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Thursday, September 29, 2011

700 Airline Pilots Join Wall St. Protest

It's no longer "just a bunch of kids."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Deperately Needed -- Nonviolence Trainers

The pepper spray assault by the NYPD's Anthony Bologna against female protestors near Union Square in Manhattan, after a march by the Occupy Wall Street heroes, shows two things:

1. Cops are bullies. They always are and always have been. They get up every day, strap on a gun, and go look for someone to bully -- in this case on behalf of the super wealthy who have destroyed American democracy.

2. There is a desperate need for nonviolence training among our youth, and anyone else who plans to rise up against corporate greed and billionaires (which pretty much covers everything wrong with the country) today.

My daughter called me from college two days ago. She,as president of the Earth Club on her campus, was asked to help prepare for an Occupy Philadelphia movement. I told her that she should attend committee meetings and insist that nonviolence training workshops take place before any demonstrations are launched. I suggested she contact the Quaker center in Swarthmore, PA first.

There have got to be nonviolence trainers around from the the anti-Vietnam era and from the anti-nuke movement of the late 1970s. People need to learn the demeanor, positions, and actions necessary to beget peace during certain confrontation. There are lots of online videos but intensive in-person training is what's required.

Now, there's nothing that's going to stop a violent police thug like Anthony Bologna from picking on women every chance he gets. That's obvious. However, nonviolence training will help people understand their obligations as nonviolent protestors. It will also educate protestors as to how to act when being arrested so that the police do not feel threatened and so that the protestors do not get injured during the process.

Nonviolence is the only way to bring down the current system of oppression by the billionaires, corporations, and their "elected" toadies.

Be peace.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

NBC's Brian Williams gave a wee bit of coverage to the demonstration and the police violence over the weekend, on last night's evening news. He did not show the footage of the police lieutenant walking up to some girls, who other cops cordoned off from the crowd, and blasting pepper spray in their faces.

The coverage Williams gave to teachers, though, was outstanding. It's time for America to realize that these folks work 60 hour weeks without overtime pay and put their own money into their classrooms and curricula. 

Still, no one from the networks has gone down to Wall Street with a camera crew and microphone to interview the protestors, as was done in Egypt and elsewhere. Maybe the networks figure that since they are all millionaires, young people without jobs or prospects have nothing to complain about.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wall Street Protests -- Where's Joe Scarborough?

The minions of the fascist corporate media of America have revealed themselves for the cowering weak cowards that they are. The refusal to cover the Wall Street protests on TV and, for the most part print media, proves beyond a doubt that we live in the most corrupt, hypocritical society on the face of the planet. TV money has made journalism a gutless, self-aggrandizing profession. The biggest lie is that the "reporters" are independent and objective. TV "reporters" and anchors are lackeys more concerned with pleasing the rich and keeping their jobs than they are concerned with telling the truth.

When the Arabs began to congregate in their public squares and the police and military in various countries responded with force -- the fat cat networks sent private jets full of camera crews and the talking heads who are called "journalists" by their bosses. Now that protests righteously happening in this country, the self righteous talking heads won't say a word.

Where is Joe Scarborough? Where is Mika Brzezinski? They act like their job is so important to the public discourse, and they won't even mention the protests and the police over-reaction happening blocks from their studio. Gee. They must have another book to promote. Or maybe they are preparing another attack on public school teachers, on behalf of the billionaires who twitch their strings.

FYI, the NYC police have tear gassed people. They arrest people for speaking to them (see 2nd video below). They isolate women and then mace them.

Beware, America!



Friday, September 23, 2011

The Last of the Seersucker -- Saturday

Uke Jackson & the Ginseng Roots Band will challenge the laws of fashion and wear their seersucker suits north of the Mason Dixon Line, a full day after the onset of autumn.

This daring event will take place at Porter's Pub Saturday September 24 from 10 pm  until 1 am at our fave boite by the confluence of the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers (well, 7 blocks from the confluence -- most of them long uphill blocks  I remember one time back when -- never mind.)

The line up is ukulele, vocals, and the Grand Contraption by yours truly; Mike Green on cornet and Flugelhorn; Pete Reichlin on tuba; and Scott Hartley on the drums. (We're hoping that JJ Peppers is back in action by then but can't be certain.)

Anyway, come hear the music that first got America shimmying and shaking.

We will be giving away a ukulele to the best spontaneous dancer, probably in the hour between 11 and midnight. This will give people time to get to Porter's from the Movies at the Mill Film Festival

Porter's Pub, 
700 Northampton Street 
Easton, PA 18042 (610) 250-6561

We do promise not to commit fashion atrocity again this season, and we will be stowing our seersucker until April.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

From the Dept of Billionaires -- We are So Screwed

America is so screwed it's unbelievable. The news is full of the screwing this week. Let's start with the fluff: Two and a Half Men launched a new season with a new star replacing Charlie Sheen. Here's what those genius producers and writers came up with -- "Let's make the new guy a bumbling billionaire who gets laid more than Charlie did."

