May 1, 2010 archive

Late Night Karaoke


The Internationale

Arise ye workers from your slumbers

Arise ye prisoners of want

For reason in revolt now thunders

And at last ends the age of cant.

Away with all your superstitions

Servile masses arise, arise

We’ll change henceforth the old tradition

And spurn the dust to win the prize.

So comrades, come rally

And the last fight let us face

The Internationale unites the human race.

No more deluded by reaction

On tyrants only we’ll make war

The soldiers too will take strike action

They’ll break ranks and fight no more

And if those cannibals keep trying

To sacrifice us to their pride

They soon shall hear the bullets flying

We’ll shoot the generals on our own side.

So comrades, come rally

And the last fight let us face

The Internationale unites the human race.

No saviour from on high delivers

No faith have we in prince or peer

Our own right hand the chains must shiver

Chains of hatred, greed and fear

E’er the thieves will out with their booty

And give to all a happier lot.

Each at the forge must do their duty

And we’ll strike while the iron is hot.

So comrades, come rally

And the last fight let us face

The Internationale unites the human race.

On This Day in History: May1

Today in history, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro debuted in Vienna, Austria.


Random Japan


A British environmentalist with the International Tropical Timber Organization in Yokohama is facing up to 20 years in jail after a drunken outburst on an American Airlines flight from LA to Tokyo. The ornery and inebriated man fought with crewmembers and threatened to “kick the pilot’s ass” after being refused more booze on the flight, which was diverted to Anchorage after the incident.

Shiro Kameda, the father of boxing punks Koki and Daiki, was banned for life from the sport by the Japan Boxing Commission after his tirade against officials when Koki lost a recent WBC title fight to Thai boxer Pongsaklek Wonjongkam.

It was reported that incidents of groping on JR Saikyo Line trains have dropped some 60 percent since surveillance cameras were installed on the trains last year.

Japan Post is getting rid of some 18,000 cameras that were being used to monitor post offices throughout Japan because being spied on by their bosses was apparently damaging employees’ morale. Maybe some other JR lines will be in the market for those used cameras.

Sharp’s new solar cell technology and KEPCO’s hydropower plant technology earned their respective organizations prestigious Milestone awards from a US-based electrical engineering group.

A lucky bettor won nearly ¥25 million by picking the top three finishers in a horse race at Oi Racecourse, a Japanese record for sports gambling payouts (legal sports gambling, at least).

You May Caption This Now


Original v. Cover — #23 in a Series

joe zawinul Pictures, Images and Photos

The featured song this week was written by one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, an Austrian jazz keyboardist and composer. This standard has since become a staple in the repertoire of almost every jazz musician.  

While this week’s selection does not include a detailed back story or highlight a relevant political message, the lives and careers of those who performed and produced it were nothing short of fascinating.

The life and career of at least one of the performers (whose cover version will be presented later), was marked by meteoric success, followed by an equally rapid, tragic descent into oblivion, truly a tragedy of a Shakespearean proportions. A book describing this flamboyant musician’s life has since become the subject of ongoing debate and controversy.

This humble writer is now convinced that the career of a rock historian must be one of the most intriguing avocations in existence.  Anyone know of any openings?

Billionaires for Social Insecurity Ask for Donations

Also posted at the Alliance for Retired Americans Blog

This week, Peter Peterson [net worth $2.8 billion] and his foundation convened a closed-door meeting of Wall Street billionaires and millionaires at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Building in D.C.

Peterson is a former CEO of Lehman Brothers and former chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He underwrites the foundation with his own money, and his agenda is not a secret.

Peterson says the coming retirement of baby boomers is a threat to the economy and the federal budget. He wants to see significant cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits, and would prefer a stream-lined process via a commission to implement these changes to “reduce the deficit.”

After taxpayers bailed out Wall Street for over $700 billion, Peterson is worried about the deficit. And, of course the real problem is… Social Security. (The problem certainly would not be recent tax cuts, unfunded wars, and billions of taxpayer dollars  squandered as bonuses to the very financial managers who brought the economy to near-ruin.)

Clueless in Fantasyland

I didn’t know. It wasn’t me. I’ve never done that. It’s outside my scope. I didn’t do it. I had no idea. I was nowhere near the place. I don’t know how important it was. I never thought of it. I don’t know what drove the business.

I n-n-n-never… I didn’t. It wasn’t. I couldn’t. I wasn’t. It couldn’t. I wouldn’t.


Nooooo….. pleeeeze. You must believe me. I only run the place, Senator. I was in the executive washroom counting money and punching the clown with the big red nose. What the fcuk do you expect from me?

Snicker. I’m an idiot, you fool.

Friday Philosophy: Protections we don’t have

Have you ever worried that you might be fired if you gave any inclination that you might be straight?  You can be…with impunity…in any state which does not give equal employment protection based on sexual orientation.

It’s true that it rarely happens that someone would be fired for being straight, but it has happened.

To my knowledge, nobody has every been fired for being cisgender (i.e non-transgender).  But there is no reason, in most states, why it couldn’t happen.

The examples of people being fired for being transgender are too numerous to include.

That’s the thing about laws protecting gender-identity or sexual orientation.  They are for the protection of everybody, not just GLBT people.

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