Sunday, August 16, 2009

Obamageddon - What Could be on the Horizon with Afghanistan and/or Iran

I really don't have much to add to this article. I've snipped most of the relevant stuff, but read the whole thing to get the links contained within and to watch the Fox News interview with economist Gerald Celente. Large text emphases are mine
An American president is launching the most ambitious, the most expensive, and certainly the most dangerous military campaign since the Vietnam War—and the antiwar movement, such as it is, is missing in action. After a long and bloody campaign in Iraq and the election of a U.S. president pledged to get us out, our government is once again revving up its war machine and taking aim at yet another “terrorist” stronghold, this time in Afghanistan. Yet the antiwar movement’s motor seems stuck in the wrong gear, making no motions toward mounting anything like an effective protest. What gives?

We shouldn’t doubt the scope of the present war effort. Make no mistake: the Obama administration is radically ramping up the stakes in the “war on terrorism,” which, though renamed, has not been revised downward, as the Washington Post reports:

"As the Obama administration expands U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, military experts are warning that the United States is taking on security and political commitments that will last at least a decade and a cost that will probably eclipse that of the Iraq war.”
As the economic crisis escalates and the debt-based central banking system shows it can no longer re-inflate the bubble by creating assets out of thin air, an economic and political rationale for war is easy to come by; for if the Keynesian doctrine that government spending is the only way to lift us out of an economic depression is true, then surely military expenditures are the quickest way to inject “life” into a failing system. This doesn’t work, economically, since the crisis is only masked by the wartime atmosphere of emergency and “temporary” privation. Politically, however, it is a lifesaver for our ruling elite, which is at pains to deflect blame away from itself and on to some “foreign” target.

It’s the oldest trick in the book, and it’s being played out right before our eyes, as the U.S. prepares to send even more troops to the Afghan front and is threatening Iran with draconian economic sanctions, a step or two away from outright war.

A looming economic depression and the horrific prospect of another major war – the worst-case scenario seems to be unfolding, like a recurring nightmare, and there doesn’t seem to be any way to stop it. Are we caught, then, helpless in the web of destiny, to be preyed upon by those spiders in Washington?
History has shown that Afghanistan is practically unconquerable, and we could send an army of a million or more and still fail miserably. But think how the endless expenditures will “stimulate” our economy!
Pay attention to this part.
Our current foreign policy of global hegemonism and unbridled aggression is simply not sustainable, not when we are on the verge of becoming what we used to call a Third World country, one that is bankrupt and faces the prospect of a radical lowering of living standards. Unless, of course, the “crisis” atmosphere can be sustained almost indefinitely.
Sound familiar? "1984"?..."Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia. No, wait, Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia. No, wait, Oceania has always been at war with..."
It is said that FDR’s New Deal didn’t get us out of the Great Depression, but World War II did. The truth is that, in wartime, when people are expected to sacrifice for the duration of the “emergency,” economic problems are anesthetized out of existence by liberal doses of nationalist chest-beating and moral righteousness. Shortages and plunging living standards were masked by a wartime rationing system and greatly lowered expectations. And just as World War II inured us to the economic ravages wrought by our thieving elites, so World War III will provide plenty of cover for a virtual takeover of all industry by the government and the demonization of all political opposition as “terrorist.”

An impossible science-fictional scenario? Or a reasonable projection of present trends? Celente, whose record of predictions is impressive, to say the least, sees war with Iran as the equivalent of World War III, with economic, social, and political consequences that will send what is left of our empire into a tailspin. This is the popping of the “hyperpower” bubble, the conceit that we – the last superpower left standing – will somehow defy history and common sense and avoid the fate of all empires: decline and fall.
Could Afghanistan become Obama's Iraq? It's possible, if not probable, given that he has driven us further into debt and has plans for driving us further so; given that he has no qualms about national takeovers of corporations like GM and the banking industry. He could make it work with the politics of personality. That is, with his "kept whores" in the media, it could be sold to his unwavering sycophants on the left. Then we will see the "true colors" of the so-called anti-war crowd - that is, will all the anti-war protesters during the Bush era be out yelling in the streets, or were they "anti-war" because they were anti-Bush?

Time will tell, but things could get very interesting. Sleep tight.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, August 14, 2009

A REAL American Music Icon, Les Paul, Has Passed Away

By NEKESA MUMBI MOODY (AP) – 20 minutes ago

NEW YORK — Les Paul, the guitar virtuoso and inventor who revolutionized music and created rock 'n' roll as surely as Elvis Presley and the Beatles by developing the solid-body electric guitar and multitrack recording, died Thursday at age 94.

Known for his lightning-fast riffs, Paul performed with some of early pop's biggest names and produced a slew of hits, many with wife Mary Ford. But it was his inventive streak that made him universally revered by guitar gods as their original ancestor and earned his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the most important forces in popular music.

Paul, who died in White Plains, N.Y., of complications from pneumonia, was a tireless tinkerer, whose quest for a particular sound led him to create the first solid-body electric guitar, a departure from the hollow-body guitars of the time. His invention paved the way for modern rock 'n' roll and became the standard instrument for legends like Pete Townshend and Jimmy Page.

The guitar that Les built.

Gibson solicited Paul to create a prototype for a guitar, and began production on the Les Paul guitar in 1952. Townshend of the Who, Steve Howe of Yes, jazz great Al DiMeola and Led Zeppelin's Page all made the Gibson Les Paul their trademark six-string.

