What Difference Does It Make: A Film About Making Music – Red Bull Music Academy NYC Festival



Red Bull Music Academy – Festival New York

Featuring Brian Eno, Giorgio Moroder, Erykah Badu and more than 70 other artists, What Difference Does It Make? A Film About Making Music marks the 15th anniversary of the Red Bull Music Academy — Red Bull’s longest running cultural program — and captures the energy of the 2013 edition in New York. It gets to the heart of what it takes to be a musician and, in the process, deals with some of the basic questions of life itself.

Bob Dylan: Hear New Track, Full Moon And Empty Arms



BOB DYLAN HAS unveiled a new cover of Frank Sinatra’s 1945 track, Full Moon And Empty Arms. The song – written by Buddy Kaye and Ted Mossman – began streaming over at bobdylan.com earlier. Sinatra died 16 years ago today, on May 14, 1998.

A Dylan spokesperson told Rolling Stone that the song “is definitely from a forthcoming album due later on this year”. That album looks to be titled Shadows In The Night – check out the newly unveiled artwork here.

Dylan has been a lifelong Sinatra fan. For evidence of this, look no further than this video of Dylan’s moving tribute at Frank’s 80th birthday celebration in 1995.

It’s been two years since the release of Dylan’s last studio album, Tempest, although Bob heads can get a new fix of Dylan via the recently released tribute album, Bob Dylan in the ’80s: Volume One.


Letter to President Barack Obama by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel

Adolfo Perez Esquivel - Nobel Peace Prize

Adolfo Perez Esquivel – Nobel Peace Prize


ALAI, América Latina en Movimiento


Open letter to Barack Obama

From Nobel to Nobel

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel

 “Thomas Merton, analyzing a postmark that had just arrived, saying “The U.S. Army: Key to peace”, wrote: “No army is the key to peace… No ‘great’ nation has the key to anything but war. Power has nothing to do with peace. The more men build up military power, the more they violate peace and destroy it.”  ~ Adolfo Perez Esquivel


Dear Barack,

In addressing you I do so fraternally, and at the same time, to express my concern and indignation for the destruction and death sown in so many countries in the name of “freedom and democracy”, two words that have been abused and stripped of meaning. They end up justifying murder, which is cheered on as if it were a sports event.

Indignation at the attitude of some parts of the US population, of heads of state in Europe and other countries who came out in support of the assassination of Bin Laden, and by your complacency in the name of a supposed justice. There was no effort to detain and try him for his alleged crimes, which generates more doubts. The objective was to assassinate him.

The dead don´t speak, and the fear of the accused who could disclose inconvenient truths for the USA, was turned into assassination in order to ensure that the “death of the dog would end the madness”, without considering that you have only increased it.

When you were granted the Nobel Prize, of which we are holders, I sent you a letter which read: “Barack, I was very surprised by your having been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but now that you have it, you must use it in the service of peace among peoples. You have all the possibility to do so, to end the wars and begin to correct the severe crisis in your own country and the world”.

Unfortunately however, you have increased hatred and betrayed the principles assumed during your electoral campaign before your people, such as ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, closing the prisons in Guantanamo, Cuba, and Abu Ghraib in Iraq. On the contrary, you decided to start another war against Libya, backed by NATO and with the shameful resolution of the UN to support you. This lofty organization, diminished and unable to think for itself, has lost its direction and is subjugated to the whims and interests of the dominant powers.

The founding premise of the UN is the defence and promotion of peace and dignity among peoples. Its Preamble begins by saying: “We, the peoples of the world…”, now absent from this organism.

I would like to recall a mystic and teacher who has had a great influence in my life: Trapist monk Thomas Merton of the Gethsemane Abbey in Kentucky. Merton said “The greatest necessity of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds and makes of all political and social life a mass illness. Without this housecleaning we cannot begin to see. Unless we see, we cannot think”.

Barack, you were very young during the Vietnam war, perhaps you don’t remember the struggle of people all over the United States in opposition to that war. I have shared with and accompanied the veterans of the Vietnam war, in particular Brian Wilson and his companions who were also victims of this war and of all wars.

Thomas Merton, analyzing a postmark that had just arrived, saying “The U.S. Army: Key to peace”, wrote: “No army is the key to peace… No ‘great’ nation has the key to anything but war. Power has nothing to do with peace. The more men build up military power, the more they violate peace and destroy it.”

We must protect LIFE to leave future generations a more just and fraternal society, re-establishing equilibrium with Mother Earth. If we don’t react to change the current situation of suicidal arrogance into which peoples are being dragged down, it will be very hard to escape and see the light. Humanity deserves a better fate.

You know, hope is like the lotus flower that grows in the mud and blossoms in all its splendor, showing its beauty. Leopoldo Marechal, a great Argentine writer, said that: “you get out of the maze by going up”.

I believe, Barack, that after following your erring ways, you find yourself in a maze, unable to find the exit. You are burying yourself further and further in violence, devoured by the power to dominate. You think you possess the power to do anything and that the world is at the feet of the USA. So huge are the atrocities committed by different US governments in the world… It is a sad reality, but there is also the resistance of peoples who do not capitulate before the powerful.

Bin Laden, alleged author of the attack on the Twin Towers, has been made the devil incarnate who terrorized the world. He has been identified as the “axis of evil” and this has served the US to wage the wars that the military industrial complex needs in order to place its products of death.

You surely must not ignore that researchers into the September 11 tragedy have declared that the attacks bear many marks of having been self-inflicted, such as the crash of a plane into the Pentagon and the prior evacuation of offices in the Towers. The attack provided a motive to launch the war against Iraq and Afghanistan, and now against Libya, arguing deceitfully that everything is being done to save the people in the name of “freedom and the defence of democracy”. With total cynicism it is said that the deaths of women and children are “collateral damage”.


Words are being emptied of values and meaning. You dub assassination to be “death”, and finally the US has “killed” Bin Laden. I am not in any way defending Bin Laden. I am against all terrorism, whether by such armed groups or the kind of state terrorism that your country exercises in various parts of the world, supporting dictators, imposing military bases and armed interventions, using violence to maintain itself via terror at the hub of world power. Is there only one “axis of evil”?


Peace is a dynamic of life in relations between persons and among peoples; it is a challenge to humanity’s consciousness. Its path is difficult, daily, and hopeful; it is where people build their own lives and their own history. Peace cannot be given to anyone, it must be built. And this is what you’re missing lad, courage to assume your historical responsibility with your people and with humanity.

You cannot live in the labyrinth of fear and control, ignoring International Treaties, Pacts, and Protocols that are signed and then transgressed once and again. How can you speak of Peace if you don’t want to honour anything, except the interests of your country?

How can you talk about freedom when you keep innocent people in the prisons of Guantánamo, in the USA, in Iraq, and in Afghanistan?

How can you speak of human rights and the dignity of peoples when you perpetually violate them and blockade those who don’t share your ideology and must endure your abuses?

How can you send military forces to Haiti after a devastating earthquake, rather than humanitarian aid for that suffering people?

How can you speak of freedom if you massacre the peoples of the Middle East and foster endless conflict which bleeds the Palestinians and Israelis?

Barack: try to look out from your maze; you may find the star that guides you, even knowing you can never reach it, as Eduardo Galeano said so well. Try to be consistent between what you say and what you do, it’s the only way not to lose your course. It’s a challenge of life. The Nobel Peace Prize is a tool at the service of peoples, never for personal vanity.

I wish you much strength and hope. You will hopefully have the courage to correct your path and find wisdom and Peace.

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel


Buenos Aires, May 5th, 2011

P.S. On a day like today 34 years ago, I came back to life; I was on a flight to death during the military dictatorship supported by the USA in Argentina. Thanks to God I survived. I had to find my way out of the labyrinth by rising above my desperation and discovering in the stars the path to be able to say like the prophet: “the darkest hour is just before the dawn ”.

(Translation: Bob Thomson / Beverley Keene).

Nobel Peace Laureates to Human Rights Watch: Close Your Revolving Door to U.S. Government

Adolfo Pérez-Esquivel, Nobel Peace Prize

Adolfo Pérez-Esquivel, Nobel Peace Prize


Democracy Landslide in Eastern Ukraine: Lugansk and Donetsk Declare Independence

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Published by Globe Research.  Article by Stephen Lendman

On Sunday, Donetsk and Lugansk regional referendums were held. Democracy triumphed overwhelmingly.

Almost 90% of Donetsk residents voted for self-determination. For local autonomy. For self-rule. Accounting to Central Election Commission head Roman Lyagin:

“Counting the ballots proved to be surprisingly easy. The number of people who said ‘no’ was relatively small, and there appeared to be only a tiny proportion of spoiled ballots, so we managed to carry out counting quite fast.”

“The figures are as follows: 89.07 percent voted ‘for’ (self rule), 10.19 percent voted ‘against’ and 0.74 percent of ballots were rendered ineligible.”

“The region is witnessing the escalation of violence,” he added. “(L)ots or armed people have come to the region. Sometimes it is impossible to say whom these people represent.”

Ballot deliveries were impeded. They were “beset by the danger to the life and health of members of election commission” members.

