Help Locate! Missing 15 year Old

Amber Alert

Sharons GD

My friend , Sharon Jacobs is asking for help in locating her granddaughter

Headed from Caldwell, Idaho to possibly Calif. should put her on I84 headed west, then down the I5 Corridor. If you spot her, please call the police, email me rcarraher@live.com  , call 503-901-7528 or email Sharon directly at the address below.

My granddaughter, Olivia Rasmussen has run away from her Caldwell, Idaho home. We think she’s traveling to California somehow. If you spot her, please call the police and/or email me at beachbrat12@cox.net
Thank you, Sharon Jacobs

 

Thanks for your help!

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National Women’s History Month-Race For The Cure

this month is National Women’s History Month, and a friend, Maria K. also asked me for our help in The Race For The Cure. So follow the links Maria Provides below and Save the boobs! You know you want to.

 

Race4cureBreast Cancer. Isn’t It Time To Stop
This Disease in Its Tracks?

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Maria K. Accepted the Challenge

Walk for the Cure:
The Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure® is an amazing 60-mile walk that helps mothers, sisters, spouses and friends get one step closer to a world without breast cancer. Join us for three inspirational days where together we’ll walk so long, so far and with so much hope, the world will hear our footsteps.
What YOU can do:
There are many different opportunities to be a part of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure®.
1. Register as a walker or as a crew member
2. Volunteer
3. Support a participant with a donation or come out and cheer them on
4. Sign up for updates and newsletters to learn more
Follow Maria’s journey as she trains for the 3-day 60 mile walk:
A Mind Lively and at Ease

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March is also National Women’s History Month which may sound strange after reading what the Republicans have planned for women with their defunding of Planned Parenthood. “Big money has co-opted conservative activists for its agenda, but scratch the surface and it’s the religious right that rears it’s head. The Republicans who seem to have been co-opted by the Tea Party tell us they are not interested in social issues but just economic ones. It must have been quite a surprise, then, to have the new Republican-dominated House of Representatives, which rode in on a sea of Tea Party energy and funding, to immediately put most of their efforts into controlling the uteruses of America, through a series of bills that  defund Planned Parenthood, end all private insurance funding for abortion, and even allow doctors to refuse to save the lives of pregnant women if doing so would require performing an abortion.” There are two great articles that were recently published that lay this out, one by Amanda Marcotte in The Guardian which I have quoted from above. The other was in this mornings Alternet News. Both point out how the Tea Part/Republicans/Religious Right intend to marginalize women and there by marginalize the Democratic Party. This seems a tragedy when women in America have fought so long and hard for equal footing in the U.S.

As Black History Month comes to a close, Women’s History Month begins.
Women’s History Month is a relatively new invention, dating back to the 1970s, when women were fighting for greater recognition of female accomplishments. (Also at that time, the Equal Rights Amendment debate was in full swing.)
According to the National Women’s History Project, the idea for a month dedicated to women’s history sprouted in 1978.
That year, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women declared the week of March 8 “Women’s History Week,” selecting March 8 because it isInternational Women’s Day. The event was a success, with schoolchildren learning about women’s contributions to history, and a parade bringing the week to a close.
The following year a member of the Sonoma County commission told colleagues at the Women’s History Institute at Sarah Lawrence College about the Women’s History Week experiment. Excited by the idea, the Sarah Lawrence group decided to replicate the efforts in schools across the country and to begin pushing for National Women’s History Week.
Their efforts paid off quickly: In 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a message asking people to recognize National Women’s History Week from March 2-8. He said, “[T]he achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.”
But National Women’s History Week was still not yet formally recognized. So then Rep. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and Sen Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, co-sponsored legislation to ask that the president make National Women’s History Week official in 1981. It passed, and in 1982, President Ronald Reagan issued the first official proclamation naming the week including March 8 as National Women’s History Week.

For the next five years, Congress continued to pass the legislation, and the president continued to issue his proclamation. Then, in 1987, organizers decided to be expansive and changed the week to National Women’s History Month.
Since 1987, the president has proclaimed March to be Women’s History Month; for the first few years, Congress was involved, but since 1995, our presidents have done so without congressional prodding.
This year, the National Women’s History Project has declared Women’s History Month’s theme to be “Our History Is Our Strength.”

I’d like to suggest to all the guys out there, they take sometime this month to acknowledge the contribution of women in this country. if you’d like to take a moment to contribute to a cause by contributing to  Maria K.’s Race for the Cure, please do so, if you’d like to read some good books, Amazon has a great selection here: http://www.amazon.com/American-Womens-History-Doris-Weatherford/dp/0671850288 and almost more importantly, don’t let the Tea Party, The Republicans and the Religious Right get away with killing these important services for women.

