It’s XTC day at LGF, so here’s a fascinating interview with Andy Partridge from Alan Thompson’s BBC Radio show, with some of Andy’s favorite XTC songs interspersed. Andy’s impersonation of Sting is an instant classic, and his discussion of the rigors of touring really hit home for me, as someone who toured all over the world for years. (It ain’t all it’s cracked up to be, folks.)
For the record, here’s George Stephanopoulos’ complete 45-minute interview with officer Darren Wilson, in which Wilson basically repeats the story he told the St. Louis County grand jury.
Dr. Jane Goodall gives as good as she gets in this hilarious interview with John Oliver about her work with chimpanzees.
Here’s the full transcript of the President’s interview with NBC dunderhead Chuck Todd, and if you want to know why I refer to Todd that way, here’s a perfect example.
Obama mentioned Syria specifically four times before Chuck Todd blurted out, “You’ve not said the word, ‘Syria,’ so far in our conversation.”
I’m preparing the country to make sure that we deal with a threat from ISIL. Keep in mind that this is something that we know how to do. We’ve been dealing with terrorist threats for quite some time. This administration has systematically dismantled Al Qaeda in the FATA. We just yesterday announced the fact that we had taken out the top leader of Al-Shabaab the terrorist— organization in Somalia.
ISIL poses a broader threat because of its territorial ambitions in Iraq and Syria.
But right. And I—I want everybody to understand that we have not seen any immediate intelligence about threats to the homeland from ISIL. That’s not what this is about. What it’s about is an organization that, if allowed to control significant amounts of territory, to amass more resources, more arms to attract more foreign fighters, including from areas like Europe, who have Europeans who have visas and then can travel to the United States unimpeded, that over time, that can be a serious threat to the homeland.
In— in the more immediate term, it’s an imm— it’s a threat to friends, partners in the region and is causing all kinds of hardship. And we’ve seen the savagery not just in terms of how they dealt with the two Americans that had been taken hostage but the killing of thousands of innocents in— in Iraq thousands of innocents in Syria, the kidnapping of women the complete disruption of entire villages.
Not yet. But they— they can evolve. And I was very specific at that time. What I said was, not every regional terrorist organization is automatically a threat to us that would call for a major offensive. But what is absolutely clear in ISIL, which started as Al Qaeda in Iraq and arose out of the U.S. invasion there and was contained because of the enormous efforts of our troops there then shifted to Syria, has metastasized, has grown.
Well, they’re not a JV team. But keep in mind that we anticipated some of these problems in the speech that I gave at West Point you know, several months ago, where I specifically said, our goal should not be to think that we can occupy every country where there’s a terrorist organization.
Our goal has to be to partner more effectively with governments that are committed to— pushing back against the kind of extremism that ISIL represents. And that’s going to require us to do things a little bit differently. We’re going to have to work smarter.
We’re going to have to train the military there more capably. We’ve got to do more effective diplomatic work to eliminate the the schism between Sunni and Shia that has been fueling so much of the violence in Syria, in Iraq. And so we put together a plan that is compatible with the kind of work that we’re doing now.
You’ve not said the word, “Syria,” so far in our conversation. Obviously, if you’re going to defeat ISIS, you have used very much stronger language. It’s gone through the week during your trip to Wales. You got to go to Syria in some form or another.
Notice that Obama’s last mention of Syria came two sentences before Todd made his fatuous statement.
If one of the traits of a good interviewer is listening to the answers given by the subject, Chuck Todd fails. Miserably.
Here’s a fantastic acoustic guitar video featuring Andy McKee that’s a bit different from our usual fare, because while it’s a great live performance of Andy’s tune “Myth Maker,” it’s also a mini-interview about all sorts of music-related issues. I think it’ll be interesting even if you don’t play an instrument, but even more if you do.
A true virtuoso, Andy McKee stopped by the Ernie Ball showroom in Los Angeles to give us a little lesson on his style of playing, test out the new Aluminum Bronze acoustic strings, and to perform his track “Myth Maker.”
Click to open the videos:
Any show that can get the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue to defend the Inquisition is OK in my book: “COSMOS” SMEARS CATHOLICISM - Catholic League.
At first I thought he was just going to deny the Catholic Church had anything to do with the Inquisition, but no — he actually defends it as a force for “order and justice.”
The propagandists involved in this show, represented most conspicuously by Seth MacFarlane, told viewers last night that “the Roman Catholic Church maintained a system of courts known as the Inquisition and its sole purpose was to investigate and torment anyone who dared voice views that differed from theirs. And it wasn’t long before [Giordano] Bruno fell into the clutches of the thought police.”
The ignorance is appalling. “The Catholic Church as an institution had almost nothing to do with [the Inquisition],” writes Dayton historian Thomas Madden. “One of the most enduring myths of the Inquisition,” he says, “is that it was a tool of oppression imposed on unwilling Europeans by a power-hungry Church. Nothing could be more wrong.” Because the Inquisition brought order and justice where there was none, it actually “saved uncounted thousands of innocent (and even not-so-innocent) people who would otherwise have been roasted by secular lords or mob rule.” (His emphasis.)
