Saturday, June 9, 2012

Some Folk, Some Misc., and Some Literary Items

Keeping with the Festival season that is upon us I surely hope that you will be tuned in to TRADITIONS this Sunday (3-6 PM ET) on WFDU 89,1 FM  ( ) (it is streamed there) as I (not the royal "we") talk of the upcoming festivals---Old Songs and Clearwater (Great Hudson River Revival).  Better than talk you will hear some of the great performers that will be performing.  Too many to list here but you can check the web-site of both venues.  There is a bit of a sample here now---

Ken Whiteley amongst so many great talents that will be there---Magpie, Kim/Reggie Harris, Holly Near to name just a sprinkling.   So,  tune in this Sunday to TRADITIONS and get the sampling and then get yourselves ----the whole anatomy (not just as the saying goes---your asses--to some of these great events.

One thing should be mentioned.  Clearwater is not truly a folk festival.  It is an Environmental Event and has great music of many genres while Old Songs (Altamount, NY) is a music festival.   I will have a pair of tickets for that venue on the program and if you tune it you may win them---well worth the price of listening (Free) and also the price of admission should you attend.

The literary items refer to my ongoing trek through the brilliant work by Rob't Caro. "The Passage of Power".  I am still amazed at the detail and erudition of the work and still make it so readable.  Over 600 pages that read like a well written mystery masterpiece and plays with our emotions throughout. It also made me think twice about another book, just published.  Power and Constraint.  This being the political season of Presidential elections and other major votes  it truly makes one think about the legacy of earlier candidates and holders of the office. 

Candidates run on their platforms and their presumed ideals.  Geo. W Bush has been much maligned for many things.  I am in line there as well.  Pres. Obama, frankly, on an national scale, if you will, has continued  some of those policies.  Think of Guantanamo, Trials of  the perpetrators of 9/11 attacks in military tribunals, and some other such matters. 

My point here is, while I support Pres. Obama for his leadership and pragmatism, I do feel that in those areas there is much hypocrisy.  I realize a Pres. has to do what he feels are the proper moves to carry out the nation's best interests.   At the same time one should also own up to that in a political campaign.

This brings me back to the Caro tome again.   Skipping over all the slights of The Kennedys to LBJ in his years as VP he took command and, frankly, agree or disagree, he did what had to be done.  At the time.   Later his policies on Viet Nam did prove to be his downfall.  With the help of the"brilliant" advice of his Secty of Defense.  McNamarra.   His slanted reports from his field commander in the fight..

All this must make us wonder of current history.   Invasion of Iraq---did W just want to show he could outdo his father? After all, Bush #1 had a plan and stopped when it was achieved.  W knew full well that the terrorists came from Afghanistan and yet with the misleading statements about WMDs (non-existent) in Iraq that was our target.   Now we are still mired in Afghanistan (as Johnny come-latelys) fighting and losing American (and NATO lives)  in an area who's culture and mores are so antiethical to ours.  We are not on a Crusade and we, surely,  cannot force our mores and culture on them.  Why should we.  It is abhorrent to us as, I assume, ours is to them.   Perhaps the best thing is to let our people depart, live, and let whatever hell the people of Afghanistan  get it is their problem.  Their Pres.  lives the high life and visits world leaders and his family is quite corrupt.   Perhaps that is contagious to him as well. 

Our wars, in earlier years, were, hopefully, well intentioned and meaningful.   WW2 was considered "The Good War"..   It was.   Certainly we and FDR  might have done more to avoid the Holocaust that ensued and, yet, we pulled it off and evil was destroyed.   What came later is open for much discussion.    We, however, have never dipped into the well of evil that such maniacs of the 3d Reich did.  Or the well of evil that we are now dipping into  in Afghanistan for purposes that are so antiethical to what our  beliefs  allegedly are.

Now, as to the misc. items.   Have you ever wondered about the efficiency of the IRS and the people who work there.   On the positive side.  The IRS sends the most friendly form letters.  On the negative side.  They send dunning letters even though their friendly letters say that they are still working on the issues. The issues---to explain---are their errors in putting in the wrong "key strokes" that added $10,000 in income (erroneously) .   I am sure they will resolve it since I spoke with an agent---after 30 minutes on "hold" on the "friendly" phone number supplied.  She agreed.   On the positive side---another pleasant letter saying to do nothing since they will contact me.  On the negative side---another letter asking for the money and penalties.  Now, it would be nice if one automated arm would communicate with another automated arm.

Do you think the Gates and Trumps of this world have these problems?


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