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Thread: Carl Oglesby near death

  1. #11

    Default Total Bummer.

    Lovely stuff Dawn. I'm gutted I never got a chance to meet him.

    That's totally like one mission unaccomplished. But he accomplished many and it's those accomplishments I am glad to have read of. I'm utterly proud to use his quote and it really transformed my thinking on the case and many others.

    Peace Carl where ever you are!
    "In the Kennedy assassination we must be careful of running off into the ether of our own imaginations." Carl Ogelsby circa 1992

  2. Default RIP

    Dawn,

    My best wishes go out to you for the loss of your close friend. Even though most of us only knew him by his work, he will still be missed by those who were fortunate enough to appreciate the value of his contributions.
    GO_SECURE

    monk


    "It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."

    James Hepburn -- Farewell America (1968)


  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Dragoo View Post

    Phil: Thank you for this. I used to sing harmony on this song with Carl. It's my favorite of his. I hope the rest of it gets put up there.
    I just got off the phone with mutual friend Harvey Yazijain- this is still all so surreal. There are obits all over the net too.

    RIP old friend. It is hard for me to believe I can't just pick up the phone and hear his voice. So I will drink a glass of wine and toast to

    the wonderful years I was lucky to have shared. Not just with Carl, his kids, especially Aron, who has been very close with my daughter since she was four ...we were family. I was blessed.

    Dawn

  4. #15

    Default AP version

    Carl Oglesby dies at 76; led Students for a Democratic Society
    As president of the radical group, Carl Oglesby helped organize teach-ins and rallies. At a massive anti-Vietnam War rally in 1965, he denounced those who broke his 'American heart.'

    Associated Press

    September 14, 2011
    Carl Oglesby, a dynamic activist in the 1960s who headed the campus organization Students for a Democratic Society and gave an influential and frequently quoted speech denouncing the Vietnam War and those who broke his "American heart," has died. He was 76.

    Oglesby died Tuesday at his home in Montclair, N.J. Todd Gitlin, a friend and fellow activist who went on to write about the era, said Oglesby had been fighting lung cancer that spread throughout his body.

    Born in 1935 in Akron, Ohio, and an undergraduate at Kent State University, Oglesby was years older than Gitlin and other '60s student radicals he befriended and was living a much straighter life at the time he met them. He was married, with three children, and was working for a defense contractor. But while studying part time at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, he was so disgusted by the Vietnam War and so taken with the then-emerging Students for a Democratic Society , and the society with him, that he soon became its president and most memorable orator.

    "The only other person who compared to him was Martin Luther King," Gitlin said. "He had the mastery of vivid phrases and also the power of mobilizing people."

    The SDS had been founded in 1960 at the University of Michigan, and its early declaration, the Port Huron Statement, helped embody the idealism of the early '60s. The SDS supported civil rights and opposed the nuclear arms race. It was strongly critical of the U.S. government, and called for greater efforts to fight poverty and big business. By the mid-'60s, when Oglesby joined, the United States had committed ground troops to Vietnam and the SDS had expanded nationwide, with a more radical purpose, one well captured by its new president.

    Oglesby helped organize teach-ins and rallies, and his power peaked in November 1965 with his speech at an early, and massive, antiwar rally in Washington. In an address titled "Let Us Shape the Future," Oglesby spoke as a disillusioned patriot and liberal who rejected not just the war, but much of American foreign policy since the end of World War II and the free enterprise system he believed demanded endless conflict. He was equally critical of Republican and Democratic presidents as victims, and enablers, of the corporate state and insisted the country's founders would have been on his side.

    "Our dead revolutionaries would soon wonder why their country was fighting against what appeared to be a revolution," he declared.

    In his most memorable phrase, he challenged those who called him anti-American: "I say, don't blame me for that! Blame those who mouthed my liberal values and broke my American heart."

    In recent years, Oglesby became obsessed with the assassination of President Kennedy. He wrote the books "Who Killed JFK?" and "The JFK Assassination" and contributed an afterword to Jim Garrison's "On the Trail of the Assassins." In 2008, his memoir "Ravens in the Storm" was published. He also recorded music and taught at Dartmouth College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Survivors include his partner, Barbara Webster, and three children.

