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NPR Tiny Desk Concert: Tom Brosseau

North Dakota folk music
Music • Views: 4,690

YouTube

Some straight-up white people folk music, with a dry North Dakota edge to it, from Tom Brosseau, a true original.

Tom Brosseau possesses one of the most arresting voices in folk music today. Many people who hear him sing, without knowing his name or face, assume the voice belongs to a woman, as he hovers somewhere around the countertenor range, with an unusually pure tone.

The beauty of Brosseau’s voice is magnified in this Tiny Desk Concert by the spare accompaniment of two acoustic guitars. Brosseau is on rhythm, accompanied by Sean Watkins. Watkins, who also plays and sings with Nickel Creek, produced and plays on Brosseau’s new album, Grass Punks.

Brosseau is unabashedly sentimental and earnest. It informs his plainspoken story-songs, which find beauty and light in heartfelt themes of love and yearning. But Brosseau also possesses a wry sense of humor; you can hear as much in “Cradle Your Device,” a playful take-down of modern technology. The next song he performs, “Stuck on the Roof Again,” tells a true story about the octogenarian newspaper columnist Marilyn Hagerty, who got stuck on the roof of her home in Grand Forks, N.D., after a heavy snowstorm.

Brosseau closes his set with “Today Is a Bright New Day,” a wistful reflection on lost love and the belief that no matter our past disappointments or missteps, the future is full of hope and opportunity. —ROBIN HILTON

Set List

“Cradle Your Device”
“Stuck On The Roof Again”
“Today Is A Bright New Day”

Credits

Producers: Denise DeBelius, Robin Hilton; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Olivia Merrion; photo by Jim Tuttle/NPR

SPLC: Users of ‘Stormfront’ Web Forum Responsible for Many Deadly Hate Crimes, Mass Killings

From Southern Poverty Law Center
Terrorism • Views: 7,613

Nearly 100 people in the last five years have been murdered by active users of the leading racist website, Stormfront, according to a report released today by the SPLC’s Intelligence Project.

Registered Stormfront users have been disproportionately responsible for some of the most lethal hate crimes and mass killings since the web forum became the first hate site on the Internet in 1995, a month before the Oklahoma City bombing. The report found that hate killings by Stormfront members began to accelerate rapidly in early 2009, when Barack Obama took office as the nation’s first black president.

A similar racist web forum, Vanguard News Network (VNN), was used by neo-Nazi and former Klan leader Frazier Glenn Miller, who has been charged with the Sunday murder of three people he mistakenly believed were Jews in Overland Park, Kan. Miller, who apparently changed his last name in recent years to Cross, logged more than 12,000 posts on VNN, whose slogan is, “No Jews, Just Right.”

“Stormfront is the murder capital of the racist Internet,” said Heidi Beirich, report author and Intelligence Project director. “It has been a magnet for the deadly and deranged. And VNN is almost as bad.”

More: SPLC Report: Users of Leading White Supremacist Web Forum Responsible for Many Deadly Hate Crimes, Mass Killings

Putin Trots Out Edward Snowden for Pathetic Propaganda Op

A pitiful charade
World • Views: 7,950

YouTube

Meanwhile, today in Russia Vladimir Putin hauled Edward Snowden out of whatever dingy state apartment he’s been living in, for a high profile propaganda show that was utterly laughable.

Snowden, who has been given temporary asylum in Russia, connected via video link and asked Putin: “Does Russia intercept, store or analyze in any way the communications of millions of individuals?”

Putin began his response by telling Snowden that “you are a former agent, a spy. I used to work for an intelligence service [the KGB]. We are going to talk one professional language.”

Then the Russian president, who in recent weeks has claimed he did not send troops into Crimea only to now admit that he did and insists there are no Russian military personnel in eastern Ukraine even though reporters have heard at least one man there introduce himself as a Russian officer, made the case that:

“You have to get court permission to stalk a particular person. We don’t have a mass system of such interception, and according to our law it cannot exist.”

Also see:
SORM

In Which Failed Republican Joe Walsh Tweets About VP Biden Having a “Black Friend”

Wingnuts • Views: 11,993
Screen Shot

Louisiana Republicans Getting Set to Make the Bible the Official State Book

Establishment Clause ring a bell?
Wingnuts • Views: 12,094
Road sign via Shutterstock

Meanwhile in Louisiana, Republican lawmakers are getting set to make the official state book the Bible.

Which would, of course, be unquestionably unconstitutional, and would face legal challenges and be inevitably struck down, wasting who knows how much state money in the process. The party of fiscal responsibility!

Legislation that would make the Holy Bible the official state book of Louisiana cleared the House Committee on Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs with a vote of 8-5 Thursday afternoon. It will now head to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

Rep. Thomas Carmody, R-Shreveport, originally filed a bill to declare a specific copy of the Bible, found in the Louisiana State Museum system, the official state book. But by the time he presented the proposal to the committee, he changed language in his legislation to make the generic King James version of the Bible, a text used worldwide, the official state book.

Carmody said his intention was not to mingle religion with government functions. “This is not about establishing an official religion,” he said.

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 Frank says:

We'll get back to the wimp, and his low-budget conception of personal freedom, in just a moment -- Thing-Fish.