Friday, October 31, 2008


Now that I have your attention.

In the midst of all the political madness of the Presidential election, don't forget a very important proposition on the ballot for California: Proposition 2.

Even if you eat meat, this is good for your state, your health and even better for the animals. And don't buy into the myths. Read more at:

The Humane Society of the US
California Veterinary Medical Assn
Center for Food Safety
Union of Concerned Scientists
Sierra Club
Consumer Federation of America
California Democratic Party
California Council of Churches

However, if you want to be a true environmental warrior and political radical, go vegan.

How is it radical to be a vegan?

Better for the environment, by far: Cuts down on the enormous amount of pollution and environmental damage created by factory farms in the maintenance, slaughtering, preparation, and transportation of animals.

Workers rights:

And, once again, the continual theme of the love affair between the government and corporations:

And don't is pretty darn good for your health...

Go veg, and VOTE YES ON PROP 2.

Kierkegaard quote for the day...

I started reading the recent (2006) translation of Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling published by Cambridge University Press and thought I would share his opening sentence...

"Not only in the commercial world but in the realm of ideas as well, our age is holding a veritable clearance sale."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Dow and Tea...

My favorite San Diego Tea House, Infusions of Tea, owned by Ronald and Emily...
Besides having great knowledge, and selection, of tea, they are doing their bit to help. From the San Diego Tribune:


When Dow is down, that means it's tea time

By Penni Crabtree

October 28, 2008

Ah, if only it were gin.

But for Dow Jones-jangled nerves – and for most these days, nerves are singing like a taut silver wire – a free cup of soothing tea might just be what Wall Street ordered.

And maybe a not-so-free scone to accompany it. Or so hopes Ronald Eng, proprietor of Infusions of Tea, a San Diego tea shop that on Oct. 15 began offering customers free cups of afternoon tea on any weekday that the Dow Jones industrial average closed at a loss of more than 100 points.

On the first day of the promotion, the Dow closed at 8,577, down 733 points. Since then, it has fallen at least 100 points on five out of eight weekdays, including yesterday's drop of 203 points, which translates into about 150 free cups of tea.

“We've been giving away a lot of free tea lately,” Eng said with a laugh. “My dad said we should have made it higher than 100 points.”

Still, Eng said customers appreciate the gesture, and while some welcome a free cuppa, people are still buying their favorite blend. The promotion ends Friday.

“For us, it's a way to show hospitality,” said Eng, who started the shop in the Costa Verde shopping center on Gennesee Avenue in 2003. “People are just down a little bit, and tea is a nice, soothing pause.”

Of course, on the days the Dow is up, the sign changes: Dow O.K., but you are welcome to come in anyway.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What we could have done with the money...

I haven't read the book, but the simulated 1 trillion dollar shopping spree is a lot of fun.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Nietzsche, Heidegger and...Palin

"Alas, the time of the most despicable man is coming, he that is no longer able to despise himself.

Behold, I show you the last man. 'What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?'—thus asks the last man, and he blinks.

The earth has become smaller, and on it hops the man who makes everything small...'We have invented happiness'—say the last men, and they blink." —Nietzsche (Quoted in Heidegger, What Is Called Thinking? page 64).

"The last men blink. What does that mean? Blink is related to Middle English blenchan, which means deceive, and to blenken, blinken, which means gleam or glitter. To blink—that means to play up and set up a glittering deception [emphasis mine, jk] which is then agreed upon as true and valid—with the mutual tacit understanding not to question the setup." —Heidegger (What Is Called Thinking? page 74).

Heidegger, continued on page 82:
"We must not take it to be the same thing as the merely superficial and incidental wink by which we signal to each other on special occasions that in fact we are no longer taking seriously what is being said and proposed..."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Electoral Acreage...

I was looking at this map at RealClearPolitics and it made me think, "I'm sure glad we don't elect Presidents by acreage..."

Bill Maher...

Bill Maher, on ‘Real Time with Bill Maher,’ Oct. 10

"The question [Sarah Palin] keeps asking at all of the rallies is, 'Who is Barack Obama?' You know what, genius, maybe if you'd picked up a newspaper in the last year you'd know."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Obama and McCain roast each other...

More McCain....

Recent AP headline:

"McCain suggests Obama tax policies are socialist"

And corporate bailouts aren't?

Brad Henkel sent me the following pic he took between dog-walking gigs on Wall Street the other day. (Hey, musicians got to make a living too.)

It is of Nader's visit to NYC:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe the Plumber...

Who is this plumber that McCain and Obama kept invoking last night?

