Song of the Day: Ray Lamontagne, "Empty"

New to is the "Song of the Day."  Some of the songs you may have heard, others you may have not.  This will be an attempt for music fans to find some new artists, buy some CD's, and see some of the featured artist's shows when they come around your area. 

Some songs will be dedicated, have a story behind them, while some posts may be just some information on the band.  Sometimes it will be a combination of all three.  I'll be posting this web address on Facebook for a couple weeks, but the best bet would be to bookmark this website.

Also, if you have a song you'd like to dedicate or a song you'd like to see as the "Song of the Day" leave it at the comment section of this page or send me a Facebook message.  I'll do my best to accommodate your request.  I hope you like the new series, and enjoy their music as much as I do.

Today's "Song of the Day" is from another one of my favorite artists, Ray Lamontagne, with his song, "Empty."  His story resembles one right out of a movie script.  Ray was working as a shoemaker in a factory in Maine when he awoke at 4 a.m. one morning to Stephen Stills, "Treetop Flyer."  It was then he made his decision to quit his job in the shoe factory to pursue a career in music as a singer/songwriter.  The rest, as they say, is history.

He's currently on an international tour, and his song, "Beg Steal or Borrow," from his latest album, "God Willin' and the Creek Don't Rise," is nominated for a Grammy for Song of the Year.  His music and tour dates can be seen on his website, while he can be followed for updates and information on his Facebook page.

Virginia Recount

I think votes should be counted 3 times or more - minimum.

I can honestly say, I think many people fear politics because "the whole system is rigged". I think that it is not the system that is rigged - it is the people who are too lazy. If you feel that something has been done wrong - ask to have it made right. In voting speak - that is asking for a recount! I already know there is going to be some stuff that will go down in 2012 - and that why I am preparin' ya'll for it. Make sure that everyday has a recount and things might just go our way.

Where Have all the Cowboys Gone?

Historically speaking white male voters have been the bread and butter of the whole voting system. They were the ones who were the ones choosing and running the government - for hundreds, if not thousands, of years in most civilized western countries. Once the race issue got a little more lax, then it was just male voters. Obviously this is not how things are run anymore and it always fascinates me to read articles like The Vanishing Male Voter from Newsweek. I wonder what is happening to all the guys out there who have or are giving up their rights to vote.

I was speaking with my own father about this issue before the 2008 elections and he indicated that the system of voting over the years has become rigged and flawed. His thoughts on the matter were about "hunting animals in the zoo" - its just not as much fun or as exciting when its so easy.

Perhaps male voters are leaving because they are not being challenged enough and because the "game" of politics is just not as fun. If you think about it though, white men still have an upper hand in the "game" - maybe that's why many of the players are able to take a short time out. I am really curious to see what is going to happen in 2012, and I guess only time will tell.

The Polls are Open

Voting for posts and comments now available. Your input needed! 

Hello, my name is Grant and I am an administrator @ As you may have noticed, there is a new thumbs up/down widget on both posts and comments (for the time being you will need to be logged in to view comment votes). We hope to use the votes to do a few things in the near-future:

  1. Hide or minimize poorly ranked comments
  2. Highlight hot comments
  3. Tie into a points system or "karma" for users

The voting system is the first of several new communiity features that I hope to be adding to the site soon. I invite you to use the comment section on this post to make comments/suggestions for both this widget and any other  feature request you might wish to make. I'll try to reply and I'll see what I can do. Thanks, and have fun!

Sour Tea In Wisconsin

The Tea Party Schemes To Suppress the African-American Vote.

One Wisconsin Now, an advocacy group,  is reporting on the Net that a group of Wisconsin Tea Partiers are planning to engage in some old fashioned voter suppression. Yes, the movement that claims it is grass roots and exists to empower ordinary Americans is planning to suppress the African American vote in the inner-city of Milwaukee.

The Tea Party's first goal is to suppress the African-American vote by; forcing "as many voters as possible to cast provisional ballots, which require voters to follow-up the day after an election for the ballot to be counted. Historically, about 35% of all provisional ballots are never counted. Additionally, voters whose registration is challenged at the polling place are unlikely to have the required material to complete an Election Day registration, meaning the voter will be turned away at the polls.

