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Media News Politics

Fact-checking Jeff Berwick

Informed netizens will be familiar with Jeff Berwick, financial columnist and anarcho-capitalist podcaster, also known as the Dollar Vigilante. While I like much of his output a lot, he does have a habit of spreading half truths. Today I can be bothered to call him out. Below is the comment I left on this post on Deutsche Bank’s doom:

Quick factcheck from someone who actually speaks German!

For one your source was Bild, a paper only a slither above supermarket rags reporting on batboy and other such nonsense.

And for another, the first paragraph of the article translates as follows:

“We experienced a temporary IT problem that was quickly resolved, a spokesperson for the bank said on Sunday. He emphasized that only a limited number of customers were affected.”

So, no, this was no ATM blackout, no crisis, a mere fluke that happened to fall on an ominous date. My guess is that this was probably one or two ATMs that BSOD’d, less than five people called BILD and the rest is your false gotcha.

Quit fear-mongering, Jeff, rise above MSM tactics!

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Concert Reviews Featured Media Music

The Stone Roses at Etihad Stadium, night 1

Having been to and enjoyed every post-reunion Stone Roses gig in England, I decided to continue my streak and go to Manchester for their four night run at Etihad Stadium. This is review one of four.

I definitely enjoyed that concert. While I stood some ways back, there were enough moments when I could tell that Ian was definitely more in tune than during past post-reunion gigs and that this was not a band only in it for the money. If anything, they enjoy reveling in their status and doing giant gigs because they can. If they only wanted money, they’d tour the world and play the records note for note. Instead what you have here is four great musicians exploring their work and bringing pleasure to thousands.

There were a good number of moments when they musically moved me by ever so slightly changing a few bars or inserting an extra few notes here and there, like a penalty goal in slow motion. I hope I wasn’t the only one to notice the new approach to Elizabeth My Dear, for example. Either way, as I’ve said before on Twitter, the genius of John Squire is in the details. You have to listen carefully to notice when he improvises or elaborates.

Instead of going with preconceived notions, trust that they’ll deliver something worthwhile and then listen with an open mind. I enjoyed it a lot more once I stopped anticipating note for note reproductions of records (if you want that sort of precision, don’t go to a gig).

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Featured History Media News Politics

Patriotism is not a dirty word

Today’s tragic events in Brussels once again demonstrate what can happen when a country engages in foreign adventures unrelated to their national interests and at the same time fails to integrate foreigners. EU nations would do well to learn pretty quickly that patriotism is not a dirty word and that insisting that new arrivals integrate and assimilate is neither xenophobic or nationalist, it is plain common sense and very much necessary for a country to remain secure.

Say what you will about banking, Switzerland is the perfect example of how to be both proud of you identity and welcoming of others at the same time: By remaining neutral, staying out of other people’s affairs they have become a prosperous and very secure nation, and all without succumbing to police state measures or excessive “nanny-stateism”.

By remaining a true nation state (as opposed to a mere region of a super state) and therefore remaining in control of who can enter the country, they can afford to integrate and support new arrivals. In return, they expect that those newcomers will assimilate and assume Swiss values. As a result, there are no terrorist attacks on Swiss soil. Funny how this works…

In Switzerland there are no muslim ghettos, no no-go zones, no shanty towns and no troops on the streets.

And don’t say “banks”. Switzerland is proof that by minding your own business, taking care of your own and acting in your own interest as opposed to those of the Washington cabal you can be safe and prosperous and do so irrespective of how much your neighbouring countries whore themselves out to foreign interests.

Don’t be afraid to, as a nation or culture, know who you are and take rightful pride in your accomplishments. The world will notice, pay attention and leave you alone in return.

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Art Media Music

Heaton Park DVD petition?

Having sorted tickets and accommodation for next year’s run, I naturally had to feed my anticipation with that Fools Gold clip from Made of Stone. Only “I Wanna Be Adored” from the first night can top what I felt, but I can’t shake that nagging feeling that I may never get to see the rest of what was filmed at Heaton Park.

I know it would probably take a lot of money to process the remaining footage with as much love and care as those 13 minutes, but I reckon they’d have a bestseller on their hands if they released a Heaton Park DVD / Bluray / Live album.

Being that this is not a novel idea, I’m looking to find out if anyone’s tried this before. If not, I’d love to start something that would tell the band, their management and Shane Meadows / Warp Films that we want to see it all.

So I’d propose to also take the money factor out of the equation by promoting a pledgemusic.com effort where contributors upwards of a certain level would get a copy of at least the best of what was filmed.

Either way, see you in June!

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Academia Featured Media Politics Religion

David Icke: So What?!

In case you’re not familiar with David Icke, Google can tell you plenty. This article should still be here when you return. 😉

Having read and heard a good amount of David Icke’s theories about our reality, I am forced to ask: So what?! It’s one thing to state what’s wrong, but quite another to say what should be (whether he’s right or wrong is largely immaterial in this context). He succeeds in the former but fails in the latter.

