This is America



AND1: I was going to explicate my headline, by quoting from the music video of the same name, but also noted that Bakari Sellers on CNN used the same phrasing: this is America.

andand: thank you robert reich, my fellow dartmouthian, and jb pritzker, my former hebrew school classmate for your stances: this is a coup. there is a clear and present danger.

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Basketball VS Music

Akira Tana band, Mitchell Park, March 13, 2020 —his son Ryan captained a league champion Serra basketball team, whereas he quarterbacked a Gunn championship

Mark Weiss: Good evening, Board Members, Commissioners. My name is Mark Weiss. I actually have two things to talk about in three minutes. If I don’t get to both of them or all the points, I’ll send a letter to Council or to you all. I seem to have two threads going with various Commissioners or groups of Commissioners. One is about basketball, and one is about music. I was going to talk about music in my three minutes, but there were some emergent things this week with basketball. The Palo Alto Historical Association had a presentation this weekend with Dave Newhouse, former sportswriter who grew up in Menlo Park. It wasn’t on topic of his event, but a famous Palo Alto basketball player named Jim Loscutoff, who was a world champion for the Boston Celtics and Paly Class of ’48. He would be turning 90 years old next week, February 4th. I thought we should remember

him. I actually had proposed years ago when Yiaway Yeh was the Mayor in 2011—he actually discussed this with Ron Wyden, another famous Palo Alto basketball player from Paly High, who is a U.S. Senator. The idea is something to do with naming the basketball courts of our parks in honor of famous Palo Alto basketball players. At the time in 2011, it had to do with the renovations of Seale Park, the former Stockton Park, the former De Anza School yard. There’s an article you can find, I wrote in 2011, on my blog called Plastic Alto, which is a jazz reference. It was called the Lockhart Loo Proposal. It’s a little bit off topic, but it did generate some of the same ideas. Kent Lockhart was a famous basketball player from Palo Alto. They used to say that there were three Ls who were the top players, Kent Lockhart, Jeremy Lin, and Jim Loscutoff. Jeremy Lin has risen above them. I’d like to maybe talk about that sometime. I’m really here to talk about music in that I’ve been running a concert series at Mitchell Park Community Center in the relatively new building, celebrating its fifth anniversary. The people of Palo Alto authorized a $41 million bond initiative a few years back, if you recall. As a private company called Earth Wise Productions, I’ve produced ten events at Mitchell Park, and I have about another ten on sale right now. It’s my idea of a—it’s not quite a public-private partnership. As a private citizen, I’d just like to leverage our public support for the arts. I had been a consultant years ago to some of the music in the park events, for example Mitchell Park bowl is a good idea for doing events. We still do a little bit. I think it’s less than we did a few years ago with the Twilight Series and the Cogswell Plaza Brown Bag Series. It’s not the exact purview of this department. It’s almost more of an Arts Commission topic, but at least one Commissioner said it was of interest to him. The general topic of how can we use our parks to cross-pollinate, if it were, with the arts community. By the way, I’m going to stay to hear about Juanita Salisbury. I think she’s doing a great job. Good luck this year, Commissioners. Thank you for your service, and Council Member. I look forward to talking with you all about either basketball or music. Thanks.

Take me out, Michael Franti, former USF hoopster:

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Resign, recall, reflux

What a disturbing sight, of Pat Burt, the bullying, polluting, white supremacist retread being seated on council and foisted as a vice mayor!
He should resign.
We should recall him.
He makes me gag.

The Weekly, for whatever reasons, omitted numerous faults about Pat’s campaign.
I appreciate Rebecca Eisenberg for having the guts to challenge Pat during her 2 minutes of dissent last night, by Zoom.
The Weekly continues to delete me and censor me when I try to post about Pat, or about anything.

What was the Muhammed Ali line about making medicine sick? Pat Burt makes the poo  emoji look like the Taj Mahal.


*her notes:

I think I got through most points: 1 – Temperament – both on the campaign trail and during the 16 years that he already served in city government, I watched Pat Burt act disrespectfully, including smirks and even laughing at fellow candidates, mostly women and people of color, which I found disconcerting.
    2.    Pat Burt’s lack of integrity which was documented and described very well in the Grand Jury Report from several years ago, which found inappropriate actions. [GS of the PAW calls him a “centrist” but in reality he could not signal himself to be more friendly to power if he fluffed John Arrillaga on the 50 yard line during the Big Game–MW]
    3.    The perception that Pat Burt was entangled with a billionaire commercial developer with regard to pushing through a high rise commercial tower near Stanford
    4.    The fact that he spent his campaign criticizing his former colleagues which really reflected his inability to form a consensus. For example, he blames his inability to create a consensus on the business tax, despite having 16 years to get it done, on his colleagues, including several of you present.
    5.    The fact that for several commission appointment cycles, Pat Burt voted only for white men and did not vote for any minority member or woman at all despite even election pools that were minority female and minority.
    6.    His work as a chemical metal plater for 30 years where his company Acteron was listed by the EPA as one of the largest toxic polluters in the country, creating and dumping 11 tons of toxic waste into our local environment every year
    7.    And for the fact that Pat Burt, without disclosing conflict of interest, literally used the fact that one of his direct competitors in his same specific industry – metal plating – on the grounds that metal plating creates too much pollution…
What she said! (Meanwhile, I did tune in and then quickly texted two allies: Burt is a liar a bully and a polluter he should not be in leadership)
coda, Tuesday, January 12:
Gail Price, Rebecca Eisenberg and myself all called in to register dissent to the coup ousting Alison Cormack from VTA board nom, for Burt. You’ve been “burted”!
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The search for El Palo Alto rinpoche

Rooting for Stanford

Tree experts are checking 400 trees that were brought to Stanford Stadium to root for the football team (!) to see if one of them is the El Palo Alto Rinpoche the spiritual reincarnation of the tree that the Spanish noted in 1769 then cut down a few years later.

Knock on wood.

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Random Mapplethorpe collage

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Minimum wage VS Venture Capitalists

BLUF: I make a pop culture reference below to a video with 750 million views and apparently a drug reference or organized crime, but when I say “Oaxaca” (wuh-hah-kuh) I am thinking about Palo Alto’s sister city exchange and or string cheese and I am not at all comparing Silicon Valley venture capitalists to Mexican drug cartels although the queso is muy RICO, carty. 

The Palo Alto Weekly had something on their website, reprinted from San Jose Spotlight, whatever that is*, about the minimum wage rising in the county from $15.15 to $15.65 cents, up 50 cents or 3 percent.
Meanwhile, a writer from the Chron, a propos of rich people backing an initiative to recall Governor Gavin Newsom, outed a VC named Doug Leone, of Sequoia Capital. It said that he lives in LAH: maybe he was once my neighbor. There was a VC on my block named Jim who bought the Collins house, or the Wray house rather. Also, we lived near National CEO Gil Amelio but it was not true that he had a helicopter pad only that his son was a pilot and landed once on his putting green. That I witnessed.
Leone maybe gives money to Trump and the like because he’s an investor in TikTok.
But it says that thanks to IPOs by DoorDash and AirBnB he is now worth $4B.
So I tried to post to the PAW (who are programmed to delete me automatically) that although workers per se got a raise to $15.65, Doug Leone got a raise to $4B with a B, which works out to $50,000 per hour over a 40 year career in amassing power and worth.
And I am watching this morning Ian Bremmer of the Eurasia Group — since 1998 — mention in passing inequality as a thing, or a threat (after global warming, political polar bears and Putin). Piketty, Robert Reich – -I just bought his new book, at Keplers. They did not have Zephyr Teachout tho the Times linked the two tomes. CBS This Morning, Morning in America, Childish Bambinos, whatever. When you were mine, you were kinda sorta a Democracy. I got the plug in Oaxaca, yo.
My fav VCs are Nick Sturiale, from my Little League team, and Scott Sandell, my Dartmouth classmate. I probably know by name 40 of them, all time; I sold a truck to Nolan Bushnell in 1983, for his daughter Alyssa. When he was at Catalyst Technology. Nolan in a lecture four years later, at Flint, said that he got the lowest grades in his Utah engineering program but the highest starting salary. His net worth is $TK. Chuckie Cheese, you betcha. (“TK” was lingo for “to come”, according to my friend who interned at Time-Life in the 1980s, nb).

*by Lloyd Alaban of Bay City News which once employed my friend C___ H____ of Stanford class of 1981.


