Friday, December 17, 2004

Merry Christmas?

All I can say is Bah-Humbug. Really, I am totally not in the mood this holiday. Not a christian, hate shopping, don't want to give nor receive anything. I am completely turned off by the glutony of upscale shoping malls and advertising and gift catalogs that we are bombarded with this time of year. I'm on edge because it seems that so many areas of my life are uncertain and unsettled. Prospects of Peace on Earth or Goodwill are dim. So, please allow me to opt out.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Rant: Automombile Hell

Yep! Been going through Automobile Hell lately. One little annoying noise results in taking my car in for repair no less than 6 freakin' times. Damn that Bolles Motors. You know the story. One little problem grows into another and another... and I am still not done.

To make matters worse, just as I am dropping off the car, and calling the wife on the cell, she gets a flat tire in some remote industrial area a few towns away in the dark of night. She has to wait in the car for a couple hours till daughter can pick me up and take me to her car to change the tire. Thank god for cell phones. I can't imagine how we could have communicated and made all the logistical arrangements without it. A bitch of a night to be sure.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Mandala Construction

Watched these Buddhist monks that came from a monastary in Ithaca NY, construct this Mandala, a sand painting, which they will deconstruct in a couple of weeks. The one I witnessed took place at UCONN's Benton museum. INCREDIBLE.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

The Onion : Nation's Poor Win Election For Nation's Rich

Gotta love The Onion. They just always put everything into perspective.

"'The Republican party—the party of industrial mega-capitalists, corporate financiers, power brokers, and the moneyed elite—would like to thank the undereducated rural poor, the struggling blue-collar workers in Middle America, and the God-fearing underpriviledged minorities who voted George W. Bush back into office,' Karl Rove, senior advisor to Bush, told reporters at a press conference Monday. 'You have selflessly sacrificed your well-being and voted against your own economic interest. For this, we humbly thank you.'"
link to full article

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The Great Divide

The results are in, and IMHO they are NOT good for the future of our country. Looking at the electoral map it is clear that there is a great divide in the way we Americans believe we should be governed. The North East, the Great Lake States and West coast vote Kerry, and the Southern, Plain, and Midwest are Bush country. Bush wins by 51% of the popular vote. Some call that a mandate, I think it is pretty damn close to an even split.

Listnening to all the so-called experts, all we are hearing are how the Democrats lost on the Values issue. I think they are correct. However, the last thing the Democrats need to do is to give-in and become more like the Republicans. The Repubs will always out-trump the Dems on so-called Family Values as they are defined by Bush and the Religious Right. What the Dems need to do now, is to define Family Values in terms of livable wages, racial and ethnic tolerance, fair taxation, and affordable healthcare. Basically, the Dems have to recapture their traditional base of the common working man/woman and appeal to the Real Family Values that we all struggle with everyday.

BTW, after listening to all the talk shows, and all the right wing talking heads speaking of how Bush must translate this mandate into an agenda of the Religious Right... the Christian Evangalist movement is beginning to sound alot like Islamic Fundamentalist... just with a different leader.

What I haven't heard, and what the Democrats refuse to admit is that the demise of the Democratic party began with the Clinton scandal. The Dems pooh-poohed Clinton's relations with Monica Lewinski. That set the tone for what was percieved to be corrupt Democratic values. It cost Gore the election and the Dems never addressed the problem. Now, in 2004, the Dems even flaunted the issue by holding up Bill Clinton as a saint and savior of the Party. Big mistake.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

A Day of Decision for the World

For the sake of this country and indeed the world, it is my sincere desire to see George Bush defeated today. Regardless of who prevails, I can only hope that the election has a decisive finish so we are not dragged through weeks of accusations and legal battles that diminish the democratic process. With emotions running at a fever pitch, I can only imagine what may happen post election. Will there be riots in the streets? What will be the World reaction? Will the terrorists strike at this crucial moment in history? My own anxiety, concern and stress are at levels higher than I can remember over political issues.

Why haven't we learned a lesson from the 2000 elections, and made some serious strides towards election reform? The "Winner take all" electoral college system is obscenly outdated and should be removed immediatly. The fact that a candidate can be elected without the majority of the popular vote is obviously counter to all Democratic principles. And that means run-off elections if no candidate gets a majority of votes. It is a travesty that the Supreme Court Justices decided who became president in 2000. Unfortunately, with the polls and predictions as they are we could very well see a repeat of 2000. I do not discount the possibility that this administration may use its power and influence to undermine and obstruct this election. I sincerely hope that does not occur.

My own prediction and my fervent hope, is that John Kerry will win. I think the large number of new voters and cell phone users that have not been accurately polled, lean heavily toward Kerry. Inclement weather predictions in the key states of Ohio and PA may keep more non-committed people at home and I think that favors Kerry. In fact, I agree with the pundits that this election rides on getting the vote out, and I feel that the more committed citizens, those likely to vote despite long lines, bad weather, and voter intimidation (if it exists) are those that seek a change in this countries leadership.

Friday, October 29, 2004

You CAN vote for Ralph Nader in 2004 (maybe...)

I am tiring of Dems and some liberals trashing Ralph Nader's candidacy. Let's face it, Kerry and the Dems have forsaken their liberal roots. Kerry would rather get that photo-op stomping around the woods in camouflage with a 12 gauge shotgun, than take a strong stand against the War in Iraq, or advocate Universal Health Care, or propose a livable minimum wage. The Dems would rather slander this great American activist's name, and subvert Nader's right to appear on ballots in all 50 states, than win over his supporters by promoting a liberal agenda for the Kerry presidency.

However, I do NOT want 4 more disastrous years of a George Bush administration. Yet there is a very good chance that this may happen. Our outdated and corruptible election system allows for the election of a president without a majority of the popular vote. The mathematics of the Electoral College may favor Bush if he is not defeated in a few key states. It finally struck me that there is indeed an answer to this dilemma. I found it in a petition that advocates Nader supporters to vote for Kerry "IN ALL SWING STATES". Therefore if you live in one of the 40 or so NON-Swing states, whether it is a Red or a Blue state, you are free to vote your conscience. This petition was signed by many of the great progressive minds of our time. Here in Connecticut, the polls show a 9-15 percent edge in Kerry's favor. Here, we have the luxury of voting our conscience.

