Sunday, December 27, 2009

Spain Featured In KEXP's Music That Matters Podcast

Spain's new song, "I'm Still Free", is featured in the latest Music That Matters podcast from Seattle's radio station KEXP. You can download the podcast now for free using iTunes here, using a different service here, or you can download the entire podcast in mp3 form here. Its also available directly from KEXP's website.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Spain At Spaceland - The Photos

Thanks to everyone who came to watch my band Spain play at Spaceland in Silver Lake, California. It was our second show with new guitarist Daniel Brummel and the first time we got to play a few new songs live so we had a lot of fun.

Spain guitarist/keyboardist Randy Kirk: Setting up his keyboard
rig can be a drag...unless the keyboard happens to be a Hammond Organ!

Spain drummer Matt Mayhall at soundcheck.

Sounds good!

I didn't take this picture.

Mad Gregs opened the show.

At precisely 11pm, Spain took the stage.

I play bass and sing.

Daniel Brummel plays guitar.

Thanks to Lindsay for selling our new limited edition CD for us at the show! For more photos of our Spaceland set, check out my flickr site!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Spain - I'm Still Free: The Video

Loveless Motel proprietor Billy Burke took video footage of my band Spain while we were recording our latest single, "I'm Still Free", edited it together with the finished song and uploaded it to Youtube. We had no idea he was filming!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Spain 7" Release Date Has Been Delayed

As you probably already know, Daniel, Billy, and I have been locked in the studio for weeks making improvements on the new Spain song "I'm Still Free". Matt's and Randy's parts were already perfect. We finally finished the song last night and now its ready for mastering but, alas, not in time for the strict deadline of December 15 set by label Acuarela Discos. Those guys are slave drivers, really. Anyways, in result we've delayed the release of the 7" and iTunes digital until January 26, 2010. So, you'll have to wait until then to hear the first official release of new Spain songs in, well, a long time. I may put the new version of "I'm Still Free" on the Spain Myspace page soon. I'm undecided about it. Acuarela president, er, dictator, Jesús Llorente, a friend of mine, and a good man, would rather us not, but I say, let the people hear the music. Free their ears from monotony and let them get a sneak preview of a song that took four years to write, and three to record, concurrently. Its Myspace, for crying out loud, it doesn't cost anything, and people can't download it. No one's making any money off of it, but, what the hey? Oh, wait. My Myspace uploading privileges have been temporarily suspended. Something about copyright violations for uploading songs I wrote. I should take care of that. In the meantime, what do you think? Should I break down and take the humiliating "myspace copyright law quiz" so I can upload the new version of "I'm Still Free" for you to hear, or would you rather be surprised on January 26? That way I could avoid having to "talk" to Myspace. But I'll have to contact them sooner or later. Who knows? Who cares? You be the judge! Leave a comment!

As an addendum, the Spain 7" release party at Spaceland on December 19 is still happening. I'll be selling a very special limited-edition cd of the new single at the gig. The show must go on.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Charlie Haden Family & Friends At Walt Disney Hall - The Report

Thanks to everyone for coming to the Charlie Haden Family & Friends show at Walt Disney Hall! It was a lot of fun, and the music was amazing. I loved singing Donovan's "Catch The Wind", its one of my dad's favorite songs and we'd been trying to find an opportunity to play it for some time. All of the musicians sounded so great! Special thanks to Jerry Douglas for his amazing dobro solos on "Spiritual", can't get much more inspired than that!

If you thought the music on stage was good, you should have heard it in the halls backstage before the show. One of my favorite things about playing with this group is hearing the guys (Dan Tyminski, Bryan Sutton, Mark Fain, Jim Mills, Sam Bush, Stuart Duncan, and Jerry Douglas) jamming impromptu before we hit the stage.

Its always fun to watch my brother-in-law Jack Black ham it up on stage. My sisters, Petra, Rachel, and Tanya, sang in perfect harmony. My dad's wife Ruth Cameron sounded incredible, and my dad, as bandleader and bluegrass diplomat, held down the fort with his full bass notes and entertained and enlightened the audience as always with stories of his bluegrass past and words of inspiration and encouragement.

It was great to see my friend Ravi Coltrane backstage.

Meeting of the violinists: Lindsay Stella & Petra Haden

Spain keyboardist/guitarist Randy Kirk & Spain
guitarist Daniel Brummel made an appearance.

My dad Charlie & I backstage after the show.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

UC President Mark G. Yudof Is A Lying, Ungrateful, Despotic, Selfish Hypocrite

Protesting at UCLA

I've been waiting for a chance to post a blog entry about Tuesday night's Haden Family & Friends show at Walt Disney Hall in downtown L.A., but I've been so busy I haven't had any free time!

