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The Purple Muse

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Welcome to the web site of The Purple Muse.  We offer commentary and opinion on the major issues being debated in our world today.

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Devil's Chessboard

If any of my readers are interested in obtaining a better understanding of the life and times of Allen Dulles, the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency during the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations, I suggest you read David Talbot's new book, The Devil's Chessboard - Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America's Secret Government.  I have no doubt that as you read the book you will experience a range of emotions depending on your political perspective on the US political and economic scene in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. 

Allen Dulles is one of the most important government figures in our national history and most US citizens know nothing about him.  Some people have heard of Dulles International Airport which serves the Washington, DC area.  The airport is named after John Foster Dulles, the older brother of Allen Dulles, and former Secretary of State under President Eisenhower.  Allen Dulles was one of the original Cold Warriors, an extremely powerful man that oversaw the development of the CIA into an extremely powerful military/intelligence organization. 

Talbot explains how the Dulles brothers began their careers as Wall Street lawyers dedicated to serving America's largest banks and corporations as they expanded their business around the world.  Allen Dulles became part of the US government intelligence community before World War II.  Even as the US was fighting Nazi Germany Allen Dulles was developing relationships with key Nazis that he would establish in the US and German intelligence community as part of his effort to engage the communists in the USSR and other European nations.  Dulles was an important figure in the OSS, the predecessor to the CIA under Roosevelt and Truman. 

Talbot tells the Dulles story during this entire period.  I believe Talbot is telling the truth about what happened.  President Eisenhower lost control of the Dulles led CIA during his eight years in office.  It is hard to believe some of the actions that were taken by our government that were outright evil but justified at the time as protecting our nation from Communists.  We can trace many of the issues we are dealing with today to the actions Allen Dulles took in the 1950s.  Who benefited from many of Dulles actions?  The banks and corporations that were the Dulles brothers clients when they were Wall Street lawyers. 

When John F. Kennedy was elected President he made the decision to keep Allen Dulles as Director of the CIA.  Talbot explains how JFK and his brother Robert began the process of changing the fundamental direction of the nation.  Allen Dulles and his long time "sponsors" despised JFK and the direction he was headed.  Talbot provides substantial evidence that Allen Dulles, after being fired by JFK from his job, was the central figure that organized the operation that resulted in President Kennedy's assassination.  After all the information I have received on this topic and discussed in detail on this site, I believe Talbot's conclusion is correct.  Until the final classified documents on this topic are released by the government we will not know absolutely for sure, and maybe not even then.  But the weight of the evidence that has been developed for over 50 years by many researchers supports Talbot's conclusions. 

Part of the title of the book is "the Rise of America's Secret Government".  There is no doubt that during the administrations of Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy, the President of the United States couldn't control the actions of intelligence organizations that appeared to march to the directions of a different drummer, namely banks and very large corporations.  Has anything really changed since then?  Who is really controlling US policy around the world?  Is it the President of the United States and his advisor's?  Or does part of our government respond directly to the desires of others? 

I hope we have put the "Secret Government" behind us, but who knows what is really happening.  Has anything really changed in the past 50 years.  Is The Devil's Chessboard even more complex today?

TPM

9:20 pm          Comments

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Return of Lew Archer

As the holiday season approached I decided to reach back into my personal library and reread another series of books that I originally purchased in paperback form in the 1970s, the Lew Archer private detective novels.  The eighteen Lew Archer novels were initially published by Ross Macdonald, the main pseudonym used by American-Canadian author Kenneth Millar, between 1949 and 1976.  Lew Archer is based in Southern California and the stories reflect the times the author is living in.  The series begins a few years after the end of World War II and reflects the Los Angeles as it existed during that period.  In some respect reading the early Lew Archer novels is like reading a history book. 

I plan on reading all eighteen of Lew Archer novels in the months ahead.  Here are the books of the Lew Archer series of novels and the copyright dates. 

The Moving Target - 1949  Reread 2015

The Drowning Pool - 1950  Reread 2015

The Way Some People Die - 1951 Reread 2016

The Ivory Grin - 1952 Reread 2016

Find a Victim - 1954 Reread 2016

The Barbarous Coast - 1956 Reread 2016

The Doomsters - 1958

The Galton Case - 1959

The Wycherly Woman - 1961

The Zebra-Striped Hearse - 1962

The Chill - 1964

The Far Side of the Dollar - 1965

Black Money - 1966

The Instant Enemy - 1968

The Goodbye Look - 1969

The Underground Man - 1971

Sleeping Beauty - 1973

The Blue Hammer - 1976 

These books are one of the best series of crime novels ever written.  I salute Ross Macdonald for his great works about the life and times of Lew Archer, private detective.  It is a pleasure to read them again. 

TPM 

8:05 pm          Comments

Sunday, December 20, 2015

People, Power, Profits

As the United States presidential primary season approaches we are subjected to presidential candidate debates, debate analysis by the media (much of which shows extreme bias) and the dissemination of misinformation of all types.  Do we really know much about how the candidates will act should they become President of the United States in January 2017.  From prior experience we know that much of what candidates promise in election campaigns is forgotten once they are elected.  Since all presidents must deal with Congress on many of the issues they must address, how can we judge how the combination of the new President and the new Congress will act on any particular issue.  Since we know that many, if not most, members of Congress, are puppets for the interests that funded their election campaigns, how can we rationally anticipate what will happen once our new leaders are elected?  Is there any candidate we can trust? 

As all of us consider who we want to support during the election season I think it is useful to look back at some of the history of our country.  I have commented on many books on www.thepurplemuse.com that provided historical perspective on the actions of our government.  Any honest person has to ask themselves: What were the leaders of our government thinking during most of the past 100 years of our nations history?  Many of the actions that have been taken don't appear to reflect the values of our nation.  Has US government propaganda misinformed and confused the majority of the American people? 

I recently finished reading Profit Over People - Neoliberalism and Global Order by Noam Chomsky.  The book was originally published in 1999 and is comprised of seven chapters of material created by Chomsky between 1994 and 1998, during President Clinton's administration (how ironic!).  Chomsky is a well known as an extreme liberal progressive and his views on the issues addressed in the book are presented from this perspective.  Many moderate or right wing individuals might wish to dismiss the issues Chomsky writes about simply because of his perspective.  However, the issues Chomsky addresses are real.  The issues impact the lives of millions of people in countries around the world.  If we don't agree with Chomsky's perspective, how do we think the issues should be addressed. 

There are many issues discussed in the book.  I have chosen two of them to discuss in this blog.  In 1981 a USAID-World Bank development strategy was initiated in Haiti "based on assembly plants and agroexport, shifting land from food for local consumption" for the benefit of private enterprises.  The most important economic objectives for any society are to be self sufficient with regard to food production and to provide access to clean drinking water.  I understand from a variety of sources that the US advised a number of countries to reallocate land and labor from food production for local consumption to other uses.  This makes no sense to me for any society or nation at any level of development.  Did the US government really do this?  If yes, why?  

Another issue Chomsky addresses in his book relates to the negotiation of trade deals.  He makes a very interesting statement.  "The so-called free trade agreements are one such device for undermining democracy."  Chomsky expresses deep concerns that trade agreements aren't fully debated within our democratic system.  It is ironic that this issue is currently being debated again in relation to the Trans-Pacific Partnership which was developed in secret by the Obama administration.  Who should have a voice in negotiating trade agreements?  What factors should be addressed?  These are legitimate questions that haven't been appropriately answered during the past 16 years since Profit Over People was written. 

If you think that I am a left winger like Chomsky, you are incorrect.  I disagree with many of the points in this book and others that Chomsky has written.  I believe Chomsky view of business and the corporate world is grossly distorted.  But there is no question that the US government and some US corporations have abused people and committed illegal or immoral acts in their quest for power and profits at different times in our history.  There is simply too much evidence to deny that this is true.  

During the next election cycle we must all work together to elect a group of leaders that can work together for the benefit of all Americans.  We have major problems that must be addressed.  We must create a effective balance between people issues, government power and corporate quest for profits within the context of our constitution.  This is a very hard task, but we must try harder to make progress in the years ahead. 

TPM

11:26 pm          Comments

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

DISCLOSURE

I have just added a new article titled DISCLOSURE, http://thepurplemuse.com/id62.html, to my web site.  This article is my commentary on the incredible work of Dr. Steven M. Greer on the subject of Extra-Terrestrials, advanced technology and related illegal activities of the US government spanning decades.  It is imperative that everyone interested in helping to solve the major problems impacting our world today get involved in Dr. Greer's work. 

So far our political class has been unwilling to challenge the elites of the military-industrial complex controlling the most important information of our times.  The combined efforts of the citizens of the US will be needed to change the direction of our government and the world.

TPM

11:17 pm          Comments

Friday, November 6, 2015

A People's History of the United States

I just finished reading Howard Zinn's National Bestseller, A People's History of the United States.  Zinn's book was copyrighted a number of times between 1980 and 2003.  Anyone that wants to obtain a more complete appreciation the history of the United States should read Zinn's book.  While the book is labeled as a different view of US history, the book is actually a interwoven combination of history, social commentary and political theory.  Zinn focuses on the history of those groups, racial, ethnic and gender, that have been oppressed by rich and the powerful white European ancestry males during our history beginning with Columbus.  Zinn's socialist leanings are evident throughout the book, particularly during his commentary on the history of the 20th century in the United States. 

For those people that are not left leaning on the current US political scale, Zinn's very left leaning commentary may be bothersome, but it should not be.  The descriptions of troubling moments in our history that Zinn's includes in his book are true.  I have read or heard about many of these moments in other material in the past.  Zinn does all of us a favor by accumulating them in one book.  There is no doubt that many US leaders, political and business, have been involved in serious abuses of human rights since the beginning.  Zinn does a great job in pointing out the failings of many famous, well respected US leaders.  But Zinn's history doesn't account for the development of the economic prosperity that citizens of the US have experienced and why the US has been a magnet for immigrants from all over the world.  Zinn doesn't fully discuss how the US developed its economy into the strongest in the world.  Zinn doesn't discuss how the US has created more wealth for more people than any nation in the history of the world.  Zinn never acknowledges that the US government is the best of a number of bad options.  Zinn doesn't acknowledge that that there are no economically successful socialist nations.  There is no heterogeneous population of significant size anywhere in the world that has more freedom and economic opportunity than people have in the US.  Like many social activists Zinn doesn't appear to appreciate the positives, he is locked on what he perceives to be the negatives of the US. 

In the Afterward of the book Zinn states the following: "But there is no such thing as a pure fact, innocent of interpretation.  Behind every fact presented to the world - by a teacher, a writer, anyone - is a judgement.  The judgement that has been made is that this fact is important, and that other facts, omitted, are not important."  Zinn also states: "There were themes of profound importance to me which I found missing in the orthodox histories that dominated American culture.  The consequence of those omissions has been not simply to give a distorted view of the past but, more important, to mislead us all about the present."  These statements are absolutely true.  The fact that they are true is the reason why I recommend everyone read A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn. 

We all need to better understand how Americans got to where we are today  Zinn helps fill in some of the blanks.  Each of us needs to determine how we apply our knowledge of American history to our present and future.  My guess is that we all need to know more than we have learned to date.

TPM

7:08 pm          Comments

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