    --------------------------------------------
    NEW YORK (AP) — Carl Oglesby, a dynamic activist in the 1960s who headed the campus organization Students for a Democratic Society and gave an influential and frequently quoted speech denouncing the Vietnam War and those who broke his "American heart," has died at age 76.

    Oglesby died Tuesday at his home in Montclair, N.J. Todd Gitlin, a friend and fellow activist who went on to write several books, said Oglesby had been fighting lung cancer that spread throughout his body.

    Born in 1935 and an undergraduate at Kent State University, Oglesby was years older than Gitlin and other '60s student radicals he befriended and was living a more conventional life at the time he met them. He was married, with three children, and was working for a defense contractor. But while studying part time at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, he was so disgusted by the Vietnam War and so taken with the then-emerging Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and the society with him, that he soon became its president and most memorable orator.

    "The only other person who compared to him was Martin Luther King," Gitlin says. "He had the mastery of vivid phrases and also the power of mobilizing people."

    The SDS had been founded in 1960 at the University of Michigan, and its early declaration, the Port Huron Statement, helped embody the idealism of the early '60s. The SDS supported civil rights and opposed the nuclear arms race. It was strongly critical of the U.S. government and called for greater efforts to fight poverty and big business. By the mid-'60s, when Oglesby joined, the United States had committed ground troops to Vietnam and the SDS had expanded nationwide, with a more radical purpose, one well captured by its new president.

    The earnest and bespectacled Oglesby helped organize teach-ins and rallies, and his stature peaked in November 1965 at an early, and massive, anti-war rally in Washington. In an address titled "Let Us Shape the Future," Oglesby spoke as a disillusioned patriot and liberal who rejected not just the war, which liberals had escalated, but much of American foreign policy since the end of World War II and the free enterprise system he believed demanded endless conflict. He was equally critical of Republican and Democratic presidents as victims, and enablers, of the corporate state and insisted the country's founders would have been on his side.

    "Our dead revolutionaries would soon wonder why their country was fighting against what appeared to be a revolution," he declared to ever growing applause

    In his most memorable phrase, he challenged those who called him anti-American: "I say, don't blame me for that! Blame those who mouthed my liberal values and broke my American heart."

    Activist and fellow SDS leader Tom Hayden called Oglesby a "radical individualist" in the tradition of Henry David Thoreau. He remembered Oglesby as a "brainy," self-taught man whose research into the Cold War and national security had convinced him that Communism was not the enemy and that change in the United States would have to reach far beyond getting out of Vietnam.

    "He used to think you could argue with Pentagon intellectuals like (Secretary of Defense) Robert McNamara and get them to change their minds," Hayden told The Associated Press. "But he later decided there would have to be a fundamental power shift."

    Gitlin noted that part of Oglesby's appeal was his own story, one millions of people could relate to. He wasn't an Ivy Leaguer or angry rich kid. He grew up working class, from the Midwest, in Akron, Ohio, and had far more experience than his fellow activists. He had given up a safe, comfortable life, much to his father's anger, to change the world. He also knew how to communicate, having briefly tried a career in New York in his 20s as an actor and playwright and attempting to write a novel.

    But the '60s proved an unfulfilled dream from which he never recovered, Gitlin says. By the end of the decade, King and Robert F. Kennedy had been killed, the Vietnam War was still on and Oglesby was being thrown out of the organization he helped grow. Violent activists such as the Weathermen dismissed Oglesby as a "hopeless bourgeois liberal." Oglesby labeled the Weathermen's politics as "road rage and comic book Marxism."

    "He suffered greatly from that, maybe more than anyone else of the older crown, from being targeted by the Weathermen as a bad guy," Gitlin said. "He used to say that the Weathermen were like the children of his generation, dismantling what had been achieved."

    In recent years, Oglesby became obsessed with the Nov. 22, 1963, assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He wrote the books "Who Killed JFK?" and "The JFK Assassination" and contributed an afterword to Jim Garrison's "On the Trail of the Assassins." In 2008, his memoir "Ravens in the Storm" was published. He recorded music and taught at Dartmouth College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also was featured in the 1991 television documentary "Making Sense of the Sixties," which he didn't know how to do.

    "We had an experience, which I suppose is unique in American history and which nobody who ever went through it will ever forget, an experience filled with treasured moments and nightmares alike," he said during the documentary. "The '60s will never level out. It's a corkscrew. It's a tailspin. It's a joy ride on a rollercoaster. It's a never-ending mystery."
    Last edited by Peter Lemkin; 09-14-2011 at 05:30 AM.
    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

  5. #16

    Default

    Carl Oglesby's War Ravens in the Storm
    Ravens in the Storm
    by RON JACOBS


    Carl Oglesby was once the president of the original Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Before that he was working for a defense contractor. His last project with the company was to develop a method of delivering Agent Orange so that it would cover the Vietnamese jungle (and the humans therein) with the chemical as thoroughly and cheaply as possible. He was typical of his generation. He was a political liberal, was married, and believed in his work. Then a moment of cognitive dissonance occurred when John F. Kennedy was murdered and his company refused to lower the flag to half-mast until ordered to do so by the corporate headquarters. Something clicked in Oglesby’s brain and he suddenly realized that there were fellow citizens that did not like even the mild liberalism of JFK. These citizens, he realized, enjoyed profiting from war and saw their mission to save the world from anyone and anything that opposed US capitalism. A year later, Oglesby was a member of SDS. Not long afterwards, he had quit his job and began traveling around the country speaking and recruiting for the organization.

    For the next five or so years, Carl Oglesby devoted a good portion of his life to SDS and opposing the war in Vietnam. His opposition was based on his belief that the war was contrary to the ideals of the country he lived in. This belief was common among many of the war’s opponents who believed it to be a mistake. Oglesby took it a step further, however, and realized that the war was more than a mistake. He concluded that it was systemic. From there he began to organize. His work took him to southern Vietnam on a factfinding tour, Paris for a War Crimes Tribunal, and even to Cuba. In between, he lived in several cities in the United States and met hundreds of people from many walks of life.

    Recently, his memoirs of the period, titled Ravens In the Storm, were published by Scribners. The book is an interesting read that chronicles Oglesby’s political life during the period and his opinions of the organization and the greater movement that he worked in. For those who were involved with SDS and other New Left organizations during the 1960s and early 1970s, there will be moments when you find yourself disagreeing with Oglesby’s impressions. There will also be times when you find yourself in total agreement. No matter what, the book is an honest and insightful chronicle of the time and its politics. Oglesby was always a presence. His brand of politics was what former Vice President Spiro Agnew might have characterized as radical-liberal. He was never a Marxist but Marxism informed his analysis.

    The book opens with an innocence that is slowly lost as the war grinds on and the repression against the movement against it intensifies. By the end of 1968, Oglesby finds himself isolated from the very organization he helped build. His continued belief that there was still room for dialog with members of the war establishment was met with scorn and disdain by most of the rest of the SDS leadership and he was drummed out of the organization. This belief does seem almost naïve by that time, given the murders of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy earlier that year. To Oglesby, however, the alternative of a Marxist-Leninist revolution being offered by his comrades-among them many future Weathermen-was unreal and based on frustration and anger, not on a clear assessment of the political reality. To his credit, he acknowledges that he misread the true intentions of the counterintelligence programs (Cointelpro) being used against SDS. He thought they were merely collecting data, not trying to destroy the group. The future Weathermembers and many others knew better, even though their response was apparently just as wrong as Oglesby’s diagnosis.

    Like many former SDS members, including some former leaders of the Weather Underground, Oglesby blames Weather as much as he blames Cointelpro for the demise of SDS. Although I personally believe this explanation ignores the role of history and replaces that role with personalities, I must admit that Oglesby does the best to make a case for his position. One can still hear the bitterness he felt at his dismissal by the leadership cadre and his disdain for their politics and arrogance. To his credit, there is little vindictiveness on these pages, just what remains of the bitterness. The story of the demise of SDS will always be one that provokes spirited discussion. However, there is no longer any need to take a side in the argument. Instead, we should learn from that episode and the rest of SDS’s history. Ravens In the Storm is a valuable and interesting addition to that history from an important member.

