Favorite Artists

  • Cake
  • Calexico
  • Chet Baker
  • Craig Finn
  • Dave Alvin
  • Eels
  • Elvis Perkins
  • EmmyLou Harris
  • Gerry Mulligan
  • Jackson Browne
  • JJ Cale
  • Joe Henry
  • John Hiatt
  • Maria Callas
  • Mary Gauthier
  • Morphine
  • Neil Young
  • Robert Earl Keen
  • Roddy Woomble
  • Roger Waters
  • Sam Baker
  • Van Morrison
  • Wilco
  • Wynton Marsailles
  • Yo Yo Ma

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

For A Dancer

"Keep a fire for the human race
  Let your prayers go drifting into space
  You never know what will be coming down
  Perhaps a better world is drawing near
  And just as easily it could all disappear
  Along with whatever meaning you might have found
  Don't let the uncertainty turn you around
  (the world keeps turning around and around)
  Go on and make a joyful sound."            

Into a dancer you have grown
From a seed somebody else has thrown
Go on ahead and throw some seeds of your own
And somewhere between the time you arrive
And the time you go
May lie a reason you were alive
But you'll never know.                                     For A Dancer- Jackson Browne


On this, the Fourth of July, 2012, Kris Kristofferson's words resonate. He is a West Point educated former Vietnam vet and truly a renaissance man. 

We Americans are losing our freedoms at an alarming rate, but most of us still think we have much to lose if we stand up for what were our rights. We have a presidency and a Congress that now looks for all intents and purposes like an Aristocracy. Our King president can now decide, unilaterally, to assassinate whomever, including Americans, he decides is a threat. Imagine Nixon with that imputed power. Think your emails and phone calls are private? Guess again. London has installed an incredible number of cameras for the Olympics. Good for security. Raise your hand if you think the cameras will be dismantled, at least a fair amount of them, after the Olympics are over.

Out upcoming election is a choice between a wanna be Oligarch and a born and bred Oligarch. Mitt Romney is either the dumbest candidate ever ir the most arrogant as the extent of his offshore holdings has been revealed. I don't hink he's dumb. http://tinyurl.com/6m49ve8

The Euro Heads of State have demonstrated that austerity leads to an economic downward spiral that safeguards the banks at the expense of the public. I don't think the Euro Heads of State are dumb either. 

The Elites have reached the stage where they fear being left behind in the extraction of wealth more than they fear the reaction of the proletariate. I guess they figure they can buy islands like Larry Ellison or otherwise find retreats that safeguard them from the reactions of the masses. The critical question for the Elites is how much control can they really exert in a world that is armed to the teeth? Thanks to the NRA, supported and most likely controlled by the US arms manufacturers, there is a boundless supply of arms that can be delivered in short order anywhere in the world, and probably would be by our putative friends like the Saudis, or our non-friends like Iran should things get to that in the US.

I am not advocating any kind of armed rebellion, here in the US or elsewhere. I just think there are limits to how far down a people can be pushed before the figure they have nothing left to lose. I'd suggest that there is a correlation between youthful unemployment and revolt. The young, with no real future, are the ones who will rise up. Keep an eye on Italy, France and Greece in that regard.

What is so cruelly ironic is that we have the means to forment change peacefully in the US...elections. While the Oligarchs use every weapon they can to stifle free elections, or to control the outcomes, there still remains the means for taking control. The Tea Party showed the power of a cohesive group to force change. 

We no longer have a democratic military, democratic in that there was a draft. I don't know about you, but I have a difficult time thinking of our armed forces in the same way as when we had a draft, just as I think of a civilian victim of violence differently from a police victim. The police volunteer, are trained to protect themselves and armed appropriately, and paid to do their job. I am thankful for their service. I just don't think of their sacrifice the same way as, say, those who were drafted to serve in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. And judging from the way our current crop of returning military folk are treated, most Americans don't either.

(If one of my grandkids decides to join the military I would insist that they read two books: Catch 22 and Mattahorn.  http://tinyurl.com/7nzszbl
It would not be a bad idea for anyone to read them to get an idea of the folly and the majesty of battle. Or perhaps Slaughter House 5 .)

Here's to all who have served our Country, the living and the dead. May your service not have been in vain.


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