Letters from the Lunar Outpost

Clear conscience never fears midnight knocking.
- Chinese Proverb, Anonymous Saying of Chinese Origin

Monthly Archives: September 2011

When it comes to singing, on just about every song I record, I always seem to be surprised at how my vocals come out – either surprised that it ended up sounding as good as it did, or surprised that I could possibly butcher any song so badly.

For instance, I feel like I nailed it pretty good on the vocals for Black Widow Stepmom and Miss Vu, but then on my original version of this song, that’s some hall of shame material right there!

So I finally ended up having to bring in an all-star guest singer for this one. None other than Richard La Bianco of Wildon Ash fame. (So that’s what this song would sound like with a professional singer on it!)

Without further adieu, cue up that country hip hop . . .

[mp3j autoplay=”y” track=”http://losalamoslabs.com/mc/_/Spun_Honey_II/The_Partys_Over_Rich.mp3″]

Turn out the lights the party’s over
They say that all good things must end
Call it a night the party’s over
And tomorrow starts the same old thing again

What a crazy, crazy party never seen so many people
Laughin’ dancin’ look at you, you’re havin’ fun
But look at me I’m almost cryin’ but that don’t keep her love from dyin’
Misery ’cause for me the party’s over

Turn out the lights the party’s over
They say that all good things must end
Call it a night the party’s over
And tomorrow starts the same old thing again

Once I had a love undyin’ I didn’t keep it, wasn’t tryin’
Life for me was just one party and then another
I broke her heart so many times had to have my party wine
Then one day, she said sweetheart the party’s over

Turn out the lights the party’s over
They say that all good things must end
Call it a night the party’s over
And tomorrow starts the same old thing again
And tomorrow starts the same old thing again


Words & Music by Willie Nelson

I had a friend request some tab for the bass line, so here’s the transcription:

Country Hip-Hop Bass Line to The Party’s Over



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Victory for Free Speech in "Irvine 11" Trial

Victory for Free Speech in "Irvine 11" Trial

The case:

Ten Muslim students who are on trial for disrupting Israeli ambassador Michael Oren during an appearance at UC Irvine in effect acted as censors, a prosecutor argued in closing statements Monday. In front of a packed Santa Ana courtroom, Orange County Deputy Dist. Atty. Dan Wagner told jurors that the protesters interfered with Oren’s right to free speech last year when, one by one, they stood and shouted as the ambassador tried to give a planned address on U.S.-Israeli relations.

The verdict?

After more than two days of deliberation, an Orange County jury on Friday found 10 Muslim students guilty of two misdemeanors to conspire and then disrupt a February 2010 speech at UC Irvine last year by the Israeli ambassador to the United States.

Source: LAT and LAT

Twitter is in full meltdown mode right now with people hysterically tweeting it’s the end of free speech, it’s the end of Democracy, etc., but without a doubt, this verdict is a victory for free speech.

California law is quite clear about it, an organization or university has every right to invite a speaker and expect that speaker will be able to exercise their right to free speech and speak their mind without being censored and shouted down by people who don’t agree with their message.

The emails which encouraged these students to show up and shout the ambassador down warned them to be prepared because they would probably be arrested, so they knew full well what they were doing was against the law (a misdemeanor) in California. That’s the law and the jury came back with the correct verdict, and it would be the correct verdict regardless if the speaker was an ambassador for Israel, a member of the PLO or even a spokesperson for NAMBLA.

There’s an even more important question people crying about the end of free speech should be asking themselves, however: if this is your cause, do you really think this is any way to win people over to your side?

I’m sure the people whose every other words are “Zionist this” and “Zionist that” were pumping their fists triumphantly at the video of the Israeli ambassador being shouted down and I’m sure the Irvine 11 are going to be like rock stars among their activist peers when they return to campus after their suspensions, but outside of your small circle, do you really think you made anyone else more sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians?

This is a university. A university is a place where young minds (hopefully) come to listen to and consider diverse opinions. A university is a place that’s supposed to foster debate in the name of seeking knowledge and greater understanding and you know it’s an absolute given that there was a question and answer session planned for the ambassador after he made his remarks.

Here’s a crazy idea: How about acting like bright-minded, intelligent people, letting the man speak and then nailing him with some devastating questions at the Q & A?

Face it, shouting people down is a complete and total DEBATE FAIL.

Now there may be some people who will find in the verdict an opportunity to nurture their secretly cherished persecution complexes, so hooray for them, but in the big scheme of things, the Irvine 11 has done nothing but embarrass themselves and their cause.

*** UPDATE ***

The sentences came in and the Irvine 11 will get no jail time and 3 years probation with community service. That’s Goldilocks right there, not too harsh, not too lenient. Let’s just hope the next time we hear from these individuals, it will be in hearing them take part in an intelligent debate.

Source: Electronic Infitada

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I’m sure there are times when, as the mullah-appointed figurehead of a nation of 75 million, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad must surely consider himself one of the greatest men to have ever lived.

Must be a real harsh reality check each time Little Hitler, Jr. arrives to speak at the U.N., only to see how empty of a reception his special brand of hate and conspiracy theories receives.

Let’s compare and contrast, shall we?

Here’s what the room looks like when a great man and respected world leader steps up to the podium . . .


President Obama Speaks to a Packed House at the U.N.

President Obama Speaks to a Packed House at the U.N.


And here’s what the same room looks like when Little Hitler, Jr. speaks . . .


When Little Hitler, Jr. Speaks, Half the World Heads for the Exits

Ahmadinejad: No One Can Clear the Room Like this Asshole


When three-fourths of the dignitaries of the world head for the exits to avoid the putrid stench of your oral flatulation, doesn’t that give you a clue as to what an asshole you really are?

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Here it is folks, the picture that shocked the world:


Talk to the hand!

Of course, the photo didn’t really shock the world. (I’m sure Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj was pretty shocked, though.) It now looks to have been proved authentic, but though there was even some controversy over the photo, it’s really just a bit of light-hearted news here, it’s not like anyone is going around and suggesting it’s some sort of scandal worthy of some moniker like In-yo-face-gate . . .

In-yo-face-gate. I have to admit, it has kind of a ring to it. Ah shucks, I think my post just got a new title.

Here’s the thing though, if you’re curious about people and personalities, if you want to play pop psychologist along with me, I think this bizarre shot of Obama gives us a bit more insight into the man, and it’s really not overstating it to call it “bizarre” when you consider we’ve all been taking group photos since kindergarten . . . seriously, who does that in a group photo?

To stand there, seemingly oblivious to the man standing right next to you and have that sort of Freudian slip of the hand, it’s almost as if Obama is subconsciously saying, don’t mind these other people, look at me, I’m the only one here in this room who really matters.

And it fits a pattern, too. Consider the fact that this is the guy who once gave the Queen of England an iPod with photos and audio of his speeches! Seriously?

And I don’t think any of us have ever heard anyone so self-absorbed as Obama when he’s speaking to the nation. It’s not about you or us, it’s about him! In a typical Obama speech, you can hear him drop “me,” “my” or “I” 27 times in four and a half minutes. To use one of Obama’s favorite words, that kind of self-referencing is “unprecedented.”

And when you think of Obama’s unprecedented use of the word “unprecedented”, that too gives you a little glimpse into the man. In his mind, no president has ever had to deal with the kind of challenges that he’s been presented. Seriously, Mr. President? Seriously?

But really, what kind of person without some massive degree of arrogance is going to end up president of the United States? It’s one thing to run for president when you don’t have a chance, but to have a shot at having the most consequential job on the entire planet and actually say, “Yeah, I can do that,” you have to have a conviction in yourself that none of us mere mortals will ever have. Sure, we all might daydream and talk about how the world would be if we were in charge, but if you actually had a shot at the job, how many of us would want to take that awesome responsibility on? Especially if you’d never had any experience as an executive or running a business.

When the vast majority of what we see of the president is carefully scripted and teleprompted, I find these small unguarded glimpses into the man quite interesting, really. Obama may not have the ability to connect with Americans the same way Bill “I Feel Your Pain” Clinton did, but when it comes to assuming the crown of American nobility, no one creates a more handsome portrait of the ruling elite as President O. You can almost see him as he stares at his reflection in the videos, transfixed by the image of himself, King Barry, ruler of the world.

Three cheers to the Narcissist-in-Chief. Still hoping you can turn this presidency around.

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I can remember a controversy that once brewed when a prime time episode of CBS’ 60 Minutes bleeped the use of the n-word while in the very same interview, let the word “kike” go broadcast untouched. I wish I could source it, but this was way older than the Internet and yet my recollection of the ensuing controversy is very clear. And at the time, I can remember an equal part of me both understanding the controversy over this double-standard in CBS’ treatment of the two slurs as well as an equal part of me understanding why one racial slur in America might be more detestable and bleep-worthy than all others.

Had it been a German broadcast, might have been the other way around, but in America, as much as I truly believe this is the greatest nation ever assembled on God’s Green Earth, the n-word in many ways encapsulates what is unquestionably the most shameful chapter in our entire history.

From what I understood going into this blog post, and backed up by the Wikipedia entry with four sources quoting the word’s origins, the n-word began as a neutral term, and while centuries of slavery and brutal oppression gave the mere sound of the word a hateful ring to our modern ears, reading works as recent as the late 19th and early 20th century writers such as Joseph Conrad and Ernest Hemingway, you can read the n-word in their writings and still sense the word being used without any malice, in more of a de facto term sort of way. (In much the same way as hearing the term “negro” used innocently in the 1970s and 80s, and I remember it being used by newscasters both black and white at the time.)

What was most interesting about the evolution of the use of the n-word, however, was the fact that the more and more white people were getting a grip on how offensive the term was, how it shouldn’t be used in polite company and yes, many people do get raised properly to believe that if you wouldn’t tell a joke in mixed circles, probably best not to tell it behind people’s backs, the more white people wouldn’t use the term in public and (hopefully) in their own private conversations, the more the term began to be embraced by the black community.

This is not to suggest that blacks using the n-word to reference each other is some sort of recent phenomenon, I’m sure it goes back as far as the word’s origins, but with the explosion of rap music in the 80s, the “What’s up, my brotha?” of the 60s and 70s definitely gave way predominantly to, “What’s up, my n*****?”

I can remember being sort of shocked by an NWA coming out with the “N” right there in their name and my jaw dropping at Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg dropping about 150 n-bombs on a 60 minute CD of The Chronic, but I also totally got it. “You white folks want to call us a bunch of n*****s? Damn straight I’m a n*****. Proud of it, too.” I totally understood how they were reinventing the word and reclaiming the word for themselves.

That being said, however, at this point, I would be so happy to never hear another person of any skin color use that word again. I would never be so presumptuous as to try to tell any black person how they can or can’t reference themselves and each other, but to me now when I hear that word, it sounds to me like someone saying, “we are never going to get beyond the past.” That is my hope and my prayer, that one day we can get beyond that past.

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Currently Listening To:

Team of Rivals
Doris Kearns Goodwin