Showing posts from December, 2014
Cheney is more than a bit confused in his history. While he claims that the United States never prosecuted Japanese soldiers for war crimes, we in fact gave many water boarding torturers 15 to 25  years in prison for doing exactly that.

This puts the actions of the Bush-Cheney administration firmly in line with the war crimes the United States once pursued quite vigorously. No, that isn't new revelation, but it can't hurt to continue to question why Cheney is considered a legitimate political voice at this late date.

Nothing is likely to be done legally or politically. This leaves it to historians, apparently.  Jonathan Hafetz makes this point:

"The report provides the most comprehensive examination to date of the CIA Torture Program. Above all, it helps strip away the layers of secrecy and expose the misrepresentations to better inform the American public what actions its government took in the name protecting its security. In that sense, the report serves an information…

We need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission...

Not that I think we will get one. That sort of thing doesn't happen in America. History isn't given much traction in these parts, better to ignore and forget it.  So, the torturers and their enablers in the Bush administration will simply never face justice.

One of the deep failings of the Obama years will always be allowing torture with impunity to define the United States in the 21st century. This just makes it all but certain that we will revisit these techniques in future years following some other traumatic event. Cheney still today doesn't admit to any misgivings. How can this be considered a legitimate political position at this point?

The whitewash for torture joins hands with the whitewash for bank and Wall Street criminality, as the House now guts the milquetoast Dodd-Frank reforms of the post-financial crisis. That is kind of astonishing to me. The tortured were extreme outliers in the American mind, and so easy to ignore by the public. It is pretty hard to igno…
With all of my grades posted, the semester is over and it has been a good one.

This semester I taught two classes for the first time and really enjoyed them. The first, "Asians in America," was a great success mostly because the class was so committed to the topic and to doing the reading, which was not light. I will definitely offer this one again in the future.

The other new course was "Music and Sound in American History," which also worked well I believe. The switch from music studies to sound studies was not without its difficulties, particularly in taking the class through the theoretical literature, but it was utlimately a worthwhile and highly effective experience.  I definitely will teach again.

If you are interested in seeing how the classes were structured, check out my courses' webpage.

Meanwhile, I have a break for a couple of weeks, so I can get all manner of projects completed, which means a lot of writing and also a lot of time on the bajo sexto…
This site hosts a huge archive of digitized Earth First! and Animal Liberation zines from the 1980s to the present, such as XUltraMilitanceX from Hants, England or the Laguna Beach zine "The ALF Is Watching And There’s No Place To Hide" from 1988. The zines in this site are U.S., British, and Australian. There are probably others I haven't seen yet as well.

 The site also has posted some 1980s Animal Liberation punk rock. Like Toxic Waste's "As More Die" or Power Age's "Eat Wheat Not Meat". Here is the whole collection, which varies a bit in quality shall we say.

 I am not aware of a single place where there is such a complete and idiosyncratic collection of these kind of underground materials. This is an incredible wealth of historical material which will be very useful to the students in my Radicalism and Violence class.

The short introductions to each digitized collection are worthwhile since they do not obscure some of the dated or unsavor…
The Traditional Music of Texas, Volume 1: Fiddle Recordings from the Texas Folklife Archives is available for sale on cdbaby for download if you are one of them newfangled sorts who does the digital download. You can also hear a bit of each tune there too, so go give a listen.
You can also buy the cd directly from Texas Folklife right here  There are tune snippets there too.
Oh what the hell, buy two, it's the holidays.
I write a bit about the festival of Texas Fiddling last week in Blanco over at the Texas Folklife blog, I'll just send you over there rather than repeat it here.
This is a great week for me as a couple of my projects come into being after a lot of work and planning. (It happens to be during the last week of classes, so things are very busy, but it is all worth it.)

 This Friday the compilation album I have been working on will be released. The cd is called Traditional Music of Texas, Volume 1: Fiddle Recordings from the Texas Folklife Archives, and it features 14 tracks from legendary Texas swing fiddler Johnny Gimble, Texas breakdowns and contest style fiddling by Ricky Turpin and Valerie Ryals, Texas-Polish fiddling by Brian Marshall, Texas-Mexican fiddle music of the Rio Grande Valley by Jose Moreno, and down home Texas style fiddling by Bill Gilbert and Mike Henderson. It is all great stuff. The Jose Moreno tunes are the most interesting to me, but the whole thing is fantastic.

 It sounds great, too. This project has been whipped into being in record time by a lot of work from me and Charlie Lockwood at Texas Folklife, so I am really happy…