A presidential election comes along only once every 4 years. I view this not only as the selection of a president, but a referendum for the policies and agenda for the next term. If you vote for John Kerry OR George Bush, you are voting for the following agenda:

• Continuation of a military occupation of Iraq
• Increased troop strength and military spending
• A health care system run by Insurance companies focused more on executive salaries and profits for the shareholders than the patients.
• No change in our system of Corporate funded elections resulting in 'Government by the Corporations, For the Corporations and for the benefit of the shareholders'.

If you feel strongly that you do not agree with these positions, I would urge you to vote for Ralph Nader, UNLESS you live in one of the Swing-States like Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa and about 10 others (you know who you are). In that case, I would urge you to vote against another George Bush presidency by voting for John Kerry.

If you live in a non-swing state, and you believe in reforming the two party system, restoring Democracy and moving the Democratic party towards one that values labor, world peace, the oppressed, and a progressive liberal agenda, than let your voice be heard. Vote for Ralph Nader.

(BTW, if your convictions are so strong that you feel in your heart that you must vote for Nader despite living in a swing state... I promise not to harass you for it. Vote your conscience.)

Thursday, October 28, 2004

The Curse... Reversed

Now, I am not a superstitious guy, but I gotta say, there WAS something to this Curse of the Bambino stuff. The Red Sox always lose in such dramatic fashion. I have watched in amazement, the Bucky Dent homer in the one game playoff against the Yankees, the ball dribbling through Bill Buckner's leg against the Mets in the 1986 World Series, and the Aaron Boone 11th inning HR in the 7th game of the American League championships just last year.

This year's post season was so strange. For the first time ever a team comes back from a 0-3 game deficit in MLB post season play (not to mention football and basketball); two overturned umpire decisions in one game (both favoring the Sox); police called onto field in full riot gear to prevent violence; first time a team has won a game in post season after committing 4 errors... and they did that in 2 consecutive games; rediculously bad base running error by the Cardinals stopped potential game tying rally.

To cap it all off, Red Sox win the World Championship for the first time since 1918 on the evening of a full moon with a total lunar eclipse... DAMN! TALK ABOUT HAVING THE PLANETS ALIGNED!

Monday, October 25, 2004

I wasn't going to vote for Nader...

... Until They Told Me I Couldn't

If Bush Wins, Blame Me


Excerpts from an article by DAVID VEST from Counterpunch. click on link to read entire article

I hate the Bush ads that make Kerry seem unpatriotic for even daring to oppose the incumbent. Bush and Cheney have consistently suggested that for Kerry to point out the obvious, that Iraq is a mess, somehow "hurts the troops." Even worse, he is "helping the terrorists," who are doing everything in their power to help Kerry win.

I thought these were the vilest political arguments, until I looked at the thrust of Kerry's argument against Nader. Kerry has done to Nader precisely what Bush tried to do to Kerry, suggesting that it is somehow unpatriotic of Ralph that he would even consider running for president when Kerry is running. He is "helping the Republicans," who are doing everything in their power to help Ralph run. He is on an "ego trip," he is "damaging his legacy," and a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush.

The character attacks on Nader launched by the Kerry camp have been, if anything, even harsher than the Bush campaign's attacks on Kerry. Their anti-Nader "talking points" have successfully permeated political discourse, and not just on TV. I hear them coming out of the mouths of good people, folks who passionately love their country and who seem to have no idea they are helping to slander a good man who believes himself to be working on their behalf.

They have almost managed to convince me that it will be not only Ralph Nader's fault but mine as well if Bush wins. For all I know, they may be right.

Since it's all my fault, feel free to vote for Nader if you want to, the damage is already done.

It proves Ralph's point about how corrupt our two-party system is. (ed.- refering to Democrats efforts to deny Nader's name on state ballots)
(end of excerpt)

Ultimately, you should make your decision based on the issues. Ralph Nader's (RN) position versus John Kerry (JK):

IRAQ
RN: Set a six month timeline for the withdraw of troops from Iraq. Replace troops with International Peace-keepers from neutral countries to conduct free elections (not US sponsored elections to prop up a puppet regime).
JK: Increase troop strength, "Win the war"
------
MILITARY SPENDING
RN: Decrease military spending
JK: Increase military spending
-------
HEALTH CARE
RN: Single-payer government sponsored health insurance, available to every citizen.
JK: Continue with current Corporate owned and operated health plans, but subsidize health insurance with tax dollars to those who cannot afford it.
-------
ELECTION REFORM
RN: Promotes electoral reform, refuses Corporate and PAC money. Endorses Run-off Election voting.
JK: Has said little about election reform, accepts big contributions from Corporate and special interest groups (including money from the same sources that fund the Bush campaign).

I just heard a Nader interview. He closed by saying... (approx. quote), 'If you are not prepared to fight and lose, fight and lose, fight and lose... you will just lose, and your agenda will be lost forever.'

I guess I am back in the ranks of the undecided.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The best month of the year

October is the best part of the year. Crisp cool air, gorgeous fall foliage, fresh apples... and of course, Baseball Playoffs and the World Series. Once again, the Boston Red Sox are trying to shake the ghost of Babe Ruth with an incredible series against those arrogant, $$deep-pocket$$, Yankees. It just doesn't get any better than last nights Red Sox win. This game had everything. Two critical plays overturned by the Umpires (a double changed to a Sox HR, and A-Rod slapping the ball out of the 1st basemen's glove turns a run into an out), gutsy pitching by the crippled Curt Schilling and to top it off, dozens of police in riot gear to protect the players from angry mobs in the stands!!! Sox scratch and claw their way back from a 3-0 game deficit to force the final 7th game. Just the way it should be when the Sox meet the Yanks in post-season.

Oh yeah, and there is that other great contest going on. Bush versus Kerry. That one could go into extra innings... just like in 2000. We can only hope that the Massachusetts team wins that one too. ;-)

Saturday, October 16, 2004

John Kerry is the right choice

Till now, I have been one of those undecided voters. Of course the choice has not been Bush v. Kerry. That choice is clear. In four short years, G. W. Bush has done an incredible amount of damage to this country, both in foreign and domestic affairs. He has gotten us into an unjustifiable, senseless and costly war in Iraq. The majority of nations all over the world have turned against us. The economy and jobs situation is in shambles, and he has sold out the middle class time and time again, to the benefit of corporate interests and the wealthy. This administration has been a disaster.

