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‘Jesus People’ – an evangelical movement born from Haight-Ashbury's ‘Summer of Love’

December 8, 2018 in Blogs

By The Conversation

Haight-Ashbury proved to be fertile ground for a startling new combination of the hippie style with conservative evangelical Christianity – the “Jesus People.”


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love.” Popular culture remembers the tens of thousands of joyous young hippies that descended upon San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district to celebrate personal expression, drug experimentation and easy sexuality.

What’s less known and what I discovered in my own research is that Haight-Ashbury also proved to be fertile ground for a startling new combination of the hippie style with conservative evangelical Christianity – the “Jesus People.”

How it started The Jesus Movement. 2017 The Hollywood Free Paper, CC BY-NC-SA

The reasons behind the rise of the hippie movement were complex: A rejection of conformity and materialism in American culture and the emergence of a drug culture both played a part.

The 1960s counterculture also contained a decidedly spiritual dimension that attracted a great deal of hippie interest. The movement incorporated meditation, the occult, Native American spirituality and Eastern forms of religion such as Zen Buddhism and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (“the Hare Krishnas”).

However, as writer and observer Charles Perry pointed out in his book “The Haight-Ashbury: A History,” the Summer of Love brought with it a number of problems including overcrowding, crime, sexually transmitted diseases and bad drug trips. Every night thousands of penniless young people would “crash” in whatever space they could find or simply sleep on the streets.

The problems became so bad that the leading hippie paper, “The Oracle,” advised anyone interested in coming to San Francisco to forget (in the words of a hit record from that year) the “flowers in their hair” in favor of bringing along a sleeping bag, warm clothes and money.

As many became disillusioned with life in Haight-Ashbury, a new set of hippie “Jesus freak” evangelists appeared in the Bay Area, urging people to follow Jesus Christ and forsake drugs and promiscuous sex. Key to this new presence on the streets was Ted Wise, a …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Fight for federal right to education takes a new turn

December 8, 2018 in Blogs

By The Conversation

The Supreme Court long ago rejected the idea of a federal right to education. Can a series of new lawsuits convince the court to change its mind?


A new fight to secure a federal constitutional right to education is spreading across the country. This fight has been a long time coming and is now suddenly at full steam.

In 1973, plaintiffs in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez argued that school funding inequities violated the right to education. The Supreme Court rejected education as a fundamental right under the federal Constitution, leaving funding inequalities in Texas and elsewhere completely untouched. For more than 40 years, no one even dared to directly challenge Rodriguez’s conclusion in court. Now, in just two years, four different legal teams and plaintiff groups have done just that. But this time, they are shifting their arguments away from just claims about money. They are focusing on educational quality, literacy and learning outcomes.

The boldest claim was filed on Nov. 29 in Rhode Island, arguing for an education that prepares students for citizenship – an argument that draws directly on my own legal research and expertise as a scholar of education law.

When plaintiffs filed the first two cases in Detroit and Connecticut in 2016, the Supreme Court was set to shift significantly to the left. Hillary Clinton was a strong favorite to win the presidency and fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. What looked like perfect timing for plaintiffs in mid-2016 turned awful a few months later when Clinton lost. The questions now are why plaintiffs, including new ones, continue to press forward and whether they have any chance of winning. The answers lie in a strange and tangled confluence of events that include school funding shifts, new legal theories and evolving cultural challenges.

Steep declines in school funding

Schools’ real-world problems are first and foremost driving the litigation. Detroit’s schools, for instance, are among the most segregated, lowest performing and most financially strapped in the country. The net result, plaintiffs allege, are schools where “illiteracy is the …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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We’ve been celebrating two Wright Brothers when we should be celebrating just one

December 8, 2018 in Blogs

By History News Network

The myth is more entertaining in a way.


It is hard to fly in the face of history. Even harder when you are dealing with historical icons. We like to believe in our historical myths and are loathe to rethink what we have believed most of our lives. Miss O’Learys cow probably did not really start the Chicago fire and Elliott Ness and the Untouchables were not the men who brought Al Capone to justice. And it wasn’t the Wright Brothers who cracked the code of human flight, but one brother, Wilbur Wright, who is the man primarily responsible for the fact we can get on a jetliner and fly into the heavens. 

