Craig at BookNotes asked his readers to share music experiences with him. I'm afraid I got a bit carried away but he published my comments anyway. Thanks Craig.
So, welcome to those who might have wandered over here from BookNotes and be sure to check out TestingTesting which is a music Internet webcast that I do.
I've had various music postings in the past but I'm afraid it's been a while. Craig has inspired me to do something about that. Stay tuned.
I've been busy the past few days catching up on a web project but I did have time to check out this music extravaganza: The Weeeeeeeeeeeee Squirrel It takes a while to load and I'm not claiming it's tasteful.
Stage 19 | Orléans / Evry
The sprinters played today. Zabel and O'Grady are very close for the sprinter's Green Jersey. It will be decided tomorrow on the last stage into Paris. All the top overall positions remain unchanged. All Lance has to do is not fall down and he will take home the Yellow Jersey tomorrow. Three in a row! Only four others have done that.
Stage 18 | Montluçon / Saint-Amand-Montrond
This was the final time trial and really the final chance to change the overall placing at the top and changes there were. Again, Lance put time on everyone winning by 1 min 23 sec and beating Ullrich, who was third, by 1 min 38 sec. His last two Tour wins had periods in the race where he faltered after taking the yellow jersey by hung on to win. This year he didn't miss a beat.
Ullrich cemented his position second place overall, Beloki move into third, and Simon dropped to sixth. Two more days for the sprinters but these will be the final positions at the top.
1 001 ARMSTRONG Lance USA at 79h 07' 33"
Busy day so this will probably be it for entries today.
Been way to busy today. Just this late Tour results today. So many links. So little time.
Stage 17 | Brive-la-Gaillarde / Montluçon
Another day for sprinters with the top 5 unchanged. Tomorrow is the time trial which may see some changes in third, fouth, and fifth.
1 001 ARMSTRONG Lance USA at 77h 53' 17"
Stage 16 | Castelsarrasin / Sarran
By Bryan Jew
In late July in France, there are plenty of pleasant ways to spend a sunny summer afternoon during vacation season. Riding a bicycle for nearly six hours in 90-degree weather is not one of them. But after two-and-a-half weeks, and more than 1600 miles covered, that's what the riders in the Tour de France face for most of the final week. These are the dog days of the Tour, when many of the weary riders are just looking forward to getting to Paris. Still, even during the dog days, every day presents another chance for glory or disappointment, and Wednesday's Stage 16 from Castelsarrasin to Sarran saw a little of both.
The top positions are unchanged.
1 ARMSTRONG Lance 73h 39' 28"
Friday's time trial will be the only significant chance for any time changes in the top 5. Unless, of course, Lances bicycle should explode.
Zoe's pictures of Jack Knaur's TestingTesting show are up and looking good as always.
After sitting all day in front of the computer (I'm starting to get radiation burns on my knuckles) and gnashing my teeth over the world's injustices it's nice to get a couple of pictures from Zoe (Katie took them) that remind us of simpler things.
Friday evening Zoe and I met Zoe's mom, Gerri, and Katie and Mike at Ruby's, a restaraunt in Redmond (yes, the home of that which shall remain unamed) with a late 40's theme. Good food and *great* hot fudge sundaes.
There were various artifacts from that era. A bumper car, pedal fire engines (behind us), a Whizzer, and two trains slowly moving around the room in opposite directions on tracks near the ceiling (see above my shoulder in the above picture - the tracks, not the trains.)
Sometimes we get so busy over important things the we stop getting excited about things like the wonder of little trains circling overhead. It's always refreshing to see a child getting excited over something new. We can learn from them.
Your assignment is to find a small child and watch the child discover something. Maybe you'll discover something too.
Norman Myers and Jennifer Kent are the authors of Perverse Subsidies: How Tax Dollars Can Undercut the Environment and the Economy (Island Press, 2001).
"The Bush administration plans to oppose an international drive to phase out fossil fuel subsidies and increase financing for nonpolluting energy sources worldwide, administration officials said today. ... The White House says its opposition to the proposals is based on a desire to let the marketplace, rather than government, decide how quickly renewable energy sources are adopted worldwide."
In this excerpt from Perverse Subsidies: How Tax Dollars Can Undercut the Environment and the Economy, Myers and Kent explain that the fossil fuel industry is subsidized.
The United States possesses less than 5 percent of the world's population but consumes 26 percent of the world's commercial energy. It consumes roughly twice as much energy per person and per unit of GNP as do Western Europe and Japan. By increasing the efficiency with which Americans utilize energy to Western European levels, the United States could save over $100 billion per year; by matching the efficiency of Japan, $200 billion per year. Overall, energy waste costs the U.S. economy over $300 billion per year -- more than the military budget. Conversely, energy conservation measures since the 1970s have saved $1 trillion.
The United States also emits one-quarter of all the carbon dioxide accumulating annually in the global atmosphere. In per capita terms, it emits roughly twice as much carbon dioxide as Germany, Russia, or Japan, almost three times as much as Italy, eight times as much as China, and 20 times as much as India. Fossil fuels contribute 90 percent of the United States' greenhouse-gas emissions (plus 90 percent of local air pollution and acid rain and the great majority of gases leading to smog). Yet by slashing fossil-fuel subsidies, the United States would cut its CO2 emissions to 16 percent below 1990 levels by 2010, thereby surpassing its Kyoto target by a sizeable margin (and reducing pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, and particulates). It would also generate energy savings of 13 percent.
U.S. energy subsidies in the mid-1990s totaled $25 billion (range $18-$32 billion), equivalent to $350 per American household. (Note, however, that certain estimates vary by an order of magnitude, depending upon definitions and criteria.) Of total energy subsidies, fossil-fuel and nuclear-energy subsidies amounted to $21 billion, or 84 percent of the total. Within the fossil-fuel category, the smallest subsidy went to natural gas, even though it is environmentally cleaner than oil or coal. Some minor subsidies also went to a miscellany of items, such as government-sponsored research and development and general investment tax credits.
thanks to red rock eater digest
Another comment on Bush vs Gore
The difficulty, even the danger, is profound. It is embodied, after all, in that apparently harmless little shrug of a sentence about the decision being limited to the "present circumstances." If you once cede to the Court the power to decide elections, let alone even the power to halt counting of the votes, then you have ceded it everything. It is no use for the justices to claim that this case has no precedential value. The "just this once" promise is disingenuous on its face--especially in the "present circumstances." Every decision of the Court, under our system, becomes precedent; there is nothing to keep some future Court from responding in the same way, halting (on grounds of equal protection or whatever other specious grounds), in every county and in every state, a vote which displeases the majority of the Court. And there is no appeal.
This is by no means an unlikely consequence. What the Court says is the law is the law, until the Court itself says otherwise. The only leash on the Court, until now, was the Court's own history--its continuity as an institution that relies on precedent, reasoning, good faith, tradition, and its place among the three branches of government and within the federal system. It has now, with every affectation of helplessness, slipped that leash. There is no explanation in Bush v. Gore that can fit within the function of the Supreme Court, no rational explanation of this arbitrary exercise of power, in the language that the Supreme Court has always used to explain what it does. And all those affectations of helplessness--what it was "compelled" or "forced" to do, those "unsought" responsibilities it "could not abdicate"--were coupled with expressions of immense self-satisfaction.
There seems, really, no question about it. This is a turning point. Not because of its effect on this election or on the status of the Court or on the people's trust. Least of all was it a simple matter of choosing between two candidates in a close presidential election. Almost all the books, articles, and commentaries about it have, in one way or another, been useful--particularly Bush v. Gore: The Court Cases and the Commentary, in that it includes so many of the actual court decisions. Most critics speak of damage to the Court itself; most supporters speak in terms of excusing little faults, in view of what they seem to regard as a rescue of the system from "chaos." Almost all speak as though there were some continuity between this decision and the entire history of the Court. But there is no continuity. The legacy of this Court is disaster--which no façade of collegiality, or relatively cuddly subsequent decisions, can conceal or rectify.
thanks to red rock eaters digest
The audio for last night's TestingTesting with Jack Knaur is up. It was last minute chaos. The bass player showed up about 5 minutes before the show started. He started to go home to get a monitor but Steve had monitors and a head in his car so he brought those in and hooked them up to the sound board. Then the bass had a loose jack that we fixed with duct tape. Wacka wacka! At 7 (maybe it was 7:01 or 7:02 or so) Joanne and Steve started playing with the bass player still tuning. Everything flowed beautifully after that though. Great show! Jack has some beautiful songs.
Stage 15 | Pau / Lavaur
Today's stage had no mountain passes to climb. However, it was a lot of small hills and also the longest stage of the Tour. The overall classification remains unchanged: Armstrong, Ullrich, Kivilev, Belloki, Simon. No suprises today. 5 days to go.
The house is clean, the bread is in the oven (we pay our musicians with real bread), and everything is set up for tonight's TestingTesting with Jack Knaur.
Today is the last rest day.
Feature: Who ya gonna believe?
OK, just one of his links.
As most recipients of ZNet Updates likely know, July 20 began a series of demonstrations in Genoa Italy against the G8 (major industrialized nations) meetings. As with demonstrations in Seattle, Prague, and Quebec, activists seek to explain and reveal global institutions like the IMF, World Bank, and WTO and to reverse worsening rules of international cultural and economic exchange, as well as address domestic sexist, racist, statist, and capitalist injustice. And, indeed, our steadily growing opposition to "globalization" has brought world leaders and corporate heads to fear for their most revered agendas. Bush, Berlusconi, and cohorts know that if a huge mass of humanity gains sufficient knowledge, hope, and confidence, we will force new and more participatory relations against the tide of their preferred elitist globalization. Bush, Berlusoni, et. al. have therefore decided to try their usual recourse, violence.
In Genoa they sought to send a message. Oppose us and you will pay a high price. And the simple fact is that we need to recognize that if the context of our actions leaves world rulers the option to do so, they most certainly have the military means to make good their threats. In Genoa they set loose their police, aroused beyond even normal levels of violence by grotesque fascist imagery, to brutalize dissent via torture and shooting. They seek to intimidate not solely the dissenters on the scene from even conceiving of disobeying further, but also the broader public. Bush, Berlusconi, et. al., are trying to ensure, for example, that in the next go around in Washington DC, from September 28 to October 4, there will be a small showing of manageable proportions rather than the feared immense outpouring of dissent and resistance they fear. Corporate elites want to reverse our momentum, pure and simple.
Many of the eyewitness links are far more explicit describing the results of this corporate war.
What If Napster Was the Answer?
Doubts are so strong about the future that some record industry bigwigs are wistfully longing for the good old days of Napster.
"We may look back and say, 'If there had been a way for the music companies to come to peace with Napster, then we might be at a very different, (better) place,'" one label executive said, requesting anonymity. "I'm worried that some of the offerings (the labels are coming up with) might be too little, too late."
"These newcomers," Mooradian notes, "are far more difficult to litigate against." Their distributed architecture and search function allows the companies to make the case that they're just enabling collaboration, not infringing on copyrights. Just as AOL can't be held responsible for every post in their forums, the argument goes, the file-sharer can't be held accountable for the legal status of every MP3, game or video that it helps pass.
"In some respects, this brings the labels back to square one," Mooradian said.
One label executive agreed, saying, "I fear we're getting into a game of whack-a-mole, where we sue Napster, then we sue Aimster and so on and so on."
thanks to Scripting News
Stage 14 | Tarbes / Luz-Ardiden
Even the super-strong Ullrich seems aware that he’ll have to play the role of runner-up to the Tour’s defending champion. And their cooperation in ridding their ‘grupetto’ of those who still threatened Ullrich’s historical fourth runner-up position was one of the day’s highlights. Unlike the 13th stage, when Ullrich attacked hard, raced hard, fell hard and still finished second to the rider who is now on a date with hat-trick destiny, the German-American alliance was obvious right through to the end when Ullrich nabbed third ahead of Armstrong – and immediately after the finishline offered a hand in a gesture of appreciation.
Ullrich is second with Kivilev 8 sec back. Lance is leading Jan Ullrich by 5 min 5 sec. Lance's team, United States Postal Service, will protect Lance's lead for the next 6 days except for Friday which is a time trail. Lance will do well there too. There is no way that Jan can gain any significant time on Lance in the time trial. Lance may gain more time on Jan. Sunday will be that last stage which is primarily a parade down the Champs-Elysées.
One Dead, 80 Injured in Genoa:
The slaying by Italian police of a demonstrator outside the Group of Eight summit in Genoa was not the first killing of a protester against corporate globalization. Dozens of activists have been killed in India, Nigeria, Bolivia and other countries where anti-globalization movements are, for reasons of necessity, more advanced and impassioned than those now taking shape in Europe and the United States.