For me, the choice has been between Nader or Kerry. My disdain for what the American political system has become has, in the past few elections, dominated my decision to support 3rd party candidates. Democrats are only slightly less guilty than Republicans for what has transpired in recent decades with Corporate welfare, the healthcare crisis, and even this war. None of this administrations calamities could have been possible without consenting votes from the Democrats in congress. Furthermore, IMHO, the Dems have failed to nominate a candidate that really distinguished himself as a moral leader and champion of the middle class working men and women and the oppressed.

Initially I was not impressed with the choice of Kerry for president. But the more I learn about this man, the more respect I have gained for him. The essence of his character is rooted in his experience in Vietnam, and the actions that he took to protest the war when he returned. Oddly, it seems that the evil Republicans have seized upon this very thing as his greatest weakness! However, I feel that he demonstrated extreme courage and moral conviction in risking his future by condemning (rightly so) America's involvement in that war. By urging an end to the war in Vietnam, Kerry helped to save many lives that would have been lost had we continued.

Those actions have convinced me that John Kerry will bring a swift end to the war in Iraq. I also believe that John Kerry's post Vietnam actions demonstrate that he is a man with strong moral convictions that will guide his decision making in the White House. I am also convinced that John Kerry will steer this country in a direction that will benefit the lives of average working men and women in this country. George Bush makes decisions that promote a conservative agenda that we have seen will benefit the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

So, sorry Ralph, I very much dig what you stand for, and I would love to see a viable 3rd party that is not beholden to corporate interests... But this time, I think the Dems have picked an honorable and competent leader in John Kerry (and John Edwards), that will get us out of this military occupation of Iraq, and fight for the working men and women here at home.

Oh yeah... John Kerry IS a Mac user. see photo below


credit: Time Magazine photo by Diane Walker

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

What happened to real journalism?

Attended a great presentation by Amy Goodman from Democracy Now!, a great independent news organization. She showed her documentary on the media in Iraq, and promoted her book "Exception to the Rulers". This administration's system of embeded journalism (or more accurately, government in-bed with the journalists) has re-defined the news media's role. Gone are the days of a media that raised questions of our governements actions, that dared to present a dissenting viewpoint as we saw during the Viet Nam years. Why have we not seen coverage of Iraqi civilian casualties, the destruction of homes, bodies of soldiers returning in coffins? During the Iraqi invasion, network news dutifully renamed their programs to coincide with the official US title, they hired retired US generals, they spoke of surgical strikes (a myth), and minimal civilian casualties (un-truths). Even the most conservative estimates by independent agencies show nearly 10,000 civilian casualties.

Amy's film showed the horrible images of war; children burned and dismembered. Mothers holding dead babies, villages destroyed. She showed CNN's sanitized coverage for US audiences, while CNN International showed the same event covered without deleting the scenes of carnage and destruction. She showed films of American tanks rolling up to the news bureaus of Abu Dabi News and Al-Jazerah and blasting thier headquarters killing several journalists (you may not like Al-Jazerah, but these were news reporters, not combatants). Why wasn't the protests during the Republican National Convention covered by the news media? These were the largest political protests ever in NYC, and the most arrests during a single event (2000 protesters), yet it failed to get any significant news coverage.

Amy Goodman's most significant point during the evening was; and I will quote to the best of my memory, "It is hard to imagine that if this was a government controlled news media, would the coverage of the Iraq war would be any different?". Maybe if the press had played the role of real journalists, and doggedly asked the probing questions that should have been asked about WMD's, the supposed threat that Iraq posed, the motivating factors that would bring us to war and occupation... maybe this war would have been avoided.

This presentation was sponsored by WHUS. Proud to say, its the station that airs my jazz radio program Sunday 2-4 PM (Ha... snuck a promo in there!)

Friday, September 24, 2004

Rather blather

What is all this crap about so-called RatherGate? The fact of the matter is, Rather's point was correct. Yeah, CBS F*ed up by using a document that likely had been forged (though not yet conclusively proven). But even the secretary that would have typed it admitted that such a document existed, and it accuratly reflects what occurred. Add this to missed National Guard meetings, physicals, flight training, etc., and it speaks volumes about this man's lack of character... especially in light of Kerry's honorable service during that time.

But, you know what? Its all bullshit. Just like the Swift-Boat crap. I am getting increasingly disgusted with the whole political scene. The central issue should be how this President has dragged us into the quagmire of Iraq. We are mistrusted around the world, have fomented terrorism where there was none before, and sacrificed many thousands of lives for a war justified by lies and misrepresentations.

Yet Kerry finds himself constantly on the defensive. What is wrong with this picture? Kerry should be attacking the President like a bull-dog, not backed in a corner trying to defend himself! God knows between Iraq, the economy, taxation policies, the environment, and social issues, there is plenty to attack on. Once again the Dems choose a candidate with no backbone. It sure makes Nader look like an alternative to consider. Maybe a decent showing by Nader could make the Dems wake up and take notice!

Monday, September 20, 2004

It's yer berfday!. Yeah, numero five one. Ouch... it's all good though. Feel like I'm on the top of my game.
• The Maiden Voyage of In The Groove went damn well, if I may say so. Still have lots of room for improvement, but I am pleased with the effort.
• Back into running. Doing pretty good. Need to keep it up and drop 'bout 10 pounds I've gained back.
• Great evening dinner out with whole Fam to celebrate bday.
• Great stylin' bday gifts... Leather.
• Encouraging signs that things are picking up at work.
• Even Fantasy Baseball is going my way. MetSox in 3rd place.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

My radio show

Yeah, man!! Its official. I got me a radio gig. Now you can catch my jazz show; In The Groove...Jazz and Beyond on 91.7 FM WHUS Storrs CT, and anywhere in the world via Internet streaming; Sundays from 2:00 to 4:00 PM EST.

