Dag Hammarskjold death: UN ‘should reopen inquiry’ – BBC News

It said the claim of an aerial attack, which might have caused the descent of the plane by direct damage or by harassment, was capable of being proved or disproved.

The report said that given the NSA’s worldwide monitoring activities at that time, “it is highly likely” that the radio traffic on 18-19 September 1961 was recorded by the NSA and possibly also by the CIA.

The report said: “Authenticated recordings of any such cockpit narrative or radio messages, if located, would furnish potentially conclusive evidence of what happened to the DC6.”

via Dag Hammarskjold death: UN ‘should reopen inquiry’ – BBC News.

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When the Supreme Court is this wrong, it’s time to overrule them

Surveys show that a large majority of American citizens across the political spectrum oppose the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that opened the door to unlimited political spending by global corporations and powerful unions. Yet when asked about the prospect of passing a constitutional amendment to reverse the decision, too many people argue that it would be “too hard,” even “impossible.”This argument lacks historical perspective. Every step on the path to fulfill the promise of the American Revolution was “too hard,” but Americans did it anyway. Hard, yes; yet constitutional amendments have come in waves during times of challenge — and Supreme Court obstinacy — much like our own.

via When the Supreme Court is this wrong, it’s time to overrule them.

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Literature as Teacher: Conrad’s “Youth”

I just re-read Conrad’s “Youth,” a short story. Marlow, the narrator and an old sailor tells a story to old drinking mates. He does a beautiful job of showing the energy and audacity of youth in contrast to the perspective of age and wisdom. Marlow has submitted to fate as good sailors must. He does not regret any misdirections he took in youth. Youth does what youth does. He doesn’t see folly in his youth, just the facts of energetic, essential innocence. Age has its essential experience. If youth had foresight, a man would have no youth. Hindsight given right wisdom should bring serenity and gratitude that you survived a burning ship. The image of a slow burning fire in the hold is powerful, grippingly present. What a motivator — a fire in the hold known only by insidious smoke and steam from below.  David Milliken

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Dag Hammarskjold, Hero of the UN Charter

In Katanga 1960I cannot fully explain my fascination with this man and his life. He was never my friend in the flesh and yet he was, a vicarious one.  I have had other vicarious friends because of what they were, what they did, what they tried to do and failed, how they dreamed and died and were forgotten.  Few people today have even heard of Dag Hammarskjold.  He was not the martyred, eloquent reformer as Martin Luther King  was.  He was not the towering, martyred statesman as Abraham Lincoln was.  Hammarskjold never crusaded like Joan of Arc  There was no flamboyance in the man. His suit was a little rumpled. Quite the contrary, he was artistic. poetic contemplative — a quiet man who performed no miracles. An acquaintance of celebrity, he was no celebrity.  Hammarskjold was not assassinated in a theatre box, nor shot on the street nor burned at the stake.  His plane, the Albertina, just crashed in the heart of darkness near the source of the Congo in 1961.  His martyrdom is still unproved.

He was accused of having a Christ-complex  — a criticism now discredited.  He was simply an imitator of Christ as all Christians are asked to be.  But he did it. As a diplomat and negotiator little was more important than the use of language, the word. A man’s word is sacred.  If Jesus, as Hammarskjold said was the “hero of the Gospels,” this Secretary-General was the hero of the UN Charter.  He lived and died as a peacemaker,

As most of his advocates, I discovered Dag Hammarskjold sometime in the Sixties, but I cannot remember precisely when.  Over the years he has often banished my insomnia and inspired my soul.  You must know his diary, Markings,  to love the man — and much more.  Soon you discover that he’s a disciple of Christ in a summer suit behind a podium.  And his words are a threshold to Another Place.   I am just at the threshold.  David Milliken

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“Hammarskjold A Life” Recommended When the Climb Seems Endless

In Katanga 1960Mountain climbing  is a life metaphor for Hammarskjold, especially “when the leg muscles quiver under the strain, the climb seems endless, and suddenly, nothing will go quite as you wish — it is then that you must not hesitate.”(Markings. p.124)  For in life as well as in the complex prose of Hammarskjold A Life striding its way up slope through the complexities of diplomacy, international relations. history and world politics in search of a summit, the reader must not hesitate for clearings do appear.  But have no expectation of ultimate understanding and truth.  This book like its subject is about unrelenting perseverance and faith.  Lipsey’s journey is worth the studied effort required.  Frequent stops along the trail and slow sipping of water are necessary.

