We all know what teachers do, right? After all, we were all students. Each one of us, each product of public education, we each sat through class after class for thirteen years. We encountered dozens of teachers. We had our kindergarten teachers and our first grade teachers and our fifth grade teachers and our gym teachers and our art teachers and our music teachers. We had our science teachers and our social studies teachers and our English teachers and our math teachers. If we were lucky, we might even have had our Latin teachers or our Spanish teachers or our physics teachers or our psychology teachers. Heck, I even had a seventh grade “Communications Skills” teacher. We had our guidance counselors and our principals and some of us had our special education teachers and our study hall monitors.
So we know teachers. We get teachers. We know what happens in classrooms, and we know what teachers do. We know which teachers are effective, we know which teachers left lasting impressions, we know which teachers changed our lives, and we know which teachers sucked.
We know. We know which teachers changed lives for the better. We know which teachers changed lives for the worse.
Teaching as a profession has no mystery. It has no mystique. It has no respect.
We were students, and therefore we know teachers. We denigrate teachers. We criticize teachers. We can do better than teachers. After all: We do. They teach.
We are wrong.
Come senators, congressmen,
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he who gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.
Bob Dylan – “The Times They Are A-changin’,” 1964
The Culture of Spectacle
On Sunday, February 2, 2014, according to most reliable news sources, 111.5 million people (mostly US residents) participated in viewing the imperial spectacle known as the Super Bowl XLVIII. To be sure, this Super Bowl was not dissimilar to its predecessors; a made-for-television event of commodification, showcasing a package of mediocrity with a mind-numbing violent team sport to be utilized for selling useless junk. According to Bill Wanger, executive vice president for programming and research at Fox Sports, “Big-event television is a great way for people to have a communal event, to talk about it socially and to talk about it as a group.”
Wagner presupposes viewers are ready-made consumers who have lost the ability to think, or perhaps had never developed that ability in the first place. Therefore, if Fox Sports and their free market economy coconspirators set the agenda, people longing for community and communal experiences will simply follow it.
What sets apart this spectacle from the previous ones is not so much the record-setting viewership, despite the noncompetitiveness of the game, but the de-imaginative commercials and the mediocre musical performances of pop artists. One single commercial separates this spectacle from its counterparts of the past: The two-minute drivel of mythologizing patriotism featuring Bob Dylan is the culprit.
The Big Sellout ~~~~~ READ MORE ~~~~
OLD & NEW THOUGHTS ON RISK TOLERANCE
Like many older people I find in recent years that I learn more from those younger than from my peers. I recently gained a new sliver of insight into the matter of risk tolerance from my youngest son, Jason, who lives in Santa Cruz, California and is an avid surfer. Several years ago I heard about Mavericks, the famous, big, dangerous wave an hour north of Santa Cruz. I asked Jason if he knew about and had been to Mavericks. “I don’t do that kind of thing, Dad,” he replied. As a parent I was understandably relieved. Last year the fine biographical film “Chasing Mavericks,” about two Mavericks icons, was released. It is, in my view, a superior film about the human quality of risk tolerance and much more. After I saw it I asked Jason if he had seen it. He knows some of the people portrayed in the film but his busy life as a parent, husband, firefighter, surfer and mountain bike rider had left him no time for the film. But he said something that resonates with lessons for those willing to learn them. He said, “You know, there are only a handful of surfers in the world capable of riding Mavericks, and within that handful there are only a few who want to.”
About 20 years ago I was talking about the latest casualty of the mountains with a friend, a fellow climbing guide. It is a theme that people who live, work and play in mountains return to all too often. Our discussion that day veered away from the specific most recent death of a climber we knew to all the people we had known who had died in the mountains over the period of our lives. Some of them had been friends, a few close ones. For reasons I’ve forgotten, we decided that we would search our memories and each make a list of all the people we knew who had died in the mountains. The next day we resumed our conversation with our respective lists which totaled more than 70.
We were both surprised. We should not have been.
Red Guards — high school and university students — wave copies of Chairman Mao Zedong’sLittle Red Book during a parade in June 1966 in Beijing’s streets at the beginning of China’s Cultural Revolution. More than 1 million people are believed to have died during the decade-long upheaval.
For most of the past half century, China has avoided a full accounting for one of the darkest chapters of its recent history: the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976.
During that time, Chairman Mao Zedong’s shock troops — Communist youth known as Red Guards — persecuted, tortured or even killed millions of Chinese, supposed “class enemies.”
Now, some Red Guards have issued public apologies to their victims, a rare example of the ruling party allowing public discussion of its historic mistakes.
Mao Zedong reviews the army forces of the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” at Tiananmen Square in August 1966.
Some observers hope the apologies will lead to fuller public discussion of this turbulent decade in China’s history. But there are many critics, too: those who say the apologies are insincere and insufficient, and others who feel they unfairly besmirch Mao’s reputation.
The Cultural Revolution was orchestrated by the Chinese leader, an effort to build a utopian society through class struggle. It drove the country to the brink of civil war and, by some estimates, cost more than 1 million lives.
The early phases of the Cultural Revolution were centered on China’s schools. In the summer of 1966, the Communist Party leadership proclaimed that some of China’s educators were members of the exploiting classes, who were poisoning students with their capitalist ideology. Indeed, the educated classes in general were marked as targets of the revolution.
The leadership gave Communist youth known as Red Guards the green light to remove educators from their jobs and punish them.
One of the highest-profile apologies comes from Chen Xiaolu, a Red Guard leader at Beijing’s elite No. 8 high school. He is also the son of Chen Yi, a leading Communist revolutionary and former foreign minister, and that allows him some latitude to speak out.
A propaganda poster from Beijing in late 1966 features Red Guards and an “enemy of the people.”
Jean Vincent/AFP/Getty Images
“On August 19, I organized a meeting to criticize the leaders of the Beijing education system,” Chen, now 67, recalls. “A rather serious armed struggle broke out. At the end, some students rushed onstage and used leather belts to whip some of the education officials, including the party secretary of my school.”
Chen says he was against the violence, but the situation spiraled out of his control. Chen says his school’s party secretary later committed suicide, and a vice secretary was crippled as a result of that day’s attack.
The same summer, Chairman Mao met with crowds of frenzied Red Guards in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. He endorsed their violent tactics — consisting mainly of beatings with fists, clubs and other blunt instruments. In August and September 1966, a total of 1,772 people were killed in Beijing, according to theBeijing Daily newspaper.
FBI director J. Edgar Hoover is seen in his Washington office, May 20, 1963. The 1971 burglary of one of the bureau’s offices revealed the agency’s domestic surveillance program.
More than 40 years ago, on the evening of March 8, 1971, a group of burglars carried out an audacious plan. They pried open the door of an FBI office in Pennsylvania and stole files about the bureau’s surveillance of anti-war groups and civil rights organizations.
Hundreds of agents tried to identify the culprits, but the crime went unsolved. Until now.
For the first time, a new book reveals that the burglars were peace demonstrators who wanted to start a debate about the FBI’s unchecked power to spy on Americans. And it’s coming out at a time when the country is weighing the merits of surveillance all over again.
The plotters executed their break-in on a night when millions of people sat glued to their TV sets, watching Muhammad Ali square off against Joe Frazier for the heavyweight championship of the world. That 15-round bout was a brilliant distraction exploited by a group of anti-war activists who set out to burgle a small FBI office outside Philadelphia and expose some of J. Edgar Hoover’s secrets.
Bonnie Raines was one of those activists, and she’s talking publicly about what she did for the first time in 42 years.
“It seemed that no one else was going to stand up to Hoover’s FBI at that time, and we knew what Hoover’s FBI was doing in Philadelphia in terms of illegal surveillance and intimidation,” Raines says. “And we thought somebody needed to confront Hoover and document what many of us knew was happening.”
Stealing From The FBI
Weeks earlier, Bonnie had piled her long hippie hair into a winter cap, put on a pair of glasses and posed as a college student interested in the FBI. She wanted to get a look inside the bureau’s small office in the town of Media, Pa., to case the joint, even if it meant risking imprisonment.
Another member of the team, draft protester Keith Forsyth, was chosen to pick the lock at the FBI office. But when the time came, he got a nasty surprise.
“When I got there, there was a brand-new high-security lock on the door,” Forsyth says.
Forsyth rushed back to confer with the other burglars, and they agreed to keep trying. So he returned to the office, got down on the ground and slowly applied a crowbar to another door.
“It was a great relief, because, you know, the original plan was for me to be in and out in a couple of minutes, and I don’t know how long I spent up there but it was probably at least an hour,” Forsyth says.
Forsyth and the other burglars chose the name of their group carefully.
“We called ourselves the Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI,” says John Raines. He was a professor of religion at Temple University and Bonnie’s husband.
The burglars were sure that Hoover — who ruled the bureau with an iron fist — had been carrying out illegal surveillance on Vietnam protesters and civil rights groups.
“And he was an icon — nobody in Washington was going to hold him accountable,” John Raines says. “He could get away with doing whatever he wanted to do with his FBI, and it was his FBI, nobody else’s.”
The breaking and entering was supposed to get evidence of that spying so Congress and the public could no longer ignore it. Not long after the burglary, reporter Betty Medsger received an anonymous package at her desk at theWashington Post: secret documents. She published the story.
“The country learned for the first time that the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover was almost completely different from what the country thought it was,” Medsger says.
Earlier today an avalanche took place on Pucker Face just outside the Southern boundary of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. One male was caught in the slide and according to the Bridger Teton Avy Center, has perished as a result.
Alain Leroy, owner of an auction company in Paris, surrounded by sacred Hopi spirit masks.
The auction in Paris was set to move briskly, at about two items a minute; the room was hot and crowded, buzzing with reporters.
More than 100 American Indian artifacts were about to go on sale at the Drouot auction house, including 24 pieces, resembling masks, that are held sacred by the Hopi of Arizona. The tribe, United States officials and others had tried unsuccessfully to block the sale in a French court, arguing that the items were religious objects that had been stolen many years ago.
Now the Annenberg Foundation decided to get involved from its offices in Los Angeles. It hoped to buy all of the Hopi artifacts, plus three more sought by the San Carlos Apaches, at the Dec. 9 sale and return them to the tribes. To prevent prices from rising, the foundation kept its plan a secret, even from the Hopis, in part to protect the tribe from potential disappointment. Given the nine-hour time difference, the foundation put together a team that could work well into the night, bidding by phone in the auction in France.
The foundation had never done something like this before — a repatriation effort — and the logistics were tricky, to say the least.
Two staff members in Los Angeles, one a French speaker, were assigned to the job. The foundation also quietly arranged for a Paris lawyer, Pierre Servan-Schreiber, who had represented the Hopi pro bono in the court proceeding, to serve as lookout in the auction room.
Bill Moyers: “That Sound You Hear Is the Shredding of the Social Contract” Dark money, voter suppression, and a widening gap between the rich and poor threaten our democracy.
I met Supreme Court Justice William Brennan in 1987 when I was creating a series for public television called In Search of the Constitution, celebrating the bicentennial of our founding document. By then, he had served on the court longer than any of his colleagues and had written close to 500 majority opinions, many of them addressing fundamental questions of equality, voting rights, school segregation, and—in New York Times v. Sullivan in particular—the defense of a free press.
Those decisions brought a storm of protest from across the country. He claimed that he never took personally the resentment and anger directed at him. He did, however, subsequently reveal that his own mother told him she had always liked his opinions when he was on the New Jersey court, but wondered now that he was on the Supreme Court, “Why can’t you do it the same way?” His answer: “We have to discharge our responsibility to enforce the rights in favor of minorities, whatever the majority reaction may be.”
Although a liberal, he worried about the looming size of government. When he mentioned that modern science might be creating “a Frankenstein,” I asked, “How so?” He looked around his chambers and replied, “The very conversation we’re now having can be overheard. Science has done things that, as I understand it, makes it possible through these drapes and those windows to get something in here that takes down what we’re talking about.”
That was long before the era of cyberspace and the maximum surveillance state that grows topsy-turvy with every administration. How I wish he were here now—and still on the Court!
My interview with him was one of 12 episodes in that series on the Constitution. Another concerned a case he had heard back in 1967. It involved a teacher named Harry Keyishian who had been fired because he would not sign a New York State loyalty oath. Justice Brennan ruled that the loyalty oath and other anti-subversive state statutes of that era violated First Amendment protections of academic freedom.
I tracked Keyishian down and interviewed him. Justice Brennan watched that program and was fascinated to see the actual person behind the name on his decision. The journalist Nat Hentoff, who followed Brennan’s work closely, wrote, “He may have seen hardly any of the litigants before him, but he searched for a sense of them in the cases that reached him.” Watching the interview with Keyishian, he said, “It was the first time I had seen him. Until then, I had no idea that he and the other teachers would have lost everything if the case had gone the other way.”
Toward the end of his tenure, when he was writing an increasing number of dissents on the Rehnquist Court, Brennan was asked if he was getting discouraged. He smiled and said, “Look, pal, we’ve always known—the Framers knew—that liberty is a fragile thing. You can’t give up.” And he didn’t.
the buddha with bud
the dog with virgen
the christmas tree
Nelson Mandela, who was born in a country that viewed him as a second-class citizen, died Thursday as one of the most respected statesmen in the world.
President Jacob Zuma announced the death in a televised speech.
From his childhood as a herd boy, Mandela went on to lead the African National Congress’ struggle against the racially oppressive, apartheid regime of South Africa. For his efforts, he spent 27 years behind bars as a political prisoner. In 1994, after Mandela was elected president in South Africa’s first democratic elections, Archbishop Desmond Tutu shook with elation as he welcomed Mandela to a rally in Cape Town.
“One man inspires us all. One man inspires the whole world,” Tutu said at the time. “Ladies and gentlemen, friends, fellow South Africans, welcome our brand new state president — out of the box: Nelson Mandela.”
Mandela was born in the Transkei, a region of rolling green hills near the southern tip of the African continent. In his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom,he recalled his childhood as a simple, joyful time. He herded sheep and cows near his mother’s huts and played barefoot with other boys. He was educated by British missionaries, got a law degree and eventually opened the first black law firm in Johannesburg.
In the 1940s, Mandela became active with the Youth League of the African National Congress.
Tapping into the culture of black resistance that was sweeping Johannesburg, Mandela helped organize strikes and demonstrations against the country’s system of racial segregation.
Death Stirs Sense of Loss Around the World
In Immigration Battle, Advocates for Overhaul Single Out Republicans—We need to get rid of this loser…J.R.
PUEBLO, Colo. — Representative Scott Tipton, Republican of Colorado, entered his town hall meeting and quickly began greeting the assembled crowd, including those who did not necessarily share his political views.
He shook the hands of a group of Hispanic teenagers sitting in the front row, welcoming them like old friends. The teenagers, who had been brought to the country illegally by their parents as young children, had come the day before to lobby Mr. Tipton to support a broad immigration overhaul.
“You were there yesterday!” he said to one of the teenagers, who were dressed in red and had already attended several other events in his district. “Well, thanks for taking the time. Did you have a good drive?” He turned to another member of the group. “I have not got you to smile once,” he said, offering a smile of his own, before moving to the front of the room to start his meeting.
Mr. Tipton has come to know the immigration advocates in his district — and their issue — well. As House Republicans have all but ruled out the possibility of passing any sweeping legislation before the end of the year, immigration advocates are operating with an increased sense of urgency. Their goal is to pressure lawmakers like Mr. Tipton to support an overhaul, creating a call for action from Republican House members that they hope Speaker John A. Boehner and his leadership team will find impossible to ignore.
But persuading Mr. Tipton, a two-term lawmaker who rode into office on the Tea Partywave in 2010, to support any broad immigration legislation will be a tough sell.
Very few of us need to be reminded about what happened 50 years ago today in Dallas.
And with all the remembrances of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in the news media this week, there’s no need for us to post yet another.
Let’s go in a different direction. We’re embedding video of his Jan. 20, 1961, inaugural address. We’ll also attach a transcript (per the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum) below.
As NPR has reported before, the president’s “ask not” address still inspires many people. We thought watching and reading it again might be a proper way of noting this day.
From WBUR in Boston:
Since the 1980s, historians have concentrated on leaders’ failings, as well as their successes.
WASHINGTON — The President John F. Kennedy students learn about today is not their grandparents’ J.F.K.
The first — and for many the last — in-depth lesson that American students learn about the 35th president comes from high school textbooks. And on the eve of the anniversary of his assassination 50 years ago, a review of more than two dozen written since then shows that the portrayal of him has fallen sharply over the years.
In general, the picture has evolved from a charismatic young president who inspired youths around the world to a deeply flawed one whose oratory outstripped his accomplishments. Averting war in the Cuban missile crisis got less attention and respect. Legislative setbacks and a deepening commitment in Vietnam got more. The Kennedy-era glamour seemed more image than reality.
For example, a 1975 high school text by Clarence Ver Steeg and Richard Hofstadter said that in his handling of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, “Kennedy’s true nature as a statesman became fully apparent.” In “A People and a Nation,” they said his 1963 limited nuclear test ban treaty “was the greatest single step toward peace since the beginning of the Cold War.”
On civil rights, they said, his administration “did not receive congressional cooperation.” Even so, they wrote, inaccurately, “buses, hotels, motels and restaurants were largely desegregated” in his presidency. Most of those changes came when the Civil Rights Act was signed by his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, in 1964.
(CNN) – Leaders in Utah say they found a way to get around the government shutdown.
Utah will reopen its five national parks by Saturday, as well as three other nationally run locations.
Utah’s Governor Gary Herbert made the announcement Thursday, saying a deal had been reached with the U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.
“Utah agrees to pay the National Park Service (NPS) up to $1.67 million— $166,572 per day—to re-open eight national sites in Utah for up to 10 days. If the federal government shutdown ends before then, the State will receive a refund of unused monies” an official press statement explained.
The deal would reopen Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion national parks. The other three locations that will be opened are Natural Bridges and Cedar Breaks national monuments, as well as Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
From left, Denise McNair, 11; Carole Robertson, 14; Addie Mae Collins, 14; and Cynthia Wesley, 14, were killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, in Birmingham, Ala., on Sept. 15, 1963.
On Tuesday, Congress will bestow its highest civilian honor — posthumously — on the young victims of a deadly Alabama church bombing from the civil rights era.
The Congressional Gold Medals for Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley come 50 years after the black girls were killed by a Ku Klux Klan bomb.
Just as the federal recognition is long in coming, so was justice.
The plot to bomb the 16th Street Baptist Church can be traced to a once-remote spot along Alabama’s scenic Cahaba River. Suburban traffic now rumbles above a deserted, gravelly spot under the Cahaba River Bridge.
“But in the day it was apparently a hot spot for some of the more violent members of the Klan to sit down here and talk and do their dirty work,” says former U.S. attorney Doug Jones.
One man was convicted in the bombing in 1977, but more than two decades would pass before any other suspects were tried for murder.
Jones was the federal prosecutor who tried and convicted Klansmen Thomas Blanton and Bobby Frank Cherry in 2001 and 2002, for the murder of the four girls killed in one of the most notorious racially motivated crimes in U.S. history.
Blanton and Cherry were part of a small group of disgruntled white supremacists who didn’t think the Klan was doing enough to stop the rising tide of the civil rights movement in 1963.
“They just were the self-proclaimed Cahaba River Bridge Boys,” Jones says. “It was almost like they were trying to be the outlaws of the Old West.”
Jones says they knew the FBI had infiltrated their Klan klavern, which met at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge.
“They would gather up to plan the real violence,” he says. “So they brought the guys down here that they could trust.”
Jones says the Cahaba River Bridge Boys were busy in the week leading up to Sept. 15, 1963. On that morning, Youth Sunday, dynamite exploded at the 16th Street Baptist Church, killing the four young girls. The church was a target because of its role in the civil rights movement.
But in 1963, no one was arrested for the crime. The first prosecution would come more than a decade later.
In a 1968 Associated Press photo from Vietnam by Art Greenspon, a soldier guides an unseen medevac helicopter to a jungle clearing where wounded comrades wait. More Photos »
Half a century after the nation’s fateful early missteps into the quagmire, what are Americans likely to remember about the Vietnam War?
A Buddhist monk, doused with gasoline, squatting stoically in the street as roaring flames consume his body.
An enemy prisoner grimacing as a bullet fired from a pistol at the end of an outstretched arm enters his brain.
A 9-year-old girl running naked down the road, screaming as her skin burns from napalm.
Perhaps even more viscerally even than on television, America’s most wrenching war in our time hit home in photographs, including these three searing prize-winning images from The Associated Press newsmen Malcolm W. Browne, Eddie Adams and Nick Ut. They are the subject of retrospectives now, in a new book and accompanying exhibitions.
No single news source did more to document the bitter and costly struggle against North Vietnamese Communist regulars and Vietcong insurgents, and to turn the home front against the war, than The A.P.
From 1950 to 1975, this nonprofit news cooperative, founded during the Mexican War in 1846, fielded Saigon’s largest, most battle-hardened cadre of war correspondents and photographers, including several women. Four died.
“What we did, we told the accurate story,” said Peter Arnett, one of the last surviving members of the 1960s bureau, who was once berated by the United States Pacific commander, Adm. Harry D. Felt: “Get on the team.”
Now, amid a flurry of anniversary commemorations of that tumultuous era and a surge of interest in war photography, The A.P. has, for the first time, culled its estimated 25,000 Vietnam photographs and reprinted some 250 in a book, “Vietnam: The Real War,” with an introduction by Pete Hamill, to be published by Abrams on Oct. 1.
Chuck Zoeller, the agency’s manager of special projects, said the dozens of rarely seen photographs in this collection include color plates of United States prisoners of war in a Hanoi prison in 1972 and historical images from the French colonial period. There is a photo of President John F. Kennedy in Florida, reviewing a commando unit back from action as early as 1962. And there are troubling scenes: Vietcong prisoners being kicked and subjected to water torture by South Vietnamese troops. A Vietnamese family of four, dead on a blanket, killed in a stampede as panicked refugees fled the advancing North Vietnamese in 1975.
On the book’s cover is a grim yet elegaic photo by Art Greenspon showing wounded American paratroopers in a jungle clearing near Hue in April 1968, as one soldier, arms raised as if in prayer, guides to the ground an unseen helicopter that is to be their salvation.
New York University’s campus in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, opened in 2010.
CLASSES are beginning at New York University’s new “portal” campus in Shanghai — the latest attempt by an American university to export its teaching and prestige abroad.
In April 2011, at a conference in Washington on “people-to-people exchange” between the United States and China, Hillary Rodham Clinton, then the secretary of state, praised N.Y.U.’s president, John Sexton, for his “vision to expand his university internationally while maintaining its reputation for excellence and academic freedom.”
But his meaning of “freedom” seems elastic. “I have no trouble distinguishing between rights of academic freedom and rights of political expression,” he told Bloomberg News later that year. “These are two different things.” This was a startling statement, coming from a scholar of constitutional law. And along with the controversy over a stand-alone campus that N.Y.U. opened in Abu Dhabi in 2010, it contributed to Mr. Sexton’s rising unpopularity back home: the arts and science faculty, N.Y.U.’s largest, voted “no confidence” in him in March. Both overseas campuses were financed primarily with foreign subsidies.
Crowds gathering at the Lincoln Memorial for the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963.
It was late in the day and hot, and after a long march and an afternoon of speeches about federal legislation, unemployment and racial and social justice, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. finally stepped to the lectern, in front of the Lincoln Memorial, to address the crowd of 250,000 gathered on the National Mall.
He began slowly, with magisterial gravity, talking about what it was to be black in America in 1963 and the “shameful condition” of race relations a hundred years after theEmancipation Proclamation. Unlike many of the day’s previous speakers, he did not talk about particular bills before Congress or the marchers’ demands. Instead, he situated the civil rights movement within the broader landscape of history — time past, present and future — and within the timeless vistas of Scripture.
Dr. King was about halfway through his prepared speech when Mahalia Jackson — who earlier that day had delivered a stirring rendition of the spiritual “I Been ’Buked and I Been Scorned” — shouted out to him from the speakers’ stand: “Tell ’em about the ‘Dream,’ Martin, tell ’em about the ‘Dream’!” She was referring to a riff he had delivered on earlier occasions, and Dr. King pushed the text of his remarks to the side and began an extraordinary improvisation on the dream theme that would become one of the most recognizable refrains in the world.
With his improvised riff, Dr. King took a leap into history, jumping from prose to poetry, from the podium to the pulpit. His voice arced into an emotional crescendo as he turned from a sobering assessment of current social injustices to a radiant vision of hope — of what America could be. “I have a dream,” he declared, “my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!”
For King’s Adviser, Fulfilling The Dream ‘Cannot Wait’
Aug. 28, 1963, was a tense day for Clarence B. Jones. As the longtime attorney and adviser for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Jones had a long list of worries as people started to fill the streets around the monuments on the National Mall. Were the right permits filed? Would the speakers veer off script? Would enough people show up?
“I had this feeling that we were going to throw a big party and nobody comes,” Jones recalls.
But people did come — at least 250,000 of them. Still, Jones also worried that the crowd might also include agitators, “some of what I called ‘agent provocateurs’ — white as well as black,” Jones says. “I didn’t know whether some of the black nationalists who were opposed to Dr. King’s non-violence, or whether some of the people from the right wing, the Klan … would provoke something.”
And then there was the delicate and thorny issue of wrangling all those celebrities, Jones says, like Marlon Brando, Shelley Winters, Sidney Poitier, Joanne Woodward, Paul Newman, Joan Baez, Odetta and Bob Dylan, to name just a few.
In the end, things went smoothly, from the singers and the speakers to the big crowds and blue skies. After sleepless nights and fretful days, Jones was able to take his place on the stage at the Lincoln Memorial and take it all in.
Among his most vivid memories is singer Mahalia Jackson at the microphone, Jones says. “How could you not be moved by this woman’s voice? You would have to be unfortunately afflicted with some type of muscular disease that would prevent your muscles reacting to what your ear brought to your body.”
Of all the entertainers that day, Mahalia Jackson was the singer who had a special hold on King. When King was feeling down, he would speak with Jackson on the phone.
“I guess you would put it now as ‘telephone gospel therapy,’ ” Jones says. “And he would speak to Mahalia Jackson and he would say, ‘Mahalia, please sing to me. I’m having a rough day today.’
“And she would sing one or more of his favorite songs, and … he would close his eyes listening to her,” Jones continues. “In some cases, tears would come down his face and then he would say, ‘Mahalia, you are giving me the Lord’s voice this morning.’ “
King had enormous respect for Jackson, Jones says. And because of that, the reverend listened to her when she offered him unsolicited advice while King stood at the podium on the day of the march.
While he was reading from the prepared text, Jones says, Jackson shouted at King. “This is after she had performed, of course, she’s sitting down, and she just shouted at him … ‘Tell ‘em about the dream, Martin! Tell ‘em about the dream!’ “
Hi Jerry. Nice to see the Concours’ De Elegance photos from Pebble Beach long ago. I went to this event and the accompanying road races in 1954 – 56 while I was in the sports car stage (anyone could drive in a straight line I said to my drag racing buddies)….brought back some memories for sure.
Sure, post that old Pebble Beach Road Race, 17 Mile Drive photo – Turn 4 that is, with a 1954 MG TF leading the pack.
Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971, says Edward Snowden, the man who leaked top secret documents about an NSA surveillance program, showed “the kind of courage that we expect of people on the battlefield.”
Ellsberg, who became one of the first to be prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act, told CNN that if he had been in Snowden’s position, he would have broken the law in an act of civil disobedience.
“I’m very impressed by what I’ve heard in the last couple of hours including Snowden’s own video here,” Ellsberg told the network Sunday night. “I think he’s done an enormous service — incalculable service. It can’t be overestimated to this democracy. It gives us a chance, I think, from drawing back from the total surveillance state that we could say we’re in process of becoming, I’m afraid we have become. That’s what he’s revealed.”
Ellsberg said one thing that is clear is that Snowden broke the law. It’s a position, Ellsberg knows well. As we wrote back in 2011, Ellsberg said when he saw the leaked Pentagon Papers appear in newspapers, he thought he would spend the rest of his life in prison. The documents revealed government deception as they were building their case to go to war with Vietnam.
Ellsberg went to trial but the charges against him were dismissed when the judge found evidence the Nixon White House “had agents break into the office of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist in a search for ways to discredit him.”
Ellsberg said that from what he’s heard about Snowden, the 29-year-old is willing — like he was — to give up his life for the good of the country.
But Ellsberg wonders if it could really be a crime for someone to expose a practice he says violates the constitution.
A tyrannosaur claw, part of the well preserved skeletons found by commercial prospectors on a private ranch in Montana in 2006.
Many paleontologists agree that two fossilized dinosaur skeletons found in the Hell Creek formation in Montana might be a major discovery.
The fossils apparently show two dinosaurs locked together in mortal combat in a Cretaceous-era grave, an example of fighting that could provide a rare window into dinosaur behavior.
Perhaps more important, each of the skeletons may be a new kind of dinosaur — a Nanotyrannus lancensis, a type of pygmy T. rex, and a Chasmosaurine ceratopsian, a close relation of the Triceratops.
But scientists may never know for sure. Going against the hopes of many paleontologists, these two nearly complete skeletons, found by commercial prospectors on a private ranch, are not going directly to a museum for further study. Instead, billed as the “Montana dueling dinosaurs,” they will be auctioned in November by Bonhams in New York, for a projected price of $7 million to $9 million, which would be one of the highest prices ever paid for dinosaur fossils.
“This lines their pockets but hurts science,” Thomas Carr, the senior scientific adviser at the Dinosaur Discovery Museum and director of the Carthage Institute of Paleontology in Wisconsin, said of the sellers, who include the husband-and-wife owners of the ranch and the prospectors, one of whom calls himself the Dino Cowboy.
A museum could still buy the fossils; many were offered them, at an even higher price, in the long, winding road to auction. Or a private buyer could make them available to scientists. It’s the lack of a guarantee that rankles paleontologists. Unlike many countries that carefully control dinosaur fossils found on public and private lands, the United States restricts the collecting of fossils only on public lands. Fossils found on private land, as in this case, belong to the landowner.
Some experts say that high prices and loose restrictions encourage trespassing by less-than-scrupulous fossil hunters, who poach on federal lands and illicitly smuggle from other fossil-rich countries, like Mongolia. Huge annual fossil fairs have sprung up, like the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, where prize specimens are on display from countries like Mongolia, China and Russia at equally eye-catching prices.
“It is just stunning,” said Hans-Dieter Sues, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington. “You see entire dinosaur skeletons out of China, and dinosaur eggs. These things are for sale.”