Damn nice time slot for a newbie. I was spared the overnight early AM shift. Not sure how that happened, but I am sincerely grateful to get a Sunday afternoon show. Thanks Kris Z. Your the best.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

On the Radio

Finally, did my first radio show. Been workin' on it all summer. classes, labs, tests, demo's, mentoring... It all leads up to gettin' on the air. WHUS 91.7 FM from Storrs CT, home of University of CT; Radio for the People. Did a fill-in at the ungodly time slot of 2-5 AM. The show went well, and I get to do another fill-in Monday Sep 6 at a primo time slot of 8-10 PM. Of course I am doing a Jazz Show... 'In the Groove, Jazz and Beyond'. Will find out in a couple of week if I get my very own weekly show.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth?

I suspect that many people actually believe that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are just a bunch of Vietnam Vets that feel betrayed by Jim Kerry's anti-war activities. It takes millions of dollars to produce and air these ads, and this group is backed by a cast of wealthy Washington (and Texas) insiders deeply entrenched in the George Bush inner circle. This graphic from the NY Times shows some of those connections, as well as debunks the Vets that appear in these ads. Just more lies and deceptions designed to deflect the public from the real issues that this administration would rather not see debated in this campaign.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

It don't mean a thing...

if it ain't got that swing. Caught the Count Basie Orchestra last night at the Summerwind concert series. Man, they did swing. This music is timeless. These arrangements could have been penned yesterday. Great musicianship, flawless execution, incredible timing makes for good music in any era. These cats played with power, sensitivity, swing, improvisation. Drummer Butch Miles kicked the whole thing ahead with a Buddy Rich-like performance. The band played extremely tight as they belted out the old Count Basie Orchestra arrangements. Soloists marched one by one from their positions on the grandstand to front-stage to blow some incredible solos. Just great music.

Sadly, the concert was very poorly attended, partly due to the severe weather forcasts (actually the rain held off, and it was a nice cool evening), and mostly because of a lack of popularity for this genre. Too bad. This music deserves to be heard.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Summer Vacation Blues!

One week vacation in the summer is just not enough. Did a lot this week, though. Went to a minor league baseball game, picked up Dave in NYC, fulfilled a couple of requirements towards getting my radio gig at WHUS. Went to Rockport MA for 3 days and stayed at a really nice B&B. As a bonus, at the Inn, I was able to hijack one of their neighbors wireless Internet access! Good for keepin' up on the geek news and fantasy baseball.

But... DAMN, now its back to work. The summer has just slipped away. I gotta start taking more vacation time.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Democratic National Convention free audio

Want to listen again to those great speeches from the DNC? Now you can give another listen to Barak Obama, Jimmy Carter, Howard Dean, John and Theresa Kerry and more. They are all available as Audible.com content, on this page from the iTunes Music Store for free! Listen to them on your computer or take them with you on your iPod. cool.

Monday, July 26, 2004

John Kerry is a Mac user!

From the pic below, it appears that John Kerry uses a 15" Titanium Powerbook... just like the one I am using to write this blog entry! Kerry must be one smart dude. Just might get my vote after all!

credit: Time Magazine photo by Diane Walker

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Gary Burton/Makoto Ozone concert

Went to this incredible Gary Burton, Makoto Ozone concert last night. A beautiful night to see a show in an outdoor venue. The music was spectacular. Probably the best musicianship I have ever seen live, in concert... and I have seen some of the best jazz musicians around. These cats had just incredible chops. Just a duet; Gary Burton, probably the worlds best vibe player, and Makoto Ozone, whom I had never seen nor heard of before last night, blew me away with his virtuosity on piano. For just two players, these guys had a fullness of sound that at times sounded like a full orchestra. They displayed an intensity in their solos, as well as great empathy for each other's playing. They played classical, swing, and ballads with incredible skill. Here is a sampling.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

MacWorld Boston 2004

Macworld Conference & Expo was once one of those events that I most looked forward to every year. In its hay-day, it was the largest expo in the city of Boston, often occupying 3 different buildings simultaneously. Fast forward to circa 1999. Apple's market share dropped from around 20% to below 5%; they had lost a foothold in big business and are now a niche player in the creative markets and home computing and a few other niches. MacWorld Boston moved to NYC, the Media and Advertising capitol, in order to re-invigorate excitement for the Mac platform. It worked for a couple of years, but after 9/11, and because of the competitive market and economy, the show continued to decline.

As I understand the rumors, after the 2003 show IDG, the company that produces the Expo, got an offer from Boston that was too good to pass up to move the show back to that city. They signed up to be the first Exposition in the spankin' new Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Apple got pissed off because they wished to keep the show in NYC. IDG was committed to Boston and refused to change plans. Sooooo.... Apple pulled out of MacWorld Expo, and furthermore stated that they would no longer participate in a MacWorld on the East Coast, though they would continue to have the San Francisco Exposition.

What kind of Expo was MacWorld Boston without Apple Computer???. It was rather small and pathetic in this big new Expo center. There were only a couple of big players (e.g. Quark, Xerox). But it was actually pretty fun. The big cool new applications being shown were mostly Music. A niche that suits my tastes just fine. iPods and accessories were everywhere. Berkley College of Music put on some great presentations on how to set up a music studio, Logic Audio digital sound editing apps were amazing, and Guitar Rigg is an incredible program to add special EFX to your guitar. There were other innovative new applications and hardware being shown. Telephony, animation, 3D modeling and Graphics... Remember when MacWorld was almost entirely Printing and Graphics?

After all is said and done, I wouldn't be surprised if this was the last MacWorld Expo to be held on the east coast. Too bad. It will be the end of an era.

But don't worry about Apple Computer. they just released their Quarterly results, and its all good. $61 million in profits, 30% increase in revenues, and the stock price at its highest point in many years. Some great new products will be announced later this year including a new line of G5 iMacs. iPod sales increased 163% and the iTunes Music store has sold over 100 million songs and made a profit. Best of all, Apple still leads the industry in innovation and has the coolest and best computer hardware and OS that money can buy. Apple iRocks!

Monday, June 28, 2004

Random

Enjoyable weekend. First, went to see the flick Fahrenheit 9/11 on opening night (see previous post). Went to Rose garden at Elizabeth park and took some good pics. Best of all, CL (with a little of my influence) bought herself a new blue iPod mini! Nothing like bringing home a spankin' new Apple gizmo. This baby rocks! An absolutly gorgeous piece of engineering. We are now a 2 iPod family. Also, bought tix for Summerwind Jazz series (Gary Burton, Count Basie, Wynton Marsalis) to keep us swingin' through the summer.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

This is a must see movie. The latest Documentary from filmmaker Michael Moore, Fahrenheit 9/11 is a powerful anti-war movie and an indictment of the Bush presidency. Unfortunately, I am afraid that in most cases the theater will be filled with those that have similar anti-war anti-bush tendencies, so he will be preaching to the choir.

