“All Will Come Right, Born Again the Glory of Mankind”

4 08 2009

Young Son the history buff found this after reading his sister’s account of visiting Winston Churchill’s burial site in Westminster Abbey yesterday, during the beauty and peace of evensong services.

It’s fun to watch/hear (even after the tenth time, as I found out while he played it over and over lol) — but it’s some serious Power of Story too, for frightening times of war and rebellion, lies and spies, sabotage and infiltration. . .lift up your hearts and gird your loins and fight for humanity, the glory of MANKIND!

Transcript of the whole speech. . .

. . . the message which we send forth today to all states and nations, bound or free, to all the men in all the lands who care for freedom’s cause. . .lift up your hearts, all will come right. Out of depths of sorrow and sacrifice will be born again the glory of mankind.

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Yeah, Right, No Racist Cops

29 07 2009

badCop no donut graphic

Justin Barrett, Boston police officer, suspended for calling Professor Gates a “Jungle Monkey” in e-mail

(The edible editorial graphic is from an ACLU letter decrying D.C.’s disorderly conduct ordinance, which led to yet another apparent abuse of police power — see first comment for details.)





Rules, Authority, Control: It’s the Power, Stupid

29 07 2009

If the insurance industry wins on health care reform by beating Obama soundly on bigger, more transformative change, it will strengthen and embolden every other big special interest. The energy companies on climate change, the big banks on financial reform, and every other special interest lobbyist Obama has said he would tame, will be laughing at the failure of bigger health reform, secure in their knowledge that nothing has changed in Washington, D.C.

No Legal Overstep Left Behind:

“Most of our politics in America is about the disappointment of not meeting the high goals we set for ourselves.”
–Senator Lamar Alexander, a former U.S. secretary of education trying to explain the legally codified rhetoric of No Child Left Behind.

Plus ca change. . .

Do you experience the conservative homeschooling meme as principled belief in personal freedom and limited government, fueling politics meant to secure and protect equal opportunities for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, for all kinds of Americans as autonomous individuals?

Or do you see conservative homeschooling as centered on religious rules and authority trumping secular authority, politics meant to impose fundamentalist social controls that supplant individual freedom (despite “libertarian” arguments and rhetoric)?

See also:
Thinking About the New Bonfire of the Vanities

Public or Private, Groups Still Govern Our Lives

Sarah Palin “Freeing” Herself From Public Office

And Now The Label “Married” Is In for Further Moral Meddling Read the rest of this entry »





Cartoon Commentary

27 07 2009
by August J. Pollak, SomeGuyWithaWebsite dot com

by August J. Pollak, SomeGuyWithaWebsite dot com





Thinking About This New Bonfire of the Vanities Case

24 07 2009

UPDATE
Overheard on cable news just now: “This could be a teachable moment, with a Gates/Crowley dialogue” — Jesse Jackson

************

Consider this an open thread around class and race, law and order, freedom and community and government in America, as electrified by professor Henry Louis “Skip” Gates being handcuffed in his own home for arguing with an armed government employee who came to his door and challenged him as a citizen to present his papers, prove his innocence of wrong-doing.

Is the citizen (or the police officer) the victim, or the offender? Are both both, or perhaps both are neither?

Is it really about race and class problems, or is this case primarily a clash between private individual rights and public government power? My own experience, in which everyone was white and everyone was wearing orange and blue, and both the police officer and myself were female, informs how I see this case — as not about race or class or color and minorities, not even testosterone, but rather the same way I’ve seen schoolfolk self-justifying their institutional job (to the point sometimes, of dismissing the reality that actual individuals are hurt rather than helped.)

All in all, it was a transformative moment for me, the quintessential teacher’s pet and media spokesperson, grievance hearing officer and pourer of oil on troubled waters. . .
Personal rage and alienation caused by social injustice was a new feeling for me, and it came literally out of the blue. I was just enjoying the day and my life, with my family and friends in a place I’d felt completely comfortable, safe and loved for my whole life, when WHAM!

And what if it were instead a CPS worker backed up by an armed sheriff’s deputy, in the south, say, at your door investigating a similarly misinformed neighbor’s complaint, coming to challenge you as a homeschooling parent in your own home, such an obviously unfounded complaint that you get outraged and say so loudly, hoping the neighbor will hear you and feel ashamed?

Now do you feel the same sympathies and concerns in the Gates case as you did before, or does your stomach suddenly flip-flop along with a 180-degree change of heart?

And please note, unlike my anonymous encounter with the police on game day, or any ordinary homeschool parent’s with the CPS, these principal characters were both well-known, mature, professional role models colliding in one of America’s most historic, educated and enlightened communities. White versus black, town versus gown, hate mail and a hot summer, a media feeding frenzy — here is Bill Cosby’s take — and one of them even knows the President of the United States personally! (Have you read Bonfire of the Vanities?)

The suspect was a black expert on racial profiling, while the white police officer who arrested him was a racial profiling trainer — if they can’t treat each other in an educated and enlightened manner, who can or will??

Some of the positions being publicly taken are Read the rest of this entry »