Adele M. Stan
Adele M. StanMar 20, 2007
FOG OF THE WAR ON UNIONS. Neo-liberals, neo-cons, con-cons, and con men would have us all believe that unions exist to protect the incompetent and reward them with undeservedly exhorbitant levels of compensation. Even if unions did functionally fulfill such a purpose -- which, in the case of most unionized workers, they do not -- I can nonetheless assure you that opposition to labor unions from the likes of this administration has little to do with such arguments. Brothers Scott and Matthew have weighed in on this topic, but I think it's important enough to warrant a regular flogging. This is not really about compensation or competence; it's about transparency. Knock the unions out of the public sector, and government becomes nearly opaque, all the better for the looting of public coffers by contractors, and promoting all manner of cronyism and nepotism, not to mention retributionism (which is, I admit, a made-up word for whose use my unionized grade-school teachers would have sternly...
Adele M. StanMar 15, 2007
YA NEVER DO KNOW. Before we go all triumphal and everything, we'd be wise to heed Brother Ezra 's cautionary note on whether or not the GOP is a gone-er for '08. A terrorist attack would, indeed, change everything, as could any number of other variables, the economy not least among them. Having covered the religious right's role in presidential elections for a couple of decades, I can tell you that I have witnessed the movement come back ever stronger after each implosion, and the righties still run the party at the operational level. The politics of resentment are viral in nature; they often go into remission after sickening the host. After a period of dormancy, they'll be back with a bang the next time a national tragedy, depression or malaise cries out for a scapegoat. No one can pinpoint a scapegoat like the righties. They'll be back the moment they're needed. -- Adele M. Stan
Adele M. StanMar 13, 2007
MIERS, MIERS, PANTS ON... Brother Sam is on the money in pointing out the role Harriet Miers played in the scandalous firings of seven U.S. attorneys, as detailed in today's Washington Post . And I hate to say "I told ya so," (well, actually, I take smug satisfaction in the utterance), but back when everybody was laughing at Bush 's nomination of Miers to the Supreme Court, I smelled a rat , fearing that Bush was looking for an awesome two-fer here: Get Miers out of the way before anyone thought to call her to testify on any one of the multiple scandals of which she may have known or partaken, and have, on the bench, a ruthless and stalwart administration loyalist. --Adele M. Stan
Adele M. StanMar 11, 2007
RONNIE WELLS HAS PASSED. When the music programs in public schools began dwindling -- and as D.C.'s great jazz musicians found fewer and fewer venues in which to share their art with regular people -- singer Ronnie Wells founded the East Coast Jazz Festival , a singular event that drew together the greater area jazz community, from little children to wizened national treasures. Ms. Wells died on Wednesday of lung cancer. I didn't know Ronnie Wells as a singer though, by all accounts, she was wonderful, both as a vocalist and an educator. I simply knew her as the force behind that magnificent festival, which -- free of charge and absent of auditions -- brought me into workshops with some of the nation's great jazz musicians, and brought new people into my life. The East Coast Festival operated on many different levels, and was a place where musicians came both to teach and renew their relationships within the community . In placing the emphasis on education, Wells was hoping to see the...
Adele M. StanFeb 28, 2007
IT'S ALIVE . I have seen the future of jazz 'n' soul, and her name is Alison Crockett . (Okay, okay; I couldn't resist. Apologies to Landau and Springsteen .) At a tribute on Friday to Keter Betts , Washington's late, great bass player, Crockett, a stranger to most in a room jam-packed with serious jazz fans, proved a deserving heir to Ella Fitzgerald , for whom Betts was the regular bass player -- not by channeling Ella's ghost, but by inviting the ancestress to guide her as Crockett brought a new sensibility to the straight-ahead form. It was a breathtaking tightrope act that Crockett performed before a not-so-young audience Friday night at Southwest D.C.'s Westminster Presbyterian Church , weaving together melodic scats with the sort of vocal technique that developed much later in such iconic but hard-to-define acts as Bobby McFerrin , Tuck and Patti , and Sweet Honey in the Rock . In a particularly daring feat, Crockett quoted (without parroting) a famous Fitzgerald scat, "How...