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. 

Featured Post

Bill Clinton Warns on Rising Nationalism

Rush Link -- Bill Clinton on Rise of Nationalism