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Queen – Another One Bites the Dust (Official Video)

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Pepsi Commercial HD – We Will Rock You (feat. Britney Spears, Beyonce, Pink & Enrique Iglesias)

We Will Rock You

Queen

""

[Verse 1]
Buddy, you’re a boy, make a big noise
Playing in the street, gonna be a big man someday

You got mud on your face, you big disgrace
Kicking your can all over the place, singing

[Chorus]
We will, we will rock you
We will, we will rock you

[Verse 2]
Buddy, you’re a young man, hard man
Shouting in the street, gonna take on the world someday

You got blood on your face, you big disgrace
Waving your banner all over the place

[Chorus]
We will, we will rock you
Sing it out
We will, we will rock you

[Verse 3]
Buddy, you’re an old man, poor man
Pleading with your eyes, gonna make you some peace someday

You got mud on your face, big disgrace
Somebody better put you back into your place

[Chorus]
We will, we will rock you, sing it
We will, we will rock you, everybody
We will, we will rock you, hmm
We will, we will rock you, alright

 

Queen – We Will Rock You (Official Video)

 

How Qassem Soleimani was ‘torn to shreds’ by a US missile and his body had to be identified by his RING: Pentagon drone launched four rockets at car carrying Iranian general after he arrived from Syria to meet ringleaders of embassy attack

  • US airstrike killed General Qassem Soleimani, the powerful head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, in Baghdad
  • The attack unfolded early on Friday local time in a precision strike on two cars that were carrying Soleimani¬†
  • Soleimani had just arrived in Baghdad on a flight from Syria and was leaving the airport when he was hit
  • Attack also killed¬†Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, leader of Iranian militias in Iraq which led attacks on US embassy

Four precision missiles were fired from a deadly remote-controlled 4,900 pound U.S. drone, decimating a convoy that¬†Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s Quds force, was traveling in and tearing his body ‘to shreds’.

Soleimani, commonly known as the second-most powerful man in Iran and tipped as a future president, was so badly maimed in the strike that he had to be identified by a large ring he wore on his finger.

He had just landed in Baghdad airport on a plane from either Syria or Lebanon around 12.30am when he was met on the tarmac by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the pro-Iran Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq.

Muhandis pulled up to the aircraft steps in two cars before Soleimani and Mohammed Ridha Jabri, public relations chief for the PMF who had been traveling with him, climbed inside and were driven away.

Both vehicles were instantly reduced to smoldering wrecks Рkilling Soleimani, Muhandis, Jabri and two others who have yet to be identified.

Social media photos show burning wreckage of the US airstrike on two cars at Baghdad International Airport. Iranian officials and pro-Iran militia members were among those killed

This is the moment an American guided missile struck a convoy of cars carrying Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani along with two Islamic Revolutionary Guards generals, a colonel, and a captain, killing all five

The devastating US drone has a range of 1,150 miles and is able to to fly at altitudes of 50,000 feet. It is an ‘armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance’ remotely piloted aircraft.

It is primarily used to execute targets – such as Soleimani – and secondarily to collect intelligence, according to the U.S. Air Force.

The drone is capable of annihilating targets with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles which provide ‘highly accurate’ and ‘low-collateral damage’ capabilities.

An MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft making a rare public sighting in Nevada in November

AGM-114 Hellfire missiles – which are laser guided and subsonic – are so powerful that they are used to take out tanks. They can also be used as an air-to-air weapon against helicopters and other aircraft.

Fired upon¬†Soleimani’s convoy, the¬†4,900-pound drone- which has a wingspan of 66 feet and a cruising speed of roughly 230mph – is said to have reduced two vehicles to smoldering wrecks and ‘torn to shreds’ the bodies of those inside.

The drone made a rare public sighting at¬†Nellis Air Force Base in southern Nevada in November. The Aviationist reports that it was ‘nearly silent’ and ‘sent a collective shiver up air show viewers‚Äô spines’.

Two officials from the PMF said Soleimani’s body was torn to pieces in the attack, while they did not find the body of al-Muhandis.

A senior politician said Soleimani’s body was identified by the ring he wore. Photos from the scene show a hand with large ring that looks identical to one Soleimani is seen wearing in old photos.

Local militia commander Abu Muntathar al-Hussaini told Reuters:

‘Haj Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were riding in one vehicle when it was struck by two successive guided missiles launched from an American helicopter while they were on their way from the arrivals hall on the road that leads out of Baghdad Airport.’

He said the second vehicle was carrying bodyguards from the PMF and was hit by one rocket.

While American forces did not make it clear how they had tracked Soleimani’s location, he is thought to be kept under near-constant surveillance by US, Saudi and Israeli security forces.

The¬†New York Times¬†reported that Friday’s attack¬†drew upon a combination of highly classified information from informants, electronic intercepts, reconnaissance aircraft and other surveillance techniques.

The Defense Department said that the airstrike was justified to protect American lives.

‘General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,’ the Pentagon statement said.

The statement added that Soleimani ‘orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months’ including the embassy assault.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Soleimani’s assassination would strengthen resistance against the United States and Israel in the region and the world, Iranian state television reported.

‘The brutality and stupidity of American terrorist forces in assassinating Commander Soleimani … will undoubtedly make the tree of resistance in the region and the world more prosperous,’ Zarif said in a statement.

The high-profile assassinations are likely to be a massive blow to Iran, which has been locked in a long conflict with the United States that escalated sharply last week with an attack on the US embassy in Iraq by pro-Iranian militiamen.

A senior politician said Soleimani's body was identified by the ring (above) he often wore

The strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (center in sunglasses), the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, which were responsible for the recent attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad

Soleimani’s killing marks a dramatic escalation in the regional ‘shadow war’ between Iran and the US and its allies, principally Israel and Saudi Arabia, which could quickly ratchet up tit-for-tat attacks – all the way to the brink of all-out war.

The slain commander’s Quds Force, along with its stable of paramilitary proxies from Lebanon’s Hezbollah to the PMF in Iraq – battle-hardened militias armed with missiles – has ample means to launch a multi-barrelled response against its enemies.

In September, US officials blamed Iran for a devastating missiles and drones attack on oil installations of Saudi Aramco, the Saudi state energy giant and world’s largest oil exporter. The Trump administration did not respond, beyond heated rhetoric and threats.

Iran, for its part, has absorbed scores of air strikes and missile attacks, mainly carried out by Israel against its fighters and proxies in Syria and Iraq.

But analysts say Iran is likely to respond forcefully to the targeting of Soleimani, who it has built into a legend as its influence has spread across the region in the wake of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and subsequent occupation.

This photo released by the Iraqi Prime Minister Press Office shows a burning vehicle at the Baghdad International Airport following an airstrike, in Baghdad, Iraq, early Friday, Jan. 3, 2020

This photo released by the Iraqi Prime Minister Press Office shows a burning vehicle at the Baghdad International Airport following an airstrike, in Baghdad, Iraq, early Friday, Jan. 3, 2020

The Pentagon said Thursday that the U.S. military has killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force

The Pentagon said Thursday that the U.S. military has killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force

Images taken after sunup on Friday show the twisted wreckage left behind by the US missile strike on two cars

 

Images taken after sunup on Friday show the twisted wreckage left behind by the US missile strike on two cars

PMF official said the dead also included its airport protocol officer, identifying him as Mohammed Reda (above)

Soleimani, who has led the foreign arm of the Revolutionary Guards and has had a key role in fighting in Syria and Iraq, acquired celebrity status at home and abroad.

The United States and Iran’s regional foes Saudi Arabia and Israel have struggled to keep Iran’s influence in check.

Soleimani survived several assassination attempts against him by Western, Israeli and Arab agencies over the past two decades.

His Quds Force, tasked with carrying out operations beyond Iran’s borders, shored up support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad when he looked close to defeat in the civil war raging since 2011 and also helped militiamen defeat Islamic State in Iraq.

He became head of the Quds Force in 1998, a position in which he kept a low profile for years while he strengthened Iran’s ties with Hezbollah in Lebanon, Syria’s government and Shi¬īite militia groups in Iraq.

Muhandis, who was killed with Soleimani, oversaw Iraq¬īs PMF, an umbrella grouping of paramilitary groups mostly consisting of Iran-backed Shi¬īite militias that was formally integrated into Iraqi armed forces.

Soleimani (right) is seen attending a religious ceremony with Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a file photo. Soleimani was immensely popular in Iran and the Ayatollah has vowed 'harsh revenge'

Soleimani (right) is seen attending a religious ceremony with Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a file photo. Soleimani was immensely popular in Iran and the Ayatollah has vowed ‘harsh revenge’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7847795/How-airstrike-Iranian-general-unfolded-Baghdad.html

Qasem Soleimani

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Qasem Soleimani
Qasem Soleimani with Zolfaghar Order.jpg

Soleimani in his official military dress with the Order of Zolfaghar in 2019
Native name
Ŕāōßō≥ŔÖ ō≥ŔĄŘĆŔÖōßŔÜŘĆ
Nickname(s) Haj¬†Qassem” (among supporters)[1]
“The Shadow Commander” (in the West)[2][3][4][5][6]
Born 11 March 1957
Qanat-e Malek, Kerman, Imperial State of Iran
Died 3 January 2020 (aged 62)[7]
Near Baghdad International Airport, Baghdad, Iraq
Allegiance Iran
Service/branch Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
Years¬†of service 1979‚Äď2020
Rank Major general
Lieutenant general (posthumously)
Commands held 41st Tharallah Division of Kerman
Quds Force
Battles/wars

See battles
Awards Order of Zolfaghar (1)[17]
Order of Fath (3)[18]

Qasem Soleimani¬†(Persian:¬†Ŕāōßō≥ŔÖ ō≥ŔĄŘĆŔÖōßŔÜŘĆ‚Äé,¬†pronounced¬†[…Ę…íňźseme solejm…íňźniňź]; 11 March 1957 ‚Äď 3 January 2020), also spelled Qassem Suleimani or Qassim Soleimani, was an¬†Iranian¬†major general¬†in the¬†Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps¬†(IRGC) and from 1998 until his death, commander of its¬†Quds Force, a division primarily responsible for¬†extraterritorial military and clandestine operations.

Soleimani began his military career in the beginning of the¬†Iran‚ÄďIraq War¬†of the 1980s, during which he eventually commanded the¬†41st Division. He was later involved in extraterritorial operations, providing military assistance to¬†Hezbollah¬†in Lebanon. In 2012, Soleimani helped bolster the¬†Syrian¬†government, a key Iranian ally, during the¬†Syrian Civil War, particularly in its operations against¬†ISIS and its offshoots. Soleimani also assisted in the command of combined Iraqi government and¬†Shia militia forces¬†that advanced against the¬†Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant¬†(ISIL) in 2014‚Äď2015.

Soleimani was killed in a targeted U.S. drone strike on 3 January 2020 in Baghdad, Iraq. Also killed were Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces members and its deputy head, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.[19] Soleimani was posthumously promoted to lieutenant general.[20] Soleimani was suceeded by Esmail Ghaani as commander of the Quds Force.[21]

Early life

Soleimani was born on 11 March 1957 in the village of Qanat-e Malek, Kerman Province,[22] to an impoverished peasant family. In his youth, he moved to the city of Kerman and worked as a construction worker to help repay a debt his father owed. In 1975, he began working as a contractor for the Kerman Water Organization.[23][24] When not at work, he spent his time lifting weights in local gyms and attending the sermons of a traveling preacher, Hojjat Kamyab, a protege of Ayatollah Khomeini.[25]

Military career

Soleimani joined the Revolutionary war Guard (IRGC) in 1979 following the Iranian Revolution, which saw the Shah fall and Ayatollah Khomeini take power. Reportedly, his training was minimal, but he advanced rapidly. Early in his career as a guardsman, he was stationed in northwestern Iran, and participated in the suppression of a Kurdish separatist uprising in West Azerbaijan Province.[25]

On 22 September 1980, when¬†Saddam Hussein¬†launched an invasion of Iran, setting off the¬†Iran‚ÄďIraq War¬†(1980‚Äď1988), Soleimani joined the battlefield serving as the leader of a military company, consisting of men from Kerman whom he personally assembled and trained.[26]¬†He quickly earned a reputation for bravery,[27]¬†and rose through the ranks because of his role in the successful operations in retaking the lands Iraq had occupied, eventually becoming the commander of the¬†41st Sarallah Division¬†while still in his 20s, participating in most major operations. He was mostly stationed at the southern front.[26][28]¬†He was seriously injured in¬†Operation Tariq-ol-Qods. In a 1990 interview, he mentioned¬†Operation Fath-ol-Mobin¬†as “the best” operation he participated in and “very memorable”, due to its difficulties yet positive outcome.[29]¬†He was also engaged in leading and organizing¬†irregular warfare¬†missions deep inside Iraq carried out by the Ramadan Headquarters. It was at this point that Suleimani established relations with¬†Kurdish Iraqi¬†leaders and the Shia¬†Badr Organization, both of which were opposed to Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.[26]

On 17 July 1985, Soleimani opposed the IRGC leadership’s plan to deploy forces to two islands in western Arvandroud (Shatt al-Arab).[30]

After the war, during the 1990s, he was an IRGC commander in Kerman Province.[28]¬†In this region, which is relatively close to¬†Afghanistan, Afghan-grown opium travels to¬†Turkey¬†and on to Europe. Soleimani’s military experience helped him earn a reputation as a successful fighter against¬†drug trafficking.[25]

During the 1999 student revolt in Tehran, Soleimani was one of the IRGC officers who signed a letter to President Mohammad Khatami. The letter stated that if Khatami did not crush the student rebellion the military would, and it might also launch a coup against Khatami.[25][31]

Command of Quds Force

Qasem Soleimani Reading Quran in Memorial ceremony of Akbar Hashemi

The exact date of his appointment as commander of the IRGC’s¬†Quds Force¬†is not clear, but Ali Alfoneh cites it as between 10 September 1997 and 21 March 1998.[24]¬†He was considered one of the possible successors to the post of commander of the IRGC, when General¬†Yahya Rahim Safavi¬†left this post in 2007. In 2008, he led a group of Iranian investigators looking into the death of¬†Imad Mughniyah. Soleimani helped arrange a ceasefire between the Iraqi Army and¬†Mahdi Army¬†in March 2008.[32]

Following the¬†September 11 attacks¬†in 2001,¬†Ryan Crocker, a senior State Department official in the United States, flew to Geneva to meet with Iranian diplomats who were under the direction of Soleimani with the purpose of collaborating to destroy the¬†Taliban, which had targeted¬†Shia¬†Afghanis.[25]¬†This collaboration was instrumental in defining the targets of bombing operations in Afghanistan and in capturing key¬†Al-Qaeda¬†operatives, but abruptly ended in January 2002, when President¬†George W. Bush¬†named Iran as part of the “Axis of evil” in his State of the Union address.[25]

In 2009, a leaked report stated that General Soleimani met¬†Christopher R. Hill¬†and General¬†Raymond T. Odierno¬†(America’s two most senior officials in Baghdad at the time) in the office of Iraq‚Äôs president,¬†Jalal Talabani¬†(who knew General Soleimani for decades). Hill and General Odierno denied the occurrence of the meeting.[33]

On 24 January 2011, Soleimani was promoted to Major General by Supreme Leader¬†Ali Khamenei.[28][34]¬†Khamenei was described as having a close relationship with him, calling Soleimani a “living martyr” and helping him financially.[25]

Soleimani was described as “the single most powerful operative in the Middle East today” and the principal military strategist and tactician in Iran’s effort to combat Western influence and promote the expansion of¬†Shiite¬†and Iranian influence throughout the Middle East.[25]¬†In¬†Iraq, as the commander of the Quds force, he was believed to have strongly influenced the organization of the Iraqi government, notably supporting the election of previous Iraqi Prime Minister¬†Nuri Al-Maliki.[25][35]¬†Soleimani has even been described as being “Iran‚Äôs very own¬†Erwin Rommel“.[36]

According to some sources, Soleimani was the principal leader and architect of the military wing of the Lebanese Shia party Hezbollah since his appointment as Quds commander in 1998.[25] In an interview aired in October 2019, he said he was in Lebanon during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war to oversee the conflict.[37]

Syrian Civil War

A map of Al-Qusayr and its environs. The Al-Qusayr offensive was allegedly masterminded by Soleimani[38]

According to several sources, including¬†Riad Hijab, a former Syrian premier who defected in August 2012, he was also one of the staunchest supporters of the Syrian government of¬†Bashar al-Assad¬†in the¬†Syrian Civil War.[25][35]¬†In the later half of 2012, Soleimani assumed personal control of the Iranian intervention in the Syrian Civil War, when Iranians became deeply concerned about the Assad government’s lack of ability to fight the opposition, and the fallout to the Islamic Republic if the Syrian government fell. He was reported to have coordinated the war from a base in¬†Damascus¬†at which a Lebanese Hezbollah commander and an Iraqi Shiite militia coordinator have been mobilized, in addition to Syrian and Iranian officers. Brigadier General¬†Hossein Hamadani, the¬†Basij‚Äôs former deputy commander, helped to run irregular militias that Soleimani hoped to continue the fight if Assad fell.[25]¬†Under Soleimani the command “coordinated attacks, trained militias, and set up an elaborate system to monitor rebel communications”. According to a Middle Eastern security official Dexter Filkins talked to, thousands of Quds Force and Iraqi Shiite militiamen in Syria were “spread out across the entire country.‚ÄĚ[25]¬†The¬†retaking of Qusayr¬†in May 2013 from rebel forces and¬†Al-Nusra Front[39]¬†was, according to John Maguire, a former¬†CIA¬†officer in Iraq, “orchestrated” by Soleimani.[25]

Soleimani was much credited in Syria for the strategy that assisted President Bashar al-Assad in finally repulsing rebel forces and recapture key cities and towns.[40] He was involved in the training of government-allied militias and the coordination of decisive military offensives.[25] The sighting of Iranian UAVs in Syria strongly suggested that his command, the Quds force, was involved in the civil war.[25] In a visit to the Lebanese capital Beirut on Thursday 29 January 2015, Soleimani laid wreaths at the graves of the slain Hezbollah members, including Jihad Mughniyah, the son of late Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyah which strengthens some possibilities about his role in Hezbollah military reaction on Israel.[41]

Soleimani helped form of the National Defence Forces (NDF) in Syria.[42]

In October 2015, it was reported that he had been instrumental in devising during his visit to Moscow in July 2015 the¬†Russian‚ÄďIranian‚ÄďSyrian offensive¬†in October 2015.[43]

War on ISIS in Iraq

The east of Saladin Governorate in Iraq, where Qasem Soleimani was involved in breaking the Siege of Amirli by ISIL[44]

Qasem Soleimani was in the Iraqi city of¬†Amirli, to work with the Iraqi forces to push back militants from ISIL.[45][46]¬†According to the¬†Los Angeles Times, which reported that Amerli was the first town to successfully withstand an ISIS invasion, it was secured thanks to “an unusual partnership of Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers, Iranian-backed Shiite militias and U.S. warplanes”. The US acted as a force multiplier for a number of Iranian-backed armed groups‚ÄĒat the same time that was present on the battlefield.[47][48]

Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani prays in the Syrian desert during a local pro-government offensive in 2017.

A senior Iraqi official told the BBC that when the city of Mosul fell, the rapid reaction of Iran, rather than American bombing, was what prevented a more widespread collapse.[10]¬†Qasem Soleimani also seems to have been instrumental in planning the operation to relieve¬†Amirli¬†in Saladin Governorate, where ISIL had laid siege to an important city.[44]¬†In fact the Quds force operatives under Soleimani’s command seem to have been deeply involved with not only the Iraqi army and Shi’ite militias but also the Kurdish in the¬†battle of Amirli,[49]¬†not only providing liaisons for intelligence sharing but also the supply of arms and munitions in addition to “providing expertise”.[50]

In the¬†operation to liberate Jurf Al Sakhar, he was reportedly “present on the battlefield”. Some Shia militia commanders described Soleimani as “fearless”‚ÄĒone pointing out that the Iranian general never wears a¬†flak jacket, even on the front lines.[51]

Soleimani was also intimately involved in the planning and execution of the operation to liberate Tikrit[52][53]

Hadi al-Amiri, the former Iraqi minister of transportation and the head of the Badr Organization [an official Iraqi political party whose military wing is one of the largest armed forces in the country] highlighted the pivotal role of General Qasem Soleimani in defending Iraq’s Kurdistan Region against the ISIL terrorist group, maintaining that if it were not for Iran, Heidar al-Ebadi’s government would have been a government-in-exile right now[54]¬†and he added there would be no Iraq if Gen. Soleimani hadn’t helped us.[55]

There were reports by some Western sources that Soleimani was seriously wounded in action against ISIL in Samarra. The claim was rejected by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.[56]

Soleimani played an integral role in the organisation and planning of the crucial operation to¬†retake the city of Tikrit¬†in Iraq from ISIS. The city of Tikrit rests on the left bank of the Tigris river and is the largest and most important city between Baghdad and Mosul, gifting it a high strategic value. The city fell to ISIS during 2014 when ISIS made immense gains in northern and central Iraq. After its capture, ISIL’s¬†massacre at Camp Speicher¬†led to 1,600 to 1,700 deaths of Iraqi Army cadets and soldiers. After months of careful preparation and intelligence gathering an offensive to encircle and capture Tikrit was launched in early March 2015.[53]¬†Soleimani was directing the operations on the eastern flank from a village about 35 miles from Tikrit called Albu Rayash, captured over the weekend.[citation needed]¬†The offensive was the biggest military operation in the Salahuddin region since the previous summer, when ISIS fighters killed hundreds of Iraq army soldiers who had abandoned their military base at Camp Speicher outside Tikrit.[citation needed]

Orchestration of military escalation in 2015

In 2015 Soleimani started to gather support from various sources in order to combat the newly resurgent ISIL and rebel groups which were both successful in taking large swathes of territory away from Assad’s forces. He was reportedly the main architect of the joint intervention involving Russia as a new partner with Assad and Hezbollah.[57][58][59]

According to Reuters, at a meeting in Moscow in July, Soleimani unfurled a map of Syria to explain to his Russian hosts how a series of defeats for President Bashar al-Assad could be turned into victory‚ÄĒwith Russia’s help. Qasem Soleimani’s visit to Moscow was the first step in planning for a Russian military intervention that has reshaped the Syrian war and forged a new¬†Iranian‚ÄďRussian alliance¬†in support of the Syrian (and Iraqi) governments. Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei also sent a senior envoy to Moscow to meet President Vladimir Putin. “Putin reportedly told the envoy ‘Okay we will intervene. Send Qassem Soleimani’. General Soleimani went to explain the map of the theatre and coordinate the strategic escalation of military forces in Syria.[58]

Operations in Aleppo

Map of the offensive.[60][61][62][63][64][65]

Soleimani had a decisive impact on the theatre of operations and led to a strong advance in southern Aleppo with the government and allied forces re-capturing two military bases and dozens of towns and villages in a matter of weeks. There was also a series of major¬†advances towards Kuweiris air-base¬†to the north-east.[66]¬†By mid-November, the Syrian army and its allies had gained ground in southern areas of Aleppo Governorate, capturing numerous rebel strongholds. Soleimani was reported to have personally led the drive deep into the southern Aleppo countryside where many towns and villages fell into government hands. He reportedly commanded the Syrian Arab Army‚Äôs 4th Mechanized Division, Hezbollah, Harakat Al-Nujaba (Iraqi), Kata’ib Hezbollah (Iraqi), Liwaa Abu Fadl Al-Abbas (Iraqi), and Firqa Fatayyemoun (Afghan/Iranian volunteers).[67]

Soleimani was lightly wounded while fighting in Syria, outside of Al-Eis. Reports initially speculated that he was seriously or gravely injured.[68]¬†He was quoted as saying, “Martyrdom is what I seek in mountains and valleys, but it isn’t granted yet”.[69]

In early February 2016, backed by Russian and Syrian air force airstrikes, the 4th Mechanized Division ‚Äď in close coordination with Hezbollah, the National Defense Forces (NDF), Kata’eb Hezbollah, and Harakat Al-Nujaba ‚Äď launched¬†an offensive¬†in Aleppo Governorate’s northern countryside,[70]¬†which eventually broke the three-year¬†siege of Nubl and Al-Zahraa¬†and cut off rebel’s main supply route from Turkey. According to a senior, non-Syrian security source close to Damascus, Iranian fighters played a crucial role in the conflict. “Qassem Soleimani is there in the same area”, he said.[71]¬†In December 2016, new photos emerged of Soleimani at the¬†Citadel of Aleppo, though the exact date of the photos is unknown.[72][73]

Operations in 2016 and 2017

In 2016, photos published by a Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) source showed Iran’s Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani and other PMF commanders discussing the¬†Battle of Fallujah.[74]

In late March 2017, Soleimani was seen in the northern Hama Governorate countryside, reportedly aiding Maj. Gen. Suheil al-Hassan in repelling a major rebel offensive.[16]

CIA chief¬†Mike Pompeo¬†said that he sent Soleimani and other Iranian leaders a letter holding them responsible for any attacks on US interests by forces under their control. According to Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani, a senior aide for Iran’s supreme leader, Soleimani ignored the letter when it was handed over to him during the¬†Abu Kamal offensive¬†against ISIL, saying “I will not take your letter nor read it and I have nothing to say to these people.”[75][76]

In politics

General Soleimani in civilian attire during a public ceremony in 2015

In 1999, Soleimani, along with other senior IRGC commanders, signed a letter to then-President¬†Mohammad Khatami¬†regarding the¬†student protests in July. They wrote “Dear Mr. Khatami, how long do we have to shed tears, sorrow over the events, practice democracy by chaos and insults, and have revolutionary patience at the expense of sabotaging the system? Dear president, if you don’t make a revolutionary decision and act according to your Islamic and national missions, tomorrow will be so late and irrecoverable that cannot be even imagined.”[77]

Iranian media reported in 2012 that he might be replaced as the commander of Quds Force in order to allow him to run in the¬†2013 presidential election.[78]¬†He reportedly refused to be nominated for the election.[77]¬†According to¬†BBC News, in 2015 a campaign started among¬†conservative¬†bloggers for Soleimani to stand for¬†2017 presidential election.[79]¬†In 2016, he was speculated as a possible candidate,[77][80]¬†however in a statement published on 15 September 2016, he called speculations about his candidacy as “divisive reports by the enemies” and said he will “always remain a simple soldier serving Iran and the Islamic Revolution”.[81]

In the summer of 2018, Soleimani and Tehran exchanged public remarks related to Red Sea shipping with American President Donald Trump which heightened tensions between the two countries and their allies in the region.[82]

Personal life

Qasem Soleimani while Praying

Soleimani was a¬†Persian¬†from¬†Kerman. His father was a farmer who died in 2017. His mother, Fatemeh, died in 2013.[83]¬†He came from a family of nine and had five sisters and one brother, Sohrab, who lived and worked with Soleimani in his youth.[84]¬†Sohrab Soleimani is a warden and former director general of the Tehran Prisons Organization. The United States imposed sanctions on Sohrab Soleimani in April 2017 “for his role in abuses in Iranian prisons”.[85]

Soleimani had Dan in karate and was a fitness trainer in his youth. He had four children: two sons and two daughters.[86]

Sanctions

In March 2007, Soleimani was included on a list of Iranian individuals targeted with sanctions in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1747.[87] On 18 May 2011, he was sanctioned again by the United States along with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and other senior Syrian officials due to his alleged involvement in providing material support to the Syrian government.[88]

On 24 June 2011, the¬†Official Journal of the European Union¬†said the three Iranian Revolutionary Guard members now subject to sanctions had been “providing equipment and support to help the Syrian government suppress protests in Syria”.[89]¬†The Iranians added to the EU sanctions list were two Revolutionary Guard commanders, Soleimani, Mohammad Ali Jafari, and the Guard’s deputy commander for intelligence, Hossein Taeb.[90]¬†Soleimani was also sanctioned by¬†the Swiss government¬†in September 2011 due to the same grounds cited by¬†the European Union.[91]

He was listed by the¬†United States¬†as a known terrorist, which forbade U.S. citizens from doing business with him.[32][92]¬†The list, published in the EU’s Official Journal on 24 June 2011, also included a Syrian property firm, an investment fund and two other enterprises accused of funding the Syrian government. The list also included¬†Mohammad Ali Jafari¬†and¬†Hossein Taeb.[93]

On 13 November 2018, the United States sanctioned an Iraqi military leader named Shibl Muhsin ‚ÄėUbayd Al-Zaydi and others who allegedly were acting on Qasem Soleimani’s behalf in financing military actions in Syria or otherwise providing support for terrorism in the region.[94]

Death

Qasem Soleimani (left) with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (right) at a 2017 ceremony commemorating the father of Soleimani, in Mosalla, Tehran.

