Monday, July 28, 2014

On American Freedom and American Responsibility

What our tired nation still owes the world: Robert Kagan's recent provocative - and important- recent article in the New Republic on "Why Superpowers Don't Fet to Retire" and how the fight to protect   Freedom and democracy in other parts of the world at the same time are important to ensure and protect the continuation of democracy at home in the US. A must read at a time when even former US Secretary of State Madeline Albright acknowledges 'the world is a mess."
Article here:

Sigmar Polke at MoMA: Art, Anti-Art, Art Squared, Art for Dummies, and An Artists' Artist (Take your pick)


From Sigmar Polke's massive, sprawling retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, "Alibis: 1963- 2010"
Site here: 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Seeking Higher Ground

James Fallows in The Atlantic, in attempting to assess the real effectiveness of the Iron Dome missile system, perhaps unwittingly reveals why Israel continues to target Hamas missile sites in Gaza: Iron Dome is nowhere near 100% effective. Or at least not more effective than Hamas' strategy of apparently using civilians and civilian locations as shields. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), as an al-Jazeera commentator reported, at least attempts to warn civilians and avoid targeting civilians, although there is no denial that many innocents have been killed, as have many Israeli innocents been killed by suicide bombings in the past. Still, if the combatants or their supporters are brutally honest with themselves, (is there any other kind of honesty?), in a conflict of this nature, moral high ground is a relative thing, and, a difficult hill to climb. But for the moment, there is no end in sight, despite Israel's initial acceptance of an Egyptian-brokered cease fire. Hamas, it seems would rather sacrifice the last civilian victim to achieve its political ends, and, since clearly Israel can't rely solely on the Iron Dome to protect its citizens, it now appears ready to continue to attack targets in Gaza until the rocket barrage into Israel ceases. Nevertheless, the non-combatant, and innocent civilians, will continue to be victims.

"When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers."

Thursday, July 10, 2014

VV: Bob Marley and "The White Album": How a Legend Became - Posthumously- an Household Name

From Chris Kornelis in the Village Voice: 'Robinson believed he could sell a million copies of the album, but to do it he would have to repackage not just a collection of songs but Marley himself. "My vision of Bob from a marketing point of view," Robinson says, "was to sell him to the white world." '

Full article on the late Bob Marley and the impact of the LEGEND album here

Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence

Suite: Judy Blue Eyes CSN at Woodstock  
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-azgwfnZu7c&sns=em


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Inequality Isn't Inevitable

"We are not embracing a politics of envy if we are reversing a politics of greed":Economist  Joseph E. Stiglitz on how politics - and not the magical
Hand of the Market- shape current economic imbalances. And how politics and democracy will be required to change them. For the wealthy to compare tax increases to the rise of the Nazis suggests things have gone way off track in the USA. Social Responsibility and not just Noblesse Oblige are required. Read The Great Divide in the NYT http://nyti.ms/1qRBiks

Monday, June 23, 2014

Alan Turing: June 23, 1914 - June 7, 1954

Alan Mathison TuringOBEFRS (23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) was a British mathematician, logiciancryptanalyst, philosopher, computer scientist, mathematical biologist, and marathon and ultra distance runner. He was highly influential in the development ofcomputer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with theTuring machine, which can be considered a model of a general purpose computer. Turing is widely considered as the "Father of Theoretical Computer Science andArtificial Intelligence.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014

When Drones Fall....

Over 400 drones have crashed since 2001, many internationally at scenes of various US l'aventurra, but also in the US, according to Federal military records

"Quantam" Leap of Number of Refugees Worldwide: NY Times

The NY Times reports "We are not facing an increasing trend, we are really facing a quantum leap,” in the number of refugees worldwide,  the head of the UN refugee agency told reporters in Geneva, noting that close to 11 million people were newly displaced in 2013. Half the world’s population of displaced people are children, he added, the highest level in a decade.  NY Times reports that the number of people displaced by violent conflict hit the highest level since World War II at the end of 2013, the head of the United Nations refugee agency, António Guterres, said in a report released on Friday, warning that “peace is dangerously in deficit.”

"Pushed up dramatically by the war in Syria, the total number of people displaced by violence reached more than 51 million at the end of 2013, according to the agency’s “Global Trends” report for the year. This included 33.3 million people who fled violence but remained in their own country and 16.7 million refugees who fled to neighboring countries, it said.

Full article:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Freeway to Mars

Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk wants to put humans on Mars and bring them back home to Earth within 10 - 12 years - that's decades BEFORE NASA's own projections. High tech and transportation all fit into Musk's pursuit of interplanetary travel. Space is indeed The Place. Article here http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/184640-spacex-says-it-will-put-humans-on-mars-by-2026-almost-10-years-ahead-of-nasa?wpisrc=nl%5fswbd

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Income Inequality: The Topic for Our Time

On Monday, more than 10,000 MoveOn members across the country gathered online to watch Senator Elizabeth Warren and acclaimed economist Thomas Piketty discuss income inequality. 

If you missed it or want to watch it again, check out the replay here—along with Sen. Warren and Dr. Piketty's shout-out to MoveOn members and Sen. Warren's special message at the end to MoveOn members.


Dr Thomas Piketty and US Senator Elizabeth Warren 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Reverie: "Taking a Chance on Love"


Ethel Waters and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, "Taking a Chance on Love" from Cabin in the Sky.

Current Reading

  • Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War- Tony Horwitz
  • A Sultan in Palermo - Tariq Ali
  • Hitch-22: A Memoir - Christopher Hitchens
  • Negropedia- Patrice Evans
  • Dead Funny: Humor in Nazi Germany - Rudolph Herzog
  • Exile on Main Street - Robert Greenfield
  • Among the Truthers - A Journey Among America's Growing Conspiracist Underworld - Jonathan Kay
  • Paradise Lost - John Milton
  • What Is Your Dangerous Idea? Thinking the Unthinkable - John Brockman
  • Notes from the Edge Times - Daniel Pinchbeck
  • Fringe-ology: How I Can't Explain Away the Unexplainable- Steve Volk
  • Un Juif pour l'exemple (translated as A Jew Must Die )- Jacques Cheesex
  • The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
  • Pale King - David Foster Wallce
  • David Bowie: Starman bio - Paul Trynka
  • Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat - Andrez Bergen
  • The Future of Nostalgia -Svetlana Boym
  • Living in the End Times - Slavoj ZIzek
  • FIrst as Tragedy Next as Farce - Slavoj Zizek
  • How to Survive a Robot Uprising - Daniel Wilson
  • Where is My Jet Pack? -Daniel Wilson
  • Day of the Oprichniks - Vladimir Sorokin
  • Ice Trilogy - Vladimir Sorokin
  • First Civilizations
  • Oscar Wilde -Andre Maurois
  • The Beats - Harvey Pekar, et al
  • SDS - Harvey Pekar, et al
  • The Unfinished Animal - Theodore Roszak
  • Friends of Eddy Coyle
  • Brooklands -Emily Barton
  • Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter - Seth Grahme-Smith - Entertaining and historical
  • Dictionary of the Khazars - Pavic
  • Sloth-Gilbert Hernandez
  • War and Peace- Leo Tolstoy
  • Charles Addams: An Evilution
  • Life in Ancient Greece
  • Time - Eva Hoffmann
  • Violence - S. Zizek
  • Luba - a graphic novel by Gilbert Hernandez
  • Life in Ancient Egypt
  • Great Apes - Will Self - riveting and disturbing
  • Lost Honor of Katherina Blum - Heinrich Boll - could not put it down
  • Yellow Back Radio Brokedown - Ishmael Reed (author deserving of new wide readership)
  • Living in Ancient Mesopotomia
  • Landscape in Concrete - Jakov Lind - surreal
  • 'There Once Lived A Woman Who Tried To Kill Her Neighbor's Baby'-Ludmilla Petrushevskaya - creepy stories - translation feels literarily "thin"
  • Mythologies - William Butler Yeats (re-read again & again)
  • How German Is It ? - Walter Abish
  • The Book of Genesis - illustrated by R. Crumb - visionary
  • "Flags" - an illustrated encyclopedia - wish I could remember all of these. Flag culture
  • Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut
  • Ubik - Philip K. Dick
  • Nobody's Fool - Richard Russo
  • Hitler's Empire - Mark Mazower
  • Nazi Culture - various authors
  • Master Plan: Himmler 's Scholars and the Holocaust - Heather Pringle
  • Eichmann in Jerusalem - Hannah Arendt
  • Living in Ancient Rome
  • Traveling with Herodotus -R. Kapuszynsky
  • Oblivion - David Foster Wallace - Some of his greatest work
  • Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace - still wrestling with this great book
  • Netherland - Joseph O'Neill - staggeringly great read
  • Renegade - The Obama Campaign - Richard Wolffe
  • Mount Analogue - Rene Daumal
  • John Brown
  • Anathem - Neal Stephenson - love Stephenson but tough slogging first few chapters
  • 7 Deadly Sins
  • ALEX COX - Alex Cox
  • FIASCO by Thomas Ricks
  • I, Fellini - Charlotte Chandler & Federico Fellini
  • Best of 20th century alternative history fiction
  • Judah P. Benjamin - Eli Evans - Confederacy's Secretary of State & source of the W.C. Field's exclamation
  • Moscow 2042 - Vladimir Voinovich - Pre-1989 curiosity & entertaining sci fi read; love his portrayal of Solzhenitsyn-like character
  • Gomorrah - Roberto Saviano - Mafia without the It-Am sugar coating. Brutal & disturbing
  • The Sack of Rome - Celebrity+Media+Money=Silvio Berlusconi - Alexander Stille
  • Reporting - David Remnick - terrific journalism
  • Fassbinder
  • Indignation - Philip Roth
  • Rome
  • Let's Go Italy! 2008
  • Italian Phrases for Dummies
  • How to Pack
  • Violence - Slavoj Zizek
  • Dali: Painting & Film
  • The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight - Jimmy Breslin
  • The Good Rat - Jimmy Breslin
  • Spook Country - William Gibson
  • A Blue Hand - The Beats in India - Deborah Baker
  • The Metaphysical Club - Louis Menard
  • Coast of Utopia - Tom Stoppard
  • Physics of the Impossible - Dr. Michio Kaku
  • Managing the Unexpected - Weick & Sutcliffe
  • Wait Til The Midnight Hour - Writings on Black Power
  • Yellow Back Radio Brokedown - Ishmael Reed
  • Burning Down the Masters' House - Jayson Blair
  • Howl - Allen Ginsberg
  • Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Palace Thief - Ethan Canin
  • John Adams - David McCullough
  • The Wooden Sea - Jonathan Carroll
  • American Gangster - Mark Jacobson
  • Return of the King - J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Gawker Guide to Becoming King of All Media
  • Jews and Power - Ruth Wisse
  • Youth Without Youth - Mircea Eliade
  • A Team of Rivals - Doris Goodwin
  • Ghost Hunters -William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death - Deborah Blum
  • Dream -Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy - Stephen Duncombe
  • Love & Theft - Eric Lott
  • Exit Ghost - Philip Roth
  • Studio A - The Bob Dylan Reader

Current Listening

  • Alexi Murdoch Wait
  • Wilco Summer Teeth
  • Wilco The Album
  • Carmina Burana - Ray Manzarek (& Michael Riesmann)
  • Polyrock - Polyrock
  • 96 Tears - Garland Jeffries
  • Ghost of a Chance Garland Jeffries
  • Yellow Magic Orchestra
  • Mustang Sally Buddy Guy
  • John Lee Hooker
  • Black and White Years
  • Together Through Life - B. Dylan
  • 100 Days 100 Nites - Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
  • DYLAN: 3 disc Greatest...
  • Glassworks - Philip Glass
  • Wild Palms - Soundtrack -Ryuichi Sakamoto
  • Dinah Washington - Best of..
  • Commander Cody& His Lost Planet Airmen Live at Armadillo