|See Nicolas Kristof,
Meet a Hero Whom You Maligned, "A practical response for those offended by our president’s
Pfc. Emmanuel Mensah raced repeatedly into a burning Bronx apartment building on Dec. 28, saving
four people before he died in flames that claimed at least a dozen lives.
| This song of Pete Seeger's always reminds me of the virtue of standing up against unethical
behavior, "My Name is Lisa Kalvelage".
I post it today in honor of Heather Heyer, murdered August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, by Nazis emboldened by Trump.
Still, it is interesting the read this article by the chief White House ethics lawyers for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, saying that, "After the revelations of the past 24 hours, it appears that President Trump’s conduct in and around the firing of the F.B.I. director, James Comey, may have crossed the line into criminality. The combination of what is known and what is credibly alleged would, if fully substantiated, constitute obstruction of justice."
|NYTimes: Voice Shaking, Michelle Obama Calls Trump Comments on Women ‘Intolerable’|
|In a brilliant Op-Ed in the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof, reminds us that especially in difficult times, we should remember our humanity.|
"People are playing with fire here, and there is no bigger flamethrower than Donald Trump. Forget politics; he is a disgusting human being. His children should be ashamed of him. I only pray that he is not simply defeated, but that he loses all 50 states so that the message goes out across the land — unambiguously, loud and clear: The likes of you should never come this way again."
|For an inspiring view of what matters in the world and why it is important to follow your dreams with energy and integrity, take a fifteen-minute break to enjoy Michelle Obama speaking at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.|
Nicholas Kristof's Op Ed in the Times says the following, "Pundits like me are gnashing our teeth as Trump receives the presidential nomination of the party of Lincoln, … , instead of again inflicting on you my views of the danger of Trump, let me share what some influential conservatives said about him during the course of the campaign"
"Schwartz went to his room, called his literary agent, Kathy Robbins, and told her that he couldn’t do the book. (Robbins confirms this.) As Schwartz headed back to New York, though, he came up with another plan. He would propose eavesdropping on Trump’s life by following him around on the job and, more important, by listening in on his office phone calls. That way, extracting extended reflections from Trump would not be required. When Schwartz presented the idea to Trump, he loved it. Almost every day from then on, Schwartz sat about eight feet away from him in the Trump Tower office, listening on an extension of Trump’s phone line. Schwartz says that none of the bankers, lawyers, brokers, and reporters who called Trump realized that they were being monitored. The calls usually didn’t last long, and Trump’s assistant facilitated the conversation-hopping. While he was talking with someone, she often came in with a Post-it note informing him of the next caller on hold."
Also, please note this story: Three men jumped down from a subway platform in Manhattan to rescue a man who had fallen onto the tracks, recording a much more typical and heroic action than the abberation of an Orlando psychopath who had easy and legal access to an assault rifle.
Finally, here is excellent insight from Tom Friedman, Lessons of Hiroshima and Orlando.
|I was lucky to be able to attend the House Judiciary Hearings on the FBI vs. Apple
BBC coverage of the hearings gives a good summary.
And here is Susan Landau's written testimony in which she argued forcefully that this is really an issue of security versus security.
|Public opinion, while originally supporting the FBI when it seemed this was about a single
terrorist's phone, has now come around to Apple's side, namely strong cryptography is necessary to keep us
safe and secure.
Now it is gratifying to see that the FBI has withdrawn its demand, learning that as Landau and others have told them, it was possible to get the data they needed without forcing Apple to weaken its iPhone security. At least for now, case closed: a victory for U.S. personal security and national security.
colleagues have asked
what's going on in America re the Republican debates and primaries.
think that the answer is that the
Republican Party has been hoist with its own
petard. I think that Obama
is a fantastic president and if the
Republican members of Congress had behaved
in an even remotely professional or
patriotic manner during his two terms in
office, the USA would be doing
amazingly well. They have not and this
is the result. Among others, the Koch
brothers -- see Dark Money by Jane
Mayer -- have brought much of this on. Others say this is just the culmination of
Richard Nixon's "Southern Strategy".
Here is the take of three reliable op-ed
writers for the New York Times, plus two politicians whom I trust and respect:
If you are an American citizen, the most important thing you can do is to stay involved and vote in November and make sure that your friends and family do as well.
"Yet racial hatred is still a potent force in our society, as we’ve just been reminded to our horror. And I’m sorry to say this, but the racial divide is still a defining feature of our political economy, the reason America is unique among advanced nations in its harsh treatment of the less fortunate and its willingness to tolerate unnecessary suffering among its citizens."
On a related note I recently visited the Home of FDR. Here is a relevant quote from FDR,
"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."I also visited Val-Kill which was Eleanor Roosevelt's modest home after the death of FDR. I hadn't known that, because of her work for civil rights, a bounty of twenty-five thousand dollars was put on her head by the Klu Klux Klan. Eleanor Roosevelt was undaunted. Here is what she said,
"Courage is more exhilarating than fear, and in the long run, it is easier."
|Supporting a National Treasure is an article from the AMS Notices about the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics (HCSSiM), a terrific program for mathematically talented high school students directed by Professor David Kelly at Hampshire College.|