[VIDEO] Late Night Jazz: Jeff Beck, Tal Wilkenfeld & Vinnie Colaiuta, Live at Ronnie Scott’s – London, 2007Posted: January 16, 2014
Stratus, and Cause We Ended As Lovers
Ronnie scott’s London 2007
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…
Weinstein: “I don’t think we need guns in this country. And I hate it. I think the NRA is a disaster area…”Posted: January 16, 2014
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…”
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.
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…
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 12%.
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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.
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.
‘Like a Pimp Who Thinks He’s Helping Women in the Workforce’
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.
“…I had one tell me they couldn’t stand the sight of the people in (‘Caucus’)”
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.
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.
A letter from the RNC. I decorated it a little…
[VIDEO] In Memory of Actor Russell Johnson: “The Professor” Discusses His Favorite Gilligan’s Island EpisodesPosted: January 16, 2014
Full interview with Russell Johnson
Don’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.com, Wynton 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.
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…
Jared Newman reports: By now we’ve learned a lot about how the NSA intercepts private communications, whether it’s tapping into fiber optic cables, bugging 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.
Obama fights perception that administration is out of time, losing altitude, in flames, spiraling toward earth…Posted: January 16, 2014
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.
For The Diplomat, Travis 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.
The prejudice against Israel in diplomatic matters is as troubling as more crude bigotry against Jews.
Victor Davis Hanson writes: An obscure academic organization called the American Studies Association not long ago voted to endorse a resolution calling for a boycott of Israeli universities. The self-appointed moralists were purportedly outraged over the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians.
Given academia’s past obsessions with the Jewish state, the targeting of Israel is not new. Yet why do the professors focus on Israel and not Saudi Arabia, which denies women the right to drive and only recently granted them the right to vote? Why not Russia, which has been accused of suppressing free speech, or Nigeria, which has passed retrograde anti-homosexual legislation?
The hip poet Amiri Baraka (a.k.a. Everett LeRoi Jones) recently died. He was once poet laureate of New Jersey, held prestigious university posts, and was canonized with awards — despite being a hateful anti-Semite.
Evgeny Morozov writes: In January of 1903, the small Boston magazine Handicraft ran an essay by the Harvard professor Denman W. Ross, who argued that the American Arts and Crafts movement was in deep crisis. The movement was concerned with promoting good taste and self-fulfillment through the creation and the appreciation of beautiful objects; its more radical wing also sought to advance worker autonomy. The problem was that no one in America seemed to need its products. The solution, according to Ross, was to provide technical education to the critics and the consumers of art alike. This would stimulate demand for high-quality objects and encourage more workers to take up craftsmanship. The cause of the Arts and Crafts movement would be achieved, he maintained, only “when the philosopher goes to work and the working man becomes a philosopher.”
In a long rebuttal, Mary Dennett, who later became an important advocate for women’s rights, pointed out that the roots of the problem were economic and moral. Reforming the school curriculum wouldn’t do much to change the structural conditions that made craftsmanship impossible. The Arts and Crafts movement was spending far too much time on “rag-rugs, baskets, and . . . exhibitions of work chiefly by amateurs,” rather than asking the most basic questions about inequality. “The employed craftsman can almost never use in his own home things similar to those he works on every day,” she observed, because those things were simply unaffordable. Economics, not aesthetics, explained the movement’s failures. “The modern man, who should be a craftsman, but who, in most cases, is compelled by force of circumstances to be a mill operative, has no freedom,” she wrote earlier. “He must make what his machine is geared to make.”