Monday, February 28, 2011

More on Unions, no really, you better watch out!

This joke is making it's way around Facebook, and it really nails it (which I think 'the kids' are saying again, right?)
So, a unionized public employee, a member of the Tea Party, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies. He looks at the tea partier and says, "Watch out for that union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie."
Here is a very informative clip from The Rachel Maddow Show about the underlying motives and dynamics of the Wisconsin fight over public sector workers collective bargaining rights...

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The unions in Wisconsin have already said that they are willing to make concessions, but the Governor's goal is not really to solve the "budget crisis" (which, per the clip above, might not have been so much a 'crisis' if he had not proactively passed a bunch of business tax cuts as his first act upon taking office). What he wants to do is to remove unions' voice, to neuter their ability to represent a large group of workers on their salary, benefits and working conditions. And in so doing to tilt the balance of power in the Republicans favor for ever more.

Wisconsin is not the easiest place for this piece of the GOP agenda to get across, it may be the toughest. And that's why they are doing it--they wanted to act quickly, sneak it in on a general positive wave of just-elected-governor vibe, and thus get it straight in as a mainstream national policy issue. But it's not. It's an attempt to radically retrench how employees are treated in this country, especially blue collar employees, and it aims directly (if much less intuitively) for the source of funding for the Democratic party. Which in a post Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission world is very dangerous for all of us.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Radio Show and Music Blog on RadioValencia.FM

I have a show on RadioValencia.FM, San Francisco's latest & greatest independent non-commercial radio station (there are those who call us pirates, Arrr!).

My show is called Can Haz DJ, and it is on every Tuesday night from 10pm-1am. Here's a little bit of my thoughts on getting back to radio after 15 years or so (I unofficially majored in radio as an undergrad, meaning that I got no credits for it, even though I dedicated so much my time and energy to it). I started doing the show in August of last year, the same timeframe when Radio Valencia started up. You can download mp3s of my previous shows. It might help to review playlists of some of my shows to see what you are getting into--I also include videos in some of those posts.

Working in college radio was probably the most important experience that I have ever had, in terms of my personal development. It was practical experience for a real life work enviornment, and especially for one where a group of people are passionately dedicated to the task at hand. That's the way that I hope to always work, and it's something common to great startups, great small teams and awesome arts & theater groups, all of which I've been fortunate enough to find my way into ever since.

If you want to listen to Radio Valencia live, you can go to the website and click the play button, or tune in (in some parts) of San Francisco on 87.9FM.

Jazz at Club Deluxe in San Francisco Last Night

I've put up a couple videos on my Flickr stream of a great jazz performance that I went to last night at The Club Deluxe in Upper Haight (note to self, and anyone who is listening, that their WikiPedia entry needs a lot of work).

The two videos are below--one is :30, the other about 1:15. FUN. Nine-pieces, sometimes ten, including 3 trumpets, trombone, and tenor, alto & baritone (I think, iz big) saxes. Not sure if it is a regular thing or what, but it was a great time, would love to see it again.

It reminded me of the time that Danielle and I stumbled into a performance of the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra at a small Harlem joint where they do sort of a mid-week practice gig, playing to neighborhood locals with a church basement style dinner spread. That was amazing (and more than twice as many players), but there's just nothing like the vibe of

Here's the HRO in a bit more upmarket surroundings, playing at Lincoln Center:

Unions Really Are Important

This video pleases me.

There's more to say on this. But I don't think I will get into it right now. But if you, like me, are inspired and excited by what has been going on in Wisconsin in terms of protests by the people, then you will be happy to see this video of the police union (they are workers also, after all) expresses their support for the peaceful actions of tens of thousands of their fellow citizens.

via Crooks & Liars

yes, an update is long overdue

Thanks for visiting. Or reading my feed, or however you are getting these words.

It's not that I haven't been busy. But you can't see the full extent of it here.

I'll do a few updates here, and soon give a summary update of what I am doing and some of the recent stuff that I am proudest of (which hopefully will also be interesting to you).

A quick flurry to follow....

And, yes, eventually, I will switching over to WordPress with a new look and more frequent posts to this space. But not quite yet.