I decided to post the “morning reads” a little late today, so everyone could read and comment on Dakinikat’s post on Pete Seeger. He was 94 years old, but his death is still a terrible loss. I was a huge folk music fan in the 1960s–I still am, actually. Seeger was a true radical who talked the talk, and walked the walk. His death closely followed the passing of his wife Toshi in August 2013 at age 91.
I liked this obit of Seeger by John Nichols at The Nation: Pete Seeger: This Man Surrounded Hate and Forced it to Surrender.
When some of the greatest musicians in the world gathered five years ago to celebrate the 90th birthday of the musician who inspired them all, Bruce Springsteen told Pete Seeger: “You outlasted the bastards, man.”
And so he did.
Seeger, who died Monday night at age 94, was singing with Woody Guthrie when “This Land Is Your Land” was a new song. And because he meant and lived every word of the oft-neglected final verse – “Nobody living can ever stop me, As I go walking that freedom highway; Nobody living can ever make me turn back, This land was made for you and me” – Seeger was hauled before the House Un-American Activities Committee, blacklisted and sent for a time in the late 1950s and early 1960s to the sidelines of what was becoming an entertainment industry.
But Seeger kept singing Guthrie’s “This Land…,” kept writing songs of his own like “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” kept playing a banjo inscribed with the message “This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender,” and kept traveling across the country and around the world – for every cause from labor rights to civil rights to environmentalism to peace.
Before he was convicted in 1961 on contempt of Congress charges – for refusing to name the names of the Young Communists and Young Socialists he had organized with and sung for in those heady 1930s and 1940s days of anti-fascist organizing — Seeger acknowledged that “The House committee wished to pillory me because it didn’t like some few of the many thousands of places I have sung for.” But he explained, “I have been singing folksongs of America and other lands to people everywhere. I am proud that I never refused to sing to any group of people because I might disagree with some of the ideas of some of the people listening to me. I have sung for rich and poor, for Americans of every possible political and religious opinion and persuasion, of every race, color, and creed.”
And I really enjoyed this “non-interview” with Seeger from 2010 by Jay Blotcher: My (non-)interview with Pete Seeger on gay and lesbian rights. Please give it a read.
Moving on to other news . . .
Yesterday, I had an interesting day on Twitter that ended up with my getting a shout-out from one of my favorite bloggers, Bob Cesca of The Daily Banter. A few days ago, I had sent Cesca some tweets from a blogger who collects info on the internet, publishes it, and stores it for ordinary people to access. They perform a valuable service, and not all the things they post are top secret leaks. Anyway, I noticed that they were posting harsh criticism of Glenn Greenwald and the other “journalists” who have been slowly dribbling out the Snowden leaks for the past 7 months. The blogger deletes his tweets on a daily basis, but I did post them in the comments on Wednesday and in my Thursday post.
Yesterday the sh$t hit the fan when this tech blogger posted some unredacted files that named an NSA employee, a targeted terrorist group, and some top secret NSA capabilities. From Bob Cesca’s post:
A pair of new Snowden revelations were published on Monday. First, an article was published by NBC News in association with Glenn Greenwald about an NSA operation codenamed “Squeaky Dolphin.” A second revelation was posted by The Guardian in partnership with The New York Times and ProPublica, which covered an NSA document that revealed how the NSA and the British GCHQ are able to collect information on various targets via “leaky” smartphone apps like Angry Birds.
As soon as the article was posted, someone from or associated with a popular cryptography website claims to have downloaded a pdf of the Snowden document fromThe New York Times and discovered that three of the redactions that were intended to obscure sensitive national security information were easily accessible by highlighting, copying and pasting the text. The poorly-redacted file was subsequently posted to the cryptography website, then promoted via Twitter. (We’re not going to post the name of the website that posted the file to protect the information contained within.)
Meanwhile, at some Monday afternoon, The New York Times appears to have discovered the problem and posted a new version of the file with fool-proof redactions.
The cryptography website posted the following tweets:
NSA and GCHQ docs today with inept redactons were posted by NY Times on DocumentCloud, grabbed by A. Later replaced with ept redactions.
Not clear who ineptly redacted the NSA and GCHQ files, NYT, Guardian or ProPublica, failed to verify, or told them at ~1:30PM today.
Read the rest at The Daily Banter, and if you want to know more you can take a look at my Twitter timeline.
I have some more reads for you, but I’m not going to excerpt them; I have to rush around and get ready to go out this afternoon.
A long abortion-related read from The New Yorker: A BOTCHED OPERATION: Steven Brigham’s abortion clinics keep being sanctioned for offering substandard care. Why is he still in business?, by Eyal Press
Dak posted about this yesterday, but it’s worth posting twice: New Law Could Force All of Louisiana’s Abortion Clinics to Close (from The Nation)
From BBC News, NSA-GCHQ Snowden leaks: A glossary of the key terms
From Pando Daily, Google and encryption: why true user privacy is Google’s biggest enemy, by the great Yasha Levine
For laughs, Do You Believe Edward Snowden Is A Traitor Or Hero? Check out the map!
From Newsweek, Snowden’s Red Dawn
Statement of Ukranian priests: Human Dignity and Freedom Must Be Preserved
From The Daily Beast, Charlie Shrem, CEO of Bitcoin Exchange BitInstant, Arrested
From Counterpunch, Did the Elites Have Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Killed?
Those are my recommendations for today. What are you reading and blogging about? Please share your links in the comment thread.
If Fox News didn’t think Occupy Wall Street protesters are just a bunch of hippies already, this sure won’t help. Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie were the latest celebrities to join the 99%, treating the crowd to a spontaneous folk performance Friday night near New York’s Columbus Circle.
F**k Fox News!
On Friday night, over a month since the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests began as a small gathering of people so small that there was a virtual media blackout, Pete Seeger emerged from a show he had been performing on New York City’s Upper West Side to join in the protests.
There have been many musicians and celebrities who have thrown their weight behind these protesters, but the 92-year-old folk legend gives these young Americans a new sense of hope and rejuvenation. In the 1960s, he established himself as a prominent protest singer, bringing awareness to causes such as civil rights, international disarmament and the environment.
Seeger, who was wearing a red cap and carrying two canes, was joined a crowd of 600 as they headed south towards Columbus Circle (some 30 blocks away) starting from Symphony Space on 95th and Broadway. On both sides, Seeger was flanked by people carrying placards reading “Lost my job, found an occupation,” and “Corporate greed is revolution’s seed.”
The crowd resembled that of an earlier decade, as they sang “Down by the Riverside,” and “We Shall Not Be Moved,” and [Woody]Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land.”
The audio and video aren’t that great, but it’s the revolutionary spirit that counts.