Saturday, March 29, 2014

Happy birthday

Landslide - Fleetwood Mac

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Haley Watch: Watch out Canada, Queen Nikki is on the way

Photo of Governor Haley comes from her ex-boyfriend Will Folks' website, FITSnews.

I used to do most of my Haleyating on the radio.

During our broadcast-hiatus, I've greatly missed my regular chance to dump all over our hyper-conservative (but nonetheless pretty randy) governor. So, making up for that today.


Last month, Queen Nikki made a royal fool of herself by telling employers to stay out of South Carolina.

Wait, what?!? Stay OUT, you ask?

Yes, she told them to stay out... IF they bring those dreaded, scary unionized employees with them, that is:
GREENVILLE, S.C. — South Carolina loves its manufacturing jobs from BMW, Michelin and Boeing and wants more.

But Gov. Nikki Haley says they're not welcome if they're bringing a unionized workforce.

"It's not something we want to see happen," she said after an appearance at an automotive conference in downtown. "We discourage any companies that have unions from wanting to come to South Carolina because we don't want to taint the water."

In a recent vote at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., the company remained neutral about bringing in the United Auto Workers. VW had said it favors the creation of a German-style "works council," which gives workers a voice on a variety of products and other decisions.

U.S. law requires a union to represent employees for a company to form a works council.

State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, Haley's Democratic opponent in this year's gubernatorial race, said he thinks South Carolina should remain a right-to-work state where workers are free to decide whether to join unions.

"But I also think that if Ford Motor Co. wanted to bring 10,000 jobs to South Carolina, we would welcome them with open arms," Sheheen said.

"We need good, high-paying jobs in South Carolina," he said. "Part of leadership is putting ideology and partisanship to the side when there's something that could be good for South Carolina."

Haley isn't the first South Carolina Republican to reflect the South's traditional anti-union bias, but she's been especially outspoken against unions inserting themselves as mediators between workers and their employers.

GOP animosity toward unions grew red-hot in South Carolina during Haley's first year as governor after the National Labor Relations Board went to court to block the Boeing Co. from making its Dreamliner jet at a new factory in North Charleston.

The NLRB argued that Boeing had built the plant in right-to-work South Carolina in retaliation for past union strikes at the company's Puget Sound operations but ultimately dropped the complaint.

Haley has continued to remind voters of what the agency tried to do and did it again Wednesday while appearing here at the South Carolina Automotive Summit, an annual conference for the state's auto industry.

The governor urged more than 200 people at the conference, many of them auto industry executives, to keep up their guard against unions.

"They're coming into South Carolina. They're trying," Haley warned. "We're hearing it. The good news is it's not working."

Haley promised to keep fighting against union penetration.

"You've heard me say many times I wear heels. It's not for a fashion statement," she said. "It's because we're kicking them every day, and we'll continue to kick them."

State Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said he couldn't recall the last time a company with a unionized workforce approached his agency about establishing a new plant in South Carolina.

"Companies that are traditional union companies don't seem to come looking for an operation in South Carolina," said Hitt, a former BMW executive whom Haley appointed. "I think our brand and our image precedes us in that regard."

Commerce officials inquire about an economic development prospect's labor traditions, he said.

"But we've never told someone outright no," Hitt said. "I think we've never gotten to that."

President Lewis Gossett of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance, which has organized the automotive conference here the past three years, said he thinks Haley is "dead on" about unions.

"Organized labor has no place down here," Gossett said. "We don't need them. We don't need them to replicate what they've done in the Midwest and the Northeast. The governor gets that. And she's taken some very strong stands about it, and we love it."

However, Erin McKee, president of the South Carolina chapter of the AFL-CIO, said she doesn't think Haley is helping.

South Carolinians "have the right to have good jobs, and if those are union jobs, they're union jobs," McKee said. "And to keep jobs from coming here because they're union, I don't think she's representing the people."
Well, at least the unions can recognize a direct insult when they hear one. Any word from the Dems, besides that rather lackluster, lame-ass reply from Sheheen?

Hello, but are you kidding? (Welcome to South Carolina!) The Democrats here are busy pretending to be Republicans, so they do not criticize Governor Haley. The Democrats here, with extremely few exceptions, do not say BOO to Queen Nikki. They are terrified they might actually get elected and have to do something.

I mean, nothing they have done "works" (gets them elected)--so you figure they might try something different, right? Like actually going after Queen Nikki before she totally bankrupts the state? If Haley is re-elected, we can count on four more years of total neglect of this state's roads, agencies, fire departments and schools... which is apparently acceptable to the Democratic party, since none of the Democrats seem too awful worried about it.

Governor Haley was also recently bragging about another junket, another fun new vacation for the Queen, on our dime. But looking at her web page, I can't find it. Hm. Her last weekly schedule was posted on March 10th. I guess she finally remembered she was running for re-election, and decided to shut up about the junkets.

Oh wait, here it is (and why isn't this posted on the governor's official news site?):
COLUMBIA, SC — Gov. Nikki Haley is heading to Canada to recruit jobs [in March], her office said Tuesday.

She will join three S.C. Department of Commerce officials and former U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins on the three-day trip that starts March 31 in Toronto before she heads to Ottawa and Montreal.

Wilkins, now an attorney in private practice in Greenville, is paying for his portion of the trip, the governor's office said.

Haley will meet with companies already in the state as well as new prospects. She also will speak to business groups.
She is going to Canada for "jobs"--uh huh. Just like she went to Germany and France (page down HERE for the gory details) to the tune of $127,000--also supposedly for "jobs"--and um, where ARE those jobs, Governor?


I'm sure this Canadian trip will be just as successful as that one was.

At least it's cheaper and she isn't taking a delegation of two dozen with her this time. At least she isn't just flushing a million dollars of our taxes down the toilet. Then again, if there are no immediate results for South Carolina, she HAS flushed more of our money down the drain, she just isn't telling us HOW MUCH this time.

Please, get rid of this woman. Please, please, please...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Give Ireland back to the Irish

Give Ireland back to the Irish - Paul McCartney

Unfortunately, too cold and rainy to show my tattoo today, or I sure would. (It got me into the St Patrick's section of the newspaper one year!) So I will show it to yall instead. Apparently, it is considered extremely uncool that you can see my BODY HAIR in this photo. (gasp) Sorry, yall!

But I daresay, anybody made nervous by pale yellow or red body hair probably should avoid Ireland.

Happy St Patrick's Day everyone! :)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday music

Why Does Love Got to be So Sad? - Derek and the Dominos


Namesake of this blog, Uncle Dave's Dead Air, featured this gem last week:

The Other Side Of This Life - Jefferson Airplane


Hope you are all having a lovely sabbath too!

PS: Map of where the week starts, worldwide. (that's just the sort of Tumblr-nonsense I end up lost in, for alarmingly long periods.)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Governor Moonbeam declines spliff

At left: back in the day, when Governor Brown was more open-minded.

California Governor Jerry Brown was once MY governor when I lived on the West Coast. At that time, over 30 years ago, he was known as Governor Moonbeam.

There was a reason for that.

Now that he is old, staid, respectable and not hanging with sexy rock stars with well-documented cocaine issues, Governor Moonbeam has sobered up and got himself re-elected in 2011 ... and with a straight face, claims he doubts marijuana legalization is a good thing:
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said Sunday that he is not convinced legalizing marijuana is a good idea because the population needs to "stay alert."

"The problem with anything, a certain amount is okay," Brown said on NBC's Meet the Press. "But there is a tendency to go to extremes. And all of a sudden, if there's advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world's pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together."

A recent poll found that for the first time ever, a majority of Californians support legalizing marijuana. More than half of U.S. states are also considering decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana since Colorado and Washington did so a little over a year ago.

Brown noted that California already allows medical marijuana, but said he is not completely sold on legalizing the drug for recreational use.

"I'd really like those two states to show us how it's going to work," he said.
Unbelievably, the MEET THE PRESS media flunkies actually let the governor of the state with HUMBOLDT COUNTY in it, get away with that shit.

This is hypocritical, to say the least. Marijuana is a major cash crop of California, and it is reasonable to assume the governor is well aware of that, as is the rest of the world.

Ah, wait. I get it. (((strobe light comes on))))

Wow, Governor Moonbeam has come a loooong way since he allowed fruit fly infestations to get out of hand.

He has turned into a politician! Finally, at long last. He is hustling for his state's economy, as any other governor would. Stay alert, yeah, and get re-elected, those are the goals. Brown knows that California's economy will be hard-hit if marijuana is at last LEGAL. The enormous profits in Humboldt County are a direct result of its illegal status and the inflated prices that have resulted. There is huge concern that certain counties will totally financially collapse if marijuana is made legal.

Certainly, Governor Brown doesn't want that sort of economic crisis on HIS watch.

From Vice:
In the run-up to the vote for California’s cannabis regulation bill in 2010, which would have largely legalized the drug, there was a sticker plastered on trucks, shacks, and homesteads in this secluded, densely forested wilderness area that said, "Save Humboldt County—Keep Pot Illegal." That attitude is based on simple, rational economic reasoning: Experts predict that if weed were to be legalized in California (which is very likely to happen by 2016 at the latest), the price of Humboldt weed would plummet, taking down local businesses with it.

The plants have become so entwined with the local economy that economists estimate a quarter of all the money made in Humboldt comes from marijuana cultivation. And because many of the growers don't pay taxes (or even use banks; they bury their money underground in plastic tubes and glass bottles), local services are maintained by marijuana money, which has been used to buy fire engines and set up a local radio station, two community centers, and small schools.
Of course, there are problems with basing an entire economy around an illegal activity. Police raids, although less frequent than they were in the 1980s, can sweep up a family’s entire harvest, and there's plenty of opportunities for gun-toting thieves who prey on grow operations. In one recent raid, a couple in their 60s were relieved of seven pounds of processed marijuana—along with several guns and thousands of dollars in cash—when gunmen turned up at their home. Of the 38 murders that occurred in Humboldt between 2004 and 2012, 23 were drug-related.
Read the whole thing, highly recommended.

After reading that, it will be obvious to you why the former hipster governor is suddenly wary of weed. Alertness, as we see, has little to do with it.

Re-election does.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Music - Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash

Music history lesson: You will notice that the traditional "Little Sadie" shares some of the same lines from Johnny Cash's "Cocaine Blues"... the first song is ominous and haunting; the second song more whimsical and defiant.

Both versions are great.

Warnings for woman-killing, drugs, etc.


Little Sadie - Grateful Dead (acoustic, live in Austin, TX 2/23/70)


Cocaine Blues - Johnny Cash

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Occupy the Microphone on hiatus

As some of you may have figured out by now, our radio show is currently on extended hiatus.

This has been a depressing development, but necessary.

The Occupy the Microphone crew is currently regrouping and trying to figure out what to do next. We are thinking about a group-oriented show (modeled on some of our very successful shows with Traci Fant) ... or maybe just concentrate on delivering a regular podcast? Over the past two and a half years, our show has been broadcast at three different time-slots on three different local radio stations. We need to step back and figure out what we want to do and the most economical way to get it done.

It's great to broadcast the news that no one else here in South Carolina will cover. We pride ourselves on having done that, but we also know that talk-radio tends to be a right-wing medium. We knew that our nationally-oriented shows were downloaded most often on the internet (as podcasts), and were far more popular than our local broadcasts. By contrast, our regionally-oriented shows got us a lot of local attention but didn't get the internet downloads that the big national-stories did. After awhile, we didn't know if we were (basically) a national or local show? Should we lead with one or the other type of story first? We dithered, argued, worried ... and unlike rich Republicans, we don't have marketing analysts and suchlike, to definitively tell us what to do. (sigh)

If we go back on local radio, it is likely we will need a flurry of advertising to keep us afloat this time.

Our hiatus is also due to a variety of other factors, in addition to our ongoing collective dithering over radio-show goals. These factors include my untimely and unnerving car accident, as well as the loss of a major advertiser ... but most important: Our producer, Gregg Jocoy, is dealing with his mother-in-law's extended illness. She is near death and is dying at home, not in a hospital. Gregg's family has the help of professional caregivers and hospice care, but caring for a terminally-ill person is still an enormous, overwhelming task. (Our last show talked about how most people die in hospitals now and not at home, and asked: Has this been good or bad for our culture as a whole?) Such work is emotionally draining as well as physically trying. Our best wishes are with Gregg and his family.

Meetings are scheduled, things are being cussed and discussed (as my grandmother used to say), and I will surely keep you updated.

Stay tuned, sports fans.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Execution of George Stinney, 1944

We did a radio show about George Stinney's execution back in November, and it seems the story is at last going viral.

George Stinney was executed by the state of South Carolina at the age of... 14. He is the youngest person ever executed by the USA.

And they found him guilty in 10 minutes. His family was not permitted to attend his trial. (yes, you read that right)

From Huffington Post:
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Supporters of a 14-year-old black boy executed in 1944 for killing two white girls are asking a South Carolina judge to take the unheard-of move of granting him a new trial in hopes he will be cleared of the charges.

George Stinney was convicted on a shaky confession in a segregated society that wanted revenge for the beating deaths of two girls, ages 11 and 7, according to the lawsuit filed last month on Stinney's behalf in Clarendon County.

The request for a new trial has an uphill climb. The judge may refuse to hear it at all, since the punishment was already carried out. Also, South Carolina has strict rules for introducing new evidence after a trial is complete, requiring the information to have been impossible to discover before the trial and likely to change the results, said Kenneth Gaines, a professor at the University of South Carolina's law school.
Arguments for a retrial were finally heard on Feb. 21st. Several radio shows besides ours spotlighted the case, as did CNN. Various local news reports have said today that these hearings have so far been "inconclusive"--so still more hearings seem to be on the schedule. (About what? Is there any question that this verdict should be overturned?)

Many have wondered: what good will this do? George is gone and won't be brought back. But clearing his name is very important to his family, especially his sister Aimee Ruffner.

And a 14-year-old? Should never be executed. Never.

Unaccountably, there are still those diehards who believe the execution was just.

I will be reporting on this as it unfolds. Let's hope South Carolina does the right thing, for once.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Matthew McConaughey as cartoon

Getting ready to watch the Academy Awards... and wondering whether Matthew McConaughey will win the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in "Dallas Buyers Club"? In any event, I thought of this clip from Family Guy and decided to share it here. It's Seth Green's voice, but I initially believed it was McConaughey!

If he wins, maybe it will sound something like this: