On This Day in 1954: Senator Joseph McCarthy Began a Witch-Hunt of The U. S. Army




The Secretary of the United States Army ordered two generals, who had been subpoenaed by the crusading anti-Communist Senator Joseph McCarthy, to ignore the summons. The move by Robert T. Stevens came on the first day of the hearings into communist activity in the U. S. Army. Mr. Stevens said he would speak on behalf of the Army, provided that the session was held in public.

His announcement came after a former army major, who had been summoned by Senator McCarthy, head of the Senate’s Permanent Investigations sub-committee, refused to answer questions. Senator McCarthy responded, “Either the Army will give the names of men coddling Communists or we will take it before the Senate.”

However, Mr. Steven’s stand made it seem highly unlikely that such a list would be forthcoming. It was a rare challenge to the controversial Senator who had been virtually unknown before he took up the cause of rooting out Communists, just four years earlier. In a speech in West Virginia during February 1950, Mr. McCarthy had claimed to have the names of 205 “card-carrying Communists” in the State Department. However, he later scaled the list down to 57 persons and was willing to name only four of them. His critics have stated that he was never able to produce any real evidence to back up his claims, accusing him of having conducted wild “witch hunts,” which often destroyed both the careers and public lives of those persons who were accused.

Many have said that an interview conducted by the courageous television commentator Edward R. Murrow on March 9, 1954, was a pivotal influence leading to the demise of Senator McCarthy’s career, in turn helping to end the witch-hunt that had destroyed the careers and public lives of so many people. Some have said that this courageous broadcast provided the public with an essential, intensely felt sense of relief from our increasingly painful general preoccuptions with and fears of unannounced persecution. This kind of social relief is even today at the core of the fabric that both gives birth to and provides support for our public and private freedoms.

That night Murrow, Friendly (at that time, a Vice-President of CBS) and their news team produced a 30-minute See It Now special entitled “A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy.” Murrow used excerpts from McCarthy’s own speeches and proclamations to criticize the Senator and to point out episodes where he clearly had contradicted himself. Murrow knew full well that he was using the medium of television to attack a single man and expose him to nationwide scrutiny, and he was often quoted as having doubts about the method he used for this news report.

Murrow and his See It Now co-producer, Fred Friendly, paid for their own newspaper advertisement for the program; they were not allowed to use any of CBS’s money for the publicity campaign and were prohibited from using the CBS logo in any way. Nonetheless, this 30-minute TV episode contributed to a nationwide backlash against Senator McCarthy and against the Red Scare in general. It has been viewed by many people as representing one of the most critical turning points in the history of the media.

The broadcast provoked tens of thousands of letters, telegrams and phone calls to CBS headquarters, which ran 15-to-1 in favor of Murrow. It has been reported that truck drivers would pull up to Murrow on the street in subsequent days and shout, “Good show, Ed. Good show, Ed.”

Murrow offered Senator McCarthy a chance to comment on the CBS show, and McCarthy provided his own televised response to Murrow three weeks later on See It Now. The Senator’s rebuttal contributed nearly as much to his own downfall as Murrow or any of McCarthy’s other detractors did. Edward R. Murrow had learned how to use the medium of television, but McCarthy had not.

Murrow’s conclusion to the program was truly magistral:

No one familiar with the history of this country can deny that congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating, but the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one and the junior Senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly. His primary achievement has been in confusing the public mind, as between internal and the external threats of Communism. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men — not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.

This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy’s methods to keep silent, or for those who approve. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities. As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.

The actions of the junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn’t create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it — and rather successfully. Cassius was right. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”
Good night, and good luck.

No Sense Of Decency: A Documentary

This video is 10 minutes in length.  It is extremely well worth your time, and is a vitally important video for everyone who can obtain access to the internet to view in a deeply thoughtful manner. Please spread the word.

Obama: He’s Feelin’ The Love in South Carolina



Part I:  Obama in Columbia, South Carolina

Part II:  Obama in Columbia, South Carolina


Obama in Orangeburg, South Carolina



John Dickerson filed this report on Saturday about Obama’s recent campaign appearance in Columbia, S. C., for Slate Magazine:
Are you here for the wedding or Obama?” the security guard asked me Friday night at the Metropolitan Convention Center in Columbia, S.C. A traditional Indian wedding was being performed down the hall from the Obama rally. It was hard to tell which event had more love. Nearly 3,000 people showed up to see and gawk at the Illinois senator. “I am amazed,” said interior designer Laura Fulton as she looked over the crowd. “I am proud of South Carolina. There are African-Americans, Caucasians, Hispanics, and Indians. It looks like the world. It seems like that is the kind of guy he is—of the world.” At the back of the room stood a clutch of Indian women who had come over from the wedding dressed in blazing orange and red .

Obama arrived beneath an enormous American flag and swam about 30 yards through the pawing crowd to the stage in the middle of the hall. A medley of Bruce Springsteen songs had been playing, but upon the candidate’s arrival the music quickly switched to Aretha Franklin’s “Think.” The crowd surged toward the stage. The young couples stopped the cuddling that had been getting them through the wait. “I am overwhelmed,” he said taking the stage, “and overjoyed.”

Wearing a dark suit and striped tie, Obama spoke in the round, roaming the sage so that he could face all corners of the audience. He reprised much of his young stump speech, talking about the Iraq war, health care, and education, but the bulk of his pitch was thematic. He called the audience to rally around a new kind of hopeful, less-divisive politics. “There has always been another tradition in politics,” he said. “This idea that says we are connected as a people. Just because the world as it is is unjust and just because the world as it is is full of strife and violence and poverty … just because that’s the world we see in front of us now, doesn’t mean it is the world as it has to be, and politics can close that gap.” Obama was regularly interrupted by cheers and applause, but he delivered the evening’s rhetorical high point when he responded to a local politician. Earlier in the week, African-American state Sen. Robert Ford announced he was backing Hillary Clinton. “Everybody else on the ballot is doomed,” Ford said, explaining what would happen if Obama were nominated. “Every Democratic candidate running on that ticket would lose because he’s black and he’s at the top of the ticket—we’d lose the House, the Senate, and the governors and everything.”

Ford’s endorsement, along with that of another prominent African-American official, was timed to steal a little of Obama’s thunder and presumably contribute to another round of stories about whether he could appeal to black voters. Instead, it was a gift. “I’ve been reading the papers in South Carolina,” Obama said before using a preacher’s cadence to paraphrase Ford’s remarks. “Can’t have a black man at the top of the ticket.” The crowd booed. “But I know this: that when folks were saying, We’re going to march for our freedom, they said, You can’t do that.” The audience roared. “When somebody said, You can’t sit at the lunch counter. … You can’t do that. We did. And when somebody said, Women belong in the kitchen not in the board room. You can’t do that. Yes we can.” (At this point I can’t reconstruct the remarks from my tape recorder because the screaming was too loud.) The crowd responded by chanting: “Yes, we can.”

Obama is going to gain more from Ford’s endorsement than Hillary Clinton is. It would have been too audacious, even for Obama, to so overtly link himself to America’s civil rights struggles, but Ford’s remarks invited him to. Obama will no doubt use that new portion of his stump speech again, and outside of South Carolina. The audience, well represented with African-Americans, loved it. “I got chills,” said Constance Eikins, an African-American stay-at-home mom. “It’s very overwhelming. I am happy at the thought of it. We have come a long way.”

And from the February 17th edition of The State (Columbia, South Carolina):

He fought his way through the crowd, shaking hands and posing for pictures.

When he finally reached the square stage reserved for him, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama took the crowd from jubilant to frenzied.

“How you doing South Carolina! Look at this! Look at this! Goodness gracious!” he called out.

He was off and running, bringing the diverse crowd in the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center along with him.

The U.S. senator from Illinois made his first campaign visit to the state Friday and promised he’d be back often.

And in a 40-minute address from the middle of the room, flanked by two giant American flags and one brilliant blue Palmetto State banner, Obama carried the room through parts of his typical stump speech and moments of inspiration.

Obama, 45, responded to criticism of a black S.C. senator who last week endorsed U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton for president while saying Obama can’t win the White House because he’s black and would drag down the rest of the Democratic ticket if he’s nominated.

While he never mentioned the state senator – Robert Ford, D-Charleston – Obama won his biggest cheers of the evening when he responded to the comments.

“Everybody is entitled to their opinion,” Obama said, “but I know this: That when folks were saying, ‘We’re going to march for our freedom,’ somebody said, ‘You can’t do that.’ And somebody said, ‘Don’t sit at the lunch counter, don’t share our table.’ We can’t do that. We can’t.”

Additional detailed information about Senator Barack Obama on the campaign trail can be found at:

Barack Obama – 2008 Presidential Candidate Quick Overview

The Wish for a Sense of Endless Love


“Rather than look for discursive expositions of the author’s beliefs, the reader is best served by waiting to see what emerges from the intermingling of his or her own thoughts with an accumulation of impressions gathered in this blog. These impressions defy attempts to be nailed down and final, which is a very good thing, according to some.”

Looking at You: And You The Same

Feeling Connected

I’m looking at you
Looking at me
Looking at you
And you the same.

Disembedded, 2005

Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey: Endless Love (Royal Albert Hall)



During the past few weeks, many of the young persons with whom I work have been focussing upon and struggling with issues related to feelings of attachment to others. As a result, many of my own thoughts have centered upon our generally pervasive need to feel connected with others. The following brief commentary attempts to summarize the course of those thoughts, which have ranged from Jean Paul Sartre’s book “Nausea,” to the jazz songs of Bessie Smith and finally to a short “Haiku-like” poem that I have written in an attempt to encapsulate this journey in a hopefully striking manner.

To begin, for a number of years my mind has often returned to the echo of a scene near the end of Sartre’s Nausea. Nausea is a haunting narrative of one day in the life of its protagonist, Roquentin, as he attempts to cope with living in a world that is meaningless. It is a kind of existence that appears to tumble from moment to moment, without any real sense of past or future, a life that slowly decomposes and ultimately slides toward death.

But in one of the final scenes of the book, juxtaposed to the painfully dark and grim journey of the day, Roguentin is alone in a darkened, candle-lit room in a bistro hidden away in a desolate location beneath an overhead train trestle. He is facing a juke-box, which suddenly begins to play a scratched recording of Bessie Smith’s hauntingly hopeful song, “Some of These Days.” The lyrics and melody suddenly punctuate Roquentin’s existence by imposing a sense of order on the chaos of his life. Despite the record’s scratchiness, Roquentin can play the song again; he can return to a melody, an underlying sense of connection in life, which is repeatable, unchanging, a-temporal and ideal.

Further, the latter belief rests upon what has become a post-modern conviction, that meaning is co-created by a person and an object, for example that meaning is co-created by the artist and the sense-making activity of the “reader.” In terms of interpersonal relationships, for Sartre the recognition of and by the other is represented by the “stare” of the other. The stare is the other’s attempt to fix “me” in the present, to transform me into Being for others, establishing a sense of connection and attachment.

In addition, the gaze of the other jolts one to realize the significance of one’s personal choices in determining the course of one’s life. In other words, while we may not know ahead of time how the course of our lives will turn out, it is not all simply a matter of fate.

II. Dr. X: A Review of Et Cetera: Publick and Privat Curiosities

“I found my way into Et Cetera: Publick and Privat Curiosities (ECPPC) by way of a brief, eloquent tribute to the perseverance of a group of psychoanalytic psychologists in Chicago, who were determined to form the first non-M.D. psychoanalytic training institution outside of L.A. and NYC. Initially, I was struck by the author’s tone of genuine admiration and appreciation for those who persevered in this very worthy endeavor. Over the ensuing months, I’ve returned to this blog many times to sample the satisfying entries on a range of topics including current affairs, psychology, psychoanalysis, people, cultural issues, politics, art and poetry. Each time I read further in this site, I find more and enjoy more.The publisher of ECPPC is a psychoanalyst with a strong postmodern, intersubjective bent, which isn’t an analytic model, as much as it is a way of seeing and being. Whether his posts take the form of personal reflections, comments on politics, gripping or entrancing images or poetry, he is, at once, earnest, curious and playful—qualities of mind and heart that are indispensable to the analytic endeavor. This playfulness is not only expressed in ideas, but in form, beginning with the playful spelling of the blog’s title.

Rather than look to ECPPC for discursive expositions of the author’s beliefs, the reader is best served by waiting to see what emerges from the intermingling of his or her own thoughts with an accumulation of impressions gathered in this blog. These impressions defy attempts to be nailed down and final, which is a very good thing, in my opinion.

