ChrisWeigant.com

Sorry To See You Go

[ Posted Wednesday, December 28th, 2016 – 18:12 UTC ]

I'm really taking this week off as a vacation week, so I'd just like to take a short moment today to remember some of the fallen of 2016. I realize that on Friday there will be a category in the annual awards for "Sorry To See You Go," but I wanted to branch out from politics a bit (and the Friday column is already going to be monstrously long) and honor a few people from other fields who were lost in 2016 and who also had a personal impact on my life.

Of course, freshest in everyone's mind is Princess Leia Organa, known in this particular (and not so far, far away) galaxy as Carrie Fisher. Her feistiness on screen and her chemistry with the original cast of Star Wars was beyond measure. Her passing is untimely, although we all can at least look forward to seeing her one last time in the upcoming "Episode VIII," as the filming of her scenes is reportedly already done. She will be missed, as she returns to her indeterminate origins -- or, to put it another way, she will complete her journey from a shimmery image broadcast from R2D2 to joining her shimmery fellow fallen giants of The Force (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Jedi Master Yoda).

From the world of journalism, I'm personally already greatly missing both Gwen Ifill and John McLaughlin. Both were intelligent and quick-witted and a joy to watch sparring wits with political figures and commentators. But I'll be pointing them out on Friday as well, so I will move on.

While others deeply mourn the passing of David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Prince, and George Michael, I was never a huge fan of any of their work. Prince and Cohen and Bowie all had their moments, and I'm not saying I disliked their music, mind you, but I think out of all three of them I have one actual album (and it barely counts, since it is a "best of" from Bowie).

However, "progressive rock" (sometimes called "album rock" for the full "concept" albums they used to put out) has taken a mighty blow this year. Last year saw the passing of Chris Squire, bass player for Yes, but 2016 was even more brutal. With the death of both Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, we lost two-thirds of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer this year.

ELP was always edgier (and harder-driving) than Yes, and are one of those bands that everyone knows a few of their songs, but most people don't realize what band actually played them. "Lucky Man" is a good example ("Ooooo, what a lucky man... he was!" -- with the freakishly eerie keyboard sounds of Emerson immediately after). So is "Karn Evil 9," which again most people only recognize from a snippet of the lyrics ("Come inside the show's about to start / Guaranteed to blow your head apart ... Roll up, roll up, roll up -- see the show!).

Anyone who bought the album Brain Salad Surgery was not only in for a damn fine show in their headphones, but it also was where most people ever first saw the artwork of visual artist H. R. Giger (on the album cover and the liner sleeve) who would go on to do other (also very eerie) artwork and -- most memorably -- design the set (and the monster) for the first Alien movie.

I saw ELP a number of times, most memorably (in musical terms) watching their version of "21st Century Schizoid Man" (Greg Lake was also a member of King Crimson when the song was written, and I've seen their version live as well, but ELP put their own spin on it). But easily the most memorable show of theirs I saw was in the early 1990s, when I was living in Paris. Seeing shows in Paris was every American rock fan's dream, because bands that routinely pack stadiums (or at least very large arenas) in the U.S. would play dance halls that weren't much bigger than an average American bar that shows live music. In other words, maybe 2,000 people in the audience -- at the biggest of these places. I saw ELP in one of these tiny halls, and got there early and pushed my way up to the stage. I was standing about four feet from Keith Emerson, and when he performed a solo I could feel my entire body vibrate to the notes (Emerson's always been known for "turning it up to eleven," for those who don't know). I've seen some rock keyboard greats (I still would have to rank Rick Wakeman above Emerson on technical points), but Emerson is the only one I've ever seen do to an old 1960s era organ what Jimi Hendrix used to do to guitars (and Keith Moon used to do to his drum kit). He jumped up and down on it, knocked it over sideways on the floor, and absolutely gave it a beating -- while continuing to produce amazing music the entire while. So I will have only fond memories of seeing ELP, and I have to say that the world of rock would have been a lot less elevated without Keith Emerson and Greg Lake -- that much is really beyond debate.

You may have heard a seasonal ELP song recently, which is where I'm going to end this column today (I'm supposed to be taking the week off, after all). Greg Lake outdid Jethro Tull in "the most brutal Christmas song ever" category, with "I Believe In Father Christmas." This song hit number two on the charts, and was only denied the number one spot by Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," which is saying something indeed. "I Believe In Father Christmas" starts off with beautiful wafting lyrics but ends rather ominously (hey, I told you they were edgier than Yes) with this grim conclusion:

I wish you a hopeful Christmas,
I wish you a brave new year.
All anguish, pain, and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear.
They said there'll be snow at Christmas,
They said there'll be peace on Earth.
Hallelujah! Noël! Be it Heaven or Hell,
The Christmas we get, we deserve.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

126 Comments on “Sorry To See You Go”

  1. [1] 
    neilm wrote:

    ELP Works 1 was the first album that I bought and my mum actually liked.

    Brain Salad Surgery was what all the geeks who thought they were cool played in 1973 until Dark Side of the Moon came out.

    Great times.

    A propos of nothing, but did TD's Force Majeure come out in clear vinyl over here? My copy was a tape, but one of my friends had the clear one.

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I miss Glenn Frey the most.

  3. [3] 
    neilm wrote:

    Wow 2016. Just Wow!

  4. [4] 
    neilm wrote:

    RIP Debbie Reynolds. So sorry for Todd Fisher :(

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    This may not be the right place for a link like this but, it's not too far off base as we may be saying to the state of Israel as we know it, sorry to see you go ... if Netanyahu has his way, and enough time is allowed to pass.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/28/opinion/bibi-netanyahu-makes-trump-his-chump.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0

    Tom Friedman knows more about Israel and its relationship with the US than anybody who frequents these pages and his assessment here is spot on.

  6. [6] 
    John M wrote:

    Elizabeth wrote:

    "Tom Friedman knows more about Israel and its relationship with the US than anybody who frequents these pages and his assessment here is spot on."

    It was a VERY spot on analysis and commentary Elizabeth, thank you.

  7. [7] 
    michale wrote:
  8. [8] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, I'm stunned, on a number of levels...

    Friedman actually got something right?!?

    Wow. Heh.

    OK, I just have to answer this one comment...

    neilm [1] -

    I got Works 2 myself, which had the Xmas song on it...

    But I have to say I am indeed impressed.

    Tangerine Dream put out a CLEAR copy of Force Majeure? And this is the first I'm hearing of it?!?

    Man, I thought I was plugged in, but I guess I'm just not!

    I do have a colored-vinyl (analog record) single by them -- cut in the shape of the country of Poland -- of "Warsaw In The Sun" / "Polish Dance," but I've never even heard of the clear copy of FM. I do have an original copy of Electronic Meditation, which does make me feel better (as well as a bizarre double-album compilation of Atem and Zeit, by the way). TD was freakin' decades ahead of their time...

    I mean, their run with Stratosfear and Rubicon and Tangram got me through college, personally...

    For those of you scratching your heads, go watch the movie Risky Business, to hear some TD without the risk of freaking out. Those of you who aren't afraid of freaking out, check out Sorcerer, the remake of the classic film The Wages Of Fear, directed by William Friedkin, the same guy who did The French Connection and The Exorcist. The scene of a truck full of nitroglycerine on a bridge is worth it, trust me.

    And for those of you who are really fearless in the face of music, check out the TD song "Igneous" which appears in the movie Thief -- which is nothing more than an experiment in primal fear, as in: "if we electronically create a song that captures all the sounds an ape heard in the jungle which threatened it, would humans react?" The answer is obvious, if you open yourself to your DNA memory...

    Ahem.

    But back to neilm. I mean, I also have a red (clear) vinyl copy of the Beatles Red Album, as well as an original Brit white (opaque) vinyl (with serial number) copy of the White Album, and I've actually seen (but was afraid to swipe) an original clear-vinyl, strawberry-colored, copy of the album "Incense And Peppermints" by the immortal Strawberry Alarm Clock [it's a long story about a radio station's college record station and the ominous warning on the cover of the copy: "If you steal this record you will have bad acid trips forever!" which I just didn't want to put to the -- as it were, and completely appropriately, I might add -- acid test]. And I also own a very purple-swirl copy of a Moby Grape album, if I might just mention it....

