Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN YALL!

Hope you enjoy my favorite Halloween songs:

Human Fly - The Cramps



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I wrote about the following song in more detail here.

Where Evil Grows - The Poppy Family



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And I first shared this one last Halloween... I still love it!

Journey to The Unknown (TV series opening)



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Links to my previous Halloween posts:

Halloween Horror movie thread! Don't go to sleep! (2007) -- Comment thread includes people's favorite horror movies.

Halloween horror movie thread II (2008) -- Several great old horror movie trailers.

Happy Halloween! (2009) -- Dogs For Autism benefit, including a Doggie Costume Party.

Happy Halloween! (2010) -- I shared the above TV-theme, and in the comments I talked about an old trip to a local fundamentalist "Judgment House"--and several people thought I should have made a whole post out of it.

Hope your frightful holiday is good!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Open Letter to Governor Haley from Occupy Columbia

The following is an open letter to South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley from Occupy Columbia:


On Thursday, Governor Nikki Haley said that unions are behind the Occupy Wall Street movement. We contest that accusation. This is a leaderless movement that welcomes participation from all groups, but neither bows down nor endorses any. We’ve publicly invited all people or organizations, whether they be Unions or the Tea Party, to come take part in a conversation about economic injustice and a system that is rigged to benefit the 1% at the direct expense of the 99%.

We challenge Governor Haley to produce evidence to back up her claim. If she would attend one of our General Assemblies (held every day at 10:00am and 7:00pm), she would realize that all decicions made by Occupy Columbia are voted on by those in attendence. We require a 90% threshold for consensus, and no group, Union or otherwise, has the ability to control that.

On the other hand, it was the Governor herself who said, earlier this morning, that she is the “number one employee” of a pharmaceutical company and that their success is her “number one goal.” This company, Nephron Pharmaceuticals is the same company whose private jet she used to fly to a fundraiser in Dallas, TX last month, according to Fits News.

We had members in attendance for this morning’s announcement, one holding a sign reading “Who owns you?” Her number one priority should be the success of the people of South Carolina, not the non-body person that is a major pharmaceutical company.

By her statement, she is the personification of the merger of state and corporate interests. We applaud her bold honesty, but find it hard to believe that she can be expected to be accountable after such a declarative pledge of allegiance to the highest bidder.




Dated October 28, 2011. Most emphatically and enthusiastically seconded.

Gladly reprinted from Occupy Columbia.

Occupy Columbia: Day 15

As I said yesterday, I was very impressed with the Occupy Columbia encampment, which made me sad we have no ongoing Occupation-campsite in Greenville. And as I was grumbling about this state of affairs (NOTE: I really need to learn to stop being so LOUD), I was interviewed by WLXT-TV in Columbia. I shared the fact that working folks can easily come and go when there is a "base camp"--and someone is always on the scene. As noted previously, they had food, water, information, and signs at the ready--as well as places to sit and rest. I was impressed. The racial diversity of the group is a testament to how a long-term encampment can successfully attract a varied group; I also loved the fact that there were young and old people represented, along with dogs, babies, children and curious onlookers.

Unfortunately, I find it rather difficult to make heads or tails of the WLXT website, but I don't think the interviews (and there were several, not just mine) were posted last night. Which is just as well, since I went off on one of my anti-Governor-Haley rants. When informed by my well-mannered interviewer that some people find the Occupation of the State House lawn "alarming"--I went off on a tear, reminding possible phantom-viewers that we paid for it, and therefore, it's ours. Further, if Nikki Haley can invite her mega-rich 1%-friends to stay at the cozy, expensive, taxpayer-funded Governor's mansion on our dime, while they are running for president (and presumably have their own campaign contributions set aside for food and lodging), a few people sleeping outside is NOTHING in comparison.

Let's see the Cost/Benefit Analysis for both, okay?

And maybe that was why I didn't end up on Columbia's CBS affiliate ;) Oh well.

Keep up the good work, Columbia! You are beautiful! I said "I love you!" as I left, and a buncha people chorused, We love you too! right back, as if they were accustomed to hearing it.

They are, and they should be.

Photos of the South Carolina Statehouse encampment and picket below. Yes, that's me (last photo) with the Octopi!

Octopi today!

~*~

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weekend update

The Daisy Deadhead Show continues to inspire and amaze! At left, Gregg Jocoy (producer and consigliere) talked about the ongoing Occupation, credit unions, Governor Nikki Haley's continuing shenanigans... and so much more, with Daisy at WFIS radio this morning.



Today's podcast is up, which was brought to you, as always, by the South Carolina Green Party.

Due to circumstances beyond our control (i.e. Gregg's flat tire), we arrived somewhat late for the Occupy Your State Capitol rally, but stayed to picket and connect with other Occupiers. The encampment in Columbia, on the Statehouse lawn, is impressive. Free information, food and water is available for everyone.

More to come.

Occupy Columbia LiveStream

Occupy Columbia (Facebook page)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Iraq war veteran's skull cracked at Oakland Occupy

Scott Olsen, Oakland Occupier and member of the advocacy group for veterans Iraq Veterans Against the War, is now in critical condition.


I hope Fox News and other conservatives who encouraged the violence, are happy about that. They kept banging the drum for police intervention and bloodshed, and now the blood is flowing, just what they enjoy most.

Relating a message from OccupyMARINES:

We at OccupyMARINES are asking ALL Occupy Wall Street members AND supporters to flood the Corporate media with pictures, videos, and personal stories of how troubling, disturbing, and WRONG the actions of the Oakland Police Department under the orders of the City of Oakland California Mayor Jean Quan, were in the violent attempts to disperse peaceful protesters at Occupy Oakland on October 25th, 2011. We ask that you ESPECIALLY mention how horrifying it is that an Iraq Marine Veteran was seriously injured and taken to the hospital with a skull fracture from a police projectile. This is your revolution, this is your fight, this is your mission, WE ARE THE 99% - TAKE UP YOUR ARMS - KEEP PUSHING FORWARD! - NO ONE GETS LEFT BEHIND!
OccupyMARINES

~*~

I think this shows us that patriotism will not help us, when the authorities decide to clear the area. For all the blather that they care about the veterans, they certainly don't care about injuring one.

This is what the words of the government are worth, people. PAY ATTENTION.

This is how they will repay you for fighting in their filthy wars. PAY ATTENTION.

This is what they really think of veterans: you are cannon fodder. They will get rid of you as quickly as any of us.

This is what freedom of speech has come to in the USA: A sham.

I remember Karl Marx called the American system, "The Democratic Sham"... yes, we have come to the point where we are quoting Marx.

Apparently, as in so much else, he was right about that.

~*~

Links regarding the brutal attack on Occupy Oakland and Occupiers nationwide:

Cities crack down on Occupiers
(New York Times)

Occupy Oakland livestream (hope you have better luck with it than I have)

Occupy Oakland: Iraq war veteran in critical condition after police clashes (Guardian UK)

New York City Live Stream-- apparently this showed some action earlier, but now just shows traffic. I guess when hoopla starts, they switch to lower Manhattan. (beware annoying, periodic feedback)

Chemical Bomb tossed into Occupy Portland (Maine) encampment (Portland Press Herald)

Occupy Oakland: Did police use flashbangs and rubber bullets on protesters? (Washington Post blog)

Occupy Oakland: Veteran Scott Olsen’s injuries prompt internal police review (Washington Post blog)



This is a petition, which is more of the Democratic sham, but I figured I would link it on the outside chance that fascists pay attention to petitions. (Since they are Jean Quan's henchmen in the first place, why would she investigate?)

Tell Oakland Mayor Jean Quan: Condemn and investigate police brutality!

EDIT: I started writing this last night and finished it this morning (Oct 27th) so it is backdated by about 13 hours. Just noticed that, and sorry about the delay in publising.--DD

Hare Krishna leader Swami Bhaktipada is dead

... and I imagine we will be hearing some scary stuff now. It was already plenty scary while he was alive!

Swami Bhaktipada, Ex-Hare Krishna Leader, Dies at 74
By MARGALIT FOX, New York Times
Published: October 24, 2011

Swami Bhaktipada, a former leader of the American Hare Krishna movement who built a sprawling golden paradise for his followers in the hills of Appalachia but who later pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges that included conspiracy to commit the murders-for-hire of two devotees, died on Monday in a hospital near Mumbai, India. He was 74.

The cause was kidney failure, his brother, Gerald Ham, said.

Mr. Bhaktipada, who was released from prison in 2004 after serving eight years of a 12-year sentence, moved to India in 2008.

The son of a Baptist preacher, Mr. Bhaktipada was one of the first Hare Krishna disciples in the United States. He founded, in 1968, what became the largest Hare Krishna community in the country and presided over it until 1994, despite having been excommunicated by the movement’s governing body.

The community he built, New Vrindaban, is nestled in the hills near Moundsville, W.Va., about 70 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. Its conspicuous centerpiece is the Palace of Gold, an Eastern-inspired riot of gold-leafed domes, stained-glass windows, crystal chandeliers, mirrored ceilings, inlaid marble floors, sweeping murals, silk brocade hangings, carved teak pillars and ornate statuary.

New Vrindaban eventually comprised more than 4,000 acres — a “spiritual Disneyland,” its leaders often called it — with a live elephant, terraced gardens, a swan boat and bubbling fountains. A major tourist attraction, it drew hundreds of thousands of visitors in its heyday, in the early 1980s, and substantial annual revenue from ticket sales.

The baroque frenzy of the place stands in vivid contrast to the founding tenets of the Hare Krishna movement. Rooted in ancient Hindu scripture, the movement was begun in New York in the mid-1960s by an Indian immigrant, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It advocates a spiritual life centered on truth, simplicity and abstinence from drugs, alcohol and extramarital sex.

But by the mid-1980s, New Vrindaban had become the target of local, state and federal investigations that concerned, among other things, the sexual abuse of children by staff members at its school and the murders of two devotees.

The resulting federal charges against Mr. Bhaktipada, a senior spiritual leader of the movement, and the ensuing international publicity did much to contravene the public image of the gentle, saffron-robed acolytes who had long been familiar presences in American airports.
Scandalmongers among you will enjoy the true crime account titled Monkey On a Stick: Murder, Madness and the Hare Krishnas, which I think is out of print in paperback? Check your local library, the true crime section, helpfully numbered "364" in the Dewey decimal system. (For us rushed, busy scandalmongers who have no time to browse, it's easy to just run to the 364s, grab one, and run out. Yes, I HAVE.)

Let's see, can I think of anything nice to say about the Hare Krishnas? I can't think of anything nice to say about Bhaktipada.

Okay, a few things:

The West Virginia Hare Krishnas were very kind to the Rainbow Family (apparently some crossover membership) when they had the Gathering of the Tribes in WV, I think in 1979 or 1980? (corrections and/or clarifications welcome)

Also, the fruit crepes they made at their restaurants and missions were really good. When we slept overnight in Central Park during the Democratic National Convention, they came out and gave us free fruit crepes. Wasn't that nice? I recall that the strawberry/blueberry ones were especially fabulous.

Once upon a time in a galaxy called the 70s, a dancing Hare Krishna* --possibly sensing my high spiritual nature (joke)-- stopped dancing, approached me smiling beatifically, and simultaneously pulled out a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, when I was about 18 or 19. "Do you like George Harrison?" he asked me, as I stared at that painted stripe down his face. (Will somebody please tell me what that IS and why they wear it?)

"I LOVE George!" I replied, amazed that he had correctly guessed my favorite Beatle.

Then he showed me "George's favorite book" --the Bhagavad Gita, which for some reason was titled Bhagavad Gita As It Is. He offered it to me for a fee. I have no money, I said, and must have looked either convincingly-poor or cute, since he went ahead and gave it to me. He made me promise to read it; I solemnly promised. I had actually just intended to look at the pictures (see link), which were bloody AWESOME. I had never seen Indian art before, and certainly, never a blue-colored God, which made sense to me... I mean, if he's in the sky, right?

Not only did I read it, I took notes in the margins.