As for Bruno, he was a renegade monk who dabbled in astronomy; he was not a scientist. There is much dispute about what really happened to him. As sociologist Rodney Strong puts it, he got into trouble not for his “scientific” views, but because of his “heretical theology involving the existence of an infinite number of worlds—a work based entirely on imagination and speculation.”
In short, MacFarlane, who is no stranger to the Catholic League, has once again shown his true colors.
Just a few hours ago All In With Chris Hayes featured an interview with The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald. Greenwald gave an extremely revealing answer in response to Hayes’ final question, in which he was asked for more clarity on the relationship between the NSA and private internet companies.
Here’s the video of the interview:
And here’s the transcript of the final exchange:
HAYES: In terms of the revelations that we’ve gotten so far, and they fall into a number of different categories, but I do want to ask you, before I let you go, there’s been some push back on the reporting, particularly about the PRISM program, and there’s another program codenamed BLARNEY, that come from those power point slides that use the phrase directly from the servers, direct access, and there was push back by the tech companies who are listed in those slides saying we didn’t give any direct access. And there’s some question, I think, about what exactly that phrase means or could mean. And I just want you to clarify your best understanding of what the reality is about the nexus between how the NSA is working with these private tech companies.
GREENWALD: Sure. We’ve published four stories so far. The only one about which there has been any questions raised is the one that the Washington — the only one the Washington Post also published which is the PRISM story. Our story was written differently than the way the Post wrote theirs, which is why they’ve had to walk back theirs. Our story was the following: we have documents, a document, from the NSA that very clearly claims that they are collecting directly from the servers of these internet giants. That’s the exact language that this document used. We went to those internet companies before publishing and asked them, and they denied it, and we put into the story very prominently that they denied it. Our story is that there is a discrepancy between the relationship that these, that the private sector and the government has, in terms of what the NSA claims and what the technology companies claim. What is definitely true, and follow-up reporting by the Times has proven this, is that there have been all kinds of negotiations about back door access. They have agreements in all sorts of ways to share data with the government. I don’t think anybody knows at this point exactly what the nature of those arrangements are and the reason we published our story and reason we presented it as this discrepancy is precisely because, whatever the tech companies and the government are doing, in terms of turning over data to the government, should be done in public. We should know what agreements they’ve reached. We should know what the government has asked for and what they’re negotiating with now, in terms of access. What we do know for sure, is that the government has a program that targets the communication over these companies, that huge numbers of people around the world use to communicate with one another, and we think there should be accountability and transparency for whatever those exact agreements are.
A couple of quick points about that answer. First, Greenwald has given up defending his “direct access” claim and recast his PRISM story as actually being about the discrepancy between his interpretation of the leaked PowerPoint slides and the denials of internet companies responding to that interpretation. Second, in response to Hayes asking for more detail on what exactly the data sharing relationship is between the NSA and the internet companies, Greenwald provides no clarity and instead essentially admits he has no real knowledge of those relationships (“I don’t think anybody knows at this point exactly what the nature of those arrangements are”).
Greenwald’s inability to defend his original PRISM reporting might help explain its absence from the Guardian’s more recent coverage. See:
The Guardian quietly walks back their PRISM overreach without correcting previous reporting
Testing out some changes in our automatic NPR audio feature, with a fascinating All Things Considered interview with Keith Jarrett about the new Trio album soon to be released, Somewhere (Live in Lucerne / 2009). The album almost didn’t come out, because the band had a miserable experience on-stage that night.
Jarrett says the hardest part was convincing [Gary] Peacock that the recording was good. You wouldn’t know it listening to Somewhere, but “he was in hell that night, as far as the sound was concerned.
“Players are very protective of their turf,” Jarrett says. “Over and over in the past, I’ve had the experience of knowing we just played the best version; we will not need to do another take. If it’s a band, it’s a band. If what we do when we’re playing together is good enough, even the solos don’t matter that much. What matters is the spirit kept.”
The ECM website has a full track from the recording you can stream online: Home - Keith Jarrett / Gary Peacock / Jack DeJohnette | Somewhere | ECM 2200 - ECM Records.
If you need something to clear the mental palate after that ridiculous Benghazi hearing, try this memorable interview with John McAfee, founder of McAfee Anti-Virus, genuine wildman, and occasional fugitive from the law: Interview: John McAfee Answers Your Questions.
“Here is another common disguise I used that would work for any well known CEO.”
Doesn’t it bother you that your name is being used to peddle one of the worst anti-virus products on the market? Often it comes pre-installed on computers as a 30 day trial (crapware), with dire warnings flashed up in the event that the user fails to pay (scareware). The performance hit it brings is huge. Would you advise anyone else to name their product/company after themselves in this way?
McAfee: I haven’t been involved with McAfee Anti-virus for 21 years. When I ran the company the software was the best and least intrusive on the market, and in 1991 we had 87% of the world market. What happened after I left was none of my doing. As to name association, I am a master at sullying my own name and, all things considered, being associated with the worst software on the planet ranks way down the pole. It’s barely a blip in the ocean of associations - madman, paranoid, child molester, murderer, drug addict, unstable, liar, to name but a few.Thank god I’m 67 and will probably be too hard of hearing soon enough to have to listen to them rattling around wherever I go. Amy, thankfully, did half the job already by bursting my left eardrum when she tried to shoot me in the head while I slept back in 2011.