Oh boy. Now prime time has its very own tax-dodging, democracy-corrupting, sex-addict billionaire character.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Uke Jackson is Making a Movie

Okay. We're taking the first baby steps to create a feature movie from my 1995 stage play The Secret Warhol Rituals. I've revamped the story some to reflect changes in the world since then.

We  are looking for:

Monday, September 19, 2011

An Invitation from Jules Goldman

I'm turning the blog over to my buddy Jules Goldman today.

An Invitation from Jules Goldman

As my interests expand to include contemporary art and artists, I want the first exhibition to be about beauty and intelligence. That is why I chose to begin with Brian Gormley, an artist whose work expresses both those qualities in abundance. It is my great pleasure and honor to introduce this artist to Philadelphia.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Solo Today at Cherry Valley Vineyards

Due to circumstances beyond my control, JJ Peppers has to miss today's gig at Cherry Valley Vineyards. I'll be playing the gig solo, as long as the weather warms up enough to play outdoors.

I'll play from 1 pm - 4 pm.

Cherry Valley Vineyards is located in Saylorsburg, PA.

Hope to see you there.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fracking Front Line

From the Delaware Riverkeeper:

Broadway Vampire Catching On!

It seems the serialization of my novel Broadway Vampire is catching on, finally. A little bit anyway. Which is to say that it's getting a lot more reads than ever before.-- at least I hope people are reading it.

There are 53 chapters, and the prologue, posted now. At the end of the process, there will be 60 chapters, plus prologue and epilogue. It will all be posted by Halloween.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

From the Delaware Riverkeeper

October 21, 2011 is Don’t Drill the Delaware Day in the Delaware River Watershed!

For over 3 years, we have all been fighting to protect the Delaware River Watershed from pollution from toxic gas drilling; 69,800 people filed comments with the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) during the comment period on their draft natural gas development regulations, breaking all past records of public interest. Law suits have been filed to attempt to stop the DRBC from movingahead with these inadequate regulations without the needed environmental studies to base those rules on. Delaware Riverkeeper Network is a plaintiffwith others; we’re working for an injunction. The New York Attorney General’s office filed to force the Army Corps, the federal representative to the DRBC, to follow federal environmental law.

Cornel Wesxt Nails It!

Just saw this video on the Democracy Now website

Cornel West, speaking at riverside Cghurch at a commemoration for the Attica uprising, nails it about what's going on, and whose got the backbone and whose licking corporate boot.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I went down to the demonstration

The energy companies have gone completely insane as their era wanes, stumbles and crumbles -- tar sands, deep water drilling, gas fracking, oil wars, and more. The Obama administration repeatedly demonstrates a lack of comprehension when it comes to the environment. Obama is an appeaser of abusers of the environment.He can't grub for their election contributions fast enough.

Anyway, we have to take it to the streets if we want clean water and air. That's all there is to it.

So, Wednesday, some friends and I went down to Philadelphia to demonstrate outside the Conventuion Center while current Governor Tom Corbett and his evil predecessors Ed Rendell and Tom Ridge

Thursday, September 8, 2011

From the Dept of Rant -- Damn Foreigners

What the hell is wrong with this country? How is it possible that both our major newsweeklies are edited by foreigners? Fareed Zakaria runs Time magazine, and from what I’ve seen of his appearances on CNN, his grasp of everything and anything is firmly rooted in corporate boot licking and preserving the status quo for the rich. 
Really? There was no worthy American-born, native-English-speaking person who could do the job? It had to go to a guy from Pakistan?
Newsweek is run by

Read This!

Scott Walters, the Dean of Theatrical Bloggers, does a great job presenting his ideas in this TED video

His ideas for restructuring the NEA are nothing short of brilliant.

2012 Obies Judges Announced

Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway’s Highest Honor Salutes Outstanding Theatrical

New York, NYThe Village Voice, the nation’s first and largest alternative weekly newspaper, has announced the judges for the 57th Annual Village Voice Obie Awards. The Voice’s chief theater critic, two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, and theater dramaturge Michael Feingold, who has chaired the Obies since the 2006-7 season, will become the first Obies Chairman Emeritus. The 2011-12 Obie Chairman will be Brian Parks. Brian is the Arts and Culture editor of The Village Voice, which includes editing the paper’s theater section. He has previously served as Obies Chairman, from 1999 to 2003.
Joining Feingold and Parks will be

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Riverfest Photos

Thanks to Brian Gormley for the snaps below.  (and thanks to Barbara Gormley for finally coming out to see the band!) It was hot in that tent and we gave it our all. Several folks commented that they could see my tattoos through the sweat-soaked sleeves of my shirt.

The band did a great job. It was neat having Pete Reichlin on tuba and JJ Peppers on all the saxophones, including bass. Pete's going to be playing a lot of gigs with us from now on.Mr. Peppers also played a metal contrabass clarinet from the 1920s, which was a first for us.

Anyway, the folks in Frenchtown loved us! Thanks to everyone who came out for it; and mucho thanks to Cleo Sharplin who founded the fest and organizes it every year.