Two quotes from the site, taken together, give us a glimpse of the author’s very appealing sensibilities. Writing about his grandmother lost in prayer, he asked:

Was that the certainty of fundamentalism? Or was it the initiation into a mystery none of us can ever fully understand? I’d argue the latter. The 18th century German playwright Gotthold Lessing said it best. He prayed a simple prayer: “If God were to hold all Truth concealed in his right hand, and in his left hand only the steady and diligent drive for Truth, albeit with the proviso that I would always and forever err in the process, and to offer me the choice, I would with all humility take the left hand, and say, Father, I will take this–the pure Truth is for You alone.”


He also quotes Freud, noting that

“In the history of psychoanalysis, there is hardly a more striking anecdote than a comment made by Freud in a letter to Oskar Pfister in 1910:

Discretion is incompatible with a good presentation of psychoanalysis. One must become a bad character, disregard the rules, sacrifice oneself, betray, behave like an artist who buys paints with the household money belonging to his wife or bums the furniture to heat the studio for his model. Without such a bit of criminality there is no real achievement.’”

I have no recollection of reading that quotation of Freud before stumbling upon it in ECPPC. It speaks to a faith in seeing over doing and seeing as becoming. Nothing blinds us more to our own being, and the being of others, than imprisonment by the ‘practical,’ the darkness of convention, and disdain for the odd and the eccentric. As I write and reflect on this, Flannery O’Connor’s observation comes to mind:

You shall know the truth and it will make you odd.”

Also in the same post, don’t miss the author’s observations on ‘resignation’ and the reactions of Anna Freud and Edith Jacobson to Nazi persecution. Here the image that comes to my mind is the attempted (but failed) murder of truth by nailing it to a cross. Truth transcends vulgar attempts to be nailed down by self-serving calculation, because truth is by nature, always elevated, alive and becoming rather than fixed, final and lifeless.

Perhaps I’m trying too hard to explain what must be experienced. So, let me leave off this review simply by saying that the publisher of ECPPC is a rare bird — which is in my view — the best kind of bird to be.”



Again, I return to thoughts of Quentin Crisp and how, in his own highly eccentric manner, his life seemed to symbolize and attempt to promote a perspective (however paradoxical) of individuality, self acceptance and tolerance. Along this line, he once stated, “I have always lived my life in the profession of being.”

Many years ago Quentin wrote a short autobiographic note of his life, entitled “What Does It Mean to be Human?” The following is the text of that autobiographic summary:

“When thinking about what it meant to be human, I was very sorry that I was not a scholar and had no philosophical point of view to express. More than not being a scholar, I am not really a human being. I do not mind spending long hours alone, and I never find something to do. This is part of my nature.

My sister reminded me before she died that she and my mother sat on each side of the fireplace and occupied themselves with darning socks, and knitting, and writing letters on their laps. I lay as a child on the rug between them, and once an hour one of them said, “Why don’t you get something to do?” And I said, “Why should I?” That is a question I cannot answer. Why should I have something to do?

Of course, there is the theory that time is money. It is an American theory: I am not earning money while I am doing nothing. Which is sad. But if I were rich, I would never do anything. I was asked by a paper, “If you suddenly had a million dollars, what would you do?” And I said, “Go to bed, and never get up again!” This was a great disappointment to the people who asked me the question. But idleness is my only occupation, and people are my only hobby.

If I regard what I think is human, and perhaps I was asked precisely because I am not a human being and, therefore, have a detached view of the subject, I would say it was a preoccupation with the idea of death. The reason why people do not live alone and do not spend hours doing nothing is because they can hear time ticking by. Then they develop hobbies, which drive them mad. You may ask them, “Why do you do this?” They ultimately say, “Well, it helps kill time.”

I don’t want my time dead. Time is meant to be lived! Those who are not hopeless are worried that one day their lives will end. And, if you live long enough, of course, you long for it to end. That’s been my desire in recent times. I only hope to become extinct. But before all that, you must try everything. Have children. Behave in such a way that monuments are built to you. Rule the world! Have streets and theaters named after you. Write your autobiography. These are ways to staying alive, and this seems to be a preoccupation with being human.

When I was younger and was not ill, I didn’t mind how long I lived. Now that every step of my life is painful, I long for death. If being human has any other special aspect it is that in every human being there are two people. One who sits in judgment on the other. The worldly, the doing person, acts irresponsibly, or nobly, or wisely, or foolishly, according to the mood or the situation. But inside him, further away, is an abstract spiritual being who never changes and who sits in judgment on him.