I tried to post this to the Palo alto Weekly directly which reprinted your story but they have it set to automatically censor.
And I don’t think I’d heard of this fellow until he was mentioned in the Chronicle yesterday, but it turns out that Doug Leone of Sequoia Capital who may live in Los Altos Hills or Atherton, I am taking a wee bit of poetic license out of my math I believe works, Got a raise to $4.065 billion with a B — Something to do with Airbnb or door dash exits or ipos — they claim, works out to about $50,000 per hour over a life‘s work – – which I got by figuring 2,000 hours a year times 40 years.
Maybe he should retire and give us all a break.
Mark Weiss
In Palo Alto
I obviously don’t run in their circles but my favorite VCs of my generation are “next to reality” (Nick Sturiale) who was on my seventh grade basketball team seventh grade football team, three years of senior Little League, a year of tennis and we used to get 10101 and 10101 1010101 from our 101010  bars when we were still 1010101; And Scott said they’ll (Sandell) a college classmate who apparently once owned $300 million worth of a company my brother worked for at roughly $150k a year.
Sent from my iPhone
This is the book I bought, different edition. Amazon says it has been rated (or reviewed?) 700 times:
I saw Robert Reich speak in Campbell, CA with Commonwealth Club when this book came out:
I said I was looking forward to the talk and he said “I hope I don’t come up short of your expectations!”
Here is Jeff Madrick’s Times review of the Reich book, and Teachout:
These millenials are talented and have an esprit de corps; one says “the noodles are ready” and the group answers “we are coming”; but they would have to work three milleniums sick to save the wealth that the VCs are holding or hording or slurping up a wee bit too loudly, imho.
andandand and:
Madrick, a Harvard grad who taught at the New School, on Reich and or Teachout:

A powerful money-fueled oligarchy has emerged in America that is an enemy of democracy, Reich writes. The self-interested power of the nation’s wealthy often goes unnoticed by voters, and is partly misdirected by right-wing rhetoric about issues like immigration. But it leads to lower wages, less product choice and abusive labor practices. Trump has harnessed the frustration of the working class, Reich says, but he was a “smokescreen” for the oligarchy. Reich has an almost unmatched ability to make insightful observations about the nation’s inequities, and in “The System,” he observes that the question is no longer Democrat versus Republican or left versus right, but “democracy versus oligarchy.”

To Teachout, what’s behind our rigged system is the close cousin of oligarchy: corporate monopoly. Teachout lists her culprits, among them familiar names: Amazon, Google, Facebook, Monsanto, AT&T, Verizon, Walmart, Pfizer, Comcast, Apple and CVS. These companies “represent a new political phenomenon,” she says, “a 21st-century form of centralized, authoritarian government.”

There are at least 20 VC firms in Palo Alto per se, and Stanford supposedly was rebuilding the Ely Chevrolet car lots for office space to extend Sand Hill Road VC culture. 

ok ok: Nolan ran an incubator not a VC firm and the internet says he is worth $50M with an em, and not the commas, so he is cool. Respect! I not attack you!

And to be clear, we are from Chicago but moved to Santa Clara Valley (Silicon Valley area) in 1968 and were in retail here for 20 years and real estate for 32 years, plus my brother is salaryman for the industry, whereas I am mostly Weiss-noise. 

Benj Edwards of Fast Company wrote a comprehensive story recently about the legendary Nolan Bushnell. This looks somewhat dashed off but it took 16 revisits or revisions. 

Bottom line on bottom or BLOB: do we love capital more than democracy?

Mark Weiss, Scott Sandell

andandand et al: Starting in November 2011, NEA sold or distributed to its investors the majority of its stake in Fusion-IO, Securities & Exchange Commission filings show. Distributing the shares is the equivalent of selling the shares in the venture capital game since most investors in venture funds trade out of their stock immediately after a distribution. Between December 2011 and September 2012 NEA distributed shares to its investors on days when Fusion-IO’s stock priced closed for between $23.02 and $31.59, SEC filings show. Using the closing price on the distribution days, NEA has cashed out Fusion-IO shares for more than $510 million. That’s a realized exit of more than 11 times NEA’s investment. NEA still owns Fusion-IO shares worth about $130 million. (Forbes – -no wonder he’s smiling — he literally said “Oh, I sold that!”)

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Sixty-six images from my past

To come Mark Weiss addressing City Council, on cable access (the guy in the back, Michael, always talks about fluoride in the water); staff at Ramen Nagi Palo Alto; Aaron Goldberg, piano, Josh Redman, Bing Stanford; ibid; Mark Weiss, a new knife, wearing a Native American themed ad buster Mutton Stew protective garb; KEEP TRYING THAT THING — art work from Works San Jose show; Mark Weiss on the way to a Giants game, upper Market; high school rock band Garage Mahal, Palo Alto World Music Day; ibid;  ibid; Gabrielle Castro; Palo Alto Jazz Quintet featuring drummer Dan Adams, with Jim Adams in foreground; Mary Halvorsen Trio, SF Jazz; Julian Lage; cello player, Palo Alto buskers festival; Halvorsen; Jeff Parker band, June 2018, San Francisco; The Mother Hips at The Fillmore; merchandise worker, the Fillmore, selling me the last Yo La Tengo shirt; Mark Weiss Terry Acebo Davis, San Francisco; ibid, the Fillmore; Yo La Tengo the Fillmore; ibid; ibid; Mark Weiss Gary Davis, Giants game; Hutch; Madison Bumgarner at bat; the Fillmore; Giants at bat; hospice, summer, 2018; dog; Equator featuring Beauman Edwards, Lytton Plaza; Joe Zirker, FOG San Francisco; ibid; dog; fireworks at Sunken Diamond; the artists who made the Blue Trees, holding my dog; holding my dog; Terry Acebo Davis Phyllis Newhouse; the Oaxaca Kitchen; dog and man; “Hakan Sukor Best goals”; Bay Area folkloric dancers; Jon Ford Marjorie Ford at Whole Foods; Palo Alto Players rock themed musical, “Rock of Ages”; ready for the walk; (click on photo to reveal Hans Delannoy and Mark Weiss; illustration of Ralph Kiner from 1974; Terry Acebo Davis rooting for Hilary, election night, 2016 — November 8, 2016 7:54 pm; my dad somewhere in Northern California where he carried the Olympic torch in 1984; art work by Mark age 10; Tuck and Patti Rinconada Park Palo Alto music in parks series; ibid; Robert Reich not the economist; “Since the scope of truth is infinite, obviously there will always be unanswered questions” — Bertrand Russell; Ray Johnson Not Nothing; Sam The Sham poster, in collection of SF MOMA — the band featured Palo Altan Gregg Rolie later a founding member of both Journey and Santana 1966 Wes Wilson—no, wait; i’m confusing William Penn Five “Swami”. “He slept outdoors; People thought he was crazy” poster for BECH by Mark Weiss, Edwin Crayton and Luis Ruvalcaba, 1992; Chris Isaak in Redwood City; view from 101 Alma west; Mark Weiss and South African visiting potter at private pottery collection Palo Alto; human body studies in private collection, San Francisco Bay Area, photo by Mark Weiss; Dead and Company at Levi’s Santa Clara; Mexican folk art; Mark Weiss in snapshot circa 1990 holding Mexican folk art; 

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Sneak peek new year’s preview of Dayna Stephens song-cycle regarding human archetypes

Dayna Stephens band at Earthwise Productions at Mitchell Park Community Center El Palo Alto room, August 18, 2019 matinee — because I had Stones tickets that night, and Dayna was in town to record with Josh Thurston-Milgrom – I hope he will air out these archetype songs live some day. And that’s an EWI he’s playing, with a soprano on stand-by.

Dayna Stephens told me that 2020 was both his loneliest year and his most productive as a jazz composer. An annus horribilis plus. Besides two cds released and at least one other major commission, he wrote and demo’d a song cycle for Lions With Wings — my Bandcamp vamp — based on four archetypes: The Nomad, The Prophet, The Hero and The Artist.

Two of the archetype songs he had finished and mastered and have been streaming on Lions With Wings. Finished in the sense of making do during COVID times; I think there is an entire genre of bubble sessions or DIY or good enough for these times, the new normal, et cetera. In my case, I completed seven concerts as a promoter, cancelled another 10 onsales but pivoted to the online-project in June and have Dayna and several others at least keeping the devil at bay by not idling. 

But then last night his texts punctured my NYE bubble by including what are somewhere between demos and finished performances. Instead of listening to the countdown of the ball on Times Square via CNN and Anderson Cooper I was listening to Dayna Stephens riffing on or transforming Neil Howe*.

I will set aside the source material for these works, for the moment. And let’s ignore the mixed metaphor of Lions With Wings, or the astrological Leo.

I am thrilled to be affiliated with this song cycle. I am the digital and moral steward of these works, although Dayna owns them. He was Downbeat’s Rising Star on tenor sax but he also gives Lions With Wings its lift. 

In a related matter, Eric Cohen and I were discussing last night to what extent I am a Baby Boomer or a Gen X — my birthday is January 28, 1964. I was not alive when Kennedy was shot — JFK — but I’m certain I felt it through my mother. Likewise, I thought of myself as a Dragon when I first heard of Chinese astrology, but later realized I’m actually a Rabbit.

For Dayna, we have to consider whether these last two works are finished — even without a drum part he imagines — timed to the “crossing” his word of 2020 and 2021, or they are still in progress and process. and there is no auspice to finishing literally at stroke of 12 (PST) on 12/31/20.

I am guessing that all four tracks should be listened to in succession; maybe its the order in which he sent them to me, but who knows. (There are 24 ways to do this). If the drum machine, click track stuff is meant to simulate a human drum solo, I’d say that given the futuristic or prognostic nature of the source material, it’s ok to use weird modern substitutes. It all showcase’s Dayna’s unique analog song, although I really don’t know if he plays four or five parts or has some guests weaved in, epistolary manner. And in some cases he seems to be playing three horn parts, so obviously in a live setting he would have accompaniment.

And despite being a Luddite, it was cool to walk my dog around the block and carry Dayna’s music — or a very good simulation – in my hand, digitally, digging it all.

The Artist’s piece had a subhead; it’s actually called, for now, “The Artist: Si, Grazie 2020”

*Neil Howe is actually from Palo Alto and went to Cubberley; not sure I want to know more about his thesis beyond knowing it inspired Dayna. I used to be into Joseph Campbell “The Hero with A thousand Faces” plus took a Jungian course at UC Berkeley Extension in SF once with a guy named Sherwood I think. Orestia et al. Plus, reading Faustus at Dartmouth with James Shapiro. 


Eden Ladin – Piano, Łukas Vesely – Bass, Jaimeo Brown – Drums & Percussion, John Harvey – Master Engineer

(not sure if that’s for the whole session or the first two tracks; not sure who the vocalizing is by….worpdress ate a graph listing the names of his two releases, Liberty and Right Now…plus some links…likeWise I’m not sure why it’s above the photo but there are three draft versions of the scan or album cover in each case artwork by Dayna himself


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Lampin’ with Bandcamp

My bandcamp collection has 27 items:
Jeff Parker
Cory McAbee
Rachel Efron
George Lewis
The Sea The Sea (Todd Sickafoose)
Jeff Parker
Ben Goldberg
Eddie Gale et al aka 6×6
Jonathan Richman (Please note that Jonathan Richman chooses not to participate in online culture and does not have any direct communication with Bandcamp. Everything is submitted and managed by his record label Blue Arrow Records)
Fay Victor
Josh Thurston-Milgrom
San Kazakgascar
The Variable Stars (Brad Johnson)
Barbara Manning
Dezron Douglas & Brandee Younger
Sam Gendel
Original Cast album “The Other Side” by Eden Ariel Gordon
Dayna Stephens
Billy Riggs Band
Dao Strom
Gretta Harley
Claire Daly
Noruz (Cyrus Nabipoor)
MC Lars

I bought this because I was looking for info on Curbfeelers also from Sacramento area


I sponsored these artists but admit I have not returned to listen to them. Also, the forms say I have 27 in my collection but I only found 24. In a related matter, I just sent a message to my 17 followers of Lions With Wings “pro” Bandcamp followers thanking them for their support but now there is only 16, so one must have unsubscribed.

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Tony Rice football VS Tony Rice bluegrass

I’m watching the Rose Bowl, reading the Times and Merc and Chron, and managing the new Dayna Stephens song-cycle for my Lions With Wings label, but thinking of Tony Rice. Plural.
meanwhile Dovonta Smith of Alabama just caught td number 18
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