When you read a biography of the Wright Brothers there is a standard format. First, they are adjoined as two brothers who act as one. They both became interested in a toy helicopter their father brought home when they were children. Then they both started a printing press, a bike shop, then they both became fascinated with solving the problem of human flight. They both went to Kitty Hawk North Carolina and in 1903 Orville flew for twelve seconds while brother Wilbur looked on. Neither brother had an interest in sex, both dropped out of high school and lived at home their whole lives and were looked after by their sister Katherine. Everything they did was a perfect fifty percent division of talent and responsibility. This is the Wright Myth that has come down to us in children books and serious biographies. The latest of course is David McCullough’s and this perfect union of talent and intellect is preserved.

The truth is much different. It is the story of one man whose life was changed by a childhood accident and then came a vision. A vision to fly. This one man then read up on everything known about human flight then contacted the Smithsonian for information and then contacted the United States Weather Bureau to find out where the winds blew at a constant speed. He then built a flying wing, then a glider, and then …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Here's why Thomas Jefferson advised against the study of morality

December 8, 2018 in Blogs

By History News Network

Jefferson thought moral instruction of some sort was necessary throughout one’s life.


Thomas Jefferson was one of the most erudite men of his time. His passion for learning, perhaps obsessive, was matchless and what he learned he learned chiefly through books. Why? First, when at Monticello, he was far from the sort of society of cultured persons that he could readily find, for instance, in the salons of Paris. Thus, he had no choice but to turn to books. Second, though he traveled in social settings while engaged for four decades in legal and political affairs, Jefferson was much more comfortable in the quiet of solitude, where he could conduct uninterruptedly personal affairs and engage in serious study. That quiet milieu was difficult to find in retirement at Monticello. Hence, he would frequently remove to Poplar Forest with grandchildren—usually thrice each year from 1810 to his last visit in 1823—and when the business of the day was over, he would sit in his Campeche chair near a fireplace at Poplar Forest and read.

Jefferson’s matchless passion for learning was not without discretion. He expressed on numerous occasions his preference for useful knowledge. His views on education were centered on useful learning. “All the branches … of useful science,” he writes to nephew Peter Carr (7 Spt. 1814), are to be taught in the general schools. In establishing a curriculum for his University of Virginia, he was firm in advocacy, he tells Charles Yancey (9 Jan. 1816), that “every branch of science useful in our time and country” would be offered. Religion was not one of those sciences; morality was.

Jefferson was clear in several writings and in keeping with other moral-sense theorists, e.g., Lord Kames and Thomas Reid, or moral sentimentalists, e.g., Adam Smith and David Hume, that our sense of morality was much more important than our faculty of reason. As he says to Peter Carr (19 Aug. 1785), “An honest heart being the first blessing, a knowing head is the second.”While a sound rational faculty was given to too few, the moral sense, like seeing, was in …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Here's why Donald Trump could easily go down in history as a worse traitor than Benedict Arnold

December 8, 2018 in Blogs

By Chauncey DeVega, Salon

The Trump-Russia scandal will likely end up being in many respects a bribery and money laundering and possibly even RICO scandal, with features of conspiracy to commit election fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States.


Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Donald Trump campaign's possible collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election marches onward. Trump and his alleged co-conspirators, defenders and allies appear to be encircled.

This article wasoriginally published at Salon

Beginning last week, there have been a series of events which could spell doom for Donald Trump. His attorney, personal fixer and consigliere Michael Cohen has agreed to fully cooperate with Mueller's investigation. Court documents reveal that Cohen has admitted to lying about Trump's real estate dealings in Russia and other business matters. Cohen has also admitted that Donald Trump was fully briefed and involved in these real estate and other dealings (including, perhaps a cover-up), despite Trump's repeated denials that he had any connections to Russia and that he would not profit from them while a candidate or president.

Paul Manafort, one of Donald Trump's closest advisers, has allegedly violated his plea deal with Mueller by lying to prosecutors. It appears that Manafort has also been feeding information to Trump's attorney and presumably the president himself. Trump has responded by signaling that he may pardon Manafort — which would be a de facto act of obstructing justice — for violating the law in order to protect him.

On Tuesday, court filings revealed that Mueller has recommended that Michael Flynn, who briefly served as Trump's national security adviser, serve no prison time for the crimes of lying to federal investigators about his contacts with Russia, and those of other members of Trump's transition team. Flynn also lied to federal investigators about serving as an agent of the Turkish government. Flynn has clearly been extensively cooperating with Mueller's investigation, and his recommended sentence indicates that the information he offered Mueller was so valuable that it could be traded for his freedom.

