Pearl Jam’s Musician and Activist Eddie Vedder : ‘Black’ + Interview

 

 

Eddie Vedder Talks Music, Activism

Pearl Jam exploded onto the Seattle music scene in 1991 and has been fending off celebrity ever since. The group’s debut album, “Ten,” reached No. 2 on the pop charts and has sold some 12 million copies, but the band shunned endorsements and shied away from almost all self-promotion, even refusing to make videos for a time. Close to two decades later, it’s clear they didn’t need the hype. In a 2005 USA Today readers’ poll, Pearl Jam was voted the greatest American rock band of all time. They’ve managed to take up causes from health care to antitrust, even testifying before Congress in a Justice Department probe into Ticketmaster. Currently at work on their ninth studio album, Pearl Jam is re-releasing “Ten” in four new and expanded editions that include six bonus tracks. Lead singer Eddie Vedder, 44, spoke about the reissue, balancing music with activism, and life as a father of two. Excerpts:

How has Pearl Jam changed in the years since “Ten” was first released?
Eddie Vedder: I think in so many ways we’ve grown up, but I think in music you’re also able to hang on to a part of youth that in a normal job you’d have to surrender. In a way, it was a blessing that we didn’t have families at the time, because we could give everything to the music. But I never thought we’d have to actually look back and answer questions about 20 years ago.

How much of this has become about activism for you, and how much is still about music?
I think it’s always been a balance. I think music is the greatest art form that exists, and I think people listen to music for different reasons, and it serves different purposes. Some of it is background music, and some of it is things that might affect a person’s day, if not their life, or change an attitude. The best songs are the ones that make you feel something. But it’s really a balance, because part of it is just, well, you’re a rock-and-roll band. But what happens is you learn that a rock-and-roll band can be a whole lot of things.

Has the way you pursue activism changed?
Back [in our early days] it was very knee-jerk: You’d want to kick out a stained-glass window to get your point across. Now you try to deliver better business plans to corporate entities so they can still make a profit, but do it without destroying land or culture.

Has having a family changed your views about celebrity?
I don’t really have too many views on it, to be honest. [Laughs] Seattle’s very close-knit, and I don’t feel any different, even though I have a different job than some of the other parents at school. How else do I answer that?

Well, what’s it like to be a rock star?
You know, rock stardom … I have a hard time discussing that because I don’t really accept it. It’s not really that tangible. What’s really bizarre is how it’s used as a thing—you know, “He’s the rock star of politics,” “He’s the rock star of quarterbacks”—like it’s the greatest thing in the world. And it’s not bad, but it’s just different. I don’t understand it. Cause I’m going, “Well—am I that?” I want to be the plumber of rock stars.

How do you keep your music relevant?
I think by pushing the boundaries, by not doing something you’ve already done, and pushing each other as bandmates to create in a new way.

Do you miss that Seattle heyday of the early ’90s at all?
I think what we miss is the bands all showing up at each other’s shows, and five people being up onstage, and then the next night the same people that were up onstage being in the audience and vice versa. Everyone was very supportive of each other. And, you know, there were some great f–king living-room parties as well. And it still happens, it’s just a little less.

Does that community you talk about still exist?
You know, it’s amazing how few bands are able to keep it together. But I’d like to think there’s still a number of us who, for lack of a better word, are slaves to rock and roll. It’s in us and we need it. And I think it’s trickier now because a lot of us have to be a little bit more grown up. We’re parents and we’re figuring out how to do both. Because as much as I would dedicate my life solely to music, I wouldn’t sacrifice the kids’ upbringing to do it.

You recently had a second daughter.
Yep, she’s 4 months old. She was born on Bruce Springsteen’s birthday. So my one kid’s 4, my other kid’s 4 months, I’m 44 —it’s all lining up nicely here.

Do you still wear a lot of flannel?
I’m not wearing one today, but I sure was wearing one yesterday.

 

British MP: West Should Not Make False Threats Against Russia

West and US should not make false threats against Russia in taking an unrealistic position on possible military action in Ukraine, British MP said

West and US should not make false threats against Russia in taking an unrealistic position on possible military action in Ukraine, British MP said

WASHINGTON, September 24 (RIA Novosti) – The West and the United States should not make false threats against Russia in taking an unrealistic position on possible military action in Ukraine, Liam Fox, conservative MP in Great Britain and former UK Defense Minister, stated Tuesday.

“I think it’s very important not to pretend that you can or will do things that you clearly won’t,” Fox stated. “Making false threats, I think, is a big problem. We have to look at different ways of dealing with the Ukrainian situation.”

