Note: I saw this band live in the 1990s, inspired by this album: John McLaughlin and the Free Spirits: Tokyo Live — I highly recommend it, especially if you dig McLaughlin’s shredding and Joey‘s Hammond B. organ sound. If you do decide to get it, order through my link! As an Amazon affiliate, it helps support my site.
Live at Juan Les Pins – July 1996
Bench Update: Judicial Watch, True the Vote Reach Historic Settlement with State of Ohio in Lawsuit over Clean Voter RollsPosted: January 13, 2014
From the Judicial Watch Press Room (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch and True the Vote announced today that they have reached a settlement in an August 30, 2012, lawsuit against election officials in the State of Ohio, resulting in an agreement by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to take or continue to take a series of actions to further ensure that the state is in compliance with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).
Under the terms of the settlement, which extend through November 2018, the State of Ohio specifically agreed to take or continue to take the following nine actions relating to voter roll list maintenance and NVRA compliance:
David Satter is the first U.S. journalist expelled since the end of the Cold War
Klose said in a statement on January 13 that the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has been informed of the action against Satter and has lodged a formal diplomatic protest with the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Klose says the U.S. Embassy has sought an explanation from the Russian Foreign Ministry without success.
BEIJING (CNN) — Dennis Rodman is apologizing. Again.
Last week, he said he was sorry about his bizarre, drunken outburst on CNN about an American citizen held prisoner in North Korea.
Now, Rodman says he’s sorry about what’s going on inside North Korea, a nation renowned for its human rights abuses.
But the eccentric former NBA star known as “The Worm” isn’t contrite about his latest puzzling visit to the secretive state.
Detroit 2014: The Ford I Concept, Or, Why Mustangs Have Fake Vents
PopMech‘s Andrew Del-Colle writes: At its showstand Ford has the 1962 Ford I Concept on display. The first Ford to wear the Mustang badge and feature the galloping pony, the aluminum-bodied Ford 1 had big vents to cool the mid-mounted 1500 cc V-4. The vents aren’t needed for production Mustangs with front-mounted engines, but the design cue just stuck. We like to call that carchaeology.
Robert D. Kaplan writes: As the events of the past week demonstrate, the Middle East has still not found a solution to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Melting away before our eyes is the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement, in which the British and French carved out spheres of influence in the Levant, leading to the creation of Syria and Iraq. A terrorist Sunnistan has now emerged between the Lebanese city of Tripoli and the Iraqi cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, while a messy child’s finger-painting of different tribalized sovereignties defines Sunni and Shia areas of control between the eastern edge of the Mediterranean and the Iranian plateau. This happens even as a sprawling and fractious Kurdistan sinks tenuous roots atop the corpses of Baathist regimes. But Middle Eastern chaos is but prologue to the drama sweeping much of the temperate zone of Afro-Asia all the way to China. Indeed, so much else is going on beyond the Levant that the media overlooks: not necessarily violent, but increasingly and intensely interrelated. Understanding it all requires not a knowledge of Washington policy alternatives, but of classical geography.
The ancient Greeks had a term for what they considered the “inhabited quarter” of the globe: the Oikoumene, the temperate zone of the Afro-Asian landmass stretching from North Africa to the confines of western China. Marshall Hodgson, the great historian of the Middle East at the University of Chicago who died in 1968, defined the Oikoumene as more-or-less “Nile-to-Oxus,” a term both grand and suggestive, linking as it did the river valley civilization of Egypt with that of Central Asia, and connoting the intricate tapestry of peoples, trade networks and conflicts from one end of Afro-Asia to another. Nile-to-Oxus perfectly sums up a vast zone of quasi-anarchy that we now can no longer deny. For the Cold War divisions of area studies—which both circumscribe and distort the work of academics, journalists and government analysts—are finally yielding to a more organic and fluid geography: not the geography of globalization in which people desert their cultures for the sake of cosmopolitan values and identities; but the geography of interacting, catalytic instability.
He’d hand them over to the Germans
Kevin D. Williamson writes: Ronald Reagan electrified the world when he demanded that the Berlin Wall be torn down. Barack Obama is helping to build a new one, even as the German government begins rounding up members of a despised religious minority.
The Romeike family was granted asylum in the United States because the German government was intent on wresting away the children and putting the parents in cages for the crime of homeschooling their children, which is verboten in Germany, a legacy of the country’s totalitarian past. The Obama administration, which in other notable areas of immigration law has enacted a policy of “discretion” regarding deportations, took the Romeike family to court to have its asylum protections revoked, and succeeded in doing so. The family has appealed to the Supreme Court, which has ordered the Obama administration to respond to the Romeikes’ petition, but the administration has so far refused to do so.
Breaking: Benghazi Transcripts Reveal; Top Defense Officials Briefed Obama on ‘Attack,’ Not Video, Not Demonstration, Not ProtestPosted: January 13, 2014
James Rosen reports: Minutes after the American consulate in Benghazi came under assault on Sept. 11, 2012, the nation’s top civilian and uniformed defense officials — headed for a previously scheduled Oval Office session with President Obama — were informed that the event was a “terrorist attack,” declassified documents show.
The new evidence raises the question of why the top military men, one of whom was a member of the president’s Cabinet, allowed him and other senior Obama administration officials to press a false narrative of the Benghazi attacks for two weeks afterward.
Gen. Carter Ham, who at the time was head of AFRICOM, the Defense Department combatant command with jurisdiction over Libya, told the House in classified testimony last year that it was him who broke the news about the unfolding situation in Benghazi to then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The tense briefing — in which it was already known that U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens had been targeted and had gone missing — occurred just before the two senior officials departed the Pentagon for their session with the commander in chief.
— Political Humor (@PoliticalLaughs) January 13, 2014
Brendan Bordelon reports: California Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee, accused the Obama administration of waging “a war on guns” after new reports of “rogue” sting operations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) conducted during 2013.Issa spoke to Fox News’ Shannon Bream Sunday about a report by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which claimed that ATF agents operating firearm stings in 6 separate cities “took advantage of the mentally ill, set up stings near churches and schools and made decisions which some claim actually increased crime in their neighborhoods.” Issa and Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley sent a letter to ATF Director Todd Jones this week to demand answers on the tactics and how often they’ve been used.
Simon Makin reports: Coffee has long been a friend of students working through the night, but it does more than just keep us awake. A study provides the first convincing evidence that caffeine enhances long-term memory in people – provided the dose is right.
The effects mirror similar results seen in honeybees, where a boost to memory from caffeine-laden nectar may help bees return to certain plants.
Researchers strongly suspected that caffeine enhances memory, but studies that tried to show this in people weren’t conclusive, as any apparent benefits in memory could have been due to increased attention, a known benefit of caffeine.
Studies in animals such as rats, meanwhile, suggested that it enhances memory consolidation – the process of strengthening memories between acquiring them and retrieving them – which should affect long-term memory.
From Mediaite via The Corner, National Review Online: Former secretary of defense Robert Gates spoke on the Today Show Monday morning, saying that while he was “not really surprised” by the reaction to his memoir, he was upset with the politicization of it.
“In a way I was disappointed that the book has been hijacked by people along the political spectrum to serve their own purposes, taking quotes out of context,” Gates said. “It’s part of the political warfare in Washington that I decry in the book.”
In families headed by married couples, the poverty level in 2012 was just 7.5%. Those with a single mother: 33.9%
Ari Fleischer writes: If President Obama wants to reduce income inequality, he should focus less on redistributing income and more on fighting a major cause of modern poverty: the breakdown of the family. A man mostly raised by a single mother and his grandparents who defied the odds to become president of the United States is just the person to take up the cause.
“Marriage inequality” should be at the center of any discussion of why some Americans prosper and others don’t. According to Census Bureau information analyzed by the Beverly LaHaye Institute, among families headed by two married parents in 2012, just 7.5% lived in poverty. By contrast, when families are headed by a single mother the poverty level jumps to 33.9%.
And the number of children raised in female-headed families is growing throughout America. A 2012 study by the Heritage Foundation found that 28.6% of children born to a white mother were out of wedlock. For Hispanics, the figure was 52.5% and for African-Americans 72.3%. In 1964, when the war on poverty began, almost everyone was born in a family with two married parents: only 7% were not.
Senator Mike Lee knows…
TMZ STAFF: Octomom has just been charged with 3 felony counts of welfare fraud and now faces more than 5 years in prison if convicted on all counts, TMZ has learned.
The L.A. County District Attorney’s Office filed the charges, including 1 count of aid by misrepresentation, and 2 counts of perjury by false application for aid. The D.A. claims Octomom — real name Nadya Suleman — failed to report nearly $30,000 in earnings between January 1-June 30, 2013.
Minimum wage raise!
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$16 Billion Deal
Under the deal, worth $16bn in all, Suntory will pay $13.6bn in cash and take on Beam’s debt.
It will make Suntory the world’s third largest maker of distilled drinks.
The two companies have a previous partnership whereby they distribute each other’s brands in different markets.
A male suspect walked inside the theater at 6333 Wesley Grove Boulevard and opened fire, police said, a local television station reported.
Two victims, a man and a woman, were flown to a Tampa area hospital. Their conditions were not available.
The suspect was arrested inside the theater.
[VIDEO] American Conversation: Shelby Steele describes how the Civil Rights Movement veered off coursePosted: January 13, 2014
In the third video produced in conjunction with New York City’s 92nd Street Y, Shelby Steele, the Robert J. and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow, describes how the civil rights movement veered off course after its greatest achievement, the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1965. After its initial success in securing individual freedom, the movement increasingly called for government transfer programs, which had the unintended effect of creating dependency, resentment, and an ongoing sense of victimization.
Can Christina Hoff Sommers Save Feminism?
Freedom Feminism: Its Surprising History and Why It Matters Today, by Christina Hoff Sommers, AEI Press, 127 pages, $3.95.
Sharon Presley writes: Some libertarians look askance at feminism, seeing it only as a leftist push to use the state to benefit women. Many conservatives see it something as far worse. But Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute wants to change all that. In Freedom Feminism, Sommers sets out to provide a manifesto for moderate and conservative women (and, some say, for libertarians) because they “must be at the helm” if they are to raise broad support for the kind of feminism that she thinks is worthwhile. Sommers asserts that her “freedom feminism” is a synthesis of 19th century “radical egalitarianism” and a conservative “maternal school,” and that the results avoid the problems of leftist feminism.
This raises two questions for libertarians: Is feminism salvageable? And if so, is Sommers’ new blend the right mix?
In addressing the first question, it is useful to recognize that leftists didn’t invent feminism. Mary Wollstonecraft, the leading influence on First Wave feminism, was an individualist. So were such 19th-century American feminists as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who believed that “nothing adds such dignity to character as the recognition of one’s self-sovereignty; the right to an equal place, everywhere conceded—a place earned by personal merit.” In addition to working for the vote, 19th-century feminists struggled to undo unjust and unfair laws that made women the property of their husbands. They sought equal rights, not governmental privilege.
The history of the Special relationship, from Churchill to Thatcher and beyond
Henry A. Kissinger writes: The challenge that we have come together to discuss is how America and the Western world can find a sense of direction at a moment when they are confronted by revolutions on many continents. And as they navigate this issue, our public needs to have a sense that its leaders are devoted to peace, and our adversaries have to know that there is a line they cannot cross except at extreme peril: To combine these two is the key challenge.
But before we make a few remarks about that, let me say a few things about Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. I knew both of them for many decades, and I used to brief Reagan for President Nixon every month on international development. I remember during the 1973 war, I told him we had a problem. We wanted to help Israel with resupply, but we wanted to do it on the basis of criteria that were not too provocative to those Arabs that had not yet joined the war. So Reagan said, “I have a suggestion. Tell them you will replace all the planes that the Egyptians had said they have shot down.” That would have tripled the Israeli air force, and the Egyptian air force at that time was renowned for never getting anywhere close to an Israeli target.
I had moderately frequent contact with Reagan when he was President. He was exactly the right man for those times. He knew how to navigate between the two poles that I described: defining the limits beyond which the Soviets would not be permitted to go, but, at the same time, laying down perspectives for peace around which people could rally. It was, after all, Reagan who proposed the abandonment of all nuclear weapons at the Reykjavík Summit, but the one weapon he wouldn’t give up at the Reykjavík Summit was the Strategic Defense Initiative because he wanted to be protected against Soviet violations.
Humberto Fontova reports: 87 year old Fidel Castro appeared in public last week for the first time in six months and the mainstream media can hardly contain themselves. This appearance coincides with the 55 anniversary of Castro’s “revolution.”
To read the media you’d think some effete and benevolent European monarch (from, say, Monaco or Liechtenstein) had made a brief cameo. Across the board the media refers to Fidel Castro as the “President” who “led” Cuba for almost fifty years. No hint of anything else happening in Cuba during that period.
You’d never guess Castro killed more Cubans in the process of “liberating” them than the Nazis killed French civilians in the process of conquering and enslaving them, that he brought the world closest to Nuclear war of any “leader” on earth and that he sunk a nation with a standard of living higher than half of Europe’s and swamped with immigrants into a pesthole that repels Haitians.
Undercover agents were able to vote as dead people, but election officials are attacking the agents
John Fund writes: Liberals who oppose efforts to prevent voter fraud claim that there is no fraud — or at least not any that involves voting in person at the polls.
But New York City’s watchdog Department of Investigations has just provided the latest evidence of how easy it is to commit voter fraud that is almost undetectable. DOI undercover agents showed up at 63 polling places last fall and pretended to be voters who should have been turned away by election officials; the agents assumed the names of individuals who had died or moved out of town, or who were sitting in jail. In 61 instances, or 97 percent of the time, the testers were allowed to vote. Those who did vote cast only a write-in vote for a “John Test” so as to not affect the outcome of any contest. DOI published its findings two weeks ago in a searing 70-page report accusing the city’s Board of Elections of incompetence, waste, nepotism, and lax procedures.
The Board of Elections, which has a $750 million annual budget and a work force of 350 people, reacted in classic bureaucratic fashion, which prompted one city paper to deride it as “a 21st-century survivor of Boss Tweed–style politics.” The Board approved a resolution referring the DOI’s investigators for prosecution. It also asked the state’s attorney general to determine whether DOI had violated the civil rights of voters who had moved or are felons, and it sent a letter of complaint to Mayor Bill de Blasio. Normally, I wouldn’t think de Blasio would give the BOE the time of day, but New York’s new mayor has long been a close ally of former leaders of ACORN, the now-disgraced “community organizing” group that saw its employees convicted of voter-registration fraud all over the country during and after the 2008 election.
For the first time, more than half of congressional lawmakers are worth at least $1 million
The Center for Responsive Politics analyzed the personal financial disclosure data from 2012 of the 534 current members of Congress and found that, for the first time, more than half had an average net worth of $1 million or more: 268 to be exact, up from 257 the year earlier. The median for congressional Democrats was $1.04 million and, for Republicans, $1 million even.
To calculate the net worth of lawmakers, the Center added together members’ significant assets, such as corporate bonds and stocks, then subtracted major liabilities such as loans, credit card debt and property mortgages.
Here’s the breakdown: the median net worth for all House members was $896,000 (Democrats averaged $929,000 to Republicans’ $884,000) and, for Senators, $2.5 million. The median net worth for Senate Democrats was $1.7 million, down from $2.4 million in 2011; for Republicans: $2.9 million, up from $2.5 million in 2011.
Dominic Patten writes: First Mia Farrow tweeted she was turning off the Golden Globes on NBC when they went to the Woody Allen tribute. Now her son and upcoming MSNBC host Ronan Farrow lashed out against his mother’s former longtime companion, also on Twitter.
Missed the Woody Allen tribute – did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) January 13, 2014
This comes after MSNBC is still trying to get over the successive embarrassment of departures of Alec Baldwin and Martin Bashir for incendiary remarks and Melissa Harris-Perry‘s ill-considered comments targeting Mitt Romney’s adopted black grandson.