Wednesday, 28 August 2013

THE "I HAVE A DREAM" SPEECH

Ken Berwitz

Today is the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's landmark "I have a dream" speech.

Please Click here to see/hear the video.  Or read the text below:

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.

But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now.

This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

I invite you to join me in marvelling at the inspirational nature of this great speech, and at how much racial progress has been made since Dr. King spoke those words.

But, sadly, I also invite you to join me in lamenting how his words have been co-opted and perverted by the racial hucksters of today - al sharpton the loudest and most visible among them, but far from the only one - who pretend to give a damn about Martin Luther King when they make a pathetic joke of everything he stood for.


A DAY TO STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES

Ken Berwitz

Sometimes you just have to drop everything and spend a day together.

My beautiful wife and I drove into Queens this morning and visited my parents (who just celebrated their 72nd anniversary).

Then into Manhattan for an afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art ("The Met") where we enjoyed the magnificent exhibits - including the best impressionist works this side of Paris's d'Orsay Museum.  We also saw The Met's limited-engagement exhibit of old baseball cards called "Legends Of The Dead Ball Era" (though my wife was not especially pleased when she asked what the dead ball era was, and I told her it won't be too many years before I'm part of it.)

Then to Lord & Taylor on 39th Street for some obligatory shopping.

Back to the West Side to see our younger son.

And, finally a romantic dinner at "The Place" on West 4th St. in the village. 

Life is too short not to take a break and smell the roses once in a while.  This was our day for smelling the roses....and we're already looking forward to the next one.


A DAY TO STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES

Ken Berwitz

Sometimes you just have to drop everything and spend a day together.

My beautiful wife and I drove into Queens this morning and visited my parents (who just celebrated their 72nd anniversary).

Then into Manhattan for an afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art ("The Met") where we enjoyed the magnificent exhibits - including the best impressionist works this side of Paris's d'Orsay Museum.  We also saw The Met's limited-engagement exhibit of old baseball cards called "Legends Of The Dead Ball Era" (though my wife was not especially pleased when she asked what the dead ball era was, and I told her it won't be too many years before I'm part of it.)

Then to Lord & Taylor on 39th Street for some obligatory shopping.

Back to the West Side to see our younger son.

And, finally a romantic dinner at "The Place" on West 4th St. in the village. 

Life is too short not to take a break and smell the roses once in a while.  This was our day for smelling the roses....and we're already looking forward to the next one.


THE "I HAVE A DREAM" SPEECH

Ken Berwitz

Today is the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's landmark "I have a dream" speech.

Please Click here to see/hear the video.  Or read the text below:

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.

But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now.

This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

I invite you to join me in marvelling at the inspirational nature of this great speech, and at how much racial progress has been made since Dr. King spoke those words.

But, sadly, I also invite you to join me in lamenting how his words have been co-opted and perverted by the racial hucksters of today - al sharpton the loudest and most visible among them, but far from the only one - who pretend to give a damn about Martin Luther King when they make a pathetic joke of everything he stood for.


MARTIN LUTHER KING AND....OBAMACARE?

Ken Berwitz

Here, via excerpts from yesterday's Investors Business Daily's editorial, is the Obama administration's latest effort to hide what ObamaCare really is and what it will really do, until after the 2014 midterm elections are in the bag:

In the latest and most desperate promotion of ObamaCare, the president is invoking Martin Luther King Jr. But the only "fierce urgency of now" is stopping ObamaCare before it can do more damage.

In a radio interview this week, Obama contended MLK would have "liked" ObamaCare because he understood "everybody should have access to" health care.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius used a blog post to claim King was somehow foreshadowing ObamaCare with the "fierce urgency of now" line from his famous speech.

"For every little boy or girl in America whose health lies in the balance, there is an urgency of now," Sebelius wrote. "For every one of our neighbors who lives day-after-day in fear because they do not have insurance, there is an urgency of now."

Sebelius forgot to mention that all of her "urgency of now" talk comes after the administration decided to delay massive chunks of ObamaCare.

There's no "urgency of now" for the small-business marketplace, the verification process, data hub privacy and security protections, or a limit on out-of-pocket costs. They've all been put off for at least a year.

Nor is there any "urgency of now" about promises ObamaCare would cut premiums, let you keep your insurance or create jobs. Those have been cancelled.

In any case, for millions of Americans the real "fierce urgency of now" isn't ObamaCare. It's a full-time job. That's something ObamaCare is making increasingly hard to find, and why its repeal is so urgently needed.

What a scam.

Instead of admitting what, according to every major poll, most people already know (click here and here for the polls)  - that ObamaCare is a monstrosity - this administration is trying every trick in the book to sell it as what it is not. 

And, simultaneously, it is hiding and/or delaying the worst parts of ObamaCare until after the midterm elections, in the hopes that enough voters will be suckered in to keep Democrats in control of the senate, maybe even take the house as well.

This latest strategy - invoking Martin Luther King by extracting a line from his "I have a dream" speech which had exactly zero to do with health care - is nothing short of odious.

But as long as Mr. Obama's Accomplice Media are willing to look the other way, or rationalize outrages such as this, he and his administration will keep pumping this kind of bilge out at us.

I'd say shame on Barack Obama...but I am not sure he has the capacity for shame any more.  And I'm even less sure about the "journalists" who, in reality, act as his political propagandists. 

Zeke ..... ..... .... Under ObamieKare, they were able to dig up Martin L. King, Jr., and ASK him his opinion of the program. .. . . . Dr. King replied they should get the person with the best experience to run it -- Bernie Madoff. . . . . . (08/28/13)


THE CONSEQUENCES OF BOMBING SYRIA

Ken Berwitz

President Obama - apparently without bothering to consult and get approval from congress (which Bush always did - imagine that), is apparently about to authorize the bombing of Syria. 

Mr. Obama has announced to the world that this is not an attempt at regime change - presumably, it is only to damage Syrian President bashar al-assad's capacity to kill civilians and make war on the increasingly al-qaeda-infested rebel forces.  We will not send ground troops into the country. (How nice of him to announce his objectives to the enemy.)

And what are the consequences?  Here is a partial list, which I hope the President might think about...since, based on what he is doing, I doubt he has thought about them much:

-He is again acting as a dictator, not the President of a country.  If President Bush unilaterally bombed another country this way, the howls from Democrats - and the media, which are so frighteningly silent as this push to war continues - would be deafening.  

Want a specific example?  How about this one:

"The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation".

That was Senator Barack Obama, in a 2007 interview with the Boston Globe.  Clear enough for you?

And please don't tell me that the deaths of over a thousand Syrians via chemical weapons is the reason.  There have been an estimated 100,000 other deaths in Syria at the hands of al-assad, which Mr. Obama has ignored.

-He will be fighting on behalf of al-qaeda and its likeminded terrorist brothers.  The Syrian rebellion started as a movement by the people against al-assad.  But, as just about everyone agrees, it has since been taken over by assorted radical islamists and terrorist groups, very much including al-qaeda.  To bomb al-assad's assets, therefore, is to bomb on behalf of those groups.  In the sarcastic words of Dennis Kucinich, whom I rarely agree with but who is dead on target here, "So what, we're about to become al-Qaeda's air force now"?

-He will be putting Israel in mortal jeopardy.  What do you think al-assad - in accord with its puppetmasters in Tehran - is going to do if we bomb Syria?  What is the one and only thing he can do that might coalesce support from the Arab and, more generally, Muslim countries?  His single best shot is to attack their common enemy, Israel.

And what do you think Israel will do if it is attacked?  Sit back and take the hits without retaliating?  And if this plays out, what happens next?

Has Barack Obama thought about any of this?  You'd never know it by the actions he seems about to take. 

All we can do is hope against hope that, just this once, he actually knows what he's doing.  Because as foreign policy humiliation after foreign policy humiliation has shown, Mr. Obama cannot fly by the seat of his pants on international affairs, while lying to everyone about what is happening, as his acolytes in the media either look the other way or rationalize his disasters.  

That may be the way it works domestically.  But not in the rest of the world. 

Zeke .... .... Obama's strategy is beyond inept and stupid. .... .... Assad has merely to make SOME gesture of defiance to raise Syria's standing in the world. It's pretty easy : Send rockets at Israel, release poison gas in the US (trains, subways, airports, sports events, office buildings). . . . . . . Assad doesn't have to win -- all he needs to do is survive. . . . . Barry is out of his mind, feeding arms and training to al Q'aida. . . . . . . . And, Russia and China are solidly behind Assad. . . . . In addition, there is the issue of Syria having the latest Russian anti aircraft missiles (S-300). . . . (08/28/13)


IS CORY BOOKER GAY?

Ken Berwitz

I can honestly say that, until I read David Giambusso's article in yesterday's Newark Star-Ledger, I never thought for even one second about Cory Booker's sexual orientation.  I did not know his marital status (evidently he is unmarried), and it never occurred to me to find out.

Well, now the question has been raised.  And here is my reaction in two words.

Who cares?

Next subject.


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