Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thank God for free speech

I guess I wasn’t preaching to the choir last week when I wrote my opinion column about Sarah Palin: publisher Jeramy Gordon informed me that he received and fielded a number of phone call complaints, as well as two subscription cancellations as a result of my column.

But the fact remains; whatever I say in this column about the Republican or Democratic presidential tickets, won’t make any difference here in sunny California, as Obama/Biden are sure to win this state.
To clarify any misunderstanding out there: as a columnist I am given the privilege to say whatever I want. And it is a privilege. And you, dear readers, are given the privilege to agree or disagree, be it on the phone, with letters to the editor, or with your pocketbook, as a subscriber or advertiser.
That being said, I would like to publicly thank several people – including Anna Campbell, Penny Courson, Laurence Hauben and an executive director of a local non-profit who asked to remain anonymous, among others known and not known to me—who stepped up to the plate and subscribed to the Daily Sound. In fact, anyone else who subscribes is welcome to send me an email at and I would be more than happy to thank you in my column, via email or with a phone call. I would also like to thank Jeramy for sticking up for me and his adherence to, and respect for, free speech—whether he agrees with me, or anyone else for that matter, or not.
I would also like to respond to a couple of emails I received after the Prayin' Palin column. Former politician/jazz musician/college professor Frank Frost kindly wrote in to let me know the names of vice presidents who HAVE filled the President’s shoes in American history. He politely reprimanded me for not knowing how many and quaintly suggested I look it up in an almanac (and that I should “remember” this from high school):
• Chester A. Arthur
• Calvin Coolidge
• Millard Fillmore
• Gerald R. Ford
• Andrew Johnson
• Lyndon B. Johnson
• Theodore Roosevelt
• Harry S, Truman and
• John Tyler became president by succession. Thank you professor Frost, I stand corrected and grateful for your legwork. By the way, Mr. Frost will be performing with his band at a fundraiser for Hannah Beth Jackson at Betty Stephens house this coming Sunday.
If you are one of the people who cancelled your subscription, may I suggest you stop reading right now, I mean do you think it’s really fair to now read me for FREE and brush up on your civics lessons? I don’t.
Some of those who complained, I suppose may have quit reading my column altogether, although I know I always enjoy reading other viewpoints. Nothing like getting one’s feathers ruffled, and I seemed to have ruffled as few, as well as making some new allies last week.
A friend of mine in New York wrote to me: “I need brain bleach” regarding the barrage of emails that have been making their way around the Internet about the upcoming election. I have to agree.
However, in addition to OP-Ed pieces and articles in The New York Times, one of the best pieces I’ve read is one by playwright Eve Ensler in The Huffington Post. If you haven’t seen it, check it out.
I’ll say one thing for this election: it certainly has energized politics in the USA, something that makes my heart go pitter-pat. Anyway, I don’t need to give Alaska’s moose killing gubernator any more ink: there’s plenty out there.
Instead, I, like many, am going to take the high road and accentuate the positive: Obama/McCain are leading in electoral votes according to CNN’s latest poll. I can only hope the trend continues.

Robben Ford To Rock Out in Ojai
A quick note to fans of amazing blues rock singer/guitarist Robben Ford, who resides in Ojai with his wife Anne Kerry Ford. Robben is giving a rare concert on September 21 at Matilija Jr. High School in Ojai, to help raise funds to pay for medical expense for their close friend Tara Jeffrey. Robben tours the globe and rarely plays in his own backyard.
The 4 p.m. concert sold out within minutes so a 7:30 p.m. show was added. Hey, the dude has played with Miles Davis, George Harrison, Joni Mitchell and a host others. Tickets to hear the award-winning performer are $35, go to or call 340-8624 for more info.

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