Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Esperanza Spalding Wins Jazz Artist of the Year at Boston Music Awards

Esperanza got yet another nod as Best Jazz Artist for 2011...

From MassJazz:
"Jazz bassist, singer and composer Esperanza Spalding won the Jazz Artist of the Year award at the annual Boston Music Awards ceremony held at the Liberty Hotel on Sunday, November 20, 2011. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Spalding has won several important awards this year. In October she won the DownBeat Readers Poll for Jazz Artist of the Year, and in February 2011 she won the Best New Artist Award at the 54th Grammy Awards."

Esperanza Spalding Wins Jazz Artist of the Year at Boston Music Awards

Earlier this year, the Readers of Downbeat Also picked Esperanza as the Jazz Artist of the Year:
Esperanza Spalding is Named Jazz Artist of the Year for 2011 in Downbeat Reader's Poll

Salvation is Near - Readings for the Feast of St. Andrew

The readings for today remind us that salvation is near, and may be obtained by faith, an active trust in God.

In today's Gospel (Matthew 4.18-22), Jesus calls Peter, Andrew, John and James, and they leave their old life behind and follow him. It is an act of faith for the Apostles to follow Christ. Christ calls us, too, to follow Christ.

The passage today in Romans is not telling us that mere intellectual assent to the doctrines of Christ's Lordship and resurrection are enough for salvation; rather it is our trust in Jesus as Lord, and God's mighty act in Christ, that Leads to salvation.


Today's Readings: Psalm 19; Deuteronomy 30.11-14; Romans 10.8-18; Matthew 4.18-22

From the Daily Office:

If on your lips is the confession that "Jesus is Lord," and in your heart the faith that God raised him from the dead, then you will find salvation. For the faith that leads to righteousness is in the heart, and the confessions that leads to salvation is upon the lips. - Romans 10.9,10, New English Bible

May all that I say and think be acceptable to thee, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer! - Psalm 19.14, New English Bible.

Saint Andrew, pray for us!

From Wikipedia on Saint Andrew:

"Eusebius quotes Origen as saying Andrew preached along the Black Sea as far as the Volga, Kiev and Novgorod. Hence he became a patron saint of Ukraine, Romania and Russia. According to tradition, he founded the See of Byzantium (Constantinople) in AD 38, installing Stachys as bishop [the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church occupies St. Andrew's See]...Andrew is said to have been martyred by crucifixion at the city of Patras (Patræ) in Achaea, on the northern coast of the Peloponnese. Early texts, such as the Acts of Andrew known to Gregory of Tours, describe Andrew as bound, not nailed, to a Latin cross of the kind on which Jesus is said to have been crucified; yet a tradition developed that Andrew had been crucified on a cross of the form called Crux decussata (X-shaped cross, or 'saltire'), now commonly known as a 'Saint Andrew's Cross' — supposedly at his own request, as he deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross as Jesus had been."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Rolling Stones Work Out Mix

This past winter, I joined a gym, and I have been working out 4-5 times per week ever since. I have improved my health and gotten into shape, and I enjoy working out very much. I always have music with me when I work out. It is great motivation and helps the time go by. I have over 1400 songs and  over 30 artists on my Blackberry. The last week or so, I have enjoyed my Rolling Stones mix the best. The Rolling Stones have a great groove, and probably are the best rock and roll band ever. They have a great guitar sound.


I share below my Stones work out mix. It reflects a 28  year times span from 1969 to 1997, includes some the greatest Rolling Stones songs. Lately, Monkey Man, You Got Me Rocking, Anybody See My Baby, are some of my favorites in the mix. Gimme Shelter may be the best rock and roll song ever recorded. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards write the songs, and Keith has provided some of the most memorable guitar riffs in rock history in this mix. But I think Charlie Watts tight drumming makes a lot of these songs, especially later in the Stone's career. As a bassist, I appreciate Bill Wyman's cool, tastefully understated bass playing. Listening to the Stones also motivates me to playing myself.


I remember when I was 18, up late one night, listening to an FM radio station. All of a sudden the Stone's classic single Miss You came on the air. I knew it was the Stones before Mick started singing. Their sound is unmistakable. 


