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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Who's. . .

 . . .  agen·da?

agenda

noun \ə-ˈjen-də\

Definition of AGENDA

1
: a list or outline of things to be considered or done <agendas of faculty meetings>
2
: an underlying often ideological plan or program <a political agenda>

Methinks I detect a tinge of paranoia. . . 

by Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive Vice President
". . . If you want a glimpse of a genuine nightmare for America, just look at what’s headed our way.
But unlike a nightmare, this isn’t some fantasy. It’s a very real, very dangerous conspiracy of public deception intended to destroy your Right to Keep and Bear Arms. It’s targeted directly at you.
And it’ll succeed unless you recognize it, understand it, and take action now to stop it.
The best way you could do so is by carrying your new 2012 membership card (see sidebar story on page 29) in your wallet as a symbol of your commitment—and by renewing or upgrading your NRA membership or making a contribution to defending freedom today.
But first, let me give you the facts, evidence, congressional testimony and documented words and deeds that reveal the frightening but irrefutable truth about this sinister plot.
Over the past three years, the Obama administration and its anti-gun allies have been engaged in a silent but sophisticated long-term conspiracy to:
1. Neutralize gun owners and NRA voters as a political force in national elections, and thereby:
2. Win re-election to a second term in the White House, where they then will be immune to the will of voters and free to continue consolidating and misusing their ever-increasing power to:
3. Prosecute a full-scale, sustained, all-out campaign to excise the Second Amendment from our Bill of Rights through legislation, litigation, regulation, executive orders, judicial fiat, international treaties—in short, all the levers of power of all three branches of government.
And the key to their success lies in keeping gun owners like you in the dark. . . "


from Shopes.com
". . . look at some of the rhetoric and how it squares with the facts, while offering some broader context to inform the debate.
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert said that “every time … conceal-carry [gun laws] have been allowed the crime rate has gone down.” But that is far from a settled issue in academia.
  • Dan Gross, head of the Brady Campaign used the number of daily gun murders as proof that “gun violence rates are not” going down. But the rate of gun murder is at its lowest point since at least 1981: 3.6 per 100,000 people in 2010. The high point was 7 in 1993. However, non-fatal gun injuries from assaults increased last year for the third straight year, and that rate is the highest since 2008.
  • Federal data also show violent crimes committed with guns — including murders, aggravated assaults and robberies — have declined for three straight years.
  • Rep. Donna Edwards said that “since Columbine, there have been 181 of these school shootings.” That’s an inflated figure. She used a list of “major school shootings” supplied by the Brady Campaign that included incidents that were neither shootings nor at schools. By our count, the list shows 130 school shootings since Columbine that resulted in at least one student or school official being killed or injured — still unacceptably high, but about a quarter fewer than claimed.
Here are some other facts. The United States has the highest rate of gun ownership in the world — by far. And it has the highest rate of homicides among advanced countries. . . "

Do we want to evolve into better human beings or are we just CRAZY???. . . 





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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Another. . .

 . . . one. . .

 Pack is the guy who writes all these books about the wonders of the universe, then "scientifically verifies" each one by say something like, 'how else could this be if there is no God?' 


(from http://www.exitsupportnetwork.com/artcls/pack.htm)
". . . David Pack of has now unveiled to his members that he is a God-appointed, official "Apostle" of the 21st century. First, let's examine some background information on Pack. David C. Pack, born in December, 1948, was originally a minister of Worldwide Church of God. After leaving WCG in 1993, Pack went to Global Church of God (Roderick C. Meredith's first group). In May 1999 he founded Restored Church of God, located in Wadsworth, Ohio. At this writing, Pack pays himself approximately $125,000.00 per year, tax free, and lives a luxurious lifestyle. (UPDATE: Read letter about his home and neighborhood in 2012) He publishes and offers free The Real Truth, a magazine that looks like a clone of The Plain Truth and Ambassador Youth, a magazine geared to the youth. He offers The Bible Introduction Course, 30 lessons patterned after Herbert Armstrong's free Ambassador Bible Correspondence Course. His audio program on TV is The World to Come. In 1985 WCG members distributed a 13-page open letter alleging that David Pack "constantly intimidated members, used threats and mind-control methods, was given to extreme emotional outbursts, believed in winning at all cost, disfellowshipped members for trivial faults, enjoyed putting down women" and other such horrific abuses. This letter quoted Pack as saying, "Everyone who has challenged me has either died, been seriously injured, or has been eliminated from the Work." And "God backs me even if I am wrong." . . . "




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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

There will be . . .

. . . blood, brother. . .

I composed Blood Brother many years ago and have seen it evolve substantially as a solo piano piece.  It, like many of my compositions, does possess lyrics.  It is, in fact, a Little Feat-ish statement on the fickleness of human nature, all (hopefully) tongue-in-cheek.  Anyway, the guys in Oho do a smashingly-funky job carrying off the entire premise don't you think?


I'll be your Blood Brother
By your side through thick and thin
I'll be your Blood Brother
Just as long as I don't have to bloody
My hands hands

Bar rooms sure have a funny way
Of bringing loyalty out in a man
Buy a drink and tell a joke
And buddy you've got you a friend
But keep a good eye upon that friend
Because he really doesn't give two hoots
And don't say anything about his Mom
His  girlfriend or his army boots

I'll be your Blood Brother
By your side through thick and thin
I'll be your Blood Brother
Just as long as I don't have to bloody
My hands hands

Walked into an auto-mo-showroom
I need some wheels but got no money to spend
When a guy with an ugly tie
Walks out and acts like he's my long-lost friend
I said hey Buddy I've a purpose here
And if you please I will accomplish my goal
So don't you slap me on the back again
Cause if you do I might just lose my control

I'll be your Blood Brother
By your side through thick and thin
I'll be your Blood Brother
Just as long as I don't have to bloody
My hands hands

So please be careful when you meet someone
Who'll make a promise at the drop of a hat
And don't provide them with encouragement
You will regret the day you offered him that
Cause everybody needs some empathy
But just how willing
And how far will they go
To really help you when the chips are down
Can they be trusted half as far as you throw them

I'll be your Blood Brother
By your side through thick and thin
I'll be your Blood Brother
Just as long as I don't have to bloody
My hands hands

Blood Brother
©1997 Raymond M. Jozwiak





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Monday, January 28, 2013

Good. . .

. . . times. . .
In the early 70s, the members of the wedding combo of which I was a member (Reflection, by name), thought our regeneration (after the comings and goings of members in different combos) would be more thorough with a name change and finally settled upon the catchy moniker FUL TREATMENT (yes, ONE 'L') which accurately captured our ability to navigate the crosscurrents of musical genre and essentially play ANYTHING that ANYBODY wanted.  This gloriously selfless intention was more true in theory than practice, but our intentions were sincere, particularly at the start, although that facet of our existence did deteriorate somewhat in time.

Music, fun, abundant work and money were ours.  Good times, as they now say.  Our repertoire had evolved and developed during this period to include Bungle in the Jungle, You're So Vain,  Games People Play (Jethro Tull, Carly Simon and The Spinners respectively).  But then, in what seemed to be a not very long time later, Bruce (our drummer) resigned (abdicated his drum throne-pun intended).  My sister, who at the time worked for the state government, had become acquainted with a young man at the office who, in addition to charming all the ladies there (including her), was a drummer.  Not only was he a drummer, he was a drummer who was receptive to the idea of joining our little musical organization.  His name was Jeff. 

Jeff  'auditioned' and was quite impressive on many levels. He had a powerful touch, yet not without the ability to sensitively accompany a slow ballad. While not subtle, his drumming was strong, steady and something of a departure from his predecessor. We missed Bruce both personally and musically, but we welcomed Jeff and enjoyed the markedly different rhythm keeper and dynamic, debonair character that had become our drummer. I, more than the other members of the band, began spending additional amounts of personal time with Jeff, enjoying his captivating stories, his outrageous personality and his knowledge and appreciation of musical styles. Jeff and I visited many and varied drinking and eating places after gigs and I'd found that not only had the band acquired a fine new drummer, I had found a fun and fascinating new friend.

Keith, our guitarist and one of the founding members, had by this time decided to leave the band, an event that was somewhat bittersweet, as we sometimes longed for a guitarist with a different style.  But he certainly possessed many good qualities, was reliable and added musicality not infrequently.  Jeff had oft-times mentioned his seminary-educated, guitar-playing brother Jay who was also a founding member of a different, uniquely original music-playing organization called OHO. Jeff indicated that Jay would be interested in joining our combo in order to make some money because then, as now, local, original musicians weren't reaping great sums playing their own compositions.  I had no inkling at the time that this event would influence both my music and a substantial portion of my life.  But it has. 

Charisma evidently ran in Jeff and Jay's family, as Jay possessed possibly even more of it than his younger, drummer brother.  Jay somehow was more in control of the charisma with a certain maturity added to it, along with an additional self-confidence that may have been attributable to his age. Similar as they would appear from my description here, they were actually quite different from each other in reality.  But the musical combination radically changed the performances of Ful Treatment much for the better.  Jay rocked.  [And still does]  And following his lead, Ful Treatment rocked as well, at least on some of our repertoire, which at the time included 'You Really Got Me', 'Wild Thing', 'Needles and Pins' 'Twist and Shout' and 'Heat Wave'.  We were all young and relatively carefree, and more frequently than was wise, a gig would turn into a party. . . for the band. 

After  a period, as always occurs in such mini-organizations, Jeff decided to leave the band.  Jay was able to recruit alternate (with Jeff) OHO drummer David and, viola, the rest is history.  At least it's a big part of MY musical history.  Ful Treatment, in the ultimate configuration probably only played together for several years.  But they were fun years. 

I kept somewhat in touch with Jay in the intervening years.  He always treated me to an LP or CD of things he was working on musically.  Then about 2003, I read in the Baltimore CityPaper that OHO was performing at a local venue and I was determined that I would patronize same.  Various associations between Jay and myself (musical showcases at Gallery G in Hampden,  Mystic I) transpired.  Then in early winter of 2011 Jay, David and myself (sans any saxophonist) began rehearsing for Schlongtasm 29 (a showcase of musical acts brought together each year to celebrate Airiad Records' Dan Long's birthday.)  The ex-Ful Treatment rhythm section were reunited after 32 years as the latest incarnation of OHO, playing substantial amounts of original music and covers of far greater integrity . . . and of course, now infinitely wiser,

Good Times INDEED.






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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Embryonic. . .

. . . grand. . .

(from the desk of Mr. Rod Deacey)
     "At Brewer’s Alley Songwriters’ Showcase this Monday, Jan 28, we are delighted to welcome back TOM McBRIDE, who since his last visit has a new CD out, called Morning in Glen Burnie. One track from that CD – But I Don’t Care -- has won Gold in the Adult Contemporary category of the 29th Mid-Atlantic Song Contest, organized as always by the Songwriters Association of Washington (SAW)! We’ll know tonight if he wins any other awards at the MASC Gala! Tom is much in demand around the country these days – his next gigs after Brewer’s are in San Francisco – so come and catch him before he gets too famous! . . .

      The gonzo piano prelude this week is played for us by our favorite classical composer, Rockin’ Ray Jozwiak! Ray usually can’t resist tinkering with those keys as soon as he arrives, around 7:15 pm or so, just to make sure they are all in working order, and he then proceeds to put them through their paces... Without the monthly work-out from Ray, our embryonic piano would soon be soft and flabby, unable to convey the simplest emotion, so we’d like to thank him for keeping it in shape! As per normal, come early to find good seats for the evening and to catch the entire prelude. You can come upstairs at 7:15 pm (maybe 5 minutes or so earlier than that if we’re ready; performers can come up when they arrive). . ."





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Don't. . .

. . . we all have baggage to toss?. . .

Six AM
The buses aren't nearly as crowded
As the night before
Someone said there was
Music and laughter
Behind all the shutters and doors
What was all of it for

Who needs friends
There's barely a minute for breathing
Everyone here works so hard
There's no party
When I reach my doorstep
I struggle to pull out my key
Where's the meaning for me

You see but you're unaware
There's life on the other side

But there's no bridge to cross
I'm looking through the fog
For some way out of here
I've baggage here to
I've baggage here to toss

Bless my soul
I've read about you in the paper
I've seen your picture somewhere
When you speak it's in volumes and volumes
I can't hear a word that you say
Funny it happens that way
I've been told that envy's the thing I've been feeling
For your kind of work and your play
But to tell you the truth
That it's only a wish
For a new kind of day
When worry and fear melt away

Could be
That a day will come
When you just might understand

But there's no bridge to cross
I'm looking through the fog
For some way out of here
I've baggage here to
I've baggage here to toss

I'd like to go away
and go there to stay
But I can't find the way

So it goes
But change never really comes easy
Resistance is felt all around
But inevitably
Something happens
That makes the old ship run aground
We all stare in awe of what's found

Like me
You appear to be
Looking for some meaning here

But there's no bridge to cross
I'm looking through the fog
For some way out of here
I've baggage here to
I've baggage here to
I've baggage here to toss


Baggage
(instrumental version)
©2006 Raymond M. Jozwiak




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Friday, January 25, 2013

ahh. . .

. . . those were the days. . .
". . . My Farfisa Fast Four and Leslie 145 were setup in a prominent location in the den of our apartment for quick and easy access.  Truth is, I'm not sure if I even played once a week at that time. But I was building my vinyl record album collection of my favorite jazz cats during the period and joyfully and effortlessly soaking in their music as often as I could.  My Coltrane, Dolphy, Adderley and McLean collections grew with much less reliance on the old Tull, Gentle Giant and Yes for musical satisfaction.  This too combined with sounds exemplifying the musical tastes of my significant other, sometimes not so willingly or graciously. 

My technique and creativity suffered during this period.  Whenever I played, generally on Sunday afternoons, I ran through the same several bebop arrangements of standards that I had learned from or through my elementary-school friend Bob. I was grateful for Bob's influence which led me into the direction of jazz, that combined with my exposure to a superb collection of jazz, vinyl LPs at the college radio station where I worked during my undergraduate years.

It wasn't until our eldest son, Spencer, was born that I began to crave more music-related activity. . ."




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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Shameless. . .

. . . Promotion. . . again. . . XXX. . .
9:00pm until 1:00am-Friday, January 25, 2013
You know what this means! We're back at it again. The boys at Airaid Records are bringing you the wildest night in Baltimore music, SCHLONGTASM: XXX! As always, we'll be at Joe Squared - Station North. As always, the night will feature SCHLONGTASM mainstays El Sledge (+). In addition, we have returning to the stage, Jason and the Butchers and OHO*. And this year we welcome newcomer Hangdog. This year we celebrate the big XXX (30 for the Roman-impaired) of the Schlong (Airaid Records Executive Dan Long).  So you know this is a DON'T MISS!
Joe Squared-Station North
133 West North Avenue  Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 545-0444
joesquared.com/

*Jay Graboski, David Reeve and Ray Jozwiak
Please visit http://www.ohomusic.com


Slough of Despond by John P. Graboski
Performed by Oho (rehearsal recording)



 
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