Now I have a moment to write about what a great experience it was but before I do so I just wanted to make a brief comment about the student fee hike imposed by the UC board of regents today.

As a UC alma mater I'm particularly concerned about it because every year around this time I'm hit up for money by some UC student telling me UC is broke and needs all the help it can get. How can they expect me to want to donate money when they're raising student fees? They should be lowering fees and showing that they are serious about giving every Californian a chance for an education.

As recounted by this L.A. Times article, UC President Mark G. Yudof said, regarding the fee hike, "I hate to say it, but if you have no choice, you have no choice." The article went on to say Yudof "empathized with student anger, but said it would be better directed toward state lawmakers who have cut education funding."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if President Yudof is saying he has such "empathy" with students, why doesn't Yudof himself take his own advice, march up to Sacramento and tell Gov. Schwarzenegger how angry he is? Why doesn't he not support fee hikes? Or better yet, why doesn't he cut his own salary to show students he too is willing to make sacrifices for higher education, or, even better, call a general student strike until this situation is remedied?

I'd like to say a couple of things about the convenience of this fee hike. First of all, higher fees means more money in President Yudof's pockets. Secondly, higher fees means more money to be made by the student loan companies that are in cahoots with UC, and have been ever since student loan companies were invented.

On the front page of this morning's aforesaid L.A. Times is a photograph of students protesting the fee hikes. One student holds a sign that reads "California...#1 in Prison Spending[,] #48 in Education." And this to me is the crux of the matter. A financial crisis gives certain lawmakers excuses to cut education funding while letting the root causes of poverty and crime continue. As long as people are uneducated, crime will continue to rise, prisons will continue to be overcrowded, more money will have to be spent on police and law enforcement, and conservative politicians (due to the uneducated citizenry) will continue to be elected, allowing the cycle to continue ad infinitum. When will it stop?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Spain At Crane's - The Report

Thanks to everyone for coming to Spain's show last night at Crane's Tavern in Hollywood. We had a lot of fun and it was great to see folks I hadn't seen in quite awhile. It was our first gig in a long time - and our first with new guitarist Daniel Brummel - and it felt good to get my stage feet back with such a welcoming audience.

Its also been so long I'm out of practice -- forgot to bring my camera!!

It was great to see: Daniel's dad (longtime Spain fan!), Ron Frank, my cousin John Wells, music producer John Chelew, Loveless Motel (studio where Spain has been recording lately) owner/engineer Billy Burke, Jamie Drake (great set, Jamie!), and many other friends and familiar faces. Even our friend/practice space-mate Jud showed up, on his bicycle a few hours late, but its the thought that counts. He rode all the way from West Covina!

Crane's is a great intimate venue with two rooms (full bar and performance area) and a cool back patio. A lot of the people who attend are locals and regulars which gives it a cozy, familiar vibe that's hard to find in L.A., even though its right off Hollywood Blvd. Rare indeed! Highly recommended. Thanks for having us Crane's! And thanks to Jamie for inviting us to play during her residency there, check out her music!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Spain In The Studio, Again!

Over the weekend Spain's Daniel Brummel and Loveless Motel owner/engineer Billy Burke worked diligently on the new Spain song "I'm Still Free", making improvements in anticipation of its Dec. 15 2009 release on Acuarela Discos.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

An Open Question For Liberals

If Man's nature is essentially good, then why does he need to be governed?

"GOP healthcare plan isn't about helping the uninsured"

Found this great article today (where it was entitled, "GOP plan is a bogus effort"; the article is titled differently in the Times online edition) on the front page of the L.A. Times Business section, of all places.

Republican Rep. John Boehner spoke yesterday of the "sanctity of life" when opposing the anti-abortion funding amendment to the health bill. That's all fine and good, but for Boehner, and his Republican and certain Independent and Democratic allies, the sanctity of life stops at the fetus; after a person is born, its straight to hell.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

How Many Ways Can Gov. Schwarzenegger Say "Fuck You" To California?

How many ways can Gov. Schwarzenegger say "fuck you" to California?

I thought he was going to stop giving Californians the finger, fine blended tobacco-stained as it is, after trying to close the state parks. Not entirely successful at that one.

Would Gray Davis ever have had the fake cow testicles to pull an acrostic stunt like this? I don't think so! I wonder how loudly Sen. Issa is laughing!

The "ball's" in your court, Assemblyman Ammiano!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Re: Pelosi: New health care bill is 'historic moment'

From the article:

"Speaking on the steps of the Capitol, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress was "on the cusp of delivering on the promise of making affordable, quality health insurance available to every American.""

