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John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

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Rest here





The present



The mind




Always


Love



You





Good words to have




Poltroon (pahl-TROON)  A spiritless coward : craven. Poltroon has been used for wimps and cravens since the early 16th century at least. English picked up poltroon from Middle French, which in turn got it from Old Italian poltrone, meaning "coward." The Italian term has been traced to the Latin pullus, a root that is also an ancestor of pullet ("a young hen") and poultry.


These sort of stories just fascinate me





A newly unearthed photo shows Amelia Earhart survived her final flight, investigators say

By Amy B Wang 


What happened to Amelia Earhart?

That question has captivated the public ever since her plane vanished over the Pacific Ocean in 1937 as she attempted to become the first female pilot to fly around the world.

Now, investigators believe they have discovered the “smoking gun” that would support a decades-old theory that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were captured by the Japanese: a newly unearthed photograph from the National Archives that purportedly shows Earhart and Noonan — and their plane — on an atoll in the Marshall Islands.

“I was originally skeptical until we could get the photograph authenticated,” Shawn Henry, a former FBI assistant executive director who is now helping privately investigate the Earhart disappearance, told The Washington Post. “The fact that it came out of the National Archives as opposed to somebody’s basement or garage somewhere — that to me gave it a lot more credibility.”

The photograph was rediscovered a few years ago in a mislabeled file at the National Archives by a former U.S. Treasury agent named Les Kinney, who began looking into Earhart’s disappearance after he retired, according to previews for a new History channel documentary, “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence,” that airs July 9.

The 8-by-10-inch black-and-white photograph went ignored in a stack of 20 or 30 other pictures until Kinney took a closer look a few months later, Henry said.

In the photo, a figure with Earhart’s haircut and approximate body type sits on the dock, facing away from the camera, Henry points out. Toward the left of the dock is a man they believe is Noonan. On the far right of the photo is a barge with an airplane on it, supposedly Earhart’s.

Henry, who was asked to join the investigation about a year ago, said two different photo experts analyzed the picture to ensure it had not been manipulated. It had not been, they found. The experts also compared the facial features and body proportions of the two figures in the photograph with known pictures of Earhart and Noonan.

For the man on the left, “the hairline is the most distinctive characteristic,” Ken Gibson, a facial recognition expert who studied the image, told the “Today” show. “It’s a very sharp receding hairline. The nose is very prominent. … It’s my feeling that this is very convincing evidence that this is probably Noonan.”

The figure seated on the dock is wearing pants, much like Earhart often did, Henry noted.
“I’m looking at her sitting on the dock and thinking, ‘This is her,’ ” he said.
Though they can’t be sure of when the photo was taken, there is no record of Earhart being in the Marshall Islands, he added.

Henry said he traveled to the Marshall Islands and interviewed the son of a man whose father repeatedly told others he had witnessed Earhart’s plane land at Mili Atoll in 1937. He also spoke with the last living person who claimed to have seen the pair after their emergency landing.

“But again, for me, those things are all somewhat suspect until you have that photograph, which corroborates that she was there,” Henry said. “To me, that’s just proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Gary Tarpinian,  executive producer of the History documentary, told the “Today” show that they believe the Koshu, the Japanese merchant ship in the photo, took Earhart to Saipan, where she died in Japanese custody.

The team thinks the photo may have been taken by someone spying on the Japanese, he added. Other questions, like when and how Earhart died, remain a mystery.

“What happened to her then? Was there a coverup or not? Did the U.S. government know? What did the Japanese government know?” Henry said. “I think this actually opens up a whole new line of questioning.”

Over the past 80 years, three prevailing theories about Earhart’s disappearance have emerged.

Some speculate that Earhart’s Lockheed Model 10 Electra crashed and sank to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, killing her and Noonan.

Last year, a Pennsylvania-based group called The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) repositioned the spotlight on an alternate theory: With their fuel rapidly depleting, Earhart and Noonan used celestial navigation to land on a remote coral atoll named Gardner Island, about 400 miles south of Howland Island, their original destination. It was there, TIGHAR says, that the two tried to send out frantic radio calls for help but eventually died as castaways.

Just last month, the group launched an ambitious expedition to try to prove its theory, sending researchers and a pack of forensically trained border collies to Gardner Island, now called Nikumaroro. The mission: For the dogs to sniff out human bones that, through DNA matching, would confirm Earhart and Noonan landed and then perished on that island.
Henry said he isn’t bothered by other explanations of Earhart’s disappearance.

“I’ve listened to some competing theories,” he said. “When you look at the totality of what we put together and then hold that photograph … I think that photograph is as close to a smoking gun as you’re going to have in a cold case that’s 80 years old.”


be kind



Advice to young people

You set the direction for your life. You chose the goals and you set your own attitude.

Always, always, always look for the positives before you look at anything else. I’m not saying don’t look at anything else. I’m telling you to look at the positives first.

Be thankful, in fact, always be in a thankful mood, and cultivate gratitude.

Find your passion and never ever let it go.

If you are a student remember what Nietzsche said about the professors, whose sim is to impress you “The scholar is the herd animal in the realm of knowledge who inquires because he is ordered to, and because others have done so before him.”

Don't  believe for a second that you should ever believe that you need to hold those who think alike in high esteem of any kind.


Life is about balance. Be kind, but don’t let people abuse you. Trust, but don’t be deceived. Be content, but never stop improving yourself.


St. Francis



Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.”
                                                                             St. Francis of Assisi

“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”  St. Francis of Assisi

“Remember when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received only what you have given: a heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.” St. Francis of Assisi

“Do few things, but do them well. Simple joys are holy.” St. Francis of Assisi



Don’t limit yourself


“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” Mary Kay Ash, Mary Kay Cosmetics Founder




Chase the vision



“Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.” Tony Hsieh


There are some people



“There are some people who never realize.” Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms 


I am


“I am
a series of
small victories
and large defeats
and I am as
amazed
as any other
that
I have gotten
from there to
here.”
—         Charles Bukowski


And one fine morning....




Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter - tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther … And one fine morning -

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby


Thank God for J.D. Salinger



“Maybe, just once, someone will call me ‘sir’ without adding, 'you’re making a scene.’” Holden Caulfield

“I am always saying “Glad to’ve met you” to somebody I’m not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though.”  J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

“And I have one of those very loud, stupid laughs. I mean if I ever sat behind myself in a movie or something, I’d probably lean over and tell myself to please shut up.” J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

“Make sure you marry someone who laughs at the same things you do.” J.D. Salinger


China surpesses writers and gets away with it because we allow them to get away with it



Liu Xiaobo, already in prison, was unable to attend the ceremony for his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo in 2010. His chair was left empty.Credit Andersen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images




Doubts arise over Chinese Nobel winner Liu Xiaobo's inability to travel for cancer treatment
Friend says video description of imprisoned dissident’s condition as ‘acceptable’ casts doubt on government’s claim he is too sick to leave China
A friend of imprisoned Chinese Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo said on Monday that he doubts the government’s claims that the ailing dissident is too sick to leave the country in part because of a video in which Liu is described as being in “acceptable” condition.
Whether Liu is able to travel is a key question in negotiations for his possible release from a Chinese hospital. The US and the European Union have been calling on Beijing to allow China’s most famous political prisoner, recently diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer, to choose where he wants to be treated.
Shang Baojun, Liu’s former lawyer, has said Chinese officials have told Liu’s family members that his health was so poor that he could not travel.


Liu’s friend Hu Jia, a political dissident, said on Monday that a video that emerged on YouTube over the weekend appeared to indicate that Liu was in stable condition. Medical experts were seen saying that Liu’s treatment plan was going smoothly.
“Currently, his situation is acceptable,” an unidentified male doctor in a white coat was seen saying in the video, which did not include any images of Liu and was dated Wednesday.
A separate photo that has been circulating online showed Liu holding a bowl and being spoon-fed by his wife. Liu did not appear to be hooked up to life-support.
“Based on the videos and the photo, we know for sure that his conditions have not deteriorated,” Hu said. “There’s no question that Liu Xiaobo can travel.”
William Fingleton, spokesman for the European Union delegation in China, said EU diplomats met with a Chinese vice minister of justice on Friday regarding Liu’s treatment. Fingleton did not provide details on the discussion.
In a statement released later on Friday, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, urged China to immediately grant Liu parole on humanitarian grounds, citing Liu’s deteriorating health.
Mogherini also said that China should “allow him to receive medical assistance at a place of his choosing in China or overseas”, and that Liu and his wife should be free to communicate with the outside world.


Reliable, independent information on Liu’s condition and his desire to travel has been difficult to obtain, as Liu and his wife, Liu Xia, have long been isolated by the authorities, out of the reach of most friends and the media. While the couple have not publicly stated their willingness to go abroad, their friends believe they wish to do so, based on Liu Xia’s earlier indications to her friends.
China’s foreign ministry said on Monday that it has no information on Liu’s case. “I can only say that we hope that the relevant countries can respect China’s judicial sovereignty instead of making use of this individual case to interfere in China’s domestic affairs,” spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular news briefing.
China’s justice department did not immediately respond to faxed questions about Liu’s case.
Liu, a writer and an outspoken government critic, was sentenced in 2009 to 11 years in prison on a charge of inciting subversion of state power, a year after he co-authored Charter ‘08, a document calling for democracy and rule of law in China. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 while incarcerated.




Liu Xiaobo, China’s Prescient Dissident
By Jiayang Fan
July 3, 2017

China’s lone Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the political dissident Liu Xiaobo, is gravely ill. In 2008, Liu, a prolific essayist and poet, was working on a manifesto advocating peaceful democratic reform, which became known as Charter 08, when the Chinese government tried him and found him guilty of “inciting subversion of state power.” Since then, he has been serving an eleven-year sentence at a prison in the remote northeastern province of Liaoning, and his wife, Liu Xia, has been under house arrest in Beijing, despite the lack of any charges against her. Liu’s diagnosis of late-stage liver cancer came at the end of last month. The prognosis is grim. In a video that a friend of the couple’s shared on social media, Liu’s wife says, through tears, that the doctors “can’t do surgery, can’t do radiation therapy, can’t do chemotherapy.”


Yet even this particularly wretched twist of fate has not liberated the man who has devoted his life to fighting for liberty. Although Liu, who is now sixty-one, has been transferred to a hospital in Shenyang, on medical parole, he has yet to be granted release from his sentence. Last Thursday, his lawyer said that the authorities are refusing to allow him to travel abroad for medical treatment. In response to a statement from the United States Embassy calling for the couple to be given “genuine freedom,” the Chinese foreign ministry warned that “no country has a right to interfere and make irresponsible remarks on Chinese internal affairs.” It added that “China is a country with rule of law, where everybody is equal in front of the law.”
This is a curious remark, given the increasingly repressive regime that the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, has fostered since taking office, in 2013. Civil society and the rule of law were part of what Liu campaigned for more than a decade ago, but, as unlikely as those concepts seemed then, they are less certain now. After a period of enforced ideological conformity, the government has expanded its security apparatus, increased censorship, tightened its control of nongovernmental organizations, and toughened surveillance laws. Rights lawyers and activists have been arrested and jailed, and others have fled abroad.
Liu once had opportunities to do so himself. A scholar of Chinese literature and philosophy, he taught at Beijing Normal University in the nineteen-eighties, where he became known for his frank reappraisals of China’s past and present, particularly of the brutalities imposed during the decades under Mao. Liu’s passion and audacity could at times be provoking to both his peers and to the public, but they spoke to a deep investment in his country’s future and his determination to contribute to it.


His intellectual honesty rendered him vulnerable yet dauntless. In the spring of 1989, Liu was in New York, where he was teaching at Barnard College, when the student protests calling for democracy and accountability began in Tiananmen Square. He returned to Beijing and stayed in the square for several days, talking to the students about how democratic politics must be “politics without hatred and without enemies.” When Premier Li Peng imposed martial law, Liu negotiated with the Army to allow demonstrators a safe exit from Tiananmen. But, at the beginning of June, the Party ordered a crackdown, in which hundreds of people were killed. (The state has never permitted an official tally.) For Liu’s involvement in the events, the Chinese press labelled him a “mad dog” and a “Black Hand” for allegedly manipulating the will of the people, and he was sentenced to two years in prison for “counter-revolutionary propaganda.”
After his release, Liu was offered asylum in the Australian Embassy, but he refused it. Similar offers came again and again, but a life in which Liu did not feel that he could make a direct impact held no appeal for him. At a time when other intellectuals, registering the need for self-preservation, turned to writing books less likely to be banned on the mainland, Liu chose to prioritize his principles, in order to be an “authentic” person. He was barred from publishing and giving public lectures in China, but on foreign Web sites he wrote more than a thousand articles promoting humanitarianism and democracy; he called the Internet “God’s gift to China.” Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, in 2010, while he was serving his sentence, in recognition of “his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.”
In an essay titled “Changing the Regime by Changing Society”—which during his trial was cited as evidence of his counter-revolutionary ideals—Liu expressed hope that the Chinese people would awaken to their situation and that their new awareness would forge a sense of solidarity against the state. But he also warned of a growing moral vacuum in the nation. He wrote:
China has entered an Age of Cynicism in which people no longer believe in anything. . . . Even high officials and other Communist Party members no longer believe Party verbiage. Fidelity to cherished beliefs has been replaced by loyalty to anything that brings material benefit. Unrelenting inculcation of Chinese Communist Party ideology has . . . produced generations of people whose memories are blank.
It’s impossible to say what access Liu has had to the outside world during his incarceration. It would certainly pain him to see how little younger people in China care or even know about the events in Tiananmen (the subject is strictly censored in the media) and how the nation’s growing international prominence has obscured its domestic ills—though he predicted as much. “The Chinese Communists are concentrating on economics, seeking to make themselves part of globalization, and are courting friends internationally precisely by discarding their erstwhile ideology,” he wrote in 2006. “When the ‘rise’ of a large dictatorial state that commands rapidly increasing economic strength meets with no effective deterrence from outside, but only an attitude of appeasement from the international mainstream, the results will not only be another catastrophe for the Chinese people, but likely also a disaster for the spread of liberal democracy in the world.” It perhaps would not surprise him to hear that last week, austerity-stricken Greece, which is courting Chinese investment, blocked a European Union effort to issue a statement condemning China’s human-rights violations.
As the news of Liu’s illness spread surreptitiously throughout China, democracy activists started a petition far narrower in its ambitions than Charter 08. It asks only for Liu to be freed and to be given whatever medical care might help him now. He would surely be grateful to his supporters for that gesture, but more than his illness he would regret how correctly he diagnosed Beijing’s recurring authoritarian impulses and his countrymen’s growing indifference to them. Liu has always been a man of ideas, but that prescience will be of no comfort to anyone.
Jiayang Fan became a staff writer at The New Yorker in 2016.
  

