Tunesday – The Late Edition – Whiskeytown / Gram Parsons

When I was going through a really bad breakup about 10 years ago, a friend gave me two CD’s. Ryan Adam’s Heartbreaker and Whiskeytown’s Whiskeytown. I still turn to those two recordings when things are going bad. Adam’s lyrics and voice strike a distinct nerve with me, and is the perfect companion to a bottle of bourbon and introspection.

I came across this video of Whiskeytown covering the Gram Parson song “A Song for You”, and it resonates for many of the same reasons.

This isn’t a video, rather the original by Graham Parsons with Emmylou Harris set to some great old photos of Florida and Georgia (Parsons was born in Winter Haven, FL). This too struck a nerve.

Only in the last few years have I begun to really appreciate Parsons, but rediscovering this song will certainly spur me on to learn more.

On a side note, the woman playing fiddle in Whiskeytown, Caitlin Cary is awesome in her own right. If you haven’t listened to a more current project she’s in, Tres Chicas, or any of her solo stuff, I highly recommend seeking it out.

Thoughts on the Oil Spill

For those that don’t know me that well, I’m a Florida native, raised on the west coast my whole life. Much of my childhood and teen years were spent in or on the water – fishing, canoeing, hanging at the beach and everything in between. The Florida of my childhood is very much a distant memory due to the inevitable growth in population, however the beaches and bay still are very much special places. No matter how bad things seem to get, an afternoon wading the flats fishing or a day at the beach – watching porpoises bobbing along feeding in a channel, a manatee grazing on a grass bed a few feet away, seeing an osprey fly by with a whole mackerel clutched in its talons – and my day to day worries melt away and I’m reminded why I’ve never ventured far away from this part of the globe. (Note, I observed all three of those encounters just this past Friday and Saturday.

Now, all of this is in jeopardy due to an out of control oil rig out in the gulf, spewing hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil a day with no end in sight. So far, luck has been on the people of the gulf’s side, with currents from the Mississippi keeping the oil stationary for the most part. However, we also know that this won’t last forever, and scientist warn that when, not if, the oil moves into the gulf currents, an environmental catastrophe of unprecedented magnitude will effect at least some portions of Florida, if not not the entire coast, possibly even getting caught in currents that move it all the way to the east coast. Even if this doesn’t directly impact the Tampa Bay area, the shear nature of the migratory aspect of many of the species of the gulf, the oil spill will ultimately have consequences on my beloved waters. And with hurricane season less than a month away, reports say the well might not be capped for several months, there’s no telling how a storm could effect things.

There has been much discussion the last few years about opening up Florida’s west coast to off shore drilling, including allowing rigs as close as 5 miles from shore. If this well had been that close, there wouldn’t even be discussion about where the effect would be felt. We’d be seeing scenes on the news very much like the ones from the Exxon Valdez accident – egrets and herons coated in oil, shores awash in dead fish and sea life bathed in globs of crude oil. That still very well may be played out somewhere along the coast. How in good conscience then could anyone support such a move? I think Bill Maher sums up my feelings on this the best.“Every asshole who ever chanted ‘Drill baby drill’ should have to report to the Gulf coast today for cleanup duty”. The facts are clear about how much oil is even in the gulf and how little benefit the U.S. would experience from such drilling, not to mention how far off in the future we would even see this minute impact. In that amount of time I think we can find an alternate energy source that would have less environmental impact and provide the same amount of energy.

There’s a joke making the rounds on Twitter today,

“Large Air Spill at Wind Farm. No threats reported. Some claim to enjoy the breeze.”

I’d certainly trade a thousand windmills silhouetting one of our picturesque sunsets to avoid another catastrophe such as this one. I’d just want assurances that Halliburton doesn’t have anything to do with them.

But I Want to Vote for the Other Guy! | 10/28/2006 | Glitches cited in early voting
So it seems that some early voters in S Florida are having issues with their electronic voting machines. They tap one candidate, but the other shows on the screen you get to review your choices. The kicker is that what is being reported in the media is that all incidences are voters who are choosing Davis, yet Crist is showing on the review page. No media reports that I’ve seen mention the reverse, nor has anyone reported the issue with other offices up for election. As the Miami Herald article says, this will really get the tin foil cap wearing crowd frothing at the mouth, perhaps this time with cause.

Florida Progressive Information Network I was recently contacted about mentioning this site, and after taking a look around, it appears it could indeed be a good way of putting people in touch with organizations that deal with issues they are concerned with. Basically you choose issues that you are concerned with, a region of Florida, and then the database outputs organizations that match. You can then sign up for announcements from those organizations, so as to better mobilize concerned citizens. I didn’t look at the registration process, but the privacy policy states that all information such as address and name are voluntarily offered, and that they do not share email addresses with the organizations that are linked to from the site. You can sign up with the individual organizations if you care to do so, but that is all done off site from FL-PIN.
The only problem I had was the broadness that organizations can set for their issues. If I do a search under Protecting the Enviroment, marine/estuary, the results currently are FCAN and Pinellas Progressives. Hardly organizations specifically dealing with such a topic. I would limit organizations to a primary issue, with the ability to choose a few secondary issues. Especially as the site grows, and number of organizations increase. Otherwise, the search concept is useless, as all organizations can simply choose all the areas so as to increase exposure.
All in all, the concept though is a good one, and positive tool for citizens and organizations with common goals to find one another.

Yeah, That’s the Solution

Lakeland Ledger, Tallahasse Democrat, Corruption Chronicles
So a supervisor of elections uncovers more security issues with electronic voting machines, and our elected leader’s answer is to pass a bill preventing independent testing of the equipment. Real bloody smart. I’m all for technological advancements in all areas of government, but I also want to know that the technology is secure. Which means testing, and more testing. Rather than a knee jerk reaction and getting into bed with a company because of questionable lobbying practices, or the like. I really hope this bill has limited support, and state reps shoot this down quickly.

Sure Harris Was on the Up and Up in 2000

State: New questions dog the Harris campaign
harrisThe argument has been made over and over to defend the clown woman for her actions in handling the Election in 2000, and the events leading up to it (see Texas company hired to purge thousands of “felons” from voter roll, etc). Now she’s seen clearly in bed with an admitted criminal who’s been found to illegally donate to her campaign, she’s been documented to have worked with/campaigned with/for ol’ Duke Cunningham, who’s admitted to taking kick backs/bribes. If it looks like a circus clown, and talks like a circus clown…nah, that’s not fair to the memory of Emmitt Kelly.
My only worry is that she won’t run this fall, and Bill Nelson will actually have to campaign against someone.


“>Palm Beach Post (second story)

So when I first read about this, I thought it was much ado about nothing, a simple oversight by a transplant who registered to vote without a permanent address, blah blah, benefit of the doubt.
Now the truth comes out that she was simply a lazy bitch who didn’t feel she needed to follow the rules. Which is how the story originally broke. All she had to do was fill out the change of address form, and be done with it, but no, the woman who recently used the term “raghead” in reference to Arabs in a post 9.11 world, walked out of the voting precint she should have voted in, and drove to the one she originally registered in and voted. Which, is clearly defined in FL law, as a 3rd degree felony. What I would give to see her charged.

New Attempts at Gulf Drilling


New attempts at opening up the gulf to gas and oil drilling, this under the assumption that the current methods are “safe”. And that no accidents happened last year during the hurricanes. Whippee. Thankfully, even Mel Martinez is saying he will oppose the legislation, as well as most of the congressional delegation from Florida. If they would only draft legislation taking the area off the table for X number of years, so we didn’t have to hear about this every year. If you haven’t yet, be sure you’ve contacted your Senator and Congressman about this, or any issue you feel strongly about.