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Member since: Sat Dec 6, 2008, 12:53 PM
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Is Old Music Killing New Music?

Old songs now represent 70 percent of the U.S. music market, according to the latest numbers from MRC Data, a music-analytics firm. Those who make a living from new music—especially that endangered species known as the working musician—should look at these figures with fear and trembling. But the news gets worse: The new-music market is actually shrinking. All the growth in the market is coming from old songs.

The 200 most popular new tracks now regularly account for less than 5 percent of total streams. That rate was twice as high just three years ago. The mix of songs actually purchased by consumers is even more tilted toward older music. The current list of most-downloaded tracks on iTunes is filled with the names of bands from the previous century, such as Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Police.

I encountered this phenomenon myself recently at a retail store, where the youngster at the cash register was singing along with Sting on “Message in a Bottle” (a hit from 1979) as it blasted on the radio. A few days earlier, I had a similar experience at a local diner, where the entire staff was under 30 but every song was more than 40 years old. I asked my server: “Why are you playing this old music?” She looked at me in surprise before answering: “Oh, I like these songs.”

Never before in history have new tracks attained hit status while generating so little cultural impact. In fact, the audience seems to be embracing the hits of decades past instead. Success was always short-lived in the music business, but now even new songs that become bona fide hits can pass unnoticed by much of the population.

Only songs released in the past 18 months get classified as “new” in the MRC database, so people could conceivably be listening to a lot of two-year-old songs, rather than 60-year-old ones. But I doubt these old playlists consist of songs from the year before last. Even if they did, that fact would still represent a repudiation of the pop-culture industry, which is almost entirely focused on what’s happening right now.


Why So Many People Still Don't Understand Anti-Semitism

Most people do not realize that Jews make up just 2 percent of the U.S. population and 0.2 percent of the world’s population. This means simply finding them takes a lot of effort. But every year in Western countries, including America, Jews are the No. 1 target of anti-religious hate crimes. Anti-Semites are many things, but they aren’t lazy. They’re animated by one of the most durable and deadly conspiracy theories in human history.

This past Saturday in Texas, another one found his mark. According to the latest news reports, Malik Faisal Akram traversed an ocean to accomplish his task, flying from the United Kingdom to America in late December. On January 15, he took Colleyville’s Congregation Beth Israel hostage for more than 11 hours. When it was all over, Akram was dead and his captives were not. The hostages escaped after their rabbi engineered a distraction, drawing on security training he had received from the Anti-Defamation League and other communal organizations. Something else most people don’t realize is that many rabbis need and receive security training.

Speaking about Jews as symbols is always uncomfortable, and that’s especially the case when bullet holes are still fresh in the sanctuary. But the sad fact is, that’s why the Texas congregants were attacked in the first place: because Jews play a sinister symbolic role in the imagination of so many that bears no resemblance to their lived existence.


Anti-Semitism isn’t just bigotry toward the Jewish community,” Ward explains. “It is actually utilizing bigotry toward the Jewish community in order to deconstruct democratic practices, and it does so by framing democracy as a conspiracy rather than a tool of empowerment or a functional tool of governance.” In other words, the more people buy into anti-Semitism and its understanding of the world, the more they lose faith in democracy.


YR is making a very salient point here, antisemitism tends to undermine democracy and liberal values.

Texas synagogue terrorist ranted about "f***ing Jews" in last call to family made during siege

The British terrorist who took four people hostage inside a Texas synagogue ranted about the “f***ing Jews” in the final phone call he made to his family during the siege, a recording obtained exclusively by the JC reveals.

In a chilling conversation with his brother in Blackburn from inside the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Malik Faisal Akram, 44, said: "I'm opening the doors for every youngster in England to enter America and f*** with them”.

Addressing fellow jihadists, he shouted: “Live your f***ing life bro, you f***ing coward. We’re coming to f***ing America. F*** them if they want to f*** with us. We’ll give them f***ing war.”


Audio at link or here:


Don't Let CAIR off the Hook for Its Role in the Colleyville Hostage Crisis

As Saturday Shabbat services were about to start, a man showed up to a Colleyville, Texas synagogue with a gun. His name was Malik Faisal Akram, and his goal was to take those in Congregation Beth Israel—a rabbi and three other Jews—hostage. He believed this would put pressure on American authorities to free Aafia Siddiqui, a terrorist convicted of trying to kill American military officers.

Why did he choose a synagogue? First, Siddiqui openly blamed Jewish individuals and the State of Israel for her 86-year prison sentence. When she was put on trial for grabbing the M4 rifle of a U.S. Army officer and opening fire on the members of the U.S. Armed Forces interrogating her for her ties to al-Qaeda, she had one demand as to the nature of her interrogators: no Jews.


The naughty center, lol.

Hydrogen production types by color


I would take this article with a grain of salt.

The Navajo are the third largest coal producers in the entire US.

That said only hydrogen made without reformers is truly green, wind and solar is probably the way to go for the tribe in the long term, but they created that company, Navajo Transitional Energy Co. which is somewhat independent from the tribal council. They increased the tribes coal mine holdings, and are now selling overseas, places like Japan.

Not according to the FBI currently


Unreal. They refuse to see what right in front of them.

Here's a good article about Tlaib's views.


Dvar torah from a rabbi I know.

In this week’s parashah, Vayishlah, Yaakov receives his new identity as Yisrael, the one who struggles with God. Yaakov’s willingness to wrestle with the divine, to keep God in this world and not allow God to withdraw to heaven, defines him as the father of the Jewish people. As heirs to Yisrael, we do the same thing each time we perform a mitzvah, a sacred deed. We wrestle God to earth. We make the transcendent, the ultimate mystery, a tangible presence in our world.

On Shabbat, we come to shul to seek peace, to escape the struggles that preoccupy us during the rest of the week. But the peace that we seek is not a static, lazy peace. It is a peace that makes it possible for us to engage in a different kind of struggle. the struggle to grow, to search, to seize the divine.

May the quiet of Shabbat enable us, like Yisrael our ancestor, to bring heaven down to earth.

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