This situation becomes evident when we hear people say, “I was ashamed of myself.” Who is ashamed of whom? It is this duality between the active living organism and the contemplative inner-self that sits in judgment that constitutes the whole human being. This is, I think, what constitutes a human being.

Quentin Crisp

Blending In: Persecution and The Art of Writing


Our seemingly established right to freedom of expression may be seen as caught between two different trends of disenchanted modernity. The first trend relies upon the demands of an extremely pragmatic form of rationalization, leading to the framing of our thoughts as legitimate only when subordinated to the dictates of scientistic objectivism and the dominant governmental ideology.

At perhaps an even more personal level, it can lead one to become subjugated to an increasingly impaired quality of thought processes (often a rapidly progressing, narrow focus upon issues related to the draconian pursuit of power) characterizing whatever institution to which one has been devoted.

The second trend is to anchor feelings of confidence upon introspective self-inquiry, which offers one the opportunity for a sense of freedom from the dictates of orthodoxy, inequality, and authority.

However, the reaction against the first trend of submission to external domination may tend to produce, in its emphasis upon introspective subjectivity, a vulnerability to reifying counter-ideals of not-knowing and mutuality, which must also be carefully deconstructed. Differences in meanings achieved by others who also choose to rely ever more upon the liberating capacity of subjectivity suggest pluralism will make new knowledge demands upon us. The development of new critical abilities will be needed to help form a way of knowing that is based upon collaborative, democratic processes, where knowledge itself can be used homeopathically as an antidote to the old ideal of the knowing authority.

In the history of psychoanalysis, there is hardly a more striking anecdote than a comment made by Freud in a letter to Oskar Pfister in 1910:

Discretion is incompatible with a good presentation of psychoanalysis. One must become a bad character, disregard the rules, sacrifice oneself, betray, behave like an artist who buys paints with the household money belonging to his wife or bums the furniture to heat the studio for his model. Without such a bit of criminality there is no real achievement.”

This statement, notably to a non-analyst, reminds us how, despite its present appearance of orthodoxy and reverence for the founder, psychoanalysis began as a marginal, radical enterprise. From its inception, psychoanalysis took up a quietly critical stance toward authority, bourgeois conventional norms and what were then the certainties of conscious knowledge.

In contemporary life, the renewed sense of enrichment provided by a turn to self-inquiry, as opposed to living as a servant to external powers, is accompanied by sometimes distressing feelings of disenchantment, an awareness that the modern condition no longer allows us to call upon religious, mysterious, and awe-inspiring forms of truth, upon authority founded in such revealed truth. One of the consequences of this disenchantment is that the ultimate and most sublime values have retired from public life, at best into the brotherliness of immediate personal relationships.

At the same time we are required either to suffer a great deal more uncertainty or, more constructively, learn how to embrace it. Those who find this condition too difficult to bear will retreat vociferously, in a manner that obscures the uncertainty of life, into the arms of churches which promise them a renewed sense of entitlement and power over others, often over the unfortunate and disadvantaged.

My concluding remarks are perhaps the most difficult to formulate clearly. In contemporary psychotherapeutic and “self-help” thinking, feelings of resignation are unanimously associated with feelings of depression, inadequacy and a sense of low self-worth. There are, however, important incidents in the history of psychoanalysis that point out an entirely different dimension of “feelings of resignation.”

One striking example involved the psychoanalyst Edith Jacobsen in the 1930s, who at that time was a member of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute. Jacobson was arrested by the Gestapo for participating in a resistance group in 1934 and was sentenced and held for more than two years in a Gestapo prison; she was finally released due to illness and managed to escape.

It subsequently been revealed that Anna Freud responded to the Nazi persecution of Jacobson solely in terms of her deep worry that Jacobsen had jeopardized the psychoanalytic movement in Berlin, which had hoped to preserve the Institute and continue treating patients without interference, by complying with the authorities, accepting (demanding) the resignation of its Jewish members, and generally being on best behavior.

For Anna Freud, then, “resignation” was in fact both an oppressive demand and a despicable compliance with the Nazi domination and persecution of the Jews. Jacobson committed herself to an entirely different, firm “sense of resignation” to refuse the vulgar type of “resignation” demanded by Anna Freud, displaying a noble, moral and life-enriching form of resignation.

In the United States, the history of psychoanalysis presents other practical instances where the sense and enactment of feelings of resignation were pioneering and moral acts of justice. One of the more significant of these events took place in the 1930s, with the simultaneous resignations of Karen Horney and Clara Thompson from the New York Psychoanalytic Institute in protest against the degrading understanding of women that it expounded, viewing women as innately inferior and damaged humans.

