Ron Johnson gushes Conspiracy Theories, doesn't Trust FBI and CIA, before and now after.    

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Ron Johnson became Wisconsin's Senator because he didn't understand the Affordable Care Act, and hated a program offering more people access to affordable health insurance. He even said...


And it only got worse from there. In Washington, Johnson's blathering idiocy became the talk of the town:

And then he got reelected...true!

Johnson plays Trump as Victim, says he's "...never seen a president, administration, be sabotaged from the day after the election: Amazing. Let's remind our clueless Dumb Ron Johnson why that's not true either:
1. Here’s John Boehner offering his plans for Obama’s agenda: “We're going to do everything — and I mean everything we can do — to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can.”

2. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell summed up his plan to National Journal: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

3. Mike Pence, underscored the point with a clip from Patton, showing the general rallying his troops for war against their Nazi enemy: “We’re going to kick the hell out of him all the time! We’re going to go through him like crap through a goose!”

4. Even though the economy was in free fall, not one House Republican had voted for the effort to revive it, prompting a wave of punditry about a failed party refusing to help clean up its own mess and dooming itself to irrelevance.

5. Have we forgotten that right when President Obama took office in 2009, the Republican leadership in Congress planned a no-honeymoon strategy of all-out resistance to Obama, even though the country was in an economic meltdown? Then-Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) said that “if [Obama] was for it, we had to be against it.”
So it's mind-bending to hear Dumb Ron Johnson whine about the supposed "attacks" on the grifting Trump family presidency:
Johnson: "I have never in my lifetime seen a president after being elected, not having some measure of well wishes from his opponents; I've never seen a president, administration, be sabotaged from the day after the election; I've never seen no measure of a honeymoon what-so-ever." 
Johnson, chairman of the Senate's Homeland Security committee, rambled from one conspiracy theory to another (just like every Trump cultist), and admitted he doesn't trust the CIA or the FBI.
Johnson: "No, I don't — absolutely not. No, and I didn't trust them back then."


So, Nothing like this ever happened under Obama? Trump Investigations plays into GOP Victim-Hood: Here's just a quick reminder below. Note: Remember Trump's own attempts to seek out Obama's birth certificate to prove he was not a U.S. citizen and a secret Muslin:
MSNBC: Republicans made aggressive use of their investigative powers ... matters involving Hillary Clinton, her use of email as secretary of state, her conduct of foreign policy and the Clinton Foundation ... House Republicans unleashed a barrage of subpoenas ... a half dozen GOP-led House committees conducted protracted investigations of the 2012 attacks on U.S. diplomats in Benghazi, Libya ... investigations of the 2009-2011 Operation Fast and Furious episode – a botched initiative against drug cartels that ended up putting guns in the hands of murderers ... investigations into the IRS's treatment of conservatives, and his administration’s loan guarantee to the failed solar-panel startup, Solyndra. And much more.
Who can forget Johnson's imagined "secret society?" 


Or this Johnson gem:


Ron Johnson now has his eye on the governorship in Wisconsin. Just a little advice to anyone thinking about moving to a state who's economy is held hostage by the gerrymandered Republican Party determined to not change a thing because after 8 years of control, everything is perfect now; DON'T. 



          

Trump/Perdue not that into Farmers...   

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UPDATE 10/7: I think farmers have had enough, maybe, I hope anyway...
1. “I went to Madison feeling financially scared and emotionally depressed but hopeful,” said Paul Adams, who runs a 500-cow organic dairy near Eleva, WI."I came home feeling financially scared, emotionally depressed, unwanted, and unneeded.”

2. Brittany Olson left her Barron County farm at 2am to make the trip to Expo and hear Perdue speak. “To go through the effort to see the USDA secretary, only for him to say that small farms like ours likely have no future made me feel like little more than a peasant in a system of modern-day feudalism,” Olson said.

3. “To me, it really drew a line in the sand on just where this administration stands,” said Chippewa County dairy farmer George Polzin.
Danielle Erdvick summed it up this way in the story:
But I sense a fire growing in the belly of the family farmers I meet in my work with Farmers Union. Farmers are weary. But there’s a growing flicker that’s starting to feed a change in the narrative. No more will they be spoon-fed a top-down vision for rural America. Instead, I see a drive for a farmscape where fair prices, local food systems, clean water, and land conservation are at the heart of farm policy. How can we achieve it? It’ll take actually enforcing America’s antitrust laws and holding corporations accountable when they try to monopolize an industry. It’ll mean addressing market manipulation. It’ll mean not raising our hackles, as farmers and ag groups, every time someone wants to talk about clean water or livestock siting. It’ll mean continuing to adopt regenerative practices and thinking outside the box so we’re protecting our natural resources for our children and grandchildren.
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Farmers will never stop voting for Republicans. Sadly, GOP promises of "small government" simply mean they don't really have to do anything for their constituents, and deregulation is anything that basically leaves them alone.

Tariff War is not Their Fight: It seems farmers are okay sacrificing their livelihoods for big corporate interests seeking intellectual rights and protections. 

And then the last shoe dropped; Ag Sec. Sonny Perdue told us what big corporate Republican politicians were really thinking about family farmers:

Perdue told reporters that he doesn’t know if the family dairy farm can survive as the industry moves toward a factory farm model ... “In America, the big get bigger and the small go out. I don’t think in America we, for any small business, we have a guaranteed income or guaranteed profitability.”
A few farmers suddenly realized what was really going on...
Jerry Volenec, a fifth-generation Wisconsin dairy farmer with 330 cows, left the Perdue event feeling discouraged about his future. “What I heard today from the secretary of agriculture is there’s no place for me. Can I get some support from my state and federal government?"

Darin Von Ruden, president of the Wisconsin Farmers Union and a third-generation dairy farmer who runs a 50-cow organic farm (said) getting bigger at the expense of smaller operations like his is “not a good way to go.  Do we want one corporation owning all the food in our country?” 
Democrats, Governor Tony Evers backs Family Farms, despite never getting their vote, but after Sonny Perdue's comment, even our laid back Gov. had to say something:

"Are they struggling? Absolutely. But I think at the end of the day we need to get behind them rather than saying, ah maybe you should go larger. I, frankly, resent that the Department of Agriculture secretary from the federal government came in and kind of lambasted them."
But don't take Evers word for it, here's a comment made at the Minnesota Farmfest about CAFO's. Note: Why were visa's for dairy labor ever determined to be seasonal and not year around?:


Trump Piled on First: Remember this...
Wisconsin dairy farmers are still feeling the sting of Trump's visit to Milwaukee in July, where the president downplayed the suffocation felt by farmers here because of Trump's own tariffs.

Trump: "Some of the farmers are doing well. ... We're over the hump. We're doing really well."
Farmer Response...:
"If he's saying farmers are over the hump, he would be badly mistaken," said Darin Von Ruden, a third generation dairy farmer. "In order to get over the hump we need to stop losing dairy farms."
From PBS's Market to Market: Trump's says farmers are happy...


Farmers are slamming Trump's $28 billion farm bailout — more than double Obama's 2009 payment to automakers — as a 'Band-Aid'.
Perdue editorial doesn't repair Damage: Nope, his word salad backtrack to obscure how he really feels, is a little late. In fact, Perdue reminds farmers how this whole problem was really Trump creation:
Purdue: "President Donald Trump has made it his mission to support American agriculture and negotiate better trade deals so our productive farmers can sell their bounty around the globe."
And don't forget how Scott Walker pushed oversupply in the dairy industry.

Here's what one farmer, "a great patriot," really thinks about Trump:



In Gays Mills, WI, over production and large dairy farms are locking many out of getting into farming. From WPT's Portraits from Rural Wisconsin:


          

Hear popular singer perform two of his favourite albums   

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SINGER Chris de Burgh will perform two of his most outstanding recordings, back to back and in their entirety, on his Classic Albums Tour, 2019.
          

Nash board to hear about senior program   

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The Nash County Board of Commissioners will meet at 9 a.m. Monday to learn more about senior homelessness, vote on a rezoning proposal and discuss the procedure for leasing out county-owned land for farming purposes.
          

Desktop Leftovers   

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  • Short Topix: Julian Assange To Remain Jailed Pending Extradition To U.S.

    Say what? Microsoft Windows 11 running a Linux kernel? What'chu smokin'? Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols wrote such a speculative article for ComputerWorld.

    And actually, it makes perfect sense. Look at the unmitigated disaster that the Windows 10 updates have been. Week after week after week, we hear about how the Windows 10 updates have wrecked users computers or have otherwise gone seriously awry. Most (if not all) Linux users are Windows refugees, usually fleeing from the lack of desktop choice under Windows, the never-ending assault of virii and virus scanners, the endless battle with malware, etc., etc., etc. The list is nearly as long as the number of Linux users.

    Replacing the NT kernel, which is basically rotten, with the Linux kernel is certainly doable. Vaughan-Nichols makes the argument that using the Linux kernel that is passionately and enthusiastically upkept by an army of programmers from around the world makes perfect sense. He goes on to argue that many Windows users won't even have to be aware that Windows is running on a Linux kernel, as Windows can still be made to look like Windows. But the insides, the very core, will get an upgrade in stability and security.