Final Lugansk results showed 96.2% for self-rule. Election Committee deputy chairman Alexander Malykhyn announced it.

A celebratory 5-6PM Monday rally was held. Thousands participated. They did so under hazardous conditions.

They came anyway. New rules apply. Self-determination is official. Kiev putschists have no say.

Residents in both regions live under virtual war zone conditions. Fundamental rights matter more. Freedom is too precious to sacrifice. Near unanimity affirmed it.

Turnout under dangerous conditions was extraordinary. It was unexpectedly high.

In Lugansk it was 81%. In Donetsk 74.87%. Residents in some areas risked life and limb to vote.

They did so anyway. In Krasnoarmeysk, special National Guard forces and Right Sector thugs opened fire on unarmed civilians.

Two deaths were reported. Others were injured. Fascist regimes operate this way. Kiev acts on direct orders from Washington.

Donetsk Region People’s Governor Pavel Gubarev said:

“The referendum for us is about creating a new state paradigm.” It’s “everything for us. It is our independence.”

“It is formation of a new entity – The Donetsk People’s Republic. But this new entity is only the first step to our forming a bigger entity of Novorossia.”

He referred to 18th century Russian empire territory. In 1922, it included Southeastern Ukraine.

Slavyansk People’s Mayor Vyacheslav Ponomaryov said closer ties with Russia will follow.

It’s “our brotherly nation,” he explained. He hopes for “full interaction…including entering (into) a Customs Union.”

RT International’s Paula Slier tweeted:

“#Lugansk leader says it’s probable that after independence, the rgn’ll form a unit govt w/#Donetz. Acc. to him, other rgns’ll follow them.”

A Kremlin press service statement said:

“We have taken note of high voter turnout despite attempts to derail the voting and we condemn the force used, including military hardware, against civilians, which lead to fatalities.”

“Moscow respects the will of the people in Donetsk and Lugansk and hopes that the practical realization of the outcome of the referendums will be carried out in a civilized manner, without resorting to violence, through dialogue between representatives of Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk.”

“In the interests of establishing such a dialogue all mediation efforts will be welcome, including by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.”

Russia condemned the use of force, “including with the use of heavy armaments against peaceful citizens that caused human losses.”

Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said his views on what happened Sunday depend “on the strength of their results.”

He’ll make them known at an appropriate time. He recommended postponing Sunday’s referendums.

“(It) was difficult” for area residents to comply. “Taking into account real combat conditions, (they) had to act according to their own plan and proceed from the actual situation.”

Peskov called Western accusations against Russia “absolute folly.”

“Why could not the West prevent the use of armoured personnel carriers in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk and avoid the gunning down of civilians,” he asked.

“They did not use their influence, and they do not give a hang while Russia is blamed for everything.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov closely followed events.

“We have taken note of high voter turnout despite attempts to derail the voting, and we condemn the force used, including military hardware, against civilians, which lead to fatalities,” he said.

Russia’s lower house State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said:

“The referendums show(ed) (the will of the people) to defend their rights, essentially, their wish to be free.”

They believe “their rights are massively violated in the current state system.”

Russian upper house Federation Council member Sergei Tsekov said Donetsk and Lugansk regions demonstrated real choice. World nations should recognize it, he added.

“Unfortunately, the self-proclaimed authorities of Ukraine did not let (both regions) hold their referendums in a calm atmosphere, but, clearly, the vote demonstrated the will of people…”

“The referendums have totally convincing results: we saw how enthusiastic people were about the referendum and how many of them came to polling stations.”

“If the world unwaveringly supports democratic values and wishes peace and accord in Ukraine, it should recognize the referendums and do its best to assist Ukrainian regions and the center to sit down and agree on their future.”

On Monday, EU foreign ministers met in Brussels. They discussed Sunday’s referendums. They considered policy options going forward.

They include possible sanctions on 15 more Russian officials and five Crimea-based companies.

On Monday, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy visited Kiev. He came to support its coup-appointed government.

He discussed preparations for May 25 sham presidential elections. They’ll be illegitimate when held. EU nations support them. So does Washington.

Western countries endorse what demands condemnation. They criticize real democracy. They deny their own people fundamental rights. They want other nations denied theirs.

On Monday, Sergey Lavrov said no new meetings on Ukraine are planned. Efforts to resolve crisis conditions so far accomplished nothing.

“I have heard statements by Ukraine’s Acting Foreign Minister (Andrii) Deshchytsia and While House spokesman (Jay) Carney to the effect that the four-party format of the talks should be preserved, but I shall say once again that, without including the regime’s opponents into the direct dialogue over ways of settling the crisis, the efforts will go nowhere,” he said.

“Russian channels are being blocked in Ukraine,” he added. “The West is seeking to fill them with their interpretation of events.”

“But ambassadors in Moscow watch what Russian television shows and should say the truth about current events in Ukraine to their governments.”

Lavrov commented on flagrant Western lies relating to Donetsk People’s Republic statements he made. He hopes implementing referendum results going forward will proceed smoothly.

Washington and rogue EU partners reacted to Sunday’s referendums as expected. They denounced real democracy.

They called it illegal. They might try adopting some themselves. They consider it verboten. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki lied saying:

Sunday’s referendums “violate(d) international law and the territorial integrity of Ukraine. The United States will not recognize the results of these illegal referenda.”

Rogue EU nations march in lockstep. Foreign policy chief Katherine Ashton’s spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic lied saying:

“The so-called referenda in…parts of Lugansk and Donetsk regions were illegal, and we do not recognize the outcome. Those who organized the referenda have no democratic legitimacy.”

Hostile public statements won’t change things. Donetsk and Lugansk residents spoke. They did so courageously.

They affirmed their legitimate rights. Their democratic ones everyone deserves.

They did so overwhelmingly. They reject Kiev fascists. They acted responsibly. They deserve universal support.

On Monday, Kiev troops attacked Andreevka village. It’s about 100 kilometers from Slavyansk.

“There was an artillery attack,” a self-defense spokesperson said. It began pre-dawn.

“Houses have been destroyed. Cars are on fire. There are casualties, but the numbers aren’t yet known.”

“The enemy started the artillery attack…using heavy mortars and howitzers. Also we have data on…using helicopters for covering operations.”

RT’s Paula Slier tweeted:

“Communication between #Andreevka and #Slavyansk – as well w/other cities around it – reportedly affected. It’s difficult to get info.”

Repeated explosions were heard. Firing came from Karachun Mountain’s TV tower vicinity.

Checkpoints were attacked. So were residential areas. Kiev tried disrupting Sunday’s referendums. It failed to do so.

Assaults on self-defense forces and noncombatants continued on Monday. It bears repeating. Fascist regimes operate this way.

On Monday, the Moscow Times headlined “Russia Recognizes Outcome of Self-Rule Referendums in Eastern Ukraine,” saying:

Kremlin authorities urged implementing it peacefully. People spoke. They did so overwhelmingly. Their will matters.

It bears repeating. It deserves respect. It merits universal support. It’s polar opposite Washington’s way.

It’s the right way. It’s a model for people everywhere to follow.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”


Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 



Luhansk Republic declares independence from Ukraine

Head of Central Election Committee of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic Alexander Malykhin

Head of Central Election Committee of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic Alexander Malykhin

A total of 96.2% voted for self-rule in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine, where the results of the Sunday referendum were announced on Monday
Luhansk People’s Republic, whose residents supported the act on state sovereignty at the May 11 referendum, has declared its independence from Ukraine.

‘Popular governor’ Valery Bolotov stated this at a rally on Monday.“We have chosen our path of independence from arbitrariness and bloody dictate of the Kiev clique, fascism and nationalism, the path of freedom, the path of rule of law,” Bolotov said. “From the moment of declaring its independence, a new life free from dictate of Kiev authorities will start for the Luhansk People’s Republic,” he added.

Earlier, Ukraine’s Luhansk City Council has demanded that the authorities in Kiev should ensure the process of federalization in the country.

“We demand that the current authorities follow the voice of the people and immediately make constitutional changes which should enable the federalization process,” the council’s presidium members said in a statement on Monday. “Otherwise, responsibility for breaking up the country will fall on the central authorities.”Council deputies urged the Kiev authorities to grant Russian the official status of a second state language and to stop “the fratricidal war” in Ukraine’s eastern regions.

A total of 96.2% voted for self-rule in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine, where the results of the Sunday referendum were announced on Monday.

Flashback: The Clash Rock Against Racism in 1978

The Clash – White Riot Live (1978 Victoria Park London)

Taken from the film Rude Boy


In August 1976 a heavily intoxicated Eric Clapton blurted out some very unfortunate remarks onstage at the Birmingham Odeon in England. “England is overcrowded,” he said. “I think we should send them all back.” He went on to add that England was in danger of becoming a “black colony.” Around the same time, David Bowie caused an even greater uproar when he shared some surprising political beliefs. “I believe very strongly in fascism,” he told Playboy. “The only way we can speed up the sort of liberalism that’s hanging foul in the air. . .is a right-wing totally dictatorial tyranny. . .Rock stars are fascists, too. Adolf Hitler was one of the first rock stars.”