Archive for March, 2009

House adopts plan for ‘volunteer’ corps — Also requires new evaluation of ‘mandatory’ service for all

March 20, 2009


Image by sionnsar

Link for image:

Link for article:

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a plan to set up a new “volunteer corps” and consider whether “a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people” should be developed.

The legislation also refers to “uniforms” that would be worn by the “volunteers” and the “need” for a “public service academy, a 4-year institution” to “focus on training” future “public sector leaders.” The training, apparently, would occur at “campuses.”

The vote yesterday came on H.R. 1388, which reauthorizes through 2014 the National and Community Service Act of 1990 and the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, acts that originally, among other programs, funded the AmeriCorps and the National Senior Service Corps.

It not only reauthorizes the programs, but also includes “new programs and studies” and is expected to be funded with an allocation of $6 billion over the next five years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Many, however, are raising concerns that the program, which is intended to include 250,000 “volunteers,” is the beginning of what President Obama called his “National Civilian Security Force” in a a speech last year in which he urged creating an organization as big and well-funded as the U.S. military. He has declined since then to elaborate.

WND reported when a copy of the speech provided online apparently was edited to exclude Obama’s specific references to the new force.

If I only could …

March 19, 2009


It doesn’t hurt me.
Do you want to feel how it feels?
Do you want to know, know that it doesn’t hurt me?
Do you want to hear about the deal that I’m making?
You, It’s you and me.

And if I only could,
I’d make a deal with God,
And I’d get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
Be running up that building.
Say, If I only could, oh…

You don’t want to hurt me,
But see how deep the bullet lies.
Unaware, I’m tearing you asunder.
Ooh, There is thunder in our hearts.

Is there so much hate for the ones who love?
Tell me we both matter don’t we?

It’s you and me,
It’s you and me who won’t be unhappy.

And if I only could,
I’d make a deal with God,
And I’d get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
Be running up that building.
Say, If I only could, oh…

It’s you and me,
It’s you and me who won’t be unhappy.

Come on baby, come on darling
Let me steal this moment from you now
Oh come on angel, come on come on darlin’
Let’s exchange the experience oh…

And if I only could,
I’d make a deal with God,
And I’d get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
With no problems…

Say if I only could,
I’d make a deal with God,
And I’d get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
With no problems…

Say if I only could,
I’d make a deal with God,
And I’d get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
With no problems…

Say, If I only could…
Be running up that hill,
With no problems…

If only I could,
Be running up that hill…


From iLuvCiconne16085868

Haunting. Enchanting. This 12″ of pleasure is for all the fans of 80s music. “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)” was the first single from Kate Bush’s 1985 album Hounds of Love.




A slew of regulators failed to connect the dots – sound familiar?

March 19, 2009


US regulators ignored red flags on risk — GAO report

The U.S. government’s hodgepodge of financial regulatory agencies failed to take a big-picture view of risk and ignored red flags in the current economic crisis, a government report said on Wednesday.

Regulators did not effectively address the weaknesses or in some cases fully appreciate their magnitude, until the institutions were stressed,” the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in its report.

“No regulator systematically looks across institutions to identify factors that could affect the overall financial system,” the report said.

A slew of regulators with differing responsibilities, including the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and several others, in some cases did identify risk but did not act on it, the report said.

In some cases, regulators admitted they relied on corporate management’s descriptions of risk, including in the subprime mortgage area, according to the report.

Policymakers are considering giving increased authority to one regulator, possibly the Fed or FDIC, to be a systemic risk regulator that would have broad authority to monitor and manage risk across firms and products.

A subcommittee of the U.S. Senate’s Banking committee was scheduled to meet Wednesday afternoon to discuss the report and hear from officials at the SEC and other financial regulators.

From Bloomberg

Added: March 10, 2009

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Calls for Regulatory Reform, Including a Systemic Risk Regulator, Close Supervisory Oversight, and High Capital & Liquidity Standards; Further Analysis and Discussion with Dan Alpert of Westwood Capital Management; Bernanke Calls

For My Dear Irish Mother, Helen Virginia Frost and For Her Twin Brother, My Uncle Jack

March 17, 2009


Jack Frost

Her father, my grandfather, Raymond, was the mayor of Weehawken, New Jersey. I never knew him.


My Uncle Tony Bongiovanni claims to be the first civilian to drive through the Lincoln Tunnel. I don’t doubt it.

From Thespadecaller

Great paintings by Cassatt, Courbet, Dielman, Dupre, Homer, Renoir, and Turner augment this old lullaby of unknown origin so masterfully sung by Judy Collins.