 

The Dirty Lowdown

A Light Bulb Moment for the Tea Party?

While 100,000 people gathered in Madison, WI yesterday to demonstrate for their right to collective bargaining, 2,000 Tea Party supporters gathered in Phoenix for their first “national policy conference.” Mark Meckler, the Grass Valley attorney who cofounded Tea Party Patriots, a coalition of 3,300 groups says they are for fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets. I guess some of those groups couldn’t make it. But it made me wonder if by “fiscal responsibility” they meant giving tax breaks to big business, like Governor Walker did in Wisconsin thus creating a budget deficit for his state that he planned to fill by taking away workers rights to bargain for fair pay. I guess that encompasses “limited government” too. And Walker, also, with this bully boy bill is trying to give himself the power to sell Wisconsin’s public utilities to private businesses without a competitive bid. That’s a bit different from how I learned “free markets” in school.

Two supporters, Roger Langenberg and his son, Don, drove two days from Eugene, OR to be there said, “They are not concerned that Tea Party Patriots avoids taking positions on gay marriage and abortion.” Which made me wonder if perhaps they had missed the news for the past year or so. After all South Dakota just shelved a potential law that would have made it “justifiable homicide” to kill an abortion provider and something like 14 other states, lead by Tea Party candidates are considering such laws. Now if that isn’t a position, a position like a gun fighter in the street at noon, I don’t know what is.  They won’t decriminalize marijuana, but they’ll decriminalize shooting health care providers. And when they say the Tea Party hasn’t taken a stance on gays, perhaps they missed the stink in Montana. “I would consider it a distraction to deal with those issues,” Dan Langenberg, 29, said Saturday. “That’s not going to affect our jobs and the debt.”

A couple of their heroes and honored speakers at the gathering were Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce, author of the state’s controversial new anti-immigration law, “We can take this country back, one state at a time,” said Pearce, who recently introduced a measure that would require  schools to notify law enforcement if enrolling students could not provide proof of legal status. Apparently they are taking the war for “fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets” to  school students. Way to go guys. I know a lot of parents that have a hard time getting their kid to remember their lunch, now they must remember their papers.

Rep. Joe L. Barton (R-Texas) was one of the few veteran Washington politicians to attend. When he told the crowd he’d been in Congress for 26 years, a veritable chill fell over the room. But he was cheered when he mentioned he had sponsored an effort to repeal the law banning incandescent light bulbs.

One politician that was warmly received was businessman Herman Cain, the former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza who has apparently declared his candidacy. Cain advocates lowering the corporate tax rate, eliminating the capital gains tax and suspending taxes on profits parked overseas by American companies. So his idea is to give money to the rich, including himself. looks like he is trying to do an end run around those IRS agents looking into off shore and Swiss Bank account tax fraud too. Still, it’s better than banning incandescent light bulbs, and Barton should have done his home work and known going in that the Tea Party doesn’t back anything green….unless it’s “parked over seas by American companies.”

Former Minnesota Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty ended the conference with an appeal to the “Birthers” by saying, “Now, I’m not one who questions the existence of the president’s birth certificate. But when you listen to his policies, don’t you at least wonder what planet he’s from?”

What planet are you from, Tim? And have they replaced the incandescent light bulb?

The Dirty Lowdown

While You Were Sleeping….

The Republicans in the House of Representatives have been busy carrying out their mandate  to make Government Smaller. In reality what they are doing is handing back control of our future to the Pirates on Wall Street, the predatory banks, the greedy oil industry led by the Koch Brothers, trying to deny all Americans affordable health care, attacking women through the use of a time warp to take us back before Roe vs Wade, and basically declare a vengeful war on not just Democratic Policy and the goals of our elected President, but on the very constituents that elected him. Make no mistake, this is only one front in the war to punish the voters that support the Democrats. There are other fronts. In Wisconsin, Gov.  Scott Walker is trying to break the union of public sector employees…but not all unions, just the teachers and other state and municipal workers that traditionally vote Democrat. he is leaving alone the unions that back Republicans. In Ohio the same moves are being contemplated and Gov. Cristie who has it in for the unions in New Jersey is doing the same thing. A number of other states  are working to find a way to let states declare bankruptcy and get out from under debts including the pensions, as well as the ability to void union contracts. In South Dakota they are contemplating a law that would no longer make it an offense to kill people. Abortion providers that is. If passed this law would allow a ruling in a court of law of Justifiable Homicide if someone were to decide to kill an abortion provider. Robert Reich, a Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley has a pretty good assessment of the Republican Strategy here but make no mistake, this is practically a declaration of war on democratic voters and the whole Lower and middle income population of the U.S. There have already been threats to call out the National Guard in Wisconsin to combat teachers and librarians and clerks from your local DMV office….well, maybe them it would be okay.