The difference is that the killing of one protester and the wounding of more than 80 others in Genoa -- like the shootings at Ohio's Kent State University campus in 1970 -- took place in front of the cameras of western news organizations and independent reporters who transmitted the story to the world.
In Seattle in 1999, when tens of thousands of anti-globalization demonstrators prevented the launch of a new round of World Trade Organization negotiations, Global Trade Watch organizer Mike Dolan noted the irony of WTO officials hailing free trade’s benefits from behind legions of armed riot troops. "If what the WTO is doing inside those closed meetings is so great, how come they need all this muscle to protect them?" asked Dolan.
Now, his question must be updated. If the croupiers of corporate capital really believe that restructuring the global economy to limit protections for workers, the environment and human rights represents a positive development, why must they employ deadly force to defend the meetings at which they plot their warped vision of "progress"?
The answer, of course, is that the politicians gathered in Genoa are not "leading." They are being lead by corporate interests that are, by their very nature, at odds with enlightened and pragmatic public interest. And the public is rapidly awakening to this fact. Despite the police violence, the demonstrations in Genoa are already some of the largest protests in history against the neo-liberal, corporatist model of development.
thanks to BookNotes
The corporate news continues to report the puzzlement of the world leaders at the "misguided" demonstrations. However, there are many websites that are reporting the story about what the corporations are doing to the world even as the corporations try to muzzle the press. Craig, at BookNotes has many links to what has been going on.
Exporting Corporate Control
The plaintiffs in this case are Barrick Gold Mining, a huge firm based in Canada, and Barrick's chairman, Peter Munk, a Toronto multimillionaire with many powerful friends such as former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and former U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush. The defendants are Guardian Newspapers, London publisher of the Guardian (which I have occasionally written for), Britain's premier liberal daily, and the Observer, its Sunday paper.
On Nov. 26, 2000, the Observer published "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy," a column by investigative reporter Gregory Palast (who has written for Salon) that outlined the cozy relationship enjoyed by the Bush family and the Barrick interests. Palast, who happens to be an American citizen, pointed out that Barrick's U.S. subsidiary, Barrick Goldstrike, had donated over $100,000 to Republican committees in recent years; that Goldstrike had previously obtained a very sweet deal to mine gold on public lands in Nevada, pushed through during the final days of George H.W. Bush's presidency; and that the former president had landed on Barrick's payroll after leaving office, to peddle his influence with foreign leaders in exchange for a salary and stock options.
Palast's column went on to discuss other Barrick ventures in Indonesia, Zaire and, most controversially, Tanzania, where he mentioned a report by Amnesty International alleging that in 1996, a company later bought by Barrick had participated in the "extrajudicial killing" of dozens of small-scale artisanal miners, in order to clear the Bulyanhulu gold pits, a rich site to which the company claimed title. The story behind that alleged incident is long and somewhat murky, but this much is clear: Several independent newspapers in Tanzania reported in August 1996 that as many as 52 miners were buried alive when bulldozers operated by Kahama Mining Co. Ltd., a firm later acquired by Barrick, filled in the pits, assisted by armed troops. The miners had until then successfully resisted KMCL's attempt to evict them from the land, a tract some 30 miles south of Lake Victoria.
thanks again to BookNotes
And it's obvious to many that our "leaders" are only front men for the large corporations.
Once again, the Bush White House is behaving not as if it leads the free world but rather as if it is an offshoot of Halliburton, the oil services company formerly run by Vice President Dick Cheney.
The scene this time is Genoa, Italy, where the Group of 8 major industrial nations is considering a proposal to phase out subsidies for polluting fossil fuels in favor of financial support for clean, renewable energy in the world's developing economies.
To dampen the growth in global warming-related emissions from burning oil and coal, rich countries would stop using the World Bank and other mechanisms to subsidize sales of pipelines, coal plants and drilling equipment to developing nations. Instead, they would promote power from the wind, sun and water. The aim is that by the end of the decade, one billion people who currently have little or no access to electricity would get power from renewable sources.
This deliberate suppression of rising demand for oil and coal --- substances precious to the hearts and wallets of this White House --- is too much for the Bush team. They have vowed to oppose the G8 effort, thereby killing it and consigning us to a continuation of the pollution-inducing status quo.
thanks again to BookNotes
And they wonder why people are getting pissed off. Duh!