Monday, August 29, 2005


Thursday, August 25, 2005

"Rathergate"? Try "Stupidgate".

I don't know how I got on this guy's email list (probably made a comment on his blog or something) but Mike Krempasky of RedState fame sent me a really tiresome rehash of the "RatherGate" story he flogged last year, over and over again. Only now he's after CNN. Hah. Like CNN actually carries news.


It's been a while since I wrote to you - but this came across my desk and I wanted you to see it right away. My friend Joseph Cella has begun a campaign patterned after Rathergate - at CNN. Read on to get the details, I highly encourage you to take action. We cannot give the mainstream media a free pass.


Mike Krempasky

TO: Mike Krempasky

FROM: Joseph J. Cella

SUBJECT LINE: Rathergate ... at CNN

Not so long ago, we watched one of the most outrageous instances of media bias arise during the episode now known as "Rathergate." You know the story....CBS News, Dan Rather, liberal biased producer, phony memos on President George W. Bush, run the story anyway.

Now wait until you hear about the latest instance of bias at CNN…

Recently, CNN agreed to air an ad for the group NARAL Pro-Choice America untruthfully attacking Supreme Court nominee Judge John Roberts, yet CNN has refused to air an ad featuring international humanitarian Mother Teresa, Foundress of the Missionaries of Charity, who lived her life caring for the poorest of the poor, transcending all religions and all classes of people.

We've been successful in starting Rathergate-like pressure on executives at CNN.

In less than one week, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that top CNN executives had received over 10,000 e-mails as a result of our campaign. CNN President Jim Walton reported that his e-mail box was overrun.

CNN continues to bob and weave but we are keeping the pressure on. As recent history has proven, when people like you and me hold the media accountable, we can achieve unexpected results. After all, Dan Rather doesn't anchor the CBS Evening News any longer.

Have you ever seen such a crock of shit in your life? "Rather knowingly reported fake documents" as if Kremapsky doesn't know that Rather was set up. What a fucking

My response, which I wrote as a kind of enraged Lazlo Toth follows.


#1: who are you?
#2: why are you sending me this dogshit?

what the fuck do i care about your gay-ass little conspiracy? who fucking cares about dan rather or cnn? and what does mother theresa have to do with anything? she's dead!

is this some lyndon larouche or right to life bullshit? I tell you stupid assholes EVERY FUCKING DAY to stop bugging me in the subway. jesus fucking christ.
You're all a bunch of fucking lunatics. You belong a busy intersection, scrubbing windshields.

Sign one fucking petition and every goddamn fucking political weirdo comes out of the woodwork.

Dan Rather and Mother Theresa, good fucking grief. Why not include DB Fucking Cooper, The Trilateral Commission, and the Smurfs for good measure? It's a fucking veritable orgy! Dan Rather fucking Cokie Roberts in the ass with Max Cleland's missing leg, while, I don't know, Ariel Sharon and Madonna are plotting with the Iranians or something.

GAH. You fucking suck. Take your rathergate or whatever, stick it up your fucking stupid fat living-in-your-mom's-basement ass and don't write to me anymore. Take a bath hippy. Or redneck. whatever you are.

Send it to ANSWER or some other commies, i don't give a fuck. just leave me out of it.
stupid fuck.

Still waiting....

LTE, 8/25/05

Thanks to a recommendation from Steve the SpinDentist at The All Spin Zone I was invited to do some team blogging at Operation Yellow Elephant.

Below is my first contribution.
Please visit OYE regularly, and also Jesus' General, its founder.

The Bush administration’s rationale for the Iraq war has changed. Wars are like that.

Do you have any idea how offensive that sounds to someone with a relative fighting in Iraq, a war that was supposed to last only a few months? "Oh hey, your brother got his face blown off for completely different reasons than we told you, but hey, stuff happens. What's a brother between friends anyway?"

"Leaving behind a functioning democracy that respects basic human rights, including the rights of women and minorities, is not an unworthy goal. "

I agree that this is a worthy goal, except that I just read that Islam is going to be the source of the law over there, superceding secular law, and that women are actually losing their rights. I even read that the Iraqi woman who hugged the military mom at the 2005 SOU says the US has abandoned women to the Islamists and Kurds. Her words, not mine.

Let's be honest here McFeatters: this war has not only done the US no good, it has set back the cause of women's rights in the Middle East, and empowered real enemies, like Iran, and potential challengers, like China, alike.

It is time to place the American flag higher than the flag of partisanship. Your side screwed up and screwed up big time: it is time to change course and fix what you broke. The first step is to stop being an apologist for an administration, indeed a party, that has spun wildly out of control.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 16:13:49 -0400
From: Bill Knowlton
Subject: Last Stoneman Son Dies (From Eddie Stubbs)

Gene Stoneman, the last surviving son of country music pioneer Ernest Stoneman, died Monday August 15, 2005 at the age of 75. The cause of death appears to be a heart attack.

Gene Stoneman had played guitar and sang some with the Stoneman Family back in the 1940's and early 1950's in the Washington, D.C. area, but drifted away from performing professionally. He became a painter for Prince Georges County Maryland painting high rise office buildings.

Gene did participate in the Stoneman Family's reunion double album set for CMH back in the late 1970's.

Stoneman lived in Edgewater, Maryland where the family will receive friends on Thursday at a local funeral home. The funeral will be held on Friday with burial taking place in the Veteran's Cemetery in Cheltenham, Maryland.

Gene Stoneman is survived by his wife of 53 years and other family members which include his three musically talented sisters, Patsy, Donna, and Ronnie.

Eddie Stubbs

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

More heading to Crawford

Former FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley, along with a state senator whose son died in Iraq, are headed to Texas this week to join a growing anti-war demonstration near President Bush's ranch.

Rowley, now a Democratic candidate for Congress, and Sen. Becky Lourey will join a protest initiated by Cindy Sheehan, whose own son died in Iraq last year. Sheehan started the vigil Aug. 6, coinciding with Bush's summer vacation. She has said she won't leave until the president meets with her.

I'm gonna keep hammering this home.
Why'd her kid die? No one has an answer. I don't care about all the other bullshit noise from the left or the right: why'd he die? Why did I have to pay to kill this kid? How has his death helped the nation?
No offense, but I haven't seen shit in way of results, motherfuckers, and I hate "big gummint" just as much as you right wingers do. Why's this dude dead? What's the cause?

Right now Iraq is spiraling inexorably to an Islamic theocracy, allied with Iran: the damn game is over. It was a lousy play and now we're fucked.
What's the noble cause? Digging the rest of us out of the mess the Bush, the Republicans, and their Democratic enablers lied us into? None of their kids go fight, our kids gotta get calls from recruiters who can't even meet quota when they're scraping the bottom of the bowl?
Why'd her kid die? Bush doesn't have any answer, and doesn't have the balls to answer. Go ask Pat Murphy, Democrat and Iraq war veteran running for Congress in Pennsylvania.

Vassar Clements, RIP

Larry Maltz sent me this announcement from Russ Hooper, the legendary Dobro player. I edited some of the punctuation.

I received a phone call this morning from a friend in Nashville telling me
Vassal Clements had passed away.

My Vassar Clements highlights:
The Old and in the Way show at the 1973 Berryville Festival. I was fifteen
and my father had to drive to the festival. He despised any music that wasn't
traditional. Reno & Smiley, Mac, Monroe and Wilma Lee Cooper were his favorites.
Jerry Garcia, Peter Rowan, David Grisman was one of the coolest things I'd
ever seen. How surprised I was when dad took me backstage and introduced me to
Vassar. They'd known each other for years, since the time Vassar played with
Jim and Jesse.

Vassar and John Hartford playing twin fiddles on stage with the Orginal
Seldom Scene at a concert somewhere in Maryland, around 1974. I think it was a
Dick Cerri show. Tom Gray will remember when and where.

1982 or 83. Booking Vassar at the Birchmere (and a couple of others gigs)
with Peter Rowan, Marty Stuart and Roy Husky.

1986: Vassar organizing a four day benefit at the Station to help out an old
time fiddle player. Vassar, along with Doug Jernigan on steel and a host of
other great musicians spent most of the four days on stage as the house band.
Guests included Porter Wagoner, Bobby Bare, Bill Monroe, Mac Wiseman, the New
Grass Revival , Hartford, every Bluegrass act living in Nashville, and about
half of the Grand Ole Opry. When the evening's scheduled show was over, Vassar
and the band would still be playing until the venue management dimmed the

The Old and in the Gray show at the State Theatre. Vassar gave me the heads
up on this proposed tour a few months before the band had officially decided
to do it. It took a lot work and frustration to bring it to DC. No other area
promoter would touch it because of the performance fee.
When the show was over and Vassar was getting ready to leave and I said
"Here's your merchandise money". Vassar responded " Send the money to Midge" He
didn't even ask how much it was. Then as he was leaving, he stopped, gave me a
hug and said "I love you man".

Vassar Clements was a musical icon. But you'd never know it by the way he
lived his life.

Vassar Clements was a true hero of the fiddle, and a living legend. It is sad to me that so many of these icons fade away unappreciated, unremembered but for a small clique of enthusiasts.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Shots Fired in Crawford

"Wait! Someone is firing a gun. (pause). He fired it into the air about five times. He appears to be a local inside the fence line on private property. Now he has thrown what looks like a shotgun into the front seat of a pickup, and he's stomping off out of sight. I wonder where he went.

"Now he's coming back out. I'm out here standing on the road. He's got a no parking sign in his hand, walking toward his fence. I'm going to go try to talk to him. I've got to hang up."

(three minutes later)

I went over and talked to the man. He is Larry Mattlage, who says he is on his property and just posted a no-parking sign.

"We're going to start doing our war and it's going to be underneath the law," he told me. "Whatever it takes. So y'all go find another place to do whatever you do. 'Cause this is our front yard and back yard."

I asked, "Do you mean the protestors?" there's some Secret Service and cops. I'm going to get closer to hear what they're saying. People in bullet-proof vests are here now. Two Secret Service agents are now walking up his driveway towards his house, with Mr. Mattlage. A member of the Sheriff's Department has arrived. Mr. Mattlage is waving his arms now. All of them are now walking back this way.

Now they are between the lane and the house. He's at the fence now. Let me record what they are saying. I'll call right back.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

A Poem For Katherine Harris, Republican

Political hack!
Spectacular rack!
Katherine Harris
Is wickedly stacked!

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Crooks and Liars has more of Katherine Harris's bodice-bustin' bosom. Careful with those things, you're gonna put someone's eye out!

(I also like the metaphorical implications of all the ass in the picture. Harris's [quite shapely and surprisingly juicy] ass sits atop an ass (well, OK, a horse), while Harris herself IS an ass.

A Second Open Letter to Clint Black

Dear Clint,

It is disgusting that you, Clint Black, tried to profit from the war in Iraq using others' sacrifice as a way to sell a couple more teeshirts.

If it were not so hilariously awful, so mind-bogglingly ignorant, and so unintentionally funny, it would be even more disgusting to hear the incredibly stupid song the shirt is associated with. [Scroll down to the Clint Black Foundation and click on I Raq and I Roll to hear the Clint do his musical "Triumph of the Will"] The only saving grace is how hilarious the song is, and I say that channelling Kurt Vonnegut.

I guess I know now why my previous letter to your management went unanswered: you're a total fucking lunatic wingnut!

Mr. Black, please accept my condolences, and pardon the mockery that simply must ensue after hearing a song as worthless, offensive to everyone, and as irrelevant (not to mention outlandish) as "I Raq and Roll." Do you sing this at military funerals?