Soleimani was killed on 3 January 2020 around 1 am local time (22:00 UTC on 2 January)[95], after missiles shot from American drones targeted his convoy near Baghdad International Airport.[96] He had just left his plane, which arrived in Iraq from Lebanon or Syria.[97] His body was identified using a ring he wore on his finger, with DNA confirmation still pending.[98] Also killed were four members of the Popular Mobilization Forces, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the Iraqi-Iranian military commander who headed the PMF.[99]

The airstrike followed attacks on the American embassy in Baghdad by supporters of an Iran-backed Iraqi Shia militia and the 2019 K-1 Air Base attack.[100]

The¬†United States Department of Defense¬†issued a statement that said the U.S. strike was carried out “at the direction of the¬†President” and asserted that Soleimani had been planning further attacks on American diplomats and military personnel and had approved the attacks on the American embassy in Baghdad in response to¬†U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on 29 December 2019¬†and was meant to deter future attacks.[101][102]

Soleimani was posthumously promoted to lieutenant general.[103][20] He was suceeded by Esmail Ghaani as commander of the Quds Force.[21]

Cultural depictions

He was described as having “a calm presence”,[104]¬†and as carrying himself “inconspicuously and rarely rais[ing] his voice”, exhibiting “understated¬†charisma“.[27]¬†In Western sources, Suleimani’s personality was compared to the fictional characters¬†Karla,¬†Keyser S√∂ze,[27]¬†and¬†The Scarlet Pimpernel.[105]

Unlike other IRGC commanders, he usually did not appear in his official military clothing, even in the battlefield.[106][107]

In January 2015, Hadi Al-Ameri the head of the Badr Organization in Iraq said of him: “If Qasem Soleimani were not present in Iraq,¬†Haider al-Abadi¬†would not be able to form his cabinet within Iraq”.[108]

The British magazine The Week featured Soleimani in bed with Uncle Sam in 2015, which indicated to both sides fighting ISIS, although Soleimani was leading militant groups that killed hundreds of Americans during the Iraq War.[109]

The 2016 movie¬†Bodyguard, directed by¬†Ebrahim Hatamikia, was inspired by Soleimani’s activities.[110]

The 2016 Persian book Noble Comrades 17: Hajj Qassem, written by Ali Akbari Mozdabadi, contains memoirs of Qassem Soleimani.[111]

See also

References …

External links

How Trump decided to kill Iran’s Soleimani

The U.S. strike against Tehran’s feared paramilitary commander followed months of Iranian attacks.

Qassem Soleimani

Hours before the U.S. military sent a Reaper drone to kill one of the most wanted men on the planet, President Donald Trump was relaxing at his palatial Florida properties. In the morning, he played 18 holes at Trump International, his West Palm Beach golf club.

At around 3 p.m., he returned to Mar-a-Lago, the historic oceanfront estate he‚Äôs branded ‚Äúthe Winter White House,‚ÄĚ and waited, donning a navy blue suit with a powder-blue tie and an American flag pinned to his lapel.

He‚Äôd already made a risky‚ÄĒand potentially world-altering‚ÄĒdecision to allow the U.S. military to kill Qassem Soleimani, the leader of Iran‚Äôs elite paramilitary forces. Earlier this week, he‚Äôd been surrounded at Mar-a-Lago by top officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, national security adviser Robert O‚ÄôBrien and Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland. Throughout the entire week, Trump sought input from other advisers by phone.

‚ÄúHe was calm, cool and collected,‚ÄĚ said conservative radio host Howie Carr, who spoke with Trump on Thursday at Mar-a-Lago soon after the news first broke, as the president dined with GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy. ‚ÄúI had no idea there was anything out of the ordinary going on until I got home.‚ÄĚ

As rocket attacks against U.S. bases in Iraq intensified over the last two months, the president had granted the Pentagon extraordinary latitude: The U.S. military had his permission to kill Soleimani the next time it had an opportunity to do so, according to a senior defense official who was not authorized to speak on the record.

‚ÄúWe had authority before the strike to take that action,‚ÄĚ said the official, who wouldn‚Äôt say how recently Trump gave the Pentagon that authorization‚ÄĒwhether it was hours, weeks or even months earlier. As recently as New Year‚Äôs Eve, the president was telling reporters that he didn‚Äôt want war with Iran.

For a man U.S. officials have portrayed as a terrorist mastermind, an evil genius responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, Soleimani often flaunted his influence as he jetted between Tehran, Baghdad and Beirut for meetings with local potentates.

‚ÄúI don‚Äôt think it was so hard [to find him] because he was not below the radar in the last two or three years,‚ÄĚ said a former senior Israeli government official, who noted that Soleimani had previously moved around under strict operational secrecy. ‚ÄúBut the last two or three years, he worked in the open.‚ÄĚ

Former national security adviser John Bolton, a vocal advocate of regime change in Iran, described the killing of Soleimani as ‚Äúlong in the making.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúWe‚Äôve known every minute of every day where Soleimani is for years‚ÄĒthere‚Äôs no moment of any given day where five or six intelligence agencies can‚Äôt tell you where he is,‚ÄĚ a Republican foreign policy hand said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs been one of his talking points: The Americans can find me any time, they just don‚Äôt dare hit me.‚ÄĚ

That calculation proved misguided in the wee hours of January 3 in Iraq, where Soleimani landed amid spiraling tensions between U.S.- and Iranian-allied factions. ‚ÄúHe arrived at the airport and we had a target of opportunity, and based on the president‚Äôs direction, we took it,‚ÄĚ the senior defense official said.

U.S. officials had received ‚Äúan intelligence-based assessment that drove our decision-making process,‚ÄĚ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday, describing how the recent killing of an American contractor had changed the Trump team‚Äôs calculations about the ‚Äúintelligence flow‚ÄĚ they were receiving about Soleimani‚Äôs activities in Iraq.

U.S. officials, briefing conservative think-tank experts on Friday, said the U.S. had “exquisite intelligence” on a plot to strike Americans in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, according to someone familiar with the call. By killing Soleimani, the officials said, they disrupted such plans.

A night of confusion and rumors

The first dispatches from Baghdad on Thursday evening were cryptic. ‚ÄúSeveral Katyusha rockets have been fired at Baghdad airport, causing multiple casualties amid tensions with US,‚ÄĚ the AP alert read.

Then, suggestions that something major had just gone down began trickling in. Word that someone‚ÄĒpresumably the United States‚ÄĒhad just killed Iran‚Äôs pre-eminent strategist first posted online shortly before 7 p.m. in Washington.

As journalists scrambled to confirm and make sense of the rumors flying around, Iraqi state television announced that Soleimani, along with several of Iran’s top Iraqi allies, had been killed. A BBC reporter shared a grisly image purporting to show Soleimani’s mangled hand, complete with his signature ruby ring; other photographs claiming to be of the remains of the convoy he was traveling in circulated online.

Photographs taken around this time showed President Trump huddling with McCarthy and White House aides Jared Kushner, Hogan Gidley and Dan Scavino at Mar-a-Lago.

‚ÄúA memorable and historic evening at The Winter White House. Proud of our President!‚ÄĚ McCarthy¬†posted¬†later on his Instagram feed.

It wasn’t until 9:46 p.m. on Thursday that the U.S. government officially confirmed Soleimani’s death, in the form of a terse, 163-word Pentagon press release emailed to reporters.

‚ÄúAt the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization,‚ÄĚ the statement read.

But his television surrogates were quick to supply their inside accounts.

Dialing into Fox News from his vacation, conservative commentator Sean Hannity‚ÄĒa close Trump confidant‚ÄĒshared what he‚Äôd heard from ‚Äúone person familiar that was in the room.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúThe president said, ‚ÄėOur people will be protected. This will not be Benghazi,‚Äô‚ÄĚ Hannity relayed.

‚ÄúAt one point,‚ÄĚ the Fox host continued, ‚Äúthe president asked the question among some of his military and Cabinet and intelligence and State Department people, ‚ÄėWell, how long is it going to take to mobilize?‚Äô And the words [came back from the president], ‚ÄėThat‚Äôs not fast enough,‚Äô and everybody said, ‚ÄėYes, sir.‚Äô And they got it done in really record time.‚ÄĚ

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, another of the president‚Äôs close allies on Capitol Hill who was with him at Mar-a-Lago, described the president‚Äôs mood on Thursday evening as ‚Äúvery focused.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúI think he was really dialed into the ways in which Soleimani was planning to kill Americans, to harm our diplomats and to throw the entire region into civil war,‚ÄĚ Gaetz said on Fox News. ‚ÄúI think we understand that this is a big moment in time. He appreciates the gravity of that.‚ÄĚ

The White House seems to have informed only its closest congressional allies ahead of the move, with top Hill Democrats complaining that they hadn’t been informed in advance.

‚ÄúI was briefed about the potential operation when I was down in Florida,‚ÄĚ Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who was with the president at Mar-a-Lago earlier this week, told Fox News on Friday morning. ‚ÄúI appreciate being brought into the orbit.‚ÄĚ

Defense Secretary Mark Esper appeared to warn Iran of the coming strikes hours beforehand on Thursday, amid a discussion of the recent attacks on U.S. bases by Iraqi militias tied to Iran.

In what might have been a sign of preparation for the strike, Pompeo cancelled a trip to Ukraine and several other countries this week to monitor the tensions in Iraq.

State Department officials summoned the Iraqi ambassador to the U.S. for a meeting Thursday afternoon, according to a person familiar with the situation. It was not clear what exactly was discussed.

‚ÄúI think it‚Äôs been in the works for a while because I don‚Äôt think it was a last-minute thing,‚ÄĚ a Middle Eastern official said. ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt think they were like, ‚ÄėOh we just found him, let‚Äôs take him out.’ I think it was to mitigate an action that was actually in the works.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúTracking Solemani was likely something that was being done from at least May, when the major stream of threats emerged,‚ÄĚ a former defense official said.

Actually targeting Soleimani posed a more formidable challenge, though, according to retired Lt. Gen. Michael Nagata, a former senior special operations commander in the Middle East who retired as strategy head at the National Counterterrorism Center last summer. ‚ÄúThat depends on being able to know not only where he is, but where he‚Äôs going to be at a specific time in the future,‚ÄĚ Nagata said.

That, in part, was why ‚Äúwe never decided to go after him personally‚ÄĚ before, Nagata said ‚Äď especially in earlier years when Soleimani maintained a lower profile and traveled less often, the military was reluctant to devote surveillance assets to a target few believed any president would ever allow to be struck.

‚ÄúSoleimani was the spider at the center of the web, so there were recurring conversations over the years about what it would take to do something about him,‚ÄĚ Nagata explained. ‚ÄúBut what you had to grapple with was, ‚ÄėThis is going to divert time, energy and resources from other tasks, and for a mission that I have no confidence we‚Äôre going to go through with.‚Äô‚ÄĚ

Consultation with Israel

Pompeo held several phone calls with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recent weeks, suggesting that Israel was not surprised by the strike against Soleimani.

Before departing on Thursday morning for Greece, Netanyahu told reporters in Israel, ‚ÄúWe are in continuous contact with our great friend the U.S., including my conversation yesterday afternoon. I want to make one thing clear: We fully support all of the steps that the U.S. has taken as well as its full right to defend itself and its citizens.‚ÄĚ

By Friday morning, Pompeo was dialing up his counterparts in foreign capitals, including Moscow and Beijing, to stress that the strike was a ‚Äúdefensive action‚ÄĚ and that the U.S. hopes for a de-escalation in the crisis.

Iranian officials were warning of a severe reaction, and the Parliament in Baghdad was voting to bar U.S. troops from Iraq even as U.S. officials were planning to send more forces to the region. European diplomats traded anxious phone calls, warning about the potential for further regional chaos.

And Trump himself was finally weighing in, explaining and justifying the decision with a barrage of tweets and retweets. ‚ÄúHe should have been taken out many years ago!‚ÄĚ the president wrote.

Asked about the U.S. plan for managing the potential blowback from Iran, a U.S. defense official said, ‚ÄúYour guess is as good as mine. The ball‚Äôs in Iran‚Äôs court at this time. We‚Äôre waiting to see what their response is.‚ÄĚ

Nancy Cook, Quint Forgey and Caitlin Oprysko contributed reporting.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/03/donald-trump-iran-soleimani-093371

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Impeachment Insanity Insults Independents Integrity — Videos

Posted on December 20, 2019. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Congress, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Culture, Education, Elections, Employment, Entertainment, Faith, Foreign Policy, Fraud, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Radio, Speech, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , |

Impeachment Insanity Insults Independents Integrity — Videos

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Trump impeached: The votes, the reaction and what’s next

Trump reacts to impeachment vote at Michigan rally

Trump impeachment: Mitch McConnell speaks on the Senate floor | FULL

Pelosi wants the Senate to clean up the House’s work: Grassley

Robert Ray: Pelosi doesn’t have power to dictate what the Senate will do

Jordan and Biggs on Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to submit articles of impeachment to the Senate

President Trump: “Democrats … are declaring their deep

hatred and disdain for the American voter.”

Ratcliffe: Trump didn’t get caught, Schiff got caught with the whistleblower

Michigan Trump supporters voice their opinions on impeachment efforts

Why Trump supporters say they’re sticking by their president

Schiff met with boos, angry constituents at town hall

Mitch McConnell threatens to CANCEL Donald Trump’s Senate trial if ‘scared’ Nancy Pelosi does not hand over ‘slapdash’ articles of impeachment – as Speaker slams him as a ‘ROGUE leader’ and president gloats he will be cleared by ‘default’

  • Nancy Pelosi forced the Trump impeachment across the finish line Wednesday
  • Now the process moves to a U.S. Senate trial but Pelosi said she’s in no hurry
  • She blasted Senate leader Mitch McConnell for saying he’s not an ‘impartial’ juror, and declared she won’t hand him the baton without a pledge of ‘fairness’
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is pushing for witness subpoenas that Republicans don’t want to agree to
  • Impeachment trial can’t start until Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy choose ‘managers’ to carry the House’s case to the Senate¬†
  • McConnell slammed Pelosi in a floor speech and warned the Senate’s more patient pace will have a ‘calming’ influence after ‘slapdash’ impeachment
  • President Donald Trump warned that¬†‘[t]he Do Nothing Party want to Do Nothing with the Articles & not deliver them to the Senate, but it’s Senate’s call!’

Mitch McConnell threatened on Thursday to cancel Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate if ‘scared’ Nancy Pelosi refuses to send him the formal articles of impeachment that Democrats passed Wednesday night.

The Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority leader went to war over next steps in the impeachment process, with Pelosi¬†slamming McConnell as a ‘rogue leader’‚Ā†‚ÄĒand he blasted her indictment of the president as ‘slapdash’ and ‘unfair.’

The dispute exploded into the open the morning after Democrats voted to impeach Trump, with the president bragging he could prevaIl by ‘default.’

‘If the Do Nothing Democrats decide, in their great wisdom, not to show up, they would lose by Default!,’ Trump argued on Twitter of his upcoming Senate trial, which is now in doubt.

Pelosi has to transmit the articles of impeachment and appoint ‘managers’ to prosecute the president. She¬†offered no timeline, saying she wanted to see the Senate’s plan for a ‘fair trial,’ effectively holding the articles over McConnell’s and Trump’s heads.

McConnell, who previously said he wanted to hold a trial in January, responded: ‘It’s beyond me how the Speaker and Democratic Leader in the Senate think withholding the articles of impeachment and not sending them over gives them leverage.’

‘Frankly, I’m not anxious to have the trial. If she thinks her case is so weak she doesn’t want to send it over, throw me into that briar patch.’

Meanwhile, Trump’s lawyers are exploring the legal question of whether or not Trump has even been impeached since Pelosi hasn’t sent over the articles,¬†Bloomberg News¬†reported.

They argue, based on how the impeachment process is laid out in the Constitution, an impeachment isn’t formalized until the House reports the charges to the Senate.

Open warfare: Nancy Pelosi slammed Mitch McConnell as a 'rogue leader' and he called her articles of impeachment 'slapdash' and 'unfair' as the two clashed over the Senate trial of Donald Trump

Open warfare: Nancy Pelosi slammed Mitch McConnell as a ‘rogue leader’ and he called her articles of impeachment ‘slapdash’ and ‘unfair’ as the two clashed over the Senate trial of Donald Trump

‘Lawyers close to Trump are exploring whether Pelosi‚Äôs decision to temporarily withhold articles of impeachment from the Senate could mean that the president hasn‚Äôt actually been impeached. The case is largely rhetorical, but could provide WH and Senate Republicans leverage,’ Bloomberg reported.

Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson are both labeled as ‘impeached’ even though neither president was convicted in their respective Senate trials.

The legal and historic argument was a president is impeached when the House approves articles of impeachment. But the additional element of the transfer of the articles to the Senate adds a legal question that could require a court answer if the articles aren’t transmitted soon.

Meanwhile, McConnell and the president both blasted Pelosi for refusing to move to the next step, with Trump unleashing a storm of tweets and retweets and venting: ‘PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT.’

The president also charged Democrats with being ‘ashamed’ of the impeachment articles.

‘They don’t want to put them in because they’re ashamed of them,’ he said Thursday in the Oval Office.

McConnell also criticized Democrats on the Senate floor, accusing them of creating what he called an ‘unfair, unfinished product’‚ÄĒ charges that stemmed from ‘partisan rage.’

Calling Pelosi’s work ‘constitutionally incoherent,’ he said impeaching a president on the basis of political disagreements would ‘invite an endless parade of impeachable trials’ in the future, making House leaders ‘free to toss up a jump-ball every time they feel angry.’

‘She’s failed the country,’ McConnell said.

‘It was like the speaker called up Chairman [Jerrold] Nadler and ordered up “One impeachment, rushed delivery, please”.’

Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate minority leader accused McConnell of offering no defense of Trump's actions

President Donald Trump held a rally as House Democrats were passing the arrticles, sticking to his guns and mocking the

Pelosi herself held a press conference after McConnell spoke and offered no hint on when she would move.

‘Just to get this off the table right away, we impeached the president immediately and everybody was on to the next thing,’ she said.

‘The next thing will be when we see the process that is set forth in the Senate. Then we’ll know the number of managers that we may have to go forward and who we would choose.’

And she grew testy as reporters pressed her for more details on when the two articles of impeachment will end up on McConnell’s desk.

‘I’m not going to answer anymore questions on this. Clearly you understand when we see what their process is we will know who and how many we want to send over, not until then. I’m not going to go there anymore,’ Pelosi said.

¬†Our founders, when they wrote the constitution, they suspected that there could be a rogue president. I don’t think they suspected that we could have a rogue president and a rogue leader in the Senate at the same time.
 Nancy Pelosi

But she did react angrily to McConnell’s speech, saying: ‘I saw some – I didn’t see it – but heard some of what Mitch McMconnell said today and it reminded me that our founders, when they wrote the constitution, they suspected that there could be a rogue president.

‘ I don’t think they suspected that we could have a rogue president and a rogue leader in the Senate at the same time.’

In the Senate,¬†McConnell declared that ‘their slapdash process has concluded in the first purely partisan presidential impeachment since the wake of the Civil War.’

Citing previous House votes that fell short of authorizing impeachment inquiries, he said Democrats had ‘tried to impeach President Trump for being impolite to the press, for being mean to professional athletes, for changing President Obama’s policy on transgender people in the military.’

‘All of these things were high crimes and misdemeanors according to the Democrats,’ he said.

McConnell cited Democrats’ earlier pledges to impeach Trump as proof that Wednesday’s vote ‘was not some neutral judgment that Democrats came to with great reluctance. It was the predetermined end of a partisan crusade that began before President Trump was even nominated, let alone sworn in.’

House Democrats have begun pressing Pelosi to force the Senate to tailor the upcoming constitutional trial to their wishes‚ÄĒby refusing to send the articles of impeachment to McConnell until he agrees to their terms.

¬†Frankly, I’m not anxious to have the trial. If she thinks her case is so weak she doesn’t want to send it over, throw me into that briar patch
Mitch McConnell

McConnell called her bluff, saying she’s afraid to hand him the baton because she knows the articles are weak.

‘Pelosi suggested that House Democrats may be too afraid to even transmit their shoddy work product to the Senate,’ he will say, mocking her suggestion in a post-vote press conference that she’ll hold the two articles over his head until he agrees to a ‘fair’ trial.

In response Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate minority leader accused McConnell of offering no defense of Trump’s actions.

He renewed his call for witnesses at the trial saying: ‘Is the president’s case so weak that none of the President’s men can defend him under oath?’

And echoing McConnell’s criticism of ‘the most rushed, least thorough, and most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history,’ Schumer said the Republicans were ‘plotting the most rushed, least thorough, and most unfair impeachment trial.

A defiant Trump partially quoted the Senate’s rules for impeaching President Andrew Johnson in 1868, saying in a tweet that ‘[t]he Senate shall set the time and place of the trial.’

‘The Do Nothing Party want to Do Nothing with the Articles & not deliver them to the Senate, but it’s Senate’s call!’ he warned, saying they would ‘lose by default’ if they decided to ignore whatever schedule McConnell sets.

‘PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!’ Trump tweeted in a standalone message.

 

Schumer this week demanded McConnell agree to swear in a list of trial witnesses that include senior Trump administration officials and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, people who House Democrats decided not to subpoena during their impeachment inquiry.

McConnell said Schumer has been ‘searching for ways the Senate could step out of our proper role and try to fix House Democrats’ failures for them.’

George Washington is said to have told Thomas Jefferson that the U.S. Senate was designed to be a calming counterpoint to the more raucous House of Representatives, in the way a teacup’s saucer ‘cools’ a hot beverage.

McConnell, famous for embracing a plodding style when key legislation is on his desk, leaned on the oft-quoted ‘cooling saucer of democracy’‚ÄĒsaying that the U.S. Constitution’s framers ‘built the Senate to provide stability’ and ‘[t]o keep partisan passions from boiling over. Moments like this are why the United States Senate exists.’

Pelosi told reporters after adjourning the House of Representatives on Wednesday night that she’s in no hurry to send the two articles of impeachment to McConnell for a trial. Her caucus passed them without any Republican votes, accusing Trump of abusing his power and showing open contempt for Democrats’ investigation by blocking witnesses and document demands.

The Articles of Impeachment were approved Wednesday night with no Republican votes; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted 'present' instead of 'yes,' and two other Democrats bucked Pelosi to openly side with the GOP

The Republican-led Senate owns the next chapter of the saga, a trial where Chief Justice John Roberts will preside. An unlikely two-thirds supermajority is required to convict the president and remove him from office.

McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, expects his Republican majority to exonerate Trump. But that can’t happen until impeachment ‘managers,’ duos chosen by both parties, present the Senate with the twin impeachment articles.

Pelosi said Wednesday night that she won’t be ready to let go of the process until McConnell demonstrates the trial will be ‘fair’‚ÄĒand she’s nowhere near convinced yet.

The Washington Post¬†quoted Oregon Democratic Rep.¬†Earl Blumenauer overnight saying he has talked to three dozen Democratic lawmakers who favor ’rounding out the record and spending the time to do this right.’

‘At a minimum, there ought to be an agreement about access to witnesses, rules of the game, timing,’ Blumenauer said of the upcoming Senate trial.

And an unnamed Democrat told the newspaper that Democrats are discussing ‘serious concern about whether there will be a fair trial on the Senate side.’

Impeachment managers are appointed via House resolutions; Thursday is the last day the House will be in session until January 7.

Trump vented about his political plight at a political rally in Michigan while House Democrats were voting to impeach him in Washington

‘So far we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us,’ she warned. ‘So hopefully it will be fairer. And when see what that is, we’ll send our managers.’

‘Let me tell you what I don’t consider a fair trial,’ Pelosi said as she read from a piece of paper an aide handed her.

‘This is what I don’t consider a fair trial, that Leader McConnell has stated that he’s not an impartial juror, that he’s going to take his ‘cues’ from the White House, and he is working in total coordination with the White House counsel’s office.’

Article I: Abuse of Power

Using the powers of his high office, President Trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States Presidential election.

Accused: Donald Trump has two articles of impeachment against him
Accused: Donald Trump has two articles of impeachment against him

He did so through a scheme or course of conduct that included soliciting the Government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations that would benefit his reelection, harm the election prospects of a political opponent, and influence the 2020 United States Presidential election to his advantage.

President Trump also sought to pressure the Government of Ukraine to take these steps by conditioning official United States Government acts of significant value to Ukraine on its public announcement of the investigations.

President Trump engaged in this scheme or course of conduct for corrupt purposes in pursuit of personal political benefit. In so doing, President Trump used the powers of the Presidency in a manner that compromised the national security of the United States and undermined the integrity of the United States democratic process.’

Article II: Obstruction of Congress

As part of this impeachment inquiry, the Committees undertaking the investigation served subpoenas seeking documents and testimony deemed vital to the inquiry from various Executive Branch agencies and offices, and current and former officials.

In response, without lawful cause or excuse, President Trump directed Executive Branch agencies, offices, and officials not to comply with those subpoenas. President Trump thus interposed the powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, and assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the ‘sole Power of Impeachment’ vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives.

In the history of the Republic, no President has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively the ability of the House of Representatives to investigate ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

This abuse of office served to cover up the President’s own repeated misconduct and to seize and control the power of impeachment — and thus to nullify a vital constitutional safeguard vested solely in the House of Representatives.

In Michigan, a sweat-glowing Trump said during a raucous campaign rally that he expects no drama.

‘The Republican Party has never been so affronted, but they’ve never been so united as they are right now, ever. Never,’ the president said.

‘And I know the senators and they’re great guys. And women too. We have some great women, we have great guys, they’re great people. They love this counry. They’re going to do the right thing.’

‘Americans will show up by the tens of millions next year to vote Pelosi the hell out of office,’ Trump boasted, calling for the restoration of a Republican House majority.

On the eve of the House impeachment vote, a few thousand protestors carried signs and marched from Times Square to Union Square in New York City
In theory Pelosi could sit on the paperwork indefinitely, leaving Trump in constitutional purgatory while blaming Senate Republicans for dooming the process with partisanship.

In the meantime, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is pressing McConnell for permission to call a list of witnesses who Democrats want to hear from.

House Democrats denied Republicans the ability to call witnesses of their choice in Intelligence and Judiciary Committee hearings during the impeachment process.

Pelosi’s gambit could be resolved once Schumer has exhausted his leverage.

‘We have done what we set out to do,’ she said, adding that ‘right now, the president is impeached.’

‘We’ll see what happens over there.’

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Steven Pinker – Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress — The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined — The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature — Videos

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Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress featuring Steven Pinker

STEVEN PINKER: ENLIGHTENMENT NOW

Stephen Fry & Steven Pinker on the Enlightenment Today

Enlightenment Now | Steven Pinker | RSA Replay

Dr. Steven Pinker, Harvard University – Collective Impact

The Personal Philosophy of Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker & Charlie Rose – “The Better Angels of Our Nature”

Prof. Steven Pinker – The Better Angels of Our Nature: A History of Violence and Humanity

A History of Violence: Steven Pinker at TEDxNewEngland

The Great Debate: ORIGINS OF VIOLENCE (OFFICIAL) – (Part 1/2)

The Great Debate: ORIGINS OF VIOLENCE (OFFICIAL) – (Part 2/2)

Steven Pinker on Human Nature

Understanding Human Nature with Steven Pinker – Conversations with History

Steven Pinker – The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

Steven Pinker – The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

Steven Pinker: Human nature and the blank slate

Steven Pinker – The Genius of Charles Darwin: The Uncut Interviews

Steven Pinker — On psychology and human nature

 

Steven Pinker Books

https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=steve+pinker+books&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=194752538360&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=18360483831547681179&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9060114&hvtargid=kwd-313239828936&ref=pd_sl_oakl91e0m_b

 

My new favorite book of all time

For years, I’ve been saying Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature was the best book I’d read in a decade. If I could recommend just one book for anyone to pick up, that was it. Pinker uses meticulous research to argue that we are living in the most peaceful time in human history. I’d never seen such a clear explanation of progress.

I’m going to stop talking up Better Angels so much, because Pinker has managed to top himself. His new book, Enlightenment Now, is even better.

Enlightenment Now takes the approach he uses in Better Angels to track violence throughout history and applies it to 15 different measures of progress (like quality of life, knowledge, and safety). The result is a holistic picture of how and why the world is getting better. It’s like Better Angels on steroids.

Pinker was generous enough to send me an early copy, even though Enlightenment Now won’t be released until the end of February. I read the book slowly since I loved it so much, but I think most people will find it a quick and accessible read. He manages to share a ton of information in a way that’s compelling, memorable, and easy to digest.

It opens with an argument in favor of returning to the ideals of the Enlightenment‚ÄĒan era when reason, science, and humanism were touted as the highest virtues. (Gates Notes Insiders can get a preview of this section of the book.)

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I‚Äôm all for more reason, science, and humanism, but what I found most interesting were the 15 chapters exploring each measure of progress. Pinker is at his best when he analyzes historic trends and uses data to put the past into context. I was already familiar with a lot of the information he shares‚ÄĒespecially about health and energy‚ÄĒbut he understands each subject so deeply that he‚Äôs able to articulate his case in a way that feels fresh and new.

I love how he’s willing to dive deep into primary data sources and pull out unexpected signs of progress. I tend to point to things like dramatic reductions in poverty and childhood deaths, because I think they’re such a good measure of how we’re doing as a society. Pinker covers those areas, but he also looks at more obscure topics.

Here are five of my favorite facts from the book that show how the world is improving:

  1. You‚Äôre 37 times less likely to be killed by a bolt of lightning than you were at the turn of the century‚ÄĒand that‚Äôs not because there are fewer thunderstorms today. It‚Äôs because we have better weather prediction capabilities, improved safety education, and more people living in cities.
  2. Time spent doing laundry fell from 11.5 hours a week in 1920 to an hour and a half in 2014.This might sound trivial in the grand scheme of progress. But the rise of the washing machine has improved quality of life by freeing up time for people‚ÄĒmostly women‚ÄĒto enjoy other pursuits. That time represents nearly half a day every week that could be used for everything from binge-watching¬†Ozark¬†or reading a book to starting a new business.
  3. You‚Äôre way less likely to die on the job.¬†Every year, 5,000 people die from occupational accidents in the U.S. But in 1929‚ÄĒwhen our population was less than two-fifths the size it is today‚ÄĒ20,000 people died on the job. People back then viewed deadly workplace accidents as part of the cost of doing business. Today, we know better, and we‚Äôve engineered ways to build things without putting nearly as many lives at risk.
  4. The global average IQ score is rising by about 3 IQ points every decade. Kids’ brains are developing more fully thanks to improved nutrition and a cleaner environment. Pinker also credits more analytical thinking in and out of the classroom. Think about how many symbols you interpret every time you check your phone’s home screen or look at a subway map. Our world today encourages abstract thought from a young age, and it’s making us smarter.
  5. War is illegal. This idea seems obvious. But before the creation of the United Nations in 1945, no institution had the power to stop countries from going to war with each other. Although there have been some exceptions, the threat of international sanctions and intervention has proven to be an effective deterrent to wars between nations.

Pinker also tackles the disconnect between actual progress and the perception of progress‚ÄĒsomething I‚Äôve spent a lot of time thinking about. People all over the world are living longer, healthier, and happier lives, so why do so many think things are getting worse? Why do we gloss over positive news stories and fixate on the negative ones? He does a good job explaining why we‚Äôre drawn to pessimism and how that instinct influences our approach to the world, although I wish he went more in depth about the psychology (especially since he‚Äôs a psychologist by training). The late Hans Rosling explains this more fully in his excellent new book¬†Factfulness, which I plan to review soon.

I agree with Pinker on most areas, but I think he‚Äôs a bit too optimistic about artificial intelligence. He‚Äôs quick to dismiss the idea of robots overthrowing their human creators. While I don‚Äôt think we‚Äôre in danger of a¬†Terminator-style scenario, the question underlying that fear‚ÄĒwho exactly controls the robots?‚ÄĒis a valid one. We‚Äôre not there yet, but at some point, who has AI and who controls it will be an important issue for global institutions to address.

The big questions surrounding automation are proof that progress can be a messy, sticky thing‚ÄĒbut that doesn‚Äôt mean we‚Äôre headed in the wrong direction. At the end of¬†Enlightenment Now, Pinker argues that ‚Äúwe will never have a perfect world, and it would be dangerous to seek one. But there is no limit to the betterments we can attain if we continue to apply knowledge to enhance human flourishing.”

The world is getting better, even if it doesn’t always feel that way. I’m glad we have brilliant thinkers like Steven Pinker to help us see the big picture. Enlightenment Now is not only the best book Pinker’s ever written. It’s my new favorite book of all time.

https://www.gatesnotes.com/Books/Enlightenment-Now

5 books I loved in 2018

If you‚Äôre like me, you love giving‚ÄĒor getting!‚ÄĒbooks during the holidays. A great read is the perfect gift: thoughtful and easy to wrap (with no batteries or assembly required). Plus, I think everyone could use a few more books in their lives. I usually don‚Äôt consider whether something would make a good present when I‚Äôm putting together my end of year book list‚ÄĒbut this year‚Äôs selections are highly giftable.

My list is pretty eclectic this year. From a how-to guide about meditation to a deep dive on autonomous weapons to a thriller about the fall of a once-promising company, there’s something for everyone. If you’re looking for a fool-proof gift for your friends and family, you can’t go wrong with one of these.

Educated, by Tara Westover. Tara never went to school or visited a doctor until she left home at 17. I never thought I’d relate to a story about growing up in a Mormon survivalist household, but she’s such a good writer that she got me to reflect on my own life while reading about her extreme childhood. Melinda and I loved this memoir of a young woman whose thirst for learning was so strong that she ended up getting a Ph.D. from Cambridge University.

Army of None, by Paul Scharre. Autonomous weapons aren’t exactly top of mind for most around the holidays, but this thought-provoking look at A.I. in warfare is hard to put down. It’s an immensely complicated topic, but Scharre offers clear explanations and presents both the pros and cons of machine-driven warfare. His fluency with the subject should come as no surprise: he’s a veteran who helped draft the U.S. government’s policy on autonomous weapons.

Bad Blood, by John Carreyrou. A bunch of my friends recommended this one to me. Carreyrou gives you the definitive insider’s look at the rise and fall of Theranos. The story is even crazier than I expected, and I found myself unable to put it down once I started. This book has everything: elaborate scams, corporate intrigue, magazine cover stories, ruined family relationships, and the demise of a company once valued at nearly $10 billion.

21 Lessons for the 21st Century, by Yuval Noah Harari. I’m a big fan of everything Harari has written, and his latest is no exception. While Sapiens and Homo Deus covered the past and future respectively, this one is all about the present. If 2018 has left you overwhelmed by the state of the world, 21 Lessonsoffers a helpful framework for processing the news and thinking about the challenges we face.

The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness, by Andy Puddicombe. I’m sure 25-year-old me would scoff at this one, but Melinda and I have gotten really into meditation lately. The book starts with Puddicombe’s personal journey from a university student to a Buddhist monk and then becomes an entertaining explainer on how to meditate. If you’re thinking about trying mindfulness, this is the perfect introduction.

https://www.gatesnotes.com/About-Bill-Gates/Best-Books-2018

Wrapping up 2018

What I learned at work this year

Every Christmas when I was a kid, my parents would send out a card with an update on what the family was up to. Dad’s law firm is growing, Mom’s volunteer work is going strong, the girls are doing well in school, Bill is a handful.

Some people think it is corny, but I like the tradition. These days, at the end of each year, I still enjoy taking stock of my work and personal life. What was I excited about? What could I have done better?

I thought I would share a few of these thoughts as 2018 concludes.

One thing that occurs to me is that the questions I am asking myself at age 63 are very different from the ones I would have asked when I was in my 20s.

Back then, an end-of-year assessment would amount to just one question: Is Microsoft software making the personal-computing dream come true?

Today of course I still assess the quality of my work. But I also ask myself a whole other set of questions about my life. Did I devote enough time to my family? Did I learn enough new things? Did I develop new friendships and deepen old ones? These would have been laughable to me when I was 25, but as I get older, they are much more meaningful.

Melinda has helped broaden my thinking on this point. So has Warren Buffett, who says his measure of success is, ‚ÄúDo the people you care about love you back?‚ÄĚ I think that is about as good a metric as you will find.

It may sound grand, but I think the world is slowly going through a similar transition to a broader understanding of well-being. For most of human history, we have been focused on living longer by fighting disease and trying to grow enough food for everyone. As a result, life spans have gone up dramatically. Technology has played a key role in that through vaccines, medicines, and improved sanitation.

We still need a lot of innovation to solve problems like malaria or obesity, but we are also going to be focusing more on improving the quality of life. I think this will be the thrust of many big breakthroughs of the future. For example, software will be able to notice when you’re feeling down, connect you with your friends, give you personalized tips for sleeping and eating better, and help you use your time more efficiently.

There are not the same clear measures of these things as there are for diseases, and there may never be. But there is nascent work in this field and I think it is going to accelerate.

As I look back on the year, I am also thinking about the specific areas I work on. Some of this is done through our foundation but a lot of it (such as my work on energy and Alzheimer’s work) is not. What connects it all is my belief that innovation can save lives and improve everyone’s well-being. A lot of people underestimate just how much innovation will make life better.

Here are a few updates on what’s going well and what isn’t with innovation in some areas where I work.

Alzheimer’s disease

 I saw two positive trends in Alzheimer’s research in 2018.

I saw two positive trends in Alzheimer’s research in 2018.

One is that researchers focused on a new set of ideas about how to stop Alzheimer’s.

The first generation of theories, which dominated the field for years, emphasized two proteins called amyloid and tau. These proteins cause plaques and tangles in the brain, clogging up and killing brain cells. The idea was to stop the plaques and tangles from forming. I hope these approaches pay off, but we have not seen much evidence that they will.

In the past year, researchers have doubled down on a second generation of hypotheses. One theory is that a patient’s brain cells break down because their energy producers (called mitochondria) wear out. Another is that brain cells break down because part of the immune system gets overactivated and attacks them.

This is a great example of how improving our understanding of biology will reduce both medical costs and human suffering.

The other trend this year is that the Alzheimer’s community focused on getting more and better access to data. We’re working with researchers to make it easier for them to share information from their studies broadly so that we can better understand questions like how the disease progresses.

Over the past few years, the U.S. government has dramatically stepped up funding for Alzheimer’s research, from $400 million a year to over $2 billion a year. There is also a big push to create better diagnostics.

The only problem where I don’t yet see a clear path forward yet is how to develop more efficient ways to recruit patients for clinical trials. Without a simple and reliable diagnostic for Alzheimer’s, it’s hard to find eligible people early enough in the disease’s progression who can participate in trials. It can take years to enroll enough patients. If we could find a way to pre-screen participants, we could start new trials more quickly.

But there is so much momentum in other areas‚ÄĒscientific tools, better diagnostics, improved access to data‚ÄĒthat as long as we can solve the recruitment problem, I am confident that we will make substantial progress in the next decade or two.

Polio

 I thought we would be closer to eradicating polio today than we are.

I thought we would be closer to eradicating polio today than we are. Unfortunately, there were more cases in 2018 than in 2017 (29 versus 22).

I underestimated how hard it would be to vaccinate children in places where there’s political violence and war. Families move around to escape fighting, which makes it hard to keep track of children and make sure they get all the doses of the vaccine. Or sewage systems get destroyed, allowing the virus to spread as children come into contact with an infected person’s excrement.

This is a key reason why Afghanistan and Pakistan have never been free of polio‚ÄĒin fact they are the¬†only¬†two countries that have never been free of polio.

I spend a lot of time on polio, part of it talking to the funders to make sure they continue their commitment even though eradication is taking longer than any of us would like. I remind them of the huge benefits of success, and the risk that the disease will return in a big way if we don’t finish the job.

I also remind them what a difference innovation is making. We’re now able to test sewage samples to track the virus and find the source before an outbreak starts. And the global health community is finding creative ways to work in war zones, having stopped outbreaks in Syria and Somalia in recent years.

Finally, I am hopeful about a new oral vaccine being tested in Belgium and Panama. The results should be out in 2019, and if this one proves effective, it would overcome some of the problems with previous oral vaccines when they’re used in places where few children are immunized. The new vaccine could be in use as soon as 2020.

Despite all the challenges, I am still optimistic that we can eradicate polio soon.

Energy

Global emissions of greenhouse gases went up in 2018. For me, that just reinforces the fact that the only way to prevent the worst climate-change scenarios is to get some breakthroughs in clean energy.

Some people think we have all the tools we need, and that driving down the cost of renewables like solar and wind solves the problem. I am glad to see solar and wind getting cheaper and we should be deploying them wherever it makes sense.

But solar and wind are intermittent sources of energy, and we are unlikely to have super-cheap batteries anytime soon that would allow us to store sufficient energy for when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. Besides, electricity accounts for only 25% of all emissions. We need to solve the other 75% too.

This year Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the clean-energy investment fund I’m involved with, announced the first companies we’re putting money into. You can see the list at http://www.b-t.energy/ventures/our-investment-portfolio/. We are looking at all the major drivers of climate change. The companies we chose are run by brilliant people and show a lot of promise for taking innovative clean-energy ideas out of the lab and getting them to market.

Next year I will speak out more about how the U.S. needs to regain its leading role in nuclear power research. (This is unrelated to my work with the foundation.)

Nuclear is ideal for dealing with climate change, because it is the only carbon-free, scalable energy source that’s available 24 hours a day. The problems with today’s reactors, such as the risk of accidents, can be solved through innovation.

The United States is uniquely suited to create these advances with its world-class scientists, entrepreneurs, and investment capital.

 Unfortunately, America is no longer the global leader on nuclear energy that it was 50 years ago.

Unfortunately, America is no longer the global leader on nuclear energy that it was 50 years ago. To regain this position, it will need to commit new funding, update regulations, and show investors that it’s serious.

There are several promising ideas in advanced nuclear that should be explored if we get over these obstacles. TerraPower, the company I started 10 years ago, uses an approach called a traveling wave reactor that is safe, prevents proliferation, and produces very little waste. We had hoped to build a pilot project in China, but recent policy changes here in the U.S. have made that unlikely. We may be able to build it in the United States if the funding and regulatory changes that I mentioned earlier happen.

The world needs to be working on lots of solutions to stop climate change. Advanced nuclear is one, and I hope to persuade U.S. leaders to get into the game.

The next epidemic

In 1918, the Spanish flu killed 50 million people worldwide. It still ranks as one of the deadliest natural disasters ever.

I had hoped that hitting the 100th anniversary of this epidemic would spark a lot of discussion about whether we’re ready for the next global epidemic. Unfortunately, it didn’t, and we still are not ready.

People rightly worry about dangers like terrorism and climate change (and, more remotely, an asteroid hitting the Earth). But if anything is going to kill tens of millions of people in a short time, it will probably be a global epidemic. And the disease would most likely be a form of the flu, because the flu virus spreads easily through the air. Today a flu as contagious and lethal as the 1918 one would kill nearly 33 million people in just six months.

I have been studying this for several years. To be prepared, we need a plan for national governments to work together. We need to think through how to handle quarantines, make sure supply chains will reach affected areas, decide how to involve the military, and so on. There was not much progress on these questions in 2018.

 There has been progress toward a vaccine that would protect you from every strain of the flu.

The good news is that there has been progress toward a vaccine that would protect you from every strain of the flu. This year I visited the U.S. National Institutes of Health in Maryland and got an update from some of the people leading this work.

The challenges of making a universal flu vaccine are fascinating. All strains of the virus have certain structures in common. If you’ve never been exposed to the flu, it’s possible to make a vaccine that teaches your immune system to look for those structures and attack them. But once you’ve had the flu, your body obsesses over the strain that got you sick. That makes it really hard to get your immune system to look for the common structures.

So it is clear how we could make a universal vaccine that would protect anyone (such as the very young) who has never been exposed to the flu before. But for anyone who has already had the virus, it is a lot harder. The problem is a long way from being solved, but new research money is coming in and more scientists are working on it.

To make the most of these scientific efforts (some of which our foundation is funding), the world needs to develop a global system for monitoring and responding to epidemics. That is a political matter that requires international cooperation among government leaders. This issue deserves a lot more focus.

Gene editing

Gene editing made the news in November when a Chinese scientist announced that he had altered the genes of two baby girls when they were embryos. What is unprecedented about his work is that he edited their germline cells, meaning the changes will be passed down to their children. (The other, less controversial type of gene editing involves somatic cells, which aren’t inherited by future generations.)

I agree with those who say this scientist went too far. But something good can come from his work if it encourages more people to learn and talk about gene editing. This might be the most important public debate we haven’t been having widely enough.

The ethical questions are enormous. Gene editing is generating a ton of optimism for treating and curing diseases, including some that our foundation works on (though we fund work on altering crops and insects, not humans). But the technology could make inequity worse, especially if it is available only for wealthy people.

I am surprised that these issues haven’t generated more attention from the general public. Today, artificial intelligence is the subject of vigorous debate. Gene editing deserves at least as much of the spotlight as AI.

I encourage you to read up on it whenever you have a chance. Keep an eye out for articles in your news feed. If you are willing to read a whole book,¬†The Gene¬†by Siddhartha Mukherjee is very well done. This story is one to follow, because big breakthroughs‚ÄĒsome good, some worrisome‚ÄĒare coming.

Looking ahead

 I am making a resolution for 2019.

Although I have never been one for New Year’s resolutions, I have always been committed to setting clear goals and making plans to achieve them. As I get older, these two things look more and more like the same exercise. So I am making a resolution for 2019. I am committing to learn and think about two key areas where technology has the potential to make an enormous impact on the quality of our lives, but also raises complex ethical and social considerations.

One is the balance between privacy and innovation. How can we use data to gain insights into education (like which schools do the best job of teaching low-income students) or health (like which doctors provide the best care for a reasonable price) while protecting people’s privacy?

The other is the use of technology in education. How much can software improve students’ learning? For years we have been hearing overheated claims about the huge impact that technology would have on education. People have been right to be skeptical. But I think things are finally coming together in a way that will deliver on the promises.

I will be posting updates on these and other issues on the Gates Notes.

In the meantime, Melinda and I are working on our next Annual Letter. The theme is a surprise, though it is safe to say we’ll be sharing some positive trends that make us optimistic about the future. We’ll send the letter out in February.

I hope you have a happy and healthy start to 2019.

https://www.gatesnotes.com/About-Bill-Gates/Year-in-Review-2018

A Failed Quest for Meaning

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, by Steven Pinker (Viking, 576 pp., $35)Professor Steven Pinker of Harvard has written a 500-plus-page advertising pamphlet for the Enlightenment. He doesn’t quite make the sale, in spite of his having the good fortune to be pitching the best product . . . ever, really.

Good Steven Pinker argues that the Enlightenment represented an escape from dogma, one in which the emerging combination of the scientific method and political liberalism put every claim and creed to the test of reason. Bad Steven Pinker believes ‚ÄĒ and believes¬†hard¬†‚ÄĒ that the Enlightenment is itself a dogma and a tribe and a scripture. Case in point: Countering the argument that Enlightenment ideals fail because people are not perfectly rational actors, Pinker writes, in emphatic italics: ‚ÄúNo Enlightenment thinker ever claimed that humans were consistently rational.‚ÄĚ Throughout his new book,¬†Enlightenment Now, he offers that same observation repeatedly, as though it were not only dispositive but self-evidently so. From Spinoza to Laplace to Pinker: There is no escaping apostolic succession, after all.

Professor Pinker, like Saint Paul, has a great talent for making the good news sound positively dreadful ‚ÄĒ unbearable, even. Which is a shame, because there is so much good news in his book. And charts! Goodness, are there charts, charts and charts and charts charting the rise of human flourishing on every axis from educational attainment in India to female literacy in Pakistan to anti-black hate crimes in the United States. Hooray, and well done, humanity. If those are the charts, then bring on the charts!

But this isn’t a book about charts, really. This is a book about the Meaning of Life.

Professor Pinker begins with an anecdote about a student who, after a lecture, asked him, ‚ÄúWhy should I live?‚ÄĚ After satisfying himself that this was not a case of suicidal ideation or mere smart-assery, he answers:

As a sentient being, you have the potential to flourish. You can refine your faculty of reason itself by learning and debating. You can seek explanations of the natural world through science, and insight into the human condition through the arts and humanities. You can make the most of your capacity for pleasure and satisfaction, which allowed your ancestors to thrive and thereby allowed you to exist. You can appreciate the beauty and richness of the natural and cultural world. As the heir to billions of years of life perpetuating itself, you can perpetuate life in return.

He goes on in that mode for a while, and even the most casual reader will notice that he offers a great deal of ‚ÄúYou can‚ÄĚ but no ‚ÄúYou should.‚ÄĚ Which is to say: He does not answer the question. As it turns out, he answers the question neither in short nor at length. ‚ÄúExplaining the meaning of life is not in the usual job description of a professor of cognitive science,‚ÄĚ he writes, ‚Äúand I would not have had the gall to take up her question if the answer depended on my arcane technical knowledge or my dubious personal wisdom.‚ÄĚ No, he appeals to a higher power: ‚ÄúBut I knew I was channeling a body of beliefs and values that had taken shape more than two centuries before me and that are now more relevant than ever: the ideals of the Enlightenment.‚ÄĚ

It was reason that led most of the Enlightenment thinkers to repudiate a belief in an anthropomorphic God who took an interest in human affairs. The application of reason revealed that reports of miracles were dubious, that the authors of holy books were all too human, that natural events unfolded with no regard to human welfare, and that different cultures believed in mutually incompatible deities, none of them less likely than the others to be products of the imagination.

That is fairly sloppy stuff: There is the fallacious appeal to authority (‚Äúmost of the Enlightenment thinkers‚ÄĚ), the failure to understand the claims of the other side (of course reports of miracles are dubious: miracles are unlikely ‚ÄĒ that is what makes them miracles), the ad hominem (it would hardly come as a shock to any Christian familiar with the biography of Saint Peter that he was ‚Äúall too human‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ accompanying the Prince of Peace in His last days, Peter got into a knife fight), the juvenile (as a matter of logic, it simply is not the case that if not all religious claims can be true simultaneously, then all of them must be false), etc. None of this stuff is very much germane to Professor Pinker‚Äôs argument; he simply cannot help himself. If you doubt that this is base, tribal, googly-eyed, us-vs.-them stuff, consider this bit: ‚ÄúEarly governments pacified the people they ruled, reducing internecine violence, but imposed a reign of terror that included slavery, harems, human sacrifice, summary executions, and the torture and mutilation of dissidents and deviants. (The Bible has no shortage of examples.)‚ÄĚ This appears a few sentences above mentions of the Chinese civil war and Idi Amin. Of course it is the case that accounts of violent episodes can be found in the Bible, but that is not why the Bible appears in that sentence. It appears as a tribal signifier. Us ain‚Äôt Them.

Better that Professor Pinker should have taken the advice of A. J. Ayer and eliminated the metaphysics altogether. It isn‚Äôt as though the real-world problems of fanaticism and primitivism would have left his volume too slender: The Islamic State exists, and, if it‚Äôs explicit anti-intellectualism you‚Äôre looking for, consider the etymology of ‚ÄúBoko Haram‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ literally, ‚ÄúBooks are forbidden.‚ÄĚ

In metaphysics as in politics and poker, it is hard to beat something with nothing, and, as ethics go, ‚ÄúThe universe is headed for heat death, eventually‚ÄĚ isn‚Äôt exactly compelling. Marcus Aurelius advised his reader not to worry too much about life, death, or reputation, because, soon enough, we‚Äôll be dead, everybody who knew us will be dead, everybody who might have remembered us will be dead, etc. ‚Äú‚ÄėThis man was the last of his house‚Äô is not uncommon upon a monument,‚ÄĚ the emperor-philosopher wrote. ‚ÄúHow solicitous were the ancestors of these men about an heir! Yet someone must, of necessity, be the last.‚ÄĚ Which is sunshine in a glass compared with maximum entropy.

The problem for Professor Pinker is that there isn‚Äôt any really good way to get from just the facts to an ethical creed, from the¬†reason¬†and¬†science¬†of his subtitle to the¬†humanism. He tries to get around this with rarity: Humans and human institutions (along with sentient beings and life in general) are examples of low-entropy situations, which are very rare in the universe. Professor Pinker in fact follows the rhetoric of the creationists and intelligent-design cranks (he must shudder to do so) when he explains the Law of Entropy: ‚ÄúIf you walk away from a sandcastle, it won‚Äôt be there tomorrow, because as the wind, waves, seagulls, and small children push the grains of sand around, they‚Äôre more likely to arrange them into one of the vast number of configurations that don‚Äôt look like a castle than into one of the tiny few that do.‚ÄĚ

The echo of the Reverend William Paley‚Äôs Divine Watchmaker is unmistakable. Professor Pinker uses his story for a different purpose, of course: While those who would seek to discredit evolution argue that the fact of the universe argues for a creator in the same way that the existence of a watch implies the existence of a watchmaker, Professor Pinker argues that the rarity of the orderly bits of the universe makes them special, valuable, interesting. But: To whom? And: Says who? There isn‚Äôt anything about the Second Law of Thermodynamics that says, or even implies, that we should prefer thermodynamic disequilibrium over thermodynamic equilibrium. It‚Äôs only temporary, anyway. There isn‚Äôt any¬†scientific¬†reason to prefer a world with humans in it to one without, or a world with happy humans in it to one with unhappy humans in it. (‚ÄúAnd what if God prefers your tears to your studying?‚ÄĚ asked Rabbi Mendel, no relation to the Right Reverend Gregor Mendel, who laid the foundations of genetics when he wasn‚Äôt running the abbey in Brno.) If you want to get from thermodynamics to politics and ethics, there‚Äôs a bit more work involved than Professor Pinker has here done. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre the Enlightenment, we‚Äôre the good guys, follow us!‚ÄĚ won‚Äôt do it.

This is unfortunate, because Professor Pinker believes that the ideals of the Enlightenment ‚Äúare now more relevant than ever‚ÄĚ: There are challenges to the Enlightenment, to liberalism, and to material progress. Tribalism is, at the moment, resurgent, no less here in the United States than abroad: President Trump is being joined at this year‚Äôs Conservative Political Action Conference by Marion Mar√©chal‚ÄďLe Pen. The new tribalists of the West are not very much impressed by the low prices at Walmart, the improving quality of life in urban China, or the rising literacy rate among Afghan girls. Neither is Boko Haram. Neither is the Islamic State.

And that is what makes the author‚Äôs failure here all the more dismaying. Professor Pinker, and many others like him, understand the Enlightenment as a force of¬†oppositionto the civilization that produced it, the civilization we used to call ‚ÄúChristendom.‚ÄĚ Professor Pinker‚Äôs account has the new gospel of Enlightenment arising from the muck of Christian civilization, with its witch hunts and inquisitions, protected by a few true believers toward whom we still look today for guidance. But the actual Enlightenment happened¬†in the Christian world. They had gunpowder in ancient China, but the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution happened where they happened, and when they happened, for a reason. To properly defend the Enlightenment and its ideals requires grounding the Enlightenment in the culture that produced it, which offends Professor Pinker‚Äôs cosmopolitan instincts, to say nothing of his instinct for sneering at Christianity.

