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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wisconsinite on Koch Ad Buys

A Wisconsin resident offers his opinion regarding the interfering of the Koch empire in the political affairs of Wisconsin. It appears Wisconsinites are able to see through the manipulative tactics of the oligarchs.

from < Salon.com > --

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 12:33 am
All it's going to take is for Wisconsinites to understand who's paying for all the political ads and look at the facts for themselves. I think the people of Wisconsin are up to the task. Hopefully, both on a state level and a national level, this election cycle will teach billionaire crooks like the Koch brothers that the public is on to their tricks and they can no longer buy our government and push us around.

Composer Rossini a "Leapling"

Here is an article about the composer Rossini, who was born on February 29. The article at the Internet Data Base tells a little about him. He was a child prodigy and composed major works in his teens. He composed operas and also sacred works, such as a "Stabat Mater."

As the profit economy grinds and groans along, the need for the uplift of music is ever-more apparent. A composer such as Rossini can provide such inspiration. I highly recommend his music!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Maureen Dowd on the Ghastly Out-dated Republican Party

Maureen Dowd is one of the most useful columnists writing today. Her incisive commentary is thoughtful, illimunating and not frothy, biting but not bitter. And it is anything but out-dated. Her commentary in yesterday's New York Times was especially apt and cutting-edge.

Such is the fate of the current Republican Party, it seems. A party begun partly as an anti-slavery party, now finds itself in the unenviable position of being a party conservative to the point of being reactionary. This trend has been underway since before the Goldwater candidacy of 1964. It continues today in the form of Rick Santorum and others who, being otherwise sincere, have blundered into a movement of sectarian religio-clique-sters, hemmed in -- and wall-off from the mainstream.

There are other aspects to this story, such as the wedding between the religious conservatives and the Wall Street conservatives, a marriage which would be laughable if the consequences weren't so serious.

Maureen Dowd lightens the moment without being flippant. Hers is a literary as well as a political achievement.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Virginia Assembly Now the Butt of Jokes

The Commonwealth Assembly of Virginia is now the butt of jokes after a hurried process resulting in the passing of a raft of right-wing legislation. The only piece of legislation I find of any real legitimacy is that clarifying the rights and responsiblities of adoption agencies. The others were clearly rushed through and are now causing second thoughts among the original sponsors.

Let us hope this will be a lesson to legislators everywhere who, whatever their political bent, would railroad through legislation.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Not Your Average Protest


At this link you will find information about a national day of protest for the rights of formerly incarcerated persons. Though the stories of such persons is varied, the obstacles to resuming a normal life after imprisonment are many and often very serious. This I know from my life living in a big city.

This is a big subject of course, but the issue has been brought to the fore with the tragic deaths of hundreds of prisoners in the recent fire in a Honduran prison. With what has been reported as the highest prison population in the developed world, citizens of the United States are well-advised to acquaint themselves of the problems in life both inside and -- later -- outside, the prison.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Unusual Welcome Planned for Newt Gingrich and Ann Coulter

"Conservatives" meeting in Washington today can expect a greeting from union members and others according to the AFL-CIO web site.

The hashtag for the Tweeter feed is < #OccupyCPAC > and is given courtesy of the Metropolitan Council of the AFL-CIO.

Brutally forced out of protest encampments around the country, workers and citizens in Washington, D.C., are maintaining a presence, specifically at this Conservative Political Action Committee event. I am not privy to the details of this protest, but the web site shown below gives a bit more information.

More power to the people!*


*This web site has long advocated for the right of the people to peacefully seek a redress of grievances. It is within this context that I urge more power to the people.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Crystal Cathedral: An Inside Perspective

At this link you can find an interesting, candid, and short article by one of the Schuller family on the downfall of the Crystal Cathedral in California.

There is surely more to the story. I know from my own background that churches should never be controlled by families in the way the Crystal Cathedral became controlled. Results of such a familial proprietorship are all too obvious.


Tuesday, February 07, 2012

FDR Casts a Long Shadow

I have now finished James McGregor Burns' second volume on the Franklin Roosevelt Presidency. FDR's final days were filled with increasing tensions as the world moved from an alliance of unnatural friends into a world of what came to be called The Cold War. Knowing just what was going on in Roosevle'ts mind and body is a fit subject for further study. But it seems clear to me there were tensions and stresses within the President which may have contributed to his death.

Perhaps this web log is not the place to delve into this subject, at least not at this time. However, we can speculate that after all the great President did in securing the nation's financial health in the Great Depression, followed by war mobilization, followed by planning for peace-time, the Old Warrior was spent, in a real sense. It seems it is not for us mere mortals to fathom the workings of the Divine Mind. FDR, however, clearly made a major contribution to public life by walking, as he said, on the straight and narrow, slightly left of center all the way.

It is long past time for this kind of a walk. Roosevelt had his faults, both personal and politically. But his heart was in the right place, in the main. We would be well-advised to emulate his example of standing with and for the average worker, no matter the cost. Let us not tolerate any separation from the needs of the average citizen. Indeed, the Depression, it can be said, never ended, but was only interrupted by war mobilization, a mobilization which has never really ended. Indeed the state of emergency declared at that time has never been revoked.

So, instead of following a militaristic emergency, let us carry out an economic emergency, for this level of unemployment and child and family under-nourishment is a national emergency as well as a national shame and tragedy. A national politics based on this way of seeing will lead to national health and well-being. Let us be about this useful, necessary and estimable task.

Friday, February 03, 2012

FDR Could Not Be Elected Today

Unlike some other people I don't really mind hypotheticals. In fact, I often find them stimulating.

In any event, I don't believe it is merely hypothetical to say Franklin Roosevelt could not be elected President today. I am continuing to read James MacGregor Burns' book on FDR, this the volume covering the years 1940-45. This marvelous book traces in considerable detail the various issues of those White House years. Burns is highly adept at creating a thorough, fascinating and accurate tale. FDR and his friends and "enemies" come to life in a most useful fashion.

I am in the year 1944 now, and thus coming slowly to the end of the book. What interests me is the "Economic Bill of Rights" put forth by FDR in his "Fireside" State of the Union "chat" in January 1944. The speech contained nothing truly new in the way of programs but did set forth a clear vision of the need for economic as well as physical security. Government, claimed FDR, had a responsiblity to help develop financial security for every American.

What a preposterous idea!, far-right wingers would say today. The government has no such responsibility!, I hear them saying. Yet, if Americans don't know what to plan for, how can they confidfently spend money to keep our economy going? This is the dilemma we face today. We have a crisis of confidence, or as some have keepnly observed, a crisis of the spirit. But the idea of confidence is important. Without confidence in the future, people will not commit the funds necessary to make major purchases. And even medium-priced itesm will suffer in sales.

So individual economic security is simple common sense. FDR knew this and had the courage to say so. Maybe that is why today he has a monument dedicated to him and the Senators who opposed him at the time are relegated to the dust-bin of history.

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Bill Clinton Warns on Rising Nationalism

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