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[VIDEO] Late Night Jazz: Jeff Beck, Tal Wilkenfeld & Vinnie Colaiuta, Live at Ronnie Scott’s – London, 2007

Stratus, and Cause We Ended As Lovers
Ronnie scott’s London 2007

The DVD at Amazon: Jeff Beck: Live at Ronnie Scott’s

This is the performance that introduced a lot of people to bassist Tal Wilkenfeld. Very young at the time (around 22) and enormous talent. Great chops, tasteful, soulful (with an album of her own, too) with a fully developed knowledge of jazz, blues, and funk history, and natural confidence. Her tour with Jeff Beck during that period turned the music world upside down, no one expecting to see a side-player so young, that no one had ever heard of.  Between this performance, and the Crossroads Guitar Festival shows in Chicago, Wilkenfeld established herself as a solid player and stirred quite a buzz. From her website:

Perhaps her remarkable musical gift is best summed up by Jeff Beck, who enthused,

“What can I say about Tal Wilkenfeld? How does one describe an astonishing talent? The answer is, you don’t. You listen, and watch, as 45,000 people did in Chicago at the Crossroads Festival 2007. I have witnessed special moments in my time, but to see all those ‘dyed-in-the-wool’ blues fanatics and guitar freaks go berzzzzerk half way through her solo left me emotional, and that is an understatement. The word proud is barely adequate.”

Widely hailed as “the rising star of the bass guitar,” Tal Wilkenfeld first picked up guitar at the age of 14, in her native Sydney, Australia. She soon realized her passion and decided to pursue music professionally in the United States. After six months of studying guitar in Los Angeles, Tal found her true calling, and switched to the bass…

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Weinstein: “I don’t think we need guns in this country. And I hate it. I think the NRA is a disaster area…”

weinsteinWeinstein Update: Over at HotAirEd Morrissey has comments:

Congratulations, genius. You’re setting out to make a movie that will annoy more than 60 million Americans who responsibly own firearms.  What a great marketing strategy that will be! Why, this new project will take … the same oh-so-courageous-and-tediously-didactic path as the anti-war films Lions for Lambs and Rendition, two films which bombed at the box office in 2007, both of which also starred … Meryl Streep.

 “I’m making a movie that the NRA will hate…”

– Weinstein

Let’s muse on the irony, though, of Harvey Weinstein making this declaration. How much gunfire went into Pulp Fiction, which he exec-produced? The 2008 Rambo sequel? Jackie Brown?

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How Technology Killed the Future

Image: vintagefuture.tumblr.com

Image: vintagefuture.tumblr.com

Douglas Rushkoff   writes:  The crises arrive from everywhere, and all at once. The responses do, too. New allegations about NSA eavesdropping, for instance, pop up on Twitter before the White House has had a chance to fully spin the last set. A Cabinet secretary is presumed ripe for firing over a botched health care website even before the site’s problems are fully diagnosed. The pauses between an event and a response to it—the space in which public opinion was once gauged—is gone, and now the feedback is indistinguishable from the initial action. The verdict, the takeaway, the very meaning behind what is happening is more elusive than ever before. We cobble together narratives and hunt for conclusions. Millions of social media posts per minute are parsed and analyzed as if those vast bits of opinion, conjecture and fancy somehow coalesce into a story.

But they don’t.

Welcome to the world of “present shock,” where everything is happening so fast that it may as well be simultaneous. One big now. The result for institutions—especially political ones—has been profound. This transformation has dramatically degraded the ability of political operatives to set long-term plans. Thrown off course, they’re now often left simply to react to the incoming barrage of events as they unfold. Gone, suddenly, is the quaint notion of “controlling the narrative”—the flood of information is often far too unruly. There’s no time for context, only for crisis management.

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Apple CEO Cook hands out autographed iPhones at China Mobile launch, says ‘great things’ coming

cook

From 9to5Mac:  As planned, iPhone sales have started via China Mobile, the largest carrier in China, today. The official iPhone China Mobile deal, which covers both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, was announced in December. Earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook promoted the event with multiple interviews, calling the partnership a “beginning.” Subsequent reports indicated that millions of iPhones have already been ordered through China Mobile…

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China says it will be world’s biggest missile producer

Originally posted on China Daily Mail:

Chinese Missiles

Chinese Missiles

According to a recent report by US Aviation Week & Space Technology, China is growing into the biggest missile manufacturer in the world. Two of China’s major arms manufacturers will turn out 50,000 missiles with terrible fire power.

Previously, there was a report that China had deployed 1,000 missiles targeting Japan for victory in its confrontation with Japan. That number is but a fraction of China’s missile production capacity. Such a huge number of missiles may enable China to subdue its enemy without fighting.

According to the data provided by US analysts, in the coming 5 years, China will be the leader on the world missile market. Its Norinco will rank the first and is expected to produce 29,992 missiles, taking a 15% world market share while US Raytheon Company will rank the second and is expected to produce 23,744 missiles with a world market share of…

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BlackBerry Sues the Competition

typo

When patent law blocks innovation

Jesse Walker  writes:  Patents are supposed to foster innovation by restricting competition—in the Constitution’s words, to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts” by giving inventors a temporary “exclusive Right” to their creations. But sometimes those restrictions can suppress innovation instead of encouraging it.

Consider the Typo Keyboard Case, which is supposed to start shipping to consumers this month. The idea behind the device is simple. Right now, people who prefer a smartphone with a physical keyboard basically have just one option, the BlackBerry. If you like real keyboards but prefer the iPhone’s operating system, you have to either put up with the BlackBerry’s software or put up with the iPhone’s virtual keyboard; no phone-maker offers a product that combines the best of both worlds. The Typo fills that gap. It’s a case that lets you slip a keypad over an iPhone and type the way the QWERTY gods intended, without a flat touchscreen that makes errors inevitable and without an algorithm that “corrects” words that weren’t errors in the first place.

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Reminder: Only 3% of Americans Rank Immigration Reform as Top Priority

Obama-activists

Matthew Boyle reports:  New polling data from Gallup shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans do not think handling immigration reform is even close to a top priority for 2014.

Immigration places well behind other issues like healthcare, jobs, the economy, dissatisfaction with Washington politicians, the debt and deficit, lack of money, ethics and moral issues, poverty, the gap between the rich and the poor, education, foreign aid and others. In fact, only three percent of Americans think the issue is a priority that must be dealt with this year.

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[VIDEO] ‘The Five’ Gleefully Torch Hollywood Hypocrite Gas Bag Harvey Weinstein

‘Like a Pimp Who Thinks He’s Helping Women in the Workforce’

Harvey Weinstein: Makes a fortune on movies featuring spectacular gun violence. Enjoys the protection of armed bodyguards. Doesn't want you to have guns.

Harvey Weinstein: Makes a fortune on movies featuring obscene gun violence. Enjoys the protection of armed bodyguards. But doesn’t want you, or anyone else, to have guns.

The Five was not amused by big-time Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein saying he’s going to make a movie that basically trashes the NRA, calling him out as a typical Hollywood hypocrite who makes money off violent films. Greg Gutfeld in particular was bothered by Weinstein’s “fundamental hatred of people who have to protect themselves” and called him a “jackass.”

Eric Bolling brought up movies like Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained, violent movies that Weinstein was involved in the production of. Bolling said Weinstein’s just talking out of his ass, and clashed with Bob Beckel over the NRA itself, with Beckel calling them “right-wing jerks” who run a “horrible” organization.

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“It’s no secret that film festivals tend to skew more toward liberal or progressive subjects…”

Sundance-rotating1Variety‘s   reports:  Over the years, Sundance has been famously friendly to eco-themed docs, providing high-profile premieres for films such as “An Inconvenient Truth” and “The Cove,” as well as political hot potatoes like “Why We Fight” and “8: The Mormon Proposition.” Among fests, Sundance is hardly alone in offering a platform to left-leaning docs. Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, while Alex Gibney’s “Taxi to the Dark Side” is just one of many lefty Tribeca offerings.

“…I had one tell me they couldn’t stand the sight of the people in (‘Caucus’)”

mitt-sundance-1

By contrast, “2016: Obama’s America” co-directors Dinesh D’Souza and John Sullivan avoided the U.S. fest circuit altogether — and it doesn’t seem to have hurt the film in the slightest. “2016” earned more than $33 million, making it the second-highest-grossing political doc after “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

“…I actually get a lot more of what I describe as left-wing propaganda films.”

For most nonfiction pics, however, the fest circuit is a vital component of a film’s life cycle, which is why businessman-turned-documaker Dennis Michael Lynch submitted his “They Come to America” to nearly 30 U.S. festivals, to no avail. He contends the film was rejected on the basis of his conservative stance on immigration, as opposed to the film’s quality. Lynch went on to self-distribute and decided not to “waste a dime on festivals” for the sequel.

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Reality Check: China Now Owns a Record $1.317 Trillion of U.S. Government Debt

chinese-flag-national

Matt Egan  reports:  China stepped up its purchases of U.S. government debt late last year, increasing its holdings of Treasurys to an all-time record of $1.317 trillion in November, government data released this week revealed.

The statistics underscore how reliant the U.S. and Chinese economies are on one another even as political tensions occasionally emerge.

According to figures inadvertently released Wednesday evening on the U.S. Treasury Department website, China’s holdings of Treasurys increased by 0.9% in November to $1.317 trillion, up from $1.305 trillion in October. Year-over-year, China’s holdings rose 11.3% from $1.183 trillion.

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Dear Friend: I’m Suing Obama

A letter from the RNC. I decorated it a little…

Im-suing


[VIDEO] In Memory of Actor Russell Johnson: “The Professor” Discusses His Favorite Gilligan’s Island Episodes

Full interview with Russell Johnson

Russell Johnson  “The Professor”  YouTube


Seriously: Liberals, Let the States Do It

let-states

Froma Harrop  writes:  In the beginning, Massachusetts opened the gates to same-sex marriage and universal health coverage. California started to liberalize drug laws by legalizing medical marijuana. The sky didn’t fall on any of these efforts, initially regarded as dangerous social experiments by many conservatives.

Now red states such as Kentucky are launching state-run health insurance exchanges. Federal judges in conservative Utah and Oklahoma are calling bans on gay marriage unconstitutional. And purple Colorado has legalized recreational marijuana use.

Most of us have a vision of the way things ought to be. It is human nature to want others to see the same light we do.

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Vigilante Trolls and Online Avengers: When ‘Anti-Bullies’ Become Bullies

bully--color

For the NYTEmily Bazelon  writes:  One day last April, a 25-year-old named Ash smoked a cigarette in the garden of his London workplace and scrolled through the Twitter feed on his phone. He stopped at the headline “Who Failed Rehtaeh Parsons?” and clicked on the link, which took him to the website of  The Chronicle Herald, a Canadian newspaper. The article was an example of the kind of story, about a mistreated and suffering teenager, that Ash spends a considerable portion of his life searching for online, the kind that makes him feel, as he puts it, “very rustled up.”

bully-tall2Ash, who asked me to use only his first name because of his online activism, learned from the article that when Rehtaeh was 15, in September 2011, she started a new high school in Nova Scotia, where she knew hardly any of the students. On a Saturday night that fall, a new friend invited Rehtaeh to go with her to the home of a boy in their school. Three other boys were also there, and the group started drinking heavily. Rehtaeh would later say that she thought she had nine shots of vodka. The girl who invited Rehtaeh said later that she left after she got angry at Rehtaeh (apparently over one of the boys), but later returned to the house with her mother looking for her. They tried to get Rehtaeh dressed and make her leave, but say they couldn’t. They didn’t call her parents; the girl asked her mother not to get Rehtaeh in trouble. Rehtaeh didn’t remember any of that taking place. She woke up the next morning between two of the boys, without knowing how she got there, and got up and took the bus home.

Actually sorry just looked. You are clearly being harassed. Saw your screenshot. Would you like to DM?

#OpAntiBully

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Benghazi Timeline Reveals: Obama MIA

logoDon’t miss this timeline from Government Accountability Institute. Seeing it displayed graphically, poster-sized, renews focus on one of the two most underreported, unanswered questions in the investigation. 1. Where was the president? The other question that’s been virtually ignored 2. Who pushed the video?

From Brietbart.comWynton Hall reports:  The government watchdog group that revealed that President Barack Obama failed to attend over half of his daily intelligence briefings (known officially as the Presidential Daily Brief, or PDB) released a devastating Benghazi timeline Wednesday.

[Also see: Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets]

Release of the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) Benghazi timeline comes as a new Senate report published Wednesday concluded that “the attacks were preventable.”

EF603EEA851442D190E174FB56714A44

It reveals Obama’s schedule in the week leading up to the terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

As the GAI timeline reveals, Obama failed to attend his daily intelligence briefing for the five consecutive days leading up to the September 11, 2012 attack of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi…

Read the rest…

Brietbart.com


Going Dark: Blackphone Aims to Be an NSA-Proof Smartphone

  reports:  By now we’ve learned a lot about how the NSA intercepts private communications, whether it’s tapping into fiber optic cablesbugging laptopsbefore they’re delivered to customers or just collecting mounds of data from tech companies upon request.

Still, a new company called Blackphone believes it can create a smartphone that’s safe from government snooping. Blackphone promises secure phone calls, texts, file transfers and video chats, along with private browsing and anonymized activity through a virtual private network. The phone is a partnership between Silent Circle, which offers encrypted communications services, and Madrid-based phone maker Geeksphone.

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Obama fights perception that administration is out of time, losing altitude, in flames, spiraling toward earth…

jet_crash_eject.jpg?w=750
  writes:  President Obama is touting 2014 as a “year of action,” but it might just as easily be called the year of “measured expectation.”Contrary to the predictions of many in Washington, Congress is on the verge of passing a spending bill that restores funding to some of Obama’s top priorities, which were undermined by deep cuts that took effect last year. Obama will have new money for early-childhood education and infrastructure spending, although the sums involved are far less than what he says is necessary to create jobs and narrow inequality.

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How to Capture a Rogue Bull: Vodka

ferdinand

GERMANY: Bull Captured After Getting Drunk On Two A Glass Two Glasses A Bottle Two Bottles of Vodka

Jon David Kahn reports:  It all went down in the area around Kallmunz near Regensburg. About six months ago, the bull escaped its owner and went rogue, reportedly hiding out in the Bavarian woods for most of that time.  According to Bavarian Rudfunk radio, the bull was causing concern in the area.

The desperate owner initially appealed to a local veterinary office for permission to shoot and kill the bull. He was denied. Over the course of six months, the owner then attempted to shoot the bull with tranquilizers. But the bull eluded him repeatedly.

The bull found his match in a local farmer whose yard he frequented. The farmer’s first attempts to apprehend the bull proved unsuccessful. He tried catch him with a rope while it was eating from a bucket but the suspicious bull wandered off as the farmer approached. The farmer was too concerned with the bull’s health to fire off a tranquilizer so he turned to a bottle of vodka in hopes of slowing him down.

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U.S. in Space: Superiority, Not Dominance

NASA Endeavor  Image Credit: Buglugs via Flickr

NASA Endeavor      Image Credit: Buglugs via Flickr 

For The DiplomatTravis C. Stalcup writes:  Director Alfonso Cuarón’s latest film, Gravity is a sci-fi thriller about a lone astronaut fighting to live where “life is impossible.” Following a Russian missile strike against an aging spy satellite that shreds the American space shuttle and its crew, protagonist and mission scientist Sandra Bullock struggles to evade a predictable but lethal field of orbiting debris. Cuarón’s story dramatizes a stark future – one in which nations vie to control the cosmos and in doing so make life on earth as we know it considerably harder. Gravity makes an implicit argument about the folly of space dominance: operating in space is hard enough so why make it harder by testing and using kinetic kill anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons?

The Gravity of the Situation

Freedom of action in space is essential not only to the American way of war but to the American way of life. Everything from theater missile defense to Facebook relies on satellites high above that beam signals back and forth to Earth. Despite the importance of these assets, at no time since it first placed satellites into orbit in 1958 has the United States enjoyed space dominance. The Soviets acquired ASAT capabilities early in the space race (albeit it by heavenly nuclear detonations) and even now, the U.S. is dependent on Russia to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station. As an interest “vital to U.S. national security,” it is important to determine under what conditions the United States can achieve – or to many, maintain – dominance in space. (For a hardnosed view of U.S. space policy, see the 2006 National Space Policy, which calls for the denial of space to adversaries.) American space policy, sometimes out of the limelight, is growing even more important. Other nations are growing their capabilities to access space including China, which is also intensifying its investment in anti-satellite weaponry. America’s strategic advantage is eroding.

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Goldberg: Senate Benghazi Report a ‘Searing Indictment of the State Department’

National Review Online


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