The film does a great job of showing Bush's close family ties with the Saudi's, and how the US government went to great lengths to protect the Saudi Royal family and even the Bin Laden family after the 9/11 disaster. It also shows how Bush, Cheeny and their cronies have a lot to gain ($$$) from this war.

Perhaps the most powerful images are those of the Iraq war. There is nothing quite like seeing bodies blown to pieces, innocent families searching through the rubble of thier destroyed homes looking for loved ones, and soldiers with their limbs amputed, to make you see the horror and recklessness of what we have gotten into. The movie follows a woman who is a flag-waving American and mother of veterans of the first Iraq war. At first she encourages her son to join the army, and then after her son's death is transformed into one that sees the utter uselessness of this war and becomes a strong critic of George W. Bush. She reads her son's last letter, where her son expresses what most soldiers must feel. In his letter, he states; Why are we here? The Iraqi people hate us and don't want us here. Rumsfeld should resign for the terrible job he has done. I don't think anyone could listen to this letter from this now dead soldier, and believe that this is where our young men and women should be dying and being wounded.

Of course Moore partakes of his usual shenanigans of making our revered leaders from the President to the Congress look laughable... but this is no laughing matter to be sure, and Michael Moore rightly gives the levity a back seat to the seriousness of his message. A great documentary.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Radio for the People

My newest obsession... Radio for the people, 91.7 WHUS Storrs CT. I've jumped in headfirst after being turned on to it by my son. If I can get through the 6 weeks of classes and lab requirements and cut a demo tape, I will get my own radio show. Besides all the cool geeky stuff with the control boards and all the technology involved in radio broadcast, the socio-political aspect of college radio is just as fascinating.

Only 1/5 (87-92mHz) of the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum known as FM radio is designated as Non-Commercial radio. All points to the right of that frequency, 80% of the FM band, has become a vast wastland of broadcast air. In this day of mass media marketing, commercial radio is no more than a conduit for pushing products to the 18-24 year old demographic. What is worse, is that all the radio stations are owned by the same 5 or 6 media conglomerates that control the music, news and commentary. So, every station basically plays the same music, sells the same products and controls your entertainment choices and BTW will dare not use the airwaves to present alternative viewpoints that may offend its advertisers or the political-economic system in general.

Then there is non-commercial radio. An alternative voice. The left side of the dial is an oasis of free speech, alternative news and music of every variety and taste. If I make it through the program, and get my own show of Jazz, Fusion, Electronic and beyond, it will be an honor and a priviledge to serve the listening audience (what little of it there may be!). It will also be a lot of fun, access to tons of music, and an association with many cool folks that are dedicated to Radio For The People. thanks Dave!

Friday, June 11, 2004

Farewell to Ray Charles

Yesterday Ray Charles passed away at age 73. A great musical artist and a legend. His impact on American Music cannot be overstated. His voice and intonation makes his music immediatly recognizable. I first remember hearing Ray Charles from my father playing 'Georgia' on his reel to reel. Then of course the hit 'What'd I Say' that I remember spinning on a 45 rpm record till I wore out the grooves. See da girl wit the red dress on... man, great stuff. I had the pleasure of seeing Ray Charles perform live, probably in the late '80s. I remember the concert well. It was the first time I heard a performer with a 12 or 15 piece band, and the Rayettes. It rocked! If Aretha is the queen of R&B, surely Ray Charles is the King! He also had an incredible range of material. R&B, Soul, Jazz, Blues... even country.

Looks like this is the official Ray Charles web site. Don't think it has been kept up to date, but check out the Autobiography and 'Ray Reflects' links. Good reading.

If you don't mind... I'll honor the memory of Ray Charles rather than the other passing (RR) that's been on the front pages all week.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Music downloading, the way it ought to be

I am so impressed with this eMusic, legal music downloading service. I have been a member for about 6 months now. Apple iTunes... I love ya, and occasionally still cop a tune now and again, but my main source of new music has been this wonderful eMusic service. Yes, it requires a subscription of $9.99/month, but that entitles you to 40 tunes. That is a mere $.25 each, compared with a buck each from iTunes Music Store (ITMS). That's $2.50 for an average 10 track album compared with $9.99 and up at ITMS. If the music industry is serious at putting a dent in the illegal downloading trade, they must lower the price point of legal music and a quarter a song seems like the appropriate price to me. After all, digital music does not require CD production, packaging, printing, distribution, warehousing, etc. $.99 is simply outrageous, in my humble opinion.

The selection at eMusic is eclectic to say the least. You won't find the latest Brittney, Beyonce,or Coldplay here. The collection is a unique blend of old often out of print classics, and new indie material that will expand your musical horizons, and constantly surprise you with new quality creative artists that you will never see on ITMS or other similar sites. It never fails that just when I think I have exhausted the selections from eMusic that fit my taste, I discover several new albums to stash away in my account for next months downloads.

If you are a hardcore Jazz fan like myself, eMusic's jazz collection is a bounty of riches! Trane, Miles, Monk, Holiday, Sarah, Bud, Wes, Pass... the list goes on and on. eMusic is populated with hundreds of out of print classics from the Prestige/Milestone/Pablo/Fantasy labels, supplemented by many great independent recordings that provide a publishing outlet for great jazz artists that have since been shunned by the money grubbing greedy major recording labels that now make up the evil RIAA.

As an added bonus, I have been 'turned on' to many great artists, new and old that I never would have discovered by flipping through CD racks at the mall. These are artists such as Art Pepper, Steve Davis, and Eric Alexander to name just a few. I also have downloaded great new music in other genres like world music and electronic.

Do yourself a favor and check it out. If the offer is still out there, you can try it out with no obligation, and your first 50 tunes are free. That's how I got hooked. By the way, the music files are all high quality unprotected MP3's. Yep plain ole' MP3's, playable on all platforms, all portable devices, with no restrictions. Like I said, a Music Service the way it ought to be!!