I do not recall exactly when or how I discovered Dag Hammarskjold, nor does Lipsey in his experience. I may have been as young as nineteen.  That was when the Albertina crashed in the Congo, killing all aboard.  More and more I am convinced that Dag Hammarskjold was martyred to the cause of peace and justice in the world.  I believe he lived his spiritual life and worldly mission in the imitation of Christ; yet nowhere can I find him self-righteous nor sanctimonious.  Like David he faced off against secular giants like Khrushchev, DeGaulle and Chou En Lai.  While he was thoroughly Christian, he could not and did not wear it on his sleeve.  He couldn’t because he lived and breathed the ideals of an enormous secular organization.  He represented the nexus of all the world’s religions where they meet in peace and justice.

And he was a poet.  Percy Bysshe Shelley in his “A Defence of Poetry” extols the ultimate poet as a person of action as well as beauty.  Hammarskjold represents that kind of hero as an “unacknowledged legislator of the world.”  I suppose one could place Lincoln and Martin Luther King in such a category, but they have been acknowledged by history.  Perhaps the pending investigation by the UN into the mystery of the  Hammarskjold death will finally make him one of the acknowledged.

If you want to know this man a little, start with his Markings, his conversation with God.  Next, take up Lipsey’s Dag Hammarskjold.  Lipsey’s work links Hammarskjold’s trail marks with specific events in the Secretary General’s life.                 David Milliken

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Why Overthinking Is Holding You Back

The slow learners kept two “cognitive control centers” — the frontal cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex — active longer than participants who learned more quickly. These parts of the brain, which are usually used for devising and carrying out plans, high-level thinking and avoiding of errors, can be helpful when tackling complex tasks. But they can be hurdles to completing very basic ones.

Scientists aren’t yet sure how people can shut down these strategic brain regions when they don’t need them, but further research into this phenomenon may yield benefits for natural chronic overthinkers.

via Why Overthinking Is Holding You Back.

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UN poised to open fresh inquiry into 1961 Dag Hammarskjöld crash | World news | The Guardian

The United Nations’ general assembly is set to approve a fresh inquiry into the death of the organisation’s secretary-general, Dag Hammarskjöld, in a 1961 air crash.

Sweden will present a resolution to the assembly on Monday calling for the creation of an independent panel of experts to look at one of the great political mysteries of the 60s: why a plane carrying one of its most famous diplomats came down over what is now Zambia, but was then the British colony of Northern Rhodesia.

The resolution cites the emergence of new evidence and calls for the UN panel to examine it “and to assess its probative value”. It also appeals to governments to release documents about the Hammarskjöld crash that have remained secret until now. The resolution has 20 co-sponsors from around the world and is expected to win overwhelming support.

via UN poised to open fresh inquiry into 1961 Dag Hammarskjöld crash | World news | The Guardian.

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Galapagos tortoise dies at Akron Zoo

AKRON — A female Galapagos tortoise that has been at the Akron Zoo since October 1992 has died.

Azul, which weighed 165 pounds and was 32 inches long, would have been 26 years old this June. Her shell was 16 inches tall.

She was one of two on exhibit at the Akron Zoo.

Zoo officials say animal care staff noticed a change in Azul’s behavior last week. After performing a CT scan and ultrasound, it was found that she had a “larger than normal amount of fluid around her heart.”

The fluid was removed and Azul was treated with antibiotics as staff monitored her heart daily. — more —

via Galapagos tortoise dies at Akron Zoo.

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