Sunday Morning Music*



* See below for an exciting offer!

Please join me this Sunday (9/18) from 10am ’til 1pm EST for a special edition of Mental Notes, on AshevilleFM. WE are going to jump right into that cesspool of sin and swim around for a bit and see what pops up. Fun for the whole family!

Stream Link


  1. These guys are from England and who gives a shi……………..

    I forget, is naughty language frowned on here?

    And I thought the special offer would be the admin job.

  2. TJ says:

    Love energizes folks, doesn’t it?

    @ Mat: I think the best we could hope for is a backstage pass for an admin session 😉

  3. Tom Sullivan says:

    I just went pokin around. Nothin to see back there but stacks of unfinished drafts and plugins I don’t know how to use — and I’d probably break the blog if I tried. I did find this.

  4. Diogenes says:

    Sorry, a prior engagement:

    “The mostly peaceful protest, called “Occupy Wall Street,” was spearheaded by the activist magazine Adbusters and promoted through Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks. Organizers have said the protests are modeled on the “Arab Spring” wave of uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere.

    Read more:

  5. RHS says:

    For the record, Bono has apologized for the mullet.

  6. Tom Sullivan says:

    Plus this on the protest. The live streaming video looked more anarchist than this report:

  7. I think the “Occupy Wall Street” protest was a completely silly effort. First off, I don’t think you can engineer a “spontaneous” protest in the sense that the Arab Spring movements engendered.

    The people of the Middle East have lived, for decades, under some very real restrictions and not just economic ones but political, civil, and social. I know quite a lot of people make a good bit of noise about the “American Police State”, but it’s such an insult to people who are actually living in brutally repressive societies.

    Now, that’s not to say that America isn’t living up to its ideals of freedom because it isn’t. And it isn’t to deny the horror of the occasional killing by police of a homeless person or protester. But those are rather random acts that are endemic of a certain personality and are situational.

    In other countries, the behavior is systemic and necessary to the operation of the state. There’s a huge difference between these two things.

    Now that’s one reason. There are others, particularly that oft-repeated canard among the right-wing that “the poor in America have it so much better than the middle-class in the Third World” and, while that may be arguable (and is even subject to the sort of application of relativism as above), it isn’t even as much that conditions in America might seem better than elsewhere. It’s precisely that we’ve gotten just enough to keep us happy and there’s been a slow, steady erosion of the quality of life that we haven’t noticed.

    To re-appropriate a saying from Glenn Beck, we’re frogs in steadily increasing hot water.

    In this country, there’s been no cascade/tipping/breaking point to mobilize mass protest. No one’s made any sort of overt move to enslave us all (in any appreciable, coercive, non-voluntary way) or force us to hand over all of what we have (left).

    And, until it happens, these “protests” are little more than flash mobs, except the press isn’t going to cover them. And, I hate to tell the thousands of internet protesters out there, 700 people spending one night “occupying” lower Manhattan isn’t newsworthy.

    Which brings us to a couple of other points. America is a much larger nation than the Middle Eastern ones that have experienced social and political upheaval. In fact, New York State is probably physically larger than some of them. Which means a gathering for them in a public space represents an actual concentration of people. In America, we’re dispersed. Also, how much of a beloved public space is Wall Street?

    Even the 20,000 people Adbusters wanted to get into that area wouldn’t seem like a mass movement to anyone outside Manhattan.

    So, while I’m entirely sympathetic to the cause, I can’t say I found anything interesting at all about this protest.

    Maybe next time they could occupy a building or start a tent city on the White House lawn or Capitol steps or in front of the stock exchanges. Actually block things from happening.

    Or, I don’t know, trundle out to the Atlantic and try to cut the Trans-Atlantic fiber.

    Something direct and dreadful, as opposed to flashy and failure.

  8. Dixiegirlz says:

    ” there’s been a slow, steady erosion of the quality of life that we haven’t noticed.”

    I’ve noticed, and have been noticing for some time.

    There was a time in my life (mid 60-mid 90) when jobs were abundant. I always found a job the first hour or two that I went looking. Now it’s common to see many folks look for a good paying job for a long time. I think the powers that be want a lot of worker bees that have little choice and little say. Because circumstances have become such that there are so many that will step into their meager jobs in a New York minute.

  9. Tom Buckner says:

    Two objections, Mat.

    “The people of the Middle East have lived, for decades, under some very real restrictions and not just economic ones but political, civil, and social. I know quite a lot of people make a good bit of noise about the “American Police State”, but it’s such an insult to people who are actually living in brutally repressive societies.”

    1. I would argue that political/civil/social and economic are the same sphere. Repression is always ultimately intended, in large degree, to maintain some sort of economic advantage of the rulers.

    2. America isn’t that bad, it’s true… but we are reliably headed there. Everything has gotten worse and worse as the corporations and authoritarian Far Right have gotten stronger. We’re headed more or less where they have been.

  10. “I’ve noticed, and have been noticing for some time. “

    I was meaning more in the “frog in hot water” way. We haven’t seen this happen suddenly and, really, for the age group that’s primarily into this protest, they can’t remember prosperity outside of the bubbles of the 90s. In fact, they may not really remember that.

    Two objections, Mat.

    1. I actually place economic concerns above others. That’s just where I am these days. Maybe I’m a closet Marxist but I think that clamoring for political/social/civil rights when you remain dirt poor is a bit counter-productive. So I suppose here I’m dividing them into two groups and you lump them together?

    So, my response is: what good is freedom of speech, or movement, or marriage if you are too poor or starved to do anything with those rights?

    2. Headed there, yes, but still not there. And maybe these lurches to the right will actually be the breaking point needed to make a “protest” like this one actually useful.

  11. Tom Buckner says:

    1. Yes, exactly. These things, these human rights, are not meaningfully separate in my mind. Pull on one, another moves. Fix one, another improves. Break one, another weakens.
    Probably a good time to mention FDR’s Economic Bill of Rights, which he very sadly did not live to pursue. Might have saved us a lot of grief, had it come to pass before the thugs could mount their economic counterattack against the New Deal, which has all but succeeded. Credit Michael Moore for discovering this lost audio clip of FDR’s radio address.

    2. I don’t think the American people will really move against the oppressors until things have become very much worse than this. I wish I didn’t believe that, but I do.

  12. Tom Buckner says:

    A quote from the above FDR speech:

    We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

    So, Mat, you see that FDR does not really disagree with you, and I almost never disagree with FDR. I definitely agree with this whole speech.

  13. Diogenes says:


    I didn’t think it possible to so blatantly miss the point, but perhaps it was my poorly-selected excerpt posted to introduce the topic.

    Try this:!

  14. Diogenes says:

    Sorry Tom I posted the RT video of the Wall Street protest before I noticed your link to it.

    Here’s a Nation article with some background

  15. TJ says:

    “the poor in America have it so much better than the middle-class in the Third World”

    I found out the poorest in America are still in the top 3% of wealth in the world. Astounding. It goes to show how much still needs done, here and abroad.

    “I’ve noticed, and have been noticing for some time”

    I think a lot of people have noticed, but I agree with Mat’s bit about slow boiling water.

    Mat: I disagree with no money = no options. If that were true, many heroes of history would have never been heard of. Harriet Tubman comes to mind, a rebel with a cause and just a passion to rally others around. Lincoln, started life out in a one room cabin, Mother Theresa giving up all trappings to serve others (:::gasp::::what about the tax cuts and non-profit status benefits?). This is not to say, obviously, that money does not give one status, nor that I think everyone could not do more with more money, but, the people I admire most are the ones who took nothing and did something.

    As for slow erosions, Germans did not see to notice that separating their neighbors to separate annexed areas would lead to such a nightmare, nor did they seem to realize they elected a tyrant into office. I agree with Tom, and while we don’t have those extremes yet, there is a thin veil that separates us.

    As for Wall Street, I say we grab Michael Moore’s bullhorn and demand to know where OUR money is.

  16. Tom, True, true. But, keep in mind that FDR was coming from a position more or less opposite that just a few years earlier. He campaigned against Hoover on balancing the budget, which even then meant slashing spending. It wasn’t until Marriner Eccles’ ideas were being heard in Washington that the pendulum started to swing.

    Not to say one of us is right or wrong, but it’s always good to note these things.

    Again, I think a lot of what we’re seeing now is the same old song and dance being played out. When times get tough, and people start clanging at the gates, the right-wing starts mouthing about gays and abortion and Christmas, while the “left” starts saying, “we want a free market, but one that plays by the rules.” Certain men always get their way, remember?

    Diogenes: How did I “blatantly miss the point”? Perhaps you should stop just linking little bits of data and provide me some context to deal with. After all, your point so far seems to be to link, link, link. And I can’t deal with that. Speak to me, in your own words, or get off the bus.

    At any rate, is there going to continue to be a presence of “thousands” of people in Lower Manhattan for the next few months? Or will these people go back to their cozy full-time jobs on Monday? This was a (largely) failed attempt at publicity for a cause that most Americans already support. Or, what, you think Middle America is entirely too stupid to realize they’re being taken for a ride by Wall Street? And you think guys in Guy Fawkes masks are going to help?

    Again, I understand and respect the issues – I understand and respect Anonymous and, to some degree, the Adbusters position. But this action hasn’t elevated itself to a position of usefulness.

    When you get people back in the streets like they were in Seattle and London (pre 9/11, remember that?), then let me know.

    TJ: Anecdotal stories are anecdotal. They are aberrant to the larger flow of history in which billions of poor have been born, worked, consumed, and died and not had the chance to truly live.

    Again, let me state this as plainly as I can: I’d love to see some radical change happen in this country, but I hold absolutely no faith that it will. We’re still too comfortable in many ways, and our governmental frameworks are entirely too connected to Wall Street. This isn’t going to change. Democrats in 2008 thought it would, and they put a corporatist in office. Tea Partiers thought it would in 2010 and they put Banker’s Best Friends in office.

    No one wins, except that small minority that controls all the wealth and power. Certain men always get their way, and always will.

    Our best chance is to hunker down in little enclaves and carve out the best solutions we can in our own communities. After all, any shock large enough to unsettle an economic and political system with 150 years of foundation under it is likely going to knock large chunks of current societal organization off as well.

  17. Tom Buckner says:

    Seems the cops were very much ready for this Wall Street protest.

    Tactical rethink ahead. How about NOT setting a date in advance, but a trigger? For example, organizers could say, “Everybody, follow the stock ticker. Next time the Dow goes up or down by {very large number} points, FLASH PROTEST!” In this way, the authorities could not always know in advance when the protests will happen. Advantage: vox populi.

    Also. I’d like to see more anti-Wall Street protests picketing the corporate media themselves! Blockade the TV stations and newspapers. These self-appointed referees want to play favorites with Tea Party protesters and ignore progressives? Take the heat to them! Treat them the way the other side treats abortion providers. The corporate media are a big part of the problem and really have been asking for it.

    Rabble rabble rabble.

  18. TJ says:

    “They are aberrant to the larger flow of history in which billions of poor have been born, worked, consumed, and died and not had the chance to truly live”

    I agree with you in this statement, and again, I don’t deny the differences. I’d have to be oblivious to do so (and that’s one thing I’ve actually never been accused of, but some people might wish I were 🙁 ).

    I guess my thought is I”ll do everything I can to be that abberration, and do something meaningful-no matter how minis ups it seems in the bigger picture-the individual lives I touch will know it mattered. Whether I’m doing them a favor not not remains to be seen, but I see my 9 and 14 year olds asking more questions about our local and global societies than I ever dreamed of, and I encourage that. It may seem “disrespectful” to some, but, fortunately, with the people who matter to them, i.e., teachers, they are part of a better future. I may not hope much for the future at times, but, when my kids question what’s right about gay people being discriminated against and want to be part of a vigil, or if we can do something to connect with people downtown, or go pick up garbage somewhere, etc., I see in them future leaders who will make things different. My kids question why any of these are even necessary to talk about ( of course, people should be equal). I still say that when we get to the point of REAL change, these conversations won’t even be necessary. I get annoyed that they’re necessary, but I can’t imagine that they’re not. My kids can imagine, and i will not take that from them.

  19. I want to switch gears and find out how Gordon feels over the (slowly) bubbling discussion on Xpress about the Community Media Development proposals.

    And if the other members of Council are aware of any of it.

  20. Dixiegirlz says:

    Much as I’d like not to interrupt Mat’s segue into the Mountain Exp. discussion on “Community Media RFP” controversy, I have some thoughts that were brewing during the day.

    I’m beginning to wonder of the great expansion of the middle class that occurred between 1955 to 1985 -1990 was actually a bubble?
    For a long time I believed it was a period that would continue. But I don’t believe there was ever another time when so many men returning from WW11 and Korea had the opportunity to go to college via the GI BIll. Those men (our Fathers and Grandfathers) went
    on to be a part of that enormous expansion of the middle class. Maybe that expansions was unsustainable?
    On the other hand, we may just be in a pendulem swing…similar to the burst of the 1960s after the very repressive McCarthy era 50’s. That freewheeling period lasted up till the mid to late 80’s. Then the silent majority, religious right really took hold in reaction.

    I don’t have any answers, I’m just wondering.

    Now, pardon the interruption, back to Matt’s segue,

  21. Gordon Smith says:


    I haven’t reviewed the proposals yet. I’ll remind everyone that there’s no guarantee this money will be allocated to Community media at all. Council’s decision isn’t just between proposals, it’s between going with a proposal or not.

    I’ll look forward to learning more as the date grows closer. Perhaps a thread on the subject is in order?

  22. Gordon,

    I think some of us would love a thread on it here. The one at Xpress played out into the usual trainwreck.

    It’s interesting you point out the idea that no proposal will be selected at all. That’s not been mentioned on the Xpress thread and might need to be considered.

    The Diversion!

    All economic rises inside the larger economic system are bubbles because all of them eventually collapse. (The larger system is the one since money was invented, which has always steadily increased).
    (I have no economic text to back up that nonsense)

    But, I can tell you that there were a number of things that happened between the late 60s and 70s that ended the period of prosperity that followed World War II. Really, in the last 100 years, there’ve been some pretty reliable periods of growth and expansion followed by recession and even depression. I’m not so sure why anyone thinks this shouldn’t happen, it’s just another reminder not to let the goons run the game.

    D, I’d seriously suggest cruising the 330 section of the library. I’m currently reading up on a few things.

  23. Dixiegirlz says:

    After I get through reading about Edward Bernays and how he led to the use of propaganda in the early 20th century and beyond.

    “Edward Louis Bernays (November 22, 1891 – March 9, 1995), was an American pioneer in the field of public relations and propaganda along with Ivy Lee, referred to in his obituary as “the father of public relations”.[1] Combining the ideas of Gustave Le Bon and Wilfred Trotter on crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle, Dr. Sigmund Freud, Bernays was one of the first to attempt to manipulate public opinion by appealing to, and attempting to influence, the unconscious.”

  24. Tom Buckner says:

    Yea, heard about Bernays. Victor Frankenstein got nothing on him.