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the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk

reggie miles 21 May 10 - 11:41 AM
Deckman 21 May 10 - 11:53 AM
reggie miles 21 May 10 - 12:30 PM
Deckman 21 May 10 - 12:38 PM
reggie miles 21 May 10 - 12:47 PM
squeezeboxhp 21 May 10 - 03:33 PM
MAG 21 May 10 - 11:31 PM
Genie 22 May 10 - 01:43 AM
reggie miles 23 May 10 - 11:28 AM
reggie miles 23 May 10 - 12:11 PM
reggie miles 24 May 10 - 12:52 PM
reggie miles 24 May 10 - 03:33 PM
reggie miles 24 May 10 - 03:36 PM
Deckman 25 May 10 - 08:02 AM
reggie miles 25 May 10 - 11:08 AM
reggie miles 25 May 10 - 02:47 PM
Stewart 25 May 10 - 05:03 PM
reggie miles 25 May 10 - 08:48 PM
Deckman 25 May 10 - 09:02 PM
reggie miles 27 May 10 - 01:10 AM
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Subject: the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk
From: reggie miles
Date: 21 May 10 - 11:41 AM

Hmmm, in my zeal to defend my friend from the abuse, that I myself have suffered from via this event, I may have gotten a couple of my facts misconstrued. My apologies to those who I may have misinformed via my posts here. There's a lot to review and understand about what's going on here.

I received a phone call from someone who claimed to represent the festival, perhaps the person who posted here, I don't know. They wouldn't take responsibility for posting here. Nor would that person come online here or at facebook, where I have also been posting about this and post publicly their or the festival's side of this matter. They did not wish to go on record in print. Since this was simply a voice on the other end of my phone, who I did not know personally, or recognize, and I could not get the person to join this thread or any of the posts on facebook, it's difficult for me to consider what they had to say as any more near credible.

While trying to counter the points being made on the phone with the person, I found that they were upset by my posting about this online. To that, I would merely point out that it was upsetting to me too when I was being escorted off the grounds of the festival last year by the police. I'd like to have the same power to use police authorities against those who would enact and defend such restrictions of our first Amendment rights.

First, I should point out that after re-reading the event's info page about street performing, I found that my comments about how the event is asking us to pay to play are technically wrong. The event merely wants us to pay $10 to "vend" our recordings. Given that this fee to offer our recordings to others at the event never existed, until some enterprising coordinator for this event came up with the idea of charging street performers to "vend" their wares, I still see it as an unnecessary tax on those who already provide free entertainment to folks at the festival and I feel that it should be abolished.

Then there's a $20 fee for a temporary business license that this event imposes on those who would wish to "vend" their recordings at this event. According to the person speaking on the phone, the event claims that it is the city of Seattle that has forced this fee into their list of rules for street performers. Again, I've been going to this event long enough to recall that there was a time when such fees did not exist and question why they exist now.

The city gets free entertainment from all of the various performers that have been donating their time to this event. Isn't that enough? If the event is run by a nonprofit entity and the performances are free to enjoy and this is the largest free event of its kind, I think that the city is already getting their money's worth from the entertainers. I know of no other event that has this kind of imposition placed upon those who are already donating their time to make an event happen and again, I don't feel as though this tax or any tax is fair for the city to impose, via this event, given the benefit that they already get in free entertainment.

The voice on the phone also claimed the whole issue of their contacting the IRS was a misunderstanding. They said that my friend merely misunderstood what was being said and that I acted upon a my friend's misunderstanding and misrepresented the event's actual position on this matter. I admit that I perhaps did just that, not knowing the validity of my friend's information on the matter. I trusted his word. That's something that friend's do. Again, I was merely acting, on his behalf, because he was my friend, someone who I have helped many times in the past. It's not unheard of for a friend to defend a friend against foes.

However, the information regarding the Court's decisions about our rights and this event's acting in defense of the unconstitutional rules that they have in place via police force is another matter altogether. The person on the phone said the event was the victim and that the city of Seattle was to blame for the event's use of unconstitutional restrictions. The city forced them to use the rules. To me this sounds like the pot calling the kettle black.

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Subject: RE: the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk
From: Deckman
Date: 21 May 10 - 11:53 AM


This story is getting weirder and weirder. I can understand the "shakers and movers" of this so called "festival" getting uncomfortable by your posting the truth on the WWW. Publicity brings with it the light of day and scrutiny.

By the way, if I were you, I wouldn't bother to apply for a performance stage next year ... I doubt they'd open your application! bob(deckman)nelson

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Subject: RE: the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk
From: reggie miles
Date: 21 May 10 - 12:30 PM

Not to worry Bob, I won't.

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Subject: RE: the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk
From: Deckman
Date: 21 May 10 - 12:38 PM

Soooooo ... tell me where, and when, you're going to busking at the festival this year. Curious minds want to know! (I'll bring my video camera ... good court evidence, ya know). bob

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Subject: RE: the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk
From: reggie miles
Date: 21 May 10 - 12:47 PM

Yes, I was thinking the same thing. The one thing that the voice on the phone was unwilling to address is what happened to me last year. He claimed that he wasn't witness to the incident and asked me why I didn't go the office afterward to bring it up. I explained that I was evicted from the grounds by the police. That would have put me in the position of going against their directives and set me up for arrest. Fortunately, I have witnesses that are friends that were there but evidence via recording devices would also be helpful should they decide to enforce their rules again.

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Subject: RE: the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk
From: squeezeboxhp
Date: 21 May 10 - 03:33 PM

was this the FOLK POLICE or the real thing. glad i live in UK our police have a sense of humour at festival time, not always though

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Subject: RE: the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk
From: MAG
Date: 21 May 10 - 11:31 PM

Um, if anyone hasn't seen it, someone from the fest posted a lengthy rebuttal on the other thread.

I am not taking sides on this, as I do not know Reggie, I simply think all sides of the issue need to be considered.

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Subject: RE: the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk
From: Genie
Date: 22 May 10 - 01:43 AM

I don't know all the details of the city and state regulations, but since having a business license in Washington costs only $15 for the whole year, it seems a bit ridiculous for a weekend permit to cost $20.   And do you have to have such a license/permit to busk or just to "vend" your CDs?

I do think the way you were treated last year is outrageous, Reggie. Still, I can understand the rationale for the Festival asking buskers to voluntarily donate a portion of their tips to the Festival, since the Festival does, in fact, draw in tens of thousands of people by way of an audience, most of whom would not be there on an average summer weekend, and since the scheduled performers are donating their time and talent and not allowed to have a tip jar on stage. And the rules that pertain to maintaining some semblance of traffic flow, crowd control, and noise control are also sensible (even though seldom enforced).

I'm just sorry there's so much bad blood between you and the Festival organizers, because you've been such an asset to the Festival for so long.

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Subject: RE: the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk
From: reggie miles
Date: 23 May 10 - 11:28 AM

squeezeboxhp, nope these were not the FOLK POLICE. From what I could tell these were of the genuine variety. Their uniforms looked real enough. They may have been moonlighting on the festival's behalf, or asked to cover the event as part of their duties for the weekend. I don't know for certain about that. I know that some security personnel do get hired on as extras for such events and are assigned uniforms that resemble actual police issued outfits, when, in fact, they are merely costumes meant as a deterrent.

I also know that actual officers in this country are hesitant to simply offer the courtesy of identify themselves to those with whom they are engaged in their official capacity. None of the officers introduced themselves or offered a badge number. Not even the head of security for the event behaved in this common courtesy manner. His first words were, "I'm in a hurry." and his next were, to identify himself as head of security for the event. At no time did he introduce himself properly. He merely used his title to establish dominance.

Actually, this is generally what police officers do in this country. I guess it's in their training or perhaps just in their mind that they wouldn't be on the scene if there wasn't something serious that needed their assistance. So, they dispense with any pleasantries or introductions and are all business. I don't fault them in that.

But when questionable tactics are being used, as with this security guy, to call for police assistance, when, in fact, there was no need for such intervention, I'm certain that he made up a whopper to cover himself. I asked him, "Why are you doing this?" He did not reply. I'm certain that for someone in his position this was the highlight of his day, getting a chance to justify himself by having a folk musician expelled from the event using police force. He probably gave himself a gold star on his report card when he got home.

The uniformed personnel weren't very talkative either. When I tried to communicate with them, as they walked up, they were totally unwilling to even listen to anything that I had to say. They were simply there to do the NWF security guy's bidding. He knew that he had them as an ace up his sleeve.

I'm certain that he inflamed the incident to them in order to justify using their assistance. I had already complied fully to his requests and made no effort, in word or deed, to do otherwise. It's the abuse of power in this situation that bothered me most. Here was someone doing just that.

Had he, in his actions, created a safer environment or accessible environment on the grounds for anyone. No! I could wander less than 100 feet onto the grounds and find more serious accessibility issues and all of them would have been involved with the vendors setting up under or near covered walkways near major intersections at this event. None of them would have involved street performers entertaining at this event.

I'm certain that the organizers would crow, "Yes, that's because we have such a dedicated security staff keeping performers at bay." To this attitude I would simply say, as I have already pointed out many times, that the event and their security force use tactics, like the ones used against me, to demonize performers and they have done so for years. At the same time, they have turned a blind eye to the mess that they themselves have made and all those who cause it, simply because of the monetary recompense that they receive from those who vend on the grounds of this public park during the weekend.

I further attest that this event is not interested, not in the least, with the actual constitutionality or legality of their proposed regulations regarding freedom of expression and do flaunt their illegal actions in such a manner because they believe they can do so with impunity. This is exactly what I heard from the voice on the phone. That person said to me that the event is not liable.

In order to further control our activities, beyond proposing the use unconstitutional regulations on our activities, that are, in fact, illegal to enact or even consider using, They somehow see their $10 fee to vend our recordings as a necessary means to try to turn street performers into the vendors that they'd like us to become. Because, if we were officially classified as vendors, they would have far more control over our actions and activities on the grounds. Then, they could further regulate us even further into a corner.

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Subject: RE: the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk
From: reggie miles
Date: 23 May 10 - 12:11 PM

MAG, um if you or anyone else hasn't seen it, I posted my lengthy rebuttal to what was said by Molly, the festival marketing manger representative, on the other thread.

I am taking sides on this and I think that it's unfortunate that you and others aren't.

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Subject: RE: the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk
From: reggie miles
Date: 24 May 10 - 12:52 PM

Here's the deal. I know that I can't rewrite history. However, (1) if the NW Folklife Festival would have simply followed the court's rulings on the matter of freedom of expression, rulings that had been in place for "years", (see Deborah Daoust's quote in PI reporter Chris Grygiel's article about the appellate court's decision.) the incident that happened to me last year, would, more than likely, never have happened. (2) The security guy would have had no reason to ask me to stop playing. (3) Nor could he have used the excuse, that he was acting on behalf of the Seattle Center management in his actions, by telling me that I could not play underneath that covered walkway. (4) I would, very likely, never have had my experience of having been escorted off the grounds by the police. (5) My Memorial Day weekend, last year, playing on the grounds of the Seattle Center for the many visitors to the NW Folklife Festival might have been a pleasant memory. It could have been a memory that I could now reflect upon as one of my having created far more smiles than I could easily count in my attempts at offering my musical entertainment to passersby and all might have been reasonably right with my offering my music on the streets of the good ol' U. S. of A.

Unfortunately, the NW Folklife Festival did not align their rules to the district court's decision. Similarly, they have not seen fit to align their rules with what the appellate court's has decided. My issue with the NW Folklife Festival is that they are displaying anti-American tendencies by refusing to address the issue of our First Amendment rights with their rules restricting street performers. Their only excuse, thus far, is to point the finger of blame at the city of Seattle.

This sounds like the NW Folklife Festival is simply passing the buck. The city of Seattle has already lost two court cases over the matter. In the last case the court awarded street performer, Michael Berger, $20,000. That's no small chunk of change for a street performer.

Is the threat of another lawsuit the only thing that will motivate the NW Folklife Festival into action to reform and erase their unconstitutional rules from their list of restrictions against street performers? Are they so belligerent in their defense of denying us our rights and freedoms that our only recourse to drag this event into court?

My point is that, if the NW Folklife Festival knew the rules to be unconstitutional, and I believe they did, long ago, then why have they persisted in defending them? They went so far, in defense of these unconstitutional rules, as to have the head of their private security force evict me from the grounds of this public park during this free public event on Memorial Day weekend. I was acting completely within my First Amendment rights. I don't think that this is simply some misunderstanding on my part, or theirs. I believe that they have acted with intent to defy the court's decisions. The only thing that I can deduce from such behavior is that the NW Folklife Festival is in favor of restricting me and others of our freedom of expression. How much more anti-American can you get?!

What I'd really like to see is those event organizers being evicted from the grounds of this public park using the same method that they used on me last year. Since they are, in fact, in violation of the law in this matter, let's use the fullest extent of the law to have them pay for their actual crimes. Of course, a court awarded settlement of, say, $20,000 would be icing on the cake. ;o)

A musical partner and friend of mine, the late, great songwriter/singer/guitarist Jim Hinde came up with a wonderful song that seems wholly appropriate in this instance. His repeating phrase throughout the song was that he wanted to see all those who would commit such abhorrent acts do the "perp walk." Now that the NW Folklife Festival has illegally given me a taste of what it's like, I'd like to return the favor and see all those who are defending the position of enacting and enforcing illegal and unconstitutional restrictions against our First Amendment rights do the perp walk. Oh yeah!

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Subject: RE: the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk
From: reggie miles
Date: 24 May 10 - 03:33 PM

Since the NW Folklife Festival is so badly in need of my help in helping them to figure out what it is that they're doing wrong. I've made it abundantly simple for them to see for themselves. Look at their proposed rules for street performers on their website

Then you can read through the last couple of paragraphs of the 5th page of the actual appellate court case here.

This is a link to the entire court case pdf file but the pertinent info is on the 5th page. It describes the rules that were challenged in court by Michael Berger. If you compare the rules in the court case, which, btw, was won by Michael, to what is being proposed by the NW Folklife Festival you will see some remarkable similarities.

How is it that the festival could have magically chosen some of the exact same rules to enact that the Seattle Center tried to use to restrict street performers. Hmmm, I wonder? Was it because the NW Folklife Festival saw the Seattle Center getting away with using them, so they thought that they perhaps could get away with using them too? What do you think?


Look! I've made it even easier for them. They don't even have to click on the links

Here are some of the restrictions on the NW Folklife Festival site.


The following areas are off limits for street performing:

* Covered walkways
* Within 30 feet of a captive audience
* Washrooms or entrances and exits of washrooms
* Entrances and exits from any facility, door, loading dock, elevator or stairway
* Inside of any building
* The Fisher Green programmed area (the entire block). This space designated as a jamming space.
* In the breezeway between the Alki Room and the Snoqualmie Room
* On the South, East and West sides of the Alki Room
* Handicap access to any location
* Any areas designated by the Street Performer Coordinators as "off limits"


And below are the rules deemed unconstitutional by the courts. You'll note a disturbing trend being proposed above by the NW Folklife Festival. They are trying to dictate where we can and cannot play on the grounds. The courts have deemed these actions as unconstitutional.

Read the rules below F.5, G.4, and C.5 below. They all pertain to the court having granted our freedom of expression as being unrestricted as to place. Even though the NW Folklife Festival would have us believe otherwise, our freedom of expression cannot be dictated to us by this event. Yet, that is what they are trying to do.

They are in direct violation of the court's decision in this matter and as such in support of denying Americans our First Amendment rights on the grounds of this public park during this national holiday.


Rule F.1, which requires
"street performers" to obtain a permit before performing at
the Center and to wear a badge displaying that permit while

Rule F.2, which sets forth the terms and conditions
for acquiring a "Street Performer Permit";

Rule F.3.a,
which bars street performers from "actively solicit[ing] donations";

Rule F.5, which limits street performances to sixteen
designated locations; and

Rule G.4, which prohibits all Seattle Center visitors, other than Center employees and licensed concessionaires, from engaging in "speech activities" within thirty feet of a "captive audience."

Rule C.5 defines a "captive audience" as "any person or group of persons: 1) waiting in line to obtain tickets or food or other goods or services, or to attend any Seattle Center event; 2) attending or being in an audience at any Seattle Center event; or 3) seated in any seating location where foods or beverages are consumed."


Now, if you have any other questions or comments. You can post them here.

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Subject: RE: the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk
From: reggie miles
Date: 24 May 10 - 03:36 PM

"Doin The Perp Walk" by Jim Hinde
Tue May 9, 2006 21:22

World leaders are trying to beseech Bush.
All of my friends are trying to defeat Bush.
I've even seen some signs that tell me to impeach Bush.
That ain't gonna cut it for me.

I won't be happy 'til I see him do the perp walk.
Handcuffs and leg irons swingin' to the perp walk.
Bright orange jumpsuit, stylin' for the perp walk,
On his merry way to cell block D.

He raided my National Treasury.
Invaded a nation's sovereignty.

That's why I won't be happy 'til I see him do the perp walk
Exiting the White House, shuffling to the perp walk.
Live on TV, smirkin' to the perp walk.
That's democracy for me.

Lest we neglect the Bush Administration,
That gang hell bent for world domination.
Live at The Hague for their humiliation.
That is what I'd truly like to see.

'Cause I won't be happy 'til I see 'em do the perp walk.
Rove and Rummy marching to the perp walk.
Colin and Johnny dancing to the perp walk,
Getting finger printed on TV.

They acted preeminently,
Searching for those WMDs.

And now I won't be happy 'til I see 'em do the perp walk.
Condoleezza Rice practicing the perp walk.
Bunker bust Cheney and make him do the perp walk.
That's democracy for me.

But we won't stop there, with this administration.
Set a precedent for future generations
To not be messin' with the Peoples reputation.
And that's the way it oughta be.

If you mess with us you get to do the perp walk.
Don't matter if you're rich you get to do the perp walk.
Especially Richard Nixon should have had to do the perp walk.
It's what we call equality.

That's the hallmark of grass roots liberty,
And U.S. Constitutionality.

So you Supreme Court Judges ain't immune to do the perp walk.
Senators and Congressmen take turns to do the perp walk.
This whole damn government may learn to do the perp walk.
That's democracy for me.


And ya know what? The NW Folklife Festival ain't immune to doin' the perp walk either!

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Subject: RE: the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk
From: Deckman
Date: 25 May 10 - 08:02 AM

Hey Reg ... We have some friends coming down from Alaska for the full four days. Can you tell me (them) where and when you're going to be performing, please. Bob(deckman)Nelson

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Subject: RE: the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk
From: reggie miles
Date: 25 May 10 - 11:08 AM

Hey Bob, funny you should ask me about this here in this thread, where we are talking about the constitutionality and legality of playing folk music to folks on the grounds of the Seattle Center during the Memorial Day weekend and during this supposed "folk" festival. Well, from I understand after hearing the weather reports, the predictors of such say that it's going to be rainy this weekend. So, my usual locations, where I enjoy playing, might be a challenge to perform in because of the dampness. Of course, we know that they aren't always right in their predictions but this weekend has traditionally been fraught with such wet weather patterns. I thought that I'd try to find a nice covered walkway to set up and play underneath.

Have I mentioned how much that I really enjoyed playing underneath one such covered walkway last year? It was near the northwest corner of the Exhibition Center, the building that used to house the big dances but then, last year, some jerk came along and had me escorted off the grounds, by the police no less. He claimed that he was doing so on behalf of the NW Folklife Festival and because he had to defend the rules that those managing the Seattle Center had in place regarding where musicians could play.

It's a funny thing but I didn't hear him mention once that the rules he was defending were unconstitutional and had been declared as such, by the district court, way back in 2005. I guess the festival must have "misread" the court case files on that point. Well, in their defense, I even sometimes misread information when I have to read through a whole long list of boring rules and such.

You'd think that five years would have been enough time, for even the organizers of this event, to read the court's ruling on the matter. Not to worry, I understand that they're going to organize a meeting to discuss the matter right after the festival this year. One wonders, though, if it takes this event five years to organize a meeting in order to discuss matters concerning the constitutionality of the restrictions they've enacted against our First Amendment right to freedom of expression and how it relates to street performing, how do they manage to get anything done? It boggles the mind.

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Subject: RE: the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk
From: reggie miles
Date: 25 May 10 - 02:47 PM

Let it never be said that Reggie Miles was unwilling to help a poor nonprofit organization, like the NW Folklife Festival. Look here! See what I've done. I've made it even easier for them to understand the big word, "unconstitutional."

I know that some folks have a hard time with the meaning of such terms. It's easy for them to get confused. There are so many syllables. Here's what I found online at a site called

Unconstitutional - Conflicting with some provision of constitution, most commonly the United States Constitution. When a statute is found to be unconstitutional, it is considered void or as if it had never been, and consequently all rights, contracts, or duties that depend on it are void. Similarly, no one can be punished for having refused obedience to the law once it is found to be unconstitutional.

Hmmm, now I wonder why I was being railroaded off the property by the NW Folklife Festival head of security and the police. According to above law definition, the security guy had no right to ask me to move from where I was playing, given that the court's had ruled the festival's rules were "unconstitutional" way back in 2005.

Is any of this starting to sink in yet Molly?

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Subject: RE: the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk
From: Stewart
Date: 25 May 10 - 05:03 PM

Reggie, the last time I looked at their web site
there were 16 board members
17 paid staff members
and 3 interns.

Getting any bloated bureaucracy like that
to understand the constitutionality of their rules,
much less to agree to do anything about it,
is like trying to turn a super-tanker around
(or to stop an out-of-control oil-gusher),
it's not easy!

A pro-bono lawyer and the threat of a law suit
might get some action.

Good luck,
Cheers, S. in Seattle
where the weather's
not looking to good
for this weekend.

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Subject: RE: the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk
From: reggie miles
Date: 25 May 10 - 08:48 PM

Well Stewart, that's why good upstanding folks like me are needed. This event not only needs me and those like me, to offer, for free, what we do for our livings and donate our time talents and energies to the event but they also need goodhearted folks like us to explain to them, using words with as few syllables as possible, the fact that they have made a boo boo. They need knowledgeable folks like us to define big words for them, like the word unconstitutional.

Because in their hasty schedules, full of meetings, filled with pomp, where they sit around and try to dream up new ways to screw things up and screw us over in the process, they've lost their way and lost sight of the real purpose of life. And it ain't about trying to stick it to folk musicians.

Being a compassionate kind of guy and a giving individual, like most, if not all, folks musicians, I'm more than willing to take even more of my precious time, talents and energy to guide them toward the path of enlightenment...and if that "carrot" approach don't work, well then there's always the "stick" method. Let's check the score in this battle. The score among lawsuits over this issue, thus far, seems to be Freedom of Expression - 2 and Restrictions against such, by the Seattle Center and the city of Seattle - 0, zero, zip, goose egg, nada, nuthin. I wonder who will win next time? Who do you think, the Northwest Folklife Festival, or those advocating for our First Amendment right to freedom of expression? Care to place your bets?

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Subject: RE: the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk
From: Deckman
Date: 25 May 10 - 09:02 PM

Reg ... I hear a song coming on ...?

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Subject: RE: the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk
From: reggie miles
Date: 27 May 10 - 01:10 AM

At any one time I'll have any number of lyrics and melodies in flux. Some individual melodies and lyrics arrive and stay in a kind of holding pattern. They're strong, fluid and have all the characteristics of belonging to a truly great composition but they're waiting. It's like they're waiting for the right union of words or music to join and bond with, to complete themselves.

My song, "Blackballed", was one such union of music and message. Both elements arrived separately and initially I had not envisioned the two being one. Each part struck me as having the strength that I enjoy offering in my songs and melodies but until recently they were each incomplete, two parts waiting to unite with their proper counterparts.

I've been using my time on the street to work out the kinks in my new material and hone my presentations. Some songs take longer than others to work up. They seem to need to take their time in order to blossom into fullness. I can't ever rush that part. I think that by trying to do so you end up losing something in the process.

A couple of days ago, during one of my first attempts at presenting my new song, "Blackballed", on the street at the Market, someone came by and spirited it away via their video camera. They made certain to come up to me afterward, to shake my hand and say, "right on!"

"Blackballed", is the first song that I wrote as a result of all of this nonsense comin' down. It's turned out to be one hell of a song. I seriously doubt that it'll be my last about this experience.

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