I regret to say I eventually lost my Hare Krishna-published version (bankrolled by George, and it said so right inside!), which was a lovely, large, multicolored hardcover volume, as impressive as any Bible. There were photos of various Swamis and gurus and ashrams in it and I was utterly fascinated. I studied it extensively. When I lost it, I replaced it with a more dignified, nicely-bound Bhagavad Gita, but it isn't nearly as big, pretty or flashy as the one paid for by Fab Four money.

At yard sales and used bookstores, I nose around and sometimes find other ancient holy books re-published by ISKCON, and consequently, I own several. One of these, The Path to Perfection by founder Swami Prabhupada, was also scribbled in quite a lot.

So at least they did a couple of good things.

I realize that legally, child abuse pales next to murder-for-hire (which grabbed all the headlines), but the Hare Krishna child abuse allegations were as extensive as the Catholic abuse scandal, at the time. Interestingly, the Catholic Church dug their heels in, but the Hare Krishnas, on this subject (if not others), came clean:
Three years later, [Texas lawyer Windle Turley] followed up with a $400 million lawsuit against the International Society for Krishna Consciousness [ISKCON], a Hindu missionary sect popularly known as the Hare Krishnas.

Both the Krishnas and the Catholics warned that Turley's lawsuits would drive them into bankruptcy, hurting innocent Hindus and the faithful people in the pews.

But that's not what happened -- at least for the Catholics. And the moral of the story may turn out to be that honesty may not be the best policy.

Talk to Hare Krishna spokesman Anantanda Dasa and he'll tell you that his movement did exactly what many have said the Catholic bishops should have done 15 years ago.

Long before Turley's lawsuit was filed, the Krishnas admitted they had a history of molestation and other physical abuse in their religious boarding schools, called gurukalas.

They set up an office of child protection and hired an outside investigator to study the treatment of children in this hippie-era sect, which became famous in the 1960s and 1970s for its chanting Western converts wearing saffron robes.

That report was devastating, but the Hare Krishnas published it anyway. And it was like handing Windle Turley a lawsuit on a silver collection platter.

The Krishna case, which is still in the courts, alleges that dozens of children of Hare Krishna members were abused in the 1970s at church boarding schools in Texas, West Virginia and New York.

E. Burke Rochford, a professor of sociology and religion at Middlebury College in Vermont, was the sympathetic scholar hired by the Krishnas to investigate the allegations of abuse.

His damning report, however, provided lots of material for Turley's suit as well as for others who accuse the Hare Krishnas of being an abusive and exploitive cult.
The shit first hit the fan in 2000, when there was an ABC 20/20 report about ISKCON's gurukula (religious school) system. (Transcript here.) It was ugly, indeed.

It was all downhill from there. According to news accounts, the once-robust cult has only 200 residents left.

And I hope they all leave.


*I keep wanting to say this was near Central Park in New York, since I did see them happily gyrating there all through the 70s. Then again, I might be confusing my memory with the scene in Hannah and Her Sisters, wherein Woody Allen, on a spiritual quest, is similarly given his free copy in Central Park. Woody then says to himself/us:
Who are you kidding? You're gonna be a Krishna? You're gonna shave your head and dance around at airports? You'd look like Jerry Lewis!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday Tunes: Stolen gravestones and other musings

Some Tuesday tunes to bum you out and then pick you back up again.

If you are already bummed out, you can jump to the last two.

~*~

Listen to how these gee-tars all sound like whips. Bloody incredible... especially around the 3:50 mark. This kind of otherworldly guitar-playing inspired people to do bizarre things, like steal Duane Allman's graveyard monuments and headstones in Macon, Georgia.

WHERE would you put such a thing? In your house?

Glad to see that they have replaced them! (see link) I've heard the gravestones were stolen multiple times. For some reason, that strikes me as very southern... it also puts me in mind of the psychology behind Catholic relics, i.e. if you steal the gravestone, maybe you will one day play like that, too? (I own lots of relics, as you probably know, and I won't get rid of them, just in case.)

This is a great song for drinking in excess, so be careful. Especially if incidents in your life are shaping up like the incidents in the song... and believe me, I know what I am talking about!

And pay attention to Berry Oakley's fabulous rumbly bass line that begins the song... in live performances, people would start screaming and hollering even before the killer-whip-riffs start... the rumbly bass signaled the beginning of a southern-drinking-man's symphony...

Allman Brothers Band - Whipping Post



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This song is for my stepfather, Elliott Horn, full name George Elliott Horn, a multi-talented guitarist and singer (also played mandolin, steel guitar, banjo, bass). Born in Logan, West Virginia to Cherokee parents, Arminda and George, July 1933. Death in Canton, Ohio, 1968. (leaving this info for the genealogists among you!)

He was once a lover of Jackie DeShannon, which made my mother mad. We were not allowed to mention her name or play her records. (But when she came on the radio or TV, my mother would always listen to/watch her carefully.) He was also briefly in Billy Joe Royal's band, called The Royal Crowns. That riff you hear on "Down in the Boondocks" which makes the whole song? Is my stepfather. Interestingly, hearing the song always comforts me and brings me Elliott's presence, whereas the following song is difficult for me to get through, at least on most occasions. Luckily it is now somewhat obscure, although there is also a lyrical reference to it in my favorite movie, Taxi Driver.

I loved Elliott very much; far, far more than my biological father.

This song is about him.

So much so, I can only listen to it maybe twice a year, and this is one of those days.

Kris Kristofferson - The Pilgrim, Chapter 33



~*~

Okay, who knew that Tommy Boyce committed suicide? I just wrote (up there) that you should jump to the last two songs, but that was before I checked Wikipedia. Well, damn, another rock and roll suicide (deliberate David Bowie reference). That is sad. :(

How could anybody who writes happy songs for the Monkees get depressed? That seems to go against the fundamental laws of the universe or something.

Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart wrote over 300 songs; their songs sold over 42 million records.

I just wrote about my stepfather who died in 1968, which was the year of this tune, which is why I thought of it. The song and the duo were also featured on an old episode of "I Dream of Jeannie" for some inexplicable reason. (If I hadn't seen it, more than once, I wouldn't believe it either.)

I am a big sucker for the Hup Hup! (or whatever he is hiccuping there, at about 1:28 and 2:13) right before they sing the chorus, which I think made the upcoming-chorus somehow more exciting. Pop music genius!

