A video crash-up covering the political landscape of the 1960’s, featuring MLK, RFK, JFK, Malcom X, Ronald Reagan, and Barry Goldwater.
Librarian Tracks Sayings Misattributed to Founding Father; ‘A Fine Spiced Pickle’
Or did he? Numerous social movements attribute the quote to him. “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to U.S. Government and Politics” cites it in a discussion of American democracy. Actor Chuck Norris‘s 2010 treatise “Black Belt Patriotism: How to Reawaken America” uses it to urge conservatives to become more involved in politics. It is even on T-shirts and decals.
“On a hot day in Virginia, I know nothing more comforting than a fine spiced pickle, brought up trout-like from the sparkling depths of the aromatic jar below the stairs of Aunt Sally’s cellar.”
–Never said by Thomas Jefferson
Yet the founding father and third U.S. president never wrote it or said it, insists Anna Berkes, a 33-year-old research librarian at the Jefferson Library at Monticello, his grand estate just outside Charlottesville, Va. Nor does he have any connection to many of the “Jeffersonian” quotes that politicians on both sides of the aisle have slung back and forth in recent years, she says.
“Winston Churchill had so many sayings misattributed to him that one academic gave the phenomenon a name: ‘Churchillian drift.'”
“People will see a quote and it appeals to an opinion that they have and if it has Jefferson’s name attached to it that gives it more weight,” she says. “He’s constantly being invoked by people when they are making arguments about politics and actually all sorts of topics.”
A spokeswoman for the Guide’s publisher said it was looking into the quote. Mr. Norris’s publicist didn’t respond to requests for comment.
To counter what she calls rampant misattribution, Ms. Berkes is fighting the Internet with the Internet. She has set up a “Spurious Quotations” page on the Monticello website listing bogus quotes attributed to the founding father, a prolific writer and rhetorician who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.
“It’s a hopeless task. You would need an army of secretaries to reply to all these tweets. Twitter and Facebook have made it worse, because people glom onto these things and pass it on and there it goes.”
The fake quotes posted and dissected on Monticello.org include “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government has grown out of too much government.” In detailed footnotes, Ms. Berkes says it resembles a line Jefferson wrote in an 1807 letter: “History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.” But she can’t find that exact quotation in any of his writings.
Another that graces many epicurean websites: “On a hot day in Virginia, I know nothing more comforting than a fine spiced pickle, brought up trout-like from the sparkling depths of the aromatic jar below the stairs of Aunt Sally’s cellar.”
Jefferson never said that either, says Ms. Berkes. The earliest reference to the quote comes from a 1922 speech by a man extolling the benefits of pickles, she says.
“People will see a quote and it appeals to an opinion that they have and if it has Jefferson’s name attached to it that gives it more weight. He’s constantly being invoked by people when they are making arguments about politics and actually all sorts of topics.”
Jefferson is a “flypaper figure,” like Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, Winston Churchill and baseball player and manager Yogi Berra—larger-than-life figures who have fake or misattributed quotes stick to them all the time, says Ralph Keyes, an author of books about quotes wrongly credited to famous or historical figures. Read the rest of this entry »
“Police has sustained broken bones after black Baltimore high schoolers calling for ‘The Purge’ struck them with heavy bricks, rocks, and pipes. One officer is unconscious, non-responsive. The city’s transportation has been crippled by the raging violence and residents are urged by city officials to avoid several, out-of-control areas.”
Katie McHugh reports:
UPDATE: 5:15 PM: The Rev. Al Sharpton plans to visit Baltimore on Monday to “push for answers” in the death of Freddie Gray. Sharpton also plans to organize a two-day march from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. From The Baltimore Sun:
Sharpton said the march from Baltimore to Washington is designed to call attention to Gray — as well as others before him, including Walter Scott, who was shot by a police officer in North Charleston, S.C. — to Loretta Lynch, the incoming U.S. attorney general.
“Ms. Lynch, in her new role that we all supported, must look and intervene in these cases,” Sharpton said. “Justice delayed is justice denied.”
UPDATE: 5:08 PM: Baltimore Police Capt. Eric Kowalczyk vowed to investigate the “lawless individuals” who are rampaging through Baltimore and attacking police officers.
“In 1963, my father Rev. AD King, after the firebombing of our home in Birmingham, Alabama, urged hostile protestors to abandon violence and turn to God in prayer instead. Thank God they listened to him, and the even greater voice of his brother, my Uncle MLK, during those turbulent days.”
“Now, you are inviting violence to your city? Who, Ma’am, will incur the moral and economic costs of picking up the pieces? The innocent taxpayers?”
— The niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in a letter to Mayor Rawlings-Blake
“Right now our focus is making sure that the people [who] live in that community are safe and that our officers are safe. You’re going to see tear gas, you’re going to see pepper balls,” Kowalczyk said. “We’re going to use appropriate methods to ensure that we’re able to preserve the safety of that community.”
UPDATE: 5:04 PM: Police has sustained broken bones after black Baltimore high schoolers calling for “The Purge” struck them with heavy bricks, rocks, and pipes. One officer is unconscious, non-responsive. The city’s transportation has been crippled by the raging violence and residents are urged by city officials to avoid several, out-of-control areas.
Note, above: pic.twitter.com/gIA9bPwGQI
— Ian Tuttle (@iptuttle) April 27, 2015
UPDATE: 4:57 PM: Rioters have set a police car ablaze. Another common feature of riots, looting, has begun. But Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings maintains that the riots are “peaceful.”
UPDATE: 4:48 PM: Rioters are throwing pipes, chucks of concrete at police, and setting things on fire, according to a CNN reporter.
UPDATE: 4:44 PM: Seven police officers have suffered injuries, according to reports.
UPDATE: 4:37 PM: Baltimore Police Capt. Eric Kowalczyk informed reporters that criminals responsible for damages and assault will be put in jail.
UPDATE: 4:34 PM: The rioters continue to tear apart everything in their path, including a photographer and now a police car. Read the rest of this entry »
Reverend Sam Mosteller: ‘Let me just say it this way, I am going to have to advocate at this point that all African-Americans advocate their Second Amendment right’Posted: April 1, 2015
President Of MLK Group Advocates For Second Amendment
Chuck Ross reports: The president of the Georgia chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference said Tuesday nonviolence is not working and African-Americans should ”avail themselves” to their Second Amendment rights.
Rev. Sam Mosteller made the statements during a press conference Tuesday in Atlanta. He and members of SCLC, which was co-founded by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957, were protesting the recent shootings of two young black men in the state.
“You know, the SCLC stands for nonviolence, but nonviolence hasn’t worked in this instance,” Mosteller said, according to My Fox Atlanta.
“Let me just say it this way, I am going to have to advocate at this point that all African-Americans advocate their Second Amendment right,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »
ccording the wire reports carried by the paper, more than 600 marchers had been walking across the bridge. Some were singing songs. Others were praying. Then officers on horseback descended on them. Almost 100 people were hospitalized with serious injuries.
On page A3, the articles continued, and included a photo of a young civil rights leader named John Lewis being beaten by an Alabama State Trooper. (Lewis, now a Democratic congressman from Georgia, recently reminisced about Selma.)
The following day, the story pressed on. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had called for clergy to join the marches — prompting ministers from around the nation, many of them white, to travel to Alabama. Meanwhile, protests began here in D.C.
According to a March 9, 1965 piece by Post staffer Richard L. Lyons, 175 people picketed at the Department of Justice. Three of them attempted to enter the Attorney General’s office, and one had to be physically dragged away. Later in the day, another 25 people staged a sit-in at AG Nicholas Katzenbach’s office, and several Democratic members of Congress issued statements of outrage. Rep. James O’Hara, a Democrat from Michigan, declared that the beatings of the marchers were a “storm trooper action taken a the direction of a ruthless demagogue,” referring to Alabama Gov. George Wallace.
By now, hundreds more demonstrators had begun arriving in Selma at King’s request. A second march was planned. State officials instructed King and the others not to go on with the march. Federal officials declined to directly intervene. Read the rest of this entry »
Hating evil is just as important as loving the good. Because if you don’t, you’re likely to give evil a pass
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach writes: American Sniper is a film of soaring patriotism and an ode to our courageous military. For too long Americans have lived with only two percent of the population losing arms and legs and dying so that the other ninety-eight percent can be safe and free. If we’re not going to copy the heroes of the military at least we can salute them. But the prerequisite of gratitude is knowledge and so few of us really know how much our military sacrifices that it’s hard to feel indebted. That’s what makes American Sniper a movie that portrays Hollywood at its best, telling the story of a valiant and selfless soldier with complexity, truth, and depth.
“What American Sniper is really about is the battle by decent men against truly dark forces of wickedness. The American soldiers who battle the terrorists in Iraq do not hide their contempt for the killers. They hate them, despise them, loathe them, and want to kill them.”
So why are so many people on the left attacking the film? What is their issue with a hero like Chris Kyle, who dedicated his life to saving Americans from murder and was himself killed when he tried to help a psychologically damaged marine?
“The most accurate standard in judging our commitment to humanity is the extent to which we fight to preserve life. For some that fight involves research in a lab to defeat cancer. For others it involves climbing a ladder in a terrible inferno to rescue a stranded child. And for some it involves going to war against barbarous terrorists so that they cannot blow up pregnant women.”
The answer lies in our failure to hate evil. What American Sniper is really about is the battle by decent men against truly dark forces of wickedness. The American soldiers who battle the terrorists in Iraq do not hide their contempt for the killers.
“Churchill spoke openly of his utter hatred of Hitler…And because he hated the beast he inspired a nation to fight him. The French, who did not hate Hitler, collaborated with him and sent Jews and many others to the gas chambers instead. But on the political left, hatred has gone out of vogue.”
They hate them, despise them, loathe them, and want to kill them. Not because they have any bloodlust and not because they enjoy violence. Rather, they are committed to life and are well aware of the fact that the only way to prevent the murderers from slaughtering the innocent is through the necessary evil of conflict.
“Hating evil is just as important as loving the good. To be truly righteous, it’s not enough to love good people. You have to hate—and fight—bad people.”
From time immemorial theologians have debated what makes a person truly righteous. How do we know when someone’s faith is sincere? Some say it is evidenced by a love of humanity. But I have met legions of confirmed atheists who are the finest human beings alive.
“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
Others argue that it is martyrdom and a readiness to lay down one’s life for a great cause. But suicide bombers blow themselves up in the name of their faith all the time. Still others argue that goodness is judged by religious ritual observance. But we all know religious people who are devout church and synagogue-goers but who are utterly unethical in other spheres.
Which brings me to this conclusion. Read the rest of this entry »
Good evening. I wish I had better news for you, but… All is not well in America. America is adrift. Something is clearly wrong.
“I think we should put limits on the terms of Congress and infuse our government with fresh ideas.”
America needs many things, but what America desperately needs is new leadership.
I’ve only been in office a short time, but one thing I’ve discovered is that there is no monopoly on knowledge in Washington.
“The war on poverty is 50 years old, and still black unemployment is twice that of white unemployment.”
The best thing that could happen is for us—to once and for all—limit the terms of all politicians. We already limit the President to two terms.
I think we should put limits on the terms of Congress and infuse our government with fresh ideas.
[Go to Breitbart to read the rest.]
Before I ran for office, I practiced medicine for nearly 20 years in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Liberal elites fly over my small town, but they don’t understand us. They simply seek to impose their will upon us—from what insurance we can buy, to what light bulbs we can use, to how we generate electricity.
Most of us in flyover country, and I suspect many who live in our big cities, think those in government take us for granted. Those of us who are actively pursuing the American Dream simply want government to get out of our way. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Americans Forget Martin Luther King and What He Did – First African American to Walk on the Moon?Posted: January 19, 2015
Nick Gillespie: Americans Trust Government Less and Less Because We Know More and More About How It OperatesPosted: November 16, 2014
Nick Gillespie writes: Fifty years ago, FBI operatives sent Martin Luther King, Jr. was has come to be known as the “suicide letter,” an anonymous note suggesting the civil rights leader should off himself before his private sex life was made public. The information about King’s extramarital assignations was gathered with the approval not just of the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover but Attorney General Robert Kennedy and President Lyndon Johnson.
“There is but one way out for you,” reads the note, which appeared in unredacted form for the first time just last week. “You better take it before your filthy fraudulent self is bared to the nation.”
Thus is revealed one of the most despicable acts of domestic surveillance in memory. These days, we worry less about the government outing our sex lives than in it tracking every move we move online. It turns out that President Obama, who said he would roll back the unconstitutional powers exercised by his predecessor, had a secret “kill list” over which he was sole authority. Jesus, we’ve just learned that small planes are using so-called dirtboxes to pick up cell phone traffic. One of the architects of Obamacare publicly states that Americans are stupid and that the president’s healthcare reform was vague and confusing on purpose. The former director of national intelligence, along with the former head and current heads of the CIA, have lied to Congress. Read the rest of this entry »
CHICAGO — Paul Miller reports: Early Voting in Illinois got off to its typical start Monday, as votes being cast for Republican candidates were transformed into votes for Democrats.
Republican state representative candidate Jim Moynihan had trouble voting for himself on Monday when early voting started in Illinois.
“I tried to cast a vote for myself and instead it cast the vote for my opponent.”
“You could imagine my surprise as the same thing happened with a number of races when I tried to vote for a Republican and the machine registered a vote for a Democrat.”
The conservative website Illinois Review reported that “While using a touch screen voting machine in Schaumburg, Moynihan voted for several races on the ballot, only to find that whenever he voted for a Republican candidate, the machine registered the vote for a Democrat in the same race.
Republican state representative candidate Jim Moynihan went to vote Monday at the Schaumburg Public Library.
Be careful when you vote in Illinois. Make sure you take the time to check your votes before submitting your… http://t.co/mOD8uxvsDl
— James Moynihan (@JimMoynihan1) October 21, 2014
He notified the election judge at his polling place and demonstrated that it continued to cast a vote for the opposing candidate’s party. Moynihan was eventually allowed to vote for Republican candidates, including his own race.
[A good time to check out John Fund’s book “Who’s Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk“ available from Amazon.com]
Moynihan offered this gracious lesson to his followers on Twitter: “Be careful when you vote in Illinois. Make sure you take the time to check your votes before submitting.” Read the rest of this entry »
For National Review Online, Tim Cavanaugh reports: A Florida Republican congressional candidate’s campaign sign was vandalized with whiteface paint last week in a district with overwhelmingly Democratic voter registration. The attack follows a string of bias incidents against black Republicans.
“We expect signs to be tampered with or stolen, but not to this extent…”
Glo Smith, who reports that she has also had a number of signs stolen, tells National Review Online she became aware of the racist defacement of an eight-foot-by-four-foot sign Tuesday. The sign was situated on private property in view of Interstate 10 in Jacksonville. The vandal sprayed white paint over the face of Smith, who is African-American. The paint job appears to be carefully done and leaves the eyes untouched, creating a very creepy effect. Read the rest of this entry »
On Thursday afternoon’s Tell Me More talk show, host Michel Martin brought on Charles Cobb, who wrote the book This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made The Civil Rights Movement Possible. She called it a “hiding in plain sight story” and asked why he wrote the book:
COBB: I’m very conscious of the gaps in the history, and one important gap in the history and the portrayal of the movement is the role of guns in the movement. I worked in the South. I lived with families in the South. There was never a family I stayed with that didn’t have a gun. I know from personal experience and the experiences of others that guns kept people alive, kept communities safe. And all you have to do to understand this is simply think of black people as human beings, and they’re going to respond to terrorism the way anybody else would….
MARTIN: Why do you think we don’t know more stories like this? Read the rest of this entry »
Just as Thomas Jefferson is best known for authoring the Declaration of Independence, King’s contribution to this ethos is inseparable from his “I Have A Dream” speech, which articulated a future to which America continues to aspire. King’s portrait of a nation where individuals are judged on their actions and character without regard to their race remains the ideal for the vast majority of Americans.
Celebrating Martin Luther King Day, we honor his condemnation of racism, we commemorate his stand against government-sponsored discrimination, and we look forward to a day when colorblind society is a reality.
[VIDEO] American Conversation: Shelby Steele describes how the Civil Rights Movement veered off coursePosted: January 13, 2014
In the third video produced in conjunction with New York City’s 92nd Street Y, Shelby Steele, the Robert J. and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow, describes how the civil rights movement veered off course after its greatest achievement, the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1965. After its initial success in securing individual freedom, the movement increasingly called for government transfer programs, which had the unintended effect of creating dependency, resentment, and an ongoing sense of victimization.
Indiscriminate charges of racism do more harm than good, as Martin Luther King well knew
John Fund writes: Would America be better off if the Outrage Industry went on a diet for New Year’s?
We just spent much of December quacking and arguing way too much about the views of Phil Robertson, one of the stars of the Duck Dynasty reality-TV series. Most of the attention focused on Robertson’s harsh, mean-spirited comments about gays and on the subsequent, short-lived decision of the cable network A&E to suspend him. But people saved plenty of ire for his comments, offered in an interview with GQ magazine, that when he grew up in Louisiana in the 1950s he never saw “the mistreatment of any black person” and that African Americans in that era didn’t have complaints about white people.
That’s an invitation to call Phil naïve, blind, or a liar. But such descriptions weren’t enough for Jesse Jackson, who said: “These statements uttered by Robertson are more offensive than the bus driver in Montgomery, Alabama, more than 59 years ago. At least the bus driver, who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person, was following state law. Robertson’s statements were uttered freely and openly without cover of the law, within a context of what he seemed to believe was ‘white privilege.’” He wasn’t the only prominent liberal to go way over the top. MSNBC’s Michael Eric Dyson said Robertson and Duck Dynasty were “part of a majority-white supremacist culture.” Read the rest of this entry »
Nick Gillespie writes: Christopher Hitchens died on this date two years ago. Hitchens was the model of a public intellectual. He was certainly public in his positions and arguments, which allows for anyone interested to assess a person’s arguments. And he was intellectually honest in a way that is uncommon, with many (most?) thinkers curtailing their views if they threaten a broader ideological identity. Though definitely a man of the left, Hitchens was never orthodox and ran into trouble given his positions on issues such as abortion (he was against it), foreign interventionism (he was for it), free speech deemed offensive to certain groups (he was for it), and more. While he rarely missed opportunities to offend right-wing sensibilities (he once joked about Ronald Reagan’s Alzheimer’s clearly having started with the president was still in office), he didn’t hold back against the left, either. He had few kind words about Martin Luther King, Jr. and he dismissed Gandhi as a “poverty pimp.”
He admitted to Reason in a wide-ranging 2001 Reason interview conducted a few months before the 9/11 attacks that his connection to the left was fraying (he would break definitively with The Nation magazine shortly after the attacks). Part of the reason stemmed from his realization that the forces of creative destruction unleashed by capitalism were remaking the world in a way that he – along with Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto – could appreciate:
The thing I’ve often tried to point out to people from the early days of the Thatcher revolution in Britain was that the political consensus had been broken, and from the right. The revolutionary, radical forces in British life were being led by the conservatives. That was something that almost nobody, with the very slight exception of myself, had foreseen.
“I always tell people I’m not a bookworm. I’m a book anaconda,” John Judge says, as he turns sideways and carefully maneuvers his large frame down a narrow staircase into the main library of the Coalition on Political Assassinations, a nonprofit dedicated to researching the killings of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr. Carved deep into a hill in Penn Branch, a quiet, leafy community in Southeast Washington, the room might otherwise be a basement, were the house not inhabited by a man who for the past 45 years has been obsessively reading and researching every facet of the Kennedy assassination.
He scans through hundreds of books, carefully pulling from the shelves some of the foundational texts of the assassination canon: Mark Lane’s best-selling Rush to Judgment, the first book he ever read on the case, and Robert Groden and Harrison Edward Livingstone’s High Treason: The Assassination of JFK & the Case for Conspiracy. Judge gestures to 26 hardcover volumes of the Warren Commission report, the official government investigation that fingered Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone gunman. On a shelf beside him sits a self-satirical bumper sticker: “Humpty Dumpty was pushed.” Judge, who has wavy silver-white hair and a goatee that fans out beneath his chin, smirks, “I tell people you can call me a conspiracy theorist if you call everyone else a coincidence theorist.”
Official Washington is always a decade or two behind the American people. That was true in 1963 when Martin Luther King, Jr. shared his dream for a better America and it’s true today.
The 1963 March on Washington came 16 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major league baseball. Robinson did more than make news; he won the Rookie of the Year award in 1947, the MVP award two years later and entered the Hall of Fame in 1962. By then, black ballplayers were part of every major league team.
“For those in power, that was a terrible glimpse into the reality of how irrelevant much of what they do has become”
Another big moment took place in 1955 when Rosa Parks courageously refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Ala. Many other events, big and small, changed the nation’s attitudes on racial issues in the decades leading up to King’s most famous speech. But it had little impact on official Washington until the march forced the politicians to pay attention.
Early in the radio show “Smiley and West,” West said of the previous day’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington, “We saw of course the coronation of the bonafide house negro of the Obama plantation, our dear brother Al Sharpton, supported by the Michael Dysons and others who’ve really prostituted themselves intellectually in a very ugly and vicious way” (video):
It is hard to believe that 50 years have elapsed since the famous “I have a dream speech” of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the Mall in Washington. I was an 11-year-old child in Detroit languishing in the midst of poverty, but very interested in the strides that were being made in the civil rights movement.
I was the only black kid in my seventh-grade class and over the previous two years had risen from the bottom of the class to the top. My mother had forced us to read, which had a profound positive effect on both my brother Curtis and myself. I was quite optimistic that things were getting better for black people in America.
The assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy led directly to the passage of a historic law, the Gun Control Act of 1968. Does that change your view of the assassinations? Should we be grateful for the deaths of these two men?
Of course not. That’s lunatic logic. But the same reasoning is now being applied to the actions of Edward Snowden. Yes, the thinking goes, Snowden may have violated the law, but the outcome has been so worthwhile. According to Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who was one of the primary vehicles for Snowden’s disclosures, Snowden “is very pleased with the debate that is arising in many countries around the world on Internet privacy and U.S. spying. It is exactly the debate he wanted to inform.”
In this debate, Snowden himself says, those who followed the law were nothing better than Nazis: “I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg, in 1945: ‘Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.’ ”
To be sure, Snowden has prompted an international discussion about surveillance, but it’s worthwhile to note that this debate is no academic exercise. It has real costs. Consider just a few.
What if Snowden’s wrong? What if there is no pervasive illegality in the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs?