it’s time to stop pre-ing everything

We all have pet peeves. I have a friend who gets unreasonably annoyed at people that wear mismatched outfits. Seriously, it bothers him in a way I don’t pretend to understand.

I feel that way about the use of the prefix pre-. It’s being abused and it has to stop.

Pre- has its important uses, so don’t think I’m coming down on the prefix itself. We need precautions and the ability to preclude things. We need to know our predecessors, and of course without the prefix pre- there would be no word for prefix! Without it we couldn’t have premonitions or premeditated anything, and we certainly couldn’t establish prerequisites.

Having said that, we need to stop preheating. An oven cannot be preheated. It can only be heated or unheated.  If it’s unheated, you need to heat it, and if you’re following a recipe, you need to heat it to a specific temperature.  You should do that ahead of time, which is why we say preheat, but step 1 in any recipe requiring the oven should just say “Heat oven to 350 degrees” (or whatever temperature you need) and stop involving pre-.

You cannot pre-board an aircraft. You are either on the aircraft, getting on the aircraft, or not on the aircraft.  If people with special needs are to be allowed on the aircraft ahead of people without special needs, that should be “boarding first,” not pre-boarding.

There is no such thing as a pre-made meal. It’s either ingredients to make a meal or a meal. If you have a friend who has been in the hospital and you make something for them to stick in the freezer as a way to help them out, that’s a meal. When you buy a meal in a box at the supermarket, it’s not pre-made. It’s made. It’s already a meal, you just have to heat it up.

Similarly, you cannot pre-adapt anything. If you adapt something ahead of somebody else needing to use that thing, it’s been adapted. You haven’t pre-adapted. You’ve adapted.

There is no pre-purchasing, only purchasing. No pre-admission, because you’re either in or you’re out. I’ll give a little leeway on preamplify, but I’m standing strong on pre-allocate. There is no pre-arranging, pre-assigning, pre-booking or pre-focusing.

You might believe in predestination, but you need to let go of prefabricating. Seriously, what you’re making either exists or it doesn’t. If it does, it’s fabricated. If it doesn’t, it needs to be fabricated.

Drop your willingness to preformat, prehire and prejudge. Get rid of premanufacturing, premodification and premoistening. These are binary concepts! Something is either dry or wet. If it is wet, it is moist. If it is not wet, it is dry. Period. Just because somebody else moistened your towelette does not mean it is premoistened – it is moist! MOIST I TELL YOU!

You can be preoccupied, but you cannot preoccupy a building. You’re either occupying the building or you’re not. There are no pre-packaged goods. They’re either packaged on unpackaged. You don’t look at a single cigarette and say, “Oh, that’s prepackaged” because it’s not – it’s a loosie. Unpackaged. Again, just because somebody else does it for you does not mean we should be using pre- to define something’s state of being.

Eliminate prepayment, preplanning and prepreparing (that one especially galls me – how the hell do you get ready before you get ready? PREPARE ALREADY HAS THE PREFIX PRE- IN IT FOR THE LOVE OF PETE!! There’s no preprinting, preprocessing or preprogramming. No such thing as prepunched anything, prequalifying for anything (I heard this a LOT during the home-buying process and it rankled me every time – “Are you prequalified for a mortgage?”  “No, I am qualified for a mortgage, I have the qualification paperwork right here. Sell me the damn house already!”) and you certainly cannot prerecord.

Think about how utterly stupid that word – prerecord – is for a second.  When you see something on TV, it is either happening right now (a live broadcast) or it is not happening right now (in some way the event – whatever it is, a sitcom or game show). If it’s not happening right now, you’re watching a recording of it.  We have to stop calling it prerecording because the recording took place before the broadcasting. WE KNOW THAT – THAT’S WHY WE CALL IT A RECORDING IN THE FIRST PLACE!

If your kid goes to school, it’s not preschool – it’s school. Oh sure, they may be four years old and not in kindergarten, but it’s not preschool. I realize fighting this one is a losing battle, but I’m a proponent of prekindergarten over preschool.  Seriously, if the kid is AT SCHOOL it is not preschool.  It’s school!

No prescreening, no preselecting, and no preselling. You can’t presettle, preshrink or preslice. No presoaking, prestamping or presweetening. Absolutely no pretaping (see prerecord, above), pretesting or pretraining. Forget about pretreating, pretrimming and prewarming (see: preheating).

Prewash? Nope, nope, nope. Forget it. If it’s clean, it’s washed. If it’s dirty, it’s dirty. If somebody else washes it for you, that doesn’t make it prewashed – that makes it washed!

I feel much better now and am putting my dictionary – and my high horse – back on the bookshelf, right next to the CD that has the George Carlin routine that inspired this little rant.

your senate at work on gun control

In the wake of the horrifying loss of life at the hands of a coward with a rifle in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Congress has once again failed to accomplish any meaningful change.  Mostly this is because our poorly-chosen “leaders” cannot see past their own agendas to find centrist compromises that make sense and help people.

We all know that an outright gun ban is never going to happen.  The government is never going to come and take your guns.  The whole reason we have gun ownership embedded in our Constitution is precisely so the government cannot ban gun ownership or take guns away from the citizens.  If you don’t understand why this was important in the 18th century when the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, stop.  Do not pass Go. Immediately take a US History course at your nearest institution of higher education.

Yesterday, four gun purchase restriction bills failed in the Senate.  Here’s some info on them and why they failed.

What they wanted: Improve background check system
Who wanted it: Republicans (Chuck Grasssley, R-Iowa)
Why it failed: Doesn’t expand background checks, which is what Democrats want. It seeks to improve the existing background check system by defining what “mentally incompetent” means and use that as a data point to deny gun sales to individuals. Also requires the attorney general to conduct a study on the causes of mass shootings. Provides no funding for either initiative.

What they wanted: Expand background check system
Who wanted it: Democrats (Chris Murphy, D-Conn.)
Why it failed: Requires federal background check before any gun sale can take place – private or commercial. Republicans don’t support expanding background checks to include private sales. The bill provides no funding for the expansion.

What they wanted: Prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns
Who wanted it: Republicans (John Cornyn, R-Tex.)
Why it failed: Requires 72-hour waiting period for anybody on the “no fly” and other terrorist watch lists trying to buy a gun, the idea being it would give authorities more time to do an in-depth background check on a prospective gun buyer – or even an opportunity to ask a judge to get off whatever list the buyer is on. Opponents (i.e. Democrats) say 72 hours isn’t enough time to do the required in-depth background check, so they say it will only slow down (and not prevent) the gun purchase. Provides no funding for the in-depth background checks.

What they wanted: Prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns
Who wanted it: Democrats (Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.)
Why it failed: Bans anybody on any of the terrorist watch lists from buying a gun. Allows appeals of placement on those lists in court. Provides no funding for the appeals.

All of these measures have been defeated before, and they were defeated again yesterday in what amounted to party line votes (meaning Republicans voted for their measures and against the Democrat measures, and vice-versa).

What they’re all missing is the clear middle path.

1. Anybody placed on any of the terrorist watch lists in the last X amount of time (2 years, 3 years, 5 years, whatever) cannot immediately buy a gun. They must be approved by *local* law enforcement within X amount of time (3 days, 5 days, 10 days). Create a funding channel to support the background check/investigation.  This is similar to the approval process in many states for the issuance of concealed carry permits.  Yes, this creates additional burden on local law enforcement agencies, but the funding channel should/would provide for additional employees to complete the investigations.

2. Anybody who believes they should not be on the terrorist watch lists is allowed to appeal their placement on the list(s). Create a funding channel to support the appeal process.  This might require the establishment of a special federal court, but again, the funding channel would provide that opportunity.

This is an important issue, but until Congress engages their common sense subroutines and embeds funding into these bills, they will never pass.

Fist

on history

If you only know me casually or are one of my Facebook friends, there’s a solid chance that other than myself, Ken Burns is the only historian you’ve ever heard of. He’s way more famous than I am🙂
 
Read the commencement speech he delivered to the graduating class of 2016 at Stanford University. (opens in new tab) Take away what you take away, but I promise if you read it, you *will* take something away and be a more thoughtful person for it.
 
We’ve all heard that old cliché about those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. While humanity certainly exists in a cyclical fashion, I don’t believe we are doomed to repeat events about which we do not learn.
 
What we are, however, is doomed to never learning the lessons of those who went before us. If we remain ignorant of history, we lose the opportunity to learn what didn’t work before. No matter what transpires next, be it similar to previous events or a completely new event, we have prevented ourselves from advancement, from improvement.
 
French social contract theoretician Jean-Jacques Rousseau warned us that society is the corruptor of man; he said this because he believed that mankind is naturally good – even virtuous.  (I disagree with him, but that’s a topic for another time.)  The problem, Rousseau said, is that a bad upbringing and a poor (or nonexistent) education make people more susceptible to corruption, and when they get into positions of authority, the institutions which they staff then become corrupt, creating a cycle of nightmares that destroys society.

It stands to reason, then, that good people create good institutions, good institutions create good societies, and good societies create good governments – which in turn help create good people.  It’s a utopian cycle, to be sure, and one at which we have singularly failed to achieve.

Listen (or read) to Ken Burns, though, and breathe deep his words of wisdom.  We can learn from history, and in doing so, we can absorb the lessons of our ancestors. We may make some of the same mistakes they made, but they will be mistakes of choice, not ignorance, and we can always improve on our choices.

*Commencement speech transcript: http://news.stanford.edu/2016/06/12/prepared-text-2016-stanford-commencement-address-ken-burns/

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trump’s foreign policy speech

Today Donald Trump gave a speech in which he laid out his foreign policy plan for if/when he becomes president.  You can find a transcript of it on his website easily enough – I recommend you read it and interpret it for yourself.

I will tell you this, though: He’s good about telling us what his goals are.  He sucks at telling us how he’s going to achieve those goals.  In this, he is the consummate politician.  He seeks to soothe us with one hand, stroke us with the other and seeks to quiet us with his placations and platitudes.  In reality, he’s no better (or worse) than any of the other people vying for the highest elected office in this country.

I found I actually agreed with him on some things he said, but it’s hard not to.  He speaks in such broad generalities that it’s basically impossible not to agree with him sometimes.

Anyway, on with my take on his speech.

America First: bad news for our allies who don’t do exactly what we say.

We saved the world (in the 1940s): Nevermind the British or Russians, I guess, who apparently barely showed up. I said it would take him 8 minutes to say something that offended Americans.  He beat me by a long shot by implying that only the USA had anything to do with the victory in WW2.  451,000 UK citizens died in WW2, about 1% of their population at the time.  While nearly 420,000 US citizens died in the same war, proportionally speaking the UK death rate (per capita) was three times that of the US.  I’m not from the UK, but if I was, I’d be pretty pissed at this snub… not to mention the years-long bombing and guided missile campaign the Germans waged against England’s cities.

Mistakes in the Middle East, the region is in chaos: Yes, true. Tough to blame it all on the USA, though.

Spreading democracy: Agreed, not every culture or nation needs, wants or can handle democracy.

Our resources are overextended: agreed.

“I am the only person running for the presidency who understands this problem and knows how to fix it.” 1) Bullshit. 2) So what are the solutions? It’s not enough to just identify the problems, you have to give us a path to success. This is typical Trump; he identifies a problem, then comes up with a ludicrous solution (build a wall! Mexicans will pay for it!) or no solution at all.

Our allies are not paying their fare share: agreed, partially. Many of our allies lack the economic power to pay the bills that we say they should be paying.

“The whole world will be safer if our allies do their part.” Agreed.

Our friends think they can’t depend on us: pretty much just a bunch of Obama-bashing, the usual anti-Iran deal rhetoric used by the right. He might be right, but it’s in no way his idea, and again, he gives no solutions.

Obama is anti-Israel: possibly, but just because Obama hasn’t spent his administration kissing Israel’s ass doesn’t mean he’s anti-Israel.

Our rivals no longer respect us: Who cares if they respect us as long as they fear us? More Obama bashing that does nothing to offer solutions, only highlights problems.

The USA has no clear understanding of its foreign policy goals: probably, but the USA is a selfish, corrupt nation, so why should it? Obama and Clinton bashing – the identification of problems, but again, no solutions.

“This will change when I am president.” I ask – how?
“America is going to be strong again.”
“America is going to be a reliable friend and ally again.”
“We are getting out of the nation-building business.” – the closest thing he says that’s any kind of solution, but he doesn’t say how we’re going to do this.

Ah, now we’re getting to his plans for the future.

“We need a long-term plan to halt the spread and reach of radical Islam.”
Yes, “we” do. The world does. Other than ending the importation of “extremism through senseless immigration policies,” he has no solutions – and he doesn’t say what his immigration policies will be except for previous statements about refusing entry to all Muslims.

“I have a simple message for [ISIS]. Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how.” Sounds like a good plan.

“We have to rebuild our military and our economy.”
Name-checks Russia, China, nuclear weapons, the Navy and the Air Force – but, other than blaming Obama for all our problems yet again, he gives no solutions beyond “we will spend what we need to rebuild our military.” None.

He wants to put Americans first and thus rebuild our economy. Great idea, he gives no plans as to how he’ll do that.

“We must develop a foreign policy based on American interests.”
Sure! Let’s do that!
Goals: base foreign policy on our core national security interests, defeat terrorists, promote stability in the Middle East, be generous only to our friends, live peacefully with China and Russia as long as it’s done from a position of strength.

I FOUND A SOLID PLAN OF HIS TO FIX SOMETHING: “After I am elected president, I will also call for a summit with our NATO allies, and a separate summit with our Asian allies. We will not only discuss a rebalancing of financial commitments, but take a fresh look at how we can adopt new strategies.”

Not much of a plan – more talking – but at least it’s something concrete.

More dick-waving: “If America fights, it must fight to win.”

“Our goal is peace and prosperity, not war and destruction.” Good idea, but this is not how Trump has approached his campaign, which has been all about war and destruction. Not to mention that he gives no solutions or path to achieving this goal.

More dick-waving: “If I draw a line in the sand, I will enforce it.”

“That is why I will also look for talented experts with new approaches, and practical ideas.” Because that’s what he’s known for, relying on other people with ideas that aren’t in lock-step with his own.

The rest of it is a lot of flag- and dick-waving designed to appeal to the self-identified marginalized majority, with nationalistic goals but no solutions or plans or even hints of plans.

In other words, a typical bullshit politician spewing typical politician bullshit. It’s all hot air. Sound and fury signifying nothing other than he promises us he can play with the big boys and walk away from negotiations that aren’t going his way.

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are you a socialist or a communist?

This is a super easy question to answer. If you’re a Communist, you took power in a vicious, unrelenting revolution that saw the elimination of everybody in your society who was holding the proletariat down. The rich and powerful, the educated elite, the aristocracy – all of them – DEAD. If you were particularly enlightened, you might have given them the chance to run. Certainly if they were THAT smart, they’d have left when they saw the writing on the wall.

If you advocate a widespread revolution – and I’m not just talking philosophical here – to eliminate the bourgeoisie, then you’re a Communist. Otherwise, you’re just a Socialist – a weak, afraid-to-commit Socialist, whether you live in a democracy or not.

Quotes from Karl Marx get thrown around a lot when people start talking about Socialism, but nearly everybody that does this messes it up in a way that’s reminiscent of quoting the Bible (or the Koran) to suit a specific purpose.

Marx saw Socialism not as an end, but as a necessary stepping-stone between Capitalism and Communism. Socialism is a pre-Communist state, one in which the people get used to the idea of little private ownership (or control) of the means of production.

There are some commonalities between the two systems, no doubt, but do not make the mistake of thinking Socialists are committed Marxists, because they are not. They *wish* they were Marxists, because the people controlling a Socialist society still fear the power of the people, which is why they stopped at Socialism.

In a Socialist society, then, most of the means of production are owned and controlled by the state, but among the people themselves, social classes still exist. This is, according to Marx, a lesser form of existence than true Communism.

Marx’s ideal system – Communism – is a utopia. It is a classless, stateless society in which every person contributes as much as they can according to their talents and abilities, and in which every person takes only what they need to serve their basic human needs. For example, if somebody is great at being a doctor, then they’re a doctor and they do doctor stuff all day long. If somebody is great at being a truck battery assembler, then that’s what they do all day long. Nobody needs money, nobody worries about health insurance and nobody is homeless.

Kind of like Star Trek, when you think about it, but that’s a discussion for another time.

As a utopian ideal, though, Communism is not sustainable. First, it is predicated on the idea that there are no social class distinctions. However, humans will always separate themselves into US and THEM groups. We can’t help it. Communism fails simply because we divide ourselves into groups, and we always think our group is better than the other groups.

Second, Communism is built on the idea that everybody owns everything and nobody has to struggle to get ahead. Won’t work. Humans are vain and greedy and we have to get ahead – of our neighbor, of our parents, of our high school rivals. It’s an almost irresistible urge we call “ambition,” and we frown upon those among us without any.

Third, and again because PEOPLE!, there is no motivation to excel. Sure, in any society there will always be people who want to be the best at something and are. Stephen Hawking. Eric Clapton. Wilt Chamberlain. Marie Curie. Gordie Howe. Aretha Franklin. People like that will not be happy unless they are at the peak of their abilities, no whether what those abilities are. They become society’s heroes, its role models, the pinnacles of achievement. Yet most of the rest of us are schlubs. We will only ever do just enough to satisfy the person ticking off boxes on a checklist.

Then we will take absolutely as much as we can get away with.

This is why Communist societies – as we have formed them since the emergence of Marx’s theories – always have over-the-top repressive (authoritarian) governments. Without the boot-to-the-neck and stiff punishments doled out by Communist governments, most people will give little and take much. The only reason the folks running the truck battery factory work as hard as they do is because they know if they don’t produce the 100,000 truck batteries this quarter that the government says they have to produce, somebody will get dragged out of his office, stood up in front of the whole town, and shot in the back of the head. For motivation.

A Socialist government tries to create a classless society in which the means of production are largely owned (and certainly entirely controlled) by the government. It expects everybody to pitch in (often in the form of paying high taxes) and similarly expects everybody to only take out what they truly need. Again, with people being people, most folks will only contribute the bare minimum, yet try to extract the maximum they possibly can. Without the iron boot of the Communist government to punish these people, Socialism is doomed to failure in the long run.

Socialism won’t work forever – not because it’s not a wonderful, utopian idea, but because most people are self-involved, self-interested assholes who will do as little as possible but take as much as they can. There will always be people in society that give the maximum and take the minimum, but these folks make up a tiny proportion of any given society and simply do not pervade the population deeply enough to sustain a socialist system indefinitely.

To add insult to injury, both Socialism and Communism ask people to pretend they’re all equal to each other – and we know THAT will never happen. Ever. Such a thing requires that humanity evolve into a higher plane of social existence.

Socialism is a great idea. Communism is an even better one. The involvement of people, however, dooms each to the great dustbin of human ideas. No utopian ideal is achievable, simply because human nature makes a utopia impossible to attain.

 

Garland v. 2nd Amendment

On 16 Mar 2016, President Obama adhered to his duties as laid out by the US Constitution and nominated Merrick Garland to fill the US Supreme Court seat vacated when Justice Antonin Scalia died.

Merrick Garland is currently the Chief Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, a court which is often the last stop for a case before it heads to the US Supreme Court.

A lot of politicizing is running back and forth from both Democrats and Republicans, but the fact is that Obama is obligated by the US Constitution to nominate a new justice.  As it states in the Constitution, Article II Section 2:

“The President  … shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint … Judges of the Supreme Court.”

A lot of the arguing and rhetoric being spewed by both sides involves the argument that several Republicans have laid down that a new justice should not be appointed until after the November 2016 election, at which time “the people” shall “have their voices heard.”  This post does not address that aspect of the process – that is Democrats (who have taken that position in the past) and Republicans throwing their dicks on the table for a measuring contest.

What this post is about, though, is the near-immediate dismissal of Garland as a valid selection for the US Supreme Court because he is “an enemy of the 2nd Amendment.” (Though it does not state so, an article from the National Review is being credited as using that term in re: Garland; the article is at http://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/432716/moderates-are-not-so-moderate-merrick-garland)

To expand on that, let’s look at the two court cases being touted as the reasons for declaring Garland an enemy of the 2nd Amendment. The first is NRA v. Reno, a 2000 SCOTUS case; the second is Parker v. DC, a DC Circuit US Court of Appeals case.

NRA v. Reno
This case has nothing to do with the 2nd Amendment and applies explicitly to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. Here is the relevant passage from the ruling:

“According to the NRA, the Brady Act requires immediate destruction of personal information relating to lawful firearm transactions.   The Attorney General interprets the statute differently, arguing that temporary retention of data for at most six months is necessary to audit the background check system to ensure both its accuracy and privacy.   Finding nothing in the Brady Act that unambiguously prohibits temporary retention of information about lawful transactions, and finding that the Attorney General has reasonably interpreted the Act to permit retention of such information for audit purposes, we affirm the district court’s dismissal of the complaint.”

You can read the entire ruling at http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-dc-circuit/1434078.html

Garland’s participation in this case was as one member of the three-judge panel that makes up the DC Circuit US Court of Appeals. They decided this case on 11 July 2000, ruling in favor of Janet Reno. This ruling affected the 2nd Amendment in no way, but allowed the AG to retain NICS (aka “background search”) records generated by people buying guns for six months to determine if the records were being used for fraud or identity theft.

Parker v. DC
This case actually does have something to do with the 2nd Amendment. You have probably heard of its Supreme Court cousin, Heller v. DC, and it’s that SCOTUS case that publications like the National Review are assuming Garland will work tirelessly to overturn (and I quote: “he would vote to reverse one of Justice Scalia’s most important opinions, D.C. vs. Heller.”)

At issue was the District of Columbia’s outright ban on handgun ownership. Here is the relevant passage from the ruling:

“Appellants contest the district court’s dismissal of their complaint alleging that the District of Columbia’s gun control laws violate their Second Amendment rights. The court held that the Second Amendment (“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”) does not bestow any rights on individuals except, perhaps, when an individual serves in an organized militia such as today’s National Guard. We reverse.”

You can access a PDF of the entire ruling at: https://pacer.cadc.uscourts.gov/docs/common/opinions/200703/04-7041a.pdf

The judges involved in the case were called Henderson, Griffith and Silberman. Garland was not involved in the ruling. (You know who was, though? Ted Cruz, who was the Solicitor General of Texas at the time – March 2007.) The votes for reversal – effectively extending the right to own handguns to residents of DC – came from Silberman and Griffith. The “anti-2nd amendment” vote came from Henderson.

What Garland *was* involved with was a move to get the case re-heard by all the judges in the DC Circuit US Court of Appeals, rather than just the three-judge panel that heard it the firs time. There are currently 17 judges sitting on that court, including Thomas Griffith (who heard this case), Merrick Garland (currently chief judge), Sri Srinivasan (another possible Supreme Court nominee) and Laurence Silberman (who heard this case).

Until he gets his hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Garland is the only person who knows where Garland stands on the 2nd Amendment.  At this point, the only hard evidence anybody has of anything related to gun ownership from Merrick Garland is contained in these two cases, only one of which actually has anything to do with the 2nd Amendment – and on which Judge Garland did not rule.

Fist

2016 looking good for metal

It’s been a banner year for metal so far – and it’s only just now the end of February!!

—Black Sabbath on (farewell) tour & releases EP “The End” (though they’re only selling it at the concerts)
—Megadeth releases LP “Dystopia”
—Dream Theater releases LP “The Astonishing”
—Prong releases LP “X (No Absolutes)” and makes up for their dreadful album of covers in 2015 in a big way
—Anthrax releases LP “For All Kings”
—Voivod releases EP “Post Society”

We still have albums to look forward to coming from:

—Metallica; possibility of total suckfest 75% (yes, “Death Magnetic” was good – but “Lulu”? That album SUCKED – even for Metallica!)
—Tool; 1st album in 10 years thanks to legal issues getting resolved
—Deftones; last 2 albums were excellent
—Gojira; the best French metal band you’ve never heard of

All of this coming on the heels of a decent year of metal that was 2015:

—Baroness released LP “Purple” – not as good as “Yellow/Green” or even “Red,” but still better than 95% of anything put out in the last few years
—Disturbed announced the end of their 4-year hiatus & released LP “Immortalized”
—Fear Factory released LP “Genexus”
—Soulfly released LP “Archangel”
—Ghost dropped the “B.C.” from their name and released LP “Meliora,” their best album to date
—Motorhead released LP “Bad Magic”
—Pentagram released LP “Curious Volume”
—Iron Maiden released LP “The Book of Souls”
—Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats released LP “The Night Creeper”
—Slayer released LP “Relentless”
—Sevendust released LP “Kill the Flaw”
—Black Tide released LP “Chasing Shadows”
—Stryper released LP “Fallen”

There was some suckitude in the last few months as well, as the metal world lost some hard chargers and legends: AJ Pero (Twisted Sister) died on tour with Adrenline Mob; Lemmy & Phil Taylor (Motorhead) both died, Lemmy within days of his birthday; and in a tragedy that reminded many of us of what happened in Rhode Island in 2003, 4 of the 5 members of Goodbye to Gravity died along with 59 other people after the band’s pyro touched off a raging fire in a nightclub in Bucharest. They were celebrating the release of their (now final) LP, “Mantras of War.”

Fist