What Icke seems to suggest as the answer to society’s ills seems to be the age old hippie philosophy of “if we all just love one another it will all be cosmic”. Bad news, Mr. Icke, that too is bollocks. Replacing one world order of unity through norming with another that centers around blind love isn’t helping matters, it’s merely another version of the same old bait and switch that our politicians are so well known for. Don’t decry religion wholesale by suggesting and by fiat establish a new age faith, speak reason buttressed by facts, for, as the educated know, you can have your own opinion, but not your own facts.

A revolution in consciousness, greater free speech, more diplomacy and liberty to all, sign me up, but please, just devote some time to suggesting how this might be accomplished. Dreams are great, but a man with a plan is far more powerful.

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Academia Featured General Media News Politics

We’re not anti-Brand, we’re anti-stupidity

In recent days, the usually awake alternate media have been promoting the idea that “the British establishment is hunting Russell Brand“. Not only do I share the latter’s opinion for a change, but I also object to this being portrayed as class warfare, one of Brand’s pet subjects.

What we, the establishment as well as clear thinking, mature adults in Britain object to is Brand’s immature, infantile and naive thinking. His so-called fresh perspective is nothing more than yet another re-hash of the same old communist class warfare tripe that has been exposed and debunked by thinking people for ages. Brand is not only not original, he is also just the latest tool being paid to promote social democracy and all the evil that comes with it.

Brand is unoriginal, embarrassingly bland, and yes, is in it for the money. So it’s not “the establishment hunting Brand”, it’s grown ups trying to educate a child.

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Media News ORLY Politics TV

US Appeals to “Law of the Jungle” in MH17 Case (Land Destroyer)

The abject failure of the United States to once again put forth credible evidence amid a firestorm of propaganda and rush to judgement – and subsequent action – echoes the attempted rush to war after NATO-member Turkey and Saudi Arabia assisted terrorists from the Syrian Al Qaeda franchise, Al Nusra, in carrying out a false-flag sarin gas attack in Damascus in August 2013. It also echoes the fallacious, fabricated evidence peddled before the United Nations regarding Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction” that in fact did not exist – but led to the invasion and nearly decade-long occupation of Iraq and over a million dead.

via Land Destroyer: US Appeals to “Law of the Jungle” in MH17 Case.

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Featured Geeky Humor Media TV

Monty Python at the O2 – musings

So I just got back from the O2 where I saw and met the Pythons, which was nice.

Before I let my impressions marinade, here are a few fresh from the bush:

For a whipper snapper like myself, this production was a godsend. As I was born quite late in their career, I’d never thus far had the chance of seeing them live. Good thing I’m a Swiss wage earning whipper snapper, ’cause that ticket was expensive!

When they say you should never meet your idols, they’re kind of right. Just like with my musical favourites, Motörhead’s Lemmy, one thing to keep in mind is that the stars are senior citizens now, so you won’t get a carbon copy of the record anymore. That said though, Eric Idle organised one fine show for us.

Although they could have gone a bit lighter on the musical type interludes, it was a privilege to see the five remaining Pythons and Carol Cleveland in the flesh, doing it all one more time. To see those sketches live and alive was amazing. Younger actors may have more vigour, but it’s always best to see the writers and original performers.

The irony of the whole thing about age, by the way, was that the most seasoned performer is still the best performer. Although he’s the oldest of the five, John Cleese was in great voice and shape and I for one am very glad he wanted to be there.

Meeting them afterwards was surreal. I usually have lots to say to my idols, but somehow with these whom I’ve admired for a lot longer than some of my musical favourites, I had far less to say. But sod it, all five in one room and me and 100 others too, that’s a pretty good crowning moment to an evening.

To finish with an aside on legends, Motörhead is still amongst the best in the value for money department, by the way. If there was a next time Monty Python should ask VIP Nation to do the meet and greet.

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Featured Media News Politics TV

BBC ignores UK far-left

Russell Brand ‘Con-Dems’ MSM blackout of 50,000-strong anti-austerity march

One critical observation absent from the “debate” on this issue is that, just like Occupy Wall street, this “People’s Assembly Against Austerity” is, true to its name, a far-left / Labour / social democrat / communist organization playing into the elite’s hands.

Russel Brand has become a tool in the hands of the elite, who, as they have for ages, rely on a repeated cycle of Hegelian dialectic to extort the population.

The entity commonly known as the UK government has for decades overspent on buttering up miscreants and assorted lefties with excuses for laziness in the form of oversized benefits. Now that funds are nearing depletion, they have to institute austerity measures, as of course paying for the exploitation of anyone not in the elites comes first. Now in order to legitimize the next phase, they’re creating this false outrage to have a reason to extort even more money from the honest and decent among their people in the name of “helping the poor” or some other nonsense.

Just like with other celebs, Brand would be better of focusing on what he’s best at (and even there he’s crap), being a comedian. He has now definitely proven that he knows sod all about how politics really works.

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CWQTPY Featured Media News Politics

Proof that Ukraine conflict is about natural resources

For weeks if not months, the enlightened observers of the Ukraine conflict, including myself for some time, have been pointing to the causus belli of the supposed “conflict between Kiev and Moscow” in Ukraine: natural resources, or in other words, the hydrocarbon basins located below East Ukraine and the Crimean Republic.

The Dnieper-Donets and Azov-Kuban hydrocarbon basins essentially cover much of east and south Ukraine as well as the Crimean peninsula, as this USGS report proves.

The rest of the puzzle, as of today, is a doddle, as Del Boy would say: The main licensee of those basins is Burisma Holdings, whose board has appointed none other than United States Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, as director.

The US oligarchs thought they had the situation under control after their “Nazi” puppets seized power earlier this year. Then the Crimeans pre-empted the realization of their control by leaving Ukraine for Russia. Now they really had to up the pressure to keep Donetsk and Luhansk from doing likewise, so they sent CIA director Brennan over to personally green light the fratricide we’ve been witnessing for the past few weeks.

While it is true that given their historical background, the entire eastern half of Ukraine has a greater tendency to feel a greater connection to Russia than to the EU, this is all mostly a grievance cleverly exploited by “the West”. Poland is under EU, US, IMF, etc. control, so if the Lviv region wanted to join Poland, for example, there would be no problem whatsoever.

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CWQTPY Featured Media News ORLY Politics TV

Russia is not the enemy

In the unfolding conflict in the Ukraine, I have for the first time been forced to rely on Russia Today for balanced and truthful information. While RT usually is mainly useful for the sort of background information you’d only find on the Internet away from mainstream outlets, they are now proving to be an invaluable source of insight into what is happening, as opposed to what the EU and the USA want you to think is happening.

While I am well aware of RT’s allegiance to the Kremlin (heck, Eduard Shevardnadze’s granddaughter is one of their figureheads), they are nowhere as loyal as the allegedly free media out here are to the official storytellers of “the west”. Even if you filter out their storybook portrayal of Russian officials, you’re still left with more balanced information.

Take this piece of NWO propaganda, for example, or this “analysis”, also from the allegedly unbiased BBC:

  • The BBC keeps referring to “Pro-Russian separatists” to imply that somehow those residents active in the eastern Ukraine are somehow Kremlin loyalists and not patriotic Ukranians.
  • The same article, in line with guidelines for Western media, calls the junta in Kiev “the central government”, refusing to ever mention that they are illegitimate and to a great extent made up of neo-fascists the Russian media refers to as “Neo-Nazis”, either way right wing extremists who are doing the EU’s bidding by fighting against the Ukraine’s own interests.
  • The “analysis” states: “Some 40,000 Russian troops remain massed on Ukraine’s border. Military drills are under way.” While that may be true, it never mentions the US troops present in Poland and NATO troops also present in the region, both doing the exact same thing they claim Russia is wrong to do. Even if that were so, at least they’d be Russian troops massing on Russian soil, not American and western European troops massing just west of the Ukraine.

This crisis has highlighted western hypocrisy like I’ve rarely seen before. John Kerry has been the worst. The man who once prided himself on having led protests against the Vietnam war, now beats the drums of war against Russia, disingenuously claiming that what the US does never constitutes invasion or conquest. What are Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya if not nations conquered by US forces? The only reason we can’t call those three annexations is because they don’t share land borders with the contiguous 48 states.

Say what you will about the Russian government, but remember that the oligarchy that calls itself the US government and which already over half of Americans realize does not represent them, commits vastly more crimes outside its borders all the time than Russia may have when they invited the Crimean peninsula to join their federation.

The only reason why the US and the EU installed a puppet junta in Kiev in the first place is the prize they’ve got their eyes on now: natural resources in the eastern Ukraine. Just as in every major conflict of the recent past, it’s about oil, drugs and minerals.

No one side is innocent in this conflict, but the allegedly impartial European and American media are certainly guilty of hiding the truth and disseminating the propaganda written for them by the western oligarchy.

Once again, the blending of “their” version and “our version” results in the truth. Dare to consume foreign media if you’re strong enough!

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CWQTPY Featured Media News Politics

Boston: martial law testing lab

Quite apart from its hegelian aspects, the bombing at the Boston marathon last year started the transformation of the greater Boston area into what I’d term a martial law testing facility. Already in the aftermath of the event last year, residents got to experience a DHS and militarized police orchestrated lockdown. Now we’re seeing the use of a smart grid surveillance system and further conditioning of people to accept overbearing authority.

Just like security checkpoints were once confined to airports and then expanded to ports and roads, this year’s marathon sees yet another increase in the use of false security on the form of checkpoints for both participants and spectators. Quite apart from the fact that terrorists wouldn’t bother to strike twice in the same place, having such all encompassing security is not a manifestation of “Boston strong”. “Boston strong” would be to hold the event without pretending that the sky was about to fall.

Realize that both the premise and the conclusion are wrong in this instance. The DHS has not prevented terrorist attacks which would not have happened in the first place had it not been for the disastrous US foreign policy of the last 50 years (at least) and unless they’re stopped, they will be ratcheting up the mistreatment of ordinary citizens until they can’t live without some form of federal dictatorship permit any longer.

The Boston marathon should be about athletic achievements, about being able to run where otherwise you couldn’t. Boston would be strong if its citizens refused to continue to be abused as a DHS sandbox.