China refuses cancer treatment abroad for Nobel winner Liu Xiaobo
By Steven Jiang, CNN
Beijing (CNN)Nobel Peace Prize-winning Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo has been refused permission to travel overseas to receive cancer treatment.
Liu, 61, was granted medical parole and released from jail earlier this month after he was diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer.
A Chinese vice minister of justice met with diplomats from the US, Germany and the EU on Thursday to brief them about Liu's case, and told the diplomats that Liu can't go abroad for treatment because he is too sick to travel, according to a source familiar with the meeting.
Liu had been serving an 11-year prison sentence for "inciting subversion of state power" in Jinzhou, near the city of Shenyang in northeastern China.
His case has come under an international spotlight amid allegations from his supporters that he had become gravely ill because his cancer wasn't treated in prison.
In a statement released Wednesday, Shenyang authorities appeared to attempt to dispel this speculation, saying his cancer was diagnosed less than a month ago, on June 7, after a routine check-up found unusual symptoms on May 31.
A medical team comprised of eight renowned oncologists have seen Liu seven times and formed a treatment plan, it said, adding that the hospital has invited traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners to join the team at the request of Liu's family.
US ambassador's appeal
Terry Branstad, the new US ambassador to China, on Wednesday urged Beijing to let Liu seek cancer treatment overseas.
In his first public remarks since arriving in China, the former Iowa governor told reporters that he hoped the two sides could work together to address Liu's condition.
"It's very serious," he said. "Obviously, our hearts go out to him and his wife and we're interested in doing what can be done to see if it's possible. We Americans would like to see him have the opportunity for treatment elsewhere, if that could be of help."
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman dismissed the ambassador's appeal.
"Liu Xiaobo is a Chinese citizen," said Lu Kang at a regular press briefing Wednesday. "Why should we discuss his case with other countries?"
Liu's plight has become a rallying point for activists in Hong Kong, which is hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping as part of festivities to mark 20 years of Chinese rule in the former British coloy.
A video posted Wednesday by Boxun, an overseas Chinese news website known for its access to Chinese government sources, appeared to show Liu working, exercising and meeting visiting family members in prison.
It also shows him receiving medical check-ups and treatment in prison and at hospitals.
Liu could be heard describing how prison officials had been taking good care of him, especially his health, and expressing his gratitude to them.
The statement from Shenyang's judicial authorities said that Liu's wife, Liu Xia, was staying with him at the hospital.
"Liu Xiaobo and his family members are satisfied with the work and treatment by the prison and the hospital," it said.
The statement also said Liu had a history of hepatitis B before imprisonment and prison authorities had provided him with an annual physical examination as well as monthly checkup -- and no abnormal conditions had been found before the recent diagnosis.
A prolific writer and longtime activist, Liu had been in and out of jail since the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989.
His most recent conviction, on Christmas Day 2009, stemmed from his co-authorship of Charter 08, a manifesto calling for political reform and human rights in China.
In 2010, while in prison, Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "his long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights in China."
CNN's Katie Hunt in Hong Kong contributed to this report.



Liu Xiaobo Embodied Hope for China’s Democracy. Now He’s Sick.
击查看本文中文版
By STEVEN LEE MYERS and AUSTIN RAMZYJUNE 27, 2017