Rest in Peace, Tommy.

Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart - I wonder what she's doing tonight



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I love the Perry-Masonish horn arrangement in this song, which made it sound like a melodramatic 50s drive-in B-Movie. It is actually the theme to an A-movie with Kirk Douglas, surprisingly enough. (1961)

It comes on LOUD, so turn it down a wee bit first.

Town Without Pity - Gene Pitney



~*~

Perry Mason?--say the kids... huh?

Yes, this is one of the best noir numbers you will EVER hear... I associate it with very early, almost unconscious childhood. The brassy blast at the end of "Town Without Pity" makes me think of the brassy blast at the end of this TV theme song.

I watched the dopey reruns for years, just so I could hear the music. I also love the late 50s/early 60s aesthetic of the show: gigantic Buicks and coffee-tables, and men wearing hats during the day. (The clothes were the GREATEST, as regular readers know, I love that era of fashion.)

Raymond Burr was gay, which as a world-class scandalmonger, I already knew... but who else did? What would my grandmother have said, if she'd known? She worshiped Erle Stanley Gardner, and by extension, Raymond Burr.

I could only find a short clip, which apparently is from German TV...there is a longer version of this that closed the show--it ran more than a minute. Can't find that one. Poo! :( This will have to do.

Old Perry Mason TV theme



~*~

Speaking of the south (which I mentioned way up there)... only someone living here could have written this. I've been thinking of it a LOT lately.

For my friends in the Occupy movement!

These bastards stole their power from the victims of the Us v. Them years,
Wrecking all things virtuous and true
The undermining social democratic downhill slide into abysmal
Lost lamb off the precipice into the trickle down runoff pool
They hypnotised the summer, 1979
Marched into the capital brooding duplicitous, wicked and able, media-ready,
Heartless, and labeled
Super US citizen, super achiever,
Mega ultra power doesn't relax.
Defense, defense, defense, defense. Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, ignoreland. Yeah, yeah, yeah, ignoreland
Yeah, yeah, yeah

The information nation took their clues from all the sound-bite gluttons
1980, 84, 88, 92 too, too
How to be what you can be, junk, damn junk in your energy
How to walk in dignity with throw up on your shoes
They amplified the autumn, 1979
Calculate the capital, up the republic my skinny ass
TV tells a million lies
The paper's terrified to report
Anything that isn't handed on a presidential spoon,
I'm just profoundly frustrated by all this.
So, fuck you, man (fuck 'em)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, ignoreland. Yeah, yeah, yeah, ignoreland
If they wasn't there we would have created them
Maybe, it's true,
But I'm resentful all the same
Someone's got to take the blame
I know that this is vitriol
No solution, spleen venting,
But I feel better having screamed--don't you?
They desecrate the winter, 1979
Capital collateral

Brooding duplicitous, wicked and able, media-ready,
Heartless, and labeled
Super US citizen, super achiever,
Mega ultra power doesn't relax.
Defense, defense, defense, defense. Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, ignoreland. Yeah, yeah, yeah, ignoreland
Yeah, yeah, yeah, ignoreland. Yeah, yeah, yeah

I did not do the revolution
Thank you


I know exactly what he means.

R.E.M. - Ignoreland

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekend in review, Monday morning quarterbacking

Daisy on the radio!


I'm still at it, going into my third month. Can you believe? I remain an amateur, but working on it. I started my show with some unexpected feedback on Saturday: "What's that hum?" I said, right out loud. Yes, just like the blog, I BLURT THINGS OUT, and so far, I am proud to say that doesn't include a single cuss word. In fact, I read a news story on the air (from Rolling Stone, see below) and the f-word was in it; I blanched, actually censored myself and successfully skipped over it.

Whew, that was close.

The podcast is up, and we are working on tarting up the show for advertisers. PLEASE advertise on my show! We are doing all the commercials ourselves, just like Rush Limbaugh, unless someone has one of their own they feel strongly about and prefer to use. (Since we are concentrating on small businesses, most do not have their own ready-made commercial.)

Contact my producer (I love saying that), Gregg Jocoy, on Facebook. Or just drop me a line, email is in my profile.

~*~

What-all I covered on the show this week:

The recent Republican debate in Las Vegas was one topic; we specifically applauded Ron Paul's brave remarks about "Empire building"--which we heartily agree with. We segued into conversation about the death of Libya's despised leader, Muammar Ghaddafi. (I also repeated a tasteless joke, that he was executed because nobody could agree on the spelling of his name.) Gregg admitted he couldn't watch the execution footage, whereas I admitted I watched it several times... interesting gender-reversal there!

~*~

As stated above, I read a segment of a Rolling Stone piece by Matt Taibbi, titled The Real Housewives of Wall Street:

But if you want to get a true sense of what the "shadow budget" is all about, all you have to do is look closely at the taxpayer money handed over to a single company that goes by a seemingly innocuous name: Waterfall TALF Opportunity. At first glance, Waterfall's haul doesn't seem all that huge — just nine loans totaling some $220 million, made through a Fed bailout program. That doesn't seem like a whole lot, considering that Goldman Sachs alone received roughly $800 billion in loans from the Fed. But upon closer inspection, Waterfall TALF Opportunity boasts a couple of interesting names among its chief investors: Christy Mack and Susan Karches.

Christy is the wife of John Mack, the chairman of Morgan Stanley. Susan is the widow of Peter Karches, a close friend of the Macks who served as president of Morgan Stanley's investment-banking division. Neither woman appears to have any serious history in business, apart from a few philanthropic experiences. Yet the Federal Reserve handed them both low-interest loans of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars through a complicated bailout program that virtually guaranteed them millions in risk-free income.

The technical name of the program that Mack and Karches took advantage of is TALF, short for Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility. But the federal aid they received actually falls under a broader category of bailout initiatives, designed and perfected by Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, called "giving already stinking rich people gobs of money for no fucking reason at all." If you want to learn how the shadow budget works, follow along. This is what welfare for the rich looks like.
And there is the dreaded "fuck" that I almost said on the air! Eeep!