Let's ignore for now the possible definitions of "affordable" and "quality". The beginning of the very next paragraph reads:

"Officials said the measure, once fully phased-in over several years, would extend coverage to 96 percent of Americans."

So, which is it? Will the legislation cover every American, as Pelosi said, or just 96 percent, as officials are reported as saying.

Why might the proposed legislation cover only 96 percent? Who are the 4 percent who won't be covered? Why are the lives of the 4 percent not worth, monetarily speaking, as much as the lives of the 96 percent?

Why is it that Pelosi and other key Democratic legislators don't support free universal health care that would cover all Americans, not just a portion of them?

Stop The Presses! Sarah Palin Is Greedy!

Read this article today about how Iowa Republicans are upset Sarah Palin is trying to charge them $100,000 to speak at a conservative group's event next month.

Why are Iowa Republicans so upset? Isn't that what capitalism's all about? Pulling oneself up from one's bootstraps and becoming successful? Supply and demand?

Surely, if Palin can charge that much money for a speaking engagement and get away with it, shouldn't her fellow Republicans be proud of her?

And what about all the money Republican lawmakers have accepted from the health insurance industry to secure their opposition to health care reform? Isn't this just the way things work?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Karen Ignagni Is A Spawn Of Satan

File:Karen Ignagni.jpg

Read this article to find out how health insurance industry lobbyist Karen Ignagni is almost single-handedly preventing free universal health care in America from becoming a reality.

I already wrote, in a previous blog entry, that President Obama never wanted universal health care in the first place. The House bill (which contains a "public option", Baucus' Senate Finance Committee bill doesn't) will only cover 97% of those eligible, far from universal.

Both of these "health care reform" bills contain a mandate that people must buy health insurance. Such a mandate will insure that the health insurance industry will have millions of new customers, putting billions more into the pockets of health insurance industry executives, employees, and lobbyists. Money will continue to be seen as more valuable than people.

As long as people have to pay money to insurers and providers for health care, some people will be able to afford it, and some people wont. Some people will receive health care, and some won't. Some people will live, and others will die unnecessarily.

The only way to "keep the health insurers honest" is to get rid of the health insurance industry entirely! Let the health insurance industry executives, employees, and lobbyists get their greed on in some other industry, like the music business!

Monday, October 12, 2009

To Mayor Villaraigosa: Sell The Police Stations To Non-Profits!

Hey Mayor! If Los Angeles can't maintain its police force, why not do to police stations what you're doing to our schools?

Instead of making "fiscally responsible compromises", sell individual police stations to the highest non-profit bidders! Its a win-win situation!

Friday, October 9, 2009

New Spain Songs Up

The new Spain single won't be released until December 15, but you can hear the songs now on the Spain Myspace mp3 player. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sens. Max Baucus, Kent Conrad, Blanche Lincoln, Bill Nelson, & Tom Carper Are Shills For The Health Insurance Industry

I know we wanted more transparency in government, but this is ridiculous.

Yesterday in the Senate Finance Committtee Democratic Senators Max Baucus, Kent Conrad, Blanche Lincoln, Bill Nelson, and Tom Carper all voted against Sen. Rockefeller's "public option" amendment to health care reform.

Don't the "fearful five" know that the American people can see right through them?

This group of Senators don't care one iota for the health and well-being of their constituents. All they care about is the health and well-being of their health insurance industry campaign donors, and the health and well-being of their own pocketbooks.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Revamped Website

Recently, I took down my old website and put up a new one in its place. Check it out when you get a chance. I did it myself.

Republicans Are Hijacking Patriotism From The Patriotic, And Democrats Are Letting Them Get Away With It.

We all know that Republicans will lie, cheat, and steal to get what they want.

Its not that Republicans don't know lying, cheating, and stealing are wrong; its that, in their view, lying, cheating, and stealing are justified if it results in them retaining their power, or, even better, broadening it. Doing so, in their eyes, better secures our "free" society.

Republicans believe that, since man is inherently evil, its better to enslave the (evil) majority to ensure that the good who can rule best (Republicans) are able to survive. This signals a major difference, some would say, the major difference, between the worldview of Democrats, who believe that man is inherently good, and that the enslavement of anyone, even Republicans, does nothing to promote the goal of a peaceful and sustainable world.

So, everyone, including Republicans, know that Republicans are liars, cheaters, and stealers, and know that Republicans are able to justify this fact to themselves by convincing themselves the end justifies the means. This shouldn't be surprising to anyone.

When Sen. Lindsay Graham goes on national television and says that "Americans don't support Obama's healthcare proposals," I know exactly what he's saying.

