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    Descriptive info: .. Recent Entries.. The Words That Mattered in 2012.. Justice has been done.. -Barack Obama, May 1, 2011.. an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.. Winston Churchill, March 5, 1946.. Various and Sundry March 2, 2012.. What a snob! Rick Santorum, February 25, 2012.. Monthly Archives.. Select Month.. December 2012 (1).. May 2012 (1).. March 2012 (2).. February 2012 (7).. January 2012 (5).. December 2011 (3).. November 2011 (6).. May 2011 (1).. February 2011 (5).. January 2011 (7).. December 2010 (6).. November 2010 (8).. October 2010 (9).. September 2010 (6).. August 2010 (4).. July 2010 (6).. June 2010 (9).. May 2010 (7).. April 2010 (11).. March 2010 (11).. February 2010 (13).. January 2010 (10).. Best Words.. "The Words That Mattered in 2011.. ".. "I love the smell of napalm in the morning.. " - Francis Ford Coppola.. "We hold these truths to be self evident.. " - Thomas Jefferson.. "Ich bin ein Berliner.. " - John F.. Kennedy.. ".. it comes down to integrity.. " - Admiral Mike Mullen.. an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.. " - Winston Churchill.. "And that is a wonderful thing.. " - Don Draper (Jon Hamm).. extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.. " - Barry Goldwater.. "Justice has been done.. " - Barack Obama.. "A young man from Flint will take that one home with him.. " - Ernie Harwell.. Links Matter.. History News Network.. Library of Congress: American Memory.. The Dish:Andrew Sullivan.. Slate.. New York Times.. BBC News.. The Big Picture.. Time Covers.. Grantland.. Flint Expatriates.. Colbert Nation.. By.. Ian C.. Friedman.. -.. Last updated:.. Wednesday, December 19, 2012.. My review and analysis of the most memorable and meaningful quotations from the year almost-past was published by the.. on December 17.. “It’s halftime in America” – Clint Eastwood.. Over six months before Eastwood made headlines by rambling at an empty chair in prime time at the Republican Convention, the actor/director was at the center of controversy for his message in a two-minute Super Bowl commercial for Chrysler.. The ad, which lauded the resilience and high quality of American auto manufacturing, was a Rorschach test for Americans.. President Obama’s supporters loved its implied equation that the auto industry was on its deathbed, the President made the tough decision to help it out, and now it was more than back on its feet.. Obama’s detractors feared the same equation.. “The fact is, I’m gay…” – Anderson Cooper.. The most remarkable aspect of the coming-out of one of America’s most popular news anchors was how unremarkable it was.. Coming just one year after the dismantling of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and months before voters in Maine, Maryland, and Washington approved marriage for same-sex couples while voters in Minnesota rejected a ban on same-sex marriages, Cooper’s words reflected the continuing sea change in American views of homosexuals in society.. “… it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.. ” – John Roberts.. Many close observers of the Supreme Court expected a 5-4 decision in its ruling on the constitutionality of President Obama’s signature health care legislation, the Affordable Care Act.. Most believed it would be struck down and almost no one thought the decisive fifth vote upholding the law would come from consistently conservative, President George W.. Bush appointee, Chief Justice John Roberts.. For Roberts—only seven years into his tenure as Chief Justice and a relatively young 57 years of age—it was just one of what will likely be many key quotes to have a profound impact on American life.. “… 47 percent of the people…”– Mitt Romney.. The Republican nominee for the presidency said several things that made his supporters cringe, including “I like being able to fire people,” “self-deportation,” and “I’m not concerned about the very poor.. ” But no quote damaged Romney’s prospects more than his secretly-recorded remarks at a closed fundraiser in which he said nearly half of American voters thought of themselves as “victims” whom he would be unable to convince should “take personal responsibility and care for their lives.. ”.. “… you didn t build that.. ” – Barack Obama.. President Obama’s attempt to explain how small businesses are built through the efforts of many individuals along the way with the support of public institutions was awkward at best and arrogant at worst.. It became the Republicans’ favorite line of attack in their portrayal of Obama as a booster of big-government and opponent of self-sufficiency.. “Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!” – Joe Biden.. The Obama campaign trotted out the generic and forgettable “Forward” as its campaign motto, but this succinct, powerful, and frequently repeated statement was far better and more meaningful.. Biden added to an impressive year for a guy with a reputation as a gaffe machine with his largely praised debate performance, which was critically important for Obama’s reelection in the wake of the President’s limp first debate.. “…legitimate rape…” – Todd Akin.. The GOP’s nominee for Senate gave away what appeared to be a sure win when he added this term to the American lexicon.. Explaining why raped women did not need to consider abortion, Akin dug deeper by adding, “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.. ” A few months later, Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock similarly blew a comfortable lead, defending his strongly pro-life position by noting that pregnancies that resulted from rape were, “something that God intended to happen.. “I love you, women!” – Ann Romney.. Not since President George H.. W.. Bush said, “Message: I care” in 1992 has there been a more transparent attempt to convey empathy and concern in a presidential campaign as this one from the woman who hoped to become America’s new First Lady.. But despite her anecdotes of eating tuna fish sandwiches with Mitt as a young married couple and just-us-gals appeal, Mrs.. Romney was unable to keep her husband from suffering a near-landslide 55-44% loss among female voters.. “I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested.. ” – Chris Christie.. After Superstorm Sandy pounded much of New Jersey, that state’s governor—early Romney supporter and Republican Convention keynote speaker Chris Christie—was ripped for praising President Obama’s support in coordinating the federal relief effort.. Focused on working to help the people of the state he was