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June 06, 2010
"Three Little Pigs"
                                              “Three Little Pigs”

       It’s not really surprising that this child’s tale is one of the most important, yet easily forgotten lessons in our society. Unfortunately we do so at great risk to ourselves, our children, and to our very own existence. While the first “two little” pigs built their houses of sticks and straw for whatever reason…(bricks are too expensive; straw and sticks are cheaper and quicker to build and require less-skilled labor; there’s more time to party and have fun…etc) the third “little pig” diligently built his house of bricks. We all know how the story ends and yet we continue to build our world of sticks and straw.  We continue to live for today instead of tomorrow.
    This flood has highlighted the importance of this lesson and the continued relevance of this child’s tale. Take me, for example…Of all the material possessions I have (and I don’t have many, trust me) the only ones I really cared about were my guitars. Yet they sat in water for five days because my locker was filled with such useless crap that I’ve never cared about, there was no room to put the guitars up on the shelves where they should have been. Well guess what survived? all the “useless crap”.  I never took the time to clean out my locker properly. And so as the guitars were piled in there the only place they could be was exactly where they were…underwater! Now, believe me I am not beating myself up over this. I know this was a natural phenomenon that no one could have predicted. Nonetheless, when something like this happens if you don’t at the very least learn something, then all the trouble, turmoil, and pain that you go through at a time like this, is in vain.
    It’s amazing to drive around town and see houses (literally) in the middle of the road. There are houses in Green Hills (miles away from the Cumberland) that are completely destroyed. Many of the folks did not have flood insurance because they’ve never needed it. There’s nothing in the record books to indicate otherwise. A lot of people have lost everything in this flood with no chance of recovering any of it. Some lost their lives to the muddy waters. The impact of this flood cannot be underestimated. Oh yeah, and for all the “tea-baggers” out there that want less government in our lives and more “free-market”, etc… my flood insurance is through a federal program. They have been outstanding and accommodating and we will rebuild our house because of it. My equipment (guitars) is through a private insurer. And guess what? That’s right. They are only going to cover about a third of what I lost. Why? Because they can…there’s your free-market capitalism at work.
     Personally, I believe that we are at a crucial point in our history. Do we let “free-market” capitalism and all its collective baggage continue to rule our lives? Do we continue to let the unreasonable voices of corporate fascism turn us into a real life version of “Lord of the Flies”, where the weak, and the poor, and the different are discarded, and only the strong survive? Or will we realize that enough is enough? That a society that does not take care of the weak, and the sick, and the poor, and continues to destroy the opportunities for those less fortunate to improve their lives (i.e. education) is an unsustainable society. Oooh…I sound like a socialist. Everybody say it with me…”SOCIALISM”. It’s not a “bad” word. It’s not a “dirty” word. We have had socialism in this country for a very long time. Unions, social security, medicaire, are just some of these examples. FDR, arguably the last great president, stood up to hostile forces within the government, much less within his own party, to implement his “socialist” policies. He did so because he cared about his people and about his country. And they cared back.  
     Imagine a government that actually takes care of its citizens. This is where the “tea party” loses me. They all talk about wanting “less” government in their lives. I think the real issue is not so much “less” government but simply more “efficient” government. When you see people at these rallies with their signs that read “keep your government hands off my medicaire”, there is an obvious disconnect somewhere. It would be simply laughable if the implications and the possible consequences weren’t so dire. These are good, hard-working, patriotic americans caught up in the throes of this anti-government rhetoric. This rhetoric and all its machinations are heftily funded by the corporate fascists (Wall Street, big oil, insurance, pharmaceuticals, etc) and viscously spread by the “corporate fascist” owned media. It’s a perfectly symbiotic relationship whose sole purpose is the abolition of the federal government. Talk about anti-american. These are the same corporatists who deregulated the oil industry that consequently destroyed the gulf shores of the states whose citizens’ will suffer the brunt of this disaster who, in the ultimate irony of ironies , voted for the very politicians that let this happen.