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CWQTPY Media News Politics

Is ‘moderate Islam’ an oxymoron?

Is ‘moderate Islam’ an oxymoron?.

tl;dr : Yes, it is.

The author does a great job of elaborating on a theory I’ve held to be true for quite some time. If any degrees in a religion exist, and this seems to be especially true for Islam, they are very much a question of whether one follows a religion and therefore belongs to it or whether one simply wears a label without following a religion.

Mind you, the same also applies in Christianity where many false prophets with many sheeple ruin the good name of Jesus, but that’s a whole lot more complex.

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Featured General Media Music Personal

Open letter to Dream Theater

Dear John, John M, James, Jordan and Mike M,

September 8 2010 started with a shock. The future of the band I had come to love intensely over a few years was uncertain. The chief architect and informal leader said goodbye. Full speed into a brick wall, yeah, I felt that too, as much as a fan could anyhow.

When details surfaced, I blamed Frank Solomon. I did not believe that you would be so inconsequential on your own. Little did I know that I had probably misplaced my blame entirely.

When the documentary came out and Mike Mangini was introduced, I felt some excitement. How could you not, the Mangini vibe is infectous (“not just the pattern, but the tooone…”). I was mad at what I saw as your great disrespect for the warning bell Mike Portnoy had rung. He knew his baby was sick and he could no longer stand idly by. But I try not to judge, especially when I don’t have all the facts. I was willing to give you a fair shake for the new era. Twice the magic, I thought.

“On the Backs of Angels” was a disappointment, but then “A Rite of Passage” was a poppy single too, so that seemed alright. When the not-so dramatic turn of events was released, I found songs and passages I liked, but already I was missing the emotional radiance of the likes of “Count of Tuscany”. I came to both Swiss shows and even traveled to London to see you as that was the first concert announced for that cycle. I welcomed Mike Mangini with everyone else, and seeing members of your families at the Zurich concert was a special bonus.

At the end of the first Mangini album cycle, I was disappointed but hopeful. I was willing to chalk up the weaknesses of the album on the time during which it was written and I eventually forgave you for only having two minimally differing setlists on the second EU leg.

“The Enemy Inside” proved to be an ominous sign of things to come. An even weaker pre-album single. But still I did not give up. I wanted to like you so bad I bought the deluxe boxset and a VIP ticket for the concert. Gullible me. Your self-titled album should really be nicknamed “MK II”, for that’s what it signifies. A band that has lost its way, a group coasting along on laurels forged from past successes. I thought it would grow on me, and I have grown to like weirder stuff, like Billy Corgan’s voice. But I could never listen to that album all the way through. That wasn’t just you and your signature sound, that was you repeating yourselves and selling vinegar as new age vodka.

By that time I had already bought a VIP ticket for the current EU tour and the deluxe edition of “Dream Theater” was mildly rewarding until some idiot put the video from the USB stick on Youtube. Thank goodness for online resale sites.

I liked “Live at Luna Park”, but only because it contained so much old material, and even then the regret was not complete until the 360 app came out, with a photo gallery very telling of who the boss is in DT land these days.

In the intervening weeks, I struggled to admit the obvious: I’d had it with you. And then a a few days ago when I learned that you’d completely violated the original purpose of the “An Evening with” format by simply playing more of the same unimaginative running order, and playing the very same setlist every night, I knew the camel could walk no more.

Tonight I decided that I could not face you in good conscience and pretend everything was fine and that I liked you. It isn’t and I don’t, not anymore. I now know that I was a fool to think a bad tree could produce good fruit. Shame on me, because that was very cunning of you and / or Frank to use Crowdsurge as a last nail in the coffin (no refunds).

Dream Theater MK II is like a sick dog and I want no part of it anymore. Call me when you decide to see a doctor, I’ll be waiting, the fool I’ve been.

Sincerely,

Fabio, ex-fan

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CWQTPY Featured Media News Politics

Another puppy protest

Reddit, Mozilla, rights groups to protest online snooping in memory of Aaron Swartz — RT News.

Whenever leftie groups start efforts as cute as that one, I can’t help but think of peacenik Rimmer.

Don’t get me wrong, something ought to be done, but what those puppy protesters need to learn is that governments don’t care about us. Cruel but true.

All such puppy protests accomplish is to motivate governments to rebrand their efforts and do a better job of hiding them, sort of like thieves have to necessarily perfect or revise their methods whenever law enforcement catches on.

The question is, as it has been for ages, who’s holding the gun? Right or wrong don’t matter when (deadly) force is on your side.

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CWQTPY Education Featured Media News Politics

Senator Rand Paul and window dressing

(US) Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has made a name for himself in part by calling for an audit of the “federal reserve” (which in truth is neither federal nor possesses any reserves whatsoever). As noble as his goals may be, please take care not to be sucked into his game.

Even if the Senator succeeds in getting an official audit off the ground, which is already very unlikely, sort of like his father ever becoming President, remember how terrible a record the US government has on so-called official investigations.

Be it the JFK assassination, Iran Contra or 9/11, no US government investigation of the past 60 years at the very least has ever been interested in uncovering truth. On the contrary, all of them did everything they could to write fictional history and bury truth beyond the reach of any law or ordinary citizen.

Always remember that first and foremost, politicians are, in the words of Lemmy, “lying and thieving bastards”!

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Featured General Humor Media Music News Personal

My 2013 in review

As we enter another new year, it is once again time for me to recount some of the highlights of my 2013.

  1. Meeting Arthur BrownIn early December, I tendered my perk from his Zim Zam Zim album PledgeMusic campaign, by seeing him in concert and meeting him after. It is important to note that this was not your usual M&G, heck, most people nowadays couldn’t appreciate Arthur Brown enough anyway, irrespective of when they discovered him. 😉 This was more like an audience with Arthur Brown, a very cool experience!I first saw Artur and his Crazy World (of) band at the High Voltage festival in London in 2011. Like many others I only knew the “Fire” tune from the suite of the same name, but I did make it a point to go see him play. That day I first experienced the great natural high the man can produce. I had a huge smile on my face, and I was 100% sober!

    CWOAB is theater, prog, rock, soul, funk and entertainment of the classic variety in one. Brown also still sings, dances and acts just like in his younger days. Before I knew of his connection to Lemmy (Kilmister of Motörhead), I sensed that Arthur too was one of the originals, old enough to remember before there was rock’n’roll and intact enough to tell us young ones about it.

    Like Lemmy, Arthur Brown is very wise but also charming and amusing, and he too would rather tour with a small circle of trustworthy friends than top the charts. One one hand’s side, it’s a massive shame that he’s not getting the attention and respect he deserves (massive influence on the likes of Alice Cooper, for example), but on the other hand’s side him and his band are like a secret shared amongst true lovers of musical art.

    Unlike Lemmy, however, Arthur Brown has a beautiful female lead guitarist on his right, a big talent much better looking than ol’ Phil.

  2. “See youse at the Barras”, 2013 editionAnother recent and very memorable night was this year’s Shed Seven concert at the Barrowlands Ballroom in Glasgow, Scotland. This too seems to be a secret gem of the music world that I would argue any true fan of real music would be a fool to miss.The Barras, as it is known locally, is a venue that has everything. Atmosphere, great sound and a great view of the action, everywhere. And although you’ll be one of under 2000 people in there even on sold out nights, it might as well be just you and some mates you never knew you had. And the gig will start where most other venues will end them, i.e. with energy, sound and noise at 11. At the Barras all of the main act’s set is the encore, it’s that powerful. The bands love it and play at their best, and the crowds know that and too bring their A game, thus creating this unique energy feedback loop that will only be extinguished some hundred odd yards from the venue, when you can’t hear anyone sing into the night anymore after the concert.This atmosphere there I think comes closest to what Liam Gallagher calls being “mad fer it”. So prepare to be intimidated if you don’t already love the band you’re going to see there. 😉
  3. Mike Portnoy 

    This was the year I declared myself a Mike Portnoy fan, and not only because I got to meet him twice in 2013.I have liked his work a lot for quite a few years (apart from the A7X pop, that was unnecessary), but it was this year’s flaming bag of poo sold to the masses as chocolate biscuits by his former colleagues that sealed the deal. Portnoy knows why he participates in the projects he starts or joins and will not put his name on something that isn’t of his high standard.I suppose Portnoy has a bit of the older generation mentality in him. Like the generation of Lemmy and Arthur Brown, he won’t sign off on mediocrity and will work overtime if more fans get to enjoy more of his work.

    I’ll refer you to my previous Portnoy related posts and remain by saying that I really look forward to Progressive Nation ’14 and more Transatlantic, Flying Colors and Winery Dogs after that. I also can’t see Neal Morse taking a year off, so I’ll probably get to enjoy at least two Portnoy related concerts in Switzerland alone this year too.

  4. Lemmy 

    Not only did he lead Motörhead to the top with yet another masterpiece in the form of Aftershock, he also, true to his ethos, rescheduled the entire fall tour when he realised he couldn’t deliver. While it’s of course sad that he’s had to slow down, it’s much more important to remember that, as Neil Young sang, it’s better to burn out than to fade away.

  5. The Stone Roses 

    Thanks to my fast fingers, the first TSR event of 2013 was the premiere of Made of Stone in Manchester. Not only was it the first premiere I’d been to (and first of two in 2013), but it was also very exciting to be able to be at THE event, not some screening for plebs, but the same one that the band, their friends and the crew attended.After the monumental experience at Heaton Park in 2012 I naturally had to attend their Finsbury Park concerts as well. Like the bearded mega fan said in the film, there’s just something indescribably exciting about the band, and to me it’s an excitement that just does not get old no matter how many times I hear the same songs.

    The only Roses thing that’ll top that now is the hotly anticipated third album. As with my other top events of the year, I’d also advise them to do it properly or leave it be. Their successors from the Britpop scene have proven this. It is in that sense a good thing that there’s not been a new Blur or Oasis studio album but instead several smaller side project releases.

