Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Digby Nails Baucus et al

"I think Blanche Lincoln, Kent Conrad and Max Baucus all have plenty of constituents who make 30k a year just like Rockefeller. But they'd rather see them suffer than risk being called a socialist by some confused teabagger or lose a big campaign check from Blue Cross. It's a choice. And what they choose tells you a whole lot about the character of those making it." From Digby's Hullaballoo

Noah Milan Hess

My new nephew, 3 weeks old.

Noah 3 weeks old from Bettina Dahl on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Leave Health Care Alone

Dirty Projectors

One great thing about the instant-ness of technology like Facebutt and Twitter is that you can experience stuff like this.

A tweet from ?uestlove brought this video to my living room. Apparently the Dirty Projectors came to The Roots' dressing room and performed this new song. As he says, "How cool is it for them to do this?"

And how cool is it that we can share the experience?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

BCRP Scores Ginormous Grant!

Here's the word from the website. This is new news, and good. Very good. Much more to come on this from me. Wahoo!

BIG NEWS: U.S. Department of Commerce awards Radio Boise $227,000 for purchase of station equipment!!!

The federal grant funds will be used to purchase broadcasting equipment such as a transmitter, antenna and our studio gear. FINALLY!!! The 18-month grant cycle will require $75,000 in local matching dollars. Word of the great news arrived earlier in the week from Rep. Walt Minnick's office.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What Goes On

Yeah, the blog's been a video dump lately. Things're craaaaazy. We've got this going on:

And a whole lot else. As if that weren't enough. I'm cooking outside!

I'll keep this place posted on the progress. It's gonna be great when it's done, but man, I've got to go out through the backyard to get from my bedroom to the living room. And the dogs, of course, have decided they have to go outside at 4am every night.

But it'll be great when it's done.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


It's rock video day! And this is the best one. I heart Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent).


Another spooky video from Fever Ray.

A New Take on Reform

Sorry, the vid's busted, so go here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Friday

Catch Built to Spill live at Hyde Park Street Fair in Boise, for free, at 8pm or so.

4:00-4:45 La Knots
5:00-5:45 Kris Doty
6:15-7:00 Kamphire Collective
7:30-8:00 Disco Doom
8:15-9:30 Built to Spill

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Title Track

Pavement's planning a reunion and world tour. I'm too excited to be coherent about this. You'll be seeing more of these.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Health Care Reform, Franco-American Style

Roger Cohen has a sober, informed look at the differences and similarities between the US health care system and, the horror, the French system. We're not so different, except in a few ways. Chief of which:

I don’t think there’s much to debate when France spends 11 percent of its gross domestic product on health care and insures everyone and the United States spends 16.5 percent of G.D.P. and leaves 20 percent of adults under 65 uninsured. The numbers don’t lie: The U.S. system is wasteful and unjust.

We could learn a bit from actually looking at their system. We share some principles, like a combination of private and public funding, but we differ in efficiency (and humanity, but that's another topic).

If the hysteria could just go away, and the people of this country stop and think about this, there's really no reason to be upset. But as long as the fearmongers work their magic on the gullible and not-so-smart masses that make up their daily audiences, we're doomed and will end up with a watered-down and ineffective bandaging of our current system. And in that scenario, we all lose.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

President Obama on Health Care Reform

Seen the whole speech? Here it is.

It was exactly what this moment called for--forceful, passionate, and persuasive. He called out the liars and fearmongers, and he gave credit where it's due, on both sides of the aisle. He educated and he threatened, he pleaded and he taught.

And in the end he made the best point, via Ted Kennedy, that health care reform in this country is a moral issue. That this is the right thing to do.

In the United States of America, no one should go broke because they get sick.

No Class Douchebag of the Year

You know who it is.

Joe Wilson, Republican Representative of South Carolina, yelled out"You lie!" when Obama said his plan would not cover illegal immigrants. Which it doesn't. But some people, like this good ol southern boy, are just too stupid to live.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Antlers ~ "Two"

Check out this video from the new Antlers record, Hospice. Very cool. And the record's pretty awesome, too.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Public Option: Reich's Take

The Public Option: Take Heart

Sometimes, it's best to ignore the commentary and the hysteria and just look at some numbers. Sure, this poll is on Daily KOS, a site I usually avoid for its hysteria, but it seems a good cross section of people. And besides, I got there via Andrew Sullivan's blog, so that must count for something.

Scan that table. Suddenly, the town-hallers and Beck Hannitys of the nation look pretty out of touch. The only two groups not tilting toward the majority-for side are "REP" (party) and "South" (region). I will refrain, due to the geography of certain blood relations of mine, from commentary on this. But it suffices to say, I'm glad to see my country is not so unreasonable and hysterical as they seem on TV.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Those Opposed

The NY Times editorializes on health care reform. They make many good points and hope for a more ambitious bill than we're expecting by now.

And they make this point about those who are suddenly fiscally disciplined and oppose reform on that shaky basis.

If Mr. Obama is reaching out for broader support, he may be too diplomatic to point out the cynicism of Republican opponents who are late-blooming advocates of deficit reduction. The Bush administration and a Republican-controlled Congress enacted a Medicare prescription drug benefit that will cost the government almost $1 trillion over the next decade without raising or saving a penny to pay for it.

They also passed tax cuts for wealthy Americans that will cost more than $1.7 trillion over 10 years, again without making provisions to offset the costs. Now they are complaining that $1 trillion for health care reform — fully paid for over the next 10 years — is too much to spend on a problem that has been festering for decades.

I'll be very curious to hear whether he goes this route in Wednesday's address. He's in a tough spot. People need to wake up and look at this with new, clear, rational eyes, and think about it with a brain unfettered by all the hype and crap and lies.

No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke or be unable to change jobs because they get sick. Health care is not a privilege, not in a country as wealthy and young and smart as ours. It's a right. We can figure this out, and we can take care of our own. Why is this not that simple?

Friday, September 04, 2009

Happy Friday

I heart Thao and claymation.


Hey look! A discussion between disagreeing parties on health care reform that doesn't just involve shouting louder than the other guy! No screaming or insulting or blurting of idiotic misinformation!

As Ana Marie Cox said in a tweet about this, Great democracy, terrible television.

Thanks Al. You're the man.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Jonny Greenwood on MP3s

Sasha Frere-Cohen's New Yorker blog has begun a series called Dithering, where he examines the sound quality of recordings during this the digital revolution. Interesting stuff. Keep up here. This week, Jonny Greenwood has this to say about mp3s.

They sound fine to me. They can even put a helpful crunchiness onto some recordings. We listened to a lot of nineties hip-hop during our last album, all as MP3s, all via AirTunes. They sounded great, even with all that technology in the way. MP3s might not compare that well to a CD recording of, say, string quartets, but then, that’s not really their point.

That's surprising from an audiophile and sound geek like Greenwood. But the part of this interview I really enjoyed came when Greenwood defined my own misgivings about the ease of music acquisition.

The downside is that people are encouraged to own far more music than they can ever give their full attention to. People will have MP3s of every Miles Davis’ record but never think of hearing any of them twice in a row—there’s just too much to get through. You’re thinking, “I’ve got ‘Sketches of Spain and ‘Bitches Brew’—let’s zip through those while I’m finishing that e-mail.” That abudnace can push any music into background music, furniture music.

True and fair, but I don't think I'd go back to the way it was. I mean, I can be doing my show (at!), start a track, suddenly think of the perfect next song, discover that I indeed do not have it, get online, download it, and have it queued up for the next track. That's just cool as shit. And there always have been those for whom acquiring new music had a purpose beyond the music. Like unread books adorning well-placed bookshelves, or a $5k road bike, hanging in plain view, that never gets ridden.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


From the Boise Bicycle Project newsletter.

On August 31st and Sept 1st Boise Bicycle Project teamed up with the International Rescue Committee to teach new refugees from Iraq and Nepal about bicycle safety and maintenance. Some of the 40 adults participants had never ridden a bicycle, but by the end of the class, every single person had learned how to signal when riding, how to ride safely with traffic, and how to remove a wheel and fix a flat tire. Each participant was able to leave with a new helmet, front and rear lights, a pump, a lock, and a repair kit. They will be coming to the shop soon to begin our Earn-a-Bike program.

The entire effort was made possible by a grant funded by the Idaho Transportation department.

Get involved with this organization. More volunteers means more bikes and greater awareness. I'll see you at the next member orientation.

Hey Look! We're... in the news...

This should make us all so proud. A couple excerpts from Tim Egan's piece in today's NY Times.
A Republican candidate for governor of Idaho, Rex Rammell, was at a political barbecue last week when somebody brought up the tags used by wolf hunters, and then made a reference to killing the president of the United States.

“Obama tags?” Rammell replied, to laughter, according to an account in The Times-News of Twin Falls. “We’d buy some of those.”...

Ha-ha. What a knee-slapper, these assassination jokes. And besides, he couldn’t hunt down Obama with out-of-state tags. Get it?
Yeah, we get it all right. Yahoos everywhere. And the more national coverage the lunatic fringe gets (can you remember a day when you didn't hear about Palin/Beck/Limbaugh/Hannity or see their disgusting mugs at least a couple times?), the more these nutjobs will crawl out of the woodwork and the backwoods and seek out the spotlight.

For years, Idaho officials have been trying to convince businesses that their state is not a hotbed of hate-filled rubes, gun-toting racists and assorted nut jobs getting their information from Glenn Beck. Tech companies that thrive in the New West metro area of Boise and the outdoor paradise of the north say the state’s reputation has severely hurt efforts to recruit ethnic minorities.

And you can imagine what our local wingnuts would say to that. "Good. They don't look like the America we love anyways."

But the piece does get positive.

But this is a changed state in a quick-stirring part of the country — not necessarily less Republican, but certainly less tolerant of the kind of hate speech that used to flow with warm beer on late nights at the wacko corral. Obama, the candidate, drew about 14,000 people in his appearance in Boise last year — putting it among the largest political gatherings in state history. He got just under 47 percent of the vote in Ada County, the state’s most populous.

There is hope and promise. But as long as there are people (or a whole party) with no qualms about lying and obstructing progress for political gain and in every way playing to people's fears, we will see what we see now around health care and, the actual point of this piece, wolves. Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing.


Greetings from 3 Bears, just after sunup.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Health Care Reform Rally, and a cartoon

There's a rally for health care reform on the steps of the capital tomorrow, Wednesday, at noon. It's being organized by Idaho Main Street Alliance, a coalition of over 300 Idaho small businesses.

There's also a counter-protest planned from The Idaho Association of Health Underwriters, IAHU, which "includes about 200 carrier representatives and independent insurance agents throughout Idaho that sell medical/dental benefits to groups and individuals," per the rally organizer.

If you support health care reform, show up and be counted. It's lunch hour.

Meantime, watch the cartoon and enjoy, for a few minutes, the fantasy that universal health care could someday happen in this country.