine.


Not too surprisingly while I was at SMBIVA I found another good post… well, a top-notch excerpt posted, from LBO blog, below is part of the excerpt:

Neither the DP nor the RP has a base in that sense nor has either ever had one. The only base either party has is made up of local party organizations. Local elected officials (e.g., the Daley machine in Chicago). Local and State labor bureaucrats. Local NOW or NAACP chapters. A few small businessmen (even in areas controlled by the opposing party), etc. The political principles of these local organizations are for the most part whatever principles will maintain the organization in existence. In scattered cases that means principles which would appeal to leftists, but with almost no exceptions, these particular local organizations are practical leftists, that is they will go through all the motions of pushing their politics, but in the last instance will always join in the unanimous nomination of the winner at the Convention and campaign for him or her.

References to the DP’s base on this list confuse the base of the party with the large masses of “abstract — isolated — individuals” who can be shuffled to the polls by these organizations or can be corraled by TV ads. But these voters are no part at all of The Party — either its base or its leadership. And they cannot be reached by working “inside” the DP because that is not where they are, except for 5 minutes every 4 years (for some of them every 2 years).

It is just 4 robust grafs, but gets it said, succinct and to the point.


moiv has continued with her Death Pimps post: Death Pimps II (anyone whose knees are bruised from genuflection, move on by, I don’t want people oh-ffended!)

Here is a consummate assessment from about the middle of the posting:

The usual exceptions — rape, incest, and “life of the mother” — are tacked on to soothe the unease of “family values voters” gullible enough to believe that those words actually mean something.[emphasis is mine]

Rape and incest provisions in this year’s abortion bans submit a woman to interrogation and the intrusive collection of DNA by law enforcement within a narrow time frame — an even further violation of her person and her privacy.

That would sum it up.  Despite a lot of soft blither around too many so called Liberal Blahgs.  Oh well, skip wars if it suits and mis-read banning medical procedures.

What is a little coercive stupidity when power is in reach…


Who is IOZ has a smart and pointed post (sense the roll here at Mcat?) on the ever swirling (should they win the WH, it will be the Dems who will insert it into our lives, invoking Jack Kennedy) swirl on subscription, prescription, national conscription… national servitude…


Meanwhile, one of the great merits of Western prosperity over the last few centuries was to allow for the re-creation of a reasonable period of youth, something which the grimmer period between antiquity and modernity had largely obliterated. My own “narrow confines” involved exploration, friendship, a little trouble, a lot of fun. I read books, made goofy movies with my friends, played some sports, wandered in the woods of Western Pennsylvania, imagined conspiracies of local personalities, hung out in coffee shops, smoked some pot, learned to change a tire, mastered a few video games, rode some roller coasters, and worked just enough to make some extra spending money. Granted I grew up in neither a hopeless suburb nor a sanitized ghetto–or have I reversed those?–but I’m tempted to say that a little leisure while one awaits adulthood is salutary.

With the bang-up close:

Life’s purpose is not love of country, whatever anyone tells you, and to spend a few years in splendid dissipation would in a just world be one of the universal rights of man.


While I was there, I checked for one of the sublime Friday food columns at IOZand last Friday was … well here is a snippet:

This frittata combines the rich flavor of caremalized yellow onions, the bright flavors of fresh leeks and green onions, and the rustic, extra-salty taste of Pecorino Romano. I cook mine in slow-rendered fat from pig jowls (pig jowl bacon, rind and meat removed, fat cut into small chucks, and slowly heated over a low flame), but butter or olive oil work just as well. The pig fat, if you don’t mind the extra labor, adds a great smokey flavor, though.

Here is another snippet from one of IOZ’s Foodie Friday columns:

[T]he braising liquid is simply prepared. Finely dice an onion, a large shallot (or a couple small), and several cloves of garlic. Sweat them out slowly over a low-medium heat in your brasing dish. Remember, you are trying to preserve the brightness of flavor here, not produce a hearty, wintery meal, so you want to avoid browning and caremalizing. At the proper temperature, the onions and shallots should slowly turn translucent, and the liquid from them should be visible on the bottom of the pan.

Add a large can of whole tomatoes. (With the exception of seasonal tomatoes in August and early September, good canned tomatoes are almost always superior in quality and taste to the pale, watery things sold in the produce section. A good rule of thumb: as with any fruit, the best sense to test a tomato’s ripeness is your nose. Does it smell like a tomato? If it does, it’s got flavor. If it smells like nothing, it will taste like the garnish on your omelette plate at Denny’s.)

