I like stories touching a number of subjects yet have never been quite nimble minded enough to delightfully relay them in conversation so I typically try to adequately relay them instead. Recent experiences demonstrate that even that modest goal lies outside my grasp nowadays. Maybe I will adequately touch several related subjects in this written effort—which seems at inception to be an incidental tribute to Jon Hendricks.
Jon's work is something that everyone can appreciate and be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day 2017—irrespective of the fact that his daughter Aria confirmed today to the New York Times that her father died yesterday at age 96 in a New York City hospital. This is everyone's loss.
Jon Hendricks is known as a jazz pioneer, singer, and lyricist who in 1957 partnered with Dave Lambert and Annie Ross to become "Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross" whose "High Flying" album took a 1962 Grammy for Best Performance by a Vocal Group. In 1996 the group was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as a much-deserved tribute to their first album "Sing a Song of Basie"—which could not have been created without Jon Hendricks' artistry.
Annie Ross left the group in 1962 so when Dave and Iola Brubeck's musical production called "The Real Ambassadors" debuted at Monterey Jazz Festival later that same year, "Lambert, Hendricks, and Bavan" were the featured group despite a promotional record album having been cut using the original group. Fortunately the album is still around and features Dave Brubeck and his accompanists, Louis Armstrong and his band, Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross, Carmen McCrae,and other amazing talent.
The Real Ambassadors was a pet project of Dave Brubeck's and an integral part of his personal war on racism. Louis Armstrong reputedly perceived the work to be an opera written expressly for him, which in essence it was. The effort was way ahead of its time and consequently buried prematurely as are many unfashionable things. In the sixties I learned about the promotional album from a friend and Brubeck aficionado whose father was a well known trumpeter and band leader and who consequently was "in the know".
Reviews following the 1962 Monterey Jazz Festival debut were laudatory and some who were present have said there were few dry eyes in the audience even among the more jaded critics. How wonderful it would be for Brubeck's work to eventually make it to broadway! His message is needed now as much as then. If you like jazz, I suggest grabbing a hard copy while they're still around.
In any case I'm thankful for many things including all this—for my friend, for Brubeck's work, the featured artists [especially Jon Hendricks today], the album's message, its potential rejuvenation, and all the good things that have and hopefully will come therefrom.
All works everywhere are still in process.
Associate Justice Brandeis noted in his 1914 "Olmstead versus the United States" dissent that "Our Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example." Nowadays America's foreign policy violence is worshipped and participants are billed as heroes despite current warfare being unnecessary, ill-advised, and ostensibly illegal under international law which cannot be enforced while the world's most powerful nation remains de facto rogue. U.S. domestic law enforcement violence too is recognized worldwide as excessive and the two are not unrelated. Both are emblematic of Brandeis' point. No wonder the country's mental health is debilitated
Mainstream media is complicit in promoting poor national mental health by not taking adversarial positions against these very real evils of government while educating the general public about shortcomings of hegemony and domination. Condoning savage policies of officialdom teaches disrespect for law and life while general adulation of war and impunity of law enforcement malefactors are constant American media messages teaching the impressionable that those in uniform are heroes under any circumstances and violent methodologies are entirely acceptable for dispute resolution, if not preferred. Entertainment media reflects and validates similar values. Sentient beings everywhere recognize that adulterated national mental health is the ultimate firearms issue in America and completely explains all statistical increases in mass shooting related issues.
Several seeds of Russia-phobia were flown across the Atlantic pond last week by an American panelist who quickly rooted them in Brussels. There a European Parliament discussion panel was to include John Kiriakou, the former CIA officer who commendably blew the whistle on CIA torture programs and subsequently suffered prison time for his gallant efforts. Eventually he received the prestigious Sam Adams award as de facto token respite.
RT reported that Kiriakou "'thought it was a joke' when Winnie Wong, co-founder of the progressive organization, People for Bernie, refused to appear on the panel with him, because 'she didn't want the appearance of Bernie Sanders appearing to endorse the Russian media'". Hmmm. Only because John hosts a popular radio show on Russian media outlet Sputnik? Interesting. (We hope you will take the time to read more detail using the above RT link.)
Maybe the Dems en masse are up to something. Like planning to ride an anti-Russia tide—however artificial—into and through upcoming election(s) as a prime strategy. Let's hope not. That's Hillary's ill-conceived baby which mostly benefits establishmentarian warhawks—who unfortunately hold the nation's policy reins these days, however unwarranted. On the other hand with delirium now rampant in MSM, Republicans too [politicians everywhere] are grabbing political capital by pointing at Russia. Regardless no one need lend credence to Hillary's ill-bred fantasies and paranoia by embracing them. Like Guatama Siddartha, the Buddha, says, "Three things cannot long stay hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth".
Today's anti-Russia frenzy was adroitly manufactured entirely from thin air using innuendo and hyped allegations without a single shred of credible evidence. Consequently it can only be short-lived. Since 1945 when the conscious decision was made to make Russia America's number one enemy and ever-present threat, times have changed. Nowadays communications are far more advanced, and technology is shrinking the world daily. Watchwords of the future are diplomacy, detente, mutual respect, and economic cooperation. War is becoming outmoded yet that is all the U.S. is well-accomplished in exporting.
And Deep State establishmentarians believe they can keep "undesirable" [well-researched, well-substantiated] narratives away from American eyes simply by demonizing RT and Russian media in general. Good luck with all that. That effort will probably be as successful as the 17 years spent "destroying all the terrorists" with activities that create terrorists and encourage terrorism.
Right now Congress' blessing is being sought to allow DoD to bomb anyone anywhere as long as DoD suspects possible terrorism—desiring a license to kill at will irrespective of international law which cannot be enforced anyway while the most powerful nation on earth is a rogue state.
Proud to be an American? Well at least you know you're free...
At the end of March 2017 Wikileaks published in its "Vault 7" repository what it calls the "Marble Framework" trove of purloined CIA documents. At that time we cursorily commented on the CIA's then-revealed sophisticated abilities to "hack" into computer systems worldwide and blame the episodes on others by counterfeiting germane network tracks.
Two weeks ater that valuable Wikileaks release, Symantec announced "with a high degree of confidence" that "Spying tools and operational protocols detailed in the recent Vault 7 leak have been used in cyberattacks against at least 40 targets in 16 different countries by a group Symantec calls Longhorn. Symantec has been protecting its customers from Longhorn's tools for the past three years and has continued to track the group in order to learn more about its tools, tactics, and procedures."
This certainly is not irrefutable proof that the CIA harbors global hackers but it is a better quality of proof than what the U.S. characteristically needs before dispensing sanctions, cruise missiles, bombs, or rockets against various demonized entities worldwide.
And today Wikileaks revealed that at least three instructive "how to do it" examples contained in "Hive" related purloined CIA documents can be used to blame hacking episodes on the Russian-owned Kaspersky Labs, makers of high-quality Internet security software. Tonight we searched both Google and Bing for this news and found nothing significant on the first page of either site's search results.
Nevertheless Wikileaks has an unblemished track record of providing authentic documents, so there can be little doubt that Kapersky as a scapegoat has been in "intelligence" sights for quite a while, and we know that multiple unsupported narratives from multiple "intelligence" sources become fashionably believable with mainstream media's complicity whether witting or unwitting—especially against Russian entities..
Nowadays the CIA is wildly blaming everything undesirable on Russia—as they have since the end of WWII after the U.S. government vividly produced, for the first time at Hiroshima and hopefully the last time at Nagasaki, horrendously unsurpassed mass killing demonstrations for the world to ponder.
Some believe U.S. "intelligence" communities continue to operate with stone-age mindsets inside high-tech milieus. It seems to us that worldwide trends are subtly leaning toward intra-planetary transparency with secrecy becoming less desirable and evermore difficult to maintain while the light of truth and cooperation for greater good gradually mature as ultimately desirable attributes everywhere.
Hopefully major injustices perpetually evident between earthlings will eventually unfold as near-term fads.
Our readers know that we have an affinity for RT as a news organization and we have reported a number of times about RT's relative superiority when compared to western news outlets.
Yesterday Steve Keen "Australian economist and author ... professor and Head of the School of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University in London" agreed with us in spades. It's a great read.
It seems to us that credible investigators earnestly seeking truth about alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election have concluded en masse that Russian actions to date were no more focused, effective, or consequential in this election than in any past U.S. election. Political interests have provided hype.
We all know with reasonable certainty that there was no "hack" of the DNC emails by anyone at all, especially Russia, and even Robert Mueller's high-powered investigatory commission has, for all practical purposes, come up empty handed in seeking evidence of collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian interests.
So what's all the Russian hubbub about? PR opportunism is the short answer.
Hillary's psychological need to assign blame elsewhere for her election defeat was the ostensible genesis. A principled Director of National Intelligence could have nipped that narrative in the bud but prevaricating James Clapper, enormously indebted to Barack Obama, decided to side with the Democratic establishment in fanning the flames of innuendo until—like that "Wag the Dog" movie—mainstream western media "caught on" and began reporting Russian interference and alleged, unsubstantiated conspiracy as fact.
Today despite sketchy substantive evidence regarding Russian placement of U.S. campaign ads, and despite incomplete examination of facts surrounding such episodes, even U.S. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell impetuously and frivolously called for weaponizing Internet social media in order to help the U.S. "retaliate" against a sovereign state for activities which currently seem relatively innocuous and of uncertain origin. In any case placing campaign ads of questionable veracity is as American as apple pie and the quantity and exposure of the ads in question eventually will be shown inconsequential—just as Russian expenditures on those same ads proved inconsequential.
Accusatory innuendo is Yanqui specialty and used by the U.S. worldwide to manufacture enemies and promote unnecessary warfare—blame someone for anything which sells for public support, then, without substantive proof, bomb and/or extort the accused into submission. It's the American way.
In all likelihood one more characteristically specious narrative is not going to improve America's perpetually tarnished international image. It will however keep American citizens' attention diverted from those who most need scrutiny.
Somehow in these unstable times [wherein the U.S. remains as Dr King surmised roughly 50 years ago: "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today"] it might be refreshing to open November with pleasant thoughts of hope underpinned with beliefs that uncommon common people acting in concert can and will eventually change nations and the world.
Toward such uplifting thoughts we choose to present a short but encouraging Democracy Now video created August 09, 2013.. In it host Amy Goodman talks with both legendary folk singer, Pete Seeger, and with Oren Lyons, faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation—two wise men devoted to humanity and peaceful living.
For full enjoyment and memorable experience we recommend taking the time to watch the 18 minute video rather than just scanning the text.
Additionally if you have an hour and love and admire Pete Seeger as much as we do then you might want to visit this page and enjoy Democracy Now's 2014 tribute to Pete after his death in January 2014 at age 94—everyone's loss.
The only constant is change, so let's press on, working toward better outcomes.