Junoon Documentary (video; music) + Led Zeppelin: Crossing cultures

Dandelion Salad

amansingh91

Added: February 17, 2006

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Led Zeppelin: Crossing cultures

Al Jazeera English
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 06, 2007
14:22 MECCA TIME, 11:22 GMT

Since their formation from the remnants of the British band The Yardbirds in 1968, Led Zeppelin have consistently been in the vanguard of amalgamating musical themes from around the world.

In Physical Graffiti, for example, guitarist Jimmy Page, drummer John Bonham, vocalist Robert Plant and bassist John Paul Jones incorporated Middle Eastern musical themes into their hard rock riffs, unleashing a torrent of east-meets-west influences in the years to come.

Ahead of Led Zeppelin’s reunion in London on December 10, two musicians – Salman Ahmed and Mark Levine, from Pakistan and the United States respectively – offer their interpretations of how successful the band has been in using music to bridge the cultural divide.

continued…

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Congress to Vote on Iraq Funds (Action Alert; updated)

Updated: Dec. 9, 2007

see

Congress to Vote on Iraq Funds as early as Monday, December 10

Write To Congress

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Tuesday, Dec. 11 Submitted by davidswanson on Sat, 2007-12-08 00:39
After Downing Street
www.unitedforpeace.org

We are still trying to get details on this impending vote, but we will probably not get them until Monday, but action is needed, so we are sending you this notice now.

On Tuesday, Dec. 11, the Senate will likely vote again on funding for the occupation. The funding will probably be tied to crucial domestic spending bills, and include no restrictions or troop withdrawal requirements. It is unclear whether the House leadership will bring Iraq funding to the floor also (after having promised not to).

Congress — especially the Senate — has to hear that we are fed up with their capitulation to Bush on funding for Iraq. We understand time is short, but we urge you to make your voices heard.

Choose the tactic that works best for you and your district:

Send a delegation to the offices of your Senators or Representative on Monday or Tuesday — emphatically demand an end to the occupation. Your peaceful visit can be brief, or last long enough for your to read the names of every civilian and soldier killed in Iraq, or it can last until the member of Congress agrees to oppose all funding that is not tied to the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops and contractors. If you are able to organize a visit (please prioritize visits to your Senator(s) post notice of the visit here:
http://www.unitedforpeace.org/calendar.php?sortby=&caltype=59 UFPJ will send out an alert to our full list driving people to the calendar to join you in your visit.

Flood your Legislators with phone calls: Reach both of your Senators and your Representative through the Capitol Hill switchboard: 202-224-3121
Message – vote NO to any funding for the occupation of Iraq that does not require the rapid withdrawal of all U.S. troops and contractors.

Background

Congress has not passed most of the Appropriations Bills necessary to fund the government and government services. The stopgap funding measure (‘Continuing Resolution’) that they passed last month expires on December 14, so they have to pass something before then in order to prevent a government shutdown. Pro-war legislators see this as an opportunity to force a vote on Iraq funding without any conditions. We are getting conflicting reports from staff and the media about what is happening behind the scenes – but it looks likely that the Senate will consider some Iraq funding measure along with an omnibus spending bill (that rolls all the Appropriations bills for all Departments into one giant spending bill). In the House, Democratic leadership had been promising that they would not take up anymore Iraq funding bills until next year. They have made these statements repeatedly in the press and to other members of Congress. We don’t know if they will keep this promise or not.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Torture’s Long Shadow By Vladimir Bukovsky (2005)

This is an older article but just as relevant today as when it was first published in 2005. Please read the entire story, some of which may be difficult to read. ~ Lo

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By Vladimir Bukovsky
Washington Post
Sunday, December 18, 2005; Page B01

Cambridge, England

One nasty morning Comrade Stalin discovered that his favorite pipe was missing. Naturally, he called in his henchman, Lavrenti Beria, and instructed him to find the pipe. A few hours later, Stalin found it in his desk and called off the search. “But, Comrade Stalin,” stammered Beria, “five suspects have already confessed to stealing it.”

This joke, whispered among those who trusted each other when I was a kid in Moscow in the 1950s, is perhaps the best contribution I can make to the current argument in Washington about legislation banning torture and inhumane treatment of suspected terrorists captured abroad. Now that President Bush has made a public show of endorsing Sen. John McCain’s amendment, it would seem that the debate is ending. But that the debate occurred at all, and that prominent figures are willing to entertain the idea, is perplexing and alarming to me. I have seen what happens to a society that becomes enamored of such methods in its quest for greater security; it takes more than words and political compromise to beat back the impulse.

This is a new debate for Americans, but there is no need for you to reinvent the wheel. Most nations can provide you with volumes on the subject. Indeed, with the exception of the Black Death, torture is the oldest scourge on our planet (hence there are so many conventions against it). Every Russian czar after Peter the Great solemnly abolished torture upon being enthroned, and every time his successor had to abolish it all over again. These czars were hardly bleeding-heart liberals, but long experience in the use of these “interrogation” practices in Russia had taught them that once condoned, torture will destroy their security apparatus. They understood that torture is the professional disease of any investigative machinery.

Investigation is a subtle process, requiring patience and fine analytical ability, as well as a skill in cultivating one’s sources. When torture is condoned, these rare talented people leave the service, having been outstripped by less gifted colleagues with their quick-fix methods, and the service itself degenerates into a playground for sadists. Thus, in its heyday, Joseph Stalin’s notorious NKVD (the Soviet secret police) became nothing more than an army of butchers terrorizing the whole country but incapable of solving the simplest of crimes. And once the NKVD went into high gear, not even Stalin could stop it at will. He finally succeeded only by turning the fury of the NKVD against itself; he ordered his chief NKVD henchman, Nikolai Yezhov (Beria’s predecessor), to be arrested together with his closest aides.

continued…

h/t: Walter

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.