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I’ve always admired Keith Olbermann’s ability to put into words many of the thoughts I am unable to eloquently express. He has outdone himself with this video showcasing the outright lies, hypocrisy, immorality and lunacy of George W. Bush. (Here is the text for this video from 9/4/07).

While the entire video is incredible, it’s the last thirty seconds which especially touch upon the outrage I, and countless other Americans, feel toward this entire Iraq situation; Keith gives a voice to our concerns–our demands. It’s in this last half-minute of time that I can’t help but be reminded of a definite “must see” movie I didn’t think I’d like at all, but found myself loving, “V for Vendetta.” I can see legions of citizens fed up with GWB and his regime’s status quo, figuratively standing alongside Keith Olbermann during this video, as were the thousands of masked citizens in the final scenes of “V for Vendetta” fed up with the fascist “Norsefire” party. Could someone please hand me a Guy Hawkes Keith Olbermann mask, please?

Keith Olbermann Special Comment from 9/4/07

mattel.jpgYesterday Mattel announced it’s THIRD recall in just over one month (8/2/07: Fisher-Price Recall Notice (Lead Poisoning)/Links to info/China involved AGAIN!, 8/14/07:Another Mattel recall: lead paint and powerful, loose magnets) due to “violation of lead paint standard”. The whole recall/China/lead scenario kind of makes you want to get back to having the kids play with your empty cardboard boxes and creating parades with pots and lids as musical instruments, eh?

News Articles

Important Web Sites

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Added 9/6/07: Here’s the video clip I mention in my comment (3rd one below). Quite telling in regard to how the bottom line ($$$) is ALWAYS going to outweigh health and safety…sigh.

The Cliks are everything they are billed to be and more! I have seen some high energy acts in my day, but what The Cliks put forth in their show at The Knitting Factory (8/22/07) is incomparable (100_2136_edited.jpgespecially considering the miserably hot and humid conditions in the venue), and to have been witness the next day to seeing them taking the small, quiet Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson studio (before Craig had even come out) and INSTANTLY turn it into the most rocking, electrified space you could inhabit in a matter of merely one or two hits on the drum by Morgan Doctor, and the first lyrics by Lucas Silveira–well, it was nothing short of miraculous and memorable. I certainly hope you all got to catch their fantastic Late Late Show performance, but I’ll keep my eyes open for a replay for those who didn’t. (Craig is on hiatus for two weeks and they have a tendency to repeat the most recent shows, so maybe, just maybe it will air again soon!)

My best buddy Sheryl (who interestingly enough is also my ex-sister-in-law ;)), and I headed off for our 1 1/2 hour drive to Hollywood last Wednesday, with The Cliks blasting on the sound system and excitement brewing for seeing not only them, but also another band I’d just discovered that morning, Tanner Horn and the Astronauts Before Breakfast. Sadly the infamous Los Angeles traffic kept us from arriving at the venue until the last minute or so of Tanner and crew’s final song “Hole in My Soul” (sigh), but the 60 seconds that we did see made me realize we had missed out on one heck of a unique, exhilarating (and sweaty! ;)) performance. (For any of you in the LA area, Tanner Horn and the Astronauts Before Breakfast will be having their CD release party at 14 Below in Santa Monica, this Friday (8/30/07), with their CD being included in your $10 cover charge.  You can also get their 6-song EP on iTunes for $5.94!)

Can I just say again how unbelievably freaking-sticky-hot the Knitting Factory was?! I mean what the heck was the deal with folks having to feel like they were stuck in the middle of “Humidity Hell”? If we were sweating buckets, I can only imagine how the band felt, and that was actually pointed out by Lucas when he mentioned a couple times knitting-factory-hollywood.jpgduring the show that he had sweat in his eyes. The stickiness really left a bad taste in my mouth for driving all the way out to that venue again. Thankfully Sheryl and I did find what appeared to be the ONLY fan in the place (hence, the “heavy breathing” sound on the videos I taped…wasn’t me, was the fan :)), and camped out in front of it for the better part of the night. The only time we moved from it was to get some really good drinks from the bar (only $5 AND the cup was overflowing–woo-hoo!), or to head into the humid swamp known as the restroom…ick. Thankfully The Cliks were so amazingly powerful in their performances that you were almost able to forget about the beads of sweat finding their way down your body.

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To say Lucas, Jen (Benton), Nina (Martinez), and Morgan had the crowd wrapped around their collective little finger would be an understatement. I think Lucas could have asked the crowd to do more than sing along to “Oh Yeah” (not that anyone needed any enticements to sing along–just came naturally) and everyone would have done whatever the request, without batting an eyelash. This concert was truly one of those times where the musicians, the crowd, the music, and the energy all organically combine into one incredible force that just can’t be put into words—something you had to be there to experience for yourself. I’m so thankful Sheryl and I were there to share in it, and hope that all of you reading this and viewing the videos, get even an inkling of what a Cliks concert has in store for you.

Here’s one of the videos I took, but unfortunately the sound at the venue wasn’t very good, and the lighting was horrific. That being said, it’s the freaking Cliks, folks, so deal with it! 🙂

The Cliks “Back In Style” to “Oh Yeah” at The Knitting Factory 8/22/07

I also taped the encore of “Nobody Else Will”, but kept getting my shot blocked by the dancing head in front of me, and for some reason the middle part was really blurry (think I tried to zoom in too much under poor lighting conditions), so I opted to remix the 3 shorter videos into one using YouTube’s remixer. Unfortunately, despite SEVERAL attempts over the past 3 days, the YouTube remixer will allow me to create the video, preview it, then publish it–but no video ever shows up! ARGH! Went over to100_2150_edited.jpg Photobucket and used their remixer (basically the same one YouTube has by Adobe) and it worked. Sadly WordPress doesn’t allow for Photobucket videos to be embedded, and the Adobe remixer doesn’t allow you to save the final product to your hard drive, so if you’d like to see the video you’ll need to click here for “Nobody Else Will” on my Photobucket account. Again, it’s not the best image quality, but Lucas’ vocals are absolutely out of this world. The lyrics are as heartfelt as they get in the first place, but add Lucas’ intense, raw, sexy vocals and hot damn, one heck of a good performance.

the-cliks-rosie-self-pic-8-22-07.jpgJen, Nina, Morgan, and Lucas were so accommodating and kind with their fans after the show, as was Rosie from Tommy Boy/Silver Label records who jumped right in and took a couple pictures for us when the camera was acting up. As a matter of fact, Rosie snapped an overhead shot of herself while she was waiting for the band, my friend, and myself to pose. Wish it would have turned out better because it was pretty funny when she did it.

