for

"For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth." (Col. 1:16)

- for the Grateful Web

Many leaders of the Evangelical movement came together this week to stand up for the environment. Though not all evangelicals agree with their stance, the leaders cited Bible verses for the change in their position, and are urging government, businesses and individuals to cut emissions to combat global warming.

 

 

It's a shame then that President Bush does not share the views of the majority of his proponents.  Despite the fact that the President just recently promised in his State of the Union address to help to reduce our dependency on foreign oil, and pledged more research money for alternative fuel sources, his proposed budget revealed only days later, tells a different story.  Environmental causes on the whole were slashed by 13 percent.  Now, this may not seem terribly significant, but when you consider the fact that our natural environment is teetering on a ledge that we may never be able to retreat from, it becomes more significant.  And instead of getting the additional funding needed to reverse the trend, budgets are being cut despite Bush's recent promises.

 

 

The Evangelical leaders are also asking politicians to draft legislation mandating emission reductions in carbon dioxide, but President Bush opposes these mandatory reductions, insisting they will hurt the economy.  And instead of funding energy conservation programs, the cheapest way to increase supply of energy sources, Bush's 2007 budget calls for an 18 percent cut to energy efficient programs.  As the final kicker, as reported just today, President Bush proposes selling over 300,000 acres of National Forest to fund rural schools.  I've got a better idea:  let's do away with the tax break to the wealthiest 1% of the nation, or better yet, increase the tax on the oil companies, who have enjoyed their heftiest profits ever, while middle to low-income families, and are taking it in the wallet.  There would be plenty of money to fund schools, combat terrorism, and save the forests, and hopefully reverse global warming.

 

 

The commands of Jesus in the Bible are clear.  We are to "love our neighbors" (Mark 12:30-31), "do unto others as we would have them do unto us" (Luke 6:31), care for "the least of these" (Matthew 25:40-45), and be proper "stewards of His creation" (Luke 12:42-48).   It's nice to know that Evangelicals are holding themselves to these standards.  If only President Bush and Congress would take these views into consideration and stop carrying out the usual Conservative agenda.  After all, as a poignant bumper sticker pointedly asks, "What exactly are Conservatives conserving?"

 

 

It's high time to do away with political labels and stereotypes and come together as Americans, as humans, as "stewards" of the earth.  I'm pretty sure it's what Jesus would want us to do.

Now Is Time For The Draft

Vince Young- for the Grateful Web

Alright, the Super Bowl is complete…and next we turn our attention to the NFL Draft. As a fan of both college and pro football, the draft is one of my favorite times of year, tying both worlds together.

Here is my first stab at the draft. You can never really know what will happen until Free Agency at least, and after the Combine things become even clearer, but there will always be fun surprises for everyone on draft day.

In the meanwhile, we have 3 more months of speculation. Since it is still mostly a crapshoot right now, this Mock Draft is based on my perception of team needs and quality of players available, but only a few situations are based on assumed free agency movement. My assessment of the draft changes almost daily, based on seeing more video and engaging in further discussion about teams and players.

Please feel free to post your comments or even post your own picture of how you feel the draft will turn out. I love to hear what others have to say…Thanks for whatever you may have to contribute!

ROUND ONE

1. Houston Texans—Reggie Bush, RB USC: What can you say? Reggie will add a dimension to this team that every team in the league wants. Houston can pick up OL help in FA and the draft is deep in OL talent that is their biggest need IMO.

2. New Orleans Saints—Matt Leinart, QB USC: I like Vince Young better, but I think The Saints will want a "pro style" QB in the NFC South, because teams there already have prepared for a "running QB"...that said, I think Leinart will struggle and I am not convinced of his toughness...but he is still a worthwhile pick this year. They should try to trade down IMO, though.

3. Tennessee Titans—Vince Young, QB Texas: Tennessee will have to jump at this opportunity, though Ferguson would be a worthy pick here, too. I think The Titans score here, as I think Young understands how to wait in the pocket and throw first, but can run as well as anyone in the league...I am not worried about his "throwing motion", Young is a true leader and will be a great pro.

4. NY Jets—D'Brickshaw Ferguson, OT Virginia: I like Ferguson for The Jets. There biggest problem last year, despite the quarterback problems, was their horrible OL play...they will be fine with Chad...he will be in good shape next year with a little protection...they certainly could use Mario Williams though, because I am sure they will have to let Abraham go due to cap hell.

5. Green Bay Packers—AJ Hawk, OLB Ohio State: I think Green Bay's LB play is worse than their pass rush, but again, Mario Williams will be just as good a choice as Hawk. They could go either way.