  6. Not Another Happy Ending 

    Almost a year after visiting the film set in Glasgow, I finally got to see the finished product at the commoner premiere of the film in Edinburgh. I call it the commoner premiere because the true premiere was earlier the same day and only upper class people were allowed at that one it seems.
    I enjoyed seeing the actors and crew members again, even if only from afar this time, and the movie remains one I can only recommend, in spite of my bias.

  7. HMV survives 

    Although I do prefer independent stores, I am very glad that HMV survived and has started to justify its own existence again. I’ve enjoyed seeing HMVs in all the cities I visited this year making a greater effort and wanting to be relevant again. My biggest thanks go to the Newcastle branch (and probably Universal) for arranging the Megadeth signing session where I not only got to have my copy of Super Collider signed (which I’d purchased at the Indie down the street) but also, by means of a snapshot, won an autographed poster too. This helped considering the terrible acoustics at the venue later that day.

  8. The Inspiral Carpets 

    I’ve got to add this as only their internal politics would merit an exclusion from this list.I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them live, and in their hometown of all places. Steven Holt is a surprisingly good singer, much better than he is sometime given credit for, and the band, much like Shed Seven, still play as well as during their heyday period.

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CWQTPY Media News Politics TV

The UN Says the Ukrainian People Must Decide their Fate, NATO Wants Something Else | Global Research

“One can only wonder how many of the “demonstrators” in Kiev were spontaneously and authentically opposed to Yanukevich’s government.”

via The UN Says the Ukrainian People Must Decide their Fate, NATO Wants Something Else | Global Research.

I called this weeks ago. Now it becomes clearer what is actually at stake. I think it’s a good rule to especially ask why when people behave as illogically as those allegedly in favor of EU extortion in the Ukraine.

It is only because of such NATO / US “government” idiocy that I’ve become a supporter of President Putin and his policies. His conduct is that becoming of a true statesman, gentleman and adult. I can see how of course he is part of the same dialectic as “the west”, but at least he is a much greater pleasure to witness in action than “the west”.

Let us hope that we the awake can grow our numbers this year. There’s nothing worse than a closed and diseased mind.

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Business Featured Geeky Media News Politics

Lazy journalism at The Daily Dot

The Daily Dot – In the U.S, its a crime—in Canada, its the best political prank of the year.

I don’t usually bother pointing out flaws in online journalists’ reasoning as the likelihood of there being many more of such erroneous conclusions is just far too high.

Just for fun, however, I’ll be nice and tell Lorraine Murphy where she went wrong. But not too nice. Presumably she can fill in the rest eventually.

The difference in this case is not between Canada and the US. (The alleged differences between the two countries are largely myths and elements of state sponsored propaganda anyway.) The difference between Andrew and Kevin is that the former exposed information that a concerned party had a reasonable expectation of being private, whereas the latter merely did a bit of URL hacking on a PR campaign, thereby exposing the laziness of the agency creating the campaign.

“Weev”‘s mistake was to publish the information he had gathered. Unlike Kevin, his act was not that of a mere Nelson “haw haw” finger pointing, it was something approaching extortion, an act a competitor such as Verizon might commission if they were criminally inclined. What could have resulted in at worst a suspended sentence if he had simply notified AT&T instead of publishing the data he had farmed, instead has resulted in a much harsher sentence.

So in sum, Ms. Murphy, no, this is not a difference between the US and Canada, it’s the difference between a benevolent and a malevolent hacker. It’s like the difference between telling a man his fly is open and posting a picture of whatever is showing for everyone he knows to see.

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Art Music News TV

Top of the Pops at 50: should the BBC bring it back? (The Guardian)

Top of the Pops at 50: should the BBC bring it back? | Music | The Guardian.

Trust the Guardian to simultaneously ask a stupid question and shed light on an important issue.

In spite of all the crap the BBC aired on TOTP over the decades, there’s no denying that there were also some seminal performances and celebrations of miming on the show.

Just because the charts are full of crap these days doesn’t mean there’s no show. The solution to the “not enough material” “issue” is easy. How about starting with spotlight episodes on Welsh and Wales influenced artists?

This could be another perfect UK institution for BBC Cymru Wales to resurrect. I’m sure Russel T. Davies has some talents in the musical area as well.

The BBC seems to be lusting after FOX lately (well, for up to 25 years actually) with the way they’ve been abandoning quality products (including buildings), so Mr. Paphides’ question is indeed a rhetorical one.

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Media News Politics Technology

U.S. judge says NSA phone surveillance is lawful (Reuters)

“A federal judge ruled that a National Security Agency program that collects records of millions of Americans phone calls is lawful, [and] (…) does not violate Americans privacy rights.”

via UPDATE 3-U.S. judge says NSA phone surveillance is lawful | Reuters.

Just like something straight out of Fahrenheit 451 or 1984, except it’s not fictional. War is peace and captivity is freedom.

Not that I expected anything else, mind you. No judge will stop the efforts so far entrusted to the NSA. Just like Norman Stanley Fletcher, there’s but one mistake the NSA has made, that of getting caught.

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Business Media News Politics Science

The climate alarmists have lost the debate: it’s time we stopped indulging their poisonous fantasy – Telegraph Blogs

The climate alarmists have lost the debate: it’s time we stopped indulging their poisonous fantasy – Telegraph Blogs.

It’s a shame the “climate change” industry is so profitable. This will relegate reality and the truth accompanying it to the sidelines for a long time.

Climate alarmists are the snake oil salesmen of the 21st century. Like their counterparts of yore, they too are portraying natural, unstoppable processes as something they have influence over.

Face it, lemmings, climate changes, it always has and always will. Nothing we have done will change that, and all that the alarmists’ spazzing does is line their pockets. “Climate change” is a racket, a plausible sounding theory used to extort huge sums of money from governments who will then steal it from their citizens.

I do favor freedom. But like Obamacare, it should be illegal to charge me for something I don’t believe in and have no need for. If you wanna pay a flat earth tax, suit yourselves, but kindly only waste your own money!

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CWQTPY Media News Politics

German intelligence service is as bad as the NSA (Comment is free, the Guardian)

German intelligence service is as bad as the NSA | Kai Biermann | Comment is free | theguardian.com.

A useful reminder from an otherwise despicable rag. “Your” government isn’t any better just because it claims to despise what the NSA is doing. They’re most likely just as guilty.

In the case of the BND / Germany this was easy to spot when the talk of “secure e-mail” came up. Only someone with no idea of how the Internet works could be so naive as to think that you can keep anything from the NSA / GCHQ just by repatriating your e-mail servers.

It’s a con, people. No government is seriously interested in granting you privacy, especially not if they claim the opposite.

Pessimistic? Maybe, but I doubt it.

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Featured Media Music News

Yesterday’s DTforums Google hangout

I tuned in to the newest marketing hour with Dream Theater (should use quotation marks I think) on Youtube yesterday to see if perhaps I could catch a glimpse of what went missing when they threw the captain overboard and under the bus and put dictator-light Petrucci on a pedestal.

Fat chance. It was just over an hour of backslapping and PR friendly statements, with all questions carefully screened so as to not upset their highnesses. This is the band that won’t shake hands out of germophobia and conceitedness, and I suspect that John Petrucci may have received an endorsement from a grill manufacturer to boot.

What hurt most was their utter disdain of their years of glory. They all stated they hated medleys, and I’m sure they would have slapped the moderator for asking about pre-2011 YTSEjam bootleg releases if they’d all been in the same room. You should’ve seen James switch the topic to their “fantastic” last tour, where they had “special moments”. I presume he was referring to that same tour where the only difference between the only set lists, A and B, was ONE song.

Like I said, they’re denigrating their history and former identity and selling the resulting piss in beer bottles.

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Academia Media News Politics

Pat Buchanan: ‘Whites Are the Only Group That You Can Discriminate Against Legally in America Now’ | NewsBusters

Pat Buchanan: ‘Whites Are the Only Group That You Can Discriminate Against Legally in America Now’ | NewsBusters.

Once again, Buchanan is right. To assume that Asians excel at hard science and math is racist, but to assume that whites will get whatever they ask for is not?!

True, technically the standards are the same for everyone, but a white applicant who can just about afford college but misses the mark has no fallback. Who will give him a chance? If any white person will have a comfortable life anyway, why is there a white lower class? Why are there so many poor white people? Wakey, wakey, discriminating against whites is racist too!

The time when whites are no longer a super majority in any state of the US is approaching fast. What will it take for the blind to finally become color blind as MLK asked for?! When he spoke of a color blind society he did not mean go out and screw the white man at every turn.

Once again, the choice is clear: Either we can all have special interest groups, or none of us can. If skin color doesn’t mean anything, ban the NAACP and La Raza!

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Featured Media News Politics TV

Al Jazeera America Promises a More Sober Look at the News

Al Jazeera America Promises a More Sober Look at the News – NYTimes.com.

However much bias some will think Al Jazeera America has, it will certainly have no more bias than the “domestic” US media. In a landscape so harshly dominated by the mainstream media, a.k.a. Red Barry’s mouthpiece, Russia Today and Al Jazeera America are vital voices! If healthy debate is the sign of a healthy democracy than the US badly needs Dr.s RT and AJA!

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Academia Business Featured Media Music Politics

Has Bono grown up?

The Beacon: The Blog of The Independent Institute.

From the article above, it would seem that at long last, and about 35 years too late, Bono has finally grown up. Gone seem the days of standing with Bob “give us the f*cking money” Geldof and conspiring with Rothchild junior on plundering the wet liberals.

Capitalism, when unrestrained by government, IS the answer, especially for poor countries, but for wealthy ones too!

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Featured Media ORLY Politics

Norwegian woman fighting jail sentence in Dubai for reporting rape – World News

Norwegian woman fighting jail sentence in Dubai for reporting rape – World News.

Another case where some libertarianism would be beneficial. Irrespective of whether European law is superior or not, who are they to tell the rulers of the emirates how to organize their societies?

Evidently their adherence to Islamic law has not hindered the development of a thriving haven for foreign businesses in Dubai. So why should they let outsiders dictate their laws?

