08 Feb 2015

People Are Asking the Wrong Questions About Netanyahu’s Upcoming DC Address

The questions shouldn’t be:

1) Is this a breach of protocol by the House Speaker, to invite a foreign Prime Minister to address a joint session of Congress?

2) Is it too close to the Israeli elections to select one of many candidates for the spotlight and likely accolades such an appearance will garner for this particular politician?

The question should be:

Why hasn’t he been declared a Persona non Grata for his espionage activities against the United Sates, long before he entered politics?

05 Oct 2014

Food Sunday: Kale Pie

For years, we grew kale in our Alaska garden. It is hardy and nutritious. Somehow, it got eclipsed by some of my experiments – rutabaga, radicchio, parsnips, fava beans, soy beans and other plants. This year, once again, I planted kale, from a pack of seeds including various kinds of “Siberian Kale.”
We used almost all of it.

03 Oct 2014

Alaska Election Update: Gov. Parnell Falls Behind and Don Young Wonders About “Ocean Assification”

So much money is being spent on radio and television political ads in Alaska, especially in the U.S. Senate race, that some TV programs are starting five minutes behind, so the stations can rake in as much dough as possible. Both Sen. Mark Begich, and his GOP opponent, former Alaska Attorney General and Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan, are right around the $10,000,000.00 mark.* But PAC’s and SuperPAC’s are spending millions more on this important race. This spending level is entirely unprecedented in Alaska – for any race.

20 Sep 2014

Saturday Art – Sila: Breath of the World, by John Luther Adams

This year’s Pulitzer Prize for Musical Composition was awarded to my longtime friend and colleague, John Luther Adams. The award was specifically for a spacious new orchestral work of his, commissioned by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Become Ocean. But the prize for Adams, as is the case with others so honored, also reflects upon the Alaska master’s record of unique achievement over the decades.

The composer has long, at least up until recently, suffered having his name in the shadow of San Francisco-based composer, John Adams, with John Luther Adams often being called “the OTHER John Adams.” I’ve long referred to JLA as “the REAL John Adams.”

16 Aug 2014

Two Interviews With Max Blumenthal From Yafa-Tel Aviv and Ramallah

In the aftermath of the month-long Gaza slaughter, author and journalist Max Blumenthal is in Israel and Palestine. Two videos have been posted on Youtube within the past few days which are important documents for at least a few reasons.

Longtime Firedoglake readers are probably aware that I have been following Blumenthal’s progress since he showed up at our door in September, 2008, looking for a Wasilla, Alaska base from which to investigate aspects of Sarah Palin’s Fundamentalist Christianist beliefs.

15 Aug 2014

The Upcoming Alaska Primary

On Tuesday, Alaskan super voters will go to the polls to decide a few important contests. The two most important for the future of the state are the GOP three-way contest to oppose Sen. (D) Mark Begich’s US Senate seat in November, and a voters’ referendum on Alaska’s tax structure for the oil industry.

Unprecedented amounts of money are pouring into our state, which, after decades of GOP and Democratic Party neo-Liberal governance, may be about to enter a huge economic and financial tailspin.

26 Jul 2014

Saturday Art: My Poem for Gaza

Almost 40 years ago, after showing my girlfriend (now my wife) my latest poem, she diplomatically told me that poetry was perhaps “the least of my many artistic talents.” Since then, I haven’t written many verses, though I’ve set over 50 by others to song.

However, the ongoing Gaza butchery has shaken me to the core. I am not alone. This has been a pivotal event for many others.

19 Jun 2014

Metropolitan Opera Censors Masterpiece by Renowned Composer John Adams

Every serious list of America’s greatest living composers has neo-Romantic post-Minimalist composer John Adams at or near the top. His 2002 commemoration to victims of September 11th, 2001, On the Transmigration of Souls, won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for musical composition. He has won five Grammies for recordings of his work. His most important orchestral works, Short Ride on a Fast Machine, Harmonielehre, The Chairman Dances and Tromba Lontana are performed on a weekly basis all around the planet by the world’s top orchestras. His three full-scale operas and four other opera-like works are regarded as the most significant contribution to that genre by any American.

01 Jun 2014

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Doug Fine, Hemp Bound: Dispatches From The Front Lines Of The Next Agricultural Evolution

Three of Doug Fine’s four books address aspects of agriculture. Farewell My Subaru introduces us to his Funky Butte Ranch in rural New Mexico, where he begins to learn to ranch and farm, to power his life with renewable energy, waste oil and homegrown food. Too High to Fail followed the odyssey of a cannabis plant to be used for a medical marijuana patient, from cloning to ingestion.

Hemp Bound introduces us to the renewed interest in industrial hemp agriculture, at the moment of its rebirth.

01 Jun 2014

Book Salon Preview: Doug Fine Discusses His Book, Hemp Bound, at The Booksmith, in Haight-Ashbury

Sunday afternoon, I will be hosting author Doug Fine here at the Firedoglake Book Salon. We will be asking him questions about the subject matter of Hemp Bound: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution.  Last year, we had him here to discuss the paperback edition of his book on the medical cannabis growing scene in California, Too High to Fail.