6. Oakland Raiders—Mario Williams, DE NC State: I think the Raiders would be satisfied with either Williams or Hawk...depending on Green Bay's choice, and of course the coin flip with San Fran.

7. San Francisco 49ers—Jimmy Williams, CB Va Tech: This is the best Corner in the draft, and he will start immediately. It is possible that they might like Michael Huff here, who will also be great, but I think the value is with the Corner rather than a Safety...though both are versatile enough to play both positions, but if they win the coin flip, they might pick Mario Williams.

8. Buffalo Bills—Haloti Ngata, DT Oregon: Seems like there is no other option here. Ngata can fill the large hole left by Pat Williams departure last year. They could go for Oline.

9. Detroit Lions—Jay Cutler, QB Vanderbilt: I am not convinced yet that Detroit will take Cutler, but most likely they will. Detroit could go for Huff, Greenway or OL, but unless Harrington dazzles Marinelli in the pre-draft mini camp due to teams with new coaches, they will take Cutler as he IS truly a worthwhile pick here.

10. Arizona Cardinals—LenDale White, RB USC: If Cutler is still here, I would guess Arizona would take him, but White is a perfect feature back in the Denny's Offense, and JJ Arington will be relegated to "change of pace back"...I just don't see the RB's sliding like some do.

11. St. Louis Rams—Vernon Davis, TE Maryland: Davis is simply a difference maker and will be able to consistently burn LB's with his speed and athleticism...not to mention he simply has GREAT hands, maybe the best in the draft.

12. Cleveland Browns—Chad Greenway, OLB Iowa: The Browns D will continue to develop as the right pieces keep falling into place. Greenway is going to be a star in the League and a cornerstone for the Browns D.

13. Baltimore Ravens—DeAngelo Williams, RB Memphis: Not many have been talking about Baltimore picking an RB, but IMO, Deangelo Williams is as well-rounded a back as there is. Almost exactly the same size as Barry Sanders, he has the thickness to anchor in his blocking against the blitz, has excellent hands and tremendous running ability, vision, and experience.

14. Philadelphia Eagles—DeMeco Ryans, OLB Alabama: I think the Eagles will go for an LB here, though they could look to help on the OLine, or at WR...but IMO Ryans is their best value.

15. Atlanta Falcons—Michael Huff, S/CB Texas: Atlanta scores here. I think ESPN is right in saying Huff could be the next Ronnie Lott!

16. Miami Dolphins—Ko Simpson, S South Carolina: Simpson would go higher, probably if he waited another year (or 2), because he is raw but worth the pick and it helps give this D a shot of youth...they could look for more help at OL, too.

17. Minnesota Vikings—Bobby Carpenter, OLB Ohio State: If the RB's are gone, the Vikes need to take the next best LB and that is Carpenter...he has the size, speed and smarts that the great LB's have, he suffers from being overshadowed by AJ Hawk, but he will be shore up the Vikes weakest link on Defense. If LenDale White falls to here, they gotta grab him to have a playmaker and some power in the offensive backfield.

18. Dallas Cowboys—Winston Justice, OT USC: I think Dallas will take OLine for the first pick and could go with the athletic Winston or perhaps McNiell or Justice...if Huff or Simpson fall to here they potentially would consider them at the very least.

19. San Diego Chargers—Darnell Bing, S USC: A little (or a lot) of help to the defensive backfield is important to this Defense.

20. Kansas City Chiefs—Rodrique Wright, DT Texas: DLine and WR are biggest needs, IMO. Wright would be perfect to anchor this line and allow last year's first rounder, Derrick Johnson to be the playmaker he is.

21. New England Patriots—Lawrence Maroney, RB Minnesota: New England solves RB issues for years to come. I hope that doesn't piss off Dillon. They could possibly take Ernie Simms, or if one of the other LB's falls, they could use LB help for the old-timers on that D.

22. Denver Broncos (from Washington)—Santonio Holmes, WR Ohio State: If Denver wins the TO sweepstakes they will obviously look elsewhere, but Holmes is probably the best WR in the draft. They could also go with a DT, but they do have another 1st round pick...

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers—Hali Tamba, DE Penn State: Hali is a stud. He will be the next in line to replace the aging Simeon Rice. They could go OL here, too.

24. Cincinnati Bengals—Gabe Watson, DT Michigan: Their defense needs the plug in the middle of the line to make Thurman and Pollack effective. Watson's been falling because of a mediocre year, but his upside is too high.