.Here are some of the things your House of Representatives did early this Friday:

  • Voted to strip funding from just about every EPA project, including air quality, emissions, and water pollution monitoring. The Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the EPA had the power to regulate greenhouse gases as air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. So, the Republican party has unilaterally decided to trump the Supreme Court. Under the guise of carrying out the “peoples mandate” of smaller government the House Energy and Commerce Committee made this a top priority in budget cuts. In reality the committee is stacked with people elected directly using Koch Brothers funds. The Koch Brothers own the second largest privately owned company in the U.S. with an estimated net worth of $21.5 Billion each. Think about that. Between them they could pay the budget deficit for two or three states and still have enough money left over to buy a couple of Major League Franchises. You may want to call that a push for smaller government, but it sounds like a push for BIG BUSINESS to me. But I guess that when you have $43 billion between you, you can over rule the Supreme Court.
  • Defunded NOAA  At first this doesn’t sound so bad, but when you consider that the NOAA is the main agency riding shot gun on BP in assessing the damage done by BP’s irresponsible actions on the Deepwater Horizon Spill and making sure that BP follows the direction of the courts and the government is limiting and repairing that damage as well as compensating gulf businesses effected by the spill, it becomes a major move to again, take from the poor and give to the rich.
  • Stripped funds to administer the Affordable Care Act. This will eventually go to the Supreme Court, but pay attention to how they treated the Supreme Courts decision with their defunding the EPA rule.
  • Eliminated funds for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This is almost a rider on the EPA defunding.
  • Continued $53 billion in oil subsidies. Why are we, the tax payers, subsidizing a couple of guys worth $43 billion and their cronies in the other oil companies.?Especially when they won’t have to spend all those millions of dollars to make sure their companies don’t pollute the environment?
  • Tried to eliminate Davis-Bacon rules for government projects (that failed) if they had managed to push this one through, it would have meant that Congress would no longer have had to pay prevailing wages and benefits contractors and employees on Public Works Projects. The Davis-Bacon laws have been on the books since 1931 and were meant as a safe guard against under cutting pay and benefits on government projects. Again, an attempt to screw the working man.
  • Stripped federal workers of their salaries in positions within agencies targeted for defunding. This one is kind of vague since it still has to go to the Senate and won’t actually be passed right away, but it means that if you are an EPA Inspector who has worked for the agency, inspecting mine safety, inspecting refineries, paper mills, etc…for safe working conditions and proper hazardous waste disposal, safe emissions etc…you no longer get paid.
  • They have also cut additional funding for the SEC. This means that the SEC won’t even have the money they had last year when they were going after Madoff, nor the money to pursue prosecution of other corporate Pirates. Further, it provides no moneys for the new Consumer Protection organization which is supposed to police among other things, the mortgage industry and credit card companies so that illegal foreclosures and fraudulent interest rates don’t get charged. again, a win for big business and a bif loss for the citizens of the U.S. that don’t have 8 figure bank accounts.

Of course, last week they defunded Planned Parenthood, FCC allocations for enforcement of Net Neutrality rules which means that the big internet providers like AT&T can deny you equal access to the internet if someone pays them more  or if they decide they don’t want you going their unless you pay a fee. It’s interesting to note that AT&T is a big donor to the Republican party. Again, a move for big business and a loss for the average citizen. Next up is deregulation of “for-profit colleges” which probably shouldn’t concern us since none of us will be able to afford to send a kid to college anyhow. The Republicans like to say that we must cut spending to preserve the future, but it looks more like they are trying to assure that the average Joe in this country won’t have a future. As an aside, John Boehner, their leader, tried to spend on a redundant engine for a future fighter jet. An expenditure that the Sec. of Defense doesn’t even want. It was interesting to note that said engine would be built in or near his home district by another big company, GE. Also a big Republican fund raiser.And that’s the…

Dirty Lowdown

Democracy-Government by the People (that agree with me) or I can shoot them.

