Antonelli Electr; Beatport gripe

Some four years back I attempted a discography of Stefan Schwander, AKA Antonelli Electr (and Repeat Orchestra and other aliases), a mellifluous minimal electro-house producer from Dusseldorf. I'd lost track of his releases after 2004 or so but was pleased to discover that they're on Beatport, a paid-download site catering to DJs. It's been a pleasure catching up. I was sorry, though, to see that Beatport thought it necessary to add (nay, insist that you install on your computer) a "download manager"--more Flash crap to junk up your hard drive and registry when Firefox does a perfectly fine job of moving files onto your machine. You have to download an Adobe installer just to download the downloader--more crap. This is like a sickness, this desire of every small business to colonize your computer with some branded .exe file that services only their product. At least the mp3s and wavs you get from Beatport are DRM-free--or so they say.

Giuliani Skipped Out on Iraq Study Group

Just a little reminder about Rudy Giuliani in 2006, from Newsday:

Giuliani left the Iraq Study Group last May after just two months, walking away from a chance to make up for his lack of foreign policy credentials on the top issue in the 2008 race, the Iraq war.

He cited "previous time commitments" in a letter explaining his decision to quit, and a look at his schedule suggests why -- the sessions at times conflicted with Giuliani's lucrative speaking tour that garnered him $11.4 million in 14 months.

Giuliani failed to show up for a pair of two-day sessions that occurred during his tenure, the sources said -- and both times, they conflicted with paid public appearances shown on his recent financial disclosure. Giuliani quit the group during his busiest stretch in 2006, when he gave 20 speeches in a single month that brought in $1.7 million.

On one day the panel gathered in Washington -- May 18, 2006 -- Giuliani delivered a $100,000 speech on leadership at an Atlanta business awards breakfast. Later that day, he attended a $100-a-ticket Atlanta political fundraiser for conservative ally Ralph Reed, whom Giuliani hoped would provide a major boost to his presidential campaign.

The month before, Giuliani skipped the session to give the April 12 keynote speech at an economic conference in South Korea for $200,000, his financial disclosure shows.

Rudy Giuliani avoids talking about Iraq on the campaign trail, as well, changing the subject to the general "war on terror" crapola. He knows the war is wrong but trashes its critics as anti-American. Also, firefighters dislike this fake hero.