BEIJING — In the fall of 2008, dozens of activists secretly worked to produce a political manifesto. It was only 3,554 Chinese characters long, but it listed a series of demands on China’s leaders to make the country a liberal democracy.
Less than a decade later, one of the main authors, the Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, is confined in a hospital, released from prison though not from custody, to be treated for what his lawyers described as an advanced case of liver cancer.
Mr. Liu’s imprisonment and now his illness have become a grim reflection of the fate of that cause, one born in hope but crushed by China’s intolerance of dissent — and the world’s increasing resignation, even acquiescence, to it, given the country’s diplomatic and economic clout.
The document was called Charter 08 and was modeled after one published by dissidents in Czechoslovakia under Communist rule, Charter 77. More than 300 activists in China signed at first — and many more did later, inside and outside of the country.
While almost no one expects China to become a democracy now, that was at least a hope in 2008.
“When Charter 08 was signed, there was a yearning for more open dialogue and talk about a peaceful societal transition,” said one of the signatories, Ai Xiaoming, a scholar and documentary filmmaker in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. “But now there is even more strict social control, and the room for civil society has shrunk significantly.”
Ms. Ai, who met Mr. Liu before his imprisonment, also expressed guilt that he alone among the organizers had been convicted and sentenced so harshly — to 11 years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power” — though many others also faced harassment that forced them underground or out of the country.
International attention — Mr. Liu was awarded the Nobelin 2010 — gave Ms. Ai and others hope of protecting him, but the world moved on, even as China tightened its controls over nonprofit organizations and moved to arrest lawyers.
“It’s sad to see he’s no longer the center of attention,” Ms. Ai said in a telephone interview. “We had a kind of illusion that the government would be nice to him given his international influence. Now I doubt that was the case.”
Mr. Liu’s wife, the poet and photographer Liu Xia, has been under strict house arrest in Beijing since his Nobel Prize was announced. Friends circulated a cellphone video on Monday in which a crying Ms. Liu said doctors “can’t operate, can’t use radiotherapy, can’t use chemotherapy” to treat her husband’s cancer.
Mr. Liu’s Nobel Prize — in recognition of “his long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights in China” — focused attention on his fate, but over the years he was sidelined if not forgotten by the pragmatic needs of countries that felt no choice but to work with China, not criticize it.
China’s response to the prize illustrated the risks of going against it. Norway’s government has no say in who wins the prize, but it is awarded by a five-person committee chosen by the Norwegian Parliament. China swiftly cut imports of Norwegian salmon, depriving Norway of its largest market.
China wields those sorts of economic levers with great effect, Graham T. Allison argues in a new book, “Destined for War,” about the potential collision of the United States and a rising China.
“Few governments have had the capabilities or will to resist,” Mr. Allison, director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, said by email from Dalian, China, where he was attending the World Economic Forum’s annual summer meeting.
In the case of Norway, its diplomats persuaded China to restore full relations after making a series of conciliatory gestures that dismayed human rights campaigners there and in China.
For the United States, the focus on China’s record of human rights has become increasingly muted, especially under President Trump, reflecting the conflicting
 “China is very smart about this,” said Hu Jia, a rights advocate in Beijing. He noted how Greece, which is courting Chinese investment, recently thwarted a European Union effort to make a statement about human rights abuses in specific countries to the United Nations Human Rights Council.
“Because of issues like economic cooperation, security, North Korea and terrorism, leaders aren’t as willing to raise human rights problems with China,” Mr. Hu said.
Charter 08 was signed in the twilight of the administration of President George W. Bush, who used his second term to advance what the White House promoted as a “Freedom Agenda” in the aftermath of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. President Barack Obama vocally championed human rights around the world, but he pursued the issue less vigorously when it came to China.
Mr. Obama praised Mr. Liu’s Nobel Prize, but when the Senate passed legislation that would have renamed a street in front of China’s embassy in Washington after him, the administration signaled that Mr. Obama would veto it. The bill quietly died in the Republican-controlled House after Mr. Trump’s election last fall.
Mr. Trump and his advisers have clearly indicated that human rights are less important on the president’s agenda than security and trade matters.
“Human rights has retreated in terms of people’s interest in China,” said Jerome Cohen, director of the U.S.-Asia Law Institute at New York University’s School of Law.
The fear of being excluded from China’s market is palpable. “Everybody is under pressure from constituents to have a piece of the action,” Mr. Cohen said. “Of course, the U.S. no longer asks other countries to do anything, because we decided it’s not important for our purposes.”
Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, going against tradition, did not introduce his department’s annual human rights report in March, though he appeared with Ivanka Trump at the department on Tuesday to introduce a similar report on human trafficking. For the first time, the department reduced China’s rating to the lowest tier of countries, signaling that it has exerted minimal effort to combat trafficking.
On Wednesday morning, the new American ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, said that the Trump administration would like to help arrange medical treatment for Mr. Liu abroad, a day after the American Embassy said it had called on China to release him and his wife.
“We’re interested in doing what can be done to see if it is possible,” Mr. Branstad said in brief remarks to reporters outside the embassy residence in Beijing. “We as Americans would like to see him have the opportunity for treatment elsewhere, if that could be of help.”
As news of Mr. Liu’s illness emerged, China’s beleaguered democracy advocates issued a new petition, one that was far more modest than Charter 08. It simply called for Mr. Liu and his wife to be unconditionally released and urged that he be given the medical treatment he needed. Within hours it had more than 400 signatures.
Steven Lee Myers reported from Beijing, and Austin Ramzy from Hong Kong.


There’s a 250 light-year hole in the center of emission nebula N44 and astronomers aren’t sure why.



There’s a 250 light-year hole in the center of emission nebula N44 and astronomers aren’t sure why. It could be that particle winds from massive stars are pushing out the gas. Perhaps a more compelling explanation though, based on the detection of X-ray emitting gas, is that supernova explosions carved out this cavern

Playwright opportunities




Greetings NYCPlaywrights
 

*** PLAYWRIGHTS OPPORTUNITIES ***

Public Theater Emerging Writers Group
The Public Theater will select the strongest candidates based on the overall strength of the applicant’s play submission, artistic statement, and interview.
The Public will look for candidates from diverse backgrounds who show tremendous artistic promise and talent, as well as responsible and dedicated individuals who are serious about a career in the theater. 
- Cannot have professional representation for playwriting including, but not limited to, agent, manager or lawyer.
- Cannot be a full-time student at any point during the duration of the program.
- Cannot be enrolled in any academic playwriting course during the duration of the program.
- Must not have had productions in New York other than those using the showcase code or in an off-off Broadway theater with 99 or fewer seats. (If your New York show used a higher contract tier than the showcase code, you are not eligible to apply. If your New York show received a festival production in a theater with more than 99 seats and did not use an Equity contract, you are eligible to apply.)

***

The Players Follies Group (a 55 and older theatre troupe) will be producing a Senior Play Reading Festival November 18 & 19, 2017. The festival coordinator is looking for 1 to 10 minute non-published plays to be performed in The Players Backstage Theatre. Local theatre artist Cinda Goeken will coordinate and lead the event. A committee of judges will select the plays to be presented in a “Reader’s Theater“ style. 

***

LEZWRITES! is a project of 3Girls Theatre Company that produces readings and performances of short works by lesbian, bi and trans playwrights of all races, ethnicities, and ages. This year's selections will be curated by a literary panel including 3GT Resident Playwright and Producer, Margery Kreitman, and playwright and Associate Producer, Mercilee Jenkins, published in The Best American Short Plays 2014-2015, and two special guest curators: Tina D’Elia, an award-winning casting director and solo performer whose shows include The Rita Hayworth of this Generation; and Thao P. Nguyen, author/performer of Fortunate Daughter, named one of the Top 10 Bay Area Plays of 2013.


*** FOR MORE INFORMATION about these and other opportunities see the web site at http://www.nycplaywrights.org ***


*** ROBERT MOSES VS. SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK ***

When one thinks of theater in the park, the first thing that probably comes to mind is New York City's Shakespeare in the Park, perhaps the premier example of outdoor theater anywhere. New York theater icon Joseph Papp (1921–1991) founded the Shakespeare Theatre in 1954 to bring the Bard's work to a wider audience. The first production, Julius Caesar, took place in 1956 at the amphitheater in East River Park; until then, the amphitheater hosted the occasional concert but no theater (productions of Greek plays Oedipus Rex and Philoctetes took place at the East River Amphitheater in the mid 1960s before the site was closed in 1973 due to a budget shortage). Papp and his Public Theater began mobile presentations of Shakespeare plays in 1957.