That would seem to encapsulate the conservative definition of democracy whether talking about about establishing democracy in the middle east or right here at home, in the good old U.S. of A.

To be fair, when the world was first used to describe a form of government (Think ancient Athens and Rome), democracy was defined as simply “rule by the people”. You could say that the entire concept relied on the collective intelligence and consciousness of the population to define what was right and wrong, legal an illegal for their society. This is as opposed to, say a Monarchy: Government by a single ruler. Or Oligarchy: Government by few persons (the elite).  It wasn’t until the Age of Enlightment (17th/18th centuries), when philosophers defined the essential elements of democracy: separation of powers, basic civil rights / human rights, religious liberty and separation of church and state.

This seems to be where political conservatives in America start to have a hard time with the concept of democracy. Especially those last three concepts. Separation of Church and State. Basic Civil Rights/ Human Rights. Religious Liberty. Boy, those are toughies.

Pointing out the first concept isn’t hard. Everybody from Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck to John Boehner can’t get enough of telling us that America was established as a “Christian Nation”. To an extent that is true, most if not all of “The Founding Fathers” were at least nominally Christian. They didn’t come from Jewish countries or Muslim countries and they probably weren’t even aware of Shinto countries or Buddhist countries. By the same standard you could say that America was established as an English Nation or a Spanish Nation or French, or German, …well you get the idea. That is where The Founding Fathers were from after all. No, what the Founding fathers sought to establish was a nation made up of people that were absolutely free to seek spiritual guidance in there own hearts and as long as that spiritual belief did not impinge on any one other persons freedom to seek there own spiritual beliefs, it was pretty much okay. Grasping that concept, we can segue into the other concepts…

Basic Civil/Human Rights. this seems to be a very hard concept for conservatives to grasp. At this very moment in the ‘Great State of South Dakota’ there is a bill before the legislature that redefine homicide. Specifically, it would make killing an Abortion Provider justifiable homicide. Just to clarify this a bit, since The U.S. Supreme Court handed down the decision in Roe vs. Wade, abortion has been legal in this country. The Court decided that a right to privacy under the due process clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution extends to a woman’s decision to have an abortion, but that right must be balanced against the state’s two legitimate interests for regulating abortions: protecting prenatal life and protecting the mother’s health. Now South Dakota is actually willing to consider a bill preempting a woman’s protection under the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution as well as the doctors right to life.  Democracy at the point of a gun? Apparently the conservative population in South Dakota truly believes in Democracy as defined in ancient Athens and Rome and not the definition after the Age of Enlightenment. I’d like to point out to those conservatives that ancient Rome also allowed crucifixion and in ancient Athens they could fill your ears with molten lead for disagreeing with the population.

Now, lets take this show on the road. I think we have all heard by now of the popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia and the call for Democratic reforms, both my those being beaten and killed in Tahir square, and nations around the world. Yet, there is no shortage of conservative politicians and commentators ready to warn that we are libel to end up with a Muslim ruled country where we had ‘benevolent’ dictators before. Glenn Beck has come right out and said, in effect, that the uprising in Egypt is “orchestrated by the Marxist Communists and the Muslim Brotherhood,” I guess Democratic reforms can only be enacted by South Dakotans in Becks book. Only staunch Christian Americans can be  “the people” in “rule by the people”. And in yet more fear mongering, Monica Crowley on this weekend’s McLaughlin Group went on to express the same, saying “that the only Arab democracy that we currently have in the region is the one built by the United States in Iraq.” So Democracy at the point of an AMERICAN gun is the ideal? By the way, how’s Iraq working out for you?

I’d like to remind Beck, O’Reilly, Limbaugh ,Crowley , Fox News and others that even if restricted to the antiquated and incomplete definition of Democracy being ‘Rule of The People’ that ‘the people’ are also the ones  who may disagree with  and thank god,  you don’t have a right to shoot them for disagreeing or being different. They are being protected by the constitutional laws of the United States,. And in  the middle east, those people aren’t White Christians, nor do they listen to your shows and your talking heads on TV’s.  It is very unlikely that their democracy will be made up of White Christians and even less likely they’ll be South Dakotan. But they are still entitled to their Democracy, their rule of the people, lets hope they institute basic civil rights / human rights, religious liberty and a kind of freedom you’d take away.  I’d also like to remind you that they have lived for decades under dictatorships and autocracies at the point of a gun, and they aren’t apt to accept your version of Democracy at the point of one either. And that is the….

The Dirty Lowdown

Windows 7 Tricks For Office 2007

I recently upgraded my desktop PC from Windows Vista Ultimate to Windows 7. I had resisted this upgrade out of protest. When I bought the desktop in 2008, I bought a high end HP-the first time since the early 80’s that I hadn’t built my own PC, but the HP really had everything I needed after I added a Light Scribe DVD Drive. When I ordered the PC from HP’s business division, it wasn’t offered with Vista Pro, only Vista Home which has reduced networking capabilities, so it came with XP Pro and I immediately upgraded to Vista Ultimate. This is where the protest came in. Vista was annoying. Every time you wanted to install something you had to navigate through what seemed like dozens of screens asking, “Do You Really Want To Do This”. So, I ended up finally working through all the registry hacks, tweaks, and add-ons to make Vista Ultimate act like, XP….hmmm. Then Windows 7 came out and everyone said it was a vast improvement over Vista. So, I went to Microsoft’s Upgrade Path site and low and behold, Vista users were offered reasonable-cost upgrades….except for those of us that spent all those extra dollars on Ultimate, we had to pay full price. Well, I finally broke down last month and upgraded to Windows 7, and it is a vastly improved OS. Feature Packed and performance improvements are really impressive. But there were problems….

The first glaring problem was there is no such thing as the Quick Launch Bar-that area on the task bar, next to the Start Button, where things like Outlook, Media Player and Microsoft Office used to appear where you could “quick launch” applications you used often without having to wade through the Start, programs menu. The second item was the Start Menu itself. This used to contain Search, Documents, My Computer and Programs but now, in Win 7 it seemed to be random and contain just the things you had recently used. Then I discovered that you could “Pin” items to the Start Menu, as well as to the Task Bar, so no problem, right? Wrong. Turns out you could only “Pin” some things to these areas. For instance, Internet Explorer and certain other apps written specifically for Win 7.

One item that really teed me off was you couldn’t Pin the old Microsoft Office “Open Office Document” and “New Office Document” shortcuts to the Start menu or the Task Bar and of course, there is no “Quick Launch”mbut that work around comes later….. Now I spent a lot of money on MS Office 2007 Pro, since I use all or most of the extra apps you get with the Pro Version of Office-things like Access, InfoPath and Power Point and most importantly, Outlook!, that aren’t available in The Home Versions of Office which only include Word and Excell. Now, if you want to upgrade to Office 2010, which really is nice but again expensive, then you can Pin these to either the Task bar or the Start Menu. But I personally don’t like the idea of spending $500 plus every two years for the “latest” versions and the inexpensive versions just don’t do all I need to do.

Well, I went exploring. I was all over the Office User Forums and I wasn’t the only person that was indignant ,pissed off and threatening to use Open Office-that free, Open Source office app that tries very hard to be compatible with MS Office but usually falls short if you try and do more than basic word processing or spread sheets. The answer from Microsoft was not satisfying. They basically had no work around or fix for this. if you wanted to continue to use your older Office program then you had to go back to wading through the All Programs menu to launch the Application.

Now, I have been tearing apart, like a backyard mechanic with a ‘57 Chevy, Microsoft Operating Systems since Dos 1.1 to make them do what I want them to do and why should Windows 7 not suffer this same fate? It took about 2 hours but I beat the bastards. And here is how you can too.

First off, the Open Office Document and the New Office Document (which used to bring up all the templates like these allowing you the choice of New Word Document or New Excell Workbook, etc…as well as all the Templates Like Invoices, Resume Samples, etc…on the other Tabs:    New Document Are launched from a file named osa.exe which can be found here: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12. Whether it comes up as Open Office Document or New Office Document relies on two switches, specifically –f for Open Office Document and –n for New Office Document. You can not just find this executable and pin it to the Start Menu or Task Bar. You have to create new shortcuts. And in new locations. The way I did this was to navigate to my profile by going to Start, Computer and opening up the C: drive which gives you this:Profile

 

 

 

Then I created the Folder Office, highlited in red by Right Clicking and selecting New Folder. Then open the new folder you just created and named Office and right Click again and select New Shortcut. This brings up the New Shortcut Wizard Create Shortcut

 

 

 

 

Enter the path to osa.exe which for the 32 bit version is: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12\OSA.EXE” –f and enter the variable –f or –n outside of the “ marks. If you have the 64 bit versions they are found at : C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12. Then click next, and on the next screen name the shortcut either Open Office Document for –f or New Office Document for –n then click Finish. Now you can right click on the two newly created shortcuts and choose to Pin them to either the Task Bar or the Start Menu. I Pinned mine to the Start Menu mainly because that is where they used to be, and I resist change just as much as the next guy.And, you didn’t have to spend $500 plus dollars to add this functionality. You can also choose to change the Icons to the familiar ones by choosing them from the osa.exe file. Here’s what it should look like when you are done: Start Menu

