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…and the referendum vote in scotland to stay part of the united kingdom.

i do my best to stay up on world affairs, but as the world seems to be spinning out of control at an ever-increasing rate, it’s hard to stay engaged knowing there’s little i can do about it without wanting to give up and set the whole thing ablaze.

still last thursday’s historic vote in scotland on whether or not to leave the united kingdom was particularly interesting. i watched patiently as the votes were counted, while political commentators discussed the vote from every angle imaginable. actually, part of what was so entertaining for me was how much the coverage seemed to mimic election coverage here in the states: reporters camped out at the different watch parties, talking to supporters on both side of the issue, and speculating on the outcome.

in the end, somewhere around 90% of scotland voters decided to continue on as a partner in the united kingdom, with both sides promising there would be positive changes in the future.

i know the politics in europe are different than they are here, but i will be nonetheless surprised if there are any real, substantive changes to the benefit of the scotish people….

laborfest was great fun. and what an inspiring way to spend an evening. the keynote speakers were gerald horne, moors professor of history and african-american studies at the university of houston, and steve early, a labor journalist, lawyer, organizer, and union representative. both were entertaining and interesting, but i have to say professor horne was great. i bought his book, fighting paradise: labor unions, racism, and communists in the making of modern hawaii. my friends bart dame and bill puette also participated, as well as others from various backgrounds.

if you’re interested, you can see the whole event broadcast on olelo:Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 3.32.16 PM

also, check out hawaii alliance for progressive action (hapa). it’s an organization from which i expect great things. consider getting involved and help make hawaii a better place for all of us and for future generations.

and stay tuned for exciting news about the new collaboration project with my old friend shawn steiman.

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i’ve acquired all sorts of new music, including additional tmbg, tracy, the decemberists, and much more. mmm, new music goodness….

while in search of album art, i came across the tmbg homepage. it’s been while since i visited and i’m pretty sure its all new and shiny looking. it includes a store and all sorts of videos, which i’m working my way through watching. also became a ‘fan’ of theirs on facebook, because their awesome! this is a statement found on their merchandise page:

This site is artist owned & operated. We proudly accept these creepy forms of corporate payment:

you gotta love’em…. here’s a video from them.

also, a facebook friend posted this video and i thought it was just too damn funny not to share with all of you:

translation: you’re all just jealous of us!

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like so many countless people around the world, i am stunned and saddened by the passing of the ‘king of pop,’ michael jackson.

admittedly, i was never one of the fanatical fans of which he had so many, but i did like a number of his songs and had a huge amount of respect for what he had done. it seems to me, he was one of a handful of artists that defined 80s pop music and culture.

thriller is the best selling album of all time. it was one of the best videos of all time and definitely one of my favorites.

Music Videos by VideoCure

billie jean is another one of my faves.

Music Videos by VideoCure

personally, i never believed any of the allegations against him. its so unfortunate how things went for him in his later years.

so this is my small tribute to his incredible talent. you will be missed michael.

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a tireless civil rights activist and friend died saturday morning after a long illness. a very nice article about his passing can be found here. another can be found here.

i knew bill through my work with the democratic party and as a supporter of the gay rights movement in hawaii. i also work with his husband, lance, and consider both friends of mine. i was sad to hear of his passing. Continue reading Bill E. Woods-Bateman 1959-2008

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