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Late, Late Night FDL: Miracles Out Of Nowhere

By: Tuesday November 25, 2014 10:00 pm

Kansas – Miracles Out Of Nowhere

Today, Kansas announced an upcoming documentary and retrospective CD, ‘Miracles Out of Nowhere’…

Kansas fans will get a long-overdue look behind the scenes of the veteran band’s long journey when ‘Miracles Out of Nowhere,’ a new documentary and retrospective CD, arrives in March 2015.

Promising “a story that will appeal to new fans and veteran enthusiasts alike,” the ‘Miracles Out of Nowhere’ documentary was directed by Charley Randozzo, whose previous credits include ‘Hanson at the Fillmore’ and ‘Britney Fox: Year of the Fox.’ The feature-length film includes a number of interviews with famous fans, including Queen guitarist Brian May and country superstar Garth Brooks.

‘Miracles’ also includes memories shared by the group’s original lineup as they reconvened in Topeka, KS, to celebrate their 40th anniversary earlier this year. According to the press release announcing the package, highlights include “stories about recording in the studio next to John Lennon, a backstage fight with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and how the words ‘free beer’ changed their lives forever.”

In addition to the standard version available in stores, Kansas will directly sell an expanded limited-edition set that includes an extra DVD of “bonus features and outtakes not included in the documentary and not available in stores.” Both versions come with a CD of “hits and deep cuts alongside audio extracts from the film,” put together by producer Jeff Glixman and Kansas drummer Phil Ehart.

Here’s the trailer…

What’s on your mind tonite…?

 

Late Night: Have Fun

By: Tuesday November 25, 2014 8:00 pm

Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want To Have Fun

That’s right, we want to have fun – deal with it.
Lordy, 1985 was so long ago, here’s me creaking up the stairs with my warm milk.

The Womb Lottery

By: Tuesday November 25, 2014 7:10 pm

I’m happy that President Obama finally has moved forward with immigration reform. But the six-year-long White House Bad Messaging Plague (WHBMP) continues unabated. We’re in danger of losing the public on this issue even before the first work permit is issued.

President Obama’s executive order removes the loaded guns pointed at the temples of five million human beings, who also happen to be undocumented U.S. immigrants. It is a sincere act of compassion and mercy that has eluded House Speaker John Boehner for years, Boehner’s utterly hypocritical nattering about the urgent need for immigration reform notwithstanding. If Boehner had ever looked up from his shot glass, he might have seen their sad eyes, and felt some urge to confer simple dignity on them.

But that’s not how the White House staff is telling it. Last night, I received the White House staff’s talking points, embargoed until 6 pm. (I received them at 6:03 pm, but nevermind.)

● The President will “help secure the border.” (This is the first thing – the very first thing! – that they said.)

● The President will hold undocumented immigrants “accountable.” How is he holding them “accountable” for entering or remaining in America without permission? By letting them stay.

● The President will “fix our broken immigration system.” How will he fix it? By not enforcing it.

● The President will “prioritize deporting felons not families.” Just as he has deported commas from that phrase, I guess. (Good alliteration, though.)

Please understand: I’m in favor of President Obama’s action – very much so. But this framing by the White House staff just . . . stinks.

Here is a test for you: Is there anything in these talking points that could not have come out of the Bush White House? Answer: No.

I’ve seen a poll or two in my life, so I understand that the terms “secure the border,” “accountability,” “fixing the broken [fill in the blank]” and “families” poll very well. Families, yay! Felons, boo! I’m very happy, and indeed relieved, that we Democrats now have established our bona fides as the anti-felon party.

I noted that the White House’s very lengthy (i.e., numbingly repetitive) talking points never mention Boehner or the Republicans – not even once. Instead, the White House extends its devastating six-year-long attack on “Congress,” which has succeeded in: (a) driving Congress’s approval rating down to single digits; (b) delivering the House to the Republicans in 2010; and (c) delivering the Senate to the Republicans in 2014. If some Higher Being did a retroactive global search and replace on every White House statement since Jan. 20, 2009, searching for “Congress” and replacing it in each instance with “Republicans in Congress,” Democrats would have supermajorities right now in both Houses.

Here is the basic problem: Fox News has gotten into their heads. If you think that the primary purpose of immigration reform is “securing the borders,” then your name is Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity, not Robert Gibbs, Jay Carney or Josh Earnest.

With all due respect, these White House staff talking points are a pitiful effort to put a right-wing mask on a left-wing policy – and a meritorious and virtuous left-wing policy at that. But as Professor George Lakoff has demonstrated, even when you rebut the right wing’s arguments, you’re inadvertently reinforcing them. (As he puts it, “Don’t think of an elephant!” You can’t. Once the subject of elephants comes up, you’re going to think about elephants, whether you like it or not.)

