Monthly Archives: June 2006

Spam Scam Bam

Back in the mists of time, RWB had some convoluted fun corresponding with one of those Nigerian e-mail scammers, who promise riches if you’ll only provide them with all your financial information and perhaps a small check to cover expenses. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the only reason such spam campaigns continue is because every now and then someone falls for it.

In March of this year, a minister in Tennessee was shot to death. His wife was charged with the crime, which seemed to shock the community they lived in, as they had apparently been considered a model family. If you follow the implications of the story coming out today, it would appear that the motive the police are following is connected with an argument about money … and specifically the allegation that the wife had flushed some money down the drain while in correspondence with “unidentified sources in Canada and Nigeria.”

Odds & Ends

Don’t have a dog in the fight, but I’ve been following Clive Davis’s coverage of the World Cup tournament, as it’s just my speed. The other day, he said (anticipating tomorrow’s match between England and Portugal):

With any luck, England will finally turn on a team performance on Saturday. If they don’t, then I won’t be heartbroken to see them go out. I hate to say that, but it’s true. Contrary to what some of the players have been saying, there’s more to the game than winning badly.

Hmm. I’ve never minded seeing my team win badly when the chips are down (i.e. faced with the alternative of losing badly). However, I think I know where he’s coming from. And I wonder if some of that angst explains why the English fans are reportedly drinking Germany dry?

….

I didn’t hear it, but a reader reliably informs me that conservative radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt consoled himself, on hearing yesterday’s really shameful U.S. Supreme Court ruling by playing Dylan’s Everything Is Broken. False-hearted judges and the webs that they spin, indeed.

….

An apparent “drive-by reader” named Judy sent me this comment, titled “Prufrock Proof is in the Links.”

To have your Dylan site wormhole to Ann Coulter’s bully pulpit must have Zim reciting T.S. Elliot lines from J.Alfred Prufrock: “… that is not what I meant at all…” or, for that matter, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott singin’ “…don’t let your deal go down.” Oh Mercy!

While not doubting that “Zim” reads my site faithfully, I question whether he waxes poetic over every link in my “blogroll.” Since Ann Coulter has the best-selling book in America right now, I guess she can defend herself. And by the way, I like the question she asks in her latest column: “When is The New York Times going to get around to uncovering an al-Qaida secret program?”

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

A day after the news that Dylan’s baseball-themed XM Radio episode was bequeathed to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, comes the news of another tour of minor-league baseball parks, following close on the heels of his current European tour. The first announced date is at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan on August 12th and the tour will include another appearance at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown itself, on September 2nd, where Dylan can stop by the museum and check out both his “Baseball” radio show and a copy of “The Bootleg Series Vols. 1 – 3″ including the song Catfish.

Dylan will be backed this time not by Willie Nelson but by Jimmie Vaughan with Lou Ann Barton, Junior Brown, plus Elana James & The Continental Two (the same Elana James, obviously, who played fiddle in Dylan’s band for a while last year).

Details here on the PR Newswire.

Interesting to contemplate whether Dylan will begin playing new songs at the start of this tour, or wait until the official August 29th release and then suddenly insert them into the set. In any case, play ball!

God On Their Side

Senator Barack Obama (Dem-Illinois) says that Democrats must “court evangelicals.”

Sen. Barack Obama chastised fellow Democrats on Wednesday for failing to “acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people,” and said the party must compete for the support of evangelicals and other churchgoing Americans.

“Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation. Context matters,” the Illinois Democrat said in remarks to a conference of Call to Renewal, a faith-based movement to overcome poverty.

“It is doubtful that children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of muttering the phrase ‘under God,’ he said. “Having voluntary student prayer groups using school property to meet should not be a threat, any more than its use by the High School Republicans should threaten Democrats.”

Reaction from the modern base of the Democratic Party was swift:

  • Bulls***. What a disappointment he has turned out to be.
  • Does this really surprise you? Another DLC-blessed “Democrat”.
  • a monumental disappointment … this is what a “centrist dem” is and it sucks!
  • I tell ya, I am really tired of hearing what the ‘evangelicals’ want and don’t want. A larger, more vicious group of whiners would be difficult to find. It’s not all about them. There are others here who are very offended by the ignorance in the social conservative agenda. What about us?
  • Sen. Obama is exactly right. And I think there are too many kneejerk reactions among a few progressives to anything that mentions religion. Religion isn’t going to go away, it’s a *huge* part of too many folks’ lives.
  • Agreed…appear as anti-Christian and we will lose, lose, lose. There was a time when the democratic party could count on the support of a substantial portion of so-called evangelicals. They’re not all rabid homophobic anti-choice wingnuts [Ed: No?] . But they become offended very quickly at the suggestion that their faith must be hidden, behind closed doors.
  • Religion is the most divisive corrosive institution on this earth. Why not leave religion out of it and enunciate our social justice values. If that fits your religious beliefs fine, if it doesn’t don’t vote for us. We do not need to put a faith based title on this. The progressive Dems represent what Jesus taught in the New Testament. Stick to that and don’t put a label on it.
  • Yeah, that’s what we’re missing. Rightwing fanatics. Brilliant.

That thread also includes a plethora of “deleted” comments. Wonder what went on there?

The Dear Band Leader

It may be neither here nor there, but this report from the Kilkenny Advertiser on Dylan’s show in Ireland the other day sounds jarringly akin to something the North Korean News might print if Kim Jong Il ever put on a rocknroll show:

He opened with a very good version of ‘Maggies Farm’ followed by a magnificent rendition of ‘She Belongs To Me’ and ‘Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.’ The crowd showed their appreciation of the excellent song arrangements and his use of the harmonica in particular when he sang the classic ‘Lay, Lady, Lay.’

The highlight was undoubtedly their performance of ‘Highway 61 Revisited.’ They finished the main set with ‘Masters of War’ and ‘Summer Days.’ Dylan and band received a great applause of approval when they came back on for the encore to sing a brilliant version of ‘Like a Rolling Stone.’ To complete a good Dylan exhibition true fans showed their appreciation when he finished with ‘All Along The Watchtower.’

Still to be preferred to dismissive cynicism, I guess, but, well …

Tonight in Cardiff

Dylan’s set list is here.

First review is already in The Independent , by Andy Gill. He tells us there was “even a rare outing for ‘Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again’.” Rare, huh? Dylan played it on both of the previous two nights of this tour, and it’s certainly been very commonly featured in his set lists for the last several tours. But, it is The Independent.

Class

Rush Limbaugh today, responding at the top of his afternoon radio program to the great Viagra scandal of yesterday, said something like the following:

“I’m trying to figure out how Bob Dole’s luggage got on my plane!”

And:

“I told my doctor I was worried about the next election — he must not have heard me right!”

He must have the same joke writer as Dylan, these days. In any case, that is exactly all Rush said about the brouhaha (at least to this point), and that, I think, is very classy. No whining about being singled out, no complaining about the media, no convoluted explanations. Just a couple of jokes, and move right along. Good going.

Making Amendments

It will be interesting to see how many senators who voted against the protection of marriage amendment will now vote to change the constitution to ban the burning of the American flag. Senator Arlen Specter is one. UPI reports the flag burning amendment is currently within one vote of passing. So, many senators will clearly end up supporting the changing of the constitution to prohibit one paricularly obnoxious form of political protest, while at the same time opposing an amendment that would prevent elitist liberal judges — who get their sense of the moderate center from the editiorial page of the NY Times — from defining humanity’s original institution in any way that they please. Harry Reid, leader of the Democrats in the U.S. Senate, is another who will be voting in favor of constitutionally protecting flags. Regarding the marriage amendment, he said:

It is this administration’s way of avoiding the tough, the real problems that American citizens are confronting each and every day — high gas prices, the war in Iraq, the national debt, health care, senior citizens, education, crime, trade policies, stem cell research.

Flag burning on the other hand: clearly that’s an issue with the requisite urgency.

Now, I’m no cheer leader for flag burning, but, kind of in keeping with yesterday’s post about people who reveal themselves with their big, dumb mouths, I’m with those who think it’s advantageous to know who it is among us who gets their kicks from burning the American flag. I’m interested in knowing that about someone. I’d like it to be photographed. It can possibly provide a useful context to their statements, no? Whereas prosecuting such people will reward them with an importance and status, especially in their own minds, that they ill deserve.