Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Help my pal, Jazz Legend Eric Kloss

Eric Kloss,a fantastic Pittsburgh jazz musician, is really between a rock and a hard place. You can help him out by clicking on the link above.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Who Da Bitch Now? - The Controversy Returns

I want to post a response to a very heartfelt and sincere complaint about one of the songs on my CD Have You Been to Jail for Justice? that I received from Willy, who writes:

"The first song is great, the reason I bought the album, but MAN- the
who the bitch now song - sickens me and makes me lose all respect for
you and your work. Condoning violence is wrong, even to violent
people - a terrible message for someone representing those seeking a
just world!"


My response:

This is by no means the first sincere complaint I have received about this remarkably complex and disturbing song by my friend Eric Schwartz. I was totally shocked and startled into stunned silence the first time I heard Eric perform it informally to a crowd gathered under a tree at the Kerrville Folk Festival. I didn't laugh either, although the large crowd found it utterly hilarious. I couldn't get the song and its imagery out of my head. I had Eric play the song for me again alone and we talked about it some. I discussed it with friends who had heard it, and were also anxious to talk about the experience of hearing this song. After a few days of this, I realized that this 2 and half minute song had provided me with three days of intensive reflection on the sufferings of James Byrd, Matthew Shepard and Abner Louima -- and provoked hours of reflection on the subject of retribution. I've always been a sucker for songs that make me think.

If you listened to the entire album I hope you noticed that the theme of this recording is jail. All sixteen new songs (and two of the four bonus tracks) include references to prison. I wanted to do an album that dealt specifically with the many aspects of life in prison after reading an article that pointed out that the US has more people in prison per capita than any nation on the planet except possibly China. We have 2,000,000+ people behind bars. Being a great admirer of Gene Debs, I despise prisons and believe that they create more problems than they solve.

That being said, I believe everyone (inlcuding me) has rejoiced -- if only for a few moments -- when hypocrites are chastised. When the pious and self-righteous Jimmy Swaggart is discovered in a rent-by-the-hour motel with a prostitute, I think most people say "Aha!" -- It certainly doesn't mean that they condone prostitution or exploitation of women. And while in our nobler hearts, I'm sure that we all wish Jimmy spiritual growth and other good things, we wouldn't be humans if we couldn't appreciate the irony of his situation. This is exactly what Eric is calling our attention to in this song. If we become too self righteous to appreciate irony, we may be heading for a fall ourselves.

It was the first song that brought you in, and the eighth song that turned you off. (I hope you listened to the last twelve songs...) "Who Da Bitch Now?" has introduced a lot of people to my music and they listen to the other nineteen songs on the recording. It's a trade off. Not every song will resonate with every person. I've had people tell me they hate "Joe Hill" or "The Internationale." The music itself goes from folksy to urban to reggae to Celtic to polka. Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only person who totally enjoys all the songs and styles on this recording. I think Eric Schwartz is a very skilled writer. When I sing it, I'm applauding the verdict - the public acknowledgment that what they did was wrong wrong wrong.

That being said, I promise that one of these days I'll put "Have You Been to Jail for Justice?" on an anthology of inspiring songs and leave "Who Da Bitch Now?" for my compendium of "Songs that Always Get Me in Trouble." (I've had quite a few of them over the last 30 years... some of them seem quite innocent now.)

So, Blogmates, let the discussion begin... Your comments are welcome.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Have You Been to Jail for Justice in Denmark?

Danish Preview Article

Har du været i fængsel for retfærdigheden?
Så vil jeg trykke din hånd
For en lig- og sitdown er måder at tage parti
Har du sunget en sang for frihed?
eller har du gået strejkevagt?
Har du været i fængsel for retfærdigheden?
Så er du en ven af mig

That is "Have You Been to Jail for Justice" in Danish... It's not intended as a sing-a-long ... it's more of an explanation of what the song is about ... My friend Gerd Berlev did the translation/interpretation ...

you can click the link for the full story, and picture.......

Friday, October 22, 2004

The Authentic History Center:

The Authentic History Center:

there's my childhood... whoah... if you're 50-something this beautifully drawn piece of propaganda will thrill you.... read all these issues of Treasure Chest Comics, which were given to us every Friday morning after Mass to read while we ate our doughnuts. I was 9 years old as I read most of these... whoah...

Thursday, September 23, 2004

FolkWax Review of Live from the Wholly Stolen Empire

Live From The Wholly Stolen Empire -FolkWax Review

"It represents a continuation of the minstrel tradition that was perfected in the 20th Century by political Folk singers from Woody Guthrie to Phil Ochs and beat poets like Allen Ginsberg and Tuli Kupferberg" ... read all of Bob Gersztyn's review by clicking the link above...

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Axis of Eve

Axis of Eve is sporting some nice protest wear... and it's sweat free! made by American Apparel.
Check it out! it's fun.

Chris Chandler's Fabulous New Website!

Check out Chris Chandler's Brand New Website -- It's Awesome!

Finally, Chandler has a website that looks more like him! Check it out. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Do Yourself an Audio Favor and Help Jolie Rickman

Buy Jolie Rickman's Recordings

please hold Jolie Rickman in your thoughts and/or prayers. She and Colleen Kattau have performed at every SOA demo for forever... Jolie has been battling ovarian cancer, and after getting a great cancer-free diagnosis last month, she learned yesterday that she had a metastatic brain tumor which was removed this morning. I'm not sure how old Jolie is, but I don't think she's 40... she's really been to hell and back.

Jolie's terrific CDs -Suffer to Be Beautiful, Sublime Detonation, and Sing It Down! (done with Colleen Kattau as a fundraiser for SOAW) - are available for $14 payable to: jolie rickman, 23 virginia ave, brooklyn, ny 11213 ... music samples available by clicking the link.

Northland Poster Collective

Northland Poster Collective"The Mall of the Other America"


My friends at the Northland Poster Collective have put together a great set of bumper stickers for the election... If you haven't found one you can put on your car yet, try ... John Kerry - Sucks Less

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Isn't This a Time?

Pete Seeger performs at world premiere

Canadian Press
September 18, 2004 7:59 PM ET

TORONTO — Eighty-five-year-old Pete Seeger and his legendary 1950s folk group The Weavers received a hero's welcome when they performed two emotional reunion shows -- one on screen and one in person -- at the Toronto International Film Festival.... (click the link above for the whole story...)

Thursday, September 16, 2004

AFSCME LaborLinks: Women's Labor History

AFSCME LaborLinks: Women's Labor History

is a great page of women-centered labor history... AFSCME's website has a lot of great information. You should check it out.

Monday, September 06, 2004

We Need National Health Care NOW!

While I was in Louisville on Saturday I had lunch with my wonderful activist friend Kay Tillow. She is working very hard on this campaign for single payer National Health Care. This is really a long post, but it includes the text of HR676: To provide for comprehensive health insurance coverage for all United States residents.

Please consider introducing the following resolution to your local union, central body, or other progressive organizaton.

