Monday, December 30, 2013

Year-End Forgiveness?


Starting in 1984, according to a book I am reading, academia began to call for research into the idea of forgiveness. This theme, dealt with by philosophers through-out history was being neglected in the modern world, it seemed. Then in the early 21st century, Jimmy Carter, and Bishop Desmond Tutu, among others, began calling for a foundation which would be funded with mega-dollars to conduct in-depth research. Now, it seems people are increasingly conscious of the idea of the need for forgiving one's fellows for wrongs committed against oneself and one's loved-ones. If this is true, then 2013 would seem to have generated much-needed calls for forgiveness. From tragedies in the Middle East to school shootings and many lesser crimes and slights, humanity is as guilty as sin, as they say. But according to the book I have started, it is the one who forgives who benefits the most. This is a deep subject, of course, and one deserving of actual study. I hope to present some of what I am learning in future posts. N.B. It is good to be back on line after a period of rest during the Christmas holiday! Blessings to you, no matter your faith.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Boehner/Ryan Admissions Astonishing

Not only were Boehner and Ryan's charges that outside groups were attempting to extort the Republican Party and the American people for their own purposes, welcome news. Unfortunately they were also much too late. While it appears another budget log-jam has been averted, where were these missing-in-action leaders three months ago? Thus we do now have a much-needed dose of honesty from the Republican Party but also a huge political and economic mess to clean up after the budget crisis of October. Of course late is better than never, but leadership demands so much more than this. What we have here is another example of election gerry-mandering and corruption. ********************************************** N.B Life with the Musical Patriot is wonderful but demanding. I am ever so fortunate to have met with a measure of success in a music career. This time of the year has, of course, brought special demands on my time. I will do my best to increase the number of blog posts here later this month and into the new year. For now, I wish you and yours a most merry and meaningful holiday season. Please check back here soon as I plan to post again in the very near future. -- TMP

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fascism Defined

The Musical Patriot Turns Teacher In complex topics it is usually best to start with a definition. The term "fascism" has become a loaded word surrounded in hubris and confusion. However, it is a legitimate word and term in the English language. I like the Oxford Dictionary's definition best. According to the Oxford Dictionary, fascism is:
an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization. •(in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice. The term Fascism was first used of the totalitarian right-wing nationalist regime of Mussolini in Italy (1922–43), and the regimes of the Nazis in Germany and Franco in Spain were also fascist. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach...
This information is useful in that it allows for somewhat different forms and practices from one country or region to another, yet all share common characteristics. Later in this series I will talk more about economic organization. But for now, it is clear that fascism involves heightened authoritarianism, including a controlled social organization. The form of the authoritarian organization is left somewhat open by Oxford. In America, fascism has been seen primarily as an autocratic form of government headed by a dictator. While this has historically been true in Europe, fascism involves other kinds of control besides dictatorship. Eventually I plan to throw some light on these other aspects of fascism and ultimately show what allows a dictatorship to take hold in a nation. Coming Soon: Fascism gets a foothold in Italy

Friday, December 06, 2013

Low-Wage Earners in U.S. Scheduled to Strike Today (Friday)

Rush Post See the article at this link: http://www.jdjournal.com/2013/08/29/low-wager-earners-walk-out-and-strike-across-country/

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

What Is Fascism?

Several weeks ago I promised a piece on the subject of fascism, what it is and how it operates. What you are reading now is not the planned piece, but it shall be a prelude to the writing of the article. The matter I will deal with today is whether we have fascism in the world today and where do we find it? Fascism can take many forms. It is best known by its extreme forms such as in Mussolini's Italy, and Hitler's Germany. However, it is sometimes forgotten now that Spain had a severe form, but not as extreme as Hitler's Germany. The Spanish Civil War was fought between the Republicans (democrats) and the fascists (Francisco Franco). Franco ruled Spanish for a couple of generations. Eventually a new republican democratic government took power. Fascism can take other forms, as well. Fascism can run what are called Constitutional monarchies. A lighter form can even run far-right political movements within democracies. There are many details to all this. In coming weeks and months I shall endeavor to bring some light to the subject and try to help us decide just what form of government we have in the United States and in other countries as well. Please check back here soon. -- TMP

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Science Worth Knowing!

At this link "The Guardian" reports on the most recent brain science which confirms differences in the neural circuitry between male and female brains. Fascinating!

United Nations to Investigate Surveillance Techniques

Rush post At the link below you can find out about the United Nation's investigation of surveillance programs in the light of the Edward Snowden revelations. This is a critically important subject for a free world.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Washington Political News Goes From the Inside Out

Reading news of the recent rules change in the Senate creating more control over filibusters, I felt a bit as though I were reading a scientific article from the English academy. The terms "two-thirds", "simple majority", and "nuclear option" kept coming up in a most confusing manner. Because of a prior background on the subject I was able to interpret the report and come up with a reasonable understanding in my mind. The upshot of this news is a defeat for the New Right, the Radical Right. When there are children in the Senate, or adults acting like children, the rules must fit the situation. I look forward to a Senate where the majority rules, with the rights of the minority protected -- but not the right to forever delay action.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Changing Times

As events develop in the world and in my own life, I find myself amidst changed circumstances. Readers here will notice my frequency of posting is down this month. With new work obligations I have considerably less free time. Unfortunately, this web log has suffered as a result. However, it is also true that national and world events have been moving at an even faster pace. Often, important events have occurred which have been reported with sketchy details. Some stories I would not have even reported on due to insufficient information. An example of this wwas the report the Obama administration had been warned about impending problems with the national health care web site months before its launch. I am considering issuing a call for help on The Musical Patriot. I have not made a final decision. When this decision is made I will let everyone know. For now, it is clear that the importance of the issues facing us deserves careful treatment. I enjoy opining, but it has always been important to me to do so only with the backing of at least some facts. More later. Stay with me.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Happening Life

Dear Reader, Between out-of-state travel by train, and the recovery period, I have been away from this blog for a couple of weeks. It is a pleasure to return to writing about current events with whatever skill and inspiration I can muster. Admist all the turmoil of these days, I continue to see hope. The biggest difficulty in one way, is trying to stay connected to people, especially people of hope. I feel it is possible to strengthen our connections with one another. However, not always do our leaders help us, to say the least. However, one of the most hopeful developments was the success of non-tea party Republicans in last week's elections. We continue to be frustrated by this errant, irresponsible wing of an already rightist so-called major party in the U.S. House. However, their power is declining after the debacle of the partial government shut-down last month. Let us hope their power continues to decline.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Artists, Unite!

In a useful article, writer Tim Kreider, author of We Learn Nothing, tells about his experience with people and organizations who want him to write for free. Despite having written a book and numerous articles for magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, Kreider still gets requests to write "for exposure." Kreider's experience is similar to my own, though I have been fortunate to get steady work as a musician over the years. Still, the pay has never been exactly wonderful. One of my worst enemies are people with sub-par training who are willing to work for $10, or even for free. Like so many workers these days artists are usually not unionized. Their solitary status thus puts them at a decided disadvantage. Kreider describes all this very well. And, his article includes truth-telling about Wall Street, very uncommon in the mainstream press these days. Highly recommended. Source: New York Times Sunday Review. "Slaves of the Internet, Unite!" October 27, 2013.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Top News of the Week

The top story of the week has to be the allegation that the National Security agency tapped the personal telephones of top world leaders. While the facts are not entirely clear at this point, it does seem obvious that the U.S. government has been spying on the governments of supposed allies. The one allegation I completely agree with is that the national "security" (read: spying) community is out of control. The N.S.A., in particular, has become a rogue agency, making up its own rules and interpretations. For whatever it is worth I, as one American, apologize for the sad state of affairs which would produce a spying program against our own allies. This is just plain wrong! N.B. Please see elsewhere on this blog for information on credible allegations the 9/11/01 attacks may not have been as they appeared.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Lebanon by the Potomac?

