Ready For Long Weekend…Back On Tuesday!

The last big weekend of summer is here.  And there is no place better to live or relax than Madison, Wisconsin.  For James and myself it is more like the first free weekend of summer that we have had.  Since May we have been busy in many ways, and just noticed this past week that the summer sun is setting early.   We had no long evening walks, or wading in the lake this summer.  We have had only a few nights with friends over the entire summer.

Since May we had a calendar in our head of having all things resolved by September 1st, and we have met the target.  A little battered, bruised, and thinner than when we started, but we made it.  So this long weekend is all about the Dane County Farmers Market, (eating donuts) the Taste of Madison, (eating again) and grilling out (yet more food).  On Monday we will take in a Labor Day festival and stop in to see the local side of the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon at East Towne Mall.   I love Jerry Lewis as a comedian, and as a humanitarian.  Don’t forget to open your wallets and help out this year.

Until next week have a safe and happy Labor Day. 

Audio Tape Of Senator Craig With Minnesota Police After Restroom Scene

Hear the audio tape of Senator Craig as the Minnesota Police interview him after his toe tapping in a men’s restroom.  The complete interview from MSNBC is here.  This gets heated at times and is remarkable…..this is a United States Senator!!!

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“YOUNG” Elvis & The Blue Suedes Rockabilly Tribute Show”


A reader of mine, Harold Schulz, who stars in the “YOUNG” Elvis & The Blue Suedes Rockabilly Tribute Show”, wrote me saying he just played at the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.  His fast paced show with plenty of hip wiggling is a showcase of Elvis in his prime.  These videos from Jackson, Tennessee where the hall of fame resides, makes the case for why this museum needs our attention and financial support at this time.  It is also clear that Schulz has the early years of ‘The King’ mastered as his style and impersonation is stunning.  One might even say flawless.

I strongly feel that only the great impersonations of Elvis deserve any credit.  It is for that reason that this act gets a post here on my blog.  It has been 30 years since the death of Elvis, but the magic of those early years when Elvis was barnstorming the south in search of a dream can be felt again when Schulz hits the stage.  With a strong band that only sharpens the show, Harold Schulz takes his audience back to the time when America needed a dose of excitement…..and Elvis provided it.

Elvis has left the stage..but thankfully there are memory makers like Schulz to fill the void.

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Rockabilly Hall Of Fame Needs Help

Also read post on Harold Schulz’s Elvis Tribute show at Hall Of Fame 

While in high school I read “Mystery Train” by Greil Marcus (still considered one of the best writers about this topic) and better understood why I was lured to the strong beat and earthy chords of the primitive sounds of the early days of rock and roll.  Before there was a genre of music with that title, there was a sound and style that we now call rockabilly.  So while my classmates loved the rock group “KISS”, I was playing tunes such as “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry Over You” by Elvis.   There was no comparison then, and with some added years to mull it over, even less so today.

About 10 years ago The Rockabilly Hall Of Fame was created, but the task of running it has been high, and financial help is needed.  Instead of me explaining it, I thought the husband and wife team from WGN Radio  (AM 720) that are my companions on late night radio, stated it best on their blog.   The late night air personalities, Steve and Johnnie, are icons in Chicago, and to hear them once on the dial means that you might be hooked for years.   Trust me on that one.  For me it has been almost 13 years of great late night (or is it early morning) conversations and laughter. 

As Steve and Johnnie write, there is a need at the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame.

Now, I know we’ve all got some very important personal items and very worthy causes that need our financial attention and adding “just one more” to the list probably isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time.  However, Bob Timmers and the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame have been friends to a lot of artists and their families when they needed a friend and now that Bob needs a friend or two I thought it might not be a bad thing to bring it to your attention

 Check out the link to help here.

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The Lesson We Need To Learn From Senator Larry Craig’s Sex Scandal

Live your life authentically.

When conservative Republican Senator Larry Craig from Idaho made a play for another man in a restroom my first reaction was this is a great political story with ‘legs’.  There would be days of coverage with leaks and tidbits that would send each political party into either offensive or defensive playbooks to counter the other side.  I enjoy news events that shake things up, and make for great discussions on WGN radio or NPR.  I enjoy “Hardball” when a story like this develops. That is what us political junkies sink our teeth into.  And to be honest this type of story makes us bloggers pick up a lot of readers.  (Last night my blog was linked at the bottom of CNN’s website story about this scandal.)