    Sure, it sounds crazy. But who could have predicted that Microsoft would go from wanting to bury Linux and calling it a cancer under Steve Ballmer, to expressing love for Linux under Satya Nadella? Who could have predicted that Microsoft would open its extensive patent library to Linux and the FOSS community -- for free?

    Vaughan-Nichols goes on to point out that Microsoft could release its own version of Linux today, if it chose to. There's nothing to stop them. But Microsoft developers have been busy laying the groundwork with the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), mapping Linux API calls to Windows, and vice versa.

  • "LIBOUTPUT" Proposed As New Library For Helping To Bring Up New Compositors & More

    Coming out of informal discussions from this week's X.Org Developers Conference in Montreal, a "liboutput" library has been proposed as a theoretical new library for helping to bring up Wayland compositors, X11 window managers, and anything else wanting to interface with DRM/KMS kernel interfaces. 

  • PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: oulik.jan

    My father of 91 uses Linux as well. (Lubuntu) With Windows, he often picked up a virus or other malware, and he has been running Linux virus free since six years now. He is very happy with Lubuntu. 

    My brothers were in the beginning quite negative about my father using Lubuntu, but now they tend to be neutral about it. 

    I tried to convince some friends of mine to use Linux, but they perceive it to be too complicated and too different. 

    Only two friends of mine like it. 


          

Singers of Chzor   

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Stirring from the darkest depths of the blackest seas, drifting in the endless oceans of time and space, reaching out with eyeless faces and gaping mouths and terrifying boneless arms to grasp and devour – hear the mad tintinnabulation of their songs, the thrumming vibration of voices never meant to be heard by human ears. The Singers of Chzor have risen!

The Singers of Chzor comprise four fully rigged figures for DAZ Studio: the great 24-armed Mother Beast, the 10-armed Larva, the limbless Polyp and the single Tentacle. With detailed matching textures and displacements, offered with standard or AoA Subsurface shaders, you can depict an entire mythos and life cycle or choose just one for your scenes.

The set also comes with 10 poses for each figure (5 for the Polyp) to get you started on your scenes of uncanny horror, plus four scaling presets for each. The Mother Beast can be as small as a dog, or as big as a house; the Polyp can be a monster or a house plant; the Tentacle can fall from the clouds or rise from a plant vase. It's all up to you, and the textures are designed at a detail level to handle larger uses of the creatures as well as small ones.

Price: $19.95 Special Price: $9.98


          

South Carolina Will Be The First Test Of 2020 Democrats In The South   

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On Point Live! travels to South Carolina to hear what’s on the minds of voters in the Palmetto State. Gavin Jackson, Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, Rev. Tiffany Knowlin Boykin and Matt Moore join Meghna Chakrabarti.


          

Life Is Not Too Short Button by kohaku16   

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3.00 USD

So get out there and start living!



This item is a pinback button that measures 2.25 inches across. Made of strong materials like steel and plastic, it will last for a long, long time. It is a pinback by default, but if you ask we can make it as a magnet only instead, which is helpful if it is going to someone young or if you just don't want to risk damaging skin and/or clothes. Or, if you like options, you can ask for it as both magnet and pin together.

The color scheme can be changed if you wish. We could even alter the font!

If we do not hear any updates, it will come as a regular pinback button in the color scheme shown.


          

Button About Favorite Books by kohaku16   

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3.00 USD

I can't wait to get back to my library!



This item is a pinback button that measures 2.25 inches across. Made of strong materials like steel and plastic, it will last for a long, long time. It is a pinback by default, but if you ask we can make it as a magnet only instead, which is helpful if it is going to someone young or if you just don't want to risk damaging skin and/or clothes. Or, if you like options, you can ask for it as both magnet and pin together.

The color scheme can be changed if you wish. We could even alter the font!

If we do not hear any updates, it will come as a regular pinback button in the color scheme shown.


          

Book Time and Place Button by kohaku16   

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3.00 USD

Don't make me wait to read!




This item is a pinback button that measures 2.25 inches across. Made of strong materials like steel and plastic, it will last for a long, long time. It is a pinback by default, but if you ask we can make it as a magnet only instead, which is helpful if it is going to someone young or if you just don't want to risk damaging skin and/or clothes. Or, if you like options, you can ask for it as both magnet and pin together.

The color scheme can be changed if you wish. We could even alter the font!

If we do not hear any updates, it will come as a regular pinback button in the color scheme shown.


          

Book Borrower Button by kohaku16   

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3.00 USD

Make sure you put them to good use!




This item is a pinback button that measures 2.25 inches across. Made of strong materials like steel and plastic, it will last for a long, long time. It is a pinback by default, but if you ask we can make it as a magnet only instead, which is helpful if it is going to someone young or if you just don't want to risk damaging skin and/or clothes. Or, if you like options, you can ask for it as both magnet and pin together.

The color scheme can be changed if you wish. We could even alter the font!

If we do not hear any updates, it will come as a regular pinback button in the color scheme shown.


          

I Enjoy Reading Button by kohaku16   

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3.00 USD

It's my favorite thing to do!




This item is a pinback button that measures 2.25 inches across. Made of strong materials like steel and plastic, it will last for a long, long time. It is a pinback by default, but if you ask we can make it as a magnet only instead, which is helpful if it is going to someone young or if you just don't want to risk damaging skin and/or clothes. Or, if you like options, you can ask for it as both magnet and pin together.

The color scheme can be changed if you wish. We could even alter the font!

If we do not hear any updates, it will come as a regular pinback button in the color scheme shown.


          

Strange Things And Weird People Button by kohaku16   

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3.00 USD

This is good advice!




This item is a pinback button that measures 2.25 inches across. Made of strong materials like steel and plastic, it will last for a long, long time. It is a pinback by default, but if you ask we can make it as a magnet only instead, which is helpful if it is going to someone young or if you just don't want to risk damaging skin and/or clothes. Or, if you like options, you can ask for it as both magnet and pin together.

The color scheme can be changed if you wish. We could even alter the font! And we can highlight different words if you so desire.

If we do not hear any updates, it will come as a regular pinback button in the color scheme shown.


          

Hilarious Telepathy Button by kohaku16   

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3.00 USD

It's a skill I have.



This item is a pinback button that measures 2.25 inches across. Made of strong materials like steel and plastic, it will last for a long, long time. It is a pinback by default, but if you ask we can make it as a magnet only instead, which is helpful if it is going to someone young or if you just don't want to risk damaging skin and/or clothes. Or, if you like options, you can ask for it as both magnet and pin together.

The color scheme can be changed if you wish. We could even alter the font!

If we do not hear any updates, it will come as a regular pinback button in the color scheme shown.


          

Comment on How to Train an Object Detection Model with Keras by Jason Brownlee    

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Sorry to hear that, I have some suggestions here: https://machinelearningmastery.com/faq/single-faq/why-does-the-code-in-the-tutorial-not-work-for-me
          

Domino’s Pizza was just dealt a Supreme Court blow that could reshape the ADA in the digital era   

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Domino’s was sued by a blind man who couldn’t use its website through accessibility software.

The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from Domino’s Pizza Monday after a federal appellate court ruled that a blind customer can sue the chain under the Americans with Disabilities Act after he couldn’t fully use its website through screen-reading software.

Read Full Story


          

Should vaccinations be compulsory for schoolchildren?   

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The health secretary Matt Hancock has said he is "looking very seriously" at making vaccinations compulsory for all children going to school in England. Some experts have suggested it may be necessary to address falling rates of immunisation and a surge in diseases like measles. 5 Live's Rachel Burden speaks to experts to answer questions about vaccinations and hear views from callers.
          

Charles Ross & Son Company ultra high shear rotor/stator   

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The patented ROSS MegaShear is an Ultra High Shear Rotor/Stator ideal for high-throughput emulsification, dispersion and homogenization.


          

Murray & Jackie The K’s Golden Gassers For A Dance Party – Various Artists   

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Photo(s) by “Bart Solenthaler” on Flickr.


Source: https://www.flickr.com Uploaded to Flickr by Bart Solenthaler and tagged with “ultrabodoni”. License: All Rights Reserved.



Ultra Bodoni Extra Condensed and two styles from the Akzidenz-Grotesk series (halbfett AKA Standard Medium for the purple line, extra for the red lines) in use for a compilation released on Roulette Records in 1962. From the back cover:

Ever since New York based disc-jockey Murray Kaufman hit the airwaves (over radio station WINS) he has been known as the pied piper to countless teen-agers who happen to be within earshot. “Murray The K,” as he likes to be known to his many fans, has an uncanny knack of knowing what the record buying youngsters want to hear and he makes certain that he gives it to them. Both on his radio show and his in-person appearances he showcases the talent and the music that the younger set favors. In this album, Murray (aided by his pretty wife Jackie) has gathered together a choice collection of golden gassers for a rockin’ dance party. Every song heard in this set Is the original hit record performed by the artist who made it famous. Every song included here is an all time favorite that has been on top of all the best seller lists.




          

A message to applicants from the chair at Iowa State UPDATED   

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An update from Professor Jenks (4:24 PM Eastern, 07 October 2019):
The Chemistry Department at Iowa State University has an opening for an analytical or experimental physical chemist at the assistant professor level.  Applications were originally intended to close Sunday night, but software glitches caused problems from at least Friday onward.  Those have been addressed and applications will again be accepted through Thursday night Oct 10.  The software will close the window at 12:01 Friday morning. We apologize for the inconvenience and are glad to be able to re-open the position for those who were trying to apply.  (Contrary to an earlier comment, I do not have access to the names of anyone who had a partial application submitted; such people should also log into the application system again.) https://isu.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/IowaStateJobs/job/Ames-IA/Assistant-Professor_R659
Via the comments on the open thread, a comment from William Jenks: 
I am the chemistry chair at ISU. This happened because no one here knew the new software closes at 12:01 AM on a date instead of 11:59 PM. Yes, every single one of us agrees this is stupid. Additionally, there was some kind of partial software problem for Friday and Saturday, too. Anyone with a partial application should hear from us very soon. If you tried to start an application and failed, please send me an email ASAP at wsjenks@iastate.edu. I will try to get you into the pool, but I will have to go through our HR people because only a finite number of people will see this post. But yes, we'd like to get you into the pool if at all possible. Very sorry.
Best wishes to those involved. 

          

Ginger Baker, Cream’s volatile drummer, dies at 80   

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LONDON – Ginger Baker, the volatile and propulsive drummer for Cream and other bands who wielded blues power and jazz finesse and helped shatter boundaries of time, tempo and style in popular music, died Sunday at age 80, his family said.

With blazing eyes, orange-red hair and a temperament to match, the London native ranked with The Who’s Keith Moon and Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham as the embodiment of musical and personal fury. Using twin bass drums, Baker fashioned a pounding, poly-rhythmic style uncommonly swift and heavy that inspired and intimidated countless musicians. But every beat seemed to mirror an offstage eruption – whether his violent dislike of Cream bandmate Jack Bruce or his on-camera assault of a documentary maker, Jay Bulger, whom he smashed in the nose with his walking stick.

Bulger would call the film, released in 2012, “Beware of Mr. Baker.”

Baker’s family said on Twitter that he died Sunday: “We are very sad to say that Ginger has passed away peacefully in hospital this morning.”

His daughter Nettie confirmed that Baker died in Britain but gave no other details. The family had said on Sept. 25 that Baker was critically ill in the hospital.

While Rolling Stone magazine once ranked him the third-greatest rock drummer of all time, behind Moon and Bonham, Baker had contempt for Moon and others he dismissed as “bashers” without style or background. Baker and his many admirers saw him as a rounded, sophisticated musician – an arranger, composer and student of the craft, absorbing sounds from around the world. He had been playing jazz since he was a teenager and spent years in Africa in the 1970s, forming a close friendship with the Nigerian musician-activist Fela Kuti.

“He was so unique and had such a distinctive personality,” Stewart Copeland of the Police told www.musicradar.com in 2013. “Nobody else followed in his footsteps. Everybody tried to be John Bonham and copy his licks, but it’s rare that you hear anybody doing the Ginger Baker thing.”

But many fans thought of Baker as a rock star, who teamed with Eric Clapton and Bruce in the mid-1960s to become Cream – one of the first supergroups and first power trios. All three were known individually in the London blues scene and together they helped make rock history by elevating instrumental prowess above the songs themselves, even as they had hits with “Sunshine of Your Love,” “I Feel Free” and “White Room.”

Cream was among the most successful acts of its time, selling more than 10 million records. But by 1968 Baker and Bruce had worn each other out and even Clapton had tired of their deafening, marathon jams, including the Baker showcase “Toad,” one of rock’s first extended drum solos. Cream split up at the end of the year, departing with two sold-out shows at London’s Albert Hall. When told by Bulger that he was a founding father of heavy metal, Baker snarled that the genre “should have been aborted.”

To the surprise of many, especially Clapton, he and Baker were soon part of another super group, Blind Faith, which also featured singer-keyboardist Stevie Winwood and bassist Ric Grech.

As Clapton would recall, he and Winwood had been playing informally when Baker turned up (Baker would allege that Clapton invited him). Named Blind Faith by a rueful Clapton, the band was overwhelmed by expectations from the moment it debuted in June 1969 before some 100,000 at a concert in London’s Hyde Park. It split up after completing just one, self-titled album, as notable for its cover photo of a topless young girl as for its music. A highlight from the record: Baker’s cymbal splashes on Winwood’s lyrical ballad “Can’t Find My Way Home.”

“Beneath his somewhat abrasive exterior, there was a very sensitive human being with a heart of gold,” Winwood said in a statement Sunday.

From the 1970s on, Baker was ever more unpredictable. He moved to Nigeria, took up polo, drove a Land Rover across the Sahara, lived on a ranch in South Africa, divorced his first wife and married three more times.

He recorded with Kuti and other Nigerians, jammed with Art Blakey, Elvin Jones and other jazz drummers and played with John Lydon’s Public Image Ltd. He founded Ginger Baker’s Air Force, which cost a fortune and imploded after two albums. He endured his old enemy, Bruce, when Cream was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and for Cream reunion concerts a decade later. Bruce died in 2014.

Baker continued to perform regularly in his 70s despite arthritis, heart trouble, hearing loss dating from his years with Cream and lung disease from smoking. A stranger to no vice, immodesty included, he called his memoir “Hellraiser: The Autobiography of the World’s Greatest Drummer.”

“John Bonham once made a statement that there were only two drummers in British rock ’n’ roll; himself and Ginger Baker,” Baker wrote in his book. “My reaction to this was, ‘You cheeky little bastard!’”

Born in 1939, Peter Edward Baker was the son of a bricklayer killed during World War II when Ginger was just 4. His father left behind a letter that Ginger Baker would quote from: “Use your fists; they’re your best pals so often.”

Baker was a drummer from early on, even rapping out rhythms on his school desk as he mimicked the big band music he loved and didn’t let the occasional caning from a teacher deter him. As a teenager, he was playing in local groups and was mentored by percussionist Phil Seamen.

“At this party, there was a little band and all the kids chanted at me, ‘Play the drums!’”, Baker told The Independent in 2009. “I’d never sat behind a kit before, but I sat down – and I could play! One of the musicians turned round and said, ‘Bloody hell, we’ve got a drummer’, and I thought, ‘Bloody hell, I’m a drummer.’”

Baker came of age just as London was learning the blues, with such future superstars as Clapton, Mick Jagger and Jimmy Page among the pioneers. Baker joined Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, where he met (and soon disliked, for allegedly playing too loud) the Scottish-born bassist Jack Bruce, with whom he was thrown together again as members of the popular British group the Graham Bond Organization.

Clapton, meanwhile, was London’s hottest guitarist, thanks to his work with the Yardbirds and John Mayall’s Blues Breakers, his extraordinary speed and agility inspiring “Clapton is God” graffiti. Clapton, Baker and Bruce would call their band Cream because they considered themselves the best musicians around.

“Oh for god’s sake, I’ve never played rock,” Baker told the blog JazzWax in 2013. “Cream was two jazz players and a blues guitarist playing improvised music. We never played the same thing two nights running. Jack and I had been in jazz bands for years. All that stuff I did on the drums in Cream didn’t come from drugs, either. It was from me. It was jazz.”


          

Lowe’s clarity, honesty highlight ‘Masterworks 2’ with superior guitarist Belinic   

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While music lovers in Spokane have been eager to get to know James Lowe, the new music director of the Spokane Symphony, we must recognize that he has been eager to learn more about us, too. The quality of a live music performance is inseparable from the quality of the audience.

Musicians will tell you they depend on the energy they feel in the house to attain levels of excellence they could never achieve in the practice room, and they can finish a performance before an appreciative audience feeling refreshed and exhilarated, while playing to an uninvolved crowd leaves them exhausted.

Lowe must have been very pleased after conducting “Masterworks 2: Garden Romance,” his second pair of concerts in the orchestra’s “Masterworks” series, at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox. The audience who cheered his appearance onstage, after doing the same for concertmaster Mateusz Wolski, was there not to see and be seen, but because they loved music and were eager to enjoy what the evening had in store.

They applauded at every opportunity and for every musician who took a solo. They chuckled at musical jokes, murmured at especially beautiful patches of melody and rose to their feet in appreciation for what they had been given. This positive energy was more than matched by what one could sense emanating from Lowe himself.

Even when the music did not demand it, he inspired his musicians to enliven every page, every bar, with palpable vitality. The first item on the program, a set of disparate dances by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) skillfully orchestrated by Gerard McBurney and published in 1988 as “Suite for Variety Orchestra No. 1,” is charming and enjoyable but certainly not great music.

The dances bear no trace of the searing passion and bleak ironies of the composer’s “Symphony No. 8” that we heard last year on the stage of the Fox so brilliantly conducted by Rei Hotoda. Lowe could certainly have merely allowed the endearing melodies and catchy rhythms of the suite to make their transitory points and move on to the more intellectually challenging parts of the program, but he did not. Instead, every clever turn of phrase, every witty interjection was delivered with point, clarity and focus.

The audience responded by roaring their approval, especially of featured players Keith Thomas (oboe), Chip Phillips (clarinet), Bruce Bodden (flute), and Steven Radcliffe and Greg Presley (pianos). Worthy of special mention was the luxury casting of accordionist Patricia Bartell, whose playing, not only in the solo passages but also in ensemble, was characterized by all the wit, imagination and elegance we have heard so often from her.

Guitarist Robert Belinic

Having enjoyed the delightful bonne bouche of the Shostakovich-McBurney, the audience was eager to hear guitar soloist Robert Belinic take on the beloved “Concierto de Aranjuez (1939)” of Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999). He proved himself to be an artist of superior technical finish and intense emotional projection, allied with a humility that allowed him to collaborate fully with his fellow musicians in bringing to life the rich sensory fabric of Rodrigo’s concerto.

Lowe carefully maintained textures in the orchestra that were light and vibrant, exactly as we heard from Belinic’s guitar. As a result, the virtuosity required to get around the technical difficulties posed by Rodrigo’s writing for orchestra and soloist dissolved, leaving the impressions of, as Rodrigo put it, “The fragrance of magnolias, the singing of birds and the gushing of fountains.”

In listening to his playing and remarks from the stage in the pre-concert lecture, one was impressed by the sincerity of Belinic. The guitar is unique in its ability to convey this quality, for the reason that, unlike the case of most other string instruments, the sound we hear is the result of unmediated contact of the string with the body of the performer.

By some neurological decoding, our minds recognize a degree of intimacy in those vibrations greater than can be found in other instruments. Thus, the experience of hearing Belinic play the guitar is like seeing directly into the heart of one who seeks beauty through music and wishes to take us with him.

The intoxicating sensuality of Rodrigo gave way in the second half of the program to the exquisite but sterile beauty of Erik Satie’s (1866-1925) “Gymnopédies 1 and 2 (1888),” composed for piano but heard in these concerts in orchestral arrangements by Satie’s vastly more gifted contemporary, Claude Debussy.

Emotional engagement

A difficult and solitary figure, Satie sought to create music as much as possible without emotional affect, music that could be experienced without engaging feeling. Fortunately, the performance on Saturday night missed that mark thanks to the sensitive orchestration by Debussy and Bodden and Thomas, whose playing commands emotional engagement.

As throughout the evening, Lowe achieved an orchestral texture of amazing transparency in which every strand made its maximum effect. From music that avoids any hint of conflict and sought otherworldly perfection, we moved to music that is as intensely human and fraught with emotion as any ever written: the Symphony No. 40 in G minor K. 550 (1788) of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91).

Mozart’s music is famous for its perfection of proportion and balance. In the G minor Symphony, however, that perfection is one element in a duality, the other portion of which is the disorder and suffering that inevitably come to us in time. Mozart shifts tonality throughout the piece from minor to major, and back again, to make us feel the insecurity and impermanence of earthly happiness.

In the second movement of the work, the Andante, Mozart begins to state a cheerful diatonic melody in the major only to sour it with a shrilly dissonant chromatic accompaniment that drains the melody of its cheerful energy.

The finale of the work, ordinarily a place for triumph over all of the difficulties that went before it, is in this symphony an expression of anger and disappointment, as attempts at cheerful nonchalance are interrupted by harsh dissonances and pastoral melodies in the major sour into the minor.

Lowe was uncompromising in portraying the stressful emotions of this greatest of all Mozart’s symphonies. He reduced the sweetness of the violins by having them play with little or no vibrato. He asked for bowings that sharpened the outlines of phrases rather than smoothing them over.

Most of all, the impressive clarity we noted throughout the earlier parts of the concert was maintained throughout Mozart’s far deeper and more complex musical argument, allowing us to feel every wrenching disappointment, every burst of anger as though it were our own. Lowe’s unstinting clarity and honesty of musical vision, and his ability to bring that vision to us through music, are beginning to emerge as his most outstanding qualities.


          

‘The Center Won’t Hold’ brings Sleater-Kinney back to Spokane   

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Olympia-born band Sleater-Kinney has a thing for Spokane. The band is opening its “The Center Won’t Hold” tour in the Lilac City on Wednesday at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox four years after opening its previous tour with a sold-out show at the Knitting Factory.

Sure, logistics-wise, it makes sense for the duo to kick off tours in Spokane, but, in a recent interview, singer/guitarist Corin Tucker said the decision to start the “Center Won’t Hold” tour here also stemmed from the experience they had when they played in 2015.

“I think Spokane might be our good luck charm,” she said. “We had such a good time last time. We were so nervous. It was our first show in almost a decade. We had come back after the hiatus to play the (first) show in at least eight years. We had a great experience.”

Last time Sleater-Kinney was on the road, the band was coming off a lengthy break and bringing new album “No Cities to Love” with them.

The time between shows isn’t as long this time around, but Tucker and singer/guitarist Carrie Brownstein, who formed Sleater-Kinney together in 1994, had to overcome another obstacle: the sudden departure of longtime drummer Janet Weiss.

Weiss announced that she was leaving the band in July, a month and a half before the release of “The Center Won’t Hold.”

“It was definitely a difficult moment,” Tucker said. “ ‘How do we handle this? What should we do?’ There’s a lot of sadness in losing a longtime collaborator like that. I think though, that, Carrie and I felt like we were still really committed to the band and committed to this album.

“We were in the middle of the release, and so we felt like, ‘Well, this is a really hard challenge,’ but we felt like we were going to figure it out together.”

She and Brownstein also got lucky, Tucker said, after finding drummer Angie Boylan, who is joining the band on tour after a recommendation from Tucker’s husband, filmmaker Lance Bangs. Boylan, as it turns out, was playing in a Sleater-Kinney cover band and already knew half of the band’s songs.

“It’s bizarre. It’s awesome,” Tucker said about musicians choosing to dedicate their careers to Sleater-Kinney’s. “What an honor that somebody would care about our music that much that they want to re-create it.

“That’s every writer’s dream is that your music has that kind of impact on listeners so that they would actually care enough about the songs to re-create them live. That’s a really wonderful thing to hear about your music.”

Boylan’s Sleater-Kinney knowledge now includes tunes from “The Center Won’t Hold.” When writing the album, Tucker, Brownstein and Weiss worked independently of one another, a new technique for the band. Tucker said the distance inspired her to approach her songs with a “proof of concept.”

“There were songs that were like, ‘This is what I’m thinking. This is the world that I would want to get into with this song in terms of melody and the voicing of the character.’ … It was interesting for me as a writer to try approaching it that way.”

In January, Sleater-Kinney announced that they were working on the then-untitled album with Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent. The band initially planned to work with numerous producers but found that Clark was the perfect fit.

“She came out of the gate with so many ideas and enthusiasm, but also her skillset was amazing,” Tucker said. “She had ideas for every part of the song.”

Take “Ruins,” for example. Tucker said she, Brownstein and Weiss were using “basic synth sounds” before Clark suggested making the synth sound “disgusting.” Ten synthesizers later, the band settled on one that made the song sound corrosive and dirty.

“That’s an important thing about working with a producer is having an outside ear that brings a whole other character to the album,” Tucker said. “It provides a leadership role that I think is really important, and Annie is a very natural born leader. That was something we enjoyed about working with her.”

As a whole, “The Center Won’t Hold” is loud, in your face and no holds barred – just as Sleater-Kinney has always been.

“We’ve always been a band that craved your attention and wants to take over your space and wants to be heard. I think this album is no exception,” Tucker said. “We feel like in this cultural moment, especially for women, it’s not a time to be quiet or complacent or step back.

“It’s time to be really loud and make ourselves heard and try to change as much as we can about what’s happening now in our country.”


          

Judge To Hear Proposed $143 Million Settlement Against Columbia Gas   

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A hearing is scheduled to take place Monday afternoon on the proposed settlement for the victims of the Merrimack Valley gas explosions.
          

issues with short term disability insurance   

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dear fellow bogleheads,

i'd like to hear your thoughts about my problem:

my medical group( my employer) changed the STD insurance company as of 1/1/2019.

i became disabled as of 9/1/2019 ,and will be for probably for 3 months.

when i applied for STD benefits i was told that there is a clause that absolves the insurance from paying if there are preexisting conditions with in the 12 months preceding the file of my claim. there are no preexisting conditions .

long story short , they demand to know everything about my medical history over the last year, request hospital records, PCP statements etc etc.

of course not everybody responds right away and the whole saga drags on. meanwhile i am 7 weeks out of work and no payment has been made ,

of course there is always another statement they want about hospitals, doctors or pharmacies.... basically they delaying and dragging their feet



here are my questions:

do STD insurances have the right to demand private medical information ( HIPPAA anyone ?)

can i take them to court for breach of contract?

is there a national / state ( i'm in NM) review board that i can use to file a complaint ?

any other ideas what I can do ? i am getting really upset.

thank you for your thoughts !

Wahnfried
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