Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This Blog's Purpose

In the last couple of days, and especially after watching last night's presidential State of the Union address, the purpose of this blog has been made clearer to me.  And I think this will also make blogging easier and more enjoyable.

It is two parts:

(1)  Continue the Occupy discussion - While Occupy may not be making much news anymore, and while people may not be hearing about what they are still doing, the movement is still alive and thriving, although winter is setting it back some.  The corporate owned media does not want you to know about the Occupy movement, because it challenges the status quo of the rich getting richer off the backs of everyone else.  And in a time when people are struggling beyond their comprehension, their actions must be challenged and real change must be demanded.  In the same vein, that leads me to the second purpose of my blog.

(2)  Ensure that Barack Obama gets elected - After watching last night's state of the union, its clear where each presidential candidate falls.  It is also clear which candidate's rhetoric and actions side with the people versus siding with the cruelty of the 1% or even the .1%.  As Occupy continues, and the division between the two sides has been made clearer to me, it seems imperative that the candidate becomes president who will support policies that will benefit the most people of this country rather than the fewest at the top.  I will embrace the candidacy of Barack Obama for reelection, even as he has disappointed me in many ways since he took office in 2009.  Voting Republican, not voting, or voting for a third party candidate out of frustration with Obama will be destructive to this country.  I will debate and challenge anybody who disagrees with me on this blog, respectfully of course.

Ultimately, what it really comes down to is this front page article from Arizona.

TAMPA, Fla. — GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney isn’t just in the top 1 percent of Americans with income — he’s in at least the top 0.006 percent, tax returns he released Tuesday show.
The 2010 adjusted gross income of Romney and his wife, Ann, totaled $21.7 million, according to their tax return. That means they ranked high even among the top 8,274 tax returns.
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and private-equity executive, made more than half of his income from capital gains and dividends. They are taxed at a top rate of 15 percent, rather than the top rate of 35 percent for ordinary income.

Mr. "Corporations-are-people"?  Freddie Mac "historian"?  Or community organizer?


Monday, January 23, 2012

Music Spotlight #2 - The Del McCoury Band

Hi everyone.  It's time for another Music Spotlight!

A couple nights ago the lady took me out to the Chicago Bluegrass Festival downtown.  Pretty awesome huh?  The best part of the show was one of my favorites, The Del McCoury Band.

The Del McCoury Band is a bluegrass band. Originally Del McCoury and the Dixie Pals with Del on guitar and his brother Jerry on bass, the band went through a number of changes until the 1980s when the band solidified its line-up, adding McCoury's sons, Ronnie and Robbie on mandolin and banjo, respectively. In 1988, the "Dixie Pals" name was dropped in favor of the current name. Fiddler Tad Marks and bass player Mike Brantley joined in the early 1990s while the band became a national touring act. In 2004 they were nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album for It's Just the Night, and in 2006 they won that category for The Company We Keep. 
The band recorded with Steve Earle on his 1999 album The Mountain. The band has also often performed in recent years with The Lee Boys, with setlists mixing bluegrass, funk and gospel with extended jams on many songs.
They have been performing since 1967, and here they are with one of my other favorite band, The Chieftains.

 They're fun to listen to, are very talented, and if you haven't listened to or gotten into Bluegrass music, they're not a bad place to start.  Enjoy!