RESOLUTION ENDORSING HR 676 – Single Payer Universal Health Care
Workers, their families and their unions are waging an increasingly difficult struggle to win or to keep good health care coverage. Almost every union at every contract deadline must battle and sacrifice merely to sustain health care benefits. The rising costs of health insurance are blocking workers’ progress in wages and other areas. All of our unions face a healthcare crisis.
But the crisis extends far beyond union members. More than 43 million people in the U. S. are currently without health insurance, more than 75 million went without for some length of time within the last two years, and millions more have inadequate coverage or are at risk of losing coverage. People of color, immigrants and women are denied care at disproportionate rates, while the elderly and many others must choose between necessities and life sustaining drugs and care. Unorganized workers have either no or inadequate coverage. The Institute of Medicine has found that each year more than 18,000 in the U. S. die because they had no health insurance.
While we in the United States spend approximately twice as much of our gross domestic product as other developed nations on health care, we remain the only industrialized country without universal coverage. Our problem worsens each year as insurance costs increase and as gradual solutions have failed to make a dent in the problem.
The U. S. health system continues to treat health care as a commodity distributed according to the ability to pay, rather than as a social service to be distributed according to human need. Insurance companies and HMOs compete not by increasing quality or lowering costs, but by avoiding covering those whose needs are greatest.
Economic necessity and moral conscience compel us to seek a better way. Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) (joined by 33 co-signers) has introduced HR 676, the United States National Health Insurance Act, also called Expanded and Improved Medicare for All. This single-payer health care program proposes an effective mechanism for controlling skyrocketing health costs while covering all 43 million uninsured Americans. The bill also restores free choice of physicians to patients and provides comprehensive prescription drug coverage to seniors, as well as to younger people.
HR 676 would cover every person in the U. S. for all necessary medical care including prescription drugs, hospital, surgical, outpatient services, primary and preventive care, emergency services, dental, mental health, home health, physical therapy, rehabilitation (including for substance abuse), vision care, chiropractic and long term care. HR 676 ends deductibles and co-payments. HR 676 would save billions annually by eliminating high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs. The transition to national health insurance would apply the savings from administration and profits to expanded and improved coverage for all.
(over)
A single payer program as provided by HR 676 is the only affordable option for universal, comprehensive coverage.
Resolved:
That __________________________________ wholeheartedly endorses Congressman Conyers' bill HR 676, “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All,” a single payer health care program.
That _____________________ will work with other unions and community groups to build a groundswell of popular support and action for single payer universal health care and HR 676 until we make what is morally right for our nation into what is also politically possible.
That _____________________ will send a copy of this resolution to Congressman Conyers, to all members of the U.S. House and Senate, to the AFL-CIO Executive Council, and to the news media.
That ______________________ will take other actions to mobilize our members and our community at the grassroots to encourage other members of the House to sign on as co-sponsors of HR 676 and to encourage Senators to introduce a companion bill in the Senate.


Our local union/district council/labor council also endorsed the above resolution:
Union____________________________________
International_______________________________
Address__________________________________
City__________________________
State _______________________ Zip ______________
Phone:__________________ Fax:_________________
email:_____________________
Signed by__________________________________
Title______________________________
Date____________________


Please return to: Kay Tillow, Nurses Professional Organization, 1169 Eastern Parkway, #2200, Box 50, Louisville, KY 40217, (502) 459-3393, nursenpo@aol.com

Similar resolutions have been passed by:

Duluth (Minnesota) AFL-CIO Central Labor Body

American Federation of Government Employees Local 2028, Pittsburgh, PA, representing 1,700 nurses, other professionals and service workers at two Veterans Administration Hospitals

Plumbers and Steamfitters HVAC, Local 188, United Association, Savannah, GA.

United Steelworkers of America, Local 1693, Louisville, KY, amalgamated local representing 1700 workers

United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters, Local 630,
West Palm Beach, FL

Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), National Convention, Oct. 2003

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), National Convention,
May 2004

Jefferson County Teachers’ Association (National Education Association), representing teachers in the public school system, Louisville, KY

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2629, AFL-CIO, representing Louisville Metro Government Employees, Louisville, KY

Northwest Indiana Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

United Steelworkers of America, Local 6787, representing over 3000 steelworkers in Burns Harbor, IN

Plumbers, Steamfitters, and Refrigeration Fitters, Local 393, AFL-CIO,
San Jose, CA.

California State Pipe Trades Council, United Association, AFL-CIO


For further information: Kay Tillow, Nurses Professional Organization, 1169 Eastern Parkway, #2200, Box 50, Louisville, KY 40217, (502) 459-3393, nursenpo@aol.com


