If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies,
to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence. Justice Louis Brandeis, 1917

News — Views — Musings

view from space

Links to USA liberalism archives

Chicken little
Professor Peabody and his boy Sherman
Occasionally the wayback machine has to be cranked up to travel back in time for perspective on the news.
“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore, “and freezing . . .However,” he said brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”
For the last ten years or so, music has become a distinct object of study in the field of cognitive psychology. There has been an explosion in research activity This productivity has been stimulated by the idea that music offers a unique opportunity to understand the human mind. Indeed, like speech, music is complex and uniquely human. Since music data are systematic, relatively clear and accessible, it is theoretically and methodologically advantageous to study music as a way to study the mind. In other words, music may serve as a model of the human mind.
Isabelle Peretz and Jose Morais
Music and Modularity

Gulls at Rondeau Provincial Park
Click on the image to open a full sized version

Musings while Lookin’ out my back door

my mind is
a big hunk of irrevocable nothing which touch and taste and smell
and hearing and sight keep hitting and chipping with sharp fatal
in an agony of sensual chisels i perform squirms of Chrome and execute strides of cobalt
nevertheless i
feel that i cleverly am being altered that i slightly am becoming
something a little different, in fact
Herupon helpless i utter lilac shreiks of scarlet bellowings.

e e cummings ~Portraits XXV

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 7:43 AM

Sadly, we as progressives, seem to be the only adults in the room. We keep feeding the surrounding participants in this show teaspoons of information. Below is a scenario that can only happen on a prison planet.

 Louisiana prisoner freed after 41 years of solitary

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A 71-year-old Louisiana prisoner who spent 41 years in solitary confinement and is now dying of cancer was released late Tuesday from prison, his attorneys said.

Late Tuesday, U.S. District Chief Judge Brian Jackson in Baton Rouge denied the state's motion seeking to block his earlier order overturning Herman Wallace's 1974 murder conviction in the death of Angola guard Brent Miller.

Jackson had also ordered a new trial because women were unconstitutionally excluded from the grand jury that indicted Wallace in the guard's death. And, he ordered him immediately released.

Wallace's attorneys said the freed prisoner left a correctional center in St. Gabriel by ambulance Tuesday evening and was expected to go to LSU Interim Hospital in New Orleans for treatment of advanced terminal liver cancer.

"Tonight, Herman Wallace has left the walls of Louisiana prisons and will be able to receive the medical care that his advanced liver cancer requires," his legal team said in a statement.

Earlier Tuesday, Jackson overturned Wallace's 1974 murder conviction in Miller's death.

"The record in this case makes clear that Mr. Wallace's grand jury was improperly chosen in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of 'the equal protection of the laws' ... and that the Louisiana courts, when presented with the opportunity to correct this error, failed to do so," Jackson wrote.

2-oct-13 21:25


Contemporary artists often reenact this statement: Leon Trotsky, Literature and Revolution (1924): "Art, it is said, is not a mirror, but a hammer: it does not reflect, it shapes." The Punk Rock collection Pussy Riot must have been reading from the quote below. Then follow the link to the story about a medieval prince who had to eat humble pie. The quote is from Power and Privilege; A Theory of Social Stratification by Gerhard E. Lenski 1984 starting at page 256 and finishing with page 260

     Last but not least among the privileged elements in agrarian societies were that composed of the leaders of organized religion, the priestly class . . . When this class enjoyed the favor of the political elite, as some segment of it usually did, its opportunities for accumulating wealth were enormous. . .The holdings of the upper segment of the priestly class, though often extensive were seldom secure . . .  The highly variable fortunes of the priestly class were a reflection of its members' heavy involvement in politics, since only the political elite was capable of bestowing land and other forms of wealth in such lavish fashion, and only the political elite was capable of such massive confiscations. This involvement in politics points up the complementary character of the needs of the two classes. Each needed what the other, and only the other, could supply. For its part, the political elite badly needed the blessings of the priestly class. Only the latter could establish the legitimacy of a regime which constantly used its power to separate the common people from the major part of what they produced. The significance of this power to confer legitimacy is difficult to exaggerate.
`Pussy Riot
Pussy Riot was protesting, by entering the highest of the holy religious inner sanctums in Russia (please note the irony given Putin's past and the past history of every Russian Regime for the past 700 years) the link between support given to Putin's campaign by the Greek Orthodox Church.   


Powerful princes have bowed before Chief priests

Saturday, September 7, 2013 11:29

The Republican party may have started the awful phenomena I am going to discuss but the Democrats have gone along full force. Privatization of public services such as garbage collection, prison management and now spying shows that we have now entered the realm of some form of bastardized feudalism. Peter Ludlow at the New York Times outlines the latest move to Bastardized Feudalism-BF.

     If there is one thing we can take away from the news of recent weeks it is this: the modern American surveillance state is not really the stuff of paranoid fantasies; it has arrived.
     The revelations about the National Security Agency’s PRISM data collection program have raised awareness — and understandably, c concern and fears — among American and those abroad, about the reach and power of secret intelligence gatherers operating behind the facades of government and business.
     But those revelations, captivating as they are, have been partial —they primarily focus on one government agency and on the surveillance end of intelligence work, purportedly done in the interest of national security. What has received less attention is the fact that most intelligence work today is not carried out by government agencies but by private intelligence firms and that much of that work involves another common aspect of intelligence work: deception. That is, it is involved not just with the concealment of reality, but with the manufacture of it.

This topic is very important as it relates to power, distribution of power and goods and the destruction of representational, constitutional democracy; the key idea is the meaning of limited government and the guarantee contained in the constitution for a government based on republicanism. The key idea contained within republicanism centers around the affairs of state being openly transparent to the public rather than the private concerns of the rulers. Republicanism has been relegated to a secondary theme in discussions about politics. So first let us take up the primary footing or fundamental basis for political discussions in this country which center around a definition of democracy. Below follows some of the key elements of a democratic form of government.


There are myriad dimensions of the health care system, and it is easy to get overwhelmed by its sheer complexity. From a strategic perspective, however, the issues in health care can be divided into three broad areas. The firs is the cost of and access to health insurance. The second is standards for coverage, or the types of care that should be covered by insurance versus being the responsibility of the individual. the third is the structure of health carte delivery itself. All three areas are important. . .

While the vast majority of attention has been focused on insurance, we believe that the structure of health care delivery is the most fundamental issue. The structure of health care delivery drives the cost and quality of the entire system, and ultimately the cost of insurance and the amount of coverage that is feasible.

The fundamental problem in the U. S. health care system is that the structure of health care deilvery is broken. This is what all the data about rising costs and alarming quality are telling us. And the structure of health care delivery is broken because competition is broken. All of the well-intended reform movements have failed because they did not address the underlying nature of competition. ~Redefining Health Care; Creating value-based competition on resultsPorter, Teisberg 2006