Although this is a story from back in April, I feel that it illustrated what the Occupy movement is all about, as well as the intricacies of the Bail-Out that benefited the rich, exclusively. I don't think if you or me applied for that loan (who even knew such loans existed?), that we would get it. These things are earmarked for the rich, and middle class people (never mind actual poor people who really do need the loans), need not apply.

At left, BEST PHOTO EVER, from yesterday's successful Greenville Occupation. (Local priest from Anderson, whose name I didn't get, standing beside Swami Shantji.) More photos HERE.

We also talked about the ongoing Occupation, and how successful it has been. Neither Gregg nor I expected it to take off nationwide. We heard from one Occupier via phone! I'd love some more calls, especially locally. Please call me next Saturday morning, 9-10am, WFIS radio... live streaming is available.

~*~

Other links of interest:

>> Creepy story about how the evil junk-food makers/demons are using psychology and "neuromarketing" to reach the teenagers. It's all true!

>> Student writing in The Nation: Why I Occupy.

>> More than 200 Indian girls whose names mean "unwanted" in Hindi have chosen new names for a fresh start in life:
A central Indian district held a renaming ceremony Saturday that it hopes will give the girls new dignity and help fight widespread gender discrimination that gives India a skewed gender ratio, with far more boys than girls.

The 285 girls — wearing their best outfits with barrettes, braids and bows in their hair — lined up to receive certificates with their new names along with small flower bouquets from Satara district officials in Maharashtra state.

In shedding names like "Nakusa" or "Nakushi," which mean "unwanted" in Hindi, some girls chose to name themselves after Bollywood stars such as "Aishwarya" or Hindu goddesses like "Savitri." Some just wanted traditional names with happier meanings, such as "Vaishali," or "prosperous, beautiful and good."
>> Tea Party to American business: Stop hiring! Well, no WONDER we have a high unemployment rate... the Tea Partiers are trying to squeeze us deliberately.

>> Toxic Algae turning Florida rivers green. Gross!

~*~

I am currently reading Joe McGinniss' fabulous muckraking book about Sarah Palin... from which I learn that young hell-raiser Track Palin was on Oxycontins and never finished high school before Sarah and Todd prevailed upon him to enlist and go to Iraq as good political PR for the family. There's so much dirt in this book (for instance, as mayor of Wasilla, she fired the local librarian for not censoring books), that I hardly know where to begin. Hoping to do a "fun facts about Sarah Palin" post when I have finished the entire book, since I am madly jotting down the gossip for all of you to enjoy.

Short version: Some people are disgusting, thoroughly fraudulent pigs, who will say and do anything for money and/or power.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Las Vegas Republican Debate

Yes, I am covering this Republican Presidential debate in (more or less) REAL TIME, just as I did the Labor Day Tea Party debate in Columbia. And let me tell you, nothing much has changed, except the ritzy venue, featuring fashionable Anderson Cooper. For some unfathomable reason, they've tossed in hyper-conservative, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (currently polling at 1%), for good measure. Probably because of his media-popularity with the Religious Right.

I got a late start, first tuning into CNN during anti-immigration fireworks between Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Texas Governor Rick Perry, who accuse each other of being soft on illegals. Perry says Romney hired undocumented workers in his own home--Romney becomes furious and says that isn't true. Perry loudly and self-righteously announces Romney's statement is "the heighth of arrogance"--which makes me wince. Please, no more Texas governors who mangle the language.

Michele Bachmann talks to "the moms" in the viewership, which startled me. This marks the first time I ever heard a presidential candidate appeal to moms, as a mom. I am not sure what I think of that; none of the male candidates addressed other fathers "as a dad"--but then again, I seem to remember that candidate Barack Obama did. Bachmann tells us the economic collapse greatly threatens mom's "nests" and their babies, and she uniquely understands the fears of moms; hold on, she adds dramatically, help is on the way!

Nests? Sounds like crackpot Christian-counseling lingo, doesn't it?

A Republican in the audience licks his lips in greed and demands to know whether Yucca Mountain (in Nevada) can be "opened up". He means for dumping nuclear waste, but you can tell several of the candidates don't have a clue what this question refers to. Newt Gingrich, eager to show off his superior knowledge, says this would be okay after "tests"--to determine if the location is environmentally sound, and "everything so far says that it is." (Of course, he completely ignores the Western Shoshone and their unique issues in regards to Yucca Mountain.) And then, BOOM, Ron Paul suddenly jumps on it with both feet as a states' rights issue. Why should the other 49 states dump their garbage on Nevada? Why is the government cleaning up what private industry has done? This is for the nuclear power plants themselves to clean up, so why aren't they? Another blistering diatribe from the good doctor, the only candidate who seems to know how to think for himself and actually answer questions. The rest of the candidates gape in amazement, still wondering where/what Yucca Mountain IS... Newt looks sheepish and ridiculous, having just had his clock cleaned by Ron Paul, when as we know, Newt fancies himself a big intellectual policy wonk and college lecturer.

That was fun.

At this point Governor Perry starts babbling oddly about the Tenth Amendment. As you may know, this is also a favorite talking point of our Governor, Nikki Haley, and he seems to be making a rather naked grab for her endorsement. [Local aside: Perry's wife Anita recently visited local Baptist stronghold, North Greenville University and tearfully yowled that "other candidates" have "brutalized" Perry for his faith, which is a real hoot, and ... incidentally, seems to have no basis in reality.] Perry really sounded mediocre, and meandered all over the conservative lot. I am hereby rescinding my prediction (that he will win the SC primary) unless he gets himself ready for prime time, as he clearly is not yet.

Herman Cain, Businessman-candidate and GOP rock star of the moment, gives a decidedly lackluster performance this time around. I didn't hear any references to his much-ballyhooed "999" tax plan. (He may have mentioned it in the first 20 minutes, but I am grateful I missed it, in any event.)

During this debate, I learned Nevada has the highest rate of home-foreclosures of any state. Rick Santorum says the Wall Street bail-out is to blame, which was supported by Rick Perry and Herman Cain. (audience noise: OOOOooooOOOOOhhhhhhHHHHooo)

In answers to questions about Romney's Mormonism, Newt Gingrich goes on an offensive rant about faith. In doing so, he insults all the atheists and agnostics in America, saying you can't trust anyone who doesn't pray, that such a person has no judgment. This from a man who is now on his third wife.

The heighth of arrogance.

Asked about the military, Ron Paul used that forbidden word, Empire. The USA owns more weapons than every other country put together, he said; we have military presences in 150 countries. "Where does it stop? We're broke now!" Every empire has fallen before us, and if we don't stop engaging in Empire, we will fall also. "We are doing it to ourselves," he said, more than once. There was applause, but also slack-jawed amazement on the faces of Romney and Perry, those ideological lightweights.

When asked about Israel specifically, Ron Paul didn't budge, and enlarged upon his ideas: Israel has been damaged by being propped up (financially and militarily) by the USA. In reply, Santorum melodramatically pronounces that our military budget should NOT be cut ONE SINGLE DIME. Perry adds that we should defund the United Nations, that old Bircher line. Later, Romney jumps him for having once worked for Al Gore. Direct hit!

And the rest of the debate was pretty much like this.

Rosy red and electric blue: I bought you a paddle for your paper canoe

Deadhead peace symbol at left is a lovely metal design from Mountain Metal Arts.



An eventful weekend, during which our plucky heroine studied Shantideva like a fiend, and nonetheless failed miserably at all her spiritual assignments. Deja Vu all over again!

Alas, Jesus, Mary and Joseph shake their collective heads at me, as I extend my various temperamental shortcomings and personality disorders to Buddhism. For his part, Buddha wonders (understandably) why HE is left holding the bag, and handed me off to Shantideva, which at first, I didn't readily comprehend. Now I do. Shantideva's Bodhicaryāvatāra is the fire-and-brimstone version; "Shape up or be reborn as a moth, you ridiculous, unenlightened fool!" (It actually reads like the Gospel of Mark, in segments.)

I'm trying, really, but moth-rebirth remains a distinct possibility, if not inevitability, at this point.

Especially when I deal with ... (dramatic pause) sexual harassment.

What?--say my regular readers. "Aren't you a fat redneck grandma? You sure do talk like one!"

Yes, sports fans, Daisy is a short, dumpy redneck grandma... but still, the men keep coming, you should pardon expression. I am currently dealing with a stalker. A weird one, a left-wing stalker who doesn't like what I say. And left-wing men often feel entitled to harass women in misogynist ways, since they think their pro-feminist politics put them beyond the pale and place them above criticism. (Considering the tepid response to this person, maybe they're right.)

Since I fancy myself "the Anti Ann Coulter" (particularly after I learned she was a Deadhead), this made me wonder what kind of misogynist harassment is directed at Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham and other popular right-wing female commentators. The idea makes me cringe, since many left-wing men clearly feel no hesitations about such behavior. By contrast, many right-wing males will not openly sexually-harass women (under their own names; they will troll anonymously, of course), since it isn't Christian and makes them look lustful (that is to say, their reticence isn't about feminism or women, but about Christianity).

But you know, as long as this makes them act decently, I don't care about the reasons for it.

It is therefore ironic that the net result might be: Right-wing men do not sexually harass the women in their midst with the same regularity left-wing men do. Or if they do, it's in secret, not openly, all while making a "joke" out of it. As is currently happening to me.

No wonder Coulter gets nastier with each passing year, and obviously despises liberals more and more with every book she writes. Considering what has been directed at me lately, I can only imagine the filth she has read from left-wing men, and it makes me ashamed.

~*~


At left: Daisy speaks at Occupy Columbia, South Carolina Statehouse. (As I told my Facebook friends, I didn't realize I was pointing my finger.)


Right after my radio broadcast, went to Occupy Columbia (see Saturday photos), where I rabble-roused right after the amazing Tzima.... talk about a hard act to follow! She is talented and incredible, and I am ready to vote for her if she ever runs for anything. As it is, I will simply link to her radio broadcast, EVOLVE WITH TZIMA, which is on WOIC-AM in Columbia. You can listen from the link, too!

~*~

Nobody has any money, but if you do: my radio show needs advertising, I need a job and so on and so forth. (Deadhead voice: Hey mister, got any spare change?) The unemployment-benefits clock is winding down. I am nervous about this, as of course, millions of other Americans are also. I feel their pain and they feel mine.

The smug Republican element who joyfully-yelled at us to "Get a job!" on Sunday (as we marched through Fall for Greenville), are simply cruel. What do you think brought people to the streets, at long last? Losing homes, losing jobs, losing faith in the system.

If you still have faith in capitalism, this means you must still have money, so ante up. Pay pal button is at right! :)

~*~

Those Ancestry.com TV commercials just kill me... I have done a good bit of genealogy, and so I imagined an alternative version:

I knew when I started hunting for my ancestors, I might find some wild characters... so when I got to Ancestry.com, I found this little leaf and it took me to ANOTHER leaf and well... I found out that one of my great-great grandfathers went to prison for holding a man's feet to the fire! And you thought that was just an expression!

Daisy beams at the camera for emphasis: "You don't have to know what you're looking for, you just have to start looking!"
~*~

Half of the internet entries are spelled Charley and the other half Charlie. I confess, I forget which is correct. Regardless of spelling, courtesy of lyricist Robert Hunter, it's where we get today's blog post title.

Little bit quicker and we might have time
to say 'how do you do?" before we're left behind



Cosmic Charlie - Grateful Dead (studio version!)

Tuesday Tunes: The Problem is You

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dear Occupy Greenville

With all due respect, may I ask, what was THAT?!

Fall for Greenville happens once a year and brings in hundreds of thousands of people to the city. Is there some reason you decided to squander this golden opportunity to make our presence known and organize for the cause?

After an hour of "meetings" (about what?), the group visibly lost about 30 people, which we can ill-afford. People drifted away; they did not come for an interminable meeting, they came for action. (Why did you bring cops to the last meeting, to ask them about the legality of demonstrating at Fall for Greenville, if in fact nobody intended to actually GO THERE?)

So, a healthy number of local lefties are roused from their peaceful Sunday and actually drive downtown, during an event where parking is scarce and the traffic is horrific, and... you bore half of them into leaving. This is not my idea of success. In fact, let me be clear, this is BAD.

Activists are getting arrested all over the country, Occupy Wall Street is all over the news and has grabbed the headlines. This means: we must strike while the iron is hot. People are ready to DO SOMETHING... NOW. They drive downtown during Fall for Greenville with the expectation of radical ACTION, not sitting and dithering for... well, I left, so I don't know how long it was. At least an hour and a quarter, since the meeting started at 2pm and was still droning on into somnambulism when we left, well over an hour later.

Once a Yippie, always a Yippie, and I therefore joined the unofficial breakaway faction that bravely plunged right into the heart of the festival known as Fall for Greenville. Ten hardy souls (see photo above), including the Future Politician, the Ex-Marine, the Mother of Two-Year-Old Twins, the Gay Singer, the Romanian Refugee, the Former Obama Campaigner... and yes, your humble narrator, the old Yippie. These are the only people who had the fortitude to pin "We are the 99%" signs all over our bodies and walk into the lion's den, whilst holding scary signs and making it very clear who we were and what we were about.

This is the most conservative county in the USA, and it would have been nice (putting it mildly) to have the original 50-60 people that were in the park, but alas, most had been bored into departure by then. But it would not have been as daunting as it was, if we had just had a few more people. And what does it say to festival-attendees that there were only 10 of us? Does that sound like a mass movement to you? Police were easily able to cordon us off and keep us moving (in single file); we were certainly no force to be reckoned with. Although lots of people gave us thumbs-up and woo-hoos, several hugs, high-fives and sweet "good luck!" wishes, there was also ample thumbs-down, nasty yelling, the finger, charges of communism (Aside: I wondered what our Romanian refugee thought of THAT), mean sneers and frowny expressions, "GET A JOB HIPPIE!" and so on.

And maybe this is why they decided not to join us? After all, it did take guts.

Apparently only 10 people at that meeting had the guts necessary. After all, as we were leaving, somebody was complaining about... (are you ready for this?) people taking pictures. Some pseudo-radical who has never seen Medium Cool, is worried somebody will take their picture. In response, somebody else was seriously proposing "no pictures" -- at this point, I had heard enough.

I repeat: they can take Osama bin Laden's photo from freaking outer space, and somebody is worried about their photo being taken (when they haven't even left the park yet). They take your photo every time you park your car, every time you go into the CVS or Walgreens, every time you sit at certain red lights... you know this, right? And you are worried about photos by lefties? Or are you really worried about "guilt by association"? Actually, if I can't take your picture, it is YOU I am worried about, so maybe you need to go back to the mall, where... guess what? They will take your picture as you order your Starbucks. YES, THEY DO. Please get a clue. Stop worrying over silly stuff, get off your ass, and DO SOMETHING.

The Future Politician, God Bless Him, didn't back down from a single confrontation and seemed eager to take on all comers. I was impressed with Jonathan Eames (wearing a tie, at left), and will be working for his congressional campaign. I like people with nerve and verve, and I can see he won't be reticent about confronting the Rethuglicans. And I truly wish I could say that about Occupy Greenville in general.

In addition, I will say that I was shut up at Wednesday's meeting after speaking for less than two minutes (yes, I timed it) and the aforementioned Mother-of-Twins was shut up only after about 30 seconds (yes, I timed it), and so I am seeing a pattern. As someone with a regular radio show (hello!), I offered my input for the "media group" and was promptly ignored ... possibly since I do not have the right genitalia? (By contrast, at Occupy Columbia yesterday, I was actually handed a microphone on the spot.) You know, I might put up with this shit without complaint, if it meant a better, stronger and more cohesive group, but so far... instead, I see a large radical group that sat in a park and pissed away Fall for Greenville and the mega-opportunity it provided. If this is any indication of your effectiveness, I am just going to have to keep going to Spartanburg.

Let me know when you are ready to ACT, since I will continue acting anyway, as I have been for 40 years now. You might actually want to 1) talk to people with political experience (and a radio show), 2) stop silencing women, while men rattle on endlessly, 3) ignore reality-challenged individuals who don't seem to realize that their photo got taken already while they parked their car. Etc.

And please don't squander an opportunity like Fall for Greenville again. Really, I am quite amazed by that.

Yours in solidarity,

Daisy Deadhead

PS: Radio show podcast is up!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Occupy Columbia

Today at the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia. Photos below.

~*~

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Occupy Spartanburg

At left: Does this occupation photo make me look fat?




Occupy Spartanburg kicked off today at Daniel Morgan Square in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Woo-hoo! Getting warmed up for a very eventful weekend. Tomorrow, Occupy Greenville kicks off, and it looks like it is... REALLY GOING TO HAPPEN! I am stunned that even conservative upstate South Carolina is furious enough at Wall Street to take to the streets. This means it's for real, folks. IT'S FOR REAL.

The organizing meeting was last night, and for Greenville County, the turn-out was mighty impressive. A big meeting, of course, means lots of different perspectives, and there was a buncha blather about what we stand for, what we intend to say, make a statement, yada yada. The meeting included anarchists, at least one person running for office, a Swami, and a couple of Ron Paul supporters. The diversity was surprising, and beautiful to behold.

My prediction is that the Occupy movement will ultimately outgrow any puny "organization" or attempt to pigeonhole it. This is organic and genuinely a people's movement. I have to say, I have not experienced anything like this for a very long time. For some young people, it is the first time they have SEEN real participatory democracy, and you can tell that it makes them dizzy with happiness: So, THIS is that "free speech" thing we've been hearing about.

Today in Spartanburg, another diverse group of all ages and races, from children to disabled veterans holding pro-health care signs... as well as Christians holding signs about Jesus driving the money-changers out of the temple (a very nice suggestion about what we might do to the Wall Street Greedheads). And one of the demonstrators listened to my RADIO SHOW! (squeals) I have a FAN!

Hope you are all occupying your home towns... and if you can't, drive by your local occupiers and honk and give them a thumbs-up; dozens of cars did. By nightfall, will likely be hundreds.

As I said, this is the upstate! This is Jim DeMint country and the people are giving us thumbs-up! Holy shit, folks, this is SERIOUS!

Phabulous photos below. Stay tuned, sports fans.

~*~

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happy Coming Out Day!

Hey friends and neighbors! So much is going on, I hardly know where to begin. I am virtually breathless with excitement. I am also still unemployed, and we are nearing the finish line with those nice unemployment checks. I NEED A JOB, so send me an email if you are rich and need someone to: buff your floors, make your coffee, design a blog for you (I've done it three times now!), pick apples and green beans, walk your dogs, transcribe indecipherable medical blather, sell your health supplements, answer phones from irate people, talk on the radio about politics, and/or drive your bus fulla ill-mannered day-care brats. These are a few of the things I have done, but if I think a bit, can probably come up with a few more. Jack of all trades, etc.

I miss video stores... I rather enjoyed working at those. I worked for a local chain, so I got sent all over the upstate. Some of the video stores were in middle-class neighborhoods, but some were NOT; it was unpredictable and fun. It was a lot like the movie Clerks. This was the 90s, so when one of my movie-geek co-workers gave me copies of (much sought-after) PEEPING TOM and SHOCK CORRIDOR, I was thrilled beyond telling. No DVDs-with-extras in those days! I felt like I'd joined the ranks of the esoteric movie-fans, owning real-live collectables.

~*~

Happy Coming Out Day everyone!

Speaking of movies, I assume that anyone who has read my star-struck babbling about Elizabeth Taylor, Christina Hendricks and others, knows this about me already. But just in case I have to spell it out and COME OUT to my readers as bisexual: Yes, I am. Although frankly, I find that admission a bit foolish.

I am a boring old married woman, in a faithful and monogamous marriage, preparing to celebrate my 24th legal wedding anniversary to a man. Thus, it seems largely irrelevant to me. But of course, it is not... it is the whole reason I am so gung-ho on gay rights. If I had by chance fallen in love with the wrong person of the wrong gender, this anniversary would not be celebrated by some of the same people who now congratulate us. I can't quite forget that. I have privileges, I can pass, and it is my responsibility to use these privileges to help bring equality to others.

I would like everyone to have the right to be married for 24 years.

~*~

Some other interesting stuff for your perusal:

Jenni (whose blog I have just linked here at DEAD AIR) is an ex-fundamentalist Christian who wrote a heartfelt and honest coming-out letter to friends and family, many of whom are still fundamentalist. This made for a fascinating post on John Shore's blog: A Christian’s Coming Out Letter–And Some Responses To It. Recommended reading!

~*~

I have been participating on the blog No, Seriously, What About Teh Menz? (NSWATM) Aside: As I have asked before, who decided on this odd spelling of "teh" and why are we being forced to use it?

The discussions at NSWATM are highly critical of Second Wave feminism, but they are interesting. I have to restrain myself from giggling when certain participants start whining about how White Middle Class Educated Hetero Cis Men have been made to Feel Bad (aw), and I have discovered the wisest decision is simply to not comment when my giggling starts... giggling is by far, the best barometer I have that commenting is NOT SAFE... that was the mistake I made over at the Manblog That Will Not Be Named (MTWNBN).

The very gifted anti-feminist troll, Typhon Blue (mentioned rather unkindly here and here) has established a beachhead at NSWATM, so grab your popcorn. The show is just starting! TB is doing "her" usual reactionary schtick, forcefully attacking feminists and then standing back as the chivalrous anti-feminist men (who comically claim chivalry oppresses men, of course!) gallantly come to her aid. The question is whether this new exercise in melodrama will successfully get anyone banned, as she got ME banned at MTWNBN. So far, the management of NSWATM isn't swooning over her mommy-defends-the-beleaguered-boys routine, but she is just so deft at the concern trolling. The anti-feminist fellas just loooove her.

Remember the first time you explained to some guy that porn was staged and not real? I daresay, the guys at both NSWATM and MTWNBN will have that same crestfallen look when they discover that Typhon Blue is some 50-year-old farmer from Iowa, or whatever it is. (giggles)

As for me, I have made a point of not replying to her, so I hope that keeps her off me. I don't think I have much to worry about, since she has bigger fish to fry. There are lots of other feminists there for her to place in her cross-hairs and harass, all while playing innocent and complaining that she is triggered.

Honest confession: Damn, I wish I knew how to do that stuff. Those halos NEVER stayed on my head, even when I was a kid! ;)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Radio radio (update)

Today on the ever-fabulous Daisy Deadhead show, we covered the following:


>>Is the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement being hijacked by newcomers? More people and organizations are joining Occupy Wall Street or expressing solidarity every day. Whether it's an infusion of vital energy or a force that tears at cohesion is up to the movement.

>>Governor Haley uses the South Carolina Governor's Mansion as a Motel 6 for Republican millionaires campaigning for president. You'd think millionaires wouldn't have to ask the poor people of SC to foot the bill for their ridiculous, ego-ridden presidential campaigns... but you'd think wrong. Newt Gingrich stayed there this week (en route to Hilton Head), Michele Bachmann has racked up two visits, and Mitt's spouse, Ann Romney, stayed overnight once. And the campaign season isn't even in full swing yet!

Mitt and Ann Tomney have a net worth of between $190-250 million (I guess its too much to count accurately, at those levels) and yet, can't afford to pay for their own Hampton Inn bill. Do you trust him to be the president? Think of what ELSE he will charge to us.

Meanwhile, Governor Haley continues pretending she is a "fiscal conservative"--while spending our money on her friends. Nice work if you can get it!

>>Three women's rights activists win the Nobel Peace Prize! Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, activist Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and rights activist Tawakkul Karman of Yemen share this year's Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced Friday. These women were chosen "for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work," the Nobel committee said in Oslo, Norway.

>>Secret panel can put Americans on "kill list'. American militants like [recently assassinated] Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions, according to officials. According to Reuters: There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House's National Security Council, several current and former officials said. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate.


And we wrapped up with earnest exhortations to join local OCCUPY TOGETHER demonstrations: Thursday, October 13th, noon, Bowman's Field at Clemson University, ... and at about the same time, MoveOn is sponsoring one in Daniel Morgan Square, Spartanburg, which will be going on all day.

Your humble narrator will be in attendance at the latter event, so come on down!

And please join us on the air next Saturday morning at 9-10am, streaming on WFISradio.com or locally at 1600am or 94.9fm on your radio dial. (The podcast is up!)