In 1957, Papp and Parks Commissioner Robert Moses battled over whether the Public Theater could use Central Park. The fight took an ugly turn when Moses alleged that Papp had communist links (Papp had refused to admit to the House Un–American Activities Committee whether he was—or knew anyone who was—a communist). Under pressure from the public and Mayor Robert Wagner, Moses eventually relented and allowed Papp to stage free Shakespeare in the park. (The writer Robert Caro pointed to this embarrassing episode as one of the pivotal turning points in Moses' career in The Power Broker.)

More…

PAPP SUPPORTED ON PLAY FESTIVAL; Shakespeare 'Not Suspect,' School Aide Says -- Mayor Silent on Meetings
MAY 1, 1959
The New York Times Archives
Joseph Papp, whose plans for a summer program of free Shakespeare in Central Park are being upset, again failed to get a hearing at City Hall yesterday, but he got a pat on the back from the school system.


***

When Shakespeare In The Park Fought Robert Moses, And Won

Trump supporters and other right wing opportunists were up in arms over The Public Theater's staging of Julius Caesar starring a very Trump-like Caesar who is assassinated during the course of the play. And while political theater is making its way onto the stage of... actual theater, this is hardly Shakespeare In The Park's first tangle with a powerful, popular figure. And in some ways, the Public Theater's winning fight to survive against Robert Moses's Parks Department in 1959 is more impressive than stirring up supporters of the President of the United States, if only because Moses was still operating the city as his own private fiefdom.
As the 1959 Shakespeare In The Park season was set to begin, the festival wasn't yet the celebrated cultural institution it is today, but it got some good press. The Times called a 1958 production of Othello "clearly organized and interesting," and also made an appeal to keep the festival going because of the crowds it drew. "Certainly it deserves all the support that is available. For the long, patient line of people hoping to get into an amphitheater that seats 2,300 is a humbling sight for anyone who believes in the theater. And the alert attention of the people who do succeed in getting in chastens anyone familiar with sophisticated theatre audiences. Mr. [Joe] Papp's patrons not only know what they are seeing but believe it. They are free of cant."

More…

***

The Taming of Robert Moses

Shakespeare in the Park has been a beloved--and free--summer institution for more than 50 years. If Robert Moses had gotten his way though, that might not be the case.

New York Shakespeare Festival founder Joseph Papp aimed to make Shakespeare's works accessible to the public. By 1958, his productions on the lawn in front of Central Park's Turtle Pond were drawing thousands of people to each performance. 

That's when Parks Commissioner Robert Moses stepped in, informing Papp that he would no longer be able to stage plays in the park unless $1 and $2 admissions were charged, with 10 percent of the proceeds going to defray the cost of "grass erosion." Papp’s insistence that the plays remain free set off a battle of wills that made front-page headlines for nearly a year. 

Radio broadcast

***

Joe Papp Is Hero of New Play Skedded for 2001 Premiere in MD
MAR 31, 2000
Producer Joseph Papp's quest to offer Shakespeare's works in Central Park, facing bureaucratic adversity, is the subject of Ernest Joselovitz's world-premiere play, Shakespeare, Moses and Joe Papp, scheduled for a staging by Round House Theatre in Silver Spring, MD, in June 2001.
Producer Joseph Papp's quest to offer Shakespeare's works in Central Park, facing bureaucratic adversity, is the subject of Ernest Joselovitz's world-premiere play, Shakespeare, Moses and Joe Papp, scheduled for a staging by Round House Theatre in Silver Spring, MD, in June 2001.

The play, heard and embraced in Round House's New Voices Play Reading Series, shows Papp, who founded New York City's Public Theater, facing a "later-day Tammany Hall backdrop of graft and greed and bureaucratic corruption." The play is said to be a kind of political thriller in which New York State and City Parks Commissioner Robert Moses is a major character.

It begins in 1958, when Moses controlled decisions about city parks. Other characters include Papp's partner, Jacob Rose, and Rose's wife, Peggy; Moses' secretary Jesse Seligman; a Narrator who plays multiple roles; and New York City Mayor Robert Wagner.

More…


***

Joe Papp, the Public, and the Greatest Theater Story Ever Told

Heroes without flaws appear only in bad comics and worse books and movies. The giants who seize our attention and embody achievement at its most inspiring are often nearly as troublesome as they are noble, with defects and virtues that can stem from the same deep drives. Joseph Papp, the Brooklyn-born impresario who changed the face of the American theater by founding the New York Shakespeare Festival and the Public Theater, is unquestionably a hero of the complicated kind. His story is revisited in rich, rewarding detail in a fat new book, “Free for All: Joe Papp, the Public, and the Greatest Theater Story Ever Told,” written by Kenneth Turan and — what’s this? — yes, Papp himself.

More…


***

The Battle of Central Park

Performed at The Tank, Spring 2016
Workshop productions at The Tank, NYC & Dixon Place, Spring 2015 

The story of two proud men, the city they loved, and the fight for free Shakespeare in the Park.

In 1959 Joe Papp, the father of the Public Theater, and Robert Moses, the builder and planner of much of modern New York City, were locked in a tense legal battle regarding William Shakespeare - specifically whether Mr. Papp would be allowed to produce the Bard’s plays for free admission in Central Park. Weaving primary sources with original text, music, and movement, The Battle of Central Park explores the contradictory and captivating relationship of two public figures who shared both immense stubbornness and love of New York City. The ideological zeal of Papp and the dominant structuralist power of Moses are brought to life on the stage in this movement-rich production. Equal parts memory play and historical drama, The Battle of Central Park tells the fascinating story of these two iconic and divisive men through a lens of imagination and wonder.


*** 

Deep Cut: Ric Burns New York documentary - focusing on the unchecked power & downfall of Robert Moses


***
In July, the Delacorte Theater will transform into the most enchanted forest in all of theater in Shakespeare’s beloved comedy, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. When the merry sprite Puck meddles with a magical love potion, young lovers lost in the woods mysteriously  find themselves infatuated with the wrong person in this hilarious, fairytale fantasia that proves the course of true love never did run smooth. Lear deBessonet, Founder of The Public Theater’s groundbreaking Public Works program and Resident Director, brings her electric theatrical vision to the classic romance about the supernatural nature of love. 

** PLAYWRIGHTS OPPORTUNITIES ***

Public Theater Emerging Writers Group
The Public Theater will select the strongest candidates based on the overall strength of the applicant’s play submission, artistic statement, and interview.
The Public will look for candidates from diverse backgrounds who show tremendous artistic promise and talent, as well as responsible and dedicated individuals who are serious about a career in the theater. 
- Cannot have professional representation for playwriting including, but not limited to, agent, manager or lawyer.
- Cannot be a full-time student at any point during the duration of the program.
- Cannot be enrolled in any academic playwriting course during the duration of the program.
- Must not have had productions in New York other than those using the showcase code or in an off-off Broadway theater with 99 or fewer seats. (If your New York show used a higher contract tier than the showcase code, you are not eligible to apply. If your New York show received a festival production in a theater with more than 99 seats and did not use an Equity contract, you are eligible to apply.)

***

The Players Follies Group (a 55 and older theatre troupe) will be producing a Senior Play Reading Festival November 18 & 19, 2017. The festival coordinator is looking for 1 to 10 minute non-published plays to be performed in The Players Backstage Theatre. Local theatre artist Cinda Goeken will coordinate and lead the event. A committee of judges will select the plays to be presented in a “Reader’s Theater“ style. 

***

LEZWRITES! is a project of 3Girls Theatre Company that produces readings and performances of short works by lesbian, bi and trans playwrights of all races, ethnicities, and ages. This year's selections will be curated by a literary panel including 3GT Resident Playwright and Producer, Margery Kreitman, and playwright and Associate Producer, Mercilee Jenkins, published in The Best American Short Plays 2014-2015, and two special guest curators: Tina D’Elia, an award-winning casting director and solo performer whose shows include The Rita Hayworth of this Generation; and Thao P. Nguyen, author/performer of Fortunate Daughter, named one of the Top 10 Bay Area Plays of 2013.


*** FOR MORE INFORMATION about these and other opportunities see the web site at http://www.nycplaywrights.org ***


*** ROBERT MOSES VS. SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK ***

When one thinks of theater in the park, the first thing that probably comes to mind is New York City's Shakespeare in the Park, perhaps the premier example of outdoor theater anywhere. New York theater icon Joseph Papp (1921–1991) founded the Shakespeare Theatre in 1954 to bring the Bard's work to a wider audience. The first production, Julius Caesar, took place in 1956 at the amphitheater in East River Park; until then, the amphitheater hosted the occasional concert but no theater (productions of Greek plays Oedipus Rex and Philoctetes took place at the East River Amphitheater in the mid 1960s before the site was closed in 1973 due to a budget shortage). Papp and his Public Theater began mobile presentations of Shakespeare plays in 1957.

In 1957, Papp and Parks Commissioner Robert Moses battled over whether the Public Theater could use Central Park. The fight took an ugly turn when Moses alleged that Papp had communist links (Papp had refused to admit to the House Un–American Activities Committee whether he was—or knew anyone who was—a communist). Under pressure from the public and Mayor Robert Wagner, Moses eventually relented and allowed Papp to stage free Shakespeare in the park. (The writer Robert Caro pointed to this embarrassing episode as one of the pivotal turning points in Moses' career in The Power Broker.)

More…

***

Keep in mind the particular moment in time in which Moses is writing. While it would be more than 10 years until Robert Caro published his magnificent, 1,200-page biographical takedown, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, it had been just a couple of years since Moses, in the role of New York City Parks Commissioner, had made himself the enemy of the city’s cultural elite by refusing to issue permits for free Shakespeare in the Park performances. Here was a man who’d built, over the course of the previous three decades, more than 600 playgrounds and parks, 400 miles of urban freeways, and 13 bridges. And he’d done it, by all accounts, largely through tremendous force of will and a truly keen sense of political know-how. But by 1962, Moses had real, undeniable detractors. He was being actively painted as the enemy of a healthy, happy city. He cared, his critics claimed, more about cars than he did about people. And his consolation prize after being forced out of his most significant public roles—serving as president of the boondoggle that would become the 1964­–65 New York World’s Fair—was already proving to be a bruise, rather than a boost, to his reputation.

More…

***

ISAACS DISPUTES MOSES ON THEATRE; Urges Reversal of Decision on Admissions in Park -- Actor Supports Ruling
APRIL 27, 1959
The New York Times Archives
Stanley M. Isaacs, minority leader of the City Council, voiced disapproval yesterday of Park Commissioner Robert Moses' decision to charge admission to performances of Shakespeare in Central Park.

More…

***

PAPP SUPPORTED ON PLAY FESTIVAL; Shakespeare 'Not Suspect,' School Aide Says -- Mayor Silent on Meetings
MAY 1, 1959
The New York Times Archives
Joseph Papp, whose plans for a summer program of free Shakespeare in Central Park are being upset, again failed to get a hearing at City Hall yesterday, but he got a pat on the back from the school system.


***

When Shakespeare In The Park Fought Robert Moses, And Won

Trump supporters and other right wing opportunists were up in arms over The Public Theater's staging of Julius Caesar starring a very Trump-like Caesar who is assassinated during the course of the play. And while political theater is making its way onto the stage of... actual theater, this is hardly Shakespeare In The Park's first tangle with a powerful, popular figure. And in some ways, the Public Theater's winning fight to survive against Robert Moses's Parks Department in 1959 is more impressive than stirring up supporters of the President of the United States, if only because Moses was still operating the city as his own private fiefdom.
As the 1959 Shakespeare In The Park season was set to begin, the festival wasn't yet the celebrated cultural institution it is today, but it got some good press. The Times called a 1958 production of Othello "clearly organized and interesting," and also made an appeal to keep the festival going because of the crowds it drew. "Certainly it deserves all the support that is available. For the long, patient line of people hoping to get into an amphitheater that seats 2,300 is a humbling sight for anyone who believes in the theater. And the alert attention of the people who do succeed in getting in chastens anyone familiar with sophisticated theatre audiences. Mr. [Joe] Papp's patrons not only know what they are seeing but believe it. They are free of cant."

More…

***

The Taming of Robert Moses

Shakespeare in the Park has been a beloved--and free--summer institution for more than 50 years. If Robert Moses had gotten his way though, that might not be the case.

New York Shakespeare Festival founder Joseph Papp aimed to make Shakespeare's works accessible to the public. By 1958, his productions on the lawn in front of Central Park's Turtle Pond were drawing thousands of people to each performance. 

That's when Parks Commissioner Robert Moses stepped in, informing Papp that he would no longer be able to stage plays in the park unless $1 and $2 admissions were charged, with 10 percent of the proceeds going to defray the cost of "grass erosion." Papp’s insistence that the plays remain free set off a battle of wills that made front-page headlines for nearly a year. 