What comes next in the Russia scandal and Mueller's investigation into Donald Trump and the president's inner circle? When will Mueller's investigation end, and …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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A US-China investment war is quietly emerging — and this will be the ultimate casualty

December 8, 2018 in Blogs

By Independent Media Institute

There are very concerning aspects of the Build Act.


On October 3, the U.S. Senate passed a law to create an agency called the International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC), to replace the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) set up in 1969. The IDFC will invest up to $60 billion in developing countries and, unlike OPIC, is empowered to make equity investments. It is designed to counter what some in Washington describe as China’s “economic warfare” of indebting developing countries and garnering diplomatic influence and support, largely through infrastructure projects such as the Belt & Road Initiative.

The IDFC is set up by the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development Act (the Build Act), which passed the House of Representatives in August with bipartisan support, and has been lauded in international development circles for its pro-development agenda. But there are at least four very concerning aspects of the Build Act, making it likely that the environment will be the ultimate casualty in this new front in the US-China war of influence.

1. Key environmental threshold removed

A key environmental safeguard imposed on OPIC has slipped out of the Build Act. OPIC’s authorizing statute required it to refuse support for any project which “will pose an unreasonable or major environmental, health, or safety hazard, or will result in the significant degradation of national parks or similar protected areas.”

This underpinned the very first step in OPIC’s project screening procedures, designed to ensure that environmentally damaging projects don’t get supported. A 2003 report to Congress shows that this provision formed the basis for OPIC to decide whether a project was ‘categorically prohibited’ from receiving support. According to OPIC’s environmental handbook, this captured “large dams that disrupt natural ecosystems, infrastructure and raw material extraction in primary tropical forests and other protected or ecologically fragile areas.”

History also shows us how important this provision could be for pulling support for projects already underway. In 1995 OPIC canceled $100 million of political risk insurance for a U.S. company operating the world’s largest …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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12 Must-Have Historical Holiday Decorations and Traditions

December 8, 2018 in History

By Lesley Kennedy

Infuse your holidays with traditions that range from ancient Druid greenery to contemporary Christmas cat sweaters.


The wreath dates back to ancient Rome and Greece, when rings made of twigs, fruit, flowers and leaves were worn on heads. (Think the Olympic laurels.) In Christianity, evergreen wreaths symbolize strength and everlasting life, with the presence of a wreath on a door serving as a sign of Christmas spirit. This Wreath Depot version comes with berries and pine cones and looks great year after year. About $65, Amazon.

View the 12 images of this gallery on the original article

Each December, as we unpack our favorite holiday treasures, we recall their personal significance: Grandma’s Christmas china, mother’s hand-sewn tree skirt, a child’s finger-painted ornament. But most traditional items, in general, also have long, storied histories that may not be so well known or remembered.

READ MORE: Meet Krampus, the Christmas Devil Who Punishes Naughty Children

In honor of the 12 days of Christmas, here are a dozen modern takes on traditional and festive holiday decor ideas—some that date back to the Druids, others just finding their way into the pop-culture lexicon, but all filled with good cheer.

READ MORE: The History of Christmas Trees

‘Candle’ Lights

From the “don’t try this at home” files: In 17th-century Germany, someone had the, er, bright idea to decorate their Christmas trees with lit candles. The tradition is thought to have arrived in America in the 1830s (President Franklin Pierce lit his White House tree that way in 1856), and while we’re sure it was pretty, the obvious fire hazard was replaced with the invention of electric tree lights in the late 1890s. Love the idea? Best to stick with these flameless faux-candle string lights that only look like the real thing. About $35, Amazon.

Peppermint Glow

Legend has it that the red-and-white-striped candy dates back to 1670, when a German choirmaster gave the sugar sticks to his young singers to keep them quiet during a Nativity pageant, bending them into shepherds’ crooks. In 1847, August Imgard, a German-Swedish immigrant living in Wooster, Ohio, became the first known American purveyor of candy canes. Now? They’re the top-selling non-chocolate candy during the month of December. Get the candy-cane glow after the sugar rush ends with Pier 1’s 3 in. x 6 in. peppermint-scented candle. About $37, Amazon.

READ MORE: <a target=_blank …read more

Source: HISTORY