Zinni's voice is just one in a chorus of respected military leaders and conservatives who are outraged by the Bush administration's handling of the War on Terror. Can you hear them yet, you readers who used to dismiss such views as crazy liberal conspiracy theories?
In recent months, you've also seen generals and admirals speaking out against the unproven boondoggle of a missile-defense shield Bush has foisted on us. On Capitol Hill, Arizona Senator John McCain has been critical of the Bush tax cuts that benefit the rich while poor Americans sacrifice their lives in the war. And you've got fellow conservative war vet and Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, who recently told U.S. News & World Report that Bush "may be more isolated than any president in recent memory," listening only to the world view of his neo-cons, and that, "I think you've got a president who is not schooled, educated, experienced in foreign policy in any way vs. his father."
Reality: it's not just for leftists anymore.
On a brighter note, didja know that New Orleans soul queen Irma Thomas is going to be singing at the Orange County Fair this year? Goddamn but she is good, sounding like Gladys Knight might if you steeped her in gumbo for a couple of decades. Irma did the original recording of "Time Is On My Side" and other Crescent City classics, but she's singing Motown at the fair, backed by the Funk Brothers. They're the surviving members of the classic Motown studio band—as featured in the film Standing in the Shadows of Motown—and they were superfine in last year's show at the fair. This time, they're doing a four-night stand—July 27 through 30—in the Grandstand Arena, playfully renamed the Citizens Business Bank Arena. That's the free stage, included in the fair price of admission, and it's the coolest fair show this year. The Funk Brothers and Thomas will be joined by other singers' singers: the Mavericks' Orbison-throated Raul Malo, OC's incredible soul virtuoso Derek Bordeaux and Joan Osborne, who might just find herself a little bit challenged in this company.
The next-best show isn't free, but it's cheap: $19 (which includes fair admission) to see LA's multicultural cluster bomb Ozomatli—who tore up the free stage last year—on July 16. Those of us from the generation known as the Greatest Generation's Freeloading Kids might also enjoy Jackson Browne and Shawn Colvin on July 27 ($32 to $52.50), the embittered but rockin' John Fogerty on July 28 ($33 to $55.50) or ZZ Top on Aug. 1 ($33 to $67).
If you happened to see the exhibit I helped do at last year's fair, the Orange Groove history of OC rock, it's getting a second shot later this year at the Fullerton Museum Center: bigger, better and even climate-controlled. It opens in December, but I'm mentioning it now because I could sure use help digging up cool artifacts from the OC scene. If you've got photos, set lists, instruments, underpants, info or whatever from the pre-surf days up through punk, please contact me at email@example.com. Along with being credited, the most-helpful of you will win a box of turkey-jerky dog treats.