Whom shall we blame?

Are the Jews and Capitalists really to blame for all our troubles?

But it must be said. So what’s new? As Tom Leher noted ” everybody hates the Jews.”

Jews are hardworking, well-educated and successful (by and large) SO they must be stealing more than their share of the pie so say the anti-Semites.

I have always believed (unlike Marx) that inventors, innovators, producers of goods and services, financial and business managers WHO MAKE MONEY and WHO CREATE WEALTH deserve, in most cases) they money they make and the wealth they create benefits society.

In my own hum drum life I have achieved modest investments and a modest estate but by George I EARNED IT THROUGH SAVINGS, THROUGH SMART INVESTMENTS and HARD WORK.

I never had it easy. As a first generation American I had no great inherited wealth and most importantly no ins or connections to help me along.

But it never occurred to me to blame others. If I couldn’t get a decent job in NYC or Washington DC I decided to move and try other things which is what I did. I didn’t sleep on my mother’s couch and cry in my beer and hate and resent “all the Jews”.

I thought, instead, ” What decisions are friends and acquaintances making that I could emulate? What am I doing that is insufficient or wrong? ” 

Jonathan Tobin Great article.

AND KEEP SAYING IT. Maybe a few people will wake up and take charge of their OWN COUNTRIES and their OWN LIVES.

New Rob Reed and Peter Jones Project, CYAN

Magenta’s Rob Reed and Camel’s Peter Jones come together to resurrect the band CYAN with reimagined and reworked material from the band’s debut album.
 CYAN features Luke Machin, Pete Jones, Dan Nelson
New album ‘For King and Country’ due out on Sept 24th
Keyboardist and composer Rob Reed, known for his work with Magenta, Kompendium and Sanctuary solo albums, is pleased to announce a brand-new album from Cyan – For King and Country, due out on the 24th of September 2021. 
Prior to Magenta, almost 30 years ago, Reed release three albums with his then band Cyan. Out of the ashes of that band, Magenta was borne.  Now, on this new Cyan album, Reed has rewritten, rerecorded and reimagined material from the early days of Cyan, and this time with a brilliant new lineup. The group features vocalist Pete Jones (Camel, Tiger Moth Tales), guitarist Luke Machin (Maschine, The Tangent), and bassist Dan Nelson (Godsticks, Magenta).  The band will be playing their first show at Summers End Festival, Sunday, Oct. 3rd
The album is available for pre-order here:
Watch the video for the 15-minute opening track and first single “The Sorceror” here: https://youtu.be/x578hquw9nw
Rob Reed on the new album:  “Little did I know in 1983, sitting at the school piano writing these songs, that almost 40 years later those same songs would sound like they do on this album. I remember the original Cyan, made up of school mates, pooling our money, £35 to record them at a local 4 track studio with basic equipment. It’s been amazing to finally hear the songs at their full potential, with modern recording techniques and an amazing line up of players.
“I’d held off releasing this album because I couldn’t find a vocalist to do it justice. Meeting Pete ticked that box, as soon as I heard him sing the first track. His voice just blends so good against Angharad Brinn, who I’d worked with on the Sanctuary solo albums. Having Luke play the guitar parts was just the icing on the cake. He is such a great player, with technique and feel. What a line up!”
Pete Jones had this to say about the project: “I had known about the reworking of For King And Country for a while, so it was a great thrill to be asked by Rob to work with him on the project, alongside the other amazing musicians such as Luke and Angharad. The songs are fantastic. They have a youthful and yet vintage quality to them, as well they might, given that they were first done in the early 90s. But with the benefit of Rob’s experience, they have been reworked into an album which I feel is right up there with the classics.”
1.The Sorceror
2.Call Me
3.I Defy The Sun
4.Don’t Turn Away
6.Man Amongst Men
7.Night Flight
8.For King and Country
Featured in photo:
Rob Reed
Dan Nelson
Luke Machin
Jimmy Griffiths
Peter Jones
Magenta/CYAN/TigerMothTales Website

Thoughts on Afghanistan from an anonymous military officer

I found this over at Instapundit this morning, and I won’t copy the whole thing here so as to drive the traffic to them they deserve. I will leave a few choice quotes from the piece though – but you should go read the whole thing. Nevertheless, this is a great critique of our current military “leadership” (yes, the quotes are intentional and mean what you think they mean), with some critiques of the politicians thrown in. I’m not sure if there is any difference between the two at this point.