The subsequent body of writings about women created by Karen Horney can quite justifiably be understood as a major cornerstone for the feminist movement that emerged. Clara Thompson went on to become a founder of the William Allison White Institute in New York City, which from its very beginnings has served as a fountainhead for contemporary relational thinking.

“Feelings of resignation,” then, need not necessarily be understood to reflect underlying depression, lack of self-confidence, feelings of incompetence and inadequacy. Instead, feelings and acts of “resignation” may serve as a firm commitment to the affirmation of justice, the defiance of authoritarian domination, the refusal to be ruled by primitive forms of reason and the pursuit of humanitarian achievements. In this manner, “the sense of resignation” stands proudly as a beacon of hope for all mankind.



In America, one speaks for oneself–in the never certain case that one has a self to speak for and that anyone will be impressed.

“Self” and “Identity are not facts about people; they are ways of thinking about people. Therefore, it doesn’t really make sense for us to say that someone “has a self or an identity,” as if each is a thing that actually may be had, possessed or discovered.

Self and identity are changeable. However it is the kind of changeability that derives from the fact that self and identity are not names of identifiable or concrete, monolithic entities. They are classes of (perhaps unformulated) self-experiences, which are quite varied in terms of scope, time of origin, vantage point and context.

Consider these examples: I hit myself (self= my body; I hate myself (self= my personality); I’m self-conscious (self= my actions); I’m self-sufficient (self= competence); I feel like my old self (self= sense of continuity); I’m selfish (self= my needs); my shame was self-inflicted (self= my agency); and I couldn’t contain myself (self= my subjective space).

The reifications of “self” and “identity,” then, center around the concretist idea that cognitive processes are substances, with such properties of matter as spacial location,weight, quantity and inertia. Similarly, our assumptions about feelings too often are identified with qualities of actual substances, substances to be withheld or expelled, gotten rid of or destroyed; or they may fill one up, explode, leak out or spill over. Feelings for others, in addition, in this manner are described as ties that may be cut (like ropes, umbilical cords, or sadistic chains), be substances that engulf, poison, paralyze, suffocate, or “murder” one’s “soul.”

Even though such archaic thinking is commonly used as metaphor in our communications about everyday life, more accurate perspectives would not ascribe substantiality to what are essentially cognitive and emotional processes.


Thinking indoors, inside. Complexly simple, liminal considerations about making it possible for us to listen and hear or feel ourselves in a new way:

With the growing plurality of theoretical schools in the arts, social sciences and psychoanalysis (and many other fields), as well as the post-positivist turn in our thinking about theory itself and its relation to truth, there is a new urgency about our relation to the observational data of everyday life. On the one hand, we can no longer presume any definitively correct theoretical framework. Even if we are ourselves persuaded about the truth of our own particular perspective, we are forced to be modest about its claim on reality. This is the lesson of pluralism.

Conversely, we are increasingly forced to recognize that the facts, the data themselves, are always imbued with meaning. That is, there is no clear distinction to be made between facts and theories; there is no place to stand apart from our theories. If truth with a capital “T” is no longer attainable, even the particular local truths of a given situation are contingent and provisional, laced with ambiguity and uncertainty. Our interpretations rest on interpretations, rest on interpretations, rest on interpretations. This is the lesson of post-positivist science.

The emphasis upon the ambiguous and uncertain nature of our lives vitalizes and enriches our experiences of surprise. In other words, expanding our capacities to become engaged in depth with the ongoing events in our lives requires that we learn to become prepared to be unprepared for new experiences. This is an important characteristic of being open, or of openness. It is complemented by being prepared to make mistakes, no matter how diligently we attempt to receive the unknown. Here the stress is on having the flexibility to recover and re-find one’s bearings.

This being said, it is nevertheless very difficult fully to accept that we are, whether artists, scientists (or whatever mix) always taking temporary, limited and highly personal sightings in endlessly changing circumstances, sightings marked not only by new corrections but also by new errors. We can never know how to do that, but we can know that that is what we have to do.