From the Huffington Post:

"In a phone interview with CBS' Katie Couric, Joe Wurzelbacher said Barack Obama 'tap dance[d] ... almost as good as Sammy Davis Jr.' "

Listen to the interview:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Quote for the day: John Blacking

"...all music is folk music, in the sense that music cannot be transmitted or have meaning without associations between people...The makers of 'art' music are not innately more sensitive or cleverer than 'folk' musicians: the structures of their music simply express, by processes similar to those in Venda music, the numerically larger systems of interaction of folk in their societies, the consequences of a more extensive division of labor, and an accumulated technological tradition." John Blacking, How Musical Is Man?, x-xi.

History Matters and "Have you no sense of decency?"

Wow, re-read the McCarthy transcript...

It is interesting how the technique of "othering" by Senator McCarthy is being used in today's politics. Still. McCarthyism lives on.

I think Bob Shrum hits the nail on the head...

"The McCain campaign crossed the line today from negative character attacks to the kind of character assassination that plays to the basest impulses and incites the most dangerous reaction. We've seen the prelude this week in the McCain crowds and in Sarah Palin's well-rehearsed, carefully telepromptered and increasingly ugly diatribes. But the intent became undeniable with the new McCain ad that falsely charges that "Obama worked with terrorist William Ayers when it was convenient"--which all but alleges that the candidate was there planting bombs.

"McCain had to back off and almost apologize at an event in Minnesota when a questioner in his crowd alleged that Obama was "an Arab." McCain meekly had to explain, over the evident unrest of his supporters, that Obama wasn't dangerous.

"But who was responsible for leaving people to think that he was dangerous in the first place? The McCain campaign grab-bag of tarnished tactics has trafficked in soft hate and hard fears about "the other." It has been said that everything in America ultimately comes back to race. But with Republican campaigns in trouble, starting with Barry Goldwater and continuing with Nixon's "southern strategy" in 1968, it really always does come back to race.

"The McCain forces have taken this to a new low; there is no way to deny the deliberate, conscious attempt to portray Obama as unAmerican; not "one of us" as Pat Buchanan said tonight on "Hardball"; someone "who doesn't see America as we do," in the venomous patois of Palin.

"In all decency, it is at least worth mentioning, even as we note that Obama is not an Arab or a Moslem, that there is something profoundly unAmerican about denigrating all Arabs or all Moslems as suspect or evil. Or, for that matter, something profoundly unAmerican about playing to the old prejudices that many assumed would prevent any African-American from ever becoming President in their lifetimes. The appeal to intolerance is amplified by commentators like Buchanan and William Kristol, who urge the McCain campaign to pound away at Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. They have a list of names they want McCain to flourish and a wave of innuendos they want McCain to raise. Joe McCarthy would recognize this; it's the smear technique that he virtually patented. To borrow a phrase from that period, a phrase that shattered his reign of intimidation, maybe we ought to ask the McCain forces, the candidate and his supporting commentariat, 'Have you no sense of decency left at all?'"

Here is the whole post.

Monday, October 06, 2008

"Say it ain't so, Gov!"

Keating and McCain...

A "documentary" and assortment of information about a certain maverick and the savings and loan crises (i.e., greed and the failure of deregulation) in the late 1980s and early 90s. Paid for by Obama's campaign, hence the quotes around "documentary."

Also: for the scoop on the truth/lies/exaggerations of both parties, I look at:

It will be interesting to see what they have to say about this.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Newsweek's "The Palin Problem"

Jon Meacham wrote an interesting article in Newsweek:

"Is this an elitist point of view? Perhaps, though it seems only reasonable and patriotic to hold candidates for high office to high standards. Elitism in this sense is not about educational or class credentials, not about where you went to school or whether you use 'summer' as a verb. It is, rather, about the pursuit of excellence no matter where you started out in life. Jackson, Lincoln, Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and Clinton were born to ordinary families, but they spent their lives doing extraordinary things, demonstrating an interest in, and a curiosity about, the world around them. This is much less evident in Palin's case."

Click here for the whole article.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

KaiBorg at NWEAMO

We had a blast last night, playing at San Diego State University's NWEAMO. A great audience, including luminaries such as Roger Reynolds and his delightful wife, Karen. This event is quite a wide mix of styles, wonderfully organized by Joe Waters.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

KaiBorg says, "Hoi!"

KaiBorg at STEIM

After our stay in Göteborg, KaiBorg moved on to Amsterdam (which involved flying and transferring at Oslo, where we picked up a plane of loud Norwegians all reading the same newspaper article on my favorite chess player, Magnus Carlsen from Norway).

Amsterdam was awesome! We landed, caught a taxi to STEIM Laboratories, had a sound check and did a gig. A whirlwind of a first day. The folks at STEIM (STudio for Electro-Instrumental Music) were delightful to work with: Taku, Joel, Nico, Erika, Minouk, and the worlds best electro-acoustic sound man, Kees. Visiting musicians there at the same time as us included, Yutaka Makino (U.S./Japan, laptop, did a set with dj sniff…who is Taku), Jack Wright (U.S., saxophones, he ALWAYS shows up, if I’m in California, NY, New Mexico, anywhere, he seems to be there or have just been there), Grundik Kasyansky (Russia, feedback synthesizer, objects), Guillaume Viltard (France, double bass) and Andreas Otto (Germany, cello, laptop). It was a smoking show, with a lovely audience. Another full house. Really nice to experience that again on this tour. After the show, an ex-pat from the U.S., John, who plays saxophone and moonlights as a tour guide, took us all on a mad dash about town, beginning with Café Gollem (my choice, they have Westvleteren-arguably the best beer in the world) and all over town, including a romp through the red-light district, where we joined all the other tourists. Pretty funny, it really is a tourist spot, to see all these groups of elderly travelers being led through the district looking at the “lingerie models” as if they were at Country Bear Jamboree at Knott’s Berry Farm or It’s a Small World at Disneyland. John gave us a great introduction to the town. (I only wish I could remember his last name.)

I can’t say enough positive things about what STEIM is doing. They take this space off of Utrechtsestraat and by populating it with interesting, creative, adventurous and intelligent people, convert it from just another space into an exciting place/destination where like-minded people have an opportunity to create and present works using new media. I believe this is their key, it is not so much the technology they make available (which is important) but the environment populated with engaging people. When you look at their history, and the people that have passed through their doors, you see a broad view of the recent history of electro-acoustic music and emergent technologies…I say that because they embrace a diversity of approach to those who are accepted into residency there. Whereas other spaces/places focus on specific aesthetics, STEIM brings in people who do hardware, software, incorporate traditional instruments, new instruments, improvise, compose, create installations, do video, a wide variety of styles from DJs to quarter-tone trumpet players, and the list goes on. Inclusiveness is their mantra, as opposed to the exclusiveness of others. What a fantastic organization, and it was rewarding to be there when they announced they had received funding (that was in question!) for another fours years when, sadly, many other organizations in The Netherlands had been cut.

The rest of our stay in Amsterdam was spent visiting friends, eating great food, drinking great coffee and beer, making new friends, visiting museums and galleries (Including the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum), and just wandering/exploring this vibrant, energetic, yet kind city. Highlights included hanging with Michael Moore, Joel Ryan, Michael Vatcher, Anne LaBerge, and Sean Bergin. What a rich/deep pool of musicians in that town…

Great restaurants with tasty vegan options included: The Golden Temple, De Waaghals, Bolhoed and the all present Maoz Falafel!

Highlights for beer: Definitely Café Gollem, a nice break from the ubiquitous Heineken and Grolsch.

Great places to hear music besides STEIM: Bimhuis, De Engelbewaarder (don't miss Sean Bergin's Sunday open session, wonderful!), and Alto Cafe (hit and miss, saw a great piano trio there, but also an AWFUL blues band).

What a great city, I hope to go back for a longer stay.

David, Yutaka and me

with Jack Wright at Cafe Gollem

The perfect espresso at Koffie Salon

Coffee with Joel Ryan

I can't escape!!! Even in Amsterdam. This was at a cafe on Utrechtsestraat.

Enjoying a Cuban Montecristo with the ubiquitous Heineken

Watching John Hollenbeck at Bimhuis

at De Waaghals

by the Flower Market

David's last night, at Cafe Gollem

Breakfast with Michael Moore

Visiting Jody (married to Michael Moore) at an Absinthe shop

Moore, me, Borgo, Sean Bergin at De Engelbewaarder


Alto Cafe

with some friends at Alto

Chess with Michael Vatcher. I threw away the win. After forking his rook and knight with a bishop, I forgot to insert a zwischenzug...ended up in a draw with opposite colored bishops

with Vatcher at Palm Guitars

Last day, at the Rijksmuseum. Night Watch blew my mind.

House passes $700 billion financial bailout

"Capitalism will always survive in the United States as long as the government is willing to use socialism to bail it out." -Nathra Nader, father of Ralph Nader