We should blame President Bush, not for the decision to attack into Afghanistan following 9-11, but for his decision to “shift the goalposts” and attempt to reform Afghanistan society. That was a fool’s errand any student of history would have recognized. And yes, we should place blame on President Obama for his decision to double down on failure when he “surged” in Afghanistan, rather than to withdraw.

However, most of the blame belongs to the leadership of the US military, and the Army in particular. The Washington Post’s “Afghanistan Papers” detailed years of US officials failing to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan, “making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.” That report was two years ago, and the stories within it began more than a decade before that. Afghanistan was, and always will be, “unwinnable”.

In fact, Afghanistan was worse than Vietnam in that at least the Vietnam War was tangentially related to the effort to stop the global spread of communism during the Cold War. Afghanistan was worse than Vietnam in another respect: the military’s leaders of the Vietnam era had no precedent to dissuade them from a disastrous path. Today’s military leadership has the precedent of not just Vietnam, but also Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. That much obtuseness must be punished and removed from the system.

Let me conclude with one last thought: the generals, the intelligence analysts, the defense contractors, and the pundits all leveraged America’s rarest resource: the American serviceman and woman. They are the ones who fought, and sweat, and bled, and died for what is now clearly a failed strategy and a doomed mission. Even after its failure was apparent to their leaders, they continued to enlist and reenlist, largely because their superiors—the experts—assured them that success was possible. It was not. It never was. Absent American support, Afghanistan collapsed over the length of a long weekend. That is proof enough that the last 20 years were in vain, and proof enough that the system is broken from within.

As I said, hit the link and go read the whole thing.

In praise of hard working youth and men.

by Richard K. Munro

The kind who do the dirty, dangerous jobs no one wants to do.


“The sacrifices Marines make on behalf of freedom must never go unnoticed or unappreciated.”
Commandant of the Marine Corps David H. Berger
NE OBLIVISCARIS…do not forget
US soldiers stand guard as Afghan people wait at the Kabul airport in Kabul on August 16, 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan’s 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city’s airport trying to flee the group’s feared hardline brand of Islamist rule. (Photo by Wakil Kohsar / AFP)

Right now one of the dirtiest and most dangerous jobs is security at Kabul Air Port. There are US Marines there, US Airborne, British, Turkish and Australian forces. 97% are probably men though in the support sevices, today on board ships and in rear echelons there are a smattering of young brave women too. Sometimes they too are in harm’s way. I know because a Hispanic woman Marine (MP) was killed in Iraq. I have lived and worked in Bakesfield (mostly rural Kern County) for over 30 years. I have personally known hundreds of young people (95% male) go into the military. Many came to see me after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. Many were decorated. Some were critically wounded. Some whom I knew by name and had long conversations with made the supreme sacrifice.

One Marine I knew came back to attend his grandfather’s funeral. He had already completed two combat tours in Iraq. I met him as he marched down the rural highway to the 500-acre national cemetery near Bakersfield, California. It is located near Arvin, California about 25 miles east of SR 99. The young Marine returned to duty and was killed only a few weeks later. NE OBLIVISCARIS….do not forget.


Archibald Macleish (1940)

Nevertheless they are heard in the still houses: who has not heard them?

They have a silence that speaks for them at night and when the clock counts.

They say, We were young. We have died. Remember us.

They say, We have done what we could but until it is finished it is not done.

They say, We have given our lives but until it is finished no one can know what our lives gave.

They say, Our deaths are not ours: they are yours: they will mean what you make them.

They say, Whether our lives and our deaths were for peace and a new hope or for nothing we cannot say: it is you who must say this.

They say, We leave you our deaths: give them their meaning: give them an end to the war and a true peace: give them a victory that ends the war and a peace afterwards: give them their meaning.

The young dead soldiers do not speak. [Washington, 194-]. | Library of Congress (loc.gov)

Yes, the Tommies and the Robertos and the Joes and Nato Turkish Askers or Mustaphas (may Allah protect them) are still out on the job stoically doing their duty to their Regiments, the Corps and the Colors of their nations. Some one always stays. Someone gets the job done. I thank God for them all. I pray for them and remember them with gratitude. NE OBLIVISCARIS…do not forget. It’s not just their lives they are risking but their young manhood and limbs and sight and health. Remember that. I remember the stories of the Princess Louise Scottish Hospital for Limbless Sailors and Soldiers (Erskin House). My Scottish grandmother, my father, my aunt and uncle visited many times 1917-1923. They visited friends and comrades of my grandfather. They visited blood relatives (my grandmother’s nephews among them). For many the Great War did not end in 1918 or 1919 but in 1920 (many died of the Spanish Flu) , 1923, 1927, 1931 and some into the 1940s. NE OBLIVISCARIS. These were the orignal “basket cases”. Those who could speak and see considered themselves the lucky ones. They could hear music. People could read to them. Some were from the Royal Navy but the majority were infantryman from the Scottish Regiments of old such as the HLI (Highland Light Infantry). Argylls, Black Watch, Cameron’s, Seaforths, The Gordons etc. Now most of these regiments are part of Yesterday’s Seven Thousand years and are fading in memory.

