#ain’t no party like a pureblood party

Buried in a just published Washington Post exposé on the expansion of spying operations by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) is a sentence that should send shivers down the spine of any researcher, journalist, student or scholar working in the Muslim world, regardless of whether she or he is an American citizen:

“Having DIA operatives pose as academics or business executives requires painstaking work to create those false identities, and it means they won’t be protected by diplomatic immunity if caught.”

I’m glad to know it takes “painstaking work” to create the “false” identity of a scholar (it’s most likely not as hard to fake being a businessman, given the CIA’s long history of using front companies for its espionage activities). But I have little doubt that the US intelligence and defence communities would do so if they believed such a cover could help better collect and/or produce actionable intelligence. Indeed, it’s quite likely they wouldn’t need to fake it, as there are likely many “scholars” who would willingly sign up for the job.

[…] One might ask, given the far greater levels of violence in which the intelligence community and military are involved, is the (re)joining of scholars and spies really worth getting up in arms about?

Yes, it is.

It’s hard enough to go to a region of the world where one’s government is engaged either in violent activities through war, occupation or drone activities (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen), supports the oppressive policies of the local government (Morocco, Bahrain, Israel, Egypt, etc) or as bad, is actively engaged in espionage against it (Iran, Sudan), and try to win the trust of social, religious and/or political activists who would naturally be on the radar of their own and foreign intelligence services. Such relationships will be even harder, if not nearly impossible, to develop if it becomes known that the US government is actively using scholars (and, we can presume, journalists) as covers for intelligence operatives.

Equally bad would be the agreement by universities, without the consent or even knowledge of their faculty and students, to provide covers for clandestine intelligence operatives, thereby putting legitimate scholars at risk without them having any idea of their so being. Such a situation would permanently taint every scholar engaged in research in the field in the Muslim majority world, or with diaspora Muslim communities in Europe or North America.

However it is done, such practices would undoubtedly make it well-nigh impossible either to produce the kind of well-researched and objective knowledge that is crucial for accurate policy-making by governments, or to know when the research being produced is done explicitly to promote clandestine strategic ends, or is in fact deliberate disinformation or is otherwise tainted as the product of espionage or otherwise clandestine activities. [++]

Enrico Rava

The Plot

@1977 Germany Pressing

*******

Like its cover, Enrico Rava’s The Plot is a storybook with much to delight our hungry eyes and ears. Its dramatis personae will be familiar to the ECM enthusiast: John Abercrombie as the guitarist, Palle Danielsson as the bassist, Jon Christensen as the drummer, and Rava himself as the trumpeter who leads them on a profoundly satisfying adventure. Our tale begins with the airy bass line of “Tribe.” Abercrombie’s restrained wails and Christensen’s splashing cymbals spread their arms wide in a loose net across the page. Rava spins outward from its center like a spider, checking every tether to make sure it is securely fastened to the surrounding flora. Only then does he jump off, held by a single lifeline, almost invisible in the air, as he soars in his improvised freefall. Rava then takes us “On The Red Side Of The Street,” where focused solos and curiosity comingle incognito. What begins as erratic reverie in “Amici” turns into a protracted groove in which Rava unleashes a most potent narrative omniscience. To this, Abercrombie adds own staccato punctuation. The next chapter introduces us to “Dr. Ra And Mr. Va.” These mysterious alter egos paint a world of black and white, but describe it with the most colorful language at their disposal. Rava’s brassy pirouettes bring lively energy to the climax, instigating an ecstatic call and response with Abercrombie. We then come to a sepia illustration, Rava’s “Foto Di Famiglia,” a duet for acoustic guitar and trumpet. A plaintive stroll through half-remembered places long since transformed by the passage of time and gentrification, it is the counterpart to “Parks” on 1975’s The Pilgrim And The Stars. A brief interlude, it is usurped by the 15-minute epilogue, from which the album gets its name. It eases into our hearts with a somber yet soulful trumpet solo against an awakening rhythm section. The synergy builds to a non-abrasive intensity, threaded by Abercrombie’s hieroglyphic chords before shifting to his fuzz box sound, careening through the night like some cosmic wayfarer whose only guides are the sounds of Rava’s winding paths. And as the final page turns to reveal its blank reverse, we want nothing more than to reread this forgotten classic immediately.

ecmreview

My AncestryDNA Results

About a month ago I decided to take a DNA test through ancestry.com. I had heard a lot about the test and became fascinated with the idea that technology could assist in your genealogical research. So, I received the DNA kit, spit into a clear plastic tube, and sent it off not knowing what to expect.

