Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sojourner Truth:You Have The Cool, Clear Eyes Of A Seeker Of Wisdom And Truth

Originally from 2/7/07 but youtube video was deleted.
Who would have thought of the possibilities of combining the swinging Basie/Sinatra version of "I Believe In You" with the story of Sojourner Truth, who definitely had "the cool, clear eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth."
You have the cool, clear
Eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth;
Yet there's that upturned chin
And that grin of impetuous youth.
Oh, I believe in you.
I believe in you.
I hear the sound of good, solid judgment
Whenever you talk;
Yet there's the bold, brave spring of the tiger
That quickens your walk.
Oh, I believe in you.
I believe in you.

Black Colonists At Breed's Hill

from great cartoons archived from a Virginia based newspaper called the Daily Press
For audio I found a great resource from Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities called Massachusetts Moments.

Gearing Up For Black History Month

To the left some of the nifty "flow chart/looking at data" type resources available in social studies from Mike Bloomberg Department Of Education in NYC. More of the same from this main link
Below a slide show I put together from great cartoons archived from a Virginia based newspaper called the Daily Press

In order to take advantage of the Google Video Player I had to modify the size and boost the resolution of the individual frames of the comic strip. I did the best that I could. I used an application called Genuine Fractals/PrintPro. For audio I found a great resource from Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities called Massachusetts Moments. I captured an audio that went with the strip on the Boston Massacre and Crispus Attucks. I've decide to move my considerable black history multimedia to a dedicated blog called Every Month Is Black History Month Check it out

Monday, January 28, 2008

In Camelot 2

Each evening, from December to December,
Before you drift to sleep upon your cot,
Think back on all the tales that you remember
Of Camelot.
Ask ev'ry person if he's heard the story,
And tell it strong and clear if he has not,
That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory
Called Camelot.
Camelot! Camelot!

Where once it never rained till after sundown,
By eight a.m. the morning fog had flown...
Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment that was known
As Camelot.

In Camelot....

Caroline Kennedy:
Over the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wish they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This longing is even more profound today. Fortunately, there is one candidate who offers that same sense of hope and inspiration and I am proud to endorse Senator Barack Obama for President. I am happy that two of my own children are here with me, because they were the first people who made me realize that Barack Obama is the President we need. He is already inspiring all Americans, young and old, to believe in ourselves, tying that belief to our highest ideals - ideals of hope, justice, opportunity and peace – and urging us to imagine that together we can do great things.

Sen. Ted Kennedy:
Let there be no doubt: We are all committed to seeing a Democratic President in 2008. But I believe there is one candidate who has extraordinary gifts of leadership and character, matched to the extraordinary demands of this moment in history.
He understands what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the “fierce urgency of now.”
He will be a president who refuses to be trapped in the patterns of the past. He is a leader who sees the world clearly without being cynical. He is a fighter who cares passionately about the causes he believes in, without demonizing those who hold a different view. He is tough-minded, but he also has an uncommon capacity to appeal to “the better angels of our nature.” I am proud to stand here today and offer my help, my voice, my energy and my commitment to make Barack Obama the next President of the United States.

Fired Up And Ready To Go

Barack Obama-He could be the first President who can dance.

Suzanne Pleshette

I just learned about Suzanne Pleshette passing away. One of my all time favorite beauties. Brooklyn born too and a graduate of PS 9 in Manhattan. Here she is from Episode 5 of Route 66 in 1960. I found this written by a David Meltzer on
Suzanne Pleshette and I grew up together on West End Avenue in Manhattan. We were classmates at PS9 (Public School 9) which was on 82nd Street right across from her apartment building. She was beautiful even as a child and she had the best sense of humor and was truly loved by everyone in her class. Her mother and father were a very handsome couple. Her dad, Eugene Pleshette was president of the Brooklyn Paramont Theatre. As kids we thought her mom looked a lot like Lucille Ball. I remember Suzanne inviting me to her apartment along with a few other of her classmates to arrange a surprize birthday party for her mom. We were about 9 years old then. Years later I visited Suzanne backstage when she was starring in THE MIRACLE WORKER on Broadway. When she opened her dressing room door she greeted me by singing the old PS9 school song. She was a delightful youngser and grew into one of the approachable and lovely ladies of the professional theatre and motion picture world.
Rest in peace, Suzanne, we miss you and will always remember you.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Aimee Semple Mcpherson 2

Aimee Semple Mcpherson

Teapot Dome Scandal

I eliminated the weird soundtrack from this youtube video

There Will Be Blood 2

That's Aimee Semple McPherson and Edward L. Doheny in the picture. I found someone who has explained my reservations about There Will Be Blood in a way that I was unable to.
What's Wrong With There Will Be Blood A blown chance to say something big about money and power in America By Timothy Noah

I half-agree with the near-unanimous praise for There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson's loose adaptation of Upton Sinclair's Oil! The headline accompanying my Slate colleague Dana Stevens' review calls the film a "masterpiece." I would call it a halfterpiece. The first half of There Will Be Blood, and especially the film's dialogue-free first 20 minutes, ranks among the most thrilling moments I've witnessed on film. About midway, though, I felt that There Will Be Blood lost its clarity, for reasons that say something about the impoverished state of political discussion in the movies generally.

I haven't read Sinclair's 1927 novel, but I gather (from this Web site and others) that Anderson took from it the story of a California oil wildcatter, his son (who serves as the book's narrator), and a Holy Roller minister (who in the book is a bit more obviously a fraud and, apart from his sex, is modeled on Aimee Semple McPherson). What Anderson left out of There Will Be Blood was the son's development as a socialist in reaction against his father's corrupt capitalism. In the film, the wildcatter acquires drilling land through deception and cheats the minister out of $5,000, but in the book, he is also a systematic dispenser of bribes to politicians. Sinclair based his wildcatter on Edward L. Doheny, a fantastically successful oil tycoon in Los Angeles (Doheny Drive in West L.A. is named for him) who was disgraced in old age by the Teapot Dome scandal. Doheny, along with Sinclair Oil founder Harry Sinclair (no relation to Upton), paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to President Warren G. Harding's interior secretary, Albert Fall, in order to secure drilling rights on federal lands. Fall and Harry Sinclair went to prison, but with a team of high-priced lawyers Doheny somehow beat the rap. The Teapot Dome scandal, which first surfaced in 1922, is apparently what inspired Upton Sinclair, himself an active socialist, to write Oil!, and a fictionalized version of the scandal figures prominently in the narrative. Teapot Dome plays no role at all in There Will Be Blood.

Anderson acknowledges the Doheny link by making his wildcatter (who in the film bears the deliciously ironic name Daniel Plainview) a native of Fond du Lac, Wis., which was Doheny's hometown. Like Sinclair's fictionalized Doheny (whom Sinclair calls Joe Ross), Plainview is mostly admirable at the start of the narrative, as he builds up his oil empire, and mostly corrupt at the end. But Plainview's corruption is less well-defined than Ross'. Ross has yielded to capitalist imperatives and eventually gives up his company's independence to join a corrupt syndicate. Plainview, on the other hand, is aloof both personally and in his business (his refusal to sell out to Standard Oil is portrayed mainly as a manifestation of his mental instability); his evil is innate. The moment There Will Be Blood began to lose me can be found on Page 73 of the shooting script. "I have a competition in me," Plainview tells a man he thinks is his brother.

I want no one else to succeed. I hate most people. … I've worked people over and gotten what I want from them and it makes me sick. Because I see that all people are lazy. They're easy to take. I want to make enough money that I can move far away from everyone.

It's no small credit to Daniel Day-Lewis' extraordinary acting performance that he's able to make even these mustache-twirling lines halfway convincing. But the scene is a sign of desperation on Anderson's part. From this point in the film on, his subject ceases to be the acquisition of money and power in America and starts being the madness and cruelty of Daniel Plainview. For all I know, this shift from the physical to a psychological landscape makes Plainview a richer character than Sinclair's Joe Ross. (To repeat: I haven't read the novel.) To my mind, though, what's extraordinary about There Will Be Blood isn't the film's characters at all; it's the painstaking way Anderson lays out how the oil business works and how Plainview gets rich in it. The viewer anticipates that grand political themes will play out, but these never come to fruition.

