Sunday, February 15, 2009

Justice, Republican Games, Revolution Chatter, Sixty Minutes On Pakistan/Afghanistan, Ted Kennedy And The Conscience Of A Generation: Joan Baez.

Justice, Republican Games, Revolution Chatter, Sixty Minutes On Pakistan/Afghanistan, 

Ted Kennedy And The Conscience Of A Generation: Joan Baez.



"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then,
to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in
broad daylight!"

- Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) –

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude
than the animating contest of freedom, — go from us in peace. We ask
not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed
May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget
that ye were our countrymen!”

-Sam Adams-





A Truth Commission to Investigate Bush-Cheney Administration Abuses


I have set up a petition at, and I hope you will sign it to urge Congress to consider establishing a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate the Bush-Cheney administration's abuses. We already have over 7,000 signatures, but we need to hit 10,000 signatures -- or more -- by next week, to build momentum behind this idea.

Patrick Leahy
U.S. Senator


Indict Bush

Camus Cafe Political Coffee House: Leahy Opens Petition Drive to ...
By Ed. Dickau 

EdDickau, Thank you for signing my petition at, urging Congress to consider the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate Bush-Cheney Administration abuses. ...
Camus Cafe Political Coffee House -


JUSTICE  Http://www.Newsweek.Com/Id/184801

A Torture Report Could Spell Big Trouble For Bush Lawyers

By Michael Isikoff | NEWSWEEK

Published Feb 14, 2009

From the magazine issue dated Feb 23, 2009


An internal Justice Department report on the conduct of senior lawyers who approved waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics is causing anxiety among former Bush administration officials. H. Marshall Jarrett, chief of the department's ethics watchdog unit, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), confirmed last year he was investigating whether the legal advice in crucial interrogation memos "was consistent with the professional standards that apply to Department of Justice attorneys." According to two knowledgeable sources who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive matters, a draft of the report was submitted in the final weeks of the Bush administration. It sharply criticized the legal work of two former top officials—Jay Bybee and John Yoo—as well as that of Steven Bradbury, who was chief of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) at the time the report was submitted, the sources said. (Bybee, Yoo and Bradbury did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)


But then–Attorney General Michael Mukasey and his deputy, Mark Filip, strongly objected to the draft, according to the sources. Filip wanted the report to include responses from all three principals, said one of the sources, a former top Bush administration lawyer. (Mukasey could not be reached; his former chief of staff did not respond to requests for comment. Filip also did not return a phone message.) OPR is now seeking to include the responses before a final version is presented to Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. "The matter is under review," said Justice spokesman Matthew Miller.


If Holder accepts the OPR findings, the report could be forwarded to state bar associations for possible disciplinary action. But some former Bush officials are furious about the OPR's initial findings and question the premise of the probe. "OPR is not competent to judge [the opinions by Justice attorneys]. They're not constitutional scholars," said the former Bush lawyer. Mukasey, in speeches before he left, decried the second-guessing of Justice lawyers who, acting under "almost unimaginable pressure" after 9/11, offered "their best judgment of what the law required."


But the OPR probe began after Jack Goldsmith, a Bush appointee who took over OLC in 2003, protested the legal arguments made in the memos. Goldsmith resigned the following year after withdrawing the memos, and later wrote that he was "astonished" by the "deeply flawed" and "sloppily reasoned" legal analysis in the memos by Yoo and Bybee, including their assertion (challenged by many scholars) that the president could unilaterally disregard a law passed by Congress banning torture.


OPR investigators focused on whether the memo's authors deliberately slanted their legal advice to provide the White House with the conclusions it wanted, according to three former Bush lawyers who asked not to be identified discussing an ongoing probe. One of the lawyers said he was stunned to discover how much material the investigators had gathered, including internal e-mails and multiple drafts that allowed OPR to reconstruct how the memos were crafted. In a departure from the norm, Jarrett also told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee last year he would inform them of his findings and would "consider" releasing a public version. If he does, it could be the most revealing public glimpse yet at how some of the major decisions of Bush-era counterterrorism policy were made.


In Gingrich Mold, a New Voice for Solid Republican Resistance

WASHINGTON — The last time Congressional Republicans were this out of power, they turned to a college professor from Georgia, Newt Gingrich, to lead the opposition, first against President Bill Clinton in a budget battle in 1993, and then back into the majority the following year.


As Republicans confronted President Obama in another budget battle last week, their leadership included another new face: Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, who as the party’s chief vote wrangler is as responsible as anyone for the tough line the party has taken in this first legislative standoff with Mr. Obama. This battle has vaulted Mr. Cantor to the front lines of his party as it tries to recover from the losses of November.


As Republican whip, Mr. Cantor succeeded again on Friday in denying the White House the support of a single House Republican on the stimulus bill. That was a calculated challenge to the president, who, in his weekly address on Saturday, hailed the bill as “an ambitious plan at a time we badly need it.”


Mr. Cantor said he had studied Mr. Gingrich’s years in power and had been in regular touch with him as he sought to help his party find the right tone and message. Indeed, one of Mr. Gingrich’s leading victories in unifying his caucus against Mr. Clinton’s package of tax increases to balance the budget in 1993 has been echoed in the events of the last few weeks.


“I talk to Newt on a regular basis because he was in the position that we are in: in the extreme minority,” he said.


The Republicans can certainly count some victories, although symbolic ones. Even White House aides said Mr. Cantor and his team had been successful in seizing on spending items in the stimulus bill to sow doubts about it with the public.


The fact that House Republicans have stood firm against Mr. Obama suggests just how unified the caucus is, though Mr. Gingrich, in an interview, said Democratic leaders like Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and RepresentativeDavid R. Obey of Wisconsin, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, did more to unify Republicans than anything Republicans did.