elected to serve, Christie stayed true to his reputation as a straight-talker with these words, directed at a Fox News host who asked him if he knew whether Mitt Romney had plans to visit the devastation.. “The vibrations are right.. ” – Peggy Noonan.. Two days before the election, Noonan—a captain of the American political punditocracy and former presidential speechwriter—demonstrated the perils of existing within an invented political reality.. Citing enthusiasm at rallies and ubiquity of lawn signs in pointing to a Romney victory, she dismissed and subtly mocked the work of leading political statisticians, most famously Nate Silver, who aggregated polling data to predict the election’s outcome with stunningly precise accuracy.. Like others in 2012, she learned that, as with words, facts matter.. Filed in.. Uncategorized.. Tuesday, May 1, 2012.. One year ago this evening, I went into my bedroom and turned on the television.. I was probably planning to watch some baseball highlights, but the tv was on CNN and before I could change the channel, my attention was seized by the news crawl and discussion that President Obama had an announcement coming up from the White House.. I don t exactly recall what my initial reaction to that news was, though I do remember that it did make me a bit nervous.. Those first thoughts didn t center on the possibility that American forces had captured or killed Osama bin Laden, but very quickly that was being discussed by those on television.. Quickly too, came leaks that the announcement would be what I and millions of others had hoped and dreamed for since September 11, 2001 that Osama bin Laden had been killed.. I told my wife and called my brother and my parents, who hadn t heard the news yet, and I then watched with a pride tempered by sobriety as President Obama announced that a raid by Navy SEALS had found bin Laden and that he was now dead.. My six-year-old daughter who celebrated her seventh birthday the next day was asleep and she knew little if anything about bin Laden, so I didn t go upstairs to her room.. But I did enter my sons darkened room to share history.. My then-11-year old was not even a year-and-a-half old on 9-11-2001.. I was pushing him in his stroller on a remarkably gorgeous Tuesday morning when I heard on my Walkman that airplanes had crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City.. Concerned, but still not able to imagine how destructive that day would be, I walked home with him and then spent the next twelve hours watching the horror of the attacks and their disorienting aftermath.. Both he and my younger son who was conceived less than a week after 9-11 knew well the events of that day and they were excited that not only had this bad person been punished, but that their dad shared the breaking news with them.. An hour or so later I posted my thoughts for this site.. Also entitled, Justice has been done , I wrote,.. Sixty-six years and one day after the death of Adolf Hitler, we elatedly welcome the killing of another of history s most detestable villains Osama bin Laden by U.. S.. military special forces.. The cancer was in Pakistan.. And exactly eight years after the phrase grasped its place in the American consciousness; truly, finally,.. Mission Accomplished.. Now one year after bin Laden s death, America commemorates the anniversary, though it has not dominated or even led the news.. Because this is an presidential election year, much of the attention given to it revolves around how it plays politically.. Specifically, there have been many examinations of a recent campaign video from President Obama that focuses on the raid and explains how it is evidence for his successful leadership.. Critiques of the video from Republicans probe new depths of transparent hypocrisy.. Time s Jon Meacham.. correctly notes:.. Republicans are — forgive the cliché — shocked, shocked to discover that a presidential contender is “politicizing” an important national event.. In this sense, “politicizing” might be best translated as “beating us up and we don’t have anything much to say to stop it.. ” The ad itself raises intriguing, substantive, legitimate questions — and the ferocious, sputtering Republican reaction is proof positive that they know it, or at least suspect it.. The ad’s theme is that Obama made a courageous and risky decision to send in the SEALs.. Here the President has history and facts on his side: it was a courageous and risky call.. Had the mission failed, had it been another Desert One, the very people now criticizing the President for trumpeting the achievement would be beginning their second year of excoriating Obama for weakness and fecklessness.. And anyone weighing whether to re-elect the President should take the bin Laden operation into account: it is a powerful exhibit that Obama is a steely Commander in Chief — a critical test for many Americans.. Michael Tomasky.. of The Daily Beast and Newsweek adds:.. It couldn’t be more hilarious, watching these Republicans rend their garments over the Obama administration’s bin Laden video.. Imaging the paroxysms we’d have been forced to endure if George W.. Bush had iced the dreaded one is all we need to do to understand how hypocritical it all is.. But what obviously gets under Republicans’ skin is not the fact of this video’s existence, but the fact that Barack Obama got him and they didn’t, which destroys their assumption of the past decade that they are “the 9/11 party.. ” And more than that—and this is the real story here—it’s the fact that the Democrats don’t appear to be afraid of the Republicans anymore.. That, to Republicans, is what’s truly unacceptable.. One does not need to be a supporter of President Obama to admit that the pursuit and killing of bin Laden was a great personal success for his presidency.. It was an enormous risk that not all or even most presidents would have taken.. The video does not exploit that, it acknowledges it and places the event in the proper context of the choice in the 2012 election.. The President s greatest responsibility is not to manage the economy or the myriad other tasks for which they receive too much credit or too much blame.. It is to make extraordinarily difficult decisions at moments of intense uncertainty to protect the country.. Obama made such a decision a year ago by going into Pakistan to take out bin Laden.. Not one of the people in office.. (George W.. Bush) or closest to becoming President in 2008 (John McCain, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton) supported such a policy.. McCain especially mocked Obama s naivete and  ...   and an energy drawing power from barely submerged hostility.. Santorum was channeling the anger and resentment that has served as the oxygen for much of the GOP for years, particularly since President Obama was elected.. Santorum can convey this anger and resentment far better than Romney can, because it seems he really feels it and means it.. And I wouldn t be surprised if tomorrow night, we learn that so too do a plurality of Republicans in Michigan.. Do you believe in miracles? Yes! Al Michaels, February 22, 1980.. Wednesday, February 22, 2012.. Thirty-two years ago today.. The greatest upset in the history of American sports.. USA 4 USSR 3.. Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.. Mitt Romney, November 18, 2008.. Thursday, February 16, 2012.. The following post was published in the Perspectives Section of the Chicago Tribune on Sunday February 19.. On Tuesday, Mitt Romney added his voice to the chorus of political writers, observers, and.. commentators.. who describe Michigan as his “home state.. ” Romney opened his.. op-ed in the.. Detroit News.. with the trying-way-too-hard lines, “I am a son of Detroit I grew up drinking Vernors and watching ballgames at Michigan and Trumbull.. Cars got in my bones early.. And not just any cars, American cars.. Let’s set aside how Vernors (a local ginger ale) is overrated and that real Detroit Tigers fans always say that they used to watch games at the old Tiger Stadium’s address.. at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull.. What’s most important is that Mitt Romney is asserting that Michigan is his home turf and he is betting that his past in the state will help him in the crucial February 28 Michigan Primary.. But Michigan is not Romney’s home turf and his claiming it as such is not a good idea.. Technically, Romney is a Michigander—he was born in Detroit in 1947 and he was raised in the tony suburb of Bloomfield Hills.. But after Romney graduated from high school in 1965 he never lived in the state again.. If Romney has a true home state, it is Massachusetts, where he attended business and law school at Harvard, raised his family in the Boston suburb of Belmont, and served as governor of the state from 2003-2007.. Romney also has much stronger ties to heavily-Mormon Utah, where he attended Brigham Young University and where he returned to serve as the executive director of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.. Yet this notion that Michigan is Romney’s home state persists.. Some of this belief is because his father George was governor of Michigan from 1963-1969.. But those who argue that Mitt Romney will benefit from being the son of a former, very popular governor of Michigan are ignoring an important fact: there are very few people alive in Michigan who actually remember—let alone voted for—.. George Romney.. In order to have voted for George Romney, whose last campaign for governor took place in 1966, a Michigander would have to have been born by 1945.. Lifelong residents who are in their late 60s are not a huge part of Michigan’s GOP primary electorate.. And even if they were, if those folks admired George Romney’s liberal brand of Republicanism (ex.. supporting civil rights legislation, critiquing American involvement in the Vietnam War, advocating for expansion of government social programs) they may have already fled today’s more rigidly right-wing GOP.. The sad reality for Romney is that Michigan is really just another state.. Even more unfortunate for Romney, many do not view it that way.. Instead, they see Michigan as a state to which Romney still has a living and politically advantageous connection.. The more this false perception is held, the higher the expectations will be that Romney will win the state decisively.. These heightened expectations can only serve to harm Romney if he loses in Michigan.. Losing in Colorado was a surprise, but falling in his.. home.. state? That will invigorate the Anyone-but-Mitts (particularly Rick Santorum) and likely dominate the post-election commentary as well as the thoughts of Republican voters in other states heading to Super Tuesday.. Then, of course, there’s the matter of the four words that may burden Romney in the primary and, if he manages to win the Republican nomination, will certainly weigh him down in Michigan in the general election:.. “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.. These were the words used in the headline of Romney’s op-ed piece published by the.. on November 18.. 2008.. Though it’s typically the case that someone other than an article’s author is responsible for its title, the content of Romney’s argument—that the desperately floundering automotive giants Chrysler and General Motors should not receive $85 billion in federal loans to survive—does not alter the meaning of it.. Romney can attempt to wiggle out of this as much as he likes, and his recent article suggests that he will try.. But time has not been kind to his “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” argument.. Chrysler and General Motors are enjoying record sales and they have already paid back almost all of the money.. The success of the auto company rescue is widely credited with saving countless jobs in the auto industry and preventing a job-destroying ripple effect that would have traumatized Michigan and much of the United States.. This makes Romney’s 2008 article appear foolish and it makes his latest published attempt to rationalize the piece appear callous.. Romney’s.. op-ed wasn’t his only media splash in Michigan on Tuesday.. His campaign also debuted a new television ad.. Entitled, “Growing Up”, it features Romney driving around a Michigan neighborhood, as he briefly reminisces on his past in the state before decrying the impact of unions, liberals, and President Obama.. It includes footage of people exiting a factory that looks as if it came from a colorized newsreel of several generations past.. As it ends, attractive photos of Mitt are shown; as a boy flashing an eager smile while sitting in a cool 50s-era car and as a young man posing in a living room with his future-wife Ann.. The ad clearly is meant to convey that Romney has roots in the state.. But its retro feel unintentionally emphasizes that his only meaningful connection to Michigan are those roots.. What remains is the strong impression that Romney is from Michigan, but not of Michigan, or for Michigan.. His narration concludes, “Michigan’s been my home, and this is personal.. ” But Romney s tone is rushed, his sentiment is inauthentic, and his