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Questions to ponder

Imagine if the shoe were on the other foot. What if the US did not have the military might that we have today? What if we didn't have hundreds of billions of dollars for defense? What if a coalition of Arabic Muslim nations decided that our form of government has led to a godless society with rampant racism, greed, crime and pornography. What if this Coalition felt that the US nuclear arsenal and capabilities to produce chemical or biological weapons posed a threat to other countries of the world? What if this Coalition overstated, or misled the world with evidence of this threat to justify a preemptive military strike against our nation? What if they invaded our cities, dismantled our federal, state and city governments and put in a Governing Council made up of Muslim clerics and others sympathetic to their cause. What if this Coalition dissolved our police departments and utility companies, and replaced them with their military, paid militia, and workers from the Arabic countries?

Would actions that our US citizens take to resist and sabotage this Coalitions efforts be justified? Would you consider men and women participating in such a resistance be terrorists?

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

The most terrible affliction

Alzheimers disease has hit home. If any affliction deserves the research funding to find a cure, this is the one. This disease touches us all. If not directly, than a family member or someone you care about. 1 in 10 over age 65, and nearly half of those over 85 have Alzheimers. I have read the symptoms, and sadly Mom mirrors those to a 'T'. It weighs heavy on my heart, and is a tremendous burden on Dad. Luckily, he was prepared and the living conditions are as good as can be expected for those in this situation. Dad, your children are here for you and Mom. You are not alone.

Though not likely to be a help for Mom, a cure needs to be found for the future. According to the American Journal of Public Health, finding a treatment that could delay the onset of Alzheimers disease by five years could reduce the number of individuals with the disease by nearly 50 percent.

I would urge everyone to learn as much as you can about Alzheimers. Learn what you can do to prevent or delay its onset, contribute to research for a treatment, and support those who are afflicted or those who are caring for a loved one with the disease.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

The Year of Living Dangerously

My nephew Jason returned from his second tour of duty in Iraq. First time was during the 92 conflict. Unfortunately he had the honor of being called back a second time, another year stint, to fight Bush Junior's war. He was taken from his young family, two young children and one on the way, and sent to the very dangerous region of Al Ramadi and Falluja. His job was to detonate unexploded mines and shells left behind from Iraqi stockpiles and conflicts. His pictures and stories were incredible. Too much to explain here, but suffice it to say, I have the utmost respect and admiration for Jason, Erin and family for having to endure such a hardship. This weekend, we celebrated his return in Rochester NY.

Listening to Jay's stories just reinforced my feeling about this reckless action; the lies and misrepresentations that got us here, and the tragedy of lives lost, homes, families and properties destroyed. And for what? What good can possibly become of this action (other than the profits that may result by some diabolical few). You can't force a country into a Democracy. They need to want it and fight for it on their own. You also can't assume that a country with such a different culture and religious heritage even desires a western style, secular form of government like our own. IMHO, a US enforced democracy just won't work. Sadly, it is futile and tragic to even try.

Claire made a wise statement this evening while watching the news. The politicians that vote for these wars should be required to send their own sons and relatives first, before committing the rest of our youth to fight our battles.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

College Basketball Capital of the World

Incredible week for the UConn Huskies. First time EVER that one college captures the NCAA championship in both Men's and Women's tournament. That makes Connecticut the Center of the Universe of college hoops. A very exciting time for the State of CT. This was a great, great Tournament. Now that it is over, I will surely miss it. It'll be tough to top this one next year.

As for the Laster clan... we got cuz Mawty traveling cross country with the Men's teams, warming them up for the games... and Dave providing the Audio/Visual for the pep rallies at Gample and hilite films shown on Statewide and ESPN networks. WooHoo!!!

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Billy's Big Adventure

Bill Driggs is my co-worker with whom I share some office space at work. He is a Tri-Athalon athlete and adventurer. He has joined the Connecticut Everest Expedition, a group of 7 CT residents that are climbing Mt. Everest. They left this week. One of the climbers is a Hartford Courant Photographer, and the Courant is reporting on their trip with weblogs and video's being sent back almost daily (requires registering with CTNow). It's a great read. Sitting next to Bill at the office, its been mind blowing listening to him making preparations; making travel arrangements to Banghkok, Katmandu, Nepal; getting funding and sponsorship for the expensive gear. Having read accounts of climbing Mt Everest from the book Into Thin Air, I have some knowledge of what Billy is in for. Your crazy, man! Billy, be safe, don't take chances, come back healthy!!

My part in his preparation?.... Bill bought a mini-iPod, and I loaded it up with tunes. He'll be bringing up Miles, Trane, Jimi, Methany and a bunch of other tunes I gave him to the top of the world. Cool.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Fantasy Baseball has begun

Last night was Draft Night for the Fantasy Baseball league that I run. I look forward to this night all year long. Big fun last night at Rookies Sports Bar. A dozen baseball geeks, friends and co-workers, chuggin' beer, picking major league ballplayers for 3 hours straight. It is intense to say the least. Yeah, I made some bonehead picks, but I ended up with Bonds, Chipper, Griffey, I-Rod, Mussina. Not a bad draft.

Fantasy Baseball is what the Internet must have been invented for. It's is the killer-app on the World Wide Web, IMHO. Got home from Rookies, and worked till midnight inputting all 250 or so names into the 12 teams on Yahoo's Fantasy Baseball site. Now the fun begins.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Woa! this is one wild, crazy and great movie by the writer of Adaptation, Charile Kaufmann. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind explores a love relationship through the visualization of interconnected memories, as Joel (Jim Carrey) is undertaking a procedure to erase the memories of Clemintine (Kate Winslett). If you saw the trailer for this movie, you really don't have any idea of what this flick is really about. You gotta see this film. Read more about this film on my movie review page.

Our Anniversary...
Married for 29 years. She is my wife, best friend, confidant, lover, partner in just about everything we do. Some say marriage has its ups and downs... can honestly say that this ride has been just about all up-sides; no big downside comes to mind.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Best couple of weeks in Sports

Gotta admit - March Madness, is the best time in Sports. The Superbowl rarely lives up to the hype. Does anyone really care about hockey's Stanley Cup, or NBA Championship? Baseball's World Series is near and dear to my heart, but baseball ain't what it used to be. Something about college hoops and the NCAA Tournament. Face it, 99% of these kids will never see that NBA big money contract. They are in it for the glory of their school, the thrill of victory. They are playing with all their heart. One loss, and pack your bags. Everybody has that office pool going, so we all have something on the line to root for, and somewhere along the road to the final four, some underdog upsets a top rank team.