HR 676 IH
108th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 676
To provide for comprehensive health insurance coverage for all United States residents, and for other purposes.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 11, 2003
Mr. CONYERS (for himself, Mr. MCDERMOTT, Mr. KUCINICH, Mrs. CHRISTENSEN, Mr. SCOTT of Virginia, Ms. LEE, Ms. NORTON, Mr. DAVIS of Illinois, Mr. OWENS, Mr. JACKSON of Illinois, Mr. HINCHEY, Mr. PAYNE, Mr. CUMMINGS, Ms. KILPATRICK, Mr. HASTINGS of Florida, Mr. FATTAH, Mr. GRIJALVA, Mr. TOWNS, Mr. LEWIS of Georgia, Mr. GUTIERREZ, Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi, Ms. CARSON of Indiana, Mr. PASTOR, Ms. WOOLSEY, Mr. CLAY, and Mr. RANGEL) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Ways and Means, Resources, and Veterans' Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL
To provide for comprehensive health insurance coverage for all United States residents, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.
(a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the `United States National Health Insurance Act (or the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act)'.
(b) TABLE OF CONTENTS- The table of contents of this Act is as follows:
Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Definitions and terms.
TITLE I--ELIGIBILITY AND BENEFITS
Sec. 101. Eligibility and registration.
Sec. 102. Benefits and portability.
Sec. 103. Qualification of participating providers.
Sec. 104. Prohibition against duplicating coverage.
TITLE II--FINANCES
Subtitle A--Budgeting and Payments
Sec. 201. Budgeting process.
Sec. 202. Payment of providers and health care clinicians.
Sec. 203. Payment for long-term care.
Sec. 204. Mental health services.
Sec. 205. Payment for prescription medications, medical supplies, and medically necessary assistive equipment.
Sec. 206. Consultation in establishing reimbursement levels.
Subtitle B--Funding
Sec. 211. Overview: funding the USNHI Program.
Sec. 212. Appropriations for existing programs for uninsured and indigent.
TITLE III--ADMINISTRATION
Sec. 301. Public administration; appointment of Director.
Sec. 302. Quality and cost control.
Sec. 303. Regional and State administration; employment of displaced clerical workers.
Sec. 304. Confidential Electronic Patient Record System.
Sec. 305. National Board of Universal Quality and Access.
TITLE IV--ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS
Sec. 401. Treatment of VA and IHS health programs.
Sec. 402. Public health and prevention.
Sec. 403. Reduction in health disparities.
TITLE V--EFFECTIVE DATE
Sec. 501. Effective date.
SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS AND TERMS.
In this Act:
(1) USNHI PROGRAM; PROGRAM- The terms `USNHI Program' and `Program' mean the program of benefits provided under this Act and, unless the context otherwise requires, the Secretary with respect to functions relating to carrying out such program.
(2) NATIONAL BOARD OF UNIVERSAL QUALITY AND ACCESS- The term `National Board of Universal Quality and Access' means such Board established under section 305.
(3) REGIONAL OFFICE- The term `regional office' means a regional office established under section 303.
(4) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
(5) DIRECTOR- The term `Director' means, in relation to the Program, the Director appointed under section 301.
TITLE I--ELIGIBILITY AND BENEFITS
SEC. 101. ELIGIBILITY AND REGISTRATION.
(a) IN GENERAL- All individuals residing in the United States (including any territory of the United States) are covered under the USNHI Program entitling them to a universal, best quality standard of care. Each such individual shall receive a card with a unique number in the mail. An individual's social security number shall not be used for purposes of registration under this section.
(b) REGISTRATION- Individuals and families shall receive a United States National Health Insurance Card in the mail, after filling out a United States National Health Insurance application form at a health care provider. Such application form shall be no more than 2 pages long.
(c) PRESUMPTION- Individuals who present themselves for covered services from a participating provider shall be presumed to be eligible for benefits under this Act, but shall complete an application for benefits in order to receive a United States National Health Insurance Card and have payment made for such benefits.
SEC. 102. BENEFITS AND PORTABILITY.
(a) IN GENERAL- The health insurance benefits under this Act cover all medically necessary services, including--
(1) primary care and prevention;
(2) inpatient care;
(3) outpatient care;
(4) emergency care;
(5) prescription drugs;
(6) durable medical equipment;
(7) long term care;
(8) mental health services;
(9) the full scope of dental services (other than cosmetic dentistry);
(10) substance abuse treatment services;
(11) chiropractic services; and
(12) basic vision care and vision correction (other than laser vision correction for cosmetic purposes).
(b) PORTABILITY- Such benefits are available through any licensed health care clinician anywhere in the United States that is legally qualified to provide the benefits.
(c) NO COST-SHARING- No deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, or other cost-sharing shall be imposed with respect to covered benefits.
SEC. 103. QUALIFICATION OF PARTICIPATING PROVIDERS.
(a) REQUIREMENT TO BE PUBLIC OR NON-PROFIT-
(1) IN GENERAL- No institution may be a participating provider unless it is a public or not-for-profit institution.
(2) CONVERSION OF INVESTOR-OWNED PROVIDERS- Investor-owned providers of care opting to participate shall be required to convert to not-for-profit status.
(3) COMPENSATION FOR CONVERSION- The owners of such investor-owned providers shall be compensated for the actual appraised value of converted facilities used in the delivery of care.
(4) FUNDING- There are authorized to be appropriated from the Treasury such sums as are necessary to compensate investor-owned providers as provided for under paragraph (3).
(5) REQUIREMENTS- The conversion to a not-for-profit health care system shall take place over a 15-year period, through the sale of US Treasury Bonds. Payment for conversions under paragraph (3) shall not be made for loss of business profits, but may be made only for costs associated with the conversion of real property and equipment.
(b) QUALITY STANDARDS-
(1) IN GENERAL- Health care delivery facilities must meet regional and State quality and licensing guidelines as a condition of participation under such program, including guidelines regarding safe staffing and quality of care.
(2) LICENSURE REQUIREMENTS- Participating clinicians must be licensed in their State of practice and meet the quality standards for their area of care. No clinician whose license is under suspension or who is under disciplinary action in any State may be a participating provider.
(c) PARTICIPATION OF HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATIONS-
(1) IN GENERAL- Non-profit health maintenance organizations that actually deliver care in their own facilities and employ clinicians on a salaried basis may participate in the program and receive global budgets or capitation payments as specified in section 202.
(2) EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATIONS- Other health maintenance organizations, including those which principally contract to pay for services delivered by non-employees, shall be classified as insurance plans. Such organizations shall not be participating providers, and are subject to the regulations promulgated by reason of section 104(a) (relating to prohibition against duplicating coverage).
(d) FREEDOM OF CHOICE- Patients shall have free choice of participating physicians and other clinicians, hospitals, and inpatient care facilities.
SEC. 104. PROHIBITION AGAINST DUPLICATING COVERAGE.
(a) IN GENERAL- It is unlawful for a private health insurer to sell health insurance coverage that duplicates the benefits provided under this Act.
(b) CONSTRUCTION- Nothing in this Act shall be construed as prohibiting the sale of health insurance coverage for any additional benefits not covered by this Act, such as for cosmetic surgery or other services and items that are not medically necessary.
TITLE II--FINANCES
Subtitle A--Budgeting and Payments
SEC. 201. BUDGETING PROCESS.
(a) ESTABLISHMENT OF OPERATING BUDGET AND CAPITAL EXPENDITURES BUDGET-
(1) IN GENERAL- To carry out this Act there are established on an annual basis consistent with this title--
(A) an operating budget;
(B) a capital expenditures budget;
(C) reimbursement levels for providers consistent with subtitle B; and
(D) a health professional education budget, including amounts for the continued funding of resident physician training programs.
(2) REGIONAL ALLOCATION- After Congress appropriates amounts for the annual budget for the USNHI Program, the Director shall provide the regional offices with an annual funding allotment to cover the costs of each region's expenditures. Such allotment shall cover global budgets, reimbursements to clinicians, and capital expenditures. Regional offices may receive additional funds from the national program at the discretion of the Director.
(b) OPERATING BUDGET- The operating budget shall be used for--
(1) payment for services rendered by physicians and other clinicians;
(2) global budgets for institutional providers;
(3) capitation payments for capitated groups; and
(4) administration of the Program.
(c) CAPITAL EXPENDITURES BUDGET- The capital expenditures budget shall be used for funds needed for--
(1) the construction or renovation of health facilities; and
(2) for major equipment purchases.
(d) PROHIBITION AGAINST CO-MINGLING OPERATIONS AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FUNDS- It is prohibited to use funds under this Act that are earmarked--
(1) for operations for capital expenditures; or
(2) for capital expenditures for operations.
SEC. 202. PAYMENT OF PROVIDERS AND HEALTH CARE CLINICIANS.
(a) ESTABLISHING GLOBAL BUDGETS; MONTHLY LUMP SUM-
(1) IN GENERAL- The USNHI Program, through its regional offices, shall pay each hospital, nursing home, community or migrant health center, home care agencies, or other institutional provider or pre-paid group practice a monthly lump sum to cover all operating expenses under a global budget.
(2) ESTABLISHMENT OF GLOBAL BUDGETS- The global budget of a provider shall be set through negotiations between providers and regional directors, but are subject to the approval of the Director. The budget shall be negotiated annually, based on past expenditures, projected changes in levels of services, wages and input, costs, and proposed new and innovative programs.
(b) THREE PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR PHYSICIANS AND CERTAIN OTHER HEALTH PROFESSIONALS-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Program shall pay physicians, dentists, doctors of osteopathy, psychologists, chiropractors, doctors of optometry, nurse
practitioners, nurse midwives, physicians' assistants, and other advanced practice clinicians as licensed and regulated by the States by the following payment methods:
(A) Fee for service payment under paragraph (2).
(B) Salaried positions in institutions receiving global budgets under paragraph (3).
(C) Salaried positions within group practices or non-profit health maintenance organizations receiving capitation payments under paragraph (4).
(2) FEE FOR SERVICE-
(A) IN GENERAL- The Program shall negotiate a simplified fee schedule with clinician representatives, after close consultation with the National Board of Universal Quality and Access and regional and State directors.
(B) CONSIDERATIONS- In establishing such schedule, the Director shall take into consideration regional differences in reimbursement, but strive for a uniform national standard.
(C) FINAL GUIDELINES- The regional directors shall be responsible for promulgating final guidelines to all providers.
(D) BILLING- Under the Act physicians shall submit bills to the regional director on a simple form, or via computer. Interest shall be paid to providers whose bills are not paid within 30 days of submission.
(E) NO BALANCE BILLING- Licensed health care clinicians who accept any payment from the USNHI Program may not bill any patient for any covered service.
(F) UNIFORM COMPUTER ELECTRONIC BILLING SYSTEM- The Director shall make a good faith effort to create a uniform computerized electronic billing system, including in those areas of the United States where electronic billing is not yet established.
(3) SALARIES WITHIN INSTITUTIONS RECEIVING GLOBAL BUDGETS-
(A) IN GENERAL- In the case of an institution, such as a hospital, health center, group practice, community and migrant health center, or a home care agency that elects to be paid a monthly global budget for the delivery of health care as well as for education and prevention programs, physicians employed by such institutions shall be reimbursed through a salary included as part of such a budget.
(B) SALARY RANGES- Salary ranges for health care providers shall be determined in the same way as fee schedules under paragraph (2).
(4) SALARIES WITHIN CAPITATED GROUPS-
(A) IN GENERAL- Health maintenance organizations, group practices, and other institutions may elect to be paid capitation premiums to cover all outpatient, physician, and medical home care provided to individuals enrolled to receive benefits through the organization or entity.
(B) SCOPE- Such capitation may include the costs of services of licensed physicians and other licensed, independent practitioners provided to inpatients. Other costs of inpatient and institutional care shall be excluded from capitation payments, and shall be covered under institutions' global budgets.
(C) PROHIBITION OF SELECTIVE ENROLLMENT- Selective enrollment policies are prohibited, and patients shall be permitted to enroll or disenroll from such organizations or entities with appropriate notice.
(D) HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATIONS- Under this Act--
(i) health maintenance organizations shall be required to reimburse physicians based on a salary; and
(ii) financial incentives between such organizations and physicians based on utilization are prohibited.
SEC. 203. PAYMENT FOR LONG-TERM CARE.
(a) ALLOTMENT FOR REGIONS- The Program shall provide for each region a single budgetary allotment to cover a full array of long-term care services under this Act.
(b) REGIONAL BUDGETS- Each region shall provide a global budget to local long-term care providers for the full range of needed services, including in-home, nursing home, and community based care.
(c) BASIS FOR BUDGETS- Budgets for long-term care services under this section shall be based on past expenditures, financial and clinical performance, utilization, and projected changes in service, wages, and other related factors.
(d) FAVORING NON-INSTITUTIONAL CARE- All efforts shall be made under this Act to provide long-term care in a home- or community-based setting, as opposed to institutional care.
SEC. 204. MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES.
(a) IN GENERAL- The Program shall provide coverage for all medically necessary mental health care on the same basis as the coverage for other conditions. Licensed mental health clinicians shall be paid in the same manner as specified for other health professionals, as provided for in section 202(b).
(b) FAVORING COMMUNITY-BASED CARE- The USNHI Program shall cover supportive residences, occupational therapy, and ongoing mental health and counseling services outside the hospital for patients with serious mental illness. In all cases the highest quality and most effective care shall be delivered, and, for some individuals, this may mean institutional care.
SEC. 205. PAYMENT FOR PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS, MEDICAL SUPPLIES, AND MEDICALLY NECESSARY ASSISTIVE EQUIPMENT.
(a) NEGOTIATED PRICES- The prices to be paid each year under this Act for covered pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and medically necessary assistive equipment shall be negotiated annually by the Program.
(b) PRESCRIPTION DRUG FORMULARY-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Program shall establish a prescription drug formulary system, which shall encourage best-practices in prescribing and discourage the use of ineffective, dangerous, or excessively costly medications when better alternatives are available.
(2) PROMOTION OF USE OF GENERICS- The formulary shall promote the use of generic medications but allow the use of brand-name and off-formulary medications when indicated for a specific patient or condition.
(3) FORMULARY UPDATES AND PETITION RIGHTS- The formulary shall be updated frequently and clinicians and patients may petition their region or the Director to add new pharmaceuticals or to remove ineffective or dangerous medications from the formulary.
SEC. 206. CONSULTATION IN ESTABLISHING REIMBURSEMENT LEVELS.
Reimbursement levels under this subtitle shall be set after close consultation with regional and State Directors and after the annual meeting of National Board of Universal Quality and Access.
Subtitle B--Funding
SEC. 211. OVERVIEW: FUNDING THE USNHI PROGRAM.
(a) IN GENERAL- The USNHI Program is to be funded as provided in subsections (b) and (c).
(b) ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FOR FUNDING OF USNHI PROGRAM- There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act such sums as may be necessary.
(c) INTENT- Sums appropriated pursuant to subsection (b) shall be paid for--
(1) by vastly reducing paperwork;
(2) by requiring a rational bulk procurement of medications;
(3) from existing sources of Federal government revenues for health care;
(4) by increasing personal income taxes on the top 5 percent income earners;
(5) by instituting a modest payroll tax; and
(6) by instituting a small tax on stock and bond transactions.
SEC. 212. APPROPRIATIONS FOR EXISTING PROGRAMS FOR UNINSURED AND INDIGENT.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, there are hereby transferred and appropriated to carry out this Act, amounts equivalent to the amounts the Secretary estimates would have been appropriated and expended for Federal public health care programs for the uninsured and indigent, including funds appropriated under the Medicare program under title XVIII of the Social Security Act, under the Medicaid program under title XIX of such Act, and under the Children's Health Insurance Program under title XXI of such Act.
TITLE III--ADMINISTRATION
SEC. 301. PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION; APPOINTMENT OF DIRECTOR.
(a) IN GENERAL- Except as otherwise specifically provided, this Act shall be administered by the Secretary through a Director appointed by the Secretary.
(b) LONG-TERM CARE- The Director shall appoint a director for long-term care who shall be responsible for administration of this Act and ensuring the availability and accessibility of high quality long-term care services.
(c) MENTAL HEALTH- The Director shall appoint a director for mental health who shall be responsible for administration of this Act and ensuring the availability and accessibility of high quality mental health services.
SEC. 302. OFFICE OF QUALITY CONTROL.
The Director shall appoint a director for an Office of Quality Control. Such director shall, after consultation with state and regional directors, provide annual recommendations to Congress, the President, the Secretary, and other Program officials on how to ensure the highest quality health care service delivery. The director of the Office of Quality Control shall conduct an annual review on the adequacy of medically necessary services, and shall make recommendations of any proposed changes to the Congress, the President, the Secretary, and other USNHI program officials.
SEC. 303. REGIONAL AND STATE ADMINISTRATION; EMPLOYMENT OF DISPLACED CLERICAL WORKERS.
(a) USE OF REGIONAL OFFICES- The Program shall establish and maintain regional offices. Such regional offices shall replace all regional Medicare offices.
(b) APPOINTMENT OF REGIONAL AND STATE DIRECTORS- In each such regional office there shall be--
(1) one regional director appointed by the Director; and
(2) for each State in the region, a deputy director (in this Act referred to as a `State Director') appointed by the governor of that State.
(c) REGIONAL OFFICE DUTIES-
(1) IN GENERAL- Regional offices of the Program shall be responsible for--
(A) coordinating funding to health care providers and physicians; and
(B) coordinating billing and reimbursements with physicians and health care providers through a State-based reimbursement system.
(d) STATE DIRECTOR'S DUTIES- Each State Director shall be responsible for the following duties:
(1) Providing an annual state health care needs assessment report to the National Board of Universal Quality and Access, and the regional board, after a thorough examination of health needs, in consultation with public health officials, clinicians, patients and patient advocates.
(2) Health planning, including oversight of the placement of new hospitals, clinics, and other health care delivery facilities.
(3) Health planning, including oversight of the purchase and placement of new health equipment to ensure timely access to care and to avoid duplication.
(4) Submitting global budgets to the regional director.
(5) Recommending changes in provider reimbursement or payment for delivery of health services in the State.
(6) Establishing a quality assurance mechanism in the State in order to minimize both under utilization and over utilization and to assure that all providers meet high quality standards.
(7) Reviewing program disbursements on a quarterly basis and recommending needed adjustments in fee schedules needed to achieve budgetary targets and assure adequate access to needed care.
(e) FIRST PRIORITY IN RETRAINING AND JOB PLACEMENT- The Program shall provide that clerical and administrative workers in insurance companies, doctors offices, hospitals, nursing facilities and other facilities whose jobs are eliminated due to reduced administration, should have first priority in retraining and job placement in the new system.
SEC. 304. CONFIDENTIAL ELECTRONIC PATIENT RECORD SYSTEM.
(a) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall create a standardized, confidential electronic patient record system in accordance with laws and regulations to maintain accurate patient records and to simplify the billing process, thereby reducing medical errors and bureaucracy.
(b) PATIENT OPTION- Notwithstanding that all billing shall be preformed electronically, patients shall have the option of keeping any portion of their medical records separate from their electronic medical record.
SEC. 305. NATIONAL BOARD OF UNIVERSAL QUALITY AND ACCESS.
(a) ESTABLISHMENT-
(1) IN GENERAL- There is established a National Board of Universal Quality and Access (in this section referred to as the `Board') consisting of 15 members appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
(2) QUALIFICATIONS- The appointed members of the Board shall include at least one of each of the following:
(A) Health care professionals.
(B) Representatives of institutional providers of health care.
(C) Representatives of health care advocacy groups.
(D) Representatives of labor unions.
(E) Citizen patient advocates.
(3) TERMS- Each member shall be appointed for a term of 6 years, except that the President shall stagger the terms of members initially appointed so that the term of no more than 3 members expires in any year.
(4) PROHIBITION ON CONFLICTS OF INTEREST- No member of the Board shall have a financial conflict of interest with the duties before the Board.
(b) DUTIES-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Board shall meet at least twice per year and shall advise the Secretary and the Director on a regular basis to ensure quality, access, and affordability.
(2) SPECIFIC ISSUES- The Board shall specifically address the following issues:
(A) Access to care.
(B) Quality improvement.
(C) Efficiency of administration.
(D) Adequacy of budget and funding.
(E) Appropriateness of reimbursement levels of physicians and other providers.
(F) Capital expenditure needs.
(G) Long-term care.
(H) Mental health and substance abuse services.
(I) Staffing levels and working conditions in health care delivery facilities.
(3) ESTABLISHMENT OF UNIVERSAL, BEST QUALITY STANDARD OF CARE- The Board shall specifically establish a universal, best quality of standard of care with respect to--
(A) appropriate staffing levels;
(B) appropriate medical technology;
(C) design and scope of work in the health workplace; and
(D) best practices.
(4) TWICE-A-YEAR REPORT- The Board shall report its recommendations twice each year to the Secretary, the Director, Congress, and the President.
(c) COMPENSATION, ETC- The following provisions of section 1805 of the Social Security Act shall apply to the Board in the same manner as they apply to the Medicare Payment Assessment Commission (except that any reference to the Commission or the Comptroller General shall be treated as references to the Board and the Secretary, respectively):
(1) Subsection (c)(4) (relating to compensation of Board members).
(2) Subsection (c)(5) (relating to chairman and vice chairman)
(3) Subsec

The Toronto International Film Festival

Bell - The Toronto International Film Festival

Production Company: Ginger Group Productions/L.K. Cohl
Executive Producer: Harold Leventhal, Arlo Guthrie
Producer: Jim Brown, Michael Cohl, William Eigen
Editor: Adam Browne, Paul Petrissans, Sam Pollard
Sound: Alan Silverman
Principal Cast: Featuring: Harold Leventhal, The Weavers, Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Leon Bibb, Theodore Bikel, Peter, Paul and Mary

Isn’t This a Time! A Tribute Concert for Harold Leventhal features the most influential talents in folk music – The Weavers (Pete Seeger, Fred Hellerman, Ronnie Gilbert and Erik Darling, who perform together here for the first time in twenty-eight years); Arlo Guthrie; Peter, Paul and Mary; Theodore Bikel; and Leon Bibb – as they honour Harold Leventhal, an active supporter of folk music for fifty years and the beloved promoter who made their careers possible. Jim Brown’s documentary of their Thanksgiving 2003 Carnegie Hall reunion concert is a heartening, intoxicating brew of music history, political activism and glorious song.

Many of the performers – including those who experienced the Depression and the rise of fascism – state that our current era is the most unjust they have witnessed and The Weavers lay blame squarely on George W. Bush with their scathing “tribute” song, “Sinner Man.” The highlight of the film is these dazzling, life-sustaining and empowering songs: Seeger’s heartbreaking rendition of “Guantanamera,” Bikel’s entrancing Russian folk number, Peter, Paul and Mary’s rousing “Have You Been to Jail for Justice?” and Guthrie’s anthem “Patriot’s Dream” and his vigorous “City of New Orleans.”

While the performances are extraordinary, this concert film is also a testament to the struggle against oppression through music: everyone is as politically radical as ever. Folk music preaches continuity, community and tradition, bringing people of all ages and identities together to inspire them to get out in the streets and fight. The vivacious Gilbert emphasizes how music will always be fuelled by politics when she says, “There will never be a time where there isn’t something to yell about, speak about, teach about, hope about.”

The Weavers were the only musical act to be blacklisted during the McCarthy era, but Leventhal, who shared their left-leaning politics, stood by them and resurrected their career. Their reunion concert was a historical event, a touchstone that showed that the people could not be defeated, that resistance was possible. In these angry times, they are an inspiration to us all. To honour Leventhal, their history and the world premiere of this film, The Weavers will reunite with Pete Seeger for a live performance directly following the first public screening.

- Noah Cowan

Jim Brown has directed and produced many acclaimed documentaries, including The Weavers: Wasn’t That a Time! (82), Woody Guthrie: Hard Travelin’ (84), Musical Passage (84), A Vision Shared: A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly (88), We Shall Overcome (89), American Roots Music (01) and Isn’t This a Time! A Tribute Concert for Harold Leventhal (04).

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Update on Labor Day

I'll be doing the Labor Breakfast in Harrisburg, PA on the morning of September 6th. The Breakfast is held at the AFSCME conference center at 150 43rd St (zip is 17111 for anyone mapquesting their way there...). Andre Heinz will be speaking, among others. I'll sing from 8:30AM until 9:30AM and intermittently through the morning and of course, close out with Solidarity Forever. Information can be obtained from Judith Heh at 717.561.7074

And my pal Mike Stout will not be with us at Club Cafe. Mike's under the weather and I'll be keeping him in my thoughts. This Labor Day extravaganza begins at 7:30 sharp and will be a fantastic evening of labor and political music.

I had a great time on the Saturday Light Brigade on WRCT this morning. Larry and Rikki Berger do a fantastic job with this family oriented music, conversation and game show...

Monday, August 02, 2004

In Solidarity, Anne Feeney

LaSalle Tries to Scuttle Free Entertainment by IWW ufcw.net MFD
WINNIPEG MB, AUGUST 1st
The International Workers of the World (IWW) arrived on the LaSalle picket line Friday July 31st, 2004 to provide striking unionists at the LaSalle Hotel with free entertainment in a sort of sidewalk fest.

Networking also has brought the support of hellraiser and labour singer Anne Feeney.

Anne's email came with this message of support to all on the LaSalle line: 'Best of luck on your strike, I wish I could make it up and sing on your picket line. In Solidarity, Anne Feeney.'

Rogue Valley Independent Media Center

Skirts Up for Cheney!

Click above for a fabulous photo!

Congratulations to my pal Mori and her friend Linda who did a dazzlingly creative action to welcome Dick Cheney to Ashland, OR -- here's her account:

Well, much has happened in the last few days. Getting ready for Cheney to come to Oregon and thinking of ideas in which to surprise the vice president. It all started when Linda got a call from a republican friend that said we could possibly get tickets to see Cheney. So, early morning three of us went down to republican head quarters to pick up tickets. There was some interesting paraphernalia like Rhine stoned elephants and funky ties.

There were many great ideas for Cheney's arrival but the one which Linda and I stuck with was the "lift the skirts for Cheney" routine. Linda's great idea will likely become a great tool for inside jobs. All women can wear skirts and we can use them!

First I thought we should go with a soft approach right to the heart of republicans with a Dorothy 'feel' like "US troops, there's no place but home" when my husband reminded me that fundamental extreme is not heard. So, we decided on the bold approach with a message on Linda's skirt, "dick lies for $$$" and on mine, "war profiteer." Thank goodness of the left we did because we had about two seconds to make our move.

The day started off with figuring a good plan for our vehicle so we circled the area and wound up under a shady tree as far away from the entrance as possible. We walked over cordially while stopped at a few check points, and then we approached the long double line in front of the expo. The conversation in line was as deadening as the hot sun, and while waiting I realized we had left the cell phone in the car and my pocket knife in Linda's possession on my key chain.

My thoughts were already clouded and it was too hot and too late and too obvious to walk back to the car so I stuck my pocket knife into the flower bed and continued on towards the entrance. There was talk about vets in Iraq, new blood (people) at the reserve offices and new comers puking on officers in charges' shoes, etc....

When we finally got up to the front of the line we were checked in by name and number on our tickets, bag checked and metal detected. It was time to find the bathroom and just as we did we ran into our good friend Steve Gilmore, head of home land security in Greg Walden's Medford field office. I mean we practically ran right into him when all I could say was "Hi." Covers were blown immediately and five to six secret people were keeping a watch on us from five feet to 12 inches away.

The crowd was as scary if not more scarey than a slew of angered riot cops. We waited, and waited for what seemed for days. We sat through torturous so-called humor and very bad speeches. Meanwhile, the so called good-natured folks got scarier and scarier. Then Cheney made his way to the podium and when he was ready to mention Iraq, we signaled to each other that it was time. We signaled several times before we finally got the nerve up.

We jumped on the only chair we had and was seized on contact. Linda started to scream "liar" I forced myself to continue holding up my skirt while heavy strong armed secret police urged my hands down. I was able to turn toward the channel 10 camera full skirt in the air. And then I began to shout "war profiteer, Cheney lies."

During our escort, a red haired young republican in a suit ran over and punched Linda in the stomach, at the same time she was being choked by a secret servicewoman, however she did not drop her skirt!

I asked the police man now handling me to loosen up on my hands, that I was not interested in getting arrested, that I was not a criminal, that I did nothing illegal and that I was just scared for my children's future. I said that he was hurting my wrist and he replied, "I am not hurting you." I said, "look at my wrist" and he began to loosen his hold.

We sat on benches in the front of the exit while a journalist came by for some notes. He recognized Linda and did not even see me. We both tried to show him our skirts but the police did not let us. They brought us over to the prettiest paddy wagon I had ever seen.

Being from Chicago, I have only seen dirty, bloody wagons. They wanted me to get in and this very fancy wagon had built in stairs so I just sat down. I mentioned to all five police that I was not a criminal nor a terrorist and that I could sit right there while they checked my stats. It was definitely a safer feeling with the cops then in that wretched crowd.

We began to talk about our reason for doing what we did and the cops would not talk politics. I guess they are trained that way. One officer asked me how we got our tickets? I asked him how he got his ticket? He said he didn't need one. I said oh you didn't have to get one. We were asked to leave peacefully outside the premise and that if we did so we would not be arrested and Linda and I agreed that we did our peace and that we would do so.

Walking back, a car for disabled stopped and a man inside the car asked if we thought our message was received and we lifted our skirts and I said, "those who vote republican, will have to live with blood on their hands." We were received rather well from that man in the car.

As we walked a gang of riot officers and a few men in fatigues stopped us and said we would have to go over the ditch and through the parking lot (We later found out that Cheney was leaving the building in a matter of minutes down the same road). I told the army/important dude that he would have to give me his hand if he wanted me to go into the ditch and I reached out for him and he backed up. He would not let me touch him.

Finally he went down in front of me and gave me his arm. Then I waited for his buddy that accompanied Linda to help me up the other side. I guess I had to see how far I could go. As we made our way down to the next set of riot cops, Stew was there to meet us. I changed clothes and the riot line said we could not move the car, and that gave Linda the chance to flip her skirt directly at Cheney's get away car. What a topper.

I said come on Linda, lets go and we drove off out of the next exit with my skirt in the back window showing "war profiteer" proudly. And all that was left at the expo was a threatening pocket knife good for only dividing apples for my kids. Maybe the gardener will find it. The news reporter that night said that there were a small amount of protestors but what they did not make in numbers, they made up in creativity.

I guess we blew any chance of seeing the president inside for his next appearance.

Monday, July 26, 2004

WILD WIMMIN FOR PEACE: The Great Peace March


WILD WIMMIN FOR PEACE: The Great Peace March - hear and buy it at CD BABY

Getting involved in the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament in 1986 was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I had two young children, and I was very concerned about the arms race. During the Reagan years it was pretty easy to drift into cynicism and helplessness. Enter Wild Wimmin for Peace. It was late September of 1986, and they were nearing the end of a 3700 mile journey that had begun almost six months before. I didn't have much in the way of expectations when I was asked to present this 20 womon ensemble of peace marchers. I figured they were activists, not artists, and that the show would be boring and preachy. NOT! I was so wrong! Their energy and optimism and tribalism and spiritualism and humor and talent just blew me away. I couldn't get their music out of my head.

By October 2, I had gotten our local peace and justice center, the Thomas Merton Center, and East Hills NOW to co-sponsor the project. I raised enough money from individual donors to the Merton Center and NOW to finance the project. I convinced Don Bell, one of the very few professional sound engineers in Pittsburgh, to dismantle his studio and take it to the Great Peace March campsite, which by then was 80 miles out of town in Bedford, PA. The marchers, facilitated by Liz Marek and others, consensed and consensed about the details of how this recording would be used. In the end, everyone waived all rights to any of the proceeds from the sale of the recording as long as no one was going to benefit except for peace and feminist groups worldwide. The Merton Center and NOW were to make copies available at cost to any non-profit peace or feminist organization. Wild Wimmin for Peace wanted any marcher who agreed to the concept to be able to participate, so there are several additional songs on the recording.

Since its hasty production on October 2, 1986 this recording has made its way all over the world, raising tens of thousands of dollars for peace and feminist groups from the Nevada Test Site to Greenham Common. The marchers touched the lives of many people in profound ways that we may never completely document or understand. I cherish the great times I had with Liz Marek, one of the moving forces in Wild Wimmin for Peace (as well as in the production of this recording). Liz perished on Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. And it's with sadness that I report the passing of Ginny Dean, whose sweet voice is heard on most of these tracks. When this recording was first released the US and Soviet Union were poised in a nuclear standoff. Global thermonuclear destruction seemed almost inevitable. The dangers are different today, but our work is more necessary than ever. The original cassette liner notes said "Take the positive energy from this recording and use it to teach peace." Still good advice.

and now, at long last, it's available on CD. All proceeds from the sale of this CD go to the Thomas Merton Center. It's also available at cost through the Merton Center to other groups working for peace and feminism.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Sleeping Single

Sleeping Single is the name of a column by Elizabeth Ross in "Philosophical Mother." This month's column features an interview with me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

If you suspect your neighbor is a closet Republican check Fundrace.org and find out for sure! Another great site on campaign finance is Opensecrets.org--Money in politics data

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

If you're dying to see W out of office but can't quite bring yourself to wear a John Kerry Tee Shirt Northland Poster Collective has a fabulous collection of tee shirts, bumper-stickers and posters to help you say what's on your mind!

Monday, May 17, 2004

I'm really excited to let you know that The Great Peace March CD, featuring Wild Wimmin for Peace is going to be available from Goldenrod Distributing by the middle of July. We're putting the finishing touches on the CD liner notes now.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Were you in SEATTLE in 1999 at the WTO Protests?

Do you know someone who was?
Were you arrested?
Do you know someone who was???? Or someone who knows someone who....?

There has been a victory from a class action lawsuit and those involved need to take action now!!!! PLEASE READ the message below and use your networks to get this message out. AND join us in celebrating this victory!

Please help get information out to folks arrested in the afternoon of Dec 1 1999 at 1st & Broad during the WTO protests in Seattle.

As the attorneys explain below, the judge agreed to the settlement so now people must TURN IN THEIR PAPERWORK BY JUNE 22nd to be included in the class and receive the $$ they are due. It's no longer just a possibility, this is happening and the time frame is short so please help now.

Yes, NOW is the time to work those networks to get this information out to folks who might be out of the loop. This is no small task and the attorneys can only do so much:
We know folks.
We have websites on which we can post announcements that arrestees might see (hint hint)
We have the networks and, without them, many will never know that the city settled their case ...

LET'S USE THESE NETWORKS TO GET THE WORD OUT.
TELL FOLKS TO CONTACT the attorneys (info below) so they can send them forms to complete. NOW is the time to do it since they will only have until JUNE 22nd to return the forms.

Wouldn't it be great is we could get everyone arrested at 1st & Broad to participate!!!! What a great message that would send.

It would also be great if folks would cc me their information so I can reach them better next time, but my own request and isn't a part of the legal stuff directly ....it's up to them if they want to get my occasional emails about this stuff.
... AND anyone arrested during WTO but not at this location should also get their current info to me so we can reach them better if the other case ever gets resolved.

In solidarity,
Erica
Jane WTO #890
can@drizzle.com
206-568-7110
And here's another cool (verrrrrrrry cool... -20, I think) video interview with Radio Finland at the EU Summit protests in Copenhagen in January of 2003. Scroll down to where it says: Folk-laulaja Anne Feeney kertoo itsestään, ajatuksistaan ja Pennsylvenian feministien tilanteesta ... and select 56 or 256 baud playback .... so, I guess I'm a folk-laulaja in Finland! I don't know why that gorgeous blonde with the dreadlocks below me doesn't look cold...
Can you guess that I just got a cable modem? It's amazing how many cool things there are out there that I couldn't see with my slow dial-up. Here's a fabulous
Video of our show on WUWF Radio Live! last March in Pensacola. Just scroll down the list of shows to March 4th and pick the broadband video option. You can also catch a fine performance by Jeff White who did the show with us.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

It's shameful to think that our government is creating a haven for international torturers, but it's getting pretty hard to deny:

AlterNet: Hired Guns with War Crimes Past

Monday, May 10, 2004

Mother's Day 2004

Here I go again with probably misplaced optimism, but I've got to believe that as this torture scandal unfolds -- that as we learn that tactics like this are an all-too-commonplace and inevitable part of war -- that millions more will be added to the roster of full-time anti-war activists. It is difficult to think too much about what is going on in Iraq. It is easy to take comfort in the glorious patriotic images that Fox News displays for our general anesthesia. The disturbing truths about war are part of the horrible collective guilt carried about (usually in silence) by veterans of war. We know that the young people who find themselves in uniform in Iraq are our friends and neighbors. We don't want to believe that there is a system of indoctrination and discipline that could cause a dear friend and neighbor to drag a naked prisoner around on a leash. Yet there it is, in front of us. "War is hell" doesn't begin to summon up the destruction of the soul that wounds all participants in war. War is never the answer, and maybe the horrors of this scandal will convince skeptics. In the aftermath of war, we learn time and again of the deceit and treachery that led us into it... the so-called Weapons of Mass Destruction and the faked Gulf of Tonkin resolution take their place in history beside "Remember the Maine!" and "a war to end all wars," as the hateful ruses that lead a generation to slaughter.

In 1872, Julia Ward Howe's revulsion at war one led her to call upon all mothers:
"Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of fears! Say firmly: We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy, and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devasted earth a voice goes up with our own. It says, "Disarm, Disarm!" The sword of murder is not the balance of justice! Blood does not wipe out dishonor nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as the means whereby the great human family can live in peace."

-- This is the true and original meaning of Mother's Day, as articulated by the author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Happy Mother's Day.



If you've got a high speed connection here is a cool video of me and Chris at Kerrville last year performing "Carnivals", shot by our friend Papillon and also Crackerjack Cure

and...
Planned Parenthood has the video of my performance at the April 25th March for Women's Lives with my daughter, Amy Berlin, as well as Llewellyn Gannon of Portland, OR, Peter and Bethany Yarrow. Once the video loads you can advance throught the first fifteen minutes or so and go right to the music... (although the clip also includes Carol King's performance and some inspiring speeches...)
Just back from a wonderful weekend at the Third Annual Susquehanna Music & Arts Fest

I hardly know where to start describing the joys of this festival. The location was convenient (just north of Baltimore, just south of Philadelphia), the lineup was unbelievable, the setting idyllic, the food delightful, the volunteers plentiful and cheerful, (and world-class massages for staff & performers... oh YES! - thanks Randy!) the stages well-designed and well-situated -- What a fabulous kickoff to the festival season--it's definitely posturing to become a leading festival in North America.

As you might guess, it can still get pretty chilly at night in Maryland this time of year, but the charming Ramblewood campground is set up really well for any kind of weather. We found ourselves mult-layered at night as we gathered in the cozy barn to hear the Nields, Full Frontal Folk, Sloan Wainwright, Tanglefoot (!), Four Shillings Short, Aztec Two Step, Common Bond -- I could go on and on, but you can check out the website! But the outdoor daytime stages were the perfect place to take it all in with absolutely glorious weather. The daytime stages shimmered with my pals Amy Carol Webb, Caroline Aiken, Jan Luby, Rachel Bissex, Wishing Chair, Still on the Hill, SONiA, Mustard's Retreat, We're About Nine, Les Barker, Carla Ulbrich -- and then to connect with and be totally knocked out by Danny Bakan - canadian banjo player extraordinaire... and the Malvinas, wow! wow! wow! The festival closes with a Phil Ochs-a-thon, which is certainly one of my favorite parts.

I think you should start figuring out right now how to be there in 2005. It's the perfect way to spend Mother's Day weekend ... lots of great kids activities too!

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Check out Harry Stamper's wonderful song:
We Just Come to Work Here available on both Union Maid and Look to the Left

Thursday, April 29, 2004

The Workers' Memorial Day observances that I participated in yesterday were really moving. We gathered at Market Square at noon. Mike Stout and the Human Union did some driving rock 'n roll indictments of Halliburton, Harkin, Worldcom, Bush & Cheney before the ceremony began. Charlie McCollester skillfully coordinated the event. Donna Spadaro spoke with great passion about her brother, who was killed on his first day at work. After a stunning rendition of the national anthem, the names of Allegheny County workers who died at work in the past year were read, and a beautiful bell was rung.

My pal Tony Slomkoski and I grabbed lunch before heading to the four o'clock dedication at the memorial to the 180 Harwick miners who perished on May 30, 1904 ... I sang Hazel Dickens' song about the Mannington Mine disaster and Ed Yankovich, director of UMWA District 2, read the miners' burial prayer from the UMWA constitution --- I wonder if any other union has a burial prayer as part of its constitution and bylaws?

From there we went to the Springdale Fire Hall where I sang a selection of labor songs before the Workers' Memorial Day banquet. About 70 people attended and got to hear an amazing presentation by Sean, a boilermaker who was seriously injured in an explosion when he was only 3 months on the job. He sustained third degree burns over 65% of his body when he was only 19 -- a co-worker was killed.

So many of these tragic "accidents" are not accidents at all -- the result of speed-ups, inadequate training and improper equipment ... totally preventable... Work safe, sisters and brothers! And thanks to Charlie McCollester, Joe Clark, Tony Slomkoski, Don Faulkner and everyone who worked so hard to make the day moving and memorable.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

I still haven't decided what I'll be singing at the March, but I do know where and when------- at 12:08PM on the Washington Monument side "morning" stage (it's on 14th Street between Jefferson and Madison) I'll have a five minute solo performance... I'm sure my daughter Amy and her friend Llewellyn Gannon will be singing with me... and maybe some special guests...

Then at 1PM I'll be opening the "afternoon" stage at the Capitol side of the Mall (3rd Street between Madison and Jefferson) with the Pittsburgh Laughing Matters/Serious Business Chorus. We'll be performing my amazing friend Ginny Hildebrand's fabulous song, "If Men Could Get Pregnant."

After the March we'll be heading to Adams/Morgan for dinner... probably at the Red Sea or Meskerem. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Have you got any suggestions about what I should sing at the March for Women's Lives & Women's Equality on Sunday? I can't make up my mind.

Friday, April 16, 2004

This just in! Ta da! Huzzah! Hooray! I've been officially invited to perform at the huge April 25th March for Women's Lives & Women's Equality in Washington, DC. I performed at the April 9, 1989 demonstration and it was an incredible thrill to take the stage in between Sarah Weddington and Peter, Paul and Mary. The lineup this year is incredible. Visit March for Women's Lives & Women's Equality for details. My exact performance time and location will be posted in the tour dates as soon as I have the information.
Here is a great link for Earth Day, April 22...

the earth from above


Hi there folks--

I hope you'll check out the Workers' Memorial Day page I set up:

http://home.earthlink.net/~unionmaid/id1.html

In Solidarity,

Anne

Sunday, April 04, 2004

The Muse and Whirled Retort 04-04-04 by chris chandler
Speaking of the number 4 and calendars - four is the number of years
Anne Feeney and I have worked together - which is longer than I have
worked with any other musician. She came down to Florida, where I
was living, as the last of the dangling chads were being counted. I
can't think of anyone I would have rather spent the Bush years with.

But as Anne has been granted a new lease on life - the confetti is
still falling from her fabulous prognosis - she has decided to pursue
other options. This summer will be our last West Coast tour
together, the rally to close the School of the Americas our last
show. December of 2000 through November of 2004. Four years.

So I will be looking for my fourth musical partner and will also be
doing some solo shows in the near future. If any of you have any
thoughts on this or want to volunteer - please drop me a line.

Also, if you were thinking about booking Anne and me as a duo - do so
FOURthwith.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Concert Preview: Stout of heart -- and opinion By John Hayes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Friday, March 19, 2004

Mike Stout doesn't beat around the Bush. He's mad as hell about the war in Iraq, and he's not gonna take it anymore.

On his eighth politically charged, self-released album, the 54-year-old Pittsburgher wages a shock and awe campaign that he calls "War and Resistance." The opening salvos will be launched tomorrow in a CD release party with activist singer-songwriter Anne Feeney at Bloomfield Bridge Tavern.

There's nothing subtle about Stout's approach to songwriting, no middle ground in his leftist ideology. In the Woody Guthrie tradition, his songs reflect contemporary issues without resorting to journalism. They're more like partisan op-ed columns that grab political opponents by the throat and don't let go.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Police union upset by plans to name park for Haymarket figure
The Chicago Federation of Police is trying to dissuade the Chicago Park District from naming a small Northwest Side park in honor of a woman described by one 19th century police official as 'more dangerous than a thousand rioters.'

In a letter to Park District board members, FOP president Mark P. Donohue said he was 'disappointed and disheartened' by plans to name the park after Lucy Ella Gonzales Parsons, the widow of a man hanged in 1887 for his purported role in the Haymarket Square bombing of the previous year.

A parks spokesman said Parsons' name was suggested by Chicago Parks historian Julia Bachrach in honor of Parsons' long work as a labor organizer and champion of women and minority group members.

The nomination was part of a larger effort to recognize more women in a system where only 27 of 555 parks are named after women.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

On April 12, PBS is airing a 90 minute documentary American Experience: Emma Goldman Infoshop News
'On May 14, 1940, Emma Goldman died in Toronto. Denied entry into the United States for so many years, she was finally permitted, in death, to cross the border. She was buried in Chicago's Waldheim Cemetery, near the graves of the Haymarket martyrs, a group of anarchists and labor activists whose mid-1880s trial and execution had sparked Goldman's activism in America.'

Friday, March 19, 2004

Group aims to 'redefeat' Bush by registering Democrats By EMILY FREDRIX, AP
The name says it all: Committee to Redefeat the President.

ReDefeat Bush

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Anne Feeney and Chris Chandler
Anne Feeney, from Pittsburgh, and Georgia native Chris Chandler are throwback political folkies who would probably make Woody Guthrie proud. They've dubbed their current jaunt 'The Anyone-But-Bush-Tour.' Feeney sings and plays guitar, and Chandler rants, er, speaks a la Henry Rollins or Jello Biafra. Peter, Paul and Mary are among the artists who have recorded Feeney's song 'Have You Been to Jail for Justice?' Chandler has collaborated with venerable list of contemporary singer/songwriters including Ani Difranco, Dar Williams, Martin Sexton and Dan Bern.

8 p.m. Sunday, Fogartyville Cafe, 800 17th Ave. W., Bradenton. Tickets: $12. Information: 741-9755 or www.fogartyvillecafe.com

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Wal-Mart Day of Action - America Can't Live on a Wal-Mart Paycheck In the Spring of 2004 join the People's Campaign for Justice @ Wal-Mart in a National Day of Action to demand that Wal-Mart stop degrading the quality of life for America's workers. Show Wal-Mart that good jobs build strong communities.

Listen to Anne Feeney's "War on the Workers" while you read about Wal-mart Day of Action.
LaborWire - The Joe Hill Dispatch
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am writing to announce the LaborWire, a project of the Joe Hill Dispatch. LaborWire is America's daily source for labor and trade union news.

Please feel free to post tour announcements to our community newswire:
http://joehilldispatch.org/ipw-web/portal/cms/index.php

I hope that you will considered providing a link to LiveWire on your site this valuable new resource for union news and activism.

In Solidarity,
Marc Brazeau

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Labor Paeans By Jody Kolodzey, In These Times
Today, Local 1000’s membership roster reads like a who’s who of the political folk world, from stalwarts such as Joe Glazer, U. Utah Phillips and Pete Seeger to relative newcomers such as Ani DiFranco, Pat Humphries, Joe Jencks and Laura Love.

In some ways, McCutcheon says, Local 1000 is “the most telling thing that’s happening in labor music today. I mean, everybody that’s involved in labor music, number one, is a member, and at least as important is the difference it has made in people who never knew or thought about labor unions at all, and all of a sudden are passionate about the AFM.

Labor Arts Collections
Description: LABOR ARTS is a virtual museum; we gather, identify and display images of the cultural artifacts of working people and their organizations. Our mission is to present powerful images that help us understand the past and present lives of working people.

Radio LabourStart, the new online radio station brought to you by LabourStart.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Feb. 7th Tacoma Peltier March posted by Arthur J. Miller
I am pleased that Anne Feeney will be joining us. She has a concert on the evening of our march at the Longshore Workers Hall in Tacoma, I am on her list. When I saw that she was going to be in town I sent her an e-mail about our march and she stated that she has been a supporter of Leonard Peltier and would like to join us.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Winners Announced in Bush in 30 Seconds Contest
The winning ads in MoveOn.org Voter Fund's Bush in 30 Seconds ad contest have been announced.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

January 11- Bread and Roses Sale! Justice Clothing
"We want bread, and roses, too!" This was the cry of thousands of garment workers in Lawrence, Massachusettes, who were demanding something better than the subsistence level wages that kept their stomachs, and those of their children, empty of bread. Not just bread, they cried, but roses too: dignity, respect, the chance to give their children better lives. Today, on the anniversary of their strike, we honor these brave union pioneers.

Clean Clothes Connection Bangor, Maine
Were your clothes made by teenage girls and children, working long hours under harsh conditions for poverty wages? Or were they made by workers who have a voice on the job, and who enjoy living wages and benefits?

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Bush in 30 Seconds sponsored MoveOn.org voter fund
The 15 finalists for Bush in 30 Seconds are now posted. The winning commercial will be announced at an event on January 12th at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. You can buy tickets online now.

GOP Plays Dirty Politics in Attempt to Smear MoveOn.org Voter Fund MoveOn.org

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Say what? Quotes from 2003 that made us angry, made us laugh and made us go, ‘Hmm ...’
santacruzsentinel staff report

"You can do things cheaper and better than they can by forming voluntary combinations with other people, and getting the work of the world done without boss and without state. That’s what anarchy is about.

— Folk singer and rabble rouser UTAH PHILLIPS about his presidential campaign ‘You for President.’


"He really wasn’t much of a singer. He just learned tunes so that if there was a stool in the room, he could act like he was the evening’s entertainment until it was safe to talk union."

— Labor folk singer ANNE FEENEY said about her grandfather, legendary mine worker, union organizer and singer WILLIAM PATRICK FEENEY.