The second goal is to create long lines at the polling place as the caging operation challenges voter after voter. Many people cannot afford to sit in line to vote for hours on end. Long lines discourage voters and many simply leave without casting a ballot.

Billionaire money bags, the secretive, right wing nuts, Charles and David Koch, owners of Koch Industries, makers of lots of products, including Brawny paper towels, Angel Soft toilet paper, Mardi Gras napkins and towels and Quilted Northern toilet paper, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra fiber, are putting up the money to finance the scheme to keep as many African-Americans from voting as they possibly can. See the video below and visit Save Wisconsin Vote site for details on  the Wisconsin Tea Party groups wicked scheme.

Voter Caging Scheme Exposed in Wisconsin from onewisconsinnow on Vimeo.

Rayovac 15 Minute Rechargable "AAA" Batteries, 2 Pack - $2.49 Shipped

In this digital age who can't use some extra batteries? It seems like everything I buy needs batteries! This is why I am so happy I stumbled upon this great deal from Adorama for the Rayovac 15 Minute Rechargable "AAA", 2 Pack of batteries for only $2.49 with FREE shipping! You can power up all kinds of stuff with these - remotes, digital cameras, flashlights, or anything that needs AAA batteries! These will likely come in real handy during the Holiday season, too - especially if you have kids, because kids require a lot of juice to get through the day.

The Rayovac's patent-pending I-C3 technology (In-Cell Charge Control) puts the control of the recharging into the battery, instead of the charger. This breakthrough in NiMH technology offers significant performance and convenience over existing rechargeable and disposable battery systems. These batteries will charge in 15 minutes if charged in a Rayovac I-C3 charger or a little slower if using a different brand of charger. The sport incredible power - Up to 4 times the power of alkaline in your digital camera, flashlight, remote, or other AAA battery dependent electronic device. These offer incredible savings over typical one use batteries and they are better for the environment - you can get up to 1000 charges per battery - that is like charging the batteries once a day, everyday, for three years (but honestly who would ever need to do that?).

At under $2.50 for two of them, shipped, I don't understand what your waiting for! Get your Rayovac 15 Minute Rechargable "AAA" Batteries, 2 Pack for only $2.49 (shipped free!) today - and thank yourself tomorrow.

Free Voter Issue Training in Colorado

If you’re young and unemployed, underemployed, or simply a pro-choice voter who wants to hone in on your election-based skills, you might want to think about attending the Youth the Vote Training in Denver on September 18, 2010. Choice USA: Leadership for a Pro-Choice Future is holding the training to help young people master the skills and knowledge necessary to not only get out the vote this fall, but to also ensure that reproductive rights are ensured in the sate of Colorado.

Choice USA, COLOR, and more volunteers will be providing education on the “fetal personhood” amendment being debated in Colorado, as well as how to mobilize friends, family, and other voters to take action against it. Even though the bill, worded in nearly the exact same way, was voted down in 2008 by the citizens of Colorado, it’s back on the table now with only slightly different language. Of course, if the bill does pass, it would negate Roe vs. Wade, and would have a good chance of being struck down by the Supreme Court. Still, as it could provide a fetus with the same rights a human has (including a social security card? A birth (conception?) certificate?), it’s a dangerous piece of legislation that could put many women’s lives in danger. The Tabor Initiatives will also be discussed.

To register for the event, click here. Though a donation amount of $10 is suggested, any amount will suffice. Choice USA will also provide free training to those who cannot afford a donation at this time. This training has the potential to train young activists to not only help save the lives of women and their families this fall, but also to help them become more knowledgeable voters, activists, and possible political leaders. The knowledge you’ll be sure to attain at this leadership training will come in handy while searching for jobs, becoming a political figure, or in working in the grassroots organizing sector.

And even if you don’t plan on running for office, you already have a steady job, or you’re already planning on mobilizing friends and family to vote this fall, this training program can still help you to learn more about the issues, maximize your arsenal of activist skills, and network with other pro-choice activists in the area. To learn more about Choice USA, to sign up for e-mail alerts, or to get involved right now in the organization’s various campaigns, click here.

Male Voters and Politics

The process of voting for many modern societies has roots in a male dominated type of political system. In many countries it was only rich, white, land owning men that had any say in matters of voting and in some cases, depending on who you talk to, this is how the system is still run.

In the lead up to the 2008 presidential election there was a lot of focus on the male voter. Stories such as "The Vanishing Male Voter" , and "Obama's problem with white, male voters", dominated the news. The stories focused on men avoiding the voting booths and their civil responsibilities to America. Did these stories have any merit, was there any truth to them? Well - not when you look at the statistics of the voting population after the election as these showed that - at least for young men - testosterone held the majority of votes. A lot of hot air can certainly help keep ratings up - even if its not really accurate.

I personally feel the competition between "players", and "cheering for ones own team" will keep the sport of elections and politics alive for men in the years to come. Its the adrenaline rush, and the feeling of victory that makes politics interesting to men. I am just waiting for the time elections are sponsored by a major beer company; maybe something like "OBAMA 2012 - if change wasn't your thing try it with a cold, refreshing, Budweiser". A boy can dream.

Cash Rules Everything Around Me

Politics in its truest, boldest and most base form: Cash. Time is Money; Money is Power; Moneeeey… It’s a gas… Keep your hands off my stash…(Musical post: listen to this one while you read this post).

This week closes with two important power-moves revolving around the cold hard cash. California, who doesn’t have any, finally agrees with itself on how to spend it and the U.S., who doesn’t really have any either, decides to give $200 million to the Palestinian Authority.

Let’s start there.

Apparently the Palestinian Authority has a budget crisis so the U.S. is planning to transfer $200 million there. A formal announcement from Hillary Clinton is expected before the end of the day. The administration is framing this as part of a peace-talk preparation, that they are trying to smooth the groundwork so that Israeli-Palestinian peace-talks can resume.

Sounds more like the U.S. trying to get Palestinian Authority confidence and dependence. It’s a lot harder to say no to someone about something when you owe them money, right? This past March Clinton pledged $900 million during a conference in Egypt, so we may just see plenty more before too long.

It’s interesting politics- if we can get the Palestinian Authority to owe us money, then Israel needs us for guns and the P.A. for cash- now that’s control. Whether we have that much control, well, of course I don’t know, but the machinations of power are strong in this one, young Jedi.

And then there is California. I see this headline screaming at me everyday from the bus stops: Budget Deficit Grows, Talks Stalled or something like that. A few weeks ago the state started paying people with I.O.U.’s and their (our) credit rating got switched to a few notches above junk status- so we’ve got that going for us.

Well, this morning the state senate approved a set of bills that will balance the state budget, closing the imposing $26.3 Billion deficit. The state Assembly still needs to sign off, as does Arnold, but for something that has been stalled in a virtual staring and pissing match for weeks, this is progress worth celebrating. And it gives some perspective on the money issues- The Palestinian Authority is getting a $200 million loan, which I assume is at least a meaningful sum. ONE STATE in the U.S. is down over $25 BILLION for ONE YEAR.

California is not in good shape- 11% unemployment, up 4% from last year at this time. This new budget balancing set of bills cuts funding to programs in education and public programs, big cuts, probably when those services are about to be needed the most.

Maybe the Palestinian Authority should consider lending half of that money to California at interest. You loan it to create it- maybe California should do the same- loan money to the folks they aren’t paying and ask for it back at interest. Time to call Silicon Valley- there’s a business plan in there somewhere.

The week ends off with politics in its truest, boldest and most base form: Cash.

Virginia: Long lines and voting machine problems on Election Day In Virginia, long lines and voting machine problems have been reported on Election Day.  This comes hackers broke into George Mason University's email systemm sending students a forged email tellling students the elections had been moved to November 5.  Other issues reported have been long waits, tempermental and malfunctioning machines. Voter advocates worry that there aren't enough machines to handle the voter turnout.