Maybe I'm just plain ding-dong-diddly deranged Mr. Black, but we don't seem to be Raqin' and Rollin' in Iraq lately: over 1,800 dead on the battlefield, 9,000 dead when you count the ones who die in or en route to Walter Reed, and no end in sight. Saddam Hussein had never attacked us, Mr. Black. And what's with the implicit threat toward your own countrymen, Mr. Black?

Friends, I divest myself of, I renounce, I make a poopoo upon, any remnant of any respect I held for Mr. Black. I feel like the waiter at the end of Monty Python's meaning of life, when the woman scrubbing the floor turns out to be a racist and he dumps a bucket of puke and guts on her head. There is no way I can continue to enjoy music by someone this completely idiotic and I will never ever listen to his music again.

Prepare to be bowled over by Clint Black's ingenious personal brand of jingoism, McCarthyism, religious fascism, and imperialism. Oh and listen to the track. It's fucking hysterical.

I Raq and I Roll

You can wave your signs in protest against America takin' stands.
The stands America's takin' are the reason that you can.
If everyone would go for peace, there'd be no need for war,
But we can't ignore the devil; he'll keep comin' back for more.

Some see this in black and white; others only grey.
We're not beggin' for a fight, no matter what they say.
We have a resolution that should put 'em all to shame.
It's a...a different kind of deadline when I'm called in the game.

I rock, I rack 'em up an' I roll.
I'm back, an' I'm a high-tech GI Joe.
I pray for peace, prepare for war,
And I never will forgive.
There's no price too high for freedom,
So be careful where you tread.

Now this terror isn't man to man; they can be no more than cowards.
They won't show us their weapons: we might have to show them ours. [This begs for a smartass comment. Just sayin']
Now it might be a smart-bomb; they find stupid people too.
If you stand with the likes of Saddam, one just might find you.

I rock, I rack 'em up an' I roll.
I'm back, an' I'm a high-tech GI Joe.
I got infra-red, I got GPS,
I got that good old-fashioned lead.
There's no price too high for freedom,
So be careful where you tread.

Now, you can come along, or you can stay behind,
An' you can get out of the way.
But our troops take out the garbage,
For the good ol' U.S.A.

I rock, I rack 'em up an' I roll. (In the U.S.A.)
I rock, I rack 'em up an' I roll. (Talkin' 'bout the U.S.A.)
I rock, I rack 'em up an' I roll. (In the U.S.A.)
I rock, I rack 'em up an' I roll. (Talkin' 'bout the U.S.A.)
I rock, I rack 'em up an' I roll. (In the U.S.A.)

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[hat tip to atrios for the tee-shirt images, which inspired my explorations into Clint Black's totally fucked up world.

LTE: Washington Post, August 13

You write in August 13's lead editorial,Dangerous Days, , "Had al Qaeda set out to prove to a growing number of doubters that the war in Iraq really is about democracy -- and not about oil, hubris or imperialism -- its leaders couldn't have done so more clearly."

May I remind you that Saddam Hussein was an enemy of radical Shi'ite Islam? That's why we propped him up against the Iranians, who I am certain your paper did not support in the 1970s and 1980s.

Al Qaeda was not in Iraq before we invaded the country. In fact, none of today's mayhem would be going on in Iraq at all if we hadn't insisted on what was to be a quick, easy war.

Al Qaeda wasn't out to prove anything in Iraq: WE were.
Brendan Skwire

Friday, August 12, 2005

Cindy Sheehan

I am working up two very long posts that have nothing to do with politics.
In the meantime, here is the latest update from Cindy Sheehan, who is camped out in a ditch in Crawford, Texas waiting to talk to the President of the United States, who thus far has refused to meet with her.

He has made a statement though: behold the wonder of compassionate conservatism:

"Listen, I sympathize with Mrs. Sheehan," said Mr. Bush, who met Ms. Sheehan once before in a group of grieving relatives, at a time when she said she did not want to make a public case against the war.

"She feels strongly about her position, and she has every right in the world to say what she believes. This is America," Mr. Bush said. "I've thought long and hard about her position. I've heard her position from others, which is, get out of Iraq now. And it would be a mistake for the security of this country and the ability to lay the foundations for peace in the long run if we were to do so."

"I grieve for every death," Bush said. "It breaks my heart to think about a family weeping over the loss of a loved one. I understand the anguish that some feel about the death that takes place."
(emphasis mine)
Still waiting...

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Open Letter: Clint Black Should Reconsider

Dear Clint Black webmaster (,

My name is Brendan Skwire, and I am a huge fan of country music, including everything from Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys to Alan Jackson to the Dixie Chicks. I play electric bass in one country band, acoustic guitar in another, and upright bass in a bluegrass band. As the David Alan Coe song goes, "I can sing you every song Hank Williams ever wrote..." I drive my coworkers crazy listening to country. I am definitely a fan of Clint Black.

However, I am utterly appalled, offended, and downright angry that Mr. Black is going to play at the Pentagon's America Supports Your Freedom Walk, an event that blatantly politicizes the national tragedy of September 11, and I want to write to Clint's manager to ask Mr. Black to reconsider.

I live two hours from Manhattan, and have many many friends in the city: permit me to offer you a few brief stories.

The mother of my son narrowly escaped with her life on September 11: she was a temp worker in Tower 1, and if she had arrived to work an hour earlier, she would be dead.

My best friend's brother arrived at work that day only to watch a plane crash into the World Trade Center. He was unable to reach his wife across the river in New Jersey, since the cell towers perched atop the buildings were destroyed, and all the landline circuits were overwhelmed. He couldn't reach her until 6:00 PM that evening after walking to the Bronx.

Another friend's finace was evacuated from the smaller tower, and walked miles uptown to where she was teaching a 6th grade science class. He arrived, covered with ashes and debris, sobbing "Look what happened, look what happened."

I was in New York a week after the attacks, and my friend, standing on a dock in Williamsburg looking across the East River, I could still smell the burning and see the smoke rising from the hole that had been punched in the city's skyline.

I am as patriotic as the next guy: it's hard not to be when you love country music as much as I do. But this is a bad decision by Mr. Black, and he should not allow his music to be employed in a crude government sponsored pep rally that has more to do with Iraq, a country which had nothing to do with September 11 and had never attacked us, than it does with the World Trade Center attacks.

May I remind you that those responsible for September 11, Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda buddies, are still at large? May I remind you that we had warnings all summer in the President's Daily Briefing titled "Al Qaeda Determined to Strike Inside US"? Or that the Taliban are resurging in Afghanistan as our troops are overstretched and tied down in Iraq, with no end in sight?

This event is little more than another attempt to conflate Iraq and 9/11, an association that even President Bush admits is untrue. The "America Supports Your Freedom Walk" does not honor the dead of 9/11: rather, it uses them as props in a crass political stunt. It does the same with our veterans as well, who would be better honored if the President and the Republicans in Congress would adequately fund health care and services for returning veterans instead of cutting said funding.

I know that Clint Black is a straight shooter, and I am sure his motives are pure: who wouldn't want to be involved with an event that honors the victims of September 11? However, given the nature of the "America Supports Your Freedom Walk", I believe Clint should reconsider and back out. This is event is clearly not what it purports to be, and I for one will cease to be a fan of Mr. Black or his music should he decide to participate.

Please provide me with a way to get in touch with Clint's management. I thank you for your time, and hope to hear from you within the next 24 hours.

Brendan Skwire

[UPDATE: I am posting this to the bcftu blog because I have waited two days for a response from Clint's webmaster, and have received nothing. I am personally offended by the lackadaisical attitude of the Black team, and have chosen to make this letter public. The links were not included in the original piece.]

LTE: LA Times Misidentifies Malkin

In your otherwsie excellent article, "Mother's Protest at Bush's Doorstep Raises the Stakes" you misidentify Michelle Malkin as a blogger.

While the loathesome and odious Ms. Malkin indeed has a blog, she is better known for her career as a syndicated newspaper columnist, carried in papers across the nation. Malkin appears weekly in the Philadelphia Daily News (which is a stain on an otherwise fine newspaper), the Baltimore Sun, and others. The majority of Malkin's income comes from her syndicated columns. Comparing her to bloggers like Duncan Black (, Markos Moulitsas (, or Mike Krempasky ( is unwarranted.

She's a columnist, not a blogger. Please get it straight.
Brendan Skwire

Thursday, August 11, 2005

More on Cindy

Great Piece by Gloria Hayes, Guest-Posting at Rittenhouse Review

Sorry for all the politics the past few days, but the Cindy Sheehan story is really important.

Also, I know Gloria from the Attytood Wars, and from Drinking Liberally. She's such a smart and good hearted woman, and though I've never read her writing before, I am delighted by her crisp voice, and her brutal use of irony.

Go Gloria!

Cindy Sheehan is still waiting

Cindy Sheehan, whose son died in Iraq and has been holding a vigil on the road to Bush's ranch in Crawford, officially becomes a security threat tomorrow (but not today) and will be arrested.

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What is the difference between Thursday and now?

Let me tell you what the difference is. Thursday Condy Rice and Rummy will be arriving at King George's castle. Sometime either Thursday or Friday King George is going to some kind of fundraiser at the ranch of a local crony. My sources tell me that the only way for King George to get to that ranch from his castle is to drive by Cindy and her supporters. That's right, fellow peasants; King George would have to actually see Cindy.

But that's not the real story. The real story is that the media will be there to record absolutely every movement, every event that happens when King George's carriage goes by. King George has no plans to stop, no plans to talk to Cindy. The media would be there to report and videotape King George driving right on by the throng of peasants and the mother of a fallen hero, snubbing his nose at them as he goes his merry way to the party

The right wing smear machine is worked up, with the like of Michelle Malkin putting words into Ms. Sheehan's son's mouth, and Bill O'Reilly accusing her of treason.

Malkin:I can't imagine Army Spc. Casey Sheehan would stand for his mother's crazy accusations that he was murdered by his commander-in-chief, rather than the Iraqi terrorists who ambushed his convoy. I can't imagine Army Spc. Casey Sheehan would stand for a bunch of strangers glomming onto his mother's crusade and using him to undermine the war effort as they shouted “W killed her son” in front of countless TV cameras.

And I can't imagine Army Spc. Casey Sheehan would stand for his mother being tossed into a ditch, being strongarmed by Repuke goons, being denied food and water, and being threatened with arrest. (hat tip to Lime Rickey, regular atrios commenter.)

Cindy Sheehan's STILL sitting in a ditch. With a fever and a sore throat. In the rain. Waiting to speak to President George Bush, Leader of the Free World.

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And we've crested 1800 battlefield deaths. They don't count the soldiers and marines who die later. That brings the number up to almost 9,000.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Hal Rugg, RIP

Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 11:24:05 -0400
From: Bill Knowlton
Subject: From Eddie Stubbs: Hal Rugg Dies


If you'd be kind enough to post the following to the IBMA and bgrassl lists, I'd appreciate it.

It is with much sadness that I must inform you of the passing of Hal Rugg, a member of the Steel Guitar Hall Of Fame, and one of the truly great steel guitar stylists of all time.

As outlined in a previous email, Hal Rugg's credentials were quite significant and impressive.

After arriving in Nashville and working the road and Grand Ole Opry spots with numerous artists in the early 1960's, Hal went to work for the Wilburn Brothers. The year was 1965, and that career move was an important stepping stone in Rugg's performing, television, and recording career. That connection with the Wilburn's opened the door for Hal to accompany two important acts they were representing- Loretta Lynn, and the Osborne Brothers. [Note: The Osborne Brothers home page seems to be down, and the CMT page is a lousy substitute. Apologies. PS: Sonny's hair doesn't really look like that.]

Hal Rugg first accompanied Loretta Lynn in 1965 on her hit "The Home You're Tearing Down." Thereafter he would go on to play on virtually all of Loretta Lynn's recording sessions for the next twenty years. The next time you hear "Don't Come Home A-Drinking (With Loving On Your Mind)," "One's On The Way" or "Coal Miner's Daughter" by Loretta, listen closely to the great steel work of Hal Rugg.

Rugg first played behind the Osborne Brothers on their 1967 Decca session which produced the hit "Rocky Top." Following that, Hal played on every subsequent recording session the Osborne Brothers did for Decca/MCA that featured a pedal steel guitar. Rugg's talents are heard on nearly every cut in the second Osborne Brothers Bear Family box set encompassing the years 1968-1974. The Osborne Brothers wouldn't do a session without Hal--and for good reason--he always knew exactly what to play.

Following a decade of working Opry spots with numerous acts, Hal became a member of the Grand Ole Opry Staff Band when it was formed in 1974 when the Opry moved to its present location.

Over the years, Hal managed to carve out a very successful career as a studio musician. His recording sessions numbered literally in the thousands.

On many occasions Hal told me that he was as proud of the cuts he made with the Osborne Brothers as anything he ever recorded. Earlier today I spoke with Sonny Osborne about the way Hal felt about their music. Sonny responded, "That's really nice. I think one of the reasons that he felt that way was because we never tried to hold him back. We just told him, 'You're the steel guitar player. Just play whatever you want to and whatever you think fits,' and he always did. He was a great talent and a super guy. I sure hate that he's passed away. We're going to miss him."

The body of work that Hal Rugg did with the Osborne Brothers was important to both bluegrass and country music audiences. Rugg's talents greatly enhanced the sound of their studio recordings which were all done live and direct to tape. Those recordings still hold up well today more than thirty years after their initial release. Whether you're listening to country radio and hear one of the Osborne's recordings sandwiched between George Strait and Alan Jackson or to an all-bluegrass
program, the Osborne Brothers recordings from this period are pure classics.

Many dobro players today could take a lesson and learn from Hal Rugg's steel licks on the Osborne Brothers records.

Hal Rugg died this morning under Hospice care in Tucson, Arizona about 9 AM, following a two year battle with cancer. He had just recently celebrated his 69th birthday. Diagnosed initially with lung cancer, Hal was told he had an inoperable brain tumor in February of this year. His last performance was at the steel guitar convention in Dallas, Texas earlier this spring.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced, other than his remains will be returned to Nashville for a service and burial here. Once those arrangements have been made, I'll see to it they are provided to these lists.

Hal Rugg was well loved by all who knew him and he will certainly be missed.

Eddie Stubbs

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Hobbes Choice

I just wanted you all to know that last Monday, Melissa got a competitive offer from McGill University in Montreal that was way better than what Penn was offering, including a coaching position, salary, free school, and a three-year contract. Yesterday, August 8 2005, she accepted that offer. She'll be the only female coach in the entire province, and since she wants to go into coaching or sports medicine this is an enormous fast-track for her career. This also means that she won't be moving down here with Sam.

Unfortunately, I spent most of the last year unemployed or working temporary jobs (gotta love that awesome Bush economy). After exploring Quebec's immigration policies, and doing the math regarding the mountain of debt that is sitting on my shoulders, there is no way that I can move up to Quebec for at least a year, and possibly longer. Residency takes 3-6 months for approval, and even then there is no
guarantee that I'll be able to find a job (it took me over a year to get the grantwriting position I have now).

Please, do not send me any "yes, but what if.." responses. I'm not in the mood. Melissa and I have gone over the numbers for a week now, and we know what
we're up against. We're already negotiating a visitation schedule so I
can see Sam as much as possible, but this is no substitute for full-time parenting.

Thanks everyone for your support over the past year or so. It's been very difficult for Melissa and me, and while I am ecstatic that she's scored such a sweet deal (I support her decision 100%), we are both crushed and heartbroken by the implications this decision entails.
Your friend,

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Walk in the Ditch

Quick political post.

CRAWFORD, Texas - The angry mother of a fallen U.S. soldier staged a protest near President Bush's ranch Saturday, demanding an accounting from Bush of how he has conducted the war in Iraq.

Supported by more than 50 demonstrators who chanted, "W. killed her son!" Cindy Sheehan told reporters: "I want to ask the president, 'Why did you kill my son? What did my son die for?'" Sheehan, 48, didn't get to see Bush, but did talk about 45 minutes with national security adviser Steve Hadley and deputy White House chief of staff Joe Hagin, who went out to hear her concerns.


The group marched about a half-mile before local law enforcement officials stopped them at a bend in the road, still four to five miles from the ranch's entrance. Capt. Kenneth Vanek of the McLennan County Sheriff's Office said the group was stopped because some marchers ignored instructions to walk in the ditch beside the road, not on the road.

That about says it all doesn't it? "Walk in the ditch."
You can call the McLennan County Sherriff's office here: 254-757-5000

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

New Ink: Coming Soon

One of these days I'll get my brother to take some shots of my tattoos so I can add them to the blog. Those of you who don't know me in person should know that so far I have:

a Misfits skull on my right shoulderblade;

the Murphy's Law guy on my left shoulder;

an "S" for Skwire (or superstar or superstupid) on my lower back;

the word "fate" presented as the Ford logo on my left lower forearm;

a seven-pointed star in red and black on my right lower forearm;

a bluejay on my right bicep;

and 3 skull-n-crossbones on my left upper forearm.

It's getting time for new ink, and since I've got a lot of stuff on my arms already, I think it's time to get into some chest and leg work.

One tattoo that I'm considering is Image hosted by

The real story behind Mr. Todd is bloody and evil (click the picture to read the whole sordid undertaking), but in the play, Todd is out for revenge against Judge Turpin that exiled him to Australia for a crime he didn't commit, and who then raped Todd's wife, driving her mad. Todd goes berzerk, and begins killing everyone, "practicing on less honorable throats" as he awaits the inevitable visit from the Judge. The image reminds me of that most caustic of critics, HL Mencken, who once opined, "Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."
I'm not sure where Mr. Todd will be placed; most likely on my left pectoral, over my heart.

Another tattoo I am considering is Diogenes, carrying his lantern.
Image hosted by
A brief description may be found by clickign these colored words.
A longer one may be found by clicking the picture. I'm thinking Diogenes may be just right to balance out the skulls on my left upper forearm, and so he may go on my right upper forearm.
Huzzah for ink! Now I just need to find the money to do it.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Lexandromeda gave to Paul Hackett

Alex Andromeda is a great, smart, totally cool gal I met on tour with UncleFucker.
She just gave to Paul Hackett, Democrat for Ohio's second district.
The election is August 2. Vote Democratic!

Jangling Sparrows with Robert Earl Keen, August 10

Hello everyone,

Hope you're enjoying summer. Here are a couple of Jangling Sparrows gigs coming up in the next few weeks.

On August 10, we'll be at the Sellersville Theatre in Sellersville PA, with the legendary Robert Earl Keen. Tickets on sale here
More on Robert Earl Keen.
This is going to be a really good show.

On August 11, Paul will be playing solo upstairs at the World Cafe Live, right before Robert Earl Keen's downstairs show. It's not listed at the World Cafe Live's site yet, but check back. Paul's solo acoustic sets typically showcase an entirely different set of material than we play as a full band.

Also, we finally have merchandise: t-shirts, bumper stickers, and of course the CD.

Hope to see you at our shows, and bring all your friends!
Image hosted by
Clicky-clicky the picture to jump to our site!