As if seeing The Cliks at the Knitting Factory wasn’t enough, Sheryl and I also had tickets to their taping for the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson the next day. So back into the car we went (diabetic dog at home, so couldn’t stay in LA for the night…the things we do for our poochies :)), facing even ickier Los Angeles traffic on Thursday since we were traveling during the day. We did finally make it to the studio, and were pleasantly surprised to land a spot in the CBS studios parking lot–usually not an easy task! We made sure to get in line more than an hour early since there was no way we were taking any chances that we wouldn’t get in, especially after driving so far. Thankfully there were no worries late-late-show.jpgon that front, and when we did finally get into the studio, we were only about 4 rows back on the aisle (hey, a gal with long legs just HAS to have an aisle seat…plus I wanted a better view of the band!), but of course we wished we were even closer. For those of you who have never been to a taping of the Late Late Show, it’s in a fairly small studio with an audience that Craig doesn’t want to exceed some odd number like 113. We were told the reason he likes to keep it so small is because he likes the feel of a comedy club atmosphere, and the connection he can have with a smaller audience such as ours. I went to a taping of his show last October and the intimacy of the studio does lend itself to having you feel like you really are an important part of the entire show. “Audience Enhancers” is what Chucky B. (the warm-up guy) calls the studio audience.

So we finally get into the studio, everyone is seated, Chucky B. is cracking jokes, videos of some previous musical guests are playing on the monitors scattered over the seating area, Craig’s desk is pushed off to the side, and the band equipment is set up already. (Sorry to burst the bubble of anyone who didn’t know this, but segments for the show are not taped in sequence, and quite often are taped for airing on subsequent days, hence Craig hadn’t even been on stage until long after The Cliks were…his loss!) Then a few minutes later, out of nowhere and without much ado, Jen, Morgan, Nina, and Lucas walk over to their equipment and start testing it all out. It was really quiet in the studio, so Chucky B. starts whispering, saying “This is what bands do, they tune up their equipment. I think I see them checking me out. Apparently they don’t see this.” (He then flashes his wedding ring to everyone.) Um, apparently Chucky B. knows diddley-squat about The Cliks since wedding ring or not, chances are slim-to-none any of them would be interested. 😉 So the other Cliks fans that were there (probably about 15 or so of us throughout the audience), Sheryl and I, are all on the edge of our seats, just waiting for something…anything. Then BAM, out of the blue, and with a not-very-enthusiastic introduction of, “The Cliks”, the band jumps right into “Oh Yeah”. Well, despite the apparent lackluster enthusiasm on the part of the Late Late Show‘s folks, there was no way in hell I was going to not show my excitement, so I was rocking out the whole time, as were the other Cliks fans, clapping, shaking our asses in our seats, hollering out, and hoping we were letting the band know just how much we enjoy and adore them.

(***Video below ADDED 9/6/07: Thanks to Silver Label for making this video available!***)

The Cliks on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson 8/23/07 (First TV appearance!)

I have to say it all seems like a blur, totally surreal, and WAY too short of a time to have the band play, but the short time they did was absolutely the most energized four minutes or so you could ever ask for. From the overhead lights to the microphones near our feet, and from the phony Los Angeles cityscape backdrop on stage to the bustling real-life LA streets outside the studio, there was NO WAY anyone within earshot could help but feel the energy and enthusiasm the band was putting out. When it came to the last notes on the guitars and Morgan’s last drum hit, the sudden silence was incredibly deafening and made your realize how much The Cliks had filled up that short time and space with most intense rhythm, vocals, and music possible. Talk about living in the moment! WOW!

I really do believe that those in the audience who had no clue who The Cliks were beforesnakehouse.jpg their performance (unfortunately that would seem to also include the majority of the Late Late Show staff), were definitely impressed with them afterward. A CBS page made sure to tell us (Sheryl and I were both wearing our The Cliks black t-shirts, so it was pretty obvious who we were there for ;)) how hard The Cliks rocked and that they were off the hook (or something like that), so we know they made at least one new fan–especially since we saw him a bit later at Barnes & Noble in the “C” section of the CD area, obviously looking for The Cliks “Snakehouse”.

Side note…Morgan’s parents were in the audience and were so morgan-the-cliks.jpgcute! After the band was done and they’d left the stage (after some seriously long and loud applause and hooting and hollering from the audience!) an older couple started walking down the stairs toward the stage, Chucky B. made some comment, then someone on staff said they were the parents of “the drummer”, so Chucky B. made nice, and we all clapped for them. When Morgan’s parents hit the stage, right before slipping behind the wall to find the band, they faced everyone and waved, and boy could you tell they were Morgan’s folks–especially her mom, who she really looks like.

Alas, the good times had to eventually come to an end…sigh. It goes without saying that I am beyond anxious to see The Cliks again and am going through some serious withdrawals in the meantime. There is just something so pleasing about finding a band that is so vested in not only their music, but also in their fans. Jen, Nina, Morgan, and Lucas, could NOT have been any nicer to everyone during and after their shows, and I think that speaks volumes about the kind of people they must be–very sincere and caring. This was especially evident when I explained to Lucas after the Knitting Factory show, that one of my best buds, who had actually met them a couple of times in Vegas and at True Colors, was unable to make it back to LA for the show. Lucas was kind enough to tape a short, sincere message to Jackson–something I will never forget. How unbelievably cool of Lucas to do that!

Thank you SO MUCH to The Cliks, for all you give to your fans, personally and musically. Now get your asses back to SoCal ASAP! 😉

(***UPDATE 8/29/07:MUST SEE: Our “The Cliks” Adventures at The Knitting Factory and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Videos, Pics)***)

Am so excited about FINALLY getting to see The Cliks live tonight! My buddy Jackson got me hooked on them a few months ago when “Snakehouse” just came out and I’ve been dying to see them since then. Guess I’ll be going from one extreme to another because I’ll not only be seeing them tonight at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood, but also at a taping of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson tomorrow. I believe there are still tickets available for tonight’s KF gig, but alas the tickets for the talk show taping are gone. You can catch The Cliks on this Thursday’s (technically early Friday AM) showing of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in most markets at 12:37 AM on CBS. Definitely check your local listings (and set you VCR or DVR!) since times do vary in some areas of the country.

Only thing that could make these two days perfect would be if Jackson were able to join us as planned, but sometimes life throws you a curve ball just to keep you on your toes. (Doesn’t life know staying on your toes gets tiring? ;)) You already know you’ll be missed like crazy, my dear friend, and that it mostly definitely won’t be the same without you, but in your honor I will dance my ass off and make lots of noise–as usual, on both counts. LYB

MySpace pages:

  • The Cliks
  • Maxitit (The Knitting Factory calendar has them listed as opening for The Cliks)
  • Tanner Horn and the Astronauts Before Breakfast (Their web site states they are opening for The Cliks even though the KF site doesn’t say so. I hope they are performing since I’m now hooked on them after discovering their music yesterday morning!  Get their 6-song EP on iTunes for only $5.94!)