Radio broadcast

***

Joe Papp Is Hero of New Play Skedded for 2001 Premiere in MD
MAR 31, 2000
Producer Joseph Papp's quest to offer Shakespeare's works in Central Park, facing bureaucratic adversity, is the subject of Ernest Joselovitz's world-premiere play, Shakespeare, Moses and Joe Papp, scheduled for a staging by Round House Theatre in Silver Spring, MD, in June 2001.
Producer Joseph Papp's quest to offer Shakespeare's works in Central Park, facing bureaucratic adversity, is the subject of Ernest Joselovitz's world-premiere play, Shakespeare, Moses and Joe Papp, scheduled for a staging by Round House Theatre in Silver Spring, MD, in June 2001.

The play, heard and embraced in Round House's New Voices Play Reading Series, shows Papp, who founded New York City's Public Theater, facing a "later-day Tammany Hall backdrop of graft and greed and bureaucratic corruption." The play is said to be a kind of political thriller in which New York State and City Parks Commissioner Robert Moses is a major character.

It begins in 1958, when Moses controlled decisions about city parks. Other characters include Papp's partner, Jacob Rose, and Rose's wife, Peggy; Moses' secretary Jesse Seligman; a Narrator who plays multiple roles; and New York City Mayor Robert Wagner.

More…


***

Joe Papp, the Public, and the Greatest Theater Story Ever Told

Heroes without flaws appear only in bad comics and worse books and movies. The giants who seize our attention and embody achievement at its most inspiring are often nearly as troublesome as they are noble, with defects and virtues that can stem from the same deep drives. Joseph Papp, the Brooklyn-born impresario who changed the face of the American theater by founding the New York Shakespeare Festival and the Public Theater, is unquestionably a hero of the complicated kind. His story is revisited in rich, rewarding detail in a fat new book, “Free for All: Joe Papp, the Public, and the Greatest Theater Story Ever Told,” written by Kenneth Turan and — what’s this? — yes, Papp himself.

More…


***

The Battle of Central Park

Performed at The Tank, Spring 2016
Workshop productions at The Tank, NYC & Dixon Place, Spring 2015 

The story of two proud men, the city they loved, and the fight for free Shakespeare in the Park.

In 1959 Joe Papp, the father of the Public Theater, and Robert Moses, the builder and planner of much of modern New York City, were locked in a tense legal battle regarding William Shakespeare - specifically whether Mr. Papp would be allowed to produce the Bard’s plays for free admission in Central Park. Weaving primary sources with original text, music, and movement, The Battle of Central Park explores the contradictory and captivating relationship of two public figures who shared both immense stubbornness and love of New York City. The ideological zeal of Papp and the dominant structuralist power of Moses are brought to life on the stage in this movement-rich production. Equal parts memory play and historical drama, The Battle of Central Park tells the fascinating story of these two iconic and divisive men through a lens of imagination and wonder.


*** 

Deep Cut: Ric Burns New York documentary - focusing on the unchecked power & downfall of Robert Moses


***
In July, the Delacorte Theater will transform into the most enchanted forest in all of theater in Shakespeare’s beloved comedy, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. When the merry sprite Puck meddles with a magical love potion, young lovers lost in the woods mysteriously find themselves infatuated with the wrong person in this hilarious, fairytale fantasia that proves the course of true love never did run smooth. Lear deBessonet, Founder of The Public Theater’s groundbreaking Public Works program and Resident Director, brings her electric theatrical vision to the classic romance about the supernatural nature of love. 


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*** PLAYWRIGHTS OPPORTUNITIES ***

2017 Playwrights and Artists Festival
It is that time of year again. We have chosen our artwork for the 2017 Playwrights and Artists Festival. We, as always, extend first look to those who have submitted to our festival in years previous. The artwork will follow a refresher on the rules. (Please be aware that some rules have changed)
1. The play must be inspired by one of the works of art... 

***

The Ten-Minute Musicals Project
SEEKING: Complete original stage musicals which play between seven and twenty minutes. Works which have been previously produced are acceptable, as are excerpts from full-length shows, if they can stand up on their own.

***

The Lark’s Jerome New York Fellowship provides substantial artistic and financial support to an emerging writer of extraordinary promise and vision through an intensive two-year residency that provides resources and guidance to generate and develop a significant body of work.
In the first year, the Fellow will receive a stipend of $25,000, paid in monthly increments. In addition, the Fellow will have access to an “Opportunity Fund” of $5,000 for the purposes of travel, research, autonomous workshops, and so forth, for the duration of their fellowship and for up to one year after its completion. (The Fellow will request these funds in writing to the Artistic Director and no reasonable request will be refused).

*** FOR MORE INFORMATION about these and other opportunities see the web site at http://www.nycplaywrights.org ***


*** JULIUS CAESAR PART II ***


Cops investigate death threats made against “Caesar” director’s wife

It’s a story that never ends. The Shakespeare in the Park staging that depicted President Donald Trump as Julius Caesar has produced an investigation into death threats made against the director of the play’s wife, Associated Press reported. Police are investigating threats made to the wife of Oskar Eustis, the director of the Public Theater’s production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” that features a Donald Trump lookalike character being assassinated.

Police said Wednesday that Laurie Eustis filed a complaint on June 9 citing death threats she had received since the fallout from the first play. She reported receiving threatening phone messages related to the Trump-adjacent character’s fictionalized assassination, AP reported. One caller allegedly told her to die after decrying her husband for showing the president’s fake death.

More…


***

'Trump death' in Julius Caesar prompts threats to wrong theatres

Shakespeare Dallas, in Texas, has had 90 emails, while Shakespeare & Company in Massachusetts has had nearly 50, plus about 10 angry phone calls. "It's a case of mistaken identity," said Raphael Parry, the artistic director at Shakespeare Dallas. "If you don't want to see political commentary, don't go see it," he said.
"Don't blast everyone who's in theatre or the arts. It's unbelievable. It's shocking. People need to do their research before they blast off."

He and his staff have received emails including "I hope you die and so do your family" and "You truly are a bunch of freaks... We should send all you freaks to ISIS. They would eliminate your stench on this earth with real knives."
Shakespeare & Company shared some of the messages with the BBC. (Some have been edited to remove swearing.) They included:
"Your play depicting the murder of our President is nothing but pure hatred. You are vial [sic] despicable excuses for human beings. I wish you all the worst possible life you could have and hope you all get sick and die."
"Hope you all who did this play about Trump are the first to die when ISIS COMES TO YOU... scumbags."
"What exactly were you idiots thinking about producing a play that depicts the killing of our President? Does anyone over there have an ounce of morality, decency, and or common sense? Your organization is a disgrace to the community and to the arts. If you have a problem with the president protest, as is your constitutional right or just vote him out. I will do my best to ensure taxpayers' dollars are not used in the future to fund your disrespect and stupidity!"

