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Jun 21 2014

The Breakfast Club (Yawn)

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgWhen you ask most people what constitutes ‘long-haired’ music (and I’m talking Classical, not Twisted Sister here) what springs immediately to their lips is MozartBachandBrahms and I’ve always thought that kind of funny because Johannes wasn’t even born until 42 years after Mozart’s death (83 after Bach’s) and strictly speaking is rightfully considered a revolutionary of the Romantic movement.  Still-

Brahms is often considered both a traditionalist and an innovator. His music is firmly rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Baroque and Classical masters. He was a master of counterpoint, the complex and highly disciplined art for which Johann Sebastian Bach is famous, and of development, a compositional ethos pioneered by Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and other composers. Brahms aimed to honour the “purity” of these venerable “German” structures and advance them into a Romantic idiom, in the process creating bold new approaches to harmony and melody. While many contemporaries found his music too academic, his contribution and craftsmanship have been admired by subsequent figures as diverse as Arnold Schoenberg and Edward Elgar. The diligent, highly constructed nature of Brahms’s works was a starting point and an inspiration for a generation of composers.

Of course now his best known work is his ‘Lullaby‘ which is just a part of a much larger piece, Wiegenlied, though it was written in honor of a baby born to his friend Bertha Faber.

Like many Romantics he drew his inspiration from folk music and tales though he never intended it to be representational or even evocative of a particular narrative or emotion, unlike other members of the movement.  The work I have selected today, Hungarian Dances, is fairly typical, inspired by traditional melodies fully scored and formally arranged they are among his most popular and profitable compositions.  Though there are 21 of them in all each one is mercifully short (1 to 4 minutes) and all put together they clock in at about 50 minutes.

Obligatories below.

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

I would never make fun of LaEscapee or blame PhilJD.  And I am highly organized.

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.

Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)

This Day in History

News

Iraq Insurgents Reaping Wealth as They Advance

By ROD NORDLAND and ALISSA J. RUBIN, The New York Times

JUNE 20, 2014

When Qaeda-style insurgents overran the northern city of Mosul, among the war booty they seized were what they claimed were five American-made helicopters.

Noting that they were still nearly new, the group said in a posting on Twitter, “We’ll expect the Americans to honor the warranty and service them for us.”

“Not only are they effective jihadists but they have a sense of humor,” said Toby Dodge, director of the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics, who related that anecdote.

When drones fall from the sky

Written by Craig Whitlock, Washington Post

Published on June 20, 2014

More than 400 large U.S. military drones have crashed in major accidents around the world since 2001, a record of calamity that exposes the potential dangers of throwing open American skies to drone traffic, according to a year-long Washington Post investigation.



Military drones have slammed into homes, farms, runways, highways, waterways and, in one case, an Air Force C-130 Hercules transport plane in midair. No one has died in a drone accident, but the documents show that many catastrophes have been narrowly averted, often by a few feet, or a few seconds, or pure luck.

“All I saw were tents, and I was afraid that I had killed someone,” Air Force Maj. Richard Wageman told investigators after an accident in November 2008, when he lost control of a Predator that plowed into a U.S. base in Afghanistan. “I felt numb, and I am certain that a few cuss words came out of my mouth.”

Daniel Keyes, author of the classic book ‘Flowers for Algernon,’ dies at 86

By Emily Langer, Washington Post

June 18 2014

First published in 1959 as a short story, “Flowers for Algernon” was released in novel form in 1966 and has since sold millions of copies. Generations of English students have met Charlie Gordon, the book’s narrator, through the journal entries Mr. Keyes crafted in stunted, then elegant and then again stunted prose revealing his character’s transformation.



“Dr Strauss says I shoud rite down what I think and remembir and evrey thing that happins to me from now on,” Charlie recounts in his first “progris riport.” “I dont no why but he says its importint so they will see if they can use me. . . . I want to be smart.”



“This intelligence has driven a wedge between me and all the people I knew and loved, driven me out of the bakery,” he writes. “Now, I’m more alone than ever before. I wonder what would happen if they put Algernon back in the big cage with some of the other mice. Would they turn against him?”

P.S. please if you get a chanse put some flowrs on Algernons grave in the bak yard.

House Passes $570 Billion Defense Bill Rejecting Cost Cuts

By Roxana Tiron, Bloomberg News

Jun 20, 2014 2:54 PM ET

The U.S. House passed a Pentagon spending measure of more than $570 billion that would reject Air Force plans to retire the war-tested A-10 aircraft and pour almost $1 billion into Boeing Co. (BA)’s radar-jamming jets.



The House also adopted an amendment that seeks to choke off the National Security Agency’s ability to conduct warrantless surveillance on U.S. citizens.

The amendment, spearheaded by California Democrat Zoe Lofgren and Republicans Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, would bar searching government databases for communications by Americans without a search warrant even if those involve a suspected terrorist outside the country. Such U.S. communications abroad have been captured by the NSA without a warrant in those circumstances.

It also would bar intelligence agencies from using any funds in the bill to persuade technology companies to build back doors into their services or products to allow for government surveillance.

House of Representatives moves to ban NSA’s ‘backdoor search’ provision

Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian

Friday 20 June 2014 13.51 EDT

By a substantial and bipartisan margin, 293 to 121, representatives moved to ban the NSA from searching warrantlessly through its troves of ostensibly foreign communications content for Americans’ data, the so-called “backdoor search” provision revealed in August by the Guardian thanks to leaks from Edward Snowden.

The move barring funds for warrantless searches “using an identifier of a United States person” came as an amendment added by Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California, and Thomas Massie, Republican of Kentucky, to the annual defense appropriations bill, considered a must-pass piece of legislation to fund the US military. Also banned is the NSA’s ability, disclosed through the Snowden leaks, to secretly insert backdoor access to user data through hardware or communications services.

“I think it’s the first time the House has had the opportunity to vote on the 4th Amendment and the NSA as a discrete item. It was an overwhelming vote,” Lofgren told the Guardian. She said the vote succeeded despite efforts of what she called “the intel establishment.”

Marine from NH Killed by Roadside Bomb in Afghanistan

By Lara Salahi, Boston Globe

June 20, 2014 11:18 PM

Two other Marines and a military dog were also killed in the attack.

Garabrant made headlines last year after officials at his high school refused to let him wear his Marine Corps uniform to his graduation ceremony instead of a cap and gown. Garabrant graduated from Marine boot camp just a day before graduating high school.

Border agency’s watchdog under investigation for coverup

By Marisa Taylor and Franco Ordonez, McClatchy

June 20, 2014

The internal affairs division of U.S. Customs and Border Protection is being investigated for falsifying documents, intentionally misplacing employee complaints and bungling misconduct reports as part of a coverup to mask its failure to curb employee wrongdoing, a McClatchy investigation has found.

The inquiry of the nation’s largest federal law enforcement agency also involves a much broader array of allegations, including an inner-office sexual relationship between two high-ranking officials, who themselves sometimes oversee investigations of similar illicit affairs. According to three Customs and Border Protection officials, investigators quietly interviewed witnesses this spring as part of a potential criminal case that reflected badly on the leadership of former division chief James Tomsheck and at least two of his deputies.



“There were so many allegations of wrongdoing involving the internal affairs division you’d need a flow chart to sort them all out,” said one of the agency officials, who asked to remain unnamed because the inquiry is ongoing. “It’s insane because this division is supposed to be looking into employee misconduct, yet it is being accused of the very same corruption it is supposed to be investigating.”

Will Afghanistan be Iraq redux?

By PHILIP EWING, Politico

6/18/14 6:00 PM EDT

“There are some similarities, similarities between the final result we see now in Iraq that could be similar to how events play out in Afghanistan, and we should take some lessons,” said retired Army Lt. Gen. James Dubik, now a senior fellow at the Institute for the Study of War.

“Nobody wants that to happen,” he said. “It does not give me any pleasure to have this conversation with you. We want to leave in such a way we’re not seeing these same kinds of issues. It would be better to learn now than to wait.”



Stephen Long, a professor of international studies at the University of Richmond, said there are many reasons to worry about the outlook for Afghanistan, but this week’s Iraq crisis is not a blueprint.

“The comparison is not at all perfect,” he said. “They’re very different places with very different histories and ethno-sectarian lines. There are some very competent factions within Afghanistan that have been opposed to the Taliban ever since they held power many years ago – the Tajiks, the Uzbeks and a lot of moderate Pashtuns.”



There’s no way to predict whether the Afghan forces would fold in a similar situation, although it has its own warning signals. Kabul can’t afford the Afghan forces as they’re currently constituted, for one, meaning that it will continue to depend on American and international support. Afghanistan did OK after the Soviet invasion, observers point out – until Moscow cut off its cash flow.

U.S. Supreme Court Sends Pesky Patent Trolls Packing Again

By Paul M. Barrett, Business Week

June 20, 2014

In the latest in a series of intellectual-property rulings over recent years, the justices signaled that the lower federal courts should be closing their doors to the too-clever-by-half perpetual litigants who seek to patent abstract ideas and obscure imaginings and then hold up productive companies from bringing innovations to market.



In a carefully crafted opinion, Justice Thomas emphasized that the court was not changing the rules, merely applying existing law to a patent claim that did not deserve judicial respect. The high court’s perspective, if it wasn’t clear before, surely is now: Yesterday’s ruling marked the sixth time this year it has limited the power of patent holders. Trolls, beware!

Blogs

Oh, Twisted Sister

Many of the band’s songs explore themes of parent vs. child conflicts and criticisms of the educational system.

(h/t TMC)

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