But my other instant reaction at hearing the news was how dare this bastard, who betrayed gay Americans while serving in Congress, conduct himself in a reckless fashion so that in the end only another stereotypical image will be created for anti-gay bigots in the nation. 

For many years after the annual gay pride parade the morning newspaper would print a photo that was colorful and fun from the event, but one that did not represent the rank and file gay person in the city.  Flamers and cross dressers are not the norm in the gay community anymore than Larry Craig is, but somehow an image from a gay pride parade, or of Craig, often sticks in too many minds as the ‘way they all are’.  The stereotyping of gay people is not as rampant as it once was in the nation, but still it represents an issue for many to deal with on both sides of the divide.  What Craig has done is give fodder for those who wish to demonize all gay people.

The fact that Craig’s actions are just weird to the point that he is way on the margins of society, much like the cross-dressers in a pride parade, will not be enough for the anti-gay crowd in the country to resist using his story for their own narrow purposes. 

One can rightfully argue that if our nation had been more humane and progressive when Larry Craig was in college, or in his early adult years, that his coming to terms with his sexuality would have been easier, and therefore not a newsworthy item now.  That type of just society is one that liberals fight for every day.  Those are the types of rights that are advocated from time to time on this blog. When people are forced into the closet for whatever reason, and denied the right to live honestly, the results are the sad type of story now playing out in the headlines with Senator Craig.

But in no way do my feelings alter the total disgust that many Americans and I feel with the Senator over his voting record in Congress.  In spite of his recent statement denying being gay, Craig has led a double life, and therefore had a duty to protect and fight for issues that impacted all of gay society.  To vote in a reckless and spiteful way against gay Americans, while cheating on his wife with men, is something that he should never expect forgiveness for. Not from his wife, and not from any gay person.  He sold his inner convictions for a cheap chicken dinner and the time to speak at conservative events. 

He dishonored his family and the nation.  Not by being gay.  But by not living authentically. He chose a life of lies for himself and his family.  That is the real tragedy to this story.  Society that condones bigotry and denies people the ability and right to live life honestly should understand that the ‘Larry Craigs’ are the result. 

There is only one way to live life.

Live your life authentically.

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News Crew Reenacts GOP Senator Craig’s Restroom Sex Scenario

This is remarkable video from a local TV station that reenacts Senator Toe Tapper..I mean Senator Larry Craig from Idaho…as he prowls for guys in the airport restroom of a major airport.    This video is based on the police report.

And as the local TV anchors note Senator Craig was doing all this while also using his power in the Senate as a good conservative Republican to deny normal gay Americans basic rights!   We should all be as mad as hell.


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GOP Will Force Tainted Senator Craig To Resign

There is no room for any more water on the sinking ship of the GOP as it limps to the 2008 elections.  Therefore there will be a clamor, though perhaps not all vocal and public, for the tainted conservative from Idaho to fall on the sword and retire from the Senate.  My prediction is that it happens sooner rather than later as the Republicans cannot have a Mark Foley story this cycle.  So the pressure will be on to clean this mess up quickly.  No week after week of more tidbits and nuggets of this public sex story, and that public sex story from a closeted and self-loathing politician.  The public is in no mood for restroom sex from members of the Senate while a war rages in the Middle East.  The GOP is nervous and they will throw anyone they need to out of the boat in order to present the best image they can for 2008.

I suspect we are talking days…..not weeks.

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Follow Up On British Petroleum America..This Time It Is Air Pollution

The latest case example of why the corporate world needs close watching by the public can be found with British Petroleum America.  (BP America)  After weeks of public pressure to insure that this oil giant would not use their Whiting, Indiana plant to increase pollutants in Lake Michigan there is a new concern.  The Chicago Tribune reports that Indiana granted a variance to the company so that the same amount of tiny particles can be emitted into the air from their plant rather than abiding by tougher clean air standards as required by the Environmental Protection Agency.  A cozy deal to be sure, and one that must be viewed in the context of the turn around the company made only late last week with the great lakes deal. 

The company has a duty to help keep the environment clean.  And we as citizens have a duty to keep corporate America honest with the public.  Once again the public needs to become engaged with this oil gaint and force them to do the right thing. 

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