words are unconvincing.. bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.. Joe Biden, January 31, 2012.. Friday, February 10, 2012.. It took over three years, but Vice President Joe Biden has finally said something meaningful and memorable that doesn t feature the word,.. fucking.. S.. peaking to a private gathering of fundraising donors in Fort Worth, Texas last Tuesday,.. Biden.. took 92 words to sum up a nine-word Obama reelection message:.. The Full Biden follows:.. “So folks, the best way to sum up I think where we are today — when I was asked the other day, someone gave me this line.. The best way to sum up the job that President Obama has done — and by the way, he committed we’d be out of Iraq.. We are out of Iraq, completely out of Iraq.. But the best way to sum up the job the President has done if you need a real shorthand: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.. Conservatism is alive and well Rick Santorum, February 7, 2012.. Wednesday, February 8, 2012.. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum.. scored two impressive victories.. over Mitt Romney last night; a pounding of the GOP frontrunner in Minnesota and a surprising and solid victory over him in Colorado.. Santorum still faces a steep climb to the nomination.. The Republican Establishment or what has been the Republican Establishment has overwhelmingly lined up behind Romney, who has widely been viewed as possessing the best chance from among the Republican field of beating President Obama in November.. Romney also has big bucks; hundreds of millions of his own as well as a huge advantage over Santorum in individual and corporate donations.. But Santroum s victories last night remind the American political public what this blog and many others have been noting for months namely, that.. Republicans don t really like Mitt Romney.. Even in the contests he has won, voter participation and enthusiasm for him has been weak.. Romney s biggest win so far, a strong plurality in Florida,.. included only 51% his supporters.. expressing satisfaction with the Republican candidates.. There are many valid reasons for these Republicans.. to dislike Romney.. But perhaps the most salient reason for them is that they don t truly believe that he is a conservative.. At least not a conservative in the way that term has been redefined in recent years.. That s why for all of his significant weaknesses as a candidate Rick Santorum was wise to begin his victory speech last night with the words,.. Conservatism is alive and well.. In just less than three weeks, Republican primary voters in the critically-important, potential swing states of Michigan and Arizona will go to the polls.. During the time leading to these primaries, Santorum and his message that conservatism is vital and resides more in him than any other candidate will be put to the test.. If he is successful, Santorum will strike a shocking blow in this unpredictable nominating season.. He will also serve as evidence that what had been considered mainstream, modern, American conservatism now has a very different meaning than it ever has.. We wish you love, peace, and soul.. Don Cornelius, Soul Train , 1971-93.. Thursday, February 2, 2012.. Don Cornelius, the creator and conductor of the hippest ride in America the groundbreaking television show, Soul Train committed suicide yesterday in his home in suburban Los Angeles.. He was 75 years old.. Cornelius was born on September 27, 1936 in Chicago.. He grew up on the south side of the city and joined the Marines after graduating from high school.. While working as an officer in the Chicago Police Department in 1966, Cornelius was encouraged by a local radio personality to apply his beautifully smooth baritone voice towards a career in radio broadcasting.. Cornelius took a radio course, recorded a demo tape, and quickly landed a job with Chicago radio station WVON as a deejay.. He developed the pilot for Soul Train with $400 of his own money and based it on the popular American Bandstand , but with an emphasis on black music, style, and dance.. After one year as a local show in Chicago, it was picked up for national syndication and its base was moved to Los Angeles.. During the time that Cornelius hosted the show (1971-1993; he continued producing it until 2007), Soul Train was the most important outlet for popularizing the best in music.. Though the sets and styles changed, the format essentially stayed the same.. The show derived its greatest appeal from guests that reflect the range and greatness of the music of the era, spanning from Motown (Aretha Franklin, James Brown) to rap (LL Cool J, Public Enemy), as well as other transcendent artists (Stevie Wonder, Rick James, the Jackson Five, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Gladys Knight and the Pips.. In today s.. Chicago Tribune.. , music critic Greg Kot noted Cornelius s social importance, quoting Roots drummer Ahmir Questlove Thompson, who wrote, To say with a straight, dignified face that ‘black is beautiful was the riskiest, (most) radical life-changing move that America has seen.. And amazingly enough for one hour, for one Saturday out (of) the week, if you were watching ‘Soul Train, it became contagious.. Next thing you know you are actually believing you have some sort of worth.. The whole idea of Afro-centrism in my opinion manifested and spread with ‘Soul Train in its first six years.. Kot added, Soul Train did more than just passively present the music.. At its core, Cornelius show was about a community responding — creatively, spontaneously, ecstatically — to the music made for it.. The palpable excitement of that interaction opened up African-American culture to the rest of the world and made it not only more accessible but also desirable, hip, fun.. YouTube s Soul Train channel features the video above.. For those of us who recall watching Soul Train , particularly during its heyday in the 1970s, viewing it the day after Cornelius s death is bittersweet.. But it serves as a reminder for us as well as for those who are too young to have seen the show of the incredible influence that Cornelius and Soul Train had on the music, style, and sensibility of the time.. The video ends with Cornelius telling the audience in his uniquely rich voice, And that brings us to the end of what we hope has been a beautiful trip for you and what certainly has been a groovy ride for me Always in parting,.. we wish you love, peace, and soul.. Copyright 2012 IAN C.. FRIEDMAN WORDS MATTER.. Credits:.. Keith Friedman (Design).. |.. Cindy Trim (Photography)..

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  • Title: The Words That Mattered in 2012 » IAN C. FRIEDMAN – WORDS MATTER
    Descriptive info: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 -.. Save & Share.. Leave a Comment.. Posted in.. Top Of Page..

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  • Title: “Justice has been done.” -Barack Obama, May 1, 2011 » IAN C. FRIEDMAN – WORDS MATTER
    Descriptive info: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 -..

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  • Title: “…an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.” – Winston Churchill, March 5, 1946 » IAN C. FRIEDMAN – WORDS MATTER
    Descriptive info: Monday, March 5, 2012 -..

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  • Title: Various and Sundry – March 2, 2012 » IAN C. FRIEDMAN – WORDS MATTER
    Descriptive info: Friday, March 2, 2012 -..

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  • Title: “What a snob!” – Rick Santorum, February 25, 2012 » IAN C. FRIEDMAN – WORDS MATTER
    Descriptive info: Monday, February 27, 2012 -..

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  • Title: The Words That Mattered in 2011 » IAN C. FRIEDMAN – WORDS MATTER
    Descriptive info: The Words That Mattered in 2011.. Thursday, December 22, 2011 -.. Each year possesses a distinctive history and character that is best understood through the spoken words that created and shaped it.. Here are the ten quotations that best reflect the American experience in the year 2011.. “…journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel.. ” –Sarah Palin.. The January shooting of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords led to an amazing story of recovery as well as another Sarah Palin gaffe.. Days after the shooting Palin provided this response to critics of a graphic featured at her website that depicted gun scopes over 20 congressional districts (including Giffords’) targeted by Republicans.. Unfortunately for Palin, the term ‘blood libel’ does not mean false accusation.. Instead, it refers to the centuries-old lie that Jews killed Christian babies and used their blood to make matzo.. Oy vey!.. “We are the 99%” – Occupy Wall Street motto.. Economic anxiety continued in 2011, lowlighted by the summer’s tedious and largely fruitless bickering over the debt ceiling.. However, the most memorable words related to this collective stress were coined by Occupy Wall Street protesters, who created a nationwide movement that helped bring attention to the issue of increased income inequality in the United States.. “Now is not my time.. –.. Chris Christie.. Who knows how the New Jersey governor would have played if, instead of issuing the statement above, he had joined the race for the Republican nomination.. Like second string quarterbacks, presidential candidates often enjoy their highest esteem before they dirty themselves in the process of actual participation.. But Christie does possess traits that could have shaken up the race and his decision to pass on a run may prove to the most important G.. O.. P.. 2012 campaign-related words of all.. “Oops” – Rick Perry.. The Texas governor was talkin’ tough during a  ...   colleague who claimed he wanted more than just to offer the career support she requested.. “We will see you tomorrow night!”.. –Joe Buck.. The thrilling Game Six of the 2011 World Series witnessed the ultimate champion St.. Louis Cardinals down to their final strike in two different innings, before a game-winning homerun by St.. Louis third baseman David Freese.. As that ball began its descent onto the Busch Stadium berm beyond the centerfield wall, Fox play-by-play announcer Joe Buck echoed the words spoken by his father Jack Buck–then the lead Major League Baseball announcer for CBS–almost exactly twenty years earlier as another legendary World Series Game Six was coming to an end via homerun.. “Oh wow.. Oh wow.. –.. Steve Jobs.. The most significant American to die in 2011 was Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer in early October.. According to his sister, author Mona Simpson, Jobs’ last words reflected his role as one of history’s greatest technological visionaries.. They were also cryptic.. “We were…horsing around…” – Jerry Sandusky.. The charges of child rape against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky are shocking in both degree and scope.. The incidents as described convey nightmarish qualities of helplessness, isolation, and brutality that shake the conscience.. And the twisted and tortured rationale of his behavior offered by Sandusky during an interview with Bob Costas was similarly chilling.. “Justice has been served.. Sixty-six years and one day after the death of Adolf Hitler came this statement announcing the killing of another of history’s most detestable villains–Osama bin Laden–by U.. military special forces during a risky midnight raid in Pakistan.. Delivered by President Obama to a rapt nation late on a Sunday night, these words remain above all others in meaning and memory from what was often a contentious and frustrating year.. Copyright 2011 IAN C..

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  • Title: “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” – Francis Ford Coppola, 1979 » IAN C. FRIEDMAN – WORDS MATTER
    Descriptive info: “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.. ” Francis Ford Coppola, 1979.. Wednesday, November 10, 2010 -.. In honor of Veteran s Day, I am posting this excerpt from my book proposal,.. Words Mattered: The 200 Quotations That Created, Shaped, and Explain American History.. Although the post deals with veterans of the Vietnam War, its message of service and sacrifice apply to American military veterans of all eras, including our current one.. Most Americans were eager to move on from the despair of the Vietnam War as soon as the U.. withdrawal was complete.. Many Vietnam veterans also hoped to resume their lives, but found doing so far more difficult.. Often ignored and occasionally shunned by their fellow citizens, Vietnam veterans were still dealing with residual problems from their experience in service: they battled post-traumatic stress disorder, and higher than normal rates of divorce, drug and alcohol addiction, and depression.. One way that Americans sought to seek closure on the Vietnam War was in movies.. It took over five years from American withdrawal in Southeast Asia until major motion pictures about U.. involvement in Vietnam broke through into widespread popularity, but when they did, these films provided keen insight into how the American experience in Vietnam was being processed and understood.. In 1979, Francis Ford Coppola co-wrote, produced, and directed “.. Apocolypse Now.. ,” a dark treatment of war that reflected much of the seeming senselessness and tragic irony of America’s experience in Vietnam.. Reflecting this theme of the film, actor Robert Duvall, portraying Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore.. enthusiastically tells.. another man in his company, “Do you smell that? Napalm, son.. Nothing else in the world smells like that.. I love the smell of napalm in the morning.. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for twelve hours.. When it was all over I walked up The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill.. Smelled like victory.. Someday this war s gonna end.. A person particularly moved by one of the popular and critically acclaimed Vietnam War movies was.. Jan Scruggs.. An infantryman who served and was wounded in Vietnam, Scruggs pursued his vision  ...   its fallen divided Americans.. Many rejected the unconventional design, denouncing it as a “black gash of shame” and criticizing its lack of traditional memorial features such as statues and a flagpole.. A compromise was reached to include a flagpole and a bronze statue of three soldiers, who seem to be looking at the Wall.. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on Veterans Day in 1982 in the brisk late-autumn air of the nation’s capitol.. It was quickly embraced by veterans and others around the United States and the world, attracting over three million visitors a year, more than triple the amount of the White House and the Washington Monument combined.. In the initial days following the opening of the Wall, a fascinating and largely unexpected ritual occurred several times a day.. In addition to solemnly tracing their fingers along the names carved in the Wall’s granite, family and friends of those Americans who perished in Vietnam were leaving artifacts at this shrine to their sacrifice.. In the first 25 years of the wall’s existence, over 100,000 such artifacts were left by visitors, which were then collected and stored by the National Park Service.. They included notes, photos, badges, dog tags, and an endless variety of obviously cherished objects: a sonogram image of a baby who would never know his or her grandfather, a child’s baseball glove accompanied by a message of love for a long passed dad, toys played with by American boys who grew to become young men who died in Vietnam.. In 1985, a woman left a note for three high school friends whose names are carved into the Wall.. Her expression of grief–and the wisdom she hoped had been acquired as a result of it–reflects that of the United States as it sought to heal from the wounds of the Vietnam War.. “Well, that time has rolled around and the Class of ’65 is having its 20-year reunion.. Cheers, cheers for old Orchard Park High School…After you died…I pretty much screwed up for ten years…Now I’m much better, more responsible.. I learn that the pain and loss never goes away.. It just changes.. Copyright 2010 IAN C..

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  • Title: “We hold these truths to be self evident…” – Thomas Jefferson, July 4, 1776 » IAN C. FRIEDMAN – WORDS MATTER
    Descriptive info: We hold these truths to be self evident Thomas Jefferson, July 4, 1776.. Friday, July 2, 2010 -.. Thomas Jefferson was under enormous pressure and unyielding time constraints when he first sat down at a small portable desk that he had designed himself and began writing what would become known as the.. Declaration of Independence.. Outside of the rented second-floor parlor of a bricklayer’s house in downtown Philadelphia where the tall, quiet, thirty-three-year-old Jefferson worked, the prospects for the movement of American independence were suspect at best.. British ships were preparing to attack near New York Harbor and Charleston, South Carolina.. Fledgling American forces, plagued by sickness and lacking sufficient supplies, were hurriedly beating a retreat and planning their defense.. Understanding that failure to persuade reluctant leaders of the need to break free from Great Britain would irreparably harm the chances for independence and would almost certainly lead to the patriots’ execution for treason, Jefferson sought to make the declaration an “expression of the American mind.. ” To do this, he combined his lively scholarly intellect and prodigious writing talent with ideas drawn from some of the most influential philosophical and political documents of his time.. Jefferson found a model in the theories of seventeenth-century English philosopher.. John Locke.. , who put forth the radical belief that people are born with certain natural rights and that governments should be organized for the benefit of everyone, not just the rulers.. Working quickly yet with painstaking attention to detail, Jefferson composed numerous drafts of the Declaration before sharing his work with his fellow draft committee members John Adams and Benjamin Franklin.. They suggested additional revisions before the document was finally submitted to the Second Continental Congress on June 28, 1776.. For three days the Congress scrupulously reviewed the draft, and the reserved Jefferson sat uneasily as nearly one hundred changes were made to his composition.. Finally, on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was unanimously approved.. The Declaration s sweeping expression in favor of human rights and against tyranny appears in its second paragraph:.. “We hold these truths to be self-evident,.. that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.. —That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just  ...   be determined not by rank or title but by talent and ability, and that governments that do not enjoy the support of the people can and should be replaced by the people.. Yet the Declaration s enduring legacy of an expanded definition of equality and liberty is tainted by the fact that the man who wrote it owned over two hundred slaves.. Jefferson, a wealthy Virginia planter, lawyer, and architect, was a man of his time and place, subject to the widespread prejudices according to which people of African descent were viewed as inferior and not worthy to enjoy the benefits of freedom proclaimed in the Declaration.. Nevertheless, in his draft of the Declaration, Jefferson, who had elsewhere described slavery as an “abominable crime” that must eventually be stopped, included among the grievances the charge that the king had “waged a cruel war against human nature” by assaulting a “distant people” and “captivating and carrying them into slavery into another hemisphere.. ” However, this passage had offended most southern delegates to the.. Second Continental Congress.. , as well as some northern delegates who represented merchants who had become wealthy in the slave trade.. The antislavery provision was deleted in a political compromise that foreshadowed decades of conflict and accommodation over slavery.. At the time the Declaration of Independence was created, its legacy as a commanding source of genuine American moral authority for those who seek to hold the historic document to its promise was only beginning to take shape.. But its immediate impact was clear and profound.. Beyond giving birth to a new nation—the United States of America—the words of the Declaration of Independence also inspired resolve and unity among a diverse collection of people who no longer considered themselves primarily as British subjects, colonists, Virginians, or New Yorkers.. They were Americans.. Copies of the Declaration of Independence were quickly printed and carried to colonial towns, where its words were cheered with great enthusiasm.. On July 9, 1776, General George Washington and his troops heard the Declaration read in New York City.. Later that evening, a raucous crowd pulled down a gilded statue of King George III.. The metal from this toppled sculpture was later melted and forged into thousands of bullets, which were ultimately fired against the forces of the British monarchy by the patriot soldiers of the American Revolution..

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  • Title: “Ich bin ein Berliner.” – John Kennedy, June 26, 1963 » IAN C. FRIEDMAN – WORDS MATTER
    Descriptive info: Ich bin ein Berliner.. John Kennedy, June 26, 1963.. Saturday, June 26, 2010 -.. It is the most famous American quotation ever spoken in a foreign language.. Forty-seven years ago today fewer than five months before his death President John Kennedy stood before.. Brandenburg Gate.. in West Berlin, within close view of the ominous extension of the Berlin Wall, and expressed in German an iconic statement of the Cold War that remains among American history s most profound affirmations of human rights: Ich bin ein Berliner (I am a Berliner.. Kennedy came to Germany at the end of an incredibly consequential, almost two decade period that saw the nation transform from Nazi tyranny to an emerging and prosperous democracy threatened by communism.. Following World War II, Germany was divided into.. zones.. , which were administered by the wartime allies Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States, as well as France.. Construction of what became the Berlin Wall began without warning in August 1961.. The communists in Germany and their Soviet sponsors explained that it was necessary to halt aggressive capitalist influence and stop western spies from entering the area and undermining local authority.. However, the overwhelming motivation for the creation of the Wall was the communist desire to stem the steady and increasing flow of Germans seeking greater political and economic freedom out of the Soviet zone into the West.. This situation was particularly problematic in the East because a disproportionate number of the over two million people migrating to the West were skilled workers and highly educated individuals.. This “brain drain” depleted the already weakened eastern Germany further and infuriated its leaders because so many of those leaving had been trained and educated at the expense of the communist regime.. Although Kennedy immediately and publicly opposed the construction of the Berlin Wall, he was not in a position to do much to counter it.. He had been weakened by the.. Bay of Pigs fiasco.. and he recognized the potentially catastrophic consequences of confronting the Soviets militarily over the Wall.. There is evidence that privately he viewed it as a clear indication that the Soviet premier.. Nikita Krushchev.. hoped to avoid war with the United States.. According to President Kennedy’s close friend and aide Kenneth P.. O’Donnell, Kennedy reacted to news of the Wall s creation by saying, Why would Khrushchev put up a wall if he really intended to seize Berlin? There wouldn’t be a need of a wall if he occupied the whole city.. This is his way out of his predicament.. It’s not a very nice solution, but a wall is a hell of a lot better than a war…This is the end of the Berlin crisis…We’re going to do nothing now because there is no alternative except war.. It’s all over, they’re not going to overrun Berlin.. Kennedy s arrival in Germany began a ten-day European trip that would later include visits to.. Ireland.. , Great Britain, Italy, and Vatican City.. Though there were many destinations on the itinerary, this first stop was clearly the most important.. In the less than two years since the construction of the Berlin Wall, that city had been the central point in the Cold War struggle between the the United States and the Soviet Union and Kennedy knew that his speech would be watched and studied carefully on each side of the ideological divide.. Historian Richard Reeves, in his 1993 book.. President Kennedy: Profile of Power.. , noted that  ...   those who support it to confront the oppression represented by the Wall with his repeated hammering of the words, Let them come to Berlin.. There are many people in the world who really don t understand, or say they don t, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world.. Let them come to Berlin.. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future.. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists.. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress.. Lass sie nach Berlin kommen.. Let them come to Berlin!.. Kennedy then proceeded to powerfully and eloquently mock the communist claim that the Wall was somehow an instrument designed to protect liberty, and in doing so, he made the case that helped emphasize how the Wall was a propaganda disaster for the Soviets:.. Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us.. While the wall is the most obvious and vivid demonstration of the failures of the Communist system, for all the world to see, we take no satisfaction in it, for it is an offense not only against history but an offense against humanity, separating families, dividing husbands and wives and brothers and sisters, and dividing a people who wish to be joined together.. Focusing on his message of solidarity with the besieged West Germans, and by extension with all those suffering under communist tyranny, Kennedy concluded:.. Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free.. When all are free, then we can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country and this great continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe.. When that day finally comes, as it will, the people of West Berlin can take sober satisfaction in the fact that they were in the front lines for almost two decades.. All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words.. The crowd was euphoric.. Kennedy was enormously pleased with the speech, but there quickly emerged pangs of concern that it could undo his administration s delicate and highly desired efforts to reach accord on a nuclear test ban treaty with the Soviets, because Kennedy had in essence just explained that there was no working with the communists.. Kennedy sought to round the edge of his words later that evening, explaining, I do believe in the necessity of great powers working together to preserve the human race.. Negotiations proceeded and on July 25, the United States and the Soviet Union reached agreement on a treaty that banned nuclear testing in the atmosphere, space, and underwater.. Within two months, the pact was approved by the Senate and signed into law by Kennedy.. Hours after the speech was over and the throngs of people had left the Rudolph Wilde Platz (Plaza) now named the John F.. Kennedy Platz Kennedy was aboard Air Force One on his way west to his family s ancestral homeland of Ireland.. He turned to his chief speechwriter.. Ted Sorensen.. and said, We ll never have a day like this one, as long as we live..

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  • Title: “…it comes down to integrity…” – Admiral Mike Mullen, February 2, 2010 » IAN C. FRIEDMAN – WORDS MATTER
    Descriptive info: it comes down to integrity Admiral Mike Mullen, February 2, 2010.. Wednesday, February 3, 2010 -.. In the past few weeks we have witnessed many important events in American politics, particularly the election of Republican Scott Brown to fill the Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy, President Obama s State of the Union Address, and the compelling viewing that was the exchange between Obama and House Republicans at their retreat in Baltimore.. However, years from now, I suspect that the most meaningful development of this eventful first part of 2010 will be yesterday s testimony of Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.. Each man strongly and articulately expressed support for ending the Don t Ask, Don t Tell policy of the U.. S, military that has discriminated against openly homosexual service members since it was implemented in 1993.. Mullen s testimony.. was especially powerful, both in words and manner.. What was most effective was how he framed the issue, personally and as a military leader appropriately fixated on the institution of the armed forces.. Speaking for myself and myself only, it is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be  ...   which are important and wonderful things in civil society, but not as high of a priority for the U.. Military as integrity.. For decades, supporters of Don t Ask, Don t Tell and others who would seek to be more aggressive in rooting out homosexuality from the military have claimed that allowing gays to openly express their sexual identity would divide and weaken their institution.. Mullen explained the opposite; that to foster integrity required a firm adherence to an honest, sound, and incorruptible code.. In essence, only by permitting openly gay members of the military to serve could the United States military be truly complete and solidly united.. When Don t Ask, Don t Tell becomes a thing of the past as it appears will almost certainly happen soon it will be the words of Admiral Mullen that will be remembered as providing the final push to its repeal.. Of those words, there will be one integrity that will endure as the best reflection of Mullen and the men and women of the armed forces who will allow the United States to leave the company of nations such as Cuba, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Syria as countries that prohibit open homosexuals to serve in its military..

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