“I’d like to tell you Cantor did a brilliant job, but the truth is that Pelosi and Obey pushed the members into his arms,” Mr. Gingrich said. But, he added, “They have been good at developing alternatives so they don’t leave their guys out there chanting no.”


The Republican Party is arguably weaker today than it was in 1993, given Mr. Obama’s popularity and the enormous weight Republicans are carrying after eight years under President George W. Bush. Even as Mr. Cantor was urging Republicans to oppose Mr. Obama on this signature plan, he offered praise of the president, suggesting that Republicans should be careful to avoid being labeled obstructionist.


“I think people out there across the country elected this president because he inspired the notion that we can change,” he said. “Not to be so trite as to invoke his campaign slogan, but I do think there was some substance behind it in terms of what people thought in voting for him.


“Banking off that mood of the country right now, I think it’s incumbent upon us to reach out to him and see if we can work together.”


Mr. Cantor, along with the House minority leader, Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, faces the challenge of trying to lead a shrinking and increasingly conservative caucus. The party also faces the burden of trying to advance what Mr. Cantor describes as its bedrock value — smaller government — in the face of considerable evidence that the American public wants an increasingly active government to deal with the economic crisis.


And it is Mr. Cantor who is pushing the party in a direction that Democrats, and some Republicans, say is risky: almost lock-step opposition to Mr. Obama’s economic plan. Democrats have already made clear that they intend to use those votes against Republicans in 2010, and sooner, with advertisements noting the middle-class tax cuts included in the bill.


Mr. Cantor’s increasing prominence is in many ways a reminder of the difficult time the party faces after losing the presidential election and in the absence of any high-profile Republican leaders in the House or the Senate. Mr. Boehner routinely defers to him at news conferences, reflecting the concern of Republicans that they put forward new and relatively young faces. (Mr. Cantor is 45, but looks younger.)


Mr. Cantor, who has exhibited an eye for winning attention, has rushed in to fill the leadership vacuum with a daily diet of news conferences, interviews, speeches on the House floor and television appearances. “ALERT: Cantor Holds Economic Recovery Roundtable,” a news release from his office announced, in describing an economic forum he will hold on Wall Street this week.


He is the only Jewish Republican in the House. This has created a thoroughly unlikely circumstance for the Republican Party, given that its other most prominent face these days is the new chairman of the Republican National CommitteeMichael Steele, the first African-American to hold the post.


Mr. Cantor, who grew up in Richmond, is soft-spoken with a whisper of a Southern accent. A lawyer, he served in the Virginia House of Delegates before being elected to Congress in 2000, filling the seat once held by James Madison, as he likes to remind people.


In discussing the Republican defeat, he said: “I don’t think it was an outright rejection of what I call common sense conservative principles. And as a Virginian, holding James Madison’s seat, I don’t think it was a rejection of the principles upon which this country was built.”


Mr. Cantor is certainly different from Mr. Gingrich in some significant ways. “He’s not Newt — giving off sparks every 15 seconds,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax reform, an influential conservative group. “While I never bought the criticism of Newt that being an ideas factory meant he suffered from A.D.D. — I think it was an unfair rap on him — to his advantage, Cantor is seen as both an ideas person and steady and stable.”


Beyond that, friends of both say that Mr. Gingrich is more intellectually adventurous than Mr. Cantor, but also more prone to overreach.


“I would say my manner is such that it would seem to be a little more demure,” Mr. Cantor said.


Demure or not, Mr. Cantor’s press secretary was forced to apologize last week after e-mailing to a reporter a video filled with vulgar language making fun of labor unions, in response to an advertisement from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees pressing Republicans to support the Obama plan.


Mr. Cantor acknowledged that Mr. Obama had won points from the public for appearing less partisan than Republicans in this battle, but he warned that the president should not draw the wrong lesson.


“I think it would be short-sighted for him to take away from a zero vote that he shouldn’t even mess with us anymore,” he said.


47% Oppose Fairness Doctrine, But 51% Think Congress Likely To Bring It Back : (Rasmussen Reports…)   



(CBS) Pakistan's new president, Asif Ali Zardari, says his nuclear-armed government is in a battle to survive against the growing threat of the Taliban, which his country failed to take strong action against earlier. 

Now the Muslim militant group has extended its presence from the tribal borderlands inland to larger cities, Zardari tells 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft in an interview to be broadcast this Sunday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. ET/PT. 

"[The Taliban] do have a presence in huge amounts of land in our side. Yes, that is the fact," says Zardari. Once confined to the county's border area with Afghanistan, where they carried out strikes against U.S. troops over the border, the Taliban have extended their influence in Pakistan inland to cities like Peshawar and the Swat Valley. 

Zardari was elected president after his wife, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated while running for Prime Minister, probably by the Taliban. He says the Taliban have been taken for granted for a long time. "It's been happening over time and it's happened out of denial. Everybody was in denial. '…They're weak and they won't be able to take over…they won't be able to give us a challenge,'" he says many thought. "And our forces weren't increased…we have weaknesses and they are taking advantage of that weakness," Zardari tells Kroft. 

The Pakistani government has put 120,000 soldiers in the fight against the Taliban, who are suspected of harboring al-Qaeda members among them. They have had some success where the enemy can be found in numbers on roads or in the open. In more rural areas their efforts have been temporary. The Taliban can be lethal in small groups. Insurgents have carried out more than 600 terrorist attacks, killing over 2,000, including 60 in a Marriott in the capital, Islamabad. 

Zardari is also battling public opinion in Pakistan. Most citizens believe the war against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda is America's war their government is fighting by proxy. Not so says Zardari. "We're not doing anybody a favor…We are aware of the fact it's… Taliban…trying to take over the state of Pakistan," he says. "So, we’re fighting for the survival of Pakistan. We’re not fighting for the survival of anybody else." 

Some observers have questioned how much power Zardari really has and whether he has the full support of the military and the intelligence service. They are behind him he says. "If that wasn't the case, then Islamabad would have fallen because obviously if the army doesn't do its job, these men are not restricted. They've blown up the Marriott Hotel before. They’ve attacked us inland before. They would be all around us, wouldn't they?" he asks. 

Zardari is determined to prevail; it's more than his duty, it's personal. "I lost my wife to it. My children's mother…It's important to stop them and make sure that it doesn't happen again and they don’t take over our way of life," he tells Kroft. "That's what they want to do." Much of the world has a stake in Zardari's struggle as well. 

With Pakistan in possession of about 100 nuclear weapons, a Taliban takeover poses a frightening scenario.


A Childhood Of Privilege, Promise, And Pain  (Open Link For Videos and Still Photos)


 On a spring day nearly two years ago, Senator Edward Kennedy sat on the porch of his sprawling Hyannis Port home with a friend of five decades, Edmund Reggie, who is also his father-in-law. The two men gazed out at the ocean that has been such an anchor in Kennedy's life and talked about the future.


"You're nuts to beat yourself to death like this on the Senate floor," Reggie said. "Passing a new law won't be any more glorious for you than the reputation you've made. Some people say you and Daniel Webster are the greatest senators of all time."


Kennedy looked at the older man and deadpanned: "What did Webster do?"


It was a telling line, typical of the competitive Kennedys. But Reggie persisted. Waving an arm toward Nantucket Sound, he said: "You have all this. You and Vicki love to travel. Why are you beating your brains out? You've got all the money you need. Your kids are all raised."


But Kennedy wasn't buying it. "No," he said. "I don't think so. I'll stay in the Senate."


For the past 46 years, the US Senate has been as much a home to Edward Moore Kennedy as his beloved Hyannis Port. Still, that Kennedy could go down in history with the likes of Daniel Webster — the giant of the Senate in the first half of the 19th century — would have been inconceivable at many points in his career, as he weathered crises both personal and professional, tragic and scandalous.


There were the gargantuan shoes to fill, and for so long Kennedy seemed unable to fill them. His father's outsize expectations passed from son to son, until, through the shattering deaths of the three older boys, they came to rest upon Teddy's shoulders.


The youngest of nine, the fourth of four boys, he has spent his life trying to both escape and embrace the burdens placed upon him by ambitious parents, the long shadows cast by his brothers and a public hungry for a return to Camelot.


At his worst, he was considered a shallow playboy relying on the Kennedy name,a green understudy for his spectral brothers. His legendary personal problems were so public that they were reduced to shorthand: Chappaquiddick, Georgetown, Palm Beach. Each episode revealed a reckless and arrogant streak that would have sunk many careers. Politically, opponents painted him as no more than a poster boy for outdated leftist causes, the last of the liberal lions in a conservative age.


But over time, Kennedy's energy and endurance emerged. The youngest son who had faced so much pain became, in his later years, a symbol of patriarchal strength in the Kennedy family and to others who suffered losses around the country. Senate colleagues who had long admired his work ethic began to see in the bipartisan coalitions he built to advance his health and education agenda the skill of a true master of legislative politics.


No senator in history, many now say, was able to be both his party's most forceful spokesman for its causes and the leader who cajoled colleagues of both parties into agreement.


In what once seemed like a premonition, President John F. Kennedy at his inauguration had given his youngest brother a silver cigarette box engraved with the biblical words from Matthew: "And the last shall be first."


Ted Kennedy did not succeed in following his brother's path, either in cultivating a faultless image or in wielding the powers of the presidency. But by the early 21st century, the achievements of the younger brother would be enough to rival those of many presidents.


That day on the Hyannis Port porch, his father-in-law's advice to relax and bask in his hard-won glory was also prescient. A year later, Kennedy would be diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.


But then, as always in his turbulent life, Kennedy looked to his moorings: the Senate and the sea. He would meet cancer the way he met so many challenges.


He would keep working, and he would keep sailing.


Charming and challenging


Joseph P. Kennedy — the architect of the fledgling family dynasty — could not have planned it better himself. On Feb. 22, 1932, the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birthday, his and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy's ninth child, Edward Moore Kennedy, was born at St. Margaret's Hospital in Dorchester.Whether or not he took it as an omen, the proud father, who already envisioned a Kennedy becoming the first Catholic president, often pointed out the felicitous date to others.


Joe and Rose were high school sweethearts whose grandparents had arrived in Boston from Ireland and whose fathers both held elective office. The couple's political backgrounds and overarching ambitions meshed to create a family that would one day be called America's royalty.


Rose, a devout Catholic, would not use birth control, and friends told her she was crazy to have another child at 41. "I became so incensed and so annoyed at being constantly berated that I determined secretly that no one was going to feel sorry for me or my baby, and so perhaps that is why Ted is so full of optimism and confidence," she wrote in her journal.


The littlest Kennedy was chubby and cheery, the freckle-faced pet of the family. "Biscuits and Muffins," was the nickname his sister Jean — the next-youngest, four years older than Teddy — gave him. From the start he had an unusually sunny disposition. Like many youngest, he was eager to please, and took the teasing — and the occasional big-brother torture — with good humor. He mimicked the exploits of his siblings, skiing with them in Europe, jumping off high rocks on the French Riviera, and sailing in races — all by the age of 7.


When he was 5, his much-loved oldest brother, Joe Jr., tossed him out of the sailboat and into the cold Atlantic Ocean because Teddy didn't know where the jib was. Joe hauled him right out of the water, but Teddy never forgot the wet lesson.


Rose and Joe Sr. expressed their love for their children in the form of high expectations, and by their standards, Teddy was often lacking. Rose was not a demonstrative mother, but the lifelong closeness between her and Teddy was extraordinary. Joe, too, had a weakness for his youngest, and neither parent pushed him quite so hard as they did the older boys, on whom the yoke of the family name rested most heavily. Teddy would for a long time be the victim — and the beneficiary — of lower expectations.


"We tried to keep everything more or less equal," Rose once said. "But you wonder if the mother and father aren't quite tired when the ninth one comes along."


Teddy soon realized that his role in the family was like that of court jester, and he performed beautifully. A naturally gregarious child, he loved jokes and stories, and would entertain the others with his antics. At age 7, he wrote his father that he was going to the World's Fair. "I think I am going to get a pony there and where do you think I could keep it? Maybe in the little tool house."


Teddy was also the most considerate of the Kennedy boys. When he was 7, he wrote to his father about Halloween: "I got dressed up like a ghost and went all the way down the road. I didn't scare because you said not to scare anyone because they may have a weak heart."


But being the baby often means not being taken seriously, a consideration that would dog him throughout his life. The Kennedy dining room had an adult table for the older children where politics, current events, and literature were digested along with Joe's favorite roast beef and strawberry shortcake. Teddy and Jean would sit at the baby table with an assigned older sibling. As Ted later wrote: "I learned that if I wanted to contribute something worthwhile to the conversation, I would have to talk about a book I was reading or an interesting place I had visited."


Something worthwhile. That was one of the many mantras the Kennedy parents imposed upon their children. Do something with your lives. Make something of yourselves. Give something back to others. Joe Kennedy Sr. set up million-dollar trust funds and told his children they'd never have to earn money; they should devote their lives to public service.


He had made a fortune as a banker, shipyard executive, liquor distributor, real estate investor, and Hollywood producer. But politics was his real love. In the early 20th century, Irish-Americans stood on the outside of America's power structure; wealth was Joe Kennedy's ticket to the inside.


A generous supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joe was rewarded by being named the first head of the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 1938, he got the job of his dreams: He became the first Irish-American ambassador to the Court of St. James. For a brief time, Joe even entertained the unlikely notion that he might become the first Irish-Catholic president of the United States.


In London, the Kennedy family settled into the 36-room embassy at 14 Princes Gate. To Teddy, the best part was the lift that he and Bobby nearly wore out until their parents put a stop to it.


Weary of the talk of war and bored with stuffy King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, London embraced the energetic, photogenic Kennedy family. The press followed the children to the zoo, Kensington Gardens, Buckingham Palace, and Hyde Park. They were there when Teddy tried to take a picture with his camera upside down and when sisters Rosemary and Kathleen made their debuts into London society. At the Vatican, Teddy received his First Communion from Pope Pius XII.


Those were happy times for the family, a rare period when all 11 were together. Joe Sr. gave their nanny, Elizabeth Dunn, a movie camera and told her to record whatever she could: a frisky Teddy in short pants and knee socks posing with the king and queen, goofing off with his father, sitting on his sisters' laps.


But behind the frivolity, Joe Kennedy had made a massive miscalculation. He had naively misjudged both the Nazis and England, and his outspoken isolationist views on keeping America out of World War II won him few friends in the White House or abroad. It was the end of his political career. Returning home in 1940, he began to focus on his sons' futures instead. Joe Jr., he hoped, would assume high office someday, followed by Jack.


Bobby and Teddy were still boys; the pressure on them would come later.


Epic tragedies, everyday travails


World War II would cost the Kennedy family dearly; it marked the start of what later would be called "The Kennedy Curse."


In 1943, Jack narrowly escaped death when his PT boat was sunk in the South Pacific. A year later, Joe Jr. was killed when his Navy plane blew up during a risky volunteer mission. A month after that, Kathleen's husband, a British airman, was killed in the war. And in 1948, Kathleen, who had stayed in London, died in a private plane crash over the French Alps.


Before all that, in 1941, Joe, without telling the family, had Rosemary, who was said to be mildly retarded, lobotomized. The operation failed, and she remained in an institutional setting until her death in 2005.


Teddy was 8 when Rosemary disappeared from the home, 12 when Joe Jr. died, and 16 at Kathleen's death. After London, the Kennedy kids were scattered. The Hyannis Port house became the one constant in their disparate lives, particularly for Teddy. Mary Jo Gargan, his cousin, spent many summers there after her parents died. Her mother, Agnes, was Rose's beloved sister.


"For us younger children left at home, we were a little bit like the golden children of the war, and Teddy was the golden child of Joe and Rose at the time," says Mary Jo, who later would marry Ted's Harvard football teammate Dick Clasby.


But there was sadness everywhere. After Joe Jr.'s death, Rose would take her books, journal, and rosary beads down to the one-room hut her husband built for her next to the ocean. In some ways, Mary Jo recalls, Rose relied on her youngest child as a calming, cheery presence, an escape from her grief and worry. "My observation now is that Teddy was sort of the bright light. He's got a lot of empathy and I think those years at the Cape, as those tragedies were happening, he probably took on that role."


Joe and Rose, who were often apart, acted as partners in a franchise. Their product: national leaders who would vastly expand the Kennedy brand. As Rose once wrote: "A mother knows that hers is the influence which can make that little precious being to be a leader of men, an inspiration, a shining light in the world."


Teddy was only 8 years old when his father wrote him from London during the Blitz: "I hope when you grow up you will dedicate your life to trying to work out plans to make people happy instead of making them miserable, as war does today." It was advice Ted Kennedy never forgot and often repeated.


Though the children were blessed with all the material comforts they could want, every-day life wasn't always easy. Second place was never good enough for their father, whose parenting slogans included, "I don't want any losers in this family," and "No sour pusses." There would be no "rich, idle bums," either.


It wasn't much different with their mother. With nine children, Rose had to run a tight ship, and she set household rules that few dared break for fear of a whack from her infamous wooden coat hanger. Child-rearing was a strict endeavor in that era and Rose, a perfectionist, followed the books to the letter. The children were to get up at the same time every day and go to bed at the same time. Dinner was always at 7:30, and Rose would lead the way into the dining room. At the end of the meal, she would lead the way out.


The Kennedy dinner table was a classroom, with Rose and Joe quizzing their children and encouraging their political views. Where is Siam? Who is the president of France? Rose's obsession with improving her children knew no bounds. In 1975, when Ted was a third-term senator and Rose was 85, she wrote him: "I watched you speak about drugs last Friday night . . . Please say, 'If I were President,' not 'If I was president.' The reason is the old what used to be known in Latin as condition contrary to fact. For instance, 'if I were he,' etc."


As for Joe, he was known to order the boys to their rooms if they goofed off and lost a sailing race. Still, he was the emotive hugger in the family and wrote his children reams of letters during his frequent absences.


It has been said that the Kennedys competed among themselves and against the world. Indeed, Joe and Rose encouraged what they considered healthy competition, which could become a Darwinian struggle within the family — the youngest often losing out. The legendary football games in Hyannis Port were dress rehearsals for the real family sport: politics.


With the kids off at boarding school, college, or the military, both Rose and Joe traveled widely but rarely together: She went for shopping and culture, he for business and extramarital affairs. Before landing at the Fessenden School in Newton at age 11, Teddy had been in 10 different schools, always the new boy, never able to put down roots.


"I think Ted did have probably a very sad childhood in spite of terrific parental support," says his longtime friend John Culver, who would later join Kennedy in the Senate. "I mean, to be away at school at that age is hard, and the thing that's amazing to me is how he's come through it, in terms of his personality. Part of it I think is reflected in his incredible empathy and sympathy and in the political positions he's taken."


Parental prodding, from afar


Ted's academic record was mediocre, and both parents were constantly on him about his spelling, his marks — and his weight. The huskiest of the weight-obsessed Kennedys, Teddy had a love of sweets that was the stuff of family lore.


Rose didn't just write Teddy chiding him about being in "the fourth fifth" of his class. She also wrote the headmaster at Fessenden to complain that her 11-year-old still counted on his fingers: "Will you please bring it to the attention of his arithmetic teacher in the fall?"


Joe could be merciless, too. "You still spell 'no' 'know,"' he wrote his 13-year-old son. "Skating is not 'scating,' " and so on. He ended on a sardonic note: "I am sorry to see that you are starving to death. I can't imagine that ever happening to you if there was anything at all to eat around, but then you can spare a few pounds."


Perhaps the toughest parental scolding was that which compared the siblings with one another. In a letter that reveals much about the family dynamic, Joe wrote the 11-year-old Teddy: "You didn't pass in English or Geography and you only got 60 in Spelling and History. That is terrible. . . . You wouldn't want to have people say that Joe and Jack Kennedy's brother was such a bad student, so get on your toes."


Joe Jr. was the charming, ambitious brother. Jack was the reflective intellectual. Bobby was serious and dogged. Teddy was the late bloomer, more into sports than grades.


Always deferential to his parents, Teddy took such comparisons as a normal part of growing up Kennedy. To him, family loyalty was paramount. He believed that his parents' words were for the children's own good — a generous interpretation, since he often came out on the short end.


He would remain a devoted son, putting together books of remembrances upon his parents' deaths. "For all of us, Dad was the spark and Mother was the light of our lives. He was our greatest fan and she was our greatest teacher," he wrote. "Whatever any of us has done — whatever contribution we have made — begins with Rose and Joe Kennedy."


During that time at Fessenden and Milton Academy, where he spent his high school years, Ted grew especially close to his maternal grandfather, John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, a former congressman and mayor of Boston who was the consummate constituent politician.


Teddy often spent Sundays with the old man, an affable and voluble character who would take his grandson on the same historical tours he took Rose on as a child, explaining the importance of the Old North Church or the elegance of Louisburg Square. He also took Teddy down to the wharves where the immigrants came in and he introduced him around.


"Teddy was more Honey Fitz than Joe Kennedy," says Robert Healy, who covered the 1960 presidential election for the Globe. "Honey" was sweet and warm, whereas Joe was colder, more calculating.


At Milton Academy, which was also Bobby's alma mater, Ted played football, tennis, and hockey but was not a standout. He was also in the drama, debate, and glee clubs, the latter reflecting his lifelong love of singing. As a senior, he ran a distant third in the "Class Politician" category. He went to dances and wrote his father that he was "getting to know more girls, which couldn't please me more."


Despite his mother's best efforts, young Teddy was far from perfectly behaved. Though teachers remarked on his genial personality, there were also notes home about demerits for minor offenses. While at Milton, Teddy borrowed the car of former Boston Police Commissioner Joseph Timilty, a close family friend. After it stalled out a few times, Teddy simply abandoned it in Mattapan — though he informed "The Commish," as the family called Timilty.


In the fall of 1950, Ted followed his brothers and his father to Harvard, where his main interest was football. He was a big, fearless end on the freshman team. But that spring, he was in danger of flunking Spanish. He needed to pass the final to be eligible to play the following fall. A teammate took the exam for him but when he turned in the blue book, the teaching assistant recognized him as Bill Frate, not Ted Kennedy. Both boys were thrown out of school; they could return in two years pending good behavior.


"Teddy didn't manage himself effectively," recalls classmate Burton Hersh, later a Kennedy biographer. "Afterwards, his father said, 'Don't do this cheating thing, you're not clever enough.' "


Biding his time until he could be readmitted to Harvard, Ted joined the Army and spent two years as a military policeman stationed in Paris; Joe, with his political connections, had made sure his youngest wasn't sent to Korea. Ironically, a few months before the cheating incident, he had written Ted: "Keep after the books if only to keep the draft away from your door."


Back at Harvard in the summer of 1953, Teddy buckled down with his government studies — and managed an A- in Spanish. But he saved plenty of time for play, holding court at a jock's table in Winthrop House, where his brothers had also lived. "He had such a zest for life," says classmate Claude Hooton, who has remained a close friend. "We had so much fun."


When Jack Kennedy was in the hospital recovering from an illness, Ted and Hooton would visit and sing "Bill Bailey" and "Heart of my Hearts." One summer, they started a water-skiing school in Southern California.


Teddy often took friends to Hyannis Port for cookouts and touch football and went to dances with Wellesley College girls. Teddy and Dick Clasby would rate the girls they met: A through F. "He had a twinkle in his eye for pretty girls," Clasby says.


The high point of Ted's football career came senior year in a snowstorm when he caught a short pass on Yale's seven-yard line and scored. Harvard lost, but Joe, who came to all of his games, was deliriously proud, and Teddy got his varsity football letter.


Then there was church, a given in the Kennedy household. Rose was obsessively religious, often attending Mass twice daily. She told her son if he went to Mass seven straight Fridays, he was guaranteed to go to heaven.


"So Ted and I went seven Fridays, and that was it," says Clasby. "That was the deal." Ted still attends Mass regularly, even when Clasby and other friends are at Hyannis Port for their annual sailing hiatus.


'Let's stay out of gossip columns.'


In 1956, Teddy graduated from Harvard and enrolled in law school at the University of Virginia, Bobby's alma mater. At UVa., Teddy pored over his books, writing his father: "Am holding on down here on my 12-hour-a-day schedule." He would end up around the middle of his class, says his friend John Tunney.


Still, he and Tunney, his roommate and son of heavyweight boxing champ Gene Tunney, won the law school's prestigious moot court competition, beating out 49 other teams over five rounds that spanned a year and a half. "And of course, Teddy just loved the fact that he had won and Bobby had not," says Tunney, who would also serve in the Senate with Ted and John Culver.


Just as important was a note he got from Joe, who couldn't resist a family comparison: "You did a great job winning that event. Scholastically, it certainly fits with anything anybody has ever done before — including your father!"


In Charlottesville, Ted and Tunney lived in a house on Barracks Road, "just made for two young men who loved to speed because it had turns," says Tunney. Kennedy's fast driving had long been noted by his friends: Ted Sorensen, JFK's speechwriter, remembers riding back from the Cape to Boston with Teddy. "It was the first time in my young life that I realized when cars coming from the other direction blink their lights at you, it means there's a trooper up ahead and you ought to slow down," says Sorensen.


After one police chase while in law school, with speeds up to 90 miles per hour, Teddy was charged with reckless driving and driving without a license, which he had left at home. "If you're going to make the political columns," wrote his father, "let's stay out of the gossip columns."


Still, Joe managed to keep the arrest out of the news for several weeks, releasing it just after he released the news that Teddy was going to head Jack's 1958 Senate campaign. The positive story had the effect of blunting the negative one and again Joe, the ultimate fixer, had come through.


Marital step, political leap


Joe and Rose soon decided it was time for their free spirit to settle down. After all, Jack was a US senator and Bobby was making a name for himself as a chief counsel in the Senate.


At the start of Ted's second year at UVa., the family went to Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y. to dedicate a sports complex they had built in honor of Kathleen. There, Jean, a Manhattanville alumna, introduced Teddy to Joan Bennett, a senior at the Catholic women's school. "I was not intimidated because I had never heard of the Kennedys before," says Joan, who grew up in Westchester County. " No one had ever heard of the Kennedys outside Massachusetts."


Teddy made quite an impression on his own: "He was tall and he was gorgeous." The two began seeing each other and Rose invited Joan to Hyannis Port, where so many Kennedy dates had been vetted.


Ted proposed on the beach near the Kennedy estate, mumbling: "What do you think about us getting married?" The two hadn't spent much time alone — their half-dozen weekends together were always group affairs. "I guess we felt we knew each other, but there were no deep talks," she says.


They were married Nov. 29, 1958, by Cardinal Spellman at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Bronxville. At the reception, Jack had to tell a hovering Rose: "Mother, he's not a baby anymore. He's married. He has a wife."


During the festivities, Jack, Ted's godfather and best man, wore a microphone because the Bennetts had hired a film crew as a wedding gift. Later, watching the footage, Joan would hear Jack whisper to his brother that marriage didn't mean you had to be faithful. It was not the gift her father had planned, but it did serve as an early warning: Like his father and his brother Jack, Teddy would have a problem with fidelity.


Three weeks before the wedding, Jack had won reelection to the Senate against an obscure candidate, Vincent Celeste, with an unprecedented 74 percent of the vote. Joe's plan had been to make this election the largest landslide in Massachusetts history, the better to position Jack for a 1960 presidential run.


It also served as Teddy's political baptism: Jack had tapped his 26-year-old brother, still in law school, to be chairman of the campaign. What Teddy lacked in experience he made up for in enthusiasm, going to union halls, factory gates, and teas.


Unlike his brothers, Teddy seemed to revel in the hand-shaking and back-slapping. "One of his abiding strengths was that he genuinely liked talking to people," says Gerard Doherty, who ran signature drives with Ted. "He'd talk to telephone poles if he could, whereas Bobby and Jack were a little more uncomfortable."


Still, he was considered the kid brother, the one who campaigned on behalf of others.


In the 1960 race, he was assigned the 13 western states, which were predominantly Republican. "Teddy's role was that of a young kid who would do anything to get his brother elected," recalls Bob Healy. In Wisconsin, he promised folks at a bar that he'd go off a ski jump if they'd support Jack. Soaring off the 180-foot jump, he managed to land on his feet. In Montana he came out of a rodeo gate riding a bucking bronco, holding on for five seconds before being tossed off.


Despite Ted's efforts, JFK lost all but three western states. But he had won the election, and it was about time, Joe thought, for his youngest son to emerge from the shadows and take his rightful place in American politics.


To read the full and definitive account of Ted Kennedy's life, including many events not covered in this series, see the new book "Last Lion."


The Conscience Of A Generation: "We Shall Overcome"

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

She was the conscience of a generation and remains the conscience of every generation. Joan Baez lent courage to millions outraged by what is still euphemistically called 'US involvement' in Viet Nam, indeed, she carried aloft the banner of equality, peace and the achievement of both through activism.


She is recognized for inspiring the 'Velvet Revolution'. Joan was given Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees by Antioch University and Rutgers University for her political activism and the "universality of her music." Three years later, in 1983, she performed Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" --a song she first performed twenty years earlier --as she appeared for the first time on the Grammy Awards.


Joan played a major role in the Live Aid concert of 1985.


She has given her voice and talent to other causes and peace 'conspiracies'. They include Amnesty International's 1986 "A Conspiracy of Hope" and her guest spot on the "Human Rights Now!" tour.



In the summer of 1958, Joan Chandos Baez, a 17-year old high school graduate (by the skin of her teeth) moved with her family - her parents Albert and Joan, older sister Pauline and younger sister Mimi - from Palo Alto to Boston. They drove cross-country with the Kingston Trio's "Tom Dooley" all over the radio, a guilty pleasure of Joan's. She was an entering freshman at Boston University School Of Drama, where she was surrounded by a musical group of friends who shared a passion for folk music.

A stunning soprano, Joan's natural vibrato lent a taut, nervous tension to everything she sang. Yet even as an 18-year old, introduced onstage at the first Newport Folk Festival in 1959, her repertoire reflected a different sensibility from her peers. In the traditional songs she mastered, there was an acknowledgment of the human condition.


She recorded her first solo LP for Vanguard Records in the summer of 1960, the beginning of a prolific 14-album, 12-year association with the label. Her earliest records, with their mix of traditional ballads and blues, lullabies, Carter Family songs, Weavers and Woody Guthrie songs, cowboy tunes, ethnic folk staples of American and non-American vintage, and much more - won strong followings in the US and abroad.


Among the songs she introduced on her earliest albums that would find their ways into the repertoire of 60's rock stalwarts were "House Of the Rising Sun" (the Animals), "John Riley" (the Byrds), "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" (Led Zeppelin), "What Have They Done To the Rain" (the Searchers), "Jackaroe" (Grateful Dead), and "Long Black Veil" (the Band), to name a few. "Geordie," "House Carpenter," and "Matty Groves" inspired a multitude of British acts who trace their origins to Fairport Convention, Pentangle, and Steeleye Span.


In 1963, Joan began touring with Bob Dylan and recording his songs, a bond that came to symbolize the folk music movement for the next two years. At the same time, Joan began her lifelong role of introducing songs from a host of contemporary singer-songwriters starting with Phil Ochs, Richard Farina, Leonard Cohen, Tim Hardin, Paul Simon, and others. Her repertoire grew to include songs by Jacques Brel, Lennon-McCartney, Johnny Cash and his Nashville peers, and South American composers Nascimento, Bonfa, Villa-Lobos, and others.


At a time in our country's history when it was neither safe nor fashionable, Joan put herself on the line countless times, and her life's work was mirrored in her music. She sang about freedom and Civil Rights everywhere, from the backs of flatbed trucks in Mississippi to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's March on Washington in 1963. In 1964, she withheld 60% of her income tax from the IRS to protest military spending, and participated in the birth of the Free Speech movement at UC Berkeley. A year later she co-founded the Institute For The Study Of Nonviolence near her home in Carmel Valley. In 1966, Joan Baez stood in the fields alongside Cesar Chavez and migrant farm workers striking for fair wages, and opposed capital punishment at San Quentin during a Christmas vigil.


The following year she turned her attention to the draft resistance movement. In 1968, she recorded an album of country standards for her then-husband David Harris. He was later taken into custody by Federal marshals in July 1969 and imprisoned for 20 months, for refusing induction and organizing draft resistance against the Vietnam war. As the war escalated, Joan traveled to Hanoi with the U.S.-based Liaison Committee and helped establish Amnesty International on the West Coast.


In the wake of the Beatles, the definition of folk music - a singer with an acoustic guitar - broadened and liberated many artists. Rather than following the pack into amplified folk-rock, Joan recorded three remarkable LPs with classical instrumentation. Later, as the '60s turned into the '70s, she began recording in Nashville. The "A-Team" of Nashville's session musicians backed Joan on her last four LPs for Vanguard Records (including her biggest career single, a cover of the Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" in 1971) and her first two releases on A&M.


Within the context of those albums and the approaching end of hostilities in Southeast Asia, Joan turned to the suffering of those living in Chile under the rule of Augusto Pinochet. To those people she dedicated her first album sung entirely in Spanish, a record that inspired Linda Ronstadt, later in the '80s, to begin recording the Spanish songs of her heritage. One of the songs Joan sang on that album, "No Nos Moveran" (We Shall Not Be Moved) had been banned from public singing in Spain for more than forty years under Generalissimo Franco's rule, and was excised from copies of the LP sold there. Joan became the first major artist to sing the sung publicly when she performed it on a controversial television appearance in Madrid in 1977, three years after the dictator's death.


In 1975, Joan's self-penned "Diamonds & Rust" became the title song of an LP with songs by Jackson Browne, Janis Ian, John Prine, Stevie Wonder & Syreeta, Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers Band - and Bob Dylan. His Rolling Thunder Revues of late 1975 and '76 (and resulting movie Renaldo & Clara, released in 1978) co-starred Joan Baez.


In 1978, she traveled to Northern Ireland and marched with the Irish Peace People, calling for an end to violence. She appeared at rallies on behalf of the nuclear freeze movement, and performed at benefit concerts to defeat California's Proposition 6 (Briggs Initiative), legislation that would have banned openly gay people from teaching in public schools. Joan received the American Civil Liberties Union's Earl Warren Award for her commitment to human and civil rights issues; and founded Humanitas International Human Rights Committee, which she headed for 13 years. She won the San Francisco Bay Area Music Award (BAMMY) award as top female vocalist in 1978 and 1979, and a number of film and video and live recordings released in Europe and the U.S. documented her travels and concerts into the '80s.


In 1983, she performed on the Grammy awards telecast for the first time (singing Bob Dylan's "Blowin' In the Wind"). In the summer of 1985, after opening the U.S. segment of the worldwide Live Aid telecast, she later appeared at the revived Newport Folk Festival, the first gathering there since 1969. In 1986, Joan joined Peter Gabriel, Sting and others on Amnesty International's Conspiracy of Hope tour; her subsequent album was influenced by the tour, as it acknowledged artists and groups whose lives in turn were influenced by her, with songs from Gabriel, U2, Dire Straits, Johnny Clegg, and others. Later in 1986, however, she was chosen to perform The People's Summit concert in Iceland at the time of the historic meeting between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. Joan's 1989 concert in Czechoslovakia was attended by many of that country's dissidents, including President Vaclav Havel who cited her as a great influence in the so-called Velvet Revolution.


After attending an early Indigo Girls concert in 1990 (the year after their major label album debut), Joan teamed with the duo and Mary Chapin Carpenter (as Four Voices) for a series of benefit performances. The experience reinforced Joan's belief in the new generation of songwriters' ability to speak to her. When her album, Play Me Backwards, was released in 1992, it featured songs by Carpenter, John Hiatt, John Stewart, and others.


In 1993, Joan became the first major artist to perform in Sarajevo since the outbreak of the civil war as she traveled to war-torn Bosnia-Herzegovina at the invitation of Refugees International. The next year, she sang in honor of Pete Seeger at the Kennedy Center Honors Gala in Washington, D.C. Also in 1994, Joan and Janis Ian sang for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's Fight the Right fundraising event in San Francisco.


In 1995, Joan received her third BAMMY as Outstanding Female Vocalist. Joan's nurturing support of other singer-songwriters came full circle with her next album, Ring Them Bells. This idea of collaborative mentoring was expanded on 1997's Gone From Danger, where Joan was revealed as a lightning rod for young songwriting talent, with compositions from Dar Williams, Sinead Lohan, Kerrville Music Festival newcomer Betty Elders, Austin's The Borrowers, and Richard Shindell (who went on to tour extensively with Joan over the years).


In August 2001, Vanguard Records began the most extensive chronological CD reissue program ever devoted to one artist in the company's history. Expanded editions (with bonus tracks, and newly commissioned liner notes) were released of her debut solo album of 1960, Joan Baez, and Joan Baez Vol. 2 (1961). The six-year campaign went on to encompass every original LP she recorded while under contract to the label from 1960 to 1972. In 2003, spurred by Vanguard's lead, Universal Music Enterprises gathered Joan's six complete A&M albums released from 1972 to 1976 into a mini-boxed set of four CDs, also with bonus material and extensive liner notes.


The release of Dark Chords On a Big Guitar in September 2003 was supported with a 22-city U.S. tour. On October 3rd, Grammy Award-winning classical guitarist Sharon Isbin presented her debut performance of "The Joan Baez Suite, Opus 144". Written for Isbin by John Duarte and commissioned by the Augustine Foundation, the piece featured songs from Joan's earliest days in folk music.


On the night of February 11, 2007, at the 49th annual Grammy Awards telecast viewed by more than a billion people worldwide, it was announced that Joan Baez had received the highly prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, the greatest honor that the Recording Academy can bestow. In turn, she introduced the live performance of "Not Ready To Make Nice" by dark horse nominees the Dixie Chicks. It was an ironic moment, as Joan's 'lifetime' of activism resonated in sync with the trio. They had been blacklisted by country radio and the Academy Of Country Music (ACM) when they criticized the President and the impending war in Iraq back in March 2003.


Most recently, Joan was seen by a billion tv viewers around the world, standing center stage behind Nelson Mandela at the "46664" 90th birthday celebration in his honor, at London's Hyde Park on June 28, 2008.


"All of us are survivors," Joan Baez wrote, "but how many of us transcend survival?" 50 years on, she continues to show renewed vitality and passion in her concerts and records, and is more comfortable than ever inside her own skin. In this troubled world, to paraphrase "Wings," she will always continue to seek "a place where they can hear me when I sing."


--Fifty Years of Joan Baez, Arthur Levy, July 2008


A gentle reminder: the US still occupies --illegally --the sovereign nation of Iraq. Our troops must be recalled now though it is too late to restore life to some 1.5 million Iraqis civilians who were literally murdered by the US upon the order of a mass murdering war criminal: George W. Bush.

The US is at the same time poised upon an economic precipice which followed inexorably from the policies of aggression and empire, policies which 'paid off' a conspiratorial Military-Industrial complex for whom US mass murders in Iraq were a bonanza. This Military-Industrial Complex must be 'smashed into a thousand pieces' as JFK had promised he would do to the CIA, the MIC's covert arm.

The US still lags the industrialized world in educational standards. It is hard not to conclude that it is because our educational standards have deteriorated with the rise of GOP 'leadership' that the US is now perched, like late Rome, upon the brink of twilight and collapse.

A final shot at those last bleating voices of bigotry whose campaigns of hate and prejudice sought to blame many another 'Joan', 'Bob' or 'Lennon': the peace movement of the sixties and seventies was right. It is still right. Nattering, teeth-gnashing critics of it remain dead wrong and, in many instances, guilty of crimes including mass murder, high treason and grand theft of the nation's wealth.

The time has come for the righting of wrongs --justice amid the ruins visited upon us by hate, greed and bigotry.

The Conscience of Generations: 50 Years of Joan Baez

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