In late August, President Barack Obama stated that the US was “not taking military action to solve the Ukrainian problem.”

In his visit to Washington last week, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko requested lethal military assistance, which the White House declined.

Moreover, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s seven-point peace plan for Ukraine is based on the premise that there is no military solution for the country’s challenges.

Fox noted that there are four key questions to ask before seriously threatening military action, the first being the question of what the intended outcome would be.

“Number two, could such an outcome be engineered? Number three, could we possibly engineer it? And number four, how much of the outcome do we want to own?”

“I find in Ukraine it is very difficult to answer those questions,” the British MP concluded.

 

NATO Violated Each and Every Item of Its Agreement With Russia

Some Western analysts say it was the Alliance itself which “has violated nearly each and every paragraph of its agreement with Russia, which has stabilized Europe for a certain time

Some Western analysts say it was the Alliance itself which “has violated nearly each and every paragraph of its agreement with Russia, which has stabilized Europe for a certain time

 

MOSCOW, September 16 (RIA Novosti) – NATO’s Secretary General has accused Russia of being unwilling to build a partnership with the organization, but some Western analysts say it was the Alliance itself which “has violated nearly each and every paragraph of its agreement with Russia, which has stabilized Europe for a certain time”.

“We have tried long and hard to build a partnership in a way that respects Russia’s security concerns and is based on international rules and norms… Regrettably, Russia has rejected our efforts to engage. Instead, Russia considers NATO, and the West more broadly, as an adversary,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at a Carnegie Europe event that marked the end of his mandate as NATO chief.

He also added that Russia “has trembled” all of the agreements that kept the peace in Europe and beyond.

But German government consultant and publicist Christoph Horstel has argued that it was quite the opposite.

“I have re-read the NATO-Russia act right before this interview and I see very clearly, there is no thorough discussion necessary, that the paper in fact is dead”, he told Radio VR.

He attributes this death to NATO and accuses the organization of murder. “NATO has violated nearly each and every paragraph of this important paper, which has stabilized Europe for a certain time. And it has done so since at least, 2003, when Iraq was infected by an unauthorized invasion,” Horstel added.

Christoph Horstel also commented on the new round of sanctions against Russia and the fragile ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.

“Russia has made sure and made it possible that there are successful negotiations going on between the [southeastern] republics and the Kiev regime, in spite of all the mistakes and terrible killings this regime has carried out in its [southeastern] republics,” he said. “And still, the sanctions are coming. So, in fact, I feel that the policy of sanctions is now completely void of any real connection to the Ukrainian issue, where Russia is in a very good position and NATO has made itself against any law – against the UN Charter, and against any kind of international treaty they have signed.”

“What we have here is that the sanctions have come to Russia, because Russia is to be subdued, and pushed into obedience by NATO. That is the plan behind that,” he added.

Horstel also explained that what we have here is “the declared will of Washington to disturb the peace in Europe”. The US, he said, has no interest whatsoever in any person living in Europe or in Russia. They have no interest whatsoever in the well-being of the countries and the peoples living here. He adds that they definitely have a power-related and a greed-related interest in disturbing Russia’s relationships, in order to compel Russia to be obedient or start a conflict.

That, he says, could very well be an armed conflict.

It has been openly declared by foreign policy analysts and planning think tanks in the US that Russia’s delivery of raw materials and energy production to the EU must be put to a halt, he said. They want to disturb it and they want to stop it.

“Asked about a way out of the present deterioration of relations with EU and NATO countries for Russia, Horstel strongly urged use of the tool-box for “public diplomacy” or, as he put it: “people-to-people relations”. In his explanation Horstel quoted Russian president Vladimir Putin in stating to German TV ARD, that there are about 650 foreign agent NGOs in Russia – whereas Russia maintains just two NGOs in western countries. This misbalance must be stopped immediately, Horstel said. “I appeal to all EU governments to open their minds, hearts and policies to allow this Russian effort to blossom”, Horstel added.”

Professor: US Airstrikes in Syria Require Damascus’ Consent to Be Lawful

US airstrikes against the IS targets in Syria require the consent of the Syrian government to be lawful: expert

US airstrikes against the IS targets in Syria require the consent of the Syrian government to be lawful: expert

 

© AP Photo/ Hasan Jamali

WASHINGTON, September 23 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova – Although Damascus was informed about the US airstrikes against the Islamic State targets in Syria, they still required the consent of the Syrian government to be lawful, John Quigley, Emeritus Professor at The Ohio State University, told RIA Novosti Tuesday.

