Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day and an Anniversary

Yesterday was a fitting day to remember those who died for our country, this blessed land founded on certain principles of inalienable rights. This web log has sought over the years to raise up not just Constitutional rights but those mentioned in the Declaration of Independence which amounts to a Declaration of the Rights of Man. Indeed there are certain inalienable rights that human beings have because they were born. This idea, with antecedents going back at least as far as ancient Greece, were revivified in the Enlightenment Era, of which the Founding Fathers were part. How simple it is, given enough time, to forget where this country came from. How easy it is to wander into matters trivial. Sadly, how easy it is for average men and women to be manipulated by fear and coercion into a system which can effectively eviscerate those rights we hold so dear. Yesterday was also the sixth anniversary of this web log. In May of 2006 it was the second year of G. W. Bush's second term, a term -- like the first -- unearned. Barack Obama, still a Senator, had not yet announced for the Presidency. The Iraq War was in full force, with American forces struggling to bring the country under control three years after Americans had been assured of a "mission accomplished." The space shuttle was still flying, Michael Jackson was still rocking, and the idea that bed-rock American firms such as Bear Stears, and A.I.G. could collapse was considered fantasy. So here we are without the voice of Whitney Houston, and numerous others. Long gone is the Texas twang of that White House pretender. Still to come is true justice in the matter of the attacks on America and the attendant cover-up; the Iraq War; the Valerie Plame affair and so much more. Today, I received an invitation to a forum on the Election of 2012. The invitation mentioned whether there was any choice other than what I have taken to calling Obamney. It is an important question and one which begs a deeper questioning of the America of now than has yet been. So let the questioning begin. If this web log has been a prompt, an encouragement, in any small measure I will be gratified indeed.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Slideshow: The Protest in Chicago

Here are excellent photos of the protest this week in Chicago. Numerous protestors demonstrated against drones in Pakistan and the long, long war in Afghanistan. The American people are beginning to awake to their true plight and beginning to be clear about their true enemy. These pictures show what it means to creatively protest the war and profit machine as it operates in the America of now. http://chicago.cbslocal.com/photo-galleries/2012/05/17/nato-protests-may-17th/#photo-306235

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Is America Fascist?


This article has some good history, and a good beginning explication of what fascism is and whether the U.S. is now a fascist country. I recommend this article. After reading it, I suggest you follow the idea stated before the article, that of forwarding the article on and speaking up. http://www.examiner.com/article/american-fascism-by-political-definition-the-us-is-now-fascist-not-a-constitutional-republic

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pete Seeger in a Memorable Tribute Song to Martin Luther King, Jr.


Pete Seeger captures our feelings about Dr. King beautifully in this inspiring, uplifting song.

The Mechanisms of Corporate Control Are Akin to Colonial Control

A change of power does not require the election of a Mitt Romney or a Barack Obama or a Democratic majority in Congress, or an attempt to reform the system or electing progressive candidates, but rather a destruction of corporate domination of the political process -— [author] Gamer’s “patron-client” networks. Chris Hedges tells of the methods of corporate control over our society as described by Robert Gamer. What is happening is an up-date of union-busting tactics in the nineteenth century, and colonial rule which began even earlier. There is nothing new about the oppression which is occuring. People feel this oppression, even if they do not know its source. It is long past time to oppose and end this unholy oppression. http://www.nationofchange.org/colonized-corporations-1337090922

Federal Role in Protest Suppression Revealed

The Federal government has been assisting local jurisdictions in actively suppressing the Occupy movement, members of which have disavowed violence and have sought to exercise their Constitutional right to peaceful assembly, freedom of speech, and attempting to seek a redress of grievances. Most shocking is the establishment of so-called Fusion Centers which allows the federal government to circumvent the Posse Comitatus Act barring the military from participating in local law enforcement. Read more Here: http://www.nationofchange.org/white-house-dems-back-banks-over-protests-newly-discovered-homeland-security-files-show-feds-central

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Time to Question the Profit System


The article referenced in this blog post asks some good questions. The answers are not given, but the writer refers readers to the book where presumably some answers are given . Indeed, I have seen that the time is now at hand for seriously questioning the profit system, otherwise known as capitalism. What is missing, though, is a deeper understanding of how the motives of the profit system are connected in a straight line to the motives of the self. That investigation lies in the future for most people. http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/9139-capitalism-is-taboo-in-america

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Curtis Roosevelt De-bunks "Socialist" as an Epithet

Discrimination because of class difference was bad enough, but our present inequalities have a new, quite sinister origin. Money means power. Super money means super power. It's not just that the top 1 percent -- and the top 0.1 percent -- skims their money off the top. What is more important is that power is concentrated in a very few hands, which is a disaster for our democracy.
In clear tones, not unlike those of Franklin Roosevelt, Curtis Roosevelt encourages the Democratic Party to seize the moment and propose plans and programs which would really help the country now. This is a policy I have advocated for over twenty years. While the names might be different from the "Alphabet" programs of the 30's, new organized efforts to address our deep problems must be made. Programs such as Teach for America can be expanded, too. But under-lying all this must be a deeper discussion about just what kind of country we are to be. Let us re-examine the lyrics of Woody Guthrie who reminded us that this land is your land, it is my land. It is ever so much more than a land of opportunity to get filthy rich. As a matter of fact, it is qualitatively different. Or at least it should be. As Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann have pointed out today's Republican Party has become a political outlier -- extreme and worse than useless to the normal functioning of good government. So, in encapsulated form, this article by Mr. Roosevelt is a useful description of our current state and what needs to be done on the programmatic level to set things on the right path. Let us be about the task! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/curtis-roosevelt/fixing-gross-inequality-i_b_1502708.html

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Greeks Send a Message: No More Austerity

Greek voters have sent a clear message to political and financial elites: No more ausetery. The people of Greece are tired of a never-ending economic depression, including stagnating wages, out-right job losses, and cuts to social benefits. The vote should be seen as an advance for the country. While there is temporary paralysis, if one wants to call it that, the out-come can potentially be superior to riots in the streets and continued draconian austerity. See the referenced on-line article below for more information. It is wonderful to see the country which was the cradle of democracy, again leading the way in progressive thought and action! http://socialistworker.org/2012/05/09/political-earthquake-in-greece

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Veteran Supports Bishop Packard

Re-posted from Truthout.org -- I am a Veterans for Peace guy and I had the privilege of being arrested with this man, Bishop Packard. He was an inspiration for us in the holding cells, not intentionally, and not with effort, but just by being the decent man that he is. Young and old, we appreciate his work and his determination to follow his conscience for the benefit of all of us.

One Bishop Alone Stands Up for the Downtrodden and Dispossessed

Retired Episcopal Bishop George Packard, apparently alone among all United States bishops of any church, has elected to stand with those of the Occupy movement who have dared to protest the corporate state of greed which runs America now. Doing what I had thought any Christian leader ought to do, Bishop Packard has risked and endured arrest twice recently for his decision to try to preserve public space for the public good. Christ Hedges reports on the life of Bishop Packard, who at this point enters the rolls of the heroic leaders of our time. In his eloquence and his smarts, Bishop Packard inspires those who see injustice and desire to do something concrete. So now a statement in the form of a short poem: George Packard, Viet Nam veteran, episcopal leader and protestor is a hero./ Bishop Packard is a hero. http://truth-out.org/news/item/8960-the-peoples-bishop

Friday, May 04, 2012

In an important decision the Federal Communications Commission has ruled that television stations must post political advertising information on line. This decision will vastly improve the ease of availability of information which tells citizens just who is paying for political advertisements and when these ads are appearing on which stations. The Democracy Now! program has interviewed media experts Robert McChesney and Justin Elliott. The link below leads to the transcript of the program. In the era of the Citizens United decision, this F.C.C. ruling helps bring a badly-needed transparency to the process of political ad-buying. http://www.democracynow.org/2012/5/3/us_media_giants_reel_as_fcc

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Brooklyn Site of Education Protests

I'll have more to say about this and other actions later. For the time being, I am ever so grateful for those who are taking action to bring our educational system in line with sane moral values such as thrift and modesty. http://www.occupywallst.org/article/struggle-continues-may-2nd-brooklyn-college-educat/

An Unusual Post

It may surprise regular readers that The Musical Patriot is something of an autombile fancier. I have had a fascination with cars from a young age and put together several model cars during childhood and visiting the show-rooms with my father every autumn to see the newest releases from Detroit. This was in the days before environmental concerns, and the predatory ways of Detroit against makers such as Tucker, were unknown to me. The Big Three did have wonderful artists in the styling studios and some beauties were produeced throughout the years. Here is a favorite of mine, the 1965 Chevrolet SS. When cars are made pollution-free we will all rest easier. That doesn't have to stop us from admiring the designs of the past. We just need to leave the pollution in the past. http://www.amosauto.com/Articles/Gm/Features/1965-impala

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Occupy Movement: Up-date

Yesterday, the ocean-going warning, "May Day!", became a cry of joy as hundreds of protestors marched in the streets around America and the world. Covered by CNN, worl-wide protests brought together groups who do not normally work together in Turkey for a large public presence in the streets. In Oakland things got off to a slow start with no true violence recorded, thank goodness. In New York a huge crowd gathered in Union Square. Ethics is on the march and ethics will win! More here: http://occupywallst.org/

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Bill Clinton Warns on Rising Nationalism

Rush Link -- Bill Clinton on Rise of Nationalism