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Lynne Speed

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Ramsey Clark (December 18, 1927 – April 9, 2021): A Lifetime Commitment To Fighting Injustice

The Schiller Institute would like to extend our condolences to the family, friends snd associates of former United States Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who passed away at the age of 93 on Friday, April 9. Clark stood for the true Constitution of the real United States, and was consistently opposed to the hijacking of the American legal system for the purpose of justifying war crimes—often committed in the Constitution’s name. He was, moreover, a voice for reason that, contrary to many others of his, and later generations, became clearer and stronger as the decades passed.

Clark, who never missed an occasion in the last years of his life to appear at Schiller Institute events when called upon to do so, was, like LaRouche, an independent man of principle, a true citizen of “the republic of the Mind.” So long as he was alive, the justice that citizens should expect to enjoy from the American Constitutional and legal system was personified. Clark understood the true depth of injustice that LaRouche and his associates had suffered, and he also appreciated that “the book people,” as he referred to LaRouche’s International Caucus of Labor Committees, possessed an unshakeable commitment to truth.

One source recalled in recent days that Clark caused those who were severely critical of LaRouche, particularly on the left, to investigate who LaRouche really was. His assessment was said to be that the ICLC, Schiller Institute and affiliate organizations were the best organized group against the establishment, and that, if LaRouche and his co-thinkers and organizations were to disintegrate or be destroyed, the United States would turn to fascism.

It was to prevent precisely such an occurrence that Clark sent a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno in 1995, which began as follows:

April 26, 1995

Re: U.S. v. Lyndon LaRouche, Jr. et al.

Dear Attorney General Reno,

I have been an attorney in this case since shortly after the defendants were sentenced in January 1990 and appeared as co- counsel on appeal and on the subsequent motions and appeals in proceedings under 28 U.S. C. sec. 2255 and F.R. Cr.P. Rule 33. I bring this matter to you directly, because I believe it involves a broader range of deliberate and systematic misconduct and abuse of power over a longer period of time in an effort to destroy a political movement and leader, than any other federal prosecution in my time or to my knowledge. Three courts have now condemned the Department’s conduct in this prosecutorial campaign. The result has been a tragic miscarriage of justice which at this time can only be corrected by an objective review and courageous action by the Department of Justice.

Clark’s depth of character, and deeper understanding of the problem of the post-war American outlook, was referenced by him in this statement, recorded in a documentary about him called Citizen Clark:

“There are sayings around the Kennedy Center, carved above the marble above the colonnades when you walk in. And on the backside toward the Potomac, there’s one; it’s a quote from President Kennedy that says: ‘I look forward to the day when America is no longer afraid of grace and beauty.’ And I thought immediately when he was shot, that that’s why he was shot. We are afraid of grace and beauty.”

Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites: Mozambique Project—

Statement from the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites: Mozambique Project—Medical Supplies, Food Aid & Seeds for the Future

April 11 (Schiller Institute)

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
—Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., “Letter from the Birmingham Jail,” April 16, 1963

The Schiller Institute’s Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites, initiated by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder of the Schiller Institute, and Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former U.S. Surgeon General, has launched an effort bringing together people of good will, of various backgrounds including youth, social activists, religious figures, farmers, medical personnel, miltary logistic experts and others, concerned, not just about themselves, but the crises facing all humanity. The Committee has emphasized reviving the non-violent direct action tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. The idea is to demonstrate in a pilot project—beginning in Mozambique—that we can mitigate tragic circumstances, and inspire the large-scale response needed.

The UN World Food Program (WFP) Director David Beasley warns that famine now threatens the lives of 270 million people. It is essential that governments work together to: 1) implement full-scale emergency relief programs; 2) establish modern healthcare systems in every nation, including full-set infrastructure and trained staff; and 3) defend and expand family farm-scale agriculture everywhere.

Our initial effort focuses on delivery of medical supplies, food, and seeds to Mozambique, in southeastern Africa. With a population of 31 million, it is one of the poorest, and youngest (17 years is the median age) nations in the world. Terrorist attacks in the northern province of Cabo Delgado have displaced more than 670,000 people. There is chronic malnutrition, with over half of the children malnourished. There is widespread damage from recent cyclones. Crowded shelters and homes lack the most basic necessities, like soap, contributing to cholera, malaria and COVID-19. The disruption to spring harvesting and replanting is severe.

At the same time farmers in the world’s highest output food-belts—France, Germany, India—are in the streets with their tractors, protesting low prices, and new agro-dictates that will ruin them and cause world food shortages.

The objective of the Committee is to get a delivery of food and medical supplies into Mozambique as rapidly as possible, at the same time publicizing in the U.S. and internationally, the necessity for a global mobilization by governments and institutions for health security for all. Several farm leaders and military experts are joining with us to publicize and support this mission.

The Committee is working in conjunction with the Golden State Medical Association (GSMA), the California branch of the National Medical Association (NMA), to facilitate this project, due to their previous impactful humanitarian experiences in Mozambique. GSMA, along with NMA’s Council on International Affairs, have conducted several earlier missions to Mozambique and know the situation well. Contacts have already been established with government and medical personnel on the ground in Mozambique by GSMA, who can ensure safe and efficient delivery of goods to designated people in need.

The Committee intends to supply food (corn-soy meal, dried fish, etc.), seeds, water purification tablets, medical supplies (PPE, pharmaceuticals, etc.), procured both in the U.S., and directly in Africa to minimize transport costs. Funds and donations-in-kind are now being collected by the Committee and are tax-deductible.

For more information, please contact:   Lynne Speed, Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites

Interview with Dr. James Hildreth on COVID-19 Crisis

Members of the Schiller Institute’s Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites interviewed Dr. James Hildreth on February 1 on the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Hildreth is the president and CEO of Meharry Medical College, oldest and largest predominantly black Medical School in the country.  He sits on the committee that reviews vaccines for approval, the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.

Dr. Hildreth addresses several topics, including:

  • The present state of affairs regarding Covid-19 vaccine safety, efficacy, production, and availability.
  • The understandable hesitancy and fear of people regarding getting the vaccine.
  • The difference between an epidemic and a pandemic and why we must have a global approach to conquering this disease.
  • What motivated him to dedicate his life to medicine.

Appended below is a shorter 15 minute version of the interview, suitable for circulation on social media and other channels and a fuller 28 minute version.

Full length 28 minute interview:

Beethoven: Sparks of Joy – No. 19

Beethoven Opus 119 Bagatelles
Notes by Margaret Scialdone

The Opus 119 Bagatelles appeared in London in 1823 as “Trifles for the Piano Forte, Consisting of Eleven pleasing Pieces Composed in Various Styles by L. Van Beethoven”. They are quite accessible to non-celebrity but accomplished pianists, and it’s possible to hear brilliant interpretations by people you might not have heard of. A good example is this performance by Helen Ryba, who has a piano studio in Woodbridge, New Jersey.

Beethoven: Sparks of Joy – No. 18

Beethoven’s Final Sonata Opus 111
Notes by Margaret Scialdone

After completing his 32nd and final piano sonata, Beethoven is said to have made the astonishing remark that the piano is “after all, an unsatisfactory instrument”. This work does indeed strain the limits of both piano and performer, the latter spiritually as well as technically. The second movement, innocuously called “Arietta” (little song), reaches almost other-worldly dimensions of emotional profundity. Although he went on to compose other works for the piano (the Diabelli Variations and Opus 119 Bagatelles), he never contemplated writing another sonata.

András Schiff Plays Beethoven Piano Sonata No 32 C minor Op 111

Beethoven: Sparks of Joy – No. 17

Beethoven’s “Der Erlkönig
Notes by Margaret Scialdone

Goethe’s poem “Der Erlkönig” tells the story of a boy riding home on horseback in his father’s arms. He is frightened when he hears the seductive voice of the Erl King, a powerful and creepy supernatural being. The Erl King attempts to lure the child into joining him, promising amusement, rich clothes and the attentions of his daughters. He tells his father, who assures the child that it’s just his imagination. Suddenly the boy shrieks that the Erl king has done him harm! The father breaks into a gallop, and reaches home only to find that the boy is dead.

Der Erlkonig was set to music by several composers, Schubert’s version being the best known. Beethoven’s setting heard here, is WoO 131. Can you hear the four distinct voices?

Who rides so late through the night and wind?
It is the father with his child.
He has the boy in his arms;
he holds him safely, he keeps him warm.

‘My son, why do you hide your face in fear?’

‘Father, can you not see the Erlking?
The Erlking with his crown and tail?’

‘My son, it is a streak of mist.’

‘Sweet child, come with me.
I’ll play wonderful games with you.
Many a pretty flower grows on the shore;
my mother has many a golden robe.’

‘Father, father, do you not hear
what the Erlking softly promises me?’

‘Calm, be calm, my child:
the wind is rustling in the withered leaves.’

‘Won’t you come with me, my fine lad?
My daughters shall wait upon you;
my daughters lead the nightly dance,
and will rock you, and dance, and sing you to sleep.’

‘Father, father, can you not see
Erlking’s daughters there in the darkness?’

‘My son, my son, I can see clearly:
it is the old grey willows gleaming.’

‘I love you, your fair form allures me,
and if you don’t come willingly, I’ll use force.’

‘Father, father, now he’s seizing me!
The Erlking has hurt me!’

The father shudders, he rides swiftly,
he holds the moaning child in his arms;
with one last effort he reaches home;
the child lay dead in his arms.

(Translation by Richard Wigmore)

Beethoven: Sparks of Joy – No. 16

Beethoven’s humor—“The Test of Kisses”
Notes by Fred Haight

This song, “Prüfung des Küssens, WoO 89” (The Test of Kissing), was composed between 1790–1791, for Bonn’s Electoral singer, Joseph Lux. It is for a bass and orchestra. The author of the text is unknown, but this song, in the Italian opera buffa style, is skillfully orchestrated and full of humor.

The text tells of a “wise” mother who instructs her son that to kiss is a sin. The boy does not agree because he gets them free from Doris, and things seem to be fine. They may, however, lead to other woes.

The orchestration is through-composed. There is a surprising amount of variety in the work, including three tempo changes and a shift from 4/4 to 2/2 meter. The orchestra stands independent of the vocal area and doubling the singer only at particular moments such as cadences.

Meine weise Mutter spricht
Meine weise Mutter spricht:
Küssen, Küssen, Kind! ist Sünde!
Und ich armer Sünder finde,
Doch das Ding so böse nicht.

Mord und Diebstahl, weiß ich wohl,
Ist ein schreckliches Vergehen
Aber, trotz, den will ich sehen,
Der mich das beweisen soll.

Meine Küsse stehl’ ich nicht:
Doris gibt von freien Stücken,
Und ich seh’s an ihren Blicken,
Daß ihr wenig Leid geschicht.

Oft begiebt es sich, daß wir
Uns, vor Lust, die Lippen beißen:
Aber soll das Morden heißen?
Gott bewahre mich dafür!

Mutter! Mutter! Schmäherei!
Sünd’ ist Küssen? Ist es eine;
Nun, ich armer Sünder meine,
Daß sie nicht zu lassen se

My wise mother speaks
My wise mother says:
Kissing, kissing, child, is a sin!
Though I do not find the poor sinner
As bad as the thing itself
Murder and theft, I know
Are terrible offenses
But in spite of that I want to see
It proven it to me.

I do not steal my kisses:
Doris gives of her own free will,
And I see it in her looks
That she has little suffering.

It often happens that we
Bite our lips with lust:
But should that be called murder?
God keep me from that!

Mother! Mother! Abuse!
Sin is kissing? They are one;
I mean, this poor sinner of mine,
Should she even be allowed!

“Prüfung des Küssens” (“Examen de los besos”), aria para bajo y orquesta, WoO 89. L. van Beethoven

Beethoven: Sparks of Joy – No. 15

Beethoven : Creatures of Prometheus
Notes by Margaret Scialdone

In 1801 the ballet master Salvatore Viganó was commanded to prepare a performance for Empress Maria Theresa. He chose the subject of Prometheus giving science and the arts to Mankind, and turned to Beethoven to compose a score for his libretto. “Creatures of Prometheus” is Beethoven’s only full-length ballet, with overture, introduction, 15 numbers, and a finale. As the original libretto has been lost, it’s no longer staged as a ballet.

In this 1960 performance, Charles Munch conducts the Boston Symphony orchestra in excerpts from Beethoven’s Opus 43, The Creatures of Prometheus.

Beethoven: Sparks of Joy – No. 14

When Beethoven Becomes Hilarious!
Notes by Fred Haight

We have had several episodes on Beethoven’s sense of humor. Today, we cross over into utter hilarity. Beethoven composed folk songs in many languages, including English, Italian, Danish, and Russian.

  1. The first piece today is not a folk song but a setting of Goethe’s The Flea from his Faust. Its part of 6 songs that he composed in 1809, op. 75, no. 3. It’s in German. Here, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau performs the song, with English subtitles.

2. One commenter reminded us of the song Ih nit di Nehma, from 23 Songs of Different Nationalities, WoO158a (1816/17). If you are wondering what language it is, it appears to be a Tyrolean dialect. Tyrol/Trentino straddles Austria and Italy. It is mountainous and apparently has a lot of regional dialects. We print here the closest thing we could find to a translation. Two things are clear a). There is a lot of yodeling. b). A woman is rejecting a man, and by the sound of her voice, he should not be too disappointed.

I nit di nehma
I like di nit nehma,
You top pike,
You can’t come to me
You were much too bad for me;
And you wanna be my man
You urban aff,
What do you think of no
You foolish laff
You talked yodel,
What you need a woman
You have a soda Koan juice more in body;
You’re cute like a brue
And cute as a bird
what did a woman do to you.
The gannet from Passau
Is your contrase
You kier like a Spanau,
Now go and go
Stop your grumbling
I’m telling you
I give you a faunzen
You talketer bue.

Talketer Jodel = foolish journeyman
You have = anyway
Contrase = image
You kier = you squeak
Faunzen = slap in the face

3. L’amante Impazione (the Impatient Lover) Op 82, No. 3 and 4 (composed 1809), are in Italian. The lover seems a bit infantile. Beethoven captures this manic-depressive quality by setting it twice, once in a manic way, and once in a depressive way, using exactly the same words. Both are played here. Click on two separate videos to hear the two versions!

Che fa, che fa il mio bene?
Perché non viene?
Vedermi vuole languir
Così, così, così!
Oh come è lento nel corso il sole!
Ogni momento mi sembra un dì,
Che fa, che fa il mio bene?
Perchè, perché non viene?
Vedermi vuole languir
Così, così, così!

What is my darling doing?
Perhaps she will not come?
She likes to see me pine away
Like this, like this, like this
How slowly the sun runs its course,
Every second’s like a day.
What is my darling doing?
Perhaps she will not come ……. ?
She likes to see me pine away
Like this, like this, like this.

Beethoven: Sparks of Joy – No. 13

Goethe and Beethoven: “Getting Along with Girls”
Notes by Fred Haight

The Classics are often associated with imagery of stuffy-old-white-male who have nothing relatable for the contemporary youth generation. We beg to differ.

Goethe’s Mit Mädeln sich Vertragen (Getting Along with Girls), written in 1787, is a poem that makes hilarious fun of the “machismo” mentality of any young, over-confident, would be Don Juan. Beethoven captures Goethe’s imagery perfectly (including a mock sword fight), in this short work for Bass and Orchestra, WoO 90 (composed around 1790-92).

Mit Mädeln sich Vertragen:

Mit Mädeln sich vertragen,

Mit Männern ‘rumgeschlagen,

Und mehr Credit als Geld;

So kommt man durch die Welt.

Ein Lied, am Abend warm gesungen,

Hat mir schon manches Herz errungen;

Und steht der Neider an der Wand,

Hervor den Degen in der Hand;

‘Raus, feurig, frisch,

Den Flederwisch!

Kling! Kling! Klang! Klang!

Dik! Dik! Dak! Dak!

Krik! Krak!

Mit Mädeln sich vertragen,

Mit Männern ‘rumgeschlagen,

Und mehr Credit als Geld;

So kommt man durch die Welt.

With girls I get along,

With men I brawl,

With more credit than money;

This how one goes through the world.

A song, sung on a warm evening,

Has already won many a heart for me;

And I back the jealous one against the wall, His sword in his hand; Out, fiery, fresh, The feather duster!

Clink! Clink! Clang! Clang!

Dick! Dick! Dack! Dack!

Crick! Crack!

With girls I get along,

With men I brawl,

With more credit than money;

This is how one goes through the world.

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