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RIP Utah Phillips

uup.jpgindybay | "Folksinger, Storyteller, Railroad Tramp Utah Phillips Dead at 73"
Nevada City, California: Utah Phillips, a seminal figure in American folk music who performed extensively and tirelessly for audiences on two continents for 38 years, died Friday of congestive heart failure in Nevada City, California a small town in the Sierra Nevada mountains where he lived for the last 21 years with his wife, Joanna Robinson, a freelance editor. Born Bruce Duncan Phillips on May 15, 1935 in Cleveland, Ohio, he was the son of labor organizers. Whether through this early influence or an early life that was not always tranquil or easy, by his twenties Phillips demonstrated a lifelong concern with the living conditions of working people. He was a proud member of the Industrial Workers of the World, popularly known as "the Wobblies," an organizational artifact of early twentieth-century labor struggles that has seen renewed interest and growth in membership in the last decade, not in small part due to his efforts to popularize it.... Over the span of the nearly four decades that followed, Phillips worked in what he referred to as "the Trade," developing an audience of hundreds of thousands and performing in large and small cities throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. His performing partners included Rosalie Sorrels, Kate Wolf, John McCutcheon and Ani DiFranco. "He was like an alchemist," said Sorrels, "He took the stories of working people and railroad bums and he built them into work that was influenced by writers like Thomas Wolfe, but then he gave it back, he put it in language so the people whom the songs and stories were about still had them, still owned them. He didn't believe in stealing culture from the people it was about." A single from Phillips's first record, "Moose Turd Pie," a rollicking story about working on a railroad track gang, saw extensive airplay in 1973. From then on, Phillips had work on the road. His extensive writing and recording career included two albums with Ani DiFranco which earned a Grammy nomination. Phillips's songs were performed and recorded by Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez, Tom Waits, Joe Ely and others. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Folk Alliance in 1997.

How to maintain a rape-cult

via | Dallas News | Religious experts: Texas polygamist sect skilled at misleading authorities
AUSTIN – Child welfare officials were up against a culture of secrecy, unlimited resources and sect members well-schooled in the art of misleading authorities as they tried to build their case for removing hundreds of children from a West Texas polygamist enclave, religious experts and former adherents say. Thursday's appeals court decision that many if not all of the children removed from the Yearning For Zion ranch last month must be returned to their parents highlights how difficult it is to build a child welfare case against a fundamentalist religious group, sect investigators say – particularly without a vocal victim. ... "Based on both the children's and women's repeated deceptions, lies, and misinformation, the trial court had no reliable evidence" on the identities of the children or their parents, the state's attorneys wrote. The appellate court's ruling last week centered on a general lack of evidence.... This comes as no surprise to Mary Mackert, a former FLDS member who, as a child in a polygamous family, was taught that her behavior could determine whether her father ended up in jail. She is in Texas because of her interest in the children. Her mother rehearsed lies with her children: When her father spent the night at his other wives' houses? "Daddy's a traveling salesman." Why didn't the family attend the mainstream Mormon church? "Daddy's a Catholic." By the time Ms. Mackert, from Utah, was married herself – at 17, to a 50-year-old – lying was second nature. When her husband was in public with her, he would ask their children to "come to Grandpa." When Ms. Mackert took the rent check to the landlord, she referred to her husband as her father. "You didn't think of it as lying. It's your duty and your responsibility to protect those who are living the principle," Ms. Mackert said. "They're going to lie to protect their prophet, and the head of their family. They'll do anything under the banner of religion."

"We spent a whole week sitting on a front porch drinking forties with freight hoppers, listening to Weird Al records and losing sight of our goals."

punkhousepic2_forweb.jpgTitle quote: My 20s in a nutshell. via ** Jack **: Alarm | PUNK HOUSE: Interiors in Anarchy
Punk music, and its surrounding culture, has always been most effective with a simple, straightforward approach. Author and musician Timothy Findlen, along with photographer Abby Banks, spent three months driving cross-country to visit and photograph sixty-five punk houses—communal, low-rent houses typically crammed full of punks, squatters, and artists. The end result is PUNK HOUSE, a collection of 300 full color photos and three short essays.... American punk is “a destruction/construction process…a learning period for genuine adult survival,” Thurston Moore tells us in the introduction to PUNK HOUSE, setting an intriguing punk-asvital-life-coach concept. Author Timothy Findlen follows Moore’s essay with a wandering diary: “I was riding a skateboard…wearing a cow costume and holding a piece of fried chicken.” He adds another absurd anecdote: “We spent a whole week sitting on a front porch drinking forties with freight hoppers, listening to Weird Al records and losing sight of our goals.” His point being, “diverging adventures were the real juice of [the] trek.”
or, as Jack put it: "Dude, Punk House! Punnnnk Housssse. Pouoounkeee Haaouuoooszse. The people are the answer man! Far out! Farrrrrr ouuut. Dude, you got any weed?"