Friday, September 30, 2005

Cultural Pittsfield This Week 9/30-10/6

Friday Evening: Think Pink Reception

The opening reception for the second annual Think Pink art show to raise awareness of breast cancer is Friday, September 30, from 5:30pm-9pm. The reception is free and open to the public, and
attendees are encouraged to dress pink for prizes. The group show features over 40 Berkshire artists in a variety of media.

Friday, September 30 | 5:30pm-9pm | Lichtenstein Center for the Arts | 28 Renne Avenue | 499-9370

Friday through October 9: Berkshire Music School Play

The Berkshire Music School, Berkshire Concert Artists and Crane & Co., present a new play, entitled “...Hoping that You may join with Us...” and telling the story of the founding of the Berkshire
Music School 65 years ago by Winnie Davis Crane. The first act begins at 6:30pm at the Berkshire Music School, located at 30 Wendell Avenue. A bus them whisks the audience to Model Farm, the Crane
mansion in Dalton, for the second act, a concert, and a buffet supper. Performances are scheduled for September 30 and October 1, 6, 7, 8, and 9, with the 7th being a fundraising gala for the

September 30, October 1, 6, 7, 8, &9 | 6:30pm | Berkshire Music School | 30 Wendell Ave | 442-1411

Saturday: Open House at the Howard Building

Come and get a preview of the planned live-work Soho-style lofts planned for the Howard Building, now also the new home for the Storefront Artist Project, at First and Fenn Streets in downtown
Pittsfield. There will be a free open house open to all from 1pm to 7pm.

Saturday, October 1 | 1-7pm | Howard Building | 128 Fenn Street

Saturday night: Rod McDonald at the Common Grounds Coffeehouse

Singer-songwriter Rod McDonald performs at the Common Grounds Coffeehouse Saturday night. McDonald has been called "A superb songwriter." by the Arizona Daily Star, and City Link praised his
"stereotype-defying originals... His songs are mostly empathetic, character-driven allegories, funneling the human experience through the eyes of fictional but universally recognizable men and
women." Plus coffee, tea and homebaked goods!

Saturday, October 1 | 8pm | First United Methodist Church | 55 Fenn Street | 499-0866

Saturday evening: Candlelit Shaker Dinners

Enjoy Shaker-inspired hospitality and serenity at The City of Peace. A four-course Shaker dinner served in the candle-lit 1830 Brick Dwelling is preceded by an optional guided tour. Tour 5:30,
dinner at 7:00 p.m. A program of Shaker music completes the evening, and introduces attendees to Shaker music as an expression of their spirituality.

Saturday, October 1 | 5:30pm tour, 7pm dinner | Hancock Shaker Village | Rtes 41 & 20 | Reservations: 443-0188

Sunday: Juilliard String Quartet

For over fifty years the Juilliard String Quartet has been an international presence and an American institution. Its honors include four Grammy Awards, membership in the National Academy Recording
Arts and Sciences’ Hall of Fame, and its recording of the Debussy, Ravel and Dutilleux quartets was selected by The Times of London as one of the 100 best classical CDs ever made. And they are
performing in Pittsfield at the South Mountain Concert Hall!

Sunday, October 2 | 3pm | South Mountain Concert Hall | Route 7 | 442-2106

Wednesday Evening: It's Never Too Late to Tango

Come to the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts to learn the art of the tango with teacher Jackie Ling Wong. Absolute and advanced beginner classes are from 7pm to 8pm, with intermediate ones at 8pm.

Wednesdays | 7pm | Lichtenstein Center for the Arts | 28 Renne Ave | 281-9722

Coming up next weekend: Gypsy in My Soul

Barrington Stage Company is bringing Broadway performer Donna McKechnie's fabulous one woman show "Gypsy in my Soul" to the Berkshire Music Hall after two sold-out performances earlier this year. The
Tony Award-winning star of A Chorus Line (and one of the stars of this summer's critically-acclaimed BSC production of Follies), Ms. McKechnie is regarded internationally as one of Broadway's
foremost dancing and singing stars. The New Orleans Times-Picayune says "McKechnie is warm, spontaneous and genuine onstage and this is what makes a star, that 'little something extra' that reaches
out to touch an audience. Pure, profound pleasure."

Friday, October 7 & Saturday, October 8 | 8pm | Sunday, October 9 Benefit Performance | 4pm | Berkshire Music Hall | 30 Union St. | 528-8888

Coming October 14-16: Jazzing up Downtown!

Plan for a night out on the town Friday & Saturday nights during the Legacy Banks Pittsfield CityJazz Festival October 14-16. Enjoy live jazz at local downtown restaurants before taking in the New
Black Eagle Jazz Band on Friday at 8:30pm and the New England Jazz Ensemble and Joyce Breach on Saturday at 8pm.

October 14-16 | Berkshire Music Hall & Downtown Restaurants | Tickets: 395-0105

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Grant Workshop for Artists & Community Organizations


Hey Artists & Community Organizations!

The Cultural Council of Northern Berkshire is an agency that re-grants funds locally from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. The CCNB provides grant funding to support projects in the arts, humanities and
interpretive sciences that benefit Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Florida, Hancock, Lanesboro, Monroe, New Ashford, North Adams, Savoy or Williamstown. The CCNB's grant deadline is Monday, October 17.

Applicants are encouraged to attend one of two grant writing workshops being held this week:

Wednesday, September 28, 6pm @ Milne Library, Williamstown
( )
Thursday, September 29, 6pm @ Topia Arts Center, Adams (

The workshops are an opportunity to learn about, CCNB, the grant application process and to ask panel members questions!

For more information about CCNB and grant guidelines visit and "find your local cultural council".

SUBMITTED BY: Sandra Thomas, CCNB Panel Member
and Executive Director, Images Cinema
* non-profit community film house *
50 Spring Street
Williamstown, MA 01267
Office/Fax: 413-458-1039

Monday, September 26, 2005

Why did Eagle fail to cover 100,000-person demo?

The Berkshire Eagle has some explaining to do regarding its non-coverage of Saturday's anti-war demonstration in Washington, D.C. The Associated Press and other news organizations, quoting the city's police chief, said at least 100,000 showed up at the Capitol Mall with a simple message: "Bring the trooops home."

There was a "local angle." A church-organized bus with about 50 Berkshire County residents left Berkshire Community College at 11 p.m. Friday night, drove all night and returned at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday. Perhaps some of the riders of the bus will write in with their own testimony.

It was reported as the largest U.S. anti-war demonstration since the Iraq invasion. But there was not a word about it in Sunday's Eagle, despite the fact that The AP moved a story as early as 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

There WAS a tiny story in Monday's Eagle -- leading the nation briefs column -- which lead with information about a 400-person pro-war rally. Now is that fair and balanced? Why no coverage of the local angle? When
40,000 people gather for a game at Fenway Park, that at least merits a story.

Fortunately, in the Internet era, there are other sources of news. For example, Eagle readers can find detailed coverage of the rally at or at . Those websites may not be fair and balanced, but at least they are reporting something.

-- Posted by Bill Densmore
Williamstown, Mass.


Massive March in DC
Turnout was beyond anything we've seen in recent years: clearly hundreds of thousands.