The Les Paul series has become one of the most widely used guitars in the music industry. In 2005, Christie's auction house sold a 1955 Gibson Les Paul for $45,600.

Paul was born Lester William Polfuss, in Waukesha, Wis., on June 9, 1915. He began his career as a musician, billing himself as Red Hot Red or Rhubarb Red. He toured with the popular Chicago band Rube Tronson and His Texas Cowboys and led the house band on WJJD radio in Chicago.

In the mid-1930s he joined Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians and soon moved to New York to form the Les Paul Trio, with Jim Atkins and bassist Ernie Newton.

Paul started out as an accompanist, working with key artists until he struck out on his own. His first records were released in 1944 on Decca Records. Later, with Ford, his wife from 1949 to 1962, he earned 36 gold records for hits including "Vaya Con Dios" and "How High the Moon," which both hit No. 1.

He had met Ford, then known as Colleen Summers, in the 1940s while working as a studio musician in Los Angeles. For seven years in the 1950s, Paul and Ford broadcast a TV show from their home in Mahwah, N.J. (Ford died in 1977, 15 years after they divorced).

Les Paul was also an inventor whose genius changed music and the recording industry forever.
Paul had made his first attempt at audio amplification at age 13. Unhappy with the amount of volume produced by his acoustic guitar, he tried placing a telephone receiver under the strings. Although this worked to some extent, only two strings were amplified and the volume level was still too low.

By placing a phonograph needle in the guitar, all six strings were amplified, which proved to be much louder. Paul was playing a working prototype of the electric guitar in 1929.

His work on recording techniques began in the years after World War II, when Bing Crosby gave him a tape recorder. Drawing on his earlier experimentation with his homemade recording machine, Paul added an additional playback head to the recorder. The result was a delayed effect that became known as tape echo.

Tape echo gave the recording a more "live" feel and enabled the user to simulate different playing environments.

Paul's next "crazy idea" was to stack together eight mono tape machines and send their outputs to one piece of tape, stacking the recording heads on top of each other. The resulting machine served as the forerunner to today's multitrack recorders. Many of his songs with Ford used overdubbing techniques that Paul had helped develop.

"I could take my Mary and make her three, six, nine, 12, as many voices as I wished," he recalled. "This is quite an asset." The overdubbing technique was highly influential on later recording artists such as the Carpenters.

Paul's use of multitrack recording was unique: Before he did it, most recordings were made on a single tape. By recording each element separately, from the vocals to instrumentation on different tracks, they could be mixed and layered, adding to the richness in sound.

"In the old days, if you only had one track, you put a microphone in the middle of the music and hope for the best," Juskiewicz said.

In 1954, Paul commissioned the first eight-track tape recorder, later known as "Sel-Sync," in which a recording head could simultaneously record a new track and play back previous ones.

In the late 1960s, Paul retired from music to concentrate on his inventions. His interest in country music was rekindled in the mid-'70s and he teamed with Chet Atkins for two albums. The duo were awarded a Grammy for best country instrumental performance of 1976 for their "Chester and Lester" album.

In 2005, he released the Grammy-winning "Les Paul & Friends: American Made, World Played," his first album of new material since those 1970s recordings and his first official rock CD. Among those playing with him: Peter Frampton, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Richie Sambora.

"They're not only my friends, but they're great players," Paul told The Associated Press. "I never stop being amazed by all the different ways of playing the guitar and making it deliver a message."

Paul was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2005.

More on Les Paul here.
What some other musicians had to say about Les Paul here, including one quote that sums up almost exactly what I think.
"Les is single handedly responsible for the direction and evolution of the modern rock movement. Period. If you are a fan of modern music, you owe Les Paul an enormous THANK YOU!" _ Dave Navarro

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Iranians "Detain" 3 American "Hikers"

Have you heard about this?
(AP) Iran has confirmed it detained three Americans who were in the area of the Iranian border while on a hiking trip, Kurdish officials said Saturday. The U.S. State Department has said it was looking into the situation.

The Kurdish regional government's envoy to Washington, Qubad Talabani, told The Associated Press the three were tourists and are in Iranian custody. He said the Americans mistakenly crossed into Iranian territory Friday at the border town of Ahmed Awaa.

"The Iranians said they have arrested them because they entered their land without legal permission," he said.
Wow, one could go a few directions here. A few observations:

First, if they are indeed "tourists", then they have to be three of the dumbest dumb-fucks on the planet, and I could care less. If anybody finds the reasons for that to not be obvious, then I suggest they, also, take a hiking trip along the Iran/Kurdistan border. I'll go out on a limb and speculate that they are probably liberal college kids and/or "citizens of the world" types without a lick of common sense. Fuck 'em.

Second, it will be interesting to see the reaction of the Obamastration. How will they spin it?

Third, if they are other than "tourists" (do I have to spell this out?) the second observation still applies.

Fourth, it will be interesting to see the liberal/left-wing/open borders/human rights groups' reaction, especially if they sympathize with the Iranians as a sovereign nation protecting their borders. If the lefties take that stance, they will have a hard time justifying their support for the illegal invasion along the US-Mexican border.

Hypocrisy check, you lefties/open borders/human rights types.

Fifth, it is interesting that, at the time of writing this, no names have been released. See second and third observations.

Let's see how this pans out.

Maybe we could get the Iranians to patrol our border with Mexico?

Labels: , ,