The Cliks

Maxitit

Tanner Horn and the Astronauts Before Breakfast

marc-broussard-hob-8-20-07.jpegFirst off, Marc Broussard is one act you do NOT want to miss if he’s in your area. Second, WTF San Diego concert-goers?!?! Let me just get my rant out of the way before I rave.

While I love San Diego county like crazy and have spent the better part of my life there, I find myself becoming more and more disenchanted with the downright rude behavior I seem to run across at local concerts. Can someone PLEASE explain to me why anyone would pay for a ticket to a show, then stand around and talk–LOUDLY?! In my opinion it’s beyond disrespectful to practically drown out the performance of someone on stage who is giving it their heart and soul, but it’s also stupid to spend your money on something you obviously aren’t there to enjoy. If you’re there just to pick up on someone, save your money and just hit up a bar or go online–sheesh! There ARE those of us who must obviously be somewhat demented because we assume that folks who come to a show actually want to enjoy the show. Mind you, there was a healthy dose of attentive fans in attendance last night (despite the surprisingly small crowd), but it was embarrassing to hear so much talking when Toby Lightman and/or Marc were singing something without heavy band back-up and you could hear all the morons blabbing away. Sigh. (And yes, I eventually did tell a few to shut the **** up. 😉)

That being said, oh my gosh what FUN last night’s House of Blues-San Diego show was (rude idiots aside), and what energy and enthusiasm Marc brought to each song. For those of you not aware of Marc Broussard, you are totally missing out on what many are calling this generation’s “King of Blue-Eyed Soul”, and they are so on the mark with that one. The first time I heard of Marc was a couple of years back when his chart-climbing “Home” off his first major labelmarc-broussard-carencro.jpg album, Carencro (an homage to his hometown of Carencro, Louisiana), caught my attention upon first hearing it on the radio, in much the same way Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car”, or The Cliks’ “Oh Yeah” song and video made me stand up and take notice. I love it when a musician and his/her music is something so different from the rest that your ears alert your brain to something magical. Have to admit that when I tracked down more info on “Home” I was shocked to discover this Bayou Soul voice and energy came from such a young man, let alone a white one at that! That point is played upon in the first 35 seconds of the “Home” video where you are led to believe the soulful humming is coming from the African-American man on the bus, then POOF, the young white boy sitting behind him pulls out his guitar and starts wailing away. Love it!

Marc Broussard: “Home” from Carencro

Marc’s latest CD, S.O.S.: Save Our Soul, is full of classic soul tune covers except for one marc-broussard-save-our-soul.jpggreat original song, “Come In from the Cold”, penned by Marc. Several reviewers have wondered what the point was to doing a CD of covers but I say why not? Marc’s voice is perfect for these songs and it has reawakened in me the appreciation of old-school soul music. And heck, they’re fun! Plus it’s a bit of a “filler” while he’s working on his next CD.

Marc Broussard: “Love and Happiness” from S.O.S.: Save Our Soul

This current tour is called the “Soul Revue” tour and with the soul that Marc, the band, toby-lightman.jpgand featured guest Toby Lightman (subbing for Shannon McNally) put forth, the show most definitely lived up to its moniker. Unfortunately we missed the first twenty minutes or so, so only caught the last two Toby songs. We were very disappointed to walk in and discover that Toby was taking Shannon’s place because we’d seen Toby open for Carbon Leaf a few months back and she was incredible. I’m sure Shannon is great too, but missing out on songs from Toby was a bummer. What was great, though, is that she came out and joined Marc and the band for several songs throughout the night.

Marc Broussard and Toby Lightman at Stubbs

“If I Could Build My Whole World Around You”

What was also surprising and great, was that for the encore it was just Marc, sans band. He was giving it his all and having a fabulous time with the crowd, as we all were with him. (Especially when we all helped him remember the words to his memorable performance of “Lonely Night in marc-broussard-solo-sd-hob-8-20-07.jpegGeorgia”.) Who he wasn’t so thrilled with (and boy did he let his feelings be known, capped off with a flipping of the fingers under the chin directed at HOB ;)) was the fact that HOB apparently is pretty strict with getting their performers off-stage at a particular hour–enjoyment of performer and crowd be damned. Marc was in a bit of a “f**k you, I’m playing for my fans as long as I want” mood (pretty much the words he used. ;)) and continued his encore for about thirty fantastic minutes more. He did apologize at the end to the employees of HOB for making them have to work late. 😉

All in all, and despite the rude talkers in the crowd, it was a VERY enjoyable night (even more so than when I saw him there a couple years back and got to do a meet and greet with him–THAT was a great experience!) and one I would highly recommend you take in for yourself as soon as Marc and his “Soul Revue” hit your town. Now if they’d only all worn some classic soul garb like crushed velvet jackets and some shiny pants . . .

Found out about this little gem via a MoveOn.org email I just received. Dick, Dick, Dick, Dick, Dick, where on earth did the apparent common sense, common decency, and intelligence you obviously had shades of in 1994 disappear to come the GWB regime? How different the world would be today, and how many thousands upon thousands of lives on both sides of this disgusting war would not be shattered due to death and injuries, if ONLY you had retained some of your correct thoughts from 1994. Shame on you for losing your way, thereby leading others to lose their lives.

Cheney in 1994 on Iraq

mattel.jpgWill 2007 forever be remembered as “The Year of the Recalls”, with overwhelming numbers of them traced back to China? First the never-ending melamine-tainted pet food scandal, then diethylene glycol-laced toothpaste and cough syrup, and for this month of August lead paint showing up in the worst place: children’s toys. It is the lead paint scare that is striking at the heart of Mattel, once again, and this time powerful, loose magnets (if swallowed they can cause intestinal blockage) are added to the toy giant’s woes.

Here are some links to stories covering the issue, along with news of a law suit being filed in the case of the previous lead paint recall by Mattel’s Fisher-Price unit a couple weeks ago, and news of the suicide of a Chinese executive involved with the Fisher-Price recall.

Here are recall information links:

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As is evidenced from my previous entries relating to music, it’s pretty apparent that my taste runs toward the eclectic side, and if there is a band I listen to that probably exemplifies musical eclecticism and fusion best it would have to be the fantastic band I’ll be seeing at a private radio station (KPRI) gig tonight, Ozomatli. This quote from a BC Music review puts the band’s sound on their latest venture “Don’t Mess with the Dragon” into perspective quite well, “Ozo is, as ever, a instrumental atom bomb compared to most pop out there – the disc burns with their unique energy and soul.” While I don’t think I’d use the category of “pop” for Ozomatli, it is so true that their music IS an instrumental atom bomb compared to most others. Their CDs are truly worthy of spending a bit of time getting to know–as is the band!

I really don’t have time to write much about them other than to tell you to get your fannies over to iTunes or your local record shop to buy “Don’t Mess with the Dragon” ASAP! Here is a link to a Google page of reviews for the CD, and here is the Ozomatli web site. I’ll also include a couple of videos for you to enjoy. I did do a brief story about Ozomatli about a year ago, so will post that for you, too. Off to get ready for a night of fun with friends, incredible music, TONS of dancing, and an all-around celebration of life! 🙂

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*** 8/7/07 UPDATE: Ozomatli was ON FIRE at Anthology in San Diego last night!!! While they only played just under one hour of music, it was jam packed, crowd-pleasing, shake-your-ass-until-you-can’t-shake-it-anymore music, and they definitely had the crowd eating out of their hands. I implore you to hit the link I offered above to Ozo’s web site to find out when they will be hitting your town, then buy those tickets ASAP and prepare for one hell of a good time! Thank you Ozomatli (especially for performing one of my new faves: Magnolia Soul-lyrics copied below!) and KPRI for a fantastic night. Despite the fact the bathroom door at the venue decided to slice a chunk of my right thumb off, it was STILL an incredible evening of great music, high energy, and memorable times with friends. :)***

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“City of Angels” from Don’t Mess with the Dragon by Ozomatli

(Ozomatli “City of Angels” music video directed/edited by Matthew Johnston and shot by Willie Tipp. Winner of the “Wanna Mess with the Dragon?” music video contest)

“Magnolia Soul” from Don’t Mess with the Dragon by Ozomatli

This isn’t the best video, but is from a live performance of one of my favorite songs on the new CD. As a reviewer said, it’s a scathing indictment of post-Katrina chaos. Ozomatli does an incredible job of getting out very important political messages in their music.

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Magnolia Soul

magnolia.jpg

CHORUS:

Let the good times roll,

Bad times gone

The suns gonna shine

Rise up, get on your feet

Let the good times roll

Sad times gone

Let the good times roll

Pretty mama can’t stop

Magnolia’s soul

Justin:

Dear magnolia, what’s crackin’?

Been a long time since I last saw your face

Never forget the day out in the sticks I saw your crecsent smile in place

All the way from uptown, downtown, lakeside to river

Heard W don’t care about them

Gotta watch who you make ya friend

Otherwise FEMA will come through and backstab you again

Just some advice to lend

Weak ties will bend

Through the dark true light will win

And they said that this the end

But we fixin’ to make them saints march on again

CHORUS:

Let the good times roll,

Bad times gone

The suns gonna shine

Rise up, get on your feet

Let the good times roll

Sad times gone

Let the good times roll

Pretty mama can’t stop

Magnolia’s soul

Jabu:

Polite little hurricane, called for she came

Officials knew the deal and they didn’t do a thang

Knew her every move

Yep Katrina was her name

The mayor had the whole game in the palm of his hand

Hand in the pot

Caught cold and oh!/ shouldv’e fixed them damn levees long time ago/ but they didn’t take the chance to do it

Pitty pat between the pres and the mayor

Folks was dying (die) too

A gang of us in the superdome

We’re in the heat

Folks in wheelchairs feet swole, nothing to eat

So to the kids and the families that lost

I rhyme for, ‘nolia clap

Show the world your sooooooul

CHORUS:

Let the good times roll,

Bad times gone

The suns gonna shine

Rise up, get on your feet

Let the good times roll

Sad times gone

Let the good times roll

Pretty mama can’t stop

Magnolia’s soul

Bridge:

Everybody clap them hands

Still steppin to the second line band

Still stompin’ to the zulu drum

You can’t stop this native son

A huh huh

Let the good times roll

Let the good times roll pretty mama can’t stop magnolias soul

CHORUS:

Let the good times roll,

Bad times gone

The suns gonna shine

Rise up, get on your feet

Let the good times roll

Sad times gone

Let the good times roll

Pretty mama can’t stop

Magnolia’s soul

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Here’s the story I did last year:

ozoaacover.jpgI dare you to not move your feet and fanny (and any other body parts you so choose) while listening to this band! As a matter of fact, the first time I ever heard Ozomatli we couldn’t see them, but boy we sure could hear them…and feel them! Our bodies sensed the excitement and the rhythms from their horn section and drums…they infused our bodies. We were magically drawn toward the music like bees to honey…to the sweet sounds of their voices and the potent lyrics. Unfortunately such was the case with hundreds of other bodies who were all trying to get near the stage, and sadly blocking our ability to get anywhere near it. The closest we could get had the band members looking like small dolls dancing on stage. Sadly this first encounter with the band would not allow us to embrace the entire Ozomatli experience (and trust me, an Ozo show IS an experience!), but it did allow us to get a taste of what would soon become an addiction.

ozofillmore.jpgThis first brief experience with Ozomatli was back on a beautiful Saturday in September of 2002 at a music festival called Street Scene. Back in the day it was held in the Gaslamp Quarter, an area of downtown San Diego, California. Sadly the festival has moved to Qualcomm Stadium (where the San Diego Chargers play…at least for now…sigh), and even though I have to admit to not having attended Street Scene since they moved there, I just can’t imagine it having the same ‘flavor’ as it did by being held in the fabulous historic streets of downtown San Diego. (Street Scene has moved a couple of times since I did this review–twice this year!)

Since that initial taste of addiction was born on 9/7/02, thankfully the fixes have had much more success than that day at Street Scene. The next couple of times I saw Ozomatli were at one of the BEST venues to see a show in San Diego County, the Belly Up Tavern. It’s located in Solana Beach, which is in Northern San Diego County, literally just north of the Del Mar Race Track and Fairgrounds. I L-O-V-E the Belly Up Tavern! I’ve pretty much spent some of my best concert-going times there since I became legal (oh so long ago!)…awesome music…great service…small venue with great sound…and incredibly memorable times with friends! Yup, love that place.

ozostreetsigns.jpgSo back to Ozomatli. Right now this GRAMMY® Award winning, Los Angeles-based band with an active political conscience has ten band members, a wide array of instruments, and several of their members contributing to vocals. It’s hard to describe Ozo‘s music other than to say it’s a FABULOUS fusion of latin and world music, hip-hop (which I’m usually NOT a fan of), heavy doses of political activism, reggae, a hot brass section and elaborate percussion, all woven together to get you rocking your body off on the dance floor. My experience has been that there truly is NO WAY you can be at an Ozomatli show and NOT move your body. No way possible! The music invades your soul, your head starts to bob, your toes start tapping, next thing you know your fanny is off the seat and you’re moving like you’ve been dancing to this blend of music all your life. It honestly is an experience that consumes every fiber of your being, mentally and physically. While it may leave you completely drained after the show, there is actually an interesting sense of renewal and invigoration you feel when all is said and done. And speaking of done, this band finishes each show by grabbing their instruments (drum included!), heading out into the audience, snaking their way around folks, while singing and dancing with the audience as they head out the door. I guarantee an Ozomatli concert will be one of your BEST musical experiences EVER!

