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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Character of Impunity—Ida B. Wells-era Anti-lynching today’s Anti-war imperative

For Love of Country
Editing, excerpting by Carolyn Bennett

Today is her birthday
American of African descent, teacher, journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, sociologist, early leader in human rights movements— Ida B. Wells documented lynching in the United States and showed that this act of barbarity was often motivated by a segment of the American majority’s attempt to control or punish their business competitors’ among American Negroes, rather than to curb actual criminal behavior committed by Negroes.
Ida B. Wells
July 16, 1862-July 16, 1931
Wells was also active in women’s rights and the Woman Suffrage Movement and established several notable women’s organizations. She was an accomplished and persuasive orator who traveled widely, giving lectures in the United States and other countries.

Ida Bell Wells-Barnett: July 16, 1862 – March 25, 1931

ECHOES: The following (excerpted, minor edit) from a speech given by Ida B. Wells in the year 1900 is eerily resonant in today’s U.S. actions at Guantanamo Bay and other detention and torture centers; actions on the streets of Illinois, Connecticut, California, Missouri, Georgia, New York, and other U.S. domestic sites; together with endless cases of U.S. lawlessness and repercussions against and among peoples and nations of Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Ukraine, and others.   

Judge Jury Executioner sans Constitutional Due Process or regard for Rights of Human Beings as Human Beings

 
“Our country’s national crime is lynching.” Ida Wells said.

“It is not the creature of an hour, the sudden outburst of uncontrolled fury, or the unspeakable brutality of an insane mob. It represents the cool, calculating deliberation of intelligent people who openly avow that there is an ‘unwritten law’ that justifies them in putting human beings to death without complaint under oath, without trial by jury, without opportunity to make defense, and without right of appeal.

“T
he ‘unwritten law’ first found excuse with the rough, rugged, and determined man who left the civilized centers of eastern States to seek quick returns in the gold-fields of the far West.… Far removed from and entirely without protection of the courts of civilized life, these fortune-seekers made laws to meet their varying Judge Lynch was original in methods but exceedingly effective in procedure. He made the charge, impaneled the jurors, and directed the execution. When the court adjourned, the prisoner was dead. Thus lynch law held sway in the far West until civilization spread into the Territories and the orderly processes of law took its place. The emergency no longer existing, lynching gradually disappeared from the West. But the spirit of mob procedure seemed to have fastened itself upon the lawless classes, and the grim process that at first was invoked to declare justice was made the excuse to wreak vengeance and cover crime.…emergencies.…

“This is the work of the ‘unwritten law’ about which so much is said, and in whose behest butchery is made a pastime and national savagery condoned. The first statute of this “unwritten law” was written in the blood of thousands of brave men who thought that a government that was good enough to create a citizenship was strong enough to protect it. Under the authority of a national law that gave every citizen the right to vote, the newly-made citizens chose to exercise their suffrage. But the reign of the national law was short-lived and illusionary. Hardly had the sentences dried upon the statute-books before one Southern State after another raised the cry against 'Negro domination' and proclaimed there was an “unwritten law” that justified any means to resist it.…
 
“…Political excuse was no longer necessary [and] wholesale murder of human beings went on [unabated]…. A new name was given to the killings and a new excuse was invented for so doing.…”

Impunity—World bodies, charities, foundations in complicity shrug (Think U.S. forces, mercenaries, military contractors, drone missiles in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, et.al)

“… [L]ynchings have steadily increased in number and barbarity [yet] … there has been no single effort put forth by the many moral and philanthropic forces of the country to put a stop to this wholesale slaughter. The silence and seeming [condoning] grow more marked as the years go by. The world accepts without let or hindrance.

“In many cases there has been open expression that the fate meted out to the victim was only what he deserved. …

Paris, Texas: The mayor gave school children a holiday and the railroads ran excursion trains so that the people might see a human being burned to death;

Texarkana, Texas: Men and boys amused themselves by cutting off strips of flesh and thrusting knives into their helpless victim.…


“I
n many instances there has been a silence that says more forcibly than words can proclaim it that it is right and proper that a human being should be seized by a mob and burned to death upon the unsworn and the uncorroborated charge of [an] accuser.

