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Silence is not neutrality.

Silence is not a shield.

Silences relinquishes your voice and opinion to others, enabling those who seek power through division, disunity and deceptions.

Silence is the approval that allows dark deeds to exist in this world.

Silence is complicity to the darkness.

In things that matter, silence is surrender. 

 

 

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Now We Know

This quote from the poet Maya Angelou has been floating around for some time. I think it’s a pretty powerful statement of a universal truth, especially on this particular morning.

Though there was never much doubt, we all positively now know what we are dealing with in this country.

Call it what you will– racism, nativism, moral bankruptcy and an ignorance of history along with a general lack of intelligence– but it sure as hell isn’t patriotism. No, this morning the mask is completely off and the barely disguised dog whistles have become megaphones.

And those that respond to the call of that megaphone can no longer claim they don’t know. By standing with this administration, they are revealing who they really are.

And when they show me who they are, I will believe them.

No doubt at all.

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Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Alfred Lord Tennyson
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That’s a resolution I think many of us would happily accept for this new year.

Here’s a little music from the late great Johnny Otis. You most likely know him best for Willie and the Hand Jive but if you get a chance take a look at his bio sometime. An interesting guy. This is his Happy New Year Baby.

So, have yourself a good day and may 2018 mark the return of the power of truth. Happiness and peace to you in this New Year.

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Been taking a little hiatus but still wanted to post something today, maybe just a simple song. I spent quite a bit of time this morning listening to music on YouTube, doing that thing where you keep choosing an obscure but somehow related video on the right side, seeing how far it can lead you down a twisting rabbit hole of oddball songs and forgotten genres. I heard a lot of songs I haven’t heard in years, some good and some not so much.

It was going pretty well and I thought I had my choice when out of the blue, the YouTube algorithm turned up this song from 1979’s Monty Python’s Life of Brian. I knew I had my choice for the day. During the Falklands War in 1982, the British naval ship HMS Sheffield was hit and sunk by an Argentine missile. As the crew was waiting to be rescued, the crew broke out singing this song and it has become tradition among British troops in dire situations.

So whether it’s sinking ship or a nation stumbling along at the end of an odd year, it might be the right song for the day. It made me feel better this morning. Feel free to sing or whistle along…

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I wanted to play a Christmas song for this week’s Sunday music and thought I’d replay a song that first ran here back in 2009. It’s Must Be Santa from Bob Dylan. It’s a great song, a polka with a klezmer feel and in the the entertaining video you get the bonus of seeing Dylan dance. Good fun for the day before Christmas.

While looking for an photo or two to accompany this post, I browsed through masses of images of Santas from the past and was amazed how many of them crossed that line into outright creepiness. It made me believe that Santa is just about on par with clowns in creep factor. You might see a rogue clown in the woods but Santa is, simply put, a bearded home intruder ( and flamboyant dresser) who slides down your chimney in the dark of night. He knows when you are sleeping, for god’s sake!

I picked a few that are pretty strange. I left out some that actually made me cringe and feel a little queasy. I have a feeling that many of their photos are also in some sort of registry somewhere.

Anyway, enjoy the song and have a good holiday evening. And don’t worry about the weird old man hovering around your home tonight…

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Greed

The financial catastrophe of 2008 nearly precipitated a calamitous economic depression, jolting America and much of the West into a sudden recognition of their systemic vulnerability to unregulated greed.

Zbigniew Brzezinski

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How did we not learn our lesson? Did we forget this soon?

But it seems we have forgotten that greed without regulation is a voracious beast, leaving us now to live in a time of unbridled and shameless greed with no end in sight.

Oh, it’s nothing new. Greed is as old as mankind and was the basis for the rise of most kingdoms and empires. But what we are experiencing now, as in the Republican Congress’ cash-stuffed love gift to big business that they claim is tax reform, has been building for the past 30-some years, since the first blotch of trickle-down economics stained our national fabric, to this crescendo of pure avarice where the Republicans in Congress have given up even trying to hide their thirst for more and more.

Their bald-faced lies, the deaf ears they turn to their constituents, the denials of any evidence that disproves their claims and the paltry bread crumbs they symbolically throw to the masses is an abomination, a direct insult to the people of this country.

Plain and simple, it is filth.

But until we stand united against this filthy greed, the greater part of the populace will suffer and pay for the greed of the few. This will deepen and continue until it is no longer sustainable.

And the cycle of greed is never sustainable. And when it is comes to an end there will be a great reckoning, one that I fear will be as ugly as anything this country as ever witnessed.

And we have seen some great ugliness.

I apologize for this riff this morning. There are no answers here outside of advising you to stay engaged and enraged. I know that’s a hard thing to sustain but we have no choice. As tired and frustrated as I am now, the anger I feel as I watch our country being played the fool while its pockets are being picked fuels me. Knowing that we are setting the table for a great suffering, one that the short-sighted refuse to see, and not caring is unacceptable.

 

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Crimson Tide

Decency wins.

It’s been about a year now and a great part of the American people is finally recognizing that the country has been led directly into a deeper and darker swamp than they had thought possible.

We once believed that this country held the moral high ground with promises of equality, justice and opportunity for all. But that high ground has sunk into an ugly filth that has all but obliterated the line between decency and indecency, between the ethical and the unethical, between what is normal and abnormal and between what is true and what is false.

It’s seems so filthy that we can no longer tell right from wrong.

Yesterday’s election in Alabama was a small step out of that mire.

There is fresh air and a renewed energy. Hope. But we are still waist deep in it and there is a feeling that we are still in peril of being forever immersed in the muck unless we keep trudging out of this mess– together.

This is perhaps the most important moment for the future of our country and we cannot afford to relax and assume that others will watch out for our common good. Involve yourself, involve others and do the right things.

Because if we do that, decency will continue to win.

That being said, I had the chorus from Deacon Blues from Steely Dan running through my head as I walked to the studio in the dark this morning: They got a name for the winners in the world/I want a name when I lose/They call Alabama the Crimson Tide/Call me Deacon Blues

It has nothing to do with the election but I feel a little better about things because of those folks in Alabama. Thanks, Crimson Tiders. Here’s the song:

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