    Ravens In the Storm is a book about the battles against the evils of war, racism and US imperialism. It is also about the internal battles of an organization that formed to fight those evils. Heartfelt and impassioned, the story Oglesby tells on these pages is instructive and hopeful. It is also occasionally tragic. The quixotic struggle of a generation of US residents to end a terrible, immoral war has always been a good tale that should inspire. Mr. Oglesby’s version does not fail. In fact, it excels. His ultimately even-handed description of the rise and fall of SDS has it all-innocence, anger, paranoia, police repression, friendships made and friendships unmade. Those who were there can read it, remember and learn. Those who weren’t can read it and learn.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

  6. #17

    Default

    Oglesby Dies



    http://online.wsj.com/article/APf4f4...sj_share_tweet




    Why is it that concern over the JFK Assassination is labeled "obsession"?

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Doyle View Post
    Oglesby Dies



    http://online.wsj.com/article/APf4f4...sj_share_tweet




    Why is it that concern over the JFK Assassination is labeled "obsession"?
    Really, and this obit leaves out his most important work "The Yankee and Cowboy War".

    Dawn

  8. #19

    Default Carl Oglesby leader of 60's students


  9. Default

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/09/...p-we-are-devo/

    September 19, 2011

    For Carl Oglesby

    From SDS to SSDP (We are Devo)


    by FRED GARDNER

    “Carl Oglesby dies at 76; led Students for a Democratic Society,” was the headline on the obit in the LA Times. The description of SDS seems accurate (although nobody ever called it “the SDS”):
    ”The SDS had been founded in 1960 at the University of Michigan, and its early declaration, the Port Huron Statement, helped embody the idealism of the early ’60s. The SDS supported civil rights and opposed the nuclear arms race. It was strongly critical of the U.S. government, and called for greater efforts to fight poverty and big business. By the mid-’60s, when Oglesby joined, the U.S. had committed ground troops to Vietnam and the SDS had expanded nationwide, with a more radical purpose.”
    During Carl’s time as president (the 1965-’66 academic year), SDSers helped organize “teach-ins” on U.S. campuses —an innovative tactic that he promoted and participated in to the hilt. A teach-in is basically a set of talks on a political subject, with ample time for questions and discussion. For a good account of the seminal March ’65 teach-in at UMich, click here.

    Carl was eloquent and persuasive. In high school in Ohio he had been a state-champion debater. Todd Gitlin correctly described him to the obit writers as “the great orator of the white new left.” Both the LA Times obit and Margalit Fox’s in the New York Times acknowledge the impact of Carl’s speech at an antiwar rally in Washington in the fall of ’65. Fox wrote, “He condemned the ‘corporate liberalism’ -American economic interests disguised as anti-Communist benevolence- that, he argued, underpinned the Vietnam War.” Backstage that day Carl had suggested to Judy Collins that she speak and he sing. “She almost went for it,” he said.

    1965-66 was when millions of young, white Americans began smoking pot. “For the first time at an SDS meeting people smoked marijuana,” Kirk Sale wrote about ’65 in his history of the organization. Almost nobody regarded it as medicine or knew that extracts of the herb had been widely used in that way, legally.

    Carl Oglesby was the first person I knew who used marijuana consciously for medical effect. He had mild epilepsy, and dreaded the prospect of having a petit-mal episode while giving a speech. When he first smoked marijuana in the mid-’60s, he realized it would fend off seizures, and his confidence soared. When I knew him he also used mj for disinhibition, inspiration, improved mood, etc. When we talked c. 1990 he told me he had given it up, but I can’t remember why and I don’t know if he started using in later years when he was diagnosed with Crohn’s, and then lung cancer.

    Although our expressions of dissent grew louder and stronger, Lyndon Johnson kept ordering more and more GIs to Vietnam and escalated the bombing. A generation that had grown up in the aftermath of World War II -when all the other industrial economies were in ruins and the our role as Americans, supposedly, was to help heal and rebuild the world along just, rational lines- was ashamed to realize that “we” had taken over where the British and French and Dutch left off as imperial powers. We were humiliated by pictures of huts with thatched roofs on fire and peasant women fleeing with babies in their arms. “Who made us the cops of the world?” was a question that more and more Americans were asking.

    The heavier U.S. military involvement in Vietnam became, the higher the death toll, the more our shame turned to outrage. In many cases, the outrage turned to desperation and madness. In 1968 a group known as “the Weathermen” took over SDS and expelled Carl and others who dissed their efforts to initiate “armed struggle” in the U.S.

    Carl and I were close friends in this period as the ’60s came crashing down and our wives left us and our allies rejected our advice and we tried to find consolation in marijuana and guitars. Carl, whose dad had worked at an Akron tire plant, described his relationship to the “new left” in a song that began

    They called him the working-class stranger
    And he turned to the people just to have him a little fun
    Saying “What will you do my good buddies
    When the bosses get through telling you that you’ve won?”
    In the winter of 1970-71 he summed up the movement’s achievement in four words: “Cultural victory, political defeat.” I moved back to San Francisco in the fall of ’71 and we drifted apart. We would talk on the phone once in a blue moon, and stayed connected on a level deeper than ideology.

    In the’70s Carl did original research exposing the extent to which Nazis had been recruited as U.S. government operatives after World War Two. He wrote two books challenging the official version of the JFK assassination, and contributed to another by Jim Garrison, the ex-DA of New Orleans. He entertainingly (but incorrectly, I thought) espoused a theory about capital being split between Northeastern (“Yankee”) and Southwestern (“Cowboy”) factions. A play he’d written about the Hatfield and McCoys was produced in Boston and
    had a short run. It was great, but never made it to Broadway.

    He cut two records for Vanguard, and I gather they’ve been brought out as one CD, “Sailing to Damascus,” the title of the second record. If you want to hear that clear, intelligent voice, check out this.

    In 2008 Scribner’s published Ravens in the Storm, the book about SDS he’d been revising over the years. Last time we talked he said he had crossed paths with Weatherman leader Bernardine Dohrn, a key figure in the book. Bernardine had told him, quietly and seriously, the words he’d been longing to hear from her: “I’m sorry.”

    That was Then, This is Now


    Compare the names “Students for a Democratic Society” and “Students for a Sensible Drug Policy” and you see what became of the movement of the 1960s: it splintered into a thousand single-interest groups and sub-groups, each pursuing its own “issue” rather than fundamental social change.

    Carl Oglesby and the early SDS leaders understood and carried the message that the U.S. is controlled by corporate elites and that students have a key role to play turning it into an actual democracy. “Students for a Sensible Drug Policy” implies that America is a functioning democracy and that students can effectively pursue their interests by legislative means.

    SSDP has been funded since its inception in 1998 by the Drug Policy Alliance. DPA leader Ethan Nadelmann receives millions of dollars annually from George Soros to allocate as he thinks Mr. Soros would see fit. SSDP’s focus has been opposition to provisions in the Higher Education Act of ’98, which denied Pell Grants and other federally backed loans to students convicted on drug charges. This is a very laudable goal, but it’s also a tactical constraint, as if lobbying legislators was the pinnacle of activism.

    The appeal of a small, legislative reform like amending the Higher Education Act is that it seems achievable. But the elites are most likely to grant small, finite reforms when we, the people are making heavier demands —in other words, they throw us reforms as a sop. In early August Dale Gieringer of California NORML observed that the Israeli government led by the rightwinger Netenyahu had authorized a medical-marijuana distribution program, while the U.S. government led by the liberal Obama was cracking down on previously tolerated mmj distribution. Dale didn’t note the context in which Netenyahu acted: more than a quarter million Israelis, led by students, were camped out in “tent cities” in parks and public squares through the country to protest the cost of living and the extreme disparity of wealth and power. A rough equivalent would be 8 or 10 million young Americans camping out to demand forgiveness of their student loans —a thousand Burning Mans.

    Perhaps SSDP should organize teach-ins focused on the unfairness and cruelty of being made to start life with a huge burden of debt. If that would be too “off-topic” for their funders, how about teach-ins on medical marijuana, demanding that Student Health Services approve its use instead of pushing Wellbutrin, et al? The SHS director at each campus could be invited to speak… along with doctors from the Society of Cannabis Clinicians who actually understand the subject. Just an idea…
    ‘Bye Carl… Bleeding with whiskey I dream of my old Cherokee.

    Fred Gardner was once a political organizer. He can be reached at fredgardner@projectcbd.org
    "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
    Buckminster Fuller

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