Let it be borne on the flag under which we rally in every exigency, that we have one country, one constitution, one destiny. -- Daniel Webster

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Infamous Crosshairs Graphic from Sarah Palin

At the web page referenced here you can view the notorious Sarah Palin graphic which puts a gunsight on the districts of targeted Congressmen. This is an inappropriate graphic in the extreme. This is more evidence of a politician who has crossed the line of decency, Americanism, and safety. Isn't this essentially domestic terrorism? Is it only symbolic in its effect? (See post below for more.)

Language alert: The web site referenced contains offensive language and content, including the graphic mentioned above. Readers should proceed with caution.


Help Oppose Sarah Palin

Clicking on the title above will take you to a web page facilitating opposition to Sarah Palin. I welcome most any legal effort to oppose Sarah Palin. Never in the history of the country has a defeated Vice-Presidential candidate been given so much air time and so undeservedly. The half-term former governor of one of America's least-populated states flies around the country doing drop-in public appearances, often at radical-right rallies which contain some very scary personalities.

This Sarah Palin is no joke. She is reality and not to be under-estimated. Remember the guffaws and chortles which greeted the G. W. Bush campaign by those on the left? Remember how Ralph Nader told us the Republicans wouldn't be so bad? (!) Sarah Palin is a "W" Bush type of politician. She has her talents and strengths, though sheer knowledge is not one of her attributes. People laughed off Adolph Hitler, too. Then, within a few years, Kristallnacht occurred.

Are the broken windows of our hallowed Congress so different from the broken windows of the Jewish ghetto of the 1930s? Make no mistake: there is a relation between the horror of the latter and the brutality of the former. The F.B.I. is right to be concerned. So should every citizen be concerned -- very concerned.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Tides of March

The tide (or is it tidal wave?) of events rolls precipitously onward and one is hard-pressed to stayed glued to his surfboard. It has been a busy month with some special musical performances which have been challenging but rewarding.

The country seems to be recovering itself a bit these days. I see this nation as being in a recovery mode from abuse ever since the September 11, '01 fiasco. I use the word abuse carefully as I have seen that the people of our nation were victims of abuse, first by the events of that day, and later by those who had motives to want to exploit that tragedy. And let us be clear: exploitation did occur -- from cost over-runs on no-bid contracts in Iraq to a burgeoning "security industry," certain financial and industrial tycoons were not unhappy with the terror state which grew up in the early part of the new century.

So let us be about regret (of the honest kind), recovery, and rejuvenation in these early days of spring.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Torture Was and Always Will Be Beyond the Pale

The shortness of this post does not imply anything but the utmost importance. It should be self-evident that torture is completely outside the bounds of the set of values the United States was founded on.

For any politician to suggest otherwise amounts to treason. The article referenced here backs up this assertion.


Monday, March 15, 2010

FBI Whistleblower Colleen Rowley Speaks

In a most interesting talk, Colleen Rowley tells about her experience as an FBI whistleblower soon after 9/11/01. She is inspiring in her defense of the truth. Here is the video. (Please allow time for the video to load and play as necessary.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

An Allergy to Thought?

I was taken this evening by the following quote from John Sexton, President of New York University. I like very much his expression of an allergy to thought rampant in America. Of course people are thoughtful. But the kind of thought Sexton refers to -- analytical thought -- is indeed in short supply. Sexton further stated that universities are the key to restoring or creating healthy discourse in our lives.

Here is the quote as printed on the web site of Bill Moyers Journal.

"This is a pattern that I see: an allergy to thought, to complexity [and] nuance - a kind of collapse into an intellectual relativism where opinions become fact... It's a dangerous thing... I think there's a growing hostility to knowledge in this country... Our national progress is being retarded because we have fallen into this discourse by slogan. We have fallen into this relativism where it's a conversation to stop and say, "Well, that's your opinion. [This is] my opinion...' Go back to the Athenian idea of political speech - it was a search for good answers. We're so far from that today that it's almost ludicrous for me to bring that up, but I want to remind us... We don't listen well as a society. When we listen, we listen in feedback loops to people who are likely to say what it is we think is right... We're in the process, it seems to me, because of this allergy to complexity and nuance, of devaluing the importance of education... I think universities are the last, best hope for pushing back against this because what we do is complexity and nuance."

Monday, March 08, 2010

President Embroiled in Controversy Over "Failing School"

In an article entitled "A Wholesale School Shake-Up Is Embraced by the President, and Divisions Follow" in yesterday's New York Times, the writers, Steven Greenhouse and Sam Dillon tell of a Draconian move by a Rhode Island school board to fire the entire faculty of a local school. The article referenced below also tells more. It is apparent in reading about this that there is essentially a labor dispute going on between the teachers and the school board and that the school board, apparently out of pique, up and fired the entire faculty rather than accede to demands of the teachers union for more pay for extra work.

Adding salt to the wound was President Obama who said words to the effect that the school board's move was "a painful but potentially necessary move." (The quote is The Boston Globe's characterization of the President's words.) To be fair, none of these two news sources has placed the President's words in context and the Times indicated outraged teacher's unions and the White House have attempted to patch things up.

Nevertheless, bitterness remains on the part of the teachers, and the administration's Education Secretary is said to be not backing down from a so-called "tough love" approach.

There are issues here which go beyond the scope of this post. But in reading about the matter, it is clear there are extenuating circumstances such as the rapid mobility of the families in the area around the school. Surely, there is a better way to handle the situation than ruthlessly firing an entire faculty, one obviously beloved by the student body.


Catching Up

Yesterday I was the featured artist in a symphony performance. It was an exciting event, although I am glad it is now over. The last several weeks I spent concentrating and preparing as professional musicians must. This blog was an unfortunate victim of my musical success.

Now, however, it is time to get back to work here. I have followed the news somewhat in the last several days. As usual, the mainstream media has been deficient or derelict in numerous ways. So, resuming my place among the bloggers of the land, I will endeavor to help fill some gaps and perhaps even open up little-known avenues of thoughtful investigation.

Please check back here soon for more.

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Bill Clinton Warns on Rising Nationalism

Rush Link -- Bill Clinton on Rise of Nationalism