 

Don’t worry about screwing anything up in trying this. the worst that could happen is nothing will happen if you get the path wrong or or forget the –f or-n variables. I chose to create the new Folder and it’s short cuts inside my profile because if anyone else were ever to use my computer, the shortcuts wouldn’t show up with them Logged On. You could create it anywhere on the C: drive and enter the appropriate path and it’ll work. I try not to create new Folders or Shortcuts inside the Windows Directory or the Programs Directory because if you ever have to do a maintenance reinstall of a Program or of Windows you would over write the short cuts. Also, if you want the shortcuts to appear for everybody that uses your PC, instead of creating them in C:\users\Your_Name, Create them in C:\Users\default.

And that’s the Dirty Lowdown on that.

The Dirty Lowdown for February

After participating with the Veterans Administration in a demonstration of US Military one up man ship ie: That the Chinese do not have a monopoly on Chinese fire drills. On the 14th of December I was to have spinal surgery on my lower back, but on the morning of the surgery, after being thoroughly medicated the night before and treated to a “gourmet meal” consisting of fare deemed not suitable for our people in either theater of war, the surgeon canceled because of personal reasons reported to be a tornado in the small Oregon town he lives in. I knew this was bogus because Oregon doesn’t have tornados…err, well they usually don’t. They shuffled me out to a civilian hospital who took one look at my reports, films and MRI’s and promptly sent me back to the VA with a note saying, Ha! The VA figured they might as well not waste the medications they had pumped me full of and went ahead with the scheduled surgery “lite” and did a little exploring that, really, fixed nothing but did leave me with one more zipper. Then, they sent me home where I promptly got the flu.

All of that is in explanation for my silence here for the past 6 weeks. I would have shut up for longer but in a moment of weakness I announced on Facebook Friday that I was going out for a “tequila night” and since the cat is out of the bag, I figured it was time to blog.

Fun stuff on the agenda first up, February is 011710_immortallifeblackfaceswarmthofothercomboirBlack History Month. You shouldn’t need an excuse to read these since Black History is very much a part of American History, but nonetheless, it’s a good time to get some great books. Barnes & Noble has a great sale.

Staying with the Book Theme, great news from Simon & Schuster’ Scribner division, Chuck Hogan, the author of “Prince of Thieves” which was turned into the block buster movie, “The Town” starring Ben Affleck, has announced the release of “The Devils in Exile” in Trade Paper Back. “Neal Maven comes home from his tour in Iraq to nothing—no job, no friends, no future. Then he meets Brad Royce, a fellow vet, charismatic and confident, with the lifestyle and the one woman Neal has always wanted: Devils in Exile Danielle Vetti, Maven’s high-school dream girl. Royce offers Maven a spot on his team of vets who intercept major drug deals, take the dirty money, and destroy the product—an adrenaline-charged, get-rich scheme with a clear moral imperative. But is it too good to be true? With two psychotic hit men out for retaliation, a relentless DEA agent closing in, and more questions than answers about Royce, Maven suddenly finds he’s in too deep—and the truth may be his worst enemy.  Hogan so impressed me with “The Prince of Thieves” that I voted it one of the best novels of the decade, and “Devils” looks to be just as enthralling a read.

Now, on to the music scene.

A Night In Monte Carlo

I have a weakness for bass guitar, and Marcus Miller is my bass guitarist of choice when it comes to Jazz, and Classical interpretations. “A Night In Monte Carlo” has Marcus, along with Roy Hargrove and Raul Midon leading the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra in a live concert that will have music fans and bassists everywhere listening over and over again. There is a Miller composition on here called Blast that is superb! And then he fills in with Brasilian samba, Miles to Jimmy Dorsey all interpreted with great intelligence. Buy this album now.

A few last items close to my heart. February is ignore Sarah Palin month. Don’t mention her name, don’t blog about her (I just did, but never mind) and don’t cause yourself to have to double your Blood Pressure meds because of the inane things that come out her mouth, off her Facebook page or through Twitter. There is also a “Flush Rush” campaign going on on Facebook that is indeed a noble cause. Now if we can come up with something similar to shut Glenn Becks mouth, we’ll be in luck.

That’s the Dirty Lowdown for February

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