“If anyone strikes you on the right cheek”: The day Martin Luther King was punched twice by a Nazi

Brad Pierce's Blog

According to Ron Rosenbaum interviewing MLK biographer Taylor Branch about his “battle to prevent Dr. King’s profoundly considered theory of nonviolence from being relegated to history, and not recognized for its relevance to the issues America and the world faces today”

King’s practice, Branch says, was complex and radical and has been often misunderstood. Some of his closest supporters had their doubts about King’s own commitment to nonviolence—whether it was “personal” or just an abstraction for him.

During a meeting of King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a man rose up from the audience, leapt onto the stage and smashed King in the face. Punched him hard. And then punched him again.

After the first punch, Branch recounts, King just dropped his hands and stood there, allowed the assailant (who turned out to be a member of the American Nazi Party) to punch him again. And when King’s associates tried…

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They didn’t have the arguments on their side, but they had all the energy

According to Stephen Moss in “A few months ago, I woke up to Brexit. Here’s my advice to US voters

Our arrogance had lost us the referendum.

The neighbourhood in which I live had been festooned with Leave posters. The Leavers really wanted this and were prepared to make public their preference. In sporting parlance, they were up for it. The then Ukip leader Nigel Farage said his supporters would “crawl over broken glass” to get to polling stations to vote to leave the EU, and he was right. Leave may not have had the arguments on their side, but they had all the energy. Remain, who didn’t put up posters or show any passion for their cause, were supine in the face of their rhetoric. “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” How right Yeats was.

Does all this remind you of anyone? Trump may talk nonsense a lot of the time, but there’s no denying his energy, passion and rhetorical skill. I watched several of the debates involving the Republican hopefuls, and he was incredibly bullish and entertaining. There was no denying he was box office.

“Do you have these symptoms? Here is the problem I think you have and here is how I can help you solve it.”

According to Sean Murphy in “Three Sales Pitches That Never Really Work”

Approaching Early Customers

  • Poor: “Would you like to play with this?”
  • Poor:  “Would you like to use this?”
  • Poor:  “Would you feel bad if our free product was discontinued?”
  • Poor:  “You would be really stupid not to try our product.”
  • Better:  “Do you have these symptoms? Here is the problem we think you have and here is how we can help you solve it.”

The world-saving cool of Vasili Arkhipov

According to Robert Krulwich in “You (and Almost Everyone You Know) Owe Your Life to This Man” about Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov

The debate between the captain and Arkhipov took place in an old, diesel-powered submarine designed for Arctic travel but stuck in a climate that was close to unendurable. And yet, Arkhipov kept his cool. After their confrontation, the missile was not readied for firing.

Looking back, it all came down to Arkhipov. Everyone agrees that he’s the guy who stopped the captain. He’s the one who stood in the way.

Nuclear weapons are inherently dangerous. […] the world is very, very lucky that at one critical moment, someone calm enough, careful enough, and cool enough was there to say no.

See also “USA plans to spend at least $1,000,000,000,000 on preparations for nuclear war over the next 30 years“.

“No one wants to be the last ostrich to pull its head out of the sand.”

According to Huw Price in “Is the cold fusion egg about to hatch?

I proposed in my essay that science should be more tolerant of its mavericks, when so much is at stake. If I’m right, then the reputation trap itself is the thing that should be condemned and ridiculed, not the science of LENR.

Not surprisingly, some readers weren’t convinced. Some concerned commentators even worried about what the piece would do to my own reputation. So, three months later, am I having any regrets?

On the contrary, the story has become even more interesting, in my view. I want to offer some updates for readers who weren’t persuaded last time that these developments were worth following for themselves. And I want to sound a note of caution for anyone who still feels confident that they can continue to ignore the field. If LENR is on the verge of a comeback, the reputation trap will turn inside out very, very quickly. No one wants to be the last ostrich to pull its head out of the sand. You have been warned!

Tip of the hat to Frank Acland.

If you aren’t real, you aren’t powerful

Brad Pierce's Blog

According to Jules Buccieri

If you aren’t real, you aren’t powerful.

See this essay by Howard Fine on why a speech was almost universally considered a disaster. It shows why you come across so much better when you’re spontaneous, and how important it is to have something important and real to say, compared to merely trying to say it well.

According to Phil Gyford’s notes on Stanislavski’s An Actor Prepares

Be careful when rehearsing with a mirror — teaches you to watch the outside, not the inside.

According to John Wareham (The Anatomy of a Great Executive, pp. 35-36)

A person will often present a facade founded upon the aspect of his or her personality that he/she most fears — or knows — to be missing.

He says to ask yourself

What is the impression that this individual takes the greatest trouble to convey to me?

Then, until…

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MLK on true compassion and a revolution of values

According to Martin Luther King on April 4, 1967 (exactly a year before he was martyred in Memphis on April 4, 1968)

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

and

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.

According to Clayborne Carson, as interviewed in “Clayborne Carson: King’s Chronicler

He always put the immediate issue into greater context. In all of his great speeches, what he does is say we’re here, engaged in this immediate struggle, but the broader struggle is global and historical. The movement for human rights is taking place on a global level. And it has deep historical roots. It’s been going on since the time of slavery and after the passage of civil rights legislation, and if he were alive today he would say it’s still going on. That’s why he was an inspiring, visionary figure. He understood the larger context.

and

What I try to emphasize in my work is how deeply rooted his ideas were and how radical they were. Look at love letters he wrote to Coretta in 1952, which I quote in the book. If those letters had been revealed in the late ’50s — where he’s talking about his anti-capitalism orientation — he probably would have been seriously damaged as a leader. That’s why Coretta kept the letters hidden — rumored to be under her bed — almost to the end of her life. She realized how politically damaging they could be to him.