Once one’s mind has been freed of its repetitive ruminations over what it is afraid to face, or its compulsive need to hang on to what it believes it knows, it becomes able to truly question the unknown that is actually there. There is a parallel shift from attempting to create meaning from reconstructions of the past to the realm of the “living moment” in which one is an inquiring subject. From this perspective, we are always asking questions. Our questions are always in search of other questions, and of the questions of others.

There are reasons why the unknown often is kept at bay in the present, reasons derived from old experience. If the notion of the dynamic unconscious is less viable as the crucial point of origin for repressed impulses, it is nonetheless true that there are dynamic processes that actively work to screen our perceptions and curtail our activities in order to protect us from encountering what past experience have made us afraid to know.

Further, the realm of the unknown is in itself is a source of fear. We may be able to contemplate the vastness of space with awe, for example, but when we actually venture into it we become acutely aware of needing to know more than we do. Our relation to unknown places demands upon us to know what we cannot know. It is not surprising that being able to tolerate this confrontation with the unknown often requires us temporarily to “stand back,” something analogous to creating a space in which to move. Such a space allows us to recover or develop the capacity to think about what has previously not been available for thought. For this to happen, an “opening” has to occur in the mind within which the new potential for thinking can occur.

“Space” is used a metaphor here, but as one of those metaphors which allows perspective to develop and reflection arise. If we can “stand back” from an initially overwhelming immediate experience, we are creating something that can be thought of as a “distance” that allows a new relationship between experience and thought. Or one might think of it in terms of time: a delay or a pause that occurs between the act and the thought, which makes it possible for us to listen and hear or feel ourselves in a new way.



The underlying current for many informed contemporary thinkers is that no one has access to ultimate truth. There are minor situational exceptions, of course, such as the reality that I have written this and that you are there reading it. On the other hand, it is still the case that there is no ultimate truth about the interaction between my writing and your reading of it, about my meaning and your own interpretation.

So it is with “love,” or “being in love”: the paradoxical perspective offers celebration for the complexities that abound in our attempts to specify the particulars of those states.

I paid the price of solitude
But at least I’m out of debt

Bob Dylan, “Dirge”


Everybody loved this one when it first came out as a slick music video produced by a choreographer and performed by a very agile band.  However, this version, done by four high school young people for one of their student assemblies, is a little different.  You just might think that it’s actually better!!

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: A Champion for the Common Man

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Dish for evoking memories of the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s voice, which is powerfully moving, even after all these years.  Perhaps especially so now.

The short film clip presented below is meant to be a brief tribute that is dedicated to the 32nd President of the United States: Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  His public charm matched his private struggles during his 13 years in the White House.  During much of his presidency, FDR was unquestionably the most vital figure in the nation, and perhaps the world.  He championed the common man and restored hope to the nation.  He led us through the two of the greatest American crises of the twentieth century, the Great Depression and World War II.  Above all, President Roosevelt’s optimism inspired the American people to believe they could accomplish anything they set out to accomplish.


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Tim Hardaway to John Amaechi: “I Hate Gay People”


 Timmy, Remember This One? 


Former Miami Heat superstar Tim Hardaway told a local sports radio show in Miami that he “hates gay people,” and he’s gotten a lot of people angry all over the country.

Later, one man told CBS Television Channel 4’s Art Barron outside of a Coral Gables carwash that uses Hardaway’s name as a draw, “Disgusting.  Having grown up in northern florida, dealing with racism there and desegregating of schools up there, it’s unfortunate you still hear things like that on the radio.”   The manager of the carwash was away and unavailable for comment.

Hardaway made the comments while he was being interviewed by Dan Le Batard on a Miami radio station Wednesday afternoon.   The five time All Star was asked how he would deal with a gay teammate.   “First of all I wouldn’t want him on my team,” Hardaway stated.   “Second of all, if he was on my team I would really distance myself from him because I don’t think that’s right and I don’t think he should be in the locker room when we’re in the locker room.”

Le Batard took Hardaway to task, pointing out that his comments were “flatly homophobic” and bigoted, but that only seemed to agitate the former point guard even more.

Well, you know, I hate gay people,” Hardaway responded.   “I let it be known I don’t like gay people.   I don’t like to be around gay people.   I’m homophobic.   It shouldn’t be in the world, in the United States, I don’t like it.”

The National Basketball Association Severs Ties With Hardaway

The National Basketball Association has removed Tim Hardaway from all league related appearances, after the five-time All-Star made the derogatory comments about gays.   The former Miami Heat guard, had been scheduled to be part of the NBA’s festivities ahead of Sunday’s All-Star game in Las Vegas, but the interview that he conducted with a Miami radio station has caused outrage in America.

