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Old 01-28-2014
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Re: Pete Seeger died today

He was the best kind of American.

"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." --American author Mark Twain (1835-1910)


From the Washington Post article:

From Guthrie, Mr. Seeger learned to express political and social criticism through music and song. Over time, dissent and left-wing expression became hallmarks of his artistic repertoire. During the anti-Communist “Red Scare” of the 1950s, he was called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

“I have sung in hobo jungles, and I have sung for the Rockefellers, and I am proud that I have never refused to sing for anybody,” he told the committee. “I have never done anything of any conspiratorial nature. ... I love my country very deeply.”

In 1955, the House Un-American Activities Committee began an investigation of Communist influence in professional entertainment and subpoenaed Mr. Seeger. He volunteered to discuss his music at length with the committee, and he offered to sing his songs. But he declined to answer questions about political associations or whether certain songs were sung at Communist gatherings, and he declined to invoke his constitutional right of protection from self-incrimination.

“I think these are very improper questions for any American to be asked, especially under such compulsion as this,” he said.

“I apologize for once believing Stalin was just a hard driver, not a supremely cruel dictator,” he told The Washington Post in 1994. “I ask people to broaden their definition of socialism. Our ancestors were all socialists: You killed a deer and maybe you got the best cut, but you wouldn’t let it rot, you shared it. Similarly, I tell socialists, every society has a post office and none of them is efficient. No post office anywhere invented Federal Express.”
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