25. New York Giants—Ernie Sims, OLB Florida State: Sure they had injuries, but those LBs were pathetic last year. Sims is the tenacious and speedy playmaker they need to compliment their pass rush. They could go with DT, OL or DB here too. They overachieved with a lot of holes last year.

26. Chicago Bears—Mercedes Lewis, TE UCLA: The Bears need passing targets, though I think they have some solid young WR's in Bradley and Berrian, but Lewis is an incredible talent that will balance this offense, and give them another outlet for Grossman.

27. Carolina Panthers—Leonard Pope, TE Georgia: The NFC Championship game revealed how much The Panthers need to have another target besides Smith. Pope will be awesome in the redzone, pretty much the opposite style of player than Smith, they get even more balanced next year.

28. Jacksonville Jaguars—Ashton Youboty, CB Ohio State: New England lit up the Jags Db's. This is their biggest need and Youboty is probably the best Corner on board. Maybe Hill or Cromartie would fit here.

29. Denver Broncos—Brodrick Bunkley, DT Florida State: Denver gets a stud here in a quick and penetrating DT to pair with Warren. They have tremendous depth on the DL, but here comes a higher quality player.

30. Indianapolis Colts—Taitusi Latui, OG USC: The Colts win big with a monster on the OL...Huge help for the run as well as those "protection problems" Peyton spoke of.

31. Seattle Seahawks—Sinorice Moss, WR Miami: Seattle gets one of the most dynamic playmakers in the draft with Moss. He will be able to be a returner and he will take over for Engram as he is getting OLD, and Warrick is a non-factor...

32. Pittsburgh Steelers—Antonio Cromartie, CB Florida State: Pittsburgh gets a true starting corner opposite of McFadden, as Ike Taylor is really a better nickel back. This will become an even scarier Defense.

ROUND 2 - coming soon

Every Now is a New Now for the Steve Kimock Band

Steve chatting up the crowd in VT- for the Grateful Web
SKB in Burlington, VT 10/29/05- for the Grateful Web

Alright, so timeliness is not my forte.  I'm always getting caught up in the moment, hence my lateness with papers, reviews, bills, and work, but perhaps it is also a reason for my being drawn to The Steve Kimock Band, whose tendency to explore the moment through improvisation, emphasizes "the now" in music.  In my opinion, SKB consistently illustrates one of my favorite observations about existence that every "now" is a new "now", and they will continue to explore that maxim in their New Years Eve Celebration, The New Now Ball at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall.

Perhaps the only thing that really matters in music is the moment.  Or maybe not, but if so, is this "review" of an SKB show from late October still relevant?  Well, I'd like to think so.  There is at least some value in past and future, in memory and anticipation.  If this fall tour is any indication, the upcoming New Now Ball will be a moment in time to be remembered!

The "new now" theme for the upcoming NYE celebration is a fitting opportunity to explore some of the seeming contradictions of the jam band scene.  Improvisational music is by definition "about" the moment.  Is it strange that a type of music so tied to the moment has a fan base that places so much emphasis on capturing and cataloging that music?  Can the fan who "knows" all the "greatest" versions of a particular song ever be satisfied with an average performance?

Comparison and its bastard sibling Expectation often mar the moment.  The many blissful experiences I've had seeing Kimock have created the foundation for my anticipation of seeing him play.  I am always hopeful that this show will be among the best ever.  Oftentimes for me the first notes of a particular song will yield a rush of all the hopes and dreams tied to the memory of a particularly spectacular performance.   The better the performance memory, the higher the expectation. 

But how can you really compare performances?  How can a memory be better than a live experience?  If you are concernerd with how the present performance compares, then you are hardly experiencing the moment, right?  Not to mention how many variables play a role.  The scene, the sound, the weather...every listening experience is going to be different.

This particular performance, October 28th in Burlington, VT, was the show I've been waiting for. The Steve Kimock Band brought it all to the table this particular Friday night.  The song selection was top notch.  The venue was superb. And my wife and I were finally out without the kids!  Could it get any better than that?  Well, the lovely city of Burlington topped things off with an idyllic sunny fall day at the Farmers Market, plus a yummy Indian lunch and a Halloween parade the next day.  Not a shabby weekend, I must say!

Where do I start?  I suppose when I saw that Steve was going to be in Burlington on a Friday night, I immediately hoped to myself that my mother-in-law might be able to come stay with the kids so wifey and I could make the road trip from Saratoga Springs and have a night to ourselves.  Lo and behold it worked out.  Thank God we called her the day before to remind her, because she said she thought it was Saturday night...ugh.  What a nightmare that would have been! The stars were aligned!