    Sadly, there are bought and paid for politicians on both sides of the aisle hell-bent on keeping it just that way. They use people of  such disrepute like Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh to fan the airwaves of hatred and lead us down this path of anarchy and self –destruction all under the guise (or disguise) of “freedom”. These (Beck, Limbaugh,and the like) are not honorable men…but cowards, liars, and perhaps most notably…traitors.  They prey on the emotions and the misfortunes of the masses. They distort the truth loudly and efficiently and pit American against American…Jew against Arab…Black against White… Left against Right…etc. And it’s all done in the name of selling a book, increasing viewership, higher pay, and the rest of the perks of the rich and famous. Let’s just do and say anything for money…anything for a quick profit.
    You can see the effects of this train of thought in all facets of our lives. From our food supply to our entertainment, to how we actually live, the corporations have sunk their teeth into our veins. And like the most voracious of vampires, they continue to rob us of our humanity on a daily basis. Don’t believe me? Watch some of the footage of this oil spill and see these birds gasping for their last bit of oxygen. Now imagine those birds as human beings. Then what would we do? Would we be outraged or will the same indifference apply? Will we still hear cries for “Drill baby drill”?
     Isn’t it about time that these corporations are reeled in and controlled? You have to wonder how anyone with any knowledge of history or sense of reason could favor less restrictions and more deregulation of industry…any industry. The oil industry is so big and powerful that they do whatever they want, whenever they want. Remember a couple of years ago after a hurricane hit the coast of Texas and shut down one refinery? ONE refinery? We immediately had an oil “crisis”. There were lines at the pump due to “shortages”. Oil prices just about doubled. Food prices went up, of course, because our food has to be trucked in. (God forbid we actually eat a tomato from a local farm. Oh that’s right, there aren’t any. What was I thinking?) Anyways… Our whole economy was basically paralyzed. How come none of that has happened this time around?   Certainly more oil has been spilled in the last fifty or so days than in the history of man. And yet prices remain unchanged and production continues?
      If ever there was a time to make a change, NOW is the time to make a change…a real change. It starts with us. And we must ask what kind of society do we want to live in? What kind of world do we want to pass on to our children? What kind of children are we raising? Are they going to be independent thinkers or are they going to tow the company line? Will they be engineers and scientists and help us clean this mess? Or will they be overpaid, bumbling, idiotic executives desperately hanging on to an unsustainable way of life that serves only a few? Looking at recent data that suggests the latter, the future is indeed grim.  I can no longer keep quiet about how I feel. Nor should you. Shit is just wrong. It simply is.
    It would be amazing to see our president and congress show some real leadership by making tough and perhaps unpopular decisions. Why not pass legislation, or at least start a discussion that by the year 2020, eighty percent of the vehicles manufactured in this country have to use an electric engine. Not a hybrid, not 40 or 50 mpg. For fuck’s sake, the first Honda Civic got 50mpg! In the 1960’s! The first electric car was built early in the twentieth century. When I was a kid I had an electric car that took me everywhere I needed to go. And when it ran out of juice I charged it and off we went. It’s not that difficult. By the time they plug this damn oil well, I bet we could have built and tested a viable electric car. Hell, just ask GM to dig up the ones they buried somewhere in the desert in the early 1990’s. Just think about how nice it would be if you could take your same car and whenever you go somewhere you could plug it in and let it charge while you shop, go to movies, go to work, etc…Let’s not even mention railroads. Wouldn’t it be nice to travel across this country on a speed train? It would be a technological marvel. It would be a showcase of our national pride and an example to others. It would be the pride of a nation with beautiful stations lined up across the country and our great cities. Americans could visit America! When we (Americans) want to do something right, we are absolutely the best. That is the real shame in this. Think of all the work that any of these scenarios would create. Talk about a real stimulus package!
    While we’re at it, let’s demand that our neighborhoods have sidewalks. So that on that glorious, yet rare occasion when a human being may want to “walk” a block or two, he/she does not have to scurry head first into a ravine as a car goes whizzing by unaccustomed to the lonely sight of a pedestrian. (An interesting observation…I have lived in my house for about fifteen years. And in those fifteen years we have rarely ever spoken or even seen our neighbors. Yet, after this flood, most neighbors went around and visited each other and checked on each other. It was the first time many of us actually met face to face.)
      That human spirit is still around. It wants to come out and help and be altruistic, and philanthropic, and caring, and self sufficient, and independent, and all those wonderful things. It wants to live in a place and in a society where at the very least, opportunity is not just for a privileged few but for a worthy many. We all want to be the third “little pig” with our house of brick and mortar. Problem is someone keeps selling us on the idea that sticks and straw are the way to go. Ensuring that most of us will never, if ever, have our very own house of bricks.


