Brief asides


POSTED: Monday, May 11, 2009


Seeger still strumming along at 90

Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen were among more than 40 artists who gathered recently at Madison Square Garden to celebrate Pete Seeger's 90th birthday. Yes, 90th.

As the legendary folk singer stood with a banjo hanging from his shoulder, his big brother John Seeger, 95, predicted Pete would make 100.

Many happy returns to the man who penned, or co-penned, such protest-classics as “;If I Had a Hammer,”; “;Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”; and “;Turn! Turn! Turn!”;

The concert lasted more than four hours and will be trimmed into a PBS pledge special. To everything there is a season.



Teens can relate to Bristol's message

Bristol Palin is being mocked, predictably, for taking on a high-profile role as an ambassador for abstinence.

She's obviously late getting the message, given that she has a baby boy, and as the daughter of a Republican governor who opposes effective sex education, lots of people simply don't want to hear from her on this issue. But the audience Palin is trying to reach - teenage girls - might relate to her experience. Her point is simple: I was in love with my boyfriend, we did it, and now I wish we hadn't. Sometimes a lesson resonates most coming from someone who learned the hard way.



With gambling out, Akaka Bill looks promising

With a supportive president in the White House and Democrats controlling Congress, prospects for passage of the Akaka Bill have never been better.

That political reality delights proponents and alarms opponents of the bill, which would grant native Hawaiians federal recognition similar to that of American Indians. Hawaii's congressional delegation wisely reintroduced a version of the measure that forbids any future native Hawaiian government from legalizing gambling. Many mainland tribes rake in big bucks from casinos, and a now-shelved version of the bill lacking the anti-gambling provision had raised that as a prospect in Hawaii, as well.