Tuesday, April 10, 2018

MLK on the Philanthropy & the Big Picture

Philanthropy is marvelous, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the need for working to remove the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.
Martin Luther King, Jr.,  On Being a Good Neighbor (sermon), p. 5

Thursday, April 5, 2018

MLK Describes "True Altruism"

True altruism is more than the capacity to pity; it is the capacity to sympathize. Pity may represent little more than the impersonal concern which prompts the mailing of a check, but true sympathy is the personal concern which demands the giving of one's soul. Pity may arise from interest in an abstraction called humanity, but sympathy grows out of a concern for "a certain man," a particular needy human being who lies at life's roadside. Sympathy is feeling with the person in need—his pain, agony and burdens.
Martin Luther King, Jr.,  On Being a Good Neighbor (sermon), pp. 7-8

Friday, August 11, 2017

Truman on FBI's secret ops

"We want no Gestapo or Secret Police," President Truman wrote in his diary on May 12 [1945]. "FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail . . M. This must stop."
It did not stop.
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI (New York: Random House, 2012), p. 134

Monday, July 31, 2017

FDR's cagey juggling

"You know I am a juggler, and I never let my right hand know what my left hand does," FDR once said of his strategies in statecraft. "I may have one policy for Europe and one diametrically opposite for North and South America. I may be entirely inconsistent, and furthermore I am perfectly willing to mislead and tell untruths if it will help win the war."
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI (New York: Random House, 2012), p. 81

Friday, July 21, 2017

Harding, in a nutshell

"Harding was not a bad man," [Alice Longworth Roosevelt] wrote. "He was just a slob—a slack, good-natured man with an unfortunate disposition to surround himself with intimates of questionable character."
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI (New York: Random House, 2012), p. 52

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

J. Edgar Hoover & Library of Congress

Hoover dutifully recited the devotions of the Presbyterian Church on Sundays, but the Library of Congress was the secular cathedral of his youth. . . . The reverent hush of its central reading room imparted a sense that all knowledge was at hand, if you knew where to look. The library had its own system of classification, and Hoover learned its complexities as a cataloguer, earning money for school by filing and retrieving information. He worked days at the library while he studied in the early evenings and on summer mornings at George Washington University, where he earned his master's degree in law in June 1917.
Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI (New York: Random House, 2012), p. 4

Monday, May 29, 2017

Suited to live in a nineteenth-century novel

She felt like someone who'd lost her way and ended up in the wrong generation. She would have been much more sited to a period with structure and rank and rules, where a button undone on a glove signaled licentiousness. She could have managed quite well living within those kinds of strictures. She had read too much James and Wharton. No one in Edith Wharton's world really wanted to be there but Amelia would have got along fine inside an Edith Wharton novel. In fact, she could have happily lived inside any nineteenth century novel.
Kate Atkinson, Case Histories (New York: Little Brown & Co., 2004), p. 185.