Hard Times Come Again No More

Stephen Fosters song as performed by Kate and Anna McGarrigle, along with Rufus Wainwright, Emmylou Harris and friends…

John McCain cannot relate to these hard times. He still has at least 7 or 8 houses where he can hang his hat.

Songs for Cats below the fold.


Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Breakdown

Time for a little relief from politics.  This is a live performance from 1977. This is around the time that Tom Petty first arrived on the scene.


Copyright Infringement

Found this little tidbit that I thought some folks might be interested in.

(h/t to Mike at Keystone Progressive)

For Immediate Release Contact: Lisa Cohen, 310.395.2544
August 26, 2008



San Francisco, CA – In a cease and desist letter filed with the right wing group broadcasting an anti-Obama ad in Michigan and Ohio that features Weather Underground founder William Ayers, the non-profit Free History Project, the organization that produced 2004 documentary film The Weather Underground, is demanding that all broadcasts of the ad be stopped for violating copyright laws. The cease and desist letter, which was sent to the conservative entity responsible for the attack ads, the American Issues Project, is attached below.

On Monday evening, John Keker, an attorney representing the Free History Project, which produced and directed the 2004 Oscar-nominated documentary The Weather Underground, informed the conservative organization, the American Issues Project, that its attack ad targeting Senator Barack Obama, which is currently being broadcast on television stations in Michigan and Ohio, uses unauthorized, copyright protected material.

Stating that the American Issues Project has “willfully violated the Free History Project’s intellectual property rights,” the cease and desist letter demanded that the right wing organization, “immediately remove the advertisement from any television, cable network, or other media outlet where it is currently running” and “remove the ad from the American Issues Project’s web site.” Mr. Keker will formally notify television stations in Michigan and Ohio that the American Issues Project’s attack ad is in violation of copyright law.

The Weather Underground tells the story of a group of young women and men – including the founder of the Weather Underground, William Ayers — who tried to overthrow the United States government during the late 1960’s and 70’s. The anti-Obama ad aired by the American Issues Project uses footage of William Ayers from the documentary without permission from the Free History Project, and, in doing so, is “directly infringing on the Free History Project’s copyright in the film.”

Sam Green, the Director of the Weather Underground and an officer and director of the Free History Project, said, “We were shocked and dismayed to see that material from our film was taken and used in this manner. Our goal in making The Weather Underground was to produce an even-handed and fair account of a turbulent period in American history. We would never authorize anyone to make use of the film for the purposes of divisive partisan politics.”

The cease and desist letter demanded that the American Issues Project, “immediately remove the advertisement from any television, cable network, or other media outlet where it is currently running” and “remove the ad from the American Issues Project’s web site.”

The Free History Project is a 501 (c) (3), film production, distribution and educational outreach organization. Its mission is to advance knowledge of media, history and humanities based-subjects, through independent documentary film and education.

Looks like someone got into trouble.

UPDATE:  It never stops with the McCain/Palin campaign.  They just steal, steal and keep stealing.

Here’s the latest

Obama Videos

American Prayer

Earlier this year when I was recording American Prayer, a song I originally co-wrote with Bono, the phrase, “When you get to the top of the mountain, remember me” seemed to take on a whole new resonance, given the inspirational candidacy of Barack Obama. The song always contained one of my favorite passages from Dr. King, which was hauntingly delivered the night before he was assassinated. King says: “I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land!” People long for a connection- whether it is to music, to their country, or to a big idea. Regardless of what happens in November, Senator Obama has reminded millions of people that they have the power to connect to bigger ideas. He is, in essence, the embodiment of a new anthem for change. He has continued King’s narrative from what was once thought of as a dream to a reality. I find it especially relevant that Barack Obama will accept the Democratic Party Nomination for President 45 years to the day of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
When we were originally writing the song, Bono was crafting the words in a way that would make people think about the fact that ‘America’ as a concept was a truly great idea, based on the bedrock of equality. I find it more pertinent than ever to release it now; to the moment America finds itself in, daring to re-imagine itself and its place in the world.
When I set out to make a video for the new version of this song, I wanted to honor all of those millions of people, especially young people, who are, for the first time, feeling empowered to voice their beliefs. I wanted to capture how Obama’s message of change has echoed across the broad fabric of what is America. To do that, we’ve cast the film with an eclectic array of personalities, including Forest Whitaker, Jason Alexander, Whoopi Goldberg, Cyndi Lauper, Barry Manilow, Joan Baez, Macy Gray and Joss Stone. They appear alongside veterans, teachers and everyday citizens- all of whom have been touched by this simple idea of change. As an Englishman, I’m not an expert in all the intricate details of American politics. But as an artist, I understand how rare it is to inspire a connection to a bigger idea or purpose. This video isn’t so much an endorsement of Barack Obama as much as it is a celebration of all those who have picked up a sign, who have registered to vote and are working to make the world a better place. So as Senator Barack Obama ascends to the mountain top, let us not forget all of the others who for the past 40 years have sung anthems of change to make this moment possible.


This is my American Prayer
This is my American Prayer

This is the time to finish what you started
And this is no time to dream
This is the room
We can turn off the dark tonight
Maybe then we might see

American Prayer
American Prayer

And this is the ground
That keeps our feet from getting wet
And this is the sky over our head
And what you see depends on where you stand
And how you jump will tell you where you’re gonna land

American Prayer
American Prayer

My oh my
Couldn’t get much higher
Lets not kick out the darkness
Make the light brighter

And these are the hands
What are we gonna build with them?
This is the church you can’t see
Give me your tired, your poor and huddled masses
You know they’re yearning to breathe free
This is my American Prayer
American Prayer
American Prayer

When you get to the top of the mountain
Will you tell me what you see
If you get to the top of the mountain
Remember me

Dave Stewart
Forest Whitaker
Amy Keys
Macy Gray
Jason Alexander
Colbie Caillat
Whoopi Goldberg
Joss Stone
Buju Banton
Ann Marie Calhoun
Barry Manilow
Linda Perry
Cyndi Lauper
Sergio Mendes
Herbie Hancock
Mike Bradford
Margaret Cho
Cindy Gomez
Joan Baez
Pamela Anderson
Peter & Gordon
Sierra Swan
Nadirah X
Perez Hilton



Chinese Clogging Olympics

If clogging to Chinese Bluegrass music isn’t already an Olympic sport, then it should be.

Hope you enjoyed Uncle Earl performing “Streak O’Lean, Streak O’Fat” 8)