He's not saying that all Americans oppose Obama's healthcare proposals. He knows the majority of Americans actually support Obama's healthcare proposals. However, by saying "Americans don't support Obama's healthcare proposals" he's achieving the dual result of accusing those who do support Obama's healthcare proposals of being un-American, and thus, unpatriotic; and, on the other hand, helping to create, or insinuate, an anti-Obama healthcare plan atmosphere in general, hopefully inculcating in the minds of those who may be on the fence about Obama's healthcare proposals that they should be against them after all, because anything else would be un-American, and thus, unpatriotic. Sen. Lindsay Graham, is, after all, a Republican, all-knowing and all-powerful.

I would just like to say that I support Obama's healthcare plan if it contains language permitting free universal healthcare, and I'm an American. So I just proved Sen. Lindsay Graham wrong. I'm an American, and I support Obama.

Will someone please explain to me what is so American about letting a human being die because they don't have access to healthcare?

Will someone please explain to me what is so American about caring more for the survival of health insurance companies than the survival of human beings?

Will someone please explain to me what is so un-American about believing that America should care about the well-being of all its citizens, not just some of them? That if one human being suffers, then we all suffer?

Will someone please explain to me what is so un-American about the belief that every American should have access to healthcare, even if they don't have the money to pay for it?

Feel free to respond, especially you anonymous Republicans out there! :) Hint: democracy and capitalism are not the same thing.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Spain 7" Release Date & A Gig

Our good friends at Acuarela Discos will be releasing Spain's new 7" "I'm Still Free" b/w "Hang Your Head Down Low" on Dec. 15, 2009.

To celebrate we'll be playing at Spaceland in Los Angeles on Dec. 19. Hope you can make it!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Conservatives Say It's Their Turn For Empowerment?

I suppose it remains to be seen if Rep. Joe Wilson's "emotional" heckling of the President, and the conservative opposition to real health care reform, is rooted in racism (also, here), but nobody, conservatives and Republicans (is there a difference?) included, can deny that the conservative movement and the Republican worldview in general is historically rooted in the racism, sexism, homophobia, bigotry, intolerance, and hatred of anyone who thinks and/or looks different than they do, experienced in America during the last 200+ years.

Conservative Americans have a lot to thank American liberals for, but when it comes to defending their stance against many of President Obama's ideas, conservatives will always have to contend with the history of intolerance perpetuated, historically, by themselves.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sen. Max Baucus Is A Shill For The Health Insurance Industry

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., speaks with the press following a meeting on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009, in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari) from huffington post.

Today Sen. Max Baucus "finally" unveiled his "groundbreaking" health insurance reform proposals, which in actuality would reform nothing, and would leave the health insurance companies much richer and more powerful than ever.

Interesting to note that, according to the Max Baucus page on, amongst Baucus' top 20 campaign contributors are Schering-Plough Corp, Aetna Inc, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, & Wyeth.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Shills For The Wealthy March On Washington


Demonstrators are shown during a rally at Freedom Plaza in Washington. (Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press / September 12) from L.A. Times.

This weekend, the racist, the bigoted, the homophobic, the selfish, the self-centered, the narcissistic, the greedy, the two-faced, the cowardly, the unforgiving, the unreasonable, the unfaithful, the hypocritical, the hateful, the close-minded, the narrow-minded, the tea-bagged, the frightened of change, the proud sponsors of the status quo, conservatives, Republicans alike, all came together at our nation's capital to heckle a resounding "YOU LIE!"

I know, they "just let their emotions get the best of them." They are so sensitive!

I saw some footage of the "Taxpayer March On D.C." on C-SPAN and watched an interview with a man holding a "McCarthy Was Right" sign. Do you see where this "revolt" is going? Backwards in time, to the good old days, when men were men, women washed the dishes, peoples' lives were destroyed for their political beliefs, and anyone who looked different got their heads bashed in or were found in the morning hanging from a tree limb.

I love the line in this MSNBC article: "Many protesters said they paid their own way to the event — an ethic they believe should be applied to the government." Um, how else would they get to the event? I wonder how many of these "protestors" are bankrolled by the health industries, oil industries, and any other industry that stands to lose money and power if some of Obama's ideas are enacted.

Now, I'm not shilling for Obama. However, I don't think for a minute that any of these people care about the well-being of all Americans, some Americans, maybe. Anyone who doesn't think like they do are unpatriotic and not worth consideration at a hospital, much less as a human being.

Is this the kind of future that Jesus envisioned?

I saw a Republican Senator on TV yesterday saying that Republicans, unlike many Democrats, don't want to solve the health care problem "from the top down, but from the ground up." Republicans, says this Senator, want many of the same things Democrats do, for example, an end to many of the most heinous health insurance practices which unfairly deny people care.

I love this Senator's timing. Do you think we would see any change whatsoever in our healthcare system if Obama hadn't been elected? These "protestors" are running scared, as they always do, from anything that veers away from the status quo. They want money to stay concentrated with the wealthiest, the poor to stay in their place, and the middle-class to stay ignorant, uneducated, and complacent, and they'll say or do anything, even lie to themselves, to make sure things stay the way they are.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Michael D. Duvall, Heidi DeJong Barsuglia, And The Politics Of Lobbying Energetically For Energy Reform

From OC Weekly:

OC Assemblyman In Bed With Lobbyist . . . No, Literally In Bed By R. Scott Moxley

Duvall ran from reporters today in the capitol

SACRAMENTO--Freshmen legislators arriving in Sacramento receive advice from veteran
 politicians about the intricacies of working in California's capital. One of those tips is to remember that microphones broadcasting legislative debates can also capture embarrassing, career-ending personal admissions if a politician isn't careful. Michael D. Duvall, Orange County's 72nd Assembly
District representative, must have forgotten the warning.

In July--two days after Assembly Speaker Karen Bass and Republican leader Sam Blakeslee put Duvall on the Rules Committee that oversees member ethics--the second-term, conservative, Republican assemblyman sat in a public hearing and vividly described lewd details about his trysts with a female lobbyist whose clients had business before another committee on which
 Duvall sits.

Duvall, speaking to a relatively mum Republican colleague seated to his left, apparently had no idea his dais microphone became live beginning about a minute before the start of a cable-televised committee hearing. He was captured in the middle of recounting portions of an affair.

"She wears little eye-patch underwear," said Duvall, who is married with two children. "So, the other day she came here with her underwear, Thursday. And
 so, we had made love Wednesday--a lot! And so she'll, she's all, 'I am going 
up and down the stairs, and you're dripping out of me!' So messy!"

That line may quickly become part of colorful Sacramento political lore. In the meantime, it leads me to a question: Can someone please buy the assemblyman a box of condoms?

Duvall--who was twice a president of the Yorba Linda Chamber of Commerce, served two terms as mayor of Yorba Linda before entering the assembly in
 2006, and is the owner of an insurance agency--continues his tale: "So, I am getting into spanking her. Yeah, I like it. I like spanking her. She goes, 'I know you like spanking me.' I said, 'Yeah! Because you're such a bad girl!'"

He then laughed.

The assemblyman representing Anaheim, Fullerton, Placentia, Orange, Brea, La
 Habra and Yorba Linda then offered clues to the identity of his sex partner.

"And so her birthday was Monday," he said at the Wednesday, July 8 committee hearing. "I was 54 on June 14, so for a month, she was 19 years younger than 
me. I said, 'Now, you're getting old. I am going to have to trade you in.' And she goes, '[I'm] 36.' She is 18 years younger than me. And so I keep
 teasing her, and she goes, 'I know you French men. You divide your age by 
two and add seven, and if you're older than that, you dump us.'"

According to voter-registration records reviewed by the Weekly, veteran Sacramento-based lobbyist Heidi DeJong Barsuglia turned 36 years old on Monday, July 6.

Legislative sources say they have witnessed Duvall, who is vice chairman of 
the Assembly's powerful Committee on Utilities & Commerce, socializing after-hours with Barsuglia. Sources--who asked for anonymity because of 
Duvall's power in the capital--say Susan Duvall usually stays in Orange
 County during the week, when her husband flies to Sacramento. They also say 
they have seen Duvall with Barsuglia in restaurants, "arm-in-arm" at political fund-raising events and even shopping together for groceries just blocks from the capitol building.

"Their relationship is the worst-kept secret in Sacramento," a capitol staffer recently told me. "He's old and fat. She's hot, blonde and about 20
 years younger. He could have never gotten a woman like that before he got
 this job.'"

In April--two months after Duvall became vice chairman of the Utilities & 
Commerce committee--privately owned California utility giant Sempra Energy hired Barsuglia as one of its top lobbyists, according to Secretary of State
 Barsuglia, who has a law degree and once worked as a speechwriter for
 Governor Pete Wilson, had previously worked at the California Retailers 
Association (CRA). During 25 months of work at CRA, she reported that she incurred no reportable lobbying expenses. She joined Sempra after the 
departure of another lobbyist: David Hayes, who was named deputy director of the Interior Department by President Barack Obama.
 The San Diego-based utility conglomerate isn't shy about lobbying
 lawmakers for favorable treatment. This session, they gave Duvall $1,500 in campaign contributions. In May, the assemblyman officially adopted the company's negative view on Assembly Bill 64, which proposes increasing the percentage of electricity the utilities must procure from environmentally
 sensitive sources.

Repeatedly asked to explain his recorded sexual boasting, a red-faced Duvall fled me and another reporter, Dave Lopez of KCBS in Los Angeles, three times this afternoon in capitol hallways. He also ignored three handwritten interview requests that were delivered to him on the floor of the assembly. Said one assembly employee who witnessed the scene, "It definitely looks like he is afraid of you guys."

Barsuglia did not responded to a request for an interview made at Sempra's offices located across the street from the capitol building.

Sempra's 2008-2009 "Code of Business Conduct" states, "We've built [the company's] rich tradition because of the emphasis we place on ethical business conduct and compliance with the laws and regulations that govern
our business. We don't compromise on either for the sake of success"

But Duvall wasn't content to just share one adulterous tale at the July 8 committee hearing. He referenced a second, simultaneous affair with another woman. He seemed amused that he was cheating on both his wife and a mistress.

"Oh, yeah, Sher, Shar, Shar," Duvall said. "Oh, she is hot! I talked to her yesterday. She goes, 'So are we finished?' I go, 'No, we're not finished.' I go, 'You know about the other one [Barsuglia], but she doesn't know about you!'"

The assemblyman punctuated his observation with laughter.

During his political career, Duvall has unabashedly espoused conservative
 principles and is known as a partisan Republican with a knack for theatrics:
 He has noisily driven his Harley-Davidson motorcycle to functions. In 2008, 
Duvall blasted efforts to condone gay marriage. Legislatively, he has 
proposed bills to aid the insurance industry and government contractors 
feeding off the state's massive transportation kitty.
 He has offered a law to alter the First Amendment rights of Americans by
 banning anti-war activists from putting the names of fallen soldiers on 
T-shirts with messages such as "Bush lied" on the front and "They died" on the back; he observed that the dead soldiers fought to protect freedom, and "opportunists" should not be allowed to "exploit" the sacrifices with political messages opposing war.

Such thinking impressed certain constituencies. Earlier this year, the man who never graduated from high school received "100 percent" approval scores 
by the California Republican Assembly, the state's leading conservative outfit, and the Capitol Resource Institute (CRI), a fierce guardian of traditional family values.

"Assemblyman Duvall has been a consistent trooper for the conservative causes," CRI president Karen England announced in March. "For the last two years, he has voted time and time again to protect and preserve family values in California. We are grateful for his support of California

Acknowledging the CRI award, Duvall observed in a press release that as long as he is in office, he would work to protect "California families" from "constant assault in Sacramento."

Obama Never Wanted Universal Healthcare In The First Place

First it was called universal healthcare, then "single payer system", then a "public option", now the "public option" apparantly is barely even an option.

I think its important for everybody, especially Democrats, and especially everyone who voted for him, to know that Obama never supported universal healthcare in the first place. If he had he wouldn't be giving up on it so easily.

Republicans and Democrats are too beholden to the health insurance scam's...urm...industry's money for any true "change" to come about.

Its important for everyone to realize that all those highly upset and passionate folks at these public forums who are taking up arms against what they see as death panels, torts, brainwashing, socialism, and fascism are not speaking from their hearts. They are bought and paid for by a very defensive health insurance industry that is very, very protective of its mass quantities of wealth, a cache of cash that now looks to get even larger without a "public option" being available.

The health of U.S. citizens will continue to be linked first to monetary profit and least to true concern for the well-being of people created equally under God.

I was watching one of these health-care town hall meetings on T.V. last week and one of these birther anti- health reform/fascist/socialist/death panel/brainwashing/abortion/choice of doctor pro- tort reform people declared "I'm not evil!"

If she wasn't so evil to begin with why did she feel the need to assure everyone of her lack of evil-ness? Methinks you protest too much.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Republicans Are Minions Of Satan

Having a little trouble sleeping tonight and this thought just occured to me, I think its quite brilliant. Shared it on my facebook page and now I bring it to you in all its glory:

I suppose it remains to be seen if Obama is Hitler and Democrats are actually socialists, but i think Republicans should start owning up to who they really are - minions of Satan.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mayor Villaraigosa Is An Asshole! LAUSD school board members, with the backing of Mayor Villaraigosa voted to, in the name of "reform", sell 250 L.A. schools to the highest "non-profit" bidders. Wouldn't real reform be addressing the problems within LAUSD itself to allow it to do the job its supposed to do? Would that be too difficult? Or expensive? Would it entail completely changing the political culture of corruption in this city? Villaraigosa prefers things status quo, so his friends, family members, and financial backers can keep their jobs. What gets me most is that he calls this "change", a la Obama style. And the people of L.A. believe him, or maybe they just don't care. Anyways, throwing nickels and dimes to fix a very expensive (and essential, as this is the education of L.A.'s future generations we're talking about here) problem, and in so doing shifting responsibility for fixing the problem elsewhere, seems more Villaraigosa and the school board's style.

As an addendum, isn't this what Republicans have been trying to do in this city for years? Last time I checked Villaraigosa was a Democrat! Shouldn't he be switching parties? It just boggles my mind.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Spain In The Studio!

Last weekend my band Spain was in the studio recording two new songs for an upcoming 7" on Acuarela Discos.

I'm not sure of the release date yet but Randy and I took some photos of the session which I reproduce below!

Keyboardist Randy Kirk & drummer Matt Mayhall getting sounds.

Randy, Matt, and guitarist Daniel Brummel doing a run through of "I'm Still Free", as seen from the vocal booth.

Loveless Motel manager Billy Burke at the console.

Later we took a dinner break at the Sleepless Night cafe, where the waitresses are cruel, but the food is cheap and the coffee is good.

Singing. I step away from the microphone to breathe.

More singing.

Me and Billy discussing the "Hot Weather" iPhone app.

Daniel & Billy discussing comps.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Steinberg v. Schwarzenegger

I know I'm a little behind on my blog posts but I'd like to give an update on my recent postings about Democratic culpability in the recent passage of Schwarzenegger's California budget, and in his subsequent line-item vetoes cutting funding for $400 million worth of programs Democrats would never have agreed to had they been in the original proposals.

I find it heartening that Sen. Steinberg is suing the Gov. over his line-item vetoes. Perhaps the good Senator will redeem himself. But what I want to know is, why did he vote for the Gov's budget in the first place? He should have known something like this would happen.

Was it really the metal replica cow testicles Schwarzenegger sent to his office? Somebody explain it to me!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Day in the Life of Joe Middle-Class Republican

Not sure where I was in July 2004 but I missed this well-written article about everything Republicans and "Blue Dog" Democrats have to thank liberal Democrats for.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gov. Schwarzenegger Is An Asshole

I'm not sure if there's a better way to say it, but Gov. Schwarzenegger is an asshole, and so are the people behind the scenes who are pulling his strings. And so are the California Democratic lawmakers who just handed everything California Republican lawmakers have wanted for decades on a silver platter. Wait, California Democratic lawmakers are even bigger assholes. Let's make sure we replace them with real Democrats come their respective elections. Can I get a witness!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Let's Not Reelect Darrell Steinberg & Karen Bass

In reaching a deal on Gov. Schwarzenegger's California budget plan yesterday, California's Democratic lawmakers have done more than betray California's "real" people; they have betrayed the ideals of their party and shown what really matters to them: greed and profit.

In Darrell Steinberg's (D-Sacramento) words, they made cuts "in many areas that matter to real people", automatically recognizing, despite himself, a deep chasm between what he calls "real" people, the millions of people who depend on state services to survive (not only welfare recipients, but students, government workers, and many others) and the "fake" people who serve our government in California, who would never be affected by these cuts, but who would certainly be deeply affected by the tax hikes they oppose.

Darrell Steinberg went on to say "this is a sobering time". Sobering in exactly what way, Mr. Steinberg? Is the possiblity of raising your taxes quashing your 17-year greed high?

Karen Bass is no better. What happened to your "high" ideals, Karen?

Any Democrat who ends up voting for this atrocious budget plan should be ashamed of themselves. I hope you can sleep at night.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Gov. Schwarzenegger & California Republican Lawmakers Are Unpatriotic; In Addition, They Hate America And Everything It Stands For

With the final decision in California today to send out IOUs instead of checks to everyone from state workers to students receiving financial aid, I wonder to myself, where is Gov. Schwarzenegger's sense of personal sacrifice? Why isn't he giving up his salary to help the state get out of debt.

A few days ago I received a comment from "Anonymous" to one of my blog postings which read, in part,

"Schwarznegger (sic) inherited a huge deficet (sic). He was making progress - without raising taxes - until the recession hit. But I know, this is making you angry."

I think the commenter is assuming that I think raising taxes is a bad thing. My response to him, which I'll paraphrase here, is if you truly loved your country, wouldn't you want to support it monetarily? Wouldn't you want to pay your dues? Surely you don't expect to live in the greatest country in the world, reaping the benefits you reap, and not give something back?

It is irresponsible for Gov. Schwarzenegger and his Republican friends to try to balance the state budget by gutting essential programs but not by raising taxes. Not even trying to compromise with Democrats. Not only is it irresponsible, its unpatriotic.

Kudos to the Democrats for having the backbone to not cave in to the Republicans and their spiteful and selfish demands. Republican lawmakers see an opportunity to pass legislation they would never in normal circumstances have any chance of passing, and being the opportunistic cowards they are, they are taking this opportunity at the worst time, the middle of the worst financial crisis in California in over a decade.

If California Republican lawmakers don't want to support their government why don't they try moving somewhere else! Let our state get back on track!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

"Tone Deaf Governor"

Mike Farrell (of M*A*S*H* fame) published a great article about Schwarzenegger's response to the voters' response to California's current money crisis.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

L.A. River On Your Desktop

For those of you who are interested in learning about the L.A. River but are too frightened, lazy, or busy to visit it yourself, KCET's Departures has posted a cool interactive online map that has video/audio footage and history. Hours of fun.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Democrats Need A Darrell Issa

The Democrats need a Democratic member from one of the U.S. House Of Representatives California Districts to invest over $1.6 million in a recall campaign of Gov. Schwarzenegger, get upset when the Democratic leadership tells him that in reward for his good work he won't be able to run for Governor as he had planned, watch in horror as the Democrats install movie star Ben Affleck as Governor, and then hold a press conference in which he asserts he really just wanted to continue representing his district and trying to find a solution to California's financial crisis all along, and he's just happy to get that Republican fool Arnold out of office.

I wonder if Nancy Pelosi is up for the task?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Long Time Ago

Spain (actually just me) performing their song "Long Time Ago" live at Aula Magna, Lisbon, Portugal, 10 May 1996.

Download the entire show for free from the Spain Live Music Archive page.

Josh Haden - bass, vocals
Ken Boudakian - guitar
Merlo Podlewski - guitar
David Harte - drums

Friday, May 29, 2009

"Stuff the Bankers, Starve the Kids"

Robert Scheer wrote a great article regarding the fallout from the failure of the Schwarzenegger-backed ballot initiatives (which I wrote about in this post). 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Credit Cards And...Guns?

Will somebody please explain to me what being able to carry handguns in national parks and federal wildlife areas has to do with national credit card reform?

As the L.A. Times reports, Democrats and Republicans were able to come together on reforming questionable credit card practices such as unfair interest rate hikes (and other things too). But tacked on to the very end of the article was this paragraph (italics mine):

"As part of a compromise, the Senate legislation includes an amendment offered by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) that would allow visitors to national parks and federal wildlife areas to carry handguns if permitted by state law."

What does this mean? That Republicans won't support credit card reform unless there is some gun reform thrown in there too?

How legitimate then is Republican support for credit card reform in the first place?

Why is it that Republicans won't support a bill in Congress unless as part of that bill someone is getting hurt in some way, getting their job taken away, getting their access to healthcare taken away, getting access to a decent education taken away, or is getting shot by a .45 in a national park while birdwatching?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Josh Haden's Guide To The California Statewide Special and Consolidated Elections, May 19, 2009

Note to Gov. Schwarzenegger:

You can't go around blaming the people for problems you helped create and not expect the people to get angry.

If the measures you support (1A - 1F) don't pass, don't blame the voters for an even more "dire" state of the state.

The voters don't trust you!!

California is at least as bad off now if not worse than when you replaced Gray Davis. All of the problems we are experiencing now happened under your watch.

You need to take responsibility and step down!

What is this b.s. about 1F?

There needs to be a measure on this ballot saying that, as a step towards balancing the budget, and as a way of admitting responsibility for the current crisis, and as a gesture towards showing the people they honestly want to change things, all California lawmakers must cut their salaries down to $1 a year for the next four years. I'm sure that would save California a lot of money.

Thus, for the State Measures, my strong recommendations are:

1A: No
1B: No
1C: No
1D: No
1E: No
1F: No

I know, for once I agree with the California Republican Party, but I don't think for the same reasons. The California Democratic Party support 1B, 1C, and 1F (on the rest they officially have "no position". Hmmm... Weren't these measures written by Schwarzenegger and the Democratic Party in the first place?)

For Los Angeles City Attorney, I endorse Carmen "Nuch" Trutanich. Not that I think he's any better than Jack Weiss, I just think Weiss is a little too friendly with Villaraigosa for my taste. 

For the Los Angeles Community College District I endorse incumbents Angela J. Reddock and Nancy Pearlman. They seem OK to me.

My recommendations hold true for my district only. Other districts will have other and additional measures/candidates to vote for.

LAist has posted a guide to the myriad of endorsements for this election, including L.A. Times, Young Progressive Majority, and others. Kudos as always to Zach Behrens and LAist.