In yesterday's New York Times, columnist Thomas L. Friedman compared recent events in Washington to the nation of Lebanon, so war-torn in the late 20th century. With the suitable caveats, Friedman compared the radical Hezbollah to the current U.S. tea party movement. Indeed the similarities are striking. For didn't we all feel the government was coming apart at the hands of a radical faction of the Republican Party? It is now up to we, the people, to make it clear that such tactics have no place in a democracy. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/20/opinion/sunday/from-beirut-to-washington.html?_r=0&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1382372153-zCrae1PsLQHi8jUR9k6ixQ

Back After a Break

Work duties have kept me from my duly appointed rounds as an Internet journalist for the last ten days. Now, however, things have settled down enough to do a little posting again. The break was something of a blessing as it gave me something else to think about during the attempted coup against our democracy. Shortly, I will have a link to provide which will provide a useful and provocative viewpoint on that entire shut-down/breakdown situation.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

What to Look Forward To

What to Expect in Coming Days -- Here are some items you can expect in coming days: * The Nature of Fascism Light * How the Tea Party take-over was funded * The importance of off-year elections in 2013 I look forward to seeing you here!

Friday, October 11, 2013

If the House Leadership Had Been the Crew on the First Trip to the Moon

Walter Cronkite: We now turn to Mission Control for the final countdown. Mission Control (MC): 10...9...8...7...6...5 seconds and holding. We have a hold at T minus 5 seconds. (silence) We are continuing to hold at T minus 5 here at Cape Kennedy. (silence) The mission communications officer is reporting that the Flight Commander, John Boehner, has activated a manual hold. We are awaiting word on the reason for the hold. Mission Communications officer Andrea Mitchell is indicating that Commander Boehner was quoted as saying moments ago, "Hold it! Hold it! Just hold it! This mission alone is costing millions of dollars while we have a war on. The moon could be made of cheese in which our landing would turn the surface into cottage cheese and our spaceship into a cheese cottage! The American people want us to stop playing games, stop doubting Jules Verne or Ronald Reagan and close down this mission at once!" This quote has not been confirmed at this time as electrical conditions at the launch are known to mess with radio signals and the quote could have been an errant transmission from the Rush Limbaugh Show. T minus 5 seconds and holding... (silence) Half a minute later: This is Walter Cronkite here in the CBS broadcast booth at Kennedy Space Center. We have just had a most unusual communication from Mission Control. While such holds late in the count are not uncommon, one issued by the Mission Commander has never happened before. Here with me is former astronaut Wally Shirra. Wally, have you ever heard of such a thing happening? Shirra: Actually, yes. You may remember Gemini Flight 6A when there was an automatic shut-down. Cronkite: How well I do. I was there. Shirra: And another flight was aborted at the last moment. Cronkite: But to my memory, there never has been an alleged political speech by a Flight Commander. Isn't that right, Wally? Shirra: That's right, Walter. (cross-talk) Cronkite: Here is Mission Control again. Let's listen... MC: This is Mission Control in Houston. Pres. Nixon and former Pres. Johnson have just spoken by phone. The White House has announced that Pres. Johnson informed Pres. Nixon to go right ahead and fire John Boehner (not fire ON him) if that's what he wanted to do. The White House spokesman said that was exactly what has occured. And here are astronauts John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and their chaperone, Nancy Pelosi seen climbing down from the Apollo capsule. Boehner and Cantor are being given tea to fortify them. -- Source: Wickedpedia.satire.us +++++++++++++++++ (c) 2013 The Musical Patriot

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Presidential Strategy Paying Off

President Obama's hold-the-line stance is beginning to pay dividends as Republicans desperately search for a way out of their dilemma. It is better to see the President's firmness now rather than not at all. One only wishes he had acted so firmly in the earlier extortionistic crises of 2011 and 2012-13, both also brought on by Republican scheming.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Republican Government Shut-Down Strategy Months in the Making

According to today's New York Times, wealthy front-men for the Republican Party spent months planning the government shut-down which occured almost one week ago. This highly disruptive shut-down was carefully planned by David Koch, Edwin Meese and other big-wigs of the Party of Wealth. I plan to have more on this attack on democracy soon.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Chris Hedges Describes One Way to Organize for Reform

In the article whose link appears below well-known reporter Chris Hedges shares research on the theories of how best to organize for social change. He describes how it may be possible to successfully organize in our time. This is an important article, providing a certain perspective on what works and what doesn't work. There is hope and inspiration here. It's a valuable piece. You may see for yourself here: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/19127-the-sparks-of-rebellion

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

American Bridge Fights Back Against Republican Assault on Democracy


An organization called American Bridge, has -- with some humor -- declared Sen. Ted Cruz the de facto Speaker of the House.

Re-districting the Key to Understanding House Repubicans


When you hear members talk candidly about their biggest victory, it wasn’t winning the House in 2010. It was winning the state legislatures in 2010 because they were able to redraw their districts so they had many more conservative voters. The members get heat from the press but they don't get heat from back home. Source: Interview with Robert Costa on today's Huffington Post.

The Assault on Democracy Continues


The House Republicans, in short, are holding the nation itself hostage to their demands. This is not democratic governance. This is extortion, plain and simple. In any other circumstance, this would be criminal conduct. -- Geoffrey R. Stone Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago on "Huffington Post"

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Say Good-bye to Your Statue of Liberty Visit

The Statue of Liberty is under lock and key as the Federal government suffers a partial shut-down which officially began at twelve midnight. There will be no hiking at Yosemite, no alligator-watching at the Everglades National park, and no climbing the steps at the Statue of Liberty, until such time as the Congress becomes functional again. This sad state of affairs has deep roots. The depths of the problem are not being explored by the mass media. For instance, what has been the effect of big money on the development and rise to power of far-right Republicans, including so-called tea party members? Research has shown there was big money behind the funding of the tea party movement. And there was big money behind the effort to bring Republicans to power in state legislatures, which then set to work gerry-mandering Congressional districts in order to ensure Republican victories. So we have come to this sad low point in American history -- again. For this is not the first time Republicans have shuttered federal agencies. The last time was in 1995, and lost services and frustration were the result. I will continue to monitor the situation and will post here as time and necessity dictate.

Federal Health Care Marketplace Now Open

I am currently on the federal Health Care Marketplace web site checking things out. It seems quite simple, at least as far as the home page is concerned. There is some documentation that is required, but only through digital transmission. It is glad to finally see the site live and taking enrollees after all the brouhaha of the last few days.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Representative"s Office: We Plan to Be Here Tomorrow

I just spoke with my U.S. Representative's office in Washington, D.C. The aide said "The Congressman will continue to be the Congressman tomorrow, even if there is a government shut-down. When asked whether the Congressman's office could function without money she replied that the President had the power to declare some departments essential. That's all well and good, but it seems to this citizen that without a Continuing Resolution, the President would have the power to declare Congressional offices non-essential. President Obama is too smart to make such a declaration but what about some future President? For the time being we must let the future take care of itself. But as of now, with "The New York Times" and "CNN" calling a shut-down "likely" one does wonder about the very legitimacy of this government. That is not lunacy; it is stark reality. Thank about it, please.

Federal government shutdown draws near as bickering continues: CNN

A Congressional Republican ridiculously claims that the Republican effort is an attempt to keep the checkbook out of President Obama's hand. The Republican irrationalists do not understand the U.S. government's checks and balances. They want government by fiat -- their fiat.

Assault on Budget: 12:04 p.m.

The House Republicans are holding to their childish and destructive behavior of insisting a government shut-down would be better than health care for all.

Blogging the Republican Assault on the Budget

Today, I am blogging the Republican assault on the budget process. In line with my policy of anti-cynicism I see the current impasse in Congress as part of a long-term process bringing about something better in the American economy. I will be saying more about this in the near future.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Too Much Power


Whether or not the federal government has "too much power," what does it mean to American politics if a majority of Americans think the the U.S. government does have too much power? If this is the belief, surely at some point there will be a tipping point and the government will have to respond to reality. Of course under our system, the voter is said to have the final word. The voters supposedly can vote out those who have attained "too much power." But what if by "too much power" we mean the government has even conquered the democratic process to the point of subverting it and usurping the power of the people? This is, of course, a recurring story throughout history, at least throughout the history of democracies. It is related to the warnings the Founding Fathers issued regarding the difficulty of maintaining democracies once established. Still, there are signs democracy is not yet dead in America. Or if essentially dead, perhaps it is in process of reviving. Or even, perhaps, in process of being truly established for the first time. Let us hope one of these is true.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Majority of U.S. Citizens Think Government Has Too Much Power


Gallup is reporting that a solid majority of Americans (some 60%) think the U.S. government has too much power. This is another encouraging sign of increased awareness on the part of the American people. Their intuition about government power is seen more clearly though the tie between government and corporations and just how corrupting large corporations have become has not yet been seen so clearly. But it will be. Stayed tuned here for more.

Friday, September 20, 2013

"Surprising" Fed Decision Makes Sense


The decision of the Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday to continue the policy known as Quantitive Easing, or QE3, was called surprising by many on Wall Street. But astute observers could have seen that the reasons for the original so-called quantitative easing are still present. These include high unemployment, stagnant wages, and jobs which continue to move over-seas. Being a quasi-political "animal," the Federal Reserve did the only thing it really could do -- continue to pump money into the financial sector. This bid to strengthen the economy will not work in the long-term just as it has done nothing to truly create jobs, strengthen the economy, or end the recession. The announcement that quantitative easing could continue into the new year, further hints at doubts about any impending economic turn-around. Ironically, the Fed has turned out to be one of the more honest institutions in a very dishonest business.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Alexis' History Should Have Raised Red Flags

The story linked to below details the various encounters Aaron Alexis had with authorities over the years, raising issues which should have disallowed his security clearance to a secured area. I am glad Congress and the Secretary of Defense are pledging investigations into the screening process for security clearances. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/18/us/washington-navy-yard-shootings.html?src=recg

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

CNN Report Calls Vetting Process for Military Workers Into Question

TMP Follow-up -- The Cable News Network web site is openly questioning the vetting process for military contract workers and quoting major government figures. I agree with Eleanor Holmes Norton and Susan Collins that many questions need to be asked about how someone with the kind of record of Aaron Alexis could have been given access to a military base. http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/17/us/navy-yard-shooting-military-contractors/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

Shooter Reportedly Had Secret Clearance

According to the article below the shooter in yesterday's horrible rampage had "Secret clearance" from the U.S. military along with a military-issued I.D. card. Nothing can excuse such sordid action as displayed by Alexis and my heart goes out to the families of the victims. At the same time, this event does call into question again the extensive use of private contractors working in secure areas of our military. I urge that the official investigations of this tragic incident include the issue of just how thoroughly employees of private contractors are checked out before being issued Secret clearance. http://www.legitgov.org/Suspected-US-shooter-had-secret-security-clearance-employer-says

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Saturday Poetry In Song

Here is a marvelous vocal group of young men from Wales. I hope you will be as moved as I was. Only Boys Aloud http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C06NhCkAjXk

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Flurry of Reports Now Indicate Diplomacy Has a Chance to Prevent War on Syria

Reports in the media today indicate a new focus on diplomacy between the United States government and the government of Syria. This shows the power of common sense as the American people registered their opinion in overwhelming numbers that bombing Syria was counter-productive to say the least. Reports also say Pres. Obama still plans to work for a strike against Syria. Why he would do that remains unfathomable to this blogger. Meanwhile, any news of a possible diplomatic solution to this crisis, is welcome in principle. Now it will be up to the diplomatic corps, it seems, to produce the desired outcome: a peaceful solution.

Congratulations to the American People

The American people have been calling, e-mailing, faxing, and writing old-fashioned letters in large numbers -- all to oppose a bombing strike of the sovereign nation of Syria. In addition to the impracticalities and lack of effectiveness of such a strike, the proposed air strike is illegal under the U.N. charter. Because the United States is a signatory to the U.N. charter, which is a treaty under the Constitution, such a strike would be illegal under the supreme law of the land. There was a time not so long ago when Americans would have supported and even applauded such an attack. But not now. Not after George W. Bush and "weapons of mass destruction." Not after Libya. And, interestingly, not after Egypt, and Egypt again. Despite an attempt to dumb down the culture, Americans somehow seem to have gotten their intellectual mojo. The inert and lax have woken up in rather splendid fashion and are paying attention again. What a gratifying development!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Second Truthout Article Claims Possible Fraud in U.S. Intelligence on Syria

At the article listed below Truthout claims there is the possibility of fraud in the U.S. intelligence report on Syria. Here is a quote from the article:
The clumsy attempt to pass off intelligence claimed dubiously by the Israelis as a U.S. intercept raises a major question about the integrity of the entire document. The Israelis have an interest in promoting a U.S. attack on Syria, and the authenticity of the alleged intercept cannot be assumed. Murray believes that it is fraudulent.
Source: http://truth-out.org/news/item/18559-how-intelligence-was-twisted-to-support-an-attack-on-syria

Truthout Author Lists Reasons Why a Military Strike Against Syria Is Ill-Advised

Steven Zunes, at Truthout.org, has delineated numerous reasons why the proposed military strike against Syria is ill-advised. For reasons of copyright, I am unable to reproduce the entire article here. However, reason #3 seems to be among the strongest. I am happy to post it here:
3) Military intervention likely would lead to more death and destruction[.] Despite advances in military technologies which make cruise missiles and other explosives far more accurate than in previous decades, US attacks inevitably will result in civilian casualties. Furthermore, empirical studies have demonstrated repeatedly that international military interventions in cases of severe repression actually exacerbate violence in the short term and can only reduce violence in the longer term if the intervention is impartial or neutral. Other studies demonstrate that foreign military interventions actually increase the duration of civil wars, making the conflicts longer and bloodier, and the regional consequences more serious, than if there were no intervention. In addition, military intervention would likely trigger a "gloves off" mentality that would dramatically escalate the violence on both sides. History is replete with examples of supposedly "limited" military actions that dramatically escalated. The International Crisis Group, a reputable and mainstream organization of some of the world's leading policy and strategic analysts, noted that it could "trigger violent escalation within Syria as the regime might exact revenge on rebels and rebel-held areas, while the opposition seeks to seize the opportunity to make its own gains" and, depending on the scale of the US strikes, even result in "retaliatory actions by the regime, Iran or Hizbollah, notably against Israel."

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

A Labor Day Message

Message from Robert Reich -- When I served in President Clinton's cabinet, we had some good years when -— for many Americans -— doing good work meant earning good pay. But these days, with persistently high unemployment and with inequality on the uptick, many working families just don't have the opportunities they used to. As we celebrate this holiday weekend, let's honor the spirit of Labor Day by committing ourselves to turn that around. ...[H]ave a great Labor Day. –Robert Reich ************************************************************************************ I spent the last week of August preparing for fall activities and resting. It was with regret I had to take a short vacation from this blog. I plan to continue posting regularly. All the best -- TMP

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Not the Blues

For some reason this has been one of the best Monday mornings for me in a while. This seems to have been true for at least one other person, too! Amdist all the suffering of our time, there is a growing sense of hope that maybe -- just maybe -- we are beginning to see our way to a new clearing in the dark, dark woods. I hope to have more on all this later today or soon. Please check back. And -- have a good Monday! -- TMP

Friday, August 23, 2013

Let It Not Be Said The Internet Cannot Be Used For Good

Quickly -- Business Week Online is reporting that an Internet-based, free money transfer service is being offerd by Expensify, a payroll reporting company, to small businesses trying to pay foreign workers. Bitcoin, the money transfer service, can transfer "money" anywhere in the world. Bitcoin is being offered as an alternative to PayPal which charges fees for such money transfers. Read more here: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-29/expensify-brings-bitcoin-to-main-street#r=lr-fst

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Attorney General to Pursue New Cases

Rush post -- The Wall Street Journal today is reporting that Attorney General Eric Holder plans to hold open the possibility of new prosecutions relating to the financial melt-down of 2008. This is essentially the most important news of the day! If these are real prosecutions we should begin to get at not only the guilty, but the true story of just what caused the panic of '08.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Should We Now Simply Ignore Shoplifting of Relatively Inexpensive Items?


Author advises N.S.A. spokesman to be honest Writer Thom Hartmann has compared DeLong, the N.S.A. spokesman, to a soft-on-crime puddin'-head in the article linked to below. (My words, by the way.) The analogy is fair, as you will see. Amidst all the controversy over the N.S.A. program, let us not forget that this kind of wide-spread program would have been unheard of prior to September 11, 2001. With promised new information about Building No.3 on September 11, coming next month, perhaps we will finally begin to get the truth about that day, the day which led to so much subsequent suffering and Constitutional violations.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fed Up! Fired Up!


North Carolinians in the face of new Jim Crow voter suppression laws are "fed up; fired up!"

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday Whimsy

Just a few random thoughts -- Why is it that every group that wants money now is asking me to "chip in" instead of just "donate"? Have the golfers taken over charity fund-raising? Nevertheless, if and when I stop being teed off I will definitely "chip in." * Doesn't the term "homeland" as used in the United States today sound suspiciously similar to "Fatherland" as used by the Nazis? * On immigration reform: It used to be when a company moved to another computer software they "changed over" to a new program. Now if you move over to a new software you "migrate." And usually there are problems with the "migration!" Time for "migration" reform? * Last week our newspaper said our county government would now let us save our information in the cloud. That doesn't sound very good when the cloud starts to rain. * The vast infusion of money by the Federal Reserve is called "quantitative easing." I'm going to tell my creditors that I could use a little quantitive easing. Hey, it's government policy! * Oh, the strange times we live in. * Have a happy day. -- TMP

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Court Says: "Stop Frisking"

Rush Post At the link below is the story of yesterday's important court ruling calling the New York Police Department's "stop and frisk" policy un-Constitutional. This is a heroic decision and one to be praised and lauded permanently. http://truth-out.org/video/item/18156-judge-rules-nypds-stop-and-frisk-unconstitutional-orders-federal-oversight

"Aftershock" is Electric


I continued reading the book Aftershock over the week-end. I began skipping around a bit; apparently I don't need as much convincing as some people that the economy is in dangerous territory. So I began learning about which areas of the economy were worse than others and what I might do to protect myself. Then I began learning of how I might change careers or at least strengthen myself in my current field. Fascinating reading, all. People can sense and even know that we are in strange times. What most people do not understand is that we are in a bubble economy, not just an ordinary "downturn." The latter term is merely cheer-leading, according to the authors, and I agree. My own research showed me a number of years ago that the economy has been largely financialized, meaning turned away from the making of traditional physical and useful products to investment "products," which are products of a very different kind.* Our job as Americans, or citizens of the world's countries, is to get the facts. In the U.S. we had a famous TV show called "Dragnet," which some may remember. In the show the detective was forever saying, "Just the facts, ma'am." This is where we must start. Aftershock is a big help in establishing the facts. Only with the facts can we make a plan. And only with a plan can we take effective action. With the facts, there is at least hope. *See The Financialization of Daily Life

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday Poetry: Horace

on Moderation He that holds fast the golden mean,/ And lives contentedly between/ The little and the great,/ Feels not the wants that pinch the poor,/ Nor plagues that haunt the rich man's door/ Embittering all his state// Horace, from Odes, Book II, translated by William Cowper

Friday, August 09, 2013

Live: President Obama Lashes Out Against Republicans

President Obama is slamming the Republican Party for having repeal of the new Health Care Act at the center of their program.

Live: President Obama Responds to Question About "Tweaking" the Health Care Act Implementation

President Obama is explaining why he agreed to a delay in the implementation of certain aspects of the new Health Care Act. He is talking about an open enrollment next March.

Live: President Obama Speaking from the White House

President Obama is speaking now on the intelligence issue. Unfortunately, this is a mixture of fear tactics, and normal political strategy. So far, that is....// http://www.nytimes.com/

Pres. Obama Changes Tack on Surveillance Issues

In a rather surprising move, President Obama has today called for a reform of the way surveillance issues are decided in a secret court, and has also called for greater transparency in the way intelligence is gathered. While welcome news, the suggested reforms may not go far enough. It could well be a situation of too little too late in a controversy that never should have arisen. Check back here for more news and views on this important issue. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324522504579002653564348842.html

Not Shocked

As I've spoken about the book "Aftershock" to friends over the last few days, no one has been shocked to hear America is in trouble. In my conversations I have not dwelt on the more dire aspects of the potential harm which could await us after the collapse of multiple financial bubbles. Instead I have spoken about the first chapters of the book which focus on some of the reasons we have gotten into this mess in the first place and how there is a coming general collapse of the economy based in large part on a failed financial system. The corruption which is now rampant in much of the international financial system can be seen in this book. An even better book for the corrupt and even criminal nature of the system can be found in Predator Nation which I have talked about here earlier (see previous post from last week). Americans are getting braver and bolder. Two examples: first an organization called Security Works has not only protested proposed cuts in Social Security but has been organizing for an expansion of Social Security! And in today's paper we learn that a secure e-mail business which had Edward Snowden, the patriotic former intelligence employee, as a customer has gone out of business rather than cooperate with the N.S.A.'s spying program. How all these events are tied together has not yet been seen by the world's people. For whatever reason, I have been granted the ability to see in outline how everything ties together. While the details will have to be filled in later, it has become clear that certain persons have gone to extraordinary lengths indeed to protect their wealth and power. But all is not lost; far from it. In coming weeks I plan to present some of these reasons for hope, such as the two examples above. I believe that God, if there is a God, does not want the world to suffer in this way indefinitely. We still have choices, and a certain amount of control -- perhaps more than we know -- for good. N. B. I am not on the staff of the publishing company.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Pre-shock

I continue to read Aftershock by David Wiedemer, Robert A. Wiedemer, and Cindy Spitzer (John Wiley & Sons). The title of the book refers to economic conditions after all the various economic bubbles have popped. Since we are not yet at that point, there is still time to prepare for the inevitable collapse, as predicted by these astute authors. The collapse predicted will be world-wide, and relatively long-lasting. In this important tome, the various bubbles are described in clear detail. Later, it is promised, I will be reading about how to survive the aftershock of the "bubblequake," and even profit from it. Although I am not interested in profiting from the pain of others, I am interested in surviving and even thriving in this most serious of all "downturns." This book -- so far -- is highly recommended.

Monday, August 05, 2013

New Design: Working Template

Welcome to the newly-redesigned Musical Patriot web log! Actually, the blogging program makes such changes easy. So, consider this a working trial. (I was beginning to have a technical problem with the old version, so this will be, in effect, a trial version. Comments are welcome.) Meanwhile -- the latest book on my reading shelf is "Aftershock" (Second Edition). I will have more to say about this book soon. For now, it certainly does seem to be an important and useful book for those who care about finance, whether national or personal. I will post again soon.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

"Predator Nation"

The book linked to below contains an interesting, even shocking, unknown history of the economic collapse of 2008. For those who want to know the truth behind this cataclysmic event, and why it will likely happen again, this book is invaluable. Predator Nation:  The Book

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday Poetry: A Summer Idyll

Today I launch a recurring series of poems on Saturdays.  Saturday is often a computer rest day for me, but when it's not I plan to present a Saturday poem for your enjoyment. 

Today's poem is "A Boy's Song," by James Hogg, 1770-1835.  I think it speaks well to the boyhood pleasures of summer -- and what might yet be missing.


A Boy's Song

Where the pools are bright and deep,
Where the grey trout lies asleep,
Up the river and over the lea,
That's the way for Billy and me.

Where the blackbird sings the latest,
Where the hawthorn blooms the sweetest,
Where the nestlings chirp and flee,
That's the way for Billy and me.

Where the mowers mow the cleanest,
Where the hay lies thick and greenest,
There to track the homeward bee,
That's the way for Billy and me.

Where the hazel bank is steepest,
Where the shadow falls the deepest,
Where the clustering nuts fall free,
That's the way for Billy and me.

Why the boys should drive away
Little sweet maidens from the play,
Or love to banter and fight so well,
That's the thing I never could tell.

But this I know, I love to play
Through meadow, among the hay;
Up the water and over the lea,
That's the way for Billy and me.

Friday, July 26, 2013

News Round-up of Anti-Racism Protests

Sometimes good can come from evil.  Such is the case in America now as thousands have gathered to protest the verdict in the Trayvon Martin shooting case.  More than any other similar event, the shooting of Mr. Martin has gotten through to the average American as being fairly clearly racist in intent and effect. 

Upon reflection the majority of Americans seems to have decided we really don't want to be racist.  This is a heartening beginning to a significant problem which remains in the U. S. 




                                Thousands protested the Zimmerman verdict in New York City

Americans in Huge Numbers Protest Zimmerman Verdict

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

OMG!: The Royal Baby

SATIRE

From an American on-line post:  OMG!  The royal baby is so cuuuute!!  Even though I can't see him all wrapped up in his swaddling clothes, what a doll!   He is totally awesomely sweet.  And Prince William is such a hunk!   And Princess (or whatever you call her) Kate is so, so, so ROYAL!   I can't wait until His Royal Highness George Tsar Alexander (do I have that right?) is fifty years old and only has another ten years to wait before maybe he would be king.  Even at sixty he is going to be such an utter FOX!

OMG, and his royal decrees.  Can you imagine?  Maybe in the U.S. by that time we will have gotten rid of this stupid democracy and re-united with royalty!  And the Beeb can be our network, too.  Just tell me where to go and what to do, King George!   Wow, how cool would that be!  


(c) 2013 by The Musical Patriot

Snowden's Brave Actions Yielding Good Results

Somewhat surprisingly, the tremendously brave actions of Patriot Edward Snowden are resulting in a change in public opinion and even in Congressional action.  Like Snowden, I feared the American public would feel powerless to act.  This, however, is not proving to be the case.  Americans, afterall, do not like arrogant behavior anywhere, including in government.  The charm offensive of the N.S.A. and the White House over the Prism program is wearing thin, and the news out of Washington is reflecting the change.  Hooray for the U.S.A.!


Snowden's Brave Actions Yielding Good Results

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Truth that Will Not Die

Here is more video regarding the problems with the official 9/11 Commission report.  For people of all persuasions, this is the critical public issue of our times.  Please watch and tell others.





The truth shall set you free.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

U.S. Ship of State Like the "Titanic"

I have been reading the book Unsinkable, about the sinking of the Titanic.  There are certain analogies between this sinking and the current state of the U.S. economy.  Thus, there are lessons to be learned.  Actually, the analogies are almost eery:  The relative lack of panic, even though the ship was doomed;  the low-key orders of a "cool" captain;  The over-riding tendency to continue conducting business as usual;  the indequate provisions for ensuring safety and rescue;  the frantic, but secret distress calls;  the tight circle of superiors "in the know."  The third-rate treatment of the poor steerage passengers;  And more. 

What is not yet known is whether the final outcome of the Titanic situation will have any bearing on our current predicament.  But what interests me now are the rather scary comparisons of the states of mind of people then and now.  Do we see in both cases a "normalcy bias?"  How does one tell the difference between true danger, as with Titanic and false danger, as with the self-proclaimed end-of-the-world predictions? 

I plan to write more on this later.  Please stay tuned. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Coalition Sues to Halt Illegal N.S.A. Surveillance

May I simply say, "Thank God" for these groups for attempting to uphold the Fourth Amendment.   I agree that no one authorized this secret government agency to spy on the entire citizenry. 


Coalition of Groups Sues N.S.A. to Halt Surveillance

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Bastille Day's Theme Music



The text here does not completely go along with my peace-loving nature, but the music is wonderful. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Snowden: the Complete Statement

The Snowden Affair:  Human Rights Trump Government Rights

Rush Post:

It's a simple matter, really.  There are certain inherent human rights which generations of  countries have agreed surpass the rights of governments.  What is going now with the U.S. and certain Western European governments smacks of facsism pure and simple.  If the term facsism seems loaded, I ask the reader which word would you recommend?  "Totalitarian"?  "Monarchical"?  "Authoritarian"?  All would be accurate in this case because the American President, supported by an "intelligence" network is acting in line with certain known dictators of the past who acted when others threatened the power of the leader to act against the laws, and human rights customs of that country. 


Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any time. That is the power to change people’s fates.



It is also a serious violation of the law. The 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive, pervasive surveillance. While the US Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see, somehow legitimize an illegal affair. These rulings simply corrupt the most basic notion of justice – that it must be seen to be done. The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.



I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: "Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."



Accordingly, I did what I believed right and began a campaign to correct this wrongdoing. I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety. Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for justice.



That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all of us has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets.



Since that time, the government and intelligence services of the United States of America have attempted to make an example of me, a warning to all others who might speak out as I have. I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political expression. The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists. It demanded Hong Kong return me outside of the framework of its laws, in direct violation of the principle of non-refoulement – the Law of Nations. It has threatened with sanctions countries who would stand up for my human rights and the UN asylum system. It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military allies to ground a Latin American president’s plane in search for a political refugee. These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek and enjoy asylum.



Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression, countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.



I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future. With, for example, the grant of asylum provided by Venezuela’s President Maduro, my asylee status is now formal, and no state has a basis by which to limit or interfere with my right to enjoy that asylum. As we have seen, however, some governments in Western European and North American states have demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law, and this behavior persists today. This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our shared rights.



This willingness by powerful states to act extra-legally represents a threat to all of us, and must not be allowed to succeed. Accordingly, I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is permitted. I will be submitting my request to Russia today, and hope it will be accepted favorably.



If you have any questions, I will answer what I can.



Thank you.


Statement courtesy of UPI




Read more: http://www.upi.com/blog/2013/07/12/Edward-Snowden-meets-with-rights-activists-VIDEO/8771373642933/#ixzz2Yrfv9hn5

Monday, July 08, 2013

Revelations Are Fine But What's the Strategy?

Further revelations about the Prism program and other like programs by the N.S.A. are cascading down upon us like a waterfall in the Amazon jungle.  In fact, one of the most recent stories concerns the country which most of the Amazon rainforest calls home, Brazil.

Where is this all leading?  More importantly, Where did all this begin?  The most recent justification for all this spying comes from September 11, 2001, after which Draconian spying programs were ramped up and never ramped down despite promises of Barack Obama.

Uncovering the truth or falsity of the events of September 11, and their ultimate cause continues to be a high priority for the American people.  For more, I refer you to earlier posts here, particularly on the books by David Ray Griffen.  In terms of our form of government there is no more important matter at this time.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Beginning Another Year of Independence

Today is the beginning of the 238th year of American Independence!  Certainly, we forget the long process of gaining our independence from England.  Nonetheless, we can reckon our beginnings from July 4, 1776, as well as any other date.

In our day, the independence to be fought for is different.  Unfortunately, there are still elements in Britain still not ready to let the states go completely.  My research has shown that the City of London (the name of Britain's financial district, not the actual city) still has a powerful voice in world financial affairs, including influence on the United States.  Inasmuch as it is a very connected world financially, what happens in London has an impact here and vice versa. 

Further research shows just how close this alliance is -- too close for some, including this writer.  I believe events of the rest of this year will revolve increasingly around financial issues which are rapidly becoming human rights issues.  For if people do not have enough to eat, that is both a financial and a human rights issue.  To the extent that financial arrangements are fair and just they are worthy and useful.  To the extent they are injurious to the welfare of the citizens of the world, they are that much unjust and deeply hurtful and should be opposed. 


Special greetings to all my International readers.  I value you! 

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Monday, July 01, 2013

Has Your Cell Phone Been "Tasked"?

Yesterday's  Washington Post details just how the N.S.A. obtains phone call records.  Early in the process a record is "tasked."  This does not mean, of course, that an N.S.A. employee trudges off to a judge's chambers and obtains a search warrant.  It means, rather -- essentially -- that a switch is thrown and an F.B.I. controller of sorts pulls the data from the communications company whether it be Verizon, A.T.&T., or whatever. 

Of course, there is more to it than this, but there is no judge involved if the spies want your records.  The main caveat is you have to be talking with someone of interest overseas.  Naturally, my readers overseas have some cause for concern, but supposedly not if they are not involved in terrorism.  This may be small comfort.

What a crazy situation has developed in the U.S. federal government in Washington!  I continue to be all for catching and prosecuting those who would do this nation harm.  It's just that I am aware there are also domestic enemies of various kinds who care not a whit for our Constitution or the Bill of Rights unless it helps their cause directly.

We all must stay awake, keep informed, and organize to protect our rights. 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Politicized Court: Its Legacy

By "politicized" I mean the ascendancy of a right-wing Republican majority on this Supreme Court.  Never since the statist and oligarchical ideologues of the early twentieth century has there been a Supreme Court more interested in denying people of color the ability to cast a vote.  Why this is so is explained in the news release below. 

Removing Section IV protections of the Voting Rights Act is an undemocratic and irresponsible attempt to limit the threat of a rising tide of voters of color, both black and brown.  Although the article here does not go into this in detail authors such as Mark Crispin Miller, and Greg Palast, have.

This egregious Supreme Court decision sends America backward.  Fortunately, the Voter Protection Project is on the job. 

Supreme Court Removes Critical Protection for Voters of Color

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summer Reading for Enlightenment and Inspiration

Two books rise to the top this summer for special mention. 

The first book, Daily Rituals, is back in my community library after being requested by another patron.  This volume chronicles the daily habits of famous people such as Benjamin Franklin, and Ludwig van Beethoven.  Somehow the author, Mason Currey, has unearthed information about how the famous of the past have lived their lives at home:  how they got themselves up in the morning, when they had lunch and what they ate, how they entertained in the evening, and what they did in the in-between hours.  It is very enlightening, for instance, to learn, just what Franklin meant when he said, "Early to bed, and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

The second book is lying on the table beside me and has an equally novel format of being a travel book about places where little-known events occurred.  Like the previous book mentioned above, what makes this book riveting is the author's facile, yet compassionate style.  Here Is Where, by Andrew Carroll, chronicles an intense criss-crossing trip of America conducted by the author over several months, visiting places such as where the "invasion" of the Japanese occurred in Hawaii at the beginning of World War II, and the place in California where the greatest number of forced sterilizations occurred at the height of the "eugenics" movement. 

 I am still reading these two books, but I wouldn't be surprised to see one or both end up on best-seller lists before the first Jack-O-Lantern of Halloween.   

Friday, June 28, 2013

Patriot Edward Snowden Speaks for Himself



Edward Snowden Speaks


This is the man the federal government feels so threatened by.  Let's let Mr. Snowden speak for himself.  

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Rep. Kaptur Introduces Bill to Restore Glass-Steagall Protections

As Americans debate gay marriage and other such issues, the American home is disintegrating economically.  Sadly, I do not have the resources to give all the facts here and now.  However, it is clear the world's financial managers are losing confidence in the U.S. dollar.  The implications of this are frightening.

The bill to restore Glass-Steagall protections offers one small, but significant way to seize control from the speculators and return it to the American people.  The text of the bill can be found here:
A Bill to Revive Glass-Steagall Protections

Supreme Court Violates Spirit of the Constitution

AMENDMENT XV.

Race no bar to voting rights.

(The following amendment was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the 40th Congress, Feb. 26, 1869, and ratified Feb. 3, 1870.)

1.  The right of citizens of the United Sates to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude --

2.  The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

-- The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2013



By claiming times have changed and there is no more racism in the land, the Supreme Court is, in effect, claiming that Congress' enactment of the enforcement mechanism of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is not appropriate.  This Opinion is nothing more than that -- an opinion.  The New York Times yesterday put it best in their editorial when they declared the Supreme Five guilty of circular logic. 

That same editorial had much more to say about the weakness of said logic and hinted at the possible motives for this assinine opinion.  At its root this opinion is clear payback for all the money given by big corporations to the campaigns of Presidents who then nominated these Neanderthals to the Supreme Court. 

If times have changed that much, why are there no black governors in the South?  Is there a single elected black United States Senator from a southern state?  If times have changed so much, why is family income among blacks still significantly less than that for white families? 

No, the real reason for this decision is to support efforts to suppress black votes in elections.  For documentation see the books of Greg Palast on this subject such as Billionaires and Ballot Bandits.  
African-Americans, you see, vote overwhelmingly Democratic.  What's a billionaire's party to do but try to suppress the votes of a whole group of people who consistently vote against you?  

 




Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Views on the Security State From Several Critics

Pentagon Papers hero Daniel Ellsberg has called the revelations of Patriot Edward Snowden the most important in American history.  He also sees a way out of the abyss.

Snowden Revelation Most Important in American History Says Ellsberg

The New Fascism?

Fascism rises and falls as citizen empowerment waxes and wanes.  What we are seeing is an eclipse of citizen power. Yesterday's so-called decision on voting rights from the Supreme Court makes this clear.  After all, when it comes right down to it, what right do five men have to tell us, the citizenry, how to protect voting rights through our representatives, the Congress?  What is said to be preserving states' rights, is really a form of dictatorship by a clique of five Federalist Society-influenced males. 

As the article linked to below makes clear, the brouhaha over the revelation of a secret spying program is another form of fascist control.  Let us not be afraid of this f-word:  fascism.  Fascism is about control of the heart and mind in order that the big money moguls can be protected.  Becoming clear about this reality will bring unity to this torn and tattered vestige of a democracy. 


Example of the New Fascism

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Information Leak Becomes a Deluge

The flow of news out of Washington regarding the N.S.A., its surveillance of law-abiding Americans' phone calling habits, and e-mail contacts; plus news about the role of private contractors in all this, has become a veritable torrent.  It takes resources far beyond those of this blogger to collect and interpret. 

At this juncture I must search for new sources of not only news but analysis.  After examining the evidence I will be in a position to make some judgments about just what has been going on.

For now, I comment on the defense of all this intelligence-gathering by President Obama.  He claims a couple of score of terrorist attacks have been averted as a direct result of all this "meta-data."  However, I have seen no details backing up this claim, if indeed there are any.  It is sad that we have come to the point where we cannot trust our own government.  Let us remember this is the same government that took us into war with Mexico, Spain, and Viet-Nam, on dubious or non-existing "reasons."   This continues to be a government which must be questioned and investigated.  It is the only Constitutional -- and patriotic -- thing to do. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Snowden a New American Patriot

Rush Post --

As new details emerge about the N.S.A. spying program, one clearly involving U.S. citizens, the government acts as if it can do no wrong.  Why?  Because it's the government, apparently.

I am calling Edward Snowden  a new American patriot.  I know little about the very articulate Mr. Snowden personally.  He is said to be a high school drop-out.  He may have skeletons in his closest;  I have no idea.  And at the moment, what is important to me is that a young man has forsaken his career to stand up for the idea which represents what America is -- the government cannot spy on innocent Americans, period.  And the government can only spy on Americans with a court-order.  And, yes, I am aware of the caveat of emergency situations.  But these circumstances are not an emergency in the legal and traditional sense. 

Please allow me to refer new and old readers to earlier posts here about the work of Professor David Griffen, who has worked so very hard to investigate the original government allegations after September 11, 2001.  I refer to this because it was only after these "attacks" that the P.A.T.R.I.O.T.  Act was passed, setting the stage for this seemingly never-ending government surveillance on your and my e-mails and phone calls. 

Friends, let us begin to see this for what it is:  a willful violation of our Constitutional rights at the highest levels.   Let anyone who would harm Americans be stopped.  But let not our country and what it stands for be destroyed in the process. 


N.B.  The video on the referenced page appears biased against Mr. Snowden.  The news article, however, contains many quotes which speak for themselves as to the intelligence and patriotism of Mr. Snowden.  The critics, on the other hand, look to be feathering their own nests and once again protecting their "access" to the Authorities. 

Snowden Defends So-Called Leaks

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Missing the Point

It was interesting this morning listening to Fox "News" Channel "covering" the matter of privacy rights and the controversy over the Prism program.  How things change.  It is fine that Fox is now doing advocacy TV journalism on behalf of traditional American privacy rights.  But where was Fox when the Bush administration trotted out "Carnivore,"  which was essentially the same program?

Still, if Fox wants to be on the right side of an issue for a change, I say let them.  Perhaps right and left can yet come together for traditional America values which are indeed not right or left. 

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Readership Up

According to statistics, readership of this blog is up, on some days dramatically so.  (Readers remain anonymous.)   This is certainly encouraging.  It indicates to me, people are looking for an alternative voice and view to what they are hearing in the mainstream media and from the government.  Over the summer I expect to have more time for my blog.  I will seek to post here as often as possible.  I realize people are making choices about how to see the state of the world and are looking for good information, and maybe even a bit of compassion.  If I can provide a bit of each, I will be most gratified.


Best wishes,

The Musical Patriot 

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The War on the Internet

Certain persons in power are desperate.  This news is coming out now, even as huge corporate interests race to cover their tracks.  Let me be clear:  I am not against people organizing to produce goods and services.  I believe the working people of America and the world deserve a fair return on their investment of time and talent.  But I do not believe that people who have not done the work deserve money off the backs of those who have. 

This can be explained in simple terms.   That is, those who don't show up to work (private investors) don't deserve money from the efforts of those who do.  It really is quite simple. 

But saying this seems to be becoming some sort of national crime.  I'm not advocating violence.  I'm only advocating fair play.  But to some this seems unpatriotic.  However, I put forth the idea that it is really Thomas Jefferson's vision of small farms and businesses which is patriotic, not this quite-hideous arrangement of interlocking directorates, cross-ownership, and monopolizing centralization of production in the hands of the few. 

Something else I do not happen to believe in:  anarchy.  However, can governmental over-reach, suspicion, even paranoia, create economic and societal weakness, dissolution, anarchy?  The 1960s was a time in which government over-reach in Viet Nam, led some to dangerous forms of protest, when honest protest was badly needed.

So much can be said about this.  And more has been said at the link below.  It is certainly a confusing time.  Articles such as this can help in understanding the current situation.


The Information War Explained

Monday, June 03, 2013

Capitalism Conquering the Internet

Fighting against war.  Fighting unemployment.  Fighting disease.  Fighting insurance companies.  Now to the list must added: Fighting Capitalism on the Internet. 

At the link below, famous author Robert W. McChesney writes about creeping monopoly on the Internet.  While the article is a bit short, it gives some idea of how big money interests are working to make resources scarce even on the Internet.  Thus, a truly democratic Internet is going to have to be fought for. 

I'll have more to say on this subject in the future. 


"How Capitalism Conquered the Internet"

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Nurturing a Seven-Year-Old

This blog had a birthday yesterday.  Rather than celebrating the blog I was celebrating life with a busy day. 

So today I find myself tending a seven-year-old.  I had dreams this blog would be a long-lived experience, contributing in some way to finding a pathway out of some dark times following the September 11, disaster.  Those were days when a Donald Rumsfeld was Secretary of Defense, a Richard Cheney was Vice-President of what some called -- well -- vice, and a G. W. Bush was in some sense the inheritor of the office of the Presidency. 

One of my first major efforts was a review in serial form of a video entitled "Theologians Under Hitler."  This important video, put out by the United Methodist Church, was based on the book of the same name by Robert P. Ericksen.  The content of both book and video are still very relevant today.  When I think of the early days of this blog I always think of this series, how refreshing the video and book were amidst the general darkness of 2006.  And what darkness there was then with the Iraq War seeming never to end, and the still-ongoing Afghan War only in its first half-life.  I was proud of that series of posts.

I have written my way through two Presidential elections now, several voting controversies, and various kinds of sociological issues.  In terms of events the most important was the Occupy movement beginning in September 2011, and continuing in different form today. 

And there has been humor, some music, a little of it even patriotic music. 

Patriotism still means as much to me today as it ever did.  Sadly, I am not quite as confident of the power of the U.S. Constitution as once I was.  Still, I am not in the camp of those who see it as mysoginist, or capitalist, or invalid due to pro-slavery passages.  One recent blog dealt with an important op-ed piece in The New York Times, entitled provocatively, "Let's Give Up on the Constitution," then went on to advocate no such thing.  Yet provocative it was, and in a mostly useful way.

The blogs over the last few weeks have been a little more personal than usual with fewer hyper-links attached.  After reading two books by Professor David Ray Griffen on the lies told by the U.S. government relative to September 11, 2001, I have seen my purpose gravitating toward warning my fellow citizens about the hideous nature of what can only be called a suspected crime against democracy. 

If the present post has whetted your appetite to want to delve further into this blog, I am most gratified.  You will find here a style that is essentially sober, but not allergic to true passion when a bit of fire is called for.  At all times, I hope you find a seeking after the truth wherever it may lead.  So, welcome to the birthday party. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Following the Truth Wherever It Might Lead

Recently I have been reading the Warren Commission Report on the John F. Kennedy assassination.  This is the first time I have read the full report.  I am very impressed with the completeness of the report, its sterling quality of thought and the coherence of its narrative.  Along with Vincent Bugliosi's exhaustive book on the subject, Reclaiming History, there really is no doubt about the basic conclusions of the Warren Commission report that Lee Harvey Oswald was the one and only individual who shot and killed President Kennedy.  And, as Bugliosi wrote, it can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Oswald acted alone in the planning of the assassination.

I mention this by way of showing that I am no conspiracy nut.  Like any other thinking individual, however, I do believe that the assassination of Julius Caesar was a conspiracy, along with many, many other similar incidents in history.  Thus, it is no stretch of the imagination to believe in false-flag operations, which are conspiracies non pareil.  To state one's belief that the events of 9/11/01 were a false-flag operation is no more a belief in a conspiracy theory than is the belief that nineteen inexperienced pilots flew planes into buildings in New York and Washington causing destruction and collapse. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

CBS, ABC Guilty of Violating Basic Journalistic Principles

Comes now the revelation that CBS and ABC violated basic journalistic standards by referring to hand-written summaries as "e-mails."  This in the case of the supposed White House e-mails on the Benghazi situation.  It seems that reports the White House was manufacturing the truth in this matter were themselves so poorly documented as to amount to fabricated "information."  There is more about this at the link below. 


The Scandal at ABC News

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Call for Information

Your Musical Patriot finds himself in a strange position.  With the "blogosphere" and now even respected jouranl articles full of various allegations regarding the Boston massacre, including doubts of the official story, I am very interested in the truth but find I do not have sufficient information to draw any conclusions.  All I know is every defendant is to be considered innocent until proven guilty under our system.  The media is clearly not following this and the common citizenry is even worse. 

As the TV show detective used to say, "Just the facts, ma'am."  If you have any credible information regarding this tragic and horrific event please sent a comment through the comment feature below.  I will be grateful for all leads.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Answer to Yesterday's Quiz

From yesterday --

George H. W. Bush, "the first Bush," wanted to be America's "education President" in the 1988 campaign.   It is not known whether "Bush 41" ever did education in America any lasting good. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Daily Quiz: Who Is or Was the Education President?

Which President was called the "education President?"  Was it a) FDR;  b) Dwight Eisenhower; c) John F. Kennedy;  d) Jimmy Carter;  e) Barack Obama;  f) None of the Above?  If memory serves, the correct answer is f), none of the above.  Check next post for the correct answer.  

Obama's Betrayal of Teachers

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Workers Rights Under Attack and Some Possible Solutions

As part of my series on the problem of workers' rights in America today --

Rush Post:


It is well-known that for years workers' rights in America have been under attack.  The article at Truthout linked to below describes how the current situation came to be.  Goodness knows, this vast problem needs addressing. 

How to Restore Workers Rights

Monday, May 13, 2013

Off-Base Thinking by The Post

Yesterday's Washington Post contained a rather half-baked article about something they claimed was the Second Term Curse.   Can Obama avoid it?, the paper asked. 

As part of the article some right-wing figure was quoted as saying it might be time soon for "the I-word."  He meant of course "Impeachment," and he was referring to the President.  First, if Obama is to be impeached, we must also impeach Bush and Cheney, Rumsfeld -- the list would go on.  (And, yes, persons can be impeached after leaving office.)  Second, we don't need another impeachment trial, only fifteen years after the last fiasco. 

But beyond this, such talk is impertinent in the extreme.  We should be talking about accountability.  We should be talking about living history.  We should be talking about what caused the wars and how future wars can be prevented.  If we cannot deal with our own history of corruption and failure, we have no business claiming to be any kind of world leader.  If a public official deserves to be impeached, by all means, let's look into it.  But everyone who is guilty deserves his own impeachment.  It's going to be a long list. 

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Issue of False Flag Attacks Suddenly Heats Up On Line

The matter of government false flag attacks is suddenly heating up on the Internet.  This subject is much too big for me to credibly speak to at the moment.  However, I am watching the situation and will have more to say about this later.

As David Ray Griffin has pointed out, the United States government has been involved in "false flag" attacks before -- the most notable recent one being the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964, which led to an escalation in the Viet-Nam War. 

It is not hard to predict that this subject of false flag attacks is not going to go away.  Articulate people, some well-educated, are beginning to speak out on this subject.  I wish I could say more now, but with information breaking so fast I want to preserve reliability.  Please watch for more posts on this important matter soon. 

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

From "9/11 Ten Years Later"

From David Ray Griffin's 9/11 Ten Years Later comes the statement that anti-war groups cannot and will not be successful unless they can address the falsity of the causes for those wars.  Griffin is here thinking of Iraq and Afghanistan among others.  His point is an important one.  The wars of the last ten years must all be seen in the context of the false-flag operation known as "nine-eleven." 

Griffin has here rendered an inestimable public service.  I agree with him on this and most everything else (one exception being the John Kennedy assassination).  A fully independent and responsble investigation of the fateful events of September 11, 2001, will have to come to be in order for American democracy to be healthy. 

Monday, May 06, 2013

Truth That Won't Give Up

I continue my research into the events of September 11, 2001.  As I continue to read the works of Prof. David Ray Griffin, and seeing the facts from different angles, it becomes quite clear indeed that a truly thorough and independent investigation has never been done.  This for an event that so transformed the world, sending thousands of Americans into harm's way and shriveling civil liberties at home. 

There is so much to say about this subject and Griffin has said things so well it seems superfluous for me to cover the same ground.  In time, after I have been able to digest the information I may be able to put more of my own stamp onto the subject.  But for now I highly recommend the books of this most dedicated and careful researcher and author.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

President Says the Right Things

Recently, I posted a news item regarding the hunger strike at "Gitmo," the Guantanamo Bay prison where alleged "enemy comatants" have been held for more than eleven years.  At the time very few news outlets were covering this news.

Now, President Obama, in an unexpected statement has called again for the closing of Guantanamo Bay.  Mr. Obama is to be congratulated for speaking out.  Let us hope the American people will accept the challenge, see the truth of the Guantanamo situation, and call their legislators demanding the closing of this un-American gestapo-like prison. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

More Blog Posts Coming in These Exciting Times

After a trip to New York last week, I will return to the "cloud" this week with more posts here on pertinent topics of the day.  While traveling I met a former campaign worker for Pres. Jimmy Carter who visited the White House several times.  I will share his story here soon.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Capitalism Eating Into the Bone

America is at the stage of gathering the facts, just as the officer used to say in Dragnet:  "Just the facts, ma'am."  This is an important step, because after decades of propaganda, the facts against capitalism must be marshalled and presented in a compelling form before Americans can take action.  Such a gathering of facts is found in the important article linked to below.  It is by Paul Buchheit, a college professor, published author, and web site host. 

It is sad that the average American does not really understand just how large is the disparity between rich and poor in this country.  However, even a cursory review of the facts shows a disparity which has made for revolution in the past.

In the case of our time, my contention is the revolution is already underway, and -- beautifully -- in a non-violent form.  The refusal of many to work at minimum wage, the expectation that the government has an obligation to provide for the needs of the unemployed and unemployable, are just a couple of examples of a new attitude in America, an attitude which is essentially and profoundly un-capitalistic.  This is the good news underlying the turmoil of now. 


Capitalism's Dismembering of America

Monday, April 22, 2013

Beginning to Connect the Dots

Regular readers here will note I have had little to say about the horrible bombing in Boston last week.  In the interest of maintaining accuracy, my hesitation will likely continue for some time.

In the meantime, I recommend the following page for your review now. 

9/11/01 Truth

Friday, April 19, 2013

Doing the Media's Job

Most of the elite media have made it clear in both their opinion and news pages that they want to see benefits cut. In keeping with this position they highlight the views of political figures who push cuts to the program, treating them as responsible, while those who oppose cuts are ignored or mocked. 
This pattern of coverage was clearly on display last weekend. Both the New York Times and Washington Post decided to ignore the Senate's passage by voice vote of the Sanders Amendment.

 
-- Truthout

One would have thought that a vote by the Senate to reject cuts in benefits to Social Security would have been big news.  Not so, according to Truthout.  This news was simply ignored by the major media. 

But the reality was indeed that the Senate voted not to change the way cost-of-living increases are determined which would have resulted in a 3% cut in benefits over 20 years, according to the Truthout web site. 

This leaves web sites like Truthout and blogs like this one to report the truth.  While I eagerly accept the challenge of passing along this news, it means any meaningful opposition media in the United States is essentially dead.  This leaves Internet media and a few print journals as the only true advocates for the people. 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Nation Opposes Cuts to Social Security

Rush Post --

The organization MoveOn.org is helping to organize demonstrations at various Congressional offices around the country next week.  More information is at the link below. 

It is high time the effort to cut benefits to needy seniors is stopped in its tracks. 


Nation Opposes Cuts to Social Security

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Curious Times

We have had curious times before, but the world has suddenly seemed topsy-turvy with a Democratic President scheming to cut Social Security benefits, and a bombing under suspicious circumstances at the Boston Marathon. 

Being at best a part-time writer I am not able to instantly propound meaningful theories on every subject.  (Who can?)  Thus, I am left with a rather generalized comment today.  In keeping with the description of this blog, however, I see signs amidst the chaos that the world is struggling to come to something different.  The new interest in the general subject of capitalism v. socialism shows this.  (See earlier post here.)  The world is lurching toward a better order, and by that I do not mean the "New World Order."  What I do mean is a new way of being and doing and relating among nations and peoples, a way of justice and something like love, however charged those words may be. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

"Capitalism" and "Socialism" Two Most Popular Words Looked Up According to Merriam-Webster

According to Merriam-Webster the two most popular words looked up in 2012 were "capitalism" and "socialism."  This shows that people are interested in the subject.  It also seems to indicate people may not be so happy with capitalism, or at least not with the attendant propaganda hoopla. 


Article on "Capitalism" and "Socialism"

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Ways Religious People Can Respond to the Truth About 9/11

Readers here over the past couple of weeks have been following my posts about David Ray Griffin and the 9/11 Truth Movement.  At this time I am continuing to read his important work The New Pearl Harbor Revisited.  It was already apparent to me after thirty pages that there was sufficient question about the official story that a completely independent and new investigation was needed.  Now, after many more pages, my feeling is only stronger:  the official story is not now and never has been truly credible. 

As a person of faith (something I have preferred not to dwell on in these blog posts over the last seven years), I have had particular concerns.  In the transcript linked to below, David Ray Griffin talks about some of these concerns.


How Religious People Should Respond to 9/11

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Bill Clinton Warns on Rising Nationalism

Rush Link -- Bill Clinton on Rise of Nationalism