Commenter Profile

Stephen Gets A Straight Answer Out Of Donald Rumsfeld

January 27, 2016 8:52 pm
"It is difficult to believe that Donald Rumsfeld didn't fully grasp neocon motives and objectives all along " (Sean)   He was one of them, Sean, He had an illustrious past before getting involved with Bush and his neocon war. In addition to his 4 terms in Congress, he was CEO of the giant G,D.Searle pharma company for 8 years, served as an advisor to several companies and was a member of the board of directors of ABB AB; Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.; Kellogg; Metricom, Inc., Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Tribune Company and on on the board of trustees of the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowship, Freedom House and the RAND Corporation. His big home run was as chairman of another research pharmaceutical company, Gilead, that licensed Roche to produce the Tamiflu vaccine for the avian flu and the subject of a hoax which cost the governments of the US and UK over a billion dollars for stockpiled junk vaccine. Your man could give the neocons lessons..

Edging Closer To The End of OPEC, And The Saudi Arabian Kingdom – Thomas J. Lauria/HuffPo

January 14, 2016 1:56 pm
This is another article that demonizes SA. You'd think that the falling price of oil is the fault of Saudis. What about Russia, Iraq, Canada, Nigeria, Venezuela, Indonesia and others that are breaking their backs in flooding the market with oil? There's also Iran that's getting ready to add another million barrels a day to the already oversupplied market and the US that had doubled its domestic production to more than Saudia's and raised its reserves to a billion barrels. Last fall, Goldman Sachs predicted that oil will fall to $16/barrel in 2016 and this wasn't of any help. Saudia can't be blamed for wanting to increase its production and maintain its market share even at a low and losing price. So why is Saudia alone being blamed here for the drop in price?
January 14, 2016 5:44 pm
Sean, it's a question of time as all royals in Europe and Asia will come to an end, but I don't think it will happen to the Sauds as soon as is being anticipated. The royals total about 15,000 and that's not a small number. What's hanging on something thin is the goodwill of the royals is the US economy that have a couple of trillion $$$ invested in it by the Saudis and other Gulf royals. If they decide to start pulling their money out, it would hurt a lot. In exchange, the Arab royals can rely on US muscle. The late King Abdullah saw the writing on the wall and not too long before his death, he initiated a  $150 billion multi-year welfare program that included housing, education and so on for the country's poor and he also started unemployment insurance benefits that surprised everyone when 600,000 Saudis applied for it. That quieted down the natives for a while but in the last few days, the new king's administration announced that some of those social programs would be scaled back because of the current Saudi deficit and this should raise some dust.. Nobody should wish ill on any of the regimes because their downfall is bound to make matters much worse in the country in question as well as in neighbouring states. Think of the downfall of Saddam and what became of Iraq, of Gadhafi and Libya, of el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia and of the current attempt on Assad that has cost 200,000 Syrian lives so far. The ultimate objective of the West is the fracturing of almost all the Mid-East countries and the downfall of any regime is a step in that direction.
January 14, 2016 6:03 pm
Here"s one of them dancing together: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O095u23oVmM' Men holding hands was a common custom of showing friendship but it appears to be waning, most probably from exposure to American movies and TV that don't show men holding hands. The history of the Bush family's relations to the Saudi royals goes way back to George Jr's grandfather that began dealing in oil with the Saudis. Hasn't stopped since.  

An Open Letter To President Obama – Miko Peled/Desertpeace

January 14, 2016 8:05 am
Thanks, Taxi. I'm a big fan of Blankfort.

History of Islam – Caspian Report Series

January 14, 2016 6:13 pm
The big winner in the Jazeera America failure was Al Gore. He sold his practically worthless TV station to the Jazeera people for $500 million for no other reason than it had a permit to broadcast; it was really for the license that this amount was paid. Al Jazeera ran on an annual deficit of $100 million that came out of the Emir's personal account. It's a shame that it's closing but with only 35,000 viewers, it was bound to happen.

Welcome to Israel’s Version of Apartheid – Jonathan Cook/CounterPunch

January 14, 2016 7:29 pm
The Greek airline apologized last week. Aegean Airlines CEO in an open letter to the PLO's sec-gen regretted the incident. The plane had been delayed on the tarmac for 2 hours by the paranoid Israelis until the crew kicked the 2 Palestinian-Israelis off the plane.

R.I.P. The Legendary David Bowie

January 15, 2016 10:58 pm
Wild is the Wind is a beautiful song that was mangled by Bowie. He sings it as if he's got a handful of marbles in his mouth. I saw the black and white George Cukor movie at its NYC premiere and thought it was superb  but like other movies that I had deemed superb, it was a commercial flop. In it was the screaming Anna Magnagni in a wildcat role who had just married rancher Anthony Quinn , whose wife had died and he had married her sister played  Magnagni but the new bride fell in love with the rancher's son (played by Anthony Franciosa) from a previous marriage. At night the rancher would get drunk and call his new wife by her dead sister's name, which sent her into a wild screaming fit. The movie resembles "Phaedra" played by Melina Mercouri:, a Jules Dassin movie about a woman that falls for her husband's son (Anthony Perkins) from her husband's  Raf Valone other marriage.Tragic end, Here's the song from the movie Wild is the Wind with the words actually articulated: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fede33vouyc
January 15, 2016 10:13 pm
Sean, the versatility of Wynton Marsalis going from classical to jazz with the same ease is amazing.. Here's a double performance in the same video at the 1984 Grammy Awards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHytOMuSnUA  
January 14, 2016 6:35 pm
Sean, it's not just the classics guys, if you want to compare them with ones really breaking new ground, do it with Pat Methany or with the 2 or 3 dozen other famous guitarists.
January 14, 2016 9:30 pm
Sean, to each his own taste in music. No right or wrong choices on that one. I never developed the taste for heavy metal and  all these twangy sounds  on the guitar were showstoppers with the kids. BTW, one of the greats I saw at a Jazz concert over 20 years back was Metheny. He had a Brazilian brass and bongos ensemble with him and they were all great. musicians. I met many greats on Saturday evening after the bars closed at a small basement on the wrong side of the tracks where musician that had been playing chas chas all night to pay the rent were now free to jam to the music they really loved, which was ad libbed jazz if we got lucky. famous musicians on tour such as Gillespie, Armstrong, Basie would drop in and jam with the iocal boys until the sun came up. It was the Black Bottom and all they served were chicken wings and soft drinks. The musicians brought whatever they liked in green seven up bottles. The place was razed to the ground to make way for an expressway. Years later the Black Bottom opened in luxurious setting in a posh district and had a liquor license, but the place was utterly boring.
January 15, 2016 7:14 pm
"Some of the best jazz I have ever heard ..." (Sean) Sean, I'm an old dog at this, I go way way back to great jazz at one or other of the Village's  jazz rooms. Probably before many here were born. The original Black Bottom club was in Montreal's Black neighbouthood and most probably why it had such a name. It was in a basement that could hold at most about 50 or 60 people and going down into that densely smoke-filled basement with lousy acoustics that made you feel like your head was inside a ringing church bell,  it seemed as if you were going down to the bottom. On one night, Gillespie walked in at around 3 am with his funny horn and joined the group of 5 musicians already cramped together playing on a mini stage about a foot off the ground. But the name itself was not original, it was a piece (Black Bottom Stomp) in 1926 by Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers Dixieland band. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVUyvwtHTnw
January 14, 2016 3:19 pm
"If Puccini or Wagner were miraculously resurrected and heard this (Rush), I think they would get this music and admire it." (Sean)   I don't think so, Sean. I think they would rush back to being among the dead. Next you'll be telling me those cacophonic guitarists are in the same class as Paco de Lucia and John Mills.
January 15, 2016 8:58 pm
Sean, went a few times to the Blue Note but never to the Vanguard or the Gate. Elsewhere, I saw Armstrong although I was not a fan of Dixieland and Basie, who appeared to be almost falling asleep at the keyboard and with a wide grin on his face occasionally and lazily hitting the odd note and the music was coming mostly from his big band and the Glen Miller Band (minus Miller, of course) although I never liked the big band sound but It was an opportunity for a young guy like me to get to see famous musicians up close. Yes, it's more agreeable to talk music instead of Israel. I overdosed on Israel/Palestine at MW and tried to talk about something else  but the site has a fixation on what's wrong with Israel and Palestine and its neverending miseries serve as a  vehicle to get to talk about Israel's problems. In general, it's a good site with great commenters. .
January 16, 2016 3:18 pm
Mathis recorded it in 1957 and Nina Simone's very first recording of it was in 1959. She recorded it a second time in 1966. Bowie's version in 1976 was inspired by Simone. A dozen or so singers recorded it over the years. Hard writing this on phone; laptop in repairs.