Archive for May 15th, 2014


Night owl chat – Fazil Say, “Symphony no. 2: Mesopotamia”

I just discovered Mr. Say this week, and I am captivated by his music, which mixes Western tonality with Turkish melody.

And then there’s this, from Wikipedia:

According to the NY Times, on Monday, April 15, 2013 a court in Istanbul handed down a suspended 10-month jail term for Fazıl Say, convicted of insulting Islam and offending Muslims in postings on Twitter. Mr. Say, 42, who has performed with major orchestras around the world in places including New York, Berlin and Tokyo, said during earlier hearings that the accusations against him went “against universal human rights and laws.” The sentence was suspended for five years, meaning that the pianist will not be sent to prison unless he is convicted of re-offending within that period. In recent years, many intellectuals, writers and artists have been prosecuted for statements about Islam and Turkish identity, both of which the pro-Islamic government seeks to shield from criticism. Social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, however, have rarely figured in previous trials, although Turks are active users of the sites.

The messages cited in the indictment were Mr. Say’s personal remarks referring to a poem by a famous 11th-century Persian poet, Omar Khayyam, which poked fun at an Islamic vision of the afterlife. The poem was sent to Mr. Say from another user before he forwarded it. In another personal Twitter post, he joked about the rapid call to prayer at a nearby mosque, questioning whether the muezzin who makes the call was running late for a drink.

Let Greenwald dwell on that next time he says free expression is stymied in the US.



Chat on,  night owls, and dream of ancient civilizations.



President Barack Obama and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg tour Memorial Hall at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum prior to the 9/11 Museum dedication in New York, N.Y., May 15, 2014 (Photo by Pete Souza)


President Obama & The First Lady at 9/11 Museum Dedication

President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, former President Bill Clinton, and Diana Taylor, tour the Memorial Hall at the National September 11 Memorial Museum


Text of the President’s remarks here


President Obama greets Alson Crowther and Ling Young. Alson’s son Welles died saving Ling and others

President Obama delivers remarks as a picture of Welles Crowther, a 24-year-old equities trader who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks after saving at least a dozen people, and his mother Allison are seen displayed on a screen


The President and First Lady return to the White House






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