    Heh.

    Ahem... where was I? Oh, right, clear records. I just KNOW I've got one in here somewhere, thought it was from Focus (remember "Hocus Pocus"?] but couldn't find that one...

    This is going to require some serious research. I'll get back to you. I know I have ONE of those clear records in here somewhere, dammit... hmmph...

    Heh heh.

    :-)

    Also, on a serious note, I join with you in mourning Debbie Reynolds. That's just a double-whammy... nobody deserves that...

    OK, gotta go search for that dang clear album -- I just know I've got one in here somewhere...

    :-)

    If your ultimate purpose is to embarrass me, I do have to say I have the ultimate nuclear weapon of prog rock-i-tude: I can pull out my original copies of the four "Oblique Strategies" prints included on the first run of Brian Eno's "Before And After Science." So g'wan, just how far do you want this to go?!?

    Heh. Heh heh. Your move...

    -CW

  9. [9] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Forgot to add these links:

    My own tribute to Karn Evil 9, many moons ago.

    The Poteet High Percussion Ensemble, performing Parts 1 and Part 2 of "Karn Evil 9" -- the most stupdendous performance of any high school band I have ever had the privelege of listening to, in my entire life. Yes, it's that good!

    And, finally, a link to ELP's verision of "21st Century Schizoid Man," just because...

    :-)

    -CW

  10. [10] 
    michale wrote:

    Friedman actually got something right?!?

    Don't be stunned.. He didn't.. :D

  11. [11] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    michale -

    Well, that's a relief, at the very least...

    Heh.

    Gotta go to bed, now...

    Sweet dreams are made of this...

    -CW

  12. [12] 
    michale wrote:

    but I wanted to branch out from politics a bit (and the Friday column is already going to be monstrously long)

    I know, right?? Gods, how many good people we lost this year...

    Well, that's a relief, at the very least...

    Heh.

    Gotta go to bed, now...

    Sweet dreams are made of this...

    Nice touch.. :D

    Best rendition of SDAMOT came from X-MEN APOCALYPSE, in my not so humble opinion..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LIcOFvWqjk

    :D

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What is it with Friedman around here ... jealously?

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    John,

    Your welcome!

    But, I forgot what kind of reaction a mere mention of Tom Friedman's name ignites around here.

    It's not just here, either. There seems to be a very deep and broad distaste for Friedman's writings which I have never really understood.

    I have always enjoyed reading his columns but, I'll have to remember to refrain from sharing them here. Geesh.

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Your welcome!

    Shit. Now you see, THIS is why we need an edit function around here!!!

    Thank-you and YOU'RE WELCOME!

  16. [16] 
    michale wrote:

    Shit. Now you see, THIS is why we need an edit function around here!!!

    "Language!"
    -Captain America, AVENGERS-AGE OF ULTRON

    :D heh

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Apostrophes!

  18. [18] 
    michale wrote:

    :D hehehehehehe

    I had just finished watching A-AOU when I read your comment..

    Couldn't resist.. :D

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I know the feeling. :)

  20. [20] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Wait ... that's what you're watching ... before noon!?

  21. [21] 
    neilm wrote:

    Elizabeth:

    I have always enjoyed reading his columns but, I'll have to remember to refrain from sharing them here. Geesh.

    Please don't refrain - firstly I value his opinion on the Palestinian-Israeli situation. The first book I read of his was "From Beirut to Jerusalem" which I think is excellent to this day. I just got turned off by "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" and "The World is Flat". I found them to be Malcolm Gladwell-ish (not a complement, but not a curse - readable but too focused on the Wow! factor, resulting in some cut corners).

    I'm usually careful about Malcolm Gladwell around Canadians because he comes from the University of Waterloo area where many of my Canadian friends hail from and he is a local hero of sorts.

  22. [22] 
    neilm wrote:
  23. [23] 
    neilm wrote:

    If richer Rust Belt retirees move to Florida, etc. they take both their money and their political clout out of e.g. Ohio. This means that the people left have fewer rich customers, and the locals have fewer politically involved voters (the rich are the ones that hang out with the politicians in my experience).

    So it seems to me that it isn't just population growth figures, however the article below dives into those:

    https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2016/12/23/u-s-growth-rate-hits-new-low-as-migration-to-the-sun-belt-continues/

    BTW, another reason Trump should reverse his immigration policy - otherwise we risk becoming like Japan or Italy.

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm usually careful about Malcolm Gladwell around Canadians because he comes from the University of Waterloo area where many of my Canadian friends hail from and he is a local hero of sorts.

    Believe it or not, that's where I am and always have been!

    Though, I didn't attend university here - that was in Hamilton. A lot of good it did me. That's another story and I've already said too much. :)

    I have to be in the right mood for Malcolm Gladwell.

  25. [25] 
    michale wrote:

    Wait ... that's what you're watching ... before noon!?

    Yea... Up until about an hour ago, it was really dead around here :D

    On another note..

    http://theworleys.net/temp/OfficerPrincess.jpg

    Academy training comes early in the Worley family.. :D

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry ...

    But, it does remind of a favourite Biden quote. :)

  27. [27] 
    michale wrote:

    But, it does remind of a favourite Biden quote. :)

    "You're never too young to serve your fellow man" ???

    :D

  28. [28] 
    michale wrote:

    Please don't refrain - firstly I value his opinion on the Palestinian-Israeli situation.

    ANYONE whose opinion on the Israeli/Palestinian situation that DOESN'T begin with the terrorism committed by Palestinians against Israelis....???

    Well, that's just not an opinion worth any value at all..

  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Very funny.

    But, true!

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Of course, [29] refers to [27], just to be clear.

  31. [31] 
    michale wrote:

    Of course, [29] refers to [27], just to be clear.

    I figured as much... :D

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I knew you would. :)

  33. [33] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Neilm [1] - Your memory is a bit faulty: Dark Side of the Moon came out before Brain Salad Surgery. The difference was only a few months, but that was significant enough for a teen in 1973 for me to remember all these years later..

    But I understand. I had (until today) been under the impression that the Pink Floyd album had dropped in the summer, because they were playing "new" cuts of it on WRPI (college radio in Troy, NY) during a live broadcast of the Watkins Glen Festival in July. The first time I heard it in its entirety (without breaks) I was tripping my ass off ... some introduction! But also makes constructing time lines forty years later a bit trickier...

    At the time, I'd already been introduced to King Crimson (vis-a-vis an 8-track of In the Wake of Poseidon that my buddy 'Crash' Taylor kept in his Mustang) and was already a die-hard Yes fan, in no small part because of Close to the Edge, which dropped the previous year.

    In 1976 I interviewed Trident Studios engineer Ken Scott for a school project, during a trip to London. During the interview, he weighed in on the Wakeman-Emerson debate. He was firmly in the 'Emerson is better' camp, and dismissed Wakeman's work as 'mostly scales'. He also told an interesting side story, apropos to this year's news: that during the recording of Genesis' Trick of the Tail album, David Bowie, who'd been recording in the studio next door, popped in for a visit. Apparently the engineer had been trying to get some studio effect right, and had been working for most of the day at it. Bowie leaned over and flipped a couple of switches on the console and said, 'try that', and it was of course perfect. The point being, Scott said, that Bowie was as good in the studio as any of the professional engineers he worked with, and that was a part of what made him good.

    As for me, I can't choose between Emerson and Wakeman. Emerson feeds the artist in me: I always end up beating my piano to death after listening to his work. Wakeman awakens my inner rock aficionado; his best riffs are too spot-on and too memorable to relegate to second-class status.

    And I know this is running long, but a note about Chris Squire: I once saw a college-level seminar about Close to the Edge in which the professor pointed out that Squire spent most of the song playing counter-melodies and counter-rhythms, to the point that some parts can't be assigned a reliable time signature. Imagine that. There is no argument about Squire: in his time, he was the best.

  34. [34] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    BTW, Yes is finally being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of fame. 'Bout time!

  35. [35] 
    neilm wrote:

    Neilm [1] - Your memory is a bit faulty: Dark Side of the Moon came out before Brain Salad Surgery.

    Thanks. You are right of course. Wow! I was sure that we were listening to BSS then DSOTM. Funny how memory plays tricks like that. I think it was because in the summer of '73 I met this girl and introduced her to Floyd. She probably hasn't forgiven me ;) I was so young.

    Did anybody else listen to Kraftwerk? Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygen or Jeff Lynne's War of the Worlds?

  36. [36] 
    michale wrote:

    I like Barry Manilow...??? :D

  37. [37] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Believe it or not, that's who I was listening to, too!

  38. [38] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It's true ... I got into the harder stuff late in life. I mean, what's not harder than Barry Manilow?

  39. [39] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Did anybody else listen to Kraftwerk? Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygen or Jeff Lynne's War of the Worlds?

    Oxygène was my favorite party album for a long time. I preferred Tangerine Dream to Kraftwerk, and kept Jean Luc Ponty, Jeff Beck and Klaus Schultz close at hand.

    I got into a lot of Jazz Fusion in the mid 70's - Return to Forever, Weather Report, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Spyro Gyra among others. One of the more interesting was Micha? Urbaniak's Fusion with Urszula Dudziak, who blew my mind one beautiful summer day in Appleton, Wisconsin in 1976.

    I was also into the whole ECM catalogue, most importantly the Paul Winter Consort, Oregon, Keith Jarret's magnificent improvisations, and I liked Chick Corea and Gary Burton together so much, I bought their live album three times.

    Prog-rock has led me to some fine and fascinating post 70's music - Dream Theater and Spock's Beard spring to mind. These days I'm a huge fan of movie soundtracks - Phillip Glass and Vangelis paved the way for that.

    Jeff Lynne's War of the Worlds is a title that I'd simply forgotten existed - I must make it a mission to find and listen to it again tonight!

  40. [40] 
    altohone wrote:

    I believe it.

    I'd bet Friedman was too.

    A

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Happy New Year, Alice! :)

  42. [42] 
    neilm wrote:

    Believe it or not, that's where I am and always have been!

    We may have some common friends.

    Did you ever work in the high tech industry - Watcom/PowerSoft/Sybase/SAP?

    Also, my Scottish cousin's daughter is engaged to a famous Canadian goalkeeper from Kitchener.

    Small world.

  43. [43] 
    neilm wrote:

    ... if Netanyahu has his way, and enough time is allowed to pass.

    Elizabeth:

    Another opinion piece in the NY Times puts a different light on Netanyahu's situation. Netanyahu has been able to use "evil Obama" as an excuse to curtail his movement's more extreme policies - taking the credit for bragging about what he wants to do, all the while playing the mock victim because he was being stopped by the White House.

    This excuse for inaction will be gone on January 20th. If anything Trump is more gung-ho than he is. Unrestricted settlement expansion is likely to trigger European sanctions. Trump moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem is going to inflame the Palestinians and the Muslim world pointlessly. The abandonment of even a pretense of support for the two nation solution will lock Israel into a constant occupation - the World's last colonial power.

    There is also the fear that Trump will tear up the 'hated' Iran deal. Israel's military and intelligence agencies will probably flip as they know that there is no chance of getting China, Russia and Europe to back another round of sanctions, so Iran will kick out the nuclear monitors and the prospect of a nuclear Iran is unlikely to add stability to the region.

    This may all be feel good nonsense from the left, as I assume the right will claim, but then again, when you throw the game board up in the air in the Middle East, the result is seldom positive.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/29/opinion/why-netanyahu-will-miss-obama.html

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Small world.

    My world is certainly small, indeed. :)

    I'm in Kitchener but, I can see Waterloo from my balcony. :)

  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Neil,

    I think those two NYTimes articles are companion pieces, one reinforcing the other. I certainly don't see Phillip Gordon as peddling anything that can even remotely be described as nonsense from the left.

    In any event, one thing I know for sure - Trump, unlike Obama/Biden, is no match for Netanyahu in terms of political prowess.

    The key word here is unpredictability, though. Unless, of course, we're talking about the moribund Middle East Peace Process ... a great time-wasting notion I finally gave up on quite some time ago.

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Did you ever work in the high tech industry - Watcom/PowerSoft/Sybase/SAP?

    Not even close.

    I am positive that your circle of friends and I have never met ... different universes and all that. I'm sure they are very nice people, though. :)

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Did you ever work in the high tech industry - Watcom/PowerSoft/Sybase/SAP?

    I don't know what any of that means. Seriously.

  48. [48] 
    michale wrote:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C03pwLBWIAA4T3a.jpg

    Apparently, Putin knows english WAY better than Obama knows Russian.. :D

  49. [49] 
    michale wrote:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/29/russia-calling-shots-middle-east-syria

    This is EXACTLY what happens when America leads from behind...

    Issues on the ground are resolved in a manner favorable to our enemies and a detriment to our interests...

    So much for Obama vaunted "ASSAD MUST GO" proclamation...

    Obama and the Democrats have made the United States the whipping post of this world... :^/

  50. [50] 
    michale wrote:
  51. [51] 
    michale wrote:

    Democrats seem to think that they ran a great campaign with a fantastic candidate but had the election stolen from them thanks to Russian interference, FBI Director James Comey and the proliferation of “fake news.”
    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/california-739671-sharon-gray.html

    By all means, Democratic Party...

    Go on believing that Hillary was a great candidate and that NOTHING that happened had ANYTHING to do with the Democratic Party agenda...

    Matter of fact, Hillary was such a great awesome perfect candidate, I think ya'all should run her again in 2020!!

    Please.... :D

    Don't change a thing, Democratic Party... Ya'all are perfect just the way you are!!! :D

    533

  52. [52] 
    michale wrote:

    It's true ... I got into the harder stuff late in life. I mean, what's not harder than Barry Manilow?

    Yea, troo... I was a big fan of Barry Manilow in New Jersey in my freshman/sophomore year in high school... :D

    LOOKS LIKE WE MADE IT was my fav... :D

    Of course, I tripped to the other side of the spectrum with Meatloaf's PARADISE BY THE DASHBOARD LIGHTS :D

    534

  53. [53] 
    michale wrote:

    Interesting factoid..

    An incoming GOP POTUS has not enjoyed total Party control of Congress since the Eisenhower administration over 6 decades ago...

    Ya gotta hand it to the Democratic Party..

    When they scroo the pooch, they don't mess around.. :D

    535

  54. [54] 
    michale wrote:

    Nearing exit, Obama seeks to tie Trump's hands
    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/312162-nearing-exit-obama-seeks-to-tie-trumps-hands

    Didn't ya'all complain about the NC outgoing GOP Governor, House and Senate did the EXACT same thing to the incoming Dem Governor???

    So, obviously, you are going to condemn Obama and the Democrats in exactly the same manner...

    Right?? :D

    536

  55. [55] 
    michale wrote:

    Putin Stunner: "We Will Not Expel Anyone; We Refuse To Sink To Obama's Level"
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-30/putin-stunner-we-will-not-expel-anyone-we-refuse-sink-obamas-level

    Putin just bitch-slapped* Obama big time.......

    Obama should just call it a day and resign before he embarrasses himself any more...

    537

  56. [56] 
    michale wrote:

    * For the record, I use the term in the manner/context outlined here:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/12/5/277802/-

    538

  57. [57] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    A few years ago I was working doing resets in different supermarkets. After the first day of the week we were scheduled to work in one store, I went to the leader of the reset team and asked him to explain to the supermarket manger that the all Barry Manilow channel they were playing was cruel and unusual punishment. It didn't help and it was torture.
    One time I did actually hear King Crimson 21st Century Schitziod Man. The funniest though was when a store played a reggae song that was about 45 minutes long and the only lyrics were "Smokin' the ganja". I assumed that no one in the store knew what that meant.

  58. [58] 
    neilm wrote:

    Issues on the ground are resolved in a manner favorable to our enemies and a detriment to our interests...

    Uh-huh. Let's see how things are in a few years time. This is the long game. Putin needs constant wins in the short term to keep his people in rah-rah mode - it is working on U.S. Republicans as well, they are falling for Putin like drunk sailors.

    Russia's calculation is that Syria under a dictator will outperform the burgeoning Middle East democracies and everybody will conclude that benevolent dictatorships are the best form of government - convenient for Putin of course - it is the old "life was better in Iraq under Saddam" claim.

    Amusing to see Republicans cheering the same proposal.

    If there was one lesson to be learned from the Iraq war it was that winning the ground war is pointless when you have no plan for the aftermath. Putin had a plan in Syria - put the dictator back in charge and turn the clock back. I don't like that plan but is was far smarter than Bush/Cheney/Rumfeld's plan of "Oops, we never thought about that bit". You seem to admire a dictatorships, but then authoritarian types usually do.

  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Putin just bitch-slapped* Obama big time.......

    I'm not surprised you interpret it that way.

    However, this may be one of the only times that Putin has misread Obama ... and, that Obama has played the smart hand, for the US.

    Allow me to explain ...

    President Obama has taken a great deal of time to respond to the Russian hacking/releasing hacked information. He was being pressed to do it much earlier. He must have known that any response he made to Russia's bad behavior (and I am referring to the public release of the hacked material more than the hack itself) would prompt a retaliatory action by Putin. But, if Obama waited until a time closer to Trump's inauguration, then Putin may feel restrained to act in view of his recent overtures toward the incoming Trump administration.

    I think it was a brilliant Obama move, relatively speaking.

  60. [60] 
    michale wrote:

    Uh-huh. Let's see how things are in a few years time.

    How long should we wait in Libya??

    How many more will die while we are playing "the long game"??

    Eventually, it WILL get better, to be sure... But what about the mean time??

    If there was one lesson to be learned from the Iraq war it was that winning the ground war is pointless when you have no plan for the aftermath.

    Apparently, Obama and the Democrats failed to learn that lesson...

    If there was one lesson to be learned from the Iraq war it was that winning the ground war is pointless when you have no plan for the aftermath. Putin had a plan in Syria - put the dictator back in charge and turn the clock back. I don't like that plan but is was far smarter than Bush/Cheney/Rumfeld's plan of "Oops, we never thought about that bit". You seem to admire a dictatorships, but then authoritarian types usually do.

    No.. I admire effective and competent governments..

    And, as the facts clearly show, Putin's government has been a LOT more effective and competent than the US Government under Obama and the Democrats..

    If one cannot objectively assess the enemy, if one simply relies on wishful thinking and seeing the world as they WANT it to be, rather than as it is (as Obama and the Democrats have done) then said one handicaps oneself in dealing with said enemy..

    539

  61. [61] 
    neilm wrote:

    Putin just bitch-slapped* Obama big time.......

    Russia First, Israel Also First, America Third.

    Well at least we know where the Trump supporters are when it comes to America being attacked or expected to rubber stamp foreign government's every whim.

    Why don't you just move to Russia? ;)

  62. [62] 
    neilm wrote:

    I think it was a brilliant Obama move, relatively speaking.

    We also don't know what other actions Obama took. He told us that he would take some public and discrete actions. Perhaps the discrete actions have Putin saying: "I give in publicly, so please don't do to us again."

    A little fiddling with SWIFT could bring Russia down in days, and Putin must know that - perhaps he just had his nuts kicked discretely and SWIFT-ly.

  63. [63] 
    neilm wrote:

    How long should we wait in Libya??

    How many more will die while we are playing "the long game"??

    Let's see. Things don't move fast in the Middle East - look at South America, it took decades to move from dictatorships to democracy, and it is still a work in progress, however I'd wager most Syrians would take Colombia today over Assad.

  64. [64] 
    neilm wrote:

    And, as the facts clearly show, Putin's government has been a LOT more effective and competent than the US Government under Obama and the Democrats..

    Firstly it has been "Obama and the Republicans" because, as you have been crowing about for years, the Republicans have the house and senate and have been dedicated to stopping anything with "Obama" on it, regardless of America.

    Secondly we have led the World effectively, just not using military might - this is a problem for the owners of the Republican Party because they need wars to destroy stockpiles of military gear so we have to buy more from them. Sadly there will be collateral damage in the form of 100,000's of civilians and thousands of our troops, but profits is profits after all.

    And let's see what happens with Iran. Now that the Republicans can do whatever they want, let's see the replacement deal the World's best negotiator E-V-E-R replaces the current one with. If Trump actually does anything, I predict we will have a great new deal where Iran gets to kick out the international monitors and has free access to build a bomb while the rest of the World tells Trump and Bibi that "we stood by you when you asked, but now you broke it, so you fix it".

    If it wasn't important it would be funny.

  65. [65] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I will NEVER understand how an American citizen who does pride himself on being patriotic, in every sense of the word, can also so consistently and gleefully denigrate the president of his country while praising a foreign leader, all in the same breath.

  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    What did the Obama administration do during the course of the last 8 years to demonstrate how it sees the US-Israeli relationship?

  67. [67] 
    neilm wrote:

    If one cannot objectively assess the enemy, if one simply relies on wishful thinking and seeing the world as they WANT it to be, rather than as it is (as Obama and the Democrats have done) then said one handicaps oneself in dealing with said enemy..

    If the only tool you understand is a hammer, when somebody comes along with a screwdriver you think it is "wishful thinking" because how are you going to hammer a screw in with a screwdriver?

    You inability to read about the wider world or understand the larger picture doesn't mean everybody has to go with "let's start bombing them, then let's bomb them more". How'd that work out the last time we had a Republican in the White House?

  68. [68] 
    neilm wrote:

    Interesting factoid..

    An incoming GOP POTUS has not enjoyed total Party control of Congress since the Eisenhower administration over 6 decades ago...

    Ya gotta hand it to the Democratic Party..

    When they scroo the pooch, they don't mess around.. :D

    You do understand that you have just cheered the fact that it took six decades before the people trusted the Republicans with complete control again. Let's see if they can get past the two year mark now.

    By the way, there has been 16 years of complete Democratic control since 1953.

  69. [69] 
    neilm wrote:

    Oh, and the last time Republicans had control of all three branches of Government for more than 2 years we got the Great Depression.

    Historical facts can be a bit of an ass-biter at times.

  70. [70] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    The funniest though was when a store played a reggae song that was about 45 minutes long and the only lyrics were "Smokin' the ganja".

    Pick-up in aisle 4...

    Putin just bitch-slapped* Obama big time.

    Michale, better put a brake on that spin; it could make you dizzy and disoriented.

    Putin my seem cautious and defiant, but underneath that is likely a deep paranoia about exactly what 'covert' action Obama plans for him. Putin is a former spy master after all. I was a little surprised that Obama stressed the 'covert' part so strongly - he's too pragmatic to jeopardize ongoing operations by pointing to them. Putin's worried that Obama has set a trap for him somewhere, and that he won't be able to figure out where the trap is until he steps in it. Obama is now in his head to stay for most of the next month. Happy New Year, Vlad the beady-eyed!

  71. [71] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    And Suddenly Trump wants a briefing about the hacks. Could it be that he's being sent by the Kremlin to find out what Obama's been up to?

  72. [72] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Neil,

    What do you suppose is behind British PM Theresa May's criticism of Kerry's speech in the wake of the UNSC resolution condemning Israeli settlements?

  73. [73] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    58

    The alternative to Assad in Syria you support?

    And, actually, most Syrians support him, so they would not prefer Columbia... whatever that means.

    In a very twisted sense, the troll's assessment of Obama is fair... not that bombing and invasion would have been better in Syria or that boots on the ground would have been better in Libya.
    The correct move would have been not instigating regime change in either country (or Iraq for that matter)... not supporting al Qaida type "rebels"... not saying Assad must go.

    Obama bombed seven countries.
    The two party duopoly of foreign policy failures where unnecessary wars are pursued is NOT a basis for cheering on either side.
    Bush was worse is a disastrous way to judge.

    It should be well worth noting that Obama advanced the goals stated in the 1999 PNAC document (aka the neocon regime change wish list) as much as Bush the Lesser... and both caused massive repercussions and negative consequences.

    Massive misallocation of resources, creating more terrorists, death and misery for millions, and making the world less safe is a bipartisan "accomplishment".

    Obama and his Democratic and Republican collaborators are just as guilty as Bush and his Republican and Democratic collaborators.

    Your "larger picture" is called head in the sand denialism.

    A

  74. [74] 
    neilm wrote:

    What do you suppose is behind British PM Theresa May's criticism of Kerry's speech in the wake of the UNSC resolution condemning Israeli settlements?

    She desperately needs fast track for a trade deal with the U.S. and Trump has shown he can be swayed by flattery.

  75. [75] 
    neilm wrote:

    And, actually, most Syrians support him, so they would not prefer Columbia... whatever that means.

    Most Syrians just want the civil war to be over - that is not the same as supporting Assad.

  76. [76] 
    neilm wrote:

    And, actually, most Syrians support him, so they would not prefer Columbia... whatever that means.

    Most Syrians just want the civil war to be over - that is not the same as supporting Assad.

  77. [77] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz

    Back at ya!

    Hope the new year is better than the last.

    A

  78. [78] 
    neilm wrote:

    And, actually, most Syrians support him, so they would not prefer Columbia... whatever that means.

    Really? The citizens of a country that most people would class as one of the worst to live in is preferable to a country that the Economist just awarded the Country of the Year?

    This is the country that is shedding people at 100,000's a year, where parents risk the lives of their children to cross a dangerous sea. Yet you seem to think it is better than the country that has just snuffed out the last remnants of its own civil war and is growing economically.

    And you are also confidently explaining that I'm the one with my head in the sand.

    Hmm.

  79. [79] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Indeed!

  80. [80] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Back at ya! Hope the new year is better than the last.

    Indeed!

  81. [81] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    75

    No.

    Of course most want the regime change war instigated by foreigners falsely reported as a "civil war" in the Western media to be over, but most prefer Assad over the alternatives still.

    No response on your preferred alternative?

    A

  82. [82] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Actually, [79] can stand alone. :)

  83. [83] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    78

    The polling says most Syrians prefer Assad to the alternatives.

    People fleeing the US backed regime change war is not proof to the contrary.

    A

  84. [84] 
    neilm wrote:

    People fleeing the US backed regime change war is not proof to the contrary.

    This is a flashback to 1982 when I shared a house with a Trotskyite. Marvelous stuff, keep up the entertainment.

    One side claims Obama did nothing and was useless, the other claims Obama is waging regime change wars.

    And they say the left and the right can't reconcile.

  85. [85] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    78

    And, you are arguing dishonestly.
    You are falsely applying my comment to a different subject.

    You are not disproving the head in the sand denialism about Obama's militarism (which has been hugely beneficial to arms manufacturers just like Republicans) with a fantastical Syria to Columbia comparison.

    The facts about Obama's rampant and harmful militarism are clear.
    Whining about Republicans is not admitting reality.

    A

  86. [86] 
    neilm wrote:

    but most prefer Assad over the alternatives still.

    And you are confident in this because of the results of the open and fair elections Assad promised?

    Assad's popularity (I'm assuming you are relying on the 2012 Doha poll) was conditional on Assad introducing democracy - i.e. if given the choice of a civil war or Assad stepping down peacefully, Syrians chose the latter.

    To interpret that as a vindication of Assad's regime is a big leap. Most Syrians learned the lesson of Hama in 1982, even if the West has conveniently forgotten their lack of courage at the time. Assad's regime has shown itself to be ruthless in the past, putting power over the lives of whole cities. They have just repeated the lesson, in case you missed it.

  87. [87] 
    michale wrote:

    I will NEVER understand how an American citizen who does pride himself on being patriotic, in every sense of the word, can also so consistently and gleefully denigrate the president of his country while praising a foreign leader, all in the same breath.

    Simple...

    While I am a patriotic American, I am not enslaved by my patriotism.. I am objective enough to call a spade a spade...

  88. [88] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    84

    Are you claiming Obama's regime change wars didn't happen?

    Obama himself boasted about bombing seven countries when selling the Iran deal.

    Suffering flashbacks is not an excuse for denial and it is troubling that you find it entertaining.

    Facts are not Trotskyite... do you need medical assistance?

    A

  89. [89] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    86

    No.
    I was referring to Zogby polling from 2015.

    But, go ahead... state your preferred alternative and show that most Syrians support it.

    Or is dwelling in a theoretical fantasy world all you've got?

    BTW, did you notice the reports from eastern Aleppo where more than half of the fleeing civilians chose to go to Syrian government held territory?
    Y'know, joining the majority of civilians in western Aleppo.
    Apparently, life in al Qaida type "rebel" territory is not preferable.

    And you're still weaseling out of the discussion on Obama.

    A

  90. [90] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And you're still weaseling out of the discussion on Obama.

    That tactic of yours is not a great way to spur rational discussion. Unfortunately, it's a tactic used by too many, here and elsewhere.

  91. [91] 
    Steedo wrote:

    Late to the party on this one but a note to CW regarding the VERY underrated album "Harder, Faster" by April Wine. It contains a fabulous version of 21st Century Schizoid Man, a note-for-note tribute that is almost indistinguishable from KC's original.

  92. [92] 
    michale wrote:
  93. [93] 
    michale wrote:

    http://tinyurl.com/zht9n25

    This is why Obama's act is so shame-ful....

    NNL filters still don't like national review online as a web URL...

  94. [94] 
    neilm wrote:

    And you're still weaseling out of the discussion on Obama.

    If you follow my oeuvre you'll know that reluctance to discuss a subject is something that most people probably wish for. There is a good reason I don't follow Michale's 50 cent policy. I'm not that wealthy. I must have missed your trigger, apologies.

    Give me the top three issues you want me to respond to then be ready to apologize to the CW community for the subsequent profusion of comments.

    :)

  95. [95] 
    neilm wrote:

    This is why Obama's act is so shame-ful....

    To me, what has been shameful is the blind acceptance of anything an Israeli government want to do as perfect. I'm pro Israel but I'm not signing a blank check for Netanyahu.

  96. [96] 
    michale wrote:

    I'm pro Israel but I'm not signing a blank check for Netanyahu.

    But you ARE willing to hand ALL the land that the Palestinians want back to the Palestinians without the Palestinians having to give ANYTHING...

    Palestinians are free to continue their terrorist campaign against Israel and the UN (and everyone here) has no problem with REWARDING the Palestinians with everything they want...

    To me, what has been shameful is the blind acceptance of anything an Israeli government want to do as perfect.

    When compared to the Palestinians and their campaign of terrorism and their STATED goal to destroy Israel??

    You're damned right that everything Israel does is perfect...

    That's what you don't get or refuse to concede..

    When compared to the Palestinian actions of terrorism and the STATED goal of destroying Israel, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that Israel does is legally, morally and ethically justified...

  97. [97] 
    michale wrote:

    When compared to the Palestinians and their campaign of terrorism and their STATED goal to destroy Israel??

    You're damned right that everything Israel does is perfect...

    That's what you don't get or refuse to concede..

    When compared to the Palestinian actions of terrorism and the STATED goal of destroying Israel, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that Israel does is legally, morally and ethically justified...

    "In the dictionary under 'redundant' it says 'see redundant'.."
    -Robin Williams, LIVE AT THE MET

    :D heh

  98. [98] 
    neilm wrote:

    But you ARE willing to hand ALL the land that the Palestinians want back to the Palestinians without the Palestinians having to give ANYTHING...

    What are you talking about? This is delusional. The settlements are a land grab - if you can't understand simple right from wrong there is far too much for you to learn before you understand why the whole World and over half of Israel (when you take out the settlers themselves) are aghast at the immorality of the settlements. This has nothing to do with the Palestinians, it would be wrong if it was Lebanese, Egyptian or Jordanian land they were building towns on. Or American. Let's see how happy Republicans would be if Israeli settlements under an Israeli flag started popping up in Texas or Mississippi.

  99. [99] 
    neilm wrote:

    I'm pro Israel but I'm not signing a blank check for Netanyahu.

    So you are willing to subvert American sovereignty to Netanyahu?

    Are you basically saying that you are an Israeli first and an American second.

    Just checking.

  100. [100] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz (and neil)

    neil made an outrageous claim... I called him on it twice... he ignored it while calling me a leftist in denial by falsely attributing my comment to another subject.
    Weasely by all measures.

    Dear neil-
    Pretty please respond to the notion that Obama's militarism evident by the bombing of seven nations on his authority including one successful regime change (Libya) that created massive death, destruction and instability that is a breeding ground for our enemies and two failed regime change efforts (Syria and Yemen) that created massive death, destruction and instability that is a breeding ground for our enemies (just like the Republican war in Iraq) do not constitute failure as the troll asserted (unless the goal was instability) and do not constitute regime change wars that benefit arms manufacturers as I asserted.

    Better Liz?

    Personally, I think repeating myself is far more annoying for both of us, and neil has made it clear he isn't overly sensitive like some here.

    But he seems a little too distracted to scroll up and reread the comments, so perhaps repeating myself to great annoyance is indeed necessary.

    A

  101. [101] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    97

    I think delusional is apt.
    After all, the troll also supports the notion of "to the victor go the spoils" when, with the full support of the United States, territorial acquisition through warfare was made illegal under international law about five decades ago.

    A former law enforcement officer advocating for criminality and colonialism (perhaps the ultimate form of terrorism) for the sake of a country not our own is probably beyond hope.

    I still applaud your efforts though.

    A

  102. [102] 
    michale wrote:

    The settlements are a land grab

    It's ISRAEL's land!!

    How can Israel do a land grab on land that is legitimately theirs...

    It's no more a "land grab" than if I bought the 40 acre parcel next to my parcel....

    This has nothing to do with the Palestinians,

    It has EVERYTHING to do with the Palestinians because it's the Palestinians who are committing, condoning and supporting terrorism against Israel...

    As long as Palestinians are committing, condoning and supporting terrorism against Israel, Israel is 1000% justified in ANYTHING they do...

    So you are willing to subvert American sovereignty to Netanyahu?

    How is not supporting Palestinian terrorism subverting American sovereignty???

    After all, the troll also supports the notion of "to the victor go the spoils" when, with the full support of the United States, territorial acquisition through warfare was made illegal under international law about five decades ago.

    And the asshole doesn't seem to comprehend that terrorism supersedes ANY of his fantasy laws...

    A former law enforcement officer advocating for criminality and colonialism (perhaps the ultimate form of terrorism)

    Only to someone who is COMPLETELY and UTTERLY ignorant as to what constitutes terrorism...

    Which explains a lot of your positions...

    Here's the ONE fact that no one here can address because there IS no way to logically and rationally counter it..

    As long as the Palestinians support, condone and commit terrorism against Israel, Israel is 1000% justified in ANYTHING it does in response...

    This is factual, inarguable and undeniable

  103. [103] 
    michale wrote:

    After all, the troll also supports the notion of "to the victor go the spoils" when, with the full support of the United States, territorial acquisition through warfare was made illegal under international law about five decades ago.

    I am also constrained to point out to the intellectually challenged that Israel DIDN'T make war on their neighbors to acquire land..

    Israel was viciously attacked by several nations and fought them back..

    Even if one ignores the religious significance of the land (which I do), the simple fact is that, in the defense of Israel, Israel acquired the land...

    By ANY measure of ethics, morality or legality, that land is Israel's. If Israel wants to give back some of the land, create Palestinian reservations, then that is up to Israel..

    If Israel wants to keep the land and settle the land and build on the land, then Israel is FULLY and COMPLETELY justified in doing so...

    The fact that Palestinians condone, support and commit terrorist acts against Israel simply makes the law, the ethics and the morality even MORE SO on Israel's side...

    Palestinians have no more claim to Israel's land than Native Americans have claim to my land.....

    It's really THAT simple...

  104. [104] 
    michale wrote:

    Balthasar,

    Putin my seem cautious and defiant, but underneath that is likely a deep paranoia about exactly what 'covert' action Obama plans for him.

    You know as much about Putin as you did about Trump...

    Your predictions are nothing but wishful thinking, based solely and completely on ideology..

    he's too pragmatic to jeopardize ongoing operations by pointing to them.

    Yer kidding, right??

    Obama LOVES to brag about covert operations.. Obama has blown more operations than Linda Lovelace...

    Putin's worried that Obama has set a trap for him somewhere, and that he won't be able to figure out where the trap is until he steps in it. Obama is now in his head to stay for most of the next month.

    What a laugh...

    Putin is laughing his ass off at Obama and is definitely winning the PR war against Obama..

    Obama puts the LAME in Lame Duck and Putin knows it..

    Liz,

    What do you suppose is behind British PM Theresa May's criticism of Kerry's speech in the wake of the UNSC resolution condemning Israeli settlements?

    Because, as I have made perfectly clear with the facts to back it up, Obama stands alone in their back-stabbing of Israel...

    Britain is now regretting their UN vote which is evidenced by how low the Brits cut Kerry down..

  105. [105] 
    neilm wrote:

    Altohone:

    Giving Obama the Nobel Peace Prize because he defeated Bush will probably not be a mistake the Nobel committee repeat in four years time when Trump is thrown out of office.

    Obama has been very willing to use force. His drone policy is very robust, he was willing to arm Syrian rebels and he could have put more pressure on Saudi Arabia to stop the bombing in Yemen.

    As you say he has bombed seven countries. This you see as a failure and probably illegal. Fine.

    I believe Obama acted with a willingness to use force when he deemed it necessary. I think he refused to explain or brag about why, thus it looks indiscriminate and many people are unconvinced he was doing the right thing.

    His motives need to be broken down by theater, unless you subscribe to the "Bad Obama" theory.

    Libya: The U.S. was part of a nineteen nation force that degraded Gaddafi's forces and tipped the balance in favor of the insurrection. Frankly I think that was the right thing to do, otherwise Gaddafi was going to use his army against his people, like Assad is doing in Syria (with Russian support). So Obama was responsible for the deaths of the Gaddafi forces and no doubt civilians as well. The return was the end of Gaddafi's regime. The Libyans resorted to civil war. Bad outcome, and it will be repeated again and again in countries that were constructed by Western colonialism that pushed two or more incompatible societies into a single political structure.

    Yemen: Saudi Arabia and Iran are fighting a proxy war in Yemen. I'm sure you are confident that you have the answers to the following questions:

    1. Who started it
    2. Who is right and who is wrong
    3. Why it is Obama's fault

    But as far as I'm concerned it is obvious that any friend of Iran on the border of Saudi Arabia is going to be touchy for the Saudi's. Also, they need to distract their population from the fact that oil has cratered but the royal family are still growing in number and spending as though oil was $140/b.

    Syria: Obama wanted to enact an operation similar to the one in Libya, but the ground rules were different due to a far better organized military and the rise of ISIS. Iran was all over this as well, and Obama was more interested in getting them to stop their nuclear ambitions than Syria. Obama wanted to arm the rebels in Syria, but frankly there was no clear group that was aligned with Western interests, and there was no way he was putting troops on the ground.

    Pakistan/Afghanistan: Obama wanted to continue to target the forces that attacked us in 2001. He warned everybody in 2000 when he was running that he would do so. I think Pakistan's intelligence have been leveraging radicals to influence Afghanistan and Kashmir with little regard to the larger consequences and this is Obama's attempt to keep the radical's leadership focused on their own skies instead of ours. They probably don't need notice about what will happen if they attack us again.

    In short, I think Obama has tried to do the right thing to keep America safe with the minimal amount of force. Has we succeeded? We will never know the answer to that question. If he hadn't bombed the seven countries things might have been worse. They might have been better.

    He got elected to make these decisions, not you or I. Live with it.

  106. [106] 
    neilm wrote:

    It's ISRAEL's land!!

    OK, then why don't the Palestinians get to vote in Israel's elections? Or are they all illegal immigrants? Why aren't they being sent back to where ever they came from? Where did they come from?

  107. [107] 
    neilm wrote:

    As long as Palestinians are committing, condoning and supporting terrorism against Israel, Israel is 1000% justified in ANYTHING they do...

    As long as Israeli terrorists are committing, condoning and supporting terrorism against Palestinian civilians, Palestinians are 1000% justified in ANYTHING they do...

    For examples of Israeli terrorists attacking Palestinians see earlier comments and links that you managed to avoid responding to.

    Frankly I think both sides are wrong. You think one side is 1000% right and the other is 1000% wrong, because you are unable to see the larger picture when somebody shouts "Look! Terrorist!". The Fox News types may have programmed you with a Pavlovian response, but some of us don't accept a black and white world.

  108. [108] 
    neilm wrote:

    Britain is now regretting their UN vote which is evidenced by how low the Brits cut Kerry down..

    Really? Do you have any proof for this silly statement?

    Far more likely is that the settlements are unpopular in the U.K., but Kerry isn't on the radar, so he can be criticized to fluff up Trump without much blowback.

    May is in a deep hole. The E.U. is going to make Brexit a living hell for Britain and May needs to show some movement on all the great trade deals that the U.K. was meant to make to improve the "disastrous" E.U. agreements.

    She pimped herself in India a couple of months ago and got laughed out of the country. She is fluffing up Trump who is obviously desperate for any legitimization. She is probably trying to get Prince William and family to come over here and meet with Trump to make him feel important. I hope they tell her to take a hike is she tries.

  109. [109] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    ...blown more operations than Linda Lovelace.

    Lovelace didn't blow operations, she blew the chance to be a star. Norma parlayed her notoriety much better, but then, she could sing too.

    The BigNoisy Committee - er, Benghazi Committee - now, they blew some covers off some CIA shit.

    Because, as I have made perfectly clear with the facts to back it up, Obama stands alone in their back-stabbing of Israel.

    Really? That UN vote seemed to go a bit more the other way, don'tcha think? I think it's the other way around - we were previously alone in allowing Israel to get away with its incrementalism.

    Theresa May has a veto on the Security Council that she could have exercised at any point. So does Trump's new buddy Putin.

  110. [110] 
    neilm wrote:

    Michale:

    Comment [103] removes and future attempt to play the "stand by Trump, he America's president" card.

    I'm putting this on my "favorite links" to respond with.

  111. [111] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    104

    I'm pretty sick of your false representations of what I've written.
    Obama bombing seven countries is proof of his militarism that is little different than Republicans.
    The (false) justifications are irrelevant to the argument you made that I was disputing.
    Bush had false justifications too.
    It's pretty sad that you think bombing seven countries and spending hundreds of billions of dollars is "minimal" and that you think massive instability, creating the worst refugee problem in decades, and creating far more enemies than we kill is "keeping us safe".
    Frankly, you sound just like the Bush apologists.
    The "we will never know" claim is absurd given that Libya, Syria and Yemen posed no threat to us and made no threats against us.. yet Libya and Syria have now joined Yemen as admitted bases for the Sunni Islamist extremists who actually DID ATTACK US.

    But I'll address your revisionist claims too-

    The result in Libya is indisputably failure.
    The most successful and only debt free country in Africa that also had a $200 billion sovereign wealth fund, a nation where health care was a right paid for by the government, and if the proper care or treatment wasn't available the government would pay for transportation, housing and care in another country, a country where every newlywed couple received a $25,000 grant from the government to help buy a home, a country where anyone interested in farming was given land and a $10,000 grant for equipment, a country that posed no threat to the US or any of the other nations that attacked it illegally by using a UN resolution for a no-fly zone to instead launch a bombing campaign to effect regime change without any planning for the aftermath and allowing foreign backed Islamist militants that Libya had every right to defend itself against to finish tearing the country apart... and it's just a coincidence that the side we are supporting vowed to reduce the 80% royalty on oil extraction and welcome western oil companies.
    How is that "doing the right thing" and "keeping us safe"?
    Platitudes aren't arguments.

    -
    -

    The Houthis are not Iranian proxies in Yemen and zero... ZERO... evidence of Iranian support outside of encouraging statements by Iran has been presented.
    You and the media are repeating a claim that nobody has substantiated in any way... yet it is constantly trotted out as a justification.
    "he could have put more pressure on Saudi Arabia to stop the bombing in Yemen"
    Uh, that's a massive understatement... the US is an active participant in the regime change war in Yemen. We aren't just supplying SA with the planes and bombs, we are providing mid-air refueling for their bombers and targeting assistance, and we are a major participant in the naval blockade.
    In any case, the regime change effort is a failure on top of the disastrous consequences including the growth and empowerment of al Qaida in Yemen due to the US backed war.
    How is that "doing the right thing" and "keeping us safe"?

    -
    -

    "Obama wanted to arm the rebels in Syria"
    Uh, no.
    Obama did arm the "rebels" in Syria.
    An illegal regime change war by proxy that was launched without any public debate against a regime that posed no threat to us.
    The CIA had a covert supply and training operation and provided logistical support for our Saudi and Gulf state collaborators through Jordan, and with and through Turkey.
    ISIS was able to take hold in Syria because of the regime change war, and our "allies" directly supported them as well... and the US knew about it and looked the other way and at least indirectly aided them too as US supplied munitions have been well documented in their arsenal.
    Iran didn't get directly involved in Syria until three years after the regime change war began.
    How is that "doing the right thing" and "keeping us safe"?

    -
    -

    I'm not just "unconvinced". A factual effort to try to convince me would be required for that.

    And "Live with it" is pathetic... I do live with thoughts of the hundreds of thousands of innocents who aren't living and the many millions more whose lives have been upended due to our wars.
    I have every right to voice my opinion and correct your nonsense, and a heartfelt moral obligation to try to prevent further unnecessary, wasteful and disastrous wars which are falsely justified with spin and without solid arguments.

    And lastly, the Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war. Not the president.
    Obama was not elected to make these decisions.
    Saying he was is just one more false justification for a tainted status quo. Maybe you've successfully absolved yourself, but don't assume that's true for others.

    A

  112. [112] 
    altohone wrote:

    Troll
    102

    Sure.
    And Poland attacked Germany in WWII.

    BTW, are you using '67 or '73 to justify the land grab?
    Care to expand on why it's ok to seize the land decades later?

    A

  113. [113] 
    neilm wrote:

    Altohone:

    I give my answer to your question and you take it as an insult.

    Maybe you should be careful throwing the troll label around.

    Neil.

  114. [114] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Indeed.

  115. [115] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Why do you personalize everything, Alice?

  116. [116] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    btw, this is a days old thread

  117. [117] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LizM [13] -

    Look up the "Friedman Unit" (or just "F.U.") - (in RE: Iraq War) to see why I personally have a lot of disdain for him. Or maybe his "taxi driver journalism," that's another one...

    neilm [22] -

    Dang, that's tempting. Still haven't found the clear album I own. I know it's something I didn't actually play very often -- just bought it for the novelty value, really.

    neilm [35] -

    I love Kraftwerk's "Autobahn," but their later stuff, not so much. Too pop-ey, not spacey enough for me. But Autobahn is a classic. "Wir fahr'n fahr'n fahr'n auf der Autobahn!" I love the part of the song where they turn their radio on and hear their own song coming out -- kinda like a movie in a movie...

    :-)

    Jean Michelle Jarre was very big in France. Oxygen is pretty good, and the album he did after that too (name escapes me).

    More in a moment, but I have to go (to quote a Todd Snider song) on a "B, double-E, double-R, U, N..."

    :-)

    -CW

  118. [118] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Balthasar [33] -

    You must have a couple of years on me. First Floyd albums I remember coming out were Animals and Wish You Were Here. Side note: the coolest use of flame in an Olympic ceremony ever (which is saying something) was at the close of London, when they recreated the man on fire handshake from WYWH album cover, on a tightrope. AWEsome!

    As for King Crimson, "Red" was the first I heard of them, which did the trick.

    As for Emerson-Wakeman, they're different. Emerson plays with more feeling and a harder driving sound. Wakeman plays with more techno skill (mostly switching keyboards) that gives a wider palette. Both are freakin' awesome, we can all agree on that! We are not worthy! We are not worthy! (heh)

    :-)

    Nice Bowie anecdote. Yeah, I can see him being a genius on the mixing board, that certainly fits.

    Trick of the Tail was really the only Genesis album I liked, to tell the truth. Liked P. Gabriel a lot better when he went solo, that's for sure. Never paid Phil Collins a lot of attention, that's for sure.

    Chris Squire is freakin' awesome on Tails from Topographic Oceans. Nous Sommes Du Soleil has his best solor ever, I think.

    [34] -

    Amen to that, brother.

    michale [36] -

    OK, now I'm just going to pretend you didn't say that, for friendship's sake. Heh.

    I actually had a girlfriend who was a Barry Manilow fan. We met in the middle only on Supertramp, which has some interesting keyboards and vocals, at times, but even that was a stretch for me.

    LizM -

    Oh, no, not you too?!?

    Barry Manilow used to do a medley of where he got his start in music -- writing advertising jingles. I think he wrote "Have it your way" and maybe a Pepsi jingle. "Nuff said. Copacabana has its moments, but that's about it.

    Balthasar [39] -

    Ever hear any of Edgar Froese's solo stuff? There were a bunch of Germans (Roedeus, Planck, etc.) who did some interesting stuff and used to appear on each other's albums all the time, too (Eno showed up for one of them).

    And if we're going to talk soundtracks, well TD had a bunch of cool ones in that era too, don't forget. And then there's Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells (the end-credits music to the Exorcist).

    Didn't Rick Wakeman do a War of the Worlds as well? I loved his Six Wives of Henry VIII solo album, personally.

    michale [52] -

    OK, you just redeemed yourself. Paradise by the Dashboard Light is one of the funniest songs ever written, especially the plot twist at the end ("and now I'm praying for the end of time, to hurry up and arrive..."). We can be friends again.

    Heh.

    Don Harris [57] -

    OK, any store with 21st C. Schizoid Man playing would get my return traffic, that's for sure!

    Or "Smokin' the Ganja" for that matter. I heard a similar thing in France, in some mildmannered store that was playing "Sexy Motherfucker" (Prince), and had to wonder how many of the French housewives I saw shopping there knew what the lyrics meant!

    LizM [59] -

    I wonder what we're doing right now to Russia that ISN'T being admitted in public, personally...

    Steedo [91] -

    I think I've heard that version on the radio. I should check out April Wine! Thanks!

    :-)

    OK, I'm skipping all the Middle East politics, because this is a column about music (and Gwen Ifill, of course).

    :-)

    -CW

  119. [119] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I wonder what we're doing right now to Russia that ISN'T being admitted in public, personally...

    It's not the hacking that was the biggest problem here. It was publically releasing the hacked material - to WikiLeaks, no less.

  120. [120] 
    michale wrote:

    Giving Obama the Nobel Peace Prize because he defeated Bush will probably not be a mistake the Nobel committee repeat in four years time when Trump is thrown out of office.

    *IF* Trump is thrown out of office.. :D

    To date, Trump has done pretty good by Americans and if we had a TRUMP POLL WATCH segment, his numbers would be on the rise.. :D

    OK, then why don't the Palestinians get to vote in Israel's elections?

    Because the LAST time Palestinians got to vote, they voted for a terrorist group to lead them..

    Would YOU want a group like that to vote in YOUR elections??

    As long as Israeli terrorists are committing, condoning and supporting terrorism against Palestinian civilians, Palestinians are 1000% justified in ANYTHING they do.

    If Israel was committing terrorism, then you would have a point...

    But they are not, so you don't...

    For examples of Israeli terrorists attacking Palestinians see earlier comments and links that you managed to avoid responding to.

    I must have missed the links that show the Israeli government involved in terrorism, committing terrorism, condoning terrorism....

    Please repost...

    Really? Do you have any proof for this silly statement?

    May's statement about John Kerry.. :D

    Balthasar,

    Lovelace didn't blow operations, she blew the chance to be a star. Norma parlayed her notoriety much better, but then, she could sing too.

    You know who Linda Lovelace is, right??

    That's stardom, my friend.. :D

  121. [121] 
    michale wrote:

    Barry Manilow used to do a medley of where he got his start in music -- writing advertising jingles. I think he wrote "Have it your way" and maybe a Pepsi jingle. "Nuff said. Copacabana has its moments, but that's about it.

    Barry did a lot more than just those couple jingles..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRRQHHBcnp4 :D

  122. [122] 
    michale wrote:

    It's not the hacking that was the biggest problem here. It was publically releasing the hacked material - to WikiLeaks, no less.

    No.. The BIGGEST problem is that THAT is what Democrats are really like...

    If Democrats hadn't said such mean things and such bull-carp, there wouldn't have been any problems with what WikiLeaks leaked...

    There is simply *NO* factual evidence that Putin wanted Trump to win the election... NONE... ZERO.... ZILCH..... NADA.....

    552

  123. [123] 
    michale wrote:

    Speaking of music...

    I have just one thing to say...

    "Mama, it's COLD outside!!!" :D

    553

  124. [124] 
    neilm wrote:

    There is simply *NO* factual evidence that Putin wanted Trump to win the election... NONE... ZERO.... ZILCH..... NADA.....

    There is simply no factual evidence that you will accept that Trump is being played as well as supported by Putin.

    Even the hiatus in August of leaks from Russia when Trump tried to self destruct by attacking Gold Star parents, and the resumption only when it turned out that Republicans disliked Hillary more than they like America won't convince the deaf - for exactly the same reasons.

    We are living through a post-fact world, and Michale is our canary in the mine. When he realizes Trump is a con man and starts worrying about America more than Israel or Putin, we will know reality has dealt the Right the swift kick in the ass they need. Climate denial, for Pete's sake.

  125. [125] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    CW [117] -

    The London Olympics ceremony featured a LOT of Pink Floyd. And it WAS awesome.

    If you haven't listened to any of the earlier Crimson stuff (earlier than Red,that is), I recommend "Pictures of a City" and "Cat Food" from In the Wake of Poseidon and "Larks Tongues in Aspic, pt II" and "Easy Money" from Lark's Tongues in Aspic. "Ladies of the Road" is another favorite, but I forgot which album it was on.

    Interesting fact: King Crimson performed "Easy Money" on the late-night concert show The Midnight Special.

    Another Interesting fact: "Lark's Tongues in Aspic, pt.II" was heard on the soundtrack of the soft-core flick "Emmanuelle", which I went to see with a girlfriend. When I exclaimed, 'That's King Crimson!' my girlfriend said, "That's the part that gets you excited?"

    We've spent far too little time marking the passing of Greg Lake (of both ELP and King Crimson), whose guitar opening to "In the Beginning" was a favorite among all the nascent guitarists of my generation. His voice was so strong that it was practically a fourth instrument in ELP.

    Now I've gotten way off your post...

    "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" is my favorite Genesis, especially the first side, although "Back in NY City", a rousing piece from side 2 featured some great vocals, and Collins later kept that piece in the band's repertoire. I saw the group perform that album in Albany in 1974, and it was a great show. A few years later, I saw them again (the "And then There were Three" tour) in Dayton, OH, and the light show was so amazing that it was later featured in an Ad. "A Firth of Fifth" (from Selling England by the Pound) is on the list of music that I just ordered, as a matter of fact (along with "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden, and "The Maple Leaf Rag")...

    I was going to mention "Six Wives of Henry VIII" here, but distracted by reading on Wakeman's Wikipedia entry that he and Keith Emerson had talked in 2001 about doing an album together. Wouldn't that have been grand! Six Wives is one of my faves (I can only play snippets of it).

    I never heard any of the Edgar Froese solo stuff you mentioned. I need to, I guess. I'd probably love it. Never got into Eno much, though. I heard an Album once of Eno and Robert Fripp that was interesting, but nothing compared to the John McLaughlin-Carlos Santana album that I was listening to at the time (that's John McLaughlin of the "Mahavishnu Orchestra", by the way), which blew me away.

    Soundtracks: I love TD's soundtracks to "The Sorcerer" and "Firestarter", although the two are very different musically. Vangelis' soundtrack for "Blade Runner" is still, in my mind, the best electronic soundtrack ever put on a movie, perfectly capturing that awesome vision in sound.

    My favorite composers of modern Movie music include Michael Giacchino, whose awesome score for "The Incredibles" brought him to my attention, combining the best of John Barry (who wrote the early James Bond scores) and Henry Mancini, for a sharp, surprisingly light-hearted big band sound. Listen to the "Incredits" cut for an example of how this tight jazz score is recorded with a wide-open improvisational feel.

    Giacchino also did the scores for the recent Star Trek reboots, and the piano piece highlighted in the second movie is something I hope to find in sheet music form soon.

    I'm also a rabid fan of John Powell - particularly his soundtracks for the Bourne movies, which rewrote the book for action movie scores. "Nach Deutschland" from Supremacy is a favorite. His score for "Mr & Mrs. Smith" is fun to put on while working - listen for snippets of the "Tomb Raider" theme that he threw in, in homage to Angelina.

    It's all too vast to cover in just a few posts. I'll bookmark this thread if you want to keep the conversation going...

  126. [126] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    New Year's resolution: to find alternatives for the word "awesome".

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