After the tirade, National Basketball Commissioner David Stern confirmed that they would no longer be using Hardaway to promote the game on-behalf of the Association.  “It is inappropriate for him to be representing us given the disparity between his views and ours,” Stern said in a statement to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

In addition, after learning of the remarks made by Hardaway, the owners of the Continental Basketball Association’s (CBA) Indiana professional basketball franchise, spoke out today in reaction to Mr. Hardaway’s statements.   “First and foremost, there is not a single person in our organization who supports or shares Mr. Hardaway’s views,” stated Demetrius Ford, Trinity CEO.   “I speak for the entire organization when I say we are truly sorry for the harm caused to anyone by Mr. Hardaway’s words.  Effective immediately, Mr. Hardaway is removed from the position of Trinity Sports’ Chief Basketball Operations Advisor, as well as all other duties associated with the Company, its affiliates and subsidiaries.”

Trinity majority owner and NFL star Jay Fiedler added, “The opinions, views and remarks expressed by Mr. Hardaway in no way reflect my views or those of anyone else in our organization, and we want to make that clear to our corporate partners, the CBA and all the fans of our Indiana franchise.  Mr. Hardaway was instrumental in the startup phase of our basketball operations, but we must now move forward without his services or any association with him whatsoever.”

Hardaway has since apologised for his comments.  “I regret it, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said I hate gay people or anything like that, that was my mistake,” he told a local TV station in Miami.

The apology is clearly brief and meaningless.   He’s not sorry for what he said, but rather he’s only sorry that he said it.  The latter is probably true.  It’s likely that Hardaway does regret his disgusting outburst after seeing what an uproar it has caused.  If one just considers the professional rejections and financial damage that he’s already beginning to face, it’s doubtless that he wishes he could have those few minutes of his life back.

Video: Please Click on Image Above




Political conservatives tend to define gay people as immoral, perverted, and promiscuous, yet they deny them the one institution that to them represents the opposite.  It’s a handy catch-22 with which to bind a whole group of people to second-class citizenship.”  Comment by the former NBA player, John Amaechi.

Video: Please Click on Image Above

John Amaechi, former NBA player for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Orlando Magic, and the Utah Jazz announced earler this week that he is gay.  Amaechi, whose coming out led to Hardaway being quizzed on the issue, says the comments may actually lead to a more educated debate on the subject.  “Finally, someone who is honest,” he said.

It is ridiculous, absurd, petty, bigoted, and shows a lack of empathy that is gargantuan and unfathomable, but it is honest, and it illustrates the problem better than any of the fuzzy language other people have used so far.”

Amaechi is the son of a Nigerian father; he was raised in Stockport, England, by his English mother.  Amaechi moved to the United States to play high school basketball at St. John’s High School in Toledo, Ohio.  He began playing college basketball at Vanderbilt University, but transferred to Penn State where he was a two-time First Team Academic All-American selection.

The 6′ 10″, 270 lbs center was signed undrafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1995.  He played 28 games for the Cavaliers during the 1995-1996 season, then played for three years in Europe (France: Cholet, Limoges; Italy: Kinder Bologna; Greece: Panathinaikos; England: Sheffield Sharks) before signing with the Orlando Magic in 1999.  With a solid 1999-2000 season, where he averaged 10.5 points in 21.1 minutes per contest, he gained fame for scoring the NBA’s first points of the new millennium in 2000.  Amaechi went on to play for the Utah Jazz from 2001 to 2003.

He was traded to the Houston Rockets midway through his final NBA season and though he was an active player, he did not participate in any games for them.  Amaechi came out of retirement to represent England during the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, helping the England national basketball team win the Bronze Medal.

Recently Pensylvania State University named John Amaechi as the recipient of its 2006 Alumni Achievement Award.  In addition, Amaechi is currently serving as an Ambassador for London’s 2012 Olympic Bid.  He is a regular sports and current affairs commentor for the BBC, ITV and SKY as well as a presenter on a range of radio and television programs, including ITV’s ongoing “Britain on the Move” series and London’s Channel 5 weekly “Sport on Five.”   In addition to maintaining broadcast interests in the United States, Amaechi is currently the face of Sport England’s latest “Everyday Sport” campaign.

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Senator Obama: A Man With A Mission

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