Of course being from Connecticut, we have our UCONN Huskies, 2nd seeds for both Men and Women, not to mention our man Mawty workin' out with the team. This years NCAA's are da bomb. GO HUSKIES!

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Kerry-McCain Ticket?

I have read several comments about this on various news blogs, but today I heard on the radio that Senator McCain acknowledged on a TV news interview, that he would actually consider running as VP on the Kerry ticket! Now that would renew my faith in the Dems if such a thing could happen. It's unlikely, but just think about it. It's a dream ticket. McCain would definitely draw in the Independents, disenchanted Dems and Repubs and veterans. We know McCain HATES Bush and he is a free thinking reformer. Now this gets me excited about the Presidential race again. A Democrat-Republican ticket; Do the Democrats have the balls to break from tradition and let such a radical thing happen! I doubt it...even if though it just about guarantees a win in November.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Scamper, no more

A painful and sad evening, last night. Sat down to dinner, when the doorbell rang. Our neighbor came to tell us she saw our cat get hit by a car. Searched around, and finally saw Scamper go under our deck in the backyard. It was dark, and at first couldn't see what his condition was. Through our basement window, we saw him curled up against the outside wall under the deck. He was barely moving, just lying there. After a while he looked completely motionless, I saw one last gasp for breath, than all life had left him. In the dark, I pulled the lattice work off the base of the deck, and slithered underneath to retrieve the lifeless body of our cat that had been with our family for 13 years. We put him in a box and brought him to the vet for cremation. Scamper was a great cat. He loved to snuggle up to you and stretch out on your lap, just begging to be petted and stroked.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Ralph Nader to run for president

Now this makes things interesting. This is supposed to be a Democracy, not a country run by the duopoly that is the American political system. Not a country run by two parties, both funded, and in the pockets of the same corporate interests. Nader's voice in the debate can only be good for the country. Let's bring into the debate a voice for REAL election reform. Let's bring into the debate the issue of a bloated pentagon budget. Let's bring into the debate the issue of Corporate welfare. I am not saying I will vote Nader at this point in time... but let us begin to put a third party, a political outsider, an anti-politician into the equation. It can only be healthy for our political system.

I say to the Democrats... stop whining about Nader being a spoiler. The Dems have been wimps for too long. Put up a candidate that can attract the disenchanted, that can have the same kind of passion and conviction that we have seen with Dean and Nader. Don't nominate another tired old mainstream Politician, propped up by corporate contributitors. Don't nominate a candidate that has a voting record contrary to the issues that he is now campaigning on.

Democrats should welcome Nader into the debate. Be secure enough about your candidate and your message to say you are not afraid of openning the debate to all voices that desire to be heard. I don't recall ever hearing the Republicans complain that Buchanan or Libertarians or Pat Robertson was stealing their votes! To Kerry and the Democratic leadership... STOP BEING WIMPS and put up or shut up!

Friday, February 20, 2004

Dean is done

Damn. Once again, the Dems best candidate, Howard Dean falls victim to the candy-ass democrats that shun their liberal convictions for a middle of the road, seemingly more 'electable' candidate like John Kerry. At least, we can give Dean credit for changing the tone of the presidential debate. If it were not for Dean's rants, calling the Pres to task on WMD's and the war in Iraq, and showing that you can be MAD AS HELL at this administration, and still raise money and become the frontrunner... Kerry and Edwards would still be tiptoeing around the issues and trying to appeal to the center.

Kerry still will have to reconcile his voting record with his rhetoric. He states he is pro-union and anti-NAFTA, yet voted for NAFTA. He says we should not have gone into Iraq, yet voted for the war. He is against 'No Child Left Behind', yet voted for it. He says he is for Election Reform, yet has taken more money from special interest groups than anyone in congress.

Well, Dean may be out of the race, but the election is still a ways off. Who knows what may happen between now and the Democratic Convention. Oh yeah... that endorsement from Al Gore really helped Dean! And, damn, the media sure had a field day with that scream speach. Incredible how one little pep-rally can be turned around into a public relations disaster when the media smells a little blood.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Biggest trade since the Babe?

This is getting rediculous! Can the Yankees be allowed to buy up all of the best talent in baseball? Look at this team! Except for the 2nd base slot, this team is an entire all-star squad. Next they are going to get Barry Bonds, for Christ sakes. Ya got Posada, Giambi, Jeter, ARod, Matsui, Williams, Sheffield, Lofton. YIKES. No other team can stand a chance. This is NOT good for baseball, IMHO.

Hey... first baseball post of the season! Spring must be near.

Monday, February 09, 2004

The Grammy Awards - Back to the Future

Woa! Grammy Awards were actually watchable this year! Things are looking up in the music biz. Didn't see much Hip-Hop. Not much baggy pants, crotch grabbin', foul talkin', ghetto gestures, bling-bling, floppy crooked hat wearin', gangsta, simulated sex on stage. What we saw was some great hard rockin', funkified, R&B, psychedelic, talented singers and musicians... just like the old days! I heard some real creative acts like Outkast and White Stripes, Black Eyed Peas, and more.

Wasn't all good though. Who's idea was it to pair up jazz great Chick Corea with Foo Fighters? Both can play, but not on the same stage, please. And that Suit from the RIAA talking about downloading. Really, give it up. Just put out a good alternative, at a REASONABLE PRICE (much less than $.99/song), and illegal downloads will go away. Meanwhile, stop whining about it. You just piss off the kids.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

See George Squirm

On Meet the Press this morning, we got to see President Bush really squirm... as well he should. The truth is about to be revealed like Janet Jackson's... well you get the picture. There were no WMD's, there was no imminent threat, Iraq was not the source of 9/11 terrorists. UN sanctions and weapon inspections were working. Saddam did not even have the fire power to launch a single ground to air missile against our planes, let alone launch chemical or nuclear weapons against its neighbors or the US forces. Bush was determined to go to war, for his own reasons (US expansion, oil, revenge?), and would say and do anything to get his way, including invent evidence of WMD's. The tragic cost is hundreds of US deaths, thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians deaths, destruction of cities, property, etc. Is the world safer because of our actions in Iraq? I see US interests under attack, more suicide bombings, terror alerts increasing, commercial flights grounded, and the World's distrust of America's intentions.