Well, I got really excited when I got the email this morning informing me my results were in. I must admit that my results were not very surprising - they pretty much confirmed what I had known all along.

image

The greatest percentage goes to Scandinavia (the Lundquist’s and Funk’s), closely followed by Great Britain (the Hunley’s and Stafford’s). The 12% attributed to Ireland was somewhat puzzling, but it is very plausible the Irish comingled with the English.

And look at the small percentages attributed to the Iberian Peninsula and European Jewish - highly interesting.

Although the test confirmed what I already knew, I am still fasctinated that DNA can tell you so much about yourself and family history. 

katiegeckoh asked:

is it too early to ask how you feel about christmas? because it's my favorite time of year and it cannot come fast enough, i just love spending time with family and friends and giving gifts and eating good food and just generally feeling really nice for like a full month.

HOW DO I EVEN BEGIN ABOUT CHRISTMAS?!?!

I love all of that too!! And maybe it’s my yearly tradition of re-reading A Christmas Carol filling me up with sparkly silver but I truly do believe the season inspires some kind of honest goodwill in people, some kind of tapping into an innate magic that ALWAYS exists around us, yet becomes more socially acceptable to the masses, and thus gleams through every frosted second. This magical energy of the solstice and light and death (of the earth) and joy all comingling.

And the luminarias!! I was to go up to Santa Fe/Abq to see them and the lights, but we have great lights down here too and trees n____n and my Christmas cactus!

Heaven!! The spirit of the holidays is so wonderful… the magic of the winter solstice and the earth sleeping and dying and the celebration of that death? It’s so beautiful to me! I turn myself off from the consumerism of the holiday and let myself get enchanted and wrapped up in the energies of December… but one thing I wish? That people would bring back that whole ‘12 days of Christmas’ thing! One day is too short and too little for all the gratefulness and happiness I want to share with others.

Ahhh the music and the baking and the decorating!! The sparkles and the chill and the placid feeling in your souuuuul

Oh and you have to message me if you know of anything going on that I have to make my way to see!!

I CHALLENGE YOU!

Ladies you’re probably tired of me standing on my soap box, but I am determined to change this black on black hatred amongst us women.

I challenge you to attend an event or social gathering in your area and mingle with other women on a positive note. Network and possibly make a new friend. You never know what may stem from it. The stronger we are the harder it is to break us. You know why? Because a fellow sister won’t let you fall.

Last weekend 2 groups of ladies came out to an event I had. I offered both groups to comingle amongst each other and I’d comp them a bottle of champagne. Guess what? They actually had a good time.

What will it take to bring us back together?

#Sisterhood #Women #Network

Red Eye

green sunset edge, we eastward greenly

we rattle in our hermetic chamber

vacuum to mercury, inverted thermometer

we shout threats at the barometer

should the hutch be vampirized

the burly men will live, the rest drain and die

my pilleye singular and fixed, rubbersealed, observing

veins of cancerous light which burn with blood diseased

our hearts pump it and by it our hearts pump

how do i breathe in a vacuum

tributary veins pay homage, comingle below

burst into brilliant abscesses stoked green by the heavenly featherbrush

which draws the pigment upward, flicks droplets haphazard

like ripples inverted, contracting

better is the time just after

when we are wiser to our fate

and unlit but by our own innovation

better is when we bypass respiration

cast hermetically over wild patches dark

as the sea without the grace of reflection

then we truly come to water which is brighter

a drop fell in

unrippling, aflame

we pass above a molten boat in the bay

onward we east to an edge

Always Tmley Pay Your Employees--and Taxes

Always Tmley Pay Your Employees–and Taxes

Since the last post already gave away the end of the story, I thought I’d go back to the beginning and try to fill the blanks. As you may recall, I was describing a win I had recently that was somewhat surprising. My client had sued his fo

rmer employer and business partner and won via summary judgment. Really isn’t anything too unusual or exciting about that, except the way the judge crafted the…

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@kaoscaine and @__livfree in the studio #ComingLive

anonymous asked:

1, 38, 74, 76 ;)

why doesn’t anyone include the actual questions so i don’t habe to go look them juo?
1. last kiss? the guy who lives above me.
38. relationship status? sing;e and ready to comingle.
(that was a recycling joke.  i hope yall recycle)
74. hook-up or relationship? um i mean hooking up is chill and all (its all ive been stuck with lately), but i definitely prefer being in a reltionship. i like caring about another person and them caring about me and just being cute & shit. (also remembering their name. that’s pretty cool).
76. kissed a stranger? mhmm. hence the whole “remembering their name” thing mentioned above…

The Families

The Albetti Family

Old money runs deep in the Albetti family. Originally from Italy, the Albettis first took over the wild city of New York where Italian blood runs deep. They set their sights on the thick and bustling city of NYC and infiltrated with ease. Their money got them everywhere and their influence stretched wide, into neighboring neighborhoods and cities. The Albetti Family became notorious for comingling with the mayor and officials of law enforcement. 

With cops and judges in their pockets, the ALbetti family took off after the standing family in NYC- The Capones. One by one, Stefan Capone’s men were arrested, with no more cops in their pocket the charges stuck and came with hefty penalties. Alfonzo Albetti was out for the top and the waters of New York ran thick with Capone blood. The Capones were hemorraging money and power until the point where only their name remained. Alfonzo had everything and now he even had the previous rulers of the city at his beck and call.

Anthony is no different. He keeps close tabs on his so-called rivals to make sure they can never overpower him or his empire. He has a mind for tactics and is always three moves ahead of everyone else. He wants nothing to do with the attacks on Joseph’s empire, not yet anyway. Only when it will mean his empire is next will he intervene, until then it is Joseph who works for him, not the other way around.

The Capone Family

With a notorious name like Capone, expectations are, well, expected. The Capone family ran the dirty streets of New York long before the Albetti family arrived on the boat, but all that changed with the arrival of the Albetti family. The Albettis brought some heavy hitting loyalists to New York with them and even with a powerful family like the Capones in place, it only took a decade for that all to change. The Capones witnessed their empire crumbling piece by piece at the hands of the Albetti family. Stefan tried as hard as he could to keep his place at the top, but as all good things- it came to an end.

As a final nail in their empire’s coffin, Alfonzo Albetti offered Stefan a deal. Either work for his family and remain one of the top crime families in New York as well as keep their social standing and status, or lose everything and leave. Reluctantly, for the good of his family, Stefan took the deal.

For years the Capone family has worked for the Albetti family. In those years, the Capones have built a surprisingly large and powerful family of their own. Joseph always had the mind to take the city back, but with the attack on his men his empire is slowly crumbling and history is repeating itself once more. 

The Lupei Family

Old money but new standing. That was the way of the Lupei family. They had the money but no real power in Romania but had every means of achieving it. A lazy and spoiled family, the sons of the Lupei family had no drive and no ambition. It wasn’t until Andrei met the beautiful and dangerous street-wise Ilinca that their family’s status began to change. In short succession, Ilinca brought the streets of Romania to the Lupei’s door and used their money to further her standing. As a prostitute she had every door shut in her face, but now the wife of the eldest Lupei son she had everything at her finger tips.

Ilinca used the money and the standing to assert herself to the top, killing and threatening anyone who stood in her way. Her charm got her in the door and her ruthlessness kept her at the top. She quickly became the head of the one of the largest crime families in Romania with a heavy reputation on the streets.

Moving to NYC meant little to her, another city to conquer and family to destroy. Nothing will stand in her way but the abrupt death of the Capone woman has put a dent in her plans. She’s being considered carefully by not only the crime families in place, but the police. She has her work cut out for her, but with a few loyalists still beside her this is just an obstacle. Another one she plans to overcome.

Cover Reveal ~ Infernal Ice by Joceline Farrah

Cover Reveal ~ Infernal Ice by Joceline Farrah

Synopsis:

Beneath the sun kissed skies and the glamour of South Beach, Stygians and mortals co-exist under an uneasy alliance. Governed by strict rules known as Stygian protocol, they live by one most sacred and cardinal rule: Never comingle with mortals.

Grief stricken, caseworker Jessa Belle Jones loses herself in her job, after the love of her life, Scott Dempsey disappears without a trace.…

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