American hero: Jack Goldsmith

September 7, 2007

Jack Goldsmith, Harvard U photoJack Goldsmith. This book, when you read it, will explain why he is a hero. Goldsmith is the guy who pulled back the memorandum from the U.S. Justice Department that authorized illegal torture.

There is hope for America so long as good men will do the right thing, quietly, out of the spotlight, and then move on without seeking credit. Watch Moyers’ interview with Goldsmith.

It’s revealing that his pictorial muse, guardian, taunter and inspiration was Elliot Richardson.


Powershifthappens: Did you know?

September 7, 2007

You saw this last year, right?

It’s a new school year. Watch it again. Certainly it’s still a conversation starter for teachers — it maybe a good place to start conversations for students, too, in government, history, geography and economics courses especially.

Karl Fisch created the original version for a staff development session at Arapahoe High School in Littleton, Colorado. It’s gone around the world several times since then — more than 5 million viewings by some counts.

♦ Did you know that 5 million is barely more than the number of people who live in the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan areas?

♦ Did you know that 5 million is just 1/60th of the U.S. population (300 million)? That’s just 1.7% of the U.S.?

♦ Did you know that 5 million non-Jews also perished in the Holocaust?
♦ Did you know that the White House lost 5 million e-mails in two years? Did you know almost no one noticed?

♦ Did you know some estimates are that 5 million Iraqis are refugees as a result of the current conflict there?

♦ Did you know that the Apple iTunes Store passed 5 million hits — in June 2003?

♦  Five million is a lot — but maybe not enough.  Show this, and Fischer’s site, to other people you know who should be interested.

♦ Did you know that Karl Fischer has other thought provoking presentations?

Take a look. I may have more to say about it. It is, after all, deserving of further thought.


Baltimore Scout collects, makes history

September 7, 2007

How about having your students work with the Library of Congress on a history project?

The Veterans History Project encourages people to contribute oral histories of veterans, a project that I think has some wonderful possibilities. Below the fold, read about Tim Mantegna, a Baltimore teen who collected histories as part of his Eagle project. This fall he enters the University of Maryland – Baltimore County to study political science, as an Eagle Scout.  (Also see this story:  “Iraq Veterans Record Their Stories”)

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