Democratic Party Nomination Process
Why is the press and the Dems trying to treat this process as if it were all over? Only a small handful of states have had their caucuses and primaries! Don't we all get to have our votes count? I am standing firm in the Howard Dean camp. The Dems best chance for real change is to have a political outsider, a maverick, run and beat George Bush. Kerry voted for this War. Kerry voted for the Patriot Act and he voted for Bush programs like No Child Left Behind. Dean stood against all these policies when others were politically afraid to do so. We need and Anti-Politician nominee. One who does not have a history of being beholden to special interests. One that can garner the support and raise money from the grass roots. Come'on... Lets keep the debate alive. For once, I see a great field of candidates. This thing can't be over till the fat lady sings at the Democratic Convention!!

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Dude Where's My Country?

Just finished an incredible book by Michael Moore. A surprising expose about what Dubya has done to this country, and why Regime Change in Washington must happen. The book details the WMD lies, fear mongering, and usurping of civil rights that have been written about here and elsewhere. The book also has chapters on the following subjects:

• Bush's close family ties with Saudi Prince Bandar and other Saudi's in high places. These connections and Saudi oil money has enabled Saudi Arabia to gain influence and favor from this Administration despite many years supporting terrorst organizations and activities worldwide. In fact James Baker (close Bush family friend, ex-Secretary of State, and council to GWB during Florida recounts) is now defending the Saudi Government in a law suit filed by the families of 9/11 victims!
• In the days following 9/11, the FBI went to extrordinary measures to assist the Bin Laden family in fleeing the country, even though they may have had valuable information that could lead to Osama and other Al Qaeda operatives.
• Democrats are wimps. We have been afraid to speak out in an environment where questioning the governments actions is treated as unpatriotic. We have been consumed with political correctness which detracts from effectively communicating our message.
• An entire chapter on how to win over that mis-informed right-wing conservative brother-in-law!

... and much much more. Required reading for all Americans.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Wardrobe Malfunction?

As for last nights Superbowl... a great game but...anyone who believes that this was a wardrobe malfunction should get their head examined. This thing was definitely planned and choreographed. These pop-superstars have no limits when it comes to self promotion. Between that and all the erectile dysfunction ads, it was pretty bad to watch the Super-Bowl in a room full of kids. When will the madness end... when will the entertainers, marketers and the media learn to exercise some self-control.

And to think that CBS refused to air this political ad by moveon.org protesting Bush's deficit spending because they felt it was too controversial... WTF??

Saturday, January 31, 2004

Lasternet search

Discovered neat code to add Google search to Lasternet. Try it out above! I added it to several Lasternet pages.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Happy 20th Birthday Apple Macintosh

20 years ago, my life was profoundly impacted by this technology. Happy Birthday Mac... its been a wild ride.

  • Steve Jobs on the Mac's 20th anniversary - Macworld

  • Celebrating 20 Years of the Mac - NPR

  • The Mac that roared - San Jose Mercury News

  • Looking Back on the Mac - Macworld

  • We're All Mac Users Now - Wired

  • 20 crazy years later, a new direction for Apple - CBS Marketwatch

  • Apple's core: The Mac turns 20 - CNN

  • The machine that changed the world - San Francisco Chronicle

  • The Mac Turns 20 - PC World

  • Apple bytes: The Mac at 20 - Silicon.com

  • Apple's groundbreaking computer marks 20th anniversary - Seattle Times

  • These links shamelessly copied from MacMinute... hope they don't mind! ;-}

    Thursday, January 22, 2004

    Lies, lies, lies

    Bush, in his State of the Union speech continues to lie and mislead the American people, in order to promote his right wing agenda, snuggle up to the religious right, and continue his imperialistic expansion of American interests in the Middle East. Unfortunately, most Americans will swallow this crap... hook, line and sinker. Do people forget last years State of the Union, where Bush lied about Iraqs purchasing of nuclear material from an African nation? Do people forget Colin Powell's lies to the UN by showing bogus satelite imagery of supposed stockpiles, research facilities and deployment capabilities of chemical weapons? Yet Bush continued to perpetuate the myth with misleading statements like, we have "identified dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities.". What crap! He continues to try to convince us that Sadam Hussein was a terrorist threat to the US, despite this administrations admission that their was no link between Iraq and Al Qida or 9/11. More crap!

    If that is not enough, we had to listen to to Bush's plans to outlaw gay spousal rights, propose government funding of religious programs, extend the so-called Patriot Act (taking away civil rights), and extend tax cuts that benefit the rich and run up the deficits. This guy has got to go.

    We will have to see if Howard Dean has completely blown his chances of coming up with the nomination by going ballistic after coming in third in Iowa. How many times did that have to be shown on TV? I still think that Dean is best suited to going toe-to-toe with Bush. I WANT to see an angry democrat. Hell, I am angry over what Bush has done to this country. I will be disapointed to see a man like Kerry get the nomination. He has voted for the war, for the so-called Patriot Act, and for additional $87 billion in Iraq... basically a play-it-safe middle-of-the-road Washington bred politician. Dean is still The Man in my book.

    Saturday, January 10, 2004

    Common Sense

    Recommended reading - Common sense for a New Century. Finally, a Democrat that can bring back idealism to the party... and hopefully the Presidency. Howard Dean has what it takes to take this country back for the people. George Bush has sold out this country to the corporate elite, special interests and his cronies. Dean is able to communicate a strong populist message. He is willing to take chances, and not play the safe, centrist politics of Democrats of recent elections. I just listened to stump speeches on C-Span from several Democratic candidates. Dean distinguished himself heads and shoulders above the others, giving a strong, clear, liberal and passionate message. Take back the country from Cheney's Haliburton, the drug and insurance companies, the oil industry. Internationalize the Iraq situation and develop an exit strategy. Make the large corporations and those with the highest income pay their fair share of the tax burden. Dean is the man. Check out Howard Dean's website.

    Thursday, January 01, 2004

    Happy New Year

    Just got back home after a great vacation at Sanibel Island. Wish I could say it's good to be back home... but I think I rather just hang out on the beach every day for the rest of my life.