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Sunday, October 30, 2011

I Love This Idea

Do it!

Broadway Vampire 60 Week Blog Serial Complete

Chapter 60 and the Epilogue of my novel Broadway Vampire was posted in honor of Halloween. That's it. That's the whole thing.

Happy Halloween!

The Moon of Innocence -- my new novel


Ok. Last week I finished my new novel The Moon of Innocence and the inimitable Chaz deBourbon came up with this for a cover. We may tweak it, but I love it.


The Moon of Innocence is a story of love and murder set among the peasants of Catalonia under Franco circa 1963 The moped is a large element of the story. Chaz chose to put Franco's flag on the gas tank and the flag of Catalonia on the chain guard.

More soon.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Snowmagedden -- Porter's Pub gig Canceled

Trees down. Roads impassable. Half of Easton, PA is now without power, including Porter's Pub, according to reliable sources. And so, Uke and the band will not be appearing to0night. Stay warm.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gigs This Weekend -- Oct 28, 29

Friday, October 28, ArtsQuest at the SteelStacks

Ginseng Roots Trio -- Uke Jackson, JJ Peppers, and Jim Daniels

8pm - 11 pm

101 Founders Way
Bethlehem, PA 18015
(610) 332-1300

Saturday, October 29, Porter’s Pub

Ginseng Roots Band
GIVING AWAY A UKULELE


Uke Jackson, JJ Peppers, Mike Green, Pete Reichlin, Scott Hartley

10 pm – 1 am

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

Monday, October 24, 2011

Shallow Graves by Goat Carson


Okay, so I really enjoyed this book, despite one quibble -- which I'll get to. Shallow Graves is a tour de force of language and storytelling. It's full of colorful images and similes that seem to roll off the tongues of southerners, and Texans in particular. It was written by Grammy-winning songwriter Rev. Goat Carson.

This retelling of the Parsifal story -- Percival, from King Arthur's Round Table, and the quest for the Holy Grail -- is rife with occult imagery and social commentary, while being a rollicking good story. It is set in Hollywood and the Hamptons during the 1970s. The Satanic rituals described  reminded this reader of scenes in Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut.

Here's the thing -- anyone who was around during the 1970s might find this tale plausible, rather than fiction. There was a lot of weird stuff going on back then -- who remembers Andrew Crispo? --  and that was certainly the time when the suits in media began to do away with any idea of redeeming social value in their presentations. When I mentioned the book and its premise to a friend in the business, he said "There's probably more truth to that idea than any of us want to admit. In the 1970s, there was a battle between good and evil in television. Evil won."

In Shallow Graves, the machinations of the Satanic covens are thwarted by Masonic overlords protecting a descendant of Jesus. In reality, well, turn on your television.

Okay, so here is my one quibble with the book. There are so many simple typos throughout that it became aggravating at times. The word "off" does not appear in the book once -- it is always "of". Likewise, "It" or "In" at the beginning of sentences as often as not, it seems, appears as "I". There are some others. None of them are truly egregious, and the story always moves right along. However, if the author paid for proofreading services, he should get his money back.

That said, Shallow Graves is a great read, a real page turner told by a rip-roaring storyteller. It is literate, provocative and compelling. Get yourself a copy and settle in for a first rate read.

 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Occupy Wall Street and With a Paintbrush Sticking Out of His Ass

So yesterday The Unknown Playwright visited Manhattan to bid adieu to his old pal Stu Goodman. Stu produced the GM Mark of Excellence production of my play "Avenue Z Afternoon" back in the '90s. He's done lots more, of course, including exec producing the A&E series "Manhunters." Stu and his wife Shelley are moving to South Florida.

Stu and I figured it out yesterday over lunch that we have been friends for almost 30 of the 40 years he lived in the Upper West Side apartment he's now giving up. The end of an era,. He'll be back, for sure and often. He's producing an Off Broadway children's musical.

After lunch The Unknown Playwright jumped on the 2 train and went down to Occupy Wall Street at Zuccotti Park and sat in on a Think Tank meeting about the goals / demands of the OWS movement. I put forth the idea that the 1% basically lives off the debt of the 99% and that eliminating / forgiving all debt everywhere, and declaring a hiatus / moratorium on all lending and borrowing for one year would completely change the social dynamic. The stranglehold of the 1 % would be broken.

My remarks included the idea that, while the greed meisters of Wall St will tell you that America has been nothing but a business / corporate proposition since the Hudson Bay company, the fact is that America started in Philadelphia -- a city founded the the principles of tolerance and  brotherly love.

