Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Another Song of Freedom

Latest from Playing for Change...all I'm posting these days! Why not?!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Gov. Schweitzer on Rachel Maddow - Holy Cow!

I follow news analyst, Rachel Maddow, on MSNBC. This week, on May 10, Montana Governor Schweitzer appeared in a piece about the Tea Party and the state of Maine, among other things. I was disquieted by the interview and quickly jotted this statement down:

". . . if you are a governor, you educate, medicate, and incarcerate . . ."

[Interview begins at 2:47; quote starts at 5:00]

Does that sound right to you? The first one sounds good, but medicate and incarcerate? Something wrong with that picture.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Remembering Kent State

Today, 4 May, is the anniversary of the shootings by Ohio National Guardsmen at Kent State University 40 years ago. I was in high school and remember when it happened, and Neil Young's song "Ohio" memorializing the event.

From Wikipedia:

The Kent State shootings – also known as the May 4 massacre or Kent State massacre – occurred at Kent State University in the city of Kent, Ohio, and involved the shooting of unarmed college students by members of the Ohio National Guard on Monday, May 4, 1970. The guardsmen fired 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis.

Some of the students who were shot had been protesting against the American invasion of Cambodia, which President Richard Nixon announced in a television address on April 30. Other students who were shot had been walking nearby or observing the protest from a distance.

I suggest looking at the accounts of what happened that day, before, and after. What was the response—by the media, other schools, the people.

Consider this: "On May 14, ten days after the Kent State shootings, two students were killed by police at the historically black Jackson State University under similar circumstances, but that event did not arouse the same nationwide attention as the Kent State shootings." (Wikipedia)

Is that just how it goes . . . how we are? With short attention spans. History has a singular purpose of informing the future. I would like to be informed. Not necessarily to carry an emotional situation forward, but to enhance my observation skills. Increase my "what to be on the look out for" abilities.

Kent State was tragic and the whole thing 40-years later has a dampening effect on an already rain-sky darkened day. I don't always have to feel good about the day I'm in.

Read also:
An analysis of Neil Young's song "Ohio"

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Page From a Book

there’s a hole in my sun / and it leads to my closet door / behind which lie / my secrets
and office supplies

i have a picture of a filmy / naked lady
and a current rumi calendar / and evidence
of a mistake / i made
that i don’t mind you knowing about

doors will be opened / rats will be flushed
into view / and we will look at them

will we know what we see / will we believe what we know / will we give / ourselves / a chance

there are many / holes in our sun

normal things are happening / but unusual are / the bright colors / splashed across our

open the doors and / embrace it all / closets hide nothing

We Never Saw It Coming

I sometimes have time to listen to podcasts. I forget how enjoyable and informative they can be. This American Life is one of my favorites.

Last Sunday I listened to the episode titled: "Inside Job." Here is part of their web page on it:

405: Inside Job
Originally aired 04.09.2010

For seven months a team of investigative journalists from ProPublica looked into a story for us, the inside story of one company that made hundreds of millions of dollars for itself while worsening the financial crisis for the rest of us. It includes our original Broadway song "Bet Against the American Dream": MP3; video; sheet music.


Ira talks about a friend who for years had a very trusted business partner and bookkeeper, until one day when he ran away with all of her money. (1 1/2 minutes)

Act One. Eat My Shorts.

A hedge fund named Magnetar comes up with an elaborate plan to make money. It sponsors the creation of complicated and ultimately toxic financial securities... while at the same time betting against the very securities it helped create. Planet Money's Alex Blumberg teams up with two investigative reporters from ProPublica, Jake Bernstein and Jesse Eisinger, to tell the story. Jake and Jesse pored through thousands of pages of documents and interviewed dozens of Wall Street Insiders. We bring you the result: a tale of intrigue and questionable behavior, which parallels quite closely the plot of a Mel Brooks musical.

If you have any questions after hearing this story, you can email the ProPublica team for an answer. (40 minutes)

We commissioned a Broadway song to go along with this story, which you can listen to here.
This American Life pods are generally pretty comprehensible. I have some interaction with the terminology of this subject, but the way they put it is very easy to follow, with definitions and explanations along the way.

This is an interesting story. The theory was posed that the predator (in this case Magnetar) is just doing what predators do. Can't blame them. True enough I think.

If you're wondering these days how Wall Street really works, listening to the Inside Job will give you some good ideas and maybe even help connect some dots regarding current Wall Street events like the SEC suing Goldman Sachs.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

It IS Spring!

I wrote a post at Catherine Austin Fitts' blog titled "Gardening in a Nutshell." Take a look if you're interested.

I found a booklet online—The War Garden Victorious by Charles Lathrop Pack. From Chapter I:
The war garden was a war-time necessity.

This was true because war conditions made it essential that food should be raised where it had not been produced in peace times, with labor not engaged in agricultural work and not taken from any other industry, and in places where it made no demand upon the railroads already overwhelmed with transportation burdens.

The knowledge that the world faced a deficit in food, that there existed an emergency which could be met only by the raising of more food, was apparent to every well-informed and thinking man and woman during the early months of 1917.

The author, wishing, as every patriot wished, to do a war work which was actually necessary, which was essentially practical, and which would most certainly aid in making the war successful, conceived the idea in March, 1917, of inspiring the people of the United States to plant war gardens in order to increase the supply of food without the use of land already cultivated, of labor already engaged in agricultural work, of time devoted to other necessary occupations, and of transportation facilities which were already inadequate to the demands made upon them.

In March, therefore, some weeks before the United States entered the war, he organized for this work a commission known as the National War Garden Commission.

What were the causes which led to the world’s lack of food and the need of a largely increased production by the United States to prevent world starvation? The same question could be posed in present time. What's happening now with our food supply? Most cities do not have adequate stores of food to meet the needs of even a short-term catastrophe. I do not believe shortages will necessarily be felt due to catastrophe, but rather, from economics and weather change.

It's time to be watchful of these things, and to plot a course for our own action in the face of such changes.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

On a treadmill at the gym is a good place to think

This morning, this was my thinking....

I am TIRED of hearing about health care reform, the bill, Democrats and Republicans, reconciliation, now deem and pass, but at the top of the list and beyond all other issues, about abortion relative to health care reform, Bart Stupak and his team, and I'm angry....that feeling of overheat in the solar plexus....that the potential and reality is that someone is assiduously working on legislation that would deny me and all of my gender the option of making my own decision on a personal issue. It rankles.

I have also been thinking about taxes, April 15th being now less than a month away. I have paid taxes in good faith in the past but I've lost faith and I no longer believe the government deserves my good faith offerings.

I found this:

(View the full page)

This is the government's view of the budget:

I don't support the military...wait a minute! I do!

What am I going to do? I don't know, honestly. How do I be true to myself in these times? It is likely that those in government are either blinded by money or do really believe what they are doing is right for all of us (I'm not so sure they would feel it's right for them if they really were on the receiving or compliance end of their legislations), and the people decrying abortion I am sure feel they are being true to themselves in their efforts against it.

How do we all be true to ourselves, make our statements, stand our stands, and still live together peacefully?

Ghandi said: "I have so much to do today, I will have to meditate two hours instead of one."

I have too much to think about today. . .I'm going to meditate.