‚ÄúCult‚ÄĚ is the first syllable in ‚Äúculture,‚ÄĚ and Professor Pinker‚Äôs professed humanism is a creed, not a scientific deduction. A creed grounded in what? Being nice? The scientific method? Please. It‚Äôs grounded in a tribal identity, a little tribe comprising Professor Pinker, Sam Harris, and the ghost of Christopher Hitchens. That sounds like a fun dinner party, but it‚Äôs hardly the basis for a civilization. Pinker is dead-on about much ‚ÄĒ and much that is important ‚ÄĒ but he remains limited by what must be described as intellectual pettiness, which isn‚Äôt what you want in a book professing to lay out the meaning of life.

https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2018/03/19/steven-pinker-enlightenment-now-review-failed-quest-meaning/

Books by Steven Pinker

https://www.thriftbooks.com/a/steven-pinker/202210/?mkwid=s|dc&pcrid=301999411142&pkw=&pmt=b&plc=&pgrid=34947186125&ptaid=dsa-266516562683&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIh_6j9OXS3wIVy7fACh0oCAC1EAMYASAAEgLbO_D_BwE

 

Steven Pinker

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Steven Pinker
102111 Pinker 344.jpg
Born
Steven Arthur Pinker

September 18, 1954 (age 64)

Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Nationality Canadian
American
Notable work
Spouse(s)
  • Nancy Etcoff
    (m. 1980; div. 1992)
  • Ilavenil Subbiah
    (m. 1995; div. 2006)
  • Rebecca Goldstein¬†(m.¬†2007)
Alma mater
Awards Troland Award (1993, National Academy of Sciences),
Henry Dale Prize (2004, Royal Institution),
Walter P. Kistler Book Award (2005),
Humanist of the Year award (2006, issued by the AHA),
George Miller Prize (2010, Cognitive Neuroscience Society), Richard Dawkins Award (2013)
Scientific career
Fields Evolutionary psychology, experimental psychology, cognitive science, psycholinguistics, visual cognition
Thesis The Representation of Three-dimensional Space in Mental Images (1979)
Doctoral advisor Stephen Kosslyn
Influences Noam Chomsky[1]
Website www.stevenpinker.com

Steven Arthur Pinker (born September 18, 1954) is a Canadian-American cognitive psychologist, linguist, and popular science author. He is Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, and is known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind.

Pinker’s academic specializations are¬†visual cognition¬†and¬†psycholinguistics. His experimental subjects include mental imagery, shape recognition, visual attention, children’s language development, regular and irregular phenomena in language, the neural bases of words and¬†grammar, and the psychology of cooperation and communication, including¬†euphemism,¬†innuendo, emotional expression, and common knowledge. He has written two technical books that proposed a general theory of¬†language acquisition¬†and applied it to children’s learning of verbs. In particular, his work with¬†Alan Prince¬†published in 1989 critiqued the¬†connectionist¬†model of how children acquire the past tense of English verbs, arguing instead that children use default rules such as adding “-ed” to make regular forms, sometimes in error, but are obliged to learn irregular forms one by one.

In his popular books, he has argued that the human faculty for language is an instinct, an innate behavior shaped by natural selection and adapted to our communication needs. He is the author of eight books for a general audience. Five of these, The Language Instinct (1994), How the Mind Works (1997), Words and Rules (2000), The Blank Slate (2002), and The Stuff of Thought (2007), describe aspects of the field of psycholinguistics and cognitive science, and include accounts of his own research. In the sixth book, The Better Angels of Our Nature (2011), Pinker makes the case that violence in human societies has, in general, steadily declined with time, and identifies six major causes of this decline.

His seventh book,¬†The Sense of Style¬†(2014), is intended as a general¬†style guide¬†that is informed by modern science and psychology, offering advice on how to produce more comprehensible and unambiguous writing in nonfiction contexts and explaining why so much of today’s academic and popular writing is difficult for readers to understand. His eighth book,¬†Enlightenment Now¬†(2018), continues the optimistic thesis of¬†The Better Angels of Our Nature¬†by using social science data from various sources to argue for a general improvement of the human condition over recent history.

Pinker has been named as one of the world’s most influential intellectuals by various magazines. He has won awards from the¬†American Psychological Association, the¬†National Academy of Sciences, the¬†Royal Institution, the¬†Cognitive Neuroscience Society¬†and the¬†American Humanist Association. He delivered the¬†Gifford Lectures¬†at the¬†University of Edinburgh¬†in 2013. He has served on the editorial boards of a variety of journals, and on the advisory boards of several institutions. He has frequently participated in public debates on science and society.

Biography[edit]

Pinker was born in¬†Montreal,¬†Quebec, in 1954, to a middle-class Jewish family. His parents were Roslyn (Wiesenfeld) and Harry Pinker.[3][4]¬†His grandparents emigrated to Canada from¬†Poland¬†and¬†Romania¬†in 1926,[5][6]¬†and owned a small necktie factory in Montreal.[7]¬†His father, a lawyer, first worked as a manufacturer’s representative, while his mother was first a home-maker then a guidance counselor and high-school vice-principal. He has two younger siblings. His brother Robert is a policy analyst for the¬†Canadian government, while his sister,¬†Susan Pinker, is a¬†psychologist¬†and writer who authored¬†The Sexual Paradox¬†and¬†The Village Effect.[8][9]

Pinker married Nancy Etcoff in 1980 and they divorced in 1992; he married Ilavenil Subbiah in 1995 and they too divorced.[10] His third wife, whom he married in 2007, is the novelist and philosopher Rebecca Goldstein.[11] He has two stepdaughters: the novelist Yael Goldstein Love and the poet Danielle Blau.

Pinker graduated from Dawson College in 1973. He received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from McGill University in 1976, and earned his Doctorate of Philosophy in experimental psychology at Harvard University in 1979 under Stephen Kosslyn. He did research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for a year, after which he became an assistant professor at Harvard and then Stanford University.

From 1982 until 2003, Pinker taught at the Department of Brain and¬†Cognitive Sciences¬†at MIT, was the co-director of the Center for¬†Cognitive science¬†(1985‚Äď1994), and eventually became the director of the Center for¬†Cognitive neuroscience¬†(1994‚Äď1999),[12]¬†taking a one-year sabbatical at the¬†University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1995‚Äď96. As of 2003, he is the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard; from 2008 to 2013 he also held the title of Harvard College Professor in recognition of his dedication to teaching.[13]¬†He currently gives lectures as a visiting professor at the¬†New College of the Humanities, a private college in London.[14][15]

About his Jewish background Pinker has said, “I was never religious in the theological sense¬†… I never outgrew my conversion to¬†atheism¬†at 13, but at various times was a serious¬†cultural Jew.”[16]¬†As a teenager, he says he considered himself an¬†anarchist¬†until he witnessed¬†civil unrest¬†following¬†a police strike in 1969, when:

As a young teenager in proudly peaceable Canada during the romantic 1960s, I was a true believer in Bakunin’s anarchism. I laughed off my parents’ argument that if the government ever laid down its arms all hell would break loose. Our competing predictions were put to the test at 8:00¬†A.M. on October 17, 1969, when the Montreal police went on strike … This decisive empirical test left my politics in tatters (and offered a foretaste of life as a scientist).[17]

Pinker identifies himself as an¬†equity feminist, which he defines as “a moral doctrine about equal treatment that makes no commitments regarding open empirical issues in psychology or biology”.[18]¬†He reported the result of a test of his political orientation that characterized him as “neither leftist nor rightist, more¬†libertarian¬†than¬†authoritarian.”[19]¬†He describes himself as having “experienced a primitive tribal stirring” after his genes were shown to trace back to the Middle East, noting that he “found it just as thrilling to zoom outward in the diagrams of my genetic lineage and see my place in a family tree that embraces all of humanity”.[20]

Pinker also identifies himself as an¬†atheist. In the 2007 interview with the¬†Point of Inquiry¬†podcast, Pinker states that he would “defend atheism as an empirically supported view.” He sees theism and atheism as competing empirical hypotheses, and states that “we’re learning more and more about what makes us tick, including our moral sense, without needing the assumption of a deity or a soul. It’s naturally getting crowded out by the successive naturalistic explanations.”[21]

Research and theory[edit]

Pinker in 2007.

Pinker’s research on visual cognition, begun in collaboration with his thesis adviser, Stephen Kosslyn, showed that mental images represent scenes and objects as they appear from a specific vantage point (rather than capturing their intrinsic three-dimensional structure), and thus correspond to the neuroscientist¬†David Marr‘s theory of a “two-and-a-half-dimensional sketch.”[22]¬†He also showed that this level of representation is used in visual attention, and in¬†object recognition¬†(at least for asymmetrical shapes), contrary to Marr’s theory that recognition uses viewpoint-independent representations.

In psycholinguistics, Pinker became known early in his career for promoting¬†computational learning theory¬†as a way to understand¬†language acquisition¬†in children. He wrote a tutorial review of the field followed by two books that advanced his own theory of language acquisition, and a series of experiments on how children acquire the passive, dative, and locative constructions. These books were¬†Language Learnability and Language Development¬†(1984), in Pinker’s words “outlin[ing] a theory of how children acquire the words and grammatical structures of their mother tongue”,[23]¬†and¬†Learnability and Cognition: The Acquisition of Argument Structure¬†(1989), in Pinker’s words “focus[ing] on one aspect of this process, the ability to use different kinds of verbs in appropriate sentences, such as intransitive verbs, transitive verbs, and verbs taking different combinations of complements and indirect objects”.[23]¬†He then focused on verbs of two kinds that illustrate what he considers to be the processes required for human language: retrieving whole words from memory, like the past form of the¬†irregular verb[24]¬†“bring”, namely “brought”; and using rules to combine (parts of) words, like the past form of the regular verb “walk”, namely “walked”.[23]

In 1988 Pinker and¬†Alan Prince¬†published an influential critique of a¬†connectionist¬†model of the acquisition of the past tense (a textbook problem in language acquisition), followed by a series of studies of how people use and acquire the past tense. This included a monograph on children’s¬†regularization¬†of irregular forms and his popular 1999 book,¬†Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language. Pinker argued that language depends on two things, the associative remembering of sounds and their meanings in words, and the use of rules to manipulate symbols for¬†grammar. He presented evidence against connectionism, where a child would have to learn all forms of all words and would simply retrieve each needed form from memory, in favour of the older alternative theory, the use of words and rules combined by¬†generative phonology. He showed that mistakes made by children indicate the use of default rules to add suffixes such as “-ed”: for instance ‘breaked’ and ‘comed’ for ‘broke’ and ‘came’. He argued that this shows that irregular verb-forms in English have to be learnt and retrieved from memory individually, and that the children making these errors were predicting the regular “-ed” ending in an open-ended way by applying a mental rule. This rule for combining verb stems and the usual suffix can be expressed as[25]

Vpast → Vstem + d

where V is a verb and d is the regular ending. Pinker further argued that since the ten most frequently occurring English verbs (be, have, do, say, make … ) are all irregular, while 98.2% of the thousand least common verbs are regular, there is a “massive correlation” of frequency and irregularity. He explains this by arguing that every irregular form, such as ‘took’, ‘came’ and ‘got’, has to be committed to memory by the children in each generation, or else lost, and that the common forms are the most easily memorized. Any irregular verb that falls in popularity past a certain point is lost, and all future generations will treat it as a regular verb instead.[25]

In 1990, Pinker, with¬†Paul Bloom, published the paper “Natural Language and Natural Selection”, arguing that the human language faculty must have evolved through¬†natural selection.[26]¬†The article provided arguments for a continuity based view of language evolution, contrary to then current discontinuity based theories that see language as suddenly appearing with the advent of¬†Homo sapiens¬†as a kind of evolutionary accident. This discontinuity based view was prominently argued by two of the main authorities, linguist Noam Chomsky and¬†Stephen Jay Gould.[27]¬†The paper became widely cited and created renewed interest in the evolutionary prehistory of language, and has been credited with shifting the central question of the debate from “did language evolve?” to “how did language evolve”.[27][28]¬†The article also presaged Pinker’s argument in¬†The Language Instinct.

Pinker’s research includes delving into human nature and what science says about it. In his interview on the¬†Point of Inquiry¬†podcast in 2007, he provides the following examples of what he considers defensible conclusions of what science says human nature is:

  • The sexes are not statistically identical; “their interests and talents form two overlapping distributions”. Any policy that wants to provide equal outcomes for both men and women will have to discriminate against one or the other.
  • “Individuals differ in personality and intelligence.”
  • “People favor themselves and their families over an abstraction called society.”
  • Humans are “systematically self deceived. Each one of us thinks of ourselves as more competent and benevolent than we are.”
  • “People crave status and power”

He informs the listeners that one can read more about human nature in his book, Blank Slate.

Pinker also speaks about evolutionary psychology in the podcast and believes that this area of science is going to pay off. He cites the fact that there are many areas of study, such as beauty, religion, play, and sexuality, that were not studied 15 years ago. It is thanks to evolutionary psychology that these areas are being studied.[21]

Popularization of science[edit]

Pinker in 2011.

Human cognition and natural language[edit]

Pinker’s 1994¬†The Language Instinct¬†was the first of several books to combine¬†cognitive science¬†with¬†behavioral genetics¬†and¬†evolutionary psychology. It introduces the science of language and popularizes¬†Noam Chomsky‘s theory that language is an innate faculty of mind, with the controversial twist that the faculty for language evolved by natural selection as an adaptation for communication. Pinker criticizes several widely held ideas about language ‚Äď that it needs to be taught, that people’s¬†grammar¬†is poor and getting worse with new ways of speaking, the¬†Sapir‚ÄďWhorf hypothesis¬†that language limits the kinds of thoughts a person can have, and that¬†other great apes can learn languages. Pinker sees language as unique to humans, evolved to solve the specific problem of communication among social hunter-gatherers. He argues that it is as much an¬†instinct¬†as specialized adaptative behavior in other species, such as a¬†spider‘s web-weaving or a¬†beaver‘s dam-building.

Pinker states in his introduction that his ideas are “deeply influenced”[29]¬†by Chomsky; he also lists scientists whom Chomsky influenced to “open up whole new areas of language study, from child development and speech perception to neurology and genetics”[29]¬†‚ÄĒ¬†Eric Lenneberg,¬†George Miller,¬†Roger Brown,¬†Morris Halle¬†and¬†Alvin Liberman.[29]¬†Brown mentored Pinker through his thesis; Pinker stated that Brown’s “funny and instructive”[30]¬†book¬†Words and Things¬†(1958) was one of the inspirations for¬†The Language Instinct.[30][31]

The reality of Pinker’s proposed language instinct, and the related claim that grammar is innate and genetically based, has been contested by many linguists. One prominent opponent of Pinker’s view is¬†Geoffrey Sampson¬†whose 1997 book,¬†Educating Eve: The ‘Language Instinct’ Debate¬†has been described as the “definitive response” to Pinker’s book.[32][33]¬†Sampson argues that while it may seem attractive to argue the nature side of the ‘nature versus nurture’ debate, the nurture side may better support the creativity and nobility of the human mind. Sampson denies there is a language instinct, and argues that children can learn language because people can learn anything.[33]¬†Others have sought a middle ground between Pinker’s nativism and Sampson’s culturalism.[34]

The assumptions underlying the¬†nativist¬†view have also been criticised in¬†Jeffrey Elman‘s¬†Rethinking Innateness: A Connectionist Perspective on Development, which defends the connectionist approach that Pinker attacked. In his 1996 book¬†Impossible Minds, the¬†machine intelligence¬†researcher¬†Igor Aleksander¬†calls¬†The Language Instinct¬†excellent, and argues that Pinker presents a relatively soft claim for innatism, accompanied by a strong dislike of the ‘Standard Social Sciences Model’ or SSSM (Pinker’s term), which supposes that development is purely dependent on culture. Further, Aleksander writes that while Pinker criticises some attempts to explain language processing with neural nets, Pinker later makes use of a neural net to create past tense verb forms correctly. Aleksander concludes that while he doesn’t support the SSSM, “a cultural repository of language just seems the easy trick for an efficient evolutionary system armed with an iconic¬†state machine¬†to play.”[35]

Two other books,¬†How the Mind Works¬†(1997) and¬†The Blank Slate¬†(2002), broadly surveyed the mind and defended the idea of a complex human nature with many mental faculties that are¬†adaptive¬†(Pinker is an ally of¬†Daniel Dennett¬†and¬†Richard Dawkins¬†in many disputes surrounding¬†adaptationism). Another major theme in Pinker’s theories is that human cognition works, in part, by combinatorial symbol-manipulation, not just associations among sensory features, as in many connectionist models. On the debate around¬†The Blank Slate, Pinker called¬†Thomas Sowell‘s book¬†A Conflict of Visions¬†“wonderful”,[36]¬†and explained that “The Tragic Vision” and the “Utopian Vision” are the views of human nature behind¬†right-¬†and left-wing ideologies.[36]

In¬†Words and Rules: the Ingredients of Language¬†(1999), Pinker argues from his own research that regular and irregular phenomena are products of computation and memory lookup, respectively, and that language can be understood as an interaction between the two.[37]¬†“Words and Rules” is also the title of an essay by Pinker outlining many of the topics discussed in the book.[25]¬†Critiqueing the book from the perspective of¬†generative linguistics¬†Charles Yang, in the¬†London Review of Books, writes that “this book never runs low on¬†hubris¬†or¬†hyperbole“.[38]¬†The book’s topic, the English past tense, is in Yang’s view unglamorous, and Pinker’s attempts at compromise risk being in no man’s land between rival theories. Giving the example of German, Yang argues that irregular nouns in that language at least all belong to classes, governed by rules, and that things get even worse in languages that attach prefixes and suffixes to make up long ‘words’: they can’t be learnt individually, as there are untold numbers of combinations. “All Pinker (and the connectionists) are doing is turning over the rocks at the base of the intellectual landslide caused by the Chomskian revolution.”[38]

In The Stuff of Thought (2007), Pinker looks at a wide range of issues around the way words related to thoughts on the one hand, and to the world outside ourselves on the other. Given his evolutionary perspective, a central question is how an intelligent mind capable of abstract thought evolved: how a mind adapted to Stone Age life could work in the modern world. Many quirks of language are the result.[39]

Pinker is critical of theories about the¬†evolutionary origins of language¬†that argue that linguistic cognition might have evolved from earlier musical cognition. He sees language as being tied primarily to the capacity for logical reasoning, and speculates that human proclivity for music may be a¬†spandrel¬†‚ÄĒ a feature not adaptive in its own right, but that has persisted through other traits that are more broadly practical, and thus selected for. In¬†How the Mind Works, Pinker reiterates¬†Immanuel Kant‘s view that music is not in itself an important cognitive phenomenon, but that it happens to stimulate important auditory and spatio-motor cognitive functions. Pinker compares music to “auditory cheesecake”, stating that “As far as biological cause and effect is concerned, music is useless”. This argument has been rejected by¬†Daniel Levitin¬†and¬†Joseph Carroll, experts in¬†music cognition, who argue that music has had an important role in the evolution of human cognition.[40][41][42][43][44][45]¬†In his book¬†This Is Your Brain On Music, Levitin argues that music could provide adaptive advantage through¬†sexual selection,¬†social bonding, and¬†cognitive development; he questions the assumption that music is the antecedent to language, as opposed to its progenitor, noting that many species display music-like habits that could be seen as precursors to human music.[46]

Pinker has also been critical of “whole language” reading instruction techniques, stating in¬†How the Mind Works, “…¬†the dominant technique, called ‘whole language,’ the insight that [spoken] language is a naturally developing human instinct has been garbled into the evolutionarily improbable claim that¬†reading¬†is a naturally developing human instinct.”[47]¬†In the appendix to the 2007 reprinted edition of¬†The Language Instinct, Pinker cited¬†Why Our Children Can’t Read¬†by cognitive psychologist¬†Diane McGuinness¬†as his favorite book on the subject and noted:

One raging public debate involving language went unmentioned in¬†The Language Instinct: the “reading wars,” or dispute over whether children should be explicitly taught to read by decoding the sounds of words from their spelling (loosely known as “phonics“) or whether they can develop it instinctively by being immersed in a text-rich environment (often called “whole language”). I tipped my hand in the paragraph in [the sixth chapter of the book] which said that language is an instinct but reading is not.[48]¬†Like most psycholinguists (but apparently unlike many school boards), I think it’s essential for children to be taught to become aware of speech sounds and how they are coded in strings of letters.[49]

The Better Angels of Our Nature[edit]

Violence in the¬†middle ages: detail from “Mars” in¬†Das Mittelalterliche Hausbuch, c. 1475 ‚Äď 1480. The image is used by Pinker in¬†The Better Angels of Our Nature, with the comment “as the¬†Housebook¬†illustrations suggest, [the knights] did not restrict their killing to other knights”.[50]

In¬†The Better Angels of Our Nature, published in 2011, Pinker argues that violence, including tribal warfare, homicide, cruel punishments, child abuse, animal cruelty, domestic violence, lynching, pogroms, and international and civil wars, has decreased over multiple scales of time and magnitude. Pinker considers it unlikely that human nature has changed. In his view, it is more likely that human nature comprises inclinations toward violence and those that counteract them, the “better angels of our nature”. He outlines six ‘major historical declines of violence’ that all have their own socio/cultural/economic causes:[51]

  1. “The Pacification Process” ‚Äď The rise of organized systems of government has a correlative relationship with the decline in violent deaths. As states expand they prevent tribal feuding, reducing losses.
  2. “The Civilizing Process” ‚Äď Consolidation of centralized states and kingdoms throughout Europe results in the rise of criminal justice and commercial infrastructure, organizing previously chaotic systems that could lead to raiding and mass violence.
  3. “The Humanitarian Revolution” ‚Äď The 18th – 20th century abandonment of institutionalized violence by the state (breaking on the wheel, burning at the stake). Suggests this is likely due to the spike in literacy after the invention of the printing press thereby allowing the proletariat to question conventional wisdom.
  4. “The Long Peace” ‚Äď The powers of 20th Century believed that period of time to be the bloodiest in history. This to a largely peaceful 65-year period post World War I and World War II. Developed countries have stopped warring (against each other and colonially), adopted democracy, and this has led a massive decline (on average) of deaths.
  5. “The New Peace” ‚Äď The decline in organized conflicts of all kinds since the end of the Cold War.
  6. “The Rights Revolutions” ‚Äď The reduction of systemic violence at smaller scales against vulnerable populations (racial minorities, women, children, homosexuals, animals).

The book was welcomed by many critics and reviewers, who found its arguments convincing and its synthesis of a large volume of historical evidence compelling.[52][53][54][55][56]¬†It also aroused criticism on a variety of grounds, such as whether deaths per capita was an appropriate metric, Pinker’s atheism, lack of moral leadership, excessive focus on Europe (though the book covers other areas), the interpretation of historical data, and its image of indigenous people.[57][58][59][60][61][62][63][64][65][66][67]

English writing style in the 21st century[edit]

In his seventh popular book,¬†The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century¬†(2014), Pinker attempts to provide a writing style guide that is informed by modern science and psychology, offering advice on how to produce more comprehensible and unambiguous writing in nonfiction contexts and explaining why so much of today’s academic and popular writing is difficult for readers to understand.

In a November 2014 episode of the Point of Inquiry podcast, host Lindsay Beyerstein, asked Pinker how his style guide was different from the many guides that already exist. His answer,

The Thinking Person’s Guide¬†because I don’t issue dictates from on high as most manuals do but explain why the various guidelines will improve writing, what they do for language, what they do for the reader’s experience, in the hope that the users will apply the rules judiciously knowing what they are designed to accomplish, rather than robotically.[68]

He also indicated that the 21st century was applicable because language and usage change over time and it has been a long time since William Strunk wrote Elements of Style.[68]

Public debate[edit]

Pinker is a frequent participant in public debates surrounding the contributions of science to contemporary society. Social commentators such as Ed West, author of¬†The Diversity Illusion, consider Pinker important and daring in his willingness to confront taboos, as in¬†The Blank Slate. This doctrine (the¬†tabula rasa), writes West, remained accepted “as fact, rather than fantasy”[69]¬†a decade after the book’s publication. West describes Pinker as “no polemicist, and he leaves readers to draw their own conclusions”.[69]

In January 2005, Pinker defended¬†Lawrence Summers, president of Harvard University, whose comments about a¬†gender gap¬†in mathematics and science angered much of the faculty. Pinker noted that Summers’s remarks, properly understood, were hypotheses about overlapping statistical distributions of men’s and women’s talents and tastes, and that in a university such hypotheses ought to be the subject of empirical testing rather than dogma and outrage.[70]¬†Edge.org¬†ran a debate between Pinker and¬†Elizabeth Spelke¬†on gender and science.[71]

In 2009, Pinker wrote a mixed review of¬†Malcolm Gladwell‘s essays in¬†The New York Times¬†criticizing his analytical methods.[72]¬†Gladwell replied, disputing Pinker’s comments about the importance of¬†IQ¬†on teaching performance and by analogy, the effect, if any, of draft order on quarterback performance in the¬†National Football League.[73]¬†Advanced NFL Stats¬†addressed the issue statistically, siding with Pinker and showing that differences in methodology could explain the two men’s differing opinions.[74]

In 2009,¬†David Shenk¬†criticized Pinker for siding with the “nature” argument and for “never once acknowledg[ing]¬†gene-environment interaction¬†or¬†epigenetics” in an article on¬†nature versus nurture¬†in¬†The New York Times.[75]¬†Pinker responded to a question about epigenetics as a possibility for the¬†decline in violence¬†in a lecture for the¬†BBC World Service. Pinker said it was unlikely since the decline in violence happened too rapidly to be explained by genetic changes.[76]¬†Helga Vierich and Cathryn Townsend wrote a critical review of Pinker’s sweeping “Civilizational” explanations for patterns of human violence and warfare in response to a lecture he gave at Cambridge University in September 2015.[77]

Steven Pinker is also noted for having identified the rename of Phillip Morris to¬†Altria¬†as an “egregious example” of¬†phonesthesia, with the company attempting to “switch its image from bad people who sell addictive carcinogens to a place or state marked by altruism and other lofty values”.[78]

Pinker continued to court controversy through his 2018 book¬†Enlightenment Now, in which he argues that enlightenment rationality has driven tremendous progress and should be defended against attacks from both the left and right.¬†The¬†Guardian¬†criticized the book as a “triumphalist” work that has a “curious relationship to intellectual history” and overestimates the role of campus activists in mainstream discourse.[79]¬†While promoting the book on the NPR show¬†1A, Pinker caused a minor social media backlash when he said that “I don’t think¬†Malcolm X¬†did the world much good.”[80][81][82]

In a debate with Pinker, post-colonial theorist Homi Bhabha argued that Enlightenment Now sees the perils of the modern age such as slavery, imperialism, world wars, genocide, inequality etc as glitches rather than costs for enlightenment’s gifts. But Pinker responded that the natural state of humanity has been poverty and disease, and knowledge has improved human welfare.[83]

Awards and distinctions[edit]

Pinker in Göttingen, 2010

Pinker was named one of¬†Time‘s¬†100 most influential people in the world in 2004[84]¬†and one of¬†Prospect¬†and¬†Foreign Policys¬†100 top public intellectuals¬†in both years the poll was carried out, 2005[85]¬†and 2008;[86]¬†in 2010 and 2011 he was named by¬†Foreign Policy¬†to its list of top global thinkers.[87][88]¬†In 2016, he was elected to the¬†National Academy of Sciences.[89]

His research in cognitive psychology has won the Early Career Award (1984) and Boyd McCandless Award (1986) from the¬†American Psychological Association, the¬†Troland Research Award¬†(1993) from the¬†National Academy of Sciences, the Henry Dale Prize (2004) from the¬†Royal Institution of Great Britain, and the George Miller Prize (2010) from the¬†Cognitive Neuroscience Society. He has also received honorary doctorates from the universities of¬†Newcastle,¬†Surrey,¬†Tel Aviv,¬†McGill,¬†Simon Fraser University¬†and the¬†University of Troms√ł. He was twice a finalist for the¬†Pulitzer Prize, in 1998 and in 2003. On May 13, 2006, he received the¬†American Humanist Association‘s Humanist of the Year award for his contributions to public understanding of human evolution.[90]

Pinker has served on the editorial boards of journals such as Cognition, Daedalus, and PLOS One, and on the advisory boards of institutions for scientific research (e.g., the Allen Institute for Brain Science), free speech (e.g., the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), the popularization of science (e.g., the World Science Festival and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry), peace (e.g., the Peace Research Endowment), and secular humanism (e.g., the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the Secular Coalition for America).

Since 2008, he has chaired the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and wrote the essay on usage for the fifth edition of the Dictionary, which was published in 2011.

In February 2001 Steven Pinker, “whose hair has long been the object of admiration, and envy, and intense study”,[91]¬†was nominated by acclamation as the first member of the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists (LFHCfS) organized by the¬†Annals of Improbable Research.

Bibliography[edit]

Books[edit]

Articles and essays[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^¬†C-SPAN | BookTV¬†“In Depth with Steven Pinker”¬†November 2nd 2008
  2. ^¬†“Steven Pinker”.¬†Desert Island Discs. 30 June 2013. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved¬†18 January¬†2014.
  3. ^ Pinker, S. (2009). Language Learnability and Language Development, With New Commentary by the Author. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674042179. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  4. ^ https://mobile.twitter.com/sapinker/status/990944371578109952
  5. ^¬†Annie Maccoby Berglof ¬ęAt home: Steven Pinker¬Ľ
  6. ^ Curious Minds: How a Child Becomes a Scientist
  7. ^¬†Pinker, Steven (June 26, 2006).¬†“Groups and Genes”.¬†The New Republic. Retrieved¬†October 25,¬†2017.
  8. ^ Shermer, Michael (2001-03-01). The Pinker Instinct. Altadena, CA: Skeptics Society & Skeptic Magazine. Retrieved 11 September 2007.
  9. ^ Steven Pinker: the mind reader The Guardian Accessed 25 November 2006.
  10. ^ Biography for Steven Pinker at imdb. Retrieved 12 September 2007.
  11. ^¬†“How Steven Pinker Works” by Kristin E. Blagg¬†Archived¬†2014-10-17 at the¬†Wayback Machine.¬†The Harvard Crimson¬†Accessed 3 February 2006.
  12. ^ Curriculum Vitae (PDF), Harvard University, retrieved June 23, 2017
  13. ^¬†Pinker, Steven.¬†“Official Biography. Harvard University”. Pinker.wjh.harvard.edu. Archived from¬†the original¬†on 29 December 2005. Retrieved¬†20 January¬†2012.
  14. ^¬†“The professoriate”¬†Archived¬†June 8, 2011, at the¬†Wayback Machine., New College of the Humanities. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  15. ^¬†“Professor Stephen Pinker”, New College of the Humanities. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  16. ^¬†“Steven Pinker: the mind reader” by Ed Douglas¬†The Guardian¬†Accessed 3 February 2006.
  17. ^ Pinker, Steven (2002), The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, Penguin Putnam, ISBN 0-670-03151-8.
  18. ^ Pinker, Steven, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (Viking, 2002), p. 341
  19. ^¬†“My Genome, My Self” by Steven Pinker¬†The New York Times Sunday MagazineAccessed 10 April 2010.
  20. ^¬†“DNA and You ‚Äď Personalized Genomics Goes Jewish”.¬†The Forward. 12 August 2011. Retrieved¬†13 August¬†2011.
  21. ^¬†Jump up to:a¬†b¬†Grothe, D.J.¬†(23 February 2007).¬†“Podcast:Steven Pinker – Evolutionary Psychology and Human Nature”. Point of Inquiry with D.J. Grothe. Retrieved¬†29 December¬†2014.
  22. ^ The nature of the language faculty and its implications for evolution of language
  23. ^¬†Jump up to:a¬†b¬†c¬†Pinker, Steven.¬†“Steven Pinker: Long Biography”. Harvard University. Archived from¬†the original¬†on 29 December 2005. Retrieved¬†18 May¬†2014.
  24. ^¬†Pinker has written a piece on¬†The Irregular Verbs¬†Archived¬†2014-06-06 at the¬†Wayback Machine., stating that “I like the Irregular verbs of English, all 180 of them, because of what they tell us about the history of the language and the human minds that have perpetuated it.
  25. ^¬†Jump up to:a¬†b¬†c¬†Pinker, Steven.¬†“Words and rules (essay)”¬†(PDF). Harvard University. Archived from¬†the original¬†(PDF)¬†on 30 August 2014. Retrieved¬†24 May¬†2014.
  26. ^¬†Pinker,¬†S. & Bloom, P. (1990). Natural language and natural selection. Behavioral and¬†Brain¬†Sciences¬†13¬†(4):¬†707‚Äź784
  27. ^¬†Jump up to:a¬†b¬†Christine Kenneally.¬†“Language Development:The First Word. The Search for the Origins of Language”. Archived from¬†the original¬†on 2014-07-14.
  28. ^¬†“The 20th Anniversary of Steven Pinker & Paul Bloom: Natural Language and Natural Selection (1990)”. Replicatedtypo.com.
  29. ^¬†Jump up to:a¬†b¬†c¬†Pinker, Steven (1994).¬†The Language Instinct. Penguin. pp.¬†23‚Äď24.
  30. ^¬†Jump up to:a¬†b¬†Pinker, Steven (1998).¬†“Obituary: Roger Brown”¬†(PDF).¬†Cognition.¬†66: 199‚Äď213 (see page 205).¬†doi:10.1016/s0010-0277(98)00027-4. Archived from¬†the original(PDF)¬†on 2015-05-18.
  31. ^¬†Kagan, Jerome (1999).¬†“Roger William Brown 1925-1997”¬†(PDF).¬†Biographical Memoirs.¬†77: 7.
  32. ^¬†“The ‘Language Instinct’ Debate”. University of Sussex.
  33. ^¬†Jump up to:a¬†b¬†“Empiricism v. Nativism: Nature or Nurture?”. GRSampson.net. Retrieved¬†8 June2014.. More at¬†The ‘Language Instinct’ Debate
  34. ^¬†Cowley, S. J. (2001). The baby, the bathwater and the “language instinct” debate. Language Sciences, 23(1), 69-91.
  35. ^¬†Aleksander, Igor (1996).¬†Impossible Minds. pp.¬†228‚Äď234.¬†ISBN¬†1-86094-030-7.
  36. ^¬†Jump up to:a¬†b¬†Sailer, Steve (30 October 2002).¬†“Q&A: Steven Pinker of ‘Blank Slate. United Press International. Retrieved¬†10 May¬†2014.
  37. ^¬†Pinker, Steven.¬†“Words and Rules (book)”. Harvard University. Archived from¬†the original¬†on March 30, 2014. Retrieved¬†24 May¬†2014.
  38. ^¬†Jump up to:a¬†b¬†Yang, Charles (24 August 2000).¬†“Dig-dug, think-thunk (review of¬†Words and Rules¬†by Steven Pinker)”.¬†London Review of Books.¬†22¬†(6): 33.
  39. ^¬†Pinker, Steven.¬†“The Stuff of Thought”. Harvard University. Archived from¬†the originalon 9 May 2008. Retrieved¬†30 May¬†2014.
  40. ^¬†Levitin, D. J.; Tirovolas, A. K. (2009). “Current Advances in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Music”.¬†Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.¬†1156: 211‚Äď231.¬†doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04417.x.¬†PMID¬†19338510.
  41. ^ Perlovsky L. Music. Cognitive Function, Origin, And Evolution Of Musical Emotions. WebmedCentral PSYCHOLOGY 2011;2(2):WMC001494
  42. ^¬†Abbott, Alison (2002). “Neurobiology: Music, maestro, please!”.¬†Nature.¬†416: 12‚Äď14.¬†doi:10.1038/416012a.
  43. ^¬†Cross, I. (1999). Is music the most important thing we ever did? Music, development and evolution. [preprint (html)] [preprint (pdf)] In Suk Won Yi (Ed.), Music, mind and science (pp¬†10‚Äď39), Seoul: Seoul National University Press.
  44. ^¬†“Interview with Daniel Levitin”. Pbs.org. May 20, 2009. Retrieved¬†29 December¬†2012.
  45. ^¬†Carroll, Joseph (1998).¬†“Steven Pinker’s Cheesecake For The Mind”. Cogweb.ucla.edu. Retrieved¬†29 December¬†2012.
  46. ^ Levitin, Daniel. 2006. This Is Your Brain On Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, New York: Dutton/Penguin.
  47. ^ Pinker, Steven (1997), How the Mind Works, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, p. 342
  48. ^ Pinker, Steven (2007), The Language Instinct (3rd ed.), New York: Harper Perennial, p. 186
  49. ^ Pinker, Steven (2007), The Language Instinct (3rd ed.), New York: Harper Perennial, pp. PS14
  50. ^ Pinker, Steven (2011). The Better Angels of Our Nature. Allen Lane. p66
  51. ^¬†Pinker, Steven.¬†“The Decline of Violence”. IAI. Retrieved¬†3 January¬†2014.
  52. ^¬†Horgan, John (October 3, 2011).¬†“Will War Ever End? Steven Pinker’s new book reveals an ever more peaceable species: humankind”.¬†Slate.
  53. ^¬†Boyd, Neil (January 4, 2012).¬†“The Empirical Evidence for Declining Violence”.¬†HuffPost.
  54. ^¬†Brittan, Samuel (22 October 2011).¬†“The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence in History and its Causes by Stephen Pinker”.¬†The Spectator.
  55. ^¬†Coffman, Scott (28 September 2012).¬†“Book Review: ‘The Better Angels of Our Nature.¬†Courier Journal. Archived from¬†the original¬†on 19 January 2013.
  56. ^¬†Kohn, Marek (7 October 2011).¬†“Book Review: ‘The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence in History and its Causes’, By Steven Pinker”.¬†The Independent. UK.
  57. ^¬†Epstein, R. (October 2011).¬†“Book Review”.¬†Scientific American.
  58. ^¬†Boyd, Neil (January 4, 2012).¬†“The Empirical Evidence for Declining Violence”.¬†HuffPost.
  59. ^¬†Gray, John (21 September 2011).¬†“Delusions of peace”.¬†Prospect Magazine. UK.
  60. ^¬†“Correspondence”. Claremont Review of Books. 2012-05-02. Archived from¬†the original¬†on 20 December 2012. Retrieved¬†22 January¬†2013.
  61. ^¬†Herman, Edward S.; Peterson, David.¬†“Steven Pinker on the alleged decline of violence”.¬†International Socialist Review.
  62. ^¬†Edward S. Herman and David Peterson (2012-09-13).¬†“Reality Denial: Steven Pinker’s Apologetics for Western-Imperial Volence”. Retrieved¬†2014-12-30.
  63. ^¬†Kolbert, Elizabeth (3 October 2011).¬†“Peace In Our Time: Steven Pinker’s History of Violence in Decline”.¬†The New Yorker.
  64. ^¬†Pinker, Steven (November 2011).¬†“Frequently Asked Questions about The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined”.
  65. ^¬†Laws, Ben (21 March 2012).¬†“Against Pinker’s Violence”.¬†Ctheory.
  66. ^¬†“The Big Kill ‚Äď By John Arquilla”.¬†Foreign Policy. 2012-12-03. Retrieved¬†22 January2013.
  67. ^¬†Corry, Stephen.¬†“The case of the ‘Brutal Savage’: Poirot or Clouseau?: Why Steven Pinker, like Jared Diamond, is wrong”¬†(PDF). Survival International. Retrieved¬†30 May2014.¬†(Summary at¬†The myth of the ‚ÄėBrutal Savage‚Äô)
  68. ^¬†Jump up to:a¬†b¬†“Steven Pinker: Using Grammar as a Tool, Not as a Weapon”.¬†Point of Inquiry.¬†Center for Inquiry. 10 November 2014. Retrieved¬†9 January¬†2017.
  69. ^¬†Jump up to:a¬†b¬†West, Ed (17 August 2012).¬†“A decade after Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate, why is human nature still taboo?”.¬†The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved¬†30 May¬†2014.
  70. ^¬†“PSYCHOANALYSIS Q-and-A: Steven Pinker”¬†The Harvard Crimson¬†Accessed 8 February 2006.
  71. ^¬†“The Science of Gender and Science: Pinker Vs. Spelke, A Debate”. Edge.org. 16 May 2005. Retrieved¬†10 May¬†2014.
  72. ^¬†Pinker, Steven (2009-11-15).¬†“Malcolm Gladwell, Eclectic Detective”.¬†The New York Times.
  73. ^¬†“Let’s Go to the Tape”.¬†The New York Times. 2009-11-29.
  74. ^¬†Burke, Brian (2010-04-22).¬†“Steven Pinker vs. Malcolm Gladwell and Drafting QBs”. Advanced NFL Stats. Retrieved¬†20 January¬†2012.
  75. ^¬†Steven Pinker’s “probabilistic” genes, David Shenk
  76. ^¬†Exchanges At The Frontier 2011“, BBC.
  77. ^ Human violence and morality http://online.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/doi/pdf/10.3828/hgr.2015.7
  78. ^ Pinker, Steven (2007). The Stuff of Thought. Penguin Books. p. 304.
  79. ^¬†Davies, William (2018-02-14).¬†“Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker review ‚Äď life is getting better”.¬†The Guardian. Retrieved¬†2018-05-12.
  80. ^¬†“Steven Pinker Looks At The Bright Side”.¬†1A. Feb 14, 2018. Retrieved¬†2018-05-12.
  81. ^¬†“Paloma Saenz on Twitter”.¬†Twitter. Retrieved¬†2018-05-12.[non-primary source needed]
  82. ^¬†“David on Twitter”.¬†Twitter. Retrieved¬†2018-05-12.[non-primary source needed]
  83. ^¬†“Does the Enlightenment Need Defending?”.¬†IAI TV – Philosophy for our times: cutting edge debates and talks from the world’s leading thinkers. 2018-09-13. Retrieved¬†2018-12-04.
  84. ^¬†“Steven Pinker: How Our Minds Evolved” by Robert Wright¬†Archived¬†2005-12-30 at the¬†Wayback Machine.¬†Time¬†Accessed 8 February 2006.
  85. ^¬†“The Prospect/FP Top 100 Public Intellectuals”¬†Archived¬†2009-12-01 at the¬†Wayback Machine.¬†Foreign Policy¬†(free registration required) Accessed 2006-082-08
  86. ^¬†“Intellectuals”.¬†Prospect. 2009. Archived from¬†the original¬†on September 30, 2009.
  87. ^¬†“The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers (2010)”.¬†Foreign Policy. Foreignpolicy.com. 2010. Archived from¬†the original¬†on 2010-12-03.¬†69. Steven Pinker
  88. ^¬†“The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers (2011)”.¬†Foreign Policy. Foreignpolicy.com. 2011. Archived from¬†the original¬†on 2012-01-30.¬†48. Steven Pinker: For Looking on Bright Side
  89. ^ National Academy of Sciences Members and Foreign Associates Elected, News from the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences, May 3, 2016, retrieved 2016-05-14.
  90. ^¬†“Steven Pinker Receives Humanist of the Year Award”.¬†American Humanist Association. May 12, 2006. Archived from¬†the original¬†on June 15, 2006.
  91. ^¬†“The Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists”.¬†Annals of Improbable Research. Retrieved¬†2018-01-14.

External links[edit]

Interviews[edit]

Filmed talks[edit]

Debates[edit]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Pinker

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Richard Condon — The Whisper of The Axe– The Manchurian Candidate — Prizzi’s Honor — Videos

Posted on December 29, 2018. Filed under: American History, Articles, Blogroll, Book, Books, Chinese, College, Communications, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Cult, Culture, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Drug Cartels, Education, Entertainment, Ethic Cleansing, European History, Faith, Family, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Fiction, Films, Foreign Policy, Fraud, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, government, government spending, history, Homicide, Language, liberty, Life, Literacy, Mastery, media, Movies, Movies, Narcissism, National Security Agency (NSA), Newspapers, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Police, Political Correctness, Politics, Press, Psychology, Raves, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Reviews, Television, Wisdom, Work, World War II, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Manchurian Candidate – opening scene

The Manchurian Candidate Interviews(1962 film)

The Manchurian Candidate (1962) – Assassination Scene (12/12) | Movieclips

The Remaker: The Manchurian Candidate 1962 vs. 2004

The Manchurian Candidate (1962): Classical Film Review

The Manchurian Candidate – Film, Literature and the New World Order

Anjelica Huston-Prizzi’s Honor-“You wanna do it Charlie” scene

Prizzis Honor 1985

Prizzi’s Honor

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Prizzis Honor 1985

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Anjelica Huston – Prizzi’s Honor – last scene

About the Archive

This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them.

Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems. Please send reports of such problems to archive_feedback@nytimes.com.

Richard Condon, the fiendishly inventive novelist and political satirist who wrote “The Manchurian Candidate,” “Winter Kills” and “Prizzi’s Honor,” among other books, died yesterday at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. He was 81.

Novelist is too limited a word to encompass the world of Mr. Condon. He was also a visionary, a darkly comic conjurer, a student of American mythology and a master of conspiracy theories, as vividly demonstrated in “The Manchurian Candidate.” That novel, published in 1959, subsequently became a cult film classic, directed by John Frankenheimer. In this spellbinding story, Raymond Shaw, an American prisoner of war (played in the film by Laurence Harvey), is brainwashed and becomes a Communist agent and assassin.

When the 1962 film was re-released in 1988, Janet Maslin wrote in The New York Times that it was “arguably the most chilling piece of cold war paranoia ever committed to film, yet by now it has developed a kind of innocence.”

Mr. Condon was a popular novelist who earned serious critical attention, although he did not always win favorable reviews. His response: “I’m a man of the marketplace as well as an artist.” And he added, “I’m a pawnbroker of myth.” Though others made claims that his novels were prophetic, he admitted only that they were “sometimes about five and a half minutes ahead of their time.”

In “Winter Kills,” a President, evidently modeled on John F. Kennedy, is assassinated in a conspiracy involving the Central Intelligence Agency and the underworld. Obsessed by politics, Mr. Condon once said: “Every book I’ve ever written has been about the abuse of power. I feel very strongly about that. I’d like people to know how deeply their politicians are wronging them.” That abuse could be in contemporary life or as long ago as the 15th century, as in his novel “A Trembling Upon Rome.”

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Politicians like Senator Joseph R. McCarthy and President Richard M. Nixon appeared in various guises in his work, Nixon as Walter Slurrie in “Death of a Politician.” Speaking about politics and political thrillers, Mr. Condon once said, “It’s the villains that make good literature, because they’re the only ones in the story who know what they want.”

He did not write his first novel until he was 42, but, once started, he never stopped. The first, “The Oldest Confession” (1958), was filmed as “The Happy Thieves,” starring Rex Harrison and Rita Hayworth. The novel was a success, but the film was a failure, whereas the second, “The Manchurian Candidate,” was popular in both forms. Eventually he wrote 26 novels and two works of nonfiction, “And Then We Moved to Rossenarra,” a memoir of the years he lived in Ireland, and “The Mexican Stove,” a cookbook he wrote with his daughter Wendy Jackson.

When asked how he knew so much about crime families, he said he first learned about the subject as a boy on the streets of Washington Heights. He was born in Manhattan and graduated from De Witt Clinton High School. Because his grades were so poor, he never went to college. He worked as an elevator operator, a hotel clerk and a waiter, then sold an article to Esquire magazine. While working as a copywriter for an advertising agency, he met a model named Evelyn Hunt, whom he married in 1938. Copywriting led him into movie publicity, with his first stop the Disney organization.

For 22 years, he was a movie publicist, working for almost every major Hollywood studio. With characteristic panache, he later described himself as “a drummer boy for the gnomes and elves of the silver screen.” During this period, he saturated himself with movies, watching eight a week. They were, he said, mostly bad films, but they taught him the art of storytelling and the need for the novelist to be entertaining.

In the late 1950’s, he left Hollywood and returned to New York to become a novelist. The idea for “The Oldest Confession” came while he was on location with “The Pride and the Passion” at El Escorial, outside Madrid. Fascinated by Old Master paintings, he wrote his book about art thievery. The consecutive success of “The Oldest Confession” and “The Manchurian Candidate” enabled him to devote himself to fiction.

In 1959, he began a series of migrations, first to Mexico, then to Switzerland, finally to Ireland. His travels added to his backlog of knowledge, but he continued to set most of his novels in the United States. Through the 1960’s and into the 70’s, his books received mixed reviews, with some of the more admiring notices going to “An Infinity of Mirrors” in 1964. “Winter Kills,” in 1974, drew favorable attention, with Christopher Lehmann-Haupt saying in his review in The Times that it was “a grand entertainment” and “the best book Mr. Condon has written since ‘The Manchurian Candidate.’ “

After writing a series of novels in Ireland, Mr. Condon moved back to the United States, settling in Dallas in 1980. In Texas, he had his next comeback, with “Prizzi’s Honor,” about the Prizzi family of mobsters in Brooklyn. John Huston turned the novel into a hit film, starring Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner and Anjelica Huston. The screenplay, by Mr. Condon and Janet Roach, was nominated for an Academy Award. Several years later, Mr. Condon completed the fictional cycle with “Prizzi’s Family,” “Prizzi’s Glory” and “Prizzi’s Money,” published in 1994.

Among his other novels are “Some Angry Angel,” “A Talent for Loving,” “Arigato” and “Emperor of America.”

Throughout his life, Mr. Condon displayed a wry, even diabolical streak. He often named his characters after real people. For example, the characters in Raymond Shaw’s infantry squad in “The Manchurian Candidate” were named for people associated with the Phil Silvers television show, “You’ll Never Get Rich.” His longest-running character, Dr. Weiler, was named after A. H. Weiler, a former film critic for The Times. In various Condon novels, Dr. Weiler turns up as an obstetrician, a cardiologist, a psychiatrist and the royal physician.

Mr. Condon is survived by his wife; two daughters, Ms. Jackson, of Dallas, and Deborah Condon, who lives near Salisbury in England, and three grandchildren.

Brainwashed

Where the ‚ÄúManchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ came from.

Most¬†people know John Frankenheimer‚Äôs movie ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate,‚ÄĚ which stars Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, and Angela Lansbury in the story of an American soldier who is captured in Korea and programmed by Chinese Communists to kill on command. And most people probably think of the movie as a classic of Cold War culture, like ‚ÄúOn the Beach‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúInvasion of the Body Snatchers‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒa popular work articulating the anxieties of an era. In fact, ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ was a flop. It was released in the fall of 1962, failed to recover its costs, and was pulled from distribution two years later, after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It turned up a few times on television, but it was not shown in a movie theatre again until 1987, which‚ÄĒnearly the end of the Cold War‚ÄĒis the year its popularity dates from. The true artifact of Cold War culture is the novel, by Richard Condon, that the movie was based on.

Condon‚Äôs book came out in 1959 and was a best-seller. It was praised in the¬†Times¬†(‚Äúa wild, vigorous, curiously readable melange‚ÄĚ) and¬†The New Yorker¬†(‚Äúa wild and exhilarating satire‚ÄĚ);¬†Time¬†named it one of the Ten Best Bad Novels‚ÄĒwhich, from a publisher‚Äôs point of view, is far from the worst thing that might be said about a book. The novel‚Äôs success made Condon rich; he spent most of the rest of his life abroad, producing many more works in the genre that¬†Timehad identified, including ‚ÄúWinter Kills,‚ÄĚ in 1974, and, in 1982, ‚ÄúPrizzi‚Äôs Honor.‚ÄĚ His adaptation of that novel for the John Huston movie received an Academy Award nomination in 1986. He died in 1996.

Condon was a cynic of the upbeat type, not unlike Tom Wolfe: his belief that everything is basically shit did not get in the way of his pleasure in making fun of it. He learned that attitude in the finest school for it on earth, Hollywood. Before he was a novelist, Condon was a movie publicist. He began, in 1936, at Walt Disney Productions, where he promoted ‚ÄúFantasia‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúDumbo,‚ÄĚ among other animated masterpieces, and moved on to a succession of studios, finishing up at United Artists, which he left in 1957. He didn‚Äôt know what he wanted to do next; he just wanted out. ‚ÄúThe only thing I knew how to do was spell,‚ÄĚ he later explained, so he did the logical thing and became a writer. Condon claimed that his work in Hollywood had given him three ulcers. He also claimed that he had seen, during his years there, ten thousand movies, an experience that he believed gave him (his words) ‚Äúan unconscious grounding in storytelling.‚ÄĚ

Frankenheimer called ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚Ä̬†‚Äúone of the best books I ever read,‚ÄĚ but admirers of Frankenheimer‚Äôs movie have not been so gracious. Greil Marcus, in a characteristically overheated appreciation of the movie in the British Film Institute‚Äôs Film Classics series, calls the novel a ‚Äúcheaply paranoid fantasy,‚ÄĚ and he goes on, ‚ÄúThat the story would lodge in the nation‚Äôs psyche and stay there was the work of other hands.‚ÄĚ The film historian David Thomson describes it as ‚Äúa book written so that an idiot could film it.‚ÄĚ No doubt Condon wrote ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ with a movie deal in mind. It was his second novel; his first, called ‚ÄúThe Oldest Confession,‚ÄĚ was also made into a movie‚ÄĒ‚ÄúThe Happy Thieves,‚ÄĚ starring Rex Harrison (a flop that stayed a flop). But the claim that Condon‚Äôs ‚ÄúManchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ is not much more than a draft for the screenplay (which was written by George Axelrod, the author of ‚ÄúThe Seven Year Itch‚ÄĚ) is peculiar. Michael Crichton writes books that any idiot can film; he practically supplies camera angles. But Condon‚Äôs is not an easy book to film, in part because its tone is not readily imitated cinematically, and in part because much of it is, or was in 1962, virtually unfilmable. Strange as the movie is‚ÄĒa thriller teetering on the edge of camp‚ÄĒthe book is stranger.

Time,¬†a magazine whose editors, after all, have daily experience with overcooked prose, was not wrong in seeing something splendid in the badness of Condon‚Äôs book. ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ may be pulp, but it is very tony pulp. It is a man in a tartan tuxedo, chicken √† la king with shaved truffles, a signed LeRoy Neiman. It‚Äôs Mickey Spillane with an M.F.A., and a kind of summa of the styles of paperback fiction circa 1959. The writing is sometimes hardboiled:

The slightest touchy thing he said to her could knock the old cat over sideways with an off-key moan. But what could he do? He had elected himself Head Chump when he stepped down from Valhalla and telephoned this sweaty little advantage-taker.

Sometimes it adopts a police-blotter, ‚Äúdegree-zero‚ÄĚ mode:

‚ÄúThank you, Major. Dismiss,‚ÄĚ the general said. Marco left the office at four twenty-one in the afternoon. General Jorgenson shot himself to death at four fifty-five.

Occasionally, and usually in an inconvenient place, it drops a mot recherché:

Raymond‚Äôs mother came out of her chair, spitting langrel. [‚ÄúLangrel‚ÄĚ: irregular pieces of iron loaded into shell casings for the purpose of ripping the enemy‚Äôs sails in naval battles; obsolete.]

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He clutched the telephone like an osculatorium and did not allow himself to think about what lay beyond that instant. [‚ÄúOsculatorium‚ÄĚ: medieval Latin, for a tablet that is kissed during¬†the Mass. There appears to be no connotation involving clutching.]

It signals feeling by waxing poetic:

Such an instant ago he had paddled their wide canoe across that lake of purple wine toward a pin of light high in the sky which would widen and widen and widen while she slept until it had blanched the blackness.

It signals wisdom by waxing incomprehensible:

There is an immutable phrase at large in the languages of the world that places fabulous ransom on every word in it: The love of a good woman. It means what it says and no matter what the perspective or stains of the person who speaks it, the phrase defies devaluing. The bitter and the kind can chase each other around it, this mulberry bush of truth and consequence, and the kind may convert the bitter and the bitter may emasculate the kind but neither can change its meaning because the love of a good woman does not give way to arbitrage.

And, when appropriate, it salivates:

Her lithe, solid figure seemed even more superb because of her flawless carriage. She wore a Chinese dressing gown of a shade so light that it complemented the contrasting color of her eyes. Her long and extremely beautiful legs were stretched out before her on the chaise longue, and any man but her son or her husband, seeing what she had and yet knowing that this magnificent forty-nine-year-old body was only a wasted uniform covering blunted neural energy, might have wept over such a waste.

Some people like their bananas ripe to the point of blackness. ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ is a very ripe banana, and, for those who have the taste for it, delectable.

The magnificent forty-nine-yearold body in the last passage belongs to the mother of Raymond, the assassin, who in Frankenheimer‚Äôs movie is played by Angela Lansbury as a proper and steely middle-aged matron. For Condon, though, Raymond‚Äôs mother is no matron. She is a sexually predatory heroin addict who commits double incest. She is the serpent in the suburban garden of Cold War domesticity, and, in imagining her and her history, Condon almost certainly had in the back of his mind the book that, three years earlier, had become the first blockbuster in American publishing, Grace Metalious‚Äôs ‚ÄúPeyton Place‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒa story that also had to be sanitized for the movies. The plot of ‚ÄúPeyton Place‚ÄĚ turns on incest (as, for that matter, does the plot of ‚ÄúLolita,‚ÄĚ a sensation when the American edition came out, in 1958). But the luridness of Condon‚Äôs novel did not make it to the screen. There is no equivalent in the movie, for example, of the proto-Pynchonesque sequence in which Raymond‚Äôs stepfather, Johnny Iselin, attempts to have sex with an Eskimo. Frankenheimer‚Äôs idea of satire was a lot more conventional than Condon‚Äôs. He was also a Hollywood filmmaker, of course, and obliged to observe a different decorum.

Counterintuitive as it sounds, the secret to making a successful thriller, as Michael Crichton and Tom Clancy have demonstrated, is to slow down the action occasionally with disquisitions on Stuff It Is Interesting to Know‚ÄĒhow airplanes are made, how nuclear submarines work, how to build an atomic bomb. Ideally, this information is also topical, food for the national appetite of the day. In ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate,‚ÄĚ the topic is brainwashing.

Fear of Communist brainwashing seems an example of Cold War hysteria, but in the nineteen-fifties the fear was not without basis. United Nations ground forces began military action in Korea on July 5, 1950. On July 9th, an American soldier who had been captured just two days earlier delivered a radio speech consisting of North Korean propaganda. Similar broadcasts by captured soldiers continued throughout the war. At the end of the war, the Army estimated that one out of every seven American prisoners of war had collaborated with the enemy. (The final, generally accepted estimate is one out of ten.) Twenty-one Americans refused to return to the United States; forty announced that they had become Communists; and fourteen were court-martialled, and eleven of those were convicted.

The term ‚Äúbrainwashing‚ÄĚ was coined by a journalist named Edward Hunter, who had served in the Morale Operations section of the U.S. Office of Strategic Services during the Second World War, which he spent mostly in Asia, and who became an outspoken anti-Communist. Hunter‚Äôs book ‚ÄúBrainwashing in Red China: The Calculated Destruction of Men‚Äôs Minds‚ÄĚ appeared in 1951. In it, he explained that ‚Äúbrainwashing‚ÄĚ was his translation of the Chinese term¬†hsi-nao, which means ‚Äúcleansing of the mind,‚ÄĚ and which he said he had heard frequently when speaking with Europeans who had been caught inside China in 1949, the year of Mao‚Äôs revolution.

In 1955, two years after the armistice ending the Korean War, the Army issued a huge report on the treatment of American prisoners called ‚ÄúPOW: The Fight Continues After the Battle.‚ÄĚ The Army had interviewed all surviving prisoners of war on the ships that brought them back across the Pacific‚ÄĒmore than four thousand soldiers‚ÄĒand had learned that many of them underwent intensive indoctrination by Chinese Communists. The Chinese had carefully segregated the prisoners they had identified as incorrigibles, sometimes housing them in separate camps, and had subjected the prisoners they judged to be potential converts to five hours of indoctrination a day, in classes that combined propaganda by the instructors with ‚Äúconfessions‚ÄĚ by the prisoners. In¬†some cases, physical torture accompanied the indoctrination, but in general the Chinese used the traditional methods of psychological coercion: repetition and humiliation. The Army discovered that a shocking number of prisoners had, to one degree or another, succumbed. Some were persuaded to accuse the United States, in signed statements, of engaging in germ warfare‚ÄĒa charge that was untrue but was widely believed in many countries.

The Army report instigated a popular obsession with brainwashing that lasted well into 1957. Stories about the experiences of American prisoners appeared in¬†The Saturday Evening Post,¬†Life, the¬†Times Magazine, and¬†The New Yorker. The term itself became a synonym for any sort of effective persuasion, and writers struggled with the question of whether aspects of contemporary American life, such as advertising and psychiatric therapy, might really be forms of brainwashing. Condon must have read much of this material; he did know Andrew Salter‚Äôs ‚ÄúConditioned Reflex Therapy‚ÄĚ (1949), a book he has the Chinese psychiatrist in his novel, Yen Lo, cite in the speech in which he announces his successful brainwashing of the American prisoners. Yen Lo names a number of other studies of hypnosis and conditioning, including ‚ÄúThe Seduction of the Innocent,‚ÄĚ by Frederic Wertham, an alarmist account of the way comic books corrupt the minds of American youth. (Yen Lo evidently has, in addition to his other exceptional powers, a crystal ball, since ‚ÄúSeduction of the Innocent‚ÄĚ was not published until 1954, after the Korean War was over.) These books and articles apparently persuaded Condon that brainwashing, or psychological conditioning using a combination of hypnosis and Pavlovian methods, was a real possibility‚ÄĒas the recent experience of the Korean P.O.W.s had persuaded many other Americans that it was.

Condon‚Äôs book played on the fear that brainwashing could be permanent, that minds could be altered forever. By the time Frankenheimer‚Äôs movie came out, though, it had become clear that most conditioning is temporary. In 1961, in ‚ÄúThought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of ‚ÄėBrainwashing‚Äô in China,‚ÄĚ the psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton, who had conducted some of the shipboard interviews with returning P.O.W.s, concluded that the indoctrination of prisoners was a long-term failure. All of the ‚Äúconverts‚ÄĚ eventually returned to the United States, and the former prisoners who had come home praising the good life to be had in North Korea soon reverted to American views.

Still, conditioning is the theme (if ‚Äútheme‚ÄĚ is not too grand a term) of Condon‚Äôs novel. Even before Raymond falls into the hands of Yen Lo, he is psychologically conditioned, by his mother‚Äôs behavior, to despise everyone. His mother is conditioned, by her early incest, to betray everyone. And the American people are conditioned, by political propaganda, to believe her McCarthy-like husband‚Äôs baseless charges about Communists in the government. It is not, in Condon‚Äôs vision, the Communist world on one side and the free world on the other. It is just the manipulators and the manipulated, the conditioners and the conditioned, the publicists and the public. In such a world, it‚Äôs probably better to be the publicist, if you can deal with the ulcers.

Frank Sinatra, who plays Marco, the only friend Raymond has, is supposed to have asked his friend Jack Kennedy for his approval before Frankenheimer‚Äôs movie was released. United Artists was apparently afraid that the assassination scene might give some nut an idea. Kennedy, as it happened, loved the movie; he was, after all, the world‚Äôs most famous Ian Fleming fan. He was killed a year after ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ came out. Did Lee Harvey Oswald see it? The problem has been examined in depth by John Loken, in a book called ‚ÄúOswald‚Äôs Trigger Films‚ÄĚ (2000). Loken concludes that although the evidence is not definitive, Oswald almost certainly did see it. ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ opened in Dallas in November, 1962, and played there for several months; Oswald, who was living in Dallas at the time, had a habit of going to the movies by himself (he was in a movie theatre when he was arrested on November 22, 1963); and Loken has determined that the bus Oswald probably took to work passed within ten yards of a theatre where the movie was playing. (Loken is much struck by the fact that references to ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ are almost nonexistent in the literature, official and otherwise, on the Kennedy assassination. He concludes, in the spirit of all scholars of that assassination, that ‚Äúthe probable Oswald connection, so utterly obvious if one but thinks about it, has been suppressed for decades by a powerful conglomerate that might aptly be called the ‚Äėmedia-entertainment complex.‚Äô ‚ÄĚ)

Immediately after Kennedy was shot, Condon got a call from a newspaper reporter asking if he felt responsible. Condon couldn‚Äôt see the relevance, and he was not being defensive. He had not introduced political assassination to popular American culture. Robert Penn Warren‚Äôs ‚ÄúAll the King‚Äôs Men‚ÄĚ was published in 1946 and was made into a movie in 1949; a version for television, directed by Sidney Lumet, was broadcast in 1958. Assassination is the subject of John Huston‚Äôs ‚ÄúWe Were Strangers‚ÄĚ (1949) and Lewis Allen‚Äôs ‚ÄúSuddenly‚ÄĚ (1954), also starring Frank Sinatra. Oswald might easily have seen those movies as well. More to the point: ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ is the story of a man programmed to kill at the command of other people. What self-respecting assassin would take such a character for¬†his role model? Either Oswald acted according to his own wishes, in which case he wasn‚Äôt imitating Condon‚Äôs killer, or he really was programmed by the Communists, in which case the question isn‚Äôt whether Oswald saw Frankenheimer‚Äôs movie but whether his Communist masters did.

United Artists withdrew ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ from theatres in 1964, although the movie could occasionally be seen on television and in art houses. In 1972, Sinatra bought the rights and, in 1975, removed it from circulation entirely. Whether or not he was motivated by guilt over Kennedy‚Äôs death is unclear. He did, however, give his daughter Tina permission to produce a remake, and it is being shot, this fall, by Jonathan Demme. (Demme‚Äôs previous movie, ‚ÄúThe Truth About Charlie,‚ÄĚ was also a remake, of Stanley Donen‚Äôs ‚ÄúCharade,‚ÄĚ of 1963. His method, judging from that effort, is to update the story and then salt it with allusions to the period of the original. ‚ÄúCharade‚ÄĚ was filmed in Paris at the time of the French New Wave, and so in Demme‚Äôs version there are appearances by Charles Aznavour, Agn√®s Varda, and the grave of Fran√ßois Truffaut‚ÄĒnone of which have anything to do with the story. Demme has reportedly set ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ in the time of the Gulf War; Liev Schreiber plays Raymond, Meryl Streep is his dragon mother, and Marco is played by Denzel Washington. We can be fairly confident that at some point Denzel Washington will be seen listening to a Frank Sinatra song.)

The Kennedy assassination does not fulfill Condon and Frankenheimer’s prophecy. On the contrary, it buries it. If any assassin might plausibly have been a Communist puppet, it was Oswald, a man who had lived in the Soviet Union for three years, who had a Russian wife, and who once handed out leaflets for an outfit called the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. These facts were widely known within hours of Oswald’s arrest, and yet the theory that he was an agent who was directed, wittingly or not, by Communist handlers has never been an important part of the folklore of the Kennedy assassination. Until the late nineteen-seventies, the official line (endorsed, incidentally, by Condon at the time) was that Oswald acted alone. Dissenters from that view have been drawn mainly to theories involving the Mafia and the Central Intelligence Agency, even though hooking Oswald up with those entities requires a far greater imaginative stretch than associating him with the Soviets. Almost no one thinks of Kennedy (except in some convoluted way) as a casualty of the Cold War, and his death does not represent the culmination of the national anxiety about Communist infiltration. It represents the end of that obsession, and of the panic that Condon’s novel and Frankenheimer’s movie both so happily exploit. ♦

  • Louis Menand, a staff writer since 2001, was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2016.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2003/09/15/brainwashed

RICHARD CONDON BOOKS IN ORDER

Publication Order of Prizzi Books

Prizzi’s Honor (1982) Hardcover¬†¬†Paperback¬†¬†Kindle
Prizzi’s Family (1986) Hardcover¬†¬†Paperback¬†¬†Kindle
Prizzi’s Glory (1988) Hardcover¬†¬†Paperback¬†¬†Kindle
Prizzi’s Money (1994) Hardcover¬†¬†Paperback¬†¬†Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Oldest Confession (1958) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Manchurian Cadidate (1959) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Some Angry Angel (1960) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Talent for Loving aka The Great Cowboy Race (1961) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
An Infinity of Mirrors (1964) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Any God Will Do (1966) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Ecstasy Business (1967) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mile High (1969) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Vertical Smile (1971) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Arigato (1972) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Winter Kills (1974) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Star-spangled Crunch (1975) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Money is Love (1975) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Whisper of the Axe (1976) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Abandoned Woman (1977) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bandicoot (1978) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death of A Politician (1978) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Entwining (1980) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Trembling Upon Rome (1983) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Emperor of America (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Final Addiction (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Venerable Bead (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

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Before he began writing fiction stories, Richard Thomas Condon worked for Walt Disney productions as a press agent in the movie business for 20 years where he spent most of his time in the major studios. Prior his moderate success in Hollywood, Condon also worked in the US Merchant Marine. He actually started writing in 1957 in his forties. He often complained of wasting a lot of time in Hollywood when he was employed as an ad writer by United Artists. His boss, Max Youngstein later fired him after deducting amounts from Condon’s salary without his knowledge. Youngstein also offered him a house overlooking a Mexican ocean and told him to write his book, The Manchurian Candidate (1959) which was his second novel. The book was used to make a movie in 1962, making Richard Condon famous. His other book, Prizzi’s Honor (1982) was also made into a successful movie.

Richard Condon was a thriller and satirical novelist, born and raised in New York City and best known for his conspiratorial books like The Oldest Confession (1958), Some Angry Angel (1960), A Talent of Loving (1961), An Infinity of Mirrors (1964) and many more novels. Condon’s writing was famous for its fascination with trivia, complex plotting, and hatred for those in power. For instance, his most popular novel The Manchurian Candidate was highly criticized because it seemed to disturbingly overshadow the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Furthermore, several books feature a thinly disguised version of Richard Nixon. His characters were driven by family loyalty, and with obsession, usually political and sexual. His plots had elements of a typical tragedy involving protagonists who are led by their pride to places where they destroy what they love. One of his most notable books, Mile High (1969) was best defined as secret history. In the novel, And Then We Moved to Rossenara, Richard Condon gives a humorous autobiography that recounts the various places he has lived in the world and his family’s move to Rossenarra, Ireland in the 1970s.

Apart from writing novels, Richard Condon also wrote some popular book series and bestsellers including; Prizzi’s Honor (1986), Prizzi’s Family (1986), Prizzi’s Glory (1988) and Prizzi’s Money (1994). He died in 1996.

Prizzi’s Honor was Richard Condon’s first book in the Prizzi’s series. This is not an ordinary story of a boy-meets-girl. Prizzis is the most influential Mafia family in New York. Their faithful lieutenant, Charley Partanna has affections for Irene Walker who works as a tax consultant in Los Angeles. She also does freelancing which pays her more. She is also a Mob’s hit woman. She cons the Prizzis an unforgivably huge amount of money. Indeed, this is a very dangerous moonlighting which eventually conflicts Charley’s oldest loyalties with his latest one. This book mixes character and caricature easily, making it one of his best books since The Manchurian Candidate.

The second book in the Prizzi’s series is the Prizzi’s Family. Here, Charley Partanna works for the Prizzi family as a hitman by day and studies for his high school exam by night. When he is not studying, he is juggling two beautiful women, probably more than he can handle. One, Maerose, is the granddaughter of Charley’s boss and is hungry for honor, power and Charley of course. The other, Mardell, is a sensational, one-third fantasy, two-thirds legs. This is a problem to Charley, but hormones seem to keep obstructing him. This book is funny and cheerful, and foams with perversity, obsessional religious mania, rascality, greed and lust, and assault and battery, making it a good read.

The next book in the series is Prizzi’s Glory. In this successful last volume in Prizzi trilogy series, the Prizzi family cleans up the environment, immersing huge benefits. They finally appear as a cruel, vivid and comic portrait of the America’s best-run Mafia institution. For the change, a tired, bored and depressed Charley Fontana weds Maerose, but this does not help because Don Corrado has thought of a bigger change, Prizzi’s respectability. Money flows to the Prizzi’s family through dubious activities like gambling, extortion, prostitution, loan-sharking, and narcotics. Don Corrado uses the money to control a new scam, a national political power which Charley heads. This book offers an accomplished and entertaining satire for a feat of joyful reading.

The last book in the Prizzi’s series is Prizzi’s Money. Richard Condon showcases the Prizzi family’s saga of organized crime. Here, Julia Asbury outwits the Prizzis, walking away with a huge amount of their money (a billion & a quarter) to start a new life. She does this after discovering that the Prizzis and her husband had double-crossed her.

Another noticeable writing style by Richard Condon was the use of real-life names in his books. Condon used names of real people as characters in his writings, but generally minor/peripheral ones. One of the most common names used in all of his novels includes F.M. Heller, Franz Heller, F. Marx Heller, and Frank Heller which are variations of Franklin M. Heller. In real life, Heller was, in fact, a television director based in New York City from the 1950s to 1970s and first lived on Long Island before moving to a house along Rockrimmon Road, Stamford, Connecticut. Starting with Mile High, Rockrimmon House and Rockrimmon Road have been frequently mentioned in the novels. All the fictional Hellers also shared a devotion for needlework and grew a thick-white beard similar to the real-life Heller who made a needlework depiction in Condon’s manor house in Ireland. Condon also had a great actor friend, Allan Melvin, who he wrote a nightclub act. Melvin also played Cpl. Henshaw in The Phil Servers Show which Condon was publicizing. Several Condon books particularly Prizzi’s Honor showcases Melvini as a prominent hit man.

Richard Condon’s legend is not only showcased in his wonderful writings but also some popular films that were adapted from his novels. The films include; The Manchurian Candidate (1962 and 2004), The Talent of Loving (1969), Winter Kills (1979), Prizzi’s Honor (1985), and The Happy Thieves from the novel The Oldest Confession (1962). The Manchurian Candidate is recognized as one of the best films of all time. The book combined several elements including; satire, nefarious conspiracies, black humor, outrage at financial and political corruption in America, as well as breath-taking elements from spy fiction and thrillers, and grotesque and horrific violence.

https://www.bookseriesinorder.com/richard-condon/

Condon, Richard 1915-1996 (Richard Thomas Condon)

Condon, Richard 1915-1996 (Richard Thomas Condon)
PERSONAL:
Born March 18, 1915, in New York, NY; died April 9, 1996, in Dallas, TX; son of Richard Aloysius and Martha Irene Condon; married Evelyn Rose Hunt, January 14, 1938; children: Deborah Weldon, Wendy Jackson. Education: Graduated from high school in New York, NY.

CAREER:
Writer. Publicist in New York, NY, and Hollywood, CA, for Walt Disney Productions, 1936-41, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp., 1941-45, Richard Condon, Inc., 1945-48, and Paramount Pictures Corp., 1948-53, and in Europe and Great Britain for United Artists Corp., 1953-57; novelist. Producer, with Jose Ferrer, of Broadway shows Twentieth Century and Stalag 17, 1951-52.

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MEMBER:
International Confederation of Book Actors (honorary life president), Dramatists Guild, Authors Guild, Authors League of America.

AWARDS, HONORS:
Writers Guild of America award, Bafta Award from British Academy of Film and Television Sciences, and Academy Award nomination, all 1986 for screen adaptation of Prizzi’s Honor,.

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WRITINGS:
And Then We Moved to Rossenarra; or, The Art of Emigrating, Dial (New York, NY), 1973.

(With daughter, Wendy Jackson) The Mexican Stove: What to Put on It and in It, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1973, reprinted, Taylor Publishing, 1988.

NOVELS
The Oldest Confession (Book-of-the-Month Club alternate selection), Appleton-Century-Crofts (New York, NY), 1958.

The Manchurian Candidate, McGraw (New York, NY), 1959, reprinted, Four Walls Eight Windows (New York, NY), 2003.

Some Angry Angel: A Mid-Century Faerie Tale, McGraw (New York, NY), 1960.

A Talent for Loving; or, The Great Cowboy Race, McGraw (New York, NY), 1961.

An Infinity of Mirrors, Random House (New York, NY), 1964.

Any God Will Do, Random House (New York, NY), 1965.

The Ecstasy Business, Dial (New York, NY), 1967.

Mile High (Literary Guild alternate selection), Dial (New York, NY), 1968.

The Vertical Smile (Literary Guild selection), Dial (New York, NY), 1971.

Arigato, Dial (New York, NY), 1972.

Winter Kills, Dial (New York, NY), 1974.

The Star Spangled Crunch, Bantam (New York, NY), 1974.

Money Is Love, Dial (New York, NY), 1975.

The Whisper of the Axe, Dial (New York, NY), 1976.

The Abandoned Woman: A Tragedy of Manners, Dial (New York, NY), 1977.

Bandicoot, Dial (New York, NY), 1978.

Death of a Politician, Richard Marek (New York, NY), 1978.

The Entwining, Richard Marek (New York, NY), 1980.

Prizzi’s Honor (second novel in trilogy; Book-of-the-Month Club joint main selection; also see below), Coward, McCann & Geoghegan (New York, NY), 1982.

A Trembling upon Rome, Putnam (New York, NY), 1983.

Prizzi’s Family (first novel in trilogy; Literary Guild joint main selection), Putnam, 1986.

Prizzi’s Glory (third novel in trilogy), Dutton (New York, NY), 1988.

The Final Addiction, Saint Martin’s Press (New York, NY), 1991.

Prizzi’s Money, Crown Publishing (New York, NY), 1994.

SCREENPLAYS
(With Janet Roach) Prizzi’s Honor (adaptation; see above), Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp., 1985.

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Also author screenplay for A Talent for Loving, 1969, and The Summer Music; author of the play Men of Distinction, produced on Broadway, 1953. Contributor to periodicals, including Holiday, Nation, Vogue, Harper’s, Gourmet, Esquire, Travel and Leisure, and Sunday Times magazine. Novels have been published in twenty-two languages and in braille.

ADAPTATIONS:
Books have been adapted for film, including The Oldest Confession released as the film The Happy Thieves, 1962; Winter Kill, 1979; and The Manchurian Candidate, 1962, and adapted remake, Paramount Pictures, 2004.

SIDELIGHTS:
Novelist Richard Condon began writing at age forty-two following a successful career as a movie publicist. Condon’s reputation as a writer of political thrillers was secured with his first two novels, The Oldest Confession and The Manchurian Candidate. Condon’s body of work included over twenty novels, two nonfiction books, a handful of plays and screenplays, and numerous articles on his twin passions, food and travel. This output netted him an income of about two and a half million dollars.

Condon took full advantage of his freedom as a writer. Although he resided in the United States later in life, for nineteen years Condon and his family lived in countries such as France, Spain, Switzerland, and Ireland. Condon’s focus in his novels, however, usually reflected his concerns about American society, particularly the United States government. Condon’s preoccupation with examining abuses of power made him into a cult figure of sorts to readers who shared his convictions. Condon’s novels are entertaining, despite their underlying seriousness. This assessment is compatible with Condon’s personal goals as a writer, which he discussed in a People magazine interview with Anne Maier. “I have never written for any other reason than to earn a living. This is certainly true of other writers, but some poor souls get mightily confused with art. I am a public entertainer who sees his first duty as the need to entertain himself.”

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Most of the material for Condon’s blend of reality and bizarre invention came from “the dirty linen closets of politics and money,” according to a New York Review of Books contributor Thomas R. Edwards. “His view‚ÄĒit might be called Condon’s Law‚ÄĒis that when you don’t know the whole truth, the worst you can imagine is bound to be close.” Edwards added: “[He] isn’t an analyst but an exploiter of our need to believe the worst. He does it skillfully, but his books would be less fun than they are if one didn’t suspect that he believes the worst too, that his pictures of a world of fools eternally at the mercy of knaves are also pictures of what, with anger and disgust, he takes to be the case.”

Condon’s second novel, The Manchurian Candidate, was published in 1959 and remains Condon’s most highly acclaimed novel, one that critics frequently cite as a standard of comparison for his later works. The title of the book refers to the main character, Raymond Shaw, a soldier who becomes a prisoner of war in Korea and is unknowingly brainwashed into committing crimes for his former captors after he returns to the United States. Commenting on this novel, reviewers distinguished carefully between Condon’s writing and literature. Most reviewers noted the novel’s many appeals. Michael Rogers, writing a Library Journal review of a 2003 reprint of the novel, commented that “any fan of political thrillers will enjoy this one.”

Condon followed The Manchurian Candidate with several relatively successful novels. Nevertheless, several of Condon’s subsequent novels generally fell out of favor with critics. In 1974, however, his novel Winter Kills was enthusiastically received. Winter Kills closely parallels the lives of members of the Kennedy family. The main character, Nick Thirkield, is the half-brother of John F. Kennedy analogue Tim Kegan, a young, liberal Irish president who is assassinated by a lone maniac. The assassin is caught and charged with the murder, but when Thirkield learns that another man may also have been involved, he has the case reopened.

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Several reviewers found themselves pleasantly surprised by Winter Kills. New York Times Book Review contributor Leo Braudy, for example, commented that Winter Kills is “a triumph of satire and knowledge, with a delicacy of style and a command of tone that puts Condon once again into the first rank of American novelists.” Braudy explained: “Winter Kills succeeds so brilliantly because the Kennedy assassination furnished Condon with a familiar mythic landscape through which his Gulliver-like hero can wander, simultaneously prey to Lilliputian politics, Brobdingnagian physicality, Laputan science, and Houyhnhnm moralism.” Christopher Lehmann-Haupt expressed a like opinion in the New York Times: “By the time I reached the end of the novel’s incredibly complex plot and had followed Nick Thirkield through the many blind alleys and trapdoors that eventually bring him face to face with the person behind his brother’s assassination, I was a Richard Condon fan once more.”

Extrapolation contributor Joe Sanders observed: “In Condon’s novels, politics determines the shape of society, but politics is not a voluntary, cooperative activity, entered into for some common end; it is a device by which a few clever people manipulate many others to gain their selfish ends.” Lehmann-Haupt expressed disappointment with the ending because he “caught on too early what the ultimate outcome would be,” but he found the novel’s conclusion satisfying. He wrote: “It may not be true that America is run by a small, conspiring oligarchy. It may not be true that things happen in the White House at the whim of movie stars and labor leaders, of courtesans and generals. But the possibilities are no longer inconceivable.”

Winter Kills was made into a critically acclaimed but briefly run film of the same title. Although Condon was not directly involved in the making of Winter Kills, the film’s quality drew his attention and support. After two years of filming for which most of the cast and crew were never paid, Winter Kills opened in New York in 1979 to favorable reviews. The film’s three-week run in showcase theaters was followed by disappearance from theatres, raising Condon’s conspiracy suspicions. Condon’s paranoia was further incited by the murder of one of the producers shortly after the film’s opening; two years later the second producer was sentenced to forty years in prison on a drug charge. The movie was briefly re-released in 1982 and 1983.

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Condon’s novel Prizzi’s Honor dealt with a similarly sensitive milieu: organized crime. Although this setting has been exploited by several other authors, notably Mario Puzo, reviewers believed that Condon’s novel offered a fresh outlook. Charles Champlin observed in the Los Angeles Times Book Review: “Condon, once again accepting the perceived reality as police leaks, newspaper exposes and Puzo have given it to us‚ÄĒcomplete with Sicilian litany of consiglieri, caporegimes, sottocapos, soldati, and a godfather with a lethal wheeze and a mind Machiavelli might envy‚ÄĒsteps over it to present an outrageous and original love story.” New York Times Book Review contributor Robert Asahina noted: “Richard Condon is not Mario Puzo; suspense, not the family saga, is his forte. And he winds the mainspring of the plot so tight that the surprise ending will knock your reading glasses off. Yet Prizzi’s Honor is also a sendup of the prevailing sentimental picture of the underworld. To Mr. Condon, there is honor among these thieves‚ÄĒbut it is precisely in the name of omerta that the fratellanza has been willing to ‚Äėcheat, corrupt, scam, and murder anybody who stands between them and a buck.‚Äô”

The novel’s love interest involves Charley Partanna, a gourmet cook, compulsive house cleaner, and hit man for the Prizzi family; and Irene Walker, a tax consultant and freelance killer for hire. “It is something of a challenge to a novelist to create a love interest in a story that pairs two ruthless murderers,” observed Times Literary Supplement contributor Alan Bold. “Irene is presented as a colder fish than Charley‚ÄĒshe has risen to the top of her profession on account of her ability to murder without remorse. She is as sound a psychopath as Charley. Condon suggests, however, that such creatures are capable of a great passion and Charley, for one, is sure that his love is the real thing.” New York Times contributor Susan Bolotin likewise commented on the originality of this pairing: “If boy-meets-girl/boy-gets-girl love stories seem poisonously tiresome to you, Richard Condon’s boisterous new novel may prove the perfect antidote. It’s true that Prizzi’s Honor starts off with a familiar melody, ‚Ķ but the book soon turns into a fugue with variations so intricate that the genre may never recover.”

Despite opposition from Charley’s father, Charley and Irene are wed. Condon takes the couple through a convoluted plot that includes “a kidnapping, international financial intrigue, a gangland war, police on the take, the power struggle within the family, contract killings, [and] lots of jolly sex,” wrote Bolotin. According to several reviewers, Condon’s exploration of the seamier side of organized crime is distressing. Best Sellers contributor Tony Bednarczyk wrote: “There is solid storytelling, but the subject raises disturbing questions about morals, and/or the lack thereof. It is a fast-paced, very readable story, but one feels a bit guilty for being interested in what comes next.” While Time critic Michael Demarest also believed that Prizzi’s Honor, “like most of [Condon’s] books, comes sometimes too close to the truth for comfort,” he nevertheless concluded: “Condon’s stylish prose and rich comedic gift once again spice a moral sensibility that has animated sixteen novels since The Manchurian Candidate appeared in 1962. If wit and irony could somehow neutralize villainy, the novelist would make a fine FBI director.” Other reviewers expressed similarly laudatory views. Champlin wrote: “Condon is once again the storytelling satirist with a sharp eye and a high velocity typewriter. Prizzi’s Honor may not be his best work but it ranks well up in the canon.” Concluded Asahina: “Twenty years after The Manchurian Candidate, it’s nice to know that Mr. Condon is still up to his sly tricks. In his case, at least, it’s a pleasure that‚ÄĒas he tells us an old Sicilian proverb has it‚ÄĒ‚ÄėThe less things change, the more they remain the same.‚Äô”

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Prizzi’s Honor was also made into a successful film of the same title, with Jack Nicholson and Kathleen Turner playing the roles of Charley Partanna and Irene Walker. The film was nominated for several Academy Awards, and the screenplay, adapted by Condon and coauthor Janet Roach, received awards from the Writers Guild of America and the British Academy of Film and Television Sciences. The project was initiated and eventually directed by John Huston.

Huston and movie critics alike believed that Prizzi’s Honor was faithful to the novel, a feat they attribute to Condon and Roach’s skillfully adapted screenplay. Chi-cago Tribune contributor Gene Siskel described Prizzi’s Honor as “a classic piece of moviemaking,” and Los Angeles Times film critic Sheila Benson noted: “To say the film is the treasure of the year would be to badmouth it in this disastrous season. Prizzi’s Honor would be the vastly original centerpiece of a great year.” Benson also wrote: “In its dangerous mix of love and murder, Huston is traversing terrain that he (and certainly The Manchurian Candidate author Condon) blazed decades ago. This ’80s-version denouement may distress the squeamish, but it’s right in keeping with Prizzi honor.”

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
BOOKS
Bestsellers 90, Issue 3, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1990.

Condon, Richard, Death of a Politician, Richard Marek (New York, NY), 1978.

Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series, Volume I, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1984.

Contemporary Literary Criticism, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume IV, 1975, Volume VI, 1976, Volume VIII, 1978, Volume X, 1979, Volume XLIV, 1987.

Newquist, Roy, Conversations, Volume I, Rand McNally (Chicago, IL), 1967.

PERIODICALS
Best Sellers, June, 1982, Tony Bednarczyk, review of Prizzi’s Honor; December, 1986.

Chicago Tribune, June 14, 1985, Gene Siskel, review of Prizzi’s Honor (film adaptation).

Daily Variety, March 8, 2002, Dana Harris and Sharon Swart, “‚ÄėCandidate‚Äô for Redo: Paramount Plans Remake of 1962 Classic,” p. 1.

Extrapolation, summer, 1984, Joe Sanders, article about author.

Library Journal, November 1, 2003, Michael Rogers, review of The Manchurian Candidate, p. 129.

Los Angeles Times, June 14, 1985, Sheila Benson, review of Prizzi’s Honor (film adaptation).

Los Angeles Times Book Review, April 25, 1982, Charles Champlin, review of Prizzi’s Honor.

Modern Language Quarterly, September, 2006, Micahel Szalay, review of The Manchurian Candidate, p. 363.

New Statesman, September 5, 1975, review of Money is Love, p. 285; August 13, 1976, review of The Whisper of the Axe, p. 216.

Newsweek, September 14, 1964, review of Manchurian Candidate; June 9, 1975, review of Money Is Love, p. 81.

New Yorker August 25, 1975, review of Money Is Love, p. 87; December 11, 1978, review of Death of a Politician, p. 206; October 28, 1991, review of The Final Addiction, p. 119.

New York Review of Books, February 8, 1979, Thomas R. Edwards, review of Death of a Politician, p. 35.

New York Times, May 24, 1974, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, review of Winter Kills; May 21, 1976; April 20, 1982, Susan Bolotin, review of Prizzi’s Honor, p. 25.

New York Times Book Review, May 26, 1974, Leo Braudy, review of Winter Kills; May 25, 1975, review of Money Is Love, p. 12; May 23, 1976, review of The Whisper of the Axe, p. 4; April 18, 1982, Robert Asahina, review of Prizzi’s Honor, p. 12; September 4, 1983, John Jay Osborn, Jr., review of A Trembling upon Rome, p. 4; September 28, 1986, Jimmy Breslin, review of Prizzi’s Family, p. 13; October 9, 1988, Vincent Patrick, review of Prizzi’s Glory, p. 24; February 11, 1990, Roy Blount, Jr., review of Emperor of America, p. 14; November 17, 1991, Bill Kent, review of The Final Addiction, p. 20; December 13, 1992, Donald E. Westlake, review of The Venerable Bead, p. 9; February 6, 1994, Joe Queenan, review of Prizzi’s Money, p. 9.

People, December 8, 1986, Anne Maier, interview with author.

Spectator, September 21, 1974, review of Winter Kills, p. 372.

Texas Monthly, August, 1994, William Cobb, “The Don of Dallas,” interview with author, p. 42.

Time, June 2, 1975, review of Money Is Love, p. 72; May 17, 1982, Michael Demarest, review of Prizzi’s Honor, p. 82; September 22, 1986, John Skow, review of Prizzi’s Family, p. 95; September 19, 1988, review of Prizzi’s Glory, p. 95.

Times Literary Supplement, June 11, 1982, Alan Bold, review of Prizzi’s Honor.

ONLINE
Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com/ (December 4, 2006), information on author’s film work.

OBITUARIES
PERIODICALS
New York Times, April 10, 1996, Mel Gussow.

Time, April 22, 1996, p. 33.

U.S. News & World Report, April 22, 1996, p. 26.

https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/condon-richard-1915-1996-richard-thomas-condon

Books by Richard Condon
  • The Manchurian Candidate

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  • Prizzi’s Honor

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  • Prizzi’s Family

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  • Prizzi’s Glory

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  • Winter Kills

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  • Bandicoot

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  • Emperor of America

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  • The Final Addiction

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  • Prizzi’s Money

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  • The Whisper of the Axe

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Richard Condon

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Richard Condon
Born Richard Thomas Condon
March 18, 1915
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died April 9, 1996 (aged 81)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Occupation Novelist
Genre Fiction

Richard Thomas Condon¬†(March 18, 1915 in¬†New York City¬†‚Äď April 9, 1996 in¬†Dallas, Texas) was a prolific and popular American political novelist. Though his works were satire, they were generally transformed into thrillers or semi-thrillers in other mediums, such as cinema. All 26 books were written in distinctive Condon style, which combined fast-pace, outrage, and frequent humor while focusing almost obsessively at monetary greed and political corruption. Condon himself once said: “Every book I’ve ever written has been about abuse of power. I feel very strongly about that. I’d like people to know how deeply their politicians wrong them.”[1]¬†Condon’s books were occasionally bestsellers, and many of his books were made into films; he is primarily remembered for his 1959¬†The Manchurian Candidate¬†and, many years later, a series of four novels about a family of New York gangsters named¬†Prizzi.

Condon’s writing was known for its complex plotting, fascination with trivia, and loathing for those in power; at least two of his books featured thinly disguised versions of¬†Richard Nixon.[citation needed]¬†His characters tend to be driven by obsession, usually sexual or political, and family loyalty. His plots often have elements of classical¬†tragedy, with protagonists whose pride leads them to destroy what they love. Some of his books, most notably¬†Mile High¬†(1969), are perhaps best described as¬†secret history.[citation needed]¬†And Then We Moved to Rossenarra¬†is a humorous autobiographical recounting of various places in the world where he had lived and his family’s 1970s move to Rossenarra,¬†Co. Kilkenny, Ireland.

Contents

Early life[edit]

Born in New York City, Condon attended DeWitt Clinton High School.[2]

After service in the¬†United States Merchant Marine, Condon achieved moderate success as a Hollywood publicist, ad writer and Hollywood agent. Condon turned to writing in 1957. Employed by¬†United Artists¬†as an ad writer, he complained that he was wasting time in Hollywood and wanted to write a novel. Without Condon’s knowledge, his boss,¬†Max E. Youngstein, deducted money from his salary, then fired him after a year, returning the amount of money he had deducted in the form of a Mexican bank account and the key to a house overlooking the ocean in Mexico. Youngstein told him to write his book.[3]¬†His second novel,¬†The Manchurian Candidate¬†(1959), featured a dedication to Youngstein and was made into a successful film.

Basic theme throughout Condon’s books[edit]

In Mile High, his eighth novel, one primarily about how a single spectacularly ruthless gangster named Eddie West imposes Prohibition upon an unwary populace, Condon sums up the theme of all his books in a single angry cri de coeur:

“Prohibition fused the amateurism and catch-as-catch-can national tendencies of the early days of the republic with a more modern, highly organized lust for violence and the quick buck. It fused the need to massacre twelve hundred thousand American Indians and ten million American buffalo, the lynching bees, the draft riots, bread riots, gold riots and race riots, the constant wars, the largest rats in the biggest slums, boxing and football, the loudest music, the most strident and exploitative press with the entire wonderful promise of tomorrow and tomorrow, always dragging the great nation downward into greater violence and more unnecessary deaths, into newer and more positive celebration of nonlife, all so that the savage, simple-minded people might be educated into greater frenzies of understanding that power and money are the only desirable objects for this life.”[4]

“Manchurian Candidate”[edit]

Although not perhaps actually originated by Condon himself, his use of “the Manchurian Candidate” made that phrase a part of the English language.¬†Frank Rich, for example, in his column in the “Sunday Opinion” of¬†The New York Times¬†of August 17, 2008, writes about¬†Barack Obama¬†with a reference to both a well-known actress and a well-known plot element in the first movie version of Condon’s 1959 book:

“[Obama’s] been done in by that ad with¬†Britney¬†[Spears] and¬†Paris¬†[Hilton] and a new international crisis that allows [John]¬†McCain¬†to again flex his Manchurian Candidate military cred. Let the¬†neocons¬†identify a new battleground for igniting World War III… and McCain gets with the program as if¬†Angela Lansbury¬†has just dealt him¬†the Queen of Hearts“.[5]

“The fiction of information”[edit]

Condon’s works are difficult to categorize precisely: A 1971¬†Time magazine¬†review declared that, “Condon was never a satirist: he was a riot in a satire factory. He raged at Western civilization and every last one of its works. He decorticated the Third Reich, cheese fanciers, gossip columnists and the Hollywood star system with equal and total frenzy.”¬†[6]¬†The headline of his obituary in¬†The New York Times¬†called him a “political novelist”,[7]¬†but went on to say that, “Novelist is too limited a word to encompass the world of Mr. Condon. He was also a visionary, a darkly comic conjurer, a student of American mythology and a master of conspiracy theories, as vividly demonstrated in ‘The Manchurian Candidate.'”[7]¬†Although his books combined many different elements, including occasional outright fantasy and science fiction, they were, above all, written to entertain the general public. He had, however, a genuine disdain, outrage, and even hatred for many of the mainstream political corruptions that he found so prevalent in American life. In a 1977 quotation, he said that:[8]

“…people are being manipulated, exploited, murdered by their servants, who have convinced these savage, simple-minded populations that they are their masters, and that it hurts the head, if one thinks. People accept servants as masters. My novels are merely entertaining persuasions to get the people to think in other categories.”

With his long lists of absurd trivia and “mania for absolute details”, Condon was, along with¬†Ian Fleming, one of the early exemplars of those called by¬†Pete Hamill¬†in a¬†New York Times¬†review, “the practitioners of what might be called the New Novelism… Condon applies a dense web of facts to fiction…. There might really be two kinds of fiction: the fiction of sensibility and the fiction of information… As a practitioner of the fiction of information, no one else comes close to him.”[9]

Quirks and characteristics[edit]

Condon attacked his targets wholeheartedly but with a uniquely original style and wit that made almost any paragraph from one of his books instantly recognizable. Reviewing one of his works in the International Herald Tribune, playwright George Axelrod (The Seven Year Itch, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter), who had collaborated with Condon on the screenplay for the film adaptation of The Manchurian Candidate, wrote:

“The arrival of a new novel by Richard Condon is like an invitation to a party…. the sheer gusto of the prose, the madness of his similes, the lunacy of his metaphors, his infectious, almost child-like joy in composing complex sentences that go bang at the end in the manner of exploding cigars is both exhilarating and as exhausting as any good party ought to be.”

Metaphors and similes[edit]

From his 1975 novel,¬†Money Is Love, comes a fine example of the “lunacy of his metaphors”: “Mason took in enough cannabis smoke to allow a Lipan Apache manipulating a blanket over it to transmit the complete works of Tennyson.”¬†[10]

The Manchurian Candidate offers:

“The effects of the narcotics, techniques, and suggestions… achieved a result that approximated the impact an entire twenty-five-cent jar of F. W. Woolworth vanishing cream might have on vanishing an aircraft carrier of the¬†Forrestal¬†class when rubbed into the armor plate.”[11]

Lists and trivia[edit]

Condon was also enamored of long lists of detailed trivia that, while at least marginally pertinent to the subject at hand, are almost always an exercise in gleeful exaggeration and joyful spirits. In An Infinity of Mirrors, for instance, those in attendance of the funeral of a famous French actor and notable lover are delineated as:

Seven ballerinas of an amazing spectrum of ages were at graveside. Actresses of films, opera, music halls, the theatre, radio, carnivals, circuses, pantomimes, and lewd exhibitions mourned in the front line. There were also society leaders, lady scientists, women politicians, mannequins, couturières, Salvation Army lassies, all but one of his wives, a lady wrestler, a lady matador, twenty-three lady painters, four lady sculptors, a car-wash attendant, shopgirls, shoplifters, shoppers, and the shopped; a zoo assistant, two choir girls, a Métro attendant from the terminal at the Bois de Vincennes, four beauty-contest winners, a chambermaid; the mothers of children, the mothers of men, the grandmothers of children and the grandmothers of men; and the general less specialized, female public-at-large which had come from eleven European countries, women perhaps whom he had only pinched or kissed absent-mindedly while passing through his busy life. They attended twenty-eight hundred and seventy strong, plus eleven male friends of the deceased.[12]

Writing about¬†The Whisper of the Axe¬†in the daily book review column of Friday, May 21, 1976, in the¬†New York Times, Richard R. Lingeman praised the book in particular and Condon in general for his “extravagance of invention unique with him.”¬†[13]

Not everyone was as exhilarated by Condon’s antics, however. In a long¬†Times¬†Sunday review just two days after Lingeman’s, Roger Sale excoriated Condon as a writer of “how-to books” in general, this book in particular, and Condon’s habit of using lists: “A lot of it is done with numbers arbitrarily chosen to falsely simulate precision.”¬†[14]

Real-life names in his books[edit]

All of Condon’s books have, to an unknown degree, the names of real people in them as characters, generally very minor or peripheral. The most common, which appears in all of his books, is some variation of Franklin M. Heller. Among them are F.M. Heller, Frank Heller, Franz Heller, and F. Marx Heller. The real-life Heller was apparently a television director in New York City in the 1950s, ’60s, and 70s, who initially lived on¬†Long Island¬†and then moved to a house on Rockrimmon Road in¬†Stamford, Connecticut.[15]¬†Beginning with¬†Mile High¬†in 1969, mentions of a Rockrimmon Road or Rockrimmon House also began to appear regularly in the novels. Late in life Heller grew a thick white beard and became a devotee of¬†needlework‚ÄĒboth traits that the fictional Hellers shared, sometimes to ludicrous effect, as when a battle-hardened Admiral Heller is depicted issuing orders while absorbed in needlework. The real-life Heller made one needlework depiction of the¬†manor house¬†in Ireland in which Condon was living at the time.

Condon was a great friend of actor¬†Allan Melvin, having written a nightclub act for him. Condon later became a publicist for¬†The Phil Silvers Show¬†(“Sgt. Bilko”), on which Melvin played Cpl. Henshaw. Melvin’s name shows up in several Condon books, most prominently as hitman Al (the Plumber) Melvini in “Prizzi’s Honor” (a play on Melvin’s “Al the Plumber” character in Liquid-Plumr commercials.) In¬†The Manchurian Candidate, with the exception of Marco, Shaw and Mavole, all of Marco’s platoon members are named for the cast/crew of “Bilko”: (Nat) Hiken, (Maurice) Gosfield, (Jimmy) Little, (Phil) Silvers, (Allan) Melvin, (Mickey) Freeman and (Harvey) Lembeck.

Career in films[edit]

For many years a Hollywood publicity man for Walt Disney and other studios, Condon took up writing relatively late in life and his first novel,¬†The Oldest Confession, was not published until he was 43. The demands of his career with United Artists‚ÄĒpromoting dreadful movies such as¬†The Pride and the Passion¬†and¬†A King and Four Queens‚ÄĒled to a series of bleeding ulcers and a determination to do something else.

His next book,¬†The Manchurian Candidate, combined all the elements that defined his works for the next 30 years: nefarious conspiracies, satire, black humor, outrage at political and financial corruption in the American scene, breath-taking elements from thrillers and spy fiction, horrific and grotesque violence, and an obsession with the minutiae of food, drink, and fast living. It quickly made him, for a few years at least, the center of a cult devoted to his works. As he rapidly produced more and more books with the same central themes, however, this following fell away and his critical reputation diminished. Still, over the next three decades Condon produced works that returned him to favor, both with the critics and the book-buying public, such as¬†Mile High,¬†Winter Kills, and the first of the Prizzi books,¬†Prizzi’s Honor.

Of his numerous books that were turned into Hollywood movies,¬†The Manchurian Candidate¬†was filmed twice. The first version, in 1962, which starred¬†Frank Sinatra,¬†Laurence Harvey,¬†Janet Leigh, and¬†Angela Lansbury, followed the book with great fidelity, and is now highly regarded as a glimpse into the mindset of its era. Janet Maslin, writing already over two decades ago, said in¬†The New York Times¬†In 1996 that it was “arguably the most chilling piece of cold war paranoia ever committed to film, yet by now it has developed a kind of innocence.”[7]

The Keener’s Manual[edit]

Beginning with his first book,¬†The Oldest Confession, Condon frequently prefaced his novels with excerpts of verse from a so-called¬†Keener’s Manual; these epigraphs foreshadowed the theme of the book or, in several instances, gave the book its title.¬†The Keener’s Manual, however, was a fictional invention by Condon and does not actually exist. A “keen” is a “lamentation for the dead uttered in a loud wailing voice or sometimes in a wordless cry”¬†[16]¬†and a “keener” is a professional mourner, usually a woman in Ireland, who “utters the keen… at a wake or funeral.”¬†[17]

Five of Condon’s first six books derived their titles from the fictional manual, the only exception being his most famous book,¬†The Manchurian Candidate. The epigraph in¬†The Manchurian Candidate, however, “I am you and you are me /and what have we done to each other?” is a recurring theme in earlier Condon’s books: in various forms it also appears as dialog in both¬†The Oldest Confession¬†and¬†Some Angry Angel. Among other epigraphs, the last line of “The riches I bring you /Crowding and shoving, /Are the envy of princes: /A talent for loving.” is the title of Condon’s fourth novel. His fifth and sixth novels,¬†An Infinity of Mirrors¬†and¬†Any God Will Do, also derive their titles from excerpts of the manual.

Plagiarism charge[edit]

In 1998 a California software engineer noticed several paragraphs in¬†The Manchurian Candidate¬†that appeared nearly identical to portions of the celebrated 1934 novel¬†I, Claudius¬†by the English writer¬†Robert Graves. She wrote about the apparent¬†plagiarism¬†on her website but her discovery went unnoticed by most of the world until Adair Lara, a longtime¬†San Francisco Chronicle¬†staff writer, wrote a lengthy article about the accusation in 2003.[18]¬†Reprinting the paragraphs in question, she also solicited the opinion of a British¬†forensic linguist, who concluded that Condon had unquestionably plagiarized at least two paragraphs of Graves’s work. By this time, however, more than seven years had passed since Condon’s death and Lara’s article also failed to generate any literary interest outside the¬†Chronicle.

In¬†Some Angry Angel, the book that followed¬†The Manchurian Candidate, Condon makes a direct reference to Graves. In a long, convoluted passage on page 25 Condon reflects on “mistresses” and their relationship‚ÄĒa peripheral one, to the reader‚ÄĒto Graves’s writings about “Major Male” Deities and “Major Female” Deities. As¬†Angel¬†was published only a year after¬†Candidate, there is no question, therefore, about Condon’s familiarity with the works of Robert Graves.[19]

Condon’s familiarity with Graves is also in evidence on p.¬†127 of his first novel,¬†The Oldest Confession. One of the characters in the book purchases a copy of Graves’¬†Antigua, Penny, Puce!

Works[edit]

All novels except as noted:

Films adapted from Condon novels[edit]

Articles[edit]

  • “‘Manchurian Candidate’ in Dallas”.¬†The Nation, December 28, 1963.

References[edit]

This article incorporates material from the¬†Citizendium¬†article “Richard Condon“, which is licensed under the¬†Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License¬†but not under the¬†GFDL.

  1. ^ Locus, The Magazine of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Field, from their May, 1996, issue #424, obituary of Condon, exact page unknown
  2. ^¬†Buckley, Tom.¬†“THE LITERARY CONSPIRACIES OF RICHARD CONDON”,¬†The New York Times, September 2, 1979. Accessed September 14, 2009.
  3. ^ Max E. Youngstein РBiography
  4. ^ Mile High, The Dial Press, New York, 1969, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 77-80497, page 156
  5. ^¬†The New York Times, Sunday, August 17, 2008,¬†Sunday Opinion, “The Candidate We Still Don’t Know” at¬†[1]
  6. ^¬†Time¬†magazine, “Cheese”, March 4, 1971, at
  7. ^¬†Jump up to:a¬†b¬†c¬†The New York Times, Wednesday, April 10, 1996,¬†Obituaries, “Richard Condon, Political Novelist, Dies at 81; Wrote ‘Manchurian Candidate’ and ‘Prizzi'” at¬†[2]
  8. ^¬†Who’s Who in Spy Fiction, Donald McCormick, Sphere Books Ltd., London, 1977, page 64
  9. ^¬†“For Eddie West, power was all that mattered,” by Pete Hamill,¬†The New York Times, August 31, 1969, at
  10. ^¬†Time Magazine, “Liederkranz”, a book review by John Skow, June 2, 1975
  11. ^ The Manchurian Candidate, by Richard Condon, paperback edition, Signet, New York, November, 1962, fifth printing, page 261
  12. ^ An Infinity of Mirrors, by Richard Condon, paperback edition, Fawcett Crest, New York, September, 1965, page 36
  13. ^¬†“A Thriller of the Condon Class”, by Richard R. Lingeman,¬†The New York Times,¬†May 21, 1976, at¬†[3]
  14. ^ Roger Sale, May 23, 1976, in The New York Times, at
  15. ^¬†Remembrance of Frank Heller,” by Ira Skutch, at
  16. ^¬†Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, Merriam-Webster, Inc., Springfield, Massachusetts, 2004,¬†ISBN¬†0-87779-807-9
  17. ^¬†Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition, Unabridged, G. & C. Merriam Co., Publishers, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1943
  18. ^¬†“Has a local software engineer unmasked ‘The Manchurian Candidate’? Menlo Park woman says author Richard Condon plagiarized”, by Adair Lara, in the¬†San Francisco Chronicle,October 4, 2003; the entire article can be read at¬†[4]
  19. ^ Some Angry Angel: A Mid-Century Faerie Tale, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1960, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 60-8826, page 25

 

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Brexit Breaking British Establishment and Prime Minister May with Betrayal of Brexit — Videos

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Nigel Farage on Trump’s ‘bombshell’ Brexit intervention

Brexit: Why Britain Left the European Union

Donald Trump casts doubt on how Brexit will go for Britain – Daily Mail

Donald Trump accuses PM of WRECKING Brexit during UK visit

Trump-May Wrecking Ball: President makes a series of critical comments to British newspaper

Susanna Reid Debates Steve Bannon over Trump’s Brexit Criticism | Good Morning Britain

Press conference : Donald Trump and Theresa May – BBC News

Jacob Rees-Mogg Answers Questions About Chequers Brexit Meeting

NIGEL FARAGE Turned up the heat on May’s Brexit paper – Makes a US trade deal ‘virtually impossible’

“This time – no more Mr Nice Guy” | Nigel Farage talks to James Whale over Brexit chaos

Rees-Mogg PRAISES Trump’s Brexit criticism for pointing out holes in May’s white paper

Theresa May’s Complete Brexit Betrayal

May Defends Brexit Amid Tory Chaos

Prime Minister Theresa May defends Brexit plan

Theresa May addresses David Davis and Boris Johnson resignations – Daily Mail

David Davis explains why he resigned as Brexit Secretary | ITV News

What’s next for Theresa May? РBBC Newsnight

Expert: UK would be in better position on Brexit if not for infighting | In The News

Another Brexit crisis moment for Theresa May

Tory civil war amid plot to bring down PM over Brexit policy

Brexit: Britain’s Great Escape

Brexit: A Very British Coup?

Nigel Farage on returning to politics, Trump, Theresa May and Article 50

Brexit The Movie

Trump tells Theresa May her soft Brexit plan will ‘kill’ any US trade deal after Britain leaves the EU, adds Boris will make a great PM and blames Sadiq Khan for terrorism in explosive start to UK visit

  • Trump¬†said the PM has ignored his advice on Brexit negotiations, explaining: ‘I would have done it differently’
  • Sources close to president earlier warned lucrative transatlantic trade deal cannot happen with a soft Brexit¬†
  • It comes after May used a lavish welcome dinner for Trump at Blenheim Palace to press her case for a deal

Donald Trump sent the Special Relationship into meltdown today after lobbing a series of extraordinary verbal hand grenades at Theresa May on his visit to the UK.

The US president tore up diplomatic niceties to deliver a series of crushing blows to the PM, warning that her soft¬†Brexit¬†plan would ‘kill’ a trade deal with the US – and heaping praise on Boris Johnson, who quit in protest earlier this week.

Rampaging unapologetically into domestic politics, Mr Trump said Mrs May had ignored his advice to face down the EU in negotiations and condemned slack controls on immigration.

The bombshell intervention left ministers struggling to come up with a response, just hours before Mrs May is due to host the president at Chequers for talks on the second anniversary of her premiership.

Downing Street is braced for him to double down on his criticism at a joint press conference in what could be a devastating humiliation as she struggles to cling on to power amid a huge revolt by Tory Eurosceptics.

Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan was sent out to try to put a brave face on the embarrassment this morning, stretching credibility by insisting the government did not regard Mr Trump’s behaviour as ‘rude’.

‘Donald Trump is in many ways a controversialist, that’s his style, that’s the colour he brings to the world stage,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Chancellor Philip Hammond, in Brussels for meetings, suggested the president had not yet studied the government’s Brexit plans properly.

But many MPs made no effort to hide their outrage – with universities minister Sam Gyimah tweeting: ‘Where are your manners, Mr President?’

Tory backbencher Sarah Wollaston raged that Mr Trump was ‘determined to insult’ Mrs May. In a sign of the growing chaos in UK politics, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry also leapt to Mrs May’s defence, branding him ‘extraordinarily rude’.

¬†‘She is his host. What did his mother teach him?’ Mrs Thornberry said.

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are welcomed at Blenheim Palace by Britain Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip May

From left, first lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip May watch during the arrival ceremony at Blenheim Palace

Awkwardly grabbing Theresa May hand – in a replay of their White House meeting last year – Trump was treated to a fanfare welcome by the Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards bands

Video playing bottom right…
President Trump's wife Melania wore a floor-length, pleated buttercup yellow gown for her first visit to Britain as First Lady

Trump and Melania in formal attire

President Trump and his wife walked hand-in-hand to Marine One which flew them from London to the evening’s gala dinner

US First Lady Melania Trump, US President Donald Trump, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip May stand on steps in the Great Court watching and listening to the bands of the Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards perform a ceremonial welcome

Theresa May has used a lavish welcome dinner for Donald Trump at Blenheim Palace to press her case for an ambitious new trade deal with the US after Brexit

Theresa May has used a lavish welcome dinner for Donald Trump at Blenheim Palace to press her case for an ambitious new trade deal with the US after Brexit

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (L) and her husband Philip May

Trump and May

Fanfare: Bandsmen from the Scots, Welsh and Irish Guards welcomed the Presidential party to Blenheim Palace last night

Dignitaries including International Trade minister Liam Fox (centre) awaited the President's arrival for the Blenheim dinner

Mr Trump’s outburst emerged last night just as Mrs May feted him at a lavish business dinner at Blenheim Palace – the family home of his hero Winston Churchill in Oxfordshire.

As the leaders posed for the cameras, even holding hands at one point, it was revealed that Mr Trump had launched a full-scale attack on Mrs May’s leadership in an interview with¬†The Sun¬†before arriving in Britain.

Giving a withering assessment of her Brexit plan to align with EU rules to ease trade and keep a soft Irish border, he said: ‘If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal.¬†I actually told Theresa May how to do it, but she didn’t listen to me’.

Sources close to the president earlier warned that a lucrative transatlantic trade deal would be impossible if the UK keeps close ties with Brussels – effectively meaning Britain must choose between the US and EU.

In an interview with the British newspaper, Mr Trump said he thought Boris Johnson would make a ‘great prime minister’ and that he was ‘saddened’ the former foreign secretary was out of the government.

The president also renewed his war of words with Sadiq Khan, saying the London mayor has ‘done a very bad job on terrorism’.

He said he thought that allowing ‘millions and millions’ of people into Europe was ‘very sad’ and pointed to crime being ‘brought in’ to London, criticising the Labour mayor for failing to deal with it.

Europe, he added, is ‘losing its culture’ because of mass migration and warned it will never be the same again unless leaders act quickly.

‘Look around,’ he said. ‘You go through certain areas that didn’t exist ten or 15 years ago.’ He added: ‘Allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame.’

The White House tried to go on cleanup duty after the explosive interview.

‘The President likes and respects Prime Minister May very much,’ White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

‘As he said in his interview with the Sun she ‘is a very good person’ and he ‘never said anything bad about her.’ He thought she was great on NATO today and is a really terrific person.’

Donald Trump and Theresa May give press conference at Chequers
Protests against Mr Trump are taking place in central London today, with a 'Baby Trump' blimp flying in Parliament Square

In an apparent plea to the president to remember his allies when he meets Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in Monday, May noted that Britain and America work closely together in the interests of their shared security, 'whether through targeting Daesh terrorists or standing up to Russian aggression'

She continued: ‘He is thankful for the wonderful welcome from the Prime Minister here in the U.K.’

Discussing protests – including the decision by anti-Trump activists to fly a giant blimp of the president wearing a nappy over the capital – he said they made him feel unwelcome in London.

He added that he used to love the city, but now feels little reason to go there because of the animosity directed towards him.

But he did say he respected the Queen, telling The Sun she is a ‘tremendous woman’ who has never made any embarrassing mistakes.

And the president also said he loves the UK and believes the British people ‘want the same thing I want’.

Mrs May had been trying to use the lavish welcome dinner for Mr Trump at Blenheim Palace to press her case for an ambitious new trade deal with the US after Brexit.

The president arrived in Marine One in a tuxedo alongside First Lady Melania, wearing a floor-length, pleated buttercup yellow gown.

Awkwardly grabbing Theresa May’s hand – in a replay of their White House meeting last year – Trump was treated to a fanfare welcome by the Welsh, Irish and Scots Guards’ bands.

The president was given a performance of Amazing Grace featuring a bagpipe solo during his red-carpet reception as well as Liberty Fanfare and the National Emblem.

Critics of the Prime Minister’s proposals for future relations with the EU claim that her willingness to align with Brussels rules on agricultural produce will block a US deal.

That is because Washington is certain to insist on the inclusion of GM crops and hormone-enhanced beef, which are banned in Europe.

But addressing the US president in front of an audience of business leaders at Winston Churchill’s birthplace, Mrs May insisted that Brexit provides an opportunity for an ‘unprecedented’ agreement to boost jobs and growth.

Noting that more than one million Americans already work for British-owned firms, she told Mr Trump: ‘As we prepare to leave the European Union, we have an unprecedented opportunity to do more.

Mrs May said that the history, language, values and culture shared by the UK and US 'inspire mutual respect' and make the two nations 'not just the closest of allies, but the dearest of friends'

A member of security cleans the limousine of U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at Blenheim Palace this evening 

President Trump is welcomed to Blenheim Palace by Theresa May
‘It’s an opportunity to reach a free trade agreement that creates jobs and growth here in the UK and right across the United States.

‘It’s also an opportunity to tear down the bureaucratic barriers that frustrate business leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.

‘And it’s an opportunity to shape the future of the world through co-operation in advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence.’

She also highlighted the importance of trans-Atlantic business links to a president who has sometimes seemed more interested in forging new links with former adversaries around the world than nurturing long-standing partnerships.

And she told the president: ‘The strength and breadth of Britain’s contribution to the US economy cannot be understated.

‘The UK is the largest investor in the US, providing nearly a fifth of all foreign investment in your country.

‘We invest 30 per cent more than our nearest rival. More than 20 times what China invests. And more than France and Germany combined.

‘That all means a great deal more than simply numbers in bank accounts.

Trump says May’s Brexit plan may not be what Britons ‘voted for’

The Duke of Malborough, James Spencer-Churchill (right in both photos above), with his son The Marquess of Blandford, who both welcomed the Trumps to their ancestral home Blenheim Palace

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson arrives in a tuxedo at Blenheim Palace as President Donald Trump is given a formal welcome Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson arrives in a tuxedo at Blenheim Palace as President Donald Trump is given a formal welcome
Guests are expected to enjoy a meal of Scottish salmon, English beef and a desert of strawberries and cream. Pictured: William Hague arrives 

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and his wife Lucia arrive at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, for a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Theresa May for President Donald Trump 

‘It means jobs, opportunities and wealth for hardworking people right across America.’

British firms represented at the Blenheim banquet alone employ more than 250,000 people in the US, she said.

Mr Trump earlier made clear that he did not approve of the softer stance the PM has been advocating despite fury from many Tory MPs.

‘Brexit is Brexit, the people voted to break it up so I would imagine that is what they’ll do, but they might take a different route. I’m not sure that’s what people voted for,’ Mr Trump said.

Mrs May dismissed the criticism as she departed the summit this afternoon, telling journalists: ‘We have come to an agreement at the proposal we’re putting to the European Union which absolutely delivers on the Brexit people voted for.

‘They voted for us to take back control of our money, our law and our borders and that’s exactly what we will do’.

Protesters against Donald Trump gather outside Blenheim Palace
The Presidential helicopter Marine One ferried the Trumps from the US ambassador's residence in London to Blenheim Palace

Protesters gathered at the security fence watch as US President Donald Trump and US First Lady Melania Trump leave in Marine One from the US ambassador's residence, Winfield House

Several protesters hold up their placards outside Blenheim Palace, where President Donald Trump will have dinner tonight

Anti-Trump activists gather outside the 'Ring of Steel' fence put up to secure the president when he stays in Regent's Park, London 

The protesters promised to create a 'wall of sound' outside the official US ambassador's residence. Above, a woman strikes a colander with a ladle while others hold up signs expressing disapprobation of the president

Mr Trump also said the UK was a ‘pretty hot spot right now’ with ‘lots of resignations’.

‘Brexit is ‚Äď I have been reading about Brexit a lot over the last few days and it seems to be turning a little bit differently where they are getting at least partially involved back with the European Union,’ he said.

‘I have no message it is not for me to say‚Ķ’

He added: ‘I’d like to see them be able to work it out so it can go quickly – whatever they work out.

‘I would say Brexit is Brexit. When you use the term hard Brexit I assume that’s what you mean.

‘A lot of people voted to break it up so I would imagine that’s what they would do but maybe they are taking a little bit of a different route. I don’t know if that’s what they voted for.

‘I just want the people to be happy‚Ķ..I am sure there will be protests because there are always protests.’

Speaking about the prospect of demonstrations in the UK over his visit, Mr Trump told reporters: ‘They like me a lot in the UK. I think they agree with me on immigration.’

Anti-Trump protesters gather outside Blenheim Palace
Angry anti-Trump activists hold up signs and bang pots and colanders outside the US ambassador's Regent's Park residence 

Angry anti-Trump activists hold up signs and bang pots and colanders outside the US ambassador’s Regent’s Park residence

He added: ‘I think that’s why Brexit happened.’

Mrs May was joined at Blenheim by ministers including Chancellor Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, Trade Secretary Liam Fox, Business Secretary Greg Clark, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and her effective deputy David Lidington.

Boris Johnson missed out on a seat at the table by resigning as foreign secretary on Monday in protest at Mrs May’s Brexit policy, though Mr Trump has said he might try to speak to him during his visit.

Mrs May, dressed in an ankle length red gown and red high heeled shoes, and her husband Philip, in black tie, welcomed Mr Trump and wife Melania to the gala dinner on the first evening of the President’s working visit to the UK.

Mrs Trump was dressed in a floor length yellow ball gown.

In a near replay of their famous hand-holding at the White House, the president briefly took Mrs May’s hand as they went up the stairs into the palace.

The Trumps arrived from London by Marine One helicopter before being driven in the armoured presidential limousine, nicknamed The Beast, to the opulent 18th century palace near Woodstock in Oxfordshire.

Built for the Duke of Marlborough in recognition of his military victories and named a Unesco World Heritage Site, Blenheim is one of a series of historic architectural gems Mr Trump will visit on a four-day trip.

His arrival was marked by a military ceremony, with bandsmen of the Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards playing the Liberty Fanfare, Amazing Grace and the National Emblem.

Leaders of the financial services, travel, creative, food, engineering, technology, infrastructure, pharmaceutical and defence sectors were among around 100 guests who dined on Scottish salmon, English Hereford beef fillet and strawberries with clotted cream ice-cream.

Mrs May told him: ‘Mr President, Sir Winston Churchill once said that ‘to have the United States at our side was, to me, the greatest joy’.

‘The spirit of friendship and co-operation between our countries, our leaders and our people, that most special of relationships, has a long and proud history.

‘Now, for the benefit of all our people, let us work together to build a more prosperous future.’

Mrs May said that the history, language, values and culture shared by the UK and US ‘inspire mutual respect’ and make the two nations ‘not just the closest of allies, but the dearest of friends’.

Blenheim’s glorious history: From 18th century gift to a victorious general to birthplace of Winston Churchill

Presented by Queen Anne to the Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill in 1704, Blenheim Palace has always been a symbol of British pride.

The astonishing Oxfordshire pile has seen everything from Sir Winston Churchill’s birth in 1874 to two World Wars in which it acted both as a military hospital and a college for boys.

Churchill, who also married his wife, Clementine Hozier at the palace once said: ‘At Blenheim I took two very important decisions; to be born and to marry. I am content with the decision I took on both occasions…’

The baroque-style site set in 11,500 acres was listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1987 and is owned by 13 trustees including Sir Rocco Forte of Rocco Forte Hotels.

Currently the 12th Duke of Marlborough, Jamie Blandford, and his family live in a section of the palace, although he does not appear to be on the board of trustees.

The astonishing Oxfordshire pile has seen everything from Sir Winston Churchill’s birth in 1874 to two World Wars in which it acted both as a military hospital and a college for boys

Churchill, who also married his wife, Clementine Hozier at the palace once said: ‚ÄėAt Blenheim I took two very important decisions; to be born and to marry. I am content with the decision I took on both occasions...‚Äô

Churchill, who also married his wife, Clementine Hozier at the palace once said: ‘At Blenheim I took two very important decisions; to be born and to marry. I am content with the decision I took on both occasions…’

In more recent years, Blenheim has been used as a set in a number of blockbuster films.

The famous ‘Harry Potter tree’ that appeared in Severus Snape’s flashback scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix still stands in the palace grounds, despite fears the ancient Cedar had developed a deadly disease two years ago.

The palace’s additional film credits include the James Bond film, Spectre 007, in which it doubled as Rome’s Palazzo Cadenza, and Mission Impossible ‚Äď Rogue Nation, in which the building’s Green Writing Room acted as the set for a crucial meeting between the British Prime Minister and a secret agent.

Perhaps Mission Impossible’s location team were inspired by the events of September 1940, when MI5 used Blenheim Palace as a real-life base.

Originally called Woodstock Manor, the land was given to the first Duke of Marlborough by the British in recognition of an English victory over the French in the war of the Spanish Succession.

A Column of Victory stands central to the 2,000 acres of parkland and 90 acres of formal garden landscaped by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.

At 134ft-tall the monument depicts the first Duke of Marlborough as a Roman General.

Meanwhile the magnificent Baroque palace was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh who reportedly aimed to create a ‘naturalistic Versailles’.

In an apparent plea to the president to remember his allies when he meets Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in Monday, she noted that Britain and America work closely together in the interests of their shared security, ‘whether through targeting Daesh terrorists or standing up to Russian aggression’.

The Countess of Wessex’s Orchestra played British and American hits of the 20th century during dinner.

And Mr Trump, whose mother was Scottish, was due to be piped out by the Royal Regiment of Scotland as he and Melania left to spend the night at the US ambassador’s residence in London’s Regent’s Park.

Outside the palace gates, several hundred protesters waved banners and placards reading Dump Trump, Not Welcome Here, Protect children Not Trump and Keep Your Tiny Hands Off My P****!

Trump touched down in Britain for his first official visit early yesterday after landing at Stansted Airport

He said: ‘I think they like me a lot in the UK’

Most people, a number of whom said they worked at the embassy in London, were tight-lipped as they left a secured area in the park near the US ambassador’s residence, where Mr Trump and his wife Melania stayed overnight.

Some cited ‘job restrictions’ while another said he was wary of the press. But one woman said Mr Trump had given a ‘short speech’ which she described as ‘lovely’.

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania were given a guard of honour by the RAF after arriving in the UK today

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania were given a guard of honour by the RAF after arriving in the UK today

Earlier President Trump and Melania walked from Air Force One as they landed at Stansted Airport this afternoon
Britain's most elite counter terrorism police unit CTSFO are also shadowing the US President during his high-profile stay

The exterior of The Trump Arms public house in west London, formally named The Jameson, which has embraced the arrival of US President Donald Trump.¬†Damien Smyth, from County Antrim in Northern Ireland, runs the establishment. He told the i newspaper:¬†‚ÄúAmerica is our biggest ally. They‚Äôre our best friends in the world. They‚Äôd be the ones here first if something went wrong ‚Äď not Germany, not France. I think these people protesting his visit are rude and insulting‚ÄĚ

Donald Trump raises his fist in the air as he lands at the US Ambassador's historic London home at the start of his four-day tour
Donald Trump raises his fist in the air as he lands at the US Ambassador’s historic London home at the start of his four-day tour
Marine One carrying The Donald and his wife passes the BT Tower and comes in to land at the US Ambassador's central London residence this afternoon

Another man, who did not wish to give his name, said: ‘It was very complimentary to England and to the allies that we have, very positive.’

The US President, 72, who will meet the Prime Minister and Queen during a four-day red carpet visit, landed at Stansted Airport on Air Force One at just before 2pm and walked off hand-in-hand with First Lady Melania.

America’s Commander-in-Chief has 1,000 of his own staff in the UK and a giant motorcade led by his bomb-proof Cadillac nicknamed ‘The Beast’ as well as multiple helicopters including Marine One to fly him around.

The President and his First Lady were met on the tarmac by US Ambassador Woody Johnson and UK Trade Secretary Liam Fox before he was whisked off to Mr Johnson’s house near Regent’s Park.

Earlier Mr Trump gave an extraordinary press conference in Brussels after giving NATO leaders a bruising over defence cash, where he wrote off protesters and said Theresa May’s Brexit deal probably wasn’t what Britons voted for.

When asked about the threat of mass demonstrations he said: ‘I think it’s fine. A lot of people like me there. I think they agree with me on immigration. I think that’s why Brexit happened’.

President Donald Trump and First Lady arrive at Stansted Airport
Donald Trump salutes the US Marines who flew him from Stansted to Regent's Park in London on the first day of his four-day tour

Donald Trump salutes the US Marines who flew him from Stansted to Regent’s Park in London on the first day of his four-day tour

Mr Trump and Melania hold hands and talk to US Ambassador Woody Johnson, who will give them a place to stay tonight

Mr Trump and Melania hold hands and talk to US Ambassador Woody Johnson, who will give them a place to stay tonight

Marine One, the President's helicopter, is one of a large number of aircraft he has brought with him for the British visit (shown here landing with him inside)

His aerial entourage followed him, and included an Osprey helicopter carrying elite troops from the US Marine Corps protecting him in the UK

His aerial entourage followed him, and included an Osprey helicopter carrying elite troops from the US Marine Corps protecting him in the UK

Protesters, meanwhile, staged a noisy gathering near Winfield House where Trump and his wife Melania spent the night.

A large group of demonstrators adopted an alternative version of England’s World Cup anthem Three Lions as they sang and shouted, ‘He’s going home, he’s going home, he’s going, Trump is going home’ in Regent’s Park.

A wide range of campaigners, including unions, faith and environmental groups came together to unite in opposition to Mr Trump’s visit to the UK, organisers said.

Bells and whistles rang out alongside cheers and claps for speakers throughout the protest, staged near the US ambassador’s official residence, as the crowd was encouraged to shout loudly in the hope Mr Trump could hear.

Placards including ‘Dump Trump’ and ‘Trump not welcome’ were held aloft by the enthusiastic crowd before some began banging on the metal fence which has been erected in the park.

A clip of what organisers said was the sound of children crying at the US border after being separated from their parents was played and described by those listening as ‘disgusting’.

Donald Trump's motorcade speeds through Regent's Park led by elite British police from Scotland Yard

Marine One comes in to land at the US Ambassador's central London residence this afternoon, which sits next door to the London Central Mosque in Regent's Park (minaret pictured)

Days of protests are planned for The Donald's visit, including a march through central London tomorrow and everywhere he is visiting 

The 'Nuclear Football' - the suitcase containing the United States' nuclear codes - is shown being carried by a member of Trump's entourage after the president landed in Stansted 

This giant and controversial Trump balloon showing the world leader in a nappy will be flying over London this weekend

Sam Fullerton from Oklahoma said while Mr Trump may not see the protest from Winfield House which is set back inside the fenced-off area in the park, he hoped he would hear it or see it on television.

Mr Fullerton said: ‘He watches a lot of TV so he’ll see it on TV. Or they may be out in the backyard.’

His wife Jami, a Hillary Clinton supporter, said the protest was ‘democracy at its finest’.

‘I’m here to witness democracy outside of our own country to see how other democratic societies express themselves,’ she said.

‘I think it’s great. The British are pretty gentle people.’

John Rees, of the Stop The War group, described Mr Trump as a ‘wrecking ball’ as he addressed those gathered.

He said: ‘He’s a wrecking ball for race relations, he’s a wrecking ball for prosperity, he’s a wrecking ball for women’s rights, he’s a wrecking ball for any peace and justice in this world and we have to stop him.’

Some of those gathered said they planned to stay for Mr Trump’s return after the First Couple dine at Blenheim Palace with Theresa May.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5948311/Theresa-presses-Trump-post-Brexit-trade-deal-tears-bureaucratic-barriers.html

 

Brexit crisis – what¬īs next for Theresa May?

The resignations of Boris Johnson and David Davis over Theresa May’s Brexit plans have fuelled fevered speculation that the Prime Minister could face a leadership challenge. Here are some key questions answered:

‚Äď How would rivals launch a leadership challenge?

To trigger a no-confidence vote in the PM, 15% of Tory MPs must write to the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, currently Sir Graham Brady.

With 316 Conservative MPs in the House of Commons, Sir Graham must receive 48 letters to call a ballot.

‚Äď Are there enough?

According to reports, Sir Graham told a meeting on Monday night that he had not received the 48 letters required.

There are believed to be around 60 backbenchers in the Eurosceptic European Research Group (ERG), along with many others who would like to see a ‚Äúharder‚ÄĚ Brexit than the version set out at Chequers last week, making Mrs May vulnerable to an anti-EU revolt.

The ERG’s chairman, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has said he has not sent a letter to the 1922 Committee, and expects Mrs May to remain in office at least until Brexit Day in March 2019. Others may take their lead from him.

Brexit

‚Äď Who might take on the Prime Minister?

Mr Johnson and Mr Davis could be the front-runners in the event of a no-confidence vote, although other figures may launch bids of their own.

In his resignation letter, Mr Johnson did not back Mrs May to stay on as Prime Minister, while Mr Davis said she should.

According to the Daily Mail, Mr Rees-Mogg said on Monday night that Mr Johnson would make an ‚Äúbrilliant‚ÄĚ prime minister.

‚Äď What if Mrs May refuses to stand aside?

If she chose to fight, she would need the support of more than 50% of Conservative MPs ‚Äď currently 159 ‚Äď in the confidence vote to stay in office.

But even if she achieved that threshold, a narrow victory would seriously undermine her authority and may lead her to question whether it was worth carrying on.

If she lost the vote, she would not be able to stand in the subsequent leadership contest, arranged by the chairman of the ’22.

‚Äď Why would critics not want to challenge Mrs May?

There are a number of issues that may make Eurosceptic critics hold back from an attempt to unseat the PM.

Theresa May holding a cabinet meeting in 2016

Theresa May holding a cabinet meeting in 2016

Aside from the loyalty which MPs naturally feel towards their leader, many are concerned that Mrs May’s removal could plunge the party into chaos, with no obvious replacement lined up, potentially setting the scene for Jeremy Corbyn to seize power in a new general election.

Some Brexiteers think the most crucial issue is to ensure that Britain actually leaves the EU in March next year, and feel that whatever arrangements Mrs May has secured can always be renegotiated once that point has been reached.

‚Äď What has she said?

Mrs May raised the prospect of a Jeremy Corbyn-led government to appeal for Tory unity on Brexit at a meeting of the ’22 on Monday night.

She said the alternative to the party coming together could be a left-wing Labour administration.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-5936859/Brexit-crisis–s-Theresa-May.html

 

Ministers tell big business to stop ‚Äėundermining‚Äô Theresa May on Brexit in fears of increasing the risk of a bad deal with the EU

  • ¬†Jeremy Hunt rounds on the Airbus for making ‚Äėcompletely inappropriate‚Äô threats
  • ¬†Liam Fox urges businesses worried about a ‚Äėno deal‚Äô Brexit to pressure Brussels
  • Five business lobby groups¬†warn that a lack of clarity ‚Äėcould cost the UK billions’

BY Georgina Downer

It‚Äôs been almost a year since the United Kingdom formally¬†notified¬†the European Union of its intention to leave the EU. Since then, the UK and EU have been engaged in intense negotiations about the mechanics of Brexit, all with a view to the UK‚Äôs formal departure on 29¬†March 2019.¬†In the meantime, British¬†Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap general election in June 2017 in order to boost her majority and negotiating mandate ‚Äď a strategy that failed dismally and delivered her a¬†minority governmentand shaky hold on her own job.

The atmosphere in the UK is still intensely divided, with polls indicating support for Leave and Remain almost neck and neck. That said, more Britons than not think the UK should go ahead with Brexit rather than attempt to reverse the referendum result.

UK‚ÄďEU negotiations have been tetchy and at times chaotic. There is no precedent for leaving the EU, only acceding to it, so both sides are in uncharted territory trying to¬†disentangle¬†the mess that is a 45-year EU membership. Further, the referendum result gave the UK Government no direction on the nature of the post-Brexit relationship with the EU. Among those who sensibly accept that Brexit is a fait accompli, two sides claim legitimacy for their own version of the result: the choice between¬†hard¬†or¬†soft¬†Brexit.

Hard Brexit means leaving both the EU’s Customs Union and Single Market, ending the EU budget payments and withdrawing from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Soft Brexit means the UK leaves the EU but remains part of the Customs Union and/or Single Market, as a sort of quasi-EU member without voting power and perhaps with less constraints on its sovereignty.

If the UK wants to sign its own Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)¬†‚Ästand all indications are that it does aspire to FTAs with Australia, the United States, and even to joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership¬†‚Ästthen it must leave the Customs Union. The EU Customs Union creates a trading area with a common external tariff, but within which there are no tariffs or quotas. Individual member states do not have the authority to enter into their own FTAs. Rather, the European Commission negotiates and enters into these agreements on behalf of the EU.

If the UK wants to restrict the movement of EU citizens to the UK ‚Ästand, again, the indications are that the British people want this ‚Ästthen it cannot be a member of the Single Market whose ‚Äúfour freedoms‚Ä̬†require member¬†states to grant the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital.

Simply put, Theresa May and her government are largely in favour of a hard Brexit (articulated in May’s recent Mansion Housespeech), while the Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn favours a have-your-cake-and-eat-it soft Brexit.

With elections not due until May 2022, Corbyn‚Äôs position on Brexit as laid out in his recent¬†Coventry speech¬†is more posture than policy. (He wants a new, bespoke UK‚ÄďEU Customs Union that¬†would allow the UK to enter into its own trade agreements.) Brexit will be done and dusted by the time he gets a chance at the top job. Corbyn‚Äôs agenda, rather, is to place maximum pressure on an already weakened Theresa May, perhaps claim her scalp, and set himself up to lead Labour to a win in four years‚Äô time.

In the meantime, when she’s not taking heat from Corbyn during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons, May must deal with the European Commission’s Chief Negotiator, Frenchmen Michel Barnier.

The EU‚Äôs latest offering in the negotiations is the¬†Draft Withdrawal Agreement¬†released on 28 February 2018. While the document raised many contentious issues, including the nature and length of the implementation or transition period, the biggest debate has raged over the treatment of the EU‚ÄďUK border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.¬†May has made the maintenance of a ‚Äúsoft border‚ÄĚ between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland a negotiating red line for the UK,¬†given the impact any change could have on the hard-won peace in Northern Ireland.

While much remains up in the air in the UK‚ÄďEU negotiations, a few issues have settled relatively quickly. For example, the¬†rights of EU citizens¬†currently living in the UK, and vice versa, are secure. These citizens can remain in their host country indefinitely after 29 March 2019 by applying for ‚Äúsettled status‚ÄĚ,¬†and then citizenship. Further, on the so-called Brexit divorce bill, depending on the final agreement, the UK has agreed to pay the EU a staggering ¬£35‚Äď39 billion.

Whatever the nature of the final deal struck, it will need approval by the British Parliament. May‚Äôs numbers in the House of Commons are wafer thin ‚Äď she holds government with the support of 10 Democratic Unionist Party MPs from Northern Ireland ‚Äď and the 11 Brexit rebels in her own party could prove problematic if they don‚Äôt like the final deal.

The Brexit negotiations, the implementation of the final deal, and the ramifications of whatever is agreed are not going away anytime soon. Britain might be technically free of the EU on 30 March 2019, but just how free remains an extremely vexed question.

https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/choice-between-hard-or-soft-brexit

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Angelo Codevilla — The Ruling Class vs. Country Class — Videos

Posted on June 16, 2018. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), College, Communications, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Cult, Culture, Data, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Documentary, Economics, Education, Elections, Employment, Entertainment, Essays, Faith, Family, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, Heroes, history, History of Economic Thought, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, Mastery, media, Movies, Movies, National Security Agency (NSA), National Security Agency (NSA_, Newspapers, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Radio, Raves, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Security, Speech, Spying, State, Strategy, Success, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Television, Television, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , |

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Charles Kesler Introduces Angelo Codevilla

1. America’s Ruling Class

3. What’s Wrong with the CIA?

The Revolution of America’s Regime

Angelo Codevilla – Does America Have a Ruling Class?

456. The Iron Fist of the Ruling Class | Angelo Codevilla

The Role of Intelligence in American National Security

Conservatism in the Trump Era: American Statecraft

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  • ANGELO M. CODEVILLA

July 16, 2010, 10:09 am