Delaware Riverkeeper Resigns From Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission

Delaware Riverkeeper Resigns
From Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission
 
10/20/11, Bristol, PA – Days before the Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission is scheduled to release its final report and recommendations, Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, resigned from her post as a Commissioner for the group.
“While the final report will contain a number of good recommendations for reforming regulations needed to protect communities from the ravages of shale gas drilling, the Citizens Commission came up short in important ways including – it didn’t notice and implement its 5 statewide hearings so as to ensure full participation by all citizens who wanted to speak to the gas drilling issue; and it failed to give voice to the clear message and need that resulted from hearing testimony that there should be a stay on gas drilling until identified minimum protections for public health and the environment are first achieved,”  said Maya van Rossum.  “In the final analysis, the Commission’s leadership insisted on what they deemed a politically palatable report, rather than one which fully served to seek protections from known harms and informational deficiencies associated with shale gas development,” van Rossum said.  
“The failure to articulate a need for a moratorium on further drilling and/or drilling permits until needed protections were put in place and needed studies to inform those regulations are done was a conscious oversight.  The lack of publicity over the hearings needed to ensure citizen awareness of the opportunity to speak out on this important issue was another major short coming,” said van Rossum.
van Rossum continues:  “The Delaware Riverkeeper Network has worked for over 4 years to protect communities and their waterways from shale gas extraction.  A current moratorium on drilling in the Delaware Watershed has remained in effect for over two and a half years even with pressure from drillers who have leased large swaths of the Basin. Why should the Delaware River enjoy a stay/moratorium on drilling while other areas of Pennsylvania are allowed to be sacrificed, especially in light of the science and expert opinion showing irreparable harm where gas development is occurring, that the technology is inherently polluting, and that current regulations are not protecting Pennsylvanians?  All Pennsylvanians deserve protection from the ravages of gas drilling. The moratorium in the Delaware Basin has been supported by tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians in written and spoken comments.  PA legislators including Rep.Vitali, Rep Quinn, Rep Cohen, Rep Freeman, Rep. Payton, Rep O’Brien, Rep Miccozzie, Rep Curry, and Rep Santarsiero submitted comment to the DRBC requesting a hold on drilling until full environmental reviews are done.  Just last week Philadelphia City Council members unanimously voted to join a lawsuit led by Delaware Riverkeeper Network to compel DRBC to do a comprehensive environmental review before drilling is allowed to proceed in the basin.  With all of these facts and such widespread support for the moratorium concept, including from those that testified before the Citizens Commission, how can the Commission say a stay is not palatable? With what we heard from those that did participate in the hearings, myself and my organization simply could not condone or support these major failings,” van Rossum concluded. 
The Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission was first announced August 30, 2011, and held 5 hearings in September, the first held on just one day after public announcement of the Commission in the Pittsburgh area.
#####

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Greece and

Workers in Greece have launched a 2-day general strike.The problem is that the government of Greece and the European Union have decided to take away pensions and health benefits and lower wages and give the savings to the bankers. Is that insane or what?

Well, it's happening here, too.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Occupy Wall Street suggestion

The protestors might want to consider painting signs of economic and political defiance on their tents and tarps to receive First Amendment protections.

That would get Bloomberg's panties in a twist.

What's Really Wrong with "Anonymous"

Edward De Vere did NOT write Shakespeare's play. For one thing, he died years before a dozen or so of the plays were written. For 3 decades, since it first came to my attention, I've railed against this theory for the blatant plutocratic resentment that it is.

Edward De Vere as the author of Shakespeare's plays fits right in with the current state of American culture, which began under Reagan, where the Ivy League elite dominate with mediocrity and money. It's easy for the upper class to believe that nothing good could have come from a working class bohemian like Shakespeare. However, just because one is wealthy that doesn't make their self-serving, narcissistic delusions reality. What's next? Did the Duc d'Orleans write Moliere's plays?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ukulele Land -- now live!


IndieTheaterNow.com has honored me by publishing an electronic version of the book and lyrics for my musical comedy (music by Terry Waldo) Ukulele Land.

I've not been a huge fan of reading on a computer screen, but the clarity of the format offered here is very easy on the eyes. And it's easy on the budget. $1.29 (of which $1 goes to the author)  to read Ukulele Land.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Modest Proposal -- Cook the Banksters

From Saturday's NY Times. RTWTH

“Who do you think pays the taxes?” said one longtime money manager. “Financial services are one of the last things we do in this country and do it well. Let’s embrace it. If you want to keep having jobs outsourced, keep attacking financial services. This is just disgruntled people.”
He added that he was disappointed that members of Congress from New York, especially Senator Charles E. Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, had not come out swinging for an industry that donates heavily to their campaigns. “They need to understand who their constituency is,” he said. 

 So, there you have it in a nutshell: Banksters and other Wall Street big shots think they are doing a great job, and they are feeling short changed by politicians that they bought.

There is a global uprising going on. Maybe all the banksters around the world should be rounded up and cooked into stews for the hungry people. When you think of past revolutions, for good or bad, they usually had to do away with a certain class of people:Here are 3 examples:

The French revolution had to guillotine droves of aristocrats.
Stalin eliminated the the Kulaks.
Mao, as one of his first acts after assuming power, was to order 10 million Mandarins marched into the street and executed.

Whether or not you agree with the philosophies behind these revolutions, you must admit that they were effective. Hell, China is still rocking and rolling.

Now, as anyone who reads this blog knows, the Unknown Playwright is nonviolent and believes a nonviolent revolution is the best way.

However, is cooking violence? Give the banksters a couple of strong sleeping pills each and put them into big stew pots like something out of cartoons -- can slow cooking ever be considered violent? Add onions, celery, carrots and seasonings to taste. They won't feel a thing as they peacefully transition from sleep to food.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Once again

I decided this deserves two weekends in a row.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bill Clinton -- the Fascist Speaks

Bill Clinton, the man who made cronyism with Wall Street bankers an art form for the Democrats (so they could keep up with the Republicans), made an announcement for the cameras today. He wants the protestors of Occupy Wall Street delineate their demands. This is from the guy who signed Glass-Steagall out of law, against the advice of some of the best economists in the country.

Glass Steagall was the Depression era law FDR's administration used to stop the Wall Street bankers from getting further out of control. It was undone at the behest of Robert Rubin, Clinton's Treasury secretary. Rubin left office shortly after the odious repeal of the law, and went to Wall Street and made himself a HALF A BILLION DOLLARS in a couple of years.

So, Big Bill, is it okay for me to voice a demand? Even though, so far, my support for the demonstrators is limited to the arm chair and computer screen?

How about we see you and Robert Rubin go to prison for lining your pockets at the expense of the entire world? And all your Wall Street cronies get to do time right along with you? How's that for a demand?

Big Bill Clinton -- once a fascist, always a fascist.

(I can't believe I voted for both Clinton and Obama. I must have been delusional.)

In Case You Thought There Is A Difference

Yesterday both houses of Congress came together and did the bidding of their corporate masters. Three new free trade agreements passed into law. In the face of lost jobs overseas, Congress made it easier to ship jobs overseas by opening the way for goods manufactured in Colombia, Panama, and South Korea to be shipped to the USA free of charge.

Obama, whose jobs bill failed in the Senate, thinks these free trade agreements are a victory. In other words, Wall Street may fork over more cash without making Obama go down on his knees. This is the most cynical act of corporatism by an administration that has become adept at such cynicism and kowtowing at the same time.

Did BP get fined for the Gulf oil spill? Not by Obama's EPA. Did the banksters who crashed the economy face any repercussions? Not from Obama's administration. Now Obama wants the EPA to "streamline" regulations for the dirty nasty natural gas fracking.

Obama has raised himself up. He is now in the upper class that FDR took down a peg.

I could go on and on. But it's too depressing. If Obama was the last candidate on earth, it would be time for me to quit voting.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Delaware River Basin Commission meeting date changed

November 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 moving ahead with these inadequate regulations without the needed environmental studies to base those rules on. Delaware Riverkeeper Network is a plaintiff with 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.

But now the DRBC has scheduled a special meeting from 10:00am - 12:00pm on November 21, 2011 at the War Memorial in Trenton, NJ to “consider adoption of the regulations”, which would lift the current moratorium on gas drilling in the Watershed and allow drilling and fracking to start. 

Please Join Us & Bring along your Neighbors and Friends!  

The Delaware River Basin Commission has CHANGED the date for their meeting where they will vote on gas drilling in the Delaware River Watershed to November 21, 2011. 

We NEED you to tell the DRBC: “Don’t Drill the Delaware!” 

CALL to ACTION November 21
DRBC will meet 10:00 am – 12:00 p.m.
JOIN US at 7:30 a.m. on the steps!
Patriots Theater at the War Memorial
1 Memorial Drive Trenton, N.J.

If you want to take a stand about gas drilling and fracking in the Delaware River Watershed, if you’ve ever written a letter, attended a meeting, rallied or protested, and want to make sure it mattered, if you had to pick one thing you could do that would really be heard, come stand with us on November 21 in Trenton. This is our chance to stand together and insist on protecting our water! 

The members of the DRBC - the Governors of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware and the Army Corps of Engineers as the federal representative - will decide the future of this Watershed, the Wild and Scenic Delaware River, and the water supply for over 15 million people with their action on November 21, where a vote will be taken on the draft rules.  Astoundingly, there will be NO public hearing at this decisive moment in the Delaware’s history; yet we must be there to protest.

How can they allow drilling and fracking to start with weak regulations that don’t protect our drinking water and our watersheds? We need to tell them “Don’t Drill the Delaware!”

Look for actions and details leading up to 11/21 on our website: for details go to: http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/about/event.aspx?Id=160

Lawn Signs that say “Don’t Drill the Delaware” on one side and “Don’t Be Frackin’ Crazy” on the other side, black on yellow, are available at the DRN office or at upcoming DRN tabling events. Call for more information 215 – 369 -1188

Two actions we ask you to please take now:

  1. To send a letter to the DRBC members to tell them to OPPOSE the adoption of any gas rules at this time and keep the drilling moratorium in place in the Delaware River Basin go to http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/act-now/urgent-details.aspx?Id=93 
  2. Go to the Petition and sign it; share the petition site every way you can: http://www.change.org/petitions/the-president-of-the-united-states-keep-drilling-and-fracking-out-of-the-delaware-basin