Erskine House in Glasgow circa 1917

NB The author is right to mention Latinos as a big part of our labor force in construction, agriculture, mining, restaurnts and the hospitality industry. He says ” This is not to slight the Latino contribution to hard and dangerous work, especially in the Southwest, but Latinos are not the ones whose demise is being celebrated.” When I worked in the construction industry (chiefly in Washington State) 99% of the workers were White Males from the ages of 17-45. I will never forget the 40 some workers who migrated from flooring, tile laying and carpeting because their knees were shot. For many the goal was to get Social Security disablity and then work at something less strenuous such as driver for Enterpirse Rent a Car. I thing I learned from those men was 1) make hay while the sun shines 2) quien joven no trabaja , viejo duerme sobre paja (if you don’t work when you are young you willl regret it when you are old i.e you could end up sleeping on straw.)

I still have reasonable strength and health but I don’t have 50% of the strength and stamina I had in my 20’s and 30’s. Heck I remember doing PT and the daily three mile run in twenty some minutes with OLYMPIC runners who did it in ? thirteen or fifteen minutes. Anyway I was always exhausted and had only about 5 minutes to rest before we marched off -they were not even winded. I never missed passing my PT and physical score but it was only by sheer determination I scored in the mid 70s. (69 was failing no ifs ands or buts). I never dropped out of any 20 mile or 30 mile hikes either. I still bear scars on my body from those early years.

I consider myself forunate that I never experienced a serious injury though once while digging a 90 foot trench under a public house project YESLER TERRACE in the semi-darkness of an underfloor with a 17 year old kid I had a somber moment or too. We had no phones of any kind. Only a worklight on an extention cord (over 100 feet) and I always carried matches and candles in my pocket just in case.

I was asked by the kid ( I was all of 26 years old) “What happens if there is an earthquake?” I thought for a monment and said, “Then we die and they will never find our bodies. Maybe hundreds or thousand of years from now they will find our skeletons like at Pompeii and Herculanueum.” “What’s that?” the high school drop-out said. “Ever hear of Mt. Vesuvius the volcano? ” “Yeah”, he said.

“What’s Mt. Ranier?” “A mountain of course!” “Yes, and also a volcano. If it blows and we are here we are goners” “So what do we do?”

I said “GET CRACKIN”, dig this trench, move the earth stock the Certainteed Insulation and install it as quick as possible. If we finish in two-three days the chances Mt. Rainer will blow are minumum.”

Sadly, that kid did not survive the summer. His pride and joy was his car. He used to go on joyrides with friends on Saturday nights. He would do wheelies in the Park N Rides. One night the cops caught him and chased him down in Kirkland. He knew if he were caught he would lose his licence and if he lost his licence he would lose his job and his car. I remember his name was Vic. He didn’t get caught. His car crashed and he, a friend and two young girls were killed. I will never forget it. And he was worried he might get buried by a volcano! When your number is up it is up, as Auld Pop used to say. He always said, “Save your luck for when it counts because sooner or later everyone rolls snake-eyes!”

Of course, I have always worked. I didn’t go to my college graduation. I had a job to do and places to go afterwards. I was in the military and worked five years in construction (insulation installation retro and new construction). I never saw a single female in my work experience outside of an office. Teaching was different; 90% of elementary teachers I met were female and about 60% of secondary teachers. I switched to working in a bank (for 1/2 the pay as I recall I was paid $7.23 an hour) because

1) for once I would have full medical benefits for my family

2) The bank offered flex time.

3) it was across the street (at that time) of Seattle University.

I knew if I were to advance my career I would need advanced degrees and expertise. At first I did not think of leaving the Bank but after five years and many outstanding performance reviews I began to realize there was no future for me at the bank either. I started studying accounting and computers for a possible MBA but realized the 5th Year Teacher Certification was a better fit for me. The first thing I did was take the CBEST (California Basic educational test in English and Math -in Washington State. I passed it the first time.

But I realized it would make it easier for me to get a job in California if I needed to go there. I never planned to leave Kirkland, Washington where we lived for seven years. But the taxes were too high (Bill Gates lived five miles a away). And my job opportunities in teaching were marginal.

Of course, I had been an honors student at NYU in history, political science, Spanish and English literature. So I rapidly passed National Teacher’s Exam in Social Studies, then English then Spanish. I was recruited at the Tacoma Dome by the Kern HS District. They express mailed me a contract April 26, 1989.

The next day I got a $10,000 bank loan (not a student loan) so I could start my MA in Spanish literature in Spain. (I didn’t work from late May and did not get another paycheck until September30 1989 but we saved and planned ahead). I paid my own way for graduate school kepting debt to an absolute minimum and paying cash whenever possible. When I moved to California in 1989 I took the test certification for the Bilingual Certificate of Competence (usually taken after an MA in Bilingual education). I passed the first time. Then I studied three summers in Spain (plus one-course independent study on Don Quixote) for 30 credits and a MA which gave me a big salary bump AND meant I could teach at Bakersfield College (which I did for summers and nights for four years) and also grade AP Spanish exams for ETS ( I did that for 14 summers).

By the way no one ever offered me a job or asked to see my resume ONCE from 1978-2017 until Rosalie Pedalino Porter asked me to submit my resume to be a candidate for the Board of ProEnglish (I was on the board of advisors for about 20 years). I was at that time almost 60 years old.

I never had a free lunch or any special privilege except what I earned (such as the title of US Marine by going through “The Quigley” and other ghastly and olorous adventures.)

Because I had savings and good credit I bought a condo in Kirkland in 1984 (which I sold in 1989 for a handsome profit) and then bought our first Bakersfield home in 1990. We moved to our present home (with central air conditioning, a library for me, shady trees, garden, patio, and pool) in 2003. We are on our way to paying it off and have the protection of Prop 13 As long as Prop 13 is the law we will stay in California. If it is ever rescinded we will put our house on the market immediately if not sooner. If I do not live to see this I have told my wife that is what she should do. I have no regrets.

The 20th century was tough for me but I survived by dint of hard work and working summers and nights(sometimes in dangerous neighborhoods). I sometimes had five or more preps in three subject areas but I never said no because it I filled a need. Others got promotions but I saved my overtime and put it into an annuity which I now have to give us some security.

I never had any preferences or “ins”; the only thing I had was a reputation for diligence and hard work and absolute reliability in over 34 years of education.

My first nine years in education I did not miss a single day. And of course I coached sports, substituted for Special Education, gym, ROTC and so forth. It is worth mentioning I also did numerous Adjunct Duties (evening concerts, basketball or soccer games) for teachers who were young mothers without asking them to take my adjunct duties and without any pay or recompense at all.

I also taught Sunday school for over 20 years (without pay or recompense). I also tutored college students and AP students on countless Saturdays without out any pay or recompense. Hundreds of these students passed AP tests in Spanish, Spanish literature, European History, AP US Government, and AP US history (including my own children I am proud to say who were all AP Scholars). I support testing and high standards. Challenge and response. Students who pass proficiency tests and AP test gain pride and self-confidence.

If you pass out diplomas like toilet paper you get Biden’s Phantom Afghan Army.

Auld Pop told me years ago “A soldier will die for the Colours but not an extra two bob a day.” I also learned that a lot of wisdom is to be found in dirty jobs and wet trenches.

Cosmograf News

We are thrilled to announce that we are making our first tentative steps into playing live gigs after our last appearance 7 years ago.  As well as our appearance headlining the Summer’s End festival on Sunday 3rd October we are also now playing the 1865 in Southampton on Tuesday 5th October.  We will hopefully be listing more dates for next year.  For tickets please visit the venue websites.

We recently put a short film on YouTube about the making of Rattrapante.  It’s a rough and ready, behind the scenes look at the long and laborious process of making a progressive rock album in the modern era. 

As with all Cosmograf albums, Rattrapante was made on a shoestring, but no compromise was made in the craft. The starting point is a worked out song template, a demo and the guest performances are added, sometimes recorded remotely. There’s always real drums, amazing mics and pre-amps, a lot of great outboard and ridiculous attention to detail in the mixing process. It takes around 1000 hours of work to make one of these albums, and this video filmed over 18months during 2019-2021, compresses that process to around 25mins. Even in that edit, there are times where ‘not a lot’ happens’, an indication of that most of that time is spent working on things that can barely be seen or heard until they come together in the finished product.Check it out at the link here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afib1IhA5G8

I recently did a very detailed interview with Grant Moon an acclaimed music writer and regular contributor to the likes of PROG magazine and TOTAL GUITAR.  The interview covered nearly 2 hours and covering my career, latest album with part 2 focussing more on the tech I use in the studio and guitar setups.
You can watch it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjlcPtiFuMk

A new release to my label Gravity Dream Music is the new album from Dec Burke (ex-Frost*/ Dilemma/ Audioplastik etc.) which is being released on September 24th.  I had the pleasure of mixing the album for Dec and the lead track ‘Life In Two Dimensions’ is now on YouTube and you can view that here

You can also pre order the CD and or T Shirt from our store.  The first 100 orders get an exclusive postcard signed by Dec.
 Rattrapante has now been out since March 26th.  We still have plenty of CDs left if you wish to buy but stocks of the vinyl edition are now limited.  If you would like to grab one before they sell out, click on the image below.


Thanks for your great support!


Transatlantic Tour Dates, 2022

For Immediate Release

TRANSATLANTIC reveal ‘The Absolute Universe’ 2022 Tour Dates for North America & UK/Europe!TRANSATLANTIC – the Prog Supergroup of Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt & Pete Trewavas – are pleased to announce tour dates for North America and UK/Europe to take place in 2022.  The tour will be in support of the group’s epic release ‘The Absolute Universe’ which was released earlier this year in multiple versions.  The North America dates kick off April 15th in Glenside, PA and concludes with performances at Morsefest 2022 and Cruise to the Edge.  Meanwhile, the Europe/UK dates take place in July beginning with the ARTmania festival in Romania.Mike Portnoy had this to say about the upcoming tour:“Between releasing our latest album in the middle of a worldwide pandemic & shutdown, and the already difficult task of trying to align our different schedules even in the most normal of circumstances, it was uncertain if Transatlantic would ever get to play any shows in support of The Absolute Universe. “But now with the world slowly re-opening and the band already committing to a few one-off appearances in 2022 (Cruise To The Edge, Morsefest and a Festival in Romania), we’re excited to announce we were able to wrangle up some headlining shows surrounding these one-offs! (April in North America and July in EU/UK) “These are the ONLY shows we will be doing in support of The Absolute Universe so if we can’t make it to your area, it may be worth traveling to come see us and share these special shows with us. While we wish we could do a full proper tour, getting to play ANY shows for this album is an unexpected treat that we weren’t sure would ever happen…so better late than never!” – Mike PortnoyNorth America dates:
April 15th • Glenside, PA – Keswick Theater
April 16th • Montclair, NJ – Wellmont Theater
April 18th • Quebec City, Quebec – Palais Montcalm
April 19th • Montreal, Quebec – M Telus
April 21st • St Charles, IL – Arcada Theater
April 23rd • Los Angeles, CA – Belasco Theater
April 24th • Berkeley, CA – UC Theatre
April 29th & 30th • Cross Plains, TN – MorseFest 2022
May 2nd to 7th • Cruise To The Edge 2022
UK/Europe dates:
July 22nd – Sibiu, Romania – ARTmania Festival
July 24th – Cologne, Germany – E Werk
July 25th – Tilburg, Netherlands – 013
July 27th – London, England – O2 Forum Kentish Town
July 28th – Paris, France – Olympia (ON SALE ON AUG 18TH)
***Representing the band’s first new music since 2014’s ‘Kaleidoscope’, with ‘The Absolute Universe’ the band have done something unique and created two versions of the record: ‘The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version)’ & ‘The Absolute Universe: Forevermore (Extended Version)’.‘The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version)’Available as:Single CD Edition, Gatefold 2LP+CD, or Digital Album  ‘The Absolute Universe: Forevermore (Extended Version)’
Available as:
2CD Edition, 3LP+2CD Boxset, or Digital Album The full list of formats is below, and you can order now here: https://transatlantic.lnk.to/TheAbsoluteUniverse Watch the previously released video clips for the album below:‘Looking For The Light’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvhvY-vUkLI‘The World We Used To Know’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xULvfo6rpvE‘Overture/Reaching For The Sky’: https://youtu.be/SP5HwWbCQvg   
 ‘The Absolute Interview’ series was also launched, which saw each member of Transatlantic interviewed by one of their musical peers, with Ross Jennings (Haken, Novena), Ted Leonard (Pattern-Seeking Animals, Spock’s Beard, Enchant), Nad Sylvan (Steve Hackett, Agents of Mercy) & John Mitchell (It Bites, Lonely Robot, Frost*) taking part. Watch the full series here: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfMBXSLZAyyf9kipocjOullLWwQyRX8Cw Watch a short snippet from the making of documentary here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=964kfA1EX4sTRANSATLANTIC online: