Feed on

Love hurts

Gram and Emmy Lou:

Spring is sprung

The grass is riz
I wonder where
The birdies is
Some say the bird is on the wing
But that’s absurd
The wing is on the bird!

4th Amendment


Feel the freedom

Dear sweet Jesus, these people don’t even see the irony:

Evangelical college Liberty University is the largest recipient of federal aid to a student body in Virginia, and the eighth largest recipient in the country overall, reports Lynchburg, Va.’s News & Advance.

Eighty-eight percent of the $445 million in federal aid that Liberty received in the 2009-2010 school year was comprised of student loans; the remaining 12 percent came in the form of Pell grants and other federal education subsidies.

Liberty is the largest private university in Virginia and calls itself “the largest and fastest growing Christian Evangelical university in the world.” The university was founded on the fundamentalist principles of the late Jerry Falwell and requires students in all its programs to take a course in “creationist studies.”

The $445 million figure is a 56 percent increase from the amount of money Liberty received in the previous school year. One of the major factors in the upsurge in federal funds obtained by the university has been a big bump in online enrollment.

Virtually Speaking

Should be a good one tonight, with Marcy talking to Joe Wilson. I’m guessing the Libyan situation will be a topic:

• Amb. Joe WilsonMarcy Wheeler on VS Sundays:  Balancing security and transparency in a 21st century democracy  | Listen here, on or after Sunday, March 20 @ 9pm est|6pm pdt

• Susie MadrakScout Prime on VS Susie: Blogging Wisconsin |Listen here, on or after Monday, March 21 @ 9pm est|6pm pdt

• Stuart ZechmanJay Ackroyd on VS A-Z: Exploring liberalism |Listen live here, on Thursday, March 24 @ 8pm est|5pm pdt | Listen hereafter midnight Friday, March 25.

• Brad DeLong | Jay Ackroyd on Virtually Speaking w/Jay Ackroyd:  How the great recession has exposed a rift among macro economists.And Ricardian Equivalence.|Listen here, on or after Thursday, March 24 @ 9pm est|6pm pdt


Sounds like air strikes won’t be enough – and you know where that will lead.


This cheered me up this morning:

Protesters interrupted a speech by Sunoco Inc. chairman and chief executive Lynn L. Elsenhans at a luncheon at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown on Thursday afternoon.

The head of the Philadelphia oil refiner and marketer was being honored by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce with its Paradigm Award, given to a businesswoman whose accomplishments are seen as a model of success.

It’s rare for protesters to crash usually staid chamber of commerce events. But then, few Paradigm Award winners have enacted such sweeping changes through their organizations as Elsenhans has since becoming CEO in August 2008. She sold its chemicals business, closed or sold three of its five refineries, laid off hundreds of workers, and announced plans to spin off its SunCoke Energy business.

As Elsenhans, 54, began her speech, several protesters who had been seated in the ballroom stood and walked toward the lectern, carrying a sign that read “Real Leaders Don’t Destroy Families.” Another addressed the audience of about 750 people by asking, “Does anyone see a leader here?”

Elsenhans remained silent as the protesters, who later identified themselves as being from Philadelphia Jobs With Justice, a group that advocates on behalf of workers’ rights, were escorted from the ballroom.

When she resumed, her remarks centered on the need for women in the workplace to identify mentors, embrace change, take risks, persevere, and give back to others. Her speech was interrupted several more times as individual protesters, usually women, stood and talked to the crowd about layoffs and the loss of health benefits at Sunoco.

Gwen Snyder, executive director of Philadelphia Jobs With Justice, said at least 13 activists with her organization as well as Student Labor Action Project members from Temple University and Swarthmore College paid $125 per ticket to attend the chamber lunch. “We respect female leadership,” she said. “She may be a leader, but not the right kind.”

Members of the unions representing Sunoco refinery workers in South Philadelphia and Marcus Hook demonstrated for an hour outside the Marriott. Jim Savage, president of United Steelworkers Local 10-1, said he found it outrageous that anybody would honor Elsenhans for actions that have led to longer unemployment lines and a diminished tax base.

Immediately after the speech, chamber president Rob Wonderling told the audience: “We believe in free enterprise. We believe in free speech when exercised with civility. In our 2011 Paradigm Award winner, you saw civility in action.”

Uh, Rob? There are Supreme Court rulings to the contrary, and if the Chamber continues to attack workers and destroys our lives, you should expect to hear a lot more free speech — civil or not.

‘Lost’ 450-year-old Mass a pop hit

This is so interesting, isn’t it?

LONDON (Reuters) – A sumptuous first recording of a long-lost 450-year-old Italian Renaissance mass written for 40 different vocal parts has soared onto British pop charts a week after its release.

The recording by British vocal group I Fagiolini of the little-known Alessandro Striggio’s 1566 mass for 40 voices — most masses are written for four — made its debut at number 68 on the pop charts, above Bon Jovi, George Harrison and Eminem.

It was number two on the classical charts, just behind Dutch violinist waltz master Andre Rieu.

“We really worked hard so that there could be a properly magnificent and extravagant sound world for the piece to revel in,” I Fagiolini’s conductor and founder Robert Hollingworth, 44, who thinks the mass has a “mesmeric” quality, told Reuters in a telephone interview Sunday.

“This is not the grainy, black-and-white film, this is the full Hollywood Technicolor. I think that’s why it works so well…it’s like a kind of aural kaleidoscope.”

The mass was performed in several major European cities when it was written but had been mis-catalogued at the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris where it was rediscovered a few years ago by musicologist Davitt Moroney, and given its first modern performance at the BBC Proms in London in 2007.

I Fagiolini and their label Decca Classics, a part of the Universal music group, spared no expense on the recording. It uses five choirs and a panoply of period instruments, from trombone-like sackbuts to the 11-stringed lirone, a cello precursor, as well as lutes, recorders and Renaissance strings.

The instruments play lines of music that would otherwise be sung, which Hollingworth said was accepted practice at the time.

The CD release includes a DVD which offers the Striggio mass, plus another 40-part Striggio motet, and English composer Thomas Tallis’s 40-part “Spem in Alium” — written after Striggio’s works, and possibly inspired by them — in surround sound, plus a documentary about the making of the recording.

Far Away Eyes

Mick and the boys:

Love needs a heart

Valerie Carter and Jackson Browne:

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