Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hats off, It's Ella Fitzgerald's birthday

The greatest singer of the Great American Song Book was born on the 25th of April 1917

With Count Basie

Gershwin by God

One Note Samba ... Delirium

Monday, April 22, 2013

Boston and the dilemma of "homegrown" terrorism

David Seaton's News Links
As the Spanish and British can attest since the Madrid and London attacks of 2004 and 2005, homegrown terrorism is tougher to anticipate than plots from outside. Edward Luce - Financial Times
The word "homegrown" is not really applicable to Islamic terrorism. Islam even in its most benign manifestations is always "homegrown": a simple, universally applicable, multinational, text-based, hierarchy-less, easy to understand, ideology that governs every aspect of life.
When, finally the worldwide Muslim community or Uma, using the essential, cheap and ubiquitous, communication tools of the Internet comes to a simple consensus as to who their enemies are, and there exist simple devices like pressure cookers filled with black powder for expressing their anger, no hierarchy in the shadows is needed. We can expect many individual actions similar to 19th century anarchism to follow.
What Americans need to pray for is that the millions of alienated, American born, young,black, men, who overflow their prison system, do not turn to Islam to express their anger and sense of oppression. DS

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The bombs and bombers of Boston

David Seaton's News Links
Federal investigators are hurrying to review a visit that one of the suspected bombers made to Chechnya and Dagestan, predominantly Muslim republics in the north Caucasus region of Russia. Both have active militant separatist movements. Members of Congress expressed concern about the F.B.I.’s handling of a request from Russia before the trip to examine the man’s possible links to extremist groups in the region. New York Times
It looks like this bombing was organized from Chechnya.
Why in Boston?
Because of their previous successes, planting a bomb in Moscow is very hard for the Chechens to pull off anymore and even if they are successful, killing dozens of Russians, as they often have before: that doesn't even rate more than a line or two in the world press.
But set off a homemade Chechen bomb in the USA, where nobody is expecting it, one that only kills three people... and suddenly it will dominate the world media for many days on end, with exhaustive coverage, something which, in effect, puts Chechnya and the Chechen cause right back on the map.
Was this organized by Chechen extremists?
Probably... but it also could have been just as easily organized by Russian intelligence, who, tired of being ignored, used agents provocateurs posing as Chechen extremists to recruit Tamarlan Tsarnaev, who in turn recruited his little brother.
Why would Russian intelligence do something like that?
Because Chechen nationalism is a very big problem for the Russians, but hardly on America's radar. Now instead of just being another tool for the Americans to potentially weaken Putin with, it has suddenly become a common enemy demanding intense cooperation with Putin. The Tsarnaev brothers would have been the last ones to know.
We will probably never know the truth either. DS

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bombs in Boston

I live in Madrid, Spain, and at this moment we are enjoying a (momentary?) respite from nearly 40 years of constant terrorist attacks, mostly by Basque separatists, with the one monumental attack by Al Qaeda in March 2004 with nearly 200 dead.
I remember once, many, many years ago, being in an office meeting and hearing through the open window a very close by, "ratatatatat" followed by a "boom", followed by the most total of silences, followed minutes later by sirens, which was the machine gun burst and grenade chaser that killed a Spanish admiral, the direct descendent of Christopher Columbus and his chauffeur, a poor recruit.
The daughter of a friend of ours lost an eye in an Eta bomb attack... she was just passing by.
The only consolation I can give the people of Boston is that if it goes on long enough, you finally get used to it... almost. DS

Friday, April 12, 2013

Thoughts on the New technology and privacy in the "Global Village"

David Seaton's News Links
facebook privacy

When I was a child, back in the 1950s, I spent many a summer in my grandmother's tiny village about 1/2 hour's drive from Hannibal Missouri on the Illinois side of the Big Muddy.
Neighbors would come into your house without knocking... they'd suddenly be there without any warning... there was no privacy and you had to be very careful what you were seen doing and what you said to anyone about anything... in no time at all all your doings and sayings would be all over town. The telephone was even a "party line", so there was no privacy there either....
We seem to be recreating this scenario with the new technology.
Is this what Marshall McLuhan meant by the "Global Village"?

... Complete with global "old wives"? DS

Thursday, April 11, 2013


David Seaton's News Links
Margaret Thatcher
My private theory of Margaret Thatcher is not as kind as most of the opinions expressed in the media. Cutting to the chase. I believe that British industry (Britain "invented" industry and was once the "workshop of the world") if properly reformed and restructured could have easily rivaled Germany's and Japan's, giving Britain a powerful and balanced economy. And I believe that this was not done because Thatcher's primary objective in creating a financial and services economy was in fact to destroy the labor unions and that she did that not out of any rational calculation of the benefits that this would bring Britain, but rather out of the primitive, visceral, petit bourgeois, class hatred of a small shopkeeper's daughter.

Whew... That's better out than in. DS

Thursday, April 04, 2013

A collection of press snippets

David Seaton's News Links
I began my journalistic endeavors by simply juxtaposing snippets from the press in an electronic collage, hoping that in the end result the total effect would be more than just the sum of the separate clippings. With the quotes below I return to my origins...
According to the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel, 87 percent of Holocaust survivors who request financial aid live on less than NIS 5,000 a month, while 58 percent live on NIS 3,000 or less. Meanwhile, 70 percent of survivors who turn to the foundation cannot afford dental care, and 18 percent need financial aid to pay for eyeglasses. Haaretz

One of every five Holocaust survivors said that he or she had skipped a meal at least once over the past year for financial reasons, and five percent of the survivors said they skipped meals often for that reason. One of every eight Holocaust survivors cited financial difficulty as the reason they had gone without medication at least once over the past year.(...)  Commemorations for Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Day, or Yom Hashoah Vehagvurah, will begin next Sunday night April 7. Haaretz

As soon as next year, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., could feature holograms of elderly Holocaust survivors that answer questions from visitors.(...) When the holograms are ready for the museum, each one will be accompanied by a voice-recognition program that researchers, led by the University of Southern California, are developing. The program will recognize what museum-goers ask and provide answers, a bit like Siri does on the iPhone, except that all the answers must come from the person the hologram represents.(...) For Holocaust survivors, whose estimated average age is 79, this may be taxing work. So far, however, no one has declined to work with the project, the Associated Press reported. The technology team wants to preserve Holocaust survivors' memories and experiences for future generations, hopefully long after the survivors are gone. Tech News Daily
There is little that I could add to the total effect of the above except to say that I am sure that for the price of one (maybe two?) Cruise missiles or the cost of one museum, every single Holocaust survivor in the world could be housed for the rest of their lives in five star hotels, with full board and a personal nurse in 7/24 attendance. In fact I think that the sufferings of a group of poor, old people, who have had the hardest of lives is being “pimped” by a very cynical clique of political manipulators in order to justify apartheid and ethnic cleansing and through them the tragedy of the Jewish people is being turned into Disneyland. DS

Monday, April 01, 2013

My solution to the North Korean crisis

David Seaton's News Links


This is all much simpler than it looks.
Dennis Rodman has shown us the way!
Here is the secret: Kim Jong Un is secretly in love with the USA and all things American.
You'd really have to be madly in love with the idea of America to invite a freak like Dennis Rodman to your country and hang out with him... But the young dictator needs to be taught the ways of my people at first hand.
The poor people of North Korea are skinny and starving… This is NOT the American way!
In America, the poor people are fat and have diabetes… We must Americanize North Korea, not bomb them.
I don’t think North Korea should be “taken out”, that is a strategy that in the process might very well tip the entire world economy into depression… Quite the contrary, I think they should be “taken in”, they should be given more food than they can possibly eat, if possible containing lots of corn syrup. Kim Jong Un should be invited to Hollywood, visit Disneyland, have his picture taken with Mickey Mouse, see a Laker’s game and eat a hamburger in the company of Barack Obama and Michael Jordan… let him party with the cheerleaders… the works.
I’m perfectly serious… I really think that it might be that simple with this kid. My reading is that his grandfather fought the Japanese and created North Korea and started the Korean war, Kim Jong Un’s father lived all that and the consolidation of the regime as a young man. These were serious grown ups, but Kim Jong Un is probably a spoiled brat with no idea of anything, living in a dream world… Make his dreams come true!
So, cutting to the chase, my plan is to treat Kim and his people like our own: we idiotize the North Koreans with video games, Bruce Willis films and smartphones and wind up by giving them free dialysis for diabetes-2 related kidney failure induced from ingesting massive quantities of our junk food… then we’ve got them hooked... eating out of our hands so to speak... easy, like feeding super size Cokes to a baby. DS