More…

***

Free Theaters Threatened In Fallout From ‘Julius Caesar’ As Supporters Plan Rally

Yesterday’s press release promoting New York Classical Theatre’s production of The Rivals, a comedy dating from 1775, promised “It is not controversy, but comedy. It is not Shakespeare, but Sheridan. It is not Julius Caesar, but The Rivals. There is no Donald Trump, but there are wonderful Equity actors performing this renowned classic. It is free in Central Park like its Delacorte colleagues, but it is a couple of stops further uptown on the C train.”

NY Classical Theatre Director Stephen Burdman tells me, however, that controversy has in fact come to the troupe that’s performing about a mile north of the Delacorte Theater. His 18-year-old company has been receiving threats and denunciations in the wake of the Public Theater’s politically charged production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Burdman is the founder and artistic director of NY Classical Theatre, which promotes itself as “New York’s only all-free off-Broadway theater,”

“This is the spill off,” Burdman, who staged this all-pro production. “We’re supporting our sister classical theater companies. Every theater expects criticism, but we don’t expect attacks. People are Googling Shakespeare in the Park, and we come up on the list even though Shakespeare isn’t in our name.”
Some samples provided by Burdman (asterisks by Deadline; all other spellings original):

From: [deleted]
Subject: F*ck you!
Date: June 12, 2017 at 6:14:32 AM EDT
To: info@newyorkclassical.org
Go f*ck yourselves! Every last discusting one of you. I curse every one of you. May you each die a more horrible terrifying death! Rich you all!!!

More…

***

You may have mocked claims about the existence of paid protesters as just another lie from the right. As it turns out, at least on this one issue, they’re actually telling the truth. The problem is, the right neglected to mention those paid protesters are part of the right-wing apparatus.

The story starts last week, when the right wing decided to aim its selective outrage at a free staging of Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar” held in New York City’s Central Park. Mike Cernovich, a self-described member of the alt-right who thinks the U.S. should give immigrants IQ tests, put up a YouTube video in which he offered cash to any protesters willing to disrupt the play for pay.

“I’ll give up to 10 people $1,000,” Cernovich says in the footage. “I need you to get up with either a ‘CNN is ISIS’ or ‘Bill Clinton’s a rapist’ or ‘The media is terrorism’ [sign]. And if you’re able to get up and be escorted out by security, then I will give you $1,000.”

In other words, Cernovich was actively and openly looking to recruit paid protesters. You know how conservatives made up that ridiculous myth about George Soros sending checks to liberals who march in protests? This is the real version of that, only sponsored by Cernovich.

More…

***

In the middle of the production, Loomer stormed the stage, briefly halting the action and earning a chorus of boos from an audience that just wanted to see some Shakespeare. There’s footage of the whole thing, including Loomer being removed from the stage as she shouts “CNN is ISIS”—the exact phrase Cernovich suggested—over and over. As Loomer was escorted out, Posobiec stood up and began yelling “Nazis” and “Goebbels” at the audience, until he was removed. He also recorded his outburst, possibly because Cernovich wants proof before he’ll pay out.

It’s important to note that Loomer works for right-wing Canadian media outlet Rebel Media, and until late May, so did Posobiec. The blog Canadaland describes it as a Breitbart-esque site filled with contributors who “have called for a new Crusade to expel Muslims from the ‘Holy Land,” outlined what they “hate about the Jews,” and most recently, said that British Muslims are “enemy combatants,” at least some of whom should be placed into camps.”

Loomer was released hours after her arrest. Rebel Media put up a “Free Laura page” on its website, including a link to a fundraising section for her “legal defense fund.” Loomer herself also tweeted a request to “support [her] legal defense fund.” The link in the message leads to a campaign on WeSearchr, a crowdfunding site that’s like a Go Fund Me for hard-right causes. As of this writing, Loomer’s page has banked more than $12,000. Josh Jordan, who’s written for both Forbes and the conservative National Review, pointed out that Loomer’s page previously noted she had a fundraising goal of $25,000, complete with screengrab. That target number has been erased, but the total intake keeps climbing. And presumably, while the Rebel Media “Free Laura” page doesn’t display tallies, there’ve been contributions via that site as well.

More…

***

Two weeks in, once we refined our performances to neutralize the laughter, you could hear a pin drop. By then, I better understood Eustis’s decision to be so literal in making Caesar Trump. A nontrivial percentage of our liberal audience had fantasized about undemocratic regime change in Washington. Acted out to its logical conclusion, that fantasy was hideous, shameful, and self-defeating.

Absorbed in our previews, I was unaware that we had become a target of right-wing attacks. In a company meeting the Friday before our opening night, we were told that some conservative websites claimed to be outraged by the production. Threats had been made. Security was being increased. I raised my hand and asked what we should do if someone tried to stop the show. Some of my castmates laughed. Brutus was making me paranoid.

The Sunday before our opening, Delta Airlines and Bank of America, fearing a boycott, withdrew their support. Their acts were disheartening but not devastating to the well-funded Public Theater. The real victims would be smaller theaters throughout the country, who would think twice about producing works that could be a lightning rod for outrage, real or invented. Perhaps more damaging to our country’s cultural life, the National Endowment for the Arts distanced itself, releasing a statement saying that no federal taxpayer dollars had been used in our production.

The Wednesday after our opening night, a gunman opened fire on the Republican baseball team, injuring four, including Representative Steve Scalise. Of the more than 150 mass shootings so far this year, this was the first that appeared to be aimed at a politician. Like most Americans, I was saddened and horrified, but when the president’s son and others blamed us for the violence, I became scared.

Working outdoors in the Delacorte Theater is always challenging. There are swarms of insects, helicopters overhead, and chatty raccoons, and soon we had new forms of distraction as well. Our first protester hurled insults about us continuously from a legal, but still audible, distance for the first hour of our show. At curtain call, a man wearing an American-flag jacket who had politely sat through the play stood and unfurled a Trump 2020 flag. At first I flinched, thinking the worst, but he just stood there smiling proudly. Relieved, I smiled back. What a country.

More…

***

The Public Theater said Monday afternoon that it stands "completely behind" its production of "Julius Caesar" following controversy over its staging of the play in New York City's Central Park, which includes a bloody assassination of a ruler who resembles President Trump.

"We recognize that our interpretation of the play has provoked heated discussion; audiences, sponsors and supporters have expressed varying viewpoints and opinions," the theater said in a statement provided to CNN. "Such discussion is exactly the goal of our civically-engaged theater; this discourse is the basis of a healthy democracy."

More…

***

The Public Theater Partners are made up of a dedicated group of individuals whose contributions are vital to advancing our mission of providing accessible art for all. Partners receive insider access to The Public Theater including backstage experiences, exclusive Partner talkbacks, dinners, and cocktail evenings, reserved seats at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, and complimentary tickets for our downtown season.  Under 40? Explore our Young Partner Program!
Choose your level of support: