The actress marched with Leary’s remains into a special church, which was built as one of the many art displays during the seven-day event. The gothic cathedral structure was later set aflame with other art creations (including a 60-foot giant man) in a spectacle that left crowds in awe.
“When I went to Burning Man last time, that’s when I thought I’d bring him back here. I think he’d be so happy.”
Most of Leary’s ashes were sent to outer space in 1997, but Sarandon kept a small amount that she saved for a special moment. The actress worked with Burning Man and photographer Michael Garlington to lend a creative hand during the weeklong festival. Read the rest of this entry »
Ronald Fliegelman built explosives for the Weather Underground, a far-left group that launched a domestic bombing campaign in the 1960s and ’70s, including one explosion inside NYPD headquarters.
“When you’re young and you’re confident, you can do anything. So, yeah, you play with it, and try to build something. The timer is the whole thing, right? It’s just electricity going into the blasting cap.”
— Ronald Fliegelman
But when the group dissolved, Fliegelman managed to safely fade away into the square life. For 25 years, he worked as a public special-education teacher, retiring to a quiet life in Park Slope, Brooklyn, according to “Days of Rage: America’s Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence” (Penguin Press).
And he’s unapologetic about his past, according to author Bryan Burrough.
“Ron is proud of what he did,” he told The Post.
The Weather Underground first organized in 1969 as a splinter of the Revolutionary Youth Movement within the ’60s protest group Students for a Democratic Society.
“Without him, there would be no Weather Underground.”
– Brian Flanagan — Former Weatherman
Their members were mostly white and middle class, advocating the complete overthrow of the US government.
Under the leadership of co-founder Bill Ayers — who went on to become a University of Illinois professor whose political relationship with then-candidate Barack Obama was scrutinized during the 2008 presidential campaign — the group also pushed for a sexual revolution.
“Their slogan? ‘Smash monogamy’.”
To achieve their goals, the militant group — popularly known as the Weathermen, derived from the Bob Dylan lyric, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” — embarked on a years-long bombing campaign, targeting places it considered pillars of US imperialism, capitalism, racism and anything contrary to their “ism” of choice: communism.
To protest the US invasion of Laos, for example, they bombed the Capitol Building in 1971. That same year, they targeted the headquarters of the state Department of Corrections in Albany for the deaths of 29 inmates during the Attica prison riot. They even busted LSD guru Dr. Timothy Leary out of a California jail and helped smuggle him to Algeria in 1970 — the same year they issued a “Declaration of a State of War” against the United States.
“We believed Third World countries would rise up and cause crises that would bring down the industrialized West, and we believed it was going to happen tomorrow, or maybe the day after tomorrow,” a former Weatherman tells Burrough.
“The myth, and this is always Bill Ayers’ line, is that Weather never set out to kill people, and it’s not true — we did,” group member Howie Machtinger tells Burrough. “You know, policemen were fair game.”
Despite the tough talk, the group was already in crisis not long after its formation.
On March 6, 1970, a bomb exploded prematurely inside a town house at 18 W. 11th St. in Greenwich Village. Three Weathermen were killed — the two building the bomb, Terry Robbins and Diana Oughton, and another, Ted Gold, who was entering the building.
If the Weathermen were going to wage a war, they needed to do so without killing their own members, Burrough notes.
“No one knew what to do. I gave a thought to giving up, and I had a gun pulled on me and was told I was not leaving,” recalls Fliegelman. Read the rest of this entry »
Not since Christopher Hitchens was alive, engaging intellectual opponents in debates, on stage, anywhere, at the drop of a hat, or when Timothy Leary and G. Gordon Liddy did speaking engagements as a duet, on tour, do we have an unlikely pair like Ayers and D’Souza sharing a stage…
Roger Simon has some good analysis–including a candid comment about a genuine nightmare he experienced after seeing Ayers speak at length for the first time, and the dizzy depression that followed– jump over to his site to read the whole thing. Here’s a money quote:
“Bill Ayers is Saul Alinsky on steroids”
Roger L. Simon writes:
It’s a testament to Dinesh D’Souza’s mettle that he even showed up for his scheduled debate at Dartmouth (his alma mater and mine) with Bill Ayers last Thursday. D’Souza is only recently under what is apparently selective prosecution by the federal government for campaign law violations (see “Amnesty, but Not for D’Souza” by Andy McCarthy) and that was probably some of the reason the pundit/filmmaker seemed off his game.
He fared much better debating the existence of God with the late Christopher Hitchens. But that was in part because Hitchens played fair, enjoying the intellectual jousting and search for truth between two exceptionally bright people. D’Souza’s Thursday adversary, Mr. Ayers — former Weatherman revolutionary and retired professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he held the titles of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar — did everything but.