Archives for June 2013

Leakers Snowden and Manning——-Heroes or Villains, Part 2

Edward Snowden finds himself in a tight spot. US federal prosecutors charged him with espionage a week ago and revoked his passport. Snowden is a man without a country, remaining in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport's transit zone after leaving Hong Kong for Russia. I wish him well. I've spent time at that airport in an odd glass-enclosed waiting room for 50 people—seemingly laid down on the tarmac without a foundation—and it wasn't pretty: one toilet in a "cabinet" and only vending machines for … [Read more...]

Leakers like Edward Snowden—Heroes or Villains?

Presumably still hiding in Hong Kong and a tad sketchy in the resume honesty department, American Edward Snowden leaked documents in early June regarding the National Security Agency's surveillance activities. In a June 6 interview with the UK's Guardian newspaper, Snowden said "I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things ... I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under." He declared … [Read more...]

Remembering Ira Sandperl—mentor to Joan Baez and a big influence in my life.

When I first met Ira in Palo Alto, California in the fifties, he had a fondness for Brooks Brothers clothes, Black Russian cocktails, and beautiful art---especially Tolstoy's writings. Not surprising for the son of a wealthy St. Louis surgeon! Ira had come west to study at Stanford over a decade earlier and had lived a playboy’s life the first couple of years until, as he said, "he left school to continue his education." At one point Ira saw a book about Gandhi in a bookstore window, and from … [Read more...]

Saying Goodbye to Ira Sandperl, a Hero who was not always a Saint.

Last week, I attended Ira's memorial service in his adopted, long-time home town of Menlo Park, California. A few people flew in from across the country, which may be par for the course in an age when airplanes ply the sky like buses. . . and the deceased often reach the ripe age of 90 allowing them to influence many lives. Ira influenced more people than most, however. But therein lies the "unsaintly" rub. His influence came at the expense of his two children and other loved ones who often … [Read more...]