Currently viewing the tag: "travel"

I also have this sweet new graphic.Check out my most recent War at Home:

Last week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it did not intend to appeal last month’s court decision which removed Rahinah Ibrahim from the “No-Fly list” – making her the first person in years to be taken off that bureaucratic black-hole relic of the Bush war on terror.

This is great news for Ibrahim. But she has been battling for seven years to win this victory for herself. The rest of the however many thousands of folks on that list remain there, with no clear road out of that swamp. And that’s only a small aspect of the myriad ways in which Americans and visitors to America are harassed, oppressed and impeded during their travels.

Last month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a study that harshly critiqued the U.S. government’s various watch lists, including the “no-fly” list that Ibrahim found herself on. Some of the problems the ACLU highlighted were the secrecy and the lack of an appeals process for folks who find themselves flagged at airports or downright prevented from flying. They estimate up to a million people are on such lists, and this includes US citizens. People who suspect they are on the no-fly list can only go to the airport and see if they’re prevented from flying. But they still may not get a straight answer from the government, or have any way to get off the list. There is no other way to discover whether a typo, knowing the wrong person or being from the wrong country put them on a list that radically decreases their right to travel.

During the last week of March, the Transportation Security Agency’s (TSA) official report to Congress said the agency wanted armed police officers to be nearby during peak passenger hours. Considering the state of cops in this country, and the complete lack of rights travelers – especially at the borders – have, this is a terrible idea. Yes, last November someone targeted and killed a TSA agent. That’s unfortunate. But thebureaucratic, thoughtless, petty TSA does not need any more power than we have already let it take. We do not want air-travelers who attempt to film their pat-downs or express objections to their treatment fearing that if they reach in their pockets, some itchy-fingered cop will get worried.

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Staunton, Virginia

Staunton, Virginia

Oakland, California

Oakland, California

Philadelphia, 2011

Philadelphia, 2011

Richmond, VA

“Big Sciota” from the out of print Troubles Up and Down the Road Old Crow Medicine Show EP. It’s friend Steve’s favorite, and it’s one of mine as well. Try not to mourn the departure of Willie Watson (the one singing the main vocals) when you listen, though.

In Nashville Steve and I met a bartender who told us a few pieces of Mr. Van Zandt’s sad life. This bartender, under the photo of Van Zandt that perched above the bar, assured us that it wasn’t staggering home so drunk you forget your lyrics-covered napkins beside your coaster that made a great artist. This place, the Gold Rush, is also where Shooter Jennings, and Justin Townes Earle have been known to drink from time to time.

Also, this song is about a bunch of cowboys jumping the devil, and then fucking him up. How is that not amazing?

A new discovery from the trip — sounds like Roscoe Holcome with a lot more pop and scratch and hiss, and a bit more mountain. I also have been collecting different versions of this song. That desperate man was indeed a real guy and a murderer, and somehow listening to the umpteeth version of that one murderer’s crime and how he was brought to justice, well, that made me love American in a manner most unwholesome for a libertarian anarchist pacifict. But anyway, Clarence Ashley is killer — and listen to his weird little hums at the end. That raised the hair on my neck.

Has there ever been a song narrator more concerned about the fate of a drug smuggler (or at least the delicious weed)? I do hope things worked out for old Henry.

My favorite Virginia boys rocking out the Juicy Fruit gum jingle and then the old time classic “Eliza Jane.”The former was inspired by a kick-ass tape by a bearded fellow named Sam Quinn — Steve (the fiddle player) and I nearly wore out the tape on our journey. “Juicy Fruit” is good with fiddle, it sounds better with pedal steel.