OK - 2010-12-15
I respect your opinions and your insight as you make your way around the world doing what you do best. However social ills whatever they are all symptoms of human greed and lack of respect for your fellow man. Electric cars are nice but where is the energy coming from to generate the electricity. A cheap, renewable, eco-friendly source of energy is what is really needed. Just my thoughts.
by Chris Morton

OK - 2010-12-15
I respect your opinions and your insight as you make your way around the world doing what you do best. However social ills whatever they are all symptoms of human greed and lack of respect for your fellow man. Electric cars are nice but where is the energy coming from to generate the electricity. A cheap, renewable, eco-friendly source of energy is what is really needed. Just my thoughts.
by Chris Morton

Amen! - 2010-12-15
Everyone talks about the talent of your voice. Your words sing even sweeter.
by Deanna Crackel

see you in SF - 2010-12-15
Looking foward to seeing you at Yoshi's in SF on Mon. Heard a song the other day I think you might want to revive. "My Maria" by BW Stevensen. I think it is right on the mark for the type of covers you put in your sets. Give it some consideration. Thanks
by Phil Gara

Birkenhead - 2010-12-15
My wife Sue and I have been following Raul for a long time now and have seen him three times this year which believe me is absolutely fantastic for us Brits. Being able to see him in person and hear the voice of the best singer since the Big O in our home town was such a thrill, when a few weeks ago in Birkenhead near Liverpool we saw him with some friends who we have been gradually introducing to Raul's music and all were truly enraptured in a concert of tremendous verve and quality that nobody wanted the night to end. Raul even sang Sue and I a special song for our 40th wedding anniversary which we were also celebrating so it really was a magical evening. We know you are coming back to the U.K., in January next year Raul so please don't forget to come to Merseyside again where you know you have a great following now - after all this part of the world is an extremely important corner of the world as far as popular music is concerned. Looking forward to seeing you again and hearing those gorgeous tones. Dave and Sue.
by Dave Littler

The 3 Little Pigs analogy - 2010-12-15
I want to say that I have enjoyed listening to you since the Mavericks, what an incredible voice. But I have to say that I disagree with your political views. I understand that life isn't perfect for everyone but you live in a country that has allowed you the opportunity to pursue your dreams. I recall homes built on the east coast that have been destroyed by storms several times and rebuilt by government backed insurance policies. How many times as a tax payer should I be responsible for someone elses poor choices. What every happened to personal responsibility. If I take out an insurance policy, I should be aware of the limits of liability. No one says you have to live in this country.
by Mark Cutler

Well Said! - 2010-11-18
This is the best article on this subject that I have ever read! It is also the only one that I complelety agree with!
by Barbara Roe

You spoke to my heart - 2010-10-28
I saw you last night in NY at BB King's and went to your site and found this brilliant piece of writing. I am a songwriter with many friends in Nashville hit hard by the flood, and I have also been working where I live on eastern Long Island supporting a local Congressman who is being assaulted by the Tea Baggers. I have always felt that your musical voice was so pure, but what a wonderful discovery to find that your political voice is pure as well. My wife and I stood near you on 42nd Street last night when when we came out from the club but I didn't want to disturb you. If I had read this first, I wouldn't have hesitated to shake your hand. Thank you and please find ways to get your political message heard as well. The country needs a voice like yours to penetrate the echo chamber of the media.
by Jerry Silverstein

Gotta Share That on FB! - 2010-09-15
Raul - I've been blessed to be able to see you perform several times (most recently in Sacramento at a small club call Harlow's). I met you before you had to leave, had you sign my iPod and told you that you need to write a new journal entry ... WOW! What an entry it was. I agree with many fans here that your article was very thought provoking and plan on sharing it with my friends/family on Facebook! Take much care of yourself and family. Can't wait until you return to the west coast :)
by Judy Salas

The Voice - 2010-09-09
Gorgeous voice, intelligent thoughts, beautiful package all around
by Wanda Payne

San Antonio Bound - 2010-09-09
OMGoodness you are returning to SA!!!!! I missed you at the Tejano Music Awards, but I WILL NOT miss you at the Botanical Gardens event on September 25th. I am so anxious to finally see you in person and watch you perform I could just scream!!!! Should you sing "Moonlight" I'll be the one dancing. Would love it as my ringtone. I dance to that song at least 3 times a week. What a great beat - who could possibly sit through it???? My feet start moving and that is all she wrote. And how about "Volver" - I'm gonna try to sing it along with you, but I shant be loud for obvious reasons. While I am old enough to be your mother, you can refer to me as "Tia Velen" Me desespero ...
by Velen Rios Trevino

Awsome - 2010-08-12

June's Journal - 2010-08-12
Hi Raul,What a great message. We may be 28 years different in age {with me being the older} but our views are almost the same. I hope you and Betty teach your boys what is important in life. Happy Birthday. See you tomorrow, 7=31 in Sellersville.

Re: Three Little Pigs - 2010-08-12
Raul: Thank you for sharing and perhaps illuminating the minds of those who have fallen prey to the rhetoric of the “corporate fascist.” I am glad you choose this platform, as opposed to during your concerts, to express your thoughts. Very classy. My beliefs/sentiments exactly! I must admit I am in awe, a musician and an author! On another note, you and your band did a spectacular show at the Sellersville Theater on 7/31. I think it was the best one I have experienced to date. Eres un fenómeno! (As my dad would say). And, it was a pleasure talking with your mom and dad! Very warm, receptive people - they even posed for a photograph with my mom and her friend. Your mom said she was surprised to find that Cubans live in this area - yes, we are scattered everywhere! I look forward to the next concert. Till then, be well and God Bless.
by Mari Suarez

Reply 7-23-2020 - 2010-08-12
If only we could get more people to read these words and truly think about it. We have a lot of scared people who need someone else to blame and the Tea Party does that for them. If we could all just look at the person next to us and realize they are just a person also maybe we could relearn to help, to care, to trust, to respect one another again. Thank you Raul for the beautiful words.
by Charles Schaffner

MARVELOUS! - 2010-08-12
You have eloquently and elegantly stated what every American should shout from the rooftops.
by Theresa

new record - 2010-07-22
I really can wait for the new album from Raul Malo. I am looking forward to it, and I hope that it come out in Europe soon. I am a great fan of you.
by Carin

Nakusp Music Festival - 2010-07-22
You were the best thing ever at the Nakusp MusicFest. We hope you will come back to our part of the world again soon. Thanks for the GREAT music.
by Gwen Leach & family

Wow - 2010-07-22
Right on Raul, that sums 'er up!
by Shaky Fury

View:Music For All Occasions - 2010-07-16
I appreciate your feelings and views and respect those, however this note is strictly about music. Your "Music For All Occasions" CD is the greatest!!! I have all of your CD's but this one is the very best! THANK YOU!
by Kerry Forrest

Wow. You nailed it, Raul.. - 2010-07-16
Once again, you've shown your intelligence (not to mention your writing skills.) I, too, am fed up with timid government that won't stand up to corporate bullying. Furthermore, I believe the tea party followers are being preyed upon, their fears magnified and distorted until they can no longer think rationally. And, sorry to say, some of those fears are rooted in racism and ignorance (as distinguished from stupidity -- they're not stupid; they're ill-informed.) I recently flew into Nashville and drove up to Bowling Green. The devastation is still obvious. Folks told me that Opryland, for example, may never fully recover. The economic damage is horrendous, not to mention the emotional and psychological toll to the folks of your beautiful city. Yes, we need strong government to help those in need and to stop those who would prey on them. I'm with you, Raul: socialsim is not a bad word. We could stand a bit more of it.
by Ann R

I Agree. - 2010-07-08
After reading into all the events that have recently happend, I have never really understood any of it. But after reading this it has made alot more sense to me. I hope people take this as a wake up call and take action for what is right.
by Robert Millen

office - 2010-07-08
Wow. Raul, you need to run for office!
by Donna

The Way It Is - 2010-07-02
One word..."WoW!" You put into words the things everybody should already know in their heart. But then again, if everybody already knew these things, there'd have been no need to reiterate all that you have. It's a wicked world we live in where many, many people are in the loop of things for monetary gain. You try to correct the wayward direction folks seem to be headed. Thank you for putting into words what so many fail to understand. In the words of Randy Travis' song, "It's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, but what you leave behind you when you're gone." We love you Raul! Peace and happiness.
by Tina-Marie

Excellent commentary - 2010-07-02
I couldn't add a thing to this. It's exactly how I feel-how refreshing to have a public figure speak so eloquently and truthfully!
by Colleen Chandler-Mueller

Yearning to breath free - 2010-07-02
Mr. Malo, First I would like to say how sorry I am that you and the Great state of Tennessee had to endure such devastation. I would just like to point out that "Socialism" is a bad thing. Because of "Free Market" we your fans have the joy of hearing your wonderful voice. The government did not pay for all the concerts that I have gone to to see you, nor did they pay for the many cd's that I have purchased and listen to daily. I do agree with you that people in general are good and kind but that is not the governments doing. My husband came here from a foreign country with no money nor speaking English and with hard work he has built a nice life for himself and our family. Again the government had nothing to do with him getting up at 4am to go to work. The socialist programs that we do have are all run into the ground and are no longer profitable. FDR started these programs to give Americans a "Hand Up not a Hand Out" to restore ecomonic growth. Less government involvement is better for all people, If we depend on the government to do things for us we are then controlled and lose one of the pillars in which this Great country was built on! May God bless you and all the citizens of Tennessee a successful recovery. We are very much looking forward to new music from you. Our family is planning a trip to Tennessee to see you at the end of July. Thanks for sharing your gift with us!
by Deneen

I Agree. - 2010-07-02
After reading into all the events that have recently happend, I have never really understood any of it. But after reading this it has made alot more sense to me. I hope people take this as a wake up call and take action for what is right. Thank you for sharing this with us Raul. =)
by Robert Millen

June Journal Entry - 2010-07-02
One of the many reasons I like Raul aside from the obvious is his mind. Our politics and essence of thinking is the same on these subjects. And why his music evolves as it does.
by Barb Whitmer

Three Little Pigs - 2010-07-02
Hello Raul, I just read your journal and it was clearly thought provoking...I feel you hit the nail on the head with "efficient" government...this is ultimately what we all want...but the far right and the far left zealots will always pull us from the middle, the ying and yang (sp) of our free society... I was in Nashville on business and was in the devastation the week of the flood, it was terrible but in a way uplifting as I saw neighbor helping neighbor, stranger helping stranger...a community trying to hold it together. It reminded of me of Hurricane Andrew, I had just moved from Homestead to Erie, PA...my parents and my sisters family were still there when it hit...total destruction...of Homestead and its people...it is so different now that our 30th high school reunion will be in Destin! Any way, I feel your pain and believe your empathy for others is unquestionable...and I fully understand the guitar thing...that sucks big time! The thing that makes me raise an eyebrow at some of your comments is your connection with Cuba, didn't your family come to the United States to enjoy its freedom and capitalism? PS...In the city of erie, sidewalks are required, but I live in the township...not required, but they should be!!!! Just a side note...I have met you several times...the last time was in Pittsburgh (The last Mavs tour w/BR 549 early 2000's) on the bus for what was the beginning of the end for your road manager!!! Great war story for sure! I am an old friend of Roberts we have known each other since high school...we were in the Earthtones together, I played bass! We still keep in touch when I am in town... I sincerely think you are one of the most talented artist of our generation and it has been an honor crossing paths! Be well and Peace be with You..
by Michael Kuhn

My America - 2010-07-02
That was a bit much to take in all at once. You have got some opinions there. Good for you. Being the famous person you are - you are able to speak out and dear Malo, I think you've got it right!!!! I had a dear friend I grew up with, he graduated from SMU in Dallas - went to a seminar in Chicago where a professor spoke on capitalish and WHAM! he was forever changed or brainwashed I should say. That was over 25 years ago and everytime I speak with him - all he does is bring me down!!!! Love you Raul Malo! I honestly think you and Cristina Aguilera should sing a powerful song together. She is an awesome singer, as yourself, she's just still playing bad girl. In the future, when she is older and can't wiggle anymore stuff, that's when her real music will be appreciated. Think about it!
by Velen Rios Trevino

Brillant, best thing I've read in years - 2010-07-02
Why is this not running in every newspaper, on every website, every blog around the world. No one has ever said it better. Bravo, Raul! The world is lucky to be blessed with your voice and your heart & soul. Looking forward to seeing you at the Naksup Music Fest this summer.
by Shirley McCaffrey

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