I’m constantly surprised when people complain about being treated “unfairly” in Arab nations. There is no excuse not to know about Islamic law when traveling there and therefore no right to complain if you run afoul of it.

As long as the proponents of Islamic law keep it confined to their own nations and thereby out of Europe and nations founded on European culture, they should be free to live life as they see fit. Cruel as it may seem, that approach works best. The meddling of Western powers in the last few decades has proven this over and over.

As long as no one forces you to travel to such nations and be violated at gunpoint, you have no right to complain. Again, there are far more important things to worry about right here at home!

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Featured Media News Politics

Recreational drugs and how to deal with them

I’m beginning to think that we should deal with recreational drugs the same as with other than marriage unions, i.e. stop arguing and interfering.

If weak-minded morons want to ruin their and their families’ lives by consuming illegal drugs, let them, but don’t bill the rest of us. Let them kill themselves, but don’t tax me to pay for the outcomes of their follies. Deal with them however harshly you like once they can no longer be maintained. Those who are too stupid to respond to tailored offers of help may just be destined to erase themselves and their defectiveness.

As long as the truth wasn’t kept from them like it often is nowadays and they verifiably still choose to harm themselves but no one else, I don’t see why we should waste time on them.

I am not proposing we return to savage do or die behaviors, but there needs to be some pruning in the interest of sanity. There are things way more important than the well being of idiots.

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Featured Media Music News

The Stone Roses, Finsbury Park, review (Telegraph)

Ian Brown’s face had a few more lines than in his youth but his swagger can still make Liam Gallagher seem like a man crippled with self-doubt.

via The Stone Roses, Finsbury Park, review – Telegraph.

The concert was a great opportunity to rekindle memories of the historic Heaton Park gigs last year. The only truly new thing this year may have been the setlist, but with the Stone Roses, that is secondary, as just being there is an event every time.

Being that so much was similar to last year (does SJM always use the same onsite construction approach?), it’s hard to highlight much for me, but suffice to say that 2013 could be their year if new singles start coming out.

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CWQTPY Media News Politics

Britain Braced For Anti-Muslim Backlash after Woolwich Beheading (IBTimes UK)

Britain Braced For Anti-Muslim Backlash after Woolwich Beheading – IBTimes UK.

Wow, I think it’s more a case of free speech being under attack, more than Muslim “suffering”.

That people could get arrested for “racist” tweets is scary. Unless they’re actively working to commit violence, it should be those authorising the arrests that should do time for wasting taxpayers’ money.

No wonder the EDL and the UKIP are growing…

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Media News Politics

Britain braces for possible copycat attacks (My Way News)

Britain’s domestic spy agency of MI5 has long warned of the difficulties in predicting self-starter attacks, or attacks that are inspired – not necessarily organized – by larger groups.

via My Way News – Britain braces for possible copycat attacks.

Bollocks! When Labour opened the floodgates predicting became much easier. Unchecked immigration will lead to such clashes between cultures and races, “extremist” religions or not.

Besides, in this case they knew the lead attacker beforehand, no predicting necessary!

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Media Music Technology

UK record labels launch unprecedented anti-Torrent campaign — RT News

UK record labels launch unprecedented anti-Torrent campaign — RT News.

It’s initiatives that seriously harm the record industry’s credibility. They fight for artists about as much as breweries are interested in people’s health.

Instead of stealing from artists, how about give them their fair share first so that there actually is something to defend?!

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Featured Geeky Media Personal TV

BBC Doctor Who Experience – Review

So today I finally went to the BBC’s Doctor Who Experience here in Cardiff Bay. I stress the BBC part of it as it is clearly a product of the BBC for fans, unlike the original one (at the Red Dragon Centre), which (apparently) was by fans for fans.

While I would recommend a visit to any fan, casual or hardcore (Bessie!), I have to stress the major caveat that longtime or hardcore fans should not go in with too many expectations. While it is nice to be immersed in a mini adventure, courtesy of the BBC’s big purse, I can’t help shake the impression of a clean and sanitized, almost Disney-like establishment.

As a more geeky fan of the family of shows, I fully expected there to be at least some exclusive merchandise, i.e. autographs, rarities and strictly limited editions of artefacts. If record companies can compel their artists to sign a stack of autograph cards at regular intervals, the BBC should have no problem doing the same.

As I said, I’m sorted for autographs, but not everyone can travel or even fund projects to get them.

It’s good to see that the BBC are investing in the area and being honest about where the new generation Doctor Who’s real home is, I do wish they’d also cater to bigger fans, who (gasp!) might even return for more visits.

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Art Featured Media Music News

The Sabbath tragedy, or, I’m with Bill

I definitely do not regret what I said about Sharon Osbourne (born Arden) now. I blame her and her “business acumen” for this latest episode in the travesty that is the Black Sabbath “reunion”.

As a drummer, I will have to stand with Bill Ward. One drummer is not like the other, just like one singer is not like the other. I will not buy any present day merchandise, not go to concerts where the other three play and certainly not buy the album when it comes out.

The other three should play as The Paranoid. There is no Black Sabbath without Bill Ward!!