Jazz Condition —

“Three men, three different instruments, music of poetic beauty — and lives often overshadowed by tragedy.

Recent months have brought forth three very different biographies. They document with varying degrees of success the lives of trumpeter Chet Baker and tenor saxophonist Stan Getz, both of whom have left this world, and singer Jimmy Scott, who enjoys a splendid career revival after decades of humiliation, misunderstanding — and obscurity.” UPI Arts & Entertainment

Study: Speed of Gravity, Light Match
Einstein was right. The speed of gravity matches the speed of light, according to astronomers who took advantage of a rare planetary alignment to measure one of the fundamental forces of nature.” Yahoo! News

The Unspeakable Truth –

What Bush dares not say about North Korea. Fred Kaplan: “…(T)here are reasons for favoring military confrontation with Iraq but not with North Korea—some of them are even good reasons—but most of them can’t easily be discussed in public, not by officials anyway, without setting off further contradictions and alarm bells.” Kaplan’s argument is essentially that “we’re going to war against Iraq because we can; we’re not going to war against North Korea because we can’t.” To acknowledge that is to acknowledge that Kim Jong Il has effectively deterred us (which once having been said would encourage other nations to develop nuclear weapons as quickly as possible) and also that Saddam Hussein does not have enough WMD to do much damage, giving the lie to Bush’s assertions that we are seeking to topple Saddam because he has already developed WMD. This illogic is, in fact, broadly noted in media discussions of the issue. Kaplan, however, makes another interesting point.

His thought is that we don’t mention the 800-lb. gorilla who is in the room om the Middle East but is not in play in the Korean peninsula — oil — but not for the reasons we usually hear in what Kaplan dismisses this as the “crudely Marxist” argument. . These usually amount to little more than “Of course it’s the oil, stupid.” Of course, Kaplan says, the US does not want to appear “overly pecuniary.” But a more important reason is that it would be unsafe for the entire region while Saddam Hussein is still in power for the US to pull out of Saudi Arabia, although increasingly apparent that it is strategically advantageous to do so, both because “*(o)ur military presence provides a handy target for terrorists (rhetorically, if not physically) and aligns us too tightly with a corrupt kingdom from which we might wisely begin to seek distance.” Slate

Kaplan thus neatly tries to explain why the obvious sham of couching the necessity for war with Iraq in moral terms is maintained in the face of charges of the incoherency, inconsistency and hypocrisy of US policy. Interesting — if North Korean analysts are as sophisticated as Kaplan in realizing why the US might not be able to explicitly explain why it inttends to handle open defiance so differently in the two regions, it is plausible that their timing in precipitating this crisis just now may have something to do with capitalizing on the resultant moral humiliation the US suffers.

Related: “The Bush administration said yesterday that it would agree to direct talks with North Korea on how the isolated state could meet its nuclear obligations, a subtle shift in position designed to give both sides a face-saving way to resolve the standoff over North Korea’s weapons programs.” Washington Post