neh summer seminar

This summer institute from the National Endowment for the Humanities looks interesting:

Dates: June 20-July 29, 2005 (6 weeks)
Steven W. May, Georgetown College, KY
Faculty: Julia Boffey, Victoria Burke, S. P. Cerasano, A.S.G. Edwards, Mary C. Erler, Margaret J.M. Ezell, Adam Fox, Laura Gowing, Harold Love, Alan Stewart, Paul Werstine, H. R. Woudhuysen

Information: Kathleen Lynch
Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol St., SE
Washington, DC 20003-1094
i n s t i t u t e AT f o l g e r DOT e d u

Maybe I’ll apply. I’ll write for more information. What is an NEH Summer Institute?

Institutes provide intensive collaborative study of texts, topics, and ideas central to undergraduate teaching in the humanities under the guidance of faculties distinguished in their fields of scholarship. Institutes aim to prepare participants to return to their classrooms with a deeper knowledge of current scholarship in key fields of the humanities.

Keep this in mind the next time proposals come around (and they will be coming around) to gut the funding for the NEH.

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the terry family saga

When I lived off of Northside Drive in Atlanta in the late ’80s, I used to drive past a women’s health clinic on the way home from class, and for several weeks (months?) there were anti-abortion protesters camped out on the sidewalk near the clinic: Operation Rescue was a new movement then, Randall Terry its charismatic leader. Terry denounced abortion, birth control, divorce, homosexuality, and the usual assortment of radical right obsessions.

Fast forward to the year 2004: The Washington Post reports that Terry’s son, Jamiel, has written an essay for Out magazine about coming to terms with being gay. Two of Randall Terrry’s daughters have gotten pregnant without being married, and he has traded in his first wife for a younger model.

And still he takes on the air of the righteously indignant, telling whoever will listen about how untrustworthy his children are. This is what hatred and hypocrisy look like.

Jamiel is quoted in the Post: “We were taught that if you saw pain in the world, you should speak out. I knew that because of my name I could get published and help young men and women who are gay and struggling because of their religious upbringing.”

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press conference with president bush

A full transcript is available at the Financial Times NY Times website.

I offer no comment except to quote Jon Lovitz as Michael Dukakis in an SNL skit from 1988, “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy” (WAV file, 135k).

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how much time off does bush need?

One of the excuses the Bush administration is giving for its failure to address terrorist threats prior to 9/11 is that they had not been in office very long when the attacks took place. “We were there 233 days” before the attacks, Condoleeza Rice has said. And now, as violence escalates in Iraq, our president takes another vacation. From the Washington Post:

This is Bush’s 33rd visit to his ranch since becoming president. He has spent all or part of 233 days on his Texas ranch since taking office, according to a tally by CBS News. Adding his 78 visits to Camp David and his five visits to Kennebunkport, Maine, Bush has spent all or part of 500 days in office at one of his three retreats, or more than 40 percent of his presidency.

To me, 233 days actually sounds like a pretty long period of time, but then I’m not absent from work 40% of the year so I’m willing to admit that my perspective might be skewed. A president is only in office for four years per term, of course, and 233 days is about one-sixth of that total. How much time do you need to get things rolling? Although they might “only” have been in office 233 days, did the Bush campaign not have some kind of plan for dealing with terrorism somewhere in their platform? Did they walk into the White House and say, “Okay, now what?”

In August of 2001, Bush was on a month-long vacation in Texas, and was apparently relaxed and having fun catching up on his reading, working on his golf game, and celebrating his 55th birthday. Rice has said that in response to the intelligence community’s escalating warnings in summer 2001 indicating a terrorist threat, “The president of the United States had us at battle stations.”

As Dana Milbank and Mike Allen of the Washington Post write, “[I]f top officials were at battle stations, there was no sign of it on the surface.”

And let’s be clear about one thing: “President Bush was warned a month before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that the FBI had information that terrorists might be preparing for a hijacking in the United States and might be targeting a building in Lower Manhattan.”

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i assassin down the avenue

One year after the war in Iraq began, the monetary cost has mounted to more than one hundred billion dollars. We’ve gone from a federal budget surplus to a massive debt. Thousands have died. Civil rights in this country have taken a serious hit.

Are you better off than you were four years ago?

From the Protest Records site, here are some free and legal mp3s for your listening pleasure:

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