Time for some music!  Higher Ground is a well designed venue.  It is a ballroom style floorplan with chandeliers and plenty of dancing room with a bar along one side and one in back.  I liked that the bar in the back was raised a couple steps, with some tables and the like.  There was a tiny little balcony overlooking stage right that was accessable to press and guests...nice view, but the sound was primo out front...in fact there wasn't really anywhere that didn't sound great.  Gotta hand it to Steve, I have never heard any band he has been involved with that didn't sound great.

Many of you are already familiar with the ineffably cosmic guitar playing from Steve Kimock, and most of you who know about Steve are likely familiar with his incomparable band. All of them of virtuostic talent. Rodney Holmes on drums provides unparalled dynamic range and heart.  The only name I would drop that Rodney might compare to is Billy Cobham.  Billy was the first drummer I had ever heard who could play "lead drums" without breaking out of the song into a drum solo per se.  He could simply overtly or subtley control the song's shape and feel and not break the momentum.  Rodney does this, maybe even better! He is one of the most captivating drummers I can remember.  And it isn't just that his playing commands yoiur attention and respect and awe, but he simply exudes a warmth and plays with such heart that you can see and feel how real he is.  There is no bullshit agenda with Rodney.  He makes me want to keep writing about him until i get it right.  We'll leave it at that (Heck, one other note:  be sure to check out Rodney's new album to be released next week, Twelve Months of October).

Reed Mathis plays bass with a fluidity and sincerity that makes you groove.  His smiling and dancing is so infectious that you can't help but enjoy just watching him enjoy playing, but even more you can't help but dance! His other band, Jacob Fred Jazz Odysey is another mostly instrumental, expeditious trio of sonic explorers.  Steve always finds great players, but Reed is a revelation.

Last but obviously not least, Robert Walter's funky organ fills this music with depth and soul.  Sometimes you look up and wonder, "What the F**k is making that sound?!"  And Rob is hunched over his keys, wailing away.  He mixes in these crazy, complementary rhythms that trip you up and make you dance like nobody I've heard play in a long time.  Plus, when Rob breaks out the B-3, look out, the New Orleans native will surely be cookin' up of some kind of soulful stew, a groovin' gumbo if you will.

Burlington was a blast.  The crowd filled in nicely, yet there was still plenty of dancing room, which made both my wife and I happy, we like our space.  The band was all smiles and apparently much happier with this crowd compared with the poor turnout I witnessed two nights earlier in Troy. Catching Reed's ear to ear grins during pregame warmups set me up for the great night ahead, as my notes confirm, "Reed a very happy boy tonight."

The highlights of the evening included the lead off number "Moon People" which I hadn't heard without former SKB guitarist, Mitch Stein, but Rob's crazy keyboard matched Mitch's whacked out rhythm work.  A nice warm up, but the "Ice Cream" that followed typified for me how this tour has been for this line up. It wasn't the smoothest version ever, but it hardly mattered as the highs were very high and the perseverence the band showed to reach those highs was gratifying indeed.  Steve kept regrouping the band so to speak and taking further charges that paid off with some hard dancing and a blissed out climax on the third peak.

My wife likes to go explore the venue and we meet up to dance every other song or so.  She checked in with her report on what the music did for her.  She rambled on about this bubbling of light that finally broke through on that last peak of "Ice Cream"...I thought that was apropos.  Apparently this night was going to be a battle of light and dark..."Incantation", according to my wife, revealed the darkness "yelling to get back in".  But Rodney's drumming helped to "chase the darkness away".  I don't remember at which point she exclaimed to me, "And he's winning!"

I had not heard a Mitchless "Weapons of Moose Destruction" yet and found this one quite satisfying.  The transition from Rob's solo to Steve's (Walnut Tripleneck Stringmaster) solo was so smooth you probably missed the handoff.  "Twinstar" was led in by a gorgeous bass solo from Reed, as my wife said it was like floating downstream while rapids slowly built, but never lost control.  I thought it was more like a sweet dream gone awry.  "Dr. Zaius" closed the first set.  I think this has been one of the great songs for 2005.  Always a little something for everyone.  And Rodney always makes this one intersting.  If anything, as a fan, hearing Steve take the song into a looser and less formal realm would be fun, but that might not mesh with the feel of the song.  I forgot to ask my wife what she thought.

I love to hear people's far ranging interpretation's of the music.  It goes to show just how subjective it all is.  I am always humbled by seeing a show that I thought was mediocre only to take my first step out the door and over hear someone say, "That was the best ever!"  Yet, I feel there must be some type of objective nature to the music that allows folks to collectively deem a particular performance "great" and another "mediocre".  There are times when the music is just so hot you have no choice but to believe, and yet, it always comes back to the listener. Go figure...I guess that is why I appreciated my wife's interpretation so much, because it was based on what the music did to her and how she reacted, rather than judging it as good or bad per se.

That is exactly what I love about the SKB experience.  It is a trip every time.  And the second set exemplified that for me. I had been waiting since KVHW (circa 1999) to see "It's Up To You" live, so I was fully satisfied with this perfunctory performance of it.  The thing about this song is that is is wide open for literally anything to happen - Steve's "Dark Star" if you will.  The song reminds me of the first time I visited Yellowstone.  I drove in from the north and remember climbing a mountain, expecting some amazing peak at the top...I had no idea what the view was going to hold.  And when I came to the top of the mountain, I was blown away that it was no mountain, but rather a huge plain.  All I could see was flat grassland for miles, and some more mountains far in the distance.  I drove for a long while before coming across a herd of bison.  I drove on and on and came to the grand canyon of Yellowstone (or whatever it is called).  Holy Moly!  Whole worlds hidden away in this seeming barren plain.  The geysers, the forests, the lake, the Tetons in the distance...This was a place in which to get lost in the moment.  Around every corner was a new place and time.  And therein, every now a new now.  I have always felt that way about the vast possibilities of "It's Up To You". This may not have been my favorite version or the most fully explored, it is always worth the trip.

Next up was, in my opinion, perhaps the song of the year, "Elmer's Revenge".  There have been a number of decent versions throughout the years, characterized by what I think of as a sort of "triumphant redundancy" of the main riff as the song builds intensity.  I was first struck by the use of the end of this song as an oppportunity for Rodney to go off.  The so-called lead instruments and bass hold down a steady rhythm, allowing for Rodney's turn to explore, usually blowing the doors off the place.   This year the mellow first section has developed into one of those timeless spaces for exploration.  I quite enjoy the mellow side of SKB, and some of the spacey noodling that Steve partakes in this section nowadays can be mind boggling.  I love it.  Robert is assured an opportunity to unleash his super heavy oprgan here, too, before Elmer finally got ahold of that wabbit.

I found my wife upstairs having a nice conversation with Steve's sister Anne (I didn't ask if she spells it with an "e" or not).  She lives in Vermont and said she loves to see Steve when he is in the area.  She was adorable talking about her big brother and how proud she is of him.  I asked my wife how that conversation developed, and she said she just asked her if she was with the band, because she thought Anne must be related to Steve, "They have the same hair!"  I had to laugh at that one. Meeting her and hearing a new perspective on Steve added more color to an already colorful experience. 

After the that little interlude and the two jammy juggernauts, we got some old fashioned funk, Robert Walter style, with "Hover" and "Aquafresh" which are prime dance numbers for the masses.  The addition of the "Rob tunes" has been a nice new twist to the usual SKB fare.  They tend to be more consice songs with some raunchy soloing by both Rob and Steve.  Next was a sweet and melodic version of "Stella Blue" that always makes for a happy crowd.  Steve stayed with the Stringmaster for nice run through "Samba", which makes for a good closer. A truly satisfying and exhausting night!  But this poor body was ready for my feet to leave the dance floor, and find a new now with my head on my pillow.

All in all, the "new" Steve Kimock Band proves to be as fun and danceable a band on the scene today!  They keep everyone happy from the guitar geeks, to the funksters, the trippers, and even those who are just looking for a good night of music away from the kids.  If you can't catch them live, you can buy pristine recordings of their shows at digitalsoundboard.net or oftentimes you can find many of their great fan recorded shows on archive.org.

The SKB archivist, Charlie Miller, has put together some highlights of this fall tour on his Road Notes Vol 2 released through digitalsoundboard.net (yes, of course there is a volume one from late spring, which I also highly recommend).  This is a phenomenal three disc set which is missing only one piece to make it "complete" in my opinion.  It needs a good "Elmer's Revenge".  But lucky for us, Charlie uploaded the soundboard/audience "matrix" version of the show from Dallas on 10/01/2005 as a special treat for the fans on the Live Music Achirve. Also check out the version of "Eudemon" from that show as it is amazing (which is included on Road Notes).  It is the title song form the first SKB album which came out in August.  If you look around, you can find plenty of great freebies all over the internet, and the archive is the jackpot.  You are sure to get great sounding fan recorded music there.  If you want a premium sounding recording of a show you have seen or simply want to hear, digitalsoundboard.net will have it, most everything from 2003 to present.  They also have begun podcasting some highlights from various shows for the occaisional treat. 

Check out kimock.com for details of upcoming shows.  I believe SKB is on its way toward the great Northwest before they head down to San Francisco for their New Years Eve run.  Get out to see them durng this particular now, because you never know how long your now is going to last. Better Now than never...

Thanks to all the Kimock Band and crew.  You are putting out some great music and taking us all to some crazy new places!

Namaste, 

***********************************************************************************

Past stories from Chris:

Rather Sit Than Dance To It?

The Dead & DeadHeads celebrate Jerry's Birthday

5.8.77 - Cornell University - 28 Years Later...

Dark Star Orchestra Provides Fun and Nostalgia in NY

Thoughts on American Music and Jerry Garcia

Gathering of the Vibes 2005

Thoughts On Katrina

Mimi Fishman Auction For Conscious Alliance Has Ended!

Scramble Campbell original oil on canvas painting- for the Grateful Web

By the end of the week Hurricane Katrina hit, the Conscious Alliance was mobilized in Houston, TX with over 17,500 lbs. of food that we delivered to the Houston Food Bank (www.Houstonfoodbank.org).  We were able to raise over $25,000 since our internet fundraising campaign began one week ago.  100% of the donations we have raised on-line are being used to purchase food for evacuees of Hurricane Katrina.

Once in Houston we realized that while the hero's at the Houston Food Bank, that took in over 1,000,000 lbs. of food donations last weekend, are providing for the shelters, church's, and other non-profit agencies servicing evacuees, no one is delivering food to the 1,000's of people stranded in Hotels.

This will be our mission in Houston, TX when we head back down next week.  The funds raised from the Mimi Fishman Auction will be used to cover the administrative and overhead costs that we are incurring to make our hurricane relief efforts a reality.

Mimi Auction Raised $3,455.00 for the Delta Gamma Center!

Trey Anastasio autographed poster!- for the Grateful Web

The last auction (ending 7/25/05) raised $3,455.00 for the Delta Gamma Center!  Thanks to everyone who participated. Stay tuned for more Mimi Fishman Foundation charity auctions powered by The Grateful Web!

PHISH on-line charity AUCTION for STATION NIGHTCLUB SURVIVORS -- THANK YOU EVERYONE!

Coventry poster the last phish shows- for the Grateful Web
A once in a lifetime item. The band''s wardrobe case that they used everyday while they were on tour. Only 2 of these ever existed.- for the Grateful Web
untorn and full Coventry ticket, signed by entire band in Coventry on 8/15/04. Only 3 were signed that day- for the Grateful Web

John Langenstein, Director of Security for several bands including Phish, CSN, and The String Cheese Incident, has teamed up once again with David Shulman and The Mimi Fishman Foundation to raise money for The Station Family Fund. The Grateful Web has been thrilled to host their auctions for the past four years.

The Station Family Fund is an all-volunteer, 501 c 3 recognized, tax exempt, nonprofit organization, founded to offer assistance and relief to people directly affected by the fire at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island.  100 people perished, close to 200 severely injured, and more than 60 children lost one or both parents in the horrific fire on Feb 20, 2003.

Todd King, a survivor himself of the fire, is the VP of the Station Family Fund. "It's vital we don't forget the families left behind.  The Station Family Fund was formed to help those families, as well as the survivors", said King.  "David (Shulman) and John (Langenstein) have been instrumental in helping fund our organization."

The auction, which began December 13, is the fourth in a series of Langenstein/Shulman on-line auctions, with the first three raising over $40,000. Unlike the first three auctions, which included a variety of items from many different bands, this auction will only feature Phish related items.  Phish, after 21 years together, recently called it quits, as their last note of music was played August 15 at their own festival in northern Vermont.

The eighteen auction items are sure to be of interest to any Phish fan.  Included are the  actual guitar strings used by Phish in 2004, one of their wardrobe cases used all the way up to their last show in August, as well as a full Conventry festival ticket signed by the entire band.

"When Shulman and I ran our first auction for the SFF, I never dreamed there would be more.  I thought it was a one-time shot.  My desire to help those affected by the fire has only strengthened and I am more determined now than ever to help out the survivors and the families of the victims", said Langenstein.

The Station Family Fund will distribute every dollar raised by the auction in an effort to address the needs of the survivors and the families of victims.

"We have put together an amazing array of Phish items for this auction.  Any Phish fan will definitely want to take a look.   Most importantly, we are raising funds for a very important charity", says Shulman.

Information on the Station Family Fund can be found at http://www.stationfamilyfund.org

To check out the auction, visit: mimifishman.prg/auctions

Hey Barry Bonds, I cannot stick up for you any longer..

Barry Bonds hits one out of Pac Bell- for the Grateful Web

Dear Barry Bonds:

Like many people in my generation (I am 34), you have been the greatest baseball player I have known.  Since the mid 70's as a kid in New Jersey watching & attending Yankee games, I have watched great players come and go, including Nolan Ryan, Don Mattingly, Reggie Jackson, and so many other great ball players, but in the last five years or so, you have made many of their accomplishments seem less extraordinary.  I remember Reggie hitting three homers in the 78 World Series, I remember Bucky Dent hitting his pinch hit homer to beat Boston. I remember the Mets winning in 1986; I have so many great memories from baseball.

Until now, I have been naive over steroid use.  Now, I remember when you first came into the league in the late 80's, hell I even remember watching you in the College World Series.  In spite of knowing how thin you were, I refused to believe your gigantic increase in size in your mid 30's was simply a result of your work-out regiment.  My dad, himself a huge baseball fan, has been turned off from baseball in the last 10 years, mostly because of how many balls leaving the ballpark.  I told him it's because guys are bigger and stronger nowadays, Dad.  However, he said there's a lot more to do that that, including bringing the ballparks in (Yankee Stadium is a perfect example), pitching is not what it used to be (Allie Reynolds is an example my dad gives), etc.  Regardless, in 2001, when Barry hit his 73 dingers, according to my perception, it was simply the most amazing season Barry or anyone other slugger has ever had and my Dad should accept it. I, like many other baseball fans were watching with excitement as Barry belted shot after shot. I told my dad, before Marris hit 61, nobody believed someone who hit more than the Babe did when he hit 60. It's just an evolution of the sport because of bigger and stronger ballplayers. Well, I was wrong. It's not some amazing work-out routine making modern day ballplayers bigger and stronger, its steroids.  Barry never hit more than 50 dingers in his life before that 2001 season. What's worse, now that we know you did take steroids; you're trying to tell us you didn't know what you were taking!? C'mon, Barry, we've been duped long enough.  100 years from now, when kids talk about Barry Bonds like we talk about the Babe now, or Mickey Mantle, or some real legend, I just hope the kids also say, 'oh, yea he hit a lot of homers, but he took steroids to enhance his performance,' whereas the Babe or Hank Aaron never did.  You always have an asterisk next to your name, *Barry.

Regrettably,

Mike Moran, Grateful Web

 

 

MEDICAL MARIJUANA CASE UP NEXT FOR COURT

NORML supports the right of adults to use marijuana responsibly, whether for medical or personal purposes - for the Grateful Web

The marijuana she smokes every two waking hours makes life bearable for Angel Raich.  It eases the pain from an inoperable brain tumor, scoliosis and several other permanent disabilities.  It's the only thing her doctors will prescribe, because she has severe allergies that cause violent reactions to traditional medicine.

 

In Oakland, Calif., where Raich lives, that's no problem.  A 1996 state law permits patients to grow and smoke marijuana on doctors' recommendations.

 

But on Monday, the U.S.  Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that's likely to settle a conflict between that California law and a 1970 federal ban on illegal drugs.

 

The Justice Department says federal authority is supreme in this matter, and the Drug Enforcement Administration already has raided one California patient's house and destroyed her cannabis plants.  If the court favors the government's view, more raids would follow in the 11 mostly Western states that have legalized medical marijuana.

 

Anti-drug groups support the federal government, saying approving medical marijuana could boost support for the recreational use of drugs.

 

Raich and her supporters say medical marijuana is a matter for the states to decide, and for doctors to decide for their patients.

 

"Without cannabis, my life would be a death sentence," Raich, 39, says on a Web site about her struggle.  "Cannabis was responsible for getting me out of my wheelchair and restoring mobility on the whole right side of my body.  For years I felt as if I were suffering in hell.  I will not go back to hell for anyone or anything."

The case is one of the most watched on the Supreme Court's docket this term, one that involves the justices in a high-profile social issue and tests court conservatives' commitment to a line of decisions that restrain federal intrusion into state matters.

It began in California in 2002, when DEA officers raided the Oroville home of Diane Monson, who was growing marijuana in her garden to ease back pain.  The raid at Monson's home - and several others - was tied to a crackdown on medical marijuana inspired in part by the war on terrorism.  President Bush has said the illegal drug trade helps finance terrorists.

Under Chief Justice William H.  Rehnquist, the high court generally has favored state authority over federal influence, establishing a long line of cases that have reduced Congress' authority to regulate interstate commerce.

But the Supreme Court took a stab at curbing marijuana use in 2001 when it ruled against clubs that distributed medical marijuana, which the clubs had deemed a "medical necessity." The ruling forced Raich's supplier to close but left unsettled whether federal authorities could block states from permitting marijuana to be used for medical reasons.

The Natural Resources Defense Council says get prepared for the worst..

- for the Grateful Web

Dear NRDC BioGems Defender,

"What's going to happen if President Bush is reelected?"

That's a question I heard a lot last month. My answer was simple: we'll be shell-shocked for a day, and then NRDC will come out fighting for the like there's no tomorrow.

Well, the shock has set in. We've spent the better part of four years publicizing and challenging the president's assault on our forests, western wildlands and wildlife habitats. As a tax-deductible organization, NRDC could not oppose or support a candidate for president. But a lot of hopes were pinned on the ballot box as the fastest way to terminate the Bush administration's giveaways to logging, timber and mining companies.

Those hopes were dashed yesterday. The president prevailed, despite his horrific environmental record, which remains at odds with the views of the overwhelming majority of Americans.

We're stunned not so much by the outcome itself. After all, President Bush was a slight favorite to win this election. No, the look of distress on faces all around NRDC's offices today is true alarm at what lies ahead. As sweeping as this administration's attack on the environment has been, things are about to get worse. Perhaps much worse.

It was only the threat of the ballot box - of answering to the American people - that caused the Bush administration to backburner many of its most destructive plans. The White House has already signaled that the attacks of the past four years are but the leading edge of a much broader assault that will come in a second term.

Look for it to begin over the next few weeks with new attempts to auction off vast stretches of our Alaskan rainforest for clearcutting . . . open Greater Yellowstone and other beloved wildlands to oil and gas drilling . . . and hand over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to giant oil companies.

So, yes, take one full day for feeling shell-shocked.

But prepare yourself. Tomorrow the battle will be joined. And we must be ready.

You can take heart in this: thanks to your support, NRDC and our BioGems campaigns have succeeded in stalling, blocking or sinking the worst of President Bush's attempts so far to exploit and destroy our last wild places.

And let me tell you, the second Bush administration will have to contend with an NRDC that now wields the most potent combination of grassroots activism, courtroom power and media outreach ever assembled by one public interest organization.

That impressive operation - one million Members and BioGems Defenders, scores of attorneys, the best rapid response operation in the business - will be focused like a laser on stopping the onslaught to come.

Failure is not an option. Everything we have fought for and achieved over the past 35 years is at stake. In the weeks ahead, I will be reporting to you in more detail on NRDC's action plan for defending our last wild places during President Bush's second term.

But I can share one key element of that plan right now: you. We're counting on you to stay the course with our BioGems campaigns. We need your outrage. We need your activism. If we have those, we are going to prevail.

Sincerely,

John H. Adams
President
Natural Resources Defense Council

BioGems: Saving Endangered Wild Places
A project of the Natural Resources Defense Council
http://www.savebiogems.org

MoveOn.org to host Vote For Change Tour

Get out and VOTE!- for the Grateful Web

Moveonpac.org is hosting a Vote for Change tour this summer.  There's going to be approximately 34 shows in 28 different cities, all of which are in key battle ground states in this year's presidential election.

Vote For Change is a group of musicians brought together by a single idea—the need to make a change in the direction of our country. Dave Matthews and The Dixie Chicks were on The Today Show and both spoke of how their opinions in this year's presidential election were equally important as any other American.  Moreover, they commented if the actor turned President Ronald Regan, why shouldn't present day entertaners have a right to speak their minds?

Artists on the bill for these upcoming shows include: Babyface, Jackson Browne, Bright Eyes, Dave Matthews Band, Death Cab for Cutie, the Dixie Chicks, John Fogerty, Ben Harper, Jurassic 5, Keb' Mo', John Mellencamp, My Morning Jacket, Pearl Jam, Bonnie Raitt, R.E.M., James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and more.

These artists hope to accomplish a single goal through the tour: to get people to the polls on November 2nd.

Visit MoveOnPAC.org for more info and be sure to vote (ideally for Kerry...)