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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"DISCO INFERNO"- The Trammps Perform at Atlantic City's Resorts Superstar Theater!

One of MrKen's A-T-Fave 1970's disco bands will perform in the Superstar Theater at Resorts Atlantic City for five groovy shows beginning on Sunday, September 9 thru Wednesday, September 12-- and Friday Sepember 14.

The Trammps unique blend of pulsating beats, catchy melodies and vocal harmonies embodied the essence of a style that grew to define the disco era.

MrKen still owns the wonderful 1976 LP album, "Where The Happy People Go". The album included the songs, 'Disco Party', 'Hooked for Life', and Soul Searchin' Time.' This album was showered with honors: Best Disco Album, Best Disco Artist, Best Disco Single and Best Disco Single Unreleased (Billboard, 1976).

And, of course, the Trammps cemented their place in music history with the Saturday Night Fever hit, "Disco Inferno" (of course MrKen owns both the album of the same name & the 'Fever' LP). And in 1994, Rhino records released on Cd "This is Where the Happy People Go: The Best of the Trammps

Indeed, the Trammps produced some of the happiest, carefree & danceable music ever!
But take notice! There is a new disco orchestra, "Escort", that's been performing lately in Brooklyn & Stuyvesant town ("Brooklyn's Finest Disco Orchestra"- Village Voice 8/1-8/7/07)! Here is a quote from Dan, one of the producers...

"For a lot of people who do production, when you're digging for samples on disco records, you're like, 'Oh, I actually like this better than the stuff that's coming out now...The engineering's better, the production's better--and oh my god, it's actually musical."

This guy has my vote...but then, the music reflects the times.

Footnote -1- Disco aficionados may be disappointed that only the 'short' version of "Where the Happy People Go" is reprised on the Rhino CD. The "long" club version, which includes the tantalizing piano intro, can only be found on the original LP and possibly the CD, if still available. However, the collection itself is terrific. (MrKen).

The Trammps will perform in Resorts’ Superstar Theater, September 9 through 12 and 14. Showtime is at 7 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 9 p.m. on Friday. Tickets are priced at $30 and can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-736-1420 or by visiting

Link to Resorts News Release :


Link to Trammps official website:

Link to Trammps Wikipedia entry:

Link to YouTube - The Trammps, "Disco Inferno"

'Escort' Disco Band - MySpace Website

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Current Stupidity ('Terror') Alert Level

Current Terror Alert Level
Ernie: All commercial flights
Bert: Everything else

Terror Levels

Curtesy of

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Comptroller general compares US to Roman empire

MrKen has previously posted about the similarity between the Empire that is the current U.S.A. and the Empire that was Rome. "Empire of Debt - The rise of an epic Financial Crisis", (2006) by Bill Bonner & Addisson Wiggin, is a wonderful book that makes a clear and convincing case that the United States is rapidly falling into a decline that mimics the end of the Roman Empire. As I quoted from the Introduction back on 6/30/06,

'Slouching Toward Empire--'

"Institutions have a way of evolving over time -- after a few years, they no longer resemble the originals. Early in the 21 st -century, the U.S.A. is no more like the America of 1776 than the Vatican under the Borgia popes was like Christianity at the time of the Last Supper... "

"Still, while the institutions evolve, the ideas and theories about them tend to be fixed; it is as if people hadn't noticed. In America, all the restraints inhibitions and modesty of the Old Republic have been blown away by the prevailing winds of the new Empire. In their place has emerged a vainglorious system of conceit, deceit, debt and delusion."

"The U. S. Constitution is almost exactly the same document with exactly the same words it had when it was written, but the words that used to bind and chaff have turned into soft elastic. The government that couldn't tax, couldn't spend, and couldn't regulate, can now do anything it wants. The Executive has all the power it needs to do practically anything. Congress goes along, like a simpleminded stooge, insisting only that the spoils be spread around...."