I can understand why Anderson wouldn't necessarily want to adopt Sinclair's leftism or any sort of didacticism. It's a movie, after all, not a political tract. But in the past, movies from Intolerance to It's a Wonderful Life to Chinatown have routinely been built around the question: How does the world we live in work? The filmmaker's stance could be that of a despairing (if somewhat hypocritical) prophet, like D.W. Griffith's, or cornball-hopeful, like Frank Capra's, or darkly nihilistic, like Roman Polanski's and Robert Towne's. But one left the theater feeling that some idea about the larger society the film's characters inhabit was being set forth. In There Will Be Blood, by contrast, a promisingly broad canvas shrinks. Anderson has a little to say about the conflict between God and Mammon—his film's title is derived from Exodus 7:19 (though not the King James version, which states, less dramatically, "there may be blood")—but since the minister, Eli Sunday, and Plainview are both compromised figures, their mutual hatred carries little thematic weight. Also, Anderson never shows how Sunday becomes the big-time minister he's evolved into at the end of the movie, so the "God" end of this smackdown lacks heft.

Anderson's failure to say anything interesting or even coherent about the structure of American society is not unusual. I can't remember the last time I saw an American movie that did (excepting documentaries; gangster movies, which inherited this function from The Godfather; and the occasional movie promoting ethnic, sexual, religious, or some other form of tolerance and inclusiveness). Consider Lions for Lambs, one of the many 9/11-inspired movies that flopped recently. As Slate's Stevens pointed out in her review, that film promoted, in a lame be-true-to-your-school sort of way, greater civic involvement. But when the idealistic professor played by Robert Redford was asked by his frat-boy screw-up student why he should bother to engage when all efforts were bound to fail, professor Redford mysteriously declined to respond as any real-world political activist would, i.e, "Sometimes people like us can make a meaningful difference." Instead, he coughed up, "At least you can say you did something."

Time to film Middlemarch, shifting the locale to modern-day Cleveland?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

You Go Barack

Obama: Over two weeks ago, we saw the people of Iowa proclaim that our time for change has come. But there were those who doubted this country’s desire for something new – who said Iowa was a fluke not to be repeated again.

Well, tonight, the cynics who believed that what began in the snows of Iowa was just an illusion were told a different story by the good people of South Carolina. After four great contests in every corner of this country, we have the most votes, the most delegates, and the most diverse coalition of Americans we’ve seen in a long, long time.

They are young and old; rich and poor. They are black and white; Latino and Asian. They are Democrats from Des Moines and Independents from Concord; Republicans from rural Nevada and young people across this country who’ve never had a reason to participate until now. And in nine days, nearly half the nation will have the chance to join us in saying that we are tired of business-as-usual in Washington, we are hungry for change, and we are ready to believe again.

But if there’s anything we’ve been reminded of since Iowa, it’s that the kind of change we seek will not come easy. Partly because we have fine candidates in the field – fierce competitors, worthy of respect. And as contentious as this campaign may get, we have to remember that this is a contest for the Democratic nomination, and that all of us share an abiding desire to end the disastrous policies of the current administration.

But there are real differences between the candidates. We are looking for more than just a change of party in the White House. We’re looking to fundamentally change the status quo in Washington – a status quo that extends beyond any particular party. And right now, that status quo is fighting back with everything it’s got; with the same old tactics that divide and distract us from solving the problems people face, whether those problems are health care they can’t afford or a mortgage they cannot pay. So this will not be easy. Make no mistake about what we’re up against.

We are up against the belief that it’s ok for lobbyists to dominate our government – that they are just part of the system in Washington. But we know that the undue influence of lobbyists is part of the problem, and this election is our chance to say that we’re not going to let them stand in our way anymore.

We are up against the conventional thinking that says your ability to lead as President comes from longevity in Washington or proximity to the White House. But we know that real leadership is about candor, and judgment, and the ability to rally Americans from all walks of life around a common purpose – a higher purpose.

We are up against decades of bitter partisanship that cause politicians to demonize their opponents instead of coming together to make college affordable or energy cleaner; it’s the kind of partisanship where you’re not even allowed to say that a Republican had an idea – even if it’s one you never agreed with. That kind of politics is bad for our party, it’s bad for our country, and this is our chance to end it once and for all.

We are up against the idea that it’s acceptable to say anything and do anything to win an election. We know that this is exactly what’s wrong with our politics; this is why people don’t believe what their leaders say anymore; this is why they tune out. And this election is our chance to give the American people a reason to believe again.

And what we’ve seen in these last weeks is that we’re also up against forces that are not the fault of any one campaign, but feed the habits that prevent us from being who we want to be as a nation. It’s the politics that uses religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon. A politics that tells us that we have to think, act, and even vote within the confines of the categories that supposedly define us. The assumption that young people are apathetic. The assumption that Republicans won’t cross over. The assumption that the wealthy care nothing for the poor, and that the poor don’t vote. The assumption that African-Americans can’t support the white candidate; whites can’t support the African-American candidate; blacks and Latinos can’t come together.

But we are here tonight to say that this is not the America we believe in.

There Will Be Blood

An interview with Daniel Day Lewis from national public radio combined with archival photos of California oil well history
His acting was incredible, but there was something that didn't quite work with the story line. From npr:
He spent weeks in a wheelchair to prepare for his Oscar-winning performance in My Left Foot and learned how to hunt for his role in The Last of the Mohicans.
Day-Lewis prefers not to break character on set and admits that it can take him weeks — if not months — to leave a part once the cameras stop rolling.
So it's no wonder that he makes so few films. His fourth in 10 years opens Wednesday. In There Will Be Blood, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Day-Lewis plays Daniel Plainview, an obsessive loner who hits it big in California's turn-of-the-20th-century oil rush.
Day-Lewis tells Robert Siegel that he discovers a character's voice from research, from working with the director and from just immersing himself in the screenplay.
"I'm not entirely sure how it works. Probably because there's some part of me that prefers to let it remain a bit of a mystery," he says.
"It can fray the nerves a little bit because months could go by and no voice comes to you, but at a certain moment — I might be listening to tapes, listening to different voices, allowing things to just run though me … but at a certain given moment, if I'm lucky, I begin to hear a voice and then the work becomes about trying to reproduce the sound that I hear."
While searching for Plainview's voice, Day-Lewis says he remembers "a quickening of the pulse when a sound began to resonate."
In the film, Plainview is a maniacal brute who says, "I look at people and I see nothing worth liking. I want to earn enough money I can get away from everyone." But it's not unusual for Day-Lewis to play a character whom the audience views with, at best, mixed feelings.
"I daresay, because the unconscious plays such an important part in the work, the imagination being on the front line of that … what could be more liberating than to explore with impunity the darker recesses of one's imagination and psyche?" Day-Lewis says. "I suppose that has always appealed to me, and I always am most often intrigued by lives that seem very far removed from my own. [With] Plainview, [it] wasn't the violence of the man or the misanthrope of the man that attracted me particularly, but just that unknown life in its entirety."
Day-Lewis compares the relationship he forms with his characters to a partnership in which he is the silent partner. He says he becomes the character "as far as I'm able to delude myself, believing that if I can't create that illusion for myself, then it's unlikely I'll be able to create it for anybody else."
In 2002, Day-Lewis told an interviewer, "In those quiet months before you approach the dreaded beast, you begin to enter into a world that isn't yours. People are always reading some sort of craziness into that, but it seems logical to me." He says he often feels that he has to justify what appears to others as a sort of "self-inflicted insanity."
"For me, the work is really pure pleasure," he says. "I do the work because I love to do it, not because I feel the need to punish myself. I'd do something else if I needed to punish myself."
In fact, Day-Lewis cites his love for the craft as the reason he doesn't make more movies.
"I couldn't love it as much if I did it more often, as simple as that," he says. "It's not in retreat from that work that I go in search of other things. It's with the very positive feeling that I would like to learn about other things for a while.
"And I personally believe those two lives go hand in hand. They need each other. I don't think I'
d have very much to offer if my experiences really were taken from other movie sets."

In Memoriam: Elaine King

Elaine King passed away last week. I taught right next to her for several years in a Brooklyn school in an open classroom environment. She was a great teacher and a had a great sense of humor. I learned a lot from her, about teaching and life. She had all these old tricks up her sleeve, like the way she would teach long division with a song and a dance. The kids' loved it and they remembered it forever. I will miss her. Below pictures of her and part of her obituary. Her wake featured a stirring ceremony by her AKA sisters.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Ending Scene From Reds

from youtube description:
Heartbreaking final scene from Warren Beatty's 1981 tour de force as (co-)writer, director, actor and producer, the Academy Award winning "Reds". Even for those not interested in (socialist) politics, this movie is a lesson in great film making. Innovative, as Beatty was the first to use the "talking heads" of the so called witnesses to tie the scenes together. Engaging, for by weaving the romance between John Reed (Beatty) and Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton) through the political and analytical scenes, Beatty manages to never let the movie become dull or too serious, despite the subject matter. Some of the impressive cast play the roles of their lifetime. Keaton has never been better, Nicholson is brooding, Stapleton deservedly won an Oscar for her role as Emma Goldman. A must see, if only for the beautiful cinematography by Vittorio Storaro and the best acting many of the actors involved.

Emma Goldman Newsreel, 1934

Maureen Stapleton As Emma Goldman In Reds

One of the greatest films of all time

Dangerous Woman: Emma Goldman

There's a great new graphic novel about Emma Goldman. It's called Dangerous Woman and it's by Sharon Rudahl I scanned a few of the pages and added a Howard Zinn talk about Emma and "The Night That Goldman Spoke At Union Square" from Ragtime as accompaniments
from the review:
Deploying the smack-'em-in-the-face descriptive style of Will Eisner for a graphic biography may not seem like the best idea. But when it comes to the life of famed anarchist Emma Goldman, Rudahl's punchy, exclamation point-heavy method feels just right to cover the crusader's life. Born in Russia in 1869 at a time when women, particularly Jewish women, were to be downtrodden and not heard, Goldman lost no time upsetting the status quo with her big mouth and restless curiosity. After following her sisters to America, the newly married Goldman was just starting to learn about leftist politics when she became radicalized by the 1886 Haymarket bombing in Chicago, leading to more than a half-century's worth of nearly nonstop protesting, fiery speechmaking and organizing across North America and Europe, and even a few passionate affairs. Rudahl's earnest admiration for Goldman and her refreshingly smart approach to the cause is clear in her excited artwork, all cramped frames and twirly action. The volume is well-suited for libraries because of its knowledgeable but shorthand approach to history, exemplified in a scene where Teddy Roosevelt holds a copy of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and declares, I don't want fingers in my sausage!!! Hurry up and pass some food and drug laws!

Comics In The Classroom 2

Here's additional content from a 1/14/08 show on wnyc about comics in the classroom

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Comics In The Classroom

brian lehrer on wnyc had a show about comics in the classroom a few weeks ago. I used part of the interview and combined it from some of the comic images from the linked site at Columbia. Here's part of an article about the topic from beth fertig that was written in 2004
Comic books are a rite of passage for most kids. But one local educator also thinks they have potential "superpowers" for learning. The Comic Book Project is an after school program that's trying to improve literacy by teaching kids to make their own comics. WNYC's Beth Fertig has more.
Some kids love comic books. Others are inspired by them. Those are the kids who have joined the Comic Book Club at Martin Luther King High School in Manhattan. Sixteen-year old Angel Terry is pretty typical.
JURY: I like to draw a lot and this place has a lot of funny people that like to draw, too.
Angel – or Jury as her friends call her – has notebooks filled with her own comic strips. Her friends pour through them, looking to find themselves.
SAYURI: She draws us as characters. For some reason she gave my character bangs.
That's 10th grader Lauren Garcia. She calls herself Sayuri, after the title character in her favorite novel "Memoirs of a Geisha." These kids love anything Japanese – largely because of the Japanese comics, or manga. They adore the luscious graphics and wide-eyed characters that morph into unworldly beings. Jury's comics have the same fluid look. But her stories are definitely hinged in her world.
JURY: This is one of them.
Her latest comic is about a slumber party with her friends.
JURY: That's me on my little backwards phone. See, that's Sayuri. That's Imani. She’s getting mad at us because we're ordering Chinese food and it's like one in the morning.
Most of the students, like Jury, came here to draw. But the Comic Book Project is also about encouraging them to write, says founder Michael Bitz.
BITZ: It's something they want to do because it's their media.

Bitz is a research associate at Teachers College at Columbia University. A few years ago he was studying the role of the arts in education.

BITZ: The arts content and the academic content had to be clearly tied together. And there’s no where else in the area of literacy where words and art are so naturally wedded as in a comic book.

Bitz started his first comic book club at a Queens elementary school in 2001. Since then his project has been adopted by 45 schools, with funding from the After School Corporation and community based organizations. Baltimore, Chicago, and Cleveland, among other cities, have adopted the program.

70th Reunion Of The International Brigades

Here's a clip I found on youtube of the 70th reunion of the International Brigade. I get goosebumps.
Here's a portion the text of the times article of 1/13/08, entitled, "In Spain, a Monumental Silence,"
that provides the background for the previous post
LAST month Spain passed a law that doesn’t make much sense, on its face, but says quite a lot about Europe in the new century. The Parliament, fulfilling a campaign promise from 2004 by Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, ordered that families wanting to unearth bodies of relatives killed during the Spanish Civil War of the late 1930s or who suffered as a political consequence of General Francisco Franco’s four-decade-long regime should get full cooperation from the state, and at the same time that every province in the country must remove remaining monuments to Franco. Unearth the past — and erase it. Never mind that over the years most of these monuments have already been carted off, making the law largely toothless and symbolic. Even so, in the debates over it, nobody here has talked much about the inherent contradiction. Or is it a contradiction? “A new generation has begun to look at the past,” Santos Juliá, a senior historian of the post-Franco years, explained to me one recent morning. “They’re the grandchildren of the civil war. My generation wanted to discuss what happened without a sense of culpability. The grandchildren look on the same years of reconciliation as an unending concession, and it is time to fix blame.” Survivors build monuments to remember the dead, and tear down the statues of the tyrants who killed them, but mostly in vain. Statues and memorials inscribe history, which each generation rewrites to suit itself. In Budapest statues of Communist idols have been relocated to a park on the city outskirts to become virtual headstones at a kind of kitsch graveyard. Russia, in its dash to prosperity, remains conspicuously reluctant to rehash the past, but it also removed many signs of Soviet rule.
And of course nobody has scrutinized public symbols and spaces more than the Germans, for whom nearly every stone and street sign has provoked a fresh monument. The meeting room for the German foreign minister in Berlin is an example of the extent to which the Germans have gone even in private. Originally the office for the head of the Nazi state bank, then taken over by Erich Honecker, the East German leader, who met in it with his Politburo, the room was left nearly intact after the Wall fell when the Foreign Ministry moved in, so that on where paintings of Marx and Engels once hung behind Honecker’s chair, faded rectangles were left as cautionary reminders.
Spain is different, though, having endured a civil war. With their traditional fear of deep, dark demons in their soul, Spaniards after Franco’s death and during the transition to democracy entered into what has long been called here a pact of silence, which the new law clearly aims to undo. As the historian Hugh Trevor-Roper put it 40 years ago, about a different regime, “A single personal despot can prolong obsolete ideas beyond their natural term, but the change of generations must ultimately carry them away.” You might say that in Spain’s case the change now comes a generation late.

Healing The Spanish Civil War

Synchronicitously (sic?) with all of my latest obsession with the Lincoln Brigade there was an article the other week in the Times about Spain's memories of their Civil War and the long, despotic reign of Franco that followed it. The slide show I put together consists of images of the article along with these songs
Cuando canta el gallo negro
Es que ya se acaba el dia
Si cantara el gallo rojoOtro gallo cantaria

Ay! si es que yo miento
Qu'el cantar qué yo canto
Lo borre el viento
Ay! qué desencanto
Si me borrara el viento
Lo que yo canto.

Se encontraron en la arena
Los dos gallos frente a frente
El gallo negro era grande
Pero el rojo era valiente

Se miraron a la cara
Y ataco el negro primero
El gallo rojo es valiente
Pero el negro es traicionero

Gallo negro, gallo negro
Gallo negro, te lo advierto
No se rinde un gallo rojo
Mas que cuando està ya muerto

(el ejercito del ebro)
El ejército del Ebro
rumba la rumba la rumba la
una noche el rio paso
Ay Carmela, Ay Carmela.

Pero nada pueden bombas
rumba la rumba la rumba la
donde sobra corazon,
Ay Carmela, Ay Carmela.

Contraataques muy rabiosos
rumba la rumba la rumba la
deberemos resistir
Ay Carmela, ay Carmela

Pero igual que combatimos,
rumba la rumba la rumba la
prometemos resistir.
Ay Carmela, Ay Carmela.

a translation:
EL PASO DEL EBRO (English Lyrics)

The army of the Ebro,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
The army of the Ebro,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
Crossed the river one night.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!
Crossed the river one night.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!

And to the invading troops.
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
And to the invading troops.
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
It gave a sound beating.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!
It gave a sound beating.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!

The fury of the traitors,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
The fury of the traitors,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
They discharge with their airplanes.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!
They discharge with their airplanes.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!

But bombs can do nothing,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
But bombs can do nothing,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
Where there’s a lot of heart.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!
Where there’s a lot of heart.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!

Very rabid counterattacks,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
Very rabid counterattacks,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
We will owe it to resist.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!
We will owe it to resist.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!

But as we have fought,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
But as we have fought,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
We promise to fight.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!
We promise to fight.
¡Ay, Carmela! ¡Ay, Carmela!


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Union Square: Part 4

The finale of the labor history play. The video was taken on the southern end of Union Square on 14th Street facing west.

Union Square: Part 3

Part 3 of the radio play with A May Day 2007 video as a visual along with following
1899-1903 Edison silent films:
The film shows a city thoroughfare lined with crowds of people watching a military parade. The first group to come into view is a marching band [Frame: 0120], then a large formation of soldiers in the uniform of Rough Riders [0720]. Following them is a hearse drawn by four black horses, escorted by veterans of the Civil War [2742], and horse-drawn open carriages. The camera position shifts and most of the paraders can be seen for a second time: the band [3692], the hearse [5610], and the Civil War veterans [6000]. Hiram Cronk, a veteran of the War of 1812, died at the age of 105. He was thought to be the last surviving veteran of that war.
The film shows a large group of people watching the approach of a color guard followed by a number of elderly marching firemen [Frame: 1734] pulling antique fire equipment [2486]. In the background is the white marble Washington Arch [0116], designed by Stanford White and completed in 1895 to commemorate the first inauguration of George Washington

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Union Square: Part 2

Here as a backdrop I used silent films made by the Edison studios between 1899-1903
They are available from the library of congress web site
Using time-lapse photography, the film shows the demolition of the famous Star Theatre. Judging from the various exposures, the work must have gone on for a period of approximately thirty days. The theater opened in 1861 as "Wallack's Theatre," and was re-christened the "Star" in 1883. It was well known for it's excellent productions, and a number of celebrated actors and actresses worked there, among them Ellen Terry. The celebrated English actor Henry Irving made his first stage appearance in America at the Star. Photographed in 1901. Location: Broadway and 13th Street, New York, N.Y.

The film shows members of "New York's Finest" parading at a crowded Union Square. There are members of the Bicycle Squad, mounted horses, and two regimental marching bands. At the time of filming, the New York City Police Department was still recovering from the corruption scandals of the early 1890's that had severely tarnished the reputation of the department. A State Senate appointed group known as the Lexow Committee investigated the department and issued a scathing report that detailed serious criminal activity within the department. In 1895, public opinion was so low that the annual parade wasn't held. That same year, Theodore Roosevelt was appointed president of the Police Board, and he is credited with initiating strict and effective reform measures that helped restore the public's confidence in the police.

From the Edison Company catalog: NEW YORK POLICE PARADE. Unbuilding [code for telegraphic orders]. An excellent view of "The Finest," on their annual parade and inspection, June 1, 1899. The head of the column is just turning into 14th Street from Broadway, the Morton House forming part of the background. Crowds line both sides of the cable car tracks, falling back as the band heading the first division swings around Dead Man's Curve and passes the camera. Chief Devery makes a fine showing, as also do his men, with their white gloves and helmets, shining buttons and spick and span appearance in general.

Union Square: Part 1

Here's part 1 of the union square based labor history play that takes place in the late 1800's. As a video backdrop I used a video made by a youtube user named y23232323jp who has made over 300 videos of people walking on various blocks around the world. I find them fascinating and I wonder how he disguised himself. It looks like the one above was shot on the southern border of Union Square on 14th Street off of University Place.

Union Square

Last week I was in Union Square and I noticed the informative sidewalk installations that ring the square. I photographed most of them and supplemented them with other union square historical images. To complement them for a movie, the images needed relevant audio I struck gold when I found a great online play about labor history on wbai's site. The above encompasses the play's introduction.
Marching to Union Square: A Labor Play by Dorothy Fennel
Radio show produced by Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg
Marching to Union Square is about the birth of the modern trade union movement in New York City. The script is based on historical material, including speeches and memoirs, from the first Labor Day parade—held on September 5, 1882—subsequent Labor Day parades, and the 1886 mayoral campaign of Henry George, labor's candidate. Much of the action takes place in Union Square, and evokes the loud and colorful labor marches that attracted huge numbers of spectators. For a brief time in the 1880s, NYC activists tries to organize an independent labor party that could unite people of diverse backgrounds around a uniquely working class political platform. There was no better place to do this than Union Square. To express this vision in words and music from that era, the actors in Marching to Union Square recreate some of the key moments that contributed so much to Union Square's reputation as labor's home, and as the place where working New Yorkers came to exercise their rights to free speech and assembly.
Actors: George Drance, Arthur French, Todd Griffin, Mary Neufeld
Musicians: George Mann (guitar), Ginette Van Der Voorn (keyboard)
Chorus: Members of the NYC Labor Chorus, directed by Ginette Van Der Voorn

Mike Seeks Belichick's Help

Monday, January 21, 2008

Come Visit "Respite From Mike"

My love affair with Mike Bloomberg warrants a separate blog otherwise this will be pseudo-bloombergism. It's called respite from mike, the antidote for unite for mike

Home Grown Vichyssoise

nyceducator points to the suspected collaboration of the union leadership with the doe as part of the recently revealed secret plan to grade teachers. An excerpt
Randi Weingarten, the union president, said she had grave reservations about the project, and would fight if the city tried to use the information for tenure or formal evaluations or even publicized it. She and the city disagree over whether such moves would be allowed under the contract. “There is no way that any of this current data could actually, fairly, honestly or with any integrity be used to isolate the contributions of an individual teacher,” Ms. Weingarten said. “If one permitted this, it would be one of the worst decisions of my professional life.” Ha - what a joke! When Ms. Weingarten and the UFT leadership agreed to merit pay for teachers based upon standardized test scores earlier this school year, they opened the door to all kinds of funky other things related to test scores - including grading teachers based upon scores whether the tests were meant for that purpose or not. While the Times reports that DOE officials "adamantly deny" they plan to hand out letter grades to teachers and base tenure decisions solely on test score performance, those of us in the system know better. That's exactly where this is going in the near future. And just as giving letter grades to schools based upon a formula overly weighted toward annual test score improvement has proven reductive and harmful (schools with 85%-95% test score passing rates have been handed D's and F's by the DOE for failing to improve on their test scores while schools with 30%-50% test score passing rates have been handed A's and B's because their test scores have improved from one year to the next), so too will handing out letter grades to teachers.

Unity Man

I Want You

from the unite for mike site
Uncle Sam Draft Mike Bloomberg Meetups for Michael Bloomberg are spreading around the country. To aid this effort we have created an easy guide to walk you through starting your own chapter! Here is quick list of Meetups across the country. If you don’t find your city on this list, we encourage you to stand up and lead the change.

* In Columbia, South Carolina - Jerry Francis has stood up for change by starting the first Mike Bloomberg Meetup in the South. Their first event will take place on February 11th.
* In Buffalo, New York - Sayed Ali is leading the way, showing that even upstate New Yorkers want Mike Bloomberg to run. The next event will take place on January 20th.
* In New York City - Dave Wakeman, a recent addition to our team, has rekindled the NYC Meetup. The next event will take place on January 23rd. This group will join with the previous NYC Meetups led by Karin Gallet.
* In Washington, DC - Andrew MacRae (that’s me) has started a Meetup. The next event will take place on January 23rd.
* In Boston, Massachusetts - John Keith a concerned citizen is leading the way for change. The next event will take place on February 12th.
* In Ocala, Florida - Bruce Foster has started Meetups in one of the most crucial states for victory. The next event will take place on February 12th.
* In Las Vegas, Nevada - Louis Lederman wants Mike to run, so he has started a Meetup in Sin City. The next event will take place on February 11th.

We are the people who are fed up with partisan bickering, while the problems of this country go unaddressed. We don’t care if either Democrats or Republicans are in charge, so long as they are making sound decisions that lead the whole country forward. We are the growing radical middle, and we need your support.

the image is photoshopped, but I wonder why Mike isn't looking us straight in the eye.
He probably saw some "chick" he'd like "to do"

Working Out The Super Bowl Bet

Sunday, January 20, 2008


A special version for the Irish vets by Christy Moore
Ten years before I saw the light of morning
A comradeship of heroes was laid
From every corner of the world came sailing
The Fifteenth International Brigade
They came to stand beside the Spanish people
To try and stem the rising fascist tide
Franco's allies were the powerful and wealthy
Frank Ryan's men came from the other side
Even the olives were bleeding
As the battle for Madrid it thundered on
Truth and love against the force of evil
Brotherhood against the fascist clan
Viva la Quinte Brigada
"No Pasaran", the pledge that made them fight
"Adelante" is the cry around the hillside
Let us all remember them tonight
Bob Hilliard was a Church of Ireland pastor
Form Killarney across the Pyrenees he came
From Derry came a brave young Christian Brother
Side by side they fought and died in Spain
Tommy Woods age seventeen died in Cordoba
With Na Fianna he learned to hold his gun
From Dublin to the Villa del Rio
Where he fought and died beneath the blazing sun
Viva la Quinte Brigada
"No Pasaran", the pledge that made them fight
"Adelante" is the cry around the hillside
Let us all remember them tonight
Many Irishmen heard the call of Franco
Joined Hitler and Mussolini too
Propaganda from the pulpit and newspapers
Helped O'Duffy to enlist his crew
The word came from Maynooth, "support the Nazis"
The men of cloth failed again
When the Bishops blessed the Blueshirts in Dun Laoghaire
As they sailed beneath the swastika to Spain
Viva la Quinte Brigada
"No Pasaran", the pledge that made them fight
"Adelante" is the cry around the hillside
Let us all remember them tonight
This song is a tribute to Frank Ryan
Kit Conway and Dinny Coady too
Peter Daly, Charlie Regan and Hugh Bonar
Though many died I can but name a few
Danny Boyle, Blaser-Brown and Charlie Donnelly
Liam Tumilson and Jim Straney from the Falls
Jack Nalty, Tommy Patton and Frank Conroy
Jim Foley, Tony Fox and Dick O'Neill

Milt Wolffe Slide Show

I combined some stills I found of Milt with Viva la Quince Brigada

Viva la quince brigada,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
Viva la quince brigada,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
Que se ha cubierto de gloria.
¡Ay, Manuela! ¡Ay, Manuela!
Que se ha cubierto de gloria.
¡Ay, Manuela! ¡Ay, Manuela!

Luchamos contra los moros,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
Luchamos contra los moros,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
Mercenarios y fascistas.
¡Ay, Manuela! ¡Ay, Manuela!
Mercenarios y fascistas.
¡Ay, Manuela! ¡Ay, Manuela!

Solo es nuestro deseo,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
Solo es nuestro deseo,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
Acabar con el fascismo.
¡Ay, Manuela! ¡Ay, Manuela!
Acabar con el fascismo.
¡Ay, Manuela! ¡Ay, Manuela!

En los frentes de Jarama,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
En los frentes de Jarama,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
No tenemos ni aviones,
Ni tanques, ti cañones.
No tenemos ni aviones,
Ni tanques, ti cañones.

Ya salimos de España,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
Ya salimos de España,
Rumba la, rumba la, rumba la,
A luchar en otros frentes,
¡Ay, Manuela! ¡Ay, Manuela!
A luchar en otros frentes,
¡Ay, Manuela! ¡Ay, Manuela!

Milton Wolffe 5

the last installment I'll post from the original 121 minute interview (all told in the 5 parts there were about 75 minutes posted)
video from world war II oral history archives
Part 5 of obituary by Peter Carroll
But Wolff saw himself first as a soldier and wanted to participate in the military defeat of fascism. In 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, expecting to serve as an infantryman in battle and to bring his military experience to speed the victory. Those illusions soon confronted a military establishment that saw Spanish Civil War veterans as "premature anti-fascists" and so considered them unacceptable for combat assignments. To his growing frustration, the Army dropped Wolff from Officer Candidate School and gave him non- combatant assignments. While pulling strings to get a transfer, Wolff picked an assignment that took him to Burma where he saw action under the General Joseph Stillwell. Soon afterward, the OSS summoned Wolff to Italy, where in joined other Lincoln veterans he had earlier recruited such as Irving Goff, Vincent Lossowski, and Irving Fajans in establishing intelligence networks among the Communist partisans. One of Wolff's proudest achievements was graduating from parachute school, but he was on the ground when he was sent into southern France on a secret mission that was never consummated. However, while there he met members of the Spanish resistance planning to invade Spain. Wolff's efforts to bring them OSS assistance resulted in his hasty recall and a transfer back to the United States. In the post-World War II climate, Wolff and other Lincoln vets continued to work for Spanish democracy, tirelessly lobbying the State Department to break relations with Franco Spain, and to gain assistance for Spanish refugees and prisoners of the Franco regime. At a time when the U.S. government was creating an anti-Communist alliance that included Franco Spain, however, Wolff's leadership position alarmed the FBI, which kept him under constant surveillance. When the Department of Justice classified the Veterans of the Lincoln Brigade as a subversive organization in 1947 and the McCarran Act of 1950 obliged the veterans to register with the government, Wolff emerged as the public face of the VALB. He and Moe Fishman presided over the defense of the veterans before the Subversive Activities Control Board in hearings during 1954 and carried the subsequent appeals through the federal courts. During this period, Wolff also worked for the embattled Civil Rights Congress, a left-wing organization that defended African Americans accused on dubious grounds of capital crimes. As the anti-Communist crusade abated in the 1960s, Wolff remained active in the U.S. Committee for a Democratic Spain, an organization that lobbied against U.S. treaties with the Franco regime, assisted the families of Franco's political prisoners, and advocated for political reform. Wolff also led the revitalized VALB in demonstrations against the Vietnam War. At one point, he wrote a personal letter to Ho Chi Minh offering the services of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. He also advocated ending the trade embargo with Cuba and helped provide medical aid to a children's hospital in Havana. During the 1980s, Wolff and other veterans instituted a campaign to send ambulances to Nicaragua, an echo of U.S. domestic support for the Spanish Republic fifty years earlier. Invited frequently to return to Spain, Wolff was a beloved figure among Spaniards. In a recent visit, he won cheers when he reminded them that if they got into trouble in the future, "give me a call." As he reached his later years, Wolff devoted more time to painting and writing his memoirs in fictional form. He had recently finished a draft of a third volume, dealing with his experiences in World War II. Through it all, Milton Wolff saw himself as a man of action. For all of his thought and intellect, he knew how to make decisions and get things done. Sometimes, his impulses led to frustrating mistakes, as when he joined the Army in expectations of organizing an invasion of Spain and found himself exiled as a potential subversive. But he never doubted the choice he made to fight in Spain. In 2005, nearly seventy years after he'd swum the river waters, he stood at the rail of a boat on the Ebro and paused for a long moment of silence. Then he evoked the men who had died there beside him-"I call them my dead," he said-and dropped a bundle of red carnations into the water. Mr. Wolff is survived by his daughter, Susan Wallis of Vermont; his son, Peter, of Connecticut; four grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. Mr. Wolff said he was turned down for combat duty in World War II because of concerns about his leftist politics. He later fought successfully against the “subversive” label pinned on the Lincoln veterans for decades. He personally delivered 20 ambulances to the Nicaraguan government when the Reagan administration was supporting rebels against it. One of his battles after the civil war was leading his veterans to urge the Brooklyn Dodgers to integrate. “The guys were all Dodgers fans,” he said. “It was a way to carry on the struggle.

Milton Wolffe 4

video from world war II oral history archives
Part 4 of obituary by Peter Carroll
While in court, Wolff was abruptly subpoenaed to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee in the spring of 1940, the first of many tangles with the government's anti-Communist crusade. Although Wolff had joined the Young Communist League before going to Spain and had nominally joined the Communist Party of Spain during the war, he always insisted he had not joined the U.S. Communist Party even though he sympathized with its policies. To the government, it was a distinction without a difference, and Wolff's movements would be monitored closely by the FBI and other government agencies for decades. Meanwhile, when faced with government inquiries, he answered questions selectively. From his wartime friendship with journalist Vincent Sheean, Wolff had fortuitously met William Donovan, chosen by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to head the newly formed Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency. During the spring of 1941, Donovan summoned Wolff to his offices in Wall Street and requested Wolff's assistance in recruiting Lincoln veterans to work for British intelligence. According to Wolff and backed by sparse documentary evidence, this conversation occurred before the German invasion of the Soviet Union and so violated the official Communist position of non-participation in World War II. Wolff's willingness to cooperate with OSS reflected his flexibility about ideology: though a man of great principles and ideals, he avoided dogma and rhetoric, and appreciated the imperfections of given situations. Wolff spent the next year working quietly with British intelligence officials. When the bombing of Pearl Harbor brought the United States into the war, Wolff sent a telegram to President Roosevelt offering the services of the Lincoln Brigade in the war effort. He also assisted Donovan's OSS in recruiting Lincoln veterans for special projects that would later bear fruit in U.S. victories in North Africa, Italy, and the Normandy invasion.

Milton Wolffe 3

video from world war II oral history archives
Part 3 of obituary by Peter Carroll
Wolff led the Lincolns back across the Ebro during the summer of 1938, held them in the lines of the violent Hill 666 in the Sierra Pandols, until ordered to turn over the battalion to Spanish officers as the government arranged for the withdrawal of foreign troops in 1938. In a ceremonial transfer of authority, Wolff was promoted to the rank of Major. It was then that the prominent American sculptor Jo Davidson was making clay busts of the Spanish leaders and proposed including an American face. When he saw Wolff's shaggy hair and gaunt features, Davidson asked him to model. Misunderstanding the image he projected, Wolff first had a haircut and shave, nearly causing the furious sculptor to cancel the session. The resulting clay composition inspired Hemingway's eulogy to Wolff, in which he compared him to Lincoln. "He is a retired major now at twenty-three and still alive," wrote Hemingway, "and pretty soon he will be coming home as other men in age and rank came home after the peace at Appomattox courthouse long ago. Except the peace was made at Munich now and no good men will be home for long." Wolff, of course, admired the elegant prose. But his heart and soul was always with the rank and file. Back in New York, some of the returned veterans of the Lincoln Brigade read the reports from Spain with amusement: "Hemingway and [Herbert] Matthews say he looks just like Lincoln. Wonder when they saw Lincoln."

After Spain

Wolff's iconic stature kept him at the forefront of the struggle to save the Spanish Republic, even after General Francisco Franco claimed military victory in 1939. He participated in street protests in New York, urging Washington officials to lift the embargo on shipments to Spain and to provide assistance for the Spanish refugees trapped in French concentration camps. When the French government threatened to deport these victims of war back to Franco's Spain, where many would face summary execution, Wolff joined other Lincoln veterans in demonstrations outside the French consulate in New York. He was arrested in 1940 for this activity and served fifteen days in jail.

Milton Wolffe 2

video from world war II oral history archives
Part 2 of obituary by Peter Carroll
He sailed for Spain in March 1937. Wolff recounted his experiences as a soldier in the autobiographical novel, Another Hill (1994). Moved by the enthusiasm of the other volunteers, he switched from a medical assignment to serve in a machine gun company in the newly formed Washington Battalion and went into action at Brunete in July 1937. Men inches away from him were wounded and killed, but he emerged without a nick.
A few weeks later, while on leave in Madrid, his captain, Philip Detro from Texas steered him to the Café Chicote on the Gran Via. There he met Ernest Hemingway. The 21-year old Wolff was not impressed. "Ernest is quite childish in many respects," he wrote to a friend in Brooklyn. "He wants very much to be a martyr...So much for writers," he concluded. "I'd much rather read their works than be with them." Within a month, Wolff was fighting on the Aragon front, leading a section of the machine gun company at Belchite and Quinto. By October, he commanded the machine gunners at Fuentes de Ebro. At Teruel, in January 1938, Wolff was a captain and an adjutant. Two months later, when a direct hit destroyed the battalion headquarters and killed the leadership, Wolff became the commander. He led the soldiers through the treacherous retreats, avoided capture, and wandered alone behind enemy lines until managing to swim across the Ebro.
Wolff assumed responsibility for rebuilding the broken battalion. During the training period, Robert Capa, the legendary photographer, captured Wolff standing next to Hemingway, a visual contradiction: Hemingway, stocky, an adventurer in his half-opened zippered jacket; Wolff, lanky in uniform, a beret covering his thick, dark hair, but shy, hands in his pockets, face turned downward, impatient to get on with the war.
A few weeks later, the photograph appeared in a New York Yiddish newspaper. To her surprise, Wolff's mother finally discovered what her absent son was doing in Spain. Not, as he had reported in his letters, working in a factory so that a Spanish worker could fight for the Republic, but leapfrogging through the military ranks. A "nobody at home," the soldier- poet Edwin Rolfe wrote about Wolff in his diary; "leader of men here."

Milton Wolffe 1

In Memory of Milton Wolff, 1915 - 2008
video from world war II oral history archives
By PETER N. CARROLL, from the veterans of abraham lincoln brigade web site
Milton Wolff, the last commander of the Lincoln-Washington Battalion consisting of the North American volunteers in the Spanish Civil War and an iconic leader of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade since the war ended in 1939, died of heart failure in Berkeley, California on January 14. He was 92.
"Nine men commanded the Lincoln and Lincoln-Washington Battalions," wrote Ernest Hemingway at the end of the war; four were dead and four were wounded. The ninth, Milton Wolff, was 23 years old, "tall as Lincoln, gaunt as Lincoln, and as brave andas good a soldier as any that commanded battalions at Gettysburg. He is alive and unhit by the same hazard that leaves one tall palm tree standing where a hurricane has passed."
Born in Brooklyn on October 7, 1915, Wolff stood six feet two in bare feet and a few inches higher in the muddied brown boots he had picked up after swimming across the swollen Ebro River during the great retreats of 1938, just a few months before Hemingway wrote his profile. He had a loud, gravelly voice that was pure Brooklyn. Later, he claimed that was the reason he was picked to lead the Lincoln volunteers at the age of 22, but Wolff knew-he always knew but it embarrassed him-that he possessed a tremendous charisma that won the love of men and women throughout his life. And what all of them also knew was that Milton Wolff was a very intelligent man.
The author Vincent Sheean, who like Hemingway, wrote about the Spanish Civil War for various U.S. newspapers, had witnessed Wolff's unexpected return after being lost six days behind enemy lines and had seen him enter the small hastily- built shelter that served as battalion headquarters after the recent defeat. "You built this thing pretty low," Wolff had deadpanned. "I guess you guys didn't think I was coming back." Then he had taken a plate of garbanzo beans cooked in olive oil, grabbed some long-delayed letters from his girlfriend in New York, and disappeared into a deep silence. "Now he sat doubled up over his beans and his letters," observed Sheean, "his gaunt young face frowning in concentration. I think he knew how glad they all were to see him, and he wanted to ignore it as much as possible."
Wolff described his childhood in an autobiographical work, slightly fictionalized, titled Member of the Working Class (2005). His was an ordinary story, tempered by a curious mind confronting hard times. Coming of age in the Depression, a high school drop-out, Wolff took the opportunity to enroll in the New Deal's experimental Civilian Conservation Corps, a military type operation that brought unemployed city boys to work on forestry projects. He loved the physical activity and camaraderie and developed some skill as a first aid assistant. But he also witnessed a bureaucratic indifference that led to the death of one of his friends. For protesting conditions there-his first political act-Wolff was not permitted to reenlist.
He returned to Brooklyn, hung around with neighborhood kids, and found a job in a millinery factory in Manhattan. As part of their social activity, some had joined the Young Communist League and Wolff followed them into the ranks. As he later explained, his political development was rudimentary, but when the Spanish Civil War began in 1936 and one of the YCL organizers asked if there were any volunteers to join the fight, Wolff raised his hand. He planned to serve as a first- aid man.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Allan Melvin And Liquid Plummer

Melvin played Al the Plumber in the Liquid-Plumr commercials for 15 years.

R.I.P. Allan Melvin

I checked my site meter today and it was "off the hook" Why? Everyone looking for a picture of Allan Melvin (Corporal Henshaw of Bilko) and I had one from a post from last November . Then I realized that he must have died. That probably leaves Mickey Freeman (Zimmerman) as the last living member of Bilko's platoon. Above is part 1 of an episode centering around Doberman's sister.

Subliminal Messages From Hillary

More from joemande :
It’s common knowledge that Mrs. Clinton is a barfy, barfy woman, but you have to respect her sense of humor. I was on (a.k.a. my homepage) and was surprised by her coy use of sarcasm on the front page: All the pundits are saying that the voters chose Obama’s “Change” over Hillary’s “Experience.” In a speech this morning in New Hampshire she told a crowd that “You need experience to make change…the type of change I’ve been making for the last 35 years!!!” Those changes apparently include her maiden name and a billion pantsuits. I’m kind of hoping Hillary wins in ‘08, just so Laura Bush can run against her 2012. Two experienced ladies! That would be an exciting political race!

Candidate Bingo: How to Tell If Bloomberg Is Running

From npr of Friday 1/18/08:
There's been a lot of speculation recently about New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg running for president as an independent. Bloomberg keeps denying that this is so, but his surrogates and supporters keep giving off signals that the multi-billionaire is seriously considering a bid. So NPR's Robert Smith decided to tail Bloomberg for a week to see if he could spot the "tells" signaling a possible Bloomberg candidacy. Robert even used an ingenious method devised by NPR to help him in mission: Candidate Bingo! Some of the candidate-like activities on our bingo card that can earn you a square include: "Follow NASCAR," "Smile Constantly," "Kiss Babies." But it looks like Robert won't be jumping up and shouting "Bingo!" anytime soon. Based on the his performance during the week he was observed, Bloomberg passed up one opportunity after another to act like a candidate. As Robert reports:"Mayor Bloomberg doesn't exude the populist touch. He didn't talk NASCAR or eat junk food. In fact, when faced with a buffet table of sweets, he opted for an eighth of a pumpernickel bagel. Another big test was at the firefighter graduation. The room was filled with adorable babies. Adorable babies of firefighters. What politician could resist? Bloomberg didn't smooch a one of them."

I don't know, according to Robert Smith on NPR he didn't talk NASCAR, but ..

Bloomberg Is Like H. Ross Perot On Steroids

Some really good Bloomberg comedy and satire from joemande
The Washington Times is reporting that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is prepared to spend up to a billion dollars of his own money if and when he decides to enter the 2008 presidential race as an independent candidate.
A divorced billionaire Jew running for president. That shouldn’t scare too many people. He might as well make Flava Flav his running mate.
Although, truthfully, I think a billion dollars might just be enough money to win over some unlikely voters. Like a couple of farmers having a beer after a long day’s work. “You know, I’ll tell you this, I don’t trust the Jews. And I think New York City is a filthy place full of queers. And I know he wants to kill babies and all that. But, gee whiz, if a man wants to spend a billion dollars of his own money to be President, then that’s gotta tell you somethin’.” ......Best quote in the article: “Bloomberg is H. Ross Perot on steroids” You know who else is Ross Perot on steroids? Any billionaire over three feet tall.

Hillary's Got Jokes

Democrats For Romney

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mike Leads The Way

8th Grade Holdover Policy Designed to Force Dropouts from ednotesonline
It is so simple. Want to enforce the illusion that graduation rates are rising so you can use that issue to run for the presidency? Start holding back 8th graders before they ever reach high school. Just enough might be disgusted with school to drop out right then and there and never besmirch a Bill Gates school with their presence..........Driving them out of school before they can affect the HS grad rates is one of the ideas behind the plan. Here's what Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters had to say in her listserve: Today, in his state of the City address, the Mayor announced that the DOE will now extend their policy of holding back students on the basis of low test scores to 8th graders as well. This is the way they intend to cure the problems of our middle schools! As the research overwhelmingly shows, holding back kids doesn’t work. 107 academics, researchers, and national experts on testing understand that this policy is not only unfair, given the unreliability of one day’s test results, but will also lead directly to lower achievement and higher drop out rates. They signed the below letter drafted by Class Size Matters and Advocates for Children in 2004 opposing this policy, and nothing has changed since then. In fact, if this policy worked, the DOE 7th grade retention would have caused a rise in 8th grade achievement rates, but instead as the recent NAEPs show, our 8th grade test scores have been stagnant over many years. Among those who signed our letter included Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, Dr. Ernest House, who did the independent evaluation of New York City’s failed retention program in the 1980’s, four past presidents of the American Education Research Association, Robert Hauser, the chair of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Appropriate Use of Educational Testing, and several members of the Board on Testing and Assessment of the National Research Council. Even the two largest testing companies are on record that the decision to hold back a child should never be based upon test scores alone. Indeed, the professional consensus is so overwhelming about the policy’s destructive academic and emotional consequences that its use amounts to educational malpractice, according to Prof. Shane Jimerson, a dean at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Mayberry Mike: I Don't Think So

Great (and comforting) post from reality based educator
an excerpt:
...But there's only one problem with all these theories: when Survey USA conducted a 50 state poll to see what Bloomberg's support is and the kind of base his potential candidacy would appeal to, they found something quite startling - he garners little support anywhere across the country, never receives more than 13% in any state including New York, wouldn't even win in New York City as a presidential candidate no matter who the Democratic or Republican candidates are and has little effect on the presidential race except that he takes some votes away from Republicans. In other words, as of now he has no shot to win the White House as an independent. Now it's true he has a billion dollars or more to drop on advertising to sell himself and his candidacy to America and it's true that a billion dollars in advertising can change opinions awfully fast. Think about how he outspent his opponents in both 2001 and 2005, sold himself to the electorate and bought City Hall. But even so, Bloomberg's got a long hard slog to do it and I don't think even a billion dollars and glowing columns from David Broder would pull it out for him in the end. As for the rationale behind his candidacy, Bloomberg likes to sell himself as the change agent in the race, a post-partisan figure who will bring the parties together and stop the fighting in Washington, but we already have one of those in Barack Obama, the Democrat who claims Ronald Reagan is his hero. Bloomberg also likes to sell himself as the competent businessman who can clean up the fiscal mess left behind by George W. Bush, but we also have one of those candidates already in the race and his name is Mitt Romney. Bloomberg's supporters also like to sell him as a candidate without the personal baggage of a Rudy Giuliani or Hillary Rodham Clinton, one who has no skeletons in his closet and will not be hit with personal or public scandals as president. But let us not forget that Bloomberg has been slapped with a plethora of sexual harassment lawsuits in the past and settled them all and got non-disclosure agreements from the victims. Let us also remember that his company, Bloomberg LP, is being sued by the federal government for gender discrimination and that his own role in the discrimination problem is being eyed by the feds. Bloomberg is NOT a candidate without personal or public scandal baggage. Bloomberg's supporters also say that Bloomberg needs to run because people are fed up with politics as usual and only a post-partisan independent like himself can restore America's interest in politics. And yet how turned off from politics can America be when interest in the election is so high and turn-out in the primaries and caucuses this year is at a record high? (See here and here for that story.) It doesn't seem to me like people are being turned off politics these days. If anything, the Iraq war and the tanking of the economy have heightened interest in politics and the '08 elections among all segments of the America - including young people. So at the end of the day, why is Bloomberg going to run for president?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Take A Hike Mike

Unite With Mike The Education Mayor: Finding a High School for an Immigrant Child is Tougher than you Think, The maze of America by Jessica Siegel, from the Village Voice, an excerpt:
Ralph Antony Louissant just wanted a school to take him. Ralph Antony Louissant is a sweet-faced 16-year-old, tall with closely cropped hair. Quiet and polite, he greets a visitor to his aunt's apartment with a soft "bon soir." He arrived from Haiti in August to join his sister Carla, his aunt, and his cousins in Brooklyn. His family's attempts to get him registered in a New York City public high school started back then and culminated during two weeks in September, in an odyssey through five public high schools, trying to find one that would accept him. Such is the situation with many English-language learners (ELLs), advocates say, where more than half of New York City's new small schools—the centerpiece of Chancellor Joel Klein and Mayor Michael Bloomberg's reorganization of the city's education system—have student bodies in which less than 5 percent are ELLs. And despite a number of rulings saying that each school must provide services for ELLs, Ralph Antony's experience shows that it's perhaps only through family persistence and the intervention of advocates that many immigrant students are getting the services to which they are entitled.

A Definition Of Chutzpah

Most of the contents of this image was in my mailbox today. Imagine calling for less testing when your good buddy promotes it. The pic of Hillary and Joel was photoshopped. I'm sure a real one exists since Joel was a Deputy White House Counsel and he may know where some skeletons of the Vince Foster affair may be buried

Michael Of Arabia

Bush gets a lecture from King Abdullah. If only George could be like Mike.
from Robert Scheer
Why is it that George W. Bush only gets a 12 percent favorability rating in Saudi Arabia? Even Osama bin Laden and Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad scored higher in a poll last month by the nonpartisan Terror Free Tomorrow group. What ingrates those Saudis are—didn’t the Bush family save them twice from Saddam Hussein?

Keep Them Doggies Rolling, Rawhide! 2

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'
Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'
Keep movin', movin', movin',
Though they're disapprovin',
Keep them doggies movin' Rawhide!
Don't try to understand 'em,
Just rope and throw and brand 'em,
Soon we'll be living high and wide.
Rawhide's calculatin'
My true love will be waitin', be waiting at the end of my ride.
Move 'em on, head 'em up,
Head 'em up, move 'em out,
Move 'em on, head 'em out Rawhide!
Set 'em out, ride 'em in
Ride 'em in, let 'em out,
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in Rawhide.

Keep Them Doggies Rolling, Rawhide!

Mike gives his girl friend Diana a tour of Richmond Hill High.
It's easy to unite when you pack 3600 kids in a space built for 1800. Samuel Freedman's excellent article in yesterday's nytimes reveals the truth about the education mayor. An excerpt:
Over the past dozen years, Richmond Hill’s most notable architectural accouterment has been the quote-unquote temporary classroom. Twenty-two of these red metal trailers, encased within chain-link fencing, occupy the school’s former yard, evoking the ambience of the Port Elizabeth container-ship terminal.
As for the cargo, that would be the students, faculty members and staff. Richmond Hill currently holds more than 3,600 pupils, twice its supposed limit, and could have 4,000 next fall as other neighborhood high schools in Queens are broken into mini-schools with smaller, more selective enrollments. Andrew Jackson, Springfield Gardens and Franklin K. Lane have already closed; next year, Far Rockaway will, too. These days at Richmond Hill, the first lunch period starts at 8:59 a.m., class sizes routinely exceed city and state averages and students have four minutes to negotiate hallways that one biology teacher at the school likens to clotted arteries.
The classroom trailers, never meant for more than a decade of nonstop use, need new walls, ceilings and plumbing. One social studies teacher, Peter McHugh, was reduced last year to conducting class while holding an umbrella against a leaky roof.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I Got A Crush On A Gal Named Hill

I wasn't aware that such a thing existed, even though Barack said she was "Likable Enough." I think its pretty good. Here's an interesting take on it:
Pornifying Politics July 18 , 2007 Kathleen Parker
If our enemies don't hate us, it's an oversight. The confluence of the worst of modern American trends -- national narcissism, the sexualization of all things animate and otherwise, and the devaluing of currencies from literature to public discourse -- has reached a perfect storm of idiocy in the form of MTV-style political videos. Can the culture possibly go any lower before the barbarians simply waltz through America's front door, left lazily ajar by the last one to shake her booty?
The videos are the latest rage in virtual politics: Pouty girls in scant clad bump 'n' grind their luv for this presidential candidate or that.
For which they are rewarded millions of views on YouTube, the favorite medium of narcissists gone wild, and recognition by the alleged mainstream media. For just a few humps and bumps, fame belongs to the teeniest bikiniest.
The first of the new genre of videommentary -- a new silly word for a new silly breed -- was titled "I Got A Crush on Obama" and received 2.4 million views on YouTube. Waaaaay too much attention for other aspiring famesters to suffer unnoticed.
Next came "Obama Girl vs. Giuliani Girl," in which the already famous Obama gal and a Giuliani fanette conduct a political debate song. Not to be outdone, a 21-year-old from Hollywood next created a "girl crush" video about Hillary -- "Hott4Hill." The Hott star appears as an elementary schoolteacher, playing on the seducer-teacher theme once popular in fantasy, now luridly displayed in headlines. The kiddies sing along, learning up close how to make it in today's world. In pornified America, every little girl learns early how to move those hips, how to plump those lips. "I have a crush on a girl named Hill," the teacher sings. Other lyrics include: "Hillary, I think I want you. Hillary, I think I need you." And she even loves the shape of Hillary's derriere, she croons. All the videos are low-budget flicks allegedly made for fun and parody. All are choreographed in the style of MTV, lots of flash and flesh set to pop music against a backdrop of Americana.
The "Hott4Hill" video star, whose name I'm trying not to learn, claims on her Web site that she's just kidding. She's not a lesbian, she's not political. She's just a girl lookin' to have some fun. She's also a former "American Idol'' contestant who did not miscalculate the value such a video would bring her way. Once discovered on YouTube, of course, it's a short shimmy to the news shows, where producers are so bereft of actual news -- or so convinced that bumper sticker America can't concentrate long without a sex infusion -- that a hottie helps fill the gaps left vacant by retired generals lulled to sleep by the sound of their own voices. On her Web site, Hillary's girl breathlessly blogs that between appearances on "Hardball" with Chris Matthews and various other shows, she's hardly had time to keep up with her mail and other career demands. Matthews even announced a contest for similar video wannabes. Politics. What a grind. What to make of all this? The videos are apparently popular and add a dimension of shtick for voters already weary of the campaign that began two years too soon. Phenomena that attract the attention of millions can't reasonably be ignored by the larger media. Or can they? As these new forms of communication continue to emerge, we will continue to be deluged by every hot new thing. But some of us miss every old thing -- the quieter lessons of adults delivered without a rhythmic thump, and a moment or two free of libidinous tease. The attention-seeking, self-important desperation that drives today's virtual world is boundless and, apparently, boundary-less. What's next? Photoshopped porn flicks featuring, well, take your pick? I hate to be the one to break the news, but every person in the universe has a tush. There are only so many ways to display it. Yours is not that interesting. But tell that to the producers who can't resist booking the latest tushette. Deep-thinking pundits are wondering whether these videos help or hurt the candidates they purport to support. Some commentators eager to play up the lesbian angle from the Hillary tape have posited a gay-play theory in hopes of hurting the former first lady. Here's the truth: The girly tapes of the 2008 election make Hillary Clinton look like Margaret Thatcher, reminding all that America has never been more in need of grown-up women in high places.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Who's Almost Who In Knickerbocker Village History: Sammy Cahn

I always knew that Sammy Cahn, born Samuel Cohen in 1913, was a lower east side boy. He went to Seward Park High School. I didn't realize he lived close enough to qualify for the "Almost Knickerbocker Village" tag. I found him in the 1920 census living at 338 Madison Street, right near PS 12 and PS 147. He wrote the lyrics to this under appreciated song. Julie Styne wrote the melody. Here it's sung by Mel Torme
Like the folks you meet on
Like to plant my feet on the Brooklyn Bridge
What a lovely view from
Heaven looks at you from the Brooklyn Bridge
I love to listen to the wind through her strings
The song that she sings for the town
I love to look up at the clouds in her hair
She's learned to wear like a crown
If you've been a rover
Journey's end lies over the Brooklyn Bridge
Don't let no one tell you
I've been tryin' to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge
All the folks in Manhattan are sad
'cause they look at her and wish they had
The good old Brooklyn Bridge

If you've been a rover
Journey's end lies over the Brooklyn Bridge
Don't let no one tell you
I've been tryin' to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge
You'll miss her most when you roam
`cause you'll think of her and think of home
The good old Brooklyn Bridge

Who Killed Dr. King?

There's a 9 part documentary on this subject on youtube
The above is part one

Monday, January 14, 2008

Take It From Dr. King

from daily kos
The song Dr. King was written by Pete Seeger after 9/11 – kind of a back-to-the-roots call for calm in the wake of our national hysteria, in the name of one of the greatest activists the world has ever known.

this and other great songs can be purchased from amazon and apple seed records. I own a copy. The lyrics:
Down in Alabama 1955
Not many of us here tonight we then alive
A young Baptist preacher led a bus boycott
He led the way for a brand new day without firing a shot

Don’t say it can’t be done
The battle’s just begun
Take it Dr. King
You too can learn to sing
So drop the gun

Oh those must have been an exciting 13 years
Young heroes, young heroines
There was laughter, there were tears
Students at lunch counters
Even dancing in the streets
To think it all started with sister Rosa
Refusing to give up her seat

Song, songs, kept them going and going
They didn’t realize the millions of seeds they were sowing
They were singin in marches, even singing in jail
Songs gave them the courage to believe they would not fail
We sang about Alabama 1955

But since 9-11 we wonder will this world survive
The world learned a lesson from Dr. King
We can survive, we can, we will
And so we sing

The Complete I Have A Dream Speech

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that 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.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"