Let it Bleed 1969

Gimme Shelter

Live with Me

Monkey Man


Sticky Fingers 1971

Brown Sugar


Wild Horses

Dead Flowers


Exile on Mainstreet 1972

Rocks Off

Shake Your Hips

Tumblin' Dice



Goats Head Soup 1973


Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)


It's Only Rock and Roll 1974

If You Can't Rock Me

It's Only Rock and Roll


Black & Blue 1975

Hot Stuff

Fool to Cry


Some Girls 1978

Miss You


Beast of Burden


Tatoo You 1979

Start Me Up

Waiting on a Friend


Emotional Rescue 1980

Emotional Rescue


Undercover 1983

Undercover Cover of the Night


Dirty Work 1986

Harlem Shuffle




Steel Wheels 1989

Mixed Emotions

A Rock and a Hard Place


Voodoo Lounge 1994

Love is Strong

You Got Me Rocking


Bridges to Babylon 1997

Anybody Seen My Baby?

Out of Control



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Congratulations to Bruce Cockburn on the birth of his new daughter!

Congratulations to Bruce Cockburn, one of my favorite singer-songwriters, on the birth of his new baby daughter, Iona. Bruce and his long time girlfriend M.J. Hannett are new parents today! Bruce is 66, M.J. is 36. Iona is Bruce's second daughter, preceded by her sister Jenny, who is 35. 

Bruce is one of my favorite musicians, a great singer -song writer and virtuoso guitarist, who has explored a wide array of genres, including jazz, blues, folk, rock, and world music. He has songs themed about romance, social justice, spirituality, and world travel. 

Bruce's most recent release, Small Source of Comfort.

How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich- from Rolling Stone

The Republicans are willing to destroy our economy in order to protect the fabulous wealth of just a very few people. Tim Dickson has written a very in depth and thorough. It does not let Democrat enablers off the hook either.

How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gospel for the Sunday of Christ the King

The Final Judgment

31 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' 40 And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.' 41 "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' 44 Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' 45 Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

- Matthew 25:31-46 (ESV)

Senator Bernie Sanders: "I will be damned if we’re going to balance the budget on backs of the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor."

"This country does in fact have a serious deficit problem," he said to about 200 people packed in the Senate Budget Committee room.

"But the reality is that the deficit was caused by two wars — unpaid for. It was caused by huge tax breaks for the wealthiest people in this country. It was caused by a recession as result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street. And if those are the causes of the deficit, I will be damned if we're going to balance the budget on backs of the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor. That's wrong."

- Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Senate Budget Committee, 11-18-2011

My Boys! The World Champion Green Bay Packers!

My boys, the Packers- headed possibly for a second straight Super Bowl Championship, and an undefeated season! And the only socialist team in professional sports! They are community owned, and stood with the workers of Wisconsin! 

Bernie Sanders Defends the Working Class and Middle Class, Criticizes Proposed Cuts in Entitlements

Bernie Sanders is one of the few strong voices in government defending the American people. In this interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Bernie Sanders defends the working families and middle class, and criticizes proposed cuts in entitlements. He also says he wants to support President Obama, but before he commits to working for the president's re-election, he wants to see the president be faithful to his campaign rhetoric and hold the line against cuts in social security.

Social Security did not cause the increase in the debt or the economic down turn this country has experienced. It was rather caused by tax cuts for the wealthy and leaving Wall Street unregulated.

Archbishop Hanna urges churches worldwide to prevent Israeli decimation of historical Christian sites

Theodosios Atallah Hanna, Archbishop of Sebastia from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, has called upon churches internationally to immediately intervene to prevent Israel from continuing to obliterate features of Christianity in the Palestinian town of Ein Karem situated west of Occupied Jerusalem.
Accompanied by his lawyer Keis Youssef Naser, Hanna visited Ein Karem on Wednesday (04.08.2010) to examine the Christian sites threatened by the Occupation.
Following the visit, Hanna made an urgent appeal to all churches and church leaders to follow up on this issue and to take legal measures to prevent the Israeli authorities from building on these sites which represent the Christian history of Palestine.

He called upon the Christian world to take necessary measures to protect these sites, and warned that heritage sites linked to the First Church and Christian presence in the first four centuries AD were being targeted.
It is worth mentioning that the Palestinian town of Ein Karem, west of Jerusalem, is considered one among hundreds of Arab-Palestinian towns that were obliterated by the Israeli Occupation. The Israeli hospital of Hadassah Ein Karem and other official Israeli buildings now exist on the rubble of the town.

source: Christian Socialist Party USA

Archbishop Rowan Williams backs revolt against coalition's welfare cuts- the Guardian UK

from the article:

Bishops across the country, backed by Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, have condemned the coalition government's controversialwelfare reforms, which they say risk pushing thousands of children intopoverty and homelessness.
Eighteen Church of England bishops, backed by Williams and the archbishop of York, John Sentamu, are demanding that ministers rewrite their flagship plan to impose a £500-a-week benefit cap on families.
In an open letter in Observer, they say the Church of England has a "moral obligation to speak up for those who have no voice". Their message is that the cap could be "profoundly unjust" to the poorest children in society, especially those in larger families and those living in expensive major cities.

you may read the entire article here: 
Archbishop Rowan Williams backs revolt against coalition's welfare cuts

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Green Bay Packers- the Best of the NFL

The Green Bay Packers, the world champions, the best team in the NFL, and the greatest team in NFL history, scored an important 45-7 victory over their border rivals the Minnesota Vikings. No team is playing with as much swagger and confidence as the undefeated Green Bay Packers are right now.

Rookie Randall Cobb ran the Vikings first punt on the first series of the game back for a touchdown.

Last night, Aaron Rodgers put on a clinic, as he went 23-30 passing, for four touchdowns, no interceptions; his quarterback rating was 140.3, his third straight game over 140. Rodgers is helped by the best group of receivers in the league.

The Packer defense also came alive, holding the Vikings to only 7 points.

The Green Bay Packers looked unbeatable last night; they may be headed to an undefeated season, and a second straight Super Bowl. It is a fun time to be a Green Bay Packer fan, as they are clearly the best show on turf!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Episcopal Church on the Dignity and Rights of Labor

‎"We recognize the right of labor to organize and to engage in collective bargaining to the end that labor may have a fair and living wage, such as will provide not only for the necessities of life, but for recreation, pleasure, and culture." 

-official stand of The Episcopal Church, USA

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Roger Waters speaks out in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street Movement

Roger Waters speaks out in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street Movement. He will be coming to perform the Wall again this Summer in the Twin Cities!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Victory for Workers and the Middle Class in Ohio Tonight

A Great victory for the middle class in OHIO- Republicans and Blue Dogs beware- the people don't believe your shit any more that we have to destroy the workers and middle class and cater to the wealthy to create jobs and improve the economy. The people power in Ohio and in the Occupy Wall Street movement show that the people are taking this country back! Ignore the the people at your own risk!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Oligarchy, American Style: Paul Krugman in the New York Times

Paul Krugman offers another blunt commentary about the economic inequality which characterizes our fading democracy. Wealth is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. The beneficiaries of this inequity are mostly corporate executives and people on Wall Street. 

from the article: 

We have a society in which money is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few people, and in which that concentration of income and wealth threatens to make us a democracy in name only.

The budget office report tells us that essentially all of the upward redistribution of income away from the bottom 80 percent has gone to the highest-income 1 percent of Americans. That is, the protesters who portray themselves as representing the interests of the 99 percent have it basically right, and the pundits solemnly assuring them that it’s really about education, not the gains of a small elite, have it completely wrong.

If anything, the protesters are setting the cutoff too low. The recent budget office report doesn’t look inside the top 1 percent, but an earlier report, which only went up to 2005, found that almost two-thirds of the rising share of the top percentile in income actually went to the top 0.1 percent — the richest thousandth of Americans, who saw their real incomes rise more than 400 percent over the period from 1979 to 2005.

Who’s in that top 0.1 percent? Are they heroic entrepreneurs creating jobs? No, for the most part, they’re corporate executives. Recent research shows that around 60 percent of the top 0.1 percent either are executives in nonfinancial companies or make their money in finance, i.e., Wall Street broadly defined. Add in lawyers and people in real estate, and we’re talking about more than 70 percent of the lucky one-thousandth.

You may read the entire article here, on the New York Times web site: 
Oligarchy, American Style

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Archbishop Rowan Williams Confronts the Idols of Global Finance

Archbishop Rowan Williams wrote this piece published in the Financial Times about the Global Financial crisis, and the need to internationally regulate Financial markets and practices. This article is no mere moral exhortation; the Archbishop champions three specific proposals coming from the recent Vatican Document:

  1. Separate routine banking business from speculative trading

  2. Recapitalize banks with public money; in return, the banks should be obligated to take steps to reinvigorate the economy.

  3. And a Financial Transaction Tax, which can be relatively small, but which would provide a high rate of return.

You may read Archbishop William's entire essay here:  Time for us to challenge the idols of high finance

President Dwight D. Eisenhower on Unions

Scott Walker is a coward; Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Republican President, was a real hero, a patriotic American. He represents a time when the Republican Party put their country ahead of their party and the selfish interests of the elite.