Webster Quote

Webster Quote

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Protests Against Standardized School Testing Growing

Teachers at a Seattle High School are rebelling against the standardized testing regime which has been in place for some time.  As the article below indicates, this rebellion represents a growing national social movement. 

The time has come to see these tests for what they are: a failure.  They may have had at one time a good purpose.  And not all testing is bad by any means.  But the way these tests have been used and even manipulated must come to and end!


Teachers Rebel Against Standardized Testing

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Battle Against Women in Combat

The new policy that women will now be allowed to serve in combat does come with some caveats.  I am just beginning to delve into this issue.  My main problem with women in combat is that it  expands the numbers of people involved in combat.  War is never a pleasant operation.  To open up the opportunity to die a horrible death seems immoral unless there is strong justification.  I find no justification for casting the combat net wider to ensare current and future mothers.  For that matter, I fail to see the wisdom in exanding the net to include more men. 

Up 'til now I have not considered myself a true pacifist.  But if women and mothers are to be fired upon in the U.S. military I find myself rapidly losing enthusiasm for any kind of fighting.  That doesn't make me feel safer, just sadder. 



This article offers some useful arguments against women in combat:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2007/10/23/the-case-against-women-in-combat.html

Monday, January 21, 2013

The President signs documents at the Capitol.

(I am mobile and following events with a low-volume TV at the coffee shop.)
The President and Vice-President have entered the Capitol rotunda.

Modern Coverage Includes "Tweets"

NBC i s scrolling a series of trivial citizen "tweets."  Why should I be interested in what someone thinks of Beyonce's earrings? 
Former President and Mrs. Bill Clinton, greet friends at the Capitol.

Blogging the 2013 Inauguration

Fittingly for a blog entitled The Musical Patriot, I begin today following "The Star-Spangled Banner," sung by a certain popular singer named Beyonce.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What, or Who, Is In the Cabinet?

Pundit discussions over the last couple of weeks have focused on who is in and who is out of the cabinet.  Expected departures include Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta, and Timothy Geitner. 

What some are asking is What does it all mean?  Are we to see a more progressive cabinet, or more of the same?  This is a beginning question, and as such, not a bad one.  A better question is what kind of country are we to have?  And we should begin answering that with another question:  What kind of country have we become and do we like it?

Polls have consistently shown for something going on five years (!) that most Americans believe the country is going in the wrong direction.  Those kind of poll numbers are unsustainable.  Something has to give, as they say. 

Will the changes in the cabinet send us in a better direction?  The cabinet replacements suggested invovle honorable men, though Chuck Hagel was accused of having close ties with the voting computer company which counted the votes when he ran for office out of Nebraska.  So there is a kind of cloud over that announced nominee.  Sen. Kerry is probably more experienced and knowledgeable in foreign affairs than Hillary Clinton. 

Yet, the same economic system -- called either capitalism, or the profit system -- continues to grind on, and to grind us down.  At present I am reading about the 1930s in America and will have more to say about the relation of that frightful time and the terrors of our own time later.  For now, it should be clear that the system is broken and the country needs a graceful, non-violent, and just revolution of purpose and plan. 

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The Crime of Tax Evasion, Only It's Legal

As explained at the web site linked below, the wealthy have been getting away with what amounts to legalized tax evasion for the last thirty years.  This will come as no particular surprise to the average American.  But the fact such legalized tax cheating went on for so long will surely be written about by historians for decades to come.  It amounts to a new age of Robber Barons, and a resuscitated Golden Age.

The recent successful Democratic effort to raise taxes on the rich was only a small beginning in rolling back decades of legal stealing on the part of the oligarchs.  This must be said if we are to be true to the facts.  And being truthful about our recent history is critical to being able to correct the errors of the past and get back on track to an economy which is sound and thriving. 


The High Crime of Tax Evasion

Monday, January 07, 2013

Where We Are Now

As the first week of 2013 comes to a close, it is becoming apparent that the re-election of Barack Obama was not an inconsequential event.  Already his relative toughness in negotiations, with important backing from the Democrats in the Senate, has staved off Republican attacks on Social Security and Medicare -- for now. 

There is a feeling the Republican agenda is losing momentum, currency, and relativeness.  These are days for what used to be called "cautious optimism." 

And, as I said last week, the recent work of Prof. Seidman has given impetus to an examination of the role of the Constitution in political discourse.  I will continue to have more to say about this in coming days and weeks. 

Friday, January 04, 2013

The Fight Between Good and Evil

As I awake this morning, I am thinking of the comments by Louis Seidman on the evil which has been allowed, even sanctioned by the Constitution.  Whatever the merits of the argument, or the specifics, one can sense he is right.  Whether it be slavery, or monied interests, the Constitution as originally adopted did not really deal with these issues.  Thus, it was and is up to we, the people, to ensure that our society is progressing toward something good. 

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Give Up on the Constitution? Well, Not Exactly

I'm not sure which bright light at either The Times or elsewhere decided upon the title, "Let's Give Up on the Constitution."  It certainly catches one's attention.  Fortunately, it is a bit overwrought and not completely accurate considering the message of the author, Louis Seidman.

Being fair to the article will take some time.  I will have to re-read it and consider it in more depth.  But coming from a Constitutional law professor the article is remarkable.

One thing that does occur to me is that this article opens up avenues for discussion which badly need to be opened up.  The fields of morality, ethics, and philosophy are naturally opened up by this article.  For if fealty to the Constitution is either impossible, undesirable, or both, then just what should be our compass?

So this will be how I will begin to approach this important article. 


Happy New Year One and All,

TMP


"Let's Give Up on the Constitution"

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Bill Clinton Warns on Rising Nationalism

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