- The Religious Right's Twisted View of Religious Freedom/Kyle Mantyla, Right Wing Watch
- Music Needs to Get Political Again/Billy Bragg, Alternet.org
- The Knife In Ty Cobb's Back/Gilbert King, Smithsonian
- Indians raise socks in tribute to Thome/Zack Meisel, MLB.com
- Aura of Thome has yet to fade around Twins/Joe Christensen, Star Tribune
- Fundraising letter says send donations to Gov. Otter - at Idaho Freedom Foundation/Betsy Z. Russell, Eye On Boise
- Maya Angelou says King memorial inscription makes him look 'arrogant'/Gene Weingarten and Michael E. Ruane, WaPo
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Glenn Campbell is back!
I don't know what I find more shocking, that he's back or that his new single is so good. Back in June, Campbell announced that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and that he hoped he would be able to go on one more tour before retiring from music for good. I didn't realize then that he'd be putting out new music and I honestly didn't expect that he'd actually be able to tour. Turns out I was wrong. The new single is no "Wichita Lineman" and Campbell, as far as I know, is still a Republican, but it served as a reminder of the days of my childhood when my grandfather would play Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams and Glenn Campbell on the radio.
Here's Campbell talking about his final album and here's a review of the album. The album Ghost On the Canvas is available today on iTunes.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Years from now the history books will state that on this day history was made by the Yankees. Strangely enough, quite a few baseball gems happened on this day in history.
* 1921: Yankee pitcher Harry Harper hits 3 batters in 1 inning
* 1922: The Cubs & Phillies combined for 49 runs
* 1924: Walter Johnson throws his 2nd no-hitter
* 1936: 3 Braves hit twice in 1 inning getting 2 hits each
* 1951: Cleveland Indians were on a 16-game win streak
* 1952: Tigers' Virgil Trucks throws his 2nd no-hitter of season
* 1967: Twins' Dean Chance throws 2nd no-hitter of month
* 1985: Doc Gooden becomes youngest pitcher to win 20 games
That's a lot of baseball history for one day. And some day down the road some baseball junkie will write about this day and say the Yankees hit three grand slams this day and chances are good, however many years from now that is, no other team will have accomplished the same feat. Somewhere it might even say that future Hall-of-Famer Jim Thome was claimed off waivers by his old team the Cleveland Indians where he still holds the franchise record for most career home runs.
Even if it is the damn Yankees celebrating such an accomplishment, what a day in baseball it has been.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Was looking for a link to my kid brother's favorite song (Ben E. King's "Stand By Me") in honor of his 19th birthday and ran across this awesome cover of the Rollings Stones' "Paint It Black" by Incubus. I love several versions of "Paint It Black" including the original, of course, and the Jonny Lang version. This is a nice version, too. Not much from Incubus isn't good.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
by Larry Grant
Idaho Democratic Party Chairman
This last week I paid the Idaho Republican-imposed “Family Tax.” If you have kids in school, you just paid it too. I paid mine when I registered my grandson for his sophomore year at our local high school.
The cost was over $100. It included $10 for the botany class, $5 for physical education/weights, a $75 athletic fee, $22 for a student activity card, and $5 for class dues. Students also pay additional fees for band, art, and broadcasting. Other than the class dues, I was dismayed at the amounts, particularly the athletic fee so he can play football and the student activity card fee required for all band, cheer, dance and sports.
I now see firsthand just how much the budget slashing demanded by Governor Otter and the school reform plans implemented by Superintendant of Public Instruction Tom Luna and imposed by our Republican-controlled legislature are really costing Idaho’s working, taxpaying families.
The fees charged to students are only part of it. There are plenty of other costs that are included in what can only be called Idaho’s “family tax” since it hits families with school-age children the hardest. Curtailing student bus service immediately means additional costs to the family for transportation. Four-day school weeks, furlough days, and reduced kindergarten classes add to the cost of daycare and in some families means a parent has to miss a day of work every week.
Because the state cut funding to local school districts, many districts are asking for override levies to make up the additional costs. Even after districts fire teachers and cut every imaginable expense or, in many cases, shift costs to parents through additional fees, reduced services or higher local taxes, it’s still not enough to provide the quality education every Idaho family is guaranteed by law in the Idaho State Constitution.
How many families have less money in their monthly budget because of these costs? How many talented students will never play sports or be in the band or take an art class because of the extra fees? How many families already struggling in these hard economic times will finally, simply, give up—and let their kids drop out of activities or even school because they can’t afford the state’s “free” education?
Our Republican leaders defend their actions by claiming there is a budget crisis—but only after they severely and deliberately underestimated revenues last year. Why are they shifting the costs to parents rather than closing tax loopholes, cutting something else or, yes, even raising revenues?
The answer, of course, is that Republicans want public schools to fail. They want to privatize education, just like they want to privatize Social Security and Medicare. Republicans support private schools, not public education. And, in a perverse twist of logic that makes sense only to them, they want the government to pay for private schools by giving vouchers to parents.
Simply put, they want budget cuts except when they don’t and they want to get rid of government except when it is their benefits that are being cut.
Fortunately, I can afford the extra fees. My grandson will play football. But how many other young, promising athletes and students will be denied that and other opportunities because of our stingy and misguided state legislature?
Saturday, August 13, 2011
- 'Snail Mail' project promotes art of letters/Doug Gross, CNN
- Like activist judges? Then you'll love the balanced budget amendment./Brad Plumer, WaPo
- Carlson: Robins in context/Chris Carlson, Ridenbaugh Press
- 11-year-old wants postal service to honor Lewis and Clark slave with stamp/Megan Buerger, WaPo
- A New Movie Makes Fun of Kids with Special Needs. Any of You Think That's Funny?/Ellen Seidman, Parents.com
- Readers Poll: Best Collaborations of All Time/Rolling Stone
- The Hijacked Crisis/Paul Krugman, New York Times
- The Idaho Commentator (Idaho Politics)
- The Byrd's Nest (Baseball)
- On the Mike with Mike Safford (Baseball)
- The Megafrontier: Urban life in Western America (Idaho & the West)
Going to be a difficult Saturday for me, but hopefully a day of baseball on Sunday will make up for it. Cheers!
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
"Everyone needs to have access to grandparents...in order to be a full human being."
-- Margaret Mead
Without my grandparents, I would not be the person I am today. It has been a tough day, but as so many with loved ones battling Alzheimer's know, it has been a long goodbye.