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"

Featured Post

Bill Clinton Warns on Rising Nationalism

Rush Link -- Bill Clinton on Rise of Nationalism