Add a bouquet garni of thyme, rosemary, and flat-leaf parsely. Add the juice of one lemon and one lime. Finally, I like to add a dry, fruity white wine–perhaps a French Riesling or even a Gruner Veltliner. Just a cup or so will do. Or, if you want something a little more unusual, acidic, and Mediterranean, find yourself some verjuice (less–3/4 cup will do).

Link to all his foodie columns.


Arthur Silber has several new ones up… but this is from a posting of a couple days ago:

[B]ut one critical point is this: although today’s authoritarian conservatives reveal the primary underlying belief in an especially crude form, that same belief is now shared in different variations by virtually everyone.

As I phrased it in “Writing from the Scaffold,” that conviction is: “the belief that man’s nature requires that he obediently submit to authority.” Conservatives believe that man must submit to “God’s will”; with their fervent embrace of “big government conservatism” (including an aggressively interventionist foreign policy, see Irving Kristol for the literally bloody details: “In Service of the New Fascism“), many conservatives also believe that man must submit to the State (which must endeavor to reflect “God’s will,” as the conservatives interpret it). Liberals typically leave God out of the equation (well, maybe not) — but they believe just as or even more strongly that man must submit to the State. Hence, the endless calls for greater government involvement in the economic sphere, the demands for national and global “planning,” proposals for incomprehensibly and indecipherably complex regulation of any and every area of human activity, and all the rest.

The theme is always the same: man must submit to authority. They are all the people described by Berlin, who are “too offended and discouraged by the shapelessness of spontaneity, by the lack of order among human beings who wish to live their own lives, not in obedience to any common pattern.” Many people will argue that the world is now “too complex” to rely on spontaneity in this manner, and they will contend that such spontaneity will lead only to chaos and destruction. It is not immediately apparent why this must be so.  ::…:: 

Wow!  Silber is a libre-penseur!

[I]n addition, those who insist that the State is necessary to prevent catastrophe run up against historical evidence that represents an insurmountable problem: in the modern era, it is precisely the existence of the State that has made catastrophe possible on a scale never before seen in all of history.

The twentieth century saw destruction and death on a monumental scale and of a kind that would not have been possible in the absence of States. Given the early years of this century, we may be looking at another hundred years of the same or even worse, assuming we even manage to survive it. With regard to this issue, the State is the problem, not the solution. Moreover, the advocates of obedience to the State seek to avoid a critical fact that I highlight regularly: that the State has and will always be captured by certain privileged groups and sectors of society. Yes, our rulers will tell us — as all rulers always tell their subjects — that they represent “the people” and “the people’s will.”  ::…::

[I inserted some graf breaks, took a liberty!]


UPDATE, 2:25 am

hmm yes:

“If we do nothing, people will ask legitimately, `Why couldn’t the Democrats deal with this overarching issue,”’ Kennedy says in an interview. “If we don’t enact comprehensive changes now, the climate isn’t going to get better; the emotions will just get more inflamed.”

The Massachusetts lawmaker says he thinks there will be a Democratic president in 2009 and “we can come back to the parts of the bill that don’t work. That will be a lot easier than trying to deal with it from scratch.”

A new Democratic president — or, for that matter, a Republican — would inherit a full plate of challenges: a health- care crisis; the need to deal with costly and popular entitlement programs such as Social Security; global warming; a North Korea with eight nuclear bombs; and an Iran on the verge of joining the nuclear club — not to mention the Iraq war.

Like the current president, and the country, he or she will be better off if Congress takes one of these challenges off the plate and enacts immigration reform.

(Albert R. Hunt is the executive editor for Washington at Bloomberg News.)

Oh what a rocky road ahead. 

Just cannot decide, should the Dems lose… and their full throated whining, with phrases heard for years continue – or! should they win?  And the whines change, a little?

As I consider the republic to be academic, the question is nearly moot.



This arrived by email.  Few snips from Counterpunch

Two San Joaquin Valley Representatives, Dennis Cardoza of Merced and Jim Costa of Fresno, were among 42 Democrats that voted to keep the world’s foremost torture school, the School of the Americas, open during a House vote on June 21. The vote was 203 yes, 214 no, 1 voting “present” and 19 not voting.

Cardova, Costa and 40 other Democrats voted no on the McGovern/Lewis Amendment that would have finally cut off funding to the School of Americas (SOA), now known as Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC).

Only 6 more votes were needed to pass it–but these Democrats shamefully chose to join Republican Representatives in voting for the school, whose graduates have been responsible for genocide, assassinations, torture and other human rights violations throughout Latin America for decades.

California representatives Loretta Sanchez and Grace Napolitano, along with Charles Rangel of New York, are listed among the Democrats who chose not to vote. (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not found on any list, not even present.)

SOA Watch, a human rights advocacy group founded in 1990 by Maryknoll Priest Father Roy Bourgeois to close the “School of Death,” was disappointed by the vote. However, SOA Watch vowed to continue its efforts in Congress until the school, located in Fort Benning, Georgia, is shut down.

“The grassroots mobilizing effort was tremendous: Tens of thousands of emails, faxes and calls flooded the halls of Congress over the past three days,” said Joao Da Silva, SOA Watch spokesman, after the vote at 11:52 p.m. on Thursday. “Students, clergy, union members and veterans traveled to DC and visited with hundreds of Congressional offices to communicate clearly that there is no room for institutions like the SOA/WHINSEC in our future.  [snip]

At the link is the list of 42.  Who voted with the Republicans. Who was “present” and so on.  Yes, no shock, several of the new ‘sold to the progressive BlahgSnots’ in the House, Patrick Murphy, Joe Sestak… Ciro Rodriquez… several of the old guard, Clyburn, Skelton, Tanner of TENN who is – iirc – head of the Bloooooooo Dogs, Gene Taylor.  Also Stephanie Herseth. 

As long as people buy the bullshit, they will put it in the lemonade and charge for it.

Prepare for war forever.    And laugh out loud, elections have consequences.


UPDATE… 10:58 am Tuesday

oh you really have to laugh.  The “line” on Newman used to be that he did not suffer fools.  Must be something in the spaghetti sauce.

Catch the latest gimme gimme email from the DSCC –

More than the films, more than the awards – finding out that I was on Nixon’s Enemies List meant that I was doing something right.

Nixon didn’t like my campaigning for Democratic presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy.  But then again, he didn’t much care for debate, dissent, or the Constitution either. 

I was proud to stand with Democrats against an imperial president back then.  And I am proud now to stand with a new generation of Democrats against a president who poses    what I believe to be the biggest internal threat  to American democracy in my lifetime. 

That’s why, when I was asked to send this message on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), I quickly agreed.  A Democratic Senate is the best defense against this administration. I am as frustrated as all of you that Congress hasn’t made more progress on issues we care about here in 2007.  But I also know that Democrats only have a 51-49 majority in the Senate – and that Republicans, with threats of filibusters and vetoes, have tried to block just about everything. 

The emphasis was in the text of the email, not mine.  Chorus line. 

We need more sell outs in Congress, please help!

I am as frustrated as all of you that Congress hasn’t made more progress on issues we care about here in 2007.  But I also know that Democrats only have a 51-49 majority in the Senate – and that Republicans, with threats of filibusters and vetoes, have tried to block just about everything. 

By now it’s just amusing, nothing more.  hmm for maximum popcorn ! effect (and I want to use those Japanese binoculars I bought, they said I could see fleas on dogs at a mile!), I think Dems should retain both Houses, add at least 5 – 6 in the senate and def win the presidency.

I am on the record! Dem majorities!  Retake the WH (suckas can suck their thumbs while the America they mythologise stays elusive and stays at war).

 Mark it down! 


In related news, Tuston wants to be on the record (he sent it at 9 AM Pacific Time).  I sense the same sentiment…

but I got to go on the record about this “immigration bill” before the vote for cloture, they will vote to end debate and the ugly ( and I do mean UGLY) bastard bill will pass in the next week or so…Beyond big business wanting this “reform” they need to give Bush a victory of some sort or the crows will begin to pluck at the dead corpse inside the oval office ( i.e. “something” will have to be done).

I would add that it is the NCLB “coalition”, think, a fusion bomb, an IED, a snake in the grass! – at work again.  Kennedy wants a win too.  See the Bloomberg snip from Al Hunt above.  And of course US Chamber of Commerce wants a win, Business Roundtable wants a win.

Let’s win one for Pete Petersen!  That’ll rally the troops (it’ll rally Paul Newman!)!  Yeah!

LAT is up on the revived! “comprehensive immigration bill”…

The procedural vote passed 64 to 35, just four votes over the 60 required. The move doesn’t guarantee that a law to change national policy on the millions of legal and illegal immigrants will follow, but the much anticipated action breathed new life into a legislative campaign deemed vital to President Bush and the Senate Democratic leadership, both of which worked hard to round up the votes to resuscitate the congressional immigration debate.

In related news Tuston sent this a few days ago, from his vantage point just north of the border down SW way:

I can’t wait until los chubascos (monsoons).   Right now its gonna break 100 degrees today and the hillsides are dry and  brown.  A few weeks more and  the rains will come (hopefully!) then the temperatures will drop 10-20 degrees and the countryside as verdant as Ireland.

Anyhoo, the Border Patrol presence has really started to intensify here.  Not so much with the helos, but lots and lots of patrols in the tubac area,  extra dog teams at the reten, and youngish looking off duty agents everywhere. 

Giffords told the rich gringos here and Sonoita (another wealthy white enclave on the eastern edge of the county) that she would be doing something about “border secuirity” and talk to the BP to “increase its presence”.  It looks like she has.  She’s also flooding the airwaves with commercials about how she voted to “increase the minimum wage”.   It almost seems like campaign season.   I’d love to see her internal polling; I’m betting she’s tanking.  My mom continues to fund the Dems and is called regularly by the local party apparatus, but she’s pissed at Giffords on Border issues and I know many of her friends and acquaintances are too.  The local Tubac sentiment (whether Red, Blue, Purple of Green) is “We’re in the US, stop the migrants at the border, not north of here”

 [Tuston gave his permission]

LOL “It almost seems like campaign season”.  Well the SCOTUS just helped her sort out (see FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life,).  Stephie on ABC says we will b INUNDATED as never before with campaign ads from the big big big pocket entities …

Paul can do an ad:   Spaghetti sauce on your senator!  It’s not McCarthyisms, it’s Free Speech. 

From the First Amendment Center — I consider McCain Feingold to have been a bust, on the ground – 527s!, but certainly now the big pockets have a lot more leeway:

 Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life
It was Justice David Souter’s turn to read a dissent from the bench in this case, the latest in a series of dissents delivered orally by liberals in major cases this term.

The majority opinion, Souter lamented, “leaves Congress powerless” to curb the use of corporate and union funds to influence campaigns directly — funds that have been the targets of federal regulation for more than a century. The Court, Souter said, had “effectively and unjustifiably” overturned its ruling in McConnell v. FEC, decided just four years earlier. Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer joined in Souter’s dissent.

The majority, led by Roberts, found that part of the McCain-Feingold law, the 2002 law that represented the high-water mark of campaign regulation, was unconstitutional — at least as applied to the Wisconsin case before the Court. The law bans pre-election ads that mention candidates by name and are paid for directly by corporations and unions, and applies during the 30 days before a primary and the 60 days before a general election.

Please note that the anti abortion, anti women legal arm of the hard core RW movement is who fought the case, thru to the SC.  My guess, the spaghetti sauce bedecked Schumer is up in WI recruiting from WI RtL.  They (Rahm and Bill C) did it in the ’06 cycle in Ohio (Charlie WIlson, Ohio Right to Life).

Remember:  elections have consequences.  Specially when rigged.


Last, a snip from First Amendment Center on the FS case that lost (Morse v. Frederick,) :

Morse v. Frederick

When Joseph Frederick unfurled a banner across the street from his high school in Juneau, Alaska, he says that even he wasn’t sure what his message — “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” — really meant. But Principal Deborah Morse took it to signify support for illegal drug use, told him to take it down, and suspended Frederick when he did not. Frederick displayed the banner in 2002 as the Olympic Torch was passing by amid cameras and news coverage.

[D]issenting Justice John Paul Stevens — who shook his head as Roberts read from the majority decision yesterday — saw greater danger in the decision. Stevens asserted that Frederick’s message was a “nonsense banner” that did not advocate illegal or harmful behavior. Students would not view it as a pro-drug message, Stevens said, adding that “Most students … do not shed their brains at the schoolhouse gate, and most students know dumb advocacy when they see it.”

Stevens also said, “The Court does serious violence to the First Amendment” by upholding a school’s decision to punish a student for expressing a view with which it disagrees. Even drug advocacy does not rise to the level of advocating imminent violence, which the Court has said can be punished, Stevens said. Justices Souter and Ginsburg joined Stevens’ dissent.

Justice Breyer said he would have handled the case by deciding only that Principal Morse should not be held liable for her actions, without getting to the First Amendment issue involved. On the question of liability, the Court agreed unanimously that Morse should not be penalized.

I heard Jan Greenberg interview Stevens a few months ago, one f his rare interviews.  She announced him as a “moderate”, he corrected her.  A conservative.

Watch the decades roll by, and remember JP Stevens is a conservative.  Or was, in a different America.  Not a reactionary, not a winger, not a Bircher – just a conservative.

Now, as Arthur SIlber points out above, most, including many who self describe as “liberal” or [such an awkward word, they can have it] “progrressive”,  support an authoritarian hard – or harder –  push.

Ain’t it a shame.  Heap spaghetti sauce on your shame America.


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