For my previous posts on this subject, please follow this link:

MrKen notes that the Comptroller General, a non-partisan figure in charge of the Government Accountability Office--often described as the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress-- apparently agrees with the authors & MrKen.


--From the Financial Times of London---

Learn from the fall of Rome, US warned

By Jeremy Grant in Washington

Published: August 14 2007 00:06

The US government is on a ‘burning platform’ of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon, the country’s top government inspector has warned.

David Walker, comptroller general of the US, issued the unusually downbeat assessment of his country’s future in a report that lays out what he called “chilling long-term simulations”.

These include “dramatic” tax rises, slashed government services and the large-scale dumping by foreign governments of holdings of US debt.

Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman empire, Mr Walker warned there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”.

“Sound familiar?” Mr Walker said. “In my view, it’s time to learn from history and take steps to ensure the American Republic is the first to stand the test of time.”

Mr Walker’s views carry weight because he is a non-partisan figure in charge of the Government Accountability Office, often described as the investigative arm of the US Congress.

While most of its studies are commissioned by legislators, about 10 per cent – such as the one containing his latest warnings – are initiated by the comptroller general himself.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Walker said he had mentioned some of the issues before but now wanted to “turn up the volume”. Some of them were too sensitive for others in government to “have their name associated with”.

“I’m trying to sound an alarm and issue a wake-up call,” he said. “As comptroller general I’ve got an ability to look longer-range and take on issues that others may be hesitant, and in many cases may not be in a position, to take on.

“One of the concerns is obviously we are a great country but we face major sustainability challenges that we are not taking seriously enough,” said Mr Walker, who was appointed during the Clinton administration to the post, which carries a 15-year term.

The fiscal imbalance meant the US was “on a path toward an explosion of debt”.

“With the looming retirement of baby boomers, spiralling healthcare costs, plummeting savings rates and increasing reliance on foreign lenders, we face unprecedented fiscal risks,” said Mr Walker, a former senior executive at PwC auditing firm.

Current US policy on education, energy, the environment, immigration and Iraq also was on an “unsustainable path”.

“Our very prosperity is placing greater demands on our physical infrastructure. Billions of dollars will be needed to modernise everything from highways and airports to water and sewage systems. The recent bridge collapse in Minneapolis was a sobering wake-up call.”

Mr Walker said he would offer to brief the would-be presidential candidates next spring.

“They need to make fiscal responsibility and inter-generational equity one of their top priorities. If they do, I think we have a chance to turn this around but if they don’t, I think the risk of a serious crisis rises considerably”.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Guaranteed leave for Mothers, 2006

Who Gives Parents a Break? Here is yet another indicator that the U.S. lags behind most other countries in providing health care benefits.

The August 2007 issue of National Geographic Magazine ('Geography' section) suggests that American moms-to-be might consider a move to Slovenia. The article goes on to say,

While U.S. law guarantees a mere 12 weeks of unpaid leave under certain conditions, the least of any industrialized nation, the relatively poor central European country offers far more substantial benefits. Many nations give new mothers at least 14 weeks of leave from work around the time their child is born. Some 66 countries let dads take time off, too. The consensus is that bonding time with parents is good for a newborn's health and development. By that measure, places like Cuba, Uzbekistan, and South Korea earn high marks. And the U.S., says Jody Heymann, a social policy expert at McGill University, could definitely do better. (Neil Shea of N.G.)

An accompanying map to the aforesaid article also indicates the following facts:

-Russia & Slovenia give at least 52 weeks of leave and pay full wages.
-In Ota, Japan, male municipal workers who become fathers must take 40 days of paid leave.
-Employees of India's central government may take 135 days of maternity leave at full pay.
-The governments of Australia, Liberia, Papua, New Guinea, Swaziland and the United States provide some of the world's weakest leave benefits. Lucky dads are fortunate to get even a paid week off.

To view the full article and map, you will need to obtain a copy of the Aug. 2007 issue of National Geographic. Here is the link to their website:

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Holocaust as a Bureaucracy

The obituary of Raul Hilberg in today's NY Times (8/7/07) reminded MrKen of a holocaust denier ('Beau Peep') who left some Neo-Nazi propaganda in the form of a comment on this blog way back on 8/25/06, in response to my post, "Mumbai's 'Hitler's Cross' restaurant to change name after uproar". The link to this and a related post about the Holocaust is--

Here are some putative 'facts' from "Beau Peep's" hateful & utterly nonsensical rant:

...The Japanese killings of prisoners during the World War II were much worse than what happened to the Jews in Nazi occupied Europe...

...The Holocaust itself is a subject matter of debate. I firmly believe that in order to justify a land for the Jews (creation of Israel out of nothing but biblical references), the West had to create a story so horrific that humankind is moved enough to accept and support Israel. The West had to save themselves from the embarrassment because it was the European nations who were mainly responsible for whatever happened to the Jews at the hands of the Nazis...

...If you asked my personal opinion, I don’t deny or believe in the Holocaust. You can say that I am not really sure whether it actually took place...

...As far as the numbers of Holocaust victims are concerned, it is a highly debatable subject. Even those who fled the Nazis are counted as victims who perished at the hands of the Nazis. The numbers you cited here are fantastic to say the least for many neutral-minded people, let alone the Holocaust deniers or the revisionists...

...The Zionists have been trying their best for thought control of the world because this is the only way they can justify Israel and their mass murder and persecution of the Palestinians and also ferment trouble in the Middle East...

Leaving aside the fact that the numbers of Holocaust victims I cited in my retort to this despicable 'skinhead' was taken from the same source he quoted (Wikipedia), it is truly amazing that he gives as his 'personal opinion' that he is agnostic about whether the slaughter of millions of innocents actually took place...after careful study of all the evidence, no doubt...

Considering the absolutely exhaustive amount of research on the subject from countless disparate sources, these denier types obviously have not read or have willfully chosen to ignore the literature, eyewitness testimony, films, pictures, and especially official German military and civilian records on the subject. But prejudice, hate & intellectual dishonesty have always been immune to facts.--MrKen
Some telling excerpts from today's NY Times obit...

Raul Hilberg, a Jewish émigré from Nazi-occupied Vienna who helped begin the field of Holocaust studies with his long and minutely detailed 1961 study of the massacre of European Jews, died Saturday in Williston, Vt. He was 81...

...In his landmark work, “The Destruction of the European Jews,” Mr. Hilberg said the Holocaust had been the result of a huge bureaucratic machine with thousands of participants, not the fulfillment of a preconceived plan or a single order by Hitler.

As uncountable separate instructions were passed on, formally and informally, to a range of actors that included train schedulers and gas chamber architects, responsibility became ever more diluted, he argued, even as the machinery of death churned inexorably ahead.

“For these reasons, an administrator, clerk or uniformed guard never referred to himself as a perpetrator,” Mr. Hilberg said in an interview with The Chicago Tribune in 1992. “He realized, however, that the process of destruction was deliberate, and that once he had stepped into this maelstrom, his deed would be indelible.”

Though some critics said Mr. Hilberg had understated the impact of historic German anti-Semitism, his broad conclusions were based on painstaking research. He examined microfilm of thousands upon thousands of prosaic documents like train schedules and memorandums between minor officials.

“This head-against-the-wall technique is the only virtue I can parade without blushing,” he said last year when Germany gave him with its Order of Merit, the highest tribute it can pay to someone who is not a German citizen...

...Holocaust historians of all views began using terminology Mr. Hilberg had devised, including that of calling the Holocaust’s principals perpetrators, victims and bystanders...

...At least five publishers rejected his major book. It was published by a small Chicago house after a wealthy patron agreed to buy 1,300 copies to go to libraries.

His caustic personal style, which contrasted with the monotone of his histories, did not always help. When academics asked about his subject area, Mr. Hilberg was prone to reply, “I study dead Jews.”

To read the complete obituary, please follow this link:

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