Judy Collins – Maid of Constant Sorrow

Sanders Theater Benefit Concert
Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA
January 16, 1965

Flutes de Pan des Andes

March 16, 2009




Canonized as Santa Rosa de Lima, she is the patron saint of Lima, of Peru, indeed, all the Americas, Phillippines, India, florists, gardeners, and people ridiculed for their piety. She is symbolized by her love for the Holy Infant, roses, as a Dominican tertiery holding roses and as a Dominican tertiery accompanied by the Holy Infant.


Nan-ye’-hi, Beloved Woman of the Cherokee

Nancy Ward (Nanyehi) part 2

Nancy Ward was instrumental in helping the white settlements defend themselves against the British armies led by Dragging Canoe, Abraham and Raven in 1776.

On July 20, 1776, Abraham failed to destroy the Watauga community as he had planned.

However, he succeeded in capturing two of the townspeople, Mrs. William Bean and Samuel Moore.

Both were to be burned at the stake. Mrs. Bean was bound and the pire was about to be lit when Nancy Ward appeared and demanded her release.

Being the Ghigau, the only person granted the right to free prisoners, her demand was met.

Nancy took Mrs. Bean to her home and protected her until she could be returned to her husband.



March 14, 2009


The Pieta (Italian for “pity”), which depicts the Virgin Mary holding the body of her son Jesus Christ after his death, has been created in many different forms by various painters and sculpture.

Jesus of Nazareth

Part 1

Parts 2 – 41

You can also view here:

Part One

Part Two

Altars in St. Peter’s

Art Tour

True Stories

March 14, 2009


1967 – My well-to-do family up and moved us to N. Miami Beach, FL from Rocky Point, L.I., N.Y. I had just turned 10 years old.

That is actually how we had to address things back then. Like Long Island was some backwater somewhere. You know it was.

But Miami. Oh, Miami in 1967! I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

We just fit each other so well.

And I was in 5th grade and my parents enrolled me in Visitation Elementary. I was born on the Feast of the Visitation.

And I met Michael there, a lifelong friend.

Michael and I were boyfriend – girlfriend for five years, until we both finished junior high. That was in 1972.

But the interim was so nice. First we took the bus to the mall at 163rd Street and to Haulover Beach.

Then, as soon as was legal back then, Michael got his permit, and we rode his moped everywhere.

To the beach in the east and to where I boarded my horse in the west.

I was just at home in both places.

Running along the beach at full tilt with Portuguese Man-of-Wars washed up everywhere or on top of my horse.

There’s a time just before the tourists arrive. If you get to the beach early enough in the morning, with a mask and a pair of sneakers you can retrieve the most incredible shells pretty far out. And the looks of the people lying on the beach as you emerge – priceless!

Michael and I weren’t together anymore – just good friends forever.

So much so that when I finally did meet my husband-to-be, we actually lived with Michael and his love Marlene for a bit before we found our own little place in Coconut Grove.

So here’s where the True Story starts.

Bill (that’s my love) and I were in the South Florida area for just a few more days awaiting Michael and Marlene’s Wedding Day. It’s 1978 now.

So, of course, we had to go to the Disco.

And what better place to go than to the Copa in Fort Lauderdale.

So, I have to backtrack a little bit.

When I met my husband in 1976, he had a 1971 Dodge Charger. Gold with a black top. A beauty. And that’s the car we drove to the Copa that night. (Yes, the Copa was a gay club but that didn’t stop us.)

So, with everything we owned except for the clothes that were at the dry cleaners for the wedding crammed into the Charger we ascended into the Copa for the evening.

So, here’s where things get interesting.

After the revelry, Bill and I discovered that his beauteous Charger had been stolen with all of our worldly possessions.

And the cop-on-the-scene was none other than my cousin, another Michael.

Michael and his siblings and I and my siblings had grown up right next door to each other on a very long stretch of 25A in Rocky Point.

This was the first time he met my husband coming out of a gay club in Fort Lauderdale.

Needless to say, my cousin the Fort Lauderdale cop gave me a well-deserved tongue lashing.

And Bill and I were devastated. We had just lost our car and everything we owned.

So, now what.

Well, of course we attended Michael and Marlene’s Wedding. And I must say we looked dashing in the only possessions we had left which had been at the dry cleaners.

Now here’s where it gets really interesting.

Back in the day we had something called driveaway cars. That was for people who didn’t want to drive their cars back up north after the winter.

BTW, Bill and I were trying to get to Fredonia, NY to finish college even though it seemed at the time as if someone was out to get us.

So we got one of these driveaway cars.

Oh man, it was one of the most beautiful cars I’ve ever had the pleasure to drive.

This was 1978 and this was a top-of-the-line white Mercedes sedan on its way to upstate New York.

Are You Still in Richmond, Little Girl?!

So, Bill and I are making our way up north and I’m driving.

We’re on 95N in Richmond, VA and we spy this truck headed south. This large piece of pressed wood comes flying out of the back of the truck and the wind catches it.

And then everything starts going in slow motion.

We’re both watching as this piece starts doing somersaults in the sky and ever so slowly and then BAM!

Hits our windshield and then proceeds to take the seats off of our two ten-speeds mounted behind us.

I look over and Bill’s chest is bleeding from the broken glass.

To this day he can’t understand how I managed to maintain control.

So we end up having to stay the night in Richmond, which was very nice BTW.

But the following morning as I’m trying to make arrangements with the owner’s insurance company, the gentleman hears my voice which hasn’t changed to this day and says with a very thick southern accent, “Are you still in Richmond, little girl?!”

The Moral of the Story

You know what, there isn’t one! I wish I could say that was the only time I saw Death approaching from above. But that story is for another day.

Truth really is stranger than fiction, don’t you find it?!

I’d love to hear your true story.



Why should we care about this seemingly ephemeral entertainer?

Because of what he preached: “You are a star,” he sang. “Everybody is one. You are a star. You only happen once.”

All your mercy can’t save me!

March 12, 2009


Chords/Tabulature for Dance Dance Dance


A                        D       A
Never thought love had a rainbow on it

A                         E     A
Used to think a cloud was night-mare

A                      D       A
That was up until when I first met you

A                      E   D
Now I go around hoping you care


Dance, dance, feel it all around you

D      D9     A
Dance, dance, dance

A                        D       A
Never thought love had a rainbow on it

A                  E  A
See the girl dance

A                  E  A
See the girl dance

repeat intro.

Mississippi mud never touched her fingers
California sand lies in her hand
Love her more than life as the daylight lingers
Early in the morning I'll be her man

Dance, dance, feel it all around you
Dance, dance, dance
Mississippi mud never touched her fingers
See the girl dance
See the girl dance

repeat intro and finish.



From Bobbofallenstar

Added: March 05, 2009

“Downtown” Crazy Horse cover

Obama officially nominates Iraq, Afghanistan, NATO ambassadors, DoD post

March 12, 2009



US President Barack Obama names Lt. General Karl Eikenberry as the next ambassador to Afghanistan and Christopher Hill as ambassador to Iraq.

As anticipated, President Obama has announced his intent to nominate Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, outgoing North Korea envoy Christopher Hill as ambassador to Iraq, Brookings scholar Ivo Daalder as ambassador to NATO, and former ambassador Alexander Vershbow as assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs.

“If confirmed, Vershbow and Daalder will coordinate on U.S. defense, development and diplomatic objectives at the upcoming NATO summit this April in Germany,” the White House said in a press statement. Obama also announced his intention to nominate Richard R. Verma as assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, or “L.”


Christopher Hill

From NTDTV (New Tang Dynasty Television)

Added: December 10, 2008

And moving onto Beijing where six party talks are now into their second day. The aim is to put an end to North Korea’s nuclear program.

But the focus of these negotiations is trying to convince North Korea to allow inspectors to examine the North’s atomic secrets.

[Christopher Hill, Chief U.S. Negotiator]:

“We’ve come here with three goals in mind to complete the verification protocols. It is very important, it’s been waiting for six months. We also want to complete the schedule of energy, the schedule of disablement. So we anticipate… our plan is to get all three done.”

King of the Mambo

March 10, 2009


Dámaso Pérez Prado (December 11, 1916 in Cuba – September 14, 1989 in Mexico) was a Cuban bandleader and composer. He is commonly referred to as the “King of the Mambo“.

Famous pieces and hits

Pérez Prado is the composer of such famous pieces as “Mambo No. 5” (later a UK chart-topper for both Lou Bega in 1999 and animated character Bob the Builder in 2001) and “Mambo No. 8”. At the height of the mambo movement, in 1955, Pérez hit the American charts at number one with a cha-cha version of “Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White” (composed by French composer Louiguy). It held the spot for 10 consecutive weeks. Pérez had first covered this title for the movie Underwater! in 1954, where Jane Russell can be seen dancing to “Cherry Pink”. In 1958, one of Pérez’s own compositions, “Patricia“, became the last record to ascend to #1 on the Jockeys and Top 100 charts, both of which gave way the following week to the then newly introduced Billboard Hot 100 chart.


From carlosaleon

Rare, non-commercial clip from from early 50’s. The King of Mambo, Damaso Perez Prado, playing with his band, and showing off in a piano solo.

From rockdontrun

Esquivel – Mucha Muchacha