So click on the links I’ve provided throughout this page to get more information on the band, sample some music, check out their merchandise, and most of all find out when they might be touring in your area.

May you fall victim to the Ozomatli addiction like I did and soon consider yourself an Ozo fanatic. No 12-step program required.

(***ADDED 7/12/07: Looks like Michael may WILL be on Countdown with Keith Olbermann tonight on MSNBC at 8PM EST, with a replay 4 hours later.***)

Have to say that anticipating a television show is not something I’ve done in a long time (okay, I was curious about The Sopranos finale ;)), but waiting for the promised “Unedited Part II” of Michael Moore and Wolf Blitzer’s firework-laced gabfest on The Situation Room definitely had me sitting on the edge of my seat. I’ll include both videos here (even though Part I was included in this blog posting) since seeing them one right after the other keeps the continuity of Michael’s outrage much more so than the 24 hour time lapse given to us courtesy of CNN.

A huge thank you to those who take the time to upload these videos to YouTube so the rest of us can view them! 🙂

Part I-CNN Gets Blitzed by Michael Moore

Part II-Michael Moore/Wolf Blitzer

And speaking of CNN, when are they going to catch a clue that Larry King’s time has come and gone–long ago? It was truly painful to watch him attempt to have anything to do with the serious debate that Dr. Gupta and Michael should have been having on their differences regarding where health care system facts came from. I felt Dr. Gupta was attempting to have some sort of dialogue with Michael, but Larry kept trying to play referee when one wasn’t really needed. It seemed that the majority of times when Michael was attempting to set the record straight and explain where/why/how SiCKO came up with facts for the film, his turn to talk was cut short. It would be nice to see CNN actually allow Dr. Gupta and Michael the opportunity Larry King “claims” they will to actually have a serious and much-needed hour of (hopefully non-Larry King interrupted!) discourse on this crucial topic.

Larry King Live/Michael Moore & Dr. Gupta-Part 1 of 3

Larry King Live/Michael Moore & Dr. Gupta-Part 2 of 3

Larry King Live/Michael Moore & Dr. Gupta-Part 3 of 3

 

Here is Keith Olbermann’s take on the Michael-vs-Wolf/CNN episode, with input from Rachel Maddow. I would include the video here, but the page is taking a long time to load due to all the other videos. And here is one I would NOT bother to include since Joe Scarborough is showing what a moron he can be (I’ve actually agreed with him on a few–very few-occasions) by attacking Michael’s weight issue instead of discussing the important arguments Michael brings up. Way to deal with the topic at hand, Joe.

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I haven’t touched base with the pet food recall story in a bit so thought I’d check into what the latest news has been. The head of China’s version of our FDA was executed yesterday for his part in the horrific “lethally tainted products” fiasco from which people and pets around the world have been suffering. An owner who truly believes her pet died from tainted food, albeit 10 months prior to the initial Menu Foods pet food recall, is denied her claim by Nutro Products, Inc. And while this Opinion posting on USA Today barely mentions the pet food recall, it does a good job of enlightening the reader on how it is that so many tainted products have come to the USA from China (such as the Thomas the Tank Engine toys), and that consumers MUST continue to put pressure on our own government in order to have them place equal pressure on China.

(***Added 7/11/07: Click here for videos of Michael on Larry King Live and The Situation Room on 7/10/07. Added 7/10/07: Scroll down past the video below to read an email notice sent out this morning about Michael being on CNN and other shows today/Tuesday!***)

Shout-out to Health Care For All for sending out a bulletin which alerted me to this GREAT video of Michael Moore unloading (as many of us would LOVE to!) about many things (not just the health care system in the U.S.) while on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. Watch the fireworks between Michael and Wolf below, then click on this link to read more on Michael’s web site, especially this link which sets the record straight on some of the misinformation in the Gupta story shown prior to Michael’s interview.

As a side note and in regard to Lou Dobbs’ comment regarding Michael Moore in the last 5 seconds of the video, you can kiss my “left wing promoting” lily white fanny, Lou! Nice journalistic objectivity…not!

CNN gets blitzed by Michael Moore

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Added 7/10/07: Just got following email this morning from Michael’s webmaster. I also added the Michael Moore/Jon Stewart clip (mentioned in the email) to my VodPod on this blog.

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

Today, Michael Moore will be on CNN again for Part Two with Wolf Blitzer, (Did you see Part One? And our response?), a new appearance on Larry King Live with Dr. Sanjay Gupta (appearing, we assume, to apologize for his factual errors), and a rerun of Mike’s appearance on Jon Stewart from 13 days ago.

Those of us who maintain Michael’s website have started a truth squad. Watch for our daily reports on how the media lies, distorts and carries the water for Big Pharma and Big Insurance.

We’ll leave you with this analysis of how the mainstream media deals with Michael Moore.

Thanks!

Webmaster
MichaelMoore.com

 

I realize there are “zealots” on both ends of the political spectrum (and every spot in between), but I have yet to come to an understanding of what it is (other than hate) that makes Ann Coulter tick. I am all about having strong convictions, standing firm in your beliefs, BUT also showing some level of respect for those who disagree with you. This is something Ann Coulter truly needs to discover and incorporate into her everyday life–or at least the portion we are all subjected to in the media.

I revel in seeing a smart woman in the limelight, and hoped that even though Coulter sits on the opposite side of the political fence than I do, she might open up some interesting dialogue through intelligent discourse. Unfortunately any intelligence Coulter might hold goes right out the window the minute her vile nature comes shining through. After having seen enough of her rude, arrogant, and hateful rhetoric and behavior in the past, I found myself actually going out of my way to avoid seeing Coulter on television. However, when I heard about Elizabeth Edwards having the cajones to confront Coulter via a phone call on Hardball I just HAD to see what all the fuss was about.

In my search to find a video of the Hardball episode I have to admit I was somewhat surprised to also run across videos showing what a horrific homophobic side Coulter has. In this day and age I am still dumbfounded by how freely some folks choose to bandy about hateful and hurtful words, let alone harbor such ridiculous narrow-minded notions about what constitutes love between people. I will not only include video clips of part of what led up to Elizabeth Edwards respectfully lambasting Coulter, but will also include video clips where Coulter chose to use a homophobic slur (on separate occasions) to describe Al Gore and John Edwards, while also sharing her “oh so enlightened” (insert heavy sarcasm) thoughts on Bill Clinton.

  • Here’s a video clip of Coulter’s use of a homophobic slur regarding John Edwards.
  • And here’s her utterly ridiculous explanation saying the word she used is “not offensive” and is merely a “school yard taunt”–was she dropped on her head as a baby? Those “school yard taunts” have far-reaching consequences and she is beyond delusional if she thinks using such language is neither offensive nor dangerous.
  • Ann Coulter on ABC’s Good Morning America (Some “good morning” with hateful comments like Ann’s!)
  • Elizabeth Edwards takes on Ann Coulter during Hardball phone call

Here are some articles about the Hardball phone call: Huffington Post, MSNBC First Read (includes transcript of phone call)

  • Here’s an Ann Coulter two-for-one where she uses slurs against Al Gore and Bill Clinton. I find it interesting that she says her comments about Al Gore are a “joke”, because if she thinks that is joking then she needs to head off to some comedy boot camp–perhaps the Michael Richards School of Comedy? (Another equally troubled individual…sigh.) She also shows her grossly apparent inability to respectfully and tactfully handle someone who doesn’t agree with her, as was the case with someone from the audience. Oh, and one last thing. Coulter mentions a “whiff of the bathhouse” in this clip, well I’d say she has a “whiff of the pig farm” surrounding her comments.

In preparation for the True Colors Tour 2007 gig on the 30th in Los Angeles, I’m checking out some of the groups I’m not familiar with, and am SOOO now hooked on The Dresden Dolls. WOW! They are so unique and incredible. If you aren’t aware of them you should really check them out. I can’t stop listening to the two CDs I got on iTunes, “The Dresden Dolls” and their new one, “Yes, Virginia.” I love live theater so they are right up my alley, with their very extravagant and engaging performances that I’ve caught online. They describe themselves as punk cabaret and that is pretty much how I’d describe them, too. Totally awesome. Each song on their CDs is like a story, not that all songs aren’t like stories…these are just so intense…love it!

Anyway, here are a few videos for you to check out, along with their web site link (check out their photo galleries for some, um, uh, “interesting” pics…especially #14! ;)) and their MySpace page (which has a great live video of a few songs with striptease in between). Enjoy!

Here’s “Coin-Operated Boy” from their self-titled CD. (As a single gal I’m thinking a coin-operated boy not be such a bad idea…especially if it’s Brian. ;))

And this video, “Backstabber: The Dresden Dolls-vs-PANIC! At The Disco”, is just hilarious, especially since a friend’s nephew is in one of the bands. (PANIC! At The Disco…hey there proud Auntie JD ;))

Here’s The Dresden Dolls “Shores of California” video from their new CD “Yes, Virginia”, which is a total play on…

…David Lee Roth’s “California Girls” video.

(***Added 6/19/07: LOGO will air a True Colors special beginning this Thursday, June 21st.***)

Thanks to a VERY generous and spontaneous friend (Thanks, Jackson ;)), I’ll be hitting the True Colors Tour 2007 when it makes its final stop in Los Angeles at the Greek Theatre on June 30th. Totally something to look forward to, for so many reasons (especially after finding out just today that The Cliks are rearranging their own tour schedule in order to add the last three True Colors gigs–woo-hoo!), but especially since it will be a incredibly memorable time spent with fabulous friends. Btw, the LA stop is SOLD OUT (Not sure if more tickets have been released or what the deal is, but TicketMaster is no longer showing the LA show as sold out), so I would highly recommend jumping on tickets for the other remaining shows NOW!

I’ll let the following Cyndi Lauper interview on The View fill you in on what the True Colors Tour 2007 is all about, and I’ll include links to the MySpace pages of several of the scheduled performers. I do have to say, though, that I continue to shake my head in disgust, dismay, and ultimately sadness, over the fact that so many people continue to harbor such hatred toward others just due to one’s sexual orientation. Sigh. Life is far too short, folks. Appreciate the incredible diversity around you (who on earth wants to be just like everyone else?), embrace it, and for crying out loud just get out there and enjoy the heck out of life!

Cyndi Lauper on The View discussing True Colors Tour 2007

Cyndi performing an acoustic version of True Colors

MySpace Pages

True Colors lyrics

You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged
Oh I realize
It’s hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small

But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow

Show me a smile then,
Don’t be unhappy, can’t remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there

And I’ll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow

(***ADDED 6/5/07: 2-part videos of Michael’s appearance on Oprah are included below for those who missed the show.***)
From a Michael Moore email:

Michael Moore on Oprah Tuesday
Michael Moore will appear on Oprah tomorrow, Tuesday, June 5, and will present, for the first time on television, scenes from his new film, “Sicko.” Oprah will interview Michael about the movie and the attention it’s receiving before its release (opening day everywhere is June 29). The theme of Oprah’s show is the one film you must see this summer — “Sicko” — and the one book you must read (Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”). Oprah loved Michael’s film and wants to make health care for all one of her main missions this year.

So set your recorders for Oprah tomorrow, Tuesday!

Oprah’s SiCKO message board, Michael Moore Web Site

And here’s Michael’s 5/25/07 appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher–two of my faves! 🙂

***ADDED 6/5/07: 2-part videos of Michael on Oprah today.***

Oprah: Michael Moore on ‘Sicko’ – Part 1

Oprah: Michael Moore on ‘Sicko’ – Part 2

(***UPDATE from CA Healthy Pets Act official site: June 6 – AB 1634 passes the Assembly Floor, moves to the Senate.***)

I’ll start by letting Bill Maher introduce you to the VERY IMPORTANT pending legislation in California, Assembly Bill 1634-California Healthy Pets Act, in case you aren’t already familiar with it. Thanks, Bill!

I spent nearly seven years working in the veterinary field, and also spent a good deal of time volunteering with various animal organizations, including our local animal shelter. Saying I love animals is a huge understatement. Unfortunately during my volunteer time at the shelter, which also included interning with the shelter veterinarian, I saw far too many loving animals put to sleep because there was just not enough room to house them, and definitely not enough kind souls willing to give these pets a chance at a new life. Trust me, folks, it is not a pleasant thing for anyone to have to do–ending the life of a pet. And while this photo is disturbing, it is also the cold, harsh reality of what happens after a shelter pet is euthanized and awaiting transportation to either rendering or a mass grave, depending on the disposal service.

Quite often these pets were dogs who were brought into a new home as young puppies, but once they grew to full size (gee, don’t you hate it when an animal has the audacity to actually grow! [insert heavy sarcasm]), suddenly the owners decided they were too much to handle. Other poor animals were bred for fighting and were never even given a chance to show their gentle side. Of course there are the aging pets which usually are passed by as prospective owners seek out the cute and cuddly puppies or kittens. Regardless of why these 4-legged beings are brought to shelters, the reality is that had more stringent spay/neuter laws been enacted there would not be in the range of 800,000 abandoned pets in our state of California each year, nor over $250 MILLION dollars spent on their housing, with well over 400,000 of them ultimately being euthanized.

Animals cannot speak up for themselves, so it is up to us to do it for them. I urge my fellow responsible citizens of California to take a few moments out of their busy lives to help ensure the passage of AB 1634, the California Healthy Pets Act. This paragraph, from a Humane Society of the United States email, highlights the urgency of IMMEDIATE action:

Urgent! Opponents of this animal welfare bill have organized large numbers of people to target legislators in an attempt to change their votes and prevent its passage. They are even calling from out-of-state, and harassing particular lawmakers. We can’t let the puppy mills out-hustle animal advocates on this important pet protection bill. Legislators need to hear from their constituents—you!—so they know you support this sensible reform.

PLEASE check out the following sites for important information on the California Healthy Pets Act, and also spread the word to anyone and everyone you know in our great state of California, to CONTACT their State Assembly member ASAP!!! Thank you.

_________________________________________________________________

(***Added on 6/7/07***)

The Truth About the CA Healthy Pets Act-AB 1634 Marty Catalano of Rescue Roundtable interviews guests Jane Velez-Mitchell and Ed Buck who dispel all the fallacies being put forth by the opposition to the California Healthy Pets Act AB-1634.

Missy Woodward of Critter Crusades interviews Judie Mancuso, Sponsor / Campaign Director of the California Healthy Pets Act – AB 1634.

Not Born to Die: California Healthy Pets Act AB 1634

Short on time but wanted post a link to a story about the head of China’s Food and Drug Agency being sentenced to death (there is a video included). I’m also including the press release regarding the recall of Nutra Nuggets 40# Lamb Meal and Rice formula dry dog food.

China Tackles Food Safety Problems-ChinaDaily.com

China’s Food and Drug Agency Chief Sentenced To Death-Guardian.co.uk

China Sentences Ex-Top Drug Regulator To Death-globeandmail.com

China Food Boss Sentenced To Death-english.aljazeera.net

Nutra Nuggets Recall Press Release

Diamond Pet Foods Recalls Nutra Nuggets Lamb Meal and Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
in 40 Lb. Bags Due to Melamine Cross Contamination

Meta, Mo. (May 23, 2007) – Diamond Pet Foods announced that it has recalled a limited quantity of Nutra Nuggets Lamb Meal and Rice Formula dry dog food in 40 lb. bags because of melamine cross contamination. To date, no animal deaths have been reported.

This action is limited to Nutra Nuggets Lamb Meal and Rice Formula dry dog food in 40 lb. bags with production codes of NLR0404A2SL or NLR0404B2SL, “Best Before” Oct. 9, 2008. The recalled product was manufactured at the company’s Lathrop, Calif. facility and sold through retailers in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, Canada. No other Nutra Nuggets products are affected.

The recalled product was manufactured at the same facility following production of other products that contained rice protein concentrate later found to be tainted with melamine, which is not an approved food substance. Pets who may have consumed the affected product should be monitored closely. Affected pets will usually drink a lot of water and will vomit within 24 hours after eating the food. Affected pets may exhibit the following symptoms, including but not limited to loss of appetite, lethargy and vomiting. Consult your local veterinarian if your pet is exhibiting these symptoms.

Consumers who purchased Nutra Nuggets Lamb Meal and Rice Formula dry dog food in 40 lb. bags with production codes of NLR0404A2SL or NLR0404B2SL, “Best Before” Oct. 9, 2008, should stop using the product immediately and return unused portions to their retailer for a full refund. Consumers may also contact the Diamond Pet Foods Customer Information Center toll free at 1-866-214-6945 for further information. The Center, which is staffed by veterinarians, is open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CDT.

 


I cannot WAIT for the release of Michael Moore’s SiCKO on June 29th! I’ll include a trailer for SiCKO, along with the email he sent out after the movie premiered at Cannes. Click here for the scoop on the ridiculous U.S. government’s investigation of Michael related to SiCKO, and here is a post including Michael’s email prior to Cannes. See you at the theater on June 29th!

Here’s Michael’s response to the Bush administration and the investigation.

Is there a doctor in the house?-VillageVoice.com

“The other thing that makes Sicko Moore’s strongest film in years—if not ever—is its steadfast refusal to turn health care into a polarizing political issue, except to say that pretty much all American politicians, regardless of rank or affiliation, have left us to fend for ourselves.”

Let the buzz begin over Moore’s new ‘Sicko’-Mlive.com

“Well, when a reviewer for Fox News (!) calls a Michael Moore film “brilliant and uplifting,” as was posted online after the world premiere of “Sicko” at the Cannes Film Festival, you know Moore is onto something.”

New York Times Examines Potential Effect Of Michael Moore Documentary About Problems With Health Care Industry On Health Care Debate–MedicalNewsToday.com

“America’s Health Insurance Plans President Karen Ignagni said that the film might encourage the government to provide more funding for health care for the uninsured.”

__________________________________________

A Letter from Michael Moore: ‘Sicko’ is Socko in Cannes!

May 23rd, 2007

Friends,

Well, as you may have read by now, our premiere of “Sicko” at the Cannes Film Festival has been an overwhelming success. The 2,000 people inside the Lumiere Theater were alternately in tears and laughing during the two-hour film — and when it was over, they gave it a standing ovation that seemed to go on for nearly 15 minutes! Many came up to me and said (and critics seem to agree) that this is my best film yet. I don’t know about that, and it seems weird to compare any of these movies in the first place. But I do feel safe in saying that I am very, very happy with this film and I can’t wait to show it to you when it opens on June 29th.

Cannes is a crazy place. There are film lovers here from nearly every country in the world. And then there are the people in “show business.” These dark forces have virtually ruined this art form (invented by the French and nurtured to brilliance by the country I call home). There are so many bad, awful films now and less and less people are going to the movies. Many who run Hollywood believe that the American people are too stupid to enjoy a film that respects their intelligence.

At the press screening for “Sicko,” the Wall Street Journal reported that hardened reporters and critics wept. Even those who have been harsh to me in the past, or who have not agreed with my politics, were moved. Aside from my stated desire that “Sicko” ignite a fire for free, universal health care (and a larger wish that we, as Americans, do a better job of treating each other with a true sense of solidarity and respect), I continue to hope that I can make a contribution to the art of cinema and give people a good reason to get out of the house for a few hours.

At my festival press conference, the only negative word came from the Canadians. Two critics didn’t like all the nice things I said about their health care system. Yes, Canadian health care has its flaws, but when I asked the two critics if they would exchange their health care cards for mine, they said “No!” Of course they wouldn’t. Canadians live longer than we do and their infant mortality is not as high as ours. Their system is underfunded because their leaders have been trying to push for more American-style health care.

The rest of the week has been good and I am now on my way back to the U.S. The New York Post reported Sunday that the Bush administration, in addition to going after me for filming scenes in or near Cuba, may now go after the 9/11 rescue workers I took with me to get the medical care they were denied by our own government. I couldn’t make up irony like this if I wanted to, and I will do whatever is necessary to defend the human right of these true American heroes to receive the medical attention they deserve.

We’ve also received word that the HMO and pharmaceutical industries are gearing up to fight “Sicko.” We received so many great whistleblower letters while we were making the movie from employees of these companies. We’d like to hear from you again! Send us the internal memos and any other plans you run across at the company copying machine or internet server. It will help to stay ahead of whatever they are up to, and it will also give us a chance for a bit of fun at the industry’s expense.

I will soon have a special section of my website devoted to “Sicko.” Until then, we’ll move forward toward our June 29th release date. Hope to see you all there that weekend!

Yours,
Michael Moore
michael@michaelmoore.com
MichaelMoore.com

Sometimes people need to just keep their mouth shut, and from what I’ve seen and read of Clinton Portis today (and Chris Samuels wasn’t much better), he is one who would be wise to think before speaking.

Redskins RB Portis: Vick can do what he wants-ESPN.com

When told that dog fighting is a felony, Portis replied, “It can’t be too bad of a crime.”

Sorry to disappoint you, Mr. Portis, but it IS a crime, and it IS a bad one. Perhaps you’d like to trade places with any of the dogs used in dog fighting? We’ll see how you feel about how “bad of a crime” it is after that, okay?

Portis, Samuels defend Vick, ridicule dog fighting as a crime-AP-DailyPress.com

In an interview with WAVY-TV, Portis said that if the Atlanta Falcons quarterback is charged and convicted of being involved in a dog fighting operation, then authorities would be “putting him behind bars for no reason.”

Um, no reason? If Michael Vick is charged and convicted then that means he broke the law. Sounds like a reason to me.

For more information on animal fighting and the recent legislation aimed at penalizing those who take part in it, click here. For the Humane Society of the United States response to the situation, click here.

Mom is one of those folks that keeps saying she’s going to learn all about the internet, but has yet to even figure out how to get past clicking the on button…sigh. And it’s not like I haven’t tried to get her to learn. Oh well, she does peruse the blog when she’s visiting and since she’ll be here on Mother’s Day I thought I’d throw some well wishes out into the universe. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM, even though I know it’s that (gulp) birthday that has a special significance with the government. 😉 Here are a few classic videos of performers you’ve always enjoyed. As a matter of fact I think I’ve sent you and dad off to see each of them over the past few years. Hope the videos at least help make you feel a bit younger…memories, eh? Love ya, Mom!:)

“She’s A Lady”-Tom Jones (1973)

“The Last Waltz”=Engelbert Humperdinck (1967)

“Soul and Inspiration”=The Righteous Brothers (1966)

Unfortunately the news doesn’t seem as if it will ever improve, and instead only becomes more concerning as tainted products are finding their way into the human food supply more often. Sad that so many beloved pets had to die in order for us all to have a huge “wake-up call” on the incredible inadequacy and incompetency of food regulation in our country and others. Also, time constraints for the next month will pretty much prohibit me from a lot of posting, but I will do my best to continue getting you at least some news headlines and links on the pet food contamination debacle. What a shame we’re still unsure of so much about all of this EIGHT WEEKS INTO IT!

CHINA

U.S. melamine probers find empty Chinese factories-ReutersAlertNet

“U.S. investigators found shuttered factories when they arrived at the Chinese food processors blamed for putting the chemical melamine into vegetable proteins shipped to America, officials said on Thursday.”

China detains managers in tainted pet food case-Chron.com

“China has long suffered adverse publicity tied to its notoriously lax enforcement of food and drug safety…China’s government body responsible for overseeing food safety said it had detained an unspecified number of managers from Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd. and Binzhou Futian Biology Technology Co. Ltd.”

China to start mobile food testing-(AP)-SFGate.com

“The business hub of Shanghai will soon employ mobile testing units that officials say can check the safety of most food within 30 minutes, as fears grew at home and abroad over contaminated Chinese products ranging from cough syrup to pet food.”

CONTAMINATION SPREADS

Fish Hatcheries Got Contaminated Feed-Forbes.com

“Fish feed made with a contaminated Chinese ingredient was distributed to about 120 fish hatcheries and farms, roughly split between the United States and Canada, officials said Thursday.

Chicago-area company implicated in tainted pet food scandal: Cereal Byproducts. Co. of Mt. Prospect issued recall-Chicago Tribune (free subscription)

“Cereal Byproducts Co., which has plants in five states and a headquarters in Mt. Prospect, issued a recall for the rice protein products on May 4. The company’s products went to three pet food manufacturers… Word that yet another company has been implicated two months into the pet food contamination scare suggests that the scope of the problem is expanding, despite an ongoing FDA investigation.

FDA/USDA

Melamine update: Nevermind, it wasn’t wheat gluten-USNews.com

“Government officials say they have been wrong about calling the melamine-contaminated product imported by two Chinese firms “wheat gluten” and “rice protein concentrate.” These products were incorrectly labeled and were, in fact, wheat flour. The FDA is investigating the possibility that these products were intentionally mislabeled by the Chinese companies.”

Transcript of FDA-USDA update on Adulterated Animal Feed (5/10)-USDA.gov

“MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome. I am Rob Ali from the FDA’s Media Relations Shop. And thanks, and welcome to this briefing this afternoon on the melamine investigation. We have speakers today from the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We also have several FDA officials here and officials from USDA and Customs and Border Protection available to answer any questions later on in this briefing.”

FDA/USDA Joint News Release: Scientists Conclude Very Low Risk to Humans from Food Containing Melamine USDA Releases Some Swine and Poultry for Processing-FDA.gov

“In the course of the investigation, it was discovered that pet food was contaminated by wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate that contained melamine and its compounds. Subsequently, scraps of contaminated pet food that contained only low levels of melamine were distributed to farms in a limited number of states and added to the feed consumed by swine and poultry. These scraps constituted only a small percentage of the farm animal rations. In addition, melamine is known to be excreted in animal urine. When exposure levels are much higher, as was the case with cats and dogs, the melamine and its compounds appear to cause the formation of crystals in the kidney systems, resulting in kidney damage. There was no indication of kidney damage in hogs. Both hogs and chickens known to have been fed contaminated feed appear to be healthy.”

MENU FOODS

Menu Foods delays filing of financial statements– Reuters.com

“The pet food maker — at the center of a massive recall due to tainted wheat gluten imported from China — said the delay was primarily due to ongoing discussions with lenders over additional financing for, among other things, product recalls.”

SCIENCE LESSON

How two innocuous compounds combined to kill pets-WashingtonPost.com

“Scientists seeking the chemical culprits in the widening pet food scare have come across some unusual chemistry that may help them understand how two largely nontoxic compounds ended up killing an unknown number of cats and dogs.”

Sniffin’ out the info

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