Friday Morning: Afro-Cuban Coffee

I should just dedicate Fridays to different genres of jazz. Today feels like a good day for Afro-Cuban jazz.

This chap, Francisco Raúl Gutiérrez Grillo, who performed under the name Machito with his Afro-Cubans, was an incredibly important innovator shaping Afro-Cuban jazz as well as modern American music. He was important to race in the music industry as well, as his Afro-Cubans may have been the first multi-racial band.

I’m brewing some Café Bustelo before I bust out my dancing shoes. ¡Vamonos!

Judge applies ‘Parkinson’s Law’ to VW emissions cheat case
You know the adage, “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”? U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer gave Volkswagen 30 days to come up with a fix* for all the emissions standards cheating passenger diesel engine cars in the class action lawsuits he oversees in San Francisco. Gotta’ love this:

“It’s an ongoing harm that has to be addressed … I’ve found the process is a function of how much time people have available to fill. The story about lawyers is that that if you give them a year to do something, it will take them a year to do something. If you give them 30 days to do something, they’ll do something in 30 days.”

As time passes, vehicle owners are increasingly damaged as no one wants to buy their cars and their investment is lost. Hence the aggressive time limit.

* Caution: that link to SFGate may autoplay video and ad content. Really, SFGate? That’s such hideously bad form.

Rough road ahead in Saudi Arabia to a post-oil world
This piece in WaPo paints a grim picture of cheap oil’s impact on Saudi Arabia — and there are huge pieces missing. Worth a read while asking yourself how much Saudis are spending on military efforts against Yemen and Syria, and what new industries they’re investing in to replace oil-based employment.

Took long enough: Software and social media firms get Apple’s back
Did their legal departments finally read the case thoroughly and realize they had skin in this game, too? Who knows — but Google as well as Microsoft are planning to file amicus briefs in support of Apple. Microsoft had already indicated they would support Apple in a congressional hearing yesterday morning; Google piped up later. The latest skinny is that Facebook and Twitter both intend to file briefs as well in favor of Apple. Looks like Microsoft’s current management took an 180-degree turn away from progenitor Bill Gates’ initial response, hmm?

Hit and run

That’s a wrap on this week. Keep your eyes peeled for news dumps while folks are still picking apart last night’s GOP-cast reality TV show. And make time to dance.

EDIT — 8:40 AM — Ugh, why didn’t the Detroit News publish this piece *yesterday* instead of a Friday morning? Michigan’s Gov. Snyder’s “inner circle” exchanged emails advising a switchback from Flint River a year before the switchback took place, and only three weeks before Snyder’s re-election. There was enough content in this to go to press without waiting for a quote from one of the former advisers.

28 replies
  1. harpie says:

    Detroit News: “GM cited the chlorine when it disconnected from Flint’s water system and **used nearby Flint Township’s water**, which came from Detroit’s Lake Huron pipeline.”

  2. harpie says:

    Free Press:
    “In an interview Thursday, Muchmore, who now works for a law firm, said cost was a major impediment in discussions with lawyers and others about whether Flint should return to Detroit’s regional system because of fears over water contamination. Muchmore said he and the others had discussed their concerns with the governor.

    “We shared them,” he said.”

  3. harpie says:

    Free Press:
    “[…] “P.S. Note: I have not copied DEQ on this message for FOIA reasons,” Brader wrote [to Muchmore and other top aides on 10/14/14] of the state Department of Environmental Quality and the Freedom of Information Act, which allows members of the public to see state employee documents. Michigan is one of only two states that exempts the governor’s office and Legislature from public records disclosure.””

    • martin says:

      quote”Michigan is one of only two states that exempts the governor’s office and Legislature from public records disclosure.”unquote

      Really????Holy shit!! Within a month of moving from Oregon to Michigan two years ago, I knew there was something particularly weird about this state. First off was the insane level of redneck macho aggressiveness and stupidity in my area. I even began to wonder if there was “something” in the water around “here”(given Flint) that turned ordinary males into dimwitted, 1930’s assbackwards morons. Still wonder too. They’re all over the place. AND..they all look alike….ie.. inbred. camouflage clothing.. rusted out pickups..dumb.. and armed. fuck. The south’s got nothing up on Michigan. At least around here.

      Second was the roads. I couldn’t believe the degree of backwardness. I mean, one block off the main highway through my town, the streets are DIRT. And so are ALL the county roads within 100 miles. Unfuckingbelievable. This is 2016!!!! My god, if you didn’t know better, you would think you were stuck in a time freeze circa 1929. Now I know why.

      I call my area the Land That Time Forgot. Lake county. fucken weird. Especially the Manistee forest. Weirdest forest I’ve ever seen, and I’ve lived in many.

      And then..the p o l i c e. gak. I thought I was in Mississippi. Fucken weird.

      And then..the rust. Cars. There are no “old” cars. That’s because they rusted to dust within 5 yrs. Rusted to the point of pickup truck bodies and beds rolling around like a cartoon. New cars…totally rusted along the bottom. And here I had a perfect condition 82 Toyota Corolla station wagon when I moved here. You should see it now. fuck.

      And the politics. fucken WEIRD. Flint. holy moly. Detroit. Unbelievable. And now I see why.

      sheeezus. ok..carry on.

    • wayoutwest says:

      This smoking gun report explains why Darnell Earley is holed up in an undisclosed location because it appears, again, that he was the gun holding decision maker that put and kept Flint on Flint River water after the early problems were evident.

      Snyder’s political future is probably already destroyed and the pitchfork wielding mob hoping to run him out of Lansing will have to be satisfied with that small victory.

      The next election will be interesting when the resurgent Michigan Democrats try to place all the blame for the Flint water crisis on poor Republican leadership when at least two of the most damaging public health decisions were made by the Democrat EM.

      • P J Evans says:

        the Democrat EM

        You’d be more convincing if you weren’t using the Fox standard term for members of the Democratic Party.

        • wayoutwest says:

          The Wingnuts do occasionally produce a good zinger such as Hopey-Changey and the ‘Democrat Party’ which does better identify a party elite bent on denying Democratic rights, see their primary system.

          • P J Evans says:

            Compared to the GOP-T and its caucuses? Or any caucuses?
            I’ll take primaries, thank you.

            And that is why I don’t believe you’re a Democrat.

            • wayoutwest says:

              I learned never to trust the Democrat Party in 1968 and you are correct I would never belong to that party, although I have often held my nose and voted for the wankers they promote as leaders.

              You conveniently neglected to mention the democrat Super Wankers (delegates) who make certain authority trumps democracy and the rubes who belong to the Party are corrected when they begin to think the Party belongs to them, fucking retards!

  4. Rayne says:

    harpie — Want to bet the party line is that Snyder wasn’t in the loop because Election Campaigning! aiming for plausible deniability?

    Ugh…they can demand Snyder’s resignation all they want, but gods help us if that dim-bulb nimrod lieutenant governor were to step into the governor’s office. The GOP legislature would view that as a permission slip to do even more incredibly bigoted and stupid shit to Michigan.

  5. martin says:

    Today feels like a good day for Afro-Cuban jazz.

    Wow. While I was familiar with a few popular Cuban tunes of the era, it was never one of my listening choices. After all..I was only a kid then. I didn’t become a fan of jazz until the late 70’s, and really never recognized the Afro/Cuban contribution as the rhythm section always made it sound like pure dance music to me, so I never paid attention, nor understood the actual jazz elements. I think one would have to be born or lived within the culture, or was an enthusiast of mainstream AfroCuban music to hear the difference. Having read the Wikipedia description, now I understand.

    quote”On this Monday evening, Dr. Bauza leaned over the piano and instructed Varona to play the same piano vamp he did the night before. Varona’s left hand began the introduction of Gilberto Valdes’ El Botellero. Bauza then instructed Julio Andino what to play; then the saxes; then the trumpets. The broken chord sounds soon began to take shape into an Afro-Cuban jazzed up melody. Gene Johnson’s alto sax then emitted oriental-like jazz phrases. ”

    Knowing from experience the lifestyles of musicians, especially jazz musicians at the time, the next sentence made me LOL….

    “By accident, Afro-Cuban jazz was invented when Bauza composed “Tanga” (African word for marijuana) that evening.Thereafter, whenever “Tanga” was played, it sounded different, depending on a soloist’s individuality. ”

    Hahahahahaha! No doubt. Especially after break time. Things AlWAYS sounded different to me after a break. Whether or not it sounded good was the question. :)

    Thanks for posting this Rayne. I missed the music part of your posts yesterday. Keep it up. It’s nice having another persons personal preferences to juxtaposition against my own. Keeps me interested in music.

  6. mzchief says:

    Kudos to @SubGraph on their pre-release alpha of their OS as I am delighted once again to demonstrate that one can breathe a new and more secure life into an “old” Intel 64-bit machine left for dead because … Windows! So, wander over and securely download an .iso ( ) for a test drive. YES @SubGraph and @QubesOS should be working together ( ) ! :)

    Tangential: 1) The new digital series, ‘Truth and Power’ ( mK89Ltw9RGA ) is awesome. Definitely see for another piece of the 360 degree surveillance especially in light of the findings about Securus ( Your town/county? -> ), 2) see who’s “behind the curtain” at CloudFlare’s Captcha ( ) then give feedback via the Tor Project ( ), 3) Pivot’s documentary series on Resilient Cities looks excellent and airs tonight at 10:30 pm ET/PT ( trailer: ).

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Regarding how much Saudis are spending on military efforts against Yemen and Syria, it’s worth asking how much that is after US subsidies for arms sales through American suppliers. A great deal of US “aid” to the Saudis over the years, by design, has been poured back into purchases of US-produced arms systems. So perhaps the real question is how much is the USG spending, disclosed and hidden in numerous other budgets, on its proxy wars against Yemen and Syria.

  8. Rayne says:

    wayoutwest (11:10) — The final decision maker was NOT Darnell Earley. I’ll put money on that, too many other people were involved in that final decision. Earley’s hiding because he’s marked; any person of color knows if they’re the only POC in a scandal, they’ll be the designated scapegoat.

    harpie (11:50) — Gawddamnitall! I KNEW they’d pull this crap on a Friday! Thanks for the link.

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    A year’s delay in switching Flint families’ water to a safer source, after Flint managers were told by GM that its water was so corrosive to its parts? How many people were sickened or had their conditions worsened owing just to that delay? If proven, these facts more and more suggest harsh jail time should be waiting for Mr. Snyder and his top team members. There should be a lesson here for other neoliberals about the cost of such callous disregard for public safety.

  10. Rayne says:

    earlofhuntingdon (12:32) — The story was NOT about the U.S.’ MIC, but the fragility/volatility of Saudi Arabia. Doesn’t matter who the Saudis bought equipment from. The point is that Saudis spent monies on ANY defense spending at a time when they needed to invest in a new economic system and supporting infrastructure. They’ve got a thousand idle princes who are bound to be restless; occupying them with warfare doesn’t work for long, only heightens volatility. Hello, future ISIS-like uprising — and then let’s talk about U.S. defense spending in response to that.

    • bloopie2 says:

      “Hello, future ISIS-like uprising — and then let’s talk about U.S. defense spending in response to that.”
      Well, that’s a tough one. Do we continue to support this tyrannical religious monarchy? That’s not very “democratic” or “humanitarian” of us. Do we continue to play the world’s bully, and try to force them into changing as desired, via money/arms etc.? Tell them what they should do? Use as much persuasion as possible but leave it at that? Or sit back and await the future? Not too many good/moral/progressive answers there. But, if you Vote For Me, I will take care of it.

  11. harpie says:

    I’m doing a quick look at the new e-mails. These two chains seem interesting:

    page 1592: Governor Ric Snyder Daily Briefing 4/19/13

    Flint Water System
    1. Memo from BR [Bill Rustem]
    2. Summary Report from Treasury
    page 112: 9/2/15 From Jeff Wright [KWA Fact Sheets]
    enclosed: 1. Original Fact Sheet DWSD vs. KWA 5/1/12 ***
    2. KWA Fact Sheet 9/1/15
    3. DWSD Cost of Water

  12. harpie says:

    #2pdf page 133 memo 2/11/15 [within treasury] wrt: increases in water and sewer rates for the City of Flint since 2010

  13. harpie says:

    #2 pdf page 136
    4/18/15 From Wendy Wisniewski (GOV) to Ann Marie Storberg (TREASURY) CC: Carolyn Harden (GOV)
    FW: City of Flint EM [Ambrose] Transition Plan For Next Week—4/24/15 Draft Materials and Communication Plan
    “Can you unrestrict the letters so that we can change the letterhead. They are all on Treasury letterhead.”
    [This includes a letter from Ambrose about what has been changed in how the city is run. [ie: 20% reduction in workforce and “leas[ing] city golf courses to private operators”, etc.]
    [One of the “continuing challenges” is a pending law suit filed by retirees about pension changes enacted.]

  14. harpie says:

    #2pdf page 208
    10/6/15 From (GOV) to (Treasury) Subject: FW: City of Flint-“correspondence regarding
    reconnection to Water Supply System”. *[Letter from DWSD]*

  15. harpie says:

    #2pdf page 246
    1/23/15 9:26AM From Adler, Ari (GOV) To: Agen, Jarrod (GOV), Walsh, John (GOV); Subject: Flint Water PR
    “This is a public relations crisis-because of a real or perceived problem is irrelevant—waiting to explode nationally.
    If Flint had been hit with a natural disaster that affected its water system, the state would be stepping in to provide bottled water and other assistance. What can we do given the current circumstances? Ari” [copy of Detroit Free Press article]

  16. harpie says:

    #2pdf page 267
    2/3/15 “DEQ Backgrounder on Flint Water”
    * * * *
    #2pdf page 605 to page 604
    [Brief 10/16/15 discussion about a 9/18/15 request from MDHHS for a proclamation from Gov’s office about Lead Poisoning Awareness and Prevention month [September] ]

  17. harpie says:

    #2pdf page p81
    10/22/15 letter from State Rep and Assistant Dem. Whip Sheldon Neely
    “I write to you today about a serious matter involving the city of Flint and the switch to the Detroit Water system. […]” [Funding]

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