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Saguenay SE takes its name from the deep water fjord that merges into the St. Lawrence in northeastern Quebec and links to the vast ecology that spans from the Great Lakes to the North Atlantic. Saguenay SE specializes in print, video, film and digital media projects that reflect environmental, progressive and public interest values. We have a particular interest in legacy media and the transition underway to digital platforms.
Our focus is on strategic communications, and institutional and socially responsible enterprise development and finance. Our work includes content development for print, television and digital platforms. We have extensive experience with documentary film production and finance, and with the acquisition of public media properties. We work with public interest, non-profit and commercial clients and partners on creating initiatives that advance a social benefit.
Next Monday evening (May 28) at 7 PM at BAM, there will be a featured screening of the film version of ASINAMALI, presented by the African Film Festival. Theater aficionados with (very) long memories will recall this wonderful play from 1987 by the brilliant South African writer/director Mbongeni Ngema. I first went to see the production that Voza Rivers and his New Heritage Theater company produced in Harlem, and later co-produced Asinamali's Broadway run with a lovely man named Ed Schuman, whom I knew from the days of Ramsey Clark's 1974 anti-war Senate campaign. Some will recall that Clark placed a $100 limit on contributions to his candidacy that year in order to underscore his objection to the corrupting influence of money in politics (yes, 1974). I was the hapless Fundraising Director saddled with that principled but constraining decision. Ed spent his weekends that summer walking up and down the beaches in the Hamptons collecting contributions for Ramsey, and Monday mornings he'd come into our midtown headquarters, his pockets bursting with crumpled $100 bills. Twelve years later we needed several much larger investments to mount Asinamali, but Ed, a former media executive, was equally adept as a theater producer and with help from Harry Belafonte, Miriam Makeba, Paul Simon and the irrepressible Duma Ndlovu we launched the first South African play to appear on the Broadway stage. Am eagerly looking forward to seeing this film and strongly commend the trip to BAM this coming Monday - see below for tickets.
Automakers urged the White House to cooperate with California officials in a coming rewrite of vehicle efficiency standards, saying “climate change is real.”
The plea came in a May 3 letter to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the industry’s leading trade group. It said carmakers “strongly support” continued alignment between federal mileage standards and those set by California. General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Daimler AG and nine other carmakers are members of the Alliance.
Ian Buruma, incoming editor of the New York Review of Books, contributes this dazzling essay on The Memory of Justice, now available on HBO.
Paul Krugman, the New York Times Nobel Prize-Winning economist and columnist, credits Rick Perlstein and The Washington Spectator for coverage of the rise of white supremacist politics during the Trump era.
“Acute observers of modern conservatism saw this coming well in advance https://t.co/jZWzBmMFoT”
A leading critic of corporate inaction on the environment endorses the Republican tax on carbon, one of the essential components of the fight against global warming.
A hefty, Republican-backed carbon tax may be just what we need in order to greatly reduce carbon emissions.
In conversation with Robert Scheer at Truthdig:
The publisher of the New Republic discusses the changing landscape of the fourth estate.
Fabulous Riverkeeper Gala this past week, highlighted by appearance by Grace Potter - have you heard this woman sing?
Here's to you, Hudson River.
Forty-one years after its debut at the New York Film Festival, the newly restored version of the The Memory of Justice is now available on HBO Now and HBO Go. Credit to the Film Foundation, the Academy Film Archive, HBO and Paramount Pictures for bringing this Marcel Ophuls masterpiece to the airwaves, and special thanks to Margaret Bodde, Mike Pogorzelski, Thom Powers, Margery Tabankin, Rachel Levin and Nancy Abraham for their indispensable contributions.
The monumental documentary about war and guilt is making its television premiere on HBO2.
For anyone interested in a conversation on this election that does NOT focus on Trump as a sexual predator or Clinton as a crook, tune at ttp://www.ustream.tv/channel/programroom around 1:15 PM today, where I'll be joined by former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean and Richard Brodsky, the long-time NYS Assemblyman from Westchester, now a prolific commentator on state and national politics. We'll be exploring the underlying social and political dynamics at work in our national politics.
ProgramRoom @ USTREAM: . Educational
On NPR's On the Media this week, great interview with The Washington Spectator's Rick Perlstein on the relationship between the press and politicians who lie.
Though this election season feels particularly falsity-filled, we've been on this road for a long time. A brief history of political lies and how Trump has broken the mold.
NEW TOOL FOR MEDIA AND DEMOCRACY
We've been working with a team of public media execs (led by Ken Freedman of WFMU), engineers (including Ken Devine, seen below), software developers (principally the wunderkinds at the Boston-based Bocoup) and investor/advisors (like Andy Weissman at Union Square Ventures) on the creation of a new open source platform that will enable public and independent media organizations to become sustainable. We launched our first fundraising module last week in New York.
Creators of the open-source software call it “a new tool for media and democracy.”
This week in New York, we're launching Audience Engine (AE), the new open source platform that will enable public and independent media organizations to become sustainable.
The Alice Desmond and Hamilton Fish Library honored US District Court Judge Jed Rakoff at its annual gala on May 29th. In light of the congressional debate underway over the appropriate limits of government surveillance, I am attaching a talk he gave in 2003 at Swarthmore College - recall as you read these words they come from a Federal judge immediately after the 9/11 attacks and the national forfeiture of liberties that followed in their wake.
"I don't know that I ever felt quite so honored as when I received the letter from the College informing me that I was to receive this degree. Getting a first degree from Swarthmore was thrilling enough; but this time I don't even have to take exams.
However, there is one catch: the letter said I had to deliver to you, the graduating seniors, a five-minute "charge." Now, I always thought a charge was something reserved for dead batteries or light brigades, for arrest warrants or credit cards. So I hope I can still qualify for this degree if, instead of a charge, I give you a bit of history.
Specifically, I would like to tell you about the worst of all Swarthmore graduates. I know there are a number of candidates for this position (your freshman roommate perhaps?). But in my book the worst of all Swarthmore graduates - because he most betrayed what Swarthmore stands for - was A. Mitchell Palmer, class of '91 ... as in 1891.
After graduating from Swarthmore, Palmer launched a career as a progressive Democratic Congressman from Pennsylvania. In 1912, he played a key role in securing the Democratic Party nomination for Woodrow Wilson, and in return he was rewarded with various posts in the Wilson administration, ultimately becoming Attorney General in 1919. So far, so good.
But with the dislocations that followed World War I, 1919 was also a year of turmoil and upheaval abroad, and corresponding insecurity at home. In the summer of 1919, a Marxist or an anarchist - no one was quite sure which - blew himself up while attempting to detonate a bomb on Mr. Palmer's front lawn. Utilizing his broad powers as Attorney General, Palmer reacted with what came to be known as the "Palmer Raids." Beginning in the Fall of 1919 and continuing through the following May, he directed Government agents, led by a very young but already zealous J. Edgar Hoover, to arrest, without warrants, literally thousands of Americans, mostly immigrants with leftist leanings. All of them were held without bail, and many were held incommunicado, without access either to counsel or to the judicial process. Where they were aliens, they were summarily deported; where not, they were frequently detained for prolonged periods on the flimsiest of charges.
At first no one protested. The general public supported the raids with patriotic fervor, and most politicians were afraid to dissent. Because most charges were dropped before the cases could be brought before judges, few judges had any opportunity to register their disapproval. Indeed, the Palmer Raids might have continued for years had not a group of prominent private citizens, most of them leaders of the bar in major U.S. cities, publicly denounced the raids in a report issued in the Spring of 1920 entitled "Illegal Practices of the United States Department of Justice." With the example of their courage on display, hundreds of other prominent citizens came forward to criticize the raids, public opinion turned, the raids ceased, and Palmer was disgraced.
Now why today - this day of joy and celebration at your own graduation - do I bother you with this history of Swarthmore's most infamous graduate? Because, as George Santayana so famously said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Ironically (and regretfully), no one today remembers George Santayana. But it does not take a Swarthmore education to figure out that the same combination of insecurity and xenophobia that led to the Palmer Raids - and to the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, to the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II, and to McCarthyism in the 1950's - is alive and well in certain corridors of power today. Now as then, combating a real enemy also provides a convenient cover for limiting the rights of aliens and radicals ... and who knows how many others.
Please do not misunderstand. I do not for a moment suggest that the threat of terrorism is anything less than real and significant. Nor do I suggest that, in combating it, any measure has yet been taken that approaches the sheer lawlessness of the Palmer Raids.
Nevertheless, it is difficult to understand how combating the terrorist threat justifies deporting hundreds of aliens without meaningful judicial review, or sending Government agents to interrogate thousands of Americans on no better basis than that they are of Middle Eastern descent, or holding those Americans designated as "enemy combatants" incommunicado and without access to counsel before they have been convicted of anything, or jailing as so-called "material witnesses" more than fifty persons against whom no charge whatever has been lodged. If, in the name of combating terrorism, we so restrict our own freedom, have we not thereby lost part of the very battle we seek to win?
Among the periodic assaults on our freedom in the name of combating foreign threats, the Palmer Raids were perhaps unique in the way they so quickly collapsed once private citizens summoned enough courage to denounce them. It is one thing to speak one's mind in the protected cocoon of a college campus. But those who protested the Palmer Raids ran the risk of personal vilification, social ostracism, economic retribution, career destruction, and even possible criminal prosecution.
Pretty soon, you'll be part of that world of social pressures, and as those pressures mount, you will be able to find a hundred good reasons to remain silent. But if freedom means anything to you, please don't be silent. After you reach a considered judgment, please speak your mind, whatever the cost. In so doing, you will fulfill your alma mater's ideals and win the gratitude of all of us who believe that liberty is this great nation's most precious, and most vulnerable, treasure. "
Next up - the Vernon Jarrett Prize for Excellence in Journalism, to be awarded this month by the School of Global Journalism and Communications at Morgan State University.
The 2015 Jarrett winner is Stacy Patton, a senior enterprise reporter at the Chronicle of Higher Education. Patton is being honored for her compelling commentary on black youth in a
May 2015 article in Dame magazine about the importance that
civil disturbances – including the events most recently in Baltimore
cheered‐baltimore‐rioters) – have played in moving the needle forward on the meter of racial and social justice
She was also cited for a November 2014 op‐ed piece in The Washington Post that argued “America does not extend the fundamental elements of childhood to black boys and girls
We've joined the talented team at WMFU to help develop Audience Engine, a promising new community-building technology and strategy that connects content generators with their audiences and helps strengthen independent media organizations.
We're working on helping to strengthen the publishing operations at The Baffler magazine - visit thebaffler.com to sign on to their social media products and obtain a coveted subscription.
Launched the new washingtonspectator.org site yesterday - check it out and pick up a subscription to The Spectator. Among the fine pieces you'll find on the home page is Lou Dubose's account of the destruction of the Louisiana coastline, and Gov. Bobby Jindal's refusal to hold the oil and gas industry accountable. http://washingtonspectator.org/green-army-oil-bobby-jindal/
Louisiana's flood-protection authority committed heresy in a petro-state: it sued oil and gas companies for tens of billions of dollars in damages.
Nice piece in The Times on The Rockaways, the new title from Concord Free Press that features photographs by Gilles Peress.
“The Rockaways,” a book of photographs by Gilles Peress capturing the devastation caused by the storm, will be distributed at no cost.
Coming in late September - The Rockaways, a new title from Concord Free Press featuring the mesmerizing photographs of Gilles Peress taken the morning after Sandy terrorized the south shore of Long Island, edited with an introduction by Hamilton Fish.
Lou Dubose in the Washington Spectator finds that the discredited crowd from tobacco days have found their way to a new gravy train - toxic plastics.
IF BPA disrupts normal functions in the human body, and if BPA causes abnormalities in human cells at a trillionth of a gram, why is plastic made with BPA found in every grocery story and kitchen in the U.S.?
Went out on the water Saturday late afternoon. Steady breeze out of the southwest, trending west. Storm cells pushing north, passing 40 miles to the west. Had open water entirely to ourselves. The wildlife showed up in force after six, fish everywhere, shore birds tracking them, diving for dinner. Sun started to set, the end of the heat in the western sky filtering the light. Turned back toward the cut, tide running out and breeze on our nose, hauled in the main, flattened the new jib and tightened the mizzen to hold just a few degrees off the wind until the last second, then cheated the starboard channel marker near the shallows and barreled into the inner harbor. The sun became the moon, cool white, rippling in the twilight. The breeze stiffened and we raced through the last mile and a half still the only boat on the water, the only boat in the world, the day almost at an end.
The Marfa Dialogues project is starting up in New York in late September/early October. The project brings artists and people from cultural and creative communities together with journalists, academics and activists to engage around political and social themes. This fall we are bringing MD to New York with the help of the Rauschenberg Foundation for a city-wide public conversation around climate change. We've recruited about forty organizations from the gamut of New York cultural and academic life - institutes at Columbia, New School, New Museum, BAM, the High Line, the Center for Social Inclusion, Public Theater, Pratt, the Carbon Tax Center, The Washington Spectator, NRDC, the Sculpture Center, Creative Time, Cooper Union, etc. - and we have a calendar for October and November brimming with community forums, rooftop gardens, art exhibitions, publishing ventures, public panels, conversations on public radio, theater performances, cabaret, film screenings - even a food truck with a socially conscious menu.
Years of Living Dangerously is the ambitious new series on climate change that will air beginning this January on Showtime. Helmed by former 60 Minutes producers David Gelber and Joel Bach, the Years project will be the first investigative series on mainstream television to examine the human role - specifically in the use of carbon-emitting fossil fuels - in the accelerating and dramatic changes we are experiencing in our weather patterns.
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