Came across an interesting interview on-line with screenwriter Walter Bernstein after reading some of his journalism work during World War Two.
It is a seven-part interview and the official link from The Archive of American Television can be found below...
Walter Bernstein was interviewed for three-and-a-half hours at his home in New York, NY. Bernstein discussed openly about being listed in "Red Channels" in 1950. Despite being blacklisted and the pressure by the FBI, Bernstein wrote under pseudonyms for shows including Danger, Charlie Wild, Private Eye, You Are There, and David Susskind's The Prince and the Pauper.
Once his name was cleared, he wrote many movies including, Fail Safe, The Front, and the Emmy award-winning Miss Evers’ Boy s. The interview was conducted by Sunny Parich on April 20, 1998.
Here is Part One found on YouTube:
“We think the fundamentals of the expansion going forward still look good,” Timothy F. Geithner, then president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, told his colleagues when they gathered in Washington in December 2006.
Some officials, including Susan Bies, a Fed governor, suggested that a housing downturn actually could bolster the economy by redirecting money to other kinds of investments.
And there was general acclaim for Alan Greenspan, who stepped down as chairman at the beginning of the year, for presiding over one of the longest economic expansions in the nation’s history. Mr. Geithner suggested that Mr. Greenspan’s greatness still was not fully appreciated, an opinion now held by a much smaller number of people..."
“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
-- Henry Adams
men·tor: [men-tawr, -ter], noun
1. a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.
2.an influential senior sponsor or supporter.
A friend of mine died this past week. She was 91 years old. She was a teacher, a filmmaker, a chemist and pharmacist, a dancer, a communist and atheist, a lousy cook and one hell of a person. They don’t make them like that in New York City anymore.
I met Eleanor Hamerow when I attended NYU’s Graduate Film Program back in the 1980s. She was my teacher and we were terrified of her gruff New York accent and attitude which was only a veneer for a caring and intelligent woman.
The heyday of the NYU Program was slipping fast, mostly due to the enormous popularity of film schools across the country. NYU was becoming a money-making corporate entity and some of the old timers like Ellie seemed to be in the way of a new image the school wanted to portray. Her last years at the school were a constant political battle for students and the art of film.
She hung in there as long as she could showing Orson Welles and John Ford movies and La Belle et la Bête and teaching film editing. She was a film editor and documentary filmmaker of some renowned.
(CBS News (She was fired for including President Eisenhower's "beware the military, industrial complex" speech in their televised documentary of his life.), Martha Graham: An American Original in Performance, A Dancer’s World, An American Family...)
Film Editing was her second profession after her early years as a chemist. Teaching was her Third Act.
She got a small auditorium named after her at NYU...but when she finally retired, the soul went out of the school along with all the increasingly antiquated film equipment, like hand-cranked sound synchronizers, moviolas and film splicing blocks...and the old projectors that chewed up old French new wave or Italian neo-realist film prints...
After I finished school, Ellie gave me a job working for her to help me pay off my student loans and I was able to work on her last documentary...appropriately about a teacher.
Somehow...and it is probably worth a novel in itself, I travelled to Moscow with her in 1989 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the VGIK Film School started by Eisenstein in 1919. One brief story I’ll share is we went in search of the Moscow Arts Theater...home of ‘The Method’ and Stanislavsky...the mythical directing and acting philosophy that breathed life into Marlon Brando, James Dean, Lazlo Benedict, and Elia Kazan...and the NYU Gradate Film Program under Ellie Hamerow.
We found the old theater in the early afternoon and walked into the empty lobby. The doors were open, but the place seemed deserted. A man in a dark suit handed Ellie a rose and escorted us into the theater...on the stage was a casket with a large photo next to it of one of the actors from the theater troupe. They assumed Ellie had come to pay respects...she looked born and bred...her boots, her head popping out the top of a heavily-scarfed, long black coat...all 5' 1" of her...so we joined the line of mourners.
We had a young interpreter from the school with us and he found the administrator of the theater and told him that Martin Scorsese (me) and a famous American film producer (Ellie) were here. So he came to see us and though we didn’t fool him, we scored some tickets to the theater the next night, and Ihe gave me a poster for the 100th anniversary of The Seagull.
The next night, we got to see a play that was banned since the 1930s by Stalin himself. Ellie was in heaven. There we were sitting in the front row at the Moscow Arts Theater watching a play in Russian. Our translator was there, kind of filling us in on what was being said and of course there was Ellie's running commentary as though the performance was taking place back at NYU in one of her classes...
Again, a story for another time...but Ellie had written a speech for the VGIK Film School celebration in which she was going to scold the Russians for Stalin and ruining the promise of communism...
After Ellie retired and the years started piling up, some of her contemporary friends began to get ill or even pass away. I would get a phone call from her telling me that Mimi or Ruby couldn't make the performance tonight at Lincoln Center and would I like to go...I saw my first Shostakovich with her and my first Tudor ballet...and my first opera...(a four-hour Semiramede where I didn’t realize that Marilyn Horne was supposed to be playing a man).
She introduced me to the Manhattan cocktail...she couldn't drink anymore, but she wanted me to order one so it sat on the table through dinner so she could smell it...she ordered it the way she liked it: gin, dry vermouth, a dask of bitters and a twist lemon peel.
She was a teacher, but also, always a scholar. Into her eighties she was taking classes at Columbia University. In her late seventies she decided she needed to read the Bible and took a class. I would get a call from her. “What do you know about The First Nicene Council?” or “Have you read Aquinas? Let’s have a nosh and talk about it.” So I would wrap up in a scarf and coat and gloves and take a cab from my East 55th Street apartment to her West 89th Street penthouse and we’d get coffee and something to eat and discuss religion and inevitably movies.
I moved to Los Angeles over twelve years ago and only corresponded with Ellie at first by phone and letters and then dwindling to a few emails and a long Holiday card.
I wasn’t there for the dementia or the need to put her in a home, or for the end where I am told she simply refused food and shortly after, died.
To live such a life and to take it to age 91...Not bad Ellie, not bad at all. You are remembered and cherished...tonight over a Manhattan, Ellie-style.
...On Nov. 22, 1963, Mr. Wicker, a brilliant but relatively unknown White House correspondent who had worked at four smaller papers, written several novels under a pen name and, at 37, had established himself as a workhorse of The Times’s Washington bureau, was riding in the presidential motorcade as it wound through downtown Dallas, the lone Times reporter on a routine political trip to Texas.
The searing images of that day — the rifleman’s shots cracking across Dealey Plaza, the wounded president lurching forward in the open limousine, the blur of speed to Parkland Memorial Hospital and the nation’s anguish as the doctors gave way to the priests and a new era — were dictated by Mr. Wicker from a phone booth in stark, detailed prose drawn from notes scribbled on a White House itinerary sheet. It filled two front-page columns and the entire second page, and vaulted the writer to journalistic prominence overnight....
It is apparently good men like Tom Wicker that frustrate me most and I can not understand... over time, they had to know what they reported about the Assassination of President Kennedy was wrong... but they never said anything... and I understand if they were fed false info, etc... but at some point... they had to look in the mirror and admit that the officail story just does not work...
Wicker's reporting for the New York Times on 11/22/63 was what he hung his reputation on... I know it was not his entire life... but his life was certianly lived in the shadow of that day... as all of our lives have been... so in the end... he did more harm that good with his reporting.
Here is a multi-part documentary about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
The Big Two-Hearted River
by Ernest Hemingway
The train went on up the track out of sight, around one of the hills of burnt timber. Nick sat down on the bundle of canvas and bedding the baggage man had pitched out of the door of the baggage car. There was no town, nothing but the rails and the burned-over country. The thirteen saloons that had lined the one street of Seney had not left a trace. The foundations of the Mansion House hotel stuck up above the ground. The stone was chipped and split by the fire. It was all that was left of the town of Seney. Even the surface had been burned off the ground.
Nick looked at the burned-over stretch of hillside, where he had expected to find the scattered houses of the town and then walked down the railroad track to the bridge over the river. The river was there. It swirled against the log spires of the bridge. Nick looked down into the clear, brown water, colored from the pebbly bottom, and watched the trout keeping themselves steady in the current with wavering fins. As he watched them they changed their positions again by quick angles, only to hold steady in the fast water again. Nick watched them a long time.
He watched them holding themselves with their noses into the current, many trout in deep, fast moving water, slightly distorted as he watched far down through the glassy convex surface of the pool its surface pushing and swelling smooth against the resistance of the log-driven piles of the bridge. At the bottom of the pool were the big trout. Nick did not see them at first. Then he saw them at the bottom of the pool, big trout looking to hold themselves on the gravel bottom in a varying mist of gravel and sand, raised in spurts by the current.
Nick looked down into the pool from the bridge. It was a hot day. A kingfisher flew up the stream. It was a long time since Nick had looked into a stream and seen trout. They were very satisfactory. As the shadow of the kingfisher moved up the stream, a big trout shot upstream in a long angle, only his shadow marking the angle, then lost his shadow as he came through the surface of the water, caught the sun, and then, as he went back into the stream under the surface, his shadow seemed to float down the stream with the current unresisting, to his post under the bridge where he tightened facing up into the current.
Nick's heart tightened as the trout moved. He felt all the old feeling. He turned and looked down the stream. It stretched away, pebbly-bottomed with shallows and big boulders and a deep pool as it curved away around the foot of a bluff.
Nick walked back up the ties to where his pack lay in the cinders beside the railway track. He was happy. He adjusted the pack harness around the bundle, pulling straps tight, slung the pack on his back got his arms through the shoulder straps and took some of the pull off his shoulders by leaning his forehead against the wide band of the tump-line. Still, it was too heavy. It was much too heavy. He had his leather rod-case in his hand and leaning forward to keep the weight of the pack high on his shoulders he walked along the road that paralleled the railway track, leaving the burned town behind in the heat, and he turned off around a hill with a high, fire-scarred hill on either side onto a road that went back into the country. He walked along the road feeling the ache from the pull of the heavy pack. The road climbed steadily. It was hard work walking up-hill. His muscles ached and the day was hot, but Nick felt happy. He felt he had left everything behind, the need for thinking, the need to write, other needs. It was all back of him.
From the time he had gotten down off the train and the baggage man had thrown his pack out of the open car door things had been different. Seney was burned, the country was burned over and changed, but it did not matter. It could not all be burned. He hiked along the road, sweating in the sun, climbing to cross the range of hills that separated the railway from the pine plains.
The road ran on, dipping occasionally, but always climbing. He went on up. Finally after going parallel to the burnt hill, he reached the top. Nick leaned back against a stump and slipped out of the pack harness. Ahead of him, as far as he could see, was the pine plain. The burned country stopped off at the left of a range of hills. All ahead islands of dark pine trees rose out of the plain. Far off to the left was the line of the river. Nick followed it with his eye and caught glints of the water in the sun.
There was nothing but the pine plain ahead of him, until the far blue hills that marked the Lake Superior height of land. He could hardly see them faint and far away in the heat-light over the plain. If he looked too steadily they were gone. But if he only half-looked they were there, the far-off hills of the height of land.
Nick sat down against the charred stump and smoked a cigarette. His pack balanced on the top of the stump harness holding ready, a hollow molded in it from his back. Nick sat smoking, looking out over the country. He did not need to get his map out. He knew where he was from the position of the river.
As he smoked his legs stretched out in front of him, he noticed a grasshopper walk along the ground and up onto his woolen sock. The grasshopper was black. As he had walked along the road, climbing, he had started grasshoppers from with dust. They were all black. They were not the big grasshoppers with yellow and black or red and black wings whirring out from their black wing sheathing as they fly up. These were just ordinary hoppers, but all a sooty black in color. Nick had wondered about them as he walked without really thinking about them. Now, as he watched the black hopper that was nibbling at the wool of his sock with its fourway lip he realized that they had all turned black from living in the burned-over land. He realized that the fire must have come the year before, but the grasshoppers were all black now. He wondered how long they would stay that way.
Carefully he reached his hand down and took hold of the hopper by the wings. He turned him up, all his legs walking in the air, and looked at his jointed belly. Yes, it was black too, iridescent where the back and head were dusty.
"Go on, hopper," Nick said, speaking out loud for the first time. "Fly away somewhere."
He tossed the grasshopper up into the air and watched him sail away to a charcoal stump across the road.
Nick stood up. He leaned his back against the weight of his pack where it rested upright on the stump and got his arms through the shoulder straps. He stood with the pack on his back on the brow of the hill looking out across the country, toward the distant river and then struck down the hillside away from the road. Underfoot the ground was good walking. Two hundred yards down the fire line stopped. Then it was sweet fern, growing ankle high, walk through, and clumps of jack pines; a long undulating country with frequent rises and descents, sandy underfoot and the country alive again.
Nick kept his direction by the sun. He knew where he wanted to strike the river and he kept on through the pine plain, mounting small rises to see other rises ahead of him and sometimes from the top of a rise a great solid island of pines off to his right or his left. He broke off some sprigs of the leathery sweet fern, and put them under his pack straps. The chafing crushed it and he smelled it as he walked.
He was tired and very hot, walking across the uneven, shadeless pine pram. At any time he knew he could strike the river by turning off to his left. It could not be more than a mile away. But he kept on toward the north to hit the river as far upstream as he could go in one day's walking. For some time as he walked Nick had been in sight of one of the big islands of pine standing out above the rolling high ground he was crossing. He dipped down and then as he came slowly up to the crest of the bridge he turned and made toward the pine trees. There was no underbrush in the island of pine trees. The trunks of the trees went straight up or slanted toward each other. The trunks were straight and brown without branches. The branches were high above. Some interlocked to make a solid shadow on the brown forest floor. Around the grove of trees was a bare space. It was brown and soft underfoot as Nick walked on it. This was the over-lapping of the pine needle floor, extending out beyond the width of the high branches. The trees had grown tall and the branches moved high, leaving in the sun this bare space they had once covered with shadow. Sharp at the edge of this extension of the forest floor commenced the sweet fern.
Nick slipped off his pack and lay down in the shade. He lay on his back and looked up into the pine trees. His neck and back and the small of his back rested as he stretched. The earth felt good against his back. He looked up at the sky, through the branches, and then shut his eyes. He opened them and looked up again. There was a wind high up in the branches. He shut his eyes again and went to sleep.
Nick woke stiff and cramped. The sun was nearly down. His pack was heavy and the straps painful as he lifted it on. He leaned over with the pack on and picked up the leather rod-case and started out from the pine trees across the sweet fern swale, toward the river. He knew it could not be more than a mile.
He came down a hillside covered with stumps into a meadow. At the edge of the meadow flowed the river. Nick was glad to get to the river. He walked upstream through the meadow. His trousers were soaked with the dew as he walked. After the hot day, the dew halt come quickly and heavily. The river made no sound. It was too fast and smooth. At the edge of the meadow, before he mounted to a piece of high ground to make camp, Nick looked down the river at the trout rising. They were rising to insects come from the swamp on the other side of the stream when the sun went down. The trout jumped out of water to take them. While Nick walked through the little stretch of meadow alongside the stream, trout had jumped high out of water. Now as he looked down the river, the insects must be settling on the surface, for the trout were feeding steadily all down the stream. As far down the long stretch as he could see, the trout were rising, making circles all down the surface of the water, as though it were starting to rain.
The ground rose, wooded and sandy, to overlook the meadow, the stretch of river and the swamp. Nick dropped his pack and rod case and looked for a level piece of ground. He was very hungry and he wanted to make his camp before he cooked. Between two jack pines, the ground was quite level. He took the ax out of the pack and chopped out two projecting roots. That leveled a piece of ground large enough to sleep on. He smoothed out the sandy soil with his hand and pulled all the sweet fern bushes by their roots. His hands smelled good from the sweet fern. He smoothed the uprooted earth. He did not want anything making lumps under the blankets. When he had the ground smooth, he spread his blankets. One he folded double, next to the ground. The other two he spread on top.
With the ax he slit off a bright slab of pine from one of the stumps and split it into pegs for the tent. He wanted them long and solid to hold in the ground. With the tent unpacked and spread on the ground, the pack, leaning against a jack pine, looked much smaller. Nick tied the rope that served the tent for a ridgepole to the trunk of one of the pine trees and pulled the tent up off the ground with the other end of the rope and tied it to the other pine. The tent hung on the rope like a canvas blanket on a clothesline. Nick poked a pole he had cut up under the back peak of the canvas and then made it a tent by pegging out the sides. He pegged the sides out taut and drove the pegs deep, hitting them down into the ground with the flat of the ax until the rope loops were buried and the canvas was drum tight.
Across the open mouth of the tent Nick fixed cheesecloth to keep out mosquitoes. He crawled inside under the mosquito bar with various things from the pack to put at the head of the bed under the slant of the canvas. Inside the tent the light came through the brown canvas. It smelled pleasantly of canvas. Already there was something mysterious and homelike. Nick was happy as he crawled inside the tent. He had not been unhappy all day. This was different though. Now things were done. There had been this to do. Now it was done. It had been a hard trip. He was very tired. That was done. He had made his camp. He was settled. Nothing could touch him. It was a good place to camp. He was there, in the good place. He was in his home where he had made it. Now he was hungry.
He came out, crawling under the cheesecloth. It was quite dark outside. It was lighter in the tent.
Nick went over to the pack and found, with his fingers, a long nail in a paper sack of nails, in the bottom of the pack. He drove it into the pine tree, holding it close and hitting it gently with the flat of the ax. He hung the pack up on the nail. All his supplies were in the pack. They were off the ground and sheltered now.
Nick was hungry. He did not believe he had ever been hungrier. He opened and emptied a can at pork and beans and a can of spaghetti into the frying pan.
"I've got a right to eat this kind of stuff, if I'm willing to carry it," Nick said.
His voice sounded strange in the darkening woods. He did not speak again.
He started a fire with some chunks of pine he got with the ax from a stump. Over the fire he stuck a wire grill, pushing the tour legs down into the ground with his boot. Nick put the frying pan and a can of spaghetti on the grill over the flames. He was hungrier. The beans and spaghetti warmed. Nick stirred them and mixed them together. They began to bubble, making little bubbles that rose with difficulty to the surface. There was a good smell. Nick got out a bottle of tomato ketchup and cut four slices of bread. The little bubbles were coming faster now. Nick sat down beside the fire and lifted the frying pan off. He poured about half the contents out into the tin plate. It spread slowly on the plate. Nick knew it was too hot. He poured on some tomato ketchup. He knew the beans and spaghetti were still too hot. He looked at the fire, then at the tent; he was not going to spoil it all by burning his tongue. For years he had never enjoyed fried bananas because he had never been able to wait for them to cool. His tongue was very sensitive. He was very hungry. Across the river in the swamp, in the almost dark, he saw a mist rising. He looked at the tent once more. All right. He took a full spoonful from the plate. "Chrise," Nick said, "Geezus Chrise," he said happily.
He ate the whole plateful before he remembered the bread. Nick finished the second plateful with the bread, mopping the plate shiny. He had not eaten since a cup of coffee and a ham sandwich in the station restaurant at St. Ignace. It had been a very fine experience. He had been that hungry before, but had not been able to stand it. He could have made camp hours before if he had wanted to. There were plenty of good places to camp on the river. But this was good.
Nick tucked two big chips of pine under the grill. The fire flared up. He had forgotten to get water for the coffee. Out of the pack he got a folding canvas bucket and walked down the hill, across the edge of the meadow, to the stream. The other bank was in the white mist. The grass was wet and cold as he knelt on the bank and dipped the canvas bucket into the stream. It bellied and pulled held in the current. The water was ice cold. Nick rinsed the bucket and carried it full up to the camp. Up away from the stream it was not so cold.
Nick drove another big nail and hung up the bucket full of water. He dipped the coffee pot half full, put some more chips under the grill onto the fire and put the pot oil. He could not remember which way he made coffee. He could remember an argument about it with Hopkins, but not which side he had taken. He decided to bring it to a boil. He remembered now that was Hopkins's way. He had once argued about everything with Hopkins. While he waited for the coffee to boil, he opened a small can of apricots. He liked to open cans. He emptied the can of apricots out into a tin cup. While he watched the coffee on the fire, he drank the juice syrup of the apricots, carefully at first to keep from spilling, then meditatively, sucking the apricots down. They were better than fresh apricots.
The coffee boiled as he watched. The lid came up and coffee and grounds ran down the side of the pot. Nick took it off the grill. It was a triumph for Hopkins. He put sugar in the empty apricot cup and poured some of the coffee out to cool. It was too hot to pour and he used his hat to hold the handle of the coffee pot. He would not let it steep in the pot at all. Not the first cup. It should be straight. Hopkins deserved that. Hop was a very serious coffee drinker. He was the most serious man Nick had ever known. Not heavy, serious. That was a long time ago Hopkins spoke without moving his lips. He had played polo. He made millions of dollars in Texas. He had borrowed carfare to go to Chicago when the wire came that his first big well had come in. He could have wired for money. That would have been too slow. They called Hop's girl the Blonde Venus. Hop did not mind because she was not his real girl. Hopkins said very confidently that none of them would make fun of his real girl. He was right. Hopkins went away when the telegram came. That was on the Black River. It took eight days for the telegram to reach him. Hopkins gave away his 22-caliber Colt automatic pistol to Nick. He gave his camera to Bill, It was to remember him always by. They were all going fishing again next summer. The Hop Head was rich. He would get a yacht and they would all cruise along the north shore of Lake Superior. He was excited but serious. They said good-bye and all felt bad. It broke up the trip. They never saw Hopkins again. That was a long time ago on the Black River.
Nick drank the coffee, the coffee according to Hopkins. The coffee was bitter. Nick laughed. It made a good ending to the story. His mind was starting to work. He knew he could choke it because he was tired enough. He spilled the coffee out of the pot and shook the grounds loose into the fire. He lit a cigarette and went inside the tent. He took off his shoes and trousers, sitting on the blankets, rolled the shoes up inside the trousers for a pillow and got in between the blankets.
Out through the front of the tent he watched the glow of the fire when the night wind blew. It was a quiet night. The swamp was perfectly quiet. Nick stretched under the blanket comfortably. A mosquito hummed close to his ear. Nick sat up and lit a match. The mosquito was on the canvas, over his head Nick moved the match quickly up to it. The mosquito made a satisfactory hiss in the flame. The match went out. Nick lay down again under the blanket. He turned on his side and shut his eyes. He was sleepy. He felt sleep coming. He curled up under the blanket and went to sleep.
In the morning the sun was up and the tent was starting to get hot. Nick crawled out under the mosquito netting stretched across the mouth of the tent, to look at the morning. The grass was wet on his hands as he came out. The sun was just up over the hill. There was the meadow, the river and the swamp. There were birch trees in the green of the swamp on the other side of the river.
The river was clear and smoothly fast in the early morning. Down about two hundred yards were three logs all the way across the stream. They made the water smooth and deep above them. As Nick watched, a mink crossed the river on the logs and went into the swamp. Nick was excited. He was excited by the early morning and the river. He was really too hurried to eat breakfast, but he knew he must. He built a little fire and put on the coffee pot.
While the water was heating in the pot he took an empty bottle and went down over the edge of the high ground to the meadow. The meadow was wet with dew and Nick wanted to catch grasshoppers for bait before the sun dried the grass. He found plenty of good grasshoppers. They were at the base of the grass stems. Sometimes they clung to a grass stem. They were cold and wet with the dew, and could not jump until the sun warmed them. Nick picked them up, taking only the medium-sized brown ones, and put them into the bottle. He turned over a log and just under the shelter of the edge were several hundred hoppers. It was a grasshopper lodging house. Nick put about fifty of the medium browns into the bottle. While he was picking up the hoppers the others warmed in the sun and commenced to hop away. They flew when they hopped. At first they made one flight and stayed stiff when they landed, as though they were dead.
Nick knew that by the time he was through with breakfast they would be as lively as ever. Without dew in the grass it would take him all day to catch a bottle full of good grasshoppers and he would have to crush many of them, slamming at them with his hat. He washed his hands at the stream. He was excited to be near it. Then he walked up to the tent. The hoppers were already jumping stiffly in the grass. In the bottle, warmed by the sun, they were jumping in a mass. Nick put in a pine stick as a cork. It plugged the mouth of the bottle enough, so the hoppers could not get out and left plenty of air passage.
He had rolled the log back and knew he could get grasshoppers there every morning.
Nick laid the bottle full of jumping grasshoppers against a pine trunk. Rapidly he mixed some buckwheat flour with water and stirred it smooth, one cup of flour, one cup of water. He put a handful of coffee in the pot and dipped a lump of grease out of a can and slid it sputtering across the hot skillet. In the smoking skillet he poured smoothly the buckwheat batter. It spread like lava, the grease spitting sharply. Around the edges the buckwheat cake began to firm, then brown, then crisp. The surface was bubbling slowly to porousness. Nick pushed under the browned under surface with a fresh pine chip. He shook the skillet sideways and the cake was loose on the surface. I won't try and flop it, he thought. He slid the chip of clean wood all the way under the cake, and flopped it over onto its face. It sputtered in the pan.
When it was cooked Nick regreased the skillet. He used all the batter. It made another big flapjack and one smaller one.
Nick ate a big flapjack and a smaller one, covered with apple butter. He put apple butter on the third cake, folded it over twice, wrapped it in oiled paper and put it in his shirt pocket. He put the apple butter jar back in the pack and cut bread for two sandwiches.
In the pack he found a big onion. He sliced it in two and peeled the silky outer skin. Then he cut one half into slices and made onion sandwiches. He wrapped them in oiled paper and buttoned them in the other pocket of his khaki shirt. He turned the skillet upside down on the grill, drank the coffee, sweetened and yellow brown with the condensed milk in it, and tidied up the camp. It was a good camp.
Nick took his fly rod out of the leather rod-case, jointed it, and shoved the rod-case back into the tent. He put on the reel and threaded the line through the guides. He had to hold it from hand to hand, as he threaded it, or it would slip back through its own weight. It was a heavy, double tapered fly line. Nick had paid eight dollars for it a long time ago. It was made heavy to lift back in the air and come forward flat and heavy and straight to make it possible to cast a fly which has no weight. Nick opened the aluminum leader box. The leaders were coiled between the damp flannel pads. Nick had wet the pads at the water cooler on the train up to St. Ignace. In the damp pads the gut leaders had softened and Nick unrolled one and tied it by a loop at the end to the heavy fly line. He fastened a hook on the end of the leader. It was a small hook, very thin and springy.
Nick took it from his hook book, sitting with the rod across his lap. He tested the knot and the spring of the rod by pulling the line taut. It was a good feeling. He was careful not to let the hook bite into his finger.
He started down to the stream, holding his rod, the bottle of grasshoppers hung from his neck by a thong tied in half hitches around the neck of the bottle. His landing net hung by a hook from his belt. Over his shoulder was a long flour sack tied at each corner into an ear. The cord went over his shoulder. The sack slapped against his legs.
Nick felt awkward and professionally happy with all his equipment hanging from him. The grasshopper bottle swung against his chest. In his shirt the breast pockets bulged against him with the lunch and the fly book.
He stepped into the stream. It was a shock. His trousers clung tight to his legs. His shoes felt the gravel. The water was a rising cold shock.
Rushing, the current sucked against his legs. Where he stepped in, the water was over his knees. He waded with the current. The gravel slipped under his shoes. He looked down at the swirl of water below each leg and tipped up the bottle to get a grasshopper. The first grasshopper gave a jump in the neck of the bottle and went out into the water. He was sucked under in the whirl by Nick's right leg and came to the surface a little way down stream. He floated rapidly, kicking. In a quick circle, breaking the smooth surface of the water, he disappeared. A trout had taken him.
Another hopper poked his face out of the bottle. His antennas wavered. He was getting his front legs out of the bottle to jump. Nick took him by the head and held him while he threaded the slim hook under his chin, down through his thorax and into the last segments of his abdomen. The grasshopper took hold of the hook with his front feet, spitting tobacco juice on it. Nick dropped him into the water.
Holding the rod in his right hand he let out line against the pull of the grasshopper in the current. He stripped off line from the reel with his left hand and let it run free. He could see the hopper in the little waves of the current. It went out of sight.
There was a tug on the line. Nick pulled against the taut line. It was his first strike. Holding the now living rod across the current, he hauled in the line with his left hand. The rod bent in jerks, the trout pulling against the current. Nick knew it was a small one. He lifted the rod straight up in the air. It bowed with the pull.
He saw the trout in the water jerking with his head and body against the shifting tangent of the line in the stream.
Nick took the line in his left hand and pulled the trout, thumping tiredly against the current, to the surface. His back was mottled the clear, water-over-gravel color, his side flashing in the sun. The rod under his right arm, Nick stooped, dipping his right hand into the current. He held the trout, never still, with his moist right hand, while he unhooked the barb from his mouth, then dropped him back into the stream.
Former Congressman from Florida, Alan Grayson
"Carl Oglesby, who led Students for a Democratic Society as it publicly opposed the Vietnam War but who was later expelled by a radical faction that became the Weather Underground, died on Tuesday at his home in Montclair, N.J. He was 76...
“He was the great orator of the white New Left,” Todd Gitlin, a Columbia University professor who was the president of S.D.S. from 1963 to 1964, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “His voice was a well-practiced instrument.”
...Mr. Oglesby’s speech “Let Us Shape the Future,” delivered at an antiwar rally in Washington on Nov. 27, 1965, is considered a landmark of American political rhetoric. In it, he condemned the “corporate liberalism” — American economic interests disguised as anti-Communist benevolence — that, he argued, underpinned the Vietnam War...
“For all our official feeling for the millions who are enslaved to what we so self-righteously call the yoke of Communist tyranny,” Mr. Oglesby said that day, “we make no real effort at all to crack through the much more vicious right-wing tyrannies that our businessmen traffic with and our nation profits from every day.”
He bet the ranch on the movement,” he said. “He transplanted his world, radically. I think part of his power as an orator was that you could sense that he was bringing his whole self into this. He was at stake. It wasn’t a role; it was a life.”
His book The Yankee and Cowboy War was a major influence on my conspiracy theory worldview.
This Sunday, September 11, 2011 will be the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Most of he world watched the events of the day unfold on TV. This week, I will be posting a video a day of witnesses to the events.
Looking back we now know that leading industrialists and bankers including Prescott Bush and George Herbert Walker were involved in a coup attempt against President Franklin Roosevelt. The great mystery that remains is why were the families of the perpetrators not ruined?
President Clinton fought what his wife called ‘a vast right-wing conspiracy’. It turned out to be true and the new twist at the end of the 20th century was that the media was part of the conspiracy.
In 2000 the Presidential election was stolen… that was no accident.
And in 2009, President Obama was so afraid of a coup against him by the CIA, NSA and the military that he made his first of many compromises and did not pursue criminal prosecutions of torture and war crimes during the Bush, Jr. (grandson of Prescott Bush) Administration.
So let me touch briefly on 9/11. The official story is confusing. It is either both rumor and misinformation turning into a conspiracy theory because on the incompetence and cover-up of incompetence by the Bush, Jr. Administration of its actions that day, or those buildings in New York City were set with explosives.
I hope to god it is the former… but at times, it sure looks like the latter.
And I’m never satisfied with the official answer.
This Sunday, September 11, 2011 will be the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Most of he world watched the events of the day unfold on TV. This week, I will be posting a video a day of witnesses to the events.
This Sunday, September 11, 2011 will be the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Most of he world watched the events of the day unfold on TV. This week, I will be posting a video a day of witnesses to the events.
"President-Elect Obama’s advisors feared in 2008 that authorities would oust him in a coup and that Republicans would block his policy agenda if he prosecuted Bush-era war crimes, according to a law school dean who served as one of Christopher EdleyObama’s top transition advisors..."
The CIA, NSA and the military?
But Oliver Stone is a nut and Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy...
Why did they think this? Who said?.. or who threatened?
This is just too much, I thought it was hyperbole when I said the right wing in America are terrorists.
Prosecuting the Bush Administration for war crimes is exactly what was needed by a Democratic President in 2009. Obama's failure to do that is why his Administration is a failure and America is ripping apart at the seams... justice was not done... Hell, ask Rick Perry what to do!
And as for fearing Republican non-cooperation or maybe actively holding Obama's legislative agenda hostage... Jesus Hussein Christ!
This Sunday, September 11, 2011 will be the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Most of he world watched the events of the day unfold on TV. This week, I will be posting a video a day of witnesses to the events.
This Sunday, September 11, 2011 will be the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
This Sunday, September 11, 2011 will be the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
"More profoundly, Marx understood how capitalism destroys its own social base - the middle-class way of life. The Marxist terminology of bourgeois and proletarian has an archaic ring.
But when he argued that capitalism would plunge the middle classes into something like the precarious existence of the hard-pressed workers of his time, Marx anticipated a change in the way we live that we're only now struggling to cope with.
He viewed capitalism as the most revolutionary economic system in history, and there can be no doubt that it differs radically from those of previous times.
Hunter-gatherers persisted in their way of life for thousands of years, slave cultures for almost as long and feudal societies for many centuries. In contrast, capitalism transforms everything it touches.
It's not just brands that are constantly changing. Companies and industries are created and destroyed in an incessant stream of innovation, while human relationships are dissolved and reinvented in novel forms.
Capitalism has been described as a process of creative destruction, and no-one can deny that it has been prodigiously productive. Practically anyone who is alive in Britain today has a higher real income than they would have had if capitalism had never existed.
The trouble is that among the things that have been destroyed in the process is the way of life on which capitalism in the past depended..."
Don't worry. Ameican pundits aren't going to be hitting the old text books... your kids are safe... only in ole' London town would they still write something about Karl Marx.
Next Sunday, September 11, 2011 will be the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Not sure what the conundrum has been. If you simply take about 1/2 hour and listen to the actuall tapes of President John Kennedy and his advisers discussing the withdrawal options from Vietnam in 1963... it is pretty clear what JFK was going to do... withdrawal from Vietnam... if there is a debate, it is over 1964 (pre-Election) or 1965 (post-Election).
Could someone please call Texas... that's where our history books are written.
Some of the author's conclusions are bound to be controversial. Adolf Hitler, he argues, was not psychotic, as some assume — he had bipolar disorder that was worsened by his abuse of "opiates, barbiturates and amphetamines." Ghaemi also contends that many recent officeholders who likely did not have mental illness proved to be failures when it came to crisis leadership. He points to Richard Nixon, George W. Bush and Tony Blair as examples.
But good leaders like... well, all the progressive leaders in American history... and let's throw in Gandhi... were mentally ill... but in a good way!
NPR has been pushing this book for over a week.
I am reading The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House during the Cuban Missile Crisis... and I am not seeing signs of mental illness... he is the only sane one in the room... let's compare them with say... Rickard Nixon's White House Tapes... or god forbid, Bush, Jr. White House Tapes.
Some day, a hard rain is going to fall.
NPR goes on the terrorist watch list.
"As an uneasy quiet prevailed on the border between East and West Berlin, the East German Communists tightened their squeeze on the Western sectors early today. The East German Interior Ministry announced that vehicles from West Berlin must have permits to cross into the Communist zone. (pg. 1:8)
Adenauer said the West might have to decide on a total trade embargo of the Soviet bloc if Moscow did not agree to reasonable negotiations with NATO. (1:7)
President Kennedy was said to have decided on vigorous protests and propaganda on Berlin. But extreme countermeasures were ruled out as too likely to lead to war. (1:6-7)"
It is the 50th anniversary of what has become know in the history books as The Berlin Crisis of 1961. As part of the terrorist-corporate media's rewriting of those American history books, we have lots of badly researched and false analysis in the Press (TV, radio, books, websites) of President Kennedy's handling of the political crisis. This weekend, our conservative pundists are slobbering all over the latest revisionist histoy book by Frederick Kempe.
President Kennedy faced crisis after crisis in the early 1960's as the military industrial complex fought to take hold of the reigns of power in America. By 1963, JFK was a different man, a different President than he was on his Inauguration Day. He had been through the fire of handling these crisis and by 1963, had become the great President we still honor today... just listen to his speeches from 1963... it would have been a very different America if he had not been assassinated in Dallas in November of that year.
Here is a post on The Berlin Crisis of 1961 by David Lifton (you can follow the comments thread by clicking here to Lifton's 50th anniversary post.)
Posted 21 June 2011 - 11:34 PM
This thread concerns Kennedy's "Berlin policy," and the recently published book by Frederick Kempe, "Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth." The Kempe book revives a very important issue, one that author Richard Reeves analyzed in depth 18 years ago in his book, "President Kennedy: Profile of Power." I thought I'd start this thread, to put the matter in context.
In my opinion, understanding what happened in Berlin in the "summer of '61" (and in what is called "the Berlin Crisis") is critical to understanding what followed in the Kennedy administration in the area of JFK's foreign policy towards Cuba and--consequently--Berlin figures as another marker on the road to Dallas.
I have not read Kempe's book (just yet) but those interested in this subject should be aware that the basic situation JFK was facing in Berlin is narrated (and analyzed, in considerable detail), in author Richard Reeves' 1993 book "President Kennedy: Profile of Power." What is known as the Berlin crisis began on 6/4/61, when JFK met Khrushchev in Vienna (at what is sometimes referred to as the "Vienna Summit"), and Khrushchev delivered an ugly, fist-banging ultimatum: that he was going to sign a separate peace treaty with East Germany, that access to Berlin (located over 100 miles inside East Germany) would then be controlled by East Germany (and the Communist regime of Walter Ulbricht) and the west be damned.
Kennedy was faced with this ugly ultimatum and the problem of what to do about it. For a brief while, what actually happened in Vienna, and the full extent of Khrushchev's ultimatum was not made public.
What happened next: The hawks in JFK's administration clustered around former Secretary of State Dean Acheson who, on 6/28/61, wrote a critical memo that defined the parameters of the situation. Acheson decided that Berlin was the place to face down the Soviets,once and for all. Acheson's memo instructed Kennedy to "prepare for war. . .nuclear war." Siding with Acheson were the JCS AND Vice President Johnson--yes "and Vice President Johnson". Moreover, the JCS sought authority to use tactical nukes to defend West Berlin (can you believe that? Well, its true).
Kennedy sought to find a way to avoid war, and to maneuver around this dangerous situation, and convince Khrushchev that he meant business. His brain trust consisted of Sorenson, Schlesinger, Mansfield---and a young MIT whiz named Thomas Schelling, an expert in game theory. (You can buy his books on game theory on Amazon).
As events unfolded, Kennedy learned (to his distress) that Khrushchev did not care what Kennedy said--only what he did. So: Kennedy basically had to bluff Khrushchev--publicly--but the stakes were huge and the risks were terrible. A strategy had to be devised that projected the credible appearance that Kennedy would in fact go to war over Berlin, without actually going to war. For Kennedy, it was touchy, scarey, and just plain awful. He had to tread a very fine line.
JFK went on TV on July 25, 1961, calling for increased money, calling up reserves, increasing draft calls, etc. There were also very serious (and secret) back channel communications, involving Bobby Kennedy and the Russian spy Bolshakov.
The bottom line: Kennedy made the decision that what counted (i.e., what he ultimately wanted) was Western access to West Berlin--that he could not be responsible for what East German did in its zone (i.e., the Soviet Zone). In other words, JFK made the decision that the U.S. would not go to war to protect the "freedom" of East Berlin--just the freedom of West Berlin. That's where he drew the line.
Most important: JFK was able to "walk in the other guy's shoes." He understood that East Germany was hemorrhaging at the rate of 2,000 per day. So he understood that the East German government was going to have to do something about that.
Kennedy was (apparently) hoping that the East German government would simply seal off their own border, and solve their political problem that way. And in fact, Senator Fulbright, in a national TV appearance on "Issues and Answers," signaled that that would in fact be acceptable to the U.S.
The public response to JFK's 7/25/61 speech was very positive. Hugely positive, in fact.
Behind the scenes, much of JFK's strategy was dictated by his conferring with Thomas Schelling. (All this is spelled out in Reeves).
During this very dangerous period, after the July 25, 1961 nationwide TV address (but before the Wall went up [8/14/61] which marked "the end" of the Berlin Crisis ), Bobby Kennedy thought the chances of a major nuclear war were one in five. Yes, one in five. It was that serious.
The "resolution" of the crisis was the erection of the Berlin Wall on 8/14/61. As explained by Reeves, that avoided a nuclear war in Europe. No question about it.
Its all spelled out in Richard Reeves; and you've got to read BOTH the text, AND the footnotes.
The Berlin Crisis --starting on 6/4/61 and ending on 8/14/61--is every bit as hair raising as the Cuban Missile Crisis the following year. But Kennedy played it down, after it was over. No proclamations were made. Just two key news stories--one in the NY Times and the other in the Washington Post--explaining the "real-politik" of the situation, and that the Wall marked the end of what had been a dangerous situation.
From a memo in my files that I wrote three years ago. . .:
QUOTE: I've read through Reeves' chapters (and all the footnotes) very carefully, and now have a much greater understanding of what happened between June 4 and August 14 (1961) It seems clear to me that "the Berlin Crisis" is almost as dramatic as the Cuban Missile Crisis, but the details are not known because many of the most fundamental documents (including the official record of the JFK-Khr meeting of June 4, 1961) were not available until the 1990s, and both Schlesinger AND Sorenson hid the true nature of the frightening way Khrushchev behaved on June 4, in delivering his ultimatum. (So did Hugh Sidey, who also--apparently--had access to the official notes of the meeting.) Again, Reeves' book was not written until 1993, and the other key sources on which he relies. . .. UNQUOTE
Here's another passage:
Anyway, nuclear war was avoided because of some very sophisticated maneuvering by JFK (and Sorenson, and Schlesinger, and probably RFK, too) that was on a par with-and completely equivalent to--the strategic maneuvering and tactical thinking that JFK again employed during the much more well known Cuban missile crisis, which commenced fourteen months later, and lasted for the famous period known as "13 days." UNQUOTE
QUOTE: "However, in the lead-up to the climax--which extended through must of June, and into July (and which ended with a major nationwide TV address by JFK on the address of 7/25)--former Secretary State Dean Acheson (who was called in as an adviser) weighed in with a critical memo (6/28/61)--a very hawkish document recommending that JFK prepare for nuclear war over Berlin. The JCS wanted to use nukes, too. In the key meetings, LBJ sided with Acheson and the JCS.
In this [memo], I cannot possibly adequately summarize the complex situation, but the story of how JFK maneuvered through this diplomatic and military minefield is all laid out in Reeves' 1993 book--IF you not only read the text, but also the footnotes.
What I learned from this is that its not possible to understand how JFK/RFK approached Cuba (with Mongoose, starting in October/Nov 1961) if one does not understand what happened in the 10-week period between June 4 and August 14, and which must have been a thoroughly terrifying experience (and a prelude, of course, to what happened in October 1962, when the Soviets put missiles in Cuba). UNQUOTE
Here's some more background. During the crisis (and apparently as part of the strategy), JFK authorized Joseph Alsop to air his personal views in a Saturday Review article. The headline of the Alsop Saturday Review article: "The Most Important Decision in U.S. History—And How the President is Facing It"
Now, focus this language (QUOTING ALSOP, reporting Kennedy's thinking):
* * * The decision, as Alsop phrased it, was “Whether the United States should risk something close to national suicide in order to avoid national surrender.” UNQUOTE
Kennedy knew he had to avoid appeasement, or even the appearance of it. "What he said to insiders: If he wants to rub my nose in it. . its over."
"It's over" meant just that--that if, after all JFK did, Khrushchev insisted on "taking" Berlin (via the use of its proxy, the East German government) there would indeed be war.
From my notes on JFK's 7/25/63 Berlin Speech:
JFK addresses the nation—and played his hand, to show how serious he was, designed to make Khrushchev "pay attention":
--tripled draft calls
--Personal sacrifice neccessary
--More $ for military (put in details)
I don't know how this data is treated in Kempe's book (my copy is on order from Amazon). What I'm laying out here is how author Richard Reeves dealt with this remarkable situation in his really excellent 1993 book--and remember, that was 18 years ago.
There's little question in my mind that the prospect of nuclear war was very serious--as I said above, Bobby Kennedy estimated the chances at 1 in 5.
There's also no question that JFK's key adversary, politically, was former Secretary State Dean Acheson (supported by the JCS AND Vice President Johnson). Acheson, in the aftermath, viewed Kennedy as an "uninformed" young man, who was "out of his depth," etc. When Kennedy navigated the dangerous Cuban Missile Crisis, 14 months later, he (Acheson) called the positive outcome "pure dumb luck."
(If you want to understand the nature of "political forces" that were allied against Kennedy, it wasn't just people like Lyman Lemnitzer and Curtis Lemay. One cannot ignore Acheson.)
So much for what you will find in Reeves book. . now, here are some of my own views.
DSL PERSONAL VIEWS ON RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BERLIN CRISIS AND SUBSEQUENT CUBA POLICY
FIRST: Kennedy's failure to "knock down the wall" (and other such crazy ideas) was viewed, by the top political/military leadership, as on a par with his failure to send in the Marines in connection with the Bay of Pigs. So to those people, by August, 1961, Kennedy was an out and out appeaser, and it looked this way:
--March 1961: Kennedy failed to go into Laos with troops, as advocated by Sec State Dean Rusk
--April 1961 Kennedy failed at the Bay of Pigs
--August 1961 Kennedy failed to knock down the Berlin Wall
To me, this kind of "analysis" is sheer lunacy, but. . and here's where I am heading. .
SECOND: when it came to Cuba, and the fall of 1961. . I don't believe that John Kennedy was going to risk another brush with thermonuclear war because of what he viewed as a revolutionary out-of-control Marxist in the Caribbean, whose associate, Che Guevara, was fomenting revolution in South America.
Consequently--and this is just my opinion--understanding what happened in Berlin (circa 6/4/61 - 8/14/61) is essential to understanding the "moral calculus" or "ethical calculus" that motivated Kennedy in deciding --if necessary--to treat Castro (personally) as a military target and overthrow his regime, rather than risk a rerun of the frightening experience he (and brother Robert) had just had in Berlin. (And can you blame them?)
So that, imho, explains his calling in Tad Szulc, and asking: "What would you say if I gave the order to assassinate Castro?" etc. He simply had no intention of losing his presidency by being "tolerant" of a Marxist regime 90 miles off the coast of Florida.
What's amazing to me, once you read Reeves, is how Sorenson played it down, in his book, and even in Counselor, his recently published memoir published just a year or so prior to his death. I think that he simply didn't want to let the world know that Kennedy had played nuclear poker. Again, that's my opinion.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading Kempe's book, but I don't think I will agree with his conclusions, at all.
There's little question in my mind that, as historian Robert Dallek correctly has said (and Dallek probably has pored over all the same documents that Reeves had, and to which Kempe had access) that this was THE single most dangerous crisis (other than the Cuban Missile Crisis).
I really do not believe that how JFK viewed the "world stage" and the rapidly evolving events, and the problem posed by his own recalcitrant military can be properly understood without appreciating the super-charged Berlin crisis (6/4-8/14/61), and how it ended without a war (on 8/14/61) BECAUSE OF "the wall."
As JFK said on 8/14/61: "Better a wall, than a war" (from memory).
I agree. We're here today, and the map of Europe looks the way it does, because of how that crisis was handled.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE
Kempe talks of his visit to East Berlin, and his traverse through Checkpoint Charlie. I had the same experience, but at a much earlier time. As I write this post, I have in front of me my passport from 1961, when I was briefly living in Paris, and in general, was touring Europe in a VW "bug" that I purchased when I first arrived. The Wall was big news--all over the world--and I and a companion, a Fulbright Scholar, set out from Paris and went to Berlin. We entered East Germany on August 30, 1961 (at Helmstedt) and were in Berlin in a few hours. As U.S. citizens, we had the right to go into the "eastern zone," and that's what we did. I have some vivid memories of that day--just two weeks after the Wall went up. Checkpoint Charlie--the crossing point on the Frederichstrasse, looked exactly as it did in the movie "The Spy That Came in from the Cold." Parked nearby were the U.S. tanks, that had been involved in the famous standoff. As we passed through Checkpoint Charlie, off to one side were men with microphones, taking down everyone's license number. We spent several hours in East Berlin (which was akin to a poor section of Brooklyn) with some buildings emblazoned with large posters of Soviet astronaut Yuri Gargarin, and then returned to the glass and steel beauty of West Berlin. It was a memorable experience.
Of course, at the time I had no idea of the behind the scenes policy debates that were going on. Or how close the world had come to the outbreak of a nuclear war in Europe.
6/21/11 5:45 PM PDT
Los Angeles, CA
From the New York Times Archives:
August 13, 1961: To halt the exodus of East Germans to the West, Communist party brigades and East German soldiers early today blocked the border between East and West Berlin. All means of exit roads, subways and elevated lines, were closed. East German commuters who work in West Berlin will be barred from reaching their jobs tomorrow. East German troops took up guard posts at the Brandenburg Gate and elsewhere. (pg. 1:1)
The Kennedy Administration believes that the Berlin dispute can be talked out peacefully later this year. But there is concern for the cohesion of the Western alliance in the coming weeks, when pressures for a quick settlement are expected to increase. (1:2-3)
August 13, 1961: Berliners wake to divided city.
Troops in East Germany have sealed the border between East and West Berlin, shutting off the escape route for thousands of refugees from the East.
Barbed wire fences up to six feet (1.83 metres) high were put up during the night, and Berliners woke this morning to find themselves living in a divided city.
Train services between the two sectors of the city have been cut, and all road traffic across the border has been stopped.
Thousands of angry demonstrators quickly gathered on the West Berlin side of the divide. At one crossing point, protesters tried to trample down the barbed wire, only to be driven back by guards with bayonets.
The West German Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, appealed for calm, saying in a broadcast to the nation this evening: "Now, as always, we are closely bound to the Germans of the Russian zone and East Berlin.
"They are and remain our German brothers and sisters. The Federal Government remains firmly committed to the goal of German unity."
There has been outrage from the international community at the abrupt decision to cut off one side of the city from the other.
A Foreign Office spokesman in London said the restrictions were contrary to the four-power status of Berlin, and therefore illegal.
The American Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, called it a "flagrant violation" of East-West agreements, and said there would be a vigorous protest to Russia.
The tide of people fleeing East Germany has grown to a flood in recent days, as the Soviet Union has taken an increasingly hard line over breaking away from the three Allied powers and forming a separate peace treaty with East Germany over Berlin.
Nearly 12,500 people left East Germany this week - over 2,000 more than the previous week.
The East German government has been taking desperate measures to stem the flow. Yesterday, border guards were intercepting trains near Berlin and interrogating passengers. Those who arrived in Berlin said only one in 10 was allowed through.
There had been rumours of a decisive crackdown on refugees since the East German parliament met yesterday and approved new, unspecified measures against them.
The rumours provoked an even more frantic exodus. Just before the borders were closed, the numbers more than doubled, with some 3,000 East Germans fleeing to the West in just 24 hours.
I am often asked when discussing the President Kennedy Assassination, why after all these years isn't there more proof...
Proof like maybe the government knew more than it was saying, or that the government was covering something up?
So here is proof that the F.B.I. and Richard Nixon knew Ruby and that Ruby was an informant... in the employ of Richard Nixon at one time...
"Was there a foreign government behind the 9/11 attacks? A decade later, Americans still haven’t been given the whole story, while a key 28-page section of Congress’s Joint Inquiry report remains censored. Gathering years of leaks and leads, in an adaptation from their new book, Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan examine the connections between Saudi Arabia and the hijackers (15 of whom were Saudi), the Bush White House’s decision to ignore or bury evidence, and the frustration of lead investigators—including 9/11-commission staffers, counterterrorism officials, and senators on both sides of the aisle."
I don't think most Americans know that Richard Nixon gave grand jury testimony.
Why could we not read what was said?
How bad could it be?
Does he tell us he was in the room when the decisions to shoot JFK and then RFK were given?
Audio of a speech by President John Kennedy, 50 years ago today, commemorating Venezuelan Independence Day and linking it to our own Independence Day celebrations.
Quite a different view of Venezuela than our current leaders.
JFK's views on Latin American revolutions are interesting.
"...Decades later, in response to a Freedom of Information petition, the F.B.I. released its Hemingway file. It revealed that beginning in the 1940s J. Edgar Hoover had placed Ernest under surveillance because he was suspicious of Ernest’s activities in Cuba. Over the following years, agents filed reports on him and tapped his phones. The surveillance continued all through his confinement at St. Mary’s Hospital. It is likely that the phone outside his room was tapped after all.
In the years since, I have tried to reconcile Ernest’s fear of the F.B.I., which I regretfully misjudged, with the reality of the F.B.I. file. I now believe he truly sensed the surveillance, and that it substantially contributed to his anguish and his suicide..."
So... what is A. E. Hotchner's next move? What is ours?
What is the United States of America?
We need to analyze this as we move forward, if we are to move forward.
We kill our Presidents, we elect actors to the throne, we elect oil barons and their sons. We denigrate the good and worship the liars, the greedy, the evil.
We fall for it all; all the lies and misdirection. We fall for the promise of becoming rich in America without working for it... all we have to do is screw our neighbor.
One of our greatest writers, a titan of 20th century American culture taken down by the illegal, paranoid, closeted homosexual fantasies of America's greatest cocksocker.
June 30, 1961
-President signs bill extending Social Security benefits to five million people and permitting people to retire with benefits at age 62.
-President signs most comprehensive Housing Bill in history, initiating aid to middle income families and mass transportation users, and increasing urban renewal and elderly housing.
50 Years ago, President Kennedy held a news conference... everyone, the press, the President... seemed smarter...
1961 is the 50th anniversary of the JFK Presidency.
Here is the audio track of President John F. Kennedy speaking at the 8th annual Conference on International Economic and Social Development held at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. on June 16, 1961.
In his speech the President addresses the new foreign aid program and the need to overturn communist regimes in order to end social and economic injustice.
Kennedy's take on how to win the world over to our side had more to do with social and economic justice than bombers and troop deployments.
Following his assassination in 1963, America did not continue to follow along his path...
If you want the short version... skip to 12 minutes in.
The real hilarity with the Pentagon Papers and Daniel Ellsberg's leaking them to the press, is they caught the Nixon White House in the middle of forging and changing some documents to obfuscate the Kennedy Years.
And they weren't the only ones, try and piece together the NSAM trail from JFK's White House... it is riddle wrapped in an enigma.
Senator Robert Kennedy died from gunshot wounds to the head... lone gunman... etc. on June 6, 1968.
He was shot in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968.
This photo was taken by a friend of a friend...(Mike Salisbury).
June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.”
More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end on June 6, the Allies gained a foot- hold in Normandy.
The D-Day cost was high -more than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded -- but more than 100,000 Soldiers began the march across Europe to defeat Hitler.
History records that Khrushchev spoke and stormed and hollered. There may have even been some shoe banging. Kennedy listened and squirmed and wondered what the hell was going on with this guy.
The meeting was behind closed doors, like so many things back then. The perception from the meeting was Khrushchev perceived JFK as young, inexperienced and weak, weak enough to build a wall in Berlin and send missiles to Cuba.
Kennedy’s experience was one I think Americans aren’t used to, he listened, he didn’t like what he heard, but he too, took the measure of his man, and the egalitarian statesman Kennedy was raised to be came to the surface. He did not bang his shoe on the Viennese table tops, but when it came time for the sound bite over the future of Berlin:
Khrushchev: “Force will be met by force. If the US wants war, that's its problem." "It's up to the US to decide whether there will be war or peace."
Kennedy: "Then, Mr. Chairman, there will be a war. It will be a cold, long winter."
And a long cold winter it was.
But as we have learned from our history, the leaders of the two most powerful nations on earth were not calling all the shots. By 1964, both man was no longer on the world stage. JFK was assassinated in 1963 and Khrushchev was removed from power a year later.
The Vienna Summit is a fascinating study for students of history and diplomacy and for politicians. How did both men approach the summit? How did both men handled themselves and each other? What were the results?
History is still being written, new books and new archive documents are coming out every year. What I find interesting is that the two men did not blow up the world as some thought possible, instead they managed to bring a lasting peace and a road map to future peace between Soviet Union and the United States.
Khrushchev wept upon hearing the news of JFK’s assassination... Maybe he knew that forces larger than him and the young leader he met in Vienna were on the move and in the end, neither man was the maker of his final destiny… or that of his nation.
I could think of a lot worse scenarios if these two men were not at the helm of their nations in 1961.
Here is a nice piece of history from 50 years ago today, June 2, 1961: President Kennedy speaks to the French Press (and even takes some questions in french).
Audio recording of President John F. Kennedy’s remarks at a Press Club luncheon held at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France. In his address the President thanks the French people for their hospitality during his visit and famously introduces himself, stating, “I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris—and I have enjoyed it!”
President Kennedy then acknowledges three major changes in the world since World War II: economic growth and reconstruction in Europe, increasing concerns about nuclear warfare, and new global threats to human liberty and economic stability.
The President’s speech is followed by a press question and answer session on various topics, including the President’s scheduled meeting with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, mutual security between European nations and the United States, and the strengths of the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Part of the question and answer session takes place in French.
The recording cuts off abruptly during one speaker and contains some distortion.
John Ford's They Were Expendable.
The United States has fought and is fighting a lot of wars since 1945 and this latest generation of soldier has seen a lot of desert action. There doesn't seem to be a lot of myth-making storytelling about our veterans of foreign wars in the last 20 years.
Vietnam was the last war that got the big, Hollywood treatment. We have been at war pretty consistently with this latest generation of unknown soldiers, fighting in battles that get little historical perspective back home.
Some times 'war movies' may seem corny, but our entertainment culture needs a way of healing, understanding and incorporating our soldiers back into American society after their service. Movies and television can bring us together as a people instead of separating us... because united we stand... divided we fall.
It is the 50th Anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's first Presidential year... 1961.
Here is his inspiring We Choose To Go To The Moon speech delivered at Rice University on May 25, 1961.
The stuff dreams are made of...
And here is a fascinating historical addendum to this speech released by the John F.Kennedy Presidential Library today... a declassified White House conversation JFK had with NASA Administrator James Webb discussing the future of the US space program.
This is great stuff, real, true history, not tainted by bias... the real audio recordings of President Kennedy in the White House.
A five-year study commissioned by the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops to provide a definitive answer to what caused the church’s sexual abuse crisis has concluded that neither the all-male celibate priesthood nor homosexuality were to blame.
Instead, the report says, the abuse occurred because priests who were poorly prepared and monitored, and were under stress, landed amid the social and sexual turmoil of the 1960s and ’70s.
When he was alive, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke was effectively gagged, unable to comment on what he saw as missteps of the Obama administration that he served. But as we face a crisis in Pakistan after the killing of Osama bin Laden, it’s worth listening to Holbrooke’s counsel — from beyond the grave.
The Kennedy Administration begins to leave its paper trail of National Security Action Memorandum that will twist through the dark forest of American foreign policy in the 1960s.
There are clues in these NSAMs and what becomes of them... including how they are preresented in history... that can lead us back to 11/22/63... if we dare to look.
The President looked like he was taking a shit in the corner.
And how many Nobel Peace Prize winners have ordered the assassination of their enemies?
It’s starting to look like gloating Mr. President…
I wish President Obama had shown this side of himself in the days after taking the oath of office… maybe we wouldn’t still have this sinking feeling in country that the Republicans still run the place.
And no, I don’t think in this land of free speech, in which the enemy hates us because of our freedoms, we should ever stop questioning the events of 9/11.
The Bush, Jr. /Cheney Administration never spoke an honest word including “the” and “and”.
Where is the track record of truth? That anything said by them wasn’t the complete opposite… a total lie?
So I’ll keep asking until someone can tell me why and how Building Seven was pulled, so I can sleep better at night.
William & Kate and Osama have kept American televisions free from news for over three weeks now.
How are our wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen going… did I miss any? should I be saying ‘hotspots’?
And all this bin Laden is DEAD analyzing seems to have justified our government’s pass on the Middle Eastern revolutions in Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain… where even Senator John McCain can see that the incredible power of satellites, smart phones and social media can spark democracy with the same raw power of lighting striking Ben Franklin’s key and kite… while in modern America, we download 'Angry Birds’ and pop music and occasionally email pictures of our asses to each other.
Clouds are forming over the ocean in time to ruin any hope of a sunny weekend… so it is Jameson’s Irish whiskey and the new Emmylou Harris album for me.
Oh, and remember to support Bill Nye, The Science Guy... The Inquisitors are after him for defying the Book of Genesis.
The fact that this guy was President for two terms is unbelievable.
He doesn't have hurt feelings... he just would never been seen celebrating the death of a bin Laden family member. The Saudis would have hurt feelings.
"At 9:34 on the morning of May 5, 1961, as America watched on black-and-white TV, the Redstone blasted off, cleared the pad and rushed skyward. Seconds later, Shepard radioed down, "Ah, Roger liftoff, and the clock is started."
Two minutes and 42 seconds later, the engine burn ended, and Shepard was traveling faster than any American before him: 5,134 mph. The capsule separated from the booster rocket, and he was weightless. He took control, firing retrorockets on NASA's commands, adjusting the Mercury's position on all three axes."
"...James Farmer, national director of CORE, and thirteen volunteers left Washington on 4th May, 1961, for Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. Governor James Patterson commented that: "The people of Alabama are so enraged that I cannot guarantee protection for this bunch of rabble-rousers." Patterson, who had been elected with the support of the Ku Klux Klan added that integration would come to Alabama only "over my dead body."
The Freedom Riders were split between two buses. They travelled in integrated seating and visited "white only" restaurants. When they reached Anniston on 14th May the Freedom Riders were attacked by men armed with clubs, bricks, iron pipes and knives. One of the buses was fire-bombed and the mob held the doors shut, intent on burning the riders to death..."
The Admirals, Generals and Intelligence Chiefs sometimes have a different agenda...
This is the guy that gut-shot the nation.
August 23, 2011 will bring the 40th anniversary of one of the most successful efforts to transform America. Forty years ago the most influential representatives of our largest corporations despaired. They saw themselves on the losing side of history. They did not, however, give in to that despair, but rather sought advice from the man they viewed as their best and brightest about how to reverse their losses. That man advanced a comprehensive, sophisticated strategy, but it was also a strategy that embraced a consistent tactic – attack the critics and valorize corporations! He issued a clarion call for corporations to mobilize their economic power to further their economic interests by ensuring that corporations dominated every influential and powerful American institution. Lewis Powell’s call was answered by the CEOs who funded the creation of Cato, Heritage, and hundreds of other movement centers.
"...Powell’s solution was for corporations to act like real corporations by using their wealth and ownership to take control of the universities and media and use that control to further corporate interests by causing the universities and media to extol the virtue of corporate dominance and by influencing the law to support corporate interests. But his central theme was that business must cease its “appeasement.” CEOs should show:
“no hesitation to attack the Naders … who openly seek destruction of the system. There should not be the slightest hesitation to press vigorously in all political arenas for support of the enterprise system. Nor should there be reluctance to penalize politically those who oppose it.”
Powell: Do what we do Best – “Produce and Influence Consumer Decisions”
Powell’s specific prescriptions for how corporations should use their economic power to achieve dominance are filled with hortatory expressions about quality.
“Essential ingredients of the entire program must be responsibility and "quality control." The publications, the articles, the speeches, the media programs, the advertising, the briefs filed in courts, and the appearances before legislative committees -- all must meet the most exacting standards of accuracy and professional excellence.”
But Powell knew corporations’ real strength – manipulating the public through advertising and marketing.
“It is time for American business -- which has demonstrated the greatest capacity in all history to produce and to influence consumer decisions -- to apply their great talents vigorously to the preservation of the system itself.”