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Contents

  1. The politics of Helen Keller
  2. A Modest Proposal - Wikipedia
  3. APPENDIX: A History of the Philippine Political Protest

To honor the earl of Bridgewater and to use the occasion of family reunion so that his children could act, sing, and dance under his approving eye are other purposes of the masque. Nor were trained dancers and singers transported from London. These elements of spectacle are incorporated into a plot severely limited by the circumstances of the celebration and by the fact that only six notable players, three of them children of the earl of Bridgewater, participated.

The theme evolves against the three major settings and by reference to the character of the Lady. Typically, Milton uses classical analogues to cast light on the situation. The Lady is likened to the goddess of chastity, Diana, who frowned at suggestions of lasciviousness and whose role as huntress made her a formidable adversary, one whose virtue was militant, not passive. The Lady is also likened to Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, on whose shield is pictured one of the Gorgons, whose look would turn one to stone.

The classical analogues of the enchanter are best explained by his parentage, Bacchus and Circe. In fact, the journey of Ulysses and the temptations encountered by him and his men provide a context in which to understand the travel of the Lady through adversity, her endeavor to withstand temptation, and the reunion that she anticipates. Degradation or sublimation, respective inclinations toward vice or virtue, are the opposite impulses adumbrated in the masque. With his charming rod in the one hand and the glass containing the drink in the other, Comus is indeed akin to his mother, Circe.

Like her, he has attracted a rout of followers, whose antimasque revelry, both in song and dance, suggests a Bacchanal, the sensualistic frenzy associated with his father. Milton therefore suggests that chastity and charity are interrelated. In the Renaissance, particularly between and , the works of Plato were reinterpreted and the central ideas emphasized. Beginning in Italy at the Platonic Academy of Florence, Renaissance Neoplatonism eventually spread throughout the Continent and entered the intellectual climate of England.

The Renaissance version of Platonism synthesized the ideas of Plato and Plotinus with elements of ancient mysticism, all of which were assimilated, in turn, to Christianity. While on earth, the soul is immersed in the darkness of the human condition and imprisoned in the human body. When the appetites are denied virtue prevails, and the soul is enriched.

When, on the other hand, the appetites of the flesh are indulged, vice predominates, and the soul suffers. The foregoing paradigm is typical of certain Renaissance paintings of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Several works of Perugino and Andrea Mantegna, having been influenced by Neoplatonic philosophy, depict the contention between ratio and libido , or reason and desire. These paintings show classical gods and goddesses whose allegorical significance was established.

Venus and Cupid embody desire and its attendant vices; Diana and Minerva, to whom the Lady of Comus is likened, signify reason and its accompanying virtues. If right reason, or recta ratio , enables one to see the light of virtue, then the Lady has a rational and imaginative vision of the Platonic ideals of faith, hope, and chastity, for which she is the earthly embodiment.

But when reason is misled by the appetites, it is no longer effective. Upstart appetites gain control of a person in whom the legitimate predominance of reason has been subverted. Such a person in whom right reason no longer functions is enslaved by vice. Renaissance faculty psychology is also involved because it highlights the interaction of sensory perception, the appetites or passions, reason, and the will.

His private exposition of Christian theology, De Doctrina Christiana The Christian Doctrine , which was discovered in the nineteenth century and published in , includes a section in which he defines and classifies virtues and vices, then cites scriptural passages, called proof-texts, to substantiate his views. De Doctrina Christiana may also be used to distinguish the two kinds of temptation at work in Comus: evil and good.

Seemingly minor details, including references to birds, fit into the overall design. A bird thus trapped signifies a foolish person enslaved to his or her passions. Flight also connotes her sublimated and rarefied ascent from the human condition. Other verbal images are auditory but at times may involve actual music. A rose is to be admired, and the Lady likewise is to be appreciated. Comus strives to engender a sense of urgency in the Lady so that she will respond affirmatively and immediately to his overture. In De Doctrina Christiana Milton comments that natural virtue is elevated to supernatural status only with an infusion of grace from above.

Such, indeed, may be the case with the Lady, whose heroism is rewarded by divine approval and whose joyous reunion with her father at the end of the masque anticipates the relationship of the sanctified soul and the Lord in the heavenly hereafter. In line with this view, Comus , a theatrical presentation in the Marches or border region between England and Wales, may advance the Lady as an exemplar of the virtue and moral rectitude, not to mention civility, that the lord president seeks to establish in his jurisdiction.

As the seat of both the council and the court of the Marches, Ludlow Castle was the central location from which administrative and judicial policy and decisions were issued. Though each poem presents the archetypal conflict somewhat differently, long expositions and debates, or certainly meditations, are crucial in all the works, especially the later ones.

King, like Milton , was a poet who intended to enter the ministry. Justa refers to justments or the due ceremonies and rites for the dead. By writing a pastoral elegy that is heavily allegorical, Milton taps into an inveterate tradition of lament, one that dates back at least to the third century B.

As the literary tradition of the pastoral elegy unfolded, certain conventions were established, creating a sense of artificiality that amuses or antagonizes, rather than edifies, some readers, including Samuel Johnson in the eighteenth century. Some of the major conventions include the lament by a shepherd for the death of a fellow shepherd, the invocation of the muse, a procession of mourners, flower symbolism, satire against certain abuses or corruptions in society and its institutions, a statement of belief in immortality, and the attribution of human emotions to Nature, which, in effect, also mourns the loss of the shepherd.

Because of their friendship Milton , through the narrator, expresses an urgency, if not compulsion, to memorialize his friend. As a simple shepherd, he will fashion a garland of foliage and flowers to be placed at the site of burial. Allegorically, the garland signifies the flowers of rhetoric woven together into a pastoral elegy.

The allegorical significance relates to the daunting challenge of crafting a pastoral elegy. The three kinds of foliage cited by the narrator—laurels, myrtles, and ivy—are evergreens, which symbolically affirm life after death. At the same time they are associated with different mythological divinities. The laurel crown of poetry was awarded by Apollo; the love of Venus was reflected in the myrtle; and Bacchus wore a garland of ivy. Signified thereby is the poetry written at Cambridge by King and Milton in imitation of classical Greek and Latin literature. But King, who died before he fulfilled his potential as a poet and priest, no doubt reminds Milton of his own mortality.

From this vantage point, Milton should have alluded to the Fates—Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos—who spin the thread of life. For Milton, King was the ideal clergyman, whose pastoral ministry would have been exemplary. Against the clergy and most notably the bishops, Milton issues a virtual diatribe, a poetic counterpart of his enraged denunciation of them in the antiprelatical or antiepiscopal tracts. As the principal Apostle, Saint Peter is perceived, in effect, as the first bishop. Later they are equated with infectious diseases tainting the flock.

His message, in sum, is that corrupt clergy and bishops may thrive in the present life, but justice will be exacted in the hereafter. At first sorrowful and depressed, he projects his mood onto the landscape. Like the resurrected Christ, Lycidas is finally triumphant and glorified. At the end of the poem most of the biblical allusions that celebrate joy after sorrow are from Revelation. In Paradise Lost , for example, the downfall of Adam and Eve and the introduction of sin and death into the human condition are interpreted from a providential perspective.

In Samson Agonistes , the downfall of the protagonist results in bitterness toward God. Samson, having been chosen by God to liberate the Israelites from the tyranny of the Philistines, is himself enslaved. Despite his vocal opposition to Roman Catholicism, while he was abroad Milton fraternized with numerous Catholics, including Lucas Holstenius, the Vatican librarian; presumably Cardinal Francesco Barberini; and Giovanni Battista Manso, the patron of both Giambattista Marini and Tasso.

Milton did not compose an Arthuriad, probably because his concept of heroism was very different by the time that he wrote Paradise Lost. In Italy, moreover, Milton viewed numerous works of art that depicted biblical episodes central to his later works— Paradise Lost, Samson Agonistes , and Paradise Regained. The relationship of the works of art to the visual imagery in the major poems is the subject of much critical commentary.

During his stay in Florence, Milton visited the aged and blind Galileo. Having suffered through the Inquisition, Galileo was under virtual house arrest in his later years. As a victim of persecution, Galileo became for Milton a symbol of the adversity that a spokesperson of the truth underwent.

Also in Florence, Milton read his Italian poetry at the academies, where he elicited the plaudits of the humanists for his command of their language. Milton corresponded with his Florentine friends, such as Carlo Dati, after his return to England. Years later, Milton continued to remember his friends at the Florentine academies with intense affection. Before his departure from Italy he shipped home numerous books, including musical compositions by Claudio Monteverdi.

From Venice, Milton headed to Geneva. He also became embroiled in the controversies against the Church of England and the growing absolutism of Charles I. The freedom of conscience and civil liberty that he advocated in his prose tracts were pursued at a personal level in the divorce tracts. Milton married three times; none of the relationships ended in divorce. His first wife, Mary Powell, left Milton shortly after their marriage in summer in order to return to her parents.

This separation evidently motivated the composition of The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce By they were reunited. Mary died in His second wife, Katherine Woodcock, whom he married on 12 November , died in In addition to his marital woes Milton faced the deaths of his infant son, John, in and of an infant daughter in Further adversity resulted from his failing eyesight and total blindness by In accordance with epic conventions, he begins his work in medias res. An overview of major characters and their involvement in the action are the prerequisites to further critical analysis.

In the first two books the aftermath of the War in Heaven is viewed, with Satan and his defeated legions of angels having been cast down into Hell, a place of incarceration where they are tormented by a tumultuous lake of liquid fire. By the end of the first book they have been revived by Satan, under whose leadership they regroup in order to pursue their war against God either by force or guile.

Most of the second book depicts the convocation of the fallen angels in Hell. Satan, who volunteers to scout the earth and its inhabitants, departs through the gates of Hell, which are guarded by two figures, Sin and Death. He travels through Chaos, alights on the convex exterior of the universe, then descends through an opening therein to travel to earth.

While Satan is traveling, God the Father and the Son, enthroned in Heaven at the outset of book 3, oversee the progress of their adversary. Foreknowing that Adam and Eve will suffer downfall, the Father and the Son discuss the conflicting claims of Justice and Mercy. The Son volunteers to become incarnate, then to undergo the further humiliation of death in order to satisfy divine justice.

At the same time his self-sacrifice on behalf of humankind is a consummate act of mercy, one by which his merits through imputation will make salvation possible. In a soliloquy at the beginning of book 4, a vestige of the dramatic origin of the epic, Satan, having arrived in the Garden of Eden, laments his downfall from Heaven and his hypocritical role in instilling false hope in his followers, whom he misleads into believing that they will ultimately triumph against God.

Overhearing the conversation of Adam and Eve, Satan learns that God has forbidden them to partake of the fruit of a certain tree in the Garden of Eden. By the end of book 4 Satan has entered the innermost bower of Adam and Eve while they are asleep. When detected by the good angels entrusted with the security of Eden, Satan reacquires his angelic form, confronts Gabriel, but departs Eden.

At the outset of book 5 Eve recounts her dream to Adam. In the dream Satan, who appears as a good angel, leads Eve to the interdicted tree, partakes of the fruit, and invites her to do likewise. Adam counsels Eve that her conduct in the dream is blameless because she was not alert or rational. He concludes his admonition by urging Eve to avoid such conduct when she is awake.

Also in book 5 God sends the angel Raphael to visit Adam and Eve, chiefly to forewarn them that Satan is plotting their downfall. Midway through book 5, in response to a question from Adam, Raphael gives an account of the events that led to the War in Heaven. Book 6 describes the war in detail as the rival armies of good and evil angels clash. Personal combat between Satan and certain good angels, such as Michael, is colorfully rendered, but a virtual stalemate between the armies is the occasion for intervention by the godhead.

God the Father empowers the Son to drive the evil angels from Heaven. Mounting his chariot, the Son, armed with thunderbolts, accelerates toward the evil angels and discharges his weaponry. To avoid the onrushing chariot and the wrathful Son, the evil angels, in effect, leap from the precipice of Heaven and plummet into Hell. Also in response to a question from Adam, Raphael provides an account of the seven days of Creation, highlighting the role of the Son, who is empowered by the Father to perform the acts by which the cosmos comes into being, including the earth and its various creatures, most notably humankind.

This account takes up all of book 7. Using that account as a frame of reference, Raphael admonishes Adam to maintain a relationship with Eve in which reason, not passion, prevails. Book 9 dramatizes the downfall of Eve, then Adam. Working apart from Adam, Eve is approached by Satan, who had inhabited the form of a serpent. Led by him to the interdicted tree, Eve yields to the blandishments of the serpent and partakes of the fruit, and the serpent rapidly departs.

Eve, having rejoined Adam, gives him some fruit. His emotional state affects his power of reasoning, so that he eats the fruit. Book 10 begins with the Son having descended from Heaven to judge Adam and Eve. Though they are expelled from Eden, his merciful judgment, their contrition, and the onset of grace will eventually convert sinfulness to regeneration.

Satan, who retraces his earthward journey to return to Hell, encounters Sin and Death, who had followed him. He urges them to travel to the earth and to prey on humankind. For the last two books of the epic, Adam, having been escorted to a mountaintop by the angel Michael, has a vision of the future. Narrated by Michael, the vision presents biblical history of the Old and New Testaments, with emphasis on the redemptive ministry of Jesus and the availability of salvation to humankind.

The vision concludes with a glimpse of the general conflagration at Doomsday, the Final Judgment, and the separation of the saved from the damned in the hereafter. Earlier epics developed ideas of heroism that celebrate martial valor, intense passions such as wrath or revenge, and cunning resourcefulness. If indeed such traits of epic heroism are retained by Milton , they tend to be embodied in Satan. In other words, Milton uses the epic form simultaneously as a critique of an earlier tradition of heroism and as a means of advancing a new idea of Christian heroism for which the crucial virtues are faith, patience, and fortitude.

Under attack from his adversaries, Milton , from his perspective, was the advocate of a righteous cause that failed. The triumph of his adversaries, his solitude after the Restoration, and his struggle to understand how and why, under the sufferance of Providence, evil seemingly prevailed—and other questions—presumably impelled him to modify an earlier plan to compose a British epic on Arthur.

At the same time, however, one may acknowledge that some traditional traits of epic heroism are embodied in characters such as the Son. Surely wrath and martial effectiveness are manifested in the War in Heaven, but Milton more emphatically affirms that the greater triumph of the Son is his voluntary humiliation on behalf of humankind.

Accordingly, faith, patience, and fortitude are the crucial virtues to be exercised by the Son in his redemptive ministry, which he has agreed to undertake because of meekness, filial obedience, and boundless love for humankind. Heroism is simply one of a series of epic conventions used but adapted by Milton. Another is the invocation of the muse, who is not precisely identified—whether the Holy Spirit or, more generally, the spirit of the godhead.

At times, Milton alludes to the classical muse of epic poetry, Urania. The intent, however, is to identify her not as the source of inspiration but as a symbol or imperfect type of the Hebraic-Christian muse through which the divine word was communicated to prophets or embodied in Jesus for dissemination to humankind. A third convention is intrusion by supernatural beings, action that takes place throughout the epic—when, for example, the godhead sends Raphael to forewarn Adam and Eve of the dangers of Satan or when the Son descends to Eden as the judge of humankind after the fall.

The descent into the underworld, a fourth epic convention, occurs in Paradise Lost as early as book 1, which shows the punishment of the fallen angels in Hell. A fifth convention is the interrelation of love and war. The love of Adam and Eve before and after their expulsion from Eden is central to the epic, but the self-sacrifice of the Son on behalf of fallen humankind is the most magnanimous example of love. Finally, the style of Paradise Lost , including the extended similes and catalogues, is a sixth epic convention.

In book 1 Satan, who had plummeted from Heaven into Hell, is prone on the fiery lake. Later in book 1, as the fallen angels file from the burning lake, an epic catalogue is used to cite their names as false gods whose idols were worshiped in infidel cultures, particularly in Asia Minor. Both the similes and catalogues, when examined closely, provide insight into other, but related, aspects of style, such as the Latinate diction and periodic sentence structure, which when accommodated to blank verse create a majestic rhythm, a sense of grandeur, and at times sublimity.

The first book begins with an invocation, and three other books—three, seven, and nine—have similar openings. In all four instances the narrator invokes divine assistance or inspiration to begin or continue his epic poem. Furthermore, the invocations enable the narrator periodically to characterize himself, to announce his aspirations, and to assess his progress in composing the epic. Thus, in the invocation of book 1, the narrator pleads for inspiration comparable to what Moses experienced in his relationship with the Lord.

By implication the narrator interrelates Hebraic-Christian landscapes with the haunts of the classical muses. With his vision thus illuminated, he hopes to describe events of biblical history. At the same time, he invites comparison with epic writers of classical antiquity; but his work, which treats the higher truth of biblical history and interpretation, will supersede theirs. When, for example, the narrator describes how the fires of Hell inflict pain but do not provide light, the allusion is to Dante. Satan also parodically resembles Moses, who led his followers away from the threat of destruction.

Privately the archfiend is in a state of despair. By the end of book 1 the fallen angels assemble in a palace called Pandemonium to deliberate on a course of action: to pursue the war against God by force or guile. As this convocation begins, Satan is not only the ruler in the underworld but its virtual deity. Book 2 opens with Satan enthroned above the other angels.

The first of the speakers to address the topic of ongoing warfare with God is Moloch, the warrior angel who urges his cohorts to ascend heavenward and to use black fire and thunder as weaponry. Despite his call to action, he recognizes that force will not prevail against God. To disrupt Heaven and to threaten its security, though not military triumphs, are nevertheless vengeful. The second speaker, Belial, debunks the argument of Moloch. Under these circumstances the fallen angels may become more acclimated to the underworld. By diverting attention from the stated premise of ongoing war against God and by urging the fallen angels to orient themselves toward their present habitat, Belial lays the groundwork for the third speaker, Mammon, who advocates the creation of a kingdom in Hell.

At the same time he knows implicitly that if Moloch, the warrior angel, despairs of military success, then no one will be eager to pursue open war against God. After the hazards of travel to the newly created world are described, the fallen angels become silent until Satan agrees to undertake the mission.

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Seemingly voluntary, the decision is virtually constrained. Recognizing that an antagonistic relationship with God is essential to the pretense that the fallen angels are hopeful rivals, not vanquished foes, Satan revives the possibility of victory on the middle ground of earth. Having agreed to scout the earth, he emphasizes that he will travel alone. By preventing others emboldened by his lead from accompanying him, he reserves the glory for himself. At the gates of Hell, Satan accosts Death, a wraithlike figure who challenges him.

Nearby is Sin, a beautiful woman above the waist but a serpent below, tipped with a deadly sting. In her appearance and interactions with Satan and Death, she dramatizes the scriptural account that uses an image of monstrous birth to describe how Sin and Death emerge from lustful urges, which include both pride and concupiscence James What results is an infernal trinity, in which the offspring, Death, even copulates with his mother, Sin.

The invocation of book 2, like that of book 1, is a petition by the narrator for light or illumination, so that he may report events that occur in Heaven. Having ascended from Hell, through Chaos, to the convex exterior of the universe, the blind narrator likens himself to a bird, particularly the nightingale, which sings in the midst of darkness. He mentions many of the same topographic features—the mountains and waters associated with classical and Hebraic-Christian inspiration—cited in the invocation of book 1.

Building on the earlier invocation, in which he courts comparison with earlier epic authors, he acknowledges a desire for fame comparable to that of Homer and Thamyris, a blind Thracian poet. Like the blind prophets of classical antiquity, Tiresias and Phineus, the narrator affirms that his physical affliction is offset by the gift of inward illumination. As he reports the dialogue in Heaven, the narrator develops structural and thematic contrasts between books 2 and 3, not to mention differences between Satan and the Son.

The politics of Helen Keller

The infernal consult, which aimed to bring about the downfall of humankind, is balanced against the celestial dialogue, which outlines the plan of redemption. The question and the silence that ensues are contrasted structurally and thematically with book 2, when Satan, amid the hushed fallen angels, agrees to risk the threats of Chaos to travel to earth. As the Son volunteers to die on behalf of humankind the dialogue resumes, with emphasis on the imputation of his merits and the theology of atonement. In the meantime Satan, having traveled to the opening in the cosmos, alongside the point at which the world is connected to Heaven by a golden chain, descends.

There was not a single census in any state or city of the country that even kept track of the numbers and needs of the disabled population. They simply did not exist as far as the powers-that-be were concerned. And what a world it is! How different from the world of my beliefs! I must face unflinchingly a world of facts—a world of misery, degradation, blindness, sin, a world struggling against the elements, against the unknown, against itself.

How to reconcile this world of fact with the bright world of my own imagining? My darkness had been filled with the light of intelligence, and behold the outer day-lit world was stumbling and groping in social blindness. And now I am in the fight to change things.


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I may be a dreamer, but dreamers are necessary to make facts! These are the causes of blindness; these are the enemies which destroy the sight of children and workmen and undermine the health of mankind. One final factor that attended her decision to publicly commit to the socialist movement is less explicitly political but nonetheless important.

Keller felt that if she were to be taken seriously by society at large in the assertion of her right as a human being to discuss the affairs of that society, she would have to mount a fundamental intellectual self-defense against her many detractors. Everything outside of myself, according to them, is a hazy blur. Trees, mountains, cities, the ocean, even the house I live in are but fairy fabrications, misty unrealities. Ideas make the world we live in, and impressions furnish ideas.

My world is built of touch-sensations, devoid of physical color and sound; but without color and sound it throbs with life. Every object is associated in my mind with tactual qualities which, combined in countless ways, give me a sense of power, of beauty, or of incongruity. It is not for me to say whether we see best with the hand or the eye. I only know that the world I see with my fingers is alive, ruddy, and satisfying. The colors that glorify my world, the blue of the sky, the green of the fields, may not correspond exactly with those you delight in; but they are none the less color to me.

The sun does not shine for my physical eyes, nor does the lightning flash, nor do the trees turn green in the spring; but they have not therefore ceased to exist, any more than the landscape is annihilated when you turn your back on it. A socialist Joan of Arc After Keller had made the decision to commit herself to socialism, she quickly became a leading figure in the movement.

In fact, many recognized her as one of the most dedicated and effective propagandists of the socialist cause. She wrote regular columns in the Socialist Party press; she went on nonstop lecture tours across the country; she supported and popularized all the major strikes and industrial battles of the day. Miss Keller expects to become the most influential Socialist lecturer among the women of the US, at the same time speaking in the interests of deaf, dumb, and blind children.

It was along these lines that Keller actually made one of her greatest contributions to the socialist movement. This work comprised a collection of her writings on socialism, women, and disability, and remains the most explicitly political of all her books. It was very popular within left-wing circles, and even decades later Keller would recommend it to those interested in learning about her political philosophy.

Before long, Keller was counting among her closest friends, colleagues, and acquaintances nearly every major figure in the radical, socialist, and anarchist movements.

A Modest Proposal - Wikipedia

My whole being becomes uplifted. Jail, poverty, calumny—they matter not. Like the latter, Keller considered herself driven by a spiritual as well as a worldly imperative. Thus, she often infused a version of Christian socialism into her Marxist politics and activism.

It was not uncommon for Keller to pepper her lectures and writings on socialism or disability with various religious references. They shall not build and another inhabit, they shall not plant and another eat. They shall enjoy the work of their own hands. Keller also had no truck with those who would use religion in order to bolster the status quo.

In drawing inspiration for her politics from elements of Christianity, Keller was far from alone within the socialist movement of that time. Eugene Debs, for instance, also often interspersed religious allusions in his writings and campaign speeches. The socialism of Helen Keller The roughly twenty-year period spanning the s and s indisputably represents Keller at her most prolific and radical.

Increasingly, these various issues became integrated into a single condemnation of the established social order. As the socialist and labor movements swelled and advanced during the s, and especially as the cataclysmic nature of capitalism was laid bare with the advent of World War I, Keller—like millions of others across the United States and the world—rapidly and successively abandoned one set of seemingly outworn ideas after another. We have tried peace education for 1, years and it has failed.

Let us try revolution and see what it will do now. I am not for peace at all hazards. I regret this war [World War I], but I have never regretted the blood of the thousands spilled during the French Revolution. And the workers are learning how to stand alone. They are learning a lesson they will apply to their own good out in the trenches. Under the obvious battle waging there is an invisible battle for the freedom of man. Even prior to the outbreak of the world war, Keller observed the fact that the capitalist classes of each nation treated their respective working classes as little more than an enemy population that they sought to vanquish and plunder.

In order to successfully resist and overcome their subjugation, it was incumbent upon workers to dispense with the various fictions hypocritically preached by their masters. It was a lie, Keller maintained, that governments were neutral dispensers of universal law. Government was an instrument in the hands of the economically dominant class and should be treated as such by all those who oppose the tyranny of the latter. In the presence of any law [revolutionaries] ask only whether it is expedient—good tactics—to obey it or break it.

They know that the laws are for the most part made by and for the possessing classes, and that in a contest with the workers the bosses do not respect the laws, but quite shamelessly break them. She supported efforts to legalize birth control and abortion. But around other forms of oppression, Keller was markedly in advance of the SP mainstream. The party had no official policy of combating the racial segregation and inequality that pervaded US society generally and the labor movement in particular. In contrast, Keller, along with a handful of other SP figures, maintained an early and life-long principled opposition to all forms of racial segregation, prejudice, and inequality.

Du Bois she had known since childhood. Even well into her elder years, Keller participated in meetings and protests against racism as part of the nascent civil rights movement of the s and s. This revolt has never slumbered within me since I began to notice for myself how they are degraded, and with what cold-blooded deliberation the keys of knowledge, self-reliance and well-paid employment are taken from them. It stabs me to the soul to recall my visits to schools for the colored blind which were shockingly backward, and what a hard struggle it was for them to obtain worthwhile instruction and profitable work because of race prejudice.

While Keller found a receptive audience for her political writings in the socialist press, the response of the capitalist press was near-unanimously hostile. Sometimes, as demonstrated in the previously cited examples, the press denounced her as a stooge, ingrate, or imbecile, whose disability nullified her right to speak on political matters.

Most often, however, they simply ignored and censored her. They refused to publish her articles, speeches, and letters to the editor on such subjects. Editors who had previously fawned over her now wanted nothing to do with her. But will you please tell us what idea you had of goodness and beauty when you were six years old? So long as I confine my activities to social service and the blind, they compliment me extravagantly. They are grieved because they imagine I am in the hands of unscrupulous persons who take advantage of my afflictions to make me a mouthpiece for their own ideas.

I like frank debate, and I do not object to harsh criticism so long as I am treated like a human being with a mind of her own. The disability politics of Helen Keller There is at least one social issue that most people in the United States likely identify with the name Helen Keller: disability. However, as detailed at the beginning of this article, the disability politics attributed to Keller in most popular narratives are far from representative of her real views. We have been accustomed to regard the unemployed deaf and blind as victims of their infirmities.

That is to say, we have supposed that if their sight and hearing were miraculously restored, they would find work. But I wish to suggest to the readers of this article that the unemployment of the blind is only part of a greater problem. Their idleness is caused by conditions which press heavily upon all working people. In using Marxist concepts in order to explicitly situate disability oppression within the framework of capitalist relations of production, Keller took a gigantic analytical leap beyond the prevailing theories regarding disability.

Virtually all her contemporaries who theorized on the subject were, first of all, not themselves living with disabilities, and secondly, wrote in a way that was saturated in paternalism. It was widely held that the root of disenfranchisement people with disabilities lay primarily in their lack of skills, training, and education. If only people with disabilities could become more adept at fitting into existing society, it was argued, their problems would be solved.

Moreover, because Keller had an understanding of the class nature of capitalist society, she hit upon an insightful way to express the fact that the issue was not exclusively one of people with disabilities versus people without disabilities, but rather all of the exploited and oppressed including disabled people versus a form of society that multifariously—yet nonetheless commonly—subjugated the former as a precondition for the wealth and power enjoyed by a dominant fraction of that society. Any struggle for freedom from oppression has something in common with Marxism. The capitalist class exploits wage earners for profit to the detriment of the working class.

A primary source of oppression of disabled persons. Industrial capitalism imposed disablement upon those non-conforming bodies deemed less or not exploitable by the owners of the means of production. The insidious aspect of this phenomenon is not only that capitalism relegates people with disabilities to a permanent status of social and economic inferiority, but as a result of the competition between those compelled to sell their labor power in order to survive—as Keller described in her article—enmity is fostered between those with disabilities and those without.

Keller believed that the solution to this mutually harmful arrangement lay in building solidarity between people with disabilities and those without, since the two groups share far more in common than that which differentiates them. Her unconditional support of every step forward in the development of the labor and socialist movement was not a separate interest but intimately connected with her disability politics.

For Keller, the key to the liberation of the full spectrum of human potential and ability lay in overcoming the structural competition between workers throughout society. This unmoral state of society will continue as long as we live under a system of universal competition for the means of existence. It must, therefore, be changed, it must be destroyed, and a better, saner, kinder social order established. Competition must give place to co-operation, and class antagonism to brotherhood. Also, like her general political outlook, her approach to disability underwent various modifications and iterations over the years, leading to certain seeming inconsistencies.

To be fair, Keller never supported the more odious and racist aspects of eugenic philosophy, such as forced sterilization a practice legalized by the US Supreme Court in At least in part, what Nielsen seems to find Keller guilty of is failing to utilize a specific language, theoretical construction, and political identity surrounding disability that simply did not exist in developed form until many years after Keller had died.

In the wake of the social upheavals of the s and s, many disability rights activists and scholars developed a set of politics that foregrounded issues of identity, pride, and independent living. A full critique of the relative strengths and weaknesses of these various politics is beyond the scope of this article. In his seminal work, Nothing About Us Without Us: Disability Oppression and Empowerment , disability rights activist James Charlton offers a different way to view the personal versus the political aspects of disability.

It is both possible and necessary to view disability as a wholly natural component of the human condition, Charlton argues, while simultaneously allowing for contradictory manifestations of disability on an individual level. Having a disability is essentially neither a good thing nor a bad thing.

It just is. There is, however, a secondary aspect of disability—its bad side. Disability often brings physical pain and atrophy; psychological and cognitive disorientation; inconvenience, immobility, and an assortment of other nuisances. Whether or not voters believed the LP charge that Marcos was responsible for the bombing, it was the LPs who had suffered. The president attempted to blame the Communists, but few believed him. It took several years for additional, persuasive evidence to surface which made them in fact the most likely proprietors, through the possibility that it was the work of Mayor Villegas or Marcos supporters acting on their own, as in the assassination of Senator Aquino was also widely suspected.

The most significant result of the calamity was that Aquino, who was not present, was the principal beneficiary, and Marcos was the principal loser. Somewhat obscured by the election campaign, which left ! There, at the symbolic center of Philippine democratic politics, two persons, later identified as Muntinlupa criminals probably in the employ of an aide of Mayor Villegas, threw grenades at the inaugural rally of the Liberal Party, killing several bystanders and critically injuring nearly all the leading figures of the Liberal Party.

The principal exception was Senator Aquino, who said he had been warned by an unidentified source not to be present. He later changed his story to having been kept late at previous appointments. Roxas were also seriously hurt, and the Liberal Party candidate for Mayor of Manila, Congressman Bagatsing whose proclamation had been the signal for the bombing , lost a leg in the holocaust. The event introduced a quite unusual element of violence at upper levels into Philippine elections, where violence had nearly always taken a private, individual form and had been concentrated at the Mayor and Police Chief level in the provinces.

In the bloody heap of bodies just below the microphones were those of a ten-year-old cigarette vendor and two newspaper photographers. At least six persons were killed. The wife of one senator had both kneecaps smashed. Though Aquino was the Liberal party leader, he escaped the carnage, arriving late because he was attending a dinner. He also said that he had received an anonymous phone call warning him of the attack and that after the party he was further delayed when he went home to put on his bulletproof vest.

Actively supported by students and workers, the strike paralyzed the entire jeepney service in Manila. At the University of the Philippines, students staged a sympathy strike which developed into the so-called Diliman Commune.

APPENDIX: A History of the Philippine Political Protest

The day Commune cut off the campus in Diliman, Quezon City, as well as the entire route passing through Diliman from the rest of the city. Students put up barricades in the campus which the police insisted on dismantling. In the confusion, one student was killed when a professor fired at the picketing students. Incensed by the police action, the students occupied all buildings in the Diliman campus, commandeered the radio station DZUP and the University Press and began to broadcast anti-government propaganda.

Adopting the names of the writers of the Propaganda Movement, they used the facilities of the U. In an unprecedented show of unity, students, faculty members and non-academic personnel closed ranks to defend the University. The siege of Diliman drew out creative forms of student protest which sustained the day struggle. Some residents in the area banded together and hunted down the radical students in the defense of order and their property rights. The Philippine Constabulary went to UP and dismantled the barricades.

Violence ensued. Three students died. The demonstrations in UP Diliman ended only after the school administration accepted some of the demands of the students. The military siege was also put to a halt following a recommendation made by University President Salvador Lopez to President Marcos.

This led to the entry of Quezon City police into the campus, despite objections from Lopez. This proved counterproductive, however, stimulating vigilante groups composed of veterans and property holders who had been obliged to vacate their homes—developments unreported by the U. The people responded by vigorously opposing the threat of fascist rule. The alliance had three basic demands: a lift the writ of habeas corpus; b release of political prisoners; and c resist any plan by the Marcos government to declare martial law. In rally after rally attended by as many as 50, people, the MCCCL warned of the imminence of martial law even as the writ of habeas corpus was eventually restored.

It held the biggest demonstration on September 21, Laban was also the acronym of the Opposition party in Manila. Shortly before the elections, Aquino had given the only public interview he had been allowed from prison. This urban phenomenon was unprecedented and surprising even to those who had organized it.

The noise barrage, on the other hand, not only added a new locus to the resistance but also succeeded in enlisting open support from the hitherto unorganized majority of the middle classes, apart from the underground urban mass organizations. It would be from these same wellsprings of urban support that the later events of February would draw. It was a matter of pride; hence even Aquino was edged out by a nobody from the KBL. In certain regions, there were token gains for the opposition, for after all, the point of the whole effort on the part of the dictatorship was to legitimize its rule by allowing some measure of participation by disenfranchised members of the traditional political parties.

At this time, Marcos was under pressure from the Carter administration and the U. Congress to improve his human rights record. A peaceful march of about people on April 9 to protest the fraudulent elections was broken up and the participants, among them prominent opposition leaders, were arrested. The unprecedented funeral set the tone for the protest movement that was to evolve. In subsequent rallies and varied mass actions, demonstrators, linking arms and bearing no weapons, bravely faced the U. I went to the funeral Mass in Santo Domingo; I went there at a.

The church was full and there was a huge crowd outside trying to get in. After the Mass, I went with the funeral procession. I got rained on twice, first in Lawton and then in Luneta. I had to go home and get more film. If this had been just any other event, I would have quit and gone home. I saw this guy in a wheelchair who went from Santo Domingo to the cemetery. By the time we got to Luneta, he was exhausted, but he kept going. The people who went would not give up and leave, no matter how tired or uncomfortable they were. It was as if they had made a vow or thought of what they were doing as penitence.

That was really an emotional event, one of the most emotional events I have covered. Not a single photo of the funeral in the papers, as if nothing happened. What they printed was the photo of the spectator who was hit by lightning—that was their top news! The next morning, I brought all our photos and printed everything. I handled it myself. It was like I put in everything, the past 35 years, all in one afternoon, into that special edition. It was also, however, a movement wracked by dissension.

After breezing through a relatively easy birth in August , the protest movement had to weather a number of difficulties. In the final analysis, the protest movement was a movement of unity and struggle—of oneness in opposition to the Marcos regime, its authoritarian apparatus, and its abuse of the Filipino people; of differences within a movement colored by varying shades of political understanding, at times sadly marked by personal political ambition; and of unrelenting struggle against a dictatorship propped up by the government of the United States.

The Catholic Church endorsed the anti-Marcos protests, in which business and professional groups participated. According to government estimates, rallies, marches, and other demonstrations took place between August 21 and September 30, Protest demonstrations continued into the following year, with more than held between October and February Held on a regular weekly schedule after the Aquino assassination, the protest rallies were invariably announced by a blizzard of yellow confetti from the buildings along Ayala Avenue.

The protest was thus oddly lighthearted while given to major issues of justice, human rights and the restoration of democracy to the Philippines. Above all, as its credo eloquently states, it was born of a deep-seated yearning for justice and freedom. This opposition movement, while not monolithic, distinguished itself from the traditional political parties that had long dominated the Philippine political scene.

Jose W. Diokno, referred to mass actions and other peaceful means of protest intended to exert organized popular might or influence not only on Marcos but also on those around him. But there were other ways, in which these groups differed from political parties. First, cause-oriented groups tried to focus on issues rather than on persons in an effort to address the problems of Filipino society and seek solutions to them.

The disposition towards issues created the opportunity to develop new leaders who faced not the prospect of losing in an election, but the threat of arrest and detention, and even of salvaging or disappearing while in the hands of the military. Most of these leaders were young and relatively unknown as opposition figures although they were respected in their own fields. Second, in its search for structural change rather than piecemeal reforms, the cause-oriented movement paid particular attention to the education and politicization of its members as well as of the general public.

Other forms of concrete actions were prayer rallies, protest runs, wearing or displaying of protest symbols such as pins, stickers, posters, streamers, and other paraphernalia; and organization of JAJA chapters representing all social sectors and classes. The resurgence of organized peaceful protest was marked by a fervor reminiscent of the late sixties and early seventies. From the Aquino Funeral procession to the end of April before the Batasan elections , nearly two hundred demonstrations and mass actions took place nationwide, excluding strikes by labor boycotts of newspapers and businesses.

They have found expression and I think that the demonstrations, the confetti, and the simple mechanical act of pressing down your hand to your horn is an externalization of that. You might even call it a political act. Leaflets were distributed inviting the public to a dog show in Ugarte Field during the march of professionals on November 11, They read about the rallies in the alternative press or heard about them from friends and officemates.

The general feeling was a desire to get involved in some way; rallies provided that avenue. We want to organize. The afternoon motorcades in Davao, complete with confetti throwing and a noise barrage, always ended at St. A new organization would debut at nearly every rally. What bound all of them together were sympathy for Aquino and opposition to the Marcos regime.

Beyond that lay a broad range of political colors and orientations. The conditions were discussed on the floor of the congress. Foremost among them was Corazon Aquino. The boycott-participation debate was a hotly contested one. The leading advocate of this line of thinking was Jose Concepcion Jr.

The boycott camp further maintained that the elections were only for the Batasan, Marcos would remain in office until even if the opposition were to win a clear majority. An opposition-controlled Batasan would therefore be unable to effect real reforms, given the powers Marcos enjoyed. Another powerful supporter of the participation position was the U. Contrary to American views, the elections did not bring about political normalcy.

The people, as expected, were cheated. From almost nothing, opposition candidates gained the predicted one-third of the seats in Parliament, but being in the minority they could neither repeal Amendment 6 nor restore the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Now, more than ever, there was a need to unite the opposition. Both, however failed to achieve their goals. These decrees, P. They made subversion, rebellion, sedition, and related crimes capital offenses.

Reacting to public outrage, Marcos said he had already withdrawn the two decrees in order to amend them. After all, he explained, they had not yet been published in the Official Gazette. But Marcos lied to the people. On July 21, , he issued P. In its preamble, P. For example, apart from increasing penalties for subversion, rebellion, and sedition, P. These four offenses were not the only new crimes created. For instance, P. According to the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, 4, political arrests were made in and 2, by midyear of ; in , disappearances were recorded and by midyear Human rights groups and lawyers identified three main sources of human rights violations in the country: the Philippine Constabulary PC , which was then headed by Gen.

Fidel V. Marcos refused to acknowledge that torture and illegal arrests were the norm for the military. Though he took pains to create the impression that his victories always represented the spontaneous, unbridled clamor of the majority, he always made sure that full institutional support—laws, rules, logistics—were harnessed to guarantee the results he wanted. The snap election was no different. What clinched the decision was the certainty that the KBL still controlled all 65 cities and 90 per cent of all municipalities and barangay councils. The Batasang Pambansa elections, which saw an unexpected number of oppositionists winning in KBL bailiwicks, particularly those of Imelda Marcos, was a test case for the forces which opposed Marcos but rejected the violent option of the Left.

Like a genie popped out of its bottle, the opposition was no longer the pathetic, ineffectual, fractious grouping picking up the crumbs from the Marcos machinery, as it was condescendingly regarded by the U. But when he did, she was forced to consider running for election seriously. They decided that only a non-politician like Aquino could unite the disparate anti-Marcos forces into a synchronized whole. When the movement was officially launched in mid-October, it already had 18, signatories from Metro Manila; within a month, from the time Marcos made his announcement to the deadline set by the group, about 1.

Despite her floundering campaign machinery, Cory Aquino proved to be the phenomenon of the season. The tale of woe which she used to the hilt proved to be highly effective. As more observers noted then, the masses wept and identified with her and her sufferings under the dictatorship, and pledged to protect and support this valiant woman who had very gallantly taken up the cudgels for them. The money certainly beefed up the campaign coffers but the more important effect was the sense of identification and participation in the Aquino-Laurel candidacy of people from all sectors.

This proved invaluable in priming the people for the bigger, forth-coming struggle. The spontaneous popular mobilization and build-up would be sustained until the final confrontation with the dictatorship. Aquino leaders were apprehensive at first that they would be able to draw a crowd of respectable size. But their presidential candidate was adamant. The average estimate of the crowd which gathered that night was a million cheering, praying, and chanting Metro Manilans.

Thousands of voters found their names missing from the lists. More importantly, the election afforded the people an appreciation of the value of moving together as one in pursuit of a common goal. The move triggered a heated debate and a walkout by 57 oppositionists in the Assembly. A day after the announcement, the stock exchange experienced a massive slump.

Restaurants began cancelling orders for beer, coke, even ice cream. The banks in the list registered bank runs and other crony firms which felt they would be next in the escalating civil disobedience campaign, began to get nervous. For Filipinos abroad who were monitoring events closely, the apparent success of the campaign was the turning point. The Marcos government was set to strike outside and inside its ranks—outside, at Cory Aquino and her leading supporters; inside, at the military reformists headed by Enrile.

Thus would Marcos avert a downfall that the February 7 polls had already decreed. It would be a huge show as usual at the Luneta. According to at least one report, more than twelve million pesos was being released to henchmen for the hauling in of truckloads of hakot crowds to turn the park into a sea of Marcos cheerers, the rates being from thirty to fifty pesos per head. Two couturiers—Ballestra the Latino and Pitoy the Moreno—had prepared the sumptuous gowns that Imelda would wear at the big bash. Enrile called his office and learned that the bodyguards had been caught with firearms in a restricted marine brigade area.

Lieutenant General Fidel V. Enrile and Ramos held a press conference, stating that they had broken away from the Marcos regime. You are welcome to join us. We have no food. Lend your support to Enrile and Ramos and protect them. And bring them food, they have nothing to eat. First by the dozens, then by the hundreds, and then by the thousands, the Filipino people stormed the military gates with whatever offerings they could afford: bunches of bananas or sincamas, cans of biscuits, bags of balut, baskets of puto and bibingka, boxes of pizza.

And having come, they stated. The people stayed on the stretch of highway running between the two camps. Thus began the epic vigil on the highway during those four white nights of the tiger moon. Even professors and nuns and posh Makati villagers had turned into kanto boys and girls, hobnobbing on the pavement with farmer and fishwife. People kept coming in and they told us that outside on the streets were hundreds of thousands, were millions, of people protecting us.

And Radio Veritas was still calling on the public to come and protect the military rebels. And it was quite funny that we in the defense department who should be protecting the people were being protected by them. He claimed that Enrile and Ramos were behind a plot to assassinate him and Imelda, and they only revolted because their treason was discovered. However, the people did not believe him. The Marcoses decided to push through with the inauguration on February 25 on Palace grounds instead of Luneta. Diplomats and foreign guests were not invited. One reason for the eager turnout: it was such a beautiful night.

A moon almost full made the ambience so lucid some people claimed they could read by its light; and the air was so brisk and crisp it was a delight to be out of doors. When the wind wafted from there, the crowd visibly winced. Nobody was being pompous or heroic about his camp out on ground threatened with bombardment. The priests and nuns and the pious were there from obedience; the other adults were simply anti-Marcos; for most of the young all this was just a lark.

Enrile recalls that so many people kept giving him rosaries and crucifixes that he found himself simply loaded with rosaries and crucifixes. Upon emerging on the highway he was astounded by the crowd there. That was the trend of my thoughts as I crossed the road.

I could hardly squeeze through because the crowd was so thick. And they were chanting and clapping and laughing and cheering for us! Because of the people. The people stopped the tanks and the troops. Domingo went [to EDSA] for a look-see and found he could not get out anymore. Up in the cement guardhouse was a mix of civilians and soldiers with yellow ribbons tied to their weapons.

The arms were not government-issued. Each soldier had a Philippine flag stitched or taped to their sleeves, with the sun and stars at the bottom. A man with a bag of buns began tossing the buns to the soldiers. Still another bought out the entire stock of a cigarette vendor and flung the packs over the gate. The soldiers were all smiles as they scampered to collect the cigarettes. Then loudspeakers boomed and the crowd applauded.

The gates opened and above the massed heads waved the national flag. We overtook three jeeps, then four Eager-Beaver personnel-laden trucks, and then—to our shock—three tanks. Not tanks really but armored personnel carriers APCs big enough to carry at least twenty troops. They were so huge—as big as Love buses. Each had an ordinance load of at least one. And how fast they rolled! My car was doing 80 KPH as we overtook the last one. As they roared up the highway they threw up pieces of chipped pavement. They were not ammo belts but combat bandoliers designed to hold as many as ten round combat clips.

They lined up against a wall and inspected their rifles, really well-worn Ms. Some even had incomplete slings and were just fastened to the shoulders with makeshift nylon straps. Another truck was pouring out a platoon of troops that looked even more elite and combat-experienced. These were Scout Ranger troopers wearing camouflage and terrifying firepower. One of them had M cartridge link belts crisscrossing his chest. Another was unloading a bazooka while two companions pulled out wooden crates that I presumed contained the deadly rockets for the recoilless rifle.

We flashed the Laban sign. They glanced toward their officers. The crowd on EDSA had barricaded the intersection against the advancing tanks and troops. Sit down! Everybody sit down so the soldiers can see how numerous we are! Then somebody began leading the crowd in the praying of the rosary. It was a woman in white, kneeling in front of the tank. Others joined her. My companion pulled out her rosary. The people cheered. Then nuns stepped forward and mingled with the troops, trying to get them to talk. All around were people, entire families together, students in groups.

The mood was tense but festive. Helicopter hovered overhead, flying so low we could see the troops on board waving to us. I saw one Sikorsky gunship with rocket pods mounted on the side. It was already dark when we decided to go home. We decided to spend the night on EDSA, as close to Camp Crame as possible, just in case the government troops attacked. That way, we would have enough time to figure out what to do. Food was never a problem. Those who kept vigil shared. Food-brigade vans and cars had sandwiches to dole out. At first you might think that a panic was on and that this wild mob was fleeing in terror.

Actually these people were not running away from danger; rather were they running eagerly towards the danger! The onrushing tanks had been sighted approaching Ortigas Avenue, mounted with huge fearful-looking guns, and the freedom fighters were racing to meet those guns—and to stop those tanks!

Radio Veritas was doing a marathon coverage of the rebellion, from the rebel camp especially, and orders were issued to stop the coverage. Deprived of the coverage, they had been following so avidly, the city folk decided to go to EDSA and see the uprising for themselves. As it turned out, Radio Veritas was silenced only for a while.

Using emergency facilities, it was able to resume its broadcasts. A later revelation is that, even before the revolt, Mr. Sobra na! Palitan na. Almost everyone was in yellow shirt or skirt, or wore a yellow ribbon round the head. Vendors made a killing selling yellow ribbons for a peso or two. A grotesque item was the yellow hat in the form of a hand flashing the L sign.

The song heard on all sides was Ang Bayan Ko , the anthem of this revolution against fascism; but there was also a curious revival of an oldie from the s: the political ditty called Mambo Mambo Magsaysay. And of course the young ones were always ready to give out with Tie a Yellow Ribbon. My heart was pounding and I had to fight down this great desire to cry. I was really scared. There were mm machine guns staring at us. It must be hot in there. Somebody had thought of bringing a cassette and was playing the appeal of General Ramos.

One very brave lady climbed up the lead tank and sat down on top of it.