No matter that our laws presume every man innocent until he is proved guilty;
…no matter that it leaves a certain class of individuals completely at the mercy of another class;
…no matter that it encourages those criminally disposed to blacken their faces and commit any crime in the calendar so long as they can throw suspicion on some negro, as is frequently done, and then lead a mob to take his life;
…no matter that mobs make a farce of the law and a mockery of justice;
…no matter that hundreds of boys are being hardened in crime and schooled in vice by the repetition of such scenes before their eyes

“… [W]ith all the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition, all the barbarism of the Middle Ages—the world looks on and says it is well.…”

A
mericans of all stripes who were born in the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century seemed far less afraid to proclaim America’s promise and their authentic love—not of politicians or political parties, but of country.

For love of country

“Our country’s national crime is lynching,” Wells wrote in 1900. And 115 years later we must ponder a parallel in violence committed at home and abroad on orders of U.S. officials and by acts of their partners, contractors and government employees.

“… No American travels abroad without blushing for shame for his country on this subject; and whatever the excuse that now passes in the United States, it avails nothing abroad,” Wells wrote.

“With all the powers of government in control… —no excuse can be offered for exchanging orderly administration of justice for barbarous lynchings and ‘unwritten laws.’”

How and when will constructive change, substantive change in our character of being come to us? Ida Wells responds, Not “until Americans of every section of broadest patriotism and best and wisest citizenship—not only see the defect in our country’s armor, but who take the necessary steps to remedy [that defect].”


Sources and notes

“Speech on Lynch Law in America, Given by Ida B. Wells in Chicago, Illinois, January, 1900” Civil Rights and Conflict in the United States: Selected Speeches by FCIT Source: Wells, I. B. (1900).  The Arena,  http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/185/civil-rights-and-conflict-in-the-united-states-selected-speeches/4375/speech-on-lynch-law-in-america-given-by-ida-b-wells-in-chicago-illinois-january-1900/

Biographical notes on Ida B. Wells

Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ida_B._Wells
Biography http://www.biography.com/people/ida-b-wells-9527635



______________________________________________

A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

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Sunday, June 7, 2015

America polarized by money, uncivil relations says ex-U.S. President Jimmy Carter

Words of warning from the wise to fellow Americans
Editing by Carolyn Bennett

Excerpts from a Charles Green interview with former President James Earl Carter Jr., appended biographical briefs on the former President and former First Lady Eleanor Rosalynn Carter

MONEY IN POLITICS

Jimmy Carter: “I don't think anybody now can hope to be the nominee of the Democratic or Republican Party if they cannot raise a quarter of a billion dollars.

 
“This massive infusion of money automatically polarizes our country.


“When hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent tearing down the reputation of an opponent in order to get elected, animosity and negativism carries on into Washington.
 
“There was harmony among [members of Congress and the White House] when I was there, and I got just as much support from Republicans as I did from Democrats. I can’t imagine myself as a successful candidate today.”


RESPECT, CIVILITY IN GOVERNMENT

Jimmy Carter: “George H.W. Bush… was the only one …, along with his secretary of state, James Baker, who treated ex-presidents with respect.… And I’m not derogating the others when I say that.
  
“Somebody who has been out of office for 35 years is much less helpful to an incumbent president than either Gerald Ford or Richard Nixon was to me, because they had only been out of office just a few months or years.”

RACE RELATIONS

Jimmy Carter: “The recent publicity about mistreatment of black people in the judicial and police realm has been a reminder that the dreams of the civil rights movement have not been realized.

“Many Americans still have racist tendencies or feelings of superiority to people of color.”

PERSONAL CHARACTER, ATTITUDE

Jimmy Carter: “I haven’t been very belligerent in my life, maybe because of that ancestral background [his great-great, great-, and grandfathers having lost their lives in acts of violence].

“I’ve been primarily devoted to peacekeeping. I’ve stayed in a peaceful mood.”
 
PARTNER

The marriage of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and former president Jimmy Carter is 69 years. Jimmy Carter describes their relationship and work as “fully collaborative.”
  
Sources and Notes

Conversation with the United States’ thirty-ninth president, Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter), humanitarian and peanut farmer, AARP Bulletin, interview and article by Charles Green, freelance writer and former editor of National Journal, June 2015, http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/history/info-2015/jimmy-carter-reflections-at-90.html
 
Rosalynn Carter née Eleanor Rosalynn Smith: First Lady of United States of America (1977–81), wife of Jimmy (James Earl) Carter, 39th president of the United States and mental health advocate; one of the most politically astute and active of all American first ladies.

Foreign Relations

First Lady Rosalynn Carter “participated in political affairs to an extent unmatched by any of her predecessors. … She attended cabinet meetings when the subject under discussion interested her and attracted attention for taking whatever seat was vacant, even if it happened to be the one normally occupied by Vice President Walter Mondale. 
  • June 1977 she visited seven nations in the Caribbean and Latin America and met with their leaders to discuss substantive matters related to defense and trade.”
  • She routinely traveled “to various parts of the world for ceremonial occasions and on humanitarian missions such as a 1979 trip to a refugee camp in Cambodia.”

Domestic Affairs

  • Rosalynn Carter “served as honorary chair of the President’s Commission on Mental Health and took an active role in the commission's work, which resulted in the submission of the Mental Health Systems Bill to Congress in May 1979. During debate on the bill, which passed in 1980, she testified before a Senate subcommittee, the first presidential wife to make such an appearance since Eleanor Roosevelt in 1945.”

  • The President “sometimes pointed out that his wife’s first name was Eleanor and that she had been as valuable a working partner to him as had Eleanor Roosevelt to her husband. 

  • Compared with other first ladies, Rosalynn Carter’s “popularity was consistently high.”

Eleanor Rosalynn Carter: birth and birthplace August 18, 1927, Plains, Georgia 
Carter, Rosalynn.  (2013). Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Deluxe Edition.  Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica.

Carter, Jimmy (James Earl Carter, Jr.)

In a period of serious domestic and international problems, Jimmy Carter served as the 39th president of the United States (1977–81). A one-term president, he had been perceived as unable “to deal successfully with those problems”. After leaving office Mr. Carter broadened his credentials, embarking “on a career of diplomacy and advocacy,” meriting high praise for his peace efforts.

While in office critics had charged that Mr. Carter’s vision of the world was naïve in the area of foreign affairs but he has received “accolades for championing international human rights.”

Foreign affairs accomplishments as president major achievements: 
  • In 1977, he obtained two treaties between the United States and Panama that gave the latter control over the Panama Canal at the end of 1999 and guaranteed the neutrality of that waterway thereafter. 

  • In 1978, he brought together Egyptian President Anwar el-Sādāt and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at the presidential retreat in Camp David, Maryland, and secured their agreement to the Camp David Accords, which ended the state of war that had existed between the two countries since Israel’s establishment in 1948. 

  • On January 1, 1979, Carter established full diplomatic relations between the United States and China and simultaneously broke official ties with Taiwan. 

  • Also in 1979 in Vienna, U.S. President Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev signed a new bilateral strategic arms limitation treaty (SALT II) [which Carter removed from consideration by the Senate in January 1980 after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan] intended to establish parity in strategic nuclear weapons delivery systems between the two superpowers on terms that could be adequately verified. 

Diplomat without portfolio post presidency

The former president Carter “served as a kind of diplomat without portfolio” in conflicts in many countries among them “Nicaragua (where he successfully promoted the return of the Miskito Indians to their homeland), Panama (where he observed and reported illegal voting procedures), and Ethiopia (where he attempted to mediate a settlement with the Eritrean People’s Liberation Force).”

  • In 1994, he was active in “negotiating with North Korea to end nuclear weapons development there and with Haiti to bring about a peaceful transfer of power and with Bosnian Serbs and Muslims to broker a short-lived cease-fire.” 

  • Also in his post-presidency years, Jimmy Carter “became a prolific author, writing on a variety of topics. Two books on the Middle East were Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid (2006) and We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: A Plan That Will Work (2009). His interview with Syria’s Forward Magazine, published in January 2009, marked the first time that a former or current U.S. president had been interviewed by a Syrian media outlet. Carter also authored The Hornet’s Nest: A Novel of the Revolutionary War (2003) and a collection of poetry. His presidency is chronicled in White House Diary (2010), “which contains edited entries from a journal Carter kept during his years in the White House.” 

James Earl Carter Jr., birth and birthplace: October 1, 1924, Plains, Georgia 
Carter, Jimmy.  (2013). Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Deluxe Edition.  Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica.

George Herbert Walker Bush (b. June 12, 1924, Milton, Massachusetts) was the 41st
president of the United States (1989–93). As president, Bush assembled a multinational force to compel the withdrawal of Iraq from Kuwait in the Persian Gulf War.  This American politician and businessman had also been U.S. vice president (1981–89).

Bush, George (2013). Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Deluxe Edition.  Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica.


__________________________________________

A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

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Friday, May 29, 2015

“Progressive” as a three-dollar bill

Don’t Invest
Editing and commentary by
Carolyn Bennett

Status quo

Don’t invest in Bernie Sanders in bed with weapons industry Lockheed Martin ● or Hillary Clinton with hands on, direct and indirect, killing and taking her (foundation-laundered) cut. 

Endless war can be expected from these candidates—evening gowned or tuxedoed. An associate or friend of the legislator in interview today on KPFA spoke of “Bernie” in military terms: “Bernie’s ‘insurgency’”, he called the Senator's run for the White House, “with nothing to lose.”

Aside from the continuing culture and ethos of belligerence, militarism, imperialism, nuclear armament, global arms sales and violent aggression (together with gross neglect of domestic issues such as immigration, education, human rights and relations, general health and welfare)—serious times call for serious candidates. 

With U.S. “leadership” recklessly waging scores of wars and other aggression in Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa—no thoughtful person in the twenty-first century would consider someone addressed down as “Hillary” or “Bernie” (“Bill” or “Billy”).  
Same Coin

We know where Hillary was but where was Bernie when bribes were being handed out? Politician Bernard Sanders had been ensconced in the legislature of the United States for just short of a quarter century and when he is through the quarter century mark will have passed (his tenure in U.S. House of Representatives January 3, 1991-January 3, 2007, in U.S. Senate 2007-2015 current term ending in 2019).

Lockheed F-35
In his long tenure, what benefit has Sanders brought to the American people as a whole? 

What has he done for the general welfare of this country? 

What has he done to end U.S. wars and occupation abroad?

US DOD missile launch
Partnered with Military Industry Leader Lockheed Martin

The Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets file calls them Heavy Hitters ● one of the heaviest Lockheed Martin: the United States’ “top defense contractor, the brains behind high-tech military hardware such as the F-16 jet fighter and a variety of land and sea missiles. 

Lockheed in 2001 “landed the biggest defense contract in history when it was named the main contractor for the Joint Strike Fighter.”  

Lockheed 2014 “LOBBYING: $14,581,800” ● REVOLVING DOOR: “73 out of 109 Lockheed Martin lobbyists in 2013-2014 have previously held government jobs” ● Lockheed Martin PACs’ [Political Action Committees’] total contributions to U.S. candidates for public office “is 7 times larger than contributions from individuals…: Contributions to candidates $3,001,933, Contributions to Leadership PACs $865,875, Contributions to parties $223,216, Contributions to 527 committees $5,812, Contributions to outside spending groups $10,373”
 
Nuclear-Lockheed “Bernie”

Greg Guma writes this week under headline “Between the Lines—Will Sanders’ Run for the White House Help Build a National Progressive”?  

A fair question considering another faker

The “progressive” military-industrial-complex-supporting Bernard Sanders, Guma reports, is a flip-flopper on a seriously dangerous domestic and global issue. 

“Despite his (Sanders’) past criticisms of the corporation’s serial misconduct and excess,” by 2011 Sanders was “supporting the Pentagon’s proposal to base Lockheed-built F-35 fight jets at the Burlington (Vermont) International Airport…. Sanders “joined with Vermont’s most enthusiastic booster, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, signing on to a joint statement of support.”
Concerning the Vermont partnership with the energy company Sandia, “managed by Lockheed Martin for the Department of Defense”, the state’s governor reportedly described Sen. Sanders as being “like a dog with a bone” in his enthusiasm.

Judge for yourselves

I think America needs—and has for a long time needed—“freshness”. New people and new ideas, human sensibility, true independence of thought and action, principled leadership; people who don’t engage in getting by and fooling, hoodwinking, the American people, but who enable Americans—by supporting substantively good public education (not “race to a top or bottom”) for all—to think for themselves; not to succumb to propaganda, yield to manipulation; but to regularly ponder and act on the notion that we Americans must end the inherently regressive status quo, end legacy and dynasty, and put the “lifers” and the “old guard” out to pasture.

On its website “Presidency 2016”, Politics1 points out that “a large crowd of candidates will likely compete for the Democratic and Republican nominations—plus LOTS of likely third party and independent P2016 hopefuls.” And “if a person is running or thinking of running—regardless of party, ballot status, or chances of winning (incumbent party, main opposition party, third party candidates, independent and write-in hopefuls)” —Politics1 will list all of the candidates at its site. 

Why not check it out?

I
magine beyond elephants and donkeys. Anybody can be an “arse” or “heavy-footed”, even a great orator, a convincing propagandist. 

However, not anyone should be trusted with the leadership of a (potentially) great country. There is a whole world of truly progressive thinkers and doers, competent and principled people, not propagandists or counterfeit, waiting for a turn at the helm. Waiting for a chance to progressively help right this ship of state.



Sources and notes

“Upfront” May 29, 2015 episode, KPFA, https://kpfa.org/episode/upfront-may-29-2015/

Center for Responsive Politics Open Secrets, http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000104
http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00000528#ind
Bernard Sanders bio, http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=S000033

Sanders, Lockheed, Nuclear armament: TRUST ME

Wednesday, May 27, 2015: Greg Guma: “Between The Lines - Will Sanders’ Run for the White House Help Build a National Progressive … Lockheed in Vermont: Sanders’ Corporate Conundrum Progressive Eclipse – Chapter Ten; Sandia, Citizens United and Smart Meters: December 2011, http://gregguma.blogspot.com/2015/05/lockheed-in-vermont-sanders-corporate.html

“The growing influence of corporations made the emerging relationship between Sandia Laboratories and Bernie Sanders somewhat perplexing. Sandia was managed by Lockheed Martin for the Department of Defense, had roots in the Manhattan Project and a history of turning nuclear research into weapons. Most of its revenue still came from maintaining and developing defense systems. … [Sanders’] position hadn’t changed that much. Sandia’s nuclear associations were never a major obstacle: Sanders had once been pro-nuclear power and his criticisms were restrained. His stalwart alliance with labor had always outweighed his skepticism about military spending and his corporate criticism, which focused on fairness and inequality, rarely prevented him from making an alliance that furthered ‘bold’ initiatives or burnished his record of leadership. … By 2011, Sanders was … supporting the Pentagon’s proposal to base Lockheed-built F-35 fight jets at the Burlington International Airport. Despite his past criticisms of the corporation’s serial misconduct and excess, he joined with Vermont’s most enthusiastic booster, Senator Patrick Leahy, signing on to a joint statement of support.”

“Lockheed Martin in Vermont: Senator Bernie Sanders’ Corporate Conundrum” by Greg Guma
Global Research, May 28, 2015, Theme: Environment, Global Economy, Oil and Energy, Politics and Religion, http://www.globalresearch.ca/lockheed-martin-in-vermont-senator-bernie-sanders-corporate-conundrum/5452106

Presidency 2016 Politics1

A large crowd of candidates will likely compete for the Democratic and Republican nominations plus there LOTS of likely third party and independent P2016 hopefuls.


If a person is running or thinking of running—regardless of party, ballot status, or chances of winning (incumbent party, main opposition party, third party candidates, independent and write-in hopefuls) —Politics 1 lists all of the candidates at its site. http://www.politics1.com/p2016.htm

_____________________________________


A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

_____________________________________

Thursday, May 28, 2015

From a music lover: Happy Birthday, Beverly Sills


Her life, her art, her attitude in thoughts
Editing by Carolyn Bennett

We remember American treasure Beverly Sills whose birthday fell on this year’s U.S.-celebrated Memorial Day. Her life spanned May 25, 1929 – July 2, 2007; her peak performing years as a soprano on the stage of opera 1950s -1970s.

Art 
“A primary function of art and thought is to liberate the individual from the tyranny of his culture in the environmental sense and to permit him to stand beyond it in an autonomy of perception and judgment.” ―Beverly Sills

Her professional stage debut came in 1945 “with a Gilbert and Sullivan touring company produced by Jacob J. Shubert, playing twelve cities in the United States and Canada, offering seven different Gilbert and Sullivan operas.” Her performance as Cleopatra in the New York City Opera’s revival of Handel’s opera seria Giulio Cesare in 1966 made her an international opera star.

Born of parents who had immigrated from Odessa, Ukraine (then part of Russia) and Bucharest, Romania, Beverly Sills was multilingual before entering the arena of opera—her signature roles on stage including  title roles “in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, in Massenet’s Manon, Marie in Donizetti’s La fille du régiment, the three heroines in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, Rosina in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata, and Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux. In an operatic career spanning thirty years, she “recorded eighteen full-length operas”, “nine solo recital albums of arias and songs, and “was soprano soloist on a 1967 recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2.”

Roles beyond opera stage performance 
“My voice had a long, nonstop career. It deserves to be put to bed with quiet and dignity, not yanked out every once in a while to see if it can still do what it used to do; it can’t.” ―Beverly Sills
  
Beverly Sills retired from the stage of opera in 1980 and assumed the roles of general manager of the New York City Opera; chair of Lincoln Center (1994) and the Metropolitan Opera (2002), and lent her celebrity to charities “for the prevention and treatment of birth defects.”
 
In television, Beverly Sills starred in eight opera productions televised on PBS and several more on other public TV systems.  In television specials she appeared in “A Look-in at the Met with Danny Kaye” (1975), with Carol Burnett in “Sills and Burnett at the Met (1976), the Emmy-Award winning “Profile in Music” (recorded in England in 1971, showing in the United States in 1975). Some of the televised performances were commercially distributed on videotape and DVD.

Lincoln  Center
Honor honored 
“I had found a kind of serenity, a new maturity... I didn't feel better or stronger than anyone else but it seemed no longer important whether everyone loved me or not--more important now was for me to love them. Feeling that way turns your whole life around; living becomes the act of giving.” ―Beverly Sills

New York City Opera House
inside
Beverly Sills received many awards including Grammy and Emmy nominations. Some of the honors included the Handel Medallion from New York City for artistic achievement (1973); Recording Industry of America Cultural Award (1979); Golden Baton, American Symphony Orchestra League (1980); Kennedy Center Honors (1985); Induction into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2007); Pearl S. Buck Women’s Award (1979); 

The Presidential Medal of Freedom (1980); Barnard College Medal of Distinction (1981); Honorary doctorates in music: Temple University (1972), New York University and New England Conservatory of Music(1973), Harvard University (1974), California Institute of the Arts (1975);

Approachably plain speaking 
Sills
Burnett
Walters
far left?
“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. …  
“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try.” ―Beverly Sills

Beverly Sills has been described as “down-to-earth and approachable,” one who “helped dispel the traditional image of the ‘temperamental opera diva’.” In the late 1970s’ Sunday morning on network television she hosted “Lifestyles with Beverly Sills”, her talk show that won an Emmy Award. In her talk show appearances on programming shows such as Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett, David Frost, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, Dinah Shore, she “popularized opera.”

New York's
Brooklyn Bridge
Beverly Sills co-hosted American television’s “The View for Best Friends Week (November 9, 2006) as Barbara Walters’ best friend. She appeared on screen in movie theaters during HD transmissions live from the Met and as a backstage interviewer in February and April 2007. 

Beverly Sills was born “Belle Miriam Silverman” in Brooklyn, New York, May 25, 1929.


Sources and notes

Beverly Sills—biographical information at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beverly_Sills

Beverly Sills—biographical information on a website dedicated to preserving the artistry and humanity of Beverly Sills, offering an in-depth look at her life and career through print, sound and video, http://www.beverlysillsonline.com/

Quote Links: http://izquotes.com/author/beverly-sills
http://www.famousquotesandauthors.com/authors/beverly_sills_quotes.html
http://thinkexist.com/quotes/beverly_sills/2.html 

Coloratura soprano: a type of operatic soprano who specializes in music that is distinguished by agile runs, leaps and trills. Coloratura refers to the elaborate ornamentation of a melody, which is a typical component of the music written for this voice. Categories within a certain vocal range are determined by the size, weight and color of the voice. Within the coloratura category are roles written specifically for lighter voices, “lyric coloraturas”, others for larger voices, “dramatic coloraturas”; some roles may be sung by either voice.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coloratura_soprano


Soprano: “a type of classical female singing voice”, the highest vocal range of all voice types. Vocal range (using scientific pitch notation): approximately middle C (C4) = 261 Hz to ‘high A’ (A5) =880 Hz in choral music, or to ‘soprano C’ (C6, two octaves above middle C) =1046 Hz or higher in operatic music. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soprano

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A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

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Monday, May 25, 2015

“More than absence of war”—the Young with maturity raise Movement for Peace

JANE ADDAMS (1860-1935)
"one of the most
prominent reformers
of the
Progressive Era"
Dellums, Schroeder Insight at conference “Vietnam: The Power of Protest ● Telling the Truth. ● Learning the Lessons”
Editing, excerpting by 
Carolyn Bennett

Beyond mere absence of war… what if…
American activist and politician
Former Member of U.S. Congress Ron Dellums

What was “principle for our generation is imperative” for the current generation “because we know that the price of war is too high. We know that the price of neglect of the issues that affect the human condition—we do it at our peril—so that we have a responsibility now to address the imperative.…

“We say to this generation of young people, out of a sense of urgency, out of a sense of the imperative—You now must emerge.

 
…It is not that this generation does not get it; it’s that they don’t always hear it. But when they do hear it, they get it, because they listen carefully. And if I had to bet my last dollar, I would bet it on this generation of young people, because they’re not carrying the same baggage we carry; and if they ever stand up, they will change America and change the world for their children and their children’s children.

In photo
Schroeder center
Dellums far right
then
“‘Peace is more than simply the absence of war; it is the presence of justice.’ I interpreted that to mean … the peace movement is the ultimate movement. Peace is the superior idea, that the umbrella movement for—of all movements; the peace movement because to come together under the banner of peace forces us to challenge all forms of injustice.

“Peace is more than simply the absence of war—it is the absence of conditions that give rise to war. … If we stayed together, what would the international community look like [today]?

“What would the world look like globally?
Protests now

“What would America look like? Would we still be seeing the Baltimore(s), if we had challenged on these issues?

But it’s not too late.”


Protest with Civility, Maturity
American former politician and author 
Former Member of U.S. Congress 
Pat Schroeder

“I think about where we’ve been and where we haven’t been of late…

More than
absence of wa
r
Justice for all
“When people say to me, ‘…but things are different now, because the issues are so hard’—I keep saying ‘Are you kidding me? We had Vietnam, the 1973 [Israeli-Palestinian] war, impeachment [of former President Richard M. Nixon]; how many more things can you juggle at one time?’

Protests now
And, yet, we were treating each other, even if we disagreed, with respect and decency; and debating on the facts.”

Today “I don’t see that [civility, rigor, rationality] at all. I see name calling, [which] reminds me of the junior high school lunch room. One food fight after another and it’s very sad.”

In photo
Schroeder center right
Protests then
Peace (anitwar) Movement mattered then, matters now

Protests now
While in the Oval Office President “Nixon said, ‘That peace movement … doesn’t have anything to do with me; I’m president, and I’m doing what’s right.’ In a book written after his presidency “he said the peace movement kept him from escalating the war.”

Schroeder continues. 

“Now, none of us want to say anything; but it really did make a big difference. It made a huge difference. … 

“Let’s go out and get young people thinking about it [the Peace Movement] in the environment we’re in today…: Iran, and how many people seem to want to go to war with [Iran]…; what we’ve done in Iraq and Afghanistan…. 

“We need to spread what we have learned.”




Sources and notes

Jane Addams (September 6, 1860 – May 21, 1935): pioneer American settlement social worker (and founder of the social work profession in the United States), public philosopher, sociologist, author, and leader in women's suffrage and world peace. “In an era when presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson identified themselves as reformers and social activists—Addams was one of the most prominent reformers of the Progressive Era. She helped turn America to issues of concern to mothers, such as the needs of children, local public health, and world peace. She said that if women were to be responsible for cleaning up their communities and making them better places to live, they needed to be able to vote to do so effectively.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Addams

“Vietnam: The Power of Protest ● Telling the Truth. ● Learning the Lessons” May 1 - May 2 event in Washington D.C.: weekend gathering commemorating “the Vietnam Antiwar Movement,” addressing unlearned critical lessons of that war, and building opposition to today’s contemporary wars ● Featured speakers and performers: Phyllis Bennis, Julian Bond, Ron Kovic, Ron Dellums, Amy Goodman, Tom Hayden, Holly Near, Pat Schroeder, Susan Schnall and Peter Yarrow; a march to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall.
http://vietnamfulldisclosure.org/index.php/event/vietnam-the-power-of-protest-telling-the-truth-learning-the-lessons/

“Former Congressman Ron Dellums: Organizing for Peace Forces Us to Challenge All Forms of Injustice,” Monday May 25, 2015, http://www.democracynow.org/2015/5/25/former_congressman_ron_dellums_organizing_for

Ronald Vernie (Ron) Dellums: American activist, veteran, politician, born of labor organizers, native of Oakland, California, where he also served as mayor (2007-2011) and held positions on the Berkeley City Council; elected to thirteen terms (1971-1998) as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Northern California’s 9th Congressional District after which he worked as a lobbyist in Washington D.C. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Dellums


“Former Rep. Pat Schroeder: The Peace Movement Made ‘Huge Difference’ in Ending Vietnam War,” Monday May 25, 2015, http://www.democracynow.org/2015/5/25/former_rep_pat_schroeder_the_peace

Patricia (Pat) Nell Scott Schroeder: American former politician who represented Colorado in the United States House of Representatives (1973–1997). She had also been On the National Labor Relations Board (1964-1966), attorney for Planned Parenthood and a public school teacher in Denver. In her position as member of the U.S. Congress she was involved in reform of that body— “working to weaken the long-standing control of committees by their chairs, sparring with Speaker Carl Albert over congressional ‘hideaways,’  and questioning why Congress members who lived in their offices should not be taxed for the benefit.” Schroeder served on the House Armed Services Committee and was a major supporter of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 and the Military Family Act of 1985. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patricia_Schroeder


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A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

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