Summer of ’68 With The Beatles

We just received this press release and are passing it along:

John, Paul, George & Ringo:

Fifty Years Later –

The Beatles Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before!

Tom Murray’s The Beatles Collection, The Mad Day: Summer of ’68 is now at Soho Contemporary Art 

May 31st through June 16th

 

 

July 28, 1968 was one of those perfect English summer dayswhen British photographer, Tom Murray, photographed the famed rock and roll group.  The shoot was done on the run (literally) all over London in order to escape the hordes of screaming Beatles fans that followed them everywhere.  Rushing from location to location inspired the name of the famous collection: The Mad Day: Summer of ’68.These images would become the LAST publicity shoot of all four Beatles together– and represent the quintessential Beatles at the height of their psychedelic period and are considered the most important color photographs of the group.  The Beatles officially disbanded in 1970.

After Tom created the photographs, he edited them to twenty-three slides on the advice of renowned photographer and friend, Eve Arnold who said, “keep the best, ditch the rest.”  And in his desk, the negatives stayed for 23 years. In 1986, Tom found the original slides of the Mad Day when he moved to LA to work with famed director, John Schlesinger.  Tom did not publish the full series of photographs until he met gallerists Rick and Irene Rounick.  The photographs, available in a 20 X 24 format size, are hand-signed and numbered from a limited-edition series of 185.  They are also available in a 30 X 40 format size, hand-signed and numbered from a limited-edition series of only 50.

The Mad Day Collection, which originally debuted in New York, is back with Irene and Rick Rounick, founders and owners of Soho Contemporary Art. The Rounicks, are ecstatic to bring Tom and the Mad Day Collection home. “Tom is a great photographer and our Gallery is thrilled to welcome him back to the family.”  The full collection will open Thursday, May 31stwith a private VIP reception celebrating the 50thyear and will be open to the public starting June 1st. The show runs through June 16th.

The Mad Day Collection has showed internationally in museums and galleries in cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Paris, Sweden and London where the opening ceremony of a permanent collection at the Museum in Docklands was officiated by the Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, and Stockholm where the collection was presented in honor of the Queen of Sweden.  The Museum of Radio and Television in Los Angeles also has a selection of the photographs in its permanent collection.

 

About Tom Murray:

Tom Murray is an award-winning photographer whose work spans portraiture, theater, fashion, advertising, newspapers and magazines. He perfected his craft working for newspapers, becoming the head of photography for The Sunday Times Colour Magazine, London’s first Sunday magazine. He then worked alongside master photographers Helmut Newton and Lord Snowdon.

At twenty-five, he received a commission from the Royal Family, becoming the youngest person to receive this honor, and has since immortalized subjects such as Elizabeth Taylor, Angelica Huston, Dustin Hoffman, Visconti, John Schlesinger, Armani and Ralph Lauren, etc.

His success has enabled him to donate his photographs to a number of causes close to his heart.  He has been significantly involved with the Make a Wish Foundation, Project Angel Food and Friends in Need, Cancer Care, Help the Hospice, Help for Hero’s among many, many others.  In addition to having raised over 2.5 million dollars directly through his photographic donations, he has helped raise over 6 million dollars by donating as part of group shows.  In all Tom has worked on behalf of 32 charities worldwide. His photographs individually have received bids as high as tens of thousands of dollars.

 

About Soho Contemporary Art:

Rick and Irene Rounick have been at the forefront of the contemporary art movement for well over 30 years. They have an impressive roster of established and emerging artists from pop and contemporary culture including: Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat and recently added legendary graffiti artist Cope 2.  As such, Soho Contemporary Art is a great source for art aficionado’s wishing to add to their collections as well as new collectors. The Gallery is located on the lower East Side of Manhattan at 259 Bowery. Rick and Irene, always ahead of the trends, were one of the earliest galleries to move to the Bowery locale.


Posted on May 7, 2018
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Politics as Usual: Nothing Has Changed in 47 Years

I wrote the following columns for The College Times at Cal State LA during the summer of 1971. Zoom to to read

Press Relations - 1

 

Press Relations - 2

 

Press Relations - 3

Posted on April 23, 2018
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The End of the Summer of Love – 1967

Courtesy AARP


Posted on September 19, 2017
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Century City Anti-War March — 50 Years Ago

cc-1

June 23, 1967
Artist Unknown
Offset, 1967
California
16963

 

On June 23, 1967, 15,000 anti-Viet Nam War demonstrators marched to the Century Plaza Hotel where President Lyndon B. Johnson was speaking. It was the largest anti-war gathering in L.A. history up to that time. The peaceful march, made up primarily of students and middle class protesters, including children and babies in carriages, was attacked and forcibly dispersed by hundreds of nightstick-wielding police on motorcycles.

 

In 1997, on the 30th anniversary of the demonstration, the LA Times reported that “the bloody, panicked clash (that ensued between the LAPD and primarily middle class protesters) left an indelible mark on politics, protests and police relations. It marked a turning point for Los Angeles, a city not known for drawing demonstrators to marches in sizable numbers… Johnson rarely campaigned in public again, except for appearances at safe places like military bases. Within nine months, opposition to the war grew so strong that he shelved his reelection campaign.”

 

Produced immediately after the LAPD attacked the anti-Viet Nam War protest march at Century City, the poster features a police officer on a motorcycle. June 27, 1967, the date of the event, is depicted on his helmet. The officer’s body and motorcycle are filled with words such as “Hate,” “Kill,” and “Smash” while he rides over “Peace” and “Love.”

We were there!

Graphic and information courtesy of:
cc-2


Posted on June 23, 2017
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All You Need Is Love

Fifty Years Later: The Beatles – All You Need Is Love
The Beatles by David Magnus
From their explosive beginnings -with frenzied fans drowning out the music with their screams -to their psychedelic evolution and mantra of love, love, love in the late 60’s, The Beatles had a meteoric rise and a message that affected fans worldwide. Photographer David Magnus got to witness it all, meeting The Beatles at the age of 19 and following them as they made music history around the globe. His close relationship with the band and their publicist gained Magnus amazing behind-the-scenes access to The Beatles’ historic “All You Need Is Love” recording session over the weekend of June 24th and 25th, 1967.

On Thursday, June 1st, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of that groundbreaking music event, Morrison Hotel Gallery will premiere an exclusive selection of photographs from Magnus’ archives. The exhibit, entitled All You Need Is Love, features a lineup of images that have never been seen before in the U.S. This will also mark the first time these photographs have been available for sale. The exhibit will be open to the public in all three gallery locations, (NYC, West Hollywood and Maui), beginning June 1st and will run until June 13th, with all images available for purchase during and after the show, on the gallery’s website.

The selection for the exhibit includes rare shots of the band and the other participants in what would become the first satellite broadcast around the world. In one shot, Brian Epstein perches alertly on a stool while George and Pattie Boyd Harrison chat in the background. Another catches Lennon from the side, poised in front of a microphone, glasses perched on nose, flower in hair and psychedelic love beads on display. Magnus was also able to catch the band at rest, relaxing during breaks in the action.
By the time the “Love”session came about, Magnus had been following The Beatles for a few years. He’d first been invited to photograph them in 1963 when, as a still-unknown band, they were playing a concert at the Stowe School. Even so, years later, Magnus was still struck by the band’s magnetism and effect on people.
“As I came from the EMI canteen,”he said, “one of the female studio staff stopped me, put a hand on my shoulder and said to me, ‘I must touch you as you’ve been in the same room as The Beatles.’It was as if I carried an aura from The Beatles. This to me sums up Beatlemania.”
That aura permeates All You Need Is Love, which honors the historic Our World broadcast, the band, and their timeless message in one powerful exhibit. Peter Blachley, gallery co-owner, founder, and show curator, said, “This show represents the first coming together of music and technology through satellite broadcasting whose purpose was to reach a worldwide audience. We think nothing of it today, however 50 years ago it was a very big deal. A big deal made even bigger by the fact that the best band on the planet, The Beatles chose to send a message of love, hope and healing which we hope will be even more evident in this show today.”
Read more about the images in the exclusive Town & Country announcement of the exhibit.
About Morrison Hotel® Gallery
Morrison Hotel®Gallery (MHG) was founded in 2001 by former record company executive Peter Blachley, music retail industry professional Richard Horowitz, and legendary music photographer Henry Diltz. In 2012, author, director and photographer Timothy White joined the team, launching an additional West Coast gallery at The Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood. The partners just launched a new location at Mick Fleetwood’s General Store in Maui, Hawaii.
MHG is the world’s leading brand in fine art music photography representing over 100 of the world’s finest music photographers and their archives. Their vast catalog of photography encompasses jazz, blues, and rock imagery spanning several generations through to today’s contemporary music artists and now includes iconic photographs in the world of sports as well. MHG has a robust online presence, featuring over 100,000 images searchable by photographer, music artist, band or concert. www.morrisonhotelgallery.com
Morrison Hotel Gallery
116 Prince Street || New York, NY 10012
212.941.8770
Morrison Hotel Gallery
Sunset Marquis
1200 Alta Loma Road || West Hollywood, CA 90069
310.881.6025
Morrison Hotel Gallery
Fleetwood’s General Store
744 Front Street || Lahaina, Hawaii 96761
808.669.6425 (MICK)

Posted on May 4, 2017
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‘It was 50 Years Ago …’ – Sgt. Pepper Gets Massive Reissue

Sgt. Pepper album deluxe reissueApple Records has unveiled the most ambitious reissue of a Beatles title to date, with a “super deluxe edition” of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

The May 26 release celebrates the 50th anniversary of the psychedelic music classic.

Highlights include a new stereo mix of the album, 5.1 surround via Bluray/DVD discs, a “lost” version of “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” and two CDs full of studio outtakes.

Sorry, it’s a “no” for the long-sought-after experimental Beatles track “Carnival of Light,” which dates back to the period.

Here’s what’s coming based on materials released April 4 and 5 by the Beatles’ label (updated content):

The set currently lists for $150 on a partial product page set up on Amazon.

“All of the Anniversary Edition releases include Martin’s new stereo mix of the album, which was sourced directly from the original four-track session tapes and guided by the original, Beatles-preferred mono mix produced by his father, (producer) George Martin,” the “Sgt. Pepper” press release says.

The set does not reissue the widely available standard stereo version of the Beatles album.

The extras on the CDs are said to be “a deeper dive with 100 minutes of outtakes, previously unheard and unreleased.” Much of the material has been previously bootlegged, however, as was the case with the last major archival release, the “Anthology” CDs. The official release undoubtedly will bring higher quality to the studio rejects.

Contrary to recent media reports and resulting rumors, the newly remastered “Sgt. Pepper” does not insert “Strawberry Fields” and “Penny Lane” into the classic album’s running order.

Apple also is offering a single CD ($19), double CD ($25) and double LP ($39) edition of the anniversary release. (Prices likely to drift a bit.)

> Read the complete list of “Sgt. Pepper” tracks on anniversary releases.

As for the vinyl version: “Expanded 180-gram 2LP vinyl package features the new stereo album mix on the first LP and adds a second LP with previously unreleased complete takes of the album’s 13 songs, newly mixed in stereo and sequenced in the same order as the album.”

“The Making Of Sgt. Pepper” was an official hourlong documentary that debuted in the U.K. in June 1992. Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ring Starr participated, giving separate interviews. Producer George Martin also weighed in from the control board at Abbey Road. A slightly shorter version reportedly aired on the Disney Channel.

Tip o’ the hat to Psychedelic Sight for the above information.


Posted on April 10, 2017
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Rare Sinatra Timex TV Specials Arrive on DVD May 19

sinatra-collection

EAGLE ROCK ANNOUNCES THE NEXT ENTRIES IN

THE FRANK SINATRA COLLECTION

THE TIMEX SHOWS VOL. 1 & VOL 2.

~ON DVD AND DIGITAL FORMATS ON MAY 19, 2017~

On May 19, 2017, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release another pair of titles in The Frank Sinatra Collection on DVD and digital formats. On license from Frank Sinatra Enterprises (FSE), the definitive collection pulls together some of the finest performances on television and in concert from the greatest entertainer of the 20th century. The Frank Sinatra Collection brings together some of Frank Sinatra’s finest performances on television and in concert.

The Timex Shows Vol.1
The Frank Sinatra Timex Show / An Afternoon With Frank Sinatra

This release combines his first two Timex TV shows from the late ‘50s.

THE FRANK SINATRA TIMEX SHOW – First broadcast by ABC on October 19, 1959. This was the first of four Timex-sponsored television specials that Sinatra hosted. It’s a fun and energetic show that captures Frank Sinatra at the top of his game. Guests include Dean Martin, Mitzi Gaynor and Bing Crosby, who join forces for an opening rendition of “High Hopes” and later Jimmy Durante makes a surprise appearance.

AN AFTERNOON WITH FRANK SINATRA – First broadcast by ABC on December 13, 1959, ‘An Afternoon With Frank Sinatra’ was the second of Sinatra’s four Timex television specials. The show includes guest appearances from Peter Lawford, Hermione Gingold, The Hi-Lo’s, Red Norvo’s jazz combo, dancer Juliet Prowse and the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald. Sinatra sings such hits as “I’ve Got The World On A String,” “I’ll Never Smile Again” and duets on “Can’t We Be Friends” with Ella.

The Timex Shows Vol.2
To The Ladies / Welcome Home Elvis

This release combines his two final Timex TV shows from 1960.

TO THE LADIES – First broadcast by ABC on February 15, 1960, ‘To The Ladies’ surrounded Frank Sinatra with a host of wonderful female performers for his third Timex-sponsored television special. It’s a mix of comedy, opera, dancing and great songs. Guests include Lena Horne, Mary Costa, Barbara Heller, Juliet Prowse and special guest star Eleanor Roosevelt.

WELCOME HOME ELVIS – First broadcast by ABC on May 12, 1960, ‘Welcome Home Elvis’ was Frank Sinatra’s fourth and final Timex special. It marked Elvis Presley’s first TV appearance after coming home from military service. Elvis performs “Fame And Fortune” and “Stuck On You” then Presley and Sinatra join forces on great renditions of “Witchcraft” and “Love Me Tender.” Joining in the fun is Nancy Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.

FULL TRACKLISTING INFORMATION

‘THE TIMEX SHOWS VOL. 1’

THE FRANK SINATRA TIMEX SHOW
1) High Hopes (Bing Crosby/Dean Martin/Mitzi Gaynor) 2) Day In, Day Out (Frank Sinatra) 3) Together, Wherever We Go (Frank Sinatra/Bing Crosby/Dean Martin) 4) Hurricane (Mitzi Gaynor) 5) Talk To Me (Frank Sinatra/Mitzi Gaynor) 6) Cheek To Cheek (Bing Crosby/Dean Martin/Mitzi Gaynor) 7) Wrap Your Trouble In Dreams (Dean Martin 8) Medley: Good Old Songs/Down By The Old Mill Stream/The Old Gray Mare/In Shade Of The Old Apple Tree/That Old Feeling/Down The Old Ox Road/Old Rockin’ Chair/Old Devil Moon/You’re An Old Smoothie/My Old Flame/Ol’ Man River (Frank Sinatra/Bing Crosby/Dean Martin) 9) High Hopes (Frank Sinatra) 10) Medley: Just One Of Those Things/Angel Eyes/The Lady Is A Tramp (Frank Sinatra) 11) Medley: Start Each Day With A Song/Inka Dinka Doo/Baby, Won’t You Please Come Home (Frank Sinatra/Bing Crosby/Dean Martin/Mitzi Gaynor/Jimmy Durante)

AN AFTERNOON WITH FRANK SINATRA
1) Spend The Afternoon With Me (Frank Sinatra) 2) I’ve Got The World On A String (Frank Sinatra) 3) The Desert Is Calling (The Hi-Lo’s) 4) Comes Love (Hermione Gingold/Peter Lawford) 5) There’s A Lull In My Life (Ella Fitzgerald) 6) It’s All Right With Me (Frank Sinatra) 7) Juliet Prowse Dance Routine 8) Too Marvelous For Words (Frank Sinatra/Red Norvo Quintet) 9) Here Is That Rainy Day (Frank Sinatra/Red Norvo Quintet) 10) Just You, Just Me (Ella Fitzgerald) 11) I’ll Never Smile Again (Frank Sinatra/The Hi-Lo’s) 12) Can’t We Be Friends (Frank Sinatra/Ella Fitzgerald) 13) Puttin’ On The Ritz (Hermione Gingold/Peter Lawford/Juliet Prowse) 14) He Loves And She Loves (Ella Fitzgerald) 15) Love Walked Right In (The Hi-Lo’s) 16) Our Love Is Here To Stay (Frank Sinatra) 17) Love Is Sweeping The Country (Frank Sinatra/Hermione Gingold/Peter Lawford/Juliet Prowse/Ella Fitzgerald)

‘THE TIMEX SHOWS VOL. 2’

TO THE LADIES
1) Here’s To The Ladies (Frank Sinatra) 2) I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Frank Sinatra) 3) Ouvre Ton Coeur (Mary Costa) 4) By Strauss (Barbara Heller) 5) Ring The Bell (Lena Horne) 6) Come Cha Cha With Me (Juliet Prowse) 7) It’s A Lonesome Old Town (Frank Sinatra) 8) But Beautiful (Lena Horne) 9) From This Moment On (Lena Horne) 10) Harold Arlen Medley: As Long As I Live/It’s Only A Paper Moon/One For My Baby/Accentuate The Positive/Stormy Weather/Get Happy/Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea (Frank Sinatra/Lena Horne) 11) My Heart Stood Still (Frank Sinatra) 12) Yours Is My Heart Alone (Mary Costa) 13) Afraid Of Love (Barbara Heller) 14) My Heart Belongs To Daddy (Lena Horne) 15) My Funny Valentine (Juliet Prowse) 16) High Hopes (Eleanor Roosevelt) 17) Here’s To The Ladies (Frank Sinatra)

WELCOME HOME ELVIS
1) It’s Nice To Go Trav’ling (Frank Sinatra/Joey Bishop/Sammy Davis Jr/Nancy Sinatra) 2) It’s Nice To Go Trav’ling (Frank Sinatra/Joey Bishop/Sammy Davis Jr/Nancy Sinatra/Elvis Presley) 3) Witchcraft (Frank Sinatra) 4) Come On Bess (Sammy Davis Jr) 5) Oriental Dance (Leona Irwin & The Tommy Hansen Dancers) 6) Gone With The Wind (Frank Sinatra) 7) Uh Oh! (Nutty Squirrels) 8) All The Way (Sammy Davis Jr) 9) Shall We Dance (Sammy Davis Jr/Peter Lawford) 10) Fame And Fortune (Elvis Presley) 11) Stuck On You (Elvis Presley) 12) Medley: Witchcraft/Love Me Tender (Frank Sinatra/Elvis Presley) 13) Medley: Witchcraft/Love Me Tender – Reprise (Frank Sinatra/Elvis Presley) 14) You Make Me Feel So Young (Frank Sinatra/Nancy Sinatra) 15) Let’s Dance (Nancy Sinatra)

About Frank Sinatra

Throughout his nine-decade career, Frank Sinatra performed on more than 1,400 recordings and was awarded 31 gold, nine platinum, three double platinum and one triple platinum album by the Recording Industry Associated of America. He extends his record to 57 for the most top 40 albums on the Billboard 200 with this year’s new Ultimate Sinatra release. Sinatra has had Top 40 hits on the charts for eight decades, which is as long as the Billboard charts have existed. He received nine GRAMMY Awards over the course of his career, including three for the prestigious Album of the Year, and an Oscar. Sinatra demonstrated a remarkable ability to appeal to every generation and continues to do so; his artistry still influences many of today’s music superstars. He also appeared in more than 60 films and produced eight motion pictures.

Sinatra was awarded Lifetime Achievement Awards from The Recording Academy, The Screen Actors Guild and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), as well as the Kennedy Center Honors, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Today, he remains a legend and an inspiration around the world for his contributions to culture and the arts.

About Frank Sinatra Enterprises (FSE)

Frank Sinatra Enterprises is a joint venture between the Sinatra family and Warner Music Group. FSE owns Sinatra’s recordings from the Reprise era as well as a treasure trove of films, television specials and unreleased footage, photos and audio recordings, which collectively represent one of the foremost bodies of artistic work of the modern era. FSE also owns and manages Sinatra’s name and likeness rights and represents the artist’s rights to the Columbia and Capitol catalogues. FSE pursues innovative new product and venture opportunities with respect to the legendary entertainer’s name and likeness, as well as Sinatra’s audio and visual recordings. (www.sinatra.com)

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Posted on March 17, 2017
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The Evergreen Review Returns

evergreen

THE EVERGREEN REVIEW
VOLUME 1, NUMBERS 1, 2, and 3

“If it is impossible to imagine literature being labeled obscene in our time, it is largely because of the Evergreen Review.” —The Daily Beast

From the moment of its inception, The Evergreen Review pushed the boundaries of propriety and free speech. Authors like Allen Ginsberg, Kenzaburō Ōe, and Jean-Paul Sartre were for the first time introduced to a broad American audience, and the response was explosive: the Review and its contributors faced lawsuits and charges of obscenity. The role of The Evergreen Review in 60’s counterculture can hardly be overstated; at its height, the magazine reached a quarter of a million Americans.

Copies of the original issues of the magazine are hard to come by, and are sought after by collectors. Now, Foxrock Books—the publishing arm of the recently revived Evergreen Review—is pleased to offer carefully crafted facsimile paperback editions of the classic first three issues of the review.

These issues feature Jean-Paul Sartre, Samuel Beckett, Mark Schorer, Henri Michaux, Baby Dodds, Michael Hamburger, James Purdy, Harold Feinstein, Henry Miller, Kenneth Rexroth, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Dore Ashton, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Gary Snyder, Jack Spicer, Albert Camus, and others.

Dale Peck, editor-in-chief of the relaunched Evergreen Review, is available for interview, as is John Oakes, publisher of The Evergreen Review and co-publisher of OR Books.

 The Evergreen Review Volume 1, Numbers 1, 2, and 3
Publication date: May 18, 2017

Vol 1 Number 1 ISBN 978-1-682190-89-0 Paperback ($16)
192 pages

Vol 1 Number 2 ISBN 978-1-682190-90-6 Paperback ($16)
168 pages

Vol 1 Number 3 ISBN 978-1-682190-91-3 Paperback ($16)
164 pages


Posted on March 4, 2017
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These are the times that try men’s souls

trump-satan

What with the election of a narcissistic, reality TV star, pathological liar as a president, and faced with a cabinet composed of ultra-rich elites and white supremacists keen on feeding off the hands of corporate vested interests … all bent on dismantling everything that humanists have fought for decades (progressive environmental, gender, health, educational and social reforms), it’s time to rise to the barricades as we did in the 1960s. Protest. Write columns, letters, blog posts. Call your government representatives — on a regular basis. Here’s a sampling of sites and information sources with which to do battle.

 

Michael Moore’s Resistance Calendar and Website
Michael Moore.com
Michael Moore’s Resistance Calendar

Robert Reich
Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, chairman of Common Cause, a co-creator of the award-winning documentary, “Inequality for All,” and the best-selling book “Saving Capitalism.”

5Calls.org
Make your voice heard. Calling your Government on the phone can crreate the changes you want. Spend 5 minutes, make 5 calls. Calling is the most effective way to influence your representative. 5 Calls provides phone numbers and scripts so calling is quick and easy. Their phone app uses your location to find your local representatives so your calls have more impact.

10 Plagues Unearthed by This Election We Need to Face

7 Signs American Democracy Is Sliding into Tyranny

Welcome to the Authoritarian Kleptocracy

AlterNet
AlterNet is an award-winning news magazine and online community that creates original journalism and amplifies the best of hundreds of other independent media sources. AlterNet’s aim is to inspire action and advocacy on the environment, human rights and civil liberties, social justice, media, health care issues, and more.

The Nation

Politico

The Ring of Fire Network

FactCheck.org

PolitiFact

Our Revolution

Move On

In These Times

 

These are the times that try men’s souls.
Thomas Paine


Posted on February 5, 2017
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Indignez-vous! (Time for Outrage)

time-for-outrage

From The Nation.
Toward the end of 2010, a small book by a 93-year-old man unexpectedly reached the  summit  of  the  best-seller  list  in  France. Indignez-vous! by Stéphane Hessel sold more than 600,000  copies  between October  and  the end of December. Stéphane Hessel, born in 1917, grew up in a rich literary milieu, authoring novels and translating Proust with the great German Jewish literary critic Walter Benjamin. He served in the French Army during the Battle of France and, like more than a million other French  soldiers,  became  a  prisoner  of  war. Following  his escape from a POW camp, he joined Gen. Charles de Gaulle and his small band of Free French résistants. He worked with de Gaulle in London, parachuted behind Nazi lines in France, was captured by the Nazi, tortured, and escaped. After the war, Hessel  became  a  diplomat and  was  involved,  along  with  Eleanor Roosevelt,  in  drafting  the  United  Nations Universal  Declaration  of  Human  Rights. Awards  and  honors  followed,  the  most recent of which are the Council of Europe’s North-South  Prize  in  2004,  the  rank  of Grand  Officer  of  the  Legion  of  Honor in  2006  and  the  2008  UNESCO/Bilbao Prize  for  the  Promotion  of  a  Culture  of Human  Rights.

Disturbed at what he perceived as a right-leaning trend in France (and the world), Hessel penned Indignez-vous! (Time for Outrage), which seems especially appropriate now.

Ninety-three years. I’m nearing the last stage. The end cannot be far off. How lucky I am to be able to draw on the foundation of my political life: the Resistance and the National Council of the Resistance’s program from sixty-six years ago. It is thanks to Jean Moulin that all the elements of occupied France—all the movements, the parties, the unions—came together within the framework of the National Council to proclaim their allegiance to Fighting France and to the only leader it recognized, Gen. Charles de Gaulle. I was in London, where I had joined de Gaulle in March 1941, when I learned that the council had put the finishing touches on its program and adopted it on March 15, 1944: a collection of principles and values for Free France that still provides the foundation of our country’s modern democracy.

We need these principles and values more than ever today. It is up to us, to all of us together, to ensure that our society remains one to be proud of: not this society of undocumented workers and deportations, of being suspicious of immigrants; not this society where our retirement and the other gains of social security are being called into question; not this society where the media are in the hands of the rich. These are all things that we would refuse to countenance if we were the true heirs of the National Council of the Resistance.

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Posted on January 5, 2017
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