Blues Weekend: Some Greats

Blues Weekend: Younger Players & Older Instruments


RIP Jackie Mason

This skit seems relevant all over again:

Blues Weekend: Stevie Ray Vaughn

In his autobiography, BB King praised the musical talents of Eric Clapton and Bonnie Raitt, but he said the only white musician he knew who had the soul of the blues was Stevie Ray Vaughn.

I think Tex can sympathize with "Texas Flood" these days.

Blues Weekend

Let's do one, per Tom. Why not?

Here's Samuel L. Jackson tearing it up on a new blues track. Now, you know who this guy is, so there is a language warning. (For gun guys, there's another warning: he apparently thinks a .44 can carry an inexplicable number of rounds.)

Here's an older piece.

And another very excellent piece, by Johnny Lee Hooker.

And you know what, why not, here's the Blues Brothers -- who built out a first-class blues band -- doing their love song to Chicago.

I guess they'd be called out for cultural appropriation or whatever these days, but mostly it would be by people who didn't have legitimate chops like their band did. 

Music for Freyja's Day

(Or Frigg, who may or may not be the same goddess.)

Following up on Tom's concept, some music for the day.

Here's one for our adventurous truck driver from earlier this week.

This one is more for the video than the psychedelic soundtrack.

That last one came to my attention because of the band's participation in a psychedelic Western story album, which is musically a lot better but lacks the awesome motorcycles.

NSA Reviews Itself

NSA reviews itself and admits that, in fact, it has been collecting and unmasking Tucker Carlson's name... but it denies that it has been collecting his communications. 

Well, actually, they didn't deny it in any sort of official way. Sources familiar with their internal investigation denied it to the media for them. 

The NSA never promised transparency, of course. 

Resisting Jadris

Speaking of COVID tyranny, congratulations to Michigan whose citizens finally managed to strip the evil governor of her ability to arrogate herself tyrannical power.
The emergency powers act had been declared unconstitutional by the Michigan Supreme Court in October, but prior to the repeal the law remained on the books for potential future gubernatorial abuse.

A group called Unlock Michigan led the petition initiative, collecting more than half a million signatures, and the Senate voted 20-15 to approve the initiative last week. The state House then voted 60-48 in favor of the petition to repeal the emergency powers act. Whitmer had previously vetoed attempts by the legislature to abolish the law, but is powerless to veto it this time because the initiative is citizen-led.

Well done, Americans.  

'That's Cultural Appropriation, Karen'

Literally, her name is Karen.

I can see how this probably did irritate people whose grandmothers and great-grandmothers had been making the stuff. Karen's statements do sound like 'I've discovered and improved upon this trashy little dish, and now it's good food that you'll like.' 

The Asian-American experts don't agree on what she should have done instead. They do want to have their culture treated with more respect, which is universal among human beings. 

Learning from other cultures is intensely valuable, and we all benefit from it. 'Appropriation' is not a valid complaint in my view; but being treated with disrespect by those who are taking things up from you is.

Appetite for Tyranny

I read the NYT's morning briefing, in part because it helps me know what the ruling class is telling its aspirational members to think.

On Wednesday, they had a piece urging the FDA to just go ahead and approve the vaccines without completing its full process.
Think of it this way: In the highly unlikely event that the evidence were to change radically — if, say, the vaccines began causing serious side effects about 18 months after people had received a shot — Americans would not react by feeling confident in the F.D.A. and grateful for its caution. They would be outraged that Woodcock and other top officials had urged people to get vaccinated.

The combination means that the F.D.A.’s lack of formal approval has few benefits and large costs: The agency has neither protected its reputation for extreme caution nor maximized the number of Americans who have been protected from Covid. “In my mind, it’s the No. 1 issue in American public health,” Topol told me. “If we got F.D.A. approval, we could get another 20 million vaccinated,” he estimated.
Today there is a lengthy argument in favor of just instituting vaccine mandates.
[V]accine mandates cause intense disputes. But when supporters win the argument, public health has often benefited. Guy Nicolette, an administrator at the University of California, Berkeley, pointed out to The Washington Post that colleges have long required other vaccines, like the one for measles. “It’s staggering how well a mandate works on a college campus,” he said.

Dr. Aaron Carroll, Indiana University’s chief health officer, has noted that the country’s victories over many diseases — including smallpox, polio, mumps, rubella and diphtheria — have depended on vaccine mandates by states or local governments. “That’s how the country achieves real herd immunity,” Carroll wrote in The Times. (In the U.S., a national mandate may be unconstitutional.)
Nice to hear that last bit raised as a concern, at least for now. I remember President Obama pointing out that it would be unconstitutional for him to just use an executive order to create something like DACA, up until he did in fact do exactly that when it proved the only way to get his way. Perhaps they mean it this time, though. 

If you'd like to read an argument actually persuading you that vaccines are mostly safe and a good idea, however, here's Paul Goepfert, M.D., of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has what strike me as a very plausible account of why my major remaining concern -- long term side effects -- is probably not worth continuing to carry. I found his account very plausible; whereas I find the NYT's preferences provoke rebellion even as suggestions. 

Nailed it again.

CNN airs hour-long PSA on warning signs of dementia.

Walken Into Friday

Not our usual fair, but fun to watch ...

I had no idea Christopher Walken had a dance background.

Bit o' Music for Thor's Day

 A set best paired with Old Crow, neat or on the rocks.

Moon Over Caledon, Part II

The second part of the short story is now available on Amazon, for free, if any of you wish to read it. The third part will appear on the 30th.

The Cost of Red Tape for Small Businesses

I think if two government agencies have conflicting regulations, when an inspector from one of them shows up, the business owner should be able to point the conflict out to the inspector and the other agency should have to pay the fine.

Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition

"...and we'll all stay free." 

1942 sounds pretty good. 

Bee Stings

Inspiring: US Women's Soccer Team To Boycott Scoring Goals Until Racism Is Defeated

I'd prefer that they boycott representing the US, given that they really shouldn't want to represent anything they believe is evil, but this works.

AOC Says How She Accidentally Glued Her Face To Her Coffee Table Is A Clear Failure Of Capitalism

Wisdom from our favorite economic genius.

Ben And Jerry's Introduces Fun New Flavor 'Push The Jews Into The Sea Salt And Caramel'

Scientists Warn That Within 6 Months Humanity Will Run Out Of Things To Call Racist

I'm not sure we have that long.

Adventures in Truck Driving

So tonight a semi-trailer driver decided to allow his GPS to direct him back to Asheville. He apparently didn't notice the sign that says "WARNING: TRUCKS NOT ADVISED TO TRAVEL THIS HIGHWAY." That's ok. Anyone can just ignore that. That's only advisory, after all. 

Then he allowed himself to be directed by GPS off of the highway onto a very narrow secondary road that runs across the top of Neddie Mountain, which is helpfully called "Neddie Mountain Road" so you'll know that it's not the right road for a semi. There he became stuck trying to manage a hairpin corner with crumbling shoulders and precipices on both sides.

Pity the poor driver. He's a young black man, he's in the middle of mountain country full of Confederate flags and hillbillies he's been taught to fear his whole life, he's stuck in a truck full of valuable cargo, and it's getting dark.

So he calls for a wrecker, which a tractor-trailer capable wrecker has to come from Asheville and takes hours to get there. He has to sit there alone for hours and hours until help finally comes. Now it's fully dark and they're trying to haul him out. They get him out, and realize that not only can he not get through that curve, they can't get their wrecker through it either.

So they call the Volunteer Fire Department. It's now fully dark, and we have guys out with flashlights helping them painstakingly back the whole way back to the highway that was never a good option for a truck like that to begin with. The wrecker can probably turn around maybe a half a mile back, but there's nowhere on that narrow road to turn around a semi. 

We'll get him out, but I imagine it will take all night. Then he's got to drive back to Asheville using the long way that he was trying to avoid in the first place.



The hell you say.
The government has documented at least 12 confidential informants who assisted the sprawling investigation. [Note: there are only six accused plotters.--Grim] The trove of evidence they helped gather provides an unprecedented view into American extremism, laying out in often stunning detail the ways that anti-government groups network with each other and, in some cases, discuss violent actions.

An examination of the case by BuzzFeed News also reveals that some of those informants, acting under the direction of the FBI, played a far larger role than has previously been reported. Working in secret, they did more than just passively observe and report on the actions of the suspects. Instead, they had a hand in nearly every aspect of the alleged plot, starting with its inception. The extent of their involvement raises questions as to whether there would have even been a conspiracy without them.
We've all seen the "alleged evil right-wing plot turns out to have been invention of FBI/ATF" movie before. If we're at the point that they've infiltrated these organizations thoroughly enough to have two informants on the payroll for every defendant, we can surely declare victory on Joe Biden's "Strategy to Counter Domestic Terrorism" and go home. We're in more need to counter the Federal police, who are apparently out there creating violent plots all the time. 

Arizona Poll

78% of Arizona Republicans doubt Biden won based on the initial results of the audit. That's interesting, but even more interesting to me were some of the statistics the article cited.
Despite Biden’s victory, Republicans carried every countywide office in Maricopa, save for the sheriff (which an incumbent Democrat held), including flipping the county recorder and winning the open treasurer seat.... 

Add to this fact that very vocal Trump-supporting members of Congress, like GOP Reps. Andy Biggs and Debbie Lesko, won their re-election contests in Maricopa County districts by massive margins, and now the red flag is starting to go up.

That does seem odd! Hm... 

Existential Troopers

I have felt like this for the past 8 or 18 months, I suppose.

Porn Stars and the Right

Apparently a female porn star -- "Brandi Love," which I assume is a pseudonym -- was turned away from the Turning Point USA conference. TPUSA is a youth-oriented conservative movement of some sort, one that I don't know well. Its leadership is smug about their decision. 

I wouldn't be inclined to turn anyone away at the current moment, least of all because they were a sinner. Donald Trump, for all his flaws (and sins) certainly did not look down on porn stars. Nor, per se, did another figure of some importance.

Of course, I am a sinner myself and not much inclined to throw stones from my glass house. Perhaps these are better people than me, more upright and moral, and thus more fit to condemn; but they still are going to need people to effect a democratic solution. 

The entry to heaven is said to be narrow, but roads made by men should be wide. If you make the road too narrow, no one can follow you; and perhaps you cannot keep to that road yourself.

What is a “Pudding”?

Americans have a very different answer than the British, who almost can’t answer at all. My favorite British puddings are savory: black pudding, for example, is made with blood and oatmeal. It is often served as a breakfast food. 

Meanwhile, an airborne virus with a 10% fatality rate

North Texas reports a rare case of monkeypox, imported via a commercial flight from Nigeria. Those of us who were vaccinated for smallpox before that routine practice was discontinued around 1980 are believed to be immune.

Don't worry, V.P. Harris is safe

This seems like a high positive COVID test rate for a bunch of vaccinated public serpents, even if they were crowded in a private jet without masks, while fleeing to the nation's capitol to break a Texas quorum and get photo ops with Kamala Harris. The Texas House Dems can't very well admit they weren't vaccinated, so I have to assume they took one of those tests with a zillion replications that is almost guaranteed to produce false positives. I'm not getting the point of the exercise, though. To cast doubt on the efficacy of vaccinations? On their own claim to have been vaccinated? To irritate the VP's staff by admitting that they put her at risk, or force her to argue that vaccinated people don't have to wear masks, or needn't quarantine? Why get tested in the first place? If there's no political capital to be made from the whole exercise, I suppose we have to chalk it up to idiocy, no great leap. I guess they could be hoping they'll all be quarantined in D.C. for a few weeks, but the special session in Austin will last until August 31.