Look, this is important. The basic rules of existence for five million people are in play. Please, just this once, can’t we be progressives? What is so wrong with that?

Let’s try it this way: Every one of us draws a ticket in the womb lottery. Six Waltons had winning tickets; they were born billionaires. The victims of fetal alcohol syndrome have losing tickets; they suffer from terrible physical and mental disabilities.

There are seven billion people alive today. Only a quarter of a billion of them won the womb lottery, and they were fortunate enough to be born in the United States. Almost fifty million more worked the system well enough to acquire U.S. citizenship. But there are over ten million people who love America so much – so very much – that they left behind their communities, their families, their property, their jobs, and they came here or remain here without the permission of our government. They didn’t win the womb lottery, so it’s too late for them to be born here. They feel that they were born in the wrong country. Their passports are not blue. But they want to fix that problem. They want to make it right. They can’t be American citizens by birth, but instead, they desperately want to be American citizens by choice.

Isn’t that a good thing? That people love what we have created so much that they want to be a part of it, and contribute to it. This isn’t a threat, it’s a heartfelt compliment.

My mother is an immigrant. My grandparents were immigrants. We are all the sons and daughters of immigrants, and we are all the children of God. Can we please, please respect each other, and live together in peace and dignity?

Think of it this way: For whatever reason – lax enforcement of immigration laws, oppression in other countries, the need to survive, whatever – these five million people are our new sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. The polite thing to do is to welcome them. Repeat after me: “Welcome to the American Family, and thank you for contributing to the American Experience.”

Over Easy: Putting It All Together

By: Tuesday November 25, 2014 6:05 pm

One of the members of our theater group set up a private FB group for us all to exchange photos and stories and memories of when we were together putting on shows at the university and sometimes elsewhere. A lot of them concerning how each of us often had to improvise and even make our own props. Or get the set to fit and work in the Science Auditorium, essentially a glorified, oversized janitors closet.

A Quick Whirl Around the Mining and Fracking Worlds: 25 Nov 2014

By: Tuesday November 25, 2014 5:02 pm

*AK. The Pebble Mine is back in the news as a federal judge “temporarily blocked” the EPA’s efforts to stop the mine, following Northern Dynasty Minerals’ objections to the process.

Police Fired Tear Gas at Coffee Shop in St. Louis That Was Supposed ‘Safe Space’ – Twice

By: Tuesday November 25, 2014 3:50 pm

Police deployed in riot gear fired tear gas directly at a coffee shop in St. Louis early in the morning on Tuesday. The scene unfolded just hours after an announcement by St. Louis County prosecutor, Robert McCulloch, that a grand jury had found no “probable cause” to indict white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for killing an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, on August 9.

Rachel O’Leary, who is the Deputy Executive Director for Field Organizing for Amnesty International USA, was in MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse in the Shaw neighborhood with some members of a delegation of human rights observers. About 1 am—or just after—tear gas was fired.

“We noticed police behaving strangely,” O’Leary recalled. “They were squatting down in a group, and we couldn’t figure out what was happening. We were watching this out the window.”

D.C. Moves One Step Closer to Allowing Recreational Marijuana Stores

By: Tuesday November 25, 2014 2:45 pm

Marijuana legalization continues to slowly but steadily move forward in our nation’s capital. On Tuesday the D.C. Council bill to tax and regulate marijuana was approved by the Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs. The bill would provide the basic framework for licensing recreational marijuana businesses and retail stores in D.C. While Initiative 71 [...]

Andrew Bacevich: Daydream Believers

By: Tuesday November 25, 2014 1:40 pm

The money should stagger you. Journalist James Risen, author of Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War, a revelatory new book about the scammers, counterterrorism grifters, careerist bureaucrats, torture con artists, and on-the-make privatizers of our post-9/11 national security state, suggests that the best figure for money spent on Washington’s war on terror, including [...]

Israel Moves To Become Formal Ethnocracy

By: Tuesday November 25, 2014 12:35 pm

The Israel government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has formally moved to restrict national rights in Israel to Jews alone. The law has passed the cabinet and if it passes parliament then the pretense of a pluralistic democracy is over – to be a true Israeli one must be Jewish, full stop. Undoubtedly longtime critics of Israel’s democratic posturing will say same as it ever was, but making such a policy law will put to rest all reasonable objections against Israel being defined as an ethnocracy.

Questions from Ferguson

By: Tuesday November 25, 2014 11:30 am

What happened in Ferguson matters to us all as Americans. Are we doomed to remain a nation hopelessly, violently adrift in a swamp of racism? Do we have a justice system that is indeed just? Can everyone expect to receive fair treatment in our system, from the moment police confront an alleged criminal to the moment some sort of final decision is reached? Do our police forces exist to “protect and serve,” or does that only apply to some groups of Americans, while for others the police are deadly enemies?

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