Photos, videos, and blogging of the march:

Cindy Sheehan's speech:

Cindy Sheehan receives Unvarnished Truth Award:

What the polls say:

How the media is lying about the crowd size:

How to ask the media to tell the truth:

Lobbying and civil resistance on Monday, September 26:
Tool Kit to Stop a War:
Department of Peace Bill Introduced in Senate
Bonifaz Considers Run for Massach. Secretary of State
Minnesota Veterans for Peace Launches Ad Campaign

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Pittsfield plans 50-artist "pink" show Sept. 30 for breast-cancer awareness

Submitted by Megan Whilden, Pittsfield city cultural-development director

PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Don't be surprised if you see a preponderance of pink outfits around town this Friday, September 30th. The wearers will probably be vying for prizes at the evening opening of the second annual Think Pink art show, co-sponsored by the American Cancer Society’s Breast Health Team and the Storefront Artist Project, in collaboration with the City of Pittsfield’s Office of
Cultural Development.

The art show, which features over 50 local artists, is designed to raise awareness of breast cancer and raise funds for arts programs. Think Pink will be on display at the City of Pittsfield’s
Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, located at 28 Renne Avenue in downtown Pittsfield, from September 28 through October 29.

The Think Pink art show and reception is helmed by a volunteer committee of women, the majority of whom are breast cancer survivors themselves. “We were happily overwhelmed by the response from the
local artist community here in the Berkshires,” noted Connie Mah, a committee co-chair. “The generosity of the artists, the donors and sponsors, and the committee members has been wonderful.”

The opening reception this Friday, September 30, runs from 5:30pm to 9pm, and will feature a variety of pink-themed and playful refreshments, as well as prizes awarded for the best pink outfits.
Information on breast health will also be available for attendees to take home. The reception is free and open to the public.

Artwork for sale – all on the theme of the color pink or the “essence of woman” -- runs the gamut from abstract works to figures, florals, and landscapes in watercolor, acrylic, mixed media and oil
paint, along with fiber art, jewelry, and ceramics. Participating artists include Geoffrey Moss, Christine Heller, Anne Roland, Morris Bennett, Marge Bride, Jeanet Ingalls, Patricia Ryan, Gloria
Arnold, Caryl Lennon, Meryl Joseph, Peggy Braun, Anne Pasko, Paul Graubard, Bernie Re, Maggie Mailer, Diana Gala, Linda Ruberto, Doug Truth, Kathleen Nolan, Kellie Meisl, Amy Bruch, Kathleen McHenry,
Barbara Arpante, Susan Hartung, Colleen Quinn, Mario Calouri, Lois Ryder, Shawn Ryder, Lois VanCleff, Jan Perry, Jane Phelan Falcone, Mike McKay, Alice Trumbull, Lorraine Lavone, Adrianne Lederman,
Maranne Layhe, and Ina Hunt. In addition the exhibit includes jewelry by Victoria Flaherty; photography by Jonathan Kramer, Ben Garver, and Alan Hayes; a turtle shell rattle by Connie Mah; fiber art
by Fern Leslie and Lesley Ann Beck; and ceramics by Jim Horsford and Daniel Bellow. Several of the participating artists are breast cancer survivors as well.

The Think Pink benefit art show is underwritten by the following generous sponsors: the Berkshire Eagle, Berkshire Hematology Oncology; Berkshire OB/GYN Associates; Berkshire Radiology Associates;
Berkshire Surgical Associates; Basil Michaels, M.D.; Berkshire Medical Center, Women’s Imaging Center; Advanced Medical Imaging; and Marian Raser.

Proceeds from all sales go to the artist and towards arts programs for women with breast cancer. For more information on the Think Pink art show, please call 413-499-9370 or visit For more information about breast cancer resources, please call the American Cancer Society at 413-445-2416.


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Friday, September 23, 2005

EDUCATION: Romney proposes laptops, more science teachers, merit bonuses

Here is a link to Gov. W. Mitt Romney's education "reform" package, unveiled on Thurs., Sept. 20. Under it, according to Romney, every middle- and high-school student in Massachusetts would get a laptop computer, the state would add 1,000 new math and science teachers, and the best teachers would be eligible for $5,000 bonuses.

Here's an AP story quoting the Massachusetts Teachers Association in reaction:

Romney plan seeks bonuses for good teachers, free laptops for students
September 22, 2005

BOSTON --Every middle and high school student in Massachusetts would receive a free laptop and teachers would be entitled to extra merit pay under a $190 million education plan unveiled Thursday by Gov. Mitt Romney.

Romney says the plan relies on the availability of new, low-priced $100 laptops to make the Internet accessible to all students.

The plan would also set aside $68 million for bonuses of up to $15,000 per teacher. The merit pay would be awarded on the basis of student test scores and other factors. Romney's plan also calls for all schools to offer AP calculus, biology, physics and chemistry classes.

But not everyone likes the idea. Teachers union officials say previous attempts to award bonuses have failed because of disagreements over how to evaluate the performance of teachers.

Massachusetts Teachers Association President Kathy Boudreau said the $54 million Romney wants to use for laptops would be better spent on basics like smaller class sizes and better text books.

And here's a Boston Globe story:

Romney proposes giving laptops to most students
Plan would affect 500,000 in state
September 23, 2005

Governor Mitt Romney yesterday proposed taking advantage of newly developed $100 laptops and giving one to every student in public middle and high schools.

As part of an overall package of education initiatives, Romney called for spending $54 million for laptops to make the Internet accessible to all students. In all, 500,000 students would receive laptops if the Legislature approves the governor's plan.

Romney, during a news conference, highlighted the low-price laptops, which were developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab. Giving laptops to students would be phased-in over three years, beginning with students in sixth grade, he said.

Some states, including Maine, as well as large school systems, have given free laptops to students only to later scale back because of the costs of maintaining the program.

Massachusetts Teachers Association president Catherine A. Boudreau said the money would be better spent on basics such as smaller class sizes and better textbooks.

She said it doesn't make sense to give the laptops to all middle and high school students, whether they need them or not.

In the Boston public schools, TechBoston Academy, a small high school, began issuing laptops to its students when it opened in 2002. Grants helped pay for the computers. Two new Boston public high schools plan to follow suit.

Romney said his education package would cost roughly $600 million over the next five years.

Along with laptops for middle and high school students, Romney proposed merit pay for teachers; training for parents; an effort to turnaround underperforming schools; and math and science college-level courses for high school students.

Staff writer Tracy Jan contributed to this report. Material from the Associated Press and the State House News Service was used in this report.


Romney wants teacher merit pay
Key is students' performance

By Maria Sacchetti and Tracy Jan, Globe Staff | September 22, 2005

Teachers could earn as much as a $15,000 increase in their pay next school year based on their students' test scores and other measures, according to a new plan the governor will unveil today.

Governor Mitt Romney plans to roll out the plan as part of several education initiatives he will recommend to the Legislature, according to an administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

If approved by the Legislature, the $68 million a year in bonuses would take effect next school year and reward roughly 25,000 teachers a year, about a third of the state's teaching force.

By proposing a plan that links teachers' pay to their students' performance, Romney is wading into rough political waters as he weighs both a run for reelection and a possible bid for president. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California shelved his merit pay plan earlier this year; teachers had rallied against his idea, and the Legislature never put it up for a vote.

Two key Bay State lawmakers said yesterday they were skeptical of Romney's plan, but willing to listen. State teachers union officials pledged to fight the proposal, pointing out that similar efforts to start merit pay programs have failed elsewhere. Boston tried to start a merit pay program about six years ago, for example, but scrapped it when unions and the school district could not agree on how to evaluate teachers.

Romney already has been under fire for his attempt to promote merit pay in the Springfield school system, where school leaders are still fighting with the city's teacher union over a performance-based pay plan.

Romney, who was unavailable for comment yesterday, has proposed pushing merit pay for teachers in the past, but today would be the first time he has offered details of such a plan. Aides would not speak on the record, deferring to the governor's wishes to disclose the details today.

Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll said he and other state leaders expect a fight from unions.

''The unions have got to come to grips with this," Driscoll said. ''No longer can public education withstand the criticism to pay people according to how long they've been in the system. It's just ludicrous. Pay great teachers more. They deserve more."

The governor's initiative would also boost math and science instruction by establishing an elite corps of math and science teachers and by requiring all high schools to offer the most advanced classes in calculus, biology, physics, and chemistry.

Representative Patricia A. Haddad, cochairwoman of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Education and a former teacher, said she worried that a merit pay plan would overlook excellent teachers whose students score low on state tests.

''There are a lot of good teachers out there that do way above and beyond," Haddad said. ''How do you put an objective value on that?"

The plan, Romney's aide said, wouldn't reward only teachers whose students recorded the best test scores, but would give bonuses to those whose students had improved.

Senator Robert A. Antonioni, Senate chairman of the Joint Education Committee, said he thought the proposal to attract math and science teachers would have an easier time passing the Legislature than bonuses tied to student performance. The Legislature could decide to approve all, part, or none of the governor's proposal.

The governor, an aide said, proposes creating an elite group of math and science teachers, known as the Commonwealth Teaching Corps. The teachers would have to have degrees in math, science, or engineering and pass the teachers' test in their subject. They would not only qualify for bonuses with a good evaluation, but would also get other perks, including a 401(k) retirement plan with a state match. The plan is meant to attract people from the math and science field into the profession and would be open to veteran teachers.

Romney's plan calls for three types of bonuses of up to $5,000 each, including one specifically for math and science teachers and another for teachers of Advanced Placement math and science.

The third category would be all teachers, regardless of their subject, who could receive a $5,000 bonus if their students are improving and if the teachers get good reviews from their school principal and other teachers. Up to a third of each school system's teachers, about 22,000 teachers statewide, would be eligible for that bonus.

In the most lucrative scenario, a teacher could win a bonus from each category and earn up to $15,000 in a single year.

Catherine A. Boudreau, president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, said the governor's plan to link teacher bonuses to test scores is divisive.

''This doesn't ultimately help the kids and student achievement," she said.

Kathleen A. Kelley, president of the Massachusetts Federation of Teachers, said the state tried signing bonuses for teachers in the late 1990s, with mixed results. A 2002 study indicated that almost half of the teachers lured to classrooms with $20,000 bonuses quit within three years.

Now, teachers are paid based on their education levels and years of experience in the system. Only three school systems in the Bay State have experimented with bonuses for teachers, and at least one, Nauset, has already done away with them.

Engineering teacher Joye Thaller, who began teaching in September in Boston's Engineering School after a career as an environmental engineer, said Romney's proposal to create an elite corps of math and science teachers would entice specialists in those fields to enter the profession.

''You kind of need to compete," she said. ''There are a lot of other job options out there for someone with an engineering background. The bonus would help recruit some fresh blood."

But she questioned the Advanced Placement bonuses, saying the greater problem is finding enough students who are academically prepared to take those classes.

© Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Fall Foliage Family Day at Heritage Park this Sunday

From: Rod Bunt <>

Coming up on Sunday, September 25th, it's the annual Family Day Celebration at Western Gateway Heritage State Park in North Adams. The day includes a Children's road race at Joe Wolfe field, with registration beginning at 11:30. At nearby Heritage Park, from 12:30 PM - 3:30 PM, children and families will enjoy games, giveaways, information and entertainment. It will be a special time for the whole family, with free admission, fun, reasonably priced refreshments and entertainment for children of all ages. Community groups and exhibitors that have appeal for families and children will have displays set up in the grassy areas and cobblestone walkways of the park.

One of the big attractions of the day will be the Heritage park children's passenger train. This engine and four-car train is driven by "Conductor Bob" (Robert Lemaire) and can hold up to 14 small children at a time. Free rides will be given from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM. At approximately 2:00 PM, trophies will be presented to the winners of the road race. At 2:15, the Flying Garbanzos will perform. The Garbanzos specialize in high-energy contras, and have performed on WAMC public radio, the Clark Art Institute, as well as festivals and dances throughout Western Massachusetts, Eastern New York, Vermont and Connecticut.

Throughout the courtyard of the park, family-oriented organizations will have informational booths, or sponsor games and giveaways.

There will be hot dogs, soda, ice cream, smoothies, pizza and popcorn available for purchase throughout the afternoon. For more information, contact Dale Waterman at Heritage Park at 663-6312 or Rod Bunt in the Mayor's Office of Tourism, 6 West Main Street at 664-6180. The North Adams Office of Tourism, Western Gateway Heritage State Park, and the Northern Berkshire United Way sponsor all the day's events.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Gallery 51 opening set Thursday with works by 12 artists

Gallery 51 in downtown North Adams, a project of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, continues operation through October with a new exhibition opening. A celebration of the newexhibition will take place Thursday evening (September 22) at 5:00 p.m. at the gallery. The event is open to all - invite your students.

A description of the new exhibit follows:

This latest exhibition features new work from twelve artists living and working in North Adams and Adams. The artwork in this exhibition varies in scope and includes drawings, paintings, prints, photographs, sculpture and video. The artists will be present at the reception and refreshments will be served.

Artists and artwork in the exhibit includes, Nick Zammuto's "Spoonbox," a kinetic sculpture that playfully responds to an original piece of music composed by Zammuto, a musician and member of the acclaimed band, "The Books." Additionally, Brandon Graving, a long time North Adams artist presents three series of original prints on paper. Through a multi-layering of texture, color, and material, she creates a watery dream world that is somehow eerily familiar.

Kay Canavino is a professional photographer based in Adams. Canavino's stunning photographs shine light, both literally and figuratively, onto the beauty that exists within the darker sides of nature. Weronika Zaluska, a new addition to North Adams is displaying her ceramic sculptures along with drawings. Zaluska's all white, intimate sculptures are a curious melding of personal touch and search for beauty through absolute forms. Also on view is the work of Sean Riley who is Gallery 51's Artist in Residence. His paintings and drawings can be viewed in the exhibit as well as in the studio at the rear of the Gallery.

Gallery 51, which is open on Fridays, 1-6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to - 6 p.m., and is staffed by MCLA's students who work alongside artists and gallery manager Sean Riley.

From Lori Gazzillo
Assistant to the President
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
(413) 662-5205

Monday, September 19, 2005

MoveOn's latest initiation: Urging "opt out" of military recruitment lists

I have not verified the accuracy of the claims in this email from MoveOn. However, if you read the recent interview with Supt. Bill Travis at Mount Greylock Regional High School, you will know that, by law, the school is providing data about upper class members to military recruiters upon


This missive from MoveOn seems to suggest the government is then turning over that information to private marketing firms. Mount reylock is unwilling to give such information to other, local non-government organizations with useful services to offer students. Travis has said the school will allow organizations with legitimate post-high-school options to come on campus and present information to seniors -- such as colleges. But Travis was not sure about letting "counter recruiters" to appear at the same time military recruiters appear.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 15:36:55 -0700
From: "Joan Blades, Civic Action" <>
Subject: Protect your kids from exploitative military recruiting.

Dear MoveOn Member,

A little known provision in the federal Leave No Child Behind law is forcing public high schools all across the country to disclose the personal information of 30 million teenagers and young adults to a private marketing firm and the military. The Pentagon announced just this summer it had been collecting and using the data--including such sensitive personal information as Social Security numbers, ethnicity, GPA, personal email addresses, height, weight, and even the cell phone numbers of our kids, without their parent's permission. They had been keeping this announcement secret for more than two years--a violation of federal privacy laws and the privacy of tens of millions of young Americans.

While the law compels schools to violate the privacy of ordinary Americans it also creates a way for families to "Opt Out" to stop the mega-database from being used on your child. If you know someone between the ages of 16 and 25, spread the word: you can "Opt Out" of the database by clicking on the link below:

Working Assets, Mainstream Moms and ACORN have put together a useful website called that helps you easily write a letter to your local school district so you can opt-out of this database. If you are a parent interested in protecting the privacy of your child or if you're between the ages of 16 and 25 this is an easy way to protect your privacy. Just like with the federal "Do Not Call" list the data will be "suppressed" for use, but not removed.

While government intrusion on our privacy is bad enough, the use of a corporate marketing firm for this work is even worse. The government has hired private marketing firm BeNow, Inc., to manage the data, known as the Joint Advertising and Marketing Research Services (or JAMRS) database. BeNow, Inc., has no statements on their web site regarding their own security or privacy policies. With increasing reports of identity theft and security breaches at private data collection firms, compiling such a vast collection of sensitive data without consent, particularly on minors, is irresponsible--even dangerous.

The JAMRS database is updated daily and distributed monthly to the four branches of the military for military recruiting purposes. Information is collected from a variety of sources, including DMV records, SATs, and ASVAB test results. Use the "Opt Out" tool to stop JAMRS from using your data or the data of your child, or forward the tool to other parents or students you know [2].

Congress is just starting to realize the implications of what they have done by going around parents in this way, to get at their kids. People are really mad about this. Join the effort at for action alerts related to this issue.

Thanks for all you do.

--Joan, Tom, Noah, Marika and the Civic Action Team
Monday, September 19th, 2005

P.S. Learn more about the organizations sponsoring

Working Assets [3]

Mainstreet Moms Operation Blue [4]



Visible links

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. remember Justice Douglas: "We Must Take America Back"

Read Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s speech to to the 2005 Sierrra Summit in San Francisco, in which he invokes the memory of the late Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, describes President Bush as "the worst environmental president in history" and concludes: "But America is worth fighting for and it’s worth dying for. Those of us who know that it’s worth fighting for have to take it back now from those who don’t."

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Greylock Echo interview with MGRHS superintendent telecast Sept. 21, 22, 26

Willinet will cablecast a one-hour interview with Mount Greylock Regional High School supt. William Travis next week. the interview was recorded Aug. 22 by student editors of the Mount Greylock Echo newspaper.

The interview will be shown on cable Channel 17 at 9 p.m. on Wed., Sept. 21; at 10 p.m. on Thurs., Sept. 22 and at 1:30 p.m. on Mon., Sept. 26.

EVENT: Berkshire Young Professionals game show "buzz" at Clark Art Oct. 27

September 12, 2005
For Immediate Release

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA- Art Buzz, a networking social co-organized with the Berkshire Young Professionals, will test the expertise and nerve of Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute curators in a game show style event on Thursday, October 27 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Admission to Art Buzz at the Clark is free, as is admission to the galleries during this evening event.

Pitting Clark staff against each other, Art Buzz will feature curator of education Michael Cassin, assistant curator of education Danielle Steinmann, senior curator Richard Rand, and curator of decorative arts Kathleen Morris as contestants. The audience will choose works of art in the Clark collection about which a curator will have one minute to speak. The fun begins when a curator pauses, repeats, or strays from the topic, causing them to be "buzzed," at which time another curator will step up to the "hotseat" for one minute. Guests to Art Buzz will enjoy light snacks and a cash bar.

The Berkshire Young Professionals will take RSVPs from their members for this event. No reservations are needed from non-members. Everyone is welcome.

More information about the Berkshire Young Professionals can be found at

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission June 1 through October 31 is $10 for adults, free for children 18 and under, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit


Calendar listing

October 27: Art Buzz, a networking social co-organized with the Berkshire Young Professionals, will test the expertise and nerve of Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute curators in a game show style event on Thursday, October 27 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Admission to Art Buzz is free, as is admission to the galleries during this evening event. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA 01267, 413-458-2303,

Press Contact:
Sarah Hoffman
(413) 458-0471

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Sept. 14 rock/blues concert at Bousquet to benefit Katrina victims

Posted for Megan Whilden of Cultural Pittsfield, 499-9370
Media contact: Don Harris, Day Mountain Sound: 413-684-1218

PITTSFIELD -- In response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast and New Orleans, members of the local music community and others are collaborating together on a benefit concert to be held Wednesday, September 14, outdoors at Bousquet Ski Area at 101 Dan Fox Drive in Pittsfield. The concert features the Reverend Tor Band, renowned blues guitarist Albert Cummings, Xavier, and more.

All proceeds from the concert, entitled the Hurricane Katrina Relief Jam, will go to the American Red Cross Emergency Relief Fund. In addition, the group Strangers Helping Strangers will conduct a non-perishable food drive at the concert. Concert sponsors include Day Mountain Sound, the City of Pittsfield, Berkshire Vox Radio Group, and Bousquet Ski Area.

“Hurricane Katrina struck at the heart of the birthplace of jazz and the
vibrant home of the blues, zydeco and more. What better way to reach out and help our fellow Americans in dire straits than
through music, honoring New Orleans and the Gulf Coast’s musical gifts to the world,” noted Reverend Tor Band frontman, Tor Krautter, a lead organizer of the event.

The concert is for all ages, and food will be available for purchase. A $10 donation is requested at the door, and kids 12 and under are free. Kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Dogs and
coolers are not allowed and in case of rain the concert will be moved indoors into Bousquet’s ballroom.

Berkshire native and celebrated blues guitarist Albert Cummings has played with many of the greats, including B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Charlie Musselwhite, John Hammond, Susan Tedeschi, the Neville
Brothers, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Blues Rocker magazine wrote of him, "He is a gifted songwriter…a passionate vocalist, and a ferocious guitarist who can gently pull on your heart strings
with a sensitive ballad, but then ignite in explosive fury like an inbound meteor on a Texas blues/rock tune." His second album, "From the Heart," was recorded it in Austin, Texas with the late,
great Stevie Ray Vaughan's bandmates Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon serving as his rhythm section and co-producers. For more information visit

Local and regional favorites the Reverend Tor Band’s large original repertoire feature funky, bass oriented rhythms and foot stomping percussion. Bouncy guitar lines pull the whole groove together and
creates an entrancing state that makes ones body want to move. Soulful melodies are immediately memorable.

Members of the Reverend Tor Band have worked with the likes of The Band, Little Feat, Bill Monrow, Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie, and the band has shared the stage with members of The Grateful Dead,
Phish, The Allman Brothers, and New Riders Of The Purple Sage. They have performed at festivals and concerts with The Jerry Garcia Band, Los Lobos, The Funky Meters, Leftover Salmon, String Cheese
Incident, and Max Creek, and tour regularly with Grateful Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten.

They have recorded four CDs: Relix magazine wrote of their first one "The album is a real gem that jumps across musical boundaries with ease and imagination….Krautter comes over like a cross between
Steve Winwood and Robert Cray." For more information visit

Bousquet ski area in south Pittsfield was the first ski area in the world to offer night skiing and one of the first two resorts in the world to install snow making equipment in 1956. In the summer
Bousquet transforms into a Family Fun Center featuring water slides, go-carts and miniature golf. For more information visit

For more information about the concert, please call Don Harris of Day Mountain Sound at 413-684-1218.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

EVENT: Folk art fun at Clark Art Family day Sept. 25

Posted Friday, Sept. 2, 2005 on behalf of Sarah Hoffman (458-0471) at the Clark Art Institute

WILLIAMSTOWN -- Celebrate the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute's exhibition, Little Women, Little Men: Folk Art Portraits of Children from the Fenimore Art Museum and all things folk during a family day on Sunday, September 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. Folk music, art projects, dress-up, a gallerytalk, and outdoor games will delight visitors young and old, in the Clark's galleries and on the grounds. Gallery admission and most activities are free
on this day.

Art activities, including painting wooden fruit magnets, coloring reproductions of folk children, and creating felt hands wall hangings, will be available all day for those inspired by the art in nature experience of the Clark. Try on circa 1850's attire, on loan from the Williamstown Historical Society, and, for a small fee, take home a snapshot.

The Williams College Volleyball team will lead games, popular in the 19th-century, on the Clark's expansive grounds. Try croquet, lawn tennis (badminton) and volleyball at any time during the afternoon.

A 2 p.m. gallery talk, "Here's Looking at You, Kid: Meet the Kids in the Art at the Clark" will introduce visitors to young subjects in the Clark's permanent collection. Make friends with pictures such as Ammi Phillips's Harriet Campbell, Renoir's Bérard Children, Gainsborough's Elizabeth and Thomas Linley, and others.

The early American folk music sounds of Tim Van Egmond, musician and storyteller, by can be heard at 1, 2, and 3 p.m. during three 45 minute sets. Van Egmond will use a hammered dulcimer during his performances. A Friends of the Clark members' lounge will be available in the Penthouse
from 1 to 3 pm.

Little Women, Little Men: Folk Art Portraits of Children from the Fenimore Art Museum will run through Saturday, October 15. The exhibition features 11 paintings and one piece of sculpture, all depicting children in the folk art tradition. The pieces, on loan from the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, NY, were originally collected by Stephen C. Clark, brother of Clark founder Sterling Clark.

In May, the Clark began celebrating its 50th anniversary with a year-long program of special exhibitions and initiatives, including the establishment of a new prize for arts writing and the first national tour of masterpieces from its permanent collection. The program featured or will feature several special exhibitions including Jacques-Louis David: Empire to Exile (June 5 to September 5, 2005), the first exhibition examining the artist's post-Revolutionary years, and The Clark Brothers Collect Renoir to Matisse, Homer to Hopper (June 3 to September 4, 2006), which will explore the collecting history of Sterling Clark and his brother Stephen, bringing together works from their acclaimed collections for the first time. Celebrations and programs are planned for area residents and visitors throughout the 18-month festivities, including the public's selection of 50 favorite works of art.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (daily in July and August.) Admission June 1 through October 31 is $10 for adults, free for children 18 and under, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit


Monday, September 05, 2005

OPINION -- Norman Solomon | Bush's Implicit Answer to Cindy Sheehan's Question (fwd)


Bush's Implicit Answer to Cindy Sheehan's Question
By Norman Solomon
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Monday 05 September 2005

President Bush has evaded Cindy Sheehan's question, "What was the noble cause that my son died for?" But he
provided a partial answer on the day that the New Orleans levees gave way.

The media coverage was scant and fleeting - but we should not allow the nation's Orwellian memory hole to swallow
up a revealing statement in Bush's speech at a naval air station near San Diego.

In the August 30 speech, moments after condemning "a brutal campaign of terror in Iraq," the president said: "If
Zarqawi and bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks.
They'd seize oil fields to fund their ambitions." In other words, the US war effort in Iraq must continue because
control of Iraqi oil is at stake.

Would US troops be in Iraq if that country didn't have a drop of oil under its sand? Most politicians dodge that
kind of question. And for years, the US news media - with few exceptions - have elided the oily obvious. Such denials
go back a long way.


On August 15, 1990 - two weeks after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait - President George H.W. Bush expressed great
concern about oil as the Pentagon moved to deploy troops and weaponry to the Persian Gulf. Of course the confrontation
was about "our own national security interests" along with ensuring "peace and stability," but there was something

"We are also talking about maintaining access to energy resources that are key - not just to the functioning of
this country, but to the entire world," the president said. "Our jobs, our way of life, our own freedom and the freedom
of friendly countries around the world would all suffer if control of the world's great oil reserves fell into the
hands of Saddam Hussein," he declared.

But by autumn the official story had shifted. Confronted by protesters while speaking at a fundraiser in Des
Moines, the president had this rejoinder: "You know, some people never get the word. The fight isn't about oil. The
fight is about naked aggression that will not stand." Addressing a Republican crowd in Vermont a week later, the first
President Bush flatly said that "it isn't oil that we're concerned about. It is aggression. And this aggression is not
going to stand."

Papering over corporate interests with humanitarian ones is standard media operating procedure for presidents and
their administrations along with many pundits. On the last day of November 2003, with US troops occupying Iraq, New
York Times columnist Thomas Friedman gushed that "this war is the most important liberal, revolutionary US
democracy-building project since the Marshall Plan." He lauded the war as "one of the noblest things this country has
ever attempted abroad." Friedman did not mention the estimated 112 billion barrels of untapped oil in Iraq.

The publicized arguments in favor of war do not usually include zeal to serve corporate interests. But once in a
blue moon, politicians opt to openly illuminate such motives, as when - during congressional debate in January 1991, a
few days before the Gulf War began - Senator Warren Rudman grounded the prevailing lofty arguments with a factor more
crude. "Can anyone reasonably assert," he asked, "that it would serve our interests to mortgage the production and
pricing levels of nearly one-half of the world's proven oil reserve to the whims of an ambitious tyrant? I think not."

A dozen years later, weeks before the invasion of Iraq, liberal Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen launched a
barrage of invective against a member of Congress who had dared to identify oil as "the strongest incentive" for the
impending war. Cohen was vitriolic. The first word of his column was "liar." From there, he peppered his piece with
references to Representative Dennis Kucinich as an "indomitable demagogue" and a "fool" who was "repeating a lie."

But Cohen would have done well to reread a front page of his own newspaper. Five months earlier, on September 15,
2002, a page-one Post story carried the headline "In Iraqi War Scenario, Oil Is Key Issue; US Drillers Eye Huge
Petroleum Pool." In the article, Ahmad Chalabi, the exile leader of the US-backed Iraqi National Congress, said that he
favored the creation of a US-led consortium to develop oil fields in a post-Saddam Iraq: "American companies will have
a big shot at Iraqi oil."

The same Post article quoted former CIA Director James Woolsey - a Chalabi supporter who, according to a Legal
Times story, had been on the payroll of Chalabi's group. Woolsey said: "France and Russia have oil companies and
interests in Iraq. They should be told that if they are of assistance in moving Iraq toward decent government, we'll do
the best we can to ensure that the new government and American companies work closely with them. If they throw in their
lot with Saddam, it will be difficult to the point of impossible to persuade the new Iraqi government to work with

As business pages had sometimes indicated, it was actually quite reasonable to identify oil as very important in US
policy toward Iraq. But in political news coverage, and among all but a few mainstream political pundits, such talk was
in general disrepute.

On Wall Street, financial analysts were inclined to be much more candid than politicians or political reporters.
"Think of Iraq as a military base with a very large oil reserve underneath," said Fadel Gheit, an expert on the oil
industry for Oppenheimer & Company. He added: "You can't ask for better than that." After more than a quarter century
of tracking the oil business, Gheit commented: "Think of Iraq as virgin territory.... It is the superstar of the
future. That's why Iraq becomes the most sought-after real estate on the face of the earth."

A Toronto Star columnist and author, Linda McQuaig, cited internal documents that the Bush administration had used
for policy formulation (papers not intended for public viewing but released due to a successful lawsuit). In spring
2001, high-ranking Bush officials and oil firm execs pored over a map showing details of "Exploration Blocks" and other
intricacies of Iraq's oil fields. Meeting in secret, the energy task force - chaired by Vice President Dick Cheney -
had also examined a chart that featured information about 63 oil companies from 30 nations under the heading "Foreign
Suitors for Iraqi Oilfields."

The documents, McQuaig wrote, "suggest that those who took part in the Cheney task force - including senior oil
company executives - were very interested in Iraq's oil and specifically in the danger of it falling into the hands of
eager foreign oil companies, rather than into the rightful hands of eager US oil companies. As the documents show,
prior to the US invasion, foreign oil companies were nicely positioned for future involvement in Iraq, while the major
US oil companies, after years of US-Iraqi hostilities, were largely out of the picture." Of course, for oil
corporations based in the USA, that picture would drastically change after the invasion.


On August 30, 2005, less than a minute after declaring that if terrorists "gain control of Iraq" they would "seize
oil fields to fund their ambitions," President Bush vowed: "We will stay on the offensive. We will stand with the
people of Iraq. And we will prevail."

The next day, the Associated Press reported that "President Bush answered growing anti-war protests yesterday with
a fresh reason for US troops to continue fighting in Iraq: protection of the country's vast oil fields, which he said
would otherwise fall under the control of terrorist extremists." The end of another AP dispatch noted: "A one-time
oilman, Bush has rejected charges that the war in Iraq is a struggle to control the nation's vast oil wealth. The
president has avoided making links between the war and Iraq's oil reserves, but the soaring cost of gasoline has
focused attention on global petroleum sources."

For years, war supporters have pooh-poohed slogans like "No Blood for Oil." But let the record show: In a scripted
speech, the president of the United States has cited Iraqi oil as a key reason for the US military to keep killing in


This article is adapted from Norman Solomon's new book War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us
to Death. For information, go to:

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. t r u t h o u
t has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is t r u t h o u t endorsed or sponsored by the

"Go to Original" links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity.
However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted on TO may not
match the versions our readers view when clicking the "Go to Original" links.

OPINION / t r u t h o u t - Cindy Sheehan | Address to Veterans For Peace Convention


t r u t h o u t | One Mother's Stand
It Was the Oil, Stupid
By Cindy Sheehan

Wednesday 31 August 2005
10:36 AM

The Peaceful Occupation of Crawford:

"If Zarqawi and bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist
attacks, Bush said. They'd seize oil fields to fund their ambitions. They could recruit more terrorists by claiming a
historic victory over the United States and our coalition."(George Bush, August 30, 2005 in San Diego.)

So it is official, Casey had his blood shed in Iraq for OIL. He died so we could pay over 3.00/gallon for gas. Like
I suspected all along, my dear, sweet son: almost 1900 others; and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis died so the oil
fields wouldn't "fall into the hands of terrorists" and so George and his immoral band of greedy robber barons could
become wealthier. Like I have said all along: how can these people sleep at night and how can they choke down their
food knowing it is purchased off of the flesh and blood of others? We have found our "Noble Cause." And it is OIL. This
man and his handlers need to be stopped.

Well, George and I are leaving Crawford today. George is finished playing golf and telling his fables in San Diego
, so he will be heading to Louisiana to see the devastation that his environmental policies and his killing policies
have caused. Recovery would be easier and much quicker if almost ½ of the three states involved National Guard were not
in Iraq. All of the National Guard's equipment is in Iraq also. Plus, with the 2 billion dollars a week that the
private contractors are siphoning from our treasury, how are we going to pay for helping our own citizens in Louisiana,
Mississippi, and Alabama? And, should I dare say "global warming?" and be branded as a "conspiracy theorist" on top of
everything else the reich-wingers say about me.

We are now packing up Camp Casey and leaving Crawford and heading to George's place of employment. He wouldn't talk
to us, his employers, while we were here to give him his "job evaluation," so we must go to him to have our little

I just want to thank a few people and groups for their support, help, and love while we have been here in Crawford.
So many people made the Camp Casey experience possible and so successful. If I miss someone, I am so sorry: that is the
difficult thing about thanking people. I love you all, even if I don't remember to thank you!!

My sister: Dede Miller: My kids' second mom who is always by my side and supports me 100% in whatever I do. My
cause is her cause, and I couldn't do what I do without her.

Carly, Andy, and Janey: Who would love to see more of their mom, but who understand that we are trying to save
their future by what we do. I love you guys, and I will see you very, very soon (yea!!) I couldn't do what I do without
their love and support.

The Crawford Peace House: I got an email from Hadi Jawad the day that I decided to come and camp in Crawford and he
pledged the help and support of the Peace House. At that time, they only had a few bucks in their checking account and
the phone was turned off. Now, thanks to America, they have been able to keep Camp Casey going and they will be able to
continue their good works indefinitely. Thanks to John Wolf who had the vision for peace in Crawford and I think that
Camp Casey was a fulfillment of his vision. They are going to make a garden and call it "The Casey Sheehan Memorial
Peace Garden." What a tribute to my son.

Code Pink: Jodie Evans and Tiffany and Alicia were the first ones here on Monday 08/08 to jump in and save me from
going crazy and hopping on one of the trains that runs past the Peace House and pulling an "Agatha Christie." Code Pink
also worked tirelessly (and I mean tirelessly) outside of Camp Casey.

MoveOn: For organizing the highly successful candlelight vigils.

Lisa Fithian: For all the organizing work she did behind the scenes.

GSFP, IVAW, MFSO, AND VFP: Our organizations with "skin in the game" for all of their support, presence, love, and

Bill Mitchell: Bill's son Mike, was KIA in the same battle as Casey and he was the first GSFP member to come to
Camp Casey and take some of the heat off of me. He found a new love at Camp Casey (one of our miracles) and I am sooo
happy about that. Plus, Bill is one of my most ardent supporters and he just gets in the middle of things, digs in, and
helps wherever. I love him and he and his family will be parts of our family forever.

Fred Mattlage: For donating the amazing piece of land for our use that allowed Camp Casey to expand to include

Air America: The Morning Sedition, Randi Rhodes, Mike Malloy, and Laura Flanders. Thank you for your support . Ed
Schultz belongs there, too, although he is not affiliated with Air America Radio. Amy Goodman was here, too!

The bloggers on The Daily Kos (and most bloggers in general): I would read their comments everyday after I posted
my diary and I was always heartened and encouraged by their remarks. After all of the negativity, their positivity gave
me strength to go on. In addition, the first night we were in Crawford, and being harassed by the SS, they were posting
things and getting the word out that we were there alone and defenseless, which may have saved our lives, or saved us
from being injured, or harassed out of there.

So many other people: The Camp Casey volunteers ...literally hundreds. The more than 10,000 people who came through
CC. Ann Wright who kept CC going. Arianna Huffington for her advice and support. Joan Baez who kept CC's spirits alive
while I was in California attending to my sick mother. George Bush for not meeting with me on August 6th. Martin Sheen
for his support and presence. AIM for Dennis Banks and Russell Means. Gary Hart, John Conyers, Maxine Waters, Barbara
Lee, Sheila Jackson Lee, Jan Schakowsky, Dennis Kucinich, Frank Pallone, Lynn Woolsey, Chuck Hagel, Ralph Nader, Jim
McDermott, Walter Jones, Charlie Rangel and the other politicos who either came to CC, or called me to offer their
support and love. I know I am forgetting some, but thanks to you all. Joe Wilson and his family for paving the way for
me to be able to ignore and dismiss the reich-wing smear machine who always tried to marginalize and discredit me by
exaggerating or twisting my words and lying about me. The clergy who were there with their love and support: Rabbi
Arthur Waskow, Rabbi Dennis Shulman; Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Bob Edgars, Rev. Jesse Jackson (who prayed bed time prayers
with me), Rita Brock, etc.

There were so many good people who donated money, goods, or services who want to be kept anonymous.

But especially to Americans who resonated with Camp Casey and gave us prayers, support, money, love and most of all
hope for the future.

We will take our country back. And it will be a country that we want back.

God Bless America!!!!

Images' Weekly Film Info (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 05 Sep 2005 11:52:40 -0500
From: Images Cinema <>
Subject: Images' Weekly Film Info

Dear Film Fan.

Join us on Sunday, September 11 at 12:30pm for the first in a four-part series called MOVING IMAGES: A Festival of Dance and Film. The series presents film works by choreographers who are
exploring film as a medium–either on their own or partnering with filmmakers.

Festival coordinator Sharon Wyrrick's inspiration for Moving Images evolved out the wealth of artists in our region making work combining dance and film. These artists' approaches to filmmaking and
content have "a wildly and widely diverse range." She has brought their work together in an "artist-centered" event where the artists themselves will all be present at their screenings to introduce
and discuss their work. Admission is pay-what-you-can with complimentary bagels and coffee on Sundays and free popcorn on Mondays.

Weekend 1 Artists:
Sunday, September 11, 12:30pm: Meg Cottam and Laurie McLeod
Monday, September 12, 7pm: Katy Watson/John Carlson and Dawn Lane/John Whalan

The Moving Images Festival is supported in part by the High Meadow Foundation and the Cultural Council of Northern Berkshire, a local agency that is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a
state agency.

Please check the film schedule for the remainder of the week--we flip flop films on Tuesday. THE ARISTOCRATS opens this Friday and believe it when you read that “You'll either be screaming with
laughter-or be incredibly offended.”

See you at the cinema,

<a href="">Click here for the complete MOVING IMAGES line-up and trailer</a>

<a href="">
Starts Friday, 9/9: THE ARISTOCRATS

Playing Friday, 9/9 through Thursday, 9/15

Nightly at 7 & 9pm
4:30pm Matinees on Saturday, Sunday & Wednesday

Director: Paul Provenza
Starring: Chris Rock, Don Rickles, Bob Saget, Phyllis Diller, George Carlin, Lewis Black, Drew Carey, The Smothers Brothers, Jon Stewart, Robin Williams and many more
Not Rated * 1 hour 32 minutes * Documentary/Comedy

The funniest film at Sundance, The Aristocrats tells the story of a joke that has been around since vaudeville, but has never been told in public. The details of the joke vary widely from
comedian to comedian, but are always filthy, disgusting, and hilarious.

"The point of the joke, and the film, may be freedom of expression, or self-censorship, or what happens among professional comedians behind closed doors. But for practical purposes, the joke is so
absurdly obscene that the viewer is shocked into hilarity, or deep offense. Or possibly both."-The New York Times

<a href="">read a review</a>

<a href=" ">
Ends Thursday, 9/8: ASYLUM

Monday: 7pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 9pm
Matinee: 4:30pm on Wednesday

"ASYLUM, based on Patrick McGrath's novel about madness and sexual obsession, is a dark and chilly gem. Natasha Richardson's Stella is the enigmatic heartbeat, and she has never acted so well in her
life."-The Times (London)

<a href=" ">Read a review</a>

<a href=",0,17302.story">

Monday: 9pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 7pm

“Audiard's superb remake improves on the original significantly, investing it with aesthetic grandeur and emotional depth.”—The New York Times

<a href=",0,17302.story">Read a review</a>

Saturday, September 03, 2005

EDITORIAL: For Bush's Utter Incompetence, It's Deja Vu All Over Again

This is an excerpt of an editorial appearing on a popular weblog,
BuzzFlash.COM, which is unabashedly progressive and oriented toward
Democratic politics. Based in Chicago, BuzzFlash is run by a former social
worker and PR person, Mark Karlin.


-- bill densmore

A New Orleans BuzzFlash Editorial

Incompetence, Lying and the Betrayal of a Nation: It's Deja Vu All Over
Again --And More Death and Chaos from "The Master of Disaster," George W. Bush


What does this say about how we must be conducting the war in Iraq, if we
can't even get any water or food to 10,000 people over four days? And they were
in a dry area of New Orleans. We know the New Orleans Convention Center. We
jogged past it just two weeks ago. There are plenty of areas large enough for
helicopters to land, but people died as Bush played guitar and mouthed
platitudes -- and nothing was done to relieve them.
If they were all blonde white women, you know this wouldn't have happened.
But maybe it would have, because this administration is utterly, irredeemably
incompetent. They exist solely as a PR machine with a partisan agenda of
enriching their supporters and dismantling the American government as we know it.

Anyone who continues to allow this man to continue to remain in power in his
state of bumbling, arrogant delusion betrays America. If he were a black
female Democrat, he would have been impeached for allowing 9/11 to happen, or for
any number of lies, transgressions and failures since then.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

NEW ORLEANS/OPINION: The boot, the wall and the mirror -- Katrina, oil, poverty and the Mayans

EDITOR'S NOTE: Elisabeth Gleckler is on the board of the Action Coalition for Media Education with Bill Densmore, moderator of GreylockNews.COM, the blog where this account is posted. Until Monday, she was a homeowner in
New Orleans and a professor at the University of New Orleans. She formerly served in the Louisiana state public-health service. Now she is "relocated" to central Louisiana. A native of California, here are her observations of the meaning of Katrina.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 01 Sep 2005 09:49:50 -0500
From: Elisabeth Gleckler
Subject: RE: The Big Boot, the wall and the mirror

By Elisabeth Gleckler, DrPH, CHES

One of the lessons of my life, and I am 52 years old, is that you can learn great things from any corner of life. I
believe that great wisdom can come “out of the mouth of babes,” from a powerful song or poem as well as from a lecture by a great intellectual. Odd juxtapositions of images can offer a lesson.

I have had an amazing education in my fifteen years living and working in New Orleans. Fifteen years does not make me a native of the city, you can claim “nativeness” only if you went to high school here. So, there are layers of complexity that I cannot address in this short missive. But I do have something to say about the lessons of Katrina in New Orleans to the world.

The country should heed the experience of New Orleans and think about the sustainability of our present lifestyle.
There are several issues that are apparent at this moment – and things may change so emphasis or factors may evolve. For the time being, I have three main Katrina lessons: the big boot, the wall and the mirror.

First of all the lesson of the Big Boot

I take this lesson directly from anti-racism training by The People’s Institute and adapted it to Katrina. We live in
an economic system of oppression in the modern world. I will not use the term the United States because with the way that economies and governments are constructed; this goes beyond the geographic borders of nations. There is enormous wealth and power concentrated in the hands of few. They gain more money and power by exploiting the powerlessness and poverty of the many. It used to be that we believed the American dream that anyone could succeed. And occasionally there is a freak of nature and one or two people rise to a level of control. By in large, if you are born in poverty you will stay there. There are plenty of messages that you are poor because you deserve to be poor, circumstances of your poverty be damned. I do believe in personal responsibility, but I also believe in the power of the environment.

With lots of poor people, there is cheap labor. It has become irrelevant if those cheap workers are in the US or in
Indonesia. Exploiting their destitution offers profound economic benefits to the powerful. The Big Boot is the
economic structure hovering over the masses of us who do not have power.

The lesson we need to learn from watching Katrina is that we need to wake up to the system and deliberately examine it without the fantasy of the American Dream or without thinking that this county is a functioning democracy. Labor unions are a good thing. Local politics closely observed by citizens is a good thing. Investigations into the motivations of public officials are a good thing. Investigations into the financial dealings of corporations are a very good thing. Not buying from corporations that oppress people is a good thing.

Second is the lesson of your distance from the wall

I once asked my brother about advance math theories, specifically about chaos theory. He said it was like standing
next to a wall. When you look at the view in front of it, all you see is disordered marks. When you step back a little
you see that part of what you were looking at was lines of something bigger, A few more feet back further and you see
that it is not disordered scratches on the wall but a picture. You finally see that there is a repeating pattern of a
picture when you get back far enough. In the case of Katrina I ask you step to the rear so you can see that there is a
wall with a pattern and actually a door out.

New Orleans and the gulf coast is been your canary in the coal mine. It is us now and will be you a little later. The
water off the coast was 91 degrees. Put a storm system over that heat and you are just pouring fuel into the tank of
the hurricane. The wetlands that could have helped protect from storm surge are decimated because no one wanted to flood the wetlands with silt rich water from the Mississippi River. Real estate developers had laid down miles of
housing tracts in the land that needed to periodically flooded and filled with more nutrients and soil suspended in
water. Canals and pipelines had been dug into the marshes which changed the flow of water and brought new salinity into areas that were based on a different make up of brackish water. Chemical companies release effluents and warm water. For decades oil companies have reaped enormous profits from sucking oil from below the plate that is the Mississippi delta as the land began to sink. The present White House is lead by two ex-oil industry executives have turned over consumer and environmental controls to industry friendly decisions. This makes you part of the Big Boot even if you don't know it. This is about looting citizen control of government and letting business interests dominate over health and welfare of the public.

And finally, for this essay, the mirror

I have watched the media coverage of Katrina. I only saw one talking head who put a moment of deep reality into their commentary -- it was Winton Marsalis on September first. He talked about the poverty and desperation of people in New Orleans and sort of said, "What do you expect?" when interviewer talked about the person who took a potshot at an evacuation helicopter. And the rage of the people who offer the aid? How dare the people who are taking our charity should ever have their own perception of our magnanimity! There are very clear hierarchies and behaviors that need to be acted out when charity is handed out and don’t you dare try to violate them. Marsalis’ comment, too bad he did not have more time, started to address the larger story of a deprived working population who at minimum wage, truly and metaphorically changimg the sheets of the people who come to New Orleans to over eat and drink until they throw up on Bourbon Street and go home and say that they know the city. They have plenty of reason to act out, not that I approve of shooting at anyone. You have to understand the reasons behind actions. But, you won't hear that story on TV because it is not a good visual shot..

The coverage of Katrina offers several good lessons. I offer them in random order. The opposite of the stepping back
from the wall is modern commercial television. By dint of the technology you have cameras that only catch a tiny
picture of the horizon and not smell, feeling, and only filtered sound. The view is interpreted by talking heads who
gain a direct benefit of inflating frightening and shocking images and stories. Add to this the cadre of people who
earn their money and power by being seen in front of a TV camera who talk about New Orleans without knowing the city or who comment about the situation without being there. It becomes a nasty gumbo of near reality and manipulation.

Many people have commented about the racism of the images and coverage. I believe that there is institutional racism and sometime overt racism in the coverage. The color of the skin is a proxy identifier for oppression, poverty, and powerlessness. There is nothing inherent about the nature of the color skin except that it has been western
civilizations visual cue think less of the person in that skin and thus oppress.

TV makes us think that we are there. We see the image and it triggers a belief that we have experienced something. It is a dangerous mix of a confidence builder that we understand something at the same time a profoundly small frame that is made smaller because of the people who stand between us and the images, telling us how to read them. The stories come at us so fast that we can’t process them and only some stories make the screen. It is not reality.

The people who are in the frame need to keep us watching so that we see TV ads for products. The whole system exists
to increase consumption of a lot of stuff that we don’t need. One example was that in the midst of Katrina coverage,
there was an ad for an SUV. We are standing so close to the wall that we don’t see and certainly, TV does not
encourage us to process, the sad irony of global warming and big, fat cars that waste precious oil. Here, in the
heartland of Louisiana, lots of SUVs have George Bush bumper stickers.

So, the wall holds the mirror and the boot is poised to kick it.

When we bring these little lessons together, we have a profound picture. The Mayans in Central America had a great
civilization. They imploded and disappeared as a predominant force before the Spanish came to the “New World.” Recent theories point to an ecological disaster that finished their cities and political systems. We are no better than the Mayans and their fate will be our fate.

We can't wait for the President of the United States to decide to accept a theory of global warming when it becomes
economically convenient for himself and his friends. If he is blinded, then we need to take off his blindfold. We
should be demanding stronger federal tax breaks for non-oil technologies. We need to invest in public transportation
and quit dicking around and use it. All that garbage you see on TV, turn of the tube and don’t buy it. You don’t need the newest junk to be a well-rounded and personally rich human being. Buying packaged goods from China? Well, don't be surprised if you end up getting laid off from your job. Buying from a mega-plex shopping box? If you end up having no viable local businesses, then you only have yourself to blame. Ever wonder what happened to local farms? Then work towards green markets. Hate the corruption in government? Then oversee it and get involved. Run for office, get on a committee. You should have more time to assure that it protects the interests of you and your children if you stop watching re-runs on TV.

I really loved and hated New Orleans. People are lying or they are tourists if they say that they loved it. Great art
and music came from the depths of its poverty. The corruption was colossal and evil. When you worked there you have to have a special touch to get things done because people thought about things differently than in other parts of the country. Put a second line parade down a neighborhood street and everything stopped while people danced. You had to stop and watch and suspend judgement to learn the lessons that the city had to offer. I really respected my college students; many were the first one in their family to go to college. Okay, I most likely lost my house, oh well. I can rent again. My heart aches for other reasons. The people and relationships I already miss. The thing that New Orleans had that I have never found anywhere else was a sense of community and a wry sense of human and insight in oppression, racism, irreverence and belief in what is truly valuable in life.

Williams and Amherst to scrimmage in football Sept. 17 in Amherst

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 12:59:36 -0400
From: Dick Quinn <>
Subject: thought you might be interested in this

Williams and Amherst to scrimmage in football on Sept. 17th in Amherst: