Pray for Brain: 16 June 2016, Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque, N.M.

June 17, 2016 Leave a comment


Pray for Brain churned out a short but riveting set of jazz/rock fusion shaped by Middle Eastern and South Asian sensibilities before an enthusiastic audience at the Outpost Performance Space Thursday evening in Albuquerque, N.M.



Veteran percussionist Jefferson Voorhees.


Christine Nelson on acoustic bass.


“Wake Up, I Tell You”: The Vibrant Afterlife of Irish Writer Máirtín Ó Cadhain

May 30, 2016 Leave a comment

“How to describe this corrosively satirical and darkly comic book? A tour de force of a gabfest. It takes place entirely in a cemetery in the West of Ireland, six feet under, during World War II — ‘the Emergency, as the period was euphemistically known in supposedly neutral Ireland,” writes Mark Harman  in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

The anthem of the Dump Trump protest early Tuesday evening

May 27, 2016 Leave a comment

Starting at 1:25


‘Farewell Kabul’ by Christina Lamb: Link to review by Ilene Prusher

May 27, 2016 Leave a comment

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Herat, western Afghanistan, 6 March 2009 [tsos photo]

Farewell Kabul: From Afghanistan to a More Dangerous World (2016) by Christina Lamb

“They want facts and dates, things which are not our way,” warlord-turned-politician Ismail Khan tells Lamb. “We can converse all our lifetimes, but you will not understand.”

In 1963, the British prime minister Harold Macmillan declared: “Rule No. 1 in
politics: Never invade Afghanistan.”


Stop the hate, stop Trump, say protesters outside his rally

May 25, 2016 2 comments


Brooklyn vocalist captivates ‘Burque audience

May 18, 2016 1 comment

Brooklyn-born Alicia Olatuja, combining her classical vocal training with a jazz, gospel, and pop repertoire and a polished stage presence, earned a standing ovation from a clearly charmed, near-capacity audience the evening of May 7 at the Outpost Performance Space in Albuquerque, N.M.

Olatuja has sung with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir since 2007, performs as a soloist with the Juilliard Jazz ensemble, and teaches voice. She broke into national prominence with her performance at Pres. Obama’s inauguration in 2013. Her solo album, Timeless, was released in 2014.

The quartet she played with Saturday included pianist Jon Cowherd, Ben Williams on electric and acoustic basses, guitarist David Rosenthal and drummer Christian Euman.

Alicia Olatuja’s web site

When will leftists bolt from the Democratic Party?

April 30, 2016 Leave a comment


Bernie Sanders supporters at the Cesar Chavez Day march in Albuquerque, N.M. on March 26. [tsos photo]


The persistence of the illusion that the Democratic Party can change in response to progressive forces within its ranks is astonishing, especially in the face of all the contrary historical evidence.

In 1964, the party establishment ignored the largely black Mississippi Freedom Democrats in favor of the mainstream racist delegation from that state at the Democratic convention. The party bosses beat back its leftist, anti-Vietnam war wing at the 1968 convention and established the system of super delegates after George McGovern won the primary in 1972 to ensure that any candidate with strong grassroots support in the future, like Bernie Sanders in 2016, would have an even tougher time. And now, after appearing to crush leftist dissent yet again, the party bosses expect Sanders supporters to prove their loyalty to the party that opposed Sanders by supporting Hillary Clinton.

So why do some leftists continue to believe there is room for them in the Democratic Party? Did Sanders supporters actually believe that the Democratic establishment would accept an independent democratic socialist as the party’s presidential candidate without a bitter fight? Bellyaching about the undemocratic behavior of the Democratic Party, which is news to no one familiar with recent history, is a waste of time.

Both of two dominant political parties have deeply entrenched interests that are supported by rigid ideologies, which are often deliberately unspoken but fiercely defended. For more evidence, look at how determined much of the GOP establishment is to derail Donald’s Trump march to capture the Republican nomination. However one characterize Trump’s politics, he is not a bona fide “conservative,” at least as defined by the GOP. Neither party likes outsiders, especially when they seek top leadership roles. Many Republican powerbrokers are so desperate that they are even willing to support Ted Cruz, who was considered by many to be among the GOP’s lunatic fringe just a few months ago. Lunatic or not, and arguably a more dangerous presidential candidate than Trump, Cruz is a member of the GOP family in ways that Trump is not.

If Sanders supporters want a more socialist America, then a better strategy would be to devote their formidable time, energy and talent to either creating a third party and/or a social movement that can apply pressure to our political system, regardless of which of the brain-dead mainstream parties holds the presidency.

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