“The airstrikes in Syria require the consent of the government of Syria in order to be lawful,” Quigley said. “In recent days, the government of Syria indicated it would not consent to such airstrikes.”

The professor noted that this morning, in response to the airstrikes, the Syrian government issued a statement indicating that it had been informed in advance by the United States.

“In that statement, Syria did not indicate whether it objects to the airstrikes. If Syria does not make clear its objection, it may be considered to consent,” he explained.

On Tuesday, the United States and a number of its Arab allies carried out a series of airstrikes against ISIS insurgent positions across Syria.

The ambassador of the Syrian Arab Republic in Russia Riyad Haddad confirmed that Damascus knew of the upcoming operation in advance, however, denied any coordination with the US Air Force.

According to Haddad, the United States had informed Damascus of the upcoming airstrikes a few hours before the launch of the operation.

Quigley said that at this time Damascus has a couple of options.

“Countries that are the victim of aggression often complain to the UN Security Council. That is one option for Syria,” he emphasized. “Since ISIS is fighting against the government of Syria, the government might choose to consent.”

“ISIS has carried out significant violations of human rights in the territory it has captured in Syria and Iraq. Hopefully the government of Syria, the government of Iraq, the United States and other states can work together to return civil government to the territories ISIS controls,” Quigley concluded.

The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate on the territories over which it had control.

Human Rights Warch blames Kiev army for indiscriminately killing civilians with missiles

Viktor Stepanenko (69 years) by his house in the township of Snezhnoye that was destroyed by a Ukrainian rocket. (RIA Novosti)

Viktor Stepanenko (69 years) by his house in the township of Snezhnoye that was destroyed by a Ukrainian rocket. (RIA Novosti)

The Ukrainian army is using indiscriminate Grad missiles to attack densely populated areas in Donetsk, which violates international humanitarian law, Human Rights Watch alleged. It also blamed militia for taking cover in those areas.

The rights organization confirmed four rocket attacks by the Ukrainian military, or Kiev-allied paramilitary, on residential areas in or near Donetsk, which resulted in at least 16 civilian deaths and many more wounded. The attacks were carried out with Grad multiple rocket weapon systems, highly indiscriminate weapons that cannot be used against populated areas.

Judging by the trail of impact the rockets left, “in four attacks they were coming from areasd under the control of the Ukrainian army,” Ole Solvang, researcher and security adviser for Human Rights Watch told RT.

“We were not able to see any kind of possible military target in that area and it’s quite clear that this is a residential area. Everybody that we spoke to said that there had been no fighters, no weapons in that area,” Solvang added.

The group released a statement on Friday.

“Although Ukrainian government officials and the press service of the National Guard have denied using Grad rockets in Donetsk, a Human Rights Watch investigation on the ground strongly indicates that Ukrainian government forces were responsible for the attacks that occurred between July 12 and 21,” HRW said.

The interior of an apartment in a residential building destroyed in an artillery attack by the Ukrainian army in the village of Peski in the Donetsk region. (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Voskresenskiy)

The interior of an apartment in a residential building destroyed in an artillery attack by the Ukrainian army in the village of Peski in the Donetsk region. (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Voskresenskiy)

Kiev routinely denies causing civilian deaths in its conflict with armed militias in the east of the country and put the blames for such deaths on the militias themselves. But the attack sites investigated by HRW clearly point to the Ukrainian military.

“The attacks’ proximity to the front line also makes it unlikely, and in some cases impossible, that insurgent forces were responsible for the attacks. In two of the attacks, rockets hit on or near insurgent bases and checkpoints at the same time as they hit residential areas, indicating government forces were responsible,” the report said.

Ukraine: Unguided Rockets Killing Civilians

HRW didn’t report any evidence that militias were responsible for any Grad attacks on civilian-populated areas, but warned that they should avoid operating in those areas. The group also blamed them for failing to keep civilians out of harm’s way.

“Insurgent forces have failed to take all feasible precautions to avoid deploying in densely populated areas, thereby endangering civilians in violation of the laws of war,” it said. “In one case, separatist forces moved their base closer to the center of the town when Grad rockets struck their base and a nearby residential area. Violations of the laws of war by one side to the conflict do not justify violations by the other side.”

Solvang described two major problems with using Grad rockets.

“One – they’re unguided, so you cannot target them precisely. There is a pretty big area where a rocket can land if you just shoot it off. Secondly, very often they’re used in salvos, so the ones who use them – they shoot off up to 40 – or maybe more – at the same time. And that means that they’re going to cover a big area at the same time,” he said.

“And when you use these kinds of weapons in populated it’s a really high risk for civilians to be injured and killed, and that’s what we saw in the Petrovsky district,” he added.

A dweller of an apartment building damaged during an artillery attack by the Ukrainian Security Forces in Donetsk suburb, inside his destroyed apartment. (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Voskresenskiy)

A dweller of an apartment building damaged during an artillery attack by the Ukrainian Security Forces in Donetsk suburb, inside his destroyed apartment. (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Voskresenskiy)

Belligerent parties in Ukraine must keep in mind that they are responsible for keeping their hostilities within international humanitarian law, HRW warned.

“Ukrainian authorities should order all their forces, including volunteer forces, to immediately stop using Grads in or near populated areas, and insurgent forces should avoid deploying in densely populated areas,” said Ole Solvang, senior emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“Commanding officers on all sides should recognize that one day they could face legal consequences for their actions.”

Earlier the International Red Cross officially declared the hostilities in eastern Ukraine a civil war, which opened the way for prosecuting atrocities committed there in international courts.

 Belligerent parties in Ukraine must keep in mind that they are responsible for keeping their hostilities within international humanitarian law, HRW warned. “Ukrainian authorities should order all their forces, including volunteer forces, to immediately stop using Grads in or near populated areas, and insurgent forces should avoid deploying in densely populated areas,” said Ole Solvang, senior emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Commanding officers on all sides should recognize that one day they could face legal consequences for their actions.” Earlier the International Red Cross officially declared the hostilities in eastern Ukraine a civil war, which opened the way for prosecuting atrocities committed there in international courts.

Belligerent parties in Ukraine must keep in mind that they are responsible for keeping their hostilities within international humanitarian law,HRW warned. 

Grad is a Russian-made rocket launcher used by the Ukrainian military, which fires volleys of unguided missiles from multiple tubes mounted on a rack. The weapon is meant to cause massive damage to enemy positions, with individual rocket capable of killing unprotected soldiers in a radius of up to 28 meters from impact.

Kiev troops are continuing their attacks on cities held by militia forces, using their aviation and heavy artillery to barrage defense forces. The outgunned militias try to compensate by maneuvering and taking cover among city buildings. The army is hesitant to advance into hostile urban areas, where their superiority in armor and heavy weapons would be irrelevant.

Solvang said that HRW was calling on both the Ukrainian government and separatists to stop using grad rockets in populated areas.

“Neither side really seems to take enough precautions to make that sure civilians are not killed or injured,” he said.

Petro Poroshenko: Livin’ on a Prayer ?

Petro Poroshenko address to US Congress Full Speech

This address by Porkyshenko to the Senate and House of representatives is shocking.. This is not a convocation of New World order members at all, it is a mass murderer of thousands of Ukrainians and Donbass residents addressing and colluding with the Neocon imbeciles of the United Snakes, all of whom are using Porkyshenko as their instrument to knife Putin and to demonise Russia endlessly.

It is a convocation of the truly insane, applauding the totally psychotic..

Listen as Porkyshenko kisses the United Snakes ass, and ensures that ‘his’ Ukraine needs so desperately to become a ‘club member’ and how each Kiev Nazi citizen only wants to work hard for Ukraine’s future.. I have rarely seen a more sick-making video, and could not watch it in its entirety…

Maybe Yarosh will have him killed, and at least that will clear some of the filth away for a short while, until this travesty of a government can be de-Nazified (if that is at all possible)

.. It can only get much worse from here on..

I like it when he says 45 people are watching.. (he meant 45 million (less the tens of thousands that he’s already killed) but he’s much too stupid to remember the correct Ukrainian population statistics, which are meaningless anyway, to a hardened sociopath.

I am aghast and horrified at the reception the US, my own country, has given to mass murderer Poroshenko. American foreign policy is atrocious. And the EU policies are appalling as well. Below is a link to the Text adopted by the European Parliament today, in which Russia is villified without a shred of proof.

An excerpt from page 17:

C. whereas the ceasefire has been persistently violated by, mainly, regular Russian troops and separatists since Friday, 5 September 2014 in areas near Mariupol and Donetsk airport, with attempts to probe Ukraine’s defences in several other localities;

D. whereas in the previous weeks Russia increased its military presence on the territory of Ukraine and logistical support of the separatist militias through a steady flow of weapons, ammunition, armoured vehicles and equipment, mercenaries and soldiers in disguise, in spite of the EU’s calls to make every effort to de-escalate the situation; whereas since the beginning of the crisis the Russian Federation has amassed troops and military hardware on the border with Ukraine;

E. whereas Russia’s direct and indirect military intervention in Ukraine, including the annexation of Crimea, violates international law including the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act and the 1994 Budapest Agreement; whereas Russia continues to refuse the implementation of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE);

Oh yeah? The link to download document:

http://t.co/1WbodPRBNW

250 civilians killed in Ukraine’s Lugansk during last two months – OSCE

People in Lugansk after an artillery attack on July 18, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov)

People in Lugansk after an artillery attack on July 18, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov)

 

At least 250 civilians were killed and over 850 wounded in June and July in the opposition-controlled city of Lugansk, which is besieged by the Ukrainian military, the daily report by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission said.

According to the report, the observers met with members of Lugansk emergency first aid brigade on Thursday.

“The doctors said that in June and July alone there were 250 killed and 850 wounded in the Lugansk region,” the document published Saturday said.

The figures didn’t include civilians killed in close vicinity of combat zones outside the city as well as causalities among those involved in fighting, the report pointed.

The medics also told the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) that “increasingly more people were being killed by booby traps and mines.”

People in Lugansk after an artillery attack on July 18, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov)

People in Lugansk after an artillery attack on July 18, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov)

The situation in Lugansk and Donetsk Regions “remained tense with on-going fighting around the city of Luhansk,” the observers said.

The report says the “SMM heard the sound of a shell hitting a garage,” while patrolling the center of Lugansk.

When the mission arrived on the scene, they found “one man killed lying on the pavement; the garage and a car were totally demolished.”

On Saturday night, air sirens started off in Lugansk as a fighter jet was spotted in the skies following a brief mortar shelling. Friday attacks took 15 lives while over 50 more were injured, local authorities said.

WARNING: Graphic video shows victims of the shelling in Lugansk

 

 

As the situation in the country’s east continues to deteriorate, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko refused to include south-eastern militia in the peace negotiations, which are aimed at resolving the conflict in the country.

Poroshenko, who met with Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans in Kiev on Saturday, blamed the self-defense forces for bringing down the Malaysia airline’s plane, which resulted in 298 deaths two days ago.

People in Lugansk carry the bodies of those killed during an artillery attack on the city on July 18, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov)

People in Lugansk carry the bodies of those killed during an artillery attack on the city on July 18, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov)

“Speaking about the settlement of the conflict in the Donbas, Poroshenko noted that those who are related to a terrorist attack cannot be a party in the negotiations. Their crime should be investigated in international courts,” the Ukrainian president’s press service said.

Poroshenko also announced that Kiev is preparing international legal claims in order for the People’s Republic of Donetsk and Lugansk to be globally recognized as terrorist organizations.

The crackdown on the south-east started in mid-April, after people in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions refused to recognize the coup-imposed authorities in Kiev and demanded federalization.

 

 
 

 

The Ukrainian military and National Guard resorted to airstrikes and shelling in their struggle against the self-defense forces in Donetsk and Lugansk.

The operation stalled for some time, but then Kiev achieved major military gains by taking control of important militia strongholds – the cities of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk – in early July.

Government forces are now using all its arsenal to crush rebel resistance in the regional capitals of Donetsk and Lugansk.

A private house damaged by Ukrainian army's shelling of Lugansk on July 17, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov)

A private house damaged by Ukrainian army’s shelling of Lugansk on July 17, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov)

On July 10, Ukraine’s deputy health minister spoke of 478 civilians being killed in the conflict, with nearly 1,400 people receiving injuries.

Disregard of the population by Kiev troops saw the number of Ukrainian refugees fleeing to Russia reaching 110,000 people, while 54,400 others were displaced within Ukraine, according to stats from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

A report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says over 4.5 million civilians remain in the war zone in Ukraine.

A burning residential house after an artillery bombardment of the city on July 18, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov)

A burning residential house after an artillery bombardment of the city on July 18, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov)

A local resident in a house destroyed in the Ukrainian army's artillery attack on Lugansk on July 16, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Voskresenskiy)

A local resident in a house destroyed in the Ukrainian army’s artillery attack on Lugansk on July 16, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Voskresenskiy)

 

The aftermath of an artillery attack on Lugansk on July 14, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov)

The aftermath of an artillery attack on Lugansk on July 14, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov)