Pete Seeger is gone. I first met him at Buck’s Rock Work Camp when I was 14. He was standing on the big cement porch, surrounded by kids. After hearing him, nothing was the same. He was my lifelong hero. I had few others. I wasn’t alone -- many of you first heard Pete at camp or school. That’s how he made his living during the time he was blacklisted.
Every moment of every day, worldwide, we all realize one of the profound predictions of James Clerk Maxwell – which was that something called radio waves, traveling at the same speed as that of light, must exist.
There've been other profound predictions in science of course – for example, astronomer Le Verrier's prediction about where to find the planet Neptune.
But this little essay is about a man who was initially called 'Dafty' at school – born in Scotland in 1831, and who lived for only 48 years.
In a recent issue of the ‘American Poetry Review,’ a revered teacher of this commentator wrote of the proclivity of many notable poets for revising their work, after finding imperfections. These, according to one anthropologist, were mischievously inserted by spirits of Nordic origin, to bedevil the poets into re-examinations. In recent years, he claimed, there were fewer of these episodes, because poets had stopped believing in the spirits. A dedicated poet, at heart, this commentator has found several verses among his own published works that might well benefit from such attention; not so much the result of folkloric mischief but changing times and ideas, that compel public attention. This explains the following revision of several pertinent poems, now set in combined form and revised from (“SWASH” by Paul Elisha):
The fund drive is upon us. As I write this, there is over $350,000 in the Locked (Lock or Lox) Box. That is incredible. What a crew! What a community! The truth is that we have all made this radio station what it is. So when we have a fund drive it is a festival. In each society there are celebrations that bring a community together. Many of you took an anthropology course or belong to a social or spiritual group in which the interdependency of everyone in the group is emphasized. No one has to talk anyone else into anything -- people do what they need to because it's the right thing to do. They give what they can. Think about any community gathering. Some people bring cakes and cookies. Others make a plate of chicken or meatballs or tuna noodle casserole and there are always those who say, “I have a little more so let me help pay for all of this.” That’s the way the Fire Island community was when I was a kid. Every year, someone among the Island’s literati would write a song about things that had happened during the year.
My hometown 49ers will not be playing in this Sunday's Big Game. Despite my disappointment, I nevertheless will be joining millions of my fellow Americans in the hallowed tradition of watching the Super Bowl. I will put my feet up on the coffee table, drink a beer or two, and cheer on the Denver Broncos as they face off against the Seattle Seahawks. I will also cringe every time the quarterback is sacked or a wide receiver is brutally tackled, imagining the lasting damage caused to both body and mind.
The journalistic gunslingers have been out in full force targeting General el-Sisi and the new Egyptian constitution. This criticism, by the way, is bipartisan; it comes from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. What it comes down to is persistent doubt that the government’s pledge to steer Egypt toward a new era of freedom and democracy after the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood is genuine.
Before moving to Albany thirty-five years ago, we lived in Morgantown, West Virginia – a university town and a mining town. We knew people in both worlds. Our daughter was only seven, but after we moved she got letters from a little friend there who was the son of a miner. Miners lived all around.
During the 2012 election, far too many Americans voters had to stand in long lines for hours in order to cast their ballot. Voters who were stuck waiting were all too frequently lower-income and non-white. The President promised to act, in order to ensure that such a disgraceful situation would never happen again.
If you’ve been following the Governor’s missives on tax cuts…reports from his tax commissions, his State of the State message and news about his budget proposal… you undoubtedly know that he is proposing sweeping tax cuts. The potential is for upwards of $2 billion for his tax cut package that includes proposed reductions for property owners, businesses, renters and upstate manufacturers.
Early in my tenure as head of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, I – like many other university presidents – was asked to support the agenda of a Palestinian initiative known as B.D.S., a call for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, given the organization’s belief that Israel was not complying with international law and Palestinian rights. Specifically, they were asking for our university’s participation in a boycott of Israeli universities ... a request I unequivocally rejected as being antithetical to the concept of academic freedom which is at the very heart of the mission of a university - institutions devoted to unfettered inquiry and discovery.